Disclaimer : I own nothing; it all belongs to J.K.Rowling.
I’m just borrowing the characters to play with for a while. This is for
pleasure only, no profit is being made, and no copyright infringement
Ginny lay on the bed in her room at Grimmauld Place, angrily
kicking her foot and staring at the wall. She was sick and tired of
being treated like a child by the rest of her family. They acted as if
she couldn’t handle herself at all, when she was the only one
of them that had actually come in direct contact with Tom. He may have
got the best of her, but she’d fought him long and hard for the better
part of a year – when she was eleven. She was capable of a whole lot
more than they gave her credit. It was Harry who was hurting and in
trouble; she should be with him. He needed her; she knew that he did,
and she needed to be with him, too. They had no right to keep them
This was too soon for this all to be happening to him
again. He still hadn’t even recovered from his last encounter. She knew
the guilt would overwhelm him. The Dursleys were assassinated because
of their ties to him, plain and simple. It was wrong, and unfair, and
so very despicable. They were Muggles – they never stood a chance. She
hated them for what they’d done to Harry, but she would never wish this
on them. No one deserved to be wiped simply on the whim of a madman.
Professor Dumbledore had been wrong about sending Harry back there year
after year. Knowing what Harry had gone through year after year and now
having it all be for naught; it was a bitter pill to swallow.
was angry and frustrated, so she began doing what she always did when
she felt that way. She started rearranging her room – moving the
furniture, changing the pictures on the wall, and completely
reorganizing it. Her room at the Burrow had been through more
transformations than she could count. This room at Grimmauld Place had
gone through one complete revamping this summer alone. She had trouble
moving her bureau and kicked it in frustration, stubbing her toe
painfully in the process. She hopped around in her stocking feet and
swore under her breath.
She was certain Ron was writing to
Hermione, and she thought maybe she’d send her friend a letter, too, if
Harry still wasn’t here when she finished with her room. She wanted to
send her new owl on a delivery, and she didn’t think Ron would give all
the details that she knew Hermione would want.
The owl had
come as a complete surprise to Ginny, albeit a delightful one. She was
inwardly pleased that Harry was thinking of her while they were apart.
She’d named her Delilah and fell in love with her instantly. She was a
very affectionate little thing, and Pig adored her. Ginny had never had
a pet of her own before, and it made her feel oddly important.
finished moving all the furniture in her bedroom around and stood
looking at the results. She wasn’t certain if she really liked it this
way or not. It was still eerily quiet downstairs, and she uttered a
string of curse words that would have made her brothers proud, although
shocked that they were coming from her. How dare they leave me out of this?
She knew they were all truly trying to protect Harry, but they
continued to treat him like an object rather than as a person. That
wasn’t what he needed, and she knew it. She also really resented being
treated like a child. There were times when she liked being the
youngest and wasn’t opposed to playing it up to get what she wanted,
but there were other times when it drove her crazy. She wanted it both
ways and really didn’t give a rat’s arse if that was unfair. What the devil is taking so long?
voices from the entrance hall caught her attention, and she tore her
door open and raced downstairs, hearing Ron following right on her
heels. She arrived to find her mother trying to clear a path out of the
room while Bill and Remus carried an unconscious Harry between them. He
looked horribly pale and battered with bloodstains still covering most
of his clothing.
“Let me levitate him up the stairs,” her
mother offered, but Remus nearly snarled at her as he held Harry’s limp
body closer to his chest.
“It’s all right, Mum,” Bill said, glancing at Remus. “We’ve got him. Madam Pomfrey said not to bounce him around too much.”
knew that carrying him was probably bouncing him much more than a
Levitation Charm would, but even she didn’t have the courage to say
that to Remus. He had a gleam in his eyes that looked almost deranged,
and she knew he was beside himself with worry. She couldn’t blame him
for wanting to hold Harry close and physically protect him; she was
struggling with the exact same feeling. She could see Tonks watching
Remus carefully, the concern in her eyes evident. Her eyes met with
Ginny’s across the room, and she gave a brief nod of understanding.
swallowed against a hard lump in her throat, a new appreciation for how
difficult a night it had been for all of them filling her
consciousness. She jumped at the sound of Ron’s voice; she’d forgotten
he’d come down the stairs behind her. “How is he?”
