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SIYE Time:2:59 on 17th August 2018


In The House of the Quick and the Hungry
By Laura Laurent

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Category: Post-HBP, Buried Gems
Characters:Harry/Ginny, Other, Ron Weasley
Genres: Angst, Comedy, Drama, Fluff, General, Humor
Warnings: None
Story is Complete
Rating: PG-13
Reviews: 531
Summary: The finer aspects of Ginny Weasley's life, all entwined, in their own way, within the story of how she wound up with Harry Potter.

THIS STORY IS NOW COMPLETE!
Hitcount: Story Total: 43788; Chapter Total: 3943







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Someone To Help Her With Her Lashes

For Robert,
Who lets me cry on him



We all thought, during the battle at the Burrow that it was surely the end–that Voldemort had staged a distraction so that he and Harry could fight it out once and for all. But that wasn’t the case. He never showed his ugly, flat-nosed self at any of the various skirmishes that erupted across the countryside that night. (I can't personally understand why one would want to be seen at all like that, but he seems to think it's really daunting).

No–Percy died in what was apparently just a big fight. It had been my only consolation to Ginny, who was despondent–crying hard enough for the three of us, that now it was over, and indeed people were at that minute looking for Harry to thank him for defeating You-Know-Who for good, because if he hadn’t the Deatheaters would not have lost the battle here. But in the morning Harry showed up at what was left of our house and told us in a hollow, dead sort of voice that the Dark Wanker hadn’t shown: that he’d just been stood up by You-Know-Who.

It was a dull, gray day with clouds that never once broke and kept spitting at us as we put Percy in the ground. It was a tasteful affair; everything went smoothly and in a way Percy probably would have approved of–in other words: no smiling, no laughing, no joking, and no bright colors! Plus, people made speeches. About him. Really, it’s a pity he missed it.

But all told when the service was over it wasn’t as bad as I’d expected it to be. Ginny didn’t cry so much, she mostly just stared with puffy eyes and dry lips. Halfway through George’s eulogy she shook her hand free from mine and crossed her arms over her chest, as her eyes kept darting across the massive hole in the ground to where Harry stood.

“Percy had confidence in himself, and loved his life a lot, but never was there anything more important to him than doing the right thing to the best of his ability. People are being used everyday, deceived, and tricked into doing bad things because it’s easier than making decisions for themselves. People are killing other people every day for no better reason than pure and simple hatred, or pure and simple selfishness and cowardice. But we believe Percy was a man with good intentions, a man who stuck up for what he thought was right, and not just what would get him farther in the world. Percy, through it all, meant well, and in times as dark as these, ‘meant well’ is something rather precious, and is for the most part, more than can be said for the rest of the world.”

Through this speech Ginny began to blink furiously–her eyelids seemed to be begging Harry to look at her just once, but he didn’t until the funeral was over, and people began to walk away. Only a few members of the family were left when she got his full attention, and it was starting to sprinkle again.

“Come on, Ginny,” I said, reaching out to put my arm around her trembling, shivering shoulders. She stepped out of my hold, shaking her head and coming ever closer to tears, and she still stared at Harry.

“Ginny,” I said again, but she was refusing my consolation, so I decided to leave her there as I followed George’s retreating back away from the grave.

I only stopped and turned around the one time, to see if Harry would approach Ginny in my absence. I just barely heard her voice from across the dreary lawn as she said his name in a pleading, broken way, and I’m sure his heart went out to her but he stayed where he was.

They didn’t say anything at all, and there was a space of twenty feet between them, but I still felt like I was witnessing something private. And when Harry walked away from her with a guarded look on his face she seemed to break a little bit. As soon he was out of sight I went back to Ginny and this time she collapsed against me and sobbed.

She was still for a moment–had the wind knocked out of her, I think. When she gasped again I was expecting her to say something about Percy but in retrospect I should have seen her next words coming,

“H-He doesn’t love me!”

I tried to think of something funny to say but… well it just wasn’t that funny.

“And… and,” she hiccupped, and cried, “And I still love him!”

She began to rant, “And Percy’s dead for–for apparently no reason at all, except so that George isn’t the one dead for no reason at all…and he’s my brother and he tried to hug me and tell me he loved me and I woul–hic–dn’t let him, and now I wish I had, but even more than that I wanted Harry to hold me and tell me he loved me–hic–but he didn’t! Because he does–hic–n’t!”

I pulled her away a bit so I could give her an appraising stare; and I'm not going to lie to you, folks–she didn’t look good. Her chin was trembling as her mouth hung open and I could see the old dimples, at her temples and forehead and around her eyes, which used to be more visible when she was younger and her face was chubby. One of her eyes was blinking furiously, trying to see around her giant lashes.

“Don’t see why he wouldn’t,” I said dryly, unable to resist the urge to smile at her as I reached out and gently opened her eye with my thumb and forefinger. That particular little quirk was something else I hadn’t seen in a while. Ginny had been naturally blessed with long eyelashes, but when she was a baby, in that stage where she wanted to reach out and grab just about anything that was solid, she had somehow gotten a hold of Mum’s wand, and by the time we noticed that she had it her eyelashes and eyebrows had somehow vanished. We wrestled the wand away from her, and the brows came back normally enough in time, but the lashes grew in even longer than they’d been before, though a slightly duller, darker color. So long, in fact, that sometimes when she cried or rubbed her eyes particularly hard they got tucked in the lower lid and the upper one couldn’t pull them out, and sometimes, if she was particularly distressed, she needed a bit of help.

