Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter. Just the plot which this one-shot contains.
Yeah! Something of mine that's Post HBP for once! I'm very happy!
Hmm, this is a Ginny/Harry one-shot, with mentions and strong implications of Ron/Hermione. Based on Bill and Fleur's wedding. I hope you like it!
Oh yeah, forgot about this. Spoiler warning for Half-Blood Prince! Heh, I'm so stupid sometimes.
Summary: Harry suddenly realizes that Ginny knows he is looking at her. She doesn't want to meet his eyes. But then, Harry wouldn't want to either if he was her. But he cannot go back to change it; he cannot go back to stop himself from these stupid mistakes that are now severely damaging his future.
He sighs; he doesn't like this day so far. He has just traveled from the Dursley's and is now allowing himself to be embraced by Mrs. Weasley, Hermione, and clapped on the shoulder by his best mate Ron.
He sees the color crimson and turns; the color is a warning that she is nearby, and he doesn't think he can handle the pain once more if he sees her again.
Everything is in a mess: he can hear Fleur running about upstairs, shrieking for things in her nervous panic. Boys are running all over the place. The crimson is behind him, now, talking quietly. Mrs. Weasley tries to get Ginny to go back upstairs. Fleur needs her; it's the wedding day.
Harry Potter has almost forgotten why Fleur and Bill are getting married. But then, he remembers: they are in love.
Love: he is disgusted and annoyed by the word. He has loved many times, and yet love hurts him in so many ways in the end. He is not broken, but severely bruised. He doesn't know why he hasn't learned sooner that all love does it hurt one eventually.
He didn't used to believe that; he used to believe in those fairy tales where the boy would declare his love, and he would marry his princess. But things like that really never happened to him. He can't even remember hearing or learning about those childish woven stories, but he figures that every child knows about them.
Like nursery rhymes; people might not know the words, but they can recall the concept.
Harry wishes he could recall the words, maybe even the concept. Both would be nice. Because both he never had.
Not even once.
Harry is instructed to change into his dress robes and go outside in the garden with all the other males who are trying to act casual, but excited. He does as he is told, turning away as the crimson starts to go after him.
He is starting to rather detest that color, after all.
Once he is changed into his now fancy outfit, he enters the garden. He sees fiery red-orange hair, so different from her color. But he has grown used to it, and learned to love it like a sibling.
Ron is nervous and watching the bridesmaids assemble, brushing their dresses and gossiping. Harry notices Ron is watching one girl in particular more than the rest. Harry does not need to turn to know that his friend is looking at Hermione Granger.
Harry has seen Hermione today; she is wearing a soft gold dress like the rest of the girls. Harry hasn't seen the only female Weasley yet, and he isn't sure that he wants too. Hermione has caught Ron's eye more than usual, and if Ginny is looking very pretty, the danger of crimson being addicting today is dangerous.
Guests are already starting to fill in, and the men all start down the aisle to take their places. Harry and Ron follow after, not entirely sure what they should be doing exactly, but they know they should follow the flock.
It's better than standing by themselves.
The bridesmaids get into line, and the last of the guest start filling in. Music is playing, and Harry notices there is an empty space across from where he is standing.
At the corner of his eye, he sees the color again, and every single muscle in his body tenses while his heart pumps wildly, madly against his ribcage and he knows he'll be seeing her in a few moments.
And there she is, right on cue. Mrs. Weasley was right to say that the gold clashes horribly with her hair, but Harry still thinks she looks absolutely beautiful.
He keeps telling himself to not look at her, to not even think about her because he might start falling in love with her again.
But he can't help it; he raises his head and looks at her, studying her silently and wishing he could kiss her. Her crimson hair is gleaming, draped over her shoulders like a velvet cloak, her golden dress accenting her figure but making her look beautiful. She is looking defiant, staring at the groom when everyone else is staring at the bride as she walks down the aisle.
Harry suddenly realizes that Ginny knows he is looking at her. She doesn't want to meet his eyes. But then, Harry wouldn't want to either if he was her.
He had broken her heart twice; the first was the crush on a hero, and the other, on the lover that he had become for her. Both times, he should've been good to her. He should've loved her like he did this year.
But he cannot go back to change it; he cannot go back to stop himself from these stupid mistakes that are now severely damaging his future.
He realizes that Ginny has turned her head to finally look at the bride as she takes her last steps up to the alter, beaming in all attention, and for a fraction of a second, their eyes meet.
He cannot describe the feeling that suddenly flows through him. His heart has returned to normal, and with a moment of shared eye contact, he has resorted to shallow breathing and a fast pulse. His robes feel too small for him, too thick and too hot. He needs to cool down.
