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 5.   She was wearing her pyjama bottoms and what Harry thought looked like one of his jumpers. She had a rucksack on her back and she was smiling at him. Her long red hair was in a loose bun on the back of her head. 

     Harry grinned and pulled her into a hug. As they embraced, Harry realised that he had no t-shirt on. Ginny didn’t seem to object or mind, so Harry relaxed. He wanted to tell her all about Sirius. He was so unbelievably happy to have his godfather back, even if it was only for a few hours a night. Harry decided to tell her about Sirius another night; he wanted to spend time with Ginny and Ginny alone, to make up for all those days he was away.
      ‘You came.’ Harry said and Ginny laughed.
      ‘Of course I did,’ She replied. ‘I wasn’t going to stand you up, was I?’
      Harry shrugged, but Ginny knew from the smile on his face that he was joking. He drew his attention back to the jumper she was wearing. It was one that Molly had knitted for him; it had a large golden snitch on the front. ‘That’s mine, isn’t it?’

      Ginny blushed and smiled. ‘Yeah, Uh, I stole it before you left last summer. I’ve charmed it so it still smells like you.’

      ‘You, you really missed me that much?’ Harry asked, feeling quite sad.

      ‘Of course I did, Harry. I wore this jumper to bed every night.’ She leaned her head down, in either embarrassment or sadness. Harry hugged her again, trying to out all unsaid things into the hug.

     ‘I missed you, too, Ginny. I used to watch you on the map, to make sure you were okay.’ Harry whispered into her ear, and he felt her smile.

     They walked hand into hand into the tapestry room; Harry almost shaking with nerves, and Ginny feeling happier than she had for a long time.

     Harry sat on the sofa, expecting Ginny to sit on the other. Instead, Ginny dumped her bag on the other and lay down on the sofa, her head in Harry’s lap. Harry grinned nervously down at her, and Ginny smiled back, turning a slight shade of red.

      ‘So how did you get away?’ Harry asked her, breaking the silence that was quite comfortable to Ginny.

      ‘I apparated from the garden, Hermione covered for me. She put muffliato on everyone so they wouldn’t hear it.’ Ginny did the smile that Harry loved, and he couldn’t help but return it.

      ‘So Hermione knows?’ Harry asked, slightly worried.

      ‘Yeah, don’t worry, though. She won’t tell Ron.’ Ginny said.

       ‘You read my mind,’ Harry laughed.

       ‘It’s not hard, your mind is so open, Harry’ she said.

       ‘What do you mean?’ Harry asked, raising an eyebrow.

       ‘I don’t know.’ She laughed. ‘I’ll try to explain as well as I can. Before the war, it was as though you had so many troubles a cloud was looming over you. I felt as though I only had a tiny bit of your true personality. You were so private and you were always distracted with finding you-know, uh, Voldemort’s horcruxes. But now, it’s like I know the full, real you. You’re so much happier, Harry! Voldemort is gone, and you can finally be a normal guy. Not that you weren’t, uh, normal before. You know what I mean. Since your troubles have gone, I can see you. I feel like I understand you, you know?’

     ‘I, uh, I think I see where you’re coming from.’ Harry grinned. He did feel as though he was finally free. Harry leant over and Kissed Ginny’s lips as best as he could; it proved quite difficult to kiss her when they were lying in this way.

     ‘Thanks,’ Ginny smiled. She sat herself up and kissed Harry, her hands on his chest. When she pulled away, she looked down at his chest and smiled. ‘Still no Hungarian horntail, Harry.’

     Harry was trying to concentrate on not taking this too far, and shook his head. ‘Nope, not yet,’ Ginny stroked his chest, and kissed him again. When she pulled away from her boyfriends’ lips, she found his eyes to be closed and his head to be leaning on the back of the sofa.

     ‘Harry?’ She asked, somewhat amused. ‘Are, you, er, okay?’

      ‘Yeah, I’m – ‘ Harry was cut off, there was a knocking on the door, and a familiar voice calling Harry’s name.

      Harry and Ginny looked at each other with wide eyes; was it Ron?

