?

Log in

britt [userpic]
A Time to Wallow (Gen, PG)
by britt (bribitribbit)
at August 11th, 2006 (08:09 pm)

A Time to Wallow
By Bribitribbit
Ginny knows everything is going to be all right. Won't it? Harry/Ginny, PG.
Notes: I wrote this eons ago, in December at least, and genesse even very graciously beta-ed it for me. I just never got around to posting it. Anyway, this is based on an episode of Gilmore Girls, the title of which I unfortunately cannot remember. I've labeled it Harry/Ginny, but it's really more Ginny gen than anything else.

Ginny wasn't going to cry, because that was the very last thing Harry needed, for her to cry--or for anyone to cry, really. She knew that. She respected that.

Oh, she wasn't making any sense, was she?

She didn't even begin to cry as Harry turned his back on her--actually turned his back on her--and walked away. Upon seeing her brother holding Hermione so gingerly, she too got up, and wandered off towards the forest.

She sat on the steps of Hagrid's empty hut, and looked at the crowd, which each somber-looking person was passing now. She wondered how Dumbledore had met all of these people. What he had done for each of them. Some of them were old enough to look as if they had gone to school with him--perhaps they had. Perhaps that old man over there, perhaps he had been Dumbledore's best mate in school. It was a strange thing to think such things of a man whom Ginny had almost always considered beyond time.

"All righ', Ginny?" asked Hagrid in a thick voice. He and another giant that Harry had told her was Grawp were slowly making their way towards her.

Ginny made something like a tired smile, nodded, and looked down into her lap. "Yes, I'm well," she said, although her voice was nearly as thick as Hagrid's.

"Righ', righ'," said Hagrid meaningfully. "Saw Harry speakin' with the Minister. Di'n't look too happy abou' tha'. Harry, I mean. Well, no' the Minister, either."

"No, I suppose not," said Ginny, with a tiny smile.

"Spoke with you, too, di'n't he? Harry?"

Ginny looked up as Hagrid sat next to her. She hadn't heard or noticed, but Grawp had gone back into the forest. She sighed. "Yes. Yes, he did."

"I know you two was goin' together."

"We were. Not anymore."

"Ah," said Hagrid all too wisely.

Ginny set her jaw. "But it's okay, really, it is. It's just until he kills Voldemort, and then he'll come back, and everything will be just the same."

"Righ'," said Hagrid, though he sounded doubtful.

"Well, thanks, Hagrid," said Ginny, standing up quickly, not feeling so inclined to chat anymore. "I've got to go, though. Goodbye."

"Righ'," he said again, sounding extremely preoccupied.

Ginny shook her head and set off for the castle, which was were people were now heading. She saw Harry, Ron, and Hermione on her way, discussing something very quietly, and cut widely around them.

The castle was quieter and gloomier than usual. A lot of students had already gone home before the funeral; and the remaining ones looked utterly woebegone. Like the rest of the wizarding world, they were at a loss of what to do now that Dumbledore was no longer with them. It was like--like they didn't trust Harry. Didn't they?

The train ride home just a few hours later was not especially eventful. Ginny avoided Harry, Ron, and Hermione like the plague. Colin Creevey was the only one sitting with her most of the ride: Julie Brighton was a prefect, and Theresa Fowl and Demelza Robins had already gone home.

"You don't look so good, Gin," Colin said, leaning forward and peering at her closely. She had been watching the world pass by through the window, and had almost forgotten her companion.

"Don't I?" she replied somewhat blankly.

"No, you don't. What's up? What happened to the marital bliss and all that?"

"Harry broke up with me."

Colin sat back. "Oh, I'm sorry."

"No, it's okay," she said. "I mean, he didn't really. Well, he did, but he's just, he needs to go save the world or whatever, it'll be fine after it's all over, and I'm just, well, I don't need to really, you know, weep over it." She realized she was rambling, and so ended her sentence there rather feebly.

"Yeah, right," said Colin, shaking his head. "Look at you, you're completely brokenhearted."

"I'm not. I'm fine."

"Have you wallowed?"

Ginny frowned at him. "What?"

"Have you wallowed?" He repeated it slowly, as if it was the most natural thing in the world to ask someone if they've wallowed. "I mean, quite obviously you've moped a bit, since you've hardly spoken all this ride, but have you actually wallowed?"

