As always, Harry Potter belongs to JK Rowling. Whedon owns all and any mentions of Faith.
Pairing: Dean/Ginny, mentions of Neville/Faith and Harry/Draco.
For my uncle who would have been forty-nine today. We'll all see each other on the other side.
+++++I know that I will die tonight.
Your words bite into me, sharp and unyielding, you tell me to get up, to come back to you. They sting the opened flesh of my wounds and all I want to do is crawl into a hole and die already. But I can’t, I can’t- because the medi-witches would never condone assisted suicide, because Seamus would never forgive me if I left after he gave everything to save me. Because, because, because. Because I feel myself slipping away little by little.
And you are still there, day after day. You sit at my side and hold my hands in yours, you rub at them gently as if to reassure yourself that I’m still here somewhere. That I’m inside underneath the layers of useless flesh that binds my speech and hides my thoughts. You’ve always told me how much you loved watching my hands at work, you’ve always said that they reminded you of birds circling the sea. Seemingly random but always with a purpose. I never understood how you could have enjoyed my work as a healer so much. Because I start seeing Seamus’s shadow by the window, he always looks so sad whenever you visit and his usually bright grin falters at the hope in your voice.
You’ve said so many things over the years that they are all mixed in together in one giant ball of communicationlovehurtpaincommitmentlovelovelovelove. When the days turn grey and it hurts to listen to you, I like to remember those words. I like to pick them out of order, shuffle them around and guess the times when you had uttered them. When the days turn grey and it is hard to listen to you, my love turns heavy and suffocating. It is still within me, deep inside- it will never go away. My feelings for you are permanent, etched into my skin like a scar that will always bleed. Because my heart stops beating during the night. Only for a second but it is enough to startle me out of the sleep I can get and I spend the rest of the night waiting to die alone.
You tell me that you understand about Seamus, that you’ve always known the two of us would be inseparable until the end. You tell me that its okay I chose to try and save my best friend during that battle with the left-over Death Eaters, that I failed. You say that both of us were foolish, me for trying to save him and him for covering most of my body from that magical grenade.
You tell me stories of school years, of gossip about our friends and sometimes you even forget that you’re not supposed to smile. You laugh when you talk about Neville’s proposal to Faith and her angry walk-about after finding Hannah Abbott in their kitchen. You smile when you talk about your brother’s burgeoning affection for his fellow Auror-trainee and I wish desperately to hold your hand and make you laugh.
That’s how I finally got your attention you know? I made you laugh when Harry Potter made you cry, I gave you smiles when he brought you tears- that was my way of being different, of standing out.
He comes one day and I feel the old jealousy surging back at how close he’s standing to you. He doesn’t have to brush your fingers when he leaves and even though he’s one of my oldest friends, I want him to hurt. I want him in pain for daring to touch what he gave up so willingly years ago. But then you lean down and whisper into my ear about him and Malfoy and the rumours going around about those two. You giggle as you murmur about unrestrained sexual tension and the amount of fist-fights your ex-boyfriend has gotten into with the object of his lust over the years. And I smile. Because my heart stops beating for longer periods during the night and the medi-witches have no choice but to let you know about it.
Your eyes are fierce, your jaw is determined and you look so very young and pale as you stand under the harsh lights of St.Mungo’s. It’s in those moments when I am so aware that I married you while you were still in school and I wish that I wasn’t selfish enough to take your youth away from you. But I couldn’t leave you alone, I loved you too much to let you be. To not fight for you. Because Seamus keeps getting brighter and I can almost see the freckles across his nose.
You bring Vianne with you one day. Her mocha skin glows as she scampers on the hospital sheets, her eyes are bright green and the impish expression on her face reminds me so much of your fallen brother that it stings yet again and I wish I could cry. She gives me a picture that she drew and you talk about the fact that she inherited her talent from her father. How very proud you are of having two artists in the family, how much you’re looking forward to the day when I’ll be able to draw together with our daughter. You lift my hand and kiss it with your feverish lips, you whisper into my ear.
‘I love you Dean, always and forever.’
Maybe you know too. Because I can see my body lying on the bed in the room.
You’re laying next to my empty shell and you’ve slung my unmoving arm around you. You’re curled into the crook of my elbow and your hair is bright red against the white gown that they dressed me in. You’re not crying, you’re my girl- you probably won’t cry until you’re good and hidden in our bed at home. Your eyes are open and you blink so rarely that it hurts for me to breathe, you should be resting. You’ve been awake for the last three days in a row, you should sleep. You look so tiny next to my body, so small and vulnerable that I hate myself for leaving you. For leaving you unprotected.
Who’s going to make you laugh Ginny? Who’s going to teach you how to cheat at poker? Who’s going to take you on that trip to Italy that you’ve been planning since you were thirteen?
The lump in my throat grows bigger and I know that I won’t be able to leave you. Seamus stands next to me with a sad look on his face and I know that he’s been waiting for me. ‘Come on mate,’ he beckons and I can’t leave you alone.
I love you Ginny Thomas. Always and forever.