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SIYE Time:5:39 on 18th June 2018


Darkness Within II
By MollyandArthur

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Category: Pre-OotP, Post-OotP, Alternate Universe
Characters:Albus Dumbledore, Draco Malfoy, Harry/Ginny, Hermione Granger, Luna Lovegood, Minerva McGonagall, Neville Longbottom, Nymphadora Tonks, Other, Remus Lupin, Ron Weasley, Severus Snape, Sirius Black
Genres: Drama, Romance
Warnings: Dark Fiction, Death, Disturbing Imagery, Extreme Language, Intimate Sexual Situations, Mild Language, Mild Sexual Situations, Negative Alcohol Use, Sexual Situations, Violence/Physical Abuse
Rating: R
Reviews: 215
Summary: Sequel to Darkness Within. This story begins the night before Harry's fifth year at Hogwarts. Canon couples accurate to JKR. The romance between Harry and Ginny will develop slowly due to their ages. Please note rating and warnings.
Hitcount: Story Total: 25264; Chapter Total: 535
Awards: View Trophy Room




Author's Notes:
Tremendous thanks to my beta, Arnel! I truly appreciate all the reviews and nominations for trinkets!




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Chapter 33

Much to Discuss

Charlie slowly slid the gown down her body - kissing and caressing every bit of pale skin as it was revealed. Soft sighs escaped her lips as she shivered under his touch. His dress robes and tie were already off having been thrown carelessly on a chair once they were safely ensconced in his quarters. Anna deftly unbuttoned his shirt and was just starting to pull it from his shoulders when a flurry of insistent knocks rattled the door to his rooms.

“No fucking way!” Charlie groaned against her chest. Turning to glare at the door he shouted, “Go to your Head of House!”

“Charlie!” The male voice sounded familiar and desperate as the pounding on the door continued.

“That’s Neville!” Anna exclaimed. She withdrew from his arms and pulled her dress back up to cover her lace clad breasts.

In a few long strides Charlie reached the door and yanked it open. “This had better be important!”

Neville tripped over the threshold and grabbed Charlie’s arm. “We found Harry and Ginny in the Astronomy Tower. Something’s happened. I think Harry’s hurt. There’s blood. Luna’s with them.”

“What exactly were you all doing in the Astronomy Tower?” Charlie thundered as he hurried out the door and along the empty corridor. The Yule Ball had officially ended half an hour ago. Clearly most students had made it back to their dormitories in the allotted time.

“Well…um…Luna and I were just hoping for a bit of…well…privacy.” Neville’s cheeks flushed brilliantly.

Charlie groaned as he rounded the corner and leapt up the stairs with Neville and Anna hot on his heels. “Please tell me I’m not about to find my baby sister and her boyfriend in an amorous embrace.”

“No!” Neville gasped. “I mean, Harry’s lying flat on top of Ginny, but they both have their clothes on!”

“Lovely.”

“You vowed not to be a hypocrite,” Anna reminded him.

“That’s easier said than done,” he muttered.

“Neville, what did they say when you found them?” Anna asked.

“Nothing. They were both unconscious with Harry bleeding from his scar.” He hesitated briefly. “But I could swear I saw a golden light fading as Luna and I entered the tower. Luna said their auras looked different as well.”

Charlie came to a sudden halt and whipped around to stare at them. “They bonded?”

Neville nodded. “I believe so.”

Charlie’s eyes met Anna’s as he reached out to briefly take her hand. The physical contact was enough to calm him, to stop the myriad thoughts and feelings threatening to overwhelm his mind. Managing a slight smile, he squeezed her hand before releasing it and bounding up the last flight of stairs.

The lingering effect of a strong warming charm surrounded the area near the blanket on which Harry and Ginny lay, driving off the typically frigid temperatures of the Astronomy Tower in winter. Luna sat cross legged on the stone floor beside them, heedless of the way her dress was bunched up about her.

Glancing up, Luna smiled serenely. “Good evening, Professor Weasley. Hello, Anna.” Her eyes traveled over them and seemed to linger on Charlie’s unbuttoned shirt. “Neville, I do believe you interrupted what would have been a very pleasant interaction for Anna and Professor Weasley, but I suppose it couldn’t be helped.”

“Luna.” Anna sank to the floor next to the other girl and took her hand. Her gaze immediately focused on Harry and Ginny. “What happened?”

