Disclaimer: Don't own anything you recognize from the Hp series.
Story:A Somber Night on the Promenade
Warnings: Totally AU. No spoilers...well, I don't think so.
Summary: Ginny has something to tell her best friend Harry, but is she too late? Non-Magic Setting. One-sided Ginny/Harry. Harry/Hermione. AU. Angsty. Read and Review please.
AN: This story is non-magic. Also, Ginny is the same age as Harry, and as to Ron, though he was/is friends with Harry, he decided to go to America for schooling instead of staying in England. This is majorly AU, Sorry. The use of "Minnie" for Hermione's nickname is deliberate.
A Somber Night on the Promenade.
The wind wrapped itself around her, swinging her long red tendrils of hair around her youthful, freckled face. She was leaning almost carelessly over the wooden railing procured upon the edges of the dock staring into the shallow blue water watching the small schools of fish enthusiastically swimming in a frenzy to and fro.
It was awfully close to the engulfing hours of night and she had already been waiting twenty minutes for her best friend Harry to meet her. She was worried though. Ginerva Weasley knew that when she told him to meet her at 6:00 p.m., he would be there at 6:30 p.m. You would think that knowing this that she would come late as well, but she always held the hope that maybe for once he would be punctual.
If truth be told, she liked waiting for him. Watching the water calmed her… at least usually it did. Unfortunately, this time she was far from calm. Though she wanted nothing more than for Harry to run around the corner before stopping breathlessly in front of her rambling on about one excuse or another for being late, this particular time she kind of wished he would take his time. She wasn't angry at him…far from it actually. The problem was she was far too happy with him.
They had met while still in primary school, which wasn't such a big feat in the small fishing town, but they had managed to stay awful close for years now. They were both nearing eighteen and it was almost time to depart off to one University or another. The small amount of time that was left for them to be kids was nearing its end and she had to tell him something before they left the peaceful cocoon they had immersed themselves in all their lives. The only thing was that, she was afraid she was too late.
Being tardy wasn't the only thing Harry was famed for after all. She could only hope that his latest bout at tardiness wouldn't be detrimental to her future as she feared it would be. The world knew them as Gin and Harry, the duo who could never be separated in life or in death. The best of friends, so close that everyone envied them. Ginny almost cried when she thought about it, which was odd when all she wanted to do was smile in the same instant. It was true when it all came down to it, but somehow she felt like she was living a lie… a lie in which she had not only fooled everyone else with, but herself as well.
She could not be sure when her feelings for her best friend Harry had changed. She could never be sure. Maybe it was the first time he held her hand and smiled reassuringly when she wept over a scraped knee in first grade or when he picked flowers with her in fourth grade. Maybe it all came down to the moment when he introduced himself to her in kindergarten, before he spoke to anyone else. No, she couldn't be sure, nor did she really want to be sure at all. All she knew was that when the new girl came to town, everything changed. Hermione Evangeline Granger, a slim brunette with a blatant flair for academics and an eye for one Harry James Potter… her Harry James Potter.
"Minnie" had come and had naught been here but two days, before she had sent ripples into Harry's and her relationship. They suddenly began having outings of three rather then two and instead of the inseparable duo, they were now being called the golden trio. She hadn't truly minded at first, or at least she liked to think that she didn't, but she did, Ginny just wouldn't admit it at the time.
It had been a month into the new trio when she noticed why she felt so uneasy around Hermione. At first she had been startled and surprised to note that she actually viewed the new girl as a serious threat. Needlessly to say, Ginny had spent the ensuing months trying to squelch the instinct to claw at the girl.
By the time she realized she liked Harry just a little more than a friend should, it had already been too late. Her tardiness at realizing the obvious hadn't let her down. Hermione and Harry had been dating for a good week or so by then. Ginny had smiled happily and went along with it, but she was dying on the inside. It hurt most all, that Harry, whom prided himself on knowing inner and outer workings of his life-long friend hadn't seemed to notice her pain only his happiness. She had no doubt Hermione knew though. It was a woman thing… intuition and all that. There was no way the rather observant; all 'A' girl couldn't pick up on Ginny's finer emotions.
