Disclaimer: The rights of Harry Potter belong to JK Rowling and Warner Bros. I am making no financial gain from this story whatsoever.
Field of a Dream
Harry was sitting on a bench. He couldn't quite know how he got there, or actually where there was. The bench stood beneath a large tree, on grass that was seen as far as the eye could see in all directions. The wind blowing was soft, and the rustles of the blades of grass was a soothing sound to hear. The sky was bright blue and only a few wispy clouds were seen. The air was light, the sun bright, and the whole environment devoid of any other person.
He remained seated on this wooden bench for a period of time. He hadn't felt this relaxed in a long time. His every breath was more pleasing than the one preceding it. He shut his eyes, and with the sun bright enough there was that slightest red haze could be barely 'seen' with his eye closed.
He could've sat there for years if he could.
He thought he heard something, but then quickly dismissed it to his imagination. He was alone, what could he hear? He continued to breath in deep and slow breaths. The wind's brushing against the grass was gratefully listened to. He raised his hands and placed them behind his head. If only every day felt as good as this.
He stiffened, this time he did hear something. It sounded like... his name? He didn't want to open his eyes, but ever so reluctantly he did. He caught his breath for a second when he looked out.
Standing in front of him, dressed in white. He didn't understand what he was looking at. Don't get it wrong, he knew perfectly well what he was looking at. He just didn't understand it.
"You look like you've seen a ghost," she said, smiling.
He didn't say anything.
"Not even a 'hello' for your wife?" she said.
"This isn't possible," said Harry. "It feels so real, but I must be dreaming."
"Well, I am standing in front of you," said Ginny. "Why ask if this is real? If you are dreaming, does that immediately mean it is not real?"
He got up from his seat, closed the distance between them in a number of long strides, and enveloped her in a hug. He squeezed as he lifted her off the ground. He lowered her to the ground.
"It's been so long," he said softly.
"I know, darling," she said. "I missed you."
"How could you? With you being..." said Harry, who didn't want to finish the sentence.
"Do you honestly think whereever I am," she said. "that I don't miss you with every little piece of me?"
"I... I... never thought of that," he said. "I feel so alone, Gin. Sometimes I just wish for an end."
"End? Of what?" she said.
"All this, everything really," he said. "Sometimes I just think it would've been better if I went with you. Sometimes I regret having the instinct to making the shield."
"Harry, love," she said, her smile disappearing. "It's understandable. But if you asked me at that moment if I wished any one of us survived, I would've said yes. I'm happy you're alive, Harry. Please believe me, we miss you, but don't think for one second any one of us thinks that it would've better if you perished with us."
"I know, it sounds weird," he said. "But there's nothing here for me."
"Nothing?" she said. "Harry, you have friends, you have people who love you."
"Not you. Not the children," said Harry. "That's what counts."
"Yes, but that's not all that counts," said Ginny.
She reached her hand up and wiped some of the tears on his face.
"Please don't cry," she whispered.
"It's that or doubt my sanity," he said, with a chuckle where the humor didn't extend to his eyes. "I haven't dreamt of you like this."
"Like what?" she asked.
"Like this," he said. "Talking to you. Holding you. I've had..."
"Nightmares?" she said. "I know."
"But this is good," he said. "I've seen you in dreams, but to talk to you... this is good."
"If only we could pick our dreams..." she said wistfully.
"I would never wake up again," he said, with such surety that she didn't need to ask him if he meant it.
"Don't say that," she said.
"I mean it," he said.
"I need you to live," she said, clasping her hands behind his and pulling him down close to her, so that their eyes were mere inches apart. "We need you to live."
"Live? For what?" he said. "Everything that made life what it was is gone. Everything that gave me meaning is gone."
"Don't say that," she repeated. "Don't let Albus, or James, or Lily hear that. Don't let me hear that. Do you think we want you not to live?"
"And do what?" he said, his voice cracking as his demeanour became agitated.
"That's not for us to say," she said, her eyes watering. "You survived that day. We love you whatever you decide."
He mumbled something. She shook him to make him speak up.
"I need more time, Gin," he said, the tears now streaming out of his eyes.
"Take it," she said.
"What?" he said.
"If you need more time, take it," said Ginny. "Honey, if you're not comfortable yet, don't rush in. But don't decide you'll never move on, that's not healthy."
"I can't just be with another woman," he said. "Just get other children. I can't replace you lot like that."
"You wouldn't be replacing us," she said. "You and I both know that."
"I don't want to forget you," he said. "It won't be fair. I would've traded places with any of you..."
"Hush," she said, placing a finger on his lips. "You think if any one of us survived instead, none of us would've wished we traded places with you? Harry, we gain no pleasure in you being miserable for the rest of your life. It is not only way to remember us, to show that you still love us. We would never ask that of you. Your happiness always made us happy."
