Gasping for air, she tried to shake off the terrible dream that lingered in her mind. A league of redheaded people, their wide eyes staring as they came closer and closer…
"Are you all right?"
She flinched at the voice, which sounded only inches from her face. After quickly searching around, she realized that he was not right beside her, but in a chair next to her bed. He didn't say anything else, just waited, a look of concern etched on his face.
Once her breathing was under control, Ginny studied him a moment. His hair was dark, falling around his ears and neck in a haphazard fashion. The top stuck up in a few places, making it look as if he'd just woke, which could have been the case. Her gaze rested briefly on the scar—hidden almost entirely by a lock of hair—that occupied his forehead. It was peculiar, in the shape of a perfect lightning bolt. He wore glasses, but they didn't take away from the intensity of his green eyes. There were shadows underneath them, she noticed, and wondered vaguely what had caused him such strain.
He was quite attractive, and she very much appreciated the fact that his hair wasn't red.
It was frustrating that she couldn't recall his name though, or how they knew each other. She fought back the wave of panic that threatened to overwhelm her. Taking a few deep breaths, she calmed herself down once again.
"So," she said at last, her voice weary. "It wasn't all a dream then."
He looked confused for a moment. After clearing his throat quietly, he glanced away from her. "No. It's all very real."
"Right." They lapsed into silence, and Ginny took the opportunity to gaze around the room—and furtively at the man in the chair. He looked as frustrated as she felt, dragging his hand through his hair.
At length, she heard him sigh slightly. "I guess you don't remember me."
She tried. Searching the recesses of her mind, she once again met with the black void. "No, I don't. I'm sorry."
He stood from the chair and stepped toward her. She saw that he was of medium height, and a little on the thin side. He pushed up his glasses—which had slid slightly down the bridge of his nose—with his index finger, then hesitantly extended his hand to her.
"I'm Harry. Harry Potter."
She found herself smiling at his expression. He looked nervous and apprehensive, as if he wasn't sure just what to make out of the situation. It relieved her to know that someone else felt as she did.
She brought her hand up to his, and noticed immediately that it was quite rough with calluses. "You have rough hands," she murmured.
He flushed slightly, pulling his hand away. "Yeah, sorry. Too much Quidditch."
"Oh? What position do you play?"
He started before frowning at her. "You know what Quidditch is?"
"Of course, I—" she stopped and stared at him. "I know what Quidditch is," she said softly. "That's good, right?"
He smiled. "I guess that means you know about magic then?"
She reached into her mind, and came back with an itinerary of spells. "Yes. Yes, I do. I'm a Witch."
"Well, I guess that'll make things a little easier. I reckon it would have been difficult, trying to explain the magical world to you."
"I guess you're right."
"But you—" he paused.
"What?" she prodded.
"You really don't remember anything about yourself? Your name? Your family?"
"I don't," she said sadly. "They told me that my name is Ginny. Ginny Weasley."
"Yeah, it is."
They lapsed into silence again, until Ginny said hesitantly, "It's—it's nice to meet you, Harry."
"Yeah, ah, thanks."
She bit her lip and looked away from him. It was hard, so hard to see the disappointment on his face. She would have given anything to remember him. He seemed … special.
"Can I ask you something?"
"Sure. Do you mind if I sit? I'm still a bit sore."
"Oh, okay. Go ahead." He surprised her by sitting tentatively on the bed by her knees. It felt strange to have him there, so close to her. She wondered if they'd ever sat this way before.
She shook her head, as her thoughts had wondered in an interesting direction. "Yes?"
"You wanted to ask me something?"
"Oh right. I—Well, I was just wondering how we know each other. I mean, are we…" she trailed off, unsure of how to phase the words. Going Out? A couple? In love? Her cheeks warmed at the thought.
"No!" He said it quickly, a slight flush creeping up on his cheeks again. "I mean," he cleared his throat, "no, we're ah, we're friends, I guess you could say. Ron—that's one of your brothers—he's my best mate. We've sort of grown up together. I guess…" he trailed off weakly.
