Ginny's Heartache by TomBombadil
Summary: After the final battle, Ginny waits for Harry to come to her. The situation renews insecurities and heartaches that have tormented her so frequently. Will Harry ever talk to her? Will she understand?
Ginny's Heartache by TomBombadil
Chapter 1: Chapter 1Author's Notes:
More often than not, when I look out across the Great Hall, I can’t find him among the crowd of thankful witches, wizards, and assorted magical creatures. Everyone wants to see him — talk to him — touch him, but I’ll be buggered if anyone wants him as badly as do I.
I selfishly contemplate walking through the crowd until I find him and drag him physically away from his adoring fans — these people who love him today but who wondered as late as yesterday if he, Ron, and Hermione hadn’t simply skulked off to save their own skins, the rest of the wizarding world be damned. But on those rare occasions when I actually do lay eyes on him, he looks so beleaguered — so exhausted — so much like he would rather be anywhere else but here, I change my mind and decide to sit silently with my family ... because I understand.
I understand that Harry has things that must be attended to — things that must be finished. I understand that Harry has duties and obligations, even though he has done more for all of us than any other wizard in history — and, yes, that includes Dumbledore and Merlin. I may be biased, but I stand by these beliefs.
I understand all that Harry is, and I love him for it, but understanding can't always stop the pain. Hell, understanding doesn’t even ease the pain most of the time.
I understand that the time will come when he can tell me everything that happened to make possible the events of last night and this morning. I understand without needing to be asked, just as I did at Dumbledore’s funeral, that I have to be patient. But knowing what he was going to do — what he had to do —didn't keep it from hurting worse than anything I could possibly imagine. After all, my nature is to act first and ask questions later.
Harry knows that I am neither passive nor patient, yet he asked me to be both for the last year. So I have been, other than that incident with Gryffindor’s sword and a few other things that had to be done for Dumbledore’s Army. But when it came to things directly involving Harry, I have waited patiently … passively … except for his birthday kiss, and we both needed that!
I look down so no one will misinterpret the devilish smile I know is on my lips.
Unlike most, I have understood without doubt that Harry’s life had to be dedicated to the downfall of Voldemort. I understood this even before he accidentally confirmed the purpose of his mission while we talked at the Burrow last summer. Perhaps that is why I’m resentful that all of these doubters and naysayers want to adore him now, after he has triumphed, and I find myself waiting; Again.
So I look once more across the room and my heart tears open a little bit wider, the knife penetrates my soul a little bit deeper because, despite the joy of victory, the cost is nearly unbearable.
It’s wonderful to have Percy back with us for many reasons other than the fact that I can fool myself by counting seven heads of bright red hair. Percy has been estranged from the rest of us for so long that I have come to think of us as eight Weasleys, but in fact, there should be nine of us celebrating this victorious morning. I count again, but the number remains unchanged — I count only seven Weasleys — eight including me. It doesn’t seem possible that the liveliest member of our family is gone forever. Fred is dead.
Oh, bollocks! It feels like the world is mocking me when the cause of so much sorrow trips off the tongue like a silly little rhyme. Fred is dead … and I can’t suppress the painful sigh that escapes my lips.
As if that isn’t bad enough, Fred isn’t the only one lost forever. Will it ever be possible to sit at the kitchen table at Grimmauld Place and not think about Tonks — about the great young Auror who was one of Moody’s finest, even though she always had time to pull a face or shock us all with her hair color du jour? Had I not known her face so well, I don’t think I would have recognized her laying motionless among the fallen … her complexion gray in death and her hair even more lifeless than the mousy brown shade it had been when she had pined away for Remus.
Merlin help us! Remus Lupin; the one who suggested that I be allowed to remain in the Room of Requirement rather than be sent home to wait, miserably alone, is also gone forever. It’s ironic, isn’t it, that for once it doesn’t matter that he was a werewolf? All that is important now is that he is another fallen hero of Light — a wizard who helped hold off the forces of Darkness until Harry could win our ultimate victory.
The swirling thoughts of death and Harry Potter combine to shake me to the depths of my soul. I’ve done everything I can to wash my mind clean of that terrible period of time when I truly believed what Voldemort claimed — that he had murdered Harry. No, I never once believed what the old bastard said about Harry deserting. That is something Harry would never do, although so many on our side had been asking that very question for months — the unsettling question of whether or not Harry had deserted us. Of course he hadn’t, but that is how Tom Riddle worked. He preyed constantly upon the fears and weaknesses of his victims. I should know, having foolishly surrendered all of my deepest fears and disappointments to his cursed journal — having been possessed by him.
