The Sugar Quill
Author: Harpinred (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Home for the Holidays  Chapter: Part One
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Part One

I know, I swore that I would never put my thoughts down on paper again. However, after purchasing and safe-charming a Muggle journal, I can no longer contain my thoughts. The events of the past six months have been extraordinary.

GW

Friday, December 22

I'm on my way home.

Home - such a simple word with so much meaning.

This will be the first Christmas that I've spent at home in three years. Like the child I was when I first left for Hogwarts, I can hardly contain my excitement. The whole family will be there - Harry, Hermione, Sirius and Remus included. Every one of them is so very precious to me, and I find myself even looking forward to the twins' pranks.

It seemed almost unfair and not a little bit surreal that I should have to go back to Hogwarts to complete my final year, while Ron, Harry and Hermione started their lives as adults after the war. We had all been forced into adulthood by circumstance long ago.

The war is finally over. It still seems so strange and wonderful to be able to write that. Voldemort (no longer he who must not be named) has been dead for almost six months. Since that time, his remaining followers have been hunted and sent to Azkaban after trial.

My former Potions professor of whom I used to go in fear of is now heading off the capture of the rest of the Death Eaters still on the run. Severus Snape has managed to surprise all of us with his bravery and loyalty to the Order of the Phoenix. I suspect that Headmaster Dumbledore Headmistress McGonagall and Professor Ryland are the only ones to truly comprehend Snape. Now that Sophia Ryland has accepted Severus's proposal of marriage, we'll once again have a Professor Snape at Hogwarts. Now that has been an interesting courtship! It has been almost as interesting as watching Ron and Hermione.

It's quite intriguing to watch Snape around Professor Ryland. It's almost like he's terrified and enthralled by her at the same time. This seems to amuse the Professor to no end, but I do think they are well matched. Seeing my former nasty Potions teacher happy, healthy and well-groomed a few weeks ago was quite a surprise. I can almost, but not quite, see the attraction.

Thinking of them once again reminds me of Ron and Hermione. I am so proud of both of them! Ron has done amazingly well as a tactical coordinator at the Department of Mysteries. I always knew that his skill for chess would be useful somehow. Dad inadvertently started his career path by vaguely outlining a situation in a letter to Ron. Ron made a few suggestions in a reply letter and dad was able to implement Ron's ideas. Almost nine months later, Ron was not only a full time - respectably paid - employee, but he has two people working under him. Hermione is practically beside herself with pride.

Hermione herself is doing very well. I always knew that she could pretty much do anything she set her mind to, and interestingly enough, she has chosen Curse and Charm breaking as a career. She is also working for the Ministry but is on loan to Gringotts, as they needed her talents more due to the damage that the bank had suffered during the war. Bill has been able to take her under his wing as an intern, now that he is once again working in London. We all tease her that she just wanted to be able to work with the most dashing of the Weasley men. This annoys Ron to no end, of course, and so he ends up getting harassed over it whenever the subject comes up.

It is good to see the two of them together though. It's sometimes hard to relate the steady, comfortably loving pair to the sniping, argumentative couple they were not two years before. Oh, they still get into some brilliant rows on occasion, but generally, they get along very well. Mum has even started to hint that she'd love to have another daughter officially join the family. As Hermione is practically living at Ron's flat in London, I don't imagine that it will be long before she gets that wish.

Percy is also doing well with the Ministry and is as proud as can be about his new daughter, Imogen. He and Penelope were worried when they found out she was pregnant, as no one in the wizarding world felt safe from Voldemort or his forces. Imogen, however, was one of the first children born in peacetime. Mum was over the moon about her, of course, and Penelope has reached virtual sainthood as not only the first of her new daughters-in-law, but also the mother of her first grandchild.

Charlie was also married. To all of our sorrow, Samantha was killed eight months ago while she and the rest of the dragon riders were involved in an attack on one of Voldemorts' strongholds. He is still devastated by her death, and I do everything that I can to help him through this but Mum has told me that the best thing to heal his heart will be time. I miss Sam.


