Chapter 43 : Chapter 43 Reunite
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“Gentle, Harry,” he said, taking his hand and moving it away. “You’ll hurt yourself again.”
“Remus?” Harry said quietly, his voice surprisingly strong. He swallowed easily, no longer feeling dehydrated. “What’s going on?”
“You’re safe now, remember?” he answered, coming closer. “We’re looking after you.”
Harry frowned, closing his eyes and trying to think. He was comfortable, that much penetrated his confusion, and after opening his eyes again and looking properly, he realised he was lying in a bed. Remus was there, seated beside him. He was watching him in concern, gently holding his hand.
“Do you want some water?”
Harry nodded slowly, realising that he really did. “Please,” he murmured. Allowing Remus to help him sit up, he flinched, expecting pain that never came. A rush of confusion struck him, and he looked around in search of what he expected to see, but Lucius Malfoy was definitely not there. Remus brought over a glass of water, carefully helping him take a generous sip before removing it. He was saying something, and Harry struggled to pay attention. He watched as Remus measured quantities from three different flasks that sat on the bedside table, pouring them into one glass and adding what appeared to be some sugar. He stirred it using his wand, and brought it towards Harry.
Panicking, Harry tried to lean away, but Remus seemed well prepared for this reaction, and he slowed his actions considerably.
“It’s okay, Harry, he’s not here. He didn’t want to upset you further, so he left.”
“Who?’ Harry asked, still looking at the glass with discontent.
“Do you not remember who brought you these potions?”
Harry shook his head. The last thing he remembered was being held under water.
Remus sighed, pursing his lips uncertainly. “Professor Snape was here,” he began gently. “He helped you…he took you away from the Malfoy’s, and he’s helping you recover.”
“I’m not drinking that,” Harry immediately said in response, shifting even further away. He was surprised again, feeling no pain in his body as he moved. Pulling back the heavy blankets and looking down at himself, he saw that he was dressed only in a pair of loose trousers, one leg rolled up to reveal the wound on his leg. It appeared to be healing well, though it throbbed uncomfortably. His chest too seemed to have been cleaned up, his reopened wounds apparently healing.
“You’ve been drinking this all day,” Remus said, looking at the glass critically. “In fact, I could probably benefit from it also.” Demonstrating that it was safe, he took a sip of it himself, clearly swallowing it.
Harry hesitated. If this was really happening, if this was reality and not a dream, he could trust Remus of all people. “What is it?” he asked.
“Some pain potion, some Strengthening solution, and something to clear the infection.”
“I can’t feel anything,” he said quietly, more to himself than to Remus. He looked to his leg again, suddenly noticing what seemed to be a splint on his left hand.
“No, not yet,” he confirmed. “Severus didn’t want you to be in pain when you awoke.”
“Did you say infection?”
“Yes,” he nodded, indicating to Harry’s leg. “You have a small infection, probably from that injury. You’re very lucky that Severus detected it…he got you out of there as soon as he could when he saw that.”
Harry nodded, not giving any indication that he intended to drink the potions.
“Harry,” Remus prodded, pressing him. “You need to drink this. It will help.”
Reluctantly taking the glass, Harry peered deep into it, not really paying attention to what he was supposed to be doing. At Remus’ prompting he took a sip, and found it to be quite refreshing. He began to sip on it, his eyes focused on his arm and the stiff bandage woven around it.
“What day is it?” he asked between sip, wriggling his fingers. His muscles felt tight, strained with each movement, and so stilled his hand again.
“It’s Friday afternoon,” Remus answered, sitting back in his chair and pressing the tips of his fingers together thoughtfully. “You’ve been here a little over twelve hours, just sleeping.”
“Ginny’s here,” Harry stated thoughtfully, getting halfway through the potion and stopping. He remembered her vaguely…as though it was just a dream.
“Yes, she’s here,” Remus replied with the hint of a smile. “No doubt eavesdropping. She’s supposed to be busy in the garden.”
