Almost Too Late
Written: January 2006
Harry Potter stood in the doorway of the Burrow kitchen, leaning against the doorframe just watching her. She was so beautiful that she took his breath away. Ginny Weasley was Harry's secret wish. He had been in love with her for longer then he could remember, though he had never noticed until the summer after his fifth year. Her long bright red hair hung in curly waves down her back and her chocolate brown eyes had always done him in. He knew that she didn't realize the power she had on him. But those eyes … he could melt in them and he would do anything she asked if she just turned those eyes on him.
He would be her slave.
He was nineteen years old and two years earlier he had defeated the darkest wizard of all time, somehow miraculously escaping. He knew that he would never have been able to do it without the help of Ginny, Ron, and Hermione. His two best mates had finally realized in their seventh year how crazy about each other they were and they were now married with one son named Granger. Ron had mentioned to him that Hermione was pregnant again as well. He was happy for them; no one deserved more happiness or were more in love than those two.
Ron and Harry now played professional Quidditch for the British National Team. The money Harry made playing Seeker only made him richer and only gave him more publicity. He was named one of the top ten sexiest bachelors as well as one of the top ten richest men in the world and the thought only pained him greatly. He hated being famous. But now … he was going to use whatever he could to get what he wanted before it was too late.
Ginny Weasley was engaged.
The thought horrified Harry; just the idea that he might lose her once and for all. He'd wanted her for longer then he could remember, but she had been dating other guys, and he hadn't wanted to get into a relationship while he had been preparing for Voldemort. But now … he couldn't let her marry Colin Creevey. She meant too much to him.
"Hey Gin," he said easily, stepping into the kitchen and making his presence known.
Ginny turned from the sink where she was cleaning up the breakfast dishes and smiled at him. "Hi Harry. How are you?"
He grinned. "I'm alright. I heard you got a rock from Colin."
Ginny laughed, the rich sound drifting over him and making him ache. "Not really a rock." She pulled her hand out of the sink to show him. It was a very, very tiny crystal, not even a diamond. He knew not everyone could afford a diamond or something rich and beautiful, but this was quite a cheap ring if he said so himself. "He said that maybe someday I could get a diamond but right now he can't afford it." She replied quietly looking at Harry oddly. "Are you alright?"
"Yeah, I just think he could have done better on the ring."
She smiled. "I think it's pretty." She turned back to put her hands in the sink but Harry didn't let go of her hand; instead he turned her fully to look at him. Ginny looked up into his emerald green eyes and sighed; he was too handsome for his own good. "I need my hand back, Harry."
He smiled at her. "No, you don't. Ginny … I need to talk to you about something really important."
Ginny's eyes turned to concern. "Of course, Harry, what is it? Do Ron and Hermione know?"
He shook his head. "Ron doesn't, I think Hermione knows some of it, she just knows things. But it's you I need to talk to, not them."
Ginny nodded. "Of course, what is it?"
He rubbed his finger over the soft skin on her hand. "Come to my flat tonight after dinner? It may take a while and I have some things to do today."
"Sure. I'll be there."
He smiled at her, and leaned over to gently kiss her cheek. "Thanks, Gin, I'll see you later."
She nodded and watched him go, wondering what on earth he needed to discuss with her.
Harry paced his flat back and forth. He had no clue what he was going to do. He loved her and he knew that she had loved him at one time but according to Hermione she had given up on him at the end of his fourth year. He needed to tell her though; he would never forgive himself if he let her walk down that aisle never knowing.
But what if she doesn't want to know? The voice in his head whispered. What if she doesn't care that you love her but is only angry at you for ruining her engagement by such a declaration?
He sighed; he didn't care.
If it didn't go well then he would leave. He had always wanted to travel the world and if he was gone for a year or two, well, it would be good for him and it would get him away from the woman he loved, who didn't want him anyway.
