Ginny sat curled up in a window seat in the common room looking out over the hills, trying to keep from feeling sorry for herself as she waited for eight o’clock to roll around for her meeting with Professor Lupin. She was so very lonely this year, and it was only the third week of school. Hermione was usually the one who listened to her and gave her advice; she was more like a sister than a friend. The other girls were, well, too girly, and they didn’t really have that much in common with her.
Hell, she even missed Ron. She smiled to herself, realizing she’d forgotten what it was like not to have him around. He was a git, but this was the first time since she was ten that she was on her own, so to speak. He was annoying, over-protective, thick as overcooked Polyjuice Potion, but she loved him because he was all those things. As much as she hated to admit it, she missed her brother.
Then there was Harry. She knew it would be hard to be away from him after being spoiled for so long, but in her wildest dreams, it was never this difficult. Every nook and cranny of the common room held some sort of memory of the two of them together: the sofa where they used to cuddle, the rug in the middle of the room where they had their first kiss, this window seat where they looked out at the stars and shared their deepest secrets. She held back the tears, knowing she needed to pull it together. The clock struck eight o’clock, and she headed out the portrait hole and towards Professor Lupin’s office. She knocked on the door and was greeted by Tonks, who was sporting a curly hairdo this evening.
“Hey, Ginny. He’s expecting you.” She then turned to her husband. “Night, dear,” she told him, making him blush as she left for their quarters.
“Have a seat, Ginny.” His face looked all too serious.
“What did you want to see me about, Professor?” She kept her head down and rolled the hem of her sweater between her fingers.
“Have a seat, Ginny.” She looked up at her favourite teacher and smiled quickly as he continued, “I’ve received word that your classes haven’t been going so well these first few weeks. What’s the matter?”
Ginny could only look up with glassy eyes.
“Is it a who?” She nodded. He came around the desk and sat across from her in the other chair. “I know you miss him, but you’re such a good student; I don’t want this to get in the way.”
“It’s not just Harry. I miss Hermione and Ron, too. I’m lonely, that’s all.” Remus frowned at her answer. “Fine. I miss Harry more. Why does love have to hurt?”
“It doesn’t. We make it hurt by ignoring it, not taking care of it and not letting it grow. Believe me, I know.” He looked at her sad face and sighed. “Has he written?”
Ginny grinned. Hedwig woke her every morning, and her pile of notes was gathering some interest from her roommates. She even had to place a spell on her drawer to keep them from snooping. “Hedwig’s more reliable than an alarm clock.” She wiped her eyes on her sleeve. “I just don’t know when we’ll be able to see each other. He’s so busy now, and I’m stuck here.”
“This is your NEWT year, and you are a very talented witch.” A smile started to creep up on his face. “That’s why I wanted to speak with you. Madam Pomfrey has spoken with St. Mungo’s, and they’ve accepted you into Healer School. Pending your NEWT results, of course.”
Her face suddenly brightened, and she smiled. “Really? Oh, this is fabulous!” She reached over and hugged Remus. “Oh, sorry, Professor. Thank you!”
“But Ginny, you need to get back on track in your classes. Potions is very important. I’ve heard that you’ve fallen off a bit from before; yet, Professor Slughorn feels you are very adept at it. Did you get your hands on Harry’s book?” He raised an eyebrow as he went around, sitting behind his desk again. Harry was rather adamant about not sharing Snape’s old Potions book with her.
“No. He’s still got it. The prat wouldn’t part with it.” She smiled, remembering Harry’s lecture to her about his Advanced Potions book. “All he did was mark a few potions that I should rethink. He didn’t do anything else, Remus, honest.”
“Good. You need to learn that all by yourself.” Lupin’s mood changed quickly, and a smiled filled his haggard-looking face. “Hey, how’s the team shaping up?” Ginny was the new Seeker on the Gryffindor Quidditch team.
