|SIYE Time:17:40 on 21st October 2018|
A Desperate Apology
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Genres: Angst, Drama, General
Story is Complete
Summary: Having been put in his place by Ginny. Harry feels the need to apologise for forgetting an awful experience.
Hitcount: Story Total: 2115
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.
Been thinking of doing this missing moment for a while and finally it came to me how to approach. So managed to write this up in a few hours so it can be posted while everyone is waiting for the next chapter of A New Normal. Takes place at Christmas during OotP. I stand by what I wrote in this, because I feel their conversation that Christmas was a massive turning point in their friendship and the start of them falling for each other.
Harry Potter sat at the table within the kitchen of Grimmauld Place thinking as he ate the breakfast Mrs Weasley had put together. He felt calmer, even happier than he had done over the past few days. But beneath the mask that he had put on for the benefit of the occupants of the house, he was in turmoil. Sure, the anger, pain and grief he had been feeling and dealing with for the last few months were still lurking dangerously near to the surface, but it was not these emotions that were bothering the green eyed wizard. It was not even these emotions for once that had his mind so confused. It was someone in the house who had surprised him in the way they had handled one of his bad moods.
Ginny Weasley, the youngest Weasley, had confused him beyond comprehension. She was a complete mystery to him. The shy redhead with a crush on him had disappeared and in her place was a strong, confident young woman who had no issue with being upfront and blunt with him, especially when he needed being put in his place.
But even that was not the problem that was truly bothering him. No, it was the very fact he had forgotten the traumatic event of her first year at Hogwarts. She, of all people, knew just how it felt to be possessed by the darkest wizard of their time and he, despite having been the one to rescue her from the Chamber of Secrets, had forgotten all about it.
He was a terrible friend.
Harry looked over at the redhead in question, who was sat laughing with Tonks as they ate their breakfast. Watching her laugh, it was hard to believe she had been through what she had. Something traumatic had happened to her and she had not let it change her for the worse. No, she had instead become stronger and all the better for it. It truly amazed him just how she had not let it ruin her, when he had barely been able to cope with having seen Cedric Diggory murdered before his eyes.
He hated himself for forgetting something so awful. He had allowed himself to become so caught up in his own troubles that he had forgotten her in the process. He had not even tried to see if she was okay after he had rescued her, or during the summer, or even after the Dementor had come into their compartment on the train on their way to school in his third year. Sure, they barely knew each other at that point, so they were not really friends, not truly. But still, they were the only two to have entered the chamber, to have come up against Voldemort in his teenage form, Tom Riddle. They had shared an experience that no one else would ever be able to comprehend in the way they did.
He mentally slapped himself. He was an idiot and he needed to apologise to her properly. Not just for forgetting she had been possessed, but for never truly checking how she was doing afterwards. Not only that, he was going to make the effort to be her friend, the same way she had always been his friend and never doubted him.
Making sure her mum was distracted, Ginny snuck up the stairs and to her room that she shared with Hermione while at Grimmauld Place. As much as she wanted to help decorate the dark house for Christmas, she needed to finish wrapping the presents she had brought while on the last Hogsmeade visit before the end of term. She also wanted the peace and quiet she knew she would get from being in her bedroom away from everyone.
Simply, she needed time to think.
The happiness and laughter she had exuded this morning at breakfast was in all honesty a mask to cover the hurt and anger she was still feeling as a result of Harry’s lapse in memory.
The pain she felt from him forgetting what was and probably would always be the most traumatic experience of her young life had caught her by surprise. The problem was she couldn’t understand why it was still bothering her so much. He had admitted his mistake and apologised for it immediately. So why did it hurt her so much?
She could not truly fault him for forgetting, not really. She knew she had not made life easy for him to be her friend. She’d had a huge crush on him for years and as a result, had never been able to speak to him without blushing or stammering over her words. She had distanced herself at times over the past couple of years after the events of her first year as she tried to re-establish ties with her fellow Gryffindors in her own year. It had taken time, but she had finally made friends and had managed in the process to put the events of the Chamber behind her.
If she could so easily forget it at times, then why would she think Harry had not?
No, she knew what the issue was. He was the only one, besides her, to have met Diary Riddle down in the Chamber; therefore they had a shared experience. He had seen her at her most vulnerable, at her weakest, after she had woken up from her possession. She knew he knew how awful she had felt and that she understood just how manipulative Riddle could be. If anyone understood what he was feeling and going through right now, it was her!
But of course he forgot. How could he not? She had managed to move on, put it behind her and find the old, confident Ginny she had once been. She had to excuse him for forgetting, because she never let it show just how much it had all affected her in the long run. The nightmares were still there, though not as often as they had been in the past. The fear of what could happen in the future plagued her, just like she knew it did him. But she hid it, she hid it all and she hid it well. She had made friends, worked hard at school and thrown herself into the DA with absolute commitment to working hard to make herself useful in the upcoming fight against Riddle.
No, it was not his fault he forgot. She had made it too easy for him to forget, plus he had so many other things to worry about. The only thing she could do therefore was to forgive him if he brought it up again and if not, then she would push it to the back of her mind because right now there was too much going on to be worried about her feelings being hurt over one person forgetting.
