In the Mourning
“IS IT TRUE?” “DID IT REALLY PASS?” “WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK HAPPENED, POTTER?” “WHAT DO YOU MEAN CEDRIC DIGGORY WAS MURDERED?” “THERE ARE PEOPLE DEAD AND YOU WANT TO DRAG YOUR ASS BACK INTO THE SPOTLIGHT?”
Harry found himself physically staggered by the number of people shouting at him. There was a line of people pressing against the entrance, angry faces and crying and a few people doing both at the same time. Harry felt the urge to cover his ears and run away.
“ALRIGHT, EVERYONE JUST FUCK OFF FOR TWO SECONDS!” Ginny abruptly shouted, and the common room silenced.
I didn’t actually think that would work but okay.
Then: “What the hell is going on?”
Ron had made his way to the front to the crowd, and was looking at them with a shocked expression, eyebrows raised and waiting.
“Erm…” Harry said.
“What the fuck did you do, Potter?” “Why are you bringing this up after so long, it’s been six bloody months!” “Why didn’t you say anything when it actually happened?” “You-Know-Who is fucking dead, Potter, quit vying for the spotlight!” “Actual people have been killed, why does this matter?”
“Everyone just shut up!” Ron shouted and again the Gryffindors quit their shouting. Ron gave the room a once-over, his face serious as the plague. “Yelling at Harry is not going to help with anything, he didn’t do this!”
“Yeah, but he’s going and making a fuss in the Wizengamot over a wizard that’s been dead for fourteen years!” Cormac McLaggen snapped.
“He’s not dead now and he wasn’t dead then,” Harry retorted. “He’s back.”
“How could he not be dead?”
“I don’t know,” Harry said, lying only a little. “I should be dead and I’m not, am I?”
“What even happened?” “Why are you saying Diggory was murdered, the Ministry said he got impaled by a Wyvern!” “What happened?” “What happened?” “What happened?”
“You can read about it in the Prophet,” Harry snapped, grabbing Ginny’s hand and making his way through the crowd.
“Why won’t you tell us?” “Are you lying?” “What are you hiding?” “What actually happened that night?”
“I’m not lying, and it’s all going to be in the Prophet,” Harry shouted. “There’s an order of transparency or something about this, so literally everything will be in the Prophet.”
“What aren’t you telling us?” “Who killed Diggory?” “How can You-Know-Who really be back?” “He was dead, he can’t be back!” “What are you hiding!?”
Harry yanked open the door to the boys’ dorms and ducked into the stairwell, Ginny behind him closing the door.
“Good God,” Ginny sighed. “What do we even do?”
“Ignore them,” Harry said decisively. “I said my piece once, I don’t need to repeat it every five minutes for every confused person.”
“Harry,” Ginny said, pausing. He stopped walking, turning back to face her. “What are you going to say to the people who lost family?”
Harry opened his mouth, then dropped his gaze.
“What are you going to tell Alicia when she asks what happened? Or Colin and Denis?”
“I — I don’t know…”
Ginny took a step up and pressed a hand to his cheek. “I understand that you don’t want to talk about it,” she murmured. “But some people deserve a response that isn’t read about it in the paper.”
Harry nodded. “You’re right.”
Ginny pressed a kiss to his lips. They heard the door to the stairs opening and Harry grabbed her hand again to continue going up. Ginny squeezed it, letting him lead her up and away from whoever had just entered. At the very top of the stairs, they entered the second set of dorm rooms, immediately going into their room.
Inside, Harry dropped onto the sofa, covering his eyes with a hand. “What do we do, Ginny,” he murmured.
Ginny dropped down beside him, then lay out on the cushions with her head in his lap. “You’re going to pet me,” she declared.
Harry smiled, letting out a light chuckle. He dropped a hand and started running his fingers through her silky hair, combing it absently.
Someone knocked on the door. They both looked up, then at each other. Ginny lifted her head and Harry got up to answer the door.
Ron, Hermione, Seamus, Dean, and Neville were there. “Can we come in?” Ron asked.
