Brave enough by Mah Potter

Summary: Four times Ginny hesitates before talking to Harry and one time she doesn’t. (Missing moments, canon compliant)
Rating: PG starstarstarstarhalf-star
Categories: Post-DH/AB
Characters: None
Genres: None
Warnings: None
Challenges: None
Series: None
Published: 2021.04.05
Updated: 2021.04.05

Brave enough by Mah Potter
Chapter 1: Chapter 1
Author's Notes:

The moment that Ginny hears Professor McGonagall’s announcement that the petrified students will return to normal, she feels a relief that lasts exactly one second; then she is dizzy, almost out of her body, as the darkness threatens to overwhelm her, and she knows that Tom is reacting to the news.

After months with him inside her head – inside her heart – she knows exactly what he is feeling and what he is thinking. This is the endgame for him – Tom can’t afford people knowing who was inciting the basilisk and who really opened the Chamber, not before he gets to Harry, and then there is only one course of action for him. He will make his final move tonight.

She knows that Tom is afraid, no matter how much he pretends that he is invincible, and she feels a sharp pain on her head as she thinks this. Tom is punishing her for doubting him.

He makes her look across the Gryffindor table, to the place where Ron and Harry are sitting together discussing the news. They look excited, and Ginny cannot fault them. Everyone is cheering the news.

Except her, but no one seems to notice her – like they didn’t all year.

I see you, Ginny , was something Tom always said in the beginning, making her feel valuable and dependent on him. I am the only one that sees you, he says now, and she shivers despite the heat of the Great Hall, feeling the darkness on the edge, ready to take control of her once again.

Then her eyes fall on Harry.

It’s not the first time that Ginny sees him, considering she has been watching him since Summer, sighing from afar and wishing he could see her too. Her heart does that little skip that always happens when she takes the sight of him, all cute and modest, his green eyes shining behind his round glasses.

She can’t let Tom get to him. That’s not the first time she thinks that, but more than any fear she feels for her secrets that Tom could slip out to him, she fears for Harry’s life. Tom wants Harry. And e is dangerous.

Don’t, Ginny, she hears Tom’s voice on her head, and it’s not an order, it’s a suggestion. Tom rarely orders anything. He’d rather make her want to follow what he says.

It takes all her effort, but Ginny raises from her spot.

He will hate you, Ginny.

She knows that Tom is probably right. It’s her fault after all – all the attacks, the petrifications, and all because she trusted in Tom.

But she needs to go on.

What are you going to tell him? Hello, Harry, I’ve opened the Chamber of Secrets?

Yes, she thinks desperately, taking another step even as if it literally pains her, the heaviness on her body not allowing her to breath. I will tell him the truth.

You hurt his friend. His best friend. The girl he adores. What will he think of you? He will tell your parents. He will tell the professors. You are going to be expelled .

The words hurt her, taking her to a familiar place of insecurity and fear that she knows it’s what feeds Tom. He enjoys her suffering, he needs her to be unsure of herself.

I am brave, Ginny tells herself, even as Tom laughs disbelievingly inside her head. I can be brave. They will probably hate her afterwards, she may be expelled, her family will be disgusted and Harry... Harry won’t ever look at her, but at least he will be alive and well.

It takes all her willpower, but Ginny sits right next to Ron, her hands twisting, fighting Tom’s incessant cries on her head; he sounds so concerned with her.

You can’t do this, Ginny, you know it.

But she must. She needs to talk to Harry – warn him, even if it costs everything.

Ron asks her what’s up and Ginny feels the words right on the edge of her mouth, so close to spilling the truth, but still they don’t leave her lips. Her heart is beating faster, loud and painful, each beating thumping on her head as a clock bell, marking time, marking the seconds she knows she has until Tom manages to take over his grip on her.

He is too strong now. She let him become too strong.

She rocks on her chair, desperate to tell them and wishing desperately that she didn’t need to.

