The night of July 30 was one of trepidation for Ginny, as she knew Tom was up to something that concerned Harry. Her only problem, as she retreated into her room for another sleepless night, was that she had no idea what he could be planning. He never told her specifics; teasing her with torturing tidbits was his game, a game he enjoyed immensely. A bystander in her own mind, she tried to ignore him as best as possible as she went through her days. He didn't speak constantly; it was only when she was having a nice time that he liked to drop in and interject.
Since her parents had been told, they had been respecting her privacy so much that she almost wondered if they were afraid of her. She still tinkered with Muggle objects with her father from time to time and helped in the kitchen when her mother requested it, but these times were usually silent. She didn't mind; they would always hug her, or do something like it to show her they still cared about her, so she wasn't worried about her parents so much.
Ron was a different story; he was always trying to talk to her, draw her out of the walls surrounding her. At times, she let him talk about whatever he wanted to, but usually she raced back into her room to solitude, leaving him shaking his head after her. Once he had attempted to mention Harry, but she had smacked him and that had put a stop to that.
Silence was all that had existed between her and Harry since she gave her message to Remus. She wanted it that way; if Harry was to write her again, she had no idea if she would be able to resist replying. In the silence of her room, she sometimes thought of how it would be when he would be in the house twenty-four/seven and panicked, much to the amusement of Tom.
Now, as night's quiet finally settled on the Burrow, she was wide awake, sitting at her window and gazing out onto the moonlit lawn. Chin in hand, she let her eyes sweep the sky lazily, as if she was expecting a lone figure to come diving out of the stars and into her room. Her mind was oddly quiet, and she wondered if Harry was keeping the same nighttime vigil as she. She knew from past conversations that he always stayed up to see the first minutes of his birthday; was he looking out his window just as she was, counting down the minutes in anticipation? In less than three hours, he could leave Privet Drive and never look back.
Suddenly, cold swept over her like a dead weight; she felt like she was spinning down into darkness, taking her consciousness with her. Valiantly, she struggled inside herself, but it was to no avail; the fire in her eyes died as she lost her grip on herself, darkness taking her into its grasp.
His toes tapped impatiently as he sat on the edge of his bed, a bed he had long outgrown. Eyes locked onto the clock across from him, he watched as the hours ticked away. Throughout the day, he had packed and unpacked his trunk tens of times to pass the time, and now he only had less than an hour to wait. In less than an hour, he could leave this hellhole and start his real life, a life he had waited for years to arrive.
Briefly, he thought of Ginny; was she at Hogwarts yet? Was she safe? Did she miss him as much as he missed her? There were so many questions that he had and so many answers yet to find. He had searched for hours for Ginny's saving grace, but never found it. He could only hope that Hermione would have better luck than he.
The minutes ticked by; Harry watched his clock with an intensity never seen before. Soon, he only had ten minutes to go before he could Apparate away and never look back.
Someone was shaking her as she came to on the floor of her bedroom, moonlight illuminating a small patch of floor next to her head. Hands grasped her shoulders and pulled her to her feet. Swaying on her legs, she held onto the strong arms as her eyes fluttered open, head pounding.
"Ginny! What happened? Are you all right?" Ron's worried face came into focus as her equilibrium returned.
It was still night, she realized, and Ron was fully dressed. His trunk was by her open door. She looked at him in confusion, searching her mind for her actions. "I... I don't know. Why are you dressed?" she asked, finding the edge of her bed and sitting down heavily.
Looking flustered, he stood over her. "Well, it's time for us to go," he said evasively.
Her eyes widened; had she forgotten about this? "Why didn't anyone tell me?" she exclaimed.
"Because we couldn't, could we?" he retorted, pulling her to her feet again. "Come on; Dumbledore is downstairs waiting for you. We've been calling you for the last couple minutes. Why were you on the floor?"
She let him pull her along without a fight, feeling oddly empty. "I don't remember," she said softly.
