FIC--Coming Around Again (Harry/Ginny, NC17)
Word Count: 8777
Summary: Someone else's mistake brings Harry and Ginny face to face after months apart.
Warnings: Sex with a small child in the next room?
Author Note:Written for lrthunder , who happens to be one of my longest LJ pals and a never-ending cheerleader, for the 2012 Porn in the Sun Fic Exchange. Thanks also to my awesome betas, rose_starr and lunalovepotter . Thanks so much my lovelies!!
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"What are you doing here?" I ask as the door opens in front of me. "She asked me to look after Teddy."
"Yeah, well, I think she forgot because she also asked me. I was here first, so you can just leave."
I shove my foot against the door as it began to slam shut. "Come on. I've got the weekend off—"
"You can take the weekend off for a baby but couldn't for me?"
I fight the urge to roll my eyes, knowing it would only make things worse. Things with Ginny have been this way for a few months now. No, that's not entirely true. Things have been rough since I started in with the Aurors and she started her last year at Hogwarts, which was nearly a year ago.
I have to admit that I blew it with her. After things settled down after the war, well, as much as things can settle down after a war, I made two moves that I had hoped would change my life for the better: joining the Auror squad and literally grabbing Ginny by the shoulders and kissing her in front of her family one Sunday afternoon at The Burrow. The hard work as an Auror rookie was much easier to manage than a romantic post-war relationship with Ginevra Molly Weasley.
The war had changed her from the funny, sweet, and feisty Ginny into a jaded, abused, and hard-edged woman that I barely recognized. Oh, we had some great times together, but after a while, it was just sex. We barely talked and when we did, it consisted of fights about not being able to spend time together or about stupid stuff that neither of us had any control over. Finally, I just told her it was over. She responded by sitting quietly on a rock by the Otter River where I left her as I walked away. I think I could have handled her throwing a spell at or disfiguring me more than her silence.
I made it through the horrendous first year of Auror training with my friendship with Ron barely intact, no girlfriend, and a loneliness that was reminiscent of my life before Hogwarts. The only thing that made any sense in my life was spending time with Teddy. I watched him learn to roll over, drink from a cup, take his first steps, and change his hair to a shiny black every time he'd see me. Andromeda became my therapist in a sense. She listened to me talk about the things I'd done and seen during the previous seven years, offering advice when warranted and lending me a shoulder to cry on when things got to be too much. She knew everything about the Horcrux hunt, my experiences during school, and all the details about me and Ginny. I don't know what I would have done if I didn't have her to talk to, and with her help, I learned to control my temper, channel my energies in the right direction, and determine the things that were most important in my life.
When Andromeda asked me two weeks ago to stay with Teddy for a weekend, I didn't hesitate to agree. I took the time off and planned a series of outings I knew he'd love. I was prepared to devote the weekend to my little godson. I wasn't prepared to see Ginny standing at the door in the one place I thought was my refuge away from the pressures of life.
I take a deep breath once the urge to roll my eyes passes and open the door, stepping inside the house. The door closes by itself, latching the lock; I don't know if it was me or Ginny, but that didn't matter.
"She asked me a couple weeks ago, and I cleared my schedule," I say, nearly whispering the words as my rucksack falls onto the floor.
"Well, she asked me just three days ago, and I've got nothing else to do. Mum and Dad are in France, Ron's busy fucking Hermione, and George is taking some bloody Muggle chemistry class. Oh yeah, and The Burrow's infested with Billywigs," she answers, her arms crossed over her chest.
"Yeah. Ron had a bunch of the blighters' eggs on his clothes when he got back from Australia at Christmas and the damned things hatched last week. I've been stung literally everywhere and I've got bumps on my head from levitating and hitting the ceiling," she explains.
Don't know why, but I don't hear anything after she'd said been stung "everywhere."
"Everywhere?" I croak. Oh Merlin, what the hell was wrong with me? I'm the one who left her sitting there. I have no right to imagine all the places she'd been stung...
She groans in frustration. "I was stung in the kitchen, the scullery, the sitting room, my bedroom, and while I was sitting on the toilet. So yes, Harry, I've been stung everywhere." Ginny spins around and saunters back toward the kitchen. Without my brain telling my feet what to do, I follow her.
Her hair is short now, and why I didn't notice when she answered the door, I'll never know. I had always liked her hair long, enjoyed the feel of it as I ran my hands through it while we....
Get a grip! I scream at myself.
Ginny sits down at the table, where a cup of tea sits and the Evening Prophet lies open at the table. She picks up a pencil and goes to work on a number puzzle which she'd obviously started before I arrived. I just stand there looking at her, feeling like a moron.
"And why are you still here?" she asks without looking up from her puzzle. "I've got it under control."
"Napping. We went to the zoo and spent time at the play park after lunch. He was tired." Ginny curls up her brow and writes what looks like a five.
