It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, - no wait, that's Mr. Dickens' opening line, isn't it?
I did it I spent the entire day with Harry Potter without making a
fool out of myself. Not that I didn't have my moments, mind you, but I
did maintain the composure for which I have become a legend in my own
Who am I kidding? I was as nervous as a long-tailed kneazle in a room full of rockers.
the most curious dreams last night, in which I was sleeping with a
large blonde shaggy dog (we do not have a dog, we have never had a dog,
and if Mum has any say in the matter, we never will have a dog) I
discover at breakfast that Harry Potter slept with me last night no,
not like that! He spent the night last night transformed into a large
blonde dog so as to be Remus Lupin's companion when he transformed in
the light of last night's full moon. After running around our estate,
he apparently kipped at the foot of my bed. Well, at least now, if
anyone ever asks if I've slept with a boy, I can truthfully answer
'yes.' Not that I would, mind you. (Answer that question, I mean.)
there I was standing in the kitchen next to Harry, leaning my forehead
on his chest the same way I always used to lean on Bill, when he puts
his arm around me for a moment. The day could have ended there and I
would have been happy, thank-you; but wait, there's more.
breakfast everyone cleared out of The Burrow, leaving us alone (well,
alone with an Auror as a minder beggars can't be choosers) for the
In retrospect, it was pretty
ordinary I was doing laundry, cleaning, weeding in the garden,
washing tonnes of dishes and cooking with Harry. The latter took a
great deal of the day. We'd been dancing around each other since
yesterday, when I was flirting outrageously with him why Mum didn't
just paint a scarlet F on my jumper is beyond me. Today it seemed from
time to time that Harry was actually flirting with me. Now that's
certainly a novelty.
well, actually, after we'd made dinner, all but boiling the pasta, we
went for a walk. I started picking up odd notes from Harry's posture,
his voice, etc. Secure and saucy wench that I am, I was certain that he
was leading up to the "I'd really like to remain friends, but we're
through as anything more than that" speech.
It turns out that Harry was not trying to dump me, but in Mum's words, he was "declaring his intentions."
To say that this took me aback is an understatement.
This, of course, did not make sense. It still doesn't make sense.
cow that I am, rather than coyly standing still and letting him lavish
my hand with kisses (or anything else that he takes a fancy to kiss) I
started bickering with him, asking him why he wasn't chasing after
Hermione, or Cho, or Jasmine. What's worse is that the silly, simple
boy answered my questions with rather detailed arguments. I did not
want to hear that he loves Hermione so badly that it hurts, or that he
thinks that Cho is the most beautiful non-Veela he's ever seen. That
being said, it was with little Ginny Weasley, flat-chested,
broad-bummed, prominent-chinned and tiny-handed Ginny that he was
having this most important conversation, not the brilliant
future-sister-in-law Hermione, the human hosepipe, nor that War Witch.
HA! Take that, ladies!
more that afternoon serious heart-to-heart stuff than I've talked
to him the five years I've known him. I used to think that if Harry
Potter showed more than a passing acknowledgment of me that I'd jump
him right then and there and kiss his lips off, but the reality is
always far weirder than the fantasy at least in my life it is.
panicked. Being close to Harry means losing control. Next to losing one
of my family in this dark war, losing control is what I fear most.
Thank you, oh so much, Tom Riddle.
the evening got weirder. Moey came out to fetch us so we could start
dinner (which meant putting the pasta on to boil why Mum couldn't do
this is beyond me, but hey, I'm only the daughter around here).
thought we were being ambushed, so he turned us both invisible. Neat
trick that. Tk'lch says that he can show me how it's done. Next we
ambushed the Auror, not the usual accomplishments of a newly
grand, but for the life of me I can't tell you anything that went on
tonight when we were sitting at the dinner table. Mum dismissed us
after dinner (I found out later it was to have an impromptu family
meeting at which she threatened my brothers with dire consequences if
either Harry or I are pranked, teased, molested or otherwise harassed
this summer while Harry's "exercising some initiative." Thanks, Mum.)
We went for a fly in the orchard after dinner.
My new broom is brilliant.
I am so going to kick major Quiddich arse this year.
Harry yoked his broom to mine and we took a tandem ride. On the first go, I was riding pillion, on the second, he was riding pillion. I tell you, both provide plenty of opportunity for a lot of delicious full body contact.
Pardon me while I blot up the drool that's accumulating.
the ride, Harry started being emotionally deep, which surprised me, but
I don't know why. I mean I know he's capable of many things, but he was
speaking to where my heart was with the whole "getting to know you"
thing. I was convinced that he was going to kiss me. What followed was
ten times better and one hundred times worse.
I know about Legilimency I learned from either Hermione or Jasmine,
who, come to think of it, are two of the most competent witches I know.
Hermione explained what it was when she explained what Occlumency was
and why Harry was studying it. I picked up the dragon that lives in my
head because I needed a crash course in Occlumency to keep Tom out. I
say better to have Tk'lch in and Tom out but I digress. Evidently
it's a package deal get the dragon, get the Occlumency, get
Legilimency too. When my Occlumency shield is down and I'm around
Harry, it's like all of my senses are on fire which, when you are
trying to do something that requires concentration, like slicing
peppers without dicing your fingertips, is difficult, but when you're
out under the moon on a brilliant night is pleasure that bleeds into
agony, it's so intense. I wanted to touch Harry, I wanted him to touch
me no reasonable offer would have been refused tonight.
careful what you ask for you might get it. I touched his mind when we
made skin contact. To say that I was blown away is like saying that Tom
is a naughty boy.
I could hear
snippets of thought and feel shards of Harry's emotions it was the
phantom threads of memory swirling in and out that were the most
distracting seeing things that my mind knows are not there complete
with phantom touch, smell, taste and sound. Any one of them would have
been bearable, but all of them at once, in a never-ending gush was just
too much. Once again, the black-haired knight rescued me somehow he
pulled up my Occlumency shield, restoring my poor, abused sanity.
loon that he is, he tried it again to see if it was a fluke. It wasn't.
Clever girl that I am, I realize that Harry has feelings for me I
could feel them after all! The downside, of course, is that unless we
learn how to control this, the only way I can get close to him is with
my Occlumency shield up.
still afraid; now more than yesterday. But even though I'm afraid, I
want it all. I don't want to wait. The longer I stretch things out, the
greater chance I have to screw things up.
sensible girl says "Whoa! Slow down!" The fearful girl says "What if he
tells me it was all a mistake tomorrow morning?" and the impulsive girl
says, "Go knock on his door maybe he's still awake." Yeah, wouldn't
Mum give birth to dragons if she found me in Harry's arms, in his
bedroom, wearing not much more than an oversized Chudley Canons
Like I could pull that off.
I think it's time to listen to sensible girl tonight.
Tomorrow's another day after all, he's going to be in that bedroom
- all alone -
- every night -
- for the rest of the month.
2 August 1996
my naughty thoughts upon retiring, I slept like Ron last night. I'm
fairly certain that I was snoring for part of the night because my
mouth has that flavour like a small animal used it as a hotel for the
I had another Dragon
Dream last night actually, it was the last dream of the morning I
woke up with a start at the end of the dream. After I stopped
twitching, I put on a dressing gown, visited the loo and returned to
this desk, mouth suitably minty-fresh for close encounters, to inscribe
my immortal thoughts within your ivory-coloured pages.
of the more entertaining side effects of having an intelligent, alien
piece of magic reside within your brain are the dreams. I've had
recurring dreams since I acquired my sentient passenger. There are
these two dragons. Mm'lng is this clueless boy dragon who doesn't know
the effect that he's having on this sweet girl dragon named Au'lh.
Au'lh thinks that she has no chance with Mm'lng, because she thinks
that he fancies this other, hot girl dragon named Au'ng.
now? Okay, Mm'lng is a blue boy dragon, Au'lh is a white dragon, Au'ng
is a gold coloured dragon. They had words two dreams ago, and Mm'lng
let slip that it's not Au'ng that he's interested in, but it's Au'lh,
but since then he hasn't DONE anything about it. Crimeny, sounds a lot
like Ron and Hermione for the past two years. Tonight started off easy
enough Au'lh was stuck baby-sitting some of the neighbourhood
children well, not exactly. She was sitting on a clutch of eggs,
keeping them warm. She was actually filling in for her rival, Au'ng,
who had recently left the neighbourhood to join her new mate, nesting
with another clan. Evidently dragon mums don't sit on their own eggs,
but instead rope the younger, less senior, single girl dragons to do
the dirty work for them. They aren't all that different from us, I
The nest is on this beach
near a marsh which is odd, since all of the other Dragon dreams have
taken place in the mountains, but I'm only reporting this dream, not
critiquing the continuity. It's kind of boring there, and Au'lh would
really rather be hunting than sitting on eggs. Mm'lng drops by,
bringing this antelope-like thing with him, which is quite tasty. I
don't think I've ever eaten raw meat before, especially when it still
had its hooves and fur on, but in the dream it was tasty. Evidently
Mm'lng's mum is reading from the same playbook eye contact, smile,
and make sure you keep that girl fed! (Okay, so the metaphor breaks
down with an animal that can't smile because it doesn't really have
lips, but you get my point.) Mm'lng goes off to do whatever tragically
handsome boy dragons do when they are not distracting girl dragons,
leaving Au'lh drowsy and well fed on top of the eggs.
stage right a monster slinking in from the marsh, a nasty, stinky,
slimy, multi-headed snake that bears a passing resemblance to a
Basilisk. Did I mention that there are several of these monsters? Silly
me, I overlooked that. Au'lh can defend the eggs, or defend herself,
but there are too many of them to effectively do both. She starts
bellowing sweetly for her friend, who pops back in the nick of time.
They fight back-to-back, protecting the eggs and sending many snakes to
their eternal reward (whatever that may be for dream monsters). The
snakes aren't particularly good to eat; at least that was Au'lh's
opinion. After they roast all of their defeated enemies until their
bodies burst, they stand there looking at each other. Au'lh has loved
him forever, but she has always figured that nothing was ever going to
happen (don't ask me to explain remember, I'm just reporting this).
Mm'lng is mightily impressed with her courage, how she stood and
defended the eggs at the cost of her life, and he has suddenly run out
of excuses for why he can't express his feelings for Au'lh. So, like
any romantically inclined boy dragon, he knocks Au'lh down and takes a
big bite out of her back, right between the wings.
the time for a little translation I am, after all, a 'pale spotted
mammal' with a dragon inside her head. If any boy did that to me, I'd
hex him into next week and then come back to roast his carcass until
the wind carried away his ashes, but dragons see this differently - way
differently. It was the most erotic thing that's ever happened to me in
a dream. I woke up just after the bite between my shoulder blades; I
was in that just waking up twilight between being asleep and awake; I
was still twitching from what just happened.
That being said, if Harry ever knocks me down and tries to bite me between the shoulder blades, I am going to hex him into next week.
Well, enough of this. Someone's in the shower; I'm going to go see if Mum has made breakfast yet.
mum," Ginny said, bussing her mother's cheek lightly as she walked past
her, intent on getting the last of the coffee from the pot.
"Sleep well?" Molly asked, a slight smile accompanying the twinkle in her eyes.
bad," she replied, pouring the dregs of the pot into her mug. "Weird
dreams this morning, but the night went well," she said flatly.
"Did it now?" Molly asked coyly.
"You know what I meant," Ginny said, raising an eyebrow.
"How was the flying?"
"Brilliant, it's a lovely broom," Ginny said, smiling broadly.
Molly snorted. "It should be, given what it costs," she said.
"What do you mean?" Ginny asked, the smile now gone.
that's a custom racing broom, it's what the National Teams use across
most of Asia, it goes for a fair pile of Galleons," she remarked.
"Harry didn't buy it," Ginny replied coolly.
"Whatever do you mean?" Molly asked.
bought it before he died, Harry got it as part of settling the estate,"
she said, making herself busy preparing the percolator for a fresh
batch of coffee. When she finished, she set it down on the stove,
lighting the burner wandlessly as Harry had shown her the day before.
"Did you just light the stove?" Molly inquired.
"Yeah, sure, Mum," Ginny answered.
"Without a wand?" Molly asked incredulously.
"Yeah," Ginny replied, a sly smile on her face, "isn't it great?"
"Where did you learn that?" Molly asked.
"Harry," she said, simply, as if that were a complete answer.
"So, you and he are . . ."
"Haven't a clue, Mum," Ginny replied, blowing a wisp of hair out of her eyes. "I think we have an understanding," she continued.
"Which means that he's interested in getting to know me better and I'm okay with that," she replied. "What's for breakfast?"
looked at his fuzzy image in the mirror as he towelled off in the
privacy and comfort of his own room. It was grand having the space, but
part of him missed rooming with Ron. Pulling a coloured t-shirt from
the dresser, he put his glasses on, sharpening his view of the world.
This morning's dream had been disturbing in a lot of ways, which is one
of the reasons he'd snuck into the shower before breakfast, hoping that
the hot water could wash away some of the discomfort that he felt. No
such luck. Slipping into his flip-flops, he opened the door.
You are troubled.
Yeah, I'm troubled. It was the dream.
lovely wasn't it? Au'lh told me tales about that when I was but an egg.
It was quite an honour to see it in this fashion.
That really happened?
Harry, it really happened - it is a memory of Au'lh that is passed
along to her eggs as part of our inheritance. If it had not happened, I
would not exist. Au'lh was my mother.
Is marking always like that?
So violent, so bloody.
the shedding of blood, there is no bond, Harry. It is our way. That
being said, that region of a girl's back is fairly rich in capillaries;
the bleeding is showy, but it poses very little risk to the Krulach; we
Does it leave a mark?
course it leaves a mark. That's the point! I bear my mark quite proudly
- it is a testament to all that Tk'lch chose me above all others and
that I accepted and chose him in turn.
That you chose him in turn?
Certainly, you don't think I'd let just any dragon knock me down, do you?
Why am I having these dreams?
<Laughter> Because you need those dreams.
What do you mean?
Why am I in your mind, Harry?
To protect me?
That is a secondary effect; I exist to train the young of the People,
to bridge them into their latent skills, magical and otherwise. The
skills that they are capable of performing, but as of yet remain
I don't need to mark any woman as my Krulach, Mm'lau.
There is no lasting bond without blood, young dragon.
I'm not a dragon!
This discussion is tiresome; we have had it several times before. Do you not think her worthy?
Worthy to be your Krulach.
She's not my Krulach; it doesn't work that way among my kind.
We are not so different, you and I.
Go eat, Harry, you will think more clearly with food in your stomach.
They're down there.
Ginny and her mum.
Of course they are; this is their nest.
What do I say?
How about 'Good Morning?'
No, I mean, what do I say to Ginny things are different now.
Well, if you're not willing to mark her just yet, I suggest grooming her.
as you did yesterday, in the kitchen, before breakfast. It seemed to be
calming for both of you. You will have to maintain your shields, of
course, as you won't be able to touch one another unshielded until
after you mark her.
Relax, Harry, it is far easier than you make it out to be.
I live to serve, young dragon.
"Good morning, Mrs. Weasley," Harry said brightly, hoping that he sounded more confident than he felt.
Weasley nodded in reply. An awkward silence passed for a moment. "She's
in the parlour, Harry," Mrs. Weasley said with a slight lilt of music
in her voice.
She was looking out the window facing the herb garden, sipping a mug of coffee. God hates a coward. He padded over to her side, slipping one arm around her waist. "Hey," he said.
"Hey yourself," she replied, turning into him, placing her forehead onto his chest. She inhaled deeply, relaxing visibly.
"Any regrets about last night?" he asked.
"I would have liked to have flown longer before you de-yoked the brooms," she said.
"No, nothing else," she replied.
"The rest of it will come with time," he said.
"It had better, Mr. Potter," she said, looking up into his eyes as she cradled the mug of coffee with both hands.
"Breakfast, Harry?" Mrs. Weasley called cheerily from the kitchen.
a moment, Harry turned to look into the kitchen, slowly taking his arm
away from her daughter. "Yeah, that would be great. Anything I can do
to get breakfast going?"
