A/N: Last chapter already!
Thank to all of you who read and reviewed. I feel like I sorta kinda let you down by writing something so short!
Thanks to my wonderfule beta Arpad.
Finally, Harry and Hermione had turned over their case to the Ministry.
After following the mailmen, Harry had found the means used by Dawson Mulroney to smuggle his artefact. It was now the Ministry's turn to open a formal investigation and invest more resources in arresting the guy. Again, he and Hermione had been successful and had received a few new cases to pick from.
"Harry!" called Neville, when he and Hermione walked out of the Head of the Aurors office with their new candidate cases.
"Hermione, I'll meet you tomorrow to discuss these," said Harry.
"Okay," said Hermione, leaving him with Neville.
"So, Neville, I heard you just broke another big case," said Harry, referring to the recent arrest of another group of Death Eaters.
"And I heard you aren't doing so bad either," said Neville with a smile. "Artefact smuggler?"
"Yeah," answered Harry. "Hermione was dying for some research and it gave her plenty of opportunity for it."
"Listen, the guys and I are going out to celebrate tonight," said Neville. "You want to come?"
Harry would have refused so he could spend more time with Ginny but all was not well between them. She had taken his plea to wait harder than he thought she would. He didn't understand why, really, but he knew she was hurt by it. He figured that a night apart may actually do them some good.
"Yeah, okay," said Harry.
"Rainbow Unicorn at eight o'clock tonight?" asked Neville.
"Okay, I'll be there."
And true to his words, Harry, now wearing his glasses, had shown up shortly after eight o'clock. Neville and his co workers, Seamus and Lavender, were already into their second shot of firewhiskey. Harry looked at them, wondering if he was really doing the right thing. After all, Neville and his friends had been his party buddies before he met Ginny, and he wondered if it was a good idea to be out on the town with them when his relationship with Ginny was on such shaky grounds.
"Harry!" called Neville before Harry could convince himself to turn around. "Come! We got you a few shots."
A few minutes later, Harry was in his third shot, his head and thoughts spinning fuzzily. He was now sipping a bear, taking his time as not to get too intoxicated.
"Harry Potter!" said a gorgeous brunette, sitting next to him.
Her dress was red and showed a fair amount of cleavage. It was also very short and showed a lot of her perfectly long legs. Her shape was perfect, her smile genuine and her lips as red as her dress. This was the type of women Harry had taken to his flat on more than one occasion in the past.
"Hi!" he said.
Harry spent the remaining of the evening talking with her. He didn't remember the content of their conversation, but it was not important. When he left, she followed him and he took her to his flat on Diagon Alley, the flat he hadn't visited in over five months.
They were in the living room, kissing passionately, when Harry stopped her.
She was all wrong.
She may have been nice looking in the pub but she was all wrong.
She tasted wrong.
Her skin felt wrong under his fingers.
Her hair didn't smell right.
And her body didn't fit him well.
She was just wrong.
She just was not Ginny.
As he realised that, all desire of being with her fled his body.
He took a step back and looked at her.
"I would like you to leave," he asked.
"What? Why? We haven't started yet," she said, smiling invitingly and stepping towards him.
Harry took a step back.
"Please," he said, almost begging. "I really need for you to leave."
Frustrated, the woman took her coat and left, banging the door behind her.
What had he done? What had he almost done?
The only thing he wanted right now was to go to Ginny and tell her everything, including how much he loved her. But it was the middle of the night and he doubted she would appreciate. Heavily, he sat on the sofa and took his head in his hands.
He wanted Ginny. He wanted her so much, it hurt. But he had pushed her away.
How did you sleep with an angel? How did you make love to her? He wondered
Because there was no denying it; his being with Ginny would be love. Nothing less.
He loved her. He was madly in love with her.
Morning found him asleep on the sofa of his flat. He took a shower and walked into the Alley. He stopped by the coffee shop to get Ginny her favourite, and walked to her shop, fully intent on talking with her and telling her that he loved her with all his heart.
A few minutes later, he pushed the door open and walked in, smiling nervously. Ginny was behind the counter and Matilde was putting dresses away at the back of the store.
"Hi," he said shyly, putting the coffee next to her.
"What do you want?" she asked coldly.
Had he not been so nervous, Harry may have realized that something was wrong, that she was a lot colder with him than usual.
