Harry & Ginny
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hgfan1111 - Brighter Than Sunshine
Chapter 21 - Ginny's Journey
Emma sighed, snuggling into the bed further. Jack was there, his arm draped over her middle and his warm side pressed against hers. She could feel his breath against her forehead, moving the small hairs there, back and forth, back and forth.
The rhythm of his breathing lulled Ginny and she closed her eyes, allowing the warmth of Jack's embrace to take her into sleep.
Her first impression was of searing, dry heat, not cold like Jack had described. She tried to look around, but it was dark, with only a faint, pink light in the distance.
Jack had also said he was standing in water, but Emma didn't feel her toes getting wet. She shifted in place and wobbled, her feet sinking just a bit…like sand.
In front of her loomed a huge shape that she was just barely able to make out in the growing light. Pink stretched across the sky, like fingers of light scratching the night away.
Emma could see the shape now. It was a pyramid and she was surrounded by sand. She'd read about Egypt, and seen programs on the telly; it should be completely foreign, but something about it whispered the familiar.
A bright red light shot across the sky, emanating from the top of the pyramid, and Ginny took a hesitating step forward. Jack had promised her she was going to have to work for this…so she took another step, and then another.
Soon she was at the base of the pyramid, looking up, staring at the dawn that was breaking, shining like a beacon while she stood in the shadow of the monolithic shape.
Another red light flashed across the sky, making Emma remember the way the potion had looked.
Emma took a breath in the sweltering heat. She'd only been here for a few minutes, but she was already sweating, her shirt sticking to her back uncomfortably.
"You have to earn it," she scolded herself, reaching forward with her foot to test her weight on the first step in the pyramid.
Something flashed in her mind, a picture of a young girl…and Emma knew…it was a memory.
It was finally dark enough that she could sneak outside without being seen. Her father's wand was tucked in the waistband of her pyjamas, nicked from where he'd left it earlier tonight. The dew was cold on her feet as she snuck across the garden to the broom shed.
The same little girl was huddled under the kitchen table, staying directly in the middle, curled around her knees. Three pairs of legs surrounded her and she listened as Bill explained that he was moving to Egypt. Tears ran down her cheeks and she tried to muffle her sniffles in her arms. Her favorite brother was leaving her…
The family was out in the back garden, Fred, George and Ronnie chasing gnomes while her mother sat behind her, plaiting her hair and discouraging all attempts to run around like the boys were. Percy and her father were talking a few feet away, softly laughing about something that didn't make any sense to Emma. Charlie and Bill were racing on their brooms, but Charlie was winning. One day, Emma thought, she'd beat them all.
Emma gasped and clutched for the stairs in front of her, scrabbling the sand and small rocks away from the foothold. Jack had tried to explain how overwhelming the memories were, but he could never have described this.
The light flashed again, brightening the sky enough for Emma to look up and see hundreds of stairs looming in front of her. Panting from both the heat and the exertion, Emma started forward again, lifting one heavy foot in front of the other.
A skinny, scrawny boy who was barely taller than her caught her eye and smiled before being distracted away. Her heart thumped mightily in her chest…
The same face, just a bit older now, blinked at her behind smudged glasses. She glanced down at herself, to see that she was clad only in a thin nightdress before squeaking and disappearing back up the stairs, horrified that Harry had seen her like this.
Emma stared down at the small, worn book, hesitatingly opening it to find blank pages. Dear Diary, she wrote, her letters stretching out along the page. Harry gave me his books today, I'm sure he didn't mean anything by it, but he smiled when he tipped them into my cauldron, I love how his eyes crinkle at the corners when he smiles… The writing began to fade into the book and her eyes widened.
She woke from her daze in a corridor that she didn't remember ever being in. And there was red paint all over her new Hogwarts robes. Her mother was going to kill her… Maybe she could find a charm to remove it.
Emma gasped as Jack's young face loomed before her. He was so…small and different. It startled her to see him this way.
Her legs ached as she climbed, looking behind her to see that she'd only moved about ten steps or so from the bottom. Using the sleeve of her shirt, she wiped away the sweat from her face, hissing as the salt got into one of her eyes.
She glanced guiltily around the table, needing so much to tell what she knew to…someone…anyone, really. The secret was just too much to bear anymore…and people were starting to get hurt. Harry was there, then, sitting across from her and Emma gathered the courage to tell him.
The tears on her face almost froze in the coldness of the Chamber. "Come, lay down right here, Ginny," Tom said, his words dripping like warm honey. "This won't hurt at all, at least, not for long."
Jack was much older now and Emma flinched watching him stare at the pretty Cho Chang, his cheeks flushing and his breathing harsh. She turned away, not willing to watch him fall in love with someone else.
Emma stumbled on the step in front of her and fell, cursing as her shin banged painfully into the stone below it.
Tom and Cho and…Jack.
Tears were streaming down her face as she continued upward, crawling on her hands and knees, only staring upward toward her goal, which seemed forever away. The higher she climbed, the narrower the stairs became, covered in sand and rocks. The sun was beating down on her now, and the dry wind was starting to blow sand at her, stinging her eyes and face until they were now raw.
Jack's face came with more regularity, his cheekbones widening and his jawline darkening as he aged. It made her miss him even more, stuck in this place.
'You can do this, Emma,' she assured herself. 'Jack did it, so can you.'
The way he looked at her after the Department of Mysteries, less like Ron's little sister…and more like a friend and equal. Harry's eyes caught hers on occasion, across the Great Hall or in the Common Room, and she wondered…if there could ever be something between the two of them.