"Why don't you set the table with
Ginny? Set it for five; Bill and Charlie said they'd pop in for a bite
before they both leave again. When that's done, you two go for a walk
and let me cook without you under-foot," she said with a wave of her
"Sure thing, Mrs. Weasley," Harry said, trying hard to conceal a smirk.
later, the breakfast table was set. The sound of the screen door
slamming shut echoed through the kitchen. Molly looked up from her
labours, gazing out the window. Harry's hands were in his pockets, but
Ginny's hand was in the crook of his arm. They looked as if they had
been doing this for years. She sighed, contentedly. "Thank-you," she
murmured as she cracked a few more eggs into the bowl.
4 August 1996
think Mum believes that I'm losing my marbles again. It's not like I've
spent the last three days joined with Harry at the hip - I mean, we
have been apart now and then. I've been getting the hang of just how
shielded I have to be around him. When we're in the same room, my
Occlumency shield needs to be about halfway up; when we're within
touching range, another notch higher, let's call it three-quarters. I
can hold his hand or hug him at that level without getting too much bleed through from his mind, but if I start thinking those
thoughts (or acting on them) the shield has to be all the way up.
Holding the shield up is tiring, but do-able. I feel funny when I'm
doing it, however. When I'm not in the same room with him I can let my
shield down all the way.
I've discovered that I can sense him when my shield is down, which gives me a very warm feeling.
Sometimes too warm, but that's most likely my own fault.
Saturday, Harry mentioned something about Remus dropping by on Sunday
I was not paying attention for some reason or other, and that little
fact dropped off the table of my conscious mind.
been sleeping in on Sunday mornings since I started Hogwarts it's the
only time other than my birthday that Mum has ever allowed me that
luxury. So, I slept in today, woke up, pulled down my shield (I find
that I sleep with it half-way up the unpleasantness with the Dream
Hounds probably explains that, but I've not asked Tk'lch one way or the
other yet) and started screaming my head off. Harry was gone! With my
shield all the way down I couldn't sense him at all.
The first thing I thought was that he'd been captured by Death Eaters.
The second was that he'd decided that the past three days was all some gigantic mistake.
Either way, he wasn't at the Burrow or anywhere on our grounds. I'm still not sure which thought frightened me more.
came tearing into the kitchen like my hair was on fire. Mum calmly
informed me that Harry was at church with Remus, and would be back
promptly afterwards for lunch. I felt like the wind had been knocked
out of me, but I recovered sufficiently to put on a happy face for mum,
who gave me the oddest of looks in return. I wanted to be mad at him
for giving me such a scare, but once mum said where he was, I
remembered that he'd told me on Saturday.
The pillock should have made certain that I was listening.
was by the river when he Apparated onto the grounds. I couldn't hear
anything, but the pleasant warm feeling suddenly washed over me and I
knew he was back. Before I knew what was happening, I found myself
sprinting up the trail leading to the Burrow. Not wanting to look
totally desperate, I forced myself to walk from the orchard to the back
door. I didn't know what I was going to say when I met up with him, but
that problem was solved for me; he looked into my eyes, placed his hand
on my waist and said that he'd missed me.
Today that was better than red roses.
Tuesday, 6 August 1996, early morning
It's official: first, I'm glad that I finished all of my summer homework; second, I hate Jasmine.
afternoon I discovered that Jasmine had pulled strings to tutor me for
the rest of the month before school starts. I'll be going to Abelard's
on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, same schedule that Harry has. It was
okay with my parents; Dad was impressed; Mum was amused. Jasmine,
apparently, enjoys seeing me in pain; we spent the morning running,
climbing and duelling. The afternoon was Apparation, which, thankfully,
came about as easily as my first lesson in Wandless magic. I did get to
see Harry briefly at lunch, but I was so fagged out from the morning's
endeavours that I ended up taking a strategic nap before the afternoon
session began. I don't think that Harry carried me though the portal at
the end of the day, but I do remember having some troubles making it
through our back door. While we did have lunch, we'd worked through
dinner, both of us. I fell face down onto the couch and slept for a
half-hour. Harry woke me up with a bowl of Mum's soup and some toast. I
managed to stay awake long enough to eat the toast and slurp down the
soup. Whatever regards he'd had for my table manners is now probably
shot. I remember Harry cajoling me up the stairs, steering me into my
room, taking my shoes off and putting me under the covers, fully
clothed. I woke up several hours later to use the loo and change into
something more comfortable. Before I slip off into Morphia's blissful
embrace, I wanted to jot all of this down, if only to alert the rest of
the world as to my cause of death.
I am going running this morning when I get up again.
I refuse to let that woman get the best of me!
house is quiet now, apart from a gentle buzz coming from Ron's room.
With my shield fully down I can feel his presence he's sleeping now.
I'm going to grab onto that feeling like a teddy bear and get back to
sleep morning is going to be so bloody early.
6 August 1996
is the third draft of this letter from your moody, black-haired
correspondent; the first two are crumpled in the bin because I couldn't
write anything that didn't sound like I'd fallen on my head one too
many times. As you may have heard, things are different now between
Ginny and me.
It's a bit odd, but
nice. Really nice. I could get used to this. My only regret is that it
took me this long to figure out that I could have more than two friends
who knew me well.
After a bit of a
break for my birthday, I'm back with the tutoring again. I'm at
Abelard's on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Although I'm staying at the
Burrow, I'm not seeing much of the Weasleys due to the tutoring
schedule. I am sleeping and eating better, which is definitely an
improvement over the first half of the summer.
This letter is so frustrating to write - the things I want to say just aren't the sort of things that I would ever write in a letter.
would no doubt do a better job at this - duh - she's a girl, talking
about feelings is second nature to her, rather than ranking up there
with sparring with dragons or taking out my own appendix with a dull
Tell your mum that the
picnic on Saturday would be excellent. The logistics, of course, will
be interesting. Tonks and Lupin will be coming along with us. The new
rule of thumb appears to be that one Auror or two members of the Order
cover me at all times, unless I'm at Privet Drive (ugh!) or at
Abelard's. Ron will be coming (yeah, I know, try to hide your
disappointment) and I might bring along that other red-haired kid who
lives here. You know, the one who looks good in a dress. Maybe your mum
can start on a new topic of conversation as the old one has been
overtaken by events. Sunday brunch with your folks seems like it was a
lifetime ago; a lot has changed this summer. I think most of it has
Well, this letter
doesn't look much better than the two that came before it, so I'm going
to call it a day and send it off before I turn in for the night. Before
I do, I'm going to assign some homework. Topic: Breaking rules - I
imagine that you haven't done much of that over the summer - you need
to keep in practice; September will be here before you know it. Break
one rule a day between now and Saturday - I'll expect a report.
6 August 1996
glad to hear that the new wand is working so much better. I don't know
why your gran insisted on you using your dad's old wand - I very much
doubt that I could have done a thing with my dad's wand. According to
Dumbledore, we'll be starting up the old Defence Association again - in
light of current events, I think we'll have a good turn-out. I'd like
your help in teaching the younger students, say the first through third
years. If you promise to behave yourself and not frighten the children,
I'd be willing to have you team-teach with Luna. The two of you look
good together, by the way. She's well worth your time.
I'm still engaged with my tutor this summer, magic-ing my brains out. It's a wonder I have any magic left at the end of the day.
like you to look at your calendar and see if you're free on Tuesday,
the 27th. I'm thinking of having a picnic or something here at The
Burrow - you, Ron, Hermione, Luna, Ginny, you know, the Ministry of
Magic gang. Life is short - I want to keep my friends close these days.
Speaking of friends, you know how we've always wondered about Ron and
Hermione? Well, it appears that they finally have moved beyond denial
and are experimenting with something deeper than friendship.
going to be a ball at Hogwarts on All Hallow's Eve - Ron's already got
a date. You might think of asking a certain Ravenclaw to reserve the
night. Speaking from experience, if you wait too long, you'll find that
the good ones are all taken.
7 August 1996
things are different here. I've always thought that Ron and I could be
more than just friends, but I could never steel up the courage to talk
about that topic with him. Frankly, I don't know if this is
going to work, long term, but I felt that I had to try. I didn't want
to end my years at Hogwarts not knowing.
told me that he was spurred into action after watching you talk to Mr.
and Mrs. Weasley about getting to know Ginny better. Thanks - you don't
know how much agony you've spared me. We're going to have a nice small
group here this Saturday, but I'd still like to get a chance to talk to
you. Just because I'm seeing Ron now, it doesn't mean that I'm not
still your friend too. In addition to catching up with what's happening
in your life, I'd like to talk to you about the Defence Association.
I've taken the liberty of outlining what I think should be covered with
the younger students (1st through 3rd years) and I'm taking a stab at a
similar syllabus for the older students; but enough business for now.
I miss you, and I look forward to seeing you again.
Study hard, stay safe and have fun with the Weasley of your choice.
(Uh, you do prefer the one that looks good in a dress, don't you?)
8 August 1996
My dearest Harry,
was grand seeing you again on your birthday. I've been tracking things
down since then, trying to find out who has been behind the pranks
against Luna. I've talked to the ringleaders and let them know that if
this continues, I will personally make their life more than unpleasant.
I might even consult with Hermione - the woman has a flair for that
sort of thing.
I think the hazers
have now been enlightened; the hazee should have a much better year; it
might be spent fraternizing with a certain Gryffindor, but hey,
I still want a chance to talk to you once school starts. I'll look you up on the train.
8 August 1996
I have fun with all of the Weasleys, to tell you the unvarnished truth.
had a lot of time to think when I was growing up with the Durselys -
being locked in a cupboard does that. I had a very rich fantasy life. I
had a long-running fantasy that Mum and Dad were alive and I had
brothers and sisters - we'd do things together as a family - go to the
zoo, go sledding in the winter, go to the shore. I guess the common
theme was that we were always going places. Eventually that fantasy
stabilized and I had one brother and one sister. My memories have
corrupted a bit, and now I can't remember what my fantasy brother and
sister looked like any more. The only thing I can remember now when I
try to recall those fantasies is that my sister has bushy brown hair
and my brother has bright red hair like my mum. So living here at the
Burrow is a bit of a dream come true.
As to which Weasley I prefer, well that all depends upon the activity. I'm not much for holding Ron's hand.
Sorry about that.
You're going to have to step into the breach and remedy that deficiency. Try not to suffer too much. J
though, don't worry about how things with Ron will affect me - set your
own boundaries for affection. I'm not much on public displays of
affection, having been traumatized by Roger Davies whilst with Cho at
Madam Puddifoot's cafe, but I am a sucker for being touched - I guess
growing up in a cupboard can explain some of that.
How's the homework coming along?
10 August 1996
a week! Duelling, Apparation, First Aid and enough physical training to
make me want to puke. I would have slept in today except that a certain
gentleman was tapping on my door this morning, wanting to know if I was
still going running. Harry's been joining me this week for my morning
run; afterwards, if Mum's not there, he makes me breakfast. Somehow, I
forgot to make it clear on Friday night that I'd intended to skive off
running today. Oops - too late.
was filled with chores - things pile up when you're gone three days a
week. We (me, Ron, Harry) did every blooming chore on the list and then
went into town with George and Fred (they have a WWW cargo lorry now -
very cool paint job!) to restock the pantry. I tell you, Harry knows
his way around the supermarket, that's for sure.
was at Hermione's place. We Flooed to a safe house the Aurors use not
too far from the Grangers'. Why we couldn't Floo to the Grangers' is
beyond me; I've stopped trying to make sense of security matters. It
was a nice walk to the Grangers' house. Ron was on Harry's right, I was
on his left, Tonks and Lupin were walking behind us.
had his hands in his pockets, brushing up against me enough times that
I figured out that he wanted me to link my arm in his. I didn't mind.
As we walked up the sidewalk to the Grangers' front door, I began to
slip my hand out from Harry's elbow. He trapped my hand between his
elbow and his ribcage. He said, "Leave it. I'm not ashamed of you, you
know." For a guy who doesn't say much sometimes, he can be downright
It was interesting watching Harry
in action - he's very comfortable with the Grangers. He kissed Monica's
cheek and gave Albert a hand-crushing handshake and then went to the
refrigerator and began pouring drinks for everyone. Hermione came
bustling down the stairs with a hug for Harry, a kiss on the cheek for
Lupin and Tonks, and a chaste peck on the lips for my
no-longer-quite-bald brother, which I'm not entirely sure he was
expecting. Me? She smothered me in a trademark take-your-breath-away
hug. I would have been happy to barricade myself in her bedroom and
spend the night yakking with Hermione, but noooooo, we were one big
group for the entire evening.
I guess you
could say that this was a kinda date. Albert and Monica are married
(duh), Tonks and Lupin are about a centimetre away from being engaged
(if they aren't already), and Ron and Hermione are an official item,
leaving me and Harry. Towards the end of the evening, Monica pulled me
aside and said that Harry and I made a lovely couple. I corrected her
and said that we were "just friends." She gave me the gimlet eye and
said something about being the Duchess of Windsor. Go figure.
awkwardness aside, it was fun. Dinner was great, we played doubles
Table Tennis (Mr. Granger is an awesome player - if he could fly he'd
make a decent Keeper) and a very long round of Trivial Pursuit. I'd
never played the game before. Evidently the game comes in a number of
versions, including a magical version. Tonks brought the magical
version and we shuffled the cards together with the Muggle set that the
Grangers owned, making for an interesting mix. We made sure that the
distribution of Muggleborns and Magicborns were fairly even, with
Albert heading up one team and Monica the other.
cleaned up on literature, with a perfect record on all of the questions
on Dickens and a few other writers. As it turns out, he spent a lot of
time reading when he was under the stairs at the Dursley household.
Live and learn. We would have played to an even draw, except that
no-longer-quite-bald brother pulled ahead in the last round with some
Quidditch trivia, naming all the teams Dai Llewellen shut out in 1956
when he was with the Catapults. Ron disappeared towards the end of the
evening, no doubt snogging Hermione in private somewhere. I don't mind
that, really I don't. It's just that - well, I'm jealous. He gets to
kiss his significant other, and I can't - at least I can't without
running the risk of having my head blow up. It's almost painful to
touch Harry without my Occlumency shield up these days.
of course, plays into my insecurity big time. Harry's a bloke, I'm sure
he'd like to get snogged - so why should he hang around with a girl he
can't snog? Delayed gratification is one thing, deprivation is another.
Excuse me, I need to go burn my Cho Chang doll in effigy right now -
I'll be right back.
On the walk back, Lupin
mentioned something about picking Harry up for church. In another
classic example of speaking without thinking, I invited myself along,
so tomorrow morning, instead of sleeping in, I'll be up, bright and
early, to attend services at St. Simon's. I suppose that long-term this
is a good idea if this is a part of Harry's life, but for the life of
me, I don't know what I'm in for - I've darkened the door of exactly
one church in my life, and that was for Sirius' memorial service, which
didn't turn out so bad in hindsight. I made one thing clear with Harry
though, before I turned in this evening.
I'm not going running tomorrow.
11 August 1996
went to services at St. Simon's this morning, a.k.a. the further
adventures of the girl who couldn't keep her mouth shut. Harry tried to
brief me on what to expect. Normally, Harry and Remus attend the early
service, but today we went to the 10:30 service. Tonks showed up with
Remus, popping up the stairs to knock on my door. I did not recognize
her at first she looked completely adult and normal. She said she
wanted to give my wardrobe a once-over, which I appreciated, as I had
no idea what I was getting into. According to Tonks, services as St.
Simon's are fairly formal, and without exception, all of the women have
something covering their heads. The options are broad: hats of all
varieties, scarves, shawls, bandanas, snoods, so long as the head is at
least partially covered. Me, I own a baseball cap with the logo of the
Harpies, and a straw sun-hat that I use when I'm working in the garden,
neither of which stood out as a good fashion choice. Tonks transfigured
a scarf for me. I discovered later that I should have figured that she
was being too nice; along the edge of the scarf was a decorative stitch
that spelled out "Harry's Girl" again and again. As if that weren't bad
enough, I'm told that it would light up and blink from time to time
In my childhood, a Muggle friend had
invited me to Sunday School a few times before I started Hogwarts.
