I am SO sorry for how long this update took. I had a lot of things going on.
OK, so this chapter is a little short, I think, but I wanted to post SOMETHING and it's a little different to my other chapters. But I think I actually know what I want to put into the next chapter so it shouldn't take as long to update.
I want to say thank you to hedwig90 and charlie23 for reviewing and keeping my spirits up and this story going.
The bright sunlight that shone unexpectedly through the curtains of Harry's four-poster bed was the last thing he imagined would wake him up. His dream had been a blur of flashing lights and retreating figures. More than once Voldemort had appeared out of the darkness and he had awoken with a start, sweating with the stress of it.
He knew this would not be the last nightmare he had and, with an exaggerated sigh, heaved himself off the bed.
The room started to spin.
“Whoa,” Harry clamped his hand over his head, subconsciously resting on his scar.
Harry jumped high off the bed and landed on the floor. He turned sharply to face whoever had spoken whilst struggling to climb to his feet. Across the room, sitting comfortably on Neville’s bed and trying as hard as he could not to laugh, was Ron. He looked considerably healthier than the night before.
“What was that for?” Harry shouted at him, but he sounded more amused than angry.
“Shh… keep it down.” Ron pointed towards his own bed where Hermione’s bushy hair stuck out at odd angles. She was sleeping face down as if she had fallen asleep as soon as her head hit the pillow.
Harry turned back to Ron whilst climbing back onto his bed and then noticed why his best friend looked so much healthier than last time he saw him.
Without thinking, Harry said, “You’re clean.”
Ron gave him a look that plainly said ‘are you feeling alright?’ but replied just the same, “I had a shower this morning. You should try it.” He joked and Harry looked down at his own body, stretching his hands out in front of him.
His skin was still covered in blood and dirt. There were many small wounds all over his arms; some only millimeters long, others running the length between his elbow and wrist. Harry lifted his hands up to touch his face and felt one long cut running diagonally across and under his chin.
“I don’t have any clean clothes. Hermione has them all, and who knows when she’ll wake up,” he replied, once more looking at Hermione’s sleeping figure.
“Here,” Ron said and reached into the cupboard behind him and pulled out some clothes for Harry to wear. “Neville and Seamus told us that we could borrow some clothes.” He continued and added “I’m not stealing,” when Harry only continued to look at him.
Finally Harry rolled his eyes and smiled. He caught the clothes as they flew across the room. “Right, well I’ll go have a shower then… before I get insulted again.”
Hermione turned over in her sleep and mumbled something. Harry only caught the words ‘traitor’ and ‘dark’.
“I’d go before she wakes up then,” Ron told him and Harry nodded and walked swiftly out the door.
“Hey, Harry,” Ron called before he was out of hearing range. Harry’s head reappeared around the door frame. “Did you speak to Ginny at all yesterday?”
“No, why?” Harry asked, confused by the way the conversation had suddenly changed.
“Err, no reason. I heard that she was looking for you,” Ron lied, not convincing Harry one bit.
“Right, well maybe I’ll see her at breakfast,” Harry suggested and made to turn again.
“Yeah, it’s half five,” Ron told him.
“I slept for almost… what, twelve hours?” Harry asked, shocked by this realization. Ron just shrugged.
Helpful, Harry thought before turning once again to leave the dormitory.
The common room was so packed that Harry thought briefly whether he could possibly make his way through the crowds without being knocked over by accident, or worse, recognized.
Not only were students sitting by the fire, playing exploding snap or gossiping, Harry even saw a particularly violent game of Wizards Chess in the far corner, but parents and young children had joined them and were adding to the vast number of people who were blocking his way to the prefects bathroom.
“Harry!” Someone exclaimed from behind him and he immediately jumped. ‘Why am I so tense all the time?’
Harry’s anxiousness was not necessary. As soon as his brain took in the bright yellow dress and radish earrings, even before looking at the persons face, he knew it was Luna Lovegood.
“Hey, Luna,” he replied, and he found a genuine smile cross his face. “How are you?”
“The same as everyone,” she told him, rather vaguely. “You look like you’re trying to hide from something.”
“People,” he told her quietly.
Luna smiled and her gaze became even more dreamlike as she looked across the common room, “You know, I never thought it would look like this,” she told Harry, and her eyes swept across the common room.
Harry’s muddled brain was working just enough despite his drowsiness to recognize that this had not been Luna’s common room for the past six or so years she had been attending Hogwarts. This was a strange thought and he briefly saw an image of himself in the Slytherin common – what he imaged a vast majority of his evenings would have looked like if he had indeed been put in that house.
“I don’t think anyone’s looking, Harry,” Luna continued. “You could probably leave without anyone even knowing you had woken up.”
“You think?” Harry asked just as Neville entered the Common Room and was immediately surrounded by at least half the people in the area.
"Yes, but I would do it now. Just in case,” she advised, turning to face him again.
“Yeah,” he agreed, looking at the spot where Neville had disappeared between all the people. “Thanks Luna. “
Harry quickly moved through the crowds, head bent low incase someone caught sight of his dark hair or easily recognizable eyes, and slipped through the portrait hole. He silently decided that it would be more peaceful to go straight to breakfast after having a shower instead of trying to dodge through the crowds back into Gryffindor common room.
He’d have to face everyone soon.
