By: Lady Lithe
Summary: Those warm hands of his...there's nothing I want more. Not the prize money, not the coins in both hands. Forever. If only we could just be together forever. If only he were beside me... These types of things...I thought I could say them any time.
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter.
Naru-chan: So, I was in, erm, one of those moods and this sort of grabbed me. I hope you like it. As for those following my other stories, I plan to update soon.
Underneath the Moonlight
The moon lights its way across the blue, blue sky.
It captures my sweet and fading memories.
Secretly, underneath the moonlight
I am calling out only your name
-Rie Fu, Tsukiakari
We had a game, just for the two of us, that no one else knew about. It was our special tradition, our special little secret. It was unspoken that we would never play it with anyone else other than each other. Just like how we never needed to speak of how much we enjoyed holding hands, our gentle kisses… Each touch felt like happiness spreading through our bodies. We didn't need anything else.
I can still remember the first time we played. Beside the Black Lake underneath our favorite tree, I had found him there alone, the breeze blowing his messy jet-black hair back. I smiled at the wonderful sight of him, stretched out on the grass, the shade and sunlight playing against his face and the leaves dancing about him gently. He had thrown off his black robes and his Gyffindor tie was loosened and lay sprawled against his white shirt. The calming music of the wind and the water surrounded us as I silently approached him. His eyes had been closed, but I knew only too well the emerald eyes behind those shut lids.
I quietly took off my book bag and left it beside the tree. He moved slightly at the sound of the leaves rustling, but he didn't open his eyes. I curled against him, and he accepted me and took me into his arms. I smiled into his warm chest. I loved how he unconsciously knew it was me.
"Shouldn't you be studying?" he asked absently, his hand gently weaving through my red hair. I could feel his chest rumble softly as he spoke. It was a nice, comforting sound.
"Couldn't concentrate," I replied honestly. "Guess whose fault it was."
The rumble from his chest confirmed his chuckle.
"I'm sorry. How can I make it up to you?"
I leaned forward, so close that I could see all the various specs of green in his eyes. I could see my determined reflection shining right back at me.
He smiled lazily at me before his eyes trailed upward and he picked a stray leaf from my hair. Then instead of doing as I asked, he replied, "Let's play a game, Ginny."
"A game? What kind of game?" I asked, suspicious and curious at the same time. I still wanted my kiss.
"A game for you and me," he answered. Slowly he sat up and I was forced to reluctantly rise as well. He slipped his hands into his pockets before taking them out closed into fists. There was a glint in his green eyes that only intensified my curiosity. "In one of my hands is a Galleon. If you choose it correctly, you get a kiss."
"And if I don't choose the correct hand?"
His smile broadened. "Then you have to do what I ask."
I frowned for an instant before grinning. "All right, as long as whatever you want to do isn't too outrageous."
He extended his arms toward me and my brown eyes glanced from his left hand to his right. Finally I pointed at his left hand, confidently saying, "That one."
He opened his left hand. I let out moan. It was empty.
"Sorry," he said with a grin.
"So what do I have to do?" I asked grudgingly.
His grin widened.
I spent the next three hours helping him practice hexes and spells. He taught me all the protecting spells needed to block his and a few handy hexes. I fell to the ground finally, clutching my side after he un-stunned me. I panted heavily and furiously rubbed the sweat from my forehead. He had always been a good teacher, pushing me to the limit yet never overdoing it. He kneeled by my side, with slight concern in his green eyes.
"Are you all right?"
"You can't get rid of me that easily, Potter," I smirked wearily at him. He watched me affectionately and almost proudly as he brushed a stray scarlet lock of hair from my face. I pressed my cheek against his hand and closed my eyes with a smile.
"Let's play again. This time," he said quickly before I could open my mouth the protest, "if you guess the accurate hand, you will get two Galleons and a kiss. Okay?"
"Fine," I said after weighing the consequences and then pushing myself from the ground. He held out his hands once again and watched me expectantly. I frowned, deep in thought. Would he put it in the same hand, or would he choose the one I had picked? I glanced up at him and he just smiled. I point to his left hand, "That one."
He opened his left hand to reveal two shiny gold coins. I let out a cry of triumph and jumped him, wrapping my arms around his neck as we tumble to the ground and scatter the leaves around us. The sound of our laughter floated into the air. Then the laughter died on my lips as I looked up to see him above me. The sun glinted over his shoulder and his glossy black hair almost shined like a halo. I reached up to smooth away a lock of black hair, revealing his lightening shaped scar. His intense green eyes bore into me, and I couldn't breathe. He leaned forward and gently kissed me. It was a whisper of a kiss, but it was enough. Our innocence was enough. I wished that we could stay that way. The turmoil of emotions inside overwhelmed me like an overflowing cup. It was a mixture of victory and happiness.
