|SIYE Time:20:20 on 21st March 2018|
My Knight, My Harry
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Genres: Angst, Fluff, Romance
Summary: Taken From Chapter 34 of Deathly Hallows - The Forest Again. Ginny reflects on the one man in her life. PARTNER TO "MY ENDINGS ARE NEVER HAPPY."
Hitcount: Story Total: 8037; Chapter Total: 1947
The floor of the Great Hall was cold, perhaps simply because of the stone in the middle of the night, or maybe because of Death hanging around the large room, marveling at his work. I could almost see a thin, hooded figure, looming over me, skeletal hands thrown to the side as he laughed maniacally at my despair.
I felt a shuffling of bodies around me. Bill had disentangled himself from my arms without me noticing, and now knelt down right in front of my face. I felt Ron’s body press against my back as he wrapped his arms around me comfortingly. My other brothers stood about me, looking at me piteously. I could imagine all of them with tears running down their faces, either from their loss of Fred, or the new revelation.
Harry had walked to his death. Everyone knew it. He was just seventeen years old, whereas Voldemort was the strongest wizard alive today. We all knew it was over, and that My Harry wouldn’t be coming back, but nobody wanted to say it. Silence surrounded the group, as each of us imagined what could be happening to Harry right now.
My own thoughts were mixed. I’d given up on him coming back as soon as Neville had told us, but hope filled me still. Hope that it would be quick and painless. Hope that Harry had died without suffering, and that he’d been strong, standing upright, fighting, and not begging for mercy. It would be how Harry would have wanted it.
I don’t know how long I stayed on the floor, but I didn’t feel like moving in the near future, if indeed at all. My life was over now that Harry was gone. I had nothing left.
I remember an image that flashed in front of my eyes. It wasn’t one I could forget easily, that’s for sure. Harry’s face, looking up at me, blank and lifeless, a small amount of blood trickling from his nose. His green eyes without the usual sparkle they had when turned towards me. His black hair sticking out at odd angles, even more messy than it normally was.
After that image flashed through my brain, I reacted on impulse. My hand found my wand in an instant, and pulled it out slowly. My arm moved up, and pointed at its target.
I had pulled my wand on myself.
I knew the words I had to say. Two, simple words. I’d even heard them multiple times that night. I opened my mouth to say them, staring down the shaft of a loaded wand. But my mouth was dried up, and the words wouldn’t come. Finally, after an eternity, a hand rested on my forearm, bringing it down, and the thin piece of wood was slid out of my fingers.
Bill looked me dead in the eyes as he tucked the wand into his belt, saying: “Harry wouldn’t want that, Gin, you know it”
I nodded slowly. He wouldn’t. He’d want me to be strong, and hold my head up high, remembering him, but not losing myself over him. We’d never talked about what might happen, but I knew instinctively, he’d want me to go on living for him.
I stood up purposefully, surprising Bill and Ron into letting go of me. I brought my arm up and wiped my face clean of tears, before looking over to the door. He was out there. Had it happened yet? Were they still fighting it out? Or had Harry ran, leaving his destiny behind?
No, the last one wasn’t an option. It would never happen. Harry wasn’t the type to run from trouble. Harry was the type to stand up and face danger, no matter how great, and overcome it, so he could return to those who loved him.
But this time, danger might be too hard to overcome.
It felt like an eternity, waiting for any news. Twice I steadied myself to leave the room, but was stopped by Ron before I’d made the first step towards the door. I’m not sure what he thought I was going to do, but there was no way I was going to be leaving the family if he could help it. So I gave up and stayed where I was, determinedly not looking down at Fred’s body.
I don’t know how long it was before a cold, sickening voice reverberated around the hall, magnified hundredfold from outside the castle walls. It penetrated the air over the sobs, catching everyone’s attention with its words.
“Harry Potter is dead. He was killed as he ran away, trying to save himself while you lay down your lives for him. We bring you his body as proof that your hero is gone.”
I heard every word, but only the first four mattered to me. The rest simply stabbed sharply at my ears as my world crumbled around me once more. I could feel everything inside me break in that instant. My body simply stopped, and the world went black as it hit the floor.
I was unconscious for just a few seconds, but when I awoke, the entire family had gathered around me. I felt someone propping my head up, whispering soothingly into my ear. The words, however, got lost somewhere between my eardrum and my brain, because I heard none of them. All that mattered was seeing the proof. I started to sit up, but a forceful hand held my shoulder in place.
My father’s concerned face swam into view, and I discovered it was he who owned the offending arm. I moved to knock it away, but it wouldn’t budge, causing me to give him the darkest look I could muster. He faltered, I think stunned that I’d done that to daddy, but at that moment I didn’t care about my family. In the second that his grip slackened, I broke free. I looked around at everyone’s faces.
