“Kiss me.” Blaise’s voice was rough and hard as he pushed his hand into Ginny’s hair and she did as he asked. “Eager little slut.”
Ginny supposed she should be offended by that, but she wasn’t. She knew Blaise liked to talk like that before he came and she couldn’t say she cared. She knew exactly why she was here and she knew why she would go home to Harry when it was all finished.
“So good…” Her voice sounded breathy, but as Blaise fucked her, she felt as bored as she always did these days. The restless itch had been scratched and now she just felt lonely. She felt loneliest of all when Blaise gave her that look that made her insides coil unpleasantly. It was a look which suggested she might be more to Blaise than a fling and that really wasn’t the plan. He was handsome and made her feel alive when he took her in his arms and did things to her that made her blush just thinking about them.
But he wasn’t Harry and apparently that made all the difference in the world.
She could remember the hot summer day when all this had started and the kids had been playing outside, giving her and Harry a bit of respite. Ginny felt bored and restless as minutes turned to days and days quickly spun into years. She adored Harry and her children, but she yearned for something more than a life with sex twice a year when the lights went out. She hated the way she felt rushed, harassed and continually tired.
“Are you alright?” Harry moved behind her and wrapped his arms around her, pressing his lips to her neck. They were always affectionate with one another, but the more private passions had waned somewhat since the beginning when they barely found time to come up for air.
“We need to talk.” Ginny turned in Harry’s arms and he nodded his agreement, looking at her carefully before his gaze moved to the window.
“Later. When the kids are in bed.”
“Later,” Ginny agreed.
That night they had talked about the war. They sat together and shared a bottle of wine, taking slow, measured sips and finding one another again. Ginny remembered the way Harry tasted when he kissed her and the chill of the wine on his lips as he explored her slowly until they decided to move upstairs into the privacy of their room.
They took their time and Harry was as considerate as always, until they both lay in a warm tangle of limbs on the crisp cotton sheets.
It was afterwards that everything changed. They talked more openly than they had for some time and they had made their decision. An open relationship seemed like a sensible idea at the time. They both knew the sexual element of their relationship had dissipated a long time ago. It seemed an exciting sort of idea which led to the kind of activities they hadn’t explored in a very long time as they sucked and licked and tasted one another and spoke of their fantasies until the sun began to rise.
“Are you still with me?”
“Hm?” Ginny turned to Blaise and smiled at him as he gave her a searching look while he trailed his fingers along her stomach. “Does it seem like I’m not?”
Blaise shrugged and looked away. “You haven’t really been here for some time. You know that.”
“I’m sorry.” Ginny reached for Blaise and pulled him close. Part of her wanted to look away but she forced herself to meet his gaze and felt the strange, unsettled feeling again in the pit of her stomach.
It’s just sex.
They had agreed on that, her and Harry. They had decided if either one of them found themselves in a situation where emotions were involved, they would cut their ties and find somebody new. The arrangement was intended to satisfy something which they both craved and which they didn’t appear to be able to get from one another. It didn’t mean they loved each other any less. Ginny knew where her heart belonged and every time she looked at Harry he still took her breath away.
“I suppose you’ll have to go home. It’s getting dark outside.” Blaise nodded to the window, his tone cool.
“Bloody hell, what’s the time?”
“Late enough,” Blaise shrugged. His eyes raked over Ginny as she pulled on her clothes.
She looked at him, sprawled out languidly on the sheets and wondered if she could really make a go of things with him if things were different. Just the thought of it made her heart ache for Harry and she shook herself. She missed him in everything she did and it was when she was with Blaise that she missed Harry most of all.
“I’ll see you next week.”
“Fine.” Blaise sounded put out and waved towards the Floo. “You know the way.”
Ginny cast one last look back before she threw down the powder and caught Blaise’s eyes, feeling the heat in his gaze and the flicker of hurt in his expression.
Then he was gone.
“Great.” Ginny ignored the food for now because the thought of eating made her feel nauseous. She sat next to Harry and nudged him lightly. “What are you reading?”
“I have absolutely no idea.” Harry shut the book with a snap and gave Ginny a tight smile. She looked at him and took in his damp hair and slightly rumpled shirt.
It worked both ways, of course. It wasn’t as if Ginny was the only one seeing other people, but Harry had always been rather discreet. She had asked him once, who else there had been and he had told her, without emotion, about a couple of Muggle girls he had seen on and off. He hadn’t displayed much enthusiasm at the time and Ginny felt she couldn’t tell him too much about Blaise. She had simply mentioned an old school friend – a lie in itself, because Blaise had never been her friend.
