Chapter 4 : Confessions and Forgetfulness
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Chapter 4: Confessions and Forgetfulness
Ginny sat curled up in the chair next to Harry’s bed. She wasn’t sure how long she had been sitting there for, but the enchanted ceiling of the hospital room was no longer blue. It was now a melody of pinks and oranges that melted seamlessly into each other, and the autumn trees on the enchanted walls were glowing amber with the rays of the setting sun. Normally, such a scene would have taken her breath away, but the only thing she was able to focus on was Harry.
Her aching eyes remained fixed on his pale face. She could still hear her brother’s words echoing in her head. They say he’s in some coma-like trance…Gin, he hasn’t been responding to any of their treatments. They think this may be permanent.
Upon hearing the news, she had spent the better part of an hour crying, but the tears were soon replaced with what could only be described as a dull ache that consumed her entire being. She wanted nothing more than to wake up from this nightmare, but she knew she wasn’t dreaming.
Ron and Hermione had tried to convince her to go home to rest, or at least join them in the hospital’s cafeteria for dinner, but she flat out refused. While she knew her brother would probably be leaving shortly to report back to headquarters, she needed some time alone, and figured that both he and Hermione should be able to spend some time together. They each hugged her before departing, and Hermione promised to return a bit later.
That had been close to two hours ago.
At this moment, it seemed like nothing else in the world existed except for she and Harry. She had tuned out all sounds and had become oblivious to everything that surrounded her. It was almost as if she were in the dark, empty room from her dream where she had found Harry.
As she continued to watch him, the urge to climb into bed and nestle up next to him became near unbearable. He was finally back in her life after what felt like an eternity, and yet he wasn’t. It was like torture to have him so close yet so far. The thought of never again hearing his voice, his laugh or looking into his emerald eyes was more than she could bear. She refused to let such a notion invade her mind. Although she knew he wouldn’t reply, she needed to talk to him.
“I’ve missed you, Harry,” she said quietly as she stood up from the chair. Her legs were stiff from sitting for so long, but she managed to take a few steps toward the bed. “I don’t know if you can even hear me…but I hope you can.” She took his limp hand in hers as she sat upon the mattress’s edge. “It’s been so long since I last saw you—the night of Bill and Fleur’s wedding. Do you remember? I was actually thinking about it this morning. I never wanted that night to end.” She now wore a weak smile as she recalled the night once more. “I wanted to stay in your arms forever. I remember listening to your heartbeat…your scent…feeling your fingers entwined with mine…and wanting nothing more than to kiss you. You always were an amazing kisser.”
For the first time since she arrived, a laugh escaped her lips.
“I can’t believe I just said that. It’s the truth though. I was rather upset that you didn’t kiss me good-bye…or wake me up before you left. I suppose you knew I would have tried to go with you…or hexed you if you wouldn’t let me.
I had left you a note in your cloak the night before, after you had fallen asleep. I don’t know if you ever found it. It wasn’t anything important really…just me saying that I’d miss you…and that…that I loved you…” she closed her eyes and drew in a deep breath as she tried hard to fight back the tears that were beginning to form.
“It’s been so hard without seeing or hearing from you, Harry. Not a day has passed that you haven’t crossed my mind. I’m sure you probably haven’t thought of me though…,” she wiped away a single tear, “…not that I can blame you. I mean you’re our bloody savior for Merlin’s sake…risking your life to save us all. I just…I just wish you had written me…or…or something. Listen to me…I being bloody ridiculous,” she forced out a sarcastic laugh as she shook her head. “Of course you couldn’t write to me...that’d be like handing yourself over to Voldemort on a silver platter. Forgive me for my stupidity.”
She remained silent for a few moments, wiping away the occasional tear as she watched the rise and fall of his chest with each breath.
“Come back to us, Harry. We all miss you…I miss you. I…I need you.” She gently squeezed his hand. “I barely made it through four years without you--but I don't think I could handle the rest of my life without you in it...and that scares me Harry--it really does.”
