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SIYE Time:1:50 on 18th September 2021


Dreaming a Life
By GryffindorHealer

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Category: Alternate Universe
Characters:Harry/Ginny, Other
Genres: Drama, Romance
Warnings: Extreme Language, Intimate Sexual Situations
Story is Complete
Rating: R
Reviews: 56
Summary: The last thing Ginny Potter heard before the Bludger hit her was ‘Harry! Al!’ Then she woke up in St. Mungo’s, and no one knew who Harry, James, Al, Lily, or Teddy were that she kept asking for. What the hell was happening?
Hitcount: Story Total: 6407; Chapter Total: 575
Awards: View Trophy Room






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Monday, 4 July 2011

Early morning sunlight filtered genty through the gauze curtain over the window when Ginny opened her eyes. Pungent antiseptic almost overpowered something else, faint under the astringent overtones: broom polish, homemade bread, sandalwood. Harry . The scent of her amortentia also brought awareness of fingers lightly entwined with her right hand. Before she turned her head, she ran fingertips lightly over the back of that hand. Though they’d softened over the years a bit, she knew these scars well. I must not tell lies.

She turned at the quiet whoosh of a deep inhalation, smiling into blinking green eyes. He looked at his hand first, her fingers lightly caressing the old wound. Without letting go of her he stretched, then shook out his glasses in his left and put them on. The smile that lit those emeralds set a pleasant blaze in her chest. ‘You’re awake,’ he said.

‘Right in one, brilliant observation, Potter.’

He grinned larger at her cheek. ‘All part of what makes me Britain’s best Head Auror ever.’

‘And modest as well!’

He leaned forward, lifting her hand and pressed soft lips to her palm.

‘Is Al all right?’

Harry nodded. ‘He’s fine, you caught the Bludger. They’re all with your parents at the Burrow. Do you remember what happened?’

‘Yes.’ Her eyes lit suddenly, and she reached up with her left hand to touch her forehead. At the query in his eyes, she smiled. ‘No pain! I feel fine. When can we go home?’

He chuckled. ‘It’s only quarter-five, my Soul. This place hasn’t woken up yet. The healers aren’t going to turn you loose without a check’

‘To hell with that! Let’s get out of here.’

‘Now I know you’re really better. But, Gin.’ At his pause, she touched his cheek lightly.

‘What is it, Harry?’

‘You were brilliant, taking that roll when the broom shattered. Really the worst that happened was a nasty cut on your head. But that’s it, besides some rather glorious bruises. But you wouldn’t wake up.’

She felt her heartbeat quicken, a light surge of adrenaline. ‘How long?’

He shook his head. ‘Not long, about 12 - 14 hours.’

‘What? What... what day is it?’

‘Monday. The game at the Burrow was yesterday.’ She turned from the comfort of his face, eyes now focusing on small cracks in the ceiling plaster. Less than a day since she saved her son from a Bludger hit. How did three days pass for her? ‘Gin?’ His voice filled with concern brought her back from her thoughts. She sank into those emerald pools, nodding and smiling slightly.

‘I’m here. You’re here. We’re alive,’ she whispered.

His eyes narrowed at the words, most often spoken when one or the other woke from a nightmare. She glanced at the closed door, then back to Harry. Quieter, barely above a whisper, she continued. ‘I will tell you.’ His focus intensified, and she relaxed at the easing of her tension as the connection between them warmed. Then he nodded. ‘But not here. It’s… strange. And if we’ve got to wait until they punch my discharge, get into this bed with me, Potter. It’s been too long.’ She shook her head slightly at the resurgence of his concern.

‘The Healers will object.’ With a nod and an impish grin, he stretched out next to her but above the covers. She sighed as his arms wrapped around her and she stretched lightly before turning on her side and settling her head on his chest.

‘They’ll get over it. Besides, not going to actually shag here.’ Her ear pressed to him, she heard the comforting sound of his breathing, purred when his fingers combed into her hair at the base of her skull. Just before she slipped into blissful sleep, she whispered, ‘I missed you so much, my Heart.’

