by US HP Fan
Disclaimer and Notes: I own nothing in the HP world. I sincerely wish I did. I'm just borrowing the characters. A major note of thanks go to my beta, Felina Black, my unofficial sounding board Mame, and my family who insprires me all the time.
Harry Potter sat in a dimly-lit room and waited. By this point in his life he’d done lots of waiting.
Growing up, Harry had been punished for all manner of strange things. Harry learned to kill time in his tiny cupboard and wait out his punishments. He had learned to be fast and to stay out of others' way—the others being the Dursleys, their son Dudley, and his gang.
Then, ever since Harry had turned 11 years old, he had waited each summer to be able to leave the Dursleys. The first year he had waited to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. After the first year was over, he had waited to either join the Weasleys at the Burrow or at Grimmauld Place. He never knew how long he would have to be at the Dursleys, and for a long time he hadn’t even known why he had to go to the Dursleys at all. Still he waited, and was happy when he was allowed to leave.
During the summers, he also had waited for letters from his friends in the wizarding world. His first summer back he had waited in vain almost all summer long—until he discovered a house-elf named Dobby had been stopping all his letters. Then Dobby had performed magic in the Dursley's home and Harry had despaired of ever leaving the Dursleys again when they found out he was not allowed to do magic during the holiday.
Thankfully he didn’t have to wait too much longer before his best friend, Ron, and his brothers came and rescued him in the flying Ford Anglia.
There were so many things Harry had to wait for. He had to wait for fellow students to realize that he was not the Heir of Slytherin. He had to wait for Ron and Hermione to stop fighting over Scabbers—Ron’s rat who had turned out to be a traitor Animagus wizard. He had to wait for Ron to realize he had not put his name into the Goblet of Fire and to start talking to him again. He had to await with dread each approaching task of the Triwizard Tournament.
And then he spent those agonizing moments in the graveyard as he watched Lord Voldemort rise again to power from a sick and twisted mass. He had waited for an eternity in the golden cage while the victims of Lord Voldemort’s murderous ambition appeared in echo form and gave Harry a chance to escape.
The summer after Voldemort returned, Harry had waited again. He had been frustrated by the lack of news on Voldemort from anyone and anywhere. His friends didn’t write anything useful about Voldemort’s activities, and there was no news reported in either the Daily Prophet or the Muggle media outlets. Harry was desperate, but he had no choice but to wait. Waiting had made him angry. He had wanted to know what was going on. He had wanted to take immediate action.
Harry did not wait patiently.
Harry painfully learned his fifth year that action without much knowledge can lead to devastating consequences. Because he had been so impatient to run off and rescue Sirius he had not thought clearly. He had not gone to Snape to confirm Sirius’s whereabouts, and had gotten himself and his friends into a sticky situation with Professor Umbridge. He had not remembered the gift of the two-way mirror that would have allowed him to communicate with Sirius directly instead of with the deceptive Kreacher. He had, Harry felt, been the cause of Sirius’s death because he had acted too rashly.
He had spent an agonizing summer coming to that conclusion. Not only had Sirius’s death been on his mind, but the knowledge that eventually the battle would come down to him or Voldemort, and one of them would have to die weighed heavily upon him.
Harry had felt trapped in his destiny, and for a time had almost given up. He had almost given up until his friends finally knocked it into his head that there was more than one way to face this situation and with more than one attitude.
Harry was not sure he would have been successful without his friends sticking by him. They waited, and more tolerantly than they should have, for him to come around.
Harry had come to expect a skirmish near the end of each school year, and sixth year did not disappoint. He had waited and prepared himself and other students all year long for whatever surprise might come. That was when they had lost Seamus Finnegan, Lavender Brown and Michael Corner. Harry spent days, as he usually did, in the hospital wing waiting to be discharged by Madam Pomphrey.
During Harry’s seventh year, Voldemort had grown bolder and had begun attacking Muggles & Muggle-borns with more and more frequency. Harry and everyone else learned to dread the arrival of the Daily Prophet. It either brought terrible news of more attacks, or caused anxiety because no one knew where and when Voldemort would attack next.
Finally, at the end of Harry’s seventh year, he had his final confrontation with Voldemort. It had come during his N.E.W.T. level tests. Harry guessed that Voldemort wouldn’t expect Harry to attack him. At least not before Harry had graduated, or during a time when he was supposed to be very distracted with his N.E.W.T.s. Harry never had a chance to ask Voldemort if this was true, but he figured it didn’t matter much anyway.
Harry had nearly died in that encounter. He had gone off alone—not because he had been impatient or because of some nobility complex. He went off by himself because he realized that all of his training, all of his waiting, had led to this. The conflict was between him and Voldemort alone.
His loyal friends, who had realized too late where he had gone, created a diversion for the Death Eaters that allowed Harry access to Voldemort. Countless of his friends, teachers, and mentors were either injured or suffered mortal wounds in their own encounter. Harry was surprised to find out how much the entire school, with a few Slytherin exceptions, came together to fight.
