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when breaking is best

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Some six years after the Battle of Hogwarts, Harry Potter wakes up in a cold sweat. 

"Ginny," he says, reaching unseeing for his wife, "Gin."

She wakes easily (he is not the only one that has nightmares) and her hand finds his, "I'm here, Harry."

He shakes his head, trying to clear his mind of the images of his aunt and uncle screaming unwanted and the seething rage of his own voice saying to a boy with his hair and eyes I wish you weren't my son, "No."

She makes a confused, concerned sound as he turns towards her. His hand finds the bump of her stomach where their first child waits to enter the world.

"Promise me," he says, green eyes meeting hazel almost frantically, "Promise me, if I ever hurt our child in any way, Gin, promise me you'll leave."


"Please." His voice cracks just a little with the force of his need, "Promise me you won't ever make them see me again, if I hurt them. If I make them feel like I don't love them, even. I can't--"

"You won't," Ginny says, voice firm as one hand curls into his hair. The bump of her lips against his is light, soothing, "You won't, but if you ever do, I promise."

"Thank you." He's shaking still as he sighs, presses a grateful kiss against her lips before settling back against the bed. His hand still rests against her stomach, protective.

As he settles back into sleep again, Ginny lets her hand rest over his. Presses a quiet kiss against the scar on his forehead. 

Her husband is frightened of hurting their children. She isn't. She's already seen the way he loves-- all-encompassing, defensive. She already knows he'd rather die than cause the people he loves to hurt.

He already has.