Summary: The trio is coming home. Pre-DH.
She stood in front of the Burrow, blanket clutched tightly around her shoulders to ward of the early morning chill. There in the semi-darkness, she performed her morning ritual. Standing alone in the moments before the sunrise, she waited. Waited for the dawn. Waited for disaster. Waited for the end. Waited for their return.
The first rays of light curved over the horizon and cut through the mist. A bird chirped in a nearby tree, a reminder of the season. Through the fog, she thought she saw a shadow moving.
Shaking her head, she told herself she was imagining things. She turned to reenter the house when a noise made her pause. The gravel crunched in an odd pattern. Not of one person walking evenly, but maybe of a few shuffling along slowly.
Could it really be…? she thought wildly. Facing the road again she took a slow step away from the lopsided house and squinted into the mist. The large shadow moved slowly in time with the crunching gravel. As it came closer, its shape became more defined. She could now distinguish the silhouette of three limping figures. When a flash of red caught her eye in the brightening sunlight, she dropped her blanket and raced toward them with a loud scream of joy.
At her outburst, the Burrow immediately sprang to life. Thunderous footsteps could be heard on the rickety stairs before the front door was flung open. Pops of apparition sounded all over the front yard as various Weasley's and Order members misinterpreted the alarm Ginny had sent up.
After a moment of chaotic directives and harsh expletives, the adults finally noticed the four teenagers in the middle of the road. Ron and Hermione clung to each other laughing their heads off as Ginny lay on top of a flailing Harry, attacking his face with kisses.
Harry soon stopped fighting as her lips landed on his, and he returned her passionate kiss in kind. One arm firmly circled her waist as the other entwined in her hair. Ron and Hermione's laughs faded as the couple on the ground began to seriously snog.
"Oi, mate. That's my sister," Ron exclaimed indignantly. Both Harry and Ginny threw him identical rude hand gestures without breaking away from each other. But before Ron could get properly angry, Hermione nudged him.
"Leave them be," she chastised, giggling still. She stood on her tip toes and leaned closer to kiss his jaw. He couldn't help but grin down at her when she pulled away, love shining clearly in his eyes. Having sufficiently distracted him from his best friend and sister snogging, Hermione gently tugged Ron away from the reunited couple and led him toward the crowd of confused adults.
Slowly Hermione helped Ron hobble toward the Burrow, his arm slung over her shoulders as he leaned heavily on her for support. The two made it to the front steps and Hermione helped an obviously hurt Ron sit down before anyone came to their senses.
"Ronald!" Mrs. Weasley looked likely to faint.
"I'll be fine Mum," Ron said with a smile.
"Maybe we should have a Healer look at your leg though," Hermione added and the adults once again sprang to life.
"Yes, of course," Remus said. "I'll just pop over and bring someone back from St. Mungo's then." And with a swift crack he was gone.
All of the other adults began talking at once, asking what happened. Ron began to get a bit pale as the adults crowded around them. When Hermione noticed this, she held up her hands to stop all of the clamoring adults.
"Please Stop," she commanded in a ringing voice, and they all obeyed. "Give Ron some room please, I don't want him to faint again," she directed, and they complied once more.
Ron shot her a mutinous look. "I did not faint, Hermione," he declared. "I was just a bit woozy." Bill stifled a chuckle as Hermione turned her head to roll her eyes out of Ron's line of sight.
"Alright, darling. You didn't faint," she placated and patted his hand. Bill and Arthur looked at each other with raised eyebrows at the endearment and Ron's lack of response to it.
Molly looked about to burst with restraining herself from mothering Ron and asking questions. "Hermione!" she demanded, but stopped dead when the young woman pierced her with a quelling glare. Even seated and clutching the arm of her youngest son, Molly could tell Hermione was not to be trifled with at the moment.
"The short of the story is that we won, and Voldemort is dead," Hermione stated frankly. Most of the others flinched and stared at her. "You'll have to wait for a more detailed account until Harry is ready to tell it. And I won't have you bothering him until he is," she warned in a tight voice. She stared at each adult towering over her with narrowed eyes until they all acquiesced with a nod.
Ron nudged her shoulder. "Hermione, where is Harry?" he asked.
"I suppose he's still back there with Ginny," she responded. Hermione flicked a glance at Bill who understood this to be an order to make sure no one bothered Harry and Ginny.
