Love Lies Bleeding

by Oldenuf2nb


She checked in on him each morning, hoping to see him eating breakfast but the most he seemed to manage was a cup of tea.  She checked him during her lunch hour, only to find that he was usually with Ron and Hermione in the library at Grimmauld Place, and the clear light of day showed how haggard he appeared.  She’d check him at bedtime, and she didn’t see him touching himself again but she saw how restless he was, and how unhappy.  During the daylight hours he seemed to make an effort to hide his despondency, but at night, in his bed, he just looked…lost.  Ginny began to think she should get in touch with Hermione somehow, tell her to watch him, but then how did she explain her concerns?  She couldn’t admit she’d been spying on him using a spell and a magic mirror; that was just…creepy.  She vowed to redouble her efforts, and if he truly began to frighten her, than she’d just have to come clean.  The thought made her palms sweat.

He disappeared again a few days later, and was gone for nearly two weeks.  By the time Harry’s image reappeared in the mirror, Ginny was so relieved to see him that she nearly wept.  She was also profoundly relieved to see that, unlike the last time he’d disappeared and then returned looking dreadful, this time he actually seemed better.  There was a bit more color in his face, a bit more life in his green eyes.  Something had changed; she didn’t know what, but something had improved his outlook.  She liked to think that she was merely happy because he was better and not relieved that she wouldn’t have to reveal that she was some sort of twisted voyeur.

She took to watching him in the evenings again.  Finishing her dinner and her homework, she would retire early and spend time enclosed on her silenced bunk just watching Harry.  He looked a little more relaxed, she noticed.  She saw him playing chess with her brother’s freckled hands; saw him smiling at something someone said and it was an easier expression than she’d seen on his face in a while.  She saw him drinking what looked like a butterbeer.  His appetite was better; she saw him snacking often, and the relief she felt was palpable.  She was so relieved in fact that it took her a few nights to process that while she recognized Ron’s sturdy hands when they came near Harry, and Hermione’s efficient ones, there was another pair that began to appear that she did not recognize.  She didn’t even realize that they were there until late one evening as she watched Harry’s face, and an unfamiliar hand pressed on his shoulder just to the left of his neck before pulling away, as if someone had touched him casually in passing.

It wasn’t so much the hand that caught her attention, actually; it was Harry’s response to it.  An expression passed over his face, brief, but distinct.  It was surprise and then…pleasure.  It made his lips curl slightly, his eyes warm infinitesimally.  Had she not made such an exhaustive study of him over the past few weeks, she might have missed it entirely.  But she had, and she froze, her eyes wide.  Whoever that was, their touch had pleased Harry, and jealousy surged through her chest.  She hadn’t liked seeing him miserable, but she liked his responding to someone else’s touch that way even less.

After that, her sessions with the mirror took on a whole new dimension.  Who was that, who had touched him so casually?  She searched her memory, but the most she seemed to recall about the hand was that it had been slender, and pale.  She’d thought it was male, but now she wasn’t so sure.  It could have been a woman’s hand, and the idea of it made her both seethe and squirm.  He’d broken up with her, but in her mind, he was still hers.  How dare someone else touch him?

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