This story is submitted to both a the Randomly Generated Prompt Competition and The Variety Challenge. It is slightly non canon-compliant, since Harry is single in this story, as Ginny had stayed with Dean. Ron and Hermione are still together. Please drop me a review to tell me what you thought about this story!
Prompt (Randomly Generated Prompt Competition): ShatteredPrompt (The Variety Challenge): 13# Dean/Ginny, 499# Dean Thomas, 43# 'As we learn about each other, so we learn about ourselves.', 19# "You're just lying to yourself."
Her faith in their love was cemented by his promises and his vows, when he swore to remain by her side through hail and storm. They weathered a war together, and she had believed with all her heart that nothing would ever tear them apart.
Behind closed doors, they were intimate, and the more she learnt of him, the harder she fell. She fell willingly, though, rejecting the offers to pull her out of this whirlwind. There was no reason to distrust Dean, after all, so she did not look.
Besides, he promised.
She forgot, though, that promises were like rules – they were both made to be broken.
The first time she had seen him bed another was an accident.
Having forgotten to set an alarm spell, she woke up late. In the hurry, she forgot her purse, and was forced to return home to retrieve it – her identification card was in it, and she had specifically charmed the pouch to resist most spells, in an attempt to protect her privacy. Those journalists really resort to anything to get a glimpse of her life, something she still despised.
Catching him undressed with a nameless brunette in the bed – their bed, it shattered her faith.
He pled with her, trying to explain, but she was mad, already having a bad day. She told him to get out.
The brunette went with him.
When he did eventually come back, he promised to never do this again. Ginny gave him the benefit of the doubt, unable to reject him. He held her heart in his hands, still, and she wanted to give him another chance.
"Do you want to talk about feelings?"
The question disrupted the silence permeating the air. Without pausing, Ginny asked, "Why?"
"As we learn about each other, so we learn about ourselves."
Ginny stilled at that, before turning around to stare at him. She studied his face, before deciding that she could not figure out what this was about. "Are you being serious, or are you trying to make me laugh?"
He got punched in the shoulder as a reward. His real reward, though, was her laughter.
She sobered up soon, going back to pouring over the ways they could unite the people in the school against the Death Eaters. To rally them to fight, to strike back and stop bending under the pressure. The most important project, though, was to find Harry Potter.
To find that chance needed for them to win this war, no matter how slim the chance was.
Something in Dean's heart pulled at her eye bags, even though she was overflowing with determination. He wanted to make her smile again.
He broke the promise.
Again and again.
Each time, though, he would come back
Each time, she gave him another chance.
The faith she had in him, in them – that shattered each time he chose someone over her, together with her heart. The people around her – her family, her friends – they pieced her back together each time, but the cracks remain there, immortalised in her.
It's funny, though, how he could break his heart so many times over, yet she would always love him, with all the little pieces that's left.
"Why are you still with him? If he keeps on hurting you, why did you stay?"
"Because he loves me! Because he promised, and he said that he wouldn't do so again!"
"How many times did he go back on his word?"
"He wouldn't break his promise this time."
"Do you really believe that?" The question was soft, a silent challenge. Hermione looked away, continuing before she could reply. "You're just lying to yourself, Ginny. Why are you the only one who refuse to see that?"
It took her 3 years to finally give up on the future she had envisioned, for her to understand that they would never settle down together blissfully, simply because he could not do this. Not for anyone, not even for her. It took that amount of time for her faith in love to be shattered beyond salvation, too.
Their relationship had been teetering on the edge of no return for a long, long time. When it was finally shoved over the side, it was just another normal day, with her going out for groceries.
When she walked in on him with a blonde, she could no longer even summon up the energy to feel hurt, or get angry at him.
She simply walked out of the room.
With no direction in mind, she ended up wandering into the streets of muggle London, slipping into the crowds as just another nobody, going with the flow.
As the drizzles started, her tears slid down her cheeks.
She made no efforts to wipe them away, instead, she closed her eyes and set them free.
Set her love, her heart, free, too, because she finally made peace with the fact that even though he loved her above them all, he could never, would never settle with her.
"Who is this from?"
The baskets of flowers occupying the floors made it hard for Ron to navigate his sister's apartment.
Ron was suddenly tempted to step on the flowers. "That scumbag still has the guts to send you flowers?" His temper started to flare up once more. When he had first gotten news that the guy had went with another woman, he had gotten so worked up that even Hermione had a hard time calming him down. His sister deserved so much better than someone like him! When they finally broke up for good, he had been tempted to throw a party to celebrate.
He has no rights to try and come back into Ginny's life this way!
"He still loves me, you know."
The quiet resignation in Ginny's voice made Ron pause in his outrage. He took a moment to process her words.
"If he did, why would he cheat on you?"
Ginny kept her eyes on the table, where the cutlery was lining itself up nicely. They were settling down when she finally replied.
"He can never fully settle down."
"He cheated on you with them!" Ron wanted to take the words back the moment they tumbled out. It was always a sore subject, he did not want to hurt his sister by bringing up all that memories.
Ginny looked up at him then. "He loved me more than he loved any of them."
Ron blinked at the conviction. "How would you know that?"
She looked at the flowers taking over the floor. There was a shine in her eyes, one that Ron would like to believe was only reflected light at the right angle.
"He always choose me over them."
A heavy silence followed. Ron was sure he was expected to make some sort of comment, but he had no idea what to say to that. Ginny saved him from having to speak by continuing.
"In the end, I was the only one he had ever come back home to."
In this story, Dean was had a fear of commitment, so he could never settle down with one person. I would like to imagine that they both understood that, but never spoke about it. That was why, each time, Ginny took Dean back, even though it broke her heart to think of him with someone else. In the end, though, she could not cope anymore, and broke it off, although they both knew that the other would still fully hold their heart.
Basically, she loved him enough to let him walk out of her life, but she could not keep taking him back, only to let him go once more.