The Writer with a Cruel Muse (alcarcalime) wrote in longtimetocome,
The Writer with a Cruel Muse
alcarcalime
longtimetocome

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This Will Be Our Year (Took a Long Time to Come) - Epilogue

Title: This Will Be Our Year (Took a Long Time to Come)
Author: alcarcalime and wickedsprite
Summary: The year after the war is a tough one, in which Ginny Weasley tries to live her life, get past her grief, survive Transfiguration, and try not to fall too much in love with some idiot green-eyed boy man.
Characters/Pairing(s): Harry/Ginny, mainly. With side dishes of R/Hr and other canon pairings
Rating: PG-13
Setting: Post-Deathly Hallows, Pre-Epilogue
Genre: gen, humor, fluff
Warnings: Fluffiness, cheesiness, and crack abound. Also, the fic doesn't follow the traditional format of a story's narrative.

Prologue. Chapter 1: September. Chapter 2: October. Chapter 3: November. Chapter 4: December. Chapter 5: January. Chapter 6: February. Chapter 7: March. Chapter 8: April. Chapter 9: May. Chapter 10: June.


Epilogue


It was precisely two hours from the moment the Hogwarts Express pulled out of Hogsmeade station that Ginny felt the sudden urge to throw up the hearty breakfast she had eaten that morning. Pity though, as it was her last meal at Hogwarts, and she really hoped to use up all the nutrients from the bangers and fried eggs the minute she stepped onto the real world.

She blamed Hermione, really. Before they boarded the train, Ginny confided to Hermione—with all the confidence of someone who has just managed to tell the love of her life the feelings of devotion and adoration she had nursed for him all throughout these years—the last letter she sent to Harry last night. However, in typical Hermione fashion, her dear old friend didn’t even bat an eyelash but instead gave Ginny the most ridiculously smug smirk.

“Took you long enough, eh?”

And with that, she swung her legs across the compartment seat and buried herself behind a book, making her look like a bushy-haired girl with a leather-bound book for a face. Ginny was torn between feeling guilty for thinking of her friend as a leather-faced hag who smirks too much and mentally berating Ron, once again, for being a bad influence to the people she most hold dear.

She knew she did the right thing, but as she watched the scenery outside change from rolling hills to thick forests, so did her confidence change from certain to unsure. Ginny swore to herself, the moment she had watched the tawny owl fly from the Owlery’s many battlements, that the consequence of that letter was an all or nothing situation. She strolled back to Gryffindor Tower confidently, convinced that it wouldn’t matter if Harry would give her the best, most pathetic Harry-face when she sees him on the platform. All that mattered was that she had finally admitted something she had denied herself for a year. She was honest with herself and for the first time that year, she felt liberated and grown-up.

However, the anticipation of seeing him again, of hearing him say he loves her too was too overwhelming that she wished not for the first time for her brain to shut off just for an hour or two. Speculation never got her anywhere, and holy shit, it had just been three hours and Merlin, the next four hours would be torture for sure.

She didn’t know how it happened, but she found the lid of the old tin can she used to keep her letters sitting by her knees and she found herself surrounded by parchments of all shapes and sizes. She looked at the mess she made, and one by one, she picked up each sappy letter, ridiculous parchment notes exchanged during Charms class and even scratched homework.

This was her year. Every single giggle, tear, whine, and rage; they were all documented in ink and parchment and Ginny was shocked to realize that the past year was a massive rush of laughter, tears, and parchment—of all things. Hermione must really be a bad influence on her. As she glanced at her dear friend, whose sleeping head was lolling in sync with the train’s progress, she felt that she didn’t mind it at all. This year, she realized how much she loved her, but not in the same nurturing love she had for her brothers or the gentle affection she had for Luna and Neville, or the all-consuming passion she had for Harry. But it was love, yes, it was love and that was all that mattered to Ginny.

She was surprised to find out that she had grown up, and that in more ways than one, she was similar to the formidable Molly Weasley, no matter how much she wished it not to be. She felt a wonderful sense of pride as she read the proof of the respect and independence she had fought for since she was six, immortalized by ink and parchment. It blew up like big bubble inside her chest as the full impact of the life she was leaving and the life she was welcoming came full force.

Reading them all, seeing the year pass by in her hands made her forget the churning in her stomach she associated with seeing Harry. It didn’t matter anymore what he would say, because the important thing here was that she knew in her heart of hearts that she loved Harry and that was all that mattered.

A heckling, a scratching, and finally, a resounding bang shook the train corridor. Ginny was jerked awake from her reverie and suddenly Hermione’s bushy head was flying out of the compartment, the smell of stale bread and gunpowder entering the tiny space. And in spite of Ginny’s current state of catharsis, she was vaguely aware of the explosion to come.

“What the hell are you doing?”