Ron shot a curious glance at her. "Well, you were in my room about an hour ago, asking me about Harry and all. What made you do that?"
Halting suddenly, she lifted a hand to her mouth in shock. With a realization quick as fire's spread, she gasped. The cold feeling... The blank memory...
I had no idea Harry's relatives lived so close to my current headquarters, Virginia. Thank your brother for his help, won't you?
Her breath came out in a horrified exhale. "Oh Merlin," she murmured, feeling Ron's insistent tug on her arm.
"Ginny, what is going on with you? Bloody hell, we've got to go!" he exclaimed.
"Ron! Ron, what are you shouting about?" Mrs. Weasley called up the stairs in an irritated tone.
Pulling herself from her brother's grasp, Ginny clutched the skirts of her nightgown and raced downstairs into the living room. Dumbledore was there, waiting patiently and almost looking anxious as she skidded to a stop, Ron close behind her. "Where's Harry?" she asked breathlessly, glancing at the grandfather clock. Her mother had Harry's name added after Ginny had come home from school, and while all the other Weasleys were safe, his arm was slowly moving from ‘Relatives' to the other side of the clock.
"He should be at his relatives' home, Miss Weasley," Dumbledore said quietly. "If you would stand by me-"
Ginny shook her head, watching the clock as if she was hypnotized. Harry's arm kept moving, past ‘Home', ‘School', and ‘Work' to stop directly over ‘Mortal Peril'. Her heart dropped to the floor as her mother let out a small scream of terror.
"Albus! The clock!"
Looking over at Dumbledore, Ginny watched his face grow ashen as he realized where Harry's hand was pointing. Acting with a speed she thought was beyond a man his age, he reached over and grasped her wrist. "Arthur, Molly; Floo to headquarters. I will take Miss Weasley to her new location. If you see any members, tell them to Apparate to Privet Drive immediately," he commanded quickly.
"What?" Ginny exclaimed. "What new location?"
Without answering, Dumbledore pulled out a small box from his robes, placed Ginny's hand on it, and mumbled a few words. Immediately, she felt a sharp jerk near her navel as her family's stricken faces were swept away in a rush of wind and color.
When Harry noticed the robed figures walking down the street towards the house, it was already midnight. He had been just about to Apparate to Tonks' flat when the black robes caught his eyes, and he stared out the window in disbelief as they seemed to appear out of nowhere, closing in upon Number Four Privet Drive like moths to a flame. How the hell had they found him?
Running out of his room, he raced down the hall towards his aunt and uncle's room. Without any hesitation, he opened the door and stepped inside. "Get out of the house!" he shouted, waking his relatives with a start.
Vernon's face began to become the purple color Harry had seen very often in the past month. "Boy, you get out of here!" he roared.
"I'm not joking! Get out of the house! There are people trying to kill me coming down the street!" Harry yelled just as loudly, glancing at a paling Petunia.
Suddenly, there was a sort of explosion on the floor below them, rocking the house. The acrid smell of smoke began wafting up to Harry's nose, and he cursed. "Damn. They're trying to burn us out," he muttered as both Vernon and Petunia rushed out of their room. Vernon headed downstairs as Petunia went to Dudley's room to wake him up.
"Potter! Come out here or we'll burn you all alive!" A high-pitched voice said from outside, a voice that sounded like the younger Malfoy. Harry's blood boiled, and he raced to his room, levitating his trunk and grabbing his broom before stopping at his bedroom window. Seeing no Death Eaters, he hopped on his broom and dove down to the ground, Hedwig flying out of her cage after him. As he set down on the ground, he turned his astonished eyes to Number Four Privet Drive.
The whole bottom floor was ablaze, blackening the once immaculate home. He could hear Petunia screaming for Dudley, Vernon screaming for Petunia, and Dudley just screaming as the three of them raced out of the back door into the garden, only a few yards away from him. They stared at their burning home in the same disbelief as he, watching as it crackled to ash.
"There you are, Potter."
