|SIYE Time:17:34 on 23rd June 2018|
Category: Cursed Child and beyond
Genres: Angst, Fluff, General, Romance
Warnings: Mild Sexual Situations
Story is Complete
Summary: After the events of CC, Harry and Ginny have done everything to shower their children with love and support. But when the kids to return to Hogwarts Harry realises he and Ginny were affected by the events as well.
Hitcount: Story Total: 1452
Disclaimer: Harry Potter Publishing Rights © J.K.R. Note the opinions in this story are my own and in no way represent the owners of this site. This story subject to copyright law under transformative use. No compensation is made for this work.
Knowledge of CC will definitely help you understand what Harry and Ginny are dealing with and their conversations. May God bless JKR for giving us Luna.
Harry opened the door to his office to allow the Minister for Magic to leave. “So you'll keep me informed, Harry,” she said, stepping out. They'd had a working lunch in his office.
Harry followed. “Of course, Hermione,” he said, picking up the stack of messages his personal assistant had taken while he was in his meeting. He read the top one once, then twice, then bellowed, “Linda!”
Linda, his personal assistant, returned from the break room, two cups of coffee in her hand. She handed one to him, which he set on her desk. “Yes, Boss?” she asked, as she returned to her desk.
“Why didn't you bring this to me straight away?” he asked, rather sternly. Hermione looked at him in surprise. Harry always fostered good relationships amongst his staff, particularly those that worked closest with him.
Linda looked at the message, then at Harry. “You told me not to disturb you while you were meeting with Madame Minister...and Mrs Potter herself told me not to disturb you.”
Harry ran his hands through his hair. “You mean she dropped it off herself?” Linda nodded. “Anything to do with my family comes straight to me immediately, understand?” Linda nodded again, keeping silent.
“Harry, what is it? Is Ginny all right?” asked Hermione, concerned.
Harry indicated with a toss of his head for her to follow him back to his office. He shut the door and began to pace, checking the message again. Hermione watched him growing more and more anxious. “Harry, for the love of Merlin, tell me!” she finally exclaimed.
“Ginny, she...she's gone,” said Harry.
“Gone? Gone where?” asked Hermione.
Harry shrugged. “India, apparantly. Gone to some hippy retreat with Luna. Here.” He handed the message over to Hermione while he continued to pace, to think.
“She didn't tell you she was going, she just up and left?” asked Hermione in surprise. Harry and Ginny had always had a close and loving relationship, one she envied at times, so this was so out of character for Ginny.
“She mentioned she might get away for a bit. Things...haven't been great with us since the kids went back to school,” he admitted.
“What? Why?” asked Hermione, confused. All the Potter/ Weasley kids had returned to Hogwarts over a month ago. “Is it Albus, have people been talking?” she asked, the events of the past still so fresh in her mind. Time travel, alternative realities, re-living the worst night of Harry's life.
“I don't know — no, it's not Albus, he's written me several times, and says everything is going well — it's Ginny. Ginny and me,” he specified.
“Go on,” urged Hermione, sitting on the side of his desk.
Harry shrugged. “She just seemed more down this time than before, when the kids went back. She passed on some assignments at the paper to other people, saying she wanted to stay home rather than travel. She had a few migraines, so I didn't think much of it, even...” He bit his lip and didn't continue.
“Even?” prompted Hermione, alarmed.
“Even when she slept in Lily's bed a night or two. Said she didn't want to disturb me during the night. I had just started on the Williams case and was working those long hours so didn't think much of it. Plus, well...” He bit his lip.
“Harry, please, tell me. This doesn't sound like Ginny at all,” pleaded Hermione.
Harry took a deep breath. “We haven't been together in over a month.”
Hermione snorted. “Yes, you have, I saw you together at the Burrow last week.”
Harry rolled his eyes. “We haven't been together in over a month. Intimate.” He flushed. He liked to keep this part of his life as private as he could.
“Oh!” said Hermione, flushing. “Oh!” Harry and Ginny were an amorous couple who she knew still enjoyed an active physical love life, having walked in on them snogging — and more — at various times and locations over the years. So to go that long, for them, was quite unusual. Harry was right, something was wrong.
