Author Notes: This fic was started prior to the release of Half
Blood Prince. However, as the story is about Harry figuring out what to
do with his life after Voldemort, it still mostly works with canon.
There are a few discrepancies - no horcruxes for instance. Also,
Dumbledore has been killed - but in a different way. Snape will show up
later and he still works at Hogwarts. Draco also has a cameo, and he
was never a Death Eater. Percy found his way back to his family after
Fudge's dismissal from the Ministry, but was killed shortly after. And
no one has been back to The Burrow since OotP - instead continuing to
stay at Grimmauld Place. But if you can ignore all those completely
irrelevant details (coughs) it falls right in line with Half Blood
Extreme thanks to betas Loony Phoenix, Kjirstyn and Rin.
recent quote from young Mister Radcliffe in regards to Harry: "He's
pathetic at the whole romance thing. He's a character for anyone who's
ever been awkward with a girl."Now, I don't agree with all of
Daniel's opinions, like that whole CNN interview where he went on about
how Harry is probably going to die, but in this case, I simply have to
say, "Sing it, Dan!"
It was the middle of August, and eighteen-year-old
Harry Potter was once again recovering from his latest adventure in a
hospital bed. This time, however, rather than being under the care of
Madam Pomfrey at Hogwarts, he was in a private room at St. Mungo's. And
he had been unconscious for more than two weeks.
All of his cuts and bruises had healed. The three cracked ribs he
had suffered had been mended. For all intents and purposes, his body
appeared in perfect health - it merely refused to wake. The experts all
agreed his coma was magical in nature, though it did not appear
nefarious by any means. The last spell he had cast, whatever is had
been, had terribly overwhelmed him, draining him completely. Now he
simply needed to rest.
Though he didn't know it, Harry was never alone. His second family
took turns sitting with him during the day and a veritable team of
Healers checked on his progress hourly. A private Healer even watched
over him through the night, after visiting hours. Everyone wanted to
make sure Harry Potter had the absolute best in care - he was once
again the hero of the wizarding world.
A few days shy of his birthday, Harry had finally defeated the
Dark Lord Voldemort. Literally reduced him to a pile of bones and ash.
*~16 Days Earlier~*
stomped around Hogwarts grounds in a serious grump. There were so many
things eating at him, he didn't even know where to start.
He shouldn't even be there, for one. He had graduated over a month
ago. He should be starting his life, but the wonderful place that had
been his home for seven years had become his prison. And he had no idea
how long it was going to last.
Dumbledore had finally fallen last autumn. He went down in a blaze
of glory - protecting St. Mungo's Hospital from attack. Voldemort and
his minions had actually sunk so low as to attempt to purify the
weakest members of the wizarding community. Dumbledore prevailed, just
as he always had, but this time the size and scope of the effort took
everything the old man had to give.
Voldemort's followers had seized upon the apparent victory. The
world outside had become dangerous for Muggle-borns and their
Hogwarts remained the one bastion of peace, and all the students
were invited to stay as long as the terror raged outside. Well, the
others were invited. Harry rather felt his living there had been
forced. Demanded by those who loved him, and the Ministry. He was
really starting to loath all things to do with government.
And Harry wasn't convinced that Hogwarts really was the great
fortress of security it claimed to be, anyway. Everyone always said
Hogwarts was the safest place in the world, but if that were true, all
it really meant was that nowhere was safe. Hadn't Voldemort essentially
lived there all of Harry's first year? Ginny had been possessed as an
eleven-year-old child. Had her innocence stolen as she nearly killed
her own friends. Harry had been kidnapped, under the watchful eyes of
hundreds of people during the Triwizard Tournament. Even Sirius had
managed to break into the boys' dorm.
No, Hogwarts wasn't safe. That was a fiction.
One of the reasons Harry agreed to stay was because at least this
way, Voldemort would know exactly where to find him. All he had to do
was wait. But the wait was starting to drive him a little mad.
Especially since there was nothing left for him to do. Dumbledore had
taught him the spell he would use, assuring Harry that his heart was
strong enough to succeed. And he practiced the incantation and
meditated regularly to master focusing his mind and energy. But aside
from that, there was no real way to rehearse. This was a one-time-deal
type of situation. And Harry felt he was as prepared as he was ever
going to be.
Even so, the most troubling of all - his scar was acting up again.
