The Broken Road

Disclaimer: This story is not endorsed by, or affiliated with, Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books, Raincoast Books, or Warner Bros., Inc. No copyright infringement is intended, and no money is being made.

Summary: Ginny Weasley Potter has gone through a string of men, even suffering through a stint being married to the Savior of the Wizarding World. She keeps her pain bottled up inside, until when she finally snaps, she does something drastic that changes her world forever.

Pairings: DM/GW, GW/HP, GW/OC

Rating: NC-17 eventually, but for now, PG-13 (language)

Author’s Notes: Inspired by the Rascal Flatts song “God Bless the Broken Road (That Led Me Straight to You).”

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The Broken Road - Chapter One

Ginny leaned against the bathroom door; her eyes squeezed shut as she tried to catch her breath. Fights between herself and her husband had always been volcanic and intense, and tonight had been no exception. Usually the fights were followed by tender make-up sex, but tonight she knew that it would not happen. This time she had had enough.

Tears streamed down her face unbidden as she sucked in deep, calming breaths. Harry had come home late for the third time in a row this week, and she’d had enough, demanding to know his whereabouts. He had immediately bristled and said that he’d been at work late and that if she didn’t trust him, that was her problem, not his.

She had pressed and pressed until he had stormed out of the flat they shared, headed for an undisclosed location. She had been so angry at him that, instead of crying and throwing herself across the bed as her other female friends were wont to do, she flooed the first person she could think of; the only person who could possibly give her advice.


She was in for the surprise of her life. When her head popped into the flames unannounced, there in Hermione’s living room sat her bushy-haired friend and her husband – her fucking husband – on the couch, connected at the lips. Her gasp of utter surprise was enough to make them jump apart, and when Hermione saw her, she began to cry. Harry just stared open-mouthed until Ginny gathered wits enough about her to withdraw her head from the flames.

The only thing she could think to do was go to the loo and take a bath. A nice, long, hot, cleansing bath. It wouldn’t do to cry over it; obviously Harry wasn’t doing any crying for her.

She’d just walked into the small bathroom they shared when she heard the pop of Harry apparating back into their home. She went on about turning on the taps and pouring a bit of purple bubble bath mixture into the water, her movements maddeningly calm, and completely belying the storm that raged beneath the surface.

Harry found her mere moments later, and stood in the doorway, his arms hanging limply at his sides.

“Gin, I don’t know what to say,” he began, his voice soft and soothing. Ginny squeezed her eyes shut – he was using his Auror tricks against her, the bastard! Didn’t he think she’d remember what they’d been taught? Speak softly – lower yourself to their level. Keep your voice steady and even, and as soothing as possible, to encourage cooperation.

“About what?” she asked, forcing her voice to sound level. She knew without turning to look at him that Harry was frowning; could see the lines that creased his forehead. How many times had she run her fingers lovingly over those frown lines, insisting that he needed to smile more? She ignored the pang in her chest and turned off the tap.

“What do you mean, ‘about what?’ You know what I’m talking about. This isn’t like you, to pretend that something doesn’t exist to try and make it go away!” She rounded on him, her cinnamon eyes flashing dangerously.

“And it isn’t like you to run off to your best friend’s flat and snog her senseless after you’ve had a row with your wife!”

His mouth opened and closed several times before he could actually form any words. “I’m sorry. I don’t know what else to say.”

“How long?” she asked, her voice deadly calm.

“Three months,” he answered without hesitation. She exhaled slowly. She supposed she hadn’t expected a denial from him, since it wasn’t like Harry not to tell her the brutal truth when it mattered, but still – it would have been nice to know that he hadn’t been with the both of them at the same time. And Hermione, she thought bitterly. How could Hermione be consorting with a married man, and still be able to look Ginny in the eye during their once-a-week girl’s day out?

“Do you love her?”

He flinched, and she had her answer.

“Harry, I’d like it if you’d leave.”

He stared at her for a moment. Ginny was nothing if not direct. “But – where would I go? Why don’t you want to talk about this?”

“We have talked about it, and I think that we’ve said just about all we need to say on the subject,” she said, careful to quash the impulse to fold her arms over her chest. It was a defensive mechanism, and Harry would interpret it just that way – and know that it meant that she was hurting.

And then he would stay and try to work things out.

And she just couldn’t deal with that right now.

“All right,” he said resignedly, his shoulders sagging quite a bit. She watched him turn and leave, and she closed the door behind him, pressing her back up against it. That was when the silent tears came, no matter how hard she tried to stop them.

He should have fought harder, she thought. He should have done anything but just walk away from her like that. After four years of marriage, he should have apologized and promised her anything she wanted in the world to make it up to her, if only she would take him back.

Instead he’d simply given up.

She blew out a long breath and pulled her shirt over her head. It wasn’t as though she would have taken him back, she thought, even if he had fought for her. The fact of the thing was that he hadn’t even tried, and that was what really hurt.

She finished shedding her clothes and stepped into the scalding water, welcoming the heat as it seeped into her pores. The jasmine scent of the bubbles permeated her nostrils and helped her to forget the smell of Harry’s musky cologne, for which she was grateful. She sank down into the water until it touched her chin, and her eyes drifted closed.

“Do you, Harry James Potter, take this woman as your wedded wife? To have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish 'till death do you part?”

“I do, and hereto I pledge Ginny my faithfulness.”

Tears found their way out of the corners of her tightly closed eyes, no matter how she fought them. Her throat constricted, and a strangled cry escaped her. How was it possible for someone to take such a serious vow so lightly?

She opened her eyes, unable to bear the happy images behind them. Outside of the bathroom, she could hear Harry moving about and gathering his things. It was taking too long, she thought. He should have had nearly everything he needed by now. Perhaps he was lingering and trying to wait until she came out of the bathroom, so he could talk to her. If that was the case, he would wait forever and not see her. She would apparate into the bedroom and avoid walking through the hallway and the family room altogether.

Childish, she knew, but what else was to be done? If she showed Harry any weakness, any at all, she knew that she would be lost and things would go back to the way they had been. She would not be able to live with herself if she shared his bed again after finding out that he’d been sharing it with another woman.

Didn’t she deserve more than that?

When the bathwater had gone tepid despite three warming charms, she finally heard the pop that signaled Harry’s leaving. Sighing with relief, she rose from the tub and wrapped a fluffy white towel around her body. Her hair dripped down her back, causing her to shiver as she padded from the bathroom to the bedroom. When she reached it, she automatically closed the door.

It looked the same, though she was willing to bet that if she tried to open Harry’s closet, it would be empty. She didn’t bother to look, and instead went to her dresser and rummaged through it until she found what she was looking for. A pair of worn, baggy flannel pyjama pants and a too-long t-shirt that Charlie had given her last year for Christmas.

The word ‘Romania’ was emblazoned across the t-shirt, bringing a smile to Ginny’s face as she glanced at it. Perhaps Charlie would listen to her… she shook the thought off immediately. This was between her and Harry (and Hermione now, too, she thought bitterly), and she would not bring her family into it. They didn’t need to know about her marital problems – especially not when they all adored Harry the way they did.

She pulled the clothes on and sank onto her bed, pulling the covers up to her chin. Avoiding Harry’s side like the plague, she curled up and closed her eyes. The first thing she was going to do tomorrow morning, she thought tiredly, was buy a single bed.
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