Hey guys! Happy Friday! I hope you're enjoying the story. :)

This next chapter is another exceedingly fluffy one. I hope you'll forgive me and enjoy it. :D Fluff advisory! XD

So, an update on the contest: I didn't place, but that's okay! Congrats to the winners! It was a great honor to be a part of, and I owe that to you guys. :)

As always, thank you, everybody, for all the feedback I've been getting! Your wonderful reviews, follows, and favorites really make my day and inspire me to write. I really appreciate it. :)

By the way, I'm hoping to break two hundred follows and a hundred favorites and reviews soon… I would love you guys forever and ever if we broke it by the next update. ;) Just keep doing what you're doing and I think we'll make it!

Anyway, here we go again! Thank you everybody, again, for your continued support and love! You're all fantastic. :)

I don't own Harry Potter!

16

The next week was a blur to Harry.

Ginny was released from St. Mungo's the day after Jugson and Smeckett were captured, on the conditions that she rest in bed for a few days and not play any Quidditch. Ginny took to this like a cat to water, pouting around at everybody coming and going from her room, a scowl twisting her lips, her arms folded angrily. Harry had stationed himself at the end of her bed, rarely leaving her side, looking out the window when her silences stretched and her eyes blazed. George, who had left the shop in Angelina's hands for a few hours, joked over dinner that Harry might as well have a Permanent Sticking charm put on him.

"It's not fair," Ginny said one day as she played a game of Exploding Snap with Harry and Ron, Hermione in an arm chair in the corner reading a book, "I'm fine. I don't need rest. I should be in class and training for Quidditch. We have our match against Ravenclaw in a month."

"You'll be up and running on Sunday," Hermione said idly, turning a page. "You mark my words, by the time we get to dinner, you'll be complaining just like nothing happened." She grinned at Ginny toothily, peering at her over her book.

Ron said, "You aren't missing much anyway, Gin."

"Ronald," Hermione said, her voice turning to stone in an instant. "Every second Ginny and I have at Hogwarts right now is crucial. We have N.E.W.T's in less than five months!"

"Great, because I really needed to be reminded of that," Ginny said, looking to the ceiling.

"I'm only saying," Hermione said, jumping back behind her book.

"What are you reading, anyway?" Ron asked, bringing Hermione's head back around with his words. "I thought you've already gone through the entire library?"

"Funny, Ron. No, this is for Runes."

"Thought you would have been sick of them after last year," Harry said slyly from the end of Ginny's bed, smiling slightly. "You could have become a professor, you read your Runes book so many times."

"This is a different one," Hermione said, also smiling. "But yeah, you're right. That was horrible." She met eyes with Ginny and looked away, her eyes scanning the words in front of her.

Ginny looked at Harry as she said, "You lot still haven't told the story."

Hermione kept reading, acting as though she hadn't heard Ginny, and Ron was suddenly very interested in a thread on the bottom of his sweater. Harry said, "She's right. We haven't told her."

"We haven't told anybody, mate," Ron said quietly. "Not the dirty details."

Harry swallowed. He wasn't sure about Ron and Hermione, but to him, it still felt too soon to reveal everything, to pour his heart out. There was even more that he had to discuss with Ron and Hermione first, the painful things that he had pushed down and wasn't ready to examine. If he hadn't told them, how could he reveal it to the Wizarding community? No. The memories were still too fresh, the nightmares still too real. Maybe soon, though.

Ginny was looking at Harry, and he took his glasses off and cleaned them, not meeting her eyes. "We'll tell you sometime, Ginny. We'll tell you everything."

She huffed impatiently and returned her eyes to the ceiling, the frustration prominent in her eyes.


Later that night, Harry knocked on her door coming back from the shower, on his way back up the stairs to Ron's bedroom. Ginny's voice sounded muffled as she said, "Come in, Harry."

Grinning, Harry pressed the door open with his fingertips only to stop dead in the doorway. She was changing, her back to him, just pulling a baggy, oversized shirt over her head. She wasn't quick enough to hide herself from him. He saw the cream of her legs, toned with muscles, stretching to the red silk panties hugging her hips, lacy. Her back was smooth and small, dainty, looking all too kissable. Her curves were just as rounded as he'd dreamed and imagined, flaring outwards at her hips in a shapely hourglass. Harry suddenly wondered where the floor had gone, as his stomach was whooshing like he were falling, flopping uselessly. His mouth dried out and he couldn't talk. He stood and stared for several seconds before his mind caught up with the rest of him and he forced his feet to work, scrambling inside to her room. He closed the door behind him, worried that there had been someone on the stairs that had seen her.

