Disclaimer: Harry Potter lives in JKR's backyard, I'm merely sw
Potter lives in JKR's backyard, I'm merely swimming in her pool.
It's a tasteful
one. None of those annoying signs like, “Welcome to our L.
You'll notice there's no POO in it. Please keep it that way,”
or anything like that.
thanks go out to Rachel, who was kind enough to inform me that the
previous version of this story sucked and that this should be
Maturity can best be
described as "one of those things." It's rarely interpreted
as the same idea from person to person: one might think of it as
being able to take care of oneself, another might see it as the drive
to do what needs to be done when it needs to be done. Yet another
could feel that maturity comes with age, wisdom, and experience, and
that no matter how "mature" a child might seem, this child
is still, in fact, a child, and prone to doing childish things.
Which may or may not be
why Harry and Ginny's most recent fight had ended like it had.
How Harry and Ginny's
fight had started had little to do with maturity, in that
neither was in possession of it, and more to do with temper, in that
they both had too much of it.
He was brooding again.
In his defense, he tried not to brood. He'd go days at a time
perfectly happy, or at least secure enough in the illusion of it that
he almost forgot the reality, and then something set him off again.
He didn't know what it
was this time. He'd gotten through Defense Against the Dark Arts just
fine, despite the discussions of Ministry occupations and positions,
including the Department of Mysteries. He hadn't batted an eyelash
when McGonagall had pointedly told them how not to be hit by five
Stunners at once.
And then... something,
inconsequential, no doubt. Someone mentioned the Chinese Zodiac, he
remembered, which led him to think of the year of the dog, which led
him to Sirius...
Which led him to the
corner, reflecting on his darker memories.
“It's too loud in
here,” he finally decided, rising out of his chair in the
common room. Maybe the library would be quiet. Well, the library
would be quiet, under the unquestioned reign of Madam Pince,
who was an unspoken or else by herself.
He left the common room
and headed down the hall. His arms were crossed, and his gaze aimed
directly at the floor, which may have been why he walked into
someone. “Sorry,” he muttered without looking up.
said a voice with which Harry associated red hair and violent cursing
of more than one type. “All right, Harry?”
said Harry shortly, not particularly interesting in acting like he
was, since he knew Ginny would see through it anyway. Weasleys, Harry
knew, had an almost unnatural and annoying ability to see when
someone wasn't in the mood for company, and Ginny had an almost
unnatural and annoying ability ignore said mood and be company.
Sure enough, she said,
“Of course. You sound fine. That would explain the monotone,
the crossed arms, the distant look, the angry scowl. All merely signs
of your fine-ness.”
“You've got it,”
he said. “See you later.”
“What is it?”
“Well, I know you
get this a lot from Ron and Hermione, but if there's anything you
need to talk about with someone who won't quote Flying With the
Cannons or Hogwarts, a History, you can talk to me,”
Ginny said. She appeared concerned, which only served to annoy Harry
he said in an insincere tone of voice. “Are you done with me?”
Had Harry been in a
state to take more notice, he'd have observed that the concerned look
had disappeared from Ginny's face and had been replaced with a more
“You're not the
only one grieving, you know.”
“I know. But I am
the only one who isn't being permitted to go to the library.”
He tried to turn and leave again, but was stopped when he just barely
heard Ginny say something under her breath. “What?”
Harry would never know why he said that, though later he would know
that it had been a mistake.
"Fine. I called
you a bastard. And I meant it." Ginny's knuckles were white, and
her brown eyes dangerously narrow. "You go around pretending
that you're not affected by anything, then without warning, something
sucks the joy out of you so quickly that you threaten to implode."
“Well thank you
for that warning. Let me be on my way and I won't suck anymore.”
Ginny scoffed. “Yes
you will, Harry. You might come back less depressed than before, but
you'll go off again and you won't talk to anyone about it
because you are a bastard!”
“I never asked
your opinion!” Harry snapped. They had gotten quite loud by
this point, and the only reason that they weren't drawing a crowd was
that there was a vague fear of being caught in a crossfire of some
“Well you got it!
