|SIYE Time:19:16 on 22nd March 2018|
Memoirs of a Red Headed Witch
By My Wicked Quill
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Category: Pre-OotP, Post-OotP, Post-HBP, Post-Hogwarts, Post-DH/AB
Genres: Action/Adventure, Comedy, Humor, Romance, Songfic
Warnings: Mild Language, Mild Sexual Situations, Violence
Summary: Ginny Weasley was always overlooked. Always the youngest, always the smallest, and was never really given the chance to let her voice be heard. But sometimes the best insight comes from those who were always in the background. Her story of redemption, loyalty and love, proves that she was never just the Weasley brothers' little sister.
Hitcount: Story Total: 100057; Chapter Total: 4761
Awards: View Trophy Room
Here's the turning point!
“Tell me your secrets and ask me your questions
Oh, let's go back to the start
Running in circles, coming up tails
Heads on a science apart.
Nobody said it was easy
It's such a shame for us to part
Nobody said it was easy
No one ever said it would be this hard
Oh, take me back to the start…”
-The Scientist, Coldplay
I remember attending the first funeral of the Second Wizarding War. I remember attending with Harry, and I also remember watching him walk away. I was never bitter; I had always known exactly what I was getting into when we became involved. I understood why he felt as though he had to walk away, and what it mean to love someone enough to let them make their own decisions. That doesn’t mean it didn’t hurt, it hurt more than I let on, more than I ever cared to admit.
To say our world was in turmoil, to say it was becoming dangerous to step outside the door, would be to say the truth. Checking the obituaries in the Prophet became routine every day, and the number of missing persons ads were growing. That was all just a preamble to what would become the biggest mess in our history.
We were taught to know that there was never a place safer than Hogwarts School of Witch Craft and Wizardry- that no one uninvited could penetrate the walls- that no one could get seriously hurt. And even with our past experiences, the Chamber of Secrets being opened, a mass murderer (framed or not) sneaking into the grounds and a wide mess of teachers either being a ministry control psychotic, a werewolf, a servant tied to the Dark lord, a death eater in disguise, or the most historic traitor of our time, we trusted Hogwarts as our home, and we stood to defend it.
Only this time, we didn’t succeed.
*** He was late. Not that I was high maintenance, not that I got miffed at the simplest set back, Merlin how could I be when I was rarely ever on time myself? It was something Dean picked at about me, whenever I was running behind- rushing to make it on time he would nag and complain that. I used to tell him to take the wand out of his arse, and he usually just laughed, not that I ever found anything funny about it.
But with Harry it was another story. Though he wasn’t the most punctual person, he was twenty minutes late and when Harry wasn’t where he was supposed to be it meant trouble.
I was probably just being paranoid, other than the on-goings outside the school at the moment, what was there to be worried about inside? I just couldn’t shake off the feeling of dread since I woke up from the dream early that morning. I was just over reacting.
I noticed my foot tapping at the same time I noticed my arms were tightly crossed on my chest. I looked like my mother. That. Was. Not. Good. Disgusted, I dropped my stance and walked away from the entrance to the library. Being a Friday, Harry and I were going to eat dinner together and head outside for a night fly, or that was what Harry wanted to do, until he didn’t show up.
I began panning out the grounds in my head, eliminating certain areas, and adding places to my list of suspicious places. I made my way to the most reasonable place to check first, the common room. Completely distracted I had the misfortune to run right into Professor Snape.
He however seemed to be coming at the same speed. “Miss. Weasley!” he snarled, “Get your insignificant little head out from the clouds before you cause someone collateral damage.” He brushed past before I could even fathom what had happened.
“Sorry, Professor…” I said delayed as I watched his hasty retreat. I shouldn’t have been sorry, it was as much his fault as it was mine, but that fact that he threw only one monotonous insult over his shoulder threw me off. Obviously he had somewhere to be, and with purpose.
The whole evening was turning into some strange fiasco, the castle was too dark for it to be only seven, a storm was coming that much was obvious. I put the encounter with Snape out of my mind and continued on my way towards the Gryffindor tower. I saw students rushing inside, soaked in rain water, laughing and yelling. Through one of the windows I saw fierce clouds swirling above, seemed like it was going to be a nasty night.
If I only knew.
Being distracted by the threatening sky again I didn’t notice when Hagrid came around the corner nearly running me over.
“Ginny! I didn’ see yer there!” he rushed.
“It’s alright Hagrid.” I chuckled. Being so big the water that was gushing from him drenched me as well, so much for staying inside.
“I haven’t seen much o’ yer lately, been studying have yeh?” I could tell he had somewhere to be, by the way he continued to glance over my shoulder
“Studying my brains out, O.W.L.s start in a few days…Aright there Hagrid?”
“Oh…er…fine just, er…fine. I um,” he coughed, “never got to congratulate the happy couple, yer and Harry eh?”
I smiled but didn’t hide my suspicions; Hagrid was being a bit more anxious than usual. “Yea-”
“I could see it yer know, ever since the day o’ the Chamber, Dumbledore saw it too he did. I knew Harry would come ter his senses.”
“Really? That’s so sweet,” he wasn’t listening bouncing on one foot he had somewhere to be…no. something was wrong. “What is it Hagrid? And don’t try to lie, what’s wrong?”
He seemed to realize I was more than just a little curious. “Nuttin, nuttin ter, er, worry about Ginny. Just the rain is coming down hard.”
I narrowed my eyes and tried a different approach. “I was actually just on my way to find Harry, he was supposed to meet me a while ago, you haven’t seen him, have you?” He was keeping something, and the only thing he would be this nervous about around me would be something that had to do with my missing boyfriend.
Hagrid froze, and I could have sworn he stopped breathing. “Nope, I haven’t. He’s not here, I have no idea.”
“Where is he Hagrid?” He winced realizing he gave too much away in his reaction. My voice wasn’t so welcoming either.
“I…I…comin’ professor!” he boomed down the hall. I jumped startled.
“Hagrid, no one called you!”
“Yeah. Didn’t yer hear?” he laughed nervously inching away. “Stay out of trouble the lot o’ yer you hear?” He walked away then turned around to say one last thing. “Don’t go off wondering about the grounds, stay inside the castle now!” Wincing again at the little slip, Hagrid rushed away out of sight.
What the bloody hell was going on? Did everyone in the school decide to go nutters all at once? It seemed like it. What was with his warning? The only time Hagrid ever got that nervous was when Dumbledore wasn’t at the school, like the previous year when he was driven from the school by Umbridge and the year the Chamber was opened and he wasn’t seen fit to run the school.
But Dumbledore was here. I had just spoken to him the night before…and he sounded like he was… saying…goodbye.
I stood there stunned for another beat, and then broke out into a run.
My mind was reeling by the time I made it all the way up to the seventh floor; I just barely remember shoving people out of my way in a rush to put an end to this crazy thought. Dumbledore wasn’t gone, and if he was then so what?
Something told me there was more to it than that. I had finally gotten my heart to beat regularly again as I stepped through the portrait hole, however when I saw Ron and Hermione’s worried faces I knew I was right. Something was very wrong tonight.
