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A/N: Wow, it feels like forever since I last wrote a chapter...wait a minute, it has been! Yeah, sorry about that. Time has slipped by way too quickly these past few months. I hope it was worth the wait. Thank you to those reviewers who kept me inspired while I took my time with this chapter and completed it to my liking. 
Please enjoy the next installment in my story about Harry and Ginny. And, as always, please leave a review!



CHAPTER FIFTEEN




It only took Ginny about a half hour to calm Harry down so he could sleep without the nightmares. She crawled into bed with him and wrapped her arms around him, protectively. She smoothed his damp hair off his forehead and whispered soothingly into his ear. In response to this, Harry stopped shivering and thrashing around almost immediately. In a short while, Ginny was able to calm him down enough so he was sleeping peacefully. She moved to lie down next to him and he automatically draped an arm over her and pulled her close.

 

She felt so guilty; it felt so good to be back in his arms again, but she didn’t feel like she deserved his affection after how she had treated him. How could I forget about his nightmares? How selfish is that? And the way I ignored him and shut him out all day, I wouldn’t blame him if he never forgave me this. These were the thoughts running through her mind as she finally drifted off to sleep.

 

Harry awoke in the morning with a nasty headache and an aching body. He tried to remember what he did yesterday to cause all this pain, but his head felt like it was full of cotton and it was hard to concentrate. He was still half asleep when he rolled over and his arm fell on a lump next to him; a very nice and familiar-smelling lump. When he realized it was Ginny, he began to snuggle up to her and try to fall back to sleep, but then it hit him; all the memories of yesterday came rushing back to him.

 

He abruptly sat up, and quickly regretted it. Ow! Ow! Ow!, he thought as he squeezed his eyes shut and grimaced with pain. Damn those bloody nightmares. They must have been pretty bad last night. But they must have stopped at some point. That must have been when Ginny came into bed. But, what is she even doing here? I thought she was spending the night at Neville’s and wasn’t Mrs. Weasley supposed to brew him a sleeping potion at some point? Did he ever take it?  He was getting dizzy with information overload. Everything was still a bit hazy, too. All in all, there was way too much for him to think about with such a bad headache, so he gently lowered himself back to a supine position and tried to relax.

 

He was able to rest a little longer before Ginny started to stir beside him. She yawned and stretched then tried to burry her head deeper under the covers. “Why is it so bloody bright in here? Who opened the damned curtains?” she mumbled in annoyance.

 

“It’s almost 9 o’clock; that’s why it’s so bright in here. And, the curtains are open because you’re the one who usually draws them every night and you weren’t here,” he replied quietly, so as not to disturb his head any more than he had to.

 

Ginny suddenly shot up in bed, as she realized what he said. Her horrible behavior from yesterday came flooding back to her and she felt miserable about it. She slowly turned to face Harry, “Oh, Harry…I’m so sorry,” she began. But, after seeing Harry’s scrunched up face and his hands holding his head she stopped abruptly. She brushed her hair out of her face and took a better look at him.

 

“Harry, are you OK? Is it your head?” she asked, with concern.

 

“Yeah, it kind of feels like a boulder is bouncing around in there,” he whispered.

 

“Oh, I’m so sorry; this is all my fault,” she moaned. “I should never have stayed over Neville’s last night. I totally forgot about your nightmares until the middle of the night. That’s when I rushed home and found you in that awful state.” She was talking so fast Harry was having a hard time keeping up with her. “Oh, Harry, can you ever forgive me?” She was clearly afraid of what his reply might be.

 

“Um…can we please talk about this a later? Right now I can barely talk without fear of blowing my head off. I think a bit of your mum’s pain potion is needed before we talk things over, OK?” He wasn’t trying to be rude, but his head really did feel like it was going to explode any minute.

