The Sugar Quill
Author: Carrie (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Tears in Heaven  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

A/N: This story could be depressing. This is my warning to the begin:

 
 
I heard a cry in the night,
 A thousand miles it came,
Sharp as a flash of light,
 My name, my name!
                                                               It was your voice I heard,
                                                               You waked and loved me so –
                                                               I send you back this word,
                                                                I know, I know! 
(Message by Sarah Teasdale) 

It’s peaceful, isn’t it? I never found a place where I was more at peace. I remember so much now. So many things that I thought I had already forgotten are with me now.

I remember that one night when you came into the Common Room, your red hair looked so alive, and your face was practically glowing with happiness. You came over to where Ron and I were sitting. You wanted to tell us something, but Ron didn’t let you.

He said something, like “Get lost!“ Did he really say that? It seems so far away now, so unreal although there are only 12 years between then and now. You had become one of my best friends during the War. Did I ever tell you that? I really hope that I did.

And then there came the day when Dumbledore told me that it was my time to fight the final battle. When I close my eyes, I can still see the faces of you all. Hermione and Ron, holding each other for support, while she cried. I swear, she cried more in those five minutes than she cried in the years that followed. I can still see the Gryffindors standing around me. Most of the girls cried, but you didn’t. When I came up to you, saying my final goodbye, you smiled and you leaned forward and whispered into my ear: “ Harry Potter, you’d better come back, because I have a lot planned for you afterwards.” Then I felt soft lips on my cheek, and your arms holding me.  In those seconds, you gave me all the strength I needed for what followed. 

Oh, the battle is still something I can’t talk about. It was awful seeing all those wonderful people fighting and dying. After that fight Ginny, I wasn’t able to close my eyes without seeing all the deaths. It was so scary to know that they died for me- they died to create a hero. They died to make me to what I am. Yes, yes Ginny: I know you don’t want to hear that, but it’s the truth…. You trusted me with everything, but we never agreed on this. Did I tell you what Hagrid said before he went out and died? He said: “Whoever dies today, it’s worth it.” They all believed in that sentence.

When I returned to Hogwarts, I remember that the first thing I saw was your face. You were smiling at me, as if you wanted to show me that I was home. And I felt home for the very first time in years.  

The following years, we stayed friends, although we both wanted more. I guess we were just too scared, weren’t we? I never tried to count the times I fell asleep in your arms. I only felt safe there, and I felt so loved. I was always able to be me when I was with you. The tears fell freely, while your fingers caressed my skin. And one of those nights changed everything:

It was Christmas Eve a few years after we both left school. We all were at the Burrow, and I really mean all of us, can you remember? I’m sure you can, you looked so happy that evening. Like so many times before, we were the last in the living room, chatting about everything and nothing. But for some reason it was not at all like the times before. I was afraid of the shadows of the past that were true. You were always right in this, but on that night back then I was scared to not take my chance. I was afraid that you’d leave me behind, searching for someone who would love you and, more important, who would be able to show you his love. It was hanging in the air around us that this was the last Christmas you’d wait for me. My arms found their way around your waist while my head was resting on your shoulder. I really didn’t want to release you. I held you tightly, wishing that this night would never end. Somehow you must have felt my tension, because suddenly you started whispering in my ear again. You told me that everything was ok, that I didn’t need to say anything. But the aching pain didn’t go away. I felt as if I would regret every second that that passed without you knowing the truth. I lifted my head from your shoulder and looked straight into your warm brown eyes. I don’t remember exactly what I said, but it was something like:

“Ginny, you have been my best friend for a couple of years, but there was always something more than friendship. I know that for the longest time I wasn’t ready for a relationship. And I never expected that there would be anybody who would be willing to wait so long for me. But Ginny, I feel ready now: whatever I have to face in the future, I want to face it with you. I’ll live through everything as long as I have your love and as long as I’m allowed to love you. Our love was always there, unsaid, and maybe hidden, but we are too old now for a hiding game. It’s time to say it out loud: Ginny Weasley, I love you forever…”

Ginny, I’ll never forget the look on your face. It was a mixture of amusement, shock, relief, trust, and love. I suddenly felt scared.  What if I just imagined that you loved me too? But just seconds later I felt your lips on mine, and every feeling other than my love left my body. My arms were still wrapped around you when you moved into my lap. And then you said those wonderful words to me, surely the most wonderful words I had heard till that day. “Harry, I love you too.” 