“Yeah, so you know what a big deal that is,” sighed Harry. He looked frustrated. “I've been so busy with this case, I just haven't made time for her. All that stress with Albus Scorpius and Delphi, then spending the Christmas holidays with the kids, reassuring them over and over that we loved them, supported them and their choices, that we would always be there for them...I guess, somewhere along the way-”
“You forgot about yours and Ginny's relationship. It's natural, as parents, to put your kids needs ahead of our own. Yet Ginny's never struck me as the needy type, Harry,” said Hermione.
Harry shook his head. “No, not needy...but something hasn't been right with her, with us, since the kids went back to Hogwarts, and I feel like it's my fault.”
“So go, fix it,” said Hermione.
“Go?” Harry stared at her. “What about all this?” he asked, waving his hand over the stack of files on his desk.
“Harry, what's the most important thing in your life?” asked Hermione, knowingly.
“My family,” said Harry, instantly.
Hermione patted his hand. “Maybe Ginny needs your reassurances too, that you love her and will always be there for her. What we saw that night in Godric's Hollow — Harry, did you and Ginny really talk about what happened?”
Harry shrugged. “Sort of. It was more us worrying about Albus than the two of us, you know?”
Hermione nodded. “But it did affect the two of you, it had to, given your history with Voldemort, and Ginny worries about you more than she lets on. Go Harry, take some time, find Ginny, talk to her, listen to her. Then go be 'together', for as long as it takes,” she grinned cheekily.
Harry chuckled. “Merlin, Hermione, I'm not twenty anymore. So you'll be all right with all this then.” Once again, he looked at the files.
Hermione nodded. “About time to let your deputy step up, don't you think?And Harry, when you get back...perhaps we should look at cutting down your hours, if it will help.”
In the wake of all that had happened over the last year, it was something Harry had been considering himself. “Thanks, Hermione,” he said, already throwing on his travelling cloak. “Will you let the family know we're away? Don't mention anything else, though. Ron's fine, you can tell him what's going on.”
“Sure, no problem.” Again she left Harry's office, followed by him. He stopped by Linda's desk, leaving messages for his deputy, Anthony Goldstein. Hermione and Linda assured him they'd bring him up to speed on anything vital. Harry then shot Hermione a grateful smile as he prepared to leave.
“Harry — one thing?” He stopped to look back at her. “Don't get Ginny pregnant again. Ron will kill you!” she quipped.
Linda gasped, her hand covering her mouth. Harry flushed and hurried away, smiling softly to himself.
It took him some time to locate Luna's whereabouts, after numerous firecalls to friends, Luna's publishers and so on, then to message Luna he was coming. He arranged a Portkey, later than he would have like to leave, and then packed. He didn't know anything about where he was going, or what the weather conditions were like, so he packed light. He sent two owls, one cancelling the paper subscription for a week and one to Minerva, letting her know he and Ginny were both away overseas and contact would take longer than usual should she need them during that week. Ron was appointed their emergency contact should any situations arise with the kids.
He decided not to tell the kids; India was quite an unusual destination for them, as neither had indicated any desire to travel there in the past. He closed and secured the Floo, then locked the house and checked the wards. Then he Apparated to the Ministry and headed for the Portkey department.
“Sorry, sir, there's been a delay. You have a one hour wait,” he was told. Harry's frustration in getting to Ginny was growing by the minute, and this did not help. As he feared, it was quite late as the Portkey deposited him at the offices.
“Hello, Harry. Welcome to Goa.”
He spun around to find, not his wife, but her best friend. “Hey, Luna,” he said, setting his bag down. He looked around for Ginny, which Luna picked up on straight away.
“Ginny's not here, she's sleeping. She seemed troubled when she arrived, so I thought it best not to wake her,” said Luna, gesturing for him to follow her after he signed in.
“Does she know I'm coming? Has she said anything to you?” asked Harry, following her down the steps to the beach. They followed a path to where there were many small cottages.
Luna shook her head. “No, but she seemed upset, and so very tired. I brought her to her cottage and left her for a bit. She joined in for the evening meditation class and sat with the group for dinner. I asked her to join me for a walk, but she said she wanted a good night sleep. Isn't the air cleaner here?” she asked happily.
