By Felix Felicis
Disclaimer – All the
characters belong to J.K. Rowling, I’m just borrowing them for a bit and
promise to return them as good as new.
A/N – Thanks again to
my wonderful Beta, Felina Black. Your
help is so very appreciated, and it always puts the perfect finishing touches
on my work.
Summary – The war has
finally ended, the four friends are living in a house together, and it’s a
beautiful autumn day. How could it get
any better? Harry and Ginny go for a
walk in the woods. Pure and simple
fluff. 4,029 words.
sun was rising, Harry lay in his bed with the covers pulled up to his
neck. He always felt comfortable and
hidden like this, as if nothing bad could reach him here. The cool air of the house touched his face
and he responded by pulling the blankets a little higher. It seemed they would have to start working on
some warming spells soon or they would all freeze at night. He smiled comfortably as the warmth of the
blanket spread to his face, then he closed his eyes again.
was located far back in a large park near Hogsmeade, surrounded by beautiful,
wooded hills. Harry, Ron, Hermione, and
Ginny had taken it to be near Hogwarts, to help protect the students if the
worst should happen, if Voldemort should attack the school. Headmistress McGonagall herself had performed
the Fidelius Charm for them, to make their home known to no one, and they had
been as protected as they could be while the war went on. Nearly two years of fighting passed before
the final victory, a victory hard-fought and painfully won. There had been horrible losses on both sides
– friends, teachers, parents – many had given their lives so that the wizarding
world could be free at last.
was all over, these four had gone back home; for that’s what it had become to
them, and it seemed only natural to stay.
The Fidelius Charm was lifted, and on this peaceful late-autumn day, a
few flowers bloomed in the garden, reminding the occupants that there was still
life and hope in the world. This is
where Harry found himself now, only two months after the fall of Voldemort,
among his friends.
the sunlight peering through the window at him, and allowed its warmth to touch
his face. Another thing to add to the list, he decided, drapes. In all the time they
had lived there, they had either been too tired, too weak, or just didn’t care
enough to put up some of those final touches that make a house a home. Not that it didn’t feel like home to
him. The only other places he felt this
at-home were Hogwarts and the Burrow.
The war had been horrific, but it was always comforting to know that his
house still stood, waiting for him to come home to it. There had been times, of course, when they
waited for some one or two of the others to come home, fearing the worst, and
simply holding each other tight; but now those times seemed only to make the
fact that they were all still together more the wonderful.
warm light lay across him, it eased his thoughts, and just as he felt sleep
returning, a noise from below caused him to sit up quickly and grab his wand –
a reflex from the war that he hoped would fade with time. He listened closely, then relaxed and put it
back on his bedside table. Oh well, he thought, I should be up now anyway. He tipped himself off the bed into his
slippers and made his way to the door.
When he reached it, he turned for a moment, shivered, and thought, why not?
He crossed back to his bed and pulled the blanket off in one swoop,
wrapping it around himself and feeling the warmth still in it. After another second thought, he doubled back
and stuck his wand in his pocket. For
him, it was still too soon not to carry it.
laughed loudly and freely when he entered the kitchen enveloped in his blue
bed-coverings. He couldn’t help but
smile, she hadn’t laughed like that in a long
you should see yourself! All wrapped up
in your blanket – how old are you now?”
just jealous,” he said, and stuck out his tongue at her, “You wish you’d
thought of it first.”
do look comfortable.” She glanced down
at his feet and frowned, “Wait, please tell me you’re wearing something under
one eyebrow at her, “Of course I am! Who
do you take me for, Ron? I can’t tell
you how many times in school we told him to put something on, not that it ever
blushed. Ron was, after all, her
boyfriend, and though everyone in the house slept in different rooms, she was
still painfully aware of his clothes, or lack thereof, when he slept.
shook his head, “At least he does usually wear boxers.” He gave a fake shudder, “I don’t even want to
think about him sleeping full starkers.”
only blushed even more, and disappeared to go sit in the sun room. Harry poured himself some hot cocoa and
followed. He loved this room in the
morning. Three walls of windows facing
the open woods made for some beautiful views, especially this time of year.
“Mind if I
join you,” he asked, indicating the open spot on the sofa next to her.
you share your blanket.” She made her
eyes wide and indecently innocent.
He set his
mug down on the side table and fluffed the expansive blanket over her as he sat
down. She leaned against his shoulder,
warming her fingers on her own mug, and he put an arm around her. This is
what it used to be like, he thought, comfortable
and easy, no worries, no fighting… no
war. Maybe… maybe it could be like that
in cozy silence, broken only by the occasional sipping of hot cocoa, and
enjoyed the scene painted before them.
