|SIYE Time:20:02 on 16th October 2018|
Light From An Open Window
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Category: Post-OotP, Buried Gems
Genres: Angst, Fluff
Story is Complete
Summary: A warm summer night, some pensive thinking, a broomstick ride-the beginning of a new friendship and perhaps something more. Harry sees Ginny in a new light, and Ginny falls in love all over again. A night of dark memories, light-hearted conversation, deep understanding, and the glimpse of light peering from a newly opened window. In five parts. Written from the alternating perspectives of Harry and Ginny.
Hitcount: Story Total: 10998; Chapter Total: 2324
LIGHT FROM AN OPEN WINDOW
Ginny was frustrated. Part of her felt like she wanted to try to beat it out of him. If he had been one of her brothers, she probably would have done it too. Ron could never hide anything from his little sister. But Harry was different.
Would he ever see her as anything more than his best friend’s little sister? But then again, why would he ask you to go for a fly if that was the case? He had called her his friend, hadn’t he? Well, friends looked out for one another. They didn’t give up, and they certainly didn’t allow one another to lose themselves by wallowing in gloomy thoughts.
“Harry,” she entreated. “Earlier you called us friends. As your friend, I want to help. Whatever it is, you can tell me.”
Harry kicked the pile of shredded leaves from the platform in one swift movement. “I’ve already told you Ginny, I can’t,” he said, his voice wavering.
“But why?” she persisted. Let him think her a whining brat. If there was one thing she’d learned from having six brothers, it was that you didn’t get anywhere by giving up and staying silent.
“Don’t you get it Ginny? I can’t tell you. I can’t tell Ron, or Hermione. Not anyone, anything. It’s too dangerous. It’s mine to bear, and I won’t risk anyone else.”
Oh great, here we go again. Ginny admired his courage, his strength, and his compassion, but this stubborn streak was just too much to handle sometimes. Like you can talk, she thought wryly to herself. Yes, but I’m not the one indulging in self-pity here.
“Spare me the nobility, Harry,” Ginny snapped. “You know, sometimes you might like to stop and realise that others want to help, whether you like it or not.”
The eyes that stared at her were drained of emotion. Not fiery, not cold: just hollow.
“Please, Ginny. I can’t. Not you. You … I can’t.” Harry determinedly looks away.
Ginny sighed. She should’ve known. The talk of friendship was probably just Harry’s way of showing some pity toward her. She’d never really be anything other than someone who barely existed on the periphery. It hurt her somewhere deep inside, in a place that she thought she’d tucked so far away that it couldn’t hurt her anymore. Another thing she’d been wrong about. A fine night this was turning out to be. Harry had probably only brought her out here as an apology for listening at her window, and was by now regretting it.
She stood up. The cool breeze on the platform was no longer enough. She needed to move away to clear her head before she suffocated. Needed to get Harry out of her thoughts. You’ve been trying that for four years; as if it’s going to happen overnight! Shaking her head, she carefully she eased herself onto the nearest branch and made to climb down. Time to go for a walk, and then try to sneak back inside the Burrow without getting caught. But with the way her luck was running tonight…
She cast a look back at Harry, who was still staring into the distance away from her. He hadn’t even registered her movement.
“I wish you would trust me, Harry,” she said quietly.
With a jolt Harry heard the Ginny’s soft words, and felt a tinge of guilt. Why oh why had he brought her out here? It had been a spur of the moment decision, that had seemed right until now.
Now. He’d thought his world had been confused before, but since adding Ginny to the puzzle, everything had turned upside down and inside out. His mind tossed from problem to dilemma with indefinable unpredictability.
Somewhere deep inside of Harry his emotions were bubbling furiously, melting together, mixing and swirling into a great thick and messy soup, all the time threatening to overflow. Anxiety about a new school year; fear for the safety of his friends; worry about how he was supposed to defeat the greatest Dark Wizard of the time; vague feelings about Ginny that he had yet to recognise; and grief for all he had lost. All it would take would be a small thing to tip the pot, and there would be a lot of mopping up required.
He looked up at Ginny’s retreating figure. Intense anguish filled his emerald eyes as they met with her distanced brown ones. The floodgates broke.