Harry took a deep breath and exhaled. He supposed it was cleaner than London's, but at the moment, all that mattered was getting to Ginny. “Luna, did -”
“Here we are, Ginny's cottage. Now, this is a Muggle retreat, so no magic. Ginny is booked for the early morning yoga session, but if the two of you are otherwise engaged, I won't come looking for you.” Luna smiled knowingly, being one of their many friends who had caught them out a time or two.
Harry smiled at her, glad of the darkness so she couldn't see his face. Merlin, he and Ginny weren't that bad, were they?
Luna patted his arm knowingly. “There's nothing wrong in expressing your physical love openly, Harry. More people should embrace their bodies, not be ashamed. You and Ginny look beautiful when you're making love.”
Harry gulped and was sure his face was Weasley red right now. “Er, thanks, Luna. I'll, er, just say goodnight, then. Bye.” He hurried up the stairs and opened the door, shutting it behind him.
He looked around, not that there was much to see. There was a tiny kitchen and fridge, a lounge, a bathroom and what he guessed was a bedroom towards the back. Setting his bag down, he removed his travelling cloak and headed there.
Soft candlelight was the first thing he saw when he entered, lending a golden glow to the room. He assumed Ginny had fallen asleep while looking over the retreats pamphlets, for she would never leave a candle alight while sleeping. Without taking his eyes off her, he undressed and slid carefully into bed without waking her.
He studied her face, noting the dark smudges under her eyes. Even in slumber she did not look peaceful, and even as he looked on, she frowned and rolled over.
Harry let her settle then curled his larger body around hers. “I'm here, Gin, and I love you,” he whispered. Closing his eyes, he quickly fell asleep.
Ginny was enveloped in the warmest blanket and she never wanted to leave. Remembering that she'd booked an early morning yoga session, she decided to open her eyes to check the time. She fluttered them open, smiling sleepily at a familiar pair of green eyes that bore into hers.
“Mmm, morning Harry...Harry!” Suddenly awake, she sat up. “What's wrong, is it the kids? Albus, is it Albus? James, Lily...Ted?”
Harry lay his hand on her back, rubbing it lightly. “The kids are fine, love. So is your mum and dad,” he hastened to add.
“Oh,” said Ginny, laying down again. She turned on her side to face Harry. “Is your case closed, then?” she asked hopefully.
Harry shook his head. “Nope, but we're getting closer to an arrest, and that's really-”
“all you can say,” finished Ginny, having heard the same thing many times over the years, being an Auror's wife. “So why are you here then?”
Harry brushed some hair off her face and behind her ear. “I'm here because you're here, Ginny,” he said softly.
Ginny's brown eyes searched his. “Oh,” was all she could say. His presence was unexpected and she wasn't sure it was a good thing or not. “I thought I explained everything in my message.”
Harry propped his head on his hand. “ 'Need some time away, just a few days with Luna in India',” he quoted. “Doesn't tell me a lot, Gin.”
Ginny shrugged and rolled onto her back, looking up at the ceiling. “I don't know what to tell you, Harry. Things are all swirly in my mind, and I came here to get some clarity. Hoped to get some clarity,” she amended.
“Swirly? What is that — Lunaspeak for what?” chuckled Harry.
Ginny sat up, tears in her eyes. “It means that I have a thousand thoughts running through my head right now, and none of them good. I hoped by coming here I could sort them out, deal with them. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a yoga class to get to,” she said, getting out of bed and storming into the bathroom angrily.
Harry lay back, hearing the shower running. Normally he'd get up and join her, but he didn't want to upset her further. When she returned she was already dressed, and she slid on some light canvas shoes. She hesitated.
“You're welcome to join me, if you want. Otherwise, I'm having breakfast at the main house in just over an hour,” she told him.
Harry recognised the olive branch for what it was. “Sure, I'll come, bed's no fun without you in it, anyway,” he hinted, sliding out. “What shall I wear?” he asked.
“Some shorts and a tee shirt, I guess,” shrugged Ginny. “I'll grab us a couple of bottles of water from the fridge,” she said, leaving him to dress. He joined her quickly and they set off for the beach.
