It was a lovely day, with the sun breaking through the scattered clouds and a mild breeze in the air, it was the perfect day to Ginny. It was her favourite type of weather; not too hot, not too cold. She smiled at seemingly nothing as she waited for her husband to finish getting ready as, as usual, he had gotten held up at work and was now hurriedly changing his clothes. He had been called in unexpectedly, otherwise, she wouldn't have allowed him to work today.
It was her long-time friends birthday today, and her mother was holding a little get together for him at her childhood home, the Burrow. All of Ginny's family was going to be there, and so she was more than eager to leave.
"Dean? Honey, are you nearly ready?" Deciding that he had taken long enough, Ginny sighed and went upstairs to fetch her husband. "Dean, are you.. Dean!"
He was leaning over the toilet in their ensuite, hurling his lunch into the bowl as if it burned his stomach. Ginny ran forward, wondering what on earth was going on with him of late. She patted his back as he emptied the rest of the contents of his stomach, and then he leaned back against her tiredly.
"You never told me you were sick," She said, worry and accusation mixing into her tone. She felt his forehead, "Do you want to go to the doctor? You're burning."
"No, no, I'm fine. We need to go to the burrow.." she could hear the weariness in his voice and frowned for a moment.
"Are you sure? There'll be other birthdays, other family meetings… other burrow lunches. I don't want you to go if you feel bad,"
He mustered up a smile, but it lacked his usual lustre. His gleaming white teeth against his dark, smooth skin made him the picture of handsomeness. She automatically smiled then, deciding that if he was sure, she wasn't going to keep pestering. "Well, come on then. I'll iron your shirt while you brush your teeth, okay?" Ginny said softly, aware that despite his insistence, he was ill.
Dean's smile became grateful, and he turned to the sink to brush his teeth. "Sorry about that, Gin. I must've caught something at the hospital. Hopefully that'll be it now anyway!"
"Are you sure its just something you caught at the hospital? That's not the first time I've had to comfort you while you threw back up a dinner, lunch or breakfast. And you have been getting headache's a lot.." She turned to look at him, "Have you got one now?"
He met her eyes in the mirror, warmth shining in the dark orbs, "Just a small one, but it's from stress." He popped his toothbrush back in the holder, "Who's the doctor here anyway?"
She laughed and finished ironing, then walking up to him and wrapping her arms around his waist from behind. "I'm trained in the art of 'Molly-Weasley-Sick-Detecting' so doctor does not come into it."
Dean grinned and turned around to face her, "Well, you must not have all of your mothers abilities as I am perfectly fine." He kissed her forehead. "Now, is there not a party we're late for?"
Ginny looked up at him through her long eyelashes, batting them at him jokingly, "Oh but Mr. Thomas, wouldn't you like to have your way with me beforehand?" They both laughed, before all was silenced when he swooped down to kiss her, then scooping her up into his arms and carrying her to their bed.
Ginny smiled against his lips, oh how she loved this man.
"And just where have you two been?" Ginny started to open her mouth before she was cut off, "You know what? I don't want to know, nor do I particularly care at this point." Dean smothered a laugh as she continued., "Your mother is freaking out and I've had to bear the brunt of it till now. Oh-ho, no more.. You have the starring role now, Gin!" Hermione grinned boldly, and then hugged the two of them quickly. "Sorry I can't stop to chat, I've got to put up bloody decorations. Talk later."
Dean laughed as soon as she was out of sight, "High strung is going to be the word of the day! Do you want to find your Mum and I'll find Ron, ask him if I can help him on --"
Ginny grabbed his arm and directed him towards the kitchen, where she knew her Mum was probably cooking up a storm. "You know as well as I that Ron will be hiding out somewhere attempting to escape work. Now, to my mother."
He groaned in defeat, "Fine. I shall work… Even though I'm ill. I could die whilst putting up decorations, and how sorry you'll be then!"
