|SIYE Time:17:20 on 24th September 2017|
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Characters:Harry/Ginny, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley
Genres: Angst, General
Warnings: Mild Language
Story is Complete
Summary: It's just a game of wizards chess. Or is it?
Hitcount: Story Total: 2339
Disclaimer: Harry Potter Publishing Rights © J.K.R. Note the opinions in this story are my own and in no way represent the owners of this site. This story subject to copyright law under transformative use. No compensation is made for this work.
Not one of my faves, but it's been sitting on my computer for awhile, so thought I'd post it.
Ron Weasley came downstairs to get something to eat from the kitchen. It was now two full weeks after the Final Battle, and things were slowly returning to some sort of normalcy. He reflected on how these two weeks had gone. There had been all the funerals, and then a lot of time he, Hermione and Harry had had to spend at the Department of Magical Law Enforcement giving statements and then going over them again and again with an Auror and a lawyer. Now all that was done, it was time to look to the future. And for Ron, that meant Hermione and of course, his family.
He had really admired the way his eldest brothers had held the family together. Molly was devastated at the loss of Fred, and was also having trouble dealing with the fact that she took a life, even if it was Bellatrix, and she had been defending her daughter.
Arthur was also devastated at the loss of Fred, but was worried about how Molly and George were coping. He was putting in half days at the Ministry, and then returning to the Burrow.
Bill was working with the goblins to restore Gringotts, while Charlie was helping out at Hogwarts. Percy was working at the Ministry, helping out wherever he was needed, but he would always return to the Burrow and seek out George. Sometimes, they just sat in silence; sometimes they'd share memories of growing up with Fred, laughing together until the laughter turned to tears.
Ginny, well, Ron didn't really know what Ginny was doing with herself, and for that he felt guilty. Ron knew Fleur was around the house during the day, doing some housework and cooking. Ron had heard her tell Bill that Ginny had been a big help, and that they were getting on really well together. Ron had smiled at that, remembering how Ginny used to call Fleur 'Phlegm'.
By the time Harry, Hermione and Ron used to Apparate back to the Burrow, they would eat dinner with whoever was around. It was usually Arthur, Percy, Ginny and Fleur. Molly and George would come down sometimes and sit at the table, pretending to eat. Bill and Charlie usually joined them, if they finished in time.
Because they had been giving statements, Harry, Hermione and Ron would usually get together after tea, and talk about what had been going on at the Ministry. Then they would come downstairs, and talk to the others. However, the last few days, Ron had noticed that whenever they returned, Ginny would get up and leave. Hermione, who was sharing a room with Ginny, had told Harry and Ron that Ginny didn't talk much to her, not even to ask her any questions. This wasn't like Ginny.
As Ron came out of the kitchen, with a loaded sandwich, he saw Ginny sitting in the lounge alone. She was thinner than he had ever seen her, and her face was pale. Ron knew Harry was worried about her, yet when Ron had asked him when he was going to speak to Ginny, he would always reply that it wasn't the right time. However, Harry's worried eyes always followed her around.
Ron was determined to do something to help Harry and Ginny get back together. Ron remembered how happy his sister had made Harry when they had first got together at Hogwarts, and how much fun the four of them had, just sitting around, talking. He wasn't even with Hermione, then.
Thinking of Hermione now brought a smile to Ron's face. She was amazing. He still couldn't believe they were together. He was so happy, at a time when it seemed wrong to be happy. But he wanted that happiness for Harry and his sister too, because if anyone deserved it, they did.
Ron was surprised to find he really didn't know how to approach Ginny. His sister, his closest sibling for so long, and now he didn't know how to talk to her.
“Hey,” he said, sitting down in the chair opposite her.
“Hey,” she replied.
“What have you been doing with yourself?” he asked.
Ginny shrugged. “Keeping busy.”
“We've been at the Ministry,” said Ron, giving her an opening to talk or ask about Harry.
Ginny said nothing.
“Yeah, we've had to tell them what we were doing the last nine months,” said Ron.
“Sounds fun,” said Ginny.
“Yeah, well it was really hard to live through some of the things once, let alone go through it again and again. Like when we left the wedding we-”
“I really have to go, Ron,” said Ginny, standing up.
“Go where?” asked Ron, looking up at her.
“Out. Away,” said Ginny, moving out the door.
“Wait!” called Ron.
“Fancy a game of wizard's chess?” he asked, indicating the board, set up and ready for a game.
“Please?” asked Ron.
Ginny blew out a breath of air, then came and sat down. Ron finished off his sandwich, and rubbed his hands together. Ginny was a good opponent; they had played together many times.
They each played a couple of moves, neither talking. Ginny made a good move, causing Ron to study the board thoughtfully, trying to ignore the calls from the chess pieces as they tried to give him advice on his next move. Smiling he made a good counter move, causing Ginny to frown and examine the board.
