Well, as I said, last chapter. So big thanks to everyone who reviewed and hopefully this chapter works.

3. Let It Go (Lithium – Evanescence)

Lithium, don't want to lock me up inside.
Lithium, don't want to forget how it feels without...
Lithium, I want to stay in love with my sorrow.
Oh, but God, I want to let it go.

She was sick of herself. Ginny supposed that was a good thing, really. She was no longer OK with sitting around, alone, silent, drowning in her own emotions. It hadn't been long enough yet for her to be totally OK, totally back to normal, but she was starting to recognise herself again.

She'd had a breakthrough with Percy, hadn't she? She'd forgiven him for leaving, accepted him as her brother again. And Charlie, she'd stopped waiting for Charlie to leave. He would, of course. Sooner or later Charlie would go back to his dragons and she knew that would hurt her. But for now, he was staying, and she'd stopped waiting for him to leave, was no longer angry at him for it. She'd talked to George yesterday, and he'd made her laugh. Not the same as before, really, but she'd laughed, and he'd smiled and for a moment, just a moment, they could both forget just how far they had to go before they could resemble the family they'd once been. She supposed George had been as worried about her as she'd been about him. And she and Ron had had a long talk a few days ago, and she felt close to him again (Dared to feel close to him again without worrying that if she did she'd lose him, too). She'd managed to thank Bill for taking care of her that night, when he'd found her in the battle in pain and in shock. And, a few nights ago, when she'd woke up with a gasp, tearing herself from a nightmare and waking Hermione in the process, she hadn't refused to talk about it and ordered Hermione to go back to sleep, she'd admitted the dream, admitted being scared and listened to Hermione's reassurances.

If she could talk to her brothers, talk about that night and the dreams it had left her with, even laugh a little, it was time to talk to Harry. (Or her parents, but since they'd ask how she was feeling and the standard response of "fine" would still be a lie, she decided she'd rather deal with Harry first. Her parents could wait until the next time she talked herself into being a capable, functioning person.)

Ron's bedroom door was open, Harry sprawled on the camp-bed staring at the ceiling. She knocked, and met his eyes when he turned his head. He sat up quickly. "Ginny. Hey. Hey, come in."

She walked slowly into the room, sat on the side of Ron's bed, facing him. "Hi. Um, how's it going?" Awkwardly, she tugged at Ron's quilt cover, lifting the material, letting it go, lifting it, letting it go. "The castle..."

"Slowly." He shrugged. "People are thinking we might have it finished by Hallowe'en, but I doubt it." She wouldn't feel guilty about not going along with him and Ron and the others, helping to rebuild Hogwarts. She wouldn't feel ashamed that the idea of going back to the castle made her hands shake and her heartbeat stumble. "How are you?" He murmured.

She shrugged. "Better. I...I'm feeling better. You?"

"Same. It, I guess it's getting a little easier to..." He trailed off, his colour darkening.

"Be normal." She finished for him.

"Exactly. Ginny...I don't know what to do for you. I don't know what you need." He shifted awkwardly. It was endearing, she thought, that awkwardness. It was OK to think that, now. OK to care about him.

"I don't know what you need, either." She replied. "Maybe we just need time." He'd given her time, she thought, however reluctantly. And now, even if she needed a little more, she was on her way to healing.

He nodded, looked at the floor.

"I was worried about you." She said conversationally. She had to be casual, had to be normal, because how else could she live?

"Me? About me?" He looked back up at her, stunned.

"Yeah. You had, you know, your whole guilt thing going on. I thought you might do something stupid."

For a moment, he only looked at her. "Like...what?"

"I don't know. Leaving, I guess." He always seemed to be leaving - but no, she wouldn't let herself get caught up in the anger and resentment at the injustice of it all. It was healthly. She wasn't going to be the angry, upset cut-off-from-the-world person she had been lately. She was going to be Ginny again.

"I think it would destroy mum if you left. And Ron and Hermione, I don't know what it would do to them."

"Oh." He didn't know how else to answer.

"And, uh," she started twisting Ron's quilt cover, "I don't think I'd like it if you left, either."

"Oh." His colour darkened again, and he tried not to look pleased.

"I'm sorry I...I was kind of avoiding you." She added, determined to get it all out.

"It's OK. I understand."

"I just couldn't...talk to anyone." Couldn't form the words, couldn't share her pain. She'd needed it to be hers, for reasons she couldn't explain, and needed to suffer it. (Maybe a part of her felt she ought to suffer something, because she'd survived, hadn't she, when so many others hadn't?)

"I know. It's fine."

They lapsed into silence.



"I sort of realised something, a while ago. And I think I should tell you. It's only fair to tell you." He wasn't meeting her eyes though, looking determinedly at the faded carpet.

"Tell me what?" Fear skittered along the back of her neck.

"I, um, sort of love you." He bobbed his head as he spoke, in a kind of nod. She felt the blood drain from her face.

"What?" Was that her voice? So high and squeaky?

"You were all I could think about. When I went into the forest, to, to..."

"To die." She muttered, and he flushed a little.

"Yeah. He had his wand on me, and I thought of you. I, um, I was thinking about it, after. It was 'cause of how I...how I feel about you."

"You...you can't say that to me." She spoke fast, panicky. She wasn't ready for this. "I – Jeez, Harry, we're not even together." It was bad, she thought. Hadn't she hoped, once, for Harry Potter to say those words to her? And she supposed it was always nice to be told you were loved.

It just didn't feel right, for this to be happening, right after...

"I was hoping we could get back together." He muttered. "When you, ah, when you're ready."

"Oh. Well." She twisted her hands together. "I'd like that, I guess."

Had to live, she reminded herself. It wasn't normal, wasn't healthy to stay cut off from everyone, lost in misery, and it definitely wasn't what Fred would want. Had to let it go, let it all go, and try to have a life again.

Lithium, don't want to lock me up inside.
Lithium, don't want to forget how it feels without...
Lithium, stay in love with you.
I'm gonna let it go.