Make A Wish
Disclaimer: Harry Potter story does not belong to me. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended. Now, on with the story.:)
Harry sat at the table reading the newest issue of The Daily Prophet, his cup of tea forgotten. As usual, there was nothing new reported. Voldemort, for some unfathomable reason, was still keeping low. Harry's brow furrowed at this unexpected behaviour by his sworn nemesis. It had been nearly two months since the death of Dumbledore; Voldemort should have already gone on the offensive.
Currently, Harry, Ron and Hermione were in Godric's Hollow. When they had arrived at Harry's old house, they discovered it was still in ruins; moss and lichen covered each and every square inch of the barely standing walls, and wild tangles of weeds had grown unchecked in what, apparently, had once been a flourishing garden. Harry had winced when he had seen the dilapidated structure. This, he had thought then, was going to take a lot of repairs, if it could even be repaired, to make it fit to stay. Now though, they were staying in makeshift tents they had erected in the ruins. Simple muggle repelling charms kept the muggles from investigating the 'intruders' on the property. Hermione had also performed the Fidelius charm on the tents, so that no wizard could track them.
This makeshift dwelling of theirs had served as the temporary base in their quest for Horcruxes, which they were about to embark upon. They were still in the process of gathering information about Voldemort and guessing where he might have hidden them.
But this was not the foremost thing on Harry's mind today. He had deliberately avoided looking at the date on the newspaper. He knew it was the eleventh of August. He just didn't want to acknowledge it. The date brought back memories of the one person he missed the most.
And today… today was her birthday.
He sighed loudly. It was no use. He could pretend all he wanted, but the memory of Ginny would haunt him for days on end. Sometimes he wondered whether he had committed a mistake in breaking it off with her. The 'noble guy' in him told him it was the right thing to do. That no one would be hurt if he continued this. Harry knew that if something happened to Ginny, he would never be the same.
At the same time, a small voice in the back of his mind pointed out that it didn't matter whether he was with her or not, he was not going to sleep peacefully until he addressed the situation properly, just the thing Harry, being the 'noble guy' that he was, didn't want to do.
This is how he was to be found on the morning of the eleventh of August, sitting at the table, looking at, but not reading, the newspaper. His eyes unconsciously strayed to the date at the top of the page.
Monday, August 11, 1997.
Harry groaned as he dropped the newspaper on the table. He put his head in his hands trying to find a solution to his dilemma.
The sound of one of the tent flaps opening brought him back from his thoughts. He looked up just as Ron entered, rubbing sleep out of his eyes. He eyed Harry's cup of tea as he came near the table.
"You going to drink that mate?" he asked.
Harry, already anticipating what Ron wanted, had pushed the cup toward him, not having the urge to drink it himself. Ron's face broke into a smile as he took the cup into his hands and sipped it.
Harry lapsed into his musings again as silence shrouded the tent, bar the occasional, soft, slurping sound of tea being drunk. He had been thinking about Ginny a lot. He couldn't live without her, he knew. But neither could he live with her nearby! She could be in danger!
'She isn't in danger now?' there was that annoying voice again.
The truth of the matter was, she was in danger, even now. The Weasleys were considered 'blood-traitors' after all. Harry knew he didn't want her to be in any more danger than she already was.
The flap opened again, and Hermione strolled in. Amazingly, she had already showered. Seeing Harry and Ron at the table, she joined them, conjuring two more cups of tea as she did so. Harry shot a smile at her and proceeded to pretend to drink it. That was the least he could do, for he knew she could be as tenacious in pursuing things she didn't know about as one of the most famous British national figures, the British Bulldog. Harry stifled a snort, and almost choked, as the thought came to mind.
"Harry! What happened?" Hermione, ever the concerned mother hen, asked.
"Nothing, nothing," he would die before he told her that he imagined her to be a Bulldog! "Hermione," he continued quickly, "Do you remember what date it is today?"
"Of course," she replied, "Eleventh of August."
Just as she replied, her face paled and she rushed out of the tent with an 'EEP' of surprise.
Ron, ever clueless, sat there with a blank face, shaking the cobwebs out of his mind,
"It's Ginny's birthday," he stated simply.
Harry just stared at him, amazed that Ron would remember something Hermione would forget.
"I cannot believe she would forget about that," Ron continued, shaking his head.