“We’re terrible. Our new Keeper is awful, and the chemistry isn’t much better. You better get ready to hand over that trophy, Remus. Demelza is doing a great job trying to pull us together, but she’s not...” Harry. She took a deep breath. “Everyone seems to think that I’ll magically turn into Harry just because he’s my boyfriend and I’ve got his broom. But the team truly does stink. It’s pathetic.”
“So the Gryffindor reign is going to end on my watch.” He had an odd twinkle in his eye that belied his concern.
“Looks that way. Sorry.” He doesn’t believe a word I’m saying. What’s up with him?
“Minerva will be so disappointed.” Lupin leaned forward across the desk conspiratorially. “Do you really think Demelza and I would let that happen?” Ginny didn’t understand, and it must have shown on her face as he smiled and said, “We owled Harry and Ron last week for help.”
“What?” I didn’t hear him correctly, did I?
He sat back in his chair, a satisfied smile on his face. “Now, this cannot leave the room. Demelza and I don’t want everyone in the castle to know, all right? They’re coming next Saturday, and we’ve got the pitch booked all morning, starting at seven.”
“No way! Oh, that’s fantastic!” She got up and started pacing the room. “How long will they be here?” Her face beamed with joy.
“They’re practising with you on Sunday, too. And I think one of the twins will be coming, too. They both wanted to come, but the shop’s real busy.” He began to smile, too.
“Do the other Heads know?”
“You kidding? Minerva would have kittens if this got out, and the others would have my pelt if they knew. But they just think that we need the practise more than anyone since we lost half the team in June.” He folded his arms over his chest, taking a serious stance. “Remember, Ginny, don’t tell a soul, okay? Not even the rest of the team. Demelza wanted you to know because she knew how hard a time you’ve been having. Now, go get your homework done because I know you haven’t been doing it!” He shuttled her out of his office, looking quite pleased with himself.
Ginny threw herself into her course work over the next week and found herself caught up with everything she had fallen behind on. She and Demelza huddled together in the common room every night, talking about what they wanted to do in practice with Harry and Ron.
“Oh, I really hope Ron can help out poor Dennis. He better put him through the paces, Ginny, or I’ll never speak to your brother again.” Demelza checked her list of things she wanted done at the practice. “Do you think Harry can help with the Chasers?”
“Yeah. Why not? Are you going to try and get Ron to divulge some Puddlemere secrets while you’re at it?” The other girl smiled.
“He bloody well better!” Demelza retorted. “It’s hard enough trying to patch this team together, but I have to uphold tradition, too. Harry sure has made it hard for me, Ginny.”
“Don’t take it so personally. You’re doing a great job. I’m just glad it’s not me.”
“Why not? You have more experience, you know.”
“Come on, let’s get to bed. Hedwig’s been coming earlier and earlier these days. Damn that Potter.” The two of them giggled, and they gathered their rucksacks and headed up the stairs.
Ginny had a hard time getting to sleep that night and was tossing and turning in her bed. Harry would be here in two days, and her heart was just bursting with excitement. She also kept remembering how it felt sharing Harry’s bed, even if in her dreams things progressed much farther than they actually had. He could turn her insides to mush with the slightest touch, and sparks flew every time he had kissed her. She shook her head and tried to fall asleep; her dreams always drifted toward Harry.
“Ginny! That bleeding owl’s here. Wake up!” She felt herself rustled awake by Sarah Mitchell. Her eyes opened and saw her roommate’s face, blackened with soot.
“Did you really think he wouldn’t put a charm on it? Really, Sarah.” Ginny sat up and held out her arm for Hedwig, who landed gracefully. Ginny pulled the curtains around her bed and released the spell from the note in a hushed voice.
Remus told me last night you know about practice tomorrow. I would have hoped he’d keep it a secret, but he said it had a dramatic change in your work. I’m so glad I could help. And no, you’re not going to get my Advanced Potions book this weekend.
