Harry sighs as he walks out of the tent. They just finished setting up camp again. Hermione was off finishing their protection wards, and Harry is too tired to try and think about the future plan.
Things have been getting tense. With several weeks passing and little to no progress, let alone a solid plan, he could understand his friends frustrations. At the same time, he had been crystal clear on what this would entail before they headed out. Harry sighs again. No, there wasn't much in him to fault his friends. He was beginning to get equally frustrated with himself.
Harry, recognizing the potentially harmful path that train of thought could follow, searches around for some level of distraction. They had set up camp deep in some woods that Hermione knew the name of- Harry had no idea and truthfully couldn't be bothered to care. As long as they weren't found he was fine. He looks around at the trees standing vigil around him, their leaves already the deep red and orange of late fall. He walks further into the woods, looking back to make sure he stays within sight of the camp. As he travels through the forest, one particular tree catches his eye. The tree in question is not particularly tall or strong. It doesn't have interesting branches or markings. Rather, it is the leaves on this tree that stop Harry in his tracks. The red leaves. A particular shade of red, one he has yet to find an equal of- until now. He plucks a leaf from the closest branch, rubbing it between his fingers. It's soft, almost like velvet in his hands. And just like that, Harry is taken back. Back to the beginning. And the memories start flooding.
The first memory that springs into his mind is one he holds close to his heart. It's one he labels as one of the happiest memories of his life.
As Harry steps into the common room, the first thing he registers is the sound. It roars like an animal of its own. It is the voice of victory, of friendship and pure joy. Harry immediately knows this will be the party of the year. His eyes struggle to take in everything at once, the colors beginning to blur together like they have become bolder just for their victory tonight. As Harry adjusts, he is pulled into the common room. And as his eyes swing around the room once, twice, three times, he realizes something. He's looking for someone. Only he can't find her. And suddenly he sees her. She is flying towards him, her hair flying out behind her like a blaring banner. He catches her in his arms, and without thinking, without a single thought past the girl now in his arms, he brings his lips to hers. And the entire world shrinks until it's only him, her, and their joined lips.
Harry can't believe a simple kiss can make him feel like this. Her lips are like the softest velvet, brushing against his. He feels like she is fire, and everywhere she collides with him leaves a burning path. He can see it too, the fireworks going off behind his eyes. Eyes that closed of their own accord. And while his body tries to accept how this is really happening, he actually kissing her, their lips meet again and again and again. Their lips part, heat passing between their mouths as they learn the feel of each other on their lips, the taste of them in their mouth. They kiss until Harry is sure that one of them will soon pass out from lack of oxygen. And when their lips part for the final time, Harry opens his eyes. As he looks at Ginny, he can see her. All of her. He sees her strength, her passion for life that burns the same color as her hair. It lights her up, makes her shine. And right now, she is glowing.
The memory slowly looses vibrancy as it fades from Harry's mind. He stares at the leaf in his hand, still transfixed with its color. Only then does he acknowledge what he has been ignoring these past few weeks. The part of him missing that he refused to think about. He couldn't afford those feelings because then he would grow weak, and his weakness only brought others pain. And Harry would rather die than hurt her. But he can't ignore it any longer. The truth is he misses her. He misses her so much he thinks his heart may explode, being squeezed tighter and tighter every day. But he walked away, and it would be best to forget until the war was over so she wouldn't be in any danger. He could never put her in danger for something as selfish as his own desires and feelings. But facing this tree, with leaves the exact same shade as her beautiful hair, Harry becomes powerless against it. So he doesn't forget. Harry sits down at the base of the tree, and as the moonlight begins to descend between the branches, he remembers.
He remembers Ginny, her strength and fierceness. He remembers the times they walked around the lake, holding hands and talking about meaningless things because they loved hearing each others voice. He remembers the tree they found and the countless afternoons they would spend in its branches. And as he remembers, tears slip down his cheek. He holds the leaf to his face, it's surface already wilted from his fingers. He breathes in its earthy scent, wishing it was hers. Harry sits on the damp forest floor, tilting his face up to the bright moon above the trees. As he does, another memory climbs to the forefront of his mind.
Ginny pulls the blanket up further around her shoulders, her head resting on Harry's chest. They are atop the Astronomy tower, in a cocoon of soft blankets to ward of the night chill. It had been his idea to drag the blankets up here to watch the moon and stars appear together. Ginny had made fun of him for being unbelievably cheesy before agreeing and admitting she would love to. He feels Ginny's body shake as she lets out a small chuckle.
"You do realize Harry that if my brother catches us up here he will kill you."
Harry pales slightly at her words. Ginny's chuckle turns to a full laugh as she spots his face.
"Don't worry, I won't let him." She smiles. "Besides, it would ruin this perfect moment."
"This is pretty nice, isn't it? It's just us up here, under the stars. It's peaceful." He pauses. "You know Ginny I can't remember the last time I've felt this relaxed. I could get used to it."
Ginny lifts her head to look Harry in the eyes.
"Get used to it then, because I don't plan on letting another night pass without coming up here. Let's make it our thing. We can come up here and escape the craziness of life down there. Up here, let's keep it just us and the moon above."
"And you made fun of me for being corny"
Ginny slaps him lightly. "You know you're lucky I love you."
Harry smiles down to her. "I love you too Gin. And I know I'm lucky." He pulls her closer to him. "I'm very very lucky, and I'm not letting my luck get away any time soon."
Ginny smiles into his chest. "Good, because your luck doesn't plan on leaving for a long long time."
As her smile fades from his mind, Harry's mouth turns up into a light smile of his own. His face is wet and his eyes have started stinging from the salt. But as Harry looks up at the moon, he remembers Ginny. And he knows somewhere, miles and miles away, Ginny will look at the moon too. And when she does, she'll think of him. And it's enough for him to pick himself up off the ground and get up. He has a job to do, and now he has the motivation to finish it. He walks back to camp, knowing for sure Hermione and Ron will scold him for being away for so long. As it is they were probably already pulling their hair out with worry. As he reaches the front of the tent, however, he can't help but stop and admire the moon one last time, barely visible past the trees. And before he walks inside, he says three last words, wishing Ginny could hear him. "I love you."
Miles and miles away, it is those three words that Ginny hears. They give her the power to pick herself up and gather her strength. She has a job to do when she returns to Hogwarts, and she now remembers her motivation to do it. She knows she will see Harry again. After all, she was his luck. And as she walks inside for the night, she looks back at the moon one last time.
"I love you too."
AN: alright! I hadn't been planning to write a part two for Words of Comfort but a someone expressed interest in one so I tried! I hope I did your wishes justice! It was harder to write, but I had a lot of fun tying the two together. Hope you enjoyed reading, and if you haven't read part one yet, feel free too. Please review! Thanks :) - with love, the dam chosen one