No-one I looked at seemed to understand by their expressions. They looked at me with pity, and I could almost see them asking me to sit down next to them. It wasn’t until I got to Ron’s face that I found someone who knew what I was going through.
Ron looked older. Rather than the exuberant eighteen year old man he was, I saw someone who’d seen more pain than many adults. Fred’s death had hit him hard, but now he’d lost more. Harry had basically been a brother as well, and minus the black hair, could have easily doubled up as Ron’s twin, like Fred was to George. He was feeling exactly what the twin was feeling, and it showed on his face.
The look he gave me wasn’t pity however. It was determination. Rather than shaking his head and forcing me to stay put, he held out his hand for me. I took it firmly, and was hauled to my feet, the two of us ignoring the protests of the red-heads around us. I vaguely heard Ron mutter a quick apology to them all, before he tightened his grip on my hand, and the two of us ran from the hall together, closely followed by a crying Hermione.
We were beaten to the grounds by just one person. As we rounded the corner, a piercing scream filled the air. I gasped as I heard Professor McGonagall break down and bawl at the top of her lungs. It could only mean one thing.
We flew through the entrance hall and exited the castle, stopping precisely next to our teacher. All of us dropped to the floor in agony at what we saw.
Before us was a flood of Death Eaters, all standing across the lawns which had mercifully been completely cleared of bodies. I don’t think the carnage would have mattered in my world though, as at the front of the pack stood Hagrid, and in his arms was My Harry
Hermione broke the silence first with her scream of anguish, which was closely followed by Ron’s. Mine came some seconds later.
I bellowed as loud as I could. It couldn’t be true. My Harry wasn’t allowed to die. He was much too brave, strong and brilliant for death to claim him. No, he wasn’t dead, he was just sleeping. It was all a hoax to lower our moral, to try to hit us where it hurts. In an hour’s time, Polyjuice would wear off, and we’d find the corpse of some other brave fighter who’d lost their lives and been forced to turn into their hero. It was some cruel joke.
I screamed again, and heard a laugh coming from the other side of the lawns. I could feel Voldemort’s dark stare on me, a sick smile playing across his face at my pain.
The doors to the hall were now full with people, all entrapped in a deadly silence, looking at the sight before them. At the front was my family, all with a fresh wave of tears running down their faces. They all stood behind me and tried to pick me up, but I was dead weight, determined not to move from this spot.
People around me seemed to snap out of their trances at my call. Shouts were heard through the entrance hall. I heard calls for their hero and friend, mixed with shouts of disgust and insults towards his killers. From our ranks, a boy made a break towards the throng by the forest, running with all his might, wand waving madly through the air. In seconds he had been thrown to the ground by a disarming spell.
“It’s Neville Longbottom, my Lord!” A female voice shouted above the crowd.
Neville dragged his body back up to his feet, staring down the darkest wizard of all time, all thoughts of dying seemingly driven from his mind. I watched in wonder, although heard nothing of the conversation they had. I heard a roar from the young boy, a scream to raise the moral of even those dwelling deeply in sorrow for their loved ones.
The crowd cheered once more, but I didn’t join in. Instead, I watched as Voldemort flicked his wand. Seconds later, something fell into his hand. With a second flick, the boy in front of him stood rigid, whilst Voldemort himself placed the school sorting hat on his head. With a final wrist movement, the hat burst into flames, and Neville’s screams filled the grounds, his head covered in flames, with no way to defend himself from the torture.
Commotion broke out everywhere, and time seemed to blend all into one. Roars of fury and pain came from the forest. Voldemort’s concentration fell, and Neville was freed from his torture. In his hand, a silver sword gleamed as he slashed it through the air at the snake on Voldemort’s shoulders.
What happened after I failed to see, as a mass of bodies converged together and blocked my view. I pulled myself to my feet to try and see my friends, but was stolen by the tide of bodies flooding through to the great hall. The last I saw of the outside was Hagrid searching frantically, screams of “Where’s Harry” over the dull roar of the battling crowd.
In the hall, the fighting was already intense, almost out of control. Every able-bodied person was involved on one side or another. Centaurs barged in, bows and arrows at the ready, cutting a path with shots and hooves. House Elves joined shortly after, brandishing large carving knifes skillfully, killing mercilessly. I myself found myself up against Bellatrix Lestrange, alongside Luna and Hermione. It was easy to see why the older woman was highest in Voldemort’s ranks. Her dueling skill was sublime, and she held the three of us easily. Just moments after I’d fired a stunner at her; I saw a jet of green light pass by my right ear, missing me by centimeters. I fell back, eyes wide with fear, when a body flung itself in front of me and took over the fight.
I’d never seen my mum this angry, even at the twins after a major prank. I saw in an instant that she wasn’t battling to stun, she was going to kill.