She turned and grinned at him, evidently not embarrassed or aware that he had seen anything. "Hi." She flounced to him, her hands coming up to rest around his neck. Harry ran a hand through her hair, trying to will the pink from his face. He still couldn't talk, and only grinned at her instead.

Ginny said, "You're quiet, Mr. Calm Cool and Collected. Something bothering you?"

Harry shook his head, his hands resting on her back. No bra. Sweet Merlin. He swallowed hard, heat pooling in his neck. He forced himself to speak. "No, nothing. Just looking at you." He brushed hair tenderly from her face, still red. "Are you leaving to go to Hogwarts tomorrow?"

"Yes," she said, her lashes fluttering in her face. "I'm going to miss you."

"I'll miss you too." His fingers came up to hold her chin, his eyes burning into hers. "We'll keep writing, yeah? Carter needs the exercise." Harry smiled, brushed the skin on her cheeks with a thumb. "It's not the same, but it'll do. We only have a few more months, right?"

"Right," Ginny said, eyes wide. "And then… Life happens."

Harry couldn't decipher the look that was buried deep in there. "You want to talk about something?"

She bit her lip and flitted her eyes to the floor. "I just… It's hitting me, that's all."

"That you're almost done?"

"Right." She blinked, looking at him through her hair. "I just… It's weird. I can't wait to play Quidditch every day, but I don't want to leave. I… I won't be seeing everybody again, not a whole lot. Won't be going to the castle anymore. Won't spend anymore galleons at Flourish and Blotts unless it's for Hermione." She smirked characteristically, only to have it fade rapidly. "I'm homesick for it already. And," she added as an afterthought, worrying her lip more, reddening it to a deep scarlet, "I have recruiters coming to the Ravenclaw match."

"You do?" Harry asked, grinning. "But that's fantastic!"

"Yeah…" Ginny blinked again, slowly. "I'm just so worried. What if I'm rubbish? This is my chance to show everybody how good I am, and if I make an arse of myself, what will they think?" She frowned, looking at him with her brow puckered.

"You'll be marvelous," Harry assured her, wrapping her close in his arms. "I know you will. You have a lot of raw talent. I'm sure they'll see that."

She nuzzled against his neck, snickering. "I've certainly graduated from stealing my brothers' brooms, that's for sure."

Harry laughed at the memory, holding her tight. "I believe in you."

"Thank you, Harry." She brought her face up to look at him, her eyes shining in the dim lighting from her lamp. She brushed her thumb over his lip, her facial expression suddenly something much softer. "I'm so glad you're okay."

"Likewise," Harry whispered, his fingers tangling in her hair, eyes tender. He stared into her eyes for several long moments, memorizing the shade. He counted the freckles on her nose, learned the shape of the willow's peak in her hair. He thought that maybe he could stare at her face for eternity, and always find something new to examine. He smiled softly, feathering her cheek with his fingertips.

Ginny suddenly smiled back. "I know that smile. Penny for your thoughts?"

Harry shook his head slightly. "Just… Kind of stunned."

"Why?"

"You're still crazy beautiful." He smirked at her. "Just thinking that there's things about your face that I haven't noticed before." He brushed a scar on her jaw. "Like this."

"Fell off a broom when I was seven," Ginny said airily. "Scared the knickers off of mum when I came into the house coated in blood."

"Head wounds always bleed a lot," Harry said with another crooked grin. He brushed his fingers across a white line, minute, directly beside his nose. "Quidditch practice in my second year. Hit with a Bludger."

Ginny stared. "How did a Bludger give you that?"

"My glasses broke. One of the shards went right into my face. Had it fixed right away, obviously, but it scarred for some reason. George still apologizes to me. I reckon it's one of the only times he's missed a Bludger."

"Probably," Ginny agreed. She held up her right arm, indicating a scar on the inside of her elbow. "Cut myself during Potions one day. One of the Slytherins was being a prat and made me angry. Of course, the one time I had to keep calm, my knife slipped. Snape forced me to go to the Hospital Wing and wouldn't let me back in class. Ruined all my work for the day." She shook her head. "Git."

Harry brought his fingers down and he tugged at the collar of his shirt, brushing it aside to show a thin white line on his shoulder. He heard Ginny hiss in longing, her eyes darkening to deep chocolate, widening. Harry said, "Department of Mysteries."

