"And then I - I might have… Well, I nearly cried."
"Harry, did you cry or not?"
"All right, I cried." Harry had just finished telling Hermione about his conversation with Ginny.
"I can't believed you looked at me, though," she said after a pause. She sighed.
"Well, I was thinking: 'Hermione would know what to do in this situation'!"
Although Hermione looked pleased at the compliment, she still said, "When did you last speak to her?"
sighed. "You're not making this easy, Harry. Right. You need to tell
her how you feel and you need to tell her why you were looking at me!
It's obvious that she knows why you have to go, so you just need to
tell her that you love her – you know, the perfect way to say goodbye –
and then – "
"Wait! Hang on a second… what did you say about love?"
She let out an exasperated sigh. "You love her, Harry. Everyone
knows it. The way you look at her, the way you laugh at all her jokes
even if they're not funny – when she just makes a comment, you smile.
You cried when you broke up with her. Everyone but you knows it, Harry:
you love her." Harry leant back in his chair and ran his hand through
Eventually he said, "You're right. I love her, and I have to tell her."
It was Monday night, and at the dinner table, Mr. Weasley stood up. "All right, everyone, time to clear the table," he declared.
"Err… wait!" Harry shouted above the rabble. "Erm… I mean, could I say something?"
"Certainly, Harry," was Mr. Weasley's reply as everyone seated themselves once more.
I have some important news." He glanced in the direction of Ron and
Hermione, both of whom immediately understood what he meant. "Well, you
probably all know what my situation with Voldemort is by now – with the
'Chosen One', and all," he clarified. Mr. Weasley sighed and shifted
around uncomfortably in his chair. "This means that I – well, before he
can be… destroyed, there are some things which I have to do."
"What kind of things?" Mr. Weasley demanded. Harry turned to face him.
that only concern myself and Dumbledore. Oh, and a… few others." He
smiled in Ron and Hermione's direction. "This means that I will not be
returning to Hogwarts this year." A few people gasped. "Please let me
explain before you say anything." Mrs. Weasley quickly shut her mouth.
"Firstly, I need this time to sort out these things. I don't know how
long it will take, but I do know that I need to start as soon as
possible. Secondly, I don't want to remain at Hogwarts under a
different Head. I do think McGonagall will be a magnificent
Headmistress, but still, I do not want to stay there."
There was silence. Finally, Mrs. Weasley asked, "Who knew about this?"
Slowly, Ginny, Ron and Hermione raised their hands.
"You all knew? And you didn't say anything?"
"Me and Hermione don't just know, Mum, we're going with him."
it's not his fault," Ron added, "Once he told us, we refused to let him
go alone, so don't go blaming Harry, there's nothing you can do – we
sent our letters telling McGonagall this morning."
"I'd like a word with Harry, Ron and Hermione, the rest of you – bed."
"We're nineteen!" came Fred and George's replies.
go and find something to do, not in this kitchen!" she snapped. Slowly
everyone traipsed out. Ginny, however, stayed sitting at the kitchen
table, staring straight at Harry, her arms folded across her chest.
Mrs. Weasley gasped. "Ginny, you're not going with them, are you?"
Without moving a muscle, Ginny replied, "Oh no, Mum. It's against the law – isn't it Harry?" she said pointedly.
"Ginny," Harry warned.
"What? It is against the law, and you're one never to break the rules – "
we've already had this conversation and you know why you can't come!"
he growled. She opened her mouth as if about to say something back, but
then thought better of it, and standing up abruptly, she stormed out of
the room. There was a short silence until Mr. Weasley sat down.
"Harry, have you thought this through?"
"Yes, Mr. Weasley," came Harry's short reply.
By not getting your NEWT qualifications, you are throwing your future
away. Have you any ideas about what you want to become?"
"Erm… well I wanted to become an Auror."
you realise that you becoming an Auror is not possible without your
NEWTs. Everyone knows that you're a great wizard and that you don't
need any more training, you've experienced far more than you need to
become a great auror, Harry, but it may be hard to … bend the rules for
just one person." Harry leant back in his chair. He had gone over the
plan many times in his head, trying to think of a reason why he needed
to take the actual NEWTs – he didn't need them for what he was going to
do, after all… But when, or if, he ever applied for a job, he needed
the qualifications to prove it. This problem had come up before,
but he'd thought about it. He'd realised that defeating Voldemort was
more important than thinking about the future. It sounded stupid to say
it, but the present was what was really important here. But what would
he do in a few years time, if he defeated Voldemort and the ministry
turned him down in an attempt to become an Auror? Who in their right
mind would employ him, with no qualifications whatsoever? Harry
imagined himself at a Muggle service station, behind a counter wearing
some stupid uniform and giving change to Uncle Vernon.
