SIYE Time:2:29 on 18th September 2021

Dreaming a Life
By GryffindorHealer

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Category: Alternate Universe
Characters:Harry/Ginny, Other
Genres: Drama, Romance
Warnings: Extreme Language, Intimate Sexual Situations
Story is Complete
Rating: R
Reviews: 56
Summary: The last thing Ginny Potter heard before the Bludger hit her was ‘Harry! Al!’ Then she woke up in St. Mungo’s, and no one knew who Harry, James, Al, Lily, or Teddy were that she kept asking for. What the hell was happening?
Hitcount: Story Total: 6409; Chapter Total: 582
Awards: View Trophy Room


Ginny decided to visit the Daily Prophet offices first, reasoning that the Ministry discouraged Wizarding citizens visiting those offices while under a glamour charm. Since she didn’t have the ID card she usually wore when she went to the Prophet offices for work, she needed to check in for a visitor pass. She smiled at the receptionist witch, whose name badge flashed a myriad rainbow of colors “Sarah Blankenship” at her. Sarah Blankenship barely gave the auburn-haired freckle-free witch in front of her a glance as she responded to Ginny’s request for the back issues archive with a bored, ‘Third floor, back of the building.’

She took the lift, muscles still aching from whatever happened to this younger Ginny at the end of the game with the Bats. It proved as rattly as her recent experiences in her own time and place, but nowhere near as exciting a ride as the Ministry lifts. She nearly stumbled walking through the door into the Archives at the sight as Marge looked up from her desk, her tall blue beehive hair bobbing and waving. ‘Can I help you?’ Ginny couldn’t help but smile at the sparkling friendliness in the honeyed gravel voice.

‘Yes, um, Marge,’ Ginny replied, making a point to read the other witch’s name badge. ‘I’m researching for a book about Hogwarts during the ‘97-98 school year, and some of the events leading up to it. I need to look through some old newspapers from then, and probably from 1981 through ‘85 or so, please.’

‘We can do that. You seem a bit young to be writing a book, though.’ Marge stood and walked around her desk, beckoning Ginny to follow. They approached a large wooden cabinet with hundreds of small drawers. Marge waved her wand briefly, and several drawers slid open. She started rifling through the cards inside.

‘Well, I didn’t think I would, but several of my friends tell me I should based on my party stories about that year,’ Ginny said. It was at least partly true. Harry kept telling her she should write a book, saying it would be a lot more accurate than anything Skeeter wrote.

Marge looked up at her briefly. ‘Were you there?’

Ginny nodded.

‘Oh, you poor dear. My cousin’s daughter’s third child was there. His first year, it was. I’m so glad that brave Mr. Potter took care of You-Know-Who.’ Marge whispered the name, glancing around as she did so, then looked back into the card file. She wrote a few glowing notations in the air with her wand before shifting further along the cabinet to the next set of open drawers. Whiffling through those cards quickly, she waved her wand to quickly add more floating glowing notes. She straightened, and the open card files slid shut with loud squeaks. ‘Those should do. Some of these are 20 years old, and all of them are microfilms. Have you used those before?’

‘Yes, I have actually. Isn’t the viewing spell amplificus?’

‘You’ll be fine then.’ Marge turned to her floating notations, tapped each once with her wand. ‘Just follow these, then. They’ll start you off with the most recent ones. If that feels odd, you can tell them “timeline” and they’ll start from the beginning. I’ll be at my desk, just holler if you’ve got any questions.’ She waved cheerily and left Ginny nodding to herself before looking at the floating notes. This earlier Marge felt exactly the same as the Marge she knew.

‘Let’s be about it, then,’ she said to the shining notes, then scurried after them as they flew around the corner of another stack of cabinets. They came to a stop halfway down the row, the first glowing note sinking to stop by a drawer, which slid open slowly revealing the familiar cacophony or semi-transparent strips, fidgeting and rustling against each other, the tiny images of pages dancing about in a blur, small voices calling “Read Me! Read Me!”

‘Hush, now, you’ll all get your chance,’ she said to them, and the noise level diminished a bit though the strips continued hopping in place. Smiling, Ginny tapped the note for this drawer with her wand. Three strips leapt free, weaving giddily through the air until they reached the top of the cabinet. She moved her wand through the charm whispering ‘Amplificus,’ and the full-sized articles she wanted hung in the air before her. She began skimming the pages.

