|SIYE Time:23:46 on 15th January 2019|
Love Enough for Both
By Manwe Valarian
- Text Size +
Category: Alternate Universe
Warnings: Death, Mild Language, Mild Sexual Situations
Story is Complete
Summary: Harry heard a goblin speaking and he came out of temporary stupor. He was surrounded by witches and wizards all staring at him. The most shocking thing was he had his arms around someone. Who was she and how did they get here?
Hitcount: Story Total: 135990; Chapter Total: 3416
Awards: View Trophy Room
After an exciting Christmas and New Years Eve, things seem to be slowing down. The Order now has time to regroup and plan for the future.
A special thanks to Leif for taking time form his busy schedule to Beta this chapter.
Albus stared across his desk at Severus Snape. He was looking healthy for being involved in a plan to ambush Voldemort and his forces last night. He should be weak and showing evidence of being tortured. Albus was actually afraid that Voldemort would kill him.
“You are looking rather well this morning Severus, considering what happened last night,” said Albus.
“The Dark Lord believed what he saw in my memories. Having Phineas Black’s portrait talk to me was quite effective. He was rather angry with all of his followers for being defeated so easily. He demanded that we all think about how pathetic we were against a ‘pack of Muggle-lovers’. He would call all of us in one month and ‘we best be prepared to be able to defend ourselves’ he told us.
“The Dark Lord did call me to the side. I am to brew the strongest Strengthening Potion I know and deliver it to him by tonight. I am not to tell anyone about this mission.” Severus stopped talking and stared at Albus. “What happened last night, Headmaster?”
Albus smiled at his spy. Evidently, Voldemort was hurt by Harry and Ginny’s spells. “Voldemort was surprised by the power of Harry and Ginny’s magic. He tried to surprise us in the Lestrange manor, but, as he stepped in the front door, he was hit by a spell by Harry and Ginny. Last I saw of Voldemort, he was flying backwards out the front door.”
Albus believed he saw Severus Snape smile for a fraction of a second. “Was there anything else that Voldemort said to you?”
“No, not last night” Severus replied to him. He looked away before speaking again. “He had asked me to tell him about the Potters. He wants to know how to defeat them. I am going to have to tell him something eventually.”
Albus stared at Severus. He was concerned how much Severus had been able to learn by being around the Potters. Was he able to learn about the Potters’ ability to increase everyone’s magical ability when they are close to them?
“What have you told him about the Potters?”
“Only that they have extremely powerful magical signatures, but they skills seem to be rather basic. He still believes there is more to their bond. He will want more information.”
“I will tell you more when it is necessary, Severus. We must keep the Potters’ secret, if we want Harry to defeat the Voldemort,” he said rather tersely. Severus looked stung by his words.
“I realize that, Headmaster,” Snape said with a hiss. “I must keep the Dark Lord’s trust if I am to remain an asset to the Order. To keep his trust, I must keep giving him useful information.”
“You said that he isn’t planning on meeting with his followers for a month. We have time.”
“If he asks me about the Potters tonight when I deliver the Strengthening Potion to him? What will I tell him?”
“Tell him you know nothing else, but you will try to learn more about them. After all, we don’t trust you in the Order, and you have a difficult time getting close to them. It would all be true.”
Severus sneered at him. “Yes, it would be true.”
“For us to trust you again, you will need to bring good information to us several times,” he said. He smiled as Severus’ sneer became more pronounced.
“If he decides to try to get the information from another source, he would no longer have need of me, and I would be of no use to you.”
“Where would he find someone close to the Potters? Is there another spy in our ranks, Severus?”
“I do not know if he has one, but he has had more than one spy in our ranks before.”
Albus leaned back in his chair and steepled his fingers in front of his face and stared at Severus. Things are different this time around. Ginny Potter’s ability to sense people’s intentions helped them sort through possible spies. Harry’s insistence that they start organizing the Order before Voldemort regenerated his body also helped. They are also organized so only a few people are close to the Potters. If some of the newest members try to spy on them, they will know even less than Severus.
“We will take our chances that there is another spy in our ranks.”
“I am curious. Why didn’t Potter finish the Dark Lord last night when he had weakened him?”
“The time wasn’t right. Now if you will excuse me, I must get prepared for another meeting. I have a school to run.”
“Speaking of school matters, Headmaster. I am concerned about our stores of Bicorn Horn. The price of Bicorn Horn is so high on the black market that I have been offered a thousand galleons for the amount to make a single batch of Polyjuice Potion. I am concerned that some students might break into my stores and steal it for the money.”
“I will have Professor Weasley create a ward around your stores of Bicorn Horn. No student will be able get through his wards. Is that all, Severus?”
“Yes, that is all.”
Albus watched Severus Snape leave his office. It sounded like last night’s operation was more successful than he imagined. Voldemort must have been seriously hurt to need Strengthening Potions. If he was waiting a month before meeting his Death Eaters again, then they had a month before he attacks the Ministry. They had time to plan.
Albus stood up and walked to the window that looked out over the castle and the surrounding grounds. The snow storm that started last night hasn’t slowed down. The world was covered in a thick white blanket making to look clean and pure again. How deceiving this picturesque scene was; when there were people planning to murder innocents because of their blood and birth status.
He turned away from the window he hoped that the scene would lift his spirits, but it hadn’t. Last night they had struck a blow against the Death Eaters, but it would only be temporary. He would have thought better of last night’s activities, if they had found another or two Horcruxes. They hadn’t so they still had to keep searching. He will be meeting with the executive members of the Order in an hour, and then with the others who are hunting Horcruxes.
