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Chapter 13: In your arms
Ginny wiped her hands dry on the cloth by the sink and shot a wayward glace at Tonks who had taken to rocking excitedly from the heel to the ball of her feet, hair changing from pink to purple to bright yellow as she did so.
“I still don’t understand why you don’t go and talk to him right now,” she said with a smirk. “Surprise him at work or something.”
Tonks’ smile wavered. “No, I couldn’t do that to him.” She shook her head at the idea. “He’s coming over to see Harry anyway, so the logical thing would be to just stay put.”
Ginny’s eyes saddened. “You’re scared of what he’ll say, aren’t you?”
“Am I that obvious?” Tonks said as she went to rest her hands on the counter by the small window that looked out over the beautiful garden in the Potter’s backyard. “He almost had a heart attack when he realised we were kissing the first time.” She smiled and sighed heavily at the same time. “Can you imagine me telling him that I love him?”
“Do you want me to go all reverse psychology on you again?” Ginny asked with a smirk. “Being raised by my mother practically makes you and expert.”
Tonks chuckled softly. “I’m serious, Ginny.”
A moment’s silence passed between them.
“I think – and correct me if I’m wrong – but I think that the prejudice against his kind -”
“What do you mean his kind?” Tonks asked suddenly defensive.
Ginny shook her head. “Would you let me finish my sentence?”
Tonks deflated promptly. “Go ahead – and sorry.”
Ginny shook her head. “I understand, don’t worry about it. Where was I? Oh yes. I think that his kind – meaning werewolves – have been subject to prejudice and ridicule for so long, that he’s kind of learnt to not put his faith in other people -”
“He trusts Sirius and James!” She interjected loudly.
“True, but they can change into animals – judging by Harry’s account – that can defend themselves if need be. You, being an animagus and all, can’t. So his trying to push you away could just be his way of loving you – he doesn’t want to hurt you.”
Tonks crossed her arms and huffed. “They do realise that we are perfectly able to defend ourselves, right?”
Ginny chuckled. “I think men get a kick out of making women feel like we need them – and I have to tell you – I kind of like it.”
Tonks’ expression shifted from glum to sly and prying faster than you could say ‘quidditch’. “So,” she said, drawing the word out into one long sound. “You and Harry, huh?”
Ginny felt her smile widen into the full-fledged grin she’d come to associate with the mention of his name. “I guess so,” she said noncommittally.
“You guess so?” Tonks asked with her eyebrow raised. “You were snogging in front of his father not an hour ago!”
Ginny felt her cheeks brighten up. “We were not snogging -” she cut herself off at the look of disbelief on Tonks’ face. “It was a polite kiss – no more, no less.”
They heard footsteps coming towards the kitchen and they fell silent. Tonks mouthed ‘this conversation isn’t over’ at Ginny, who shook her head as if to say ‘Oh yes it is’.
Lily burst into the kitchen. “Are you girls alright in here? The pudding’s getting cold!” she looked at the young women in front of her. Both had smiles on their faces and were blushing slightly – but not moving. “Well come on, then!” she chuckled as she bustled them out of the kitchen into the living room.
The three men were laughing loudly about something. “And then,” Sirius gasped, “She spilled the contents of the cauldron all over herself!” they burst out laughing again.
Ginny gave an amused smirk at Harry, who was clutching at a stitch in his side. She made to go and sit down beside him, but Lily grabbed her by the wrist and yanked her onto the giant crimson couch beside her and pushed a plate with treacle tart into her hands.
“So, Ginny,” she started as soon as Ginny had taken a bite. “I hear you live next door to our Harry?”
Ginny swallowed the bite of the delicious pudding without having chewed it properly – she almost choked. “That’s right, Mrs Potter,” she cleared her throat and continued.
“He hasn’t been giving you any trouble, has he?” she said conspiratorially as she nudged Ginny in her side.
Ginny looked over at Harry, who looked like he was trying very hard to listen in to their conversation – trying... but failing.