“Stupid prat,” she muttered.
Ron is coming home after his last practice, and we’re Apparating to Hogsmeade after dinner. We’re staying at the Three Broomsticks.
Hermione can’t make it. She wanted to, but she took on an extra project at work. Typical. Fred’s Apparating in the morning, and he’ll come over with us. George’s new girlfriend keeps him pretty close to home, and won’t be joining us.
I tell you, though. It’s going to feel odd being back there. I do want to stop by Dumbledore’s grave, though, if you don’t mind. I was told by the Ministry that I am NOT being held responsible for the damage caused to the greenhouses and the Astronomy tower during the final battle. Oh, gee, thanks. So nice to know that they appreciated my efforts to free them from Voldemort. Arseholes.
Well, I had better go. I’ll see you tomorrow!
Ginny couldn’t wait. Tomorrow seemed like an awful long way from now, and she knew it would be too short a time the way it was. After breakfast, she headed down to Professor Lupin’s classroom and found Tonks outside the door, trying to balance books and parchments in her arms. She was wearing what looked like her husband’s old teaching robe, and her hair was its normal brown but was swept up into a knot at the base of her head. In Ginny’s opinion, she looked much too stuffy.
“Morning, Ginny. I’m covering for Remus this month.” Ginny had forgotten it was the full moon tonight.
“Nice to see you, too, Tonks.” Ginny held the door for her, and they walked into the room, which was nearly full already.
“Thank you, Miss Weasley,” she said. Gone was the fun-loving young woman Ginny considered her friend, and in her place was an efficient, if not rather clumsy, teacher. She set her pack on the table and waited for the other students to arrive. The clock chimed the hour, and she spoke. “Professor Lupin has informed me that you were working on the Patronus Charm in your last class, so let’s clear away these desks and give it a go.” She waved her wand, and the benches and tables sailed to the sides of the room, and the class gathered in the middle.
Ginny already knew how to conjure a Patronus and was the example the class was to follow. She performed the charm several times, and a silvery doe trotted across the room each time. The only time she wasn’t able to answer a question was when she was asked, “Why is it a doe?” She simply smiled and shrugged her shoulders.
The rest of the day seemed to fly by, and she kept looking at her watch. Seven more hours. Five more hours. Three more hours. At nine, she sat in the window seat and opened the window, looking out toward Hogsmeade. The common room began to empty, and she was asked several times what she was waiting for, but never answered. She hated keeping secrets from her friends, especially Colin, but she’d promised Remus.
Her thoughts soon drifted back to her birthday party and the events that followed. She was able to calm her nerves and reluctantly fell asleep.
A light pecking on her head woke her to find Hedwig resting on her shoulder. She quickly untied the note and sent Hedwig on her way.
Hi. Be at the fireplace in ten minutes.
Ginny fairly leapt off the window seat and sat in front of the fire, impatiently waiting for him to appear. She charmed her hair smooth and undid one of the buttons on her shirt, then buttoned it again. Don’t look like a slag, Ginny, she told herself.
Then, there he was. His hair was a bit longer, and he looked tired, but he was still her beautiful Harry.
“Hi! What time is it?” she asked him.
“Half-past twelve. Ron’s taking a shower.” Harry raked a hand through his hair. “How’ve you been?” His eyes brightened with the question.
“All right. I got accepted into the Healer program!” She had saved this news so she could tell him in person.
“Oh, that’s awesome, Gin! Congratulations!” He turned serious. “I miss you.”
“Oh, I know. I was a mess before that meeting with Remus, but a fire was lit under me, and I’m all caught up now. We did Patronus Charms today.”
“And how is my little wide-eyed doe doing?” He smiled widely at her. Her Patronus changed shape once she and Harry got back together, and he was so very pleased that hers was a doe.
She blushed. “I wouldn’t say why it was a doe.”
“Good.” He looked down into his rucksack and grabbed something. “Do you want some company?” His Invisibility Cloak lay in his lap.
