§While the thunder storm did rumble on at sable midnight's hour,
There lies a mirror by a bedside that holds deep magic's pow'r
Snuggled deep into her bed it's owner lies asleep
It's too early in the day to give her cause to weep.
It was a dark and stormy night–oh, how those nights are long!
Yet this is a ballad–a prophecy in Verse and Song.§
It was a dark and stormy night…
~Lady Bright, must you even think in clichés?~
Well, it is, dammit!
Virginia Weasley was sitting by her dormitory window, watching the storm. She had always loved storms; they had so much feeling, so much passion in them…
Thunder flashed outside her window, illuminating, for a brief instant, the violent sky and the angry, gray clouds outside. Inside, by an empty bed, was a silver mirror. The mirror had an inscription etched into the silver frame across the top.
I reveal my owner's moment of discovery.
I reveal my owner's moment of discovery. So it would show Ginny her "moment of discovery". After it had happened. Beyond that, neither Ginny nor anyone she talked to had any idea what that meant.
~Yes– yes dear, I do believe you're right. So, clichés can be pertinent in some cases!~ This voice – this mind voice – belonged to her Familiar. ~But I don't much care for water, unless I'm drinking it from a bowl.~ Her familiar, an orange tabby with glowing amber eyes, was , as you have probably guessed, both feline and female. Her name was–
Loryn, sometimes I think you are truly daft!
~Virginia, why ever do you say that?~
Remember when I got you?
~Ah, yes. I remember that day well.~
Lighting and memory flashed simultaneously.
²A redhead walked into an American Muggle shop. She was in Auburn, California. Two others followed her in. Eighteen-year-old twins, by the look of them, and both had hair the same striking color as that of the girl's.
"Ginny, remember what we said, one souvenir a state!" said one of the boys – young men, actually, but they acted more like very immature boys.
"I remember, Fred," replied the girl.
"So what do you want here? There's still Los Angeles, San Francisco, the coast cities like Gualala–"
"George, I know. I thought I heard something. I wanted to check it out." She gave her brothers meaningful looks.
The shopkeeper looked up. The three talked with decidedly British accents. "Welcome to Catterfly, lady, gentlemen. I am John Hobbes. How may I help you?"
"Hello, John. I've Virginia Weasley, and these are two of my brothers, Fred and George Weasley." She reached out to shake his hand. "We would like to buy Loryn, please."
All three males stared at her. Suddenly, they all started talking at once.
"Miss, how do you know–"
"Ginny, see here–"
"Quiet, please," Ginny said – though it was more of a command than a statement. Her voice was quiet and soft, yet perfectly pitched to be powerful, and strong enough to be obeyed. "John, as to how I know Loryn's name – well, I can't answer that. Fred, George, the cat is familiar to me. And she has a certain air of mystery and magic about her."
"Not wash, Fred. It's warts."
"What the – oh. Okay."
"Yeah, we get it. Okay, Mr. Hobbes, how much is the cat?" George glanced over at his sister, who was stroking and talking softly to the cat. ²
~I have to hand it to you, Gin. I was just broadcasting. My witch or wizard would come to me, looking for their Familiar– that I was sure of. Oh, look, what's that?~
~Look, over by Greenhouse Eight. Oh, blast it. Look through my eyes.~
Ginny, who trusted Loryn with all her being, did as told. She "left" her body, with Loryn's help, and saw through the other's eyes. The cat's night vision was not only amazing, but it was all in color, tinted slightly amber. Through the darkness of the night, she saw a black-cloaked figure enter the eighth, and most dangerous, Greenhouse.
~Well, it's not completely comprised of dangerous plants,~ the cat commented as Ginny returned to her own body. ~Some of the plants are rare, harmless, or special. Neville's cactus-thingy is there.~
~Yes, cactus-thingy. If I ever knew the name of that foul plant I've long since forgotten it!~
Anyway– I should tell Dumbledore, shouldn't I?
~Yes. Get dressed, I'll lead the way.~ Two minutes later, Ginny was climbing out of the portrait hole. Five minutes after that, cat and girl stood before the stone gargoyle guarding the entrance to Dumbledore's office.
Erm, Lor, I don't know the password, Ginny commented nervously.
~That's okay.~ Loryn sat right in from of the statue and said in a voice so commanding that only a deaf fool would not have obeyed. ~Hey, Jude. It's me– Loryn Heydsler. Let me in.~
Was it just her imagination, or did the gargoyle grin? It doesn't matter as long as we get in, Ginny told herself. The gargoyle hopped aside to let Ginny and Loryn enter. The cat and mortal witch stepped on to the moving staircase.
Once at the top, Ginny knocked on the door. "Enter," came the withering voice from within. They did so. Ginny led Loryn through the door. Albus Dumbledore was sitting at his desk. Fawkes was gone. "Ah, Virginia. I have been expecting you. Sit down, please." Ginny found she had no other choice – she had been surprised at Dumbledore saying he'd been expecting her. Loryn jumped into her lap. "I see you have brought your Familiar. Why did you bring Loryn with you?"
