The day was cold. It could be said that the sky had turned black in light of the events that had been occurring over the last two or three years since Voldemort had been resurrected and made his presence known to the world that had thought he was gone forever. One person lay wide-awake in the not-so-homely place of Number Twelve Grimmauld Place. The resident of the house, who had deep, red-colored hair so much like her mother’s, was breathing heavily from a nightmare. The blankets that had been hand-sewn by her grandmother and originally given to her mother made their way down to the floor of her bedroom. Her tossing and turning had caused her to wake in a cold sweat and now, as Ginny Weasley sat up in her bed, she knew that there was no way she was going to fall back into a fitful sleep.
A cold chill went up Ginny’s spine as she threw her legs over the side of the bed and slipped her small, unpolished toes into a pair of slippers she kept on the floor, next to her bed at all times. Standing up, hoping not to wake Hermione, Ginny tiptoed out of the room, not bothering to grab her dressing gown. She made her way silently down the stairs and took a seat at the kitchen table. Her body deflated as she fell into the seat, taking a deep and shaky breath.
Her dreams, the very dreams that she had dreaded from her childhood, had reappeared in recent months, and Ginny’s sleeping habits began changing dramatically. Much to her mother’s chagrin, Ginny had begun to lose weight from lack of sleep and the inability to eat. The dreams she was experiencing were discomforting, and the fifteen-year-old teen was having trouble dealing with them properly.
In a house where death was ceaseless, it was a wonder that Ginny had managed as long as she had without her dreams coming back. While sitting in the rather uncomfortable wooden chair in Sirius’ old home, Ginny felt herself begin to slowly break down. Her hard exterior ebbed away quickly as she sat there, the quiet creak of the house being the only noise. An image flashed past her vision, and her body shook with a sob.
Tom Riddle, the young man that Ginny had become friendly with in her first year at Hogwarts, had been plaguing her dreams. Tonight was no exception. Her dreams had gone from a vague recollection of what happened in the Chamber of Secrets all those years ago to an intricately planned out nightmare that toyed with Ginny’s emotions and fears. One of those fears, most likely her biggest, was seeing Harry Potter dead.
Ginny put her head in her hands and continued to sob. Harry’s face in her dreams was beaten, and his beautiful emerald colored eyes had no mischievous spark in them; they were lack-luster and void of emotion or life. He was bloodied and his body was broken to the point of no return. Ginny could remember seeing Tom smiling down at the dead Harry; she could clearly see him, laughing hysterically as Ginny whimpered in front of Harry's body.
“Do you not see, Ginevra? This is what happens to bad people like you. Mr. Potter was just a liability; it was a matter of time before he was killed. And then, why, then there’s you dear Ginny. Come to me.”
Riddle's face flashed past her vision again and Ginny flinched through her tears. His face, though good-looking and youthful at that period of his life, was just as evil and terrifying looking as it was today. She felt the hurt come back from her first year - the hurt and betrayal she felt when she figured out what Tom Riddle had in store for her. Ginny sat up straighter and tried to calm herself down. She knew Harry wasn’t dead; he was merely upstairs, sleeping soundly in his room. A feeling of dread suddenly caused Ginny’s blood to go cold as she stood up from her chair.
What if Harry wasn’t really there?
Immediately, the petite redhead ran up the stairs and, with baited breath, opened Harry's bedroom door. She peered into the room and almost cried with happiness at the sight of her green-eyed crush, snoring softly in his bed. She was tempted to go over to him and sit with him as he slept, but Ginny fought the urge. With great effort, she closed the door and walked back downstairs.
Taking her seat at the kitchen table, Ginny tried to clear her mind of the many thoughts inside her head. It was easier said than done - so much had been happening since Professor Dumbledore was murdered on Hogwarts grounds. The school, the very school that Albus Dumbledore worked tirelessly to keep running through such dark times, was finally shut down, at least until the end of the war. Professor McGonagall had tried her hardest to get the Board of Governors to change their minds, but they would not have it. The school was closed until Voldemort’s reign was finally ended.
