Ginny paused in the process of opening the door as Harry’s agonized screams reached her ear. God, what happened to him? She suddenly felt a rush of anger directed at Voldemort for doing this to him. Harry had always been so strong. During his last year at Hogwarts, Ginny could feel the power growing inside him, and it tore a piece of her heart to hear him defeat Voldemort only to lose his sanity.
Harry was calling her name! Ginny took a deep breath to calm her pounding heart. She pushed open the door, and stepped inside. Her eyes widened at the sight that waited for her at the middle of the room.
There was Harry, thrashing about violently on the bed, while Ron and two healers she didn’t know pinned him down, trying to steady his body enough so that Madam Pomfrey could administer a vial of bluish green potion into his mouth.
“Hush, Harry, this will only take a moment,” Madam Pomfrey tried to calm him down, fruitlessly.
Ron managed to grab Harry’s face, while the two healers held onto Harry’s arms and legs. Madam Pomfrey quickly poured the potion into Harry’s mouth.
Harry choked on the potion, but he managed to swallow it anyway. He started to kick and thrash wildly once more as Ron and the healers released him.
“I think that should be the last dose, Molly,” Madam Pomfrey said, shaking her head sadly. “That potion, while it keeps him alive, only makes his suffering longer. I don’t think that it is advisable to do that. Not anymore. His magical reserves are just about depleted at this point. And if we were to keep him alive…”
“But you c-can’t!” Hermione wailed. “He shouldn’t have d-d-defeated Voldemort just to die himself!”
Not sure if she could take any more of this, Ginny stepped forward. She could see her mother and Hermione at one corner of the room, still crying. Feeling tears prickling the back of her head, Ginny took another step. Nobody noticed her, as all the attention was drawn to Harry.
That was why everybody noticed when Harry suddenly calmed down. Usually, Harry went on screaming for hours after somebody touched him. “Ginny?” Harry whispered, turning his head in the direction of the door.
Ginny gasped. She barely noticed that all the occupants of the room had turned their attention to her. Harry was looking at her. Looking. His eyes were open, but they were glassed over, unrecognizing. But he recognized her. She hadn’t even made a sound!
“Ginny,” Harry whispered again.
Tears were flowing freely from Ginny’s face now. She stepped forward as Ron, Madam Pomfrey and the healers stepped away from the bed. No. He didn’t have to die. She had vowed not to love him anymore, but he didn’t have to die. There were too many unfinished business between them.
“My Ginny,” Harry whispered contentedly as Ginny reached his side.
Ginny flicked an uncertain glance at her mother and Hermione. They both looked amazed and relieved at the same time. She turned her attention back to Harry, and reached out to clasp his hand in hers. He stiffened for a moment, and then he relaxed, and closed his unseeing eyes.
“My Ginny,” Harry repeated, before falling asleep, clutching her hand tightly to his chest. The expression on his face was one of peace – an expression nobody has seen since he was brought in the hospital.
“I don’t believe it!” Madam Pomfrey breathed out excitedly. “What did you do, Miss Weasley?”
Ginny glanced briefly at the school healer. She looked like she was on the verge of discovering a breakthrough in the healing arts. “I didn’t do anything, Madam Pomfrey! I have no idea what just happened.”
Madam Pomfrey quickly took out her wand, and performed a few assessment spells on Harry. The aura around Harry was displayed for all to see. It was a fading black, slowly lightening to blue, and then glowing a bright gold.
Ginny heard Hermione gasp. She supposed the older girl knew what Madam Pomfrey just did, and that Hermione knew what the results of the healer’s spell meant. Hermione was beside herself. “Madam Pomfrey! It’s gold! Ron! Mrs. Weasley! He’s getting better!”
He’s getting better? Ginny was suddenly determined to find out what those spells meant.
“Miss Weasley, I performed an aura test. It assesses the general condition and feelings of the person,” Madam Pomfrey explained for the benefit of Ginny. Everyone else in the room knew what the test meant. “I perform it everyday to see if there is any change in Mr. Potter. And it has always been black. Until today.”
