|SIYE Time:14:32 on 22nd February 2019|
Memoirs of a Red Headed Witch
By My Wicked Quill
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Category: Pre-OotP, Post-OotP, Post-HBP, Post-Hogwarts, Post-DH/AB
Genres: Action/Adventure, Comedy, Humor, Romance, Songfic
Warnings: Mild Language, Mild Sexual Situations, Violence
Summary: Ginny Weasley was always overlooked. Always the youngest, always the smallest, and was never really given the chance to let her voice be heard. But sometimes the best insight comes from those who were always in the background. Her story of redemption, loyalty and love, proves that she was never just the Weasley brothers' little sister.
Hitcount: Story Total: 114893; Chapter Total: 5874
Awards: View Trophy Room
This is the second to last chapter, after this, is the epilogue. Even though this could take the place of an epilogue I felt it was too imporant to be the last chapter -if that makes sense- there was too much in this chapter to be a finale. Anywho, to those still with me, I'm, positive you'll appreciate this one, and vote for me in the DSTA!
“I don’t know, how to say,
How I feel,
Those three words, are said too much,
They’re not enough.
If I Lay here, if I just Lay here,
Would you lie with me and just forget the world?
Forget what we’re told, before we get too old,
Just know that these things will never change for us at all..."
-Chasing Cars, Snow Patrol
The first person to touch you, your heart, and maybe never let it go. That person, you never forget. A summer romance, a dramatic fling, and maybe for some, a love that lasts forever, through better or for worse, in sickness and in health, ‘til death do they part.
Those who only had to try once are the lucky few.
Harry Potter would forever be my first love.
The afternoon after the final battle I found myself outside by the lake. I hadn’t caught one moment of sleep still and still had no interest in it. The sky seemed so bright; I took it as a sign, a bitterly sarcastic sign. Whoever stepped outside would with no doubt look up to see the beauty of the auburn colors that burst through the clouds- and there’s your the irony- look up. As though now that it’s all over we can all look up to our future; we can think positively.
I remember laughing a bit as I thought of how we wouldn’t be looking up; we’d be looking down into the graves of those we had to bury. Remus, Tonks, Colin…Fred.
I sighed, it wasn’t fair to be so mad at the world; the world had just given us a second chance, so I blamed it on Voldemort.
I was exhausted; I had stayed awake all morning comforting my mother, letting her hold me in return. I felt her tears she cried drowning me until I couldn’t take anymore. I told her I needed fresh air she let me go silently so I didn’t waste one moment getting out of there. The faces of my family were just blurs as I walked, not really knowing where I was headed. In all honesty I didn’t need fresh air, I needed Harry. I needed to know that he was still there, that he was still alive. The moment he walked away from the crowd after the celebrations, I felt like nothing had changed, I felt as though he was still gone. And if after I saw him breathing, and nothing were to come of it, then let I’d it be. I didn’t have anything left in me to fight anymore, for anything; I was just missing my brother.
How much would it hurt when I called his name in a reflex to call George? Would it sting? Would it burn? Would everyone look at me shamefully because I brought back some terrible memories?
It shocked me that I wasn’t crying, I was most likely just too tired, but I knew that if I fell asleep I would see things that would wake me up again anyway.
Fred. He was gone. No more twin jokes, no more twin pranks. How could I have just taken having so many brothers for granted? When was the last time I told him I loved him? I probably couldn’t have remembered if I had tried.
The lake was still, so calm, oblivious to the bubbling emotions inside of me just about to erupt. It was too calm; I grabbed a rock by my feet and watched as it hurtled into the water. With a splash and a few ripples, the water returned to its state of blissful peace.
Just like Harry. No matter what was thrown at him he just took it in stride. What would it take for him to really break?
I had no idea that I was going to find out soon enough. He hadn’t been seen since the early morning, and I didn’t have the courage to go up and look for him; I was just a hollow version of who I had been a few years back.
Ginevra Molly Weasley, so full of spunk, witty sharp and tempered. She never broke down, nothing would break her. She had risen up from the crumble of physiological damage Tom Riddle had served her. She made people laugh; she put people in their place. That’s what everyone said.
The only thing that could ever bring down those barriers that I held strong was Harry Potter; I had a weakness, sue me. I didn’t think I could ever be the same girl I was, not after the past year. Not after the past few years, slowly chipping off piece by piece of any innocence I had left. That’s it my childhood was over; though it had ended a while ago it was officially ripped from under my feet.
I sat under our tree, for no other reason than craving the shade. But even still, I couldn’t help but think about all the times Harry and I sat there, laughing smiling and blocking out the world. Maybe that was why I chose the spot, no one would find me, and nothing would bother me. I tried clearing my mind, so that I would see things in a way that I could understand. Because right then I didn’t understand why it always had to be us, to suffer, to mourn; Dumbledore said we had to make our own happiness, maybe it was just a load of bullocks.
I watched the sky turning from a violet purple to a light blue, not caring how much time passed, I thought it would be grand if I could skip far enough into the future where thinking of Fred wouldn’t hurt as much. But I knew that was only the easy way out, and since when have I ever been the type to do that? That’s exactly what Fred would have told me.
Fred and George, Gred, Forge, would I ever get used to having one but not the other? Probably not.
Would I ever get used to being in the same room with Harry after knowing how wonderful it was to be with him?
