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SIYE Time:20:25 on 5th December 2021


What I Need Is Just A Moment with You...Alone
By Nuvisionary

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Category: Post-DH/PM, Forty-Eight Hours Challenge (2010-2), Fourty-Eight Hours Challenge (2010-2)
Characters:Harry/Ginny, Hermione Granger, Other, Ron Weasley
Genres: Action/Adventure, Humor, Romance
Warnings: Violence
Story is Complete
Rating: PG
Reviews: 14
Summary: Harry runs off with Ginny in front of Molly. He vowes to bring her back in 48 hours. Will Molly survive? Will Harry.
Hitcount: Story Total: 5810



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.



Author's Notes:
I was suffering from writer’s block on my current fic…not to mention I got back from R&R and am enjoying (or something) Spring in Kabul. Then I saw the 48 hours challenge – Oh Joy! Harry runs off with Ginny in front of Molly. Will Molly survive? Will Harry? Go on now – read away. Please take the time to leave a review – it’s the only form of payment I receive. For the writing, that is; I do get a paycheck from my Uncle Sam. I almost forgot BETA love for Tom Not Riddle!!




ChapterPrinter


What I Need is Just a Moment with You…Alone


Life after the end of Voldemort’s reign of terror was not what Harry had expected or hoped for. After all the long years of Tom Riddle’s shadow darkening his life, he had hoped the wizarding world would let him rest after his Voldemort’s death. Alas, he was mistaken. If anything, the end of the Voldemort seemed like just the beginning of a new reign of terror —everyone wanted a bite of him. They were very close to driving him mad.

Ginny Weasley watched from a distance as Harry was pushed and pulled throughout the day. She could see the tension on his face as he’d finish with one request and yet another person would appear to thank him for what he’s done, give him some sort of token of their appreciation, or ask him for his help. While she knew he was doing his best to deal with the onslaught, she could see through the mask of congeniality; a mask she thought was close to falling off. He definitely needed some time away. She hoped he wanted to spend some of that time with her.

Harry knew that the Weasleys had decided to return to the Burrow, but he wasn’t ready to leave Hogwarts. He initially told Molly Weasley he just wanted to stay and make sure the rebuilding started as soon as possible. In reality, he wanted to stay to try to gain some comfort. What kind of comfort he wasn’t quite sure — but he was sure he needed it. He was afraid to tell Molly this because he was sure it would hurt her feelings. She and the Weasleys had always welcomed Harry with open arms to the Burrow. How could he tell them that it just didn’t seem right for him to be there?

On the third day after the battle, Molly and Arthur were busy gathering up the rest of their family to return to the Burrow. Arthur still showed signs of wear from the loss of his son Fred. He had understood that each of his children faced the possibility of harm and even death in the war against evil. However, that didn’t make the reality of it actually happening any easier. He was thinking about his lost son when he entered the Great Hall and found Ginny sitting alone at the end of the Gryffindor table.

Suddenly, as he saw his little girl sitting calmly in a safer world, the loss of Fred was not as hard to bear for the elder Weasley. Fred had known the risks. To Arthur, Fred and George seemed to revel in the idea of risk and took chances he himself sometimes thought foolish. The twins had even told him they were fighting so their family could live in peace. He only had to look at his only daughter to understand that his son had given his final measure so that she might have a future.

As Arthur sat down next to Ginny he was surprised to see that she was agitated. Like her mother, Ginny’s emotions first appeared as anger.

“We’re going home soon,” Arthur started. “Your mother wants to get a place ready for Fred and we need some time to heal.”

Ginny turned to her father her eyes flashing. “Isn’t that what everyone needs?” she growled and turned away.

“I know it’s hard, dear, but time heals all wounds,” Arthur said lamely, confused by his daughter’s comment.

“But they won’t give him any time, will they? They just keep coming at him. Can’t they see? Can’t they tell he’s falling apart too?”

Arthur looked to where Ginny was looking and saw Harry Potter at the other end of the long house table. He had just finished talking to a ministry official when another official looking wizard slapped him on the back and began talking as though they were old friends.

“Oh, I see,” Arthur murmured.

“Can’t they leave him alone for one bloody second?” Ginny growled again.

Arthur understood his daughter’s feelings for Harry had never really gone away. She had loved the boy-who-lived before she ever met Harry. In fact, as a little girl, she had even confided in him after he had read her a bedtime story about the boy-who-lived, that she would one day make him fall in love with her and marry him. Then later when she first met him all those years ago, she had a crush on him. Finally, she had truly fallen in love with him.

“I guess he’ll need someone to protect him from all the well-wishers now,” Arthur said. “Merlin knows, he’s now the man-who-lived. I wonder if he’ll be able to find someone to lend him a hand.”

Ginny looked to her father with a shocked look on her face. Arthur could see the wheels turning in her head. He often saw the same look on Fred and George’s faces when he had said something that launched them into creating a prank that inevitably started a prank war. He knew Ginny was formulating a plan.

On the other side of the Gryffindor table, Harry sat patiently listening to the ministry official in front of him drone on about how wonderful it is to be rid of Voldemort and the Death Eaters. Harry nodded his head appropriately and agreed on cue. All the while wondering when this man would leave. Just when he thought he could take no more of the man’s blather he spotted Ron and Hermione enter the Great Hall from behind the professors’ table.

“You’ll have to excuse me, sir,” Harry began, “I need to speak with some people I’ve just seen on some urgent family business.”