Hermione's voice broke his train of thought. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, Ron
and Hermione were looking at him strangely. Harry hadn't even realised
he was daydreaming and Mr. Weasley was still waiting for an answer.
right, sorry, I don't know," he mumbled quickly, then added, "But it's
not me you should be trying to persuade to stay, it's Ron and Hermione
– sorry," he added, seeing Ron glaring at him.
can't persuade me to stay, it's no use. The quicker I start my attempt
to defeat Voldemort, the less time he has to prepare, to gain more
supporters. If I stayed at school and planned for the future I might
not have, we'd have to go through another year of killings! It would be
like how it was sixteen years ago! The sooner I start, the better
chance I have of survival. The sooner I start, the sooner it ends," he
"That goes for us as
well!" declared Ron. "There's no way you can persuade us to go back to
school 'cause there's no way we'd let Harry go alone."
"Well. That's that, then," Mr. Weasley sighed. Mrs. Weasley stood up, defeated, and said, "Let's go find the others."
Mrs. Weasley exclaimed from behind a letter on Wednesday morning. "Bill
has gone back into Mungo's again! One of his bites has gotten infected!
He won't be out of Mungo's in time for the wedding! It's from Fleur, I
suppose she'll be here soon." A few seconds later Fleur Apparated into
the Weasley kitchen and interrupted their breakfast.
"It iz zo terrible!" and she let out a wail and covered her face with her hands.
"Let me get you some tea," said Charlie, hurrying over to the kettle.
there, dear, it will be alright, we'll just plan the wedding for
another day…" Mrs. Weasley tried to calm Fleur down while Charlie
handed her a mug of tea.
"You can stay at Lupin's with us next week while Bill's still in hospital – what was that?"
sorry, just lost my grip," Harry mumbled as he swept up the fragment of
his broken mug with his wand. Lupin's next week? What next? He, Ron and
Hermione had planned to go to Godric's Hollow this week, but Mrs.
Weasley made them stay another week. So they had planned to go to
Godric's Hollow next week, but now they were probably going to end up
at Lupin's. The week after that, they were booked in at the Leaky
Cauldron, so it looked as if they were never going to be able to visit
it. Ron gave Harry a confused look. Harry asked, "Is that invitation
"Oh yes, dear! You
three must come before you go … adventuring," she said, saying the last
word with much disapproval. "Charlie, Fred and George will be there,
they're bringing some girls apparently, oh, and Ginny will, of course, be there." She gave Harry a strange look. "What happened between you two, anyway?"
"Erm, we broke up." Harry did not want to have this conversation right now, especially with Mrs. Weasley.
"Last day of school – Ron, Hermione don't we have to … to … to do that thing?"
"What do you have to do?" Mrs. Weasley asked suspiciously.
Hermione, catching on within a second, added, "Oh yes. Come on."
What do we have to do?" Ron asked stupidly while Hermione sighed.
Hermione sighed again. He was useless at this sort of thing. But she
liked it. It was kind of cute … stop it! She told herself. Nothing's
going to happen between you and Ron. Besides, stop thinking about
yourself right now. Harry needs you. Yes, put all your attention on
Harry… I wonder how Harry would react if he found out about how you
feel about Ron…stop it! Stop it! Stop it!
the looks he was receiving from Harry and Hermione, and replaying their
conversation in his head, Ron suddenly understood what was going on.God ,
I'm crap at this. She must think that I'm the stupidest person in the
entire world. I bet Cormac McLaggen is more intelligent than me.
Actually, no. I'm way more intelligent than Cormac McLaggen. What was I
thinking? I'm so much better than him at… well, everything. Especially
Quidditch. She just can't admit it. Oh, there's another thing, I
completely ruined my chances with her with the whole Lavender phase. I
only went out with her to get back at Ginny for what she said.
Hermione's never gonna be interested now. But she did want to invite me
to her stupid party last year. I messed that up. I couldn't stop
thinking, she likes me! Well, she liked me. Right. Stop thinking about
Hermione. She's not interested. Nothing is going to happen. Think about
something else. Harry. Yes, Harry needs you right now. It's not fair to
be thinking about Hermione when Harry needs you.