Harry nodded, stepping back to let them in. Ginny sat up on the sofa, and Seamus dropped down beside her, then Dean dropped onto the couch beside his friend, taking his hand.
“Me mam’s dying,” he said bluntly.
“What?” Ginny gasped.
“Me mam’s dying,” he repeated. “What the fuck is going on, Harry? Me mam’s in St. Mungo’s and all the Healers are telling me that the best outcome is that she’ll be in a coma for another ten or so years, and that’s just my mam. At least a dozen kids got pulled out of bed this morning to go identify their parents’ dead bodies!”
“I don’t know!” Harry said, covering his face and groaning. “No one knows anything except that Voldemort’s gonna try and break out a bunch of people from Azkaban sometime soon but not how soon or who, he’s also trying to disarm us legally and now he’s succeeded, Fudge is in Malfoy’s pocket and Malfoy is in Voldemort’s pocket, the Ministry and the Prophet aren’t likely to take our side, basically we’re royally fucked.”
Seamus blinked. He glanced around, then pulled his hand away from Dean and cradled his head in his hands.
Ron touched Harry’s shoulders. “What’s Dumbledore doing?” he asked.
“Reformed the Order of the Phoenix,” he answered dully. “But for right now he’s not telling them to do anything but try to spread the word.”
“The order of the what?” Seamus spluttered, lifting his head.
“Secret militia,” Neville said. “Dumbledore started it last time, to fight You-Know-Who.”
“You-Know-Who is dead!” Seamus burst out, his face going red and a glisten appearing in his eyes. “You killed him more’n ten years ago!”
“I didn’t kill him!” Harry insisted. “His body was destroyed but his soul stayed here, he was powerful enough to possess small animals, he possessed a homunculus and forced someone to craft him a new body for him in June, he kidnapped me from the Third Task and used my blood to fuel it. He’s not dead.”
Seamus stared at him blankly, then blinked and wiped at his cheeks. “You’re tellin’ me,” he said slowly, softly, “that You-Know-Who’s been alive since June and no one saw fit to mention it?”
Harry stared down at the dark red carpet, then looked up and nodded. “Yes. That’s what I’m telling you.”
“Why the bloody hell not?” Seamus screamed. “Don’t ya think we would’ve appreciated knowin’ there’s a madman back from the dead out there ready to go and murder an entire train station full o’ people?”
“Dumbledore made the choice not to say anything because Fudge didn’t want to listen,” Harry shot back, “he decided it would be best to lie low and not have to waste time and energy trying to convince people who would refuse to believe that Voldemort was back, because up until last night he was weak and alone and without any followers —”
“Clearly he had enough to go and send off twelve of them on a suicide mission!”
“Dumbledore reckons they were under the Imperius Curse,” Harry said, his voice falling. “They likely had no clue what they were doing.”
Seamus faltered. He fell back against the sofa, staring at the cluttered surface of the coffee table with blank eyes. Ginny took his hand and squeezed it.
“I just…” Seamus mumbled. “I don’t understand. Why now? Why — Why at all?”
Harry cleared a small space on the coffee table and sat down on it, trying to think of how to respond all the while. After a minute, he just shook his head. “I don’t know,” he whispered.
Seamus nodded, blinking rapidly again. Dean reached over and took his friend’s other hand, holding it between both of his own.
“My family lives in London, Shay,” Dean said quietly. “You can come and stay with us while your mum’s in St. Mungo’s.”
At that, Seamus choked out a sob. He pulled his hand from Ginny and collapsed on Dean’s shoulder, his shoulders shaking. Harry didn’t know what to do to comfort his friend, and it didn’t look like Dean did either, he just rubbed Seamus’s shoulder with his free hand.
Seamus cried for a while. Neville and Ron joined Harry on the coffee table while Hermione sat down by Ginny, crying silent tears of sympathy for Seamus. Neville and Ron looked like how Harry felt, clueless as to how to help Seamus. Ginny rubbed Seamus’s back, her eyes dry but her chest tight. It was a seven-person mourning party, and none of them knew what to do.