Charlie swept his wand over the listless forms of the teens - casting the few charms he knew to detect spell damage and medical trauma. There was nothing. He wasn’t surprised. Gently placing a hand on Harry’s back, he easily felt the wizard’s regular respirations. He touched the side of Ginny’s face and was reassured by the warmth of her cheek and her steady breathing. A small amount of blood was pooled on the stone floor under Harry’s forehead.

“Neville and I thought this would be a good place to snog. Actually, I was hoping for a bit more than snogging,” Luna stated matter-of-factly. “When we came up the last step, we saw a lovely golden sphere of light.” She tilted her head to one side, her lips pursed in thought. “Not really a sphere though, perhaps more of a two-thirds oval.” Luna used one hand to draw the arc in the air. “The golden light sort of vanished into their bodies at the same time the dark mist disappeared up into the night sky.”

“What do you mean by a dark mist?” Charlie asked. A sick feeling crept into his stomach as he gazed at the unconscious young wizard.

Luna shrugged and remained silent. Her expression indicated her usually quick mind was stymied.

“I saw it, too,” Neville supplied. “It was kind of creepy to be honest, but I don’t know how to explain why. I’ve never seen anything like it before.” He met Charlie’s gaze meaningfully. Charlie knew Neville was thinking of the summer night at The Burrow when he and Anna had bonded in front of everyone. Neville had been one of the first to notice and the only one to reach out and try to intervene. He had been Stunned by the magic of the bond for his efforts.

“Shouldn’t they be awake by now?” Anna inquired, looking from Neville to Charlie and back again as she smoothed Ginny’s fiery locks back from her forehead.

“Maybe something went wrong,” Charlie muttered. He reached a hand out towards Harry’s shoulder, but hesitated. “I would’ve fucking hexed someone for trying to pull me away from you that night.” He glanced briefly at Anna before sighing and lifting Harry off his sister.

Blood was seeping slowly from Harry’s scar and had dripped down to his eyes. It was drying darkly in his brows and lashes.

“Aguamenti.” The spray of water from Luna’s wand cleaned most of the blood from Harry’s face. “Well, at least he looks better now,” she said. “I was rather hoping the water might revive him, though.”

“Ginny.” Anna shook his sister’s shoulder, but there was no response. “At least she’s not bleeding. Harry needs to be seen by Madam Pomfrey.”

Charlie nodded as he stood up holding Harry in his arms. “Can one of you levitate Ginny well enough to follow us?”

“I’ll carry her.” Neville slid his arms under Ginny’s slight form and lifted her from the stone floor. “Let’s go.”

Charlie smiled at the younger wizard. Neville had only recently passed through that awkward stage between boyhood and becoming a young man. He wore the change well.

xxxxxx

“Mum! Dad!” Charlie shouted through the Floo connection to The Burrow.

A few minutes passed before he saw his father’s anxious face. “What’s going on, son?”

“Come through to the Hogwarts’ hospital wing,” Charlie said before pulling his face from the green flames and standing beside the hearth.

Mum appeared in a whoosh of green light, followed immediately by Dad.

“What’s happened?” Mum demanded in a loud, shrill voice. Her commanding tone contrasted with her rather rumpled appearance as she struggled to secure the tie on her dressing gown.

Madam Pomfrey hurried over. “They’re resting comfortably, Molly.” She grabbed Mum’s hand and led her over to the enlarged bed where Harry and Ginny lay side by side.

“We think they bonded, but something went wrong,” Charlie explained.

The hospital wing doors slammed open as Albus, Sirius, and Remus hurried in.

“Harry!” Sirius rushed to his godson’s side, his eyes flitting from the young wizard to the witch beside him. “Why are they unconscious?”

“Physically, they are both well,” Madam Pomfrey reassured him. “Magically, they’re drained in a way I’ve never really witnessed previously. I can only guess that they require rest and will wake when they’re ready.”

Albus pulled out his wand and began carefully sweeping it over Harry, concentrating his efforts on the wizard’s head. After a few moments, he lowered his hand. A look of unconcealed satisfaction graced the Headmaster’s face.

The hospital wing doors were thrust open once more emitting Ron and Hermione. An old piece of folded parchment was clutched in his younger brother’s hand.

“Oh, Harry! Ginny!” Hermione led the way over.

“They bonded,” Neville explained succinctly. “Luna and I saw the golden light receding. I just don’t understand the dark mist.”