Harry was strong enough at Occlumency to keep Voldemort out, for
the most part. But tiny little whispers of pain would still
occasionally creep through. Since he hadn't felt even a hint of
Voldemort inside his head all sixth year, Harry knew he was sending him
these messages on purpose, and the meaning was plain: Voldemort was
telling Harry that he was coming for him. And the advance knowledge of
the inevitable meeting was designed to be torture.
Harry was standing at the precipice of his destiny. He had been waylaid, right at the edge, for weeks.
He had so much to live for - he didn't want to die. He could still
see that vision of his future: beautiful redheaded wife, small house,
children, and freedom. He clung to it whenever the fear got to him. But
now, when he thought about it, his body ached and his blood pounded. He
could tell he was drawing closer and closer to the moment when the
verdict would be pronounced. And he felt as though his soul were
Needless to say, the stress was getting to him.
He hadn't felt this horrible since his fifth year. And he knew he
had become a right bastard to deal with. He was grouchy and
short-tempered, lashing out at his friends at the slightest
provocation. And he hated himself for it.
He was lashing out the most at Ginny.
He couldn't help it. Every time he saw her, his emotions raged out
of control. She represented everything he wanted and everything he
could lose in one tiny, beautiful, infuriating package. Sometimes he
would cling to her. Other times he would scream at her. Usually she
could take it, finding the right words, whether they be whispered
against his ear or hollered at him from across the room, to bring him
back down. But every once in a while, he knew he had hurt her.
Tonight had been one of those times.
The twins had invited Ginny and Ron out for lunch in Hogsmeade,
even suggesting they use the old tunnel through the witch, so that no
one would spot them leaving the castle. Harry's answer had come almost
immediately: no way in hell.
"But, Harry," Ginny had said, sportingly. "You keep saying yourself that you don't think Hogwarts is safe."
"Hogwarts has its weaknesses. But going out in the middle of the
day, with your brothers, who always draw attention to themselves, is
Apparently being called asinine didn't sit well with Ginny, and
she had started shouting at him. "I miss my family, you big prat. Don't
you understand that?"
And Harry had snapped. His voice dripped icy sarcasm. "No, I guess
I don't know what it must be like to miss your family. Seeing as poor,
pathetic Harry never had one."
The shock on her face and the hurt look in her eyes immediately
told Harry of his mistake. She had meant the comment plainly - this was
the longest she and Ron had ever been isolated from the rest of the
Weasley clan and she missed them. Especially since Percy had been
killed the previous summer - Harry knew Ginny had tried to keep in
closer contact with her other brothers. She hadn't intended it to be a
biting remark as Harry had interpreted it. And he should have known
better. They fought, sometimes heatedly, but she had never once thrown
his past in his face. And she had certainly never insulted him over his
status as an orphan.
Knowing he had about a minute before Ginny's shock and hurt
coalesced into rage, he had decided to leave. He'd turned, muttering
something about seeing her later, and marched through the portrait hole.
Trudging around the grounds, kicking the occasional stone when he
found one, Harry wasn't sure leaving had been the right move. Maybe he
should have stayed so they could fight it out. But maybe it was better
that they both have a chance to cool off before they said anything
He was kind of hoping she might come out to find him. She could
make herself feel better by glaring at him and telling him he was a
berk. And he would nod and accept it, because her presence would make
him feel better, by silently acknowledging that even though he might be
a berk, she understood why he was acting that way and that it wasn't
really who he was.
Then they could snog a bit. Or find a private corner and do a bit more. And that always made them both feel outstanding.
He stole a quick glance down at his watch. It was a gift from
Ginny the year before, and it kept him apprised of her general location
at all times. Apparently she was still somewhere inside the castle.
Harry muttered, "Bollocks," and kicked another stone.
That's when he saw her - Ginny - standing a little ways ahead of
him. She was smiling and waving at him, beckoning him to follow. Even
if he hadn't checked his watch a moment before, he still would have
known instantly that it wasn't her, that it was a trap. There was no
way she would look that happy to see him, even if she did come out to
make amends. It simply wasn't how they did things.
And so the decision was put before him, and it turned out to be
remarkably easy. Harry took a deep breath, steeling himself for what
was surely about to come, and followed the faux Ginny across the
He was walking into a trap, but for the first time he was doing it
with his eyes wide open. He was so sodding tired of this whole thing.
He wanted it over. Now.
