Title: Counting Days
Author: IndependenceIndividuality aka WriteAwaythePain akaNamikaArakida
Rating: Strong PG-13
Word Count: 1512
Summary: On the first day, things go quite well. On the second day, her older twin brothers stop by. On the third day, she hardly sees him at all. On thefourth day, she collides with him in the corridor outside her bedroom. On on the fifth day, it hurts her to look at him. On the sixth day, he tells herthathe loves her. On the seventh day, he leaves her.
On the first day, things go quite well.
He arrives, gives her a quick hug, and ask how she's been. She lies, and tells him she's been just fine. But it's all right, because she's become quite good at telling people she's fine when she really isn't.
He says, That's good.
She asks, What about you?
And he replies with: Same here.
And apparently, he's become quite good at that, too.
They make polite conversation, until his bushy-haired friend comes flying into the room, followed closely by her more freckled other half, and throws her arms around his neck. They continue to chat lightly but their eyes never meet, and they always stay far more than a respectable distance away from each other when sitting together in the same room.
She makes him smile and he makes her roll her eyes, but it is a far cry from a few months past, when she would make him roar with laughter and he would make her blush to the roots of her vibrant hair.
On the second day, her two older brothers who look exactly alike stop by.
They challenge the rest of them to a game of Quidditch and everyone happily agrees, except the bushy-haired girl who protests vehemently. When their pleas for her to join them and their oaths not to make fun fall through, the youngest red-haired boy simply picks her up and throws her over his shoulder, forcing her to go with them. The bushy-haired girl shouts vocally, and beats on his back with her tiny fists to express her disapproval. But, she notices, that her friend doesn't make too much of an effort to be set back down again.
She laughs as the freckled boy, who is her brother, coaxes screams from the girl over his shoulder by pretending to stumble and trip. He begins to laugh, too, and soon they are both temporarily handicapped by their amusement. Their arms brush against each other, ever so lightly, and their eyes meet for the first time since his arrival.
She mumbles an awkward apology and hurries along, though she is not quite sure what she is sorry for.
On the third day, she hardly sees him at all.
After breakfast, he, her brother and the bushy-haired girl disappear and no one asks where they've gone. So she comes to the logical conclusion that either she is the only one left in dark about their whereabouts or that everyone is too afraid to ask, terrified that they might be informed that the Trinity had met some untimely fate. She rather thinks it to be the latter.
When they return it is nearly dinnertime and they offer no information on where they've been for the past nine and a half hours and no one questions them.
The red-haired boy remains solemn, even through his favorite desert, and the bushy-haired girl looks close to tears. But he seems particularly . . .cold. The tall, freckled boy and the bushy-haired girl keep shooting worried, sidelong glances at him, as though expecting him to explode at any moment. Abandoning the 'No Questions' rule, she asks him what's wrong. He looks at her strangely and replies with a quiet, Nothing. I'm fine.
She nods her head a returns to her treacle tart, wanting to repeat the question, but knowing it would do no good to make him lie again.
On the fourth day, she collides with him in the corridor outside her bedroom.
He appears to have just had a shower and she gulps audibly as she comes face-to-face with his bare chest, through the gape in his dressing gown.
All right, Ginny? he asks her, and she notices it's the first time he's said her name since they left school, and she realizes that it hurts to hear him say it.
Why wouldn't I be? she replies, wondering absently the source of the odd prickling sensation forming behind her eyelids.
No reason. He says calmly---too calmly---and she finds that she wants to strike him.
She wants to scream at him until she is hoarse, though she is not quite sure what she wants to say. And she wants to beat his chest with her fists until he understands.
But, she realizes, as he walks away and the prickling sensation gives into a small leak of liquid, she doesn't really understand it, herself.
On the fifth day, it hurts her to look at him.
A dull ache begins to form in her stomach when he is near and she considers going to her mother and requesting an M-Ray because her chest is beginning to feel oddly hollow. He smiles and he laughs and it feels to her as though he's ripping her apart because he isn't smiling that beautiful smile at her.
She laughs back and sometimes their arms touch, but she forces a hurried distance between them an prays to a God she isn't sure exists that no one heard her sigh of want.
And sometimes she feels his eyes on her, but she doesn't dare turn round. Because if she were to see those piercing green eyes directed towards her, her will would most surely break, and she would not be able to restrain herself from running across the room and throwing her arms around him.
On the sixth day, he tells her that he loves her.
She plasters a smile onto her face as she stands, graceful as you please, next to the twelve-year-old matron of honor as a woman she hates becomes inducted into her family.
She glances towards the crowd and notices that the bushy-haired girl's eyes are not on the ceremony, but on her. She has the sudden, abrupt feeling that this girl can see straight through her, and knows all of her secrets. Though, she is not quite sure what she needs to hide.
As soon as the ceremony ends, she flees to the comfort of her childhood room and the odd prickling sensation behind her eyelids begins to rouse up again. A knock at her door startles her and she opens it, only to find him.
I'm sorry. He says, rushing into the room and shutting it behind him. I'm so, so sorry.
She wants to tell him it's all right, and that she forgives him, even though she isn't sure that she does. But she can't. Her throat constricts and that annoying leak of liquid begins to rush freely from her eyes and she can't. He leans her softly against the door and presses his lips gently to hers.
And she wants to stop him. But she can't. Because she wants him too much, and she doesn't really want him to stop at all.
I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I love you.
The words come out in such a rush, in such a hurried fervor, as he tugged on the stubborn zipper of her gown, that she almost didn't hear it. But she did hear it. And she can't help but say it back.
Oh, I love you, too. I love you so—so—so much. She manages between hot, hurried kisses and stepping out of her gown.
Suddenly, he drops to his knees, hands still wrapped round her waist. She feels quite exposed as he presses his face against the smoothness of her stomach and mumbles something nearly incoherent, chorusing it over and over again.
Forgive me. Forgive me. Forgive me. Oh Merlin, Ginny, please forgive me.
She runs her fingers through his inky black hair, and uses it to gently pull his face to look up at her.
I love you. She says, because she cannot tell him that she forgives him. She understands his reasons, but does not forgive them. I love you. She says again, and stares him straight in the eye. They make eye contact for what seems to be the first time in years and she feels her heart begin to break.
Stay with me tonight.
On the seventh day, he leaves her.
She awakes to his scent on her pillow, and for one fleeting, heart-stopping moment, she thinks that he is still there. But she reaches for him, and realizes that he is not. And her heart breaks all over again.
Her mother comes bustling into the room and she frantically attempts to cover her naked form with the sheet. The muscles in her groin protest painfully as she scurries to lean back against the headboard. There are tears in her mother's eyes and she is breathing shakily as she places the stack of clean linens on her bed with a weak smile, before exiting quietly.
And she knew, right then, that they were gone. That they had left without her. And that they might never be coming back.
She damned that prickling sensation to hell when she felt it beginning to form again. She didn't want to cry. She wasn't going to cry.
And as always, the sensation gave in to tears that soon soaked her pillow, washing away his scent.
And that hurt her even worse than his leaving.
Well, what'd'you think? Love it? Hate it? Concrit. is very welcome, but please, no flames.