“We don’t have to tell you that black means death and despair, and that Harry had given up the will to live,” Hermione added, her eyes shining with tears of pure joy this time. “And the gold…” Hermione was almost whispering reverently. She shook her head, as if still trying to believe it herself. “When unicorns are born, they glow a bright gold. If you perform the spell on a newborn baby, its aura will be gold. It’s like Harry has been reborn. Like he has regained his will to live, and his right to…love.”
Mrs. Weasley threw her arms around Ginny. “Thank you! Oh, Ginny! He’s going to be fine!”
Ginny was speechless. She started stoking Harry’s arm with her free hand, and he curled up into a ball. He was holding her hand possessively. “I didn’t know…”
“Ginny,” Ron pushed a chair in her direction. “Here, sit.” He put an arm around her shoulders. “Thank you for coming.”
Hermione rearranged Harry’s bed clothes, and covered him with a thick blanket.
“I…It’s the least I can do,” Ginny replied, unable to believe what she had just witnessed. “I owe him a life debt, after all, you know, from my first year.”
For some reason, Mrs. Weasley looked disappointed in her answer, but she didn’t say anything about it. Instead, she shooed all the occupants out of the room. She followed them out, but turned back to her daughter. “Take care of him, Ginny. He really needs you.”
Ginny stared at the door for a long time before she sat down on the chair Ron had offered her and turned to Harry’s now peaceful face. She couldn’t believe the change in him, from the moment she stepped inside the room to now. Had that only been a few minutes ago?
‘It’s like Harry has been reborn. Like he has regained his will to live, and his right to…love.’ That was what Hermione said. Did she really have that big an impact in Harry’s life? She really hadn’t thought so, especially after pushing her away one year ago. She had begun to think that Harry only went out with her near the end of her fifth year to humor her. He had never told her he loved her. He never gave her any indication that he wanted to be with her.
Ginny folded her free arm on the bed, and rested her head onto it, studying every detail of Harry’s face. His horrible scar was still there, but it was only a faint outline of what it once was. There were new scars on his cheeks, but those would fade away with time. She could see scars lining his arms as well, and wondered how much he had endured just to save the world. Her heart ached for him. She lifted her head and ran her fingers softly against his scars. In his sleep, Harry began to nuzzle her hand.
Feeling courageous, and forgetting her resolve not to love Harry anymore, Ginny pulled up Harry’s blankets and climbed into the bed beside him. His body immediately turned to face hers. He released her hands, only to wrap that arm around her waist, and buried his head into the crook of her neck. Ginny heard him give out a contented sigh.
Ginny rested her hand on the arm that was wrapped around her waist. She had dreamed about sleeping beside Harry in his bed. She just hadn’t imagined that it would be happening in a bed in St. Mungo’s. She almost chuckled at the irony of it. She closed her eyes, adjusted herself into a comfortable position beneath Harry’s arm, and slept peacefully for the first time in a long time.
“How long, Molly?”
Ginny awoke to the sounds of her parents’ voice. Groggily, she remembered where she was, and she started to blush a deep red. She coughed softly, and quickly stood up, and jumped from the bed, smoothing her red hair down, trying desperately to come up with an explanation for being in Harry’s bed. She heard a disappointed whimper from the general direction of the said bed, and she reached out automatically to grasp Harry’s hand.
Harry grasped her hand and held it close to his chest.
Ginny finally turned her attention to her parents, and was shocked to find her whole family plus Hermione in front of her. It was a wonder they were all able to fit inside the room. It had looked fairly small to her before, but it accommodated the entire Weasley clan quite comfortably. Ginny felt her blush start up with renewed force, and her whole face was red. Mustering up what remained of her Gryffindor courage, Ginny studied each of her family’s expressions.
Her parents were concerned. Bill and Charlie’s faces were unreadable; it was like they were trying to decide if this was a good thing or not. Percy’s face was in a scowl over the inappropriateness of what Ginny had done. Fred and George were grinning from ear-to-ear, a mischievous gleam in their identical eyes, which Ginny took to mean she would be teased about this for years to come. Ron, Ron, her most protective brother, was shooting her an approving look. His arm was around Hermione’s waist, and the pair of them were really looking quite pleased with themselves.
“All right, what’s going on?” Ginny tried to cross her arms over her chest in an effort to look intimidating, but only managed to look quite comical, since one of her hands was still engulfed in Harry’s tight grip.