"Ron! Stop daydreaming and come on!" Ah,
she said my name. She says your name twenty times a day! And she just
told you to stop daydreaming, so come on! Right, concentrate on Harry.
As Hermione grabbed Ron's arm, her thoughts were still chasing each other around her head. Gosh,
I said that strictly. No wonder that he doesn't take interest. I remind
him of McGonagall, I know it. Maybe if I speak more softly and kindly
he'll take more notice…I wonder what he's thinking about. It was
probably Lavender or Quidditch. The Duddley Dannons? The Fuddley
Fannons? What's his team called again? Stop it! Concentrate on
Harry. Harry needs you.
As they climbed the stairs, Harry pondered the best time to talk to Ginny. I
need to talk to Ginny! Tonight? No, that won't be any good; Remus and
Tonks are arriving for dinner… tomorrow? No, Fred and George are
bringing girls over… Sunday? We're leaving for Grimmuald Place! Crap!I'll
have to do it there. This is going to be hard as Ginny is avoiding me
at all costs…Why are Ron and Hermione staring at me? They both look
focused – they're concentrating on me! Have I got this morning's
porridge dribbled down my chin or something?
next few days passed quickly, Remus and Tonks stayed for dinner, Fred
and George had their friends over, and in no time at all it was Sunday
and they were leaving for Grimmuald Place.
Got all your stuff?" called Mr Weasley as he handed out Floo powder.
When Harry climbed out of the grate, Lupin was waiting to greet
"Come in, come in, welcome!" Lupin said once everyone had arrived. The two girls looked stunned.
"Well, hello! Please, call me Remus. Now, if I remember correctly…Miss Bell and Miss Johnson?"
sat down on his bed and sighed. It was Wednesday evening. The last few
days had been great ones for everyone, except him. Ever since he had
stepped into the house on Sunday night, he had felt a wave of grief
spread over him. He had soon realised why. He hadn't been here since
Sirius' death. The place seemed so empty without him. The last time he
been here he had been furious with Dumbledore. Everything in this house
reminded him of one of them and he felt as sometimes he just needed to
get out. He threw a kick at the bedpost and stubbed his toe. Swearing
loudly, he collapsed onto his bed and rubbed at his foot. CRACK!
"Arrrrrgh!!" Harry yelled. "What the hell are you doing?"
"Just dropping by for a visit," came Fred's reply.
"We heard you using repulsive language," said George.
"And came to see if you were alright," finished Fred.
thanks, but I'm fine, I just stubbed my toe," he said, rubbing his foot
furiously. "What's in there, anyway?" He pointed to the florescent
green briefcase at George's side.
"Very important products."
"Which we're updating, but haven't had the chance experiment on yet."
"Can I have a look?" Harry asked.
"We wouldn't usually – "
"But, you are our silent partner so – "
course," they opened the briefcase and laid it down next to Harry.
There were many products Harry had not seen before, but the one that
caught his eye was one that he had seen before. 'Patented Daydream
Charms.' He looked at the picture of the boy and the girl on the front.
The boy looked happy enough, and definitely concentrated on what he was
doing. He wasn't being swamped by thoughts of his dead headmaster or
godfather. Maybe he should give it a go? But what Harry didn't need was
half an hour of daydreaming about Ginny. But, the question was, who
else did he want to daydream about?
"Can you choose who you dream about?"
"Why?" the twins asked suspiciously. They don't know that we've broken up, Harry thought. They must think I'm a right pervert now – especially as we're talking about their little sister.
"Harry." George sighed and glanced at Fred. "Who would you like to daydream about?" Crap, thought Harry. This would take some thinking about.
slightly concerned here, Harry. You're making us worried. As much as I
don't want you to be having romantic daydreams about our little sister,
I don't want you to be having them about other girls…" The identical
grins had disappeared from their faces and had been replaced with
identical confused frowns.
"Alright," he sighed. "I'm gonna be truthful with you two. "Ginny and I… broke up." The twins were shocked.
"What? You and Ginny?" Fred asked.
"From what we'd heard, you two were perfect!"
"I guess our source was faulty, Fred."
leaned his head against the wall. "We didn't break up because one of us
didn't want the other. We broke up because, well, that doesn't matter,
but we still want to go out with each other, but we can't." Fred and
George looked baffled but he still carried on. "That's why I want to
get away – you know, do the charm and all, but I don't want to dwell on
Ginny. Oh, and don't tell anyone we broke up. Only Ron and Hermione
know. Oh, and now your mum."
