I am really getting depressed just writing this... I can't begin to imagine how you might feel reading it. It's meant to be a depressing darkfic about mistakes and bad choices. I think I'll peg it at 8 chapters and be done with it. It's getting painful to write bad things about characters I love.

In this chapter, more confusing first person stuff. Ginny leaves Harry a note; several years later, Harry tells her son what happened; Ron intervenes.

Part III of the Wednesday triple update. I just felt like updating all three together. This was a hard chapter to write, hence the time it took for me to update.

Rating: I have bumped it up to R, for mature themes, adult situations and language. It really isn't PG-13 anymore. It isn't R yet either. It's more of a PG-15. Feel free to read it, just don't be surprised I actually raised the rating. Again.

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Chapter 4

Beginning of the End

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Ron and Ginny were having a blazing row one night when I returned from dinner. They were standing in the common room, arguing. Hermione cowered in a chair near the fireplace. She was yelling at him about being too overprotective. He was telling her she was too young and immature. The problem, I decided, is that they were both right.

"Would you two stop?" Hermione finally said, drawing her hands from her face.

"He started it," Ginny said, looking as though she were about to spit on her older brother. "He came in here and started accusing me of spending time with Draco who just happens to be my older brother, too."

Ron snorted rudely. "He's a git, Ginerva. How can you spend time with someone you've hated for so long?"

I had been wondering that myself but refused to take the bait. Ginny was looking at me somewhat desperately, but I kept my mouth closed. After that night together, we hadn't spoken hardly at all, except to exchange condiments or else comment on Draco and Ron's blazing rows.

"You're an ass, Ron," Ginny finally said, storming past him. She walked up to me and looked me coldly in the eye. "And you're no better, Potter."

Hermione looked stunned as Ginny stalked past me and up the stairs. "What was that about?"

I couldn't tell them. I didn't have the heart to.

In the past few days, things had changed drastically between us. I loved her, certainly. But it had changed in the face of the evil times. Ginny's true mother was nothing more than a murderer. Ginny was starting to act a lot like her Aunt Bellatrix, I thought bitterly.

We hadn't fought at all. She hadn't been around me enough to even instigate an argument. All I know is that every time I looked at her, I saw sheer determination in her dark eyes.

I forced myself to sit next to Hermione as Ron dropped into a chair across from us. "What the hell has gotten into her?" Ron asked in a subdued voice.

"I'd say it's her Mother," Hermione said matter-of-factly, turning back to her studies.

Yes, I silently agreed. It was her dear, murderous bitch of a Mother.

I went to bed shortly after that. No one else was in the dormitory when I went up and for this, I was relieved. I wanted to spend some time alone, to think things over.

Before I knew it, sleep had overtaken me.

I could feel her in my sleep. We were back in the Room of Requirements, lost in each others passion. I could feel her moving beneath me, her small fingers spreading across my back as our lips met harshly, drawing one another in deeper.

I heard her gasp and glanced down. Her eyes were closed as emotion overcame her.

"Ginny," I whispered. She looked up at me with eyes shining with love.

"I love you," she whispered, smiling. Her skin was glowing. I bent down and kissed her forehead and rained small kisses along her jawline.

"I love you back," I said, laughing slightly.

Her arms twisted back around my neck and she pulled me closer, her lips meeting mine softly.

I pulled her back into my arms once I rolled onto my side. She snuggled in deeper as we just lay there, lost in our own thoughts.

I was awoken early the next morning by the sounds of screaming. I forced myself up, nearly upending a bit of parchment that had been carefully placed on my pillow. Pulling on a robe, I ran out of the boy's dormitory to see Ron standing in the common room, a look of pure terror on his face.

The entire room had been upended. I was stunned to see that the chairs had been slashed and the precious artwork around the room looked like it had been taken off the walls and beat against them for a good, long period of time.

But that wasn't all that was wrong. Hermione stood next to Ron, a letter in her trembling hands. She looked up at me with tears in her eyes. I realized a lot of my housemates were gathered around me, but her gaze focused on me. "Oh, Harry," she whispered, a tear rolling down her cheek.

Feeling slightly panic-stricken, I returned to my room and grasped the letter.

Dear Harry --

By the time you wake up in the morning, I will have gone. I have some things I need to do and caring for my Mother is one of them. When you open up The Daily Prophet, you will learn that my Mother and Stepfather have both escaped from Azkaban. Do not be angry with me. I just have some things I need to figure out before I can come back to Hogwarts.

Professor Dumbledore and I talked before I left and he agreed it would be best if I withdrew from my classes. Please pass this information on to my friends.

I never meant to hurt you. I didn't mean for anything to happen. I love you more than I love myself right now, I think, and it's scaring the hell out of me. Just know that when the time comes, I never loved anyone more.

Yours forever,

Ginny

I was still holding the letter when Ron and the others walked back into our room.