Harry hardly paid attention to where
they were going. It seemed they had a ways to walk, deep into the
forest, but that was fine with him. He was already focusing his energy,
repeating the chant he had memorized, over and over again inside his
When it became clear they were
nearing their destination, Harry gave up the pretence and pulled out
his wand. While in the end their wands would refuse to do battle, if
Harry merely stood idly by, Voldemort would have the chance to strike.
Harry was already accessing the natural magic within him, that
which was fuelled by his emotions, just as he had as a child. That same
power, which used to protect him from bullies and regrow his hair,
would be the key to saving himself the end. It briefly crossed his mind
that since Voldemort had organized this meeting, he must also have an
alternate plan, but he didn't have the time to think about that.
Harry would never remember very much of the actual confrontation.
He was dimly aware of the faux Ginny turning into Bellatrix, taking an
order from her Master and then laughing dementedly as she danced away.
He could also vaguely hear Voldemort speaking to him, possibly telling
him of his impending demise, but Harry was already too far-gone inside
his own head to be affected by the idle banter.
He closed his eyes and started to speak the chant aloud.
Just as he and Dumbledore had discussed the year before, Harry
concentrated on all the people who had ever loved him. He didn't just
focus on faces, but also on memories and the powerful emotions they
brought. He was creating a nexus, asking them all to join him, and he
would act as the conduit for all their power.
Almost immediately, he felt the spirits of the dead rallying with
him: his mother and father, Sirius and Dumbledore. Harry couldn't see
them as he had during the Priori Incantatem, but he could feel them all
around, and inside his head as well. They were speaking to him: "We're
here, Harry." And the voices made him strong.
The connection expanded to those still living: Ginny, Ron and
Hermione, the Weasleys and Remus. Harry couldn't hear them as
distinctly, but their presence was undeniable. Their spirits were tied
with his just as intimately as those coming from beyond.
The combined magic of almost a dozen wizards flowed through him.
He could feel it gathering in his chest and surging out through his
body. There was so much power swelling within him he wasn't sure how
much longer he could contain it. Even as he thought this, a little
started to escape from his fingers in wisps of light.
the light expanded around him, his skin prickled with the electricity.
Suddenly the air blazed with fire. Sparks flared against his skin, but
Harry struggled to maintain control; he needed to harness the power just a little bit longer. Just a few more seconds.
The pure positive energy
erupted from Harry in a wave of wind and flame, hurtling towards its
mark with ferocious velocity, seeking out the few drops of innocent
blood that still lurked in the madman's veins. The magic latched onto
that blood and used it as the fuel to annihilate evil from within.
Voldemort's scream was deafening and the explosive force of his
combustion ripped through the air, knocking Harry backwards and
cracking his ribs.
Then, as though time were in a vacuum, all was silent. The
destiny, which Harry had spent his entire life waiting to meet, was
over in a matter of minutes.
No one ever realized that Harry's heart had stopped beating for a
time. Not long enough to do any permanent harm, but for about half a
minute his body completely shut down. Then, as if by magic, his heart
burst to life and his lungs gasped for air.
But even after he was found, and desperately shaken, and slapped, and screamed at - he would not wake.
The return to consciousness was slow and hard. It started with
dreams. Dreams of being awake, when he really wasn't. Dreams that he
was late for something. Ones of people being in the room with him, but
he couldn't manage to speak. That his friends were calling to him, they
were annoyed with him for oversleeping, but he still couldn't muster
the will to crawl out of bed. So when he actually managed to open his
eyes and find himself in a softly lit haze, he wasn't entirely sure it
Then he started to notice things that were different: the dryness
in his mouth and throat, the way his muscles ached, the heaviness of
the blanket. And a strange click-clacking that instantly reminded him
of Hermione knitting an endless stream of hats, way back in fourth year.
"Is someone there?" he managed to croak.
A woman's voice gasped, practically right beside his ear. "Mr.
Potter! Welcome back. Your family is going to be so relieved to hear
Harry's glasses were instantly pressed into his hand. As he put
them on, an eager-looking middle-aged witch loomed over him. She had
curly blonde hair and a round face, and Harry had never seen her before
in his entire life. He blinked at the unfamiliar woman, confused. "My
She smiled broadly and started bustling about, readjusting his
blanket. "The Weasleys. Only family members are allowed to visit here
in the Magical Comas Ward, I'm afraid. Headmistress McGonagall insisted
that the Weasleys should be considered yours. Though I daresay I don't
think the Admitting Witch had any idea what she was getting into when
she struck the bargain. It has been quite the parade of people visiting
you every day. I can barely manage to get them to go home at night."