"You've been here since lunchtime? What time did she leave? She told me to be here for tea." I am beginning to think that Andromeda had forgotten about asking me.
"Yep," she answers. "Looks like everyone's forgotten about you."
I'm not sure if she realizes it, but she just twisted a knife in my heart.
I know it was cruel to say that, but ever since I opened the door, I felt like I was eleven again, meeting him for the first time. But it was always that way with Harry. He could make me forget myself and revert to a time when I let my feelings take over. I really thought I had a handle on things until about three minutes ago.
When I watched him walk away from me three months and twelve days ago, I just wasn't myself. I was quiet, something that was really odd for me; those who know me came to anticipate a loud reaction. It didn't hurt; in fact, I felt nothing when Harry told me it was over. The farther away he got, the lighter my heart became. It was crazy, that feeling of elation at perhaps one of the saddest times of my life. I got up off that rock and skipped back home. I hadn't skipped since I was eight.
The gravity of the situation didn't hit me until two days later, Easter Sunday, when Harry didn't show up for dinner. Mum was fretting and kept checking the clock, willing it to say 'Travelling,' but it stayed put on 'Home' and that obviously wasn't The Burrow. I don't know who asked, but someone tapped me on the shoulder and asked if something was going on with Harry, to which I simply said, "We broke up."
Saying those words made it real. After the collective gasps from my family subsided, I got off my chair and went up to my room where I cried for three hours. I'd magicked my door locked with a spell only Harry or I could undo—we'd made it up ourselves to keep Ron from barging in on us when we'd have sex. I heard Mum plead with me to open the door; Dad used every spell he could think of before bringing Bill upstairs to use his curse breaker spells against the wooden door. None of Bill's stuff would work since the door bore no curse. It was simply a modified Alohomora spell that released only when the counter curse was given, along with the plucking of an eyelash.
I don't remember when my family decided to leave me alone and I don't remember getting on the train the following morning to return to school. What I do remember is sitting in the middle of my four poster bed with the curtains drawn, writing, 'What now?' repeatedly on at least ten feet of parchment. I would have written more if Hermione hadn't crawled inside the curtains, prised the quill out of my hand, and set the nearly empty ink bottle on the floor. She gathered me in her arms and listened as I poured out everything. I told Hermione about all the fights Harry and I had, how we didn't spend time together, how he just left me at the river, and how I let him leave.
"The two of you never talked about what went on that year, did you?" Hermione had finally said.
She was right, of course. Harry never brought anything up and I never explained what I went through with Snape and the Carrows in charge. I would always move his hand when it neared the scar on my lower back where magical ropes dung into my skin during a detention. I kept my secrets and Merlin knows he kept his.
I began to write in journals again—I refused to call them diaries—pouring out everything that had happened to me. At the time, it was just a way for me to purge the hate and blackness out of my life. Once I'd finished emptying my head of thoughts from that year, I kept writing. I wrote about my own hopes and dreams again: playing for the Harpies, spending time with my brothers, and spoiling my new niece, Victoire. By the time I finished Hogwarts with seven OWLs, I'd found a good place in my life, ready to take on the world with a new lease on life.
And then those dammed Billywigs hatched.
I clear my throat and turn to look at Harry. "Are you going to stand there all day? Isn't there someone you could be saving?" I ask harshly, not recognising the tone of my voice. It appeared that I could only be cruel to him now, even though my insides were churning anxiously.
Harry opens his mouth to say something, but a wail from the direction of Teddy's room interrupts him. He nearly runs out of the room, heading, I know, for Teddy. The little boy's cries turn to laughter and if I'm not mistaken, I hear him say, "Hay-yee."
I stand up and cross the corridor, stopping just outside Teddy's room.
"Stop it! I need to get the nappy off!" Harry says with laughter as Teddy squirms and giggles. I'd seen Harry change a nappy many times before, but I'd never seen his face so relaxed or his smile reach his eyes the way it is now. I'm not even sure he'd ever looked like that when we'd made love.
Thinking about him like that makes me take a closer look at Harry. His hair is basically the same, out of control on top and curling up in the back. I always loved his hair; it was always so soft and when he was sweaty, it curled up even more. His arms are defined and it makes me wonder what they'd feel like wrapped around me. I shake my head, trying to get those thoughts out of my mind. They have no place here anymore.
Teddy is changed and redressed, and when Harry hoists him up, I am shocked to see Teddy sporting the same hair as Harry. I didn't know Teddy could do that.
"All better?" I ask from my place in the doorway.
"Yeah, he's good." Harry stops at the door and leans against the opposite side. "Look, if you want, I'll go, okay? You've got nowhere else to go, and I'll just go home and catch up on some stuff."
"What stuff?" I know he's making it up and he knows that I know he's lying.
