"Harry." Harry Potter turned to see Ginny Weasley peering out at him from her bedroom door. It was the same door from which she had beckoned him almost a year before on his seventeenth birthday.
It had been a long, trying year which culminated in the Battle of Hogwarts and the death of Voldemort. The hectic days that followed the battle were like an emotional roller coaster as Harry attended the funerals of Colin Creevey, Remus and Nymphadora, and, most painful of all, Fred Weasley. Fred's funeral took place on a sunny morning in Ottery St. Catchpole where he was buried in the little churchyard. The funeral had actually been upbeat, with the congregation sharing stories and laughs over Fred's life and escapades. The actual burial, however, was a little more difficult as the family said their final good-byes. All Harry could do was stand there with his arm around Ginny's shoulders as she silently sobbed.
Fred's funeral had been several days before and now Ginny was standing at the doorway. "Harry," Ginny repeated, "will you come in here a moment?" Harry hesitated for only a few seconds. Although not a lot had been said, Harry knew how they both still felt about each other. Given how Ron had reacted the previous year to their kissing and how strong Harry's desires were at the moment, he wondered if it might be better not to be in a bedroom alone with Ginny. But there was no way Harry was going to pass on taking Ginny up on her offer.
He followed her into her small but brightly decorated room. Ginny, who was wearing cut-off jeans and a Holyhead Harpies T-shirt, turned and looked intently at Harry. Harry tried to fight his growing desire as he uncomfortably cleared his throat. "Um, Ginny, d-do you really think we should be in here alone?"
Ginny smiled and asked in an innocent voice, "Why do you ask, Harry? Are your intentions less than honorable?" Harry spluttered and began to explain himself but the fire in Ginny's eyes quickly silenced him as Ginny approached to within a few inches of him. "If it's Ron you're worried about, I don't think he'll interrupt us this time. He's too busy snogging Hermione every chance he gets."
"What about the rest of your family? They might be unhappy, too."
Ginny again smiled wide as she took a step closer to Harry and slipped her arms around his neck. "I guess it all depends on what you have in mind?"
Harry felt the beast in him quickly rising. "I, um . . ." he breathlessly answered, "I'll let you decide how far we go."
"There's the silver lining I've been looking for," she whispered, and then she was kissing Harry just as she had the previous time he'd been in her bedroom and he was kissing her back. If possible, the kiss was even deeper and more passionate than ever before as Harry relished the feel of her pressed against him. One hand was at her back and the other in her long, sweet-smelling hair –
The door banged open and they jumped apart.
There stood Ron with a wild-eyed expression. "Stop!" he yelled.
"Ron, what are you doing?" both Ginny and Harry asked in frustration.
"I'm here to save you."
Ginny spit out a strong swear word and glared at her older brother. "Ron, I don't need to be saved. I'm almost an adult and I can take care of myself. If I want to kiss Harry . . . "
"Not you," Ron interrupted. He looked at Harry. "I'm here to save you, mate. It's obvious by the way you look at her and touch her that you're in love and Ginny knows that. She'll wrap you around her little finger and control you." He hesitated a moment and then continued, "And, and . . . you'll love it. I mean, you'll really love it, mate. But then you'll stop playing Quidditch and doing other fun stuff and all you'll want to do is be with her and do girly things . . . ."
Ron didn't finish the sentence because a small hand reached in and grabbed his arm. Hermione's voice could be heard. "Ron, stop bothering them. I thought we were going to walk into the village this morning and do some shopping." Ron seemed to melt with her touch, got a silly grin on his face and disappeared from the doorway. Hermione's bushy-haired head appeared from around the door-frame. Her cheeks were pink and she had a smile. "Sorry, he won't bother you again." And then she was gone.
Harry and Ginny stared for a silent moment at the empty doorway. Finally Harry turned and looked down into Ginny's brown eyes. "If I get like that, please, slap the hell out of me."
Ginny slowly nodded. "Gladly!"
With that, Harry shut the door with his foot and went back to kissing Ginny, Ron's warning completely leaving his mind.