Tears were now appearing in abundance but she didn’t bother to wipe them away.
Hermione stood silent in the doorway. She could feel Ginny’s pain through her heartfelt pleas and quiet sobs. While she wanted to comfort her, she was hesitant to go any further. She didn’t want Ginny to think that she had overheard her confessions. Slowly she backed out of the room, closing the door without a sound. She took in a deep breath and knocked on the door.
Ginny quickly wiped away the lingering tears and straightened herself out, hoping that it wasn’t obvious that she had been crying.
“Come in,” she forced out as she fixed her strawberry locks.
“It’s just me.” Hermione smiled as she made her way through the door, closing it behind her. Ginny smiled back as she watched her make her way toward the bed. “I see you’ve finally moved,” she gestured toward the chair that Ginny had occupied for the majority of the afternoon.
“I got up after you and Ron left,” she lied, “—wasn’t comfortable at all. I have to say though, this mattress isn’t much better.”
Hermione couldn’t help but give a small chuckle. “You sound like some of my patients. I can’t say I care much for these beds myself. Feels like you’re lying on a rocky river bed.”
“Sounds about right.” Ginny continued to smile weakly, but began to feel quite uncomfortable under her friend’s gaze. She could tell Hermione was worried about her by the way she was studying her—head slightly tilted to one side, brow furrowed, lines visible on her forehead.
“Are you al-”
“Where’s Ron?” Ginny interrupted before Hermione could get the question out. She knew she meant well, but the last thing she wanted right now was for someone to ask if she was alright. She wasn’t ready to talk about how she was feeling.
Hermione took in a deep breath. She could tell Ginny was closing herself off to any interrogation.
“He left a few minutes ago. Had a few things to take care of before returning to headquarters. Said he should be back in a day or two…but then again he wasn’t sure.” She folded her arms across her chest and looked toward the black silhouette of a tree, worried that two days would turn into two months.
Ginny could sense her anxiety. When it came to any business with the Order, it wasn’t unusual for a simple task to turn into an extended venture.
“I’m sure he’ll be back soon.” Although she knew the words held false hope, she felt it was the only thing she could say.
Hermione just bit her lip and nodded in agreement. If only she could believe it. She didn’t want to think about how long it would actually be until he’d return. Her thumb lightly grazed the ring on her left hand, something she had gotten into the habit of doing whenever she would think about Ron. Once she realized what she was doing, she stopped and turned her attention back to Ginny. She needed to change the subject. “Are you leaving soon?”
“I don’t think so. I don’t have anywhere else to be tonight so I was planning on sticking around for a while.”
“Cancelled your plans with Evyn then?”
Ginny’s eyes grew wide with alarm. “Oh shit!” She hit her forehead with her hand. “I completely forgot! What time is it?!”
Hermione looked at her wristwatch. “About ten of seven. What time was he expecting you?”
“Seven! I can’t cancel now—but I’m not even ready—I’m a mess!” She stood up and began to pace back and forth. “I can’t go! I can’t!”
Hermione took hold of her shoulders, bringing her to a halt. “Ginny, calm down. It’s going to be alright. You look fine. Besides, I’m sure if you explained everything to him, he’d understand if you wanted to reschedule.”
She shook her head. “I can’t do that to him. As much as I’d prefer not to go, I can’t cancel on him now.”
“I can go talk to him for you.”
“No,” she sighed, “Thanks, but I should go.” She grabbed her autumn cloak and bag off the hook on the wall before heading to the door. “Are you going to be here for a while?”
“Yeah—I was planning on waiting around until my supervisor’s shift starts. I’m going to see if I can have Harry added to my list of patients.”
”Good. If anything happens,” she glanced over at Harry, “if there are any changes, please send an owl.”
“I will.” Hermione gave her flustered friend a quick embrace. “But do try to relax and enjoy yourself tonight, Gin.”