I wasn’t sure what hurt worse, watching him dead, or seeing the refusal for me in his eyes. That moment in the Room of Requirement still played back in my mind, he wouldn’t let me do anything, he sided with my parents and…it just squashed any hope I had left. Harry had so many chances to make things right between us…but he never took one. Shouldn’t that have been enough closure for me?
A twig snapped behind me. Had it been only a few months back, I would have instantly drawn my wand and there would have been a stunned body on the ground before I could even tell who it was. People had learned to not sneak up on me. Only I knew there was no need to worry anymore- sure it had only been a couple of hours but already the world felt safer, not to mention I had been thinking about Fred and his death for who knew how long already. I couldn’t associate Fred’s death with anything but how it led to the down fall of Tom. Maybe that was another thing I had to be thankful for, my brother saved us all. Or maybe it just wasn’t his time to go.
All in all I didn’t turn around. Not particularly wanting company but not have the energy to be crude and callous either. If there was someone there, at some point they would get the picture and leave.
But there was only silence.
The same serene silence I had surrounded myself with earlier that afternoon. I put it out of my mind; obviously had anyone been they had left. But when the rustle of the leaves came without wind I knew I shouldn’t have pushed my luck. I sighed.
“Look I just want to be left alone so-” but as I turned around my breath caught. For the slightest of moments everything cleared to where I almost felt light headed. I didn’t even have time to look into their face, for I hastily turned back towards the lake the very second I saw the distinct messy mop of black hair.
Why, why, why, did the trivial sight of Harry Potter manage to lock my brain in a fog and my heart in turmoil? It was like he had this unfair advantage that took away all coherent thought from me in moments like that one.
“Hi,” was all he said. A simple greeting that I couldn’t take anything from. No quiver in his voice, not even a hint of sorrow or happiness. There was no sigh of relief nor did the tone drip of resentment.
I would have been a liar if I told you replying was as simple as it sounded. “Hi.”
I didn’t have to be looking at him to picture the scene perfectly in my head; he was standing there, one hand hidden in his pocket as the other one hid in his hair. Standing there in his calm exterior while his insides couldn’t chose between remorse and depression, the many cuts and scars severing his boyish attractiveness. I had no doubt he was standing far enough behind me, squinting out into the sun’s falling arrival at the horizon thinking of the quickest way to make his apology and go.
Oh I already knew what he was going to say to me. It was part of the reason I didn’t go up looking for him in the common room. I never wanted to have this conversation; though it was inevitable I was foolish enough to try and hide.
Of course he would have been the one to find me.
He would go on about how I didn’t deserve someone as damaged as him… some self pity load of nargles. I knew him well enough to know that he felt there was only Tom for him, and now that he’d vanquished the Dark Lord, there really isn’t anything left for him. He was going to go and find something for himself…blah blah. I was much too tired to think up anything good. He was wrong about that, of course there was something left for him; he had a life here. With my family- our- family. I realized sadly that I wasn’t going to be able to do anything to change his mind. Maybe the old Ginny Weasley would have stopped at nothing, but that last of who I had been slipped away the moment Fred hit the floor.
Harry wasn’t going to stick around and I knew it.
And of course he would never even consider taking me away from my family soit proved yet again that I was not in the cards he laid out for himself.
Mum told me once that Harry was in love with me, even though he hadn’t realized it yet. Well if he was close to realizing it then everything that’s happened in the last 24 hours would have pushed him far back. I didn’t think there was any more I could do about it.
I honestly just thought my mother was wrong; it was only wishful thinking that her daughter would end up with the wonderful Harry Potter.
“Ginny?” I heard his subtle step closer, but there I stayed, wrapped up in my own arms, letting my chin rest on my knees. Did he really think I was in the mood to hear his pathetic excuse for leaving me that time? Honestly there was only so much a girl could handle. Several moments passed in utter silence. “Can you… please… look at me?”
Perhaps it was the rare desperate tone I heard in his voice, the odd tone that almost sounded close to tears. Maybe that’s what made me look up.
Though the moment I did, I wished I hadn’t.
When I looked up to see him come closer, the instant I saw his face, I was sent back to another scene. The sky was a light purple, I was on the cold hard steps of the castle trying to block out the screams of terror and shock… I couldn’t help but cry out with them finding my knees crumbling into my brother’s arms… watching him lying limp at Hagrid’s feet…
I snapped my head away, evening out my breathing, and hoping not to break into another panic attack. I had never in my life lost my head like I did the first time I was a witness to that scene, and I didn’t want to see it again. “I can’t.”
“You can’t?” His voice sounded hurt but I knew better, I knew that he was only just confused.
I shook my head, not caring if he saw me or not, what I wanted was him there with me, but it wasn’t what he wanted and so there was really so point to extend the obvious. Maybe, if he just left, without even speaking to me, it wouldn’t hurt as much only because we had been apart for so long already. A clean break is always spotless without messy apologies and hollow regrets.
He hadn’t gone; I could sense his presence behind me, “Why?”
