From the window of Fred and George’s old room, Harry looked out at the people assembled at the Burrow for the picnic. Without realizing he was doing it, he found the one person he most wanted to see. Her long mane of red hair not particularly obvious in a crowd of Weasleys, but somehow, Harry always knew where she was. Her smile and laugh, even though she was talking to someone else, made his heart feel better.
“Just go and talk to her, dear,” a voice said.
“How can I?” Harry replied. “I told her we can’t be together.”
“So? You were grieving. Dumbledore had just died. You’re allowed to be an idiot at times, you know.”
“Thanks,” Harry said dryly. “You’re a big help.”
“Would you rather I restricted myself to fashion tips that you’d probably ignore anyway?”
“No. No, that’s quite all right. You mean well, I’m sure, but your tips are a bit old-fashioned.”
“Well that’s hardly my fault, is it? I was stuck for, what, sixteen years? My fashion advice is bound to be a little dated.”
Harry chuckled. “Sixteen years? Come on, your fashion sense is dated even for 160 years. I’m just lucky that your other senses still function.”
“Senses? Ha! You just like me for my looks!”
“Well, more accurately that you can look at me?” Harry looked over his shoulder with a grin.
“And here I thought that you liked me for my mind.”
“Well, yeah, there’s that, too. Of course, since I can’t see your mind, that’s a little tough to really appreciate.”
“I suppose. But you can’t really see your young lady’s mind either, can you?”
“No, not directly,” he admitted. “But I can see her intelligence and wit and the love in her actions, and those are more than enough to convince me that she’s amazing.”
“This brings us back to my original point. Tell her how you feel. She will understand. And if she’s as special as you think, then she’ll be there for you in the end.”
“All right, all right, if I tell her, will you let the subject drop so we can concentrate on finding Tom’s Horcruxes?”
Just then, Ron burst into the room, “Harry! There you are! Get your sorry arse out here, people are wondering where you are.”
Harry watched Ginny longingly for a moment, before turning reluctantly from the window. He missed Ginny turning to look back at him with a combination of longing and fiery determination.
“I’ll be down in a minute, Ron. I just need to put on my shoes and try to do something about my hair.”
“I don’t think your Mum’s old mirror is going to help you much in that department.”
“Glad to help. Now hurry up. If you’re not out there in ten minutes, hair or no hair, Fred and George’ll be up to fetch you.”
Harry laughed, pushing Ron out the door. “Ok. Ok. I’ll be there in five. No need to threaten me.”
Ron laughed, then turned and ran downstairs. “He’ll be out in five minutes!” Harry smiled. Despite all that was going on, Ron was in a good mood and Harry was happy to see it.
Harry walked out the back door of the Burrow to a scene that he could only describe as Weasley Pandemonium. The unique craziness of the Weasley clan without a doubt was one of the best things in Harry’s life.
Bill and Charlie were apparently taking on Fred and George in a game of table tag, or something similar. Every time one table tagged another, pieces of wood ranging from little splinters to huge chunks rained down from the point of impact.
Mrs. Weasley had charmed a veritable cloud of place settings and serving dishes to follow her to their places. She yelled at her sons to replace the tables as she hurried across the garden.
Bill lost control of his table when he slipped on a patch of ice Fred managed to sneak underfoot. George sent his table in for the kill and it was all over but for the shouting. With Bill’s table gone, Fred and George made short work of Charlie’s, and celebrated with an outrageous victory dance on top of their tables.
The victory was short lived, however. Mrs. Weasley summoned the two intact tables for her entourage of dishes. When their dance platform suddenly disappeared from under their feet, Fred and George were rapidly reacquainted with the effects of gravity and the solidity of the ground, amid much laughter from the rest of the family. Bill and Charlie repaired their tables and sent them to join the first two. With that, everyone settled down for dinner.