"And you have gotten her a gift?" Harry asked.
"Of course," Ron answered back, looking at Harry like he had just asked the stupidest question on Earth. Harry had the grace to look ashamed. He had fully expected for Ron to forget about Ginny's birthday, owing to the amount of work they had been putting in these past few weeks. This brought home the fact that the world didn't revolve around him.
"Are you going to the Burrow?" he asked tentatively.
"I don't know, Harry," Ron replied, before ploughing on, "Are you coming?"
Harry shook his head in the negative. "I don't think that would be a good idea, Ron."
Ron's head shot up. "And why not? Are you afraid of facing my mother?"
Harry just shrugged. If only it was as easy.
"Oh, come on, Harry. She loves you. She won't do anything to you. If anybody should be afraid, it's me."
"It isn't your mother I'm wary of," Harry mumbled.
It took a moment, but Ron eventually understood. "Ginny?" he asked quietly.
Harry only nodded, not able to meet his eyes.
"Look mate, I know my sister. She likes you very much. Hell, I'll go so far as to say she loves you. You don't have to worry about that either," he replied. "Well, not until she lays into you at least," he said, trying to cheer Harry up but failing miserably.
"Do you think I've done the right thing, Ron? Breaking up with her?"
"What do you think? Have you done the right thing?"
"That's it! I don't know!" Harry exploded. "This same question has been eating at me ever since I broke up with her. I know I don't want her to be in any more danger than she already is."
"Ok, ok," Ron tried to placate him. "Think about if Ginny found another boy. Would that sit well with you?"
Harry's face paled as he saw Ginny kissing Dean all over again in his mind. That had been one of the worst experiences in his life. The beast in him protested at being subjected to such pain again. No, he couldn't bear it if she found another guy.
Everybody thought that Ron was one of the daftest persons on the planet. But when it came to Ginny, he was the expert. They had been together for longer than any of their siblings. Moreover, she was his sister, he only wished the best for her. He watched Harry's face closely. The expressions plainly visible on his face gave Ron all the answers he needed to know. But still he pressed on. He needed Harry to admit it upfront.
"Will it, Harry?"
Harry turned his pained face toward him, and Ron almost lost his resolve. But he knew he had to go on. He couldn't see Harry, or Ginny when he met her next, burning in their own pit over this.
Harry shook his head mutely, too much in pain to answer.
"Did you think she would wait for you till you come back?" Ron ploughed brutally forward. Harry didn't answer that and lowered his head to stare at the table.
"Harry, this is Ginny we are talking about. Did you honestly think she would give a rat's arse about what you thought? You, who left her behind to go after Voldemort? Did you think you are the only person to have been touched by Voldemort's evil? Have you forgotten that she has just as much a score to settle with him as you have? Have you forgotten her first year?"
Ron knew he was being harsh. He also knew that Ginny would wait for an eternity for Harry to come back to her. But Harry didn't know that. And this is what Ron used to his advantage.
"But if you want to be in a relationship with Ginny, you better make it up to her. And soon," Ron paused, "How serious are you about her? If this is just a fling to you…"
"No!" Harry exclaimed, "It is not a fling. I … I think I love her," he stuttered to a stop, realizing the fact as he said it. He was in love with her!
Ron looked at Harry in disbelief. "Then what are you doing here, man? Go to her!"
"I don't know, Ron. I'm all messed up at the moment," Harry said dejectedly, lowering his head again on the table.
"There he goes again," Ron sighed loudly.
Hermione came back in at that moment. "What happened?"
"Nothing," Ron said quickly and changed the subject, "What are you all dressed up for?"
"We are going to the Burrow, aren't we?" she asked, a hint of trepidation in her voice as she glanced at Harry. Ron looked at her and then at Harry. He hadn't lifted his head.
"Yes, we are going. Coming, Harry?" he asked.
"No, you two go on. I need to look at the maps again," Harry replied.
Ron sighed exasperatedly and motioned a perplexed Hermione toward the flap to go out of the tent. She hesitated a bit and looked at Ron, who nodded in understanding, and went outside.
Ron looked back at Harry once and asked, "You sure you're not coming?"
Harry only shook his head jerkily from where he had rested it on the table.
He heard Ron stride out of the tent, but continued to sit like he was before, head on the table, fists resting in his lap.