Ginny was speechless. How does he know about you? she silently asked the cat.
~Think of who he is, Ginny!~ Then, directing her thoughts – speech?– to Dumbledore, she said, ~She didn't bring me here, Albus. First off, you should know that a cat never goes anywhere it doesn't want to. And second, I led her here, and had Jude open up for us. Now listen to Ginny. Go ahead, dear.~
Ginny collected herself, then said carefully, "Professor, I was watching the storm and I–well, Loryn, actually– saw someone making their way towards Greenhouse Eight and–"
"You may stop there, Miss Weasley," Dumbledore commanded. He opened a drawer in his desk and pulled out a blank sheet of parchment. He tapped it three times with his wand (which had appeared from somewhere in his voluminous robes) and muttered something inaudible on the third strike. "Greenhouses," he commanded. Words appeared in a list-like fashion. "Number eight's occupants, ten twenty-six ninety-six." The words vanished. Others replaced them in the same style. He hit the last line with his wand once more. "Whyfor?" The parchment cleared, and then seven words appeared. "Hmm. Interesting. Thank you." The parchment went blank, and it subsequently sunk through the desk. Dumbledore leaned back in his chair, eyes closed, a pensive expression playing across his face.
After several long minutes of silence, Ginny cleared her throat, saying, "So?"
"What? Oh, I should have sent you off a long time ago. It is Saturday. You'll want to be up sooner rather than later to get into Hogsmeade on time. Goodnight, my dear."
As confused as ever, Ginny said, "Goodnight, Professor."
Just as she had reached the door, Dumbledore said, "Oh, and about Greenhouse Eight –it's quite alright."
Ginny, still as stunned and perplexed as ever, left, with Loryn trailing her.
Ginny lay awake in her bed, staring at the ceiling. Lor? she sent out tentatively.
~What?~ came the sleepy reply from somewhere near her feet.
What do you think–
~I think you should get some sleep. Tomorrow –sorry, today– is Saturday. And a Hogsmeade weekend. Unlike you, I have never seen the village before, and you will take me with you when you go. Now go to sleep.~ Loryn extended a tendril of her own supernatural magic to send her soul-sister into slumber.
The late morning of October 6
Ginny awoke bright and early later that morning, feeling as refreshed as if she'd had a day's worth of sleep. As she got ready for the trip into Hogsmeade, she held a mind-to-mind conference with Loryn. I can't make heads nor tails of what Dumbledore said last night about Greenhouse Eight being "all right" Can you?
~Not really,~ that cat confessed.
Hmm, Ginny responded skeptically.
~Virginia, you know I can't lie mind-to-mind!~
Yes, I know. I'm teasing you.
Yeah, oh. Lord and Lady, it's a Hogsmeade weekend, I am happy, and I can't think of anything that could go wrong.
Ginny was stopped by Filch on her way out of the castle.
"What's wrong now?" she asked, rather cheerfully –too cheerfully for Filch, apparently.
"Yer cat don't have her name on the list. So she can't go to Hogsmeade."
"What? Oh, that can be remedied." She pulled a piece of parchment from her pocket, silently adding you stubborn old man. "May I borrow a quill and inkpot?" she continued.
Filch handed her a quill. "It's self inking, and don't try no forgeries!"
Ginny chose not to respond to such a foolish comment. Instead, she wrote, The orange tabby cat, responding to Loryn, has her guardian's permission to visit Hogsmeade.
She handed the parchment and quill over to the caretaker. In a rather disappointed tone, he said, "Yer cat can go with you, Miss Weasley."
She beamed at him, saying, "Thank you."
His scowl sped her along, and her smile faltered.
~I don't like him. Him or Hanna.~
No one likes the–wait a minute. Who is Hanna?
~Hanna Norris. Also known as Mrs. Norris, My Sweet, That Evil Cat, That Bi–~
Okay, okay, I get it.
~Yes, lovely. Now keep moving. I want to see all of Hogsmeade.~
Aye, mistress. "Get up on my shoulder. You can see better from up here," Ginny commanded.
~You know, I think I shall.~ The cat leapt up to reside next to Ginny's left ear.
They went to the Three Broomsticks (Ginny ordered a Butterbeer for herself and a dish of cream for Loryn). The next stop was the Post Office. Here, Ginny had to remind Loryn twice that the owls were not for dining on. The next hour was a replay of Ginny's first day in Hogsmeade. At Weasley's Wizard Wheezes, they ran into Harry, Ron and Hermione. Hermione and Ron had been dating since summer, when Ron finally got the courage up to tell Hermione how he felt. Ginny hugged "hello" to all three of them. She thought Harry held her a little tighter then normal before letting her go, but thought nothing of it. She did notice that he was trying to hide a shopping bag behind his back. Ginny smiled to herself and let Harry have his secret. After all, she reasoned, if he's hiding it, he doesn't want anyone to see it, she reasoned.
After exchanging greetings and farewells with Gred and Forge, she walked back up to the castle with Lor.