That was an insane amount of information to take in all at once.
The one thing that Harry was able to digest was that it seemed he was
in the hospital and had been for some time. That was troubling to say
the least. "How long have I been here?"
The witch sighed and shook her head. "Sixteen days. I was starting
to get a little worried about you," she said, as she started fussing
with what looked like ingredients on the table next to his bed.
Harry stared at her. Finally, he couldn't stand it any more. "Who are you?"
She turned to him and smiled, holding out a beaker of potion. "I'm
your personal Healer, Amanda Gobshank. Here, take this, it should help
you to feel more like yourself."
Harry took the cup and sniffed. It smelled like mint. "Why do I need a personal Healer if I have been in a coma?"
Healer Gobshank sat back down in her chair and returned to her
knitting. "Normally I would agree with you," she said,
conversationally. "But the Ministry didn't want you left alone for a
second, so they hired me to sit with you during the night. There is
also a guard outside the door. Quite the foreboding chap, if you ask
me. He makes sure no reporters or other onlookers can sneak in to get a
look at you." She looked back up and gestured to the medicine still in
his hand. "Drink up; I can't let you eat until that's been in your
system for a couple hours."
Harry obliged and took a sip. "Why am I not at Hogwarts?" Really,
it didn't make any sense - he was at Hogwarts when he was hurt, wasn't
"Oh, the Ministry insisted. They wanted to make sure you had the absolute best care available."
Wanted to maintain some control over his life, more like, Harry
thought. He had no doubt that Dumbledore had hired the very best in
Madam Pomfrey. He wouldn't have settled for anything less for the well
being of his students. Realizing the tone of his thoughts meant he
actually was starting to feel like himself, Harry downed the rest of
his drink. Healer Gobshank smiled.
A few hours later, Harry was showered and back in bed with a new
pair of hospital robes. He was finally, blessedly, alone. He'd nearly
thrown a fit when his brand new personal Healer had insisted on
standing right outside his stall with towels and then, to his utter
mortification, helped him get dressed. Currently she was off fetching
his breakfast and, now that it was a "decent hour," notifying his
family of his recovery.
Despite being happy to have a moment to himself, if only just to
breathe in peace, Harry couldn't wait for Healer Gobshank to return
with his breakfast. He was starving. He wanted eggs, sausage, and maybe
a few rashers of bacon on the side.
could even have a knickerbocker glory for dessert. He'd had one once,
when he was ten, and the massive treat would really hit the spot. Harry
realized such extravagance for breakfast might seem a bit strange, but
he hoped he could talk his Healer into the idea. Her exuberantly
friendly nature gave him hope she would be willing to make the
exception. Besides, there was the rather remarkable circumstance of his
still being alive - and if nothing else, that deserved some ice cream.
If she turned out to be a real stickler, he supposed he could hold off
When his tray was finally placed in front of him, the
disappointment was enormous. Harry stared down at the plain toast,
stewed apples, and tea in abject misery.
"Well, what did you expect? Waffles and whipped cream?" Actually,
he hadn't thought of waffles, but now that she had mentioned it... "You
haven't had solid food in your system for over two weeks, let's start
slow." The pat on his shoulder, despite its kind intention, did nothing
to make him feel any better.
Harry ate his toast as slowly as possible in an effort to pass the
time. He knew it wouldn't be long before his friends arrived, but all
the same, he was filled with nervous energy waiting for them.
And Healer Gobshank wasn't helping. Her level of familiarity with
him was making Harry feel terribly uncomfortable. He supposed he could
understand - she had sat with him through the night for half a month.
Perhaps she felt as though she knew him. But from his perspective, they
had just met, and suddenly she was acting like his mother, complete
with having seen him naked.
Suddenly, the door to his room
burst open, and Harry barely had time to put down his teacup before a
squealing, bushy-haired body landed on top of him. For the first time
that Harry remembered, rather than feeling awkward, he wrapped his arms
around Hermione and really enjoyed the hug. When he managed to get her
hair out his face, he noticed Healer Gobshank quietly excusing herself,
and Ron coming to stand beside his bed.
a few moments, Hermione pushed herself up to sit beside him. Tears were
already welling in her eyes. "You were amazing, Harry."
Harry smiled at her and laughed. "How would you know?"
"Well, he's dead, isn't he?" Ron joked.
