|SIYE Time:14:09 on 16th June 2021|
Immortal and Almighty
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Genres: Drama, Fluff, Romance
Story is Complete
Summary: Harry is going off to war, but before he leaves, he must come to a decision about a certain redhead.
Hitcount: Story Total: 3882
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.
The cruciatus curse's sole purpose is torture; gutwrenching, unbearable torture. Harry had experienced it once before, but nothing--not even the cruciatus curse could torture him as much as she was right now. Her hair was flowing elegantly down her bare, cream-skinned back, and her dress was cut just low enough in the front for him to see the outline of her breast. She was a woman; beautiful in every way possible, and as he stared at her from a distance, he found his heart pulling him in her direction. But he resisted, as he had many times before when his fingers threatened to write down all of his deepest desires in his letters to her. He wanted so badly to walk over, place his hand on the small of her back and pull her close to him, make it known that she belonged to him--but she didnt. Not anymore. Bill and Fleur's wedding ceremony forced him to think about his future, and as much as he tried to ignore the idea of unconditional love, he could not help but yearn for it...look forward to it. And although he knew that his heart belonged to only one woman, he felt that the finalization of ones declaration of love was perhaps the most beautiful of all things. He didn't want to think that he might never live to wed; it was the only adventure he had to look forward to.
He couldn't be selfish though, however much he wanted to be. He broke up with her not only because he was afraid for her safety, but also because he didn't want her to become so involved that if he were to die--her heart would die also. The idea that he might take her chance at unmeasurable love away from her was almost as painful as staring at her at this very moment.
"Oi. You keep looking at my sister like that, and I might start to think that your intentions aren't as honorable as you say they are."
Harry felt his cheeks redden, and he pulled his eyes away from Ginny and onto Ron. "Thanks," he mumbled, as Ron extended his arm to hand him a drink. He took it, but lacked the desire to drink it.
"You reckon we'll ever understand the female mind, Harry?"
Harry chuckled. "Doubtful, Ron. However, Ginny's mind has less chapters than Hermione's."
Ron sighed. "She's the female version of "Hogwarts, a history" that one is, accept "Hogwarts, a history" has an index. It's a guessing game with Hermione."
"How do you know that "Hogwarts, a history" has an index, Ron?"
Averting his eyes away from Harry in embarressment, Ron mumbled, "I read it."
"You read it?" Harry asked, exasperated.
Ron glared at him. "Yes, I read it. Why's that so hard to believe?"
"When did you read it?" Harry asked, extremely amused.
"Third year," he murmured quietly into his drink.
"Third year?" Harry exclaimed. "But you never--you always made fun of Hermione--and she lectured us constantly about it-- and you never--you guys fought all the time!"
"I know," he said, as though it wasn't relevant. He met Harry's dumbstruck gaze, and then said, "I liked fighting with Hermione."
"You liked it?"
"Yeah," he said breathlessly. "It was the only time that Hermione and I actually expressed how much each others opinions mattered of each other. It was the only way that I knew how to be close to her--to experience even a fraction of the heated intamacy that love made a person feel. That--and other things."
Harry smiled, knowingly. "You fought with her for four years and never once did you consider telling her how you felt?"
"Of course I thought about it!" He bellowed. "But she scares me more than a Death Eater, that one."
Harry nodded. "Yeah, I know what you mean."
Harry glanced back at Ginny and glared as Fleur's cousin, Boris, slid his hand behind her elbow and smiled down at her. "Ruddy prat, isn't he? Been touching her all day, he has. Telling jokes that aren't even funny, but she laughs--out of politeness of course, cause he isn't funny. Couldn't tell a good joke if he tried."
"He's actually pretty funny--"
"Yeah, I know he is, but that's not the point."
Ron sighed. "Why don't you just talk to her, Harry?"
"And say what?" Harry grumbled staring down at the still-full glass in his hand.
"I don't know. Hello is a start..."
Harry narrowed his eyes at him.
