|SIYE Time:4:39 on 23rd March 2018|
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: 4791; Chapter Total: 611
Awards: View Trophy Room
This is the final chapter. Enjoy.
His ears throbbed. That was the first thing he noticed. His ears throbbed, as if there was a great pressure pushing against them. Then he noticed the uneven, cold surface against his back, and he realised he was laying down. Part by part, he became aware of the rest of his body. He was lying on his back, he concluded, on a rocky, cold surface, and the place smelt stony, dusty. He felt fine, if oddly heavy, but the bruises and wounds from the fight the past night with Savage didn’t hurt anymore. Most unusual, though, was that he was completely naked.
He opened his eyes. He saw nothing but water above him, but for some reason he was on dry land. He had no trouble breathing, either. He looked down at his own body. He was indeed as naked as the day he was born, and the light breaking through the water above him gave him a blue-ish glow. It occurred to him that he saw clearly, even though he wasn’t wearing his glasses. Confused, he sat up, and took in his surroundings.
He was in a cave. An enormous cavern. The walls were built up of innumerable stone layers stacked atop each other. The ceiling was arched, much like that of a cathedral or a temple, and it was abundant with stalactites, some small, some so large they almost reached the ground. Harry guessed that the room must’ve been at least 60 or 70 feet high. And all up above there was a hole. He saw grey-blue water above it, and light shone through that danced playfully off the walls and the ground. But the water somehow halted at the ceiling of this subterranean hall. It was like he was in an enormous underwater air bubble. He felt impossibly small, sitting there on the uneven rocky floor. Like an insignificant insect within these ancient walls.
The feeling of waking up naked in a mysterious, unknown place was strange, he thought, but it wasn’t completely unknown to him.
Am I dead? he thought.
“Not quite,” a voice said behind him, echoing through the cavern.
Harry jumped up and spun around, and saw a woman approach him from a dark end of the hall. She stepped into the watery light. She had red hair, but darker than Ginny’s, and much wavier. Her tall, bony body was clad in nothing but a myriad of strange, dark-green plants that wrapped around her hips and chest. Her face was drawn with harsh lines around her mouth and on her forehead, and her eyes were dark brown, almost black, and entirely unreadable. Her gaze never left him, and the closer she approached, the more self-conscious he felt about his exposed state. She stepped up a small and crooked stone stairway and stopped about five feet away from him, still looking at him, still with her unreadable expression.
“Who are you?” he asked. “And where are we? Where is Ginny?”
She cocked her head to the side for a brief moment before answering. “You have many questions, lad. Let me introduce myself: I am many. Some call me Boann, some Clota. In times long gone I was named Abnoba, or Icaunus. It is the belief of man that names and makes me.” Her voice was heavy. She held out her thin arms, her palms opened up to him. “I am the goddess of rivers, and guardian of waters. And you, Harry Potter, are in the place that has called out to you and has pulled you in for so long. This is my sanctuary.”
Harry glanced around, then looked back at her, millions of thoughts streaming through his head. The thought that he was stark naked in front of her prominent among them, but he found that he didn’t care as much about that as he probably should.
“I didn’t know goddesses existed,” he said eventually.
“And you didn’t think magic existed either, until you saw it,” she rebuked. The corner of her mouth curved up at his shocked expression. “Come now. You are but one of many children I have seen grow into maturity here. I have seen you, and I know all about you. Your feelings, your past… your trials…” She took a few steps towards him and gently traced her finger over the faded scar on his forehead. He let her. She stepped back again. “Magic is about intent. And as long as it is intended, I, and many other deities, are as true as the rivers flowing from mountain to sea.”
Harry took it all in as well as he could. It was hard to believe that this was true, but the cave they were in was otherworldly enough to convince him that this wasn’t just a normal place. His feelings of shame were quickly rising, though, and he gingerly tried to cover his crotch with his hands.
“Do not worry about scrutiny. I am older than shame and privacy,” the woman said.
“Perhaps, but I’m not,” Harry said, feeling his ears heat up. She didn’t react to him. “Hang on, you said that this place has been calling out to me… is that why I felt that pull all the time?”
“You’ve always been quick to weave things together,” she said, a trickle of amusement showing in her gaze. “Yes, that is why you’ve felt yourself drawn to the river a few moons before now. And it is also why you have travelled here this morn.”
