Chapter 10 : Healing thoughts
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A/N: Please forgive me for not updating sooner, I was busy, and battling writers block. The good news is that I thought of a better plotline for the story which will mean more to write! So here's an inbetween chapter, but lots end up happening so maybe not so inbetween. Thanks for reading, and thank you to all my lovely reviewers!
Disclaimer: I don't own anything you recogognize.
‘Ms. Hermione Granger,
We regret to inform you that we still have found no sign of your parents. Fortunately we’ve come up with a way we can find your parents. We require you to come in and submit your wand for testing so we can apply a tracing technique to find them by the magic you’ve left on them. This is a complicated process, but if the magic is as strong as you said it is, it should work. The drawback to this is that we need to keep your wand to use during the process and unfortunately it may take a long time to perform this spell. We will need our very highest ranking Witches and Wizards and there are few who know how to execute it properly, but they will be called in immediately. We hope to find them soon.
The Australian Ministry apologizes for the delay,
Thomson and Tally
‘Soon,’ I hate the word ‘soon.’ It holds promise, but never has a definite time. How can one word be so conflicting? Like, we’ll find these Horcruxes ‘soon.’ The war will be over ‘soon.’ You’ll get your order of fish n’ chips ‘soon.’ ‘Soon,’ never happens when you want it to, it taunts the person gullible enough to believe that it could happen by the weekend, or even by the end of the month, but it certainly isn’t bloody going to be ‘soon.’
This is why I’m glaring at the letter in my hand. I hate to wake Hermione just for something that might just give her false hope. I can’t do it. She’s finally peaceful after another night filled with nightmares. Not that I don’t have mine, but they never seem to be as bad as hers. This time she told me I was in it, and I walked away from her like I did last year.
That hit hard.
I mean, I know now that I’d never do something like that again, but she doesn’t really.
I couldn’t really think much to say, since I was half asleep myself, so I let her cry, told her I’d never do it again, and held her until she fell asleep again.
So I’m here, trying to ease some of the pain she’s going through.
She says I’m helping, but Merlin knows how.
Looking out the window I see it’s nearly dawn, but still early. I think I could wait to give her the letter until later, and tell her it came a little while ago, that’d still be true.
She just deserves a little more peace of mind right now.
I pull her closer to me and lay a kiss on her head. As much as things are difficult, I can’t believe I get to sleep next to the woman of my dreams. She drives me crazy being the perfectionist she is, but that’s nothing compared to how wonderful she really is. It was only emphasized this past year. She was so strong. The least I can do is try to be strong for her when she needs me this time.
It’s not easy, with Fred… being… gone.
Gulp. A few tears leak out of my eyes. I don’t move to brush them away though, not wanting to disturb Hermione.
She’s worth it all though. The pain, but the happiness outweighs it by stones and stones.
I pull the covers over us gently and snuggle her to me.
Yeah, definitely worth it.
“HOW THE BLOODY HELL AM I SUPPOSED TO GO WITHOUT A WAND FOR WHO KNOWS HOW LONG??!!”
I sit straight up, my heart halfway up my throat.
“HERMIONE DON’T DO THAT! You nearly gave me heart failure.”
“I GAVE YOU HEART FAILURE?? READ THIS! HOW WOULD YOU FEEL IF YOU WERE EXPECTED TO GIVE UP YOUR WAND? NOT EVEN KNOWING WHEN YOU’LL GET IT BACK?”
“I’ve already read it.”
“WHAT? WHEN?? WHY DIDN’T YOU WAKE ME UP??”
“Don’t worry, it wasn’t long ago. I just thought you needed more rest, especially if you were going to be reading that.”
I prepare to wince, she normally goes off on me anyway, no matter what intention I had, but apparently this one works.
Her face relaxes and gives me a small smile.
It works, so I subtle change the subject. “Listen, I know the other day didn’t go too well, but I hoped it’d give you a little more peace of mind while we wait here.”
“Ron, it was wonderful, really” she adds, seeing my face. “It’s just all this stuff sneaks up on me and distracts me,” she says, giving a small shrug.
I get up from the bed. She’s still rumpled looking from sleep, her hair all over the place. She’s so pretty. “Well, I guess I’ll just have to distract you more,” I take her face into both my hands and kiss her.