Harry nodded. That sounded just like her. “Ron and Hermione?” he thought out loud suddenly. The very thought of them seemed foreign, as if they too had existed only in his dreams.
“Are worried sick about you. They came by on Wednesday, they’d been looking for you for days.”
“What did they say?” Harry asked, wondering about the Horcrux. “They’re not still staying at Privet Drive are they?”
“No,” Remus shook his head. “I got the impression they cleared out pretty quickly. They’ve been staying in the tent again…I don’t think they know you’re safe yet. We can’t tell them until they return here.”
“Alright,” Harry said, relieved that they were alright. Suddenly he thought back to something Malfoy had said to him, and trying to keep his voice very casual, he asked “Have you heard from Sirius?”
“Yes, he’s the one who managed to alert Severus. He knows you’re safe now. I expect he’ll be around sooner rather than later,” Remus added.
“Alright,” Harry said again, Remus’ answer not helping to relieve his concern. He would feel better when he saw Sirius for himself.
“Drink the rest, Harry,” Remus prompted him, indicating to the glass he held. “I’ve got some chocolate here, too.”
Taking another few sips, he placed the remainder back on the bedside table, taking a deep breath. Exhausted, he lay back down, not protesting when Remus pulled the blankets back over him. He lay there for a few minutes, trying to wrap his head around the sudden change, but soon drifted back off to sleep. He suspected the potions contained some Sleeping draught, or at least a strong Calming potion, for when he awoke Harry knew he had slept for hours more, completely undisturbed. Remus still sat in the chair beside him, an open book against his chest and his reading glasses slipping down his nose as he too slept.
Allowing himself time to awaken properly, Harry listened to the house around him, waiting to hear voices or movement. He noticed a window across from the bed, and no light shone through the edges of the curtains, and he knew it must be night time by now. Stirring, Harry pushed himself up onto his elbow, looking around the room properly. He couldn’t see much with only light from the bedside table, and his vision without his glasses was sketchy at best. His eyes fell on the remaining potion in the glass, and considered whether or not he ought to drink it. Sitting up properly, he pushed the blankets back and swung his legs over the edge of the bed, accidentally disturbing Remus from his sleep.
“Harry,” he murmured, blinking as he sat up and readjusted his glasses. “Are you alright?”
He nodded slowly, pushing his good hand through his hair. He caught sight of it as he brought it back down to his lap, noting the angry red welts. It was no different to before, he thought to himself, and although they were healing well Harry suspected they might scar over the old ones. In front of him, Remus placed his book on the floor and checked his watch, turning to the potions on the bedside table. Vanishing the remainder of the glass, he remeasured a fresh dose, this time from only two flasks. Adding some sugar again, he stirred it well before passing it to Harry.
“There’s no pain solution in this dose,” he explained to Harry. “It means you won’t feel as drowsy, but the discomfort will come back with time. Tell me if it gets too much, alright?”
Harry nodded in agreement, but knew he wouldn’t say a thing. He didn’t want to be constantly drugged up, even if it meant feeling the full extent of his injuries. He sipped on the potion, and to his surprise he finished it quickly. Taking the glass from him, Remus placed it on the table and opened a packet of Original Honeydukes chocolate, breaking off a line and passing it to Harry. As soon as he took it in his hands, Harry had to fight back a brief bout of nausea, and he nearly dropped the chocolate onto the floor. Breathing slowly, he forced himself to eat a piece, but it was all he could manage, his stomach rolling from the taste alone.
Remus didn’t press him to continue, sensing Harry’s discomfort, and he took back the remaining pieces, disappointed that Harry didn’t feel well enough. Feeling slightly better now, Harry rolled his neck and shrugged his shoulders, itching to get to his feet, but wondered if he could manage it.
“Here,” Remus said, standing up and taking Harry by the arm. “You’ll be stronger than you feel.”
Trusting him, Harry allowed him to help him to his feet, surprised by his own strength. He felt quite steady on his feet, though he definitely favoured his left leg over his right as they began to walk around the bed.
“Would you like something to eat?” Remus pressed, leading Harry out into the hallway.
