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Chapter 2 : Harry and Ginny
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Accompanying Hermione in her return was Ginny, but she was currently downstairs helping her mum with some of the chores by Harry's request. He knew if he hadn't, Ginny would undoubtedly be in the room with him and his nerves would get the best of him. It was best that he was alone to gather his thoughts.
Today was an extremely important day. Not because it was Christmas or some Weasley family member's birthday, but because Harry had something specially important planned for both Ginny and himself. It took a bit of research, and a rather embarrassing but heartfelt talk with Arthur and Molly, but everything was falling into place.
A picture on his bedside table momentarily distracted him and Harry went over to pick it up. The picture of his own mum and dad that he framed after Hagrid gave it to him his first year captured a forever young and happy James and Lily Potter. It was the picture that set everything off one sunny day, the day after Ginny returned to Hogwarts for her seventh and final year. He asked around and found out the story behind the dancing couple. With it possibly being the only evidence of a happy time between his parents when everything back then was grim, Harry felt the need to repeat that moment for himself. To express to himself that those grim days are finally over, and everything from today onward can be nothing but truly happy days.
Setting the picture back down, he then began to think about his own relationship with Ginny. She, who claimed to have loved him the first time she met him, was amazing. He regretted not returning his feelings as young as she did, but there was never really time. Not with him being who he is, or was. If it were really up to him, he wouldn't have had Ron or Hermione there either. Not because he didn't love them, but because he wanted to protect them. Now that he was older, the thought of growing up without them was depressing and he was glad to have them around. Ginny was the best thing to happen to him out of all of it, though. It all seemed rather quick to him, when he was in his sixth year. Even he didn't know that he harbored any feelings for Ron's younger sister other than a sister of his own. But like most people who can't explain how, he fell in love right then. Maybe it was the thought of how she had always been there, or the fact that she never saw him as Harry Potter, but just Harry. He didn't really know, but he didn't really feel like it needed to be explained either. They were in love. Harry was in love.
That's why today was so important.
Finally, after what must have been an hour of nervous pacing, hair shuffling, and aimless wand twirling, Harry decided it was time to go downstairs. He pocketed his wand in the back of his trousers, not keeping Mad-Eye's words in mind at the moment, and skipped down the stairs two at a time. Ginny and Molly were taking a break, eating lunch, and Arthur was sitting at the end of the table trying to figure out the workings of a rubber duck. Harry's arrival made the three of them look up and Ginny beamed up at him.
"Harry!" she breathed, and then ran up to embrace him. His face flushed momentarily out of guilt. She returned the evening before, but he was so nervous that he only allowed enough time to reunite with her for a mere half hour before he resigned to his room again, having claimed to be working on something for the Auror Department. Today would be their day, though. He'd make sure of that. While Ginny hugged him, Molly and Arthur shared a knowing glance before returning to what they were doing. "Would you like some lunch?" Ginny asked, brushing his cheek with her lips and pulling away to gesture toward the table. Molly stuck to a simple lunch today, surely knowing no one would be home to eat much of it.
"Oh, um, no. Thanks." he said, surprisingly a lot calmer than he thought he could manage. Ginny in return gave him a cross look. No one turned down her mother's cooking once they've been offered. "I was wondering if you'd like to come with me on a walk? It's such a nice day out." he added.
"That sounds like a lovely idea, dear! Ginny, why don't you pack a lunch for Harry and you and the two of you can eat it on your walk!" Molly intervened, a little too mischievously. Harry had to get Ginny out of the Burrow soon before anyone, or even himself, gave anything away. Ginny, who was happy to see harry hadn't offended her mum, smiled and nodded in agreement. She pulled out her wand and out came two brown bags, and in them went several items of food that Harry knew he was too nervous to eat. Hopefully, with what he had planned today, they'd forget all about the food.
After several more agonizing minutes of waiting because Ginny insisted they bundle up for the cold weather, something Harry hadn't even thought of because of how busy his thoughts were the last several days, they made their way out of the Burrow. He knew they would have to Apparate, but he didn't want to spring that on her just yet because she would begin questioning him. Instead, he entwined their fingers and pulled her close to him. Her red hair was blowing in little wisps around her face, and her cheeks and nose were already starting to turn nearly as red. The corner of his mouth lifted up at the thought of himself, the spitting image of his father all except for the green eyes, and Ginny, the fiery red-headed woman beside him who he swore was braver than he could ever be. In his mind, they were nearly the same as the forever young image of his parents in the photo. Who knew he would fall in love with his mother, as so many of the older influences in his life told him.
Ginny continued to beam up at him, her smile infectious. She walked merrily beside him and his thoughts continued to play through his mind. He had to convince her to go back to school because she didn't want to leave him behind. When she finally agreed, she begged him to go back with her, to follow in Hermione's footsteps. However both Harry and Ron were offered a chance to start their Auror training early, and Harry knew there were still Death Eaters to capture. As much as he wanted to, and how he looked at it as another chance to keep her safe, he refused, and almost regretted the decision everyday. So did Ron. Hermione, on the other hand, seemed to be the only one currently happy with her own decision and was thoroughly miffed with both boys for their own. Though it was hard to tell she was the moment she saw both Ron and Harry when they showed up to pick both girls up at Platform 9 3/4.