Grabbing hold of a lock of her loose hair she worried herself silly tugging and twisting it when she suddenly noticed with a start that it was quite past dusk and well into darkness. There were two distant lights shining brightly out from the harbor… two twin, yet separate light houses sending out their warning for ships to not get too close, less they were morbidly looking for a way out of this world.
Biting her lip in concern because Harry was well past the usual half-hour tardiness he usually displayed she fretted with the idea of hunting him down or waiting a bit longer for him. He had never been this late before…except for that time in middle school, but that was a completely different story that she didn't feel like delving into. By the time the two hour mark was approaching, her anxiousness was reaching a new high and she was five seconds away from screaming in frustration and running to his house to make sure he was still alive when a familiar sight met her eye.
There he was running like a mad man towards her his long black hair falling loose from his neat, low pony tail. His emerald eyes gleamed with an inner light that she hadn't seen in years, yet were tainted by what she took to be a sheepish and more than guilty expression for making her wait so long she was sure. He was out of breath, even more so then usual, meaning he probably ran a longer distance than from his house which wasn't too far off.
When Ginny saw that Harry was all in one piece and perfectly alright her worry subsided and her indignation began to rise. She was about to open her mouth and unleash the famed Weasley temper on him, but Harry beat her to the punch.
"I'm sorry Gin! But to be perfectly honest…and don't take it wrong or anything, but I…." Now he really looked sheepish and sorry. "…forgot." His eyes shifted uneasily to the side for a moment as he bit his lower lip and gave her a slightly uneasy smile.
Gosh, she hoped her pained expression was not visible on her face… or worse in her eyes. Her father always did tell her they were windows to her soul and quite easy to read. He had never "forgot" before and it hurt her like nothing else hurt her before. Harry had forgotten about her and left her waiting in vain for him at their favorite spot.
It seemed that the uneasiness in his expression took naught but a moment to pass before he grabbed her lax, pale hands into his and practically jumped up and down in excitement. The light she had seen behind his bottle green pools attached to his shamefaced visage moments ago was back full force and virtually extinguished the "I'm so sorry look."
"But Gin, you'll forgive me when you hear the news!" She was still reeling from the betrayed feelings she felt that she barely kept up with his words. Her azure eyes were watering slightly as he spurted out nonsensical exclamations and explanations in the same breath. Before any of his energized words could get past her fogged mind he was hugging her like there was no tomorrow and spinning her around. For a moment she lost herself in the feeling of him and her breaking heart mended slightly as she let her lost smile return to her face slowly.
"Oh Ginny I knew you'd be happy for me!" His happy words were finally making it to her brain and for the life of her she couldn't fall back into the rather one-sided conversation he had been carrying. 'Happy for him?' Happy for what?' She asked herself silently as a slight dread filled the pit of her stomach.
His smile was nearly splitting his face as he threw himself over the railing Ginny had been leaning on early. "Oh Gin! I can't believe it! Hermione seemed to think that you'd be unhappy, but I told her she was nutters. She said something about it being 'girl-thing.'" Forcing the smile she had procured from the mix of his elation and her earlier brief happiness at his joy onto her face she said the first thing that came to mind.
"Of course, I'm happy Harry. Why wouldn't I be? You're … so cheerful!" She had somewhat of an inkling to what he had been practically screaming at her for the last five minutes, but she wouldn't let it register…she couldn't… it just wasn't possible.
"To think Gin… a girl like Minnie marrying me." Facing the two distant lights in the harbor Harry never saw the impact of the words he spoke. Ginny let out an inaudible gasp and sob all in one. She couldn't school her face into anything but channeling the anguish and despair she was feeling. Her mouth moved once, twice, three times wordlessly. Ginny soundlessly repeated the word "marry" many times before gradually producing a sound barely above a whisper which carried on the wind to her best friend.