She was slightly surprised at the sense of disappointment she felt at his explanation.
"So, you said that you were still sore. What happened?" she asked, changing the subject.
She watched as his eyes clouded, as his body tensed. "We were in a war."
Shocked, her hand flew to her mouth. "A war? You were fighting in a war?"
"I said we, Ginny. You were there too."
It was something that she couldn't comprehend. Even though she didn't know anything about herself, it was difficult to imagine being in a battle. Did that mean she was brave? Strong? Powerful? Reckless?
"Is that how…" she trailed off, gesturing to her head. It was probably time that she discovered the events that lead up to her current situation.
His face hardened, and his eyes lowered. "Yes."
"Can you … Will you tell me about it, Harry?"
He looked uncomfortable with the task, and busied himself by picking at the blanket spread around her legs. "Maybe I should get your family. Maybe they should tell you about it."
The thought of being surrounded by such a large group of people again made her nervous.
"You don't know? Were you not there?"
His head snapped up, and the look in his eyes nearly broke her heart. It also scared her. What had caused him so much pain, and so much anger? "I was there," he muttered.
He looked so haunted, so devastated, that she did the only thing she could think of. Laying her hand gently on top of his, she squeezed it lightly. "I understand if you don't want to talk about it. I just think that maybe it's time that I found out what happened. I'm scared, because all I have in my head is this empty space, and I don't know if it's ever going to change. And I feel this-this frustration, and this anger—" She stopped herself, unsure of why she was telling Harry all of this. She didn't even know him.
"I don't even know what I look like." She reached up and pulled a handful of her own hair in front of her eyes. "Oh," she laughed, "of course it's red." Shaking her head, she looked back at Harry. "If you don't feel up to telling me, Harry, that's all right. It's just that … my family … there are so many of them."
"You do have a big family."
"Where are they anyway?"
"The Matron finally convinced them to go home, and get some rest. There's a lot of … cleanup to do, from the war. Everyone will be pitching in to help sort through to mess. I offered to wait here, in case you woke up again."
"You don't need to rest?"
He absently fingered his left side as he spoke. "I was out for a whole day after everything happened. Exhaustion," he explained at her questioning look, "and loss of blood. I've already had plenty of rest."
"Oh. But you're okay now?"
"Yeah. I'm fine."
Something inside Ginny told her that he wasn't fine, but she let that pass for the time being.
"So anyway, they should be back soon."
"Your family. I think Hermione will—"
He grimaced. "I was hoping you'd just forget for now."
He laughed then, and Ginny couldn't help but smile. There was something about Harry's laughter that was intriguing. He seems so old upon first impression, but when he laughed, it was as if he was his normal age again, which she guessed to be around eighteen or nineteen.
His face sobered after a moment, and he began to talk. He told her of a Dark Wizard named Voldemort, and his years of planning and plotting. He talked about the Order of the Phoenix—of which she was a member—and how they fought against Voldemort and the Death Eaters. The battle finally came to a head a few days before, in an old boarding school that the Dark Wizard had been using as his base. There were many casualties, on both sides, and quite a few Dark Wizards escaped. Voldemort wasn't one of them—he was destroyed. He also told her about Draco Malfoy, and his actions. He used a curse—obliviate nosceres—and no one seemed sure exactly what it had done.
Ginny felt mesmerized as Harry spoke. He had such passion; she didn't think he even knew that his eyes became intense and his face hardened as he spoke of the war, and especially of Draco Malfoy.
When he finished, they didn't say a great deal. She was tired, and he insisted that she rest, excusing himself quietly. Her mind reeled as she thought of what had happened to her.
She'd been Obliviated.
Yet, as she lay in bed, thinking about Harry's story, it wasn't her memories—or lack thereof—that she focused on. She couldn't help but wonder what Harry had kept from her. What part had he played in the war?
A/N Many thanks again to Katie and Tari for being the wonderful betas they are, even when their own lives are hectic. Thanks also to those who have taken the time to read, I really appreciate it.