Something to Sleep to

July 2007

Ginny thought she was dreaming, but she really had no way of knowing for sure. Her heart gave a terrible ache and there was a sick, sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach, too bitterly, vividly sharp to be the feelings of one dreaming. Her fiery red hair streamed behind her as she ran, slightly damp with sweat. Ragged breath tearing from her and Ginny felt as though she had been running forever.

They were up ahead; Ginny could hear Hermione shouting, but her words were lost amidst the rush of the wind. Harry was just in front of Ginny, chasing after Hermione, but try as she might, Ginny could never quite catch up to him. He always seemed be just out of range just when she was about to touch him. She called his name, over and over, but he either could not hear her or he ignored her cries.

Ginny could not entirely explain what had happened, what had caused them to end up like this. She remembered Hermione storming off in a passion, her eyes large and wounded. Ginny was sure she had not been part of the argument between Harry and Hermione, but Hermione had fled Gryffindor Tower with Harry in quick pursuit. Ginny, feeling it was her duty as Harry's girlfriend, followed.

On they ran, with Ginny out of breath and irritated, wondering what was so important that Harry had to go chasing Hermione all around the Hogwarts grounds. After all, Ginny was Harry's girlfriend. He was supposed to be paying her the attention, not chasing after some other girl, even if that other girl was his best friend. Ginny had always thought Hermione would be better off with girl friends anyway.

And now that she thought about it, she rather despised the way Harry and Hermione looked at one another, understanding one another's thoughts with just a glance. The way Harry would say something and they would grin at each other like idiots at some private joke they shared. The way Hermione often finished Harry's sentences for him, or he for her. The way Harry would let only Hermione hold him when he was distraught. The way Hermione always knew what to say when Harry's was scared or miserable or angry. The way Harry constantly talked about Hermione, whether he knew it or not.

The way Ginny sometimes caught Hermione gazing at Harry when Harry wasn't looking.

The way Ginny sometimes caught Harry gazing at Hermione when Hermione wasn't looking.

"Who's chasing you, Ginny? Hermione's chasing Harry, Harry's chasing Hermione, and you're chasing Harry. But who's chasing you?"

Ginny froze then as the voice in the back of her mind spoke, the voice that knew her best. It was true; Harry and Hermione were running in a small circle along the banks of the lake, arms reaching for one another but unable to catch hold. And now Ginny felt small and stupid, standing a few feet away. Her cheeks flared and her heart lurched devastatingly and she felt a little queasy. How long had it been this way? How long had she known and had been struggling to deny it.

"Who's chasing you?"