Disclaimer: Harry Potter and all related characters, settings, and terminology belong to JK Rowling. No money is being made and no infringement is intended.

For Haz and Porsha, on their birthdays. I hope it's not confusing. :P


No Better Place

"What are you doing?" he asked.

Her brilliant idea suddenly seemed lackluster and rash. Her heart pounded in her chest like a creature on the run, but she didn't know if it was caused by her sudden bout of cold feet or the feel of his lips lightly pressing kisses around her belly button.

"I'm leaving," she replied, staring at a spot at the end of the street. She had been standing on the same corner for over half an hour, her arm outstretched into the street. As Muggles drove past, they honked at her, but there was no sign of a bus.

His eyes were too intense, she thought, as he stared at her, his fingers tracing the contours of her face. She closed her own, waiting, trembling, and when his lips suddenly covered hers, an errant whimper escaped, but her tongue met his and she refused to let him go.

He stood next to her, looking down the street for whatever she waited for. Their shoulders touched, and that should have bothered her, but she didn't move.

"Why?" he asked, after several moments of silence.

She held her breath, as if letting it go would break her, would stop what was happening. Of course, when she finally released it, immediately sucking in another deep one, she was still there and so was he, his eyes half closed as he groaned above her. Their bodies were generating so much heat. She felt like she couldn't breathe. But why did she need breath when she had him?

"Because it was wrong. We shouldn't have done that," she answered, a tremble in her voice.

"Where will you go?"

He whispered her name over and over again, a chant, a mantra, a prayer, even, but she was too overcome to breathe, let alone speak. Her fingernails grazed up his back and scalp, and they both knew that there would be marks there the next day, but neither one cared.

"Any place else but here," she replied.

He noticed her shivering in the December wind, the Muggle coat she was wearing an insufficient article of clothing compared to his cloak.

"Can I tell you a secret?" he whispered into her ear, causing her to jump in fright.

They laid in silence, trying to control their breathing, trying to stop their hearts from jumping out of their chests. She drew a pattern with her finger on his stomach before he grabbed her hand to stop her.

"Why are you here?" he asked gruffly, only now caring that she had used him.

"I had to get away. Go somewhere. Any place but there."

"So you came here?"

She kissed his skin and ignored the question.

"That's not how buses work in the Muggle world."

She finally looked at him with a furious glare, a rant on the tip of her tongue, but he grabbed her outstretched hand and rubbed it between his gloved hands, every now and then leaving a kiss on her knuckles.

"I... just... hadn't realized..." she began, but her words faltered.

"That Potter and Longbottom had that kind of relationship? Yeah, shocked me too. Shocked everyone, I bet."

Her eyes fell to the ground, and to his horror, tears fell down her cheeks.

"He shouldn't have done that to you," he continued, grabbing her arm and pulling her around to face him. "But I'm glad he did."

She looked up at him, just as he had hoped she would, and her eyes, big and brown and filled with tears, broke the heart he hadn't known was capable of breaking.

"Because now you're here with me."

He had heard the news. Everyone had. And he'd known exactly what she was seeking when she approached him in the pub. It had been a coincidence that they'd both been there, that she had picked him. Nothing personal. He had let her use him because he got something out of it, and it was only afterward that it angered him.

He'd fallen asleep to her kisses, and now he felt foolish for thinking he'd wake up to them too. The bed was empty and cold; her clothes were gone. He punched a pillow in frustration.

"I can't," she cried. "I shouldn't have. I have to get away!"

Neither one of them were sure whether he pulled her into his arms or she fell, but it didn't matter. He refused to let go. For whatever reason they needed each other, the simple truth was that they did.

"But, Ginny. There's no better place than here."