The battle was furious, and I sat in awe, completely forgetting that I was in the centre of a bloody fight. I positioned myself against the wall of the hall, leaning against it to catch my breath, thoughts of the sound of death rushing past my ear moments before. I’d nearly paid the ultimate price in this battle, like Fred.
Mum’s duel went on for a good few minutes, and I couldn’t tell which would win until seconds before it happened. Lestrange became cocky, and nothing infuriates Mum more than cockiness. Well, other than losing a child and nearly having another die right in front of her. I’d seen it before, as I watched a battle between Sirius and Bellatrix just two years previous. Sirius became cocky, and he’d been killed just seconds later.
I’d never imagined Mum killing someone before. Looking at her at that moment, I thought there was a huge possibility that she was going to do anything in her power to end that woman’s life. She never did anything illegal throughout the battle though, despite dueling to kill. Finally, she overcame Lestrange with a hex straight underneath the Death Eater’s guard. Lestrange was blasted back against the wall behind her, landing with a sickening crunch, her limbs splayed awkwardly as her bones broke.
The crowd broke into a roar as Voldemort’s right hand fell. The man himself let out a piercing scream, before blasting three teachers clean off their feet and out of the battle. He pointed his wand at Mum.
I raised my arm and cried out as she turned. I knew she was dead, and no curse had even been said yet. Voldemort was irate, and Mum was the cause.
Above the din of the hall, a blissfully familiar voice called out. A shield was formed between Voldemort and Mum, as the man’s curse was released and instantly absorbed into it.
I knew the voice immediately. But it couldn’t be real. Harry was dead, his body outside, probably trampled on when the masses of Death Eaters came running into the Great Hall. But it was his voice. At first, I thought I’d misheard, and it was another boy’s voice I’d heard. But it was so similar. Then I decided I’d heard what I wanted to hear. But then, how did the shield get there?
The answer was revealed seconds later, as My Harry pulled off his invisibility cloak and stood facing Voldemort, his face determined. I caught a glimpse of his eyes burning brightly, but somehow looking void of emotion. The concentration reflected deep within his soul, as he faced his destiny.
The two warriors began circling around the hall, never moving their eyes from each other. I’d have tried to grab Harry’s attention, but I was too shocked to move. I could feel the power of the two of them reaching a climax. As they circled, cold despair followed Voldemort, and warm hope tailed Harry.
The two talked, but it was nonsensical to nearly everyone in the hall but them. The talk of wands, and Harry’s confidence in the knowledge that he possessed was correct and would keep him alive, seemed to build my hopes up. I knew nothing of Wand Lore, but I knew it was a powerful thing, and that it had played a huge part between the two men before me in the past. Perhaps the fact that Harry knew everything Voldemort didn’t made me feel like I might end up with my boyfriend back, alive, at the end of this last battle, because I felt strangely calm, although the rest of the hall was on tenterhooks.
The sun rose and shone through the enchanted ceiling of the hall, casting the battlefield in a faint orange glow. A ray of hope perhaps, in humanity’s minute of need? Symbolism aside, it triggered the battle, as two wands came rushing through the air.
From one side of the room: a jet of green light; from the other: red. The two met, marking the perfect centre of the circle of people, the circumference of which the two had been pacing moments before. Whether it was the sun’s light, or sheer force, a huge column of fire erupted up from the point of contact. It was a freak of nature the likes of which no-one in the hall had ever seen. Nobody knew what was to come, except me.
I was on my feet and ready as everyone drew a collective breath and held it. As the fire in the centre of the room faded to nothing once more, I saw Harry jump into the air and catch a small bit of wood in his hand. Opposite him, Voldemort was blasted back, sliding on his back until he came to rest: dead.
I was the first to react, running towards Harry screaming in delight. Seconds later, the entire room converged on the hero of the wizarding world. I reached out and touched his shoulder, but he was pulled away from me by the masses of bodies who wanted to touch the “boy who lived”. But that didn’t matter, I got the first touch, and I was sure I’d get the last.
The next few days were torture for the entire family, but I think if anyone bore the brunt of the pain it was me. Preparing for a funeral isn’t an easy task, even when you have a dozen people on the job. The tears flowed freely down the cheeks of everyone at the Burrow as they worked, even the ever-strong Harry Potter, conqueror of evil. I don’t think anyone managed to say an entire sentence without choking on the lumps that had permanently lodged themselves in our throats.
What made this torture even more unbearable was the one who was supposed to be making everything right. Harry had been moping around the house, visibly worse than the rest of the family put together. When confronted about it, he’d storm out of the room, claiming he was fine. We all knew what it was. It was Harry being Harry, a guilt-ridden, moping, over-sensitive, emotional, stubborn prat. Of course, everyone looked to me to fix him, but how do you fix something that’s not broken? This was Harry, and there was nothing to fix.
