A/N: Thanks a million to my beta, Solveig! Still can't get those tenses right…
Harry was not having a good week. The Burrow, which was usually so full of laughter and happiness, had become dark and quite boring. But he was fine with the way things were. Ever since Sirius had died, he'd been moping around the house, acting cold toward all the Weasleys. He had even made Mrs. Weasley cry in sadness and Mr. Weasley glower in anger.
Yet no one had done anything. Ron and the rest of the Weaselys were pretending that nothing was wrong with him. Ron talked with him, played chess with him, and tried to get him to play Quidditch. Fred and George, when they visited, tried to pull pranks on him, or each other, just to make him laugh, or even smile. Charlie tried discussing Quidditch, but nothing worked. Harry just stared blankly or even coldly at them, muttering about putting them in danger and him being a target.
But one Weasley was sick of it. One Weasley couldn't take the fact that Harry was acting distant. One Weasley was actually going to do something that would work.
One afternoon, after lunch, while Harry was wallowing in his misery, Ginny Weasley came down the stairs. When she spotted him, she marched up to him and sat down next to him.
"So, your highness, dare you be seen or heard with me in your presence?" She asked, sarcastically.
Harry was so taken aback he had to answer. "Excuse me?"
"Well, that's the reason you're not speaking with us, isn't it? You're just too good for us," Ginny said, reaching out for a chocolate frog.
Harry sputtered in amazement. "I'm not… I don't… What?"
"Well, if you're not better than us, then don't give me that crap about 'I'm saving your lives,' because, Harry, it isn't true," she said, biting off the head of the struggling frog.
Harry was stunned. How can she act so… calmly about this? "Uh… I, um…"
"So, Your Highness, what is thy answer? Or," she paused. "Do you not have one?"
He stood up, outraged. "There's a war going on and…" but he was cut off by the redheaded girl.
She, too, stood up and yelled, "Exactly, Harry, there's a war going on. But, news for you, it isn't your war."
"Yes it is! I'm the only one who can defeat Voldemort! I have to kill him! This is my war, and people are dying because of me!" Harry screamed, as tears of anger mixed with sadness slipping from his eyes.
"It's not your war; it's the whole wizarding world's war! It's a war of good versus bad, light versus dark, right versus wrong! And, yes, people are dying, but not because of you," she snarled. "But because they'd rather their children grow up in a world of peace, not a world of evil. So stop ignoring us and stop carrying the world on your shoulders."
"Why, why should I? If ignoring you all will keep you safe, then I'd rather not see you again, ever!"
Harry stumbled back, clutching his hand to his face. "You, Potter, are nothing but a selfish, bloody coward!" She screamed, anger flaring in her eyes.
Harry widened his eyes at her. "What? You think I'm a coward because I don't want to see you dead?"
"No, Harry. You are a bloody coward because if we die, when we die, you don't know who you'll turn to! You're distancing yourself so you won't have to hurt again! So you don't have to feel alone again!" She yelled.
Harry shook his head, fuming. "You have no idea. You have no God damned idea what it's like to have Voldemort watching you, every second of every day. You don't know what it's like to have the threat of you and your loved one based on you and what you do. You don't know Voldemort!" he screamed.
Her face paled and hardened. Her eyes were no longer fiery as they'd been minutes before; they were now cold as ice. Harry felt a shiver crawl up his back. The last two words she spoke to him were full of anger, resentment, even hatred.
And with that, she marched upstairs. Harry could hear her slam the door.
Damn it. He had forgotten again.
For the first time since he could remember, Harry Potter sat down and cried.
An hour later, Ginny was still fuming in her room. How dare him! Didn't he know what she'd gone through? She felt like screaming, throwing something, kicking something. Breathing heavily, she heard a knock at her door. She opened it roughly.
There, standing in the doorway, was Harry, sniffling and crying. Silent streams of tears were running down his face.
Ginny's stony face softened. She sighed deeply. "Come in." Harry walked silently into her room with his shoulders slouched and his head down. He sat on her bed. "Do you want to talk about him?"
Harry stared at the ceiling, letting the tears trickle freely down his face. Not bothering to wipe them away, he answered, "Not really, but I guess I really should." He took a deep breath. "He was like my father, brother, and friend all rolled into one. I felt like I could talk to him about anything; girls, Quidditch, teachers, you name it. It really sucked that he was still on the run. I swear, when I see Pettigrew…"
"You'll turn him in." Ginny declared.
Harry stared at her. "Why would I want to do that?" Harry spat.
"So that everyone in the world would know that he was an innocent man. You kill Pettigrew, then everyone will think that Sirius still killed your parents and the other people."
Harry sighed again. "I guess you're right. It's just that, I'm so… I hate him. I hate Pettigrew."
"I do too." Ginny said.
"Why would you hate him?"
"I loved Sirius too. Not that I had as great a relationship with him as you did, but I did care for him. And…" she paused.
"And…" Harry asked, nudging her on.
"And… I hate him for hurting you." Ginny said quietly. Harry's mouth made a small "o," but he didn't say anything. An awkward silence came between them, until there was a knock on the door. "Come in." called Ginny.
Ron opened the door, surprised at the sight in front of him. There was Harry, with tearstains on his cheeks, sitting on Ginny's bed. Ginny, sitting next to him, was holding his hand in a comforting manner.
"What is it?" Ginny asked.
"Oh, um, Hermione should be here in a couple minutes. Just thought, you know, you might like to come downstairs to greet her," said Ron, awkwardly.
"OK, we'll be down. Thanks," said Ginny. Harry just nodded, then looked down to the floor.
As Ron left, Ginny turned to Harry. "You wanna go down?"
Harry sighed. "Not really,"
"Don't you want to see Hermione?" Ginny asked, taken aback.
"Well, yes, but I was hoping we could talk some more," Harry admitted.
"Oh," said Ginny, surprised. "Well, after dinner we could talk, if you still want to."
"Yeah," said Harry, looking up and smiling. "Yeah, I'd like that."
"It's really over. He's gone. He's not coming back."
"You did it."
"I did it. Not alone of course."
"No, you had help. But you killed him."
"If it weren't for you, I don't think I could've."
"What do you mean? I got knocked out way before your final battle with him."
"I know, but that's not what I meant. I beat him using… using the love I have for you. I love you Ginny. I love you so much."
Ginny smiled. "You have no idea how long I've waited for you to say that," she confessed. "I love you too, Harry. I always have, and I always will."
Harry grinned, then closed the remaining space between them.
"But why me?" Ginny asked a few minutes later.
"You're the one who got me to see that I wasn't the most important person in the world. In a way, you deflated my ego. You made me smile, and you made me laugh. You we're there when Ron and Hermione started dating so I wouldn't be the third wheel. And, according to Remus, we Potter men always fall for a beautiful red head," Harry added, smiling widely.