AUTHOR'S NOTE: So yeah, long time coming I know . . . sorry etc. etc. This one is a little longer than normal. Hope you enjoy it. R&R.

Chapter 8: Ginny's Birthday

August 11th, Ginny's birthday; the sun dawned brightly on the Burrow, its golden beams breaking through the window of Ginny's bedroom. The warm strands of light fell upon the sleeping form of Ginny Weasley. She was wrapped tightly around Harry Potter, the love of her life. As the sun warmed her body she rolled onto her back running her hand across Harry's bare chest. As she came to rest on her back she couldn't help but smile. She was 17, in love, and for the moment perfectly happy.

Harry stirred as Ginny rolled off him. It was her birthday and, unbeknownst to her, he had been planning for weeks. Now, laying in bed with Ginny's hand resting casually across his chest he was perfectly happy. He let the sun warm him for a few minutes before he rolled over to face his love.

"mmm, good morning," he mumbled.

She was still smiling. She couldn't help herself. She was in love with the most famous man in the wizarding world, and they were together in bed on her 17th birthday. She kissed him to return his greeting. When they broke apart Harry was grinning just as broadly.

"Happy birthday Ginny, I love you." She kissed him again and rolled out of bed.

"So, what should my first act of legal magic be?" She asked Harry, a playful tone in her voice. He only smiled in return, watching her tap her wand lightly against her palm. She grinned brightly as an idea struck her. Abruptly she pointed her wand at Harry. She grinned as a look of surprise crossed her boyfriend's face as he floated out of bed, his boxers the only clothes on his body.

"Ginny, what are you doing?" He was revolving slowly in the air, his hands held tightly across his chest, attempting to look angry.

She laughed, "I'm enjoying the view, darling." Now she was giggling harder than ever as Harry resisted the temptation to laugh. After a few minutes, she finally let him fall back onto the bed. The sun was fully risen and the sounds of Mrs. Weasley beginning the day found their way up the staircase to Ginny's bedroom. Ginny sighed softly, abandoning her plans to toy with Harry some-more. Instead, she wrapped a towel around her waist and proceeded to the shower.

When Harry and Ginny arrived in the kitchen breakfast was on the table. Mrs. Weasley greeted her daughter with a hug that Harry was sure would have cracked his spine.

"Ooh, my Ginny's all grown-up." Mrs. Weasley had tears in her eyes as breakfast began but as the conversation turned to that evening's party she grew more serious. It was a big affair, the last of the Weasleys to come of age. As a result, the entire Weasley clan and extended adopted family were coming to the Burrow. Kreacher, who had flatly refused his freedom, had been summoned to help prepare. Harry felt it was the least he could do, particularly because his plans involved removing Ginny from the house until that evening. Breakfast ended fairly quickly and Harry retired to Ron's room to prepare for the day.

Harry stared into a mirror. He was 18, was he really prepared to take on what he planned to today? He shook his head and stared into the reflection of his deep green eyes, his mother's eyes. Of course he was ready, he had accomplished more in 18 years than most people did in a lifetime. The old argument came up on in his head again, he had more help than imaginable in his success. At the same time, his parents were his age . . . And he was sure, absolutely sure that Ginny was the only girl for him. He could afford to commit himself, plus he had already made the purchase so really it was just a matter of a question. His thoughts were interrupted by Ginny peaking her head inside the door.

He turned to greet her, his doubts fleeing from his mind as he took her in. "Hey, I want to give you your present."

"In here?" she smirked at him.

"No. It wouldn't fit here." He returned her smirk, hoping she picked up on the adolescent joking. Harry lead Ginny outside to the apparition point ignoring the mild look of surprise on his girlfriend's face. He held her close and spun on the spot. They landed softly on their feet on a quiet country lane. The midday sun cast its golden arcs across the rolling hillside. It was as if they had landed in a painting, a landscape drawn by master artists. It was a warm August day and Harry supposed he was lucky not to find rain or any disturbance at all. After a few minutes of basking in the sublime beauty of their surroundings, it dawned on Ginny that she didn't know where they were, or in fact why they were anywhere other than the Burrow.

She opened her mouth to ask both these questions when Harry held up a finger to stop her.

"Follow me." He lead her down the quiet road pointing out the occasional cottage and farm until at last he cut down an unmarked turning and wheeled to face Ginny. He handed her a small slip of parchment saying, "happy birthday Ginny."

Puzzled she opened the folded parchment, "The location of the Potter's home is 1 Knight's Way" She looked up at Harry, but Harry had moved aside and Ginny finally understood. In front of them was a house, a rather large one at that. The house had three levels and two brick chimneys. It was painted a pale gray with a dark scarlet front door. A porch extended across the front entrance with a slight set of stairs leading to the door. She couldn't take it all in. She turned to Harry with a look he couldn't quite place.

"It's ours . . ." he hesitated, "if you want it." He smiled sheepishly, unsure if he had been crazy to purchase the home. It did imply a lot, after all.

Ginny was resisting the urge to smile. Watching Harry squirm was too much fun. At last, she smiled and pulled him in tight. "Of course I want it, I want us." She pulled away, "can we see the inside." Harry nodded, but added, "there's not much in there yet."

