disclaimer: disclaimed.
dedication: to Chloe and the fact thAT SHE DOESN'T SHIP THIS SHIP LIKE WHAT?
notes: what I don't get it how can u not ship this ship chloe what is wrong with u
notes2: and then I guess there was fluff.

title: fold your wings, you'll need them one day
summary: Breathe, Gin, breathe. — Harry/Ginny.






The early morning sunlight filtered golden pale through the gauzy white curtains across the window.

Ginny had been awake for hours.

In fact, she hadn't slept at all. She'd watched the sliver of moon rise and set, the soft grey of fake dawn, and then the brightening as the sun rose over the horizon. With her arms around her knees and her hair in her face, she was a fierce little thing; only eighteen but with her teeth bared against the world, Ginny helped rebuild the world just because she could.

And she didn't think about Harry Potter at all.

Ginevra Weasley needed no man.

Especially not the Saviour of the Wizarding World, who had disappeared into the empty spaces in the world while everyone else tried to get their shite together. Not that anyone really blamed him—Ginny would have gone with him if he'd ever thought to invite her.

But he hadn't. He hadn't invited anyone. Not her brother, not Hermione even—Harry Potter had disappeared, and no one had the faintest clue about where he'd gone. Not Shacklebolt, not her father. No one.

Once in a while, Ginny found a little paper bird sitting on her window, charmed to chirp until the person it was addressed to opened it. Ron had tried, once, and the bird had nearly pecked him half to death.

He'd given her wounded-puppy eyes for a week while he nursed the paper cuts.

Served him right, as far as Ginny has concerned.

They were her letters, not anyone else's, and she wasn't about to share this little bit of Harry that she had all to herself. She kept the birds in a box that she'd cursed wildly enough that not even Ron was stupid enough to go near it.

(Thank Merlin.)

Harry wrote about ordinary things—the weather, how his garden was looking—but never anything that would give away where he was.

Harry wasn't stupid.

Neither was Ginny.

He didn't want to be found.

She could wait.

So she spent the days playing Quidditch, drinking stale tea, and watching as the Ministry got off on incarcerating all those suspected of Death Eater acitivity. Privately, Ginny thought they weren't being very fair—but as she was, she was only a girl who had fought for the right side, and they wouldn't listen to her. Shacklebolt's eyes were sunk deep into his face, the days when he showed up for supper, and Ginny knew that really, the world was still at war. The public wouldn't listen to the Ministry. They wanted justice. Whether it was a violent one or something a little less awful was neither here nor there.

No, they all needed Harry to come back to set England to rights.

If only he would deign to come back at all.

Sometimes Ginny ran her fingers over the letters and thought of that last day, where he looked at the ground and sort of smiled out of the corner of his mouth and kissed her quietly. She'd shaped the words I love you against his lips, but hadn't said them aloud.

They were words for later, when he came home and they had a kitchen for themselves with yellow-painted walls and a table with four chairs or maybe five. They were words for when they'd built their homes in each other, and when breathing was maybe just a little bit easier.

They were words for when Ginny could wake up after sleeping the whole night through, and smile because she wasn't waking up alone.

She let herself dream that, every once in a very great while.

Ginny knew her family thought she was mad. She knew Hermione sometimes looked at her out of the corner of her eye while she very carefully did not hold Ron's hand and wondered if they weren't going to all be alone for the rest of forever.

But Ginny also knew that faith was a hard.

Faith was so hard.

The slick shine of sunlight of her broomhandle was her constant companion. Ginny wove through the trees win the wind in her hair. Maybe if she flew fast enough, she could leave everything behind—leave her red hair and her freckles and her wrecked family, her wrecked world.

But not her memories of Harry, because she thought she'd lose something a little too precious if she lost those.

"Gin, supper!" Ron bellowed from the house. Ginny thought about ignoring him for a near full minute. She wasn't hungry, these days, full up with sickness for the world and the pounding of her own heart.

But her mum would search her out. Molly Weasley wasn't one to cross on a good day, especially concerning the health of her children. It was always like, after George.

Ginny set down in front of the Burrow, windswept with her hair everywhere around her face.


And the halls of her home seemed to vibrate with a pulse, a slow shiver that Ginny hadn't felt in a very long time. Maybe she'd never felt it before, but it was familiar in a far sweet way that tasted like those strawberry mallows that she'd filched from Ron one summer a long time ago. She couldn't quite place it.

Not 'til she turned the corner into the kitchen.

And there was Harry. Her Harry. Sitting at the table with a cup of (probably strong, probably sweet) tea, he was grinning in a mad sort of way that set of all of her nerves to singing, on fire and a little star-crossed. He was with Ron and Hermione, and he didn't even realize she was there at all.

Ginny coughed. He looked up, went a little slack-jawed at the sight of her. His eyes were still green and his hair was still incorrigible and his glasses were still a little crooked. He didn't look any different at all. He looked like Harry. Just Harry.

And he was lovely.

"Hello, Harry," Ginny said.

"Hey, Gin," he said.

"Can I sit?" she asked, nodding to the seat next to him. Breathe, Gin, breathe, she told herself.

"Course," he said.

And so, smiling, Ginny took the seat next to him. She chattered with Hermione about the news, and didn't reach across the table to pull him to her as she wanted. She wanted to get close, wind her hands into his hair—she wanted to pull him beneath her skin and never let him go. Never let him out of her sight.

But she didn't.

Because Harry was his own person, and though she was going to love him until she died, she wasn't going to force him. Not after everything.

Ginny breathed in.

Beneath the table Harry crossed the gulf between them, and laced his fingers through hers. His hands were a little rough, the palms too-cold and a little clammy.

But it was Harry.

And that was okay.

Ginny looked at him out of the corner of her eye. He was still smiling. So she smiled, too. She was exhausted, still hadn't slept—watched the world fall to pieces in her mind over and over again. Watched her brother die so many times, even though she hadn't been there.

But Harry was holding her hand in the aftermath.

And it was good.

It was so good.