Author's note: Wrote a lot of this on my phone while I was on down time at work. Let me know what you think. The next chapter may be the last, we shall see.

Happy reading!

Chapter Eighteen

"Hey, Harry!" Luna said enthusiastically as she pulled Hermione across the parking lot toward him. "How was your drive?"

He shrugged. "It was all right."

Ron appeared. "Hi, girls. Ginny ready for the game?"

"She says she is." Luna supplied. "She was nervous. This is a big one."

Hermione and Harry stared each other down for several seconds. Luna squeezed her hand and Hermione snapped out of it. She sent a reassuring smile to Luna and kissed her hand.

"Let's get in there and find a seat." Luna suggested. She continued to chatter as they walked up to the ticket booth.

They were able to sit close to the home goal near the sidelines. Luna leaned over the edge of the bleachers and called to Ginny as she and her team warmed up. Ginny smiled and waved at them, but continued with the warm-up. Once they were done, Ginny hurried over to the group waiting to watch her.

"Hey!" She smiled at all of them.

Luna leaned over the edge. "Looking good out there."

Ginny giggled. "I try."

Luna held out her hand and Ginny took it a moment. "We should all get something to eat after the game. I'll need pizza."

Hermione grinned. "For you, most occasions call for pizza."

"And that's a bad thing?" Ginny winked at Hermione and kissed Luna's hand. "Enjoy the game."

She ran off to join her team once more.

Luna and Ron began talking. Apparently he had started reading her magazine (at Ginny's urging) and found it very interesting. Luna switched places with Hermione so he could sit even closer to the boy.

"Ever experience anything you couldn't explain in your line of work?" She asked anxiously, remembering he and Harry had just completed police academy training a few months before.

"I had a dog attack last week. But it was kind of weird..."

The game started, so he didn't get a chance to explain right away. Luna made a mental note to ask about it later.

Everyone in their group cheered for Ginny, but no one louder than Luna, it seemed. She stood on her feet and screamed her head off at a referee for a bad call. Hermione attempted to pull her down, but it was no use. And eventually Ron joined in.

Harry and Hermione shared a reluctant look of apology. And then ignored each other for the rest of the game.

It was a loss in the end. And a dismal one at that. Ginny met them in the parking lot and threw her bag into the backseat of Luna's car. She let out a string of curses and then wrapped her arms around Hermione, melting into her waiting chest.

"You were good out there." Hermione mumbled in her ear.

"No, I sucked." Ginny protested.

"The ref sucked." Luna said. "He couldn't tell the difference between the ball and his own ass."

"Babe." Hermione warned.

Ginny sighed and stepped away. "There's a party later for the team. I'm going to need to drown this defeat in booze. If you guys are up for it." She smiled kindly at Harry. "Thank you for coming to see your girlfriend get her ass kicked."

He looked between the other girls. His voice was a little harsh when he spoke. "You were great. Everyone was. The other team was good, too, is all. It was a good game, Ginny."

She stepped closer to him. "Hey, don't be upset. I just don't want to broadcast here in the open."

"You're all over them." He hissed.

"Because I'm always all over them." She looked down. "I just want to go home." She threw herself into Luna's car and slammed the door shut. She sat with arms crossed as she waited.

Luna whispered to Hermione, "Let them come home to hang out for a while."

"You're sure?" Hermione asked.

Luna nodded. "She'll appreciate it."

Hermione tucked a piece of Luna's hair behind her ear. She asked the guys, "Would you like to come hang out for a while at our place. We'll order pizza and try to cheer her up."

"Sure." Ron said, looking to Harry. "Right?"

"Yeah, sounds good."

So they headed to the house. Thankfully there was less post-game traffic after waiting for Ginny.

Luna pulled Ginny onto the couch. Harry took a seat on the other side. He looked at her a moment and then draped his arm over her shoulders. She sent a smile his way. They heard Hermione mumble a curse.

"Hey." Luna said.

Hermione looked toward her. "What?"

"Not right now."

They fell into an uncomfortable silence as Hermione and Harry exchanged nasty looks.

Luna cleared her throat. "So you haven't mentioned to your teammates about Harry, have you?"

Ginny bit her lip and shook her head.

Luna stole a kiss, as she usually tried to do every time that lip caught between Ginny's teeth.

Ginny giggled and rested her head against Luna's. "I only told them about the two of you a few months ago. Most of them are just now accepting it. If I tell them I'm dating Harry now, too, a lot of them will just accuse me of being addicted to sex."

"That's not an entirely bad thing." Luna pointed out.

Ginny chuckled. "Except you're the actual sex addict."

"It's just a very healthy appetite, not an addiction."

Ron cleared his throat. "Can we not talk about sex and my baby sister?"

Ginny gave him an apologetic look. She looked around the room. "I'm glad you all came, even though we were crushed."

"It was a really good game." Harry moved closer. "You looked great out there."

She smiled and leaned into him.

Hermione stood and left the room.

"What's her problem?" Harry asked. He didn't sound very kind.

"She's having a bad day." Luna stood and went to comfort her.

"He's all over her." Hermione said when Luna asked her what was wrong.

"I'm all over her, too." Luna grinned. "You could have sat beside her. You chose to sit in a different chair. You must have known he would sit there."

Hermione sighed. "I guess I'm still not over what happened. I want to be okay."

"So be okay. He likes her. And she still loves him. So let them figure it out without you getting all pissy about it."

