The Sugar Quill
Author: Felix Felicis  Story: Cry for Love  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.

After the final fall of Lord Voldemort, Harry Potter had changed

Cry for Love

By Felix Felicis

Disclaimer – All the characters belong to J.K. Rowling, I’m just borrowing them for a bit and promise to return them as good as new.

A/N – Since this is my first story I hope you all enjoy it immensely.  Please give reviews of any kind, I’d really like to know what you think.

 

Voldemort was crushingly defeated shortly after what should have been Harry’s seventh and final year at Hogwarts.  Harry’s relentless search for the Horcruxes had culminated in a final confrontation that lead all the way up to the doors of the great castle.  The battle had been fierce but gratefully short, with surprisingly few loses on the winning side.  Harry had witnessed death before, and even though he tried to be happy about his decisive final victory, the losses had overcome him more so than ever before.  He continued to blame himself for causing such grief in so many, in particular amongst his friends, and now his only solace was holing up inside himself.  He talked less, he participated less, he ate less, he slept less.  His life had been defined by the impenetrable darkness of Lord Voldemort, and now without that threat, he had lost his purpose.  The feelings he experienced could scarcely be described by even he, and though his friends gently persevered, he still could not let go of the pain of loss and the life he had lived.

On this beautiful day the first of October, having passed more than three months in a constant state of dullness, Harry looked out the window of Ron’s room at the Burrow to see the sun shining just above the horizon, casting a warm orange light through the mist glistening over the fields.  He rubbed his eyes and stretched his legs, forgetting life and just enjoying the warmth of his bed.  For a moment, he allowed a rare smile to cross his face and tried to clear his mind of the day ahead.  He relaxed back into his pillow and rolled onto his stomach, burying his face.

All too soon, the sound of voices from below cast his mind back to reality.  He was saved some portion of melancholy though by a rather unusual knock on the door.  Knowing it was full early for anyone to expect either of the boys up, he lifted his head only slightly with the intention of ignoring the unwelcome visitor, and with the hope they would go away quickly.  But it was to no avail; the knock came again, not any louder, but persistent nonetheless.

He glanced over at Ron and rolled his eyes, seeing him apparently still sound asleep.  Rolling lightly out of bed, he frowned as he reached for his glasses, determined to give whomever was at the door a piece of his mind.  With his hand on the handle he stifled a yawn and opened the door slightly.  His mind woke with a jar as he found Ginny standing on the other side in her pajamas, hand raised on the verge of knocking again.  She looked surprised at seeing him, but smiled gently, looking up at him with her deep brown eyes.

“Hi.” she whispered, “I’m sorry, I was trying to get Ron up.  It’s supposed to be his turn at breakfast this morning.”  She hesitated, casting her eyes to the floor for a moment, then back up, meeting his.  “Mum’s already started without him,” she smiled hesitantly, “Want to come down?  Only you don’t have to, but it might be nice.”

Harry stood there for a moment, allowing what she had just said to percolate through the leftover sleep in his head.  Finally, he nodded slowly, blinking his tired eyes a few times.  She held out a hand to push the door open further and he stepped through, his thoughts still a confusing mix of weariness and uncertainty, but also an unmistakable urge to follow her.  Being awoken this early was never a good idea, in his opinion, but he found it hard to resist the request when it came from the likes of one red-haired Weasley girl.

Since the day she had met him, Ginny had harbored unique and special feelings for Harry.  Perhaps some might have called it a crush, especially her twin elder brothers, but she knew from the first that it was something different, something much deeper, something much more permanent, something she couldn’t even explain.  The silliness and embarrassment she had been used to feeling had faded with time, while other feelings had grown in their place.  When Harry saved her life in her first year, it had been both a joy and a sorrow.  It had forever changed the way she looked at him, but she still shuddered to think about what had transpired to get her into that position in the first place.

While others looked at Harry and saw the Boy Who Lived, Ginny looked at him and saw a boy who was real.  She saw him as courageous, heroic, brave, and honest; but also as someone who was lost without his family, scared of his own future, and who didn’t understand his past.  He had never felt the love of a mother watching over him until he fell asleep, the pride of a father impressed with his son’s scores, the comfort of a home full of love and acceptance where he would always be welcome.