It seemed nature too was celebrating victory, and had outdone herself
with more shades of red, yellow, and orange than Harry had ever seen. For the first time in years, he felt wholly
at peace. That is, until they were
Potter! Get off my girlfriend!” a voice
rang out from the doorway.
turned, putting on his best virtuous face.
He pulled Hermione a little closer and said, “What’s a little snogging
a pillow smacked him dead in the face.
Ron feigned innocence, so Harry pretended nothing had happened and
covertly pulled his wand under the blanket.
Hermione played along and crawled up into Harry’s lap, putting her arms
around his neck.
Ron,” she said, putting on her best innocent look, “It’s only Harry, and well…
we’ve been doing this behind your back for how long now, Harry?”
pretended to think about it. “Oh, at
least since sixth year.”
Zoom! Another pillow went for Harry, but he
deflected it and sent it fast for Ron, hitting him squarely in the chest.
out the window, apparently quite interested in a bird sitting in its nest.
just have to go find another girl then,” he said, “I hear that the Hogs Head
has some very fine women. Maybe one of
them would be true to me and not cheat with my best mate.”
said Harry, sending two more pillows at Ron, “I believe you’re right. I’ve heard – ” he ducked a returning pillow,
“that the Hogs Head – “ Hermione fell off his lap dodging a second hurtling
pillow, “has some very good looking women.
Some even men dressed up as women.”
and openly flicked his wand, smiling gleefully.
But before he could get started, it seemed all of the pillows in the
room suddenly took flight. What made it
worse was that instead of hitting and dropping, they followed each person
around, whacking them repeatedly on the head.
“Finite Incantatum!” Harry yelled, laughing, for he knew who had
done it. The only person with that much
experience at vicious pillow fights was one red-headed Weasley girl.
“Accio Ginny!” He yelled again. She flew backward through the door, and
landed neatly in his lap, where Hermione had been only moments before.
Harry,” she said, smiling broadly as if nothing had happened, “good morning.”
all he could say, his face getting redder with each passing moment. It seemed he hadn’t quite planned this out
Harry,” Ron said seriously, “What’s wrong with your face? It’s suddenly gone all red. Maybe it’s because you’ve got a Ginny on
you. Here, let me get it off.”
over and tried to extract Ginny from Harry’s lap, but she merely put her arms
around his neck and held fast. Hermione
stood off to one side, trying her hardest to control her fits of laughter, and
can’t seem it get it off. You’ll have to
deal with it yourself.” He crossed his
arms and put his finger on his chin, as if thinking deeply about how to solve
said Ginny, “he doesn’t want to be rid of me.
After all, if he can go about snogging Hermione all the time, why can’t
he and I do it too?”
narrowed his eyes at her, and shot virtual arrows at Hermione, who was doubled
over laughing outright now. Suddenly his
face cleared and he smiled again.
it’s because you’re my sister,” he said, as if it weren’t obvious, “and Mum and
Dad made me promise to look after you. I
don’t think they’d want you hanging around with riff-raff like this.” He jerked his thumb at Harry.
was talking, Ginny had been preparing, and with a quick flick of her wand,
every last pillow in the room attacked Ron, knocking him to the floor and pelting
him relentlessly. Then she turned back
things you learn in a girls dormitory?”
laughed, “I’m very impressed.” And he
was impressed, especially at how she managed not to show any embarrassment,
even with her somewhat questionable seating arrangements.
She got up
gracefully from his lap, “Well, I’m just glad I was dressed before I came down
today, otherwise who knows what might have happened!” Instantly she bit her lip and her face went
red. She said to the room at large, “Who
wants breakfast?” then skipped out the door before anyone besides Harry could
see her bright red ears.
breakfast, continuing to laugh until their faces hurt, and then spent the
morning lounging about in the sun room.
Hermione and Ron took over the smaller loveseat, leaving Harry and Ginny
to the whole sofa. Harry, who chose to
read a magazine detailing the newest Quidditch players from regional teams,
propped his feet up and sat sideways at one end. Ginny, looking much more like her old self,
with pink-tinged ears and all, took the other.
Under the pretense of reading a book, she propped a large pillow on each
side of her, but in a very short time fell softly asleep. Harry, being careful of Ron’s notice for
reasons he couldn’t figure out, slid his feet out along the front edge of the
sofa and gently pulled Ginny’s pillow toward him. Her head followed, and soon she was snoozing
quietly, her pillow on his chest, and his arm resting comfortably around her
couldn’t figure out why it felt so right again, and chose not to examine the
situation too deeply, even though Hermione had said it was time to focus on
some things they had missed during the war.