Laughing, "Oh, now you're sick?"
The burrow was buzzing, and everyone hadn't even arrived yet. There was an atmosphere of happiness, a glow in everyone and everything that made you want to smile. The place was strewn in decorations, looking as if they had been put there quite haphazardly, and Dean offered to fix them as he saw them. Ginny nodded and continued the path to her mother.
It was surprising how well things had turned out after the war, really. In all honestly, Ginny had actually expected everything to be absolutely dandy, but when she matured she realised that it was very surprising that things did turn out dandy. That war didn't completely tear her family apart and rip everyone into shreds. Granted, there was the odd argument over old pasts and prejudices, and the occasional skip over someone's name who was no longer on the earth but under it, but that was nothing in comparison to what it could have been. And Ginny was thankful everyday for that.
She, herself, had been very lucky after the war. After a brief -- two years brief -- relationship with Harry, they called it a day and agreed that they were not as suited as they had once thought. After the war and school, neither were the same people they once were and this eventually built to the point where they couldn't talk about anything and were instead engulfed in silence all the time. However, they reconnected once they were friends again and she was fine with him then.
And then Dean walked into her life. A drunken mess at the time who told her to let old flames reignite, a one night stand that turned out to be the love of her life. They married when she was twenty-six, and she hasn't looked back since. He was all she could ask for and more; smart, quick, good-humoured, ambitious, humble, friendly, handsome.. Not too mention that the sex was amazing. But, of course, that was always a factor.
"Ginevra, what time is it? I asked you to be here an hour ago!" Molly was suddenly in front of her, wand in hand and patches of flour on her apron.
Ginny cringed a little at the full use of her name, "Sorry, Mum. Dean got held up at the hospital… Do you want any help?"
Molly then brushed all punctuality grievances off of the hypothetical table and smiled, "It's all nearly ready now, dear. You could help Hermione with the decorations though? Bless her, but she's not doing the best job today. A bit frazzled." She leaned forward then and whispered, "I think she's pregnant."
"You hope she's pregnant, Mum." Ginny replied dryly, knowing full well that her friend wasn't.
"As a mum of seven, I'd like to say that I can spot the signs. Now, off you go to help her!" She shooed Ginny out of the kitchen then, and returned to her recipe's, ingredients and magically stirred bowls.
It was two hours later when everyone was finally sitting down at the table, which had been magically enlarged to allow more people to sit, and conversation flowed back and forth and laughed filled the air as they fed on Molly's famed delicious food.
Molly and Arthur sat as heads of the table, as usual, and from Arthur went oldest to youngest, with spouses sitting beside them and their children across from them. This caused the man of the day to be seated somewhere towards the end, which although didn't suited the day perfectly, he was happy with because he wasn't a fan of the attention.
"This is yummy, Nana!" Victoire chirped delightfully, eating up her dinner as if it was going to disappear any minute.
Bill smiled at his daughter and nodded in agreement, "You've outdone yourself again, Mum."
Molly flushed proudly, "Not at all. Nothing but the best for my family --"
"Ouch!" The loud noise caught the attention of the whole table, who turned to look at Teddy Lupin, who was nearing the top of the table as Victoire had insisted he sit beside her. His cheeks darkened, and his hair turned a deeper blue, but he immediately opened his mouth to defend himself, "Dominique kicked me! And quite hard, too." He sent her a death glare, dropping his 'sophisticated' ten year old façade for a moment.
She looked around the table innocently, "I did not! It was probably Victoire. She's in between us."
Ron whistled loudly, "She's going straight to Slytherin."
Bill shot him a disapproving look, but then returned his gaze to his five year old daughter, "Honey, you know you're not supposed to kick people. And never, ever allowed to lie. Apologise to Teddy."
Dominique gave a theatrical sigh and glanced at him before frowning at her near-empty plate. "Sorry Teddy."
