Chapter Graphic by Moonys Aimee at The Dark Arts
After a long morning of Quidditch, the Marauders and the trio were eating lunch in the Great Hall. They were all talking happily and laughing with one another. Harry found himself staring at his father, amazed at how much they truly did look alike. Harry was laughing with them and enjoying having his father so near to him.
“Blast!” James said loudly, dropping his fork as he swallowed his food, “Do we still have to take lessons?”
“I’d assume so.” Hermione answered, ignoring the odd look that Ron was sending her.
James slapped his palms down onto the table in aggravation. He muttered as Remus and Peter shrugged, not minding having to take classes, but Sirius yelped with James in agreement. Sirius muttered loudly, “What’s the use? Stupid lessons. I don’t need no bloody lessons…”
All of a sudden, as James looked down to his plate to take another bite of food, he felt arms snake around his neck and red swamp his visions. Had he been in his own time, he would have thought it was Lily, even though she still despised him. He felt lips of velvet press against his cheek as this unknown woman said happily into his ear, “Hi, Harry. You’ve changed your cologne and you feel different.”
James muttered loudly, assuming that it was Harry’s ex-girlfriend, his best mate’s sister, “Err, Ginny?”
“What?” Ginny asked as she pulled away from James, still thinking it was Harry. She turned to sit down at the table, still talking in a happy voice, not seeing Harry’s bewildered face, “You act like you don’t know me.”
James coughed, saying in his cough with a chuckle, “That’s because I don’t.”
Ginny stopped abruptly and yelped as she saw the face of the man she had just kissed. She covered her mouth with her hand, surprised, “You’re not Harry! What the hell?!”
“Bingo…” James muttered, turning away from Ginny as the woman flushed red with embarrassment and lowered herself next to Harry, giving Harry a feeble hello.
Harry blinked and cleared his throat, completely embarrassed. He spoke, motioning to his father, “Erm, Ginny, meet my dad, James Potter. James meet Ginny Weasley.”
“Err, hello…” Ginny said, embarrassed and she turned away from him.
James muttered, “Hi.” as his three friends burst out laughing. James slapped Sirius on the head, muttering, “Shut it, you.”
Sirius laughed out, “Nah, that’s pretty funny.”
“Sirius?” Ginny gasped, her jaw dropping.
Sirius stopped laughing and smiled, wiggling his eyebrows. He leaned forward on the table and said in a husky voice, “That’s my name, don’t wear it out. What can I do for you, my love?”
“Oh, shut up.” Ginny laughed, “You’ve always been full of yourself.”
“Well, that’s just great to hear from someone you just met!” Sirius barked. Ginny smiled as Harry spoke from next to her, “Erm, the Marauders had a little mishap with a time turner.”
“I see…” nodded Ginny, putting food onto her plate.
James, deciding that he would try to embarrass his son as much as possible, leaned forward and braced his elbows against the table. He wiggled his eyebrows and asked, “So? Dating my son, eh?”
Ginny glowered and acted as if Harry weren’t sitting next to her. Harry scowled as Ginny spoke to his father with an angered face, “Actually, not anymore. He thinks me too immature to make my own decisions.”
“Ginny!” Harry gasped. He shook his head, “You know it’s not like that!”
“Do I, now?” Ginny glowered, turning back to James. For the moment, she rather enjoyed infuriating Harry, “He broke up with me, because he doesn’t think its safe, because he thinks I’m some little girl who can’t take care of herself.”
Harry grumbled, turning away from his ex-girlfriend. He didn’t understand. At Bill and Fleur’s wedding, she had been fine with him. Sure, she did a bit of glowering here and a bit of ignoring and scolding there, but she hadn’t been furious like this.
James turned to Harry with a sarcastic smile and he laughed loudly, holding his side, “I like this chick!”
Harry ran his hands through his hair, grumbling. Harry groaned, “Why can’t you just understand?”
“NO!” Ginny yelled, furious, “Why can’t you?!”
“She’s right, Harry.” Ron said simply, shoving a mouthful of food into his mouth before Harry could say something. Harry wrinkled his nose and pointed at Ron from two seats down, “You, stay out.”
“Woah, mate. You’re getting a temper.” Sirius tsked, shaking his head. James tried to stifle his laughter as Sirius tsked Harry.
Harry rolled his eyes, turning to Ginny who was next to him, holding her head in her hands, tears bulging in her eyes. Harry sighed, wanting to tell her everything, but he was already mortified that this conversation came in the middle of lunch. Harry nervously placed his hand on Ginny’s shoulder, saying in a calming voice, “Ginny, I-“
“Don’t touch me…” Ginny muttered.
Harry sighed from next to her and closed his eyes, trying to control his anger. He hissed, “Can’t we just talk this out? Why are you being so stubborn?”
“Why are you, Harry James Potter?!” Ginny yelled, turning to him as tears began to fall from her eyes. This question made heads turn. People stared at the ex-couple with questioning eyes.