Harry’s use of the word family did not go unnoticed by the man. He, like all of the wizarding world knew Harry’s family had been killed by Voldemort. To his credit, he was sensitive enough to understand Harry’s need to move on to the next order of business.

Harry rose and started toward Ron and Hermione. The pair also saw Harry and was heading in his direction when Harry felt his shirt collar constrict around his neck. Harry pushed forward thinking he had only gotten himself momentarily caught up on something from which he could quickly break free. Then the constriction turned uncomfortable.

“Not so fast Harry,” said a familiar, but unexpectedly stern, voice. “Since you have decided to stay here at Hogwarts, it seems others have decided to follow your lead.”

Harry turned as the normally affable Molly Weasley released his collar. She had her arms crossed in what he had learned was her typical ‘telling off’ stance. Even though he had grown taller than Mrs. Weasley, she was still able to cast an imposing figure. Harry bowed his head, deciding it would be better not to argue with her. He was sure he wouldn’t get the chance even if he wanted.

Molly saw his reaction and softened her tone. While she was normally stern with her family, Harry was someone quite different. She understood his need for acceptance as well as her own instincts to protect him as part of her brood.

“Harry, dear, look at yourself,” Molly said. “You look like you haven’t slept or had a bite to eat in ages. You shouldn’t ignore your health.”

She guided him back to the table and sat him down. Hermione and Ron joined them at the other side of the table.

“I won’t have one of my own looking like no one is caring for him,” Molly said softly. “Look at Ron, he’s had a good sleep and a nice hot meal or two. He looks a bit better now, doesn’t he? And Hermione’s done the same thing as well. They both look much better. If I leave them here, they’ll take care of themselves and each other. You, on the other hand…”

Molly sighed and ploughed on. “You, I’m afraid, need a minder to take care of you.”

Harry’s face flushed with heat. He could feel his anger rising. The last thing he needed was another person interfering with his life. The last thing he needed was someone telling him what to do. He was about to vent his anger when Ron chimed in.

“Mum, he doesn’t need someone to boss him around,” Ron said. “He’s got Hermione for that.”

Hermione huffed and glared at Ron.

“What you need Harry,” Hermione started, “is a well deserved rest. It might not be a bad idea to have someone with you who can remind you, as well as the constant stream of people flocking to see you, that that is what you need.

“The world won’t come to an end if you aren’t there to save it anymore, Harry.”

“She’s right, mate,” Ron agreed. “Why don’t you come back to the Burrow with us and just take easy?”

Harry’s faade of strength crumbled and there was nothing he could do to stop it. Mrs. Weasley was right. Harry couldn’t remember the last time he had eaten. He hadn’t slept soundly since he had sat with Ginny in the common room.

It dawned on him that one of the reasons he didn’t want to sleep was because of Ginny. She was in his every dream. With everything that had happened, no matter how hard he had pushed her far from his mind, the memories of the glorious three weeks was never far from his mind. He also didn’t want to hurt her the way he had when he told her they couldn’t be together — he didn’t want to feel the hurt over and over every time he woke up and the dreams ended. The more he thought about this the more his eyes began burning.

When Harry looked up, Molly was startled to see his face flushed with emotion.

“I’ve been trying to rest, but I can’t,” Harry stuttered. “It’s like there’s no way I can sleep or eat if I can’t find out if there’s a chance that maybe…”

At that moment, Ginny and Mr. Weasley approached the group. Harry quickly turned to hide his face and swipe at his eyes. He needed to pull himself together if he was going to say what he needed to say. Ginny could only look at Harry as he struggled with his emotions. It was apparent to her something was wrong but she was going to wait for him to explain. The only problem was that Ron spoke first.

“Dad, can you talk to Harry?” he said. “We’re trying to convince him to come back to the Burrow with us. He needs some time to…”

“What Harry needs is some time to have a simple conversation,” Harry said in an impatient tone.

Everyone stood silently waiting for Harry’s next words. That was until Bill and Fleur joined the group.

“What’s the big meeting about,” Bill asked. “I thought we were leaving later on.”

Harry was about to explain when Hermione interrupted. “Harry’s being unreasonable,” she began. “He won’t take care of himself. And if he stays here…well, obviously. He is not eating or sleeping. So the rest of us are trying to convince him he needs to get away from everything.”

Hermione’s statement began a full-fledged family discussion on what Harry needed to do. Molly thought he should get to bed after a nice bowl of homemade soup. Bill volunteered a stay at Shell cottage. Ron suggested they go grab a couple of brooms and go flying. This drew a number of stares and a particularly nasty stamp on his foot by Hermione.

“May I have a word,” Harry asked. Everyone quieted immediately in embarrassment.

Ginny had said nothing. She had watched her family do as they always have done — take care of each other — sometimes to the detriment of the one needing care. She was certain Harry understood their care. She just hoped he could see her concern.

“As I was about to say, before I was interrupted, all I need is some time to have a simple conversation with someone,” Harry said as he turned his eyes to Ginny.

“I’ve been trying to have a private conversation with you since the war ended but nobody will let me,” he said to her.

Harry then looked to the rest of them and continued.

“There’s always some bureaucrat who needs to meet with me right now. When I do manage to slip away, either Ginny is guarded by her brothers or I’m guarded by Ron and Hermione. If by some miracle, we do get together, there’s a crowd around us that won’t let us out of their sight!”

Molly was the first to speak. “Harry dear, you should have said something. If we had known, we would have given the two of you some time to talk.” There was nothing sinister about the way Molly said her last word — It just had a tone to it that everyone heard and that Ginny was not about to tolerate.