GHGHGHGHGHGH

Harry waved his hand with a silent cleansing spell to clear off the ashes from leaving St. Mungo’s via the floo network. Ginny smiled while looking around the great room of their home, turning slowly to take it all in. Dark oak floor, excepting only the flagstones leading from the door to the large grate where during cold winter months the furnace blew warm air. Warm chestnut wall paneling which always helped the room feel more comfortable during those same months. Water-rounded stones of the hearth and chimney, the flames within returning to cheerful yellow from the green of their transport as she watched. She rested her head against Harry’s shoulder as he pulled her into his arms.

Home.

‘I expect you need to go bring the kids home,’ she said, looking at their most recent family portrait on the wall next to the hearth. The photographer they hired strived for a couple hours to finally capture everyone in a formal pose where the only movement had been everyone relaxing after the shutter snapped. But Ginny selected one where James and Al nudged at each other, and Lily reached over from Harry’s arms to pull at Ginny’s hair. When the photographer asked why that one, incredibly surprised, Ginny replied, ‘Because he and I caught each other’s eyes, and I fell into the joy, love, even fire of his.’

His chuckle interrupted her reverie. ‘You’re looking at The Portrait,’ he said. She murmured something as her hands slid up his chest, left hand knitting into his hair, right touching his beard lightly. ‘I agreed with you,’ he said as she started to ask, ‘because I remember feeling, at that moment, how blessed I am that you gave me three adorable, rambunctious, mischievous, infuriating, loveable children; that you helped me realize my greatest dream.’ Then he pressed lips softly to hers, time standing still for the duration of a single “Tock” from the three cuckoo clocks on the walls.

‘Merlin, I missed you,’ she whispered. Then, pulling back to look into his eyes, ‘But that doesn’t answer my question about the kids.’

‘Well,’ he said, looking deliberately at each of the three clocks. ‘Depending on which one of these is closest to actual time, we’ve got between five and ten minutes before Mum brings them here. I sent a patronus while the healers were deciding if they needed to do another exam before releasing you.’ She smirked at him then her face grew serious.

‘I promised to tell you, but not at St. Mungo’s. I… if they heard what I will tell you happened to me, they wouldn’t have let me go. I’d be up there next to Neville’s parents, probably.’ He held her gaze silently, strength flowing between them. ‘You said I was out for around 14 hours. Harry, I experienced three days. I slept during those three days. I don’t know what happened, and we don’t have time now to get into this in depth. But, you and I, we… I could feel you, my Soul, but we were not together. We never met.’ Harry started to reply when the Floo roared softly. Ginny pressed a finger against his lips, nodding. ‘Later, yeah.’ Then they turned to the hearth as Bill stepped out carrying Lily, followed by James, Al, and a worried looking Teddy.

Al ran out of the green flames and wrapped his arms tightly around Ginny’s legs, followed by James. Cries of ‘Mum’ and ‘You’re back’ filled the room. Bill stepped over and when Ginny reached for Lily she nearly leapt into her mother’s arms. ‘Mummy!’

Bill chuckled, his hands on Ginny’s shoulders as he looked at her. ‘You really all right?’

She smiled back and nodded, shifting Lily to her hip so she could step into a hug with her oldest brother. ‘Yes,’ she said. ‘They gave me a clean bill of health, with a caution to not destroy any more brooms for a bit.’

‘Good,’ he said, nodding. ‘That was a big knock you took. Still, I wouldn’t expect anything else involving you protecting your kids, or any of ours, really. I’m glad you’re okay.’ Ginny turned to Teddy, still standing by the hearth, when Bill let her go. His brow furrowed and his eyes flit between the floor, or one of the cuckoo clocks ticking away on the wall.

‘Teddy.’ His eyes finally met hers when she called his name, his hair turning light brown, which combined with the concern in his eyes reminded Ginny so much of his father that she sighed.

‘Ginny, I’m so sorry,’ he started, hearing her sigh. ‘I never meant anyone to get hurt, I just…’ He stopped short at Ginny’s raised hand.

‘Teddy, I’m not angry with you,’ she said, nearly laughing at the sudden relief in his face. ‘Nor am I happy about this.’ The instant return of anxious concern also nearly brought a laugh to her, she struggled to keep her face serious. ‘I never thought you intended to hurt anyone, yet it did happen, and we are all lucky it wasn’t worse, yeah?’ He nodded slowly. ‘So what did you learn from this?’

