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 Impenetrable; Chapter 1: Falling Slowly

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MinglerX

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PostSubject: Impenetrable; Chapter 1: Falling Slowly   Sun Sep 27, 2009 5:00 pm

Warning: If you don’t like yuri, don’t read this. It’s not in this chapter, but it will be there.

Disclaimer: I do not own the Harry Potter series, or any of the characters, plot devices, etc. therein. All of this is property of J.K. Rowling, and all that I’m doing is having a little post-Deathly Hallows fun with them and ignoring the epilogue.

Xx0xX

Ginny had never been angrier at anyone in her entire life.

Well, that wasn’t entirely true; she was sure she must have been angrier with someone at some point in her life - Malfoy, perhaps, or Percy. She had forgiven them all, though, eventually, and she supposed that she would forgive Harry, too. That thought made her sick and, surprised at herself, she realized that she didn’t want to forgive him. Being late for dinner (for the eighth time in a row) was only the tip of the iceberg. He had been so distant lately, barely speaking two words to her, ignoring her attempts at comforting him... which, of course, he insisted he didn’t need. He was acting like a teenager again, like he had when You-Know-Who possessed him; or when Sirius died.

Sirius. Ginny felt a twinge of guilt. Harry had lost so much in the war, and he had started off with so little to begin with. Was it really her place to object to his pain, just because it inconvenienced her?

But they had all lost things, she rationalized. Ginny had lost things, too, brothers and close friends, but she had never had time to dwell on them. She was much too busy taking care of Harry, and his pain, and his hurt feelings. It wasn’t fair, wasn’t fair at all. The anger returned, and she embraced it gratefully.

Looking around, Ginny realized that there was no one there for her to unleash her wrath upon. The fiery emotion that had always been familiar to her had dissipated, seeped out of her and left in its wake a sort of desolate emptiness. Giving up on the idea of Harry returning in the near future - it was nine o’clock already, and he had told her he’d be back by six - Ginny decided to clear up. Pointing at the untouched soup tureen, then the casserole dish, she muttered a quick evanesco and the contents disappeared.

Xx0xX

When she was finished putting everything away, she was left in the middle of an empty kitchen, quite at a loss for what to do.

She sunk into a chair at the table. Should she wait up for Harry, or would that be too pathetic? Perhaps it would be more pathetic to go to bed at nine thirty, alone. That didn’t leave her with many options.

Thankfully, she didn’t have to make the choice. The kitchen door opened, and in trudged Harry. He was wearing Muggle clothes – grass-stained jeans, a worn leather jacket, and thick, clunking work boots. She wondered what he’d been up to, but didn’t say anything.

He was standing in the doorframe, and she thought that he’d look awkward if he didn’t look so damn tired. His face was haggard; there were dark circles under his eyes, and the shadow of a beard was beginning to form. His hair seemed even messier than usual, and his eyes - those bright green eyes that she had fallen in love with - seemed cloudy and distant.

“Close the door,” she said automatically. “You’ll let the mosquitoes in.”

Harry nodded slowly, like the words she was saying were taking a long time to get to his brain. He closed the door and it creaked, eventually shutting with a final-sounding click. He seemed too big for the room, almost; maybe it was the Muggle clothes. Maybe it was simply his permeating aura of melancholy.

“Where have you been?” Ginny asked, folding her arms on the table. A draft had slipped in through the door when Harry had left it open. She tried to sound nonchalant, like she hadn’t been sitting around for hours, expecting him. She didn’t convince herself of this very well, and she doubted that she had convinced Harry.

“Out,” Harry responded. His voice was gravelly and low. She didn’t like it.

“Obviously,” she said, her tone slightly biting. She was letting her frustration get the better of her. She took a deep breath. “What I meant was, where in particular have you been?”

“Places!” he barked. He seemed to puff up with a sort of frustrated, burnt energy, like dying cinders in a fireplace - low, resentful, hateful. “I didn’t realize that I had to report all my activities to you in precise detail.”