A cold chill ran up Harry's spine and he shivered. Ginny squeezed his hand tighter and looked up at him with a worried expression. He gave her a reassuring smile, but that wasn't enough.
"What are you thinking about?" she asked, a gloved hand putting a stray hair back where it belonged. He shrugged and pulled her even closer still to warm her up.
"About you," he answered honestly, a coy smile playing on his lips. He knew he would give everything away in the matter of a few minutes at this rate, but his excitement was getting the best of him.
Ginny eyed him suspiciously, and he just shrugged at her again, hoping she would drop it for the time being. She didn't. "What about me?" she asked with a very sing-song-like tone. Again he smiled but rolled his eyes in a way to find an answer that would avoid answering her question.
"This seems like the perfect spot," Harry said happily, looking around and recognizing their surroundings as the makeshift Quidditch pitch the Weasley family had made.
"Perfect spot for what?" a confused look spread across Ginny's face and Harry couldn't help but think of how adorable it was. Every freckle was scrunched up and her brown eyes were shining, searching for answers he wasn't properly providing.
"Apparition!" he answered confidently. During the summer, he was finally able to take the Apparition test, something postponed since all hell broke loose after his seventeenth birthday. A surprised look quickly replaced Ginny's confused look and she pulled away slightly.
"Oh! Give me a sec!" she said hastily. She pulled out her wand once again and brought the brown bags of food she had been carrying all along up to eye level. She shrunk them, put them and her wand in her pocket and took hold of Harry even tighter. She was trusting him on where he was taking her, and Harry liked that.
"Are you ready?" he asked softly, looking down at her as she had to look up at him. She nodded, and right before they disappeared, he kissed her gently, then Disapparated the pair of them.
Before either of them knew it, they were in a drastically different place in comparison to the one before. What once was an open field was now the outskirts of a small village. It wasn't the best looking village, but it had it's spots of beauty. One in particular was exactly where Harry wanted to take Ginny.
"Where are we?" Ginny asked quietly, looking around with a most peculiar look.
"Spinner's End," Harry answered right away. He looked at her, saw the recognition on her face, and they walked onward toward the village.
The pair laughed and they told jokes to one another. It was a feeling Harry loved, and it was a feeling he hoped to have forevermore with Ginny always by his side. He longed for the years to come where she would tell him about her days at work, and he would come home just happy to see he had a family waiting for him there. He longed to see her smiling, laughing face everyday, and was hopeful at the thought that he would always be the one to make her do so.
When they reached their destination, a very recognizable fountain in Harry's eyes, and a somewhat vague impression on Ginny as she racked through her memories to remember where she had seen the image before her. There, in the middle of the town square, was the fountain Harry's mother and father had danced so happily before in what seemed to be, and practically was, in a whole other time. Finally, the recognition dawned on Ginny's face and she put a hand to her mouth. Harry smiled and dragged her toward the fountain, finding it hard to contain his large, boyish grin.
"Oh, Harry..." Ginny trailed off after he sat her down. He pulled her hand away from her face and kissed her. "Your mum and dad," she tried again after they parted, but Harry just shook his head and she silenced herself.
"Ginny," he said, her name coming out easily, though the rest of it wasn't coming out quite the same. He had a whole speech prepared. There were things he wanted to say, and things he wanted her to know, but the words weren't coming to him. He couldn't help but realize that she already knew everything he wanted to say anyways. Like just how much he loved her, and how much brighter his world was now that he could have her safely by his side. How proud he was of her for making her dream Quidditch team and signing on to start as soon as the summer holidays picked up. He wanted to comment on what a beautiful woman she has become, and how intelligent, brave, and wonderful she was, but nothing would come out. Nothing but the words, "I love you."
"I love you, too," Ginny said, and she was already beginning to choke up slightly. It was a surprise to see her cry, but Harry found it endearing and decided now was the time. As soon as he bent down on one knee, she threw her hands down to grasp onto the fountain's side, waiting impatiently for the next four words to come out if his mouth. He grinned, wiped a bit of sweat, despite the cold, away from his eyes, and pulled out a ring he bought months ago at Diagon Alley with the help of Ron.
Next came the important part. The part that made everything about today so special. He cleared his throat and asked, "Will you marry me?"
Something simple. Nothing extravagant. Nothing that she wouldn't expect, or find odd coming from him. Neither of them were exactly known for there romantics, but rather their bluntness in their feelings for one another. How simple talking and communicating their feelings to one another came as naturally as breathing. Simplicity was the basis of their relationship. So saying a planned out speech for what he had to say wasn't the way to go. In fact, it was all Ginny needed to hear in order for her to throw her arms around his neck, kiss every inch of his face she could find, and knock both of them to the cold cobblestone ground.
He never needed an answer, for he knew it right away, but she gave him one several minutes later anyway when she remembered that she never answered him. Right then, she made him even happier than he could have ever imagined this moment. So, rather carelessly, he Apparated both of them back to the field right then and there, ready to return to the Burrow and tell everyone Ginny's answer.
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