‘I’ve got to tell you something’, she whispers, and there is relief and panic as she says those words, because that’s it. She can’t go back now; she will tell them.

Are you sure, Ginny?, Tom asks softly, menacingly, and she fights back her will to just cry.

‘What is it?’, asks Harry, and she bits her lips.

Ginny knows that all she needs to confess is the simplest of the truths: she opened the Chamber of Secrets. But this is too little – she also needs to explain about Riddle and his goals and the basilisk and how they are in danger.

And Harry is looking at her as if he understands the urgency of her being there in front of him, looking worried for her.

He will be disgusted with you , Tom tells her almost nonchalantly, almost as if he doesn’t care if she goes ahead, and Ginny knows he is right.

‘What?’, Ron presses her, and that doesn’t help her at all with her nerves. There was a time it was only she and Ron against the world.

Now he will hate her too.

‘Is it something about the Chamber of Secrets? Have you seen something? Someone acting oddly?’

Harry knows . Not everything, but he knows what her secret is about and Ginny takes a deep breath, for once feeling like herself and drowning Tom’s voice on her head on her certainty that this is what she needs to do. This is right.

She will tell Harry –

Then Percy appears behind her and her concentration is broken, her confidence gone for a split second.

It doesn’t matter; all Tom needed was that gap to take control, to find all her doubts and let them dominate her. She feels detached, not quite herself, as if she is in a dream and she raises, getting away from them.

Now, be a good girl, Ginny , Tom says and all she can do is take a last look back to where Harry, Ron and Percy are talking.

‘I am sorry’, she whispers, but no one hears.

This is the third time in the last couple of hours that Ginny passes in front of Buckbeak’s room, looking at the doorknob with her fingers twitching to open the door and enter the room where Harry is – for lack of a better world – hiding from them.

She knows he is running away from all of them ever since they went to St. Mungo’s and they all heard how Moody believes he is being possessed by You–Know–Who.


Just the thought of him sends shivers through her body, making a part of her want to recoil and hide as much as Harry is doing right now, with that unreasonable fear that he will get back and take control and –

But he is back. Not in her mind or in her heart, but in the world, where somehow he is even more dangerous than before. And supposedly with a power of possessing others.

Ginny hardly doubts that this is what is happening to Harry. She has seen him before and despite his mood swings lately, Harry hasn’t changed, not really – Harry isn’t pale, isn’t losing control of himself, and he doesn’t have that glassy look where he seems to be out of himself. Harry doesn’t vanish for hours either – Ron and Hermione would have noticed.

There is something going on with Harry – he dreamed with the attack on her father after all – but whatever it is, possession is not the answer.

That’s all she needs to tell him. Her hand grabs the doorknob; just a turn and she will be inside, and Harry’s haunted green eyes will turn to her, and Ginny will say...

But just like in the last two times, she gives up. Harry has been hiding from them, even avoiding meals, and it’s clear he doesn’t want any company.

He doesn’t want you, you mean.

It’s been a long time ever since Ginny has heard Tom’s voice on her head. She knows he is gone, dead ever since his diary was destroyed, but sometimes she wonders if he truly left her, if some part of his foul soul isn’t inside her. Dumbledore assured her that this wasn’t the case, that all she had of him were her memories, but Ginny thinks memories are more than enough.

Memories can hurt you sometimes.

She tried to forget all that happened during her First Year, but she never could exactly, not with the nightmares that sometimes plagues her right when she starts to believe that she is close to forgetting it completely.

After a while, all that Ginny did was accept those memories would never really fade, would always be some sort of companion to her; and since she refused to let Tom ever tell her what to do, she turned those memories into strength, a warning of never trusting someone she didn’t know before and to never doubt herself.

It works most of the time, but when it comes to Harry… It’s complicated.

She leaves the door, going back to the drawing room they have been decorating all day. Only Ron is there, supposedly putting ornaments in the big Christmas tree Mundungus has found for them, but he keeps glancing at the old clock in the room.