"I... I want to talk to you," he said. "I..."
"I think you don't have anything more to say to me, Harry," she said, slamming the Daily Prophet in front of him.
On the front page, there was a picture of Harry, leaving the pub with the woman he had met the night before. The caption read: "Harry Potter's new conquest!"
Harry felt sick to the point of throwing up the coffee he had drunk that morning.
"If you ever like me, even only for a little, you will leave now and never come back," said Ginny coldly, looking at him with fury in her eyes.
Harry looked down at the paper again and, without adding a word, left.
"Harry, I've reviewed the files and..."
Hermione interrupted herself when she saw Harry trying to open a near empty bottle of Firewhiskey with such an unsteady grip that he had a hard time reaching the cap.
"Harry, you're drunk!" she said.
"Yep," answered Harry who finally got the bottle open.
He started pouring whiskey in his glass, spilling half the content on the coffee table.
"What in the world is wrong with you?" asked Hermione, stepping into the Sitting Room and taking the bottle away from Harry.
Then she saw it: the Daily Prophet, on the table right in front of Harry, with its headline proclaiming Harry's new conquest.
She took the paper from the table and looked at the picture of Harry leaving the pub with a woman.
"Oh! Harry! What happened?" she asked sadly.
Hermione, who had never seen her partner as happy as he had been in the last few months, was not ready to believe the papers out of hand. And Harry was so drunk she had no doubt whatever had happened was very bad indeed.
Hermione sat on the coffee table in front of Harry and took the glass away from his unsteady hand. She put it on the table next to her and took Harry's hands in hers.
"What happened, Harry?" she asked again, gently.
Harry simply started crying like a five year old who had lost his favourite pet.
"I love her, Hermione," he said. "I love her and she doesn't want to see me anymore."
"Yes," he answered.
"She saw the papers?"
"What happened with the other woman, Harry? Why were you with her?"
"Ginny and I... I told her no, Hermione. When she asked me to sleep with her, I told her no. I'm so scared, Hermione. I'm scared that if I sleep with her, we will break up and it would all be over... And I don't want it to be over. I just don't want her to go away. And I know she is too good for me and even if I really want to be with her, I just can't... I don't know how to make it right by her. But... but she didn't take it so well that I didn't want to do it and I figured some time apart would do us some good.
"I went out with Neville and the others and this woman came to me. I mean, she looked okay, but she was all wrong, Hermione. She didn't smell right, she didn't taste right, she didn't feel right... She just wasn't Ginny! She wasn't her and my body didn't want her. My body wants Ginny! I want Ginny! But I can't have her because I'm not worthy of her... So I told the woman to leave. I just couldn't be with her. I wanted to go to Ginny and tell her everything but it was so late. And I know I should have but I didn't want to disturb her... And now, it's just too late because Ginny doesn't want to see me anymore. She told me to go away if I ever liked her, even for a little bit... Hermione, I love her."
And he cried on her shoulder so hard that his body was wrecked by sobs. Hermione let him cry until, all of the sudden, he stood up.
"I'm going to be sick!" he said and wobbly left the room.
He got sick on his way to the bathroom, making a mess in the hallway. He felt to the ground, crying even harder if possible while Hermione took her wand and cleaned his mess up.
"Hermione, I'm going to die," he said, taking his leg to his chest. "I cannot live without her."
"Let's get you to your room, Harry," said Hermione as if she was talking to a five year old. "You need to rest now. We'll see what we can do when you wake up."
It took Hermione two days before she was able to visit Ginny. Ginny was in her shop, her usual smile gone, trying to concentrate on her inventory list. She looked downright miserable.
When Hermione walked in, Matilde met her gaze and sighed sadly.
"Ginny, hi!" said Hermione.
"Hi!" answered Ginny without enthusiasm.
"What's wrong with you?" asked Hermione, taken aback by her tone.
"Nothing," said Ginny, without looking up from her inventory list.
"Don't lie to me, Ginny," said Hermione.
"Harry and I are over," said Ginny tonelessly.
"You read the papers, I see," said Hermione. "Matilde! Would you man the shop for a while? I've got to show something to Ginny."
"Hermione, I'm not going anywhere," said Ginny. "I'm not in the mood."
"But you will want to see this," said Hermione.
"Go away, Hermione," said Ginny.
