TITLE: Not for the last time
CHARACTERS: Harry, Ginny
SUMMARY: Saying goodbye even when it’s not forever is never easy…Ginny says it far too many times.
Ginny walked quietly down the hall, it was over an hour after the 9.30 curfew that had been placed following the attacks in Hogsmeade a few weeks before, and she knew that she was breaking more than ten of the additional rules that had been made since then. Hearing a noise in the darkness ahead of her she ducked behind a tapestry that was moving a little with the breeze coming from an open window in one of the classrooms. She took a step back, pressing tightly against the wall, and only just managed to smother the gasp that escaped her lips when a hand closed over her shoulder and she was tugged through a hidden doorway.
“You made it,” she felt the whisper of his breath against her ear and shivered. Just the sensation was enough to turn her legs to wobbly jelly.
“It took longer than I thought,” she responded, her eyes eagerly taking in their surroundings. The hidden room was little more than a box room lit with candles and the full moon shining in through the windows that lined one wall. In the centre of the room a large double bed, much like the four-poster beds in the dormitories except, she was sure, this one wasn’t bespelled to kick out anyone of the wrong sex who happened to lie down on it. With a small smile on her face she shrugged off her robe and sat on the window seat overlooking the lake to toe off her practical plain black shoes.
“That eager?” He sat down next to her and lifted one of her sock-covered feet into his lap, his hands curling around it, massaging her toes slowly. The feeling of his fingers stretching the gap between her toes sent a shudder through her body and she gasped.
“We don’t have long enough,” she sighed, remorseful that their time together was always so short. Stolen minutes that she wanted to extend until there was no gap between the times they saw each other. “The time goes so quickly.”
Brushing a kiss across the tip of her nose, he looked at her closely, “You aren’t getting enough sleep, Ginny. Have you seen Pomfrey?” There were grey-blue bags under her eyes and her normally pale skin was even paler, giving her an ethereal glow that rivalled the moon.
“I’m just so worried. What if you don’t find everything? What happens if we don’t win?” she couldn’t keep the panic out of her voice, her words ending on a silent sob that had her shoulders shaking.
Wrapping his arms around her he pulled her close, until she was cradled in the curve of his own body, “Everything will work out how it’s meant to. It’s a prophecy after all.”
“Yeah,” Ginny managed to choke out, “from the same person who prophesises every year that you’re going to die.”
Harry rolled his eyes at this comment. He had known for a while that there was that possibility they wouldn’t find all the Horcruxes in time, but he had Hermione and Ron helping him and together they had already managed to defeat so many so-called impossible foes…what was one more? “I know. But we’re fine. And you’re safe.” No matter what he was always going to ensure her safety.
Without her, he knew that it was selfish, he couldn’t see a point anymore. As much as he loved and cared for Hermione and Ron, they had each other and the feelings they had fought for so long were coming to the fore now that they were living in each others pockets, he only really wanted one person…Ginny. He knew that she loved him for the person he was rather than what he represented, and she would likely love him if he weren’t the future ‘Saviour’ of the free Wizarding world.
Locked within the constraining, but comfortingly familiar, walls of Hogwarts, Ginny felt as though she was missing out on the adventure.
When Harry, Ron and Hermione had announced that they weren’t going to return to Hogwarts for their final year there had been an absolute uproar.
Molly Weasley had thrown her arms up in despair and immediately blamed Fred and George for the poor example they had shown their younger brother. Of course the twins had done their best to prove that they had nothing to do with it, although this sort of mischief was probably somewhere up there on their list of things to try out intentionally with some kind of sweet or other that tasted like lemon bon bons and had a mouthful of a name like “Shockingly Sour Truths” or something.
Professor McGonagall had fought desperately to keep her brightest star, Hermione in classes, but she had told the prim transfiguration professor that as an adult she was making her own decisions based upon logical factors and therefore had to fight for what she believed in.
Harry had been the only one who had been able to say, quite simply and quietly, that he wasn’t going to return to Hogwarts. He had sat at the cosy table in the kitchen at the Burrow and told his friends and family that he had a duty to all the people who cared for – and believed in – him, and this meant that he was going to go out and find the Horcruxes, and destroy them!
Ginny had sat at the kitchen table looking at him, her brown eyes filled with sadness, but she hadn’t cried. She had tried her very hardest, to get her mum to let her go along with them. “I know what he’s like, I know him,” she continually argued as her mum and dad shot down one argument after another. They weren’t going to take any risks with their youngest child, and only daughter. Despondent, Ginny had made her way up to the bedroom that she had been sharing with Hermione for the summer, stripped out of her daytime clothes and prepared for the persuasion of her life.
Wearing only a pale pink thong that Hermione had picked up for her in a shop called La Senza and a matching pink bra, Ginny sneaked out of her bedroom in the middle of the night and crawled quietly into Harry’s bed.
Harry couldn’t help but remember what had happened next with a huge smile on his face. Ginny had been enthusiastic and more than willing, but definitely inexperienced – not that he could claim to be any more experienced than she could.
“What’re you smiling about?” Ginny twisted a little in his arms and pressed a light teasing kiss to his jaw.
“Just remembering…” he didn’t need to say what he had been remembering, the jut of his erection against her arse told her more than anything words possibly could.
“Oh? Care to make some more memories?” She leaned in and took his mouth with hers in an all-consuming kiss that made both of them forget everything. Their surroundings faded into the background as he speared his fingers through her hair, not so gently tugging strands out of her waist-length braid.
“You know I do.” Ignoring the bed that was still waiting, warm and welcoming, for them in the middle of the room, he wrapped his arms around her and pulled her closer. His breath left his chest on a loud sigh when she wiggled against him, her arse rubbing his aching erection in a way that promised him heaven, even if it was only a temporary escape.
As he watched her sneak out of their little nook less than an hour later, Harry felt regret sink like a heavy-weight into the pit of his stomach. He had held on to her for as long as he could, but as with every other time they had met, the time for goodbye always came around far too quickly.
Hand still raised in a wave, Harry gripped onto the Portkey that Hermione had enterprisingly constructed from the feather that had, at one time, been wrapped around his Firebolt, and, muttering the words that somehow managed to bypass all the magic protecting Hogwarts from attack, disappeared with a quiet pop.
Leaning back against the wall outside the now empty room, Ginny fought back the empty tears that always threatened to fall when he had to leave. She hated this! One day he would come back to her for good. Tom Riddle wasn’t going to live forever, no matter what his form, and the day he died she would be able to rid herself of all the doubt that filled her, and extinguish the flame of anger that consumed her whenever she remembered her first year. “Goodbye, Harry,” she whispered, even though she knew that he wouldn’t hear her, he was already long gone, the room filled with the scent of him, and the memory of how they always spent these stolen moments.
The only thing that kept her going was the knowledge that he would come back…he always did.