The house was quiet, much to Harry’s disappointment, but a moment later he knew it was for the better. He didn’t quite feel like being around people at the moment, even Ginny. Considering Remus’ offer, Harry shook his head. He didn’t think he could stomach anything at the moment. “I could really use a shower,” he muttered in request, his skin feeling gritty and yuck. Though he appeared he had been cleaned up somewhat, he relished the thought of standing under a stream of hot water. “Please,” he added.
“Of course,” Remus said, acquiescing straight away. He took Harry left towards the bathroom, opening the door for him. Releasing him when they entered, Remus went to the cupboard and removed a fresh towel, passing it to him. “I’ll get you some fresh clothing.”
Harry nodded, putting the towel on the floor and moving over towards the sink when Remus left. Avoiding the mirror, Harry ran the tap and used his one good hand to splash some cool water over his face, steeling himself before looking into the mirror. His appearance was better than expected, but the dark bruising in the inner corner of his left eye extended down his cheek, blending into the other green and blue bruises. Turning his face to the other side, he gently touched the spattering of white marks across the right side, recalling the cuts that had been there. Whoever had fixed that up had done a good job, though the white scars contrasted greatly with the red one that ran along the underside of his jaw. That alone was the one previous injury that Malfoy had not reopened. Perhaps he hadn’t seen it. Looking down at his left arm, there were similar white scars on what he could see of his skin beneath the splint. The top of the Dark Mark was still visible, a thick white scar crossing over the skull and making it look as though it were smiling.
Shivering, Harry was grateful when Remus returned, placing a set of fresh clothing on the floor beside his towel. He looked over him critically, taking out his wand and tapping the splint on his arm. “That will be waterproof now,” he said. “There’s a spare toothbrush in the cupboard. Take as long as you like, I’ll be right outside if you need me.”
“Thanks,” Harry said quietly, looking up just as Remus left. He pulled the door closed behind him, giving Harry some privacy.
Moving slowly, Harry looked around the bathroom, his stomach clenching uncomfortably when he saw that the shower was set over the bathtub. For a moment he pictured it full of icy cold water, spilling over the edges and onto the floor, but he pushed this out of his mind. Turning on the taps, he tested the water, turning up the heat before removing the loose trousers he wore. He expected pain when he stepped under the water, the stream hitting his front and back, but perhaps it was water proof too, for there was no pain to be felt, only slight sting from a few open cuts on his fingers that had yet to be healed.
He stood under the water, not moving for the longest time, allowing the searing heat to relax and soothe his muscles. Though it didn’t necessarily hurt, his shoulders felt tight from the many hours he had spent hanging by his wrists, and he relished in every moment he stood there, turning in slow circles. To his surprise, his nose began to bleed, blood running down his chin and onto the floor of the bathtub where it swirled around the drain. Pinching his nose, he tipped his head back and washed off his face, suspecting the immense heat and reluctantly turning it down a little. Growing dizzy, he opened his eyes and lurched forward, grabbing onto the tiled walls as he retched, bringing back up the potions.
Groaning, Harry straightened up and allowed the mess to go down the drain, closing his eyes and still hanging onto the wall for support. He suddenly felt tired again, and knew that if he didn’t get out soon he would risk falling asleep. He postponed turning off the water for as long as he could, the cool air outside the shower curtain helping him to awaken again. He shivered as he stepped out onto the bathmat, taking up the towel and carefully drying off. Seeing the clothes belonged to Remus, he redressed quickly, gratefully pulling on the new pair of loose trousers and chequered shirt. Sourcing out the new toothbrush, he brushed his teeth slowly, and only then did he finally feel properly refreshed and he considered trying something to eat.
Hanging up his towel, Harry opened the bathroom door, giving Remus a short smile when he found him waiting outside as he had promised.
“Tea?” he offered.
“Coffee, please,” Harry requested, smiling properly at the thought as he followed Remus into the main part of the house. There were few lights on, being the middle of the night, but Harry could clearly make out the small living area to his left, opposite the quaint little kitchen where Remus was already setting the kettle to boil. Harry took a seat at the table, resting his head in his hand. A clock on the wall showed the time to be not long after midnight.