You think your pain is special somehow, don't you?”
Harry yelled. “I mean... no! I know how I feel! You don't, so
just... leave me alone!”
“I would if you
would tell me! Maybe if you shared your pain instead of keeping it to
yourself, it wouldn't be so bad!”
“Forget it! Just
leave me alone!”
Harry walked away
again, and Ginny, angry, breathless, and above all not finished,
went after him. “Don't you dare think that you have the
monopoly on guilt, Harry Potter! I am talking to you!”
And then she did something she hadn't done since she was six.
She kicked him in the
“You kicked Harry
in the shin?” Hermione gasped.
“In the shin?”
“Yes, all right?
I kicked Harry Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived, in the shin. And...”
Hermione raised an
eyebrow. Disapproving and amused looks fought for supremacy, and
disapproval was only barely winning. “And what?”
“I might have
pulled his hair.”
Amused was catching up quick.
definitely. He was asking for it! I don't like it when people don't
listen to me.” She had the grace to look sheepish, but witch's
intuition told Hermione that there was something she hadn't been
“You didn't do
anything else, did you?”
“No. Maybe. I
might have...” she muttered something.
“Done what, now?”
“I bit him. On
Amused was ahead by
three lengths... a come-from-behind victory for the amused look.
“It seemed like a
good idea at the time. It was through the sleeve. He probably barely
even felt it.”
me, Ron! And drew blood! Through the sleeve!” Harry touched his
arm tentatively and winced.
“She'll do that,”
said Ron, drawing on experience. “Best thing I can tell you is
to apologize, mate.”
ever happens to you is entirely your fault, as far as women are
concerned,” said Ron, drawing on even more experience.
“Hermione and Ginny, anyway. Look at the bright side.”
“You finally got
a girl's mouth on you without her bursting into tears.”
Harry glared at Ron for
a moment, then grinned. “Shut up. I don't hear you bragging
about your snogging exploits.”
“That's because I
don't kiss and tell.”
you don't kiss, and thus have nothing to tell.”
They laughed, and Ron
decided to change the subject. “How'd you even run into her?”
“I was going to
the library and I wasn't paying attention to where I was going.”
“Ah. Did you get
what you needed then?”
Harry had actually
forgotten. He'd forgotten to brood, forgotten to want to be alone.
Sure, it was only because of blood and violence, which was probably
ironic, but still. He felt... better. “I suppose I did.”
glanced at where the girls had been, and noticed that they weren't
there any longer. “Ginny's coming, by the way. You might want
to hide your other arm.”
Ginny was, indeed,
coming. She was being pushed, actually, by Hermione. “Ginny,”
said Hermione pointedly, “has something she wants to say to
Ginny sighed. “I'm
sorry I kicked your shin. And pulled your hair.”
“And bit you.”
Harry felt tempted to
laugh at the scene, but knew instictively that said course of action
might end up being his last. “Well, I'm sorry I...” he
felt self-conscious suddenly. “Will you two give us a moment?”
he said to Ron and Hermione.
“Oh, a moment?”
Ron began to say, but Hermione dragged him off before he could
After they were gone,
Harry continued. “I'm sorry that I've turned into a joy vacuum.
And that I was rude. But mostly I'm sorry that you bit me.”
Ginny smiled. “You
big baby, I bet I barely broke the skin. Here, let me see...”
Maturity is something
that can't be defined as easily as, say, cake. Or perhaps it can.
There are many types of cakes: textures, flavors, colors. Perhaps
there are many types of maturity. Pulling hair, kicking shins, that's
probably not the most mature thing to do.
using the experience to help a friendship grow and take another step
towards getting over the loss of a loved one—that's a maturity
of its own.
By which I mean
the end. I'm not making that fish pun again, it's just that even
after I put this, people still write in and say, "Hur hur, can't
wait for another chapter," so once and for all, making this
clear, there shall not be another chapter, nor a sequel, nor a
prequel, and I may just delete this bloody story altogether.