The Sugar Quill
Author: Elaina Riddle  Story: A Life Without Fear  Chapter: Chapter Three: The Invitation
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A Life Without Fear

A Life Without Fear

 

 

 

Chapter Three

The Invitation

 

 

 

            Ron walked straight to his room; he ignored Harry’s worried stare, and Hermione’s questioning glance. All he cared about right know was whether his baby sister was okay. He shut the door, and placed an unbreakable Locking Spell on it. Tears welling in his eyes, as sweat began to drip down the side of his temples, he paced the room, trying to calm his nerves. He hoped Harry would fill in Hermione, so she wouldn’t get hurt.

            He walked over, and slumped onto the bed. Ginny hadn’t said one word to him since before she had left to Romania. She wouldn’t even answer any of his letters. Hermione had said it served him right. And he knew it was true, he didn’t blame Ginny, after all the horrible things he had said to her. His hands began to tremble, as he parted the seal with ease.

            He missed her. He regretted deeply what he had said to her out of anger that night. After all, it wasn’t her fault; she hadn’t deserved for him to lash out at her like that. All she had been looking for that night was for her big brother to comfort her, and tell her everything was going to be all right. That it wasn’t her fault, and that he didn’t hate her. But he couldn’t give her that, his love for her, and the fact that he almost lost her wouldn’t allow it. Now all he could hope for was that she would forgive him.

            Ron looked down, and tried to read her letter through his tears that were flowing freely now. The war had caused a lot of heartache, and pain to his family. This was one of the last pieces he felt he had to mend before he could move on.

 

            Dearest Brother,

                                     I know you may never forgive me for what I did, even though your letters say different. I never meant to hurt anyone; I was just too weak to fight back. No matter how many times I say it, I know it will never change anything, but I wanted to tell you I’ am sorry. I hope that someday, you will forgive me.

            As you probably know, I wrote Harry the other day. I don’t know why I did it, or why I even sent it. It was probably out of pure lunacy. I said nothing about the final battle; I guess I was just hoping he wouldn’t write, and I‘d know he hated me. But now I’m scared, he wrote back. He said nothing of the final battle, nothing to imply that he hates me, only that he misses me, and he thanks me for saving his life.

            How could I have saved his life, when I ‘am the one who almost took it from him? How could he miss me? Is he just playing with my mind to get back at me for what I’ve done? He can’t be, this is Harry I’m talking about, but... I need to know.

             I need to know if he remembers anything, from the final battle. I need to know if he hates me. Please don’t keep this from me, no matter what Mum or Charlie may have told you, I can handle it. Write me back as soon as you can. Please don’t let Harry know. Tell Hermione I said hello.

                                                                                    Love your sister,

                                                                                                Ginny

 

           

            “Ron...Ron are you all right?” Hermione’s voice echoed from the hall, as she tapped lightly on the door. Ron sat there for a moment, letting out a labored breath. Charlie had written the family over the summer, informing them that Ginny wasn’t getting better, and still didn’t want to sleep at night.

            She was having such horrible nightmares that her health was fading and he wasn‘t sure if they should admit her to St. Mungo’s. It had taken Charlie weeks before he had finally gotten her to eat something; only by threatening her that he would owl Bill, to help him take her to the hospital.

             Mum had sent her many letters and photos, but it wasn’t until she had sent the last photo of Harry, Ron, and Hermione standing in front of their new home waving happily that Charlie had said he had seen a real improvement in Ginny.

            He said she had sat there for hours, in her tent, crying and rubbing her finger softly over Harry’s smiling face. Repeating that he was okay. He said after that, she had begun to act as if nothing had happened. She would go out with him on rides to exercise the dragons, smiling all the way. 

            The day the letter had arrived, Mrs. Weasley had handed it to Ron, as she slumped into the sofa, crying into her hands. Ron had read Charlie’s letter out loud, with Fred and George standing over his shoulders.

            When he had reached the part about her crying because Harry was okay, their Mum had warned them all that under no circumstance were either of them to write, and tell her that Harry had lost his memory of the final battle. She didn’t want Ginny to go into relapse. Dumbledore had told them the same about Harry; he wanted him to remember on his own. Frustrated, angry, yet a little relieved, they had all agreed.

            “Come in,” Ron said, as he waved his wand at the door. Hermione was standing there, with a dishtowel still in her hand. She had taken to doing many of the household chores the Muggle way. She said it reminded her of home. She looked worried, as she stood in the doorway, locks of hair falling into her face, as she made her way over to stand in front of him. Ron wrapped his arms around her waist, and laid his head on her stomach. He needed her comfort.

            “Is everything all right?” she softly asked, running her hand gently through his red hair.