Ginny knows what it’s on his mind and she refrains from teasing him about it.

‘When will Hermione come?’, she asks instead in a calm voice, sitting next to him on the ground and picking things in the boxes of decoration without really looking at them.

‘She had to wait until five o’clock when term officially ends’, Ron says distractedly. ‘So I think she will be here in ten minutes, something like that’.


‘I hope she helps’, Ron sighs. ‘I don’t know how to deal with Harry. He’s been avoiding me’.

Ginny feels a wave of sympathy for Ron, for how crushed he seems with the feeling that he is not helping his best friend. He is waiting for Hermione for moral support, though, because Ginny knows Hermione can’t really help Harry. With all her knowledge from books, Hermione can’t know what’s like being possessed.

That’s something only Ginny can tell Harry.

She should have done it before, just as she has already told Ron, Fred and George to get a grip on themselves and forget what Moody said. They all had looked at her and after a few seconds they had seemed to understand, which only reinforced her that she should talk to Harry too.

But she couldn’t, because Harry hadn’t come for her.

He was the one that saved her, that went deep in the Chamber of Secrets to rescue her lifeless body and still, he’d rather hide in that room than talk to her.

The thing is Ginny feels comfortable around him most of the time now. She has moved on; she doesn’t blush when he is near and if her heart still does that skip when she sees him, it’s just because of the lingering ghost of her feelings for him – and because Harry is handsome and she can think that without any guilt. It doesn’t mean anything. They are friends now.

A friend that is refusing to even look in her direction, despite everything he knows that Ginny’s been through.

Or perhaps it’s because of that? Perhaps Harry believes he is being possessed and he is feeling disgusted by her?

He will hate you, laughs Tom and Ginny shakes her head nervously to expel that thought. It doesn’t really work; Tom, even the shadow of him, was always good at taking her deepest fears and turning against her.

‘Are you ok?’, she hears Ron asking and when she glances in his direction, he is frowning at her. Ginny wonders what feelings have become evident on her face in the last minute and she forces herself to look calmer. It does no good to show her vulnerability.

‘Yeah, just worried’.

‘With Harry?’, he asks knowingly.

Ginny shrugs.

‘With everything’.

‘What –’, he begins, but the doorbell rings and Ron stops, turning immediately to the door as if he almost expects Hermione to be there right after ringing the bell.

It’s kind of cute, Ginny thinks, but once more she doesn’t say anything. Considering how Ron has been incredibly silent about her lovelife, if only the tiniest of judgmental, she thinks he deserves the same treatment.

Hermione comes into the room two minutes later, with snow glistening on her hair and clothes; Ginny hadn’t noticed it was snowing heavily outside.

‘Travelling by the Knight Bus is horrible’, she tells them by way of greeting, dropping her bags heavily on the floor and Ginny wonders how many books she brought for the holidays. ‘Now, what happened?’

Ginny lets Ron tell Hermione the full story of what they heard at the hospital, watching for her reaction. As she expected, Hermione’s brows are furrowed by the time Ron finishes it, and then Hermione looks back at Ginny.

‘Possessed’, she repeats. ‘Do you think –’

‘I hardly doubt it’, Ginny says tiredly. ‘This is not how it works – Harry never left Hogwarts’.

Hermione nods as if she already thought about it.

‘We need to talk to him’, she says, all business.

‘He has been avoiding us’, Ron notes, dismayed. ‘Hiding in Buckbeak’s room, only coming to sleep late in the night’.

‘I will fetch him and we –’, Hermione looks purposely at Ginny, who refrains from grimacing, ‘– you will give him some sense’.

Ginny sighs and raises.

‘How about some early dinner? Harry hasn’t eaten anything as far as we know. I’ll get some sandwiches in the kitchen’.

‘Perfect’, Ron says, more excited. ‘I will see if my mum lights the fireplace in our room, we can talk there’.

