Wow. I'm just going to say that I had a lot of fun writing this chapter.
Weeks passed and Harry found himself growing fond of Ginny. Harry continued to sleep in the guest bedroom of his own home while every day he grew closer and closer to Ginny until he felt like he hadn't forgotten about her at all. Harry was sure that the one thing that could possibly be any different than before he had been diagnosed with Amnesia was that he wasn't letting himself love her...
Even though Ginny tugged at his mind, even though every time she walked past Harry he felt his heart flutter, the breath leave his lungs, and his whole body become hot. Even though he would stare at her in amazement, even though he would touch her hair softly every now and then, even though he watched her thin, pink lips when she spoke with the strongest urge to kiss her, even though he would admire her angelic body with the sudden passion of lust and love as the urge to hold her and kiss her senseless would rush across his mind. Despite all those things, Harry wouldn't let himself fall in love with her.
He knew that if he let his guard down, if he broke that barrier, he would immediately be hopelessly in love with her, never letting her go. Harry didn't want that. Every time Harry thought about dropping that barrier between friends and lovers as husband and wife, Harry slapped himself mentally and cursed himself into oblivion. He loved Elizabeth, didn't he?
Of course, he did. That was a silly question.
Or was it?
Harry did not know. Elizabeth had told him to forget about her, to fall in love with Ginny and not feel bad about it. However, Harry just couldn't bring himself to do that. He felt like if he dropped that barrier, then Elizabeth would hunt him down and teach him the meaning of true love before shouting at him until Harry felt like nothing more than a puddle on the ground. Harry was lost.
There was only one simple line between Ginny and him. That one simple line represented the difference between affection and love.
Oh, how Harry wanted to love Ginny. Oh, how he wanted to caress her, hold her, kiss her, and pronounce his refound love for her. But every time he admitted that to himself, he just wanted to go and drown himself for it. He had now asked himself a million times over this question. Is it supposed to be like this?
Surely it couldn't be.
Harry was torn between two women in which one he loved to death and back again and the other he would love even further if he would just simply let himself.
Harry was surprised that Ginny hadn't noticed any of Harry's delimna. And if she had, she hadn't said a word about it and just left it to himself. Harry was thankful for that. Whenever Harry seemed to be stressed and felt like blowing things up into a trillion-gazillion-billion-infinity pieces with his newly recovered magic, Ginny would just smile kindly and continue her usual jokes and tossing of her fiery hair, her chocolate eyes just sitting on Harry peacefully. For some reason, that always seemed to calm him.
Despite all of Harry's pros and cons, he allowed himself to enjoy the time with her. It was one afternoon when he and Ginny were strolling the streets of London happily, having a sort of date-like outing. They had traveled to the muggle world for lunch and a walk in the park. Ginny had said those nasty wizard pubs were getting quite old and she wished to try new things.
Harry and Ginny walked along a gravel path in one of London's parks and were speaking happily. Harry laughed loudly, holding onto his stomach with a hand. He asked, tears in his eyes from the happy sound of his roaring laughter, "Nu-uh! You're joking! I did not!"
"You did too!!" Ginny laughed back, swinging her arms by her sides in her sun dress. Harry chuckled and shook his head, "Naw. I can't believe it."
"Well, believe it, Harry!" Ginny giggled, shaking her head. Her red curls spilled along her arms, settling themselves back onto her back as her head stilled. The sun seemed to send its rays reverberating off of her sweet hair, blinding Harry's eyes. She seemed to be glowing brighter than the sun at that moment. He had that sudden urge to completely demolish that barrier again. Ginny giggled as they passed under the shade of a tree's leaves, "Harry, why are you looking at me like that?"
"Oh." Harry swallowed, turning his head away from her. He quickly tired to rid of the flush across his cheeks. He reminded himself to punch himself later. Ginny gave a soft laugh and turned towards the path again with a slight hum. Harry admired her sweet voice as it filled the air. Harry wondered if her voice had been charmed to make his heart swell, thumping rapidly in his chest, making him feel like he was flying again.
As if she had read his mind, she laughed out with a smile, kicking a pebble with her sandal, "I want to see you fly again. I want to see that look on your face every time you mount a broom. That should be the very next thing we do when we get home."
"All right. How does it feel? You know, when you're up in the air. You keep saying that I adore it. What is it like?" Harry asked breathlessly, watching children swing happily across the way. Ginny sighed and opened up her arms, closing her eyes and breathing in the flowery scent that surrounded them as if it were heaven, "It's like...Oh wow, I don't even know how to explain it. It feels like you can own the world. You feel like you can just open up your arms and soar. Nothing will ever bring you down. It's amazing." Ginny turned to Harry and whispered, "It's like...Every time I look at you or speak your name, my heart skips a beat."
