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Stories from the Vault
A chat in the dark
He never heard the door open. A whispered “Colloportus” made him grab for his wand. By the time his hand hit the nightstand, the wand was already gone.
Instead of his wand, his hand found a small, soft, warm hand on the table beside the camp bed.
“You look like hell, Harry,” Ginny said softly.
“Glad to see you, too, Ginny,” Harry moaned, setting his head gingerly back on the pillow. He relaxed a bit, but still kept a firm grip on her wrist. “Why aren’t you dancing with Claude?”
Ginny snorted in reply.
“No, seriously,” Harry said.
“Well, let’s tick off the reasons,” Ginny replied with some vehemence. “His breath reeks of garlic; his English is nearly impossible to understand, and when we were dancing, his hand kept wandering down to my bum. When I pointedly let him know that I was not interested, he seemed to take it as an insult to all of France. So, are you up here pouting because I was dancing with one of my distant in-laws?”
Harry groaned a bit. “Not hardly. I’ve had a migraine most of the afternoon. Not everything’s about you.”
“You haven’t been sleeping well,” Ginny observed.
“Well, that is about you, if it makes you feel any better,” Harry said.
“It might,” Ginny replied. “Is this a regular headache, or snake-lips rattling my skull headache?”
“Uh, the first, I think,” Harry said. Ginny pulled her hand away. He heard rustling behind him and then felt a cool, damp cloth on his forehead. The throbbing in his head subsided a bit. “Thanks.”
“So, what is keeping you up at night?” Ginny asked.
“Oh, nothing, nothing at all – just the notion that you’re down the hall and one flight of steps away. It has very little to do with the fact that I can’t get to sleep on a hot summer night,” Harry replied.
“Thinking that I might be lying on top of my sheets, wearing just a thin, oversized tee-shirt?” Ginny asked.
“Now you’re fighting dirty,” Harry said.
“I’m a Weasley,” Ginny said. If he opened his eyes, he was sure he’d see her smirk. “Plus, I want to make you suffer a bit – I haven’t been sleeping, either.”
“Thinking about me lying on top of my sheets on a hot summer night?” Harry asked.
“Worse than that, much worse,” Ginny said. “Silk scarves, whipped cream, the works.”
“You always had a better imagination than I did,” Harry said with some admiration.
“I’ve missed you,” Ginny said plainly.
“I’ve missed you terribly,” Harry said quickly. “When we were together – it was wonderful, like nothing I’d ever experienced before. Then, I decided that we couldn’t be together any more – I thought it would pass; the feelings would fade away.”
“They didn’t, did they?” Ginny asked.
“Nope – it really sucks,” Harry said.
“I’m not going with you,” Ginny announced.
“Okay,” Harry said, trying to understand how the subject had just been changed.
“Only because I’m not of age,” Ginny explained. “So you’ve got a year and three days before I join you.”
“Right,” Harry said, marvelling at how he’d been outflanked.
“Snape knew about us and he’s probably back with snake-lips again, and if he isn’t, our relationship wasn’t much of a secret at Hogwarts. Have you taken a good look at the Weasley clock this week? All the hands are still at Mortal Peril – even Percy’s, which just moved away from Persona Non Grata.”
“Where are you going with this?” Harry asked.
“Breaking up with me isn’t going to keep me safe. Were you happy when we were together?” Ginny asked.
“Never happier,” Harry answered quickly.
“Have you been unhappy to the point of feeling sick since you broke it off?” she asked.
“You know the answer to that.”
“Then why don’t you give your girlfriend a kiss and ask her to join you out on the dance floor? The band’s been paid to play until midnight. Play your cards right and I’ll even show you what happens when your hands leave my waist,” Ginny said with a smirk.
Suddenly his head didn’t hurt any more.
Thanks, as always to the comely and competent Runsamok for her work.