Analyzing his voice wasn’t as easy as reading his face but it was all I could do, considering the alternative. I could tell he was tired, though I knew the curiosity was out weighing out, I doubted he could stand much longer and so I decided to make it quick. After a moment of thinking I took a breath and replied with,
“Not sure, perhaps it has to do with the fact that I can’t seem to hold a grip on whether you’re alive or not. I’m talking to you know so maybe you really are here, okay, but in the next five minutes…who knows? Of course I sound like a terrible person when I say that don’t I? It’s not your fault if you die-that is if you don’t sacrifice yourself- but I think you do have a large influence on whether you are around or if you disappear again as you’re very keen on doing.” I sighed, “I understand if you feel the need to go, don’t let me stop you. It’s not like I was ever able to before.” I paused surprised at how much came out so effortlessly. He was silent but there; he wouldn’t have walked away even though I sounded like I was speaking to myself. “Then there’s that constant doubt…maybe this is all in my head. Wishful thinking and all that…” I closed my eyes longing for sleep and disappointed knowing it wouldn’t come.
“If this all in your head, why would that mean it’s not real?” his voice was soft enough so that I almost missed what he said.
“That sounds like something Dumbledore would have said,” I commented nonchalantly revolving what he just said in my head over and over. Who was I to judge what was real and what wasn’t?
I smiled, feeling the beginning of tears.
“Ginny…” Harry croaked. “I-I’m…”
“Don’t apologize Harry. Please don’t it’s easier that way. Just go.” I bit my lip waiting for the pain of those words to sink in; however there wasn’t time to feel it.
“You can’t?” Obviously his pride was why but I still asked, “Why?”
“Because I’m not going anywhere.”
The hairs on the back of my neck stood tall. There was the voice that I remembered, the sure strong voice that showed he was going to take charge of the situation. It was unlike me but I allowed him to take it, when I remembered all of our little arguments I was the one to lead. I smiled bitter sweetly at the memories of how we would spat, stubbornly, and heatedly until one of us just grabbed the other into a sweltering kiss.
It didn’t necessarily solve anything but it was effective and showed just how much we drove each other mad, yet cared more than anything else. We had nothing on Ron and Hermione of course, we only argued, rarely, on occasion. “Because I am alive and it’s because of you. It’s because it took me a while to get here and I’m not leaving just so that all I did was for nothing, because everything I did, I did for you. I’m not going anywhere because I’m tired of doing what people expect me to do, for once I’m going to do what I want, because someone once told me to tell those people to sod off. It’s because I don’t need them. I need you.”
My hand was disobeying me, I was demanding it to wipe the moisture from my face but it only remained limp on my lap. I couldn’t answer; there were so many things I wanted to say so many things I probably should have said but they would all eventually lead to the same outcome. He was going to leave. Maybe if not that day then the next. My heart was twisted enough as it was.
He sighed, “Please say something? Please don’t block me out, I know I deserve it, but just tell me, now that you heard what I had to say, tell me to go and I will. Tell me to leave you alone and I will.”
I was screaming at my lips now demanding them to say something. I didn’t want him to go, but it seemed like I had already convinced myself he would, no matter what I did. There was my chance to actually try and make him stay; it scared me to see how much I had changed. From that girl who wouldn’t hesitate to tell the world just what I felt like telling it, to the girl who couldn’t even say two words to the person who needed it most. I realized the world really did have all the power, and it wasn’t right for me to just say what I wanted, sodding off anyone else.
Yes the world had the power. The power to take away my brother, the one who taught me about standing up to the world in the first place. The irony ran thick.
“I mean it Ginny. I’m not leaving until you say it.” The crunch of the grass was growing nearer. “Ginny!?” he gasped. He was now all I could see, the light of the sun glowing around his outline, the worried lines of concern on his face, the endlessly green eyes- him. And I didn’t see anything but him, alive and there. “Ginny…Ginny,” he whispered this time grabbing my face and drying my tears. He must have been surprised, seeing me cry for the first time in all the years he’s known me. Gosh I disgusted myself, how was I any different from Cho? When Harry needed someone, to talk to, to be there for him, all she would do was cry her eyes out. And now I couldn’t be strong enough to do it.
Colin was wrong when he told me we were evenly matched. I couldn’t be strong enough for Harry.
“I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.” The pain in his voice was evident, as easy to hear as it was to see in his face. And that’s what shook me from my catatonic state.
I couldn’t believe he was there…touching me…worried about me…apologizing to me. Had I been wrong? Was he telling the truth about staying? Did he still feel something for me? All the answers to these questions seemed a positive one, only I was scared to hope. I had hoped so many times with failure…
But In that moment, tucked under the shade of the tree in which we had so many memories…in that moment I needed him. I needed him, even if he was going to leave again, even if he didn’t want me. Could it be possible that he needed me… but didn’t want me? I wasn’t making sense. Nothing made sense. Why would it? Harry was in front of me, Voldemort was destroyed, Fred was dead, Teddy was an orphan, Hogwarts was in shambles, the Deathly Hallows were real, and Snape wasn’t a bad guy…the world I once knew wasn’t making any sense.
And so in that moment I let myself cling onto Harry Potter, damn the consequences. I clung onto the one thing that always made sense: My love for him.
“It’s not your fault.” I attempted to reassure him but my voice only cracked, “It’s not Harry, don’t let anything make you think that.”
“No buts. I need you too Harry. Fred,” I croaked, “Harry….Fred.” At the first mention of my brother’s name I was in his arms, he was squeezing me into his chest and I still wanted him to hold me tighter. I felt him kiss the top of my head as his own tears spilled into my hair. He rocked me back and forth a bit while I just sobbed, and eventually we laid back in the grass under the sun that had finally reached the sky.