“No thank you,” Harry replied.
“But lots of coffee,” Remus confirmed, looking over his shoulder to check.
Harry nodded, moaning softly when Remus placed the steaming mug of black coffee before him. It smelled highly appetizing. “Thanks,” he said gratefully, taking a generous sip. Looking around, he knew that Tonks and Ginny must be asleep elsewhere, and couldn’t help the twinge of disappointment he felt. The shower had roused him somewhat, and he now wished Ginny were there.
“A few members of the Order are coming around tomorrow,” Remus began, taking the seat opposite Harry, placing the block of chocolate on the table and taking a piece for himself. “I hope that’s okay.”
Harry nodded at this. “It’s your house…I assume.” Considering it carefully, he took a piece of chocolate and let it slowly melt in his mouth, savouring the taste that was once again appealing.
“Yes, I suppose it is,” Remus nodded in agreement. “Sirius will be with them, though I can’t say for certain he won’t be around earlier.”
“Where has he been?” Harry asked, calculating the many long months since war had broken out. “What’s he been doing?”
Remus considered this for a long moment. “There’s been a lot of work with wizards from other countries, I know Sirius has been across to Europe at one stage, rounding up support and spreading warning. Many countries there have felt the effect of our war. Aside from that, I know he’s been tailing you somewhat, but was wary about making contact. He’s been laying low mostly.”
“When was this?” Harry asked in surprise.
“Perhaps before you broke into the Ministry? Oh, yes, we heard all about that,” Remus smiled.
“Right,” Harry nodded, thinking back to that time. He recalled spotting a large black dog in the middle of London, and wondering whether or not that had been Sirius. He had completely forgotten about that. Focusing on his coffee now, he went quiet, not sure of what to ask next.
Despite the coffee, Harry was exhausted again, and so rested elbow on the table and held his head in his hand. He and Remus fell into a comfortable silence, each of them sipping their coffee and eating chocolate periodically, Remus eventually taking up a Daily Prophet he had yet to read. For a moment Harry was tempted to pursue it himself, to see what had been written about the disturbance in Diagon Alley, or to at least get the Quidditch scores, but he couldn’t quite summon the energy. Finishing his coffee, he swirled around the remaining grains at the bottom of his cup, relieved that his stomach seemed to have settled. At this thought, his hand twitched to take out his wand, clenching a little when he recalled that it was gone.
Rubbing his scar absently, Harry slowly got to his feet, his exhaustion more pronounced now he was on his feet. “I might go back to sleep,” he said quietly, taking the two empty mugs and placing them in the sink.
“That’s probably a good idea,” Remus agreed, watching him carefully. “Though, I can’t guarantee you’ll sleep alone tonight.”
Harry looked at him in confusion, a moment later realising who and what he meant. He glanced towards the hallway, knowing that Ginny must be awake. “How is she?”
“Worried sick about you,” Remus smiled.
Harry nodded. “Thanks, Remus,” he said quietly, looking at him sincerely before moving towards the hallway.
“Don’t make a habit out of it,” he said lightly, flicking through the pages in the Prophet.
Heading down the hallway, Harry paused outside the room he had been sleeping in, his hand paused on the doorhandle. He was worried to say the least, concerned by what Ginny had seen and heard about his most recent troubles. She would be worried about him, but he wished she wouldn’t, having always wanted to keep her far away from the troubles and pain that followed him. He should have known better. Ginny would always be in the thick of trouble, especially if it concerned him. With that thought, Harry turned the handle and slipped through the door, immediately seeing Ginny perched on the end of the bed.
He wasn’t quite prepared for the rush of emotions that hit him when he saw her, and when he closed the door behind him, his hands were shaking. The lamp had been extinguished, and he could only just make out her silhouette as she got to her feet and came towards him. He could feel her own nerves, could see it in the way that she hesitated to reach out to him, as though he were an illusion sent to tease her.
