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Chapter 5: Chapter Five
A/N: So, I have MADE time to write this. I find myself getting into my own story. I’ve been living in Harry’s world for the past week, and I thought that the reason I couldn’t pull myself back to reality was because I was supposed to be writing this. Weird and philosophical, but whatever pulls me back to the real world. I’ll let you know if this is what the doctor ordered.
The flash flew into the air and Harry watched as it passed by him and the other him and hit Cedric square in the chest. He hadn’t seen it coming then, and he had almost missed where it was coming from now. But he knew; he remembered with a vivid clarity that he wished with all his might that he could find a way to fade. Ginny stood next to him, her face held in a firm expression that told Harry she really was strong enough for this.
The group had entered the Pensieve, after carefully monitoring that Mrs. Weasley was otherwise occupied, and they were assured a half an hour of peace.
Ron and Hermione stood on the other side of Ginny. Hermione was combating tears, though she was doing remarkably well, and Ron was pale, but remained stalwart in his attempts at a brave fašade. The group moved silently towards the headstone where Harry was now being forcibly bound to by Wormtail. No one spoke; they followed Harry’s lead. Harry felt so many things moving about inside him. He looked back towards Cedric’s body; he knew now that there really hadn’t been anything he could have done. But he shouldn’t have died! This wasn’t about him! This was about Harry! Why did he ever even suggest that they both take the cup? Harry felt angry needles form behind his eyes, and he blinked back the tears fiercely. Ron was holding up, Ginny wasn’t crying, and though Hermione had silent tracks of moisture flowing down her face, she was standing tall, looking completely capable of handling this gracefully. If they could do it, he could too.
Ginny wrapped an arm around her waist, and whispered,
“Harry, you don’t have to be strong all of the time. Lean on me a bit. It’s what I’m here for.”
He loved her more than anything at that moment. And he relaxed into her strong hold and, though pride wouldn’t allow the tears to come, he felt immensely better to have Ginny supporting him. Harry watched now as Voldemort rose from the cauldron. Hermione was apparently still reeling from Wormtail’s sacrifice, though she remained standing and fought the urge to retch. Harry was glad he had been speaking to Ginny so that she had not witnessed the dismemberment. That didn’t repress the shudder she gave off when she heard Wormtail’s scream.
As Voldemort rose, the whole group backed up a bit, even though this was a memory.
“Harry, we can move about, can’t we?” Hermione’s shaky voice floated over Wormtail’s sobs.
“What? Oh, yeah, I guess,” Harry said, a bit puzzled.
Hermione then took a deep breath, as though collecting herself, and began to move towards Voldemort and the headstone where Harry was bound. She was listening intently to everything that was happening and as the Death Eaters appeared, Ron followed a few paces behind.
“You can go too, Ginny,” Harry said, though he rather thought that if she moved her arm, he might keel over. He had never thought he would be viewing this again.
“Seriously, Harry, Hermione’s taking in every word and nuance. I don’t need to listen to every word up close. You need me, and I’m staying here.”
She spoke in a tone that said very clearly that there was to be no arguing with her. They stood watching Hermione move among the Death Eaters. Ron had stopped and was watching Voldemort in a mixture of fear, apprehension, and complete attention. Harry viewed it all over again. This time, there was much less physical pain, but now that he wasn’t fighting for his life, he could look behind him and see Cedric’s body, limp next to the metal of the Triwizard Cup, made dull by the fog of the cemetery. Harry’s mind wandered over the next minutes. He heard in the back of his mind the things he had heard Voldemort say a dozen times in the nightmares he’d had of this experience. He tuned them out and wondered how Cedric’s parents were. Did they decide that it was indeed Harry’s fault? They hadn’t really believed it before, but a lot could happen in two years. What if they had realized that if Cedric hadn’t taken the cup with Harry, he wouldn’t have been made prey to a trap set for Harry in the first place? What if they figured out what Harry had known all along: that Cedric needn’t have died because all Voldemort wanted was Harry? Regrets and thoughts of what would have been ran through Harry’s mind until Ginny’s arm tightened around his waist.