Needless to say, the local Methodist Sunday School did not prepare me
for services today at St. Simon's. Like I said before, Harry tried to
brief me on all the basic stuff: stand, sit, and kneel. He even showed
me how to hold my fingers when I attempted to make the sign of the
cross. They're a tricky bunch at St. Simon's though. The prayer book
doesn't tell you everything, like the fact that everyone drops to one
knee during the creed, or that the sign of the cross made before the
reading of the Gospel is way different from the sign of the
cross that's made throughout the rest of the service. Harry also
neglected to tell me that there's no cushion on the feet of the
kneelers, and that if you don't stop it with your foot, it sounds like
a bomb going off when it hits the floor.
was a successful outing, all in all, I did not fall off of the kneeler,
I did not sneeze when I got a face full of incense, and I did not go
forward to receive communion at the end of the service. Remus and Tonks
went forward, and I began to get up, when Harry gave my arm a tug. He
flipped open the prayer book and silently pointed to a line that said
that communion was restricted to baptized, confirmed believers. I
haven't a clue whether or not I was ever baptized, but I think that I
would have remembered being confirmed.
I learned that Harry can kneel very stilly for a long time.
seemed both very focused and very much at peace during the service. The
music was interesting it was my first exposure to a pipe organ, and
the choir chanting the psalms was awesome. I was able to sight read
most of the music, and I discovered that not only can Harry carry a
tune, but he has a decent singing voice. Towards the end of the
service, Tonks' phone grunted, and she excused herself to the parish
hall to take care of that interruption, leaving the rest of us to cool
our heels after the service. An older girl I recognized from Hogwarts
made a bee-line to Harry with a familiar, hungry look on her face.
Evidently Harry knows that that look means, because he made a show of
grabbing my hand and introduced me to Daphne Greengrass as "Ginny
Weasley, my girlfriend."
Well, that was unexpected.
showed up shortly thereafter and as we exited the sanctuary, I received
a vigorous handshake from the rector, who said "Ah, you must be Harry's
girl." Tonks started sniggering. I didn't know it at the time, but my
scarf was blinking at the time. I said something inane like "yes sir,
nice service today," and walked out into the morning sunshine.
skipped breakfast before the service, so the next stop was a little
bistro not far from St. Simon's. We split a large order of something
called nachos, which was a bed of crisps made from corn tortillas
smothered in refried beans, melted cheese, diced black olives, chopped
tomatoes, jalapeno peppers and a few dollops of sour cream. That put a
big dent in my appetite, and I was able to make it back to Grimmauld
Place where we had soup and a salad with carrot cake for dessert. It
was at Grimmauld Place that I finally looked in a mirror and saw the
blinking decorations on the scarf. Part of me was thrilled, after all,
Harry had introduced me as his girlfriend, but the rest of me was slightly annoyed.
I'd been pranked.
volunteered to wash up with Harry and we had a chance to talk about the
"girlfriend thing." He apologized, after a fashion. Not for calling me
his girlfriend, but for not talking to me about it first.
To say that I was shocked was an understatement.
"Who are you and what did you do with the real Harry Potter?" I asked. We both had a great laugh after that.
he held up his hand, waiting for me to place mine against it. I didn't
need to be told that he wanted my shield down. For a moment, all I felt
was the delicious warmth that I feel when I'm sensing him when we're
apart, followed by an avalanche of other thoughts, emotions and phantom
memories, including not a few from the night we'd spent in the orchard
a week and a half ago, doing exactly what we were doing right now. It
didn't last long and the overexposure caused us to break contact before
we could pull up our shields. It's actually quite painful.
I explained about the headscarf trick, which he'd been oblivious to, and we agreed that something had to be done in reply.
popped back to the Burrow by Floo and spent the rest of the day apart
Harry was off doing something with Ron and I was reading up on an
assignment for tomorrow imposed by that comely taskmistress, the Wicked
Witch of the East. I'd drop my shield down to zero from time to time
just to check that he was still there. Dragon magic can be a nuisance
at times, but it has its moments.
before dinner he found me alone in the parlour, pulled me up from my
chair and wrapped his arms around me. I asked him, "What's this for?"
to which he replied "Do I have to have a reason?" Evidently some part
of him needed recharging.
No, he does not have to have a reason. I don't mind.
I don't mind one little bit.
dinner, Ron trounced him soundly in two games of chess, followed by a
draw when he played me. He cheated he kept distracting me whenever it
was my turn to play, looking me in the eye, talking to me, brushing up
against my free hand, touching my foot with his own. He thought it was
He's going to pay for this, but the twins and Tonks will be dealt with first.
Tomorrow's going to come pretty early, so it's time to close out this entry.
12 August 1996
early was not a particular sacrifice for Harry. Since moving to the
Burrow for the balance of the summer, he'd been sleeping very well
indeed. The only thing that made a sound when Harry entered the kitchen
was the muted slap of his flip flops. The subsequent sound of the pipes
groaning indicated that Mrs. Weasley (he'd not yet surrendered to her
entreaties to call her 'Molly') was in the shower. He loaded the large
speckled percolator with coffee and water, setting it on the stove to
heat. Next he put on a tea kettle. Mrs. Weasley drank both tea and
coffee, but preferred a cup of tea before she got to work on breakfast
and the morning chores. Harry had worked out the outer limits of what
he could do to be helpful without supplanting his surrogate mother,
which turned out to be having coffee ready when she got to the kitchen
and volunteering to clean up on mornings when he had the time.
coffee pot began to burble on the burner. Harry turned the heat down by
half and let the happy sound continue unmolested. He let down his
shield enough to tell him that Ginny was stirring. He smiled briefly at
the sensation - he'd be hanged if he could ever express in words what
that felt like, or what it meant to him. The next sounds were familiar,
a sliding door to a closet banging open, then shut, the sound of the
door to the upstairs loo opening and closing, more water running and
then a simultaneous flush, slam and shuffle down the stairs.
Ginny looked up briefly as she entered the kitchen.
know, for a small girl, you make a lot of noise in the morning," he
said cheerfully as she came up to him and engaged in the typical Ginny
embrace: thumbs looped into his belt, head bent down, forehead resting
on his chest. She inhaled deeply, shivered slightly and then broke
away, reaching with one hand behind her on the counter for the mug that
she knew would be there, grabbing the percolator with the other hand.
Filling the mug with steaming hot coffee, she slumped into the nearest
chair, cradled the mug with both hands, sipping lightly before she
raised her head to meet his gaze.
"Shut it, you," she said with a snarl, followed by a wink.
didn't care for morning, and didn't care for running. Combining the two
activities was not synergistic in the least. She finished the coffee,
stretched and then bent over to lace up her trainers. She was eager to
finish her run. "Getting it out of the way," was the highest praise she
could give that activity. They carefully shut the door, trotting out
over the grounds of the Burrow for the morning run. They had an
established route which they'd carefully measured - the short route was
three miles, the long route was just over five miles. They'd done the
short route today; it was a day they'd both be taking lessons at
Abelard's. As they came around the chicken coop, the point where they
normally stopped jogging and started walking, Harry spoke up.
"Hermione wrote last night," he said.
"Did she now? How is the sweet girl?" Ginny puffed.
"Curious," he replied.
"She was born curious, what else is new?" she quipped.
"She wants to know how we're doing," he said, stripping off his light jacket.
"So tell her," she said.
"I wanted to talk to you before I did," he said quietly.
"What's between us is private," he said.
good luck with that, Harry. In two weeks we are returning to the
Gryffindor Goldfish Bowl. I think that people are likely to notice,"
she said, looping back around the coop towards the orchard.
little things, you know, like a red-haired lunatic pressing her
forehead into the chest of the Boy Who Lived when he's standing in the
common room, like the fact that it's hard for us to go six hours
without touching each other, things like that," she said, slipping her
hand into the crook of his elbow. Harry sighed. Normally a contented
sound, today it sounded distressed. "I mean, what shall I say to
would-be suitors who ply me with attention to see if there's any truth
to the rumours about my kissing ability?"
"Dunno," he replied, not rising to the bait. "What about the immediate question?"
"Yeah," he replied.
"What were you thinking of saying in your answer?" she asked.
"That you're brilliant to be with, that we seem to like each other?"
would do, I suppose, she should be used to getting monosyllabic answers
from you by now: 'How are you, Harry?' she asks. 'Fine,' you answer.
You really can disclose a little more of yourself to someone
who's known you for going on six years, you know," she said, blowing a
wisp of hair out of her face.
"Okay, smarty-britches, what's the answer of the modern witch?" he snarled, half in jest.
"That we're together; that we're happy," she said, searching for the right words.
"What about the kissing ability?" he said, raising one eyebrow rakishly.
things so I can kiss you unshielded without my head blowing up and I'll
gladly show you," she replied as she grabbed his belt.
Harry wrapped his arms around her. "Promise?"
"Let's go eat breakfast, today's going to be a long day," he said.
You know, on second thought, your answer wasn't bad - simple,
economical, to the point - I am a brilliant witch after all," she said
Harry smacked her backside and began to run towards the house. "Legend in your own mind! Last one to the house does the dishes!"
"Potter, you cheater! I'll get you for this!"
13 August 1996
was sprawled in front of the empty fireplace, writing a letter. Ginny
was reclining on the couch, reading one of the final chapters of Combat Cures and Countercharms.
Harry was sitting on the floor, leaning against the middle of the
couch, writing a reply to Anthony Goldstein, who had written a lengthy
description of a Death Eater raid in the village down the road from his
family's estate. From time to time Ginny would reach down and caress
his shoulder or run her fingers absent-mindedly through his hair. He
would often close his eyes when this happened, leaning back into the
caress. It broke up the pace of his writing, but he was glad for the
distraction. When he looked up again, Ron was watching him with a broad
smile on his face.
"Eight more days, mate and she'll be here," Harry said.
Ron sighed in reply.
not like you haven't seen her you've been popping over to her house
through the Floo so much that Mum's had to lay in a new supply of Floo
Powder," Ginny said, snapping her book shut. "That reminds me, I need
to write it on the shopping list for the twins." She stretched, laid
her book down carefully and pulled a Muggle pen, clipboard and paper
out of the secretary desk. She returned back to her spot on the couch
and began to write. "What's a nice word for a hickey?" she asked.
reached back for her first-aid textbook, thumbing through the middle.
"Uh, subcutaneous suction bruise," he said, putting the book back down
on the couch.
"What's a combat first-aid book doing discussing hickeys?" Ron asked, distracted from his letter.
in the section on Succubi and Incubi don't ask," Harry replied. "It's
really gross way more gross than Seamus showing off his trophy
love-bites," he said with a sniff of distain.
"Ever have one?" Ginny asked playfully.
"No, you offering?" he replied.
not quite, Mr. Potter. I value my sanity. Besides, love goddesses don't
stoop to such crude measures," she said in an affected manner.
"Oh, do tell?" he countered.
a temporary mark on your beloved is crude; killing or perhaps maiming a
few of your rivals will let the world know that your property rights
should be respected," she said airily.
"Do you have a list?" he asked.
"Of course! Monica says that you have a list, why shouldn't I?"
not the same thing," Harry said with a note of protest in his voice.
"Besides, other than you, everyone on my list is taken now."
"Oh, does that imply that I'm still on the market?" she replied.
"It depends, how many rivals do I have to maim to take you off the market?"
"I'll tally up the list and leave it under your door in the morning," she said.
"Thanks, I've been running out of things to worry about this month," Harry said, deadpan.
"If I might interrupt," Ron said pointedly. "Who are you writing to that you need a euphemism for hickey?"
"Luna Lovegood," Ginny replied. "She's trying to figure out whether Neville's subcutaneous suction bruises are due to allergies or something else."
Ron sniggered. "I'll place my bets on something else, perhaps something blonde," he said before letting out a solitary guffaw.
well, I'm trying to think of a polite way of saying that she needs to
knock that off before school starts, or else Neville's immature
roommates will tease him mercilessly," she said.
resemble that remark," Harry said. "My own policy is 'don't ask' I'm
more than willing to ignore that sort of thing if I can keep from
hearing the gory details afterwards."
"Oh, you're no fun," she replied.
"Yeah, but most of the time I don't leave marks, either," he quipped.
"It's getting deep in here. Goodnight, Harry, goodnight, Ginny," Ron said pleasantly. "Say 'hi' to Luna for me, will you?"
"Sure Ronald, g'night," Ginny replied.
14 August 1996
you already know how no-longer-bald brother did on his O.W.L. results
I hope that he's expressed his gratitude to you he certainly didn't
get those results on his own. Harry and I opened our letters this
evening after we came back from Abelard's. Harry's nursing a headache
upstairs, so I've been asked to let you know how he did. Harry did
well, naturally. He washed History, got a low pass in Astronomy and
Divination, and nailed outstandings in Herbology, Transfiguration,
Charms, Defence (duh!), Care of Magical Creatures and (tah-dah)
Potions. Word has it that Professor Snape appealed his grade to the
Examination Authority, saying that based upon his classroom
performance, Harry couldn't have done as well as he did on the exam.
Yeah, right. The EA denied Professor Snape's appeal. Fancy that. Harry
also wants me to let you know that without you, he couldn't have done
nearly as well as he did on the O.W.L.s. Well done, Hermione. Based
upon these results, I reckon that he'll be taking N.E.W.T. courses in
the five areas that he nailed. Well, now that I've performed my dutiful
girlfriend responsibilities, on to the real meat of this letter.
in a relationship with Harry is far more wonderful and far odder than
the fantasy. The fantasy was having him breeze into my life for an hour
or so at a stretch, say a few nice things about me and then bruise my
lips with a smouldering kiss. The reality is going running with him in
the morning, having him make me breakfast, and going for a walk after
dinner no kisses yet, smouldering or otherwise. There's a technical
glitch there we'll discuss it when you're here in a week. I'm working
my broad backside to a nub this summer three days of classes, three
days to get my chores done, and then a day off on Sunday.
of which, Harry introduced me on Sunday to Daphne Greengrass as "my
girlfriend, Ginny Weasley." Under the best of circumstances I would not
give a flying fig what Daphne thought, but in the context, it was a
pretty good outcome. The brothers have been pretty cool about the whole
thing, pretty much leaving us alone: no pranking, no beating up the
beau for taking liberties with their baby sister (but then again, he
hasn't been taking any liberties, so maybe that's not so odd) no
teasing, etc. I should have had it this good for the first fifteen
years of my life!
Well, I'm knackered. More later.
Are you quite done with your scribbling?
I beg your pardon, Ginny replied in a voice heard only in her mind.
That won't be necessary. Have you checked on the Servant of the Light recently?
am well aware of his location. I was inquiring into your knowledge of
his present condition. Might I suggest that you lower your shield and
check on him yourself?
He's here same as always.
mammal! You must use what the Creator has given you! I will suggest
that what you just felt is qualitatively different than what you have
sensed in the past. How would you describe the feeling within you when
you drop your shield?
It's like a mouthful of warm butterscotch syrup, only I'm feeling it rather than tasting it.
so. Now, break down the components of that feeling: the warmth is the
fact that he is alive; the flavour is his essence. Now, feel it again,
and savour the feeling, look for different scents and flavours
underneath the warmth and the sweetness.
the same, but in the background there's a note of vinegar, and a
different, off smell, like bread mould it's very faint.
will take back a fraction of what I have thought about your powers of
perception; it appears that you can be taught. The vinegar note is
physical pain; the mould scent is emotional distress.
So I should get him a potion for his headache?
You have the power to take his pain completely.
Eating his pain?
And the distress?
I have no notion as to how to comfort a mammal. You will have to rely upon your intuition, guided by mammalian experience.
Thank you, Tk'lch.
