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A/N: Wow! Over 3,000 reads overall and over 1,000 for the first chapter, alone! Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to read. And special thanks to those who have left reviews. Of course, I want MORE, MORE, MORE please!!! How else will I know if I am on the right track? So far they've all been so nice, but suggestions and criticisms are welcome, too! 
OK, no more is the next chapter of After the Battle... 


“So,” said Ron, “how about we go change and meet back in the den? We can just hang old times.”


“Sounds like an idea,” said Harry. “We’ll meet you girls back down in a few.” He gave Ginny a quick peck on the check and followed Ron up the stairs.


They spent the rest of the afternoon sitting in front of the fire, talking. Harry filled Ron and Hermione in on what he had done (or not done) while he holed himself up at Grimmauld Place for the past week. Ginny took over and relayed her story of how she got Harry to come back to the Burrow with her. She did leave out a few intimate details so Ron wouldn’t kill Harry just yet. It was turning out to be a nice evening, why spoil it?


“So, you and my sister…together again, huh?” Ron asked.


“Yeah…yeah Ron, we are,” answered Harry looking him nervously in the eyes. Here it comes. I was wondering when he would start in on me about Gin.


But, before Ron could say anything else, Ginny jumped in, “Don’t even think about getting on Harry’s case, Ron. You know perfectly well why he broke up with me last year. And, if I’m OK with going back out with him, you and those other over-protective oafs who call themselves my brothers better be OK with it, too!” Her tone was menacing.


“Calm down, Gin. Calm down,” Ron chuckled. “I was just going to say I’m happy for you. I’m glad you were able to make it through this bloody war and find some happiness.”


“Wait, you are?” Ginny was eyeing him suspiciously. “Are you sure you’re really my brother? Come to think of it, you have been acting very strangely after the war; all lovey-dovey with Hermione and respectful of other’s feelings and such; and now this… Did they capture my real brother during the war and replace him with this new and improved model?”


“OK, I get it. Ha, ha! But, I’m serious! I couldn’t ask for a better person for you to be with. I’m happy for the both of you. Now, as for those oafs you mentioned, well, they might not be as welcoming as I am. But, what love isn’t worth a little bit of trouble, eh?”


“Oh, there’ll be trouble, all right. Only, it will be me who causes it! Just let them try to ruin my happiness. They will regret it!”  Ginny was on a roll, now and Harry thought it was time to step in.


“Er, Ginny? Er, maybe we should bottle up some of that anger and save it for later. You know, for the brothers who deserve it?” He hoped he wasn’t insulting her. He definitely didn’t want to end up on the wrong side of her temper so soon after they got back together.


“Hmph! Alright, I’ll try to calm myself down. But, you don’t have any idea what it’s like to put up with 6 very overly protective brothers all your life. Well, there are only 5 now, but…” she trailed off realizing what she just said.


Everyone fell silent as the mood of the room suddenly changed. There were tears welling up in Hermione’s and Ginny’s eyes while Ron and Harry sat staring down at their feet, not knowing what to say.


Finally Ron broke the silence, “I guess this is what it’s going to be like for a while, huh? It’s gonna blind-side us like this.”


“Yeah, I guess,” replied Harry softly.


“Well, I hope it gets easier with time, like they say…’cause this sucks,” added Ron.


“I think it will get easier, given time. I know it’s sad to think about him now, because we miss him so much. It’s so soon after we lost him. But, I think the more we think about him, the better it will get. Maybe, soon we’ll be able to think about him and feel happiness along with the sadness and it won’t hurt so badly.” Hermione was trying to look at it logically, but it was hard, even for her.


“I think Hermione’s right,” said Ginny staring into the fire. “I think we need to think about Fred and all the others who died. I, for one, don’t want to forget them. I want to remember even though it hurts. And, what better way to remember Fred than by laughing, even when we’re down?”


“Well put, sis.” Ron nodded in agreement, with a small smile.


Sensing a need to change the topic before the mood became too sad Harry asked, “So, who wants a butter beer? I was thinking maybe we could start filling Ginny in on what we’ve been up to since we left her back in August. I told her we would do it bit by bit, so it isn’t so overwhelming. What do you guys think? Are you up for it, tonight?”


