“Do you like my sister?” Ginny stopped suddenly as she heard Ron from just outside the library at Grimmauld Place.
“I… what?” Harry’s seventeen-year-old voice floated out of the partially cracked door. Ginny moved silently towards it and leaned in to hear what they were saying.
Ron’s frustrated tone boomed out at her. “Don’t be thick. You are always around each other and I see the way you look at her.” She shivered even though she was wearing her new Christmas jumper.
“Do you want to tell the whole house?” Harry hissed so quietly that Ginny almost missed what he had said.
“So you like her then?” She could hear the triumph in his question and Ginny felt a thrill of excitement run through her.
“No.” Harry’s voice was raspy. Ginny gasped softly and felt tears fill her eyes. “I see her as a little sister, nothing more.” She slowly slid down to the floor as a large part of her heart broke.
Ginny felt herself drift back into consciousness and became aware of several things. The first was that she was crying. The second was that until her dream she had forgotten about the incident and the third was that she was sleeping in her boyfriend’s arms. If she weren’t so mad at him she would have smiled. “Harry!” She jabbed him hard in the gut and he grunted as his eyes flew open.
“Wha?” He reached out haphazardly for his glasses on the side table.
“You told Ron that you saw me as a sister!” A small part of Ginny knew that she was being unreasonable but she was too hurt to try and be rational.
“When did I say that?” He looked at her in bewilderment.
She felt her face contort into a glare. “Your seventh year! I heard Ron ask you about me and you said that you didn’t fancy me.”
“My seventh year?” He continued to look perplexed. “I still don’t…”
“At Christmas!” She reminded him “He cornered you in the library and asked if you fancied me but you denied it.” She explained impatiently.
“Oh.” Comprehension finally dawned on his face to be quickly replaced by an accusing look of his own. “You were spying on us?”
She spluttered before answering. “Yes, of course I was spying on you! Well, it wasn’t intentional but then I heard you and got my heart broken. So if you saw me as a sister back then, what made you fall in love with me?”
He reached up a hand and gently stroked her hair. “I was lying to Ron.”
Ginny felt herself swell with indignation. Instead of making her feel better, his statement had only incensed her more. “What do you mean you lied?” She sat up fully in bed and stared hard at him. “I was in love with you even back then! Can you imagine what hearing that did to me?”
Grief filled his eyes. “I’m sorry Ginny. Hermione said you were over me and I wanted Ron to leave you alone. I heard him try to push us together several times and it always infuriated you. I thought I was doing the right thing.”
“You… but…” Her breath hitched as he pulled her to him. “I was crushed by that!” She swallowed convulsively and felt the tears pour from her eyes.
He kissed her forehead. “I never thought that I would have you and I was devastated by it.” He tilted her chin so that she was looking up into his emerald eyes. “I can see that we have quite a few things to work through.”
She sniffed resignedly. “I guess we do.” She ran a hand down his side. “I can’t believe that I had forgotten about that! I just knew that you wouldn’t love me.”
“What?” His entire body went rigid. “You forgot?”
She shook her head but suddenly felt her entire body fill with exhaustion. “Let’s go back to sleep. Hermione will be here in a few hours to interrogate us.”
“No. I don’t want to talk about it anymore.” She denied forcefully.
He was silent for a minute. “We will with Hermione.”
“Last night Ginny dreamed about the time I told Ron that I only saw her as a sister.” Harry informed them. “Until then she had forgotten about it.”
“You didn’t remember the conversation happening?” Hermione asked her incredulously. The four friends were sitting in Harry and Ginny’s living room the next morning while she questioned them.
Ginny shrugged and avoided looking at her brother or his wife. “I knew that Harry wouldn’t ever love me but for some reason I could not recall why.” When no on responded she looked up to see the shock on their faces. “What?”
“You blocked it out?” Hermione’s face had gone pale.
“I suppose so.” She replied noncommittally.
Harry traced his fingers over her cheek. “I’m so sorry, Gin.”
“Why is this important?” She demanded.
“You shouldn’t be repressing your memories!” Hermione retorted. “Who knows what else you have made yourself forget.”
“I…” She stopped and thought about it. There were several times when she had noticed holes in the timeline of her life although most of them had been when she had met with the Mind Healer. “Oh,” was all she was able to say. Now that she thought about it, she wished that she could forget the more embarrassing moments in her life. The worst had to be the Victory Ball when she had sat through almost every dance. That bit of ancient history was emblazoned quite clearly in her mind.