It’s good to have something to do; it takes Ginny’s mind of the task she has ahead, of the weird fear of Harry rejecting her for all that she went through with Riddle…

But Harry does worse. He doesn’t hate her, he isn’t disgusted by her.

He forgot.

That stupid prat completely forgot that Ginny was once possessed by his greatest enemy.

She sees the relief her words bring to him, how Harry looks like another person now that Ginny has confirmed to him that he was never possessed, that Voldemort didn’t get near that obtuse head of his.

She can hear the faint laugh of Tom inside her head; not even he could have predicted that Harry would forget about once saving her, about everything she endured for a whole year.

Instead, Harry is practically singing carol songs with Sirius, completely obvious to the turmoil of thoughts inside her head and Ginny slips out of the room, pretending to be already sleeping when Hermione comes.

She is doing exactly what they accused Harry of doing – avoiding everyone – and the irony it’s not missed.

Sleep doesn’t come – Ginny doesn’t know if it’s because of the stress or because she is for once fearing the nightmares that are creeping through her mind, threatening to send her once again to the darkness of the Chamber.

She raises, careful not to wake up Hermione and Crookshanks comes with her, purring on her feet.

She picks him up. ‘You want food, don’t you?’

He purrs happily and Ginny lets the sound soothe her as she walks down the stairs to the kitchen, paying attention so as not to hit anything – the last thing she wants is to wake up the house in the middle of the night – or to anyone to find out that she has lost sleep over something she should have gotten over a long time ago.

But luck is not on her side, because when she opens the door of the kitchen, she sees there is already someone there.

For a split second Ginny considers just going back to her room, thinking that staring at the ceiling is better than facing Harry again. But he raises his eyes to her – that pair of brilliant green eyes that she can’t help but find fascinating even as she is still upset with him – and Ginny refuses to look weak, so she enters the kitchen with the easiest expression she can muster.

‘Hi’, she says without looking at him, already going to the food cabinet to get something for Crookshanks.

‘Hello’, Harry says, a note of embarrassment in his voice that Ginny refuses to understand better as she kneels to open the food pot and offers it to Crookshanks. She can feel Harry’s eyes on her back. ‘I see we both had the same idea’.


‘Crookshanks and I. We are both hungry’.

Ginny turns to him. Now she sees that Harry has a sandwich on his plate, while he eats another. He is grinning sheepishly and despite her annoyance with him for the past hours, she has to smile back.

Despite everything, she prefers this joyful Harry than the one that was moping around the house after they returned from the hospital.

‘It happens when you skip meals’, she notes, raising her eyebrows and as she expected, Harry blushes.

‘Yeah, that diet didn’t work for me’, he teases, then he indicates the sandwich on his plate. ‘Do you want to share?’

She shakes her head.

‘No, thanks. I will just have some tea and go back to bed’.

‘I’ve made tea’, Harry notes, already raising to get her a cup. Ginny cannot think of any reasonable reason to refuse him, so she sits in front of him, trying not to show any of the discomfort she feels.

‘Thanks’, she says when he fills her cup with tea. She drinks the tea, trying to go as fast as she can just so she has a valid reason to get back at bad – where she will just stare at the ceiling again, without sleeping, but it seems better than staying there.

She is usually good at hiding feelings she doesn’t want people to see – otherwise people get too much information about her and Ginny refuses to let anyone think they might have some power over her –, but perhaps her ability is not working tonight because Harry is looking at her with some concern on his face.

‘Bad dreams?’, he tries.

‘I can’t have bad dreams if I don’t sleep’, she notes dryly, and, to her surprise, Harry chuckles, albeit a little humourless.

‘Tell me if it works’.

Ginny looks at him with more attention as Harry chews his sandwich thoughtfully. Harry looks better than she has seen him in the past days, but there is no denial that he seems tired, some shadows under his eyes.

‘What do you dream about?’, she asks before she can control herself.

He startles, a frown coming to his face and Ginny can see all the bricks he is putting on a wall between them, clearly not wanting to talk about it.