“Ron! Hermione!” I called attention to myself earning curious stares from Gryffindors scattered around the room.
They stayed seated in the arm chairs by the fire I took it that they didn’t exactly want to speak in public. I sat in front of my brother, he bit his lip. Hermione was wringing her hands, words on the tip of her tongue. I cut to the bone. “Where is Harry?”
Ron looked up into my eyes opened his mouth and closed it again. Merlin why wouldn’t anyone tell me anything? Didn’t they understand that I just wasn’t that little girl anymore?! I had every right to know what was happening with my boyfriend.
“Harry told us to tell you goodbye for him Ginny,” Hermione stated bluntly.
“Yeah.” I sat there pondering the many different definitions to the word. Ultimately the definition was the same: Not. Good.
I took a breath, “Goodbye…because he…wanted to end things…?”
“No.” I wanted to stop and sigh in relief but my stomach told me things weren’t any better after that bit of information.
“So…Merlin you two spit it out! I know you know what’s going on with the school tonight! Where’s Harry and where’s…oh. Harry’s with Dumbledore?” I meant to make it a statement but it sounded more like a question.
“Ginny, look there’s a lot you don’t know, and we aren’t sure how much we can say.”
“Says who? Harry? Dumbledore? It’s funny really because they both seem to be on the list of people that supposedly trust me!”
“Shh!” Ron glanced over his shoulders at the students that were having trouble minding their own business. “Listen. Dumbledore took Harry to do some kind of mission, we don’t even know what’s really going on, but it has to do with Voldemort. Harry tore out of here so quickly he didn’t leave any explanations.”
I looked over at Hermione who nodded in agreement. “There’s more to it though, you know at least a little more than what you’ve told me,” I accused.
“Yes Ginny. I’m sorry but it’s not our place,” Hermione said.
“Ok,” I relented; defeated. “If that’s all then what’s the big deal? I ran into Snape and Hagrid on my way here they both seemed about ready to attack at a moment’s notice.”
“Well…it’s just that whatever Dumbledore and Harry are doing, it isn’t exactly safe.”
My eyebrows came together on their own accord, “Why would you say that? This isn’t the first time Dumbledore takes Harry somewhere, remember last summer? Harry was fine.”
Ron looked over at Hermione guiltily. “There doing a bit more than just speaking with an old Hogwarts professor.”
“How do you know? If Harry didn’t even explain…?”
Ron sighed and reached into his coat pocket. “He left us with this.” My brother dropped the vile of Felix Felicis into my open palm. Staring at it I felt confusion at first, and then worry.
“I’m lost, why would he leave us with this? If he’s out there doing something dangerous why wouldn’t he take this with him?!” my voice rose earning the same amount of attention once more. People were starting to worry. And I began to feel the graveness of the situation, this is what I had tried to warn Harry about…the dream…him dead in the Chamber. I took a breath to steady myself.
“Ginny?!” Hermione seemed frightened, “Are you alright?”
“Yeah. Sorry it’s just it’s been a strange day.”
“Anyway, that’s what has us worried that‘s exactly what we told him, Harry insisted that he would be alright because he would be with Dumbledore. He told us that…he believes…that well…whatever Malfoy is supposedly planning it would happen tonight, since Dumbledore would be gone.”
Malfoy. I knew Harry was suspicious about him, heck I was too but something on the look Hermione had in her eyes told me it wasn’t the same case with her. “Supposedly?” I asked. “You still don’t believe him?”
“And you do?”
“Of course I do, but either way he’s left us with this and he wants us to be precautious, and since he nor Dumbledore are here that’s what we’re going to do.”
Ron sighed. “I guess it wouldn’t hurt to keep an eye on them.”
“Yeah, Harry thinks Snape’s involved too.”
Snape. That was probably the reason why he seemed so odd tonight; he may have been on his way to meet Draco… “What do you mean keep an eye on them?”
“Harry also left us the Marauder’s Map.”
“Good, then all we have to do now is contact the rest of the D.A. and we’ll set people to discreetly patrol the halls.”
Hermione practically jumped out of her seat. “Have you completely lost your head? We can’t get anyone else involved!”
I shrugged, “It’s not as though we would have to tell them anything, just to watch out for trouble…you know everyone’s been itching to help! Hermione face it, even if we do see something happen on the map by the time we get there it’ll already be too late. We need reinforcements and someone with the map over seeing everything, like a leader. Harry’s our leader, he’s gone, and so is Dumbledore so we need to step it up. We aren’t called Dumbledore’s Army for nothing.” The pair of them sat gob smacked at my little rant. It felt wonderful to get exactly what I wanted to say out in the open, and to finally have someone to listen.
They must have underestimated me.
Hermione smiled, “I knew you two were perfect for each other, you sound just like Harry.”
“Look, Ginny you’re my sister, and honestly I think you’re brilliant -if you ever repeat that or use it against me I will deny it- but we just can’t afford to get everyone involved.”
Ron had a point, almost twenty students sneaking around near and possibly past curfew would be a dead giveaway. “Alright then, just Neville and Luna, makes sense don’t you think?”
Hermione paused, “Fine, lets grab some dinner and meet with them; we’ll assign posts down in the Great Hall.”
Neville and Luna were just as eager to help as I was to do something. The five of use sat away from the rest of the school’s population, whispering in hushed voices.
“People have already been asking where Professor Dumbledore is,” Neville told me, “They keep wondering why he’s never around anymore.”
“Dumbledore is always around!” argued Ron.
“Look we just have to keep a low profile, if people start noticing Harry’s gone too then more questions will come up,” Hermione interrupted before Ron could say anything else.
I nodded, “Right. Now, Harry says that Malfoy has been lurking around in the Room of Requirement. So I figure we split up some of us take the seventh floor corridor watching out for Malfoy, and the others-“
“Right outside Snape’s office.”
“So who goes where?” Neville asked.
“That’s a simple question don’t you think?” Luna looked up at me, “Some of us are more likely to seem suspicious. I’ve always thought Professor Snape had a touch of seer in him; he can always tell when someone is up to something, haven’t you noticed?”
“Er…Luna what does that have to do anything?”
“I see what she’s saying; there’s a difference between the lot of us, if I were to patrol outside Snape’s office he would suspect me, and give me detention for lurking about, but if Hermione was outside his door, he’d just think that she was trying to become more of an ‘insufferable know it all’ by studying away from you and Harry,” I reasoned.
“I resent that!”
“I was just quoting Snape Hermione! Besides, it’s not like I mind you knowing everything, if you didn’t not all of us would be here right now.”
“She’s right ‘Mione,” Ron bashfully agreed.
“Alright then, Luna and Hermione will take Snape’s office-“
“While the rest of us stay by the Room of Requirement?”
“Right, Neville, that’s exactly right.”
By eight the five of us were positioned and settled; Hermione and Luna unobtrusively perched outside of Snape’s office while Ron, Neville and I had taken consecutive spots in the 7th floor corridor. I was crouched behind a suit of armor sitting just down the hallway from where I knew the Room of Requirement to be. My brother was nearest to the entrance, and I watched as he studied the map in his hands. Looking up and meeting my gazed Ron mouthed, “Nothing.”