"You don't make any sense – you know that, Harry?"
"But, we may be able to help…"
"We're trying some new spells out on this particular product so…"
"We'll let you know if we come up with anything." Harry raised an eyebrow.
"Erm… thanks," and with a pop they Disapparated.
rest of the time spent at Grimmuald Place was rather grim. Ron was
spending most of his time trying to teach Hermione to play chess
properly, while Harry had discovered a dusty old bookcase full of books
on magic. He read them carefully, picking up on anything that might
come in handy. Fred and George had not said anything about Patented
Daydream Charms, but when they weren't with Katie or Angelina, they
would occasionally sneak upstairs for an hour or two. Then later when
Harry walked past their room he saw wisps of fluffy pink clouds
escaping from underneath their door. Harry still hadn't talked to Ginny
by Saturday morning and he was getting desperate. He, Ron, and Hermione
were leaving the very next day for the Leaky Cauldron.
"Hermione? Another game of chess?" Ron looked over his empty cereal bowl at Hermione.
she replied. They headed up towards the drawing room and eventually sat
down at the chess table in front of the fire. A while into the game,
Hermione moved her king.
"Don't do that. I could put you in check," Ron pointed out.
"Yes, but if you do that, my next move would to be to put you in checkmate," she indicated to one of her pieces.
"Blimey, Hermione, you're getting good! I'd never have thought of that!"
because, Ronald, you have no patience whatsoever. It's one of your
biggest faults – your immediate reaction was to put me in check as soon
as you had the chance, which in the end, would lose you the game," she
said, as it was the simplest thing in the world. Ron then realised that
he was staring at the chessboard, while Hermione was silently staring
at him. He slowly raised his head and realised how close her face was
from his and without thinking about what he was doing, he leaned in
closer and closer. Her eyes blinked slowly, as her face moved in closer
and closer, and then they closed at the same time his did.
Meanwhile, Harry had asked to talk to Ginny alone. They were standing outside the drawing room.
"Ginny, that night when I came into your room was disastrous. I was stupid and I didn't mean to stare at Hermione – "
put her hand up in front of her face. "Let me stop you there. I know
that you don't like Hermione, I was just really mad and I'm sorry, I'm
just going to miss being with you and being around you a lot."
kinda sums up what I wanted to say. See, I wanted to make up before I
left and tell you that I'm sorry. Oh, and I loved the present; it was
"Oh! It was stupid, forget about it," and she blushed a deep red.
"No, really, it's going to come in handy. And there is one more thing I wanted to say."
"Yeah," Harry shifted his feet around uncomfortably and took a deep breath. "Well, I… I love you, Ginny."
He hadn't known what he'd expected her to do, but it wasn't this. She looked furious.
could you? We've just ended on good terms, ready to leave each other
and you say something like that, after we've broken up? WHAT IS THE
MATTER WITH YOU?"
practically choking on her own tears as she stormed into the drawing
room, slamming the door behind her. She let out a gasp when she saw
what was before her.
Hermione were no longer sitting at the chess table, but were standing
up next to it. They broke away immediately as soon she walked in, but
it was too late. Hermione removed her hands from around his neck and he
slid his hand off her waist and attempted to untangle the other from
her hair. Ginny went bright red and managed to close her mouth, as it
was hanging open in amazement. She whimpered something like a "Sorry,"
and stumbled out of the room, the door closing behind her with a snap,
only to find herself face to face with Harry once more.
"I was just going in to find you," he said.
"Really?" she said in a voice slightly higher than her normal one. "Because I think that was mum calling us for lunch!"
We've only just finished break – whoa!" and before he knew it, she had
grabbed hold of his hand and was pulling him down the stairs and as far
away from the drawing room as possible.
woman stumbled over the hem of her robes as she Apparated into the
gloom. She felt around in the damp grass and managed to push herself to
her feet. Shakily, she stumbled across to what she was looking for and
glanced at it briefly. She felt cold rush through her body as she
turned her back on it and headed for an old cottage in the distance.
