Over the previous week, Adam and Ginny had been extremely busy. Firstly, after their meeting with Mr Weasley, they had both decided to observe their family discretely, just to make sure that no one had spotted the meeting and decided to take action against the Weasleys.
Once they were satisfied that the Weasleys were safe, Adam and Ginny began the arduous task of trying to work out how exactly they were going to break into Azkaban. It seemed like an impossible task. The only consolation Adam had was that he was sure it would be easier to break into a prison than it would be to break out of one.
Their first plan, as they didn’t want to run the risk of going through the Floo entrance that Mr Weasley had used, was to attempt to locate Azkaban and try to sneak onto the island on their broom. However, that plan was soon abandoned as they were simply unable to locate the island on which Azkaban prison was built.
“So if we can’t fly in, what options do we have?” Adam growled as he and Ginny sat around the table in the tent.
“I just don’t know,” Ginny replied tiredly. “The only other way in I can see is to try the Floo entrance that Dad used.”
Adam sighed. “We decided that’s too risky!”
“So we’re going to just forget about rescuing Hermione, then?” Ginny snapped in response. “If we don’t use the Floo, we may as well forget about this and start thinking about how to break into Malfoy Manor.”
“Of course we can’t just leave Hermione! She’s our friend, and we’re the whole reason she’s in there!” Adam said in response, his voice getting louder.
“I don’t want to leave her, either!” Ginny retorted. “I’m just saying I can’t see any other way for us to get to Azkaban other than using the Floo.”
Adam sighed again. “I know. Sorry, I’m not being very helpful.”
Ginny smiled at him from the other side of the table. “It’s alright,” she said through a yawn. “It’s late. We’re both tired and irritable.”
Ginny’s yawn caused Adam to also yawn. So, deciding it was time to call it a day, he stood up and walked towards Ginny’s chair.
“Do you want to try and get some sleep?” he asked, leaning down and kissing her on the cheek. “We can try and figure out how to we’re going to do this tomorrow.”
“Okay,” Ginny said, looking up at him. “I’ll go to bed. Shall we swap over in a few hours?”
Adam nodded in response and gave Ginny a good-night kiss before returning to his chair so he could keep watch.
“Adam,” Ginny added suddenly as she walked towards her bedroom, “I love you.”
Adam turned and stared at Ginny for a split second, before quickly crossing the room and pulling her into a hug. “I love you too, Ginny,” Adam said in reply. “I know I don’t say it enough…”
“Oh, Adam, I know you love me,” Ginny said, suddenly blushing and adjusting the locket that was hanging around her neck. “I just realised I hadn’t said it to you today.”
“You don’t need to say it every day; we’ve been busy,” Adam replied, still not sure quite what was actually bothering Ginny. He knew that he didn’t understand girls, but he had hoped that by now he could at least understand this particular girl. Even so, she was still able to completely baffle him at times.
“That’s exactly it,” Ginny continued. “I miss the times at Hogwarts when we could… you know… just be us.”
Adam laughed softly, causing Ginny to glare at him. “When did we ever have quiet times at Hogwarts? There was always something going on.”
“I know,” Ginny replied. “I’m just being silly…”
“Oh, Ginny,” Adam said, still not quite sure what was bothering her, but keen to reassure her. “I know I’ve…” he faltered, “I know… Sometimes, I get tired of having to hide, and sometimes I do worry that tomorrow will be the day we get caught, but we’ll get through this. Once it’s all over, we’ll have lots of time — the rest of our lives — just to be us.”
As he said this, Ginny kissed him again, tightening her grip on him and, as they broke apart, Adam looked at Ginny to see her beaming widely at him. He wasn’t quite sure what he’d said, but he certainly seemed to have cheered her up.
“Mmm,” Ginny murmured, “Love you.”
“Love you,” Adam grinned back at her. “You going to bed now?”
“Yeah,” Ginny said, planting a soft kiss on his cheek. “Night-night.”
As Ginny turned to go, Adam did feel a surge of guilt. Was he neglecting Ginny? Ever since he’d heard that Hermione had been captured because of him, he’d focused all his energies on saving her, even putting off their attempt to retrieve the Horcrux from Malfoy Manor.