“Where else are you missing parts of your life?” Her sister asked her quietly.
Ginny answered immediately. “Most of my time with the Mind Healer. I only really remember her telling me that she couldn’t find a cause for my dreams.”
“That is where we will start then. We will have you meet with the same Mind Healer and see if we can piece together what she said.” Hermione sighed heavily. “Harry should go with you so that you can’t forget it again. I think that I won’t mention this to the rest of your family. I was just thankful that they agreed to let us come here alone. I know this has to be difficult for you.”
Ginny nodded but Harry was the one to answer. “I’ve wanted to talk about the dreams for a while but Ginny has been hesitant. It was okay when she wasn’t having nightmares every night but since they got worse…” He was cut off.
“When did they start to escalate?” She tucked a brown curl behind her ear as she watched him keenly.
Ginny tried to remember when it had happened exactly but could not place it. However, Harry seemed to know. “When she thought I had a date with a secretary.” He looked sheepishly over at her. “Maybe I should have realized then that you loved me since you were jealous.”
She snorted derisively. “I’ve always been jealous but your assumption isn’t correct. Once we straightened everything out and I knew that you did not have a date with her, I was able to sleep peacefully.”
“You had a nightmare the next night.” He reminded her gently. “It was about Malfoy.”
“How do you remember that sort of thing?” She asked him, bewildered.
He chuckled and kissed her cheek. “I remember everything about you.”
“Well at least one of you knows what has happened.” Ron grumbled as he watched their display of affection. “Can we move on?”
“Ron!” Hermione admonished her husband sharply. “I thought you were happy that they are together!”
“I am…” He replied hastily. “But we need to solve this and they are getting off topic.”
“Right.” Harry answered as his brow furrowed in concentration. “The next morning we met with the secretary at a café and I flirted with Ginny so that the other woman would leave me alone. Ginny was upset at me for it but we had training and could not discuss it further. We went back to the Ministry and Ginny beat me with a tickling charm.”
“I remember that day. That was the day Hermione found out about the baby.” Ron interjected and his wife gasped and looked over at Ginny in horror.
“I started this?” Tears pooled in her eyes. “Oh Ginny! Why didn’t you say anything then?”
“What are you talking about?” She asked, utterly confused as to what she could be referring to.
“The baby?” Harry turned to Ginny in concern as a look of dawning comprehension covered his face. “You nearly cried when you found out that she was pregnant but when I asked you if you wanted to be happy, you denied that you could be.”
Ginny shut her eyes tightly as the memories flooded back to her. She had been jealous of their happiness but had been unwilling to admit it, even to herself. “I was just trying to be thrilled for them.” She opened her eyes and was ashamed of the tears that she could not suppress.
“Oh Ginny!” Hermione got up and sat down next to her before pulling her in for a hug. “I wish I had seen it.”
“I’m surprised that you didn’t.” Ron said smoothly. “You normally pick up on that sort of thing.”
Hermione looked between Harry and Ginny before she answered. “You two have become skilled actors.”
Ron snorted. “That is what has surprised me the most. Harry could never lie before. We used to always know what you were thinking, mate.” He gave his friend a strained smile.
Harry turned his head away. “Soon after we left Hogwarts I found that I could deceive anyone I wanted to.”
“I’ve always been able to lie convincingly.” Ginny informed them evenly. “So it was not difficult to pick it up again.” Her face darkened as more memories returned. “Tom saw to that.”
“So is that part of her problem?” Harry directed his question at Hermione. “She wanted to be happy and jealousy made the dreams worse?”
“Maybe.” She said meditatively. “But that is not what caused the dreams in the first place.”
“They started some time after the last battle.” Ginny told her.
Harry started to say something but then stopped and shook his head. “Do you have any ideas, Hermione?”
“Honestly, no.” She responded dismally. “What has me baffled is why you are repressing certain things, Ginny. Normally a person does this with extremely painful memories but I would think that your time with the Mind Healer would have been beneficial and a time for recuperation after all of the trauma you have suffered.” She sighed and stood up to pace. “I can understand not wanting to remember Harry’s conversation with Ron. Is that all that you have forgotten between the two of you? Are there other painful instances that you can remember?” She stopped and looked expectantly down at Ginny.
“I can vividly recount many painful times where I watched Harry with other women.” She responded quietly.
Harry’s arm came around her waist. “I’m sorry I was such an ass.”
“I know.” She blinked furiously to keep the tears at bay. “I think that after the first time of hearing that he would never love me… well I accepted it and although it was horrible to watch him with other women but soon after I graduated, he stopped dating so I was able to ignore it.”