To her fury, tears sprung up in Ginny’s eyes and a burning sensation filled her throat. She dropped her head, letting her hair hide her face. “I’m your fiancée, Harry.” She tried to make it sound like she wasn’t about to cry, but she wasn’t doing that great of a job. She glanced up at him.

He had deflated – Ginny thought that was the best way to describe it. His head was dropped, and he seemed somehow smaller. He went to the chair across from her and fell into it heavily. “I know,” he said hoarsely. He sounded so weary, so tired, and for a minute Ginny almost forgave him and offered to remake supper. But she didn’t.

After a while Harry looked up at her, and they just looked at each other for a while, waiting for something. Ginny searched and searched through his face, through his dull eyes, not knowing what she was looking for and not finding it. She stood and walked toward the stairs in the other room.

“I’m going to bed now,” she said over her shoulder.

He didn’t follow her. She hadn’t expected him to.

Xx0xX

Ginny awoke the next morning not remembering why the space beside her was unoccupied. As she blinked blearily in the morning sun, regaining consciousness, she remembered the stiff and awkward altercation with Harry last night, and a pit of dread seemed to form in her stomach. She didn’t really want to go downstairs.

She did anyway, of course, and tried to seem as normal as possible. After getting dressed, she stepped into the kitchen to make herself an omelette and noticed that he sat at the table reading the Daily Prophet. After she was finished making her breakfast, she sat beside him.

“Any news worth hearing?” she asked, more to make polite conversation than anything else. She was also testing the waters, seeing what new forms of desperation their interaction was going to progress to next.

Harry munched on some dry toast slathered with peanut butter and jam. “There have been more attacks,” he said lightly. “Muggles, mostly. A couple of squibs and Muggle-borns.”

She hated that he was so nonchalant about it. Shivering, she contemplated the recent ugliness.

Voldemort had been killed of course, years ago; but that did not mean that the concept of “pure-blood purity” didn’t thrive in the underground. Apparently, some of the supporters of this supposed ideal had gained enough confidence and power to start physical attacks. These attacks had triggered a strange mix of panic and despair - just when everyone thought the danger was over, it seemed that safety was still out of reach.

Harry, being head Auror, was taking it especially hard. He must be devastated, Ginny realized. Was she angry enough at him that she wouldn’t consider helping him get through all of this? Maybe it wasn’t a question of her being angry or not; Voldemort’s message had been one of individual power, and Dumbledore had always taught them to stay strong together. Which path would she choose?

She reached across the table and grasped Harry’s hand, which still held the Prophet. “It’s all right,” she said reassuringly. “You’ll catch them.” Her smile was tight and forced. She hoped he didn’t notice.

He slipped his hand from her grasp and put down the newspaper. “You don’t know that,” he said. His eyes, fierce and glaring, were fixed upon the half-eaten toast that sat on his plate.

“You’re a great Auror, Harry,” Ginny asserted, confident. She knew that much about him.

“You don’t know anything about it,” he opposed. He looked up at her with the same look he had been giving the toast; it was so jarring that, out of instinct, Ginny’s hand jerked in the direction of her wand. “All you do is play on your Quidditch team and wait for me to get home. You never ask about any of it.”

Ginny’s mouth fell open, and she blinked a couple times, incredulous. “I wait here for you,” she said loudly, “sometimes for hours, while you’re off chasing bad guys and trying to play the hero.”

He laughed roughly and stood up. He seemed too ready, too eager for the row, like this was what he had been waiting for. “Oh, yeah,” he said, matching her volume. Did he want a battle of volume, then? Because Ginny could certainly give him that. “That’s exactly what it is. Not that I’m working to try and help people or anything.”

She stood, too. She wasn’t as tall as him, but she liked to think that what she lacked in stature she made up for in wit and logic. “I have no doubt you’re trying to help people, Harry. Your problem is that you don’t think about it. You never think about it!”

Harry seemed to swell with anger. “Are you trying to refer to Sirius?”

“No!” Ginny shrieked. She turned around, pulling at her hair, and then turned to face him again. “I’m not referring to Sirius at all!”

“Really?” Harry asked sardonically, stepping closer. “Because that’s certainly what it sounded like from my end.”

