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SIYE Time:8:05 on 16th December 2017


Like Flames
By DragonHeartstring

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Category: Alternate Universe
Characters:Harry/Ginny, Hermione Granger, Luna Lovegood, Other, Ron Weasley
Genres: Comedy, Fluff, General, Romance
Warnings: Death
Story is Complete
Rating: PG-13
Reviews: 70
Summary: AU. After a disappointing year on a reserve Quidditch team, Ginny Weasley decides to change her path and join the Auror Academy. There, she learns more about magic, love, evil, and herself than she ever could have imagined.
Hitcount: Story Total: 13943; Chapter Total: 1629
Awards: View Trophy Room




Author's Notes:
I think this chapter was a better idea in my mind then on paper. Oh well.




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September rushed by, and Ginny’s life became a whirlwind of classes, homework, and exams. She spent many lunch hours with Hermione — discussing her coursework, her classmates, and trying to convince Hermione to talk to Ron.

She spent even more lunch hours with Harry, talking about anything that was not related to her classes. She told him about growing up with her brothers at the Burrow, and he told her about his parents’ murders and being raised by his grandparents until their deaths when he was just eleven. He was subsequently raised by his godfather Sirius, and his parents’ other best friend, Remus Lupin. Sirius had died in the war, but Harry surprised her with the knowledge that Remus was married to Auror Tonks, and that their son Teddy was his godson.

She told him about playing Quidditch — her short-lived career with the Wanderers and her dreams of playing for the Harpies. She touched briefly on her relationship with Michael, and how he had ended things before she had gotten the chance to. He told her about an adolescence spent fighting the Dark Arts, and his ultimate final battle with the Dark Lord. He showed her the faint lightning shaped scar on his forehead, usually hidden behind his bangs, a relic of his first encounter with Voldemort.

As they trudged through October, Ginny found herself seeking out Harry’s company more and more often. Despite the fact that they had only known one another for a few weeks, she felt as if she could talk to him about anything, and like she was closer to him than she was to most of the people she spent years with at Hogwarts.

She found herself daydreaming about their last lunch meeting towards the end of Scrimgeour’s class on a rainy day at the end of October. They had finished all the material for the day, and Scrimgeour was reviewing what they would be covering in the new month. As the class was dismissed, Ginny listened half-heartedly to Mandy’s description of her plans to go home that weekend to celebrate her young niece’s birthday.

“So we hired a company to come and bring some magical creatures, nothing too dangerous, just things like a niffler and a crup, you know, because she loves them so much. Honestly, I’m really looking forward to it.”

“I’ve invited the entire class, so make sure you come, everyone will be there!” A different conversation caught Ginny’s attention as they passed through the doorway, and she looked to see Cho and her curly haired friend, Marietta Edgecombe, talking to another student. Marietta had spoken, and she was now giving an address of a house in Godric’s Hollow. Ginny raised an eyebrow at Mandy, who shrugged in confusion, and they both turned to look at Cho and Marietta.

“Where is everyone going, Marietta?” Ginny asked, making sure to keep her voice even and calm. Marietta and Cho exchanged a glance before she answered.

“Oh, we’re having a party tomorrow, at my parents house,” she said, pausing for a moment while she gave both Ginny and Mandy a once over. “You’re invited, of course,” she added, her voice falsely sweet, “but it’s a muggle style fancy dress party, you know, for Halloween. So make sure you come in a muggle costume.” Cho nudged her slightly, but Ginny ignored them and turned to Mandy.

“What do you say?”

Mandy grimaced. “I can’t. Mum expects me home to set up for our party. But you should go!”

“Yeah, Ginny, come!” Marietta said, copying Mandy’s excited tone. “The address is 432 Baker Street, Godric’s Hollow. Party starts at 9.” With that she pulled Cho away, and together they giggled as they walked down the corridor.

Ginny turned to Mandy again. “Do you really think I should go into the lions’ den?”

Mandy laughed. “Of course! You heard what they said, everyone will be there. I wish I could go, but Mum would kill me.”

“I don’t know what to wear,” Ginny lamented. “What do muggles dress as at parties like this?”

Mandy shrugged. “Don’t ask me, I don’t know much about muggles.”

