Chapter 15 : Chapter 15: What You Need
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Relief washed over Ginny. He was having the dreams as well. “You too?”
He let out a sigh and smiled. “I thought I was going… well not any place good.” He pulled her in for a hug. “I knew that you were not recovering but the dreams have been plaguing me and they seem to be getting slowly worse. I didn’t know what to do about it and I was afraid to tell… tell anyone.” He finally admitted. “I can’t date when I’m so messed up.”
“I have the dreams too.” She said slowly. “I felt the same way.” She smiled up at him. “Mum helps me when I have a nightmare. She’ll sit with me until I fall asleep again but I haven’t told her about them… how they are so real that you don’t even know…”
“You don’t even know that you are dreaming and not actually going through it.” He finished for her.
“Yeah.” She grinned up at him and felt at ease for the first time in an entire year. “So what is your worst dream?”
His face fell and his eyes clouded over. “The worst would probably be watching everyone die over again. I’ve seen too many people die.”
“Harry…” She reached out a hand and took his to squeeze it reassuringly.
“We’ve both seen too many people die and as Aurors it will be with us for the rest of our lives. It will be a part of our jobs.” He shook his head but did not let go of her hand. “I relive the Chamber dream a lot as well. That is the one I dread the most because I… I nearly lost you.” He glanced sideways at her and her heart skipped a beat. “I also hate reliving the moment when I heard from Tonks that you caught Draco. That… that he had used the Cruciatus Curse you.”
She saw his eyes fill with tears but before she could say anything, her mother’s voice floated out to them. “Ginny! Harry! Your father got the cooling charm fixed so that it isn’t freezing in here anymore.”
“We’re coming Mum.” Ginny called in a carrying voice. She turned back to Harry and whispered to him. “Are you all right?”
He shrugged and dropped her hand but she could see the reluctance in his eyes. “We don’t have to go back in.”
“No.” His tone was hoarse. “We should go.”
Together they walked back to the Burrow, towards her mother who was waiting for them and watching their approach. “Is something wrong?” She asked suspiciously.
Harry laughed and Ginny was surprised to hear that it sounded genuine. “It is too hot.”
Mrs. Weasley’s face relaxed. “Yes it is. Well, in you two go.”
“Just a minute, Mum. I have to tell Harry something.” Ginny interjected quickly.
One of the matriarch’s eyebrows rose as she crossed her arms. “A minute then.” She turned and went in.
Ginny rounded on Harry. “You just lied to my mother!”
He flushed and looked at the ground. “I couldn’t tell her the truth.”
“But you lied!” She exclaimed. “You lied convincingly Harry, and you have never been able to deceive anyone before!”
“Oh, well…” He looked back at her. “I’ve been able to do that for about a year now.” He scuffed his shoe into the dry earth. “I’m not proud of it but… I have been hiding these feelings from Ron and Hermione.”
“It’s all right. I understand. My life is one huge lie right now and I feel better knowing that I am not alone.” She gazed up at him hopefully.
He let out a sharp breath and took her in to his arms. “Never alone. I’ll always be there for you.”
A sense of warmth filled her that had nothing to do with the oppressive heat that lay heavily on them. She felt as though her tumultuous life had stilled just for that brief moment.
Ginny’s eyes opened slowly to find green ones looking down into hers. “Good morning beautiful.” He whispered before leaning down to kiss her gently.
“Good morning.” Her voice was groggy. “Have you just been watching me for long?”
“I was enjoying the view and you didn’t seem to be having a nightmare this morning so I let you sleep. Do you want to tell me about it?”
She nodded and reached over for the quill and parchment to write it down as she spoke. “It was the dream of that really hot night when we talked about having dreams. This time it went further and we talked about lying to other people.” She scribbled down the details before looking up to find his expression inscrutable. “Harry?”
He sighed and gave her a small smile. “I held your hand.”
She shook her head in confusion. “Right. I know you held my hand.”
“No, you don’t understand. I felt so lonely most of the time and knowing that I could not have you was really painful. That was a memory that kept me going for a while. I felt so peaceful just holding your hand.” He reached over to take her hand. “There were days that I could barely get out of bed because I felt so hopeless but if I thought of you… then I could keep going.”
She was contemplative for several moments before she felt that she could speak. “How many bad days did you have?”
“I don’t… I can’t…” His eyes were haunted as he tried to speak. She felt his hand begin to tremble. “At least once a week I would have this feeling of… being sad. It was really bad before you moved in but after that I was able to live again because you were near me. I could survive as long as you were a part of my life.” He finally informed her.
She frowned as she considered him. “I think I know what you mean. It’s that feeling we have now just a lot worse. I guess it feels like being near a Dementor.”
“Yeah.” He squeezed her hand before sitting up. “Now that I have you here I don’t get overwhelmed like that very often.”
“I’m glad I can help. You help me feel more normal as well.” He leaned over to kiss her cheek.
“The house was searched yesterday. There is no evidence that Malfoy was ever there.” Ginny fell heavily in to her chair as she read off the report from the day before.
“Damn.” Harry ran a hand through his ruffled hair. “Where the hell is that…?”
“Harry!” She stopped him. “Calling him names, however satisfying, is not going to put him back in Azkaban. We have to look at the evidence and try to figure out what he has been up to.” She got out several stacks of parchment and began arranging them along the desk as he walked up to look over her shoulder. “We have been tracking him for months and I feel certain that we can link him to at least thirty muggle deaths and several wizards as well.” She pointed out the timeline that she had made. “He started slow but he had been escalating in the past few weeks.”
“So what do we do? This won’t help us catch him since he is not using any pattern for the attacks.” He reached over to flip through a few of the pages and together they studied them in silence for several minutes.