Neither Bill nor Remus answered but continued up the stairs towards Harry’s room, supporting his body between them.
still the same,” Fred said, leaning against the wall. Both he and
George looked thoroughly exhausted, and Ginny paled to see that they
had blood covering their clothing, as well. They didn’t appear to be
injured, so she assumed the blood belonged to Harry.
Ginny, and their mother followed the group upstairs; each lost in their
own thoughts. Bill and Remus had lain Harry in his bed, but it appeared
he hadn’t stirred at all despite all the jostling.
poor dear,” her mother said, gently brushing the fringe off Harry’s
forehead. One of his eyes was puffy, and a deep bruise ran along his
cheekbone and down the side of his face. His lips were cracked and
swollen. “Has he woken at all?”
“No,” Bill said. “Madam
Pomfrey gave him another dose of the Blood Replenishing Potion before
she left. She said she’d be here in the morning to check on him. She
wanted to bring him to Hogwarts, but Remus thought he’d be better off
here, and I agreed with him. I think Harry is going to take the
Dursleys’ deaths badly.”
“Why should he, though? He hated
them. Look what the bastard did to him,” Ron said, staring at the vivid
bruises on Harry’s face. His voice sounded very hard and bitter; Ginny
found it disturbing.
“He never wanted them dead, Ron,” she
said, gently sitting on the edge of Harry’s bed and taking his limp
hand in her own. “He just wanted to leave and not have to go back, but
he would never wish this on anyone. It is going to bother him; you know
Ron looked away without replying, but Ginny saw his
shoulders slump slightly. It was in Ron’s nature to be protective, and
she loved that he watched out for Harry.
“What are we
supposed to do for him? When will he wake up, and did Poppy leave
anything for him if he’s in pain?” her mother asked, keeping her eyes
locked with Bill’s and not looking at Harry.
Ginny knew the
physical evidence of his uncle’s abuse was greatly disturbing her
mother. She was certain that her mum was berating herself for not
insisting that Harry be taken out of that house. Her mum had struggled
against Professor Dumbledore’s insistence that they not interfere with
the Muggles. Ginny could sympathize with her on those thoughts, and she
was sure her mum would have a lot to say to Professor Dumbledore when
he arrived. What Ginny didn’t understand was why they were all
whispering if they wanted Harry to wake up, anyway. But she couldn’t
help whispering, too; it seemed like the natural thing to do.
doesn’t think he’ll wake any time soon, and she said she would be here
in the morning with his next dose of potions,” Remus said. His voice
was calm and gentle, but his eyes looked so full of turmoil. Ginny was
struck by a similarity to Harry – always keeping his emotions in such
“Are you all right, Remus?” Ginny asked.
sighed, but gave her a small, grateful smile. “I’ll be all right,
Ginny. I wish we could have spared him this. Madam Pomfrey says she
can’t understand how he was still on his feet when Tonks found him. The
amount of blood loss he sustained should have had him unconscious long
before he finally passed out. She’s at a loss to explain how he didn’t
die before Tonks finally got him back to Mrs. Figg’s.”
shuddered and grasped Harry’s hand more tightly, the words of the
prophecy playing in her mind. If Harry was the only one who could kill
Voldemort, did that mean that only Voldemort could kill Harry, as well?
She didn’t know, and she certainly didn’t want to keep testing the
Harry stirred just then, his head giving a slight
turn as his eyebrows furrowed. He whimpered slightly before settling
into a deep sleep once again. Everyone in the room had tensed and
stared expectantly at him. When he didn’t move again, they released a
“Bill, Remus, both of you look dead on your feet. Go on up to your rooms and lie down; I’ll send up some tea,” her mother said.
seemed reluctant to leave, but, casting one last look at Harry’s
sleeping face, he relented. He gave Ron and Ginny a nod that seemed to
say, ‘Take care of him’, and followed Bill from the room.
sat down on his bed and looked over at her with a shrug. They continued
to stare at Harry, willing him to wake up and tell them he was all
“We’ve been doing this a lot this year,” Ron finally said.
“Too much,” Ginny agreed.
door opened with a creak, and Fred and George walked in, both dragging
their feet. George sat next to Ron on his bed, while Fred remained
standing, looking very uncomfortable.
“Are you two all right?” Ginny asked. She’d never before seen the two of them so lifeless.
just tired,” George replied. “We’ve got the rest of Harry’s stuff
downstairs with Dobby. We managed to get it all out before the Muggle
Fred just stood in the same spot, staring at Harry with an unfathomable expression.
