|SIYE Time:16:56 on 22nd January 2019|
Genres: Action/Adventure, Angst, Drama
Warnings: Death, Mild Language, Violence
Story is Complete
Summary: A prequel story to After the Horcrux. It is Ginny's POV of the Battle of Hogwarts and the time leading up to seeing Harry again.
Hitcount: Story Total: 3509; Chapter Total: 417
Here is the second and final chapter for this story. As a prequel, this second chapter is important for "After the Horcrux" because it sets up what has happened in the British Magical community.
Her mum came up from the side and gave her a fierce hug. Ginny needed someone to hold her right now. She would have to be happy with her mum. The person she wanted to be holding was busy elsewhere. At times, it seemed like anywhere else but with her.
“I was so worried that we’d lost you,” her mum cried, and she pulled Ginny even closer, burying Ginny’s head under her chin. “I don’t know what I would have done if I had lost anymore.”
“We all made it,” she said half as a question and half as a statement.
Her mum gave her a big sloppy kiss on the forehead. “Yes, Fred was the only one. Let’s find the rest of them.”
Her mum turned and pulled Ginny in tight to her with an arm across her shoulders. They started walking through the crowd. Most of it was people trying to get to Harry. They were coming in from the grounds and going straight to him. Ginny scanned the crowd for red hair. It would be impossible to call to anyone without a Sonorous Charm. Everyone was talking loud and some were screaming with joy.
Her mum stopped walking. “Oh my, I never thought I’d see the day,” she said.
Even though she was right beside her mum, Ginny could barely hear her. Ginny looked the direction her mum was staring and saw Angelina Johnson and George crying on each other’s shoulders. George saw them approaching and readjusted how he was holding Angelina. It was then that Ginny saw what her mum was staring at; Ron was talking intimately with Hermione.
They appeared to be talking silently. Unless they were shouting, Ginny would not be able to hear them. She could read Ron’s lips as he stared intently at Hermione. Her back was to Ginny, but she had her hands placed gently and lovingly on Ron’s chest. Occasionally, she would play with a loose thread on his robes.
Ginny’s heart broke even more seeing that. That was what she wanted from Harry, not a quick glance then nothing. She read Ron’s lips, when he told Hermione that he loved her. Ginny had never seen Ron so tender with anyone or anything. When Hermione put her arms around Ron’s neck and kissed him, Ginny had to turn away.
All she could think about was how that was supposed to be her and Harry. Her mind quickly filled with doubts about what she and Harry had felt towards each other. She was sure she loved him, but maybe he didn’t feel the same about her. Had she imagined the love and tenderness that she felt from him on his seventeenth birthday?
“Blimey, I always thought Hermione was the intelligent one,” shouted George.
His comment helped block some of the pain she was feeling. It was good to have George make a joke. Her mum turned to scold him, but stopped before saying anything. Ginny imagined it was for the same reason.
Angelina whistled loud enough to be heard over the crowd, and George shouted out encouragement to Ron. This broke the couple’s snogging session. It was probably a good thing, because they seemed oblivious to the fact that they were in a very crowded great hall.
Ron looked up at them with a sheepish look on his face, and Hermione tried to hide her face. Ginny could see that it was bright red. Bill, Fleur, Percy, Charlie and her dad had appeared out of the crowd. It seemed that all the Weasley’s had caught Ron and Hermione’s snogging session.
A scream of agony pierced through the cacophony of sound that filled the hall.
“Stop that this instant! Hagrid, I need help.” Professor McGonagall demanded. The shout came from the area where the Death Eaters were being congregated. Her dad and three eldest brothers started in the direction of the screams. The rest of the Weasleys trotted along behind them.
Professor MGonagall was pointing her wand at someone bound on the floor of the hall. Ginny looked at him and tried to determine what happened. He didn’t look like the Death Eater type. Hagrid and Kingsley Shaklebolt had positioned themselves between the bound person and the captive Death Eaters. Dolohov was lying on the floor twitching.
“You will not torture prisoners,” stated Professor McGonagall. Her voice had a hard edge to it.
“They deserve to get what they gave,” responded the man on the floor.
“We fought to rid this country of injustice, not to administer our own brand of it. These people will be given a fair trial and be treated fairly according to our laws.” Kingsley said with such authority that no one countered him. After a couple of seconds, Kingsley spoke to McGonagall. “I think we should move these prisoners away from the crowds.”
The Professor took a deep breath before speaking. “Hagrid, would you and Grawp watch these prisoners until it is safe?”
“Sure Professor, Grawpy and me will keep ‘n eye on ‘em.”
“Thank you Hagrid, we should move them outside. I think that would be best,” stated the Professor.
Hagrid grabbed one in each hand and Ginny watched as the rest of her family and several Professors started Levitating a prisoner each and walking out of the great hall. Ginny joined them without being asked. She fell into this strange procession of disarmed and bound Death Eaters, as they bobbed through the air while being Levitated outside.
A crowd surrounded the procession of prisoners. They jeered and yelled at the Death Eaters. Some people even spat on them as they floated by. Ginny had strange feelings towards these people. They were supposed to be on the same side, and yet she was offended by their actions.
When they stepped outside, the bright sunshine made Ginny blink. It had turned out to be a magnificent day. It even seemed that nature was celebrating the overpowering of the darkness. There were many people outside on the grounds checking the fallen witches and wizards. Some of the fallen were being bound, others put on stretchers, while others were being covered with blankets.
The procession of prisoners turned around the building. They were dumped against the outer wall of the great hall. Grawp was sitting on the ground a distance away staring at them. Hagrid walked over to talk to his half-brother.
