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Chapter 1 : I wake
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“You don’t always have to look, Harry,” came an almost inaudible voice from a damp, shadowy corner, “Sometimes I – ”
The voice broke off, sharply. Like her breath had been running itself along a glossy handrail, like a hand would, but had had its path cut by a shard of glass, or a protruding nail. Her cease in speech caused the owner of the green eye to turn around, finally relenting in its task of staring out this tiny crack.
“Sometimes you what?” he asked harshly, hastening over to the corner where Ginny was huddled. She had a blanket wrapped around her knees, but it did little to prevent the biting sea air that constantly whistled through the cave from penetrating her skin.
Harry placed a hand on Ginny’s shoulder, and stared at her intently, using his unfailing gaze to force her brown eyes into his. They had changed over the year, and even more so in the past month. They weren’t sunny anymore, nor innocent. Every part of her innocence had been corrupted in this cave, tainted and tarnished, until her once bounding red heart was now thumping almost black blood round her body.
“I can’t tell you,” she closed her eyes, and looked down, a tear melting a path through the layer of grime that coated her cheeks. White skin appeared in the channels, slowly revealed by the progression of salt water down her face, “Never you.”
“You can tell me anything!” Harry implored, trying to chivvy her along with a wide smile.
“We can’t raise a child here!” speech burst from her mouth, and her dead eyes bored into Harry’s manically alive ones, “Never! It’s not right, it’s disgusting and I shouldn’t ever have – ”
“But it’s the best place!” Harry put his face into hers, “It’ll keep you safe! That’s all you want isn’t it? I know it’s all I want. Whilst you’re in danger I can’t – I can’t think straight.”
“You’re not thinking straight now!” Ginny said shrilly, “I would rather die than give birth to a child here! Have it living in this cave where it’s so cold that it would be frozen to death within hours – “”
“I’ll find somewhere warmer, for both of you,” Harry was getting desperate, “But I can’t let you out there. Not since he – that bastard’s looking for you! If we leave this place then he will – he’ll kill you.”
His final words came as a croak, an exhausted croak, born of nearly two years of running, and a year hiding out in a tiny cave next to the rampaging North Sea. It was constantly freezing, the walls were constantly damp, their spirits constantly marred, and their pulses constantly raised, forever fearful for the Death Eaters that they knew were hunting them. Harry’s biggest and most soul-eroding fear was that one day he would peer out that crack in the wall and see the black mass of cloaks and masks, perhaps even the pale white face and red eyes itself. What if one day his green eye met a red one on the other side? He could cope with the concept of his own death, but the death of Ginny and his unborn child – it was a different ball game altogether; the difference between a amiable Quidditch practise at Hogwarts, and the furious competition of the World Cup.
Ginny had been pregnant for around eight months, and had survived on nothing but fish summoned by Harry at the mouth of their cave. Ginny wasn’t allowed near the mouth of the cave. She hadn’t seen the sun for a year. And her pasty skin showed it.
“I wake in the morning and I pray that I’ll be dead by the evening,” Ginny whispered, her voice not even audible due to the thundering crashes of the waves against rock, but Harry heard every word. He was heartbroken, “Praying for my death is all that keeps me going.”
“How could you pray for your own death?” he asked her, quickly standing up and backing away from her, as though she were diseased.
“Because there is nothing to live for anymore!” she screamed, pounding her fists against the rough rock floor, “Our lives are stagnant! Ruled by one thing: the fear of death! My will to be alive is so depleted that my fear of death has taken over, and now I want nothing more than to die.”
“But that’s why you got pregnant! To give us hope and reason!” Harry said desperately, squatting in front of Ginny once more and trying to take her hands.
“That’s a sick reason for wanting a child,” Ginny spat, throwing Harry’s hands off her, “Foul. Imagine raising it in here, unable to even see the sun! It’d only be another thing we’d have to hide from Voldemort and can you imagine the death of a child? It’d rip your soul apart, Harry, and to be completely honest with you, as I always have been, I’m not even sure either of us have souls anymore.”