We serve by guiding, young dragon.
checked the stairwell and the hallway before pushing open the door to
Percy's old bedroom, Harry's temporary lair. He was lying on his back,
dressed in the jeans and t-shirt he'd worn that day, arm over his eyes.
"You awake, Harry?" she asked, feeling slightly foolish in the question.
I'm awake. I thought if I lay down that my headache would go away. I
was wrong. Ginny, my kit's in the loo, could you bring me the bottle
marked 'Ibuprofen?'" he asked.
Ginny smiled in the darkness.
"I can do better than that," she said, perching lightly on the bed,
stroking her fingertips lightly across his forehead. She flinched
briefly as the pain began to flow up her arm and into her magical
centre. It was an unusual feeling, not physically painful, but she knew
that it was a solemn thing that was happening. She felt a brief pang of
guilt that she'd known that he was suffering from a headache and done
nothing about it. Live and learn, she thought.
Harry groaned appreciatively. "That was marvellous, thanks," he said.
"Roll over," she commanded.
"Roll Over," she said, slowly and distinctly.
grunted as he flipped slowly from his back to his front, spreading his
arms up over his head. Ginny placed her palms on his back, flexing her
hands until just her fingertips rested on his back. She began to wiggle
her fingers up his back until one hand was kneading his shoulder and
the other his neck.
"Blimey, that feels good," he grunted into the pillow.
"It's supposed to now just relax," she said, smiling broadly. "What are you brooding about?"
"I wasn't brooding, I was worrying. There's a difference," he protested.
I'll rephrase it," she said, pulling one hand back behind his back so
that she could work under his exposed shoulder blade. "What were you
"Crimeny, that's fantastic," he mumbled. "I was worrying about you."
paused for a moment, her mind frozen for an instant while her hands
poked and stroked around his shoulder blade. "What about me?" she asked
"Abelard wants us to spar," he said, grunting as she
moved one hand back above his head and pulled the other hand behind his
back to work on muscles surrounding the other shoulder blade.
"I've been sparring with Jasmine all week," she replied.
"He wants us to spar with each other," Harry mumbled.
"I'm not made of glass," she retorted.
very well aware of what you are made of, Miss Weasley. I don't want to
fight you, even for training. I guess what really bothers me is the
notion that Abelard believes that you're going to need to be as
dangerous as I am becoming, which means that you're going to get hurt,"
he said, lifting his head briefly before surrendering once more to her
Ginny pondered her response, shifting from
sitting beside Harry to straddling him, resting her weight between his
bum and his knees. She started with long, slow strokes, beginning at
his waist, travelling parallel up his spine, across his shoulders and
down his arms. He said nothing in reply, gasping contentedly when she
placed her full weight into the stroke. "You've got to stop thinking of
me as a liability, Harry. I'm an asset. Two are better than one," she
said, shifting her stroke into a criss-cross motion across his back.
"I'm well aware of your assets, a number of which are pressed up against me at the moment," he replied saucily.
smacked his bum. "Pig," she grunted. She returned to her ministrations,
working on long strokes up the back. After a few cycles of this, she
began kneading his neck, holding his head still with one hand while
working the cords in his neck with her other hand. She wiped her
forehead with the back of her sleeve. "Sweet Circe, it's hot in here,"
Harry muttered something in reply.
"What was that, Harry?"
"I said, it's not rocket science - either open a window or take off some clothes," he said gruffly.
I don't mind if I do," Ginny said impishly, stripping off her shirt,
leaving only a thin camisole in place. "You too," she said, tugging his
t-shirt off in a swift motion.
"That better be the last piece
of clothing that gets removed, Ginny. Your mum is going to kill me if
she catches you in here," Harry said grimly, wincing as Ginny dug into
a sore muscle in the base of his back.
"Actually, Harry, I
have it on good authority that Mum believes that you are a perfect
gentleman, and that your virtue is at far greater risk than mine," she
said with a snort. She rose up to her knees. "Roll over," she
"What, why?" he asked groggily.
"I want to see your face right now," she replied.
groaned softly as he turned over. Ginny settled her weight back down on
his thighs, brushing his hair away from his eyes as he propped himself
up on one elbow.
Ginny paused to say something when Harry
reached up to tuck a stray wisp of hair behind her ear. She could see
his lips moving, but he was making no sound. His fingers trailed down
her cheek and down her jaw, leaving a hot streak upon her skin as they
moved. Harry seemed to be having trouble focusing his eyes, which he
was blinking slowly.
"I - I've gotta go," he gasped, before he closed his eyes and Disapparated from the room.
Apparated into the Weasley parlour, which was a good thing. His posture
was all wrong for an easy landing, appearing horizontally a foot above
the coffee table in front of the couch, which was currently occupied by
Arthur Weasley. Harry dropped unceremoniously onto the table and then
onto the floor, cursing quietly as he fell. Arthur looked up from the
evening edition of the Daily Prophet, wry grin upon his face.
take it you weren't planning on dropping in on me this evening, Harry,"
Arthur said pleasantly, nodding in Harry's direction where he sat on
the parlour floor, sans shirt and glasses. Above them they
heard Ginny shriek, slam the door to Harry's bedroom, stomp down the
stairs and slam the door to her own bedroom shut, uttering a muffled
curse that sounded like "black-haired pig." Harry's gaze drifted to the
open magical map that sat on the couch next to Arthur Weasley.
Harry groaned softly.
understand, Harry," Arthur said sympathetically. "Molly said you were
having a lie in with a bit of a headache. Ginny was leaving the parlour
just as I came home."
"How much did you see on the map?" Harry asked.
saw my very beautiful daughter set Gossamer wards in the stairwells and
enter your room, leaving your door open. She then cast an Aversion
charm on the doorway to keep anyone from looking into the room. As the
rule of the house is that the door may not be closed, she technically
broke no rules," Arthur said with a snort. "I guess I'll have to revise
those rules now that she's doing advanced Wandless magic. A decent
amount of time after her arrival in your room, I see you Apparate into
the parlour. I assume that you were trying to keep things from
escalating out of control."
"Yeah," Harry said, nodding his
head. "I don't think she liked that much," he said, hooking his thumb
in the direction of the stairwell.
"Harry, I pride myself on
my understanding of human nature in general and the workings of the
Weasley women in particular. Some things you should let slide, and
others you should deal with immediately. I will give you a pointer that
whatever passed between you and Ginny just now, you should not let it
slide; it will fester and poison your relationship," Arthur said with a
penetrating gaze into Harry's eyes. "The house is locked up, I'm going
to turn in now; Molly's already off to bed. I'm not expecting the Twins
until the weekend, and frankly I'm not expecting Ron to be home tonight
at all. By the power invested in me as head of this house, I'm granting
a one time waiver of the closed door rule. Go on up and work it out,
even if you have to close the door and silence the room," he said
solemnly, then breaking into a slight grin.
"Yes, sir," Harry replied. "One-time good deal."
"I trust you, Harry. Good luck," Arthur said, extinguishing the light as he left the parlour.
away, Harry," Ginny said from behind her locked and shielded door. He'd
heard the lock click as he stepped onto the landing next to her door,
and felt the shielding go up after that.
"Please open the door, Ginny," he pleaded.
"Go Away," she said in a louder voice.
engaged his Farsight, glancing briefly at the layout of Ginny's
bedroom, searching for an open spot for his Apparation. He popped into
her room, passing through the shielding charm without harm.
out!" she shouted, tossing a book at him. Harry could have deflected
the book, but stood still, letting the spine of the book bounce against
"Uh!" he gasped involuntarily.
"I'm not going to fight you, Ginny, and I'm not going to leave," he said quietly, holding one hand behind his back.
your shirt," he said, extending it towards her as she looked around
wildly for something else to throw. "Your dad saw everything on the
map," he added quietly.
"What?!?" she shrieked.
tossed her shirt onto her bed and then cast a silencing charm on the
walls. "Your dad was watching the map that shows everything in the
Burrow: the Gossamer wards, the Aversion charm, the open door, you
sitting on my bed. He sent me up here to patch things up," he said
Ginny covered her mouth with her hand. "I am so busted," she gasped.
don't think so - he told me I had a one-time waiver of the 'no closed
doors' rule if I tried to patch things up," Harry said with a wink.
Ginny ran her fingers through her hair, staring at the ceiling briefly, one hand on her hip.
"I don't think you understand why I left," Harry said haltingly.
I understand all right," Ginny replied venomously. "I was being a
stupid little tart, taking my clothes off in your room. I was about to
tell you something very important, and - and you didn't want to hear
it," she replied.
Harry shook his head. "I haven't the
foggiest what you were going to say, you have to believe me when I say
that. I left because, because I was about to do something that I
thought I was g-going to regret," he stammered.
a full Molly posture, both hands balled into fists, planted on either
side of her waist. "I'm listening," she said harshly.
"Sit down," he said sharply.
"Don't use that tone of voice with me," she snapped.
Harry took a deep breath, running his fingers through his hair. "Okay, please sit down," he said in a softer, more pleasant tone.
She sat down on her bed.
sat down on the guest bed across the room, already made up for
Hermione. "I already told you that I'm rubbish with feelings and things
like that. This isn't going to make any sense," he said, grabbing the
pillow from the bed, wringing it with his hands. "Let me start over. Do
you know why Dragons use Pyr'gs?" he asked.
"They are guarding our minds," she replied, looking at him quizzically.
that's just a side effect. Dragons use Pyr'gs to teach little dragons
how to become big dragons - that's part of why we've been learning so
much new magic this summer - the Pyr'g makes it easy to learn what's
really difficult magic," he said.
"What's that got to do with us, Harry?" Ginny asked.
I I'm so sorry - I haven't got a clue how to be a proper boyfriend,
and I certainly don't know anything about being in love," he said,
oblivious to Ginny's widened eyes. "When you were touching me, it was
stirring up all sorts of things inside of me. I wanted to drop my
Occlumency shield to zero," Harry said, leaving a long silence. They
both knew what that would have meant.
"And?" Ginny asked.
"I wanted to take you by force," he replied, blanching at her response. "No, not like that, I wanted to mark you," he blurted.
"Mark me?" she asked.
just like in the dreams. You've been having them too, I suppose," he
asked. Ginny nodded in reply. "I have very strong feelings for you,
Ginny, and I haven't a clue about what I should do with them as a
human, so my Pyr'g is trying to help me sort them out the way dragons
do things," he said.
"What happens when boy dragons mark girl dragons, Harry, aside from all the blood?" Ginny asked.
bonded - forever," he replied. "It's like being engaged, or betrothed.
The mating comes afterwards, it's like the last formality," he said,
"And you want to be bonded - with me?" she asked.
Harry nodded, biting his lip.
"Galloping Gargoyles, I've really botched it up tonight," Ginny exclaimed.
"I don't have a headache any more - you didn't botch that up," Harry added helpfully.
"Do you know what I was going to say to you?" she asked.
"I haven't a clue," he answered.
was going to tell you - that - that I love you, Harry, and then you go
and hare off out of the room," Ginny said, standing and beginning to
pace. "It was then that it hit me that I was slightly underdressed for
the occasion, and the only thing I could think was that you didn't like
what you were seeing. I put up a good front, you know, but I'm really
insecure about a lot of things, including how much I've got up top, or
how little, depending upon which way you want to see it. Is the
camisole half full or half empty?" she asked with a nervous grin.
grinned as he fought a blush. "There's nothing wrong with your
camisole, Ginny. You're a very pretty girl, and I'm sure that if I ran
into you in the dark that I'd know that you were a girl," he said,
raising one eyebrow.
"Is that the standard?" she asked.
me it is I'm more of a leg man, personally, but believe me when I say
that there's nothing wrong with your top, or your bottom. You have
quite an effect on me," he said earnestly.
"Yeah, I understand that now," she said sheepishly.
"We're not very good at this, are we?" he asked.
we're not," she agreed. "This is where a normal magical couple would
spend the night snogging in front of the fireplace," she said
"Yeah, good luck with that," Harry replied. "This
is when a good dragon couple start wrestling until one of them is
properly marked," he said with a wiggle of his eyebrows.
"Don't even think about that, Harry. I don't have wings," she replied forcefully.
"Pity that," he said, "Mm'lau is always chiding me for that. Proper girls have wings and tails, you know."
well Mm'lau must agree with Mum, I'm not a proper girl then," she said,
closing her eyes briefly. With the briefest of pops, she Apparated to
his side, leaning into him. "I don't think I care much any more," she
said, sighing as she rested her head against his shoulder.
talked a bit more, about things of no great significance until Harry
pushed up off the guest bed, standing on unsteady feet. "Tomorrow's
coming no matter how bad we are at being a magical couple. Goodnight
luv," he said with a yawn. Ginny grabbed his belt, pulling herself up
from the bed. She tucked her head under his chin as he wrapped his arms
"Harry, I love you so much," Ginny said; her voice muffled in his chest.
"There, that wasn't so hard to say, was it?" he replied with a smirk.
"Prat," she replied, slapping his stomach with the back of her hand.
Harry cancelled the silencing charm, the seal and the locking charm and then opened the door. "Sleep well," he said.
"I'll try," she replied.
"I'm not running tomorrow."
"See you at breakfast then," he said, closing the door behind him.
the door was closed she put the silencing charm back in place,
thrusting her clenched fists into the air. "Yes, yes, yes!" she
15 August 1996
monthly visitor came last night - L - I suppose that I shouldn't be
surprised it comes like clockwork. The cramping is terrible today. I
tried the pain-eating trick this morning when I first woke up, but
apparently it doesn't work on my own pain. I'm not going to ask Tk'lch
about it, because I'm tired of his snotty attitude about mammals I'm
certain that whatever lady dragons go through, it just doesn't compare.
How special. Why couldn't I get the lady Pyr'g and Harry get the
attitudinally challenged gentleman dragon? I'm not waking Harry for
Things got a little
out of hand last night I don't know what I was thinking. Harry, sweet
boy that he is, wanted to take me, but he ran away instead. He wants me
that much is clear. This blasted dragon magic is a right bloody pain
some days. He didn't come right out and say "I love you" last night,
but he did say that he was in love with me, and he called me "love" so
I guess we are making definite progress. J
If the cramping weren't so bad, I'd be ecstatic this morning. Maybe Mum will cast a warming charm on my bloated little belly.
14 August 1996
just before lunchtime Harry's outside working with Bill - tuning the
wards to recognize Harry's Apparation signature. Bill was surprised
when Mum called this morning, asking to adjust the wards on the house
I don't know which surprised him more, the fact that I'm Apparating, or
that Harry is now my boyfriend. I was moaning with Mum this morning,
trying my best to choke down tea and toast, sitting sideways on the
long bench at the breakfast table. Harry slides up behind me on the
bench, wrapping his arms around me. I was surprised Mum was
Harry asked where I
hurt, and I placed his hand below my belly. It was amazing to feel the
pain drain away I'm afraid that I made some not very ladylike noises
that Mum misinterpreted entirely as I was wiggling on the bench. Harry,
dear lad, explained in rather terse terms that this was a medical trick
that he'd learned from the dragons, and that it's not something he'd do
for just anyone. He's so sweet.
odd, really. I'm still cramping, but I'm feeling no pain. He's a handy
guy to have around at times. Harry and Ron were degnoming the garden
after breakfast I got rather light duty instead, which I didn't mind
a bit. Mum says that my period was wretched because of the stress of
this month. Yeah, it has been a stressful month riding the roller coaster with Harry. I don't think I'd have it any other way, though.
21 August 1996
I've survived another week another round of lessons, another visit to
St. Simon's (early service this week no Tonks, no choir, no Daphne).