 

“Yeah, yes, of course! I’m so sorry! I’m just not thinking straight. Let me go and get some for you right now. Mum was brewing some when I got home. But, you ended up not needing it because I…well, anyway, I’ll just go get that potion. I’ll be right back.” She stopped rambling and quickly rushed out the door, leaving Harry in a daze. He was grateful that she had returned, but he was still a bit bothered by the fact that she blocked him out all day yesterday and half the night.

 

Ugh, I can’t think straight right now. I’ll have to deal with this later. He tried to rest so his head wouldn’t throb as much. He seemed to be doing a bit better by the time Ginny returned with the potion.

 

“Harry, are you awake?” she asked quietly.

 

“Mhmmm,” he mumbled.

 

“I have the potion for you. Can you sit up and take it?” she gently sat at the edge of the bed, waiting for him to fully wake up.

 

Harry slowly made it to a semi-sitting position and drank the potion down. Then he slid his head back down onto the pillow and closed his eyes.

 

“You should start feeling better in a few minutes. Here, let me draw the curtains so you can rest some more. You could do with a few more hours of sleep.”

 

The room grew darker, which helped a little, and Harry was slowly starting to feel the effects of the potion.

 

Ginny was pretty tired herself, but wasn’t sure she’d be able to sleep. She had so much she needed to discuss with Harry and all of it was clunking around in her head, not allowing her much peace. Still, she thought it best to at least lie down and give it a try. She made sure to keep to her side of the bed, since she wasn’t sure how Harry felt about her being back, yet. She wasn’t sure if he was alright with it or not. After the way she treated him yesterday, she thought it would make perfect sense for him to have a problem with it. If it was the other way around, she knew she’d be giving him a very cold shoulder, right now. Just as she finished settling under the covers, she heard Harry call to her.

 

“What are you doing all the way over there?” he asked in a low voice.

 

“Um, well…I wasn’t sure if you would, you know, want me too close to you, right now.”

 

“Gin,” he sighed. “I know we have a lot to talk about and I’m not totally thrilled with you at the moment but, it would really make me feel better if you were just a bit closer.”

 

She didn’t need to be told twice…she scooted in close, careful not to move the mattress too much as she snuggled into Harry’s body. He automatically wrapped his arm around her waist and sighed contentedly. “That’s better,” he whispered into her hair as he settled down to re-capture some of the sleep he had lost last night.

 

Ginny felt a rush of contentment fill her heart. It was so nice to feel Harry’s emotions again. She just lay there and reveled in it for a while. She couldn’t believe how stupid she had been yesterday, keeping herself closed off like that. She realized now that it didn’t just take a toll on Harry, but on her, as well. She hadn’t realized how emotionally empty she felt until they had reconnected, just now. When she heard his breathing pattern even out she knew he was asleep and she finally let herself fall asleep, as well.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The next time they woke up the sun was high in the sky. Neither Ginny nor Harry had moved an inch in the past few hours; they had been in such a deep sleep.

 

“Hey.” She heard Harry’s voice from somewhere near her left ear.

 

“Hey, yourself,” she murmured.  “Wait, how’s your headache? Did the potion work?” She slowly turned around so she could see his face.

 

Harry gave her a smile. “I feel better, but I’m starved.” He stretched with a yawn and, as if on cue, his stomach gave a loud rumble.

 

Ginny grinned at him. “You are definitely hungry.” She glanced at the clock-12:45. “How ‘bout we get washed up and go down for lunch. I’m sure Mum saved some leftovers for us. ”

 

“Yeah, sounds good.” They both went about their business of getting ready. Harry was happy to find that his head had ceased throbbing and his aches and pains had diminished to a much more tolerable level. While he was showering, Ginny decided to change the bed linens, as they were now stained with sweat from the night before. As she did this, she remembered the reasons why the sheets needed changing. Guilt washed over her, yet again. We are going to need to talk about this right after lunch. I need to know Harry really forgives me.

 

Hermione and Ron were sitting at the kitchen table reading the paper, while Molly was finishing cleaning up the kitchen. Now that she was feeling better, she insisted on doing all of the household chores herself again. It was like she was making up for lost time. “Well, look who finally decided to get out of bed this morning,” Ron said in greeting.