“I think I keep him in check alright, Mrs Potter,” she said lightly, sarcasm evident in her voice.
“Yeah,” Sirius butted in. “Like you kept him in check right in front of his parents’ house?”
The room fell silent for a split second, before everybody started laughing heartily.
Ginny felt her face brighten up immediately. “You weren’t supposed to see that!” she whined.
“Oh, but we did,” James chuckled.
Ginny noticed Harry’s face had taken on a slight blush, but that he was chuckling along with the others. “Alright, you’ve had your fun. Now let her be,” he said with the half-smirk Ginny liked so much.
The group fell easily back into bright conversation. Harry kept looking over at Ginny, who was seated between his mother and Tonks, to see if she was coping, only to be met by her smile – which he returned with a wink every time.
Whilst he was in Hogwarts, he often wondered what it would be like to have a steady girlfriend – well... one your family actually knew about. Sure there’d been Cho back in fourth year, but they hadn’t made it past the initial ‘Meet Lily Potter’, so as he was sitting in his parents’ living room, looking at the most beautiful girl with the most vibrant red hair, he found himself in uncharted waters.
His mother seemed to like her, and his father had all but adopted her over lunch – so now what did he do?
Well, getting through her brother’s wedding two days from now would be a start, he reasoned with himself. Then I’ll ask her to officially be my girlfriend.
Just as he’d made up his mind, green flames burst to life in the fireplace and Remus Lupin stepped out neatly.
The room was quiet, but Remus walked over to Tonks quickly and asked her to talk to him privately, and that they’d be back promptly. Ginny smiled reassuringly at her and she followed him out of the room.
“Uh oh,” Sirius said after they‘d gone.
“What uh oh?” Ginny asked quickly.
“Moony is all curt and articulate,” James said with a frown on his forehead.
“That can only mean bad news,” Lily explained with a sad look on her face.
“Well what are we waiting for?” Harry said quickly and stood up from where he was sitting.
“Do you mean that we should go and spy on someone’s private affairs?” Sirius said in mock horror, and then a smirk broke across his face. “I’d thought we’d lost you for a minute there, pup!”
As if this were the confirmation they’d been waiting for, everybody shot out of their seats and walked quietly towards the kitchen, where Remus and Tonks’ voices were drifting from.
Harry gripped Ginny’s hand in his own after he saw the worried look on her face. “He won’t hurt her, you know,” he tried to assure her. It was clear to him that she was afraid for Tonks’ safety around Moony as soon as he’d come out of the fireplace.
“Don’t be so sure,” she said – concern evident in every word.
Harry felt as if she’d slapped him across the face and he let go of her hand immediately. How can she judge Remus over something that he had no control over? He found himself re-evaluating his feelings toward her – if she couldn’t accept Remus, his family by extension – he couldn’t see a future for them.
She gave him a questioning glance and he shook his head – they’d talk about this later.
The group were now in a small huddle by the entrance to the kitchen, and Remus was speaking softly from the other room.
“...isn’t the life I chose, Dora, you have to see that?” he was pleading.
“Well that doesn’t give you the right to make me live mine the way you want me to!” she shot at him, her voice sounded muffled – she was crying.
Ginny felt her heart give a painful throb at where their conversation could be heading.
“I don’t want you to get hurt -”
“Screw getting hurt in the future, Remus!” she exclaimed loudly. “You’re hurting me now!”
“Good,” he said sadly. “That way you’ll be able to move on without me in your life.”
Harry saw his father wrapping an arm around his mother’s waist as her hands shot up to cover her mouth.
It was quiet but for Tonks’ quiet sniffing in the adjacent room.
“Don’t cry, Dora,” Remus said, sounding as if he were in pain. “It’s for -”
“If you finish that sentence I might kill you, so consider your words carefully,” she interjected.
“Damnit, Dora!” it sounded as if he’d slammed his fists onto a table. “Can’t you see that this is killing me too? Can’t you see that I’m trying to get you to back away because I’m not sure that I’ll be able to for much longer?!”