"He doesn't even like me, Lu. Why should I allow him space to get in with our girlfriend when he doesn't like me, much less this entire situation? He wants her all to himself."

"And if she decides she wants just him, we have to respect her wishes."

"Doesn't mean I have to like it." She took Luna's face gently between her hands. "I need to get out of here."

"There's that party."

"I'm not in a party mood." She pressed a kiss to Luna's lips. "Let's go down to the beach. Watch the sunset and lay under the stars. Look at the constellations."

"That's a date for Ginny." Luna stroked a hand up and down Hermione's side.

"I don't think I can be around Harry."

"And what about Ron? He seems like a nice guy."

Hermione sighed. "Maybe we can all go to the beach."

"You sure?"

"Yeah. We'll pick up food on the way." She took Luna's hand and led her back into the living room. She told them her plan and Ginny perked up a little more.

"Yes!" Ginny said. "Let's do it. Sounds better than that party already. We can get a couple bottles of wine, maybe?"

"I'll get some blankets to stretch out for the picnic." Luna said. She giggled and hurried out of the room.

Luna pushed Hermione back on the ground and rested her head on her girlfriend's chest. "Point out the ones we can see." She requested.

Hermione obliged, first pointing out the North Star and the two constellations connected. They'd done this many times before and Luna really did know most of them, but she enjoyed Hermione's soft explanation and semi-lecture.

Ginny lay close, her head resting against Hermione's. She knew all these, too. Her hand found the other girl's in the darkness. And then Harry's slipped into the other. She stiffened as she considered Hermione on the other side, but let it slide. She was right where she needed to be.

After a while, she dozed off and was later shaken awake by a gruff hand. She squinted her eyes in the darkness and saw her brother. And then she heard the argument between Harry and Hermione.

"I didn't pull her toward me, she rolled into me." Hermione was saying. "I'm familiar."

"I've known her most of her life." Harry shot back.

"Doesn't matter. She's been dating us over a year."

Harry scoffed. "We were together for nearly three."

"In high school. And then she told you she thought she was bi and you dropped her like she meant nothing to you."

"Didn't she tell you that I was going through a tough time then? I'd just lost my godfathers. The only people I had left that were close to actual family?"

"That's still no excuse!" Hermione shot back. "She needed you. She was scared and confused and you left her to deal with that all on her own."

"Hey!" Ginny cut in. "That's enough. No more of this. You two have to get along."

Harry stared Hermione down for a few more seconds. "No, we don't." He stalked off back toward the car.

"Maybe if you're laying between the two of us and you fall asleep, you should make sure you roll towards him." Hermione snapped.

Ginny gave her a pleading look. "Hermione, please try harder."

"I'm putting in an effort." She had to work hard to control her voice. "I don't know how much longer I can, though."

"Is that an ultimatum?" Ginny challenged.

Hermione's face softened. "No, it's not. But if you want to be with him, you can go out with him on your own or with Luna. I will find other things to occupy my time. We just don't click." She walked off toward the edge of the water and let it lick her bare toes. She shivered and Ginny resisted the urge to just get lost in her. She needed to speak with Harry.

"Why don't you like her?" She said without preamble.

He shrugged.

"That's not an excuse."

"You love her more than me."

"This isn't about who I love more." Ginny said, stepping closer. "Hermione knows what to do and say to make me feel better. She's like a mother hen, always making sure I don't take a loss or a bad grade too hard. Even though she gets down on herself worse for anything less than perfect." Ginny shook her head. "She's ridiculous. And that's why I love her."

"And Luna?"

"She's passionate. And she believes in people easily. And even when she fails at something, she always puts on a smile and thinks about the good outcomes."

"And me?" He asked nervously.

"You're home, Harry. You're comfort. You knew me when I was Ron's bratty sister and still somehow saw me as more when we were older."

He took a deep breath. "Ginny, I love you. And I think I always will."


He looked past her and Ginny followed his gaze. Luna and Hermione stood with arms around each other. They looked so perfect like that. Ginny longed to join them. Maybe that was what Harry was getting at.

"You do love them more." He held up a hand when she started to protest. "You do. And it was stupid for us to try." He gently took her face in his hands and pressed a soft kiss to her lips.

She put her hands on top of his. "Are you breaking up with me?"

"I am." He took a deep breath and let it out. "I feel strangely lighter."

She smiled and wrapped her arms around him. "Let's still be friends. Can we do that?"

"We sure will try." He kissed the top of her head and stepped out of her embrace.

"We'll get you guys back to your car." She trotted back down to the beach. She hugged Ron where he stood awkwardly staring off to the dark horizon. "Sorry."

He shrugged. "I'm used to being third wheel."

She laughed. "You're fifth wheel in this case."

He laughed along with her.

"Help pack up, will you? I need to go talk to my girls." She walked the rest of the way to where her girlfriends still stood wrapped together. She slipped her arm around Hermione's waist.

"We broke up." Hermione and Luna both hugged her. She was embraced in their warmth and comfort. She let out a long breath. "I'm sorry you and he never clicked."

"We didn't have much time to work it out."

"No, you didn't. But it's good that we ended it before it tore us apart. I know there's only so much cajoling I could have done to ease you two. And Lu would only have been neutral for so long before she'd choose a side."

"We love you." Luna said. "We only want what's best for you."

"Agreed." Hermione kissed them both and then went about helping Ron to fold blankets and pick up trash.