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The Morning After
By chell_e_bean

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Category: Alternate Universe
Genres: General
Warnings: Sexual Situations
Story is Complete
Rating: PG-13
Reviews: 10
Summary: This is a one shot on Ginny's reaction to the events from my story, Say Goodbye. If you haven't read SG, do so first. I tried Ginny's POV before and hated it, so this is a different take.
Hitcount: Story Total: 4763


A/N: As always, all characters are the creation of JK; sadly, they're not mine.

The Morning After

“Don’t open your eyes! Keep them closed, you can’t handle this kind of disappointment!” My mind was shouting at me, but I could not hold off wakefulness any longer. I knew that opening my eyes would land me harshly back into reality, but there was nothing I could do.

My dream had been mostly wonderful. I had spent the whole night with Harry Potter, in his bed and in his arms. It was a fantasy that had blessed my sleep for several years, but it had never felt this real. A small smile tugged at the corners of my mouth as I stretched and prepared to awaken from such a magnificent night.

“Oh well, it was just a dream, right?” This thought crossed my semiconscious mind the same moment I realized that I was not wearing a nightgown. This wasn’t the bewildering part; I have been known to wear a T-shirt and boxers to bed. The shocking thing was that I was wearing nothing.

My eyes shot open and I took in my surroundings with a hammering heart. I was in a bed, but it was not mine. There was a lot of traffic noise outside, nothing like the quiet solitude of the Burrow.

Then it hit me: I was at Ron and Harry’s flat in London. I started to breathe easier until another jolt startled me into chaos. Ron didn’t live here anymore; he and Hermione had gotten married the day before and had a house in Hogsmeade. More importantly, this was NOT Ron’s room.

I sat bolt upright, breathing hard, wondering if twenty-year-olds could have heart attacks. I was lying, naked and alone, in Harry’s bed. Could my fantasy have been reality?

What should have been one of the happiest, most thrilling moments of my life quickly became a nightmare as the previous night’s events came crashing back into my mind. There had been wine, a romantic fire and promises to not let anything change between us.

No, this was definitely reality. My dreams of Harry had almost always included wine and dreamy fires. The words spoken, however, had eternally been those of secret love and unyielding passion, not words of secrecy and “just for tonight.”

I was suddenly filled with embarrassment. How could I have given in so easily? Granted, I have loved him practically forever, but that should have been the reason for me to hold out for my fantasy. Instead, I had allowed my feelings for him to be cheapened and turned into something from a raunchy romance novel.

Don’t get me wrong; I tried to wait for the fantasy. I have waited almost ten years for some kind of sign that Harry saw me as more than his best mate’s little sister. I’ve dated other guys to try and help me forget Harry, but to no avail. They’ve only shown me why I love him so much.

And I do love him. I know I love him because he stirs more in me than any of the other boys I’ve dated. He makes me angrier, makes me laugh louder, worries me and completely baffles me more than any of the others. I could never really devote myself to any of them, starting all the way back with my first boyfriend, Michael. I liked all of them plenty, they were all very nice, but they were all missing something. As my previous boyfriend, Matthew, had said, “I’m sorry I don’t have a scar on my forehead and that I didn’t defeat the Dark Lord.” We broke up shortly after that.

This memory caused something else to stir in my brain. Harry didn’t know that Matthew and I had broken up. As far as he knew, I had cheated on my boyfriend with him. Wow! This keeps getting better and better.

I closed my eyes to try and remember exactly what had transpired the previous night and found that not all had been bad.

I had not agreed to come over to the flat with the intention of anything “indecent” happening. Once there, however, things had changed. There had been a storm and a raging fire, Harry had offered wine, and I was angry with Matthew. The circumstances had not slipped by me. There, too, had been several occasions involving awkward glances and lingering stares from Harry that I had wanted to explore more thoroughly.

Further reflection brought me to the realization that I had put up quite a fight, considering my real feelings for Harry. In all honesty, I had wanted to skip any kind of formality and get down to it. But, I had maintained a bit of decency in taking it slowly. He had done most of the talking and negotiating. I had even tried to tell him about Matthew and I, but he hadn’t wanted to hear it.

There had been something there, though, in his eyes, throughout the night; something like regret or fear. I have watched and studied Harry for far too long to miss what he says with his eyes. A smile crossed my face as I remembered the look on his face while we kissed. It had been a mixture of disbelief and gratitude. His eyes had said that, although his words had been lustful and overflowing with passion, he had nothing but sincere intentions.

