Whitney looked up and smiled. "Someone's here to see you."
Blaise groaned into his pillow. "Make her go away."
"She's come by several times-"
"Make her go away."
Whitney sighed and got up from the bed. She made her way through the makeshift cots that lined the infirmary tent. Recovering witches and wizards filled the cots while other Healers moved around tending for their wards. Whitney moved to the front of the tent where Ginny stood anxiously, craning her head to get a look at a specific cot. Before Whitney could open her mouth, Ginny sighed.
"He doesn't want to see me, does he?"
"I'm sorry, Ginny. He's still healing and-"
"I don't care!" Ginny huffed a little, stomping her foot down. "He's being so stupid!"
"I suppose it's because he doesn't want you to see him that way."
Ginny huffed once more. "You'll let me through, Whitney."
Whitney glanced over her shoulder. "I really shouldn't…but I guess I have other patients to look after…"
Ginny smiled in appreciation as Whitney strolled off towards some Order members. Smoothing out her clothes, Ginny started down the aisle. She stopped beside the specific cot she was searching for, eyes moving over the body that lay there. The dark skin of his back was black and distorted from slow-healing third-degree burns. His injured side had been healed quickly, but the scars remained. His head was turned away from her and she moved to the other side so that he could see her. He released an aggravated groan.
"Damn it, Weasley!"
"Red," she muttered, sitting on the edge of the cot. She scanned his face, still marred from the torture and burns he had received earlier. It was so far from those striking features she remembered but she did not mind as much as he believed she did. He glared up at her.
"Go away, Red."
"That's better." She smiled and touched his hand. "Blaise-"
"God, why can't you do one thing I ask you to?" he snapped, turning his face away.
She closed her mouth at that, stomach dropping. "I'm sorry," she whispered after a while, letting her gaze move about the infirmary. There were so many that filled the cots. So many more that could not. She would be one of them, her body a charred crisp, had Blaise decided to let her be.
Blaise turned back to look at the solemn redhead. She seemed so sad, sitting there on the edge of his bed while looking about the infirmary. He knew she was thinking about how she could very well be one of the bodies in the cot, or worse, one of the bodies being buried in the forest. He saw the tears well up in her eyes and followed her gaze to a cot down the line where George was lying, Angelina Johnson sitting with him. Probably talking about Fred, the one Weasley that would not be rejoining the clan. Ginny looked down quickly at her hands that were clasped in her hands, taking a deep breath to steady herself. He sighed.
She looked at him, wiping her eyes while offering an apologetic smile. "I'm sorry," she repeated as more tears came. "I'm so sorry. This is all my fault…you're hurt because of me…"
Ignoring his own pain, he sat up and faced her. "You want to know something?"
She sighed. "What is it?"
"You would be incredibly unattractive if you were a charred mess in that ravine."
Laughing and crying at the stupidity of his statement, she nodded. He cracked a small smile, leaning in to kiss her brow.
"I will continue saving you as long as you're going to continue risking your life for everyone but yourself."
She laughed as he returned to his original position on the bed. "I'll try to keep that to a minimum," she whispered, leaning down to kiss his cheek. "Thank you."
The ravine had been cleaned out, leaving only burnt out trees and scorched earth. A small creek passed through the ravine and she sat at the water's edge, feet dipped in the cool rushing water. For a while, she listened to the stream and the surrounding quietness while remembering her days in the ethereal space within the cave. She had always hoped that she would live out her life there. But this solemn little place was not so bad. The ash just needed to be cleared away.
"You may join me," Elise called. She had heard footsteps earlier and knew exactly who it was. "They will be looking for you soon."
"I needed to get out," Harry said, sitting beside her. "You…"
A small smile came to her face. "It is alright, Harry."
He looked down at his hands. "What you did…you saved my life."
"I could not let you die."
His gaze passed over the scar on her chest. "What will happen…what will happen to you since you didn't die?"
"My mother has passed, so Blaise and I are the last of the Albuci. I should not be alive, but perhaps longevity has saved me. Saved us both."
"I…" He sighed, rubbing his forehead. His gaze traveled around the decimated area. "I can't believe it's over."
"Your life was about that one moment. Now there is nothing more."
"There are a lot of people hurt. A lot of people died."
She heard the crack in his voice. "I know that several close to you passed. I am sorry for your loss."
He looked at her seriously for the first time. She seemed gray in the sunlight, beautiful face marked with shed tears. She was the image of her slain mother but there was emotion there. Stark emotion he would not expect from someone of the Zabini family. He knew why she was this way. He had spoken to Ginny already about the events leading up to the final battle.
"I'm…I'm sorry about Malfoy."
She turned her sightless eyes on him. "Are you?"
He flushed but nodded. "I am. He...Malfoy has done a lot of things that I would…that I would have loved to kill him for. But I know what he did for Ginny. He saved her more than once…He died for her. And as much as I hate him for what he did to Dumbledore and in turn to all of us, I'm more grateful for what he did for her."
Something flashed across her face and she turned away to keep him from seeing it. "He was trying to protect his family," she said. "He…he was not a murderer, Harry. He tried, but he could not kill Dumbledore. It was not in him. You saw this."
Harry did not respond. They sat in silence for some time, each thinking of the events of the past few days.
"Harry," she whispered. "Promise me something."
"That you will move on." He turned to her and she reached over to touch his arm. "It is nothing to simply survive. All of us, not just you. We…we must do more than survive. There should be life after all of this death."
"You sound like Dumbledore."
She tilted her head back as if to gaze up at the sky. "It feels bright."
He looked up as well. "It's going to rain."
Smiling wanly, she closed her eyes. "Good. Draco liked the rain. Hopefully it will clear the ash. Make the air easier to breathe."