When the knock sounded on his door he jumped and then he gulped. He went to the door and pulled it open, grinning when he saw Ginny; while at the same time, trying hard to make sure that his jaw didn't drop open. She was wearing a short black dress that showed off her shapely legs and left her shoulders bare. The dress dipped to show a modest amount of cleavage and she wore a small silver chain with a letter G dangling from it, something that he had bought her for her sixteenth birthday. Her hair was cascading down her back and Harry had to fight hard to keep himself from drooling.
"Hi Harry," Ginny said. "I hope you don't mind me coming a bit earlier. I forgot that I promised to go to this ministry gala with Colin, but it doesn't start for three hours. I figured I would just leave from here."
Harry nodded. "Yeah, yeah, uh come on in." She walked inside and Harry couldn't help but notice the way her hips moved. She took a seat on the love seat and kicked off her shoes. "Uh, would you like something to drink?"
Ginny smiled. "I'm alright, thanks. Well, are you going to come over here and tell me what's wrong? I've been curious all day thinking about what kind of secret you've been hiding."
He grinned. She always was straight to the point and he loved that about her. He took a seat next to her. "I'll try … it's well … I'm not sure how to say it."
She laughed. "Easily. You open your mouth and the words come out."
He grinned. "Cute, Gin." When she only grinned at him he sighed. She looked incredible and if Harry wanted to crush Colin with his bare hands for even thinking about touching her, well, that was his problem, right? The fire was going in the fireplace and he only had a small lamp lit on in the corner so the room was mostly just lit up by the fire. It was reflecting off of her hair and his fingers itched to touch it.
Ginny reached her hand out and covered Harry's hand with her own. "Harry, you know that you can tell me anything, right? That's what friends are for."
He nodded. "I know. Alright. I'm not sure how to approach this without giving away … okay. Well, I need some advice actually."
"What kind of advice? You've clearly come to the right person," Ginny replied with a grin.
He grinned back. "Yeah, well … you see there's this friend that I have and he's been in love with this friend of his for at least five years but every time he wanted to ask her out, something always stopped him. Like she was dating someone else. But now she's really serious with this one guy, but he loves her and he realizes that if he doesn't say something to her now, then she might marry this guy and he will never get another chance with her. But he doesn't know how to tell her and he's afraid to tell her because she is one of his best friends and he doesn't want to lose that friendship with her and he has no idea how she feels about him in return. I thought about asking Hermione's advice on this, Gin, but I don't know. What do you think I should tell him?"
"He's asking you for advice?" Ginny asked.
Harry nodded. "Yeah, weird, eh? I didn't know I was advice worthy."
Ginny laughed. "Of course you are. Now let me get this straight. He's liked her for five years, but he's never told her that he loves her?"
He nodded. "Yeah, well, something always got in his way."
"And they're really good friends?"
"The best of."
"And she's getting married?"
"Well, she is really serious with her boyfriend at the moment."
Ginny nodded. "Alright." She was silent for a moment. "I think he should tell her."
She nodded. "Yes, because if he truly loves her he would want her to be happy whether she chose him or not. I understand that he doesn't want to ruin the friendship but if he loves her it's not fair to her for him to keep it to himself. I think that he should tell her and not worry about the consequences."
Harry nodded. "Alright."
Ginny smiled. "Now why was that so hard, Harry? You're friend sounds like a decent guy. I bet its Daniels from Quidditch."
Harry grinned. "No, it's not Daniels. It's … me."
She looked at him quizzically. "You?"
He nodded and then before he could stop himself he blurted it out. "I love you, Ginny."
"I love you. I have for … for a really long time. I've waited for the moment to tell you, but the only chance I had when you weren't dating someone else was right after the final fight with Voldemort and I was deliriously out of my mind and when I finally came around enough you were with Colin. When Ron told me you were engaged … I needed to tell you once and for all and yeah." He finished lamely.
Ginny stared at him in shock. Then without saying a word she got up and ran out of the apartment, slamming the door behind her.
Harry sighed; it looked like he had just blown it.