She freezes a bit, and for a second I thought she was going to pull away, and tell me she was too bothered by what was going on, which I completely understand, but then I almost feel her changing her mind and melting into me.
I tunnel my hands through her hair, and deepen the kiss. She whimpers a little and her hands go straight to my chest, and to my shoulders, anchoring herself there.
My hand wanders down her back, pulling her closer, loving the taste of this kiss.
We’ve obviously snogged before, but this was somehow different. For one, we weren’t anywhere trying to be discreet, and this time, it seems we both just need this, to be together and passionate for a minute. Honestly, even though it’s been about a week and a half here, with all the stress she’s been under, and all the nightmares, there hasn’t been a time we felt this free to just be a normal couple… besides my embarrassing attempt to be sweet.
My hand just got to the hem of her shirt when we hear a pecking at the window.
We both groan.
“Would it be frowned upon if we just left it out there?” Hermione asks, slightly breathless. Not helping me recover any too quickly.
I give her another little kiss and chuckle, “probably, I don’t think the neighbors would like it.”
What the hell, another minute won’t hurt.
I roll my eyes and turn my head to the window.
The owl fluttering outside looks strangely familiar. My eyes widen.
“Wait, is that Hermes?”
Hermione stumbles slightly when I move. I guess I had her up against the desk.
We rush to the window, open it, and take the letter from him, Hermione finds owl treats and water for him, and hurries back to me.
“It’s from Harry!”
We nearly clunk our heads together trying to read it at the same time.
‘Ron, and Hermione,
I really hope you’re doing well, but unfortunately I have really important news to tell you about. Sunday, Kingsley Flooed over and was in near panic that we had to meet with the Goblins. They were almost up in arms it was so bad. I had to Apparate to Andromeda to tell her I couldn’t babysit Teddy. Thank Merlin she didn’t come over sooner and drop him off. I don’t know what I would have done. Prolly beg Ginny to take him with her and Cora, and Molly to the restaurant. Anyway, we get there, and everything’s chaos. The minute they saw me they tried to attack me so Kingsley did this complicated shield spell so they couldn’t cross it. Once they all stopped yelling in outrage … which took hours by the way… we attempted to strike a deal with them … Not to mention that they were furious that you guys weren’t there. They started yelling at Kingsley ‘how could he have let you out of the country when we were responsible for the deaths of the Goblins.’ Anyway, at first they wanted the 3 of us in Azkaban. You don’t want to know how long it took to get them down to the deal we made I mean, they wanted us in there for life. The only way that’s not happening is that we’ll need to do at least part time work at Gringotts so they can keep an eye on us. Apparently they’ve recently updated their policy so that any employees who aren’t goblins at Gringotts are watched when they’re first hired. They don’t trust wizards in general, but our breaking in gave them reason to change for security.
We’ll have to do that for 10 years… ten percent of the goblins who died. The only other option they agreed to was to be on house arrest for 5 years. –‘
Hermione reaches for the desk chair and sits down. I sit down next to her.
“I never thought they’d react that way. Wouldn’t they have blamed Voldemort?” Hermione asks softly.
I think about all the times Bill told me of the Goblins he dealt with regularly.
“No, they’d blame us because we lured him there by breaking in. Even if we helped finish him off, it doesn’t take away all of the Goblins’ deaths we caused. I wonder what Bill thinks about all this. He does work for them, and if they’re changing their policy, that includes him.”
“Do you think they’d question him? Since he’s so close to us?”
“I don’t know.”
We sit silently for a minute, taking it in. Without saying anything we continue reading his letter.
‘-- They wanted me to make the decision right then and there, but I told them you 2 needed to be in on the decision. I also said that you guys might even have your own ideas what a compromise might be.
In the meantime I’m kind of on house arrest. I can’t go anywhere without them knowing about it and approving it. Ginny was kind of shell shocked when I told her. I was also really late getting back after all that so she thought something horrible happened.
So I hate to have something else for you guys to worry about, but try and get back to me as soon as you can. They’ve given us a week to make the decision or they make it for us; one of the compromises that is. Again, I’m really sorry this had to happen while you already have a lot on your mind, but this needs to be dealt with soon.