"I would rather be with you and the children," he said, his voice dripping with sadness.
"As would I," she said. "We don't decide what happens, just what we do about it. You are alive, so you were meant to be alive. We love you and we miss you. We're waiting for you."
"And I'm waiting for that day I join you," he said, his forehead resting on hers.
"It'll come," she said. "But Harry, it doesn't matter what you do with your life. Whether you lock yourself in a room that nobody can enter, or if you open up again. It... doesn't... matter. We're still waiting for you. So please don't be miserable as a choice."
"I hear you..." he said and then paused.
"... but you're struggling to listen," said Ginny. "I know. I know. Just, think about it."
The wind stopped, the colour of grass became darker. The sky began to become filled with clouds, and the sun's brightness was diminishing.
"I think you're waking up," she said.
Harry's eyes widened. "I don't want to wake up just yet."
"Like you have a choice," she said, the soft smile returning. "I love you, Harry."
"I love you," he said, as he saw the environment around him turn dim and the colours begin to melt in one another. The lady in front of him became fuzzy and then disappeared along with the environment as everything became black.
His eyes flicked open. He was wrapped in blanket and in his bed. He turned to be on his back and stared at the ceiling. He could feel the pillow was wet, and touching the side of his face he could feel the tears on cheek. It took him a long time to get back to sleep, but his eagerness to was not met with another similar dream that night.
Harry sat quietly at a restaurant, eating alone. This was the first free time he had the past few days he had to himself, which didn't involve sleeping. The establishment was less an hour before closing, and it looked so inside, with the place almost devoid of customers. Harry was reading some parchments as he ate.
"Uncle Harry," said someone who sat in front of him. He looked up to see it was Marissa. "Why didn't you tell me you were coming?"
"I just decided to pop in," said Harry. "And I didn't want to disturb you from work."
"Eh?" she said, looking around with the empty tables, an eyebrow raised. "What work exactly?"
"Okay," said Harry, relenting. "How are things?"
"Fine," she said. "But I should be asking you that."
"After almost five years, you don't need to ask that question every time we meet," said Harry.
"Uncle Harry, I'll always ask you that," she said. "There's no schedule to these things. Some people move on by five years, while others haven't in ten."
"I just wonder sometimes if I should be... you know, in a different frame of mind after a few years," he said.
"There isn't a 'should be', there is what you feel and how you feel it," she said. "But even then, you are progressing. You're more approachable, and I don't mean the polite friendliness which we saw for awhile. But Uncle Harry, you can't force yourself into how you think you're supposed to feel."
"Okay, okay," he said, sighing.
"How is that thing going?" she asked.
"What thing?" he said, though he had a feeling what she meant.
"You know," she said, slapping her uncle on his shoulder. "That erm... other woman? Did things change on that front? Or did you stay away thinking it was inappropriate, still?"
Her uncle was silent, and that was good enough for her. She whistled softly, and let out a couple of words in a foreign language.
"Victoire and Dominique probably should've started teaching normal French words before the swearing," he said.
"Don't change the subject, uncle," said Marissa. "You hesitated. Something happened."
"Well, let's say I found it more difficult to stay away," he said.
"Did she reciprocate?" she asked.
"Yes, yes she did," he said.
"Were beds...?" she said but her voice trailed off.
"No, no, no bouncing," he said. "I don't know how that term started, but I'm cutting that nephew or niece from a Christmas gift from me."
"Why didn't it?" she said, not letting the conversation be sidetracked.
"I couldn't," he said.
She gave a look at him. She opened her mouth, but shut it seemingly not knowing what to say.
"You... couldn't?" she asked.
"Oh bloody hell, Marissa, just how old do you think I am?" he said. "Not physically, you silly woman. Emotionally."
Her laugh was short as she thought of the serious part of his comment.
"You felt like you were doing something wrong?" she said.
"Yes, yes I did," he said.
"Nothing felt right?" she asked.
"Well, not nothing," he said. "I was tempted, but this guilty part of me thought I was doing something terribly wrong. I know, sounds crazy."
"No, Uncle Harry, it doesn't," she said. "People react differently to loss. Some move on quicker, some appear to move on but never do, and some just need more time."
"I know, but I think..." he said before being interrupted.
"Stop thinking, Uncle Harry," she said. "If it doesn't feel right, then wait. But if it does, go ahead. You're one of the greatest people I know, and more importantly you are one of the nicest. I trust you won't do something wrong, and perhaps you should trust yourself. When the time comes that it feels right, you'll know. Don't rush anything, but don't resist moving on as if that'd make you somehow more faithful."
"Someone else said something similar," he said, smiling slightly yet his demeanour was a bit down.
"Really," she said. "Who was the smart person."
Harry didn't have the heart to say it was his dead wife in a dream.
A/N: Please review