No, I could never believe that Harry would abandon us, but I could believe he had been killed. Knowing Harry as I know Harry — perhaps as I alone know Harry (Ron and Hermione, forgive me) — I knew he would turn himself over in an effort to save us. I knew he would choose to sacrifice himself if no other option seemed possible, because I know his nature. I understand him.
How long had it gone on … five minutes? … a quarter of an hour? I honestly don’t know, though it felt like forever. All I know is that I was shaken to the core and burdened by despair. I simply could not — simply cannot — imagine my world without Harry Potter.
What else could explain the ridiculous fact that I ended up dueling with Bellatrix Lestrange, the most powerful and vicious of all the Death Eaters? I had no chance of defeating her, not even with the help of Luna and Hermione. But without Harry, what did I have to live for?
Yes, I know people will say I had everything to live for, but they are wrong. It is difficult enough to think of life without Fred ... without Tonks, Lupin, Mad-Eye, Colin, and so many others who have fallen. Life without them, but with Voldemort — that life would not have been worth living. But life without Harry would be unthinkable!
So I dueled, expecting to be killed at any moment but filled with the desire to take Bellatrix with me if I could. When the jet of sickly green light missed me by less than an inch, I felt nothing but more hatred and a greater desire to avenge Harry’s death in any way I could, with absolutely no regard to what it might cost.
Then Mum stepped in. I’ve never been one to underestimate my mother, but even I wasn’t prepared for what happened next. My sweet, loving, generous mum battled to the death and killed Voldemort’s most horrible associate. My mum, who is married to a man who worries about the health of garden gnomes, killed Bellatrix Lestrange without as much as a moment’s hesitation. Acting solely from love, she killed Bellatrix to save me.
But that should come as no surprise, because Mum has never been foolish enough to think that all killing is tantamount to murder.
And at last, solely to protect my mum and me, Harry appeared from nowhere to cast a Shield charm! I didn’t need to see anything — his voice is carved deeply in my mind — deeply in my heart — deeply in my very soul.
The irony of it almost makes me laugh. Almost. Instead, I feel a shudder run deeply through my body. I’m nearly overwhelmed by the weight of conflicting emotions and my eyes fill suddenly with tears. I’m crushed by the pain of so much loss — my own and that of everyone else in the room. Who among us has been untouched? But above all other emotions, I’m turned nearly into a pile of mash due to the simple fact that Harry is alive.
God, I hate to cry, but I don’t know how I survived. Thank Merlin I did survive. Thank God that Harry survived!
I’m overwhelmed with the recollection of the emotions that ran through me. Harry wasn’t dead! He was still alive, and so was I! So I ran across the floor when at last he had brought down the Dark Lord using, of course, a defensive spell. My brave and brilliant Harry! While I wasn’t the first to arrive, Ron and Hermione be damned, I was part of the next group to get there. But it wasn’t enough, because everyone in the room wanted to touch him — to thank him — to be with him. So, again, I find myself waiting. I find myself longing to see him — to talk to him — most of all, to hold him.
A light touch on my shoulder floods my heart with hope. Harry! I turn, smiling radiantly, but the eyes that meet mine are brown, not green. I struggle to keep my eyes bright and my smile open and wide, but I can’t quite manage it. I pray I haven’t hurt her feelings too deeply.
“It’s okay,” Hermione says, not bothering to pretend that she hasn’t noticed my crestfallen appearance while taking my hand between her own. “He’ll be with you as soon as he can get free.”
I look across the room, my eyes following the same systematic grid I use every fifteen minutes or so, and at last I find him sitting at one of the tables with Luna. Luna!
Merlin, Morgana, and Dumbledore! He’s sitting with Luna? Fuck! Is there anyone he doesn’t plan to be with before he gets around to me? Well, at least it isn’t Cho!
I think back a few hours to the moment when I stumbled into the Room of Requirement and, before anything else, I saw him. I hadn’t been sure what kind of look he had on his face, but it certainly didn’t say, “God, Ginny, I love you more than anything in the world!”
I’m vaguely aware of my name being called from somewhere in the distance.
“Hey! Ginny!” only this time, my name is accompanied by a tugging on my sleeve. It’s Hermione, who is still standing here beside me while I take yet another journey into self-doubt.