Until that time, he was planning on studying. He had read a prophecy while in the Potters vault that he felt had been misinterpreted. He needed to read an ancient tome that only Headmasters’ of Hogwarts are allowed to read. Each Headmaster must swear on their magic that they will not reveal any information about the tome or any of the writings.
Walking to his bookshelf, he removed several thick books on advanced Transfiguration. Reaching into the bookshelf he gently rubbed his fingers across a rectangular stone in the wall. The mortar joints glowed a bright yellow before the stone disengaged and fell into his hand. Setting the stone on the shelf; he reached into his pocket and removed linen gloves. Only after pulling the gloves on, he grabbed the thousand year old book from its resting place.
Walking over to his desk he gently placed the leather bound book on his desk. The title of the book still glittered with gold leaf; The Defenses of Our School by Rowena Raveclaw, Godric Gryffindor, and Helga Hufflepuff. The book was written after Salazar Slytherin had fled from the school. The three remaining founders had devised methods of defending the school against an attack by Salazar and his followers. They recorded those measures in this book.
He turned the book to a section that he had only glanced at before once or twice.
“You certainly don’t plan on using that! Do you?” shouted Armando Dippet’s portrait.
“If I do; I will warn you and you can find your other portraits,” Albus replied to the portrait, without taking his eyes off the page in front of him. “I need you to remain silent and I forbid any of you to tell anyone living or painted about what I am reading.”
[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
Ginny walked beside her husband to the Headmaster’s office. Everyone was in a good mood this morning, except Harry. He was still angry that they hadn’t found any Horcruxes. He was concerned about the possible loss of life if they can’t defeat Voldemort soon. The Order had been very effective at keeping the Death Eater attacks contained so far. There had been some casualties, but for the most part the innocent had been protected. Harry was still upset that ten people had lost their lives since Voldemort had been resurrected. If it hadn’t been for the Order, many more would have been killed and tortured.
No one said anything to Harry as they walked through the halls. They were all smiling amongst themselves. It was good to see everyone happy. Even Moody was happy; the Firewhiskey he had consumed last night didn’t seem to be causing him any pain this morning.
They found the Headmaster deep in thought staring out one of his windows overlooking Hogwarts. He hadn’t prepared the proper amount of chairs for them to meet, so Remus started Transfiguring them until there were enough for everyone to sit down.
“Is something wrong Albus?” asked Amelia Bones.
The Headmaster turned with a start as though he had forgotten they were in the room. He walked away from the window and sat behind his desk.
“I got lost looking at the school. It is so beautiful on a morning like this,” he said, with a whimsical air to his voice. “Does anyone want tea or something to eat before we start talking?”
“We all came from the great hall, so we had plenty to eat,” said Moody. His magical eye was fixed on Albus. “How about you, are you feeling all right?”
“Yes, I am,” he replied with a slight smile. “I had a discussion with Severus about an hour ago. He said Voldemort is angry that his followers were defeated last night and told them he didn’t want to see them for a month. Severus was also asked in private to brew a Strengthening Potion for Voldemort. Evidently, he was hurt by the spell you two cast on him.”
“It was a simple Blasting Curse,” Ginny said to everyone.
“Even your simple spells aren’t simple spells, Gin,” stated Bill.
“Why didn’t you finish him?” shouted Moody standing up. “We need to cut the head off this snake as soon as possible.”
“He has artifacts that are protecting him,” said Albus. “As soon as we destroy these artifacts, the Potters can destroy Voldemort. Don’t forget Alastor, his followers are almost as deadly as he is.”
“Bah! I know that,” growled Moody. “If he falls others will step up to take command of the organization. It will be a blood bath between his followers. We just need to sit back and ensure no innocents are hurt as they fight each other. Cut the head off the snake; the body will squirm like it wants to live, but it too will die.”
“I would prefer to avoid open warfare in Britain Alastor,” said Amelia Bones.
“It’s too late Amelia,” snapped Alastor. “The longer this war goes on the more chances that he will win and innocents will be hurt. We may have hurt them last night, but they will be back and better prepared. They will hit us hard and precisely. Voldemort will want to crush the Order in one attack.”
“Alastor, we have some time to make plans to defend ourselves and other magical people who are just innocent bystanders,” said Albus. “Amelia, I think it is imperative that you increase security and plan out measures that you can be protected and signal us in case of a full-blown attack on the Ministry.”
“Albus, you know if he attacks the Ministry. I will stay and defend it. I will not let him take over the Ministry,” she replied vehemently.
Ginny could feel her heart up in her throat. Her father was one of Amelia’s unofficial bodyguards. Would he stay and try to protect the Ministry till his death. He also had responsibilities at Potter Manor. Bill had reworked the Blood wards to include her immediate family, so she and Harry didn’t need to admit everyone into the estate.
“Could you two work on plans to defend the Ministry?” asked Remus. “I would think that the first thing to do is figure out how best to attack it, and then figure out how to defend it.”
“That sounds like a good idea,” said Harry. “The two of you know that building as well as anyone. Alastor, you always said that you need to think like a Death Eater to capture them. Can you think like Voldemort to plan an attack?”
“Yeah, I can do that. Amelia, I will be at Potter Manor. When you are ready to start planning, look me up.”
“I’ll do that.”
“When are we having another Order meeting?” asked Moody as he stood up to leave.