Malfoy was still in there. A sneeze disrupted the deep silence of the hall followed by a quick apology from Neville. Oddly enough I was pretty content at the moment.
Strange, considering we were technically waiting for something that might not even happen- and also having no clue what that ‘something’ was- in perpetual silence. It must have been the effect of the small portion of Felix Felicis I had taken earlier. I could never get the rush of optimism that gold liquid gave me anywhere else; I felt fearless, which was just as well, since there was plenty to fear about that night.
For the most part the place was deserted, only once had there been a giddy couple passing through completely oblivious to the three of us, looking for their ideal broom cupboard. I took it that not hearing from Hermione and Luna was a good thing, after all most times no news was good news.
“Ginny!” Ron whispered yelled in my direction. “I seriously doubt anything is going to happen, can’t we just go back to the common room and wait for Harry to get back?”
“And waste this perfectly supplied Felix Felicis? Ron I don’t-“
“Shh!!” Neville called frantically.
There was a creaking of a door. I craned my neck around the armor to find that the Room of requirement had been opened indeed. Holding my breath, I waited for Draco to emerge holding something…anything. First I only saw his back. It seemed as though he was motioning to something else within the room. Crabbe? Goyle maybe? That didn’t make any sense however, just before we settled in our respective hiding places we checked to see where they were- apparently the kitchens had yet to see enough of them.
Ron seemed curious, and for once not worried, he must have been enjoying the sensation of Felix as well. Draco turned at last and I jerkily pressed against the wall praying he hadn’t noticed. Neville still had a clear view of the ferret, and so I watched for his reaction to whatever Malfoy was doing. Neville furrowed his eyes brows then his jaw went slack.
“This way,” came Draco’s monotone voice.
Who in Merlin’s beard was he talking to?
Ever so slightly I turned again peeking over to find him walking out of the Room of Requirement, followed by several black hooded figures.
I nearly fell over. Harry was right.
It had been Draco all along, he was attempting to get Death Eaters into Hogwarts, and now, he had succeeded. All the unanswered questions from the past year were solved in my head in mere seconds; Draco had been the one to curse Katie, to poison Ron, he just messed up on the delivery. Harry told me he thought those events were too coincidental, both the poison and the necklace that curse Katie were originally for Dumbledore. He told me someone was trying to get to Dumbledore. He was right. It was Draco. Why didn’t anyone believe him!?
“They’ll be back anytime now,” Draco informed the group. Dear Merlin, they were talking about Harry. Catching Ron’s horrified face and Neville’s shocked expression I motioned to them and at the exact same moment we dove out from our spots and fired.
Thinking back on what we had done I realize now that it wasn’t the most organized, smart or sane thing to do. There we were, three under aged wizards, ambushing older more experienced dark wizards- outnumbered and completely clueless.
I sent a single stunning spell that seemed to miss completely. A flash of red came straight for me and I just stepped away letting the Felix control my instincts.
“We don’t have time for this!” cried Draco, and in an instant so quick it seemed impossible, the entire corridor plunged into darkness.
“Too bad we can’t stay and play loves…” Even coughing from the sudden burst of dust in my lungs I shivered from the voice.
Bellatrix Lestrange was there, and I had no idea where or how.
My coughing fit lasted only a few more moments as the darkness dissolved leaving me and two others who were coughing beside me. “What the bloody hell just happened?” I croaked
“First,” Ron wheezed, “Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder, one of Fred, and George’s most popular items.” He coughed one last time. “And second. Malfoy snuck Death Eaters in the school.”
“That’s what I thought,” Neville nodded, breathing heavily still.
“I hoped it was just my imagination,” I whispered.
“Now we stop them.”
I shrugged, “No idea.”
“Well that hasn’t really stopped us before right?” Neville asked.
Ron opened the map. “Nope, and it won’t tonight, c’mon,” he said taking off. The night would go down in history as the second most devastatingly chaotic disaster Hogwarts has ever seen.
Neither side, the Death Eaters nor the Order of the Phoenix had been prepared; everyone was taken by surprise at the amount of people in the castle, all fighting, all dueling, and all attacking. Not even the Department of Mysteries compared. But I’m sure you know what disaster topped even that one.
“Ron! Neville, Ginny! What are you three doing out of bed?!” I’d never been so glad to hear Remus’ voice.
“Remus! It’s Malfoy! He’s brought Death Eaters! They’re in the castle! The Room of Requirement!” Ron was sputtering trying to catch his breath. Looking between Lupin and Tonks.
“Professor,” I clarified morbidly, “Harry told us he thought Malfoy was up to something and with Dumbledore gone tonight he knew-“
“How did you lot know Dumbledore was gone?”
“NEVERMIND THAT!” I wailed desperately, “Malfoy snuck Death Eaters into Hogwarts through the Room of Requirement, they are somewhere in the castle right now- we lost them.”
All color faded from their faces, and just as quickly they sprung into action. “Alert the Aurors, get everyone here, make sure no student leaves the dormitories. And you lot get up to the Gryffindor tower immediately.”
Running behind them with no intent on following his last order, I heard Tonks laugh dryly. “Don’t waste your breath Remus they’ve done more already than all of us put together; I doubt they will start accepting the rules now.”
It didn’t take any time at all for us to find trouble, five minutes later the lot of us were drawn into combat with one or two opponents. Sending a stunner towards a cloaked man I had never seen before I missed, giving him time to shoot back. The blinding light passed right by me- as though it turned on its own accord. The Death Eater gasped and tried again.
Curse s were rebounding off walls, it was nearly impossible to tell what came from which wand. Ron was near, I could hear him yelling; spotting him from the corner of my eye, I could see he was up against a Death Eater I recognized from the Ministry fiasco.
“RON, DUCK!” I called when a hex hurtled at his back. Ducking, it went right above him and proceeded to hit the Death Eater straight in the chest, throwing him back and into the wall.
“Expelliarmus!” I succeeded in disarming the man I was dueling, however in a swift movement of the hand he recovered it.
“Accio wand.” He was much more powerful than I feared.
I followed him up to the third floor trying everything I could, “Expulso!” The explosion was only enough to make him stumble, but nonetheless he kept moving.
“GINNY!” someone called from behind me, I didn’t need to look I recognized the voice just fine.
“Immobulus!” The man threw back, I jumped right out of the way.
“YOU GIT! YOU CAN’T EVEN HIT ME WITH AN IMOBILIZING JINX!!! YOU CALL YOURSELF A DEATH EATER???”
“GINNY!” the voice called again this time right behind me. Trying to speed up to keep up with the man, I knew I wouldn’t be able to only because I knew that the person behind me had no intention of letting me go any further.
Bill grabbed my arm jerking me back- the momentum almost causing us to fall backwards. “Incarcerous!” my brother bellowed, only to have the curse hit an armor when the Death Eater made a sharp right. They weren’t going down, at that moment I hoped we were faring better downstairs.
“What do you want Bill?” I tried to make my voice louder; the panting was making it impossible.
“ME? GINNY WHAT ARE YOU DOING? You do realize this is dangerous and ridiculously stupid of you right?!”
