A/N: For Maccy, may your love of goats never diminish. Written for the /r/HarryandGinny Christmas Exchange.

Ascending the stairs of the astronomy tower, she caught sight of him; alone and looking at the stars. A moment passed and he didn't move, before she decided to break the silence.

"You are going to leave aren't you?," He didn't seem surprised by her presence, but did not turn to look at her, nor respond. "I know you, Harry. Not even a week after he is gone and you are acting like a caged animal."

"I've had a lot on my mind Gin. So much so quickly; the whole thing was a blur. All of it, I just don't know what to do. But leave? I'm not so sure."

"You never could lie well.", she said giving him a wry smile. "You didn't say no Harry. They talked about rebuilding, about starting over and you didn't say a word."

"Fine. I'm thinking of leaving. I just can't stand it all, the reminders, the well-wishers, all that has been broken. It's just too much."

"Were you going to say goodbye? Even tell them before you go? Tell me?"

Harry looked upwards, edging away. "They wouldn't want me to go. I know they are worried about me and they just don't understand. They would try to, but they just don't get it."

"And me Harry? Wasn't leaving me once hard enough? You've barely spoken a word to me since the Battle. You won't look at me. So now you just are going to leave me without saying goodbye? Is that it?"

"That's not what I was going to do, I promise you..."

"I'm not going to let you do that. I deserve better; you can't just go away without saying a word. I'm more important than that.", pacing while a tinge of red appeared on her cheeks.

"Enough.", Harry spoke, with a touch of steel in his voice.

"Enough? I just want you to treat me like I matter; not someone you can just pretend doesn't exist," she protested rather loudly.

"I wasn't going to leave you. I want you to come with me.", Harry said firmly.

"You do?", she asked cautiously.

"I had to give you up once Gin. I'm not about to let you go again.", he said, causing silence to reign for almost a full minute.

"Where will we go? Surely we can't just leave now?"

"Why not? We just need to get away, to clear our minds from all the death and taint that is here."

"My family needs me. We can't just go away in the middle of the night.", she protested weakly.

"I can't stay here, and judging by the way you've been sleeping you can't either.", he replied.

"How..", she began until a look of recognition came over her. "The map. How long have you been watching?"

"All year I've worried over you and now you are here. I just need to get away, I don't want to be without you, if I was by myself I'd lose myself to my thoughts and guilt.", he said at last, leaving the edge of the tower. "Come with me. We can just escape all of this."

For a moment she hesitated, before nodding.

And then he smiled. The first smile she had seen from him in almost a year and before she knew it she was smiling too. Things were looking up; the darkness would not prevail over them.


"Harry.", she said, prodding him with her elbow. "Harry wake up."

"Mmmph", he mumbled as a pillow impacted his head.

"As much as I want to lay around all day we have work to do.", she said, and with a flick of her wand three pillows circled in the air before impacting the supine form of a messy-haired Harry.

"I'm awake, truce truce!", he responded gruffly, before taking his wand from the bedside and summoned Ginny towards him. "Now surely the day can wait can it not?"

"As much as I'd like to, we actually have to do things today.", she replied. "Don't you pout, you've had me all to yourself the past month. We can't lay around forever Harry."

"I know. I just enjoy this so much more than everything else.", he said before sitting up. "I've never had the chance to be so carefree and I don't want it to end."

"You deserve all the happiness in the world Harry. You do. But they care about you, and they want to at least see us."

"I just am not ready. It's hard Ginny, I don't know if I can go back.", he protested.

"You promised me we would visit my family at Solstice. You promised. We can't just ignore them forever."

"We sent them owls.", he said weakly.

"They don't want letters Harry, they want to see us.", she chided, before running her palm over his, "Just what are you afraid of?"

"I don't want to lose this, to lose you; to be torn from peace and tranquility. I don't think I can go back to them."

"The Burrow-"

"It's not just them. I don't want anything to do with the Wizarding World. I just want to be with you, not as a hero or savior, just Harry. I can't do that there."

"I'm going to see them. You can go with me or not. That's your choice. I'll be back after Solstice."

It was all that was said and yet it was enough. Solstice came and went, Harry brooded and Ginny returned the following week.


