Broken Hearts – Broken Dreams

Chapter 13

Ginny stirred slightly as awareness slowly crept its way into her brain and she sighed contentedly as she snuggled into Harry's warm body. She gave a soft smile as she felt the steady rise and fall of his chest and heard the slow, steady beat of his heart.

It was times like this that she enjoyed the most. Yes, the sex was amazing but deep down it didn't compare with just laying with him, feeling his warmth, hearing his heart beat, it gave her such a sense of peace and a feeling of a deep connection that surpassed everything else.

She smiled when he stirred slightly, snuggling into her a little tighter before he settled back down, never waking.

Ginny couldn't help but think about what they had discussed about ending the war. The thing that worried her was that it was pretty much an all or nothing operation.

Yes, there was the possibility that if Riddle thought he was losing that he might try to escape, but hopefully with some of the most powerful witches and wizards in the world that they'd be able to set up anti-apparation and anti-portkey wards. If they could contain Riddle and his followers to prevent them getting beyond the wards they could possibly finish things once and for all.

Of course their main priority would be Riddle, after that the others would be the icing on the cake. Sure it would be unfortunate for any of his Lieutenants to get away but better them than Riddle himself.

Hopefully they'd have enough competent help to prevent them from getting away as they'd be the next priority with Riddle's minions last of all.

Her thoughts turned to the meeting that they'd be having later that day with Albus he-has-a-lot-to-answer-for Dumbledore. The more she had learned about what he had done concerning Harry, the more she wanted to hex the man into oblivion.

Not that she'd act on that impulse before they confronted Riddle, but if he survived and Harry was victorious, she was going to take out her wrath on the old fool.

She was shaken out of her thoughts by Harry moving and as she glanced at him, she saw his eyes flutter open.

She smiled when she saw the smile that appeared on his face the moment his eyes fell on her.

Harry leaned over and gave her a tender kiss. "Good morning, Love," he murmured happily.

"Good morning to you too," Ginny sighed, loving how affectionate Harry was.

She was surprised when he didn't get out of bed but just pulled her tighter into his side, sighing contentedly.

Ginny nuzzled her face into the crook of his neck, breathing in deeply, loving his scent. It filled her with such a sense of peace and contentment and she wished that they could stay there all day even though she knew that was impossible.

After lounging together, sharing tender kisses and caresses, they both reluctantly rose and headed to the kitchen area to make breakfast.

They smiled at one another as they worked seamlessly and without hardly talking to throw the meal together.

Ginny smiled when Hedwig joined them, seeing how happy Harry was as he fed his familiar some of his bacon. She swore that they could communicate on some level beyond what was normal for a wizard or witch with their familiar.

As they ate their breakfast, Harry got a contrite look on his face. "I'm sorry I was such a . . ." he started but then hesitated, looking for just the right word.

"A berk . . . ah git, . . .prat, . . . pillock, . . . plonker, ah tosser," Ginny suggested helpfully, an innocent smile on her face with Harry wincing as she said each one.

"Yeah, something like that," Harry replied, a small smile on his face.

"Harry, you don't need to apologize, not really. I understand what you were trying to do but you've got to realize I'm just not going to let you do that," she explained patiently. "I love you too much to just let you go off on our own. We're a team, now and always."

"I know. I've finally figured that out and though I wish I could hide you away and keep you safe, I know I can't do that, not if I truly love you," he replied somewhat hesitantly, almost apologetically.

"I know it's difficult for you, you prat," Ginny laughed softly. "I get it, it's part of who you are but you've got to accept that I'm just as stubborn as you are."

Harry smirked, trying hard to keep from laughing. "As stubborn?" he asked rhetorically.

Ginny growled lowly, rolling her eyes but the corners of her mouth were curling and twitching as she fought to keep from smiling, knowing what he was implying. If she was being honest with herself, she knew he was right, she was way more stubborn than he was, especially when it was important, like him wanting to leave her behind to protect her. That just wasn't going to happen, no how, no way.

She saw him smile at her in acceptance. While he wasn't really happy about it, he knew he couldn't change it.

He rose and came over to her, kneeling beside her. He wrapped his arms around her and kissed her deeply.

