Every Five Years by Celtics534
Summary: Select moments in our lives can change everything, and for Harry those moment seemed to occur every five years. Love, life, loss, and her. A Muggle alternate universe.
Categories: Alternate Universe
Every Five Years by Celtics534
Chapter 1: Chapter 1 Author's Notes:
Even at the age of five, Harry knew it wasn’t right. No, locking a child in a cupboard was not any way an adult should act. It shouldn’t matter if the child was yours or not, they should be treated like a human.
However, here Harry Potter lay, on his little cot under the stairs in a small, spider-infested cupboard, crying as he felt his cheek burn from the mark his uncle had given him. For what, Harry still didn’t know. All he could remember was his uncle’s face becoming purple, then a large hand striking his face. Between soiling himself and the pains of hunger he currently felt, Harry could tell he had been in his prison for a long time.
Harry feared what was to come. What his aunt and uncle would do to him. His only happy thoughts involved a dream of being taken away from his family, to live with someone who would treat him like the Dursley’s treated Dudley, with love and affection.
Harry walked beside Sirius, his godfather. The godfather he had never known about until he was seven. Sirius had arrived on his seventh birthday and explained everything, how he was his father’s best friend and how he wanted to raise Harry as his own son. All he needed was to bring attention to the court and, if Harry agreed, they would be together.
It was literally a dream come true, and since that day Harry had been perfectly happy with his life. Sirius would take him to football matches, out to ice skating rings, and they spent their Christmas morning together, something Harry had always envied about the Dursleys’ lives; being able to spend time as a family who loved their child.
Now they were going through one of the many traffic centers in England, shopping for school supplies for Harry, who had just been accepted into the boarding school his mother, father, and Sirius had attended. He wasn’t looking forward to being away from Sirius, but he would get to come home for holidays… besides, Harry couldn’t wait to be in the same place his parents had met. Where they had fallen in love. He was excited to go to school where his father and Sirius had gone. It made him feel more connected to them, somehow.
“How about we get some lunch,” Sirius suggested, pointing towards a small fish and chip stand in the middle of the street.
Leading the way, Sirius approached the counter to place their order. Harry, meanwhile, looked around the bustling London street. Most people moved about, not taking notice of anything around them. However, Harry’s eyes made contact with a pair of dark brown ones. A red-haired girl was staring at him, while holding her mother’s hand.
She sent him a smile, one of her front teeth missing, and Harry couldn’t help but grin back. He turned to look at Sirius, who had just received their fish wrapped in newspaper. Sirius looked between him and the girl, a smug smile appearing on his lips. “Already a lady killer, huh?” Sirius’ voice was filled with humor, making Harry blush. “Wanna go over and see if they’re ready for lunch?”
Harry was about to protest, but Sirius lead the way, towards the girl and her mother. “Hello,” Sirius said once he had reached the ladies. The girl, who had turned red as they approached, gave Harry a little wave. The mother turned from her previous distraction.
“Hello,” The woman had a kind face, motherly by all extents. She looked down at Harry. “How can we help you gentlemen?”
“Well, my godson and I happened to notice we have enough food here to feed more than just ourselves and we were hoping two lovely ladies, such as yourselves, would be interested in sharing some fish and chips?” Sirius raised one of the wrappings in gesture.
The woman smiled widened. “Oh, how sweet of you…” She was looking at Harry waiting for him to introduce himself, but Harry was focusing on glaring at Sirius. Harry’s godfather gave him a little nudge with his elbow.
“Harry,” Harry said, turning back to the woman and her daughter.
“Well, Ginny,” the mother looked down at her daughter. “Would you like to have lunch with Harry?"
Harry and Ginny sat together munching on the remainder of his chips. “So, you really have six brothers?” Harry asked his new friend.
Ginny nodded, rolling her eyes. “Yeah, and let me tell you, they are a pain in the bum. It’s even worse when one of them is only a year older than you.”
“Which one was that?” Harry couldn’t keep them all straight. They had discussed everything from football (which they both supported Chelsea), where they went to school (Ginny was transferring to the same school Harry was going to), and now they were on to their families.