Ginny scowled. "Sometimes I still feel the pain in my ankle. Bloody awful. How did that happen?"

"Just a cutting curse," Harry shrugged.

Ginny frowned at him, and then gently pulled the hem of her night shirt up, slowly. Harry caught his breath, red staining his cheeks again, furiously. Her hips bones. Sweet Merlin, were they gorgeous. Prominent, but not so much that they were angular. Like everything else, they seemed to be rounded, curved, like every other part of her. Harry swallowed hard, eyes wandering down to look at her legs, shapely and long. His hands burned to touch her, but he abstained, biting his lip. So beautiful. Her panties were obvious here, red, trimmed with lace, hugging the curves of her legs and bottom as though made just for her. His head started spinning, and he forced himself to glance back at her hands.

Ginny was indicating a scar on her left hip, more towards her belly button. She looked up at him through her lashes, eyes fluttering. She swallowed hard and worried her lip, eyes clouded. "Tom Riddle."

Harry looked at her, frowning, waiting for her to elaborate.

She took a shaky breath and then said, "I tripped in the... The Chamber. Before I opened the doors and I was still conscious. Cut my hip on a rock." She blinked. "He just… Laughed. Said blood sacrifices are a good thing. That it was good for him, because it was just another life force to use." She blinked and heaved another breath, her eyes huge.

Harry pulled up the arm of his sleeve, and indicated the inside of his left arm. Another scar, pure white, stretched approximately two inches down the center of his arm, over his vein. "Peter Pettigrew. The night Voldemort returned."

Ginny winced at the name, looking at him. Harry said, "He needed my blood for the potion they brewed that gave Voldemort a body. He strapped me to the grave of Voldemort's father and slit my arm open."

Ginny winced again, though Harry wasn't entirely sure it was from hearing Voldemort's name anymore. She looked hesitant about something, and then closed her eyes. She seemed to be steeling her courage. Her eyes popped open after a few painful heartbeats, and she said, "Promise you won't… Jump on me?"

Harry felt goosebumps prick the back of his neck. Where? He nodded once, curiosity getting the better of him.

Sighing, Ginny pulled her shirt up further, past her navel, past her ribs. For one moment, Harry thought she was going to continue and bare herself to him, and he blanched, his cheeks bypassing pink and turning straight scarlet. Ginny shook her head at him, and cupped her loose chest, holding it in place as she lifted her shirt to show a bumpy, angry red line. If she hadn't been holding herself up, it would have been just under her left breast, over one of her ribs. She was slightly breathless as she whispered, "Fenrir Greyback. In the battle."

Harry felt his eyes narrow, and a growl came out of his throat, against his will. The creature that usually slumbered his chest, guarding his feelings for Ginny, immediately woke up, sniffing the air, roaring in a soft, menacing way. "How?" Harry asked her, voice low and dangerous.

"Jumped on me," she whispered, dropping her shirt once more. Her eyes were huge again, wide as dinner plates. "I would have died if Neville hadn't saved me."

This was almost getting to be too much for Harry. He knew that there had been several close calls, especially between the two of them, but this one was almost too much. Knowing that he had almost lost her… Where had he been? Most likely in the Room of Requirement. He wouldn't have known. He would have had no idea that he had lost her. No. Said a small voice in his head, you would have felt it. You'd know.

Harry swallowed and then took a step back from her. Reaching up his fingers, he started to unbutton his shirt, one at a time. Her eyes went from wide and pained to lustful in only two heartbeats. Her eyes were peppered with desire, glinting in the light, and she met his eyes, her cheeks pink. Harry allowed his shirt to fall open, and he brushed it aside, showing her the bruise on his heart, still furiously red and prominent. No longer black and blue, at least. Maybe, eventually, it would fade to pink, and then entirely. Harry held her eyes as he whispered, "I think… Maybe it isn't time for details, but maybe a general idea of what happened… On my side, at least." He wasn't ready to tell her about the Resurrection Stone. That he had seen her and had nearly thrown away his anonymity just to touch her one more time, to say goodbye. That he had thought about her as Voldemort raised his wand.

He indicated the bruise with his fingers, eyes never leaving hers. "Voldemort. With a Killing Curse."

Ginny stared at him. Her face didn't betray any emotion; she was simply a neutral slate for several seconds. Finally, her eyes clouded again, widening farther than ever. She shook her head slightly. "How…?"

