A/N: Okay I have returned! And with the longest freakin' chapter I have ever written on any one of my stories I do believe! And it better be this long since I haven't updated in forever! Well anyways, I hope it's not too long for you and if it is then I really can't help you there haha. I'm not sure how long the next one will be, probably shorter, but maybe the same length (I doubt it though). Okay, I'm shutting up now. Go on and read. Sorry to have kept you waiting!
So if you have a minute why don't we go
Talk about it somewhere only we know
This could be the end of everything
So why don't we go
Somewhere only we know
Somewhere only we know
-Somewhere Only We Know-
The light from the window shone through waking Harry up. He hastily ran over to the blinds and yanked them shut, cursing the sun for ever shinning.
Harry tried to get back to sleep, but to no avail. He could not go back into the peaceful existence that he did when he was fast asleep. Yes, peaceful existence. It was on rare occasions where Harry did not have a nightmare and last night had been exactly that.
Just when Harry was about to get dressed, Pig flew through the window going ballistic. If he were of age, Harry would have Stupefied Pig, but instead he just chased him around until he finally got a hold of the letter.
Guess what mate? YOU CAN COME! That's right; you can come to the Burrow for the rest of the summer! Can you believe it? Me neither! I guess all my hard work has paid off! I had to Owl you straight away. I just know this is going to be the best summer ever! Me, you and Hermione all together. Ginny too.
Speaking of Ginny, can you do me a favor? I know you won't tell anybody about this and that's why I'm confiding in you. Ginny's been acting really odd lately and I don't know what's wrong. Every time I confront her she just blows it off and says nothing's wrong. Harry, I'm worried about her. She's been looking really tired lately and she doesn't look the same anymore. I hear her get out of bed at night sometimes. I think she's having nightmares. That's why I want you to talk to her for me. I know it's a lot to ask and you and her aren't very close, but you're the only one she'll listen to. I know you don't believe me when I say that, but it's true. When I ask about Tom Riddle and stuff she just gets all tongue tied and won't answer me or she'll change the subject. Or sometimes she even gets really mad at me. But I know that if you ask her about it she'll tell you stuff. I think it's because you have nightmares too and she won't feel embarrassed because she knows you're in the same situation. Plus, you were there in the Chamber with her. Maybe you could help her feel better, I don't know. Please think about it. You don't have to do it if you don't want to, but think about it. And I don't want you to tell me what she tells you because it's private (plus she would hex me into oblivions if she ever found out I put you up to this) but I want to know that she's doing okay.
Anyways, we're coming 11 o'clock. See you then!
Harry set the letter down, at a loss for words.
Ginny was depressed? She was acting differently? That didn't seem like her. She was always so cheery and friendly. Harry wondered for a fleeting second if it had anything to do with the Department of Mysteries. He hoped not. There's another thing for him to add to his guilt list...
Harry came to the conclusion that he would at least think about helping Ginny. Sure, he wanted to, but let's get real. Did Ginny really want him to talk to her about that sort of stuff? I mean, it was personal. Did she really feel that comfortable talking to him about Tom Riddle? True, he had been there with her, but he wasn't best friends with her or anything.
Deciding that his thoughts wouldn't help him get ready, Harry walked around his room picking up the clothes that were scattered everywhere along with his school things. By 10:45 Harry was ready and waiting for the Weasley's to come collect him.
Harry sighed as he sat on his bed staring out the window. Maybe he would feel better if he were at the Burrow instead of here. He was going to be around his friends a lot, but did that honestly matter? Lately he didn't want to be around anyone. Would that all change when he saw them? He hoped so.
Suddenly a car pulled up and inside Harry saw a flash of red hair pile out. He slowly went over to his trunk and Hedwig's cage feeling disappointed that he hadn't felt a jolt of excitement when he saw the car.
Harry could hear the doorbell ring just as he reached the top of the stairs and then Uncle Vernon's heavy footsteps making their way down the hall.
"Who's there?" he growled angrily, looking through the peep-hole.
"Arthur Weasley at your service," came a chipper reply on the other side. Harry could just picture Mr. Weasley now staring into the hole in the door, fascinated at what its purpose was for.
"BOY!" Uncle Vernon shouted, turning around. When he spotted Harry at the bottom of the steps with his things he looked surprised at how quick Harry had gotten down not realizing he had been standing there the whole time.
Harry just stood there.
