You’re Still You
Chapter Three: An Understanding Heart
Ginny and Ron arrived at
the Burrow early Saturday morning. As the Gryffindor common room fireplace was
connected to the Floo network, they hadn’t needed to sneak into the Three
Broomsticks after all. Still, they had arrived at The Burrow sooty and
coughing from the long journey. Mrs. Weasley greeted them with open arms and bustled
them to the kitchen table for breakfast. Between mouthfuls, they added to what
she knew about Harry from their letters. She was dismayed to know that Harry
was losing weight and was still flying about the Quidditch stadium in the dark
Ron came to his defence.
"I've told you before, Mum; when Harry flies, he clears his mind. It’s his
way of letting off steam. Don't you agree it's better than trying to start a
duel or insulting someone on purpose like Malfoy does? Harry just pushes that
Firebolt of his as fast as it will go."
"We'll talk about
that when your father gets home. I do hope that's soon. He and his team are
finding many more dangerous items at each house he raids nowadays, and I worry
about him,” Mrs. Weasley told him. "In the meantime, I'd better write to
Dumbledore; this is shaping up to be quite the family meeting, and most likely
the result will be everyone coming home for Christmas this year, including
Harry and Hermione. They’ll need his permission to leave the school for the
This was welcome news to
both Ginny and Ron, and Ginny felt she had accomplished something already. However,
she knew she must put her two Knuts worth in and push for a weekend sooner than
the Christmas holidays as well. For Harry’s sake, she hoped they could work something out. He needed to talk to
someone, and she sincerely hoped someone in her family could help him.
As they waited for their
father, Ginny glanced around the familiar kitchen, her eyes finally landing on
the family clock. Her father's, Bill's, Charlie's, and the twins' hands
pointed to 'Work', while her Mum's, Ron's and her own hands pointed to 'Home'.
Percy’s, unfortunately, was pointed to ‘Lost’, which meant that her third
eldest brother had yet to make amends with her parents. She shook her head,
knowing that her mother kept Percy’s hand on the clock out of sheer optimism.
It was then that she took a second look at the clock. That's odd, she
thought, there are eleven hands instead of nine! Smiling, she nudged
Ron and pointed to the clock. His eyes widened as he comprehended the
implications of the extra hands, which were pointing toward 'School'.
"Mum,” he asked,
“Why are there hands for Harry and Hermione on the family clock now?”
“Oh, that,” Mrs. Weasley
said smiling. “I was going to tell you about that and forgot. I had your
father add the hands several weeks ago because of all the trouble You-Know-Who
caused at the Ministry. I thought it would be nice to know where all of you
are; I knew Ginny was in trouble several years ago when her hand suddenly
pointed to 'Mortal Peril'.” At this, Ginny gave an audible gasp. She hadn’t
known about that. “And with you, Harry, Hermione, and now Ginny haring off
into who knows what kind of trouble, I wanted to at least be alerted so I could
check up on all of you.”
“But Harry and Hermione
aren’t family,” Ron protested.
“To me they are, dear,”
her mother said with a smile. “Goodness knows, Harry could do with a little
mothering every once in a while. Besides, he and Hermione have spent part or
all of the summer with us for the last five years and they certainly make
themselves at home when they are with us.”
"If you put it that
way, I suppose so," Ron conceded and Ginny thought she caught a twinkle in
her mum's eye. Was her mum alluding to a possible romantic tryst? Ginny
certainly hoped so for Hermione's sake. A new thought crossed her mind. Is
Mum hoping for something along those lines for Harry and me, too? she
wondered. Probably, for she knew her mother was a matchmaker at heart and
heartily approved of Harry.
Mr. Weasley Apparated
into the kitchen about fifteen minutes later, a thick satchel slung over his
Dad?" Ron asked.
that is the reality of working in the Ministry these days. The more we raid,
the more forms must be completed...in triplicate! I'm beginning to think that
the Ministry's motto should be changed to 'Kill a tree to save a Wizard.'"