Hermione turned to glare at her boyfriend, but quickly returned
her serious gaze to Harry. "Because we could feel you. We didn't know
exactly what was happening, but we felt connected to you, and everyone
else. We could tell we were sharing our magic with you, giving it over
to you, and sense all that power surging."
Harry was a little stunned. He hadn't understood exactly how the
spell would work from everyone else's perspective. "You could really
tell all that?"
"Yeah," Ron answered. "It was pretty wicked, that spell you did.
The end was weird though. It was like I was empty inside. I couldn't
feel anything at all for a minute there."
Hermione looked a bit clinical. "It was so intense, like an
explosion, and then it just went blank." Her mood shifted back as she
took his hand and seemed about to cry again. "And Harry, you saved us
Harry snorted. He was a little self-conscious with how earnest she seemed. "Well, you know, destiny and all that."
"But Harry, you really did," Hermione insisted. "Voldemort wasn't just there for you. It was meant to be a slaughter."
Ron scratched the back of his neck. "The whole school was lousy with Death Eaters."
"Whatever you did to Voldemort," Hermione continued, "anyone who
had a Dark Mark, it hurt them, too. They were all writhing around on
the ground in absolute agony for an hour at least. It was almost ugly
Ron snorted and crossed his arms over his chest. "Yeah, if they
weren't all such nasty buggers. Made it right easy rounding them all
Harry suddenly found he didn't really want to talk about the
battle and searched for a way to change the subject. He frowned at
Hermione. "Hold on a second. How did you get in?" He had been a little
worried she might not be allowed, since she wasn't a member of the
Hermione immediately flushed scarlet and
ducked her head. "Well," she looked back up at him and rolled her eyes
nervously. "Ron sort of told them we were engaged. Not that we are or
anything. It was just a story so we could visit you together."
Ron coughed. His ears were turning a dangerous shade of red. "So, Harry, mate, how are you feeling?"
Harry grinned at his embarrassed friends. "Pretty great, actually. Where's Ginny?"
Hermione looked a little guilty. "She's just outside. We're only
allowed to visit you two at a time, and she said we could go first."
"She's acting all nervous and weird actually," Ron added. "And she
was completely barmy the entire time you were out. If you could do us
all a favour and not go unconscious for weeks at a time again, that
would be swell."
Hermione rounded on Ron. "Oh, that's nice. I know how I would feel
if you were in a coma for two weeks, but maybe I can't expect the same
Ron held out a hand in an attempt to squelch the tirade.
"Hermione, it's different and you know it. All the Healers told us
Harry was going to be okay, that he just needed to rest. I don't know
why Ginny couldn't take some comfort from them."
Hermione scoffed. "Because maybe Ginny's actually perceptive
enough to know that sometimes people tell you what you want to hear."
Ron looked shocked at the very idea. "You mean you think the Healers were lying to us?"
"Not exactly lying. But they had never dealt with a situation
exactly like Harry's before, and we all understood that. The best they
could tell us was that it was likely he would make a full recovery, but
there was no real way for them to know for sure." Suddenly, as though
just remembering he was still in the room, Hermione turned back to him
to add, "No offence, Harry."
Ron put a hand protectively on Harry's shoulder. "Well, they could
have asked me. I could have told all of you that he was going to be
"Thanks, Ron," Harry muttered.
Despite being happy to see his friends, even content to hear them
bicker as if everything were perfectly normal, Harry found he was
aching to see Ginny. He was sure she would be laughing at him. And he
was looking forward to the barrage of "I told you so's," that she was
certain to hurl in his direction. Besides, when she had first offered
to make him a wager regarding his survival, she had promised losing the
bet would be worth his while. And, Harry decided gleefully, it was
about time that his relentless teasing about that particular vow
The problem was he wasn't sure
how to essentially dismiss his oldest friends so that he could get in
some snuggling action with his girlfriend. Not without sounding rude,
"Harry, are you listening? I asked you a question." Hermione was
staring at him, in a way that clearly indicated he hadn't been paying
Harry coughed. "Sorry. What?"
"I asked if you would consider allowing one of the Healers to write a paper on your condition."
And suddenly it was easy. "Guys, I love you and all, but seriously, get out."
"Harry?" They were both looking equally confused by his shift in mood.
Harry worried he might be turning a bit red after his outburst.
"I'm sorry. It's just I really want to see Ginny. If that's okay, I
"Of course, Harry," Hermione quickly apologized as she got off the bed.
