A story to solve the mystery of what happened to Harry and the gang
during their sixth year at Hogwarts based on the clues left by IMOGEN
in ALPHA & OMEGA, Book 2 of the Carpe Diem Universe.
This story is dedicated to two people:
Whose writing at Elenarda and Gryffindor Tower inspired me to get off my sorry you-know-what and reach for the stars again.
Who reminded me that while reaching for the stars, it's good to stop and be a kid again sometimes.
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Author's note: It is my goal to take the clues left by Imogen in Alpha & Omega and solve the mystery of Year Six in the Carpe Diem
Universe. Readers should be forewarned that I do not write in a
normal style of natural progression, but rather develop random sections
which I then piece together. Thus, assuming that Imogen likes
what I plan on doing in her universe, updates will be random and may
vary greatly in size.
Our story begins on Wednesday, August 14th, 1996, the day before RIVERSIDE REFLECTIONS.
Weasley walked out from the kitchen in time to find her eldest son Bill
offering a helping hand to Harry as he got up from the floor where he'd
slid on exiting the fireplace. Harry, after a quick glance to
make sure that his Hogwarts trunk and Hedwig's cage had arrived safely,
glanced over at Bill, who had Apparated instead of Flooing, and
"Why is it that I have to get all dirty and you get to just pop over?"
Bill slapped a handful of soot from Harry's back and grinned.
of the perks of age, my boy. Don't worry, this time next year
you'll be able to start studying for your Apparition license."
turned and found himself enveloped in a massive bear hug from Molly
Weasley that threatened to crack at least two ribs. He always
marveled at how one woman could harbor such strength.
I'm so glad to see you! Bill, please take his things up to Ron's
room and be sure to open the window so Hedwig can get in."
away, Mum," and Bill disappeared upstairs with the cage in one hand and
using his wand to levitate Harry's trunk with the other.
dear, even though supper will be ready in an hour, I you want to come
right in here to the kitchen and I'll fix you a sandwich. You
must be starving after that long trip and…"
She stopped and stared at Harry for a moment, looking him up and down, with an ever-increasing frown.
I know I shouldn't speak ill of your relatives in front of you, but I
swear, if I ever have the chance to say a few words to your Aunt and
Uncle, I will! You look as though they starved you to death all
summer. I swear you had more flesh on you last June when I saw
you at Platform 9 ¾ then you do now! If anything, I suspect
Hermione's father seriously understated the problems you were facing in
She paused and smiled. "Well, you're here
now, safe and sound, and I'll get some meat back on those bones before
you head back to school."
"Oi, Harry!" came a duet of voices from behind him.
turned to greet Fred and George, aspiring entrepreneurs and the
recipients of Harry's Tri-wizard Tournament winnings, who stood wearing
identical bright orange tee shirts which said "I have stepped out to
find myself. Should I show up before I return, please keep me
here until I do."
"I though you two would be at Diagon Alley, working on getting your shop opened."
"Nah, couldn't on account of having to knock off early," answered Fred.
"It's a holiday, old bean. Wouldn't be right to work late on a holiday," was George's explanation.
"All right, I'm afraid to ask, but exactly what holiday is it?"
The two crown princes of practical jokes looked at each other and shook their heads.
"Such a sad thing," said Fred.
"You're absolutely right, mate," answered George. "You'd think that he'd manage to remember this holiday!"
Harry turned to Bill, who had entered the room, and pointed to the twins.
"Do you have any idea what they're blathering about?"
Bill grinned and adopted a poise of casual innocence.
"I have absolutely no idea. Mum, do you know what they're talking about?"
Harry turned to Mrs. Weasley and found her trying to stifle a giggle. She finally gave up and pointed at the twins.
"All right, you two, go ahead and tell him."
George grinned, "Well, since we missed your real birthday two weeks ago, we decided to declare today as Harry Potter Day!"
"Which means," Fred chimed in, "that today is your very merry un-birthday mate!"
now stepped in to explain. "Your un-birthday. You only get
one birthday a year but you get 364 un-birthdays and so today is a
holiday in honor of your un-birthday party! Ginny found the idea
in a Muggle book Dad used to read her as a child and thought you might
Molly gave a slight cough and, with a twinkle in her
eye, gave Bill an innocent look and asked, "Speaking of which, where is
Ginny? I would have thought she'd have been down by now."
grinned as he replied. "She was taking a nap in her room when I
went upstairs. I stopped and told her we had visitors downstairs."
The twins chorused. "You mean you ruined the surprise? We
were all set to go and toss Harry into her room and see how long it
took her to snog him senseless!"
Molly shot them both a disapproving look. "I think not, you two! You just leave your sister alone or else I'll…"
A soft, quiet voice came from the stairwell.
"Harry, is it really you?"