The morning continued in this manner, the first of the old editions she looked into confirming much of what she already read in Skeeter’s book. The Hogwarts students that year served mostly as hostages for their family’s good behavior. The Carrow’s proved just as cruel, though they restricted themselves to using magical punishments rather than anything Muggle. Ginny did read with some surprise they were a married couple. The Carrows in her life had been brother and sister.

The one thing she found that Skeeter hadn’t used was a grainy photograph, slightly blurred and obviously taken with a telephoto lens, of Harry and an older man as they lay a wreath at the Memorial Obelisk at Hogwarts on the first anniversary of the battle. Only one point in the magical photo was clear enough to make out Sirius’ face. She closed her eyes to ease the salty burning sensation when she confirmed her friend, Harry’s godfather, survived the War.

Once she finished with specific strips, she banished them back into their drawers, then continued on to the next set. The news in years leading up to the Battle,all merely confirming the slow increase in magical terrorism and Voldemort’s corporal return in early ‘95. It saddened her to learn Cedric Diggory died, transported away from Hogwarts by a Quidditch Cup turned portkey. His body was found in the Little Hangleton graveyard, magical residue revealing this to be the place Voldemort completed that ritual.

The lack of solid information about Harry disappointed her. What items she did find speculated on the Great Mystery about where he was. The largest amount concerned the speculation about his going to Hogwarts in '91, followed by a great deal of moaning when he did not.

Done reading about the years as the War escalated, she used Marge’s suggestion to continue the search from the beginning. A Special Edition on 31 October 1981 declared the Dark Lord’s Fall. Issues following mentioned very little about Harry other than that he survived, and rumors he was sent to live with relatives. All of those presumed magical relatives, rather than the truth Ginny knew.

More interesting to her, she found a report in June of 1985 about Sirius Black’s escape from Azkaban, a month and a bit before Harry’s birthday. Harry would be five that year , she thought. Since no other mentions contained specific information about Harry until the Battle, she wondered and decided she needed to visit a Muggle newspaper office as well.

All of the old papers returned to their miniature size and storage place, she thanked Marge for her help and left the Prophet offices, apparating to the alleyway outside the Ministry guest entrance. She removed her glamor after sinking below street level in the telephone booth, and processed into the Ministry in the normal manner. Her presence didn’t seem to arouse a bit of notice, other than the wizard weighing her wand wishing her, ‘Good day, Miss Weasley, and I’m glad to see you out and about after that game.’ She took the lift to the Department of Public Records.

This part of her search yielded three important bits of news, as it were. First, that her brothers still owned Number 93, Diagon Alley. But they used the building to make their jokes and pranks, and as the headquarters for their owl-order business. The second listed the owner of the Apothecary as one H.J.P. Evans.

Ginny blinked twice at the sudden blurriness of those words. She caressed them with her fingertips. Swearing she felt an electric tingle, like a portkey beginning to activate, she pressed down. But no hook grabbed her navel, no pipeline to his side sucked her in.

But she knew. Harry owned the Apocathery on Diagon Alley. She filed this solid lead in her memory.

The last item involved a witch, the clerk in the office. She stopped Ginny as she turned her materials back over for filing. ‘Miss Weasley,’ she said,’ I know you don’t know me from Dumbledore. I’m Diana Wright. My daughter Colleen is a huge fan, this feels terribly rude, but could I get your autograph for her? Please?’

Ginny smiled, taking the proffered piece of parchment and quill. ‘How old is she?’

Clerk Wright beamed at her. ‘She turned thirteen this year. My husband had tickets for one of your games on her eleventh birthday, but then he got called in to work unexpectedly. She was ever so disappointed.’ Dipping the quill in the inkpot, Ginny paused before she scrawled on the parchment: ‘Know who you are. Know what you do. And do it with excellence. Best always and thank you for being a fan, GInny Weasley.’ Out of habit she almost wrote Potter, stopping at the last instant. Politely accepting Mrs. Wright's profuse thanks, she left the office.

On impulse she took the lift to the Auror’s Office. The wizard behind the desk looked up as she entered, kindly eyes in a grizzled face and hair more salt than pepper. ‘May I help you?’ His baritone reminded her a bit of Kingsley. His name badge read "B. Miller", and Ginny reflected on another similarity between this here and now and her own, well, whatever.

‘Yes, I need to report some maybe suspicious activity and I’ve been told by a neighbor to ask for Auror Potter.’

His brow furrowed in thought, regarding her. ‘We’ve no Auror Potter working here. Are you quite sure that is the name your neighbor said?’

