The Reason Not To by potterfan2008
Summary: Ginny is finding it hard to simply forget her troubles from her first year. Her brother are still ignoring her and her classmates are making things very difficult. She is lost and heading for disaster, but luckily Harry finds her first. *trigger warning - discusses suicidal thoughts and planning*
The Reason Not To by potterfan2008
Chapter 1: Chapter 1Author's Notes:
Ginny ran down the corridor and dove into a small unused classroom. Slamming the door behind her, she flung herself down on ground, disregarding the thick dust that coated the room. There was a teacher’s desk in the front of the room, but only a handful of students’ desks were scattered around the room. A pile of dust-covered blankets on the floor showed that at one point this was a trysting spot, but it had been long forgotten. Forgotten — that was what she wanted to be.
She lay in that dusty room with tears flowing down her cheeks. Her whole body shook as she cried out her misery. Time lost all meaning as she sobbed. It took a while for her to calm down, but eventually she sat up and wiped her nose on the tattered sleeve of her robes. She opened a folded piece of parchment that had been stuffed into her Charms books. Light flooded through the windows on one side of the room making it all too easy to read the note.
‘Dark Witch go home! If you show up at the Quidditch match, you will be sorry!!”
Below the words was a picture of a figure climbing a ladder and hanging herself from a tree. It had been charmed so the figure repeatedly hanged herself. The notes had been becoming increasing more violent over the past six months. She was accused of trying to murder Colin, Justin, Penny, Hermione, and of course Harry. She was accused of being a Death Eater and a spy for Slytherin. She’d even received some death threats. At first she’d told Percy, after all he was Head Boy. He told her to ignore them.
Her robes had been ripped to shredded ‘accidentally’ by Hermione’s new cat, Crookshanks. Hermione had apologized, but because her parents couldn’t afford anymore, she only had two sets of robes left — the one she was wearing and the one being cleaned. Due to the frequent washing of the already old robes, they were grey and threadbare.
Over the summer, she thought everything would work out. She and her family went to see her favourite brother, Bill, in Egypt. Bill was wonderful and he talked to her about everything that had happened with Tom. He helped her see it wasn’t her fault that she’d been tricked by Voldemort. Over and over he’d told her that Voldemort had tricked others who were older and wiser than she was. None of her ‘victims’ were permanently harmed and thanks to Harry, the basilisk was dead.
Her other brothers weren’t quite as forgiving. Fred and George hadn’t really said much about the whole thing, but she lived in fear that they would start teasing her about being a Dark Witch as they’d done to Harry the previous year. Sometimes they didn’t realise that not everything was meant to be joked about. Percy had given her several lectures about her foolishness and how she ought to have made better choices. Ron, her closest brother, alternated between pity and anger. She thought everything was alright between them, but as soon as they were on the train, the first thing he did was tell her to go away.
She wanted so much to tell Harry how sorry she was, but every time she was near him she couldn’t make herself talk to him. He had almost died and it was her fault!! Tears welled up in her eyes again. He’d been through so much and had survived the Killing Curse to almost be killed by her.
Everyone would be much better off without her. Her parents wouldn’t have to be embarrassed by her anymore and her brothers…well, they wouldn’t have a little sister embarrassing them. She knew her actions had made trouble for her father at work.
It would serve her roommates right! They kept telling her how horrible she was. They would certainly feel badly if she died, wouldn’t they? Would her brothers really care? Probably not — they’d just be happy that she was gone. They’d be glad they wouldn’t have to share anything with her. They could stop complaining that she received ‘preferential’ treatment because she was bought ‘new’ clothes sometimes.
Sniffing, she dissolved into tears once again when she realized that hardly anyone would miss her at all. Her parents, maybe, and Bill. When her tears ran out, she lay there miserably. She had no energy and didn’t want to return to the common room. Honestly, she had no energy to do anything — she didn’t want to eat, she didn’t want to go to class, she would have been happy to sleep her days away. That way maybe one day she would fall asleep and not wake up again.
Reaching into her pocket, she withdrew the vial she’d been carrying around for days. She'd been very surprised when she saw Angel’s Trumpets growing in the courtyard. The bell-shaped flowers were very pretty, but they were also highly poisonous. When she was little, her mother had always kept them out of reach and made sure they all knew the pretty flowers were dangerous. She gathered several flowers in the vial. How difficult would it be to make a tea from the flowers and simply drift off to sleep?