Everyone chuckled at that
and a few minutes later gathered around the kitchen table, Mrs. Weasley ready
to take notes on what was being said. Ginny took it upon herself to begin the
"Mum and Dad,"
Ginny began, "Ron and I want to do something for Harry. You know he's
having a terrible year from what we've written to you; his mental state
couldn't be worse. He refuses to talk to anyone and is too caught up in his emotions
to study properly. It's as if he's distancing himself from us because of
something that happened with Professor Dumbledore after the fight at the
Ministry last June. He just is about as lost as a person can get."
Ron took over.
"What we want to ask is this; can Harry and Hermione come home with us for
a weekend in December, as soon as possible, and not related to the Christmas
“Two days away from
Hogwarts would probably be enough to at least give Harry a chance for a good
night’s sleep. He’s told me he sleeps better when he’s here,” Ginny said. “Though
I think he’d just settle for a couple of good naps if he could get them.”
“Remember that Hermione’s
parents invited Ginny for that weekend in October, so it just seems natural to
invite her,” Ron put in.
Mrs. Weasley looked up
from her notes. “And what do you two propose to do with all the homework
you’ll be assigned prior to your coming here? You both know you have end of
term exams coming up.”
“I’m sure Hermione will
keep us on task by making us bring our homework with us,” Ginny said with a
smile. “She’s really good at organizing study groups, and I’m sure she’d see
to it that we didn’t play Quidditch the entire time we were here. Come to
think of it, maybe she’d help me with my O.W.L. preparation like she did Ron
and Harry last year.”
The senior Weasleys
looked at each other. Finally, Mr. Weasley said, “It might take some doing,
but I think it can be arranged.” He turned to his wife. “Would two weeks from
now be enough notice? I think the first weekend in December is the best for
me. How about you, Molly?”
Mrs. Weasley nodded. “I’d
better write that letter to Professor Dumbledore right away.” She looked at
her children. “I hope Harry knows what good friends he has. He’s a lucky
complicated," he said, seeming to clam up yet again.
Ginny decided it was time
to ease up a little on Harry and change the topic. He obviously wanted to keep
something private, probably whatever it was that he’d come here to think about
in the first place, but she needed to let him know that he could talk to her.
“If you ever need someone
to talk with again, I’m willing to listen,” she told him quietly and reached up
to pat his elbow.
Harry glanced down at her
touch, but she didn’t withdraw her hand. “Thanks, Ginny.”
“Any time.” She paused,
composing her words carefully and hoping what she was going to say next
wouldn’t put Harry on the defensive yet again. “Harry, I’ve been wondering
about something and I’d like an honest answer.”
Harry eyed her
apprehensively, but made no comment.
“Is the reason you’ve
made such a mess of this year your nightmares or your grief over Sirius’
death? Or is it...something else?”
Harry stared into the
fire for a long time before answering. “I reckon it’s a little of both…as well
as something else…and then there’s all of last year, which wasn’t great
either. I’m still trying to get over what happened, I reckon.”
“I think we all are. Both
the good and the bad. Look at how Ron finally realized what Hermione really
means to him and finally acted on it? Or how about Neville? He proved to himself
that he wasn’t almost a Squib; that even though he has his limitations, he can
still hold his own and be an important part of a fight if necessary.”
“Those are the good
things, Ginny. What I can’t get out of my head are the bad things.”
“I thought so... “ She
was silent for a moment, thinking. “Do you really think it’s a good idea to
dwell so much on the negative stuff?”
Harry began to pace.
“It’s best if I remember. So much of what’s happened in the last year has been
“Oh, come off it, Harry,”
she said huffily, beginning to pace herself. “Thinking that you have to
shoulder all the responsibility for what happened last year is uncalled
for. You think it’s the noble thing to do, but it isn’t. Thinking that you
deserve to hurt so much it interferes with your school work is not
right! I’ve been watching you all year, Harry, and it pains me that you won’t
forgive yourself for being human. It’s killing you, and I don’t like what
you’re doing to yourself...neither do Ron and Hermione. You didn’t ask to be
who you are and you don’t deserve to have your world turned upside down every
time you turn around.” She was close to tears now, but she didn’t care. She
was too emotionally involved in the moment and needed to speak her mind.
