He watched her sleep. She had homework spread all around her, and one hand was hanging off the couch, a quill on the floor beneath. Harry remembered his own O.W.L.s last year, and knew that she was trying desperately to catch up after she had helped him, Ron, and Hermione research spells for the D.A., and more importantly, to fulfill the prophecy.
Her red hair was spread all around her, glinting in the dim light of the Gryffindor common room. The position she was in reminded him of how she had looked in the Chamber of Secrets-vulnerable, limbs splayed around her, eyes gently closed.
In other ways, she looked completely different. Not only in the maturing of her body, although he had noticed that, too. But her cheeks had color in them this time, and her chest was rising and falling rhythmically, unlike the short, gasping breaths she had been taking on that terrible day. A thought jolted Harry, what would Ron say if he knew Harry was looking at his little sister's chest? Her lips were in a relaxed almost-smile (not that he should be looking at her lips, either), as opposed to the sad or frightened (Harry had never decided which, and thought maybe it was both) tightness that had been there that time in his second year.
After some more deliberation, Harry reached a verdict on her appearance.
Harry soared above the crowds, scanning for the Snitch, but couldn't help glancing back at Ginny. Her hair streaming out behind her, she had already recovered from the foul she had just suffered.
His first impulse had been to go and rescue her, to catch her when she fell. Quickly he realized that she didn't need his aid. She grabbed the end of her broomstick as she fell, and somehow hoisted herself back on in a matter of seconds. She could definitely take care of herself.
In fact, she had fouled the other player immediately afterwards; she had just done it more subtly. He got caught, she didn't. Harry felt his mouth form into a smirk as she took her penalty shot, and he recalled her words of last year, "The thing about growing up with Fred and George is that you sort of start thinking anything's possible if you've got enough nerve." And that stunt she'd just pulled was definitely something the twins would be proud of her for, he was sure of that.
After her shot went in, Harry cheering for her along with all the other Gryffindors, she looked up and happened to catch his eye. He caught his breath.
Her cheeks were flushed from the exercise, her eyes sparkling with the knowledge of her trickery. She caught Harry's smirk and grinned.
Managing to keep himself from falling off his Firebolt, he mouthed, "Slytherin," to her, and knew the message was conveyed by the mock offence she showed on her face.
Then she winked and flew off to grab the Quaffle away from one of Ravenclaw's Chasers.
And all Harry could think was, "Beautiful."
The sounds of magical combat exploded all around him, but he kept his focus. He was looking for one abnormally tall...creature with snakelike red eyes.
Suddenly, a completely different shade of red, evoking completely different feelings, caught his eye. He knew that focus was highly important at this point, but everyone has their weaknesses, right? She was fighting with everything she had, throwing hexes left and right. Harry felt a short flash of pride, knowing that his work with the D.A. was at least partially responsible for her fighting prowess.
Their housemate, who was standing beside her, was not as swift as she, but was still holding his own; however, at that moment came the blow. Harry did not realize the danger till it was too late, but sent a shield spell toward his fellow Gryffindor anyway, knowing that even had he been fast enough, no shouted Protego could stop the Killing Curse.
Ginny turned as Harry's shield reached her; she was just in time to watch her fellow 6th year fall.
"Colin! No!" Ginny's desperate cry filled his ears.
Harry watched as the pain in her eyes turned into something else, something diamond-hard and just as cold. She turned to her opponent, Bellatrix Lestrange, and said something that Harry would never have expected to leave Ginny Weasley's lips.
"Crucio! For Sirius, and for Colin, and for Harry!" She couldn't sustain it for long. Harry suspected that her conscience had caught up with her brain and wouldn't let her continue the torture; instead, she quickly stunned and bound the female Death Eater to prevent an escape.
Then she looked into Harry's eyes. There were so many emotions contained within the red-rimmed, bloodshot, brown eyes that he loved, he couldn't even begin to sort them all out. There were two things that stood out to him, however-defiance, as if daring him to tell her she was wrong for using an Unforgivable; the second emotion was something that he had not dared to hope for during the last several years. It was love.
Harry turned around, found Voldemort with his eyes and ran to confront the evil wizard. He devoted his whole mind to thinking of those he loved. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, Remus, Hagrid, Ron, Hermione, and finally, he pictured Ginny's beautiful eyes, full of love.
Harry spooned against his wife, the sweat from their lovemaking still drying on their skin. He still had a hard time believing that it was all true, that Voldemort was gone from their lives, and that they had had over a year to simply enjoy life. There was no need to worry about Death Eaters; not all had been captured after the battle, but it was simply no longer their responsibility, and he had told the Auror recruiters so. Most of all, he could not believe that he had been married to the love of his life for a whole month.
Ginny appeared to be sleeping, and he took the opportunity, now that he was entitled, to gaze at her naked body.
Yes, he'd been right three years ago: "Beautiful." He hadn't meant to speak it aloud, and she stirred.
Eyes still half-closed, she enquired, "Did I hear my name, Handsome?"
Harry gazed down at her, supported on his elbow. "Yeah, I was talking to you." She reached up to kiss him, showing her thanks for the compliment through actions rather than words.