But he doesn't know how.
Ginny is now looking enviously at the bride and groom as they exchange loving words, and he stares at her. He cannot take his eyes off her beautiful crimson hair, her slender face. She is too beautiful not to look at.
As the bride and groom say their last words, Ginny turns and looks at him slowly, her expression hurt and lonely. Her eyes are begging him, why couldn't they be us, Harry?
But he cannot answer her silent plead. He looks down, oblivious to the applause and happy cheering from the families as Bill carries his wife down the aisle.
He doesn't need to look up to know that Ginny is glaring at him. Furiously, she takes her eyes off of him and takes the short cut to the place where the reception is held.
Slowly, everyone else empties out, leaving Harry standing on the alter, staring down at the ground. Silently, he sits down and leans forward, his face into his hands.
The last time he cried was at Dumbledore's funeral. Now, when he cries in the future, he can remember that the last time he cried was at a wedding.
The couples are dancing. Harry and Ron are standing next to each other at the punch bowl, staring at the group of girls gossiping and giggling who are looking over at the two boys. Harry and Ron exchange looks.
A side door opens and Hermione walks in, her skirt torn off and wearing the camisole-like shirt that she wore for the dress, and her favorite loose jeans. She makes her way over to Harry and Ron, smiling, oblivious to the snickers her attire earns her.
Ron is staring at her in an odd way. Hermione is talking, and in the middle of her sentence, Ron grabs her hand and asks her to dance. Harry notices the red on both of their faces, (or in Ron's case, ears.) However, she nods and they travel slowly to the floor and dance.
Harry watches them, feeling empty inside. He supposes he feels envious, but he doesn't want to think about it. It hurts him too much.
Another door opens, and more Weasleys file into the room. He spots her crimson hair even before her whole body has entered.
He has thought about this before. He needs to say his last goodbyes, and he needs to tell her how much it hurts him. She'll never understand what is going on inside his mind, why he is hurting her like this if she doesn't hear the truth.
Ginny has separated herself from the group. She glances at the group of gossiping girls, her face looking disdainful, before she selects and empty table. A boy comes over to ask her to dance, and she declines. Harry is happy because he felt the mad, angry rush of blood to his head like he had before.
He knows what he must do.
Ginny sees him coming before he gets there. She turns and watches him approach, not surprised, but neutral, apathetic even. He holds out his hand, trying to keep his breath under control.
The boy that has asked her to dance is watching them, waiting to see what Ginny will decide to do. She cannot see him, but Harry can. The boy is looking immensely jealous already.
Ginny takes his hand, finally, and he guides her to the dance floor. The other boy storms off.
His hand is on her waist, and intertwined with her fingers. His shoulder is now burning hot at her fingertips, despite the fact that the fabric kept her smooth, soft skin away from his. The hand on her waist is numb. He thinks it might be from shock.
He doesn't want to look her in the eyes, but they are so close, and she smells so good that he cannot help it. Ginny looks sad; he probably does too. He betrayed her, he knows, and she is asking him why. He cannot answer her, but merely shake his head.
"You wouldn't understand," he whispers.
"But I do," she says back fiercely. "I would be the weapon against you, I know Harry!"
He shakes his head again, and tries to comprehend what the stupid concept was in the nursery rhyme was before he started talking. He has forgotten; rather, her delightful, seductive scent has washed it away from his angst-ridden, woeful mind.
"No, Ginny," he whispers softly. "You aren't the weapon… the love I have for you is. There is a difference."
"There isn't," she argues immediately. "I love you, Harry. The love I have for you is there. The two things are the same."
"No, Ginny," he says again. "I'm in love with your memory, your spirit, not… who you are. If you were to die, I would still be in love with your memory. You would not be present, and I wouldn't miss that. I would miss what we created. Do you understand, now?"
"Harry," she whispers, touching his face. He can see the tears in her eyes, and suddenly he can he feel his own sadness more acutely. "You're a fool."
"No, Ginny, you're the fool," he whispers back, his voice breaking slightly. "Loving me was stupid of you." He touches her face, and his fingers run over her lips for the briefest second. "When I leave for Voldemort, I'm never coming back. Ron and Hermione are coming back. But not me Ginny."
"You'll always be coming back, Harry," she murmurs, biting her lips and licking away the salty tears that have fallen down her cheeks. "You're already part of me, and every time I think of you, part of me gets chipped away."
"I'm not coming back, Ginny," he murmurs. He leans forward and kisses her softly on her mouth, and breaks away slowly, their mouths still attached.
"You don't have to come back," she whispers, looking into his eyes. "I'll always be right there behind you."
