Chapter 8 : Reactions
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"Ron, please..." Hermione begged, her voice and heart felt empty, lost. A bit like it had done when Ron had left the tent all those months ago. Ron didn't reply, he'd completely lost his use of speech.
Harry had got to his feet and began to walk slowly and tentatively towards Ginny. He didn't get far though, Ginny had pulled out her wand and pointed it at his face before he could do anything. He looked shocked and took a step backwards, faltering. Ginny took her opportunity and advanced, Harry struggled to remain moving backwards without tripping, then his body impacted with the wall and Ginny held him there, not with her wand, but with her angry blazing look that frightened Harry as much as coming face to face with a Boggart.
"You're underage..." Harry mumbled.
"Doesn't mean I can't use my fists," Ginny stormed, "now spill."
Harry looked downright terrified by Ginny's behaviour. Ron on the other hand had now taken on a look of being completely baffled and bewildered, stood in a state of shock by the door, Hermione didn't know what to say. Harry couldn't speak.
"Harry Potter you tell me right now!" Ginny shouted in his face; Harry's eyes widened behind his glasses. Three things passed through Ginny’s mind. First she was angry, second she was heartbroken and third she felt as though she wasn’t good enough. The third thing is what upset her most and it was fuelling her outbreak to the point of no return.
"It...it was nothing Ginny, Hermione just needed a hug," Harry stammered.
"You're lying, I can tell when you're lying Harry, so tell me right now! What happened!?"
"Ginny, stop!" Hermione shouted out of nowhere, causing Ginny to spin round and aim her wand at Hermione. Harry, momentarily, was free.
"Go on then Hermione, you tell me seeing as Scarhead doesn't have the guts!" Ginny raged. She was scaring everyone now, even Ron looked a little terrified. Hermione looked across at Harry, who nodded silently.
"Ginny, calm down and I'll tell you," Hermione smiled nervously, using her hands to try and imitate calmness.
"Tell me now Granger!" Ginny spat. Ron suddenly found his voice and stepped forward. He felt hurt, like the whole world had turned on him and his worst fear had come true, but he wouldn’t let Ginny treat Hermione as she was doing so, even if he did feel utterly broken inside.
"Ginny, don’t treat Hermione like that!" Ron spurted, his eyes were tearful but his face flashed with warning.
"What? You’re sticking up for her? She’s just cheated on you with your best friend you moron!" Ginny fired, but she dropped her wand arm none the less. Harry reached out and grabbed Ginny's wand from her so she could make no more threats with it. Ginny spun round to face Harry again.
"Just tell me, I want to hear you say it," Ginny begged, her voice jagged and tears flying from her eyes. Harry reached out his hands and held Ginny's arms to her side, she was trembling.
"Okay, I kissed her, I kissed Hermione," Harry began, looking directly into Ginny’s tear-ridden eyes and feeling a deep guilt seep through his every vein. Ginny was a statue now, Harry could almost hear her heart hammering in her chest.
"I kissed Hermione," Harry continued, "when we went to the Slytherin Dormitories. Hermione didn't kiss me back, she stormed out instead, okay? And just then, well, Hermione may have kissed me but she didn't mean it, I know she didn't. Then we just hugged, nothing more Ginny."
Ginny's eyes looked cold. She still didn't move but her eyebrow arched.
"All that stuff you said to me in the Dungeons, I can't believe you poured that out right after you'd kissed her," she murmered, her eyes flicking downwards. The whole world seemed to have suddenly disappeared around her; it was as though she was in a bubble and she could only see Harry. Worse though was that she felt so cheated, betrayed even. She didn’t even notice Ron, who’d stormed forward with his fist raised and had been frozen by Hermione’s immobulus charm.
"I know Ginny, I know, it was wrong, I'm sorry," Harry said, pushing his head forward so it lifted Ginny's and their foreheads were touching. It would be alright. Harry knew Ginny would understand, she'd let him off, he could feel her breathing slow, she was calming down now.
Then Ginny switched. Her hands flew out of nowhere, breaking Harry's grip and pushing him backwards. Harry stumbled but remained stood. Then Ginny swung at him with her free hand, her fist colliding with his cheek bone. Ginny's wand flew from Harry's hand as he stumbled backwards again, this time falling to the floor. Ginny threw herself on him, punching and kicking him wherever she could lay a finger to him. Her rage and anger spilled out like a hurricane hitting the coast. Harry shouted out in pain, begging her to stop, but she wouldn't, she was like an erupting volcano, attempting to destroy everything in its wake. Hermione's eyes widened in disbelief. She momentarily lost concentration and Ron broke free of the charm. He moved forwards. Hermione grabbed his arm before he could join Ginny, new tears rolling down her cheeks.
"Ron, please, stop her!” she pleaded, her eyes wide. Ron shrugged her off and his jaw clenched. He couldn’t look at Hermione anymore he realised. It hurt too much.
"Ron! Ron! No!" Hermione yelled as Ron moved towards the brawl. Instead of joining the fight though he wrapped his long lean arms around Ginny and yanked her away, pulling her to a corner of the room. She didn't move as Ron dropped her there. In fact she looked a mess. Tears were flooding freely down her cheeks and her hair was wild and covered half her face. She rolled up, wrapping her arms around her legs. Ron only stood over her, looking at the floor in front of him with a dejected look on his face. It broke Hermione's heart, even after what her and Harry had done to him, he still blamed himself for it.
Harry pulled himself up and put his glasses back on, they’d flown off when he’d stumbled. Blood ran from a cut on the top of his head and he had a nosebleed. His lip was also cut and a bruise was already forming on his right eye. Harry felt pain all over in fact, but he knew he deserved it. He couldn't bring himself to think that he'd made Ginny turn into the sudden blubbering wreck she now was, he'd hurt her, hurt her so bad it was like he'd torn out her heart from her chest and stamped on it. Ginny had never cried like this before, and Harry suddenly realised she'd never forgive him. Hermione, who was stood in the middle of the room, suddenly collapsed onto the side of the bed, her head in her hands.
And that's how they stayed, for longer than Harry could have thought possible. Ron standing over Ginny with a pained look on his face, Ginny rolled up in a ball at Ron's feet rocking back and forward with steady sobs, Hermione sat on the end of the bed with her head in her hands in silence and Harry sat on the floor with his body wrecked and bruised and his mind even more so. Nobody knew what else to do.
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