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Chapter 1: These Wasted Days
These Wasted Days
A clock that ticks. A finished lie. One truth that stands alone.
A/N: What if they all hadn’t made it through? What if everything was lost in that vital moment?
This is something I was SUPPOSED to write for one of those Staff challenges and then I didn't know how to finish it and I ended up forgetting about it until today and I had a struck of inspiration once again. ^^ I was challenging myself to write a Harry/Ginny oneshot since I hate the pairing. I still don't know about this oneshot, it's kind of funky and weird and I was trying something new out (as always!). Plus, I haven't finished a oneshot for so long it's embarrassing! So here we gooo, this is what I managed to put together xD Enjoy and tell me what you think, pleaseee? :D
“I love you.”
“I love you too.”
Sometimes sentences like these change everything. It did for them.
He listens to his heart most of the time.
Mainly because it is what has saved him every single time he’s needed it. This time though, it’s not meant to save him only to set him free.
Events have passed by him without notice. Merlin’s degrees, honours and medals are all things that have been thrown at him ever since the Final Battle. It’s just that, he doesn’t care. It’s Kreacher’s fault that he hasn’t binned them all by now; all he sees when somebody mentions the Final Battle, is blood on his hands, blood everywhere and the dead bodies of them. Their faces.
It’s night when he decides it. The quietness of it, the sadness and the guilt assures him that life is over. At least for him. He’s lost everything worth living for, it’s time for the end. It’s not because he himself is going to end it, no. But he can feel it in his gut that somehow this is the finale. It’s over.
He watches the sunrise, absorbs that it’s the final earthy rising he’ll ever see. Realisation that this is really the end, that life will continue but without him in it, sends a fuzzy shiver through his body. He stares into the distance as the sun rises up through the trees, perhaps he is a little afraid. Ponders on life (as always), and reminisces old times when he’d stay out late just to see this view with that woman he was meant to spend the rest of his life with (he’s beginning to grasp the painful truth of this).
“How are you?”
“Harry, you’re not fine.”
“Well, no, but neither are you, Luna. Neither is any of us, really”
He’s never found himself truly. It’s sad to think that life is ending before he’s even figured it out. Before the War, he had been so close to finding it; in her. But losing her meant losing himself, so he’s back at the start again. She’s the sun, the light escaping the shutters, shining into a dark dampened room. She’s the world and heaven all in one, the breath against his skin, love-confessions into the darkness of the night, the light shivers that shake his body even now.
The snow sparkles around him and his breath fogs up in the frosty air as he sits on the stairs. He imagines her figure sitting there beside him, imagines her head leaning on his shoulder. She would have insisted on sitting there up until the sun was completely raised above the trees.
Isn’t it beautiful?
He smiles and nods, watches as the birds start to awaken, as the houselights come on everywhere. It’s a new day, and for him it’s the last one.
You have the silliest ideas sometimes...
“No I don’t. My ideas are the best ones.” The words slip across his lips on their own, and it’s like he doesn’t even care. If madness is the gift he’s given on his last day then he’ll gladly accept it just for this day.
Running away from life is not going to make it easier...
“I’m not running away from life; I’m running to life.”
He goes back inside when the sun is right above his head; round and big, sparkling down at him. He can’t bear to look at it. All the beauty and all the life it emits - it’s tearing him apart.
He searches through the big oak bookcase and finds the old dusty photo albums he’s hidden away so cleverly at a time when the past was something he couldn’t even bear to think of.
He finally finds it; the one with all the photos from Hogwarts. His two best friends together with him adorn the front cover. He stuffs it under his arm and brings it to the table where he sits down.
He stares at it for the longest time, he sits there, in their living room, about to open the floodgates leading to the past. It’s time. His fingers linger on the cover, they quiver.
He opens it quickly before he’s had a chance to change his mind. His breath hitches as he sees the first photo. It’s Ron, Hermione and him standing together, only 11 years old, all giggling and laughing.
I told you not to...
“I need to do this.”
He turns the page and there is Hagrid; barely fitting into the photo. The next is Hogwarts, only Hogwarts. The one after is him and Ginny together. His stomach drops and his eyes brim over.
I love you.
His fingers trace the outline of her face, her red lips. He turns the page to escape it and wishes he hadn’t. He and Sirius are played out in front of him. He’s still got that admiring look in his eyes as he looks at his godfather. He turns the page again only to be met with more sorrow. Again and again he turns the pages and again and again it feels as if somebody’s cutting into his stomach, tearing out his heart.