“What’s with him?” Ron asked, nodding his head towards Fred.
this morning, we were talking with Harry about how he never said
anything about the nightmares he’s been having,” Fred answered for
himself, never taking his eyes off of Harry. “I joked with him about
how he always says he’s fine, and that if he were bleeding all over the
floor, he wouldn’t want to trouble anyone to clean it up. That’s
exactly what I ended up doing tonight at Mrs. Figg’s.”
heart went out to her brother, seeing the regret on his face. While
growing up with the twins’ joking, there had been plenty of times she’d
got so frustrated with them and wished they’d take something seriously.
Watching Fred’s devastation over the joke he’d made, she took all that
back. She wanted the twins to be fun-loving and mischievous. They all
needed their jokes now.
“Don’t blame yourself, Fred. You
couldn’t have known,” she said, squeezing Fred’s shoulder. “I’m certain
Harry thought it was very funny, actually, because it’s true. He always
appreciates the humor in a situation.”
“I’ve never seen so much blood in my life,” Fred whispered.
took his arm and began guiding him from the room in much the same way
her mother had done to Bill and Remus. “Come on, off to bed with you.
Harry is going to be okay, and things will look brighter in the
morning.” They all went to bed, each silently praying that Ginny’s
words would come true.
It was three days later when Harry finally regained
consciousness. They had all taken turns sitting with him so he wouldn’t
be alone when he woke up, and Ginny was grateful that it was her shift
when his eyes finally fluttered open. He’d been tossing and turning for
several hours, so they suspected he might be close to waking. He was
still unnaturally pale, but the wound on his side had finally healed.
His depleted magical reserves were, once again, having a hard time
letting his body heal. Madam Pomfrey had done nothing for the marks on
his neck and face, instead concentrating solely on the more pressing
injury along his side. The curse had opened him from his shoulder down
to just below his hip, and Madam Pomfrey said there would always be a
slight scar. The image of Vernon Dursley’s handprint around Harry’s
neck had caused all of them to shudder in impotent fury at various
times during their shifts.
Ginny was sitting in a chair next
to his bed, holding Harry’s hand, when he once again began tossing his
head back and forth, muttering incoherently. He was lying on his side
curled up in a ball; he’d slept like that the entire time he’d been at
“Shh, it’s all right, luv. I’m right here;
you’re safe. Are you ready to come back to us yet, Harry?” she asked
him. She’d been talking to him like this for days, just as she’d done
back in the hospital wing before the end of term.
eyes fluttered until finally she saw his green orbs gazing back at her
in confusion. Ginny’s heart soared, and she leapt off her chair,
throwing her arms around him. “Oh, Harry, I’m so happy you’re awake.
You’ve got to stop doing this to me; it’s getting old.”
licked his dry lips and squinted as his hand began feeling around the
bed, as if looking for something. “Where did the dog go?” he croaked.
What dog? I think you were dreaming, Harry,” she said in confusion.
There certainly had been no dog at Grimmauld Place, not for over a
“He was here,” Harry said, becoming frantic.
He tried to sit up but was unable to do it, his hands still searching
for the missing dog.
Ginny became alarmed. She reached over
and grabbed his hands to still them. “Harry, calm down. There’s no dog.
You’re here at Grimmauld Place; you’ve been unconscious for the past
three days. Do you remember how you got here?”
as he furrowed his brow in confusion, trying to grasp what had
happened. A brief series of emotions crossed his face as he remembered.
His hand instinctively kept searching for the dog, and she wondered if
he’d been dreaming of Sirius. He seemed desperate for the comfort for
which he would never ask. She edged closer to him, but he curled back
into himself, obviously not wanting to be touched.
“Harry,” she ventured. “Tell me what you’re thinking.”
“The Dursleys are dead,” he said. It was a statement, not a question, and said in a flat, lifeless tone.
“Yes, they are. I’m sorry, Harry.”
didn’t move, and his expression never changed; he lay there stiffly,
and his eyes seemed very far away. “I shouldn’t have left. I should’ve
argued more with him about leaving.”