“It’s not my fault you’re so paranoid,” she stated. “And please stop trying to make me out to be the evil one in this situation. You always play the martyr, every time...”

“Martyr?” Harry repeated. There was a slight pause where he looked as though he couldn’t quite believe what he was hearing. And then, his voice booming, he continued. “I’m sorry, Ginny. I’m sorry that I was the one who had to kill Voldemort. I’m sorry if it inconvenienced you. Are you happy now?”

Ginny was frustrated to the brink of madness. “You are completely missing the point. You don’t realize who pays the price for your schemes and your little frivolities –”

“Is that what this is about?” Harry demanded. “The people I hurt? What, are you angry because I couldn’t save everyone, because Sirius is dead, because Lupin and Tonks and Mad-Eye and Dumbledore are gone? Your brother? Maybe that’s why you’ve been so intolerable lately.” He laughed, but it was full of malice. Ginny felt like covering her ears. “Clearly I should have been with Fred at all times and jumped in front of him to save him from every fucking Death Eater.” He was right in front of her, and all she could see were his eyes, all she could hear was his voice; she tried to stop her chin from wobbling. “Well, that’s not how it works, Gin. There are things more important than defending your brother!”

The room stopped. Time stopped. Ginny swore that her heart stopped.

He seemed to realize right away that he had stepped over a boundary. He took a half-step backward, and opened his mouth a few times as though he wanted to say something.

“Gin -”

Her hand belonged to someone else. Even as her palm flew across his face, her anger became a separate entity, inhabiting her body and taking control of her arm. Her hand was tingling when it fell back to her side.

He kept his head turned, as though he was deserving of it; which he was, Ginny thought, which he absolutely was. He knew not to talk about Fred, not to talk at all about Fred, and if he did, to do it in only the most reverent manner. Nothing was more sacred than that, and he had violated that rule, he had spat on it and danced all over it, and nothing could be the same ever, ever again, because this was one thing she couldn’t forgive him for.

“I deserved that.”

“Yes. You did.”

A long silence passed. And then Ginny realized what she’d just done.

Mortified, confused, she gripped the offensive hand and pushed it behind her, as though hiding the evidence of a crime. Her head ached - too many thoughts were swirling around in it, thoughts of love and hatred and revenge and forgiveness. She just didn’t know who they were for, who she hated more - Fred for leaving her, or Harry; who, she supposed, had done the same thing.

“I can’t stay here,” she whispered hoarsely, staring at the knots in the floorboards. One knot seemed to twist and turn, blurred from the water welling up in her eyes, and it morphed into Fred’s face. She had to squeeze her eyes shut, and still the image was burned into her brain. She hadn’t thought about him, really thought about him, in so long, and she thought she would start screaming from the pain.

“Gin, please...” She felt a hand on her shoulder and ripped herself away, turning her back to him.

“I have to go,” she repeated louder; but it did nothing. Fred’s face was still all she saw, even when her eyes flew open to chase it away. A ringing seemed to flood her ears, and her thoughts flew about in her mind too quickly for her to understand them.

She had to get away from here, get away from Harry and from him and from the awful memories. She had to go, run away, right now before more memories, clearer memories, ones of when her family had been whole and she had been undoubtedly, unthinkingly in love, assailed her.

She turned wildly to look at Harry, her eyes still wide and straining, and she felt the tears that covered her cheeks for the first time. She could hear her own panicked, ragged breaths. She could see Harry’s face, broken and torn like she was the one hurting him; but his eyes were still clouded, and she saw no trace of the person she had once known. Unthinkingly, she stepped forward and Disapparated to the only place she could think of.

She just hoped that Luna was home.

Xx0xX

Please review and tell me what you think.


Last edited by MinglerX on Thu Oct 22, 2009 5:18 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Impenetrable; Chapter 1: Falling Slowly   Tue Sep 29, 2009 11:30 pm

*loves it*
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PostSubject: Re: Impenetrable; Chapter 1: Falling Slowly   Sun Oct 04, 2009 2:18 pm

Aw. Haha. I read it thinking that there would be yuri in this chapter (but clearly I didn't read your warning very carefully).

