SIYE Time:13:56 on 17th February 2019

The Neck Thing
By morphin3

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Category: Post-OotP
Genres: Fluff, Humor
Warnings: None
Story is Complete
Rating: PG-13
Reviews: 16
Summary: Harry and Ginny take their time getting to the Quidditch Pitch.
Hitcount: Story Total: 3085; Chapter Total: 557
Awards: View Trophy Room


Hours later, Harry and Ginny landed their brooms. Both were a bit out of breath; Ginny’s cheeks were almost as red as her hair, and Harry’s hair was sticking up in every direction. He ran a hand through it - not that he improved anything - and stuck his broom under his left arm.

He extended his right hand to Ginny, who grinned wickedly and handed him her broom. Harry rolled his eyes, tucked her broom under his arm next to his own, and reached for her again. This time, she let him take her hand, and they began walking together towards the locker rooms.

“So,” began Ginny triumphantly, “can we agree on a winner?” She used her free hand to pull out her hair tie, then shook her hair out rather violently; Harry felt several strands slap his upper arm as they walked.

“Hmm,” he pretended to consider, glancing at her out of the corner of his eye, “remind me who I was rooting for.”

Ginny snorted. “As I remember, Potter, you preferred the idea of me winning better, and you promised a rematch if you won. In the interest of Binns’ essay, though,” and she pulled a face, “we might have to postpone any rewards or rematches.”

Harry groaned. “Is he making you write about the Giant Wars? That essay took me ages!”

“At least the Giant Wars are interesting. I still have nightmares about the Warlock Convention essay from second year!” Ginny scowled and gave an exaggerated shudder. The ends of her hair flicked Harry’s arm again, and Harry laughed and shivered.

“So that’s your plan for tonight? Essay writing for a ghost?” Harry teased her, and Ginny tried to frown but couldn’t keep a straight face, and Harry laughed again. He loved making Ginny laugh, loved that he could make her laugh.

“Merlin, make it worse, why don’t you!” she exclaimed, pushing her bottom lip out into a pout.

Harry smirked at her and stopped walking. “Can I kiss you and make it all better?” he asked smoothly. He tugged on her arm to bring her closer.

Ginny rolled her eyes and allowed herself to be pulled. “You can try,” she said haughtily, but as Harry pressed his lips against hers, he felt her grinning. She dropped his hand so she could raise both arms around his neck, and Harry tried not to smack her with the brooms he still carried under his left arm.

With his arm occupied, however, Harry could not hold onto Ginny like he wanted. He grunted in frustration and pulled away from Ginny. “Sorry,” he muttered, “didn’t want to stab you with a broomstick.”

She laughed, brought her arms down from his neck, slid them under his arms to wrap around his ribs. “I appreciate that,” she whispered, and Harry swallowed. Ginny was on tip-toe, pressing herself against him {not that he wasn’t holding her tightly with his one free arm}, and she was smiling at him with her eyes half-shut, and suddenly Harry didn’t give a damn about the broomsticks.

He dropped the brooms unceremoniously to the ground and kissed Ginny again. With both arms around her now, he could pull her even closer, and Ginny let out a hum of surprise as her feet left the ground.

“Mmmph… Harry….” she gasped, and Harry felt her wiggle against him, her legs scrambling against the outside of his knees. Suddenly, through the fogginess that entered Harry’s brain whenever he snogged Ginny, it dawned on him what she was trying to do. Without hesitation, he moved his hands to her bum, and Ginny’s arms tightened around him so she could wrap her legs around his waist.

Harry let out a groan of pleasure; he could feel Ginny everywhere and his nerves seemed to be short-circuiting. His body was abuzz with tingling sensation, his nostrils were full of fresh air and sweat and that light, sweet scent that he loved so well. Ginny adjusted her arms, one at a time, so she could grip his shoulders and pull him even closer, and Harry felt her fingers slide into his hair. Ginny moved her head and began kissing along his jaw, and Harry had to shut his eyes and concentrate on standing. Ginny would never let him live it down if he dropped her because of her kissing.