“I can’t do it,” he said, his head dropping into his hands. Ginny stopped suddenly. At some instinctive level Harry knew there’d be no going back once he started to share his secret with this girl. But he had gone past the point of caring. It was hurting so much; he had to release the pressure now before he completely feel apart.
Tears began to wet the arm of his shirt as he sat hunched up. In the darkness of his mind, eyes stared accusingly at him. Green ones, brown ones, blue ones, black and grey. And then a pair of malicious red eyes. Harry let out a uncontrollable sob.
What had he said? Ginny wildly scrambled back onto the platform, and stood a moment wringing her hands. Harry seemed to have shrunk inside himself, his whole body shaking with anguish. Well, oh great healer. You said you wanted to help. So help!
But what should she do? This was so completely different to consoling Ron when he fell off his broomstick, or helping the twins recover from the loss of their inventions after their mother had thrown them out. Harry looked so lost. Ginny bit her lip, and went to his side. Gingerly she knelt beside him, and rested her hand on his shoulder. He flinched, but stopped shaking.
“What can’t you do Harry?” she asked. Great Ginny! Isn’t there anything better you can say?
“I’m not what he says. Not what they want.” He lifted his head, but Ginny felt as though he was not looking at her, but through her. His eyes were searching for something. “What do they want?” Her heart was pounding again, but she had no idea why. Something stirred within her, and she felt a fear she had not know since her first year begin to creep upon her again.
Harry’s eyes focussed on her, and she thrust the fear away and mustered a look of compassion and concern.
He shook his head. “I’ve said too much. You can’t know. He can’t know,” he mumbled.
Ginny shook his shoulder. “Harry! Whatever it is, you can’t keep it to yourself! Can’t you see what it’s doing to you! Harry, nothing is worth hiding away.” He tried to avoid her, but she forced him look at her. “Look at me! I hid things away, and look at what it nearly did to me. At what it did do to me! Harry, it nearly tore me apart to keep the secrets I did, and I won’t let you do the same.”
Ginny took it as a bad sign when he didn’t even try to argue with her. Normally Harry would’ve been frothing at the mouth had someone dared to yell at him like this. He hated being told what to do. So why was he taking her ranting in so silently now?
“Harry please,” she said, her voice softer now. “Whatever it is, I’m sure I can handle it. It can’t be any worse than facing You-Know-Who, and I’ve already done that…” She stopped when she saw the mute message printed on Harry’s face.
“It…it has something to do with him, doesn’t it?” she asked hesitatingly. Harry nodded. He took a deep breath.
This was it. Ginny’s eyes were imploring him to tell whatever it was that he had wanted to hide away. He wrenched his eyes away from her concerned face.
“Ginny, do you know why we were in the Department of Mysteries?”
“We went to save Sirius.” Harry flinched at the name, and Ginny went on. “And, he — he wanted something that was there, didn’t he?” she asked, looking at Harry to confirm. He nodded again. Ginny cast her mind over what could have been hidden deep within the Ministry of Magic. She gasped.
“No — the prophecy! But, but it broke, didn’t it?”
Harry closed his eyes. Oh, if only that were the end of it! Slowly, he nodded. Ginny let out a breath of relief.
“But I know what it said,” Harry murmured. Ginny could only stare at him.
“How do you know,” she breathed, her eyes wide and fearful.
“Dumbledore. He heard it the first time. I saw it in his Pensieve. Did you know Trelawney was the one who said it? The old bat really is a Seer,” he mused darkly.
Ginny licked her lips. “What did it say, Harry?”
He stared at her with a dead expression. Ginny shivered. Too right, he thought. All he needed was a thunderstorm to finish the mood of the night off perfectly. Some wonderful friend you are Potter. Is this how you entertain all your friends on warm summer nights. By regaling them with tales of disaster and tragedy? And then drop the bombshell that it’s all one hundred percent true and still lurking in the future to boot?
