SIYE Time:15:20 on 12th July 2024
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By Dizzydancer

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Category: Post-HBP, Three Little Words Challenge (2011-1), SIYE Challenges new, Three Little Words Challenge (2011-1)
Genres: Romance
Warnings: None
Story is Complete
Rating: PG
Reviews: 10
Summary: It wasn't until my seventh reading of Deathly Hallows that I noticed Jo hadn't finished Chapter 30. To be honest, I may not have noticed it that time through if I hadn't been reading the book backwards. (Don't ask.) My husband managed to convince me that JKR left out the Harry/Ginny moment she'd engineered in order to keep up the momentum of the story. I didn't write a letter to Scholastic demanding they print the rest of the chapter so I guess I must have believed that the incomplete status of the chapter was deliberate. However, it has continued to bother me as I've wondered just what happened between Harry and Ginny in the room of requirement before the final battle.
Hitcount: Story Total: 5537

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.

Author's Notes:
This was written for the Three Little Words Challenge but submitted a bit too late to qualify for it. I was unaware that midnight meant midnight EST. I don't live in EST. I hope you'll enjoy my take on the challenge even though its release was delayed until the judging of valid entries was complete. Though my story was not judged, I am grateful for the impetus this challenge provided. I finally did something about the ideas that had been swirling around in my head for years just waiting for a chance to escape, and I did it even whilst attending school with papers due every weekend for my British Lit class. It took all my Gryffindor courage to post an entry as this is my first completed and first published fanfiction, but I'm glad I did.

My little story keeps lofty company. Once I submitted it, I rewarded myself with the perusal of the other entries. I was impressed by both the quantity and the quality of the stories submitted for the challenge and pleased to see that several of my favorite authors had entered. I enjoyed reading each entry and wish to congratulate the winners of the challenge.

Deathly Hallows Chapter 30, continued ...


respite: n. 1. a delay or cessation for a time, especially of anything distressing or trying; an interval of relief

“Molly, how about this,” said Lupin. “Why doesn’t Ginny stay here, then at least she’ll be on the scene and know what’s going on, but she won’t be in the middle of the fighting?”

“I —”

“That’s a good idea,” said Mr. Weasley firmly. “Ginny, you stay in this room, you hear me?”

Ginny did not seem to like the idea much, but under her father’s unusually stern gaze, she nodded. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley and Lupin headed off for the stairs as well.

“Where’s Ron?” asked Harry. “Where’s Hermione?”

“They must have gone up to the Great Hall already,” Mr. Weasley called over his shoulder.

“I didn’t see them pass me,” said Harry.

“They said something about a bathroom,” said Ginny, “not long after you left.”

“A bathroom?”

Harry strode across the room to an open door leading off the Room of Requirement and checked the bathroom beyond. It was empty.

“You’re sure they said bath —?”

But then his scar seared and the Room of Requirement vanished: He was looking through the high wrought-iron gates with winged boars on pillars at either side, looking through the dark grounds toward the castle, which was ablaze with lights. Nagini lay draped over his shoulders. He was possessed of that cold, cruel sense of purpose that preceded murder (DH Chapter 30).

“Harry, you idiot,” someone said as Harry dragged his mind back to himself. He was lying on his back in the dark. He turned he head and realized it was resting on someone’s leg. Not just someone, Ginny. He recognized the feel of her from their conversations by the lake last year. What was going on? Where was he? He raised his hand to remove the damp flannel that was covering his eyes and forehead having identified it as being responsible for the darkness.

“No you don’t,” Ginny said sharply as she batted away his hand. “Lie still, we’re almost finished.”

“What happened?” Harry asked as he relaxed his arm and set it on his chest. His bare chest! With a jerk, he attempted to sit up. Ginny prevented it for the most part by pressing down on his shoulder, but the flannel was knocked askew and he was able to catch a glimpse of his immediate surroundings before Ginny pushed his head back down and recovered his eyes.

“We’re putting you back together so you can go do what you have to do. Just relax for two minutes,” Ginny ordered.

Harry sighed and tried to remain still while Ginny and a house elf applied dittany to the burns he’d missed. “Two minutes,” he agreed reveling in the feeling of peace that was sinking into him from the cool flannel. The sharp pain from his scar was soothed somewhat and the more general ache that radiated out from it was fading quickly. The floor was surprisingly soft. So was Ginny’s leg, and somehow he wasn’t cold, even lying on the floor in nothing but his pants. Maybe he was dreaming. He couldn’t remember feeling so content since the sunlit days he’d spent with Ginny before Dumbledore died. But it didn’t seem like a dream. House elves weren’t usually present in his fantasies about Ginny, let alone house elves playing mediwitch.