 

“Oh, shut it, Ron. And, pull your mind out of the gutters,” Ginny shot him a nasty look.

 

“OK, OK. Relax. I was just having a bit of fun; nothing to get so worked up over.” He shook his head and went back to reading.

 

“It’s OK. We’re both a little sleep deprived. I think we’ll feel better once we get some of your mum’s delicious cooking in our stomachs. Thanks for letting us sleep in Mrs. Weasley. It really helped,” said Harry, turning to address her.

 

“Oh, you’re welcome, Harry, dear. And, how is your head, this mor-, um, afternoon?” she asked, smiling sweetly.

 

“Much better, after taking the pain potion this morning. By the way, where’s Teddy? I’ve really neglected the little guy the last couple of days.”

 

“Oh, he’s taking his nap in the sitting room. I fed him a little while ago and he went right to sleep. Such a good little boy. Andromeda must really miss him,” she added.

 

“Well, if all goes well, the Malfoys should be ready to move out in a couple days. They found a house in a muggle neighborhood, just outside of London. They’re lawyers should be working on a contract today,” Harry informed them.

 

“But, Harry, a closing on a muggle house takes months. How are they going to move in so quickly?” asked Hermione.

 

“Apparently, the lawyers had a way of ‘persuading’ the muggle banks and realtors to rush through the proceedings,” explained Harry.

 

“You mean they used magic on the muggles for no good reason?” asked Hermione, with a look of shock on her face.

 

“I think getting the Malfoys out of Andromeda’s house is a very good reason, personally. But, I understand your concern. In this case, Kingsley and Mr. Weasley thought it best to get the Malfoys secured in their new home, as soon as possible. The sooner they place the property under a fidelius charm the less chance there is of any further ill-wishers finding out its location. It’s the best way to provide them with needed protection.”  That seemed to appease Hermione, for the time being.

 

“I wonder who their secret keeper will be,” Mrs. Weasley mused out loud, as she set the leftovers out for Harry and Ginny.

 

“Yeah, who would take such a risk for them? It’s not like they have many friends on either side of the fence, now,” Ron stated, matter-of-factly, as he folded up the newspaper and tossed it on the table.

 

Maybe they’ll assign someone from the Ministry to do it,” suggested Ginny. “I don’t think any civilians should be expected to take such a risk.” They all seemed to agree with her and interest on that subject died out. Ron and Hermione kept Harry and Ginny company while they ate their lunch, talking about nothing in particular and everything under the sun.

 

After lunch, Mrs. Weasley had another one of her mental-healing appointments. This time she was meeting the healer at her office and George was going with her. Ginny thought it would be a good time to have that talk with Harry. So, after spending a bit of bonding time with Teddy, which included changing his stinky nappies, Ginny asked Hermione and Ron to look after him for rest of the afternoon.  Hermione was all too happy to help, but Ron needed a bit more persuading. He relented only after Hermione whispered something in his ear which made him blush.

 

Ginny led Harry out the back door and into the sun-filled yard. It was a brilliant day, with blue skies, warm air and just the hint of a breeze blowing by. Ginny found a quiet spot behind some trees, quite a distance from the Burrow and sat down on a soft patch of grass with hers legs crossed in front of her. Harry sat down opposite her in the same manner.

 

Ginny stared at Harry for a while, trying to sense what he was feeling. Was he angry with her? Did he feel betrayed by her actions yesterday? She could feel his emotions very clearly. He was struggling between feelings of hurt, confusion and guilt…always with the guilt, this one.

 

“Harry, why are you feeling guilty about what I did to you, yesterday? How can your brain twist this around to make it your fault, somehow?”