“Mum,” she growled in what was becoming a very familiar manner when she became impatient or frustrated, “Harry and I will do whatever we need to do.”

The ensuing silence gave Ginny time to bloom into a full Weasley blush.

“That’s fine dear,” Mrs. Weasley said to Ginny as she patted her on the shoulder, an action that drew more attention to Ginny’s previous words as well as more of her ire. Molly turned to Harry. “You and Ginny, go take all the time you need.” Mrs. Weasley said while looking at the two of them.

Harry grinned mischievously. He stood up and offered his hand to Ginny, which she nervously took. “We’ll be back in forty-eight hours.” he replied.

Molly Weasley was about to say something when Harry and Ginny both disappeared with a soft “Pop!”

“Oi, that was awfully nice Mum!” Ron said testily. “I get the third degree when I ask to stay here with Hermione and you let Harry take Ginny off to Merlin knows where for two days. How fair is that?”

Molly turned to her son with a look so fearsome that Ron couldn’t say another word. The other Weasleys looked for any way out of the Great Hall, any table to crawl beneath, or any wall to hide behind abandoning a hapless Ronald Bilius Weasley to the storm they all knew was about to erupt.

-----X

Ginny had not had the chance to learn Apparition her sixth year due to Voldemort’s minions’ takeover of Hogwarts and the installation of Death Eater professors. Being from a wizarding family however did leave her with some familiarity with the process and its effects. When she recovered from the feeling of being forced through a narrow hosepipe she opened her eyes to find herself in a quaint village square standing next to Harry. It was the perfect picture of a rural West Country village with a tiny post office, an inviting pub, and a charming little church with a graveyard behind it. She turned to him and noticed his sheepish grin at what he had just accomplished.

“You know that’s not what Mum meant when she said, ‘take as much time as you need,’” she said.

Harry nodded and released her hand but Ginny immediately re-clasped his.

“And that’s not what I meant either, Harry.”

He smiled and said nothing. Instead, he squeezed her hand and began walking towards an old war memorial in the center of the square. Ginny was wondering where he had brought them and why. She was certain he wanted to talk — he’d said as much. She was also certain that he had to be able to talk in his own time.

As they continued toward the monument, Ginny’s impatience decided for her that she needed to help him start the conversation.

“So this is a Muggle war memorial, then?” she said.

As her last word left her mouth, the spell hiding the wizarding statue of the then young Potter family appeared.

“Oh my,” she gasped as they continued walking. “We’re in Godric's Hollow.

“Oh Harry, you were just adorable,” Ginny cooed while looking at the baby Harry in his mother’s arms.

It was Harry’s turn to blush. The last time he was here he was on a mission. He wasn’t exactly sure what he would find at the time — finding a giant snake popping out of a dead woman’s body was definitely not top on the list.

“The last time I was here…” Harry paused and looked at his shoes. Ginny waited. This was the opening she thought he needed to begin talking. She squeezed his hand to show him she was listening but he did nothing. Suddenly, he turned and faced her. His quick movement startled Ginny.

“The last time I was here I thought of you,” Harry said as he looked into her eyes. There, for a moment, he lost himself in the beauty of the girl he wished he could tell he loved and longed for while he was running for his life.

“I wanted to tell you…” He paused again.

Ginny’s mind was racing. Could he finally be coming to his senses, she wondered. It took him long enough. Or was he about to tell her they had no future now that the war was over? She had been waiting so long to tell him how she felt. And now she might never have a chance.

No, she decided. Not this time! “Harry, if you brought me all the way out here to be noble again and tell me we have no future…” Ginny stopped and pulled away from him.

This put Harry on his heels. He was doing nothing of the sort. His plan seemed to be going all wrong. How wrong he was he was about to find out when he saw Ginny draw her wand and take aim directly at him.

“…you are not going to have the chance.

“Petrificus Totalus,” she said as she cast a Full Body-Bind Curse on him.

Harry began falling backward. He tried bracing himself for the impact his body was going to have with the gravel in the square. Unfortunately, he was well aware that he was going to hit the ground with the full force of gravity. And he would have, if Ginny hadn’t cast a cushioning charm to break his fall.

“Now you listen to me, Mr. Harry-boy-who-lived-man-who-killed-Volde mort-etcetera-etcetera-etcetera Potter,” Ginny said as she loomed over his fallen body. “I am not just going to stand still for this rubbish this time. I have had enough of this. You’ve finished the job. You’re a hero. Now it’s time to ride off into the sunset with the girl of your dreams — that’s me, by the way — and live happily ever after.

“Do you understand me?” she said while poking him in the chest. She was on a tear and did not let up. She had also forgotten the curse she cast affected his ability to speak.

“Answer me!” she said. But before anyone with the ability to speak could have spoken she continued her tirade. “Do you think I’ve waited all this time just to have you bring me here just to cheese me off by dropping a clanger like: Ginny, I just don’t think we’re right for each other — or — we’ve just grown so far apart that I think it’d be for the best? You’d better guess again, Mr. Breaks-into-Gringotts-and-steals-a-drago n-then-lets-himself-be-killed-by-Voldemo rt!

“WELL, WHY WON’T YOU ANSWER ME?”

Harry just blinked at her.

“Finite,” Ginny grumbled sheepishly after remembering her curse.

“I think we have established your feelings on the matter,” Harry quipped as he stood up and began dusting off his clothes. His heart was soaring. Finally, he knew her answer and it was exactly what he had hoped. But that wasn’t going to stop him from taking the mickey out of her for dropping him to the ground.

