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HP stories following Canon after Deathly Hallows >> For All the Waiting I`ve Had to Do by summerpotter

Simple Text - To view MORE chapters use the chapter jump box to the right.
Chapter 1: Ginny

Ginny found herself staring into the candles that sat on the coffee table, losing herself in the flicker of light in the dim room. Outside, the wind whipped and the rain poured in a terrible storm. She sat still, her hands lightly placed on her knees as she waited, physically exhausted, but excited that after two weeks, she'd finally have the night to relax with Harry.

Since it'd been so long since they'd had time alone together, Ginny figured to go the extra mile. She'd raced home after Quidditch practice to shower, tidy her flat, and then to get a little dressed up. Her income had allowed her to splurge on a revealing black negligee that she knew Harry would go crazy for. She'd also spent some time curling her hair for the sexy tousle look she'd seen in magazines, and put on a little makeup. Currently, she wore a house robe over her outfit, and sat in the living room with the lights dimmed out with only candles to provide light.

While she loved her little flat that was about an hour south of London, it did have the unfortunate quality of not being closer to Harry, who lived closer to Hogsmeade in his own flat, where he commuted to the Ministry to work for the Aurors with Ron. Ron and Hermione lived in a London muggle subdivision, much to the delight of her father who would make excuses to visit them, just to wander about to watch the muggles operate their lawnmowers or weed-whackers.

Still, with how Harry and Ginny's schedules were progressively getting busier, it made for a depressing life at home. If she was at home, Harry was often still working, and if he had time off, Ginny was stuck on the Quidditch pitch. They owled each other frequently during these long breaks apart, but it obviously wasn't the same. It was so difficult to see each other privately and have quality time to work on the relationship when they were both so busy. And truth be told, it made Ginny a little paranoid.

Not that Harry would ever do anything to hurt her, she knew. But still… she'd been to enough of Harry's Auror socials and ceremonies to know that there were a few female witches in or around the department who had an eye for him. And with the amount of hours he was at work, and not with her, let alone in contact with her made Ginny feel uneasy.

That was partly why tonight was so important. She was so tired of not seeing him for weeks on end that she felt she needed to remind him that he still had a girlfriend at home that loved him very much, and who still wanted to make time for them. She could tell he was feeling the strain of their separation as well. He'd even expressed several complaints on their not seeing each other. The last thing she could take was if he decided they needed to press pause on-

You're being paranoid, Ginny.

Ginny shook her head, and reclined back on her sofa as she closed her eyes, remembering how long it had taken them to re-establish their relationship after the war. It had been almost two years ago that Harry had defeated Voldemort, and almost two years ago that Harry had simply grabbed her and kissed her in a way that left her both weak at the knees and shell-shocked from the sheer emotion behind it.

It had taken nearly forty-eight hours for Harry, Ron, and Hermione to come round to consciousness after sleeping off their exhausting search for the Horcruxes. It had nearly killed Ginny to give them their privacy and let them sleep. So many times she'd debated sneaking into Harry and Ron's dormitory to slip into bed with Harry and falling asleep next to him. She'd held back of course, fearing to wake him or force him to jump into something that he wasn't ready for.

And so she'd taken things slowly with Harry. Smiling at him, being friendly, being there to play chess with him, or to just sit and talk with him. And then, one particular night on the Hogwarts grounds, after a long day of helping to get Hogwarts back into some kind of order, Ginny and Harry had found themselves on the Quidditch pitch, brooms in hand. They'd flown around for at least an hour, tossing the Quaffle back and forth. This was night that Ginny knew that there was hope for Harry. She'd worried that he'd be so emotionally and mentally destroyed by the past few years that the idea of a normal life might be too much for him.

But no, he'd actually cracked a few jokes, laughed with her, and became… just Harry again. There was more light in his eyes when he was up on a broom, which made Ginny so happy that she felt she could cry in relief. Harry was going to be okay.

