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24 July 2009 @ 12:58 am
Time - Harry/Ginny - PG  
Title Time
Fandom Harry Potter
Pairing Harry/Ginny
Prompt Kitchen (from spybarbie)
Summary Post-Battle of Hogwarts. Harry and Ginny in the kitchen at the Burrow.
Author's Note I haven't written anything in awhile, so please excuse any rust stains.


It’s been years, Harry thinks, since a night like this. There is a weighty, brutal silence to the Burrow, usually so alive, even at night, when the Weasleys go to bed and the whole building sinks into a cozy sort of quiet, a quiet that’s full of creaks and whispers and the occasional groan from the ghoul in the attic, or rattle from Pig’s or Errol’s cage.

Tonight, though, even with the relief of a battle hard fought, hard won, and nearly two days of sweet sleep in his past, the Burrow seems buried in its own grief, wasted by devastation.

Harry can’t sleep. He’s slept too much, it seems. When he woke up it was like time had turned on end. The days had blended together, the sky outside Ron’s top floor window seemed brighter, bluer than he remembered seeing it ever before, and the night now a deeper, a pitcher pitch black.

(When they had woken, Mrs. Weasley had sat the three of them down in a row in the kitchen, all of them still yawning, their joints popping with every movement, and given them haircuts. A bright smile forced across her face, her usual motherly charm weakened by her own sorrow.

“Much better, Dears,” she had said, running a hand across Ron’s cheek. “Much better.” Harry had tried not to look as her eyes wrinkled with tears.)

He knows he should feel accomplished, and he’s trying to remember that he just saved the world, wizarding and otherwise, but life’s not black and white, especially not now. At the Burrow there is the constant reminder of the loss they all faced, the tragedy and sacrifice that came at the very end of it all.

Past midnight, he’s found himself in the kitchen, seeking some sort of refuge from Ron and Hermione, who haven’t left each other’s sides since the battle. He had not anticipated the silence as he’d descended the stairs, past the twins’ half-empty room, past Ginny’s. He had thought about stopping, about resuming the scene from his birthday, just picking up where they’d left off. Like they stood at the threshold of a wedding, still, and not a funeral.

Instead he’d stepped quiet, made his way down the last few stairs to the ground floor of the closest thing he knew to home.

He supposes that he shouldn’t have been surprised to hear footsteps on the stairs, or to see Ginny’s bare feet appear and descend, until the whole of her came into view.

He had never really thought about what would come after he defeated Voldemort. To be truthful, he had never really believed that there would be an “after.” In his timeline for the future, everything ended with his “final battle.” He’d never foreseen a “happily ever after,” and he hasn’t had time, yet, to piece one together, an idea about what the rest of his life ought to entail. In that unwritten, unimagined future, he sees only Ginny.

“I thought it was you, up,” she says, when she’s standing in front of him, her hair mussed on one side and her dressing-gown only half-tied so he can see the pink of her night-gown, and a flash of skin. She takes the seat beside him.

“I keep dreaming it wasn’t real,” she says.

“Which part?” he asks.

She sighs, traces a shape-less pattern on the marked wood of the table. “Fred,” she says finally. “All of it.” She turns away. “I keep seeing your body, Harry,” she finally chokes out, not in tears, not Ginny, but holding back a single quiet sob.

They sit in silence for a long time, so long that he startles her when he reaches for her hand. “I didn’t die, Gin,” he says, at last, and the truth of those words starts to sink in, the reality that, for maybe the first time, he has his whole life stretching out in front of him, to be filled, to shift and change like a kaleidoscope, to expand. “I didn’t die,” he says, again, the possibility rising up like a balloon, filling the kitchen, the house, “and now we’ve got time.”

“Time for what?” she asks, the first hint of a smile forming at the corners of her mouth.

“Time for all of it.”

He thinks maybe he should ask first, should step back and say, “I’m sorry for what I put you through this year, for all I’ve kept from you, for worrying you, for chucking you just as things were…well.” Instead he just kisses her, his chest leaning in to press against her shoulder, one hand reaching around to pull her into him.
 
 
 
Anna: hp | oh and youmodernthirst on July 24th, 2009 09:22 pm (UTC)
Oh man I spend a lot of time thinking about this summer and I've developed a very sharp and clear idea of the whole, like, tone and aura of it, and this slides right into it so eeeeeasily, gosh. Absolutely great, I love it, especially him asking "Which part," for some reason. I love that he asked that.