SIYE Time:9:51 on 18th October 2021

Hold me close
By Mah Potter

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Category: Post-DH/AB
Genres: Drama, Romance
Warnings: None
Rating: PG
Reviews: 5
Summary: "Harry knows he could go away, could leave without Ginny even knowing he was there. But the truth is, as terrified as he is, he doesn’t want to".
Hitcount: Story Total: 719

Disclaimer: Harry Potter Publishing Rights © J.K.R. Note the opinions in this story are my own and in no way represent the owners of this site. This story subject to copyright law under transformative use. No compensation is made for this work.

Author's Notes:
A short moment after the battle, written as an answer to: 1. Harry dealing with emotional people; 2. “How was it?” “Wet”.; and 3. Ginny is too tough to cry.


Ginny is crying.

It’s not the first time Harry sees her crying, but somehow this time feels more personal, more invasive.

There is a sob, a self-contained one that speaks of how she doesn’t want anyone to hear it, how this is her moment of sorrow alone. Harry thinks of seeing Ginny at the funeral that morning, acting as a rock for everyone - helping her mother get dressed, supporting George, making sure all her family was fed and offering Harry her hand in a gesture that spoke of how she didn’t blame him at all for what had happened.

He always thinks of her as tough, not in a harsh way, but in a practical way, as if she doesn’t want to look weak, doesn’t want to look younger and smaller than she is. He understands it. Ginny hates to be underestimated, hates when others think of her as powerless.

Which is probably why she hung on all day, putting a brave face for everyone, helping her family, until she could have a private moment for herself to let all her feelings overflow her. Quiet. Independent. On her own.

Harry thinks of everything they talked before, of explaining his departure and his quest, and then of Ginny telling him how things were in Hogwarts that year, how they’ve been hanging on by a thread - a thread that, if he gathered everything everyone had said, was carried by Neville, Luna and Ginny. Ginny had always been good at hiding her feelings - she understood too much what pouring out her soul into someone could do - and Harry could guess how she had refused to show any weakness, how she had stubbornly refused to bow down to anyone.

She is strong, that he knows without a question.

That’s why seeing her laying against the pillows on her bed - her face wrinkled, eyes closed in pain, the tears flooding silently on her face, for once succumbing to her grief - seem as indecent as if he caught her undressed. The tears flow like a stream, soft, crystal clear, marking her porcelain skin, falling into her lap with a quiet fatality.

The thing is Harry never had much experience with crying people. The Dursleys taught him that he wasn’t supposed to cry, that he should swallow any unhappiness for no comfort would be provided. Emotional people scared him in a way that no deadly threat ever did; he never knew what he was supposed to do - Ron would suggest a cup of tea, Hermione would suggest a talk and none of those options seemed fine to Harry.

He remembers how it was with Cho, how he could never understand what she needed, how lost he was about her feelings - all of her grief and confusion that Hermione needed to explain patiently to him just like she would explain a particular difficult charm. And even with Hermione, his best friend, he could never provide her with the support she needed - he thinks of that time on their quest for Horcruxes, when they wouldn’t talk for days - as if there was some barrier that made him unfit to deal with other people’s emotions.

Maybe he is broken.

Harry knows he could go away, could leave without Ginny even knowing he was there. But the truth is, as terrified as he is, he doesn’t want to.

He doesn’t know how to do it, but it’s Ginny. He can’t leave her.

So he opens the door of her room, making enough noise for her to know he is there, and Ginny opens her eyes with a start. They are red, opaque, and Harry thinks suddenly of those golden days on Hogwarts grounds, when the tears he’d see on her face were of mirth, of a joke they shared, of the pure joy of being together.

He’d rather have those happy tears, but he won’t run away from her unhappy ones. He wants to be there for her in all of those moments. He’s done being apart from her.

Ginny is trembling, her lips curved into an ashamed grimace as if she feels bad for being caught in that moment of sorrow. Her mouth opens and Harry can already hear how she will say she is fine, she will be down in a minute, she was just too caught in everything that happened today but she is fine, don’t worry about her.

She will insist a lot that she is fine until everyone starts believing it.

It’s what Harry would do anyway, and in this aspect, he thinks they are a lot alike.

So he sits next to her in bed, raising slowly the back of his hand to touch her face, asking for a permission that Ginny grants him with a tiny nod of her head. Her skin is wet, cold; he dries her tears and Ginny closes her eyes for a moment, leaning into his touch.

Then she holds his hand, stopping his movement, and opens her eyes, taking a deep breath.

‘I am -’

‘No, you are not’, Harry whispers knowing and thinking of everyone that’s been lost. There are too many names there. ‘But you’ll be’.

Ginny looks at him, quiet desperation in her eyes and Harry tries to show her that is telling the truth. It won’t be tomorrow, it won’t be easy and it won’t ever truly stop hurting, but this grief she is feeling now doesn’t last forever; she will learn to live with it, to shape her life around it and to keep going. One day after another and, if she allows it, Harry hopes to be there with her in each one of those days.

After a very long time, she nods. The tears are still falling from the corner of her eyes, slower now, and since Harry can’t go away, he does the opposite: he pulls her into his arms and Ginny accepts his hug, burying herself deep into his chest. Harry is not sure of what he is supposed to do, but there are things that seem wrong(pushing her away, standing there still), so he lets his hand caress the strands of her hair, softly, brushing her back, and then he lies down in her bed, still keeping her - safely - on his arms.

He doesn’t know what he is doing, but at least this feels right.

His shirt is damped with her tears when Ginny breaks apart a little. Her eyes are still red and swollen, but her fierce expression Harry knows too well. Her gaze falls briefly to his lips and then back at him, demanding and pleading. Harry watches her, the tears still glistening on her eyelashes, before he moves closer, brushing her lips with his, a soft kiss that lasts a few seconds.

It’s a kiss that tastes salty and that speaks of grief and sorrow and the hope things will get better.

He breaks apart quietly, places a soft kiss on the top of her head, and hugs her closer.

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