“That, my lad, is a very good question. Come, walk with me.” She turned on her spot, and descended down the small malformed stairway again. He stared at her for a moment, and then took off after her.
The slight tapping noise as his feet connected with the rock underneath him echoed faintly through the hall. But he heard no sound from the woman in front of him. She walked, but she could just have well have glided over the eroded ground. He followed her all across the cavern, until they reached one particularly jutted rock. The sharp point towered above him and reached toward the watery ceiling, but the goddess seemed more interested in the alcove underneath it.
“Come closer,” she said, with her back turned to him. He obliged, and stepped next to her. She pointed to a small, square hole in the rock that looked just about the only artificial thing in the cave.
“Look inside,” she ordered. He bent over and looked closely into the dark space. A ray of light descended from the ceiling and briefly lit up what lay inside it. It was a wand. A familiar wand. He gasped and took a step back.
“Yes,” the goddess said. “The Elder Wand.”
“How is that possible?” he asked. “I broke it in half and threw it away!”
“Foolish boy!” she snapped. He shrunk back from her outburst. “Did you ever think that a powerful artefact such as this can be broken with such a simple action? You may have broken the wood, but the wand did not die. Because of your actions–”she pointed a bony finger at him–“this foul thing has floated into my domain. And it is corrupted! My reach is infected with filth, because it is drawn here by this curse of nature!”
“I’m sorry! But I swear I didn’t know it could do such a thing!” he protested. That did explain the Grindylows and other Dark creatures.
“Perhaps not, but any wizard should know better than to act so carelessly with such a powerful thing.”
“I’m sorry,” he said again.
The anger seemed to leave her. “Perhaps you are, but nevertheless, the evil has already been done,” she said. “I will show you to your friend now. She is injured greatly.”
Harry, who had been staring at the hole in the rock, looked up in shock.
“Where is she?” he demanded. She didn’t respond, but gestured to a place further to the middle of the cavern. He could just see a figure lying there, and without hesitating, he sprinted towards it. He stumbled over stones and seems in the rocks, and almost lost his balance tripping over a stalagmite, but he soon reached the elevated platform she laid on.
“Ginny!” he called when he reached her. He kneeled down next to her. She, like him, was fully naked, but the sight of her gorgeous body was marred by a grisly mess of gunshot wounds on her stomach. Her face had lost all its colour.
“Ginny, wake up! C’mon, you’ve got to wake up, please!” He felt nor saw a breath. His breath hitched, and he stroked a few stray locks of hair out of her face and gently traced around the wounds. “Please, Ginny, wake up. Don’t do this to me,” he whispered.
“She won’t wake.” Harry turned around. The goddess approached the platform slowly. “The damage is too great. She is bleeding inside, and her body is failing. She is dying.”
“But can’t you do something? You’re a goddess!”
“Alas, I can’t. I have but a limited influence on the flow of life above,” she said, showing not a trace of remorse as she looked down on them.
“But there must be something we can do. I can’t… I can’t let her die here.” He felt his throat tighten. “Please, help me.”
“As I said, I cannot help,” she said, unapologetically. “There is, however, a way to save her still.”
“Anything,” Harry breathed. “I’d do anything to save her.”
Her gaze bored into his, and for a moment he couldn’t look away from the silent power that lay behind those eyes. “A normal wand cannot heal her. She is too far on her way for that. There is only one wand that has the power to heal her, and summon her back.” She slowly took her hand from behind her back, and revealed in her open palm the Elder Wand. He stared at it open-mouthed. “This is what pulled you here, Harry Potter. You are the next successor in the history of this artefact. You have been chosen, and nothing will change that. Accept the wand and be its new master, and you can still save your mate. It is destined to be this way.”
Harry didn’t know what to do. He saw, and felt, that wicked pull. In his mind, he saw the bloody history of the wand, the countless treasons, murders and destroyed lives it caused. But he felt the power. He felt it in every fibre of him, and he remembered, faintly, that thrill that ran through him as he first held the wand, and the pang of loss he felt as he broke it in half and threw it off the bridge right after the Battle of Hogwarts.
He was afraid. There was no doubt that the Wand would affect him, but he didn’t have the slightest idea how. And Ginny’s life was slipping away as he sat there next to her.
