Chapter 12 : I'd Be Lying To Myself If I Said I Didn't Feel The Heat When We Danced
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Ginny could feel herself shaking as she made her way to her seat with Eloise, Hermione, and Ron. She wasn’t sure if she was ready for this yet, to be sitting here, watching Harry play Quidditch again. This whole week had been such a whirlwind, Harry back in her life after all this time, it was hard to believe. Suddenly it felt like the last sixteen years had vanished, she was still at school, joining everyone to cheer on her boyfriend. She felt her face flush at that thought, Harry and her were years apart now, she was here to cheer on her daughter’s father, nothing more, nothing less.
Completely lost in her own thoughts Ginny was oblivious to the fact that they had reached their seats until she heard everyone hollering around her. From the corner of her eye she could see Eloise’s face light up and Ron and Hermione were jumping around excitedly. The team had appeared on the field and Ginny saw Harry fly into the air. Gone were the feelings she had held inside all these years, suddenly she was sixteen years old again, watching him soar through the air, her heart bursting with pride. This was her Harry, funny how that feeling of possession never totally left her, it had just been buried deep down inside incased in feelings of pain and regret. Suddenly Eloise thrust a sign in her hand and she began to join the group, jumping up and down, cheering on Harry.
She saw him look at them, and a smile spread over his face, the type you don’t even realize is happening sometimes. Her eyes filled with tears, slowly they fell down her face, little rivers of regret that Harry and her had slipped through life without moments like this, together. For one simple moment, his eyes locked on hers, and she knew, she had never truly let go of him. Even though the pain and hurt had consumed her life and thoughts for so long, she had never stopped loving him. Small pieces of her mind and heart had still held on hoping, and always would.
As soon as it started, it ended, the moment passed, the game started, and she went back to being the mother of Harry’s daughter, nothing more. Soon the entire stadium was absorbed in the game, watching every movement, waiting anxiously for someone to win. Ginny settled back, watching with a smile, remembering some of the finer memories she associated with Quidditch and Harry. He had always embodied Quidditch in her mind, he was like Joe Quidditch, and she loved that about him. Only one of the many traits that made him into the man she loved, completely, and with her whole heart, whether she wanted to or not.
She thought about the times that he had missed in Eloise’s life, and one particular moment stood out for her, the day Eloise had learned to fly. It had been the one day she had almost lost it, she had almost broken down and wrote to him. The letter that she had saved detailing that day was still in the box with the rest, but that was one letter she knew by heart, that memory was as crystal clear as if it had only happened yesterday. As everyone else watched the game, Ginny focused on Harry, and was soon lost in the memories, as they consumed her.
It was a beautiful autumn morning, the leaves were beginning to change colors, falling off the trees, landing softly on the ground. Ginny was outside the Burrow, sipping some tea, enjoying the nature and a moment of solitude. The sun was just beginning to peak over the trees, getting ready to warm the air, and kiss the ground. She had brought Eloise over last night, the whole family had been in town, and her mother had insisted she stay the night. She could hear Molly toddling about the kitchen, preparing for the herd of people who would soon be down for a bite of food.
For now, she was alone though, something Ginny was quite used to these days, but it was different being alone at the Burrow. Her home, a place filled with thousands of memories, memories of tears and laughter, heartbreak and joy. From her spot on the chair she could see the clearing where they had played so many Quidditch games as children. When life had been simple, when all she worried about was not making an ass of herself in front of Harry Potter.
She quickly finished her tea and stood up to head back inside, anxious to see what the family planned on doing this beautiful autumn day. The kitchen was buzzing with excitement by the time she managed to get in the room, and she had to smile. This is what truly mattered, not the amount of money she had in her bank, just that she had a family that she loved and cared about. Eloise was sitting in her chair next to Charlie, grumpily looking at her bowl of porridge. Ginny raised an eyebrow at the pouting eight year old, as if asking why on earth she was acting like a hooligan. Eloise just ignored her mother’s look and swished the porridge around some more, barely missing Charlie’s arm as some sloshed over the side. Ginny gave her a few more moments to speak before she heaved a sigh of frustration and banged her hand on the table. Most of the table ignored her, but Eloise jumped at the loud noise, and Charlie looked up with mild interest.
“What in the bloody hell is going on in here?” she asked sternly, placing her hands on her hips. “Why are you acting this way Eloise? You are always such a good girl.”
“You wouldn’t understand,” Eloise muttered as more of her porridge went sailing over the edge of her bowl. She rolled her eyes and slouched down until her head was lying on the table.
“Enough!” Ginny yelled. “Now you tell me what is wrong this instance young lady.”
“Everyone is going to play quidditch today and it’s not fair!” Eloise exclaimed. “Just because you never taught me how to fly, I don’t get to play!”
Ginny sighed and rubbed her forehead with her hand, she always knew that this day would come, she just hadn’t expected for it to happen so soon. She looked around, waiting for someone to step in and help her, but everyone was staring at her, as if waiting for her to explain why she hadn’t taught Eloise how to fly yet.
