|SIYE Time:20:53 on 20th October 2017|
Category: Alternate Universe
Genres: Action/Adventure, Romance
Warnings: Mild Language, Mild Sexual Situations
Summary: When the Weasley wedding is attacked, Harry grabs the first hand that comes to mind - Ginny's. They find Voldemort has hidden his Horcruxes in plain sight out of some of Muggle history's most important artifacts. Now the pair go across the continent, risking capture by both the Muggle and wizarding worlds, to end the war.
Hitcount: Story Total: 21906; Chapter Total: 1091
Awards: View Trophy Room
A/N: Many thanks to my new beta Encycoopedia for taking part of his Saturday to make this chapter much better (and turning it around faster than my wife, even though he's across an ocean). He has a Time-Turner, apparently.
When Ginny’s eyes fluttered open they were out of focus, as if looking through water in a glass. She was laying down, looking up at the roof of a metal box with electric lights. The box rattled from side to side and, occasionally, up and down. The sound of metal-on-metal was only out-shined by a high-pitched wailing coming from the outside. Ginny watched everyone but her sway forwards and backwards. They were urgently talking to each other - or, at least, it sounded urgent. Italian always sounds urgent. Only one person wasn’t participating.
There was a dark head leaning down across her arm, holding her hand as if it was the only thing keeping him from falling off a cliff. She couldn’t be sure, but her arm was wet where his eyes were.
The dark shock of hair flew up.
“She’s awake! That means she’s going to be fine, right?” he asked the other person in the room as he grabbed the man’s sleeve. He turned around and greeted Ginny with a studious look. He shined a light in her eyes. Both of them noticed that the man made no commitment about Harry’s question.
“Harry, what happened?”
He looked at her and sniffed, trying to wrench on the same strong look that she had given him so many times.
“There was an accident, Gin. You’re hurt pretty bad. We’re taking you to the hospital. You’re going to be fine,” he ended with a waxy smile.
Her head felt as though someone was walking along a wall and hitting switches as he went. Some things turned back on. Others shut off. One of the switches controlled the shearing pain in her right leg, which suddenly decided to come on. She groaned and Harry somehow took an even-tighter grasp of her hand.
“Don’t look down,” he warned. Which, of course, meant she did.
Were legs supposed to bend like that?
The best option right now seemed to be to just go away. Come back later and try again. So that’s what she did, with Harry’s calling to her a switch that slowly turned off.
Now she found herself in the same bed but in a much larger room. The sounds of pain and despair surrounded her. The lights seemed to have clouds moving in front of them. How could it be overcast inside? Someone wearing a billowy green outfit padded over to her side with an outstretched needle. She tapped Ginny’s elbow a few times and then punctured her arm.
“Owww! What the hell was that?”
“Oh, hello. Something for pain,” the green woman responded in broken English. There was no one else in the room.
The woman just raised an eyebrow.
“My boyfriend. The one who was here with me.”
“No one else, signora. Rest. Doctor here soon. Needs to set bone.”
It could’ve been five minutes or five hours, but a man dressed in white pulled back the curtain guarding Ginny from the other sufferers, flanked by three other green people.
“Buonosera,” he said simply before ordering around the green people in Italian. He put his hand in front of Ginny’s face and moved his finger side to side, up and down. All she could feel was swaying. He nodded at the others and took her knee gently. One quick pull down and over produced pain she had never felt before, as if lightning had struck just her leg. No, that would be different. It would burn the nerves. If this pain was ever going to happen again, just chopping off the leg sounded like a better option to her. She was just about to tell the Muggle healer that when she fell back asleep. It was sleep, wasn’t it?
Everything’s detached. If she moves her head, whatever she’s looking at stays in place. She’s in a different room now, but still alone. Harry had abandoned her and she couldn’t be upset with him. Is that really what happened? Thoughts weren’t connecting from one side of her brain to the other. She looked down at a leg she could only see, not feel. The bandages made it so she couldn’t even see her foot. She would just slow him down. He was too important. The thought of never seeing him again made her want to flip another switch, a lot of them, but she fought this time. Isn’t that what he said? The best fighter he had ever known?
Her scanning of the room took more urgency. Where’s her wand? Where’s her clothes?
The door was open and two voices, both male, wafted through. When she saw Gum Man was one of them, she closed her eyes. He doesn’t need to know she’s awake. Maybe she’ll fake that she died. Maybe she won’t fake it.