He closed his eyes and lay back in his seat. He wasn't sure what exactly he had expected but it wasn't for her to run out of the room without saying a word to him. She probably hated him now. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath before sitting up. Well, he was done Quidditch anyway; he had decided not to play another year. He had been debating about possibly teaching at Hogwarts or going to Auror Academy. But now he realized that he wanted nothing more than to be alone to wallow in his misery.
Ginny stood outside of Harry's apartment in shock. She had bolted out, unable to stop herself but once she had made it outside she was unsure of what to do. How long had she waited for Harry to say those words to her? Her entire life it seemed. And now he was not only telling her that he loved her but that he had loved her for almost five years! Five years and he had never said anything! She didn't even know how to react to that.
Well, she thought, she didn't need to react to that. She loved Colin and she was going to marry him, so to hell with Harry Potter!
Harry looked over the traveling books that he had bought months before when he had seriously been considering traveling. It wasn't like he didn't have the money after all. He had been filthy rich and when he had turned seventeen he had only came into more money. Then playing professional Quidditch for three years only made him richer. He never had to work another day in his life and he could live quite luxuriously.
He began to make a list of what he planned to do. If he couldn't have Ginny, he was going to travel and he would spend his life as far away from her as he could. His first plan was to sell his flat and then he was just going to make his way from country to country and see where it took him.
He sighed; if he liked any of the countries well enough maybe he would just move there. That seemed like the best bet to him.
He went into his room and packed his trunk. He didn't own much. He grabbed a box, enlarging it to pile all of his books from Hogwarts in it before he loaded his trunk up with everything else he owned. He shrunk and the trunk and the boxes and then he placed them in a knapsack and swung it over his back. He was ready to go.
He heard something hit the ground and he looked down at the tiny black box that had fallen from the open compartment in his knapsack. He picked up the box and opened it to look down at his mother's engagement ring. It was an emerald and he had always dreamed of giving it to Ginny one day. He sighed and closed the box, slipping it into his pocket. Those dreams were over and he had to move on. She had and now it was his turn.
The first place that Harry went was Gringotts, where he took out a large sum of money and then placed the boxes and any other possessions that he didn't want to bring with him into his vault. He then took a seat in the Leaky Cauldron and began to write a letter. A few moments later, this is what he had composed:
Dear Ron and Hermione,
I love Ginny.
I know Hermione is probably not even remotely surprised by those words as you always know everything somehow. But I love her. I have been in love with her for longer than I can remember but I have never acted on my feelings … why? Because she was always with someone else or I was too busy fighting Voldemort or I was afraid Ron would kill me. Well, when I found out that she was engaged to Colin I almost died. How could she be getting married when I had never gotten a chance to tell her how I felt? Well, I did tell her tonight and well … she doesn't love me anymore.
I can understand that as I never gave her the time of day when she fancied me. Anyway I told her and now I've decided that I'm going to do something that I've always wanted to do. Travel the world. I'm not needed here anymore and there is nothing holding me back. I've retired from Quidditch and whilst I considered teaching or maybe going to the Auror Academy I know that this is probably for the best. Right now I just can't be around her and I definitely cannot watch her marry Colin. So I'm leaving and I hope that you both understand. Please don't tell anyone the reason for me leaving, just say that I want to travel the world. I will write from time to time but I do not know when I will be back. I know that you two will have a beautiful healthy baby and I wish you the best of luck in the future. Harry P.S. This is the key to my flat. I have taken everything of importance out of it and placed it in storage. Can you guys please sell it? Thanks.
He sealed the letter and sent it along with Hedwig and then he turned and disapparated on the spot.
When Ron read the letter the next morning he wasn't sure how to react. His friend was gone and he didn't know where. He showed the letter to Hermione and she had no idea where he might have gone either. Both were none to pleased with him leaving but they also understood that he would want to be away from Ginny when she didn't love him back. He sighed, to think his best mate was in love with his baby sister. He had always hoped they would end up together.
"Mione, what are we going to do?" He asked, walking over to his wife and kissing her softly.