“I was thinking about the weekend following this coming weekend,” said Albus.
“That sounds good to me,” added Harry. “Will Severus be there?”
“I don’t think he will be able to attend,” replied Albus.
Everyone else in the room agreed with the time. It was decided to have it at Grimmauld Place in case Severus might hear about it and show up. It was obvious that he aided the Order last night, but that didn’t mean he was trustworthy. Ginny trusted him. It was her ability to sense people’s emotional state. She could tell he was trustworthy and wanted to defeat Voldemort and protect Harry. However, almost no one else trusted the greasy git. He might be trustworthy, but he was still a greasy git.
“I guess we need to leave Amelia,” said Moody. “These people will need to discuss their top secret mission they are on. Are you doing anything the rest of the day?”
“No, we could start planning today,” she said with a scowl. “Why must you always be such an unpleasant person, Alastor?”
Moody started hobbling to the door. He stopped and looked back at Madam Bones. “Pleasant and polite people die at an alarming rate in my profession, and I prefer to stay alive.” He finished talking and clumped out the office door at a brisk pace.
Ginny could hear his wooden leg clumping all the way down the spiral staircase. Madam Bones wished everyone a good day and a happy New Year, before following Moody down the stairs. After the door closed, they all turned back and stared at each other for a few minutes.
Harry spoke up first. “I am sorry that I couldn’t find any Horcruxes in those houses.”
“I doubt that you could have, because I don’t think they are there,” said Remus. “I had a bit of an epiphany last night. I just remembered something that the Headmaster had said about Tom’s personality. These pieces of his soul had to be hidden at significant locations. The Locket was at a place where he may have first tortured someone and decided he liked it. The ring was in the broken-down home of his Grandfather. Those two were located at places important to him.
“The remaining four should be located in significant places to the community. The diary was left at Malfoy Manor, the wealthiest, known, family in Great Britain. Lucius also took great pride in how elaborate and expensive his estate looked. I am guessing that Voldemort left the diary with Lucius because of the prestige of his estate. I think he probably has a Horcrux in each of the following places; the Ministry, Hogwarts, and Gringotts. They are three of the most well-known structures in Great Britain. It would fall in line with his desire for prestige in the magical world.”
“If that is the case, who do you think placed them in those locations?” asked Harry. “Gringotts will be a tricky place to take a Horcrux from. I am assuming it would be in someone’s vault. The only legal way to get into someone’s vault would be with the owner’s permission or an order from the Wizengamot. I understand those are very hard to obtain. Where in the Ministry could a Horcrux be located?”
Ginny was getting concerned about Harry’s emotional state. His frustration with not being able to find the Horcruxes and destroy them before Voldemort regenerated himself was frustrating him.
“We must continue to believe that Voldemort wanted artifacts from the original founders of Hogwarts,” said Albus. “Having a Horcrux at the Ministry creates a problem with our theory. If there was an artifact of the founders in the Ministry, someone would know about it.”
“I find it hard to believe that they would try to place a Horcrux in the Ministry, Moony,” said Sirius. “There would be too much of a risk of someone moving it or tossing it in a bin, unless it is something very prominent.”
“Unless it was in the Department of Mysteries,” said Remus. “Rookwood was employed there?”
“Why do you think it was Rookwood?” asked Bill.
“It is just a hunch,” replied Remus. “The only other member that I would consider Voldemort giving a Horcrux to would be Dolohov, and I don’t think he is British.”
“That is mighty thin reasoning,” said Sirius.
“I know nearly transparent, but it is the best we have to go on at the present time.” Remus sighed and looked at everyone. “Look we know about Hufflepuff’s cup. The only thing we haven’t accounted for was Ravenclaw’s lost Diadem, and a third item.”
“I just thought of something,” said Bill. He nearly jumped out of his seat when he spoke. “Bartemius Crouch was Imperiused to remove a prophecy from the Hall of Prophecies. Could that have been a Horcrux?”
“It is possible,” said Albus. “It was the Prophecy concerning Harry, though. I suspect that Voldemort wanted it to hear the actual Prophecy.”
“Could I go and get that Prophecy and see if it is a Horcrux?” asked Harry.
Ginny smiled at him. His dark mood had suddenly lifted with this latest revelation.
“Contact Madam Bones, Harry. She could arrange for you to go into the Hall of Prophecies.” Albus Dumbledore said.
“I will check through Hogwarts for a hiding place for a Horcrux,” said Sirius.
“It would have to be a place that Voldemort could have accessed when he came for a job as the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher,” said Remus. “I am guessing that was when he hid it here. I would like to go through all the memories you had collected, Headmaster.”
Ginny noticed that Dumbledore was hesitant to grant Remus’ request. It seemed strange like he didn’t want Remus to see something.
“If you want you can take the Pensieve to your quarters and view the memories there. I am afraid that I must spend some time actually being the Headmaster of Hogwarts. The students are coming back tomorrow.” Albus smiled at Remus.
Ginny watched Albus carefully. He was being deceitful. She was sure about it, but she wasn’t sure why he was being that way. The only thing they could do is trust him, and hope that nothing was wrong.
[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
The students returned to Hogwarts with a great deal of excitement. It must have been a rather good holiday for most by their raucous nature. The snow had continued to fall and was piling up rather quickly.