Harry turned to see Draco Malfoy standing near him, wand leveled at his chest. There was a triumphant smirk on his face, a look Harry was determined to wipe off immediately. He dropped his broom and pulled out his wand. "So, Voldemort figured it all out, did he? He must think he's very clever," he said coolly, facing Malfoy completely.
"He was for remembering the Weasley whore; she was the one who supplied the information for this party. Happy birthday, Potter! So sorry it had to be your last," Malfoy sneered before stiffening his wand arm. "Petrificus Totalus!"
Casting a Shield Charm with his wand, Harry used his other hand to cast a Stunning Spell. Malfoy ducked to one side, eyes wide as he realized how Harry had cast the spell. Inside of the usual snide comment Harry expected, he let out a scream of rage and charged. "Crucio!"
Rolling to one side, Harry leapt to his feet as Malfoy raced past him. The vicious red light of his curse sped into the bushes, and before Malfoy could turn, Harry used another Stunning Spell with his wand. Rigid, Malfoy dropped to the lawn face-down, completely still.
With quiet satisfaction, Harry looked at Malfoy's still form, hearing the distant sounds of the house buckling and members of the Order arrive. Neighbors were peering out of their houses, eyes wide as they watched Number Four burn away into the night. Harry could feel the atmosphere change as Death Eaters Disapparated within moments of Order members arriving. Still, he watched Malfoy.
"I don't care what you say, Malfoy. You'll never make me leave her," he said softly as hurried footsteps sounded behind him.
"Bloody hell, Harry! What did you do to Malfoy?" Fred Weasley's shocked voice asked as Harry turned. He saw Fred and his twin George behind him, staring at him. Other people were scattered along the street, going up to the neighbors and performing Memory Charms on them as they went. The smell of smoking wood and paint filled the air as the Dursleys' home continued to burn.
Harry shrugged at Fred. "I only Stunned him," he said as George levitated Malfoy up with his wand.
Fred grinned; his face was lined with a weariness Harry hadn't seen the last time he had seen Fred in May. "He looks like he's dead."
"Feels like it too," George piped up, putting a finger to Malfoy's pulse point. With a sigh, he put his arm down. "Damn. No such luck."
Patting Harry on the shoulder, Fred led him over to a fretting and ash-covered Tonks. "No worries; maybe the Amazing Bouncing Ferret will make a return appearance," he said lightly as Tonks rushed towards Harry.
"Oh thank Merlin! I went into the bloody fire to see if you were still in there!" she exclaimed, wrapping Harry in a one-armed embrace. "I found your relatives instead. I think your aunt might remember me from last year; my hair's pink today. Of course, you wouldn't know it with all the damn ash, would you?" she said as she pulled Harry towards the main group of members. "Where's your trunk, Harry?"
Harry nodded towards the lawn. Tonks grinned, wiping a bit of ash from her cheek. Harry could see the roots of shocking-pink hair beneath a blanket of ashes. "No problem; Fred will get it for you," she said, shooting a knowing glance at the redhead in question.
Frowning good-naturedly, Fred rolled his eyes. "Shall I, then? Merlin, I'm a bloody gopher," he muttered, turning back and heading towards Harry's trunk and broom.
Hedwig flew at Harry's shoulder as he approached the murmuring wizards. As he was drawn into the circle, he recognized a few people from the Order and from previous knowledge; Charlie Weasley was there, along with Mundungus Fletcher, Remus, Angelina Johnson, and, surprisingly enough, Oliver Wood.
The former Gryffindor Captain grinned at him as he saw Harry. "Harry! Haven't seen you in a while, eh?" he said as Remus gave Harry a squeeze on the shoulder.
Charlie glanced Harry's way and gave him a quick smile before turning back to the rest of the group. "Good, we have Harry, then. What are we going to do with the relatives there?" he asked, nodding towards the purpling Dursleys standing a little ways off.
