I was already in the car and heading towards the hospital by the time Ron was halfway through his sentence. He had called me just after visiting hours started, with the news that I could go and see Ginny today. He said that seeing as I was the one to find her, I should be the first to see her. I told him I was on my way, hung up and sped towards the hospital. I was there in five minutes flat.
When I got into the waiting room, it was to see Mrs Weasley waiting for me. She smiled, looking slightly bemused that I had got here so fast, and gestured towards Ginny’s room, indicating that I could go in. I smiled at her, and walked past to knock on Ginny’s door. I could hear voices talking, one I recognised as Ginny’s, and one as Ron’s.
“Come in!” I heard Ginny say. My knees were starting to feel wobbly. I pushed open the door, and entered the room. It was a pretty normal hospital room, with the bed in the middle and some plastic chairs surrounding it. The room itself was light and airy, painted a light cream colour. There were two windows, one on my left and one on my right. They were both framed by curtains in a flower pattern. But only a very small portion of my brain was focused on the room, because the rest was focused on the figure in the bed. She looked bruised, and had a black eye. Her arms were hooked up to a couple of machines that I had no idea what they were doing. She was sitting up, but she was propped on loads of pillows, and looked exhausted. But she still looked beautiful to me. She was staring right back at me, her chocolate brown eyes swallowing up my green ones. Ron, who I hadn’t noticed up to then, cleared his throat loudly. We both started at the sound, and looked away from each other, both of us the same colour as her hair.
“Um… I’ll be going then.” He said, and his ears were red. I could feel the embarrassment in the air, as if there was an electric current travelling around. “You only have ten minutes.” He said, throwing a pointed look at me as he swept out of the room. And now, despite the fact I had been planning what to say for hours, all my carefully practised words flew out of my head just looking at her.
“It was you.” She said, and her voice sent shivers down my spine. I was still standing in the doorway, so I walked forward cautiously and sat on the now familiar plastic chairs, the same as those in the waiting room.
“What was me?” I asked, but she just gave a look that made me abruptly change tack. “Okay, yes it was me who found you.” I admitted, not knowing why I was so afraid to tell her. I was staring at my hands, clasped together on my knees. I felt her hand before I saw it, resting gently on top of both of mine. It was strange, with anyone else I would have seen it before I saw it, but with Ginny it was like an electric current alerting me to her presence. I looked up at her, her brown eyes smiling at me without her mouth having to.
“Thank you.” She said fervently. “Without you I would most probably be dead. You saved my life.” She looked almost scared, probably from showing her feelings after a lifetime of showing a harder side 24/7.
I was suddenly very aware of her hand on mine, and her mouth so close to mine. It was clear that she had had the exact same thought, because she appeared to be having the same trouble breathing as I was. I leaned slightly closer, until we were almost kissing. Then I caught myself. She had almost been killed, and I had saved her. She didn’t have to do anything to say thank you, the best thank you I could get was that she was still alive. But I wanted to. I wanted to so much, but I couldn’t ruin our friendship. I wouldn’t add any more burdens to her already problem-filled life.
I stood up suddenly, and backed up a couple of steps. She was looking at me, her brown eyes hurt. I had made her hurt, more than she already was.
I hated myself.
I had done that.
I turned on my heel and all but ran out of the room.
I watched in surprise as Harry sprinted from the room. Ugggh. He had almost, almost, kissed me, and then he runs from the room? That was not okay on so many levels. I flopped back on the pillows, defeated. My cheeks were burning. How stupid was I, believing that one of the most popular, rich and clever students in a school for rich, clever people would ever fall for a girl like me. What had I been thinking? How could I be so naïve? My self-pity party was interrupted by a tall, lanky and freckled someone. Great. Just what I needed.
“Did I just see Harry leaving? That’s strange. He’s barely left the waiting room for three days!” I knew he said something else, but I wasn’t paying attention. Harry had spent the last three days in the waiting room for me? Surely he had some other friend or relative or someone here, he wouldn’t do that for me and then leave when he visits. Ugggh. Boys. They are the hardest thing to understand on the planet! Why can’t they just tell you if they like you, or if they want to go out with you, or if they never want to see you again!
“Uh, Ginny, were you listening to me?” I heard Ron say, jerking me out of my reverie. I looked up sheepishly, and getting the answer from my expression, repeated his words with a sigh.
“The doctors say you can leave tomorrow, your chest and ribs might be sore for a while, but they were only slightly bruised and your head should be fine, although they say if you get any bad headaches you should go and see the doctor.” I could leave tomorrow? Yes! After only a day of consciousness here I was bored! I was never able to sit still for more than a few minutes, and having a whole day of having to… wasn’t the most pleasant experience of my lifetime to say the least. But now I’m soon to be free! I had to force myself to sit still. Ron laughed at my expression and made things a hundred times better with another piece of news.
“The doctors and Mum say you can have the rest of the week off, we’re getting Luna to pick up any homework and give it to me, do you know her?” I did know Luna, although not well. She was in almost all of my lessons, and most the other students kept their distance from her because she was, well, weird to say the least. She has these strange earrings that look like radishes, a constant dreamy expression and a tendency to insist that some strange creatures exist, such as crumple-horned snorkacks and thestrals. Because both she and I were shunned by our classmates, we often ended up working together for paired activities. She was the closest thing to a friend I had in my year.
“Yeah I know her. I get the week of school? How did they get Mum to agree to that?” I asked. My mother was notorious in not letting us off school unless we literally couldn’t get out of bed. I think I’ve had two days off in my whole life, both for a bad case of flu.
“The doctors said it would damage your physical and mental state, so she agreed, somewhat grudgingly.” I smiled. That sounded like Mum. “Oh, and Hedwig, Pig and Hermione are here to see you.” He said, his voice softening on Hermione’s name. It was hilarious watching my brother fall for my friend. I grinned at him and he smiled tentatively back, looking slightly alarmed.“And after that you’ve got Luna and Neville to see you, and then Fred and George managed to get a day off from the joke shop, they’ll be here in about half an hour…” he kept going on about all the people here to see me, and I prepared myself for a lot of talking and listening. I don’t like people.