Snowball fights were a common occurrence. They started out as once or twice a day, but now it seemed that there was always someone running in from the outside covered in snow. The entrance hall’s floor was constantly wet with melting snow. It was mostly from the shoes of the students as they returned from Herbology and Care for Magical Creatures classes. Filch had petitioned the Headmaster to eliminate all classes outside. He wanted all activities where students would leave the building stopped to eliminate them bringing snow inside and having it melt on the stone floors.
Some students were even bringing the snowball fights inside with them. Several sixth year students received detention for casting a charm on snowballs so they could store them in their trunk until they had the opportunity to attack whoever they wanted. Sirius was the one that gave them detentions, which amounted to him sitting around and talking about the pranks he had pulled and asked the students what they have done so far in school.
Ginny accompanied Harry into the Hall of Prophecy, but the orb that Bartemius Crouch had tried to remove wasn’t a Horcrux. It was the recording of Trelawney’s prophecy about him and Voldemort. He was disappointed but he was sure he could feel some dark magic in Hall. They were under a time constraint and she convinced him that they could comeback another time.
The snows stopped falling on the twentieth of January. Hogwarts and most of Scotland were buried under almost two feet of snow. Quidditch games had to be rescheduled, because none of the teams could practice for most of January. Filch did get his wish and the Headmaster had cancelled Herbology and Care of Magical Creatures, because it was so difficult for the students to make it to the classes.
Ginny and Harry spent all their spare time studying magic again. They were concentrating on defensive magic and also spells that were meant to disable and harm. They also spent time reading and studying their Arithmancy and Ancient Runes. Bill had developed into a good Professor, so they didn’t even take time to assist him.
At the end of the month, they had another meeting with Moody and Madam Bones in the Headmaster’s office. Moody and Madam Bones had done a great deal of researching the defenses of the Ministry. They had a map of the Ministry’s construction. It was placed between two Muggle buildings. There were parts of it that were magically expanded to fit all the departments’ offices. The Atrium was the place that had been magically expanded the most to accommodate everyone entering and leaving the Ministry.
The Ministry was the most vulnerable at night. Madam Bones had already pushed a change of security through to decrease the possibility of Voldemort attacking at night, when there were only five or ten security people on staff. She had the Floos closed down except one and an Anti-Apparation Charm raised so people could only come through one Floo at a time, from the close of business one day until 7:30 AM the next morning. She also increased security and ensured that Order members were on duty at all times. She had to fight with Minister Fudge to get the increased security measures approved.
If one was to invade and try to take over the Ministry, the lifts would be the greatest hindrance. People would have to use them to get to the various floors to secure the building, and they would also be vulnerable when the doors opened. Madam Bones was the most concerned about the security of the individual floors. She was concerned that Voldemort could plant enough supporters on each floor to secure it before they attacked.
They wanted to call a meeting and get the word out about their plans to keep the Ministry from falling. They also wanted to find out who was going to fight against Voldemort’s forces and supporters and who wanted to remain hidden as possible spies. At the present time, Madam Bones estimated that they only had twenty fighters in the Ministry. There might be ten more of the spies that would be willing to fight, but she couldn’t be sure.
There are only forty more fighting members outside of the Ministry, but Albus and Harry counted as more than one fighter each. Still they could possibly be outnumbered three to one. A more conservative number would be two to one. Their only hope was the fact that outside of Voldemort’s inner circle. Their fighters were usually untrained. They just hope that Voldemort doesn’t train his young Death Eaters like Moody has been training the Order members.
Remus had gone through all of the memories again, and came to the same conclusions. He had even asked Professor Dumbledore and Alastor Moody for some memories to expand his research. He was sure that a Horcrux was hidden at the Ministry, Hogwarts, and Gringotts. If Voldemort gave one Horcrux to Rookwood, he would have given another to Bellatrix. Rookwood was an obvious choice to place a Horcrux in the Ministry.
Remus was still sure that Voldemort looked at Bellatrix as his most favored Death Eater. She was extremely loyal to him, and from all sources, she was the one that took the lead to torture the Longbottoms to find his possible location. The only thing that he wasn’t sure about was what had been placed in the Lestrange vault.
Sirius said he was in the process of trying to come up with a listing of the most likely hiding places for Voldemort within Hogwarts. He did suggest a trip back down to the Chamber of Secrets. Ginny wasn’t thrilled about that idea, and Harry was even less thrilled. However, they both agreed to it, when school was on break. They didn’t want anyone to accidently see them entering the girls bathroom. When Sirius suggested doing it after curfew, Ginny refused, because she needed her sleep. Albus Dumbledore laughed at the idea. He said some nights there are more children in the halls after curfew than during the day.
Overall January finished without a lot of fanfare. There were no raids to go on. There were no attacks by Death Eaters, and Minister Fudge claimed responsibility for the drop in crime.
The one thing that really changed during the month of January, was Ginny’s pregnancy. She was starting to feel more pregnant. She could feel the baby moving now, and it made her more excited. A couple of times she tried to get Harry to feel the baby moving, but he seemed to refuse to touch her, which was another problem.
Harry was a wonderful husband. He was kind and considerate to her. He supported her when she wasn’t feeling all that well. He never complained about her mood swings, but he also had grown more distant physically from her. He hardly ever touched her outside of holding her hand as they walked or allowing her to curl up beside him when they were relaxing or studying. Ever since Christmas, he has been slowly pulling away from her physically. Ginny tried to be patient. It was so hard for her not to confront him. He usually figured out what he was being stupid about before she needed to talk to him. This time he seemed clueless. She let things go through January. She started pressing him for answers about how he was feeling for the first two weeks of February. When Valentine’s Day came, she had enough. It all started with the simplest of requests. She wanted some extended lie in with Harry that morning, but he refused and got out of bed.