I wore the scarf again, but I charmed off the decorative stitching. I
don't need to tell the world that I'm Harry's girl just yet.
been scheming with Harry to prank Tonks and the twins it's almost
ready to put into place. Today, around lunchtime, we'll be Apparating
to Grimmauld Place and to the twins' flat in Diagon Alley. Jasmine will
be covering for us, so technically I suppose that we aren't violating
the security rules. Harry will be delivering a very special package to
Grimmauld Place, and I'll be rearranging a few things in the twins'
flat. If all goes well, we will perpetrate a righteous prank that can't
be traced back to us, until such time as we 'fess up to our deeds if
Hermione comes tonight
after dinner. It will be good to have another girl under the roof one
who understands the ride I've been taking this summer.
let you know if we keep our nerve and execute this plot Harry's a fun
co-conspirator. He has nerve, but he also tries really hard to not be
mean in his pranks. It's good to have another friend - even if he's
22 August 1996
great to have Hermione here, even if it means that I'm sharing a very
small room. For reasons known only to Mum, she keeps a rather sharper
eye on no-longer-bald-brother than she keeps on the short
scarlet-haired scarlet woman. That being said, she's never without that
blooming map. I suppose I should be grateful; without that map, I'm
sure that Remus would insist that we spend the summer at Headquarters,
as it's supposedly a far better place to defend than The Burrow.
called this morning - apparently both of them have been afflicted with
a combination of hexes - they can't say a word - everything comes out
in song, and they can't stop dancing. Hee hee. Amazing what happens
when you keep using Tenor Toothpaste and Tarantella Toilet Paper - the
time delay was enough that they never did figure out what was causing
it. Mum was able to neutralize both of the hexes (she should, she's
been cleaning up after the twin terrors for years now) but unless they
stop using those items, they'll be right back to the same old song and
dance. Harry and I have a hard time looking at each other today without
breaking into hysterical giggles over that prank.
did the spell work at Abelard's, where we could use wands without
running afoul of the MoM. Charlie tweaked the wards on the twins' flat
so I could Apparate there without any difficulty. Harry, Jasmine and I
Apparated into Diagon Alley, and while the black-haired duo stood
watch, I Apparated into their flat, changing out their toothpaste and
toilet paper. In addition to the stuff that's already in use, I also
swapped out the supplies in the cupboard. I think of it as a gift that
keeps on giving.
Next we Apparated to
Grimmauld Place, where the girls stood watch while the black-haired
knight left a booby-trapped gift on the kitchen table. Still no word
yet from Grimmauld Place on the Lupine Locket - we're fairly sure that that
prank came off without a hitch either. He left a gift wrapped box that
said "for Tonks" on the label. A person-specific aversion charm was
cast on the box, so that Moony wouldn't notice it on the table. Tonks,
curious girl that she is, won't be able to resist opening it,
especially after I did a credible job forging Moony's handwriting on
the note. Inside the box is a nice locket on a leather choker - just
the edgy style that would appeal to Tonks. The locket is charmed so
that once she puts it on, she can't take it off. She'll do fine until
Moony comes into the room, at which time she should be deprived of
human speech and start acting like a female wolf in the presence of the
Alpha Male. Harry explained that she'll probably be dancing on all
fours in front of Moony, rolling over to show how submissive she is. It
should be interesting. The only down side of this operation is that it
could be entirely successful and we'd never hear about it - Moony is a
very private person, and Tonks wouldn't mention it to us unless she had
reason to suspect us.
Such is the price of
great art. The planning was wonderful, the execution was sheer bliss,
now comes the hard part: waiting for the fallout.
This coming year is going to Rock at Hogwarts.
What do you call a lady Marauder, anyways, a Maraudix?
Harry just left my room he came and knocked me up just as I was
closing this entry out he had a whisper patch in his hand evidently
the tricky boy had an extra charm on Tonks' locket that I didn't know
about although we didn't get a chance to see the prank, we did hear
it, live, with Harry providing commentary. It was wicked good fun until
Remus cancelled the doggie charm by nipping her on the neck. Thereafter
we heard more conventional noises commonly associated with a human
couple on very friendly terms nothing too graphic, but you could
tell that they were kissing. Harry blushed like a Weasley and cancelled
the whisper patch charm, giving them a modicum of privacy. We then got
a terrible case of the giggles, and he wished me a good night.
Oh yeah, this year is going to ROCK!
was great to be back at The Burrow. Mrs. Weasley had always treated her
like a brown-haired daughter; this trip was no different in that
respect. She'd settled in the day before and by breakfast time Mrs.
Weasley had doled out chores to Ron, Harry, Hermione and Ginny; chores
that needed two boys or two girls to complete. Tricky witch, that Mrs.
Weasley. Ginny and Hermione got caught up on the big changes in their
respective lives fairly quickly. Thereafter, Hermione watched the
interactions with renewed interest: smiles, glances, winks, small
touches. It was all there, plain to see if one knew what to look for.
The girls' chores were finished before lunch, so she went looking for
Ron, checking to see if he'd finished his summer assignments. Sixth
year assignments came along with the O.W.L. results readings and
problems for all of the N.E.W.T.-level courses.
He wasn't in
his room, so she pulled out his planner (her gift from Christmas) and
began to scribble notes into the calendar squares.
"A bit early for that, isn't it Hermione?" Ron asked.
Hermione jumped. "Ron, you startled me," she said, hand on her chest as she caught her breath.
"Well, you see, it's my room, so normally I don't worry about how I come or go. What's with the planner?" he asked pleasantly.
just wanted to make sure that you're going to finish your assignments
before school starts," she said, looking up into his pale blue eyes. Focus Hermione, focus, she thought to herself.
"Woman, it's the holidays!" he whinged.
Ron, if you plan things out, you can get all of your work done on the
nights that Harry and Ginny are home," she protested.
"And why would I want to do that?" he asked.
"That would leave us time free for other things the nights they aren't home," she said sweetly.
"Other things?" he asked.
"Yes," she said, moistening her lower lip with the tip of her tongue. "Other things."
"Right then," he said earnestly. "Wouldn't want to run out of time for other things, now would we?"
"It wouldn't hurt if we started work on the D.A. lessons early either," she said.
"Are you worried, Hermione?" he asked gently, circling her waist with one arm.
"I'm terrified, Ron," she answered breathily as she leaned into him.
"Let me talk to Harry then," he replied.
Hermione ran her palms across his chest and then pulled his head down for a quick kiss.
"That's all?" he asked.
stamped her foot lightly. "One, I'm in your bedroom; two, your mother
has a map that shows where we are and what we're doing; and three, if
we get started doing that right now, we'll be late for lunch
for sure. I'm not keen on the idea of getting caught by your mum the
first full day I'm here. Your mum and my mum had words, you know, about
my coming to visit now that things are different between us."
"Oh, do tell, Miss Granger," he said, running his hands around her waist until his palms were cupping her bum.
"Ron!" she said, pushing him away, "I'm serious!"
"I rather doubt that," a familiar voice cracked behind them. Hermione gave a muffled squeak.
was scrawny, had black hair shot with grey, and wouldn't kiss a bloke
like Ron on a dare," Harry drawled. "You, on the other hand, have lots
of padding, nicely arranged I might add, lovely chestnut hair, and a
pronounced preference for young men. Nope, you're not Sirius at all,"
he finished with a grin.
"How long have you been here, mate?" Ron asked, swallowing nervously.
"Long enough," Harry replied in a sing-song tone. "Lunch is ready, Your mum wants you to set the table," he said, giving Hermione a wink.
kicked off his trainers and headed towards the door. Looking at
Hermione, he said, "We'll finish this later." Looking at Harry, he
said, "Don't do anything that I wouldn't do."
gives me a lot of latitude, mate. Perhaps Hermione can give me some
pointers on how to keep Weasleys happy," he said, ducking as Ron sent a
slow-motion backhanded punch his way.
Once Ron was safely downstairs, Hermione turned to Harry, wringing her hands lightly. "How are you doing, Harry?" she asked.
"Better than I deserve," he replied.
"I'm surprised to hear you joking about Sirius," she stated quietly.
not a day that goes by that I haven't thought of him, Hermione," he
said sombrely. "He wanted me to keep living. He wanted me to be a
Marauder like Dad, like that was possible. When things have been
particularly difficult, I've pushed harder, thinking that it's
something I can do to honour his memory," he said, breathing deeply as
he struggled for control, biting his lip. "He wanted me to know that
I'm surrounded by people who love me that's finally sinking in this
summer pity it's taken me this long to figure that out," he said with
a sigh. He was silent for a moment. "Being in love helps, I suppose,"
"Have you told her?"
"I think she knows," he replied.
"She's a girl, she needs to hear it, Harry," she replied.
"I'll see what I can do," he said lightly. "Let's go get lunch."
were a welcome relief Abelard and Jasmine usually planned something
rewarding for their respective students; dinner always had a wonderful
pudding prepared by Mrs. Paprikash before she went home for the
weekend; and rather than coming home at 9:30 or 10:00 at night, they
were often home by 8:30. Rather than testing the outer limits of
teen-aged endurance, Harry and Ginny had agreed to spend some quiet
time with whoever was about at The Burrow, in this case Bill dropping
by with some mending for Molly, and turn in early to allow their
reserves, magical and otherwise, to replenish during the night. After
an obligatory hug from Ginny, Harry changed into pyjamas and was soon
He awoke in the early morning he'd taken his
watch off and placed it on the bedside table when he'd retired, so he
guessed from the silence in the house and the darkness outside that it
was the deep of the night. He lowered his Occlumency shield, hoping to
sense a glimpse of Ginny before he rolled over, only to find that Ginny
was awake, in some distress and heading towards his door. He stood up
and made a gathering motion with his hand, causing the door to open,
leaving a somewhat startled Ginny, dressing gown thrown on carelessly
on top of her oversized t-shirt, standing with her hand poised to knock
on the now open door.
"Knock, knock," she said sheepishly. "May I come in?"
"Ginny, what's wrong?" he asked.
She rushed to him, placing her forehead on his chest.
"Hmmm?" he asked.
She mumbled something into his chest.
"I'm sorry, I didn't catch that," he said.
Lifting her head slightly, she said, "I said, shut-up and hold me," before placing her head back down.
obligingly wrapped his arms around her, feeling her relax briefly in
his embrace before she started shuddering again. She was crying
"Do you want to talk about it?" he asked.
"No," she replied with a sniffle.
Harry shifted slightly, dipping his knees to pick her up and carry her out of the room and down the stairs.
"What are you doing?" she hissed.
saving our lives," he replied. "If your mum ever caught you in my
bedroom, she'd kill you and then turn me into a dog or something."
hiccupped softly. "Nope, not a dog, Mum never wanted a dog in the
house. She'd stick to something simple and useful like a bat."
that's comforting," he said, setting her down on a reclining chair in
the parlour, twisting the chair to face the door to the kitchen. He
pulled a quilt off of the couch and covered her up, tucking the quilt
under her chin. "Stay here," he said, adding as an afterthought,
Ginny grinned a crooked smile as she watched him
bustle about in the kitchen. "What are you doing now?" she asked after
"Taking care of you," he replied simply. In a short
while he brought a tea tray in with a teapot, two matched cups and
saucers and an odd cup and saucer that didn't match the family china
pattern. "Drink some of this," he said, adding again, "please."
sniffed at the cup, wrinkling her nose in distaste, and then took a
cautious sip from the steaming cup. It wasn't the usual blend of tea,
but tasted as if it were some herbal concoction.
"What is it?" she asked.
frilly girly tea that Jasmine oohed and ahhed over when we took a break
during an exercise this summer. I brought some back, thinking that your
mum might like it it's soothing," he said.
"What's in it?"
Lemon Balm, Hibiscus and a bunch of herbs that Neville might recognize,
but I'd never heard of before," he said, taking a big gulp.
"What's with the third cup?" she asked.
a few minutes it will be a Pensieve," he replied, Summoning his wand
from his room. He performed an intricate wand movement that ended up
pointing to the North, South, East and West. "Underage Magic Sensor
dampening charm," he said tersely. "Now that I don't need it, Abelard
finally got around to teaching it," he said with a grin. He set to work
drawing patterns on the odd cup, ending his scribbles with three sharp
taps on the rim with his wand. The cup glowed briefly before it
flickered and became for all intents and purposes an odd, ugly teacup.
Ginny reached over to the cup, surprised that it was heavier than it
looked. Looking inside she saw a milky substance shot with strands of
silver. "Abelard uses Pensieves the way other men use paperclips," he
said casually. "Dreams can be stored like any other memory, the
practical benefit being that nightmares rarely recur if you capture the
offending dream and pop it in the Pensieve," he said, looking up to
catch her eyes.
"Do you use one?" she asked.
got three," he answered with a grin. "Good dreams, bad dreams and stuff
tainted by Tom Riddle," he said, pulling a face. "Thus far, the cup for
the good dreams has the most in it. I keep them all sealed with a blood
seal," he said.
"The saucer?" she asked.
"Exactly," he replied. "Are you game to try it?"
"Sure," she said, hoping that she sounded more confident than she felt.
your eyes and think of your dream," he said calmly. She complied, but a
minute after her eyes were closed, her hand darted out to grab Harry's
hand. "You've got it?" he asked. She squeezed his hand in reply. He
traced his wand to her temple, pulling a sickly grey thread from her
head when he removed his wand. With a deft, practiced motion, he
dropped the thread into the Pensieve where it sizzled briefly. "Feel
better?" he asked. She opened her eyes and nodded. She took a deep
breath, pulling him onto the arm of the chair.
"I want to talk about it now," she said simply.
back in the Chamber of Secrets, only we're as old as we are now, not
what we were then. I'm lying on the ground I'm so cold. I'm fading in
and out. You and Tom are arguing your voices are getting louder and
louder. You're arguing about - me. Tom says that he had me first, and
that you can never have me completely," she says, halting suddenly,
biting her lip. "You leave the Chamber, leaving me with Tom, and it's
so cold," she said, gripping his hand so hard that it hurt.
Harry waited for a long period. "That's it?" he asked.
"I came for you once when I barely knew you. I would never leave you with him now. You know that, don't you?" he asked.
Ginny looked up, her eyes brimming with tears. She nodded.
"Tom never loved you," he said quietly. She nodded again. "I do," he said.
Ginny froze, analyzing or trying to analyse what he'd just said. "What did you just say?" she asked with a sniffle.
Harry swallowed hard.
love you, Ginny," he said, smiling a crooked smile. He let go of her
hand, holding his hand up, palm towards her. She reached out,
Occlumency shield down, and touched her hand to his. A sound like a
deep chime pealed softly as the warmth of his essence surrounded her.
She saw shards of his own memories of the Chamber mixed with fragrant
snippets of recent memories. The thoughts and emotions and sensations
swirled until she could no longer distinguish between those that were
hers and those that were his. She felt a dull popping sound as she
pulled her hand, reluctantly, from his. "That's the longest we've ever
been able to hold that connection open," he said.
"What was the bell?" she asked.
haven't a clue. Mm'lau says it must be a Mammal thing, because Dragons
have the sense to not try this before they are bonded," he said. "We're
almost there," he added.
"You can sense me when you drop your Occlumency shield?"
She nodded. "Uh-huh," she said.
goes both ways I can feel you too it's quite - pleasant. We
wouldn't be able to do that without a bit of a bond between us, or at
least that's what Mm'lau says. When the bond is complete we'll be able
to hold the connection open as long as we want," he said.
Ginny muttered something.
"I'm sorry, I didn't catch that," he said.
"I said, 'better lay in a supply of lip balm, Mr. Potter,'"
"I'll see what I can do," he said with a grin. "Let's get you back to bed," he said half heartedly.
"Sit with me on the couch for a while?" she said, batting her eyelashes in an exaggerated fashion.
for a while, then we'll seal your Pensive and hit our respective beds
tomorrow promises to be a long day, and I don't fancy falling asleep in
the Muggle cinema," he said.
"You have a point," she conceded.
"I try to be useful," he said.
"Then be useful now. Sit close to me and keep me warm," she said, batting her eyelashes again.
"That's what the quilt is for," he replied.
"Hang the quilt!" she snapped.
"All right, all right," he replied. "Maybe we can share the quilt."
"Now you're talking."
the late evening of the next day, Ginny was sprawled across her bed,
writing in her diary with a Muggle pen, a casual gift from Harry. As
she came to the end of a page she began to fiddle with the clicking
button on the pen, cycling it several times as she thought of what she
wanted to write next. She stopped when she heard a hand on the doorknob.