Harry was surprised to see Luna was teaching the class. “Ashtanga yoga,” she announced, smiling brightly at Harry. “We'll start with some stretches to warm the body. And reach,” she encouraged, her arms stretched high.
For an hour, Harry streched his body into positons he'd never heard of before. He was glad Ron wasn't here to take the piss. Surprisingly though, when it was over, he felt quite sprightly.
“Breakfast?” suggested Ginny brightly, feeling better too. “All local, healthy produce.”
“You know, I feel great,” said Harry, taking a deep breath and exhaling.
Luna came to his side. “Excellent, Harry. Breathing is so important, don't you think?”
“Yeah, you're right, Luna. I don't know what would happen if we didn't breathe,” quipped Harry, tongue in cheek. Ginny snorted and nudged him.
“You don't?” asked Luna in surprise. “Why, oxygen wouldn't get to our vital organs and they'd all shut down. We'd die, Harry, that's what.”
“Oh, er, right, so, keep breathing then,” said Harry. “Good class, by the way.”
“Thanks,” smiled Luna. “If you like, we do offer a Bikram yoga class, where you run through the positions completely naked in a room set at a really high temperature.”
“Naked...in a class? With other people, seeing you...sweat, and stuff,” stammered Harry. Ginny looked amused at his discomfort.
Luna nodded. “It's a great way to rid your body of toxins,” she informed him.
“I wonder if it would have worked on the Horcrux,” joked Harry, making Ginny burst into laughter.
Luna patted him on the shoulder, then leaned in between them to tell them softly. “I signed you up for the couple's massage. Eleven o'clock, don't be late.” She straightened. “Enjoy your breakfast.”
They made their way to the communal table, greeting others from their morning class. “Merlin, I'm hungry!” realised Harry.
“Me too,” agreed Ginny. “Mmm, look at that delicious fruit.”
They conversed with the others, while eating their breakfast. Giny decided on muesli and fresh fruit, while Harry opted for scrambled eggs and cooked tomatoes. He didn't know how they cooked it, but it was better than any eggs he'd had before.
“Shall we go for a walk on the beach before we go for our massage,” suggested Ginny. The golden sand beckoned, as did the clear blue water.
“I'd love to,” said Harry, holding out his hand. Ginny took it, and he thrilled to feel her lace her fingers through his as they set off.
“It's beautiful, isn't it,” sighed Ginny happily. “So peaceful, yet exhilerating. I've barely been here one day, and already I feel better.”
“That's good, you need to do whatever it takes to clear your mind,” said Harry. They walked in silence close to the water's edge. “Gin?”
“Hmm?” muttered Ginny, her eyes closed as she enjoyed the serenity.
“These bad thoughts you're having...is it because of me?” he asked slowly. The horrible sudden realisation that maybe, after all these years...?
She hesitated, making him draw in a harsh breath. Slowly she opened her eyes, seeing the frantic look in his eyes. “No, oh Harry, not like that. Merlin, never like that. No, it's-it's-”
“Is it what happened last year?” he asked. She slowly nodded her head, then tugged his hand to join her sitting on the sand.
Harry drew her into his arms, her head tucked neatly under his chin. “I love you, and I hate to see you upset. I'm sorry I haven't told you so lately; is there anything I can do to help you through this?” he asked, almost desperately.
Ginny wrapped her arms around his waist. “You're already doing it,” she told him softly. She suddenly realised she was very glad Harry was there.
“Are you worried about the kids? Albus?” he asked tentatively.
Ginny shook her head, looking out to the bright blue water in front of her. “No. I think the kids will be fine, especially Albus. He's got a really good friend in Scorpius, and I know that used to worry us, that they only had each other, but after what we went through, well, I don't know about you, Harry, but I'd rather Albus has one good solid friend like Scorpius, rather than a hundred fairweather ones who would have fled at the first sign of the trouble Albus found himself in,” she said honestly.
“I agree. Do you know, both Draco and I agreed that we both tried to give our sons what we needed from our childhoods, rather than what they needed. Scorpius is a good friend to Albus...and Draco is a good father,” said Harry.
“So are you,” insisted Ginny, taking his hand. “Please don't doubt yourself, not about that.”
