|SIYE Time:7:49 on 23rd April 2021|
An Exploding Snap Rematch
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Category: Post-DH/PM, Cursed Child and beyond
Genres: Angst, Drama, General, Romance
Story is Complete
Summary: Following the events of Halloween, Ginny offers her love and support Harry in the same way he had many years previously. Please note, this story carries Cursed Child Spoilers.
Hitcount: Story Total: 2971
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.
As noted in the summary, this story does carry Cursed Child Spoilers as it takes places just before the final couple scenes of the play. This is also a follow up to Exploding Snap.
Thank you to Arnel for the extremely turn around on the editing on this and the positive review you gave me!
Ginny shivered as she woke with a start. As the room came into focus, she felt uncertain as to why she had awakened so suddenly, but she felt like something had disturbed her sleep. Shivering again, she turned over so she could snuggle up close to her husband and warm up. However, he was not there next to her like he should have been.
Ginny sat up with a sigh, knowing Harry was more than likely downstairs, brooding. In all honesty, she wasn’t all that surprised by it, especially considering what had happened just a few days ago. Watching your parents as they are murdered in front of your very eyes and knowing there is nothing you can do to stop it would be enough to make anyone want to brood. Even more so, if it had been the third time they had seen it happen.
Climbing out of bed, she picked up her dressing gown and pulled it on, tying it tightly to keep herself warm. She then left their bedroom to go downstairs and offer what comfort she could to her husband. However, as she passed the bedroom of her eldest son, an idea came to mind. Something she knew had helped her in the past.
Hoping James had what she needed, she slipped into his bedroom and quickly began searching it for what she hoped would help Harry out of his brooding. Luck appeared to be on her side as she found what she needed on the bedside table. A soft smile formed on her face as she tucked the pack of cards into the pocket of her dressing gown as she thought about how she was going to help Harry in the same way he had helped her all those years ago.
Harry sat at the kitchen table, nursing a cup of tea that had long turned cold. It was hard to sleep or to even concentrate when his mind was stuck on the events of the previous few days. Images of his parents falling to Voldemort’s Killing Curse constantly flashed in front of his eyes.
His heart ached at the fact that he had watched as his parents were murdered and he had not been able to interfere with past events, despite being present. He’d had no choice but to just stand outside the cottage and let it happen.
The only good thing that had come from being present on that awful night was his son, Albus, finally gaining an understanding of the events that had led to the life Harry had and the price he had paid in return.
Although, their relationship had not yet been fixed completely, the tension that had lain between them for the past few months had been abated somewhat and he knew that it would help towards them mending the fracture that had been slowly widening between him and his son since Albus had begun attending Hogwarts.
A flash of green swam in front of Harry’s eyes suddenly, causing him to squeeze his eyes shut tightly until the image dissipated.
Ginny watched from the doorway of the kitchen as Harry battled with the demons in his head. She hated seeing him go through this all over again. All she could do was hope that it did not last as long as it had done after the war had ended. It had been a slow process for Harry as he worked through his grief and guilt and while he still battled with it from time to time, he had eventually managed to find a way to pull himself together and begin to move on with his life. Ginny felt it would be easier this time around as she had now seen the events of the night that had changed her husband’s life, meaning she could better understand what he had been through than she had previously.
“Harry,” she softly called out to him as she witnessed him deal with a fleeting image from the past, something she recognised him experiencing from years earlier.
Harry looked up at her with haunted eyes and a sad smile. “Gin.”
“Do you want a rematch?” she asked as she pulled the pack of Exploding Snap cards from her pocket and held them up so her husband could see.
Harry could only stare at his wife in disbelief until he remembered their conversation in Godric’s Hollow while they had been waiting for Delphi to appear, causing him to laugh at the unexpected suggestion.
Ginny shook her head in amusement at her husband’s laughter before taking a seat at the table, directly opposite Harry.
“Who won last time we did this?” Harry asked as his wife shuffled the playing cards and began dealing them.
“Mmm…I believe it was a draw on the number of games won,” Ginny mused. “But then again, I didn’t really keep count as I was laughing too much.”
“And feeling incredibly loved,” Harry teased, remembering what she had told him about how he had made her feel loved that night so long ago.
“Something I believe you may need to show me again,” Ginny retorted as she raised an eyebrow at her husband’s remark.