“No sign of the boy?”
“No. Ambulance crew said he ran off as soon as they arrived here.”
“He won't be back.”
Not if he’s smart, Ginny thought to herself.
“So what do we know?” the other man asked.
“One of those ‘wrong place, right time’ deals. First showed up on our screens impersonating one of the PM’s children. Next, pop up in Munich just before that Nazi war criminal turns up dead.”
“That has to be just a coincidence. They’re just children.”
“I tend to agree. I was with them on that flight to Munich. It looked like they had never flown before. They didn’t seem like assassins, but who knows? But I wasn’t done. Then they’re there the night the Shroud of Turin arsonists are caught. See that Interpol flash? But you should see the passports they’ve been using. I haven’t seen counterfeiting like it in 20 years. And apparently an unlimited amount of financing. Someone in the PM’s office is trying to sweep this under the rug but there’s too much here. I had to trail them. This girl getting hit by that Vespa was the best piece of luck I’ve had in a long time.”
“The nurse from Emergency said she woke up asking for a ‘Harry’”. Gum Man flipped through a file. “There is an alert out for a ’Harry James Potter, 17, most recently from Little Whinging, Surrey’, which would make her ’Ginevra Molly Weasley, 16 next week, from Ottery St. Catchpole, Devon’.
“And no other ties?”
“No sir. They’re ghosts. No school registration. Not so much as a doctor’s visit.”
“Keep digging. When she wakes up, I want to be there when you question her.”
“Don’t worry. Surgery tomorrow to try and put her back together. Doc says she’s going to be in here a month just for the shattered leg. They’re worried about a concussion, too, but haven’t done any scans yet. You’ll have plenty of time to meet Miss Weasley.”
Ginny could hear the heavy steps of the other man walking down the hall. Gum Man turned and took up residence in a chair next to Ginny’s bedside.
“He’s not coming back, you know. I see it all the time. He duped you into… whatever this is. Now you’re dead weight.” Did he know Ginny was awake or just talking to himself? Ginny tried to remain as still as possible. “Yes, Miss Weasley. I know you’re awake. Your pulse perked up a bit, according to that nice machine there. You might as well chat to me.”
Ginny opened her eyes, trying to muster enough energy for one of her famous scowls. From the look on Gum Man’s face, she succeeded.
“I know we’ve met before, but we didn’t exchange names then. I’m Mr. Brown, Her Majesty’s Security Service.” Ginny just grunted. “Let’s start with something easy. Do you remember why you’re here?”
Brown nodded. “I tell you, these Italian drivers are insane. Especially on their stupid little motorbikes. I saw the whole thing. Frankly, it’s a miracle you’re alive.”
“Are you in pain? I can send for the nurse. Get you more of the good stuff.” Brown pointed at the plastic bag hanging to Ginny’s left, with tubes running down to the needle in her arm. Her breath caught and she reached for her left arm with her right. Brown caught her hand.
“I wouldn’t do that.” After a brief struggle, Ginny returned her hand to her side. Brown collapsed back into his seat. “So tell me. How do two English teenagers end up on MI5’s comprehensive terrorist watch list? Fall in with the wrong crowd? Find a new religion?”
“I don’t know. We don’t like lists. Not very organized.”
Brown grinned. “And ‘we’ would be you and Mr. Harry Potter. Europe’s answer to Bonnie and Clyde, apparently. Star-crossed lovers pulling capers across the continent.” He closed the file with a snap. “I meant what I said. He’s not coming back.” Ginny made it a point not to let her eyes divert from her companion’s. No weakness, Weasley.
“And not very organized? That’s funny. What about your fancy passport? The strange, untraceable bank account?”
“We found them on a bus. Guess they fell out of someone’s pocket.”
Brown expelled a long stream of air. “Bloody hell. Are you this frustrating to him? Maybe that’s why he ditched you.” Ginny couldn’t help but smirk. Now that she thought about it, sometimes she was…
Brown regained his composure. “Tell me about Gellert Grindelwald.”
“What’s a Nazi?” It was actually an honest question, confirmed by Ginny’s eyes.
“God, the British school system is in the toilet,” Brown said to himself. “And the Shroud of Turin?”
“What’s a Turin?”
Brown literally pulled at the close-cut hair on the top of his head. “Fine. We’ll wait for my associate to come back. He’s a little less patient than I am,” he said as he crossed one leg over the other.