To Ginny, the kissed seemed to last an eternity and be over in an instant at the same time. She hoped and prayed that they'd have many more years of sharing such kisses.

After breakfast they took a walk just to enjoy the fine weather. It was a little cool but with the sun shining brightly, they were quite comfortable.

They strolled in silence to begin with, each enjoying just being together in such a peaceful setting.

As it came closer to the time they'd need to leave and meet with Dumbledore, they went over what they had discussed previously, both wanting to make sure they had everything straight in their minds.

They trusted each other to make sure they both would help keep each of them on focus and not get side tracked by incidentals nor any personal feelings that they had with the Headmaster.

Harry knew that as much as he detested the way Dumbledore had treated him, it was really Ginny that needed to be watched as she was way more angry with the man for Harry's childhood than he was himself.

He noticed Ginny glancing at him with a small grin. "Don't worry, I promise not to hex him," she chuckled knowingly.

Harry had just sighed in relief when Ginny added, "At least until after we've dealt with Tom, then I'm going to make sure he knows just how angry I am."

He couldn't help himself as he burst into laughter. "Godric, I love you," he said as he wrapped his arms around her.

Ginny felt her heart flutter, no matter how many times he said it, every time he did, it filled her with such a feeling of warmth and took her breath away.

"I love you too," she murmured, trying to pour all of what she felt into those few simple words.

Harry hugged her tightly, "I know, something that continues to amaze me," he stated reverently.

Ginny gave a small huff of frustration, even though they'd been together for some time, he still had trouble accepting that he was worth being loved and she added his relatives to the list of people who were going to see the business end of her wand once they'd taken care of the Dork Lord as she'd taken to call him on occasion.

They returned to the cot and donned their robes, preparing to leave for their meeting with Dumbledore.

Harry paused, looking at Ginny with a wistful, almost haunted look. She could tell he was thinking about the things they had talked about of what their life would be like once Riddle was gone.

She felt her insides clench, wanting it just as much as he did and she had to push down the thought that he might not survive. That was the thought that haunted her days and especially her nights; it was her greatest fear.

They gave each other small smiles and at Harry's nod, they stepped into the shadows, appearing in Hogsmeade, where they made their way to the Three Broomsticks.

Ginny was glad she was wearing the cloak because it hid her reaction to Madam Rosmerta's reaction to Harry requesting a private parlour for a short time. She knew how he appeared and sounded while wearing the cloak.

Fortunately Madam Rosmerta recovered quickly and led them to one of the small private parlours that the Pub had to offer.

Harry informed her that they were expecting Dumbledore and to please lead him there as soon as he arrived. He also ordered some drinks and a light lunch to be delivered at the same time.

Rosmerta looked surprised that they were expecting such revered company but she assured them that she'd send the Headmaster back as soon as he arrived.

As soon as she left, they set about setting up a number of strong privacy wards to make sure their conversation wouldn't be over heard.

Ginny added a proximity alarm, something that took Harry by surprise and he was doubly so when she sat down in his lap, kissing him soundly.

Though surprised, Harry threw himself into kissing Ginny back, after all it was one of the things he enjoyed most in all the world.

Conscious of the fact that they'd soon be having company, they kept things well under control and had enough time to separate and Ginny take her own seat when the proximity alarm went off.

A couple of moments later Madam Rosmerta lead Dumbledore through the door, carrying a tray and floating another in front of her. She placed everything on the table before leaving the three of them alone.

Dumbledore eyed the pair sitting at the table as he took his seat, trying to see if anything hinted at who they were but he came up with nothing. He didn't even attempt to draw his wand to cast any spells. He wasn't sure it would do any good if he did so and he knew he'd probably be in big trouble too.

"Good afternoon," he stated pleasantly, hoping that as their meeting went on he might learn with whom he was talking.

The only response he received was that both people inclined their heads to him in acknowledgement.

Once seated a male voice stated, "Please, tuck in," coming from the person on the right.

Dumbledore did find it a little disconcerting that he couldn't see the mouth moving when the person spoke but he'd dealt with stranger things and didn't let anything show.