She then acted on it by taking
the initiative and asking out Ron. Once
Ron got over the initial shock and said yes, they had been a remarkably happy
couple, considering Harry’s memories of how often they used to row in school.
however, it didn’t seem so easy. He knew
that Ginny still had feelings for him, but his feelings for her were foggy, at
best. She had, of course, become one of
his dearest friends long ago, and he certainly thought her beautiful, in that there was no question. Even having met certain Veela like Fleur, to
him, there was no one in comparison to Ginny.
Sometimes, to his very great annoyance, he would find himself utterly
spellbound by her, and completely miss half a conversation he was having. Their short time together in his sixth year
seemed like a lifetime ago now, and to Harry it felt like he was starting all
over again in their relationship, but that didn’t stop the fact that he always
thought her beautiful.
wonder, though, how Ginny had put up with him all those years. He almost felt a portion of jealousy for
her. She obviously knew herself better
than he did, to live day-to-day with the thought that she loved him and he
didn’t love her back, and still be okay with herself. Of course, he still held very deep feelings
for her, even during the war, but he kept them safely locked away, even from
Then there are days like today, he thought, where I’d be happy to spend the rest of my
life like this. He looked down at
her softly sleeping form and sighed deeply.
Her red hair reflected exquisitely in the sun and all he wanted to do was
lean his head against hers and close his eyes.
Soon after, he did the very thing, and joined her in his dreams.
a rather uncomfortable moment after Ron woke them up, they walked up to the
Three Broomsticks for lunch and to ruminate with Madam Rosmerta about how much
Hogsmeade had come to life in the past few weeks, even with the cooler
weather. She especially thanked Harry,
and gave him a peck on the cheek as her repayment. Harry received it happily, much to the
chagrin of Ginny and Hermione. And Ron
got a smack on the arm from Hermione for saying ‘Nice going Harry’ under his
afternoon, Hermione decided that she and Ron would stay in Hogsmeade to do some
shopping. Ron tried to protest, but she
merely flicked her eyelids at him a few times and he quickly agreed to
stay. Harry and Ginny had a lovely walk
back to the house, strolling through piles of fallen leaves, and deciding what
shapes the clouds resembled.
that one there, see… it looks like Dudley.”
He pointed straight up.
she laughed, “they all look like Dudley!”
that’s what makes this game so easy!”
She punched him lightly on the arm, and he turned to look at her,
perhaps letting his eyes linger on her a little longer than normal.
he said, then faltered a bit. “Ginny,”
he said slowly, looking her in the eye.
Her breath caught in her chest at the way he said her name. “Let’s go for a walk. The woods… I think the trees are really nice right
now, and there are some great trails…”
He shook his head. “Boy do I
sound stupid sometimes… and… I just said that out loud didn’t I?” His face reddened and he dipped his head to
look at his shoes.
touched his arm, “I’d love to go for a walk with you. I just need to get a jumper from the house.”
walked the rest of the way in silence, not awkwardly, but enjoying each other’s
company companionably. Ginny retrieved a
warm jumper from the house and they set off for the side yard in search of a
walked for several minutes into the trees.
The leaves had all changed color by this time, and while some had
fallen, most were still clinging to their branches. The warm afternoon sun streamed down,
exciting the leaves into their truest colors, and bathing the path in its
glow. A sweet breeze rustled around them
and tossed fallen leaves across their feet.
The path was dry underfoot, and welcoming as it wound out of sight ahead
of them. The crunching and shuffling
below kept them company, and the lack of conversation wasn’t even noticed.
they reached a place along the trail where the trees opened up to one side,
revealing a broad view across a wide valley.
Nature’s fireworks held them captive for several minutes until Harry
went in search of a place to sit and enjoy this beauty. He knew he could have just conjured a seat,
but for him, it would have ruined the picturesque. Finding a large fallen tree, he beckoned
Ginny to come sit on the trunk by him.
She did, although not as close as he suddenly knew she should be, so he
shifted over slightly. She looked a
little surprised, but not at all displeased.
beautiful, isn’t it?” he said.
“Mhmm,” she replied.
“I think I
could sit out here all day.” He looked
at her for a moment. “Are you warm
enough? You could borrow my coat for a
bit, if you like.”
couldn’t help but notice her blush a little, and she only gave a shy ‘no
thanks’ to his question. He stole
another quick glance at her and noticed her hand resting on her leg. His cheeks started to go hot. Her hand was so pretty, he was suddenly
filled with the desire to entwine his fingers with hers, but the more he
thought about it the more nervous he got.