“If I accept the wand,” he asked slowly, “how can I save her?”
“You’ll know what to do,” was her reply.
He stared at the wand. Then at Ginny. She looked peaceful, and if her face wasn’t so pale and if it weren’t for her bleeding stomach, he would have thought she was sleeping.
He didn’t want that wand. That much was certain. He felt revolted at the hunger it called up in him. But imagining a future without Ginny was more painful than a Cruciatus curse. He could imagine himself walking into the Burrow today, Ron by his side, silent, but in tears. He imagined Molly Weasley, her red hair thinning and greying, embracing him as she heard about her daughter. Arthur, crumpled in his chair, his body shaking with sobs. He saw nights spent alone, crying for his lost love, and a longing loneliness that would never fade with time.
“Everything’s going to change,” he said.
“Oh, Harry,” the goddess said, and for once he heard a motherly compassion in her voice that touched him in a place he’d never known before. “If only you knew how true that is. If only you knew what trials are still waiting for you.”
He nodded, and wiped the tears off his cheeks as he stood up. “I’ll do it.” He walked over to her and without hesitation, he took the Elder Wand from her.
If he were asked to describe how he felt in that moment, he couldn’t possibly think of an answer. Moments of change bring up many feelings. Sometimes they made him feel fearful for the future, but on other times they left him hopeful beyond words instead. The change that occurred when he reclaimed the wand, however, was different, muddled.
The goddess stepped back. Harry turned around and sat back down at Ginny’s side. Slowly, he dragged the tip of his wand over her exposed belly. And as he completed the movements and murmured the incantations, it felt like the wand was whispering things in his ear, telling him forbidden knowledge of incantations he’d never heard of before. And it showed. His ears thrummed as a faint golden glow began to form around the three wounds. The thin, angry red lines of the veins around it retreated and returned to a normal colour, and the wounds slowly shrunk in size. Three bullets were pushed out and fell on the stone floor with a soft tinkling noise, and then the wounds closed entirely, leaving barely a scar. And finally, her face regained its normal healthy colour. She breathed in again, and even though she didn’t open her eyes, he knew she was going to be okay now.
“It is done,” the goddess said behind him. “Look up.”
Harry gazed up at the watery ceiling. Countless forms that looked like small creatures swam by, occasionally blocking the sunlight that trickled into the cave.
“The Grindylows…” he said. “They’re retreating.”
“Yes. Now that you’ve accepted the Elder Wand, the pull those foul beings felt has gone. My domain is free once more. I thank you.”
He wondered what that meant for him.
“Look at me, lad.” He turned toward her. Her stern look at disappeared like snow in the sun, and she smiled warmly at him. Some of the heaviness that had been resting on him ever since he woke up here lifted from him. “I will send you back shortly, but I must tell you this. What you did today was a noble act, and I am eternally grateful for the sacrifice you made.”
“I couldn’t do this to Ginny. Or her family,” he told her truthfully.
“And that is what I will always admire about you. Remember this: I know you are afraid. Some acts have terrible consequences, and they may haunt you for the rest of your life.” He began to see dark edges in his vision, and his eyelids drooped as she spoke. “But even in your darkest days, even if it seems the end of all hope, remember why you did this. I have seen your heart, Harry, and I know why you took the wand from me today. Remember that, Harry. Remember…” He slumped down next to Ginny and closed his eyes.
When he opened his eyes again, he was back in their car, surrounded on all sides with water as they slowly sank to the bottom of the lake. Ginny was next to him, her eyes still shut. Water streamed in from the smashed back window, and it already stood halfway up his shins. They had little time.
He cast a Bubble-Head Charm on the two of them and unbuckled his seatbelt. He tried to free Ginny too, but the belt was stuck. He pushed the button, and again, and again, but it wouldn’t budge, and his movements were sluggish. Everything went impossibly slow as the entire car filled with water. He finally pulled his wand and cast a severing charm at the seat belt. He opened the passenger door and finally swam out of the car, pulling Ginny along with him. He watched the Mercedes descend further into the deep, dark depths for a moment, and then started the ascent towards the light above. He briefly paused halfway through to watch the swarm of Grindylows far away in the lake. The school was accompanied by a much larger shape he couldn’t quite make out in the dark and murky water, and they slowly disappeared into the distance.