“Kingsley what should we do about these prisoners?” asked Professor McGonagall.
“I have been thinking about that,” he replied. He turned and looked at her dad. “Arthur, I have a plan to retake the Ministry. Can I count on your help?”
“Of course, Kingsley,” stated her dad without hesitation. He then looked at his family. “Bill, Charlie, and Percy will you help us?”
“Yes!” the boys stated, along with Fleur.
“No! They will not,” yelled her mum. “They are…”
“We are going Mum,” stated Bill emphatically. “We are of age and we are going.”
“Molly, I understand your concern,” said Kingsley reassuringly. “I have a plan and if we leave soon within the next fifteen minutes, we could take the Ministry over before everyone comes to work in an hour.”
“Well let’s get crackin’,” stated her dad enthusiastically. “I saw several Ministry workers in there. We will round them up and get on our way.”
Ginny turned to walk inside with her father, when she heard George talking to the prisoners.
“Which one of you killed my brother?” he demanded.
Ginny could feel the tension increase. She was nervous that he would try to kill the one that admitted to it. He had seemed normal again. She looked around and saw everyone else had their wand out and was staring at him with concern.
“I did it,” stated Dolohov.
“No he didn’t,” countered Pius Thickness. “I was there. You have a twin, right? He was fighting alongside Percy.”
“Yes, were you the one?”
“No, it was Voldemort. He was the one blasting the holes in the castle. He caused your brother’s death,” stated Thickness.
“No it was me,” screamed Dolohov. “It was me. Kill me! Get your revenge, and kill me!”
Ginny was shocked to see him want to die rather than return to the prison. She had never been there, but had always heard it was a horrible place. She also knew that if he went there it would be for the rest of his life.
“I wasn’t going to kill whoever it was,” said George sadly. “I was going to visit you every year, so I could watch you rot for what you did to my brother.” His voice quavered with emotions as he finished the statement. Angelina walked over to comfort him.
“Headmistress, we have a situation,” shouted Professor Sinistra from the front door of the castle.
Professor McGonagall, her mum, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny hurried to the castle. When they stepped inside, they saw the Malfoys being held at wand point by several angry looking wizards and witches.
“Get Harry Potter,” demanded Narcissa. “He will tell you that I helped him.”
“He’s on his way,” stated a gruff man standing in the middle of the group holding the Malfoys prisoners.
A person appeared from the great hall. It was obvious that it was someone they all knew. “Harry Potter said that she did help him defeat the Dark Lord and that if they give up their wands, then they will pose no threat.”
Narcissa pulled her wand out of her robes and handed it over. Draco and Lucius both said they didn’t have a wand anymore that Voldemort had stripped them of their wands as a punishment.
Kingsley appeared in the doorway of the great hall. “What is going on here?”
“They say they are on our side, now,” stated the gruff wizard.
Kingsley looked at Professor McGonagall and also Ron and Hermione who was standing beside Ginny. “Is it true?”
“I do not know about Narcissa’s claim about helping Harry,” stated Hermione. “I do know that Draco helped us once this past year. His family also had fallen in disfavor with Voldemort.”
“Where have you been until now?” Kingsley asked them.
“We were looking for our son. We only wanted to make sure he was safe,” stated Lucius. Draco seemed to blush slightly at this statement.
Kingsley pointed his wand at them. Their robes seemed to flutter as though they were caught in a strong wind. “They have no wands. You do not have to be restrained. However, you are not free to go. Do not leave England. You still have a lot to answer for, Lucius.”
Kingsley put his wand away and walked towards the door. Following him must have been fifty wizards and witches. Ginny recognized many of them from the Ministry when she would go there with her Dad. They all walked to the edge of Hogwarts.
“Now the world has officially turned upside down,” stated Ron. “Hermione, actually speaking up on behalf of the ferret.”
The three of them laughed, while her mum gave them strange looks. She never heard of what happened during Ginny’s third year. They walked into the great hall again. People were now looking at the deceased on the floor; many were laying flowers on the bodies. Harry was with some family she didn’t know. They seemed to be crying and Harry looked very uncomfortable with the situation.
“Blimey, I’m hungry,” stated Ron.
“As always,” added her mum.
“It has been almost twenty-four hours since we last ate,” said Hermione in defense of Ron. “Oh, look there is food over on that table.”
A table had been set up in the corner and it had food stacked on it. There was also Pumpkin juice and other things to drink. Many people had already visited the table and were walking around snacking on small cakes, sandwiches, and meat pies.
Their entire group was moving towards the food table. Ginny’s focus was elsewhere. She was watching Harry as he stood and listened to people talk to him. He seemed interested in what they were saying, but she could not be sure. There were only a few people around him, and she started plucking up the courage to go over there and talk to him.
A tall man stepped in her view. She became irritated, until she realized that it was Neville. He was smiling down at her.
“We did it, Ginny. We were able to survive until Harry came back,” he said before giving her a big hug.
Ginny returned the hug. So many of last year’s fears were brought to the surface with his statement, and all except one fear had been relieved in the past twenty-four hours. Not only had she, Neville, and Luna survived, but almost all of the students had made it through. Ron and Hermione had survived. The new DA was important in fighting for the light. Harry had defeated Voldemort and survived.
The only fear she still had was whether Harry cared for her. She thought he did when she first saw him in the Room of Requirement, but now she has her doubts.
Ginny stood there and hugged Neville for several minutes. They had relied on each other for strength the past year, and had formed a bond beyond just friendship. Neville finally pulled away from her. He looked in Harry’s direction, then back to her.
“Don’t worry, he’ll come around.”
“You think so, Neville?”