They kiss again: he can feel his heart break in half with agony and joy and despair. He knows he is in love, and will never get her off his mind. He knows that when he dies, she will soon join him in death; her mind will waste away and she will think of nothing but him, and be with him soon. It kills him to think about it, but he cannot help but feel the most minuscule sliver of joy. She is going to follow him, love him no matter what.
And he's never really had that before.
The night is still wasting away. The crowd of cheerful people is oblivious to Harry and Ginny sitting by themselves, tucked away in a dark corner, unseen.
But that is how they like it.
Tears have long stopped flowing, and the only hint of her sadness is the dry, salty trail on her cheeks. Her eyes are red and swollen, but he makes them better. He whispers for her to close her eyes, and she does. He leans her against his shoulder and places his own head on hers, closing his eyes.
Now, they feel as if they were one person, always reunited, and never to be apart again. She reaches out blindly and her fingertips meet his. Her cold fingers are soon warmed by his; they lace together as they breathe.
She is crying again, though her tears are not as forceful as they were before. She can sit there in his arms and cry silently, knowing that her body will not betray her and shake with sobs.
He has his arm around her shoulders, holding her protectively, lovingly. He never wants to let her go, never wants to see the crimson disappear from his memory.
But he cannot stop the future, however hard he will try. The most he can do is keep her out of harms way. But the color was always fierce, very stubborn, and always there. He could always see that annoyingly loyal deep red color, thicker than blood but so beautiful. Always beautiful.
He opens his eyes and stares blankly into the crowd, twisting a piece of her silky hair through his fingers, winding his soul into her hair as she would with flowers. He looks among the dancers, trying to find Ron and Hermione, but realizes he cannot.
His vision is suddenly attracted to the far, far left, and he turns his head. He can see a couple, glued together and loving, oblivious to the crowd that is whispering at the site of the two young lovers. The one who is against the wall, a girl, he realizes, has her hands up the back of her lover, suddenly tears away.
Harry watches as Hermione takes Ron by his hand and leads him frantically out of the room, their shirts messed and their hair untidy. He feels happy about this, but then is reminded of himself and of Ginny, and what they can never have.
The pain returns again.
He lays his head back down on hers, closing his eyes and trying to concentrate on nothing but her intoxicating scent. On her slow paced breathing. On her heartbeat.
It is the next day, and Harry has packed everything he needs for his fatal journey. All of it is shrunk down to a minuscule size, and stored in his pocket. He is wearing a cloak with his wand in his pocket, a canteen hidden among another.
He is standing in the garden, hugging the Weasleys goodbye. Ron is following suite, as Hermione is also. He feels sick to his stomach about the grief that he will cause this family, but he can do nothing but appreciate the love that they always gave him, and always would.
At last, he reaches Ginny. She looks very pretty in her white dress, her hair pulled back loosely. A strand of her crimson hair is on her cheek, and Harry reaches out and tucks it behind her ear.
There are no expressions between them, but he merely leans forwards and kisses her very softly on her lips, touches her shoulders and bringing her closer. He can feel her urge to make it deeper, to make it everlasting, but she manages to resist the temptation.
When they break apart, her hands are on his neck, her fingers below his collar. Her cinnamon brown eyes are shining, but he knows she'll refuse to shed any tears today.
He touches her cheek. "I'm not coming back, Ginny," he murmurs. It seems like the hundredth time that he's said it, but he wants her to remember.
She blinks, looking downward for a moment; they are both oblivious to the staring family before them. She looks back into his eyes, and tears are swelling in her eyes before she closes her eyes hard, and makes them disappear.
She leans and gives him a chaste kiss on the lips. "But I'll be there with you. That way, I won't have to worry, Harry."
His smile is sad, empty of all the emotions he would like to feel but can't. He touches her face again before putting his hands at his side.
Harry looks her over one last time, before dropping his eyes to the ground and turning away. He is silent and cold as Ron and Hermione quietly bid the family goodbye.
But as they start on their journey, sure enough, Harry can see crimson just out of the corner of his eyes. He doesn't have to turn around to make sure that Ginny is safely with her family.
Because she is, and she always will be. But her spirit, her crimson soul is always following him. And it always has.
And it always will.
Author's Notes: A little something I'd like to call a one shot with potential to be more if I ever feel up to it. If I do, you'll know. So the moral is: if you liked this, put it on alert just in case!
This was my first attempt at anything Harry/Ginny in the light more than others. As you read, there was that Ron/Hermione moment, but this is just a pick-up off of HBP in my own little mind where nothing comes true. Hope you liked it!
Also, on January 1st, there is a contest on Mugglenet that I submitted a very short version of this one-shot to, and I'd love it if you went and voted for me! This one is under the name 'Minnie.'