A/N: Wow. It's been a
whole year and more since I updated this story. Fear not. I shall
finish it. In the mean time, you may want to read "Rock and a Hard
Place, and Hall of the Phoenix first. This story is Pre-HBP. In fact,
it's A/U with elements of Order of the Phoenix included, and now,
possibly some things from HBP also. Enjoy.
Harry sat silently in his hospital bed, not really paying attention
to anything. In the week since he'd heard of Ginny's death, Harry had
spoken little, eaten less, and barely slept at all. After two days,
signs of exhaustion had finally begun to appear, and Sirius had slipped
a dreamless sleep potion into his meal. Harry still hadn't forgiven
him. He'd also not eaten since. Only a few minutes before, Remus had
left, after having a mostly one-sided argument over Harry's refusal to
take better care of himself. At the moment, he just didn't see the
point. Harry had been in this self-induced stupor for nearly an hour
when the door opened, and Mr. Weasley walked in.
"Harry? May I speak with you?" the older man began. Harry
shrugged slightly. Some part of his mind noted that in the past week,
Mr. Weasley seemed to have aged ten years, but most of Harry simply
couldn't muster up the energy to care.
"I wish I could tell
you that I know how you feel, but I can't," Mr. Weasley began, not
really caring whether Harry was listening or not. "I'm her father, and
I know I love her differently than you do. I can tell you that as her
father, I understand how it could affect you." Here, he paused.
going to tell you something, Harry, that I've never told any of my
other children. I said a moment ago that I couldn't know how it
affected you�but I think that may not be true. When I was a year or so
out of Hogwarts, I nearly lost the person who is most dear to my heart.
I nearly lost Molly," Seeing Harry's eyes lose a small amount of their
glaze, Mr. Weasley's voice firmed, and he continued.
about four months into her pregnancy with Bill. You knew she was an
Auror at one time, right? We'd gone on a raid, and one of the Death
Eater's portkeyed away with her. The rest of our squad and Dumbledore
searched for over a week before we found her. She was badly hurt, and
unconscious. When we finally got her to St. Mungo's, it took the senior
mediwitch three days to wake her up," Arthur's voice cracked, and his
body wracked with emotion, before he continued. "She had nightmares for
years. Some of the things she would tell me would make your skin crawl.
That week was the worst week of my life, up to this point. Molly still
bears the scars from her ordeal. She's an amazing woman, to have
survived all that, and come out the stronger for it."
Mr. Weasley paused again and took several moments to get control of his emotions. Then he started to speak once more.
"My point is, Harry, I got her back. I got her back because I refused to give up.
No matter what anyone said, I didn't give up. If I had given up on her,
I never would have seen her again. I nearly lost my wife once. You know
that Molly and I consider you one of our own. I think we would even if
your own parents were alive today. We need you to be strong Harry.
Ginny needs you to be strong. I don't want to lose my baby girl, and I
don't want to lose the man I hope my daughter will someday marry. I ask
you, no, I beg you, Harry James Potter, please�please, don't give up."
With that, Arthur Weasley gave Harry's shoulder a squeeze, got up, and
walked out of the room, shutting it quietly behind him.
a long time, Harry sat, barely even breathing. His brain began to
slowly digest Mr. Weasley's story and after a moment, understanding hit
him so hard he nearly fell from his bed. The fear in the older man's eyes had mirrored his own.
stood, and wobbled a bit. Mr. Weasley was right. He couldn't afford to
give up. He couldn't afford to lose her; if there was any chance at all
she could be saved. Harry found his glasses, and stumbled out of his
door. He was nearly bowled over by Mrs. Weasley, who had apparently
been coming to see him.
Harry stood silently, was the older
witch picked herself up off the floor. "Sorry about that, Harry dear,"
she said as she righted herself. Harry mumbled an apology.
"Have you eaten, Harry?" Mrs. Weasley asked, though she knew perfectly well he hadn't. Harry shook his head silently.
"Would you like something?" she asked gently. Harry shook his head slowly, and then nodded. Then shook his head again.
"I want to see her," he said.
Mrs. Weasley looked uncomfortable for a moment. "I don't think that's the best idea, Harry."
"None of that, Harry dear. Look at you! Lets get you fed and then we'll see about seeing Ginny."
