Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter! All credit for recognisable characters, themes etc. go to JK Rowling. The only thing I own is the plot.
So sorry this update has taken so long. I had it half written and the rest took a little while to get right. I'll warn now, there IS sexual content in this chapter. It isn't what I would consider graphic and is hopefully done tastefully.
I woke up slowly, squeezing my eyes shut in a futile attempt to go back to sleep, Sighing, I opened my eyes to be greeted with a patchy, green tent wall. I frowned. I didn't have a tent, and why was there an arm around my waist? Then the events of the previous day came flooding back. Being attacked, being rescued…Harry. I rolled over, turning in to face him.
"Harry," I whispered. "Harry."
He groaned softly, pulling me closer and burying his face in my hair.
"Wake up," I told him, trailing my hand down his arm.
"Hmmm," he murmured, lifting his head and cracking his eyes open.
"Good morning," I said. He smiled in reply.
"Good morning." He bent his head to give me a soft kiss. I returned it for a moment before breaking away.
"How's your side?" he asked. I shrugged.
"Its not sore at the moment," I said. I sat up and winced. "On second thoughts." I pulled my shirt off again, flushing a little as I did so. Harry blushed too, his cheeks redder than mine. I knew he was remembering what happened last time I did that. I inspected the wound, Harry following my gaze. It definitely looked better and there were no signs of infection. A couple of spots looked like the skin was knitting together, and it had scabbed over sufficiently to prevent any future bleeding.
Harry pulled himself up and reached around me, digging out the paste again. "Put some more of this on," he said. I did as he told, rubbing it in as best I could without causing too much pain. It must have had something in it that acted as a mild anaesthetic, because the pain was dulled significantly.
I slipped my shirt back on, grimacing a little at the state of it. I'd not had fresh clothes in months either, and the ones I had were filthy and torn, and in the case of my shirt, stained with blood. Just another thing you had to get used to. I looked back at Harry, seeing him staring at me a slight bit of disappointment on his face. I smirked at him and he quickly looked away, his cheeks pink again. Men. Even in times like these they had a one-track mind.
I crawled out of the tent, stretching a little, Harry following behind. Picking up the sword I'd left outside the night before (stupid of me really, leaving weapons in the open wasn't the smartest idea!) I buckled it onto my belt.
"You know how to shoot?" Harry asked.
I gave him a look that said I though he was crazy. "'Course I know how to shoot."
He handed me a quiver of arrows and a recurve bow. "I found these next to a corpse the other day. Figured there was no sense leaving it behind."
I nodded. There was no sense of revulsion at using a dead person's weapons. They were just weapons, a means to an end, a way to stay alive. I slung the quiver over my back and strung the bow, pulling on it experimentally. I smiled in satisfaction. It had a good draw weight to it. Not so heavy I couldn't manage it, but enough to pack a punch so to speak. It'd have a good range.
Pulling an arrow from my quiver, I nocked it. Picking a trunk some 30 feet away, I drew, aimed and released in one smooth movement. The arrow thudded into the tree. It felt good. I'd gotten used to having a bow on me at all times, and if I was honest with myself, I liked it as a weapon more than I had my wand. The extra physical impact was so much more satisfying. Another sign of how times had changed when I found one way of killing more satisfying than another.
Harry was looking at me with a raised eyebrow. I shrugged at him then walked over to collect the arrow. Placing it back in the quiver, I turned back to find Harry packing up the tent. Given that it was really just a sheet of material erected with ropes, it didn't take him long. It rolled up pretty small, enough for him to stuff it in the pack. When he was done, he handed me some more food. I noted with concern that he didn't seem to have much left, and now that he was sharing with me it would disappear twice as fast. But I didn't protest about it. I knew he'd do everything short of physically forcing me to make me eat it.
"Were you headed in any particular direction?" Harry asked.
"Not really," I told him. "I was thinking north. Less people of an unsavoury nature to run into."
"That was my plan," he replied. "Guess that's sorted then."