“I’m sorry, Hermione. But Giles made me light the firecracker and—“

A pause and Ginny strained her ears for any sound as she imagined Hermione’s vein popping like mad.

“Who in their right minds would think that exploding pumpkin pasties is a good idea?”

Smirking, she pushed the compartment door shut with her foot, muffling the sounds of Hermione’s shrill voice. London was fast approaching, as seen from the thinning forests and the slivers of ash roads and suddenly, she let the hovering air of finality swoop her in.

It was all around that even the checkered compartment seat cover seemed to whisper that this was it—the final ride on the Hogwarts Express, the culmination of everything that she had worked hard for in the last seven years. It was surreal, it was liberating, but in the wake of triumph she was supposed to be feeling on finally passing Transfiguration, a mist hovered like a cloud on a cold, wet, autumn day. It was an end of an era, and the next time she comes to Platform Nine and Three Quarters it would probably to see another generation off.

The compartment door suddenly slid open and Hermione’s bushy head peeked inside the compartment. “Ginny, I’ll be with you in a minute, all right?”

“Sure, don’t mind me,” she replied, smiling at Hermione’s disheveled appearance. “Go nuts.”

“I expect we’ll be in London soon. Best get packed before the throng of students starts to crowd the corridors,” she said, pulling Crookshanks’s wicker basket and her trunk. “I’ll make one last round and I’ll see you on the platform, all right?”

Nodding her head, Ginny turned once again to the window to see London unfurling before her very eyes. She waved her wand to repack the letters she had been reading and closed her trunk shut. And after coaxing Bethel into her basket, she realized that the train was slowing to a stop. A bright red sign passed by her window and she stepped forward to look outside. They were here and for some reason, all of her anxieties flew away and she knew that Harry was on the platform.

She dumped Bethel on the seat unceremoniously and pressed her face on the window of her compartment. Her heart was banging against her ribcage. She had to see him before he sees her—a mere glimpse of his hair will be enough. A wide array of colors passed her line of sight and she desperately searched for that shock of black. It was difficult to find him even at the train’s slowing speed and she was terrified of not finding him but in her heart of hearts, she knew he was there and she will see him, she will, she will.

The train skidded to a stop. Her eyes moved untiringly—a couple, a bouquet of singing daisies, a dog, round glasses. There he was, pushing himself to stand up and as the slowing train passed by, she saw him just in time to raise a hand to his shock of messy hair. Something burned inside her and without waiting for the train to come to a full stop, she grabbed the squirming cat and trunk and squeezed her way towards the entrance.

The doors opened with a blast of light and the students jostled Ginny around as they raced for the doors to the platform—but she kept her eyes on her mark, on Harry, on her sweet, wonderful Harry. She fought the wave of anxiety threatening to return as she stepped onto the platform. She lost him for a while and just like that, like magic, she turned her head and spotted him thirteen yards away from her, his green eyes boring holes into hers. His face broke into a brilliant smile and with that simple gesture, she knew.

She might have floated towards him, or it was he who glided towards her, she didn’t know. A pair of strong hands grabbed her face and suddenly, she was engulfed by Harry’s unique scent of sunshine and laundry soap. His shining, happy face loomed upon her and finally, finally, she felt his lips once again.

It wasn’t like before; it was neither firewhiskey nor sunlit days but she finally understood all the sappy things those Muggles wrote in the books she wrote essays about. It was magic and all that, but more wonderful and honest and natural to her very soul. Kissing him was like coming home, like a breath of fresh air from an hour beneath the lake. A girlish flutter came over Ginny and while she normally waved it off as a nervous tick, she immediately acknowledged that it was really what fools like her call love.

They broke apart yet Harry’s firm hands stayed as they leaned their foreheads together. Harry grinned. “What took you so long, you daft woman?”

“You said it yourself,” she murmured, kissing him softly once more. “I was an idiot.”

“Count me in the idiot society then.” He laughed.

Pulling back, Ginny saw him wearing the twin of the smile that she knew was on her own face. “I can’t believe it took us ten months, two weeks, three days and six and a half hours to finally realize what was staring right in front of our faces.”

“Ten months?” Harry laughed, and Ginny could feel his fingers twirling the strands of her hair. “Nah, I’d say it was almost a decade.”

“That’s a bit of an exaggeration,” she said with a playful roll of her eyes.

“Are you kidding me? There’s our first King’s Cross, love,” Harry said incredulously that made Ginny tilt her head in an inquiring stance. “You were running after the train, laughing and crying.”

Ginny smiled. She remembered that day when she first saw him, the shy, awkward Harry pushing his trolley and asking her mum on how to get onto Platform 9 ¾. “I can’t believe you remember that.”

He nodded, smiling. “Of course I do. Sure, it took us more than half a decade to be here together but that moment will always be etched in my daft prick of a brain.”

