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Chapter 7 : Chapter 7
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Harry stood frozen as Cho leaned in towards him. He knew exactly what was coming. He’d even done this before with the same girl standing before him.
He thought about the only slightly awkward drink they’d just had together. It had gone better than the last time they’d attempted it. The very spot where they’d had their first and only date four years ago. It had gone terribly, and at that point he never wanted to be alone with her again. It had gone much better this time, especially since Cho wasn’t still grieving over Cedric. If it had been a real date, it would have been a pretty good date.
As Cho’s lips lingered a mere centimeter from Harry’s, he closed his eyes. He could smell the butterbeer on her breath as he breathed in.
Suddenly, his breath caught in his throat and his entire mouth went dry. When he closed his eyes, all he saw was Ginny. He knew that no matter how good of a conversation he and Cho had, with her was not where he wanted to be. Besides, kissing Cho wouldn’t be fair to her or to Ginny.
He stepped back and almost stumbled to the ground, his foot getting caught on an uneven brick. Cho’s eyes opened in surprise and she leaned back.
“Alright, w – well,” Harry stammered, regaining his footing. “I’ll talk to you soon.” With one last glance at her completely surprised face, he took another few steps back from her, turned, and Disapparated.
Harry violently brushed his teeth as Ginny stood next to him in the bathroom they shared, washing her face. He was so exhausted and didn’t feel like going through the routine of getting ready for bed, he just wanted to collapse under the covers and sleep for days. He wasn’t excited about having to wake up the next morning, nor about the subject that Ginny decided to bring up at the worst time.
“Can you leave me some money for tomorrow?” she asked casually, drying her face off with a towel like she wasn’t being offensive.
“What?” Harry asked, spitting the rest of his toothpaste into the sink and washing out his mouth. “What for?”
“I need to go tomorrow to get more contraceptive potion,” she answered.
Harry rolled his eyes. He knew he should be thankful about the potion, but it didn’t prevent him from getting angry with her. “Ginny, you need to get a job.”
“You’d still be paying for some of it even if I did have a job,” she snapped. “It’s not like you don’t want me on the potion.”
“Yeah, but we’d be splitting it and it would be fair.”
“It’s not even that expensive!” she cried.
“First of all, I give you eight galleons a month for it and that adds up. And secondly it’s not only about the cost. Just because you’re the one who has to take it doesn’t mean that I should be paying for it every time.”
“Fine, I won’t take it this month. Happy?” she spat, and with that stormed out of the bathroom. He heard their bedroom door slam and didn’t have the will to go after her. Ginny, like usual, drained what little energy he had at the end of every night out of him.
He sat down on the cold tile and closed his eyes. He lost track of time, and thought he could have been there for mere minutes or whole hours. He had no idea. He decided that he was going to have to sit down with Ginny and have a real, honest conversation with her. There would be no yelling or screaming or insults towards each other. They needed to be adults and calmly discuss everything that was going on between them or they would never last. It might take weeks, or based on the mood Harry was in, only days, but they were going to combust one day, and it would be bad. If this kept going on and they ended as they were now, there would never be any repairing it. And for Harry, that didn’t only mean no more Ginny, but no more happy holidays at the Weasleys and it would probably take its toll on his friendship with Ron.
He finally stood up once he couldn’t think about what he would say to her any longer. He quietly crept down the hallway and into his and Ginny’s room. He didn’t know why he was tip-toeing because if Ginny really was asleep, it wasn’t like she had to wake up for work in the morning. But he did keep quiet, even as he opened the top drawer in his bureau. Once inside, he opened an ornately carved wooden box and pulled out the moleskin pouch that Hagrid had given him years ago. He reached in and pulled out eight Galleons, making sure to put the pouch back into the box and close the drawer.
He went to the nightstand next to Ginny’s side of the bed and carefully placed to coins on it, trying his hardest not to put them down too quickly so they wouldn’t make noise. He looked at Ginny in the dim light shining in from the hall and realized he had never been so confused in his life. Seeing her asleep and looking so innocent and carefree, he couldn’t imagine how she could ever say some of the things that she did.
But she did say them, and it just reminded Harry of the talk they would have to have. Teddy came the following day, so the talk would have to wait until the next week, but Harry still dreaded it, and it was the last thought he had before he fell asleep.
A little over a week after Harry saw Cho, he decided to play hooky from work. After sending an owl to Kingsley about needing to day off, he brought Ginny down to the kitchen, made them each a cup of tea, and laid out everything that he was feeling. They sat across from each other at the long table and talked for hours. Harry spilled everything he felt, about how he hated them fighting but he also hated the fact that she wasn’t even looking for a job. He even told her that Cho had given him her address so they could go out. The only thing he didn’t tell her was that he actually did go out with Cho.
He learned that Ginny wasn’t being completely lazy by not having a job. She didn’t want one because she wanted to enjoy as much time as she could between being at Hogwarts and working. She felt they were so young and it was the only time they could just enjoy life before stressing over “adult” things. Harry admitted that he understood where she was coming from, but they could still have fun on the weekends because having a job wouldn’t consume her whole life. He was pleasantly surprised when she finally agreed to start looking. He thought everything was now okay between them.
They finished their talk around noon. They were already fighting again by twelve-thirty.
It started when Harry finished the book he was reading on the couch and spoke to Ginny, who was lying down the other end reading a magazine.
“So when do you think you’ll start looking?” he asked.
“I dunno,” she said absentmindedly. “Probably after Christmas.”
“What?” Harry asked.
“I said probably after Christmas.”
“Gin, it’s only halfway through November. I know we just talked about it but that’s over a month away,” he said, sitting up.