Ginny swallowed. “It’s not your fault, Harry. You didn’t do any of this.”
can you say that?” he said, rounding on her. “They’re Muggles, Muggles
who wanted nothing to do with the wizarding world. Their importance on
Voldemort’s hit list was directly tied to me. There are a lot of other
people, wizards and Muggles alike, who would have been higher on the
list if it weren’t for their connection to me.”
furious, and his outburst winded him. She struggled with her own
irritation; she wanted to shake him by the shoulders and make him
understand that it wasn’t his fault, but he wasn’t ready to hear what
she had to say. She fought to control her temper by digging her nails
into the flesh of her thigh. Gritting her teeth and desperate to change
the subject, she said, “Dobby is okay; he’s been helping Mum
“Hedwig?” Harry asked in alarm, and she shut her eyes in dread. She’d hoped to avoid that subject a while longer.
“She’s most likely fine, luv.”
Harry’s breathing became labored again as he tried to rise from the bed. “What do you mean? Where is she?”
pushed him back down and took his hand in her own. Gently, she began
rubbing his cold hands in her own. “We haven’t seen her since the
attack, but she wasn’t in the house when the Order went through. She’ll
be back; she’s probably off hunting.”
Harry stopped struggling, but he wouldn’t open his eyes. “Is Remus here?” he asked in a very strangled voice.
been sitting with you the whole time, Harry. But he isn’t here now;
it’s a full moon. He’ll be back tomorrow, and you can see him.” Ginny
watched as he bit his lip, despair seeming to cross his entire face.
She was at a loss on how to help him and began to feel slightly
“I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel,” he whispered.
“What do you mean?”
didn’t love them. I don’t know if I even care that they’re gone. What
kind of person doesn’t feel anything when all their last blood
relatives are killed?” he asked, keeping his eyes closed and his body
huddled towards the wall and away from her.
onto the bed with him, lying alongside him and wrapping her arms around
his stiff shoulders. He didn’t respond at all. “It makes you human,
Harry. They weren’t very nice to you; they were downright cruel,
actually. I wouldn’t expect that you’d feel any profound sense of
“But…they were what I had…I should care. How does
that make me any different?” His voice was so low she had to struggle
to hear it.
“Harry, they locked you in a cupboard when you
were a baby; it would be extremely unusual if they were your favorite
people. It’s the fact that you’re even concerned about it that shows
how different you are. Tom killed his family with his own wand, and I
highly doubt there was even a moment of regret,” Ginny said fiercely,
her eyes flashing with her determination. She wasn’t about to let him
slip down this road again.
“I’m tired, Ginny, and I think
I’d like to be alone for a while,” he said in a weary voice, edging
closer to the wall and further away from her. “Do you mind giving me a
little time to think?”
“Yes, Harry, I do mind,” she said,
startling him. He turned his head to look at her with wide eyes. “I’ll
be quiet and give you all the rest and silence you need, but I’m not
leaving you alone. You’ve been alone too much already, and I haven’t
seen that it’s done you any good. I’m not going away; I’ll just sit
here and be quiet…and you know how difficult that can be for me.”
continued to blink like an owl, as if he didn’t know what to say. She
settled herself in and shut her eyes, still holding him tightly. He
remained very stiff and unmoving for quite some time. Eventually, she
felt his body relax and soon he was breathing deeply, asleep again. It
was only once he was asleep that he curled his body towards her,
seeking her warmth. She lay with him for quite some time, offering what
comfort she could, before untangling herself and kissing him on the
head. She went downstairs to let the others know he’d regained
consciousness. She had the unsettling feeling that this was going to be
a long recovery.
When Harry awoke again, the room was very
dim, and he didn’t know how long he’d been sleeping. Ginny was gone,
but he could hear Ron’s snores coming from the other bed across the
room. As he lay there, his mind drifted back to Privet Drive and all
that had happened. He thought he’d just finally made a connection with
Dudley, but that was never going to be. Neither can live while the other survives…
should have known to be suspicious whenever anything seemed to be
working out for the better by now. He’d been sickened when the jet of
deathly green light had struck Uncle Vernon, but had felt no great
sense of loss.
It had been different when it happened to
Aunt Petunia. She was his mother’s sister – his mother, who sang him
lullabies, and smiled when she danced, and had died to save him. Aunt
Petunia was her sister. It wasn’t like there was any love between him
and his aunt, but, still, she was the last little bit of his mother he
had, and now he’d lost that, too. Not only lost it, but it was entirely
his fault…again. He felt like he’d killed the last little bit of her
that had managed to survive.