"Why would I need to do that?"

Colin shook his head as he spoke to make his point. "It's, like, the first step of breaking up. When you get home, you need to eat tons of ice cream, and listen to Quidditch on the radio, or even better, really sappy radio shows, like that one Celestina Warbeck's always in. You also need lots of pizza with everything on."

"No, I don't," said Ginny. "I'm not wallowing. That's stupid. How is that going to help anything?"

"It helps," said Colin. "It won't, obviously, get you and Harry back together, but it helps."

"And you're suddenly the expert on all of this, Colin?"

"I've had experience."

"Oh, really." She raised an eyebrow at him, and he raised both of his back. Finally, Ginny shook her head. "I'm not going to wallow. I'm going to just go through the summer perfectly normally, and everything will be fine as soon as Voldemort's gone."

"Ginny, Ginny, Ginny," said Colin. "You do need a wake-up call."

"Hi," said Julie, coming into the compartment. "I officially hate being prefect."

"You've hated it since the beginning of the year," said Ginny.

"I hate it more now."

"Julie," said Colin, "tell Ginny she needs to wallow."

"Why does she need to wallow?"

Colin made a loud coughing noise that sounded somewhat like "Harry" and Julie widened her eyes in realization. "Oh. Right. Right. Oh, Ginny, I'm so sorry!" Before Ginny could say another word, Julie hugged her tight.

As soon as Julie let her go, Ginny glared at Colin, but spoke stonily to her other friend. "About what?"

"Oh, she's still in denial. Poor thing." Julie made an especially annoying tutting noise. "You need to wallow."

"Why?" said Ginny, becoming angrier by the second. "I do not need to wallow, I am perfectly fine, thank you very much, and I would like everyone to stop treating me as if my mum's just died, all right?"

It was quiet in the compartment, as Ginny turned back to the window and Julie and Colin shared a meaningful glance.

"Would you like to come to my house tomorrow?" asked Julie suddenly. "We've got ice cream--and you can watch a film, you'd like those, I bet. Like An Affair to Remember or something, that's my sister's favorite."

"You're trying to get me to wallow, Julie."

"I'm not, I promise."

Even Colin looked a bit dubious at this.

"All right, so I sort of am, but it's not the same. A bit like girls' night in, really. Not wallowing."

"Thanks for the invitation, Jules, but I'd rather not."

Her friends let up, but even so, when Ginny was turning to leave with her mum (and Ron, Harry, and Hermione, although Ginny was pretending as if they didn't exist--a not altogether difficult feat, since they were being very quiet), Colin said, "'Bye, Ginny! Remember, wallow!"

Ginny blushed immediately. She knew Harry was looking at her, but she didn't acknowledge it, just kissed her mother on the cheek. "Hullo, Mum," she said. "I've missed you."

Mrs. Weasley smiled back. "I've missed you, as well," and she ushered the four out to the Ministry-approved car.

~*~

The next week was the busiest in Ginny's life. She jokingly told Fred and George that she was glad she'd broken up with Harry, because she'd never have to work this much for their wedding. Fred and George, interestingly enough, didn't find the joke very funny. In fact, they rather looked like they wanted to hurt Harry very badly, and it wasn't until Ginny explained things (or the way she saw things, at least), that they showed any signs of relenting.

Who knew a wedding needed so much preparation? Mrs. Weasley spent hours in the kitchen every day, cooking enough food to feed the Ministry of Magic in case all the workers were locked inside for three weeks. Ginny volunteered to help her mother, and so was put in charge of making all the h'ors d'ouevres, most of which Ginny had no desire to try herself. Every so often, Fleur would take her and Gabrielle to Madam Malkin's for last minute dress fittings. Plus other, smaller things: beds had to be found for everyone, the house had to be cleaned and scrubbed from top to bottom, somebody had to find the rings when little Eustace Weasley lost them (they were in Ron's tank of frog spawn), and the boys all had to de-gnome the garden.

Ginny didn't mind too terribly being so busy--it kept her mind off Harry. Not that she didn't keep bumping into him now and then--or, rather, very, very often. It was a bit like the summer before Ginny's first year. Although her elbows were quite free from butter dishes, she stopped talking to him, and only blushed very redly whenever he was around. For what it was worth, he seemed to be avoiding her, too. If he knew she was in a certain room, she could hear him telling Ron to "go a different way."