He turned his head up and dragged them both to the surface, and they breached soon after.
He tried to Apparate them to the nearby shore, but then he remembered the Anti-Apparition Charm Savage had cast on the two of them. He turned on his back, laid Ginny’s head on his chest, cupped her ears to keep her in place, and started swimming to shore.
She looked relaxed, but her hair was darker now that it was wet, and she looked paler than before. Worryingly, her lips had turned blue from the cold.
They reached the shore. With Ginny scooped up in his arms, he stumbled through the rocks and fallen trees further uphill. He gently laid her down on a large, flat rock, and immediately set to casting a warming charm on her. He bent over and put his head on her chest. He heard the reassuring, steady beat of her heart. She was breathing normally as well. A heaviness he hadn’t noticed before lifted from his stomach.
“Ennervate,” he said, his trusted holly wand pointed at her.
She breathed in deeply, and finally opened her eyes.
“Hi,” he said, breaking out a grin.
“Hi,” she replied, confused. Harry couldn’t hold it in anymore, and gathered her in his arms.
“I’ve been so worried about you,” he whispered in her hair, and he squeezed her tightly. “I thought I’d lost you.”
“Where are we? What happened?” She hesitantly wrapped her arms around him as well.
“What do you remember?”
“Well, it’s kind of foggy. I remember the helly copter, and you with that bloody gun of yours… but nothing after that,” she murmured into his chest. “Did we get him?”
“Yeah, we got him. They crashed into the lake – so did we, actually. Look where we ended up.”
He eased out of their embrace and gestured her towards the castle at the far end of the valley.
“That’s Hogwarts,” she whispered. “How in the bloody hell did we end up here?”
“Where’s the car?”
“In the lake.”
“Wow.” She leaned against his shoulder, and he wrapped an arm around her.
“Remember we said we needed to talk?”
“There’s also something else we need to do.” She shifted her position and looked deeply in his eyes, her expression unreadable, and he was in that moment strongly reminded of the goddess he’s just seen.
“That kiss you gave me? Back in the car?” He nodded. He’d always admired the smattering of freckles on her cute nose, and they were even more noticeable now. “Not good enough. I need another one.”
“I can do that,” he breathed. They leaned in, and finally, finally, their lips pressed together. He closed his eyes and moaned lowly at the incredible sensations running through his body. All the insecurities, all the loneliness of the past years and all the pent-up desire he never lost for her. And it felt so right. He poured all those emotions into their kiss. He never wanted to lose that feeling of her lips pressed to his.
She pulled away, and looked deeply into his eyes. He breathed out shakily, his heart beating wildly in his chest.
“Much better,” she said, her eyes flicking down to his lips. Her hand snaked around his head and pulled him in again. It felt just as good as the first one, and so did the one after that. Her lips drove him wild, and he ended up flat on his back, Ginny half draped over him. He relished the intoxicating feeling of her small body pressed so close to him.
Finally, they broke the kiss, and she laid her head down on his chest.
“So what happened after you shot the helly copter?”
“Helicopter,” he corrected her.
“Same difference. Just start talking.”
He only now noticed the way the Elder Wand was pressed to him in his back pocket. “Well, after I shot it, and those shots were amazing by the way, I sat back down in the driver’s seat. But you were shot in the belly.”
Her head veered up. “I was shot?” she asked him.
“Yeah, you were.”
She lifted her pyjamas to look at her stomach. There was barely a scar, Harry was happy to see. “So how come I don’t feel anything now?”
“I’m getting to that. I was way too busy looking at you, so I didn’t see the road ahead. And then there was no road anymore, so we drove off, and fell right into the lake.” He paused. “I think I lost consciousness for a moment, because when I opened my eyes, we were really deep, and there was water pouring in from the broken back window. So I cut us loose, cast a Bubble-Head Charm on us, and swam us back to shore.”
“So did you heal me?”
“I did, yeah. Like I said before, I’m not a healer, but I’ve learnt a lot about healing as an Auror. I extracted the bullets and healed the wounds. Then I woke you up, and now we’re here.”
She stared at him. He stared back.
“You must be very good then. I mean, I hardly see a scar.” She patted her belly.