“Yeah, he’d be barmy not to.” They both laughed at his comment. “If he doesn’t, let me know and I’ll have a talk with him.”
Ginny turned to find her family looking at her with strange expressions. Hermione and Ron looked worried, while her mum and George were wearing large smiles.
She bravely walked past them to the food table. She filled up a cup with Pumpkin Juice, drained it, and refilled it before grabbing a meat pie. When she turned around, her mum was looking at her with an annoying smile.
“That was young Longbottom?”
“Yes, Mum, that was Neville.”
“He seems like a nice boy. Gryffindor, isn’t he?”
“Yes, and we are just friends,” she said flatly.
Her mum looked like Ginny had just slapped her across the face. “You are going to be coming of age, my dear. You should already have boyfriend. Yet, I never hear about you dating anyone, since your fourth year.”
Ginny had to resist the urge to start a fight with her mum. After the fuss they raised about her dating Michael Corner in her fourth year, she neglected to tell them about Dean and Harry.
The thought of Harry walking around so close to her, made her loose her appetite. She walked over to a table and sat down by herself. She sat there staring at her meat pie and pumpkin juice. She hated how weak she was when it came to him. Just the thought that he might not care for her, made her almost sick.
Two people sat down across from her. She didn’t need to look up to know it was Hermione and Ron. She didn’t want to have this conversation, not now. There had been too many emotional things happen recently for her to talk about her feelings to Hermione. She sat with her head down and willed her appetite to return, but it didn’t.
“Ginny,” asked Hermione tentatively. “So — um — you and Neville?”
“We are friends. Good friends, we reformed the DA last year.”
Ginny took a bite of her meat pie to keep from saying something nasty to Hermione. She slowly chewed the bite and swallowed hoping they would leave or decide to talk about anything other than her relationship or lack of one with Harry. She went to take another bite when Hermione placed a hand over hers. She tried to pull her hand away, but Hermione tightened the grip on her hand.
“Don’t give up on him, Ginny.”
Ginny’s heart ached at the comment. She looked up to see Hermione and even her brother staring at her with concern. She looked around the great hall. She eventually found Harry. He was talking to someone else now. He had another chance to go and talk to her, but he didn’t.
“It’s not me who has given up on us,” Ginny said bitterly.
“Ginny, he’s a bloke, and well…,” Ron said, before stopping to think about what he was going to say. “… blokes can be pretty thick at times.”
Ginny and Hermione stared at each other before they broke out in laughter. Ron sat there uncomfortable, but not letting go of Hermione’s hand. Once the tension had broken, the three of them started to talk. They were guarded in their responses to what happened last year, and Ginny had things that she didn’t want to share. The entire time they talked, Ginny kept an eye on her mum and George. They had moved back over to Fred’s body. At first, they didn’t talk much, but now they seemed to be having a row. She excused herself and walked over to see what was wrong.
“Fred deserves a proper funeral. I am his mother and I want him to have a proper funeral.”
“Proper for who, not Fred or I, we had already planned our funerals. What you want isn’t what we want,” countered George.
“After Arthur gets back from the Ministry, he will contact the same man that presided over Bill’s wedding…”
“No! It is to be private, with a huge party afterwards…”
“My son was a war hero. He will have a proper funeral, so everyone can remember who he was,” stated her mum.
“Mum,” Ginny interrupted the fight. “If you have that wheezy old wizard drone on about Fred. I would not be able to remember him properly. I agree with George. If they made plans for their own funeral, then we should honour them.”
Her mum looked between her and George as tears appeared in her eyes. “I just want a proper funeral. I just want everyone to know how proud I was of him and — and how much I loved him.”
“Mum, we always knew how much you loved us,” said George.
Tears started falling between the three Weasley’s, as the matriarch threw her arms around her son and cried on his shoulder. Ginny stood there and rubbed her mother’s shoulders choking back tears. How long they stood there Ginny didn’t know. It was Professor McGonagall that brought them back to reality.
“Excuse me. I hate to interrupt you, but do you want to move Fred to another room? We are placing the victims in Firenze’s classroom.”
Ginny looked at George and her mum. They were both too cut up to respond. “Sure, that would be fine. He won’t be in there with any Death Eaters, will he?”
“Most certainly not, they all have been placed elsewhere.”
“I’m sorry to have offended you Professor. I just wanted to be sure.”
“That is quite alright, Miss Weasley,” assured Professor McGonagall.
Ginny tried to get her mum to stop crying, but it was a difficult task. After a few minutes, her mum pulled her wand to Levitate Fred’s body, but George stepped between them. He bent over and picked up his twins corpse and started to carry it away. There was something about seeing him do that that made her want to cry again. Even Professor McGonagall seemed teary-eyed. Her mum followed George out of the great hall and to Firenze’s classroom.
“Will you help me with these two?” asked Professor McGonagall indicating Remus and Tonks.
“Yea, sure,” Ginny choked out.
They Levitated them and started walking out of the hall. People were stepping aside allowing them easy access to the hallway. Everyone appeared to be respectful of the dead. No one spoke as the bodies passed by them. Even with the rest of the hall being loud and boisterous, the people seemed to bow their heads and some even took off their hats. Ginny wondered to herself how many would have done that for Remus Lupin in real life, or would they have chased the werewolf away at wand point.
Ginny entered the room that the Centaur had used for Divination. It still appeared like a place in the forest. The dead were laid out on the grass and moss that covered the floor. It looked so peaceful and serene here. Ginny Levitated Remus in and laid him down beside Tonks who was beside Fred. She stood back as her mum and George once again started crying on each other’s shoulders.