That didn’t stop me from trying. Harry being so downhearted was almost as tough to handle as Harry running off on whatever duty he had to do last year. He might as well be locked away in his tent again. He hadn’t kissed me once since returning, nor had he talked to me properly either. I didn’t know where I stood with him.
The only thing I could do was wait, if he wouldn’t talk to me. Knowing Harry, he’d concocted some sort of excuse to pin all of the blame on him. Perhaps after the funerals, he’d find a way to forgive himself.
So I waited, and Fred’s funeral came and went, followed by Remus and Tonks’s. Nothing changed in him, and I knew he was still tearing himself apart from the inside.
It was clear that he was being consumed by all the emotions that were swirling around his brain. He’d not eaten anything since the battle. None of the family had before Fred’s funeral, but afterwards, they’d managed to return to some sort of regular pattern, but not Harry, he seemed content to starve. I spoke to Ron, who told me Harry had been lying awake in bed every night, not moving to feign sleep, but his eyes wide open, staring into the black, completely unaware of Ron watching him closely.
The efforts of his best friends had gone to waste. Ron had tried to entice him into some of Harry’s former hobbies, but when even flying couldn’t bring the boy out of his shell, my brother gave up.
Hermione of course, tried the academic approach. I knew before she’d opened her mouth that it wouldn’t work, but I’d let her try what she wanted. After just six words, Harry had jumped up out of his seat and gone up to bed, locking the door behind him. I didn’t tell Hermione that “Harry, I know you’re blaming yourself” was the most tactless thing she could have said, but I think she worked it out.
So it was left to me, but I had no clue what he could want from me. That had to be the mark of a bad girlfriend. I felt frustrated. This should have been easy, I was meant to know him inside out. I’d followed his every move for the past six years. Yet now, at the time when he needed me, I was at a loss for what to do.
I watched him from across the paddock at the Burrow. He’d gone outside to get away from the family, instead of shutting himself in his room like he normally would. Instead, he’d sunk down next to a tree, head in his hands, and sat motionless from there on.
It tore me apart to see him so tied up in himself. Every night since the battle I’d been crying, first for Fred, but that had passed shortly after the funeral. Two weeks later, and it was my boyfriend causing the tears to flow, as I saw him gradually rip his body limb from limb, followed by my heart.
I stepped out of the house to watch him a little bit closer. We were perhaps ten feet apart from each other, yet still he didn’t look up. I didn’t know whether to edge forward a little more, or keep watching from a distance.
Where I stood it was easy to see the pain his was going through. The first thing you could notice was his body shaking violently, as waves of tears converged upon him mercilessly. From the house, I could see his hands in his hair, looking gentle as though pausing as he ran them through his black locks. Closer though, his hands were a dangerous mix of red and white from the strain he put on them with his vice grip.
I took a few steps closer, yet he still didn’t look up. I was probably close enough to touch him if I stretched, but I didn’t try. I didn’t dare, but I knew I had to break him away from whatever was consuming his mind.
“Harry,” I whispered softly, not wanting to startle him in case he truly hadn’t seen me. I saw his ragged breathing stop, his sadness replaced by what could only be described as fear. He looked up at me slowly.
My heart broke at the state he was in: worse than anything I’d seen before. His eyes, usually so caring and friendly as they bathed you in their green glow, were red and bloodshot, from the combination of tears and lack of sleep. His hair was messier than usual, but it wasn’t the usual mop which looked so adorable. It wasn’t even the bloodied mess that had saved me from the Chamber. It looked like each individual hair had been tugged and wrenched at, and only the most resilient had been able to resist. His face had turned as white as some of the ghosts at Hogwarts without decent food.
I quickly took in what I could. On his hands were scars, visible in the light, which looked only freshly healed. They were mainly dotted around his knuckles, probably from being forced to pummel an unfortunate wall. Some however, traveled from his knuckles, and up his arms. I dreaded to think what he’d done to himself to get those.
“Harry, what are you doing to yourself?”
My question wasn’t made in disgust, but a kind, caring nature. I found I could speak in no other tone with someone who looked so defeated before me.
He couldn’t look me in the eyes, that much was plain to see. I saw his pupils glance up at my face, but they had settled briefly on my lips as though they had uttered a disgusting swear words to him. Then he looked down, and opened his mouth to speak, before closing it once more, words failing him. The next thing I knew, he was on his feet and making his way past me.
My arm flung out to my side to grab him as he went. My fingers settled around his arm, and he winced in pain, causing me to recoil quickly. Finally, he turned his eyes on mine, and a range of emotion swam behind them. Most prominent of all, was guilt.
“I’m sorry,” he muttered, a dark look swimming across his face, before he strode away from me.
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