|SIYE Time:20:19 on 22nd June 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: 105419; Chapter Total: 4642
Awards: View Trophy Room
And here we begin the next part of this Novel, the largest and most in depth eara: THE DEATHLY HALLOWS.
This chapter is the first chapter that does not have Harry in it since the prologue, take this as a taste of what is to come!
"If anyone asks,
I'll tell them we both just moved on
When people all stare
I'll pretend that I don't hear them talk
Whenever I see you,
I'll swallow my pride
and bite my tongue
Pretend I'm okay with it all
Act like there's nothing wrong
Is it over yet?
Can I open my eyes?
Is this as hard as it gets?
Is this what it feels like to really cry?"
-Cry, Kelly Clarkson
“Ahhh…I’ve missed you…” the throaty voice purred, “You keep thinking you can get away, but let me tell you something, you will never be able to escape me, no matter how far you are.” Icy gaunt fingers ran down my neck leaving a trial of burning fear down to my collar bone.
“I…I don’t understand.”
The voice laughed once and I heard its slow breath before I felt it. It was cold and musky-sticky-against my ear. I trembled, “You still are such a silly little girl, don’t you know? My blood runs through your veins from where I harmed you, my memories invade yours from when I made you relive them, my soul rests in you from when I poured myself into you. You can’t run.”
My heart was beating in my stomach, and I tried to ignore the nauseating sensation. “No…no…that was the diary, it was just the diary…Dumbledore said-”
“You still trust that old fool? Even after he made a mistake in judgment that cost him his life?”
So dry that I couldn’t swallow, my throat burned at the stench of the murky water beneath my palms, soaking my robes and my hair. “Yes…no…I don’t know,” I replied frightfully.
His hand slowly moved up to cup my face. “You can’t leave me, you’ll always be trapped right here with me, no matter how many times you get out you will always find your way back. Each time you tell me he will come, as though the end of the story will always be a happy one. You’re very wrong to think so. He won’t come, he won’t come this time. He’s left you, he’s abandoned you.”
Each word stung my eyes, causing the tears to pool at the edges. Things were becoming blurry as my energy fell. I knew I didn’t have much time left. “No, no NO! He hasn’t abandoned me! He’s doing this to protect me!”
Tom laughed again and it echoed off the chamber walls. “Then where is he now? If he is indeed protecting you, then how could you be here with me? Why hasn’t he come? It is because he won’t love, you’re mine.” Pressing his forehead to mine I was left no where to look but his handsome brown eyes. “You’ve grown up so beautifully…”
“Please. Please just…leave me alone. Let me go…please.”
“I’m not so sorry to say that I can’t. I have big plans for you Ginevra and once I’m through with you I’ll go after him. And you know just how noble he is, the guilt of what happened to you will make him an easy target. He may not care much about you, but he is full of pride. Just like all those years ago when his best friend begged him to save his little sister.”
I couldn’t hear anymore of this, he was wrong. Tom was wrong; he saved me because he cared, not out of pride not out of guilt. He cared. The words repeated themselves in my head until they became foreign and wrong…he still hadn’t come.
Perhaps Tom was right.
“Potter moved heaven and earth to save his Godfather. And now you see he wouldn’t do the same for you. But don’t fret love,” Tom soothed, looking right into my eyes, “When and after I’ve had my fun and you’re gone I’ll soon put him out of his guilty misery.” In a flash of excitement the beautiful brown eyes became a deep red.
“NOOOOOO!” My scream startled me upright in bed. I panted trying to regain control of my dizzy head realizing that, that was the sixth night mare in two weeks.
Tom owned me again.
Sleep hadn’t been coming easy since Dumbledore was put to rest, nights dragged on, days blurred together. Each morning, I woke with the same uneasy dread that I fell asleep with. Voldemort was in my head, and sometimes when I was most venerable, I believed he was real and not just a figment of my imagination and my memories. Even though Lupin and Dumbledore had explained to me that I was just vulnerable to his magic and sensing his power brought back his voice, it didn’t make hearing him any easier.
Sure I had learned to manage it and was able to keep his voice out, but it seemed that in my sleep, I lost control.
Like that night. I knew that it was more than just a diary. Dumbledore had told me as much after the Triwizard Tournament, but considering he kept that truth from me for so long I couldn’t help but wonder what else they were all keeping from me. I didn’t want to be naïve and unaware, worries which my dream had surfaced; that I would be face to face with danger and not know what I am truly dealing with. My subconscious was been extremely rough on me and Tom’s influence only made it worse.
Dumbledore had once offered me a chance to pour all the memories into his pensive and be done with it, but I had declined. They were too important to give up, if I had I would have been a coward, running away from my mistakes. I learned from them and I just couldn’t forget.
At that moment, however, sitting up in my bed sweating bullets, I hated myself for being so pretentious. Maybe Hermione was right- I was more like Harry than anyone realized with my self-sacrificing righteousness that clouded
judgment on my well-being. Suddenly I started crying, how could I try to help Harry see when I couldn’t even see myself? What kind of hypocrite was I? Someone who tried to help others but yet couldn’t even take the first step to help herself?