He was further disappointed when neither of his dinning companions lowered their hoods while they ate. Once more finding it rather strange when what they were eating disappeared as it passed the edges of their cloaks.

After they had been eating for a couple of minutes, long enough to take the edge off their hunger, Harry spoke up. "I guess you're wondering why I requested this meeting," he stated.

"I will admit you've piqued my curiosity," Dumbledore replied amicably, giving that fake grandfatherly smile that infuriated the raven-haired young man.

"We plan on drawing out Voldemort in the next couple of days to finish this war once and for all. We would appreciate your help in gathering together as many of the light side as possible to assist in the endeavour," Harry explained.

Ginny really wished she'd had thought to bring a camera so that the look of utter shock on the old wizard's face could have been recorded for posterity.

Dumbledore sat there doing a great impression of a fish out of water for several long moments before he recovered his ability to speak.

"And how do you expect to do that?" Dumbledore finally asked, still looking shocked as his mind worked furiously. He had been assessing the man seated before him, trying to figure out if it was Harry but he didn't think so.

The man's mannerisms were nothing like he remembered of the way Harry had acted and even thought quite a bit of time had passed since he'd seen the boy, he couldn't see him having changed so completely, sure that there would have been some residual mannerisms remaining.

"I plan to offer him that what he wants the most," Harry replied evenly.

"And just what might that be, . . ." Dumbledore asked, searching for what to call his host.

"You may call me Traveller," Harry replied, "And what he wants the most is Harry Potter."

"You would offer up the life of a boy?" Dumbledore asked looking aghast at the thought.

"Offer, yes, but you must think very little of me if you think I'd actually do so," Harry replied, sounding disappointed.

"Do you know where Harry is?" Dumbledore inquired eagerly.

"I know where to find Mr Potter," Harry replied with an edge to his voice.

"Where does your companion, ah . . . fall into all this?" he asked, staring at Ginny.

"You may call me Mrs Traveller," Ginny replied, smirking behind her hood. "And I support my husband one hundred percent."

Dumbledore rocked back in his chair, his mind once more trying desperately to figure out if this Mrs Traveller could be Ginny Weasley.

Nothing he could think of would have allowed someone so young to marry and he couldn't see how she could be the missing Gryffindor. She too was acting totally different that he remembered Miss Weasley acting and added to that was the amount of power he could feel emanating from the young woman.

"You say you're planning on luring Voldemort out of hiding by offering him what he wants most, where do you plan on doing that?" he asked curiously.

"That is the question, isn't it?" Harry replied evenly.

"If I might make a suggestion," Dumbledore offered with a benign smile.

Harry inclined his head at the Headmaster.

"How about the grounds of Hogwarts?" Dumbledore proposed with a small smile, hoping to be able to control the confrontation.

"Are you mad?" Harry snapped irritably. "Why in the world would you want that monster anywhere near a school filled with children?" he asked vehemently.

Dumbledore was taken by surprise with Traveller's reaction. To be truthful, he hadn't taken the children into consideration at all. "There are resources available there that would be helpful," he replied, trying to justify his suggestion.

"I don't care what resources are available at Hogwarts, none are worth the loss of even one student's life," Traveller snapped disgustedly.

"While the loss of a student's life would be regrettable, sometimes sacrifices must be made for the greater good," Dumbledore responded with indifference.

It was only Ginny's restraining hand that kept Harry from hexing the man into oblivion. It took a moment but then he relaxed and gave her a nod. While he still wanted to make the Headmaster pay, he knew right then wasn't the time.

"I find that totally unacceptable," Traveller growled.

"If you have a suitable alternative, I'd be willing to listen," Dumbledore stated a bit smugly, thinking that Traveller probably didn't have a viable alternative.

Harry began to think furiously, his mind going over the information he had gathered about places in Scotland that would be suitable and be known to most everyone or at least easy for them to find. It needed to be reasonably far from most Muggle towns and fairly secluded.

He smiled as he recalled a place he thought would be perfect.

"Dupplin Moor Battlefield," he stated with satisfaction.

"Dupplin Moor Battlefield?" Dumbledore asked in surprise.