Bill glanced at Harry looking on, as Teddy regarded her. Then he turned his attention to Teddy, who glanced between all three adults before straightening his back. ‘How to hit a Bludger better,’ he said with a steady voice, and before Ginny could speak again, ‘And to be more careful when I’m practicing.’ Bill stifled a snort. Ginny simply nodded.

‘Good. Yes, you need to be more aware of who and what is in the direction you send your Bludgers. If you want, I’ll talk to George about some private practice time, no one else out there on the pitch. But we were all incredibly lucky in this, Teddy. Harry wasn’t anywhere near enough to do something about that Bludger. It’s just good fortune I wasn’t ready to land yet and stayed in the air.’ He nodded back silently. ‘Now, I will tell you that the first thought I had when I heard your bat is that was well hit. But, to reinforce your lesson, you’re going to de-gnome the garden here.’

Teddy nodded silently, but James pushed back from his mother.

‘That’s not fair, Mum. Grams and Gramma Tonks already made him de-gnome the garden at the Burrow!’

Ginny regarded her oldest son. ‘Speaking of de-gnoming, since you encouraged Teddy to try a good hit, you can join him.’

James sputtered, ‘I didn’t--’ Teddy’s blush and hair changing to match James’ reddish-brown told the three adults all they needed to confirm Ginny’s assessment.

‘James,’ said Ginny, ‘three cuckoo clocks in this room. Pick one.’ The slightly asynchronous ticking of the three clocks grew louder with each tick. Teddy took a breath and walked over to James, resting a hand on his shoulder.

‘Come on, James,’ he said, urging his brother towards the door. ‘We’ll see who can pitch one the furthest. I’ll limit myself to one-hand tosses.’ The two boys started towards the door out to the back garden. Al tugged on Ginny’s hand, she looked down at him. He tilted his head towards the other two, she nodded, and he trotted to catch up. The door closed with a rattle of glass window panes.

‘Really, James, you could have left the door open this time,’ Ginny said softly, a grin painting her face. Bill and Harry chuckled.

‘You looked scarier than Mum, there, Ginny, mostly because you were so bloody calm,’ said Bill. ‘And what’s the bit about the clocks?’

Harry and Ginny both laughed.

‘It means James needed to pick one of those three clocks to find out how long he had until the punishment escalated,’ said Harry. 'We started doing that the time he set all of the cuckoo clocks in the house about five minutes apart, so they were constantly going off.'

Bill laughed.

‘We used to tell him, pick a clock. One time we were in the kitchen when she said that. There’s only two clocks in there, one cuckoo and the Family one Mum and Dad gave us for our wedding present. He picked that one.’

‘And ever since then, I specify it’s a cuckoo clock he needs to pick. Sometimes I include the room,’ Ginny added, turning to Lily as her daughter ran fingers through red hair.

‘Jamie tricksy,’ she said, her young voice light. Ginny kissed her forehead.

‘Yes, both your brothers are tricksy.’ Bill chuckled, and Ginny turned back to him. ‘Stay for some tea?’

He shook his head. ‘No, sorry, I need to get to work. Told Mum to call me if you did get out of St. Mungo’s today. Stopped by there to get the kids when she called early. She says she and Dad will come by this afternoon to check on you.’ Ginny nodded and turned back to Lily when her daughter tugged lightly on her hair.

‘Lily hungry.’ Ginny chuckled, turning briefly back to Bill.

‘Excuse me, then, while I go get my daughter a snack.’ The two men watched as she walked into the kitchen carrying on a brief conversation of rather short sentences with the three-year-old. Ginny paused inside the kitchen, just out of sight.

‘How is she really, Harry?’ Her brother’s voice.

Harry let out a slow sigh. ‘She’s OK, physically. But she’s spooked about what happened. Not the bit at the Burrow, what happened while she was out of it at St. Mungo’s.’ The silence hung thickly for a moment. ‘She wouldn’t talk about it there. We will be, later. Right now, well I told the office I’m available for emergencies, but I want to spend the day with her, and the kids.’

‘Right. Take care of her, Harry,’ her brother said.

A heartbeat passed and in her mind’s eye Ginny saw Bill’s brown eyes boring into her husband’s green.