"We're going to wait and see if he comes back. There is nothing else we can do."
When Ginny heard from Ron that Harry was gone, her heart stopped in her chest. It was her fault that he left and she knew it. She had blown it. But he had scared her when he had said he loved her. She had loved him her whole life and suddenly he was there making all of her dreams come true and she didn't know how to react. Her first reaction had been anger, which was perfectly understandable since the git had kept his feelings hidden for five bloody years! But that night when she had been at the gala with Colin, she knew; it wasn't Colin she wanted and now that she knew that Harry loved her too, she would never be able to settle happily with Colin Creevey.
She had broken off the engagement and now all she had to do was find Harry. She didn't have very much money so she had borrowed some from Ron and the twins and now she was going to bring Harry back and have the life she had always dreamed of.
The life she wanted with the bloody boy who lived. Four months later …
Harry had been traveling the world now for four months and he was enjoying himself immensely. He had started off by going everywhere in the U.K. before heading down the coast through France, Portugal, and Spain and then into Italy. He had spent the day taking pictures and picking out some souvenirs to send to his friends. He planned on leaving Italy tomorrow afternoon and heading to Germany next. He didn't have any particular time limit; he was simply staying in one country as long as he desired. But he thought it was time to leave Italy. Two weeks in a country that seemed to be full of couples in love was more than enough.
He stepped into his hotel room and tossed his bag and jacket on the chair. Harry had also decided to stay in muggle hotels whenever he could so that he would not be bombarded by the press. This worked best for him and he enjoyed being in the muggle world again. He also rented suites since he stayed so long. He liked the living room entrance with the bedroom at the back. It seemed more like a house.
He kicked off his shoes and then stripped out of his clothes. Then naked, he padded towards the bathroom and hopped into the shower.
He hadn't forgot about Ginny and he didn't think he ever would, but he felt better being so far away from her because he knew that she was happy with Colin and that was all that mattered. He had a clear conscious for telling her how he felt and he knew that she was probably happily planning her wedding. If he still wanted to kill Colin, well, again that was his problem.
He stepped out of the shower and wrapped a white towel around his waist before grabbing another one and quickly drying his chest before running it through his thick hair. He tossed the towel that he had used for his hair into the laundry basket and slipped his glasses back on before he walked into the bedroom and froze.
Ginny Weasley was sitting on his bed.
"Well, look what the cat dragged in."
"Ginny?" Harry asked, not even sure how to react. How had she found him? Why was she here?
"No, I'm an impostor." She said sarcastically as she rolled her eyes.
Harry's eyes narrowed. "Who opened the Chamber of Secrets?"
Ginny sighed. "I did. Boy, can't even take a joke."
He nodded at her. "Why are you here? How did you get here? And how did you get in?"
Ginny shrugged. "I got in easily enough; it is a muggle establishment. I've been searching for you for four months now, I finally lucked out."
Ginny stood up. "Why? That's a stupid question, Harry." She walked over to him until she was standing directly in front of him. She placed her finger on his chest and walked it slowly downwards to the edge of the towel and she felt him tremble. "You shocked me when you told me that you loved me. I didn't know how to react."
He stared at her. His heart was beating like crazy in his chest and he wasn't sure what she was doing. Did she mean to torture him? Had she come all the way to Italy just to make him crazy? He trembled when she placed her lips on the centre of his chest, giving him a soft kiss as her tongue slid out to catch the tiny water droplet that fell from his hair. He put his hands on her waist and pushed her back.
She smiled at him. "I didn't know how to react, Harry, so I ran and I went to Colin. We went to the ministry for the party and we danced all night and I kept saying to myself that that was where I wanted to be; it was Colin that I loved. I did this for a week and then finally, when Mum asked about the wedding, I knew."
She slid her hands up his chest, liking the feel of the lean muscles. Her hands slid over his shoulder and twined themselves around his neck and then she pulled his mouth down to hers.