He thought back to what he had said earlier. Did he love her? He only knew that he missed her very much. So much that his heart ached for her. Ron's words also struck a chord in him. How could he imagine that she would wait for him? She was one of the most independent people he had ever known. That was just one of the things he loved about her. She was sprightly, hated formality in relationships, cute when angry, swift in doling out retribution, she was witty, she was mischievous, she was beautiful, compassionate, passionate about Quidditch, popular with everyone and she understood him perfectly. She was everything he could have ever asked for in a girl; so, it was no wonder he had fallen so hard for her.
But then came Dumbledore's death and the search for Horcruxes. He didn't want to subject her to the danger that would inevitably come when dealing with anything to do with Voldemort. He wouldn't bear it if something happened to her. With these thoughts in his mind, he had broken up with her.
So, yes, it was official. Harry James 'The Prat' Potter was very much in love with Ginevra Molly Weasley.
Ah ha! I knew it! It was the annoying voice that had been haunting him every time he thought about Ginny, which, apparently, was every other second since their separation.
Harry groaned at the realization. What could he do about it? He had blatantly ignored her at Bill and Fleur's wedding, and he was sure she had noticed. And to rub salt into the wound, he had danced with every female there but her. He had thought then that he could leave for the search in lesser pain. But it had only intensified. She had looked so beautiful, one might have been led to believe that she, and not Fleur and Gabrielle who were standing next to her, was the veela. He had almost lost his resolve that day. But his noble attitude had won out and he had gone away without even talking to her.
He still hesitated about going to the Burrow and meeting her. He didn't know what would happen when he did. Would she be angry and curse him to hell and back? He bit back a snort. Of course she would. As Ron had said, this is Ginny we are talking about.
Just then, a map he was supposed to be studying rose up in the air of its own accord. Harry tried to catch it but it flew away from him. He desperately dived toward it, all the while cursing about the magical world and its bloody idiosyncrasies. Who in their right mind, would think about making actual flying maps of possible flight routes to a place?
He chased it all around the tent in the hopes of catching it before it flew outside. Just as he seemed to grasp a corner of the map, his knee came painfully in contact with a chair at the table and he fell down howling in pain. At that second, the flap of the tent opened and Ron and Hermione came in. Hermione summoned the map to her and quickly set it on the table before anything untoward happened. Ron, in the meanwhile, was staring at Harry uncomprehendingly.
"Watch'a doing down there for?"
Hermione only rolled her eyes in exasperation and went to help Harry up. Ron quickly came and helped her get Harry to the table.
"So, what exactly happened here?" she asked, taking in the dishevelled appearance of Harry and his tent.
"I love Ginny!" Harry blurted out.
Ron and Hermione's eyebrows shot up in surprise.
"That's good, I suppose?" Hermione asked tentatively. Ron had a smug look on his face that screamed 'I told you so!'
"I don't know what to do!" Harry moaned piteously.
"Well," began Hermione, "You can always go to the Burrow and tell her."
"Go to the Burrow?" Harry blinked at Hermione as if she had lost all her marbles.
"Yes," she said quietly, "She needs you right now. She is in a terrible state."
Harry grew alarmed at the tone of her voice. "What happened?"
"We went to the Burrow alright. She was in a right state. Mum forgot it was her birthday, you see. And then, we made a mistake," Ron said.
"We didn't wish her Happy Birthday right away," Hermione continued from Ron, "We wanted to act like we had forgotten it was her birthday and told her we only came for supplies. But she was already angry that Mrs.Weasley had forgotten her birthday. She got very upset and stormed up to her room telling everyone to leave her alone. We left the presents with Mrs.Weasley to give to her when she came down."
Harry looked horrified throughout the narrative. He could imagine what Ginny was going through, seeing as he had suffered the same fate at the Dursleys every year.
"Poor Mum is mighty depressed, mumbling about growing old and forgetting important dates. She also forgot that Bill and Fleur were coming back today, she told me. The twins told us that they were teasing her about the poem she had sent you in her first year. How did it go again: His eyes are as green as fresh pickled toad?"
Harry paid no mind to Ron's teasing; he was already feeling very guilty about Mrs.Weasley. He knew it was only because of him that she was in such a state. If only he had convinced Ron and Hermione to stay behind. If only… he had gone to the Burrow and talked to Ginny. He could do that.
