In the NightAuthor: bandcandyBeta:
the always fabulous rhetoreticianRating:
Harry returns to the Burrow for Christmas and he and Ginny come to a very important understanding.Warnings:
mild sexual contentDisclaimer:
I'm not Jo, never have been.Author's Notes:
Sorry this is so late; I've had a very big block probably due to holiday stress. I certainly hope the requestor likes it!
On December twenty-fourth, three figures in heavy black cloaks Apparated to The Burrow. Harry and Hermione were insistent that Ron spend Christmas with his family, and truth be told, all three of them needed a break from hunting Horcruxes. Months of moving from inn to inn, passing as Muggles, evading or defeating dark traps laid by Voldemort, and spending hours upon hours in old libraries had stretched the three friends almost to the breaking point.
Molly Weasley pulled each of them into an enormous hug as she greeted them inside the kitchen. “I was so happy to get your owl! I’ve missed you all so much!”
“We’re glad to be here, Mrs. Weasley. Thank you for taking us in,” Harry said as he pulled away from her.
Mrs. Weasley waved a hand dismissively. “Of course I’d take you in. I’m just so glad you’re all safe. Now take those cloaks off and have some tea.”
Harry doffed his cloak and peered up the stairs as he hung it on its peg. He was pleasantly surprised to find the particular Weasley he was hoping to see looking back at him from the first landing. He turned to her, hoping that she wasn’t angry with him for leaving, for breaking up with her to protect her from the dangers he faced. Her warm smile as she descended the stairs made the creature in his chest sniff the air hopefully. He smiled back, trying desperately to keep the intense longing he felt for her from showing on his face.
“Er, hi, Ginny,” he finally choked out past the lump in his throat.
“Hi, Harry,” was her neutral response.
They stared at each other with noncommittal smiles on their faces for several long seconds before Harry broke. He crossed the room toward where she was standing only to realize that she’d moved toward him at the same time. They met at the bottom of the stairs and flung their arms around each other, murmuring “I missed you,” simultaneously. Realizing what had just happened, they both chuckled softly. Wordlessly, Ginny grasped Harry’s hand in hers and led him up the stairs to her bedroom, closing the door behind her and casting locking and silencing charms in rapid succession. As soon as she turned from the door, she was back in Harry’s arms and he buried his nose in her hair, inhaling deeply the flowery scent he’d dreamt about on so many lonely nights.
“You’re not forgiven, you know,” Ginny muttered into his chest.
“I’m so sorry, Gin. I know I shouldn’t have left like that.” Harry squeezed her tightly.
“Too right, that. Do you have any idea how worried I’ve been about you since then?” Ginny’s voice trembled slightly.
Harry cleared his throat. “It was easier to just leave a letter.”
She pulled away from him slightly, and looked into his eyes. “Don’t ever do that to me again, Harry. To just wake up and find all three of you gone was terrible. It might have been easier for you that way, but how do you think Mum felt? How do you think I felt? That you would sneak away like that…”
Harry led her over to the bed and sat down beside her. “I am really sorry about that, Ginny. It’s been eating me up since we left. I never meant to hurt you. Or your mum. Ron was worried that if we told anyone that we were leaving, they wouldn’t let us go. And I agreed, not because of that, but because, well…” he trailed off and looked down at his trainers. Bracing himself to continue, he admitted, “Because I didn’t think I could walk away from you a second time.”
Ginny placed her hand under his chin and turned his face to hers, “Then don’t walk away again.”
He shook his head, “I didn’t want to, Gin, believe me. But what we’re doing, it’s so dangerous, and it needs to be kept secret so that Voldemort can’t find out.”
“Then take me with you. Let me help.”
Harry stared at her for a long moment, disbelieving what he’d just heard. “Take you with us? Gin, you’re not of age…”
“Sod being of age! I wasn’t of age when Riddle used me to try to kill people! You weren’t of age when you got kidnapped to that graveyard! None of us were of age when we went off to the Ministry! Terrible things are happening everywhere, Harry, and my age doesn’t have a bloody thing to do with whether or not terrible things can happen to me, or you, or anyone else.” Her face was flushed and her eyes were blazing. Harry thought that she’d never looked more beautiful, and he reached up to caress her cheek with his fingers. He leaned in and, hoping she wouldn’t hex him for it, kissed her gently. The creature in his chest purred contentedly as she stepped closer. He held her against his chest and stroked her hair absently.
“Your Mum would kill us both,” he mumbled.
“Most likely, but she’d have to find us first,” Ginny giggled.
“It’s so dangerous, Gin, even knowing what we’re doing is dangerous.”
She sighed against him, “The whole world is dangerous right now, Harry. Every week at school someone else gets word that their family members have been attacked.”
Harry nodded reluctantly. He scooted back against the headboard and gestured for Ginny to join him. She sat between his legs, resting her head against his chest, and he wrapped his arms around her in a protective embrace. “You’re right, Gin. But you can’t tell anyone.”
She smiled and ran her hands down his forearms. “Who would I tell, Harry? You’re taking me with you.”
He sighed. “That’s not decided yet. But there may be ways you can help us from Hogwarts if you know what we’re doing. Can I tell you now, and think about the part where you’re going with us?”