Seamus finally hiccuped and lifted his head from Dean’s shoulder, rubbing at his face. He looked both ashamed for crying and like he wanted nothing more but to keep sobbing quietly. Harry wanted to say something, but didn’t know what. In the mourning, Harry felt like an outsider. He hadn’t ever had a mother that he could mourn. He didn’t even remember his mother.
You’ve got my mother, Harry.
Yeah, I know that, it’s just…
“I’m going to make you some tea,” Ginny said to Seamus, squeezing his shoulder. “Alright?”
Seamus just nodded, now staring at the ground, his face splotchy and pale.
Ginny got up from the couch, Hermione did too, and the two girls disappeared into the kitchenette. Harry heard sounds of the kettle being filled, then shifted on the coffee table, trying to find something to say.
“What am I going to do?” Seamus whispered. “My… me mam’s dying and I’m just sittin’ here sobbing.”
“It’s okay,” Dean assured him. “Your mum would understand.”
Seamus sniffed. “Neville, Harry,” he said abruptly, “I’m — I’m really, really sorry I ever made a ‘your mum’ joke in front of you.”
Neville opened his mouth, shut it, then nodded quickly. “It’s okay, mate,” he said. Harry just nodded.
“It’s — They’re really not tha’ funny,” Seamus muttered.
“No, I s’pose not,” Neville murmured.
Seamus looked around, then wiped at his face again. “I’m — I’m sorry guys,” he mumbled, his hand still covering his face, “I didn’t mean to — hic — to break down like this.”
“It’s alright, Shay,” Dean said softly. Seamus shrugged, then stood up from the couch, pulling his hand away from Dean. Dean dropped his gaze while Seamus started to pace, still covering his face.
“Tea,” Ginny announced, levitating mugs in front of her. “Here, Seamus.”
Seamus nodded and took the tea from her wordlessly, clutching it but not drinking. Hermione and Ginny distributed the other mugs, took seats again. Harry stared down into the inky surface of his tea, sugarless and black, just the way he liked it. He barely noticed that Ginny made his tea the way he liked it without his even needing to think about it anymore.
“To Seamus’s mum,” Ron said suddenly, raising his mug into the air. “And to all the people who were there.”
“Cheers,” Seamus murmured, and the call was echoed. They took long, deep gulps, then fell into silence again. Harry drank from his cup again, swishing it over his tongue and swallowing quietly.
“Harry,” Seamus said. Harry looked up. “This — This Order thing — Can I join?”
Harry blinked. Then he nodded. “Yeah, I’m sure you can.”
Seamus nodded, his jaw set. “Good,” he muttered. “I want to see the bastards who did this taken down.”
“They will be,” Harry promised.
Seamus only bobbed his head again, his eyes locked on his mug of tea. The silence was cold and unforgiving.
Some time later, Ron stood up. “It’s late,” he said, “I’m going to go down to the kitchens and get some proper food. Harry, do you want to go with me?”
Harry glanced up, to find Ron looking at him with raised eyebrows, and he got the feeling that he wouldn’t be allowed to say no. “Right,” he muttered, setting down his now empty mug and rising from the coffee table. They both patted Seamus on the shoulder as they left.
The stairs down were empty again, all the dormitory doors shut, but the sounds of crying could be heard behind every few doors. When they got down to the common room, they found it empty and dark. The sun had gone down hours ago, and the fire in the grate was reduced to embers. Harry watched Ron’s feet as he walked behind him, waiting for Ron to say whatever it was he wanted to say.
“What happened in the Wizengamot?”
Harry inhaled, having not expected that question. “Malfoy,” he began. “Malfoy happened.”
Ron glanced at him, then looked back down at his feet, his jaw clenching. “But the Wembley Act,” he murmured, “how did it pass?”
“It was a close call,” Harry sighed. “165 out of 320 voted yes.”
Ron frowned, then said: “They won by ten votes.”
Harry nodded. “Dumbledore says that there were 30 Wizengamot members absent at the time of the vote, and Madam Bones is going to try and use that to contest it, but…”
Ron nodded. “Fudge is in Malfoy’s pocket,” he voiced.
