Her head was throbbing; pounding out the slow beats of her heart, making her want to vomit with each beat. She refused to open her eyes.
Too loud! She tried to tell him to bugger off but the words wouldn’t leave her mouth.
“Come on, drink this.”
Something was put to her lips, but she wouldn’t open her mouth. If she opened her mouth she was sure she would retch.
He pinched her nose.
“Hey!” Ginny squawked and then started to gag as a foul tasting liquid burned a trail down her throat. Immediately her headache went away and she was able to crack her eyes. Harry’s pale face was directly in her line of vision. “What?”
“We have a problem,” he said, his voice flat as he sat down next to her on the bed.
Wait… bed? Ginny turned her head slowly to see a room that she didn’t recognize. It was shabby, and looked to be furnished with only a chamber pot; besides the bed, of course. Slowly she turned back to him and then looked down at herself and let out a huge sigh of relief. Her clothing was still on! She glanced back to Harry. “Where are we?”
“Scotland, I think.”
She frowned and panned the room again, trying to look for clues. “Budge over,” she said, poking him so she could sit up. Ginny ran a hand distractedly through her hair and felt the knots that she always woke up with. The bed creaked as she made to stand. It was a small bed, no bigger than her bed at home. “What…” her voice trailed off as she padded a few steps from him, turning back, “what happened?”
Harry looked ill and she saw belatedly that his hair looked even messier than usual. “I don’t know. I woke up and we were sleeping cuddled up. I thought I was have a really great dream at first and wasn’t going to move, but then my head started to pound, so I slipped out of bed and saw where we were and there was a bottle on the floor that said “hangover potion” so I drank it and that’s when I decided to wake you up.” He said it in one long breath as if trying to get it over with.
Ginny looked around suspiciously, trying to decide what she thought of this place. The potion may have taken away her headache, but her brain still felt a bit wooly. “So why do you think we’re in Scotland?”
Harry cleared his throat and she glanced over to see him holding up his left hand.
“What?” she asked, not understanding what he meant.
“Look at your hands, Ginny.”
She held out her hands in front of her and then she saw it. A simple gold band on the ring finger of her left hand. Oh sweet Merlin Her eyes flew back to him and saw the glint on his hand before she dropped heavily back onto the bed, wanting to crawl back in. “What did we do?” she asked, looking at Harry whose face must mirror her own lost expression.
“I think,” Harry said slowly, reaching for her hand, “that we drank just a bit too much firewhiskey.”
Ginny narrowed her eyes, trying to recall and then suddenly it hit her. Her 17th birthday had been yesterday, at least she thought it was yesterday. She, Ron, Hermione and Harry had sat outside drinking down a bottle of firewhiskey, or two… or had it been three? She shook her head, and went back to the memory. Hermione had told them of the rash of marriages that had taken place that week.
Couples had Apparated up to Scotland…
And then Ron had said he was going to escort Hermione home because her parents had something going on the next day…
Then Harry had said something and… that was it. “I remember until Ron left with Hermione and then I go blank.”
“That’s about where my memory fizzles out too,” he said, running his large, calloused thumb along her knuckles. “So what are we going to do?”
Ginny looked up quickly and wished she hadn’t. A shot of pain rushed through her head, but just as quickly faded. “What do you mean?”
“I mean… Ginny we’re too young to be married.” His eyes were steady but he looked terrified. “I mean, aren’t we?”
“I…” Ginny faltered. He was right, of course, but there wasn’t anything they could do about it. They were… married. It was scary to even think it. “I don’t know, but we’re… we’re in this. It’s not like it can be undone.”
Harry hesitated briefly before asking, “What about an annulment?”
“An annulment, you know, since we didn’t, uh, consummate the marriage.”
Ginny just stared at him blankly. “I don’t know what that is.”
His eyes seemed to fill with something. “I think that it’s a Muggle thing. Muggles, if they don’t have sex, can get the marriage dissolved.”
Ginny felt her heart constrict painfully. “You want to dissolve our marriage?” It came out shriller than she wanted it. Hold it together Ginny.
“No! Well…” he stopped and got up to pace. With each step he took she felt her heart break just a bit more. Harry spun back to her and held his hands out. “You’re going back to school in a few weeks.”
Ginny groaned. She’d completely forgotten about Hogwarts. “I don’t think I can, now. I don’t think married people can attend.”
Harry’s face paled. “Oh.” He came back to the bed and sat back down. “I don’t want you to lose out on finishing school.”
She didn’t want to either, although she wasn’t exactly looking forward to it. Still, she’d always thought that she would take her NEWTs. Now, however… “It’s okay.” Or it might be, if he actually wanted to be married. “Maybe we could pretend this didn’t happen.”
“Do you want to do that?” Harry asked, his voice void of emotion.
“I don’t know… oh Merlin, we have to tell my parents.” Ginny wanted to cry. This was not going to go well.
Harry reached for her hand again. “All right, so we’re in this then, yeah?”
Ginny raised a questioning eyebrow but kept silent.
“I mean,” Harry stammered, “I kind of thought we might get married someday.”
Ginny knew she looked surprised, and couldn’t stop herself from blurting out, “You did?”
“Yeah, well,” Harry’s cheeks turned pink and he looked away embarrassed. “You’re the only one I think about in that way.”
Ginny felt a breath leave her body that she didn’t know she’d been holding. It wasn’t that Harry was regretting this with her, it was that he was regretting it right now. She could understand that. “So what should we do?”
Harry turned back to her and leaned in to kiss her. He had morning breath and he needed to shave, but she didn’t care. When he pulled back it was with a smile. “If we’re in this together forever, then we deal with whatever comes.”
Ginny knew what he meant and dread settled into the pit of her stomach like bad fish. “We have to tell my parents.”
"Too bad they can get past the Fidelius at Grimmauld or we could hide there for the next twelve years,” Harry muttered dejectedly, to which Ginny had to agree.
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