The Sugar Quill
Author: HeadGirlInTraining  Story: Sunrise in the Mourning  Chapter: Default
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It was a cold morning, colder than it should have been for this time of year

Sunrise in the Mourning

By HeadGirlInTraining

 

Disclaimer: I don’t own Harry Potter.  Actually, I really don’t own much, for I am a poor college student.  Don’t sue; it’s not nice, and it perpetuates our overly litigious society.

 

Notes:  This is a little missing moment set at the end of 5th Year, sometime between Sirius’ death and Ron and Hermione’s release from the Madam Pomfrey’s clutches.  Also, I want to send big thanks to Dr. Aicha for some very helpful beta reading and to all of my friends at Unredeemed and here at the Sugar Quill who encouraged me to submit this.

 

 

It was a cold morning, colder than it should have been for this time of year.  The sun was just on the horizon, its light reflecting on the waters, a prism of golden and orange hues.  The flowers were just starting to wake up, lifting their heads to the rising sun.  It was absolutely beautiful. 

 

But it was still cold. 

 

No one else was out on the grounds yet, and he was glad for it.  He knew that when the day began in earnest, the stares and whispers would be there as they always were, more pronounced on this day, as they usually were at the end of the year.  He would try to ignore them, but it would be a lost cause.  Right now, he felt that everything was a lost cause. 

 

These were the times when he considered whether or not he really should have ever come to Hogwarts at all.  There was so much that had happened because he did, so much bad that could have been prevented.  Cedric, Sirius - his two best friends almost killed…how many people had to be sacrificed so he could be in this world?  There was no doubt that this was the world that he was meant to be in, no doubt at all.  As soon as he walked down Diagon Alley the first time, he knew that this life was the one he was meant to have.  But he paid the price for it and kept paying over and over again, and he didn’t see an end in sight.

 

He looked down at the grass, his eyes burning from the building light.  He hadn’t slept properly in a few nights now, seeing the whole scene play out in front of him again every time he closed his eyes for more than a second.  Sirius’ playful smile burst to the front of his vision.  He remembered that in that moment, the moment before it all happened, he had smiled himself to see Sirius so happy.  He wanted to stop the memory then, have that be the end of it, but it wasn’t the end, and it could never be. 

 

He started picking at the grass, staring at it, focusing all of his thoughts on the process of ripping up one shard after another.  He took a deep breath and looked back up at the horizon again after an interminable amount of time.  It was still early; he knew that because of the sun’s position in the sky, but it wouldn’t be long until everyone was awake.  And it wouldn’t be long until he had to face them. 

 

His head tilted back to rest against the tree trunk behind him, almost of its own accord.  He was so tired, and he was beginning to feel like his body was going to make him rest regardless of his personal feelings on the matter.   The sun chose this moment to give a burst of light as it crept above the clouds, and it was so bright that his eyes watered.  He thought that he should wipe them, but for some reason, his hands refused to do what his mind told them to, and soon watering eyes turned to crying ones.  Slow, silent tears slid down his cheeks, and he realized that there was nothing he could do to stop them.  Nothing he could do to stop any of it.

 

The sun was finally at its perch at the top of the sky, and he knew he had to get up.  He forced his hands to wipe his cheeks, and was just about to push up off of the ground when another figure’s shadow cast over him.

 

“This seat taken?” she asked, not waiting for an answer as she sat down next to him.  He saw that she was about to turn to him, but he turned his head away before she did.  He felt stupid about it, but he didn’t want her to know that he had been crying.

 

“Here,” she said, as he felt something soft fall into his lap.  He looked down to see what it was – a Weasley sweater with a large B on the front of it.  He stared at it for a moment, and then looked to her for an explanation.

 

“It was Bill’s,” she said, answering his unspoken question.  “I nicked it from him one night when I was cold, and I forgot to give it back.  It’s quite a bit too big for me, but it should fit you fine.”

 

He continued to look at her, not understanding why she went to all of the trouble of bringing him a sweater.

 

She finally gave him and exasperated look, and for a moment, Harry was strongly reminded of Mrs. Weasley.  “Oh, for Merlin’s sake, Harry, just put the damn thing on before you freeze to death.  It’s really cold out here.”

 

He obeyed and pulled the sweater over his head.  It fit him surprisingly well, and was certainly a lot warmer than the t-shirt he had on underneath.  He wanted to tell her thank you, that it was really nice of her to go to all of the trouble, but the words wouldn’t come.  So they both sat there, still and silent.  It felt awkward at first, sitting right next to a person and not talking to them, but after a few minutes the awkwardness melted away, and it was almost comfortable.

 

A slight wind started to blow, and he watched her draw her knees up to her chest and wrap her arms around them to keep off the cold.  It was then that he saw the bandage around her ankle.

 

The feeling of guilt inside of him grew instantaneously.  He felt his mouth begin to move before he could even think of what he was going to say.

 

“Ginny, I’m so sorr-” was all he got out before her hand flew up to his mouth, smothering the rest of his apology.  Her expression was stern and serious.

 

“Harry Potter, don’t you even think about apologizing to me.  Not for one second.  Because you have absolutely nothing to apologize for.  I went with you because I wanted to, just like everyone else did.  Anything that happened to me or any of them is because we wanted to be there.  And if I EVER find out that you tried to apologize to anyone else about all of this, I’m going to hex you into the next century.”  His eyes grew wide, and he sat motionless as she stared him down.  He felt the strangest feeling in his stomach.  It took him a moment to figure out what it was – he was impressed.

 

She finally took her hand away from his mouth when it seemed that she had decided she’d driven home her point well enough, leaning her back against the tree and looking out on the water.  He looked at her for another moment, still astonished by her boldness.  Finally, he turned his gaze to the water as well. 

 

His reverie was broken by the noise of people starting to spill out of the castle.  He desperately wanted them to go back inside and leave the grounds to him, but he knew that couldn’t happen.

 

She seemed to notice the break in their peace as well.  She got up from the ground, and, much to his surprise, stood before him with her hand extended, apparently to help him up.

 

“Come on, there shouldn’t be many people in the Great Hall now, and we can get something to eat.”  He opened his mouth to make up some excuse to stay away from everyone for as long as he could, but she beat him to the punch.  “And I don’t want to hear some rubbish about how you’re not really that hungry just so you can sit alone some more and feel bad for yourself.  You’ve done enough of that for today.”  A now-familiar feeling of resentful anger rose inside of him, but for the first time a long time, he decided to push it away.  Instead, he gave in to her and the rather terrifying look on her face and took her hand.  She helped him up, and they stood facing each other.  He knew she was about to turn away so they could walk to the Great Hall, but a feeling in his chest told him he needed to tell her how much she’d helped him, how much better she had made him feel.  “Thank you,” he said.  He knew it wasn’t enough, but it was all he could manage. 

 

She stared at him for a moment, with an expression that he thought was one of mild surprise.  Finally, she smiled at him and said, “You’re welcome,” giving his hand a quick squeeze before letting go. 

 

She started walking towards to castle, but he was stuck in his spot.  He glanced down at his hand, the one she had been holding, and found that it felt almost hot now, despite the coldness of the day.  When she realized he wasn’t right behind her, she spun back around, put her hand on her hip, and said, “Well, are you coming, or am I going to have to wait on you forever?”

 

He considered the question for a moment, and then, for the first time in days, he smiled.  “No Ginny, you’re not going to have to wait on me forever,” he answered, and he started after her back to the castle.

//
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