"Yes, it's fairly secluded and has an expanse of open ground," Harry informed the man. "The only thing close by is a Muggle farm but it is far enough away that it shouldn't be a problem."

Dumbledore gave a small acquiescing shrug, feeling that there was no way he was going to be able to change Traveller's mind.

"All right, when are you going to set this up for and what time?" he asked in resignation.

"This Saturday at 10 am," Harry replied succinctly.

"I will assemble as many of the Light side fighters as I can and meet you there," Dumbledore sighed.

"Very good. All you and the others need to do is keep Tom's minions from interfering and we'll take care of their master," Harry stated with surety, glancing at Ginny.

Though her face was invisible to Dumbledore due to her cloak, Harry could see her reassuring smile and her happiness because he wasn't going to try and keep her from his side when he fought Tom.

While they were projecting a supreme confidence, they both knew that they were going to be in for the fight of their lives without any guarantee of victory but they would do so together.

Harry had had enough and needed to get as far away from Dumbledore as possible or he really would hurt the man.

"If there is nothing else, then we need to be going," Harry announced as he rose.

Ginny was instantly on her feet by his side.

Dumbledore tried to hide his disappointment as he had hoped to learn more from the enigmatic Traveller and his wife.

Harry and Ginny left quickly, wanting to get as far from Dumbledore as possible so they wouldn't be tempted to hex the man into oblivion. They made a short stop to pay Rosmerta and were out the door before Dumbledore had made his way out of the private parlour.

As soon as they had left the pub, Harry pulled Ginny into his side and he stepped into the nearest shadow. An instant later they appeared on the porch of the cot.

Without a word Harry let go of Ginny and headed for the pool, shedding his clothes as he went.

Ginny sighed with a small smile and headed inside to get some towels and their dressing gowns before she went to join him.

By the time she had arrived at the pool and began to undress, Harry's head appeared from under the water.

Ginny smiled at how much calmer he was. While they hadn't tainted themselves in battle, Ginny knew that by using the cleansing pool, Harry was able to dispel his anger and find peace once again.

She grinned when Harry's eyes met hers and he smiled at her. "Sorry for running off like that," he stated apologetically.

"You have nothing to apologize for," she remarked as she stepped down into the pool to join him.

Like Harry had done, the first thing Ginny did was immerse herself in the cold, clean water, letting the serenity of the place fill her.

After several long moments, she surfaced and let out a deep contented sigh. Once more she felt at one with the world and she revelled in it.

Her eyes were still closed and she smiled when she felt Harry caress her cheek. Though to some it would have appeared to be a simple gesture, Ginny could feel Harry's love flowing into her.

She leaned into his hand, soaking in his warmth just as she had soaked in the serenity of the pool.

He stepped closer and wrapped his arms around her, kissing her deeply, adding to the feelings of peace and serenity but also filling her with his love. "I love you," he breathed softly as he broke the kiss.

"I know and I love you too," Ginny replied just as softly.

Harry picked Ginny up and carried her to the cot. Once inside he lay her down on the bed with her.

All the way into the cot, Ginny kept her arms wrapped around Harry's neck, cuddling into his chest. Though the air was cool, neither felt it as their bodies provided enough heat to warm one another.

As they lay together their passion rose and while neither wanted to think about it, the fact that in less than a day and a half they would be confronting Riddle. Both knew deep down that either one or both of them could be seriously injured or killed.

While their passion rose like a rocket, their coupling was slow and languid. Each taking the time to pleasure the other and also savour what they were experiencing.

Time seemed to slow or maybe stop all together as they made love and it wasn't until the soft light of dawn began to filter through the windows that they finally fell asleep in one another's arms.

With staying up so late, or early as the case really was, they slept past noon and didn't wake till after one.

They made a simple lunch of roast beast stew and fresh bread and spent the rest of the day simply enjoying each other's company, sitting outside snuggled together or walking through the woods hand-in-hand.

It was a time of silently telling each other how much they loved one another and no matter what came, they would face it together.

As the afternoon wore on, Ginny could see a sense of peace settle over Harry. He was more relaxed than she had ever seen him and his look when he gazed at her was filled with more love than she thought possible.