It felt good to hear Ginny tell him that. He still had nightmares about that horrible thing he'd said to Albus in a moment of anger. He leaned his chin on her shoulder.
Ginny took a deep breath. “Since the kids went back to Hogwarts, I've had nightmares about him; Voldemort...and you.” She inhaled. “Seeing you transform into him that night.” She exhaled in relief to have gotten that off her chest.
He shifted so he was sitting behind her, and wrapped his arms around her. He lay his cheek against hers, feeling the wetness of tears running down it. He hated that he had done that to her; hated that he hadn't seen how she was suffering.
“In my nightmares, I go to bed with you...and wake up next to him,” she admitted quietly. “You're both such an intrinsic part of my past; of our history,” she said, gesturing between them both.
“It had to be me, Ginny. Delphi had to believe it was her father, and I knew she would speak Parseltongue,” he said.
“I know that,” snapped Ginny. “I was there, remember.” She took a breath. “Sorry.”
Harry said nothing, giving her some time to gather her thoughts.
“I didn't want you to touch me, not in bed, not while he was invading my thoughts...so I went to sleep in Lily's room,” she admitted.
As she wasn't pushing him away now, Harry kept his arms around her. “I don't know how to fix that,” he said.
Ginny nodded. “I know...but this is helping.” She placed her lips against his skin.
She turned slightly to face him. “I don't know how to fix your nightmares about your past. Your life with the Dursleys,” she added.
He looked away from her, but she turned his face back to hers. “Please, Harry, we need to talk about these things.” She gently stroked his cheek, imploring him silently to open up to her.
“The Dursleys aren't the problem. They're a blight on my past that I hate to call family. I-I...” He broke off, hesitant.
“Tell me,” she said softly. Her tone was one of simple support, not judgemental.
“I hate that they left me there when I was a baby. Dumped me there. Year after year. He — Dumbledore should have checked on me, should have sent someone to check on me. And he damn well shouldn't have sent me back there, even with the stupid blood protection. I think I will always struggle to get over that,” he whispered angrily.
She leaned her head against his, offering comfort. “Perhaps you could talk with Minerva,” she offered. “She was always in your corner when you were at Hogwarts.”
Harry winced. “After what I said to her in her office...then to go and ask her to tell me about that?” he asked.
“Dumbledore's portrait? Hagrid? Aberforth?” she suggested.
Harry shook his head. “I've already talked to Dumbledore's portrait, when all this business about Delphi was happening. He told me his reasons. I doubt Hagrid or Aberforth would know anything more. No, Minerva would be the best option,” he agreed reluctantly.
“You said you told me everything that happened to you at the Durselys, the way they treated you,” noted Ginny, and Harry nodded. It had been hard but therapeutic to tell Ginny, all those years ago. She had gone with him to check on his relatives after they had returned to their home, but apart from Dudley, the older Dursleys remained as uncaring towards Harry as ever. Ginny had been livid, but Harry felt, with his duty done, he never had to see them again. He maintained a cordial relationship with his cousin, but there was an invisible line that kept them both from crossing over from cordial to a real friendship.
“You told me the facts, but you never really told me how you felt when they punished you, or locked you in the cupboard. Made you do a thousand chores. Missed your birthdays; left you out of Christmas celebrations,” she said.
Harry looked pained. Again, he looked away, and this time, Ginny let him be. “I was lonely and confused. I tried to be what they wanted me to be, what Dudley was like, but I was never good enough for them. When they told me my parents had died in a car crash, I wished I had died too. Sometimes I was scared that I'd die in my cupboard...and no-one would find me, no-one would even care.” He focused on a bird flying in the distance.
“What I don't understand,” said Ginny slowly, and he turned back to face her, “is how, despite the disgusting way you were treated, how you turned out to be so kind, so caring...so brave.”
“I guess I just thought there had to be something better out there, and one day I'd find it. A family where I belonged...and I did, the moment your brother sat in my carriage.”
Ginny smiled encouragingly at him.
“I didn't know it then, of course, but by befriending Ron, from that moment on, I became a part of your family too. Your mum sent me a jumper for Christmas, and those Easter eggs that time. Your brothers, coming in that car to rescue me from Privet Drive. Gin, all that meant so much to me.”