Bill’s usually tamed long ponytail was in a state of disarray and he seemed to be panting just as hard as I was. “Dangerous? Yes. Stupid? Not so much! Bill will you get off your high horse for one moment and realize that I’m not such a little girl anymore?! You weren’t there at the Department of Mysteries you didn’t see everything I did! I can help, I’m not defenseless.”
“I don’t give a damn Ginny! You’re only 15! Get back to the Gryffindor tower, wait for me there.”
“GINNY! I don’t have time for this!”
“Whenever Harry gets involved no one sends him away! And I bet you didn’t have one word to say to Ron, and he hasn’t been through what I went through my first year, I CAN HANDLE MYSELF!” I snapped tugging my arm roughly away.
Bill exhaled. “I’m not going to just let you run around with flinging curses in every god damn corner of the castle! Sure I know you’re talented and you’ve been through a lot with Harry, but Ginny. I mean it. Get back to the seventh floor.”
“Bill-” I was going to tell him that he would have to drag me there himself, and point out that he didn’t have time for that, but something behind him made me choke on my words.
At that point in my life the only time I had ever seen Fenrir Greyback was in the Daily Prophet in the Most Wanted section. He was huge, looming over seven feet, he was just as I expected, more wolf than man. And he was coming straight for us.
“Ginny, go,” Bill said softly not taking his eyes off the beast.
Leave my brother? My big brother in a match with one of the deadliest man-thing-creature alive? I didn’t want to.
Please Merlin believe me I didn’t want to.
I knew I shouldn’t have.
“Go,” He said a little more forcefully, still not looking away.
So I did.
The whole Order of the Phoenix had arrived at the scene of the battle, Professor McGonagall, Tonks and Ron were all facing their own duels- some Death Eaters looked foreign to me others had faces I had hoped to never see again.
“Ginny!” Someone called but I couldn’t tell who I was too distracted by the two bodies laying on the ground.
“What a pretty little one you are.”
I turned around and fired at the Death Eater I only knew by name: Amycus. He dodged it easily. “I remember you from last year.”
“Pretego!” His dark eyes flashed. “How’s the ankle?”
My blood boiled and I sent another stunner hoping it would work. It only hit a bit of his arm throwing him off balance; this angered him and the curses came fast and hard over and over. It was a dance to move out of the way for each flash of light. If it weren’t for the Felix Felicis… I would have died.
I put up a good fight. Keeping my side up just as long as he sent everything he had at me.
One of my cutting curses sliced him neatly in his left cheek and it continued to bleed profoundly.
Things changed quickly then. A flash of billowing black robes caught my attention; Snape was headed toward the exit at an incredible speed, surprisingly dragging a shaking Draco with him. “Ron! RON! SNAPE!” I called jumping away from yet another curse. Ron couldn’t hear me. I didn’t have time to digest what I had seen- it could have meant many things: it could have been that Snape had captured Malfoy, it could have meant they were working together and now running from the scene. I was at a loss.
“Pretego!” my shield keeping me from getting hit didn’t stretch out as far as it had a while before, I was growing tired.
“Crucio-Crucio- you won’t be able to jump out of the way forever pretty-” Amycus taunted. But before he could finish a loud,
“Impedimenta!” was shouted behind me and hit the Death Eater straight in the chest. Amycus flew back into the opposite wall and met the floor with a low thud.
“Harry, where did you come from?!” I cried watching him running across the hall, emerging out of practically thin air, but in a blink he was gone again, leaping over the bodies in the direction of Snape and Malfoy.
Annoyed and frustrated, I glanced at where he came from and I found Fenrir Greyback petrified on the ground. In the midst of a battle I stood in the middle hearing nothing but the beating of my frantic heart. If Greyback was here…then where was…
“BILL!?” I screamed whirling around, I didn’t see him anywhere. “BILL!” I called out once more.
Suddenly the room grew silent. And then only an instant later-
“What just happened?”
“He was just there!”
The Death Eaters had just stopped mid cast and disappeared. The remaining people in the room, all panting and bleeding, glared at the empty spots, completely mystified.
“What did they want?”
“Were they after something?”
“Is everyone alright?!”
“Did you see Snape?”
They were all talking at the same time making it practically impossible for me to think clearly. Bill. I needed to find Bill.
“Ginny where are you going?” Tonks asked, but I didn’t waste time explaining to her. I rushed up the stairs to where I left Bill alone with Greyback, praying that my gut was wrong, that Bill was fine. With each step I grew more worried, more nervous…more terrified of what I would find.
And then when I made it to the corridor where the armor was collapsed on the ground from my spell… and down at the end there was a body.
It was hard to tell who it was from where I stood. I knew who it was already. But I had to check anyway. My breaths became more rapidly than they did when I was in combat and bile rose up my throat.
When I made it close enough to see the red hair, I screamed.
In another flash I was up in the hospital wing. Madam Pomfrey was bustling over Bill, while my other brothers and friends were sitting around trying to control the raging emotions left inside us. Bill wasn’t dead, that’s all that mattered.
Hermione was crying silently into Ron’s shoulder and he seemed barely to keep it together himself. I was pacing, you’d think I would have been tired enough to sleep for days on end, but I wasn’t. I was anxious and moody and scared.
I’m Ginny Weasley, I know, but Merlin I was scared.
I had no idea what happened that night or why. All I knew was that Bill had been attacked by the same werewolf that transformed Lupin, Neville was laying in a hospital bed unconscious, the walls of Hogwarts had indeed been penetrated, and my bloody boyfriend was missing.
Story of my life. Literally.
“Ginny, why won’t you sit down? You’re making everyone nervous.”
“Like that’s my fault Ron? We were all already nervous.” I was about to crack. It took all my strength not to break down in hysterics and become violently sick.
Lupin and Tonks burst into the room then looking frenzied, I rushed over and threw an arm around each of them. “Oh thank Merlin you’re alright!”
“We are fine Ginny; there was no reason to worry about us.”
“How is Bill?”
“We…we aren’t sure as of yet…” Hermione’s voice was heart breaking.
“Where’s Harry?” I asked Remus rather bluntly.
He raised an eyebrow, “Harry? I…that’s odd…I just realized I haven’t seen him all night. I would have thought he were with you. Where was he tonight?”
Looking over at Ron and Hermione, they didn’t seem to be listening, and I figured it didn’t matter anymore who knew, “Harry was out with Dumbledore this evening. They were gone when the Death Eaters arrived and Harry appeared out of nowhere in the middle of the fight; he was gone again before I had a chance to ask him where he was going. He was chasing after Snape and Malfoy.”
“Where would he go with Dumbledore?” Tonks asked.
“Nothing you need to know,” Ron piped in, his voice just above a whisper.
Remus looked from my eyes to Ron’s and then back at mine. “What-”
I shook my head. “Just leave it Professor. I need to go find Harry.” I started for the door but Tonks stopped me.
“Why don’t you let Ron and Hermione go? If your mum gets here and you’re gone...”
“I need to find him Tonks. And I need to find him now.”
“Let her go,” said Ron.