People shouting in the entrance hall caused Professor McGonagall to turn and leave. Ginny decided to follow and see what was wrong. She saw something that almost took her breath away. Bellatrix Lestrange was standing in the entrance hall, with several people holding their wands on her.
It wasn’t until she screamed that she was not her sister to the people with the wands that Ginny noticed the bundle in her arms. This was Andromeda Tonks and she must be here to see what had happened to her daughter.
“I received an owl from the Ministry that my daughter is dead,” she said. Her voice was shaky and she was holding onto Teddy Lupin a little too tight.
“Dora is this way, Andy,” stated Professor McGonagall. “This is Andromeda Tonks, not Bellatrix Lestrange; now lower your wands this instant.”
The people lowered their wands, but many of them looked suspiciously at Andromeda Tonks. Ginny was amazed how two sisters could look so much alike and not be twins. Mrs. Tonks walked down the hall to Firenze’s old room. Ginny watched, not out of a morbid curiosity, but for concern of how tightly she was holding her grandson.
Andromeda stood staring down at her dead daughter. She seemed to be swaying slightly. Ginny’s mum jumped up from the floor and helped to hold her up along with Professor McGonagall.
“Here Andromeda, let me take your grandson,” asked her mum.
“No! He is all I have left,” she wailed, before falling to her knees and sobbing.
Ginny felt guilt creep into her, she was mourning because one member of her family had died. She still has eight other family members. There are people like Andromeda Tonks and Susan Bones. Those who have no one left. She thought of someone else that does not have family, thinking of him made her heart hurt in a different way.
Was it too much to ask of him to come and simply put his arms around her and comfort her and allow her to comfort him for at least a few minutes.
“Who?” demanded Mrs. Tonks? “Who killed my daughter?”
Professor McGonagall and her mum looked at each other, then at Ginny. They both knew she was there when it happened. She did not want to say right now. She was not sure that Mrs. Tonks could deal with it.
“Who took her from me?” she screamed.
Professor McGonagall looked up at Ginny begging for an answer.
“It was Bellatrix,” she said softly.
Mrs. Tonks let out a wail. Her mum hugged her as the grieving woman sobbed onto her shoulder.
Professor McGonagall remained beside her, holding her, trying to comfort the grieving widow and mother. After several minutes, she stood up and gestured for Ginny to leave the others alone.
Ginny turned to leave when she saw Narcissa Malfoy walking towards them. Professor McGonagall stepped in front of Ginny and held up a hand to stop her from entering the room.
“I don’t think it would be a good idea to go in right now.”
“I heard my sister is here. I want to see my sister,” stated Narcissa, as she pushed past the Professor.
Ginny watched as she stepped towards her grieving sister.
“Oh Andy, I am so sorry,” she said, as she went to kneel down beside her.
“Get away from me, you scum,” screamed Mrs. Tonks. She had turned and pointed her wand at Narcissa’s throat. “You and your friends have taken away my family. Get away from me.”
“But Andy, I am your sister,” she cried.
“You haven’t been my sister for over thirty years. Now get away from me and my grandson. If you ever get near him, I’ll kill you,” Andromeda Tonks had a deranged look on her face that made her look even more like Bellatrix.
Narcissa looked shocked that Andromeda would reject her like this. She stood up slowly and walked away with her head bowed. Andromeda went back to crying onto Ginny’s mum’s shoulder. Ginny looked at Professor McGonagall who sighed while putting her wand back away. Ginny realized that she actually thought that Andromeda was going to kill her own sister.
Ginny and the Professor shared a look, before leaving her mum to comfort Andromeda. They walked into the hallway and towards the great hall. Ginny was thinking about whom Harry might be talking to now. Even though people had reassured her that he cared about her, she still had doubts.
“Miss Weasley,” said Professor McGonagall while they walked. “I would like to thank you for all you did last year. I am not sure what would have happened around here if it wasn’t for you, Mr. Longbottom, and Miss Lovegood. I am not sure what will happen next year, but don’t be surprised to find you are the Head Girl. I can only think of one other student who would derserve it more, and I am not even sure if she will return.”
“Thank you Professor,” answered Ginny.
She wasn’t sure what to say to her Head of House. The old Professor rarely heaped praise on anyone. What she said had caught Ginny by surprise. She was thinking about this, when she noticed some wizards carrying cases of something into the great hall. It took her a minute to realize what it was; Butterbeer and Firewhiskey. Professor McGonagall realized it at the same time.
“Stop right there!’ she shouted. “You will not be serving that to the students.”
Her pace picked up and she stormed off towards the wizards. Ginny picked up her pace to follow along. She wanted to hear this confrontation. She could almost see the steam pouring out of Professor McGonagall’s ears as she strode towards the people with the cases of drink.
“This is a school,” Professor McGonagall stated harshly. “You will not be serving that to the students.”
Madam Rosmerta stepped out of the great hall and smiled at the Professor. “Don’t worry Minerva; I will be sure that the students only get Butterbeer.”
“Rosmerta, how will you do that?”
“There are charms to check their age. It will be no different than when they are at The Three Broomsticks.”
“I am uncomfortable with you selling…”
“I’m not selling anything Minerva. I am giving it away. It is a celebration after all.” Madam Rosmerta walked over to an old case and opened it. She pulled out two dusty bottles and handed them to the Professor. “Here, my finest oak-matured mead for when you can finally relax and enjoy them.”
Professor McGonagall stared at the bottles for a second. It appeared as though she was at a lost for words. “Thank you Rosmerta, that is very generous of you.”
“Think nothing of it. I am glad there won’t be any Death Eaters around stealing from me.” She then went to another case and pulled out a bottle that Ginny recognized as butterbeer. She walked to Ginny. “Weasley, is it?”