From that day on my life became better and better. I finally had you at my side, during the day, but also at night.

Can you remember your twenty-third birthday? I’m sure you can, and you know that I definitely can. Although, if I'm totally honest, I think that I got the bigger present that day….

It all started when your Mum called me over to her house. She wanted me to help her plan your party. Just like I thought, most of the girlfriends or wives (depending who we’re talking about) of your brothers were there. Your brothers, - well you know them best, they had all found excuses why they didn’t share the fun. Don’t laugh at me Ginny….

Well, in any case , while Molly was telling us the strategy- and believe me, she was worse than Oliver Wood in third year-I was looking around the living room. Some of the pictures made me smile, some brought back memories. And while I was looking at these pictures, the doubts left me. I suddenly knew what I wanted to give you. My smile must have become quite obvious, since Penelope and Hermione dragged me aside as soon as Molly had given us our responsibilities. It was funny to see their excitement while they were asking me what I had in mind. I think they suspected something. But Gin, you know me too well. I didn’t say a single word. I must have been for them like the book of seven seals. They looked pretty frustrated after they found out nothing…you know Ginny, you should have seen them.

Well at any rate, your birthday was coming closer, and the tension was growing.  Although I wasn’t afraid that you would say no, I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to make this moment special enough for you …. Okay, okay I’ll admit it: I, Harry Potter was scared that you wouldn’t marry me. Feeling better now?

Okay let me continue my story. It’s quite a nice story… Finally it was your birthday; you were looking prettier than ever that day. I remember waking up that day and seeing your face on the pillow next to me. Going downstairs quickly, I tried to make breakfast. I really tried hard; we ended up having something from a delivery-service, just like always. Well I guess that I wasn’t the best cook. You must be pleased to see that at least some things change.

We had so much fun that day. I remember everything we did very well . Finally, it was time for us to leave for the Burrow, and I swear it wasn’t a second too soon. A few minutes more, and I’m sure I would have gone weak and I would have told you what I’d got you for your birthday.

It was the most wonderful party that was ever given at the Burrow. I saw that happiness in your eyes whenever you looked at me, and your glow made me smile as well. With every minute my nervousness faded. Funny, huh?

Finally, you opened all your presents, well all but mine. I remember, how you glanced my way, irritated by this fact. …Okay, you don’t have to tell me. I know that I was a git for making you wait the whole day. But I really wanted to wait for the perfect moment. And finally the perfect moment happened. All the guests were distracted, and I saw that you wanted an explanation.

When I finally reached you, I found that my knees were weak, and I wasn’t sure if my voice would work.

Don’t deny it: you were so mad, you wanted to start screaming in the same moment. What else could I do than to silence you with a passionate kiss?

Well, it worked, since you looked up at me in amazement, totally silent. Oh, I did play through this situation more than once in my mind, but standing there in front of you was totally different.  I couldn’t believe how fast my heart was beating. All the promises I had planned to make were forgotten. I just remembered one little sentence. I guess that I must be thankful that it was the important one. I’m sure that you wished for a romantic proposal, but well…just like I said…standing in front of you, made me forget everything.

I took your hand in mine, and said the words, my voice unnatural to my ear: “Ginny, will you marry me?”

I swear I wanted to slap myself for that. I felt all heat rushing to my face, while I was searching for the ring I’d bought.  And what happened then was unbelievable. You simply smiled and said: “ Sure Harry, I would love to…”

My smile must have been bigger than my face in that second. You really wanted to marry me. The kiss that followed seemed endless to me and at the same time too short…does that make any sense? And more importantly: did you feel the same way?