You may be surprised to learn that I hadn’t told my family, other than Ron, about my relationship with Harry- nor had Harry told anyone outside school. We had only just started seeing each other, and I wanted the first few weeks to pass without having the mickey being taken out of us. If Tonks knew about us I was certain she would have let me go without a fuss, rather she would have pushed me out of the door with a wink, but I didn’t have the heart, nor the energy, to tell her then and no one else for that matter. Ron seemed to understand that too, and so he said nothing else.
There was a look in her eye, however, that made me curious as to just how strong a woman’s intuition was.
Walking out of the wing was like taking a fresh breath of air. I allowed it to travel through my nose and into my head clearing the nausea before I went in search of Harry-bloody-Potter.
Where had he gone? Why hadn’t he gone in search of us? Where was he now? Was he hurt?
Why was he after Snape? What happened? My head throbbed with questions- thankfully since the nausea had left it was bearable.
The corridors were silent, which was odd considering all the students must have awoken throughout the chaos. Checking the Gryffindor common room was pointless; Harry wasn’t that daft to wait up there rather than find me, Ron and Hermione, besides, if I knew him-and I did- the first thing he would have done was run up to the hospital wing to ascertain the ones injured and somehow blame it all on himself. It was a charming trait… though one he really needed to get rid of. However he wasn’t up in the wing leaving two possibilities.
One: The fight wasn’t over and he was still battling…alone. Well maybe not alone Dumbledore had been with him after all, though I hadn’t seen him.
And Two: Something went terribly wrong. I didn’t allow my mind to wander nor did I let it picture a crumpled Harry in a corner of the castle. Not that that was plausible…Voldemort would have probably wanted to see the body…
There were a couple of third year Hufflepuffs huddled together at the foot of the stair case just outside the Great Hall. One was sniffling and the other two grasping her hands.
“Are you all right?” I asked kneeling down.
The girl to the right had tears in her large blue eyes, “Yes. Ariel,” she motioned to the smallest in the middle. “She was on her way to the loo and she stumbled across Professor Snape and that Malfoy boy.”
I swallowed, “And?”
“And they pushed her out of the way; Harry Potter was right behind them, that’s when she…saw.” The girl with the blue eyes lost it then and began sobbing as well. I placed my hands on her shoulder.
“Saw what? What did Ariel see?” I whispered.
“A few… months ago, our mom… was murdered.” she spoke through her tears. That’s when I realized who I was speaking to, the Flipturn sisters. Tragic story that happened over the holiday break everyone came back solemnly around the two girls. I had no idea what that had to do with this.
“Dumbledore… he was the one who helped us so much; he really was so great with
Ariel…we spoke with him all the time. My sister didn’t need to see him…like this…he was… Dumbledore. It’s just not right.”
My blood ran cold.
“What’s wrong with Professor Dumble-”
My question was interrupted by a curling scream from outside. With one last sorry glance at the sisters and their friend, I rushed to see the commotion.
It seemed the entire student body was standing out in the courtyard. Standing… just standing. Low murmurs, gasps and sobs melted in the background. They all faced the same way, blocking me from whatever had everyone upset.
I knew I should have prepared myself for the worst, taken a moment to survey the situation and collect myself. But as you well know I was a rash person.
I dived into the crowd.
“Excuse me!” I said pushing my way through the group of hundreds of students. “Let me through! Excuse me!” I saw light finally; being as short as I was I only saw a sliver of it. Blood cold in my ears I kept trudging on frantically.
And with one last push I fell forward catching my step at the last possible second.
There in the center of the circle lay Dumbledore in all his glory, eyes closed and white hair blown all over the ground and his face. And Harry, my Harry crouched above him very much like the night of the third task two years ago. I blinked.
And then I blinked again.
The same vision was before me. The Dark Mark high in the sky.
The nausea returned.
Dumbledore was dead.
Albus Dumbledore, the greatest wizard of our time was dead.
And Harry Potter felt more alone than ever.
That wasn’t the time to mourn, there was things to be done, issues to clear up, blame to be put and a school to fix. No matter how much I just wanted to break down fall to my knees and cry, I knew I couldn’t. Harry needed me to be strong. Hagrid was attempting to get Harry to stand up but was failing miserably.
I got closer seeing that they were both shaking. “Harry, come on,” I said taking his hand and pulling him up. He let me. Without looking at anyone I led him back up to the castle.
“We are going to the Hospital Wing,” I told him. I noticed my voice had no emotion in it what so ever.
His voice sounded much like mine. “I’m not hurt.”
“Those are my orders; everybody is up there, Lupin, Tonks, Ron, Hermione, and everyone.”
“Ginny who else is dead?”
Other than Dumbledore? “Don’t worry, none of us.”
“But the Dark Mark- Malfoy… said he stepped over a body-”
“He stepped over Bill,” I said remembering the sight of Snape and Malfoy running away in the direction Greyback left my brother. “But it’s alright, he’s alive.”
I wasn’t too convincing. “Are you sure?”
“Of course I’m sure…he’s a — a bit of a mess, that’s all. Greyback attacked him. Madam Pomfrey says he won’t — won’t look the same anymore…we don’t really know what the after effects will be — I mean Greyback being a werewolf, but not being transformed at the time.”
“And the other bodies?”
“Neville and Professor Flitwick are both hurt but they’ll be just fine. And the other was a Death Eater; he got hit by a stray killing curse that huge blond one was flinging all over the place. Harry if it weren’t for the Felix potion you left us; we would have been done for. Everything seemed to just miss us.”
We walked into the Hospital wing I released Harry’s hand taking a step away as Hermione ran up to him and threw her arms around him, Lupin tailing her. I got a few curious glances from the rest of my family.
“Are you alright Harry?” Lupin asked.”
“I’m fine, How’s Bill?”
Silence took over again and I turned away not up to facing anyone.
“Isn’t there a charm that could help or something?” Harry asked.
“I’ve tried,” replied Madam Pomfrey, “There is no cure for Werewolf attacks.”
No cure for death either, I wanted to say.
“Greyback hadn’t transformed though, so Bill really won’t be a real-?”
“No, I don’t think Bill will be a full werewolf, although he will most likely show some wolfish characteristics now.”
Ron’s voice was heard then, “Dumbledore must know something that’ll work though, he has to, Bill was working on Dumbledore’s orders he owes him! He won’t leave Bill like this-”
“Ron- Dumbledore’s dead,” I said.
“No!” Lupin gasped. I couldn’t meet anyone’s eyes as I let the information settle.
“How did he die?” Tonks whispered. “What happened?”
“Snape killed him,” Harry answered, and I turned to him, his face was stony, cold and tortured. “When we got back to the school Dumbledore was…sick, weak we apparated to the Astronomy tower because that’s where the Mark was. Malfoy came through the door after Dumbledore immobilized me while I was under the cloak and disarmed him. I…couldn’t do anything but watch. More Death Eaters came and then Snape arrived and ending it. The Avada Kedavra.”
The room couldn’t have been any tenser. Hermione’s hands trembled, Ron looked as though he hadn’t taken a breath, and Luna was silently crying as she looked out the window.
Snape. I should have known; bloody hell I did know! I knew there was something about him tonight! I should have reported it to McGonagall. I could have tried to stop him when I saw him…I…
Suddenly I heard a soft cry from the night sky.