“I deserve everything
that’s happened to me, Ginny,” Harry told her quietly.
“You don’t, Harry. But I
guess it doesn’t matter to you how much others hope for your future or
want to help you shoulder your burdens. I can see you’re determined to shut me
and everyone else out.” With that, Ginny sank onto the sofa and buried her
face in her hands, letting the tears fall freely through her fingers.
She heard Harry approach
and felt the cushions sink under his weight. “Ginny, don’t cry,” he said
awkwardly, putting a hand on her arm. “I’m sorry I’ve upset you. Here. Wipe
Ginny took the proffered
handkerchief. She tried one more time. “We care...I care about you.
That’s why I’m upset and I hope you know you can always talk to me and I won’t
try to judge you.”
“I’m beginning to see
that. It’s just going to take me a while.”
They sat in silence until
Ginny said, “But Harry, I still don’t see why you left Gryffindor tower
yesterday and didn’t return last night.”
“Think about it, Ginny. When
you and Ron left without telling me yesterday morning what could I do?”
“Stay put and be safe.”
“Yeah, like I’m really
safe anywhere any more.”
Ginny didn’t like where
this conversation seemed to be going, so she shifted tactics. “What did you do
after you left the tower?”
“I walked around the lake
mostly—don’t worry, I made sure I stayed warm this time. When it got dark, I
came up here. I just couldn’t get over the fact that the two of you hadn’t
told me you were going home.”
Ginny gasped, the
realization of what he had just said finally registering. “Oh, dear! I’m so
sorry, Harry! Ron was supposed to tell you we were going home days ago. Oh,
I’m going to hex him into next week for forgetting to tell you our plans!”
“Don’t. Gryffindor needs
him Saturday for the Ravenclaw game. Ron needs to concentrate and having a
residual twitch won’t do him any good. It took Malfoy over week to recover
completely from your Bat-Bogy Hex last June, you know.” Harry smiled at the
thought. “There’s no need to apologize, Ginny. I figured you had your reasons
for telling only Hermione where you were going.”
“But we were so
“Just let it go, Ginny.
I’m not angry with you or Ron.” He turned to face her. “I’m finally angry
with myself, though. You see, this is the first chance I’ve had to hole up
somewhere and think about things uninterrupted, when I haven’t awakened from a
nightmare and had to deal with it.”
Ginny nodded, trying to understand
what Harry was telling her.
Harry sighed and then
continued. “For the last month, I’ve listened to Professor McGonagall’s
diatribe about upholding the Hogwarts educational standards and not letting
self-pity ruin my chances for top marks if I want to be an Auror. Basically,
she’s been telling me to grow up. I guess I’ve known she’s right all along,
but have been too thick to admit to myself that I’ve been wrong about a lot of
things. Anyway, I decided I can’t wallow in self-inflicted misery much
longer. It’s not getting me anywhere and it’s not much fun.”
“What will you do?”
“Get rid of that pile of
back assignments that is slowly dwindling in McGonagall’s office a lot faster
and keep up with my current homework load, for starters.”
“That’s good. What
”Let’s just leave it at
that right now, all right? There is something else, but I don’t want to go
into it right now.”
“Is there anything Ron,
Hermione and I can do to help you?”
“No. This is something I
have to deal with on my own.”
“All right. I’ll accept
you want to keep this to yourself a little longer. Just think about this,
though...when I was getting over that horrible year with Tom Riddle, Mum and
Dad insisted that I talk about it once to get it over with. It took me most of
the summer to work up the nerve, but once I did, my nightmares and depression
were easier to deal with. They’ve never completely gone away, but I have ways
to cope now.” She stopped and looked deeply into Harry’s troubled face. “I
just hope that you’ll find a way to master what’s bothering you. I really do.”
Harry stared at her for a
long moment before muttering, “Yeah, me, too.”