At parties after that, Ginny would feel Harry’s eyes on her when she danced with Neville or Michael. She often wondered what he imagined she was doing with them. Ginny had never understood why she kept Blaise a secret from Harry because they had agreed that this would all be okay. Right now, all Ginny wanted was to lean into Harry and breathe in his soapy, clean scent and lose herself in his arms. He was wearing a green wool jumper with leather patches on the sleeves. The dark wool accentuated Harry’s eyes, and his hair was thick black and messy, just as Ginny liked it. She thought he looked bloody gorgeous. Sometimes Ginny wondered what the fuck they were doing – finding comfort in other people when so much of her still loved Harry more than words could express.
“You could say that,” Harry shrugged.
“Where have you been?” It was a casual question, which Ginny knew she had no right really to ask as they had set their rules out a long time ago. With her own hair still mussed from where Blaise had gripped it as he kissed her, Ginny felt she couldn’t push Harry for the details when she was hardly willing to surrender her own.
“I’ve been with someone else.” Harry spoke casually, but his lips pursed and his brow furrowed. “As have you.”
“But I came home.” Ginny placed her hand on Harry’s arm and he stared at it. “Are we being idiots, do you think?”
“I don’t know anymore.” Harry sighed and turned to Ginny, his eyes searching her face. “I need to tell you something.”
“You do?” Ginny felt her breath catch in her throat. Everything felt cold and her stomach clenched in a tight knot.
“Yes.” Harry placed his hand over hers and drew a breath, as if he had been thinking about what he was going to say for quite a while. “This person…it’s different.”
“You like her?” Ginny felt her insides twist as she watched Harry carefully. This hadn’t been the plan. This had never been the plan. No matter what they did, they always came back to each other, in the end.
“Not her.” Harry spoke in a low, tight voice and flicked his gaze to Ginny as his cheeks flushed pink. “It’s not a her.”
She hadn’t expected that. Ginny had never thought for one moment that Harry would be with another man. They hadn’t discussed it and he had never mentioned any inclination towards men or given any hint of desires left unfulfilled.
“Say something.” Harry moved his arm then and turned to her, gripping her hands in his own. “I need you to say something.”
“Like what?” Ginny’s voice cracked and she felt hot tears prick her eyes as she blinked them back furiously. “I didn’t know.”
“Neither did I,” Harry replied. He pulled a face and looked at Ginny. “I really had no fucking idea – you have to believe that.”
Ginny nodded, unable to bring herself to speak.
She wondered if Harry liked to be fucked.
She found herself picturing him with a faceless man and tried to imagine who it might be. They placed some obvious limits – no one too close, no one they shared a connection with. Ginny knew it wouldn’t be one of her brothers for example, or one of their close drinking buddies like Seamus or Dean.
“You want to know who?”
“You don’t have to say.” Ginny squeezed Harry’s hand and thought of Blaise, and Harry’s eyes watching her as she danced with other people - they had an agreement after all - names weren’t required.
“It’s alright. I’m ending it.” Harry didn’t look happy at the thought and Ginny swallowed thickly squeezing his hand.
“We always agreed; no emotions.”
“Yeah,” Harry nodded. “We did.”
“Don’t be nervous.”
“I’m not.” Albus looked up at Ginny, his expression serious. “It'll be brilliant.”
“It will be brilliant.” Ginny grinned at Albus. She could tell he was worrying about something but she knew better than to push.
Ginny watched her family with a rush of pride and saw the way Harry bent down to mutter something to Albus, watching her son’s face relax as he reached to hug Harry tightly.
Ginny watched Albus move happily to the Hogwart’s Express, an eager smile on his face, and she felt a smile tug at her lips. She looked at Harry and followed his gaze. A dull roar drowned out everything around her. Ginny felt Harry’s hand slide into hers and she gripped onto it tightly.
The look in Harry’s eyes was like nothing she had ever seen before and she found herself clinging to him, her heart racing.
“Okay.” Harry drew a breath and tore his eyes from Draco Malfoy as he kissed Ginny lightly on the cheek. “We should go home.”
Ginny nodded, unable to bring herself to speak as everything around her went cold.
She had seen Harry’s eyes flare with a heat she had never known, and knew that nothing would ever be the same again.