Madam Pomfrey had burst into tears. But something had caught my attention, “Shh! Listen.”
We all listened to the Phoenix’s song together, letting each of our individual pain ease even though we knew there was much to mourn in the coming days. But as I looked around the room I was still glad to see that the most important people in my life were all still there still with me. I reached to grab Harry’s hand- consequences be damned- when McGonagall finally entered the ward.
“Molly and Arthur are on their way,” She said assessing the scene Lupin’s face in his hands everyone crying. “Harry? What happened? According to Hagrid you were with Professor Dumbledore when-” She couldn’t even finish her words.
“Snape Killed Dumbledore.”
The elderly woman collapsed into the nearest chair. “Snape! We all wondered…but he trusted…always…Snape… I can’t believe it.”
Everyone else was having that same problem. After all, what as Hogwarts without Dumbledore? It was just….wrong and empty.
The discussion turned abruptly to theories and stories of that greasy madman. I could care less about how he tricked Dumbledore. That fact was he did.
As far as we knew, then.
“I don’t know how it happened…this whole night had been so confusing.” McGonagall sighed, “When Dumbledore told us he was leaving the school… he said we were to patrol the corridors just in case.”
I caught eyes with Ron, Hermione Luna and the Harry. It seemed Harry and Dumbledore were more alike than anyone could imagine. “I have no idea how they could have entered the castle!” she cried.
“I do.” Harry told us all about what Malfoy had been up to in the Room of Requirement, a vanishing cabinet that transported objects from inside the school to the Death Eater story in Knockturn Alley, Borgin and Burkes, and vice versa. Brilliantly evil.
“I messed up Harry!” Ron started, “We did what you told us. We checked the Marauder’s Map and we couldn’t see Malfoy on it, so we thought he must be in the Room of Requirement, so me, Ginny and Neville went to keep watch on it…but Malfoy got past us.”
“He came out of the room about an hour after we started keeping watch,” I informed him. “He must have been checking whether the coast was clear to let the Death Eaters out because the moment he saw us he threw something into the air and it all went pitch-black-”
“Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder, one of Fred and George’s products. I’m going to have a word with them about who they are selling to.”
We continued to tell the tale of our experience, running into Remus and Tonks and when the fight broke out.
“So if Ron was watching the Room of Requirement with Ginny and Neville,” Harry asked Hermione, “Were you-?”
“Outisde Snape’s office, yes. With Luna.” Hermione sobbed. “We didn’t know what was happening! Ron had the map so when Professor Flitwick came to awake Snape, we heard him telling him that Snape had to go back with him and help. Only we heard a thump from the office and Snape came out, seeing us, he told us that Flitwick had collapsed and we needed to tend to him. It was only after we saw his body we understood that Snape had stupefied him! We just let him go Harry, I’m so sorry!”
“It’s not your fault,” Lupin told her. “If you hadn’t let him go he would have hurt you or Luna.
“So when he came upstairs…” Harry moved forward, “And he found the place you all were fighting…”
“We were in trouble, we were losing, Bill had been savaged-” The knot in my stomach turned. “Neville had been hurt it was dark and there were curses flying everywhere, Snape was there and then he wasn’t.”
“I saw him running toward us,” I added, “But that huge death eater I was fighting had just fired, I ducked and then lost track of things.”
“I assumed he was in a hurry to chase after the Death Eaters who’d escaped the tower,” McGonagall admitted.
“He was,” said Harry, “Only to help them not stop them.”
“When Snape passed by with the Malfoy boy, obviously none of us attacked him,” said Tonks. “We just let them pass. I thought I heard Snape shout something but I couldn’t hear what, and then all of a sudden they were all gone.”
“He shouted, ‘It’s over,’ he’d done what he meant to do,” finished Harry.
Silence fell once again as we all realized we played a part in letting Snape just go.
Mum and Dad burst into the room next, Fleur, to my displeasure, right behind them.
“Molly-Arthur- I’m so sorry-” Professor McGonagall tried, only to be ignored by my mum. I didn’t want to watch this; I really didn’t want to see this.
“Bill,” she whispered. “Oh BILL!” Lupin and Tonks cleared away as my mother practically threw herself across the room to her first born son. She pressed her lips to his bloody forehead, and at the moment I wanted nothing more than to have Harry grab me and hold me so no one else would see me cry into his chest.
He had other things on his mind. They spoke for a bit, the same information Bill’s condition, Dumbledore’s death…I was already sick enough, did I really need to hear it all once again? I was trying to think of any excuse to leave the room, but each one would give the impression that I was not calm, cool and collected.
“What do you mean, ‘’e was going to be married?” Fleur’s irritating voice broke through my reverie.
“Well,” replied my mother caught a bit off guard. “-only that-”
“You theenk, Bill will not wish to marry me anymore? You theenk because of these bites, he will not love me?”
“No that’s not what I-”
“Because ‘e will!’ she spat growing taller, I rolled my eyes, what kind of obvious vanity was that? “It would take more zan a werewolf to stop Bill loving me!”
“Well yes, I’m sure, I meant-”
“You thought I would not weesh to marry him? Or per’aps, you hoped?” she looked positively dangerous, her nostrils flared and her fists clenched. I stepped a bit closer to Harry just in case she exploded. “What do I care how he looks? These scars show how brave my husband is!” she pushed my mom out of the way and proceeded to rub ointment on his face, just as my mother had been doing just moments before.
I thought maybe it might have been worth it to stick around, just to watch Fleur get an earful from my mum. Everyone else seemed to have the same thought, they tensed for the explosion.
And then it came.
“Our Great-Auntie Muriel had a very beautiful tiara — goblin-made — which I am sure I could persuade her to lend you for the wedding. She is very fond of Bill, and it would look lovely with your hair.”
It was all I could not to fall upon my knees screaming, “NOOOO!!!” There went my leverage; if my mother didn’t like Fleur then it was completely fine for me to dislike her…but if my mum fell on the other side…I must have stepped into a parallel universe that evening. Everything seemed completely impossible!
“Thank you,” Fleur replied just as gob smacked as the rest of us. And suddenly, both women were crying into each other’s arms! Merlin!
“You see! She still wants to marry him, even though he’s been bitten! She doesn’t care!” The unexpected outburst came in the form of a washed-out-blue-haired Tonks as she clung onto the front of Remus’ robes.
“It’s different,” he replied, “His case isn’t like mine-“
“But I don’t care either! I don’t care! How many times do I have to tell you?”
I caught on quickly, but was shocked that I hadn’t seen it before; Tonks was in love with Remus Lupin. I smiled sadly, not realizing there was obviously a problem and obviously it wasn’t unrequited feelings. If it had been I would have had a few tips for her.
“And how many times do I have to tell you that I’m too old for you, too poor…to dangerous…”
Oh. I understood then; he didn’t think it was safe for her to be with him. He didn’t want to ruin her life. Noble git. And they said I was naïve?
“I’ve told you you’re being ridiculous throughout all of this Remus,” my mum scolded cleaning her tears.
“I am not! She deserves someone young and whole not someone like me.”