“Ron,” Ginny explained. “It goes Bill, Charlie, Percy, Fred then George, who are twins, Ron, and finally me.”
“Wow!” Harry couldn’t imagine having so many siblings to play with whenever he wanted. Sure, Sirius was great, but he had always loved the idea of having a brother or sister.
“So, it’s just you and Sirius, then?” Ginny asked.
Harry nodded. “Yeah, Sirius is my godfather.”
Ginny didn’t ask the obvious question. Instead, she smiled at him. “So, when I visit we will have the entire yard, you mention, to ourselves?”
“When you visit?” Harry felt his eyebrows knit together.
Ginny rolled her eyes. “Of course, Potter. You thought we wouldn’t see each other till the beginning of the school year? I want to practice my penalty shots with someone who isn’t a whole foot taller than me.”
Harry felt elated. Ginny was fast becoming one of his favorite people. Sirius had apparently been listening, because he spoke to the children for the first time in a while. “Molly and I were just discussing the idea of a get together between you, too. How does Saturday sound.”
Both Harry and Ginny beamed at their respective guardian, nodding their heads in excitement.
Harry couldn’t stop looking. Why, he couldn’t say, but his attention could not be deterred from Ginny Weasley, his best friend. Having known her for five years, one would think he wouldn’t feel any urge to stare at her, but here he was, sitting on the cold lawn of his school, his eyes following her every move.
She wasn’t doing anything odd or funny, no nothing that should warrant his regard. She was just talking to Michael Corner, a boy in her English class. Again, nothing that should make Harry’s eyes watch her as if he were a hawk, but his gaze seemed glued to the hand Ginny had resting on Michael’s arm.
His chest felt tight as Ginny laughed, her head thrown back. Michael smiled at her, clearly proud of his ability to make her laugh. Harry, however, was not pleased. He rubbed over his heart, where the tightness seemed the strongest. Why did he suddenly want to pull Ginny away, hide her away from the world?
The tension changed from somewhat painful to red hot, as he watched Michael lean in, pressing his lips lightly on Ginny’s. It only lasted a second, but one second was equal to an eternity to Harry at that moment. He wanted to go over there and push Michael away, to punch him as hard as he could.
Harry had to physically grab at the grass he was sitting on to prevent himself from standing. What in the actual hell was happening to him?
He could see Ginny’s surprised, yet pleased expression, and a fit of annoyance rose at his best friend. She shouldn’t be giving Michael that look, it should be Harry receiving it. Wait… Harry suddenly felt as if the world was spinning faster. Why would he want Ginny to look at him like that?
Think about it, you dolt, Harry’s brain seemed to push him. Wouldn’t you like to be the one over there with her?
Of course, Harry wanted to be over there with Ginny, she was his best friend after all, but his imagination started to formulate an image of him being the one to kiss Ginny. To be the one to make her have that love-sick look.
It was as if a freight train hit him at full throttle, he wanted to kiss Ginny Weasley. He wanted to be there having her hand resting on top of his. Harry smacked himself in the forehead. He fancied his best friend!
Harry was jarred out of his sleepily haze by the sound of a slamming door. Sitting up and blinking rapidly, the vivid red of Ginny Weasley’s hair slowly came into blurry focus. He grabbed his glasses from his bedside table and violently pushed them up his nose.
Ginny was pacing back and forth in his small, yet what Sirius insisted was, cozy studio flat. Not that Harry could complain, it was better than sharing a room with someone at uni. At least here he had his own space that no one entered unless he invited them, well, except Ginny. Ginny was different though.
Over the last five years, Harry had gone through a violent rollercoaster of emotions relating to his best friend. After watching her have her first kiss, he could still remember the jealousy he had felt. It had hurt to watch her date Michael. He had assumed after Michael he would tell her how he felt, but at sixteen he couldn’t seem to let his feelings out in the open. There had been a small part of him that had hoped his feelings for her would fade, but now it was five years later, and he was still completely arse over kettle for her.
“Such a git,” Ginny muttered as she clenched and unclenched her fists. “What a bloody tosser.”
“Hey, Gin,” Harry said trying for a winning smile. He wanted to defuse the situation before her Weasley temper was in full effect, but it seemed there was no deferring her. She stopped moving and turned to face him.