“Are you kidding? You can’t come over here!”
He started to pull the Cloak over himself. “Gin, come on....”
“Harry, you can’t. You just can’t. Oh, don’t look at me like that.” He scoffed as he lost the puppy-dog face. “I’ve got to get some sleep because some stupid practice starts at seven in the bloody morning.” She laughed as she complained. It wasn’t really a complaint, though, since Harry was only a few miles away. “Don’t forget to send Hedwig. I stopped setting my alarm the fourth day of class, thank you very much.”
“Ginny, come on! I haven’t seen you in over a month!” He looked uncomfortable. “Do you know what that’s doing to me?”
“Yes, I do, Harry Potter, and you’ll just have to go have a good wank, now won’t you? Now go to your little bed. Alone. And dream of me.”
“That won’t be a problem, Ginny,” he said dryly.
“Good. But here’s something to help you along.” She lifted up her shirt and flashed him her breasts. His mouth dropped, and his eyes nearly popped out of his head. “Good night, Harry.”
“Yeah.” He was still dumbstruck. “Love you.”
“I love you, too, Harry.” He’s going to have some pleasant dreams tonight.
Ginny didn’t need to have Hedwig wake her in the morning. She woke up a little before six and got dressed. Breakfast wouldn’t start for another half-hour, and everyone else was still sleeping. Ginny grabbed a book and tried to read. It was hopeless. Harry’s face kept popping up on the pages, and his voice echoed in her mind. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a white blur coming toward her. Hedwig.
“Morning, girl. How are you? Did Harry just get up?” She stroked the fluffy white owl and slipped her a little cracker from the drawer of her bedside table. She reached down and removed the note from Hedwig’s foot.
Open the window.
She dropped the note on the floor, and springing from the bed, she stuck her head out the window. There he was! He waved at her, begging her to come down. She was down the stairs in a flash, ran across the entrance hall, flung the huge oak doors open and leapt into Harry as he held out his arms.
“Hi!” Ginny kissed him hard, surprising him immensely. Ginny wrapped her legs around his waist, and he carried her across the lawn and sat down by a tree with her in his lap.
“God, I’ve missed you, Gin.” He bent to kiss her again, more slowly and tenderly this time. He teased her mouth apart with his tongue and ran it along hers, savouring the taste, smell and feel of her. She sighed into the kiss, which made him kiss her even harder and with more determination. She tugged at his pullover, trying to lift it off his shoulders, gave up and then pulled him tighter to her. They fell back on the grass without breaking apart.
“Ginny....” Harry raised his head and looked at her with a pained expression. “I’m cold.” He stifled a laugh, and Ginny burst out laughing herself.
“I’m all wet. Dew’s a bit heavy.” Ginny got up and noticed Harry’s pullover. “’Fraid that is, too. Sorry.” He got off the ground and kissed her again.
“Well, that’s easy enough to fix.” He did a drying charm on both of them, and soon her clothes were warm and dry.
“Thanks, Harry. Always knew you were good for something.” She gave him a quick kiss in thanks. “You want some breakfast?” She grabbed his hand and began leading him back to the castle.
“Ginny, no one’s supposed to know I’m here.” He pulled her to him again. “I’ll see you at the pitch. I just couldn’t wait.”
“When did you wake up? You’re not much of a morning person.” I bet that IT has been up all morning.
“After what I saw in the fire last night, I barely got any sleep. You are quite the naughty girl, Ginevra.” He had a little gleam in his eye.
“Don’t look at me like that, or I’ll never let you get over there to save our sorry arses,” she said. Ginny gave him one last hug and a quick kiss before heading back to the castle.
“Hey, Ginny,” he called after her. “Try and act surprised, okay. Greet me like that again, okay!” She snorted in laughter.
When Ginny got to the Great Hall for breakfast, the rest of the team was at the table; half of them looked like they would fall asleep at any second.