“I’ll try, but I can’t promise anything.”
Hermione nodded with understanding and gave a small smile. “Let me know how it goes!”
“I’ll give you a full report tomorrow.” Without wasting another moment, she quickly waved farewell and sprinted away down the corridor.
Ginny stood outside the gate of 816 Barrington Lane, resting her head against the cool iron bars. Her gaze was fixed upon the old manor Evyn called home, and in particular, the silhouette that was now pacing about in the drawing room of the first floor. Why she still stood out here, she wasn’t sure, but something was keeping her from going any further.
It was well past seven which meant he was probably worried if not irritated by her absence, but at this moment, it didn’t matter. Her mind was elsewhere and on one person in particular. Try as she might she couldn’t get the image of Harry lying in the hospital bed out of her head. She had been set on continuing with her plans with Evyn up until arriving here at the gate more than a half-an-hour ago. Now she wanted nothing more than to return to St.Mungo’s and to Harry’s bedside.
Her teeth began to chatter as a gust of icy air billowed around her. Pulling up the hood of her cloak, she knew she couldn’t stay out here any longer. With an exasperated sigh, she shook her head, pushed open the iron gates and began the walk up the path toward the manor.
The ancient trees that stood on the property creaked as their limbs swayed with the breeze, casting ghostly shadows that danced across the lawn and on the moonlit façade of the three-story dwelling. Had she been unfamiliar with the property, she might have felt quite apprehensive walking the grounds of the estate which had such and ominous appearance at night, but having wandered the premises many times before, she wasn’t bothered in the least bit.
Three feet away from the large oak door, she came to a pause. Her eyes wandered over to the brass doorknocker that shone brightly in the moonlight. Oh how she hated it. Of all the creatures to put on the front door, why in the name of Merlin did it have to be the head of a basilisk? Without fail, it would send a chill down her spine every time she was forced to look at it or reach out for the metal handle that dangled from its dagger-like mouth. The memories of her first year at Hogwarts—the memories she tried so hard to suppress—would come flooding back with just one glance. Visions of the Chamber of Secrets, the terrifying serpent with its deadly yellow eyes, and the image of Tom Riddle would flash before her eyes, as they were right now. On more than one occasion, she tried to persuade Evyn to replace the knocker with one that was a bit more “welcoming,” but he refused to even consider the idea. Having inherited the mansion after the untimely death of his parents six years ago, he wanted to keep everything as it was, including the doorknocker. She understood his reasoning, but, at the same time, wished he would reconsider this one little detail.
With an unsteady hand, Ginny reached out for the handle.
“Stop acting like a child, Ginny,” she mumbled quietly to herself. “It’s just a doorknocker…a hideous, inanimate doorknocker that cannot harm you in any wa-AHHHHHHHHH!” she screamed as a dark blur flew at her, causing her to jump back in panic, trip over her cloak and fall to the ground with a thud. Wand in hand, she scrambled to get back up and defend herself against whatever it was that had just attacked her. But when her eyes fell upon her foe, she lowered her wand and let out a sigh of relief. Perched on ornamental post by the door was a spotted owl with a piece of parchment in its beak. Thankful that no one had witnessed her embarrassing display, she shook her head with a laugh and retrieved the message from the feathered carrier. With its task complete, the tawny owl gave a screech farewell and flew off into the night.
From the light of the moon, she was able to make out her name scribbled on the folded parchment in gold ink. Turning it over, she took in a sharp breath as she immediately recognized the seal of St. Mungo’s Hospital. Quickly she unfolded the letter, expecting it to be an update on Harry from Hermione, but was completely taken aback by what she read. Without another thought, she dropped the letter and apparated with a POP!.
A/N: Again, I know--not the greatest chapter. But if you would be so kind as to leave a little note down there in the box \/ (yes, that's a sad excuse for an arrow pointing down)..it would be greatly appreciated! I like to know what you think! Don't make me beg ::sniffle::
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