The tears Ginny had shed for him, and over him, would have rained over Hogwarts for days, ultimately bringing forth beautiful blooms of all kinds, covering the grounds in bright shades of sunlight, scarlet, and the most crisp green imaginable.  But Harry would never know, he would never know the pain of being so close to touch, but not being allowed to.  He would never know the peace of accepting comfort from one who loves and asks nothing in return.  He would never know, because he would never allow himself to know.  He had forced himself to give her up for what he thought was her own protection.

Ginny had finally reconciled herself to these grim facts when she started her sixth year, after hoping all summer that he would come back to his senses.  With the little contact she had with him during that year, she had nearly pushed him out of her head, only to have it all come shockingly back when he showed up at the end of the year, blood-stained and dirty.  She had fought alongside him in the last battle, hoping that just her presence might help, and willing him to feel her love and use it to his advantage. 

The victory was unquestionable, and a happy occasion for most.  Harry didn’t celebrate though, he couldn’t, not after the realization that he had nothing more to do, and nowhere else important to direct his life.  He suddenly felt lost.  When he received the invitation therefore, to spend some time at the Burrow and live amongst those who loved him like family, he knew he had to accept.  They appreciated, probably more so than anyone else, the sacrifices he had made, and he recognized his only hope was to go with them.  They would ask nothing of him, their only motive being to give him a place to live and people who accepted him fully while he recovered his splintered life.

All of these thoughts collided in Ginny’s mind as she walked down the stairs that morning, making it difficult for her to pay attention to where she was going, and when she reached the landing by her room, she stumbled, nearly falling over but for the sudden grip of Harry’s hand on her arm.  As he pulled her back, his own balance tipped slightly off and he fell into her, grasping her tightly.  Together they regained their balance, and in the silence and darkness of the hall he suddenly pulled her closer into a tight hug, not even knowing why.  His mind was a confusing mix of thoughts, and he didn’t know what made him do it, but what he did know was that for a brief moment in time he felt better, he felt like himself again.  He hadn’t felt her in his arms since the end of his sixth year, and it felt both wonderful and painful.

He pulled away slowly, ducking his head to hide the tears glistening in his eyes.  He wouldn’t allow himself to be weak, and he wouldn’t allow her to see him that way, it just wasn’t something he did.  They separated and shared a brief smile before continuing downstairs toward the fantastic smells wafting from the kitchen.  Mrs. Weasley smiled broadly as Harry walked in, and he couldn’t help but notice that she looked very deliberately at Ginny, who had somehow managed to allow only the tips of her ears to turn a slight pink.

After a very filling breakfast, Harry felt himself actually desiring to get cleaned up and spend some time outside, a rare occurrence these last few months.  He somehow managed to meet Ginny again on the stairs where they had shared a touch earlier.  Thankful for the darkness of the hallway, he slipped by with only a nervous smile, not understanding why his neck was getting so hot – it certainly wasn’t too warm in the house.

After a shower and lot of waiting, wondering, and thinking, Harry got up from the window in Ron’s                                                                                                                                    room just in time to meet Ron coming back from the bath.  Seeing that he was still damp didn’t stop Harry from suggesting they get out their broomsticks and have an impromptu game of Quidditch.  Ron’s face lit up with the prospect, and they met outside only a few minutes later, with the twins, Ginny, and a very unhappy looking Hermione, who had only agreed to play because she couldn’t bear to see Harry sitting forlornly inside the house anymore.

As Harry mounted his broom and soared into the wide open sky, he couldn’t help but feel his spirits lift again.  The freedom flying provided was one he never experienced anywhere else.  It was the ultimate freedom, no one to tell him what to do, no one to tell him where to go.  It was simply him and the Snitch, and, of course, Ginny, whom he couldn’t help but be happy about playing against as the other team’s Seeker.  In fact, it thrilled him almost more than he was comfortable with.  Apparently something unusual had stirred in him when he held her in the hall that morning, and it seemed to have stuck.  He banished that uncomfortable thought from his head quickly and concentrated all of his efforts on the game at hand.  Quidditch always required one’s complete attention, even when playing with the leaner teams at the Burrow.  On brooms, the twins suddenly became like a whole team themselves, and Harry soon found himself lost in the game, contemplating strategies, and hurling bluffs in all directions.

Ginny, for her part, was no slacker when it came to the game, having played various positions for the Gryffindor team the past few years, but even that couldn’t make her competitive against Harry, so she resorted to pacing him and tried her hardest not to get lost in his eyes.  This was a difficult task as she often found herself captivated by their passion and concentration.  Even flying through the air at top speed, she managed to be consumed by him, and it didn’t help her game any.