"No, I'm not! Not until I show you what I want to show you."
"Ginny, go," said Matilde. "I'll take care of the shop."
Defeated, Ginny followed Hermione out of the door. Hermione took her hand and apparated them away.
"Why did you bring me here! I don't want to be here!" said Ginny angrily when she realised she was in the dining room of Grimmauld Place.
"Don't worry, you won't see Harry if you don't want to. But I have to show you something."
Hermione took her by the arm and brought her to the study. She opened a cupboard and removed a big white bowl, which she put on the desk. She took her wand and brought it to her temple. After a few moments, she subtracted a white liquidly substance which she put in the bowl.
"What is that?" asked Ginny.
"A pensive," said Hermione. "Now, look into the water, Ginny," directed Hermione. "I think you will want to see this."
Ginny did as she was told and saw Hermione's memory of her conversation with Harry a few days prior. She pulled out of the water and looked at her friend, her face a shade paler than usual.
"Oh Merlin! He loves me?" she asked.
"Yes, Ginny, he loves you," confirmed Hermione. "He didn't want to sleep with you because he does not associate sex with love. In his mind, he thinks if he sleeps with you, he'll lose you.
"And he didn't sleep with this other girl. I don't think he realises it but he loves you too much to want somebody else."
"Wh-what now?" asked Ginny.
"Well, do you love him?"
"Yes, I do," answered Ginny quietly, sadly looking away.
"Then go to him," said Hermione. "He won't go to you because you asked him to go away and he will respect that... But you can go to him."
"Where is he?"
"Upstairs. Drunk. Probably in the sitting room or his bedroom."
Ginny left the study and found Harry in his bedroom. He was on the floor, obviously passed out from too much alcohol.
"Harry," said Ginny with a sigh. "What did you do to yourself?"
"Hermione," he said, opening his eyes, "what are you doing here? Why do you look so much like Ginny?"
"Come Harry, let's get you to bed," said Ginny, helping him to his feet.
"I'm fine, Hermione," he slurred. "I was quite comfortable."
"Sure you were," said Ginny ironically, pushing him towards the bed.
"You think I should shower?"
"No, Harry, not in your condition. I'll take care of it."
Ginny casted a cleaning spell on him and a few moments later, he was asleep on his bed again.
Harry woke up slowly. He thought about opening his eyes for a moment but quickly changed his mind when the pounding in his head reminded him of how much he had drank the night before. He suspected a headache potion awaited him on his bedside table, left there by Hermione, but he didn't dare move.
His slow mind took a moment to realize he was not alone. He felt somebody lying on the side of his body and he knew he should have been alone.
Who could that be? He did not remember having gone out the night before and he surely hope he hadn't been stupid enough to bring a woman to his sanctuary. No, the only woman he ever wanted to bring to Grimmauld Place was Ginny.
And then he smelled it. The flowery smell of a woman's hair, the flowery smell of Ginny's hair.
He opened his eyes and looked at the sleeping figure next to him. The top of a red head greeted him and there was no denying it: it was Ginny.
"Ginny," he whispered, his mouth feeling like cotton.
Oh Merlin! It was actually her.
His eyes watered at the thought of her next to him. And even if he could feel her against him, even if he could smell her hair, he didn't dare hope she was really there.
"Harry?" she asked, sleepily. "Are you awake?"
"Ginny, I love you," was the first thing out of his mouth. "I love you so much," he said, taking her in his arms and hugging her to his chest.
And he couldn't stop the tears falling from his eyes. He had never told anybody he loved them before and it felt so good to love her, and it hurt at the same time. And he was afraid, afraid she wouldn't love him back.
"I didn't do anything with this woman," he continued, speaking quickly. "I couldn't. She wasn't you. She didn't feel right. She wasn't right. Ginny..."
"Hush," said Ginny, putting her finger on his mouth. "I know," she added.
"But you deserve so much better than me," he said sadly. "Don't you see? I'm just... Harry."
"And that's what I want," she said. "Just Harry."
"But how can you even like me?" he asked in a weak whisper.
"I felt for the guy who took me to the coffee shop and just talked to me; and the guy who took me out to dinner, and who kissed me back in front of my shop. I felt for the guy who was there to save me from this bad guy. I felt for this kind and generous and selfless man named Harry," she answered. "And I love you, too."