Later that night…
Ginny was walking by the lake. A tempest was raging, lightening occasionally flashing across the dull, gray sky. She had gotten a pass from Professor McGonagall allowing her to stay out until three on the morning of October 7. She had no idea why. But she did know that she loved the cool fall nights, the wind, the rain, the lightning, the thunder, the lake, everything about Hogwarts at night during a thunderstorm. And she had Loryn with her, so if anything went wrong, Loryn could get Professor Dumbledore.
At first Loryn had grumbled about coming. ~I don't like water. I will not go.~
"Oh, but Loryn, if I should get hurt, how will I let people know? You can tell Dumbledore telepathically that I'm hurt, and where I am. Where would I be without you?"
~Inside, and safe,~ the cat had grumbled. In the end, she grudgingly agreed.
She was halfway around the lake when she abruptly became out of breath. She spied a bench with an awning sheltering it from the storm and decided to sit. She cast a drying charm on herself and Loryn. The cat promptly jumped up to sit in Ginny's lap and started to wash herself.
Ginny was so tired. It was strange. Moments ago, she had been full of energy, but in a relaxed sort of way.
Loryn stopped bathing, curled up into a ball, and started purring. Unexpectedly, she tensed beneath Ginny. ~Someone is coming. Are you ready? I don't want to have to reveal the full extent of my powers yet…~
I'm ready, Ginny confirmed. She tilted her head slightly from where it was (gazing out across the lake, more or less in the direction of Hagrid's cabin) to see who – or what – was coming. It was a person – male, given what she could distinguish through a brief flash of lightning. She felt as if she should know the person, but couldn't make out what – or who – it was.
As the stranger advanced, she finally recognized who it was. "Harry," she sighed with relief. "What are you doing here?"
Harry hesitated, then sat down next to her. "Well, Ginny, this may take a while, so you had better sit down."
Ginny smiled and said, "I am sitting down, Harry. But perhaps you should cast a drying charm on yourself."
"Oh, right." Harry dried himself with a wave of his wand.
"As you were saying…?"
"Uh, Gin, you remember earlier today at Weasley's Wizard Wheezes?"
"Yes," she said patiently.
"Yeah, well, I kind of bought-you-a-birthday-present."
Ginny sat there, stunned for a moment. Harry's face fell. "Well, I'll just– I'll just leave it here." He took the bag she had seen earlier out of his cloak and put it next to her on the bench. When she didn't pick it up, he said dejectedly, "I'll go, then." He stood, turned away from her, and very, very slowly started to walk away.
~Grab his cloak!~ Loryn said instantly in Ginny's mind.
Ginny finally registered what was happening. "Harry, wait!" she yelled after him, trying to be heard above the noise of the tempest. He turned to face her. "Come back here," she begged. "Please?" He nodded and walked toward her. Lightning flashed –she could see sorrow and fear in his expression, his posture, his attitude. She patted the spot beside her. He sat, and cast another drying charm on himself. "You know," she said, trying to bring humor to the situation, "I completely forgot it was my birthday."
She thought she saw Harry smile. "Well, open your gift," he said. He still sounded rather upset, nervous.
She put the bag in her lap, shooing Loryn to her side. Inside the bag was a small jewelry box. "Oh, Harry, you shouldn't have," she breathed. Time seemed to stop around them. Neither could hear the raging storm anymore. All they could hear was the sound of their breath, their beating hearts, and the other's words. She opened the jewelry box. Inside was a silver heart-shaped locket with a ruby heart set in the middle.
"Open it up," Harry whispered. Ginny did so. There was a picture of her on the inside left (how did Harry get a picture of me? she wondered later). On the right was the message:
I will love you until the day I die, and after.
Ginny closed the locket and put it back in its box, eyes brimming with tears.
"You don't like it," Harry said tonelessly. "Oh, my god. I didn't think you would. I'm sorry–I'm so sorry–I just tho–"
Ginny silenced him with a kiss. When they parted she said, "Harry Potter, you git. Of course I love it." Standing, she took his hands in hers and drew him up. She looked up at him. "I love you," she whispered. Only he heard her. He wrapped his arms around her waist. She brought her hands up around his back. They kissed again.
When they drew apart again, Harry said quietly, "Happy Birthday, Ginny." She smiled up at him, love filling her eyes.
The storm stopped. The moon came out, illuminating the lake and the two people and cat by it.
The mirror by Ginny's bed showed the scene that had passed by the lake. It would continuously replay that scene in the reflecting glass until the mirror broke.
Loryn sat on the bench watching the two kiss. ~I wonder what shall happen after this fairy-tale beginning?~ she thought to no one in particular.
§When the mirror's owner cries
and lightning fills the skies
A magic bond shall form
And then shall cease the storm
What is lost shall be found
Two beings shall be bound
By more than love's own ties.§
A/N: To my Readers: Enjoy the story. I am working on it, I promise. I know that it is really, really confusing, but as I said, I'm working on it (‘it,' by the way, is a sequel. Yay!). Also, please Read and Review. Reviews are VERY GOOD. This is my first story, so be nice!