He smiled a little, "That's okay." Conversation returned to normal then, separating into groups to accommodate the whole table.
Ginny couldn't help the warmth in her heart as she observed her family, all of them here at one place. Bill and Fleur were listening intently to something Charlie was saying, and she assumed from the interest and astonishment on their faces that it was something to do with his profession and time in Romania. As they conversed, across from them, Teddy, Victoire played a game where their hands were people, only leaving the game for moments where they would scoop another mountain of food into their mouths. Dominique watched them forlornly as they refused to let her play, she was too young for their big games. Percy and his wife Olivia were helping their son to eat, as he was a stubborn three-year old, as Ginny imagined Percy was. Olivia occasionally added a word or two to the conversation between Fred, George and Ron. This seemed to be some sort of mocking of Ron, as he was alternating between frowning and speaking rapidly and laughing languidly. George's wife, Tania, discussed politics with Luna, who was across from her, and Hermione, who sat beside her. Ginny was close enough to make out this conversation, and briefly listened in on it,
"All I'm saying is that the Ministry needs some big changes before I even contemplate voting for the next Minister.." Tania held up her hands, as if in defence.
Hermione seemed to be on the verge of combusting from frustration, "But that does nothing! You're not changing the ministry, or making your opinion be known. You're just one of the ones who didn't bother to vote, the ones that the Ministry isn't going to be bothered to change for."
Luna sighed and shook her head, "I'll have to side with Hermione here. What good is not voting doing? Unless you were guaranteed a very large people boycotting it with you, it doesn't make much of a difference. People fought for that vote during the war, and it wouldn't seem quite right to just ignore it."
Tania's mouth dropped open here. She then sighed and leaned back in her seat, "I give up. I'll vote for whoever you want, masters." They all laughed then, and returned to more neutral topics. Politics always raised fire in the Weasley household, as it did most, Ginny supposed.
"I'm sorry, but you know he likes me way more than you! And that's quite sad because you're his godfather. You were destined to be the favourite."
Harry cooed at Lorcan, "That's not true, is it, Lorc? You love me way more than Uncle Dean. Uncle Dean doesn't play with you nearly as much as I do."
Luna and Ron's son, Lorcan, the two-year old bundle of energy, ignored Harry and continued to play with his mash potatoes, adding sound effects where necessary. By the sounds of it, it was a horrifying battle field his fork was walking into.
Dean wrapped his arm around Ginny, "What do you think, Gin?"
She snapped out of her reverie, shaking her head, "What were you saying?"
"He thinks Lorcan likes him more." Harry jumped in, his tone implying that he thought this was the most ridiculous thing he had ever heard of. He further enforced this by continuing, "Isn't that the most ridiculous thing you've ever heard?"
"Oh, I'm not so sure.. I heard that you're dubbed to be Witch Weekly's best smile again this year.."
Harry nodded, "Yeah, I suppose that is a bit ridic-- Hey, hey, hey.. I have got the best smile." He flashed her a grin, and Ginny was momentarily reminded of just why she liked Harry Potter so much in her youth.
Dean squeezed her shoulder, and she glanced at him through her laughs to see his eyes shut tightly in pain. His jaw was clenched tightly and his hands were curling into fists.
Ginny slipped out from under his arm to shake him, "Dean? Dean, what's wrong?" panic rose in her voice, and slowly the noise in the room died down.
"Just--just a headache." He managed, but ten seconds later, Ginny watched in silent horror as her husband convulsed in a violent seizure that would irrevocably and irreversibly changed their lives forever.
Hours seemed to drag by as she sat in the waiting room, curled onto the uncomfortable, white, plastic hospital chairs. She brought her knees up to her chest, and rested her head on them, allowing her eyes to close for the first time since she arrived. Ginny couldn't handle the glaring of the white walls anymore.
She could distantly feel Hermione rubbing her back soothingly, having now given up on trying to talk and console Ginny.
