Harry, Ron and Hermione walked back down the stairs, stepped over the fallen statue and entered the hall. Harry was exhausted; absolutely ready to drop. But he knew there was one more thing he needed to do. He blindly followed Ron and Hermione to their next destination: the Great Hall. He could feel Ron drape Harry's arm over his shoulders to support him, and he could feel Hermione wrap her arm around his weight to guide him. Honestly, he was past feeling at this point; perhaps it was the extra adrenaline in him, but he had yet to feel any pain.

They made it to the entrance of the Great Hall and could see everyone in there, though honestly Harry had trouble seeing at this point. He, Ron and Hermione made there way over to the sea of red heads all grouped around the end of the table, and continued in that direction. Then his vision tunneled: he saw Ginny.

Ginny, who had kept him going for the past year while on the run, who was his last thought when he went to die. He could feel eyes on them as they got closer to the Weasleys, but his eyes only sought Ginny. He took his arms back from Ron and Hermione and kept walking, as fast as his feet could carry him until he was directly behind where she was sitting. She hadn't realized they had entered the Hall; her head was still resting on Mrs. Weasley's shoulder and Harry was pretty sure her eyes were closed, tired from the battle. It might have been insensitive and stupid and presumptuous of him, but he couldn't help himself. He had to.

He placed both hands under her arms and pulled her up. She whirled around in surprise, and he saw that blazing look in her eyes he loved so much. He wrapped his arms around her. And he kissed her.

He could hear the surprised gasps of the Weasley family around them, but he didn't care. He kissed her more passionately than he ever had; there were so many things he needed to say to her. Telling her he missed her seemed so insufficient; she was the reason he was able to go on. He could tell she was surprised at first, but then he felt her arms wrap around his neck and pull him closer, if that was even possible. He deepened the kiss, needing reassurance that she was actually here, with him. He finally pulled away when he felt like his lungs were going to explode. He opened his eyes and looked at her; Ginny's eyes were wide with shock and not-yet fallen tears. She opened her mouth like she wanted to say something but nothing came out.

He smiled at her. He could vaguely hear the musings of the Weasley family around them.


"How…why is Harry kissing Ginny?"

"When did this-who-?"


He looked deep into her eyes, opened his mouth and said, "Gin." He smiled again. Then he promptly blacked out.

"Ow," said Harry as he woke up to his head pounding. He felt stiff all over. He groaned and tried to slowly open his eyes.

"He's awake!"

"Yes, I can see that Ronald!"

He felt gentle hands place his glasses on his face and he slowly opened his eyes once more. The world came into view.

"Where am I?"

"Hospital wing, where else? Gave us a bloody scare, stupid git!" yelled Ron, though he had a smile on his face.

He looked around and saw Ron and Hermione sitting on either side of his bed, looking at him.

"Ron! Don't yell at him," said Hermione. "How are you feeling Harry?"

"Everything hurts," he groaned. "What happened?"

"You bloody beat Voldemort, that's what happened!" said Ron, still smiling. "And then you fainted."

"I fainted?!" said Harry disbelievingly.

"Well…that is to say…that's not exactly what happened," said Hermione, smiling. "What's the last thing you remember?"

"Umm…we were walking back from Dumbledore's office to the Great Hall. Then I woke up here," said Harry, thinking. "Everything is a bit hazy after that."

"Well, the thing is…we made it to the Great Hall," said Ron, shifting. "And we saw my family."

"Oh, bloody hell! How is your family? How is everyone? Is everyone-"

Ron cut Harry off by putting a hand up. "Everyone is fine, mate!" he said. "But it's what you did when we got there that threw everybody off." He smirked. "Go on Hermione, tell him what he did."

Harry turned to Hermione. "What did I do?"

"Well, you walked with us to the Weasleys, and you sort of stopped right behind Ginny, picked her up and err-"

"You snogged her in front of my entire family!" said Ron, smirking. "Caught everyone who didn't know about you two a bit off guard, let me tell you."

"Oh Merlin's beard…" said Harry, rubbing his eyes again. "Your family is going to kill me."

"Only if Ginny doesn't kill you first," said Ron. Harry really wished he could wipe that smirk off of Ron's face already.

"What does that mean?" Harry asked slowly.

"It means you collapsed," said Hermione.

"Wait…you mean to tell me I snogged her in front of your entire family, and then collapsed afterwards?"

"Yup," said Ron, leaning back in his seat. "I supposed nobody can really blame you for collapsing though, I mean kissing Ginny, she probably has so many cooties that-"


"Sorry 'Mione," he said sheepishly. "Habit. What I MEANT was that you collapsed from exhaustion."

"Which is to be expected," said Hermione. "I mean, you did just have the killing curse thrown at you and you technically did come back from the dead less than 48 hours ago…"

"Wait a minute…48 hours…how long was I out?" asked Harry, trying to sit up.

"Mate, you've been sleeping for the past 30 hours," said Ron.

"So just to clarify," said Harry, wincing a bit. "I defeated Voldemort, snogged Ginny in front of your entire family, collapsed, and was knocked out for over a day?!"