Ginny smiled at Harry as he walked to the fridge. She took a seat on the sofa closest to the fire and patiently waited. She was very curious to know what the trio had to do in order to bring Voldemort’s life to an end. She had heard bits and pieces of rumors while at Hogwart’s and Muriel’s, but she was a bit anxious to know the truth, now. “That’s a yes on the butter beer and a yes on telling me your story.”


“Yeah, same here, mate. ‘Mione?” asked Ron.


“Yes, please, on both.”


Once they were all settled comfortably around the fire, Harry started. He sat next to Ginny and held one of her hands in his. He couldn’t believe how comfortable he was with her so soon after getting back together.


“Well, I guess we’ll have to start with some background information before we tell you about where we went the day of Bill and Fleur’s wedding. You don’t even know about the prophecy or what we were hunting for all those months.”  So, Harry started with the awful details about the prophecy Professor Trelawney had made before he was born. Ginny looked shocked, but didn’t interrupt him, for which he was grateful. Then the trio took turns reliving their long, complicated journey, helping each other to remember as many details as possible, so Ginny could fully understand what they had felt and thought along the way. Harry didn’t want Ginny to feel left out from the trio, any longer.


He knew it couldn’t make up for them leaving her behind, but maybe knowing the full story would help her feel more connected to them, again. It was definitely a necessity if they were to move on with their lives as a couple. From now on, he didn’t want to keep secrets from her. He only did it then, because of Dumbledore and because he thought he was protecting her. But, he wasn’t going to do that to her again. From now on, she was in on everything. Whatever he was involved in, she would know about it.


It took them a good hour to explain the main ideas behind the horcruxes and how they had to go about destroying them. They continued on from there and made it all the way to the part of the story where they escaped from the ministry with the muggle-borns and how Ron got splinched during that escape. At this point, Harry knew it was time to stop for the evening. The look on Ginny’s face told him she had heard enough for now.


“Wow,” she breathed out, eyes opened wide. “You guys went through more than I even imagined. It’s a lot to take in. I mean, how in the world did you survive it all? What were the odds that all of you would make it back alive? It’s incredible.” After a pause she continued with a little smirk on her face. “I’m actually in awe of what you three did and I’ve known you for so long…I should know better. But, seriously, now, I can see why people who don’t know you are so fascinated with you. And that was just the beginning of the story. The rest must be even more intense.”


“Well, yeah. It’s definitely a lot to handle. That’s why I think it’s time to stop, for tonight. The next few parts are pretty difficult even for us to re-live. So, maybe we can pick up where we left off tomorrow?”


“Yeah, that’s fine.” Then Ginny started to giggle to her self.


“What’s so funny?” Harry looked at her curiously. Of all the reactions he expected from her, it wasn’t this.


“Oh…I was just imagining what Rita Skeeter would be writing in her little journal after hearing what you three just told me. I could just see the headlines, now”


“Ugh, don’t mention that poor excuse of a reporter to me. She made my life miserable 4th year. And that book she wrote on Dumbledore? All she wants is money and fame and she doesn’t care who she hurts to get it. I don’t need someone like Rita Skeeter using us to make a few bucks!”  Harry cringed at the idea.


“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to get you all riled up. I was just thinking about how, well, you three already are celebrities, Harry! Whether you like it or not, you DID save the world. You can’t expect people to just act as if you’re normal!  I mean, your friends and family know you so they don’t count. But, most people are inclined to worship you for what you did. They’re going to want to know what happened when you three went away and how exactly you rid the world of Voldemort’s terrible reign. And, they don’t have the luxury of hearing it first hand like I do. Trust me there are going to be books and articles and interviews, whether you approve of them or not. Besides, don’t you think people who lost loved ones in this war deserve to know the truth about Voldemort and how you got rid of him?” Ginny finished softly, placing her hand on Harry’s shoulder.