She agreed, and Harry began to weave the tale of young Tom Riddle and his quest for immortality. When he got to the part about the diary being a Horcrux, she gasped in horror. “I had a piece of his soul?” she whispered.
Harry nodded. “It’s gone now, though, Gin. Nothing to worry about anymore.” He kissed the top of her head and squeezed her reassuringly.
“Yeah. It just adds another bloody wrinkle to that whole mess,” she sighed.
He finished his story with a summary of the work they’d done so far. “So the diary’s gone, the ring, the locket, and the cup. All that’s left is whatever item of Ravenclaw is out there, and the snake. Nagini will probably have to be taken care of at the same time as Voldemort himself.”
They sat in silence for a few minutes before Ginny spoke up. “So, Ron and Hermione are a couple now or what?”
Harry laughed. “After Bill and Fleur’s wedding, you have to ask? Don’t tell your Mum this, but about a month after we set out we had a slight roommate adjustment.”
“They’re not!” Ginny gasped. “I never would have thought Hermione would go for that!”
Harry chuckled. “As she informed me the morning after I found myself locked out of the room I shared with Ron, it’s ‘part of the logical progression of an adult relationship.’”
“I bet Ron loved that,” Ginny snorted.
Harry got wistful. “They’re really good together, though. They don’t bicker nearly so much anymore, and they work things out pretty quickly when they do.” He toyed with a strand of Ginny’s hair as he continued, “Seeing them together made me miss you that much more. They were trying to avoid making me feel bad, but just being around them, the way they are together, reminded me of us.”
Ginny turned around and sat on her knees between Harry’s legs, wrapping her arms around him. “I dreamed of you almost every night.” Her breath was hot against his neck and he found himself pulling her against him.
“Me too,” he admitted as his lips met the skin of her collarbone. He slowly worked his way up her neck, whispering into her ear, “I’m so sorry. I missed you so much. Please forgive me.” Their hands were buried in each other’s hair as their lips met.
Between kisses, Ginny panted, “You’re forgiven,” before opening her mouth to his again.
Harry lost all sense of time as he and Ginny explored each other as they had at Hogwarts, reclaiming each other in the best way they knew how.
Lying beside each other, clothes distinctly disheveled, Harry decided that it was time to take one more step.
“Mmhmm?” she responded, tracing her finger down his now-exposed chest.
“I did a lot of thinking when we were out there.” He ran his thumb down her cheek and she smiled softly at him.
“All I could think about for days was that something terrible could happen to me and I never got to –“ He stopped short and looked away from her.
Ginny peered at him expectantly. “You never got to what, Harry?”
He took a deep breath and steeled himself. Staring up at the ceiling, he said, “I never got to tell you –“ He looked back down and met her eyes. “I never let you know that I love you.”
Ginny gasped and her hand flew to her mouth, but her expression immediately softened and she leaned her forehead against his. “You know that I love you, right, Harry? I never said it when we were together before because I didn’t want you to feel, well, obligated
to say it to me.”
He nodded slightly. “I’ve loved you since then, Gin: I just didn’t realize it. But that’s why I broke things off – because I love you so much it, well, it scares me. The idea of you getting hurt or worse because of me, it just paralyzes me with fear at times. That’s much of the reason I don’t know if it’s a good idea for you to come with us. Any fight we got into, I’d be more worried about keeping you safe than fighting for myself.”
Ginny sighed. “Don’t you think I feel the same way about you? It’s been torture not knowing how you’re doing, if each owl you send will be the last one.”
“I know, Gin. It’s why I didn’t say no immediately. I remember how Sirius was, trapped in that house for a year, and Dumbledore told me it was an awful mistake to keep a strong person locked up when there was a fight going on. Just let me think about it, and we’ll talk later.” He leaned in and kissed her again, savoring everything about her that he’d missed for so long. “Do you think your mum would mind if we just stayed up here for a while?”
Ginny’s eyes took on that look he remembered from the common room. “I don’t care if she does mind. Let Hermione and Ron keep her busy.”
She nestled into the crook of his shoulder as he kicked off his shoes and sent them tumbling to the floor.
“School isn’t the same without you there. I’m lonely without you and Ron and Hermione,” she mused.
“I miss it.” He entwined his fingers with hers. “I miss you.”
She slipped his shirt off of his shoulders and he panicked momentarily. “Gin, I –”
“Shh, Harry. Show me that you love me,” she whispered into his ear. The creature in his chest roared in approval.
Christmas morning dawned bright and clear and Harry was surprised to find himself waking with Ginny curled against his side, his arm around her protectively. When Harry looked down at the foot of the bed, he was even more surprised to find that both Ginny’s presents and his own had been left there, presumably by Mr. and Mrs. Weasley. This was worth coming back for
, Harry mused, and his mind was made up. Whatever else he was capable of, he wasn’t capable of walking away from the beautiful girl breathing softly on his chest.
On January first, four figures in heavy black cloaks Disapparated from The Burrow.
Briefly describe what you'd like to receive:
Harry and Ginny reuniting and coming to terms with their feelingsPreferred Rating:
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no BDSM, voyeurism, no rough sex, no Snape, no MalfoyThank you for participating in the Winter Exchange! Happy Holidays!