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Breaking the Habit by Ella Norman
Chapter 6 : Eternally
 
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At breakfast the next morning, there were titters among the Gryffindors. Dean had told Seamus about what happen, who told Lavender, who told just about everyone else. Ron alone remain clueless, thanks to Harry’s efforts, and kept asking what was so funny. Ginny and Dean sat at opposite ends of the table, too ashamed to even look at one another.

The windows in Hogsmeade were decorated with Jack-o-lanterns, and witches were dressed in black. Ginny, though she had promised to go with Dean, sat alone at her table inside the Three Broomsticks, listening to Madam Rosmerta click about in her glittering heels.

She was so ashamed. Why had her senses left her? Why? Because I’m everybody’s girl, she thought. Because I would do anything to achieve my ends. I would have done the same thing to Seamus, Neville, Michael (she swallowed) — anybody, it just happened to be Dean.

There was no longer doubt in Ginny’s mind — she loved Harry. That thought would haunt her for the rest of her days. He would have stopped her in that situation, he wouldn’t have let her embarrass herself. A few tears sprung up in her eyes. No matter, though, she couldn’t change. She was too far down.

As Ginny made her way down to Zonko’s, she had no intention of speaking with anyone. She had no intention of looking up from her shoes. She had no intention of even pretending to exist, but fate, it seemed, had a different idea.

Ginny sat outside the Shrieking Shack, throwing pebbles again the walls and windows. No one was around. The was a word to describe Ginny’s actions — scandalous. If her mother ever found out what a fool her daughter had made of herself, then Mrs. Weasley’s wrath would reach a point yet unexplored by Wizardkind.

“Hi,” said a voice. The voice sat down beside her. “Are you all right?”

Ginny did not look up from her shoes — she hadn’t the will to. “I’ll be fine,” she mumbled.

“Gin,” said the voice tenderly. Ginny looked up. Harry sat next to her, his vivid green eyes looking into her own green ones.

“Hey, Harry.” Ginny looked away, embarrassed. Why was he here?

“Are you all right?” he asked again. Oh, it was good to hear his voice. Tears revisited Ginny Weasley.

“Oh, Harry,” she sobbed, “I don’t know what I was doing. Everything happened so fast. It was all my fault.” She rested her head on his shoulder. “I didn’t love him, so I cheated. I didn’t love Michael either.”

“I know,” Harry said sheepishly. Ginny raised her head. “Luna knows things,” he amended apologetically. “I didn’t ask.”

“I know,” she said. “That’s not the sort of thing you would do. You’re different than the rest.” She stopped, horrified at what had escaped her lips.

They sat in silence for a moment, watching the last pinks and purples fade from the sky. The moon rose from its abode in the mountains, shedding its silvery light on them. Ginny looked at Harry. His eyes were like two vivid pinpricks of hope in the darkening night.

“Harry,” she murmured, flames dancing in her eyes.

“No, Ginny,” he said, taking her hand in his. “No. You have some things to clear up with Dean first and things to apologize for. I won’t tell Ron. You don’t need to worry.”

Ginny could have died. Instead, she wept silently into his shoulder for half an hour. Harry, her love, her first and only love, valued her reputation, his friend’s happiness, above his own desire. It was that chivalrous attitude, it was that polite young man that she had fallen in love with all those year ago.

The first stars came out and brought to Ginny an almighty sense of satisfaction. Under the stars, Ginny had been set free. Free from all her reckless thoughts. Free from all that guilt that she had harbored these many years. Free, but bound to Harry eternally.


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