|SIYE Time:23:59 on 17th October 2017|
Driving Miss Weasley
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Category: Alternate Universe, Post-Hogwarts
Characters:Harry/Ginny, Other, Ron Weasley
Genres: Action/Adventure, Drama
Warnings: Death, Disturbing Imagery, Extreme Language, Violence, Violence/Physical Abuse
Story is Complete
Summary: It should have been a simple task. Escort Ginny Weasley to her Quidditch match. But it all changes when Harry Potter rents the wrong car. What started out as a simple road trip between two friends and past lovers quickly turns into a hellish game of cat and mouse, and Harry and Ginny find themselves running away from a mysterious and deadly group of mercenaries, through a Scotland plagued by a mysterious infestation of Dark creatures.
Hitcount: Story Total: 3265; Chapter Total: 397
Awards: View Trophy Room
Penultimate chapter, enjoy!
They were barely halfway along the country lane leading up the hill towards the farm, and Harry had nothing else to say. His thoughts kept drifting to that earlier moment, every intoxicating detail of it, and a part of him wanted to bring the car to a halt immediately and snog her senseless right there, insane villains be damned. In the end he chose to turn on the radio to at least fill the uneasy silence in the car.
With Tina Turner playing in the background, Ginny, probably just as uneasy about their silence as he was, started chatting about everything and nothing. She talked to him about the new Harpies players and how she got along with them, about Molly Weasley’s greying hair, and how she was convinced that George still hadn’t gotten over Fred’s death, but that he hid it by working himself to bits in Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes. She carefully avoided anything that had to do with what happened tonight, and Harry was glad for it. There, in the warmth and comfort of their Mercedes, his weariness properly settled in. His head throbbed and his body was still sore from the fight with Savage, but luckily he didn’t have to worry about falling asleep at the wheel, despite the long night. The memories raged through him one after the other and kept him awake. Four men bursting into the marital suite. Getting dragged into a car and being bound and blindfolded as they set off. The endless, lonely wait in that farm shed. His long-time colleague placing his finger between a large rusty set of pincers. Ginny sending spell after spell at the mercenaries. He and Savage brawling on the wooden floor as the fire singed his scalp. Savage, hanging, twitching and screaming soundlessly, his throat squeezed shut by those chains. Even still, the thing that kept him busy the most was the near kiss he and Ginny shared. It seemed like false hope after all those years to consider that she’d wanted it as well. But she did, even though he could hardly believe it. He glanced at the witch beside him, and they shared a brief, awkward smile.
He turned back to the road ahead. Cars buzzed by, and the road grew busier and busier as the crisp greyness of the spring morning was dispelled by the rising sun. Harry felt his bum grow numb from all those hours in the car, but he tried his best to ignore the little pains. He promised himself to rest properly once Skinner was dealt with and Ginny was safely delivered to the Portree stadium.
Ginny’s voice had long run out of steam when they turned off the main road at the loch where they set up their tent. That was when they first heard the buzzing of a helicopter in the distance.
“That must be Skinner,” he said, a tenseness settling in his stomach. “Ginny, do you know how to send a Patronus?”
“I want you to tell your brother where we are, and that he needs to bring back up here.”
“I can do that. Where are we now?”
“We just passed Glencoe again, and we’re driving alongside Loch Leven.”
“Got it.” Ginny muttered the incantation, and moments later a silvery, ethereal horse left the car with a blinding speed.
The far end of the loch came in sight, and a small village came close and closer, appearing and then hiding again behind jutting out rocks and small patches of woods that blocked their view. The buzzing grew louder and louder. He and Ginny exchanged not a word as they waited for the helicopter to appear over the mountains. Finally, the buzz grew to a roar, and in the rear-view mirror he could see a rapidly growing speck in the sky just along the edge of the inlet.
“There,” he said grimly. “I think he found us.”