I gave my first love laughter,
 I gave my second tears,
I gave my third love silence
 Through all the years.
 
 
                                                               My first love gave me singing,
                                                               My second eyes to see,
                                                               But oh, it was my third love
                                                               Who gave my soul to me. 
(Gifts by Sarah Teasdale)
 
 
 

Oh yes Gin, you are right. It was a lovely wedding. To see all our friends so happy, and more important seeing you that happy…it was amazing. When you entered the church, in your white dress, your face smiling, I swear I fell in love with you again.  And then you were coming down the aisle, looking very nervous. I wasn’t supposed to see you before you were standing at my side? …Well, you are right. But luck was on my side. They forgot to remove this little mirror, and so I saw you all the time…. My own knees felt a bit weaker when you finally reached me with your father. Arthur was smiling gently, giving me a short nod, before he left us there, standing in front of the altar. To be honest, I can’t remember the ceremony. Sorry, Love, but I was staring into your eyes the whole time, wishing that everything would be over, and that we finally would be married. After an eternity, we where allowed to say our vows, and I believe that I wasn’t too bad there, was I? The next thing I know I was hearing the words: “You may kiss the bride.” …And I surely kissed you…No, don’t look at me, in that way. I wasn’t the only one who was involved in it, was I? See I told you….

The reception afterwards was a blast. And the best thing was that I knew that we’d be together forever now. I watched you dancing with your father and all your brothers. They all looked pretty proud.

But I was the proudest, when finally the last song started, and I held you in my arms. You were full of excitement when you told me about Hermione’s pregnancy, and that Bill and Laura’s oldest son would start with flying lessons very soon. Your eyes were sparkling, while you were talking about the little ones, and it was then that I knew that I wanted a child with you as soon as possible.

Just over a year after our wedding I came home early. I didn’t expect you to be there, but you were already home. Your eyes were red from crying, and I knew in the same second that something was wrong- very wrong in fact.  I held you, while your tears flowed. You were unable to say a word, and my concern grew. Suddenly you did tell me what was wrong, your voice shaking with emotion. We stayed up that night trying to remember everything that Albus had told us. He, the greatest wizard on earth, had died. Not in a battle, not in danger, he simply was gone. It was still somehow a relief for us all that he did not suffer. How long do you think it took Hogwarts to make Professor McGonagall headmistress? Hmm, yes, I think it didn’t take them too long.

When we sat there at his funeral, I saw so many people I thought I’d never meet again. Your head was resting on my shoulder while Percy spoke, and when I glanced your way, slightly worried, I saw that you had your eyes closed, while tears were still running down your cheeks. My hand was holding yours, giving you all my support.

A few weeks after the tragedy that had happened with Professor Dumbledore, you came to my office. And to my amazement, you were smiling more happily than I’d ever seen you.

“Harry, I want to tell you something.” Your brown eyes were sparkling. I couldn’t resist, in seconds I got up crossed the room. I hugged you, and made you giggle even more.

“Harry, I’m pregnant,” you told me between your giggles. I took you up, and whirled you around. I was in heaven. I was going to be a daddy…  

I know the time while you were pregnant with Sarah was a little stressful for us both, but I think we managed well.

 Hmm, one thing I won’t forget in my whole life. Want to know what? Okay, I’ll tell you. We had just gone to bed, when you suddenly grabbed my hand. “Harry, I can feel.” With that you laid my hand on your stomach and I could feel our little angel move. It was so exciting, touching your soft skin, and feeling our baby. It was incredible, believe me…  Yes I know it was incredible for you too. With the passing months, your tummy grew, and our daughter got stronger. There wasn’t a long time left before her birth when you asked me a question. You sounded so serious back then, I didn’t dare to laugh, although I wanted so badly.

“Harry, do you think that I look fat?” I was quite shocked. I mean, how could I think that? You always looked beautiful when you where pregnant. Even, when you where in labour, there was no woman who was more beautiful. I answered you honestly:

“You were the most beautiful person I have ever seen when I fell in love with you, but now you look even more beautiful.” You smiled an incredible smile, but called me a liar. Hugging you tightly and kissing your soft lips, I didn’t let you go that night.