The two of them sat in
silence watching the fire. Finally, Ginny glanced at her watch and found that
it was past lunch time and she was quite hungry. Breakfast at The Burrow had
been a long time ago. “Harry,” she queried, “Have you eaten anything since
Harry shook his head. “I
don’t think I’ve eaten since Friday at dinner.”
Ginny sighed in
exasperation. “You need to take care of yourself better, Harry. You’re going
to get sick again if you don’t.”
For the first time that day
Harry smiled genuinely. “You sound like your Mum,” he told her.
Ginny smiled back.
“Good. She’ll be proud of me,” she said. Then, to the Room itself she
requested, “May we have a plate of sandwiches, some fruit, and something to
drink, please.” Moments later, Dobby strode through the door bearing a tray
heaped with sandwiches, a bowl of assorted fruit, and a flagon of pumpkin
“Here you are, Miss Weezy.
Is there anything else Dobby can get for you and Harry Potter?”
Ginny smiled at the elf.
“No, thank you, Dobby. I appreciate your bringing our meal so quickly and
Dobby bowed low and left
the room. Ginny giggled to herself at the thought that Dobby was actually
slightly embarrassed by her praise.
Harry noticed Ginny’s
giggle. “What?” he said, irritated.
“Oh, nothing. Just a
private thought. Here, help yourself. We’re not going back to the common room
until you’ve had a decent meal.”
Harry acquiesced and he
and Ginny spent the next three-quarters of an hour munching happily and talking
Several nights later,
Ginny quietly left her dormitory to make her way down to the common room. She'd
been awakened by a nightmare and had found it hard to go back to sleep. Maybe
a few minutes reading by the fire would nudge her toward slumber again.
She paused at the bottom
of the Girls staircase. Someone was already in the common room, and since it
was one in the morning, she didn't feel like walking in on two of the sixth or
seventh years snogging in a corner as she had several other times. She never
knew who was the most embarrassed; the couple she caught, or herself. At any
rate, she listened for the distinct sounds of kissing and, hearing none, made
her way through the dark toward her favourite squashy armchair.
She was just about to sit
down when a voice called quietly, "Who's there?"
"Ginny Weasley,” she
replied, pausing. "Harry? Is that you?"
"Yeah. What are you
doing up?" He was huddled at the very end of one of the couches facing
the dying fire. He looked sad and withdrawn with his arms hugging his legs and
his chin resting on his knees.
"Can't sleep. I've
got a lot on my mind and decided to try to read myself sleepy," Ginny told
him indicating her History of Magic book. "What about you?"
"The same,” Harry
muttered with a huge sigh.
Ginny walked over to
him. "May I sit here?" she asked and plopped down next to him
without waiting for an answer. It was then that she noticed his eyes were red
and puffy and his face glistened with sweat. "Are you all right, Harry?
Has something happened?"
Harry passed a shaky hand
over his face. "No, it's nothing like that, Gin. I’m fine, really.” He
glanced at Ginny and seeing her skeptical look, tried again. “That’s not true.
I...I...Ginny, I had another dream. I woke Neville up it was so bad.” He
paused, seeming to steady himself. “It wasn’t like those I had last year. No,
this one was much more...terrifying...very dark and scary. I woke up
screaming. Neville was shaking me awake to get me to stop. He said I was
yelling that something couldn’t be true, that it was all Professor Trelawney’s
fault. I’ve...I've never awakened Neville before; it's always been Ron who's
gotten to me first. I felt so bad about it, I came down here."
It was happening; Harry
was opening up to her. Ginny put a hand on his arm. "I'm sorry about
your dream, Harry. Would telling me more about it help? Or would you like to
talk about something else?"
“I don’t know. There’s a
part of me that wants to tell someone and another that doesn’t.” Harry said
with a sigh.
“Would you just like some
“Yeah, that would be
nice,” he said and settled his chin back onto his knees, gazing steadily at the
fire again as the emotionless mask he wore most days fell into place.