“Yes, mam, Ginny Weasley.”
“Here have a butterbeer.”
Ginny took it and opened it. She took a sip while still in a daze at seeing the celebration escalating. She was now close enough to look in the great hall and saw many people huddled around a table where a bartender from The Three Broomsticks was handing out butterbeer. Forgetting about her conversation with Professor McGonagall, she stepped into the great hall. Seeing everyone celebrating like they were, lifted her spirits. So many of these people had to endure torture and humiliation this past year, they all deserved this celebration.
Taking another sip of butterbeer enjoying the warming effect, she looked around for Harry. She found him, but wished she hadn’t. Romilda Vane was standing beside him and she was touching him. The sight of that manipulating bint touching Harry made her blood boil. She wanted to walk over there and slap her hands off Harry’s shoulder.
Vane saw her staring at them. She smiled at Ginny. Reaching over she put both hands on Harrys face framing it, before announcing to several of her friends. “We are looking at Witch Weekly’s most eligible bachelor here.” She kissed his cheek.
Harry pulled away from Vane. Ginny felt some satisfaction at the look he gave the bint, but it still hurt to see someone else touching him. She could go over and confront him, but that was not what she wanted. It was his turn to seek her out. He knew she was here. If he wanted to talk to her, he had plenty of opportunities. Turning on her heels she walked over to a group of the DA standing by a smashed window tossing food to Grawp.
She hugged Seamus and several others before tossing an entire steak and kidney pie into the giant’s open mouth. Everyone around her congratulated her on retaining her Quidditch skills. They were all soon laughing and recounting some of the events of the last year. Ginny had taken the last drink from her Butterbeer, when she noticed her father, brothers, and sister-in-law walking through the entrance hall.
They were all laughing and smiling. She ran to them happy to see them well. She was swept up in her father’s arms.
“Where’s your mum, pumpkin?”
“She is down that hall with George,” she said pointing towards the Divination classroom. “How did everything go at the Ministry?”
“We have it secured,” said Amos Diggory, who was walking beside her father. “Do you want to make the announcement, Arthur?”
“No Amos, go ahead, I want to check on Molly.”
Amos Diggory walked happily away, while Ginny and her family walked towards the Divination room. She walked beside her father, but noticed on the way that Percy wasn’t with them. Her expression must have given her away, because Bill smiled at her.
“Percy remained at the Ministry to help sort things out.”
A roar was heard coming from the great hall. Evidently Amos Diggory made his announcement. They had reached the classroom and entered. Andromeda was still there with her mum and George. They were not crying anymore, but were talking softly to each other. Her family stared at the classroom.
“Professor Dumbledore transfigured it during my fourth year.” Her brothers nodded at her comment.
They stood and watched as their parents spoke in hushed tones with Andromeda Tonks. Bill tapped her shoulder and nodded to indicate for them to leave the room. Bill, Charlie, Fleur, and she quietly walked out of the room.
“I take it Kingsley’s plan worked?” asked Ginny, as they walked.
“It was brilliant,” stated Bill. “There is a secret entrance into the Minister’s office that only the Minister and the Head Auror know about. Evidently Scrimgeour didn’t reveal it when he was tortured and killed. We were able to get inside of the Ministry without being detected. The first thing that we did was secure that foul woman, Umbridge, and her files.”
“That pompous hag actually said that we need her to run the Ministry now that Thicknesse is gone,” laughed Charlie.
“We needed her files,” said Bill. “She might be a nasty woman, but she kept impeccable files on everyone in the Ministry and the Wizengamot. She had them categorized from Most Trustworthy, Trustworthy, Unsure, Untrustworthy, and Undesirable…”
“Which the entire Weasely family was listed as, except Percy, he was Unsure,” interjected Charlie.
“…as I was trying to explain, we just flipped the list. So now we have good information on who to trust and who not to.”
“We just went through the Ministry with the list,” Charlie took over telling the story as they entered the great hall. “We made it to the Atrium and just walked up behind the five wizards watching the Floo and disarmed them.”
“They were on the Trustworthy list,” stated Bill.
“All of us stood there in the Atrium and as people came in for work we would consult the list and give all the people who wasn’t classified as Untrustworthy a choice of turning over their wands. By nine-thirty we had sorted out ninety percent of the Ministry without a fight.”
“Well, Charlie there were a couple who resisted.”
“Like they lasted long,” they all laughed.
“Percy is helping Kingsley get the Ministry up and running again,” said Charlie. “Being a natural born bureaucrat has its advantages. They should have the Wizengamot sorted out by early afternoon, and the Ministry could possibly be up and running by this evening. They are also trying to get Azkaban secured so they can move the Death Eaters.”
They took a couple of drinks from Butterbeers that they had grabbed while talking. Bill looked around the great hall. “Voldemort and his followers really mucked this up. They never figured they would lose. They were so sure that they would waltz in here and capture Harry and destroy the resistance that they never had an escape plan. Now his inner circle and all the “Most Trusted” from the Ministry are either captured or laying dead. The Death Eaters are finished.”
“I’ll toast to that,” said Charlie. Ginny, her two brothers, and Fleur clinked their Butterbeer bottles together before taking a drink to Charlie’s toast.
“I see Dad has made it back, and he brought company,” said Bill.
Her dad was walking towards them with his arm tight around her mum’s shoulders. She seemed to be turning away from people as they passed them. Many were calling out to them. Her father was responding to the people smiling and commenting to them. Her mum seemed almost ashamed or embarrassed to be seen. George was walking behind them. He looked drawn and tired, but otherwise in good spirits. He also was responding to people as they spoke to him. Ginny was wondering what had come over her mum. She had assumed it was the loss of Fred, but it seemed to be even more.