Harry knocked on the bedroom door that he knew to be Ginny’s and patiently waited. He didn’t have to wait long before he saw a pair of brown eyes peering from behind the slightly open door.
“Can I come in?” Harry asked at the inquisitive look he received from the youngest Weasley. “I wanted to talk to you and I think you know what about.”
Ginny froze for a second, shocked that he had actually come to her like she hoped he would. Without saying anything in response, she opened the door fully before heading back to where she had been sat wrapping presents.
Harry walked in and instead of closing the door fully, he left it slightly ajar. He didn’t wish to suffer the wrath of Mrs Weasley or any of Ginny’s brothers for being in the room with the only Weasley daughter and the door shut.
“I… umm… wanted to apologise,” Harry stammered as he sat down on the bed he knew to be Hermione’s. He took a deep breath before continuing. “I’m sorry for forgetting about what you went through in your first year and well… basically being a prat.”
Ginny gave him a small smile in acknowledgement, while smiling widely internally, surprised he had come to apologise for forgetting.
“It’s okay, Harry,” she calmly replied. “There really is no need for you to apologise.”
“But there is,” Harry protested. “The very fact I forgot that you had been through the one thing I feared was happening to me shows you just what a horrible person I am.”
“It doesn’t matter…” Ginny barely said, before Harry cut across her again.
“But it matters to me!” Harry cried. “It matters to me that I forgot about what was a traumatic experience for you. I got so caught up in my own problems that I forgot about you.”
Ginny stared wide eyed at the boy she cared deeply about, not believing he felt so strongly about forgetting about something that happened over two years ago. She opened her mouth to reply, but Harry raised a hand to stop her.
“Please let me finish what I need to say,” Harry politely pleaded with her.
Ginny nodded automatically, sensing how important this was to him.
“Look, I really have no excuse for the fact I forgot,” Harry began. “But so much has happened to me that eventually something or someone was bound to be forgotten, especially if it has not affected me as badly as it perhaps has others. I know I have not been the best person to be around this year. And I know most people don’t know how to handle the way I am being and yet somehow you do, you did. You came in and told me what I needed to hear, not what I wanted to hear. Your words shocked me and made me realise what a prat I was being, but I hate that it was at the expense of you having to open up about an event that I am sure you have somehow moved past and that I had forgotten about.”
Harry dropped his head into hands, hating the fact he had forgotten. He couldn’t understand why this was eating him up inside so much. He was startled when he felt a warm hand touch his shoulder. He looked up to see Ginny in front of him with a compassionate look on her face.
“It really is okay, Harry,” she gently told him. “I have never really told anyone about what happened that year after I went to the hospital wing that night. I have never forgotten what happened though, because I still get nightmares from time to time, but that is to be expected.”
“This might be a little late,” Harry said in response. “But if you ever want to talk about what happened, I will be more than happy to listen. Perhaps I could feel in some blanks for you.”
Ginny looked at him in shock for a moment, touched by his sincerity before a giggle escaped her lips.
“Sorry,” she said once she realised Harry didn’t understand what she found so funny. “You said you could fill in the blanks. For someone who was possessed and doesn’t remember what happened, it just sounded funny.”
Harry stared at her incredulously, before realising the way it sounded and burst out into laughter, which in turn made Ginny laugh as well.
“Even so,” Ginny eventually said after their laughter died down. “I think the blanks in my memory can be filled by matching them up with the attacks.”
“That would make sense, wouldn’t it?” Harry said realising she had already probably figured out what had happened in the time she had lost to Riddle. “I am sorry though that I forgot.”
“Like I said before,” Ginny said as she moved back to her own bed. “It honestly doesn’t matter. I probably did overreact more than necessary. But I am a Weasley, so what did you expect? We are known for our tempers!”
“With Ron being my best mate, I should have known better,” Harry said as a smile played at his lips.
“Anyway,” Ginny continued. “I never gave you a reason to check up on me and chances are I would never have responded to your concerns. The very fact you have come to me and apologised for forgetting and have now, even if it is two years late, checked up on me means a lot to me.”
“I figured I could be a better friend to you than I have been,” Harry sheepishly confessed. “You have supported me this year and right now I need the support more than I care to admit.”
“Every person who is in this house right now, Harry,” Ginny said with a confidence that Harry had never seen before. “And every person who has been in this house at some point since the summer, they all support and care about you. Remember that when you feel like you are struggling or feel like you are drowning. They will help you, but you have to tell them, not hide away.”
Harry let her words sink, knowing she was right.
“You really are an amazing person, Ginny,” he said with a smile just for her. “You are a true friend.”
Then he did something that shocked them both. He stood up and then pulled her up off her bed and into a hug. Both held on to each other for a few moments, both enjoying the feel of the other in their arms.
“Thank you,” he whispered, before pulling away and heading for the door.
Just as Harry went to exit the room, he turned and gave the young redhead a smile of gratitude, which she quickly returned.
In Harry’s mind as he left, he couldn’t help but think why it had taken so long for him to realise what an amazing and loyal friend Ginny really was. As for Ginny, well, she had seen a different side of Harry that she truly liked and wished she had gotten to experience sooner. Neither could help but have a smile on their faces as they thought of the other and the change the conversation had brought in their friendship.
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