My family was sleeping peacefully in the rooms above and there I was being completely miserable. We were all safe; none of us had been unfortunate, so why was I just feeling sorry for myself?
Disgusted, I shoved the covers off of me and stood up. Not even bothering to slip on a robe or shoes I headed down to the kitchen. June of 1996 was a hot muggy one, mum was going bonkers hoping that the wedding, which was taking place in the garden of the Burrow, wouldn’t be too uncomfortable. Fred and George thankfully calmed her down, simply reminding her that she was a witch. The kitchen at 4 am in the morning was a much different place than the kitchen in the middle of the day, without the hustle and bustle of what seemed like hundreds of growing teenage boys and an incredible cook of a mother it just seemed…lonely…quiet…and empty. Sort of what I had become the past few weeks.
I watched out the window wondering what was out there. Outside of the high security wards the Order had placed were there Death Eaters stalking around, waiting for their opening? Was it too risky to step outside for a breath of fresh air?
“Ginny?” I jumped, startled. The sound of my name coming from the dead of night somewhere behind me nearly stopped my heart. Hand on my thumping chest I turned around to find my mother just turning on the lights. “I’m sorry. Did I frighten you, dear?”
“Only a bit mum,” I mumbled turning away from her once again. “What are you doing up?”
“I thought I heard someone, obviously I did.”
Nodding, I continued to gaze out of the window silently.
“Is something bothering you, sweetheart?”
I had yet to tell my mum anything about the rather new change in relationship between me and Harry. If it was his wish to keep it a secret, then who was I to divulge it? Although it was kind of pointless now, considering that Malfoy and Snape were both well aware of it. “Nothing, just too hot to sleep.”
I heard her take a few steps closer, “Did you open your window?”
“Ahh well, it shouldn’t take long to cool down.” Her voice was sentimental, and I had a sinking suspicion she wasn’t talking about the summer temperature.
“I think I’ll just get a glass of water and head back up then.”
Mum was closer than I imagined her to be, she set a hand on my shoulder, “Nonsense, there is nothing better than tea to shove away the shakes.”
I watched in complete awe as she found a pot and set it on the stove. “I’m not sure what you mean.”
Sighing she said, “I’m your mother. It would be impossible for me not to know when you are troubled. Blame it on our mother’s intuition.”
I guess I was right, she knew. “I’m fine, honestly.”
“How long have you been having these nightmares again Ginny? And don’t you dare lie to me I can see right through you.” I knew she couldn’t, if I had a sickle for every time I had lied to my mother and gotten away with it I would be richer than the Queen of England, and the only other person I know richer than the queen of England was this Scottish author who wrote a seven part adventure series about an orphan boy and a far off boarding school. And there was no way I could compete with that, honestly who could come up with such an epic story?
How had she known? Had she told my brothers? My father? How would they look at my now? Poor little Ginny Weasley haunted by a memory again.
However I knew that telling the truth was the only right thing to do. “Ever since Dumbledore’s funeral.”
“Don’t worry, I haven’t said anything to anyone, not even your father, the Weasley men would be able to sleep through war.”
I chuckled dryly at the half hearted joke. “I wish I could too.”
Pursing her lips Molly Weasley contemplated my comment before turning back to the tea, I settled on the settee buy the kitchen table window.
“Have you considered dreamless sleep potions?”
“Well, I took one a few weeks ago, and it didn’t seem to work.” The dreams were too strong, too evil; too real.
“You haven’t had such vivid dreams since the summer after your second year.”
The feel of his breath on me the flash in his eyes…vivid didn’t even begin to cover it. The reason the dreams were back were easy enough to figure out-
“Hang on, how did you know the dreams I’ve had the past few weeks were so vivid?”
She smiled, “As I said the Weasley men could sleep through anything, you’ve been talking in your sleep. I won’t lie and say I haven’t stopped to hear what it is you’ve been mumbling.”
I looked away out the window feeling as though my most inner thoughts and feeling had just been scattered across the table. I felt open.
My mother noticed my discomfort instantly. “Ginny, I didn’t mean to upset you…I just don’t understand why you didn’t come to me when this started. Why won’t you talk to me?”
“There is nothing to talk about that we haven’t already before. Dumbledore’s death just brought back a lot of memories is all.” I lied.
“How so?” she asked bringing a cup of tea and setting it before me.
“I…just began to remember everything he did for me after the incident with Tom Riddle’s Diary.”
“Hmp.” She sat across from me and I avoided her eyes.
“I didn’t want to worry anyone. There’s enough to deal with right now, Bill getting married and all.”
“Ginevra. Don’t you ever hide the truth of your well being for someone else in this family. We are all still together thankfully; we will all help you and always put you first.”
I nodded taking a sip of the tea. Swallowing the scorching liquid it ran down the length of my body relaxing it down to the core.
“Now, the truth this time young lady.”
“’Yes, you know very well you are keeping it from me. These nightmares haven’t returned as memories. When you were eleven the dreams were the same all having to do with Tom taking control of you. But what I’ve been hearing is nothing of the sort.” My mother was a smart woman I should have never underestimated her. “You’ve never once cried out Harry’s name that I know of during your sleep before this summer.” I flushed a hot red. “Under any normal circumstances I would take it as though you still had feelings for him, a few nights ago I thought-”
“MUM!” I put my cup down. “Why are you doing this to me? Isn’t it hard enough? It’s embarrassing and mortifying when it’s in private but to have another person try to dissect it into some kind of riddle is just too much. Please, believe me, the dreams are only what happened in the chamber and Harry was there alright?”
