“Harry?” The voice of Ginny Weasley sounded quietly in the dimly lit kitchen, hesitant and worried. To her relief, a tall, lank form with unkempt hair straightened and half-rose from his chair at the sound of her voice.
Harry stood up, looking pale and exhausted even in the faint glow of the kitchen light. “Ginny.” The one word he spoke expressed many emotions, the most obvious being the tender warmth reserved for her alone; the second was a weary tone she was all too familiar with. She slipped across the dark kitchen and into his arms, drawing her hands around his waist before resting her cheek against his chest. For a brief moment, she held him and gazed out the window, lost in her thoughts.
She felt him relax, and she allowed herself to rest against him for a few moments before raising her head to look at him. “The nightmares again?” she asked softly. His arms tightened around her just slightly, but it was a wordless confirmation, the lingering agonies and half-buried grief looming just out of sight. She inhaled soundlessly, breathing in his scent. She slipped one hand into his untamable black hair, and he summoned a tired smile to his features. She held his gaze, and the smile slowly fell from his face, and he sighed, directing the gaze of the bleary green eyes at the ground.
“I see their faces, at Hogwarts,” Harry said, his voice barely audible. “Dumbledore, Sirius, Mum and Dad, Cedric and Seamus, and all of them, they’re just standing there. They’re laughing. And smiling. And my mum’s waving at me… and then I wake up.” His voice shook, just for the briefest moment, before he lifted a hand to his eyes. “And then they’re gone.”
Ginny’s fingers pulled at his, and he took her hand automatically. She gripped it tightly, looking at him with fond eyes; then she pressed her lips to his palm. “Come on, Harry.”
Ginny took him by the hand and led him back to the bedroom in his apartment. He climbed into the queen-sized bed and then rested, more contently, in her embrace. Ginny sighed, surveying him with liquid brown eyes. “I love you,” Ginny said simply, pressing a kiss into his hair. “Sometimes I see them too. But it’s not your fault that they’re not here anymore, Harry. What about the rest of us that wouldn’t be here if not for you? We’ve told you million times, and I’m telling you this again: stop torturing yourself and go to sleep.” He raised his green eyes to her brown ones, and the emotion trapped her for a moment. Jumbled torrents of love clashed with guilt, anger churned with grief, and it was all she could do to try and lead him away from his broken dreams and bring him back to her. It’s so selfish, Ginny silently admitted to herself. But sometimes I just want to lock the door and keep him in here with me for a little longer. A lot longer, actually, now that I think about it. She allowed herself a very sly grin, turning a delicate shade of red.
Harry raised an eyebrow, smirking quite a bit. “What could you possibly be thinking about, Ginevra Molly Weasley, to actually make you blush?”
“Oh stop it, don’t call me that,” she said with annoyance, before giving him a good shove. “And you would know exactly what I’m thinking about, Harry James Potter,” she informed him sourly.
He grinned good-naturedly before catching her and pulling her back into his grasp. “I suppose you’re right about that, though I can’t imagine Ron’d be very happy with me if he knew I was here again… ‘What? She’s my sister! What the bloody hell do you mean, you stayed over at her place!’” He grimaced while Ginny rolled about laughing. "It’s bad enough he found you in my shower last week... He really would kill me, you know that?" Harry shook his head, wincing at the thought of the look on his best mate's face after discovering Harry at Ginny's place.
Ginny seemed to understand what he was thinking at once, and she grabbed him around the shoulders to make Harry face her. "Hey, it's no business of Ron's what I do or who I sleep with- nor anyone else's for that matter," she said, fixing him with an absolutely fierce look. He looked her right back at her, his green eyes alight with laughter and contentment. Inwardly, Ginny groaned. That's not fair, I'm no match for those eyes, Harry. "You don't play fair, Potter," she told him, before wrapping her arms around him.
"What are you..." Harry started indignantly, but then Ginny tilted her head to meet his lips, and he was, as usual, drawn in by her everything: her scent, the warmth of her slight form in his arms.
She finally released him to watch him settle back against the bed before slipping under his arm. “Will you please sleep now? I swear, you’re worse than Hermione with all your fretting.”
“What’s she fretting about, now?” Harry asked, already half-asleep. The reassuring arm across his chest and the feel of his pillow was enough to drift off to sleep, and now he struggling to form coherent words.
Ginny seemed to sense this, and she lowered her head of red hair to the pillow, smiling. “Nothing she can’t tell you in the morning. Night, Harry.”
His words were soft but she heard him sigh contently. “Night, Gin.”
A/N: Here we are, I've started this story after many weeks of daydreaming and lots of idle moments.
The characters and previous canon plots are not mine anyway, they (as we all know) are claimed by J. K. Rowling.
Thanks to my new beta, Malkin, for the excellent work-through and for keeping Harry's eyes safe from pointed deformities. Thanks for reading!