“How are you feeling?” she asked quietly, her hands finally touching his arms.
Unable to speak, Harry just nodded his head, his heart racing by her most innocent touch. Instead, he raised his good hand and touched her face, brushing her messy hair behind her ear before stepping closer to her. Their gentle and hesitant kiss felt awkward, as though he were undeserving of her, and for the first time Harry realised that he hadn’t expected to see her again. Emboldened by this, he kissed her deeply, holding her closely to him and sighing when she clenched her hand into his hair. She returned his kiss with equal desperation, and he relished in the fact that she was right here in his arms, that he could touch her and kiss her, no longer fearing what might be happening.
Breathless already, Harry forced himself to break away enough to breathe, resting his forehead against hers as she too tried to catch her breath. He ran his hand down her side, maintaining his tight hold of her as her hands began to do the same. Her touch avoided all of his reopened wounds, and he knew that she had seen more of what happened than he had hoped.
“I don’t ever want to see you like that again, Harry,” she said quietly, her tone pleading as she looked at him imperatively.
“Same here,” he replied, carefully touching her lower back to indicate exactly what he meant.
She nodded her head, carefully resting against his chest and putting her arms around his waist. It was a comfortable pressure, the firm contact not causing any pain, and so he readily returned her embrace and rested his chin on top of her head. He lost track of how long they stood there in that embrace, and he must have swayed on his feet for he found Ginny clutching each of his elbows, holding him steady. His exhaustion returning, they made their way over to the bed, slipping under the covers together. Reaching for her was an automatic motion, and she made herself comfortable in his arms, her head resting on his shoulder as he kissed her forehead. The motions were as normal and routine as they had always been, allowing Harry to take comfort in what he knew well.
Pulling the blankets up, they talked quietly for a few minutes, Harry absently running his fingers through her hair as she played with the frayed hem on his shirt. Shifting a little, Harry slipped his arm around her body, pulling her flush against him to that he could feel all of her, confirming that she was really there beside him. Half asleep, Harry could feel her talking rather than hear her, her soft voice reminding him of easier times in the tent, when even though they were on the run, they were both happy and safe.
Seized by an uncomfortable question, Harry’s body tensed, his hand clenching into a fist that Ginny quickly noticed.
“What is it?” she asked, having pulled up his shirt to trail her fingers up and down his side. Her hand stilled.
Harry bit his lip, but knew that if he didn’t ask now he was going to be confronted with it later. “Why does Remus trust Snape so much?”
Ginny breathed out in a low whistle, tickling Harry’s jaw as she considered her answer. “I don’t know, exactly,” she began, her voice hushed as though Snape himself was eavesdropping. “They don’t tell me much…but Tonks believes in him. Believes that he’s helping our cause. It kind of seems like he’s playing a Double-Double Agent.”
“Well, think about it. One minute he’s a changed Death Eater working for Dumbledore, pretending to work for Voldemort. Now it seems like he’s a real Death Eater working for Voldemort, who was only pretending to help Dumbledore, but now he’s helping us again. Maybe neither side really knows for sure what he’s doing.”
“Merlin,” Harry cursed, raising the hand in the splint to touch Ginny’s face. “Where did you get all that insight?”
“I eavesdrop,” she said unabashed, grinning against his cheek. “And Tonks has told me a little. Apparently he helped her once when he didn’t have to, and he’s been helping others in the Order.”
“What do you think?” Harry asked, valuing her opinion most. Like he, Ginny was somewhat mistrusting, until that trust had been proven.
“I’m not sure, I certainly wouldn’t be putting my life in his hands,” she began, curling her arm right around Harry’s side. She traced the skin between each of his cuts, eliciting a shiver of discomfort. She stopped, and she held his hand instead. “He helped me when I stole the sword, and he helped both of us when we escaped Hogwarts. That’s all I’ve really got to go on.”