      The voice was too deep for Ron’s, but it wasn’t far off. Harry trudged to the door, nervous and worried. When he opened it, a figure collapsed onto the floor, sobbing.

     Harry didn’t realise who it was until Ginny came running, and crouched down next to him. ‘Georgie?’ She asked. ‘What’s wrong?’

      She had a look of concern on her face that Harry could understand, George was in a terrible state. He was drunk, and sobbing so deeply that he couldn’t speak.

       Harry helped Ginny move George to the sofa, and sat him there.
      ‘George?’ Ginny asked timidly. ‘What’s happened?’

      George buried his face in his hands, and he slowly calmed down. Harry sat on the other end of the room quietly, unsure of what to say or do. Ginny sat on the edge of the coffee table, in front of her brother.

     ‘I’m, I’m so sorry.’ George sniffed, and wiped his hands on his jumper, which smelled strongly of fire whiskey. ‘I needed to, to get away.’ Ginny didn’t need to ask again, George began to pour his heart out. ‘I miss him so, so much. I don’t even know what happened. One minute we were fighting, and the next… he was dead. I just wish I could see him one more time.

   And today, I saw Angelina. I had so much fun with her.’ He let out a sob which shook him from head to toe. ‘I felt like I was betraying him! It’s, it’s his girlfriend for Merlin’s sake. It should have been me to die! IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ME!’ George clenched his fists and shouted the sentence with such a force, that Harry felt the pain of the death hit him once again. George broke down into sobs once again, and Ginny sat next to him and hugged him.

   It was an hour later when he stopped crying.

   ‘George?’ Ginny asked. ‘You shouldn’t feel like that. You know what F-Fred’s like. He’d want you to have fun. He’d be happy to see you getting back to normal-‘

     ‘It’ll never be normal.’

     ‘I know. But it will get easier George. You felt it, yesterday. You were okay. You had fun!’ Ginny smoothed George’s hair, from where he’d run his hands through it repeatedly. ‘Don’t feel guilty for anything, George. Especially not about spending time with Angelina. Fred wouldn’t mind at all, and you know that.’

     A tear leaked from his eye, and dropped to his knee when he nodded. Ginny kissed his forehead. ‘I was lying in bed, thinking about her when I realised that it was Fred’s girlfriend. For a second, I felt as though he was alive, and I’d cheated with her, or something. I went mad. I went to The Leaky Cauldron and drank so much…I couldn’t go home. The barmaid called me Fred.’ George dropped his head into his hands.

    ‘Oh, George!’ Ginny said, and crying herself, she tried her best to comfort her brother. Harry sat in the chair and found it difficult to control the tears himself. He hated to see George, a prankster and notoriously happy guy, crying in this way. It hurt him so much.

    After another short while, Harry helped the drunk George to the spare bedroom; Sirius’s one. George fell asleep immediately, his face still stained with tears.

    As they left the room, Harry looked at his watch; it was three thirty a.m.

    ‘Harry, I’d better go..’ Ginny said, unhappily. ‘I’m sorry, I didn’t want tonight to be like this.’

     Harry shook his head. ‘No, Ginny, don’t apologise. You helped George a lot tonight. You’d do good as a mental healer, you know.’ Harry smiled and pulled her into a hug.

    ‘I guess so, but it’s so tiring. I’m shattered. I think Quidditch would be easier.’ Ginny smiled and kissed his bare chest. ‘I’ll see you later on, yeah?’

     ‘Of course, love.’ Harry said, kissing her hair.

     ‘I wanted this to be..the night, you know?’ Ginny said quietly, and Harry’s stomach did a flip-flop.

     ‘There’ll be another chance for that.’ Harry replied as coolly as he could.

      Ginny disapparated, and Harry went to his bedroom.

                                         ***

Harry had been itching to look at the photos which were in his bedroom. Sitting cross legged on the bed, Harry braced himself and looked at the one at the top of the pile.