“Then why do you casually walk out of the room when someone mentions him? Why is Ron always looking at you as though you are about to crack? And what was going on at the funeral? I saw you speaking with Harry and it didn’t seem like it was anything good.”
“WE WERE AT A FUNERAL! How could you expect anything less?” My voice was shrill enough to startle her but thankfully not loud enough to wake anyone.
“Why won’t you tell me?” she asked in a small voice. “Why won’t Ron?”
“I’m sorry mum, I am but there are going to be many things that you won’t know, there’s going to be many things that we won’t be able to tell you and more so that Ron, Harry and Hermione won’t be willing to explain.” My guilt scratched at my heart. There was my wonderful mother who would do anything for her children and her surrogate ones as well, and we kept so much from her. Maybe telling her about Harry and I would be a small, but risky, compensation? Since I had been keeping quiet about Tom’s voice in my head and the nightmares? It seemed only fair.
Looking into her eyes I saw the beginnings of tears. She sniffed once and blinked them away before they could fall. She understood. For now. I knew my mother well enough to know that there was no way in Merlin she was going to let this go. “Fine then. We’ll discuss that later. But, at least answer me this, what did you mean by ‘Harry hasn’t abandoned me’?”
Her words reversed the effect of the calming tea. “What is he doing to protect you?” I closed my eyes.
“He…well…I…Harry and I were seeing each other last spring.”
I didn’t hear a gasp or a dropped tea cup. Nothing changed, as though I hadn’t spoken. Slowly I opened one eye, and then the other. She was staring and smiling at me fondly, the tears finally escaping. “I see.” She breathed.
“It’s not…not what you think-”
“You’ve broken up.”
“How did you know?”
“I suspected…well, watching the two of you after Dumbledore died, the way you looked at him the way he watched you when he thought no one was watching, the way you supported him through the ceremony. I don’t think anyone else realized, but a mother knows. Just before Harry walked away from you I saw your face, understanding and collected, but heartbroken. You saw it coming hadn’t you?”
“I would have been surprised if it hadn’t.” I confessed. I missed Harry so much; it hurt to think he was all alone at the Dursley’s.
“Can I ask why? From what I saw it seemed you two were good for each other.”
I smiled. “We were. We are.”
“Harry is a very noble guy. He’s got it in his head that because of his feelings he’d put me in danger.”
“Lovely boy that one. He’s right, and wrong. And you? You let him make that decision on his own?”
“For his own sake of sanity. He doesn’t need to worry himself about me right now.”
My mum sighed, “And if it were up to you?”
I blushed. “If it had been up to me alone…I’d be up all night writing him letters, and reading ones he sent me, then going to bed in the morning with a goofy grin on my face. But of course I never told you that.” I added with a laugh. Thinking about how wonderful it would be to fall asleep after hearing from him, about his day, his thoughts, and his words. I wished for it more than I had all summer.
“If you can’t tell your mother who can you tell?”
“No one. And you can’t tell anyone either. Ron and Hermione know to act as though nothing happened.”
Mum took a sip from her cup and then said knowingly, “And when Harry comes for the end of the summer? How will you two be acting?”
“I’m not sure how it’ll be for him but I know I’m going to be hurting.” I admitted.
“From the glances he had been giving you sweetheart, he’ll be hurting just as much.”
“I’m sure of it.”
We sat in an uneasy silence, thinking about why it had to be this way, and how unfair it was to everyone. It was a relief to tell her now, a small portion of the weight lifted from my shoulders.
“You’re in love with him aren’t you?”
“When you were younger I knew of course that you fancied him, I thought it was one of the sweetest things I have ever witnessed, but now, it’s deeper isn’t it? You really do love him?”
My eyes drifted off out the window once more. “Yes, I do.”
“Good. Merlin knows that boy needs all the love he can get.” Why was it that mother’s always seemed to know what to say? It was as though they read into your mind and came up with exactly what you needed to hear. “He loves you too, even if he hasn’t realized it yet, from what you told me, I’m positive.”
She didn’t even have to think about it,
“It’s what love is, sacrificing your own happiness for the well being of the other, understanding and unconditional love are all a part of it Ginny. Harry is nowhere near perfect, and you have had your fair share of troubling times and issues. But yet you care for the other without a second thought. That’s what unconditional love is, and you know how to help him, when he doesn’t know how to help himself. It’s what makes you perfect for each other. And it’s what makes me sure you love him and he you. I know you’re young, but with this war and everything you both have been through its only normal to have grown up quickly.”
She said this with the occasional tear, of joy and regret, but overall, lovingly.
It created a new point of view of my relationship with Harry, one that I could live with the fact that we weren’t together. I hurt, it still broke my heart, but with my mother’s
reassurance at least I could fall asleep knowing that what he had-have was real, and worthy of lasting.
“Off to bed with you know, the wedding is coming up and this will be one of the last lie ins you’ll have for until after the party.”
