*waves* Look who's back. And alive. Okay, so this is the last chapter and I've edited it. So onwards!

Chapter # 11


I know I've said this before, but as many times as I say it, it's not enough.

Two months. It had been two months, the passing time bringing along with it many developments: the budding relationship of Harry and Hermione (the latter departing to Australia to search for her parents and return their memories and coming back to Hogwarts) and Ginny's new-found freedom from giving love and dreading not receiving it back.

Thank you, not only for the fact that you have proposed to surprise Hermione (although that's awesome as well) –

She was not happy, not wholly – the better word would be satisfied; after all, the future she had seen before her eyes at the realisation that she had fallen in love with Harry (Harry Potter, a boy she could only have dreamed would look her way; a boy who, she had learned, was just a boy), that future had broken, just like that. But she did not have a choice, did she? Stealing happiness, caging someone ... That was not Ginevra Weasley. But what she was now was not her either. Was she not the optimistic joker? The fiery redhead who never let anything put her down? Then why did she feel a slight ache within her chest, gently crashing against her like waves, when her thoughts would wander towards Harry, and how he appeared changed and renewed, the spark of hope of a future for himself shining?

but for other things too, like showing me what was right in front of me. What truly made me happy. For being understanding. For being brave.

"It was not a surprise," Luna said in a misty tone, looking out in space as she played with the grass beneath her. They had left the the great castle for seclusion, so Ginny could talk her feelings out regarding the recent events, whatever Luna meant by it. "The potential was always there, but they never thought much of it."

Leave it to Luna to predict such things, she thought bitterly. But she's right as she almost always is.

"Let's not dwell on such things, Luna," Ginny said like a hypocrytic. There was an all too familiar pang in her heart, which spread to her hands through her veins quite literally.

It's hard not to be selfish when you most want things to go your way. And I understand that. I may be a hero, but I'm not a saint. I was selfish in this too.

"You may have left Harry, but you haven't let go of him in your heart completely. It's pointless to hang on to things that are going to slip from your hands, don't you think?" Luna's eyebrow was raised, her hazy gaze boring into hers. (She always looked delirious, some said. But she said more sober and sensible things than anyone else.)

No matter how many times I say this, it will never be enough. But, please, forgive me. For not being the man you deserved to have. For not appreciating you.

"Of course. That's why I'm not," Ginny protested weakly, wishing Luna would just stop, looking down at her hands, thinking about how she was trying so hard to be happy for her friends.

They sat in silence before the Lake for a few moments, letting the chirping of the birds fill it in. She almost believed she was over and done with it when she continued.

"I know, Ginny – I know Harry's coming to Hogsmeade next week. (You should not simply keep your letters lying here and there, you know.) And he wants to meet Hermione. And I know that you fear facing him, fear facing them. Ginny, you don't miss Harry as much as you long for things, long for happiness and partnership and love, but don't you think you have your whole life ahead of you for that?"

But there's future. And there are more worthy people who would like to have your companionship. Who have been with you, but remain silent. Who are braver than they are given credit for, just like you. Want to be understood and supported. Just like you.

During her little speech, Luna was busy staring into the the lake, infuriatingly blunt about her ideas, like nargles and wrackspurts and everything. So calm about it all. (How Ginny envied her, her contentment, her peace – how in the name of Merlin was she like this? Why could not she herself have it?)

Ginny sat up, anger turning her ears red. Who is she to say such nonsense? I don't long for anything. Merlin! "Why are you so ... so ... Ugh!"

The war, our break up – it was not easy, so don't push people away because you might think you can fight your battles alone, because you couldn't be more wrong.

With that, Ginny stormed off. Long for these things? She couldn't be more bloody wrong than this!

Others' help has this spectacular way of lightening your burdens.

One week later, Ginny was leading Hermione.

"Where are we going?" Hermione said, tugging to free her hand from the stubborn hold of Ginny.

"Somewhere that would wake you up from this misery," she replied curtly, hiding her smile.

Hermione huffed and let her guide her. They passed a few excited third years until there was nobody left to pass by. Then they stopped. And Hermione frowned before she gasped.

Harry stood up from his perch on a rock, a few meters away from the Whomping Willow, having chosen this deserted spot because he did not want anyone's attention. And as he stood, Ginny felt the pang reverberating through her being threefold stronger. Because, this time, it was Hermione; it was Hermione's sight, her presence and simply her that had Harry so tranfixed on the spot. It was her.

It must hurt. And I hope with everything I have that it goes away.