The sounds of students in the corridors, made her sit up. Wouldn’t it be awful if she was never found? Even though she thought she had no more tears left, tears once again filled her eyes. Would it be like the phrase she’d written on the wall in the corridor outside the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets? Would her skeleton be here forever? Would anyone even think to look for her? Probably not. Her brothers would be happy she was leaving them alone. No one would probably notice until she didn’t ride the train home.
Reluctantly she put the vial of poisonous flowers back into the robes. She didn’t want her body to lay in some horrible room all year. Struggling to her feet, she tried to wipe her face, but she had the feeling that people would know she’d been crying. She wished she knew more magic. Bill could conjure up a mirror easily. Of course, he probably also knew tons of spells to make it look like she hadn’t even been crying.
Smoothing, back her hair, she peered out of the door. Thankfully, most of the students in this part of the castle were simply hurrying by trying to reach another part of the castle. No one was paying attention to her.
Harry was hurrying through an unfamiliar part of the castle. He’d given Ron and Hermione the slip, because quite honestly, he was tired of hearing them argue. He didn’t really understand how anyone could argue so much and still remain friends. Now they were arguing about cats and rats.
He turned a corner and almost ran right into Ginny Weasley. He almost gasped out loud when he saw her. She didn’t look like the cheerful, happy girl he’d seen at the end of the last school year. He hadn’t seen very much of her this year, but he thought he would have noticed if she looked so bad.
Her normally beautiful hair was dull and lank, simply hanging over her shoulders. What worried him the most, was the depressed, lifeless look in her eyes. They were red-rimmed and Harry could see the tell-tale signs of crying. He also noticed that for some reason she had a thin layer of dust along one side of her body.
“Ginny? Are you okay?”
She jumped at the sound of his voice and looked up at him. She reminded him of a startled unicorn, ready to take off at the slightest sign of danger.
“H-harry. I’m s-sorry, I didn’t see you there.”
“It’s okay,” he replied. “I wasn’t watching where I was going either.”
She put her head down and didn’t say anything. Harry racked his brains trying to remember the last time he actually saw her. She was hardly ever in the common room in the evening and he only occasionally saw her in the Great Hall. As he looked at her, he realized she’d lost weight and she couldn’t really afford to lose weight. Frowning, he thought her brothers had all promised to look after her this year.
“Did you have dinner?”
She looked up startled and looked around vaguely as if searching for something. “Is it that late? Damn, I’ve missed my afternoon classes.”
“What’s going on, Ginny?”
Pasting a false smile on her face, she replied, “Nothing, I just lost track of time.”
He shook his head. “No, I don’t think so. What’s wrong?”
Looking down again she fiddled with the frayed cuff of her worn robes. She jumped when he said, “What happened to your robes?”
“Crookshanks,” she said resentfully. “Hermione doesn’t keep an eye on that cat and he wanders all over the girls’ side. He somehow became stuck in my room. He shredded all of my robes except for two.”
“That’s awful, she should have replaced your robes.”
Ginny shrugged. “She’s been really busy.”
As she pulled her hand out of her pocket, a piece of parchment fell to the ground. With his quick reflexes, Harry grabbed it first.
She came alive for the first time. “Give that back to me!”
Honestly, he meant to just hand it back to her, but he found himself looking at it. He couldn’t believe it. “Ginny! Who gave this to you?”
She shrugged again. “I don’t know. They never put them in my stuff when I’m around. I usually find them in my books or sometimes on my bed.”
“Did you tell anyone?” he asked indignantly.
“Percy,” she replied. “He told me that I had to understand that I upset a lot of people last year and I just needed to ignore the notes. They would stop after a while.”
Harry shook his head definitely. “People like that don’t stop. Ginny, why don’t we go talk to Professor McGonagall?”
“No, she has much bigger things to worry about.”
“No, she doesn’t,” he replied. “Last year when people thought I was the one who opened the Chamber of Secrets, other students were horrible to me. My first year, no one talked to me after Hermione, Neville and I lost fifty points each. No one. During Quidditch practice, the team would only call me Seeker. It hurts and it is not right.
“Please come see Professor McGonagall with me.”
A tiny seed of hope flickered in her heart. Could she possibly be helped? Did anyone care? Not matter what happened to her, she couldn’t refuse Harry. She owed him too much.
Nodding her head, she agreed. “Okay. Don’t be surprised if she says the same thing.”
To her shock, he gently reached out and took her hand. “Let’s go. I’m sure she will be able to help you.”