I nodded and stood, still unable of saying anything and headed for the stairs. Before I made it however I turned around to find my mother staring out the window just as I had, crying. I flitted back to her and pressed a kiss on her moist cheek.
Then proceeded upstairs to my room.
The days passed quickly but not without incident. Mum hadn’t breathed a word of my nightmare or our late night chat, she had by that time completely immersed herself in thoughts of the wedding, and the wedding only. But I didn’t quite miss the glances she threw me each morning as I came down for breakfast, inspecting for dark rings and sleep deprived eyes no doubt.
The muggle world, as I heard from my father, was beginning to notice something was wrong. It was an invisible force they were dealing with, not sure what to think or how to act upon it. I had never really been involved with the muggle world and so I wasn’t sure as to what they were planning on doing. Obviously not much, death and murder was playing a large role in both civilizations, we were the only ones who knew why and how.
And to add on to the sorrow, Ollivander still hadn’t been found.
We kept up with the Order as headquarters would soon be moved to the burrow once Harry arrived. July was flying by when the long time plan to collect Harry from the Dursley’s for the last time was set into motion. As he was turning 17 the protection and safety of number four Privet Drive would break due to his coming of age.
I was beginning to feel nervous as the time grew closer. What would I say to him when he arrived? How would we act? Friendly? Awkwardly? Would we go back to not being friends at all and rarely ever speak? Would anyone notice? Would he want anyone to notice?
“We’ve leaked a fake trail throughout the Ministry,” Mad-Eye-Moody informed us one night as he stopped by for the usually Order update. “The story is that the Order of the Phoenix won’t be moving Potter until the thirteenth.” He continued.
I never really had a relationship per say with Alastor Moody. He was always such a driven force with a hard exterior that I was intimidated by. Yes I know, Ginny Weasley —intimidated? Don’t laugh, one look at him and you’d understand. Not that I didn’t respect him, Merlin knew I thought that man was one hell of an Auror. I would trust him with anything. From Afar.
“Have they taken the bait?” My father asked.
“We are almost certain they have, but it’s still not worth it to risk it. Constant Vigilance.”
I stayed silent as it wasn’t my place to comment. See even I had my standards, I knew when to interfere my lungs out, and when to keep my trap shut and be respectful. But I just really didn’t want to ruin the fact that they hadn’t sent me away. Using Extendable Ears for every conversation wasn’t as dandy as it sounded.
“It’s better this way, Harry will be able to spend his birthday with us!”Mum exclaimed joyously. I could practically hear the wheels in her head turning, she walked away muttering something about a cake in the shape of a snitch.
That of course was a dilemma all on its own. What in Merlin’s name was I supposed to get The-Boy-Who-I-love-but-am-broken-up-with -even-though-he-loves-me-just-as-much-al though-no-one-can-know for his birthday?
Nothing too personal, especially if we didn’t want anyone to get suspicious. Could I get away with not getting him anything? I knew there was no way I could do that even if no one would notice. He meant too much to me for me to ignore his 17th birthday.
How was I supposed to act when he arrived?! There still was no answer.
“What are you doing?”
“What does it look like I’m doing?”
“Then I’m peeling potatoes.”
“You don’t have to be so cheeky.” Ron grumbled pulling up a chair next to mine in the kitchen.
“Then my charm wouldn’t be as charming.” I shrugged dropping one rather large one into the growing peeled pile.
He sighed, “I guess…so mums making a big dinner tonight?”
“Yup it’ll be the first time just the whole family will be home for dinner in a long while.” There was an awkward heaviness in the air, where the hippogriff in the room clearly told us that the whole family wouldn’t be home. We were kidding ourselves by pretending that the fact that Percy had yet to come home and reconnect with his family didn’t affect us.
“Yea…the whole family.” I met his eyes, seeing the sadness in them. Ron truly was the most sensitive of the pack, he missed his brother. And so did I. But that didn’t mean Percy still wasn’t being a stupid prick. “Pass me a potato would you?”
I laughed once and handed it to him. “Are you going to peel it, or eat it?”
“It’s not even cooked!”
“Would that stop you?”
Ron’s ears went pink as he thought about it. “Yes.” He muttered. He lied.
“What’s the mood for? It’ll be a nice night. Fred and George probably have loads of jokes to pull on Bill tonight seeing that it’s his last week as a bachelor. Mum’ll probably get teary eyed, Dad will try to not laugh, Charlie will start a food fight, and you’ll eat until your heart’s content.”
“What about me? I’ll just be thrown in the mix.” I smiled thinking of how I couldn’t wait to watch my family chaos; it was times like those where war didn’t seem to exist. It was a respectable distraction.
Ron tossed his freshly skinned potato in the pile leaning over to grab another one. “Well you’re definitely excited to have just the family home.”
“What aren’t you?”
“Well it just seems like you wish Harry weren’t coming at all, like you’d rather him stay away. And I-”
“I didn’t even mention Harry. Why did you have to bring him into this?” The potato I was working on lost a deep chunk. We were having a completely normal conversation, and somehow he’d just flipped the whole thing around. To say I found it annoying was an understatement.