Adam shook his head. I know Ginny understands, so why am I feeling all this doubt? Rescuing Hermione was top priority right now, and if they had to take a risk to rescue her, then so be it.
January 25th 1998
Ginny strode into the Leaky Cauldron, leaving the door open a fraction of a second longer than she normally would to let Adam, who was wearing his Invisibility Cloak, slip into the room behind her. Then, trying to look as confident as she could, despite the feelings of nervousness and fear that coursed through her, she looked around, thankful that it seemed pretty quiet.
She and Adam had picked the time of their break-in attempt carefully in the hope that the pub would be reasonably quiet. She didn’t want to attract attention before they had even started.
As Ginny crossed the room towards the Floo, she tried to keep a careful ear out for Adam’s footsteps. She couldn’t hear him. She’d just have to assume he was okay and following right behind her.
The plan they had come up with, after deciding that they needed to at least try and rescue Hermione, called for one of them to take the Floo to the prison, with the other following under the Cloak. It had taken much debate, a good deal of argument, and several lost tempers to settle who would be under the Cloak and who would be disguised.
In the end, however, it was decided that Adam should be under the Cloak. Adam hadn’t liked it, but Ginny felt he would be much harder disguise due to his glasses. The second reason was that she felt far more comfortable knowing that he was there to be her surprise back-up. She hadn’t felt anywhere near as confident in her own ability to do the job the plan required of the person who was under the Cloak. The final reason, one that she hadn’t voiced to Adam, was that if the worst happened and she was captured, Adam would be able to escape and continue the fight against Voldemort. Based on the Prophecy, he was the important one, not her.
Ginny approached the Floo, lit the fire with her wand, stepped into the flames and waited, making an exaggerated gesture of straightening her clothes. A few seconds later, she felt someone hugging her and knew that Adam was now in the fire with her.
So, giving one last look around the Leaky Cauldron, she called out. “Azkaban Prison!”
As she swirled through the Floo, clinging onto Adam tightly, Ginny tried to push the anxiety out of her mind and concentrate on what she had to do. She could do this! They could do this!
Finally, as she whooshed towards the grate for Azkaban, all she could think about was whether Adam would be able to stay on his feet at the other end.
As she emerged from the fireplace, before she’d even had time to get her bearings, she felt a wand being pointed at her face.
“State your name!” a voice said loudly.
Ginny gulped, and tried desperately to collect herself and not fall to pieces.
“State your name!” the voice said again. “NOW!”
“I…” Ginny gasped, holding her hands up to show she wasn’t holding a wand. “I…” She took a deep breath. “My name is Veronica Robins,” Ginny eventually choked out. She had decided in advance to use the name of one of her roommate’s mother; Merlin knew she had heard Demelza mention her enough times. She had picked Demelza’s mother because she knew that she was a Pureblood witch who did not work for the Ministry. Ginny just hoped none of these people knew the real Veronica.
“Very well,” the man in front of her said, taking a step back and looking her over, but still keeping his wand pointed at her.
As the man’s eyes roamed over her, Ginny felt decidedly uncomfortable. She had gone to great and painful lengths to make herself look older, but it was still very creepy that a much older man was looking at her in that way. As the man continued to look her over, she hoped that her disguise was adequate. She had put on a lot of makeup, worn different clothes and changed the colour of her hair. She had even trimmed her hair, much to her sadness. She hadn’t like it, Adam hadn’t liked it, but both had agreed that having her hair in a different style would make it easier for her to pass as another person.
“Now,” the man said slowly, “state your purpose here.”
“I…” Ginny began, feeling nervous once again, “I have an appointment to visit.”
“An appointment?” the man said, still pointing his wand at her. “There are no appointments today.”
Ginny froze, they had a plan, if she couldn’t talk her way through, but that was dependant on Adam.
“But…” Ginny began, now beginning to fall back on the lines she’d rehearsed, “the man in the Minister’s office, Wesley, I think his name was, said it was all arranged!”
“Weasley?” the man sneered.
“Yes, was his name!” Ginny exclaimed, now beginning to get in the swing of things. “He said I should come first thing this morning! Please don’t tell me he screwed it up!”
“As I said,” the man responded, “we have no appointments schedul