“What is wrong Harry?” she asked him. Tears were stinging her eyes. She was not a weepy type of a girl, but Harry really hurt her with his refusal to at the least hold her.
“I have too much on my mind,” he replied without looking at her.
She had to take a deep breath. She didn’t want to let this get into a shouting match, and she was very close to start screaming at him. She could tell he had just lied to her. She went to probe his thoughts and feelings and felt his Occlumency shields up and strong against intrusions.
“Don’t lie to me.” She said with a clipped tone. Each word dripped with venom. “I can tell when you are lying, and you are most definitely lying to me. What is the truth?”
Harry stood facing the fire place. He ran his hand through his hair several times without saying anything.
“What are you blocking with your Occulmency shields that you don’t want me to know?”
He straightened himself up slightly and looked over his left shoulder at her. “I think you probably know already, but were afraid to tell me.”
“Harry, I am clueless what is wrong with us. Work with me! Stop giving me these vague answers! Tell me what is bothering you! What is happening between us?”
He turned to look at her. She could see that he had unshed tears in his eyes. He looked so defeated. He simply pointed at his scar on his forehead. “This is what’s bothering me,” he said above a whisper.
“Are you getting headaches?” She asked him. He seemed to be well recently.
“No, Voldemort has been rather quiet. I don’t get headaches unless he gets angry or is extremely happy. I am a Horcrux. I can sense them, because I hear them in my head. I always convinced myself that I was feeling Dark Magic, but that is a different feeling. A Horcrux almost speaks to me.
“You also figured it out a long time ago. That was why you suddenly wanted to get pregnant, so we could continue the Potter lineage?”
He stared at her; his green eyes boring into her brown eyes. She never expected him to figure it out this early. She had no reason to believe that he would remain clueless, except that she wanted him to remain oblivious to the fact that he is a Horcrux.
“Why don’t you hate me?” he asked with venom. “I am going to be the cause of your death. I am a Horcrux, Ginny. The only way to defeat Voldemort is if I die. You are going to die shortly afterward.”
The tears started falling down his face. He looked so pale and frail standing there weeping. “I never wanted this for you Ginny. I only wanted to make you happy and give you a wonderful life. I am going to kill you because of this stupid bond.”
“Stop Harry, please sit down,” she pleaded with him. She wanted to hold him in her arms right now. He had dropped his Occlumency shields. She felt a wave of anguish and guilt wash over her. He meant everything that he said. He wasn’t at all concerned about his death. He was only concerned about her dying.
“Harry, love, please sit down.” She patted the bed beside her. She could feel the conflict growing in his mind. He wanted to sit down, but he also was ashamed or unworthy to touch her.
“How can you love me? I have a piece of the most evil man ever, in my soul.”
“If I had not sensed it when you are having those headaches, I would have never known. Harry, you are not evil. You are a sweet, loving, and caring man. That is why I love you. You are a wonderful person and husband.”
Harry finally sat on the bed. Ginny pulled herself onto his lap and wrapped her arms around his neck. They sat like that for several minutes. Harry had finally broken down and wrapped his arms around her holding her close to him.
“I am not afraid to die, Harry. I figure if we can survive to continue the House of Potter and defeat Voldemort, we would have accomplished a great deal in our short lives.”
She stopped talking and held him. He kissed the top of her head, and adjusted his hold on her to try to hold her tighter to him. Neither one spoke for several minutes. They just held each other for support. They were two teenagers who realized that they would never outlive their teenage years.
“Are you upset with me for not telling you as soon as I figured it out?” Ginny finally broke the silence.
“I know you had your reasons. I supposed one of them was that I would act exactly like I am acting now.”
“No, it wasn’t because I was afraid you would act like you are acting right now. I was afraid you would act like you had a few minutes ago. I like the way you are acting now.”
She could feel his chest shake as he chuckled at her comment.
“What do we do now?” he asked.
“We continue to fight and hunt Horcruxes. I want you to be the very last Horcrux to be destroyed.”
He readjusted his position so he could kiss her on the lips. They spent several minutes gently kissing, before Harry spoke again.
“I like your plan,” he told her. “Have you told anyone else?”
“No, but I think Dumbledore suspects that you are a Horcrux. He is a very intelligent man. I never spoke to him about it, but I can sense something about what he knows.”
“What about Bill, Remus, and Sirius, have you told them?”
Ginny sighed. She felt guilty for not telling them about Harry being a Horcrux. She just couldn’t see a good ending to that conversation. They would be torn between two sets of feelings; they would be worried and concerned about the situation, and angry they weren’t told earlier. It was really a no win situation for her.
“It is going to be very hard on Sirius and Remus,” Harry said. “We must tell them or make sure they don’t sacrifice themselves for me when it is time for me to die. I don’t want them to die unnecessarily.”
Ginny started chuckling at Harry. At no point did he question or show concern about his death. He was more concerned about everyone else’s feelings. “It is alright to be upset that you must die for this cause, Harry. You don’t always need to be concerned just about everyone else’s feelings and wellbeing.”
“If it wasn’t for that prophecy, I could consider my own happiness. The closest thing I can get to happiness is defeating Voldemort. If I don’t kill him, he will kill me, where is the happiness in that scenario?