“So if I hear you correctly,” he started while he brushed his hand through his hair, “you are expecting me to ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after, eh?”

He could hardly believe it. This was going to the most perfect day of his life. “And, of course the girl of my dreams — that’s you, by the way — is going with me?”

“HARRY POTTER,” Ginny shrieked, “ARE YOU ACTUALLY THINKING ABOUT THIS?”

Harry smiled and pulled a struggling Ginny into his arms.

“You have no idea how long I’ve been thinking about it, actually.”

As their gazes met, Ginny was finally aware of his taking the mickey out of her. She smirked as Harry’s smile widened.

“Happy now?” Harry asked.

“Almost,” she replied.

Harry lowered his lips to hers and for the first time in a very long time allowed the growling beast in his chest to roar. Harry reached his head down and brushed her lips with his. It was ecstasy to him as he deeply inhaled her scent of wildflowers and strawberries. He swept by her cheek and went to the sensitive skin behind her ear. He then worked his way down her neck when she tilted her head giving him better access. Her moans encouraged him to continue.

She, meanwhile, pulled at his shirt and reached under it where she could feel the skin of his back — her fingernails raked his back in a way that set him on fire. His skin was soft and firm at the same time. His scent was strong. It had changed from the woody boy fragrance mixed with broom polish. He now smelled of something more mature. He smelled like a strong man — he smelled electric.

She moved her hands to his front where she felt his chest. Her hands were feeding her mind’s need to know he was really here and he was finally really hers.

Harry continued kissing her neck. He tenderly reached out with his tongue and slowly licked her skin. He momentarily glanced up when the memorial caught his eye. It appeared to him that all three of the statues were looking at Ginny and him and were smiling.

“You know Mum is going to kill you when I tell her what a prat you were,” Ginny said.

“Oh, I think I can handle it,” Harry said. “Besides you did call me, Harry-boy-who-lived-man-who-killed-Volde mort-etcetera-etcetera-etcetera, Potter, didn’t you? What’s a little telling off from your mother compared to that?”

“Then you gently do this and then run for your life,” Ginny said. “Because you know, Mum is probably going spare over this.”

“Do what?” he asked.

“Tell her you are in love,” she said.

Harry gave her a crooked smile and shrugged. He took Ginny’s hand again and started walking with her.

----X

“Who knew Mum knew so many curse words to match all those curses,” Ron said as Hermione stood behind him trying to take the pain away from the welts his mother had given him with stinging hexes. They had returned to the Gryffindor common room.

“I mean, why can’t she be more like you,” Ron continued. “It’s not like you to go flying off the handle at every little thing.”

Hermione’s eyes softened at Ron’s complement as she continued her ministrations.

“You know, Mum didn’t know where those two were going or what they were going to be doing. And it wasn’t like I said anything like I was going to be shagging my girlfriend or anything,” Ron said.

Hermione stopped and gaped at him from behind.

As soon as Ron noticed she had stopped he said, “Mione, is something the matter?”

------X

“Honestly, Arthur, how can you be so calm at the moment,” Molly Weasley said as she paced the dormitory room Ginny shared with the other sixth-year girls.

Arthur sat in a comfortable chair near the door and sighed. “Well dear, I guess it’s because I trust Ginny.”

He shifted slightly in the chair. “Quite honestly, I’m more concerned for Harry than Ginny. She’s been ready to burst at the seams over their situation.”

Molly turned to face her husband with a puzzled look on her face. Then rage flash across her face for the second time. “I’ll kill her,” Molly growled. “Then I’ll kill him.”

Arthur saw how his wife had immediately jumped to her worst fear. If there was one thing he was accustomed to his wife telling Ginny, it was how all it took was one mistake and a good girl would end up labeled a scarlet woman for the rest of her life.

He sighed again, stood up and moved towards her to explain what he and Ginny had talked about in the Great Hall. For Arthur, it was another tragic misunderstanding averted.

-----X

Ginny’s first 12 hours with Harry was thoroughly exhausting. Her feet hurt from all of the walking. Her head hurt from all the stories he had told her about his year on the run. Harry had taken her on an extensive historic tour of Godric's Hollow. She had never heard him talk so much. They visited his parents’, Bathilda Bagshot’s, and Dumbledore’s family’s homes. He had to ask directions from a villager whom they surmised was magical from the effort they took to look Muggle and just missed the mark. He also took her to the magical workshop of Bowman Wright, the inventor of the golden snitch.

The last place they had gone was to the church graveyard where Harry conjured flowers to lay at his parent’s graves. He also explained to her that since he could not properly introduce her to them that this was the best he could do. Ginny stood quietly while he placed the flowers.

Harry stood between the two headstones and bowed his head. He whispered something that was just beyond Ginny’s ability to hear.

Now he was finally taking her to sit down with him at the village pub.

“’Ello you two,” the middle aged man with a handlebar moustache said from behind the snug little bar. “You two in for the sights…” The man paused as if he had seen a ghost.

“Well bless me soul, you’re ’Arry Potter. Mildred, come out here. We have some very important patrons to serve.”

Ginny saw Harry shrink slightly away from the man’s words. She gave his hand a squeeze and spoke for what seemed like the first time today.

“Pardon me,” she said in a strong clear voice. “I’m sure you’ll understand what Harry has been through this last year. I’m also sure you can understand his need for privacy and for a return to normalcy. That’s why we came here — to a place that has been no stranger to great wizards and witches — to give him a chance to decompress.

“I do hope that’s not too much to ask,” she said in a sweet a voice as she could muster.

