Harry woke up to faint morning light filtering through his bedroom curtains. Feeling disoriented and decidedly tired, he rubbed his eyes and reached for his glasses. The first thing he saw clearly was the framed photo he kept next to his bed.
She was wearing blue robes, looking away from the camera, toward the sea. It was a sunny summer day and the restless ocean was sparkling blue in the distance. But nothing in the photo was as bright as her long red hair blowing in the breeze. Then, with titillating slowness, the Ginny in the photo turned her head and her brown eyes lit up and she smiled.
He smiled back — he couldn’t help it. That photo had been having the same effect on him for the past four years. It had been taken at Shell Cottage on Ginny’s seventeenth birthday. Ginny hadn’t wanted her picture taken. Harry had heard her arguing with Bill as he walked up the path to the small patch of grass overlooking the sea. She hadn’t been expecting him — no one had.
It was the first time he had given himself a break from rounding up the last of Voldemort’s minions. It was the first time he had seen Ginny since Fred’s funeral. It was the first time he had dared to hope that maybe his long nightmare was over and he could look toward the future with something approaching happiness.
His heart in his mouth, he had stood silently behind Bill while she pushed her hair away from her face and then turned her head.
The shutter on the camera had clicked at the very moment the joy dawned in her eyes.
His face must have mirrored hers because she had rushed at him with a glad cry. “Harry.”
Harry rolled onto his back and stared at the ceiling. He was still chilled from the blank look in Ginny’s eyes when he had seen her at St. Mungo’s.
It was hard to accept, but he had to be realistic. He was no one to her.
He squeezed his eyes against the tide of emotion threatening to overtake him.
She was everything to him.
After a moment of struggle, he took a deep breath. It was time to stop looking back. The future was uncertain, but at least he had the present. They would make new memories and hopefully the love Ginny felt for him would surface yet again. He would do everything he could to impress her — enlist all of their friends — play the fool in love if need be. She was his and he was going to win her back.
After one day and one night at St. Mungo’s ingesting pain potions and putting up with the endless memory tests, Pensieve Probes, and inquisitive Healers, Ginny would have gladly done multiple sets of Delta Drills rather than stay another minute in this hospital room. At least Delta Drills had a purpose and would eventually yield results. So far the Healers had been unable to regenerate the fire paths that allowed her access to her memories. The only bright spot was that her headache was lessening.
Ginny pushed the congealed mass that was supposed to be scrambled eggs around on her plate and sighed. Today she was to be allowed visitors, but she wasn’t sure if she wanted to see anyone. Mum and Dad had been disappointed in her when she had argued with them about her memories. Now that her head didn’t ache so badly, she could concede that she had been rather rude to them in front of a stranger — No, not a stranger, she corrected herself. She had been rude to them in front of the wizard she was supposed to marry.
Her temples tightened with tension as she turned that novel thought around in her poor, sore mind. Engaged. She was engaged!
She looked at the strange ring on her finger. It was a ruby — cracked right down the middle. Did her ring break at some point? If only she could remember. It didn’t seem possible that she would be contemplating such a huge step. She was only twenty-one and she had a promising Quidditch career ahead of her. The Harpies didn’t allow their players to be married, so she must have been reconciled to the fact that this was her last year of playing for the team she had loved since she was a little girl. Or —
She had been out of her mind and now she was in her right mind.
Maybe that was it. The mesmerist, Madam Beam, had talked to them about the power of suggestion. She frowned. Hermione was always going on about suppressed feelings coming to light — usually when Ron did something thoughtless like forgetting to let her know he would be late for dinner. Maybe deep down she wanted to forget she was getting married?
She shivered. What else was she forgetting? This felt eerily like her first year at Hogwarts, when she would find herself in the strangest places, not remembering how she got there.
Her heart started to pound, just like it always did when she remembered blood and feathers and that evil sneer of Tom Riddle’s telling her that he wasn’t to be trusted, that he had been using her all along.
