April 3rd, 2011
|otterandterrier||03:34 pm - One-shot: The Tempest|
Title: The Tempest
Word count: 1,403
Notes: Written as a prize for loubylou96, who placed first spot in the "First Christmas at home" contest at Ron-x-Hermione with this sweet fic. I'm not used at writing H/G as main couple, but I really liked this idea. Thanks to exartemarte for checking this!
In the humid summer air spreading through the grounds of Hogwarts, under a sun that heated the skin beneath layers of clothing, lying as peacefully and blissfully in Harry's arms as her heart would allow her, Ginny could sense imminent rain. She felt the clouds gathering in the distance, threatening, collecting thunder, promising a storm. She wondered how many other eyes were able to see beyond the sunny day, and how many were still blinded by it.
He looked questioningly at her, his hands still playing with her hair.
'What do you do... when you meet Dumbledore?'
'I've delivered notes from him to you. And when I asked once where you went to so often, Hermione said he sort of gave you lessons...'
'She did?' Harry looked quite alarmed at this.
'I was in the Ministry, you know, fighting by your side. I might not know the whole truth, but I've filled some gaps. Hermione only said that, when no one could hear and made me promise I wouldn't tell anybody, not even you. She did it because she did remember I was there.'
'I'm sorry, Ginny. I ... of course I remember,' Harry said, trying to erase with his own words the resentment from her voice. 'It's only... I can't tell you yet.'
He sighed. Ginny stared at him as his gaze drifted to the lake, his arm tightening around her and a hand pressing the earth beneath them.
'You probably don't understand yet how much this means to me...' said Harry.
'I do, Harry.' Her hand covered his. 'But you mustn't keep me in the dark. You can trust me.'
'It's not the dark, it's just... a protective shadow,' said Harry. Ginny laughed in spite of herself. 'I promise you'll know everything one day. But not now.'
She trusted him. Ginny thought she could not demand anything from him, because, if she was right, he would be the first one caught in the middle of the storm.
For now, they had a sunny day, all to themselves.
Finally, the storm unleashed itself. To Ginny, even though she knew that nobody in England was safe and sheltered, it was as if it concentrated its full force upon The Burrow. It was striking at the people she loved: one by one, they were taking the blows from a war that had barely begun.
It had started with Bill, her protector, the first of her siblings who had made her proud, the one who had the biggest brotherly heart she had ever found, and the one who had let her down with his choice of partner. That, if she didn't count the attack on her father, over a year ago. Then George's ear had suffered too. She joined in her brother's jokes about it, but when he couldn't see her, she shivered at the thought of what would have happened if Snape's curse hadn't missed the actual target...
And now Ron was going, away from them, with Harry, and she didn't know why or when or how. Until Harry voiced her worst suspicions.
Someone else might kill off Voldemort...?
He couldn't be thinking... but of course he could, she knew him well enough to see that he was being serious, and that it was not just a mental decision taken by a teenage boy who didn't know what he was signing up for. It was his duty, his burden and his destiny.
And of course Ron would follow him, to the very eye of the maelstrom. He was a Weasley, after all. There was a reason why Weasleys were getting the hail.
The rain had fallen, washing away the remains of the deceased, soaking through the bones of the alive, and now it evaporated in the sun of May.
From the hole that used to be a window, Ginny could see some parts of the castle that still smoked, many hours after the battle, creating the only clouds that stained the sky. She had cried, she had hugged her mother, she had borne a stabbing pain in her chest, and, now, Ginny wished she could feel nothing. She was trying to clear her mind of thoughts (there had to be a way of thinking of nothing, after all), when she saw him coming through the twilight shadows. Harry. Ginny wouldn't have expected him to be up so soon: eight hours of sleep didn't seem enough rest for somebody who had fought for more than twenty four hours, and almost died, and...
She couldn't continue. Harry looked somehow hesitant about approaching her, but it was obvious that he had been looking for her. There was not a soul in that part of the castle. In fact, she didn't even know where her family was.
Harry's concerned expression made her realise that she had been crying silently.
'How... how are you?' she asked, blaming her voice for coming out so strangled and making her throat ache that much.
'I'm sorry, I... I didn't want him to—'
'It wasn't your fault, Harry. It wasn't... I know he's all right, better than any of us, in fact. Having a laugh up there, maybe.' Ginny attempted a feeble laugh, but something inside her cracked and she fell back against the wall, shaking. When had her body last failed her like that?
Covering the space that separated them, Harry reached for her and put his arms around her, supporting Ginny's weight as he mumbled into her hair.
'You haven't come here to tell me you can't be with me anymore, have you?' she said, finally wiping off the tears and looking at him. 'Because I won't buy that this time.'
Harry's lack of answer in words was compensated by the ashamed expression of his face, and an ugly thought occurred to Ginny.
'What's wrong, Harry? It's over. Everything is over.'
'You don't understand. This past year... just last night was... I don't know how to deal with it. I thought it was going to be all right once it was over, but now—'
'Now what?' she said, nearly exasperated.
'I can barely look at you, Ginny, at your family, at your brother...'
He had let go of her and stepped back.
'You're right, I don't understand. I really don't. You have a lot of things to explain to me, and I want to hear them right now.'
'Ginny, I can't—'
'Don't even think about that! I want to be here for you, Harry. I want to help you heal, and I don't care if at some point we don't... we won't...'
'I never really gave up on you, Ginny.'
Her words, pronounced now by his lips, acquired a whole new sense. She had treasured the months they had spent together, the time when she had told him that, holding onto hope, remembering the short period when both of them had been able to forget about the war, the rays of light before the storm. The storm had passed, and there they were, two wounded souls with nothing else to lose, the promise of a future, the same words... Why wasn't he holding her again and telling her everything would be all right?
Harry shoved his hands into his torn pockets and walked to the window, looking beyond the trees of the Forbidden Forest. After a couple of minutes, he turned round and faced Ginny again.
'We'll heal together. That's the only way to go.'
Ginny looked at him, slightly confused.
'I thought you were ditching me again.'
'No. I won't ever do that again. But it's... it's going to be hard.'
'I think I can take it.'
She smiled as Harry caught her lips, holding her waist and brushing her cheeks as if time hasn't passed at all and they were still down in the grounds by the lake, worrying about nothing.
'I missed you,' he groaned. Ginny's arms found their way around his neck, a thumb caressing a large gash on his stubbled cheek.
'There'll be no more excuses, will there? Anything you can take, I'll be there too,' Ginny murmured, closing her eyes drowsily. She thought she could do with some rest, too.
'No. And I'll tell you everything, anything you want to know.'
'That sounds good.'
Her body was beginning to relax and fall into a relentless stupor. Harry's fingers intertwined with hers.
'You're tired. Let's go home.'
That's a very beautiful one shot, I loved how you wrote Harry and Ginny dinamic there. :)
Great job and thanks so much for sharing it with us! :)
PS: I'm sorry for the time you waited for see this posted. Next time I will try to be faster. :)
Thank you! :D
Don't worry at all, I understand :)
This was beautiful. I loved the analogy oft he storm for the war. Glad Ginny didn't let Harry be a prat again!
Haha, yeah, Ginny would have jinxed him if he tried to ditch her again!
Very lyrical and evocative. Good work!
Thanks, I'm glad you liked it! :D