‘I always will,’ Harry replied softly.

She heard the flames rise a bit, and Bill called out ‘Gringotts.’ Then the sound of his departure, and she walked over to the worktop before Harry joined her in the kitchen. Their eyes met over Lily’s head, calmness flowing between them.

‘I heard,’ she said. He nodded, unsurprised, and gently kissed both her and his daughter on their foreheads.

‘My two most special girls,’ he said, getting a giggle from Lily. ‘What can I fix my hungry girls now?’

‘Chok-late,’ said Lily.

‘You may as well fix up some lunch for all of us, Harry, it’s about that time,’ said Ginny, and he set about summoning ingredients for sandwiches. A gentle smile graced Ginny’s face as she watched him work, either asking Lily to tell him what he was doing (‘Cutting!’ and giggles), or describing what type of ingredient he chose. Through it all, Lily clung to her, and truth to tell she warmed to the presence of her daughter in her arms.

The uncertainty about what happened to her circled around her, like a Border Collie nipping at her heels. On the one hand the certainty that she spent two days, slept three nights at Shell Cottage hung next to the remembered ache from the absence of a certain messy-haired green-eyed father of her children. On the other, the shock discovering different survivors, different deaths still resonated as the fading toll of a bell. Through all those, the certainty of the pull of Harry’s being, somewhere…

What happened? A curse, it seemed not, yet something tore her away from here; could it be only a dream? But people don’t sleep in their dreams , she told herself, we dream when we’re sleeping .

As the lunch preparations progressed, Lily would turn to look into Ginny’s eyes, then pat her cheek with a small, warm hand before responding to another of Harry’s comments Now she turned again, and their eyes met. ‘Mummy home,’ she said.

‘Yes, my love,’ Ginny whispered, kissing Lily’s cheek, ‘Mummy’s home.’

GHGHGHGHGHGH

Flickering yellow light from the small fire in the hearth danced around the walls and ceiling of the sitting room when Ginny came down the stairs from putting Lily to bed, and stopped. The scents of wisteria and star jasmine wafted in from the garden on a calm breeze through the open windows and French doors to the enclosed porch. Harry finished levitating the chesterfield to center before the hearth, then poured something into a glass, not noticing her watching him. He volunteered to help with the children’s bedtime, but she chuckled and said, ‘No, thank you Harry. It’s the little things.’ As she carried Lily up the stairs, her last thought leaving the sitting room touched on campfires and storytelling.

‘Bit of a warm evening for a fire, isn’t it?’’ she asked cheekily. He straightened, turning to hold out a wine glass, and stopped. Even in the flickering firelight she could see his green eyes darken. She glided over to him slowly, her ivory silk dressing gown flowing, and took the glass from his fingers, lifting it to her nose. Oak-aged mead with hints of blueberry tickled her nose before she sipped. The honeyed fluid rolled over her tongue, and she sighed after swallowing. ‘Thank you, Harry.’

She smirked at him still standing, arm outstretched, his jaw and Adam's apple moving as he swallowed. ‘You changed clothes.’ The huskiness in his voice sent a quick shiver down her spine and to her center.

‘This old thing?’ Her left hand waved at the dressing gown, the light silk fabric clinging to her in all the right places. ‘It’s comfortable, and I’ve a tale to tell you now.’ She inclined her head to the chesterfield. Harry sat with his back to the side, stretching his legs out, an arm on the back of the sofa. Ginny handed him the other glass on the coffee table between sofa and hearth. Then in long-practiced manner she curled into his lap, legs folding along his, leaning against his chest. Closing her eyes she took another sip of mead as his fingers began coursing through her hair slowly, the palm of his hand a welcome warmth against the back of her neck.

When the cuckoo from the clock above the telly to their left sounded the quarter hour, she took in a deep breath, and launched the telling of her experiences since catching the Bludger. Three times Harry levitated the mead bottle to refill their glasses. Once, he added a single small wedge of split branch to the fire. Through it all, the gentle touch and stroke of fingertips on her neck, the back of her head, leant her strength as she spun her tale. Twice, that same light touch left her neck to caress her cheek, his thumb surreptitiously wiping a tear as it escaped her closed eyes when she recounted the times her dream-self realized that returning wouldn’t be an option.