Ron and Hermione just looked at each other exasperatedly.

Ginny liked the cooking the best. She always was rather close to her mother, a relationship intensified by the one year they had spent together almost completely alone, except for when her father came home at five o'clock. They hadn't really spoken, however, since the summer before last at least, and Ginny was extremely happy they now had time (or more accurately, not time, but just an opportunity) to have a real conversation.

"How was school, dear?" asked Mrs. Weasley.

"Not too bad. I mean, fifth year, so it was completely horrible as far as work goes, but it--it was school."

"Ron wrote to me about you and Harry." Molly didn't look at Ginny as she said this, but she sounded very knowing and motherly in exactly the way Ginny didn't want her to. She wondered if perhaps everyone knew about her and Harry's concluded relationship. "Is he lying, because--"

"No," said Ginny, keeping any disappointment or sadness out of her voice, "we broke up."

"Ah," said her mother, sounding a bit like Hagrid. "Come here, taste this."

Ginny tasted. It was carrot soup, and it was wonderful. "You should open up a resturaunt or something, Mum," she said.

Mrs. Weasley laughed. "No, I'd rather not cook this much ever again."

"But you will," said Ginny, thinking of Ron and Hermione, even though that would probably be extremely far into the future.

"I will," agreed Mrs. Weasley with a smile, and it was hard to guess just whom she was thinking of. She started Ginny on scrubbing potatoes. At Ginny's side, Mrs. Weasley said, "I remember the first time a boy ever dumped me."

"Dad dumped you once, Mum?" asked Ginny, with the same kind of disbelief every person has that their parents have ever been with anyone but each other.

"No, no," said Molly. "Although we did get awfully close too many times to count. But his name was Rhett Adair, and you know what?" Mrs. Weasley leaned closer to her daughter. "He was very handsome." Ginny smiled.

"He was a Ravenclaw in fifth year when I was in fourth year. He was my first real crush. It took me forever, but one day, I finally got the nerve to go ask him to Hogsmeade."

"And did he?"

Mrs. Weasley sighed. "No."

"Oh," said Ginny.

But her mother didn't seem disappointed about it at all. "No, but your father heard about it and threatened to beat him up."

Ginny couldn't imagine her father beating up anyone, and laughed at the idea. Molly smiled with her daughter. "Oh, now, be nice. He probably would have won."

"So he didn't fight Rhett then?"

"No," said Mrs. Weasley. "But he did sit with me when I was crying. I cried for a long time, I remember that. Sometimes you just need to, after things like that."

This must have been her mother's way of telling her to go wallow. Ginny shook her head. "Some girls are just emotional like that," she said.

"I think every girl's a bit emotional like that," said her mother.

"Right, well, I think whatever you've got in the oven is done. And I'm done with the potatoes. Can I have a break?"

Molly sighed. "Yes, go on."

Ginny could feel her mother's eyes on her as she went up the stairs to her bedroom.

~*~

There was one sane woman in the entire Weasley household, and she was currently snogging Ginny's brother, which was a thought that sickened Ginny to no end.

Or maybe Hermione really wasn't sane at all, since she was, after all, snogging Ron.

Ginny hadn't meant to walk in on them, but it was her bedroom in the first place. Hermione was just sharing with her.

"Um, hello," said Ginny.

Ron and Hermione sprang apart, and Ron's ears were so red that someone might have Transfigured him into a tomato, which would have been interesting. Hermione patted her hair and smoothed her jeans, ever calm, cool, and collected. "Er, hello, Ginny," she replied.

"I was--well, this is, sort of, you know, my bedroom, and I was hoping--"

"Right," said Ron, without arguing for once (although Ginny would have liked to see him argue his way out of this one), and without another word, left the room.

Ginny raised an eyebrow at Hermione, who had sat on her bed. It was a while before she noticed, until finally, she asked, "What?"

"Oh, nothing," said Ginny, lying back on her own bed. "Just that, well, I've just found you and my brother snogging in my bedroom, and last thing I heard from you two was Ron yelling at you not to try anything just because Viktor Krum is coming to the wedding."

"Well, you know, things lead to other…things."

"Mm-hm."

"I'd forgotten how lovely it is," said Hermione, sounding completely blissful.

"How lovely what is? Snogging?"