She remembered exactly how she got here. The mesmerist talking about distractions, the amazing play she had imagined, the leering photographer. There was a logical explanation for all of it.
Thankfully, Healer Wood arrived to break up her thoughts.
“Not hungry?” he asked, looking at her untouched plate.
“I haven’t done anything but lie here, so I haven’t been able to work up an appetite,” she snapped.
“Ach.” He smiled. “The patient is feeling better if she’s snarling at her Healer.” He picked up her wrist and tapped it with his wand.
Her face flamed. “Sorry — I—”
“It is a good sign,” he said firmly, moving on to wave his wand over the left side of her head, then the right, and then the back.
Ginny sat still, even though her first impulse was to turn around and see what he was doing.
His expression didn’t give away a thing when he finally stopped examining her mind and started to write on her chart. The wait was killing her. “Well?”
“Ach. Sorry, lass. I wanted to write this down while I had my thoughts about me.” He gave her a brief sympathetic smile. “The scars are healing nicely. Ahead of schedule.”
Ginny felt her shoulders relax.
“But what?” Her empty stomach tightened.
“The pools.” His eyes darkened to a somber brown. “Especially the ones in the deepest part of your mind — I’m afraid they’re still cut off.”
“Oh.” She didn’t know what to say since she didn’t really know what that meant.
“However...” He hesitated and then shrugged. “…it’s the last refuge of the Healer — it might work, I don’t know.”
“Now that your pathways are healed, you can take a Memory Potion. It might smooth out the paths on the left side of your mind enough so that you’ll be able to access the memories stored in the pools there.”
Ginny wasn’t so sure she wanted to remember now. What if she was safely cut off from something horrible or terrifying?
“The left side contains facts and figures — not your emotions,” Healer Wood continued. “If you can remember the little things — like your fiancé’s middle name, for instance — then you might be able to build a new path to more — er — substantial memories.”
“I don’t even know his last name,” Ginny murmured. “His first name is Harry. Mum called him that.”
Healer Wood sighed. “I’m ordering a Memory Potion.” He scribbled something on the scroll of her chart and then hooked it back on the end of her bed. “I’ll be back later this morning to administer it.”
Ginny nodded, knowing she had no good excuse to refuse the potion. Her fiancé’s middle name shouldn’t be too traumatic to remember, should it?
After Healer Wood left, Ginny dressed in the faded blue robes Mum had brought from her wardrobe at The Burrow. Already she felt better wearing her own clothes, but as she looked at the familiar, worn fabric, she realized that there were things she was forgetting about this particular outfit. They had been a present from Mum and Dad on her seventeenth birthday. Hers was the first birthday in the family after Fred had died and she had felt awkward about celebrating — and a little guilty, too. She swallowed a lump in her throat as she thought of that bittersweet day. Ron and Hermione had returned from Australia the day before, so everyone had been happy. But there was more to the happiness from that day. She frowned as she realized she had run up against another black hole in her memory. Maybe this Harry with the sad green eyes had been there, too. Maybe he knew Ron and Hermione? He was the right age to have known them at school.
She Vanished her breakfast tray and climbed on top of the covers of her bed. Once she was settled, sitting up with her ankles crossed, she went back to speculating about this Harry person. She couldn’t imagine Ron hanging around with someone who looked so serious — but then, Harry probably wasn’t always so serious all the time. Hospitals did that to people. She sighed as she looked around the dreary room. She probably wasn’t looking too happy right now, either.
Ginny looked up to see Regan and Cathy in the doorway.
“Do you remember us?” Cathy asked in her usual forthright manner.
“Of course she remembers,” Regan chided. “It’s that Harry Potter fellow she’s forgotten.”
Potter. That was his last name?
“We forgot him, too,” Cathy said, sitting on the edge of the bed and patting Ginny on the hand. “But the Memory Potion they gave us the other day worked.”
Ginny’s eyes widened. “It worked? Healer Wood wasn’t so sure if it would work for me.”