She smiled when they prepared dinner together. It was a time of happiness with them gently teasing one another, along with bumping hips, gently touches and tender kisses.

Dinner was also filled with loving glances, gentle caresses and just being together. To Ginny it was the best time they had ever spent together.

Afterwards they headed outside and sat by the fire Harry made until it was quite late. They headed inside and striped before getting into bed where they made love.

At first Ginny was worried that Harry was preparing her for his death but as things went on all she could feel was his love for her. There was never any indication that he was contemplating failure.

It was well after midnight when she finally fell asleep, her head on his chest as she listened to the soft sound of his beating heart, with his arm wrapped loving around her. Both were totally at peace and they drifted off to sleep.

Morning came much too early and though they hadn't had much sleep, both of them felt energized and eager to get on with the day, Yes there was some nervousness but they didn't let that deter them. One way or another the matter would be settled, at least for them. Both knew that they would never surrender and would fight to their last breath if need be.

After a quick, light breakfast, Harry sighed and giving Ginny a loving look, he headed outside and toward the cleansing pond. Once there, he striped down and slowly walked into the cold clear water.

Ginny smiled lovingly and quickly joined him, sensing the need like he did to cleanse their souls a much as possible before the battle. Plus she knew it would fill them with a sense of peace, something they would need shortly.

When she immersed herself in the water, she could feel Harry's presence like never before. There was such a sense of peace but also of resolve that it filled her with awe.

While they didn't linger, they didn't hurry either. Time seemed inconsequential, almost as if the had stepped outside of its existence.

Then that feeling fled and they rose as one, making their way up the stairs and back into the real world where they dressed unhurriedly.

They donned their cloaks and after an intense hug and kiss, they shadow walked away, appearing instantly at Dupplin Moor Battlefield. Harry smiled as he looked around.

The field was a trapezoid, having none of the four sides being parallel. On the East side was a huge woods, to the north was a large cultivated field. The western border, which ran from the Northwest down toward the South-east at a shallow angle, blocked the view from the Muggle farm that lay a short way in that direction. It was composed of a line of trees and some scrub. The Southern border was a fence line that separated another long narrow field from the one they were in. Which was a sheep pasture that was totally enclosed by a stout fence that was abut four feet high.

There were a few trees in the pasture, fairly centred East to West but in the Southern section, North to South. While they were quite large, they were to sparse to offer much cover.

Ginny grinned when Harry walked around the field, shepherding the sheep into the North-west corner and then casting several wards to keep them there out of the way.

He quickly returned to Ginny's side, taking her into a loose embrace.

"Now we wait," he whispered softly.

Ginny nodded and laid her head on his shoulder, closing her eyes and letting the serenity of their surroundings fill her. She knew that soon enough there would be spells flying, bringing death and destruction but for now, all she wanted to do was snuggle into Harry, the love of her life, silently praying that both of them would survive the coming battle.

It was several minutes later when the sound of a large number of people Apparating was heard by the couple. Harry barely raised his eyes and saw it was Dumbledore and the people he had collected to come with him.

The majority were Aurors and the remainder were members of The Order of the Phoenix, numbering somewhere between fifty and seventy-five people.

Harry basically ignored them and turned his attention back to the warm, wonderful witch in his arms.

He rolled his eyes when a few moments later when Dumbledore approached them, followed by several others, mainly Order of the Phoenix members though Kingsley Shacklebolt and Madam Amelia Bones were there along with a couple other ministry employees.

Seeing Traveller with his arms wrapped around Mrs Traveller, Albus nervously cleared his throat before speaking. "Um, excuse me, Traveller," he said hesitantly.

It took all they had for Harry and Ginny not to laugh and after Harry took a calming breath, he asked, "What is it Dumbledore?"

Ginny had to bury her face in Harry's shoulder to keep from laughing out loud as she saw the outraged look on McGonagall's face. While she wasn't the only one, hers was the most comical.

"Really, you should show more respect for the Headmaster," she chided indignantly.

Harry spun and stared intensely at her and while his face was shrouded behind his cloak's concealment charms, she could feel his displeasure.

