The Sugar Quill
Author: Harpinred (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Home for the Holidays  Chapter: Part Two - MEETING HER AT THE TRAIN
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Part Two - MEETING HER AT THE TRAIN

AN – Many thanks go to Anne and Imogen for all their wonderful beta help.

This little bit of sappy fluff is dedicated to Bela because she asked so nicely and waited so patiently.

 

Harry Potter stood at platform 9 ¾ and waited for the Hogwarts Express to arrive. He ran a hand though his already messy black hair and noticed that it was shaking. He stuffed both hands into his pockets and tried to relax.

“It’s just Ginny,” he thought to himself and then promptly snorted at his own thought. Just Ginny indeed.

He had volunteered to pick her up, as the rest of the Weasley’s were dashing to and fro, getting ready for the Christmas holiday. The whole family would be there, and that included Harry. He felt warmed by that fact whenever he thought about it. He had a family that loved him just as much as he loved them. It was something he swore he’d never take for granted.

He thought of Ginny again and took a deep breath. She had loved him from the start, and for years, he hadn’t known what to do about it. It wasn’t until last year that he had realized that he loved her back, and he still wondered how it had happened. It wasn’t as if she had followed him around anymore. She had developed her own group of friends, and he had hardly seen anything of her last year. Watching her from a distance had made him realize that he missed her. He’d been so used to always having her near him with her determinedly cheerful manner and impish sense of humor. When she had pulled back from Ron, Hermione and him to be with her own circle of friends, it had forced him to acknowledge how much her friendship and love had meant to him.

Seeing her from a distance had also made him really look at her and he had come to notice how very pretty she was. She had always been well-liked by the other students, but last year, she had seemed to come into her own. Gone was the awkward, shy girl that he had fondly associated her with, and in her place was a calm, self-confident person, that he had hardly recognized. The times that he had spent with her had left him bemused. He was aware of the strange looks that Ron had sent him but, Harry had had his hands full trying to deal with the emotions churning inside of him whenever he had been near her.

Ron had finally cornered him about it, and Harry had been sure that he would get a warning to leave his sister alone. He had been shocked though, when Ron had demanded to know if Harry was ever going to tell Ginny how he felt about her. Harry had stared at him dumbfounded. Ron had flushed and crossed his arms.

“I recognize the symptoms, Harry.”

Harry grinned every time he thought about that day. Ron and Hermione had danced around their feelings for each other for over five years. In their sixth year at Hogwarts, they had entertained practically the whole school with their passionate rows. Everything had changed one night in March though, when they had been forced to serve a particularly nasty detention together in the dungeon with Professor Snape. The next morning at breakfast had found them silent and oddly awkward around each other, and it had reminded Harry of how the two had acted after the Yule Ball in their fourth year. Harry knew that something was different though, and had his suspicions confirmed when he had found the pair snogging in the common room late one night a few weeks later. Harry had gone down to drag Ron up to bed. He had known that Ron had left a complicated potions assignment until the last minute and that Hermione, after the standard lecture, had been helping him with it. What he hadn’t expected was to find his two best friends wrapped around each other on the sofa. It had been quite an illuminating evening.

Harry had still been hesitant about approaching Ginny though. For one thing, she had been hard to catch alone. Ron continued to give him a hard time about it though, and Harry had finally decided to ask her to the last weekend at Hogsmeade. Harry had been both annoyed and amused at Ron for his persistence. Ever since he and Hermione had come to terms, Ron seemed to think that everybody else should be just as happy as they were. He’d never got the chance to ask her to Hogsmeade though. Voldemort had attacked the school, and somehow, Harry had known that this battle would be their last stand against each other.

An odd sense of calm had come over him, and he had known that he would do whatever necessary to defeat the Dark Lord. He had been on his way to the battle when he spotted Ginny on the stairs. She had been calmly ushering students to the dungeons, and he hadn’t hesitated. He had walked right up to her and told her how he felt. He knew he had stunned her with his confession and the kiss he had stolen from her right after, but he hadn’t known if he would ever see her again. It had just seemed like the right thing to do.

Now, here he stood at the train station, and he had no idea how Ginny would act around him. Would she be embarrassed by his outburst? Maybe she hadn’t wanted him to kiss her. Maybe she had decided she didn’t love him anymore. Until that day, he had never given her any indication that he returned her feelings, and he felt like a complete idiot for it.

The whistle of the train drew him from his memories with a start. Harry swallowed with some difficulty and then took a deep breath. He watched as a small number of students quickly got off the train, and then he spotted a girl with bright red hair stepping off the train. She looked around uncertainly, and Harry felt his heart kick into overdrive. He walked up behind her and gently squeezed her shoulder.

“Hi, Ginny.”

She whirled around, and his breath caught at the sight of her. God, she was beautiful. How had he not seen that? He watched as her eyes filled with tears and felt her hand softly brush his face.

“Harry,” she whispered in a choked voice.

He was lost. He wrapped his arms around her and held her to him as tightly as he could, rocking her back and fourth. This was right. Holding her was more wonderful than anything else, and he never wanted to let her go.

A long time later, she drew back and smiled at him.

“I missed you, Harry,” she whispered in a shy voice.

Harry gently brushed a tear off of her cheek with his thumb. “I missed you too.”

He winced at his own words, wishing he could have said something more clever than that. She didn’t seem to mind though as she grinned at him brilliantly and hugged him again.

“Shall we go then?” Ginny asked.

Harry felt himself nodding at her. “Okay, let me get your trunk.”

He turned and collected her trunk and then lead her to where he had parked the car. They were halfway there when Harry stopped suddenly and turned to look at her.

“I meant what I said, Ginny.” He said in a quiet voice.

She stopped, seemed to take a deep breath, and then turned to him.

“Tell me again.” Her voice was tremulous, but she held his gaze steadily.

Harry put down her trunk and closed the gap between them. He gently brushed a wild strand of hair out of her face and then ran his thumb over her lower lip. He felt her quiver at his touch, and it gave him the courage he needed.

“I love you, Ginny.” His voice was soft but clear.

She didn’t say anything for a moment, but her chest rose and fell rapidly as she seemed to try to catch her breath. She stood up on tiptoe and brushed her mouth over his in a soft kiss.

“I love you too, Harry.” She grinned and then burst out laughing.

“Do you know how long I’ve wanted to say that to your face?”

Harry returned her grin but felt sorry for the time he had wasted. “Ginny, I should have...”

She shook her head and put her hand on his mouth to stop his words. “No, this is right.” She smiled at him sweetly. “It’s our turn, Harry.”

He gathered her in his arms again and nodded against her shoulder. “You’re right, Gin. It is our turn.” He looked at her and felt a wave of euphoria wash over him. “And I, for one, say we should make the most of it. What do you think?” He was leaning towards her as he said this, and she caught his intent. Raising up towards him, she wound her arms around him and sighed when his lips met hers. The parking lot faded away as he kissed her, and he felt something unclench in the region of his heart.

She was his.

He was home.

//
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