“We didn’t have that many memories of him,” Regan said. “Just what we had read in the news over the years and what we knew of him from you.”
“The news?” Ginny asked. “You read about him in the newspaper?” She looked from Cathy, seated on the bed, to Regan, who was standing behind her. “This Harry Potter was famous?”
“Is famous,” Cathy said gently.
Pinpricks of apprehension crawled up Ginny’s spine. Was he a rival Quidditch player? A singer? Had he been a Death Eater who turned? Or maybe he did something heroic? “Um. What’s he famous for?”
Cathy turned to look at Regan. Regan bit her lip and then thrust a book at Ginny. “Here. This might jog your memory.”
Ginny took the slim volume and read the title aloud. “Still Living. The Authorized Biography of Harry Potter.” She frowned. “What does that mean — authorized?”
“Probably that Harry Potter read it and said it was correct,” Regan said.
“Too bad,” Cathy added. “The unauthorized version by Rita Skeeter is way longer.” She stood up. “But we didn’t want to give you any false memories, so we bought this one.”
“Thanks,” Ginny said. Then she gingerly opened the book and saw a formal photo of Harry glancing sideways and then looking at the camera with a slight smile. He obviously didn’t like having his picture taken. She smiled back at the photo. He was cute — especially when he smiled.
“So, we’ll see you, Ginny.”
“Thanks again,” she said hastily, now hungry to know more about this Harry Potter. She didn’t watch them leave — she was already on the first page.
An hour later, she knew that his birthday was in July and his middle name was James. Those kinds of facts she could absorb easily. The rest of it, though…
Harry Potter was standing in the doorway — the same Harry Potter from her book.
She gaped at him for a moment, and then felt the heat rise in her face. “Hi.”
“Er—” He looked at the book in her hand. “Reading?”
“Yes.” She cleared her throat. “Regan and Cathy gave it to me this morning. They thought it might help me remember.”
“Oh.” There was a long pause. “Er. Did it help you remember?” he asked, taking one step closer to her bed.
She tilted her head. “Yes and no.”
“Yes and no?”
He looked so crestfallen that she took pity on him. Maybe he couldn’t help that the authorized book about his life didn’t mention her at all. “Well, things like going to the Ministry of Magic on Thestrals. I remembered that on my own, but now I know why we went and what happened.”
“You broke your ankle.” He was staring at her intently. “Luna tried to help you and you resisted.”
“I know,” she said sharply. “I was there.”
“Oh. Right.” He stood awkwardly, with his hands in his robe pockets.
“There’s a lot about Ron and Hermione,” she said, watching him to see what he would say.
He frowned. “Right.”
“There’s nothing about me.” Her face flamed as she got to the point. “Er — when did we get together, exactly?”
His face cleared and a light came into his eyes. “At Hogwarts.”
“Hogwarts? No. I went out with Dean Thomas at Hogwarts and Michael Corner before that.”
All animation left his face. “After you broke up with Dean we went out. For a little while.”
From his monotone, it didn’t sound like it was the best memory. “So what happened?” she asked, wondering if she should feel guilty. She had broken up with Michael and with Dean. Maybe she had broken up with Harry for being too serious or something equally silly.
“Er — Dumbledore was killed.”
She winced. “I remember.” The terrifying battle and Bill’s scarring and the funeral…
“And then I broke up with you,” he continued.
“You broke up with me?” She felt breathless, like she had been slapped. So much for Mum’s protestations that Harry was devoted to her.
“I was afraid something would happen to you,” he said quickly.
She frowned. “Plenty had already happened to me.”
“Yes, well…” He paced to the door and then turned around. “Look, Ginny, what happened when we were at school isn’t all that important.”
She snorted. “Oh? Sounds like you were doing some important things. You know — defeating Voldemort and all of that.”
“I mean important to us — to life now.” He ran one hand through his hair. “I wish I had more time to spend with you but I’m leaving tonight — to go to the Costa Del Sol with Ron. Auror’s business.”
