Disclaimer: I am only borrowing from the world of J.K. Rowling.
Chapter Thirteen: I Can Explain
Harry remembered that almost no one went home that night. None of the kids, at least. He remembered talking to Kingsley, and Kingsley telling him that he would always have a place in the Aurors under his time as Minister, he remembered talking to Ginny a lot. Most of the adults left, but he was sure that Neville and Luna could be found as well as some others, but the headache that was splitting his head was not allowing him to remember anyone else. He blinked his eyes open and found that he never took his glasses off.
A blanket covered him and Ginny’s sleeping form. He rubbed his head and remembered that George had said something about spiking the punch. His movement woke Ginny, and as she mumbled hello, she smiled.
“My head hurts like hell.” she said.
“Mine too.” Harry said and smiled back at her.
“But I think we had a pretty good night.” Ginny said.
He looked around and saw his clothing thrown thoughtlessly on the floor, his eyebrows furrowed and he asked, “We didn’t do it did we?”
Ginny shook her head and started to button up her blouse which was only half-buttoned down. Harry sighed and then started to put on his pants.
“What’s that?” Ginny asked.
“What’s what?” Harry asked.
“On your arm.” Ginny said pointing. Harry hid his arm behind his back.
“It’s definitely something.” She got off the couch and grabbed his arm. As she flipped it to face her, she let out a gasp of horror. Each line was a pink and raised slightly, and there were about six or so lines. He remembered that in the hospital, he had gotten a large bruise over that area so no one seemed to figure out that several of the cuts were self-inflicted. But now, most of his injuries had healed and it was quite obvious of the straight lines that someone hadn’t done them to him. He had thought they were healing but apparently they weren’t and he wanted to hide his face. His entire relationship with Ginny was ruined. “Harry.” she said catching her breath.
“Yes.” He said and he could see a small tear trail down her face.
“Why?” Harry hugged her and held her there. He was going to have to give her the whole story, not like he gave George.
“Don’t tell anyone.” Harry said and she nodded. He put on his shirt and then they sat down on the couch and Harry struggled to start from the beginning. “I hated myself. I hated myself for giving Teddy no parents, giving the Creevey’s a need to create some half-ass excuse that didn’t make sense. I hated that you only had five brothers, and it was all my fault.” Ginny made to speak but Harry put a finger to her lips. “Wait till I’m done. I ended up drinking and drinking. Hardly eating anything, I was mostly passed out, and when I woke up I hated myself even more. I wasn’t causing myself enough pain and one day I threw a bottle at the wall.” He looked down and then glanced at Ginny. Her face was wet with tears. “It shattered, and a little bit of glass hit me. It seemed like the answer so I took a shard of glass and would cut my forearm. It seemed like substantial punishment.” He hugged Ginny and she hugged him.
“Oh Harry.” she whispered in his ear. “We knew you were beating yourself up, but if we knew that was happening, then we would have sent Ron much sooner.”
“Please don’t tell anyone.” Harry said.
“Do the Healers know?” Ginny asked.
“I suspect, but they never mentioned it.” Harry said. Ginny kissed him on the cheek and then stood up.
“Well, I’m going to go up to my room, I don’t want my brothers to find us, they may well, not be too happy.” Ginny said.
“I’ll stay down here, I don’t want to know what’s happening in Bill’s room.” Harry said. He was sure that Bill and Fleur went home but he had a feeling a classmate of his might have bunked there for the night not knowing that it was where Harry was supposed to sleep.
He watched Ginny disappear up the stairs and snuck into the couch. She kept glancing back at him and Harry sighed. He hoped she wasn’t planning on breaking up with him. Harry scratched his head, or maybe she was and she left to try and figure out the best way to do it. He then remembered that they had never officially started dating and he turned onto his side. He took the blanket over him and uneasily drifted back to sleep.
“Bye.” he heard Ron say and the door softly close. Harry jerked his head and saw the redhead staring at him. “I was wondering when you would come around.”
Harry smiled and said, “So how was your night.”
Ron turned slightly red and then seeing Harry’s smirk said, “We didn’t do that. God no!”
Harry raised his eyebrows and Ron said, “I should ask the same of you.”
“I was down here at the couch, in plain view.”
“Not so plain when everyone else is upstairs.” Ron chided.
Harry smiled and said, “Well for your information, I wouldn’t tell you because that would be really awkward if I told you about the going ons of the uh, life under the covers with your sister.”
Ron clasped his hands over his ears and starting saying la-la-la-la.
Harry took one of Ron’s arms down and said, “You don’t have to worry, it’s non-existent.” Ron stopped and Harry looked at him, “Just so you know, Hermione is like a sister to me, so that means the exact same things to you.”
Ron nodded, and then stood up, “Mum told me to wake you because she’s made breakfast. So rise and shine Harry boy.”
He followed Ron to the table making sure that his sleeve was covering his arm.
Some toast was on the table as well as marmalade, and Harry greedily piled some bread onto his plate. Not too long later, Ginny and Hermione entered, Ginny with her eyes slightly red, and Hermione looking concerned, and the table was now entirely filled with everyone from the house.
“Ginny, what’s wrong with your eyes?” Mrs. Weasley.
“It seems alcohol is not the best with me.” She replied.
“Alcohol, there was no alcohol.” She turned to George who was innocently staring at the ceiling.
“Why do you always assume it is me?” George asked as his mother crossed her arms. “Fine, it was me. It didn’t do anyone in did it?”
“That was extremely irresponsible of you-” She started and George interrupted.
“Everyone was over seventeen, I checked.” George said.
Mrs. Weasley stuttered as everyone was enamoured in the spar. “It was still not a good idea. That’s my final word on it.”