“He’s always been in this, but Ginny, you’re my sister, and I never wanted to have to choose between the two of you. Now it seems like I’m going to have to.” Ron’s voice was full of ammunition but I could see the pain it caused him to say those words. I bet he’d been practicing.
“Ron. You don’t have to choose between us, if you do I’m going to have to hex you.”
“How can you say that? He ditched you! It’s bound to be awkward when he comes.”
I rolled my eyes. “Grow up Ron; we’re a little more mature than that.” I failed to mention that my fears mimicked his.
He ignored my comment, “If you don’t want him here this summer, just say the word, I’ll…talk to him he’ll just have to-”
“To what?” I spat. “Find somewhere else to stay? The Leaky Cauldron perhaps, unprotected and alone? Oh, I’m sure you meant stay with those foul muggles I suppose; oh he’ll just love that! Ron, have you even heard yourself? After all he’s done for us; Harry is part of this family. Yes I know what we were talking about moments ago, but if I knew you’d take it like that I wouldn’t have passed you a potato and told you to leave me alone. Harry’s coming here, not just because I- we want him here, but because it’s out of our hands anyway. The Order has had this planned for ages.”
I exhaled, regretting the throbbing pain in my head from ranting without oxygen.
Ron lost all power to speak for a few minutes as we just sat there being unproductive depressing bums.
That’s all we had turned into that summer, everyone was brooding, or trying to distract themselves with the upcoming wedding. Fake smiles, forced laughter. And not one person in the damned house had mentioned anything about Quidditch all summer long. I suddenly missed our pick-up games in the backyard pitch. War was hell. It was an alternate universe which made the Weasley’s forget about Quidditch.
“I just don’t want to see you hurt.” Came the whispered voice of my brother.
I swallowed. “I’m not hurt.”
“Yes you are! I can see it in your eyes! I may be an oblivious prat a lot of the time but I know how much you liked him, I know how much you still do. And if it’s only going to get worse when he actually gets here…I’d rather spare you the pain.” He hung his head low completely forgetting the half peeled vegetable in his hand.
“I’m not a spineless little girl anymore Ron.” I said. “Sure, I miss him, yes I wish things worked out differently, but I am strong enough to hold tight. You and I both know this wasn’t his fault, it wasn’t what he wanted. And the last thing I want is for you to be mad at him over this, we were his family, he needs us.”
“I know. It’s just going to be hard to look him in the face and not want to say the things an older brother should say in this case.”
“It’s not a normal case.”
Ron half smiled. “I guess it never is with us. Well anyway, I don’t think we should tell any of our brothers. I’m not really sure how Fred and George would take it with Harry being their friend and all, but Charlie and Bill might see things differently. Besides I understand you both want to keep this uncommon knowledge.” He picked up the peeler again.
“Thanks Ron, I was kind of worried you’d say something.”
“No. Let’s make sure it stays quiet.” He looked over at me suddenly as though he thought of something. “You’ve been really good about things lately, when did you grow up?”
“Right after you. I’m only a year younger dimwit.” I laughed.
The silence surrounded us once again as we continued our work. Mum had given me enough potatoes to feed the country, I figured it was just enough for us, considering the appetites of my brothers.
“I didn’t want you to think I hadn’t noticed the way you were feeling, I’m not that much of a git to ignore when my sister is heartbroken…”
“I know that Ron.” I replied softly.
“I was…expecting it I guess…since I saw the two of you last year together…so I don’t think anyone else had been able to tell.”
“Mum did, of course. I told her everything.”
Ron gasped, his blue eyes widening, “Everything?”
“Well, not everything. And I told her there would be things you couldn’t tell her either.”
He nodded. “Thanks. I guess that’ll keep her off my back for a while.” So my mother was a worry then? Ron didn’t want her hounding him for answers, which I knew now he had.
I bit my lip, wondering if my brother could tell me the things I still didn’t understand. Would he trust me enough? Would he push me away like the little girl he thought I was? I tried anyway. “After Harry turns seventeen…there’s something he has to do isn’t there?” I whispered. “Something that has to do with the prophecy.”
He froze, his menstruations with the peeler and potatoes ceased. “I…don’t know what you’re talking about.”
I closed my eyes. “Please, Ron. I know you do. Please. Please tell me.” What was so bad that it had to be kept a secret from me? The-Girl-Who-Survived-Voldemort so to speak? What was it that I wouldn’t understand or that I couldn’t be trusted with? Harry was in trouble again, I could feel it. I needed to know.
“I can’t Ginny.”
“Why? Why can you and Hermione be part of whatever is happening while I’m pushed away at the sidelines? Haven’t I at least earned some more respect than that? Some trust? I don’t deserve this.” Tears of desperation were threatening my eyes; I don’t think Ron had ever seen me cry, but there didn’t seem to be much of a choice for me.
Looking at me he almost lost his resolve. I saw it, the flash of pity and guilt, the small opening of his mouth where he would tell me what I needed to hear. Would he say something about a Horcrux? Whatever that was. Would he tell me the prophecy?
Suddenly my hopes were crushed when he shook his head and took a deep breath. “I’m sorry.” He said, standing up and turning away.