“I don’t know.” She admitted as she tried to make sense of the chaos and violence before her. “I don’t even know what his ultimate goal is. Does he want to be the next dark lord or is he just crazy and seeking revenge?”
“That is all we need… another Voldemort on the loose.” He muttered.
She turned to look up at him. “I agree. We need to stop him and soon. This should be our first priority.”
Harry looked at her curiously. “You mean at work, right? I think that we have a top priority to figure out what is wrong with you… with us, really.”
“No.” She found her mouth working before she could really consider the matter. He did have a point but catching Malfoy seemed more urgent to her and she did not really want to think about her problems just then. “I want him and I want to make him pay for what he did to me.”
“I know you do.” Harry put his arms around her waist. “I want to do all sorts of awful things to him as well. It was horrible knowing that he hurt you and I could not do anything about it.”
“Hey.” Ron’s voice floated towards them and Ginny looked over to see her brother’s wide grin.
“Hello.” She answered smoothly. “What are you so cheerful about?”
“Ultrasound today.” He answered and started bouncing on the balls of his heels. “We got to see the baby.”
“Oh.” Ginny tried to grin but felt it falter.
Harry must have sensed her hesitation because he squeezed her shoulders and bent down to whisper in her ear. “You can be happy for them, Gin. Some day we’ll have kids so there is no reason to be jealous anymore.”
A feeling of warmth and longing filled her at his words. She needed to hear that and to be reassured by him. The faintest glimmer of hope seeped in to her battered heart. Ginny bit her lip and nodded before moving over to hug her brother. “I am happy for you.”
Ron held her securely for a moment before reaching up to lightly pinch her cheek. “I know this can’t be easy for you and I appreciate that you are trying.”
She laughed and gently punched his stomach. “So where is the picture?”
“Here.” He pulled out a black and white photo and gave it to her. “This part right here is the baby’s head and then this,” he pointed to the skinnier half. “This is the feet although that part hasn’t developed yet since Hermione is only nine weeks along.”
He said it all with an air of authority that made Ginny smile. She would have bet a thousand galleons that he knew nothing of a baby’s development two weeks ago. “This is really great, Ron.”
She held out the picture to Harry who took it and studied the picture for several moments. “What is that part?” He pointed to a small circle in the center of the baby that was brighter than the rest.
“That is the baby’s heart. We got to watch it beat for a few minutes.” Ron’s eyes radiated his joy.
“So do you know what the baby is yet?” Harry studied his oldest friend as he asked the question.
“Nah. Hermione doesn’t want to find out. She said she wanted it to be a surprise.” He chuckled softly. “It is something that muggles do, I guess.”
Harry also laughed and looked back down at the picture. “I don’t think you could really tell from this photo anyway.”
Ginny felt a grin tug at her lips. “Muggles can’t determine the sex of a baby from an ultrasound picture until the baby is twenty weeks along.”
Both men gaped at her. “How do you remember all of these things?”
A sense of familiarity filled her and she was reminded forcefully of another conversation she had just like this one. She let out an exasperated sigh. “If you must know…” She glanced between the two before looking over at her desk and all of the work that awaited her before she could get Malfoy. “If you must know, I did nothing but study and play Quidditch my seventh year at Hogwarts. I missed you all terribly and the only way I could get through it was by burying myself in my school work.”
Ron’s snort of laughter made her head shoot up to glare at him. “Hey, don’t get angry at me!” He held up his hands to pacify her. “I was just reminded of someone else who spent that entire year engrossed in his studies.” He looked over at Harry and then back to Ginny. “If he was not here learning curses then he was badgering Hermione to find more for him to learn. The two of us must have spent twice the amount of required time dueling as is necessary to become an Auror. He worked himself until we were both too exhausted to move.”
“Ron…” Harry protested weakly. “It was not that bad.”
“It was.” Ron informed him. “Celia would come in here and pull you away from training. You were a lousy boyfriend to her.”
“Well, he has improved since then.” Ginny interrupted her brother’s tirade as she could see that it was embarrassing Harry.
“Good. Although, I doubt he could have gotten much worse.” Ron winked at her.
“Thanks Ron.” Harry muttered dryly.
Ginny looked around the meadow and began to search for Harry. She walked along until she had reached the tree where they had picnicked earlier and she sat down to enjoy the sun on her face. She was confident that he would be there.
“Hello, my love.” A voice floated to her and she turned her head to see him standing behind her.
“Harry… can we dance?” She beamed up at him as he took her hand and led her to a clear spot before taking her in to his arms. For several long moments they simply swayed together.
“I want to be with you but there are so many obstacles in our way.” His voice was warm on her neck and she shivered.
“I know. I want to get rid of Malfoy.” She looked up at him and smiled.
“Good. We want to live in a world that is free from all of the violence from our past.” His tone was husky and deeper than his normal voice. “We don’t want to bring a baby in to a world that is not safe.”
“No.” She agreed but her heart constricted.
“Ginny?” He asked but this time Harry looked concerned. “Wake up!” She stared at the dream figure for a moment before the world faded.
“What?” She was in her bed but was met, once again, by Harry’s concerned face.
“You started to frown so I woke you. What was it?” He asked softly as he moved the hair out of her eyes.
“You… and I in a meadow. I’ve been there before but this time it was… I didn’t really think I would go back there now that we are together.” She admitted sheepishly.
She shrugged and felt a compulsion to not answer but he tucked a finger under her chin and slowly turned her head up so that she had to meet his eyes. “Did you really mean it that we can have a baby?”
His face relaxed and he smiled. “I really meant it but I think we should be better first. It would not be right to bring a baby into our lives if we are in such turmoil.” Harry’s eyes flashed with an unnamed emotion and he chuckled. “We should probably be married as well.”
“That might be a good idea.” She agreed jovially. Her heart felt lighter than it had in years.
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