Harry thought he could not have heard her right. Did she really say she loved him?
He had heard so many women say that to him before but never had he really thought it meant something. But coming from Ginny, those three little words meant the world to him. It meant the promise of a new beginning, the promise of something real and lasting. And he hoped he had heard it right.
"I love you," she repeated.
"Wow," he said. "You really do?"
"Yes, I do," she answered.
And he then kissed her, deeply and passionately, letting his body do the talking.
"Oh Merlin!" he said, breaking apart. "I love you, Ginny," he repeated.
Ginny just kissed him back, insistently, her hand roaming on his body, soon finding the front of his pants. Harry felt his head spin. He loved her so much, wanted her so much he couldn't stop a low moan escaping from his lips. It seemed that was all Ginny needed. Her hands found the helm of his shirt and she pulled it up. He just let her. He was so intoxicated by her, he just couldn't deny her this time.
Once his shirt was removed, her hands reached his belt and she untied it. She then untied his pants and a few moments later, she was pulling them down his legs, taking his boxers with them. Kneeling at the end of the bed, she threw the pants on the floor and removed his socks. She then looked at him, her eyes stopping on his erected sex for a moment before finding his eyes. Once she was sure she had his undivided attention, she removed her shirt and threw it on the floor. Harry thought this simple move was the sexiest thing he had ever seen. Merlin, her undressing him like this was the sexiest thing he had ever lived.
But his thoughts were slowed to a halt when Ginny removed her bra, revealing perfectly small breast with pink nipples. He was so mesmerised, he forgot to breath. She was more than he had ever dreamed of. She was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.
But she wasn't done. Slowly, she untied her pants and pulled them down, removing her snickers with them. Harry's eyes went to the hair between her legs and his sex responded with an ache he had never felt before. A few moments later, she was naked, looking at him, as if waiting for his permission to more. He just reached a hand towards her and she came to him, lying on her side next to him. Their eyes met and Harry saw trust but also worries in them.
"I... I've never done this before," she said, smiling nervously.
Harry felt like saying him either because he had never made love to a woman before.
"I..." she began.
"Hush," said Harry, putting his finger on her lips. "I'll be careful," he said, as nervous as her.
He had never been someone's first one before and he wondered what to do. Well, he knew very well the ritual of human mating but this was different. This was Ginny, this was love, real love.
Slowly, he pulled her towards him and kissed her, caressing her hair and her face. His body screamed at him to go faster but his heart stopped him. It had to be perfect for Ginny. Slowly, he pushed her on her back and took place over her. The look of worry in her eyes told him she wasn't ready so he slowly brought his lips to her neck, then her chest, paying attention to each of her breasts. He knew she enjoyed this when she put her hands in his hair and brought his head closer to her, moaning softly.
After a few minutes of this delicious attention, he went lower, kissing her way down, stopping a few moments at her belly button. He then went lower, looking up at her, gently pulling her legs apart. She looked back at him flushed and puzzled, obviously wondering what he was up to. He then brought his lips to her parts and began to lick her gently. He knew he had found her center of pleasure when she squeezed his head and moaned in pleasure. He continued in ministration, slowly putting a finger into her, and then two. He could feel a barrier and it took a moment to realise it was her unbroken hymen. The thought of it made him nervous. He was afraid to hurt her but by the way she was holding his head and arching her back, he knew she wasn't hurting her at all for the moment. After a few more moments, she came, lubrificating his fingers.
Slowly, he climbed up her body, kissing his way up her chest. Once he was face to face with her, his sex at her entrance, he looked at her eyes. They were shinny and trusting and he knew she was ready. Slowly, he slid into her, taking his time, letting her body adjust to his size. This was slow going but it was worth every seconds of it. He finally reached her barrier and looked into her eyes. The trust was still there mingled with a little bit of worry. As slowly and carefully as he could, he pushed and finally went through. Ginny gasped in pain and he stopped.
"Ginny, are you alright?" he asked, worried.
She squeezed her eyes shut and he saw a tear run from her eye. Panic, Harry made to pull away but Ginny held him with her hands. She took a few small breaths and opened her eyes. They were pain in them, pain that worried him.
"Ginny?" he asked again.
"I'm okay," she said. "It will go away."