“Ever since my mother jumped in front of that Killing Curse, I have been living on borrowed time. I used to be alright with that, because I thought we could defeat him before he regenerated his own body. Now that he has his body and many of his Death Eaters back to him. He will be even more powerful and difficult to defeat. People are going to die because of me, Ginny. How can I live with that weighing on me?”
“Stop thinking about everything and everyone else for just an hour, Harry,” she demanded. “I just want to lie in bed and have you hold me.”
Harry smiled at her. His eyes were full of love and admiration. There was no faking the look he had on his face. Ginny’s heart melted at the sight of him. He reached out and gently ran his fingertips down her cheek. That simple touch sent shivers down her back.
“You are the best thing that ever happened to me.” He leaned forward and gently kissed her lips.
After several seconds of bliss, she pulled away from him. She moved away from him on the bed to allow him plenty of room to lie down. He laid down and pulled her to him. Their faces were almost touching. She could feel the warmth from his skin radiating against her face. She loved it. It was tender moments like this that made being married to him so wonderful. She knew they would need to get up and start their day soon, but for right now the rest of the world can wait. She needed this time with Harry, and she could tell he also needed it.
“I hope the baby has your hair and legs,” he said softly to her.
She chuckled at his comment before actually replying. It was such an absurd thing to say at a moment like this. “Why not hair like yours. There are too many redheads in my family already, and why my legs? I like the way your legs look.”
“I have knobby knees and skinny legs,” he replied to her.
“Correction, you used to have knobby knees. You have nice legs, and I like your hair.”
He smiled at her. “I like your hair better and you have much nicer legs than I do. If there is one thig I hope our child has it is my eye color. I would like my Mum to…,”
He stopped talking. He didn’t need to finish the statement. It was obvious what he meant.
[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
Ginny was standing in the Headmaster’s office without Harry. She hadn’t been apart from him for so long that she was feeling a little on edge right now. Albus had sent her a note asking her to meet him in the office at this time and to bring that wonderful cloak of Harry’s. She was pretty sure what he wanted.
“Good Evening Mrs. Potter,” said Albus very formally. “I was hoping that you could sit in on a conversation I am about the have with Severus Snape.”
“Am I to assume that I will be under the cloak?”
“Yes, Mrs. Potter, I was hoping you would be. It would make things more realistic if he didn’t know you were there.”
Ginny looked at the Headmaster to try to figure out why he wanted her.
“I still don’t trust Severus completely,” stated the Headmaster without looking at her. “He would realize if I would try to perform Leglimency on him. You have a gift that can help us determine if he being truthful with me…,”
Ginny cut off the Headmaster. “I can feel if he isn’t being totally honest or if he is trying to lie. The problem is I can’t determine exactly what he is lying about.”
“I will try to question him, so that you may be able to tell when he is lying about a certain subject.”
“All right, I will just go over to that corner and wait,” Ginny indicated a corner of the room that was fairly remote, but she could see the Headmaster’s desk. She was going to ask when Professor Snape was going to arrive, but a knock on the Headmaster’s door told her it was now. She walked away from the Headmaster’s desk and lifted the cloak so it would cover her as she walked.
“You may enter,” said Albus Dumbledore from behind his desk.
Severus Snape entered the room and looked around. He appeared to be looking for someone. After his brief inspection he approached the Headmaster. Ginny was getting nervous that he may have heard them speaking. She noticed he was limping as he walked.
“I assume that we are alone,” Severus said with a sneer at the Headmaster.
“Yes, Severus, we are alone. Why would we not be alone?”
“I was expecting some of the other Order members to be here. This, after all, concerns all of the Order of Phoenix.”
“Many of them still don’t trust you, Severus.”
“Do you trust me?”
“I trust that you will try to accomplish your mission, and see Voldemort defeated. He did kill Lily.”
Severus openly flinched at hearing his Dark Lord’s name, but he scowled at the Headmaster as if he had just caused Severus serious pain.
“Must you remind me of her death,” he hissed at the Headmaster. “Do you think I have forgotten her, or what I did to bring about her death? I will protect Harry Potter, and do what I must to bring about the Dark Lord’s downfall. Lily Evan’s death will be avenged, even if I must do it.”
Severus Snape stopped talking and gathered himself to gain control of his emotions. Most people wouldn’t think it was that large of an outburst, but Ginny could feel his raw emotional pain at the mention of Harry’s Mum.
“The Dark Lord is training his newest recruits. He is personally training them in using Dark Spells. He wants to be sure that they will not be defeated the next time they encounter Order members. He wants Order members dead and suffering.”
“What battle tactics is he training with them?”
Ginny couldn’t see, but from her vantage point she was sure Snape stared at the Headmaster and raised a single eyebrow in disbelief. “I said he wants the Order members killed or physically damaged.”
“Yes, you did say that. Has he revealed when he is going to attack the Ministry?”
“The Dark Lord has decided to actually blood his fighters first. He is going to start attacking random villages starting next Wednesday. The first place he is going to attack is Ottery St. Catchpole. I do not recommend that the Potters join with the defense of the village. I get the impression that the Dark Lord and several his best fighters will be waiting for them to appear.”
“I will pass that information along. Is there anything else?”
“Yes, the Dark Lord is asking about the Potters.”
“What have you told him already?”
“I mentioned that I cannot get close to the Potters. I also mentioned that their magic has grown with their bodies. He has been doing some research into soul bonds. He seems to believe that if one of them die the other will also die.”