After Harry felt the elf wrap a bandage around the deep burn on his knee, Ginny pulled the flannel off his face and handed him his glasses. “You collapsed while you were checking the bathroom for Ron and Hermione,” she explained. “You stopped talking suddenly and the wall turned into a gate for a moment. And when it turned back, you fell and I think you knocked yourself out on the doorframe. How’s your head?” she asked.

Harry snorted. He was pretty sure the doorframe had nothing to do with it. “Fine,” he said shortly, not wanting to talk about it. When he saw the angry look on Ginny’s face he quickly added, “Better,” as he sat up and scrambled back from her a bit. “Really, Ginny,” he added when her scowl didn’t fade. “I feel much better. Thanks.”

When her face softened into a smile, Harry allowed Ginny to pull him to his feet lead him to a table where a different house elf approached and handed him his clothes, freshly cleaned and patched. Harry blushed and hurriedly pulled them on. When he sat up from tying his shoes, there was food on the table and two potion vials. Harry gulped down the glass of milk and picked up the potions but didn't take them. He looked at Ginny with a bemused expression.

"Take them, Harry. It's just a pain reliever and a pepper-up."

Harry opened the vials and swallowed their contents, grimacing at the taste and then cringing when smoke poured out of his ears. He set the vials on the table and began to get up.

Ginny glared at him.

“I don’t really have time to eat,” he protested. “Everyone is gathering in the Great Hall. Vol … I mean, ‘he’ could arrive anytime now.”

Harry’s eyes widened in realization, “Gin, he’s here, he was at the gate. I saw …” He stood from the table abruptly. “I have to go.”

He strode towards the door, pausing as he grasped the knob. “You’ll stay in the room?” he asked, turning back to look at Ginny.

She picked up the sandwich from the table and brought it to him. “If you eat this,” she said, glaring at him. “You’ll need the energy.”

“Ginny,” Harry protested.

“I’ll ask the room to let you out in the entrance hall,” Ginny promised. “That will cut at least five minutes off the time it takes to get down there. Just eat. Please.”

Harry studied her face to test the truth of her words then nodded and took the sandwich. It was so good that he nearly inhaled it before chasing it down with a glass of pumpkin juice Ginny pressed into his hand.

He looked up and found Ginny watching him. He tried to smile at her but found his lips just wouldn’t comply. “Thank you,” he said as he pulled her into a hug.

Ginny returned the hug, squeezing him tightly. “Like I could leave the ‘Savior of the Wizarding World’ knocked out on the floor,” she teased. “You were a mess, Harry. Just try to take better care ..." she stopped as her voice broke. She pulled away from him abruptly and turned to the door.

Harry heard her sigh as she grasped the knob. She stood quietly for a few seconds before opening the door. A narrow tunnel that sloped downwards and to the left appeared where he half expected to see the seventh floor corridor.

“Ginny, erm…” Harry said, trying desperately to think of something to say, “I’ll do that, erm, try to be careful, I mean.” And the smile that wouldn’t come before finally came as he thought of how ridiculous it was to make such a promise as he headed for a battle. But he would try for her.

Harry tightened his grip on Ginny’s hand, surprised to find he had somehow taken it again. “You’ll stay here?” he asked.

Ginny nodded.

“Good.” Harry ran his hand through her hair and tugged at the end of it. “Erm, that’s good.” He turned and stepped into the doorway.

“You come back to me, Harry,” Ginny said fiercely. He paused and turned to look at her. The blazing look he’d dreamed about for months was on her face. He gulped. What was he supposed to say? He was glad that she didn’t seem to expect an answer. He didn’t have one.

A vivid picture formed in his mind, the image from last summer of Ginny in a white dress with a faceless stranger that both haunted and comforted him. No matter what happened to him, he wanted that future for her.

“Harry?” she whispered forcing him to refocus on her face. The blazing look was gone. Instead her beautiful brown eyes were glassy with unshed tears.

Unable to look at her any longer, Harry dipped his chin and kissed her gently for a moment. He paused as he pulled away, his lips barely touching hers, and whispered, “I love you.”

As he turned and passed through the door, her grip tightened on his hand before releasing it. Harry paused, shocked by how bereft he felt at the loss. He took a deep breath then walked quickly down the tunnel and did not look back.

He raised his left hand, flexing it as the heat from her touch faded. He began to run and it felt like he was running away from everything that was good in his life.

The tunnel emerged in the entrance hall just as Ginny had promised. As Harry quickly crossed it, a new image formed in his mind, Ginny was sitting in a rocking chair holding a baby bundled in a pink afghan that Molly must have knitted. A dark haired man entered the house and leaned over to greet Ginny with a kiss. He had barely brushed her lips when a dark haired child slammed into his legs and another ran into the room shouting, “Daddy! Daddy’s home!”

As he paused in front of the doors to the Great Hall, a stab of pain and a flash of green light interrupted the vision. Instead of childish laughter he heard a scream, “Not Harry!” With a growl, Harry pushed open the doors and stepped inside.
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