"Boy, what in bloody blazes are these..." Here Uncle Vernon lowered his voice. "..Wizard folk..." Back to normal. "..doing on my doorstep!" All in angry tones.
"They've come to pick me up. I'm staying with them," Harry said plainly.
Uncle Vernon's face stayed purple as he grumbled something under his breath but opened the door nonetheless, walking away quickly as if the sight of a Wizard would turn him into one.
"Hello Harry!" Mr. Weasley exclaimed, not entering the house.
"Hello," Harry replied, gathering up his things.
"How was the beginning of your summer?" he asked trying to make conversation. You could tell that he was irked at Harry's appearance. After all, Harry looked more depressed and more tired than ever. No fake smile could hide that.
Harry just shrugged as he made his way out the door with Hedwig's cage, Mr. Weasley following him with his trunk.
"All ready then?" Mr. Weasley asked just after they had closed the trunk.
Harry nodded and they both hopped into the car.
The ride to the Burrow was quiet except for the occasional talk of Muggles and whatnot. Harry was beginning to regret coming here. Already he felt like he needed to be alone and he hadn't even seen his friends yet.
"HARRY!" Hermione screamed as Harry and Mr. Weasley walked into the front door. She had managed to jump out of her chair and over two others just to get to him.
"Nice to see you too," Harry said with a smile.
Hermione wrapped her arms around him, squeezing him quite tightly.
"I'm so happy you're here! How are you?" she asked worriedly as she stepped back to look at him.
Harry, fortunately, didn't have time to answer as Ron had gotten up and made his way over completing the Trio.
"Hey mate," he said with a huge grin, slapping Harry on the back.
"Hello," Harry replied, smiling at the two of them.
"Harry, how are you?" Hermione repeated, looking increasingly worried.
Yet again he was saved as Mrs. Weasley walked into the room and spotted him.
"Good heavens! Harry you're here! I should have known it by all the commotion." Molly smiled as she made her way over to him and hugged him until he was blue.
"Hi," he said as best he could through her hug.
When she finally let go she made a low cluck with her tongue.
"What in Merlin's name have those Muggle's been feeding you?" she asked accusatory. "Nothing! That's what. Well we'll be fixing that now won't we?"
Harry didn't say anything as Mrs. Weasley pulled out food from the kitchen and placed it onto the table in front of him.
"Now eat," she demanded looking stern. "I won't hear of your excuses. You're nothing but skin and bones! You need some meat on you!"
Harry sat down, picking up the fork and taking slow and small bites. He didn't have a problem eating; it was just that he never had an appetite.
"Ron, Hermione, would you bring Harry's things upstairs while he eats?"
They both nodded their heads and grabbed his things.
"Come up when you're done," Ron said as he exited the room.
Harry didn't reply, just continued to eat. When he was finally done he thanked Mrs. Weasley and made his way up the stairs slowly, not yet ready to have a conversation with his two best friends.
He had been dreading talking with Hermione and Ron so much that he wasn't paying attention to where he was going and therefore ran straight into a body.
"Agh!" The person shrieked as they hit the ground on their bum. "I swear to Merlin Ron the next time you run into me I'm going to-" Ginny stopped mid-sentence as she looked up at Harry. Her face was in shock and she hastily regained her composure after a few seconds of staring. She got to her feet, clearing her throat.
"I'm so sorry Harry. I didn't know it was you! When did you get here?" she asked as if they had been talking all summer.
Harry did not answer. He was too busy staring at Ginny. She looked very different from the last time he saw her. Her hair was longer and her face looked older. She had grown a few inches and she didn't look like the little girl he remembered. Immediately his mind flashed to Ron's worried comments on her and he knew exactly what he was talking about. She looked exhausted and her smile didn't reach her eyes. Something was bothering her, he could just tell.
"Harry, woohoo!" Ginny said, waving a hand in front of his face.
"Oh, what?" he asked as he shook himself out of his thoughts.
"I said when did you get here?"
"About ten minutes ago."
"Oh, well I guess you were heading up to see Ron and Hermione so..." Ginny faltered as she looked down at the floor.
"Yeah," he said lamely.
"Well it was nice to talk with you," she said as she looked up into his eyes. "I'll see you around."
"You too," he said quietly as she made her way past him.