But he needs to do this. He pauses at every photograph and studies each face carefully. He stores them in his mind so that he’ll never let go. He won’t ever let go.
"I love her, Ron. I really do."
"I know, mate. I know. She loves you too."
His biggest fear is to be forgotten.
Even though he knows that his name will live on long after his death as the one who conquered Lord Voldemort; he’s certain that in this second, there’s no living creature that knows who he really is.
He thinks of things he should have done differently; places he should have visited. People he should have met, things he should have said. Actions he should have done differently, fights he should have won, things he should have said more often – he gets that now.
Thoughts of her surface every other minute, but it’s no loss; it’s routine.
The path he has to go is clear in his head as he leaves his home, just as the sun is nearing its last hours.
“I can’t be involved with you anymore. We’ve got to stop seeing each other. We can’t be together.”
The bitterness eats him up so easily. He’s never been great with words. And telling her she meant everything, is something he shamefully must admit that he never quite managed to say out loud. He remembers small touches, warm words.
“There’s the silver lining I’ve been looking for,”
The memories fill him up; they fill up the hole inside of him. As though that will help. As soon as they’re over he’s back at the same point where he was before.
“It’s normal to be sad.”
“I’m not sad.” He repeated to her patiently.
“I mean, every normal person would be absolutely heartbroken if every single person he’s ever cared about has been taken away from him.”
“I’m not sad.”
“Potter, I’m here to help you. You’re here because you want help.”
“No, miss, I’m here because your husband, Neville, wants me to get help and he asked me to go.”
“Harry... You need help.”
“I’m not sad.”
“Then what are you?” she sighed.
“You can’t just be nothing; every human being is something.” She shook her head and looked at him searchingly.
“Don’t tell me what I can and cannot be.” He finally met her eyes, “I’ll be whatever the hell I want to be.”
He walks through the old familiar streets. Sees the ghosts of them, remembers a time beyond happiness, when they were young and innocent and the world was theirs to conquer. Back when they could do no wrong and he was still convinced that everything was going to work out.
The snow falls softly around him as he walks down the cobblestubbed road. His long black tarnished coat billows behind him, and the blackness against the white white snow reminds him of an innocence long lost, and of cold dungeons with a teacher he once hated, but alas everything changes, even the things you thought would never do.
His steps send a dull echo through the empty streets, only barely covered by the snow. He’s wearing the old colours; the scarf is red and gold, knitted by a long lost friend who used to fight for Elf Rights and what not. But it doesn’t matter anymore. Nothing matters anymore, really. It’s all lost.
“Harry, I love you.” Hermione looked at him with tears brimming her eyes, “You’re my brother, I will always love you, you mean everything to me, I hope you know that, I really do.”
He pulled her close and kissed the crown of her head while she sobbed into his shoulder, “I do.” He whispered against her head, tears stinging his eyes.
“And I love you too.” At this she sobbed even harder and pulled him closer.
“We’ll make it through...”
The stars overhead are sparkling in the night, he must say that it’s a magnificent night to die on. The old stars send a sparkle of something down his spine – is it hope? Hope that maybe people aren’t forgotten too easily; that they live on somewhere, maybe in others, or maybe up there; on the starry sky. He hopes this dearly, hopes it for the people already there, and for himself; since he’s joining them very very soon.
Remembers a father he never had. Ponders what would have happened if he had stood there beside him in that moment, pushes it away; it’s over. He walks on, ignoring the starlit figure that always always shines down on him; that dog would have never wanted him to dwell too much on the past. He walks on, the cloak billowing behind him again, and it’s all he needs: the beating of his soon-to-be-silent-heart and his steps that echo into the night.
“I think I’ll ask her to marry me.” Ron’s eyes were wide and honest. Harry could see he meant every word, and he could see the fear flashing through them. He didn’t comment on it, though.
“Good.” He smiled at his best friend. “Have you bought the ring yet?”
Ron shook his head, “After we’ve finished this damn war I will, after the war...”
He passes shops he used to frequent, most of them shut, others are still open and he recognizes faces he’s forgotten about. There’s something comforting in the continuity that this space holds; this will survive him and he’s glad it will – he needs it to.