The cuckoo above the telly sang seven more times before she reached the end of her tale. The ticking of the three clocks seemed to echo each other, a gentle staccato drum roll as she waited for his response. She took the last sip from her glass, then rested her head against his shoulder, letting his familiar scent fill her being.

‘That is one hell of a story, Gin.’ His voice rumbled through his chest to her ear, his arm sliding around her shoulders. His embrace brought reassurance, serenity, and she sighed softly as the part of her that doubted anyone would believe her slipped into oblivion.

‘Yeah, if I hadn’t lived through it…’ Then she laughed softly, and she could feel his eyes filled with curiosity focused on the top of her head. ‘When I told Bill and Fleur about Tom, and what we both went through, Bill said something similar to what you just did. I said the same exact thing in reply.’ He lifted her chin, emerald eyes meeting hers, and his lips lightly touched hers.

‘I will always believe in you, Gin.’ They held each other's gaze several heartbeats, her hand slowly lifting from his shoulder to cup his cheek.

‘Even when the story sounds like some fantasy fiction, or a drunkards tale?’ The slight quiver in her voice surprised her, and at the same time she knew it came out only because his love surrounded her, grounded her. She could be vulnerable with him, because he could also be vulnerable with her. He nodded. She kissed him again, longer, lingering. ‘Thank you.’

‘You’re right though,’ he said. ‘If any of the Healers at St. Mungo’s heard that story, I’d be visiting you in a high security ward.’ They both chuckled. She rested her head back onto his shoulder, watching the shifting shadows and lights from the fireplace.

‘Harry, do you ever wonder if you never went to Hogwarts, would we still get together?’

‘What are you on about, Gin? I did go to Hogwarts, and we did get together. Even if I was a thick git and broke it off for a bit.’

‘I don't know, maybe someone, McGonagall perhaps, makes a big scene about Sirius never getting a trial and then he's released, and he finds you and takes you away from your horrible relatives. Or maybe your parents aren't killed, which would be wonderful for you, but then they decide to home-school you. Or maybe my parents decided after my first year that I needed to go somewhere else, like Beauxbatons...’

‘If you’d gone to Beauxbatons, you’d have given Fleur a stiff go,’ he chuckled.

She slapped his other shoulder, muttering ‘Prat’ under her breath, and he chuckled. She sighed slowly. ‘In my dream, or memory, or whatever it was Sirius escaped earlier than he did in our life, and he came to get you. And you didn’t go to Hogwarts, the newspapers were full of that the year you should have done.’

‘So we didn’t meet,’ he said.

She shook her head against his shoulder. ‘The last night when, well, I felt incredibly sad because all this life was gone,’ she said, waving her hands in a circle. ‘You, our children, all of it. But I could still feel you, and I started planning how to find you. It felt so real, Harry, that we didn't meet because you didn't go to Hogwarts.’

He wrapped her tightly in his arms, lips pressing to the top of her head. Her hand slid up from his shoulder into his hair, her fingers wrapping tightly enough to almost hurt. ‘I really don't know, Gin. All I do know is our lives would be different. And I can't envision a life without you.’

She pulled away from him at that, shifting to straddle him on the chesterfield, the gown loosening as she moved. She shrugged as she reached to cup his face between her hands, deliberately causing the silk to open exposing more skin. She felt his eyes counting all the freckles that once she hated and now she loved because of him. She watched him visually stroking her now, caressing her with a heat bringing her nipples to a peak through the fabric.

‘I can’t envision life without you, either,’ she said huskily. Her hips shifted on him and he gasped slightly.

‘Wouldn’t you rather go to our bed, first?’ His voice low and rough as he tilted his head towards the stairs. She shook her head, leaning forward to kiss him again, this time fiercely, urgently. He replied in kind, pulling back to gasp. ‘You get loud, you know, and our room is already silenced.’