Luna nodded. “It was a black cloud of mist that seemed to rise from them and float up before disappearing. It seemed a bit…unpleasant.” Her demeanor was calm, but her tone betrayed a level of concern.

Charlie watched the dawning horror appear on the faces of both Sirius and Remus. It confirmed the suspicion that had entered his mind at the top of the Astronomy Tower.

“Was Harry a Horcrux?” Charlie asked.

“I believe that is a discussion best left for a later time,” Albus declared. His twinkling eyes and look of calm serenity had never irritated Charlie more.

“You knew?” Remus was staring at the Headmaster as though he had never clearly seen him before.

Sirius clenched his fists tightly by his sides. His voice emerged as a vicious growl from his throat. “You knew! You fucking knew and never told us! I’m his fucking godfather!” He struck his chest with one hand before pointing at Harry on the bed. “I had a right to fucking know!”

The Headmaster’s mien became stern, the look of a disappointed father about to scold his wayward children. “I suspected and was concerned by the possibility. I did not know with certainty until this event.”

“Sod that! You should have informed us,” Remus insisted. “We’ve been helping you track down and destroy Horcruxes for months.”

“We should not be discussing this in front of those currently present,” Albus declared.

“Really?” Sirius shouted in exasperation. “Exactly who among those in this room do you not trust? Is there anyone at all here who doesn’t already know about Horcruxes?” His eyes roved wildly about the room.

Madam Pomfrey slowly raised her hand, and then flushed as she realized no one else was.

“Great!” Charlie snapped. “I believe the only medical professional in the room should definitely be told so she has a decent chance of dealing with the possible consequences of a piece of Voldemort’s soul being suddenly evicted from Harry’s body after being housed for what? Fifteen years?”

The matron gasped before pulling out her wand and casting what Charlie was sure was every spell in her repertoire to assess Harry’s well-being.

“How do you all know?” The Headmaster demanded, his focus on the students in the ward.

Ron shrugged. “Harry told us months ago. He pretty much tells us everything eventually.”

“Bill told Molly and I after the cup was found at Gringotts,” Dad admitted. “I understand you not wanting this to be general knowledge, but did you truly not trust us with this?”

Albus sighed, looking genuinely flustered for the first time in recent memory. “It’s not a matter of trust so much as my determination that Voldemort not learn we were destroying them until it was too late.”

“I understand the need for a certain amount of secrecy,” Remus admitted. “But how were you planning on safely removing the Horcrux from Harry? Did you know that when Harry and Ginny bonded, the magic of the bond would force the bit of Voldemort’s soul from his body?”

“I hoped that would be the case. It was certainly better than any other alternative means of destroying a Horcrux from a living host, but I didn’t know with any certainty.” The professor stroked his beard in an agitated gesture.

“Just a moment,” Dad’s voice took on the edge Charlie had thankfully only heard directed at himself a few times in his life. “You knew Harry and Ginny’s magic would bond?”

Sirius grabbed Dad’s arm. “He suspected. Albus told us he thought it was a possibility a while ago. He felt it was better the kids didn’t know so they couldn’t try to force the bond early. I apologize, Arthur. I should have informed you and Molly of that conversation.”

Dad’s visage lost its red hue. “Molly and I discussed the possibility as well. Honestly, in the past few months, we’ve considered that this could happen to any or all of our children.” His eyes closed as he visibly deflated. “I just hate feeling helpless. I hate feeling that I have no control over what happens to my children; no way of protecting them from anything. Sometimes being a parent is not all it’s cracked up to be.”

Sirius’s barking laugh held a note of desperation, but still managed to lighten the atmosphere a bit.

“Poppy.” Mum was carefully watching the matron. “What do you think?”

Madam Pomfrey had finally finished her scans of Harry and was repeating them on Ginny. She was silent a few moments before responding. “I think Harry’s magic pulled on Ginny’s to cope with the stress of the Horcrux departing from his body. They’re both significantly magically depleted, though I don’t believe either are in any danger. They should wake up naturally in the morning. What should I expect as a result of the magical bond? Charlie told me to put them in the same bed and widened it himself.”

Dad nodded. “He knows from personal experience. If Harry is anything like Charlie was immediately after, he may react violently to any attempt at being separated from Ginny. They must be kept together for now, regardless of how uncomfortable that makes us.” He put an arm around Mum. She was blinking back tears as she nodded in agreement.

“I’m not entirely sure we want to know,” Sirius began awkwardly. “But, do they currently look how you found them?”