“Oh, why of course young miss,” the barman said. “I just forgot me self. You know with You-Know-Who being gone and all. I can definitely understand Mr. Potter’s need for some time away.

“By the way, I’m Paul and this fine woman here is me lovely wife and partner, Mildred.”

A tall thin woman close to Paul’s age appeared from inside a pantry. She looked at Ginny and then at Harry.

“Welcome, Mr. Potter, to the Grim and Dove,” she said. “It’s easy to recognize you, with all the pictures in the Prophet and all. Might I ask the name of this strong and lovely lady accompanying you?”

Ginny blushed, again she felt Harry falter. She wasn’t sure why he was having problems talking, but she again took the lead and answered.

“I’m Ginny Weasley,” she said. “And I think it would be wonderful if you could call us Harry and Ginny.”

“Well if that’s what you’d like, then so be it,” Paul said. “What can I get you from the bar? By the looks of you two you’ve been out for most of the day. If I might suggest the house specialty — a nice warm buttered apple cider to keep the evening from becoming a chill.

“That sounds brilliant,” Ginny said as she and Harry sat down at a cozy table near the fireplace.

Paul brought them their drinks and took their order for another house specialty — beef and kidney pie. He then hurried off, leaving the two of them to themselves.

“Harry, I really enjoyed today,” Ginny said. “I don’t think I’ve ever heard you talk as much as today. I was wondering though…you’ve hardly said a word since we came in. Is something the matter?”

Harry looked up from his drink, cocked his head and smiled. “I really didn’t have to say anything, did I? You seemed to have had it all under control.

“I guess I just didn’t expect to…you know…be here with you,” he said. “And you still want to be with me. I had almost given up hope that we’d…well that you’d want me.”

Ginny’s jaw dropped. “That is about enough of that,” she said. “How can you even think that? If anything, I was the one worried about whether you would want to be with me. Not to mention that you had the darkest wizard of the age trying to kill you. Believe me; I would have killed you if Voldemort had killed you.”

Harry snorted in his drink and started laughing.

“That’s what I like to see,” Ginny said laughing herself. “I think that’s the perfect tonic for you, Mr. Etcetera-etcetera-etcetera.”

Again Harry laughed. “You know, I think you are the best tonic for me.”

------X

Ron stalked into the kitchen and sat down. It was late and his mother and father had already gone to bed. Hermione refused to talk to him since they had returned. No matter what he said, the only thing he could get in response was that if he didn’t know what she was mad about, then he really didn’t need to know. She also tossed in something about reconsidering her position on their relationship.

Ron grabbed an apple and started munching. He had been trying to think of what he could do to stop getting himself into trouble with the women in his life. Fred and George had given him a book of tips…but he had used all of them.

“You know if you keep going at the piece of fruit like that, Ronniekins, you’ll break a tooth,” came a voice from a darkened corner of the kitchen. He was slightly startled and slipped in his chair.

“Bloody hell, George, why don’t you let someone know you are there before you scare them to death,” Ron said.

“What would be the fun in that?” George asked listlessly. “So why are you torturing that apple, then?”

Ron explained his row with Hermione as well as the situation with Ginny and Harry. George listened patiently until Ron came to the end.

“So, I think I need to do something,” Ron said and stopped.

“Yeah, like keep your mouth shut,” George deadpanned. “Have we taught you nothing? Fred and I told you what to do; we bought you books; we even showed you. How much more do we need to…” George paused and sighed. “How much more do I need to do to get you to understand that you need to keep your gob shut and your ears open?”

George stood up and started for the door. As he took the knob, he turned to Ron. “Look, Ron, I’m going out for a bit. You think about how to go back and apologize to Hermione. Then shut your mouth and listen, really listen, to what she says. Then go to Mum and do the same thing. I’ll wager they’ll both think you have slipped your nut. I also think they’ll like it.”

“Where are you going?” Ron asked.

“To find our sister and kill Harry,” he replied.

-------X


Paul the barkeep asked Harry if he wanted to arrange a stay at the inn. Ginny looked at Harry and waited for his answer. It was her turn to sit quietly and watch him squirm.

“Er, yes,” he started, “I guess I really didn’t think of that. We do need a place to sleep.” He looked at Ginny hoping she would help him sort out the arrangements. He was sure her parents expected them to stay in separate rooms, but what did Ginny want? If he asked for two rooms, would she think he was being a gentleman or a nancy? If he asked for one room, would she slap him or kiss him. “Auugggh!” he groaned.

She sat watching him. The tension on his face was making it almost impossible for her to keep from laughing. She was certain he was clueless on what he ‘should’ do versus what he ‘needed’ to do. To Ginny they were both the same thing.

“Make sure our rooms aren’t too far apart, Harry,” Ginny said, barely containing her laughter.

Harry blinked and stared at her. It was the relief he was hoping for.

“Right,” he said, “Two rooms? Can we get two rooms? Not too far apart?”

Paul smiled at the pair. “Yes, we have two rooms waiting. Here are the keys.” He dropped the keys into Harry’s hands as if he had planned all along to for both rooms.

“They are up the stairs and at the end of the hall. The washroom is the corner door.”

Paul left them to finish.

Later Harry took Ginny up to their rooms. “You are really something,” he said.

“And how is that?” Ginny asked.

“You just are. I told my parents that when we visited them. I said I hoped they liked you. And I really think they did.”

Ginny put her arms around his neck and pulled him down to her. She kissed him hungrily. Harry recovered from his surprise at her aggressiveness just in time for her to stop and pull away.