Harry sat down next to Ron, who sat beside Hermione. Fleur’s sister, Gabrielle, took the place on Harry’s other side. She had talked to Harry a bit at the wedding, revealing a bit of a crush on him. Surprisingly, though she was part Veela, Harry didn’t feel any attraction in return, even when she sat so near. When he considered it, he realized that he no longer felt that reaction near Fleur, either. When he’d mentioned it to Hermione the other night, her analysis surprised him.
“Of course, Harry, what did you expect?”
“That I’d react to her, obviously. Why shouldn’t I expect that?”
“It’s quite simple, really. You have both chosen your life mates. The artifice of Fleur’s Veela powers no longer has meaning for either of you. She doesn’t want to attract another mate and you’ve chosen someone else.”
“What do you mean I’ve chosen someone else?” Harry spluttered.
“I think it’s quite obvious, Harry. Whether or not you want to admit it, you have feelings … deep feelings… for Ginny,” Hermione said. “You can choose to run away from them and deny them, but they still exist. Anyone with eyes can see you still care about her and this breakup of yours is all but fictional.”
“It’s not fictional, Hermione. I don’t want Voldemort to use her against me.”
“Come with me, Harry.” Hermione took Harry’s arm and led him over to a tree overlooking the pond. They sat down and watched the sunset.
“Harry,” she said. “How long were you and Ginny going out at school?”
“Just a few weeks. You know that.”
“And in that time, you were together almost every chance you had.”
“Let me finish,” she said.
Harry kept silent as Hermione paused to gather her thoughts.
“In all that time together, do you think who you were going out with escaped the notice of the other students?” she asked.
“No. Of course not. Romilda was especially upset about it,” he said.
“And don’t you think that some of those students might have informed their parents? Even by something as simple as a ‘Guess what happened at school’ letter home?” she pressed.
“Well, yes,” Harry admitted. “I seem to be a favorite topic of conversation at times.”
“And don’t you think that maybe some of those parents are sympathetic to You-Know-Who’s cause?”
“Yeah,” he admitted, “I guess that’s possible.”
“And if not any of them, don’t you think that Professor Snape and Draco would have let him know by now?”
“Yeah, I’m pretty sure they have,” he said. “That is why we can’t be together anymore. If Voldemort thinks she’s still important to me he’ll come after her.”
“Harry, stop and think for a minute. He knows, or we can reasonably assume he knows, about you two, already. If he wants to hurt you, he will come after her just for knowing you. Whether or not you’re still together won’t matter.”
Harry stared at Hermione. That Voldemort would hurt Ginny just for knowing Harry, just for being involved with Harry at one time, had not occurred to him.
“Just think about it, Harry. You’ll see I’m right.” Hermione got up and walked back to the house.
After sitting up thinking half the night, and a further conversation with his mum’s old mirror, Harry concluded that Hermione was, indeed, correct.
The problem was telling Ginny.
The answer to that problem had eluded him for several days, now. The wedding had come and gone yesterday. Bill and Fleur were leaving for their honeymoon after this last family dinner. The frenzy of wedding preparations meant that time alone with Ginny had been scarce. When they did manage to get a few moments alone, someone or something always seemed to interrupt them before either could say much more than an embarrassed greeting.
So now, Harry sat at the table poking at his food and trying to work out a way to tell Ginny how he felt.
Hours later, Harry walked back into the Burrow somewhat dejected. He tried all evening to talk with Ginny, but for most of the time, he’d had Gabrielle clinging to his arm. The few times that he had been able to wrench away, he couldn’t find Ginny anywhere. After Gabrielle finally left to say goodbye to Fleur, he discovered that Ginny had gone to bed. Sighing deeply at yet another failed opportunity, Harry trudged up the stairs to his room. He shut the door behind him, not bothering to light the candle by the bed. Feeling the darkness better suited his mood, he started undressing for bed.
Harry’s head snapped around from the force of the slap. He dropped the jumper he’d just pulled off and drew his wand almost instantly.
“Stupefy!” he cried, aiming at where he thought his assailant stood. His spell flew wide off the mark, but he could see Ginny in the afterglow of the curse trail. She looked angry.
“What was that for?” he yelled.