Ginny thinks of how she barely talked to anyone about Tom over the past years and thinks she won’t fault him this time.

‘Last night I dreamed Umbridge was chasing me with a Beater’s bat’, she says instead, offering Harry a sympathetic smile that he returns tentatively. ‘I could deal with the bat – but dreaming of Umbridge? Merlin, no’.

He laughs.

‘She is the stuff of nightmares’, he agrees. ‘What happened then?’

‘Mom woke me up before I could do anything. I like to think dream Ginny would take her broom and wrack it on her face’.

‘Poor broom. I thought you liked yours’.

‘It’s old, she’d survive. The broom, I mean’.

They exchange a smirk and for a moment Ginny feels something warm in her chest that has nothing to do with the hot tea she has been drinking.

‘Angelina told me you are the new Seeker’, Harry says, the smile dying from his face though Ginny knows it’s not her fault. ‘Congra –’

‘No’, she stops him. ‘I mean, you don’t need to compliment me or anything. It’s just Umbridge messing up with our lives again’.

Harry nods, breathing heavily.

‘Still, thanks for stepping in’. He pauses, watching her, his head slightly crooked to the side. ‘It seems you’ve been helping me a lot lately’.

She knows that Harry is now talking about more than filling for his position of Seeker and she raises, not wanting to discuss this with him. He already said he was sorry for forgetting about her first year and though Ginny feels he was being honest, she just doesn’t want to bring back that conversation.

She doesn’t want to feel like they share something because of Tom.

‘It’s nothing’, Ginny says hurriedly, finishing her tea on a long sip and burning her tongue in the process. ‘I will get back to bed’.

‘Oh’. She tries not to think that Harry seems down by her departure. ‘Sure. Good night’.

‘Night, Harry’.

The chocolate eggs on her hand feel somewhat heavier – or maybe it’s the fact that Ginny has been holding them still on her hand for five full minutes, just staring at Harry’s profile as he sits with an open book in front of him in the library.

Hermione was right; he seems really down.

She knows Harry’s been having a hard year, with everything that’s happening and now with Dumbledore gone and Dumbledore’s army debunked. Also, as Hermione doesn't stop pointing out, the exams are coming and this seems stressful enough.

And Harry doesn't even have Quidditch to help him release some of his anxiety, she remembers, looking down at her Quidditch robes, feeling slightly guilty as she always feels when she thinks she is on his spot, even though it's not her fault.

It's also not Harry's fault. She wonders if he knows that.

She knows Hermione's theory about what is upsetting Harry; she was there as Ron and Hermione discussed Harry in low voices, though Ginny isn't sure if she was supposed to hear Hermione talking about Harry's problem with Cho or Ron stressing how it wasn't worth worrying about her (as far as Ginny got it, Ron seems to think Cho is more troubled than anything).

Ginny may agree with Ron about never staying in a relationship that brings more stress than happiness, but she isn't sure if that is what's plaguing Harry.

Poor Harry wouldn't get an issue so simple as a girl problem.

Except that if it's not Cho, Ginny has no idea what could be bothering him. She tries to remember the grieving expressions she has seen on his face before.

There was that lost look of when he came to Grimmauld Place in the Summer, so afraid that he might get expelled from Hogwarts. That red rage of when he was yelling at Ron and Hermione. That panic of when he thought he was being possessed.

None of those are close to how unhappy Harry looks now. He is… heartbroken, if she had to define it, but it does seem like something that could ever be caused by problems in a love relationship.

Whatever it's bothering Harry, it's not Cho.

And still she has no idea of what it is. Ron and Hermione would sure know if there was anything going on...

Except Harry doesn't tell them everything, she knows. Sometimes that boy is just too closed on his feelings.

She changes the chocolate eggs on one hand from another.