I got the feeling that he wasn't telling me everything. He had a different reason to go north. He knew something that I didn't. But I didn't press him. Later maybe, but in the mean time I was willing to let it slide. He'd tell me when he was ready, and if not, well, I was sure I could…persuade him to tell me.
We set off, moving quietly through the trees. I had taken it upon myself to learn how to move nearly silently, how to place your feet to avoid dry leaves and twigs. I'd practiced until it became instinctive. I knew it'd saved my life on more than one occasion. It seemed Harry had the same idea, although he wasn't quite as refined as me and being heavier he made more noise on principle.
Every now and then, I would glance upwards at what small bits of the sky I could see, checking to make sure we were still headed north. Neither of us had a compass but like everything else, you learned to adapt. I could navigate and tell the time by the sun, stars and moon.
We'd not been walking for long when Harry broke the silence.
"We need to talk. About us," he said.
I nodded. I loved him and he loved me. But that didn't automatically make us a couple, or in a relationship.
"What do you want us to be?" I asked.
He didn't answer for a moment, and then made up his mind. "I want to be us again. I want…I want to be able to call you mine, have the right to hold you and kiss you. But what do you want?"
I bit my lip. "I want that too but…"
"But?" he pressed softly.
"But I need to know that when the going gets tough, or things get dangerous, that you're not just going to leave me again for some stupid noble reason Harry. I-I couldn't take that a second time. I don't want you to push me away, my safety be damned. I can take care of myself. You know that."
He nodded. "I know Ginny, I do. And I'm sorry, I'm so, so sorry for leaving you like I did. I didn't want to…I shouldn't have."
"But you did," I said softly.
"I did," he agreed. "And it killed me to do it, knowing how much it was hurting you."
"But how can I trust you not to do it again?"
He looked away, not answering. I felt tears prick my eyes and hurriedly blinked them away. Ginny Weasley never cried. I started walking faster, suddenly wishing to be as far away from him as possible. I wove between trunks, not caring if he was keeping up or not.
"Ginny! Ginny wait!" I heard him calling behind me. I walked faster, a few tears trickling down my cheeks, blurring my vision. Harry ran after me; I could hear him crashing through the undergrowth. He grabbed my arm and spun me around, forcing me up against a tree, pressing his body against mine. Somehow in the process, he'd managed to ensnare my other wrist as well, and he held the two in one hand above my head.
My chest heaved, as did his, from exertion, anticipation, who knew. His green eyes bore into mine, an unfathomable expression in them.
"I. Love. You." he said forcefully. "I couldn't leave you again...I need you Ginny. I don't ever want to be apart from you again. The things you do to me..." he trailed off and pushed his hips against mine to prove his point. I gasped as I felt a hard bulge low down on my stomach.
He kissed me hard, his tongue forcing my lips apart. His free hand roamed roughly over my body, trailing along my leg, hitching it up around his hip. I began to kiss him back and lifted my other leg up, wrapping them both around him tightly. He pressed even closer, my back hard against the tree. His hand moved upwards, cupping my breast and kneading it, eliciting a low moan from me.
Kissing my jaw and down my neck, he left a blazing trail behind, nipping none too gently as he went. I tilted my head back, my breath coming in short gasps. I struggled to free a hand to touch him in return but was unable to break the iron hard grip he had on my wrists.
"Harry," I groaned. He returned his lips to mine with even more fervour, nipping my lip and soothing it with a flick of his tongue. He moved his hand to my other breast, giving it equal attention. I moaned into his mouth and my hips jerked into his, pressing his erection against my centre. Harry groaned, rolling his hips. It sent an electric jolt up my spine and I returned the motion, searching for more of that delicious friction. I didn't have to look far as he thrust back with more force.
This time he kept the movement going and I felt the pressure increasing. His mouth dropped from mine to my collarbone as he panted.
"Ginny...god," he moaned, picking up his pace. I was just as desperate as he was, it just felt so good and I wanted more. I returned each thrust of his hips with my own and felt something stir low down. Harry buried his face in my shoulder, biting down on the sensitive tendon. I whimpered slightly from the pain, but it only added to the sensations.