Her eyes blazed at that, a near feral grin bending her lips. Teasing she rocked her hips on him, feeling his response against her. ‘Not tonight.’ She watched his eyes dilate at her throaty whisper. ‘What's the matter, Potter? Getting old and conservative?' His green eyes flared at her challenge. 'Good. Tonight I need to please you, Harry, feel you inside me. Tonight you’re going to get loud, so you’d better silence those stairs.’ His eyes went wide when she released his face, sliding her fingertips along his neck, down his chest, feeling his nipples tighten through his shirt as she circled them with her thumbs. His hands slowly pulled the tie at her waist loose. She arched her back, opening the front of the gown more, then leaned towards the table and picked up his holly wand. His eyes widened when she lifted it, then with a whispered incantation and a flick, she banished his clothes to their room.

‘Now you’re dressed appropriately,’ she whispered. ‘Are you prepared to scream?’

‘I told you, you’re the one who screams.’

Ginny’s eyes blazed. ‘Care to make a wager on that?’ She rocked her hips, kissing his growing arousal with her own. His eyes darkened as he arched up to her.

‘The usual stakes?’ His grin grew, his hands sliding up along her dressing gown lapels.

‘Oh, I think tonight deserves double stakes, don’t you?’ She settled lower on him, sliding her increasing wetness along his length. He inhaled sharply, biting his lower lip. ‘Something wrong, Potter? Usually I’m the one nibbling on myself.’

‘Oh, you’re on, Potter. Ten massages it is, to whoever doesn’t scream.’ He slid his fingers under her gown, lightly pressing against her breasts. She bit off a shriek at their cold embrace.

‘Did you just put a chilling charm on your hands?’ she gasped. ‘Cheater!’

His grin turned feral in answer. ‘Someone told me once, anything’s possible if you’ve got the nerve,’ he said. But then his fingers grew warm, his touch still light. Reaching down between her legs, she grasped him then lifted on her thighs, aligning his arousal to her entry.

‘I won’t need to cheat,’ she whispered, settling back and slowly taking him inside her. Her eyes blazed watching his enlarge, his mouth forming a silent Oooh. She leaned forward, pressing his hands still holding her breasts against his own chest, stilling his movement. She kept her eyes on his, until the tips of their noses touched lightly. ‘And you will be giving me those massages.’

When she started moving, when she pushed herself up on her arms for a better angle, she kept their gazes locked together. When he reached up to caress her breasts again, she took his hands, weaving both their fingers together, pressing his arms down above his head. With a gentle shake of her head, she tucked his hands behind his head. Then her fingers moved languidly along his arms. Twelve years of mutual exploration, give and take, learning how best to titillate each other guided her hands to all the places she knew brought him pleasure, sent heat lightning along his nerves.

His green eyes burned into hers as he nodded, and she accepted his surrender, watching his fingers wrap into the unruly black locks in the manner she took so much pleasure in doing. His chest rose and fell in time with her movements. When he tried to twist his hips, reaching to touch the spot inside her he knew so well drove her to cry out, she bit her own lip and shook her head once, twisting his nipples. His stifled grunt in response brought the corners of her mouth up, a triumphant grin replying to his nearly losing the wager then.

The air between their locked gaze crackled with their growing arousal. She knew he felt hers, he pushed again with his hips to challenge her, attempting still to heighten his own pleasure in bringing her to a peak. Her nails dug into his flanks, again warning him to still himself, to let her lead. His head rocked back, yet still he maintained their eye contact.

Sweat beaded his forehead, ran between her breasts, his grin shining as her flush grew larger, lighting her shoulders, her breasts, her chest. She watched his breathing quicken as she squeezed and rose, relaxed and sank, and allowed herself to twist, rubbing the spot he’d tried to reach. She nodded slowly, telling him she would accept her own climax. But only when she gave him his.

His sudden thrust when she found her spot surprised her, and she clamped her throat tight on the guttural noise that barely escaped through her nose. Then the three cuckoo clocks began to chorus the hour, and she matched her movements to the rhythm of their song. A low keening sounded, joined by another when Harry took his lower lip between his teeth, and she realized both of them contributed. Then his heat erupted inside her, gasping as he released his lip in low repeated huffs. Gazes still locked, both their eyes blazed, and she peaked as well, her own low keening rising slightly in pitch as her hands gripped his shoulders and she pulsed in waves around him. Perhaps not as intense as the multiples he so enjoyed giving to her, more than sufficient to drive away the remaining shadows from whatever happened to her since Sunday past at the Burrow.

