SIYE Time:17:00 on 23rd February 2019

By morphin3

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Category: Post-Hogwarts, Post-DH/PM
Genres: Angst
Warnings: Mild Sexual Situations
Story is Complete
Rating: PG
Reviews: 5
Summary: In the summer after the war, Ginny struggles not to feel useless.
Hitcount: Story Total: 1108

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.


Ginny wakes suddenly, and it only takes her a moment to realize why. Hermione is having another nightmare, whimpering and crying in her sleep. Ginny figures, based on several previous nightmares in the two weeks since coming back to the Burrow, that she has about two minutes to fetch Ron from upstairs before Hermione starts screaming and wakes the whole house. {The first time it happened, Ginny hadn’t woken up until Hermione’s first scream, and then she herself had almost screamed when Ron had come barging into their room. Ginny had learned to be a much lighter sleeper after that.}

Not bothering to pull her dressing gown over her old Quidditch jersey and faded pajama pants, Ginny opens her bedroom door slowly to avoid the squeak, then hurries up the stairs to Ron’s bedroom. She turns the door handle carefully and pushes the door open. It’s a tight squeeze between Ron’s bed and Harry’s camp bed, and Ginny takes care not to bump Harry’s bed, knowing he’s a light sleeper, too {and who can blame him after all he’s been through?}.

“Ron, wake up.” She shakes his arm firmly, “Ron, Hermione needs you.”

Ron’s eyes blink open to meet hers. “Nightmare?” He’s whispering, aware of Harry sleeping a foot away, as he sits up. Ginny takes a practiced step sideways to avoid getting kicked by Ron’s long legs. “Yeah. She just started crying, so…” she trails off as Ron gets to his feet. They walk sideways together between the beds, and Ginny slides into the corner away from the door; she does her best not to knock into Harry’s bed.

“So I should go now before she starts screaming,” he finishes, pulling on his shirt and heading to the door. Ginny merely nods and is moving to follow him out the door and down the hall when a low voice stops her.

“Ginny, wait.”

She turns and looks at Harry lying there in his bed, squinting at her in the darkness. His hair is even more disheveled with sleep, and she can see that he is shirtless. He scoots to the far edge of his bed and pushes back the quilt - it’s an invitation Ginny doesn’t quite know what to do with. She and Harry slept - just slept - side by side that first night {day? Who knows what time it was in those first few chaotic, horrible hours when she had to see and feel for herself that he was really truly alive}, and a few lunches by the pond led to innocent naps together in hazy sunshine of the afternoon, but here, in the darkness, in Ron and Harry’s bedroom in the Burrow, lying down next to him in a bed feels much more vulnerable.

“Did I wake you?” She doesn’t move towards the bed, but she doesn’t move away, either. Ginny knows Harry’s eyes are on her -he’s gazing at her steadily, calmly- and suddenly her hands feel awkward. She crosses her arms across her chest, then releases them to her sides.

She doesn’t know what to expect, doesn’t know what Harry wants, but she has a feeling it has something to do with Hermione’s nightmares, and she isn’t sure that she wants to learn yet another awful piece of the story from last year.

When Harry doesn’t respond, Ginny swallows and tries again. Her throat feels dry and her voice comes out slightly hoarse. “What do you want, Harry?”

“Why are you nervous?” Harry’s voice is sincere, and Ginny considers taking a small step towards him. He’s sitting up now, and Ginny can see, with surprising, shocking clarity, the scar that runs down his chest.

“I’m not nervous, exactly,” she says, clasping her hands in front of her and then releasing them again. Harry watches her closely; he’s put on his glasses without her noticing, and she can’t look away from him.

“Then why-” he quirks an eyebrow at her and smiles gently “-are you still standing over there?”

Ginny swallows again and plays with the side seam of her pajama bottoms. She takes a deep breath and tries to articulate all the thoughts that have been roiling within her the past few minutes {and days, if she’s honest with herself}.

“I’m nervous because… because I don’t know why Hermione’s having nightmares, and because you’ve told me about Horcruxes and how you destroyed them all, but not a lot else about last year, and I, I’m nervous that you’re just going to tell me more and it’s going to be just more and more awful, and… and, oh, I don’t know how to help you, Harry! I don’t know what to do, and I’m worried that I’m useless.”