The speck grew larger as the roar increased in volume. Harry sped up as much as he could on the small, winding road but the helicopter still easily caught up with them. It was with a sense of inevitability that the machine finally reached them and flew alongside them. Harry chanced a look, and he could just make out the faces of the occupants, as well as a speck of purple that was Skinner’s strange sweater. They momentarily disappeared behind the trees as the road banked to the right. That was when they reached the outskirts of the village and Harry found himself unable to look away from the roads ahead.
“Watch the helicopter,” he told Ginny. “I have to concentrate on the traffic now.”
“They’re coming closer, Harry,” she warned him. “Do you hear that sound?”
“What, the roar?”
“No, that whizzing noise. Strange…”
Now Harry could hear it as well. From time to time something seemed to whir by their car as they raced through the narrow streets. And why were all those people running…?
“Shit, they’re shooting at us!” he cried. Then he saw it as well. Bullets impacted the houses next to him, he heard a steady ticking sound coming from the roof of the car, and now there were people running away from the helicopter, not paying mind to the black Mercedes speeding through the town.
“Stop!” Ginny screamed as a few people crossed the street ahead of them. Harry slammed the brake pedal as hard as he could, the tyres squealed and the seatbelt dug painfully into his chest as the people ahead of them froze in shock at the sight of the car rapidly approaching them. Harry saw his fear reflected in their eyes and he looked away just as they were about to hit them…
But they never did. They came to a halt a few feet from the two men. They shouted something at them, but apparently they decided they’d rather avoid the helicopter circling above than insult Harry and Ginny, and they disappeared into an alley off the central road. Harry breathed out shakily.
“That was too damn close.”
Then the shooting started anew. The helicopter appeared over them, the trees next to the street waved around violently in the sudden wind and Harry shook out of his stupor when he heard bullets rain down on their car.
Muttering curse after curse, he changed gear and willed the car into motion again. The helicopter above them swerved away and set off after them again.
“We need to get off this road,” he said as they crossed the bridge over the river. “They won’t be able to hit us so easily when we’re in those woods there.”
Something splintered behind them and Harry ducked his head.
“It’s the back window,” Ginny moaned, raising her voice as the wind rushed in through the shattered glass. “Whatever you’re planning, just get us away from them!”
“I’m trying!” Harry shouted back. “I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but they’ve got a fucking helicopter! We’re turning right now, hang on!”
He steered the Mercedes off the central road and onto a steep, small one that finally led away from the village. Thick canopy surrounded them on both sides and the helicopter finally disappeared from view. That at least allowed him the chance to try and think.
“Okay, I don’t think they can shoot us for the moment, but we’re not safe. We need to find some way to chase the helicopter away, or make it land.”
While they drove down the road at breakneck speed, someone knocked on his window. He looked up in surprise. Ron Weasley was floating alongside the car. Harry slid open the window, his mouth hanging open in shock.
“Hi Harry!” he called. “Fancy seeing you here!”
“Good to see you, Ron,” he said weakly.
“Hey Ron!” Ginny said from beside him.
“Listen, I can’t fly here forever. Just keep driving, I’ve got about a dozen Aurors on brooms flying around. We’re taking down that flying thing!”
“Helly copter,” Ginny informed him.
“Right, whatever it’s named. See you in a minute!” He pulled up the front of his broom and shot up, over the trees.
“It’s called a helicopter,” Harry said, closing the window again. “Not a helly copter.”
“Not important now, Harry. Look, there’s a clearing up ahead.”
“Right, keep your head low,” he warned as they shot past the last line of sparse birches and onto a bald part of the hill. The loch stretched out far below to their left and he was amazed at how quickly they’d left the village behind them. But it was the sight ahead of them that made his thoughts come to a stop abruptly.
