For Aiiimy's 'Random Competition' on HPFC.

Prompts: Ginny/Harry, popcorn, If I Were A Boy - Beyonce

I promise this isn't as dark as it seems. It's just got a slightly bleaker POV than my usual writing.

Pairing: Ginny/Harry

Era: During Deathly Hallows

Word Count: 604

POV: Ginny, 3rd person


"But you're just a boy.
You don't understand
How it feels to love a girl,
Someday you'll wish you were a better man.

"But you're just a boy."

There are so many ways a heart can break...

It can shatter like glass, each tiny shard another stab of pain, piercing into the people around you, the things around you, the pathetic empty room that you collapse in, hurting too much to possibly be able to escape from the pain. Covering the dirty, stained carpet with fragments of your love.

When a heart shatters, it hurts to touch it. Trying to pick up the pieces cuts through your palms, stings and bites until you have to drop it and let go; until you have to give up on the idea that you'll ever be able to glue together the delicate crystal panes.

A glass heart is broken for good.

It can deflate like a balloon, the air of it whistling out too quickly for you to have any idea how so much love can possibly disappear so fast. And all you're left with at the end is a shrivelled piece of plastic – fake, artificial and lifeless. Before, your heart was full of colour and energy and vigour, so ready to take on the world and survive anything that was thrown at it. But then someone found the knot, and without needing to prick it with a pin, or stamp on it in a fit of anger, they slowly, subtly, undid it.

When a heart deflates, it feels like its shrinking. It feels as if your ability to love again and live again is disappearing, floating away into the air. Like you'll never get that back again – that joy and that fun that used to seem so effortless, but now have gone, leaving a bleak, colourless world in their wake.

A deflated heart can never be full again.

Or it can pop like popcorn, so instantaneous and sudden that you don't quite know that it's happened until a second too late. You don't realise that he's said the words to break your heart until they're already out, and you've already nodded, as if you understand, and he's already turned away.

That type of heartbreak doesn't hurt as much as the others. It doesn't leave you with sharp shards that bite into your skin or a shrunken shell, empty of its vital contents. A broken popcorn heart leaves you with something lighter and more manageable. It's friendlier than the others, not taking as much, leaving you with a changed heart rather than none at all.

But when the Slytherin boys told her – so mockingly, as if it were a victory of their own – that Harry Potter was dead, and Ginny Weasley's fragile heart popped, the heartbreak was no less. The mangled beast that fought to keep beating in her chest was no more pleasant than a shattered crystal or a withered balloon. The silver lining that had seemed so crucial to her before didn't comfort like it should've. All it did was hold her heart together – keep it from breaking apart completely.

"He's not dead," she told them, over and over again, until it became her mantra.

"He's not dead. He's not dead. He's not dead." She said the words as she fell asleep at night, desperately willing her heart to hold together.

"As long as his heart is beating, mine is too," she promised the darkness and sleeping breaths of her dormitory. "As long as his heart is beating."

Those Slytherin boys had no idea how much it hurt. They'd never understood a person like she understood Harry, never known a person like she knew Harry, never loved a person like she loved Harry. They didn't know how many ways a heart could break.