The Sugar Quill
Author: Jack Ichijouji (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Saying Goodbye, or Failing to Do So  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.

What Needs to Be Said

Disclaimer: You can tell I'm not JK Rowling. How? Because I will not hesitate to call people delusional. Everyone. Harry/Hermione shippers, Ron/Hermione shippers, I don't care. We're all loony. I sure am. So's my imaginary friend, Stumpy.

Say hi, Stumpy.

No, I won't kill them all. You always say that. It's not cute anymore.

Dear Ginny...

This was as far as Harry has gotten on his letter after approximately half an hour of failed attempts. It was more than it seemed, though. At first he'd written "To Ginny Weasley," but felt it too impersonal. Then he'd tried, "Hi, Ginny!" but felt it didn't match what might eventually become the subject matter. "Dearest Ginny," had been briefly considered, and it did fit the bill--she was probably the most dear person he had, Ron and Hermione excepted. For a time he toyed with "Dearer-than-almost-everyone-especially-Cho Ginny," but dismissed it due to its awkward phrasing.

Dear Ginny...

The others hadn't been as hard. Ron, Hermione, the Weasley family, Professor Lupin, Neville, Luna, Professor McGonagall... of course, by the time he'd reached the last few he'd had to admit to himself that he was putting it off.

But he knew what to say to each of them. How he'd know what to say to Luna was beyond him, although he'd had to stop himself from making an obscene amount of veil-related puns.

Harry wasn't sure why he found this so easy to take lightly. Perhaps because there had been precious little lately to take lightly, and letter writing, regardless of the subject, was hardly on his list of fears.

Of course, neither were spiders, so perhaps he was, as Ron said, a complete nutter.

He tapped his quill against the desk as he thought. After a moment, he laid his quill down, dug through his trunk, and pulled out an old pencil. He then returned to his desk and resumed tapping, this time with a much more satisfying noise. Quills were no good for writer's block.

It would have been easier, he thought, if he knew where they stood. Ginny wasn't dating anyone (to Ron's infinite relief; he'd suggested that Harry continue his nobility complex until Ginny turned thirty) but that didn't mean that she wasn't dating anyone because of him or in spite of him or simply because she didn't want to date.

For all he knew, she didn't like boys, and that's why she wasn't dating. She was struggling with her sexuality. Harry spared a moment to imagine Ginny coming to the Burrow with Lavender in tow.

Heh, he thought. Gin-Gin.

They hadn't talked much during his brief stays at the Burrow. Bill and Fleur's wedding had been a bit too much of a headache for all involved for any conversation more intense than a request to carry a box of candles outside. And he'd made it to see her off at King's Cross and she'd made a gesture from the window that could have been a wave, or could have been blowing a kiss.

His life was an endless cycle of confusion.

His mind wandered to the letters he'd written for Ron and Hermione, who were currently at the Hogwarts library doing research. More likely, Hermione was doing research and Ron was wondering how much he could read about Transfiguration before his eyes dissolved.

He looked around the room in search of inspiration, as though old beds and dust were of particular musing ability. He was in a spare room in Grimmauld Place for the moment, which was uncomfortably quiet. The only others in the house were Sirius' mum, who was doing whatever she did when her curtains were closed, and Phineas Nigellus, whom Harry had been avoiding as Phineas had taken to insisting that, through inheritance, he was the last son of the House of Black, and thus was duty-bound to carry on the family name.

The room, in fact, was the same room where Hermione and Ginny had stayed two summers ago, and Harry imagined he could still smell flowers in the air. It was probably ridiculous, but so was the fact that he apparently couldn't write anymore.

Dear Ginny...

He refocused his attention to his letter, which was not writing itself. He resumed tapping on the desk. There were many ways to start it off, of course. "If you're reading this," was always a standby, but obviously if she was reading it then she knew she was reading it.

He hadn't been nearly so picky with the other letters. But Ginny was... different. His ability with words was rather lacking, though Ginny had once told him that although he might not have been a good speaker, he was a fine talker. And a great kisser, but unless he sent his lips and tongue along with the letter, she was on her own.

Finally he decided that "talking," at least, could serve as a rough draft. He picked up his quill again and put it to the paper. Without letting his brain get in the way with stupid issues such as "eloquence" or "not embarrassing himself," he wrote. He didn't bother looking at what it was he wrote for several seconds. After a few lines, though, he checked to make sure he was reasonably well lined up. He then sighed, traded his quill for one that wasn't made of sugar, and tried again.

Dear Ginny,

I suppose the news will make it to you before this letter does. I'm sorry not to be coming back. It seems like everything between us is time that could have been better spent, doesn't it? Between Dean and Cho and my being an idiot for the better part of the year. It hardly seems like we had a couple of months together. To me, anyway.

I don't know how I'm going to go. Or rather, how I went, I suppose. Grammar is rather confusing now. I hope I died well, as well as anyone can die. If I had to pick a way to go, it'd be like Sirius, fighting to my last breath. No, to be honest, if I had to pick a way to go, it'd be after a very long life with you.

That's a shocker, I think. Not just for you, but for me. I had no idea that I wanted to grow old at all, let alone with someone in particular. I hope this letter never gets sent. Not just because I'm terribly innarticulate, but because there are very few more frustrating ways to learn that someone loves you than from a letter from a dead man, but it needs to be said; I love you, Ginny.

That seems lacking, somehow. Yet another reason for me to fight harder. So know this, Ginny. If I did die, and you are reading this, then I fought as hard as I could to get to back to you.




Ginny wasn't crying. She was not crying. She sniffed and her eyes burned and she did not cry as she put down the stupid letter. "It's beautiful," she said, in a voice that did not sound like she was about to let loose.

"Is it?"

"Yeah." She sniffed. "You spelled 'inarticulate' wrong, though."

Harry picked up the letter and looked through it. "So I did. Misspelling a word meaning I'm not good with words, that's strangely appropriate."

She hugged him suddenly, and Harry hugged back. Her lips found their way to his, completely of their own volition. "Thank you for coming back," she said, as they broke the kiss.

He didn't reply, but instead threw the letter at the fire. "Stupid idea, showing you that," he decided. "There're better ways to tell you I love you."

Man, this was an ambiguous story. No date, barely any places, really.

I suppose you'll all be wanting a closer for this then. Something witty, brilliant even, to tie it all together.


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