She hummed against his skin and Harry sighed. Eyes still closed, he began moving one hand up towards her back. He felt her legs squeeze tighter around him, so he grew bolder. It was as if his hand couldn’t decide where it wanted to go, so it went everywhere, slipping up to Ginny’s shoulder blades and caressing them, then tracing down her spine, then sliding across her waist to pull her even closer.

“Alright, Potter?” Ginny whispered, and Harry opened his eyes. Ginny was inches away, grinning wickedly at him. Wrapped around him now, Ginny’s face was now slightly higher than his, and Harry tilted his neck a bit so he could kiss her again. Their chests were pressed together so close that Harry could feel Ginny’s heart racing right against his own.

“Alright, Weasley,” he returned after a moment, pulling back from her, feeling a bit breathless. She was grinning at him again, and reluctantly he moved to lower her to the ground. She released her legs, but kept her arms around his neck so that every inch of her body slid down his, and he clenched his teeth to keep from moaning loudly.

Ginny smirked at him. She released his neck and grazed her hands down his arms so their fingers could link together. Harry looked at her as he took a couple deep breaths, trying to tell his body to calm down.

“That doesn’t count, just so you know,” she declared. Bewildered and still breathing deeply, Harry frowned a bit, trying to think of what in Merlin’s beard she could be talking about.

Seeing his confusion, Ginny raised an eyebrow at him. “That doesn’t count as a reward for beating you on the pitch, because you didn’t do the neck thing,” she clarified. “And actually, writing an essay sounds even less appealing now, thanks a lot,” she smiled smugly, “but you definitely made me feel better.”

She squeezed his hands with her last two words, winking at him saucily, and Harry swallowed hard. His body was still tingling from her touch, and he felt an almost magnetic pull towards her. Unconsciously, he took half a step forward, and Ginny laughed.

“No, Harry, you cannot do the neck thing right now, didn’t you hear that I have an essay to write?” She put a hand to his chest, but Harry noticed that she was not actually pushing him. He grinned and took another step; her hand gripped his shirt as he closed the distance between them.

“You can write your essay, Gin, and I’ll be right next to you,” he answered in a low voice, and he was pleased to see Ginny try to suppress a shiver. It amazed him, constantly, that she was as attracted to him as he was to her, and a wave of happiness crashed over him at this visceral reminder.

“If you distract me from my essay, I will make you regret it, Harry Potter,” Ginny warned, but she was smiling at him, and he wondered if he was imagining the teasing spark in her eyes.

Harry squeezed the hand he was still holding, stepped back, and bent to pick up the forgotten brooms. Ginny stood next to him, still holding his hand, waiting with an amused expression on her face.

“You are pretty useful, though, so I guess I’ll keep you around,” she smirked, and Harry, straightening up with the brooms securely under his arm again, grinned at her. They started walking towards the lockers again, and Harry noticed how long their shadows had become.

“And I’ll keep you because you’re a much better Quidditch player than I am,” he returned, and Ginny beamed at him.

“I am good, aren’t I,” she said, with no hint of pride, just pure contentedness with her own excellent abilities. “I do love flying, you know, but I love playing the game even more. Playing, and especially scoring, is such a rush, and it really is the best feeling in the world. Well,” she glanced at him almost shyly, “one of the best feelings in the world,” and Harry felt a flood of warmth spread all over him.

He grinned at her again, taking a moment to admire her flushed cheeks and wild hair, her sly smile and sparkling eyes. The thought struck him that he was lucky, so very lucky to have Ginny by his side. She was so perfectly matched for him, and he vowed to make sure she knew how much he appreciated every moment with her, no matter how many more moments they had... He sobered and squeezed her hand a bit tighter.

“What’s that look for?” Ginny asked, noticing the change in his face. Harry thought, briefly, that she could read his expressions better than he knew his own mind sometimes, and he was struck with another wave of gratitude.

“Nothing,” he said, his gaze dropping to the ground for a few steps. Ginny was silent, waiting, another thing he appreciated about her, and Harry dropped her hand and raised his arm to her shoulders. Immediately, she moved closer to him, slipping into his embrace easily as they walked.