The wind rushed past as her voice soared into his ears like the soft stringing of a harp. Ginny's face flushed and she turned from him. Harry continued to smile at her, his white teeth glistening through his open smile, his long hair rustling with the wind. It seemed as though with Ginny's simple words, that barrier came crashing down. It finally fell, pelleting to the ground. And, truth be told, Harry wasn't all that sad about it. He slowly lifted one of his large hands and offered it to her. Ginny turned to him feebly and took the open hand, looping their fingers around each others.
As their hands settled in the warm palm of the other, they began strolling down the lane again. Ginny sighed in happiness, their hands swinging slowly and rhythmatically by their sides with the gentle thumpings of their hearts. They stepped across the wooden planks of a bridge above a steady flowing creek and Ginny paused, sighing and breathing in heavily. She closed her eyes and whispered, leaning against a rail of the bridge, "Flying's like holding your hand on a warm day with a cool breeze. The way I feel right now..."
Harry turned to her with an adoring smile and he tried to force all thoughts of Elizabeth out of his mind as Ginny titled her head to the side and Harry blinked quickly, gazing into her eyes. He bit his lip, swallowing hard, and he lifted his free hand as he squeezed their entwined ones. His hand came upon the open and warm skin of her neck and Harry slowly lowered his head down to hers. He saw Ginny's lips spread into a successful smile before he closed his eyes and pressed his lips against her soft ones.
Ginny kissed him back, her lips like butterflies on Harry's. Her kisses were quick and warm, lustful, as if she hadn't kissed the man she loved in nearly four months. Which she hadn't. Harry found himself unable to stop. He grunted in satisfaction as her lips quickly moved against his. He kissed her back, slow and tender until their mouths made a passionate rhythm. Ginny reached for his body and pulled him against her. Harry let out a groan as her round chest pressed against his abs, his abdomen along her hips. Ginny let his name escape from her lips.
Hearing his name leave Ginny's lips, Harry quickly found himself back on his feet. Flashes of Elizabeth raced across his mind and he pulled away abruptly, turning around and facing the other side of the bridge. Harry coughed and choked out, gripping the wooden railing, watching his knuckles turn white, "I-I'm sorry."
Ginny sighed from behind Harry and ran her fingers through her hair, grumbling under her breath. She had been so close! She had finally lured him to her and then he pulled away. She missed his touch so much and she didn't understand why Harry wouldn't kiss her, hug her, much less do anything else. She missed him so much. She wondered if Harry would ever love her the way he used to. Ginny closed her eyes and titled her head back as tears threatened them.
She knew Harry didn't love her. She knew he was stressed and had many things on his mind and she didn't push that matter even though she was dying to. She wanted to wriggle her way in there and learn what was on his mind. She wanted to make everything better. But even more she wanted him to love her. That was why she had been trying so hard those past few weeks to try and be patient with Harry.
She had finally lost it. She asked, raising her hands in sadness, "Harry, what is it? I've been trying so hard for you to know me again. Even when we had first met you weren't like this."
"I-I...It's nothing. I'm sorry." Harry shook his head and turned back towards. He looked at her small form and forced out Elizabeth's voice as he took in how badly Ginny wanted him to love her. He could see it in the sadness of her eyes. It hurt him. For the pain twisting and growing at the sight of her, he took another bold step forward and placed his hand on her shoulder, kissing her again.
Ginny was surprised, but kissed him back gently. After a long and lustful kiss, Harry drew away with a small smile. He offered her his hand again, "Come on. Let's get something to eat."
Ginny smiled back happily and nodded, croaking in a breathless vioce, "All right." They walked along the lane and out of the park to stroll along the streets. As they passed by a certain building, Harry let his eyes glance to the door and search the windows for any sight of her. Elizabeth's flat was just across the street. Harry became so tempted to burst across the street and let that door fly open and take her into his arms.
But that was only a dream, which was currently way beyond reach. Harry sighed as they strolled along and Ginny picked out a small cafe. They were seated at a table and Harry picked up the muggle newspaper sitting on the table. Ginny wrinkled her nose, "You're not going to find anything in there worth knowing."
"Eh, you're right." Harry shrugged, "But why not?" Ginny smiled as Harry turned the page and he stopped, swallowing hard when he saw a certain ad.
Elizabeth Katheryn Green
Birthdate: April 23, 1981
Missing for one month
Harry threw down the paper and slid out from the booth, grabbing onto Ginny's hand. He tugged on her hand, "Ginny, we have to go."
"We have to go now." Harry said quickly, panting and worried for Elizabeth. Harry sprinted out of the cafe, tugging Ginny along. Ginny yelped in frustration and confusion as they caught eyes on the streets, "Harry! Harry, slow down! Why do we have to go?"