“Bloody Hell Ron! It’s as though you three have formed come kind of cult where if you say something you’ll die some terrible death!” I cried with a sarcastic laugh. “What’ll happen when we all go back to school? You honestly think you’ll be able to keep your mouth shut there? And the Order? You don’t think they’ll have questions too?”
Ron turned back to me in a flash, something unreadable in his worried expression. “I know that. But it doesn’t matter.”
“What? What in Merlin’s name does ‘it doesn’t matter’ mean? The only way this wouldn’t matter is if you weren’t going back to school. As if you three were running away or something. I guess that would make sense seeing as there’s something important going on that you won’t tell anyone!” I was so angry I didn’t even know what words were coming out of my mouth. I was mad at Ron, at Hermione, at Percy, at Voldemort even Harry! I just wanted to scream at the world for being so merciless.
Everything was falling to disaster, no matter how we try to act, no matter how long and hard we work at keeping up this façade with the happy wedding, everyone could see the cracks beneath us. Everyone saw each other slipping through the cracks, and we didn’t say anything. I had enough of it.
When I looked back at Ron it took a moment to realize his face told me everything I needed to.
“What? You’re acting as if you are going to run away or something.” I spat wiping at the few tears that escaped.
My brother gulped and remained silent.
“Ron?” I didn’t understand why he had become so withdrawn. I had only suggested he wasn’t going back to school.
But… he was.
“I’m sorry.” He whispered walking away. He stopped at the doorway to the kitchen and muttered one last thing with the flick of his wand, and disappeared. When I finally did take my eyes away from the spot where he had just been I found all the potatoes completely peeled.
“There’s been another change of plans.”
Mad-Eye nodded, his one wild eye fixed on my father. “The Order has concocted a new way to confuse the Death Eaters in a worst case scenario.”
“Worst case being what?”
“That they know we are moving him tonight, that they are there when we do.”
I shook my head. “But that won’t happen.”
“We have to be prepared for anything.”
My father took a seat at our kitchen table, “So what is this new plan?”
Stomps from the stairs announced the arrival of Ron and Hermione. “New plan?” Hermione asked.
“Yes, and we’ll be needing the both of you.” Mad-eye motioned to my brother and his soon-to-be-girlfriend (It was just a matter of when).
Automatically the pair straightened growing at least an inch taller, “Anything.”
I raised an eye brow waiting for him to turn to me and ask for my help next, however he only just continued. “With a gradual amount of poly juice potion there will be several Harry Potters flying out of Little Whinging tonight. Each accompanied by an Order member.”
“How many Harry Potters?”
I smiled, they would need me. Hermione joined me, “So I’m assuming that Ron and I will be taking the potion to become Harry? Making seven decoys? It’s brilliant!”
“Uhg, more poly juice potion? I swore I’d never take it again.”
“Again?” My father’s surprised curiosity made me have to cover a laugh with a cough. My father went unnoticed.
“Ron! This is to help your best friend, and you’re complaining? How could you be so dense?”
“Dense?! The only thing that’s dense-”
“Shut it! The both of you, Merlin you’ve been driving me bonkers!” I snapped ending the growing bicker.
“Who did you have in mind for this whole operation? You’ll not only need seven Potters but you’ll need seven members.” My father returned to the situation at hand.
“Remus and Nymphodora are on their way, Hagrid is bringing Fletcher by his ears, I’ve spoken to your twins and they are closing up their shop now, Kingsley, you Ron, Hermione, Bill and obviously Potter and myself.”
I began calculating in my head desperately making sure he had left one out, and that one would have to be me. I smirked when I resulted to only 13.
“Mad-eye,” I called sweetly, “You’re still missing one person.” Finally! I was being called to for help! I would be able to do something rather than sit on my arse all day. Sure I was at the ministry, and yes I gave a fight to the Death Eaters at the end of last term but this time I wouldn’t be reprimanded for it! Not that I would care anyway, it’s just better to not have to hear the screaming and yelling.
“Oh yes, Bill said Fleur was up to it, I just associate the two together. They’ll be here soon.”
Hermione winced and Ron sniggered, knowing where I had been going with my correction.
“Fleur?” Phlegm? The cow who had just been recently been added to my tolerated list? “Is that a joke?”
“I don’t see why it would be anything but serious.”
My father eyes me curiously when he noticed my fists clench dangerously.
“It’s just… Fleur…I mean, is she even qualified?”
“She’d of age; she’s a top witch, she was in the Triwizard Tournament.”
“Ginny, don’t.” Hermione whispered in my ear but I ignored her.
“She doesn’t have enough experience with this kind of thing! She wasn’t there at the attack on Hogwarts! She wasn’t even at the Department of Mysteries!” I cried.
“As opposed to you,” My father sighed.
I turned to him, “YES! Why can’t I go? Haven’t I proven myself yet?”
Moody rubbed his temples, “If you think I’m going to let a 15 year old on a-”
“I’ll be 16 in two weeks! And it’s not as though anyone ever stopped Harry when he was even younger!”
“Enough! I’ve had enough of this; we are wasting enough time as it is. We leave as soon as the sun goes down. Be prepared.” With a final grunt Moody trudged out the door leaving us four silent in the kitchen.
How could they continue to do this to me? It was a knife to the back, if anyone should have gone to retrieve Harry it should have been me. But Fleur? She barely made it to fourth place in the tournament!