"Respect is earned and your Headmaster has done nothing for me to earn it, quite the opposite truthfully," Harry snapped in reply.

McGonagall was literally rocked back on her heels by the vehemence she heard in Traveller's voice and she wondered what was the underlying cause.

Behind the Transfiguration Mistress, those close enough to hear grumbled unhappily at what they heard, both the way he spoke to McGonagall and what he had said about the Headmaster.

Dumbledore glared at his followers, not wanting to upset Traveller as it was his show, so to speak.

He turned his attention back to Traveller. "Were you able to entice Voldemort to come?" he asked with a saccharine smile.

"He'll be here," Harry replied coolly.

Harry cocked his head and grinned, "In fact, you'd better have everyone move to this side of the field," he cautioned.

Dumbledore frowned slightly as he motioned to everyone to move toward the Eastern side of the field.

No sooner had everyone cleared the centre of the field when there was the loud sound of a large group of people Apparating and Voldemort and his minions appeared.

It was obvious to the fighters who had just moved that they would have been right in the midst of the Death Eaters if they had remained where they were.

Harry noticed Voldemort eye Dumbledore for several moments before his eyes began to search the assembled fighters for the Light.

"Hello Tom," he said lightly.

Riddle's eyes immediately snapped to him and he frowned angrily. ""He doesn't exist any more. I've grown well past that person," he sneered.

"Tom, Tom, Tom," Harry drawled. "Even though you don't want to admit it you still have more of that insecure young boy in you than know."

"Enough of this," Tom retorted angrily. "I take it you're the one called Traveller."

Harry inclined his head in acknowledgement.

"Where's Potter? You promised me that he'd be here," Riddle remarked with a sneer.

"He's here even if you can't see him," Harry smirked.

Unseen by the others, Ginny was casting anti-apparation wards and once they were in place she tapped Harry on the shoulder.

"So he's such a coward he can't even show himself," Riddle sneered.

"No Tom, I'm right here," Harry replied as he lowered his hood.

Harry wasn't sure which one was more surprised, Riddle or Dumbledore, both had rather comical looks of shock on their faces, so much so that he heard Ginny giggling behind him.

Riddle's look quickly changed to one of pure loathing. "Enough of this. It's time to end this once and for all," he snapped angrily.

"For once we agree on something," Harry chuckled, further inflaming Riddle.

Without warning, Riddle brought his wand to bear and fired off a spell. Harry wasn't sure what it was but he was surprised it wasn't the killing curse.

Harry deftly side-stepped the curse and returned fire, catching Riddle by surprise.

The Dark Lord had to hastily erect a shield to keep from being struck by Harry's spell.

As soon as they had cast their spells, everyone else followed suit and in an instant deadly coloured lights were flying back and across the field.

While Harry manoeuvred he noticed Ginny in combat with Bellatrix. He couldn't help but smile as he saw the shocked look on the evil witch's face at how well Ginny was doing. He then had to turn his attention back to Riddle so that he wouldn't be taken by surprise.

In the first five minutes fully half of the combatants were either killed or incapacitated, with the casualties being about even for both groups.

Those remaining seemed to be the more capable combatants and were proving much harder to subdue. Even so, slowly the number of combatants dwindled.

Bellatrix's smugness was slowly giving way to concern as it became obvious that she was being beaten and what was really troubling was the fact the the petite red-head seemed to be doing it with relative ease.

The semi-crazed Death Eater had arrogantly assumed that there wasn't anyone who could out match her using a wand other than her Lord. It was becoming increasingly obvious that wasn't the case.

That's not to say that Ginny wasn't fighting furiously and expending prodigious amounts of magical energy as she fought. It was just that it was plain to see that she was the more skilled duellist.

While Bellatrix had a slight edge in power, it was minimal and Ginny was much faster and more nimble, something that became more evident as the fight wore on.

Finally the deranged Death Eater made a fatal mistake, one that Ginny pounced on and in a moment, Bellatrix lay dead.

While Ginny faced off with Bellatrix, Harry kept his focus on Riddle. While Tom was using a much wider array of spells, most being quite dark, Harry matched him using much Lighter spells of equal strength.