He makes a stop at the Three Broomsticks. Rosmerta with small wrinkles around her pretty eyes asks him what he’s doing here. ‘Passing through,’ and she nods understanding. She must get this often. He gets his Butterbear, lets the liquid warm him up as he stares down into the deep cup. This place holds so many memories to him. Good times, bad times, embarrassing ones, but mostly the most wonderful moments of his life.
Dates have passed here, his friends and he have used this as their shelter so many times. This is where he feels closest to his family too. The thought of stepping in their footsteps aches inside of him, but it also warms him up and makes his heart swell with a happiness he never thought possible. He imagines scenes with the Marauders played out right where he sits, imagines his mum and dad sitting in this very boot where he once sat himself with a girl on his arm, feeling as if he owned the world and that he was the happiest man on earth.
“You truly are your father’s son.” Sirius’s face was proud as he said this and Harry’s heart swelled with joy. Sirius gave him a quick hug before leaving, winking one last time at his Godson before departing.
Sometimes the past seems unreal to him. He can’t imagine the things ever passing. Them all fighting. Them all dying and leaving him alone. He’s alone.
He gets up and throws the money on the table, sends quiet thoughts to that girl who still fills his mind, of lost times when they would argue about the bill. He discards the thought; it’s lost now.
He nods at Rosemerta who beams at him, considers walking up to her and giving her that hug she deserves, decides against it again. He slips out the door quietly, watches as families walk past him on the street. A father carries his little giggling daughter on his shoulders, the mother running beside them, making faces at the toddler, it shifts in his stomach again and he looks away; better not think about that.
The battle had died somewhat. Explosions and spells were still being fired off everywhere, zooming past his head as he ran across the field, but there was a significant lesser number of Death Eaters than before. He stunned a passing Death Eater; heard the satisfying ‘clunk’ as he fell to the ground. He was searching for her.
His heart was beating so hard and fast in his chest. Not out of fear for his own life, but out of fear for hers. He wouldn’t be able to bear it if he lost her. He spotted Remus and Tonks fighting side by side, both wearing identical smirks on their lips. If this was life he wouldn’t want to miss another day of it.
Neville was crutched by a nearby tree, attending to a badly wounded Seamus. His heart contracted painfully and he hoped to God that Seamus would make it out of it okay. He ran on, searching for his love, the panic rising rapidly.
“Ginny?!” he yelled, desperately looking for her. And finally, he spotted her red hair. She was fighting against one female Death Eater. Spells were flying everywhere and Ginny had a deep cut across her one cheek, but she was smiling wistfully.
In a second he was by her side and soon the Death Eater had fallen to the ground. He had taken a hold to her immediately after.
“Are you okay?”
He remembers the feeling to his gut even more clearly now; like the bottom just went out and he makes the turn down a narrow alleyway, away from the people again. The silence engulfs him once more.
“I’m great.” She gasped, bending over while beaming at him. He laughed and pulled her to him and kissed her softly.
“Just take care, alright?” he murmured, his hands circling her face.
She giggled, “I always take care! But you, mister,” she shoved him playfully, “have to watch out a lot more!”
He pulled her closer, “Okay.” He smiled against her lips, kissing them gently.
He was about to leave when she pulled him closer again. She bit her lip and looked at him with that look she got whenever there was something bothering her.
“What?” He looked at her puzzled.
She looked down before looking up at him with a mixture of incredible happiness and nervousness. “I was going to wait with telling you this, but might as well do it now...”
“Just tell me.” He pecked her on the lips again.
She smiled at him, a small quivering one he couldn’t quite place. She took his hand and placed it on her stomach, “I – I – I’m kind of...”
“Yes...?” he asked, his voice quivering too, only too aware of his hand on her flat tummy.
“I’m pregnant, Harry.” She smiled wryly, her eyes searching his like crazy.
His grin was splitting his face as he pulled her to him. He kissed her breathlessly, lifting her up and spinning her around. He hugged her close, his heart beating wildly. Suddenly there was a flash of light and Ginny went scorching hot, her eyes still laughing up at him. But something was off.
“Gin, you’re burning up!” he yelled helplessly, and suddenly Ginny collapsed in his arms.
“NO!” Her head rolled back as they sank to the floor. “GINNY!”
He leans against the grimy wall as it spasms through his body.
“GINNY!” he shook her violently over and over again, calling her name all the while he could feel her body go colder and colder.
He focuses on a spot on the ground as it passes. The bile rises to his mouth and he bends over.
His stomach cramps over and over again as the scenes flash through his head, her pale face, the eyes staring right past him, the helplessness, the screams.
