New poster alert!
Title: Their Special Place
Summary: Harry and Ginny make a solemn promise.
Warning: Spoilers for HBP
Word Count: Approx. 1,050
Notes: A HBP missing-moment fic written for penny_sieve
, who suggested I post it here as well. Harry's thoughts are in italics.
:Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Keep walking. Don’t look back, or you’ll never make it.
Harry had to consciously tell himself to move forward, since he felt an ache open in his chest with each step. “It’s the right decision,” he said to himself. “I had to do it. She has to be safe.” Yet he couldn’t get her face out of his mind; the expression she’d worn just after he made the announcement. He’d left Ron and Hermione at the beech tree, having told them he needed to be alone for awhile – they didn’t ask why, and he didn’t feel the need to tell them. He imagined they would figure it out soon enough.
He didn’t know where he was going, but he found himself instinctively headed toward the lake. He thought about the last happy day he’d spent there, lying with Ginny under the trees. It felt so good to hold her there as they’d talked for hours (spotted with interludes of earnest kissing of course; kissing that made his head spin even now). It was all so clear in his mind now, the sensations, the colors, the feelings. Her hair had seemed particularly vibrant as he combed his fingers through it, her mouth was small, but her lips were strong. If he closed his eyes, he could feel them on his – her fierce, fiery kiss. The smell of grass infiltrated his nostrils, intermingling with the scent of Ginny’s perfume. A thrilling sense of anticipation poured over his body.
“I did the right thing,” Harry said again, to reassure himself. He found his steps slowing as he neared the grove of trees where he and Ginny had spent their first afternoon together.
Harry closed his eyes tightly, squeezing his hands into fists. If he saw her again, he wouldn’t be able to go through with it. He knew she was beside him without having to open his eyes; he felt her fingers prying open his hand, and then her palm sliding in comfortably against his.
“Ginny-” he opened his eyes and turned to look at her.
“Ssh.” Ginny put one finger to his mouth. “You don’t need to say a word. Let’s just walk together.”
So they walked. It somehow seemed easier with her beside him; easier to accept that this would be one of their last peaceful, happy moments together before he, Ron and Hermione would be off on the horcrux hunt. This is what he was fighting for.
So he could come home to moments like this, only with no dark cloud looming overhead.
He looked at Ginny. She wore a quiet, contemplative expression on her face but there was something behind her eyes; that Weasley fire and determination fighting to get through. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if she came
, he caught himself thinking. She might even be safer with me than away from me
. When she was with him, he could know where she was, and know that she was safe, instead of wondering about her.
Voldemort had to know – there was no way that Harry could hide how he felt; he was awful at Occlumency to begin with. A tremor of fear passed through him, followed by a surge of anger. If Voldemort knew how Harry felt, it wouldn’t matter where Ginny was. Voldemort would find her, and use her as a pawn. Ginny was strong-willed; she’d proven she could hold her own against the Death Eaters. Hell, she could hold her own against him, as well; telling him just where to stuff it when he got out of hand. And the funny thing was, he really enjoyed it. He didn’t mind being wrong around Ginny, or making mistakes. Because he knew she didn’t care; that she would always be there, no matter what. But could she hold her own against Voldemort?
Truthfully, Harry wasn’t even sure he could himself. Was it worth it to put her in that kind of danger?
“Remember this place?” Ginny said. Even though her voice was relatively quiet, it still jolted Harry out of his reverie.
He looked around, immediately recognizing the spot where they had spent that afternoon. Just to their left was the same tree under which they had lain together. One of the best days of his life.
“Yeah,” he said simply, and felt the first inkling of a smile cross his lips. He felt Ginny move closer against him, her shoulder brushing his. She kissed his cheek.
“This will always be our place, Harry,” she said. “No matter what happens.”
Before he knew what he was doing, Harry had her in his arms and was kissing her. The ground dropped away from beneath his feet; there was nothing but the warmth of her body against his, her breath in his mouth, and the feel of her hair in his fingers.
“I can’t do it,” he said, finally, when their lips parted several minutes later – or it could have been hours; right now, he had no concept of time. “Ginny, I want to be with you.”
“You have to do it, Harry.” She said this with determination, even though there was a lilt of sadness in her voice as well. “Once it’s over, we can be together. In fact, we can make a solemn promise, right here. Right now. The next time we’re together, we’ll come to this very spot. Under this tree.” She dropped a hand into her pocket, and produced a small pen knife. Harry had no idea how or why she’d gotten it. But when she put it in his hand, he knew just what to do with it.
He and Ginny walked over to the tree. “I swear,” he said, “that the minute this is all said and done, we will come back here. Together.”
And with Ginny looking on, he made the inscription: “Harry + Ginny”.
“Perfect,” she said. “Just one more thing, though.” She took the knife from him and proceeded to carve the unmistakable shape of a heart around their names.
“So everyone will know we were here,” she said. “And that we’ll be here again.”
Harry looked into her eyes and smiled. “Yes,” he said. And he kissed her.
*NOTE: Yes, I know the pen-knife is a bit "convenient"; but I hope you'll bear with it, for the sake of the story! :D