But Harry couldn't move. He was afraid to hurt her again. It was her hands, pushing him deeper into her that made him move. Her hands then pulled him out and pushed him in, setting a rhythm that seemed if not comfortable for her, at least acceptable. He followed the slow rhythm she had established, keeping his eyes on her face to detect any signs of pain. But while it seemed uncomfortable, he didn't see any signs pains.
Soon, Harry felt like he would find his release so he stopped. Ginny looked at him puzzled.
"I... I can't continue," he said. "I'll... I'll come."
Ginny smiled at him and her hands on his butt insisted on him moving again.
"But what about you?" he asked.
"Don't worry about me," she said.
How couldn't he worry about her? he wondered. Making love to her was just extraordinary and he wanted it to be all about her, not about him. He wanted her to enjoy it as much as he did, he wanted her to come. And that was, in and of itself something completely new to Harry. While he had cared some about other women enjoying their time with him, he had cared more about his own pleasure, but not with Ginny. With Ginny, it was just beyond anything he had ever dreamed of and if that was making love, he never wanted to only have sex again.
He stopped again, just staying in her, caressing her face, looking at her shinny eyes, then kissing her neck and her lips. She smelled so good, she tasted so incredible. But soon, her insistent hands on his butt made him move again. Then, suddenly, her breath caught and he could see pleasure in her face.
"Don't stop," she whispered, closing her eyes.
A few moments later, he felt her contract around him while she moaned in pleasure. Her pressure, her beauty, and her pleasure brought him over the edge and he came too, buried deep inside of her.
"Wow!" she said, in the silence that followed. "I never expected... wow!"
Harry rolled on his back and pulled her to him. He felt wowed too, more than he had ever felt in fact. And now he knew what he had missed with all these other women.
He hugged her and kissed the top of her head contently. A few moments later, they were both asleep.
The last month had been a wonderful time for Harry. He had spent a lot of his free time with Ginny, cherishing every way he knew how, taking her out to dinner, or again, spending a quiet night at home watching a movie. And he had made love to her, loosing himself in how she felt under him, in how he felt when he was with her. These were marvellous time and never before did Harry believe he would be that happy in his life. But now, she had asked him to show her a part of his life he was not proud of.
"Why are you so nervous? I've seen you naked, remember?" said Ginny, merriment in her eyes.
"Yes but I'd rather be naked right about now," answered Harry nervously.
While he had not been shy about showing Ginny his home on Grimmauld Place, he didn't feel the same about showing her his flat on Diagon Alley. He just felt like she didn't belong there and the flat represented a part of him he wanted to forget himself, especially since he now knew love with her.
"I won't keep it," he said, opening the door to the flat.
They walked inside and Ginny looked around. Harry looked at her from the doorway, waiting to hear her judgement.
"Why not?" she asked. "It is really charming," she added, looking out the living room window which gave them a view of Diagon Alley and Gingotts.
"It may be, but it isn't me anymore," he said with a shrug, closing the door behind him and stepping towards her.
Ginny made to walk towards the other room but Harry stopped her, taking her hands in his.
"Why don't we go?" he asked quietly. "I would rather we be home and away from here."
"But I haven't seen anything," she answered with a playful smile, pushing him slowly towards the opened bedroom door.
"But surely you've seen enough," he said, stepping back.
"Of course not," she answered, pushing him again. "I haven't seen the bedroom of the infamous womanizer."
"Don't say that," he said sadly. "I... I don't really like that title."
"Okay," she said. "Maybe now we could call you the settled man?"
"Maybe," said Harry, taking the last step back into the bedroom.
"That would be rather charming if you ask me," said Ginny.
"Well, now that you..."
But Harry never finished his sentence. He suddenly lunched forward, knocking Ginny off her legs and felt over her. Ginny who didn't have time to brace herself so sudden was Harry's fall, hit her head so hard on the floor that she saw stars.
"Harry," she said, trying to push him off of her, split between anger and pain.
"Ginny," he whispered, his face contorted in pain. "I love you."
At that moment, Ginny heard a sound at the window and saw him. A man, the man who had beaten her in her shop a few months prior, was on the window seal and jumped off. And then she felt it: a warms viscous substance on Harry's back. She looked up at Harry who was now deadly pale and unconscious.
"Harry!" she said, panicked.
But in her anguish, she had the presence of mind to know she had to do something and she had to do it now. She grabbed her wand and apparated them both at St. Mungo's, in the ward she had woken up just a few months ago.