Ginny smiled at Harry,
opened her book, and settled back against the sofa cushions, hoping that the
tedious prose would quickly make her sleepy so that she could leave Harry to
She had read three pages
when she heard Harry inquire hesitantly, “Ginny?”
“Can I ask you
“Do you...do you
sometimes feel like you have no control over your life?” Harry had turned to
look at her. The mask was still there, but not as intensely.
Ginny closed her book,
keeping a finger between the pages to mark her place. “You mean like when Mum
tells me I’m too young to be involved in something or I can’t do it because I’m
“Sometimes,” she said
pensively. “Especially when it has something to do with the Order I want to be
involved in. Obviously, I’m not too happy about it. I hate being excluded and
will voice my opinion, if that’s what you mean.”
acknowledging her answer, then asked, “How did you feel last year when Umbridge
started posting her Educational Decrees?”
Ginny thought a moment. “Angry,
certainly. And maybe a little rebellious.”
“But you were happy most
of the time, even after Fred and George left?”
“I was sad when they
left. I had thought we’d spend the entire year together, no matter how bad a
year it was, and was a little confused as to why they hadn’t directly told me
and Ron what their plans were.”
“You reckon they dropped
“I’m sure they did, but
neither of us realized what was going on until the day they set off the swamp,
even after their stunt with the fireworks,” she said opening her book again to
mark her place with her bookmark instead of her finger. “Come to think of it,
Ron and I should have cornered Fred and George after they talked to you about
their diversion and tried to dissuade them from doing it. Ron told me Hermione
really laid it on thick that day.” Harry smiled, remembering, as Ginny said thoughtfully,
“I don’t know why we didn’t, although I remember not wanting to get in trouble
with Professor Umbridge.”
Harry nodded again and
stared back at the embers. He seemed to retreat into himself once again at the
mention of the former High Inquisitor and Ginny watched him stroke the scars on
his hand for the second time in a week.
”Harry, what are you
feeling right now?” she finally asked.
“I’m confused, Ginny.
There’s a lot of stuff swimming around in my head right now,” he told her. “I
guess I feel…overloaded. Scared, maybe, too.”
“How so?” She waited in
silence, her hand now resting on his shoulder.
“It’s like I can’t
control what’s going on in my life.”
“Do you mean your grief
Harry shook his head. “I
deal with that when I’m on my Firebolt. Being back on the Quidditch team
helped a lot with that.”
“Then it must be
Harry didn’t answer her
right away. After a long moment, Harry seemed to shake himself mentally. When
he spoke, his voice was barely above a whisper. “I heard the prophecy, Ginny.
The one Voldemort wanted.”
“When?” she murmured.
She couldn’t believe what Harry seemed to be about to reveal.
Harry’s voice grew
stronger as he continued. It was as though he had made up his mind to trust
her. “I…I heard it...that night in Dumbledore’s office.”
“The night we fought the
Death Eaters in the Department of Mysteries?”
“How? I thought the ball
smashed during the fight.”
“It did...when I ripped
Neville’s robes.” Harry stopped and ran a hand distractedly through his hair
making it stick out even more than it had been. “Dumbledore retrieved his
memory of it using his Pensieve, though.”
“You’re saying that the
prophesy was told to Professor Dumbledore? Who was the Seer?”
“Professor Trelawney. She
made the prediction to him when she interviewed for the position of Divination
teacher before I was born.”
A little “Oh,” of
surprise escaped Ginny as she assimilated this information. “So after she made
the prediction, Dumbledore hired her?”
“It looks that way.
Funny, isn’t it, how my life seems to be full of such coincidences,” Harry
“I’m not certain I’d say
it that way, Harry. It does look
rather dubious, though, as if Professor Dumbledore had some ulterior motive.”
She paused, thinking. “I remember seeing the label under the prophesy. It had
a bunch of letters, probably the initials of the Seer and receiver, a mention
of V-Voldemort, and a question mark before your name. Do you know what it all
He took a deep breath
before continuing. “Uh huh. The sphere containing the prophesy was marked
‘Unknown’ by the Department of Mysteries at the time the prediction was made. I
reckon they didn’t know who the second predictee was.”