Harry sighed, nodding and running a hand through his hair. “Malfoy’s doing a lot of sneaky things to strengthen Voldemort’s position,” he said. “Like this magic restriction, or trying to reduce the number of Aurors who have to patrol Azkaban. I just… I have no clue how I’m supposed to stop all that.”
Ron glanced over at him again, then frowned down at his feet. “Mate… I think maybe you’re not supposed to.”
Harry looked over at him, copying his friend’s frown. “I’m the Chosen One though, I have to defeat Voldemort.”
Ron gave a shrug, biting his lip, then answered. “In chess, there’s fourteen pieces, right?”
Harry blinked, unsure what metaphor or parable Ron was trying to give him. “Right…”
“And the strongest is easily the queen, but there’s only one of her.”
Harry had a flash of a smile and looked away. “Ron, are you calling me a queen?”
Ron snorted, shoving him lightly in the shoulder. “Shut up, I’m trying to impart wisdom on you. There’s only one queen, but there’s two knights, two bishops, two rooks.”
“And seven pawns.”
“Right. So in chess, the queen can’t fight the other player all by herself. She’s got to have the rooks and the knights and the bishops to help her, and sometimes they can be more valuable than the queen. Like, the knight can jump and the queen can’t.”
“So I need to learn to play leap frog?”
“What?” Ron said. “No, never mind, that’s not my point. I’m trying to say that you’re not alone in this. You and Voldemort are the two queens, but you’ve got rooks and knights and bishops and even pawns to back you up, because even a pawn can put a king in check.”
Harry let his frown slip a little, staring at the ground as they continued to walk. Ron’s chess parable was making sense.
“I guess you’re right,” he murmured.
“’Course I’m right, I always beat you at chess.”
Harry chuckled. “Then you can be my strategist,” he said.
Ron snorted. “Yeah, like real war is anything like chess. I think you’d better stick with Dumbledore.”
“Does that make him the king to my queen?”
“That’s mildly disturbing, Harry, don’t ever use that analogy again.”
They turned a corner, both quiet, and started down the stairs to the basement. Then Ron spoke again.
“Ginny can be the king, though.”
Harry chuckled. “She’s too strong-willed to stay back and avoid everyone. She’s like… like one of the knights.”
“Oi! I wanted to be the knight!”
“Ron, there are two knights.”
“Yeah… but I wanted Hermione to be the other knight.”
Harry snorted. “You’re hopeless.”
Ron gave him another light shove. “As long as I’m no pawn.”
“I don’t want pawns,” Harry said. “At least, I don’t want any people to be pawns.”
“Not everyone can be a knight, Harry.”
“Yes, they can, we’ll exchange all the pawns for knights and bishops.”
Ron rolled his eyes. “Sure, Harry.”
Harry gave Ron’s shove back to him, making him laugh. “Better yet, we’ll turn it into a game of laser tag and just confuse Voldemort into submission.”
Ron frowned. “What’s laser tag?”
Harry opened his mouth, inhaled, and sighed. “It’s… it’s tag. With laser guns.”
“What’s a laser gun?”
“Never mind, Ron.”
They had reached the basement by then, and Ron reached up to tickle the pear rather than press Harry on what laser guns were. The pear squirmed, then transformed into a doorknob and Ron opened the portrait into the kitchens.
“Hello, young masters!” came the squeaky voices of several house elves. “How may we’s help you?”
“Some food would be good,” Ron said. “Sandwiches? Or pancakes? I dunno what time you’re on right now, Harry.”
Harry abruptly brushed, remembering the last time he ate pancakes. “Erm, sandwiches.”
“For seven,” Ron said. “And can we get like, I dunno, some chocolate cake or something?”
Harry looked at Ron with furrowed brows. “What’s the cake for?”
Ron shrugged. “I dunno, I like to have cake when I’m upset. Seamus is pretty upset. And if chocolate wards off the effects of Dementors, maybe it makes you less sad?”
Harry nodded. “Good point.”
The house elves had already started bustling about assembling sandwiches and chocolate cake by then, so there was no point in questioning it. Abruptly, however, something crashed into Harry’s legs and almost knocked him to the ground.