“No,” Luna shook her head. “Harry was lying directly on top of Ginny. She seemed quite safe under him. Definitely warm and protected. They looked very comfortable.”

“They were both fully clothed!” Neville quickly added.

“Judging from the position they were in, they weren’t doing anything more scandalous than snogging,” Charlie said. “Thank Merlin!”

“Then what triggered the bond?” Remus asked. “I thought it had to be something rather significant.”

“When they wake you can ask them.” Anna raised an eyebrow. “Just don’t be surprised if they refuse to answer. It is rather personal. It’s also quite late. Good night, everyone.”

Charlie took the hand she held out to him. He was pleased to note that almost everyone followed them out of the hospital wing.

xxxxxx

Harry woke feeling utterly exhausted yet pleasantly warm. It was a warmth that seeped into his very soul. A warmth he was quite certain he had never previously felt. The temptation to open his eyes was easily resisted since he didn’t want to let go of this feeling — ever.

Relying on his other senses, he focused on one at a time. A familiar and wholly comforting floral scent filled his nostrils. He was smelling Ginny. The certainty brought a smile to his face. He wasn’t surprised. Thoughts of Ginny filled his mind more and more often of late. His dreams and waking mind were increasingly consumed by her. Oddly enough Harry had the distinct impression she really was there, not a figment of his imagination but actually in his arms. He flexed his fingers searchingly and sighed in satisfaction as one hand encountered soft skin while the other became tangled in silky smooth hair. He loved Ginny’s hair — the feel of it, the smell of it, the way the sunlight made the red strands look like they were on fire.

Harry was tempted to open his eyes, but they felt so heavy. He never usually experienced this much exhaustion in the morning. Vaguely he wondered if he had been injured, perhaps hit by a Bludger during Quidditch practice. He tried to remember what had happened yesterday.

Myriad colors and sounds filled his mind, mingling with the scent of pine. Suddenly, the events of the Yule Ball came into sharp focus. Ginny in her beautiful gown -- a radiant smile on her face as they danced to the music. The laughter of their friends and classmates as they enjoyed the festive celebration. The feel of his girlfriend in his arms and the satisfaction of being together as a couple. He could even vaguely taste the Firewhisky Seamus had snuck them all before the event. Perhaps he was drunk or hung over. He dismissed the thought immediately. Neither could feel this good. He could actually sense his magic thrumming through his veins. The power was intoxicating in a way that liquor never could be.

A soft sigh sounded against his chest. The noise was only noticeable due to the pervasive silence of the space. He exhaled slowly at the tantalizing feeling of fingers stroking up and down his chest.

“Harry.” Ginny’s voice was barely a whisper.

He forced his eyes open and blinked at the early morning sunlight filtering in through the windows. The light danced on her fiery tresses.

“Ginny.”

She was suddenly above him, staring down into his eyes, her face only a few inches from his. Concern was writ clear on her face as she cupped his cheek. “Do you remember what happened?”

Harry blinked a couple of times in an effort to clear his mind and his vision. “We went to the Astronomy Tower after the Yule Ball.”

She nodded. “You told me you love me. We kissed.”

“I do love you, Ginny.”

“I love you, too.” Her smile was warm as she lowered her lips to his in a tender kiss.

Harry groaned at the soft feel of her mouth against his. What started as a chaste caress became heated as he flipped them over on the bed. His senses were too charged to allow for much gentleness. He pressed his tongue into her mouth hungrily, growling in satisfaction when she opened herself to him. Tasting her lips, exploring her mouth only heightened the warmth that had filled his being from the moment he woke. The feel of her hands wandering over his back increased his ardor. Shifting his weight to balance on one forearm, he slid his other hand to her chest, desperate to feel the soft curves, to draw a whimper from her lips.

“Alright, that’s bloody well enough!” A male voice growled.

“Bill!” an accented French voice scolded. “They are newly bonded! You must make allowances.”

“As much as I agree it’s fucking rude to interrupt, I’d rather not watch him feel up my baby sister,” Charlie agreed.

“Love, I know it’s been a difficult night, but you are becoming far too fond of the F-word,” Anna’s voice held more amusement than censure.

Harry rolled off Ginny and sat up, pulling her firmly against his side. Her eyes were wide, and her face held a rather bemused expression.

“Hi everyone,” Ginny muttered.

“Good morning!” Fleur smiled. “Welcome to the first meeting of the magically bonded Weasley couples. We have much to discuss.”

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