Harry looked up and stared at the vision in white standing on the lowest stair.
stood there in a simple cotton summer dress, her hair hanging loosely
down her back, looking even better than he could have imagined.
In spite of Ron's letters and Hermione's reassurances, he had refused
to allow himself to fully believe that Ginny had finally recovered from
her near death experience the previous spring. He'd been too
afraid of having reality step in and take away the one thing that
mattered to him more than anything else did.
Now, staring at
Ginny, he knew that dream was a reality and he let out a long breath
before slowly walking over to his girlfriend and pulling her into an
embrace every bit as tight as Molly Weasley's had been.
Ginny returned the hug and whispered in his ear.
"I've missed you so much, Harry."
Harry relaxed his arms and looked down into chocolate brown eyes that were moist with tears.
"I was worried sick about you all summer."
"So was I."
grinned and then, conscious of the rest of the Weasleys watching them,
he leaned forward and gently kissed Ginny on her forehead. Then
he took her hand and pulled her over to the kitchen table so she could
join him there.
Molly watched the scene and smiled at the slight flush, which had crept into her daughter's cheeks.
nodded his head in thanks as Molly placed a large ham and cheese
sandwich in front of him, then turned with a smile to Ginny.
She smiled back.
"Starved!" and grabbed half of his sandwich in one smooth move.
"Hey!" Harry gave a half-hearted protest as the rest of the boys laughed.
A new voice piped up from the doorway.
'One day, Harry, you'll learn that if you give Ginny an opening, she'll take you for everything you've got!"
Harry jumped up, his sandwich forgotten and raced around the table to grip Ron's outstretched arm with his own.
"Oi, good to see you mate! How you been?"
"Tolerable, considering the two maniacs I live with."
"Hey, we resent that remark!"
it is more like it," came Harry's swift rejoinder as the twins left the
room and Bill Apparated back to the Leaky Cauldron to return the
Ministry car he'd borrowed earlier.
"Heard from Hermione lately?"
"No. Not since her last owl three weeks ago."
Ron then quietly whispered, "You know, not since your visit," and glanced towards Ginny.
Harry quietly whispered back, "Does she…"
Ron shook his head slightly. "Merlin, no! You and I both know she'd have gone spare if I had told her."
by now had finished her purloined snack and noticed the quiet
whispering going on. She gave a loud snort and watched as both
boys turned to her with guilty looks.
"Is there anything you want to tell me, Harry? Or should I just hex you both right now on general principles?"
"What! Can't we have a private conversation without you getting suspicious?"
when the two people in question are my brother and my boyfriend.
A girl might think you're up to something. But seeing as you're
busy, Harry, I guess I'll just make sure this sandwich doesn't go to
waste." And with that, she picked up the remaining half of Harry
sandwich and started to eat.
Ron turned to Harry with a resigned look on his face.
"See, I told you last year that nothing was safe around her!"
Molly, who had watched the exchange from the sidelines, now placed another sandwich on the table and pointed at Harry.
right, that's enough of that. Here's another sandwich, Harry, and
don't YOU even think of touching it, Ronald Weasley! Now, tuck in
before one of the other vultures in this house steals it!"
looked sideways as Ginny, who was licking her fingers as she finished
the last of his original sandwich, and grinned as he bit into the new
Unfortunately, it turned out to be the last quiet moment
that he'd get with Ginny that evening. The twins and Ron seemed
to make it their personal mission in life to prevent him from being
alone with Ginny for more than a few seconds at a time.
was a raucous affair as first Ron, and then the twins, filled Harry in
on all they'd been up to for the past six seeks. It seemed that
the twins were almost ready to open but a pipe had burst earlier in the
day and they'd had to leave so the repair crew could come in and clean
up the mess. Fortunately, none of the stock had arrived and so
the damage was mostly physical, which could be repaired easily enough.
also discovered that the boys had been putting him on about the
birthday party. Oh, there would be one, and that it would be a
un-birthday party was true, but the actual party wouldn't be until
Hermione got there later in the week. Molly smiled at the look of
disappointment on Harry's face as he found out he would have to wait
for his presents.
"Cheer up, dear, it's only a few days and I
know that it will be much more fun with Hermione here." Then she
leaned in conspiratorially and whispered in Harry's ear, "Besides,
she'll give Ron somebody else to fight with besides Ginny." Harry
could only grin and smother the laugh that threatened to escape.
night, the boys played chess by the fire while Arthur, Molly, and Ginny
relaxed in the living room. Bill had gone back again to Diagon
Alley and the twins were upstairs in their room, plotting more mischief
and mayhem if the sounds occasionally heard were any indication.