Remus sighed heavily. "Let Mad-Eye deal with them; I'm sure he'll have something in mind for them. Until then, tell them to go to a hotel."
There was a sudden crack from behind them, and they all turned to face the house. Completely unrecognizable, Number Four was collapsing upon itself, sending a cloud of smoke and ash into the sky as it crumpled. Small flames still flickered in the rubble, and in the midst of the Dursleys' outraged cries, Harry watched a part of his life turn to ash in front of his eyes. He suddenly felt free from the past, free to plan for a future he didn't know if he'd ever see. It was uplifting to see and feel.
A hand touched his shoulder. "We'd better get you to London. Would you like to try to Apparate, or shall I make you a Portkey?" Tonks asked softly.
Smiling slightly, Harry glanced at her. "Apparating will be just fine."
It took Ginny a few days to become used to the summer silence of Hogwarts, as she became acquainted with her lodgings and her daily schedule. She was completely alone in the castle, except for the professors, and even then she didn't see them too much.
Having a bit of free reign within the castle, she explored all the places she never had time to at school, visited the kitchens to speak with the house elves, who were always more than happy to talk, and roamed the grounds. Dumbledore had only put a few restrictions upon her: one was she was not to leave the grounds without a member of the Order. Another was she could not visit Professor Snape at any time. She didn't really mind that one too much, even if her opinion of him had gone up in the last few months. Other than that, she had complete freedom, something she hadn't tasted in a long time.
It was too bad she was bored off her rocker.
Even Tom was frustrated; he had no source of information, and was getting a bit sick of her constant thoughts of Harry. But what else did she have to think about? She had been embroiled in the fires of guilt ever since her abrupt arrival at Hogwarts on his birthday; she had no idea what Voldemort had done to his relatives' home, and could only hope she hadn't accidentally gotten anyone killed.
Tonks visited twice in Ginny's first week at Hogwarts. She hadn't been able to speak much to Ginny either time, but she slipped her a note on her way out the second visit. Immediately, Ginny had run up to her room, which was the Gryffindor Head Girl's room, to her pleasure, and all but ripped the note open.
‘Ginny, I'm fine. I don't care what happened; I know it wasn't your fault. Keep your spirits up, love. Ron says he misses you, but I think he just misses your stash of Extendable Ears and Dungbombs. I'm joking! Anyway, don't show this note to anyone; I'm not supposed to write you, says Remus. Well, obviously I've never cared for rules, have I? I love you, honestly. Never doubt that. Harry.'
The rest of the day, Ginny had gone around with a huge smile on her face that not even Tom's snide remarks could remove.
One day, Dumbledore called her up to his office for afternoon tea, a little over a week after her arrival. She went with a slight amount of trepidation, but when she entered the office, the headmaster was all smiles, two steaming cups of tea sitting on his desk along with a plate of scones.
"Please, sit down, Miss Weasley," he said cheerfully as she stepped towards his desk.
Apprehensively, she sat and took a cup of tea in her hand. Inside her mind, she could almost feel Tom lean forward in anticipation, and she resisted the urge to smack her head against the desk. Honestly, as if Dumbledore would be silly enough to tell her anything important when he knew she had someone in her head!
Dumbledore smiled genially, taking a sip of his tea. "How are you enjoying your stay?"
"It's fine, sir," she lied through her teeth, averting her eyes.
A small chuckle left his lips. "There's no need to lie from me, Miss Weasley. I know that you're bored. Fear not; I hope a visitor will do you some good," he said, choosing a scone from the platter and taking a bite after he spoke.
She looked at him curiously, brow furrowed. "Sir, who can I actually talk to?" she asked, a note of bitterness creeping into her tone.
"Well, you can talk to anyone, Miss Weasley. It's what you talk about that can be a problem. Anyway, Hermione Granger should be arriving within the next few days," he said with a knowing twinkle in his eye.
Ginny felt her heart lighten somewhat at his words. "Really? How long will she be here?"
"Oh, A week or so. She wants a bit of time in the library to do some research," he replied casually, taking another sip of his tea.