 

“Well, I figure if I had gotten word to you that I was safe after the attack the other day, you wouldn’t have gotten so upset. But, mostly I blame myself for not pushing you harder to talk about your emotions and feelings from last year. I should’ve helped you work through all of that. Instead, I tried to protect you from your memories. I figured that if I couldn’t protect you from the awful things that happened at Hogwart’s while I was gone, at least I could protect you from re-living the memories of them.” His body had tensed up while he spoke and had to take a deep breath to try and relax. He didn’t want his emotions flooding her right now.

 

Ginny reached out and cupped his chin with her hand. She brought his face up so she could look into his eyes. “Harry, I don’t blame you for the things the death eaters did while you were away.” She sighed then took both his hands in hers. “I may still get angry with you for breaking up with me and leaving me behind when you went searching for those Horcruxes, but I do understand why you did it. I know there was no way you could have taken me with you. There still may be times I will resent you for it, but that’s just on the surface. Deep down I will always know why you did it this way. And, you know I’m telling you the truth because you can feel it. I am at peace with that part of it.”

 

Harry nodded his understanding. “The problem is that even though I understood why you left me, I couldn’t stop fearing for you and Hermione and Ron. The entire time you were gone, I was terrified something would happen to you. And then Luna was taken and you showed up dead in Hagrid’s arms; I thought all my worst fears had come true.”




“Gin, I will never be able to apologize enough for all the pain I caused you with the break-up, our disappearances and then the faking my own death. I truly am sorry you had to go through all that. It’s so ironic how loving you gave me so much strength throughout the past year but loving me gave you so much pain.”

 

Those words struck a chord in Ginny’s heart. “That’s not true, Harry! Thinking of you and of the memories of us together kept me sane a lot of the time you were gone. Whenever things got really bad, I focused my thoughts on you and me and it really helped me to escape reality for a while. That was a good thing because reality was pretty bad, most of the time.” Her sharp tone changed to a softer one when she remembered those times.

 

Then slowly she stated, “Harry…I think I’m ready to tell you a little about what happened to me while you were away.”

 

Harry looked at Ginny and she had a nervous but determined look on her face. “Are you sure? Do you really think you’re ready?” He asked gently, just to make sure.

 

“Yeah, I don’t want to keep things from you anymore and I never want to shut you again, like I did yesterday. It’s time you knew what happened. But, please don’t tell anyone else, just yet. I’m still not ready for that.” She looked worried.

 

“You know you can trust me,” he said. “I won’t breathe a word to anyone.”

 

“I know, I know.” She was fiddling with the hem of her shirt, a sure sign she was nervous.

 

“It’s OK, Gin. Just relax and take your time. We’ve got all day,” he said as he shifted closer to her and put his arm around her shoulders.

 

She gave him a small smile of thanks in return and after a deep breath, she began her tale. “Well, like I told you before, the first few weeks back weren’t too bad. The new ‘staff’ was getting used to the way things worked at the school and were busy writing a lot of new rules and forming inquisition squads, mostly from the Slytherin house. But, as the weeks passed, the Carrows became emboldened by the power Snape gave them. They went power-crazy. Whenever they could get someone in trouble they did, just so they could serve out some insane, unjust detention. There was the usual manual labor they imposed while they watched over us and laughed and jeered. Or, various silly hexes they used on us, mainly to humiliate us in front of our peers. But, when they realized they could get away with unforgivable curses, well, that’s when things really started getting bad for us.

 

“They used unforgiveables on students, all 3 of them?” asked Harry, trying not to show the alarm he felt at the mention of this.

 

“Well, as far as I know, they never used the killing curse on any of us until the final battle. But, the other 2 were used pretty regularly. I’m sure a few times some people wished they had used the killing curse on them, just to put them out of their misery. It was pure hell.” Tears had started to fall from Ginny’s eyes as memories of torture inflicted upon her and her class mates flashed vividly in her mind.

 

Harry didn’t push her; he just held her in his arms and let the tears fall. He would wait as long as she needed. He knew how hard this was for her, but he also knew what a strong witch she was and that she would get through this, no matter how difficult the memories were. Ginny turned her head to the side and laid her cheek against Harry’s chest. She took a deep breath and began her story.

