Chapter 1 : A push from their friends
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Harry, Ron, and Hermione walked out of Dumbledore’s office and slid to the floor. They put their arms around each other and relaxed into the embrace, holding each other up. They sat like this for some time oblivious to the world around them. Then Hermione spoke, “I just realized something, we’re alive and we didn’t finish school.”
Harry and Ron exchanged tired chuckles, but it was Ron who spoke, “Hermione, can we at least sleep before you start worrying about the future?” She smiled back at him and leaned in to kiss him gently on the lips, “Of course we can.” The three friends lapsed back into a comfortable silence.
Meanwhile in the great hall Molly Wealsey was worried, she was gathering her children to get them upstairs to sleep, and she couldn’t find Ron, Harry, or Hermione. Molly’s heart broke every time she thought about her Freddie, and what this war had taken from her family. She had to keep moving forward, she had to take care of her other babies.
Minerva and Kingsley had joined her and they were ushering the rest of the Weasley family upstairs. There were accommodations for them all in Gryffindor Tower. After settling the children Molly left them in Arthur’s hands and went with Kingsley and Minerva. An Auror had told Kingsley the trio was outside the headmaster’s office, so they were headed there now.
Molly stopped in her tracks when she saw the trio. They were holding each other up, just as they had been since they were eleven years old. Molly felt the tears slip down her face. Kingsley put a comforting hand on her shoulder and Minerva stepped forward.
“Mr. Potter, Mr. Weasley, Ms. Granger, you should not be lingering in this hallway, I suggest you get back to your dormitory before I find a way to put you all in detention.” The sharp tone in her voice was counteracted by the warm smile she was giving her three favorite students. She pulled all three of them into a tight hug.
When she released them they were pulled into a bone crushing hug by Mrs. Weasley. She began to shuffle them off towards the dormitory. Kingsley began to speak, but Minerva shushed him. He could question Harry tomorrow.
Ron woke up to see the sun streaming through the hanging on his four poster bed in Gryffindor Tower. He had some vague memories of his mum shuffling him, Hermione, and Harry up here early this morning, or was it yesterday morning now? He rolled over to see his best friend splayed out on the bed next to him.
He realized there was someone else in his bed and turned onto his side to see Hermione smiling up at him. “Good morning love, did you sleep well?” Hermione cuddled closer to Ron and nodded, then a look crossed her face as though she wanted to say something, but was unsure if she should. Ron smiled and said, “spit it out Hermione, what’s bothering you?”
Hermione glared at Ron, “Nothing is bothering me love I was just wondering, about Harry and Ginny.” At this Ron sighed, he had been worried about this. Hermione shot him a stern glare, “Ronald Weasley you better not be difficult about this. If Harry and Ginny want to get back together they will and you will not get in their way.”
Ron snorted, “why would I get in their way? I’ve been trying to get them together for years. Don’t you remember at the end of our fifth year when Ginny broke up with that Michael Corner and Harry and Cho fell apart? I told Ginny to pick someone better next time, and by better I meant Harry. Ginny and Harry complement each other perfectly, Harry is one of only eight men on the planet who could potential cohabitate with my sister and she’s related to the other seven. And Ginny makes Harry happy; I’ve never seen him look as happy as when he was with Ginny. I just didn’t want Ginny in danger, but now with Voldemort gone what’s stopping them?”
Hermione’s mouth fell open in shock, and Ron couldn’t help but grin, it always surprised Hermione when he reacted in a mature way. When she had recovered Hermione spoke again, “Then what are we going to do about them,” Ron shot her a confused look and Hermione began to explain, “you know what those two are like, they could drag their feet and it could be another six years before they finally get together. We need a plan, some way to force them into talking about whether they want to be a they.”
When Hermione was done talking Ron leaned down to kiss her, “you are brilliant, and I know exactly how to force them together, just follow my lead when we get into the common room later.” Hermione’s eyes glinted in understanding and they both got up to wake the still sleeping Harry.
They were a somber trio as they showered and changed into clean clothes. Each one reflecting upon the losses they had suffered and the battles they still had to fight. When the trio was reunited with the Weasleys there was much hugging and crying and finally came the moment Ron was waiting for. He nodded to Hermione and went to stand behind Harry; she returned his nod and got behind Ginny.
On the count of three they pushed Harry and Ginny together in the very spot they shared their first kiss more than a year ago. Harry and Ginny both turned a very deep shade of red and hugged awkwardly under their family’s watchful gaze. Then Ron began to push them towards the portrait hole, “you two are going to go for a walk, Hermione and I can only do so much to recreate the start of your relationship, now you need to go talk about everything. We’ll come get you when we need you.” With that he pushed the still blushing pair out into the corridor.
Turning around to his family Ron saw almost identical expressions of shock covering their faces, while Hermione tried not to giggle. His mum regained the power of speech first, “Ronald what in Merlin’s name is going on? Why did you do that?” Ron smiled at his mum, “Because mum Harry and Ginny move so slowly if we hadn’t pushed them into talking about their feelings it might have been another six years before they got back together.”
Mrs. Weasley looked stunned, “Back together, when were they together?” At this point Hermione stepped in to save him, “They got together towards the end of last school year, didn’t anyone mention it to you?” The Weasley’s all shook their heads no, so Hermione continued, “after the final quidditch match of the season last year they got together. Actually we recreated their first kiss, minus the kiss, with them this morning.”
Mrs. Weasley seemed to be thinking something over, “if you want them back together that means they broke up.” Hermione nodded, “yeas after Dumbledore’s funeral, Harry was afraid that Voldemort would use Ginny to get to him, so they broke up to keep Ginny safe.”
Ron looked at the faces his family as they heard Hermione’s explanation. He watched as identical grins spread across their faces. His mum was the last to start smiling and said, “Well it certainly took them long enough to come to their senses.”
