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Breaking the Habit by Ella Norman
Chapter 7 : Friend
 
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“Dean?” asked Ginny tentatively, wringing her hands. Dean’s tight, dark curls seemed plastered to his head. “Can I talk to you for a moment?”

Dean look embarrassed, but smiled and nodded. “Anything, Gin,” he said, his eyes shining, which did not help Ginny complete the errand she was on. He looked so happy to her — she didn’t want to him. She refused to think it was all for Harry’s sake, for if she thought it, even Harry’s warm touch could not break this disease that they called vixen.

“Dean,” she said. “Do you love me?”

“Yes,” he replied, a devilish grin coming to his face.

“Do you really love me?”

Her words made him think. Did he really love her, or did he love the woman that she no longer was. Ginny had changed: He knew it was true. She no longer was that naughty girl who had kissed him a few weeks before. What had happened to his Ginny?

Dean looked at her, honesty in his eyes. “I did,” he said, “but even then, I don’t know. You’ve changed, Gin. You’re different from the girl that you were, but this new girl isn’t half bad.”

He started toward her, but Ginny kept him away.

“There’s something else I have to tell you.” Dean’s pleased look became one of concern. Ginny looked down at her feet. “Michael and I – Michael Corner – there was something ... something — going on — between us near the beginning of the year.”

Smoke poured from Dean’s nostrils.

“I’m sorry,” she said, refusing to look at him.

“I can’t believe this,” he said. He took her hand in his. “You said you were done with him.”

“I am,” she said “but I don’t love you anymore.” She looked up. “Dean, I’m sorry, but I used you as a distraction. I regret it. I needed — I wanted to keep someone else off my mind.”

Dean was silent for a moment.

“It’s Harry, isn’t it?” he sighed.

Ginny’s eyes widened. How had he known? Though, she supposed, she was that obvious. After all, he had been the one she was kissing when Harry walked in on them.

“Yes,” she admitted. “I’m sorry, Dean. I don’t know what else to say.”

Neither did Dean, evidently. He just looked at his shoes, praying that he was dreaming. Finally, he looked up at the girl standing before him, resolved in his misery.

“It’s all right, Gin,” he said, smiling. “I knew I could never hold onto you. You like drifting, one could say. It’s a habit of sorts. Go to him. You won’t be there for long.”

Steam gushed out of Ginny’s ears. She knew he was right, but hearing it aloud was unbeatable.

“No!” she shouted. “No! I won’t, I won’t go to him! I don’t need him to survive!”

Dean was astonished.

“We’re through!” she shrieked. She hated the sound of it, but it was all she could think of to say.

She turned and stormed in the other direction. The habit was broken — she was finished — she didn’t need him anymore.

Just one thing.

Perhaps they had stood in silence longer than she thought. Ginny knew that she was far past curfew. No one was in the Common Room, so she tumbled into bed.

Unsettling dreams woke Harry before the remainder of his Dormitory. They were frequent now that Voldemort had returned, and he knew that Ron would only be irritated if he should wake him. Ron’s snores stripped all hope of going back to sleep from Harry, and Dean’s angry grunts unsettled him further. Sighing and rolling out of bed, he reached for his T-shirt and staggered downstairs.

He found his resting place in front of the fire and stared into it. He did not see Ginny across the room, watching him, soaking up the image which lay before her. She wanted him so badly — she wanted to go to him. Without thinking, she did.

There is something — dare I say it — magical about going to the one you love. There is something special, wonderful, and all around good when the one you love is near, and even more so when you are quite certain that the one who you love loves you back. It is a strange and mystical feeling — one which hit Ginny hard as she collapsed into the chair beside him, staring likewise into the fire that seemed to have enveloped her friend.

Friend — how she loved to know it! She loved him, but not because of any trivial matter! She knew that he would be there for her, and that alone gave her a reason to rejoice! Harry, her love, the Boy-Who-Lived, the one who loved her so!

Her open joy was stifled, though, by the look on his face.


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