"No, although that's lovely, too." Ginny pretended to gag. "I mean, just…to have a boy like you."

Ginny was silent for a moment.

"Ginny?"

"Yes," said Ginny, "it is rather lovely. I think I have a dress fitting at three, and it's half-past two, I think I should be getting ready…"

"You shouldn't keep avoiding it, Ginny," said Hermione. "That's what you're doing, isn't it?"

"I'm not avoiding anything," said Ginny, and she got up from her bed, and walked out the door. She bumped into Ron.

"Your fair lady awaits you," said Ginny, and for some reason she sounded very bitter about it.

~*~

The wedding was, in a word, beautiful. There was no way on earth that Fleur could have been more, well, beautiful. And Ginny herself felt beautiful. And the Burrow, and all the decorations--beautiful.

Ginny felt like she had when she was younger, and she would call everything beautiful. Even the smallest thing, a sprout poking its head out of the dirt in the garden, for example, would be declared beautiful. It was funny, now that she thought about it, that those things were really sort of beautiful. Funny, really, how she had only noticed them when she was little.

The reception brought its own surprises.

The guests, for one. Fleur, in a burst of kindness, had invited all of Ginny's friends. Colin, Theresa, Julie, Demelza, and Luna, for starters, were there. A lot of people Ginny knew from school were there, as well: Angelina, Katie, Lee, and Alicia, and also Verity Lovegood, who was Luna's sister and a helper at Fred and George's shop were there; Penelope Clearwater (although Percy had not deigned to attend); Neville, Dean, and Seamus, as well. Neville had brought Susan Bones from the D.A. Hermione was probably quite thankful Fleur hadn't invited the Bubblegum Twins, Parvati and Lavender.

Since Fleur had been in the Triwizard Tournament with him, she had invited Viktor Krum. Ginny couldn't help laughing when she saw the face that Ron had when he first spotted him. But then he'd immediately dragged Hermione out to the dance floor, which was a subtle kind of sweet.

She and Harry had somehow ended up standing next to each other, and they caught each other's eye and laughed at their friends, before, after a moment, they realized who their companion was.

"Er, hello," said Harry.

Ginny looked straight at the dance floor. Theresa, Julie, and Colin were all dancing together. Demelza was with a boy Ginny had never seen before. "Hello," she replied to Harry, more stiffly than she meant to.

"All right?"

"Yeah, I suppose so. You?"

"How do you think?" he said, with a bitter smile.

"Horrible," she said, and he laughed.

"Yeah, a bit. I liked the wedding, though."

Ginny laughed and looked sideways at him. He was watching Bill and Fleur. "You didn't. You were falling asleep, I saw you."

"Okay, it was a little boring, but you know…" He trailed off and didn't say anymore.

It should have been awkward, and it was, but not in the blatant way. It was only awkward because it should have been--Ginny wasn't even sure if that made sense, but that's the way it was. In fact, Ginny felt as comfortable as she ever did with Harry--except she couldn't have him.

It wasn't completely horrible, now, was it? See, no need to wallow. Ginny was proving everyone wrong.

Another song came on. It was one of her mother's favorites, a sappy, syrupy, slow one. Well, at least it wasn't Celestina Warbeck. Harry tapped her on the shoulder. "May I?" said Harry, offering his hand playfully.

"You may," said Ginny, and they also went onto the dance floor. Harry put his hands on her waist, and Ginny on his shoulders…and they danced.

Harry, even after all the lessons Ginny liked to think Hermione might have given Harry and Ron for the Yule Ball (although Ginny wondered if Hermione herself knew how to dance), had two left feet. Ginny didn't mind, because like Hermione would have said, it was lovely. Beautiful, maybe.

There's something about dancing. Even if you're not a professional dancer or whatever, and the guy wasn't constantly throwing the girl into the air, there is still a need for trust between the couple. Maybe that's why dancing is so romantic. And there's something else about dancing--it's so easy to think you're the only two people in the room.

Perhaps that was why, when the song ended, Harry leaned down to kiss her. And they did, they kissed, and it was like the world could be put back together again--

And Ginny ran away.

She went into the house, and sat on one of the big, generous couches in the living room, crying like the world was ending. She hoped nobody would find her, but she was still grateful when Colin sat next to her.

"I think I could wallow now," she said.