Harry’s chest constricted
tightly, and he wished Remus were here. He didn’t even know what he
expected him to say, but he had known Harry’s mother, and he was the
only way Harry could feel that connection. And he really wanted it
right now…wanted to know, somehow, that she wouldn’t think it was his
Ginny said it wasn’t, but he couldn’t help the huge
stone of guilt that was pressing on his heart. This had to end. The
Dursleys weren’t a threat to Voldemort; killing them was so
unnecessary. He had to talk to Dumbledore. Professor Dumbledore had
always insisted he had to go back, that he was safe there. Nothing felt
particularly safe at the moment. Harry felt the need to do
something. If the Headmaster would give his permission for Harry to
start practicing his magic again, he wanted to step up his training.
He’d used some magic on Privet Drive, and some of it had worked – that
had to be an improvement. He needed to step up the pace and end this
thing with Voldemort, once and for all. Too many lives had been
sacrificed already, and Harry wasn’t willing to let any of the people
he had left be next. That wasn’t going to happen.
few days passed in a blur for Harry. Everyone was in and out, offering
condolences and wishes for a speedy recovery. He wanted them all to
disappear. He never knew what to say when they told him they were sorry
about the Dursleys. He knew they weren’t. He wasn’t even certain he
was. He and Dudley had made a few steps, but not enough even to call it
a relationship. He still wasn’t positive that Dudley hadn’t been
setting him up. It wouldn’t have been the first time. Still…he couldn’t
help but wonder, and he supposed he always would.
like everyone in the house was watching him, and it made him extremely
self-conscious. He didn’t know what they expected from him. He’d never
wanted the Dursleys to die; he’d just wanted to live away from them. He
didn’t know what kind of person he was that he didn’t feel anything but
guilt over their deaths. Certainly, he should feel some regret; he’d
been with them since before he could remember. He hated that everyone
was watching him while he figured it all out. Although he tried to nod
and pretend he was listening to everyone, his smile was forced, and he
was aware that they all knew it.
Remus came by the day after
the full moon, looking tired and drawn, but delighted to see that Harry
was awake. He, too, told Harry that it wasn’t his fault, and that Lily
was smart enough to know exactly whom to blame. He also gently reminded
Harry that a little bit of Lily did still go on – in him. This made him
feel a little better, but not much. He was so angry, and he didn’t know
where to direct it.
Somehow, Remus always seemed to be able
to look inside and know exactly what Harry was feeling. He suspected
that Remus might have some natural Legilimency skills of his own. Harry
enjoyed spending time with him, and at least a little bit of the anger
and confusion he was feeling seemed to evaporate when he was with
Remus. He’d made certain that Harry got a Dreamless Sleep Potion every
few days, as well.
Ron hadn’t said anything about Harry’s
nightmares, but Harry had been up enough during the early morning hours
to know that Ron was having his own sleeping issues. He rarely went to
bed before three and tossed and turned when he finally did. Harry had
been leaving an Everlasting Candle burning each night when he retired,
and it was always still lit in the morning. He’d wondered if Remus had
talked to Ron about Harry’s problem, but was too embarrassed to ask. It
could just be that Ron was oblivious when he finally stumbled to bed.
Either way, Harry was grateful that he hadn’t made an issue of Harry’s
wanting the light.
Every day, since shortly after he awoke,
he’d be up and walking around, although his side ached painfully when
he did. Madam Pomfrey had nixed his idea of practicing any magic until
September, saying that he was back to square one in his recovery. This
worried Harry greatly, as it meant Voldemort was now better off than he
was. Technically, Harry would be seventeen at the end of the month and
legally able to use his magic, but Madam Pomfrey insisted he had to
wait until September.
He didn’t know where he’d be spending
the rest of the summer. Dumbledore had sent him a message that he was
working on a safe house; he didn’t trust the security of Grimmauld
Place, now that the blood protection was null and void. He was slightly
alarmed by the letter, but Mrs. Weasley assured him that wherever he
was going, the rest of the Weasleys were going, as well. That made him
feel a little better, although he wished Dumbledore would just give him
a straight answer. He could sense that Mrs. Weasley didn’t appear very
happy with the headmaster, either.