Ginny bounded up the steps to the front door. The knocker was a solid gold Lion's head, remarkably like the one which adorned Professor Dumbledore's office. She pushed open the door and entered the house, not waiting for Harry who was enjoying watching his girlfriend exude such joy. Ginny walked first into a large carpeted sitting room, with a fireplace. It was barren except for a picture of herself and Harry taken over the summer at the Burrow. It was rather odd to see her picture wave to her. She turned right and saw a large Oak dining room table, with enough space to seat the entire Weasley clan. Off the Dining Room was a large kitchen complete with marble counter-tops and a granite tile floor. She turned back into the dining room, and through the sitting room to find, what she assumed would be, a bedroom, though it was completely barren. She rushed up the staircase in the corner of the sitting room to emerge in another carpeted area which was also completely barren. Harry had caught up with her by now.

"Let me show you the rest." He took her down the second floor hallway, pointing out two other empty rooms which he hoped would serve as bedrooms. Then, he turned right in front of the stairs, into a large room adorned with bookshelves and a fireplace. "I figure someday we might need a quiet place to think." He lead her up the final flight of stairs and pushed open the door.

"This. . ." he smiled, "is our bedroom." The entire 3rd floor was their space, though at the moment it was mainly empty except for a large bed placed lazily in the center of the room. Harry crossed the floor and sat down on the bed, facing Ginny who was still framed in the doorway.

"Well, that's everything so far." He smiled again, "happy birthday my love."

She hesitated for a moment and then rushed him, bowling over onto his back. She kissed him furiously driving herself into his body. She pulled away, and at Harry's look of surprise smirked, "I still owe you a part of your present . . ." She rose to her knees, straddling Harry. She pulled off her shirt and lay back down on top of Harry. They kissed again and Ginny allowed herself to be rolled underneath Harry. She pushed her hands up his shirt, rubbing his chest feverishly and moaning softly into his lips. She pulled her hands down from his chest to rest just inside the belt-line of his jeans. He pulled away from her lips and removed his shirt. They were laying side by side, facing eacother and each wore a look of devoted love and unbridled passion. Harry reached for the clasp of Ginny's bra and deftly undid it, exposing her firm and fair bosom. He reached out and cupped her gently, bringing his mouth to her breast. She moaned audibly as he flicked at her nipple with his tongue. His hands began to wander and found the button of the tight pair of jeans she had been wearing. Feeling his hand she reached down and undid the button for him, kicking herself out of the cloth trap. Harry had returned to kissing Ginny's lips, and his hands were resting idly on her thighs. She broke the kiss and sat up, fumbling on the floor for her wand. She tapped her stomach lightly and muttered something Harry couldn't hear.

"I'm ready." Her voice was calm and she wore a look of absolute certainty. Harry was still slightly frozen, his hand still resting on her thigh. Ginny smirked knowingly and unbuttoned Harry's jeans. She pushed them and his boxers down. For a moment she hesitated, the first iota of doubt entering her mind. She was going to let that inside her? It hadn't seemed that big in the past, but now that she really considered it, it certainly wasn't small. But, the moment of doubt passed quickly and she lay back on the bed, removing her knickers and beckoning Harry forward . . .

Harry rolled onto his back panting slightly. It hadn't lasted that long but it was the most magical experience of his life. They were one entity, moving hesitantly, but together all the same. Love, thought Harry, truly is the greatest magic.

Ginny remained on her back, reveling in the feelings that had just coursed through her body. Making love was incredible. She breathed deeply and heaved herself into a sitting position. She glanced over at Harry and smiled for what must have been the thousandth time that day. Leaning over she kissed him tenderly and rose from the bed.

Noticing Ginny's absence in the bed Harry rose too. He was unusually aware of his nakedness which confused him. 'How can I be nervous about being naked in the same room with Ginny after that?' But still, he covered himself awkwardly with his hands as he searched the floor for his jeans. Noticing the placement of Harry's hands, Ginny laughed. Harry blushed furiously but laughed as well when Ginny tossed him his boxers and jeans.

Finally dressed, Harry checked his golden watch, his gift from the Weasleys. They still had a few hours until the party, enough time to take Ginny shopping. Ginny had wandered back through the house, exploring the different rooms. Harry caught up to her in the study.

"So, I wanted to try and add to the d├ęcor today." Ginny looked up at the sound of his voice. She wasn't big on the whole shopping thing. But, shopping for their house excited her. She hugged Harry again and dragged him out to the front lawn where she turned abruptly and apparated them off into muggle London.

Several hours later Harry and Ginny arrived back at the Burrow. The house was bustling about as the entire family had arrived. Even Hagrid joined the festivities. The celebration lasted well into the night. Towards the end of the night Harry pulled Ginny aside and handed her a small black box.

"This was my mother's. I found it in our vault, and I think you should have it." Ginny opened the box to find a solid gold band, with a single emerald embedded.

"We can call it a not-quite-engagement ring."

She slipped the ring onto her finger and without a word kissed Harry full on the lips.

"Happy birthday, my love."

"We can tell them about the house tomorrow." Ginny wasn't looking forward to telling her parents she would be living with Harry from now on. The night wound down and Harry and Ginny retired to Ron's bedroom, where they slept peacefully ready for their lives as adults to truly begin together.