The twins, well… They've opened their joke shop and in the past six months have been able to tell all of their nay-sayers 'I told you so' several times over. The F&G Joke and Sweet Shop has been a runaway hit in Hogsmeade. Both Fred and George put in an amazing amount of research and planning on the shop before they got it off the ground, and all of their hard work has definitely paid off. Fred and Angelina have started to look for a small place for themselves - and George. I have doubts that George will ever marry. He's much too fickle, my George.

Remus and Sirius are also doing very well. With Peter Pettigrew in custody, Sirius's name was finally cleared. He was able to access his family vault at Gringotts, which enabled him to purchase a nice house outside of Edinburgh. Both he and Remus were able to give Harry his first real home. It is obvious that the two men love Harry very much, and I notice a sense of contentment in Harry's letters to me now that was not there before. Remus once again started teaching DADA at Hogwarts this year and is again, the most popular teacher there. I am having to get used to referring to him as Professor again as he insisted that I start calling him by his given name several years ago.

Sirius is assisting Severus Snape with the capture of the remaining Death Eaters, and a more unlikely pair, you're not liable to find. They seemed to have buried the proverbial hatchet, though, according to dad, and work well together.

Seeing Remus and Sirius together always makes me smile. It took me a while to realize that their love for each other went beyond the conventional, but to be perfectly honest, they couldn't be better suited for each other. After all that they have been through, it is wonderful to see them happy together.

And Harry…

All things considered, Harry has triumphed in many different ways. He was pivotal in the defeat of Voldemort, and I truly think that being so closely involved in that defeat helped to heal him more than anything else could have. He has not started to pursue a career yet but rather, has been content to take a break and spend time in his new home. He's invited me to visit this summer along with Ron and Hermione, and I am looking forward to the visit.

Truth be told, I am sounding so very casual and blasé about this when my heart is thumping wildly at the thought of seeing him again. After seven years of being hopelessly in love with Harry, I had finally given up. I came to the conclusion that he would never see me as a pretty and interesting girl but rather just Ginny, the little sister of his best friend. I went through the beginning of my sixth year with a resigned heart and a falsely cheerful smile. The funny thing is that as I started to accept my fate, I began to realize how many good friends I had at Hogwarts. I stopped following Ron, Hermione and Harry around and to my surprise, found that people enjoyed my company. I was no longer the little sister. I was - am - Ginny Weasley. In giving up my dreams about Harry, I found myself. It was quite amazing, really.

Everything was going as well as could be expected during a war. Headmaster Dumbledore himself was teaching our Defense Against the Dark Arts and we learned as quickly as we could so that we might have a chance against a Death Eater attack. The June heat was just beginning when Voldemort and his forces attacked the school. We knew, somehow, that this was it. We would either defeat the Dark Lord or die trying.

I was ushering younger students down to the dungeons and relative safety when Harry found me. I remember that he was practically glowing with determination, and the realization that I might never see him again, ripped away the tranquil mask I had worn in the past months.

I still loved him.

Desperately.

I was unable to stop the tears, which flowed down my face, as I cupped his cheek in my hand and told him to be careful. To my surprise he took my face between his hands and kissed me so sweetly, I thought I was dreaming. I was stunned. Harry had given me my first kiss after all. His words to me after were even more surprising as he confessed in a steady voice that he loved me. He had loved me for some time and probably always would. In a complete daze, I watched him walk away from me.

Because of everything that happened after that, I haven't been alone with him since. I wanted to tell him how much I loved him in my letters to him, but it just didn't seem right. I want him in front of me when I finally tell him what he has known for years. I want to look into his eyes as he tells me again that he loves me so that I can be assured it wasn't all a dream.

So here I sit, on the Hogwarts Express. Wondering who will be waiting for me at Platform 9 ¾ when my train arrives.

*********

The shrill whistle of the train brought Ginny out of her thoughts, and she looked up abruptly and saw that the train was pulling into the station. Her heart pounded madly as she gathered her things and walked towards the exit. Stepping down onto the platform, she bit her lip as she looked around, not recognizing anybody. She yelped when a hand gently squeezed her shoulder, and she spun around to face beloved green eyes and dark messy hair.

"Hello, Ginny."

She felt tears prick her eyes as she looked up at him.

"Harry," she whispered.

He leaned forward and wrapped his arms around her and she sank into him and held on tightly.

She was home.

 

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