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Sunrise

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Everything was dark and still, the only sound was Ron’s soft snores coming from inside the tent. Harry was sitting outside the tent that they had set up on a hillside the afternoon before. There was light tree cover, but even despite their protective charms, Harry still felt exposed. He could feel the hairs on the back of his neck standing straight and he kept jerking his head around as he couldn’t help but feel as though he was being watched.

Logically, he knew that he couldn’t be seen by anyone unfriendly, they had tested their charms as soon as they had gone up. All the same, Harry hated the hours he sat guard at night. It wasn’t usually like him to be panicky, but in those hours where he sat outside alone in the dark, he was able to feel the terrifying weight of his loneliness and his fear that came from being the most wanted wizard in the country.

He wished that Ron was awake sitting out here next to him, as they had sometimes done when one of them couldn’t sleep. Harry felt tempted to wake him up, craving the company of a person he cared about, who cared about him. Harry decided against it, knowing that Ron needed his sleep. And besides, Harry thought, looking down at his watch to see it read 5:30, he’d be awake soon enough anyways.

So instead of going into the tent to wake Ron, Harry reached into the Mokeskin pouch that Hagrid had given him for his birthday and pulled out the Marauder’s Map.

‘I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.’

It didn’t take him long to find her. Being so early in the morning, he knew exactly where she’d be, and sure enough, he found her almost instantly in Gryffindor tower.

Harry’s eyes became glued to the dot on the map labelled Ginny Weasley, where it stayed perfectly still in her dormitory, among the three other dots that represented her roommates, all of them apparently sound asleep.

Not for the first time, he wished he could talk to her, to know what life as Hogwarts was like. He wanted, needed to know that she was okay, that she was safe, even though he knew that in reality, she was probably in more danger than she’d ever been in. The thought that she could be hurting and unsafe yet so far away was painful to Harry, and he found himself drying his eyes with the corner of his sleeve.

He allowed his hand to softly trace over her dot on the map, and closed his eyes, trying to think of happier things. He remembered the sunlit days under the tree by the lake, sharing jokes in the library while Ginny was studying for her OWLs, trying to muffle their laughter so they didn’t get caught by Madam Pince, he remembered the blazing look in her eyes as she ran to him after the final Quidditch match, kissing her...

Harry did not know how long he had sat with his eyes closed, allowing his thoughts of Ginny to replay over and over in his mind, somehow temporarily ridding him of the loneliness and fear that had been plaguing him throughout the nights. When he opened his eyes again, he could see the sun start to peek out from over the horizon, and he watched as the sky became a lovely painting of orange and yellow that he would have enjoyed much more had Ginny been sitting next to him.

She will be soon, Harry thought firmly as he heard rustling from inside the tent, signalling that Ron and Hermione were waking up. We will have many more sunrises together.