You kept them very in-character, in that what they said, how they acted was very believable. Even Harry being a jerk. Also, they're not like, flat-in-character. They seem to have very good depth to them, despite it being the first chapter.

Very enjoyable -- in terms of the tone, and the way you write. Quite effortlessly. Yay, talent! Very Happy

---- (yes, here comes the bitch) ----

HOWEVER, there are some parts that were a little unpolished, imho, not that it makes your writing any less enjoyable.

Well, that wasn’t entirely true; once, when she was very young, all that she wanted was a unicorn foal. -- the latter part of the sentence seems a little awk.

Looking around, Ginny realized that there was no one there for her to unleash her wrath upon. The fiery emotion that had always been familiar to her had dissipated, seeping out of her and leaving in its wake a sort of desolate emptiness. -- I know I do this too, it's an interesting technique to employ, but somehow I feel like the sentence is almost fragmented by the change in tenses? Could you possible smooth it out a little?

Unthinkingly, she stepped forward and Disapparated to the only place she could think of to go -- unnecessary?

Smack went her hand as she slapped him across the face. -- I'm not sure if the tone of this sentence matches what is happening in the scene.

And I really loved these lines:

The room stopped. Time stopped. Ginny swore that her heart stopped. (the repetition is really effective here)

Mortified, confused, she gripped the offensive hand and pushed it behind her, as though hiding the evidence of a crime. Her head ached - too many thoughts were swirling around in it, thoughts of love and hatred and revenge and forgiveness. She just didn’t know who they were for, who she hated more - Fred for leaving her, or Harry; who, she supposed, had done the same thing. (great conveyance of her confusion)

She could see Harry’s face, broken and torn like she was the one hurting him; but his eyes were still clouded, and she saw no trace of the person she had once known. (love the nostalgic tone)
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PostSubject: Re: Impenetrable; Chapter 1: Falling Slowly   Sun Oct 04, 2009 2:19 pm

Also. Lindsay.
I'm disappointed in you.
D:< *bitchyface*
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PostSubject: Re: Impenetrable; Chapter 1: Falling Slowly   Tue Oct 06, 2009 6:05 pm

Ok, fine, here is hopefully some angela-worthy crit, jeeze :/

I love how you developed Ginny. And I say 'developed' because, personally, she never was developed in the first place, so you really can't have something from Ginny's POV and keep it 'in character'. I just found that she was never expanded on past 'Ron's sister' and 'cute girl who out of nowhere grew-up into an I-won't-take-your-shit hottie', so... yeah.

The dialogue was fantastic; you can hear them actually saying it in your head, because you've captured the feeling of this scene so well. Its like some new perfume, or something. "L'essence du Stressful Parties de la Vie" -- only at the Bay; and if you buy now as part of your purchase of $75.00 or more, we'll include a new HP Tote for you to carry it home in! But hurry, this sale won't last forever. One gift per customer, while quantities last.

Also: I agree with most of what angela pointed out, but especiiiially with the line "Smack went her hand as she slapped him across the face." It seemed really awkward, and disruptive of the tone and ..pace? yes, I think that's an apt term; pace of the story. Maybe if you wrote it in the past tense? Or somehow did it so that you got across she slapped him, but without directly saying so? If you just change it slightly, it could be more effective in drawing attention to it. And it is an awesome line, and should have heaps and heaps upon heaps of attention drawn to it. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Impenetrable; Chapter 1: Falling Slowly   Wed Oct 07, 2009 6:11 pm

YAY. Lindsay. Much better.
*hug*
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PostSubject: Re: Impenetrable; Chapter 1: Falling Slowly   Fri Oct 09, 2009 4:17 pm

OH MY GOD, YOU GUYS. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH.

*crit-gasm*

Thank you sooooo, so much. I'll rework some of the stuff you pointed out, and try to incorporate the good things into the next chapter.

*has a really spazzy excitement*
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PostSubject: Re: Impenetrable; Chapter 1: Falling Slowly   Fri Oct 09, 2009 10:05 pm

LOL. *crit-gasm*
That kinda made my day.
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