“Wake up, please...” He crumpled over her, sobs whacking his body, “Goddammit, wake up, Ginny...”
He cleans his mouth gruffly with the back of his hand; this is procedure and then he staggers on, his legs weak, but they’ll carry him the bit more.
Somehow he ends up in front of Zonko’s old shop. He stands there and looks at it, amazed that it was never replaced by anything. Runs a gloved hand across the cold surface that spells ‘Zonko’, he’ll never forget this.
It was after Ginny’s death and he was a shell, only living to kill and eliminate the last remainders of an evil he hated more than anything. And he was just working on that; instincts and nothing more. Her body was in the Great Hall, waiting for him to join her and that was his intention: to go on until he could no more.
“RON!” a scream cut through the battle noise, namely because it was a name he had been dreading to hear being uttered all evening and now it had come. He was too paralysed to feel anything, a gasp escaped him and he had to see. Had to. Hermione was bending over Ron’s long body, sobbing hysterically, he could just see them through the mass of people. He set into a run to get there and there was yet another flash of light; Hermione’s body went rigid and she collapsed onto her lover’s body, her head rolling to the side.
His legs wouldn’t move anymore. He sank to the floor, his eyes were still glued to the bodies of his two best friends. He didn’t care if they would kill him right then and there, he welcomed it gladly. He couldn’t breathe. Everything was turning in on him and people were still fighting around him. He couldn’t. He couldn’t go on.
His legs carry him up to the small hill overlooking the little village of Hogsmeade. He lies down in the icy snow, even though it’s freezing and it soaks through his clothes almost immediately. The stars are shining just for him. It’s a perfect night.
He lies underneath the same tree as they had done not so long ago, though right in this moment as he lies here, it feels as if years upon years have passed since the last time he was here and she was lying right next to him, laughing loudly with a pink pink flush in her pale cheeks and sparkling eyes. He needs her.
The sky is laid out before him and he gazes into the nothingness which surrounds him. His hand draws the figures on the night sky, taking extra care as he draws hers. Horses have never meant anything to him, but to her they meant the world. He’s never pretended to understand, but somewhere in the course of time, horses became something of her; something she couldn’t be without. Even he, who’d known her the best for the longest of times, even before the horses, couldn’t imagine her without them.
“I miss you.” His breath fogs up the air around him as he murmurs this. The silence stretches and he curses himself; of course she’s not going to answer, she’s dead. It’s not like he’s trying to pretend otherwise or anything, but he still feels like she’s there, right by his side, lying with her head on his shoulder, whispering nothings into his ear. But she’s not.
The wetness in his eyes will not go away, and he doesn’t wish for it to disappear. He doesn’t want to erase anything; he wants it all to stand as clearly in his mind as it did the day she was murdered.
“I love you.”
The words seem to hover in the air as he says them out loud. The wind caresses his face and he closes his eyes, willing himself to believe it’s her. It’s her breath that blows against his skin and soon her hands will wander up his chest up to his face where she’ll caress the planes of it. She’ll leave small kisses on his cheeks, eyelids, forehead and finally lips.
I love you...
Her voice is so clear in his mind, it almost feels as if she actually is there, whispering it against his skin. Her smell fills his lungs and he breathes for the first time ever since she was lost.
A small bundle is thrust into his arms and the little being gurgles happily up at him. Green eyes meet green eyes and one pair brims over with joy. He is blessed.
This is our love...
The little pale girl lying in his arms has her mother’s hair; just a small tuff, but it’s enough. The infant takes hold of his finger and he feels his stomach twist, it pulls – it pulls him to her; he’s hers to have. The big bright eyes sparkle up at him and it’s as if a piece of the puzzle has fallen into place; the whole world lightens up. He needs nothing more.
And finally another pair of hands comes into view.
They circle his face and rub against his lips, they pull him to her and her lips are upon his and he’s in heaven. It’s beyond words, he’s in awe.
I love you.
Her lips form the words against his own lips and fingers thread themselves into his hair. He pulls her closer and they lie down there in the grass with their child between them. He needs nothing more.
The next morning a runner finds the corpse of Harry Potter lying on the top of the hill; he’s frozen to death. In his hand they find a single red hair.
A/N: so it's a sad/happy ending. It's kind of how I feel right now. I'm ever so confused and I'm really really happy too. Just... I hope you enjoyed it and review! :D hehe, love!