My mind raced forward to my not-so-subtle hint that I was ready to move on and I blushed like a lunatic. (See, I am a scarlet woman…) He had gotten the clue, thank Merlin, but how could I have been so forward?

By the time we made it to his bedroom, though, I had let go of all reservations. I had decided that if I was going to get one night with Harry Potter, I was going to make it the best night of both of our lives. And it had been.

I have never experienced such passion from anyone. If I hadn’t known better, I would have thought that Harry had stronger feelings for me than “just friends.” All the things I’d felt for him for almost ten years flooded forth and I’d found myself on the verge of telling him my true feelings. That had been the only thing we didn’t exchange: words. We had said almost nothing, but we hadn’t needed to. It was like we were saying goodbye.

I opened my eyes at the sound of clinking glass from the kitchen. Harry was out there, awake and thinking. I decided I should get up and face the morning. There were some things that needed to be said.

I glanced at the place where my dress robes from the wedding had been piled on the floor, only to find that they were not there. I glanced around and saw them, hanging, on the bathroom door. I smiled at the thought of Harry hanging up my things.

Not wanting to put the robes back on, I rummaged through Harry’s closet and found a long-sleeved, white button-down shirt and put it on. I then went to his bureau and snagged a pair of his socks.

I reached for the knob of the door and took a deep breath. “Here goes,” I thought.

As I padded into the kitchen, a slightly unnerving sight met my eyes. Harry was sitting at the kitchen table, his head on the surface and his fingers clenched in his messy hair. He let out a groan and banged his forehead on the table.

“Are you okay, Harry?” I asked, a little frightened.

He visibly jumped and replied, hand over his heart, “Erm, yeah. You scared the life out of me, Gin. When did you wake up?”

Have I mentioned that I love it when he calls me “Gin?” Loads of people call me that, most people I know, in fact, but there’s just something about the way it sounds coming from Harry.

“Just now,” I answered. Then, seeing his eyes travel from my outfit to his socks on my feet, I said, “I hope you don’t mind. I nicked the socks out of your dresser.” I felt an uncontrollable blush creep up my face. It was one thing for me to go rummaging through my brothers’ drawers. Harry’s, on the other hand, was totally different.

“No, it’s fine,” he said, looking a little strained. He kept looking at me in his clothes and, for a fleeting moment, I thought he liked what he saw. I remembered the longing, almost loving, looks he kept throwing my way the night before and knew I had to say what I was feeling, starting with the truth about Matthew and myself.

“Harry,” I started nervously, not knowing exactly what I was going to say. “I need to talk to you about something.” The cuff on the shirt I was wearing suddenly became very interesting to me.

A look of confusion suddenly crossed Harry’s face at my words. I was so afraid that he was going to be angry with me. Too many things about last night could have been different, in my opinion, if I had only been honest about my current relationship status. The way he had looked at me, and the resigned manner in which events had unfolded the night before, made me feel as if Harry was hiding something, also. If I expected him to be honest with me, I had to be honest with him.

I started to continue when Harry said, “Gin, really, there’s nothing to say. Nothing changes, right?”

“No, I just-“ I broke off, startled. Why does he keep saying that? Of course something changed! We were fools to believe that it wouldn’t. But, that was not the pressing matter at the moment.

“I really need to tell you something. Something I wasn’t entirely honest about. I tried to tell you last night, but…” I trailed off, not wanting to say, “You wouldn’t let me.”

A look of surrender crossed Harry’s face and he pulled a chair out for me next to him at the table. “What is it?” he asked, concern and apprehension resonating in his voice.

“Well,” I said, sitting and looking at my hands. “Harry, I don’t want you to hate me, okay?” I knew it was a silly thing to say, but I was so afraid that it might happen. I was startled, therefore, to look up and see an ironic grin on his face.

“Don’t worry,” he said through his grin, “I don’t think that will happen.”

I was struck, again, by the honesty in his dazzling eyes. He seemed so sure that nothing I could say could make him hate me. What was he thinking?

“Okay, I told you that Matthew wasn’t at the wedding because he had to work, right?” I was speaking rather quickly, but my eyes never left his.

“Yes,” Harry said, looking a little crestfallen.