Maybe she should let someone else give them to Harry? Whatever is troubling him she thinks Ron or Hermione could handle better –

But they've been strangely unable to deal with Harry's swing moods and she knows it's not anyone's fault. Hermione is just too practical and even though she can read Harry’s emotion sometimes, she just isn’t very good at dealing with them; and Ron just expects Harry to tell him what he is feeling – he would never ask Harry.

It's up to her, really. She has proven herself good at shutting him up once. So why is she hesitating?

There is a familiar scornful laugh on her mind, that one that speaks of humiliation and fear and not being good enough.

Somehow it's hearing it that makes her take a step forward. Tom wouldn't want her to go to talk to Harry; this alone makes it look like a good call. And Harry… he looks so lonely, like something is missing on him.

He looks like he needs a friend more than ever.

So she takes a deep breath, stopping next to him, though Harry doesn't look away from the book in front of him. Now Ginny realizes the book is upside down.

This is not good at all.

'Harry?' He doesn’t move, not as if he is ignoring her, but as if he is so deep in his thoughts that he just didn’t even hear her call. She tries again. ‘Harry, I’m talking to you, can you hear me?’

The steps echo in the stairs, in sync with her heart, and Ginny knows it's Harry that is coming down.

In the makeshift bed on the floor, Hermione finishes folding her clothes, putting them carefully in that tiny bag of hers, and raises her eyes to face Ginny.

'Are you going down to breakfast?', she asks, raising up. Ginny shakes her head, quietly.

She doesn't trust her voice, not with the way her heart is thumping on her head. She was never made to wait quietly for things to happen.

‘See you later then’, Hermione adds, already at the door, and Ginny blinks.

‘Hermione?’, she calls, her voice trembling slightly. ‘Just remember –’

‘I will distract Ron’, Hermione assures her, a tiny smile on her lips. ‘But you know your brother –’

Ginny knows. Ron was always overprotective of her when it came to boyfriends, and even though Ginny had her doubts when it would concern Harry, he wasn’t pleased to know they had broken up. As far as there were sides to be taken on it – not that there was any on Ginny’s opinion – Ron seemed to be more upset with Harry than with her.

‘As much time as you can give me’, Ginny mumbles.

Hermione nods; she is looking at Ginny as if she wants to ask more, but she gives up, instead closing the door quietly behind her. Ginny is grateful for it, because if Hermione asks her exactly what she would do, Ginny wouldn’t be able to answer.

That’s her problem. There is not a guide in the world to how to deal with the fact that your ex-boyfriend is going on a deadly quest to defeat an evil lord. And so far, all Ginny knows is what she won’t do.

She will not cry and beg him to stay. She will not demand she goes with him. She won’t ask him to promise to come back. She won’t say she will be calmly expecting him to come back to her.

And Ginny knows her time is up now. Harry will be leaving soon — he was waiting until he was of age, and Ginny hopes they will stay one more day for the wedding, but after that, he is free to go on his journey. She will be left behind…

There is a threat of the familiar disdainful laugh, a shadow of her eleven-years-old self trembling for being the last one of her family to go to Hogwarts – and Tom offering him his hand, offering acceptance and exclusivity and a promise that only she was especial –, but Ginny puts aside that feeling with well-known practice.

If Harry is brave enough to go face Voldemort himself, Ginny can face a memory that is only on her mind and nothing more. Voldemort’s power in their world is already too deep for him to get on her head again.

So she presses her lips, crossing her arms resolutely. She is not behind – she will find her path in that war just like everyone else does, in any way she can. But that’s for tomorrow; for today, she needs to face Harry and –

Give him a birthday present, she supposes. She couldn’t buy anything, even though she checked Fred and George’s list of available items, a list of books that she was sure Hermione already had, even other silly gifts as clothes or perfume. Nothing fitted.

There is really one thing she wanted to give him and it’s a little bit selfish, because it’s the one thing she wanted to have with Harry too.