“That load of codswallop you tried to feed me!” she yelled back, punctuating it with a greenish-purple hex he didn’t recognize.
“What … Protego … load of codswallop? I haven’t been able to talk to you since I got here.”
“Oh? Must not have tried too hard, there, Harry. We’ve only been living in the same house for, what, three weeks?”
“Ginny, I have been trying!” he said, as he dodged another curse. “But, getting some privacy around here is impossible.”
He lowered his wand. “Can we talk now? I don’t want to fight you.”
Harry felt his arms and legs go stiff. His head struck the wardrobe behind him as he fell backwards to the floor.
Ron and Hermione burst through the door, wands drawn, light flooded into the room from the landing behind them. They found Harry, stiff as a board, lying on a pile of debris from the battle. Ginny stood over him panting, her eyes blazing with anger, and her wand pointed at Harry’s head.
“What’s all this about?” Ron asked.
“Harry and I are just having a little discussion,” Ginny answered. “Please leave us alone. I promise he’ll be whole and alive when I’m done with him.”
Ron started to say something but Hermione whispered in his ear.
“Ok, Ginny. I’ll trust you.” He paused, and then grinned, “but can you keep the racket down?”
“We’ll try, Ron. Now shoo.”
“We’ll leave you to it, Ginny,” Hermione maneuvered Ron out the door. “And for what it’s worth: good luck. Both of you.” She included the still petrified Harry in her gaze.
The door shut behind them plunging the room back into darkness.
Ginny stood where she was and looked down at Harry. He began to feel apprehensive about his position and her temper. After a minute or two of silence, she walked over to him.
“Lumos.” Her wand lit up with a pale, white light.
“You’re lucky that you didn’t do something silly with Gabrielle, Potter. I think I’d be seriously hacked off if you had.”
Ginny straddled Harry’s stomach and leaned over, grabbing his shirt collar to pull him closer while talking in a low voice.
“As it is, I just want you to know one thing: If you ever … EVER… try to break up with me for as stupid a reason as the one you gave me, I will personally ensure that the Potter line ends with you.”
Her lips were only an inch above Harry’s by now. He could feel the heat in her gaze as he stared into her eyes.
“Do you understand me, Harry?”
She leaned down the rest of the way and kissed him gently, but still with all the promise and passion that he’d felt when they first kissed.
She leaned back a fraction and whispered, “Finite Incantatem.”
Harry immediately wrapped his arms around her, pulling her to him. “I’m so sorry, Ginny,” he said between kisses. “I thought that I could do this without you. I can’t. I need you with me.”
“I need you, too, Harry,” Ginny answered.
“And I need to get up,” Harry said.
Ginny giggled. “Yes, I suppose that your rather clumsy descent to the floor wouldn’t be the most comfortable.”
“Hey! You’re responsible for that descent, you know.” He reached under his back and pulled out a trainer and a beat up, old book. He lay back down and rubbed the lump on his head.
“Thanks for the lump, Ginny.”
“It’s a small price to pay, Harry,” she said, stretching up to kiss his head where it hit the wardrobe.
He reached up to the wardrobe with his right hand, still holding Ginny with his left arm and started to pull them up. What he hadn’t realized that the wardrobe, after years of abuse at the hands of Fred and George, was just not able to handle the weight. The spindly front legs collapsed, returning the newly-united couple to the floor. The wardrobe spilled out its contents on top of them before collapsing with a loud crash.
They heard the sound of tinkling glass, followed by a long, keening wail. Harry’s eyes grew wide. Without thinking, he pushed the wardrobe and Ginny aside, and scrambled to the shattered frame of his mother’s mirror, cutting his hands on the broken glass as he crawled.
“Oh no!” he moaned.
“Harry, what is it?” Ginny asked.
The door flew open again. Arthur, Molly, Ron and Hermione burst into the room, wands drawn. “What was that sound?” Molly asked. “It sounded like a woman’s soul being ripped apart.”
“That was my mum’s mirror,” Harry said. “I didn’t tell anyone, but it wasn’t just a charmed mirror. She’s been helping me … work through some issues.”