“That wasn’t a lie, he did have to work yesterday.” Harry’s face tensed with what I can only describe as frustration. I looked down, knowing I was beating around the bush; but I had to say this right. I didn’t want it to sound like I had used Harry to get over Matthew, and I did NOT want to start crying.

Too late.

“The lie,” I said, my traitorous eyes filling with tears, “was that he was supposed to come to the wedding.” I looked at Harry’s face and saw comprehension dawning there. “We broke up last week and I haven’t told anyone. I’m so sorry that I didn’t tell you; I should have last night. I was just scared and I didn’t want you to think I was using you to get over it.”

I could not hold in my tears anymore. I was crying because I had lied to this wonderful man whom I loved. I was crying because I was embarrassed about what I had let happen. I was crying because, even though I thought something between us might change, I had promised Harry that I wouldn’t let it.

Harry simply stared at me for the longest time, a look of relief on his face. Then, he suddenly stood up and took me in his arms.

I was shocked at first, as he held me and rocked me back and forth. Then, he said, very quietly, “Gin, I’m not angry with you.” A small smile began across my lips. “You should have told me last night, but it wouldn’t have changed anything.” The smile vanished.

“What?!” I thought. “Nothing would have changed if he had known this all last night?” I pushed him away and caught his eyes. Mine were now dry and his were a mix of confusion and fear.

I was furious. “It wouldn’t have changed anything?” I challenged, my words dripping with venom. “Are you that blind?” I asked him, standing up and turning toward the bedroom. “Harry, I don’t believe you.”

“Harry Potter must be the stupidest man alive!” I thought as I walked away. Maybe I was the stupid one. He had never said that he cared more for me than a friend; I had just assumed that because of the looks and words of the previous night that something had changed.

“Ginny, wait,” he started, but I couldn’t listen to him apologize.

Rounding on him, I bellowed, “I have loved you my whole life! Sure, I learned how to hide it; I even lied about being over you for a long time. I had other boyfriends, but none of them meant near as much to me as you do. How can you not know this? You have been around with all of them; you knew them all. You know me well enough to be able to tell that I never loved any of those boys.”

Looking into his eyes, I saw panic and my tone softened. “And I know you well enough to know that this information would have changed something last night.” I couldn’t let his eyes go as I continued, standing toe to toe with him. “I asked you why we never dated and you said that it never worked out. Then you said that you came to your senses the same time I did. That means you care about me, too. I saw it in your eyes last night, Harry.”

I couldn’t believe that I had got through all of that. Not only had I told him how I felt about him, but I had him that I thought he loved me, too. My face was burning with passion and anger and uneasiness. What would he say to that?

Harry’s face became very serious. He locked his eyes on mine and placed his hands on my shoulders. “I didn’t mean nothing between us would’ve changed; I meant that I would have still wanted last night to go how it did.”

I was so surprised I couldn’t think. Did he mean that this revelation did change things? Could my outburst possibly have paved the way for something that neither of us would have allowed to happen in a rational situation? I internally marveled at my bravery.

I was in a daze as Harry led me back to the table. The horrible things I had said to him suddenly struck me. I had yelled and accused; I needed to apologize.

Harry met my apologies, however, with his own. “I wasn’t entirely honest with you last night, either,” he said, not looking at my face.

He turned a very Weasley shade of red, and then continued rehashing the night’s events. He reminded me of the promise we had made to let nothing change. Then, he threw me for a loop.

“I was lying from the get go. Not only did I know things were going to change, but I wanted them to. And they have.”

My heart was racing and I couldn’t think straight. He wanted something to change; something had changed. I was hoping that the slight smile on his face meant not that he had decided to ditch me all together, but that he wanted to be with me.

“I realized last night,” he continued, “that I am in love with you.” They were the words that I had longed to hear for years, but something didn’t sit right with me.

Frustration coursed through my veins as I realized that it had taken me sleeping with Harry for him to see that I was worthy of him. My irritation must have shown on my face because he added, rather quickly, “I knew there was more to my feelings for you than friendship long before yesterday; I realized it was love last night.”

These words melted my heart and I smiled at him, squeezing his hand. I could feel the tears welling in my eyes, and the words he spoke next sent them splashing forth.

“So, your information would have changed something for me. The only thing, though, is that I would have told you before today how I felt.”

A/N: Okay, I hope ya'll enjoyed that. Please send me some reviews! :)
Reviews 10

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