"I'm awake, Hermione, you don't need to sneak in," she called out to her favourite summer roommate.
"I wasn't sneaking, I was trying to be considerate," Hermione said as she dropped her purse on the desk.
Ginny looked up from her diary. "You missed a button," she said impishly.
Hermione inspected the placket of her blouse with horror.
"Ha!" Ginny exclaimed. "Made you look!"
looked at her feet for a moment and then broke out into a hearty laugh,
plopping down onto the guest bed. Her hair was already plaited and,
knowing her friend, Ginny suspected she'd probably already brushed and
flossed before coming into the bedroom.
"Before you regale me
with sordid tales of how you have been slaking your carnal desires,
might I remind you that this is my brother you're talking about; at
least I hope it was my brother that you've been with for the past half
hour," Ginny said, rolling up into a sitting position.
"Not much to tell, actually," Hermione said primly.
"Yeah, right, that's why you were worried that you'd missed a button," Ginny retorted.
Hermione grinned and laughed. "Your brother," she began, looking up at her closest female friend, "is a terrific kisser."
Ginny said in mock disgust, clapping her hands on her ears, before
switching to a more serious expression. "Of course he's a great kisser,
he's a Weasley," she said proudly. "Unfortunately, he's also the only
single Weasley under this roof seeing any action this summer."
"You and Harry--" Hermione began.
"Are still experiencing technical difficulties," Ginny interrupted, wrinkling her nose.
"But you were cuddled up together all through the movie," Hermione protested.
that was wonderful, too, but we were both burning our Occlumency
shields at full blast to keep from crawling out of our respective
skins," she said.
"What's up with Tonks?" Hermione asked.
"What do you mean?" Ginny replied.
whole 'embarrass you two by rearranging Harry's arm around you at the
beginning of the movie' thing," Hermione said, pantomiming the action
from earlier in the evening.
"Oh, that! That was payback for the enchanted locket prank," Ginny explained. "You know, the one she had on tonight?"
"Yeah, you wrote about that pretty sophisticated charm work in that juvenile prank, I'd say," Hermione observed.
"Show me a juvenile who can do magic like that, and I'll show you a Weasley," she replied proudly.
"Or a Potter," Hermione countered.
"Or a Potter remember, he comes by it honestly, too. Remember also that we don't have outlets for all of our energy, so we have to do something on our dates."
"Pranking Tonks was a date?" Hermione asked incredulously.
Ginny grinned with more than a bit of pride. "Yeah, and a thumping good one it was, too," she replied.
"So what was tonight?" Hermione asked.
"Double date," Ginny said, then smiled. "Triple date, if you count our chaperones."
"What did you think of the movie?"
was brilliant but then, I haven't seen all that many Muggle films to
compare it to. I did like Harry's question about Sheriff Woody 'if
you do the right thing for the wrong reason, are you still a hero?'
not that he's ever had to worry about that," she added with palpable
irony. "Harry doesn't have to do something subtle like rescue his
rival, he just has to kill his adversary before his adversary kills off
everyone he loves you know, something direct and simple like that."
frowned and scooted back on the bed, leaning against the wall. "How are
you holding up on that front?" she asked seriously.
sighed and rubbed her forehead with the heel of her hand. "I work real
hard on not thinking about it," she replied. "Some days I go for hours
at a stretch without thinking about old Tom." She looked up suddenly,
with a ghost of a grin. "Speaking of sudden death, has Mum cornered you
yet for the famous Weasley girls' talk?"
"You mean the 'why witches must wait' talk?" Hermione said, looking away with a slight blush.
I call it the virginity pep-talk. I got it several times in several
modes when Mum found out about Michael Corner," Ginny said, rolling her
eyes. "Well, has she cornered you yet?"
"It was mortifying,"
Hermione moaned. "She's way better at that talk than my Mum was, and
believe me, although Monica Granger gives a great talk on love, sex,
marriage, self-respect and all that stuff, she's a piker compared to
your Mum." She raised an eyebrow. "Have you had your refresher talk this summer?" she asked with a sly smile.
enough, no," Ginny said thoughtfully. "I've been getting mixed signals
from Mum and Dad on that front. Mum, of course, is crazy about Harry
and would start reserving the hall for the wedding reception if I gave
her the slightest encouragement, but on the whole Mum and Dad keep
saying, 'we trust you two, make good decisions,' which takes a lot of
the fun out of it. You know about the map, of course," she added.
"Of course," Hermione replied.
Harry started being frank with his feelings, Mum started watching us
like a hawk," Ginny explained. "She came right out and asked me why she
hadn't caught us kissing yet." Ginny brought her hand up before her
face, though she knew it was impossible to hide the famous Weasley
blush. "That was mortifying," she groaned. "Explaining our
technical difficulties was even more mortifying, but I've always tried
to be open with Mum." She stretched and yawned, an action mirrored by
Crookshanks, who stretched in the windowsill before landing with a
thump by the foot of Hermione's bed. "So, have you been a good girl
today?" she asked Hermione.
"According to your brother, I'm absolutely corking," she replied with a smile. "Why?"
reached under her bed and pulled out a small basket, grabbing a wadded
up jersey. She tossed it to Hermione, who caught it with ease.
"What's this?" Hermione asked.
"Pyjamas," Ginny replied.
"This is Ron's souvenir jersey from the World Cup," Hermione protested.
"Yeah, give it a whiff," Ginny said with a grin.
Hermione did, and her eyes went wide. "Ooooh, it smells like him," she said with a squeal.
figured you'd like that," Ginny said while Hermione shucked off her
clothes, hanging them neatly on the back of the desk chair, and pulled
the jersey over her head. "Looks good on you too," she added.
"Where's yours?" Hermione asked.
"What do you mean?" Ginny countered.
"Haven't you nicked something from Harry yet?"
don't fancy sleeping in his shirts the old ones are too gross and the
new ones aren't broken in yet. I did nick his pillowcase this morning
though," she said with a broad grin, patting her own pillow. She'd
looked up the charm to keep the scent on the fabric, which was why she
nicked Ron's jersey in the first place.
Hermione laughed as she slipped under the covers. "Goodnight, Ginny," she said.
"Goodnight, girlfriend. I'll try to slip out quietly in the morning. Tomorrow's the early service at St. Martin's."
"Pray for my soul, I'll still be asleep," Hermione mumbled.
"Lucky girl," Ginny replied, as she rolled over and inhaled deeply. "Lucky me," she muttered before she fell asleep.
27 August 1996
I just finished a good cry.
I seem to be falling apart a lot this summer. Really high highs and morbidly low lows.
was the last day of tutoring at Abelard's. Although nothing was said
about it, I suspect that we'll go back for more lessons during the
school holidays this year. I take back everything I said about Jasmine
she's a very sweet girl, once you get past her somewhat violent
persona. She's very pleased with the progress I've made this summer.
She's not very liberal with her praise, so that meant a lot.
We had a delightful luncheon picnic today with Ron, Hermione, Neville and Luna oh yeah, Harry was there too. J
weather was just right not too hot, just a bit of cloud cover so the
sun wasn't baking us, and a light breeze. We set up a table by the pond
in the shade of the big oak tree. After we finished the sandwiches,
salad and crisps, Harry passed out chocolate biscuits (that he made)
and ginger biscuits (that I made) and said he had something he wanted
to share with us.
He told us the prophecy
the one made before he was born, along with the one Trelawney gave my
second year. Hermione wanted to argue with him about it saying that
we shouldn't know more than what he shared at his birthday party.
Harry's response was that everyone knew that he shared things with his
friends, and he wanted us to have a secret to give up in the event that
we're ever captured by Death Eaters. Now there's a morbid thought for
The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches -
born to those who have thrice defied him,
born as the seventh month dies
and the Dark Lord will mark him as equal,
but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not
and either must die at the hand of the other
for neither can live while the other survives
the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies.
for grins I asked Harry if he knew what time he was born he replied
that it was a few minutes before midnight on the 31st of July. Then he
dropped the second bomb on us and told us about being the Servant of
When Abelard was a young wizard,
learning how to use his powers as a Seer, he spent a considerable
amount of time with the Snow Dragons. A great deal of his Foresight
work at that time concerned the rise of Voldemort. He'd had a number of
visions about old Tom. (Actually, it was young Tom then, but you know
what I mean.) Abelard saw him being vanquished, but coming back again.
His mentor was unable to answer Abelard's questions, so she asked her
mentor, an old, old dragon known for the clarity of his Foresight. This
dragon pondered the problem for a long time and then announced that a
human would be born to be the Servant of the Light. The Servant of the
Light would defeat the Man of Darkness, which is what the dragons call
old Tom. Abelard quibbled that he had seen Voldemort vanquished, but
then come back again. The dragon snorted, saying that when the Servant
of the Light defeats the Man of Darkness, it would be complete and
Next Harry shared that the
Snow Dragons identified him this summer as the Servant of the Light,
giving a very abbreviated tale of his trip this summer, leaving out the
salient detail that he and I each have a Dragon Pyr'g riding around
inside our heads.
Neville seemed quite
pleased by this "So, you're going to defeat him it's not just a
matter of you having the power," is what he said. Hermione put her
finger on the problem, though. "Will you survive defeating him?" she
asked. Harry said that Abelard had never asked the question when he was
studying with the dragons, and shortly after he left the first time,
the old dragon passed away. Harry did a very credible impression of
Abelard: "sometimes 'I don't know' means I don't know, Harry," he said
in Abelard's wheezy voice.
Luna did her best to change the topic, and within a matter of minutes we were all carrying on again, six friends on a picnic.
It's bloody unreal at times. There's a war going on, but we're having a picnic at the pond.
caught Harry later and asked him about the prophecies specifically,
did he believe that he was going to survive. He smiled at me, saying
that he sure hoped that he survived. Then he ran his fingers through my
hair, blinking like mad, fighting back tears. I let him walk away I
know him well enough now that I know there are times he doesn't want me
nearby. This was one of them.
living in a bubble all summer, which has been nice, but this afternoon
is the first time in a long time that it's come home to me that we're
in a war, and I'm in love with the bloke at the centre of it all. Harry
might die tomorrow or the year after next or ten years from now. Can I
deal with this? Do I have a choice?
Harry's back now.
I need a hug.
I'll probably start blubbering again, but I don't care.
If all I ever have is what I have now, it would be enough, but I want more.
perhaps the first time since Harry arrived, Ginny awoke before he did.
She sat up in bed, stretched, yawned and lowered her Occlumency shield,
letting the familiar warmth wash over her. Harry, her Harry. He
was asleep - dreaming of her. She couldn't make out much more than
that, but the warmth began to increase. As she raised her shield a
notch, she made a mental note to tease him about this sometime later
"Morning, Mum," she said cheerily.
"Well, look who's woken up on the sunny side of the bed today," Molly said brightly. "What's got you so happy?"
"Sweet dreams, Mum," she said, opening the door to the cold pantry.
"Starring anyone in particular?" Molly asked with a raised eyebrow.
to say, Mum; it wasn't my dream," Ginny replied, grabbing a stack of
plates from the cupboard as she began to set the table for breakfast.
"How many am I setting the table for today?"
"Set it for
six. Remus and Tonks may be by just before we leave for Diagon Alley
if they haven't eaten anything, I'll have a little something put aside
for them," Molly answered.
"Dad's not at work already?" she asked.
"No," Molly replied with a secretive smile. "He stayed home today."
shuffled into the kitchen wearing fuzzy slippers and a plaid dressing
gown. She yawned and began setting out silverware and napkins at the
plates Ginny had just set down on the table. Ron sat down blearily at
his customary place. Hermione silently set a steaming mug of coffee
before him and then sat down next to him with her own mug of tea.
"Thanks, I knew that there was a reason I love to have you around," he sad after draining half of the mug.
"Don't get used to it, I wasn't put on this earth to be your waitress," she replied, giving his leg a squeeze under the table.
The teenagers were almost done with breakfast when Harry slid into a seat next to Ginny, his hair still wet from the shower.
"Sweet dreams?" Ginny asked as she leaned into him.
"Uh, yeah," Harry responded.
dear," Molly said, "I managed to keep these wolves from devouring all
of breakfast, but if you don't eat up, I can't guarantee that they
won't clean me out before you're fed."
"Thanks, Mrs. Weasley,"
he said, pulling some toast from the rack and a covered dish with
sausage and eggs from the buffet table behind him. Ginny got up to pour
a fresh mug of coffee, setting it down in front of Harry. "Thanks,
love," he whispered to her.
"What was that, Harry?" Ron said in an overly loud voice.
thanked your sister for being so kind as to bring me some coffee,"
Harry said, slurping some coffee before spearing a bit of sausage.
"I don't think that's exactly what I heard though," Ron said with a mischievous grin.
"Ron!" Hermione said sharply as she poked him with her elbow, "behave."
"I am behaving, I just wanted to make sure that I heard things correctly," Ron answered, holding his ribs where he'd been poked.
pushed another mouthful of eggs into his mouth, chewing silently, then
swallowed and pointed his fork at Ron. "I love your sister, Ron," he
said simply, not noticing that Molly had stopped rummaging in the dry
pantry. "I love your girlfriend, and for reasons known only to the
Almighty, I love you too," he said before returning his attention back
to his plate.
There was a somewhat shocked silence from the teenagers at the table.
"Thanks, mate," Ron said seriously.
is short," Harry said sombrely. "Some things have to be said when you
have the chance." He glanced up, and his tone lightened slightly. "Now,
just to make sure that everything is clear while I love you and
Hermione, I'm not in love with either of you." He took a large bite of toast.
"And the short, red-haired terror sitting next to you?" Ron asked.
"Her I'm in love with. Happy now?" he said, shoving the last of the toast into his mouth before pouring a glass of juice.
am," Ginny remarked, rubbing her hand lightly across Harry's shoulder.
Molly Weasley resumed her activities in the dry pantry.
could you and Hermione clean up?" Molly asked pleasantly. "I've got to
make some Floo calls before we head on into the city."
"Sure thing, Mrs. Weasley," Hermione said, moving to the sink to run some dishwater.
Ginny continued rubbing Harry's back. "Thank you," she said softly.
"For what?" Harry asked, putting his fork and knife onto his plate.
"For not being as thick as my brother," she said, smoothing out a bit of his hair that was sticking up as it dried.
"Sure," he replied. "I think I'm up to the emotional depth of a coffee cup by now."
"What's that mean?" she asked, giving him a quizzical look.
"Ask Hermione," he said with a smirk, pushing away from the table.
transportation into Diagon Alley was by Portkey. Harry disliked
Portkeys about as much as he disliked travelling by Floo, but on the
whole, Portkeys didn't leave him with soot in his hair. Remus met them
at their destination, a private room in the Leaky Cauldron.
"Where to?" Harry asked Molly Weasley.
I think we all need to go to Gringotts, then we'll split up and visit
Madam Malkins, Flourish and Botts and then decide if we have time for
any fun shopping before lunch," she answered.
"Sounds like a plan," he answered. "Who's my designated minder?"
Tonks answered, entering the room through a disguised door that Harry
didn't know existed until it opened. She was dressed in tatty jeans and
a short-sleeved cropped jersey emblazoned with the letters "M-B" across
her chest. Her hair was in dewy spikes, some coloured gold, others
coloured a deep black.
As they filed out of the room, Harry asked Tonks in a whisper, "What's the 'M-B' stand for?"
Bitch," she replied in a conspiratorial whisper. "The old fuddy-duddy
asked me to take it off, so we agreed to compromise."
"Nice choker," Harry said, touching her locket lightly.
"Thanks, it's one of my favourites," she replied. "Moony got it for me?"
"Did he now?" Harry asked with a broad smile.
what the note said," Tonks replied. "Why he had Jasmine pick it up in
Capetown is a bit befuddling, but he always did get around on his days
off," she said with a knowing smirk.
"Imagine that," Ginny said, linking her arm though Harry's.
walk to Gringott's was pleasant the streets were bustling, but not
too crowded, as was often the case the week before classes started.