“I’m sorry, Hermione. I guess I got distracted.”
“Yes, you did: Distracted by Harry.”
“Oh, God!” I nearly moan. “Is it that obvious?”
“Yes, but it’s okay,” says Hermione.
“No, it’s not,” I reply. “It isn’t okay. It’s pathetic.”
“No,” replies Hermione. “If you want to know what is pathetic, it’s Harry staying up for hours, poring over the Marauder’s Map with his fingers tracing your movements in the Castle.”
“He did that?” I ask.
“Yes, he did. Except it wasn’t really pathetic at all. If we hadn’t been in constant danger, it might even have been cute — watching him be so stealthy and secretive, but he was so blasted earnest about it that I just couldn’t tease him.”
“Really?” I ask, hungry for any other information Hermione might be able to share.
“Yes, and if he had muttered your name one more time in his sleep, I think I might have used a Silencing charm on him.”
“What?” I ask. If she didn’t already, Hermione now has my full attention. The thought of Harry Potter murmuring my name in bed has me entirely focused, but my desire for deeper information is thwarted.
“Hermione, could you come help me for a minute?” Ron asks while wrapping his arm around her shoulder and pulling her in the opposite direction.
So, again, I’m alone in a crowd of hundreds. I look again and Harry is still seated next to Luna, although he looks miserable.
I know what is in his heart. I know he wants to escape from the crowd of worshipers who make him so uncomfortable — who don’t understand exactly what motivated him to face death on our behalf. I know he only wants to be with a few of us, and I fear that he may only want to be together as a part of the three of them … Harry, Ron, and Hermione.
I look to my side and there is Mum, looking pale and exhausted. She has lost her son — my brother. It is a loss that cannot even begin to be offset by her victory over Bellatrix Lestrange. She is looking down at the table, avoiding the stares of so many who want to touch her almost as much as they want to touch Harry.
Mum needs me, and I can find no trace of the resentfulness I had felt when she wanted to send me home … alone … to wait for news. Mum needs me, so I move next to her and rest my head on her shoulder. She looks at me momentarily, our identical eyes locking upon each other’s. We both well up with tears before I can no longer keep mine open. I can no longer see her, but somehow I know Mum has closed her eyes, too. I feel her shudder strongly and can’t restrain the same reaction in my own body. I press my cheek even more firmly against her shoulder and let the world pass by.
I haven’t slept, though I have been numb. I know somehow that Kingsley has been named temporary Minister for Magic, and I can’t suppress the rising hope that he will soon become the permanent holder of that title. We need a man like Kingsley to lead us — a man who won’t be ruled by expedience — a man who won’t govern for the sake of expedience — but that is a matter for the future. Once again, I can only think of one thing. I can only think about being with Harry.
I open my eyes and raise my head to scan the room. The place he had occupied next to Luna is now empty and a sense of panic passes rapidly through me. It’s absurd, but I feel the need to find him as quickly as possible. I look, making no effort to disguise what I am doing, but I can’t find Harry.
Bugger! I can’t find Ron or Hermione, either!
“Mum,” I say gently, hoping to get her attention with some semblance of subtlety. “I need to find Harry.”
“I know, dear,” she says with equal softness. “But go somewhere he can find you. It won’t be long.”
I smile and press a kiss to her cheek as I rise from the table. I haven’t been sure that Mum truly understands how I feel about Harry, but with ten words, she not only communicates exactly what she knows — she lets me know that it brings her happiness.
I wander about the castle for a few minutes before I realize where I need to go. Then, without even thinking, my feet take me directly to Gryffindor Tower. Mercifully, the stairways do not move and the castle makes no effort to impede my progress. The Fat Lady swings open and I move into the empty Common Room — settling into the settee and staring at the unlit fireplace. Most of all, I ache to have Harry beside me — here in the room in which we shared our first kiss.
For a moment I think how perfect it will be to have him find me here, and how I can rush into his arms once again. Perhaps we could reunite in the very same place where our lips first met. The moment is short-lived, however, as I blush at the silly childishness of such an idea. Despite the fact that we have been apart for almost a year, our relationship has changed. Although we have not been able to express such things to one another, I am completely confident that his feelings have deepened as much as have mine.