"You broke up with her Harry, what do you expect? Her to wait for you? If you want that from her, you ask that of her--you can't expect it."
"I could never ask that of her."
"Why not?" Ron asked. "Because you know she will?"
Harry tore his eyes away from him.
"You know she will. That's why you broke up with her...and either you have to live with your decision to seperate yourself from her, or you have to tell her that you love her."
"I never said that I--"
"But you do."
Harry didn't say anything.
"All right Harry, you want honesty?" Ron asked. Without responding, Harry regarded him with interest. "Honestly, I think Ginny deserves someone better than you. Someone who can be there for her without the promise of dying, someone who can love her and never hurt her, someone that can support her and give her everything...but do you know something, Harry? That guy... he doesn't exist. It's great to think he does, but he never will. I don't think I could ever bare to see my baby sister with anything less, but if I had to... if I really had to...I'd want to see her with you."
Harry looked away.
"I don't care if you don't agree with me," Ron said, with a shrug of his shoulders. "I'm just telling you that you are the only one who can make my sister happy. There is no man in this world who can make her smile, laugh, or even cry, the way you do. And there is nobody in this world that would die for my sister the way you would. The way she feels is whats important, Harry. And do I think that you made the right choice by breaking up with her? Definitely. But is it what I think that really matters? No. It's what she thinks and what she wants."
Silence followed for a short while, and just as Harry opened his mouth to respond, a voice much softer and gentler interrupted him.
"Hot, isn't it?" Hermione indicated, her cheeks flush as she fanned her face.
Ron tensed beside Harry at her arrival and he felt suddenly uncomfortable as the tension between them began to form. "Yes, it is," Harry concluded after a minutes silence passed without a response from Ron.
"You both seem to be making an effort to remain invisible. Everyone has been asking about you. It's rather rude of you to not talk with anyone."
"No where does is say that you have to be hospitible at weddings. It may be assumed, but I reckon people shouldn't expect so much," Ron replied dumbly.
Sensing a fight was building, Harry quickly changed the subject before she could respond. "My birthday is next week."
Hermione's mouth closed, then with a raised eyebrow, said, "We know."
Harry glanced between the two of them for a moment. "We're leaving on my birthday."
Hermiones eyes filled with surprise and fear, but she didn't speak. Ron, however, did. "That's only nine days away, Harry. We--"
"You don't have to come with me," he stated. "I'll go alone. I was planning on doing that from the beginning--"
"No," Hermione said, flicking her eyes toward Ron. "We're going."
Harry sighed. "I need to go for a walk."
"Do you want us to come with you?" Hermione asked.
He shook his head and handed Hermione the drink Ron had given him. "No, I need to be alone."
Without glancing back, he started off toward the lake. He could feel Hermione's eyes burning holes into his skull, but that didn't stop him from getting as far away from them as possible. He didn't want to be around people right now. Whenever he thought about Ron and Hermione coming with him, leaving their families, or not finishing school it made him ill. The gesture while full of love and loyalty, did not sit well in his conscience. Losing Dumbledore no more than a month ago had pushed him over the edge; a monster had come alive inside him and an outburst of overwhelming fury was somewhere in his near future. He didn't want Ron and Hermione to be there when it happened. As soon as he let lose, he wasn't sure he'd be able to find his way back.
He picked up a rock from the ground and chucked it as far as he could, watching as it landed with a splash in the sun-reflected current of the lake. He ran his hands deep into the untidyness of his hair and pulled. Hard.
"Uh oh," a voice behind him said with a laugh. Harry whipped around to see Ginny staring at him, a smirk upon her face. "Whenever you pull your hair like that it means your about to say an outrageous amount of 'things you didn't mean and probably shouldn't have said.'"
Harry made to respond, but held his tongue, turning away from her while shaking his head.
"I'm in for it now. When you start to ignore me, you get this weird wrinkle in your forhead thats shaped like a Y... there it is... "
"What do you want, Ginny?" Harry snapped.