After another hug and assurances that they would be back later to visit him, Hermione moved towards the exit.
Ron shot Harry a wink and a grin as he nagged his girlfriend on
the way out the door. "Brilliant, Hermione. Only you would find a way
to bring up homework the morning a bloke finally wakes up from a coma."
A few moments later, Ginny entered the room slowly. And quietly.
Almost as though she were unsure of herself somehow. It definitely
wasn't the entrance Harry had been expecting. As she hovered by the
foot of his bed, he decided to proceed with an encouraging, "Hey."
"Hey," she said back, as she moved towards him and took his hand.
She immediately intertwined her fingers with his. "Can I get up there
"Definitely." Harry immediately made room for Ginny to climb up on
the bed. As she rested her head on his shoulder, he tried for a joke.
"Sorry I missed your birthday."
Ginny gave a slight smile. "That's alright. We missed yours, too. And we haven't exactly managed to make a tradition of it."
It was true - three weeks before Harry's birthday the year before,
Percy Weasley had been killed. Despite it being the first birthday
Harry had ever spent in the company of friends, the day passed almost
unrecognized. It had seemed as though no one remembered, and there was
absolutely no way Harry was going to bring it up. It wasn't until two
days later, when a notice came from the Ministry about an appointment
for his Apparation test, that Ron and Hermione had realized their
mistake and apologized.
On the evening of the 31st however, after supper, Ginny had
quietly taken him to one of their favourite rooms upstairs and
presented him with his gift. It was a watch, only with an extra hand
that moved like the needle of a compass. It hadn't taken Harry long to
realize that it was pointing to Ginny, rather than north. "So you'll
always know where to find me," she'd told him in a quiet voice.
Harry had realized it must have been an expensive gift and he
really hadn't been expecting anything at all considering what Ginny was
going through. The best he could do to express this delicately had been
to shake his head a little and say, "Gin, you really didn't have to."
Ginny had squeezed his arm and curled up next to him on the floor.
"I bought it our last day in Hogsmeade. Percy loaned me the money,
actually. He said he knew what it was like to want to buy something
nice for the person you're seeing. I think it was his way of trying to
apologize, to both of us."
Harry had remained speechless, and continued staring down at the
watch, tracing the little arrow with his finger. Finally Ginny had
spoken again. "It's probably a little self-centred. But I just thought,
this year, if you ever need me, you'll know right where I am."
The lump that had formed in Harry's throat had been terribly painful. "It's perfect."
Eleven days later, Harry gave Ginny the same gift.
Now, with her curled up next to him again, Harry was acutely aware
of just how much she had given him over the last two years. "Thank you,
Harry wrapped his arms around Ginny and rested his cheek on her
soft hair. "You always believed that I was going to make it, no matter
what. And I hung on to that the last couple of years. I think it made
me strong enough to handle what I had to do. I'm not sure it would have
turned out the same if it hadn't been for you."
Her fingers curled into his shirt. "Ron and Hermione always believed in you, too."
Harry nodded a bit. "Ron was steadfast, absolutely. Hermione,
well, I think she really wanted to believe, but she couldn't help but
see all the possibilities."
Ginny snorted quietly. "Sometimes I think it can't be very fun having to live inside her head."
Harry grinned. "That's for sure. But you were different somehow.
It was like you thought my living to a ripe old age was an absolute
certainty. And every time you told me I was going to be okay, it felt
like it must be true."
"Probably helped that I was sitting in your lap most of the time."
Despite the fact Ginny was trying to make a joke, Harry knew that
was at least partly true. Having the safe feeling of her warm body all
around him had somehow made her words seem more powerful. As though he
could feel their honesty vibrate inside him.
Harry chuckled a little. He could tell that he was beaming. And he didn't think he had ever beamed before.
Ginny looked up, her eyes narrowed in suspicion. "What?"
Harry wriggled a little on the bed, pulling her body up closer to
his. "I was just thinking, here I've got you in bed with me. What would
your mother think?"
Ginny pushed herself up on an elbow to fully glare at him. "She
would think you were a right cheeky bugger. I don't believe you, trying
to act the cad and it has been what? SIX hours since you woke up from a
"I can't help it. I feel brilliant." It was true - Harry didn't
think he had ever felt better. Here he was, his whole life stretching
out before him - and it was going to be a long life. He was finally
free. He could already taste the happiness - and it was intoxicating.
Everything was perfect.