Two weeks later or so, I awoke and found the pillow next to me empty. I heard your soft moan. It sounded as if you were in the bathroom, and well…I found you there…standing in front of the mirror, pressing your hand on your back. When you looked up and our eyes locked. I felt the pain through your eyes, and I saw the anxiety. You just nodded, when I took your hand, leading you downstairs... Well, we all know how this day ended: after hours of pain, our little daughter had finally arrived. I was so proud of you, and I was very happy, when I held Sarah Emily Potter for the first time. 

Don’t you think as well that she grew much too fast? I still can remember when she got her first tooth, and when she took her first step, as if it were yesterday.  And then she was old enough for nursery school. You know Ginny, although she’s only five by now I bet we’ll only turn around once, and she’ll be old enough for Hogwarts…yes, she’s our big girl.

 I think it was two years ago, when all three of us got a bad flu The only one who was delighted was Sarah. Can you remember how she came into our room the third day we were at home? She had in one of her tiny arms this old teddy of yours…oh yes I’m sorry, it was Ron’s old teddy…well however, in her other hand she was carrying the biggest book we had back then. When she settled herself between us, and she told us in such a cute way that she didn’t want to leave bed again before we’d finished reading the book.  Thank God, she wasn’t able to read herself back then, or we‘d still be reading: “How to defeat simply everything.” … But you have to admit, we had a great deal of fun with the book.

The weeks were passing, but this cough of yours didn’t completely go away. Not that you let it keep you at home or have less fun. It was simply there, becoming a part of you. Sure I asked you to visit the medi-wizards, but you told me that you’d visited them several times, and they weren’t worried about it. And since you only had this cough, we believed them and lived life more happily than ever.

It was one of those days when I decided to come home earlier than usual, and I found you sitting on the floor, your head leaned against a cold wall, and your breathing irregular.  Surely I was going crazy with worries…Yes, I know that you didn’t want me to be worried, but I was… You told me then that you had a bad coughing fit, and that you were not wasting one more second with those arrogant medi- wizards. You wanted to visit a normal Muggle- hospital….

Would you know my name if I saw you in heaven?
Would it be the same if I saw you in heaven?
I must be strong and carry on,
'Cause I know I don't belong here in heaven.
                                                      Would you hold my hand if I saw you in heaven?
                                                      Would you help me stand if I saw you in heaven?
                                                      I'll find my way through night and day,
                                                      'Cause I know I just can't stay here in heaven
(Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton)

I think we put too much trust in the doctors, didn’t we? Somehow it was clear to us that they would be able to help you. And really, your cough got better soon, and we viewed the future in a positive light. But Goddess Fortuna was not on our sight. At least she wasn't completely. Your cough was indeed better, but not for long. About a month later, it had returned, much worse than the last time. The doctors asked you to stay a few days in the hospital. They wanted to run more tests to find out what you had and to find out if your condition was contagious.

 

I can remember how your eyes were bloodshot from both crying and exhaustion. It hurt you so badly to leave a sobbing Sarah at your parents’ house. I hugged you goodbye and reassured you that we would survive. Hey, after all it was only for a few days. As much as I wanted to stay with you, both the doctors and you insisted that I should go. You only wanted me, to stay with Sarah, and the doctors, well they had their reasons.

 

Then I went to your parents’ house. To my surprise, there were your mum and dad, but as well as Ron, Hermione and Percy. They were asking me every question that they could think of.

Exactly…POOR ME…Hermione, Percy and your mum…it took a very long time till they had no more left to ask. Not that I had many answers, but I guess they also needed some distraction. When I finally arrived home with Sarah, I was totally exhausted. Our little girl was too. She fell asleep early, occasionally whispering, “Mummy”.  I couldn’t bear to leave her alone that night. I let her sleep in our bed, speaking softly whenever she awoke.