Harry considered this for a long moment, thinking about what had happened in the months since war had broken out, casting his mind back even further. Unconsciously holding his breath, Harry thought about his captivity last August, when Snape had pretended not to see him, when he had brought him food and water. He had helped Ginny too, there was no doubting that, and there was no doubting that he had been the one to take him away from the Malfoys. His help and care had not concluded there either, and the potions that had been making Harry stronger and better were his work. With a sigh of relief, Harry relaxed again, his head clearing as he remembered one key factor that alone determined his trust in the man.
“None of that matters,” Harry whispered, glad that only Ginny was there to hear him. “He murdered Dumbledore, that’s all I need to know.”
Ginny pulled herself from his embrace and sat up abruptly, looking down at him. Fearful, Harry wondered if he had said something wrong, and he opened his mouth to say something when she placed her fingers over his lips. He quietened, feeling that her hand was shaking.
“How is it that you always know exactly what I’m thinking?”
Harry raised his eyebrows at her. This was a first, for sure. “Er…great minds think alike?”
She laughed at this. “That’s exactly what I was going to say.”
Leaning over him, she kissed him deeply, making him pull her back down to lay against him. Flickers of pain were beginning to reappear throughout his body, and so moving gently, he rolled them over so that he hovered above her. Smiling, Ginny deepened their kiss, pulling him hard against her and pressing her knees to either side of his hips. This movement alone brought him back to their time in the tent, when he could hardly stand to be away from her, and to their time apart, her absence allowing the flurry of thought and nightmares from Voldemort. Could he bear to put them both through that again, to suffer through the next phase of the war without her? Since arriving back with her, his head was clear, his thoughts were his own.
“I love you,” he whispered, kissing the corner of her mouth. “It’s been so bad without you.”
She nodded at this, understanding. “I love you too,” she reminded him. Kissing him chastely now, she looked at him intently. “When do you plan to leave?”
This question threw Harry completely. He hadn’t considered this in the hour that he had been awake. “I err…I don’t really know,” he answered. “I have to wait for Ron and Hermione to come back, make some plans for what’s next.”
“Okay,” Ginny said, stroking his hair. She had a determined look on her face. “I’m coming with you, this time.”
Harry bit his lip, groaning as he dropped his head against her shoulder. “You can’t defend yourself with the trace.”
“I don’t care,” she stated, ending their conversation with another searing kiss.
In the back of his mind, Harry knew this was going to be a problem, but the less rational side of him agreed with Ginny wholeheartedly. As she intended, their discussion was finished, and Harry instead now focused solely on the perfect way their bodies fit each other, the way she clutched at his legs and backside to hold him closer still. Slipping his hand under her shirt, Harry knew that he had missed her more intensely than he realised, and he vowed never to forget how exactly perfect she was. She moaned against his lips when he cupped her breast, startling him a little when she arched up against him. Harry could hardly breathe through her searing kiss, but the deprivation was intoxicating, nothing at all like he had experienced at Malfoy Manor, and those experiences seemed so trivial when Ginny began to unbutton his shirt.
“I’ve missed you so much,” she rushed to say, breaking their kiss for no longer than necessary. “I don’t want us to stop.”
“Alright,” he promised against her lips, helping her push and pull her nightshirt off and over her head.
His splinted arm was already aching from holding himself up, and so he allowed Ginny to fumble to remove the rest of their clothing. Getting into a more comfortable position, he rocked his hips against hers as they kissed, relishing in the sensation of his skin against hers. For a moment he feared he was dreaming after all, not feeling that he deserved to have her like this at all, let alone for the second time. Ginny quickly grew impatient of this, and distracted him by reaching down to grasp him firmly, rubbing in the most tantalising way.
“Gin-” he muttered urgently, pulling away from her and ignoring her look of outrage. “Wait, I need your wand.”
“Oh,” she said surprise, cursing under her breath as she fumbled around the sheets for it. Retrieving it she thrust it into his hands, blessedly leaving him alone long enough to cast the necessary charms. It would be the height of bad manners to accidentally knock her up, and confident that was all taken care of, he quickly locked the bedroom door and cast a quick Muffliato charm. The moment he was finished, Ginny drew him back to her, impatiently pushing her hips up against his and hoping he would get the point.