“I just thought you should be older when you learned,” Ginny explained, but she knew she was lying. She had always thought, in the back of her mind, that Harry would be teaching Eloise how to fly. That he would have returned by now, and they would be a family, spending the weekends in the park, teaching their daughter how to fly, as a team.
“I can teach her Ginny,” Ron interrupted from his spot at the end of the table as he shot her an understanding look. Ginny sent him a grateful smile, but inside, her heart was breaking. This seemed like the end, he was never coming back, this had been the last straw, he had faded out of their lives completely.
“Can Uncle Ron teach me today Mommy?” Eloise squealed as threw her spoon in her porridge bowl, spraying the table and Charlie with a shower of porridge. Ginny had to hold back a laugh as Charlie looked up and shot the table a less than amused expression.
As the table finished breakfast, Ginny watched amused as Eloise tried to contain her excitement until Ron was ready to go outside and teach her. The look of happiness was evident on her face as she waited for Ron to finish shoveling in his food so they could head outside. Ginny swallowed back a lump in her throat, Harry was going to miss one of the most important days in his daughter’s life, and there was nothing she could do to change that.
She fought back the urge to throw on her coat, grab some floo powder and hunt Harry down. It wouldn’t be fair to anyone, and having a fight with Harry right now wouldn’t solve anything. So she did what she always did in times like these, when she wished that Harry was by her side, she pretended that she was fine. She put on her happiest smile, and pretended like this was exactly the way she had always planned on Eloise learning how to fly.
She forced a smile and help back the tears swimming in her eyes as they made their way to the mock quidditch pitch, Eloise bursting with excitement. Ginny watched through blurred eyes as her brothers showed Eloise technique and how to do everything. In her mind she kept seeing Harry in their place, leaning down next to her, showing her the ropes with a twinkle of happiness in his eyes. Completely lost in her own thoughts about what this day could have been Ginny was pulled back into reality by the sound of Eloise’s laughter. When she looked over she could see Eloise on the broom, just a few inches off the ground, but flying all the same. The look of happiness on her face would always be imprinted in her mind for as long as she lived. In that moment she looked so much like her father that it broke Ginny’s heart.
She continued to watch as her brothers took over, showing Eloise everything she needed to know. Something that she or Harry should have done, but Harry wasn’t here, and Ginny didn’t have the strength to do it alone. Suddenly she felt a hand on her shoulder and she looked over to see her father giving her a sad smile. She turned and gave him a hug, the tears seeping through his shirt as she finally let out the pain she had been holding inside. Arthur patted her on the back and let her sob, they said time healed all wounds, but he knew in this case it wasn’t true. Ginny would most likely try and forget about Harry, but the pain would always be there, just hidden below the surface, barely visible, but still evident.
“I’ll be okay,” Ginny tried to convince herself as she turned back to watching her daughter fly. “We’ll both be okay.”
Ginny was pulled away from her memory as she felt Eloise grab her arm and jump up and down excitedly. She looked up in time to see Harry reach out and grab the snitch, essentially winning the game for his team. She didn’t even have time to react as Eloise grabbed her hand and they went running down to the field. It seemed as if time slowed down as they reached the field and went running at Harry who had just landed, almost tackling him as they reached him. It was in that moment that she heard Eloise say something she had never said before, and it made her tear up with happiness.
“Dad, your were brilliant!” Eloise shouted as she threw her arms around Harry as the entire stadium watched. Ginny didn’t even try to stop herself as she followed suit and hugged Harry and Eloise, not even realizing that in the background every reporter in the wizarding world had just recorded this moment. A moment where Harry Potter wasn’t celebrating his win with his fiancé Cho Chang, but instead hugging his former girlfriend and a mysterious teen who looked oddly like both Harry and his old flame.
Once Harry had cleaned up after the game he heard that the team was planning on celebrating down at one of the pubs. It was a team ritual to go celebrate the wins together, and yet tonight, his heart wasn’t in it. He knew that Eloise, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny were waiting to say goodbye to him, and he didn’t want them to leave, he had just gotten them back. He headed out of the locker room with a heavy heart, it didn’t seem fair, he was torn. Then, like a ton of bricks, it hit him, they would just have to come with him to the party down at the pub. With a new spring in his step he exited the locker room and there they were waiting.
It had been years since he had seen Ron and Hermione but suddenly it felt like he was eighteen again, standing on the battlefield fighting with his best friends. Granted Ron and Hermione looked older now, and they looked completely in love as they did the day they told him they were to be wed. Eloise’s face was all lit up, it was evident that she had dreamed of this moment for years, to finally have her entire family together, in one place. Next to her stood Ginny, looking just as beautiful as she had when they had shared that one memorable night together, if not more so. He was about to invite them all to the pub when Cho walked up and gave the look of distain.
“We need to be going Harry, everyone is waiting for us,” Cho said as she grabbed Harry’s hand. “It’s going to be a packed house, not very much room.”
“Actually I was going to invite everyone to come with us,” Harry stated before turning to them all with a smile. “Do you care to join us to celebrate the win, just like old times?”