He picked up a piece of glass. “She’s gone now.”
“Harry, I’m so sorry,” Ginny said, crawling over to put her arms around his shoulders.
“It’s okay, Ginny,” he said. “It was just an accident. I’m going to miss her, though. She was good to talk to.”
Ginny’s eyes lit up at this.
“So THAT’S who you were talking to when I’d see you in the window.”
“I’ll get you a broom and a dustpan,” Molly said, shuttling everyone back out the door.
“The window?” Harry said. “You were watching me through the window?”
“You bet. I’ve got a bit of an investment in you, Mr. Potter; I wanted to keep an eye on you.”
Harry chuckled. “And here I thought that I was watching you, Ms. Weasley. I’m beginning to think that we could have talked long before now.”
“When we talked wasn’t nearly as important as that we talked.”
They worked in silence for a few minutes, enduring a few nicks and cuts as they picked up the scattered pieces of broken glass. Harry felt warm and comfortable inside again.
He was considering this as he picked up a large piece of glass. While holding it, he realized that he felt a slight tingle. He started examining the piece in detail.
“What is it, Harry?”
“I … can feel… the magic in this,” he said.
“What do you mean?”
“Here. Hold it.” He placed the piece in her hand. “Dumbledore said magic leaves traces. Can you feel it?”
Ginny closed her eyes. Harry watched as she bit her lower lip in concentration. He couldn’t help, but think of how pretty she was, and how lucky he was that she liked him. Voldemort was out there, and he’d have to be dealt with. But once that was done, Harry wanted the chance to have someone like Ginny, or best of all Ginny herself, to come home to.
After a while, Ginny opened her eyes wide, “Yes, I can feel the magic. It’s still there.”
“It didn’t seem like a regular charmed mirror,” Harry said, thoughtfully. “I wonder if it can be repaired.”
“Doesn’t hurt to try, does it?” Ginny asked.
“You’re right, Ginny. About more than just the mirror, too.”
Ginny rewarded him with a beautiful smile.
“Let’s get as much of the pieces and stuff gathered together,” Harry said.
They worked in relative silence for a few minutes, pointing out various pieces of mirror to each other.
Finally, when they had all the pieces they could find assembled together with the mirror frame, Harry pulled out his wand. “Reparo.”
A few pieces of broken glass moved somewhat half-heartedly, but nothing else happened.
“Reparo,” he tried again.
Still nothing happened.
“You try, Ginny,” he said. “Maybe I’m doing something wrong.”
She pulled out her wand, “Reparo.”
Again, a few pieces of glass jingled a bit, but nothing else happened.
“Weird,” Harry said. He took a piece of parchment, ripped it in half, and set it on the floor. “Reparo,” he said, pointing his wand at the parchment.
The parchment pieces moved together and the rip sealed itself up just like a zipper, but with no visible traces.
“Odd,” Ginny said after Harry tried, yet again, to repair the mirror.
“Maybe there’s something in it that’s resisting our magic,” Harry speculated. “Would it be any more effective it we tried together?”
“Dunno,” Ginny said. “It can’t hurt to try. By the way…I like that idea.”
“Which idea?” Harry asked.
He reached out and took her hand. “Together it is, then. Always.”
Pointing his wand at the scraps of glass, he said, “On three. One. Two. Three.”
“Reparo!” they both shouted.
A bright light poured out of their wands and struck the piles of glass. It reflected off the broken glass and mirror frame back to Harry and Ginny, arcing through their wands and through their joined hands, forming a complete circuit.
The pieces of glass folded in on themselves, warping around like a pool of mercury, and then filling out the frame until the mirror repaired itself.
“I knew you two would be able to figure it out,” a voice said from the frame. “It wasn’t difficult, but most wizards in these modern times don’t think to join their powers together. It’s a shame that the old ways have been so lightly tossed aside.”
Ginny sat wide-eyed as the image of a witch appeared in the glass. Harry’s attention was on the witch in the frame rather than the witch beside him, so he didn’t notice Ginny’s reaction.
