The Sugar Quill
Author: LauraEvans  Story: Early in the Morning  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.

The wind howled around the strong castle walls and an occasional hoot could be heard

Disclaimer: Harry Potter world belongs to JKR, I’m just playing here.


A/N: Thanks a lot to my beta, Helen! This story is to magicaljules, who’s one of the kindest people on the Quill. And people on the Quill are known for their kindness, among other virtues.


Early in the Morning,


by LauraEvans


The wind howled around the castle walls. Its gloomy towers blended into the dark sky. The countless windows reflected the beams of the huge silvery moon. An occasional hoot could be heard. It was bitingly cold and snow glistened on the grounds. Everything was still; even the trees of Forbidden Forest were frozen. Everyone was sleeping at this early hour – the sun would not rise for a long time.


However, there was a movement in the air above the Quidditch Pitch. It was a teenage boy, flying back and forth, doing flip-flops, his speed unbelievable and his black cloak billowing behind him. He made a graceful arc around the goalposts and squinted his eyes against the moonlight that made his glasses shine. The wind had blown his black hair off his face to reveal a thin scar, shaped like a lightning bolt.


The boy was Harry Potter, or The Boy Who Lived. He sped through the air faster than the wind, trying to escape his thoughts. But flying – that once was cure to almost everything – didn’t help him this time. No matter how many times he circled the Pitch, no matter how fast he zoomed around the goalposts – the thoughts did not leave him for a moment. Gone was the ecstatic feeling that used to accompany flying. Gone was the blissful emptiness in his mind. No matter what he did, the thoughts did not abandon him.


With a sharp dive, he headed to the ground. Only a few inches above it, he yanked the broom upwards and jumped off, bumping rather painfully on the frozen earth. But he didn’t mind the pain – in fact he didn’t pay any attention to it at all. Harry took the broom and headed to the castle.


The wind lifted the back of his robes and made him shiver. The most sensible thing to do would be to go back to the common room and sit by the fire, he thought. And then, with a crooked smile, which means I’m not going to do it. A sparkle caught his eye from the side. It was the lake, shimmering in the moonlight. With a mirthless laugh that echoed eerily back in the silent night he turned and made his way to the cold lake, enveloping himself in his black cloak.


He sat on one of the big rocks on the lakeside and stared blankly at the lake. It looked so beautiful, so peaceful. He bowed his head and growled against the tears clouding his sight. It didn’t help. Burying his face into his hands, he let the tears come. He didn’t even try to dry them; he just sat there, weeping.


“Harry?” a soft voice asked next to him.


With a start he turned his face to the girl standing next to him. Instantly he regretted it, belatedly remembering the tears. Feeling his cheeks burn, he turned his face away. The girl was Ginny Weasley.


“Harry? Can I sit here?”


He mumbled the permission under his breath and heard a rustle of clothes next to him.


“Hey. It’s alright to cry. I do it all the time, everyone does. And you’ve got every right to cry. It doesn’t do you good if you hold back your feelings, you know. It’s better to get rid of them.”


She spoke softly but firmly. Harry could almost feel her breath on his cheek.


“It’s different with you. It’s…no, it’s different with me. Everything is different with me,” he answered, still bending his head low.


“No, it’s not,” she said. “You’re still a human, Harry. Even if you are ‘The Boy Who Lived’, you still have a right to cry.”


“No, you don’t understand, do you? I don’t have the right to be weak, don’t you understand? I have to be strong,” he answered, raising his head and looking into Ginny’s eyes.


Her brown eyes were filled with worry. She was wearing her slightly-too-big black cloak and her red hair was flowing freely around her pale face.


“Then make me understand,” she said quietly.


Harry had to smile. She looked so serious, saying that. She wanted to understand him, to help him – he could see this in her eyes. But she couldn’t help, no one could…


“It has something to do with the prophecies from the Ministry, doesn’t it? That prophecy, with your name on it…that’s the reason, isn’t it?” she said suddenly.


Shocked, he searched her eyes.


“What do you mean?” he managed to press out, trembling slightly.


Ginny smiled a little. “Do you think so badly of me? You’ve been like this since we came back from the Ministry. At first I thought it was because of Sirius but then…I started to think it might….be something else…And then I remembered the prophecy…with your name on it…” she broke off, looking at him apprehensively.


Harry brushed his hand over his face and swallowed hard. What could he say? He didn’t want to lie to Ginny but he couldn’t possibly tell her the truth…or could he?


Suddenly, Ginny’s eyes narrowed and she looked at Harry calculatingly, reminding him of a cat once again.


“It’s a pity that the prophecy smashed, isn’t it? And no one knows what it said…”


She stopped and, this time, it was Harry whose eyes were thoroughly examined. He couldn’t stand it and turned his head away.


He opened his mouth but the words had left him so he shut it. Unconsciously, he combed his hair with his hand, making it stand up at all angles. He took a few sharp breaths and opened his mouth again but the words failed him once more. Harry realised that when he didn’t say something right away, it would be too late. There was nothing left to do – he had to lie to Ginny. He opened his mouth for a third time and breathed in.


But then, with a sudden start, Harry realised that, in fact, he did want to tell her about the prophecy. And before he could change his mind, he said quickly: “Ginny, listen to me. The prophecy was smashed, it’s true. But Dumbledore…he knew…what it said. And he told me. And now…I’m…I’m going to tell you something very, very important. You can never tell anybody about this. This is not a stupid schoolboy secret – it’s literally a matter of life and death.”


Ginny’s eyes widened and she leaned closer to him. And so, in a hushed voice, Harry told her all about the prophecy, what it said, what it meant and what his role in it would be.


When he finished, she was looking terrified yet resolute and her eyes had a different light in them. And then she did the last thing Harry expected – she hugged him.


Harry’s eyes widened and his thoughts raced. Then he raised his hands and put them tentatively around her. When she didn’t protest, he held her stronger and rested his chin on her head. He found that he rather liked it. In fact, he could have stayed this way for hours.


But then she moved a little and looked up at him. Her face was barely inches away from his - Harry could count her freckles - her lips parted slightly. And then he did, for once in his life, what seemed to be the only sensible thing – he kissed her softly on her lips.


The snow had started to fall and it was dancing in the air around them, coating their cloaks and hair. The horizon above the Forbidden Forest had turned into deep red – the sun was about to rise.

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