"Are you okay?" Neville asked softly from behind Dean and Ron.

Ron stepped forward and picked up the letter from my shaking hands. He read it. And then he began swearing bitterly.

"That bitch," he finally snapped, dropping the letter on the floor. "That bitch."

I couldn't say anything. I felt as though my insides were frozen.

I was probably still this way when Hermione, followed by her own roommates Parvati and Lavender, walked inside our room, all three of them staring at me.

"He's in shock," I heard Ron say to her.

"Oh, dear," came Lavender's pitiful voice.

I wanted to hit her. I just didn't have the energy to. I wish I could have cried, but no one could have forced the tears from my eyes.

I felt a cool hand touch my face and I looked up to see Hermione's eyes full of concern.

"Forget about her, Harry," she said, staring into my eyes. "She isn't worth this."

"I...I..." The time for confessions had come. How was I going to tell Hermione, of all people, that I'd... damn. "I love her," was all I could say, and it came out stupidly. Hermione didn't avert her gaze.

"What did you do?" she asked directly.

"You know," I said lamely.

Her eyebrows raised in surprise. Thus, she did. "Oh, Harry..."

I wanted to cry so badly then, but my eyes still felt roughly dry. I felt her hand take mine. "I loved her," I said bitterly. "I loved her more than anything and now..."

"It's okay, Harry," she said gently. "It's okay."

"No, it bloody well isn't," I snapped, jumping to my feet, sending Hermione to the floor. "It isn't okay, Hermione! Don't you know what we did, what we shared? It was something everyone in love does, and now..." My voice felt choked. I wanted to scream more, to stare into her stupid face and just rant until every bit of anger and guilt flowed from me. "She broke me, Hermione. She broke me."

Hermione was staring at me in horror from her position on the floor. "It isn't your fault, Harry," she said sadly. "It's nobody's fault but her own."

I clenched my fists, raw emotion pouring from me. I couldn't talk anymore, but I could gape and close my mouth and repeat those actions long enough to ensure her of my fury. I could hardly breathe I hurt so badly.

She stood up and did something completely unexpected. She hugged me, holding me to her. Her hand rubbed my back uncertainly. "It'll be okay, Harry."

For the first time, I felt tears in my eyes.

"How can you say that?" I asked her.

She still hadn't let go of me. "Because time heals everything," she said, a haunted look in her eyes.

Time, I snorted. Time heals everything? Try explaining that to me, who'd lost a set of parents and his godfather. My only living relatives were my aunt and uncle, who were the biggest hypocrites I had ever met. And although Sirius was back from the dead, it had left our relationship dark and tense.

And then there was Hermione. She was offering me an escape, a way to vent my emotions. I had probably hurt her when I'd sent her tumbling to the floor.

I pulled back slightly, keeping my hands on her shoulders. "Thank you," I said seriously. "And... I'm sorry if I hurt you."

She smiled through her own tears. "You're welcome."

- - - - -

I stared coldly at my son, who's hands were shaking now. I could swear his wand was about ready to fall from his grasp.

"M-My mother left y-you?" the young man asked in a trembling voice.

"You're damn right she did," I said bitterly. I still hadn't been able to forget that moment. "I loved Ginny more than anything. Anything! And she abandoned me."

"She came to you, later on," the boy replied, his wand arm lifting again. "And you shunned her."

"I am a married man!" I roared back, my voice echoing eerily through the cemetary. "I had a son! I have responsibilities to them, now. If your mother hadn't acted like such a flaming whore..."

"Don't you dare," the man said, lifting his wand and pointing it at my forehead again. "Don't you dare call her a whore. I heard enough of that from my uncles all of these years. The ones my dear Daddy abandoned me to. Oh, right. I'm not supposed to love my Uncle Ron, who was the very being who drove her mad. Or Uncle Percy, who is convinced I was the next Dark Lord, I. I wish I could have seen the look on his face the day he died. He would have been right."

I just stared at my son. He had my eyes. Those deep green eyes that were so full of hatred.

"Do you want to know what else happened?"

"I don't want anything from you, except your head," my son spat out. "I've learned to hate you for so long that this is going to feel so right."

"You're an idiot," I snapped. "You don't know everything!"

"I know enough!" he shouted back, a few gold sparks emanating from the end of his wand. "My mother wasn't the flaming whore you said she is. You are! Taking in another woman when you knew my Mother would spend every day praying you would come for her!"

"She did," I said finally. "One night, after my son was born... she came for me."

"She told me about that night, too," he sneered. "A few days after that passionate night, she was dead. And you would never have to worry about her marking your perfect life again."

I did something he didn't expect just then. I pushed my wand back into my pocket and lifted my arms, giving him full view of my body. "You want to kill me?" I shouted. "Go right on ahead. You'll never know the truth. We can change what happened, if only you'd just listen to me."