“Oh, but I do believe you need to show me how incredibly lucky I am to have you in my life,” Harry jokingly reminded her.
“I shall show you,” Ginny replied as a devious look spread over her face. “But, right now, I am determined to beat you in every game we play of this.”
“If you say so,” Harry cheekily replied.
And just like they had before, when they were only eleven and twelve, they played Exploding Snap continuously for hours, laughing as the cards exploded and eyebrows were singed, while avoiding the real issue that had brought Harry downstairs to begin with.
“You know, it’s not your fault,” Ginny softly said as the couple tidied away the playing cards.
Harry paused and looked up at his wife. He had known them playing Exploding Snap had been a way for her to distract him from his morose thoughts and had also been her little reminder that he was loved. He had hoped, though, that the conversation would be left alone till the morning, but knowing his wife the way he did, he knew that would not happen.
“I know,” Harry sighed in defeat.
“Do you?” Ginny asked as she raised an eyebrow in suspicion.
“I honestly do know that now,” Harry confessed. “I have been living with this guilt for over twenty years now, Gin. But having watched as Voldemort murdered my parents, right in front of my eyes, it made me realise there was nothing I could have done to stop him. We all could have run into that house to save me and my parents, but he would have killed us all. I have believed that with my birth, I doomed my parents to a sentence of death. I have believed that with each little decision I made, I risked the life of someone I knew or someone I didn’t. But I realise now, that perhaps it would have just been Neville, instead, had I not been born or that it would not have mattered had I made different decisions because those people may have died any way.”
“It’s nice to hear you finally believe in something you have been telling people for years,” Ginny responded.
Harry looked at her confused, wondering what it was he had said that she was referring to.
“That you believe the outcome of the war may have been different had you made different decisions, had you managed to save some or all the people who had died,” Ginny explained to him.
“I need to let go of this…this hold Voldemort still appears to have on me,” Harry quietly admitted to his wife. “I am still letting his actions control the way I think, the way I act.”
Ginny came over and wrapped her arms around the man she loved deeply.
“It’s been a long time overdue, Harry,” Ginny whispered. “But it’s not going to happen overnight and part of it involves you mending your relationship with Albus. He needs to understand why you acted the way you did towards him and Scorpius.”
Harry buried his face in his wife’s neck as he thought about how to respond and how he would even mend the fracture in his relationship with his middle child.
“I don’t even know how to do that, Gin,” Harry whispered painfully. “I know we understand each other a little better after everything that happened, but I still don’t know how to approach him or how to fix this rift between us.”
“Yes, you do, Harry. He might not be like you, or as easy to handle as James or even have you wrapped around his little finger like Lily does, but you do know and understand him in the same way you know and understand me. It just took you time to realise it with me and you are still figuring it out with Albus.”
Harry lifted his head to gaze into the eyes of the woman he felt he did not deserve and realised that Albus was truly like his mother: bold, fierce and funny. They both had made the mistake of trusting the wrong person, and while their experiences had not left them unscathed, it had made them both all the stronger for it.
“However,” Ginny continued, before Harry could respond, “you need to sort your own head out before you truly fix things with our son. You need to learn to trust yourself again, before you can expect Albus to truly trust you as well.”
“How do I do that? How do I fix myself?”
“It isn’t just about letting go of the past, Harry. It is about doing whatever you feel is necessary to lay your demons to rest. Perhaps, you should visit Cedric’s grave again and maybe all those who died that you feel responsible for.”
Harry looked at his wife in disbelief.
“You know about that?” he whispered in awe of how much his wife knew.
Ginny smiled sadly at him as she run a hand through his hair. “I have always known. I remember the visits we made in the aftermath of the war, the tears you sobbed over many of those graves. I would be a fool to believe you have stopped going. Even if you finally let go of this hold Voldemort seems to have on you, you will still go to Cedric’s grave, because of everyone you lost, his death was the one you never could have prevented from happening as you had no clue, no warning.”
“You’re amazing, you know,” Harry whispered reverently. “I really do not deserve you.”
“Yes, you do,” Ginny told him as she pulled away from him and took his hand. “I think it is time to show you just why you deserve me.”
Harry allowed Ginny to lead him back to their bedroom.
As they climbed the stairs, he thought about how he was lucky to have her and how he would never have got through the aftermath of the war without her. He knew she was right about how it would take time to fix his relationship with Albus, but he knew with Ginny’s love and support, he would manage it.
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