"I want you to stop being a grump, and come back to the party," she replied.
He shook his head. "It's better if I'm here."
"I beg to differ," she said, lifting the bottom of her dress, revealing her perfectly painted red toenails as she walked toward him. "Seems the bride and groom are about to share their first dance, and I'm without a partner."
"Boris is perfectly available," he spat, refusing to look into her eyes.
His angry blow bounced off her chest, and she shrugged. "Perhaps you're right. He is a better dancer after all."
She turned without a word and started back toward the party.
Harry had every intention of letting her leave. In fact, when he first realized her presence, he felt it a priority to force her away from him. But whatever clever plan he had built up, forcing her into the arms of another man was not one of them. Jealousy was an intollerable friend, or rather, foe. He could feel him creeping into the lower region of his stomach; bubbling in a remarkably irriating, and unignorable manner. And before he could stop himself, he protested through gritted teeth, "dont."
She turned back around and sighed. "You really must make up your mind, Potter. Your feelings change every two seconds. It's enough to drive a girl bonkers."
He knew through her teasing that she was not only referring to the instance taking place. She was referring to the entirety of their relationship and his feelings about her. He knew inside that his feelings were not the problem... because they had not changed. He was still in love with Ginny. Was he in any situation to tell her that? Of course not. Why would one subject themselves to such pain? Enduring a voyage which could quite possibly be his death was enough, let alone leaving, knowing that if he were to expose to her all that he was feeling, she may never forgive him for the pain he caused her. The damage three words could do was enough to keep him at a distance from her. If he surivived this, maybe then he could tell her. The only thing that frightened him was that she might not wait that long for him. Her beauty and huge heart gave him all reason to believe that a man would undoubtedly come in his absense and whisk her away.
"So what will it be? Come with me or find another dancing partner?"
Harry was as stubborn as a mule, and his heart, although dying to reach out for her, was trying to remain in the right place. "I'm not going back to the party, Ginny."
"Well, that's fine. I'll just stay here, then."
He glanced back at the house, then down at her. "You should be with your brother. It's his wedding day."
"I have a lifetime to be with my brother. He's not going anywhere. You, on the other hand, are leaving for a long time and I may never see you again. So I figure if you don't want to dance with me at the party, I might as well annoy you a little. I don't want you forgetting about me, after all. So what better way to spend your last few days than in the presence of an old girlfriend?"
Her humor about the situation worried and saddened him. She seemed much too comfortable with the idea of his leaving, and he knew Ginny too well to take this act seriously. "That's not funny, Ginny."
She laughed. "Lighten up, Potter. Anger causes wrinkles, you know."
"I kind of want to be alone right now, if you don't mind."
She smiled. "Oh, right. You have this whole hero complex going. You want to keep away from me in the hopes that my fragile heart wont suffer the loss of a doomed love. No need to worry, Harry. My heart is in a million pieces right now, so I doubt that it can process losing you completely. I'm sure that this is what this is about, right?"
He frowned. "Why are you being like this?"
"Being like what?" she asked, her smile falling slightly. She threw her hands up in the air. "Isn't this what you want? Keep your distance long enough so that maybe I'll be able to understand why you're leaving me? Or are you staying away so that you can feel better inside knowing that you did the right thing by ending what we had, and if I have a smile on my face in the last moments you see me it will put you at ease? I'm giving that to you, Harry."
He couldn't bare to look at her any longer. "That's not what I want, Ginny."
She shook her head in frustration and blinked back the sting in her eyes. "Then what do you want, Harry?" she asked, her voice cracking as she held back tears. "Tell me so I can do that for you."
His guard was diminishing, and he could feel tears forming in his eyes as well. The truth was, he didn't know what he wanted. He wanted her, of course, but to ask that of her was selfish and would only end in more heartbreak. His heart was tied so tightly that he could barely breathe. "Just be you, Ginny. Just feel how you feel, not how you think I want you to feel."
She closed her eyes and turned away from him. He wanted to reach out for her; to hold her. Her fingers laced into her long, auburn hair. "I hate this," she whispered.
