A/N: Written for the "End of Term" SIYE challenge April 2004.
"Tell her how you feel, you daft prat!" Ron's words echoed round the empty room. Ron had long since been collected by Hermione for one last walk around the school before the leaving feast. Somehow, I don't think they're going to do much walking though… However, where was I? Oh yes, Ron was calling me a daft prat.
You see, over the last few years here at Hogwarts, I have been spending more and more time with Ginny Weasley, who just happens to be Ron's sister. Starting in my fifth year, and more and more during my sixth year, Ginny was the one who didn't wrap me up in cotton wool, and was more than capable, as she once proved to spectacular effect in The Great Hall, of telling me that I was being a prat and to "Snap out of it!"
My sixth year was bad, really bad, what with all the attacks and the resulting deaths of Neville and Seamus, but it was the death of Bill, Ron and Ginny's eldest brother which really sent me spiraling into another of my bouts of depression. I'm ashamed to say that when I should have been a supportive friend to them, I wasn't. Then for weeks after Bill's funeral, Hermione didn't dare come near me, afraid that I would either explode at her or crack up completely, and she wouldn't know what to do.
Ron's refusal to back away helped a lot, but it was Ginny's gentle coaxing and her amazing patience one Saturday, while most of the school was enjoying a rare Hogsmeade trip, that finally pulled me out of that particular depression. I still find it hard to believe nobody blames me for the atrocities that Voldemort committed. Though if the families of those that have died, and friends like Ron and Ginny, don't point the finger of blame in my direction, I suppose that I'm going to have to learn to stop pointing the finger at myself, and with Ginny's help, I know I'll get there.
Which brings me back to Ron's comment as he left. With all the time Ginny and I have spent together, we have grown quite close, very close in fact. We have gone to Hogsmeade weekends together, walked round the lake, found somewhere quiet, when one or the other of needed some time alone but did not want to be alone. We also went to the school ball that was held to celebrate the end of the war, together. We have even kissed once or twice in the weeks since, but neither of us has tried making us anything other than friends albeit, close friends.
Until the past few days that is, as the end of term approaches, so does the end of school and with it, the realisation that I am once again to be separated from my friends. Thankfully, I'm not off to the Dursleys ever again, but I am off to spend a few weeks with Remus Lupin, a friend of my parents, and I'm proud to say, a friend of mine. There are one or two matters that need sorting now I am of age as a wizard and leaving school. Remus has kindly agreed to help me with them. I don't think I could manage everything without his advice. Not least of which is to help me decide where I want to go with my career. Throughout my school life I've only ever wanted to be an Auror, but after the war, and after all I've seen, that's not for me anymore.
All this is going to take time, no more than a month I hope, but it will be time I will be away from Ron, Hermione, and more importantly, Ginny. It's the prospect of being away from Ginny for such a length of time that has finally made me realise what my true feelings for her are. Actually, I lie, I've known for months what my true feelings are, but I've been too damn scared to do anything about them. Which is why, after what seems like my hundredth conversation with him about it, Ron left me here sitting on my bed, his words reverberating round the room. Yet, despite his advice, I'm still no closer to doing anything about it.
Here I am sitting on the Hogwarts Express, and Harry is snoring quietly, with his head in my lap. Which is good because he's missed Malfoy's annual attempt to insult us on the way home. You'd think he would have kept himself to himself considering this morning's Daily Prophet, which listed his father among twenty former Death Eaters to receive a lifetime's solitary confinement at Azkaban.
However, I digress, I should be talking about how Harry came to be asleep in my lap. Well, it's like this, last night was the annual leaving feast, and Harry was showing no signs of coming down from his room, even though everyone else had already set off. So with every intent of pulling him out of yet another of his moods, I headed to the seventh year boys dormitory…
"Harry, what are you doing up here?"
"Oh, hi Ginny…"
Well he didn't seem to be in one of his sulks, but something was definitely up.
"What's the matter, Potter? Am I not a good enough dining partner, now that you're a fully qualified wizard?"
It was a risk, speaking to him like this, but I trusted that he would realise I wasn't being entirely serious.
"That's right, Weasley," he shot back, grinning widely, before he continued, "I'm far to import…." His voice suddenly faltered, and he looked white enough to pass for a Hogwarts ghost. "Actually Ginny, could you sit down here for a minute? I've got something to tell you."
I walked over, and sat down where Harry had patted the bed next to him, I was about to ask what was wrong, when he spoke again.
"No, Ginny, let me say this before I chicken out."
When Harry started talking, he didn't seem able to stop. All his hopes for the future came tumbling out. What surprised, and well… pleased me most, was that he wanted that future to include me! What Harry told me about his feelings will remain private between the two of us, though I can tell you I think I will have this grin plastered over my face for years to come!
"So… Erm… What do you think, Ginny?"
"I think it's about time!"
"So, you won't mind if I kiss you then, properly this time, boyfriend - girlfriend proper?"
"Harry, you dipstick, if you don't kiss me right now, there won't be a chance of it being a girlfriend kiss! Now come here!"
With that, Harry leaned in and brought his lips to mine, and all thoughts of making it to the leaving feast were banished.
Thankfully, Ron and Hermione had the presence of mind to bring some food back from the feast for us both. Though, at some point during the summer, I will get him back for the "I told you so" looks he kept throwing in our direction as Harry and I cuddled up in the large armchair by the common room fire.
For once, it seemed nobody in Gryffindor Tower wanted the last night of school to end. The war had brought us together as a group, and it was going to be strange for all of us come September. For those of us returning to Hogwarts, it's going to seem awfully quiet. A bit like we have forgotten something, but aren't quite sure what. For those like Harry, Hermione and my brother, who will be starting their lives outside Hogwarts, I can only think that feeling will be even more profound.
It was funny really; nobody wanted to be the one that went to bed first, so none of us did. We spent the entire night just sat talking, and laughing and talking some more. Even Professor McGonagall didn't complain when she came to see why nobody was in bed. Surprisingly, she arranged for the House-Elves to supply as many cups of tea, and piles of hot buttered toast as we needed.
Which is why within twenty minutes of leaving Hogsmeade station, my boyfriend Harry Potter, can be found snoring gently, with his head in my lap.
A/N Well that went in a completely different direction from my plan… I blame Harry and Ginny myself ;) they just wouldn't go in the direction I wanted them to. So I gave up and let them write their own story!
Thanks to Robert, Imogen and LadyChi for the beta.