“Weasleys.” Her dad addressed all of them standing together. “Molly is going to stay here with Ginny. George will be going along with us when we clear the Burrow and the shop. I would like to be able to go home and sleep in my own bed tonight.”
“George you don’t need to go along, brother. Dad and I can lift any Curses left on the Burrow and the shop,” stated Bill.
“You need me,” responded George. “We, Fred and I, didn’t only use magic, but also Muggle methods to set traps around the place. I would hate for my family to get caught in our traps.” His face fell as he spoke. He looked at all of them with a sad expression. “That was the last thing we worked on, setting traps for the Death Eaters.”
Everyone was caught up in George’s emotion. Charlie was the first to speak. “Hopefully you got a couple of them.”
George just shook his head and laughed. “No we didn’t. If we had you would have heard about the shop exploding.” He grinned at them with a wicked smile.
“Well let’s be off,” stated her dad. He looked at her with an expression that told her to play along. “Molly, dear, be sure to keep a watchful eye on Ginny.”
Ginny had to stop her angry retort to her father’s statement. She didn’t say anything for fear of sounding waspish, but she didn’t need her mum to watch her. She was safe now. It was like Bill had stated earlier. The Death Eaters were done. This place was also filled with people fighting for the light. She didn’t need anyone watching her. She wasn’t a little girl anymore.
Her mum walked over to her and took her arm. “Come along dear,” she said soflty.
Ginny moved with her mum to a table and sat down as she watched her father, three brothers, and sister-in-law walk out of the great hall. She wasn’t sure why her father had said that about her, but it seemed to lift her mum’s spirit.
They sat at the table in companionable silence for several minutes. Ginny was trying to control her temper at needing a babysitter. After several minutes, she was ready to talk again without the urge to shout at her mother.
“Did Mrs. Tonks go home?”
“Yes, dear, she did. She wanted to get Teddy in for an early nap today.” Her mum said quietly. “There will be a joint memorial service for Fred, Remus, and Tonks tomorrow evening. Poor Andromeda has no one in her life to help to take care of things for when she gets tired from caring for the baby. I offered to help her.”
“I would be willing to help also,” said Ginny. “I doubt if I will be going back to school anytime soon.”
She looked around the great hall. The ceiling had been smashed by giants. Many of the windows had been smashed out also. The rest of the castle was almost in as bad of shape. Ginny started to wonder if she would even have class next year. As she thought about these things, fatigue crept up on her and caused her to yawn.
She guessed it was one in the afternoon. That means she has not slept for almost thirty hours. The previous night of sleep was not very good. She kept seeing images of Harry dead and Voldemort standing over him laughing at her.
She awoke with a start and stared around the great hall. It appeared that she had fallen asleep sitting here at this table. Her mum smiled knowingly at her.
“We need to get you home and in your own bed. You haven’t been sleeping well at Aunt Muriels.”
“Yeah, that sounds great,” she half-heartedly replied.
She did not want to tell her mum about the nightmares of Voldemort killing Harry. She has been having them almost every night since he left. So she just agreed with her statement.
Many of the people in the great hall looked haggard and tired. They were probably like her: up since yesterday morning. They wore tired expression, while others seemed to be energized by the number people that were around them.
A silver lynx appeared in front of Professor McGonagall. It spoke softly in the noisy crowd. Ginny could just make out the words: Azkaban and St Mungos’ have been freed. The Professor hurried away and was able to get several volunteers to help with the prisoners. Time seemed to fly by as Ginny sat and watched through the entrance hall the prisoners being moved to Azkaban and the wounded moved to St. Mungos. Madam Pomfrey was thrilled to be able to send many of her patients to another hospital. It was only two o’clock and the Death Eaters had lost control of the Ministry, St Mungo’s, and Azkaban.
The news had energized much of the crowd and her along with it. It seemed so strange for the darkness that had enveloped the country for nearly a year to be disappearing so quickly.
With the good news she looked once more for Harry. He was talking to several older gentlemen now. He looked tired, possibly even more tired than she was. She has yet to see him sit down. She started to feel some sympathy towards him, but she was still disappointed that he had not actually spoken to her.
“All right there Mum?”
Ginny turned at the sound of Ron’s voice. He was looking at their mum very closely. Ron and Hermione also looked exhausted. If they would sit down for even a minute they would probably fall asleep.
“Your father and brothers are at home making sure we can return there this evening,” stated her mum. “Why don’t the two of you sit down and wait with the rest of us so we can all go home together.”
“Well — um — we will need to check with Harry,” stammered Ron.
“When I invited the two of you I was inviting Harry also.”
“Yes, well, like I said we will need to check with him,” stated Ron nervously. He glanced over at Ginny with a pleading look.
She just glared back at him. He had made it quite clear that he wanted her to help him. She wasn’t going to do that. He has been gone for almost ten months. He can spend some time at home and bring his friends.
“Well you all can come home after you are finished doing whatever it is that you’ve been doing,” stated Ginny. She enjoyed the confused looks on Ron’s and Hermione’s face.
“Yeah, well, I need to get a drink and something to eat,” Ron said, as he quickly walked away pulling Hermione with him.
Her mum sat beside her and “tsked” at Ron’s reaction. She looked around the room. It was becoming her favourite thing to do. There was so much excitement and enthusiasm flowing again that it picked up her spirits just seeing it. It all seemed like a dream. She was in her room at Aunt Muriel’s last night getting ready for bed, when the call came in. Since then everything has been happening so fast.