Albus Dumbledore looked at Severus for several seconds before responding. “Yes, that is true. All he needs to do is kill Harry or Ginny and the other will die within several hours.”
“That is most disturbing to know,” said Severus quietly. “Hopefully, they both avoid the fighting until they are ready to destroy the Dark Lord. They are going to be targets at every battle.”
“Haven’t they always been, Severus?”
“That may be true, but it will be the Dark Lord’s personal goal in everything he does in the future to kill the Potters. They should have killed him when they had the chance.”
Albus sighed and stared at Severus for several seconds. Both men remained silent for a long time. Ginny was starting to wonder if they were silently talking amongst themselves.
“Is there anything else?” asked Albus.
“No, that is all for now. Is the Order ready for the Dark Lord’s revenge?”
“I hope they are. We shall soon know.”
Severus turned and walked out of the office without any further comment.
Ginny waited until she heard the door close to pull the cloak off her. Albus looked at her with a grim expression. “I guess one of your secrets are out. I will inform Alastor about the attack. I would appreciate it if you and Harry do not go on this mission. It would be best if the two of you concentrate on finding and destroying the Horcruxes, all the Horcruxes.”
Ginny stared at him. Did he just hint that he knew Harry was a Horcrux? She would think about that at a later time. “I agree with you. If our members are getting killed on these raids, Harry will want to accompany them to protect the Order members.”
Albus sighed heavily. “I guess we will address that situation when it arises.”
[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
Ginny was curled up beside Harry staring at an Advanced Charms book. She hadn’t turned a page in over twenty minutes, and she didn’t even notice. Her mind was on the man she was sitting beside. They were planning on going down to the Chamber of Secrets this coming Saturday to try to detect a Horcrux.
She was also thinking about next Wednesday, when the Death Eaters are supposed to attack Ottery St. Catchpole. She believed everything that Severus said about the Voldemort’s plans. The problem will be keeping Harry away from the fight. He was the most powerful wizard, with the exception of Dumbledore. There were times when Ginny wondered if Harry wasn’t more powerful, the difference is that Dumbledore knew more magic.
“Dumbledore met with Snape today,” she said to him. She hadn’t given him any warning. Unlike her, he was concentrating on his textbook. He looked up at her with a puzzled expression. It took him several minutes to even register who she was talking about. When he did, his expression turned serious.
“How do you know?”
“Where do you think I was this morning? Hogsmeade? Honestly, there are times when you can be so bloody thick.”
“Sorry, I was studying Charms,” he replied a bit angrily.
“The Headmaster likes me to use my abilities to decipher if Snape is lying to him. Snape rarely lies, but he can and will tell some brutal truths.”
She stopped talking and stared straight ahead at nothing in particular. She wasn’t sure how to proceed without ensuring that Harry will charge off to attack Voldemort.
“Ginny, love, what did Snape say?”
“He said that Voldemort is training his followers in the Dark Arts. Voldemort also wants to blood his troops before attacking the Ministry. The first attack will be next Wednesday in Ottery St. Catchpole. There are two reasons for these attacks. One is to see if his troops are willing to harm others and the other reason is he is setting a trap for you and me. Voldemort realizes that to kill you, he only needs to kill me.”
Anger radiated off Harry in waves. It was so bad that Ginny had to try to block her Empathy powers. He stood up and looked like he was ready for a loud angry argument, but his eyes caught the bump that was starting to show when her robes were laying a certain way. All the anger seemed to melt away from him as he stared at her stomach.
“We need to find those bloody Horcruxes and then hopefully he doesn’t attack the Ministry until our baby is born. Until then we can’t confront Voldemort,” Harry growled. His voice was a nothing but a raspy growl. He sat back down and ran his hand through his hair. Picking up his Charms textbook, he stared unblinking at the page. After about two minutes, he turned and looked at Ginny’s stomach. He let out a wan smile and went back to reading. Ginny smiled at him. He was once again acting far more mature than most people twice his age.
[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
Ginny sat in the second floor girls’ bathroom. She was waiting for Sirius and Harry to fly back out of the Chamber of Secrets. All three of them had gone down to search for another Horcrux. The stench of the decaying basilisk had made her nearly wretch while she was down there. Her stomach was so queasy at the moment that she couldn’t sit near the entrance of the Chamber.
She was helping with their mission anyway. She was now watching for any girls to enter the bathroom. She would shoo them away before they could notice the massive hole in the wall where a sink was supposed to be located. She hated being this weak, but her illness was because of her pregnancy. She heard Harry, Sirius, and Remus flying up the tunnel to the bathroom.
She could sense Harry’s disappointment before he even emerged from the Chamber. Evidently they didn’t find any Horcruxes down there. That was another location they could scratch off their list of possible hiding spots. They were all getting frustrated with hunting for the Horcruxes. It seemed like all the possible locations were off limits to them. They certainly can’t openly search the Department of Mysteries without attracting attention. They can’t start searching through the vaults in Gringotts without raising suspicions, and Hogwarts is such a large place that they have no clue where to look for the Horcrux, if it is even there.
Sirius, Harry, and Remus stood in the girl’s bathroom looking dejected. They were speaking quietly amongst themselves ignoring Ginny completely.
“Hey, I am here too,” she said to them.
“How are you feeling,” asked Harry.
“Better now that I am not smelling that dead snake. I can’t believe something could smell so horrid.”
“I want to go and wash this smell off my clothes,” said Remus.