Skinner’s helicopter ducked and swerved through the air, the black paint glimmering in the morning light, and it was surrounded on all sides with Aurors. People on brooms swarmed the air, firing curse after curse at the helicopter. For a brief moment his heart soared at the scene, but he quickly noticed that none of the spells seemed to connect with the machine. Every time the Aurors came within spell range, their brooms were blown out of control by the gusts emitted by the rotors and they had to pull back again. The few spells that actually reached the machine disappeared into thin air, as if there was a shield charm cast on it. To make matters worse, they were being shot at with rifles from the helicopter itself. One man, his red Auror robes billowing behind them, spiralled out of control, the currents toying with him as if he was a measly fly, and then stiffened. Time seemed to slow down, and Harry watched in horror as the man slowly lost his grip and slipped bonelessly off his broom. He plummeted towards the ground and disappeared behind the trees.
Ginny shouted something beside him, and then he realised he was swerving dangerously close to the edge of the narrow mountain road. He yanked the wheel, the car fishtailed for a few heart-stopping moments, and then the tires caught grip again.
“Bloody hell, that was close!” Ginny shouted.
“Don’t tell me you’re turning into Ron in the heat of the moment,” Harry said back.
“Did you see who that person that fell was?” she asked, ignoring his rather poorly timed quip.
“No, I didn’t,” he said. It wasn’t Ron. He would recognise the red hair, he told himself. At that moment another Auror flew off his broom, his body tumbling through the air like a ragdoll. And still not a single spell impacted the helicopter. That was enough for Harry.
“Right, I’m bloody well not losing any more people today. Do you still have your broom?”
“What? Harry James Potter, you’re not going up there, it’s madness! Do you see how useless the others are up there? You’ll get yourself killed!” she said, gesturing wildly at the windscreen.
“We should be doing something down here, Ginny! If things stay as they are right now, we’re going to see a lot more deaths today, and I will not lose any more Aurors to this! Look at it, they’re all getting killed up there!”
“What can we do, though? Our spells can’t reach them up there, and you’re only going to hit the Aurors instead of that helly copter if you try it!”
“I know, I know, we just need something with more range, like a… a…”
“Spit it out!”
“Bloody hell, Ginny, that’s it!”
“Not you too? What do you mean?”
“Remember what we’ve got lying in the boot?”
“Some sandwiches from yesterday, I presume–” she stopped, and her mouth formed a perfect ‘O’.
“You’re a genius, Potter. How can we reach them from here?”
“You can grab them if you crawl over to the back seats. There should be enough space between the headrests and the back window to pull them to you.”
“What back window?” she asked, pointing to the splintered hole that used to be a window.
“Shit, what if they fell out?”
“Only one way to find out,” she said, snapping her seat belt and worming her way through the small space between the front seats. If they weren’t in this bizarre situation, Harry would have thoroughly enjoyed her bum wiggling so close to him.
“There’s a bend to the right coming up, hold on!” he called. He still heard a shriek as he steered the car around the corner.
“Okay, they’re still here,” Ginny called in a slightly winded voice. “Which one do you want?”
“I don’t fucking know!” Harry cried in exasperation. “Just hand me a big one!”
Ginny’s face appeared next to him, and she handed him a big, black rifle that Harry instantly recognised.
“An FAL, that’ll do I think. Does it have bullets?”
“How should I know?”
“See that square thing hanging underneath it?”
“Pull it toward the thin end. Yeah, like that. Is it full?”
“Yeah it is. Harry, how do you know these things?” she asked, gripping both front seats as they swerved higher and higher up the hill.
“Kingsley,” Harry replied, not taking his eyes off the helicopter and the swarm of Aurors ahead of them. They seemed more cautious now and seemed to realize that they couldn’t hit the machine with even a single spell. Savage’s handiwork, he realized. Another Auror got hit then. He had to let go with his injured hand, but he managed to stay on his broom until he could safely Apparate away. “He decided we needed some inspiration from outside for the Auror office when I became Head Auror, so we worked with the Muggle police and secret services for a while. We made it sort of a regular day out together eventually on Thursdays. Shooting practice in the afternoon with a slap-up dinner afterward. That, and, erm…”
“Harry! Ginny!” Ron was back, again hovering next to the driver’s side.
“Ron, you madman! Who went down before?”