"Er, well, I have...well, there's this research—"
Teddy pulls off Harry's glasses with a wide grin and I am taken aback by the shockingly green of his eyes. I hadn't seen his eyes without glasses in a very long time. I reach out and take the glasses from Teddy, while Harry sets him down on the floor, where he toddles away toward his pile of toys, leaving the two of us in the door.
I lift his glasses to his face, placing the bows over his ears. One of my hands lingers, drifting lower onto his cheek until it cups his jaw. I feel the stiff stubble under my fingers and palm, finding myself wonder what it would be like to feel that stubble on other, more sensitive parts of my body. Harry swallows, drawing my gaze to his Adam's apple and the way that it moves along his neck, making me remember kissing him there many, many times. I swallow in return and if I'm not mistaken, the temperature in the room has just gone up about twenty degrees.
He takes a step forward and covers my hand with his. I know what's going to happen, and I'll be damned if I'm going to stop him from kissing me. I want him to. Badly.
I see the familiar look in his eye, the same one he had when I ran across the Common Room to kiss him. I take a deep breath, trying to calm myself, and hoping I didn't look as desperate as I felt.
Instead, he clears his throat, drops my hand, and steps away from me to go play with Teddy.
Stopping myself from kissing Ginny was one of the hardest things I've done in a few months. I thought I had it all out of my system, that I'd resolved everything and she was nothing more than an old girlfriend. Seeing her again, in those shorts with a ridiculous amount of leg showing, told me differently. I'd not taken the time to try and get to know the 'new Ginny' nor did I let her get to know me again. We'd skipped all that and started having sex again, thinking we could pick up where we left off my sixth year.
As long as I live, I'll never forget those few fumbling times that Ginny and I had in the Room of Requirement, the only place we could truly be alone. It was innocent and loving and something I'll never have again with anyone. I don't regret it, and I hope she doesn't either. But that's all in the past and I've decided to look to the future with or without Ginny.
"Hey, Teddy, whatcha doin'?" I sit down next to him and begin playing with a stuffed unicorn. This is one of the best things about having this little boy in my life—playing with toys. I can lose myself for hours playing with him, enjoying all the stuff I never did when I was younger. I am a professional blanket fort builder and master voice-over artist with a cast of twenty voices in my repertoire. I don't need cheers from crowds or articles in the newspaper. The best payment is Teddy's laughter.
I don't know how long I sit there, playing with his stacking cups, the funny little shaking toys that make annoying noises, or the stuffed toys, but the growling of my stomach tells me I've been there for quite a while.
"I think it's time to get something to eat," I announce as I stand up and encourage Teddy to take my hand and stand up. He gets carried too much, so I always try to get him to walk. I watch with a smile as his rear end points in the air and he stands up, taking my hand. We walk down the hallway to the kitchen, finding Ginny in a completely unexpected domestic scene.
She stands at the cooker, stirring something and humming a random tune. I should have said something, but I'm too enthralled by the way she shakes her behind to the beat of the tune.
"Pfftbuthada," Teddy mumbles, making Ginny jump and turn around, wooden spoon brandished like a wand. She looks amazing.
"Bloody hell," she swears.
"Watch the language around the baby, Weasley," I admonish with what I hope is a teasing tone. I walk over to the table and lift Teddy into his high chair. I busy myself fastening the straps so I don't have to look at her.
"You're not my mother." She spins around and goes back to her task.
With Teddy safely fastened in his seat, I walk over to the cooker and peek into the pot.
"What is that? Chicken? And why are you using the cooker?"
Ginny turns toward me, looking a little annoyed and frustrated. She runs a hand through her hair, pushing it off her forehead.
"Chicken with rice. I think." She pushes her spoon inside; to me, it looks like white mush.
"I think the rice is too far gone to save. You only need to cook it for about thirty minutes."
"Really? Shite. I'll never get this," she growls, tossing the spoon into the sink. "I put it on to cook before you got here."
I have to bite my lips to keep the laughter inside. "Is there any more rice? I can make some new stuff with magic in about ten minutes."
"You can magically cook rice?" Her eyes widen in amazement, almost as if it is the most miraculous thing in the world. "Mum can't do that."
I feel my cheeks warm. "Well, I just...it's not important. I'll take care of dinner. Is there any applesauce for him? He's hungry," I say, indicating Teddy with a quick nod of my head.
I spend the next twenty minutes cooking up rice with red beans and bacon while Ginny feeds Teddy some applesauce that she found in the cupboard. It is clear that she has a way with little ones, even though she doesn't have that much experience with toddlers. I glance over to see Teddy blow a raspberry, sending applesauce flying onto Ginny's face.
"Teddy!" she shrieks.
I can't help it. I burst out in laughter for the first time since breaking up with her.