As it turned out, Harry didn’t have to wait long before he was followed by whispers and, much to his surprise, adoring fans. He stepped out of the prefect’s bathroom where, unfortunately, a large group of nine girls stood gossiping animatedly. Clearly they had nobody to grieve for.
The door swung shut behind Harry and there was a moment of silence in which the girls, all looking to be around Harry’s age, just stared at him, frozen in the middle of conversation.
And then the running began.
Harry took off down the corridor at top speed, taking steps two at a time when he came to stairways and pulling himself round corners with his arms so as to not slow down. The girls still ran behind him, screaming to each other that he was Harry Potter.
As Harry took one of the last turnings which would lead him back to Gryffindor Tower he turned sharply and ran straight into someone. He felt them stumble backwards with the force. The person attempted to talk but the group of girls were still following him and so Harry quickly grabbed the hand of his victim and pulled them through the nearest door. In his haste Harry caught his foot in the door as he closed it shut and, therefore, only realized which room he had entered until it was too late and he could clearly hear the girls gathering outside, asking each other which way Harry Potter had gone.
“Great, a cupboard,” Harry mumbled under his breath.
The cupboard was so small that the shock of hearing the voice so close to him and also who it was caused Harry to jump and hit his head on the mop that was propped up against the wall behind him.
“Ginny?” Harry replied, equally confused, and rubbed the back of his head with his hand.
After a moment of rubbing his head Harry took his wand from the pocket of his jacket and muttered “Lumos” so that the cupboard was filled with light.
Ginny stood so close to Harry that he could see all the freckles on her face and count her eyelashes. She wore the same jeans that she had had on the night before but her top was different and her hair had been combed back into a ponytail so that she looked fresh and awake. Despite this, her eyes were red from where she had been crying all night.
“Harry,” Ginny repeated, “why are we in a cupboard?”
“Shh…” Harry put his finger to his lips and then pointed towards the door next to him where the voices of the girls outside could be heard clearly.
“When we find him I’m going to be famous,” one girl boasted to her friends.
“Will you be rich?” a second asked her.
“Of course she will. And everyone will love her because she’ll be married to Harry Potter,” said a third and the other two agreed.
“But… but what if Harry Potter doesn’t want to marry you, Dee?”
“Of course he will, Gwen, don’t be silly,” replied Dee snootily.
“And it’s not as if he’s actually ever had a proper girlfriend before,” added the other voice.
“He dated Ginny Weasley though,” Gwen insisted.
“Ginny Weasley? Honestly, Gwen, you’ve got to pay more attention. Hannah’s right, me and Harry are soul mates. That Weasley girl wasn’t a proper girlfriend for him, they didn’t date very long. What does that tell you?”
“That… that they broke up because of – of Death Eaters. Or that’s what I heard, anyway,”
“It’s called a rumor, Gwen,”
“But they seemed so happy together,”
“Oh, be quiet, Gwen, I want to plan Dee’s wedding,” Hannah told her and the girls called Hannah and Dee immediately started chatting quietly with each other.
After another moment of silence in which Harry and Ginny could only hear the muffled sounds of voices outside and the sound of each others heartbeat Dee announced to her friends, “Oh, we’re going this way. He must have gone back to Gryffindor Tower,” and Harry and Ginny heard feet move away and down the corridor.
Harry breathed a sigh of relief and turned to Ginny. “Sorry about that,” he told her.
She raised her eyebrows, “Yeah… It seems you’re a bit of a favourite for girls now.”
There was another silence but this one was filled with awkwardness.
“Harry, are… are you alright?”
“I think maybe I should be asking you that, Ginny,” Harry reminded her.
“I’m fine,” she told him immediately.
“You’ve been crying,” he whispered.
“No I haven’t,” Ginny protested but even as she said it a tear rolled down her cheek. Harry reached out a wiped it away with his finger.
“Is it… is it about Fred?”
“It was. But now it’s about you,” she told him and when Harry only looked confused she explained. “I thought you were dead. You have no idea how that felt.” There was silence after this until Ginny looked around at the darkness. “What a weird place to be having a conversation like this.”
“Screaming girls do often influence destiny,” Harry replied and smiled delicately at her. Ginny did not return the smile but another tear ran across her cheek. Harry opened his arms in front of him, as wide as they would go anyway, in a way that clearly asked if she wanted a hug. Ginny put her arms round his neck and when she felt his arms tighten around her waist she started to cry even more.
It was not long before Ginny had started to recover herself, she did not usually cry much and definitely not in front of others. She moved away from Harry, lowering her hands and quickly wiped away the fresh tears running down her cheek with the back of her hand. There was another long silence while they stood in the dark, face to face.
“You know,” Ginny said suddenly, “you are going to be famous and rich.” She sounded worried. And then her voice turned to a whisper and was filled with so much passion that Harry thought impossible to be held inside her small body, “You better be careful who you marry, Harry. You don’t want anyone to love you for the wrong reasons.”
And with that she pushed open the door and swiftly walked down the corridor so fast that she was gone by the time Harry looked out after her.
I'm not sure about the ending. I want to write more but it's getting late and I really want to post something before I go to sleep.
The problem with my writing is that I ALWAYS forget and then when I do remember I can never seem to like what i'm writing. Then, once I get into it a bit more, I can't stop.
New chapter sooner (if that's a word) than this one. I hope.
Please review. I'll promise to update in Mrach if you do. =]] Sorry. I find bribery normally works. =] (I'm honestly joking about the bribery thing, I don't really do that). OK, now i'm rambling.
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