I looked over at Harry out of pure instinct and was met with a curious and pondering gaze directed at the couple before us. A sinking feeling told me Harry was also only seeing Remus’ side. I bit my lip worriedly.
“But she wants you,” my father said.
“This is…this is not the time to talk about this, Dumbledore has just died.”
Harry looked over at me, and he seemed surprised to see me staring at him. I smiled as best I could but showed him with my eyes how much I cared, how much I felt. I only hoped he understood the underlining meaning.
“Dumbledore would have been happier than anybody to think that there was a little more love in the world,” McGonagall added.
She was absolutely right. I wondered if Harry knew that too.
Hagrid came in then, looking just as terrible as he had down in the courtyard. Things shifted from the comfortable familiar feel of having everyone together when Professor McGonagall followed Hagrid out, taking Harry with her.
“See you in a bit.” He said to Ron, Hermione and me.
When they left, Remus looked over at Tonks, “I’m sorry… I…I can’t.” Pulling her hands off him, he brushed past me and out of the room.
Tonks looked down at her feet unsure of what to do.
Mum walked over and put a hand on her arm. “He loves you. Don’t doubt it. He will come around; just don’t give up on him. Help him see.”
Suddenly I couldn’t hold it in anymore, excusing myself I ran out into the nearest rest room…and became violently sick.
The next few days were much better, though much better from rock bottom wasn’t too good either. There were no classes, my examinations were done, we visited the hospital twice a day and I spent all my time with Harry.
Harry seemed overall alright, though distant. Late at night before I fell asleep I wished I would know the right way to help him, the right way to stop him from doing what I knew he was going to do. Ever since we saw the episode between Remus and Tonks, Harry hadn’t been the same. And it wasn’t hard to imagine why.
Bill was faring well, though his scars did much damage to his physical appearance, he was still the same Bill I knew and loved.
Fleur was over the moon with happiness when Bill woke up, glad that she had my mother on her side and she could watch over Bill twenty four seven. Her mood was just too bright for recent events. Still, I knew I couldn’t hold up my dislike for her much longer.
“I guess I just have to accept her. Her and her as a sister in law,” I sighed one evening in the common room with Ron Hermione and Harry.
“Ginny c’mon, she’s not too bad,” Harry shrugged. I raised my eyebrow at him. “Ugly though,” He amended quickly- and seriously.
I laughed, “If mum can do it…I guess I can too.”
When Hermione opened up the obituaries, and the name Snape came up, my stomach twisted. “I’m going to bed. I could definitely use the sleep.”
Standing up I bent down to kiss Harry, he kissed me back enthusiastically, and I sensed a misplaces sadness and urgency. Pulling away I gave him a curious glance, but he just smiled. I bid goodnight to my brother and best friend and began up the stairs to my dormitory.
“Harry I found something this morning in the Library,” said Hermione the moment I disappeared from their sight. It hurt that they were still playing this game. I stopped to listen, even though I knew it may not end well.
“About R.A.B.?” Harry asked.
“Well, no, I’ve tried to look them up, I honestly have there are a few wizards and witches that fit the initials but they don’t fit at all. Anyone who stole that Horcrux would know Voldemort but the people I’ve found wouldn’t have anything to do with him. What I’m talking about is Snape.”
My head hurt from all the incoherent talk she was giving, but neither Ron nor Harry seemed confused by it. I had never heard of anything called a Horcrux? I concluded it had something to do with Voldemort and an R.A.B. that is what she said after all wasn’t it?
Hermione spoke of the Half Blood Prince and it wasn’t until a few moments later that I realized Snape was the Half Blood Prince. I didn’t want to hear anymore. I wandered up to my bed completely dazed all this information was too much too confusing too soon.
Just as I drifted off I made a vow to myself that I would figure this all out whether that meant with the golden trio or without.
He looked so lost. I was sure it was the potent sense of pain and confusion the drove him here. I felt the pull myself, willing me to just forget everything in the water and the peace the shady bank provided. I stepped closer with no intention of giving him the chance to send me away. I crept up to him and cursed myself when I heard a twig snap beneath me.
“I don’t want to talk alright? I don’t bloody care if you think it’ll help.”
When Sirius died Harry had closed himself up, protecting his feelings with a killing curse proof shield. After getting him to open up, an adventure on its own, I learned more about him than I ever had before. His raging ability to blame himself, the depth of his guilt, how venerable he really was. You’d think that a boy without a family would have a hard time learning to love, but even if he didn’t know it he had the biggest heart. He’d learn to cope so well with loss; it must have been second nature to him by that time. Opening up his wounds and having him voice the horrors he’d witnessed wasn’t the right way about it. I just needed to remind him that he wasn’t alone.
“I know, I just thought I’d sit with you.”
Harry was genuinely started to hear my voice. “I…I’m sorry…Ginny I didn’t know you where there…I thought…” he sighed, “I’m not sure what I was thinking exactly.”
“It’s really alright. I’m used to the snappy dismissive comments from my brothers.” I meant it to come out light and teasing but I realized I failed miserably.
“For a while I tried to convince myself that I was like one of your brothers, that the feelings were all protective and concern. But after a while I admitted to myself that there was much more than that. I guess…I’m saying I’m not your brother…nor are you just my best mate’s sister.”
“That’s pretty heavy, considering you didn’t want to talk. I honestly just knew you’d like some company,” I shrugged sitting down next to him.
He remained silent for a few moments before muttering. “I’m not great company to keep.”
My fleeting smile was just that, I didn’t think there would be a lasting smile on my face for a long while. I grabbed his hand and stroked his thumb, “I’d like to think otherwise, you are my favorite company.”
“You really shouldn’t think that way,” he said, his voice menacing.
I flinched. “Why not? Why the bloody hell not Harry?”
“You of all people know that nothing and no one is safe around me.”
The silence that followed was enough to tell me that this was it. I knew what Harry was going to do, what he was planning, I just hoped he would give me-us- a little more time.
“I don’t want to argue I just…I want to be here for you and I…I don’t want you to walk away. I want you to know that I’m not going anywhere, I lo-” My breath caught. Had I just been about to let him know that I loved him? What shocked me was how easy it would have been to tell him. A dilemma arose as quickly as possible in my mind. Should I let myself finish those words? I wanted to, I wanted to so badly. I wanted him to know how I felt, how my heart swelled at his smile, how his humor made my day. Things I thought he needed to hear, that he was loved and important to someone. My Merlin, I was the one who had turned into the sap.
However, the consequences outweighed my longing to tell him. Knowing Harry, he would run. He would push away in sacrifice and fear that I’d be hurt. The feelings he wasn’t familiar with would scare him, and he’d run, doubtful and worried. We hadn’t even been together all that long and he wouldn’t even feel the same way. I could hear my mum’s voice to those statements saying that it shouldn’t matter whether he told me he loved me back, all that should matter is that he knows, and also telling me that it didn’t matter how long we’d been with each other but how deeply we cared for each other. And I knew just how much Harry cared about me.
It may have been the perfect moment to let the words spill out but in the end I couldn’t do it, I lost my chance. “I’m worried about you,” I amended, not knowing I was going to horribly regret my choice one day.
