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Chapter 2 : Questioning a Horrid Dancer.
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The funerals passed by with indecent haste. At the last funeral, Lupin's and Tonks', Harry met Teddy. He was small, of course, and his hair turned colors every few seconds. His eyes were wide, and curious alternating between brown, grey, purple, and bright green.
"I know that you are much to young to take care of a baby," Andromeda Tonks murmured, looking lovingly at Teddy, "But I know that N- my daughter and Lupin would want him to know you. I will take care of him, but you have to promise that you will be in his life as much as possible," Harry nodded, and tickled the baby's chin. He made a promise to himself that he would be a better godfather than Sirius was-and that he would be there for Teddy when he needed him.
After the funeral, a large celebration was held at the Burrow.
"Hey, Harry," Hermione greeted, sitting down on the bench near him, "Are you going to Hogwarts next year?" Harry hesitated, considering her words. He was almost sure he wanted to become an Auror, but that was before the Horcruxes and being in hiding for nearly a year. What else could he be? Especially because he now had Teddy in his future, and Voldemort was gone, all his plans had changed.
"I'm not sure, Hermione," he answered honestly, taking a swig of Butterbeer, "I wanted to be an Auror, but now... I'm not so sure." Hermione nodded in understanding.
"Ron is going back." Hermione offered helpfully, "George offered him a part-time job helping at the new Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes store in Hogsmeade. Also, I talked him into it." she smiled.
"Well, that's good. Not to mention you already have a date to any dance this year," Harry frowned, thinking about Ginny. Hermione sighed, and set down her mug of Butterbeer.
"Harry, are you sure that this 'just friends' thing is going to work out with Ginny? I know that you feel more than that for her. Why don't you just tell her?"
"I tried, Hermione," Harry said, looking a bit frustrated, "But she made it pretty clear that she would like us to be friends- just friends." There was a loud boom, followed by cheering.
"Come on, Harry," Hermione chided, pulling on his arm, "Come and watch the fireworks.Just forget I said anything." Harry nodded and allowed Hermione to half pull him into the yard.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Ginny sat at a table, not really listening to Aunt Muriel ramble on about making improvements to her tiara. The bright green fireworks stood out vibrantly against the black sky. Ginny blinked the light out of her eyes, remembering Harry and Voldemort's last duel.
"Now, I'm sure that if I find the proper twine-"
"Aunt Muriel, I'm going to go talk to Harry, alright?" Not waiting for her great-aunts answer, she walked over to Harry and took a seat by him.
"Hey. You okay?" Ginny asked.
"Er, yeah. You?"
"Fine. Harry, I know that you probably don't want to talk about this, but I'm curious about... about what happened in the forest." Ginny admitted.
"I thought Hermione told everyone?" he inquired.
"Well, she said that you were hit with the Killing-curse. And I want to know why you didn't say anything to me." Ginny admitted, rubbing her arm. Harry looked pained for a moment, then cleared his throat.
"I was hit with the Killing-Curse. I didn't say good-bye to anyone, Gin, not just you." her nick-name on his lips made her heart flutter. The warm feeling that had spread through her chest, was soon replaced by confusion.
"Good-bye? Why would you say good-bye? Did you know what was going to happen?" Ginny asked, suddenly feeling infuriated.
"I didn't say good-bye because-" he was cut off by the sound of loud, slow music.
"George," Ginny sighed under her breath. People started to pair up, and slow dance in time to the music. Harry took Ginny's hand and led her around the borders of the crowd.
"Just friends, Gin." Ginny highly doubted that this song was meant to be for 'just friends', but she let Harry hold her awkwardly. He really was a horrid dancer.
"You're supposed to put your right hand on my waist," She placed his hand on her waist, then held the other up. Once she placed the hand that wasn't holding his on his arm, they started revolving in slow circles.
"I didn't say good-bye because I knew-I thought I knew- that I was supposed to die. If I talked to anyone, you especially, I don't think I could've kept going." he continued, holding her close. Ginny took a shaky breath- it was hard to think when she was this close to him.
"So you let yourself die," she gulped, "To save everyone else?" he was silent for a moment, then nodded.
"But I came back," he said. "And I'm sorry that you had to believe that I was dead."
"Why did you come back? You must've known what was waiting for you," Ginny looked into his eyes, waiting for a reply.
"If you had the choice... would you come back?" Harry asked, staring at her intently. The truth was, yes she would. For her family. But Harry had none left- except for the Dursley's, perhaps.
"I would, but for my family. But you don't..." Harry smiled softly, but his framed tensed uneasily.
"-Have any family. It's okay, I understand. Maybe one day you'll realize why I came back." The friends swayed until the music stopped, then sat down at a table.
"I never thought of us as friends," Ginny admitted, looking at the glowing lights that illuminated the yard."I had a crush on you for the longest time... and then you kissed me. Well, I kissed you." she turned red at this, and ducked her head.
"I never thought of us as friends either. I liked you for a long time before you kissed me... I just told myself I couldn't, because you're Ron's little sister."
"I see. I still don't understand why you broke up with me. I mean, you told me a few times, but I still don't understand why." Ginny rambled.
"Everyone who is close to me ends up either hurt or dead. I can't let that happen to you." Ginny was silent for a moment, thinking about how Harry would blame himself for anything that happened to her family, or anyone getting harmed that he knew. And the sad thing was that his words were true. His entire family was dead. Sirius, Dumbledore, and Lupin- the people who tried to protect him- were dead. And now he had died trying to protect everyone else, which was not fair. Ginny had almost forgotten that Harry was only seventeen. He seemed much older and hardly had any fun.
"No one blames you for anything, Harry." Ginny said softly. Harry still wouldn't meet her gaze. His hair covered his eyes, making it impossible to figure out what he was thinking. "This summer we're going to act like normal teenagers. Who are wizards and witches," she said as an after-thought. Harry smiled.
"I'd like that." Ginny looked at him for a moment like something was bugging her then stood up, with her hands on her hips.
"Okay, let's begin with 'Mission Number One'... a haircut."
A/N: So there's another chapter! Again, I am sorry that this is short... I've had a bad case of writer's block, and with the holidays behind us I should be writing and posting more. Please review, and thank you so much for reading!
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