“Harry Potter, Harry Potter, sir, you has come to visit Dobby!”
“Dobby!” Harry gasped, grabbing Ron’s shoulder to stop himself from face-planting in a mop bucket. “Careful!”
“Oh, sorry, sir, deeply sorry,” Dobby tittered, but he kept himself firmly attached to Harry’s leg. “Dobby is so happy to see you, sir!”
“It’s good to see you too, Dobby,” Harry said, then awkwardly patted the house-elf’s head. “Erm, how are you?”
“Excellent, sir!” Dobby beamed up at him, his colorful ballcap almost falling off his head as he did. The elf caught it and straightened it, letting go of Harry in the process. “Dobby is serving Professor Dumbledore, sir!”
“Are you really?” Harry asked.
“Yes, sir, and Professor Dumbledore is giving Dobby lemon drops and he is giving Dobby a raise!”
“A raise?” Harry said. “That’s good.”
“Oh, yes, sir, Dobby is getting fifteen galleons a month, sir!”
“That’s great, Dobby,” Harry said, trying to feel happy for the elf while his friend was upstairs dreading the death of his mother. In a way though, he was glad that the elf was so excited and happy right then. It cast a contrast to the depressing air of the entire day.
“Yes, Harry Potter, sir, yes, Dobby is buying brand new ties now, look!”
Dobby proudly displayed the seven ties he was wearing. “Professor Dumbledore is gifting this one to Dobby for Christmas!” he added, pointing to a brightly rainbow patterned tie.
“They’re beautiful, Dobby,” Harry said, smiling a bit sadly. The elf grinned in delight, bouncing up and down on the balls of his feet as he displayed his proud collection of ties. Harry thought suddenly of Anna Williams, sitting with an expression of shock with a three-year-old who was wailing for his mother, and the contrast between the happy elf and the deaths that had occurred strengthened.
“Professor Dumbledore is telling Dobby to care for the Slytherin dormitories, too, though,” Dobby said, his smile fading. “Dobby doesn’t really like it down there, but Professor Dumbledore is always giving Dobby extra lemon drops for it!”
Harry frowned. “Why are you cleaning the Slytherin dorms?”
“Just a few of them, sir,” Dobby said. “The fifth-year boys’ dorms. Professor Dumbledore is letting Dobby chat with him after, though, Dobby finds he quite likes a bit of gossip.”
“What gossip?” Harry asked.
“Here is your sandwiches and cakes, sirs!” said a second elf, pushing a tray into each Harry and Ron’s arms. “Have a good evening, sirs!” The elf made a shooing motion towards Dobby then. “Go and tidy up the washing station, Dobby!”
“Of course, Dobby will do that right away,” Dobby answered, already turning away.
“What gossip?” Harry asked him again, ignoring the wobbly tray of cake in his hands.
“Oh, Professor Dumbledore is telling Dobby not to share with anyone else, sir,” Dobby said. “But Dobby is sure you don’t count. Professor Dumbledore is wanting Dobby to tell him about one of the students, sir, he is telling me I is being the best for the job because I is knowing him already.” Dobby’s ears drooped a little. “Dobby is thinking secretly that he doesn’t really like having to spy on Master Malfoy, but Professor Dumbledore is assuring Dobby that it’s alright!”
Harry blinked. “Dumbledore… Dumbledore’s spying on Malfoy?”
“Professor Dumbledore is telling Dobby it’s because he is worried about Master Malfoy,” Dobby told him quickly, “he is saying that Master Malfoy is being risky. Dobby isn’t sure what that means, sir.”
Harry stared agape as Dobby turned away and darted off into the crowd of elves, his bright red cap bobbing up and down as he skipped. “Dumbledore is worried about Malfoy?”
“What the bloody hell does that mean?” Ron said.
“I don’t know,” Harry murmured. “But I want to find out.”
Oi, Harry, where’s that food?
“Come on,” Harry said, gesturing towards the door. “We should get back up there.”
“Right,” Ron said, pushing open the portrait door with his foot. “Weird, though.”