 

“Anyway, like I said, things started to get really bad once the ‘unforgivables’ were unleashed on us, on a regular basis. All you had to do was be in the wrong corridor at the wrong time and they gave out detention. Most of the time, we had to serve our detention with the Carrows or Filch. Those were the ones you didn’t come out of without some sort of injury. There were many times students would be left in the dungeons for days with only stale bread and sips of water to keep them alive. It was mostly Snape who came to our rescue on those occasions. We thought it was because he was ordered to keep us alive by Voldemort, but now I see he really was trying to help us. Even though he didn’t like us much, he didn’t wish us dead. And, not all the students recruited by the Carrows were pure evil. Some of them showed mercy on us and helped us escape, sometimes. The rest of the time it was up to us to help each other out. We planned rescue missions on a regular basis. And, most of the time, we were successful.” Ginny finally took a pause and sighed. She didn’t dare look up to see Harry’s face. She knew hearing this was killing him. But, it had to be done; he needed to know everything just as much as she needed to tell him.  

 

“The insane part of it all is that I would rather have gone through months of torture in those dungeons than be forced to do the awful things they made us do during classes. A common form of fun for the ‘professors’ was to have us perform the crutiatus curse on one another. If we refused, they would imperius us and force us to do it anyway.”

 

“Bastards…” Harry whispered.


What she said next nearly broke his heart. “One day I was chosen to “practice” the crutiatus on a 1st year named Agnes Beecham. Of course I refused, so they tried to force me to do it.” She closed her eyes as she started to cry. “Harry, I tried so hard to fight off the curse, but eventually they broke me down. They were always able to break me down. Most of the time they would stop us before anyone had any irreversible damage, but this one time…I don’t know maybe it was because she was so young or was sick that day. Or maybe I just cursed her too long. Agnes, she…she-she’s now lying in St. Mungo’s in the same unit as Neville’s parents because of me! They made me curse an innocent young girl into insanity. Oh, Harry, I didn’t mean to do it. You have to believe me; I swear I tried to fight them off, I did!” She broke down into uncontrollable sobs as Harry held her tight and tried his best to console her.

 

“Gin, you don’t have to convince me of how hard you tried. I know you. And, fighting off an imperius curse is nearly impossible. Add to that the fact that you all were exhausted and scared and not well cared for, well, you just didn’t have a fighting chance. You can’t go on blaming yourself for this. Those soulless bastards who worked for Voldemort did this to you.”

 

She lifted her head up slowly and looked Harry in the eyes, “You’re wrong Harry. I should have been stronger. I should have blocked their voices out of my head. But, I didn’t. I was weak and I failed and because of me Agnes’ parents no longer have their daughter, because of me---”

 

“No, I won’t let you do this to yourself. You can’t expect yourself to throw off a curse like that!”

 

Her eyes narrowed and she looked at him accusingly, “You did! You were strong enough to do it! I should’ve tried harder! I shou—

 

Harry grabbed her by the shoulders and forced her to stop her ranting.  “Gin! Stop it! Stop torturing yourself. The only reason I had the power to fight that curse was because of the bit of Voldemort’s soul that was in me. If someone tried to imperius me right now, I would succumb to it just like everyone else; just like you…” He hoped she was listening to what he was trying to tell her.

 

“Gin, I wish you never had to go threw all that. I wish I had been there with you. I wish I could take all your pain away, now. But, you have to believe me when I tell you this wasn’t your fault. You can’t go on carrying this guilt inside you. It will eat you up. You’ve told me the same exact thing many times and you’re right. Now, you have to take your own advice.”

 

Ginny gave him one last anguished look then hung her head in despair.

 

“I’ve tried telling myself that many times, Harry, but I just can’t bring myself to believe it,” she stated quietly. “I know I’m being a hypocrite for not taking my own advice, but I just can’t help it.”