"I'm not hungry," Harry protested.
dear. I'll make sure Sirius doesn't do anything to it." The old witch
attempted a smile, which seemed to fall flat. Harry sighed, and
Harry ate slowly, not wanting to upset his stomach. Even so, he would never be able to tell anyone what he'd eaten.
Mrs. Weasley took several moments before she replied, her voice cracking. "In the irreversible spell damage ward."
"They'd better be keeping her the hell away from Lockhart," Harry said, rising. Mrs. Weasley's lips thinned, and she nodded.
got up from his chair, and began to make his way toward the
Irreversible Spell Damage ward. Mrs. Weasley followed him silently,
until he was right outside the door to the ward itself, when she moved
to block his path.
"Harry, I don't think this is a good idea. Ginny�isn't doing very well at the moment," Molly said.
"I want to see her," Harry retorted.
"Harry dear," Molly began before he cut her off.
"Move," he said flatly.
"Harry�" she tried again.
SAID MOVE!" Harry yelled, pushing her from his path. Mrs. Weasley
stumbled back but didn't fall. Harry moved forward. Molly grabbed his
wrist in an iron grip, and swung him around. Harry lost his balance,
and Molly caught him and pulled him into a hug, holding him until he
stopped struggling. After a moment, Molly realized Harry was crying.
Thank Heaven, she thought, there's still some life in the boy after all. Molly said nothing for several minutes but continued to hold Harry, until his sniffles began to die away.
"Better, Harry?" she asked gently. Harry nodded.
"How did you do that?" he asked.
"I was an Aruor, Harry. It takes more then a teenager to move me out of the way."
"Oh," was all Harry said. "I have to see her."
"Harry," Molly began again.
"Please," Harry said. Molly sighed, and nodded slowly.
"We'll go see her together."
Harry replied. Molly nodded and slowly pushed open the door. Unlike
what Harry had imagined, there were no invading tubes or monitors
surrounding her. If he hadn't known any better, he may have thought she
merely slept. Her face was pale, her breath shallow.
"She's in a coma, then," Harry said.
"We aren't sure," Molly replied.
"But she's breathing," Harry protested.
"Charms are making her breathe, Harry. She won't breathe on her own."
"Oh," Harry said, his mind not really on the conversation.
Molly waited a moment, watching her daughter's chest rise and fall.
How can her breath be tortured, when she isn't breathing on her own? Harry thought.
Harry turned and walked out of the room, feeling numb. This is my fault.
Molly walked out to Harry, and opened her mouth to speak, when Harry began to speak himself.
"The Chamber of Secrets," he said.
"Sorry?" Molly asked.
is how it was in the Chamber of Secrets in second year," Harry said.
Molly's throat choked up, and she said nothing. Harry continued.
was lying on the floor, and the diary was a few feet away. Tom came out
of the shadows and told me she wouldn't wake. That he was feeding off
of her energy, and that she would be gone soon. She looked like she
"Harry," Molly began, but Harry cut her off.
"He got her once, and she still has scars. Now he's got her again, and this is my fault. I should have saved her."
"You can't be everywhere- "
should have been! Why can't he just leave me and mine alone? I warned
Ginny this would happen, that she and I should never have got togeth-
Molly drew her hand away from Harry's face, while Harry held his cheek and looked at her in shock.
listen. I don't care what you did to Voldemort when you were younger.
You are still only human. It's not fair to yourself that you expect to
be everywhere at once. You can't. This is not your fault, Harry James
Potter. This is Voldemort's fault, and no one else's. As for getting
together with my daughter, I don't think you have any right to tell her
it's to dangerous for her to pursue her own feelings. She is a Weasley,
and that makes her a target no matter who she's with. My daughter was
raised to understand risk. She understood the risk that being with you
would pose, and chose to do it anyway. Don't judge her actions on the
basis of how dangerous you think it is, but on the basis of the fact
that she doesn't care."
Harry said nothing, looking at Molly
in wide-eyed disbelief. Molly stared right back as though daring him to
contradict her. Eventually, the ire faded from Harry's eyes. He opened
his mouth to ask something, closed it, and then opened it again, as
though several things were going thorough his mind. What he eventually
settled on was, "Where'd my wand go?"
Molly was momentarily thrown off by the change in subject, but recovered quickly. "Albus has it."
"Where is he?" Harry asked.
"I don't know, Harry," Molly replied.
"Room six eighty-seven down the hall," a new voice answered.
"Madam Pomfrey?" Harry asked.
