The night had descended upon Grimmauld Place like a cat does its prey: fast and deliberate. The stars above had been blotted out by the black-and-grey clouds that had rolled in from the horizon, leaving the world below as black as death.

As the first drops of rain hit the ground, the calm and stillness of the street was interrupted by a sharp crack! and a young man with glasses and messy jet-black hair appeared as suddenly as the night.

Harry Potter walked briskly from the corner to which he had Apparated to. His bright emerald eyes darted along the street as he crossed it. He was almost jogging by the time he had gotten to the door of number twelve, Grimmauld Place. He was anxious to finally be home. It had been close to five years since he last walked through its halls. He could do without the dreadful Mrs. Black, whose picture, he was sure, still hung on the wall from which it was desperately trying to hold onto using a damn charm.

When he was standing on the doorstep, his eyes, once again, darted around to make sure that no one was around and/or watching before he pulled out his wand, tapped the doorknob, and muttered, "Alohomora!" Hearing the various locks click open, Harry pushed open the door and walked inside, making sure to close and magically lock the door behind him.

He paused just inside the hallway, looking into the inside of the house with a sad expression on his face. Because it wasn't until then that he realized that this place wasn't his home. His home was somewhere else, but where, he had no idea.

As he made his way down the stairs to the kitchen, Harry thought about what had happened to him in the past four years.

It had been four years since he had defeated the darkest wizard of all time: Lord Voldemort. The summer following the war was a much needed break for Harry. He spent the summer at the Burrow with the Weasleys and Hermione Granger. Then that fall, somehow, Hermione, Ron Weasley, and Ron's little sister, Ginny, convinced him to do his final year at Hogwarts. Surprisingly, the year passed without any incident, which was saying something if you think about his first six years at Hogwarts.

After the year ended, Kingsley Shacklebolt, who had been made the Minister of Magic after the war due to the death of Rufus Scrimgeour, asked Harry if he wanted to start his Auror training early. Harry accepted, and he was in training for the next three years.

With a pang in his heart, Harry remembered saying good-bye to Ginny. He had never seen such hurt in her eyes, no matter how hard she tried to hide it.

And, just before he turned his back, he bent down and lightly kissed her on the cheek. Not being able to stop himself, Harry looked into her eyes and saw that they were swimming in unshed tears. His heart breaking, and feeling tears come to his own eyes, Harry turned around and walked away, without looking back…

That was the last time he had seen or spoken to her. He had written countless letters to her, telling her that he was sorry and that he loved her, but he could never find the courage to send them.

Some Gryffindor I am, Harry thought savagely. How is it that he can fight and defeat the most feared wizard of all time, but he couldn't even send letters to the love of his life?

He was sitting in a chair at the table in the kitchen by this time, and he couldn't help but replay the memories he had of him and Ginny.

Harry was just wishing that somehow, in some way, he could be with Ginny at this very moment, when a sudden burst of green flame exploded in the fireplace. Harry was out of his chair with his wand aimed at the fireplace in a second.

"What d'you think you're doing? I'm not going to attack you!"

Harry gaped as a tall man with fiery-red hair and a face splattered with freckles walked out of the grate.


Ron Weasley grinned. "Who else would it be?"

"But, h-how did you know? I didn't tell anyone I was back," Harry asked, confused, putting his wand down.

"Ah, you forget that Dad works at the Ministry. The second he heard that your training was done, he sent an owl. So, how was it?" Ron asked excitedly, sitting down at the table. Harry sat in the seat he had just vacated.

He was just about to say, "How was what?" when there was another burst of green flame and a girl with bushy-brown hair came out.

Hermione Granger, Harry's other best friend, saw him and made a beeline for him, exclaiming "Harry!" her arms wide open. Harry grinned, stood up, and hugged her back.

From behind him, he heard Ron grumble, "Yeah, of course, you give her a hug but with me? No, you just wield your wand like I'm some bloody Death Eater."

Harry laughed as he pulled away from Hermione. He looked at Ron and shrugged. "Auror," he said, as if that settled the matter, which it technically did. Ron snorted and rolled his eyes.

"Come on, Ron! Harry just got back from Auror training. You don't have to be such an arse," Hermione exclaimed, incredulous.

Ron smiled sheepishly and looked at Harry, "Sorry, mate."

Harry shrugged, "No problems."

He watched with interest as his two best friends smile warmly at each other. Hermione sat down next to Ron and grabbed his hand. About bloody time, he thought to himself. Even after four years, he still thought that. Well, it had taken those two seven years of endless bickering to finally figure out that they had feelings for each other. It was nice to know that they were still together. It definitely calmed Harry's mood a bit without the constant arguing.

After the trio had been sitting around the table for nearly an hour, Harry started to wonder about Ginny again. Harry knew that he hadn't asked her to wait for him; that would have been too selfish of him. But he wondered if she did wait for him, or if she had moved on and found someone else.

"Are you okay, mate? You look like something's bothering you."

Ron's voice cut into Harry's thoughts. He looked up at Ron and Hermione. They were looking at him quizzically.

He took a deep breath. "H-how is Ginny?" he asked tentatively.