“Morning, everyone!” Ginny greeted her team-mates. “Beautiful day for flying!”
Dennis Creevey looked at her with a glazed expression on his face. “When the hell did you become such a morning person?” He sank his head back onto his folded arms, trying to get some sleep.
“Well, Professor Lupin feels we really need to get our game back on, and that’s why he booked us the pitch this morning.” Demelza tried to hide her smile.
“Oh, yeah,” smirked Adam Donahue, the Gryffindor smart mouth. “Where’s Lupin then? Oh, yeah! Holed up in his quarters because it’s the full moon.”
Demelza’s smile faded, and she told her team, “Come on then, get your gear and let’s go.” They slowly rose from the table and trudged out into the crisp morning air.
“Ginny, you’ve got a leaf in your hair,” said Dennis, gently removing it. “Where’d you sleep?” Ginny ignored the question and walked in silence with the others.
Coming over the rise, they were able to see the pitch in the distance; three figures were already there.
“Bloody hell! That had better not be Ravenclaw stealing our time!” Adam was livid. Ginny’s heart skipped a beat.
As they got closer, some team members started muttering to themselves, and then Demelza cried out, “Harry? Ron? Is that George?” She wasn’t a very good actress. “What are you three doing here?”
The mood of the team changed in an instant from glum to near ecstasy. The three of them began greeting the others, and Ginny hung back from the group, watching Harry as he smiled and reminisced with the others. She noticed Natalie MacDonald hovering near Ron, trying to get his attention. The poor girl obviously hadn’t got over her crush on Ron. Her eyes once again fell on Harry, and he looked up and caught her eye.
“There’s my girl!” He strode over to her and swung her around, kissing her again. “Morning, Sunshine!” They smiled a knowing smile. Harry grabbed her hand and walked back toward the others.
“Morning, Fred, Ron,” Ginny greeted her brothers with a slight blush.
“So when did he wake you up?” Fred asked dryly. He could always read her like a book. “You still have some grass in your hair. Potter, next time, clean the ground first if you want to keep your little trysts a secret, okay?” Everyone laughed but Ron, which was typical.
“Okay, so this is why Lupin got us out of bed so early this morning,” Demelza began. “He asked them to come and help us out, and this must remain top secret, or everyone will want them to help.” Her voice became more excited as she talked. “Dennis, you get Ron to yourself, and please, Ron, don’t be gentle.” Ron smiled. “Now Harry’s going to help me and the other Chasers while Fred takes on the Beaters.”
“So what is Ginny supposed to do? Stare at Harry all day?” asked Ron. He was starting to wake up now. “She played Chaser for two years, so why is she Seeker, Demelza?”
“Because she wanted to be. That and the fact that she’s got the fastest broom certainly doesn’t hurt, either.”
“So Harry’s still pulling strings, huh, Ginny?” Fred retorted. He’s pushing my buttons. Harry looked from Ginny to Fred to Ron to Demelza with a worried look in his eyes.
“Uh, Ron, Fred, leave her alone. You know she can out fly you any day, you gits. Gin, I was going to save this, but Accio Ginny’s present!”
They all looked toward the village, and with a sudden whoosh, along came a package flying toward Harry, who casually stuck out his hand and caught it. “Here, Ginny. You’ve finally got your own broom.” Ginny stared at him with her jaw dropped and quickly went to the package, ripping off the brown paper.
“Harry! You....” She couldn’t finish her sentence as she saw the brand new Firebolt Pro looking up at her.
“You’re welcome.” Harry simply smiled and looked at the others. “Well, come on. We’re burning daylight!” Harry grabbed his Firebolt from Ginny and took off into the air.