A man came into the room, wearing the same green smock as the rest of the staff, but with a paper mask over his face. He was short and much older than the rest of the staff she had seen, even the healer. He was guiding a bed on wheels next to the bed Ginny was occupying.
“I’m sorry, sir. It’s time for us to run some tests,” the man said to Brown.
“Ok, fine,” Brown replied dismissively before looking up at the orderly, then back to Ginny. “Probably your scans. Once we figure out if your brain is working, maybe you’ll be in a better mood.”
Ginny smirked. “My brain has been working like this for 16 years.”
With considerable difficulty, the orderly pulled Ginny over to the new bed and started pushing her out the door and down the hall. They passed Brown’s associate. Ginny gave him a happy wave and chuckled at the man’s confused expression. She allowed herself to relax.
“Where are we going?”
The orderly gave a kindly smile. “Meeting with a specialist. He’s fixed all sorts of things in the past. He’ll make you feel a lot better.” Was the man speaking with a Scottish accent now? Stupid Muggle potions…
A few minutes later, pair found themselves at the back of another of the Muggle vans with flashing lights.
“Where is this specialist?”
“Just in here, my dear. He’s made a special trip to… assess your condition.” For some reason, that was quite funny to the old man.
After pushing Ginny into the back, the orderly slid into the seat next to her. Another, younger man, was sitting on the other side. His hair was held in a cap that matched his smock and was also wearing one of the paper masks.
“Will you be able to fix me?” Ginny asked as she turned to him.
“I don’t know. I’ve had five years and haven’t made a dent,” he replied, which made his bright green eyes sparkle. He removed his mask.
“You didn’t leave me,” she said as if she were convincing herself.
Harry grinned. “Could you imagine? Voldemort would be the least of my problems then. An army of redheads would be hunting me. That and, you know, I’m sort of attached to you. I just had to run for some help.” He leaned down and kissed Ginny on the forehead. She clutched the collar of his shirt and made the kiss last a lot longer than Harry planned.
The older man lowered his mask and tilted his head. “Father Perceval MacNair. A pleasure, Miss Weasley. Harry, we need to go. It won’t take long for our friend to figure out she hasn’t gone for brain scans.”
“Oh, you might need this,” Harry said as he handed Ginny her wand. She slid it into her hospital gown.
“I’m afraid that Muggle hospital would not have been adequate for your needs, Miss Weasley. I know of much better accommodations for you.”
“The Wizarding hospital?” Both Harry and Perceval nodded. “They’ll be able to fix my leg?”
“Of course, Gin. How many bones have I broken over the years? I think I know something about this.”
“I’m on Muggle potions, Harry. It would be easier to ask how many you haven’t broken.”
Harry chuckled. “It only usually takes a day, not a month. We’ll be back hunting Horcruxes in no time.”
“And where did you get this van?”
“It’s called an ambulance, Miss Weasley. And my employer is quite well connected. Don’t worry. We’re in good hands with Marco here.” The driver gave a wave without his eyes leaving the road.
Now that she was safe, Ginny allowed her eyes to close with the swaying of the drive. After 20 minutes of seemingly endless traffic, Harry squeezed her hand.
“You’re going to want to see this,” he warned with a smile.
They were coming up on a huge, ancient building that had fallen to ruin. It looked almost like a Quidditch stadium made out of stone, with sloping benches and a labyrinth at the bottom. It was surrounded by Muggle tourists, all with their cameras. Perceval flipped on the lights and siren, making the groups stop, stare, and eventually part ways.
At a particular opening, the driver guided the ambulance into the stadium and down a slight ramp. All went momentarily dark before the sun shined again, even though they were underground. It was the same kind of charm used on the ceiling of the Great Hall at Hogwarts, but for an entire neighborhood. Perceval and Harry pulled Ginny’s stretcher out of the ambulance, where a bustling street awaited her. Wizards and witches dressed in togas couldn’t help but stare at the Muggle truck blocking their road. A few smiled mournfully when they saw the shape of Ginny’s leg. She even heard one witch mutter “poor dear” under her breath.
“Right through there, Harry,” Perceval instructed. They pushed Ginny through a set of glass doors that magically swung open under a sign with a cross and Italian writing. When Ginny turned to it, the sign automatically switched to English - The Coliseum Hospital for Wizarding Maladies.
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