She didn't know how to respond. She had wanted this, hadn't she? But then again she had forbidden herself to think about a future with Harry and though they had made a lot of progress, she had been focusing more on the moment than anything else. However, she couldn't deny that the thought of 'what next' had been there at the back of mind and that's where she had forced it to remain.
"Gin…" she heard him say softly and when she looked back into his eyes, she felt her heart break into two. She wanted to banish that vulnerable insecure look from his face, but she just couldn't get herself to say "yes", not yet at least.
"Too soon…eh?" He asked squeezing his eyes shut.
"Sorry…" She had barely managed to choke the words out before he interrupted her.
"No, I am sorry….I promised to give you time, it's alright, I understand." He made a lame attempt to paste a brave smile on his face.
"Harry…please…" She tried again, brushing his fringe off his forehead, " I…I wasn't expecting this."
"I know Gin…I am sorry…let's just forget it okay." He cut her off abruptly and sat up in bed.
She wasn't completely taken aback by the sudden change in his tone. She knew what he was trying to do; it was classic Harry behavior-the onset of a phase of brooding and shutting people out. She had always managed to bring him right out of it, but at that moment, she was too overwhelmed with her own conflicting emotions to do or say anything.
She watched him slip his clothes back on and neither of them said a word to each other. There was long awkward silence when he sat on the edge of the bed fully dressed. She wanted to say a lot, tell him she wasn't saying no, that she just wanted time to process everything, but nothing came out.
"Gin…" he spoke after what seemed like an unbearable hour, "I just need some time on my own…" He opened his mouth again but then closed it, deciding against saying whatever he had in mind.
In hindsight, she realized she should have said something reassuring to him. She didn't even meet his eyes as she nodded in response; it was hard to see the sad dejected look in them.
"Umm..I'll call you," with those words and a quick awkward peck on her cheek, he disapparated from her room.
She couldn't sleep, after her left.Why was it so difficult to say 'Yes' to him? A part of her really wanted to, yet she couldn't deny his words had scared her. Did she not see a future with Harry? She would be lying, if she said she didn't. She knew she wanted it too. She was sure he loved her, she didn't doubt his commitment either, or did she? She had let him in again, she had let him touch her in most intimate way, she has started letting down all her barriers, where was the doubt? She didn't know, she was sure she had overcome that, but why did it come back when he asked her to marry him? Was that how fragile her trust still was? Was past anger so hard to let go of?
She closed her eyes and let the tears fall, hoping that somehow they would wash away the frustration and grief that had enveloped her. Maybe, she needed some time off too. Away from Harry, away from her own blasted thoughts.
She checked her bedside watch; it was 10:30, not too late to call up Luna. She knew that's what she needed, a talk with Luna…if nothing else, it would distract her enough from her current confusing problems.
Half an hour later, she found herself sitting on Luna's couch, sipping on some nerve relaxing tea, Luna had bought from China. She listened distractedly to her friend's observations about hybrid Chinese Nargles, till she heard her mention Harry.
"I asked what has Harry done now?" Luna repeated her question patiently.
"I didn't say anything about Harry."
"You always look like this when it's something to do with Harry…"
"He asked me to marry him." Ginny blurted out and somehow felt relieved having shared that with someone.
"You don't want to?"
"I do…I think I do…" And there it was, she did want it, but she didn't know how to explain what was stopping her.
"Do you miss Fred, Ginny?" If it hadn't been Luna, she would have been surprised at the abrupt change in topic.
"And Harry, do you think about the final battle, when we thought he had died?"
Swallowing a lump in her throat, she answered quietly, "I try to avoid it…"
"You know daddy still misses mum a lot…he loved her very much. Are you still angry with Ron for your first year Ginny?" There it was, Luna's strange subject switches. But, after years of being friends with her, they made sense to Ginny.