“Don’t be, I’ll be fine.”
“That’s what I’m afraid of.”
“Your fine isn’t exactly the normal definition of fine.”
Harry looked away giving me the chance to regret what I said; thankfully he had yet to pull his hand away. “Maybe you’re right.”
We didn’t speak again, just let one of those silences settle between us, silences that passed so much emotion between us without one simple word. I loved Harry and in that moment I decided to enjoy the idea that he may love me in return even if he didn’t know it, yet.
“Gin?” he said a little over an hour later his head currently resting on my lap, my hands brushing through his hair lazily.
“Yeah?” I replied imaging him telling me those three simple words. And yet he didn’t really need to say them, the way he held me, the way he smiled or looked at me, when he touched my face, my hair; Harry told me he loved me everyday even if he wasn’t aware of it.
“I think I realize that the silence won’t really help. To tell the truth I think I’m going mad with my thoughts…maybe talking is…the right thing for right now.”
“Who are you and what have you done with Harry Potter?”
The corner of his mouth turned up a bit- it wasn’t a laugh, but it was the best I could hope for, “What do you want to talk about?”
“I was wondering if…maybe…you could tell me some of the stories you promised me.”
I won’t lie and say I understood what he was talking about. Could his statement have been any more generic? I kept my mouth shut, noticing just how important this sounded to him. Biting my lip I willed myself to remember. The last thing I wanted to do was to break a promise I supposedly made. Thankfully I did remember.
I think about all the stories he told me about him and your father and the trouble that followed them everywhere, whenever I start to miss him.
I’m sorry that you didn’t get to spend as much time with him last summer as I did but he absolutely loved to talk about you. He loved you so much Harry. As does everyone.
And don’t worry, I’ll tell you all the stories one day, just tell me when.
And then came his reply,
I won’t forget, I have a feeling I’ll be needing them someday.
Apparently I had been the one to forget, but I didn’t waste time considering that. Recalling Sirius’ voice in my head I chuckled slightly.
“You know that old trick step in the grand staircase? Well it wasn’t always there. One day your dad was depressed because of another rejection from your mum, Remus told him he should just apologize to her and ask nicely, but Sirius thought James just needed a night out. The night started off innocent enough, the Map the Cloak and a perfectly planned hex for the Slytherin table in the Great Hall. Remus was actually the one to come up with the hex but Sirius; he wanted to use it to make sure….”
I was happy when he smiled… when he laughed… when he made a joke… I would have just sat there telling him stories for a week if it meant he would smile like that forever. But when the sun began coming down from its highest peak other matters needed to be tended to.
Dumbledore’s funeral was a quiet affair. I sat beside Harry in the last row by the lake, watching the beautiful day wear on as hundreds of people came to pay their respects. So many I didn’t recognize, and many others I did, gathered around. My entire family, the Order of the Phoenix, and several people I recognized who worked at the ministry with my father. Shop owners from Diagon Alley, as well as Hogsmeade, the entire school staff, the ghosts of Hogwarts even.
I knew Harry had never been to a Wizarding Funeral- I had attended my great uncle’s when I was little, Aunt Muriel’s husband- and so I proceeded to help him though it. Nudging him here and there explaining what was going on showing him where to look.
Harry was subdued but again distant, and it wasn’t about half way through until he finally realized it. It took a while but it had finally hit him, the main father figure he had come to love and trust was gone. Harry tried to hide away from us, by looking away into the lake Ron and Hermione were both focused on the ceremony and didn’t notice.
But I did. There wasn’t much I could do but make him see that he wasn’t alone. I took his hand, and squeezed it tight, leaning my head against his shoulder. It was innocent enough- I knew how risky it was to show affection of the romantic kind in front of such a vast amount of people. It seemed like anyone who mattered in our lives, who had some sort of involvement were there. If anyone had looked over at us, some would have thought it a friendly gesture; maybe some would have thought it romantic but sweetly guiltless.
Most people weren’t going to notice anyway. However I got an understanding smile from Tonks and curious eye raise from my mum (both glances through tears).
And when it ended, I knew it would take other things with it.
“Ginny, listen…” Harry was very quiet and I almost told him not to continue because I already knew where he was going with this. “We’ve got to stop seeing each other. We can’t be together.”
I smiled, “It’s for some stupid, noble reason isn’t it?”
“It’s been like…like something out of someone else’s life, these last few weeks with you. But I can’t…we can’t…I’ve to do things alone now.”
I stared at him, wondering when he was going to finally understand that he didn’t HAVE to do this alone, whatever it was, whatever it was about this prophecy, this Horcrux thing, these secret meeting with Dumbledore, he didn’t have to do it alone. Why did he insist?
“Voldemort already used you once, and that was just because you were my best mate’s sister. Imagine how much more danger you’ll be if he found out we were more. He’ll try and get to me through you.”
“And if I don’t care?” He must have known I’d take the risk any day.
“I care. If this was…if this was your funeral do you have any idea how I would feel? Ginny I…”
I stopped breathing, was he going to say that he…he…
Harry shook his head, “I would feel so guilty.”
I looked away. Shame on me for thinking he felt the same way, but if he was doing this it really meant that he cared didn’t it? It must have been more than just feeling guilty.
“I never gave up on you, not really, I always kept up hope. Wishing that maybe one day you would notice me as something more than your best mate’s sister…Hermione told me to relax and get on with my life that way I could be myself around you…and let things happen, even if we never got together she didn’t want me to miss out on our potential friendship. I could barely talk in the same room with you remember? She thought you would notice if I were more myself,” It took much weight off my heart telling him that.
There were my feelings for him, my decisions my thoughts wrapped up in one explanation and laid out before him. I had no idea how he would take it.
“Smart girl that Hermione. I just wish I would have asked you sooner, we could have had so much more time. Weeks, months even…”
I imagined it, the beautiful weeks we spent together stretched out over months maybe years. I wanted it so much it hurt.
“But you’ve always been too busy saving the world Harry,” I told him almost laughing. “I’m not surprised, I won’t lie, I guess I always knew you wouldn’t be happy unless you were the one hunting Voldemort. Maybe that’s why I like you so much.”
Why I love you so much.
Why I always have. For his heroic trait that for some reason made him want to out chasing after this monster. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, was it because of his parents? Cedric, Sirius now Dumbledore? Was this all out of revenge?
No Harry wasn’t like that; he acted as though this was something he had to do.
Maybe Harry Potter, The Boy Who Lived, really was the Chosen One.
With one last look at me, an understanding passed between us, that we…we emotionally weren’t over.
He walked away in the setting sun on his way to meet Ron and Hermione, I envied them. I wish he would be able to tell me all the things he told them. The only comfort I had was the he told me other sorts of things that didn’t have anything to do with Voldemort. With us it was just that, us. Harry and Ginny. And no one would take that away from us, not even Tom Riddle.
My mom was standing with Tonks my father Bill and Fleur. She didn’t act as though she didn’t see Harry walk away. Molly Weasley smiled softly at me through her flustered face.
“He loves you. Don’t doubt it. He will come around; just don’t give up on him. Help him see.”
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