Harry reached over and took her hand, guiding her to her bed. She looked too dazed to stay on her feet. He pet her hair as he recounted the story, starting with how he walked to the grounds in the Invisibility cloak and found the Death Eaters. He explained how he had seen Dumbledore and had chosen to come back and fight. Ginny took all of it in silence, her mouth slightly parted. After he explained how he had woken up in the forest and the march had begun, he stopped. "And that's… Where you come in."

Ginny only stared. After several moments, she whispered, "Merlin, it was you."

Harry blinked. "What?"

"When… When I was in that field. Talking to that girl. I could have sworn that I heard somebody walking. That somebody was there with me. I thought…" She blushed furiously and bit her lip.

Harry said, "Thought what?"

She shook her head. "You'll think I'm mad."

"Try me," Harry told her sincerely, catching her chin with his fingers.

She was shaking, lips trembling slightly. "I thought that… I thought I could feel you there. I swear I smelled you." She blushed even redder. "I know it's impossible because you must not have had a decent shower for months, but I swear I smelled your cologne."

Harry couldn't help but smile slightly. So he had been right. "Did you really think that?"

"Yes." She frowned, her neck turning red, the tips of her ears. "I swear to Merlin, Harry. I knew you'd think I was mental."

"No," Harry said, shaking his head. "I don't think that at all." He smiled at her. "I think it's… Sweet."

"Sweet?"

"Sweet."

Ginny shook her head, some of the red fading from her face, only to jump straight back to life as she caught sight of his open shirt. "Um…" Her eyes were boggling, and she anxiously tucked a strand of her hair behind her ear. Harry had never seen her so flustered. He made to button up, but her hand shot out and caught his wrist. "No. Don't. Please."

Their eyes met again. Harry could literally feel the sparks flying between them, electric little shocks shooting up and down his spine. Heat rocked him hard in his navel, followed quickly by heavy pressure. He felt as though he had just been hit, his eyes coming wide. The way she was looking at him… Like he was something brilliant to behold.

Quite suddenly, she jumped on him, crushing her lips to his almost desperately. Her hot hands came around his neck, holding tightly. Harry made an, "Mmf," sound and wrapped his arms around her, holding her waist, kissing furiously. Ginny. Her mouth worked with his, hot and eager. His blood pressure sky rocketed, his heart starting to pound in his chest. Tingles of shock and pleasure shot straight to his heart every time she moved her lips, hitting him in the stomach with more pressure. He let his hands come up, holding the sides of her face, keeping her firmly pressed against him.

She gave a small moan, and more heat spiked through his blood, roaring. Harry could hear a dull thumping sound in his ears, his heartbeat. Rapid and strong, it increased in tempo as her body molded to his, melting. Harry made a sound, low in his throat, a soft groan. Ginny.

She sucked air in rapidly through her teeth and moved, pressing him backwards to sit against the wall. Never breaking contact with his lips, she moved her hips so that she was sitting in his lap, straddling him, her thighs holding her weight. Harry's world tilted to the side, and his hands left her face to hold the small of her back. She moaned again, darkly, longingly, and she pressed into him, her chest meeting his. Through bare skin, he could feel her softness, and another groan, louder, left his throat. His eyes rolled into his head as she shifted, making heat spike through his navel like a jolt of lightning.

"Ginny…" He whispered, his lips leaving hers and traveling down her face. He kissed her neck, reaching her collarbone and giving a soft suck. She gave a soft noise, almost a wail, and her spine arched, pushing against him urgently. Her breath was hot against his neck, her fingers coming up to tangle in his hair. She moaned again, the sound shooting straight to his core. "Harry…"

His hands curled against her spine, and he finally gave in, letting them trace down to touch her thighs. Oh, yeah. His fingers met hot skin, silky and soft. He groaned again, eyes rolling in his head. "Jesus, Ginny."

She gasped softly at his touch, panting in his ear. He was suddenly painfully aware of how close she was over him… He guided her thighs up slightly, and he suddenly could feel her heat right through his jeans. He hissed against her skin, face hot and red. "Ginny…"

"Harry!" Her back was arched, her head thrown backwards. She stared down at him with wild eyes, a coy smile gracing her lips. "Mmm, Harry…" She cupped his face, making their lips meet again.

Harry felt like everything was on fast forward. Her lips moved with his, and he hungrily coaxed her mouth open with gentle presses of his tongue, plunging in to get lost in her sweetness, to devour her. He moaned low, his hands massaging her thighs, making circles. Suddenly, she snatched his wrist and brought his hand up, over her hips, beneath her shirt. His fingers brushed up the front of her navel, and she groaned with longing, pushing him further up. His thumb caught the underside of one of her breasts and he gasped against her mouth, desire making his head reel. Ginny. Ginny.