A deafening silence filled the air. The ticking of a clock could be heard from somewhere in the house.
“Remus,” Tonks said softly. “Remus look at me.”
“I’m sorry for yelling at you,” he said in a tone that was barely audible to the group in the hallway.
“I yelled at you too,” she chuckled. “So you don’t have to apologise.”
The rustling of robes could be heard.
“I’m not, you know,” she said, he voice muffled by what could only be Remus’ robes.
“You’re not what?” he asked.
“Backing away – so stop trying to make me to,” she said with a sigh."I only want to be in your arms."
“Okay,” he said simply.
James looked across his shoulder and indicated that they should make their way back to the living room.
Ginny grabbed onto Harry’s arm and rested her head against his shoulder as they made their way to the other room once again.
After Remus and Tonks came from the kitchen looking very happy and holding hands, Harry had talked to him for a few minutes before mentioning that he and Ginny should probably be going.
So here they were, walking in absolute silence back up the street they’d come from.
Harry felt an unpleasant feeling in his chest and stopped walking immediately. Ginny, who was analysing every aspect of the evening in her head to figure out what she’d done to make Harry this angry at her, only noticed that she was the only one walking anymore a few steps further. She stopped and turned around to face him.
“Harry?” she said after a few silent seconds. His forehead was scrunched up and his lips were pressed into a tight line. “What’s wrong?”
He didn’t answer her question. “That’s my family back there, Ginny,” he said quietly.
“I thought as much,” she chuckled in an attempt to lighten the mood – he was looking at the patch of ground beneath her feet. “What did I do wrong? You haven’t even looked at me since we left your parents’ house -”
“You know that you’re the only girl I’ve ever brought home to meet them?” he cut across her again. “I really like you Ginny -”
“Why do I feel a ‘but’ coming on?” she said, her voice quivering slightly.
“Because of Remus, Ginny!” he exclaimed suddenly, making her jump. “Because of what you think of Remus!”
“Are you serious?” she asked a little taken aback by this.
“Completely!” he shot back. “I can’t make you a part of my family if you don’t accept them!”
“Who said I didn’t accept them?!” she shouted back.
“You did!” he said taking a step towards her. “You were afraid of what he could do to Tonks if they were left alone!”
“I was!” she said, her chest was heaving.
He stepped back again, his hands were balled. “How could you think that?”
“Because she loves him! I was afraid that he’d break her heart, Harry!” her voice broke when she said his name. “Kind of like what you’re doing to me right now.”
His eyes were wide. “Ginny I -”
“No, I’m glad that you thought that,” she said quietly. “I’m not mad at you for thinking it, Harry,”
“I made you cry – you should be mad at me.”
“Well I’m not,” she took his hands into her own. “I want you to know something, though.”
“What’s that?” he asked, looking into her eyes with a guilty expression.
“I would never judge someone based on what other people think,” she said softly. “I was judged my entire life because of my family’s financial status – I know what it’s like, so I wouldn’t do that to someone else.”
He was quiet for a minute before he intertwined his fingers with hers. “You’re brilliant, you know that?”
“Oh, flattery will get you nowhere, Potter,” she said with a small smile.
“Will an ‘I’m sorry’ kiss get me anywhere?” he asked with a grin.
She pretended to think about it for a moment before shrugging. “Couldn’t hurt to try,” she said with mock disinterest.
“Couldn’t hurt to try,” he said in a bad imitation of her voice before pulling her body against his.
A surprised yelp escaped her lips before she grinned at him and wrapped her arms around his neck.
“I really am sorry,” he said seriously as the playfulness dissolved into something a lot more serious.
“I really am waiting for an ‘I’m sorry’ kiss’... just so you know,” she shrugged.
He put one hand under her chin and lifted her lips to his. They met each other softly, passionately. They didn’t fight for dominance like they always did – no, the kiss was so intimate that it made her toes curl and forced him to control himself before things got out of hand.