“This is wrong. It’s wrong and completely unfair.”
“Sweetheart,” Dad sighed, “I can’t be worried about you right now, you’re my youngest and you’d be a help to your mum.”
There it was again, the typical argument and excuse. I was the youngest, always considered as the helpless little girl. The one who needed protecting, the one who would never grow up. That’s what everyone saw me as, except for Harry. Well no recently anyway.
I knew that Harry only thought of me as Ron’s little sister for a while, but I don’t think that ever changed the fact that he saw me as an equal when it came to Voldemort. Yes, there have been times when Harry chose to forget what happened but with everything else going on I could hardly blame him, it was years ago. But when he or someone did bring it up I could see in the way he looked at me that I wasn’t just some little girl, I was someone who understood what he went through, someone he could relate to. Someone who just knew how hard it was to be connected to Voldemort.
He let me fight by his side at the Ministry, he saved some liquid luck for me and asked that I help fight to keep Hogwarts safe when the Death Eaters broke into the school. Although he didn’t fight to hard against my brother when I was pushed aside, he was never the one to exclude me, which was always Ron.
As I thought it through I realized that maybe I could get Harry to tell me everything he was hiding, if I came to him as a friend —nothing more- and appealed to him as his equal.
Yeah right, even though he didn’t think of me as Ron’s little sister anymore there still was a huge part of him that was too noble to risk my life by feeding me information, no matter how he treated me. Honestly, he saw Fred and George as his equals. You don’t see them knowing anything.
I didn’t feel like fighting anymore, my mind was filled with thoughts of Harry, and lately that never put me in a right mood.
“Youngest, fine. But that doesn’t mean I’m young.” I said walking into the kitchen, I would have loved a fire whiskey seeing as the first and only time I tried it Fred and George made me take enough to forget everything that was going on. I had a really bad day with Umbridge; you can’t blame a girl for that. Unfortunately at the time we only had butterbeer.
I sat and drank by myself re-organizing my thoughts and arguments, enjoying the refreshing creamy, bubbly taste, getting ready to go at this again. I wanted to fight tooth and nail until the only way they made me stay was by cursing me unconscious.
Soon enough the next opportunity presented itself. Fleur was speaking with my mum and Hermione about last minute seating arrangements while my father and brothers sat around the wireless listening to a match.
“If anyone should go get Harry it should be me!” My outburst was met with silence. My father and his quiet demeanor pondering my meaning as my brothers each shared knowing grins.
“Jealous are we now?” Fred started. I shouldn’t have been surprised that this conversation would veer into this topic, I was digging myself into a whole from the moment I opened my mouth. But there was no way I would let Fleur win.
“Maybe Fleur will use her wiles on Harry and he’ll just fall for it the same way Bill here did.”
Charlie, who was here on vacation from Romania for the wedding, snorted but regained his composure after watching the smack upside the head Fred and George got from Bill.
“Shut up the both of you, Ginny doesn’t even like Harry anymore, right Ginny?”
All eyes returned to me once again, Fred and George rubbing their heads with a scowl, Charlie looking highly amused, Bill annoyed and expectant, Percy missing, and Ron was nervous. His gaze warned me and slightly without anyone taking notice he shook his head, and I played my part.
“Of course not. I just want to go, Harry is one of my…best friends, and I’m used to these insane rescue missions by now. I don’t want to be left behind again.” Somehow I couldn’t get the picture of Harry falling prey to some veela while he was so vulnerable, alone, and ultimately single. It made my stomach uneasy.
Bill shrugged, “Ginny face it. You are still under age. Not only is it illegal for you to be participating in Order business but you can’t do magic, it’s a liability if we run into trouble.”
“Ginny. Please listen.” Dad called sternly. “Your brother is absolutely right, like I said I can’t be worried, we can’t gamble you like this we can’t be checking up to make sure you are fine. Your job is to stay here with your mother; she’ll need you to be on watch for when we return.”
“What kind of job is that?! Just say it dad, I can’t go, I’m too little to be involved! Don’t go around trying to make me feel important when I’m not, I’m not going to fall for it! I’M NOT 6 YEARS OLD ANYMORE!”
I hadn’t meant to lose my temper, honest. However I didn’t think my brothers knew that, they each took a step back, my father closed his eyes. I knew I could be scary at times, times that I enjoyed the power I had over my brothers, but I must have looked terrifying right then for the fear across the room was plainly visible.
“It’s not right dad. It isn’t,” I said planting my feelings firmly, calming myself down in the process.
“Sorry, Ginny,” George courageously stepped out of the line of brothers, closely followed by Fred trying to lighten the mood.
“But don’t worry-”
“We’ll make sure your friend-”
“Makes it home safe and sound.”
“Notice how we use the term friend very lightly.”
“I think she did George.”
“I agree Fred.”
After all these years they never gave up those ridiculous jokes, you’d think they would have grown out of it, or tire of them but then again when have any of my brothers been remotely normal.
“No Ginny. You will stay home and that’s final.” My dad was always a reasonable man, I believe the only time I had ever seen him actually mad to the point of frightening in the summer of 1987 when Fred and George tried to get Ron to make an unbreakable vow with them. However I knew when he said no he meant it.
