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Set during the Final Battle, right after Harry looks into Snape's memories. I don't know if this moment was in the book (I haven't reread it for a few years), but I just saw the movie again, and there's a moment before he goes looking for Ron and Hermione where he sits down in the Headmaster's office. This takes place then.

There's a wall, strong and steady, against his back, and it's just about the only thing he can feel right now, aside from a sense of mingled fear and acceptance.

This is it.

He's going to die.

Harry takes a deep breath and leans back, relaxing into the ancient stone wall of the Headmaster's office, inhaling the scent of magic and phoenix flame that still lingers in the open air. There's nothing more for him to do, except walk to his death, and that can wait for a little longer.

Death has waited for him for seventeen years, after all. He doesn't think a few more minutes will make much difference.

Across the room, the door swings open. Harry snaps his head up, startled and wondering who on Earth would be in here at a time like this? McGonagall? Ron and Hermione? Another professor?

Brown eyes, red hair, the prettiest smile he's ever seen –


"What are you doing here?" he demands, straightening up as she steps fully into the office, a small smile on her face and two mugs of steaming liquids in her hands. The door clicks quietly behind her when she walks forward, nearer and nearer to him, and suddenly it hurts to even look at her because she's so pretty and so bright and deserves so much more than a boy who's going to die before the night falls.

"I'm here to see you," she says, and he's more than a little surprised because her voice is hardly a whisper, nothing at all like the sweet tones he's used to, the ones he dreams about at night, but then he remembers.

Her brother is dead.

And it's his fault.

"Here," Ginny murmurs before he can say anything else, pressing one of the mugs into his hands. "Drink up."

Harry glances down. It's hot chocolate, deliciously warm and topped with marshmallows – his favorite. "I…thank you," he says, stunned, and takes a sip. It's scrumption, and he instantly knows it's from the Hogwarts kitchens. A house-elf named Mellie makes this same kind of excellent hot chocolate.

(It's funny, isn't it, how all these random details about life can enter your brain right before you're about to die?)

(That would explain why he's still staring at Ginny and the shine of the dusklight shimmering in her copper hair and her legs long and bare under her school skirt even as she sits down on the floor next to him and he really needs to stop thinking about this because it's very clearly over, and yet, he can't stop.)

"How – " He chokes, partly on the hot chocolate and partly on his words. "How are you doing?"

Almost instantly, he wants to smack himself. It's more than a stupid question, it's completely inane. She's in the middle of a war, in the middle of a battlefield, and her brother is dead. How can she be doing in those circumstances, anyway?

"Fine," she answers, and her voice lingers in the air until all he really wants to do is kiss her senseless to stop the feeling of helplessness that swirls inside him when he looks at her, so pretty and so broken by a war they have no business fighting.

"Ginny, I'm really sorry," he chokes out finally, managing to get words out instead of having them die in his throat. "For – for everything."

"Don't be stupid," she replies instantly, finally looking at him beyond just sidelong glances, really looking at him, her brown eyes bright and blazing. "It's not your fault. None of it is."

"Fred – " Harry tries to say, but Ginny looks away and the words crumble away before he can formulate them into a coherent statement. "I'm sorry."

"You shouldn't be," she informs him, gaze trained on the doorway opposite them. "Now drink your hot chocolate. You should never die on an empty stomach."

Harry nearly spills the hot chocolate in shock.


"I said," she repeats calmly, taking a sip of her own hot chocolate, "you should never die – "

"No, I heard you," he interrupts hastily, reaching out with his hand and grasping hers without even really thinking about, wanting, needing, longing for her touch with an intensity that startles him. "But why – how did you – who told you – ?"

"Nobody had to," Ginny mutters, turning her hand palm up and intertwining their fingers in a gesture so painfully reminiscent of their time together last year that it hurts. "I know you, Harry. You have a hero complex. Voldemort says if you give yourself up to him, he'll spare us. So you're going to let him kill you – aren't you?"

Harry breathes a sigh and her pretty, cinnamon-y fragrance that always reminds him of summer skies and country heather swirls around him. "You're too damn smart, Ginny."

She squeezes his hand. "I'll miss you."

I'll miss you.

As if he was only leaving on a short trip.

Not dying.

Not permanently.

Not forever.

Moments like these, he knows he loves her. And moments like these, he wonders just what he's giving up to fight this war.

(Love. Marriage. Family. Happiness. Ginny.)

(And, he wonders, is it even worth it?)

"I love you," he says out loud, for the first time ever, and a smile, prettier than ever, blossoms across her face.

"I love you, too," she murmurs, tracing absent designs on his palm with her thumb. "You're the most wonderful person I've ever met, Harry."

He sets his hot chocolate aside and reaches for her, properly. "Funny," he breathes against her cheek, "I could say the same about you."

Her lips meet his, and everything about Voldemort and Snape and horcruxes and the war fades away until all that's left is Ginny, Ginny and her blazing warmth and the fire in her touch and the taste of hot chocolate on her lips. Ginny, and the way she molds so perfectly against his body; Ginny, and how he loves her more than he can ever say.

It can't have been more than five minutes – ten, tops – when they part long enough for him to remember his surroundings, but it feels like forever since he started kissing her. The cooling hot chocolate has long since been abandoned in favor of touch and kiss, in favor of running his hands up her bare legs and pressing butterfly kisses down her neck, in favor of inhaling the scent of her and just being with her, warm and happy for one last time before he –


"Ginny," he whispers, leaning his forehead against hers, "I'm going to die."

"I know," she sighs, tangling her hands into his hair. "And I love you."

"I love you, too."

And maybe Dumbledore was right, in the end.

This is the only thing Voldemort can't ever take away from him.

A/N: So, I felt Ginny and Harry deserved something more than that awkward kiss they got in the movie, so, here you go! Hope you liked it! If you've read this far, please take a moment to leave a review; I'd really appreciate it!

And don't favorite without reviewing, please and thank you.