 

“Oh, Gin, come here.” He gently cradled her in his arms and rocked her, trying his best to pour his feelings of love and understanding into her mind. “I’m so sorry, Ginny, I’m so, so sorry. Shhhh…”  He held her for a long time as she silently wept.

 

Finally she was able to take a deep breath and stop her crying. She looked up at Harry, the man who cared for her so much she could feel it inside her soul. She took a hold of his hands and spoke his name very softly.

 

“Harry.”

 

“Yes, love.”

 

“Can I ask you a favor?”

 

“Definitely.”

 

“Would you come with me to go visit Agnes at hospital? I just feel like I need to see her and talk to her, even if she can’t understand me. And, I’d like to talk with her parents one day, as well.”

 

This was not what Harry was expecting her to say. “Do you really feel you’re up for it? I mean, you just started talking about your feelings; maybe you should give yourself a little more time before you go. It’s bound to be very upsetting.”

 

“I know, but I need to do it. Now that I’ve taken the first step and opened up to you about this, I can see what the next step is in the process. It has to be done and I think it should be soon.  It’s the only way I’m going to get past my fears so we can both move on.”

 

Harry gave her a sad smile. What she said made sense, but he still hated the thought of her going through any more pain. “Well, if you’re sure then, of course I’ll go with you. I’ll support you in whatever you choose to do. And, I want you to know something; you are not weak like you said just now. It takes a strong person to face her fears like this. You are a very strong and caring person. Even after what all those gits did to you and your friends, you are still able to love and let others love you back. They tried to break your spirit and your mind, but they couldn’t. Don’t you see how strong that makes you?”

 

“I hear what you’re saying, Harry, I really do. But, it’s not easy to feel happy about it. I mean it could just as easily have been me who got cursed into insanity or who got killed. It’s only luck that I’m alive and well and Agnes is going to spend the rest of her days at St. Mungo’s in a stupor, breaking her parent’s hearts every time they go visit her.”

 

Harry nodded his understanding before embracing her, once more. He inhaled deeply and took in the sweet smell of her hair. “You know I love you Ginny; with all my heart. And I’ll do whatever you ask of me.”

 

Ginny smiled into his chest. Even at her worst moments, he could always make her feel better with those three simple words. “Thanks, Harry. You really helped me a lot today. I know I’m still feeling guilty and sad, but I really do feel better than I did before we started this talk.” She gave him a gentle kiss on the lips.

 

“Good, I’m glad. I think we should try to set aside some time every few days for something like this. You know, until we’ve gotten most of our emotions and fears out in the open.”

 

“Yeah, I think that’s a good idea. I’m just glad I have you to help me through it all. I can’t imagine opening up to anyone else this much.” She gave him another kiss then pulled back to look into his eyes; those beautiful green eyes that she loved so much. And without intending to do it, she felt a surge of passion flow through her into Harry. It was intense and filled her with a deep rooted desire to be as close to Harry as possible. This led to a kiss that was filled with all the raw emotions she was feeling over the past few hours; fear, sadness, guilt, love. The kisses turned even more intense as Ginny let her emotions carry her away. The physical contact of Harry’s lips and arms and body were a welcome change from all the emotions she was feeling moments ago. She couldn’t get close enough; she wanted to feel his skin against hers.  

 

Harry was taken aback by Ginny’s aggressiveness, at first. She was overwhelming him with her rush of emotions. Just the very physical way she was kissing and touching him would have been enough to let him know how much she really needed him right now, even without their emotional connection. Before he could register what was happening she was stripped down to her bra and panties and he found he wasn’t wearing a shirt.

 

“Gin, sweetie, Ginny…” he tried to talk in between her fervent kisses. He had to pull her face away so she would look at him as he spoke. “Gin, are you OK? I mean I can feel how emotional you are right now and, well, maybe we need to slow down a bit and get a little control back,” he said breathlessly.

 

She was staring back at him with a dazed look on her face, her cheeks were flushed and her breathing was shallow. Her hair was a tangled mess from Harry running his hands through them. In other words, she couldn’t have looked more gorgeous in Harry’s eyes. He was always amazed that he could get this kind of reaction out of her. It still didn’t make sense to him why she loved him so much. But, he was so glad she did.