As they narrowly missed being crushed by two bludgers hit from opposite directions, Harry finally saw the Snitch hiding at the top of a nearby tree, and as if on cue, it buzzed away, with him in close pursuit.  He followed it twice around the full circumference of the field before catching it only inches ahead of Ginny, who had somehow managed to distract him long enough to catch up at the last moment.  Seeing her so close to his side and watching her smooth movements and fiery red hair flowing behind her had somehow broken his concentration.  He kicked himself mentally for being distracted so easily, but couldn’t feel bad for long as he remembered that he had still caught the Snitch.  In a short moment of panic, he cast his eyes over to Ginny expecting to see her hurt by his victory, but instead he found her looking directly into his eyes and smiling easily.  She was happy for him, she was happy that he came out to fly, and she was happy that he had won.  For her it wasn’t a matter of winning, only of giving whatever of herself she could to make him happy, and that she had done.

As they broke for lunch an afternoon game was talked of, and though Hermione and Ginny decided not to join them, the boys determined to play anyway.  Mrs. Weasley had, once again, provided them with more food than they could have eaten in an entire day and Harry ate his lunch and talked with the others as if life had never changed.  He felt unaccountably comfortable that day, and wished not to jinx himself by thinking too hard about what the cause might be.  Ginny sat next to him, her hair catching the sunlight in so many shades of crimson, her eyes alight with laughter, and quite frequently, but not uncomfortably, focused on Harry.

“Ginny, are you sure you won’t play?”  He asked, his eyes showing with the excitement of getting back on his broom.  “You played really well this morning.  I mean, you almost beat me!”  He smiled meaningfully, trying to let her know that he wasn’t really bragging about his skill, just trying to make a joke.

She stuck her nose in the air and turned away, but he could still see a small glint in her eye.  “Yes, well, I clearly wasn’t at the top of my game now, was I?”  She looked sideways at him and smiled slyly.  “Still, I have no intention of playing again, you would just be embarrassed when I beat you.”

Harry gave in, raising his hands in a shrug and glancing thoughtfully at the sky.  “It was fun though, wasn’t it – getting back on a broom and playing some… it’s been a while…” his voice faded away.

Ginny looked at him, her eyes filled with compassion, and she slid a little closer.  Harry suddenly became very aware of her presence, and when she spoke, it was to him, not with everyone around, but only to him.

His breath caught in his throat, “Harry,” she said quietly, “it’s good that you’re playing, and it’s okay that you’re having fun.”  He turned away, but was called quickly back when something smooth and soft touched his hand.  Ginny intertwined her fingers with his, looking up into his saddened eyes.  He squeezed her hand tightly and nodded in understanding of her gesture of peace and acceptance.  For a time he said no more, and when the other boys got up and started walking down toward the field, Harry suddenly didn’t want to play anymore.  He never wanted this moment to end, sitting on a blanket, holding Ginny’s hand and enjoying this beautiful autumn day.

He picked up her hand, still held tightly in his own, and with his other, slowly traced the paths down to the tips of her fingers.  He cast his gaze into her eyes and saw the same raw emotion he had seen earlier; it was full of caring, compassion, and understanding.

“Harry, you… should go and play.”  She looked at the ground, biting her bottom lip slightly.

“Yeah, I guess so…”  He continued to watch her, and suddenly he was struck by the impulse to do something crazy.  His heart was crying out for her, contrary to all of his better judgment.  He leaned quickly over, paused, and then kissed her on the cheek, retreating immediately after, his mind reeling.  What was he doing?  Why did he do it?  Did he really want to get back together with her?

Then his mind drifted toward the darker aspects of his life.  What about all those people who would never get to share a feeling like this with someone?  What about his friends who had died in the fight against Voldemort, leaving behind those who loved them, who would never get to touch them again?  The guilt was overwhelming.

He felt a tear run down his cheek, and then felt her warm arms wrap tightly around him.  For a moment he reveled in their comfort, but just as suddenly, his old fear crept up and he felt the urge to flee, to run away, somewhere where he couldn’t hurt anyone anymore.  He didn’t want to have to deal with the responsibility again, especially not with her.

He jumped up, leaving her surprised on the ground, and turned his face away.

“Harry?” she asked quietly.

“No,” he said, looked off into the distance, “I can’t…”

“You can’t what?”

“This,” he gestured around, his forehead creased in agony, and his eyes squinting into the sun.