His heart made an uncomfortable leap. "What?" he asked, although he was sure he had heard her perfectly fine.
She turned toward him. Her eyes bloodshot as a tear slid slowly down her cheek. "I hate this," she repeated. "I hate having to pretend that I'm okay all the time. I hate smiling and laughing for the sake of my brothers and my parents, and crying at nights in my bedroom. I hate feeling so useless... like I'm not doing what I could be in this war. I hate love, because it hurts... and I hate you. I hate you for leaving me. I hate you for ending things and not even asking me how I felt..."
He didn't want to ask, but he need to know. "How do you feel?"
She stepped toward him, and he made to step back, but her eyes had him nailed to the ground. "I feel miserable. I feel miserable without you and I feel empty inside like a part of me is gone. I feel weak... like every time I walk my legs are going to give away under me. And then I feel like my heart may explode when I look at you, and I want to smile all of the time when I stare at your face, but knowing that I do not have you in my life the way I used to, pushes that feeling away. And I wanted to tell you that I love you, Harry. Every day since Dumbledore died, I wanted to reassure you that you could count on my love. But I never got that chance. You never gave it to me."
She reached with her hand to touch him, but he retreated, turning his back to her. A moments silence passed, and in a pained whisper, he said, "I can't."
All the muscles in her face were straining to keep tears back. "You can't," she repeated quietly to herself. He glanced back at her. "You know, I think everyone has you labeled all wrong. I haven't seen a hero in you in a long time. You're such a coward."
The blow hit him like a thousand knives piercing his skin. He could agree that he was no hero, but he was anything but a coward. As she turned to leave, he grabbed hold of her arm. "I've never been a hero, Ginny. If I was one, it was because you cast me in the spot. But don't for a second think that you can call me a coward and have me hear it. You have no idea what it's like..."
"And who's fault is that?" she bellowed. Harry's mouth fell closed. "If I know nothing of how you feel, its because you never bothered to tell me. You're so closed off now, Harry, I feel like I don't even know who you are anymore. But you are a coward. You're running away from the first real thing you've ever experienced. You're throwing away one of the best things because you're afraid."
"Isn't that what heroes do, Ginny?" he growled. "They protect the one they love in the best way possible? How can I be a coward if I'm following the manual perfectly?"
She shook her head in anger. "You have no idea, do you?"
"What?" he asked, frustrated.
Glaring, she said, "I don't think you're a hero the same way heroes are made out to be in comic books. I don't look at you and see someone who is immortal and almighty. I don't see someone unbreakable; someone who makes all the best decisions in the worst of times." She had stopped trying to hold back her tears. Sniffing back a sob, she continued. "When I think hero... I think a 12 year old boy who despite all odds risked his life for my own. I see a boy, sitting in front of me, loving me simply because I was his best mates sister. I see a boy who welcomed love and yearned for it; belonged to it...and fed off it. I see a boy who longed to feel unconditional love, and wanted more than anything in the world to find it. And now that you've found it... you no longer want it. And that makes you a coward, Harry. Not because I think you're weak, or afraid. You're a coward because you have what you've always wanted right in front of you, and you're doing everything in your power to fight it off. And you don't realize that you're losing the greatest weapon of all."
"And what's that?"
"Love, Harry," she answered. "My love. Having my love will make you feel immortal and almighty. It will make you feel unbreakable, because for once in your life you won't feel like you have to be perfectly heroic. You will always be a hero in the eyes of the one who loves you. And you feed off that love in the same way Voldemort feeds of hate."
He stared at her for a long time. He wished he could love her freely. He wanted so badly to, but for some reason he felt that he would be doing the wrong thing. "Ginny, it's great in theory... but--"
"Theory?" she questioned. "Merlin, Harry...this is what Dumbledore meant. Your power to love is your greatest weapon because it's the strongest emotion of all."
"I don't want you to be part of this equation," he stated. "If you get in the middle of this, Voldemort will kill you."
