The Sugar Quill
Author: Elaina Riddle  Story: A Life Without Fear  Chapter: Harry's Letter
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A Life Without Fear

A Life Without Fear

 

 

 

Chapter Two

Harry’s Letter

 

 

 

            Ginny ran all the way back to her dorm; she couldn’t believe he had written back so fast. Maybe he didn’t hate her after all. Her heart skipped a beat, as she took the stairs two at a time. When the letter had arrived, she had been sitting there at dinner listening to Colin talk about their Potions homework. Hedwig landed next to her bowl of salad, causing her to choke on the pumpkin juice she had just swallowed. After she had finished sputtering, Hedwig held out her leg apologetically, and allowed her to take the letter.

            “Isn’t that Harry’s owl?” Colin had asked, before sticking the spoon full of stew into his mouth. Hedwig nuzzled Ginny tenderly before taking flight again.

            Ginny’s face had turned bright red. She hadn’t told Colin that she had written to Harry, afraid of the jealousy it might cause. Colin had told her before the war had ended that he fancied her, but could understand since they were best friends if she didn’t feel the same. He hadn’t known then, how could he have? But even after all this time, he hadn’t once judged her or turned away.

            Maybe that’s why she had written to Harry. But that was silly, she didn’t need his approval to start seeing someone. She had been sure at the time that he wouldn’t have written her back anyway.   

            “Oh I had written to Hermione, she probably borrowed Hedwig from Harry,” Ginny said. Sticking the letter in her robes before Colin could see the handwriting. She knew if she said it was from Hermione Colin wouldn’t ask her about it, or wonder why she didn’t just read it in front of him.

            “Why didn’t she just use Pig?” ‘Damn,’ Ginny thought to herself, she had forgotten about Ron’s owl. Luckily Colin let it drop with a shrug.

            She was so happy and scared at the same time, she had excused herself early from dinner, despite the questioning look from Colin. When she reached her dorm it was empty. She plopped down on her bed and pulled the hangings. ‘Calm down!’ She told herself, as she pulled the letter from her robes, and took a deep breath, ‘its just Harry.’

 

Hi Ginny,

          I wasn’t at all unhappy about receiving your letter; there are a couple of things I’ve wanted to tell you for a long time. I want you to know that I would rather be doing this in person, but seeing as you might not be coming home soon I’m going to tell you in this letter.

I just wanted to tell you thank you for always being there for me, and saving my life during the war. I know I have never said that it meant anything that you were there, but it really did. When you weren’t here this summer I realized how much you being around when I was left alone really mattered, and I just wanted to say thank you.

           If you ever get another chance I would really like it if you would write to me again, but don’t feel like you have to. I do hope you come down for Christmas so you can see our house. Ron hasn’t gotten to the point where he’s going to drive me mad. Remember I shared a dorm with him for seven years and his room at the Burrow over the summer, so I’ve gotten used to him, in a sense. In any case, we don’t share a room, so its Hermione who you should hope he doesn’t drive mad.

          Hopefully I’ll get to see you soon!

                                        Sincerely,

                                        Harry Potter

 

 

            Ginny’s heart pounded so hard she was sure it was going to come out of her chest. ‘He wants me to write him again because he misses me!’ Ginny thought, as she jumped up and down on her bed, so happy she wanted to scream. But then the thought occurred to her, ‘Did he remember the war? Did he remember what she had done?’ Her heart stopped; she stopped jumping and stared at the letter in her left hand, her right hand clasped over her left forearm.

            Tears started welling in her eyes, it had never really disappeared, even though Dumbledore had said it would. She closed her eyes  tight, trying to calm herself the way Charlie had taught her over those long summer months. She took a deep breath and looked down at the letter again. She would look like a total git if she read into this more than what he meant it to be. Maybe he was just being nice. 

            She reached over and pulled a sheaf of parchment, quill, and ink out of her bag and began to write.

 

*************

 

            Dinner at the Weasley’s had been wonderful. Harry got to see all of the Weasley brothers and their wives. Bill’s wife Fleur was expecting twins, which had all the ladies in an uproar on what to name them. Fred and George had suggested they be named after them, which had everyone laughing when Fleur choked on her pumpkin juice, and sprayed them both.

            But in spite of all the happiness surrounding him, Harry was finding it really hard to stop thinking about Ginny. He kept glancing above the mantel where the Weasley family picture was hanging. The photo was taken in the garden before his final year at Hogwarts. Mrs. Weasley had insisted on having Hermione and himself in the picture. He had somehow been placed standing behind Ginny, who was sitting cross-legged on the floor.

            He remembered that day very well. There was a light breeze. Ginny’s hair kept flying up in little wisps and he could remember the overwhelming feeling he had to reach down and run his fingers through it. Harry shook his head, ‘Why can’t I stop thinking about her?’