Sunday’s practice was much the same as Saturday’s, except they scrimmaged for the last two hours. Fred, Ron and Harry were on one team with Demelza and Charlie Nicholson, while Ginny, Dennis, Adam, Jimmy and Natalie McDonald were on the other. Ginny was really looking forward to flying against Harry since he was at a disadvantage and had to play Chaser as well. She found he was easily distracted by her and seemed to have a problem sitting comfortably on his broom when she was close.
Her broom was unbelievable. It was pretty much like Harry’s Firebolt but was a bit faster on the dives. She loved how comfortable she felt as she zoomed past Harry and beat him to the Snitch, ending.
“Gotcha, Potter!” she shouted at him, giving the Snitch a quick toss and catching it in her hand.
The team landed in the centre of the pitch and saw Professor Lupin come walking toward them, looking more than a little tired. Tonks was right behind him.
“Well done! I trust our guests were able to help,” he asked. The entire team then surrounded him, telling him all about the practices and what they’d accomplished over the weekend. It was true. Ginny had her misgivings about the team, but the three of them were exactly what they needed.
Dennis, even though he was a little shorter than Ron, was able to figure out how to stretch across the goals while still hanging onto the broom, a trick Ron inadvertently learned a few years ago. He also gained a lot more confidence and had got over being in Ron’s shadow. Fred got along quite well with Charlie and Jimmy. He taught them some of his and George’s old tricks to fool the opposing Chasers.
“I hate to break this party up, but Ravenclaw’s on their way down to practice after lunch,” said Lupin, “and I’d hate to have them see our guest coaches.” Fred and Ron began gathering up their things, but Harry strolled over to Ginny and Lupin.
“Remus, can, uh, Ginny come to Hogsmeade?” Harry asked, looking rather shy. “I didn’t get to see her much this weekend. She got all her homework done yesterday, right, Gin?”
“Oh, yes, sir.” She still had a Herbology essay to write and a Transfiguration test to study for, but that could wait; Ron hadn’t hogged all of the procrastination genes.
”Ron has to be back by two for curfew,” Harry explained.
Professor Lupin didn’t seem to hear and coughed a few times as he headed back toward the castle.
Harry ran to catch up to him, and Ginny followed. “Remus, you still haven’t answered my question. Can she come to Hogsmeade for a little while?” His face showed his impatience.
“Harry, Ginny, I can’t. If I let you, then I would have to let everyone else with an older boyfriend or girlfriend. It’s not a trend I want to start.” Lupin’s gaze was stony.
Harry looked the older man straight in the eye. “Remus, no one else would know, if you understand me correctly.” The Whomping Willow. The Shrieking Shack. Ginny looked from Harry to Lupin and back again. Please, please, please.
Professor Lupin took a deep breath and crossed his arms in front of him. This does not look good, Ginny thought. “Absolutely not. By all means try, but know this. If you do try to sneak her out, she will have detention from here until Christmas! She could also forget about the trip to Hogsmeade after Halloween. Understood?”
“Stop it! Fine. I’ll stay here then. Just don’t fight; you’re too good of friends to fight over something like this,” she snapped. “Can I at least have an hour with Harry by the lake? Please?” She watched Harry clench his jaw.
“I have tried not to let my friendship with either of you get in the way of my job here. You’re pushing that boundary right now.” Lupin took a deep breath. “However, I will allow you, Ginny, one hour before you must be back inside those doors. I will be waiting, make no mistake.”
“Thank you, Professor,” said Ginny softly. She furrowed her brow as she fought to rein in her anger.
“You’re welcome.” Lupin looked to Harry, whose expression had softened a bit.
“Fine. And you’re welcome for saving your Quidditch team. Let’s go, Ginny.” Harry took Ginny’s hand, and they walked toward the lake, stopping at the same tree they went to after their first kiss in the common room Harry’s sixth year.
Harry sat down and looked up at Ginny, still standing in front of him. “Aren’t you going to sit down?”
“He’s right, Harry. He can’t break the rules just because it’s you.” She looked at him, hoping his mood would change. “If you’re going to stay angry, then I’ll just go back to the castle.”