“Really weird,” Harry agreed.
What’s this about weird? Dean’s been trying to get Seamus to open up.
Dumbledore is having Dobby spy on Malfoy.
I know, it doesn’t make sense.
What’s Malfoy up to?
I have no clue. Dobby says Dumbledore’s actually worried about the slimy bastard.
You don’t think…
He’s not a Death Eater, is he?
I’d say that if he isn’t one already, he’s destined to become one.
You remember that lesson we had with Snape, when we eavesdropped on him and Malfoy talking? What if it’s about that?
Harry frowned as he followed Ron up the stairs. But Malfoy wouldn’t be upset about being a Death Eater.
Obviously, but what if Dumbledore’s worried about what Malfoy’s going to do as a Death Eater?
Harry raised an eyebrow, agreeing with her silently. If Malfoy was a Death Eater, he had access to the entire school. He could be spying for Voldemort.
Or trying to do something for him.
I think we ought to pay a bit closer attention to Malfoy.
The two of them froze on the stairs; Harry made an expression of oh no at the sound of Professor McGonagall.
“What are you two doing out of bed?”
They turned, Harry carefully to avoid letting the cake in his hands tip or fall. “We’re going back up to Gryffindor tower.”
McGonagall blinked at them. “What — Why do you have a cake, Potter?”
“Seamus’s mother,” Harry said. “She was at the station.”
McGonagall’s shoulders deflated. She dropped her gaze, then quickly adjusted her spectacles and nodded. “Very well,” she said. “Go on. Be quick, now, it’s almost eleven.”
“Yes, Professor,” they said together, then started back up the stairs. At a turning point, Harry glanced back at McGonagall, but she was already gone.
“I still can’t really process it,” Ron whispered.
“What?” Harry said, looking back up at him.
“The attack,” he clarified. “I can’t… I can’t understand… I don’t know how to think, what to say.”
Harry dropped his gaze to the ground again, his mouth slightly open but his brain shut. “I haven’t processed it, either, Ron.”
“I mean, Mum sent us back this morning right away, me, Fred, George. When we got here, Alicia and Lee were leaving.”
“Who…” Harry almost didn’t dare ask, “who did they lose?”
“I don’t even know,” Ron answered in a heavy voice. “Lee was… he was crying. Like, full on sobbing.”
“We saw them,” Harry said. “Alicia and Lee, I mean. All the mourners were gathered in the atrium. They were just… holding each other and crying.”
Ron glanced over his shoulder at him, then fell into step beside him as the corridor widened. “Who… did you see anyone else?”
“Colin,” Harry answered, thinking to just a few nights ago when Colin had been tittering about the aesthetics of pale skin. “Him and his brother. Lavender and Parvati, and Padma and I think their mum. And Williams, and just… too many people.”
Ron nodded, his face pale and lips pressed tightly together. “When we got here, a bunch of people were gone, and not just the ones who went home for the holidays.”
“They’ve got to be at the Ministry,” Harry said, not even caring if that was the truth. “They can’t all be…”
He didn’t finish the sentence. They had reached the portrait hole, and both of them were just staring into space, trying and failing to avoid thinking about the possibility of the friends they had failed to count, the people they hadn’t noticed missing, anyone, anyone at all that might’ve been at the train station that morning…
“Password?” asked the Fat Lady.
“Fairy lights,” Ron said dully, and she swung forward. They climbed through the portrait hole, the both of them falling back into silence, finding the common room empty of life still. They took the stairs back up to Harry and Ginny’s room, where Harry knocked on the door with his foot.
Hermione opened the door for them, waving them in with a hand. “Shh,” she added. “Neville and Seamus fell asleep.”
“We leave for ten minutes and they fall asleep?” Ron said in a scoffing whisper. Neville was curled up in the loveseat and Seamus sprawled on the sofa. Dean and Ginny were sitting on the floor with their backs to the couch.
“You were gone twenty minutes,” Ginny corrected. “Why’ve you got cake?”
“For Seamus,” Ron said. “But I guess he’s not gonna want it.”