"The truth is just that you're some sappy tragic hero who gets his edge from saving people's lives," my son replied bitterly. "But you couldn't save her, could you Father? No one could..."

- - - - -

The night after Harry saw Ginny for the last time, he called upon Ron. Harry needed to see him for some reason. In fact, there was a good reason.

They met at a small pub on the outmost edge of the city. As soon as Harry arrived, he looked mildly surprised to see the expression on my face. Harry was so sure he appeared pissed off that when he sat down, Ron asked Harry if he'd been crying.

"Yeah," Harry said softly. "I was."

This launched into an explanation of what had happened the night before. Ron looked extremely surprised to find out his sister had moved out of Malfoy Manor and had gone to see Harry, although their contact had been cut off for well over ten years.

"She came to your house, mate?" Ron asked incredulously.

Harry nodded mutely. "Meiran was at work and I was just settling baby James down to sleep. I saw this shadow and went to investigate it..."

"Who's out there?"

"Harry, please, don't be angry."

"Who are you?"

"Someone you once knew, perhaps even loved."

"Ginny..."

Harry told Ron about the first conversation, a light darknening in his eyes.

"Please don't be mad, Harry."

"I'm not. I'm... surprised to see you."

"I had to see you again, for one last time."

"What are you talking about?"

Ron stared at Harry suspiciously.

"She knew her life was in danger," Harry sighed heavily.

"They're coming after me."

"Who? Who's coming after you?"

"I destroyed my family, Harry. Can you not imagine who wouldn't hate me?"

"I don't."

Harry shook his head and ordered another rum. Ron got it for him.

"I... just wanted to say goodbye, Harry."

"Again? You're getting too good at this, aren't you, Gin? First you show up at my house in the dead of night and then..."

"I just had to see you again."

"You already said that. Do you know what you did to me? DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU DID TO ME?!"

"Harry, please..."

The two glasses arrived. Harry drinked a long sip in one satisfying gulp, feeling the heat rush into his stomach.

"I loved you and you just gave it all up to be with that murderous bitch. Her sister killed Sirius!"

"We brought him back, Harry. The both of us, together! Don't you remember that?"

"Of course I remember. It was one of the best nights of my life."

Harry stared at his glass for a moment. Then his temper got the best of him and he smashed it onto the wooden table. Ron looked at him in shock. "What is it?"

"I never forgot about that night, Harry."

"Well, I did. Didn't have much of a choice, did I?"

"I'm sorry, Harry." She was crying now. "I'm so sorry."

"It's a little late for that, don't you think?"

"I didn't come just to see you. I had to ask you to forgive me for hurting you all those years ago. I can't... live with it... anymore."

"Good for you. Go back to your heartless family and leave mine alone."

"Harry... HARRY! Don't go, please! Stop!" A pause. "I love you."

The barmaid walked over to the table, apologizing for the faulty glass. Ron handed Harry his full glass, his eyes imploring the other man to continue the story.

"You... you love me? YOU FUCKING LOVE ME? I waited years for you and you never..."

"I..."

"Don't even try." His voice was as cold as ice now. "Don't even try to tell you love me. If you loved me half as much as I loved you, you never would have left us. Never."

"I just want the pain to go away."

"It took me ten years to get over you. It took me ten years. How long did it take you? Five minutes? An hour? A day?"

"Harry..."

Harry dropped his eyes, not wanting to continue the story, but knowing that Ron wanted him to.

"What do you want from me, Ginny? Do you want to throw my happy life in my face? I worked for this. I spent decades working for this."

"Harry... please..."

"You're a hypocrite, Ginny. You want what you want. I never had that chance. So you had a different mother, congratulations. At least yours isn't buried ten feet underground. So take your attitude and get the hell out of my house."

"I'm sorry I came back here."

"You should be." He was trembling now as old emotions over came him.

"She told me she was sorry," Harry said to Ron, unable to explain what happened next. "And then I... then we..."

Before Ginny could move, Harry had seized her body and slammed it against his outer wall. "What do you want from me?"

"I need your forgiveness."

"Do you want something else?"

"No... I... damn it, Harry, you're hurting me. You--"

Her voice was cut off as something else overcame her. His lips crushed onto hers and she felt all of her pain, all of the guilt in the one embrace. Her hands trembled to his face as she responded with all the passion she could, trying to make up all of the years she'd been dreaming of being in his arms again.

He suddenly broke away from her, fury in every line of his face. "Is this what you wanted?"

"I didn't want it to end this way," she whispered.

He took her lips again, his touch rough and brutal, but there was a passion behind it.

Ron glanced at Harry over the table. He didn't quite know what to say.

- - - - -

To be continued...

Chapter 5 - Harry and Ginny have a little affair... and I'll be bumping up the rating once again to my first ever posted half-sex-scene. Whoo.

As I said, dark dark fic. It does have a happy ending though. I will tell you that much. You're probably thinking "how in the hell can this fic have a happy ending?" It just does.