Ron's nose wrinkled. "Are they still snogging?"
Hermione's eyes twinkled with mirth, but she held in a chuckle. "I would suppose not, dear," she placated. "I would think they're out there talking."
Arthur turned his snort of laughter into a cough, but Bill did not try to stifle his snort. Hermione winked at him before glancing toward the road and back to him, directing him to go watch Harry and Ginny. Bill inclined his head ever so slightly, acknowledging her request and edged his way out of the crowd.
Bill quietly made his way to a tree that stood halfway between the house and where Harry and Ginny still lay in the road. Leaning his back against the tree, he kept one eye on the couple and the other on the crowd at the house. From this vantage point, Bill could see that his little sister and her beau were indeed still snogging, with Ginny lying on top of Harry. But Bill was glad to see that Harry's hands, thankfully, had confined themselves to her back and hair.
Harry and Ginny's earlier frantic snogging had slowed to a more languorous pace as the two reacquainted themselves with each other's embrace. Ginny shifted to rest more of her weight on top of Harry, and he broke away to hiss in pain.
"Oh Harry, I'm so sorry," she exclaimed, retreating off of him, but he grabbed her hand to keep her from completely pulling away. Sitting up gingerly, he rubbed his sore ribs with his free hand.
Bill noticed Ginny's sudden movement and Harry sitting up slowly. Even at this distance, Bill's trained eyes could tell from the way Harry moved that he had several bruised if not fractured ribs.
His little sister knelt next to Harry and cupped his cheek. He said something to her that didn't reach Bill's ears. They began to kiss again, long slow kisses that Bill couldn't bear to watch. He tore his eyes away and saw that his wife was walking toward him.
When she came close, Fleur opened her mouth to greet him, but he held a finger to his lips to quiet her. He wrapped her in his arms, and she whispered in his ear, "eere you are, mon amoureux." They kissed each other in greeting. "What are you doeeng here?" Fleur asked quietly.
"Standing guard," he whispered his reply and nodded in the direction of the road. Both turned to look at the other couple.
"Zey are een love, non?"
Bill looked away as the couple continued to exchange deep kisses. He couldn't respond.
Fleur looked at him shrewdly. "You do not like zee idea zat zey are een love?" Bill couldn't look at his wife's knowing gaze and shrugged a shoulder. "Guillaume," she demanded softly.
"She's my sister," he began, just barely holding eye contact.
Fleur interrupted him, "And you should be proud zat she 'as found love." Bill looked away again. He knew she was right, but he still saw Ginny as the little girl who worshipped him long before she had heard of the Boy Who Lived.
When Bill wouldn't respond, Fleur continued, her voice rising in pitch. "If what I 'erd iz true and we 'ave won zis war, eet eez because 'e loves 'er." Fleur nodded solemnly at Bill's incredulous expression. "You did not see zee way 'e looked at 'er at our weddeeng. 'E did all of zis for 'er," Fleur gestured in a wide circle with her arm.
Bill's doubt melted away as he thought of all the times he watched Harry watch Ginny. He nodded slowly. He guessed he would have to accept that Ginny was no longer that little girl. She was a woman, in love with a good man.
He sighed. "I know you're right," he finally admitted. Fleur smiled and gave him a kiss.
"Bien sur." Bill chuckled at her response. "Come back to zee 'ouse." Fleur tugged on Bill's arm and took a step toward the Burrow.
"But, Hermione…" Bill protested.
"Zey will be fine," Fleur insisted. "Zey will come in when zey are ready." She pulled on his arm again, and winked at Harry and Ginny behind Bill's back as they began to move away.
Harry and Ginny sat in silence as they watched Bill and Fleur walk back toward the Burrow. Ginny slipped her hand into Harry's and squeezed.
"Is it true?" she whispered.
"Which part?" he hedged. He knew she would be the first he told, but he wasn't sure he wanted to think about… things yet.
"The part about the war being over," she began, not mentioning what she really wanted to know. "The part about Voldemort being gone." Ginny dimly noted that Harry twitched when she said 'Voldemort.' "The part about you…" she trailed off and squeezed his hand again.
Harry looked down at their clasped hands and wondered how such tiny fingers could belong to someone with as much courage as Ginny.
"Yes." Because really, all of it was true.
"Mon amuoreux." = "My lover."
"Bien sur." = "Of course."