Ginny Weasley was not what one would necessarily call a sensible girl. That being said, she knew better than to harp on the fact that she had just seen Death himself. After mentioning it once, and being disregarded as 'in shock', she decided to keep it to herself.
And so the years went on. By the start of Ginny's fifth year at Hogwarts, she had - almost – managed to convince herself that it was all a dream. She hadn't really seen Death – that was ridiculous! How could anyone see Death? Death was something that happened, not someone you saw.
Besides, Ginny had something else to worry about, something far more important – her returned and very confusing butterflies that always appeared whenever Harry Potter was present.
And then Ginny was made seeker on the Gryffindor Quidditch team, while Harry was in detention with Snape.
She wasn't ever quite sure how it had happened – but there you have it.
As Ginny walked onto the pitch, she forced the butterflies down with a deep effort.
She was going to win.
Ginny reached. She bent over the broom, and reached with every inch of her might … she stretched out a hand, and snatched a golden, glittering ball…
It was in her hand!
She yelled in victory, and the entire stadium whooped with joy. The Ravenclaw seeker yelled curses at her, but Ginny grinned, her entire being sailing through the skies with joy. She was quite sure that she could fly without a broom.
She glided to the ground, and joined the throng. Ron was rubbing her head, Katy was dancing up and down, the Beaters were yelling. The team was pushed by the crowd, and Ginny found herself in the Gryffindor Common Room.
The Room was transformed. Red and gold decorations adorned the walls, and food and bottles of butterbeer were scattered on all the tables. There was more yelling, more wild singing. Ginny had to explain over and over again how it had happened, how she had snatched the snitch away from right underneath the Ravenclaw seeker's nose …
And then all went quiet.
Ginny looked round. Harry Potter, with a curious expression on his face, was climbing through the portrait hole.
He stood, staring. Then, "Well?"
"We won!" yelled someone. There was a great cheer, and Harry's face lit up like lumos.
Ginny cheered with the rest, the surging crowd pushing Harry forward to join the team. Ron rubbed Harry on the head, a wild eyed Hermione gave him a fierce hug, and Ginny …
(She wasn't ever quite sure how it happened.)
They were kissing.
She was kissing. Harry. Potter.
Somewhere outside Ginny's perfect bubble, the room had gone very quiet.
Harry pulled away first, and looked over his shoulder. Some of Ginny's brain began to return – she had just kissed Harry! Did he like her? What did it mean? – she realised that everyone was looking at them.
Harry looked back at her, and his face lit up again with a wide, wide smile. She smiled back, her body filled with happiness. She was quite sure she would burst any moment. Harry took her hand, and led her out of the Common Room.
She heard Hermione's squeal as the portrait closed behind them.
A side note
It is a little known fact that humans have yet to burst from happiness.
Now don't let me burst your bubble. This is just a fact.
But let me say something right now – Ginny Weasley came very, very close.
They were together now. They had talked about it – a little, anyway – and it was official.
As they wandered back to the Common Room at ten to nine that night, Ginny received several snide remarks from Slytherins, a congratulations from Luna and three other Ravenclaws whom she had never met, and a warning from Professor Trelawney that she was submitting herself to a lifetime of heartache.
Ginny somehow pushed her way through the congratulations from her friends and Hermione in the common room, gave Harry a goodnight kiss on the cheek, and virtually flew up to her dormitory.
Ginny curled up in bed and went straight to sleep, dreaming delicious dreams about Quidditch and valentines and moonlit balconies.
"Good morning," said Harry, sliding into place next to Ginny.
Ginny smiled back, her heart still bursting with joy from the previous night. "Morning, how did you sleep?"
"Good thanks," said Harry, smiling widely. "Could be worse."
"As always," said Ginny.
They kissed. Hermione, who was spreading her toast, gave a great sigh. Ron said, quite loudly, "How are you getting on with OWL studies, Ginny?"
Ginny pulled away and gave an uncharacteristic giggle. "Fine, Ron."
Ron shook his head. Hermione gave an understanding smile, before turning to her newspaper.
Ginny looked at Harry, who was now happily tucking into his eggs (his hand comfortably close to hers), and felt something flash at the corners of her brain. Memories of Chambers, of writing in blood, of cloaked eyes above her grandmother's head -
She shook her head rapidly, forcing herself to forget, to relax. She would not let her memories ruin her time with Harry.
It would be fine.
"You okay, Gin?" Hermione was staring at her, paused above her newspaper.
Ginny smiled, feeling her happiness build up inside her again.
"I'm great, thanks Hermione."
Harry smiled at her, and Ginny wondered if she'd ever been happier.
Ginny was curled up next to Harry on a couch in the Gryffindor Common Room, a week after.
It was quiet in there; most of the students had gone to bed, in anticipation of a Hogsmeade weekend the next day.
Ginny was holding Harry's hand, and he was making small circles on her shoulder with his fingertips.
"We should probably sleep," he said. "It's nearly one."
"Just a little longer," said Ginny, snuggling into Harry's shoulder.
"Tell me a story, then."
"A story? What sort of story?"
"Any story. What sort of stories do Wizards tell? Fairy Tales, I mean."
"Like Cinderella, and Snow White, and things like that. Folk stories. Tales."
"Why don't you tell me a tale? I'm an awful storyteller."
"You're great at writing. And I don't really know any muggle fairy tales well enough to tell you. The Dursleys didn't really tell me many."
"Never mind then," said Ginny, squeezing Harry's hand. "I'll tell you my least favourite story."
"Because it's the only one I really remember." Ginny took a deep breath, and ploughed in. "Once there were three brothers, and they were walking along at twilight, and they met Death on a bridge."
"How can you meet Death?"
Ginny hesitated. "I'm not sure. I think it does happen though, sometimes."
"How would you know?"
"Never mind that, I'm trying to tell a story here!"
Ginny shook her head briskly, trying to forget those awful memories of a confused six year old that she was working on deleting. "Death gave them all a wish, or something like that. The oldest brother wished for the most powerful wand in the world. Death gave it to him, and he used it to become the most powerful wizard in the world, until the time came when Death arrived to collect his soul. He tried to fight Death, but you can't fight Death, even with the most powerful wand in the world. So he died."
"Shush. The second brother wished for way to bring dead people back to life."
"Not creepy at all."
"You really don't notice these things when you're little. Anyway, the second brother used it to bring his wife back to life, because she had died earlier, you know. But she wasn't really his wife – more just a reflection. She yearned to return. And so he became unsatisfied with life, and when Death came for his soul, he was happy to leave."
"And the youngest brother?"
"He wished for a way to become invisible, and so he was given an invisibility cloak. Death tried to find him, but it was no use. It was only after he was at a very old age when he said goodbye to his family and let Death find him."
"Death on his own terms."
Harry stretched. "Well done Gin, fantastically told!"
"You're lucky I'm too tired to throw something at you."
"I'm being serious. It's good to hear a real-life wizarding story."
"I wish I could tell you one that I actually like," said Ginny. "I can't remember the details of the others."
"Didn't your mum tell you them?"
"She did – but I wasn't really the sitting down, reading or listening to a story type."
Ginny smiled, and Harry put his arm around her again, closing his eyes. Only moments later he gave a little snore. Ginny stared into the fire, watching the flames dart around, and tried not to think of when she had been six, and had imagined herself seeing Death.
Because no matter how hard she told herself it wasn't real, her mind kept telling her that she had seen Death.
She couldn't quite shake it off.
thanks so much for all the support of this story so far! i really appreciate it!
also - i wrote a oneshot based on this chapter a while back, called 'chasing dreams'. feel free to check it out if you are so inclined!