“I know you’re right Gin,” Harry sighed. “I’m just not ready to deal with it all, yet. I’ve had a hell of a week and the details of the past year are still too fresh in my mind. I don’t think I can face all the questions and comments the public wants to send my way; not yet.”


Ron chimed in with his opoinion. “I understand totally, mate. All these year’s you’ve had to deal with being so bloody famous. I was even envious of you. But, now that the spotlight’s on me and ‘Mione too, it’s not what I thought it would be like. There’s no place to hide. It’s crazy. I can see why you would need some time before you deal with the public about this.”


“Yeah, I agree. I know people look at us like we're celebrities or something, but we never asked for it,” added Hermione thoughtfully. “It really hasn’t been much fun at all, so far.”


“Well, like it or not, all three of you are very famous, now. So, you’re going to have to make the best of it.” Ginny stated, matter-of-factly.


“But Ginny, I’m afraid you are going to be harassed just as much as we are, now,” said Hermione.


“What? Why? I didn’t have anything to do with your hunt for the horcruxes and I didn’t have any more to do with Voldemort’s death than any other student who stayed to fight at Hogwart’s that day.”


“Yes, but you are now dating the Harry Potter,” she sated simply.


“Yeah,” added Ron. “You know: the Chosen One; the Boy Who Lived---Twice; Our Savior, and so on and so forth. Like it or not, you are going to be harassed, as well.”


“That’s right, Gin,” added Harry, seeing an opportunity to lighten the mood a bit. “Are you sure you are going to be able to handle all the fame? Not to mention, all the girls you will have to fend off .They will be very jealous of you for going out with the handsome, intelligent and awesome Harry Potter.”


“Hmmm, let me think about it for a while, Harry. You all bring up an interesting argument. I never realized I would have to deal with all this when we got back together, yesterday…” Ginny furrowed her brows and looked like she was debating the pros and cons of the situation.


Harry looked over at Ginny with one eyebrow raised and his arms crossed in front of his chest. He knew what she was up to and was going to play along. “Are you sure you want to go down that road, Miss Weasley? Did you forget your failed attempts at teasing me this morning? I am not above using my best method of torture on you again, in front of our friends.”


 “OK! I’ve had enough time to think,” Ginny said quickly. She remembered the tickle torture very well. “I will officially take on the challenge of being your girlfriend, whole heartedly. Let any girl try whatever she wants. I’ll be ready for them all!” she said with mock seriousness. Then she glanced over at Harry and started to laugh.


“Oh, you think you’re so cute. Let’s see what happens the first time some girl does start running after me, when we’re out together.”


“Don’t worry, luv, I will protect you. I’m very good at throwing jinxes, you know.”


“Yeah, I know. You’re right. They don’t stand a chance,” he smiled then grabbed her around the waist and pulled her down onto his lap.


“I’m sorry Harry. I couldn’t resist teasing you. You were really starting to think rather highly of yourself, speaking in third person and all.  And your descriptions of yourself? Hah! I mean, handsome? OK; intelligent?…it’s a stretch but I’ll go with it; but, awesome?  That’s going a bit overboard, don’t you think?” She said with a huge grin on her face.   


Their faces were only inches apart and Harry was able to whisper in her ear so only she could hear, “Oh, I don’t know…it sounded like you thought I was pretty awesome last night.”


Ginny’s mouth opened slightly and her whole face started to flush. “I can’t believe you would use our intimate relations against me like that; and while we’re in front of others, too!”


“Hey, all’s fair in love and war… or so I’m told. I’ve done the war thing and I know it holds true for that. But, the love thing I’m very new at. I’ll let you know more as I find out myself.” He winked at her cheekily and kissed her again.


Ron and Hermione were watching all this with confused expressions on their faces. They weren’t sure when things changed in the conversation, but suddenly Harry and Ginny were having a private one and Ron and Hermione were feeling a bit out of place.


Ron had had enough, “Oi! You two! Do you mind? I may be OK with you going out again, but that doesn’t mean I’m OK with you getting all mushy and snogging right in front of my face! It’s a little bit disturbing, you know.”