Harry soon found it impossible to concentrate on the game as his focus
kept shifting to the vision in white seated a few feet away.
marveled again at how good she looked and smiled to himself as he saw
the firelight reflect off her bright red hair, which now reached down
almost two-thirds of her back. Even more importantly, every so
often, he would catch her eye as she surreptitiously looked at him and
then they both would smile.
down in surprise and realized that he hadn't even seen that particular
move coming. He sighed and conceded the match, only then noticing
that it was almost midnight. Molly shifted in her seat and
noticed the clock as well.
"All right you lot! Time for bed!"
had just started to follow Ron upstairs when he realized that Ginny
hadn't stirred from the couch. He walked over to stand by Mrs.
Weasley as she gazed down at the sleeping figure.
Molly gave a small sigh as she gently ran a hand over Ginny's head while murmuring to herself.
looks so peaceful when she's asleep. I really don't want to wake
her but I can't leave her down here tonight." Sighing again, she
absently stroked Ginny's hair once more.
Harry watched the tender moment feeling a bit like an intruder and then awkwardly cleared his throat.
"Err…Mrs. Weasley? Would you like me to help you carry her upstairs?"
looked up in surprise, not having fully realized that Harry was
there. She started to shake her head and then stopped and smiled.
"Thank you, dear, I'd appreciate the help. Are you sure you can manage her?"
Mrs. Weasley" and Harry gently slid his arms under Ginny, reveling in
the chance to finally hold his girlfriend again even if she was asleep,
and followed Molly up the stairs to her room.
Molly led Harry over to the bed where he laid her down and helped Molly take off her shoes.
However, as Harry straightened up he was hit by a powerful wave of emotions.
his minds eye, he again saw Ginny lying in the Hospital Wing at
Hogwarts, her skin as pale white as the linens on which she lay, the
only sign of life being the steady but slight rise and fall of her
He staggered back slightly and only snapped out of the shock when Molly grabbed his arm to steady him.
dear, are you all right?" The concern in her voice touched Harry
deeply after his experience at the Dursleys' the past six weeks.
Molly quickly steered Harry towards the chair in front of Ginny's dressing table.
"Come and sit down right this instant."
he sat and gathered his thoughts, even as his eyes never left the
sleeping form on the bed. Seeing that Harry appeared to be fine,
Molly went over and gently pulled the covers over her daughter.
Having tucked in the youngest Weasley and given her a gentle kiss on
her forehead, Molly turned to Harry and motioned for him to follow her
Rising, Harry first walked over to the bed and looked
down at Ginny, confirming in his own mind that it was not a dream but
that Ginny really was just asleep in her own bed and not lying limp and
lifeless in the Hospital Wing. Then he reached out and gently
pushed a strand of hair from Ginny's face and whispered "Good night,"
before following Molly out into the hall.
To his surprise and
relief, Molly said nothing about his gesture a moment ago.
Instead, he thought he detected a faint smile tugging at the corner of
her lips as she turned and led him back down to the kitchen.
Pointing to a chair, she sat opposite him with a slightly worried expression on her face.
dear, what happened just now? You put Ginny down on the bed and
then suddenly turned as pale as a ghost. For a second there, I
thought you had almost fainted. Are you sure you're all right?"
"I'm fine, really."
Molly reached out and took Harry's chin in her hand and forced him to look her in the eye.
"Don't lie to me, Harry! That was not a normal reaction you had just now."
Her eyes softened and Harry saw the concern and love reflected there.
Weighing his options, Harry finally answered her genuine concern with the honest truth.
fine Mrs. Weasley. It's just that when I saw Ginny lying there in
bed, for a split second, I had a vision of Ginny lying in the Hospital
Wing after I brought her back last spring. It shook me up for a
moment before I remembered where I was. I'm sorry I startled you."
Molly jumped up and ran around the table to smother Harry in a motherly hug.
now dear! I know exactly how you feel! I've had a few
moments like that myself these past few weeks and I don't mind
admitting to you that I've got up in the middle of the night a few
times to reassure myself as well." She paused and tilted Harry's
chin up so she could look him in the eye. "However, the past is
the past. My baby girl is alive and well thanks to you and that's
all that matters! Now, off to bed with you. Tomorrow's
another day and I'm sure you'll want to spend some time alone with
"You mean her brothers are going to let me?" The sarcasm in his tone was not lost on Molly.
She laughed as she pushed Harry towards the stairs.
I know they kept you two apart tonight, and yes, you're right that it
was a plot. Just remember that it's all in good jest. If
they really didn't want you with Ginny, they'd let you know in no
She stopped at the bottom of the stairs and pulled Harry into another hug.
"I'm so glad you're finally here, Harry. The house just doesn't feel right without all my children accounted for."
could only hug her back as the meaning of her words sank in and caused
his throat to tighten. Then, he whispered, "Good night, Mrs.
Weasley," and ran upstairs to Ron's room and jumped into bed before the
swirl of emotions threatened to overcome him.
A/N: My thanks for the wonderful Beta work of Imogen, Bart, and Kathy