Someone shaking her shoulder brought her out of her thoughts.
“You need to toss another steak and kidney pie to Grawp, Ginny,” shouted Seamus. He was obvious well on the way to being destroyed as he slurred half of his words. “I have a fiver that says you’ll make it.”
“When I make it, I want half,” Ginny stated firmly. Seamus looked shocked that she would ask for such a thing. She stood up and stared at Seamus. “What, can’t a girl be compensated for the work she does?”
Ginny followed Seamus up to the food table. There was a fresh steak and kidney pie sitting there. Ron was standing beside it. When he saw her walking towards it he gave a look of disbelief. She smiled at him. She was going to enjoy making Ron loose five Galleons.
Ginny grabbed the steak and kidney pie. It felt heavy in her hand. She knew the pie’s filling was packed in very tight and this would make throwing it easier. Pulling the pie back over her sore shoulder, she took two quick steps, and released the pie. It went up in the air in a lazy arc towards Grawp’s mouth. The pie dropped in exactly where Ginny had expected. Grawp closed his mouth and swallowed the entire pie. He smiled and laughed aloud making the rest of the people around them howl with laughter.
Ginny turned away and smiled at Ron who looked irritated. Seamus immediately walked up to him and held out his hand. Ron gave her a sour look before trying to talk Seamus out of collecting on the bet. Ginny turned to walk back to her mum, who was still sitting at the table. Her eyes though wandered around the hall as if they had a will of their own. They rested on Harry, who was again talking to somebody Ginny didn’t know. He looked so tired and she almost felt sorry for him, but she was still hurt at his lack of attention.
“I figured you would be beside him,” stated Luna. Ginny looked to her left and saw her old friend and coconspirator from the DA. They gave each other a quick hug.
“I would, but he doesn’t want me there.”
“He may just be too busy to let you know that,” said Luna. She stopped talking and stared off in space for a minute or two. “Maybe he just needs some time to get away.”
“You would think he could find the time if he really wanted to,” said Ginny, her feelings of being rejected obvious in her voice. Luna didn’t respond to her comment. She was looking around in the air, probably seeing some invisible magical creature that caused men to forget about the one they are supposed to be with. “I need to get back over to my mum. Take care of yourself Luna.”
“And yourself also, Ginny,” said Luna, before she skipped off.
Ginny watched as she skipped a short distance to the Ravenclaw table. Luna sat down there and smiled as she stared off into the air around her. Ginny walked towards her mum who was once again looking insecure. It was strange to see her mum looking like this. It almost seemed as if she was ashamed of herself. Her mum reminded Ginny of herself during her first year, when she had been possessed by Tom. A shiver ran down her spine causing her skin to erupt in gooseflesh, as memories of that year came back to her.
She sat down beside her mum, who looked at her with a happy expression. It seemed that sitting with her was all that was needed to give her mum her self-confidence.
They sat there holding each other’s hand watching other people celebrating. There was a collective cheer as an owl brought news of Kinglsey being appointed the Interim Minister of Magic. It seemed within ten hours of Voldemort’s death everything was going to be alright. Ginny unable to fight her exhaustion anymore laid her head on her mum’s shoulder and started to doze off.
She was having another bad dream, or nightmare. It was about Harry leaving her and marrying someone else. She had become so upset that she stirred off her mum’s shoulder. As she opened her eyes, she saw Ron and Hermione walking out of the great hall. Unlike the rest of the times she had seen them this day. They weren’t holding hands; instead they were walking apart, far enough apart for someone to be walking between them.
She scanned the great hall again for Harry. It was much easier now that many people had left. She couldn’t see him anywhere. When her gaze fell upon Luna sitting at the Ravenclaw table, Luna was staring at her with a worried expression.
Ginny didn’t need to think about it. Evidently Luna had done something to help Harry get away, and he did, but without her. It took all of her resolve to not start sobbing there beside her mum. He heart was broken. He made his intentions obvious he didn’t love her. He didn’t need to be around her. She placed her head on her mum’s shoulder again and stared forward. On a day that should be the most joyous of her life. She was heart broken, because the love of her life had walked away from her.
It was over an hour later, when her father and brothers returned. She sat there quiet as they apologized for taking so long. They had swept several other residences for curses while they were out. Bill and Fleur both had to report to Gringotts and hadn’t returned.
When her dad asked where Ron, Hermione, and Harry were. Ginny’s insides twisted in pain.
“Ron and Hermione left over an hour ago,” stated her mum. “I haven’t seen Harry for some time.”
“I’ll go and look for them, Molly. The rest of you wait here until I return,” her dad said, before walking away across the great hall.
Ginny sat there and watched her father walk around the hall asking people questions. George and Charlie were talking about what was going on at home and Diagon Alley. They also stated that they put some more wards up at Andromeda’s home. This seemed to please her mum. After about fifteen minutes, her dad returned.
“No sign of any of those three. I guess we should go home. If they could stay safe from V — V, him, all year then they should be good for another night.”
Ginny stood up and walked out of the great hall with her family. They stopped by Firenzes room to ensure Fred’s body was being taken care of, before walking across the grounds of Hogwarts. As the sun was starting to set across the grounds there were still signs of destruction all around them. All the bodies had been removed, but there were still several reddish brown splotches on the grass from the carnage less than twenty-four hours ago.
After the uncomfortable feeling of Apparation, the sight of her home appearing before her gave her some relief fom the depression she was in. That strange looking disheveled building was truly home to her, and she loved it. At least she had it and her family. They all walked through the kitchen and up to their bedrooms without speaking.