He forced himself to pull away from her, panting. Her mouth was working wonders on his collarbone. "Ginny… Not… Here…"

"Yes," she growled, swiping her tongue over his skin, her hands leaving him to shove at his shirt. It slid from his shoulders with a rustle and she moaned softly, her fingers skating the hard muscles. "Mmm."

He felt his eyes roll again, trying to talk to her through a fog. "Can't… Not so… Unheeded."

"So we'll slow it down," she mumbled into his skin, her lips tracing down to kiss his chest. "I want you, Harry."

Heat spiked straight through his center, jolting his insides, melting his willpower. He tried to pull away from her, but she kept coming back. "No, Ginny… I can't… Here… Like this…"

She pressed her mouth to his collarbone again, over a sensitive spot that made his bones melt. He moaned and felt his fingers tangle in her hair. "Ginny…"

She pulled away from him then, her eyes the color of dark chocolate. They gleamed with lust, her lips swollen from kisses, her hair rumpled. She still sat on him, but leaned back slightly, her heat still firmly over him. He moaned again and forced himself to watch her, to try and think about anything but how tight his jeans were.

She considered him for several heartbeats, and then slowly a grin came over her face. "Are you really telling me no?"

Harry bit his lip. "I… I don't want it to be… Like this. You're too…" He couldn't find a word. He just tried to convey it through his eyes. "It's too… Soon."

"Too soon?" Ginny asked, still smiling, tilting her head.

"I… Want to wait." It took every single ounce of willpower he had to say those words.

She stared at him, and then grinned even wider. Her eyes were starting to lighten. She blinked at him. "Is it because… We're here?"

"Partly," he whispered. There was something about finally sealing that bond between them in his own bed that really appealed to him. "And because everybody's here, and we can't be loud. And also because I just… I don't think it's time." He took her hand, eyes begging her to understand.

She smiled at him. "Harry James Potter, when did you develop a sense of tact?"

Harry smirked suddenly. "I think you're considering your brother, not me." Thinking of Ron finalized the decision, and he forced himself to take his hands off of her, to lean his weight on his palms and regard her with a smile.

Ginny sighed. "You are so noble. Do you know that? You always have been. I suppose I should have expected that trait to carry over to something like this." She moved her legs, getting off of him, settling beside him, their hips touching. She leaned her head on his shoulder. "I would have, too. And you know it."

"Merlin, Ginny, please don't think I don't want to," Harry said.

"Oh, trust me. I know." She smirked slyly at him. "How long have you been hiding that secret from me, Potter?"

"What?"

"How easily excitable you are, and how…" She bit her lip, her blush coming to her cheeks. "You realize just how much you were poking at me, right?"

Harry blushed scarlet and let out a startled laugh, covering his mouth. "Ginny. Such language."

She shook her head, her smirk turning dark. "I really like that secret of yours, Mr. Potter."

Harry ran a hand over his hair. "Stop it. Stop it before you make it worse."

She chortled and looked at the ceiling. "I intend to take full advantage of it. When you stop being noble."

"Just give it time," Harry whispered to her, kissing the hair above her ear. "We'll get there."

"Can't ever be soon enough, Harry. Never."


The next day, Harry saw Ginny and Hermione off to Hogwarts with Ron and Mrs. Weasley. The Burrow fireplace was roaring with emerald green flames, and Harry held Ginny's hand as long as he possibly could. He only let go to hug her first, and then Hermione. "Take care. Study hard."

"As if I need to be told twice," Hermione said, eyes light. She pecked Ron's cheek and hugged Mrs. Weasley for the fourth time. "Thank you for everything."

Mrs. Weasley seemed very reluctant to let Ginny go, and it was with sad eyes that she let the girls step into the fireplace and whirl out of sight. She sighed to herself, not saying anything, and then looked at the boys. Her eyes showcased the kaleidoscope of feelings and emotions, but for once, words seemed to fail her, and she merely turned and walked from the room.

Suddenly, the fire roared behind Harry. Turning, wand slapping into his palm, Harry stared at the fireplace, Ron right beside him. Professor McGonagall's head appeared inside the embers, stern bun securely in place as always, her eyes gray and wrinkled behind her square spectacles. She smiled slightly as she saw them. "Oh, good, I've caught you. Potter. Can I see you in here for just a moment, please? Weasley, you too."