It took a few days till they allowed me to visit you again. They had found out that whatever you had was not contagious, but they didn’t want Sarah in your room, very much to your and Sarah’s dismay. Well at least, we could exchange news and hold each other, and I was able to show you that I was there for you. For the first time, I was able to be strong for you and not the other way. For the first time, I was able to give you strength. 

After a few weeks the doctors there sent you home to us, telling you that the best medicine was probably being with your family. And that day, you looked healthier. I remember how our family and friends were waiting for you. Sure we all had got instructions from the doctors, not to stress you, nor to let you do too much, but when you saw Sarah, you forgot all your promises. You whirled her around, and played with her, as if the last weeks had never existed. When we offered you a seat, and asked you to sit, I thought you were going to kill us. Yes Ginny, you were so angry. …You were scarier than your mum could be.

Well, one day last year, your cough was very bad, and I was very worried. You asked me to help you out of the bed because you wanted fresh air. Suddenly, you fell forward into my arms, your breathing unsteady. When your shirt, slipped a bit I could see bruises. They didn’t look good at all. I was sure that they weren’t there the day before, and I was also sure that nothing had happened, which could have caused them. I called for medi- wizards, although I knew that you didn’t trust them…I’m sorry Ginny, but really: how was I supposed to react, when I held you there in my arms?

They came, didn’t they? And more importantly they didn’t think that you were perfectly healthy anymore. What else could they possibly have said with you lying on the floor?

They said a few spells to calm your breathing, and then…Oh maybe I shouldn’t tell this part, after all it always upset you so much…. well if you think, okay I’ll say it. Then, they sent Aurors to our house, because they thought that I might have beaten you. As if I could even imagine it! Well when the Aurors asked you about it …I think, if they would have had the chance to choose between an Hungarian Horntail and you, well…I would say they wouldn’t have chosen you - they were left as fast as they had come.

Now the medi- wizards had to think of a new reason for the bruises. They took blood and a few hairs, and I think also a few flakes of skin. I guess they wanted to make sure that they hadn’t forgotten anything, since they already lost so much time. For you they had only three words: strict bed rest.  Well as if you would have given anything on them, but you promised me.

Around last Christmas, we heard from St. Mungo’s. The wizards there asked us to come over.

I can still remember how you told me that under no circumstances you’d stay there over the holidays. I accepted that, and again we took Sarah to your parents’ once more.

When we finally arrived at the hospital, we were frustrated over what the doctors told us.

 Can you remember? They said something like they knew that you were very ill, but they had no name for the disease, nor did they have a treatment . They were just sure that it wasn’t only your cough and the bruises, but that there was more. And then they asked you to stay for more tests, other than that they had no idea what would happen.

When you looked at me, I knew exactly what you needed: you needed my promise that I’d support your decision and that I also would understand it. I gave what you asked of me and with a little smile for me, you faced the doctor again : “I would rather not. I’ll leave now, if you have nothing else to tell me.”

In a frustrated manner, they told you the one thing they hadn’t told us.

“If you leave now, we won’t guarantee that you will survive this.”

 

It was like a knife through our hearts. They had said the unspeakable. I think we left the office in less than three seconds.

On that day I took unpaid vacation from my company, and you did what you had to do. We needed time for our family life. We didn’t tell your brothers or parents or our friends what they had told us straight away. I guess somehow we thought that it was only a dream…some kind of horrible nightmare but still a dream.

For Christmas that year we invited everyone who was close to us. After all, we had no clue how many Christmases we would be able to share with all of them.

It was on Christmas Eve that Ron asked a simple question, but it was this one question we didn’t want to hear, can you remember? The children were all playing in Sarah’s room while we were sitting in or living room.

“What is wrong with Ginny?”  As soon as Ron had said those words the room fell completely silent. You looked at me, and I saw the pleading. You couldn’t tell them. So I started the whole story. I just told the most important details, but suddenly they were very pale.

There was so much going on in the next minutes.  Can you remember everything, Ginny?

I only know that people started sobbing, hugging each other, and hugging you.