Ginny was beginning to
see pieces of the complex puzzle fall into place. “But your name was added to
the label? Why?”
“Voldemort killed my
“And gave you your scar,”
Ginny volunteered and began thinking aloud. “So that means...that for some
reason V-Voldemort singled you out. Harry, why would he bother trying to kill
you when your parents were working for Dumbledore?”
“He didn’t know all of
“But...how did he know
about it in the first place?” Ginny frowned, thinking hard. “Don’t tell
me...someone was listening to Trelawney’s interview...and they were discovered
before Professor Trelawney finished with the prediction.” When Harry nodded
she continued. “Okay...Answer me this: how come only you were targeted?
Weren’t Ron and Neville and Seamus and Dean and Hermione and all the rest of
your class born in 1980, too? Why weren’t they earmarked?”
Harry sighed and said,
“Trelawney predicted that the one to kill Voldemort would be born in late July
to parents who were working against him. Ron, Dean, Seamus, and Hermione all
were born in months other than July. And their parents were either Muggles or
weren’t defying Voldemort.”
leaves...Neville? Oh, my...” Ginny stared at Harry as she said, more than a
little alarmed, “His parents were Aurors! He was born in July, too!”
“How did you know that?”
Harry asked, startled.
“Ron. He said something
about it in passing several years ago. This is the first time I’ve thought of
that...” She concentrated hard as she said, ”So you’re telling me that the two
of you were singled out, but only one was given the scar. And...And...”
There was complete
silence in the common room, save the popping of the coals in the grate, as
Ginny gaped at Harry. “Merlin’s beard, Harry! You...you’ve been chosen
to...to...to kill V-Voldemort!” She exclaimed quietly. “Now I
He looked directly at
Ginny, although he seemed reluctant to speak. “I…I’m a marked man, Ginny,” he
said flatly. “When Voldemort killed my parents and then tried to kill me, he
marked me as…as the only one who can ever defeat him. Just as Trelawney said.
Do you understand, Ginny, that no matter what I do, my life is not my own? That
my destiny is to kill or be killed?” Harry shuddered.
Ginny took Harry’s hand
in hers. “That’s a lot to deal with,” she whispered.
“But that’s it,” Harry
protested. “I’m not dealing with it. I can’t get it out of my head
that no matter what I do I will either be a murderer or a victim! I have no
choice! Do you understand what that means? Do you? I do, and I can’t face the
truth! It’s eating me up inside, Ginny, more than my guilt over causing
Sirius’ death. I can’t eat, I can’t sleep. I’m so distracted and scared I
can’t concentrate on anything except Potions!”
Harry wrenched away from
Ginny and stood up, walking over to the hearth. He kept his back to her as he
leaned his forehead against the ancient stone. “You’re the first person I’ve
told about this,” he continued quietly. “I couldn’t face Ron and Hermione in
June knowing what their reactions would be. I couldn’t face their compassion.
They have no idea what a burden I’m carrying around. They’d be repulsed
knowing what I know.” Turning around he said, “Now that you know, I don’t
understand how can you calmly sit there and look me in the face when I’ve got
blood on my hands!”
Ginny joined him in front
of the mantelpiece. “It’s all right to be scared, Harry. No one ever said you
shouldn’t feel that way. I mean, you’re carrying a lot of responsibility!” she
began. Again, she stepped closer and placed her hand upon his arm. “And as
impossible as it seems, Harry, you are my friend. I’ve known you a long
time; I think I know who you are. And because you’re my friend, I don’t look
down on you because you can’t change your circumstances.
I want to try to help you accept your fate. You’re a good person,
Harry, the best. No matter what happens, or when it happens, or how it all
ends, I believe in you, even though you’ve never asked me to. Ron and Hermione
feel the same. We would never abandon you or think less of you because you were
chosen to vanquish V-Voldemort. I…we, will be at your side when the time comes
for your final battle with V-Voldemort. Please Harry, never doubt that we will
always be your friends.”