I cried, harder than I ever had as I grieved. I grieved for the brother I lost in the safety of Harry’s arms as he joined me. We might have spent hours there together, thinking about Remus and Tonks and all others. It was funny how history seemed to always repeat itself; almost 17 years ago a couple was murdered in the first war, leaving their only son an orphan.
And now Teddy Lupin, only son to Remus and Tonks, fell into the same fate however his Godfather wasn’t in Azkaban like Sirius. His Godfather was wrapped around me, ready to raise him in a loving atmosphere. So unlike the one in which he was raised.
It was funny how I had wished to be right here with Harry all year. I had dreamed of relaxing by the lake with him again, but under different circumstances. Now it was a bittersweet dream fulfillment.
I shifted so that I could hide my face in the crook of his arm when I had finished with my tears. I wanted so much to just fall asleep, so warm, so safe where I was, I thought Harry had already fallen asleep but when I moved he gave a small gasp of pain.
“Harry?” I asked; my voice throaty and tired from the crying.
“It’s fine, I’m fine.” He was lying, that much was obvious when he sounded so winded. I lifted off of him and propped myself onto my elbow.
“You’re in pain?” well that sounded stupider out loud! I might as well have asked Is that a lightning bolt on your forehead? However, my momentary sarcasm halted to a stop when I took my first good look at him, now that my tears were gone. The bags under his eyes proved that he hadn’t gotten good sleep in days, maybe weeks, and his emaciated body would have my mother feeding him for days straight.
Harry had a new scar by his jaw, still red and threatening, but it had nothing on the bruise faded onto half his cheek. His hair fell lower than I had ever seen on him, it altered his appearance a bit but it was the same Harry, just battered and thrown about.
He sighed, “Well you wouldn’t believe me if I told you I wasn’t. But don’t worry it’s nothing that I can’t handle.”
“Let me see, I’ve learned a bit from Madam Pomfrey this past year and I’ve taught myself a lot with these books in the Room of Requirement, I might be able to help.”
He only just shook his head, “No Ginny. Just leave it; I don’t think it will do any good.”
“How could you know, if I haven’t even seen?”
“Please, just forget it.”
“I can’t! Especially if you’re hurting.”
“Ginny. I don’t want you to see.”
I froze. Well that was an honest answer. “Why not?”
Pulling away a bit he said, “It’s just not…easy to swallow...we’ve had a hard year.”
“Don’t you think I know that? Harry that’s not going to change my mind. I can show you some of my scars from this past year too. But mine have all been tended to.”
He sat up in a flash but the instant grimace on his face showed just how much he regretted that. “Scars?” he asked when he recovered.
“Yes…” I replied cautiously. That may not have been the best time to mention that.
“What did they do to you Ginny?” he kept his voice to near a whisper afraid of what I was going to say.
“Nothing I can’t handle.”
“It’s a story for another time Harry ok? I promise I’ll tell you everything but this is about you right now, not me. You, and your medical needs.”
“I worry more about you,” he said lying back down. I didn’t let myself think too much of that response, it didn’t mean anything; Harry always cared about everyone before himself.
“Let me see Harry. Please.”
He lost the battle he was fighting with himself, sitting up and remaining motionless. I struggled for a minute bracing myself for what I knew I would see, but grabbed the hem of his shirt and lifted it up.
It was going to be bad, how could it not be bad? But no matter how I bad I expected it to be, there was nothing compared to the deep gash starting from one side of his abdomen to the other. My breath caught, but I forced myself to hold my composure and finish removing the ghastly shirt, gingerly, carefully. A faded circular burn on a higher part of his chest, blue and black ribs, he had been through hell, that much was obvious, but it brought tears to my eyes again.
He was just shy of 18, and yet he had more scars, emotional and physical than any adult could ever dream. How could he deal with all this?
I knew how.
He was Harry.
It was horrifying but I didn’t look away.
“That bad?” Harry asked.
I grimaced. “You see I told you. You don’t have a Hungarian Horntail tattooed to your chest,” I said hollowly, still shocked at the immense count of injuries.
“It must really be bad,” he sighed placing his head back on the ground once more. With my fingers I lightly traced the patterns the bruises and cuts made. I noted the broken ribs just by the feel of my unpressured touch. I didn’t stop until Harry squirmed beneath me. I froze, “Did that hurt?”
Shaking his head he closed his eyes, “No actually it felt really good.”
I bit my lip, trying my hardest not to dry when I moved to the main wound. “Harry, you’ve been hit with really dark magic,” I breathed with my finger hovering onto of his warm skin.
“You need to see Madam Pomfrey.”
Harry sat back up pulling his shirt back above his head, “No. Not yet, can’t we-can’t I,” he was struggling to find the words.
“Going up there now, it would be like entering the real world; can’t we just stay out here for a while longer?” His voice was sheepish, but his eyes were confidently on mine. I should have told him no and dragged his arse back to the castle so that he could be healed. I should have left him to Madam Pomfrey and walked away. Harry didn’t really need me; I was just the closest person around. I was convenient. Harry knew he felt comfortable with me; he knew he could tell me anything.
Yet I was too selfish to walk away. I needed him; I wanted him, only him. So I nodded and re-positioned myself at his side making sure he didn’t feel my weight.
“What hit you Harry?” Did I want to know the answer? At the moment I only felt that I had to know.
“I will tell you everything, Ginny. I promise, but not right now. It’s all still so fresh.”