The hands at her waist twitched and he groaned. This was what he had been waiting for his entire life. She smelt like flowers and peaches and she tasted like heaven. His hands slid into her hair as he angled the kiss, nibbling lightly and kissing her like he had wanted to do forever. He slid his tongue across her bottom lip before he slid it inside of her mouth gently allowing it to dance over hers. She purred in contentment and he hardened. This was Ginny in his arms. Ginny; the one he had wanted; the one he was so in love with that he couldn't think straight.
He slid his hands under her shirt, sliding them over her smooth skin and she gasped, pulling back and looking into his eyes. He was hard and he wanted her. He wanted her to love him the way he loved her.
"Ginny, you started this."
She nodded and took his hands and helped him lift her shirt off over her head. "There's no turning back."
He shook his head no as he admired the black bra she wore. "No turning back."
"And if when this is over I decide to marry Colin?" Ginny asked softly, looking up into his eyes.
Harry shook his head. "No, you won't be marrying bloody Colin and if he so much as touches you again I'll break him in half. No turning back, Gin. You're mine."
"You don't own me, Harry. I can make love to anyone I want to." She said stubbornly, her voice trembling softly, giving her away to Harry, who knew she was lying. She was no longer with Colin and he knew it.
Harry slid his hands up and undid the clasp on her bra, running his hands over her skin as he watched her head fall back in pleasure. "No, only me." Then he crushed his mouth down to hers.
Ginny responded with wild passion, tearing the towel from his waist as she kissed him and sliding her hands over his damp skin. She moaned as his hands slid down to untie her slacks and when his mouth followed the path his hands had taken her head fell back and she moaned his name, her hands fisting themselves in his hair. She yanked his mouth back up to hers as they moved towards the bed and came together as one.
Harry had his arm wrapped around her tightly and her head was resting on his chest. Her breathing had slowed and she was running her fingers in small circles along his chest.
"I love you, Ginny."
She smiled up at him. "I know. I love you, too. I never stopped. But I gave up hope because you never noticed and when you told me … I didn't know how to react. You made all my dreams come true. I'm sorry I ran out on you like that, but I was scared."
He grinned and tilted her chin towards him to kiss her softly. "Marry me."
She sat up. "What?"
He sat up too and took her hands in his. "Ginny, will you marry me?"
She laughed and threw herself into his arms. "Harry James Potter, if you don't think I'm going marry you then you've gotten thicker in your years!"
He grinned. "Is that a yes?"
"Yes!" She said laughing as she kissed him.
"Good." He slid his hand down her body causing her to groan. "Want to celebrate?"
She laughed. "Sure, I think I could handle that." Then she crushed her mouth to his.
Five years later, Ginny sat in bed reading as she waited for Harry to finish his shower. They had been married for five years now and were the proud parents of three boys. James and Sirius, the twins, were turning out to be little mischief makers at four and little Remus, well he only seemed to be learning at two. She smiled as she wondered if they were driving her parents crazy yet. Her mum and dad had wanted to take them for the evening.
The bathroom door opened and Harry stepped out, sliding into bed next to her. "What are you thinking?"
She smiled and put her book on the nightstand before she slid closer to her husband, running her hand down his bare chest. "I'm thinking about all of the interesting things I can do to you while the kids are gone."
Harry's left eye brow rose. "Oh really?"
She nodded. "Really." She slid her hands over his chest and then she pulled his mouth down to hers.
"So good, love, so good." Harry moaned as he pulled her close to cuddle.
Ginny smiled and cuddled against him. "Good is not the word, Harry, so amazing always so amazing?"
He laughed. "I love you."
She grinned. "I love you, too."
He placed a gentle kiss on the side of her neck. "I could go for some milk and cookies."
She laughed. "Is that all you ever think about? You sound like Ron always wanting food."
He grinned. "That is not all I think about. I also think about sex and Quidditch and sex and you and the kids. And maybe some more sex."
Ginny laughed and kissed him softly. "I'm so happy, Harry."
He tucked a strand of her hair behind her ear. "Me too."