The whole process was a little easier this time, both of them having some idea of what to expect, and the lack of build-up and nerves to it all made it easier to stop thinking, to simply act on what they each desired. Ginny held him against her tightly, one hand on his hip to control their pace, the other curled around his back. Her eyes were tightly closed, her breath against his neck coming in short gasps before she suddenly tensed beneath him, digging her finger nails into his skin.
“Are you alright?” he asked in concern, freezing immediately. Although she nodded hastily, Harry could see the frown on her face. “What is it?”
She swallowed thickly, drawing up her hand to push her hair out of her face. “It’s still a bit uncomfortable,” she muttered, breathing heavily.
“Do you want to stop?” Harry asked, praying that she didn’t. He began to gently pull away from her, but she held onto him even tighter than before, shaking her head vigorously.
“No,” she said firmly. Digging her heels into the bed, she shifted beneath him before pulling him back so that he lay against her. They kissed hard, and a few moments later she began to rock up against him, her hand on his hips encouraging him to keep moving.
He could feel her body relaxing beneath him, and he knew that she must be feeling more comfortable when she extended her legs to entangle them with his. The close contact sent his head spinning, and all Harry knew was the two of them, was the way Ginny was clutching him closer, sighing against his lips each time they parted to take breath. The pain in his broken arm was increasing, despite the protection provided by the splint, but Harry hardly noticed, his attention focused solely on Ginny and the soft moans she made against his lips.
Wanting to hear that sound again, Harry grasped her knee and pulled it up towards them, and was rewarded with a deeper moan as their bodies sank even closer together. He held her leg in that position as she pulled away from his lips, gasping and screwing up her eyes. Harry turned his attention to her neck now, kissing intently up and down her jaw to distract himself from the overwhelming sensations that threatened to take control. Ginny seemed intent on distracting him though, drawing her hands up his back to clench her fingers into his hair, holding him close as she tightened her legs and pushed hard against him.
He could both hear and feel her soft sighs and gasps as he kissed her neck, and they served only to encourage him, to finally give in to what his body instructed him to do. Increasing the pace of his movements, he sought Ginny’s lips again and kissed her deeply, just in time to mask the loud groans that escaped the both of them. She looked so beautiful beneath him, and he knew just how lucky he was to still be able to have her, this thought reinforced as she dug her fingers into his shoulder. Her body clenched around him as she gave a long moan against his lips, and that was all it took to incapacitate him completely.
“Harry,” she sighed when he finally stilled, groaning against her cheek. Slipping her trembling arms around his waist, she held him against her even as he carefully moved off her. Their bodies barely parted as they settled down beside one another, Ginny resting her head against Harry’s chest as he tried to catch his breath.
Swallowing thickly, Harry absently pushed her hair off her face so that he could look at her properly, emboldened when he saw the satisfied smile on her face. Taking her chin, he tipped her face towards his, using the last of his breath to kiss her as deeply as they could manage. Carefully placing her hand on his chest, she pushed Harry onto his back, breaking their kiss as she got up and sat astride him, her hands coming to rest on his stomach. They looked at each other for the longest time, Harry amusing himself by trailing his hands up and down her thighs, feeling her soft skin all the way up to her bottom. He felt the smooth sensation of a dressing, and his attention caught, he carefully sat up, keeping her in that position.
Giving her a swift kiss, he reached his hands around her back and counted three long dressings on her skin, and he knew exactly what they covered. She didn’t flinch at his touch, instead kissing him on the cheek before taking each of his hands and moving them back down to her thighs, showing him the other dressings on the back. His heart pounding, he counted three of them on each leg, six lashings all together that she had endured to protect the Sword of Gryffindor.
“They hardly hurt,” she commented softly, pressing his hands firmly against them. “They’re different to yours…they’re healing really well.”
