A Tale of Two by Aniket Chowdhury
Summary: By accident, Harry and Ginny stumble upon a hidden Portkey and are swept away. What happens next, and how do they get back? Will they ever? An adventure awaits them. Life hasn't often been kind to Harry Potter, but change is due.
Categories: SIYE Challenges, Portkey Challenge (2018-1)
A Tale of Two by Aniket Chowdhury
Chapter 1: PrologueAuthor's Notes:
This year wasn't turning out to be a good one. Harry sighed. Voldemort was back, Cedric was dead, Ministry was out for his blood, no one would tell him anything and here he was stuck cleaning rooms. Yeah right, like that would help against Voldemort.
He hated how everyone thought they knew what was best for him when they couldn't even say his name. Hypocrites. Only if his parents were alive. It was wishful thinking. He knew that, but it didn't stop him, did it now? He sighed again.
“Stop doing that,” Ginny snapped, which startled him and he turned back to look at her. “This place is as sad as they come.”
He had completely forgotten she was there. Ron and Hermione were being their usual selves so here he was, cleaning the room of one Regulus Black.
He glanced at Ginny, and looked into her angry chocolate brown eyes. She was filling out in all the right places. He couldn't believe this was the same little girl who was crying her eyes out when he had rescued her., who now was glaring at him
“I am sorry,” said Harry. He looks down at the duster he was holding. It reminds him of how Petunia would make him dust everything whenever she felt like it. A hot surge of anger filled his veins, and with all his might he chucked it with all his might across the room, careful enough it not hit Ginny.
He watched it go, marvelling the sheer speed it held, before it rammed into the cupboard, and all things cam tumbling down from it. And it went on. It must have had a space-expansion charm on it. They would have to clean it.
“Fuck!” he swore.
Ginny let put a low whistle, “Whoa! You would have made a good Chaser.”
He looked at her incredulously, as she stared at the mess he had made. He would expected her to be angry. Especially as she was snappinb at him a moment ago.
She looked back at him, “Feel better?”
“A bit,” Harry confessed. “This place sucks.”
Ginny grinned, “Tell me about it.”
Harry let out a sigh, before he collapsed into the floor, cross-legged. Ginny followed him, though she didn't cross he legs, rather sat down with her knees folded in front of her. Her skirt hitched a bit, and her long legs were suddenly more into the metaphorical light.
A quick glance had his blood running south. He was a teenager. It was only ramblings of his lunatic godfather that he didn't stare at them for more than a second. While his eyes were focused on her face, he subtly admired them using his peripheral vision.
“If you ever wanted to go on a vacation where would it be?” Ginny asked him curiously.
It felt random, he thought. Too random. His brain halted as he tried to figure out what this was about, hence he looked at her stupidly for a moment. He had never considered that before. A vacation. It was a pleasant thought. The only one that he ever had was in Diagon Alley in his fifth year. Dursleys never took him, and he doubted he ever wanted to visit a place that was Dursleys’ idea of a vacation.
“Dunno,” he answered honestly at last.
She gave him an incredulous look. “Why not?” She had asked in such a tone that conveyed as if it were a personal offence to her.
Harry shrugged, “Somewhere warm. A beach maybe. Scotland’s a bit cold.” A beach did sound good. He wondered if he would even live long enough to go on a vacation. He told her that. “I am not sure if I will live long enough to see one.“
She gave him a sharp look, “Don't think like that.”
Harry snorted, “Ginny, there is a Dark Lord hell bent on killing me, the Ministry hates me, Dumbledore has been avoiding me, and instead of learning how to survive, here I am cleaning some dusty room because I wasn't tortured enough at Durzkaban.”
Ginny did not lecture him like Hermione or joke like Ron, instead she something he would have never expected, she moved and hugged him.
“We will find a way,” she whispered comfortingly.
He closed his eyes and inhaled her hair, and allowed himself to relax. A blessed euphoria took over his senses. It was better than flying. It was magical, perhaps even better.