I knew he was referring to the entire year we had spent apart; the horcrux hunt and what gave him that nasty scar. He was dismissing it. he didn’t really want to tell me, I knew it was fresh but I didn’t think he would ever truly tell me. Promising only hurt. “Don’t make empty promises,” I whispered.
This was way for apologizing for my pain; I knew he didn’t want a relationship. He didn’t want to continue ours. I knew that. This was his way of saying goodbye. I was not going to add on anymore worthless hope for answers he would never reveal.
“Empty promises? Ginny, don’t’ you believe me? I want to tell you everything, I don’t want there to be any secrets between us. I’m tired of them, and I want you to understand.”
“Because you owe it to me.”
“It’s more than that,” he replied, raised my chin, “You think I’m just going to leave without letting you know anything?”
“So you are leaving.”
“No! You’re wrong on both accounts! Where would I go? Why? The only future I ever imagined for myself was one right here, with you.”
I gaped, stunned, “Wha-what?”
“Look, I promised to tell you the full story at some point but right now you need to know at least one thing. But let me warn you Ginny, it’s not a happy story.”
He meant the Horcruxes. He didn’t know that I already knew about them, “I know that Harry, I know about the Horcruxes.”
It was his turn to gasp, as he shot right back up again, “What? How? When? Where? You…know?” He really didn’t know what to ask first.
“I figured it out alright? I heard you lot mention something about them last summer and I took the initiative to find out the rest. Don’t be mad you know you would have done the exact same thing.” His mouth was hanging wide open, “I didn’t tell anyone, if that’s what you’re worried about. Well- I guess Fleur knows, but that was partly your fault. She had a theory ever since you three were at her place and when I asked her if she knew what they were she made everyone leave the room so that she could tell me. We figured out the rest together. But she Hasn’t said anything-”
“I-I-I’m not mad,” he said, ending my ramble. “I’m just…surprised.”
“Didn’t think I would figure it out? You probably didn’t think I would figure out the prophecy either, huh?”
He was stunned yet again. “You always under estimate me Potter,” I said with a sarcastic grin.
“Wow, um…so…then you…already know.”
I shook my head, “Honestly, all I know is that you three were hunting those horcruxes, I knew that there was more than one. The rest…the Elder Wand and Voldemort thinking he had killed you yet again…the rest I haven’t a clue.”
Harry stared at me for another minute, and suddenly I realized I still hadn’t washed up from the battle. I must have looked a fright. “You’re amazing.” My head spun a bit at his admission. He must have noticed the scrutiny in my face because he continued, “You’ve been here, dealing with Merlin knows what, and yet you found out the answers yourself…you’re amazing.”
I turned my head away, “That isn’t an explanation to why you are the mater the Elder Wand, nor does it tell me why you had us think you were dead.” I know it might have sounded harsh- especially since he had just said something so wonderful to me, but I couldn’t bear to hear such things when I knew they would amount to nothing in the end.
“I know…sorry. Well I guess the first thing you should know is that there were seven horcruxes.”
“Seven?!” Seven that was worse than I feared…he split his soul into seven pieces…seven. He wasn’t just immortal, he was a monster.
“Yeah, I know. A ring that belong to Salazar Slytherin- which was destroyed by Dumbledore two years ago, a cup that belonged to Helga Hufflepuff, the lost Diadem of Rowena Raven claw, A locket that belonged to Voldemort and…”
“The Diary of Tom Riddle.”
Harry grimaced, “Figured that out too did you?”
I nodded, “That was the easiest part. Once I realized what a horcrux was, I knew the diary was one. That’s how I knew that there was more than one, because Dumbledore had assured me it was destroyed.”
“Yeah…I’m sorry you had to find that out on your own, I wish I could have been the one to tell you, I wish I would have been the one to be with you when you found out why the diary did that to you. Why it…hurt you.”
It was horrible-finding out that I had been involved with a piece of the monster’s soul. “I felt so dirty. I felt…like a part of him,” I said with tears returning to my eyes.
Harry put his palm to my cheek, rubbing his thumb across my skin, “No. You’re not, you’re you; you’re Ginny. He’s not inside you anymore, it’s over. I promise.”
I took a few calming breaths, before I returned the conversation on its original course, “That’s only six, Harry, you said there was seven.”
He took his hand away slowly, looking a bit hurt. I felt bad but I needed to protect myself too. “That was the big secret…for years Dumbledore kept something from me something Voldemort didn’t even know.”
“What was it?”
“I was the last Horcrux, Ginny.”
I stopped breathing. That’s what I did, I completely lost all breath. Not only was Harry supposed to defeat the Dark Lord by himself, but he also had a piece of said Lord inside his body? Would catastrophes never end?!
“What? Is that even possible? When did you find out about this?”
“I found out right after Voldemort killed Snape.”
“Snape’s dead?” I asked, feeling a wave of pity.
“Yeah, Ginny it’s a really complicated story, but when Snape was dying he gave me his memories. He had been working with Dumbledore the entire time; he was never a bad guy, Gin.”
“I know. Figured that out too. He was a double agent. Dumbledore had Snape kill him on purpose.”
Harry laughed softly, “Brilliant. I didn’t even know that until I saw it myself in Snape’s memories.”
“I’m smarter than you. Always have been.” I was surprised at how calmly I was taking everything...in retrospect, I'm glad that I kept an open, cool mind.
“Perhaps. Well, Dumbledore told Snape that at the last possible moment I would need to be told that I was the seventh, and final Horcrux, and that only Voldemort could destroy me.”