She cast another glance at him. There was something in that look. She’d always seen right through him. Even when he was fifteen and worried that he was possessed by Voldemort, she knew exactly what bothered him, and she dispelled those worries with only a few words. He’d never been able to lie to her, and at this moment it was perfectly clear that she knew he wasn’t telling the full truth.
But then her eyes softened. She put one hand on his chest and leaned in for another languid kiss. “I guess that another one on the list of ‘Harry saves Ginny’s life’, isn’t it?”
“Just because you can’t stay out of trouble,” he said, grinning.
“Hey! It’s your fault that we were even chased by those lunatics!” At his frown, she hastened to continue. “And no, that does not mean you can start blaming yourself for all this. I thought we’d kicked that habit of yours!”
“Just an old feeling that creeps in now and again,” he said.
She sighed. “You are incorrigible, you know that?”
“Wouldn’t have me any other way, though.” He stole another kiss.
“Hmm, it would be nice if you could get a less intense job,” she mused. “Harry the Handyman, that sounds much safer, don’t you think.”
He snorted. “Says you, Miss Professional Quidditch Player. Also–”
She gasped. “The game! Oh, bloody hell, I completely forgot about it!”
“Relax, it’s only Thursday. There’s still three days until the game.”
“Yeah, but we need to go to the training grounds as quickly as possible. Mrs. Henderson will have a fit if she hears what I’ve done. She hands out those “unfit to play” cards like they’re candy!”
“Need an Auror to guide you?” he asked.
“Yeah, I do, actually,” she said, smirking. “Speaking of which…”
Something large and heavy impacted with Harry, and he and Ginny suddenly found themselves in the bone-crushing embrace of Ron Weasley.
“Bloody terrifying… Saw you dive into the water... Never do that again, hear me?!” Harry heard him shout.
“Ron!” Ginny shouted. “Gerrof, you’re breaking us!”
He mercifully obliged, and for a moment the three stood there, panting, grinning madly at each other.
“So,” Ron said, panting slightly as if he’d run a long distance. “What happened to you two?”
“Mate, that’s a long story, and we’re cold and wet and tired…”
“Hungry…” Ginny added.
“Gravely wounded…” Harry mused.
“In desperate need of a bath…”
“Right, right, I get it. let’s get out of here, then,” Ron interrupted. “Harry, the office has been absolute chaos this morning, and you’re gonna have to sort it out. The sooner, the better, I think.”
“Oh God, imagine all the paperwork,” Harry groaned.
“Glorious paperwork,” Ron said gleefully. “And all for you to deal with. Ginny, normally I’d act like a big brother and ask you if you’re alright, but seeing how you and Harry here–” He stopped when they both punched him in the arm. “Right, anyway. I say we Apparate to your homes and get you two washed and dressed. There’s barely anything left of those pyjamas.” Harry indeed noted the wasted, torn state of their nightwear.
“Can’t Apparate, mate. Savage put an Anti-Apparition Charm on us.”
“Oh, I’ll Side-Along you two then. Wait, Savage? From the Auror Office?”
“Yeah. Again, long story, I’ll tell you later.”
“Alright. Well, the others are waiting just up this hill, so I’ll, erm… I’ll go and tell them they can go report back to the Ministry. Don’t go anywhere!” And with a crack, Ron disappeared.
Harry turned to Ginny. “Listen-”
“No, it’s okay, Harry. We’ll talk later. We’ll have all the time from now on.”
“We will,” Harry said, the words of the goddess still ringing in his ears. “Brilliant.”
Ginny smiled radiantly, and he wrapped his arms around her and ducked his head to give her another kiss. At that moment, standing in her arms, basking in the light of the beautiful spring morning, he felt that his decisions back in the lake felt absolutely worth it. He hardly felt the oddly heavy weight of the Elder Wand that clung to him.
Thank you very much for reading. Once again I'd like to thank moon_potato, Alresha, Selethe and NaughtyGaymer for their amazing help and support. Thank you also to the people who reviewed this story on ffn.net and her on SIYE, the response has been nothing short of amazing!
Now, let's talk about where this story ended. Obviously there's a lot of room for a sequel, and I've got plenty of ideas written. Given the very positive feedback I've gotten so far, but most of all the sheer fun I've had writing this, I'm definitely down for writing that sequel. Please do let me know what you think, I appreciate the input! I'll see you in the next story.
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