“Yes, you can – “

“No! I can’t!”  He felt himself getting irrationally angry, and his heart wrenched in pain at the look on her face.  “I have to go…”

She stood up, reaching for him, “No, you don’t have to keep running away, you can stay, I can – “

“No,” he interrupted her, “You don’t understand!”

Instantly her whole person changed.  “What don’t I understand?” she asked in a deadly voice.

“Everything, I mean me… I just…”  He waved his arms helplessly, quailing under her fierce gaze.

“Harry, I know you better than anyone else, including Ron and Hermione, so don’t you say that!”  Her voice was menacing, and her face was turning redder with each passing moment.

“Well, it’s true!”  He squeezed his eyes shut for a moment and then turned to walk away for real.

“Harry, don’t do it!”  Her voice was suddenly pleading, “Don’t walk away… please!”

He faltered for a moment seeing her tears and the grief on her face, but then continued on, picking up his broom along the way, and roaring off into the afternoon sky.  He would go to meet the others and concentrate all of his mind on the game of Quidditch.

Ginny sat back down on the blanket where only a few moments before she had experienced one of the happiest moments of her life.  She laid her head on her knees and let the silent tears slide down her face.  She wasn’t mad at him, she could never be mad at him, but she couldn’t help but be upset by the words he had said, even though she knew they weren’t true.  It had happened far too many times, he always pushed away the ones he cared about the most, especially when they were right.

On seeing her mother striding down the lawn in her direction, but with no relief yet from her tears, she stole away to the broomshed and extracted one of the few remaining brooms, climbed on and set off to find some solitude.

As the afternoon came to a close and the sun dropped down to the horizon, she sat high on a rock outcropping near the sea, far from the house, but not too far.  She hugged her legs close to her and shivered a little.  It just wasn’t fair, he clearly still had feelings for her, so why couldn’t he accept them and allow her in.  Though the bad times were over, he still held up his wall, not even allowing Ron or Hermione in anymore.  She was frustrated, knowing that it wasn’t just hurting him, but those who cared about him as well.  She was bursting to love him and to help him reclaim his life in any way she could.

If only he would let her in.

Standing up quickly, she turned and squinted her eyes toward the distant field, where she could almost see them speeding along on their brooms.  She took a deep, ragged breath, and then…

“HAARRRYYY!” she cried, tears streaming down her face again.

“DON’T YOU KNOW ME?!?  I COULD LOVE YOU!”  She gasped for breath, struggling to keep her sobs under control.  Her whole body was shaking.

“LOOK AT ME, I’M CRYING FOR YOU!  EVERYTHING I’VE EVER DONE HAS BEEN FOR YOU!  I NEED YOU!”

She fell to her knees, hugging herself tightly.

“I LOVE YOU!  CAN’T YOU HEAR ME?  I LOVE YOU!

She fell the rest of the way down and wrapped her arms around her legs, shaking with uncontrolled sobs.  She closed her eyes, hoping to block it all out.  “Harry, why can’t you let me love you?  Why can’t you just let me in?  I could help you, I know I could.  Can’t you feel it inside you?”

She sat still for a few moments, feeling the ocean air blowing around her, chilling her even more, but then a voice spoke, a voice that was far off, but sweetly familiar.

“I do feel it in me.  I feel you in me.”

“Then why can’t you do anything about it?” she asked quietly.

“I don’t know, it’s so hard…”

“But if you would just let me try.  It’s okay to let someone love you.”

The second time the voice was much closer, and more real.  Ginny opened her eyes and was shocked to find herself staring straight into a pair of bright green eyes.  Harry’s eyes.  He suddenly looked a little sheepish under her gaze.

“We couldn’t find you, and we thought that… I mean, I felt that… that something was wrong.  My broom just sort of turned itself toward you.  Ron and Hermione followed me.”  He gestured to the pair standing a short distance away.

He looked down at the ground and spoke very quietly.  “I… I heard what you said.  I don’t know how.  We were so far away, but it was like suddenly I couldn’t breathe, and your voice was in my head.  I didn’t know where you were, but my broom just sort of… sought you out.”

Her eyes filled again with tears, showing her intense vulnerability.  Her hands trembled with fear, the fear of irrevocable rejection, and she summoned up every last ounce of strength into her voice.

“Harry, I love you.”

“Ginny,” he said in a whisper, “I…”  He sighed quietly, and spoke in a voice almost too soft to hear.

“I love you.  I know I do.”

Immediately her eyes came up to his, shining with hope.  Her face lit up with happiness, and her tears became tears of joy. 