"No, Luna, not anymore. He was a kid who had made two really cool friends and couldn't be bothered with his silly crushing- on- his-best- friend- sister. I was hurt because I expected my brother wouldn't ignore me once I joined Hogwarts and the fact that I was naïve and idiotic didn't help. Both of us should have known better, but we did not…we were too young..." and then slowly a smile spread through her face as everthing suddenly became clear, "and Harry and I have been absolute fools."
There it was, as strange as their conversation would have sounded to a third person, she understood what Luna meant. You never knew what the future held, the war had taught them that. Love and time with loved ones was something to be treasured, because when they left all that you had were memories. There was no point in holding on to someone's past mistakes forever either. She had learnt that, it didn't bring anything but bitterness.
What she and Harry had was something special, something that was worth fighting for. He loved her, she loved him, they had both made their own set of mistakes in the past, but it was time to move past it and give themselves a chance to build a happy life together. She deserved that happiness, he did too and most off all both of them wanted it!
"Thanks Luna…" She got up quickly, gave her a quick hug and sprinted off to the floo. She wanted to see Harry, snog him senseless and then say, the clichéd "thousand times yes!"
If she knew Harry, he was either at his apartment, brooding by the fireplace, at bench in some park in muggle London or somewhere in vast open spaces around the Burrow. She decided to head to his apartment first, via her own as, after the Ron debacle, it was the only one connected directly to his.
She had barely stumbled out of the fireplace, when she saw Harry sitting on her couch with some muggle take-away boxes.
"Hey…I was getting worried…" He walked up to her, his glasses slightly smudged and hair even messier than usual.
"I thought you'd be at your place…" She answered stepping closer to him. A mixture of relief and surprise crossed his face as she brushed her fingers against his cheek.
"I…I realized that you might have thought I was angry or I would leave and I promised I never would. I mean even if you said no to marrying me a thousand times I wouldn't unless of course you wanted me to... and then I also figured you hadn't eaten anything. So, I just though I'd bring you food and tell you I am not angry…I am okay…I understand really…"
"Shut up Harry…" She said softly as a tear rolled down her cheek.
He looked at her and the adorably flummoxed expression almost made her giggle. She figured he probably thought she had lost it and before she did anything else to make him seriously doubt her sanity, she pressed her lips to his.
She felt him freeze for a fraction of a second, before he pulled her close to him and kissed her back with such desperation that she could almost feel the fear that he must have felt after he proposed. Merlin, she loved him, this adorable, selfless, wonderful man and she knew with more certainty than ever what she wanted.
She pulled away from him, she had to say it or she would burst. He groaned in protest but she ignored him as she went down on her knees. "Marry me Harry…" she choked out half smiling, half crying.
When she recalled that moment at Ron and Hermione's place a day later, she could swear it all happened in slow motion. He stared at her slack jawed for several moments, before the most wonderful smile, she had ever seen lit his face. He fell down on his knees next to her, cupped her face and said the most beautiful words she'd ever heard, "just tell me when, Gin."
Author's note- There it is, its over. I know I took forever to update, but I needed some inspiration and I got it from DH. No, not because I thought it was great, but the lack of h/g in the movie pissed me off so much that I simply had to give my H/G some happiness.
I was very nervous about writing Luna, so please tell me how I did. No flames please, I am in a sensitive mood these days. Healthy criticism, I don't mind at all.
So, anyway I hope you enjoyed this story. I loved writing it. A lot of moments were very personal, so this story is very close to my heart. I do realize now, that Harry may have seemed a little OOC, when I wrote about his dating others. Come to think of it, if I re-wrote the story, I'd change that part a bit. But on the whole, I think I am happy with 'Finding Us.' I could have written it better, but I'll remember what I learnt and hopefully use it while writing the next h/g I have in mind. BTW, I wrore this story without a beta, but I would like to work with one for my next, please pm me if any of you are interested.
I might also write one shots related to it or an epilogue sometime later.
Thanks to everyone who read and reviewed. I would love to hear what you guys thought of the story and for those who haven't reviewed; it's never too late:)
Thanks again, will be back once I am done with at least 5 chapters of the next story.