 

“I just want to make sure you’re really OK. I mean, things just got very intense very quickly. You’re sure you don’t want to calm down and talk some more?”

 

“Harry, I’ve talked enough for one night. I don’t want to talk or think anymore. I just really, really, really want to be as close to you as possible; I need to take a break from all these emotions and feel with my body instead of my mind. Please, stop talking and just show me how much you love me, please.” She was looking into his eyes with such intensity and desire. Harry understood what she was saying. And, he honestly didn’t see any reason why he should resist her pleas to be with him. He had only wanted to make sure she was alright with it. 

 

And then, all of a sudden, he couldn’t wait another minute to continue what she had started. The feelings of passion she invoked in him in just a few minutes ago were too intense to ignore. He had to have her as much as she had to have him. Without another word they were tangled up in each others arms and back to snogging, passionately.


It wasn’t long before all of their clothes were lying on the ground and Harry was desperately trying to remember the proper incantations to the privacy and contraceptive charms he wanted to perform before things went any further. Ginny finally caught on to what he was trying to do and let go of him long enough so he could perform the charms while she conjured up a blanket for them to lie on.

 

They didn’t remember much after that. Things progressed so quickly there wasn’t much time to think. And, that was a good thing, as far as Ginny was concerned. She’d had enough of thinking for one day. She relished the kisses and caresses she received from Harry and tried to reciprocate, in kind. It didn’t take long for both of them to have their physical needs met.

 

Afterwards, Ginny lay down next to Harry with a contented smile on her face. “Wow,” she sighed. “That was intense.”

 

Harry was having trouble thinking at the moment so all he could get out was, “yeah”.

 

She looked over at him and started to giggle.

 

“What is it? What’s so funny?”

 

“You should see the goofy grin on your face. It’s priceless.”

 

“Well, so is the smile on yours,” he shot back.

 

She blushed at this. “Well, I can’t help it. It doesn’t want to leave my face. I’ve tried but it won’t go away.”

 

“Now, why would you want to get rid of such a beautiful thing? It’s brilliant right where it is.” He teased her and gave her a gentle kiss on the lips.

 

“Yes, but if we go back to the house with my brilliant smile and your goofy grin I think the entire house will know what we were up to.”

 

Harry laughed out loud. It felt so good to laugh and hear Ginny joking like she was. He had been apprehensive about having her relive the past. But, it seemed to be just what she needed. Now, she could finally let go a little and move on. She looked relaxed and happy again. Harry promised himself they would continue to have these talks until everything was out in the open; no matter how long it would take.

 

He gave her another kiss before he got up to retrieve their clothes. In a few minutes they were ready to undo the privacy charm and head back to the house. They gave each other a once over and after fixing a few of Ginny’s stray hairs and straightening Harry’s collar, they decided they were ready.

 

When they were about to walk up the back steps, Ginny grabbed Harry’s hand and held him back for a moment. “Harry, I just want to thank you again for everything today. You don’t know how much this means to me; to have you here to help me through all this, it really is more than I could ask for. And, I also wanted to apologize again for the way I shut you out, yesterday. I never want to hurt you like that again. You really have forgiven me, right?” She asked with uncertainty.

 

Harry looked at her for a moment then stepped down to her level and circled his arms around her waist. “Ginny, I know how badly you feel about yesterday. I don’t need you to apologize for it, anymore. OK?”

 

She looked deep into his eyes and tried to assess what he was feeling. She felt a surge of love and acceptance flow through her. It immediately made her feel at peace with herself. She knew it was Harry’s peacefulness she was feeling. Everything was as it should be again. She hadn’t messed it all up, after all. They had run into another big hurdle in their relationship and made it through, still intact. She gave him a big smile and nodded. “OK.”

 

He leaned down to kiss her then grabbed her by the hand and led her into the house.

 

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