I’m really glad you had a great time this weekend, and Ron I hope you got those food stains out mate.
We all miss you 2, I hope you find your parents soon Hermione.
“He sent that Sunday, and its Wednesday now. We need to get a response out to him soon.”
“It’s ok Ron, it’s still Tuesday there remember?”
“Yeah, but we should still get something to him soon.”
She looks down at the floor, “Honestly, I just don’t want to think about it right now. I don’t want to think about the other letter either.”
Her eyes snap back at mine. “Will you take my mind off it?” She asks blushing.
The look she’s giving me is intense. She’s so sad, and upset, all I want to do is make her feel better. She looks like she just wants me to snog her to death, and I will, but I want to do this right. Somehow, being with her, after everything we’ve been through, I’m thinking before I’m acting. I want her, but I don’t want our first time to be because she’s avoiding something else.
Her eyebrows shift, she must be wondering what’s taking so long.
I take her hand and lead her to the couch. If I take her to the bed, I don’t think I could stop myself. This is about her needing a break, not about taking our relationship to the next level. Not that I won’t be thinking about it.
I kiss her softly, and she melts in my arms. With all the hell we’ve been through, it’s a shock to feel like I’m this close to heaven now.
I’m restless. After nearly a year of running, and anxiety, and always trying to do something, even if it doesn’t work, I should be exhausted. I was, but now… it’s Friday, and there’s nothing to do but wait for Ron and Hermione’s letter.
“You know what this reminds me of?” Ginny asks with her head leaning on my shoulder.
“Of when we first started dating; we’d go out to the grounds by the birch tree, and you’d try to get me to study, and I wouldn’t listen.”
“I still don’t understand how you got so many OWL’s after that spring” I say grinning down at her.
“It’s ‘cause Hermione wouldn’t leave me alone about it, so I was actually studying whenever I wasn’t with you it seemed like.”
We sit in silence for a while again. We’ve always done that, since those days back in my 6th year. We could say nothing for ages, and at the end of the day, it feels like we talked forever.
A summer breeze blows some of Ginny’s hair in my face as I inhaled.
She snorts in laughter as she gathers her hair together again, and I can breathe normally.
“You know, I like your hair when I get to hold you, and it’s nice and soft, not when it’s going down my throat.”
She snickers more and shakes her head at me. After, she puts her head on my shoulder again.
“Which reminds me… you had another nightmare last night.”
And like a Petrificus Totalus spell she goes as rigid as a board.
“How does that remind you of me having a nightmare?”
“Um, well, at night I hold you and your hair is-“
“Harry, we’re enjoying a lovely day together, did you really have to mention that?”
This is another reason I don’t talk much. I tend to say stuff I don’t think through.
I guess I should try and smooth it over.
“Well, I think I did… ever since your parents started hearing you scream my name at night, and thought it’d be better if I stayed with you,” she winces at the memory. “You still haven’t stopped those dreams. Um. maybe they’d get a little better if you talked about it.”
She sits up and pulls her knees to her chin. Not a great start.
“Harry, you still haven’t gotten over your nightmares and you talked about your experience.”
“Yeah, but they’ve been going away. Yours haven’t at all.” I lean over and turn her face to mine. Now that I’ve started this, I realize how important this actually is.
“Do you think I wanted to talk about my experience? If I could have gotten out of that I would have. I’m not saying everything went away after I talked about it, but it did get me out of my shell about feeling like I was the only one going through anything.”
“Trust me,” she turns her head sharply away from mine, “I’m well aware I’m not the only one going through anything. That’s just it; there are too many people who need me to lean on. I can’t just spill everything and fall apart.”
We sit in silence again, both of us thinking. She’s right, her and Bill are the only few who haven’t seemed to run out of energy yet. Still, there has to be a way for her to heal even if it’s a little at a time.
Her foot starts tapping nervously. She’s probably just about as bored as I am. After all she had been fighting the Death Eaters with Neville all year. We need something to do.
Her foot stops, and she looks at me with her eyebrow up, “What?”
“Let’s play a little one on one, I think we’re just bored out of our mind, maybe the less time we have to think, the less it’ll affect us.”