"Come on." Harry tugged, bolting across the street to the door of Elizabeth's flat. Harry pressed his body against the door and drew out his wand, looking around to inspect if anyone was watching. He whispered, "Alohomora."
The door clicked softly and Harry shoved his wand back into his pocket, flinging the door open and sprinting inside. Harry called out even though he knew what the result would be, "Elizabeth! Elizabeth!!!"
"Who's Elizabeth?" Ginny asked, confused as Harry entered the living room of the flat, looking around the demolished place. Harry said quickly as he dug through the books flung on the floor, the broken pieces of glass and the shreds of the flowers that had sat happily on the end tables and coffee table. Harry murmured quickly, rising and running into the bedroom, "The woman who found me."
Ginny's eyes went wide and she stuttered, "O-Oh."
"She's missing. That's what I just read in the newspaper." Harry said in a monotone voice as his foot came down with a crunch of a frame. Harry looked down to it and slowly lowered himself to the ground as Ginny asked, looking about, "Why would she be missing?"
"I have no idea." Harry whispered as he closed his eyes in pain, pulling a picture out of its broken frame. He looked to Ginny to make sure the coast was clear before tucking the picture into his pocket. Harry rubbed his forehead in aggravation and guilt. Was it his fault that she was missing...?
He had to find her. He knew he had to. It was all his fault. He knew it.
As Ginny watched Harry fall to the floor and rub his temples in annoyance while he pulled his knees to his chest, Ginny swallowed and blinked uneasily. A thought tugged at the back of her mind, yet she didn't dare let herself believe it. She wouldn't even consider it a possibility. Harry would never, wouldn't he...?
He didn't even know me then... she thought as she watched him breath uneasily, moaning in pian. It was an extreme possibility. She shook her head and groaned. It's not possible. It's just not. Harry wouldn't do that...
Ginny's lips quivered as her heart broke into a thousand tiny pieces and tears swelled in her eyes. She bit her lip to surppress a sob and she turned away from him, lowering herself into one of the torn arm chairs.
Did Harry love this Elizabeth...?
When Harry and Ginny walked across the threshold of their home a few hours later and into the kitchen, Ginny kicking off her sandals in an annoying fashion, she folded her arms across her chest and watched Harry settle himself at the kitchen table. Ginny leaned against the counter, the room in silence, and she gazed at Harry as questions ran through her mind. There were way too many to be answered.
The bubble of patience finally blew up and Ginny asked in a low and serious voice, "Harry, you must tell me the truth. Do you love me?"
Harry slowly raised his head and looked to her. Harry swallowed, his insides pulling and contorting. He opened and closed his mouth for many moments until Ginny urged again, "Harry, tell me."
"I-I...I don't know. I'm not letting myself. I-I'm just not ready." Harry responded, shaking his head. That was a lie. If Elizabeth wasn't on his mind, then he would be ready, he would let himself, and he would, indeed, love her, but now that she was missing, most likely because of him, Harry just couldn't bring himself to it. Ginny shook her head in aggravation, looking up to stop the tears from rolling down her cheeks, "It's jut not fair."
"What's not fair...?" Harry whispered, almost inaudible. He looked uneasily to her and watched her, pull at her hair and wipe fiercely at her eyes, "You loved me. You loved me. Then that bloody mission came and you did something to save my life. Now you don't even know what that was! You saved me and I'd be dead if it weren't for you, b-but...you lost your memory! You forgot everyone! Everything! Even me. You forgot your own wife! Now I've been trying to work so hard and have you love me again, but I don't think you ever will. You're different. I'm not the only one who has noticed. Ron and Hermione have. Even my other brothers and parents have. Even your niece. It's not fair. What have I done to deserve this...?"
"You haven't done anything to deserve this..." Harry shook his head, feeling guilt rise in his flesh as he turned his head from the sobbing woman.
Ginny was right. Ginny loved him and he had obviously loved her so much in return. Now a horrible accident had occurred and Harry had forgotten everything. Ginny bit her lip and asked, shrugging her shoulders, "Then why won't you love me. You're holding back. And it's not because you're trying to regain who you are. I know that! I'm not as blind as you think I am. I've been calm, I've been patient, I've done everything I can to try and stop all my questions, but I have to ask. Do you love the woman who found you?"
Harry looked to her and blinked. He couldn't tell her the truth. Harry couldn't even imagine what would happen if he did. So, instead he shook his head and said in as convincing a voice that he could make, "No. I do not."
"Then why won't you love me?! I love you, Harry! I miss my husband! I want him back. I need to know if there will ever be a time when you might love me again. If there won't, then I'm not going to waste my time..." Ginny whispered, tears streaking down her cheeks.
Harry shook his head sadly, "I'm sorry, but I can't answer that right now."