"I don't bloody care!" she screamed. "I want to die. I've wanted to die since the second you walked out of my life. You're not saving anything, Harry. You're not saving anything..."
Ginny fell to the ground, shaking as the tears cascaded down her cheeks. Harry went to her this time. His heart was unable to resist her anymore. He placed his fingers underneath her chin, and made her look at him. The pain shined in her eyes and he wanted more than anything to brush it away with his fingers--but that wouldn't be enough. "I don't know what to do," he whispered desperately.
"Don't try to save me," she whispered. "This time you have to save yourself, Harry. If you save yourself... you'll save me too."
"How do I save myself, Ginny?" he asked. "How? Tell me--"
She lifted her face and gently placed her lips on his. The kiss was soft, slow, and beautiful. She pulled back and stared at him for a while. "Just let this be. Let this exist...because if it doesn't, Harry... I promise you, you wont win."
Harry wanted to push her away, but he was focusing too hard on slowing his heartbeat in case she could hear it pounding obnoxiously against his chest. He stared at her for what felt like hours, but turned out to be mere seconds that were being drawn out and repeated. Had she really just kissed him, or had he imagined it? He could never be sure. She was staring at him as if he should make a move, but making a second move turned out to be harder than making the first; given that he could not tell if the present tingling in his lips had something to do with her. A blush formed on her cheeks. "Say something, Harry," she whispered, ducking away from his gaze.
He lifted her chin with his hand, and stared into her eyes for a moment, before lowering his head to hers and giving into the overwhelming urge. He flicked his tongue over her top lip, and she granted him access to her mouth. He felt her hands push up and over his chest, into his hair and then back down his neck. He lifted his own hand to cradle her head, gripping her auburn locks in his fist and offering him everything he had left. The passion forming between them was enough shake the unshakeable. Harry pulled her bottom lip between his teeth and tugged softly. She whimpered into his mouth and he moaned back into hers. He could feel a plethora of emotions enterring and leaving his body at rapid speeds. The desire forming in the lower region of his stomach was too much for him to take. He quickly pulled away and detached himself from her.
Dumbstruck, she made to reach for him, but he turned away. "I can't do this, Ginny. I can't risk your life..."
She mouthed wordlessly for a moment. "Did you hear a word of what I just said?"
He looked back at her.
"Harry, none of that matters to me."
"It should," he whispered.
"But it doesn't," she stated finally. "And nothing you do or say will change that..."
She slid her fingers into the empty spaces of his hand. "I love you, Harry."
He closed his eyes; absorbing the declaration. No words ever made him feel so powerful in all his life. He found her gaze. "Are you sure you can love a man like me? Are you sure you want to love a dangerous man? A man who kills?"
"You mean a man who fights for the lives of everyone? A selfless man who would die for even evil inside the innocent? A hero? Yes, I do believe I could love a man like you. I already do."
"Harry, please, don't take this away from me. Let me have this," she pleaded, staring at their joined hands. "Just let this happen--"
"Ginny," he said, as a way to make her look at him.
Blinking the haze from her eyes she averted her eyes to his.
He brushed his finger down her cheek and over her lips. "I love you, Ginny."
Her eyes fell closed and a tear cascaded down her cheek and onto his fingertip. "I always will love you. But I can't promise you that I'll always be there. I can't promise that I'll survive this war...but if you'll wait for me, then I'll write everyday, I'll dream of you every night, I'll smile as if you were there with me. But if you don't wait, I promise you that I will write everyday, dream of you every night, and smile as if you with me...because regardless of whether or not you loved me, Ginny, I was still going to love you."
"I waited before Harry. I'm waiting now. I'll wait forever."
"I was afraid you'd say that," he whispered.
She smiled. "I was afraid you wouldn't let me."
For a moment, Harry wondered if he was making the biggest mistake of his life. The moment, however, passed as she placed her head against his chest and sighed. And for the first time in life he felt immortal and almighty.
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