“I’ll have you know, I’m full of surprises, just like you,” she said. Ginny went into her room and closed the door while Harry stood dumbfounded. He eventually went into his own room.

Harry just couldn’t stop smiling; he smiled at his reflection when he brushed his teeth, he smiled while he changed into a t-shirt and sweat bottoms, he even smiled at the ceiling while he laid on the bed. His thoughts were filled with Ginny. “She really wants me; I’ve got to be the luckiest bloke on the face of the planet,” he said to himself.

“Oh, I wouldn’t say that,” said George Weasley as he stepped into the light. “No, I wouldn’t say that at all.”

Harry started to move to get up when George aimed his wand and threw a familiar spell at him.

“Petrificus Totalus,” he said as he cast a Full Body-Bind Curse on him.

Harry fell to the floor again, this time without the aid of a cushioning charm. Apparently, either George wasn’t as fast as Ginny, or he didn’t care that Harry’s head was the first part of his body to hit the floor.

“Well, well, well,” George said, “If it isn’t the boy-who-lived. Making yourself all cozy with my little sister then, are we?”

George walked around the room as if he was looking for Ginny. It was a fairly large room.

“You know, Harry, I really like you. I mean you are really part of the family. And as part of the family, you must realize there are rules we Weasley’s live by. The first one is: Do not do anything to our little sister that will hurt her or make Mum angry with her.

“It’s a very simple rule. I actually thought you knew it. Ah well, such are the lessons of life. Sometimes we have to learn from the…How do the Yanks say it, the school of hard knocks?

“Harry, I’m afraid this is going to hurt you a lot more than it is going to hurt me…”

Suddenly the door burst open revealing a very angry looking Molly Weasley.

“What are you doing?” Molly hollered.

George almost fell over. He quickly regained his footing a looked again at Harry.

“Oh, this looks bad for you, Harry,” George said. “Now, Mum’s found you. You know, it is hard to believe sometimes that Voldemort was really trying to find you. I mean really? If Mum and I can find you…you must be pretty predictable. Oh well. By the way, can I have your invisibility cloak after she kills you?”

Harry blinked again. It seemed blinking was becoming his primary means of communication lately.

-----X

The next morning, Ginny woke up feeling as if a great weight had been lifted from her heart. She was genuinely happy for the first time in a very long time. Her childhood dream was finally coming true. Her knight in shining armor had taken her away and he belonged to her. What could be better, she thought to herself.

After dressing, she opened the door to her room to knock on Harry’s door and go down to breakfast. The shock of seeing her mother and George was apparent on her face to the person waiting on the other side.

“Mum,” Ginny half-heartedly said, “What are you doing here?”

“Oh dear, I’m so sorry about this,” Molly said. “It was just a little misunderstanding your brother had about what happened the other day. Nothing to worry yourself about, dear. I’ve cleared it all up. Just a couple of things to repair and George and I will be on our way.”

Molly quickly waved her wand at the door repairing it and the threshold. Then she turned to a thoroughly cowed George.

“Come along, George.” Molly grabbed his arm and Disapparated.

Ginny stood in the hall wide-eyed and wondering what had just happened. They had found her and Harry and apparently had done some damage.

“OH NO, HARRY,” Ginny shrieked.

She hurried to his door and began knocking and calling his name. When she didn’t hear anything she drew her wand.

“Bombarda,” she said as Harry opened the door.

Harry regained consciousness against the wall opposite the door a few moments later with Ginny by his side trying to make sure his head was on a pillow.

“You know,” he began as he rubbed the back of his aching head. “Sometimes you Weasleys can be a real pain in the arse,” Harry grumbled. “Don’t get me wrong, you are freaking brilliant…and Weasley women are drop dead gorgeous, but you still make life pretty complicated.”

Ginny sighed in relief. “What happened?” Ginny asked.

“You hit me!” Harry said. “Weren’t you there?”

“No, not me, silly,” she continued. “I saw Mum and George outside. And when you didn’t answer the door…”

“I was getting to it,” Harry interrupted.

“I am sorry,” she said contritely. She kissed the top of his head gently. “All better?” she asked.

Harry nodded, wincing slightly.

“Well then, what were Mum and George doing here?” she asked.

“Hopefully she was fixing the door that you almost blew apart,” he snipped. Apparently, the ache from the back of his head wasn’t completely gone.

“George was here to kill me, I think,” Harry said, as he lifted himself from the floor. “Your Mum…well at first I thought she was here to help.

“He said something about Weasley rules and that’s when your Mum showed up. George. He must have thought she was here to kill me too, because he asked if he could have my invisibility cloak. That’s when your Mum went mad.

“George took a real witch’s beating. I’m sure that’s what it was. He had pustules and boils and every kind of sick I’ve ever seen. Now I know where they got the idea for all of their Skiving Snackbox products. It was horrible.” He shivered at the thought.

“It’s been a while since she’s been that angry,” Ginny said. “George must have done something pretty bad…”

“Do you think?” Harry interrupted.

Ginny could see this discussion was getting them nowhere.

“Well, everything is fine now. Put on your shoes and let go downstairs. I can’t wait to see what you have planned for today.”

Harry’s attitude changed after hearing her high expectations for today. He hoped she would like what he had in mind.

--------X

Ron had apologized to his mother last night when she came into the kitchen for a cup of tea to calm her nerves. He tried to explain that he was a idiot for not minding his own business and was sorry. Then he sat and listened like George suggested. To his utter amazement it worked. His mother forgave him. She then asked about hearing George’s voice. Ron told her he had left to find Ginny and kill Harry. No sooner than he finished, Molly Weasley was out the door.