The utter incredulity in the single word altered to what Harry took as shocked astonishment in her voice. He turned towards her, still not seeing her pain which was hidden by the shadows of the moonless night. "I know! Can you believe it! Gosh I love her so much…." His eyes grew fond and distant as if he were no longer there which in fact he wasn't anymore. Tears flooded into her blue depths before breaking down in torrents on her ashen cheeks. Her heart broke then… not a clean break by any means. It was utterly shattered and just like humpty dumpty and his great fall… there was no way her heart could be put together again.
With a force of will she never knew she possessed she scrunched up her nose and squeezed her eyes shut, forcing all her negative emotions to the back of her mind. She had been living a lie for forever already. One more lie wouldn't hurt would it? Fooling herself into believing that she was truly happy for both Hermione and him, she plastered a somewhat strange and false smile on her countenance.
Not bothering to wipe her eyes, for those could be explained off as tears of joy, she leaped out and grabbed Harry in a bone-crushing hug. He began to jump up and down with him in a sloppily done parody of the excitement he had shown when he first arrived. "Oh Harry! I'm so happy for you both! I've been waiting for ages for you guys to finally give in to each other!"
What a loud of garbage! She was far from happy and far from thrilled that they had given into each other and were going to tie the knot. Her smile cracked slightly but she covered it was another bout of cheer. "We must simply get together and plan a big bash for the engagement!"
He seemed to literally beam at the thought of a party that was for the sole purpose of announcing his love to the world. "We can invite your brothers! Charlie would love to come and visit, I'm sure. He's been in Romania for two years now… and Bill! He can finally bring Fleur over from Egypt for us to meet formally."
Focusing solely on seeing her brothers for the first time in ages, she found it slightly easier to hold her façade. "Don't forget the twins! They can provide the entertainment for both the party and the wedding! I'm sure they have more pranks and jokes after so long."
"I'm sure Ron will be able to come back home for a few days from school in America.
After all, it's not everyday a marriage happens! The Yankees will understand, I'm sure." He hastily wiped flying tendrils of ebony from his eyes as they misted in what the engagement party would be like with the whole of the Weasley family there.
They were both silent for a moment, as they both swam in their own thoughts. Harry's bubbling with joy…Ginny's wallowing in gloom. She suddenly grabbed him for one last hug before pulling away.
"I'm so sorry Harry! But it's getting late. You know how my dad is." It was dark, but she could still see the slightly befuddled expression on his brow. It was late, but it wasn't terribly late yet and her father wouldn't be angry unless she stayed out past 10:30 or so. She just couldn't be there for another moment and join in on the lightheartedness and frivolity that had come between them… a merriment she couldn't force herself to partake in stride any longer.
She was half way down the promenade when she called back to him, her voice a little higher in pitch than usual. "Don't worry Harry. The party will be glorious! I'll talk to my mom about organizing it, ok!" She was almost round the corner before she even remembered that roper manners dictated that she passed on his congratulations to the wife-to-be. Turning slightly she cleared her voice as best she could.
"And tell Hermione that…." She stopped momentarily, not really wanting for him to tell her any falsities, but knowing it was a mandatory salute that all women, no matter how sorely and utterly defeated they felt had to give to the winner in the end.
"Tell her, I'm very happy her as well! I can't wait to see her in her bride's gown!" For some reason, she felt like she couldn't leave saying just that. It wounded her pride in an inexcusable way. Knowing that the minuscule sentence that would be her goodbye would do nothing mend her pride in the least she strained to say the simple words.
"Mom will so happy! Good Night Harry! And congratulations again!" She barely took in his shadowy figure waving verbally calling his own goodbye before she was in the confines of her own self-pity once more. How she was able to mask her emotions in front of him, she would never know… or maybe Harry was just as clueless as all males seemed to be. For some reason, she knew it was more the latter than the former, but she didn't dwell on it.
She banged open her front door, before running up the stairs to her room, ignoring all calls from her parents. She held just enough sense left to lock the door behind her as she flopped miserably onto her brown bed. Emotionally exhausted she drifted to sleep rather quickly, trails of saline still falling freely down in rivulets. The last thought she had before the peaceful embrace of the darkness that was sleep took her was "why… why do I have to be so prone to tardiness?"