For some reason Ginny's meeting seemed to keep his thoughts stuck on her. It bothered him that she looked so sad and he wasn't sure why. Maybe it was just the "big brother" role. After all, he had known her for a long time. But that wasn't how he felt about Hermione. Hermione was like a sister to him, but when he thought about Ginny it wasn't as a sister. It was something else. Something he couldn't place. Something -
"Harry mate, what are you doing?" Ron asked as he looked at Harry from his doorway.
"I just was talking with...nevermind," Harry shook his head as he walked into Ron's room who was now giving him an odd stare.
Hermione was seated on Ron's bed and Harry's was empty indicating that that was where he would be sitting. He sunk into the mattress as Ron took a seat next to Hermione.
"So," Ron said.
"So," Harry repeated not about to start up a conversation he didn't want to have.
"How have you been?" Hermione asked. "Your letters didn't really say much."
"I've been fine," Harry lied. Everyone in the room knew it, yet he couldn't say the words 'I've been bloody horrible.' He just couldn't for some reason.
"Harry, come on. We're your friends. You can tell us anything," Hermione coaxed, her eyes filled with worry.
"There's nothing to tell, honestly." He was becoming quite annoyed now.
"Mate, you look terrible. No offense," Ron added as if this would make the words less harsh.
"Well I'm sorry my looks don't please you but I really could care less what you or anyone else for that matter thinks of me," Harry said moodily.
Hermione sighed deeply.
"Harry, if you keep pushing us away we're never going to be able to help you."
"Help me do what?" Harry almost yelled, loosing his cool. "What is it that I need help with!"
"You're miserable! Everyone can see that! Why can't you just let us know how you feel?"
"You know what?" Harry said as he stood up. "I came here to hang out with my friends. If you guys want to talk about feelings then why don't you talk to each other?"
Hermione and Ron instantly became red.
"We can talk later. I'm not ready for this," Harry grumbled as he made his way out of the room and towards the outside garden.
He knew this would happen. He just knew it. Ron and Hermione would get all worried about him and they would act weird around him and no one would have a good time. Harry would get moody and they would get frustrated and it would all turn into fight after fight. This was all so stupid.
Harry made his way over to a particular tree in the sun when he spotted a flash of red hair under a gloomy looking one. Instantly he knew it must be Ginny. Harry didn't know what possessed him to go to her, but some kind of invisible force steered him her way.
"Mind if I sit with you?" Harry asked as he approached her.
Ginny looked startled and when she saw Harry she calmed down a bit.
"Didn't see you there," she laughed softly. "No, go on ahead." She moved over so he could lean against the tree.
Harry sat down next to her and picked at the grass around his feet. It was quiet as they both kept to themselves. Harry started to regret his spontaneous act.
"So it's been like, what? A half hour since you arrived and already the Golden Trio has had a row?"
"How'd you know that?" Harry asked, amazed at Ginny's knowledge.
"Harry, come on. What do you think I do? Live under a rock?" Here Ginny turned to look at him. "It doesn't take a genius to know when you're pissed off."
Harry shrugged his shoulders.
"I guess I didn't really think you paid that much attention."
Ginny slouched farther down on the tree and let out a deep breath.
"I wish I didn't," she said quietly.
Harry wondered what that meant exactly. He was about to question her when she went on.
"Lately the Burrows been quite unpleasant. This summer's been the worst."
Harry stopped picking the grass and looked over at her.
"What happened?" he asked seriously.
"Well it's just that dads constantly working and mums constantly worrying about all of us, not to mention you and Hermione, and I don't know, I guess we all have said things without really thinking and now things haven't been the same."
Harry didn't really get it.
"You guys have been at each others throats or what?"
"It's not exactly that, we don't hate each other, it's just been...different. Like plain different. The Burrows usually full of life and now everyone's always so tired and so quiet that it feels like no one's the same anymore."
Harry noticed that Ginny looked particularly tired just talking about all of this and it seemed to really bother her. He saw his chance, but not just because Ron wanted him to take it, but because he wanted to take it. Something inside of him genuinely wanted to know what was wrong with Ginny. This wasn't just a favor for his best friend.
"Yeah, I noticed that you looked a bit tired. Anything bothering you?" he asked casually.
"I didn't know you were so perceptive," Ginny teased, steering the conversation away from her just like Ron said she did.
"I notice when people aren't happy around me," Harry replied as he pushed the attention back on her.
"Oh really?" Ginny snapped. "I suppose you know all about that!"It takes one to know one!" Ever heard of that?"
Harry was taken aback at how quickly Ginny had changed in a matter of seconds.