A sigh escaped Ginny’s mouth, and she shook her head. She knew that not re-opening the school was probably the best thing to do, but to her and her fellow students, it was a death sentence. Ginny not only had to worry about the war at hand, but she was fighting her own war with her family. Molly Weasley watched her only daughter like a hawk and hardly let her out of her sight. Her father, Arthur, was no better.
The only escape Ginny had was Harry Potter - the one person she truly loved.
Harry’s dead face flashed in Ginny’s head, and she closed her eyes tightly. It was not real - none of that was real. Standing up, Ginny made her way over to the stove and put on a kettle of water. As she waited for the pot of water to whistle, she leaned back against the counter and closed her eyes as her head lolled back behind her. Harry - he was one of the happiest thoughts Ginny had left. Despite having Hermione and her brothers around, Harry had an odd presence. When he came into the room, people were usually drawn to him, and it wasn’t just because of who he is. It was because even though the world was in shambles, Harry always had a smile. He always had a determined aura pulsating around him, and his eyes sparkled enough to light up a room.
Molly had often commented on how much Harry had changed over the years. She would say, “Dear lord, Harry James Potter, you are becoming more good-looking with each coming day.” Ginny had to agree. Actually, everyone would have to. Ginny supposed that Dumbledore’s death had strengthened him in a way. He had been given a mission, and he was going to go through with it. The least Harry could do was keep up his good looks.
Soon enough, however, her source of comfort would be leaving her. To be honest, Ginny was not quite sure how much longer she could last. She knew that in a matter of days, the golden trio would set off for their secret journey to kill Voldemort. Ginny would, once again, be alone. Alone.
Harry was not Ginny’s only worry. Her family and friends were so far into the war and the Order of Phoenix that she was losing sight of them. Ginny often wondered if one day, while she was sitting around Grimmauld Place, her mother or father just wouldn’t come home. It was not a happy thought. Many of Ginny’s thoughts weren’t happy, but she knew that it was very possible that a family member could be killed. It was, after all, the harsh reality of war.
Her feelings had been bottled up for quite some time now, and the young witch wondered if it was also affecting her in a negative way. Could all these worries and anxieties be coming out in the form of dreams? She shook her head.
Ginny switched off the stove as the kettle of tea began to whistle softly. She poured herself a cup of the unsweetened tea and turned around. She almost screamed at the sight of a sleepy-looking Remus Lupin. Her cup dropped from her hands, and she was thankful for Remus’ quick reflexes; with a swish of his wand, the cup halted in the air and flew back into Ginny’s hands. She smiled nervously at him and walked back over to the table.
“Why are you awake, Remus?” she asked softly as she sat down. Remus smiled sleepily and walked over to the stove. He idly flicked his wand, and a cup appeared out of nowhere. Pouring himself a cup of tea, Remus noticed Ginny’s look of apprehension. He dropped a sugar square into the cup and sat back down across from his former pupil. Remus took a sip and ran a hand through his somewhat shaggy hair. Ginny laughed softly; he was picking up Harry’s habits. She smiled inwardly as she imagined Harry running his fingers through his raven-colored hair when he was nervously trying to finish his potion’s essay.
“I should be asking you the same question,” he replied, taking another sip from the mug. Ginny blushed and drank from her own tea. It was silent for a moment before Remus spoke again. “You haven’t been eating or sleeping lately, have you, Ginny?”
His question was soft, but very frank for the usually quiet man. Ginny was taken aback by his bluntness, but sighed in response. He looked at her intensely while Ginny stared at her hands. His wolf instincts were acting up and Ginny knew that he could smell her pain and sadness. It was rather annoying, at least to Ginny, to have someone know what was wrong with her when she hadn’t even said anything about it.