She grinned, taking a scone. It would be nice to see Hermione; maybe she could pass some messages onto Harry for her.
The headmaster set his cup down with a quiet clatter, and rested his chin on his fingers. "There is another matter I would like your help with," he said as she took a bit of her scone.
Swallowing quickly, she chased the scone with a bit of tea before speaking. "What's that, sir?"
"I'm in the middle of choosing a Head Boy and Head Girl for next year, and I was wondering if you had any input," he asked cheerfully.
Ginny could have sworn she was blushing. In her mind, there was no question of who it should be. "Well, obviously Hermione has to be Head Girl," she commented, shooting a glance at the imperturbable headmaster. He merely smiled at her in a non-committal way, and waited for her to proceed.
Biting her lip in thought, she made a face. "Well," she started slowly, "Harry would be a good choice, as would my brother. But Ron's been a prefect and Harry hasn't. But Ron is Quidditch Captain and Harry's not."
"A hard choice, to be sure. I assumed you would think of Gryffindors, so who would you pick, Miss Weasley?" Dumbledore asked.
Brow furrowed, she sighed inwardly. Maybe she was just biased, but Ron was a Prefect and Quidditch Captain...
"Harry, I think. But, doesn't he have to be a Prefect?" she asked with slight confusion.
Dumbledore smiled benevolently. "Not necessarily. James Potter was Head Boy and he hadn't been a Prefect."
A smile spread on Ginny's face. "I didn't know that," she mused. "I suppose Harry doesn't know that either."
"I'm sure Hermione will be happy to inform him, if he is chosen. Thank you for joining me for tea, Miss Weasley," Dumbledore said.
Standing, Ginny smiled at the old man. "You can call me Ginny, sir. I don't mind," she said brightly, feeling quite cheery.
Dumbledore smiled, bright eyes crinkling. "I hope to do this again, Ginny. Have a good day."
Heading for the door, she stopped with her hand on the knob as a sudden thought hit her. She turned back to the headmaster, biting her bottom lip. "Headmaster, if Harry is a candidate for Head Boy, why wasn't he made a prefect?" she asked softly.
Dumbeldore's eyes seemed to dim as she spoke, a mournful, saddened glint to the deep blue. Immediately, she felt guilty for saying anything, but inside herself she needed to know the answer.
He looked at her for a moment before sighing quietly. "Sometimes we do things for those we care for that may not be seen in the right light," he said slowly. "I see something in Harry that I overlooked then. I will not make that mistake again."
Standing in front of the curtained portrait of Sirius' mother, Harry seriously considered tearing the thing to shreds, just for the fun of it.
He hadn't been in Grimmauld Place for almost two years, and while he liked the old house, hearing Mrs. Black every day was not something he had missed. The bitterness over Sirius' death had faded into a muted pain, and Harry was finally beginning to get used to the house again. His first night there, he had had nightmares about Sirius' death, but after a firm reminder to himself about his lack of guilt, the rage and pain had diminished. Seeing Remus almost every day helped, as did spending the free time with Ron.
‘Thank Merlin we don't have to clean this place again,' he thought as he heard the front door open and close downstairs. Since the summer before his fifth year, the house had been kept remarkably clean, which was a relief to Harry and Ron. Now they could wander around Diagon Alley a bit in their free time, even if a member of the Order always had to be with them.
He turned to the stairs and saw Tonks grinning at him widely. "I just took Hermione to Hogwarts," she said loftily. "Imagine my surprise when a petite, red-headed girl slipped a note into my pocket as I was leaving."
Rolling his eyes, he held out his hand with a grin. Tonks pulled the note from her pocket of her robes and handed it to him. "Read it quick and hide it; Remus will be here any minute to do a little more training with you and Ron," she warned as he headed down the hall to the room he shared with Ron.
"I'm sure you could distract him for a few minutes more, couldn't you?" he called over his shoulder, grinning as she blushed slightly and headed back down the stairs.