He was leaving? “Oh.” There was absolutely no reason she should feel so… deflated. So Harry was an Auror. She knew all about Aurors from Ron. Aurors had a different schedule than everyone else — Harry couldn’t just drop everything because of her. How often had she told Hermione that, when she complained about Ron’s workload? “Well, have a good trip,” she said as cheerfully as she could. “I hear Spain is beautiful.
He gave her a sharp glance. “Ginny, I—”
He was interrupted by Healer Wood returning with a goblet of fizzing liquid. “Ach. Mr. Potter. We’ll need a few minutes for this memory treatment.”
“That’s okay,” Harry said quickly. “I have to be going.” He gave Ginny one last, long glance with those mesmerizing eyes. “Bye.” And he was gone.
Ginny stared at the empty doorway for a moment and then turned to Healer Wood. “I suppose I’ll have to get on with it?” she asked, indicating the goblet in his hand.
Healer Wood set the goblet down on the side table and picked up the Harry Potter book. “You read this?”
Between the Scottish accent and the stern expression, Ginny felt like she was back at school with McGonagall questioning her. “Yes.”
He sighed and Vanished the goblet. “I should have warned you not to read anything about Mr. Potter. The Memory Potion was developed to help retrieve left brain memories — facts and figures — that sort of thing.”
Ginny frowned in confusion.
“I was hoping, with the help of the potion, that you would be able to dreg up a few facts about Harry Potter from your past — open the way to those memories pools, so to speak. But now that you have new knowledge of Harry Potter, the Memory Potion would just help you with what you learned today.”
“Oh.” She didn’t think she wanted to remember that inane conversation she had just had with Harry. If their relationship was that colorless, then maybe they shouldn’t be engaged. She sighed. She didn’t know what she wanted.
“I didn’t think it would work anyway,” Healer Wood said with a rueful smile.
“What about a Pensieve?” she asked. “I don’t have any memories to put in one, but what if Harry put some of his memories in a Pensieve and I watched?”
He pursed his lips in thought. “No,” he said slowly. “I think we can rule out a Pensieve, based on how you responded to Mr. Potter’s book. His memories are not yours. You would watch it like it was a story happening to someone else. Moreover—”
“Moreover, if you responded to a memory that was forced because of the Pensieve, it could cause a lot of pain or confusion — or even emotional problems.”
“Depression. Anxiety. If the memory is traumatic and without context, it could be quite frightening.”
“The best scenario would be for the pathways to spontaneously heal on their own. Since you’re young and healthy, I think it will happen. But it will take time.”
She sighed. “How long?”
“Dinna kin.” He shrugged and gave her a rueful smile. “Days? Weeks? Months? Years?”
She wasn’t surprised, but it was still a disappointment to hear it put so bluntly. She rubbed her forehead. “Do you think I could return to training?” she asked. “If this was the last option for healing my memory, then I don’t need to stay, do I?”
He smiled. “No. You don’t need to stay. But I’d rather you didn’t go back to training for another day or two. And no training with Bludgers for a week after that.”
“But I feel better—”
He held up his hand. “And you’ll feel even better after a spot of rest — perhaps go home?”
That wasn’t her first choice. Mum would fuss over her and then start pecking about Harry.
“I’ll sign the release papers,” Healer Wood flashed her that heart-stopping smile, “with a list of restrictions.”
“Great,” Ginny mumbled. Then she remembered her manners. “Thank you.”
“Ach. Mr. Potter is still here,” Healer Wood said as he opened the door.
Ginny was surprised. Harry had made it sound like he was in a hurry to leave for his Auror assignment. Yet he had been waiting outside her door all of this time. She raised her eyebrows at him.
“Um—” Harry began as soon as Healer Wood left.
“I thought you had to go?”
“I do. But not now. I mean, in a few hours.” He ran his hand through his dark, rumpled hair.
Ginny wondered if it felt as soft as it looked and then pulled her attention back to what Harry was saying.