“No, Remus, I haven’t,” she said with a slight edge to her voice. Ginny was accustomed to having this conversation with people; a whole year after the Riddle incident, she was questioned constantly, and now, no one would leave Ginny alone to figure things out.
Nodding, the werewolf sat back in his chair and idly twirled his spoon in the cup of tea. He looked back up at her and cocked his head to the side. “Why don’t you like to talk about these kinds of things? I suppose it would help to let someone know how you are feeling with what’s been going on lately.”
Ginny laughed bitterly. “Do you enjoy talking about being a werewolf, Professor?” Seeing him flinch made Ginny wish she could take back her statement. Being a werewolf was so much worse than having nightmares. She also knew how much Remus hated being called professor; using that word was just an added bonus when someone was angry with him.
“Quite right,” he mumbled quietly. “But there is nothing we can do about my problem. It is possible to stop your nightmares if we catch them early enough.”
Ginny’s head snapped up and her eyes were wide as she looked at the man across from her. How did he know? “What do you mean ‘nightmares’?” She noticed that her voice was higher than usual.
Remus laughed softly and looked out the window in the kitchen. The sun was slowly making its way up into the horizon. Ginny waited for him to answer. “I’m a quiet man, Ginny. Just because I don’t voice my opinions or observations all time doesn’t mean that I never have them.”
All she did was nod. Ginny wasn’t quite sure what to say. Not even her own mother knew about the nightmares, and Remus Lupin, her former professor and new friend, knew all about them.
“Voldemort’s a tricky little bugger, Ginny,” Remus said with a touch of humor. Ginny laughed. Not many people talked to her like an adult, but Remus always seemed to see Ginny not as the youngest Weasley, but as a woman growing up in the midst of a war. “You have to understand that whatever these nightmares are, they’re just manifestations of your biggest fears and Voldemort’s sick mind. Nothing more, nothing less.”
“They’re just so horrid,” she whispered, rubbing her eyes tiredly. Ginny could feel the prickle of tears, but she quickly hid her face. “All I see is his face, taunting me and telling me all of my family, all of my friends, everyone I’ve ever even spoken to is going to die. I’m just so scared that one day, I’m going to alone. I’m scared that Mum, Dad, the twins, Ron, are all going to be killed, and I don’t know what to do.”
“That’s a lot for an uncertified witch to worry about,” Remus commented. Ginny nodded. “You shouldn’t keep that in, you know. These worries that you have are perfectly normal for the situation you are in, but by keeping them hidden, it does nothing for your health. You should speak to your parents and brothers about that. It could help.”
“I guess,” Ginny said, deciding that that might just be a good idea. She took another sip from her tea and let the hot liquid burn her throat. She felt a little of the weight lift off of her shoulders.
“You have more to tell me, I suppose?” Remus said, his voice sounding caring to Ginny’s ears.
“Sometimes, I see…” she trailed off, not sure whether to divulge this piece of information. What if Remus were to tell? Would he repeat this information to her mother? Ginny wasn’t sure.
“I won’t tell anyone about this,” he told her, as if knowing exactly what was going through her mind. Ginny looked up at him and smiled before continuing.
“Sometimes,” she stopped as she realized how difficult it was to say it. She had never said these words out loud before, but knowing that this could help her, Ginny pushed herself forward. “I see Harry dead all the time. He just lies there, beaten, and I have to hear Tom tell me all about how he killed him or how he plans on doing it and I can’t take it. It’s just too much.”
Remus was quiet as he thought of his next move. Ginny was a tough kid who knew that the world had two sides to it. He kept his eyes locked with hers as he thought and sighed before he spoke. “You worry about him?”
She nodded silently.
“Do you love him?”
There it was - the question that Ginny had dreaded all these years. She always wondered when someone would ask her that question. She always wondered who would be bold enough to come out and ask her whether or not she loved Harry Potter. Ginny broke eye contact with Remus and looked down at the warm cup in her hands. She could see the morning sun reflecting off of its surface and stayed quiet as a single tear fell into the small cup, causing the tea inside of it to ripple. She watched as her reflection became distorted and Harry’s face became visible. For a moment, she was shocked, thinking that Harry was behind her, but a moment later, she suddenly knew her answer. A smile formed on her lips as Harry’s face smiled back at her from the cup and slowly faded away.
