It was the eve of their departure from Hogwarts, the very last night they would spend at school. A ball had been arranged in honor of the departing seventh year. Smiles lit the faces of every one of them — save for one, the Boy Who Lived.
The fifth and sixth years had been invited to attend as well, but nothing anyone could do or say could spark the interest of Harry Potter. Glazed over with sadness, his vivid green eyes had somehow become less so, shrouded by a veil of sorrow. It was not something that one would expect on such a happy occasion, but to Harry, it was the greatest reason for sorrow that he had ever or would ever know.
A girl departed from the crowd, her brown eyes shining beneath her red mane of hair. They were tear-filled brown eyes, for the next day Harry would leave Hogwarts, and she knew that she might never see him again — so great was his danger. Voldemort was once again in power, and Harry’s recurrent nightmares sensed his closeness. Ginny knew that one night away from him would tear her heart out of her – she was solely bound to him, and bound to him alone.
It was not by chance that her heart was with him always, though to the outsider, it was. She and Harry shared an inner fire, a passion, and an intimate understanding of one another, which no separation or even death itself could break. Sometimes she wondered why this bond was so strong, but only time would tell its worth.
The night air was soft and cool as it swept through her fiery hair and breathed gently on the nape of her neck. It rippled the surface of the lake and carried the sweet scent of roses to her nostrils, where she breathed it in and cherished it. High above her, the moon and stars shed silvery columns of their soft light upon the ground that she knew and loved. The slow music from the Great Hall played quietly in the background, letting calm and serenity blanket the castle, the lake, and the Dark Forest beyond all of them. She would know them tomorrow and more, but never look on them the same. Harry would not be by her side.
Footsteps fell behind her. There was a rustling in the rose bushes, and rupturing the security that she had held only seconds before. He looked so beautiful standing there, the breeze ruffling his hair, and the shining in his eyes. He took two steps forward and she felt the warmth of her hand in his and breathed in what she had come to know as the essence of Harry, the scent that followed him everywhere. Coming closer, she felt his hand come to rest on the small of her back.
“Tell me, Ginny,” he said to her, and to her alone. This was their night. “Have you ever danced before?”
“No,” she answered truthfully. What she had done three years ago with Neville could hardly be called dancing.
Their hands met, and hers rested gently on his shoulder. They looked deeply into one another’s eyes, and it was there that they fell in love. As the night wore on, they danced, and Ginny’s head found its home on Harry’s shoulder. Their bodies were touching, and the soft patches of moonlight danced over them. The stars were singing just for them, and they swayed back and forth to the rhythm of their beating hearts, along with the song that nature itself sang for them.
Harry sighed many hours later. “I leave tomorrow,” he said, bemusedly, looking past Ginny.
The girl looked up. “I know,” she said, fixing her eyes on his face. “I wish you wouldn’t.”
“Hogwarts is the only home I’ve ever known,” said Harry, squeezing Ginny’s hand. “It’s all I have . . . and there’s you.” He swallowed. “If for no other reason, then it’s because you’re here. I don’t want to leave you.”
Tears filled Ginny’s eyes. “I might never see you again. It’s a bittersweet ending.”
“Yes,” mused Harry, “a bittersweet departure.”
They swayed back and forth on the spot for a moment, wrapped in each other’s arms. Harry was tense — Ginny could feel it. He disentangled himself from her and took a step back.
“Ron’s going to kill me for this,” he muttered, half to himself, twisting his hands. He fiddled in his pocket for a moment, drew something out of it, but concealed it in his clenched fist before Ginny could see it. He swallowed again. “Ginny,” he said, “you know what I’m destined to do.”
Ginny looked at him. She did know; she knew about the prophecy, and she knew that he could not truly live while Voldemort survived. Why his was interrupting this, their moment with such heavy topics, however, was a mystery to her.
Harry was pale and nervous. Ginny wondered why. After all, he did not yet have to face the destiny that was sure to come. He smiled nervously. “But I also want you to just ignore that for a moment and tell me truthfully — do you love me?”
A smile dawned on Ginny’s thin and angelic face, her eyes shining with happiness and hope. “Yes, Harry,” she said. “Of course I do. You’re everything to me.”
Happiness swelled in Harry, but he refused to hope. “Do you love me enough to hope that I will come home, even when all hope is gone?”
“I do, Harry Potter,” she said, drawing near to him. She could feel it — this was their night. Light and hope radiated from her ecstatic expression as her hand closed on his. “I truly do.”
Hope swelled in him and burst forth, forming a smile on his trembling lips. Ginny felt his kisses on her cheek and neck and knew that surely this was how it should be — them standing in the moonlight, sharing soft kisses and looking forward to what the future held. They had been together now for a short time, but even in the tiniest space true love can be kindled, and kindled it was. This new love, this hope, this belief they both knew would survive, would live on in the raging torrent that both would endure.
Harry detached himself from the woman loved and knelt before her. Looking into her soft brown eyes, her took her hand and swallowed once more. “Ginny Weasley, I want to hold onto you forever. Hold onto me. Will you wait for me?” he said, his eyes sparkling, radiating light and love.
Tears fell from her eyes. “Yes, Harry, I will!” she cried, tears running off the tip of her nose, as he slid the ring he had held in his hand onto her finger. It shimmered there and caught the moonlight that was reflected in Harry’s eyes. It was an image she would never forget — the man she loved and the symbol of that love, together in the moonlight.
“My last night here,” Harry murmured.
“I will wait for you, Harry,” Ginny said firmly. “When hope is gone, I will wait for you.”
“My last night,” Harry repeated. “I love you, Ginny.”
Ginny simply smiled — words could not express how she felt. “I love you, Harry. Just the way you are. It will always be enough.”
The band in the Great Hall struck up a tune, a soft and melodious tune, one which they both knew well. Harry took Ginny in his arms, the position that had become home to them both, heat radiating to one another. The music drifted over the open grounds, on which their love was built, that strong and solid foundation, that held eternity. No matter what the circumstance, hope would remain. And that hope alone would sustain throughout the ages. The moonlight shed its silvery columns on the, as Ginny lifted her head and sang with Harry the melody, the familiar tune that said everything so perfectly.
Someday, when I’m awfully low
When the world is cold
I will feel a glow, just thinking of you.
And the way you look tonight.
The same song was played on their wedding day. They were married in the Great Hall. War had taken its toll on Harry, and to Ginny alone he was the same. She brought out the best in him, even through the hard times of war and death. To any other person on this earth, he would have seemed desolate and desperate, a man on fire. But Ginny brought out the best in him, keeping him safe when hope was gone. That day, a gold band joined the diamond he had given her when they were so young and foolish, knowing nothing of the world to come, and only knowing each other, and their love for one another. That was the side of him that Ginny brought out, and in that, he was radiant. When she walked the path she had walked so many times before, he smiled, which was in those days a rare thing and to be treasured. She lit him up like a candle because of the love they shared.
Through the years, these thoughts kept Ginny hoping and dreaming. Every so often, she would look down at the gold band that had joined the diamond, and remember how Harry loved her, loved her now, and would love her still. She still referred to herself as a married woman, and wore the wedding band. Either way it did not matter to her — in her mind, he was not gone. He had not died that day. He would live on inside her, and love her still. She looked forward always to that blissful day that he would rejoin her and they would be together, even if that day came after death — in eternity.
Lovely, don’t you ever change.
Keep that breathless charm.
Won’t you please arrange it?
I love you, just the way you look tonight.
That would be the way she would see him always. Lovely. She was not alone ... he watched her from above, she knew it. Every second of her existence, he watched her and loved her, just the way she was.
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