Harry looked around, wishing that people would finally stop staring. James stopped eating, midway in lifting his fork to his mouth, when he heard his name in Harry’s. Harry whispered, “Look, Ginny. I want to be with you. You have no idea how much I want to be with you, but I just can’t risk the chance of you being hurt.”
“Why can’t I
risk it, Harry?” Ginny asked, finally turning to him completely. She placed a hand on his shoulder, saying through tears, “Why can’t I be the one to make that decision? I’m old enough to do it myself…”
“She’s right, Harry.” Ron spoke again.
Harry and Ginny both jerked their heads towards Ron, yelling at the same time, “We don’t need your input!”
Ron blinked and looked down, muttering an empty apology as Hermione slapped his arm, hissing into his ear, “Hush it, Ronald. Let Harry and Ginny talk it out.”
“Yes, Ronald.” Sirius mimicked from across Ron, “Let Harry and Ginny talk it out.”
“Shut up, Sirius.” Hermione rolled her eyes. Sirius wiggled his eyebrows at her as she tossed her head back. Ron looked like he wanted to punch Sirius, but no one took notice.
“Ginny, if you got hurt I would never forgive myself.” Harry whispered, wishing he could kiss her then and there.
“But I wouldn’t give a damn! As long as I had you, I would be fine.” Ginny said, “What about Ron? What about Hermione?! They’re your friends but you’re not pushing them
away from you!”
“They’re choosing – “ Harry began, but Ginny cut him off as Harry realized what he had said. He covered his mouth with his hands and Ginny threw her arms into the air, yelling, “Aha! They
are choosing to stay with you, but I can’t!
How bloody unfair is that?!”
Harry looked down, bracing his elbows on the table as he held his head into his hands. His friends stared at him, wondering what would happen next. Ginny shook her head, glaring at him. Harry was aware that all eyes were on him, and he didn’t like that one bit.
Everyone was surprised when Ginny whispered, “Tell me the truth, Harry. Do you love me?”
Harry’s lips quivered. As his eyes grew hot and stung, he nodded his head slowly, choking out, “I do…”
Ginny rose from her seat on the bench. She folded her arms across her chest and glowered. She whispered as Harry didn’t bother looking at her. He was afraid that if he lifted his head to see everyone’s mortified face that he was staring bawling, “You
out of all
of us…should know the best…” Ginny shook her head as she sucked in a small breath and finished, “…that love is worth dying for.”
Harry, amazed at what she said, jerked his head up at her statement just as Ginny began storming away. He thought for a moment. Why would she bring Halloween into the conversation?! Why would she say something like that?! Why would she bring his mother into it?
He realized that she was correct…
Had it not been love, Harry would be dead…
Harry quickly stood and jogged down the isle. He called after Ginny, sprinting up the marble steps, “Ginny! Wait! I’m sorry!”
Ginny didn’t stop. She ran from him. Harry chased her until he entered the Gryffindor common room and found her sitting on the floor in front of the fire, hugging her knees to her chest as she buried her head into them, sobbing lightly.
Harry sat down next to her moaning and wrapping his arms around her, “Ginny, I’m so sorry.”
“Harry,” Ginny sobbed as she allowed Harry to wrap his arms around her on the floor. She pulled him closer, digging her head into his chest. Her shoulders shook lightly with cries and she whispered, “I just love you so much and I want to be with you, but you won’t let me. I-I’m old enough to make my own decisions.”
“I know you are…” Harry whispered, looking away from her and into the cracking fire. She pulled on his t-shirt, her tears seeping through the material. He rubbed her back, remembering the glorious times when they had snogged together and he had felt that delicate skin under her shirt. He remembered when Ginny had nipped at his neck affectionately many different times in the exact same spot where her head was buried now. He closed his eyes. It was too painful…
He needed her, and Ginny knew that.
He couldn’t deny it either.
Realizing that Ginny was completely right, Harry lifted his head from the top of Ginny’s and whispered, “I’ll let you be with me if you promise me one thing.”
Eager, Ginny lifted her head, saying quickly, “Just tell me, Harry, and I’ll do it.” she hugged him tighter, “Anything to be with you…”
He cupped her face in his large hands and spoke to her, wiping her tears with his thumb, “You have to promise that at any sign of Voldemort, you will turn away from me. If it is the Final Battle and I tell you to run away and don’t look back, please…do it.”
Her lips quivered and she stuttered, “I c-couldn’t d-do that!”
“Ginny…” Harry whispered, shaking his head, “You can’t get hurt…”
“I won’t.” Ginny whispered back, “I promise.”
A small smile began to form on his lips. He wiped the last of Ginny’s tears and placed his hands on her hips, bringing her to his body. Their lips touched and, at first, they felt like strangers. It had been so long since they had last kissed…
For moments, their lips just sat there, but then Harry recognized her and he slowly took her in, kissing her deeply. Ginny was slow to respond. Anxiously, she wrapped her arms around his neck and she found him pulling her under his body.