"HELP!" she screamed as soon as they appeared, Harry still on top of her. "HELP ME!"
She heard people running towards her and a few moments later, Harry's weight was lifted from her. When she saw the knife protruding from Harry's back and the blood soaking her night shirt, she gave in to the panic that had threaten to overwhelmed her a few moments prior.
"Harry!" she yelled, running to his inert body. "Harry! No!"
Someone grabbed her while nurses took Harry away on a stretcher.
"Harry!" she cried, falling to the ground.
When the person who stopped her let go of her, she stayed there, on the floor, crying all the tears of her body. She didn't know how long she had been on the floor when she felt someone pulling her to her feet.
"Come," said a voice she recognised.
She looked up to see Ron, his face grave.
"Ron... he tried to kill Harry," she said, starting to cry again, grabbing the front of Ron's shirt. "Oh, Ron! He can't die! I... I love him."
"I know," said Ron, his jaw clenched, hugging her to his chest.
"Don't worry, honey," said Mr Wealsey, appearing next to Ron and putting his hand on her shoulder. "He is strong."
But Ginny was now becoming angry. No-one had the right to hurt Harry like this. He never deserved it. He had always been nice to people and had given selflessly for so long. His attacker should not go unpunished and the means to her vengeance, Ron, her Auror brother, was right there, in front of her.
"Ron! It was Dawson Maroney," she said, teeth clenched. "I saw him jump off the window. Ron, find him and lock him up so far, no-one will ever find him."
Ron nodded gravely and left without adding a word. Her anger having found a release, Ginny just broke down and cried again.
"Come, honey," said Mr Weasley, taking her by the shoulders and pulling her towards a seat. "We'll sit while we wait."
The wait seemed like an eternity to Ginny. At some point in time, she realised Hermione was now there, sitting next to her. Then she saw her mum and her brother George.
"Don't worry, Ginny, he'll pull through," said Hermione.
Ginny hoped her friend was right but by now, her head was hurting so much, she wasn't sure if she had understood Hermione right.
"Ginny, are you okay?"
Ginny looked up and the room faded into nothingness.
Ginny woke up in a hospital bed and wondered what she was doing there. The back of her head hurt horribly and she wondered how she had hurt it. She looked around and saw Hermione in a chair next to her bed.
"Hermione, why am I here?" she asked her friend.
"You had a concussion," she answered with a small smile. "Everybody was so busy worrying about Harry that no one thought you could be hurt too. Ron's gone and he is still looking for Dawson Malroney but he thinks he has located him." she continued.
"Harry?" asked Ginny.
Hermione's response did not make sense to Ginny. What Harry was hurt? And why would he being hurt didn't make anyone realised she was hurt too... And how in Merlin's name did she get hurt to begin with? And who was this Dawson Malroney?
"Of course Harry," said Hermione with an amused smile.
"Hermione," she said slowly. "Who is Harry?" she asked.
"Harry Potter, of course!" said Hermione.
"And what does Harry Potter have to do with me being hurt?" she asked, now completely confused.
She had heard of the Boy Who Lived, the Wizards Who Saved Them All, but also the womanizer, but she did not recall having met him before.
"Ginny, what is today's date?" asked Hermione.
"Well, October 2. No?" answered Ginny.
"And what year are we?" she asked.
"Hermione, stop playing with me," said Ginny getting a little annoyed by her friend's question.
"I'm not playing with you, Ginny," said Hermione. "We're not October 2. We're May 12," she said gently.
Ginny just looked at her stunned.
"What year?" she asked.
"2001," answered Hermione.
Ginny just stared at her. If it wasn't October 2, it could only mean six months of her life was gone, completely forgotten.
"You don't remember Harry?" Hermione asked.
"Well, I read the papers, like everybody else," said Ginny uncertainly. "Why?"
"Because you've been dating him for the better part of seven months now," said Hermione.
"What? You cannot be serious! Just yesterday the papers were talking about this girl he was dating!"
"But that was over seven months ago," said Hermione. "You've been dating since before Christmas. Ginny, there is more: you and he are very serious, very very serious."
"You mean we...?"
Ginny couldn't finish her sentence. First of all, she didn't remember having ever met Harry Potter and now Hermione was telling her she was in a steady relationship with him, that she even slept with him. This was just too much for her.
