When Harry awoke several hours later, it was to find that the sun was beginning to set.
looked down to Ginny, pressed close to him, one of her small hands clasped in his larger. She slept peacefully beside him,
the red-orange light of the sunset falling over her, making her red hair seem like it was on fire as it caught every flicker.
furrowed his brow in confusion.
He’d known Ginny for four years now, but he’d never been this close with
her before, and he simply couldn’t understand it.
He’d known she had fancied him up until his fifth year,
but now . . .
And wasn’t she with Dean Thomas?
No, a small voice that sounded much like Ron’s
distant angry one. She broke up with him because he was cheating on her.
Still . . .
Yes, Ginny was
an affectionate person, but he’d only seen that affection with her brothers or Hermione. No one else besides that, really.
if it was confusing, Harry found comfort in her nevertheless.
He had seen something in Ginny that he hadn’t seen
What baffled him further, though, was that he’d never gotten out of bed when Ron, Hermione, Remus and
even Mrs. Weasley had come to visit.
Something in Ginny’s manner had driven him.
head was beginning to ache and he just couldn’t find the strength of will to stay awake any longer.
he lay his head back down and fell back into another slumber.
Ginny awoke sometime later, seeing that the sun had properly set.
She felt a light,
steady, warm breeze against her forehead and looked up to see Harry close to her, sleeping.
She looked up him, suddenly
struck by how different he looked when he was asleep.
Everyone looked vulnerable when they slept, but being vulnerable
seemed so much different for the sixth year.
His lips were turned downward in a slight frown, and he squeezed her hand
tightly within his own, willing her to stay beside him.
Ginny knew idly that she should be getting back to Number
Twelve, that her mother would be worried about her by now, but she didn’t want to disturb him just yet.
she want to leave anytime soon, truthfully. If she had to leave, she wanted to take him with her.
She suddenly felt
a surge of fierce protectiveness as she watched him sleep on, and she had a fleeting feeling of always wanting to stay beside
She cared for him. There was no getting around that. . .
Suddenly, Harry tensed, his grip tight, and glutteral
sounds began to escape him as he began to tremble.
Oh no. . .
Harry began to shake worse, his head jerking
from side to side, panicked.
“No,” he moaned. “No!” this time louder.
sat up, and he gripped tighter, causing her very bones to rub against one another as she whimpered in pain.
leaned over and began to shake his shoulder, her other hand still caught within in his own.
gasped urgently. “Harry - wake up -”
He abruptly sat up, releasing her hand, a sheen layer of sweat covering
his forehead as he gulped in air desperately.
His trembling was shaking the bed.
“Harry,” said Ginny
in alarm, touching his shoulder.
He pulled away from her touch.
“Harry, it’s all right -”
he mumbled, pulling a blanket over himself. “Did I hurt you?” he didn’t meet her eyes.
lied Ginny, immediately smoothing her tangled hair.
Harry sighed, drawing his knees up to his chest as he turned to
“You’re okay now,” whispered Ginny, leaning over to smooth a hand up and down his back
in steady, calming movements, feeling his muscles tense, then relax.
“Did . . . did you see anything?”
said Harry shortly. “Gin - shouldn’t you be getting home? Isn’t Mrs. Weasley going to worry?”
frowned, unable to stop the hurt flashing her features as she stopped rubbing his back.
His muscles were tense once
Without a word, Ginny slid off the bed, going to the desk as she heard him sigh behind her.
over at the desk, pulling a spare piece of parchment and quill towards herself.
I’ll be staying
with Harry tonight. Don’t worry, I’ll be home by noon
The owl fluttered to her shoulder, sticking out it’s leg patiently.
you doing?” asked Harry’s voice.
Ginny ignored him.
“Take this to Grimmauld Place, okay, Hedwig?”
she breathed, tying the letter to Hedwig’s leg.
The snowy owl hooted, giving a slight pressure on her shoulder
before flying out of Harry’s open window.
Ginny turned back to Harry, whose expression was exasperated a as she
went back to the bedside, lifting her leg to sit on the edge.
“I’m staying,” she said calmly.
a moment, they simply stared at each other, Ginny daring him to say otherwise to her, his face in the same expression -
suddenly turned over with a huff.
“Fine,” he said forcibly.
“Oh no you don’t.”
stood up and in one swift movement, ripped the blankets off of him, despite his protests.
“Shut up and listen!”
she snapped. “I came here all the way from London to get your arse out of bed and eating and this is the thanks I get?”
“Harry - Mum isn’t sleeping, Ron’s not eating, Hermione’s worried sick, she can’t
even focus on her studies! Remus has become so anxious about you he’s immersed himself in working too much - he’s
running himself down! He won’t last much longer!”
“Didn’t it ever
occur to you that we might be hurting as well?! We only want to help and you won’t even give us the time of day!”
“Sometimes I’ve heard my own mother cry herself to sleep between her anxiety about you and everything
else! She’s the whole reason I came here - she’s so worried about you!”
His expression was stricken,
and Ginny knew she’d hit her mark.
“We all know your hurting - just let us help you - lying to us isn’t
“Sirius would feel terrible if he saw you right now!” said Ginny.
“He would want you to remember him for your happy times together - not starve yourself to death!”
herself, taking a deep breath, praying for her father’s patience.
That wasn’t helping however, so she turned
her back on him, dropping his blanket as she folded her arms across her chest.
Angry patches of pink were high on
her cheeks, and her eyes flashed like her mother’s did. She had to take several deep, calming breaths.
staying tonight whether or not you like it, Harry James Potter.”
There were a few moments of stunned silence
following this pronouncement, Ginny scowling at the wall -
He can be such a -
Her eyes flew open wide. She certainly hadn’t been expecting that.
She turned back
to face him.
“You’re right,” Harry mumbled. “It’s just . . . I don’t know how I’m
. . .” he faltered.
“I can’t say things will be completely normal, but the first thing you should
do is talk to us . . .” said Ginny. “Especially Remus. . . You two need each other. Even Tonks can’t get
through to him.”
“Is it really that bad?” he asked.
Ginny hummed, sitting on the bed again, her brow creased.
He was silent again, laying back down.
a hand through his hair, and he closed his eyes.
“Will you let me help you now?” she asked, her voice in
contrast to what it had been before, gentle and calm.
Ginny lay down beside him.
she whispered, laying her head on his shoulder.
~I’ll show you love~
~’Cause you’re all alone~