DISCLAIMER: I don't own HP, as per usual.
Is it wrong to smile when someone has just died? :HG RHr postDH:
They were smiling.
It wasn't as if their faces were cracked into full-blown grins, but as Ron kissed Hermione's jaw, Harry saw her give a small smile-a smile full of happiness.
He didn't know what to think, and it wasn't just because his two best friends in the entire world were snogging on a couch in the Gryffindor Common Room. No, that was faintly normal compared to everything else that was happening. He guessed that he was feeling three different things.
Well, he supposed the first thing he felt was shock.
Shock at all that'd happened. Shock as a result from how drastically his life had changed in the past two days. Shock that he was alive.
Then he felt relief.
Relief that he didn't have to run anymore. Relief he could sleep, and not worry about being slaughtered in his sleep. Relief that he, Ron and Hermione were intact and whole, not missing any limbs or vital memories.
And then he felt pain.
Pain in his chest, pain from watching people die before his very eyes. Pain from the many injuries he hadn't had healed by Madam Pomfrey, yet. Pain from Fred dying.
Harry shook his head, trying to clear his thoughts. He had a lot of things to worry about, and he couldn't afford to break down in the Common Room in front of all his friends and family. They probably all expected it. Harry expected it.
The one thing he didn't expect was the smiling.
Everywhere he looked, someone was smiling. Ron and Hermione, now kissing softly in front of the fire. Fleur as Bill held her in the window seat, caressing her face as if she was the most beautiful thing on earth (which she probably was to Bill's eyes). A young Forth Year who'd obviously snuck back to fight, being comforted by Katie Bell, smiling in thanks.
Harry didn't understand.
When Sirius had died, he hadn't felt like smiling. He felt like crying, which he did on a fare few occasions. Now, he felt the same. He felt the misery tugging at his chest, the pain making itself heard. Not one inch of him felt like smiling.
Yet, everyone else was.
He didn't think it was right-some were even laughing in the corner, at some joke that probably wasn't all that funny anyway. People were chatting, smiling, kissing, smiling, comforting-
Harry tried cracking a grin, but it felt wrong. Completely wrong. Did none of these people realise that 54 people had died at the hands of Voldemort and the Death Eaters? That Harry had seen people he knew and loved, lying lifeless and limp in the Great Hall? Seen people die right before his very eyes?
If any of these people saw what he did, they wouldn't be smiling.
But then … they had seen what he'd seen. Every single one of these people had been though what he'd been through. They'd all fought together.
Smiling. It was unnatural at a time like this.
Taken aback, Harry glanced up to see Ginny had come over and sat next to him on the couch he was sitting on. Harry didn't know how to feel. They hadn't talked much since the end of the war. But his heart still surged when he saw her.
"What's up?" Ginny asked. She gave him a small smile and Harry thought it'd probably be too cliché to say 'Oh, not you too.'
Harry shrugged. "Nothing, really."
Ginny gave him a look. "I can read your face, Harry." She said. "I know that face. You're concentrating hard on something. What's wrong?" She placed an arm around him.
"It's just …" Harry didn't think there really was any way to explain how he felt. He felt rather overwhelmed at all the feelings. Shock. Relief. Pain. Which was more dominant?
To save himself having to think, he glanced at Ginny. He didn't think he'd seen her cry once, not even when she'd found out her brother had died. Not even when they had to move his body with the others to a more suitable room until the funeral. Not even at the funeral itself.
Ginny had made a speech. Harry had watched her face the entire time she'd talked, and knew how close she was to cracking completely. But she'd held. As soon as Ginny had choked out her last words, she'd practically run straight into his arms.
But she hadn't cried.
"Ginny … how can you smile?" Harry asked. It seemed the only way to phrase it.
Ginny looked confused. "Easily?" She gave him a grin.
Harry looked sadly back. "… it's just … Ginny, I don't know how to explain it."
Ginny's forehead crinkled in thought. "I'm not sure what you mean."
"I mean …" Harry's voice trailed off, wondering how he was going to phrase it. "Well … everyone's happy. Look-everyone's smiling." Harry gestured around to the common room. "Even Ron and Hermione seem to be happy." He added, pointing out their snog-fest. Ginny sniggered.
"But …" Harry said, causing Ginny to turn to face him, now with a serious expression. "Smiling is the last thing I feel like doing. And I feel like … I dunno. Everyone should feel the same?"
"Oh." Ginny gave a dawning look of comprehension. "I get it."
They sat in silence for a few moments, Harry assumed, because Ginny was probably thinking about what he just said. Her arm was still around him, and he felt himself leaning against her instinctively, like they used to. It might've been enough to make him smile, if he hadn't been feeling so depressed.
"Harry." Ginny said, calling his attention again. "I think it's like … well, all these people have had time to grieve. They've cried and said their goodbyes. Now … they're happy because the war is over."
Harry understood this, but there was something he didn't think he could say. He tried anyway.
"Ginny … well, you're-I mean, well …" He took a deep breath. "Ginny your brother died. Why aren't you sad?"
He cringed, waiting for the death glare, the hasty "I'm fine!" and for her to storm off, like she had done a lot over the past couple of days. But instead, Ginny gave him a sad smile. It didn't seem as wrong as the other happy smiles, but it still looked out of place.
"I am sad, Harry." Ginny said quietly. Now she leaned against him, moving her face into his shoulder. "I don't want people to see."
Her voice sounded choked up and Harry regretted bringing up the topic at all. So he just held her until she could sit up without tearing.
"That's why I smile." Ginny said, giving a said smile as she did so. Her eyes were still slightly red. "I don't want to feel sad any more. I want to think about Fred, and be happy."
It'd only been a few days! Ginny was a lot stronger than people gave her credit for. Astonished, Harry hugged her tighter to him, feeling himself smile, despite himself.
"You're amazing." Harry told her. "I couldn't do that for Sirius, for months."
"Am I doing it wrong?" Ginny asked fearfully. Harry shook his head.
"You're doing it perfectly." He said. "You're a lot stronger than you realise."
"I'm not sure about that." Ginny mumbled, turning her face into his shoulder again. Harry moved his hand to hold her face up, forcing her to look at him.
"Ginny, everyone's having a tough time. You are allowed to cry. But the fact that you can smile, makes you even more incredible than I realised."
"Is that a good thing?"
Harry grinned. "Yes. Definitely."
Ginny reached up a hand to touch his face. Harry felt his grin stretched wider.
"Does this mean you're going to be happy, now?" Ginny asked, skimming her fingers across his lips.
Harry leaned in and kissed her quickly, pulling away before he lost coherent thought and forgot to answer. "I can try."
"That's all I ask." Ginny said.
A/N: Huh. I haven't written a oneshot in ages.
I started writing this because one of my old teachers recently died. He taught me maths, and how to expand brakets. He told me the polygon joke (IE. he drew a dead parrot on the board, using only shapes and said "It's a Polly gone"). I didn't feel like smiling, but everyone around me was. So basically, Harry's thoughts in this story, is what i was thinking.
I hope you liked it, and reviews are always appreciated.
Until next time-
-Moon. : D