Now Ron was trying to do the same thing with Hermione.

“Hermione, I’ve been a real clod and I’m sorry,” he said to the door of Ginny’s room. “Can you ever forgive me?”

The door opened, an arm came out, pulled him inside, and then the door closed.

---------X

Harry and Ginny left the pub after breakfast. “I wanted to go to Diagon Alley today,” Harry said. “I want to show you something.”

Ginny smiled. “And what might that be?” she asked.

“It’s a surprise,” Harry said.

“Really,” Ginny said with a lifted eyebrow. “I think I like the sound of that.”

Harry took her arm and Apparated directly to Diagon Alley. He had brought them to a jewelry shop that was tucked in next to a racing broom shop. Ginny first saw the broom shop and was excited that Harry might be replacing his lost Firebolt. She had read about some of the new brooms as was hoping she could test ride some of the racier ones before settling on a ‘more sensible’ one for her last year of Quidditch.

Before Harry knew what was happening, Ginny started moving towards the broom shop.

“Er, that’s not where I was bringing you,” Harry said. “I mean, it’s brilliant that you want to go there…but maybe we can go there after we go to this other shop.”

Ginny smiled brightly as he lead her into the jewelry shop. As they entered, the clerk waved her wand.

“Wakey, Wakey,” she said to the counters. As she did, the jewelry began showing their magical signatures. “Welcome to Wish Upon A Star — purveyors of fine magical jewelry. I am Lorinda. Are you two looking for an engagement set, then?”

Ginny swallowed hard. Sweet Merlin, he didn’t bring me here to propose, did he? Before she could think any further Harry spoke.

“Not just yet. I was looking for something that might lead to that purchase, though.”

Ginny smiled; he wanted to be hers.

“I have just the thing,” Lorinda said. “How about a pair of matching lovebird pendants?”

She pulled out two circular silver pendants with a ruby and a peridot.

“How did you know the birthstones,” Harry asked.

“Mr. Potter,” Lorinda said, “It’s my job to know these things.”

Ginny laughed and pulled at Harry’s arm. “The pendants are charmed to figure out who they are for and what the couple’s birthstones are.”

Lorinda just smiled. Then she whispered, “And besides, who hasn’t seen your picture in the paper?”

“Oh, so I guess that means we’ll take them,” Harry said. “That is, if you like them.” He turned to Ginny and waited.

Ginny shook her head sadly. “That’s not the proper way to ask me to be your girlfriend.”

Harry looked at her in shock. He thought he had already done that. He had no idea there was a specific way to ask. In his other attempts with the fairer sex, he had just been along for the ride. The first time he and Ginny had ‘dated’, they were at school. He remembered it just sort of happened. Harry stood for a few moments thinking this over while Ginny waited. She was content to look into his emerald green eyes and watch. She started out looking to continue teasing him, but the look on his face made her heart swell.

Harry ran his hand through his hair. “Ginny, uh, would you like to be my girlfriend…again?”

Without hesitation, Ginny nodded. “Yes, Harry, I will let you be my boyfriend… again,” she said as she hugged him. When she released him she laughed, and teased, “Silly boy, what am I going to do with you? I definitely need to work on your idea of romance.”

“I thought the idea of running off with you into the sunset was a pretty romantic thing,” Harry huffed. “I mean I did find a way to Apparate out of Hogwarts with you — which by the way, I’m sure Hermione is still trying to figure out.

“And I did take you on what I thought was a nice romantic walk around Godric's Hollow…” He waited for her to say something, but she just smiled.

Harry started running out of steam the more the smile on Ginny’s face widened.

“And then…there was that thing with your brother and Mum,” he said weakly.

She stifled her laughter and relented. “You’re right, Harry, you are the most romantic man I know.”

Moments later, Harry and Ginny were back on Diagon Alley wearing the new signs they were an official couple. As they left the shop, Harry checked the time. Their forty-eight hours were almost up. “We can look at the broom shop another time, he apologized. “We need to get back before your parents decide to send out a search party to rescue you from my clutches.”

“Hmm, I doubt Mum thinks I’m in your clutches,” Ginny said. “If anything, I’m sure she’s more worried about you being in mine.”

“Really,” Harry said as his eyebrows disappeared beneath his fringe. “Are you known for your wild ways then? Is she sure you’ll corrupt me?”

“Oh, there’s no doubt, Mr. Potter,” she said wistfully. “There’s no doubt.

------X

Ginny and Harry Apparated in front of the gate leading to the Burrow. It was nearly noon and they both smelled the aroma of lunch cooking.

“This restaurant gets five stars for its food and friendly atmosphere,” Harry joked. “I hope it’s still a friendly atmosphere.

Just then Arthur appeared from the side of the shed.

“Ah Harry, Ginny,” he said. “Ginny, what say you go inside and help your Mum while I have a few words with Harry about his actions.”

Ginny looked crestfallen. She had expected her mother to have words with Harry, although maybe she’d had them last night. She always thought her father was on her side when it came to Harry.

“But Daddy,” Ginny started.

Arthur held up his hand as he always did with his family when there was nothing left to say. Ginny knew to argue only meant no good would come of her next words. She huffed, turned, and stormed into the house.

“You know, Weasley women are a bit more high spirited than most would think,” Arthur said.

“Yes sir, I’ve gathered that,” Harry agreed.

“So then, did our little plan work?”