She smirks at me, “When in doubt, play Quidditch?”
Her smile widens, “race you to the shed!” and she takes off.
Out of breath, and grabbing the brooms, another thought pops into my head. Hermione would be so proud. “You know, how about if we make this into a challenge? If I get the quaffle past you, you have to talk about something that bothers you, and vice versa. That way we’re still thinking about a physical game, and working out our problems a little at a time.”
She pauses while getting on her broom, and looks at the ground.
“I don’t know.”
One thing I learned about Ginny was while being around her and her brothers. If Ginny showed any hesitation, which was rare, bait her.
“Come on, you took on a bunch of Death Eaters all year, you’re strong enough to talk about it. And if not, I’m just one up on you.”
She looks up at me, opens her mouth, and closes it again, and looks down.
“It’s not that simple Harry,” and she kicks off the ground and flies off above the orchard and into the woods.
I run my hands through my hair in frustration. Great.
An Owl appears in the distance flying towards the Burrow. Ron and Hermione will have to wait. I kick off the ground and fly after her.
Just as I reach the tops of the trees, I see her sinking below them ahead of me a ways. I focus on that point, and fly as fast as the Cleansweep will take me. When I get there I circle the spot until I see a flash of red hair in the green leaves. She’s sitting on a branch in the middle of the tree trying to hide. It obviously doesn’t work when you have red hair.
I lower myself to be parallel with her.
I mean to be gentle and coaxing, but what comes out isn’t at all.
“So why is it I have to talk, and you don’t?”
She stumbles slightly in surprise, but quickly straightens herself and glares at me.
“I already told you, I have a family that needs me!”
That sparks my temper more.
“And I don’t? You know this family means just as much to me as you, you haven’t been in the situation of being able to find a family who actually likes you when having lived with a family who hated you most of your life.”
She turns silent again, and I take a deep breath to try and calm down.
“Why don’t you try to accept someone else’s help to be someone strong to lean on for your family?”
She stares at me. Not in a pleasant way either.
“Do you really want to know?”
“Because I’m scared of being weak, all through school last year, if we were weak in any way we were somehow punished for it. Then it felt better to be punished for standing up for the ones who couldn’t. I pushed it to the back of my mind.”
She swallows, visibly trying not to cry.
“Then you showed up at Hogwarts, and suddenly all my defenses were coming down. And that bit of weakness was punished by having my heart get trampled on in the middle of a war! You being carried by Hagrid, made my heart stop. Even when I screamed you didn’t move. I wanted to keep on screaming, but then Voldemort put up that silence spell. I was reminded of the walls I had been putting up all year, and that’s all I had. Then you were actually ok, and I breathed and I pushed the hurt to the side like I’d been doing all year.”
We we’re quiet for a minute. “Ginny, there has to be more. Can’t we go to the ground and keep talking?”
“No! Harry don’t you understand? I don’t want to feel all that again. I can’t handle it. It was the absolute worst feeling ever.”
“Then your dreams will keep getting worse and worse-“
“Would you rather me cry, and scream at you? At this point I’m getting there!”
She looks back over at me.
“Even though it was something I had to do at the time. I deserve some yelling at, especially how much it hurt people. Do you realize that since the battle I haven’t even heard from Hagrid, or many other people for that matter? I have a lot of fences to mend Ginny. I’m not trying to fool myself thinking everything will be ok now that the battle’s over.”
I can see it in her face. I broke down the walls she put up. We’re just about 20 meters in the air.
“Fine. You’re a bloody ARSE for coming back from traveling all over the place JUST so you can build up everyone’s hopes and then DIE!”
She reaches in her pocket.
“Bloody hell Ginny we’re at the top of a tree! You’re gonna make me fall if you hex me now!”
“You’re Harry Bloody Potter! I’m sure you’ll manage!” She shoots hexes all over the place.
I start flying and narrowly dodging some. Stinging Hexes hit my legs causing me to swear. Ginny notices me flying further out of reach, climbs on her broom and chases after me.
This might not have been a great idea. I should have grabbed her, put her on my broom and flown to the ground.
Actually, that sounds like a brilliant idea.
If she would just stop Hexing me.
“Harry you are NOT flying away from this, THIS easily! You wanted my BLOODY opinion, you’ll GET my bloody opinion!”