Harry looked down and saw that there were unshed tears in her eyes, but her face was still set in an expression that showed how strong she was. She nodded towards the location where Voldemort and Harry were now in the air, surrounded by the beams of light the wands had created. Ginny gently led Harry towards that location and they moved slowly to the place where Hermione, her mouth open and her face screwed up in fierce concentration was standing in front of a blank faced Ron, both avidly watching the spectacle before them. Ginny moved Harry close enough for her to be able to hear and see what was taking place. Her arm supported Harry while she was obviously taking in all that was happening. Harry had to admit, it did look very different from this angle.
He saw the smoky form of his mother pop her head out of his wand, and though to himself, yet again, that he couldn’t believe he’d yet to visit his parent’s graves. He felt as though he’d let them down. He wondered if Sirius and Dumbledore were with his mother and father now. He could find some comfort, at least, in that. Of course the larger comfort would have been to have them all here with him. Would he be joining the ranks soon? He wasn’t quite ready to be a part of that just yet, though. There were things he wanted to do first. He let his mind travel down that path of things he’d like to do when all of this was over and before he knew it, Ginny was whispering,
“Harry, you’ve gone back with Cedric now. You have to pull us out of the memory.”
Sure enough, the memory had faded to black and all four of them were standing, seemingly, in the abyss. He remembered what Hermione had told him before they had entered the Pensieve: that in order to leave, everyone inside the memory had to connect to another until they were all linked to Harry. Then Harry would think of Ron’s room, and they could leave, much in the fashion of Apparition. Ginny kept a supporting arm around Harry and she used the other hand to take Ron’s who put his arm around Hermione’s shoulders. She wrapped hers around his waist, and Harry pictured Ron’s bedroom. They left the Pensieve with the familiar sensation Harry was so accustomed to, and landed back in Ron’s room.
Ginny was really all that was keeping Harry standing: he needed to sit down. He looked over at Ron and Hermione. Their faces were both grim, but Harry noted that Ron was not supporting Hermione on his own, nor was she the only one supporting him: they were supporting one another. Each was helping the other to remain in an upright position until both of them collapsed onto Ron’s bed. Ron lied down and Hermione sat at the foot of the bed, but their hands remained linked. Harry thought to himself that the experience had to have been rough on Ginny. He should be supporting her, but instead, she was supporting him. There was enough male ego in him that this bothered Harry. He summoned up the remaining energy he had and led Ginny to his bed. He let her sit there, and sat on the ground, leaning against his own bed, facing Ron’s bed.
There was silence as Hermione dried the tears on her cheeks and let out a tremulous sigh. Harry knew she was switching gears into research and analysis mode. He was glad for it; at least they would be getting somewhere with this horrible experience relived.
“Harry, I know this must have been hard to see again. Thank you for letting us in. I mean that,” Hermione said kindly. She seemed genuinely glad at being allowed into the part of Harry’s life that he usually kept to himself.
“But, I have some things that made me wonder, one thing in particular, actually. The thing that happened with your wands. I think I’ve read about it. You never…I mean, you hadn’t mentioned exactly what had happened to us before, so I couldn’t be sure, but now that I’ve seen it, I think I know what happened between the two wands. But if it is, then that means that there’s something about your wand that you may not know, Harry. I don’t know that you’ll take it well.”
Harry thought he knew where she was going with this, but in the way that Hermione has when she gets started, she continued without waiting for a response.
“You see, I once read something that said that in the case that two brother wands, wands with identical cores that is, won’t necessarily work properly against one another. The spell that occurs is known as ‘Priori Incantatem’. The description the book gave of past occurrences of this spell was vague; there have only been three documented cases of it happening. But it matches fairly well with what we witnessed. That means, Harry that, if I’m right, your wand and Voldemort’s have the same core.”
Harry knew that this was the time to tell her what no one except for Albus Dumbledore and Olivander knew. He knew that he was also going to have to tell her that she was right on with her assumptions. Why did she always have to be right? It brought up the fact that he’d never told his friends, in depth, exactly what happened that night.
“Hermione, the core of my wand is a phoenix feather. It came from Fawkes’s tail. Fawkes only ever gave two feathers to be used in wands. One went to mine…and one went to Voldemort’s.”