Ginny quickly glanced both directions, then leaned a bit closer, grinning conspiratorially. ‘It certainly sounded like Potter. But she’s from Hogsmeade, moved to Ottery St. Catchpole just this year. When she gets excited, her accent becomes a bit thicker, you know.’ She deliberately thickened her own underlying Devon accent.

Miller grinned back. ‘Ah, yes, I quite understand. I’m from Birmingham, and a good few of these Londoners say I’ve an accent, when the whole time it’s them. There is an Auror Polter works from this office, could that be them?’ Ginny nodded thoughtfully. ‘Auror Polter is out on a call just now, I can take your information and be sure to get it to them.’

Ginny launched into a gossipy yet brief tale recounting a call Harry received shortly after they got married. ‘Their voices sounded quite young, I suppose they could be children, but one of them definitely said, “Die, Death Eater.” Better safe than sorry, after what we’ve all been through.’

Miller agreed solemnly, while writing down the name Petunia Dursley and the address of a flat above the greengrocers in Ottery. Finishing up, they bid each other good day. Then Ginny left the Ministry.

She didn’t bother re-applying her glamor. No one would recognize her in Muggle London.

The sudden loss of myriad murmured conversations and oddly musical bootheel percussion as they struck the marble floor of the Ministry atrium when Ginny stepped back into the phone booth to exit brought the dull throbbing between her temples to awareness. She pressed her forehead against the relatively cool glass as the booth rose back to street level. The booth clattered to a stop and the odd voice said, ‘Thank you for visiting the Ministry of Magic.’ With a deep breath, Ginny lifted her head away from the glass and opened the door.

Shrieking two-cycle motorbikes, growling autos, and roaring diesel lorrie engines assaulted her ears as the door swung closed behind her. Briefly she pressed her fingertips to her temples, stifling a sneeze at the cacophony of exhaust fumes in the air. Turning into the nearby alleyway helped dim the traffic volume. She took three slow deep breaths, massaging her forehead and building the image of the small park across the road from Grimmauld Place in her mind. Firmly focused on destination, she gripped her wand and turned.

Relative quiet washed across her as she sighed in relief. She looked around gathering her bearings, then stepped across the soft grass and around several flower beds. As she neared the pavement, an urge to go see Number 12 Grimmauld Place tugged briefly upon her feet. But by all indications, this Sirius Black never met Ginny Weasley. He would take a rather dim view of an unknown young redhead finding his Fidelius-protected home.

With a shake of her head she turned towards King’s Cross Station and the London Library she remembered passing on their walk to the Hogwarts’ Express, back at the start of her Fourth year.

The generally quieter neighborhood slowly grew louder as she walked. She nodded with a smile in return to those people she passed that nodded to her. Stopped once when a standard poodle greeted her, followed by embarrassed apologies from his human. She reassured him the exuberant greeting didn’t bother her, (‘Oh, his name is Ourson? That means Teddy Bear. Quite appropriate. No, I only speak a little French, my sister-in-law you know.’) in fact helped a bit with her headache.

She apologized as she turned down his invitation to lunch, politely saying she needed to get to an appointment. She felt his sincerity at the invitation. He looked to be a few years older than this Ginny, attractive enough. And she liked Ourson, leaning against her thigh with a long pink tongue lolling to the side of his mouth. But she didn’t need to even attempt explaining the age difference existing in her head. Not to mention her husband and children. She petted Ourson, and resumed walking to ward off the tug at her heartstrings thinking about her children brought.

Another three-quarters mile and some turns later, she pushed open the door to the London Library. Looking around she spotted a reading area, sat down and rested her head in her hands, massaging her temples. What she hoped to find spanned a fairly short time, so perhaps she wouldn’t be here long. Still, she reached into the shoulder bag she carried for the small single dose vial of the pain potion Fleur packed earlier. Making sure no one watched her, she uncorked it and downed the draught in a single swallow. Dropping the empty vial into the bag she sat back in the chair.

Two minutes later, the throbbing eased to a distant drum roll, she stood and walked to a desk with a “Reference” sign suspended over it. The woman seated there looked up as Ginny approached. Ginny caught the glint of a gold ring on her left hand, then skimmed her name badge quickly, Olivia Caliban. She appeared a few years older than herself-- No , Ginny thought, more like 15 years older than I look now. Overall the face in the ID photograph matched, blonde hair and skin, a small mole at the right edge of her mouth over her upper lip, dark brown eyes. Except today Mrs. Caliban wore lipstick far too dark for her complexion. ‘How may I help you?’ Her soft voice melted into the still air in the library.