Reluctantly, Ginny let him go. Harry smiled as he looked into her chocolate brown eyes as he reciprocated his smile, as a dull blush rose in her face
“I wish we could leave this some dusty room,” Ginny sighed as she left his personal space and settled down. She gave the cupboard a quick glance, “We created quite the racket though.”
Harry snorted. He corrected her, “I created quite the racket. I will clean it up.”
Though he didn't think he would be able to do it before Lunch. Well, it was his fault. Own it up Potter.
Ginny snorted, “Don't be stupid. I'll help.”
Harry gave her a polite smile. He wouldn't have minded doing it alone, and he would have argued but he didn't want her to leave. He was being selfish. But, to him, this was vacation. Spending as much time with Ginny as he could.
They worked together through the mess. It seemed like the cupboard mostly held stationary items. There were a few old diaries, which Ginny refused to even touch. She didn't put it in words, but he could tell by how she wouldn't pick items near it. So, he took care of them. And Hermione thought he was oblivious. Just because he didn't react to what he saw didn't mean he was.
It must really have been traumatic for an eleven year old. It hadn't that great of an effect on Harry. Cedic’s death was another story though. He really wished to leave this place. It was despicable. But, no, the great Dumbledore wouldn't —
“Look what I found,” her sudden voice made him jump. He clenched his jaw, he would get himself killed if he didn't stop getting lost in his thoughts. He looked as she moved her hand towards him.
Ginnt held what looked like the most elegantly designed coin he had ever seen. Harry looked up, and saw the awe that she felt — the awe that held her eyes was perhaps, being mirrored by his own. It was enchanting.
The intricate designs in black ink were highlighted out by the emerald background it held. The gold base certainly deemed it worthy enough. It stood out in the pile of junk, glittering in the gloom of the house like a bright ray of sunshine. It was larger than a galleon which were big, yet small enough to be a coin.
“It's beautiful,” she whispered. He nodded knowing that she couldn't see him, but words had left him.
Before Harry knew he had placed his hand on the coin. A mistake.
He gasped as his fingers brushed the metal, which was echoed by his companion. The frigid coin had drawn blood from where he had placed his hand. He pulled it hard but he couldn't let go of it, let alone move it. It was as if a force was holding the coin from moving.
Harry could see the panic and fear that rose in Ginny’s eyes as she too couldn't let go of the coin. But, he felt calmer. Calmer than he ever did.
“Help!” he shouted loudly. He was going to shout again when Ginny continued on his start and started shouting loudly.
The ease with which he tuned her out was astounding. His brain worked faster than it had ever before.
As blood from his wounds flowed freely into the inked design, he felt as if he were bring judged to see if he were worthy enough. He gulped. He had no idea what was being judged, but he knew how Blacks had a special liking for Pureblood culture and pain. He doubted he would survive if he weren't worthy enough.
Ginny suddenly clutched his free arm with hers. He winced as her finger dug into his flesh and drew blood. ‘Great, as if I hadn't lost enough on the coin.’ Ginny didn't even seem to notice what she had just done. Rightly so, they had bigger problems.
He hadn't noticed Sirius who had just appeared outside the room, the reason his blood was dripping on the floor. Sound suddenly returned and he could hear Sirius’ cries. But he seemed to struggle with some invisible opponent as he tried to enter the room.
He blinked. And just like that — things spiralled out of control. The coin suddenly glowed hot, and he felt a pull on his navel.
“Fuck!” a shout left his mouth as he felt the tug behind his navel increase. A portkey! And he was pulled into the howling wind and swirl of the colour, the coin pulling him onward and onward.
CHAPTER 1 Peek
Harry woke up with a massive headache. His eyes were still heavy and he couldn't open them yet. The bed felt unknown but yet, strangely comfortable. He was having trouble recalling how he had ended up wherever he was. His sense of smell was evading him. He tried to move but his body felt too heavy.
“Oh you're awake,” it was a voice he recognized, but couldn't put a name to. It was full of relief.
He was still having trouble recalling when she whispered, “Calm down. You're safe. We're safe.”
Another voice cut through the silence. The familiar drawl made him wince.
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