It didn’t seem like a long trip to Professor McGonagall’s office and soon she was facing her head of house. Harry did most of the talking at first. She felt a bit uncomfortable as the older witch kept watching her even while listening to Harry.
Professor McGonagall rose from behind her desk and walked around to Ginny’s side, kneeling next to her. “Miss Weasley…Ginny, I am very sorry this is happening to you. I will be launching an investigation into this and trust me the guilty will be punished.”
Ginny’s eyes went wide, surprised that not only were her concerns being taken seriously, but also because Professor McGonagall was using her first name. Things must be dire for her head of house to have dropped her formality. “R-really?”
“Absolutely,” the other witch replied. “I will be having words with your brother as well. Bullying is not to be tolerated and I can’t believe he told you to just ignore them. This note is despicable.”
Harry was nodding next to her, but Ginny herself wasn’t entirely sure.
“Ginny, I am most concerned about you,” Professor McGonagall said.
“Me? I’m fine,” Ginny said dismissively as she had been for months now. Professor McGonagall wasn’t as easily placated as her family.
“No, I don’t think you are,” she replied gently. “When was the last time you ate?”
“Breakfast?” Ginny said uncertainly.
“I haven’t seen you since lunch yesterday,” Harry said. “I’ve been trying to remember and I don’t see you in the Great Hall very often.”
“Unfortunately, I believe he is correct,” Professor McGonagall said. “Have you been sleeping?”
“I’ve been sleeping a lot,” Ginny admitted. “I am just so tired. I think I could sleep all day.”
Professor McGonagall frowned as she looked over Ginny once again. She looked from Harry to Ginny and back before saying, “Mr Potter, would you mind waiting outside for a few minutes?”
Startled Harry shook his head. He looked at Ginny. “I will be waiting for you. If nothing else, I can help you with your robes. I have some of my robes from first year that will fit you. Please let Professor McGonagall help you.”
Professor McGonagall walked Harry to the door, but before he left, Ginny saw him lean in and whisper something to the older witch. She nodded in response to whatever he said. He smiled at Ginny before leaving.
Ginny shivered slightly even though there was a warm fire roaring in the fireplace. Staring at her hands, she wondered what Professor McGonagall wanted. She gripped her precious vial in her pocket. Somehow it gave her strength.
“Ginny, I am quite concerned about you. Did you get the messages to come see me in my office?”
“Messages? No ma’am. I’m sorry I missed a few classes. I’ll try really, really hard to make it in the future. I am just so tired.”
“You aren’t in trouble. I’m simply concerned. I sent several messages with your classmates and two with your brothers. They all promised to give you the message, but I didn’t hear from you. Honestly, if Mr Potter had not brought you here I was planning to seek you out.”
“Are you kicking me out?”
Instead of answering her question, Ginny was thrown off guard when Professor McGonagall asked, “Ginny, have you thought of hurting yourself?”
Ginny was so shocked by the question she simply nodded. Professor McGonagall reached out and gently covered Ginny’s hand. “Do you have a plan?”
Almost against her will, Ginny nodded again and slowly withdrew the vial from her pocket. Professor McGonagall gently pried the vial from Ginny’s fingers. “This is Angel’s Trumpet, isn’t it?”
Ginny nodded. “My mum always used to warn us how dangerous it is. I…I was thinking of m-making a tea. That way I could go to sleep and not wake up.”
Looking up, Ginny was surprised to find Professor McGonagall was crying. “I’m sorry, Professor.”
“No, Ginny, it is I who am sorry. I should have intervened earlier. We are going to talk to Madam Pomfrey right now.”
Several hours later, Minerva McGonagall returned to her office feeling much older than her years. She was kicking herself for not intervening with Ginny Weasley earlier. It shook her to know how close she’d come to losing the young girl. Not for the first time, she thought, Thank Merlin for Harry Potter.
Picking up the vial off her desk where she’d left it earlier, she threw it into the fireplace. The glass shattered and she watched in satisfaction as the flowers curled up and burned.
Taking a deep breath, she called for her house-elf, Tippy. When the elf arrived, she requested the little elf retrieve the rest of the notes Ginny had received. It only took a few minutes for Tippy to return.
“Thank you, Tippy. That is all for now.”
Tippy nodded and disappeared. Minerva turned her attention to the notes. She frowned as she read them. There were twelve in all, with varying degrees of malice. They were all handwritten and to Minerva’s dismay, they were not all written by the same person.