He’d spent much of his
time while at Grimmauld Place observing Ron. Harry couldn’t do much,
since he hadn’t completely recovered physically. He mostly sat in the
drawing room with whoever was at Headquarters at the time. Ron and
Ginny kept him company, and Harry had immediately noticed what Ginny
was talking about regarding Ron. He lost his temper frequently, which
was normal for Ron, but there was more of a snide, biting edge to his
comments that was very unlike him.
He took most of
his aggression out on Ginny, Mrs. Weasley, and his brothers, although
Harry had started receiving his fair share of it, as well. Only Mr.
Weasley seemed to escape the brunt of it. Harry had watched Mr. Weasley
play chess with Ron each night and noticed how he tried calmly and very
innocently to turn the conversation towards Ron’s anger. Harry had felt
a bit envious of the relationship he saw between father and son, but
kept scolding himself for it. It wasn’t that he was unhappy Ron had
that, it was just he wished for a bit of it, too. It made him wonder
what his own relationship with his father would have been like if he
Harry often found himself dozing off on the
couch, and he suspected Mrs. Weasley had left strict orders not to
disturb him if he did. He woke up one evening to find his head lying in
Ginny’s lap while she calmly read a book. Mr. Weasley and Ron played
chess, and the twins worked on some papers all in the same room. He
knew none of them had been there when he fell asleep, and his head
certainly hadn’t been resting on Ginny’s lap. He was mortified it had
been there with them all watching. Ginny just laughed at his
embarrassment, while the twins waggled their eyebrows, and Mr. Weasley
smiled an odd, knowing smile. Ron ignored the whole thing.
was again propped up in the drawing room; Ginny had gone upstairs to do
some homework. He knew he should be doing his, as well – he had a stack
of it – but lacked the energy. Ron entered the room and plopped down
“Finally decided to wake up again?” he asked, and Harry thought his voice sounded rather grumpy.
“Sorry if that bothers you,” he said sarcastically.
Ron asked, his brow knitted in confusion. “No, oi, sorry, Harry. I
don’t mean to take it out on you. There is an Order meeting going on
downstairs, and they completely shut me out – big surprise. Before the
door shut, I heard them say something about the Malfoys.”
“Malfoys? Well, they must mean Narcissa. What’s she up to now?” Harry asked, sitting up straighter.
They cast an Imperceptible Charm before I heard any more. Somehow, I
don’t think it was Narcissa they were talking about, though. Although I
suppose it has to be; she’s the only one left. Tonks and I saw to
Harry jerked his head to look into Ron’s eyes. Ron
hadn’t brought this up with him since he’d been at Grimmauld Place, and
Harry was startled that he was doing it now. “Ron, it was a duel…there
are always risks.”
Ron’s lips thinned much the same way as Bill’s did when he was angry. “I know that; it doesn’t change anything.”
can’t say that I know how you feel – and I won’t, because it drives me
batty when people who have no idea what I’m feeling say that to me. But
I do know the feeling that the whole world is crashing around you and
being unable to do anything to stop it. It makes you feel
so…powerless…it’s not good,” Harry said, searching for the right words.
Ron was staring at him with wide, stunned eyes. “Yeah,” he whispered in a strange, strangled kind of voice.
he could say another word, Ginny came in, wearing a huge smile. She was
obviously pleased to find them both here. “Harry, you’re awake. I came
down a little while ago, but you looked so peaceful, I didn’t want to
disturb you. I had to do an essay for Snape instead,” she said,
grimacing in distaste.
“I’ve got to finish a letter to Hermione,” Ron said, standing up. “She’s worried about you, mate; you should write her.”
lowered his head in shame. He hadn’t written to Hermione since he’d
awoken. “Yeah. Tell her I’m okay, and I’ll write. When will she be
“Dunno. As soon as she’s back from her trip, I
suppose. She can’t say directly in a letter. I know she wanted to cut
it short when you got hurt, but Dumbledore wouldn’t let her. Just as
well. She needed to spend some time with her parents.”
nodded absently as Ron left the room. Ginny was rubbing his neck and
working out some of the tension there. It felt wonderful, and he found
himself relaxing and letting her fingers work their magic. Where did she learn to do this?
It felt amazing. He really hadn’t been fair to Ginny these past few
days. She was only trying to help him; he’d have to make that up to
“That feels good, Ginny,” he said, gasping as she reached a tough knot.