Ginny knew something was desperately wrong, she could feel it in her gut. No, she could feel it from the top of her head to the tips of her toes. From a single strand of hair on her head to her organs and muscles. It was a sense of foreboding, dread and pure fear.
There was something dreadfully wrong. Desperately, dreadfully, horrifically wrong.
It had been three hours now, and time hadn't quickened since then. Each second still ticked by as if it were a minute, and she still sat so far forward on her chair with anticipation and nerves that it tilted forward every now and then, causing her to nearly fall off.
Ginny's family were taking shifts in staying with her, and this one was Harry and Hermione's turn. Harry had gone to get coffee as they hadn't eaten or drunken anything since their interrupted meal, and Hermione was simply sitting quietly.
Ginny pondered for a moment on being Hermione and Harry Potter. Their lives were sunshine and rainbows, with one success after a next. They found love with each other after a string of unpromising dates, when they could no longer deny the budding sexual tension and the underlying, deep emotional ties to each other. Ginny saw it before they did, she predicted it before anyone else. And yet, she was still slightly surprised when it happened. She thought neither of them would be brave enough, the irony of it not lost on her when they were perhaps the bravest people she knew.
Married now, with no children, and rapidly advancing careers, they had a happiness she had always noticed. Mostly because she knew what it looked like, as Dean made her that happy.
She felt that happiness being snatched from her, Ginny could feel her fingers slowly slipping from it but she steadfastly gripped it as if their lives depended on it.
"Mrs. Thomas?" A doctor asked, looking at either of them for confirmation. Ginny was mildly shocked he didn't recognise them. Quickly shaking her head, she stood hastily, nearly tripping in her swiftness. "That's me."
He was tall, with a rounded stomach and an aging face. His hairline was receding, and the only colour in the remaining was at the sides, which said that he was once a dark haired man. Traces of attractiveness were etched in his expression, but age had ebbed it somewhat. Wrinkles formed around his bright blue eyes as he smiled briefly at her as a greeting. "I'm afraid it's not good news, Mrs. Thomas."
Ginny could already feel the tears pushing to escape, "C-call me Ginny," she told him, avoiding having to make a response.
"Ginny, your husband has a severe brain tumour known as Glioblastoma multiform." Her eyes widened and shock took hold of her, enabling the rest of her emotions to be bottled for the time being. But fear still seized her heart and wrapped around it, squeezing it so tightly Ginny thought she was about to faint. "Symptoms are extremely hard to recognise, which would perhaps give for why your husband didn't even recognise it, as a healer himself. His is particularly bad, and has progressed to a state when there is nothing we can do about it. We can put him on a treatment of muggle chemotherapy to prolong his months left, but it won't be by much and will be extremely painful for him. Nothing magical will work on him now. I'm very sorry I couldn't be bringing better news--"
"Months?" Ginny asked softly, the words still ringing in her ears.
Sadness showed in his face, "Yes, he has approximately three months left. I'm sorry, Ginny."
She couldn't hear him anymore, and her vision became blurry. Ginny could hear her world crash down around here, sounds of chaos blaring loudly in her ears. Her knees became weak and legs turned to jelly, causing her to fall to the ground. Pain coursed through her veins, pounding in her chest and sending it around her body. Hands shook almost violently, and so Ginny made no attempt to get up from the floor. Tears began to fall rapidly, and she couldn't stop them, they just fell and fell.
Distantly, she could hear Hermione begging her to respond and Harry frantically quizzing the doctor for information.
The darkness was now nearly enveloping Ginny, she was losing touch with reality. Just as she was about to drift off, words rang in her ear..
"Even though I'm ill. I could die whilst putting up decorations, and how sorry you'll be then!"
Hold on guys, things only go upwards from here! Darkness becomes lessened etc..
Reviews would be greatly appreciated!
Again, chapter title is a Dire Straits song, "Romeo and Juliet." I do not own it or Harry Potter! :D