This is very different to the style of 'Carpe Diem' but it's something I wanted to try out. A massive thanks to those who have held my hand and reassured me about this chapter. I really appreciate it J
Harry and Ginny belong entirely to J.K.Rowling, but it's always nice to borrow them for the afternoon.
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"I ne'er was struck before that hour
With love so sudden and so sweet."
It feels so perfect to be here like this, with him: to be able to stretch out, feeling the warmth of the sun filtering softly through the leaves and leaving dancing patterns of brightness on my arms. I love it here, right down beside the river; I always have. This is my tree, my world, and Harry… well, I suppose Harry is mine too. Looking over at him now, I can't stop myself from smiling, even though he doesn't know I'm watching him. There's something about him that magnetises me, that draws me to him; I just can't explain it, but I know I'd never want to be without him. He's sprawled there, only a few feet from me with that wonderful furrow of concentration across his brow as he reads. I want to slide across and kiss it away, hoping those emerald green eyes will flicker up to mine, making my insides quiver in the way that only he can. I still can't believe that he loves me.
"And stole my heart away complete.
My face turned pale as deadly pale,
My legs refused to walk away,"
It's funny, even a year ago, if anyone had asked me about Harry, I'd have said that this was never going to happen. I mean, why would it? What on earth would he ever see in his best friend's little sister, who just so happened to have a massive and very embarrassing crush on him? Even thinking about it makes me cringe. Why, oh why, did I do those things? I must have been completely demented. I suppose it's sort of comical now, the way I blushed and stammered and generally behaved like a startled sheep every time I went near him, but it was excruciating at the time. Harry said that it didn't bother him much and he laughs about it, but I have a sneaking suspicion that's mainly because of the way I tormented him when he was trying to ask me to the ball last Christmas. The confused expression on his face during that week was worth any amount of Galleons; beetroot purple every time he saw me, and I'll never forget that time he was so busy staring at me that he walked smack into the portrait of the Fat Lady. It was even better than the time he spread porridge on his toast. The look on her face! And his! Oh, it was absolutely hilarious. I'm not sure she's ever going to forgive him for that one. That cut-glass accent of hers sounded completely outraged.
"I may be only a picture, but I have feelings!"
I wonder if I could embarrass him now? Or make him laugh? I love it when he finds something funny; the way his eyes crinkle and disappear to almost nothing, as he loses control and abandons himself to gales of irrepressible laughter. He's kicked his shoes off. Now there's an idea. If I edge very, very slowly across the rug, he might not notice, and I might just be able to reach… Yes I think I can.
"And then my blood rushed to my face…
And blood burnt round my heart."
Well, that certainly got a dramatic reaction; I had no idea his feet were so ticklish but I'm sure I can put that knowledge to some good use in the future. I loved the real squawk of surprise he uttered, when he realised what I was up to, and his Quidditch book flew through the air faster than a Snitch. I have to admit, I prefer it now that he's less worried about me, and gives as good as he gets. I'm every bit as ticklish as he is. I know from the outset he's always going to win, mainly because he's so much stronger than I am, but part of the fun, in this particular game, is playing to lose. Being pinned to the ground by Harry Potter, and tickled relentlessly is not exactly a hardship, especially not when it dissolves so smoothly into one of those kisses…
…Those kisses. I've never felt anything like that when he's kissed me before. Today, it was as if he'd put his entire soul and every ounce of passion he possessed into it, still so gentle, but making me burn, molten lava building up inside me. The sensation of being held against him like that makes the blood pound through my veins with such a dizzying, exhilarating effect that I want more. No… I don't... Not just yet… I'm not sure. So many emotions, all cannoning uncontrollably around inside me, and all I want to do is hold him tightly my arms and never let him go, because one of these days, when I do let go, Voldemort will be waiting for him, and I can't bear the thought of that. I'd rather die than let anything happen to him. Whatever it takes, whatever I have to do, I will do it. Anything to keep him safe.
"Is love's bed always snow?"
He looks so contented now, the breeze blowing through his hair, ruffling it the way I love to. I adore the personality of his hair, the way it refuses to be calmed and tamed, but stubbornly does its own thing, just like me. When he turns the page, he shifts his head to the left and I can just make out the outline of his scar - that scar - our scar. I can see it snaking away across my wrist, joining us together in the strongest of magical bonds for all eternity. That bond saved my life. It's ironic really, because I did that charm to save him. Closing my eyes, I can remember it all so clearly: that Cruciatus Curse, twisting and tearing and burning; the agony of it erupting through every inch of me. I've never felt anything like that before, and never want to again. Harry did it though. He was incredible, standing so firmly and facing Voldemort, swearing to stay with me forever.
Harry dying is something that terrifies me. Voldemort is coming for him, we both know it, but we don't know when. Peace and happiness, like this, could be shattered at any second when the Dark Lord clicks his fingers and decides it's time. I sometimes wonder how Harry copes with having this sword of Damocles hanging over his head; it's something none of the books about him have ever bothered thinking about. It makes me furious when people treat him just as a name, 'The famous Harry Potter.' He's more than that. Oh, so much more.
"She seemed to hear my silent voice,
Not love's appeal to know."
He's feeling restless now; something's started to bother him. For once, I've got no idea of what it could be, but I can see the energy building inside him, the tenseness as he moves his shoulder backwards, released only as a stone skims swiftly and speedily across the river. That's Harry brooding about something, I know it. I've seen it before. Another stone, and another thought sinks with it, deep down to the bed of the river.
"A knut for your thoughts," Gran always used to say, but I suspect it's not as easy for Harry. He knows I'm here, and when he wants to talk, he will. It's always the waiting that's most difficult, to watch him struggle with something and be unable to do anything to help. Until then, I'll keep him laughing, keep him safe, keep loving him with all my heart. Distracting him is easy: a swift shout and an apple thrown in his direction is enough to make him turn and grin. It's never going to be easy for us, not like it is for Ron and Hermione, but it's worth it. It's Harry.
"My heart has left its dwelling-place
And can return no more."
Living for the moment is all that matters. Enjoying the sunshine sprinkling light through the canopy of leaves above and the snatches of laughter we share to stave away the fear. It's just perfect, listening to the gurgle as the river rushes by and engulfed by the heady scent of summer meadows. Best of all, is feeling his arm around me, holding me so tightly and so securely to him. I can hear his heart beating steadily against my ear, sense the rise and fall of his chest with every breath. If only moments like this could last forever.