Suddenly I felt something release and the most incredible feeling washed over me. I shuddered, crying out Harry's name. Moments later he did the same, gripping me to him tighter. As we both came down from our highs, he released my wrists and I dropped my legs back to the ground. We were both breathing hard and as my brain began to regain functionality, I blushed bright red. We'd just dry fucked each other against a tree, out in the open in broad daylight.
I looked away, not meeting his eyes.
"Ginny?" he questioned, a gentle hand-the same one that had been ravishing my body moments earlier-pulling my chin so I was forced to face him. "I...that was incredible...are you...?"
"Yeah, yeah it was," I replied softly, aware that my cheeks were still flushed in embarrassment. I didn't regret it, not one bit. Heaven knew sooner rather than later we'd be doing it again, likely without clothes separating us. Suddenly Harry snorted in amusement.
"That wasn't quite what I'd had in mind," he said and I offered a half smile in return.
He ducked his head, slipping his hand into mine. He kissed me gently, keeping it on the surface.
"What I meant to tell you," he said when he pulled back, "Was that no way in hell could I ever make myself leave you again. I thought...I thought I'd lost you forever and it made me think. I promised myself that if I ever found you again, I wouldn't waste a single second. And Ginny," he locked his eyes with me, "I don't intend to. Time is precious, I realise that now. I-"
I cut him off. "I get it Harry, I do. I-thank you." I smiled. Really smiled. He wrapped his arms around me and pulled me close, kissing my hair. We stayed like that for a while. It could have been seconds, minutes, or hours before we finally pulled away from each other.
"We should probably get going," Harry said, sounding reluctant. I knew how he felt. I wanted the moment to last forever. Well...actually...I wanted something else more along the lines of what had happened against the tree, but now was not the time. We did need to keep moving.
We set off again, not talking but just enjoying each other's company. It struck me then, as we walked along, that for just a little while, life was perfect. The sun was shining, we were momentarily safe and I had Harry by my side and he loved me. It didn't get much better than that.
Hours later, the sun had reached the heights of the sky and begun its descent when Harry stopped and yanked me back, forcing me to the ground behind a tree, his body covering mine.
"Bloody hell Harry!" I exclaimed. "You could just ask you know, rather than-"
My words were muffled when he clamped a hand tightly over my mouth, his eyes warning me to stay silent. I glared at him and he removed his hand. Doing as he'd indicated and keeping my mouth shut, I raised an eyebrow. He pressed one finger to his lips before carefully rolling to the side, staying low. He crawled forward, beckoning for me to follow. Finally realising that something was amiss, my brain kicked into high gear, my senses sharpening.
I slithered nearly silently along the ground, my ears finally picking up what Harry must have heard before. Voices, smooth and cultured. The low hum of an engine. Harry paused in front of me, carefully parting some bushes. I crawled up next to him, peering through the foliage. When I saw the origins of the noise, I could have sworn my heart stopped. I sucked in a breath as I studied them. Twelve, heavily armed with machine guns, dressed in military camouflage, clearly from London. They had two cars, mounted with guns and covered with more camouflage and some heavy shielding. They were on a road, one of the few usable ones left, and, I realised, the main road leading north.
I jumped slightly when I heard Harry's voice in my ear. "Let's get out of here," he breathed. I nodded and made to shuffle backwards when something stopped me. I swivelled my head to the north and my eyes widened as I made out the shapes of horses tethered to the trees a little way in. There were about four of them, and I was surprised the soldiers hadn't seen them. Although, they were behind and the soldiers were making something of a racket.
Before I could say anything to Harry, there were some blood curdling cries and men jumped out of the trees, brandishing weapons. Swords, machetes, axes, even a few guns. The two sides began a fierce, bloody battle and gun fire filled my eardrums. Low down as we were, Harry and I were likely safe enough from the bullets, and none seemed to e coming our way, but as I glanced sideways at him, there was an unspoken agreement that we needed to get out of there fast.
We scrambled backwards, not worrying about noise, the fight was making more than enough to cover us. When we were far enough away to risk talking, Harry turned to me, a grin on his face.
