Disclaimer: Um-- Let's see... I'm just a lowly sophomore in high school; therefore I own only a few things of value: a Cat-in-the-Hat pen, a Little Mermaid coloring book, a Legolas desktop, and a severely battered magnet of Captain Jack Sparrow that I made myself. So I highly doubt I'm qualified to own characters of such caliber, meaning Harry Potter and/or Ginny Weasley.
Summary: Not really romance (but it could be) -- more like sweet friendship, but feel free to interpret it however you wish. Begins right at the last page of OotP. Enjoy.
Dedication: To LaurelinElentari, may hot guys ever grace your life... ::winks:: Thanks so much for reviewing nearly every chapter I've written; every time I feel down, when I don't think my writing's any good, your reviews cheer me up immensely and motivate me to keep going. You're my hero, girl! This one's for you!
Letters and Care Packages
"'Bye, then, Potter," said Moody, grasping Harry's shoulder for a moment with a gnarled hand.
"Take care, Harry," said Lupin quietly. "Keep in touch."
"Harry, we'll have you away from there as soon as we can," Mrs. Weasley whispered, hugging him again.
"We'll see you soon, mate," said Ron anxiously, shaking Harry's hand.
"Really soon, Harry," said Hermione earnestly. "We promise."
Harry nodded. He somehow could not find words to tell them what it meant to him, to see them all ranged there, on his side. Instead he smiled, raised a hand in farewell, turned around, and led the way out of the station toward the sunlit street, with Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia, and Dudley hurrying along in his wake.
Harry trudged slowly, so slowly that the Dursleys caught up with him and passed him; all three of them grimacing and averting their eyes. Harry smiled humorlessly, his heart sinking at every step. He did not want to leave anymore than he wanted to cut off his left arm. Going back to a place where there was no kindness, seemed to him the worst punishment in the world.
The bright sunlight was beginning to be uncomfortably warm and Harry set Hedwig's cage down in order to brush the black fringe off his forehead. He pulled his t-shirt away from his back to keep it from sticking to his skin. This small stop annoyed his uncle to no end; Uncle Vernon was standing pompously, and angry glare permanently frozen on his perpetually purple countenance.
"Hurry up, boy! We don't have all day!" snarled Uncle Vernon, urging Aunt Petunia and Dudley forward. His mustache was still quivering with suppressed rage at the supposed nerve of Moody. Harry supposed that it perhaps would not be a good idea to retort. A small smile tugged at his lips at the memory of Uncle Vernon actually quaking when he was confronted by the old, grizzled Auror. Harry obediently picked Hedwig's cage up and started after them. He finally reached the car, where he heaved his trunk into it, and climbed into the back next to Dudley, perching the cage on his lap. Vernon started and they tore off through the traffic.
Harry wondered what life would be like this summer. No letters from Sirius ever again. Harry felt a large lump fill his throat. The pain from knowing his godfather, the only real family he had ever known, was gone was almost more than he could stand. How would the Muggles act? Would they lock up his stuff again or would they let him keep it, as any mistreatment would be reported back to the wizarding world? He glanced surreptitiously over at Dudley, who was unmistakably frightened and cowering on his side of the seat, trying to pull in his enormous bulk towards himself. Harry nearly laughed out loud, incredulous at how little these Muggles knew, how oblivious they were to everything that had happened. Give it up, Harry wanted to tell his fat, blonde, pig-like cousin, but decided to keep silent for the rest of the trip. Staring out the window, Harry drearily watched the scenery flash by, the city gradually changing into neatly groomed neighborhoods, with their perfectly square, green lawns and severely pruned hedges.
It seemed so peaceful, but Harry knew better. There would be no peace if Harry were gone... The prophecy had taken care of that, the weight of the magical world lay across his fifteen-year old shoulders. He couldn't begin to imagine the kind of preparation he would be expected to do, Lord Voldemort was the most powerful Dark wizard the world had ever known, and he barely had finished his fifth year of magical studies. These thoughts tumbled in his mind, effectively cutting off any happiness and causing an incredible heaviness rest right in the vicinity of his heart, making him feel as though he was too exhausted to even lift his arm. It was too much, and after all that, nearly total isolation from the people he cared the most about.