Hearing Harry laugh like that is music to my ears. He never laughed much when we were together after the war; he'd drawn so far inside himself that it was almost as if he'd forgotten how. That little bit of amusement sets the tone for the rest of the night. We laugh over Teddy's habit of babbling with food in his mouth and the way he changes his hair from black to ginger. He stops once he'd mixed the two, making him look like a calico cat. Once we finish eating and cleaning up, it is another trip to the play park and after an hour and a half, Harry carries a very tired Teddy Lupin home.
"Does he need a bath?" I ask when we return. "Cause if he does, you'll have to do it. The last baby I bathed was my baby doll when I was five."
"Lucky baby," he mutters with a half-smile.
"Harry Potter, are you flirting with me?"
"You mean you can't tell?" And with that remark, he takes Teddy into his room, leaving me standing with my mouth open and my heart thumping in my chest.
Once I'm sure Harry is safely inside Teddy's room, I fling myself onto the sofa with my arm over my face. What the hell is going on with me? When I first saw him today, I was openly hostile. Then I started to melt, seeing him interact with a baby and practically begging him to kiss me. And finally, I acted all flustered when he was openly flirting with me. Honestly, I thought I was all over him. I finished school, helped Gryffindor win the Quidditch Cup, and was scouted and signed by the Holyhead Harpies. I even dated other boys, well, one other boy, but it really didn't last long because well...oh crap.
I bolt up into a sitting position and swear again. Why didn't it hit me before now? Why did it take being in the same house as him to make me realise that I still care about him? Everything I thought I'd done to make myself think I was over him was a joke; all it did was to delay the inevitable when Harry and I would find ourselves in a situation where we had to get along.
This feels like a set up. And I just know Harry was in on it.
"Damn you, Harry!" I bellow as I slap the sofa cushion.
"Shhh!! I just got him down," Harry says in a harsh whisper, entering the sitting room. "And what, may I ask, did I do?" He stands over me with his arms crossed over his chest. I have to tamp down the appreciation of his arms as they lay against him.
I'm about ready to yell at him, but then decide to change tactics. If he wants to see how I play, I'll go along. But only just for a little bit.
"I know what you're trying to do," I say, standing up next to him. I can almost feel his breath on my face.
"Oh-kay. As long as one of us knows." He steps back and gives me a half-smile. His eyes travel up and down, almost as if he is taking appraisal of me. "But really, I should go home. This is getting a little awkward."
"Awkward? I don't think so. I think this is exactly what you wanted to have happen." I put a hand on his chest and push him against the wall. "You mean, you didn't want this to happen?" I stand on my tip toes and kiss him on the cheek. The rough stubble that I had touched earlier feels as amazing as I remember. My lips move the path from earlier, heading down his cheek and along his chin before moving up to his ear. I lick his ear and swirl my tongue around the shell, earning a deep moan.
Knowing that he is softening, becoming putty in my hands, I bring my mouth to his pulse point and place my lips there, kissing him softly. Merlin, he tastes and smells the same as he always has. My heart quickens and I continue to kiss my way down his neck until I reach the neckline of his t-shirt. I breathe in the faint scent of his laundry soap, realising it is the same one my mother uses, and then hiss when I feel his hand move to my hip, with the thumb stroking the skin above the waistband of my shorts. He moves his head and rubs his cheek against my hair, the gesture feeling more intimate than anything I've felt in a long time. We stand there, taking in the feel and scent of being this close again. A tightness spreads through my belly and down into my groin; I can even feel my nipples tighten.
Harry moves his face and ever so slowly, he brings our lips together. I can't help my response. I move my lips against his in a remembered rhythm. He tastes so good, like apples and honey. I open my mouth to him, inviting him inside. He takes up my offer and his tongue dances along mine. I savour the texture of his tongue, not wanting this end. I was stupid to let him go the way I had.
I gasp against him as he pulls me close. I feel safe and secure in his arms. Desire makes me move my hips against his, making me feel the hardness there under his jeans. His hands rest on my backside before massaging my buttocks with squeezes and circular rubs.
Her name comes out like a prayer. I miss her, I realise, and the way she is offering herself is too good to be true. There has to be a catch.
Reluctantly, I pull my mouth from hers. Her mouth is slightly open and her eyes are still closed. She looks good enough to eat and for a moment, I consider kissing her again. But as she would say, my noble nature doesn't allow me to accept what she is so openly offering.
"Gin, stop. This isn't right." I nearly choke on my words, watching her eyes focus on me and then narrow.
"What do you mean? Isn't this what you wanted? You planned all this, I know it!" She pushes against my chest, knocking the wind out of me. "You knew I'd be here!"
I cough, catching my breath, and stare at her. "What are you talking about? I haven't had time to plan a trip to the market in the last six months, let alone plan getting Andromeda out of the house and asking her to get you over here!" I grab her by the shoulders and spin her around, switching places with her. I stand over her with my hands on the wall. "The only time I've had to think about you was to realise how stupid I was to walk away from you!"