I suddenly felt very small despite my arguing that I wasn’t a child. Five of my brothers towered over me watching for my reaction, it didn’t help that they were all so bloody tall while I was on the petite side. My brother’s I had to admit were turning out to be handsome blokes, different shades and lengths of red hair, all blue eyed like dad, and each well built. I would have probably teased them about it but at that moment as they stared at me quizzically as though I happened to be some sort of experiment; I thought they looked rather prat-ish.
“Bugger it. You can all just sod off.” I muttered defeated and upset. They were being so stubborn it was hopeless. I stomped up the stairs but was still able to hear Charlie chuckling in awe,
“She still has it bad.”
“That she does brother,” agreed Fred.
“That she does.”
But the time I made it the second landing where my room was located I had no idea what I was going to do with all the raging anger inside me. Bill was right, that git, I wasn’t seventeen yet and so magic was not a possibility no matter how much I wanted to curse or hex someone. It seemed that whatever damage I needed done was going to come from me.
Kicking my bed out of that anger and frustration wasn’t a good idea, only I didn’t realize that fact until I was doubled over in pain.
“Bloody hell,” I muttered clasping my throbbing toe.
Did life really have to be this unfair? Taking a breath I fell on top my bed not intending on getting up anytime soon.
I felt as though I was eleven again, sitting on my bed listening to the sounds of my brothers descending the stairs outside my bedroom. It reminded me of the night they snuck out to rescue Harry from the Dursley’s in the Ford Anglia, the night they left me behind.
Look how far I’d come. Ahh the irony.
When the footsteps disappeared I waited a few more minutes as I heard the voices downstairs. I paced until the distant sounds of disapparition and slamming doors made me freeze, then after collecting myself, I rush down the stairs.
“Oh! There you are Ginny.” My mum breathed, visibly flustered and washing the dishes, by hand.
“Has everyone gone?” I asked though the answer was obvious.
“Yes dear, they’ve all gone.”
“Ginevra.” My full name was never used as an endearment; usually it was only ever used by my brothers when they tried to get a rise out of me, and when my parents were being short with me. I snapped my mouth shut. “Listen to me,” she continued, “I know you. And if you think you are going to start hovering around asking questions or making comments every few minutes you have another thing coming. They will return when they return.”
I swallowed then nodded.
“I’m stressed enough at the moment, this wedding will be the end of me I swear it.”
The wedding, of course that’s what it was. She was my mother just like I couldn’t lie to her (on a regular basis) she couldn’t lie to me. She was scared, scared for our family and friends, it screamed from her eyes.
“Sweetheart,” she sighed, “They are all going to be reporting to different portkeys, the first one is due to arrive at ten.” Wiping her hands on her apron she kissed my forehead, “He’ll be home soon safe and sound at last. Now, why don’t you help me by going up and making his bed. I’m sure he hasn’t had one good night’s sleep all summer.”
“Yes mum.” Taking one last look at the front door I headed up the stairs.
“Oh and Ginny? Have you gotten Harry’s birthday present yet? If you haven’t tomorrow we’ll go to Diagon Alley alright?”
“That’s fine mum!” I replied hastily dying to be out of her eye sight. At least she wasn’t smothering me as I expected she would, it seemed the both f us needed our own space tonight.
Pulling the last sheet onto the spare bed in Ron’s room a sudden wave of dread hit me and I let it push me back onto the newly made bed. It was nausea, anxiety, and nerves all rolled into one big lump sitting in my stomach. I usually only had those inkling feeling at times similar to that one; every time I would open Tom’s Diary I would ignore it, but I wasn’t able to when I was waiting for Harry to emerge from the maze during the third task, and after Harry ran after Bellatrix at the ministry. This stomach ache only ever occurred when Voldemort decided to take his head out of the ground and wreck havoc.
I closed my eyes. I wasn’t stupid I knew it was a warning that something terrible was happening. How easy would it be for anyone of them to get hurt? And Harry? He had all the forces of evil gaining strength to go after him! He was living life day to day. Some part of me wondered why Voldemort was so set on killing Harry, but another part knew that Tom wasn’t one who took defeat easily.
He once told me Harry was the only one who ever got the best of him, even at the young age of one. Of course he wouldn’t rest until he proved that no one would get away with that. Until he was the ultimate wizard, he would destroy anyone who ever or would ever stand in the way of that. He would come back with vengeance.
Where did that leave Harry? In utter torment, hoping and praying to find some kind of happiness. He was being hunted, and yet I told Harry myself that I knew he wouldn’t be happy unless he was hunting Voldemort. Maybe Harry was the Chosen One, it would make sense. And it was obviously Ron knew the prophecy the way he seemed so nervous I just knew. I didn’t doubt Harry was the one who would end up saving the world, but it wasn’t anything to be happy about. However, he did say I made him happy.
I could do it again, forget what he said about my safety, I could raise his spirits so he can do whatever it was he need to do better than any stray veela…because I knew Harry Potter. I knew what he needed.
I would have to tell mum that I didn’t need to go to Diagon Alley tomorrow. I had a pretty good idea what I was getting Harry for his birthday.
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