Harry and Ginny saw a few fellow students, waving and smiling to them
as they passed, but none of them stopped to talk.
went to the money exchange counter, pulling out a thick sheaf of bank
notes from her purse. Ron pulled a smaller wad of notes from his back
"What's that from?" Hermione asked.
been working odd jobs all summer a bloke needs to have a few Galleons
if he expects to treat his girl on Hogsmeade weekends," he replied
proudly. "Your dad paid a bit for the day I spent doing plumbing with
him, and then again for the day I moved your mum's office, but most of
this came from helping out with the Waldron family down the road from
The Burrow. They're Muggles, but they pay well for a hard day's
labour," he said simply.
After waiting in line with Ginny,
Harry finally was finally asked by the goblin at the desk for his key.
Harry pulled two small brass keys from his pocket, along with a larger,
iron key, all strung together on a brass-coloured chain.
"Are all of those keys for vaults, here?" she whispered.
The iron key is my family vault, the older brass key is Sirius' vault,
and the shinier key is my school vault I never knew about the first
two until I met with my solicitor this summer. Can you come with me to
my vault?" he asked hesitantly.
"Uh, all right," she replied,
looking over her shoulder, first at Tonks, then at her mum. Molly and
Tonks exchanged a look between themselves, Tonks finally nodding
The desk goblin snapped his fingers, calling a
smartly dressed goblin from the corridor who led them to the cart.
Harry picked Ginny up and placed her into the cart, amid some not so
playful squeals of protest.
"I'm not helpless, you know, I can climb in all by myself," she said.
but you're wearing a skirt. I'm not too keen on you flashing your
knickers to the entire lobby," he said with a grunt as he squeezed into
the cart beside her.
"Oh, you'd prefer a private showing?" she asked saucily.
not go there today, Ginny," he said, slipping his arm around her. "It's
going to be a long three years before you're done with school."
goblin looked back at them with an odd expression, pointing his finger
forward as the cart took off down the twisting rails into the bowels of
Gringotts. After a long and dazzling ride, they stopped in front of
Harry's school vault. To Harry's surprise, Ginny accepted help getting
out of the cart without protest. As soon as they were out of the cart,
the goblin pointed his finger forward and the cart disappeared down the
track with a clatter.
"How does he know when to come back?" she asked.
he replied. "I've never had to wait more than a minute, though." Harry
fit the brass key into the keyhole in the centre of the door and then
placed his palm against the door. With a muffled click the door opened,
revealing a room slightly larger than Percy's bedroom filled with small
stacks of ingots, a table piled high with large canvas bags marked with
Gringotts' logo and next to the door a bucket filled with shiny
"Blimey, Harry, you're filthy rich," Ginny
exclaimed, her eyes wide as she looked about the vault. "Why are you
showing me all of this?" she asked.
Harry's face flushed. "How much would a really nice gown cost for the All-Hallows Eve Ball?" he asked.
"Twenty Galleons, Thirty Galleons tops if I got all the trimmings," she said wistfully.
Harry pulled an empty bag from his pocket. "How about fifty Galleons?" he asked as he began to scoop coins into the bag.
"No," she said resolutely.
He looked up, startled. "What do you mean, 'no?'" he asked.
"Weasleys don't take charity," she replied.
"It's not charity, it's a gift it's just fifty Galleons," he sputtered.
fifty? That's more money than I've ever seen in Mum's cashbox at home!
You've already lavished me with gifts this summer," she said, crossing
her arms in front of her.
Harry continued to scoop Galleons
into the bag, counting as he did so. "Take it," he said when he'd
finished counting. "One way or the other, it's going to be yours
"What do you mean?" she asked.
Harry had a hard time looking at her. "If things work out between us, it'll all be yours," he said haltingly.
"And if they don't?" she asked, shifting her hands to her hips.
"If I don't live that long, my will has three beneficiaries; you're one of them."
"That's how you see it?" she asked with a quizzical expression.
much," he said. "If I live long enough, I'm going to ask you to marry
me. If I don't, well, I know where it's all going, so that's okay too."
"You are so sweet, Harry," Ginny said, her posture softening.
"So you'll take it?" he implored.
took a deep breath and looked out of the vault into the yawning chasm
beyond the narrow gauge railway that ran outside the door. He hefted
the bag and stood in the doorway, reaching down into the bag for a
Galleon. Adopting his best cricket stance, he threw the Galleon into
the darkness. A short bit later they heard a distant clatter of metal
against stone and then a kerplunk sound of something hitting
unseen water. Ginny's mouth was wide open; she was speechless. The next
Galleon he threw sideways, like a skipping stone.
"You lunatic! What are you doing?" she shouted.
"What's it look like I'm doing? I'm pitching this rubbish away," he said, reaching into the bag for another Galleon.
"That's good money!" she said vehemently.
"Not good enough for you, apparently," he said with a lingering trace of bitterness.
"Harry, stop!" she pleaded.
What good does this rubbish do me? Will it bring my parents back? Will
it bring Sirius back? Will it keep you safe in the coming war? Will it
guarantee that there'll be nine places set at the table come next
Christmas? No, it can't do that. I'd hoped that a little bit of it
could make you happy, but apparently it can't do that either, so it's
worth nothing to me. It's worth nothing! My treasure's not in this vault, Ginny!" he shouted, pitching another Galleon into the void.
"What do you mean?" she asked earnestly.
treasure wears shoes," he said, looking down at her well scuffed
trainers. "Size three by the looks of them," he said drolly.
"You're daft," she said softly.
"I thought we already established that," he said, reaching down for another Galleon.
Her face set into determined lines. "Harry, so help me, if you throw another one of my Galleons into the void, I'm going to hex you something fierce!" she said.
He turned back to her and raised an eyebrow. "Your Galleons, eh?" he asked with an innocent expression.
Ginny's Galleons," he said, holding his hand out towards the chasm.
With a zipping, whistling sound, the Galleons came whizzing back to
him. He caught them left-handed and then dumped them into the bag.
Pulling another bag from his pocket, he quickly filled it with a
similar amount, before he turned to face Ginny. "Forgive me?"
what? I'm the one who was acting like a brat," she replied. Moving in
close to him she laid her forehead against his shoulder. "You don't
need the forgiveness, Harry. You're a lunatic, but your heart is in the
Harry began to say something when they both
felt, and then heard a muffled "Whump!" from the void below them. The
lights dimmed and then went out. The cavern was silent except for the
occasional drip of water in the distance. Whatever background noises or
hums that had been the norm before vanished when the lights were
extinguished. Ginny reached for her wand, only to have her hand stopped
by Harry's strong grip. "Not now," he whispered. "Put your Farsight on,
send out your bats and spiders," he said, sinking into a crouch by the
vault door, leaning up against the doorframe.
"What are you
doing?" she hissed softly, closing her eyes in the darkness to engage
her own Farsight, which had the effect of bathing the cavern in an
eerie false light. "Nothing on this level," she reported, feeling
slightly foolish as she spoke. Harry's ability to control his Farsight
far outstripped her own nascent abilities.
Harry sat silently
for a moment, grunting a few times as he made an unpleasant face.
"We've got problems," he announced. "We're seventeen stories down from
street level here. There's a portal above us, looks like it's on the
third floor down from street level. Whole bunch of Death Eaters just
came down from there on a cart, down to the lowest level, three stories
below us they're putting up right now the biggest portal I've ever
seen there. Oh, by the way, there's a pair of Trolls and a half dozen
Death Eaters running amok on the third level, north wing. Your mum,
your brother and Hermione are on the third level, south wing. If they
just stay put, they should be fine," he said in a detached fashion,
digging into Ginny's bag for a Galleon. He dropped it on the floor,
tracing patterns on it with the tip of his wand.
"What are you doing?" she asked.
held up his hand for silence, tapping the Galleon with his wand.
Holding the coin between finger and thumb, he brought it up to his
lips. "Tonks, this is Harry, when you touch your locket I should be
able to hear you if I set things up properly," he said earnestly. Ginny
could hear a small tinny noise coming from the Galleon.
"Bewitch me," came a faint version of Tonks' voice. "Tell me something only Harry knows," she said.
"I found your knickers on my chair the day that Moey won a Galleon from Jasmine," he answered with a smirk.
it really is you," Tonks answered. "Well, you can probably tell that
things are going to hell in a hand basket here," she said in a clipped
"They're about to get worse," Harry said. "You've got
what looks like an even dozen Death Eaters up on your level. Another
half dozen are busy three levels below you on the north wing pair of
trolls is with them, kicking the stuffing out of some vaults there. The
Weasleys and Hermione are on that level in the south wing if they
just stay put they should be fine."
"Is Ginny with you?" Tonks asked.
we're keeping tabs on what's going on below you," he said, giving Ginny
a wink and taking her hand. His blood suddenly ran cold.
"Harry!" Ginny exclaimed, a note of concern in her voice.
felt it too," Harry said, closing his eyes in concentration. "Holy
Smokes! About a thousand Dementors just came into Gringotts down on the
20th level, by the underground river. They're moving up this way," he
said, opening his eyes as he put a grim expression on his face.
"How many Dementors can you hold off with that fancy Patronus of yours?" Tonks asked.
held off about a hundred two years ago even with Ginny for backup, I
don't think I can hold off a thousand," he said, shivering slightly as
the temperature dropped. "They're moving from the 20th level to the
19th, but they're stopping there. I don't know why," he said, closing
his eyes again. "Oh, crap," he moaned.
"Harry, this is Lupin," a familiar voice said from the Galleon.
Uncle Moony," he said faintly. "Now I know why they put up that big
portal they just pulled a Basilisk through it, now they're pulling
what looks like a Hydra through the portal," he droned with his eyes
"Please repeat that," Moony asked.
boys put up another portal on level 20, where the river flows. Big
nasty snake came through it's a Basilisk I know, I've killed one
before. Right after that one came through, another monster came
through, big snake with lots of heads if I paid any attention at all
to The Monster Book of Monsters, I'd say it's a Hydra," he reported.
"Can you get away?" Moony asked.
don't think so the Dementors are about five minutes out, max. Once
they start moving again, and even if I were invisible, they can find
me. I can't outrun them and I can't hide from them. The main track goes
right by my school vault," he answered.
"Can you conjure a broom?" Moony pleaded.
would be nice right now, wouldn't it?" he said with a wan smile.
"Abelard said that subject was nicely covered in my sixth year
curriculum, so he wasn't going to duplicate it this summer. Some Seer,
"Harry, listen to me," Moony began. "Get moving,
start going up. The Dementors are beginning to affect you once you
get to the spot where the floor branches out into east and west wings
go into the east wing there's a sub-branch about half way down you
might be able to hide there before the Dementors start moving again."
stood up, pushing the bags of Galleons back into the vault with his
foot, pulling the door shut with one hand and then breaking into a trot
up the rail line, the other hand still clutching Ginny's hand. He raced
up the track until it hit a level spot, using the point-me charm to
find the east wing, jogging down that branch of the cavern, looking for
the sub-branch. The further he got away from the main passage, the
warmer he felt, until he found the sub-branch, ducking into it.
"I'm sorry, Ginny, I was losing it back there I've never been able to stand the Dementors for long," he apologized.
Harry," she replied. "You've kept your head about you and kept the
Aurors informed as to what they're facing you've probably saved some
lives already. Let's talk to Moony," she said, breathing heavily.
"Tonks, Moony?" he whispered, breathing hard.
"What's all the heavy breathing, Potter? This is a particularly bad time to be snogging your girl," Tonks chided.
"Very funny, Tonks. We're in the sub-branch. How are things on your end?" he asked.
"Reinforcements are coming it'll be a while before we can get to your level though. Any movements below?" she asked.
Basilisk is still down there on level 20, the Dementors are on level
19. I don't know where the Hydra is. I'd hazard a guess that he's
following the river, but I can only guess whether it's going upstream
or downstream," he said, closing his eyes again.
"Moony wants to know if you're feeling any better," she asked.
"Ginny's here," he said, pulling her close with one arm.
"I think he meant feeling better about the Dementors," Tonks replied.
"Yeah, that too," Harry said with a grin.
Ginny squeezed his hand again, a grim expression passing over her face.
the Dementors are moving again they're on the 19th and 18th levels
right now. The Basilisk is moving forward man, can that thing move up
the passage! I'm going to shut up for a bit until he passes by," Harry
said, pulling Ginny's back against his front. If it weren't for the
panic of the moment, it would have been a pleasant way to spend time.
He smiled in the darkness, moving his hands a bit before saying, "See,
pitch dark and I can tell that you're a girl."
"I'm flattered, Harry, but I'm not sure that this is the time," Ginny replied.
The charmed Galleon gave a slight "ping" before Tonks' voice was heard again. "Harry, what's your situation?"
minders," he hissed into Ginny's ear. "We're okay. The Basilisk took
off for the upper levels like it was late for tea with the Queen. The
Dementors are milling about a bit, but not moving forward. Oh, crap,
they're moving again," he exclaimed with an involuntary shudder.
"Harry, hang on," Moony said, his voice booming through the coin. "We're going to try to get some Aurors to you."
Harry spat. "They'll never get past the Basilisk. We'll take our
chances hiding in the sub-branch," he said, muting the coin with a tap
of his finger. "Ginny, if they start coming down the sub-branch, I want
you to run while I hold them off," he whispered into her ear.
"What do you mean, 'no'?" he asked, afraid that he already knew the answer.
"You're not dying today, Harry Potter, and I'm not leaving you. We both hide or we both
run. Two is better than one, remember? Besides, I'm fairly certain that
I can't outrun a Dementor," she replied, leaning back so that she could
whisper into his ear. Harry shuddered.
"Any regrets?" he asked with a chuckle.
"No, none," she said after a brief pause. "You weren't ready for me earlier, and I certainly wasn't ready for you."
meant what I said earlier," he whispered, pushing her behind him. The
Dementors were moving up the tunnel again. The sub-branch grew colder
until frost began to form on the walls.
"About what?" she whispered.
asking you if I live long enough," he replied, his heart contracting in
a spasm as he saw a Dementor stop, looking up and down the corridor of
the sub-branch. The creature turned back and rejoined the gliding
masses moving in the main corridor.
"Good, I'll start thinking about my answer then," she quipped.
"Funny girl," he hissed.
"Hey, just because you put all your cards on the table, it doesn't mean that I have to do the same," she said with a grin.
"I love you," he whispered. She squeezed his hand in reply.
gliding mass of Dementors stopped again. The cavern was silent, except
for the crackling sound of water freezing in the walls. The steady
drip-drip sound had ceased, no doubt frozen by the presence of the
Dementors. A lone Dementor broke away from throng of dark creatures,
its head moving from side to side as it began to glide down the
sub-branch, looking for the entire world like a dog trying to capture a
wayward scent. It stopped, hesitating until it was joined by nine more
of its fellows. With a nod from the scout, they began to glide towards
Harry and Ginny.
"Well," Harry said resignedly, "so much for hiding. Expecto Patronum!"
he intoned forcefully. With a sharp crack a dazzling silver stag
appeared, walking and then cantering towards the small pack of
Dementors. At the last moment, the stag put its head down before racing
forward in a burst of speed. The Dementors scattered before the bright
creature, except for the scout who had been impaled on the stag's
horns. The scout was now writhing on the ground at the feet of the
stag. The gored Dementor melted into a puddle of dark liquid which
evaporated in an instant. The Patronus looked back at Harry, nodded and
similarly faded away.
"One down, nine hundred and ninety nine
to go," Ginny quipped as she pulled out her wand. She captured his hand
with her free hand, noticing that his shield was down, almost to nil.
She lowered her shield as well, feeling a familiar surge of warmth
course through her centre as she dropped the shield. "I'm next," she
said fiercely, "Expecto Patronum!" she chanted.
a thunder clap and a blinding flash of light, a silver coloured Welsh
Green Dragon sprayed out of the end of Ginny's wand. The Patronus was
huge. It turned to look at them, nodded its silvery scaled head and
then began to waddle down the corridor, sending out silvery jets of
flame as it walked. The Dementors scattered, retreating to the main
"See? Two is better than one," she exclaimed as she held up their clasped hands.
