Harry shook Ginny awake just as the sun peeked over the horizon of low homes that made up the section of London where they lived. She rolled over in their bed, swatting his arm away and pulling the covers over her head.
“Come on, Ginny,” Harry said, sounding annoyed as he turned on a light. He opened various drawers in one of the bureaus, pulling out different articles of clothing.
Ginny aired a noncommittal moan. “Get up,” Harry insisted.
“Why?” Ginny groaned out. “I don’t have anything to do today.”
“You never do,” he replied. “But Neville is leaving today and we were all going to have breakfast together.” Instead of answering, Ginny remained silent. “Come on,” Harry said, sounding pushier than before. He grabbed a fistful of the blankets and ripped them off of Ginny.
“Stop!” she cried out, reaching for the blankets. Her voice was still creaky from sleep and she still hadn’t opened her eyes.
“Get up,” he answered, throwing the blankets to the floor so she couldn’t reach them. “You do nothing all day long the least you could do is get up to see a friend off.”
Ginny finally cracked open her eyes and continued to squint until her eyes got used to the light. “I’m not the one who invited him here!” Ginny was never a morning person, and she definitely didn’t want to leave the warm bed on such a chilly September morning. It was impossible to find a nice Ginny when she was being woken up.
“Oh, that’s great,” Harry said, grabbing up all of the clothes he picked out, “just great.” Without even a glance towards Ginny, he stormed out the door, slamming it behind him.
Ginny lay in the empty room for a few minutes. She wasn’t completely surprised that she and Harry had already fought before she was even out of bed. It seemed like fighting was the only thing they were good at anymore.
After rubbing her eyes and one last stretch, she reluctantly got out of the bed. She looked down at the spot where Harry had slept, and noticed how far apart the indentations from their heads were. Too tired to think about it, she switched off the light that Harry had turned on and headed down the stairs.
When she finally reached the basement kitchen, she found Hermione sitting at the table and Ron cooking on the stovetop.
“Morning,” Hermione said as she continued to read the issue of The Daily Prophet she was holding. She took a sip of her coffee and leaned back into her chair. Sitting perfectly straight-backed, no slouching, with perfectly pressed clothing and not a hair out of place. Yet even in her new career in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, she remained very Hermione-like. While she looked the part, she wasn’t stuck up like the majority of the workers at the Ministry. She was still the Hermione who stood up for what she believed in, the Hermione who put her love for her friends and family before her love of her job.
Ron turned when Hermione spoke. “You’re up early,” he said. He turned back to the stove and prodded the crackling bacon. He was still wearing sweatpants and a t-shirt, his hair still mussed from sleep. None of the Weasleys had ever been morning people; they got it from their father.
“Harry wanted us all to have breakfast together,” Ginny said shortly. She poured herself a cup of coffee and plopped down in a seat across from Hermione, tucking her feet up under her.
“You look happy about it,” Ron remarked, flipped a few eggs. The toaster dinged and the bread popped up, but Ginny just put her head down and didn’t answer.
They sat quietly for the next few minutes the only sounds were the cooking food and the flipping pages of Hermione’s Prophet.
When Harry came downstairs, he was dressed for work but still had wet hair. He sat down silently at the table and took his glasses off to clean them on his shirt.
The silence that filled the room was uncomfortable. Ginny’s distress was no longer from being awake too early, but for not knowing what to say to the three people she lived with: her boyfriend, her brother, and one of her best friends. With any of them, there was a time where they could sit in a comfortable silence together, not needing to fill it. But now, something dark and heavy sat in the silence, threatening to break any of them at any moment.
There was a bustle at the top of the stairs, and then Neville came walking down.
“Well,” he said, oblivious to the awkwardness of the room. “I think I’ve got everything.”
“Hopefully,” Harry joked, summoning himself and Neville each a cup of coffee as Neville sat down.
“Listen, Harry,” Neville started, but then added, “and everyone.” Hermione put down her paper and Ron came over to the table, placing two steaming plates of breakfast in the center. “I really want to thank you guys for letting me stay here. I – I don’t know what I’d’ve done.”
“Alright, Neville,” Harry said, patting him on the back. “You know you’re more than welcome here anytime.”
Neville just sheepishly smiled and took a sip of his coffee. Ron was the first one to delve into the food, and when he had taken his plate, about half of what he made was left. Hermione smiled and rolled her eyes at him and said to Neville, “So, aren’t you excited!?”
“I’m a bit nervous, really,” Neville said.
“You’ll do great,” Hermione said, her tone honest. “You’re the youngest professor there in history! Probably anywhere. McGonagall hired you for a reason.”