He closed his eyes. The words were there. It was as though they had permanently been etched into his brain. He’d never be able to forget them. They’d be forever stored away inside the vault in his mind where he kept an assortment of nightmarish memories. The sound of his mother’s dying screams; Voldemort’s callous “Kill the spare”; Sirius’ laugh as he fell through the veil…
“The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches…Born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies…And the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not…And either must die at the hand of the other, for neither can live while the other survives.”
Ginny felt as though someone had spitefully switched off her air supply. Her breaths came in short and sharp. Harry just simply sat there staring morosely at the jarringly clear sky while she stared aghast at him, willing him to take those words back and say it was all some stupid kind of a joke.
How on earth could he just sit there? Ginny fought to empty her head, but her vision swam and her thoughts stubbornly remained woolly, and fixed on one single thing: the prophecy.
Damn, damn, damn! What on the…why the hell…when was he…why Harry?!? Ginny twisted the end of her dressing gown sleeve. Maybe it wasn’t real. She tried to grasp at any idea she could. I mean, come on. Trelawney? A bigger fake couldn’t possibly exist. The wannabe Seer had already predicted Harry’s death on numerous occasions, and he was still here, wasn’t he?
Ginny gave Harry a hurried glance to check that he was still breathing.
What did it mean? Could it possibly mean what she thought it meant? Was it at all possible that Harry could…he could…No! She wouldn’t even go there!
Oh Harry! Had he been keeping all this in since that night at the Department of Mysteries? No wonder he constantly had this haunted look about him. How could he have not thought of telling anyone about it sooner?
When had Trelawney made the prophecy? And why had Dumbledore kept it hidden for however long, and then decide to spring it on poor Harry at that moment? What sort of cold-hearted person could reveal something so distressing, so painful, at a time when Harry had just experienced a great loss? Sirius had died for Merlin’s sake! The one person Harry had felt truly close to. Gone in the blink of an eye. And now this blasted prophecy. Bloody hell. Forget Molly Weasley in a rage, Dumbledore would be cowering by the time Ginny Weasley had had her say!
She continued to rage inside, her shock and anguish turning to anger as she fought to become calm. She wouldn’t speak until she knew she could do it without ranting. Endlessly babbling about the obvious was Ron’s way, and Merlin knew she hated it, never mind how Harry would react if she started channelling her brother. All the same, Harry’s lack of emotion was getting to her. He was just so bland…so blank.
Harry’s mind was actually surprisingly calm. So calm, that he was a little surprised himself. Truth be told, he hadn’t felt this calm in a long time.
What was she thinking? Based on his past experiences with Ginny and her temper, she was probably just about ready to explode with the injustices of it all. He winced. As long as she didn’t break out with something reminiscent of Ron or Hermione. He couldn’t bear it if she got all weepy-eyed or tearfully emotional. If she did, he’d just have to get back on his broom and fly away for solitude again.
Harry knew he should be feeling the anger that bubbled up every time he thought of the prophecy. He had just shared it with someone else — someone he had never even contemplated sharing it with for crying out loud!! The anger and frustration was still there, but it wasn’t coming to the surface. He shivered. This time it was being over-ridden by sadness.
Sadness that it had to be him. Still angry that it was him, but also a kind of despondent acceptance of the validity of the prophecy. Saying it out loud, to another person, had reinforced the facts in his head. And for the first time in a while, he felt tired of his life, and more than a little fearful of what was to come.
A/N — I’m sorry, much of what I have to say here I meant to say with the last chapter, but I was a little distracted by many other things when I posted it. Life just got so hectic all of a sudden, which it tends to do. Anyway, that is also the reason for the delay in posting this chapter. I’m terribly sorry, and I’ll try to get the next two up quicker. Oh, and trust me, things will get lighter and happier again, now that we’ve got the darkness off poor Harry’s chest a little.
I want to give a big thankyou to everyone who has reviewed! I never realised just how nice it was to get them! So — thankyou a million times over. Oh, and Gryphon, as per your email: the line is usually “Like a moth to the flame”, but I try to steer clear of things like that when I can, as they can end up sounding too cliché-ish. I play them a little, and in this case, I think I’d just finished reading a novel which had fire spirits in it which were salamanders. So, hence the phrase in chapter one: “…drawn to the light like a salamander to the flame.”
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