The only sound was the ding of the toaster and as it eased everyone into nervous conversation. Harry just watched and saw Hermione glance at him every now and then. Of course she had told Hermione, and of course Hermione was going to tell Ron, and if Ron knew everyone would know. So he needed to prevent Hermione from telling Ron.
“Harry, Healer General is coming to see you today.” Mrs. Weasley said.
So that was when Hermione planned to strike. “What time?” Harry asked.
“A bit after lunch was all he said.” Mrs. Weasley said.
“Thanks.” he said and Mrs. Weasley smiled.
“It’s the least I could do.” She smiled and started to wash various dishes.
Several Weasleys drifted of, Arthur rushed off to work muttering that he was late. Harry smiled at him and was proud that Kingsley had given him a promotion to be the Senior Undersecretary to the Minister. He would certainly do a better job then Umbridge. George retreated to his room. Bill was already back to Shell Cottage with Fleur, and Charlie started to pack his things. Harry excused himself and followed the girls up to Ginny’s room. Luckily, Ron was still eating.
As the door closed, Hermione flung her arms around him. “Oh Harry!” she said.
Harry awkwardly put his arms around her and patted her back. “Just don’t tell Ron.”
“But we tell eachother everything.” Hermione stammered.
Harry pulled away and looked at her. “Everything?”
“Well, no, but pretty much everything.”
“Can you just keep this secret? For me?” Hermione nodded and Harry hugged her. “And Ginny, I can understand if you want to break up with me.”
“Are you kidding?” Ginny said. Harry flinched, she probably thought she already broke it off. “Why would I do that?”
“Because I’m broken.” Harry said, “I’m not going to be the strong man that you need.”
“I don’t need a pompous fool.” Ginny said. “I need you.” She was crossing the room and Harry was caught dumbstruck. Did she really mean that? Slowly, she leaned up and kissed him.
Harry regained his senses and began to deepen it.
Hermione coughed. “I’m sorry to break up this lovefest but I really think you two should get a room. And even though we are in Ginny’s room, it’s just kind of weird to just watch.” Hermione shuddered. “I’m happy for you, but it’s still just kind of weird to watch.”
They separated themselves, and Harry scratched his head. “Well, I’m going to be leaving now, and Hermione,” he said and stared into her eyes. “Keep the secret.” He turned and left. He came up to Ron’s room and found Ron flipping through some quidditch stat book.
“Where did you go?” Ron asked.
“I was just talking to the girls.” Harry replied. “I didn’t know how long you would be.”
“I’m a pretty fast eater.” Ron said.
“That’s not the problem.” Harry smiled. “You may eat fast, but you eat way more than any of us.”
Ron smiled, and put down the book. “Do you want to play quidditch?”
Harry tried to remember where his Firebolt had been last, he couldn’t think of it. “Sure.”
“Let’s ask the girls.” Ron said mocking Harry. Harry playfully punched him and shook his head.
They trudged down and Harry knocked on George’s door as Ron asked Hermione and Ginny, George cowered as Harry opened the door.
“Young man!” Harry started and George turned around.
“You had me scared.” George said clutching his chest.
“So, do you want to play quidditch?” Harry asked.
“Anything other than just wait for Mum to come up here and beat me up.” George said as Harry raised his eyebrows. “What? Have you never been on the receiving end of her talks. Just watch, you and Ginny are going to get in trouble and honestly, she can be scarier than Voldemort.”
“Well time's a wastin,” Harry said and they walked down the yard.
“Okay teams are,” Charlie had saw that some quidditch was going on and decided that packing could wait. His portkey was still due to depart several hours later. “Me, Ron, and Hermione against Harry, George, and Ginny.”
Ron grumbled slightly at having Hermione on his team, and she promptly kicked him in the shin to shut him up. Harry laughed and Hermione gave him a look like he was next.
“Since we don’t have a snitch,” Charlie said, “And I don’t want to figure out how to bewitch one, let’s just have two Chasers and a Keeper.” They headed to the orchard and Charlie waved his wand at some baskets and an apple and they became three hoops levitating in the air and a quaffle.
“How did you get so good at that?” Hermione asked as she seemed to be repeating the wand movements and spell in her head.
“Dragons take a lot of work, but there are times when they just need to be left alone, and we’ve had countless hours to just fool around playing quidditch. I’ve sort of figured out bludgers too, but there’s this one guy that can do them way better than me.”
“That’s amazing.” Hermione said.
“Thanks.” Charlie said slightly blushing, as Ron looked almost traitorously at Hermione. “1, 2, 3, BEGIN!” Charlie said. They kicked in the air and Harry, smiling at the control of the Firebolt was glad that Hermione had kept track of it for him.
Charlie had immediately grabbed the quaffle and was now being pursued by Ginny. George was in goal and he was circling around and making faces at Charlie.
Ginny finally came from under and somehow poked the quaffle out from under him and passed it towards Harry. Harry almost dropped it, he was not used to the weight of it, and put it under his arm as he raced towards Ron. Hermione stood in his way, and Harry remembered Wood telling him to just knock people off their brooms if they got in his way, but he also figured that knocking Hermione off of her broom wouldn’t be too kind. He went under her at the last second and her fingers brushed his hair.
“Damn it!” He heard her say, and Harry smiled. He saw Ginny at his right and he feinted towards the left goal and then fired it at Ginny. It was a little off but Ginny got it and put it in the right goal.
Ron shook his head and then yelled out, “You’re not even in a Chaser. It’s not fair.” Harry stuck his tongue out at him and the play resumed.
A/N: Thank you to everyone who's stuck with it and thanks to all of those who have reviewed. You are all very encouraging and I will do my best to keep the updates going.