“Thanks Hermione,” he said, filling up a plate for himself. “I just hope I don’t get a load of bad students or something. Ah don’ know wha’ I’ll do,” he added after he stuffed a mouthful of eggs into his mouth.
“He sounds like you, Ron,” Hermione said, causing everyone to laugh.
Ron shoved two whole pieces of bacon into his mouth, looked at Hermione, and said, “Wha’? No it don’!”
Hermione playfully slapped Ron in the arm as Ginny watched from across the table, the only one who still hadn’t spoken. She wasn’t sure if it was because she was still so tired or felt if she tried to joke along it would be too fake, but she just didn’t feel the want to speak. To be honest, she didn’t even want to be sitting at the table. She just wanted to go upstairs and climb back into her bed and forget the morning ever happened.
After another half hour of forced smiling later, and Ginny was standing up along with everyone else.
“Gin, do the dishes today,” Ron said as he placed his plate in the sink. Ginny shot him a dirty look. “Come on,” he insisted, “I just cooked all this food before you were even out of bed. You never do anything around here.” He went to the table and took Hermione’s plate and mug to the sink as well. Ginny saw Hermione give Ron’s arm a quick squeeze as she folded up her paper and picked up her bag that had been hanging off her chair.
“Yes I do,” Ginny snapped, heading towards the stairs behind Neville and Harry. “And I’ll do them after I shower.”
She followed Harry up to the entrance hall, knowing fully that when she went back upstairs, it wouldn’t be to shower, but to crawl back into bed.
Neville’s trunk and messenger bag sat at the top of the stairs, and he went over to them, slinging the bag onto his back.
“Again, Harry, I really am so thankful -” he started to say, but Harry but him off.
“Seriously, it was not a big deal,” he said. “I enjoyed having you. We all did.”
Ginny decided to suck it up for a minute. While she hadn’t exactly been thrilled when he permanently moved in with them after his grandmother died, Neville had been her friend for a few years and she couldn’t let her bad mood ruin the last time she would see him until the holidays.
“Bye, Neville,” she said, throwing her arms around his neck. “It was so great, you being here, honestly. I'd've missed you.”
“Aw, thanks Ginny,” he said, hugging her back. “Keep in touch, and I’ll see you soon.”
When the hug ended, Ginny stood awkwardly for a few moments before heading towards the stairs to the second floor. “I’m going to shower,” she said to Harry.
“I’m leaving for work in a minute,” Harry said.
“Alright, I’ll see you tonight,” Ginny said, leaning in towards him. They exchanged a quick kiss goodbye, just a peck with no feeling.
“See you,” Harry said as Ginny started climbing the stairs. When she got to the top and onto the landing, she turned with one last wave to Neville.
She waited for a few minutes in the bathroom until she heard the front door slam, and found her way back to the room she shared with Harry. It was fairly bare, with only two Quidditch posters hanging up: one of the Holyhead Harpies and one of Puddlemore United. There were a few photographs stuck to the wall.
Ginny’s favorite pictures were from the night that she returned from Hogwarts for the last time. As she lay back down in bed, she remembered the night vividly. The Weasleys threw a huge party at the Burrow for her and Hermione, since Harry and Ron hadn’t gone back to school after the war ended. Everyone she had ever met had been there. Her parents had opened up the whole backyard, since it was a warm June night, and everyone spent the entire night laughing and drinking and just enjoying everything around them.
She remembered sitting on a blanket with Harry at the end of the night, on top of a hill at the end of their property. It overlooked the horizon and they watched as the sun came up. It was the moment that Harry asked Ginny to move in with him. He had been living at Grimmauld Place with Ron, and Ron had already asked Hermione to move in. Ginny was reluctant, because they hadn’t seen a lot of each other the past year, as she was at Hogwarts while he was working for the Ministry in the Auror department. But when she looked at him, she knew her answer. His glasses were pushed up into his messy black hair and his green eyes were glowing. It might have been the love he’d been feeling at the moment or just the sun coming up and hitting his face, but she knew at that moment that she wouldn’t be able to live without him.
It was hard for her to imagine that that had only been two months ago. She looked at her and Harry’s relationship now and knew something needed to change. Neither of them could go on like this. She dreaded the conversation that was approaching them, maybe this week, maybe even tonight. She tried not to think about what he would say as she drifted off into a restless sleep.
a/n: Well I hope you guys enjoyed the first chapter! I know it seems a little rushed and I didn't even edit it so pardon any mistakes. I'm writing this for NaNoWriMo, so I wanted to quickly post a chapter so that I can try to find a beta. Since I'm going to be writing this fairly quickly, I'll try to keep up with posting chapters, but I have an extremely specific vision for this story so I don't want to post anything until I'm completely happy with it. But thanks for reading and I hope you check back soon!