“I don’t know how long I’ll be away, but when I get back we should—” He licked his lips.
He was nervous, Ginny realized. That surprised her, too. From what she had read, he was the savior of the wizarding world, had faced death and Voldemort many times, and yet he was nervous talking to her. Most blokes weren’t nervous talking to her unless… Then she suddenly became hyper-alert to what he was saying.
“And we should talk. Because—”
“You’re going to break up with me again?” she blurted before she could check herself.
“Break up with you?” His eyes flashed. “No!”
She exhaled the breath she didn’t know she was holding. “Oh.”
“Why would you think I’d break up with you?” he growled.
“Oh, I don’t know,” she retorted, his anger sparking hers. “Since I don’t remember anything about our relationship, I have to go with what other people tell me or — more important — what you tell me. But so far, the only thing I’ve heard from you about our relationship is that you broke up with me once.”
He took a step closer. “That’s ancient history!”
“Well, it was one of the first things I heard out of your mouth,” she snapped, crossing her arms in front of her.
“Oh, for—” He turned and paced toward the door and then returned. “Look, Ginny. I don’t know why things came out that way. You asked me something and I answered. Okay? I can’t go through life watching what I say to you.”
“Why shouldn’t you watch what you say?” she asked, not sure at all if she was being fair or not. “Was I some kind of doormat girlfriend or something? Did I agree with whatever you said?” She affected a high-pitched trill. “Yes, dear. No, dear.”
Harry stopped his pacing, amazement on his face. “’Yes, dear? No, dear’?” Then his lips started to twitch. “No, I don’t think I’ve ever heard you say that. Until today.”
She wasn’t quite ready to be cajoled out of her bad mood. “Thank goodness for that. I least I wasn’t a complete twit about you.”
“Er — no.”
She looked at him sharply and then gave up trying to figure out what he was thinking. It was almost lunchtime and she was hungry — and cranky — and she didn’t want to go to The Burrow but she couldn’t think of anywhere else to go. “Well,” she said briskly, hopping down from the bed, “Healer Wood said I could go.”
“Go?” Harry frowned. “You’re being discharged? You’re not going back to training, are you?”
She bristled. “No. I’m not allowed back at training for a few more days. I’ll probably end up at The Burrow because Mum would never forgive me if I stayed with Hermione or any one else.” Then, forgetting that she had read Hermione, as well as Ron, was one of Harry’s best friends, she whined, “At least Mum has food. Hermione never does because Ron eats is all.”
Harry’s lips twitched again, but he didn’t contradict her. “You’re hungry.”
“It is lunchtime!” she snapped.
“Let’s go to the Leaky Cauldron then. Hannah will give us a private room.”
“Hannah? Oh! Hannah Abbott.” She frowned as it struck her anew that Harry must know the same people as she did. “Why a private room?” she asked grumpily, not at all in the mood for any sort of romantic scene. “Don’t want to sit with the rabble?”
Instead of getting angry at her needling, he raised one eyebrow. “You’ll see.”
“Harry Potter! With his girl power fiancée!” Rita Skeeter moved from her bar stool to where they were standing as fast as she could without spilling the contents of the large martini glass in her hand. “I heard you had a bit of an incident the other day?” Her eyes bored into Ginny’s. “Clive told me all. Poor dear. You were writhing in agony the last time he saw you.” She faked concern. “How are you?”
Ginny scowled. Of course Rita Skeeter would know that sleazebag photographer.
“Clive?” Harry asked sharply.
“Clive Klacker,” Rita gushed, turning her back on Ginny. “He’s a true artist with the camera. It was his job to make those tomboy Harpies look — um — feminine. But of course, you know what happened.” She blinked expectantly at Harry.
Harry didn’t take the bait. “Then you don’t need to tell me.”
Rita gave a fake giggle and put her large hand on Harry’s arm. “Still an extraordinary wit, Mr. Potter. I wonder how it feels to be engaged to an athlete? The conversation must be Quidditch this, Quidditch that. But then, it must be like hanging out with your mates?”