They'd landed their brooms in the middle of the pitch, discussing their plan to head to the kitchens to see if they could get a late-night snack. A silence fell as they walked across the dark pitch. The only sounds to be heard were their shoes on the grass, their brooms brushing against their legs, and the sound of their cloaks swishing.

Ginny had caught Harry's expression from the corner of her eye and it puzzled her. He looked… unsure. His eyes met hers, and she felt her heart jolt in her chest at his intense expression.

"Don't be mad," he blurted, slowing to pause next to her.

"Mad at what?" She'd asked, feeling suddenly uneasy about what he could have possibly done and didn't want her to be mad at.

He didn't answer. He dropped his broom at his side and then leaned in and kissed her. Ginny was frozen at first, but it took only a moment for her realize what was happening. His hands rested on her waist, holding her in place as his lips moved over hers in a passionate kiss that was all too familiar and yet, was completely new. Harry was kissing her with an emotion much deeper than a simple attraction or lust, but at the time, she hadn't been able to identify just what it was.

As her arms slid around his neck, she stepped closer and Harry's arms tightened around her waist in response. A sound of pleasure slipped out as he kissed her. The kiss lasted a few minutes before the reality of what was happening began to sink in and she smiled against his mouth. Sensing her sudden change in focus, he pulled back slightly to search her face.

"Was that not-" he began to ask in a breathless voice, but she kissed him quickly to silence him before pulling back, her smile unrepentant on her face.

"Sorry… I just… realized you were kissing me and it made me happy," she answered with a shrug, stepping back. She knew her face was bright pink, and inside, she was cursing herself for interrupting him kissing her. She'd waited far too long for this chance, and then she'd gone and messed it up.

He dropped his hands, raising an eyebrow, though he began to grin at her too. "Glad you clued in to what I was doing then," he replied teasingly. "But perhaps I need to kiss you more to get more practice. It worries me that I'm so out of the habit that you can't tell if I'm kissing you or not."

She playfully swatted at him and picked up her broom that she'd sub-consciously dropped when he'd kissed her. "That's not what I meant, Harry. It just… caught me off-guard."

She began to walk again, thinking he was following her, but she paused a few feet away when she realized he hadn't followed. "What?" She asked, the wind tossing her cloak in the night air. She pushed the hair from her face and waited for him to respond or move.

"I've thought about very little else besides that for a few days now. I just wasn't sure how you were going to react," he blurted worriedly. "Then I kiss you, and it's everything and more than what I remembered and what I wanted…" he ran a hand through his tousled hair in frustration, looking at her with a flustered expression.

"Gin, I've been through too much to really have any energy to be able to analyze how you're feeling, let alone know what you're feeling for me. I need a long time before I'll be able to know who I am outside of everything that we've been through with Voldemort. I just… I need to know… what you want… what you felt… what you're feeling, because I don't think I can bear it to spend all night wondering whether or not that kiss was out of line, or whether you've wanted it too."

He paused for a quick breath and then barrelled on. His honesty floored her, and it was all she could do to stand there and listen to him pour his heart out.

"So I'm not going to play games… I've waited too long for the chance to have a life, and I don't think there's anyone else I want to experience that with. Mostly because I don't think anyone could actually understand, or put up with me, or anything. No one knows me like you do… and aside from my good friends… Ron, Hermione, Neville, Luna... you… and a few others… I don't think anyone looks at me like I'm just me."

He took a few steps forward, pausing so that they were still a fair distance apart. His eyes searched her face for the answer he wanted, and she wasn't even sure if he was seeing what he wanted to see. There was no question of what she wanted- it was Harry. It would always be Harry.

"So can we just skip the whole… awkward… games thing. I know what I want, and it's you. If you don't want that too, then that's okay, but I'd like to know now so I don't act like a git for months on end."

Ginny didn't pause. She was happy to not waste time, to not beat around the bush when it came to him. He was right about everything, and besides it was easier this way. And so she crossed the distance between them and kissed him with as much passion as she could muster as her heart hammered a fast, uneven rhythm in her chest.