“Yes sir, like a charm.”

“Good then,” Arthur said as he smiled. You are a bit earlier than expected as well."

Harry smiled and said, "Well, you know I think it's better to ask for a more and then give back what's left. Ginny mentioned that I still needed to let Mrs. Weasley 'talk' to me about this."

Harry held up the pendant.

It was Arthur's turn to smile. “How about we go and get some lunch?”

Part II

As Harry walked with Mr. Weasley into the Burrow, Mr. Weasley changed his expression and tone to something everyone would have expected had he not known that Harry was taking Ginny away.

“Right then,” Mr. Weasley said in a loud grave voice so that everyone in the Burrow could hear, “I’ll not have this happen again. Am I perfectly clear, Harry?”

“Yes, sir,” Harry’s voice cracked as if on cue. “I am sorry.”

Harry played his part perfectly. Mr. Weasley had told him the only way to avoid a world class telling off from Molly was for him to look as though he had receive one from him. Of course, this would also alleviate Arthur’s need to tell Molly he helped devise the plan.

Molly watched as the two of them walked into the kitchen. Arthur looked thoroughly enraged and poor Harry had the look of a beaten animal.

“Harry dear,” Molly began in her most motherly tone, “You must realize we are only concerned your well being. I just don’t know what I would do if something happened to you and Ginny.”

Ginny stood at the sink peeling potatoes by hand. It was evident she was the recipient of her own telling off by the way she was ripping through the helpless potato skins.

“Yes, Mum,” Harry said in an almost pitiful tone. Ginny smirked when she heard him call her mother mum. She turned just in time to catch her father surreptitiously giving Harry a playful wink through his mask of anger.

Is that right, Mr. Etcetera, etcetera? Thought you would go for Mum’s soft heart when it comes to how she feels about you, did you? she thought to herself. She narrowed her eyes at her new boyfriend now that she suspected something else was going on behind the scenes.

Harry looked to Ginny and saw her expression change. This was not what he expected. He wasn’t sure what he expected to see — be the sudden narrowing of her eyes told him she suspected something was afoot.

He decided the best thing to do was to plough on with his original plan. Hopefully, everything would work itself out.

“I was just very afraid that…well that Ginny would have said no before I had the chance to explain everything,” Harry said looking to Ginny, hoping whatever it was she suspected, would wait until later. “I just wanted her to know how I felt. You know…that I really do love her.”

It was if time stopped in the Burrow. Harry looked around at the silenced kitchen. It appeared as if everyone there stopped breathing. Worse yet, it also appeared all of the Weasleys and Hermione were in the kitchen. Either he didn’t notice them because of his focus on Molly, or they all made their way into the kitchen to see the fireworks.

This can’t be good, Harry thought to himself. This must have been what Ginny meant when she thought he would need to ‘run for his life’.

Molly’s face was unreadable. George, on the other hand had a look of righteous indignation, as if he were screaming, ‘I told you so’ at his mother. Hermione had a far off look in her eyes that made Harry think she was barely listening. To Harry’s surprise, Ron had the same look. The rest of the family appeared to have blood on their minds — Harry’s.

“Why you rotten little…,” Charlie said.

“I think it’s time we take this little…” Bill began.

“You’ve taken your liberties with our sister too far this time, Potter,” Percy said.

“What are you talking about?” Ginny shrieked, shaking herself out of her thoughts. “If any touches, curses, or hexes him, it’ll be me! Do you understand?”

The three eldest Weasleys looked to their father who looked thunderstruck. They then looked to Molly, confident she would release them to tear the boy limb from limb.

To their utter horror and disgust, Molly also shook her head. “No, boys, I think you sister is right.” She turned to Arthur and raised an eyebrow. “Isn’t that right dear?”

Arthur could feel a noose around his neck tightening. It was becoming more and more clear the women of his family were about to uncover his and Harry’s plan. “Uh…what? oh, why yes dear, Ginny is a grown woman. And we all should respect her wishes.

“I am fully capable of taking care of myself, thank you very much” Ginny huffed at her brothers. “I am also capable of answering for my actions and what I choose to do with my boyfriend…Aren’t I Daddy?” Ginny pointedly turned to her father and in a perfect imitation of her mother showing him the jig was up.

“Too right, dear,” Arthur said. He, like Harry, knew Ginny was on to them. How, he had no idea, but Arthur knew his daughter was not about to give up her advantage.

“Now, if the rest of you must know, Harry took me on a very romantic get-away to Godric's Hollow.”

Fleur entered the kitchen and sat down next to Bill. “Ooh, what did I miss?” she whispered to Bill.

“You missed how Potter kidnapped Ginny and took her to an old historic site,” Bill whispered back.

“Bill, even I know you cannot Apparate from Hogwarts,” Fleur said in a normal voice. “You must Force Apparate. And for zat to work with a side-along you must have a willing partner, or else the determination is not enough to go through the Hogwarts wards. Even in their weakened state, ‘arry could not have ‘kidnapped’ Ginny, she had to have wanted to go with ‘im.”

The advantage seemed to slip back into Harry’s favor. While he had just found out about the Forced Apparition during his travels with Professor Dumbledore, he didn’t know all of its intricacies. Finding out Ginny had to want to come with him made the fact it actually worked even better.

“So, you really wanted to come with me?” Harry asked.

Ginny rolled her eyes and shook her head. “Of course, you silly boy, who wouldn’t want to go with Harry-boy-who-lived-man-who-killed-Volde mort-etcetera-etcetera-etcetera, Potter?”

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