Ginny feels tears pricking at her eyes, but she brushes her hair out of her face rather impatiently, takes another breath and continues, “Harry, I’m so scared of being useless. I’m so scared that you’re going to start having nightmares and that I won’t be able to give you the help that you’ll need, like a girlfriend should be able to, or that you’re going to tell me about something else from last year and that… that Ron and Hermione will be the only ones who get it and they’ll be the only ones who can make you feel better and that I’ll be left behind again, and-” she let go of her pajamas and clenched her hands into fists “-and dammit, I am tired of being left behind and left out.”

By the time she finishes, Ginny is shaking, and Harry is getting to his feet to wrap his arms around her.

“Hey, hey, shh,” he croons to her, kissing her forehead. Ginny lets herself relax a bit, and she hugs Harry back. He’s rubbing soothing circles against her back, under her hair, and Ginny squeezes him tighter, feeling goosebumps on his bare back. She takes a quick breath and pulls back to look him in the eye and to apologize for dumping all of that on him, but he speaks first.

“First off, I’m sorry. No, wait, please, just let me say this,” he adds, seeing Ginny open her mouth to interrupt. “I’m sorry that I had to keep so many secrets, and I’m sorry I couldn’t, didn’t tell you sooner, and I’m sorry that I’ve been unloading all of this on you all at once, when I’ve had seven years to deal with-” he raises one arm behind her to wave vaguely “-all of it. I’m sorry, Gin. Forgive me?”

He looks at her, waiting for her answer, and Ginny is so close to tears again that all she can do is nod. Harry does not seem satisfied with that; he frowns a little as he studies her, and she nods her head more vehemently and manages, “of course I forgive you, Harry.”

“Thank you.” He kisses her forehead again and then tugs her shoulders a bit, moving towards the bed. She drops her arms from his waist and grabs his hand as she follows him silently. They sit down, close to each other, their backs against the wall and feet hanging off the side. Ginny’s legs are too short to touch the ground or to kick Ron’s bed, so she draws one up underneath her. Harry waits until she’s settled, leaning against him slightly, before speaking again.

“Ginny, you know there’s some stuff I can’t tell you because Ron and Hermione should tell you themselves,” he says, and then, seeing her frown, adds hastily, “though they’ll tell you if you ask, I think.”

“What I can tell you is, Ginny, you are not useless. You… you…” Harry searches for the words, and Ginny looks sideways at him. He sounds like he is fighting tears of his own, and Ginny reaches and takes hold of his hand with both of hers. He locks their fingers together and looks down, playing with the quilt with his free hand.

“Ginny, I don’t know how to tell you just how much of a comfort you are, how much you were a comfort to me last year. I’m not just saying that because of what you told me just now; I mean it. You’ve always understood me, even when I was stupid, or overprotective, and just knowing that you believed in me helped me keep on going.”

Harry tugs her into a hug, and she shifts so she is on her knees next to him. She slides her arms around his waist and pushes her face under his neck, breathing him in. She sighs, ever so softly, and Harry’s arms tighten around her.

“When you say you’re useless, you have to know that is the absolute furthest thing from the truth, Ginny. Do you believe me?” Harry’s voice is barely more than a breath by her ear, and his hands are rubbing circles on her back again.

She pulls back to look at him, right in the eye. The words Harry had spoken, the conviction with which he had said them, has soothed something in her. “I believe you,” she whispers back.

“So when you asked me, earlier tonight, what I want,” he murmurs, reaching up to touch her hair. She smiles at him, all hint of tears gone.

“What I want is to know that you’re safe. I want you here, with me...” his voice trails off as Ginny starts moving. She shuffles until she’s sitting just beneath Harry’s pillow, then she rearranges the quilt to cover her legs. She slides down in the bed, resting on her elbows until Harry realizes what she’s doing and then he hastens to adjust and lie down, too. He moves the pillow so they both can rest on it, and just like the time after the battle, they lie down facing each other.

The camp bed is narrower than the four-poster at Hogwarts, and their feet knock together and their knees tangle, and Ginny can feel Harry’s stomach against hers when he inhales, and she shifts closer. Harry slides one arm under her neck and starts stroking her hair; the other he wraps around her waist, pulling her even closer. Ginny mimics the movement, slipping one arm around Harry’s waist. Her other hand is pressed against his chest, over his heart. Harry leans in, just a bit, and presses a kiss to her forehead. Ginny shuts her eyes and nestles closer.

“I believe you, Harry,” she whispers again.
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