Uncle Vernon turning into the small driveway of Privet Drive pulled Harry out of his turmoil of thoughts. Dudley pushed the door open as fast as he could, squeezing himself out and rushing into the house, no doubt wanting to be as far away from his freak of a relative as possible. Harry, however, had no problem with the distance. He painstakingly emerged from the car, hefted his trunk out of the vehicle, picked up Hedwig's cage, and looking up at the roof with a sigh, he headed into the house. The cool, dark interior of the house met him as he entered, and he quickly headed up the stairs to the small bedroom that had been given to him (grudgingly, but given to him nonetheless) and dropped the trunk with a thump.
Closing the door tightly behind him, he collapsed on the bed and covered his eyes with his arm. I suppose this could be worse, Harry decided unhappily, I could not have my stuff with me. The Dursleys had immediately disappeared, leaving Harry to do whatever and to keep whatever he wanted. Harry kicked off his sneakers and padded across the room to his trunk. Lifting the lid, he sat down in front of it to unpack his clothes and books. Throwing the pile of clothes into a corner across the room, he then pulled out the various textbooks and stacked them in three neat piles underneath his bed. Not watching, he plunged his hand into the trunk, fumbling around to see if there was anything he had missed. His fingers brushed something unfamiliar and he peered inside.
A medium-sized rectangular package wrapped in brown paper lay inside. Harry fished it out and examined it. His name was scrawled in an unfamiliar hand, neat and definitely feminine. Intrigued, he carefully unwrapped it. A small thick book fell out of the paper, a letter, and a small package dropped with the book. Harry picked up the letter first and opened it carefully. The paper was pale lavender and neatly creased in equal thirds. He scanned the letter to find the signature and found it to be one Ginny Weasley's. Curious, he started to read it, wondering why she would want to write him. He settled himself on the bed, his head resting against the headboard.
You must be wondering why I'm writing to you... But I decided you needed something to cheer you up on your first day back with your relatives, and nobody else thought to. So I put together a little care package for you. Colin helped, and so did Fred and George. Don't worry, nothing dangerous in here, I made sure of it! Make good use of the stuff, this is some of the best of Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes (you've already been introduced to some of it). I get the impression you've got a cousin that needs a little "lightening" up.
Harry, I'm worried about you... Don't be afraid to talk or write to anyone you feel like. If you need someone to talk to, or if you don't feel like talking to Ron and Hermione, well I know we haven't talked much, but I'll always be ready to lend an ear. So don't hold back if it gets to be too much. Not good to be alone.
Check out the photo album and smile a little, all right?
PS. Please write back... To Mum, or Ron, or anybody here at home... We're here for you, so don't forget that.
A genuine smile broke across Harry's weary face, and it felt as though lightness spread through his body, from his head to the bottoms of his stocking feet. He folded the letter and placed it carefully back into the envelope, and stared at it. He really hadn't realized until now what an uncanny knack the youngest Weasley child had at cheering him up. All during the year when he'd been despairing, she had always come up with a solution, even that if it didn't solve everything completely, that almost always made him feel better about himself. Now that he thought about it, he wouldn't mind being her friend at all, in fact he wanted to get to know her better for the person she was. After it all, it was much easier to speak to a person who didn't squeak every time she saw him.
Harry went around picking up his belongings and setting them neatly around the room, he had long ago gotten rid of all of Dudley's trash and old toys, and now the room was actually livable. A small table with a rickety leg had been dumped in there when Dudley tripped into it. A small drawer was in it and that was where Harry ceremoniously placed the letter. He contemplated the words contained in the slip of purple paper, and interestingly enough, although the words had been similar to previous letters, they hadn't bothered him as much. Maybe it was because it really wasn't a nagging tone, more like a suggestion, with a guarantee behind it. He promised himself he'd write back, after all there was no such thing as having too many friends... Harry decided if he was going to gain a new friend, there was no one he'd like better than Ginny Weasley. Her family had proved themselves to be trustworthy, and he cared about them more than anyone else. It was his own fault that he hadn't recognized Ginny for who she was, and he was eager to make up for it.
Harry fished a quill from between the leaves of one of his textbooks, and a spare piece of parchment, and started to write...
Author's Note: If you liked this, feel free to review... I will probably add more of the correspondence between Harry and Ginny, Harry and Ron and Hermione, Ron to Hermione, Hermione to Ginny, etc. (probably after I update my other stories). I recently read a book that was completely in letters and notes, and I wanted to try my hand at it. If you'd like to read the book, I would definitely recommend it, it's called "Feeling Sorry for Celia."