The Sugar Quill
Author: AmyWeatherwax  Story: About Love and Other Important Things: A Songfic  Chapter: Default
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Lay down your load

About Love and Other Important Things – a Songfic

 

An H/G songfic with general angst.  The song is ‘Steal Your Love’ by Lucinda Williams.  Everything else clever is J.K.Rowling’s.

 

 

Did they lay down a law

And lock up your heart?

 

Ginny Weasley watched Harry.  She seemed to have spent large parts of her time at Hogwarts watching Harry Potter from a distance. Whether it was watching him getting thoroughly beaten at chess by her brother sitting in a cosy corner of the common room with the candlelight dancing over his serious face, or from the crowded stands of the Quidditch pitch cheering him on as he flew high above, a fiery streak of crimson and gold, a creature of the air . . like Fawkes . . but she wouldn’t let her memories wander down that dark path tonight.

 

She watched him tonight from the foot of the girls’ spiral staircase.  The embers had burned low in the grate and he seemed intent on the patterns glowing in the whitening logs.  Ginny wondered what he was really seeing, her jaw clenched as she frowned at the grim set of choices there were.  For the past few months she had been watching him in a very different way from the hero-worshipping gaze of the little girl she had been.  It had come to her suddenly and painfully at the end of her third year that she didn’t really know Harry at all, that to her he was still the mythic ‘boy who lived’ who had appeared so astoundingly in the Burrow kitchen one sunny morning. 

 

But he was not an indestructible hero, he was a boy who had faced things he should never have had to face, who had risked himself to save her, to save all of them, and would do so again not because he was brave, but simply that he felt it was his duty. She had grown up a lot since that tragic day at the end of the Triwizard Tournament.  Just thinking about her previous attitude made her blush with shame.  Harry didn’t need someone adoring him from a distance.  If she was to be any use to him it would be as a friend to support him, as her brother and Hermione did, through the coming dark times.

 

That was why Ginny now watched Harry from the shadows.  She just had to get up the courage to leave her cold stone step and join him by the fire. He’d probably be surprised that she could guess at his thoughts tonight.  She knew that he had just returned from a secretive trip to the Owlery.  Another letter to Sirius, perhaps to go unanswered as had happened several times before.  As things were outside Hogwarts at the moment even owls could not always find him.  Oh, she knew she was supposed to have no knowledge of Harry’s relationship with Sirius Black the ‘escaped murderer’, but as discreet as Ron, Hermione and Harry were, Ginny seemed to have a knack of picking up on things when they had forgotten she was there.  It hadn’t taken long to work out there was something suspicious about the ‘Snuffles’ thing – how dense did they think she was? 

 

The cold step suddenly seemed like a stupid place to be.  Ginny rose and before her rebellious legs could make her vanish silently up to her dorm she walked quickly over to the sofa in front of the fire.  Harry was twisting his hands and continuing to stare at the dying glow, the flickering shadows carving such care and worry onto his face that Ginny involuntarily drew a sharp breath.  She regretted her interruption as he looked up sharply, his expression hardly welcoming.

 

Did they lay down a law

And lock up your heart?

I’m gonna have to steal your love

 

‘S-sorry, Harry,’ she cursed herself for stuttering in her old girlish way.  She was here to be strong and supportive, she must put any personal feelings aside if she was to be useful to him.  Drawing a breath, she continued in a calm soft voice, ‘Do you mind if I share the fire for a little while?’

 

Some laws should be broken from the start

Gonna have to steal your love

 

Harry shook his head and with a little polite smile that didn’t quite reach his eyes moved over on the big well-worn sofa.  ‘Well, I’ll just get it going again a bit, shall I?’ Ginny waved her wand at the hearth, stirring up fresh flames and feeling foolishly like Madam Pomfrey being jolly to a difficult patient.

 

You ain’t about to give it up for no one

Gonna have to steal your love

 

Ginny Weasley! You are not here to think silly romantic things, remember – you are here to help Harry.  Harry, who sat so close to her, yet so alone.  There was silence for some time.  Ginny listened to the crackle and hiss of the flames as they bit into a fresh piece of wood.  It made her think of Hagrid stomping around the grounds dragging two huge trees behind him.  She hoped he was alright wherever he was now.