When he still didn’t say anything after another minute, Ginny prompted, “Harry?” Her voice was soft, gentle; Harry knew that she understood where his thoughts had gone. He stopped walking and cleared his throat since a lump seemed to be forming there.

“I was thinking,” he said quietly, “that sometimes I wish that I could just go somewhere with you and leave all this...” He trailed off, staring ahead of them at the looming castle. The sun had almost finished setting, and the air had turned slightly chilly. Harry shivered; his sweaty shirt clung to his skin, cold.

Ginny had not moved from his side, but she had turned to face him; both her arms were around his waist now, and as she gazed up at him, Harry saw that her eyes were full of concern. Her jaw was set firmly with that determined tilt that he loved so well.

She did not speak, did not try to cheer him up or persuade him that everything would work out; Ginny did not give him false hope, false optimism. She simply let him verbally dump his clumsy, unpolished, often hopeless thoughts, and she continued to believe in him.

This was one of the best things about Ginny, Harry reflected as he dropped the brooms once more so he could hold her. Ginny believed in him, unfailingly, steadfastly. His arms wrapped around her shoulders, and Ginny, still looking up at him, leaned into his chest. She arched her back slightly so she could still see him, and Harry smiled grimly at her and kissed her forehead.

“I’m alright, Gin,” he sighed, and she lowered her head so she fit perfectly under his chin. “It just feels like a bit much sometimes, you know?”

Harry felt her nod against his shirt, felt her hands rub comforting circles under his shoulder blades. He breathed in her scent, humming slightly as he sighed again. Just moments ago, they had been happy, enjoying a flight and a snog, but now…

“Sorry for bringing down the mood,” he muttered, and Ginny snorted against his chest. Harry pulled back from her, surprised. Ginny squeezed him tight for a moment, then stepped back and looked up at him; her hands slid around his sides until they rested on his chest where her head had just been. She was smiling again, a soft, tender smile that Harry knew she gave only to him, and he couldn’t help smiling back at her.

“Harry,” said Ginny gently, “you don’t have to apologize for anything.”

Harry opened his mouth to protest.

“No, you don’t. You really don’t,” Ginny said firmly, moving a hand to his cheek. Harry shut his mouth and frowned slightly. Ginny’s thumb rubbed right next to his lips, and after a moment Harry brought his hand up to cover hers. He linked their fingers together and moved their hands back to his chest. An owl hooted in the distance.

Harry sighed, and Ginny squeezed his hand. She was looking at him with a not-quite-sad smile, and Harry allowed himself to get lost in her eyes. He cared for her so much it scared him sometimes, not because he feared the affection was not returned, but because of what kind of damage Voldemort could do with that kind of knowledge. Without meaning to, he frowned and took a step closer to her, as if by standing near her he could shield her from Voldemort’s sight.

“I’ll be alright, Harry,” Ginny whispered, startling him out of his thoughts. Once again, it was as if she had read his mind. He gazed at her, studying her face. She was calm, determined, raising one eyebrow at him as if daring him to challenge her. He swallowed, pushing away the fear and nerves that were creeping up his throat.

“I’ll be alright,” Ginny repeated. “As long as you’re alright, I’ll be alright.”

Harry shook his head stubbornly. Didn’t she see? He couldn’t guarantee that he was going to make it out of all this, but he needed to know that she would, at least. More than anything, he needed to know that she would stay safe.

“And what if I’m not alright?” he asked, his voice suddenly hoarse. “What if-” and his voice gave out and he could not finish.

Ginny took a step closer to him; there was only a breath of space between them now. Her hands were still on his chest, one hand under his, the other gripping his shirt. Harry moved his free hand to her waist, wanting, needing to hold her, just hold her for a moment. Ginny leaned her head against him, and he dropped his cheek to her hair.

“You will be alright, Harry,” Ginny murmured, voice slightly muffled against his chest. “We will both be alright.”

Harry didn’t say anything, just held her tightly until the wind picked up. He shifted, and without a word, Ginny slid one arm around his waist and fell into step next to him. Together, they walked back to the castle.
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