Ron and Hermione shared a look. They knew he was going to ask about her sooner or later.

"She's in a right state. Mum wouldn't let her come with us when the owl came. Thought that you needed to see us before Ginny got to see you." He shrugged. "Dunno why though. If I was Mum, I would have let Ginny be the first one to see you."

Harry's decision was made right then. He stood up abruptly, startling Ron and Hermione, and started putting his coat on.

"Er, Harry? What are you doing?" Hermione asked.

"What does it look like I'm doing? I'm gonna go see Ginny."


When they remained sitting, he asked, "Well? Are you two coming or not?"

Ron and Hermione hurriedly got out of their seats and started putting their coats on as well.

Just as Harry was about to put his hand into the pot of Floo Powder next to the grate, Ron grabbed his arm. He looked at him, puzzled.

"Maybe Hermione and I should go first. You know, just to warn everyone that you're coming."

Harry looked at Hermione, who nodded. He sighed, took his hand out of the pot, and stepped back.

He watched as Ron and Hermione each grabbed a handful of the powder, threw it into the grate, step in, and then disappear out of sight. He waited a few moments, taking deep, calming breaths to slow his racing heart, and then finally took his turn to go into the grate.

After the nauseating journey, Harry found himself in the kitchen at the Burrow.


He was helped off the floor by Mr. Weasley, who pulled him into a hug before Mrs. Weasley pulled him into a bone-crushing hug.

"Hi, Mrs. Weasley, Mr. Weasley," Harry said, smiling as he tried to gain his breath.

"Harry, just call us Arthur and Molly; no need for being formal with family!" Mrs. Weasley exclaimed as she pulled away.

Harry quickly looked around the room, looking for the redhead he most wanted to see. His heart drooped when he didn't see her. Molly noticed.

"She's asleep, dear. You'll have to see her in the morning." Harry blushed, realizing that he had been that obvious. Ron and Hermione stood off to the side, grinning when they realized what Molly was talking about.

"Now, how about I cook something up before you lot head up to bed? I could never forgive myself if I sent you to bed without some dinner!"

"Mrs- err - Molly, really, you don't…" Harry started to say, but Molly had already started bustling around, waving her wand at vegetables and pots and pans and soon the room was smelling quite delicious. Harry had no choice but to sit at the table. Arthur, Ron, and Hermione joined him also. They were soon talking about what they had all been doing in the past four years.

They had been talking themselves hoarse, only pausing when dinner was put onto the table, for nearly an hour when Harry heard footsteps on the stairs. His head snapped up. He felt his heart stop.

On the bottom of the stairs stood a beautiful, red-haired woman with freckles all over her face. Her warm, chocolate-brown eyes fell on Harry and immediately began to fill with tears. Her soft red hair was pulled back into a ponytail and she was wearing pajamas that Harry couldn't help but notice fitted her slim figure perfectly. His fingers ached to run through that beautiful hair of hers.

"Ginny," was all he was able to say before he pushed himself off the chair and pressed the woman to his body. She hugged him back just as tightly, crying into his shoulder.

"I'm so sorry," he kept murmuring into her hair. He barely acknowledged the fact that everyone else had gone upstairs to bed. He didn't care right now. All he cared about was the beautiful, crying woman in his arms. The love of his life. The one that he could not bear if he lost, for she meant everything to him.

Harry pulled away slightly, just enough to look her in the eyes. She looked up at him. He said, "I'm sorry, Ginny," one more time before capturing her lips with his. She responded to him instantly by wrapping her arms around his neck. His hand trailed up her spine, to her hair. He lightly pulled at the band holding Ginny's hair together until it was off and he could run his fingers through her hair.

He deepened the kiss by opening his mouth slightly and meeting her tongue with his in fierce reunion. Ginny moaned softly into his mouth.

When they finally pulled away from each other in need of air, Harry grabbed Ginny's hand and walked into the living room. He sat on the couch and Ginny sat down next to him. He put his arm around her as she brought her legs up, tucked them underneath her, and then lay her head on his shoulder.

"I've missed you," she said softly.

"I've missed you, too. It's been hell, these past three years, not being able to see you."

"Then why did you leave?"

"Kingsley asked me if I wanted to start my Auror training early. I said yes. I didn't realize that I wouldn't have been able to get away just to spend a few hours with the people I care about."

"But you didn't even write any letters." Harry detected the hurt tone in her voice.

"I did write letters, but I never sent them. I didn't know if you would accept what I put in them."

"And what did you put in them?"

"That I love you."

The silence that followed this statement unnerved Harry and made him tense. He felt Ginny stiffen next to him.

Then she looked up at him, surprise in her eyes. "W-what did you just say?"

Harry smiled. "I said that I love you."

Ginny smiled in return. "Say it again."

"I love you. Now it's your turn."

Ginny leaned up, cradled his cheek with her hand, and kissed him on the lips. When she pulled back, his eyes caught hers, emerald-green meeting chocolate-brown, and she whispered, "I love you, too." And he kissed her.

It was then, being in Ginny's arms, that Harry realized something. He now knew where he was.

He was home.