Dean shook his head. “He’s been sleepin’ bad lately anyway, leave him alone.”
Without wondering why Dean knew how Seamus was sleeping poorly, Harry set the plate with the cake on the coffee table, then snagged two sandwiches from Ron’s plate while he was setting it down. He dropped down next to Ginny, handing her one, and started to munch, having not realized how hungry he was up until just then.
“It’s almost midnight,” Dean said as he took a sandwich.
“Witching hour,” Harry said through a mouthful of ham and cheese.
They all looked at him. “What?” he said, swallowing.
“We’re all witches, Harry,” Ginny reminded him. Ron opened his mouth. “And two wizards,” she added before he could speak.
“Leave me alone, I’m weird,” Harry muttered. Ginny shook her head and leaned on his shoulder. He pressed a kiss to her temple before returning to his sandwich.
“Seems strange to ask, but how was your honeymoon?” Hermione asked timidly.
“Excellent up until the point Remus Floo-called us panicking about Voldemort,” Harry said.
Dean gave a sudden smile. “Did you ever get to use those handcuffs Fred and George gave you?”
Ron turned bright red and Harry busied himself with his sandwich. Ginny leaned over and whispered something in Dean’s ear, at which Harry stiffened, then elbowed her. Dean laughed lightly while Ginny giggled.
“What?” Ron said, looking mildly disgusted.
“You don’t want to know,” Dean said.
Something struck Harry in the back of the head; he jerked away from it, to find that it was only Seamus’s knee. “Does he squirm this much every night?” Harry muttered, rubbing the back of his head.
“Pretty much,” Dean answered. They glanced at him. “I’ve had to put him back in is bed over a hundred times,” he added. “He falls out and doesn’t wake up, then I trip over him on the way to the loo.”
Harry gave a nod, looking at Seamus again. He looked much more peaceful than he had been when Ron and Harry left twenty minutes previous. The boy shifted again and flung his arm out over the side of the couch, draping it over Dean’s shoulder. Dean glanced at it, then sighed and ignored it.
“D’you think his mum’ll be okay?” Harry asked.
Dean looked over at him, then shrugged, taking another bite of his sandwich. After a moment, he swallowed and leaned back against the sofa. “I have no clue,” he said. “When — We were still here, when it happened. Seamus’s mum was supposed to be visiting family, but I guess she came back early. The Ministry called him in really early too, it was right after we even heard about it.”
“What happened to her?” Ginny asked.
“The terrorists, they destroyed the station,” Dean said. “She got hit by half a dozen curses, then a metal beam collapsed on her.”
Harry let out a hissing breath, not the only one to do so. Dean nodded, staring at his sandwich as if he’d just lost his appetite. “She’s stabilized,” he said. “But… but like Shay said, she might never wake up.”
Harry looked down at his own half-eaten sandwich, then reached up and put it on the coffee table with an expression of distaste.
“I think we should all stay in here,” Ginny said abruptly.
Harry looked back at her. “What, like a sleepover?”
She nodded. “There are spare blankets and pillows in the bedroom, Harry. Strip the bed if you need to.”
Harry raised an eyebrow, but Ginny didn’t move. He shrugged and stood up, then gestured to Ron to have him follow. They went into his and Ginny’s bedroom, and Harry started looking for the spare blankets and such.
In the trunk at the foot of the bed.
Harry opened it, finding several folded blankets and half a dozen pillows sitting inside a space that had to have been magically enlarged. He started pulling them out, Ron beside him, then they carried the bundles back into the sitting room. Ginny and Hermione had started conjuring long flat cushions, sleeping mats he guessed, and took the blankets from them. “This is good,” Ginny said. Harry and Ron moved the coffee table out of the way, putting it beside the sofa. Hermione draped a blanket over Neville while Dean did the same to Seamus. The five of them grabbed mats, Harry and Ginny putting theirs beside each other by the fire, Ron and Hermione by the door, and Dean in front of the sofa.
“Goodnight,” Ginny called softly.
“Night,” came a murmuring echo.
Harry draped an arm over Ginny’s waist and pulled his pillow closer to the crook of his neck.