"Harry?" Hermione asked tentatively.
"I'm going to the Burrow," he stated firmly. "I need your help with something Hermione."
Hermione beamed at Harry and immediately consented.
"I need you to charm a candle to tell me what wish she makes."
Hermione looked aghast at the request. "Please Hermione, I really, really need this from you. Do it for me, please?" Harry pleaded.
It took a bit of cajoling and pleading, but she finally acquiesced and performed the charm, albeit with much reluctance.
That done, he thanked Hermione and shooed them out of his tent and set the first plan of his into motion. He sat down at the table and started to write a poem for her. He wrote several, but came to the conclusion that he was just not cut out to be a poet. So, he did what many do when they can't write something of their own, he plagiarised Ginny's poem to suit his own needs. The second plan came into action now. He set about preparing a cake. He knew he was not a master chef, but he had experience with cooking, and he was confident he could bake a decent cake. Two hours, and much flour and egg splats later, he finished and inspected his handiwork with pride. It was not all that attractive, but this would do. It was a small cake. He called in Hermione and, with her help, prepared the plain white icing and spelled 'HBG' in green on the top. Hermione, for her credit, stifled her laughter at the sight Harry made. His hair, originally jet black, was now covered in flour, giving him the appearance of a wizened old man. When the cake was ready, he triumphantly held it aloft and exulted in victory. This proved to be the last straw for Hermione and she promptly burst out laughing at his display. Ron, who was outside, rushed in with his wand at the ready. Seeing the scene inside, he was soon on the ground laughing.
Harry lowered the cake and grinned sheepishly at the laughing pair. He placed the cake in a box and tucked it safely in his cloak. When they had recovered sufficiently, he asked for their blessings for the dangerous mission he was about to undertake and apparated away to the Burrow, his invisibility cloak in place.
The last thing he heard was Ron warning him, "You have to watch out for Mum, mate. She's all over the house. Getting past her will be like trying to get past a dragon guarding a treasure."
He arrived in the kitchen of the Burrow with a soft pop. He was startled by the presence of Mrs.Weasley. She turned at the sound and Harry was struck speechless by the tears streaming down her eyes. She wiped her eyes and surveyed the kitchen carefully, before going back to her cooking, mumbling all the time about growing old and hearing non-existent sounds. Harry felt very guilty at not being able to do anything to disabuse her of the notion that she was hearing things that did not exist. He quickly apparated away from the kitchen to the grove of trees just out of sight of the Burrow. He sat down and thought about what he wanted to do next. He loved Ginny. He wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. His parents had married right out of Hogwarts. So could he. With that thought firmly in mind, he apparated to Diagon Alley.
He arrived in Diagon Alley near Flourish and Blotts, the book shop. He quickly made his way out of The Leaky Cauldron and into muggle London. He walked some ways until he came across a jewellery shop. He entered and was immediately attended to by a clerk. He explained that he wanted an engagement ring. Nothing too fancy, just a simple one would do. He selected a plain gold ring with a single diamond on it. He paid for it with the muggle money he had exchanged for the galleons withdrawn from his vault before setting off for the search. He exited the shop, his stride now confident. He entered a deserted alley and apparated to the Burrow again.
When he arrived, this time on the floor outside of Ginny's room, it was already dark outside. He was relieved to find nobody, especially Mrs.Weasley, on the place he had landed. He heard the sound of somebody showering in the bathroom. Using that sound as cover, he snuck into Ginny's room. He was disappointed to see Ginny not there. He had never been in here before, so he took some time to look around. There was an old dresser holding the various hair clips and bands of Ginny's. His eyes travelled from the dresser to the walls of the room. There were pictures of Ginny with her family. There was one of her with Bill in Egypt, with the twins at the shop and one of her with her pygmy puff, Arnold.
But what struck him most was the photo of her with him at Hogwarts. He didn't even know it existed. They were sitting in the Common Room in front of the fire. He was in an armchair and she was sitting in front of him, leaning back against his legs. He was combing his fingers through that lush, red hair of hers. He remembered that moment. She had told them about Romilda Vane's claim of Harry having a hippogriff tattooed on his chest and her retort of him having a Hungarian Horntail. His throat closed up at the emotional moment. He wrenched his eyes away from the photograph and saw sandwiches on a small table beside the bed. It took just a glimpse of the eatables in front of him to make his stomach remind him that he had not eaten since the morning. He gingerly sat on the bed and took a sandwich from the plate. His mind was screaming at him that this was Ginny's bed. The bed she slept in! He tried not to let that bother him too much and started in on the sandwiches.