“I’m sorry. I’m just...frustrated,” he said with a smile, grabbing her hand and pulling her down to him. She laughed as she fell into his lap. Their laughter quickly faded as they looked into each other’s eyes, knowing what the other was thinking. The green of his eyes turned dark as they bore into her.
No words were necessary as their lips met, bridging the distance between them as tongues began battling inside Ginny’s mouth and their hands started to roam across backs and into hair. Breathing became secondary as their need for each other started to outweigh everything else. For what seemed like an eternity, they sat there under the tree, kissing each other senseless, not caring whether anyone would walk onto the scene. He pulled away from her and gently lifted her jumper off of her, leaving only a tank top behind. She wasn’t wearing a bra, and he swallowed hard. He reached for his pullover and removed it, tossing it aside like a banana peel. Her fingers ran across his chest, rubbing his nipples and feeling his chest hair. His hand went to her shoulder and began to tug at the strap of the tank top, stopping as if looking for permission. Millions of thoughts ran through her mind as she watched him start to remove the thin top. Cold air pierced her body, causing her nipples to harden as the shirt was pulled off. He gathered her in his arms again and started kissing her all over again, and explored the new territory he had revealed. Her head fell back as she moaned, and he moved to her exposed throat, treating it to delicate kisses.
Ginny looked at him and lay back, placing his hand on her breast, watching him knead it and tease the nipple with his thumb. How many times she dreamt of this, she didn’t know, but it was better than any dream.
Harry lay down on top of her, careful not to hurt her. Their hips moved to meet each other, his hardness pressing into her. He leaned down and began kissing her again, more tenderly than before. His hands ran down her arms, causing goosebumps along the way. Their hips kept time with one another, causing Ginny to feel her body react in ways it hadn’t before. Her legs wrapped around his, causing their rhythm to increase, and the kisses to deepen and grow more frantic. She began to explode between her legs, sending out a small gasp, catching Harry off guard, causing him to stop.
“Ginny?” His breathing came in ragged, shallow gasps. “What is it?”
“Nothing, I feel wonderful.” She watched his face and knew that he was turned on. Oh, no, what have I started here? she thought. “Harry....”
His head fell onto her chest in resignation. “Why? Why, Ginny?” His voice sounded so distant. “Please. I love you. I can’t go back now.” He lifted his head and looked at her again, pleading with his eyes.
“I want to, really, Harry, but....” She couldn’t stand the hurt look in his eyes and turned her head away from him. He quickly rolled off of her and looked up at the clouds, trying to slow his breathing.
“What do you want from me?” he asked. Ginny couldn’t tell if he was angry or confused.
“I want you to love me. That’s all. I don’t know if I can handle going beyond this yet. I thought I could, but I can’t. I’m sorry, Harry.” He let out a huge sigh.
“Gin, that’s fine, and all, but don’t you realize how hard it is for me to stop? You’re beautiful and your body...God!” He pulled shirt back over his head. “I’m eighteen for goodness sake! I can hardly take it any more!”
“Don’t you think I feel the same way? Merlin, Harry! You’re in my dreams, waking and sleeping. I can’t concentrate on my homework because I remember every little touch between us!” She took a deep breath. “I just don’t think I can make that commitment right now. There’s no going back once it’s done.”
“Is it all right if we just sit here, then? We don’t have much time left.” He sat up, watching her get dressed. She leaned against his chest, and he wrapped his arms around her protectively. “I love you, Gin. Don’t forget that. Can I come for the Hogsmeade weekend?”
“You’d better.” They sat under the tree and watched the giant squid splash in the water. Harry looked at his watch and released her. They stood up and started walking back toward the castle. As promised, Lupin was waiting at the doors.
“I’ll send Hedwig in the morning,” he told her, kissing her lightly. “I love you.” He grabbed his broom and flew off as she walked into the castle.