She scowls at me again. "You did set this up. Just admit it, Harry!" Ginny shoves me in the middle of the chest again.
"I don't know who you're thinking of, but do you honestly think I have it in me to think of something like this?" I feel anger bubble up inside of me and I fight to maintain control. "I'm not some damned Slytherin, using underhanded tactics to get what I want. I thought you would have remembered I prefer taking action!"
I put my hands on her cheeks and lean forward, pulling her toward me. I kiss her hard, crashing our teeth together. I don't care and kiss her all the harder. I plunge my tongue into her mouth, chasing hers around the inside of her mouth. When I finally catch it, like an elusive Snitch, I suck on it hard, drawing it into my mouth. The only things moving are our mouths and tongues. She tastes amazing, like the Butterbeer we had with dinner. I can't get enough of the intoxicating flavour and essence of Ginny.
A gentle sigh escapes her mouth as we kiss, and I feel her relax against me. Ginny slips her arms around my neck and I step forward, closing the distance between us to press her back along the wall. A surge of boldness rushes through me and I grind my hips against hers, sending a jolt of overwhelming energy up through my cock. My left leg slips between hers and she begins grinding against it in earnest. Just the feel of her denim-clad pussy is almost enough to make me explode.
Without asking permission, I slide one hand down to her shorts and, with dexterity I never knew I possessed, I open the button and zip, sliding my hand inside her knickers. Merlin, I can smell her. I take a deep breath to try to maintain control over my faculties, which is becoming more and more difficult when she starts mewing in pleasure. My fingertips graze her clit and she bites down on my tongue while she screams. I tear my mouth from hers.
"What was that all about?"
"Baby...next room...quiet," she pants. "You need...help?" Ginny reaches down with both hands and frees me from my denim prison; my cock springs eagerly into her hands and within three squeezes and four pulls, I spurt onto her hand.
My breathing comes in ragged, shallow pants, just like it did when we use to do it fast and hard in the bathroom of The Burrow. Just thinking of those times makes me harden all over again. She squeezes my cock and I groan.
"Want me to stop?" she asks before nibbling on my earlobe.
"N-n-no," I answer in a soft whisper. "Too long."
"Too long since what?"
She gives a husky chuckle that is perhaps the sexiest sound on earth, making my eyes roll back into my head. I slump forward, resting my head on the wall.
"When was the last time you wanked?"
"What do you think I was doing in the loo during supper?" It was true. She looked so bloody beautiful in the kitchen with the sunlight hitting her hair just so, making it shine like bright copper. Her eyes were so bright and the way she looked at me brought all the old feelings back. I had excused myself from the table and made a bee-line for the loo, bringing myself off to the image of her smiling at my wearing nothing but that toothy grin.
"Well then, we should remedy that situation," she says calmly before sliding my jeans and boxers down past my knees.
Oh fuck, I've really done it now. I'm staring at Harry's cock standing at attention and all I can think of is taking him into my mouth and savouring the taste of him. But my body aches, wanting me to take all of him inside me, taking whatever he will give me and to hell with the consequences.
I stand up and focus on the way he's biting his bottom lip, something I've always thought was quirky and strangely attractive. My eyes move to his chin and the sprinkling of stubble that's coming out. I placed my lips on the little cleft and kiss, enjoying the sandpaper texture of it. Merlin, everything about him feels more erotic than I had ever imagined. I know at that moment that I am a goner, doomed or blessed to love him forever.
Harry puts his hands on my cheeks, pulling me closer to him and kissing me softly, almost tentatively, the way he used to when we were at Hogwarts. The kisses back then were full of emotion and told me more than his words could ever relay. I remember how Harry would kiss me like that, when Ron was out of sight, and he felt bolder in his touches and press himself closer against me.
I sigh and kiss him back with a renewed abandon while my hands busy themselves with the fly and zip of my jeans. His hand slides down, pushing my clothes away. I thrust my hips forward and gasp when his cock and pubic hair touch my hot skin.
"Please, Harry," I mutter into his mouth. "I can't take anymore teasing."
He stops kissing me and his eyes are black with only a tiny rim of green. He wants it, too. He lifts a hand and mouths the word Muffliato, giving us license to make all the noise we want and not wake Teddy. We never, ever, fucked in silence.
Without a word to ask my permission, Harry's hands go to my arse. He lifts me up a bit and I wrap my legs around him. Oh hell, I used to love it when he would take me against the wall. I savour the feel of our hot skin pressed together before I grasp his cock and move it just outside the slick entrance of my pussy. He pulses slightly in my hand.
"We really should talk," he hisses before kissing me again.
"Later," I whisper as he hurls his hips against me, sending his cock deep inside me, and my head bangs against the wall. I squeeze my thighs tighter to hold him there. I need to hold onto this moment since I have no idea whether this will happen again. My arms move round his neck and we kiss again, harder this time, with tongues and teeth.