She lowered herself on him, taking him fully into her. Then she leaned against him, arms sliding under his shoulders, hands grasping his head, her lips finding his in a languid kiss as their gazes finally separated. Their breath mingled in shuddering exhalations, their scents conjoined as they slowly descended from the peak. When his arms wrapped around her shoulders, she no longer knew where she ended and he began.

She lay her head on his shoulder, pressing her lips lightly to his ear. ‘I’m calling it a tie. We’ll both get ten massages,’ she whispered, her own fingers now twirling into his hair.

Throaty chuckles replied. ‘And here I was about to concede, say I was louder than you.’ She smiled against his ear. ‘Thank you,’ he whispered.

‘Fourteen years we’ve been together, and you still wonder that I get as much from pleasuring you as you do pleasuring me.’ He turned to face her, their eyes again connecting. ‘I thought I’d lost you all.' Her voice quavered uncharacteristically, her eyes shining. 'Then I woke with you beside me, holding my hand, keeping me anchored,’ she said. ‘You are my Heart, my Soul. You’ve been my world long before we shared our vows, and made our family. Harry James, I will bend Heaven and Hell to find you if we are ever separated.’

His fingers traced lightly the stream of freckles across her cheekbone. Then he pushed her hair behind her ear, fingertips trickled down her neck, along her collarbone, to rest over her heart. ‘That dream, that vision, this which we don’t know what to call it, this scared you more than anything else we’ve faced, didn’t it?’ Their eyes held, green and brown-gold, then she nodded gently. Her tension broke into giggles as he rubbed their nose tips in an Eskimo kiss. She pressed the palm of her hand against his chest, the steady beating of his heart echoing her own, steadying her.

‘I feel like I’ve been given a foreshadowing, what it’s going to feel like when you do actually die.’ She snorted lightly at the sudden flair in his eyes. ‘After a very long life and flocks of grandchildren, Harry. I told you, you die too soon and I’ll--’

‘Bend Heaven and Hell to bring me back. Got it,’ he whispered, his fingertip resting lightly, stilling her lips. She sucked his finger softly, then pushed it out with her tongue. She sighed a bit sadly as he softened and slid out from her.

‘Don’t ever forget that, Potter.’ Brown-gold blazed brighter than the flickering fire in the hearth. He nodded. ‘That last day in my, well, going to call it a dream. That last day, at the Burrow. I wanted to go talk to Luna, thinking of all people she might understand and know a way to get me back here. Mum told me the Lovegoods moved away after her mother died. I felt so disappointed--’

‘She’s here.’

Ginny stopped, confusing painting her face. ‘Who?’

‘Luna. An owl came while you gave Lily her bath. Luna’s in Britain, wants to come and visit.’

Ginny pushed to sit up. ‘I need to send her a reply!’ Harry tightened his arms around her, stroked her shoulders.

‘I already replied, told her to come by any time, we’d both be here tomorrow. I knew you’d want to see her.’

She slapped his chest, but lightly, with a muttered, ‘Prat.’ But the smile on her face belied any anger, though she continued, sounding cross. ‘And you’re just telling me this now? Why?’

His impish grin responded, his face lighting mischievously. ‘You distracted me?’

She scoffed, then yawned. ‘I guess we should go up to bed.’

‘You’ve vanished my clothes, remember?’

She laughed again, low, throaty. ‘They’re all in bed, Harry, and besides they’ve seen it all before in the hot tub. We don’t wear bathing costumes there, remember? And before you say you’re all wet with me, I’ll remind you I’m equally as wet with you.’ He chuckled, helping her to budge up and stand. Taking his wand in hand he used it to bank the small fire in the hearth, closing the Floo connection to all but emergency calls. Ginny was loosely tying her gown closed when he turned to her, cocking his head.

‘Well that’s hardly fair,’ he said, and with the same wand motions as she used earlier, vanished her dressing gown to their room upstairs. She grinned wickedly up at him as he pulled her to him, their skins warm against each other.

‘Be careful doing that, Potter. I may feel the need to ravish you again,’ she whispered cheekily. She felt part of him nudge her hip.

‘It’s a hardship,’ he replied as cheekily. ‘But I think I’m up for it.’

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