Scene 21.0

The Contract - Chapter 30: Scene 21.0 by Just Desserts

    Chapter number: 
    30

    “Fancy meeting you here,” Harry said with a hint of his old humour when Seamus tumbled out of the floo.  When Cat tumbled out an eye blink or two later, Harry automatically extended a hand to her. 

    “Since we’ve been here every day since you left, well,” Seamus said with a smirk, “you’d think we lived here, too.  Except we don’t do double chores, thankfully.”

    “You’re just using me as an excuse to torment the twins,” Harry replied, extracting his hand from Cat’s grip and leading the two of them into the back garden.  All of the Weasley boys except Percy were in the air, and the remaining few unclaimed brooms were propped against the side of the shed.  Ginny got up from her spot on the ground and ran for the house, and Harry nodded in response to her passing wave. 

    Harry pointed Seamus and Cat towards the impromptu Quidditch game in progress, in which the Weasleys were using a pair of charmed watermelons for Bludgers and a rather spritely small pear for a Snitch.  “I’ve just got to wait for Nev and Michael, then we’ll be out, too.”  Harry ignored Cat’s gaze as he returned to the Weasleys’ den, knowing that she and Seamus would be in the thick of things by the time he returned. 

    The fireplace flared after only a few moments of waiting, and Michael stepped out, closely followed by Neville.  After brushing himself off, Neville looked around curiously.  “Harry, why are you the greeting committee at the Weasleys’?  You don’t live here.”

    Harry chuckled for a moment and then gestured towards the chairs.  “Take a seat, my friends, and let’s talk about that.”  When both were settled in, Harry sat down facing them.  “Before we begin, what I’m about to tell you falls under our mutual secrecy oath.  We’re all brothers first, and this is a private matter you need to know about.” 

    After he received two surprised but cautious nods in response, Harry leaned back and said, “Apparently, Seamus has been right all along.  I’m married.  To Ginny Weasley.” 

    Within a few minutes, Michael and Neville were sitting bonelessly in their chairs, mouths agape and showing less intellect than a pair of flobberworms.  “To top it all off,” Harry said by way of conclusion, “her Hogwarts letter was addressed to Ginny Weasley, not Ginny Potter, so the only people in the know are her family, the Finnegans, and you two.  And until Ginny or I say otherwise, it stays in our apparently somewhat expanded family.   So, ready for some Quidditch?”

    “Ahhh,” Neville finally managed to say before shaking his head and turning to Michael.  “I think I’m about cooked.  You?”

    Michael’s head bobbed slowly from side to side for a moment, and then he looked back at Harry.  “You’re not really coping with this well, are you?”

    Harry snorted briefly, his mind crowded with a string of long night-time conversations with Ginny and endless verbal dancing with her brothers and parents.  “I’m just perfect, old chap, never better.”

    “Knock it off, Harry,” Michael said with a clear edge.  “It’s us, we know you better than that.”

    “Yeah, yeah,” Harry agreed after letting the silence build up.  “Look, I’m sorry.  I know we’re always supposed to be honest with each other, but I don’t know how I feel, so how can I answer questions about it?  Everyone seems to be expecting me to do something or act a certain way, and it’s driving me barmy.  I’m trying to go slow with Ginny to make a friendship, and she’s pushing pell-mell for best friends.  Ron’s gone back to being about half mental, and the twins are definitely up to something.  It’s just . . . got me on edge, that’s all.  There’s no peace and quiet here to sort it all out.”

    Neville and Michael traded a glance before Neville spoke up.  “Maybe you should just accept that it’s too much to accept, then?”

    Michael laughed shortly, a sharp, almost barking sound.  “I can’t imagine what you’re going through, though.  New place to live, new people, and by-the-by you’re married, would you like some more tea?  It’s too much.”

    Harry sighed and closed his eyes.  “I sort of figured that part out on my own, you know.”

    “Maybe,” Michael said.  “I’m not sure you’re handling it, though.  You look like crap, Harry.  Have you told Ginny this stuff so she can slow down?  Or are you just putting her off like you did Cat’s friends and making her feel as bad as they did?  It sounds like she’s as much a victim as you are, if you want to call it that.  It might be easier for you if you were honest with her now, like you are with us.”

    After a while of thinking about that, Harry sat up straight and looked at his friends.  “All right, you’re right again.  Please stop doing that, Michael, it’s getting tiresome.  I’ll talk to Ginny about it.  Happy?”

    “Only if you are,” Neville said with a weak grin.  “Now how about that game?”

    “Outside, can’t miss it,” Harry replied, pointing to the door.  “I’ll hit the loo and meet you there.”

    As they stood up, Michael paused to look back at Harry.  “Married or not, you know we’re always here for each other.  Give us a shout if you want to escape for a bit.  We’ll even let you be alone if you want.”

