Disclaimer: Harry Potter is owned by J.K Rowling, Warner
Brothers, and its various publishers. No money is being made and no
copyright infringement is intended.
"You're leaving, aren't you?"
words startle him, as he thinks everyone is asleep. He stops, his back
rigid, and tries to determine whether he should turn around or keep
walking. Keep walking, his mind shouts. Go while you can.
merely two feet away from escaping. He realizes that he needs to take
only one step, maybe two, and he'd be at the door. He could turn the
doorknob and rush out into the night. It'd be so simple. Just do it, his mind begs.
a few moments of silence, he begins to wonder if she is even there, if
she actually said something or if he is hearing things. It seems like
ages since he has taken a breath as he continues to stand frozen in the
kitchen, her family's kitchen, only a few steps away from the door and freedom.
"You're leaving, aren't
you?" she says once more. This time her words are brittle as she
enunciates each word. Where once she had spoken in a hushed whisper,
her voice gradually picks up in volume.
Of course I'm leaving! His mind screams in response. I have to; I don't have a choice.
He wants to tell her, tell her that he doesn't want to leave, tell her
that he'd rather stay there with her and be surrounded by warmth and
sunlit days. But he can't.
It is his fate, after all: his destiny to be the makeshift version of a saviour. My destiny to die,
he thinks darkly. He knows that she'd scold him if she could hear his
thoughts. It's not that he wants to die; he just realizes that his
chances of surviving are rather minimal.
"Harry James Potter, I swear, if you don't answer me I'll...I'll hex you so bad you won't be able to leave."
words actually cause him to pause. He knows that she is as good as her
word - that she'll hex him and leave him to be found by the others. His
shoulders sag in defeat, but still he doesn't speak, still he doesn't
"Only cowards leave at night while
everyone is asleep so they don't have to say goodbye," she spits out in
retaliation to his silence. He realizes that she doesn't really mean
it, that her words are filled with a hurt she can't handle - a hurt she
wishes he'd alleviate. A hurt he knows he just can't fix. A part of him
wishes he could deny her words, but he is only too aware of his
"I... I'm sorry, Harry," she whispers a moment
later, emotion finally choking her voice. "I didn't really mean that,
you know." He hears her feet shuffle across the floor. He wonders if
she is leaving. His back stiffens as he restrains himself from turning
around, from calling out to her and begging her to come back. His hands
clench into fists, his knuckles slowly turning white. He wills his
breathing, which is quickly escalating, to slow. He can't let her know
that she is affecting him. He can't.
nearly jumps out of his skin as he feels a hand on his shoulder.
Jerking around, he finds himself looking into a familiar pair of deep
brown eyes. His breath hitches in his throat, whether from fear or...
something else, he isn't quite sure. He curses himself for thinking
that she had left the room, for not paying enough attention. If Ginny
Weasley could sneak up on him unawares, how in the devil did he expect
to have a chance against Voldemort and his Death Eaters?
to move, he continues to stare into her eyes. He wonders how she had
managed to cross the room without a sound. Everything about her invades
his senses, the light scent of her, the heat from her body that was just so close, the colour of her lips...
blush infuses his cheeks and he finally breaks their eye contact. Just
as he begins to step away, he feels her hands on his elbows, pulling
him back toward her. He swallows harshly at her touch, the soft pads of
her hands sending flames up his arms and into his chest.
continues to fill the small kitchen as they stand toe-to-toe, refusing
to be the one to speak first. He knows that she is staring at him; he
can feel her eyes boring holes into the side of his cheek. He
repeatedly wills himself to look at the floor, the ceiling, the table,
the door - anywhere but at her. He had been so close to breaking, to
giving into her just a moment ago. He can't chance it again.
huffs slightly and he fears her next course of action. He wishes to
walk away, leave her standing there alone in the kitchen- but can't
seem to grasp together enough courage to go.
Her hands leave
his elbows and he audibly sighs with relief- a sigh that is cut short
with a strangled choke as her hands relocate themselves to the sides of
his face. Heat and blood pump through his veins as his breathing
escalates to such a level that he fears that he'll faint. He
half-heartedly fights against her as she tries to tilt his head toward
her, to coax him to look at her.
"Harry," she whispers,
her voice taking on an emotion he had yet to hear from anyone before -
at least not directed toward him. "Harry, please..." At this, her voice
cracks, but she continues, "...please look at me. I - I don't..." She
breathes in deeply. "...I don't want to stop you. I just want to...
bugger," she finally ends, sniffling. "I just wanted to tell you
goodbye and... and good luck. And maybe..."
"Maybe what?" he
finally asks, looking down at her, breaking every oath he had made and
allowing himself to be vulnerable again. His voice is almost pleading
as he searches her eyes for something.
"Maybe..." she starts
again, her hands tightening on his face, her eyes becoming wild with
urgency. "Maybe be safe and... and try to come home when all of this is
"I... I can't," he says, bumbling over his words as he
tries to find some way to explain to her that he can't promise her
anything - that there is no guarantee that he'll return.
know," she says, her voice seeming to give off more strength than he is
sure either of them felt. "I know you can't promise to come back, but I
think - I mean, I know that you'll win because..." At this she takes a deep breath. "...Because it's your turn to be happy."
nods at him encouragingly as he tries to find the right words. He
wonders how she can be so strong and sure of herself with all that has
been happening around them.
"Maybe I can try."
smiles at him winningly, pulling his head down and giving him a searing
kiss. His eyes widen in shock before his arms tightly wrap around her,
allowing her to be his strength for maybe a moment, or two.
they finally break apart, she lightly touches his cheek and looks into
his eyes once more. "I think I can live with a 'try.'"
her one last time, he whispers something into her ear that causes her
to gasp slightly. Then with a determined look, he turns around, grasps
the knob to the door, turns it and exits the kitchen.
there is no promise of tomorrow. Maybe he won't live through the
ordeal. Maybe this is all life is willing to hand him. But he is
willing to try, and maybe he isn't quite so ready to give in just yet.