I stopped breathing yet again. It was so much information and even more information was clicking in my head. I looked up to his scar, and it was all of our fears for the past several years becoming a reality. But it was okay because Voldemort was dead and Harry was somehow…not. I had finally accepted that he was there, lying beside me, alive and well.
“So…” I calculated in my head, “All the dreams, all the visions…” Harry noticed my preoccupation with his scar.
“Yeah,” he said, “Right there.”
Harry lived for sixteen years with Voldemort inside him…his whole life had been omehting out of a nightmare.
“You have to murder someone to make a horcrux so-”
“The night he killed your mother-”
“The night he gave me this-”
“He unknowingly made you a horcrux.”
Harry only nodded. I began to cry again, this time for him and all he’d gone through. His beautiful mother…dead. His father-Sirius’ best friend- dead…and Harry survived. The-Boy-Who-Lived had always been a childhood bedtime story to me….but at that moment it changed into something darker, more horrific. Harry whispered comforting words to me again, until I sobered.
“So you…had to die.”
“Yes, so I told Neville what to do. I told him to kill the snake; it was that last remaining horcrux.”
“But…you’re here with me now…how is that possible?”
“I did die, Ginny. I was gone.”
That was when I finally realized what exactly he meant by dying. And that's when I became furious, “Wait, hold on. So you went off to die without so much as a…as a goodbye? You just left knowing you weren’t… you knew you weren’t coming back?" How could he possibly do that? To Ron and Hermione to my mother to…me? To everyone who had faith in him?
“Someone would have stopped me-”
“Of course we would have stopped you!” I yelled pushing away from him before I could smack him across the face. How was it that Harry Potter managed to get my crying for him on his bloody shoulder one moment and the next ready to hex him into the next century? “We would have told you to wait; we would have discussed our other options!”
“There were no other options!” he countered, “We were wasting time as it was!”
“I would have made you slow down and consider something else! Do you know how much it would have hurt us? If you knew in that moment you were not coming back, it would have killed us to know you could just walk away. Didn't you think for one moment that we would feel like you never gave a damn about any of us? Of course we wouldn’t have let you go, it was too much of a gamble, we actually cared about your life, even if you didn’t! Damn it, Harry I know you are stubborn but so am I. I would have stopped you!”
“You nearly did.”
Harry nodded sadly, his eyes were haunted by the memories he was going to share. It immediately made me silent. “I was on my way when I saw you with a little girl, she was dying. Merlin Ginny, I must have gone crazy thinking about telling you right then and there and letting you drag me back. I nearly said goodbye then, and you would have been the only one I would have talked to. But I couldn’t. I figured that it wouldn’t hurt you as much since I hadn’t spoken to you in so long, if I had just left. A clean break.” Had I not just thought the same words myself?
I knew then, that Harry had been there under the cloak. I had felt him and it was moments before he gave himself in…he must have been so scared. But HE didn’t say anything, he didn’t bother stopping, sure he said he wanted to but he didn’t. If he cared for me then he would have stopped.
“Hurt me as much…?”
“As much as it hurt me…walking away from you again. Knowing that I never would see you again. Ginny, we could have been apart for 5 years and it wouldn’t have made any difference to me, the pain wouldn’t have gotten any easier. I hoped that maybe you would have moved on…I realized that if I did what I had to do, without stopping to hurt you even more by telling you I was going to die, you could have your own life. You could be happy. So I kept walking.”
Was he speaking the truth? Part of my said Harry wouldn’t have lied to me but another part- a cowardly part- still didn’t want to believe him. “I felt you,” I said.
“I felt you there. I knew you were there. But I refused it I denied it. I couldn’t believe that you were outside, on your way to sacrifice yourself. How could you be so selfish Harry?”
Harry shook his head, “I wasn’t being selfish Ginny…I…”
“I know, I know you were being noble. But you just walked away from me.”
“But Ginny, when I met him, when he was about to cast the killing curse at me again, I thought of you. I pictured you in my head…you. You were the last thing I thought of…our kiss in your bedroom so many months ago.”
I couldn’t help it, I smiled. I smiled so fully Harry had to blink twice to keep up. “I felt that too,” I said. What did that mean? Harry had imagined that kiss before he was killed. And right about that time I had the same sensation…and then right after… my smile left my face as quickly as it had come, “And then you died.”
“Yeah. I did…Ginny, what does that mean? You felt me?”
“Yes…I don’t know how to explain it…and it wasn't the first time either…there were a few moments this past year where I felt as though you were with me…as though you were somewhat watching over me…” Harry’s eyes began to bulge out, and I blushed, “I know that’s really silly-”
“Ginny, I spent many nights falling asleep watching your dot on the Marauder’s Map.”
“I…well…I liked to know you were okay. I mean, I didn’t know how you were feeling but I knew you were in your dorm sleeping at night,” Harry blushed too.
He watched me- he thought of me…he really did care. All those months wasted thinking he didn’t…care. I was wrong. I knew, then, that I was wrong. “How could I feel you Harry?”
Harry shrugged, “I don’t know…but…maybe…maybe there are things about magic that aren’t worth the trouble of worrying about…maybe we should just enjoy it.”
Enjoy it? I smiled again. “So you died, and Harry I felt so empty…so cold. Neville thought I had gone into shock.”
“I did die, Ginny- but I had a choice.”