“Hornby, one of the new recruits and Proudfoot just Apparated away. I sent some healers for the two further back!” he shouted, straining to outshout the wind.
“Good man! Listen Ron, I think there’s a shield charm on that thing. You can’t hit it with spells!”
“I thought the same! This is madness, and bloody useless as well, so we’re going to fly a bit further away from them! I’ll be damned if those bastards get another one of us.”
“Damn right! Ron, we’ve got another solution here, and I need you lot out of the way!” He pointed to the rifle in his lap. Ron’s eyes bulged at the sight.
“Where in the bloody hell did you get those?”
“Came with the car!”
“Bloody Muggles are mad! Okay, I’ll pass it on to the others. Be careful!”
“You too!” He said as Ron veered away from the car again.
“Right. Ginny, I’m going to ask you something, okay?” They turned right again, reaching the top of the hill and immediately starting the descent again.
“Okay?” She said in trepidation.
“I need you to take the wheel for now while lean out of the window and shoot.”
“What?! Have you lost your mind? I can’t drive for shit, Harry, I told you that!”
Harry didn’t respond, but he pulled her toward him with one arm and placed a firm kiss on her lips.
“You’ll be brilliant. Now get over here.”
She didn’t protest anymore, and squeezed herself next to him into the seat.
“Right, you know the basics?”
“Clutch, brake, accelerator?” she asked, pointing to the pedals from left to right. “Change gear if the engine sounds funny?”
“Good enough. Okay, here we go, hand me the rifle when I’m ready.” And with that, he opened the driver’s window and carefully climbed out, wand in his hand. Using the edge of the seat as a footrest, he shakily let go of the roof rack with his wand hand and charmed himself stuck to the door.
“Okay, I’m ready!” he shouted at Ginny, and he took the rifle when it poked out of the window.
Rifle in hand, he flicked off the safety, and then turned to the helicopter flying in the distance. The Aurors, true to Ron’s word, had put a considerable distance between them and the machine, and were now chasing it in a spread-out formation, not unlike a Chaser formation in a Quidditch match.
“We’re turning left, Harry!” Ginny cried, rapping against his leg to catch his attention.
He held on to the roof rack and the rifle as they went round the corner, descending further and further downhill. Ginny’s steering was sloppy at best and he was amazed they made it through unscathed.
“Sorry!” she shouted.
“Just keep going, you’re doing great!”
The road ahead straightened out somewhat, and Harry took this chance to finally properly take aim.
20 shots, he thought to himself. The odds were never in his favour, but it was this or nothing. He leaned into the barrel after making sure it was on single fire, took aim, and fired off one shot.
The bullet disappeared into the air, but nothing happened. Growling in frustration, he fired off another two rounds, but they did nothing either. It was useless.
“This is useless!” he shouted.
“Did it not work?” he heard Ginny ask from inside the car.
“Nothing happened! We’re going too fast and they’re too far away!”
“Come back inside then, this is madness!”
“No! This is the only chance we’ve got!”
“Watch your head at least, we’re about to enter some woods!”
Harry looked to his right and immediately ducked away from the branches and leaves that emerged around the bend. When he thought the danger had passed and he lifted his head slightly again, he had to duck away again from even more foliage. While his cheek rested against the sun-heated metal of the roof, he racked his mind. There had to be something.
If possible, the roar of the helicopter got even louder, and it drowned out even the wind rushing past his ear and the vibrations of the car travelling through his body. He looked up in surprise to see the helicopter fly closer than ever. He could clearly make out the enraged faces inside, and the rifle that tried to aim at him, but couldn’t shoot because of the trees blocking their view from time to time.
“That’s it!” He screamed. “They’re flying closer because they can’t see us through the trees!” They were so close now, this was his chance. He made sure there weren’t any branches at head height coming up, veered up and readied his rifle again.