"Missed you. I'm stupid," he pants.
"Less talking, more fucking!"
He growls in answer, thrusting against me hard and making thumping noises on the wall. He touches my clit and new sparks of pleasure rip through me. I scream into his mouth as an orgasm swirls around inside me. He moves himself in and out of me as I flutter around him. I give my muscles a squeeze and he groans again. Our hips slam against each other and I feel another orgasm build up inside of me. I'd forgotten how good it was with him.
Harry shifts himself and my head hits the wall again. With each movement of his hips, he strokes in and out easily and guttural noises come from both of us. He stops kissing me and moves his mouth to my neck, licking and sucking his way down to my shoulder.
He says something I can't make out from deep inside his throat. With a loud bellow, he holds me against the wall with his hips, his release coming in short, quick bursts as my own makes me scream in unmitigated pleasure. We pant and stand there for a long time, feeling hot breath on our skin and the joy of being this close once again.
I quietly sit on the bed after getting Teddy settled back down. He'd woken up and started to cry; I quickly ran to him, not wanting to wake up Ginny. After a nappy change and a little bouncing, he'd gone right back to sleep. Pulling back the blankets on the bed in the spare room, I'm confronted with the amazing sight of her naked body. I swear silently and I shimmy next to her, cradling her head against my shoulder.
"Mmm," she mutters, snuggling closer to me, bringing my cock to attention again.
I focus my eyes on her face, keeping watch over her as she sleeps. Her eyelashes are pale against her skin and her freckles nearly glow in the moonlight. I can't help myself and place a kiss on her nose, which she immediately wrinkles. We never actually slept in the same bed more than once in the past. There were only a handful of times where she'd stay with me at Grimmauld Place, so I decide to savour the moment. I truly am amazed by the feel and weight of her body against mine, but I know that after the amazing sex against the wall and the slow, drawn out exploration afterward here in the bedroom, there is much that needs to be worked out between us if this is going to be something more than a leg over. I definitely don't want that.
My hand slides down her arm to her hand, and I lace my fingers with hers. I stroke the skin of her hand, taking in the silky smoothness of it against the roughness of my callused thumb. I realize that I'm holding her left hand and give it a turn, looking at her ring finger. At one time in my recent past, I'd thought of putting a ring there, hoping to have the family I was deprived of by fate. I know now that merely marrying someone doesn't give you a family; it takes commitment, hard work, and compromise. It also takes honesty and I know I was never completely honest with her. I owe her that much.
"Hey," she whispers, scooting closer to me, nearly rolling onto my leg. Her hand moves to my chest but I grab her wrist and move it away and Ginny gives me a look of utter hurt.
"I said before that we need to talk. Before this goes anywhere else, I need to tell you everything." I stare at her and watch her let out her breath in a heavy sigh. "I swear on Dumbledore's grave that I won't leave anything out."
"Okay. You know you can tell me anything. You always could," she reassures me. With a gentle smile, she sits up, gathers the sheet around her chest, and sits back against the headboard. "You just chose not to tell me."
"I'm sorry." I mirror her sitting position and turn toward her.
"Stop apologizing, Harry. Just go ahead. What happened after you left the wedding? Where'd you go?"
She knows this part, but I guess the beginning's a good place to start.
"London. Stopped at a cafe and Hermione ordered cappuccino while I sat under my Invisibility Cloak. Ron didn't like the coffee and spat it out. Death Eaters followed us and we duelled. Then we went to Grimmauld Place."
Ginny nods. "And that's when you found out about Regulus. Kreacher told you about him."
"Hermione was always right. We should have treated him better before," I say offhandedly.
"But it worked. He and Dobby found Dung and brought him back," she adds.
I close my eyes and chuckle. "Are you telling this or am I?"
"Go ahead." Ginny takes my hand, sending me encouragement with a touch. This strengthens my resolve.
"We made a plan to break into the Ministry." I tell her all about being Albert Runcorn and how Ron was nearly Splinched. She learns about the necklace and the things it did to her brother, and how and why he left Hermione and me.
"...and the necklace tried to keep me under the ice. If Ron hadn't pulled me out, I would have died." I pause for a moment and look at her. Her eyes are full of tears but she doesn't cry. She's trying to be strong for me and I don't like it. I'm supposed to be the strong one.
"Keep going, Harry," she says as two tears slide down her cheek. "It's just me. You're just talking to me, just telling me a story."
With a sigh, I close my eyes and continue. It pours out of me like water from a pump. I can't stop. I don't stop after our near capture at Luna's house. I keep going and tell her everything—Malfoy Manor, Dobby, the bank, and the dragon. I feel detached from my body when I tell her about the battle at Hogwarts, as if I'm watching it all over again from a new perspective. My voice breaks for the first time when I get to the forest right before Voldemort tried to kill me and all I could think about was kissing Ginny.