“Can you believe it has been that long.” She bit her lip and rubbed her thumb softly on his lip. “It seems like yesterday, yet here we are.”

“Yes, but they don’t matter anymore, Gin,” he said huskily, his breath fanning over her lips in the most amazing way. “All that matters is the now.”

It might have been Harry’s kiss or her mother’s sudden shriek from the vicinity or Ron’s exaggerated gagging but for the first time in a year, Ginny Weasley shut up. She couldn’t agree more.


~*~


Harry Potter announces engagement


It’s confirmed. Harry Potter and Holyhead Harpies Star Chaser Ginny Weasley are engaged.

It was early September when rumours started circulating that the wizarding world’s Chosen One has already chosen The One, but nobody who are close to Mr. Potter and Ms. Weasley would either confirm or deny autumn’s hottest news—not until the couple decided to settle the issue once and for all in a tell-all interview with Witch Weekly.

“It was very sweet, actually,” Ms. Weasley said when asked how Harry Potter proposed to her. “It wasn’t an elaborate proposal like those reports were saying. We were sitting by the fire and were looking at old photographs because we felt a bit sentimental. Then out of the blue, Harry popped the question.”

“And she said yes and jumped around in the room in delight,” Harry Potter added with a smirk—a statement which earned him a hard punch on the arms from his fiancée.

Ms. Weasley also confirmed rumours that she had filed an early retirement from the Harpies to “spend more time and start a family with Harry.” This might be her last season as a Quidditch star before they say their vows in late May next year.

Of all of the couples Witch Weekly has interviewed, only in Mr. Potter and Ms. Weasley that we have found such love in the air. Not overtly sweet, but there is this feeling of love, happiness, and contentment emanating from them that you can’t help but feel the same.

If you, our dear readers, can remember, Witch Weekly had published an article about Harry Potter and his love life after the Second War, where he left the very vague but deeply mysterious answer: “I’m still working things out.” That four-year-old interview was the last official words he had made about his love affairs.

“Yes, I was talking about Ginny,” Mr. Potter affirms whether that statement refers to Ms. Weasley. “The year after the war was very tough and I’ve done things which I am very sure she didn’t like that I can’t just march to her door and get back together. I had to work things out.”

It took them exactly a year before they finally got together because circumstances brought them physically apart—Mr. Potter had started his Auror training while Ms. Weasley had gone back to Hogwarts for her seventh year.

“It was a rollercoaster year for the both of us,” Miss Weasley recalled. “There were lots of misunderstandings and stupidity for my part, before we finally realized we want to be together.”

It was known to many that Mr. Potter and Miss Weasley met in Hogwarts, where they both belong to Gryffindor House, and that Miss Weasley is the only sister and youngest sibling of Mr. Potter’s best friend, Ron Weasley. Did this closeness the reason why they fell in love?

“I honestly don’t know,” Mr. Potter replied. He said that it felt like waking up one day and he suddenly realized that he want to punch the daylights out of the bloke Miss Weasley is currently seeing. They couldn’t pinpoint the time when exactly they realized what was staring right in front of their faces—although Mr. Potter jokingly said that Miss Weasley had a crush on him since they were kids—because, as the couple said, some things have no beginnings and no ends.

And we couldn’t agree more.

December 2002


THE END

~ * ~

A/N: What do you know, we've reached the end. We have been in this fandom (in and out) for approximately five years now and we are proud to say that yes, we have FINALLY finished a 12-chapter story. LOL

The conception of this fic was like a crazy, drunken sex. We were both bored, intoxicated by the dumbness of our sedentary lives one boring summer, and suddenly BAM! We're doing it. That was April 28, 2008. The following nine months can be likened to a pregnant woman's life; we've had some of our body parts swollen from brainstorming and have had cursed all the things we could curse from the pains of the writing slumps we had experienced along the way. The biggest of these slumps was during the last trimester of those nine months.

And now, January 28, 2009, we give you our baby, finally finished and fully realized for all of you to enjoy. We hope you'll love it the way we do.

Huge thanks goes to the most wonderful readers and beta any fanfic author could have. We couldn't have finished this without you and your constant comments reminding us that yes, some people are still reading this. We have exhausted our resources (as seen from the many references all over the place) and we're just glad that we managed to finish a decent story.

Apologies to Love Actually, Mean Girls, Emily Brontë, Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, J.D. Salinger, Charles Dickens, Shakespeare, J.R.R. Tolkien, Spider-Man, Homer, Michael Kors, Henry Cavill, Gossip Girl, Sappho, Rainer Maria Rilke, Emily Dickinson, Pablo Neruda, e.e. cummings, Cecilia Ahern, and The Zombies for finding themselves and their works here in this fic.

Again, thank you so so much for being part of this rollercoaster ride with us. :)
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