And then suddenly there was a new light, a light that surrounded them completely in its warm glow, lifting them to their feet and carrying them several inches into the air.  Harry held Ginny’s hands together in front of him as he felt his head tilt back, looking up into the sky.  A cool white light from above met the one from below, illuminating them as if from all directions at once. 

He looked back at Ginny.  Her long red hair flowed out behind her in waves as if drifting in water.  The light around it mixed and reflected in a million of shades of red.  It was the most beautiful sight Harry had ever beheld, and he was captivated by her.  Her face lit up with the light of love, and when she opened her eyes they sparkled with an unreal light of life and happiness.  He held her hands tightly, finally feeling what it was like to accept love from another.

“Ginny, I can feel you.  I think… I think you’re healing me…”  He spoke so quietly that only the smile on her face told him she heard him.  All of his pent up anger, all of his shame and guilt and pain seemed to be siphoned away by the light of love.  His tears ran down his face freely and openly, and with each drop his heart seemed to lighten and he was filled with hope and happiness.  He could feel the magic radiating from Ginny in waves that engulfed him and lifted him up.

After several minutes, the light slowly faded, and they were set down carefully on the ground.  Harry never let go of Ginny’s hands for a moment, seeming to realize that they were connected by this touch.  As they finally came to rest, he reached over and pushed a few stray hairs behind her ear.  She made a soft sound at his touch and rested her head in his hand.  It sent a shiver up his spine and his arm seemed to warm at her touch.

Finally, as if seeing her for the first time in a new light, he leaned close to her and kissed her gently.  Then he held her for several minutes, just squeezing her tight as if he might lose her otherwise, until eventually Ron and Hermione came tentatively over.  Hermione had lines from many tears on her cheeks and even Ron looked moved.

Hermione knelt down next to Ginny and touched her arm.  “Ginny, that was… amazing.  I mean, I’ve read about things like this before, but never really believed it.  Do you know what just happened?”

Ginny nodded her head just slightly and wiped a tear away with her sleeve before speaking.  “I can’t explain it, I can just feel it.”  Harry nodded too.  Ron, however, still looked confused.

“What did happen then?”  He asked quietly.

Hermione took Ron’s hand with her unused one.  “She… well, she healed Harry, or began to.  It’s a really special kind of magic.  When someone’s love is deep enough, it enables them to use their own feelings and magic to heal another person.  It’s not something that’s controlled, it just happens. And it happens when that person needs it the most.”  Hermione looked over at Harry, making him look her in the face.  “It’s an outward expression of the deepest imaginable love, Harry.  You’ve found something very special in Ginny.”  She smiled at him and at Ginny.

Then she turned to Ron and giggled at the look on his face.  “I guess that means that Ginny’s little crush isn’t so little anymore.  I believe we’ve just witnessed something that almost no one has ever seen before!”

Ron looked back and forth between Harry and Ginny, trying to come up with the words to say.  He struggled for a few moments, then shook his head and smiled a little.

“Harry, I truly can’t imagine a better person for my sister.  I don’t have to tell you to treat her right because I know you always will, and I don’t have to tell you not to hurt her, because I know you never will.”  He looked over at Hermione, “I guess we’d better get back to the house, Mum and Dad will be getting worried by now.” 

He turned back to Harry and Ginny, “You two take all the time you need, we’ll explain everything to everyone of course, so there won’t be too many questions when you get back.”

Ron hugged Ginny quickly, chucked Harry on the shoulder, then took Hermione’s hand in his own and walked back to their brooms where they disappeared into the night.

Harry sat still for a moment, just looking into Ginny’s eyes.  They still carried a trace of that beautiful light from earlier and he was spellbound by her.

“I love you,” he said, “I’m only sorry that I didn’t do something about it sooner.  I… I’ve loved you for… a long time.  I just wasn’t brave enough to do anything about it since… well you know.  I was too wrapped up in myself to see how much it was hurting you.  I’m sorry.”

She smiled at him, “You don’t have to be sorry anymore.  This is a new beginning, for both of us, and the best part is, we never have to be alone anymore.  I’ll always be here for you Harry.  I love you.”

“I love you to.”  He reached over again and hugged her tight. 

Somehow the night wasn’t so cold anymore, and they just sat, enjoying their newfound love until the stars came out.  It truly was a new beginning, full of hope and promise, and with the lives they had known before, they knew they would always make the most of their future, no matter what might come.

~ The End ~

//
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