His heart was full. “I had this image in my head of what I thought being a part of a family would be like...and I found all of that at the Burrow. Older brothers pulling pranks, parents who give you chores to do; reasonable chores,” he amended. “Playing games together, flying, listening to the wireless. Big, loud, fun dinners with everybody talking over everyone else. A cute little sister, who thankfully, wasn't my sister” he teased.
Ginny groaned but chuckled as she leaned against him. “Who blushed and stammered and ran away the first time you spoke to me,” she remembered.
“Who grew up to be a strong, amazing woman who gave me a family of my own,” he corrected. “The greatest gift ever.”
They smiled at each other, taking a moment or three to remember the journey of their life together. “I love you,” she said.
He kissed her gently. “I am so in love with you,” he said softly.
“I'm glad you followed me here. I feel better now that we've talked,” she confessed.
“Hell of a long way to go for a chat, but I'd follow you anywhere, Gin,” he chuckled.
They sat there together for several minutes, simply enjoying the beach and being together. Both felt lighter for getting those burdens off their shoulders, and both silently vowed to be there more for the other.
Ginny checked his watch. “Hey, we can still make that couples massage. What do you reckon?” She stood, offering him her hand.
He took it and stood. “Sounds good. Lead the way, Mrs Potter,” he gestured.
They walked hand in hand up the beach, following the signs to the massage room. A young woman bowed and smiled. “Mr and Mrs Potter?” she asked.
Ginny nodded and she gestured for them to go forward. They were shown into a room. “Please undress and leave your clothes here. Put on these robes, and when you are ready, make your way through that door,” the hostess told them before returning to the front of house.
Harry and Ginny disrobed. “So, this couple's massage. Shall I do you first?” he offered.
Ginny looked at him quizzically. “What do you mean?”
Harry shrugged. “You massage me, I massage you. I thought you'd like to go first,” he said.
Ginny smiled. “Actually, we get massaged together, at the same time,” she told him.
“By who?” asked Harry, as they donned their gowns and went through the other door.
“Ah, Mrs Potter, I am Raj, your masseur today,” said a young man, bowing. He gestured for the table. “Whenever you are ready, please disrobe and lay face down on the table.” He turned to prepare his oils.
“Mr Potter, I am Pria, your masseuse today,” said a pretty young woman, bowing. She went on to give Harry the same instructions, but Harry barely heard her, he was too focused on Ginny disrobing, and the young man, the young handsome man that was about to put his hands on Ginny.
“Harry,” hissed Ginny, and he looked at her. She nodded at his table, and the young lady watching him in confusion.
“Is anything wrong, sir?” she asked.
“Er, no, sorry,” apologised Harry, and he quickly disrobed and scurried under the towel. He lay face down and he turned his head to see Ginny smiling at him. Until Raj moved between them and spread oil over Ginny's back and began to rub it in. Harry saw Ginny's eyes close in ecstasy, and he didn't like it.
He barely felt the oil being rubbed on his own back. “So tense, Mr Potter,” said Pria.
He just grunted, unable to relax and get the full benefits of the massage as he kept watching the young, strapping dark-skinned man rub his hands all over Ginny. Unbidden came the images of Dean Thomas and Ginny from his sixth year all over again. As Raj moved lower, and Ginny let out a moan of appreciation, Harry could barely stop himself from leaping off his table to wrench the man's hands away from his wife.
He jumped as Pria's hands moved lower, and Ginny chuckled at the look in his face. “Relax,” she pleaded softly, and he nodded and tried to relax. Touch had never come easy to Harry, especially with people he didn't know, but he'd do anything for Ginny, so he closed his eyes and tried to enjoy the experience.
“Roll over please,” said Raj, and Ginny turned onto her back. Raj started working on her legs, and Ginny wriggled to get comfortable. Her towel slipped down, exposing part of her breast, including the dark tip. Harry immediately became aroused, reminding himself that it had been way too long since he and Ginny had been 'together'.
“Turn over, please,” requested Pria.
Okay, now he had a problem, a rapidly growing problem. “Er, I'm good, thanks,” he said, gruffly.