outside this cottage, she now saw how old it really was. It had been
abandoned many years ago. All the windows were smashed, and there was
graffiti on one side. All the children of the village were forbidden to
enter it. Desperate to get away from what she had seen on the other
side of the village, she warily pushed open the old door. She stumbled
again and grabbed onto an old, empty key hook, on the wall by the door
to steady herself. Shaking, she stepped inside, straightened up, and
We've had a good time seeing you all again," Mr. Weasley said to the
hallway at Grimmuald place, bubbling with people. It was the first of
September. Fleur, Fred, George, Katie, Angelina, Ron, Hermione,
Harry, Ginny, Tonks, Kingsley, Mrs. Weasley and Remus were all standing
in front of him, rather squashed because of the lack of space. Most of
the Order and the participating teachers were out making sure that
students travelling to Hogwarts were safe. Tonks and Kingsley were only
here to see Mr. And Mrs. Weasley and Ginny safely to King's Cross in a
ministry car. Mr. Weasley looked around at the group of people before
him. Fred and George were looking very happy with themselves and he
noticed that each of them was holding hands with either Katie or
Angelina. Fleur, Hermione and Ron were all looking inpatient. Fleur was
waiting to go and visit Bill, but Ron and Hermione looked as if they
were itching to be doing something else. Mr. Weasley gave them a
puzzled look and let his eyes wander to Harry and Ginny. They were
standing at opposite ends of the hall and were glancing at each other
nervously when they thought the other wasn't looking.
"I'd better go to Bill," Fleur announced. "Goodbye, I will see you all very soon, I 'ope," and with a wave she Disapparated.
"We'd better get going too. See you all soon, right?" Fred added.
"Erm…Yeah! We can't leave our assistant in charge for too long – she's useless, I told you not to hire her, Fred!" said George.
"Can you have this conversation somewhere else?" Angelina said, hands on hips.
"Right, sorry Angelina, see you everyone, come on girls!"
"We'll wait outside by the car, come on," and Tonks pulled Kingsley out the front door.
"Erm…Harry we'll see you there, right? Bye, Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, see you Ginny," Hermione said.
"Erm, yeah, see you, Mum, Dad, Ginny," said Ron as Mr. Weasley pulled him into a hug.
"Now, take care, won't you?" Mrs. Weasley said.
be fine, Mum. Bye," and Ron and Hermione Disapparated. Then it was just
Ginny, Harry, Mr. and Mrs. Weasley and Remus left in the hall.
"Erm, bye Harry, Remus, I'll see you sometime," Ginny mumbled and stared down at her feet.
"Bye, Harry dear, bye, Remus, thanks for letting us stay," said Mrs. Weasley as she pulled Harry into a motherly hug.
"My pleasure, Molly," Remus replied.
bye Mr. and Mrs. Weasley," Harry let himself look up at Ginny and found
himself caught in the big brown eyes he had been avoiding for a day.
"Take care, Ginny," he managed to mumble and brought his eyes downwards
to stare at his feet.
Ginny, Arthur," and Mrs. Weasley ushered them all out the front door.
Only Remus and Harry were left. Remus pulled Harry into a hug.
see you soon, Harry. I promise," he said reassuringly seeing Harry's
face. "Ron and Hermione are waiting. You better get going."
"Yeah. Thanks Remus," and he Disapparated. Remus looked around the empty house and sighed. Ah well, he thought. The Order will be back tonight. Including Tonks.
Harry Apparated into the Leaky Cauldron.
"Hey, mate. You alright?" Ron asked. Harry sighed.
"Yeah, I suppose so," and they wandered over to Tom.
"Mr Potter! Ah yes, we have your reservation, follow me." They all followed him up to two rooms, on the top floor.
"Thanks, Tom," Harry said, and Tom went back down to the bar. They all went into Hermione's room.
"What do we do now?" Ron asked.
"We collect… information?" said Harry.
"How do you expect to do that? I'm not sure there's a Death Eater who will give out information to Harry Potter!" said Ron.
"We could always use, well… Polyjuice Potion?" suggested Hermione.
"What? And just turn ourselves into a few Death Eaters?" joked Ron.
"Exactly! Good thinking, Hermione!" said Harry as he wandered into his and Ron's room.
If you think I'm drinking that stuff again you're crazy! It's
disgusting!" cried Ron as the door closed and Harry was alone in his
and Ron's Room.
himself down on the edge of one of the beds. He imagined what Ginny was
doing right this minute. His watch struck 11 o'clock. She would be
joining the laughter and chatter of the Hogwarts Express right now and
he should be there with her. He took a deep breath. This was definitely
going to take some getting used to.
Goodbye, Don't say goodbye I'd rather die Than say goodbye