He held her differently ever since she had told him. He was happy initially, and his joy was contagious, but even she could see a tinge of worry in his eyes. The hand on her stomach and the closeness they shared was all the more special but she knew things would come to a head eventually.

She wouldn't have changed anything; leaving with him after the battle was something she never once regretted. She loved him, and she knew he loved her. But there were still wounds, some that would never heal. And as the baby within her grew, she knew they would have to come to a decision.

"I'm going to the Burrow to have the baby.", she said clear as day, breaking the silence out of nowhere.

After a moment of silence he cleared his throat, "Alright. What do we need to take?"

"You are coming?"

"Gin I'm not going to miss this. Surely you know me better?"

"You seemed so adamant about not going back before. I don't know. I guess I never expected you to give in."

"I can be pretty stubborn can't I?", he replied quietly.

"That's an understatement if I've ever heard one.", she growled, before pacing and poking him in the chest with her wand. "Why now?"

"This is my family. Our first child. I'm not going to miss this.", he said evasively.

"Harry. Is that the only reason?"

"Isn't that enough of one?", he replied with a smirk, before growing serious. "I've not been the greatest husband; at the very least I can try all that I can to be a good father. That starts now."

"I don't think we are ever going to move on from our past."

"Day by day, step by step. I'm trying Gin. I'm really trying."

"That's all I could ask of you."


"Aberforth sent these for James.", Ginny said, before handing Harry a pair of small stuffed goats, one grey and one white.

Harry's wand snapped into his hand and a myriad of diagnostic spells flew from the tip before the goats glowed a light blue and he nodded. "They're clean."

"Harry. The war is over. Aberforth sent them. Aberforth Dumbledore.", Ginny replied chidingly.

A sheepish look crossed his face, "I knew that. But no harm in checking right?"

"Well, at least you stopped checking your food before each meal. I guess that's progress.", she said gently.

"I'm getting better Ginny. I really am. It just has taken time, but I promise I'm doing the best I can."

"I know you are. I'm proud of you for it; I just sometimes wish things never came to all of this."

"Believe me I do too. It was all worth it though, to be here with you and James? It all seemed so impossible a couple of years ago."

"We have it now. That's what matters.", she said draping an arm around his shoulders, before kissing him on the forehead. "I see the way you look at him Harry. He's not going to disappear; our son is not going anywhere."

"I know that Gin."

"Then perhaps you should stop sneaking out in the middle of the night Mr. Potter."

"I'm sorry. I just want to make sure he is alright you know?"

"You don't have to apologize for loving our son Harry. I just need you to remember that I'm here too. Sometimes your wife could use a bit of a reminder."


She awoke to find the bed next to her empty; putting on her nightgown and taking her wand from the bedside table she made her way to James's room, stopping at the doorway. She stifled a gasp as she looked in; the pair of goats circled above the crib, and James's quiet laughs reached her ears.

The goats were gently lowered into the crib and a satisfied coo rang out and James clutched them tightly, causing Harry to chuckle. "We really should send Aberforth an owl thanking him for these. James loves them."

"Well knowing Aberforth he'll just be thankful someone else likes goats just as much as he does."

"No doubt. It would be good to see him again."

"Seeing him? Harry Potter are you sure that's really you? You would voluntarily go see him?"

Shoving his hands in his pockets, he mumbled, "I've got to get out sometime."

She kissed him, not soft or gentle, but hard and fast. "I'm proud of you. I really am. You are getting better Harry. You really are."

"I've got to. James needs a father. I have to be everything for him; I need to be normal and healthy and unafraid of the world. I have to be strong."

"James is doing just fine; I'm just glad my husband is healing. I knew eventually things would get better, that you could forget what happened just for a moment, that you could come back to the world. All it took was time."

"It took James. And you Ginny. You were always there by my side, patient when I was a fool, and gracious when I was stubborn. You've been so much more than I've deserved and I'm so glad you were by my side."

"You're whole Harry. I never once regretted it. I just want you to be back to normal, to be able to live a normal life. And it's happening, thank Merlin it really is happening.

"I'm not there yet Gin."

"No not yet, but you will be. That's what matters."

All was well.