She momentarily began regaining her composure, taking slow, deep breaths, no longer blinded by the ‘blessings’ above her eyes. I didn’t know quite what to say to her, though I was fairly sure that she was wrong about a few things.

“All right Ginny, you can’t fool me any more: something is upsetting you.”

She gave me a weak smile, “Sorry,”

“Don’t be sorry,” I said. There was a long silence as I tried to digest what she had said in her little rant.

“I think there’s a bit of a story I haven’t heard here,” I said at last, knowingly.

And then she spilled it all out, about how Harry had kissed her after their Quidditch final more than a year ago, but they hadn’t told the family because Harry didn’t want to risk sending an owl out with that kind of information in it. And then she told me about how he had broken up with her at Dumbledore’s funeral for the noble reason of not wanting her to be endangered by being so close to him.

“Yeah, that’s sounds like Harry,” I said practically, “So then what’s the matter?”

“Nothing,” she sighed achingly, “It’s not a crime to break up with me–“ she paused, surprised by the words and shocked by their truth, “He doesn’t need me.”

“What do you mean ‘he doesn’t need you’?”

“I mean he pushed everyone away that he could bear to live without–" she looked stricken-empty, “…and I got pushed away.”

It took me a few moments to respond.

“Don’t you think it’s probably kind of the other way around?” I reasoned.

She gave me a mild glare, “Oh what, he finds Ron and Hermione expendable, does he?”

“Well what were you thinking before you got all bent out of shape?”

She was looking off into the distance, squinting just slightly as though the memory of what she had felt before was out there somewhere and she was trying to make it out. She stopped squinting and looked rather defeated, “I just thought…it was some sort of temporary, unfortunate necessity. But it’s been so long and he’s just doing fine, being productive, all the while I’m standing here miserable without him… and even if he did come back, I don’t know if I’d want him, knowing how unaffected he’d be if I didn’t.”

“Bloody hell, Ginny, have a little faith!” I cried indignantly.

“I–“

“Listen–he fancied you, didn’t he? Ron and Hermione are as good as blokes to him, and blokes just don’t lock up other blokes for their protection–that’s just weird. But you’re a girl, and we know you could probably kick his arse if you wanted to, but that’s the way we work.”

Ginny shook her head; “I just can’t go on believing that’s really it anymore. Bloke or not everyone has feelings, and I’m going nutters without him, but he’s just fine.”

“Yeah, about that–“ I said, remembering a thought that I’d forgotten earlier, “What’s this about you being miserable without him? ‘Cause you look just fine to me.”

“My eyelashes got tangled from happiness, did they?” she said acidly.

“Give yourself a break–your brother died, you’ve had about eight hours of sleep in the last four days and–“ I grappled for something else to complete the point “–and it’s rather nippy out for June.”

She rolled her eyes.

“You’re fine Ginny–you’ve got yourself a job, you’re studying a healthy amount, and you are, as per usual, the life and soul of the party and the apple of everyone’s eye.”

“I live at home–“

“Yes, I understand that, with your overbearing mother, and a load of other blokes who are taken and–needless to say–your brothers, not to mention a nice Veela to hog attention and be there just in case you start feeling good about yourself or something.”

She was stunned, and stared at me with an incredulous expression–like she hadn’t expected me to realize all the things I’d just said.

“But you come into the shop and stand behind the register and laugh and smile at everyone you meet and flirt innocently with every single male and even a few females, and you’re happy, Ginny.”

Her brows knitted together and she looked a bit confused–apparently all this really threw her for a loop. She shook her head suddenly, as if remembering herself,

“What? You can’t tell me how I feel!” she snapped.

I was getting a hair annoyed at her thickness, and it was rather cold out. I gave her one last penetrating stare.

“Well all right then, if this is you in utter misery I’d say Harry by the same standards is probably off finding a particularly nasty and cruel way to off himself.

I turned and walked away then, feeling better for having been able to think about something other than Percy’s sacrifice for a whole ten minutes. I considered Ginny, and heard a voice in my head that sounded like Angelina telling me that I was just a bit insensitive and that, for the most part, I sucked at expressing my comprehension of human emotion, but I waved it off without much trouble.

Nobody needs to tell me anything about Ginny, because I understand her, and even if she doesn’t always understand my understanding of her (and really, who does?) she does just fine. George doesn’t even get it. He follows my lead as far as his treatment of her is concerned, but I know he feels guilty about it, and the guilt eats him up inside and winds up making him angry with her–just because he’s so miserable feeling guilty, and then sometimes he does really cruel things. I like the Ginny we’ve all raised, but she’s deep, and she feels things stronger than a lot of people do, including myself. If I ever started to really try to feel her pain I think it’d do quite a number on me, and being incapacitated with guilt and someone else’s pain doesn’t really help anybody in the long run.

In short: I know some girls need to have their feelings validated and all that rot, but there are some girls–like Ginny, and Angelina, too, for that matter–who are forceful, and these girls just need insensitive warts like me to call them ridiculous and untuck their eyelashes.

That’s the truth–I take my flippancy very seriously, you know.








A/N: Would you look at that- I updated. Reviews will do that to a person, you know. ;-)
Reviews 531
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