"Yes," answered Hermione.
"STOP!" said Ginny, raising her hand to stop her friend from talking, and looking away. "This cannot be true. I will hear none of it. "
Hermione just looked at her sadly. In the silence that followed, Mr Weasley walked into the room, a happy smile on his face.
"Harry is awake now, dear," he said. "He pulled through. He is asking for you."
Ginny felt like the ground had gone from under her. This could not be.
"Do I love him?" she asked Hermione so quietly, she wondered if her friend had heard.
"Yes," answered Hermione as quietly. "Very much. And he loves you too."
"Eh... what's going on?" asked Mr Weasley, a frown appearing on his forehead.
"Ginny has lost some of her memories," answered Hermione.
"Yes, about seven months."
"Oh, dear! I'll go get the Healer," said Mr Weasley.
He left without adding a word. Ginny looked around the room instead of looking at her friend. She could not be in love with Harry Potter. When she was young, she remembered seeing this confused boy on Platform nine and three quarters and how much of a crush she had on him, but in the last few years, stories of his womanizer ways had put an end to any infatuation she may have had back then. It seemed impossible that a simple girl like her would actually interest someone like him. Besides, she had no intention of being dumped for the next flavour of the week. No, Hermione could not be right.
The door opened and a Healer in white uniform walked in.
"I am told you don't remember the last few months of your life?" he asked her.
"So have I," she answered.
"What day did you think we were?"
"October 2," she answered.
"I see," said the Healer.
He took his wand and examined her slowly.
"This is rather strange," he said, a frown appearing on his forehead. "I do not detect anything."
"What does it mean?" asked Hermione.
"Well..." he began hesitantly. "Brains are a funny thing. Like Muggles, we haven't found all of its secrets. I do not detect anything but it doesn't mean the shock it went through didn't take its toll."
Hermione nodded, her lips pinched.
"What does it mean?" asked Ginny.
"He can't do anything about your memory, Ginny," answered Hermione.
"But... but I can't be dating Harry Potter and not know about it," said Ginny, almost panicked.
"Will she ever get her memory back on her own?" asked Hermione to the Healer.
"It is hard to say," he answered. "It may or may not come back, only time can tell."
Ginny looked at the Healer leave dumfounded.
"Hermione, I can't be dating Harry Potter! I don't even know him!"
"Ginny, don't worry about it now," said Hermione. "Just try and get better."
Ginny felt fine but she knew she wasn't. She knew she wouldn't be until she really knew what had happened in the last six months.
"Hermione, where is Ginny?"
Harry had been awake for a day now and had been asking to see Ginny to everybody who had walked into his hospital room. Unfortunately, no one would answer him and he was getting very worried.
"She... she won't come, Harry," said Hermione.
Harry's heart stopped. Immediately, he thought the worse.
"No," quickly said Hermione before he could finish the sentence. "That's not it."
Harry's relieve was immediately followed by worry. If she wasn't dead, why didn't she want to see him.
"Hermione, what's going on?" he asked.
"She hit her head," said Hermione slowly.
"Out with it!" said Harry firmly.
"She lost her memory of the last seven months."
Harry sighed in relief again. Then it hit him: he had known Ginny for less than seven months.
"She doesn't remember me?" he asked.
"No," answered Hermione. "She only knows what the papers said seven months ago."
Harry's heart crumbled. Ginny, his beautiful Ginny, the love of his life, did not remember him. And to make matter worse, the only thing she remembered of him were the newspaper's articles. He closed his eyes to fight the tears that threatened to fall. This hurt more than the wound in his chest.
"I'm sorry, Harry," said Hermione.
Harry looked away. There were just no words that could be spoken that would make him feel better. He felt like the world had felt all around him and nothing was left standing. He felt like he had lost everything.
"Well, I'll leave you to your thoughts," said Hermione after a few moments of uncomfortable silence.
Yes, she should do that, he thought nastily. He didn't want to see anybody. Nothing was important anymore. This time, it was not a carrel over a misunderstanding. This time, it was Ginny not remembering anything, him being gone from her memory, him being gone from her life.
He closed his eyes and let the tears finally fall.