Seconds later, Harry was on top of Ginny, kissing her romantically, his hands massaging her hips as she ran her hands through his unruly hair. She sighed into his mouth, feeling her tears leave. It felt good to be back…
It was as if they were kissing for their lost time…
It was a mistake when Harry fell asleep in the puffy red armchair that night in front of the fire, conversing with his friends. Ginny had been sitting on the arm of the chair, running her fingers through Harry’s hair.
Everyone had been amazed with the fact that Harry finally let Ginny be with him.
Harry had been smiling brightly, staring into the fire, not really listening to the conversation. He only took notice that Ron was eyeing Hermione more than often and his father was laughing along with Sirius and Remus.
He began to doze off and then he found himself falling into a relaxing sleep. However, it turned from relaxing to horrifying in minutes…
The corner of Harry’s lip pulled up into a wince involuntarily, his arms twitching in the chair. Ginny turned as she saw Harry shaking in his sleep. Attracting the others’ attention, Ginny placed her hand on Harry’s stomach, asking in a worried voice, hoping to bring him out of his sleep, “Harry? Harry, are you alright?”
Harry’s eyes twitched under closed eyelids, his mouth moving to form words that didn’t come. Sweat began to bead around his forehead. Ginny turned to the others for help, but they sat there, not knowing what to do.
James slowly spoke, “H-He’ll be alright.”
Everyone could tell that, slowly, James was becoming more mature. The more time he spent with Harry, the more he felt like it was his job to become mature. Even though he wasn’t a father yet, he still got the feeling that he needed to be responsible enough to become one.
Even though he was only seventeen, and his son was seventeen, he found himself slowly swelling with pride. Even though he was only seventeen, he wanted
to act fatherly when he hadn’t even kissed or held his future wife.
Harry moaned, his head turning against the arm chair. His nose wrinkled and he finally choked out softly in his sleep, “No…Go away. No, leave me alone.”
They all looked from one person to the other, not knowing what to do. Hermione asked softly, setting down the essay she was reviewing, “Should we try to wake him?”
“I-I don’t know.” Ginny said, ignoring his twitching hands, his shaking legs, and his sweat covered forehead. His hair began to stick to his head.
Ron rolled his eyes, saying, “You know, he doesn’t only
have dreams about Voldemort. Maybe it’s just some weird nightmare.”
“I guess you could be right.” Ginny said, looking to Harry, tilting her head to the side.
Harry braced the armchair in his grasp, not knowing what he was doing. He moaned heavily, turning slowly.
It was dark and he didn’t know where he was. All he heard was two voices, calling to him. One was a woman, the other a man. Their voices seemed to be calling, luring him to something. He didn’t want to follow the two cloaked figures that formed in front of him.
The man’s face draped behind the cloak, stretched out his hand and held on tightly to Harry’s arm. Harry shivered at his touch…
It was cold…
He shivered as the man in the cloak pulled on his arm, saying in a voice that sent chills up his spine, “Come with us, Harry. Follow us…”
The woman in the cloak spoke, her voice just the same as the man’s, “Yes, please. Come. We must show you.”
“Show me what?!” Harry asked quickly, trying to break free of the man’s strong grasp. He pleaded with them, “Please, let me go! I don’t want to go! No! Leave me alone!”
“No, Harry!” the man called, “Don’t fight against us! You must come!”
“NO!” Harry screamed, fighting the man, “Leave me alone!”
He tried to break free of the man. He screamed out, “Sirius! Help me!” Harry knew he was dead, but maybe…just maybe…he would come to help him.
The woman’s voice seemed to loose its chill as she spoke again, placing her hand on his arm. Her touch wasn’t cold…
It felt full of life…
The woman said, “We won’t hurt you, Harry. We will never hurt you.”
“Who are you?!” Harry begged to know.
“We can’t tell you yet…” the man spoke, his touch suddenly becoming warm. His touch felt familiar…
He couldn’t quite place it.
“Please!” Harry begged, loosing his fright, “Tell me who you are.”
The woman shook her head, “We can’t, Harry.”
The man let go of Harry and Harry felt himself fall into the mist. It was as if the man was holding him there, and now that he no longer held him, he was falling. Falling away from them…
Harry yelled as they disappeared from him, “No! Tell me!”
“It would destroy our purpose…” their voices echoed in his ears.
Harry awoke, startled, from his sleep. He was bewildered to see everyone staring at him with an odd look. He wiped his forehead, surprised to feel sweat. He choked out, “W-What’s going on?”
“Nothing…” they all said innocently, turning away from him.
Harry lifted his head to Ginny’s gaze, confused. She smiled lightly and got up from the armchair, sitting down in front of Sirius and a chess set. They began playing, not looking back at Harry.
Harry fell against the arm chair and rubbed his head, confused. He tried to think it out. What had that meant? What was that? Who were those people? He couldn’t help but to make eye contact with his father, who had been staring at him in worry.
Then it seemed to click…