“Don’t be mental,” Harry tried to laugh, but it sounded hollow and panicked, “Of course we have souls. I know I still have a soul because I still love you.”
His face was alight with manic energy, his eyes huge in his wasted and pale face, dark shadows permanently engraved into his skin.
Ginny’s face creased into tears, hot and constant.
“I still love you,” she pulled his face to hers, pressing her damp cheek against Harry’s, desperate for some form of contact, whilst her mouth howled over his shoulder, blending in with the roaring wind.
Harry relished her, closing his eyes as he put his hand at the back of her neck, just so that he could feel the soft line where her hair begun. He couldn’t squeeze her tight because of her huge bump, but he just held her, as her howling tears and cries melted into the wind.
His heart rate had almost slowed to an average pace when Ginny’s cries suddenly contorted into an insanely petrified scream, shrill and piercing into his eardrums. As she was staring into the exit to the cave over Harry’s shoulder, he knew she could see something he could not. Nausea belted into his stomach, bringing with it acid. He choked, all in the space of a tiny second.
He leapt up, ensuring he was fully in front of Ginny, and finally saw the tall, pale figure. Lord Voldemort had finally found them. His mouth was twisted into a sickening grin, as his eyes were wide with the jubilant mania that he associated with supreme malevolent triumph. Finally, after months and months of searching, the Potter boy and his wife were his…
“Stand aside, you silly boy! Stand aside now!” Insane laughter screeched from his mouth.
These words directed at him were enough to disarm him totally. Months of having adrenaline being pumped around his bloodstream, and now his reactions were sluggish and useless, just when he needed them. Months of jumping every time a strand of seaweed fell from the ceiling, every time a drip landed in a puddle… and now Lord Voldemort was finally here, and he hadn’t even taken out his wand. Nothing mattered to him except Ginny’s survival. It was all he could think about. He just couldn’t think of how to ensure it happened. His brain had been emptied of all rational thought. All he could manage to comprehend was what he had left: Ginny, and his unborn child.
“She has a child,” Harry said, his voice slow, “Kill me, and let her go.”
“Now, now Potter. Let us not forget that I have made that mistake once! Forcing yourself to die for her…” Voldemort taunted silkily, “I am no fool; I do not make mistakes twice…”
“I’m a Horcrux,” Harry said, staring into Voldemort’s eyes blankly, “Kill me, and you kill yourself.”
“Not if I have more, Potter; I have been busy in your absence, you know,” Voldemort drew a wand from his cloak, and pointing it delicately into Harry’s face, “Now move. Get out of my way.”
“Why do you need to kill her?” Harry said, anguish finally creeping into his voice, “Take me, and let her go, please…”
“Harry Potter is pleading with me!” Voldemort let out a scream of humourless laughter, “How I wish I hadn’t come alone … how my Death Eaters would love to hear this… to hear Harry Potter plead as he reaches his worthless end…”
Harry’s judgement, senses and comprehension of the situation had completely left him, like this was a nightmare that he’d wake up from. After all, he’d had many like this. He was just about to dreamily reach for his own wand when a sudden intake of breath from behind him made him involuntarily turn around.
“My waters have broken,” Ginny squeaked up at him, her petrified eyes going into Harry’s, willing him to do something to help. Her tears were pathetically painted all over her face.
Voldemort took advantage of the split second that Harry turned, and he only heard the words: “Avada Kedavra!” when it was too late.
Harry’s dead body fell over onto Ginny as she sat, horror struck and in immense agony as her first contraction took hold of her body. She couldn’t think of anything else but the pain; never mind that her dead husband’s face was digging into her leg, she could deal with that later. In desperation, she bid two words to Voldemort, two words that had never been put in his path before:
“Help me,” she whispered.
Voldemort was so shocked he didn’t know how to act as Ginny let out one final scream of pain, and eventually it became too much for her wasted body to bear, and she collapsed dead, sliding down the wall right next to her husband.
This, again is a one shot that was churning around and I had to get it out. Sometimes I get so bogged down in fluff that tales such as this are born! It's my "dark" side trying to get a say in things. :D
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