“I really don’t think is any room Harry,” Cho said as she looked pointedly at the group. “Maybe you should just celebrate with them later,”
“No,” Harry said a warning tone entering his voice, “We all are going to go celebrate, there is plenty of room.”
Ron and Hermione shifted uncomfortably as Harry and Cho stared each other down, as if daring the other person to make a scene. Finally Harry looked back at the group and motioned for them to follow him, Cho huffed away, leading the pack, as if not wanting to be around these people. Ron and Harry fell into an easy chatter as they made their way to the pub, as Hermione and Ginny kept throwing each other significant looks over Eloise’s head.
Finally they reached the pub and the loud noise drowned out any thought as they walked inside. A loud yell went up in the place as Harry entered and he felt himself blush. He couldn’t wipe the smile off his face though as he watched his friends enter, ready to celebrate this victory with him. He immediately went to the bar where he picked up some drinks for his group and a butterbeer for Eloise, who hadn’t stopped smiling since she had woken up this morning. Quickly the group snagged a table and sat down, an uncomfortable silence falling over them as Cho joined them. She leaned in close to Harry and whispered audibly in his ear.
“This is ridiculous, we should have gone somewhere nice and celebrated,” she said as she looked at the pub with distain.
“If it bothers you that much why don’t you just go home?” Harry asked casually as he settled back. “If you aren’t going to enjoy yourself, maybe that would be better, for us all.”
“Fine!” Cho exclaimed as she stood up and grabbed her things. “Don’t think that I am just going to forget about this Harry, you’ll pay, you bad boy.”
Ginny almost choked on her drink as Cho’s voice turned seductive and Ron and Hermione looked away uncomfortably. Harry just managed to nod at her as she walked out of the pub, inside he was fuming though. Not only had she repeatedly insulted his friends, but she was making a mockery of them both with her behavior. Relieved that she was finally gone, Harry settled back in his chair, anxious to talk to his friends properly. He was about to speak when suddenly a soft melody began playing in the background. He watched jealously as Ron helped Hermione to her feet and led her out unto the dance floor.
It was such a simple action, something that couples did all the time, dancing, and yet Harry couldn’t remember the last time he had danced. He gazed over the table and saw Ginny watching them, a bittersweet look on her face as she watched Ron pull Hermione close. He was struck with the sudden urge to leap across the table and pull her into his arms, to make the last sixteen years disappear. From the corner of his eye he could see Eloise making small hand gestures, first nodding at the dance floor and then gesturing at Ginny and him. Harry tried to conceal his grin from the little matchmaker, as he stood up, deciding that one dance couldn’t hurt.
“For old time’s sake Ginny,” Harry stated as he offered her his hand and nodded at the dance floor. She looked at him warily, as if not quite wanting to let herself believe that this was happening. Nervously she bit her lip as she stood and followed him to the dance floor, anxious and nervous. It had been so many years since they had been this close together, hesitantly she closed the distance between them.
Harry tried not to concentrate on the fact that their bodies still fit together as if they had been made for each other as they swayed to the music. He could smell her hair as she rested her head against his shoulder, and he couldn’t stop the feelings that were flooding his mind and body. He couldn’t see her face, but he knew, he could tell from the way she was tensing, that she felt the same way as him. There had always been something about the way their bodies had reacted to one another, and time hadn’t changed that in the slightest. Harry could feel her pulling away from him, physically and emotionally once again.
“No,” he insisted. “You can’t walk away every time you start to feel something.”
“There is nothing to feel.” Ginny lied as she tried to walk away.
“Then why are you running away?” Harry asked as he snatched her wrist and pulled her into him. “What are you afraid is going to happen Ginny? Are you afraid that If I touch you, you might feel something in return, because that isn’t a fear, it’s a certainty.”
They stood there for a long time, gazing into each other’s eyes, the rest of the pub and the noise fading away. She unconsciously licked her lips as she stared into his eyes, the desire evident on both their faces. Part of her was screaming for her stop though, and she pulled away from him again, but this time he had a firm grip on her, so she didn’t get far.
“Harry,” she whispered, her voice catching. “What about your fiancé? What about Cho?”
“Cho who?” he asked before he swooped down and claimed her mouth with his own. Everything in their past and futures faded away as they clung to each other, giving in to a desire that was threatening to consume them. Unlike their previous kiss, the anger was gone, and raw, primal need had taken over. She was everything that had been missing in his life for the last sixteen years, and as he deepened the kiss, he lost himself. Suddenly he was eighteen again, and this was this the woman he planned on marrying, the woman he planned on making his forever. In this moment they were just a man and a woman who despite having sixteen years of space between them, were still consumed by the passion they ignited in one another.
A/N: Big thanks to all of you loyal readers, hope everyone enjoyed this latest chapter! I am so sorry that this chapter has taken me so long to write, but just like a lot of other people I got roped into some other things in the last month. I would also like to apologize about being so slow about responding to reviews. I really do appreciate each and every one of them, and I will get around to responding at some point, I have just been so overwhelmed lately. Thanks for taking the time to read, have a wonderful day. As always reviews are appreciated, thanks again so much, you all make my day! Just a friendly reminder, make sure those reviews are always 12+! Thanks again for reading!
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