When she walked into her bedroom, her grief came back to her. All she could think about was snogging Harry last summer. She could almost feel his warm lips pressed against hers, his strong hands in her hair and around her waist, and the look in his eyes.
Remembering that look and how she believed it to be love caused the tears to flow. She rubbed roughly at her face to wipe away the offending tears. She had cried that day also, because she was afraid she would never see him again. How could anyone as young and vulnerable as Harry defeat Voldemort and the darkness that had covered England?
When Ginny thought about how vulnerable he always seemed, she began to wonder of that was what she was to him; a source of comfort from all that he faced. Had all the hopes about his feelings been wrong, because she was actually convienent for him?
She walked to her bed and lay down. Exhaustion was weighing heavy on her and she could barely keep her eyes open as the sun burnt itself out on the horizon. She laid there with silent tears rolling down her cheeks and fell asleep.
Her dad woke her the next day before the sun was even up. She rose up and went to the bathroom to get cleaned up. A short time later as the golden morning sun was burning off the mist in the morning air, she sat down for breakfast. Her dad had prepared some toast and eggs for everyone. Her mum sat at the end of the table staring at its wooden surface. George looked a little better their mother. Charlie was staring at her with concern for the family matriarch. No one had ever seen her like this before and it was scaring Ginny and Charlie.
They ate in silence each knowing what was going to happen this morning. After breakfast was over, they Apparated to the family cemetery a short distance from Ottery St. Catchpoole. There was Fred’s casket already sitting over an open grave.
The entire time that she was at the cemetery, she didn’t think about Harry. All she could think about was Fred and all the laughter he brought to the world. George and he had originally wanted to be buried in the orchard so they could always be around the family Quidditch matches. This statement from George made Ginny cry again.
Her mum was sobbing into her dad’s chest. His face as set and very determined, even though his eyes were watery. Charlie looked much the same way. George stood with one hand on the coffin. He appeared to be the one in control of his emotions at the moment. After George and Charlie spoke about Fred, they both pointed their wands at the casket and lowered it down into the earth. Then they moved the dirt from the side of the grave over it and filled it in.
No one spoke as they walked out of the cemetery. Ginny couldn’t think of one thing to say to any of her family. No one seemed to be disappointed that only half of the Fred’s siblings were there. Upon reaching the edge of the cemetery, George smiled at them.
“There are some things I need to attend to. I’ll meet everyone back at the Burrow in a bit.” With a loud pop, he was gone.
Charlie extended his arm for Ginny to grab onto. As soon as she grabbed it, she could feel that awful sensation of being pulled through a long tube. The Burrow appeared in front of her again. She looked up at it and a sad smile formed on her lips. Even with the heaviness of her heart, she was still glad to be at home. The four Weaselys quietly walked towards their family home.
Ginny kept looking at her mum. Who was still acting strangely, but Ginny didn’t want to comment. She was the first to the kitchen door. When she pushed it open she was surprised to see Ron and Hermione sitting at the kitchen table looking rather bleary-eyed.
“Oh hello, everyone,” stated Ron nervously.
Ginny could tell he was hiding something. It was as obvious as the long nose on his face. She looked around the kitchen to see if their third was present. She saw no indication that he was there. It was her mum that asked the actual question.
“Um — well…” started Ron, but Hermione cut him off.
“He had some things to discuss with the Minister of Magic today. He will be along shortly,” stated Hermione.
It was obvious that she was lying about something. Telling from their casual attitudes, he was not in any danger. He probably just did not want to see her. She walked past Ron and Hermione and up the stairs to her room. She slammed the door shut. That mild outburst still did not make her feel any better about being rejected.
Slumping down onto her bed, she sat there, chewed her fingernails and thought about what she should do to Harry to gain revenge. Even on a git like him, the Bat-bogey loses its effectiveness after a dozen times. She had never felt this much pain before. Michael and Dean didn’t mean that much to her. When they broke it off, she didn’t have any misgivings towards them. Harry was different.
She was willing to die to be with him. She had been willing to do other things for him also. If she had done more on his last birthday would he still be treating her like this? Somehow she believed he would have. As she sat there and stewed over Harry’s rejection of her, she became bitterer and even more confident that Harry had played her the entire time they were together. He knew she had a crush on him. She would be someone he could easily manipulate. She came to the conclusion that it was all a lie. He never cared for her, and he only used her for his own comfort. The only thing she was to him was some silly little girl. He was, after all, the great Harry Potter.
“Ginny, Harry is here to see you,” shouted Ron from the kitchen.
Before she even realized it, she was standing holding the doorknob ready to open the door and run down to him. Her heart was thumping wildly in her chest, and all she could think about was leaping into his arms and snogging him. If her family could not handle it then they can look away.
She felt ashamed of herself. She was so weak when it came to him. She needed to be strong now. She would not let him walk all over her and make her feel like she was demanding too much from him. She has a right to have some answers and she would get them or he would be one sorry bloke.
Steeling her emotions, Ginny focused on not smiling at him. She wanted him to explain to her why it took him so long to talk to her. She turned the doorknob and opened the door. She walked down the steps to the kitchen slowly and deliberately. When she first caught sight of Harry, she was surprised. He looked very official in brand new dress robes.
He was holding a bouquet of roses.
Did he actually think that he could give her flowers and all would be fine? He would be a fool if he thought that. With each step Ginny remembered all the nightmares she had seeing him die. All the other ones seeing him return with a wife. She remembered every day wondering where he was and if he was safe, and how much it had hurt her. All the nights she cried herself to sleep for fear that she might never see him again. How much she wanted to hold him yesterday, to only see him talk to everyone else but her. With each step, she wanted more and more to curse him.
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