No, this simply won’t do. I look around for only a few seconds before I realize what I need to do. I rise from the settee and move steadily up the stairs to the boys’ dormitories until I reach the room that Harry shared for six years with Ron, Neville, Dean, and Seamus. I’ve only been here a few times before, and only twice without Harry — those being the times when I had come to enlist Neville’s help in my attempt to steal Gryffindor’s sword and my solo venture to reacquire Tom Riddle's journal.
I move directly to Harry’s four-poster bed. It is unmade and unkempt. No one has touched it in all the time Harry has been away. It is his bed. It has been left alone in honor of him and in silent support for his mission, even though I am the only person at Hogwarts who knew what that mission entailed. I look across the room and see that Ron’s bed has been treated in an identical fashion.
I sit briefly on the side of Harry’s mattress, wondering if it will feel right. It does. I am as much his as this bed is — his if he wants me, and somehow I know he does.
I free my wand from my clothing and begin making quick work of the fabric that remains in the dormitory. Before long, I have conjured the available material into a complete restoration of Harry’s bed. It is exactly as it had been when he slept here, so I cast a quick Cleansing charm on myself and climb back up, working my way beneath the covers and between the sheets.
It still feels right to be here. In fact, it feels as if this is the only place in the world where I belong at this very moment. Sleep begins to overtake me, so with my last waking effort, I close the draperies with the flick of my wand and surrender to the peacefulness of sleep.
I have no idea how long I have slept, but my first waking sensation is the feel of soft lips on my forehead. I don’t need to open my eyes to know he is here. The smell of Harry pervades my senses and a shiver of anticipation runs down my spine.
The sound of Harry’s voice fills me with warmth.
“Ginny?” he continues, “I’ve been looking all over for you.”
“You have?” I ask, trying to maintain a look of innocence but failing completely.
I haven’t had a moment of innocence since I conjured the bed linens. Still, I try not to look too obvious as my eyelids open with a flicker. It’s equally obvious that there is no need for my half-hearted attempt at propriety. Harry is staring at me with equal measures of adoration and sheer animal hunger.
“Yes, I have,” he answers. “I’d finally given up and decided to get a little rest.”
“Disappointed to find your sleeping quarters occupied?” I ask, not knowing exactly why I’m trying to seem cute. I have no desire to be cute, especially not now. Beautiful? Yes. Desirable? Definitely! Cute? Not so much.
“Not disappointed at all,” he replies. “In fact, I rather hoped you would be here once I started up the stairs.”
“You did, now, did you?”
“Well … well … well, you see …” he stammers until I silence him with a passionate kiss, my tongue instantly toying with his lips, needing desperately to taste him as I had on his seventeenth birthday.
“I just didn’t want to seem …” he begins to explain before I cut him off once again, this time pulling him tight against me.
“You don’t need to explain anything,” I say softly before bringing my lips forcefully back against his. “I’m yours, Harry.”
“How so?” he asks, his face suddenly solemn beyond measure.
“In every way,” I answer fervently, willing him to understand the depth of my emotions and the maturity of the love I feel for him.
“Enough to let me be your husband?” he asks, all traces of his playful smile now gone from his face.
“To … to let you be my husband?” I stammer, suddenly dumbstruck.
“Yes,” he replies, digging rapidly in his pockets long enough to extract a velvet bag I immediately recognize as coming from Gringotts, even though I have never personally possessed one. “I convinced Kingsley to accompany me to Gringotts so I could retrieve this,” says Harry.
Harry shuffles awkwardly with the bag and removes a velvet-covered box. There is suddenly a lot of velvet in this room, and my mind is racing. He fiddles a maddeningly long time with the containers before finally producing his wand and pronouncing the incantation, “Finite Incantatum.”
He lifts up a stunning emerald-cut diamond, offset with ruby baguettes on a band of purest gold — Gryffindor colors.
“Ginevra Weasley, I want to spend my life with you. Will you marry me?”
I’m overwhelmed. There are so many questions I want to ask — so many things I want to know. No, I need to know the answers. In fact, I should know the answers before I give my response.
But, I trust Harry. More importantly, I understand him. I know he wouldn’t ask such a powerful question unless he was absolutely certain that I will be satisfied with his answers. I know without doubt that he understands me every bit as well as I understand him.
“Yes, Harry, of course I’ll marry you.”
I want to kiss him more than anything in the world, but he takes a few more moments to fumble around with his collection of velvet-covered treasures. He pulls out a simple necklace — a stunning necklace composed of a blazing ruby pendant, emerald-cut to match the diamond he has just given me, surrounded by glittering diamonds. It is the inverse of our engagement ring.
