DISCLAIMER: Can I at least have Harry? Ppft. Whatever. I don't own the Harry Potter universe, I promise you I'm not that good. :)
A/N: Inspired by Black Star, by Avril Lavigne. Harry/Ginny friendship moment at the end of OotP. Mourning Sirius.
Black star, black star
Forever you will be
A shining star, shining star
Be whatever you can be
A rock star, rock star
You will always be
A black star, black star, black star
Black star, black star, black star
~Black Star by Avril Lavigne
The infirmary was nearly silent, and I could hardly take it. Even with my homework at hand, I couldn't focus, and it gave me entirely too much time to think. I was curled at the end of Hermione's bed, staring glaze-eyed at my Astronomy book. Ron sat upright in the next bed, idly sifting through his Chocolate Frog Card collection. Neville was dozing by the window, and Luna was simply gazing around at all of us as though making some great observation that couldn't be interrupted by anything.
Harry had left about an hour ago, and as my thoughts drifted as far away from the infirmary as the stars I was supposed to be studying, I couldn't help worrying about him. He was even more withdrawn than ever, even more quiet and brooding, and I didn't even want to consider the nightmares that were sure to be plaguing his subconscious mind.
"All righ', yeh lot?" called a familiar voice from the end of the ward.
"All right, Hagrid," I replied absently, still grazing the image of the star that twinkled at me from the page of my textbook with a finger, a nervous habit I had a tendency towards while thinking.
"Glad ter see yeh all recoverin'. Harry stopped by me hut earlier, an' he said he'd be visitin' yeh. Did he come an' go already?"
Hermione frowned. "No, he was here before he went to talk to you. We haven't seen him since. Actually, I was starting to get worried..."
"Come on, 'Mione," I said softly. "Did he really seem as though he wanted to talk to us? He blames himself, you know."
Hermione looked shocked.
"But - but - how can he? It wasn't his fault!"
"It was that filthy House Elf," Ron growled, completely oblivious to Hermione's angry huff.
"Ronald! Kreacher just - Sirius was never kind to him, I'm sure he simply thought he was -"
"Don't say it was a mistake, Hermione!" Ron snapped.
"Oh, STOP IT!" I cried angrily.
Everyone looked at me.
"It was Voldemort's fault for instigating it, Bellatrix's fault for casting the curse, and Kreacher's fault for lying to Harry. It's simple as that," I finished, turning the page of my book with an irritable swish.
"Ginny's right," Neville said softly.
"But how can 'e blame 'imself?" Hagrid choked out, half in tears.
"It's easy," I whispered, thinking of my first year.
There was a long, uneasy silence in which I directed my unfocused gaze back to my Astronomy text, brushing it over and over again absently with my fingers.
"Homework, Ginny? What'ev yeh got?" Hagrid asked finally.
"Astronomy," I said, snapping my eyes into focus, glancing up at him and back down to the page. "I don't know how I'm going to get it done by - by...tomorrow..."
I trailed off, my attention caught by something on my page.
"Sirius, the Dog Star, is the brightest star in the night sky, and almost twice as bright as Canopus, the second-brightest. The name "Sirius" is derived from the Ancient Greek: Σείριος Seirios ("glowing" or "scorcher")..."
My head snapped up, mouth slightly open, staring out at the darkening sky that could be seen from the window.
"I - I've got an idea!" I exclaimed suddenly, dropping my textbook and notes on the bed and jumping up. "I'll see you all later!" I called over my shoulder as I dashed out of the hospital wing.
Behind me, I could hear Ron muttering, "Barking mad, girls are! What was all that about?" but didn't hang around for Hermione's waspish retort.
Hurrying down the familiar corridor, let my thoughts drift again to my half-formed idea. Was it really the best thing to do, or would it simply cause him to retreat further into his shell? I figured I had to try.
Soon enough, I'd reached the Gryffindor common room.
"Skiving Snackboxes," I gasped to the Fat Lady, who took a moment to survey me disapprovingly before she swung open with a pompous, "You're cutting it quite close for curfew, young lady!"
I brushed it off with a quick, "Thanks, ma'am!" and a wave of my hand.
Harry sat in his favorite armchair by the fire, the flickering light of the dying embers throwing his features into sharp relief. He really was quite handsome...but I pushed the thought from my mind rather forcefully, instead striding up to him and saying, "Harry."
"Ginny," he stated without turning.
"Come on, Harry. Get up. There's something I want to show you."
"Just come, Harry."
Reluctantly, he stood and st reached, popping his shoulder blades almost as he did every time he dismounted his broom.
I smiled and grabbed his arm, dragging him out the portrait hole again.
"Honestly!" the Fat Lady reprimanded angrily to our retreating backs.
"Hang on," Harry said quickly, pulling his Invisibility Cloak from the pocket of his robes and throwing it over the two of us. "Okay," he consented.
I led him through the darkened hallways, finally reaching the staircase I wanted.
"Er...Ginny? Why are we going to the Astronomy tower?"
"Harry, do you trust me?"
"Then stop asking questions. You'll see in a minute."
With only minimal hesitation, Harry followed me.
Standing at the edge of the empty tower, he pulled the Cloak off both of us and stowed it in his robes again.
Scanning the sky, my eyes landed on what I was looking for: The brightest star in the sky, the Dog Star, Sirius.
"Do you know what that is?" I queried, pointing it out to him.
"Er...no? I never did well in Astronomy," he admitted a bit sheepishly as he squinted up at the star uncertainly.
"Harry," I said softly, taking his hand and squeezing it, "that is the Dog Star. Do you know what it's called?"
"Sirius," he murmured in a choked whisper, to himself more than me. His dark green eyes glazed over, lost in memories.
"Yeah, Harry. Sirius. He's still here, up there, and..." hesitantly, I placed a hand on his chest - "in here."
"Yeah," Harry mumbled, turning his face from me, but I heard a quiet heave of breath that told me he was forcing tears away. "He said something similar about my parents just before he went on the run with Buckbeak."
"He'd want you to live your life, Harry. He'd want you to go on, and make as much trouble as possible, and play Quidditch, and prank Slytherins, and pine over girls. No matter how abnormal you are, no matter what lies ahead, you can't change what lies behind. You only know the present for sure, so live in it," I said.
Harry looked at me, long and hard.
"Sometimes I think it's not that simple. I learned things in Dumbledore's office that night, things that change everything."
Harry's breath caught. "I will," he murmured in a strangled whisper.
"You know, its okay to cry. It doesn't mean you're weak or anything. It took me quite a while, Bill, and Hermione to figure that out."
"I know. But I can't."
"Why not?" I asked gently.
"Because - because I'm not supposed to!" he burst out bitterly. "Because Vernon hits me when I do. Because whatever happens, its always my fault, I'm never allowed to have the luxury of tears, or grief."
I gasped softly.
"Do us all a favor, Harry, and never let me get my hands on your uncle."
Harry chuckled softly, squeezing my hand back, which until now I hadn't realized was still encased in his.
"Cry, Harry," I ordered.
He swallowed hard, chewing his lip. His chest rose and fell visibly. His eyes screwed up. I took him in my arms, and he cried.
Above us, the Dog Star shone brightly, twinkling down on us almost approvingly, seeming to illuminate the tower.
A/N:Another quick one-shot for you all, and sorry I haven't been more consistent! Still working on all my other things, and I'll hopefully be getting a new computer soon, so...here's to hoping! Tell me what you thought!