"That must have been one very happy thought," Harry smirked.
"Oh, it was, trust me, it was," Ginny replied, smiling broadly.
The Galleon pinged again. "State your situation, please," Tonks called.
we're just fooling around," Harry replied. "Lovely holiday this is
turning out to be. Seriously now, the Dementors have stopped moving
they're massed at the junction in the corridor where the sub-branch
begins. We had to light off a couple of Patronus charms to keep them at
bay," he reported.
"So they know that you're there?" Moony asked.
"We zorched a couple of them, but yeah, they definitely know we're here," he said, not bothering to keep his voice low any more.
"What do you mean 'zorched' Harry?" Tonks asked.
Muggle term. My Patronus killed one of the Dementors, Ginny's Patronus
probably killed another nine or ten," he reported.
"Killed?" Tonks asked incredulously.
"They fall down, turn into a puddle of something and then evaporate," Harry said, not without a tint of accomplishment.
"I didn't know that was possible," Tonks muttered.
well, live and learn," Harry said philosophically. "I'm going to leave
the link open, but we've got to send a few more Dementors to their
doom, they're returning for more attention," he said, squeezing Ginny's
hand. What did I ever do to deserve her? "Expecto Patronum,"
he barked, slightly surprised to see three silver stags appearing in
front of them. "You guys know what to do," he said as the stags walked
away towards the slowly advancing horde of Dementors. The stags waded
into the clustered dark creatures, taking careful aim as they gored
about a score of Dementors before they evaporated.
You are not going to be able to maintain this for very long, you know.
You have another dragon tucked away inside your little mammal skull?
No. Any advice would be cheerfully received about now.
Drop your Occlumency shield completely; I need to talk to my mate for a moment.
"Ginny?" he asked.
"I heard already," she said, "I'm dropping the last bit of my shield right now."
was strange enough to have a voice in your head, Harry pondered, but
when the voice is talking to a voice in someone else's head, it's
really strange, he concluded. The Parseltongue was flying back and
forth between Tk'lch and Mm'lau, a fierce, technical discussion with
rapid strings of what seemed to be mathematical formulae and equations.
We are agreed, the Pyr'gs said in unison.
"Yes?" Harry said aloud.
cannot run; this corridor is a dead-end. You cannot fight either, as
the two of you will run out of magic before the Dementors run out of
dark creatures. You must change the balance in your favour, Mm'lau said solemnly.
"Tell us what you need us to do," Harry said. Ginny nodded.
Release your magic to us, just for a moment.
Ginny looked at Harry with concern. Harry pursed his lips and nodded slowly. Ginny shrugged. "Go ahead," he said.
The male first, then the female, Tk'lch grunted.
Agreed, Mm'lau replied.
closed his eyes and slowly sank to the ground. Ginny kept a death grip
on his hand, willing herself not to panic as she felt the warmth within
her begin to change and churn. She knelt beside him, dipping her head
for a moment as she began to get light headed herself.
skin grew cold and began to prickle to her touch. He transformed before
her eyes, his clothes dissolving as his skin turned a dark hue of blue,
iridescent scales covering his thick hide, bumps and ridges appearing
along his arms, legs, head and tail. Once the transformation was
complete, she found herself holding hands with a dark blue Snow Dragon,
a dragon with sparkling green eyes. The dragon opened its mouth and
spoke in a familiarly accented Parseltongue. "Your turn now," he said
simply, coiling his tail until the tip of his tail was touching her
forehead, between her eyes.
She felt as though she was
falling, pleasantly, like falling onto a soft, cushioned bed. When she
opened her eyes again, she saw that she was similarly transformed into
a glistening white dragon. Looking at her reflection in an icy patch on
the wall, she saw a lovely white dragon with warm brown eyes the colour
of cinnamon. She ran her head under the chin of the dark blue dragon.
She felt him shiver in reply.
"Let's go kill some dark creatures," she said cheerfully.
"Harry? State your situation," Tonks called from the now forgotten Galleon.
"I'm going hunting," he replied in Parseltongue.
"Harry? Harry? Answer me!" Tonks called.
slapped the coin with the tip of his tail, muting it before he went
down the corridor, catching up with his glistening companion.
This was going to be fun.
learned a lot of things that morning: When she was invisible, shrunk
down to the size of a small cat, she could activate her Occlumency
shield and flank past a battalion of Dementors without any of them
noticing. Activating her true vision, she could, with a bit of
straining, see where the Anti-Apparation wards began and ended. She
learned that Apparating as a dragon was much easier than Apparating as
a mammal; that the internal wards within Gringotts were such that one
could not Apparate between levels without smacking into the wards, but
with a bit of care, one could Apparate within a level. She discovered
that Dementors tasted terrible, but Trolls, properly roasted, tasted
like mutton; that being around Harry as a dragon was in some ways
easier than being around Harry as a mammal, provided that she didn't
get too close. She found that her link to Harry as a dragon meant that
she could communicate with him without talking, much. Following Harry's
lead, she learned that Death Eaters who surrendered were stripped naked
and stuck to vault doors with 24-hour sticking charms (a Gred and Forge
favourite), while Death Eaters who resisted were not given the chance
to surrender. She discovered that Dementors pop before they melt, and
that the popping noise encourages the surviving Dementors to stampede
in the opposite direction.
They caught up to the Basilisk on
the third level. Harry picked off the Death Eaters who had been acting
as handlers for the gigantic snake, leaving Ginny with a clear shot at
the beast. She could understand what it was saying perfectly, although
the accent was rough and uncultured, but after a while, she didn't care
what it said; it was destined to die. The Basilisk was simple-minded;
it asked for no quarter and gave none. When at last it shuddered in a
final spasm, leaking slime and blood from its numerous wounds, she
stopped, her blood lust, for the moment, sated. She looked up into the
eyes of the dark blue dragon, smashing the ground with her tail. He
roared his approval, joining his voice with hers. She ambled over to
him, rubbing her dorsal spines across the underside of his neck. As she
stood there blissfully, she realized that she was now purring with
contentment. The dark blue dragon led her to a section of the chamber
that had collapsed, indicating with a nod of his head that they were
going to move a few stone pillars and then fuse the remaining shattered
stones with a concentrated stream of dragon fire. When they had cleared
a path to the blocked section of the chamber, the dark blue dragon
carefully formed words in the mammal tongue.
"Come out," he said in the mammal tongue, enunciating the words quietly and slowly, as if speaking to children.
dishevelled, frightened mammals came forward, brandishing glowing
wooden sticks. The taller mammal shoved the smaller mammal behind him.
dark blue dragon began to shake at the tip of his tail, the mirth
working its way forward along his long back. Speaking in the mammal
tongue again he said, "Wingardium Leviosa" to the taller mammal,
floating him above the rubble.
"Harry?" the taller mammal
squeaked. Understanding dawned on the smaller mammal. "Ginny?" she
gasped, looking at the blood and dust and scales that covered her
transfigured friend. The dragons nodded. It was difficult to form words
in the mammal tongue; she wished that they spoke Parseltongue. The dark
blue dragon released the charm, gently lowering the taller mammal to
"Where'ss Mum?" she asked the mammal she now recognized as her brother.
think she's upstairs," he replied quickly before being interrupted by
his girlfriend, who rattled off a long string of questions.
woman," the dark blue dragon interrupted. "Your ssspeech is difficult
to understand, and your mind is ssshielded from me," he said, hissing
his s-sounds with a sibilant lisp.
"It is?" she replied.
he said. "Be mossst thankful. Your boyfriendsss' mind is rather easssy
to read. Part of him wantsss to hug you like there isss no tomorrow,
and the other part of him wantsss to find lunch," he said, waggling
from his tail again.
The dark blue dragon paused, closing
his eyes for a moment. "Tonkssss and Lupin are looking for ussss. Let
them know that we need to clean out the lower levelsss before we are
ready to return to your kind," he said, nodding at each of the mammals
before twisting around to go towards the part of the tunnel that went
deeper underground. With a stretch and a flicker of wings, the white
dragon turned around and followed, disappearing into the darkness.
"Do you think that's really them?" Ron asked Hermione.
stake my life on it," she replied. "Let's get upstairs, I've had enough
adventure for one day," she said, clasping his free hand with her own.
had been left, over her strenuous objections, at the makeshift
first-aid station in the Gringotts lobby. Molly had enlisted her
assistance in conducting basic and not-so-basic healing charms on the
Aurors, customers and goblins lined up in the Triage area. Lupin and
Tonks commandeered a cart to return to the lower level vaults, calling
Ron to join them at the last minute. The lights and basic ventilation
had returned on most of the levels, although levels three and seventeen
through twenty were in ill repair; if Harry and Ginny were hunting by
the river, they'd have to walk down the last three levels. Rather than
the usual break-neck speed favoured by the goblins, Remus was driving
the cart at a slower pace, trying to reconstruct from the damage what
had occurred on each level. Thus far the worst level appeared to be
Level Three, with dead Trolls, dead Goblins, blast marks indicating
where Dementors had been incinerated, and lots of broken vaults and
demolished stonework. They ran across their first live Death Eater,
affixed to a vault door, screaming threats and obscenities as they
"Nice trick, that," Tonks observed. "Pity it was the
obese criminals that surrendered," she said with sniffle. "I haven't
seen this much charred flesh since the ox roast at Uncle Croaker's
"Dora, please," Lupin said. "My stomach is queasy enough." He held his hand over his middle.
"Oh, so that's why you're driving like an old biddy today?" she replied.
actually, Griphook warned me that the tracks were damaged in many
places, and if I travelled at the customary velocity, I'd be scraped up
from the kerb with the rest of the debris when they finally get around
to cleaning up the lower levels," he retorted.
dumbstruck. He'd never seen this many dead bodies, this much rubble all
in one place. Then they passed by the corpse of the Basilisk.
"Bloody hell, what happened here?" Ron gasped.
snorted. "Five will get you ten it was your sister," she said as they
wheeled slowly past the shredded and scorched corpse.
"And just why are we going downstairs again?" Ron asked Lupin.
"Don't look at me, lad, she's in charge," Lupin said, pointing to Tonks.
she spat. "Only on paper I specialize in two legged criminals, not
monstrous poisonous things that slither on the ground. That's his
speciality," she said, pointing back to Lupin.
sure that the area is safe, for one, and secondarily we want to be on
hand if Harry or Ginny need help transfiguring themselves back into
their proper form," Lupin explained.
"I figure into this project how?" Ron asked.
"You recognize them in their current form, and they recognize you," he replied.
"Harry knows who you are," Ron exclaimed.
the human knows who I am, but I'm not so sure that Harry the blue
dragon will recognize me. When I'm a wolf, one human looks pretty much
like another; I can only distinguish them when I'm close enough to
smell them. Do you know whether Harry was practicing to be an
Animagus?" Lupin asked.
"Not that I know of," Ron replied,
scratching the short hair on the top of his scalp. "He had a book on
theory, but he complained to Hermione that it didn't make any sense to
him," Ron added.
"Hmm," Lupin said. "He's been experiencing an
explosive growth in magic this summer Ginny too," he began, only to
be interrupted by Tonks as she placed her hand on his.
"Moony, I don't like what I'm hearing," she said, peering into the shadows as the cart descended into the lower levels.
slowed the cart to a crawl. Sounds came echoing up the tunnel: roaring,
crashing, with an occasional muffled explosion. Lupin stopped the cart,
gesturing that they should get out. No one needed to be told that their
approach on foot should be as quiet as possible.
ended at the 20th level, the corridor emptying out into an enormous
cavern, one capable of swallowing several Quidditch fields without much
effort. A slow, turgid river ran through the cavern, with branches
leading off perpendicular to the river in what Ron supposed to be east
and west, but he was so turned around that he had to do a "point me"
spell to make sure. Okay, so they pointed north and south. He was
twenty stories below ground; he was entitled to a little confusion.
Tonks and Lupin were standing on one side of the north branch, holding
hands as they peered into the twilight, with Ron standing on the other.
He felt something move in the twilight, but he couldn't hear
anything, and the light, such as it was, wasn't much for seeing
anything in detail. The river made a quiet mish-mash of sounds, which
under normal circumstances would be quite pleasant, but Ron had the odd
premonition that the burbling was masking something important.
was a distant flash deep up in the south tunnel, followed by a
churning, rasping, hissing noise that increased in volume. Something
was coming down the tunnel at break-neck speed. That something was an
enormous multi-headed snake, larger than the Basilisk. The Hydra was
racing through the tunnel, as if something were pursuing it. Within a
trice they all realized that there was something in pursuit, a roaring,
snarling dragon, glistening white in the dim light that was available.
The Hydra had just about reached the river when a dark blue dragon
appeared in front of it. The dragon was standing still, so it had
either Apparated to that spot, or been invisible and just dropped its
cloaking spell. Either way, the Hydra was going too fast to stop, and
ran smack into the blue dragon with a clang and a clatter of bodies.
The blue dragon wrapped its terrible jaws around the body of the Hydra,
below the point where all of the heads branched out. The multiple heads
all began striking at the dragon's neck, many glancing off, but a few
managing to pierce the thickly scaled hide. The dragon flinched when
those heads managed to pierce its skin, but still clamped down like a
dog on a particularly desirable bone.
The white dragon
attacked the tail of the Hydra, sinking her jaws into the writhing
snake's body. The blue dragon began to walk backwards, pulling the
Hydra across the river while the white dragon dug in her heels, until
the Hydra was taut between them. Nodding simultaneously, the dragons
disappeared and the Hydra exploded. The cavern was sprayed with bits of
blood and bile and bone. Ron covered his eyes, not wanting to find out
whether or not any of the debris was poisonous. One half of the Hydra's
body was north of the river, the other half was south; the dragons had
apparently Apparated in opposite directions, provoking a violent
splinch that had severed the beast. The blue dragon roared, weakly at
first, and then with a full throated bellow that shook the cavern. The
roar was answered by a higher-pitched roar from the southern tunnel.
done it; the dragons had defeated the Hydra. The blue dragon came into
the main chamber, nodding slightly to the humans, then peering
expectantly down the south tunnel. The white dragon came running at a
fair clip, stopping when she came into the cavern. She bellowed once,
followed by a rapid clip of what Ron assumed was Parseltongue, which
was answered by the blue dragon. Their necks twined together as they
stamped their feet. There was a stretch of silence, broken by a slow
utterance from the blue dragon. The white dragon brushed her head under
his chin and then turned away from the blue dragon, facing the humans
at the mouth of the north tunnel. The blue dragon twisted suddenly, his
tail sweeping the white dragon off of her feet. He pounced upon her
with his front legs, slashing at her back with his glistening, dagger
like teeth. The white dragon roared again, this time in surprise and
pain as blood began to spurt here and there.
Ron felt a surge
of fury rise up in his chest. Pointing his wand at the blue dragon he
shouted out, "You filthy beast! I thought you loved her!" before
shooting a blast into the blue dragon's eyes, not heeding or hearing
the shouts coming from Tonks and Lupin. Slowly, like a tree falling
after being severed from its roots, the blue dragon collapsed to the
ground where he joined the white dragon, both of them lying still as
Ron was still heaving, trying to catch his breath when he finally heard what Lupin was saying to him.
I hope for your sake that Harry wakes up before Ginny does," Lupin
said. "Dora, could you see if we can get Minerva down here as soon as
possible? This transfiguration may be a little tricky."
Kokopelli20878@yahoo.com write me, I write back.
Well, gentle readers, one more chapter to go.
won the "find the homage" contest the proper reference being AtE,
Chapter 29, Christmas at the Burrow for the quote "I'm still mad at
you, you know." Many readers correctly spotted the reference to Archie,
who preferred to wear robes without underwear, so as to afford his
privates a healthy breeze. A-hem. When next we see our favourite Wizard
couple, they will be recovering in more or less recognizable form as
Having provided more than one hundred pages of reading pleasure, I don't want to read any reviews complaining of cliff-hangers.