    After his friends left, Harry headed toward the bathroom.  Coming around the doorway into the kitchen, he saw Ginny sitting at the table watching him.  Her expression made it abundantly clear that she had heard some, if not all, of the prior conversation.  Before Harry could decide whether he was upset by this, she spoke up.

    “I’m sorry, Harry,” she said.  “I came in to use the WC, and I know I shouldn’t have stayed when I heard you talking to your friends . . . but then I heard what Michael asked.  It’s what I’ve been wanting to ask you for days, so I listened.”

    With a sigh, Harry sank into the chair opposite her.  “It’s all right, Ginny.  We probably shouldn’t have too many secrets, anyway.”  He shrugged.  “Michael is right far too often, and this time is no different.  I should have told you what I was thinking and feeling.  You’ve certainly been trying to tell me how you’re looking at it all.  I apologise for that.”

    She replied in a particularly quiet voice that he had already learned to mean she was hesitant about something. “Is that really how you’re feeling, Harry?  That I’m pushing too hard, or that my family is . . . well, making things harder for you?”

    For once, Harry already knew he would have to be very careful with his answer.  He needed to be completely honest, but he also needed explain everything in a way that did not hurt her.  “Sort of.  You should know that the four of us – Seamus, Neville, Michael, me – Aoife-mum says we’ve been thick as thieves for years.  We tend to just say things directly, even if they’re not fully thought-out, so what you heard . . . well, anyway.  I suppose it’s that everyone has been kind and supportive – so much so that it feels, well, like some crazy alternate universe.  At the same time, it kind of feels like everyone expects different things from me, but they aren’t telling me what they really want.  Well, you made your intentions clear, but the rest of them?  Not really.  It’s got that vague feeling like it’s about to rain anvils, you know?  Like I told the others, I’m used to periods of time when I can be alone – on the farm, outside at Hogwarts, someplace.  It’s . . . it’s hard to adjust to everyone being in everyone else’s pocket . . . which seems to be normal here.  I just . . . I haven’t been able to sort it out in my head yet, that’s all.”

    Ginny was silent for nearly a minute, staring down at the tabletop in front of her.  “Okay,” she finally replied.  “I hadn’t really thought of it that way . . . the way you see it.  I’ll try to be more, uh, patient, I suppose, and look at it from your view in the future.  Will that help?”

    Harry gave her a genuine smile before shrugging.  “Honestly, I have no idea.  But Ginny, you have nothing to be sorry for.  You’ve done nothing wrong, truly.  I suppose if it was just one new thing – married, for example – it might be easier to get a grasp on.  As it is . . . I’m afraid only time will tell.”

    Ginny’s slight smile in response seemed warm and genuine.  “I’ll try to get you more space, Harry.  I’ll find some way to talk to Mum about it, too, I promise.”  Standing, she reached across the table to briefly take his hand, holding it for a heartbeat before heading back outside.  “Don’t be too long, or you’ll be stuck as the last pick – which always means you’re on the losing team!”

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    Comments

    ok..... i just had my jaw

    ok..... i just had my jaw re-aligned and 6 teeth cut out so im kinda high as sheeeet but i love you guys
    i have read a new beggining as my first h/g fic and it got me obsessed and well no offense to breanie but it was just fluff, no pain, no one really dying, no complications, just going on shopping trips having babies and sleeping with each other, not a real story.
    then like "normalcy" was too much drama... hjarry is half dead, then no arm, then goin off his nut every 2 seconds
    i onyl just made an account on this site as i only just discovered it.

    Sovran ive read meaning of one 3 times, i love the "harry/ginny bond" intense man, the insight into what they feel/think is incredible, really cant wait for the next chapter i check every fortnight. my favourite story so far...... molyl not being able to handle ginnys relationship with harry, their will to protect each other, ron being mature, their power but not wanting to use it, mcgonagal actually haveing a character not just being strict old and scary

    Moshpit you pimp, the only thing that makes sovrans better then yours is it has H/G. your takin too long for my tastes :P hehhehe other then that your story is incredible!!!! killing people, theory of magic, harrys character, his wit and personality. the story behind ginny, the twins actually BEING characters not jsut "hey the twins oulled a prank HAHAHAH end of chracter description" we got a vampire lawyer(loves it) molly is very entertaining, i love harry trying to make friends and how there is NEVER a dull moment, your KNOWLEDGE on frickin everything intrigues me your sword skills description, your fight scenes, describing the torture of muggles, dude write more stuff, make some cash out of it, i would buy BOTH of your books should you write one,
    keep up the good work guys, the twists are my favourite part, although i saw this one with the aranged marriage coming from the 1st-3rd chapters the cat is giving me wormtail-thoughts cant wait for the next chaptetr (havent even read this one yet, i just wanted to tell you how amazing you are first up :)