“What do you mean, ‘tossed aside’? We’ve used magic together many times.”
“Ah, yes, Harry, but you are still individual wizards working together. I am referring to the joining of your powers with Ginny’s. When wizards are joined, as you two are now joined, the total is greater than the sum of the parts.”
Harry looked down at their hands, still clasped together. He found that he didn’t want to let her go.
“Harry? Who’s that?” Ginny asked. “How do you know her? How does she know who I am?”
“Ginny? Don’t you remember? I brought back the mirror from Godric’s Hollow earlier this summer.”
“Of course I remember. It was one of the few heirlooms from your parents that was undamaged. Seems rather strange that it’d survive all that, and still be intact after sixteen years.” She paused, thoughtfully. “I mentioned that at the time, didn’t I?”
“Aye, child, you did,” the witch in the mirror said. “And while Harry couldn’t come up with an explanation at the time, especially considering that he didn’t know, you didn’t pursue the question, either.”
“And how (now that I’m on the subject) could you survive being buried under all that rubble for sixteen years, then shatter with the first little bump you receive here in the Burrow?” Ginny pushed.
“Well, that’s simple enough. I chose to break in order to prod you two to action, just as I chose not to break when Voldemort’s curse backfired.”
“You chose not to break?” Harry asked.
“Of course!” the witch said.
“And how, exactly can you choose not to break? After all, you’re physically just a mirror, right?”
“Harry,” Ginny said. “I don’t think that she’s just a mirror.”
“What do you mean?” he looked at Ginny. “She seems like any other mirror I’ve encountered. A bit more talkative, though.”
“Has she been able to give you advice?”
“Well, yeah. I’m daft enough to not always take it, but she has been free enough with advice.”
“And you can see her in the mirror, right?”
“How many of the mirrors you’ve encountered here or at Hogwarts will either talk back OR display an image in the glass?”
“None that I’ve seen. Isn’t it common in the Wizarding World?”
“I’m afraid not. There’s something special about her.”
“Very good, child,” the mirror said approvingly. “Although you’ve got the benefit of a wizarding upbringing. You’re just as quick as Lily was.”
“That’s another thing, Harry,” Ginny said as she acknowledged the mirror’s compliment with a nod. “She’s got a memory. Most charmed mirrors don’t, and can’t store memories of past owners.”
“Well, then, who? How?” Harry began.
Then he shook his head. “You’d think I’d be used to the impossible being achieved regularly.”
Ginny let go of his hand and rubbed his back sympathetically.
“Well, ma’am,” he said. “Would you care to enlighten us on who and what you are?”
“I don’t think so, Harry,” the image said. “You’ll figure it out in time. As for now, you and Ginny need to resolve your issues before you start on your … quest.”
“She’s right, Harry, we need to talk. I can help you on your hunt.”
“How much do you know of it?”
“I know the generalities. Hermione told me bits and pieces, but I don’t know any of the specifics. About all I could say is that somehow Tom cut his soul into pieces and hid those pieces somewhere.”
Harry sighed. “I guess I should be mad at Hermione for telling you even that much…”
Ginny opened her mouth to say something. Harry put his index finger on her lips in a shushing gesture.
“But I’m not,” he finished. “I think you need to know what I’m getting into and how dangerous it’ll be.”
“Harry, you’re fighting the most evil wizard ever. How could it not be dangerous? But you know what? If you go downstairs and take a look at Mum’s clock, you’ll still see everyone’s hands at ‘Mortal Peril.’”
“I know. I saw it.”
“My point, Harry, is that we’re all in danger. I will help you in any way I can.”
“Can you stay here? While I’m out there hunting for the bits and pieces of Tom’s soul? Or at least at Hogwarts? It’s not exactly safe, but it’s safer than most other places.”
Ginny eyed Harry levelly. “You know that I want to go with you. Someone has to keep an eye on you and I don’t trust the eternally clueless pair.”