Ginny hummed thoughtfully. “I’ll have to ask Hermione, she will be able to tell me what to wear.”

~~~


The pavement was slightly damp due to the earlier rain showers, and Ginny walked carefully to avoid slipping and falling. The red platform boots that she wore were not the most practical, and she had already tripped three times just trying to leave her flat. As she toddled carefully down the street, she readjusted the short hem of her Union Jack dress.

She had been unsure about the costume when Hermione suggested it, and even more so when she saw what it looked like, but the approving glances of some of the young girls out on the streets of Godric's Hollow reassured her that it was at least a good muggle reference.

Ginny studied the numbers of the quaint cottages on the lane, trying to find the correct one. Marietta had said number 432, and when Ginny located it, she was surprised at how calm and peaceful it looked. Disregarding that thought, she inched up the walk and to the front door. Pushing it open, she discovered a small foyer filled with a few of her classmates, all dressed in…robes.

They looked at her outfit in shock, some with jaws dropped open, but Ginny turned away and peeked into the sitting room. It was full of partygoers - all laughing and talking and drinking and wearing regular robes. She scanned the scene until she noticed Marietta and Cho against the far wall, whispering to one another and laughing. She stomped towards them as fast as her boots allowed.

"Nice outfit, Ginny," Marietta said as Ginny approached them, her voice loud enough to attract everyone's attention. "I don't know why you didn't just wrap yourself up in a flag."

"I like your outfit too, Marietta," Ginny shot back. "But you are a bitch - I mean a witch - all the time, didn't you want a change?" She didn't wait to see Marietta or Cho's reaction, but spun on her heel and marched away more confidently than her platforms should have allowed for. By the grace of Merlin she was able to get out of the house without falling flat on her face, but she didn't slow her pace as she continued toward the town square and the alley she had used to apparate.

"Oi, Ginger," someone shouted from across the street, and Ginny’s already simmering temper exploded and she whipped around.

“Honestly what kind of person are you that you think you can just call someone…” she trailed off as the figure approached her, realizing her mistake. “Damn, I keep forgetting that’s my name in this outfit,” she said by way of an apology, but gasped when the streetlamp illuminated the face of the approaching man. “Harry?”

Harry smiled at her as he drew to a stop in front of her. He was dressed casually in jeans and a leather jacket, and he gave her outfit a good once over. “Interesting outfit,” he commented, his eyes lingering momentarily on her dress before settling on her face. “But where is the rest of the group?”

Ginny sighed. “I knew this was a bad idea,” she grumbled, internally cursing Hermione for suggesting it and herself for listening to Hermione.

“I like it,” Harry said softly, as if he didn’t realize he was saying it out loud. “But why are you wearing it?”

“Oh,” Ginny said, leading him over to a bench by the war memorial in the town center. “Marietta threw a party for the whole class tonight, and she told me that since its on Halloween, it would be a muggle style fancy dress party. The problem is, she seems to have forgotten to tell everyone else about the dress code.” She shivered slightly in the chilly October air, and without a word, Harry shrugged off his jacket and draped it around her shoulders. Ginny made to protest, but stopped herself when she decided that she liked how it felt.

“I see,” Harry responded, a frown on his face. “She seems like a lovely person.” Ginny hummed in agreement but didn’t comment. They sat together for a moment in companionable silence, watching a group of young kids in costume walk through the square and towards a busy restaurant down the street.

After a while, Ginny decided to break the silence. “So what are you doing here? Surely you weren’t going to Marietta’s party.”

Harry sat in silence for a few moments, so long that Ginny did not think he was going to answer. He fiddled with the cuffs of his solid black button down shirt, a far away look in his eyes. “My parents were killed on this day 19 years ago,” he said shortly. Ginny didn’t take her eyes off of his face, but he was staring out into the distance. “They are buried right over there,” he gestured towards the church in the distance, and the cemetery that Ginny assumed accompanied it. “I always come and visit on Halloween.”

Ginny waited for Harry to elaborate, but it seemed like he was surprised he had shared that much. “I’m sorry, Harry,” she said softly, hesitating before leaning forward and resting her hand on his arm. He finally turned to look at her.

“It’s alright,” he said, his eyes bright but not teary. “It always upsets me more on Halloween, mostly because I realize I don’t think about them as much as I should. Sometimes I feel like I miss my grandparents more than I miss my actual parents.”

Ginny recalled what he had told her about his childhood with his grandparents. “That makes sense, you have more memories of them than you do of your parents.” Harry hummed softly in agreement before giving her a sad smile. A moment of silence hung between them. “I guess you win for worst Halloween,” Ginny said in a sad attempt to lighten the conversation.

Harry laughed anyway. “If it’s a contest, I probably win worst adolescence as well,” he joked.

Ginny paused, biting her lip and considering whether or not she wanted to say what was on her mind. She eventually decided to share, knowing that Harry, unlike some other people she had encountered in her life, would understand and not judge her.

“Well,” she began in a quiet voice. “I was possessed by a diary when I was eleven, that must count for something.” She heard Harry’s sharp intake of breath, and could feel his eyes on her, but kept her gaze focused on the street lamp across from their bench.

“That was you.” It was more of a statement than a question, and Ginny was not surprised that he knew what she was talking about. She nodded, still not looking at him.

“You see, I was kind of lonely when I first started Hogwarts and I had found this diary in my secondhand textbooks, so I started writing in it. And Tom wrote back. And he was the best friend I could have asked for — until he had me trying to kill my classmates.” She felt a pressure on her hand, and realized that Harry had reached over and grabbed it. Finally turning to face him, she saw remorse and guilt in his eyes.

“I’m so sorry, Ginny,” he said, his voice thick with emotion.

She smiled softly. “Thanks. But I wasn’t trying to make you feel bad.”

“I know,” he said. He was frowning, a deep wrinkle between his eyebrows. “But I can’t help it. You know who Tom Riddle was, right?”

She nodded again. “Voldemort,” she said, with only a slight shiver. Harry must have mistaken it for cold, because he released his tight grip on her hand and wrapped his arm around her shoulders. She leaned into him.

“When I was seventeen,” he began in the same quiet voice she had used, “I found out that a piece of Voldemort’s soul was inside of me.” Ginny turned towards him as much as she could while making sure his arm stayed around her. “It happened when he tried to kill me as a baby, and the only way to get rid of it was to let him cast the Killing Curse at me.” His green eyes were bright, and the light reflecting off of his glasses added to the shine. Slowly, Ginny leaned her head down and rested it on his shoulder. He tightened his grip on her arm.

“We’re messed up, aren’t we?” he asked. She hummed. They remained in that position in silence for a while, watching as the few leftover stragglers walked through the square.
Reviews 70
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