“Why are men such bastards?” she asked, fury coming off her in vicious waves.
“Well, that’s sexist.” Harry, again, tried to bring something other than irritation into the situation, to no effect. Ginny snorted angerly and resumed her pacing. Harry let out a sigh before asking, “What happened?”
Ginny stopped her movement for the second time. When Harry could see her face, her lip was curled in a malicious snarl. “Dean is a cheating arse!”
Harry could have sworn he saw red, and this time it wasn’t Ginny’s hair. He jumped from under his bedcovers, not caring he was only wearing his boxers. “What!”
The red-head nodded rapidly, face turning the color of her hair as her temper flared more and more. “That’s right! I caught him snogging that… that bitch from his chemistry class. The one he claimed was just his partner.” Ginny put air quotes around partner.
Harry wanted to go and punch Dean squarely in the jaw. He had known Dean wasn’t good enough for Ginny, right from the start. He was about to suggest they go grab Ron, so they could teach Dean a lesson, but Ginny was on a roll. She started rambling and ranting. “He has to be the world’s worst liar. I could tell he wasn’t being forthcoming about that slag! Oh, I bet she’s already putting out. Just because I didn’t want to shag him, doesn’t mean he can go find some tart! I hope he gets some disease.”
Ginny let out an exasperated yell. “Uh, I swear there are no good men in the world. Maybe I’ll go live as a fucking nun.”
Harry couldn’t prevent the snort from coming out his nose. Only Ginny Weasley would put the words “fucking” and “nun” in the same sentence, right next to one another nonetheless. “There are decent men out there,” Harry decided half the world’s population needed some sort of defense from Ginny’s tangent.
Ginny blew out a huff of air. “Oh yeah? Like who?”
Harry wanted to scream out his own name. He would be perfect for her, and he knew it. He had known it for years, but he had never wanted to risk their friendship. He could still remember being that five-year-old boy hiding in his cupboard, having no family or friends care for him. He never could risk losing Ginny, his first real friend… his first love.
A shiver went down Harry’s spine. Love? No, he fancied her. Love was so much more, that was marriage, a house, kids… Then, it was like he was seeing Ginny for the first time, her face still red in anger, hair disheveled from the numerous times she had run her hands through it. He wanted those things with her. He wanted to wake up next to her every morning, hold her hair back when she was sick, to get to hold her when she was scared or sad… Bloody Hell! He had been in love with Ginny Weasley for who knew how long.
His throat seemed to close upon itself. He could feel a bead of sweat trickle down his back. Ginny seemed to have deflated slightly, as she looked at him. Harry had to assumed he must look he was about to have a heart attack.
“Harry?” Ginny’s cheeks started to return to their normal color. She moved closer to him, placing a hand on his arm, making a pleasant shiver course through his body at the contact. “Are you okay?”
“Uh...” Harry had lost the power of speech. He had never been articulate with his words, but the inability to say anything was horrifying. “I — “
He couldn’t tear his eyes from hers. The deep brown full of concern and inquisition. Then, her expression shifted from worry to surprise. It seemed she figured something out, and Harry had a sinking feeling that he knew what it was.
“Harry?” Ginny’s voice was low. “Who is the decent bloke?”
Harry shut his eyes, trying to gather himself without the distraction of Ginny. She knew, but she needed him to say it. Hell, he needed to say it for his own sanity. He had held in this secret for five years. Five years of being in love with someone without them knowing was excruciating.
Taking in a deep breath, then letting it out Harry said, in just over a whisper, “Me.”
Silence. There was only silence in Harry’s small flat. Even the usually dripping faucet seemed to remain stationary. Harry opened one eye slowly, trying to gauge her reaction. He expected disgust, maybe her holding in silent laughter. He had not expected her to be grinning at him, however.
His other eye opened against his will, double checking its twin. Yeah, she was definitely smirking. That smirk that he had a love/hate relationship with. Her know-it-all smile. The one that helped them to get in and out of trouble more times than he could count. Then add the one eyebrow quirked up, as if to say, ‘what are you waiting for?’, and Harry knew she knew it.