“Ginny, I’d love you to be with me. And who knows? When this is all over, maybe we can make plans to be together for years to come.” A slight cough from the mirror interrupted him. “Yes?”
“Oh, nothing, Harry,” the witch in the mirror said, with a not-so-innocent expression on her face. “You’ll find out. It’s nothing bad, I promise.”
Harry looked at her for a long moment, then turned back to Ginny.
“But for now, can you stay as safe as possible?”
“Mr. Potter,” Ginny growled. “If you expect me to sit by the fireside and wait around for you to grace me with your presence when all is said and done, you don’t know me very well, after all.”
“No, Ginny. I don’t expect you to sit by the fireside pining away for me. I need to know you’re safe is all.” He hesitated. “But … I’ll tell you what. I need someone to be a contact with the rest of the world. Maybe research things for me. Keep me up to date on what those idiots in the Ministry are up to.
Ginny considered him for a long moment. “I can do that, Harry.”
He looked like he was about to say something when she continued. “You need to do something for me, though. And this is non-negotiable.”
He eyed her, warily. “What?”
“When you get into a situation, as you seem wont to do, if it’s at all possible for you to get out of it without getting into a fight. Then do so. Run! Hide! Apparate! It doesn’t matter. Do what you can to keep yourself safe.”
“I can promise you, Ginny. If I’m able to, I will get away.”
“One other thing…”
“Come home to me, Harry!” She kissed him for all she was worth. Pouring all her soul into his. He could feel not only the physical attraction, but the burning intensity of her feelings for him as well. He considered this only for a moment before he was swept away into the kiss, returning the same depth and feeling that he was receiving.
“So they’re gone?” Molly asked, coming down into the kitchen a few days later.
“Yes,” Ginny replied. “They just apparated away.”
“Where are they going first?”
“I don’t know. I know they wanted to establish a base somewhere secret. They were thinking about Grimmauld Place, but since Snape’s aware of it, that’s not really safe.”
“I still have a hard time believing that he killed Albus. After all the time Albus stood up for him, believed in him. How could he do that?”
“He’s a Slytherin. He did what he thought would be best for himself,” Ginny said, coldly. “Whatever else, he absolutely hates Harry. He doesn’t think Harry has the power or skills to go against Voldemort. Snape has allied himself with who he thinks he will fare better with at the end.”
“Hm,” Molly said. “Well, for all our sakes, I hope he’s wrong.”
“Me too, Mum. Me too.”
A snowy white owl and a brown barn owl, flew in the window. Both dropped letters on the table and flew back out.
Molly picked them up. “Letter for you, dear. From Harry, I expect.”
She handed the one Hedwig had dropped to Ginny. Ginny opened it up and read.
Not much going on here.I just wanted you to know that we’re ok and that I Love You.
Remember my old dog? We found out where he hid his bones.
H has shown once again she’s the smartest in a generation. R, however, is complaining that he’s been put on cleaning duties.
I get to cook.
Better get going.
Ginny read the letter over twice. He was safe. For now, anyway. Hopefully he’d stay that way. She looked over to Molly to tell her they were safe. Molly’s face was white as she looked at Ginny.
“Mum?” Ginny asked worriedly.
“H…Hogwarts letter,” Molly said.
Ginny picked up the envelope Molly had let slip on the table. The Hogwarts’ crest seal looking up at her. She opened the envelope and looked inside.
“I got seven OWLs, Mum!”
Molly didn’t say anything. Ginny was a little surprised, as she thought that would get at least some reaction. She looked questioningly at her mother.
“E…envelope.” Molly pointed.
Ginny looked at the envelope closer. She’d only glanced at it, seeing her initial and the wax Hogwarts crest. When she read the front, she, too, dropped the envelope in shock:
Author's Note: The idea for this story came about, in part at least, from a DG/HP story Jeconais wrote. The mirror is similar to something in Kokopelli's SFSY universe. It's not quite the same, but quite similar. Harry, Ginny, et. al. obviously belong to JKR and companies.
Thanks to all the above, and to Tante for putting up with me.