Ginny turned to look at him, and smirked at his uncomfortable smile. “I think I'm done too,” she told Raj. “Thanks.”
“Very good,” said Pria and Raj, and they used the towels to dry them off. They indicated their robes, and told them they would leave them to put their robes on at their leisure, then re-dress. They both wished the Potters a pleasant stay and left.
Ginny sat up slowly. “So it appears you really, really liked the massage,” she teased gently.
Harry carefully rolled to his side. “Vixen,” he said, glancing at the opening of her robe. He groaned as he sat up, still half aroused.
Ginny glanced around to make sure they were completely alone, then hopped off the table, coming over to his. She stepped between his legs. “Do you know how long it's been, Harry?” she asked huskily, nuzzling his throat.
“Too bloody long,” he complained, his hands sliding into her robe. “Forty one days, to be exact, which is forty days too many.”
“What do you say we get out of here and go back to our cottage,” suggested Ginny huskily.
Harry cupped her cheeks in his hands and kissed her. “Merlin, yes,” he said, and they went to get dressed and leave. Unfortunately, after leaving the massage room, they were hailed by a familiar voice.
“Harry! Luna told me you turned up last night. And Ginny too. It's great to see you both again!”
Harry smiled while inwardly cursing. “Hi Rolf, good to see you too.” He took Rolf's offered hand and shook it. Ginny hugged and kissed him too.
“Luna must be thrilled you're here early, she thought you wouldn't arrive till tomorrow,” she said.
“Come, join me and Luna for drinks and then lunch,” offered Rolf. “The boys will be thrilled to see you.” Lorcan and Lysander travelled the world with their parents.
“Well, we were going to go back and get changed,” began Harry, with a longing look at Ginny. She nodded at him, eager to be alone with him.
“All right, then. We'll see you when you're dressed,” nodded Rolf, leaving them to return to his beloved wife.
Harry and Ginny never showed up at the Lovegood cabin for lunch, or that night for dinner. Rolf was curious, but Luna simply said, “couples massage,” and he understood. He reminded his wife it had been awhile since they had enjoyed a couples massage.
Harry and Ginny stayed the week, enjoying strolls on the beach, swimming in the deep blue waters, and exploring the amazing country around them. They did manage to join the Lovegood family one night for dinner, but other than that, they kept to themselves.
It was a time they needed, an affirmation that they were set on this path together for the rest of their lives. They talked more, about anything and everything, no matter how small or supposedly insignificant. More importantly, they listened to what the other had to say.
Harry didn't think there was much he didn't know about Ginny, or Ginny, him, but by the time they returned to England, Harry knew they had each bared all their demons to each other, and laid themselves raw to the other.
He took another week off work when they returned home. It was nice, not having any plans. Joining Ginny in the trivial things like grocery shopping or paying the bills. They made time to catch up with friends they hadn't seen in awhile, like Oliver Wood and his wife. Or a coffee in Muggle London with Dennis Creevy.
Ron and Hermione had visited on their return; concerned about them. Harry and Ginny had assured them they were fine but needed some time alone. Ginny made Ron pale when she announced she had a craving for buttercotch ice cream, as she had done when she was pregnant with Lily. Hermione had winked at them both as she dragged Ron to the fireplace.
But the best time was spent just being with Ginny. Harry cooked up a storm; he enjoyed pottering about in the kitchen. The house smelled amazing with the aromas of soups, cakes and roasts. They spent nights on the sofa, cuddled together as they listened to a Quidditch match on the wireless.
They had fun planning a family holiday for when the kids returned for the summer holidays. They went to the Muggle cinema, snogging in the back row. They packed a picnic basket and went to Hogwarts, joining Hagrid in his cabin. They spent a whole afternoon flying at the Burrow and Harry promised her, when the weather was warmer, he'd take a long weekend off work and they'd go to Brighton beach and the nearby amusement park.
Late at night, after making love, they'd fall asleep in each other's arms. Every morning they'd waken, smiling to see the other next to them. No-one could take away this precious time they'd had together. This time that had, in a sense, been a silent renewal of their wedding vows. For better or worse, they would be, had been, there for each other, walking side by side, as they headed for their future.
Always stronger together. Always better together.
Harry and Ginny Potter...Always.
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