I open my eyes and my vision is blurred; I'm crying and didn't realize it. I wipe my eyes and try to turn away, embarrassed. Ginny grabs my chin and turns my face toward her.
"Me? You were going to die, and you thought about me?" She cries big fat tears and all I can do is pull her to me.
"You were...amazing...fighting Bellatrix," I say through my own tears. "I thought I'd lose you when she..." I stop and pull back, looking her straight in the eye. "I couldn't let her kill you when just the thought of you is what kept me going." I rub the heel of my hand against my eyes, somewhere between embarrassment and relief at finally telling her all this. "You saved me."
"Oh, Harry, it's about time you realize you are worth saving."
I lean forward and kiss him, softly and tenderly this time, with no urgency and no inclination of passion. What he just admitted to me strikes a chord deep inside me, telling me, in whatever indirect way that is most certainly Harry, that he loves me. I wouldn't have been surprised if he'd said that he thought of Ron or Hermione in that moment standing before Voldemort. Or his parents, Sirius, or any one of the people that he'd cared about and lost. But he thought of me. And that made all the difference.
"Don't say you're not worth it," I say when he opens his mouth to say something. "I fought all year to keep reminding people that you were our best chance. I was ready to fight that bitch to the death if it meant I'd be with you again in some sort of beyond."
He moves away from me and sits at the end of the bed, a worried look on his face. "I never thanked you for that. For being on my side."
That is the last thing I expect him to say. "You're welcome. But it wasn't a choice. I knew I had to do something. It was the only way I felt close to you," I say, calming down on the inside. "I took my lumps with everyone else and didn't back down. You wouldn't have if you were there, either."
Harry sighs and runs a hand through his hair. I know he's battling something inside his head. He bites his bottom lip and clenches his jaw; he's trying to think of something to say. I know enough not to push him. When I did in the past, it only got us into an argument, which is the last thing either one of us needs right now.
When he finally looks at me again, it's with a plaintive look; his eyes are wide, yet he's scrunching his eyebrows together. I really wish he'd ask what's on his mind, but I have a feeling I know what it is.
"You want to know what happened to me. At school. When you weren't there." He nods. "It's about time I tell you, I reckon." I take a deep breath and lean over the bed to grab my wand off the floor. "But I think it'll be easier to show you." I wave my wand and remove the glamour charm that I've cast on myself ever since that day, dropping the sheet from my body. I instinctively cover my breasts.
Deep scars reveal themselves along my shoulders and neck, and finally, the one around my middle stripes my stomach. His eyes widen.
"Why didn't you show me before?" He scoots closer to kneel in front me, taking my hands away from my chest.
I look at a crack in the plaster because I can't look at him. "Because I knew you'd blame yourself or say that I wasn't careful enough. Whenever we tried to talk about it, you made me feel weak and stupid."
"I'm sorry. I was...we were both hurting." He moves one hand to my belly. "What happened here?" A finger moves along the scar that winds its way from my belly button and up between my breasts.
I take a deep breath, calming myself against the pain of the memory. "Goyle. And Sectumsempra."
I hear him swallow before he leans forward and places a kiss along the puckered skin. "I remember when you let me touch you there the first time. I was amazed by how soft your skin was. It still is." His lips move along the scar and when reaches the valley between my breasts, he stops. "Don't hide it from me anymore."
He lifts his head and turns my face to his. The first thing I notice are his eyes, so full of worry yet invoking so much love that it takes my breath away.
"Good. And your shoulders?" He kisses my left shoulder, continuing along the ribbon of tissue to the other.
"Incarcerous. The ropes were pulled so tight that they cut my skin before I kicked Amycus in the balls and they fell away," I tell him, chuckling just a bit. "I swear he walked with a limp for days."
Harry smiles, but it doesn't quite reach his eyes. "You have beautiful shoulders, Ginny. I've always thought so." His voice is deep and rich, making my insides churn a little.
"I don't like to show them," I admit, feeling my face warm with embarrassment.
"You have nothing to be ashamed of," he says calmly. "And your neck. Bill told me about that one."
My mouth opens, and I start to panic. "What? When did he tell you?"
Harry moves to the side to sit next to me, dipping the mattress under his weight. "May. He mentioned something about his scars and that you had one that matched his. He thought I knew."
"He'll hear from me about that," I mutter, this time earning a real chuckle from him.
"I'm sure he will. But he didn't tell me how you got it. It wasn't Greyback, was it?"
My heart sinks at the thought of him carrying that worry. "No, no, I swear. It wasn't him."
"Thank God," he whispers, and I can feel the anxiety leave his body as he exhales.