"Well I'm sorry if you're not happy Harry but you shouldn't go around accusing people of things you don't know anything about!" Ginny yelled as she stood up.
Harry, who could finally speak again shot up also.
"Why the hell are you so angry with me! I was only asking a question! You don't have to act all pissy," Harry shot at her as she let out a loud snort.
"Sound familiar?" she said in a know-it-all fashion with her arms crossed over her chest.
Harry just then realized that what he was telling Ginny was exactly what he himself was acting like towards Ron, Hermione and whoever else dared to question his lifestyle. What a brat people must have thought of him.
"You're changing the subject!" he tried to defend, but Ginny only laughed sarcastically.
"And so are you!"
Obviously Harry would never admit to Ginny that he did act childish most of them time and very immature...
"You know what? This was a mistake! I don't know why I came over here, but it's clear that neither of us is enjoying the company!"
Harry started to walk away when Ginny's words stopped him.
"Harry Potter, I have no idea what you're trying to get out of me but if it has something to do with Ron then you can just tell him to shove it up his arse!"
Harry closed his eyes and let out a deep breath.
So this was why she got so mad. She knew Ron set him up to this...
He slowly turned around to face her and his face wasn't filled with anger anymore.
"Save your breath," she spat out. "You obviously wouldn't have noticed if Ron hadn't said anything to you about it. He tried to do the same with Hermione. I could tell that he told you to ask me. You would have never even noticed," she said quietly.
"No, Ginny you have to understand. I never - well what I mean to say is that -" Ginny cut him off.
"I don't need you to be keeping tabs on me Harry. I'm a big girl now."
Harry was about to open his mouth to defend Ron but Ginny put up a hand.
"Don't even say it. Don't you dare tell me that he was just trying to make sure I was okay because he loves me. That is complete codswallop."
Harry practically gapped at her.
"How can you say that? Of course Ron loves you-"
"You know what? I am so sick of everybody taking Ron's side. Or better yet, I am so sick of everybody taking the side that I'm not on! I'm always left out of your stupid little secrets and Trio business and no one ever tells me anything - not that I expect you guys too - but what really bothers me the most is that whenever Ron wants to know what's going on with me he thinks it's okay to do whatever he wants. Well it's not!" she yelled. "I don't appreciate him 'protecting' me from boys and ruining my life just so he can have the satisfaction of making me miserable. No. I hate it when he tries to get people to find things out for him, especially you Harry. Because he knows...he thinks..." Ginny couldn't finish her sentence or wouldn't. Harry couldn't decide. "But God forbid I want to know one single thing about the Order or what the hell the Department of Mysteries was really about I'm too little again!" Harry noticed tears welling up in Ginny's eyes but she wouldn't let them fall. "I'm not 'part' of your stupid group! It's none of my business! It's too dangerous! I'm not good enough!"
Harry saw that Ginny couldn't take the overwhelming ness of her words and she broke down, the tears falling freely past their doors. She sunk to the ground and buried her head in her hands all the while mumbling on about how she wasn't good enough or perfect or some other rubbish like that and Harry forgot all about his problems right then and there. All he knew was Ginny needed someone to help her and he would be damned if he wasn't the one to do so.
Harry gently knelt down in front of her and wrapped her in his arms, her head and hands now found their way to his chest, soaking it up with her sadness. He tried to tell her that she wasn't worthless and that everyone cared about her, but the words just weren't soaking in to her. She reminded him of himself when people would say that nothing was his fault and all that stuff. He wouldn't listen to them. And now Ginny was doing the same.
All the while through their bonding experience Harry couldn't help but notice how much Ginny fit in his arms. How nice it felt for her to be there, in that exact moment in time even if she was the one that needed him. He felt good about himself for that brief moment where she was depending on him.
And then the tears stopped and Ginny pushed him away, standing up, Harry following suit.
"I - I have to go," Ginny mumbled, refusing to look into Harry's eyes.
She walked quickly away leaving Harry in thoughts of confusion. He had been hoping that they would talk about all her problems and open up to him, but she had just left so suddenly that he couldn't figure out what she was doing. Was she pranking him? Was she embarrassed? Was she still mad at him for giving into Ron's request? Was she wishing she had never met him?
Harry let out a deep sigh as he made his way back into the Burrow, not caring to talk with anyone else. He just needed some sleep. That is if sleep allowed him to rest.
A/N: Oh God! That took me forever to double space! Sheesh!
R&R...let me know how this chapter was.