Once he was in his room and sitting on his bed, he opened the note and read it like a starved man seeing food for the first time. Finally, a response! He hadn't heard anything from Ginny in almost a month.
Your penchant for rule-breaking has overcome me, so here I am breaking my own personal rule and writing you. It's a silent period, so I think I should be safe for a few minutes.
Hermione's going to be here in a few hours. It'll be nice to see someone other than a professor sitting with me at meals. I really can't wait to see her, but she'll only be here for a week or so. I suppose then she'll be off to join you and Ron; you can't imagine how jealous I am.
I'm not expecting much of a reply back, since Remus must be watching you like a hawk, so don't rush to write back. What could you say to me anyway? Something about the weather would be safe, but do I really want to know about the weather? I'm happy you're not hurt; how was your birthday? Did Mum have time to make you a cake? I didn't have time to get you a present, but maybe I can think of something, hmm?
I just want you to know that I miss you dreadfully. I'm always thinking about you, which can annoy certain people at times, but I don't care. I can only hope that Voldemort will drop dead before I see you next, because I honestly don't know I'll be able to keep my hands off you. (Well, aren't I the scarlet woman?)
I must go; Madam Pince is getting awfully curious as to what I'm doing in the Library. Try not to do anything foolish, all right? I like you alive, thank you very much.
Oh dear lord, he hadn't even thought of how it would be when they went back to Hogwarts. How would he be able to control himself around her? If she only knew what he thought about in the middle of the night...
"Harry! Where are you, mate?"
Ron's voice sent guilt rushing through him, and Harry stuffed the note under his mattress as Ron came in the room, glancing at him with raised eyebrows. "What are you doing in here?" he asked.
Harry shrugged. "Nothing," he said hastily.
Shooting a suspicious look in Harry's direction, Ron came in, followed by Remus. To Harry's surprise, his older friend looked exhausted, even more so than usual. "Are you all right, Remus?" he asked as Ron sat on the edge of his bed and Remus took a seat between the two beds.
Sighing tiredly, Remus nodded. "Yes, Harry; I just got word of the outcome of Peter's trial," he said quietly.
A brief flash of hatred pushed through Harry as Ron made a sort of growl in the back of his throat. "Did the bastard get his due?" Ron asked angrily.
Remus just shrugged his thin shoulders. "He got some major time in Azkaban, but who knows if it's enough. He's done horrible things to us all; I myself don't think it's enough," he said bitterly.
Harry shook his head, struggling to push his swelling anger aside. "Nothing is enough for him," he said coldly.
"Does that mean Sirius has been cleared?" Ron asked softly.
As Remus nodded, it was like a sucker-punch to Harry's stomach. Sirius was finally proclaimed innocent to the world; if he had been alive, he would have been a free man. He could have fought along side Remus and the other members of the Order, even come to Platform 9 ¾ to see Harry off to his final year of school. He could have gotten to know Ginny more, maybe even tell Harry whether he thought she was good for him.
If Sirius hadn't died, would Harry and Ginny even be together?
Harry looked up from his feet with a jolt, meeting Remus' concerned gaze. Pasting on a small smile, Harry nodded at him. "I'm glad; it's about time," he said shortly.
"Remus, has Hermione gotten to Hogwarts yet?" Ron asked eagerly.
Remus smiled as Harry held back a chuckle. "Yes, she has. Tonks just got back from taking her there, actually."
"Do you think she'll be able to find anything for Ginny?" Harry asked soberly, blood running a little faster through his veins as he said Ginny's name aloud.
Ron broke in before Remus could answer. "This is Hermione we're talking about, Harry! She can find anything," he said with a tinge of pride.
"Don't get too excited, Ron; Hermione isn't a miracle worker," Remus warned, shooting a glance at Harry as he spoke. "You're not writing to her, are you, Harry?"
"No," Harry replied hastily, thinking of the letter under his bed. "You told me not to."