"Yup," said Ron.

Harry swung his legs over his bed, relieved to find a change of his clothes on the table at the end of his bed.

"Why didn't you tell me?" he half asked, half yelled as he grabbed his shirt and yanked it on, while simultaneously trying to shake off the stiffness he felt in his arms and legs. He took off his hospital gown, not caring that Ron and Hermione where there, and proceeded to put the rest of his clothes on.

"Harry, what do you think you're doing?" asked Hermione, standing up.

"What do you think I'm doing?!" he yelled frantically, tying his shoes. "I'm going to see Ginny! She's going to Bat Bogey Hex me into oblivion! Why didn't anyone wake me earlier?"

"Mate, you needed the rest. Besides, that's a little harsh. Oblivion? She'll probably only hex you into tomorrow."

"You're not helping, Ron," said Hermione, glaring at him. She turned to Harry who had just put his wand in his pocket. "And YOU," she said, pointing her finger. "You are in no condition to get up and walk around. Lie back down."

"Nope," said Harry. "You guys can come with me, but I need to see Ginny. Right now."

"Hermione, there's no stopping him," said Ron, cutting off Hermione's protests. "Let's just go with him. And we'll make him come back after he talks to her."

"Fine," said Hermione, crossing her arms. "But you ARE coming back here, right after ok?"

"Yes ma'am," said Harry, mock saluting her. She smiled a bit.

"What?" asked Harry, looking at her and Ron's smiling faces.

"It's just, it's been awhile since we've joked around," said Ron. "We missed it, being carefree. You know?"

"Well, there's not going to be much more of that if Ginny kills me, now is there?" he asked. But he was smiling as he said it. They were right. It felt good to smile and joke again. To actually believe he had a future after Voldemort. "Let's get going then."

With that, the three of them left the hospital wing and headed to the Great Hall.

When they got to the Great Hall and pushed the doors open, they could see it was lunchtime. Everyone was sitting at the table, and best of all, laughter was echoing throughout the Hall. Harry smiled, looking around.


His smile faltered a bit. All talking stopped, and everybody's heads swiveled towards the entrance where Ron and Hermione where slowly inching away from Harry in order to get out of the way. Ginny Weasley was standing at the end of the Gryffindor table near her family, with her hands on her hips in such a Mrs. Weasley-esque type of way Harry was sure he was done for. He gulped and sent a small glare to Ron and Hermione who gestured for him to go first. He started slowly walking towards her, as every set of eyes followed him as he moved closer to the fiery red head.

"Gin…" he said once he was in front of her. His voice faltered. What do you even say to someone who has been your sole purpose of living, of surviving?

"Harry James Potter," she said in a deathly calm tone. Her eyes were blazing like the first time he had kissed her, so many months ago in the common room. She put her hand on his chest. "We can do this the easy way or the hard way."

He gulped and looked around. All the Weasleys were watching the confrontation in front of them, and it was clear they knew to stay out of the line of fire when Ginny was angry. She continued.


"Umm…easy please," said Harry, his voice cracking.

"Repeat after me then. I am the biggest prat alive."

Harry gulped again. "I am the biggest prat alive."

"If I ever break up with Ginny again because I'm a stupid, noble git, she will make certain I do not come back alive a second time."

"If I ever break up with Ginny again because I'm a stupid, noble git, she will make certain I do not come back alive a second time."

"Please forgive me," she said, her hand still firmly on his chest.

"Please forgive me, Gin," he said softly.

He could see she was trying not to smile. "Don't deviate from the script. Now say, I'm sorry Ginny, and I will make it up to you. Please be my girlfriend again."

Harry smiled and took her hands in his. He got down on one knee. He could see she had to fight really hard to keep the smile off of her face. "I'm so, so, sooo sorry Ginny, and I will make it up to you. Please, please, pleaseeee by my girlfriend again." He kissed the back of her hand and looked up at her again. "I love you."

"Well, ok then," said Ginny, smiling. "I love you too. Now get up you big git."

He stood up, grinning. She wrapped her arms around his neck, and his circled around her waste. She leaned in close.

"Don't ever do that to me again," she whispered, her eyes glistening.

"I promise," Harry said.

Then he kissed her. He was faintly aware of all the applauding around him, of Ron and Hermione holding hands and beaming widely at them, of Mrs. Weasley sobbing happily and Mr. Weasley laughing loudly, of Fred and George exchanging money, while Bill, Charlie and Percy asked the twins about their relationship. He knew he owed her an explanation; he owed everyone who had blindly put their faith in him an explanation. But he also knew those could wait, because as Harry stood surrounded by his family, with the love of his life in his arms, kissing her passionately like there was no tomorrow, he realized that for the first time in his life there would be an infinite amount of tomorrows with Ginny, and Ron, and Hermione, and everybody else he loved. Harry finally understood; Hogwarts was never really his home, at least, not anymore. He didn't need it because he realized Dumbledore's most important lesson, the one his mother and father instilled within him long ago: home is where the heart is. And finally, finally, he was home.