            He hoped no one else had looked at the photo lately; his photo self kept glancing down at the top of Ginny’s fiery red hair. Harry’s face burned and he quickly closed his eyes to try and clear his mind. There was a flash of red and a high-pitched laugh. Harry could feel himself pulling his wand, ready to strike.

            “Harry! Harry dear, are you all right?” Mrs. Weasley’s voice was low and panicked. Harry opened his eyes to see every one of the Weasleys hovering over him. He had somehow fallen off the couch and landed on his back, his wand was drawn. Ron and Hermione where kneeling next to him looking very upset. They exchanged worried glances. All the blood had drained from their faces.

            “What happened?” Harry asked trying to sit up quickly, feeling very ashamed.

            “Mum said she just turned around and you were on the floor.” Ron said, taking the seat next to him. Ron’s hands were shaking, and Harry couldn’t bring himself to look at him.

            “I had just closed my eyes for a second; I must have dozed off.” Harry said rubbing his forehead. Harry looked up in time to see everyone exchange looks. 

            “Have you been sleeping well dear?” Mrs. Weasley asked her voice shaking slightly.

            “Yes, I’ve been fine,” Harry looked at Ron, who was looking at his feet, his hands crossed on his lap, “I’m just tired from this morning... so if everyone doesn’t mind I’m going to be heading home.”

           

            Harry felt like kicking himself in the arse as he walked home. The truth of the matter was, he wasn’t fine. The dreams were getting worse. He had even woken Ron and Hermione in the middle of the night. Now he was even falling asleep out of nowhere. To make matters worse, the longing to see Ginny was weighing on his heart more and more each day, and he couldn’t figure out why.

            He kicked a rock in the road, sending it skidding a few feet, before running his hands through his messy black hair in frustration. ‘What is wrong with me? I can’t even think straight.’

            Harry didn’t even bother going in, he walked around the side of the house to the back garden. The evening was nice and cool, great weather for flying, if he had the energy. Instead, he found a seat on the bench next to the large oak tree Hermione had planted, and helped to grow. He sighed deeply, as he looked around trying to make sense of things. The sun was setting in the distance.

            He knew his uneasiness had something to do with the final battle, and why he couldn’t remember all of it. He knew his mind wanted to remember, but for some reason his heart wasn’t letting him. Then there was Ginny; he knew she had some part in the way he was feeling. And despite how he tried, he could not get her off his mind. But even if he could, he wasn’t quite sure he really wanted to.

            “Hey mate, are you all right?” Ron said, sitting next to him. Harry just shook his head; he could see Hermione looking through the window from the kitchen.

            “The dreams are getting worse, I thought they would stop after the war, but I guess there is some things you just can’t get rid of right away,” Harry said, looking off into the distance.

            “Does your scar hurt when you have those dreams?” Ron asked, his elbows resting on his knees. He twirled his fingers in worry as he focused on the ground.

            “ No... I mean, in my dream, I know it does because it did during the war, but when I wake up the pain is gone.”

            “You touched your scar when you woke up.” Ron said, fidgeting awkwardly.

            “ It’s just habit,” Harry said, realizing the panic that action had caused, “Honestly, I’m okay. It’s just going to take me a while to remember certain things.”

            Ron smiled as if that was enough to satisfy him, and quickly put Harry into a headlock.

            “You know when you talk about remembering things, that reminded me. What are you doing writing to my little sister?” Ron asked, laughing, as he wrestled Harry to the ground.

            “It was nothing,” Harry gasped as he tried with all his might to twist around. He could faintly hear Hermione laughing from the kitchen. Being as tall and lanky as Ron was, and even though Harry had grown much over the years, it was still hard for Harry to maneuver around him.

            “ It’s nothing?” Ron asked, pushing him away a little to give him a chance. Harry dove for his feet, knocking him to the floor.

            “Yes, it’s nothing.” Harry said, standing and dusting off his robes, trying yet again to sound casual.

            “Well, there’s your nothing right now,” Ron said sitting on the grass, as he dusted off his knees. He looked over Harry‘s shoulder. Harry turned to see Hedwig sitting on the bench patiently waiting for them to be finished. But as he approached her, she quickly took flight, flying over to Ron, and sticking out her left leg.

            Ron lifted his eyebrow, and took the letter. Hedwig then flew over to Harry, and held out her right leg; there was a second letter addressed to him from Ginny. His heart began to pound as he flipped the letter over, forgetting for a moment that Ron was there.

            “What do you suppose?” Ron asked, more to himself, as he tried to open the letter,  the seal wouldn’t budge. Harry looked up, and blushed hoping Ron hadn’t noticed. But as he watched, Ron pulled out his wand. He tried to open his letter, but to no avail.

            “Why would she send me a letter I can’t open?” Ron asked in frustration, as Harry walked over. As if to answer his question, the words ‘Read in private’ appeared in green on the seal.

             

 

 

* I'm sorry it has taken so long to update. A great thanks to my beta, Lallybroch, and everyone who has reviewed.

           

           

 

 

 

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