"Actually, that story is sort of funny. Neville and I were messing around in the Common Room and running through some duelling moves. We weren't casting the spells or anything, just working on handling our wands," I explain. "Seamus walked in the room and made a comment about how it looked rather sexy like some sort of foreplay going on. Neville got flustered and his wand dropped with some purple sparks, which, well, caught me on the side of the neck."
"That's not funny." His voice is hard. "He could have really hurt you, Ginny."
Oh no, I can feel the anger start inside him again. He'll blame himself for not being there and us having to practice things like that.
"It was an accident, Harry," I say with clenched teeth. "It was no one's fault and I healed just fine. Neville apologizes every time he sees it. That's why I hide it." My hand goes to my neck unconsciously before gathering the sheet around me again. "If you say anything about it being your fault, I swear I will leave and never talk to you again. Trust me, it's fine."
I watch him close his eyes as he attempts to calm himself. His lips move, but he says nothing, some sort of coping skill he must have picked up in the last few months. He puts his fingertips together, the way Dumbledore used to do, and takes a few deep breaths. He looks wise beyond his years when he finally looks up at me.
"I'm sorry. I was...surprised," I said, almost as if it pained him to do so. "There's so much that I feel...responsible for and you're at the top of my list."
"You feel responsible for me?" I spit back at him. "You're not my brother, my father, or anything at the moment!" I throw back the sheets, jump off the bed, grab my t-shirt off the floor, and pull it over my head. "I've only wanted you to love me, Harry, but I don't think you know how!" I grab a clean pair of knickers from my rucksack and step into them. "The only person you love is Teddy so I'm going to leave." I wave my wand and everything packs itself into my bag. I grab a pair of jeans and put them on, not bothering with shoes. Footwear isn't necessary to Apparate.
I take one last look at him before leaving and, to my surprise, he springs off the bed and grabs me around the waist. My bag falls to the floor with a 'thunk' and my wand clatters to the floor. Shit, he's disarmed me.
"Let me go, Harry," I say through gritted teeth.
"No. You're going to hear me out and I don't care if you like it or not. I won't let you out of my life again!"
The tone of his voice shocks me. It reminds of when we were in Dumbledore's Army and he was giving instructions and in control. It was damn sexy then and it still is. Part of me wants him to try to be the boss; that scares me a bit. I always thought I was too independent for something like that.
Harry puts his hand on my chin and turns my face toward his. His expression is serious. "You don't think I know what love is? Love, to me, is wanting to put your life on the line for someone because you don't want them harmed. Love means you accept them no matter what and don't let people step all over them. Love means that when you let someone go and by some miracle they come back, you hold onto it for dear life." He takes a deep breath and clears his throat. "I've had people put their lives on the line for me and I've done the same. I willingly went to my death thinking about you. My best friends never doubted me and went with me when I needed them, leaving their families behind."
I bite my lip to keep myself from sobbing. I try to look away, but he squeezes me tighter against him before continuing. "I left you at the river and by some miracle or twist of fate, you're here with me again and I'll be damned if I'm going to let you go again.
"I love you, Ginny. I know what's important in life and I want it with you. I...no, we messed it up before because we didn't talk about things. You know everything, there's not a thing I've left out, not a thing that was glossed over, and I've laid myself out there for you. I'm sorry I got upset about the scar on your neck, but that's because the thought of you in harm's way makes me crazy inside. I know you can take care of yourself because I've seen you do it. You amaze me and I'm in awe of your magic. It sends shivers up my spine.
"I want that sort of amazing magic next to me, to back me up in any fight and to help me when I get knocked down. I missed all of you and felt like part of me was cut off and thrown away. Last night, I felt it come back and I'll be damned if I'll let it go again. I can't promise things will be perfect, Gin, but damn it, you're perfect for me."
Harry lets me go and I slide down his front to the floor, realizing that he's only wearing boxer shorts. While I'd normally pounce on him and go back to bed, it's not what he needs right now. He needs me to tell him I'll be around for him.
"That was what I was missing before. The fire. The self-assuredness I found dead sexy when I was only fifteen," I say softly. "I don't know why you lost it, but I'll help you keep it for as long as you want me to, Harry."
I lean forward and meet his lips. The kiss is gentle, like last night. His hand moves to my cheek and his thumb wipes away a tear. He pulls away and rests his forehead on mine. When I look up, the worried expression is gone and his face is relaxed, with a mischievous glint in his eye.
"Are you asking me to marry you?" he asks with a chuckle, and I snort with laughter.
"No," I say bluntly. "I may be a modern woman, but that's still your job." I kiss his chin. "But not for a while, okay? I want to get to know you all over again." I run my hand down his back, feeling him shiver. I finally reach his arse and stop. "And I mean all." I squeeze his arse. "Over." I reach around to his cock and touch the tip, feeling it jump at my touch. "Again."
His face lights up. "With pleasure."