“That’s good,” he breathed, undeniably relieved. He desperately wanted to look at them, to see the damage she had borne on his behalf, but knew that once he had looked he would never be able to get the sight out of his mind. He didn’t want to think of her as hurt, to see only the pain she had gone through. Instead, he raised one hand and cupped her breast again, leaning down to kiss the other in appreciation.
“Oh,” she murmured, stroking his arms.
“I love you,” he reminded her, raising his head and kissing her gently. “I’m doing all this for you, for us.”
“I know,” she said, closing her eyes.
“I just want this all to be over,” he added, needing to get it off his chest. “I just want to get on with our lives.”
She chuckled at this, tilting his head and kissing his scar. “I like the sound of that.”
They kissed again, slowly and sweetly, enjoying each other without the rush until an unfamiliar piercing sound made Harry jump. He was instantly on alert, ready to jump up as he realised what was the cause of the sound, his heart rate accelerating in excitement and surprise.
“Shit…” Harry said in awe, looking over Ginny’s shoulder towards the door. “Is that-”
“A baby?” Ginny confirmed, laughing at him as she kissed the corner of his mouth. “Yes, it is.”
“A baby,” he repeated, the word foreign in his mouth. “Tonks’ baby?”
“Well he’s not mine!”
“He?” Harry said, unable to help the smile that crossed his face. “It’s a boy?”
“The tea leaves are always right.”
Harry scoffed at this, gently pushing her off his lap. “What’s his name?”
“Theodore Remus,” Ginny answered, pleased by his reaction. “Ted for short, though.”
“Ted,” Harry said quietly, testing the name on his tongue. He could still hear him crying, though it was softer now, not at all like the piercing cry he had first emitted. His first instinct was to dress and rush to see him, to stake his claim as Godfather and set eyes on the child that had initially left him furious. He quashed this though, breathing out slowly as he considered that Tonks might be nursing him, and might want some privacy.
They listened quietly for a minute or so, Ginny running her hand up and down Harry’s arm as they sat together. The soft cries disappeared suddenly, leaving the air strangely quiet. At Ginny’s insistence, they lay down together and pulled the blankets high over their bodies, settling into a close embrace as Ginny began talking, telling Harry all about the baby he had yet to see. He listened intently, his head against Ginny’s shoulder and his splinted arm resting across her stomach. By the time he had fallen asleep, Harry could picture his godson already. As he expected, he slept well beside Ginny, and it felt like a lifetime later when she was rousing him from his sleep.
“Harry,” she said softly, brushing her fingers through his hair to rouse him. “Harry, wake up.”
“What?” he huffed, realising how perfectly comfortable he was.
Opening his eyes, he could see that it was morning by the shine of light around the edges of the curtains. He lay beside Ginny, his arm still strewn across her stomach as her hand rested on his. She was warm beside him, almost too warm, but he stretched out closer to her anyway, wishing she would stop trying to rouse him.
“You have to get up, your hand is swelling,” Ginny said apologetically.
Harry didn’t need to look to know that she was right. At just her mention of it, he could feel the discomfort and warmth, and he immediately made to sit up. He stopped for a moment, flinching in pain. His back and shoulders were rather tight, smarting as he managed to push himself into a sitting position. Ginny carefully held his arm, which appeared rather swollen and bruised, an ailment that had been improving until now. He sighed audibly, knowing that he was going to have to get up.
“Get up,” Ginny said quietly, voicing his own thoughts. She kissed his cheek before swiftly ducking down beside the bed, tossing up his borrowed clothing. “We’ll have to show Tonks…get some ice onto it.”
Reluctantly agreeing, Harry gingerly got out of bed and dressed, not allowing himself the opportunity to gawk at Ginny as she too got dressed. Retrieving her wand, she stuffed it into the pocket of her dressing gown before rounded the bed back to him. Smiling at him, she deftly did all the buttons on his shirt, her hands settling on his hips before giving him a gentle kiss. They lingered there in the bedroom, not wanting to part or to re-enter the world outside the two of them.
A/N Hey readers, please review for me! I'm working hard on final chapters, and will be posting once a week routinely until the story is completed...but fear not, the sequel will be available soon after.
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