When I saw them crying, I realized for the first time that it was going to happen, and I realized that I hadn’t cried till then. You glanced my way, and somehow you felt my tension. In seconds you excused yourself from your family and wrapped your arms tightly around me. “Harry, let it go. Cry it out,” you said, and it was all I needed. Here I was standing, crying in front of my whole family...

We have a bunch of pictures of that Christmas. I think we’ll never forget it.

 

Three months later, once Sarah had gone to school, you said you wanted to talk with me. I remember every detail of that day: what you wore, what you looked like, and most importantly, I remember everything we talked about. We had so much fun. We talked about all kinds of memories, we planned the future, we held each other, and we cried.

That night, when I was lying there next to you, I realized one thing; I had been given a gift. I must be happy that I was allowed to love you, and that you loved me in return, and I got a chance from you. A very special chance indeed. Whatever would happen, I knew from that second that I’d be able to make peace with you. I’d be able to say and do everything I wanted. I’d be able, for the first time, to say goodbye.

Ginny, you must be very proud of your brothers. I don’t think that everything would have gone that way it did without them. They helped me make everything just like you wanted it.

 Oh, I’m still not sure what you said to Sarah, but she’s almost back to her normal self. Yesterday, she talked to me for a full hour about the new doll in the shop next to her nursery school. I don’t think that it would hurt if we bought her the doll, what do you think?  I knew that you’d say that…and no I don’t spoil her…so may I buy her the doll?  Thanks…Oh just look what she’s doing right now…I think Molly said that you loved to play like that as well…. Trying to build hills with those little stones. Really, she’s really just like you….

***  

“Sarah dear, we have to go. Grandmother is waiting for us,” Harry Potter said while he kneeled down next to his daughter.

“Daddy?”

“Yes?”

“Please read to me what’s written.” the little girl said while she tucked a lock of her jet- black hair behind her ear.

“Yes, Sweetheart." Harry ran a finger along the marker as he read each line to her. "Here lies: Ginny Potter. Beloved daughter, sister, wife and mother. You'll always have a special place in our heart.” Harry stood up after he laid down the single flower.

“What do you think? May we go now?” Harry asked, while he closed his eyes, looking to heaven for a second.

“I have one more question…” Sarah said, her eyes looking up to him.

“Yes?”

“Mummy told me the night before she didn’t wake up again that she’ll be our angel now. Are angels happy?”

“Sure, she is . I think she is watching us, right now...Have I ever told you the story about how Mummy and I got together?" The little girl shook her head violently. Her big brown eyes looked up to him, and it seemed for a second as if he was looking into Ginny’s eyes.  Sarah slipped her little hand into his and looked up expectantly. He smiled down at her, as he began to walk away from the grave. 

It sounded to Harry as if Ginny was speaking to him again, when he heard the wind playing with the trees. It was a wonderful sound reaching his ear.

Do not stand at my grave and weep 
 I am not there. I do not sleep. 
 I am a thousand winds that blow. 
 I am the diamond glints on snow. 
 I am the sunlight on ripened grain. 
 I am the gentle autumn rain. 
 When you awaken in the morning's hush 
 I am the swift uplifting rush 
Of quiet birds in circled flight. 
 I am the soft stars that shine at night. 
 Do not stand at my grave and cry; 
 I am not there. I did not die. 

Harry kept walking, and while he told his daughter the story of true love he thought to himself " I know, love. I knew it all the time."   

THE END

A/N: Thanks to Anne and Yolanda  for beta reading this. Thanks to everyone, who listened to me, while I was rambling about this story. A special thanks to Liz for encouraging me, during the whole time I wrote this. The story wouldn’t be here, without her. Big thanks to Caitlyn, who made me cry with her idea for the gravestone. Also thanks to all those people, who hated the idea of such a story, and still took their time to read it. Thanks to all of you.

Please don’t forget to leave a review.  

Disclaimer: I don’t own anything. The characters belongs to JKR. Two poems belongs to Sarah  Teasdale, one is written by an Anonymous Author. “Tears in Heaven” belongs to Eric Clapton.

 

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