Even after the final battle, Harry waited for years. He knew he had been victorious, but part of him held back on fully living life until he was really sure Voldemort and his Death Eaters were really gone for good. He had gone through the rigors of Auror training and brought many of those Death Eaters to justice.
Harry and the rest of the wizarding world eventually found a new “normal.” Many would never forget the devastation Voldemort and his followers caused, and they vowed they would never again grow complacent. Harry was one of those.
Even though he kept a watchful eye on the wizarding world around him, Harry found himself longing for more in life. As he pondered what he wanted, he realized that more than anything he desired a family of his own. He had thought for a long time he had just wanted his parents back; he had wanted Sirius back. But as he had matured, he realized that in many ways he had more than one set of parents--the Weasleys, Lupin, Tonks, Moody, Dumbledore, McGonagall and, in a small twisted way, Snape had all acted as surrogate parents to him.
No, thought Harry. He wanted a family of his own. One of his making.
So Harry began to date. At first he dated many girls, but most of them were predictably after the Potter fame and fortune. As he commiserated with his friends, he found himself talking to one of his female friends more and more.
Apparating home one evening, he realized that she was the one he enjoyed spending the most time with. For several months they had been meeting up at the Leaky Cauldron to compare their bad dates. The first time was purely accidental. She had gone to the Leaky Cauldron for a bite to eat, since her date hadn’t bothered to provide her with dinner—even though he had picked her up at 5:00. Harry’s date had been a bit vacuous, and he was looking to have a decent conversation with someone whose voice didn’t squeak. When he bumped into her, they both laughed over their mutually disastrous evenings, and spent the next several hours talking about nothing and everything.
From that point on, they made it a standing point to meet at the Leaky Cauldron to report on their dates. He found himself looking more and more forward to these encounters with her rather than his actual dates. One night he realized he was basically rushing through his date just so could meet up with her. That was the night he realized that she was the one he wanted to talk to everyday. Her opinions mattered, and it was she whom he most sought to improve himself for.
Harry began the deliberate dance of trying to win her heart. He had waited to find someone for so long. He had just never expected her to be so close by. When he found out she too had developed feelings for him, he was ecstatic. They took their time in dating. They both had been through so much and wanted to be sure that this was a love that would be committed no matter what they faced.
Harry heard the rumors that they were shagging. People wondered aloud as he passed by why they weren’t living together already. “Everyone does,” they said. But Harry knew the truth.
Harry Potter had waited his whole life for someone to love him for him. Not to care for him because they were obligated to like the Dursleys. Not to worship him from afar because he was the Boy Who Lived. But to love him for the person he was. Harry knew from all of his experiences that love is one of the most powerful forces on earth. Not just lust, desire or love that is fickle, but the kind of love that makes you be willing to die for another. The kind of love his parents had for each other, the kind of love from his mother that had protected him for so many years.
The summer after Sirius’s death, when Harry had finally realized part of what Dumbledore had said about love and its power over us-- he made a vow. He didn’t know how long it would be until he found what his parents had, but he would save himself for the one he would marry.
Harry kept his vow. He felt that the physical expression of love was one of the most sacred things you could do with anyone. Harry knew he didn’t want to share that part of himself with just anyone—even though the hormones raged and some of his friends told stories of how great sex was.
Even after Harry had realized that she was the one he wanted to spend the rest of his life with, he waited. To his delight, she had waited too. Harry respected and loved her enough to make a declaration to the world that she would be his one and only. She would be his wife. And after she was his wife—he would be hers.
So Harry Potter waited anxiously in a dimly-lit room. He sat on the edge of a large king-sized four-poster bed. He stared at the wispy curtains and flowers hanging from the posts and reflected upon the day.
It had been, by far, the best day of his life. He and she were surrounded by family and friends as they took their vows as husband and wife. Colin Creevey was the obvious choice as photographer and he had happily snapped pictures of the couple all day long. There was a reception full of food, laughter, dancing and joy that had gone on for hours.
And then, finally, it was just the two of them. They nervously Apparated to their hotel room at the Leaky Cauldron, where it all began. Being new to each other, they agreed to change in separate rooms. She took the bathroom; he took the bedroom.
Wedding dresses must be a bit harder to get out of, he mused. He was grateful the waiting was almost over. She had been achingly beautiful the whole day, and a few brief kisses were all he was able to steal. Then he heard the door open. She walked in. Her hair had been up all day, and now fell in soft waves around her face. She wore a white silk nightgown and a blush that told him she was as excited as he was.
“Ginny, you look beautiful.” Harry gushed. He felt as giddy as the first time he’d ever ridden a broom. He stood and kissed her tenderly, tentatively. And she kissed him back, knowing that they belonged to each other forever.
There was no question. It was worth the wait.
Final Authors Note: I know that we’re not all convinced that Ginny has gotten over Harry as opposed to just giving up on him for now, but for the purposes of this story she has moved on and been dating while developing a friendship with Harry. It is possible to move on and then fall in love all over again which is what—happily—happens to Harry and Ginny here. I hope you enjoyed this. Thanks for reading!