He pulled back and rested his forehead against hers.
“So,” he started, trying to catch his breath. “Am I forgiven?”
“Hmmm?” was all she could muster at that moment.
He chuckled softly. “I wanted to know if I’m forgiven.”
She sighed contently. “Well, if you continue kissing me like that, I might be able to persuade myself to do so,” she said in a breathy voice.
“If I continue kissing you like that we’d have to be somewhere a little more private than the street I grew up on.”
She chuckled. “And that’s a bad thing?”
“It’s a dangerous thing,” he smiled. “Want to go home?”
“You’re serious?” she asked with her eyes wide.
“Well,” he cleared his throat. “We could always stay in the middle of the street... wait... No! That came out wrong!”
She started laughing.
“I meant that I wanted to take you back to your place -” he said, hitting his head with his fist. “Explaining isn’t helping things,”
She shook her head through the laughter; tears had started rolling down her cheeks.
“Is it such a bad thing?” he asked seriously.
She tried to control herself, but only managed to dial it down to a soft giggle. “Not so much bad as – how’d you put it? – dangerous.” She bit down on the inside of her cheek to keep from dissolving into a fit of giggles again.
He smiled and shook his head in an amused way. “Let’s go,” he said as he grabbed her hand with his.
After they had taken a few steps and Ginny was sure she could control herself, she put her head against his shoulder. He immediately rested his head against hers – making her smile.
“You know what that back there was, right?” she asked seriously.
“Best kiss ever?” he supplied quickly.
She bit her bottom lip. “That too.”
He sighed. “Our first fight,” he said quietly. “Does that mean we’re officially a couple?” He lifted his head from hers to see her reaction.
“Are you asking?” she asked lightly.
“Are you saying yes?” he quipped.
She sighed. “Aren’t we moving a bit... I don’t know... fast?”
“I’ve met your parents, you’ve met mine – I think we’re strapped to the front of a high-speed train – but see thing is?”
“Hmm?” she murmured.
“I think for once in my life – I’m going to put my hands behind my head and enjoy the ride.”
“So...” she prompted.
“Yes, I’m asking.” he said confidently. “You don’t have to say yes now, or even at all. But you should know – I’m not planning on letting you go anytime soon.”
“Even after meeting my crazy, slightly oversized, family?” she asked.
“Especially after meeting your crazy, slightly oversized family.”
“Well then. You’ve got yourself a girlfriend, Mr Potter.”
“Really?” he asked with an excited smile.
“Yup,” she said, mirroring his expression.
“Really really?” he asked again, skipping in his step a little.
“Yes, really really,” she chuckled.
He pulled her into a hug and spun them around.
“YES!!! SHE’S MY GIRLFRIEND!!!” he shouted an old married couple that were taking their dog for a walk.
The very bewildered couple only laughed and shook a very excited Harry’s hand, congratulating him and wishing him the best of luck.
Ginny was smiling broadly when he finally pulled her back into his arms. “You all done harassing your parents’ neighbours?”
“Just about,” he said with a grin, he pecked her on the lips quickly.
“Let’s get out of here,” she whispered in his ear.
He took out his wand, kissed her on the lips again, and twisted into nothingness, leaving with a slight popping sound, leaving Godric’s Hollow exactly the way they entered it – in each other’s arms.
Greetings, fair reader!
I realise that you’ve been kept waiting without any solid date to expect a reply, and I’m sorry about that, but school’s been a serious time killer – I’ll try to keep with the weekly updates, but worst case scenario is a two week waiting period!
So, a big chapter for Remus and Tonks, Harry and Ginny! I’d love to hear your thoughts on things, so please review!!!
Next chapter: The wedding (Finally) and Harry’s broken promise...
Please get reviewing! (What would you like to see more/less of, what would you like to see at the wedding? Some pointers are always welcome!)
So I bid thee farewell, and until next time,