I was so happy. From that day on, we would constantly play the game and I would always win. The jangle of coins grew louder and louder. And the amazing thing was that he would always smile at me when I won.
I never thought about it at the time, but he probably always had the coins in both of his hands.
It had just been another day when I had seen him by the lake and at my haste to reach him I saw him slip the coins into both of his pockets. I stopped in my tracks, as the world seemed to spin. I inhaled sharply and hid behind a tree, feeling my heart pounding against my chest. All that time…he had let me win.
And I thought…the entire time I had been uncaringly thinking of only myself and how I felt. I glanced behind the tree. He was patiently waiting for me, an absent smile on my face. I felt hot tears slip down my cheeks and fiercely stared up into the blue sky. I didn't want to think about myself anymore. I didn't care. Nothing mattered. Not my happiness, not my pride, not even if he were by my side. I could live without them as long as he was happy.
I just wanted to give him a fraction of the joy he had given me.
It was that day that I knew what would come. As I expected, the day came when he said he had to leave. I had known because of the money. He had given it to me the way he had because he knew that I would never accept it if he had simply told me to take it.
He said that there were things out there that only he could do. Things that he must do; things that he must face. The world needed him. Surely not more than I did. But when he told me, I simply smiled and let him go. His noble and stupid cause…he would never change. I knew that I had to let him go. It was who he was. And if I kept him from his destiny, he would never be happy, even if I was his only source of happiness. He wanted to protect everything and if he didn't, he would always regret and always wonder. I couldn't do that to him.
So I gave him my bravest smile and held back my unshed tears.
It was harder than I could have ever imaged though. In front of the Burrow, that fateful summer night after Bill and Fleur's wedding… I stared up at the full moon as it shined down on me. The serene white light gave me courage to face him. The three of them crept out of the house as if they were thieves. I quietly watched the three shadows move through the house. He nearly had a heart attack when they discovered me waiting for them, sitting on the porch. I simply stood, adorned in nothing but my thin, white summer dress and stared at him.
My brother and my best friend awkwardly cleared their throats and told him that they would be waiting for him as they left the two of us alone. For a moment, neither of us said anything. We just stared at it each other. He was dressed warmly in black, a bag slung over his shoulder. My heart clenched. He looked ready to leave. I tried to drink all of him in. His tall figure…his ever-chaotic hair…his brilliant and kind green eyes hidden behind those glasses of his… I could barely breathe.
"Where are you going?" I heard someone ask, and was surprised that it was me. The calm, steady voice did not match the nervous wreck I was inside.
"I can't tell you," he said in a labored voice. He was struggling with himself and I knew he didn't want to leave me. Not really.
"Why not?" I wanted nothing more than to lower my gaze, but I couldn't. I was too afraid. What if this were the last time I saw him? The last time I spoke to him? A small, cold voice whispered inside of me, He could get killed. But I quelled it firmly. He had to do this. This crazy, silly nature of his was something I loved about him. And he would come back to me. He had to.
"You know I can't tell you," he replied, running a hand through his raven hair. I wanted to reach up and touch it…but I knew it would weaken both of our resolves.
"Hermione and Ron know," I said quietly. "You're letting them go with you."
"But you won't let me go with you…"
He stepped forward, letting the moonlight shine on him. There was a helpless look deep in his eyes. He wrapped his arms around me and held me close. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, taking in his wonderful scent. No one else smelled like he did. He smelled like the sunrise after the rain. He was hope. I clung to his shirt. He was my hope.
"You can't come because to me…you're special. You have always given me what no one else has or will. When I am with you, I am just another normal person. Do you know what a wonderful feeling that is? I don't need to worry about the world. Being with you…" he seemed to choke on his words, not knowing how to express himself.
But I already knew. To him, I was just his girlfriend. I wasn't in love with The Chosen One. If I followed him on his journey I would become entwined with his other life, full of horror and death. But what he didn't understand was that I loved all of him, which included his other life that I barely caught a glimpse of when I followed him into the Department of Mysteries two years ago. But he easily forgets how immersed I have been in that life. He forgets what I went through in my first year at Hogwarts.
"Would it make you happy if I stayed?" I asked softly.
He buried his face into my red hair and took a deep breath. I felt the familiar rumble of his chest.
"I want nothing more than to have you by my side," he admitted in a pained voice. This was hard for him to say. He has never been good with words. "But yes. It would make me happy if you returned to Hogwarts, where you will be safe."
"I would die for you."
"You can't…I want you to live for me."
I pulled away from him and I see the panic that flashes in his green eyes behind those glasses of his. He was terrified that he had hurt me and that I was angry with him. I stared at him, my eyes ablaze, and shove my hands into my pockets before extending my closed hands. His eyes widened in surprise.
"We're going to play a game," I told him.