“That makes no sense.” Ron informed her.
“Yes it does.” Hermione retorted and then sat down next to him as she patted his arm soothingly.
“No, it doesn’t. She blocks out one thing but leaves the rest alone?” Ron studied his wife. “Why would she choose to do that?”
“I’m not entirely sure but I think it is because all of her hopes rested on him loving her and when that became no longer a possibility then the rest could not hurt her as badly.” Hermione answered patiently.
Ginny had watched the exchange with interest but found herself mostly detached from it. She turned quickly when she heard a noise from Harry. To her horror she saw tears in his eyes. “Please, Harry! You didn’t know I was there and listening at the door. This isn’t your fault and I’m sorry I was so angry last night.” She put her arms around him to comfort him.
“It is my fault. If I could have just admitted what I was feeling to Ron then none of this would have happened… but I didn’t.” He laughed derisively. “You really are a good actress. I had no idea that you loved me. I mean, you stood there in front of me naked and didn’t even flinch!”
“WHAT!?!” Ron and Hermione yelled together. Their faces showed a mixture of shock and disbelief.
Harry and Ginny sprang apart and gazed guiltily at each other. “When I was hurt, in France… Harry helped me bathe. I could hardly move and I wasn’t able to undress myself to get in the shower.” She said quietly before looking back at Harry. “I was too humiliated to do anything but hide it! I had thought about you seeing me starkers, of course, but not like that!” She started to giggle nervously. “I had always hoped to lose some weight first and now it all seems so stupid.”
He gaped at her. “That is pretty stupid because you are too bloody perfect as you are right now! I always feel like a titchy prat when I’m with you.”
“You’re a head taller than I am!” She cried exasperatedly.
“That makes you a midget, sis.” Ron said. “He is rather skinny.”
“Only compared to me!” She shot back.
“Ginny!” Hermione’s voice halted their argument as effectively as if it had come from Mrs. Weasley, herself. “We will deal with your self-esteem problems later.”
“I don’t have…” Ginny started to argue but stopped when Hermione raised an eyebrow and stared her down. “Maybe I do.” She suddenly hated the fact that she had taken a vow to be honest.
“I’ll work on that.” Harry told her confidently and Ginny blushed scarlet.
“Good.” Hermione and Ron answered together. Hermione went on. “I suspect that it has to do with whatever is causing her dreams and I will start making discrete inquiries at work. In the mean time I want you two to write down all of your dreams for me and make them as descriptive as possible. Also please start trying to piece together what happened from the end of the battle until when the dreams started. I will locate the Mind Healer that Ginny met with and make appointments for the both of you to meet with her.”
“Yes ma’am.” Ginny said in a docile voice.
“No cheeking me. This is important.”
“I know Hermione, and thanks.” Ginny stood as did the other woman and they embraced.
“Anytime.” Hermione looked her straight in the eyes. “I mean that. I will always be here for you. I’m pregnant, not an invalid. I can handle anything you can throw at me.”
“Same for me.” Ron came to stand next to her and put a hand on her shoulder. “We are here for you both.” He looked over at Harry who was waiting awkwardly at the periphery of the other three.
Harry nodded and held out his arms to Ginny who moved gratefully into them. “Thank you.” He said finally.
“I’ll let you know when I know something.” Hermione said as she moved over to the fireplace and grabbed a pinch of floo powder. In a moment she was gone.
“Bye then.” Ron called and with a loud pop, he was gone as well.
Harry slowly turned Ginny around to face him. “You know that you are beautiful, right?”
Ginny shook her head and sighed, completely dismissing what he had said. “I don’t want to fight right now. I’m too tired for that.”
He studied her carefully. “There isn’t anything to fight over. It’s my opinion and I’m allowed to have it.”
She closed her eyes and tried desperately to think of a change of topic. “Let’s go see another muggle film.”
He was quiet for a moment. “I’m not letting it go, Gin. This is important.”
“No, it isn’t.” She replied. “Our dreams need to be solved and we have to catch Lucius Malfoy. Those things are important and not my insignificant problem with my weight.”
“Are you lying to me or to yourself?”
His question startled her and she almost answered scathingly that it was neither but then she knew that it was not the truth. “Both, I think.”
“Why do you feel so badly about yourself?” His face was awash with concern.
“I don’t… I don’t know.” She ran a shaking hand over her face.
He cleared his throat and went to get some parchment and a quill. “I’m going to add that to your list of repressed memories then.”
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