His first shot visibly pinged off the thin bodywork of the machine. Emboldened by his success, he fired off more rounds, this time aimed more to the area in front of the helicopter. The bullets all connected, and now they impacted the glass. It started cracking under the pressure. He was about to fire off even more rounds, but then he had to duck away when bullets wheezed so closely past him that he heard them over the shrieking wind. He took aim once again when he thought the shooting had stopped.
“The road’s turning to gravel here, Harry, hang on!” Ginny shouted. The car began to vibrate and shake even more now with the new surface, and aiming became even harder. Then there was that oddly familiar pull. He’d felt it before, when they left the farm a few hours before. It’s what made him decide to come this way. But that wasn’t the first time he’d felt this strange sensation. Grindylows, a dead body at the riverbank, and an inexplicable urge to dive into the river...
“I don’t know how long this road goes on! Hurry up!”
“Keep driving!” he cried. He couldn’t let this distract him now. He aimed the barrel at the pilot of the helicopter, then shifted it a bit to the right, and fired again. This time, the glass of the cockpit door shattered. The panic of the occupants was clearly visible to him. He fired again, but this time he missed. He gritted his teeth. Another shot. It pinged harmlessly off the bodywork. He aimed even more up this time, and he pulled the trigger.
He hit his target. The pilot’s head flew to the side, and in his motion the cycle stick was yanked harshly to the left. The noise of the engine rose an octave and the tail swished to the side while the passengers hung on for dear life in the out-of-control machine. He whooped in joy, adrenaline rushing through his veins.
“We got them! Scoot, I’m coming back in!”
Ginny awkwardly shuffled back to the passenger seat while still holding on to the steering wheel. Harry threw the rifle behind the driver’s seat and sat back down again. He watched the helicopter spinning increasingly out of control in fascination.
“Did you see those amazing shots?” He asked Ginny.
But Ginny didn’t reply. He looked over to her. Her face had gone ghostly white. Her eyes were almost black, her skin was clammy, and she clutched her stomach with both hands.
“What’s wrong, Ginny?” he asked. She didn’t react, and now he started to panic. “C’mon, Ginny, answer me!”
She looked down at her stomach and removed her hands. Then he saw it. A red spot in her heavenly blue pyjamas, slowly spreading out.
She looked from her wound to him, beads of sweat running down her ashen face.
“Harr- ow…” She bent double as she spoke, clutching her stomach again as she convulsed in pain.
“You’re going to be fine,” he heard himself tell her. “You’re going to pull through this, you hear me?” She clamped onto his forearm, nails digging into his skin.
“It hurts,” she stammered, squeaking as she breathed in. “Fuck, it hurts!”
“I know, I know, baby, but you need to stay with me. Stay with me, Ginny, I know you can do this,” he rambled and rambled, without knowing what he was saying. This couldn’t be happening.
“Har… ry…” she croaked.
“Don’t do this to me, love. Not now. Please–”
“Harry… look…” she pointed at the windshield, barely able to hold her arm up. Harry finally looked away from her and at the road again…
But there was no road anymore. This was the end. There was nothing he could do. The car raced over the rocky edge, and the next thing he knew was that they were soaring through the air. The engine bucked wildly and then went still as he took his foot off the accelerator. Harry looked around. A lake stretched all around them, surrounded by a mountainside that looked intimately familiar to him, a scenery that brought back long forgotten feelings from his childhood. Next to them, to his right, the helicopter spun out of control in the air. The men inside were barely able to hang on to whatever they could find as they slowly but surely descended further and further toward the water.
And behind that, the castle of Hogwarts emerged in the distance, its many wings and towers and the arched stone bridge in front of it basking in the glorious rays of the morning sun.
Slowly, his whole world tilted. The castle no longer stood straight up, but instead the blue-tiled roofs all pointed almost horizontally. The mountains in the distance shifted the same way. Guns, rifles and bullets fell past him and landed on the windscreen. And he felt weightless as the car arched gracefully through the sky, until he could see nothing in front of him but the deep, dark water of the Black Lake.
They broke through the surface, and he knew no more.
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