To think of her moments with Harry is to feel like she is remembering a dream that had felt so vivid and yet Ginny had not once forgot that she was dreaming; but until she woke up, she was adamant to live it fully as much as she could, because being with Harry was a happiness she had only read about, had only imagined that could really exist. He was sunlight and a storm on a hot summer day – welcome and refreshing and a bit unexpected in her life, but so right.

They had enjoyed every moment they could together, lost in the feelings they were barely discovering when lightning had struck and then they were apart. Ginny had known for days before it happened that Harry would break up with her – she had seen the hurt in his eyes, how he was steeling himself to do what he knew he had to and how heartbroken Harry had been. Ginny had known their time was coming short and soon she would need to wake up.

And still… It feels so silly now, all things considered, but she can’t remember their last kiss. Was it a good night kiss? Was it a full snog, that kind of kiss that made her feel like she was flying, adrift in the air with nothing but the feeling of being in Harry’s arms? Were her hands buried in his hair, massaging the back of his neck, or were her hands touching his face, holding his glass up? Did Harry give her that small happy laugh after they kissed or did he sighed knowing it was their last?

She doesn’t know.

And Ginny refuses to let that unmemorable kiss be their… not last, because she has to believe they will be together again, but the kiss they will have to remember for some time until they meet again.

So that’s what she has to do. Just share a kiss.

Everything is settled. Her room is neat for once, in a way that even her mother complimented her last night. She talked to Hermione so Hermione can distract Ron for a bit. She took care of waking up early, of showering and brushing her teeth so everything is perfect.

She hears the sounds on the stairs and Ginny knows she only has a few seconds until Harry reaches the first-floor landing. The beating of her heart is almost painful now, but she feels surprisingly calm now the moment has come; there are only two options, really. She could let Harry go upstairs, giving up on her plan; or she can take that leap of faith and ask Harry for a word.

And she knows which one she wants to do and which one she will forever regret if she doesn’t follow with.

She opens the door of her room and her voice is serene when she asks: ‘Harry, will you come in here a moment?’

Ginny hears Harry’s voice even before the portrait of the Fat Lady opens.

She raises without thinking, and her body complains of the sudden movement. It’s nothing new; she is still bruised after the Battle of Hogwarts, there are still purple spots marking her skin of where she was hit by some nasty spells and, of course, pain has not left her ever since she saw her brother’s lifeless eyes.

Sometimes it seems everything happened years ago, instead of just one hour ago.

She still can’t believe everything is over – but she is back in the Gryffindor Common Room with Neville and even Luna who stares curiously around, a place Ginny didn’t think she would ever be again since she had to hide with her family. It’s a familiar place for her – not home like the Burrow, but she has good memories of that room, one of the only places the Carrows managed not to spoil last year.

Harry enters the Common Room with Ron and Hermione right behind him, pausing when he sees her, and for a moment Ginny feels time has also stopped. There are a lot of memories coming to her, from that first time she woke up like any other day to find out Harry Potter was on the kitchen of her house, to the last time she and Harry were together on this room, right before they left for Dumbledore’s funeral and right before they broke up.

She doesn’t know where Harry was and what he did or even why; Harry also doesn’t know the nightmares she had to face the past year, how she had to hold on even when things seem so hopeless and how she is still a little bit mad that he didn’t support her when she was arguing with her family for her right to stay and fight. Ginny knows they will have a lot to talk about, probably starting with where they are right now.

Self-consciousness or fear should make her just nod at him, just acknowledge him and somehow wait until he makes the first move, until there is a sign that over the past year his feelings for her didn’t change. But Ginny is tired of waiting for things to happen, of question herself, of worrying if Harry will be open to her or not.

If he doesn’t want to be with her anymore, she’ll understand and she’ll survive it. If he wants to be with her, then there is time – days and months and years – in which they can talk about what they lived and, even better, time for them to live it together.

So she takes a step in his direction, her face set on the choices she is making, and Harry’s eyes sparkle for her, green and bright and full of promises.

‘Hi, Harry’, she says. ‘Can we talk?’

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