 

‘What are you thinking about?’ Harry suddenly asked, his voice rather rough in the quiet room. 

 

‘Hagrid’, Ginny glanced across at him and found she didn’t need to add anything else - he looked up at her briefly and nodded as if in complete understanding.

 

She watched his untidy bent head for another age, another heartbeat, debating whether to return the question.  But before she did he broke the stillness again, looking at her seriously with those clear green eyes, ‘Ginny, don’t you mind that your brothers are always teasing you and testing out their latest tricks on you?’

 

It hadn’t been at all what Ginny was expecting him to say, but she considered her answer for a moment and then said honestly, ’Well, I’m used to them teasing, you know.  I mean, if I woke up one day and they didn’t tease me it would be really weird.  And as for their new ‘wheezes’, I can usually see them coming these days, but they’d be disappointed if I didn’t fall for whatever it was.’

 

‘So you don’t mind being turned into a canary, or having green hair?’

 

‘Not if it makes them happy.’

 

 

I don’t need a knife

I don’t need a gun

I know how to steal your love

 

Harry sat back as if he had made up his mind about something. ‘You’re too nice to those brothers of yours, Ginny,’ he smiled at her, suddenly looking more relaxed. 

 

‘I guess so . . although,’ she tipped her head sideways, raising an eyebrow, ‘sometimes they really do just catch me out!’ Harry grinned at her half-amused, half-exasperated expression and Ginny found herself drawing a quick breath for an entirely different reason.

 

I don’t want your drugs

I don’t want your money

I just wanna steal your love

 

There you go, Ginny Weasley, she scolded herself.  You try to comfort him and you end up having to remind yourself to breath in and out.  You’re useless, girl!  Well, not entirely perhaps, she caught his eye again and they both smirked, obviously Harry was recalling a few of the more classic Weasley Wheezes perpetrated against her.

 

‘Never mind, Ginny, you make a very . . fine . . canary’, Harry snorted with laughter even before the consoling words were out, making them both have a fit of the giggles.

 

Ginny lay back against the sofa cushions, wiping the corners of her eyes on her dressing gown sleeve.  She watched the smile that had played around Harry’s mouth begin to fade and leant forward again, following her instinct before shyness kicked in once more she put her small hand on his larger one where it rested on his knee.

 

I want you to squeeze me

And call me honey

I just wanna steal your love

 

But it was not time for that now.  Maybe one day it would be time, maybe never, but that wasn’t what was important now. 

 

‘Harry, you know you’re not alone,’ Harry turned his worry-haunted eyes on her, but she wouldn’t let him interrupt, this needed to be said. ‘You think this is your fight, but it’s everyone’s fight, especially those who . . care about you.  You feel you must protect all of us, but we feel the same about you.’  Ginny couldn’t stop a tremble entering her voice, but she continued determinedly, unconsciously squeezing his hand tighter even as he began to shake his head at her words. ‘That’s just how it is, Harry, that’s how it is.’

 

Harry had stared at his feet during her speech and was silent after she finished.  She wondered if she had made him understand what she had often felt lay unexpressed in his group of friends. She thought perhaps she had because he said quietly, without looking up, ‘Thanks, Gin’ and squeezed her hand back before releasing it.

 

Give me your strong hand

Go away with me

I’m goin’ have to steal your love

 

‘Well, better say goodnight,’ he smiled at her then, a warm, companionable smile, and stood up, sleepily pushing his hands through his tousled black hair.

 

Ginny watched him walk over to the boys’ staircase and disappear around the corner.  Had she achieved anything tonight? Not for herself maybe, but for him . . she hoped she had helped him even if only a little.  She sat for a while longer and watched the flames she had kindled slowly shrink back into the embers where they would glow hot and red through the cold night.

 

Come on let me kiss you and set you free

I’m goin’ have to steal your love

I’m goin’ have to steal your love

 

//
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