            “I have to lie to her; I have to tell her everything is fine with Harry,” Ron said, pulling away, waving his wand towards the door. He fell back on their bed, as the door shut with a bang.

            “He will be fine, so you’re not really lying,” Hermione said, sounding unsure, as she sat down next to him. She looked down at the wet dishtowel in her hand; they had talked about Harry’s memory many times. Always coming to the conclusion that in the end, he would be okay.

            “I know he will be, but Ginny doesn’t know he can’t remember,” Ron said, standing, and walking towards the window, leading into Hermione‘s garden, “Now they’re writing each other, and she wants to know why he’s acting like nothing has happened. He told her he misses her. And I really doubt they’re going to be just friends for much longer; they care about each other. I can see it in Harry and we all know Ginny still loves him. If I lie to her, and something happens... I just want them both to be happy,” Ron said, punching the wall.

            “Why don’t you let Ginny decide what to do? Tell her the truth, she’s written me many times, and all she wants from any of you is for you to stop treating her like she’s a bomb that’s about to go off. She’s accepted what has happened, she just wants forgiveness so she can move on with her life. Let her decide whether she wants to let Harry remember on his own, or if she wants to remind him,” Hermione said, as she walked up, and hugged him from behind, “Believe me. If you don’t tell her now, she’ll never get over this, if he‘s torn from her again.”

            Ron turned, and faced Hermione, sighing as he rested his forehead on hers; “I love you so much.”

            “I love you too.” Hermione said, blushing, as Ron leaned in to kiss her.

 

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

 

            “Hey Harry...” Ron called, as he walked up to his door. It was open only enough for him to see Harry laying flat on his bed, reading Ginny’s letter. He stood there for a moment, thinking of how happy Harry and Ginny would be if everything worked out. Harry could be so happy, like he was with Hermione. A wicked smile crossed Ron’s face, as he silently walked in, and over to Harry’s bed. He was so absorbed in the letter, he didn’t even notice.

            “Good letter huh?” Ron said, rather loudly. Harry jumped so high; he toppled off the other side of his bed. Ron keeled over laughing. His face turning as bright red as his hair, as he held his stomach, pointing at Harry, as he poked his head up from the side of the bed. His glasses were askew, and his hair was even more mussed up then usual.

            “Very funny,” Harry said, trying to sound annoyed. He waved his wand in Ron’s direction, causing his hair, including his eyebrows, to turn purple.

            “I was just wondering,” Ron said, after a moment of gaining his composure, “if you want to go flying with me.”

            “ Yeah, that sounds great,” Harry said, quickly stuffing Ginny’s letter into his dresser. He was a lot happier than Ron had seen him in a very long time.

            “Okay, I’ll meet you in five, on the glen.” Ron said, still smiling, as he got up and walked over to Harry’s mirror. He chuckled at the sight of himself, waved his wand over his hair, and turned it back to normal.

            “Ron, Harry!” Hermione called, from the study.

            Ron walked out first, closely followed by Harry. Harry pushed him jokingly into the wall, before taking off towards the room where Hermione’s voice had came from. As they got to the door, Ron quickly cast a tripping jinx, causing Harry to tumble into the room, laughing hysterically.

            “Professor Dumbledore,” Harry said, quickly gaining his composure and straightening up, “ Is everything okay?”

            Ron stood in the doorway, his expression stone cold. The last time Dumbledore had showed up unannounced was to tell them that Ginny had been taken on her way to Hogsmead, during Christmas holiday. Colin had been knocked unconscious, and was now being watched, day and night by Madam Pomfrey. Harry and Ron had gone with Hermione over the holidays, to a safe house where Dumbledore had placed her parents. They had all gone into immediate shock. Harry had kept murmuring to himself, ‘Not again, not again,’ as he paced the room, nearly ripping his hair from his head.

            “Oh yes, everything is perfect,” Dumbledore said, smiling as he waved them over to take a seat, “ I know this is short notice, but I would like to invite you all to a ceremony this weekend. It is being held at Hogwarts, in honor of those we lost during the war. Many alumni will be returning, and spending the entire weekend.”

            Hermione and Ron turned to face Harry. Ron couldn‘t make out his expression, as Harry leaned forward in his seat.

            “So, what do you think Harry?” Hermione asked, in a hopeful tone. Harry looked as though he were contemplating his options. Ron knew exactly why, to see Ginny or not to see Ginny, that is the question. Ron smirked, already knowing the answer, before Harry gave it.

            “That sounds great! We’ll be there.” Harry said, smiling as he stood, and held out his hand to Dumbledore. Hermione and Ron beamed with excitement.

 

 

 

 

*Thanks to everyone who has reviewed, chapter four should be posted soon. Great thanks always to my beta Lallybroch.

           

 

 

           

             

           

                        

           

 

 

 

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