Looking back up, Ginny blinked back her tears and gave her answer. “More than anything.”
It seemed that Remus had been expecting such an answer because he didn’t seem surprised. “Maybe,” he told her consolingly. He leaned in towards Ginny and continued, “Maybe, if you were to tell Harry that you love him, tell him how you feel about him, then it is possible that he will realize his feelings for you. If he does, then, I think these dreams will end.”
“Why do you think that?” Ginny asked him with interest. She watched as Remus smiled, somewhat to himself. When he spoke again, his voice seemed distant, like he wasn’t really talking to anybody.
“I have nightmares,” he told her, but Ginny could see his eyes gloss over as he stared at the skyline behind her. “Well, I used to have nightmares. That is, until Tonks brought me to my senses. She told me I couldn’t push her away and try to be the hero. She yelled on and on about how she was sick of me being such a git, but when she said those three words,” he stopped and sighed, a smile playing on his lips. He looked back to Ginny and blushed briefly. “Love is a powerful thing, Ginny. Harry may think that this is all well and good, and he may think that he is protecting you from Voldemort, but he needs love - your love in particular. Be the Tonks of your situation - slap him if you must.”
Ginny giggled at the thought of slapping Harry and smiled up at him. “Thank you, Remus - you may have just saved both our lives.” Ginny thought she saw a tear beginning to form in the old wizard’s eyes, but if there was anything to be seen, it was quickly covered up by a layer of happiness.
“I’m always here to help, Miss Weasley,” he said with a smirk. Ginny stood up and began to leave the kitchen. She made it to the stairs before she stopped abruptly. She turned back around and tapped Remus on the shoulder. He turned around with a look of surprise on his face. She leaned down and hugged him tightly.
For a moment, the older of the two was still, not daring to move. He slowly became comfortable with the embrace and wrapped his arms around the small girl. Ginny pulled back a moment later and sniffed. Her eyes were rimmed with red and she had tears falling down her face. She kissed Remus on the cheek.
“You’re a good man, Professor,” she said with a smile before sprinting quietly out of the room and up the stairs.
Ginny stood outside Harry’s door and bit her lip nervously. She knew this was the right thing to do; she had to do this. With determination, Ginny opened the door and strode over to Harry’s bed. She watched as his chest rose and fell under the sheet and she suddenly felt intrusive.
Before she had the chance to do anything, Harry’s eyes fluttered open. After handing him his glasses, Ginny sat quietly on the edge of the bed. She looked over at Harry and noticed a look of pure confusion.
“Gin?” he said hoarsely. She smiled at him. “What are you doing here? It’s early, isn’t it?”
She was hesitant for a moment. Should she? Ginny decided, right then and there, that she should. “We have to talk about something, Harry.”
And he listened.
Remus sipped his tea, enjoying the silence of the crisp morning. The birds must have awoken because their songs filled the kitchen and echoed off of the walls. Ginny’s face flickered through his mind, and he smiled. Maybe he had saved her; maybe he had helped Ginny Weasley and Harry Potter in a way no one else had. It was possible.
“Remus?” a faint voice said from behind him. Remus turned around slowly and his smile grew wider. Tonks walked over to him with a smile and Remus pulled her close to him. She sat on his lap happily and leaned her head on his chest. “Why are you awake so early?”
He was quiet for a moment, allowing himself to get lost in Tonks’s now long, brown hair. He ran his fingers through it and sighed as he smelled her shampoo. She looked up at him and he grinned boyishly. “Saving lives, Nymph. The usual, you know.”
The next night, when Ginny fell asleep in Harry’s arms on the couch in the drawing room, her nightmares stopped.