Harry sighed and shook her hand off his arm.
Luckily Hannah had seen them and came scurrying over. “Harry! Ginny! I have your table. Come with me.” She looked at Rita. “I believe your food has arrived at the bar, Miss Skeeter.”
“Deep-fried kittens?” Ginny asked sourly as she followed Hannah to a small, curtained alcove.
Ginny again felt that strange prickling at the back of her head. She had felt it yesterday the first time she had heard Harry’s voice. It must be some indication of a memory. She shook her head to get rid of the feeling. She was hungry and she was tired of second guessing every twinge.
Harry asked Hannah to bring some soup and bread ‘right away’ since they were hungry. Ginny smiled at him in gratitude. She was starving.
Harry blinked at her smile and then smiled tentatively back. Ginny couldn’t blame him. She had been inexcusably bitchy to him. It wasn’t his fault she had lost her memories. Talk about the goal posts being moved in the middle of the game. Then she cringed as she remembered what Rita Skeeter had said about athletes. Maybe she did think about Quidditch too much.
Her thoughts were interrupted when Hannah returned with bowls of thick vegetable soup and a basket of bread.
Ginny tucked into her soup and then closed her eyes in delight. “Finally something decent, after hospital food.”
“The meals have really improved since Hannah took over the kitchen,” Harry observed. “I wonder if she’ll ever be able to have her own pub.”
“Do you think she wants to?”
“Dunno. Last time I talked to Neville, he—”
“When did you talk to Neville?” she interrupted. “Did he like South America?”
“I told—” Harry checked himself. “Two weeks ago. He had to submit all of his foreign plant samples for testing and I was the one who happened to be on desk duty.”
“And they were okay?” she prompted.
“Of course. Neville knows more about that stuff than I do.” He shrugged. “There was a cute baby spider plant that kept running up the walls.”
“Neville didn’t bring that back for Bobbins Apothecaries, did he?”
“No, it was for Hannah.” Harry smiled. “I don’t think he wanted any of his specimens to be ground into potions, but that’s what Bobbins pay him for.”
“Poor Neville. He should be running a greenhouse — or better yet — teaching Herbology.”
“I think he likes to travel.” Harry shrugged. “When he’s ready to stay in one place, I dunno.”
Ginny liked the affectionate way he spoke of Neville. She felt that way about him, too. But she really didn’t want to find out more about Neville, she wanted to know more about Harry. “So,” she said brightly, “you’re going to travel today. Do you like to travel?”
Harry drew back as if surprised. “Er — sometimes.”
“What about this time?”
“Er — we don’t know much about our assignment yet. We’re to go to the Costa del Sol to pick up a package. Ron thinks the package is actually coming from Atlantis and they need him since he speaks Mermish.”
“You don’t speak Mermish?” she asked, buttering her bread.
“No, and that’s why I wonder if there’s something more to this assignment since they wanted me along, too.”
“But you do speak another language? That was one of the new requirements for Aurors when Ron started.”
“Yeah, I do.”
She didn’t understand the resignation in his voice or why he wouldn’t give her a straight answer. “What language do you speak?” she asked impatiently.
“Really? My brother Bill knows it — or enough to get by. He works at Gringotts.”
Of course Harry knew Bill. She could feel her cheeks growing hot. “So, say something in Gobbledygook,” she prompted to cover her awkwardness.
He gave her a long speculative look and then took a deep breath. Ginny wasn’t sure, but it sounded like, ‘Glock clock awk mawk.’
She giggled. “How do you make your voice so deep?”
He smiled. “My instructor told me that a good Gobbledygook accent sounds like an earthquake.”
She laughed. “It did have a rumble to it.” She cocked her head. “So what did you say?”
He hesitated. At that moment Hannah brought their entrees. Macaroni cheese for Ginny and steak for Harry.
“I wonder what kind of cheese Hannah used in this?” Ginny asked after they had eaten in silence for a few minutes. “It’s very nice — there’s a bit of sharpness that makes it different.”
