Author's Note: Hello! Thanks to everyone who read my first story, "A New Dark Lord." Here's my second story which takes place 7th year at Hogwarts. Things go just a little differently, here. If you're expecting it to be like the "Deathly Hallows" with a twist, don't. ENJOY!! And don't forget to REVIEW!!!!
Disclaimer: J.K. Rowling owns "Harry Potter."
You're My Reason
Harry, Ron and Hermione were gathered in his and Ron's room on July 29th after dinner talking over the matter. "No, Harry, we're going with you whether you like it or not. You can't do this on your own, we don't care what you say," Hermione insisted, though, not being very persuading.
"Listen, I wish I could have you there, but this is something I need to do myself. I wish Dumbledore were here to help me, but he's not. I think he told me because he knew he was going to die, and let me tell you incase something happened to me and you should have to finish out the task yourselves." Harry would not let up.
"Harry, mate," Ron began. He spoke a little closer to Harry's ear trying not to let Hermione hear even though that was impossible when she was less than a foot away. "You need someone. You can't do this on your own."
"Really, Harry," Hermione pushed Ron aside a little, still angry with him for not making a move on her last year. "Why do you want us to stay here so bad, anyway?"
Harry took a deep breath and eyed them both carefully before speaking. "The truth is, I would love to have you both with me, but Ginny will be lonely if we all go. I need to know someone's looking out for her. Don't tell me you can't imagine her getting fed up and coming to look for us?"
Ron looked defeated as he frowned and said quietly, "Yeah, I can definitely see that." Hermione agreed silently, nodding her head slowly a couple of times.
"Well, then. You'll stay?"
"No," said Ron. "I won't. You're my best friend, Harry, and as much as I love my sister, someone needs to look out for you, too." He paused and looked at Hermione, then back at Harry. "Hermione can stay."
"WHAT? ARE YOU MAD? It's 'cause I'm a girl isn't it? You men just want to leave the weaker sex behind."
"No, we just love you both," Harry said.
"Harry," Hermione stared deeply into his eyes. "Ginny loves you, too. Imagine how she'll feel if something happens to you."
"She knows I have to take care of business. Don't make it sound like I'm leaving her without a thought. And, how do you know she loves me?"
"Harry." Hermione put her hand on his knee. "Can't you see it when she looks at you?"
"Maybe I was trying not to see it because I knew I was leaving. I can't think that way. Voldemort has to be stopped, you both know that." At that, Hermione nodded silently, making it quite plain that she understood his reasoning, and agreed with it, even if she didn't agree with being left behind.
"Fine," she said bluntly. "I'll stay. But I'm doing it for Ginny, not because I'm afraid to go. You're right, she needs someone, and her brother shouldn't be the one to comfort her about her boyfriend being in danger…you know."
"Right," said Ron, his eyes darting back and forth then moving towards his feet. "That might be awkward."
Harry hugged Hermione. Still squeezing her he said, "Thank you, Hermione, really. You'll be glad you finished your seventh year, too. I know you wouldn't want to miss your NEWTS." He pulled away from the hug and held her shoulders at an arms distance. "Please just make sure she's okay." He got up and walked towards the window, pulling aside the curtain slightly, looking down at Ginny sitting with Bill and Fleur on the porch. It looked like they might be going over last minute details for tomorrow's wedding. Harry wondered in the back of his mind if Ginny ever thought about their wedding, or if there would ever be one. "If she needs to hear it, explain to her that I asked you to stay behind for her, and that I said I love her: only if she really needs to hear it. I don't really want her to know this was planned. She'll feel inferior or something ridiculous like that."
"I understand, Harry." That was all Hermione could say. Without looking at her Harry knew her eyes were full of tears, the same way his were.
The next day they woke early to Mrs. Weasley shouting up the stairs at them to "get their rear ends out of bed." Fleur's parents would be arriving shortly and they needed to be downstairs to meet them. Harry rolled out of bed and threw the covers off of Ron who crumpled up in a ball at the feel of the cold air on his bare chest. "Get up, you lazy git."
"Yeah, yeah. I'm comin' Harry."
They went downstairs to the kitchen where Mrs. Weasley was standing over the stove, supervising her wand doing all the cooking. Hermione and Ginny were already at the table, and judging by the expression on Ginny's face, Hermione hadn't told her a thing. "Good morning," he told her.
"Is it?" she asked grumpily.
Harry eyed Hermione questioningly, who, in turn, shrugged her shoulders. Harry figured she knew there was plotting going on in their room last night that didn't involve her. Little did she know how much it did involve her. Harry silently thanked Hermione again for being so understanding about staying behind. As far as he was concerned, the only reason she was the one staying behind is because she would be better at taking care of Ginny, here and at Hogwarts. He'd much rather have some book smarts on this journey with him, but what could you do? He was glad Ron was coming, anyway.
After an awkward breakfast and getting ready, it was time for the wedding to start. Harry walked down the stairs in his dress robes. Ginny was already standing at the entrance to the back yard wearing her bridesmaid's dress. Her hair was loosely curled and hung down over her shoulders, and that dress…it was perfect. She looked up at him staring at her and smiled. He walked down the steps and as he walked past her to go outside, he tilted his head towards her ear and said, "You look amazing," while his hand grazed the small of her back.