“Oh, you’re right dear brother. We are being so rude. Harry, let’s go outside so we can snog each other senseless without bothering these two, any longer.” She jumped off of Harry’s lap and took him by the hand. She turned to the others and said, “Thanks for a lovely evening. We’ll be out for while, so don’t wait up!” She led Harry out the door into the back yard, leaving an astonished Ron and bemused Hermione in their wake.

“Let it go, love” advised Hermione. I’ve never seen Harry so happy. They’re good for each other. Even you should be able to see that.” With that she blew out the candles and snuggled closer to Ron, who still didn’t know if he should go after his little sister and best mate. I mean God knows what kind of trouble they could get into out their, unsupervised.


But he didn’t have any more time to ponder those thoughts because he suddenly became aware of Hermione sidling up closer to him on the sofa. He found himself unable to think about anything else but her and how now they were also left unsupervised.  He felt so lucky he had someone like Hermione by his side.


“You’re right, as usual, Hermione,” he whispered into her hair, while she rested her head on his shoulder. “I need to start listening to you more often. I’ll be a much happier person.”  


“Don’t worry Ron. I’ll always be here to remind you.” She replied, closing her eyes and leaning her face towards his.


They kissed tenderly for a while then lay down in each other’s arms, on the sofa and drifted off to sleep, as the fire slowly died out.




Ginny guided Harry out the door and into the backyard. She was really enjoying the banter between them back in the parlor. She was glad the conversation took an up-swing and ended on a good note. She was surprised that she was able to feel happy like this so soon after Fred’s death, but somehow it seemed OK.


She found the spot near the back of the garden she was looking for; tucked away among the trees and bushes so no one could see them from the house. Not much of a view, but the only scenery she wanted to look at right now was a certain dark-haired boy standing in front of her.


“You really turned me on in there with your whisperings about last night,” she said as she leaned against a tree, grabbed him by his shirt and pulled him close. She placed her hands on his chest and looked up at his face.


“You were turned on just by that? Hmm, I didn’t realize the power I have over you, Miss Weasley.  I will have to remember that in the future.” He was a little surprised by her forwardness, but he liked it. He really liked how close their bodies were at the moment. She felt so good against him. He grabbed her from the hips and pushed himself more forcibly towards her, pinning her body against the tree. The next second, he leaned in and pressed his lips against hers. God, one day back together and he already couldn’t get enough of her. She was going to drive him crazy.


A soft moan escaped her lips as Harry pushed his tongue into her mouth. As their tongues danced intimately he lightly brushed his fingertips along her collar bone out towards her shoulder, and back. He could feel the electricity between them. Then, his fingers found their way over to her chest just above where her cleavage began. She was breathing hard now, and her chest rose and fell quickly. He was getting very excited at her reaction.


His other hand somehow found the hem of her shirt and reached underneath to feel the smooth skin of her stomach. He felt the skin there quiver under his touch. This turned him on even more. It was so intoxicating to know she wanted him as much as he wanted her.


Ginny felt like her body was on fire. Any where Harry’s hands or lips touched her, she could feel the heat. It was searing, yet she couldn’t get enough. Soon they were kissing more deeply; more purposefully.  He pushed her body harder against the tree trying to seal any openings between them. They ground their hips against one another, in a slow rhythmic motion.


As the heat between them continued to rise, Ginny slid one of her legs up the back of Harry’s thigh. She couldn’t seem to get close enough to him. His body against hers; it was all she wanted. Next thing she knew both her legs were wrapped around Harry’s hips and her back was pushed harder against the rough bark. She knew she would have some scratches and bruises to explain tomorrow, but right now she didn’t care. She just needed him closer. She needed to feel him inside her.


As if reading her mind Harry carried her away from the tree and gently laid her down in the clearing on top of the soft grass. He lay on his side next to her, helped her take her shirt and bra off and slowly stroked her torso up and down with his fingers, caressing every curve. Her body is perfect, he thought. She is perfect. “Ginny…” was all he could manage to whisper into the dark.


Does he have any idea the effect he has on me? I can barely stand it when he touches me like that. It feels so good it aches.  These were Ginny’s thoughts as she pulled his shirt off for him. He then stood up to take off the rest of his clothes and shoes.