“I’m with you,” agreed Sirius.
“I need to do that too,” said Harry. “Do you want to go and watch the rest of the Quidditch match after we are clean?” He asked the other two men.
“If it is still going on, I’ll go,” said Sirius.
The four of them left the girls restroom and walked towards their living quarters. Ginny had to walk in front of them, because the stench radiating from their robes made her sick. She looked over her shoulder to speak them. “I’ll call on a House Elf to clean those robes while you three are getting cleaned up. I know they have laundry services and various other places in the castle for them to maintain the castle, but I wonder where they keep them hidden.”
Ginny took a couple more steps before realizing the men had stopped walking. She turned to see them talking quietly amongst themselves. They seemed oblivious that she was even there. She heard Harry say something about “calling Dobby”, but that was all she heard before they all broke apart with much happier moods. She turned to stay ahead of Harry as they went to their quarters. She walked in and stepped to the side to allow Harry to go straight to the bathroom to get himself clean. He dumped his robes in a pile by the bathroom door. She didn’t need to call a House Elf as one appeared carrying Sirius and Remus’ clothes.
As Harry bathed, she sat down and picked up her Charms book to do some studying. Something caught her eye. There were several small vials filled with a silvery smoke like substance. She recognized them as memories. They were sitting on the side of a small end table. She picked one up and saw it had “Father’s memories” written on it. It hit her that Harry was creating memories so they could speak to their child after they had passed away. She started to tear up at the thoughts of this. Harry was preparing to die, and he wasn’t afraid for his own life.
After Harry got out of the shower, she picked up the vial. “I see you are preserving memories for our child.”
“I figured that will be the only way we will be able to speak to her directly. Do you want to say anything? You can make a vial too.” His voice was calm, and very business-like. I was almost he didn’t realize what death was or wasn’t afraid of it.
“What did you and the other two discuss on the way back here?” She asked.
“We are going to ask a House Elf, probably Dobby, what they know about hiding places in this castle.”
[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
They checked with Dobby about a hiding place and discovered the “Room of Come and Go”. It was a cavernous room filled with all types of broken and dangerous items. Harry could sense several dark items. He was pretty sure that the Horcrux was in there, but he would need to search to find it. It was determined that every Sunday afternoon Harry and she would search for the Horcrux in the “Room of Come and Go”.
The Death Eater attack on Ottery St. Catchpole was not as damaging as many feared. It appeared that many of Voldemort’s recruits really couldn’t fight. Two weeks later, there was another attack that Snape had warned them about. The Order was once again prepared and the Death Eater recruits were quickly disarmed and sent away without their wands. Two days later, several bodies of the recruits that had been disarmed had appeared by Hogsmeade in a field. They had been tortured and then killed.
The third attack came three weeks after the second. It was in a small village in Scotland. Snape had once again warned the Order about it and its location. The timing was wrong. It occurred the day before Snape said it would. IT had been a much fiercer battle than before. Two Order members had been killed: Sturgis Podmore and Caradoc Dearborn. Harry was upset. He believed that if she and he had joined the battle the outcome would have been different.
His mood quickly improved the following Sunday. He had finally found the Horcrux. It had been located inside of a locked cabinet that was permanently stuck to the floor.
Six sets of eyes stared at the beautiful diadem. Preservation Charms had kept it as new as the day it was forged by goblins. No one spoke, but everyone was thinking the same thing, who should destroy it.
Ginny gained confidence. She was most closely related to Rowena Ravenclaw of all the Founders. She pulled Rowena’s dagger out of her boot and stabbed the diadem without warning anyone. Everyone gasped as she swiftly brought the dagger down onto the diadem. The point hit beside the stone set high in the front of the diadem. She barely nicked the diadem’s metal filigree, but it was enough. A chill filled the room as a strange hissing sound emanated from the diadem. She could see Harry was visibly shaken. She was too far away from Harry to block out the piece of Voldemort’s soul.
The hissing stopped and the diadem looked to melt in front of their eyes. The other Horcruxes were destroyed violently using the sword of Gryffindor or a basilisk fang. This was the first one that they could actually watch as a piece of Voldemort exited the Horcrux and died.
Albus Dumbledore smiled as he looked up from the destruction of the diadem. “It seems we have destroyed another one. There are only three left,” he said.
“Don’t you mean two,” Remus corrected the older wizard.
“Ah yes, you are correct Remus. There are only two left.” Remus eyed Harry suspiciously.
Ginny wasn’t fooled. Dumbledore knew that Harry was the last Horcrux. It appeared that now Remus may be figuring it out. She walked over and placed a calming hand on Harry’s shoulder. He immediately started to feel better. She could almost feel the turmoil inside of him. He didn’t like to lie to everyone about him needing to die.
“Ginny, Is Harry all right?” asked Remus. “He seemed to react rather strongly to the Horcrux being destroyed.”
Harry stared at her. She could feel his thoughts and emotions through their bond. He wanted to tell them.
“We always said that we can’t keep secrets from each other. It isn’t good for the Order,” he whispered to her.
“What was that he said?” asked Bill.
“Do you want me to tell them?” she asked him.
Harry shook his head to the negative. He straightened up and stared at Sirius, Remus and Bill. They were staring at him with strange expressions on their faces. Ginny could feel the tension rising in the room.
“Harry, what is wrong?” asked Sirius. He looked the most nervous of them all.
“I am a Horcrux,” Harry calmly said to them. “To defeat Voldemort, I must die.”
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