"Can you ride?" he asked. He had seen the horses too. I nodded in reply. There was a reason my patronus was a horse. I loved the animals and as a child, had managed to convince my parents to let me have lessons at a nearby stable. We couldn't afford them, so I spent my days helping out in exchange for the rides. Even after I went to Hogwarts, I still went on the holidays.
I knew what Harry intended and I was all for it. Horses would speed our travel hugely and the small sacrifice of stealth was worth it. We skirted around the battle, staying some metres back into the forest. Sneaking up to the horses on the other side so the animals hid us, I quickly studied them. Speed was a necessity, but so was stamina. And a friendly but bold disposition wouldn't go astray either. I selected two geldings, one black and one bay that looked like they would suit our needs. I handed the reins of the bay to Harry and we swung aboard, pushing them forwards away from the fight as quickly as we could without being noticed.
We were lucky, everyone was too caught up in killing each other to see us and once we were far enough away, I signalled my horse into a canter, Harry following suit. I stuck to the road. We could go cross country later, but for now we would make the best time on the road. I turned my head to look at Harry. Obviously he knew what he was doing, sitting calmly in the saddle, his body rocking with the movement of the horse. He didn't have perfect equitation, but he wasn't half bad either.
"Where did you learn to ride?" I asked.
"On the run," he replied. "We needed a quick getaway and, well, the opportunity presented itself. It was a bit hairy to begin with, but Hermione and I got the hang of it pretty quick. Poor Ron though, he never really took to it." I nodded. The thought of Ron riding was somewhat absurd.
"I didn't realise we were so close to the road," I said.
"Neither did I," Harry replied. "But as it turns out, it was a good thing we were."
We rode for a few more hours, until the light began to fade. Harry led us off the road, ducking in the saddle to avoid some low branches. He took a twisted, winding path on the off chance that someone would be able to track us, in the hopes of confusing them. When we were well away from the road, we straightened out, heading on a mostly parallel course. Not long afterward, we stopped in a small clearing. There was some grass for the horses to pick at. I worried briefly that they were going to run off during the night, but decided that they seemed to be reasonable animals who enjoyed human company.
I dismounted, hitting the ground and letting out a slight groan. I wasn't used to spending hours in the saddle anymore. Annoyingly, Harry seemed to be perfectly fine. I sent a glare in his direction which he returned with a smirk and turned my attention to the full saddlebags. I was pleasantly surprised by the first two. They were stuffed to the brim with food; dry fruit, bread, nuts and many other things. Meals wouldn't be an issue for a while, and when I looked over to Harry who was doing the same, I saw that he had found food as well.
The third bag was another lucky find. There were two handguns and some ammunition. the final bag was empty, but I grabbed the guns and walked over to Harry, whose final bags had contained a few maps, a compass and other little things like a torch, batteries and matches. I handed one gun and half the ammunition to him. His face twisted into a grim smile and he tucked the weapon into his belt.
Later that night, after dinner and setting up camp, we lay side by side in the tent.
"We should check your side," Harry said. I'd forgotten all about my wound, what with everything else that had happened. My shirt discarded, Harry shone the torch on the healing the paste had done its job and it hadn't reopened with the exertion of riding. I stretched my arms forward, groaning as it pulled the muscles in my back and shoulders.
"Sore?" Harry asked. I sighed and nodded. "Lie down on your front," he whispered. I complied and soon felt his warm hands on my skin, gently massaging it. I moaned in relief as he worked at the knotted muscles in my neck and back, despite the pain when he pressed a little too hard. He made his way down to my lower back, sending goosebumps racing up my arms.
"Cold?" he whispered. I shook my head. The heat coursing through my body would have driven away the bitter chill of the coldest winter night. He resumed rubbing, heading upwards again until his fingers hit my bra strap. Gently, he undid the clasp, letting it fall to either side of my body. His hands stroked the sides of my breasts with a feather light touch and I sucked in a breath.
"Harry," I breathed, lifting my head.
"Shhh," he replied. I rested my forehead back on the ground and shut my eyes. Harry continued massaging, his movements slowly but surely turning more sensual. I could feel the heat pooling between my legs and was considering begging him to stop teasing me when he rolled me over onto my back.