She was fairly certain she recognized the writing, but she cast the charm to identify the person who wrote the letters just to be sure. Frowning, she looked at the names. They were all Gryffindors — three of Ginny’s four roommates, two fourth year students, and one sixth year student. She shook her head at the thought of six students hounding another and actively encouraging her to commit suicide horrified her.
Glancing at her watch, she discovered it wasn’t as late as it felt. Deciding to speak to the Weasleys first, she walked to the common room. As always, the students all fell silent when they saw her. Ron Weasley was talking to Hermione Granger while the twins were talking to Lee Jordan. Percy was tucked into a corner revising until he caught sight of her.
“Professor McGonagall,” Percy greeted her a touch pompously. “Can I help you?”
“I would like to see you and your brothers in my office.”
Percy looked confused before gathering his brothers and following her down the corridor to her office.
Once they were all seated, Percy asked, “Is something wrong?”
“Is something wrong?” she repeated. “Who is missing from this gathering?”
“No one,” Ron replied.
“Just Ginny,” Percy said with a touch of disdain.
“Just Ginny. Just Ginny? She is your sister!” Professor McGonagall said angrily. “Have you seen her recently?”
“She was at lunch today,” Ron said dismissively.
“No, Mr Weasley, she was not.”
“Is something wrong with her?” George asked.
Professor McGonagall pulled the notes from her desk and read them out loud. The brothers all shrank back in their seats. When she arrived at the last note, her voice broke. “This one is decorated with lovely artwork to encourage her to hang herself.”
Turning to Percy, she said, “I understand you told her to ignore the notes.”
“Sticks and stones,” he replied.
“Sticks and stones? Mr Weasley, this goes far beyond a little name calling. Why didn’t you come to me?”
He looked startled at her anger. “I didn’t think it was that important.”
“Did any of you notice she’s been skipping meals? That she’s lost weight? I am surprised no one told me that her robes had all been destroyed. We would have provided her with some if she needed them. I am certain that with four older brothers at school there must be at least one or two extra robes.”
George looked uncomfortable. “Crookshanks destroyed them. I thought it was a bit of a laugh. Mum could send her more.”
“Well, she didn’t,” Professor McGonagall replied.
“We can give her an extra set of robes,” Fred spoke up for the first time.
“You don’t need to worry about it,” she replied. “Mr Potter has already provided her with a full complement of his old robes. The house-elves are altering them as we speak.”
“Harry? I thought he was in the Owlery,” Ron said in confusion.
“No, luckily, he found your sister and brought her to me…with a vial of Angel Trumpet’s in her pocket. She planned to make a tea and go to sleep to never wake up.”
The four brothers exploded in noise and confusion with overlapping questions. “What?! Where is she? Is she okay?”
“She is in the hospital wing,” Professor McGonagall said. “I have her permission to tell you the basic story, but there is much she doesn’t want revealed. Your parents are meeting with Madam Pomfrey and your sister will be transferred to St Mungo’s Mental Health Care unit in Cardiff. It is a small hospital to help those who need help.”
“Professor, she wasn’t really going to kill herself, was she?” Ron asked in fear and confusion.
Taking pity on the young wizard, she nodded. “I’m afraid she was going to do so. We are very lucky that Mr Potter stopped and talked to her.”
Four very subdued brothers walked slowly back to the common room. It was George who broke the silence. “Damn! We promised we would watch out for her.”
“The first thing I did on the train was tell her to go away,” Ron said remorsefully. “I just…I thought…I thought she didn’t need to hear Harry’s story. I should have let her stay. Harry probably wouldn’t have cared.”
“I honestly thought she should ignore the notes,” Percy said. “They were a bit mean, but…I mean, so what? I thought she’d make some friends and she’d be fine. A lot of people have trouble fitting in at first.”
“We all screwed up,” Fred said.
Three weeks later, Ginny was sitting in the sunroom of the Cardiff facility. She felt more like herself than she had in a while. The healers had started her on a potion to help with her moods and she really did feel so much better. Her appetite had returned and her mother was trying to make up for everything by sending care packages that contained so much food that Ginny was sharing them with everyone on the unit.
It was so embarrassing at first. Harry had been waiting for them outside Professor McGonagall’s door and had walked with them to the hospital wing. Professor McGonagall asked him to stay with her whilst she talked to Madam Pomfrey.
He was very quiet and thoughtful. She’d been shocked beyond belief when he’d said, “Ginny, please don’t get mad at me, but d-did you want to hurt yourself?”