“It’s another complicated story, but I had the chance to move on and be with my parents, and Sirius, and Remus, Tonks…Fred…” my throat constricted, but I didn’t interrupt. He was right though, they were all up there together. And then the rest of us were here together. No one was alone. We were all okay. My eyes got blurry again when I realized that someday we would all be together again. With new stories to tell. It might not have been goodbye, but an, I’ll see you later. “
“But,” he continued, “I could come back. Once, after Sirius died maybe, I might have chosen to stay there. But things changed for me and I realized that I did have a reason to come back. Not necessarily only to kill Voldemort-though that was a major part of it- but I guess it would have only taken a curse from anyone to finish him. But I had another reason.” He hung his head as he spoke, and I could visibly see how hard it was for him to tell me. But it was just as hard to hear it too. I was scared to let Harry play with my heart.
"No please, listen to me, Ginny. I know I really have no right in asking you for any favors, you owe me nothing, but please just for once listen to what I have to say and then If you want I'll leave you alone."
I stared at him for a moment, it was still hard to do so, I was staring into this bright light of hope, of green, of desperation, of a new future. Whether or not I wanted him a part of my future, (which of course I did) I did owe him something. I owed him a lot more than be would let me admit, so I pushed aside all the hurt and let him play with my emotions one last time.
"Alright, I'm listening."
He took a shaky breath and began rather bluntly,
"I've never been completely sure what love is Ginny. I didn't grow up in that kind of environment; there was never the warmth at the Dursley’s that I would feel at the Burrow," he said regretfully. "So it wasn't until I met your family that I began to really understand what it meant to love someone, to care about people, enough to be willing to see them through anything- that love was unconditional. Now that took me longer comprehend, how could love be unconditional? It seemed impossible... but when I thought of your mum, I realized she's the perfect example of how it was possible. After all Percy has put your family through, it put her to tears of happiness when he arrived at the school right before the battle."
I smiled thinking of that moment, the last moment my family was whole, and all together. The smile didn't last as long as it normally would have. Harry continued, and I was clueless as to where he was getting this from. In the moment I figured he had rehearsed it in his head, but after all these years I know now that they all came straight from his heart. He hadn't anticipated anything he said.
"I'm more than grateful to you and your family for that, and when Sirius was around I felt more loved than I ever had before. By that time, my fifth year, I grasped what the basics were. I knew I loved Ron and Hermione; Sirius loved me, so did Remus and your mum. But when I started having feelings for you I was confused again. I loved you a different way than I did Hermione, and definitely different from how I felt about your mum," Harry almost chuckled at that as he stared at his hands on his lap. "It was my sixth year that I learned love had different levels, and I learned that the more you felt, the more levels you could feel, made your heart only larger. And it felt so good. It feels so good."
I suppose he meant that to have some kind of innuendo, but I didn't react to it.
"But then I had to go away, and while I was out there I realized I had known what love was all along, all these years I've been loving people, but never admitted it or showed it or even attempted at expressing it. Out there without you, I felt like the worst person on the face of the planet; I realized you had no idea how I felt about you and whether I knew what love was or not it was unfair of me to keep you from at least how I was feeling, or what I thought I felt. You were here all alone, not knowing. I thought that maybe, when I returned you wouldn't want anything to do with me. After all, I had deserted you." Harry swallowed and turned to look at me.
"Then I saw you after so long. After missing you so much, wishing you were with me whenever I saw Ron and Hermione growing closer, and after watching your dot on the Marauder’s map night after night, you walked into the Room of Requirement and smiled at me. The most amazing feeling hit me, that I did love you, I was IN love with you, that I didn't want you with any other person if that person was not me."
My heart skipped a step.
"I promised to myself that if I survived I would tell you how I felt, because I owed it to you. Whether you hated me or not. So here I am. In front of you, devastatingly sorry, not sure how I will ever make you forgive me, but loving you more than anything I'd ever felt my whole life. I came back for you Ginny. For you."
He took my hand, and I was vaguely aware of the tears soaking my face. "So this is me, for the first time ever saying, I love you. I love you Ginevra Weasley."
I never thought it was possible for one person to feel so much, muggle or otherwise. But one thing was for sure: I couldn’t deny the fact that Harry and I belonged together anymore. Fate wasn’t pulling us apart by constantly separating, it was proving that we were meant to be because of the ways we always came back to one another.
Harry Potter loved me.
Harry Potter was in love with me.
Me, a short, freckly, girl with stringy red hair.
He loved me.
And I knew…I knew that I had to tell him. That was my chance.
I was crying but I didn’t care. Harry didn’t seem to mind it when I cried so I didn’t try to hide it anymore. “Harry, when I saw you lying dead in Hagrid’s arms... Harry, my world stopped. I don’t even want to think about it, but what you do need to know is that one thing ran through my mind the entire time. I never got to tell you that I loved you. Just like you said I deserved to know, I felt you deserved to know even more. I was selfish and scared to put my heart on the line, and scared that if I told you, you would run the other way. And you probably would have…but you still needed to know. And now that you did survive I’m getting my second chance and I’m not going to blow it.”
I took a deep breath and smiled at him, “I’m in love with you, Harry James. I always have been.”
The moment he kissed me took me back to that first time in the common room. I was so happy; happiness burst from my pores. I was back where I belonged. With someone who would understand me completely, the one person I could connect with in a way that I never would with anyone else. I had been possessed by Tom Riddle’s horcrux. Harry was one himself, and that was something neither of us would ever find in anyone else.