Fred and George started to howl uncontrollably, and the corners of Bill and Charlie’s lips turned up. Ginny suppressed the urge to kick the four of them.
“I think,” her dad said with a kind smile, “that we should be the one to ask you that, dear.”
Ginny’s mouth went dry. “I…”
“Honestly, Ginny,” Hermione teased her, a huge smile plastered to her face, “when you learned that you did Harry a whole world of good with a simple touch, you went with the whole nine yards, didn’t you?”
Ron chuckled. “Don’t worry, Ginny. Nothing could have happened. Harry’s still out.”
Ginny was appalled at what they were apparently thinking. Bill, Charlie, Fred, and George were still laughing, now over the expression on Ginny’s face. “I… I never…”
Her mother smiled at her. “It’s alright, Ginny. We know you mean well. It was perfectly innocent.”
“Mum!” Ginny was annoyed at the condescending tone on her mother’s voice.
Hermione slipped out from under Ron’s arm, and led her boyfriend over to the other side of Harry’s bed. “It’s time for Harry’s potion,” she said, the amused expression leaving her face. It was replaced with one of apprehension. “We’re not sure how Harry will react, now that you’re here.”
“What potion?” Ginny asked. She looked around for a clock. “What time is it?”
“Just a nutritional supplement,” Hermione said. “Madam Pomfrey performed an assessment spell to check for Harry’s magical reserves before you woke up. It’s starting to replenish. It’s almost full actually. Madam Pomfrey thinks there’s nothing like a healthy, well-rested body to restore a wizard’s reserves.” She then smiled at her. “You slept the night through.”
“And what a well-rested body Harry has right now,” Ron winked wickedly at her.
Ginny pointedly ignored him.
“You do know, Ginny, that Harry is now considered the strongest wizard of the age?” Percy asked, his chest puffing out, in the way that it did whenever he was spouting off some information to those who don’t know it yet. “Do you know what the wizard folk will think when they learn that the cure for Harry Potter is, to put it simply, you?”
Ginny blanched. Her? Harry’s cure?
“There there, Ginny,” Fred said, glaring at Percy.
“It’s going to be such an honor to have you as family!” George went, a grin on his face for her, before turning to glare at Percy, which was identical to his twin.
“Imagine it, George, our sister!” Fred went on.
“Harry Potter’s cure!” George threw up his hands, and mockingly bowed in front of his sister.
Charlie hit Percy on the back of the head, while Bill went for the twins.
“Hush, boys!” Mrs. Weasley half-heartedly berated her sons.
Ginny chose to ignore her stupid, but well-meaning brothers, and turned her attention to Harry’s best friends. “I’ll give him the potion.”
“Madam Pomfrey also assumed you’d want to do that, too,” said Ron with an evil grin.
“Shut up, Ron!” Ginny huffed. She turned to Hermione. “Where is it?”
“Here,” Madam Pomfrey said, entering the room quickly, holding a phial of milky white potion. She bustled to Harry’s bedside, and handed her the small bottle. “Make sure he drinks all of it.”
Harry whimpered again, and tensed up as Ginny extracted her hand from his to take the potion from the healer. She softly touched his face with her free hand, and he relaxed. She coaxed his mouth open, which he did so without trouble at all, and she tipped the phial into his mouth.
The potion had an immediate effect on his body. He coughed once, and then another cough, and then his eyes opened.
His eyes opened.
His eyes. Not the glassy ones she had glimpsed last night. But his warm, wonderful green eyes. The pair of them was staring at her, and she couldn’t help but stare back. Damn, those eyes could make her do absolutely anything. She was in the process of bending down to kiss him senseless when she felt her mother was pushing something into her hands. His glasses. She put them on him, and she could see the recognition in his eyes. She saw the love in his eyes.
“Gi-Ginny?” Harry asked, his voice hoarse from lack of use. “’S’at you?”
Ginny felt tears prickling at the back of her eyes. She nodded dumbly at Harry. He was awake. He was going to be okay!
Chaos consumed the small hospital room and Ginny was pushed to the side, as her family, and Harry’s family as well, engulfed him in embraces and tears, and relief.
Nobody noticed as Ginny quietly slipped out of the room, and used the floo at the lobby of St. Mungo’s to go home.