She simply nodded. He reached over and took her hands. “Please, please don’t. When I was little…my aunt and uncle didn’t want me and they told me that all the time. I started thinking that I would rather be with my parents in heaven. I thought about it all the time. I was only six or seven, I don’t remember exactly.
“I overheard my aunt talking about someone jumping off a bridge in London and killing themselves. Of course, I had no way of getting to London. My relatives never took me anywhere. I climbed to the top of the school one Saturday. It was only three stories, but I thought it would do the trick.
“At first all I could think of was meeting my parents and having someone to love me. I was so excited. As soon as I jumped…all I could think of was that I didn’t really want to die. I thought about how much it would hurt to splatter on the ground and what a stupid thing I’d just done. Somehow, it felt like I hit a cushion. I bounced a little and I was fine. I was so relieved. I didn’t tell anyone and just went home.
“That night, I had this amazing dream. There was a beautiful woman with long red hair. She hugged me and told me how much she loved me and how much she wanted to be with me. She told me I was going to be doing brilliant things when I grew up. I was going to grow up and meet amazing people. Someday I was going to fall in love and have a wonderful family. Only once I had lived a long, happy life would I join them in heaven.”
Ginny gasped. “Your mum.”
He nodded. “I never knew for sure if it was real, but it felt real. I didn’t even know what my mother looked like until I came to Hogwarts, but my dream angel looked just like my mum.” He looked up at her with tears filling his eyes. “I regretted what I did as soon as I did it. Please, please don’t hurt yourself. I promise I will be your friend. I don’t know if that helps at all, but I promise I will.”
“Thank you,” she whispered. The two sat in silence, still holding hands until Madam Pomfrey and Professor McGonagall returned.
Ginny smiled when she recalled that exchange. In the past three weeks, Harry had written seven letters to her. He wasn’t the best correspondent in the whole world, but he tried and she appreciated his efforts.
The door to the sunroom opened and she grinned to see Bill standing there. He’d arrived in Wales the day after she’d arrived and he’d come to see her every single day. When she asked him about his job, he told her she was much more important than any old job.
He smiled as he hugged and kissed her on the cheek. “You look great!”
As they sat down, he tucked her hair behind her ears. “How’s it going today?”
He watched her as she considered her answer. They did this every day and the only rule was she wasn’t allowed to say she was fine. “I’m a bit nervous.”
“I don’t blame you,” he replied. “I think the boys are very sorry. I don’t think that excuses them, but it is totally up to you.”
“I know I could have tried harder,” she said, “but I am upset that no one really tried. I just wanted someone to eat with every once in a while or someone to help me with my homework. I have one roommate who actually wrote to me here, but the others think I’m tainted or something. I think they are also upset that they were suspended from classes for a week and they are in detention for months. Colin and Hermione both wrote a letter to me telling me how sorry they were that they didn’t talk to me. I’ve had letters from people I didn’t even know.”
She shrugged. “Last summer all our brothers said they were sorry and they wouldn’t ignore me again, but that’s exactly what they did. Ron said that Harry has this thing going on that he’s helping him with — except Harry told me the whole story a week before Ron did. The twins were all caught up with Quidditch and Percy was trying to revise for his NEWTs, none of them had time for me.”
“So, you want to see what happens once you return to Hogwarts,” Bill guessed. When she nodded, he said, “I can’t blame you there. I wish I could make it easier for you, but I can’t.”
“Of course, you have,” she smiled.
“Are you ready, love?”
Ginny turned around to see her fiancÚ, Harry, standing behind her. They were finishing packing up her room so they could finish moving into their new house. In just two short weeks, they were getting married. “I am very ready to move into our new house. I can’t wait to start our new life together.”
She shut the lid on her school letters. That day in St Mungo’s had been a turning point for her. While it had been hard, she had persevered and slowly started making friends — starting with her brothers.
Harry walked up behind her and wrapped his arms around her. When he saw what she’d been looking at, he tightened his arms around her. “I am so glad that I ran into you that day.”
Turning in Harry’s arms, she smiled up at him. “I am glad you gave me my first reason not to that day. Since then, I’ve found so much and I too am very, very glad I ran into you that day.”
A/N: Suicide is never the answer to your problems. If you, or any one you know of, are having suicidal thoughts or having a rough time of it, please, please talk to someone - a parent, a family member, clergyman, or friend. There is help available. If you don't feel comfortable talking to them, please reach out to one of the National Hotlines. In the USA, call 1800 273-8255 or text 741-741 from anywhere in the USA. In the UK, please call Call: 0800 068 41 41 or Text: 07786 209697
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