Harry stared at her.
“You mean it, don’t you?”
“I do, Harry, with all my
heart. And I hope that the knowledge that we’re behind you will help ease your
mind a little.” Ginny peered into Harry’s eyes. All she could see in the dim
light was a look of astonishment at her words. She hoped what she was about to
say would give Harry the idea that his friends would never abandon him.
“Ron was going to talk to
you about something in the morning. Mum and Dad want Ron and me to come home
for the weekend the first week in December. Charlie’s coming home briefly and
they want the whole lot of us to be there. They want you and Hermione to come,
too, since you’re practically family. Mum owled me tonight that the two of you
have permission to come with us. Think on it, Harry, and talk it over with Ron
in the morning.”
Ginny yawned widely. “I
need to get back to bed. Will you be all right?”
Harry smiled for the
first time that night. “You know my answer already. I’ll never turn down a
chance to go to The Burrow. And yeah, I think I’ll be all right, at least for
A few moments after
leaving Harry in the common room, Ginny crawled back into bed and pulled her
hangings shut. She took her wand from her dressing gown pocket and with a
practiced flick, cast a silencing charm around herself to ensure privacy: if
she got any sleep the rest of the night she knew it would be troubled. Her
roommates didn’t need to be rudely awakened by one of her dreams and with all
she had been privileged to in the last hour she was certain her mind had new
worries to experiment with. With a sigh, she settled back into her pillows and
let her mind take over.
Why, oh why, did she
always have to become involved with boys with “issues”? She seemed to have a
penchant for taking on troubled souls! For all his normalcy, Michael had been
so afraid to hex her during DA meetings that she doubted that he had learned a
thing; and when he had, his concern over her well-being had been so intense
that it had made her sick! Besides, he was almost as obsessed over homework as
Hermione and often put his studies over her. As for Dean, he was so ordinary it
was almost laughable. Certainly she worried
that he and his Muggle parents would be targets for You-Know-Who, but he was
rather boring when compared to Harry.
Poor Harry. Poor
troubled Harry. She knew in her heart that he would not want her to think of him in
this manner. He hated it when people pitied him. It was just that she
suddenly had an idea of what it was to be Harry Potter.
Ginny had had no idea the
burdens Harry had been carrying the last six months. As isolated as he had
been during the summer, it was easy to see just how simple it would be to let
the knowledge imparted to him by Dumbledore weigh so heavily on his shoulders that
he became consumed by it. She wished he had said something sooner; but he hadn’t
been ready. If only he had trusted me or Ron or Hermione...Then again,
it was so typical Harry to stoically remain silent while his friends watched
She was certain that he
had not told her everything. The rest of it, she felt, would surface in time.
He had left her with the impression that what he had left out was just as
troubling as the Prophesy, that it was something deeply personal and possibly
more important than knowing he was the Chosen One. The questions came
fast and furiously. Could it truly be he was the only one who could vanquish
Voldemort? Did he really have the power, yet undiscovered and untapped, to rid
the world of the Dark Lord? Another, more startling thought suddenly
surfaced. Ginny hoped she wasn’t reading more into what had transpired between
them down in the common room than was really there. Harry had trusted her
tonight. Did they share some common experience or connection that was stronger
than the wizard’s debt between Harry and Wormtail? Was she somehow
mysteriously connected to him through Voldemort other than their connection
trough the Chamber of Secrets? The answers were as elusive as the questions
were disquieting. She hoped that eventually Harry would trust her enough to
finally tell her everything.
Brave, noble Harry. She felt her
connections with him tonight more acutely than she ever had before.
They were connected by
their mutual experiences in the Chamber. They had connected earlier this year
as they struggled with the evil they experienced in their nightmares. They were
connected by their adventures at the Department of Mysteries. They were
connected by her concern for him as she watched him struggle to accept what
life had thrown at him. Harry wasn’t just her brother’s best friend any more:
he was her friend, too, no matter how intricately they were connected through
Dearest Harry. The Harry she had
cherished since she was little...