He had just taken a few bites when he heard the door to the room open. He turned around quickly and found Ginny, freshly showered, standing there. He saw that she was about to scream and quickly silenced her, locking the room as well. She pounded on the door but it wouldn't open.
He walked up behind her and, placing his hands on her shoulders, turned her around. He was startled to find her eyes looking at him in disbelief, as if not believing him to be here.
"You can speak again, Ginny," he said, not knowing what to say, his countenance serious.
She just shook her head as if to dispel something out of her head. "You… aren't… how," she began, "How did you get in here?"
He blushed slightly at the question but maintained his serious face and answered as truthfully as he could, "I snuck in. I didn't want to face the rest of your family."
"Bloody brilliant, I'm dead! You are the-" she cut off, seemingly thinking something, "-the eighth person to sneak into this house without my knowing! The Death Eaters are going to have an easy time killing me, especially since I don't have a wand anymore!"
At the last part, he grew alarmed, "What?" he feared that his girlfriend was without a wand to protect herself with. "Where is your wand?"
"Mum took it when I tried to follow you three last week." He couldn't help but notice the bitterness in her voice, but did not want to go there just yet. He winced at the tears that were gathered just underneath her eyelashes, threatening to drop.
So, he just cleared his throat and said, "I brought you something," and drew the cake from his cloak.
Her eyes flew open at this and looked at the cake that was now lumpy from his travels of the day. She read the writing on the cake and asked, "What does that mean?" referring to the HBG on the cake.
"Uh, well, I didn't have enough space to write, so it means 'Happy Birthday Ginny'," he explained and set the cake on her nightstand and pulled a green candle from his pocket, stuck it in the cake and lit it with his wand. Now to see whether she wants me here or not. He turned back to her and said, "Make a wish, Gin." He held his breath.
Ginny swallowed hard and replied, "I don't even know if it is really you."
He nodded slowly, understanding where that came from. He tried to remember what he could say to her that others didn't know. Finally, he got it. "You and I stopped under the large Beech tree when we walked after our first kiss and you told me that I have the most beautiful eyes you have ever seen."
He winced internally as he said it, for it brought back painful memories for him, and seeing her reaction, for her too. Here was his sweet girl swaying from the memories he had stirred up. He held her steady at her waist. Her eyes opened and he looked into the warm chocolate pools, losing himself.
"Do you believe it's me?" Harry asked, all the while looking into her eyes, and when she nodded, "Then blow out your candle and make a wish."
He watched apprehensively as she moved away from his arms and made to blow out the candle. Just as the candle extinguished, he read her thoughts, plain as day: I wish he would need me the way I need him.
He was horrified that she would even think that. Without thinking, he blurted out, "But I do need you!"
She looked utterly confused at his exclamation. "What?"
He realized that he had almost given the game away and tried to wrest the control back. He licked his lips and said, "I wrote you a poem."
If the poor girl was confused before, she appeared to be completely baffled now. "You wrote what?"
Seeing that none of this was making sense for her, Harry tried to explain, "A poem, and that candle… Hermione charmed it to let me know what your wish was, so I could make it come true." Harry blushed at his admission. His eyes narrowed as he recalled her wish. "How could you think that I don't need you?"
He saw Ginny's mouth open in outrage. He knew he was in for it now. . "You haven't even looked at me since we left school and you've ignored me!" That was true. "Don't change the subject though; you were invading my private thoughts!"
If there was one thing he had learnt by dating Ginny Weasley, it was to cut her off when she was building steam for a rant and not let her complete it. Harry's forehead crinkled at her explanation, but he largely chose to ignore her accusations. "I am going to share the poem with you that I wrote."
"Oh, you sure you didn't have Hermione write it?" came the retort. Ignore it. Ignore it.
"I'm sure!" he said and continued with it. "Okay, here goes,"
"Her eyes are as brown as warm chocolate milk
Her hair is as red as the setting sun
I wish I could call her mine
She's so beautiful and divine
The girl I'll come back to when we've won."