Harry and Ron looked at each other, and then both of them nodded. Professor McGonagall disappeared, and Harry stepped in first, whirling into the flames. When the world stopped spinning, he was in the McGonagall's office, the Headmaster's, that for so long had belonged to Dumbledore. Minerva McGonagall was perched in a straight, hard-looking chair at her desk, writing with a quill. Ginny and Hermione were gone already. "Evening, Mr. Potter," Professor McGonagall said, setting aside her quill and looking at him. "Won't you step in?"

Harry crossed to stand in front of McGonagall's desk, feeling as though he were a student again and had been caught in some kind of act of wrongdoing. Ron appeared within seconds, whooshing out of the fireplace. He moved to stand next to Harry, brushing soot from his robes. "Hello, Professor."

"Hello, Mr. Weasley." Professor McGonagall regarded the two of them over her spectacles. "I just wanted a quick word. Harry, do you recall Kingsley mentioning anything about the memorial in the Ministry? For last year's battle?"

Harry said, "I remember him saying that he wanted another one made for Hogwarts."

"And there will be," McGonagall said, her spectacles glinting. "I was wondering, boys, what you would think to the idea of having a ball."

"A ball?" Harry asked, bewildered. "Like, a dance?"

"Yes, Mr. Potter."

"For the memorial?" Ron threw in.

"For…" Professor McGonagall cleared her throat. "For the anniversary of the battle. Kingsley and I were talking about it, and thought maybe perhaps it would be appropriate to have a memorial ball every year. On the anniversary."

Harry chewed on that for a moment. "It sounds… Appropriate."

"Now, clearly," Professor McGonagall said, her manner brisk as always, "It would be highly improper to have a ball yearly at Hogwarts. Especially with students studying for exams during the May term. Kingsley and I have worked out an agreement; the ball will be hosted at Hogwarts only on significant anniversaries. In other words, the first, the tenth, the twentieth, and so forth. Every other year, we're thinking it can be in the Ministry."

Harry wasn't sure where McGonagall was going with this, but he went with it anyways. "It sounds nice, Professor."

"I bring this up," McGonagall said, acting as though she hadn't heard Harry, "Not only to make sure that Mr. Weasley arrives with appropriate dress robes," McGonagall smiled cleverly at Ron, "But also to inform you that I think it would be considerate for one or both of you to make a speech."

"A speech?" Harry asked, his mouth suddenly dry. Ron was turning green.

"Obviously, it's not mandatory," Professor McGonagall said, shaking her head, her hat bouncing slightly, "You two are hardly Gryffindors that I can pin beneath my thumb anymore. However, I would just like to say that I think it appropriate."

Harry swallowed and looked at Ron. He looked as though he were going to be sick. Harry pursed his lips then, really dreading what he knew had to be done. "Professor, I… I'll give a speech, but don't make Ron do it."

"Nobody has to do anything," Professor McGonagall said, standing at her desk. "Consider it a request, not a demand, Potter." She indicated the fireplace. "Just something for you boys to think about, while you're at the Ministry, trying to find some other dark wizard to chase." She smiled kindly. "Congratulations on your capture by the way."

"Wasn't me," Ron said out of nowhere, "It was all Harry." He shot Harry a grin and quickly bowed into the fireplace, disappearing in a roar of flames.

Harry said, "Thank you, Professor. I'll… I'll let you know if I think of anything to say."

"Please do, Potter." She smiled at him again and then heaved a sigh, moving towards the door. "I need to leave, if you'll excuse me, Potter." She left, the door closing with a snap.

Harry looked around the office briefly, one foot in the fire. The various headmasters and headmistresses were snoozing in their frames, hair fluttering. Even Dumbledore, directly behind McGonagall's desk, had his eyes closed, hands folded, his head slightly tilted to the side. Harry felt a stab of disappointment, having been hoping to talk to him, but he found his eyes drifting to the blank wall space beside Dumbledore. Snape should be there, but he wasn't. No hooked nose painted into the portrait to stare down the room with beady black eyes. No lank, greasy hair. No bite marks from Nagini.

Harry shook his head and stepped into the fire, the flames licking warmly at his robes. He stared at that blank expanse of wall the entire time, thinking about it even as he spun like a top and disappeared into the emerald fire.


Alrighty! I hope you liked it! :D Hope ya'll didn't mind the fluff.

Please don't forget to review! They really make my day and encourage me to keep going. :)

You're fantastic!

Always,

Lori