As the tufty-haired man stopped speaking at last, everyone began to get up out of their seats.
"Come on, Ginny," Harry said. He got up, pulling me up gently as well. I had been sobbing into his shoulder for the last five minutes; something that I rarely do, especially if it's in front of Harry. He never did like crying girls.
But maybe this was one exception. After all, he didn't seem to mind that his shirt was wet. His own face was totally impassive, expressionless, although during the funeral, a couple of times, his mouth twitched slightly, and he looked as if he was going to laugh or something.
But I must have been imagining it, because as soon as the expression came on his face, it was wiped off as soon as it came. Anyway, he wouldn't laugh at Dumbledore's funeral. I mean, he was so important to him. What was there to laugh about?
He took my hand and we walked towards the edge of the forest, where it was quieter and more private.
Neither of us said a word.
I pulled my hand away from his and wiped my eyes with a handkerchief. I stuffed it into my pocket and looked up at him, finally trusting myself to speak. "What are we doing here?" I asked weakly. I was trying my best to swallow the lump in my throat.
He ran his hands through his hair.
He was looking down, at the ground. It was as if he couldn't bring himself to look at me.
I couldn't stand it. I put my finger under his chin and lifted his face up slightly, so he was at least looking at me.
The seconds trickled by as we just stared at each other.
Finally, he stepped away from me, sighing, and said, "Ginny, we need to talk." I looked at him blankly. What was there to talk about? I knew that he had to go back to the Dursley's for the summer, until his seventeenth at least. But why did he have to talk to me about it?
"What about?" I enquired. I edged slightly closer to him. For some reason, he was trying to put as much distance as possible between us.
"Obviously you've never watched a Muggle movie before," he tried to joke, although I didn't get it.
"What's a movie?" I enquired.
"Never mind. Anyway, Ginny, w-what I r-really wanted t-to say w-was that w-we can't keep this up anymore," he stammered, putting his hands in his pockets. I knew this gesture only too well; he only did this when he was nervous. Well, that, along with running his hands through his hair.
I put my hands in his pockets as well, feeling for his hands. They were warm, almost sweaty. His breathing became shallower as I did so. He closed his eyes and shook his head.
I slid my hands up to his wrists and pulled them out of his pockets. Then I took his hands into mine, squeezing them gently.
"Keep what up?" I said softly, not letting go of his hands.
"This," he said, gesturing at our clasped hands.
I was still confused for a few seconds. Then the penny dropped.
I didn't gasp. I didn't shout. I just looked at him, my face expressionless. I blinked. A single tear trickled down my cheek.
"You're breaking up with me?" I said quietly. Harry reached out a hand to wipe away my tear.
"I'm sorry. It's just that Voldemort's going to be after you anyway. You're my best friend's sister! Imagine what he would think if he found out that you were my girlfriend! He'd kill you!" His face was in his hands as he spoke, his words coming out slightly muffled. "I'm sorry. We can't carry on like this. We can't be a couple. I want you – so much – but I can't. I don't want you to die next."
I pulled his hands down to reveal his face, and I was surprised to see the tears on his face. He refused to look up.
"I've lost so many loved ones. I don't want to lose anyone else. I can't bear to lose you as well," he continued, talking to his shoes.
I took my hands away from his face, folding my arms. I was annoyed. He was talking as if he was embarrassed to say all of that.
"You don't mean that…" I whispered.
"Yes, I do," he said quietly. "I meant every word of that."
He leaned forwards, kissing my cheek. His lips remained there for several seconds, and then I turned my face slightly, intending to pull away from him. He pulled away from me a little, then, slowly, he peppered kisses across my cheek until his lips found mine.
Still kissing me, he unfolded my arms from my chest, so they were at my sides. He ran his hands up and down my arms. I moaned with pleasure. My arms immediately went around him.
He kissed me then, so long and hard. I could taste the salty tears on his lips, mingled with the coffee (that I had forced on him today at breakfast, just before the funeral). His tongue gently caressed mine, exploring my mouth. After what seemed like a lifetime, he pulled away. He was breathing heavily. His eyes were filled with regret. "I'm sorry, Ginny. I can't." With that, he walked away.
But not just out of the forest. Out of my life.
A couple of minutes later, when I managed to collect myself and ensure that my appearance was OK, I walked back to where the funeral was held. Other than my family and Hermione, there was no one else left on the chairs.
"Ginny!" Mum said, running up to me. "Where on earth have you been?"
Before I could respond, Hermione pulled me aside and whispered in my ear that I had a small twig stuck in my hair. Cringing, I took it out, trying to look as innocent as possible.
"Where's Harry?" I asked Fred as nonchalantly as was humanly possible for a girl that had just been dumped by the love of her life.
"He said he wanted to take a walk in the Forest. I asked if someone should go with him, but he said no, you were going with him. Hang on," he said suspiciously. "Didn't you just go to the Forest with him? How come he didn't come back with you?"
I didn't know what to say. There was no point in revealing our relationship to Fred or George, because a) it was over and b) they would probably want to pummel into pudding if they ever found out. HHHHHhHHhjjjJjjhgfdhhhoiasjfaisojfasifhio"Yeah, I did go in with him, but he said he wanted to go for a walk," I lied. I couldn't tell whether Fred knew I was lying or not.
"OK," he said calmly. He was looking over my shoulder. I turned and saw Harry walking towards us. I glanced fleetingly at him, and then I looked away. I couldn't bear it.