“Sorry,” Ginny said quickly, softening her touch. “Madam Pomfrey lent me a book, and it showed how to do this.”
feels very nice.” It didn’t take long for Harry to feel completely
relaxed. He shut his eyes and let his head roll to his chest while
“Harry,” she said, “did your uncle throw you out the night Privet Drive was attacked?”
started in surprise at the unexpected question. She continued her
soothing massage until he relaxed again. He really didn’t want her to
stop, and he’d just decided that he owed her, so he answered
truthfully. “Yeah. He found me in Dudley’s room with the Firebolt.”
“The Firebolt? What on earth where you doing?”
asked me a question about Quidditch. We just got to talking. He finally
got a date with Veronica…I wonder if anyone told her?” Harry said in
“I’m certain she knows,” Ginny said soothingly. “So, your uncle found you in there?”
“Yeah…er, he was rather cross about it.”
“Is that when he hit you?” she asked bluntly.
hesitated for a minute, but found he suddenly did want to talk to her
about this, but only her. He peered around to make certain no one was
listening at the door. “Actually, he shouted a lot first and sent
Dudley downstairs. I should have ducked like I always did, but he
caught me off guard. I crashed into the desk and broke Dudley’s
computer. Dudley would have been angry about that…er, never mind. Uncle
Vernon said to get out, and I didn’t really know what I should do. I
was going to go to Mrs. Figg’s and see if Dumbledore could fix things
with Aunt Petunia again, but I never made it there.” Harry shuddered,
thinking about what had happened after that, and Ginny continued to
gently knead the knots in his neck.
“Did he do that a lot?” she whispered.
“What, throw me out? He only tried one other time – the night the Dementors came.”
“No. You said you usually ducked,” she prompted.
was getting uncomfortable again, but Remus’s words about talking about
things rang in his mind. Remus had been trying to get him to talk for
days. He sighed and forced himself to continue. “Not so much, anymore…a
lot when I was younger. I…er…was always pretty fast and could get away.
He, um, usually didn’t chase me.”
Ginny was very quiet for
several minutes and didn’t ask any more questions. Harry remained
still, enjoying the continued pressure on his neck. After a while, he
turned to face Ginny and was startled to find tears streaking her face.
“I’m so sorry, Harry,” she whispered brokenly before beginning to sob
“Ginny,” he said, stunned. He reached around and
pulled her onto the couch with him, wrapping her in his arms and
letting her cry on his shoulder.
“I hate the way… sniff …the way you talk about it so calmly… sniff . I hate that you seem to think it’s acceptable,” she cried.
was at a loss for what to say. He just kept stroking her hair, loving
the luxurious feel of it between his fingers. “Don’t cry, Ginny.
Everything is okay; it’s over now.”
“It never should have
been that way. I hate that we all celebrated the victory of the
Boy-Who-Lived, and no one ever knew what really became of you. I hate
that,” Ginny spat.
Harry felt his heart warm slightly by her
words. He’d been feeling so numb and distant from everyone, but Ginny’s
blatant concern for him touched him deeply. She loved him, and all was
not lost. He snuggled into her neck and began trailing kisses beneath
her ear when the sound of a throat clearing in the doorway startled
He and Ginny sprang apart, and Harry nearly went
sprawling off the couch and onto the floor when he saw Professor
Dumbledore standing there with his eyes twinkling.
evening, Harry, Miss Weasley,” he said, nodding to each of them. “I am
sorry to interrupt. Although I fear my presence will not be nearly as
pleasant a distraction as yours, Miss Weasley, I need to take up a few
moments of Harry’s time.”
Ginny blushed to the roots of her
hair, gave Harry an apologetic smile, and nearly sprinted from the room
without a word to Professor Dumbledore.
Harry turned towards Professor Dumbledore, his stomach clenching.
Somehow, he didn’t think the headmaster was going to say anything he
particularly wanted to hear. He’d much rather spend the time doing what
he was doing with Ginny, but he didn’t see a choice in the matter.
“Hello, Professor. D’you want to sit down?”
A/N: Merry Christmas, Happy Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Joyeux
Noel, Boldog Karacsony…however you say the words – enjoy! I hope you
all have a wonderful holiday with friends and family. I’m hoping my
muse will return, he’s been on permanent hiatus since my return from
Disney. I hope the January doldrums will stir him up. Thanks goodness
that I’m ahead of you by a few chapters or I’d really be panicking.