Come on Harry, it’s Ginny, he thought. She’s
your friend right? You’ve held her hand
loads of times before, why can’t you do it now? His mind was racing, and it seemed to be
filling up with thoughts of her, and only of her. When
did this happen again? He questioned himself, then sighed deeply, knowing
the answer. It had been coming on for a
long time now, he had just always denied it, and shoved it back down deep while
the war was still going on.
now it was time to give in.
up his Gryffindor bravery, which he was still annoyed he needed just to hold
her hand, and reached out…
contact sent warm goose-bumps up his arm, and all he could do when she turned
her head was give a small, shy smile.
She too, seemed to be thinking the same thing, as she turned quickly
away, hiding a smile with her free hand.
Harry laughed quietly to himself.
it Harry? Why are you laughing?” He stopped in a heartbeat when he saw her
face, it was a mixture of hope, fear, and mortification.
I just… We seemed to be having the same thoughts. It was silly to be struggling just to reach
out and hold your hand. I mean, I’ve
touched you before, but this… I didn’t want to screw this up, because… because
said silently, her mouth open just slightly in disbelief. Her blush spread prettily across her face,
and Harry found he couldn’t look away.
she managed to get it out in a small voice, “Me?”
Now he was
the one whose face went red. “You, Ginny. We’re sitting here holding hands, and it’s
not because we’re joking with Ron, it’s… because we want to.” He ducked his head just slightly and looked
up at her. He couldn’t believe how hard
this was, after all, he had kissed
her before. But somehow, it was brand
new now, as if he was getting to know her all over again.
on his face nearly melted her heart. It
was needing to know that she felt the
same way, at the same time as it was longing to be loved, and to be loved by her.
He was about to cross the line he himself had created. He knew that what she said next could either
give him love beyond love, or crush him forever, and he could never remember
being so nervous in all his life. He was
prepared to open himself up unconditionally to her, it she still wanted him.
stray hairs caressed her cheek, but she didn’t bother to brush them away. Instead, she felt a tear run slowly down,
disappearing into her soft skin. She
brushed it away with a quick swipe and turned back to face him.
“You? Harry, wanting to know how I feel about you?”
She paused, almost in disbelief, then continued in a soft, but true
voice, looking deep into his eyes. “I’ve
been in love with you since the day I first met you, but I’ve come to terms
with the fact that you don’t… didn’t feel the same way.”
He saw the
truth in her eyes, and said, “Ginny, I don’t know what I did to deserve your
feelings. I can only say that I think
you’re amazing, I have for a long time.
You’ve shown kindness, honesty, loyalty, and love all at once… and…
you’re… well, you’re also the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen.” He turned bright red and covered his face
with his unused hand, then laughed.
you’ve done to me, Ginny! Made me turn
as red as you do.” But then he looked
more serious, “But I love it, so don’t ever stop.”
sweetly at him, “It was always you who made me do it.” She reached over with her other hand and
gently touched the back of his. The
feeling of her fingers wriggling into his shot charges up his arm and made his
stomach do flip-flops. He had to
concentrate just to keep his breathing normal.
She moved closer to him, passing her arm through his, and leaning her
head on his shoulder. He closed his
eyes, hoping this wasn’t just a dream, and wondering what had changed that made
him want this so much.
It was so
right he never wanted the moment to end.
After all they had been through – so many years of school, so many trips
to the Burrow, months of fighting side-by-side, relationships on and off – he
finally understood how she felt all those years. His heart went out to her, and he knew, he knew that this was how it was always
meant to be. It wasn’t so much a thought
in his head as it was a feeling in his heart.
A part of him that had always been so close, but just out of reach, now
fell into place.
felt was hardly something he could describe.
It seemed that none of the words he could think of were appropriate to
say what was going on inside him, but at the same time, he knew that he didn’t
need to describe it because she already understood.
his head to look at her, and she turned to look at him. His green eyes met her brown ones, and he was
very aware of how close they were. It
was overwhelming, and then a new feeling burst forth. An urge to kiss her, to give her the proof of
how he felt. He moved an inch closer,
and she slowly closed her eyes.
wasn’t an explosion. There weren’t even
fireworks, there was only Ginny.
that he loved, because he truly understood now what that word meant.
Half and hour
earlier, in Hogsmeade, Ron had finally convinced Hermione it was time to go
back home, and on the way they too decided it was a fine day for a walk. When they reached the house, they started
down a trail from the side yard into the woods…
standing in a secluded part of the trail hiked earlier by Harry and Ginny, Ron
held Hermione close as they watched from a distance. The sight of their two best friends enjoying
their second first kiss was somehow moving to Ron. Next to him, Hermione stood, her head resting
against his chest, and wiped slowly at her eyes.
be happy you know,” she said.
reply for a moment, just watched as Ginny rested her head on Harry’s shoulder
and he put his arm around her, pulling her close. It really did seem right.
he finally answered with a sigh and a smile.
“They will be, just like us.”
were, all of them.
~ The End ~