Harry figured he was in too deep now, in for a penny in for a pound. He closed the small gap between them, placing one hand on her waist and the other in her hair. The hair he had admired for years, the way it changed colors in the different lights. He tilted his neck and moved his head closer towards her. He planned to kiss her, slowly, tenderly even. After five years of waiting he figured it should be a sweet reward. Ginny, however, seemed to have other plans. She wrapped her arms around his neck, letting her fingers become ensnared in his hair. She used her leverage to move her mouth to his, pressing hard.
It was better than he had ever imagined. In his daydreams, at least the PG-13 daydreams, he had always imagined them kissing slowly and deeply for the first time, like they did in the romantic comedies. This, however, was much more passionate than he expected, and he couldn’t suppress moaning as Ginny’s tongue grazed his bottom lip, asking for more. This was different, but just as good, maybe even better.
Eventually, breathing became vital causing the young adults to separate, taking in gulps of air. Harry touched his forehead to Ginny’s, content to just stare at her as he tried to refill his lungs. Ginny’s smirk returned; however, this time there was something coquettish to it. “Well, even if there are no decent blokes out there, I’ve found something you’re excellent at, Mr. Potter.”
“I thought it would feel different,” Ginny said, her feet resting on Harry’s lap as he read the morning’s newspaper. A little ritual they had started when they had moved in together three years ago. They would wake up and make breakfast together, then settle on their sofa, eating and just basking in each other’s company before a long day at work.
“What would feel different?” Harry asked, poking his head around the frontpage.
Harry looked puzzled. “What do you mean?”
Ginny let out a sigh. “Everyone makes such a big deal out of being married,” she explained, “but so far it feels the same as to when we were dating.”
Harry scratched his jaw, his stubble creating a sound that Ginny found entirely too sexy. “Is that a bad thing?”
She thought about that for a moment. Marriage hadn’t changed them as people. They were still Harry and Ginny, just now legally they were bonded, not as if they hadn’t been bonded for years now. Hell, Ginny had been in love with Harry since she was ten, it had been a different kind of love then, but she had still been in love with him. As the years progressed she had watched Harry date other women, which made her want to kick a wall. She still could remember having to leave the school winter dance when she was fourteen, because some tart named Cho Chang had pulled Harry under the mistletoe and kissed him. That’s when she had known it was love love, like dating love. Like marriage and kids love. It had hurt so much to watch Harry with other woman, but she refused to allow herself to wallow in self-pity. She had started to date people herself shortly after the Cho incident, and Ginny had just resolved that she and Harry weren’t meant to be more than friends.
Then, when they were at uni, they had started dating, which quickly became some of Ginny’s favorite years. Going out to the movies, having surprise water fights in his flat, those lazy mornings in his bed… All things they had done before dating, well, minus the bed activities, but it just felt so much more incredible doing things as a couple in love. He had proposed to her two years later, at the same place where they had met (that London pavement had never been romantic till that moment).
Now a year and a half into their marriage and everything still felt as normal and comfortable as ever, but shouldn’t life feel different?
“I don’t know,” Ginny bit her bottom lip, trying to come to a conclusion. On the one hand, marriage was a huge step in life, so yes, things should feel different. Then again, they were still just Harry and Ginny.
Harry folded up his paper and placed it on the coffee table, next to their empty breakfast plates. He moved his body, so he was hovering over hers, their breaths mixing. “I think,” he said in a husky tone, “that I like our marriage the way it is.”
“Me, too.” Ginny’s own voice took a sultry tone, without her say-so. She looked into Harry’s emerald eyes, the very eyes that had attracted her to him all those years ago as children. Made her smile at him across that busy street.
“So, I say it’s a good thing we still feel like this,” Harry tilted his neck, so his lips pressed to the tip of her nose. “Like we’re still us.”
Ginny moved her mouth to his, wrapping her arms around his neck and pulling him down so the weight of his ribs rested on her, positioning him between her hips. She slowly slid her hands down his back to the hem of his shirt. “You’re right,” she claimed as she tugged the pesky clothing over his head. “How about we do one of our favorite activities that makes us… us?”
Harry moved his mouth to her neck, pressing a lingering kiss on her pulse point. “You’ve read my mind.”
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