Ginny Weasley lay face down on her bed at the Burrow. Too much had happened during the past twenty-four hours, and she didn’t think she could take much more of it.
It always came down to Harry.
Why was he such an important part of her life? She tried to get over him a few years back due to his continuously ignoring her. How well did that go? She ended up becoming his girlfriend with just one kiss from him. He left her not long after that to do Merlin knows what. And what did she do? She as good as begged him to take her with him. He refused of course. And she had started to put up her defenses against him for when he came back. What happened when he did come back in the brink of death? She went and saved him, that’s what! And when he opened his glorious green eyes for the first time? She dropped her resolve like a hot iron and almost kissed him!
It was a good thing that her mum was there to interrupt her before she made a complete fool of herself over Harry Potter once again. She was sure that once Harry was completely recovered, he would find some way to avoid her or leave her again. For good, this time. He had meant it when he said he wanted her to have a nice, happy life. Just not to have it with him.
Ginny let out a strangled sob at the thought. Angrily, she punched the helpless pillow on her bed. What was it about Harry Potter that made her turn to mush? Just one look from him was enough to make her knees turn to jelly.
My Ginny. He had called her HIS Ginny. That single statement alone destroyed all the defenses she had put up against him. And that was when he had been unconscious. What more could he do to her senses if he was awake? She had to strengthen them again, especially since she was sure that Harry was going to spend his time recuperating here at the Burrow. Her mum wouldn’t have it any other way.
The past year had been awful. She hadn’t known how she was going to act around Harry. He had avoided her like she had some untreatable, contagious disease. She had even tried talking to him once. She had cornered him right after his Transfiguration class with Professor Lupin, who Professor McGonagall had re-hired with full backing of the school governors. He had looked at her with nothing in his eyes, said his excuses to Professor Lupin and quickly walked away. Lupin had been sympathetic, and she was sure that he had tried to tell her something, but for the life of her, she couldn’t remember what.
After that incident, Ginny made it a point to appear happy and contented with her lot in life, especially when Harry was around. She probably had him convinced that she was over him when she started to date Dean Thomas again. Bloody hell. She’d almost convinced herself. It wasn’t until she caught Romilda Vane snogging Harry for what he was worth in the common room during Valentine’s Day that she had been given the harshest wake-up call of her life.
Harry never felt anything for her. He was just letting her down easy. She was stupid, and a fool. She was a stupid, foolish girl who was still in love with him.
She broke up with Dean after that realization. It wouldn’t be fair to Dean for her to lead him on if it was quite clear to her that she was in love with somebody else. That was the day she started to take Harry away from her heart, little by little.
Ginny was there when Hogwarts was attacked. Sixth-years were assigned to remain inside the castle as the second line of defense, while Seventh-years were allowed to battle it outside with the Aurors and Order members. The fighting never reached the entrance hall.
Ginny remembered listening to the sounds of the battle going on outside for the longest time, when suddenly there was a lull. There were cries of alarm among her companions in the entrance hall about the sudden wash of quietness. And then the heavy front doors burst open. Hermione came stumbling in with an unconscious Ron in her arms.
“He’s gone!” Hermione had announced, looking weary, worried, and elated all at once. “Harry’s won!”
Cheers had erupted throughout the hall. But Hermione wasn’t finished. Her eyes were searching for someone. Ginny. Ginny stepped forward to help her almost-sister with Ron.
“We can’t find him, Ginny,” Hermione had continued. “He’s --.”
Ginny dropped whatever part it was of her brother she was holding. “Is it safe to go out?”
Hermione nodded, struggling to help Ron up. Madam Pomfrey finally noticed, and bustled over to levitate Ron onto the hospital wing. “The Death Eaters have run away when the Dark Mark faded from their arms. That was how Ron was injured!” She looked hysterically at Ginny. “We have to find him, Ginny!”
Ginny turned to the other sixth-years watching them. “Let’s go. You know what to do.”
A few minutes later, she had found him. Unconscious, struggling to breathe, but alive nonetheless. And this whole nightmare started.
Ginny took a deep breath and shook her head, trying to shake out the image of Harry’s battered body out of her mind.
He doesn’t love you, Ginny. She told herself. At least, not in the way you want him to.