"Ginny…" He threw a glance at my brother and my best friend, who were both waiting for him.
"If you pick the hand with the two Galleons in it," I continued firmly, "you can have it and a kiss. If you pick the wrong hand," I paused for a moment before taking a deep breath and speaking again, " then you have to do what I ask."
He opened his mouth to protest, but I interrupted him.
"Yes, you will have to do what I ask," I answer his unasked question fiercely. I was sure he recognized that I would not back down because he closed his eyes in defeat. Then, slowly opening them, he hesitated before pointing to my right hand.
I slowly smiled and opened it, exposing the two gleaming gold coins. I reached out and wrap my arms around his neck and kissed him fully…slowly…tenderly…as my hands slip the four coins into his bag. I didn't want to let go and my brown eyes glistened with burning tears, but I didn't cry.
For his sake, I am strong.
And then I slowly pulled away and look into those wide and deep green eyes I've always held dear. We said nothing as he lifted my hands up and entwined his fingers with mine. In the dark blue night I could see my reflection shining back at me. He pressed his forehead against mine and together we closed our eyes. I wanted to speak and tell him, but I realized right then that I could not. My throat closed over, coated over with sadness. Then bit by bit he pulled away from me. I stood rooted to the ground as I helplessly watched him travel up the hill towards my brother and friend with the white moonlight lighting up his path.
I have not seen him since.
After the Final Battle, he disappeared. Only Voldemort's dead body had remained. People hunted to and fro, searching for his dead body in piles and piles of corpses, hoping for some proof of his death, but they never found him. Most of them think that he's really gone. Perished. Even my family has given up hope. I have watched them weep and sob uncontrollably over an empty casket, crying for the boy who lived to die.
But I…I do not believe he is gone. The connection we have was not broken that night. I would have known. While battling the Death Eaters at Hogwarts, I would have known. My world would have lost all of its color and its joy. I would not have been able to breathe or function properly. A part of me would have left during the battle that night along with him. But it didn't happen. The grass was still green…the sky was still blue…the sun rose and fell. My heart is telling me that he's not dead. If he were gone, I would not be able to live.
Yet the days go by. Autumn turns into winter, winter into spring, spring into summer, and summer into autumn. Golden leaves melt into snow, snow into water, which feed the green leaves, which fade back to gold. All I can do it watch. There is still no sign of his existence and more and more people lose faith. By now, even my brother and his best friend looks at me with sorrow and pity.
"Ginny…" he says softly at the kitchen table, staring sadly at the warm cup of tea in his hands.
"Don't, Ron," I say, continuing to wash the dishes. Keeping my hands busy always helps.
"Ginny, you can't go on like this," he continues, watching me now.
He believes that I am withering my life away in vain. I catch these looks all the time. But it doesn't matter…
"It's useless," I say, mechanically scrubbing a plate.
"He would want you to move on. Be happy," he insists. He only wants me to be happy…all of them do.
"Don't you see?" I ask as I wipe my wet hands on a towel. I sigh wearily. "I can't be happy without him."
I can't give up on the dream that we shared and the feelings locked deep inside me. I stop speaking and fall into a chair as my brother leaves the room quietly. I don't think anyone can comprehend how I can wait for him. But they don't realize that I have already spent half of my life waiting for him. I can wait a little bit longer for his sake. I stare blankly at my pale hands before I slowly close them.
Those warm hands of his...there's nothing I want more. Not the prize money, not the coins in both hands. Forever. If only we could just be together forever. If only he were beside me... These types of things...I thought I could say them any time.
The unspoken promise we made together underneath the pale, full moon…does he still remember them?
But I know I will see him once again. As I stare out the window of the Burrow at the hill that he had walked over when he had left me, I know that I will see him retrace those very same steps right back to me. When he does, I will I will fly to him with the wings he has given me and he will smile that smile that will warm my heart more than any other smile in the world. This bland life of mine with overflow with brilliant bright colors once again. I will take those warm hands in mine again, entwining our fingers. And I will tell him. I will tell him what I have always wanted to, have always felt, but never have voiced.
I love you, Harry.
Naru-chan: I hoped you enjoyed reading. I liked how I never actually mention his name until the very end. Okay, so I'm sure many of you wanted a Happily-Ever-After, but I couldn't give it to you. Not with the 7th book looming over our heads. But it's not a sad ending either, because…Ginny has faith and hope. I do plan to write something to go with this a bit later, so look forward to that.
Oh, and the part where she has four coins in her hands always gets me. Sorry, just thought I would mention that. Ah, on more thing. There are a lot of stories in which Harry suddenly realizes what he did at the end of book six was wrong. I don't think so. I don't think that JKRowling is going to let Ginny follow the trio on their journey, not from lack of strength, but because she's the one thing Harry considered "normal" in his life. She will be the one thing he can return to at the end.