Gulping the lump in her throat, Ginny looked beside her, and let a ghost of a smile settle on her face when she saw Hermione so red and so close to tears of happiness, with her eyes wide in pleasant surprise and unhidden affection and love for Harry. Then she looked down at her hand when Hermione squeezed it in a silent thank you, as grateful as the one she had tried to convey through a long speech about Ginny's courage and strength and beauty months ago, when her heart still needed a Repairo to be fixed. She squeezed it back, her eyes flitting to Harry's direction as if to say 'Go on.' Hermione nodded, staring in Harry's direction, who was shuffling his feet now, waiting.

"Look," Ginny hissed, impatient, "I certainly did not bring you here to stare at him like that. It's adorable and all how you missed each other and can't take your eyes off him because his sorry arse is alive after that Auror mission but it's making me bloody nau–"

"Harry!" Hermione said, cutting Ginny off as she bound towards him, her bushy hair flying in all directions. "Thank God you're all right!"

Then she all but flew towards him. He opened his arms, and she embraced him with all the ferocity caged inside her, making him stumble back. Recovering, he buried his face in her hair, and breathed deeply enough that it was apparant to Ginny who was a few meters away from them.

Desires don't die even when you are selfless. They have this way of haunting you. If they did not, then wouldn't sacrifice be the easiest good one could do? Wouldn't being good the easiest choice to make? For that, you're the truest friend.

Guess Luna was right, but just too bloody forward about it, Ginny thought, as she took in a shuddering breath. She wanted understanding and love and a partner too – Merlin knew all those who had experienced the war did. And Harry and Hermione were simply too good of an example of it.

Maybe they needed this more than most of us.

Harry, still locked in embrace, was saying something in Hermione's ear, and it made her laugh so hard she had to throw her head back. Then she slowly rested her forehead against his and slowly kissed him, and he pulled her flush against him as he responded, one of his hand on her neck, playing with her hair.

Feeling like a horrible intruder, or an uninvited person who was witnessing such a beautiful manifestation of love, she decided to walk away.

Just before she did, she saw Harry dislodging himself from her and say, "May I have this dance?" with his hand out in front of him, and Hermione nodding enthusiastically. Then they danced on some music that was nonexistent to Ginny, but existed, loud and clear, to them. Anchored on her spot, she also saw him kiss her forehead, his lips lingering, his eyes closed in contentment. And utter bliss. (She would not be surprised if his Patronus would morph into a male embodiment of Hermione's Patronus.)

She decided to walk away before the longing engulfed her whole.

I hope we stay friends, after all that we have been through.

"Come on, Ginny – their Nargles infested brains won't let them see anything other than each other for a long time."

"Luna!" she said, putting a hand on her chest to steady her heartbeat. "You followed us?"

She giggled, shrugging. "You know, Ginny, it's not bad to long for things," she said, out of the blue, looking into her eyes meaningfully.

Ginny frowned. "I guess."

Then Luna's eyes settled on the couple who were lost in their wonderland. She sighed happily.

"Isn't it beautiful?" she said. "The love in the air?" She breathed in as if to catch the a whiff of its scent.

I wish you happiness with everything I have.

"Yes," Ginny said, curbing her desires; Luna's happiness was just too contagious, and what she said rang in her mind.

It's really okay, isn't it? (And, if she were honest and direct with herself, what good did mulling over what-ifs do?) Fighting, bravery, sacrifice? She had done it all. Now it was time to adapt and be happy, not only for others, but for herself – it was not all about the happy couple who were swaying in each other's arms, talking in hushed voices, it was about her too; she was forever free from the burden of not being enough, free to love and be loved like she deserved to. She was not the right person for him, but it never meant she was any less. Or deserved anything less.

So she giggled, embracing the little ache, and imitated her friend, sniffing the air, feeling like the silliest person on planet earth but enjoying it all the same. "Yes it is."


And done. It may not be the happiest ending for Ginny, but, hey, she is learning to accept things and move on. I love this Ginny. Hahaha. (God, it feels good to have completed a multi-chapter fanfiction. It is hardwork. I salute authors who have written many multi-chapter stories.)

Thanks to each and everyone of you for reading, favoriting, reviewing, and following – it was great to see people still read this even if it was incomplete. The mails I had popping up of readers following and adding this to their favorites list made me realise I had to complete it. Believe it or not, I had to write this chapter four to five times, failing to come up with anything sufficient for months. But in one hour, I successfully wrote this down. Guess the jitters of upcoming exams has this way of shaking the writer in me awake.

Would appreciate if you guys would comment, constructive or your general feelings.

Thanks again for being such an awesome support system! And you are all welcome to throw tomatoes and eggs at me for being an irregular author. (Wish me good luck / pray that I get As for the four subjects I'm appearing in for exams starting in May. )

You're awesome if you have read this note till the end. God bless.