Harry sat down under the beech tree by the lake and felt Ginny settle in next to him. They sat in silence, the air seemed to be alive, it was churning with all the emotions they were trying to contain. Finally Harry couldn’t take it any longer, “I’m so sorry Gin.”
Harry dared to peek up at Ginny and found her glaring at him, she looked furious, Harry quickly put a little distance between them. “Harry Potter, don’t you dare apologize! Do you even know what you’re apologizing for, I’d guess you’re blaming yourself for something right. After almost a year of nothing you apologize, no you don’t get to be sorry.”
Harry tried to gather his thoughts, “Okay yes Gin, part of me is blaming myself for a lot of things right now, but that’s not why I said I’m sorry. I’m sorry because all I ever seem to do is cause you pain. You got dragged into that chamber five years ago so Voldemort could get to me, you fought in the department of mysteries to help me, you fought here at Hogwarts last year as a favor for me. Then I hurt you again by breaking up with you, and then on my birthday I made you cry, you never cry Gin. And now all I can think about is how if I were you I would be furious with me right now. That’s before you consider that this battle, everyone that died in it it’s all my fault Gin, I should have done more.”
Harry watched the expressions on Ginny’s face changed and finally stopped on his favorite expression. She looked at him with that hard blazing look and punched him in the shoulder. “You, Harry, are an idiot. In case you forgot Voldemort had been using me all year he was going to kill me eventually anyway, and if you hadn’t been there he would have succeeded. It meant a lot to me that you at twelve years old would face down Riddle and a basilisk to save me. And you can’t blame yourself for the department of mysteries or what happened at Hogwarts last year, I chose to join the D.A. and I chose to fight, that wasn’t your fault. As for breaking up with me, I forgave you for that a long time ago, yes I was hurt, but I understood why you did it. And on your birthday, you didn’t make me cry, I made myself cry. I couldn’t help, but wonder if after the wedding I was ever going to see you again, I was afraid that you, or Ron, or Hermione were going to get killed. As for that last bit, Harry none of this is your fault, the battle the deaths, they are all Voldemort’s fault. You can’t blame yourself, you are the reason it’s all over, so let yourself heal.” Harry met Ginny’s eyes again and saw the hint of a smile in those big brown eyes. Then a shadow passed over them and Ginny looked down into her lap.
Harry reached out a hand to lift Ginny’s chin, “What’s wrong Gin?” Ginny shook her head, “It’s stupid, I was just wondering something, but it’s stupid, never mind.” Ginny pulled away from Harry and scooted further away from him. “Ginny spill, what’s bothering you?”
Harry shot her a pleading glance and she caved, “It’s not important, it’s just, whydidn’tyouwantmefightinginthebattle?” Ginny took a deep breath and tried again, “Why did you try to stop me fighting in the battle, didn’t you think I could handle it?”
Harry stared at Ginny in shock, of the things she could ask, this surprised him the most, “No Gin, I can’t believe you’d ever think I would….no, I didn’t stop you from fighting because I didn’t think you could handle it. It’s just that I knew people were going to get hurt, and killed, if someone as paranoid and skilled as Mad Eye can get killed, no one is safe. There were so many people I cared about fighting Gin and I couldn’t keep any of them safe, but you I could. So when your Dad insisted you stay in the Room of Requirement I wasn’t going to argue with him. I didn’t think I could stand to lose you too Ginny.”
“What do you mean loose me too Harry?” Harry looked up at Ginny and tried to find the right way to say what he was feeling, “My whole life has been defined by loss. When I was little I was the kid with no parents, then it was Sirius, then it was Dumbledore, the people I love tend to end up dead. I couldn’t lose you too Ginny. We didn’t get to spend much time together, but it was the happiest time of my life. When we were together I didn’t have to be Harry Potter, I could just be Harry and that meant the world to me. You are the most amazing woman I have ever met and being with you felt real, and for the first time the future didn’t seem like such a bad place. I know I’m probably messing this up, but…”
Harry didn’t get to finish his sentence because Ginny leaned over and kissed him. After what could have been several sunlit days they broke apart. Harry rested his forehead against Ginny’s and saw tears shining in her eyes. “What’s wrong Ginny?” Ginny smiled at Harry, “I love you too Harry, I just can’t help but worry about losing you. When Hagrid carried your body in Harry, I thought you had died. In that moment my worst fears came true. I’ve always worried about you, trouble seems to find you. I’ve never given up hope where you were concerned even when everyone and I do mean everyone told me to, and yesterday, I had to. I had to give up the hope that there could be a we because you were dead. All those things we used to talk about under this tree last year, plans for our future, the dreams we both had died with you. I’m just so scared that I’ll lose you again for real this time.”
Harry took a deep breath trying to steady himself before speaking, “Ginny, I can’t promise that nothing will ever happen to me. But, I can promise that I won’t ever give up that easily again. Yesterday I walked to me death because I had too. But now I have a choice, and while I know the work I want to do will put me in danger I promise I won’t ever give up. You’ve given me something to fight for Ginny; it’s not just about protecting the people I love anymore. That future we talked about means more to me then you’ll ever know and I promise I’ll do everything I can to make sure that I come back to you.”
He stared into Ginny’s brown eyes and felt as though he had come home. They weren’t perfect, there would be fighting and sometimes life would be hard, but together they could get through anything. A sudden thought troubled Harry’s adolescent boy brain, “so Ginevra, will you take me back?” Ginny laughed and leaned in to kiss him again, “does that answer your question?” Ginny snuggled in closer to Harry and they sat against the beech tree holding each other as they thought about the challenges the future would hold. But Harry knew one thing; the future really was worth fighting for.
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