“Yeah, but what’s the rush?” she asked, lazily turning a page.
“What’s the rush?” Harry said, getting angry. “Were you listening to anything I said before?”
“Yeah, and I said I would start looking,” she said, putting the magazine down and looking agitated. “You didn’t tell me when I had to start.”
“What am I, your father?” Harry said. He realized it was a pretty mean and fairly strange thing to say, but he didn’t really care. “Look, I can’t make you look for a job, but remember, this is my house you’re living at, eating food you bought with my money. I’m not some…sugar daddy that you can just walk all over!”
“Well I’m sorry to be such an inconvenience to you!” Ginny screamed, standing up from the couch. “I didn’t realize that you were on such a tight budget, what with your well-paying job and fortune that your parents left you!” She paused, and Harry noticed that her face was bright red and she was breathing heavily. Then he saw a look in her eyes, and he knew she was about to become ridiculous any moment, and he was right. “I’m sorry, why don’t you just go date Cho. She’s got a job and her own place, plus you guys have already snogged! It’s a match made in heaven.”
She started to storm up the stairs, and Harry whispered something that he knew would change everything. “I can’t do this anymore.”
“What?” she said, her head snapping around to face him.
“You heard me,” was all he said.
“Fine,” she said, and turned towards the stairs again.
“You can move your stuff into one of the empty rooms on the third floor,” he said, staring at the floor. He couldn’t look into her eyes.
She paused for a moment, but continued up the stairs without saying anything. Harry lay back down on the couch and covered his eyes with his arm. He wasn’t sure what he’d just done, but he was shaking so hard that he couldn’t even focus. He didn’t move for quite some time, until he heard a large banging on the stairs.
He sat up and saw a brown leather suitcase tumbling down the stairs. He was about to stand up until he saw Ginny, fuming, chasing the bag down the stairs. Once at the bottom, she grabbed the handle and dragged it to the door. She turned towards him, and with no emotion on her face at all, said, “I hope you’re happy.”
After another moment, she opened the front door, slipped outside, and slammed the door behind her. Harry then heard the pop!, and he knew that she was gone.
Ron could barely contain his excitement as he exited Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes into the cold November air. The majority of his family was there, which was unusual, and they had made plans for a dinner celebration at the Burrow the following week.
He had Hermione’s hand in his, and just before she let go, he pulled her closer. “I’ll see you in a minute,” he said, giving her a quick kiss.
He thought he saw her cheeks blush, but it could have just been the chill. She smiled and let go, and then disappeared out of thin air. He followed suit, turning on the spot and Disapparated.
He took form again on the doorstep to twelve, Grimmauld Place, right next to Hermione. “Come on,” she said, just as excited as Ron felt. “Ginny’ll be so excited!” With that, she grabbed his hand and pulled him through the front door.
Ron immediately yelled out, not taking into account the eerie silence of the house. “Ginny! Harry! Come here, we’ve got news!”
“Ron,” Hermione said, her voice wavering. That’s when Ron looked and also noticed Harry. He was sitting on the couch, leaning back into the cushions, his hands at his sides. There was no look of sadness or happiness, fear or anger on his face. His expression was just blank.
“Mate,” Ron said, rushing over to the couch to console his friend.
“Harry, what happened?” Hermione asked, sitting down next to him and putting her hand carefully on his shoulder.
When Harry didn’t answer, Ron asked, “Where’s Ginny?”
“Gone,” was all Harry said.
“What do you mean, ‘gone’?” Ron asked, suddenly getting nervous.
“She just left,” Harry said, his tone flat.
“Well,” Ron said, shifting his weight from one leg to the other. “Where’d she go?”
Hermione shot Ron a look that made him feel like he shouldn’t have asked that question. She was always able to read situations better than he was.
“The Burrow, I guess” Harry replied.
“Well, why’d she go there?” Ron asked.
“Ron!” Hermione hissed. She was now rubbing Harry’s back, and Ron got the idea that Ginny wasn’t just taking a day trip to their family home.
“I told her she could stay here on the third floor, if she wanted,” Harry said. He started to move his lips again, but nothing came out. Ron thought he looked a little delirious.
“You mean,” Ron finally said, “that she left left?”
Harry lifted his head, and the second they made eye contact, Ron understood. It was as if a million emotions flooded his body all at once, the most present being anger. He held back, though, reminding himself that even though Ginny was his sister, she wasn’t a little kid who needed protection anymore. Besides, Harry was his best friend. “Oh,” was all he managed to say.
The trio sat in awkward silence. Ron had no idea what to say, but he felt that even if he did, it would come out wrong. Hermione passed the silence by continuing to rub Harry’s back. She was biting her lip, and when she made eye contact with Ron, she shrugged. It was a rare moment when even Hermione didn’t know what to say.
It was Harry who finally spoke. “What news?” he said.
“What?” Ron asked, dumbfounded.
“You came in saying you had news. Let’s hear it.”
“Oh,” Ron said, remembering the joy he had been feeling only minutes before. “My brother’s having a baby. I’m going to be an uncle,” he said with a lopsided grin. He’d imagined telling people under much happier circumstances.
“Congrats,” Harry said, not even bothering to feign enthusiasm. “Which brother?”
Ron was taken aback for a moment before finally speaking. “Bill” he said. “Who else? He’s my only brother who’s married.”
“Yeah, well,” Harry said, standing up suddenly, causing Hermione to gasp. “Sometimes, things don’t work out perfectly as planned.”
With that, he stormed up the stairs. Ron heard Harry’s bedroom door slam, leaving him and Hermione in further silence.
a/n: Well thanks for reading, yet again! I hope no one hates me too much for making Ginny such a jerk! We'll see her side soon enough...
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