My ear is now the size of an orange, and my left foot is swelling and growing even more uncomfortable in my shoes.
“Why the Hell did you have to tear my heart out by DYING? IT’S BAD ENOUGH THAT I HAD TO GO THROUGH THE WHOLE YEAR NOT EVEN KNOWING IF YOU WERE OR NOT! NOW I HAVE TO KEEP HAVING THESES HORRIBLE DREAMS WHERE YOU KEEP DYING EVERY NIGHT! EVERY NIGHT!! DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT’S LIKE SEEING THE ONE YOU’VE LOVED SINCE YOU WERE 4 DYING?”
This was even more painful than I thought. The stinging from the hexes are now afterthoughts compared to what she’s screaming at me. No wonder whenever she screamed my name at night it was as if she was in pain. Not only was she not talking about what happened, she was causing herself as much pain as if she was still going through it. If she was bottling up this rage for so long anyone would have something to say.
We zigzag through the trees, her screams ripping through the air, and tears run down my face. She knows that what I did was necessary, but this kind of emotion doesn’t have common sense. It’s what she screams about being through all year that gets to me now. What Neville told us in the tunnel doesn’t even touch it.
“Do you even know how much it hurts to be Imperiused to do the Cruciatus curse? Not only are you doing something that is entirely against what you believe, but you’re hurting someone else in the process! First years were one thing, but then they brought in friends!! Making us perform HORRIBLE curses on each other! And they laughed Harry! Especially when we’d fight against it! If we fought we were TORTURED! AND YOU WONDER WHY I HAVE TROUBLE TALKING ABOUT IT!! I DIDN’T WANT TO RELIVE THIS WHEN I ALREADY RELIVE IT IN MY DREAMS!! YOU’RE A COMPLETE ARSE MAKING ME DO THIS! I WON’T BE ABLE TO EVEN SPEAK FOR AT LEAST A DAY FROM SCREAMING!”
With one more hex in the back I fall forwards off my broom. Luckily I’d brought us down from the rafters a while ago, but this time I finally fall. I lie there, and feel Ginny land next to me. She falls over next to me, prolly from exhaustion. I have no idea how long it’s been, but the sun is setting now.
I hear her still breathing hard, but I feel a wand go over my body, and I feel the swelling and pain go down. “Harry?” She whispers, her voice raspy and tired. “How does this go away?” She asks, I can hear tears in her voice as well.
More tired than I’ve been in a long time, I roll over onto my back; grab her hand that isn’t holding her wand, with the hand that’s hurting less.
“I don’t think it will completely, but we’ll be there for each other when we have a rough patch.”
After healing most of the places she hit, she gulps again, and falls forward into my chest and sobs.
We lie there until the sky goes nearly black, and Ginny’s cries become softer. Gently I lift her onto my broom, shrink hers, and fly us back to the Burrow straight to her window.
I lay her on the bed, and go downstairs to grab us something to eat.
I’m so thankful that everyone’s out right now. Molly’s with Andromeda, Arthur at Cora and Sirius James’ after he got out of work, and Ginny and I had all day to work this out.
I look in the cooler and find some leftovers to heat up.
After unshrinking her broom and putting both of them back in the shed, I get back upstairs to Ginny’s room and find her sleeping, so I eat some of the Sheppard’s pie, and open the window to cool off the room.
The gentle summer breeze blows over me making me sleepy, and combined with the rest of today, I’m sooo tired. Lying next to Ginny and smoothing her hair gently I think to myself, as much work there is to mend relationships, it’ll be worth it. With that thought, I snuggle closer to Ginny and let myself fall asleep.
A/N: So here it is, my longest chapter. Was it too long? I'm pretty conflicted with this chapter, but I think it turned out alright, so let me know what you think please! I'll be going back and editing some chapters, so try not to get too excited that I'm updating lol. Please tell me what you think of Harry and Ginny's scene together, was it too much? different? did it flow ok, and make sense? stuff like that. This was a really intense chapter for me, which I'm not used to, I hope I did alright. I'll be trying to get a challenge entry up next so I'll still try to update this soon. Thanks for Reading, and please review, I love responding to them :)
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