Those who were close enough noticed as Voldemort became increasingly frustrated as he failed to subdue his opponent.

Early on the Dark Lord had eschewed using the Killing Curse as it took slightly longer to cast and was quite draining both physically and magically. That's not to say the curses he fired off were any less lethal.

Just when it appeared that Riddle would be overcome, he cast a spell that no one recognized. There was a huge explosion and a blinding flash of light and when the smoke and debris cleared enough to see, it was to find Harry struggling to regain his feet.

Voldemort let loose a maniacal laugh as he loomed over The-Boy-Who-Lived. "You didn't really think you could kill me," he taunted as brought his wand to bear.

Dumbledore looked on in shock and despair. While he had a fairly straight shot at Voldemort he was much to far for his spell to arrive in time to save Harry and he hung his head, afraid for the young man's life.

Ginny watched as the dust and debris settled and her eyes widened as she saw Riddle standing over Harry.

She smiled maliciously as the Foul Lord was standing with his back to her. Gather her anger along with her magic, she raised her hand and soundlessly cast a Bludgeoning Spell.

Voldemort sneered as he raised his wand, pointing it directly at Harry's heart. "Avada . . ." he started.

Ginny watched in satisfaction as her spell caught Tom in the centre of his back and he cried out in shock and pain as his spine was severed and he crumpled to the ground screaming in agony. His wand flew from his hand and he found his legs would no longer respond.

Ginny walked calmly over to where Harry was and helped him to his feet.

"Okay, Love?" she asked softly, searching his eyes after giving him a quick look over.

"I'm fine now," Harry replied, pausing to give her a quick kiss.

Ginny turned her attention to Tom, giving him a look of disgust. "Finish this so we can go home," she stated fervently.

Harry stared down at Tom dispassionately and took a deep calming breath.

Voldemort had turned over and was desperately trying to crawl to his wand, an exceedingly hard task without the use of his legs.

Harry walked over and stepped on Voldemort's wand, snapping it in two. "Do you yield?" he snapped.

Tom looked up into Harry's eyes, his own burning with hatred. "Never, I am Lord Voldemort, the most powerful wizard alive."

Harry shook his head, his eyes filed with sadness. "Such a waste," he murmured.

Taking a deep breath, he reached out with one hand. "Duro," he whispered.

Voldemort's eyes widened in shock as Harry's spell struck, turning his torso to stone. He gasped a couple of times, trying desperately to breath but it was futile and after a moment his head fell back as he died.

Ginny wrapped her arms around Harry, letting her love flow into him. She knew he hated taking anyone's life, even that of Tom Riddle.

"It needed to be done," she whispered as she held him tightly.

"I know," he whispered in reply, his eyes filled with pain.

The pair glanced around, surprised to see that all the remaining Death Eaters had collapsed when Riddle had died.

Kingsley Shacklebolt rose from examining the Death Eater he had be fighting. "He's dead," he announce to no one in particular.

Ginny and Harry turned when they heard someone coming up behind them and they found Bill Weasley limping toward them.

"Ginny," he called softly as he enveloped her in a hug. "I'm so glad you're okay."

As the pair hugged, they were joined by Charlie, Percy, Fred and George. All took turns hugging their wayward sister.

"Are you coming home?" Bill finally asked.

Ginny glanced at Harry as he slipped his arm around her waist. She smiled softly. "We'll come to the Burrow, tomorrow or the next day," she replied.

When her brothers began to protest, she silenced them with a stern look. "Harry and I need a little time to heal and recover," she explained.

Bill gave her a small smile. "I'll let Mum know to expect you two."

Ginny gave him a nod as she snuggled into Harry's side. "Take me home," she whispered as she closed her eyes, envisioning the two of them immersing themselves in their ritual pool.

Afterwards she knew that they'd make love before they made plans for their immediate future. Before it had been some nebulous thing, a dream, a shining star that had seemed just out of reach.

Now they had all the time in the world and their whole lives before them and she couldn't have been happier if she tried.

Harry and Ginny

A/N: Thus ends this tale, Voldy's gone and Harry and Ginny have their future before them.

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