Ginny bit her lip, trying to restrain herself from shouting at him. Her lips quivered in cries and in anger, but she gripped her elbows tightly and forced all her anger into her arms with squeezes. Harry took his head into his hands at the table and Ginny whispered, "Fine then. I'm going to bed."
Ginny left his presence. Harry could hear her fast and angry descent up the stairs and with each pad of her feet, Harry felt his heart ripping into tiny shreds. It was only seven thirty. There was no way she was seriously going to sleep. Then again, Harry had no clue. She had probably only said she was going to bed to get away from Harry.
Harry pondered her words for many minutes. It might have been hours. It might have passed into the morning, he did not know. But he had to admit to himself. She was right. She was right about, well, everything. Ginny deserved everything she had said and Harry was being stubborn. He wasn't giving that to her. Harry closed his eyes, Elizabeth flashing before across his mind, and her voice suddenly floated into his ears, a memory visiting him from his times with Elizabeth.
"Harry, you have to do me a favor. Forget about me. Love Ginny. Ginny must love you so much and it's not right for you to not love her because of me. I want you to love her. Please. Please, Harry. For me. Love her. Nothing is worse than a woman's broken heart."
"But I'll break your heart then..." Harry whispered in return.
Elizabeth shook her head as she stroked Harry's cheek, kissing him gently, "No you won't. You would never. You'd be mending my heart by loving her. Please. Love Ginny..."
Harry opened his eyes and rose quickly. He would do it. He would love Ginny. He would let himself love Ginny and he wouldn't feel like he should run away and jump off a cliff for it. He reminded himself that it would make Elizabeth happy. He knew she was missing at the moment, but Harry couldn't do anything about that tonight. He would work on figuring out a way of finding her first thing in the morning. But for now...
For now he would fix things with Ginny.
Harry looked to the clock. More time had passed than he had thought. It was eleven. Harry rose quickly and left the kitchen, turning off the lights as he passed. He doubted Ginny was asleep and he really didn't mind for the moment if he would wake her. He began making his way up the stairs and he slowly gained speed as he went, calling up, "Ginny! Ginny!!"
Harry ran down the hall and slowed outside of their bedroom. Harry poked his head inside and spotted her small form, curled up on her side. He heard a small sniff and stepped in, swallowing uneasily. He sighed as she turned and looked at him through the darkness of the room. Harry continued approaching her, his eyes warming at the sight of her frail form and tear stained cheeks, the moonlight casting a sweet shadow across her.
Harry whispered before involuntarily climbing on top of her, pressing his body against hers from on top of the covers, stroking her hair, "I'm sorry. I've been stubborn. I will love you, Ginny. I promise you I will." and he let his lips descend upon hers. Ginny didn't move from underneath him. Instead, she let Harry adjust his body on top of hers and let him rub his hand in smooth circles along her shoulder, his other caressing her neck. When she was sure Harry wasn't going to draw away, she felt her insides soar in happiness and she began kissing him back slowly.
As Harry kissed her tenderly, surprisingly to himself loving every minute of her touch and savoring her sweet breath of peppermint, he worked down the covers between their bodies until he could press himself against her short, satin nightgown. Harry pushed out Elizabeth as he felt his heart begin to beat faster and faster with each delicate touch of Ginny's arms wrapped around him, one of her hands along his hips, her cold and gentle fingers slipping up his shirt.
He found himself able to kiss her romantically, hold her, caress her, and nip at her affectionately without a single thought of Elizabeth. It was odd how all his thoughts morphed into Ginny and he was actually happy with that. The barrier, which he had been trying to hold up so strongly, came crashing down and he found himself moaning her name against her neck, licking her sweet skin.
Ginny gave off a groan as she arched her back against him and Harry fell into the crook of her legs. She pulled up his shirt with smiling and now excited eyes and tossed it above their heads. Harry suddenly became modest of the tattoo on his left arm and he quickly slipped his arm under Ginny's back, bringing her hips to his, not wanting her to see the snake and skull tattoo. If Harry didn't yet know what it was, then he wasn't comfortable with sharing it. Ginny might know what it is and then events that Harry wasn't quite yet ready for could occur. He didn't want that.
So he kept his forearm out of her eye sight as his hand slowly ran along her smooth thighs and grabbed the lacy edges of her nightgown. He pulled it above her head, surprised to see nothing under it. Harry dropped it softly next to their bodies and grunted as Ginny dug her nails into his back. The sight of her beautiful, pale body was breath taking. Harry whispered with a smile, "I'm not leaving you again. I promise. I-I...I love you, Ginny..."
Ginny closed her eyes and hugged him tightly. Harry kissed her shoulder and for an unknown reason, Ginny found herself sobbing.
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