A small smile spread on Remus' face. "Yes, I did. But when have you ever followed directions?" he said, standing and heading for the door. "I'll be downstairs waiting for you two. We've got some training to do, so hurry up."
As he left the room, Ron raised an eyebrow at Harry. "You can pull the letter out now," he said lightly, shocking Harry.
"How did you know?" Harry asked incredulously as he stood and searched for his shoes.
"Easy; I was on the stairs when Tonks gave it to you. I figured you'd want to read it right away, so I detained Remus for a bit," Ron said, running a hand through his hair.
Glancing at his best friend, Harry pulled on his shoes quickly. "Do you mind, Ron? We haven't really talked about this," he said thoughtfully.
Ron shrugged. "There's nothing to say that we don't already know; she loves you, you love her, and nothing is going to stop that. Besides, if she was going to love someone, I'm glad it's you," he explained simply, heading for the door.
Harry stared at Ron in surprise as he followed him out into the hall. "How the hell did you come up with that?" he exclaimed.
Ron grinned. "Hermione helped me figure it out; she reckoned you'd want to talk to me about it."
Smirking, Harry nudged Ron in the ribs. "I was wondering how you could say something that sensitive; I've never heard that kind of stuff from you before. Thank Merlin you have Hermione."
With a punch on the arm, Ron led Harry downstairs. "My thoughts exactly."
Eyes burning and head pounding, Hermione let her forehead drop to the table with a loud thump, pushing her books to the side. This was absurd; she was not about to be outsmarted by Voldemort! Just because she hadn't found anything to help Ginny in the five days she had been at Hogwarts didn't mean there wasn't something there! She would find something, or go mad.
She had perused almost every book she could find on the mysteries of the soul, and there was nothing about fighting possession. This irritated the tired girl; someone had to have been possessed through their soul and live to tell the tale! Of course, it wasn't terribly common to have your soul possessed. In fact, Ginny was the first case Hermione had ever heard of, which didn't bode well for her little mission.
Time was running out; in less than two days, she would have to leave for Grimmauld Place, and she desperately wanted to have something, anything for Harry when she got there. He was banking on her finding something; Ron had said as much in his last letter. There was pressure on her to come through on all sides; what if she didn't? What if she, Hermione Granger, bookworm of the ages, failed?
Merlin, she was almost despondent at the thought. Then Ginny would be condemned to suffer until Voldemort was killed, and who knows when that would happen?
Sighing, Hermione picked up her forehead and rubbed her eyes, grabbing a random book from her stack by her side. With a huff of impatience with herself, she decided to do a very un-Hermione-like thing; she would open to a random page and read from there. Her eyes hurt too much to scour every inch of the book right then.
Opening the book, she let her eyes glide over the text, searching for key words. Most of this was junk that she would think of putting in the same grouping as Divination, but she was determined to conquer.
Suddenly, a paragraph caught her eye. Hermione narrowed her gaze, reading the section word for word. Possession... Reverse possession... Soul bond...
Her jaw dropped in shock as she finished the last sentence.
Bloody hell, she had found it.
Grabbing the book from the table, she sprinted out of the library, much to the displeasure of Madam Pince. Leaving the fussing librarian behind, Hermione ran faster than she had ever before, heading straight for the headmaster's office. Her heart was pounding as she gave the garbled password and the gargoyle swung open. Had she really found it? Was this the answer to Ginny's problem?
Dumbeldore looked surprised as she burst into his office. "Miss Granger! Is something wrong?"
Breathing heavily, she dropped the open book on his desk in front of him, pointing at the correct paragraph. "I found it," she wheezed.
She watched his face as she regained her breath, seeing the wide-eyed reaction as he reached the end. Her heart was full to bursting with anticipation as he looked up slowly, eyes wide with shock.
"Yes, Miss Granger; yes you have."
A/N: Ooo! What has Hermione found? ^.^ Thanks to my beta Joe, who rocks my socks! Please read and review.