He had unknowingly
wrapped himself around her heart from the first time Bill had told her Harry’s
famous story. For as long as she could remember he had been there causing her
to blush and giggle when she thought of him. Then, when he became Ron’s best
friend, she had wanted him to be her best friend, too. It hadn’t worked
out that way since he saw her mostly as Ron’s little sister and did not
reciprocate her feelings. Therefore, she had spent a good deal of time during
the past two years trying to “give up on” but not “get over” him. For Ginny,
there was a subtle difference. To her, “giving up” meant moving on, exploring
other relationships, while still maintaining their friendship rather than
dumping Harry completely. She could never do that, because no matter how hard
she worked to exorcise him from her heart, he refused to budge. She wanted his
friendship and trust, and wanted him to see that she had changed and grown
while he wasn’t looking. From where she stood now, though, it didn’t look as if
Harry wanted to be more than friends with her. Would he ever? Only time would
tell. In the meantime, Ginny was willing to explore relationships with other
She had wanted so much
to have a normal teenaged girl’s life fancying and dating a myriad of boys
before ultimately choosing the one to spend the rest of her life with. Her
time with Michael Corner had taught her a lot about feelings and respecting
another’s views. It had been a great experiment that hadn’t really worked,
though; Harry had always been at the back of her mind and she had found herself
comparing the two with Michael always lacking. No one, it seemed, could
compare to Harry.
As for Dean Thomas, Ginny
had told her brother on the train home at the end of last year that she had
chosen Dean, but had omitted that Dean, at the time, didn’t know. The truth was
that she and Dean were just friends; their friendship could best be
explained as platonic with no romantic connotations whatsoever. It amused Dean,
once Ginny had owled him about the situation and asked for his cooperation,
that Ron was such the “protective older brother” when it came down to Ginny’s
affairs of the heart. Dean, it transpired, was having just as much fun bating
Ron as Ginny. Many evenings, as part of their ruse, they studied at the same
table while collaborating on assignments from their Muggle Studies professor;
it turned out that Dean was quite helpful when it came to explaining the
intricacies of Muggle life from an insider’s point of view. Ginny was grateful
to Dean for going along with her scheme, and wondered sometimes what Harry
thought of their being a “couple.” Did he even think about her with other
My Harry? Maybe if he could get
past his “issues” he would feel confident enough to notice her. She wanted him
to notice her and thought it would be nice to be able to call him her
boyfriend. However, the question was would he want her for his
girlfriend? Only time and circumstances would tell, and in the meantime, they
She had meant what she
had said to him about never abandoning him. She had realized, for the first
time tonight that the crush of her younger years had changed over time and
developed into deeply rooted feelings. She didn’t really know how to define how
she felt; she knew some would call it “love”. She decided the word she wanted
was ‘devotion’. However, if it was love, was it the kind of love that would
last an eternity like that of her parents or the kind that burned hot for a
short time and then fizzled? Whichever it was, it certainly had gone
unrequited; but she was content with that, for she knew now that she had
Harry’s friendship and for this moment in her life, that was enough. If he
needed her, she would be there for him no matter what.
Ginny lay in these
comforting thoughts during the wee hours of the morning, letting her body relax
further against the pillows. Soon, she slept and did not stir again until
Hermione, probably due to Ron’s concern over her absence at breakfast, brought
her some pumpkin juice and a stack of toast shortly before lessons.
~~To Be Continued~~
A/N: As always, I am grateful for the time and effort my beta Yolanda
put in to read over this chapter...thrwice! She is a delight to work with and
I look forward to her comments each time I send her a chapter. Thanks...
If anyone has spotted the reference to the lyrics from the
title song, “You’re Still You” sung by Josh Groban on his debut album,
congratulations. When I first heard the song, I knew that one of Harry’s
friends would have to sneak at least some of the words into a conversation.
Full acknowledgement of the song, its composer, and lyricist will be given at
the end of the next and final chapter.
Thank you for reading and reviewing. I hope you have come to
appreciate Ginny as much as I have.