“Harry, I’m not in this for things. I only want you.”
“Shh…” he whispers gently. "These are not 'things.' They belonged to my mother, and now I want them to be yours.”
My heart melts. Had I stopped for only a moment I would have realized that Harry would never want to shower me with meaningless, albeit, beautiful things.
“Oh, God, Harry. They’re perfect.”
Only then does Harry allow the look of pure love mixed with the heat of desire to return to his face.
“I had to know you'd marry me before …” he begins softly.
“Before what?” I ask.
“Before this,” he answers, lowering his lips to meet mine and for our tongues to intertwine without inhibition.
“I love you, Ginny,” he says when at last our lips part to breathe.
“And I love you, Harry,” I reply.
But there are no other words, for nothing else needs to be said.
We kiss until our lips are sated, but all other parts of our bodies are crying out with an all-consuming hunger. Before I even realize it, Harry has thrown the duvet to the foot of the bed and come fully inside the protective walls of drapery. His hands are in my hair as his lips find a sensitive spot behind my earlobe and his tongue begins to lave my neck. The chills are nearly too much to endure, yet provide a feeling I might not be able to live without.
My hands begin to grapple with the buttons that frustratingly separate our bodies while his fingers slip reluctantly from their entanglement with my long hair. By the time he begins to wrestle with my clothing, his shirt hangs open and his heat is radiating toward me. At last he manages to get my shirt off and makes remarkably quick work of my bra. I try to stifle the attendant worries but can’t help wondering how many times he has done this before, and I lose any sense of guilt I may have had about insisting that Luna, rather than Cho, accompany Harry to the Ravenclaw Common Room.
Harry manages to shake his shirt free of his shoulders, and I can’t help noticing how much more defined his muscles have become since he set out on his journey — not that it matters — I’d love Harry regardless of physical appearance, though it doesn’t hurt anything that he is so unmistakably desirable.
His hands reach out tentatively for the waistband of my jeans, but he stops. I can feel them trembling against the skin of my abdomen as I erupt with goose bumps. He regains his courage and begins to move again, but this time, it is upwards. Seconds later, he is cupping my breasts and shivering uncontrollably. The combination of my physical reaction to his touch and my emotional response to his tenderness elicits a groan from deep within me.
“Are you alright?” he asks, jerking his hands away from my breasts and leaving me bereft of his touch.
“Yes!” I nearly hiss into his ear. “It all feels wonderful.”
“But you moaned,” he says. “I just wasn’t sure.”
“Wasn’t sure of what?” I ask.
“Anything,” he replies. “I’ve never actually done any of this before.”
The ghost of Cho Chang evaporates from my mind’s eye and a feeling of gratitude washes over me. I tell myself that it shouldn’t matter if Harry has been with a hundred girls, but it would. Perhaps it all boils down to how thoroughly we understand one another, but I simply can’t imagine doing this with anyone other than Harry. Relieved and grateful for his reassurance, I bring my lips back up to his ear.
“I haven’t done any of this either,” I whisper while grazing the shell of his ear with my lips.
Harry moans gutturally.
“Good?” I ask, already knowing the answer.
Harry nods enthusiastically but can’t seem to form words. Slowly, one hand begins to slip back down toward my waistband, but the quivers return before he even reaches my navel.
I am ready — more ready than I could ever have dreamed possible, not even on those nights when I have fallen asleep dreaming of this very moment. I know what he wants — what I want — and there is no longer any need to wait. I decide to encourage him as forcefully as possible. I move my hands quickly over his chest and abdomen and begin working on his fly.
At last he overcomes his anxiety and begins the process of opening my jeans.
I’m struggling to pull his pants down his legs when mine seem magically to disappear. Harry hesitates a moment about what to do next, and I’m so far gone, I can’t wait a single second longer.
“Now, Harry! I need you now!”
“Need what, love?” he asks uncertainly.
I allow a short, frustrated sigh to escape my lips and swallow hard. Merlin’s beard, this boy does incredible things to me. He obviously cares more about me than he does about himself.
“Make love to me now, Harry, please!” I might as well be begging, but I simply do not care.
“Are you sure?” he asks, obviously wanting desperately to be reassured one final time.
“Yes!” I cry.
And at last, we become one.
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