Harry's eyes were darker up this close, Ginny decided, she'd always thought they were so bright green, but, really, there were flecks of gold in them. Thankfully, all the gossiping girls at Hogwarts hadn't ever been this close to begin to fall completely in love with his eyes like she was now. And it didn't help when his hand tenderly brushed bits of her hair out of his way so that he could lean down and kiss her.
Her strength and determination came back as she saw flash after flash of she and Harry together, and then Ron and Hermione would join them, laughing or talking.
Neville and Luna were with her, sneaking in and out of shadows to get to Snape's office. Michael had seen the Sword in its place in the Headmaster's office. He was the one who told them where it was. But it was Ginny's determination and drive to rightfully return the Sword to Harry. Dumbledore had meant for Harry to have it.
They were almost there when a shadow, darker than night, stepped out in front of them. "Weasley," the voice drawled, making Ginny shudder.
The sandstorm was ferocious now, swirling so hard that Ginny couldn't bear to keep her eyes open; she'd torn off a bit of her shirt to cover her mouth and nose with as she continued to climb. Now she could only crawl forward, feeling with her hands for each step and then slowly moving up.
The memories were overwhelming, cramming into her head and making it throb. She wasn't sure if she could take much more of this, but there was still so far to go…
Ginny pressed her front to his back, wrapping her arms around him. There was no way he was going to leave her now. They'd promised forever, and Ginny meant it.
"Forever, Harry," she whispered.
"Forever," he whispered back, pressing his hands to hers. They continued forward, past Malfoy and all his useless banter and into the clearing, where they awaited their fate together.
Ginny gasped as she groped for the next step, finding only air. She chanced cracking one eye open and found that not only had she climbed to the top, but the sand had risen as well, meaning she was only a few feet above the shifting, churning mass of solid ocean that threatened to pull her under.
Ginny screamed as Harry's wand slid from his grasp and he stared at her.
"I'm sorry, Ginny," he whispered. "Forever."
He couldn't do this…he couldn't leave her here alone. She rushed forward, only to get blown back by the force of the Killing Curse. The green shown all around, making her eyes ache.
And all though the clearing, Voldemort's evil laugh as Harry's lifeless body fell. Ginny stared at it for only a minute before her brain told her what to do. Harry's voice echoed in her head. "...last Horcrux..."
It was finished. Harry had sacrificed himself so that Ginny could kill Voldemort.
She stood on shaky legs and leveled her wand at the monster.
"Goodbye Tom," she whispered before screaming once more. "Sectumsempra!"
The cutting spell went deep, slashes across Voldemort's chest. Ginny breathed in again to repeat the spell, aiming for his head this time. But, even in the agony of pain, Tom was faster. His wand flicked out, sending her flying backward, landing her right next to Harry.
"You stupid, little girl," Tom hissed, clutching his chest that oozed fluids. "Now you'll die just like him."
Ginny fumbled for Harry's cold hand. "I'm sorry, Harry," she whispered as blackness overtook her.
Ginny gasped, clutching at the cloth that covered her face, taking in huge gulps of air despite the sand that came with it. She'd reached the top now, but it was no use, the land around her was a sea of dull brown, the sand covering everything in waves that blocked out anything. It tugged at her feet, and sometimes her knees.
She covered her eyes and looked around, trying to find anything to cling to. But the pyramid was gone now, covered in the sand-ocean. And it was rising higher and higher, pulling her under with it.
"I'm sorry, Harry!" she screamed, finally losing her fight with the current. It pulled her under inch by inch as she scratched her fingers along the only bit of stone she could still feel.
The sand filled in her mouth, making her choke and cough until she couldn't fight anymore. Ginny went limp, allowing the sea to take her.
Harry was asleep, his head thrown back on the seat, when Ginny gasped, spluttering and choking. He almost fell over in his haste to get to her side.
"I'm here, Gin," he repeated softly, stroking her pale face until her eyes fluttered open. "Oh, babe," he whispered, leaning down to press kisses to her face.
"Harry…" she cried, tears filling her eyes. "James! I need James."
He blinked at her, and opened his mouth to reply.
"He's here," Hermione said from the hallway, carrying James, who was wrapped tightly in his blankets. "I thought you might be about ready for a visit.
"My baby," Ginny gasped, reaching for him. Harry gently held her shoulder down and moved so that Hermione could hand James over. Ginny clasped the baby to her, tears leaking down her face as she fumbled for Harry's hand.
"See, we took good care of him," Harry said, emotion filling his voice. He leaned forward and kissed her temple.
"I know," Ginny choked out through her tears. "I knew you would."
James stared up at them both, his dark eyes wide and his little mouth open just a bit.
Ginny chuckled, and looked up at Harry through her misty eyes.
"Everything alright, Gin?" Harry whispered finally.
"Everything is good, Harry," she said, squeezing his hand tightly in her own.
A/N: There are many reasons why I didn't write this scene for the actual story. First, because of the way I set up the Memory Block, this whole scene basically had to be a replica of Harry's—I loathe writing the same scene over and over.
Second, it accomplished nothing to further the plot. Maybe it would have given Ginny a bit more balance in the last chapters, but I didn't think it was necessary.
Third, the imagery losses something in comparison to Harry's scene. Emma knows what Harry knows, going into this. She understands what is going to happen, and she doesn't struggle against the memories, she simply lets them wash over her. To me, that 'cheapens' the writing a bit, because we don't get the full impact of her emotions to these memories.
That said, I chose to do this scene now because so many people asked about it. And now you have it.