‘I’m working on my thesis,’ Ginny said, a variation of her earlier story, ‘and I need to review some older newspapers or other news regarding missing children in Surrey in the early ‘80’s.’ Mrs. Caliban nodded and stood, beckoning Ginny to follow her.

‘Twenty year old issues will be on microfilm, I’ll set you up with a reader. How long a time span are you needing?’ The pair turned into another reading room, similar to the Prophet Archives but without the underlying magical tension. The drawers in the metal cabinets were larger as well.

‘Four years, I should think, 1981 to ‘85,’ Ginny replied, and the librarian scanned for the drawer that held what she wanted. She pulled out two smaller boxes, carried them to a table with a rather old-looking sort of telly on it. Mrs. Caliban pulled a film reel out of the first box, and showed Ginny how to mount it to a spindle and feed it into a slot. She switched the machine on, and demonstrated the buttons to advance and rewind the film, the pages of the newspaper appearing on the screen. Dad will go absolutely spare at this , she thought. She sat down in front of the screen and smiled. ‘Thank you, Mrs. Caliban.’

Mrs. Caliban’s eyebrows lifted slightly. ‘You noticed my ring. Not many of you younger people are so thoughtful,’ she said.

Ginny nodded, her smile still painting her face to hide the persistent throbbing behind her eyes. ‘My parents taught us to be polite.’

‘Good for your parents. If you need more assistance, I’ll be at my desk unless another patron needs me. When you’re done, simply rewind the films and replace them in their boxes. Bring them to my desk, I’ll see to returning them to their place.’

Ginny nodded, turning back to the screen as Mrs. Caliban left the room.

It took an hour and a half. She found it on the last section of the second reel, a short article tucked in between reports of Margaret Thatcher’s activities and Pope John Paul II announcing some new saint, in the Surrey Comet , Thursday 13 June 1985.

Local officials are calling for any information on the whereabouts of five-year-old Harry Potter, missing from his home in Little Whining since Monday. Mr. Adam Wethouse, Headteacher of the Little Whining Primary School notified local police on Wednesday after contacting the boys guardians inquiring why young Potter was absent for the second day. Unsatisfied with Mr. Vernon Durlsley’s responses, Mr. Wethouse then immediately contacted the Little Whining Police to report a missing boy.

The last person that saw Potter is Mrs. Applebee, his teacher. ‘I bid him good afternoon and watched as he left the school,’ she told this reporter. ‘He stopped just outside the gate where a large, scruffy black dog approached him. I felt some concern at first, but the dog appeared quite friendly, wagging its tail and licking Harry’s face. He and the dog got on quite famously, and the two set off in the direction of his home. Frankly I felt surprised that his aunt and uncle allowed him a dog.’

The article went on to report that so far a search begun immediately on that Wednesday evening turned up no clues. Local officials also started an investigation into the Dursley’s for their failure to report young Potter missing when he didn’t return from school the previous Monday afternoon. GInny closed her eyes, blocking the glare from the reading screen, smiling to herself. This happened just two weeks after the reports in the Daily Prophet of Sirius’ escape. Even if she didn’t know where they were now, she knew they’d been together since 10 June, ‘85. Here, now, Harry had grown up with his godfather and not those awful Muggles.

Rewinding the film reel, she replaced it in the box and gathered her things. Depositing the two reels on Mrs. Caliban’s desk, she thanked her for finding exactly what she needed, vaguely waving a small spiral bound notebook as her notes. She glanced at the clock over the circulation desk, quarter three in the afternoon. Time to go. Turning she started towards the door, the outside. Towards her future. Which future? Hopefully Bill found something today to get her back to when she needed to be. But what if there still proved nothing, no signs of a curse, no charm to reverse it?

Her steps faltered slightly; she pushed against a sudden resistance, pulling her back. The throbbing in her head matched her heartbeat. If she couldn’t get back, she’d found confirmation that Harry lived, here, now. She could find him. Court him all over again, Somehow she was young, feeling all the energy she remembered from her early 20’s. Then why this pull backwards? Her hand rested on the push-bar of the glass door.

Teddy. James. Al. Lily. The tug intensified, Purple hair flashed before her eyes, then unruly russet over gold-flecked brown eyes, more unruly black over eyeglasses, followed by auburn copper and freckles. She blinked twice, hand leaving the shoulder strap of her bag to wipe fiercely at her cheeks. Yes, if she had to, she could find Harry, younger Harry again, filling a portion of the hole inside her. But not all of them.

Leaving the library, she quickly found an isolated spot and apparated back to Shell Cottage.

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