She pulled back only to lean her forehead against his. "I don't want to wait around for you either. I've spent years doing that already."

"You'll be my girlfriend again?" He murmured to her, his lips close to her own.

"I think I've always been yours, Harry. Even when you left… I was always…" she paused to swallow the lump in her throat. Thinking about Harry and his search for the Horcruxes wasn't a time she liked to remember. "Waiting for you to come back…"

He kissed her lightly and then took her hand boldly with a confident smile. She smiled back at him and together they left the Quidditch pitch together.

Thinking back on this night had often got Ginny through many long, lonely nights. Harry wasn't overly romantic or even spontaneously romantic, but this moment was so spontaneous, so wonderful, that it kept her confident in the strength of their relationship. That even after a year of being apart, that they could still just move on as if they'd never been separated.

Nothing had changed much after that night. They picked up where they'd left off, though with a much more steady and comfortable pace. It was nice to know that they had time to learn about the other outside of Hogwarts, and outside of the war. While Hermione and Ron carried on as they always did- bickering with adoration in their eyes, Harry and Ginny were quick to fall into their own pattern.

Although, that wasn't to say that tempers didn't get in the way, or that they never got fed up with each other. There had been plenty of fights, plenty of yelling, but there were more good times than the bad.

A knock at the door startled her from her thoughts and she jumped to her feet, her heart already beating too fast, and a smile already on her face. She was just as excited to see him as she was when she fifteen years old. It was ridiculous that she always lit up like this whenever Harry was around, but this time she just didn't care. Harry was here, and she hadn't seen the man in two weeks. To hell with looking foolish when she missed him!

She flung the door open and kissed him before he could even say hello. He chuckled against her mouth and kissed her back with just as much gusto, just as happy to see her as she was for him. The kiss ended and Ginny pulled back, noticing that Harry was actually dripping wet from the storm.

"Harry, you're soaked!" She squeaked, realizing that the front of her robe was now wet.

He nodded and immediately pulled off his shoes. "I'll do a drying spell. It'll be fine."

"I hope you don't get sick," she muttered worriedly, moving aside to admit him so she could close the door on the storm outside.

As soon as he'd hung up his cloak and removed his shoes and socks, he performed a quick drying spell on the rest of him. Once he was relatively dried off, he picked her up again and kissed her hard.

"Blimey, I've missed you," he told her happily between kisses.

"I missed you too," she managed to say.

He set her down and cupped her face in his hands. "These two weeks were ridiculous," he told her sadly. "I'm sorry I've been so busy. I know you've been taking it kind of hard."

Ginny blinked at him in confusion. "Who told you I was taking it hard?"

He looked suddenly guilty at this admission. "Sorry… erm, Hermione told me."

Ginny rolled her eyes, her cheeks pink. She had always made it a general rule to never let Harry know how hard these long-term separations were on her sometimes. She never wanted him to feel guilty for working, especially since he loved what he did.

"I'm fine, Harry, honestly. If I said that, it was probably just a bad day," she replied coolly, hoping to just blow past this.

Harry shrugged with a troubled expression. "Gin, it's been bothering me too. In fact, I've been thinking a lot about it lately."

Ginny rubbed her arms, a prickling feeling in her chest had washed over her, which was mostly just a result of her foolish paranoia eating away at her. She shrugged and pulled him forward, out of the entryway.

"Come on… we can talk about that later. I've missed you! Can I get you some wine?"

"Wine sounds good," he agreed. "But Gin, I think we really do need to talk about that," he added seriously. "This keeps happening…"

Ginny kept her back to him as she lifted too wine glasses off the shelf and grabbed the bottle of red wine from the counter, keeping a poker face when she finally turned around to pour glasses of wine. As she uncorked the bottle, she didn't see Harry subconsciously check his pocket, nor did she notice his uneasy expression as he watched her pour the wine.

This is going to be painful, she thought miserably.

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