This is just Ginny's feelings from the end of the last chapter (not counting the epilogue), and her internal debate over her feelings of loss and her feelings for Harry. Sappy, somewhat angsty, nothing terrible, all-canon. It's also my first Harry Potter fanfic, so I hope you enjoy it!
I know, deep down inside of me, that I should be happy. I should be rejoicing over the fall of You-Know—of Voldemort (whose name I now force myself to say in an effort to reject the last bonds of fear he has over me), the fact that his followers are either dead, under arrest, or fleeing to the far reaches of the world. I should feel elated, overjoyed and unquenchably happy that I can step outside and not have to watch my back as I walk down the street.
But all I can feel is empty.
I hate myself for it. All around me there are people celebrating, congratulating the champions and consoling one another. I…I just can't. I want to find a corner to hide and cry my eyes out by myself. There's just…too much pain. We've lost too many people to celebrate. How many deaths in this horrible war? Starting with Cedric, all those years ago, winding its way through Sirius, Dumbledore, Mad-Eye, Tonks, Lupin, Colin Creevey, even Hedwig and Dobby, two creatures who would never, ever have hurt a human being. And Fred.
And suddenly I feel something through the pain. It is hot tears dripping onto my hands, which are clutching my knees so tightly that I can feel bruises start to form. All I can see is Fred lying lifeless on the floor of the Great Hall, dancing eyes closed, never to laugh again. I see George's face, mourning and lost without his other half. I honestly don't know whether he's going to be able to pull through this. Fred and George have always done everything together. They've been inseparable since the day they were born and now…it's like George is only half a soul.
Honestly, I'm not sure I'm going to be able to pull through this. All that we were fighting for—it seems so meaningless now that the body count is coming in and it isn't just numbers of the slain, it's names of people that I've known and laughed with and loved and lost. And I can never get them back.
Harry. I bite my lip and look upwards at the enchanted ceiling (now cracked and scorched from the battle), fighting back my tears. Now George's face and Fred's body are replaced with an image of Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived, the Boy I Loved, the Boy Whose Eyes I See In My Dreams…in my imagination, he's watching me calmly, surrounded by the bodies of those who died for him and his war and now I'm so angry I can barely breathe.
And through that anger is desperation beating its fists against the walls of my heart. I want to be able to forgive Harry. He's the first boy that I've ever loved, and I still love him…but Fred's empty face will be imprinted on my soul forever. Can I love the boy who my brother died for? I want to be able to say yes, that I will love Harry through all obstacles. But…I'm not sure.
I hear footsteps approaching and I glance around, looking for my mother. She said she would be back soon, but she is still at the far end of the Great Hall, conversing quietly with the Malfoys, who look rather grateful to have someone accept their presence, even if that person is a filthy blood traitor. No, it's Harry approaching me, an apprehensive look on his face, and I see Ron and Hermione standing a few yards behind him, talking quietly. My brother reaches out to take Hermione's hand and he kisses it softly as she breaks down into tears and sobs into his shirt. His arms reach around to hold her tightly against him, and even from this distance I can see sobs shaking his shoulders.
But now Harry is right in front of me and I look up into his eyes (the ones that I see when I dream) and again I feel like I'm drowning in an emerald pool of crystal water. But then he blinks and looks down and the spell, which is of no magic that I can control, is broken. He slings a leg over the bench and sits down beside me, avoiding my gaze.
And in that moment, I know the answer to the soul-searching question that I've been asking myself ever since I learned of Fred's death. I know…Harry loved Fred like a brother, and losing him was just as painful to him as it was to me. I reach out and place my finger under Harry's chin, forcing him to look at me. He does so, and I can see the tears running down his face. His skin has become the color of parchment, throwing the lightning-bolt scar on his forehead in sharp contrast, and I run my finger along it, moving his hair aside. He opens his mouth to speak, but I know what he's going to say.
"I—" he says before I cut him off.
"I know," I murmur. "I'm sorry, too." Then, in an eerie imitation of his best friends' actions, Harry catches my hand in his and presses it to his mouth. I throw my arms around his neck and his wraps his around me and we cry together in the pain of loss and the relief that we will always have each other.
Like I said, horribly sappy. Please review!