"Well I could hardly stay at Hogwarts, Mr. Potter," the witch replied.
"I need to see Dumbledore," Harry said to her.
believe Albus has been asking for you. Come along," she replied. Molly
thanked the other witch, and bade Harry goodbye, before walking toward
another room down the corridor.
Before long, the pair arrived at the door to Dumbledore's room. Madam Pomfrey knocked gently.
"Send him in, Poppy," called Dumbledore's voice. Harry entered, and the witch closed the door behind him.
"Good afternoon Harry. I'm gratified to see you up and about," the professor said.
"Thank you," Harry muttered. Dumbledore nodded.
"What happened to Ginny?" Harry said without preamble.
"Alas Harry, I am not certain. The hospital staff has been unable to revive her." Dumbledore replied. Harry nodded slowly.
Harry asked. The look in the professor's eyes turned hard, and his
voice held a note of anger, that Harry almost didn't detect.
"Unfortunately, Hogwarts has been lost to Lord Voldemort, Harry. I alone bear the blame for this."
"But I- "
have done anything more then what you were able. You are a very
powerful wizard, Harry, but you must remember, you are only human."
Dumbledore said, before Harry could finish. Harry sighed in protest.
"What now?" Harry asked, before Dumbledore could say anything more.
honestly don't know, Harry. With Hogwarts in enemy hands, there is
little I can do except send the students back to their parents,"
Dumbledore began, "Unless we can establish a new school of learning."
about- hello Sirius." Harry's voice took on a decidedly harder edge, as
his godfather walked into the room. Sirius dipped his head in greeting.
"Harry, you must understand that what
Sirius did, he did out of a desire to help you, not to betray your
trust," Dumbledore admonished.
"Just wanted to help," Sirius cut in.
"Funny way of showing it," Harry snapped.
that's exactly what James said, the first time I did it to him. Remus
didn't take it quite so well," Sirius said seriously. Despite himself,
Harry began to chuckle.
"When James finally woke up, he was so
hacked off he chased me around the tower for three hours, trying to hex
me," Sirius said, smiling a bit in the face of Harry's laughter, which
was now coming forth much more readily.
"Lily found it highly
entertaining, as I recall," Albus said. Sirius pasted a disgusted look
on his face and tried to look annoyed. It wasn't long before he joined
Harry in laughter, however. When he'd calmed down a bit, Harry
"What about Grimmauld Place?" Harry asked.
"I'd rather avoid that house, if at all possible," Sirius said, his mood darkening.
"We could use James's house, Albus," Sirius said thoughtfully.
"How? Godric's Hollow was destroyed," Harry protested.
was wealthy enough to own more then one home, Harry. He and Lily owned
quite a bit of land, in the heart of Scotland," Sirius explained.
Manor would be more than large enough for our purposes, I think.
Assuming, of course, that you agree, Harry. That land belongs to you,
now," Albus said.
"What?" Harry asked, "Show me."
nodded, and turned to his bedside mirror. After speaking for a few
moments, he turned the mirror toward Harry. In its face, Harry could
see a plot of land, with a stone fence surrounding it, though the fence
was broken in several places, and the weeds had begun to overcome the
enchantments which must have been placed on them. The structure in the
center was the most impressive, however. Even at this distance, Harry
could see that the castle was nearly a third the size of Hogwarts, and
with the expansion work the Hogwarts staff could do....
"Wow," Harry said. Dumbledore gave a small half smile. "Wow, indeed."
"How long would it take to fix the place up?" Harry asked.
depends on how many people work on it. As little as a week, if we get
the staff and some of the students to help," Sirius said softly, still
gazing in the mirror. "Remind me to tell you about James's proposal to
For the first time in several weeks, Harry smiled.
get to it then," Harry said, forgetting his pain for a short while, in
the face of seeing another part of the past his parents' shared.
"Excellent," Dumbledore said, beaming at Harry.
"Hang on," Harry said, as he remembered what he'd come for, "Professor Dumbledore, d'you have my wand?"
"Yes," Dumbledore said, handing it to Harry. "I felt it wise not to leave this particular wand unattended, considering it's connections." Harry understood perfectly. If his wand should fall into the wrong hands, and find its way to Voldemort....
group spoke for an hour more, after which time Harry left to go find
Ron and Hermione. They'd want to know about the Manor. As excited as he
was, Harry was totally unprepared for what happened several nights