Harry had gone to see Ginny a few times at her shop and even took her out for tea, but she was distant with him. While she had been carefree and funny when he had first dated her, she had now lost her spunk and it was replaced by weariness. It broke Harry's heart even more so he had stopped pursuing her, focusing instead of his next case of finding and bringing to justice another pair of Death Eaters.
But he had been reckless, as if it was not important anymore that he finished ahead and he survived the endeavour. Loosing Ginny so cruelly had extinguished the light of his life and he didn't find interested in anything anymore, except hunting for people to bring to justice.
"Harry, you're unhealthy. You're going to get yourself killed," said Hermione, pacing in front of him in his office.
Harry only shrugged. What could he say: she was right.
"You have to stop this right now," she added.
"Why?" asked Harry. "Hunting Death Eaters makes everybody safe."
"Yes but if you are not longer here to hunt them, who will?"
"The Aurors," he answered.
"Ergh!" said Hermione, throwing her hands in the air. "You're impossible!"
Harry shrugged again. There was nothing he could say to that, nor did he care to respond.
Ginny slowly woke up from a long sleep at the Burrow. She had taken a few days off from the shop and had decided to go home. She had missed her mum's cooking even if she wasn't a bad cook herself. Well, at least, Harry never seemed to complain about her cooking.
Ginny sat bolt upright in her bed.
She remembered Harry. She remembered everything about Harry. Every single eight months of him.
Without waiting for a second more, she took her wand and disapparated.
Harry was lying in bed, staring at the ceiling. It was two months since his attack and two months since Ginny was no longer in his life. The night before, he had gone hunting again and had encountered a dark wizard he had quickly arrested. But this time, he had got hurt. His shoulder was still painful from the gashed that opened it from the top to halfway down his back. His house-elves had dressed his wound as best they could and he had gone to sleep, refusing to go to the Hospital.
Now, he was in bed, looking at the ceiling, hoping he didn't feel so miserable.
He was still looking at the ceiling when, half an hour later, he heard someone running up the stairway. He braced himself ready to hear Hermione's scrolling about not being careful again and getting hurt. But when the door opened, the expected did not happen. Instead of Hermione walking in, Ginny ran in and threw herself on him. Her lips found his and in a passion he had never experience, she kissed him like there would be no tomorrow.
"Ginny?" he asked when she broke away.
The force of her passion opened his wound and he could feel the blood seeping through the bandage and into the bed sheets.
For answer, she kissed him again, soon awakening his body.
"Ginny," he repeated, tenderly, caressing her hair.
If his back wasn't hurting him so much, Harry was convinced he would believe he was still sleeping. He didn't know how many times he had imagined Ginny running back to him and this was by far better than anything he had thought.
"I'm so sorry," she said, her eyes shining with unshed tears. "I woke up this morning and I remembered you didn't complain about my cooking. Then I remembered not remembering you... I'm so sorry."
"Don't be," he said, now caressing her cheek with his thumb. "Just kiss me again."
And she did, her hands slipping under him, brushing his bruises. Harry inhaled sharply against her mouth.
"Harry! You're hurt!"
"Don't worry about it," he said. "Just don't stop."
"I will if you don't let me take a look at you."
Harry stopped himself just before he sighed. He hadn't had her with him in so long, he thought he could indulge her. Then, he just remembered the last few hellish weeks he had gone through and just stared at Ginny like she was an apparition, realising she wasn't leaving, that she was not a dream.
"What's wrong?" she asked, becoming worried.
"You're... you're here," he just said, looking at her brown eyes. "I... I thought I lost you," he added, his eyes stinging. "I thought I would never have you in my arms again. I'm afraid I'll wake up and you won't be there anymore."
"You're awake, Potter," she said with a grin. "Now, do show me your back."
Harry grinned back at her.
She was really here, she wasn't leaving and he hoped, she would be hers for the rest of his life.
"Marry me," he blurted out.
Ginny looked at him in surprised, frozen.
"I want you to marry me, Ginny Weasley," he said, more slowly. "Would you please make me the happiest man alive and marry me?"
It took another few long seconds before Ginny even moved.
"Are you serious?" she asked with caution.
"Yes, very serious," he answered.
"Wow!" she whispered. "Yes, Harry Potter; I will marry you," she answered with a smile. "Now, show me your back."
Laughing, Harry sat and removed his shirt. Life was finally as it should be. Him, Ginny, and the happily ever after for the rest of their lives.