I squeaked in surprise and my arms flew across my chest, my bra having been left on the ground. Harry looked at me in some amusement and gently pried my hands away, holding them above my head. I squirmed under his scrutiny as he stared at my chest, then he lowered his face to kiss me and all thoughts of being embarrassed flew from my mind. I moaned into his mouth and he released my hands. Immediately they were at the hem of his shirt, tugging it up and over his head. My hands roamed across his back and I could feel the hard muscles he had built up.
Harry propped himself up one elbow, his mouth never leaving mine as he created a small space between our chests which had previously been pressed together; a space he quickly filled with his hand. My back arched towards him a little as he caressed one bare breast lightly, his thumb running over the nipple every now and then. After some time, during which I was incapable of doing anything but kissing him, he switched his attention to the other.
I broke away from him, gasping for breath. I'd never imagined something could feel this wonderful but it did, and I knew this was just the start. Harry was placing hot, open mouthed kisses on my neck, sucking here and nipping there. I knew it'd leave marks but I didn't care. Who was going to see them anyway? My stomach tensed when his hand left my breast and trailed over it, then lingered on the fastening of my pants. He stopped kissing me and looked into my eyes, asking permission. The moonlight was filtering into the tent sufficiently for me to see the slight worry in his eyes and I quickly nodded my assent.
Harry smiled softly and within moments I was completely naked underneath him. I was nervous, my body tensing at the thought of what was coming and he must have sensed this, because he slowed down, returning to just kissing me, one hand in my hair, the other snaking underneath me to press against my back, holding me to him. Slowly I relaxed back into him. He reached down again, his fingers brushing the inside of my thigh, inching higher until he reached his goal.
I moaned as he touched me for the first time. It felt different, but a bloody good different. He began stroking in different ways, trying to find out what worked and what didn't. It wasn't long before he had it figured out and I was writhing and moaning his name. I felt it building up inside me and I urged Harry on, who seemed completely enraptured but what he was doing to me. I cried out for a final time as I reached my release and Harry removed his hand, watching me as I tried to regain my breath and return to earth.
Harry was lying next to me now and as I came fully back to myself and glanced over at him, I could see just how much he was affected. Taking a deep breath, I knelt next to him, my fingers making quick work of his belt and pants. As I went to remove his boxers, his hand shot out and gripped my wrist. Startled, I looked up.
"Are you sure?" he asked. I nodded.
"I'm sure. I want this Harry. Please."
He released my wrist. I knew he wouldn't deny me. Not when it was so obvious that he wanted me too. I pulled his boxers down, Harry lifting his hips to aid me. I hesitated a brief moment before wrapping my hand around him. His hips jerked a little and he groaned. Pleased that I had caused that reaction I moved my hand up and down gently and was rewarded with more of the same. Soon though, he place a hand over mine.
"Stop," he said hoarsely. I looked at him in surprise but let go. He pushed me over onto my back again and hovered over me, nudging my legs apart and settling between them, our most intimate parts coming into contact. "I want..." he said, trailing off but still managing to impart his meaning.
"Do it," I whispered. "Please, I need..."
Gently he slipped inside and soon met resistance. He paused and looked back at me for final confirmation and I nodded. He withdrew a little and thrust back in. I bit my lip, my eyes watering a little. I'd expected the pain, but it still hurt. Harry waited for me, kissing me gently. Eventually when the pain receded a little, I gave him the go ahead. He began to move and soon the pain was gone entirely, replaced by pleasure. The tent filled with gasps and moans, names were uttered and a few choice swear words thrown in.
Finally I felt the upwards climb nearing its peak again and I could tell Harry was there with me. I shuddered as I went over the edge and Harry followed mere seconds later, calling out my name. We lay there together for some time, not moving. Eventually he slid out of me and rolled to the side, wrapping his arms around me. He kissed my neck and I sighed in contentment. I felt sleep taking me and I hastily grabbed the blankets, spreading them over the two of us. That taken care of, I let myself sink into my dreams, snuggling further into the man beside me, drifting off with a smile on my face.