“You know, we're going to Australia soon. Hermione wants to find her parents, return their memories, then hopefully we'll bring them back to England with us,” he said.
Ginny nodded, and made her move. Ron had been expecting it, and immediately made his next move, taking one of her pawns.
“We haven't told Mum and Dad yet. Just you. We'll probably leave in the next week or so.”
Ginny moved a piece and took one of his.
“Hermione is going to return to Hogwarts and do her seventh year. I don't think I will, though. I thought I might help George out in the shop. If he decides to re-open, that is,” said Ron.
He looked up to see Ginny looking at him. “What?” he asked.
“It's your move,” she said.
Ron frowned. This wasn't going as he he hoped. Usually, Ginny would be all over him to know his plans. He made his move, taking another of her pawns.
“Are you going back to Hogwarts?” he asked her.
“I don't think I have a choice,” Ginny said, dryly.
Ron chuckled, but then frowned as he realised she was serious. “Don't you want to go back?” he asked.
“You have no idea what it was like there last year,” snapped Ginny.
“So tell me,” said Ron.
Ginny moved her bishop and sat back, knowing she had made a good move. Ron hunched over the board.
“Funny game, chess,” said Ron, conversationally. He made his move, taking her rook.
Ginny shot him a dirty look, then turned her attention to the board.
“Really, I mean, the King is the most important piece, but it's all about the Queen. She's the most powerful piece,” said Ron.
Ginny said nothing.
“Of course, the King knows how powerful the Queen is, but at the end of the day, it has to be about him, doesn't it?” he asked, rhetorically.
Ginny made a move.
“Well, the King always has his other pieces looking out for him, doesn't he? Most times, he doesn't even seem to need the Queen,” argued Ginny.
“He has pieces looking out for him. But he's the King, and he'll always want to protect his Queen. It's just the way he is. Even if it means sacrificing himself for her,” said Ron. “Check.”
“I know what you're doing. Let me tell you something. This Queen doesn't need protecting, and I'm not some Princess to be locked up in the bloody Room of Requirement while my whole family was somewhere in that bloody castle fighting for their lives,” said Ginny, angrily.
She made a move. “Checkmate.”
Ron looked down in shock at the board. “What?”
“I win. Only, I didn't really, did I?” Ginny said sadly, as she walked off.
“Smooth, Ronald, very smooth,” said Hermione, coming out of the shadows.
“She beat me!” said Ron, still shocked. He was staring at the board, trying to figure out how Ginny had won.
“She's hurting. I don't know what went on at Hogwarts last year, but she's hurting bad. Oh, I just want to lock those two up in a room so they could talk to each other. Harry's hurting just as much as she is, I know they could help each other through this,” sighed Hermione.
“Hey, that's a-”
“No, Ronald, that's not a good idea. I just hope they get a chance to talk while you and I are in Australia.”
“It'll be fine, 'Mione. It has to be. We made it through everything for a reason. For you and I to be together, and for Harry and Ginny to be together. It's the way things are meant to be,” said Ron, taking her in his arms.
“Oh, Ron,” said Hermione, hugging him. “That's so sweet.”
“So are you, 'Mione,” said Ron, kissing her.
Ron's every dream had come true.
Meanwhile, upstairs in Ron's bedroom, Harry watched with a heavy heart as he saw Ginny leave the house and head for the shed. She went in, and came out moments later, carrying a broom. She set off for the pitch.
He saw her wipe her face several times, and with a pang, knew she was brushing away tears. He wanted nothing more than to go and be with her; to comfort her. To know she was okay. He wondered what was the cause of the tears, was it losing Fred? Her year at Hogwarts? Neville had been quite forthcoming about what he, Ginny and Luna had faced. Or were the tears about Harry, himself?
She disappeared from view for a couple of minutes, then Harry saw a figure in the distance flying in the late afternoon sky. Her glorious hair radiated off the sun's rays, sending a golden, red light around her.
Harry physically ached to hold her. To smell her potent fragrance. To look into her rich brown eyes, and once again see the love shining out at him. For him. No-one had ever looked at him like that before. To feel her arms around him, the only place in the world he wanted to be. No words would be needed, Harry knew. Not yet. All that would come later.
The door of the Burrow slammed, and he saw Hermione and Ron walk away, holding hands. They stopped several times to kiss lightly; carefree for the moment. Harry was happy for them, as he had known how each one felt about the other a long time ago. Now, they just needed time to be alone together, as a couple.
So did he and Ginny. With his mind made up, Harry left the bedroom and went downstairs. He by-passed Molly and Arthur, nodding to them. Nothing was going to stop him from seeing Ginny.
He opened the back door, and walked out.
To begin his future.
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