a/n: Drabbles make the world go 'round, yeah? Or is this more of a standalone? Let's combine them and call it a drandalone. I'm not sure I'm entirely happy about this, but...ah, whatever.


pretty things

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The war's been over for days and weeks and months and years and what feels like centuries. She's not sure if there were bodies littering the streets, or if bits and pieces of the wizarding community had ended up in someone's teacup or spare cupboard. Harry won't tell her. Harry won't tell her anything about what really happened and she's tried her hardest; screaming, crying, cajoling, the whole nine yards.

"You don't want to hear about something as ugly as that." he'd said, eyes squinting at her through his spectacles. He wiped his hands on his trousers (they sweated when he got nervous, leaving slick trails of grease that smelled like almond oil) and peered into the pram where James was sleeping. "Think about now. Forget then; let's live in now, alright?"

He had turned his back. The conversation was more than over; the Great and Noble Harry Potter was content to agree that it had never existed.

But.

"We can't just talk about pretty things, Harry." she'd said, exasperated. "Life isn't just sunshine and daises and lollipops!"

He'd given her that smile—that infuriatingly complacent Potter smile (she was vicious enough to think that his father had it, that Sirius had stolen it, that James was going to grow up to be some lovely-wonderful-absolute troll of a boy who pitied everyone stupider than him with that pretty, pretty smile) that barely even whispered about the things he'd seen.

"I know that." A kiss on her forehead, like her dad used to do when he tucked her in at night. She hated him for it. She loved him for it. "Dammit, Gin, I know that."

But.

That had had been days (and weeks and months and years and what-seemed-like-but-wasn't-quite centuries) ago.

"Things got a little shaky?" Hermione says sympathetically. She looks at the wet ground distastefully before sighing and settling down, tucking her skirt between her calves. Playing with the strings of pearls around her neck (bought by a frantic Ron after forgetting anniversaries for two years straight—I don't like them much, Hermione had confessed, quite pretty things, but I'm not the right sort to wear them), she says, "I thought so. Harry's being completely idiotic; you have every right to be angry."

Ginny flicks at the mud on her knees and shrugs. "Yeah, well, it was a while ago. Doesn't matter much. I still see him and James, you know—weekends, holidays."

"That's not nearly enough!" Hermione seems appalled. Her hair is wet and curling in the rain and her heart (earnest and well-meaning and all things that should've been right and good with the world) seems to be pressed between them as she leans forward. "It really isn't. Because you miss him and you love James and—"

Because Hermione has this habit of running on and on and on without any chance of a respite in sight and Ginny really, really doesn't talk about how they were supposed to have this wonderful little Happily Ever After that was entirely botched up by nobody other than her, she says, "Tell me about the war?"

Hermione goes several shades of white. "I don't want to."

"But I want you to."

"You can't always get what you want, Ginny. And, god, could you possibly be more inconsiderate? Read a damned textbook if you want to know so badly!"

It's been a while since she's seen Hermione really work herself into a fight. It's definitely something worth seeing—for a moment, Ginny feels insanely jealous of Ron, who gets to experience this almost every day.

And then she feels insanely stupid, because Hermione goes from being awe-worthy in her rage to plain frightening in less than a heart-beat. This, more likely than not, might have something to do with her dangerous hand-motions and habit of throwing things.

"Trade you a secret for a secret." Ginny says finally. It's kind of pathetic how desperate she's acting right now. But Hermione quiets down and folds her hands into her lap, brown eyes looking at her expectantly.

"I," Ginny says seriously, digging her nails into the muck and the mire, "am pregnant. Again. I want to majick it away, or possibly make Harry birth it instead. If things will be horribly screwed up, it won't be my hand anymore."

The older girl's mouth works furiously. "It isn't your fault," she says lowly, "not at all. Well, a bit. It's yours and Harry's and you can surge through it all, just—be patient with him, Ginny, the war was terrible and he fought it, just him, at the end, really. He was alone and he was scared and he was just seventeen, alright? Seventeen. What he saw was ugly and terrible and nothing you'd want to relate to someone you love."

She laughs like something straight out of the war and reoccurring nightmares.

"Mmm," Ginny says into the drizzle, "he doesn't love me like he did when we got married. Pity, that."

"Don't be so flippant."

"Give you another secret, just for kicks." The younger girl says, rubbing the dirt on her jeans. It embeds itself into the weaving; she won't bother to wash it off. "I am, in the worst way possible, horribly infatuated with you."

Hermione blinks twice into the rain (the drizzle is starting to turn into fog, she'll have to tell Ron to be careful when he goes looking for the portkey for work today) and says slowly, "Tell you a secret?"

Ginny, to her own credit, doesn't roll her eyes at the skirting around the subject or the discomfort that should've been inhabiting the space between them. "Deal."

Her hand creeps across the dirt to grasp at Ginny's finger as she exhales and says, quick enough for slower individuals to miss it, "I found a collection of human teeth in my teacup the day before the war ended. I keep them in the spare cupboard, right underneath the stairs."