This Moment

Summary: "She couldn't see through her tears as she tried to contain her pain, so fierce and intense that she could have mistaken it for joy." Harry and Ginny's last moments. One-shot, dark, angst-y.

Disclaimer: Harry Potter isn't mine.

Author's Note: I can't believe I wrote this. It's nothing like the fluffy, sappy, cutesy little one-shots I usually write, and I'm a bit scared about this because it's so dark, almost morbid, and I don't know why or how I could have thought of this, but I did, and I'm posting it (against my better judgment, maybe), and I'd really appreciate some feedback on it.

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The only thing she could do as she lay there in a pool of her own blood, dying, was laugh bitterly at the irony of it all.

Because he had defeated Voldemort. He had killed the greatest Dark wizard ever known to mankind and emerged victorious, though not unscathed. That was not what had killed him. What would kill him was half a dozen Death Eaters seeking to avenge their lord's death, taking advantage of his weakened state to destroy him, once and for all.

And she'd known. She'd known, from the singular connection she had with him, that he could not make it alone. And so she'd run from the heart of the battle, somehow managing to arrive at his side in one piece. By then, she knew it was too late. He was gasping from the pain of the Cruciatus, had fallen to his knees, coughing blood. And still they cursed him, hexed him, kicked him.

She fought as she had never fought before, finding strength inside herself that she did not know she possessed to defend him. He'd tried to stagger to his feet, protesting that she wasn't safe here, and tried to shield her from the worst of the curses, but none of it made any difference, because when all the Death Eaters had fallen, she, too, fell, and knew that even if the Healers arrived at that moment, both of them were too far gone to be saved.

And so the only thing left to do was laugh, because Voldemort was defeated and they were both dying for the stupidest reasons. She choked on her laughter, and the tears came crashing down against her cheeks, blinding her, and she barely felt the pain, the wound in her back so deep and long that it almost cut her in half.

She sensed it rather than saw it: his hand reaching for hers. Their fingertips brushed, and she tried to move closer, but her body would not allow movement. She reached as far as her fingers would reach, clinging to an infinitesimal source of comfort.

Ginny.

His voice. But no, he wasn't speaking—he couldn't possibly be able to, not when he was so badly injured. She didn't stop to question why she heard him in her mind. Every inch of herself cried out, an intense, painfully charged, silent utterance.

Harry.

She felt his fleeting excitement at their ability to communicate his way, quickly replaced by his guilt and agony.

Ginny, I'm so sorry.

Harry, don't. Don't apologize. I'm sorry. I came too late, and—

Ginny, please don't. I'm sorry—I'm sorry it had to turn out this way.

She drew a deep, shuddering gasp at the finality and truth of his words. Me, too.

You were so brave, Ginny. And so beautiful.

She cried. She couldn't help it. She marveled at how she could still cry when her body was literally nearly torn apart.

Harry, stop it…

Ginny, I love you.

She cried harder. She had always wanted him to say that, and he was telling her this now, right before the end. Harry, please. Stop it. I can't…

Ginny, I'm so, so sorry for everything I've ever done to hurt you. I'm sorry for not letting you know exactly how I felt before because I was a coward. I'm sorry. I didn't know that we would have so little time.

Harry—

Ginny, will you marry me?

She couldn't see through her tears as she tried to contain her pain, so fierce and intense that she could have mistaken it for joy.

Ginny, I know we don't have enough time. I know we'll both be gone in a few minutes. But I also know that wherever we go after this, I want to be with you. And if I can't… if I never see you again, I want to remember this moment, to have this moment to sustain me through eternity.

Nothing anyone had ever said had affected her quite so much in her life as those words.

Ginny…

Yes. Yes! Harry, yes. I will.

She didn't know whether to laugh or cry, and maybe she did both. She wasn't aware of what she was doing. The only thing she could think of was that they could never be what she wanted them to be.

She had imagined, in the frivolous and wistful way girls had, of marrying him and having a lovely wedding in the backyard outside the Burrow. Her dress robes would be exquisitely sewn, embroidered with ivory flowers, and she'd wear a crystal butterfly clip in her hair. He'd see her and tell her she was beautiful, and they'd kiss. They'd move in to their own house, a lovely cottage in the country. They would both work, he as an Auror and she as a Healer, but they would spend their evenings together in front of the fireplace. She had decided that they would have four children, two girls and two boys, and the firstborn would be a beautiful little girl with red hair and green eyes. They would name her Lily and he would spoil her rotten, and she would have to discipline the little girl and reprimand her husband for being so lenient.

But they'd be happy, because they would have everything. They would have each other, and that was all they needed.

And now, he was asking her to marry him, when she was lying in the deserted ruin of a battlefield, with blood and dirt and mud caked over her robes and skin, her body broken and her heart infinitely more so.

But maybe that didn't matter so much. Maybe they could be happy, because they had everything. They had each other, and that was all they needed, for this moment and for eternity.

Harry, I love you. I've always loved you.

I love you too, Ginny. More than you could imagine.

She felt it then, the pain compressing, suffocating her, and yet she had a curious sensation of being separate from her body even as she was acutely aware of the pain. The edges of her vision blurred, and she seemed to be seeing the world as a hazy screen of something that was not quite like reality.

Goodbye, Ginny.

She knew, then, that he felt it as well.

Goodbye, Harry.

She closed her eyes as she quietly drew her last breath, sensing that he was doing the same beside her. And she smiled, because the purest and simplest kind of joy filled every corner of her being, something to sustain her through this moment, through eternity.

FIN.

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