Once he was fully undressed, he carefully knelt down over her and brought his mouth to her breasts, which made her moan loudly. Slowly, he made his way down her torso, trying to savor her taste as he went along.


When his mouth reached her naval, he slid his fingers slowly inside the waistband of her sweats, sending visible shivers down her body.  He took them off one leg at a time, wanting to build the intensity of her excitement by taking his time.  He methodically undid her trainers and slowly took them off along with her socks. All that was left between them now were her panties. By this time, Ginny was breathing raggedly with anticipation.


Harry was having a hard time breathing, himself. The emotions she aroused in him were almost unbearable. Her face was gorgeous; her eyes full of want. Her breasts were soft and full, her stomach so smooth.  Suddenly, just looking at her wasn’t enough. He needed to be inside her and make her his again. With one quick motion her panties were gone and he slowly brought himself on top of her. He raised himself up on his elbows and looked deep into her eyes seeking permission to continue. She looked up at him with the want and lust he was hoping for. She spread her legs and he lowered himself down.


She let out a gasp when he found his destination; it was better than she was anticipating; even better than last night. She knew what to expect this time; the fear of the unknown was gone. She could simply enjoy herself and get lost in the pleasure he was giving her.


He wanted to make sure she enjoyed herself fully, first. So, he took his time. He moved slowly, rhythmically. She was his and he wanted to let her know just how much that meant to him. He hoped she could tell by his actions. Her groans and whimpers were a good indication and made him want to please her all the more.


This continued for a while with their movements becoming faster and more urgent. Ginny was arching her back and had her eyes closed as she felt every movement inside her. Soon, she was calling out his name as she reached the point of letting it all go. Then, she was wriggling underneath him with a look of ecstasy on her face.


Harry knew he had done what he wanted to do for her and now it was his turn; he couldn’t wait any longer. He shuddered with pleasure as the magical energy flowed between them, once again. He couldn’t believe it was even better than the first time. He tried to concentrate on those feelings so he could remember them forever; they were that good.


Afterwards, he was thinking to himself that he had never felt such completeness as he did, lying here in Ginny’s arms. He couldn’t explain it; he just knew he felt whole. When their breathing came back down to normal, she looked up at him and whispered, “I love you, Harry. You know that, right?”  He had never heard more beautiful words than those. He was sure his parents had told him they loved him when they were alive, but he couldn’t remember any of that. It meant everything to him that she loved him. She loved battered, worn-down, scrawny, stubborn Harry Potter. That was all he ever wanted. She was all he ever wanted. He bent down and kissed her tenderly on the lips. “Thank you Ginny, for loving me and letting me love you back. It means everything to me.”


She smiled, breathed in deeply and let her head rest on his chest. She listened to his breathing as she felt his chest rise and fall. It made her feel safe. If she could, she would have stayed that way all night. But, after about 15 minutes, they decided to get dressed and head back to the house, before Ron started to hunt them down, wondering what they were up to.


They slipped quietly into the house and found Ron and Hermione lying on the couch asleep in each other’s arms. Someone had covered them up very neatly and precisely with a blanket. It looked like Percy’s doing, so they guessed he and Mr. Weasley got home while they were outside. Well, at least there would be no questions to answer tonight. Everyone was already asleep. They silently walked up the stairs stopping in front of Ginny’s room.


“Well, I guess this is goodnight, then.”


“Yeah. Goodnight, Gin. Love you.”


“Love you, too.”


They kissed good night and reluctantly went off to their separate rooms, as another eventful day came to an end.

A/N Well, what do you think? Enough intimacy for you; too much? Did  the banter between the four seem realistic enough? I know there wasn't a lot of action in this chapter, mostly talk, but it just seemed like the natural thing to do after the funerals. The next few chapters I will try to tie up some loose ends with Harry and Teddy, Harry and Snape, Harry and George, etc. and maybe some Luna and Neville. We'll see...Happy Spring Break to those of you with kids in school or who are in school, yourselves.  

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