When his lips moved down to my neck, I whispered a promise I his ear, “I will love you forever Harry, enough for your parents, enough for Sirius, and Dumbledore and Remus combined. I’ll show it every day, and I won’t let you forget how much they love you- how much I love you.”
He flipped me over onto my back in the grass by the lake, with his body pressing onto mine, sending tingles all over, “Forever?” he whispered back, his answer smile dazzling, “I like the sound of that.” And he continued to kiss me as I played with his hair.
We had a future now, no prophecies, no wars, no horcruxes, and in time I would find out every detail of what he went through that year, and I would tell him what happened to me. I loved Harry Potter, and although I was only shy of 17 and he of 18, Iknew I would never stop.
A while later I was finally falling asleep on his chest while the moon began glowing bright when my mind started working again. “Harry?”
“Hmm…” he replied, dozing as well.
“People are probably worried about us. I didn’t tell anyone where I was going this afternoon.”
“Don’t worry, your family was looking for you when I told them I was actually on my way to speak with you, I told them I knew where you were.”
“How did you know?”
“Because I know you.”
I smiled, “I’m surprised they haven’t sent out a search party yet.”
“I don’t think they will, Ron seemed to understand and I think we’ve reached a point where he can respect our relationship, and our privacy.”
“That’s because he was going to be too busy snogging Hermione to worry about us.”
Harry let out a laugh, “It’s good to laugh like this again.”
“Isn’t it wrong though? After all that’s happen is it wrong to feel happy?”
“I don’t think so. I think Fred would have wanted you to be happy, don’t you think? I bet they are all glad we are here together. That we found each other.”
“I’m going to miss him so much.”
“We always will. But that’s okay, because we love him, and he loves us. He would be upset if we weren’t laughing our heads off every chance we got.”
I nodded, “I guess you’re right,” I sighed, “It’s getting late, either we should head back inside or send a message to everyone letting them know we are alright.”
“Do you think your parents would be upset with us staying here?” Of course Harry would be worried about the opinions of my parents. I thought of my mum and how happy she would be when she found that Harry and I were together again.
“They trust us. And they understand we don’t really want to be around people right now. They love you Harry, and mum has wanted us together since the first moment you stepped foot in the Burrow.”
“She should have just straightened me out right then and there, it would have given us so much more time.”
“I wouldn’t change our story for anything in the world Harry. If something had gone differently, we might not have ended up right in this moment. And I wouldn’t trade this moment for anything.”
“You’re turning sentimental again Weasley.”
“Just contact my parents Potter.”
I watched as he cast a Patronus and created the message. Watching him do magic, something else occurred to me. “You never explained about the Deathly Hallows, Harry; how in Merlin’s beard are you the master of the Elder Wand? I didn’t even know they were real!”
“I didn’t either, until Dumbledore left the book to Hermione in his will. I came across all three Deathly Hallows Gin. My father’s invisibility cloak, the Snitch Dumbledore left me concealed the resurrection stone and the Elder Wand had been previously owned by Dumbledore himself.”
“What?!” I shrieked, “But I thought you could only be the master if you defeat the previous owner! How could you-”
“Not defeat, in that kind of sense Ginny, but rather disarm. The night Dumbledore died, Draco Malfoy disarmed him, he was originally sent to kill Dumbledore, remember?”
“Yes, you told me that.”
“Well Dumbledore had it all planned out, he told Snape to let Draco disarm him and then step in and kill him. That way Voldemort believed that Snape was the true master, since he had ended Dumbledore’s life. Voldemort killed Snape thinking that would make himself the rightful owner. But he was wrong. It was Draco.”
I could see where it was going.
“By sheer luck, I had ended up at Malfoy Manor just recently and disarmed Draco myself,” Harry was grinning like a fool.
I smirked, “Well, don’t you look smug.”
“You are looking at the Master of Death Ginny Weasley, the holder of all three Deathly Hallows,” his voice had taken a mock ominous tone.
I rolled my eyes, “With how many ties you cheat death, I don’t think you ever needed the Hallows.”
Harry sighed, “I…I dropped the resurrection stone in the forest somewhere.”
Harry Potter was good man. He never wanted power, he never wanted fame. I knew that he didn’t intend on keeping the Hallows for himself. “And you destroyed the wand.”
He looked at me with wide eyes, “How did you know?”
I simply shrugged, “Because I know you.”
As we settled back down on the soft grass, I noticed something in the back of the tree we called our own, something couldn’t believe I had never noticed before, “Harry, look!”
Etched on the tree was a monogram encased by a heart. The initials read,
J.P. + L.E.
He looked up at where I was pointing and I saw his eyes slightly water in recognition. It warmed my heart, and pained me so, to see Harry’s reaction to any connection to his parents. I decided to give him a moment, and I closed my eyes. I didn’t know what he did, or how much longer he stayed awake, but I had a feeling when I woke up hours later - from a dreamless sleep I might add-as the sun crept up over the horizon. Harry was snoring peacefully and his wand was falling out of his relaxed hand. When I looked up, there was a new heart beside the old one: a new heart, with new letters for the world to see- forever.
Maybe I didn’t have to give up on him. Maybe I never would.
Forever. Yes Harry Potter was my first love, but he would also be my last.
A/N on more to go!
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