Two hours later, Bill and Fleur had said their I-dos and the altar had been cleared away and replaced with enough tables to seat everyone for dinner. When dinner had been finished, the tent was transformed, yet again, into a dance floor, leaving just a few tables to the side for people to rest at.
Harry and Ron were standing to the side, taking in the action before Hermione and Ginny appeared at the entrance to the tent. Looking at each other and wordlessly agreeing on a plan, they walked over to the two girls, and held out their arms respectively. For a moment, Harry just held Ginny's hand, and when they reached the dance floor, he took the other and placed them both around his neck. He put his own hands around her back and pulled her close.
"I know you're leaving in the morning, Harry."
He pulled away a little, looking into her enchanting brown gaze. Her eyes sparkled slightly with tears. He put his forehead to hers and they cried silently. He kissed her forehead and pressed her ear to his chest. Now Harry could feel her heaving sobs and his tears leaked into her perfect hair. They stayed like that for a while…a long while. By the time they wrenched themselves apart, the band was packing up and most of the guests had gone. How long had they been like that? It must have been hours, but neither of them had aches in their feet, only their hearts.
Harry had planned to wake up early in the morning and leave without saying a word to anyone. Hermione said her goodbyes the night before as she went off to sleep. Harry suspected that she and Ron had a private goodbye. What it consisted of, he didn't know. Harry wanted last night's events with Ginny to be enough, but they weren't and he knew that. He wanted to leave without making a scene. Wouldn't that be easier for everyone?
His and Ron's bags were all packed, and they had shut the door to Ron's room behind them. Harry was fine as they walked down the hall, but when they passed Ginny's room he felt a wrench in his gut. What the hell was he doing? He loved her, damn it, and she needed to know that. What if while he was gone, she decided that it was too hard to wait? No, he didn't want her to be miserable, she should move on. Who was he kidding? When finished with Voldemort, he would hunt down anyone who touched her while he was away. Why did he ever break up with her? Yes, fine, he didn't want Voldemort to go after her, but couldn't it just be their secret?
"I'll be right down, Ron." Ron nodded and walked the rest of the way down the stairs to wait in the living room.
Harry knocked softly on the door. He knew Hermione was up, waiting for them to pass so she knew when they had gone. She was at the door within seconds and she and Harry traded places. She waited in the hallway while he went inside. Ginny looked so peaceful. Sleeping on her side, her gorgeous red hair was spread out behind her and her hands were cupped up close to her neck. For a moment he just watched her sleep, and then he went over and got under the covers next to her. He knew it was risky, but he couldn't have cared less.
Harry pulled her close, wrapping his arms around her waist. She opened her eyes and wrapped her arms around him in return. Ginny felt so warm next to him, he felt like he was going to melt.
He brought a hand to her hair, and brushed it from her face, tracing his hand around her jaw line. Eventually it ended up cupping the back of her head with her hair laced between his fingers. "Ginny, I couldn't leave things like this. I was stupid, forgive me."
"For what, Harry?"
"Forgive me for breaking up with you. It was fucking stupid. I love you more than anything in this entire world." Again, tears poured out of the corners of his eyes. She reached up and wiped them away, pushing his glasses up to rest on top of his head. "I just want to know that you'll be here, when I get back. I want to know I'll have you for my own, and that some other ass hole won't come sweep you off your feet."
She pulled him in and kissed him deeply, feeling his back up and down, memorizing every inch of skin, the bump of every toned Quidditch-playing muscle. Harry kissed her back, memorizing her the same way. She looked him deep in the eyes. "I love you too, Harry, you know that now. I'll be here when you get back."
He smiled and said, "There's just one thing. Try to keep in on the down-low that we're still together. I still don't want you in danger. I have a feeling that if Voldemort knows we're up to something he'll use you as a hostage."
"I'll do anything you say, Harry."
"That means being good and not taking any dangerous matters into your hands. Hermione's staying here with you. I didn't want you to be lonely."
"Thank you, Harry, my love. Oh, I'm going to miss you terribly."
"I know. I'll miss you more. I just need to remember this moment forever." He smelled her hair and kissed her forehead.
Ginny got up out of bed and walked over to her dresser where she pulled out a camera while he sat up. Walking back over to him and sitting, she grabbed him close and kissed him, taking a picture with her arm extended to snap the photograph herself. Two pieces of parchment appeared out of thin air, landing in their outstretched palms. He looked down and there they were, kissing. He could taste her lips even as he looked at it.
"You're brilliant." He kissed her long and good. "I have to go," he said reluctantly. "Ron's waiting downstairs. I love you, Ginny Weasley."
"I love you too, Harry Potter." Ginny kissed him once on the mouth before ushering him towards the door, grasping his hand firmly. "I'll be here waiting. Come back soon, Harry."
"You're my reason." He pressed the photograph to his heart and put it safely in his back pocket, and then he was gone.