|SIYE Time:3:30 on 17th June 2021|
The birth of the chest monster
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Genres: Fluff, General, Humor
Story is Complete
Summary: Harry's first encounter with the chest monster, and a late-night chat with Ginny.
Hitcount: Story Total: 375
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.
Harry moaned as he saw the moon peeking from behind the window. It was final; he could not sleep through the night. This time, Sirius had been laughing with him as he showed Harry a renovated Grimmauld Place, their home. A hole inside him seemed to widen, but it hardly bothered him.
His Transfiguration book glared at him, reminding him of the homework that he planned to do in the morning before class. Rubbing his eyes and ignoring his dormmates' snores, Harry picked the book, an empty scroll of parchment and quietly slipped out of the room.
Scratching his neck, he padded downstairs, hoping he didn't have to deal with anyone downstairs.
'A new home.' Sirius's voice echoed, Harry shook his head.
The fireplace was burning bright, as if someone had just lit it. It made her hair look like it was on fire, and there was only one person with such beautiful hair. Harry stared at the ginger locks and sighed pleasantly. Then, snapping back into the present, he shook his head and blinked.
Clearing his throat, he called out, "Ginny?"
"Ginny?" He repeated a little louder when no response came. Ginny jumped and looked back.
"Merlin. Harry, you scared me!" She said, clutching her heart.
"Sorry," he said, suddenly feeling nervous. Get a grip, Potter. What is wrong with you?
She smiled slightly and beckoned him to his favourite armchair. Harry sat down swiftly.
"Are you doing homework at this hour? Did you lose a dare to Hermione?" Ginny asked incredulously, staring at his parchment.
Harry chuckled, "No, although that's a very scary thought. I couldn't sleep after waking up, and I have Transfiguration first thing tomorrow."
He looked into her eyes to prove his earnestness, big mistake. He seemed to have forgotten how to breathe as he stared into those deep chocolate eyes. Beautiful but empty, and Harry saw red rims around them.
He frowned. "Is everything alright, Ginny? Why're you awake at this ungodly hour, aren't Weasleys known for their ability to sleep without the care of the world?"
Ginny chuckled dryly, "If you got that impression from my brothers, rest assured it's only them. I couldn't sleep either." she said and shrugged, but there was a hint of sadness in her words.
Harry felt notably inept at the moment. Something was troubling her, but he knew that he hated when people asked. Maybe, he could just ask. Hermione had told him about the number of emotions one could feel- but this was Ginny.
Taking a determined breath, he asked, "Is there anything I could do to help?"
Suddenly remembering the devil in his own nightmare, he added, "Is it Voldemort?"
Ginny gave him a small smile, but it had no humour. "Not Voldemort per se, more like Tom Riddle. But it doesn't matter; I'm fine."
Harry slid down and sat on the rug, almost adjacent to Ginny and observed her sombre face.
"Hey," he said gently. "Can't even trust a friend?" He nudged her foot lightly. She looked at him with wide eyes, surprised, but Harry saw the way she stiffened.
"I trust you with my life, Harry. But you don't need to listen to my pathetic dreams, and you have too much on your plate as it is. I'll be fine by morning," she said, shrugging. She gave him a smile that reminded him of his own the previous year.
Harry waited patiently; he had learnt it from Sirius. A troubled mind will speak up; just give it some time.
Ginny sighed. "He just seems so real in my head sometimes. So charming, so caring, listening to all my fears and hopes."
She chuckled, "How it was scary to be a first-year; how I would love to be friends with Harry Potter."
Harry blushed, but Ginny seemed lost in thoughts.
"He told me all sorts of things, you know. Before- before you came down. How pathetic I was, how no one could ever like me, little Ginny Weasley. How stupid I was to tell a talking diary everything. Then, he thanked me for leading you to him." She sucked in a sharp breath and wrapped herself into a ball.
"He said that you would come because he had set a trap. He said he'd kill you and that I would be responsible for it. And then he did this strange thing, and I felt like life was leaving me."
Harry looked at her, shocked. Even he did not have such a horrible first year.
A tear seemed to have leaked out of her eye; she wiped it angrily. "He wasn't wrong, and I nearly killed so many people. All because poor little Ginny needed a friend. Now, he haunts my sleep, reminding me of those days. I felt like I was going mad, not realising how time passed, not understanding why there was blood on my hands."
She seemed to change as a shudder passed through her. And at that moment, Harry saw a scared eleven-year-old rather than the strong fifteen-year-old he met every day.
She wiped her lone tears and shook her head as she tried to steady her voice.
"Oh sod, now I've probably scared you," Ginny said, chuckling.
"No, no, not at all," Harry said, moving closer to her.
"Ginny, you're so strong. You defeated Tom, and when you were just eleven. Yes, I might have been the one to stab the book, but you stayed alive, despite his tries. I didn't die, Ginny, and you helped bring him closer to destruction." He took a deep breath.
"And you have friends, Hermione, Luna, Neville, and- and me. And you've saved me too, last year, I was going mad with fright that Voldemort could be in my head, but you brought me back to Earth, and you fought so bravely at the Ministry.
I know it's not easy to forget, but Ginny, you've already defeated him. And you've inspired me, if you could beat him at eleven, then- then I can try my best too," Harry said, not breaking the gaze. He saw Ginny's eyes widen, and she turned her head away.
She gave a watery laugh, "Thank you, Harry. You're not too bad for someone who hates dealing with emotional girls."
Harry let go of her hand as if it was on fire and forced a laugh. "You're different." He mumbled.
"What's that?" Ginny asked. Harry shook his head, ignoring a strange stirring in his chest.
"Nothing, but two things: one, remember you're brave, and you are so much more than whatever that monster put into your head. Two, next time something troubles you, you'll let a friend know?" He said, ending on a question.
"You know, the same could be said for you, Potter," Ginny said, nudging his foot.
Harry shrugged, "Probably, but if I don't follow it, then you'll have to make up for me."
Ginny gave him a real smile, and Harry felt Snitches in his stomach. Harry dipped his quill into the ink and wrote the heading for his essay. They sat in a comfortable silence until Ginny spoke.
"Thank you, Harry. No one has made me feel this better after an episode before. It does mean a lot to me and thank you for considering me a friend. Maybe one day, you'll tell me what caused you to wake up at this hour," Ginny said quietly, smiling encouragingly.
"Of course you're a friend, Ginny. And don't worry about me. Waking up at night isn't a big deal for me. Start worrying when I sleep through the night; I must have eaten something wrong." Harry grinned.
Ginny laughed, "I'll keep that in mind. But, if you ever need anything- you know- some closure, or just a knock on the head to bring you back to Earth, I'll be around." She stood up and tousled his hair.
Harry nodded, "Noted, and likewise."
"I'll try going back to sleep. I wouldn't want to disappoint my Quidditch Captain during practice tomorrow." She said; Harry slapped his head.
"You didn't forget, did you?" Ginny asked, surprised.
"No, of course not. I would never," Harry said, ducking his head.
Ginny laughed for the second time, making Harry feel accomplished. "Good night, Harry."
Harry returned the greeting softly, watching her go up the girls' stairs.
Then, turning back to his essay with new energy, Harry murmured again, "Good night, Ginny."
Looking back, Harry could only say that it was the birth of the chest monster, although it was only a purr then.
Author's note: Here's a new one-shot. Please remember that reviews are my only way of knowing what you think, and I would really appreciate them, and try my best to get back as soon as possible!
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