“Is the food any better at The Heap this year?” Harry asked.
“How did—” She shook her head ruefully. “I guess I’ll have to get used to this.”
Harry nodded. “Ginny.”
She felt that telltale tingle at the back of her neck at the way he said her name.
“I hope you do get used to it,” he continued in a rush. “I mean — I want you to get your memories back — but it doesn’t matter if you don’t — at least, not to me.”
“But that’s not right — I mean—” Ginny frowned as she thought about how this must feel for Harry. “This will be like starting over for you. Like you’ll have to tell me all sorts of things that I would have known otherwise.”
“I don’t mind.” He was busily cutting his steak.
“Somehow you don’t strike me as the type who likes to talk about himself,” she said drily to the top of his shaggy head.
He looked up and studied her face. Something must have reassured him because he smiled. “No, I don’t.”
“Can you promise me—” She hesitated. Maybe she shouldn’t be trying to extract promises from Harry.
“What?” he asked, almost eagerly. “What do you want me to promise?”
She squirmed in her chair. “I don’t know — that you’ll be honest with me — I mean. I know you wouldn’t lie.” She glanced at the faint scar on his hand. It had been explained in the authorized biography, but even though Ginny knew other students who had met Umbridge’s quill, it still had horrified her to read Harry’s matter-of-fact account. “But — I want to know the whole story — not just one word answers. Not just the facts.” She pushed away her plate and looked him in the eye. “You know?”
Harry put down his knife and fork with deliberation and then also pushed his plate way. “I — I think I know what you’re talking about.”
She smiled. There was something endearing about someone who was trying so hard. None of her brothers would have put up with the incoherent speech she had just made. “I’m talking about how you feel about things — or felt about them at the time.”
“I can’t tell if you want to go to Spain or not or if you like speaking Gobbledygook.”
“What I can tell, is that both of those things mean something to you — but I don’t know what.”
“Well, the Gobbledygook is—”
Hannah interrupted to ask if they wanted some ice cream to ‘round things off.’ After a quick glance at Ginny, Harry ordered one bowl of chocolate with two spoons. With a flick of her wand, Hannah produced the dessert. “I’m thinking about entering this recipe,” she said. “In the Top Cauldron Dessert Contest. What do you think?”
Harry reached out with his spoon and took a bite of ice cream and Ginny did the same. Something stirred at the back of her neck.
“It’s really good, Hannah,” Ginny added, the taste of chocolate lingering pleasantly in her mouth.
“It is,” Harry agreed. “It tastes like one of those chocolate eggs you get at Easter — except colder.”
Hannah glowed with delight. “Thanks.”
Ginny’s head was pounding now and she didn’t think she could eat anymore. She put her spoon down apologetically and glanced at Hannah. “I’d better not eat too much — training, you know.”
Hannah laughed. “You always say that.” Then with a cheerful ‘cheers’, she left them.
They were silent for a moment after Hannah left. Ginny watched Harry from across the table. He took another bite of ice cream and pushed the bowl towards her, unconsciously encouraging her to share.
Across the table.
Now her heart was pounding. There was a memory here…
“So the Gobbledygook,” Harry said, as if determined to get the worst of something over with, “you helped me with it. I had to take a crash course one summer and every day you quizzed me — and made fun of me — and generally made sure I learnt it.”
This was so unexpected — so not the memory that Ginny was on verge of discovering that she almost forgot her headache. “Then I must know some Gobbledygook.”
“It must be tied up with memories of me.” His face fell. “Sorry.”
Ginny snorted. “It’s not like I need to converse with a goblin these days.”
“Yeah.” He sighed. “I was just hoping you’d remember some of it.”
“Harry,” she said cautiously, mindful of the hot searing pain that was now streaking from her neck to her forehead, “I’m remembering something — but it doesn’t have to do with Gobbledygook.”
“Really?” he breathed. “What — what do you remember?”