    Smiling, he recognised a picture of the triwizard champions; Cedric, Fleur, Victor and himself. It was of when they’d just finished the second task; Harry was covered in cuts, Fleur looked shaken but was smiling, Cedric was waving toward the camera and Viktor was sulking.

     The photos that followed were snapshots of Harry’s first four Hogwarts years. Harry laughed, smiled and cried whilst looking at photos that had been taken sneakily by Dobby the Elf, or stolen by others by Dobby.

     There was one of Harry on Buckbeak; one of Harry and Ron laughing at Hermione; a photo of Harry stroking Fawkes; one of Hermione hugging Harry at the platform; a photo of Hagrid, Harry, Hermione and Ron in Hagrid’s hut, and many more.  Harry fell asleep with a book on his chest, open on a page that showed a picture of his fifteenth Christmas; a Christmas at the Weasley’s. The picture showed the dinner table in Grimmauld place, where the youngest four Weasley children, Harry, Hermione, Sirius, Lupin, Tonks, Molly and Arthur sat. In the picture, everybody was smiling or laughing, even the more serious people, like Lupin. Harry loved the picture, when he saw it, he just couldn’t help but wish to go back there, even for a few moments.

                               *****
The morning came around quickly; when Harry awoke, he pulled on his robe and went down the stairs, to find George sitting in the kitchen,
   ‘Morning,’ Harry said, sitting on a stool opposite George, who had his head in his hands and a steaming cup of coffee on the table.

   ‘Er, hi..’ George sniffed and shifted awkwardly, still clutching his head.

    ‘Fire whiskey paying its toll?’ Harry asked, smiling slightly. George looked at Harry and nodded, a look of half-amusement, half-embarrassment on his pale, freckled face. ‘Hang on,’ Harry got up, and made a simple muggle potion that he’d seen Aunt Petunia make for Vernon many times in the past; a cooked English breakfast.

    ‘Harry, er, sorry if I ruined your first night here,’ George said, almost inaudibly. Harry shook his head, and spoke without turning back to George.

    ‘George, don’t be stupid. You’re welcome here whenever you want to get away or whatever. There’s no need to apologise,’ he said, frying bacon and rolling sausages over in the pan.

     ‘Thanks, Harry.’ Harry turned around, and saw that George was smiling slightly. ‘Er, Harry, mate, can I ask why..exactly..was Ginevra here at midnight last night?’

     ‘Oh.’ Harry looked around the room, searching for an answer, ‘Er, she left her cloak here from earlier.’

    Feeling himself redden, Harry turned around again and busied himself with making tea.

    ‘Oh, right,’ George said, and Harry could imagine him grinning. ‘Chill out, Harry. I’m not going to freak out or anything, I’m not Ron.’

    Harry chuckled, but still didn’t turn around. After another five minutes, the food was ready and Harry served it onto two plates.

    They sat eating in silence, and Harry couldn’t stop thinking about Sirius. He was returning again tonight, but Harry felt an unfamiliar emotion welling up in him. He had barely thought about it; he hadn’t had the chance to! As soon as Sirius disappeared, Ginny arrived, and soon after that George had. Harry couldn’t help wonder whether Sirius could bring with him his parents, or Fred, or Lupin, Tonks, Mad eye, Dumbledore, Dobby, Hedwig..or even Snape. It was so hard to comprehend; Harry had accepted Sirius’s death, and now all these possibilities had appeared in his mind.

    ‘Harry?’ George was looking at him, an eyebrow raised. ‘You there?’

    ‘Yeah, sorry, I was thinking,’ Harry smiled, and finished off his breakfast. ‘About last night, George,’ He started cautiously, ‘uh, are you sure you’re okay now?’

    ‘Yeah,’ George nodded, biting his lip. ‘It was silly, what I did, getting drunk like that. I’m sorry you saw me in that state.’

     ‘It’s fine…really,’ said Harry. ‘I just want to know if you’re alright, now. I can’t imagine how difficult this must be for you.’

     George nodded, a tear threatening to slide down his nose. ‘It’s hard…so hard. But I’m dealing with it.’

    Harry patted George’s shoulder and began to wash up the dishes. 

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