He finished and fiddled nervously with the ring in his pocket. This was not going well at all. If she kept this front up, he would have a cat in hell's chance of winning her back.
He couldn't even look up to see her reaction, sure it would be one of disgust at his lack of creativity.
"Oh Harry… that was… that was…" she began. But he cut her off,
"It's terrible, I know," he admitted. He was dejected with himself.
"Well, it wasn't a great poem but if you meant it-" she began.
His head shot up, "Of course I did!"
"-then it's beautiful to me," she finished, her voice quiet at the end. He met her eyes and smiled. Maybe, just maybe, he had a chance.
"Why are you here?" she asked.
He decided to tell her straight. "I couldn't take it anymore," he replied, "I didn't look at you so that I could leave you. When I had to see you, especially at Bill's wedding when you were so beautiful-"
He was cut off by the derisive snort from her. He couldn't believe that she didn't know how beautiful she was. So, he decided to explain how she looked to him. He backed her up till the back of her legs hit the bed and she sat down on it. He knelt down in front of her and cupped her face in his palms. He wiped away the tears from her delicate cheeks.
"You were beautiful, you're always beautiful and just because you have two part-Veela in your family now does not mean that you can't outshine them. Their attraction is a magical trick but yours is real and all you."
By the time he finished, she was crying openly, and Harry somehow deduced that these tears were of joy, and not otherwise.
"When did you get to be so smart?"
"About three hours ago," he admitted, "I didn't come earlier today, even though I wanted to see you so badly on your birthday. When Hermione got back and told me that your Mum had forgotten, I decided I couldn't take it anymore. I knew you would be so hurt by her forgetting and I also know that it's my fault she forgot." He felt, rather than saw, the protest growing on her lips and stopped it by placing a finger on them. "It is my fault, well mine and Ron and Hermione's. We ran off and haven't written, and we knew that she would worry herself sick over it. With all of that stress, along with everything else going on, she forgot. She also forgot Bill and Fleur were coming home today."
"How do you know?" Ginny asked, her eyes wide. God, he loved her!
"She told Ron before he left," he explained.
"So, you're just here to wish me a happy birthday, and then leave again?"
Now comes the hardest part. He gulped involuntarily and said, "No, I said it in the song… the last line."
He watched carefully as she frowned and tried to recall the last line of the song. At last, comprehension dawned on her.
"Yes, I'll come back again when we've won," he nodded in affirmation to her deductions. He took one hand away from her cheek and withdrew the ring from his pocket. He heard her gasp and her hands went to her mouth, but continued bravely forward, "I love you and… and… Ginevra Molly Weasley, will you marry me?" His voice was shaking with emotion. He now understood what it meant to have someone hold your heart in their hands and you were helpless to do anything about it but go along with it. He loved her so much; he couldn't begin to grasp when it had happened.
He watched her expressions carefully for a hint of what was about to come. Her hands came down and he saw the beginnings of a smile form on her face. He was absolutely sure she would say yes. And when she kissed him, he felt like jumping up and down on the roof of Buckingham Palace and yell out to the world about his love for her.
She broke the kiss and whispered. "No."
His entire world came crashing down around him. He felt like his body had seized up. His hands dropped to his sides and he staggered back as if slapped. She said no! She said no! "No?" he asked faintly.
She appeared to realize her blunder as she grabbed his hands back into hers and hastened to explain, "No!" she paused. "No…I mean, yes, I will marry you, Harry," she hastened to explain. "But not when you come back. I will marry you when we come back. I'm not going to let you go off again, Harry, leaving me behind to worry. I'm coming with you, whether you like it or not."
The relief he felt was overwhelming. His body sagged from the tense state it was in and he let out a breath he didn't know he was holding. "For a moment there, I thought …"
Ginny only shook her head and slid down to the floor in front of him and clung to him, her hands going around his neck, and held him tightly. He drew her at the waist and hugged her like he didn't want to let go. After a while, when she kissed him again, he knew he was home, right here in her arms.
Author's Note: All credit goes to YelloWitchGrl for the amazing story she has churned out, once again I might add. Also, much thanks to LunaMoon224 and Rachael for beta-ing the story. Thanks guys.:)