Harry sighed as Hermione opened her mouth in shock. Harry felt Ginny sit up on the bed as Ron simply covered his face with his hands, as if to physically force in all that he was hearing. Harry continued,
“Ollivander told me when I bought my wand, but only he and Dumbledore knew. I didn’t want to tell anyone else. I didn’t want anyone to make the connection between me and Voldemort. After all, everyone told me that the wand chooses the wizard and I didn’t want anyone to think I was headed in that direction, you know? And while I’m making confessions here, I’ll tell you that, yet again, Hermione, you’re right. What happened was ‘Priori Incantatem’. Dumbledore told me that in the rare occurrence of two brother wands being forced to duel, they won’t work properly and the last spells that were done would spout from one of the wands. That’s what happened that night.”
Ron’s hands remained on his face, Ginny moved gracefully off the bed and settled next to Harry. She didn’t grab his hand, or offer any physical support, but Harry was comforted by her presence, and he knew that was why she had moved to sit next to him. Hermione seemed to be taking all of this in much in the way Harry imagined a goldfish might absorb new information. Her mouth opened then closed, then opened again,
“Harry, this means more than what I had thought! I had started to think that it was going to be impossible for you to face Voldemort in person if this was what happened when you dueled, but now it’s so clear!”
Ron sat up and said,
“I have no idea where you’re going with this, Hermione,” he turned a pale, lost face to Harry and Ginny and said, “Does anyone else feel like she’s just on a higher level than the rest of the world? Because I have no clue what she’s getting at.”
Harry was right there with him, but Ginny seemed to be picking it up because she gave a sudden gasp,
“Harry!” she clasped a hand on his thigh and looked him in the eye, “Who did you say knew that your wand and Voldemort’s shared the same core?”
“Just Dumbledore and Ollivander, why?” Harry told her, still very lost.
“Harry, don’t you see,” Hermione seemed ex cited and glad that Ginny had picked up on the thread that Harry and Ron could not grasp, “You told Dumbledore and Ollivander! Remember that Ollivander went missing last summer? Don’t you suppose that Voldemort was pretty put out that he wasn’t able to duel properly with his wand? How do you suppose he was to go about finding a solution? Now, maybe it’s just me, but I don’t see him wasting time researching once he figured out what happened. He’d want to know how he could get around the ‘Priori Incantatem’ spell and duel with you properly. So he would go straight to the source: Ollivander. Harry, that’s why Ollivander went missing.”
“So, you’re saying that You-Know-Who captured Ollivander to try and figure out how to use his wand against Harry?” Ron said slowly.
“Maybe he wasn’t captured,” Ginny chimed in, “Maybe he went willingly. If Voldemort offered him enough to help out, who knows, right? Did anyone really know what side Ollivander was on to begin with?”
There was a general acknowledgement of Ginny’s statement as they all sat in quiet thought. Harry thought to himself that this could very well be true. He marveled at Hermione’s ability to connect those dots, though. Apparently Ron was too, as he was watching Hermione with such adoration that Harry wanted simultaneously to be sick and to applaud the match that his best friends made together. Then, it was as if they all remembered the rest of the memory. A feeling of gloom covered the excitement of the new discovery. Harry decided to speak, but Ron beat him to it,
“You know, mate, that was some pretty bad stuff back there, but…you know, we'll get through it. I think we’re all just really glad you let us in there, mate. You sort of kept that bit of your life off limits, you know, and now that we’re gonna do this thing at Godric’s Hollow, we needed to know. No matter how hard it was to see, we needed to know.” Ron’s face was, indeed, drawn and Harry was sure that Ron was thinking of the nightmares he would have that night, but his words rung true. Hermione nodded her agreement as did Ginny.
“Well, I thought you guys could handle it, and I needed your help.”
Ginny seemed to sense the sorrow creeping its way into Harry’s system, and she cut it off at the quick.
“Hey, let’s go play some Quidditch in the orchard, huh? Boys versus girls.”
Catching Ginny’s drift, Ron joined in,
“Are you kidding? Harry and I would kill you two!”
“You think so do you, Ron?” Hermione, thought usually disapproving of this sort of grief counseling, appeared to think along the same lines as the others, “You are so sure of yourself! How do you know that I haven’t just hid my amazing Quidditch skills from you thus far? Maybe I’m really good, and I’ve just been pretending to be horrible.”
Saying this, she got up off the bed, pulling Ron by the hand out into the hallway. Harry and Ginny started to rise and made to follow them. Harry could hear Ron’s response as the couple was clomping down the stairs,
“Oh, please, Hermione, you’re absolute rubbish!”
At Hermione’s insulted huff, Harry heard him add hurriedly,
“But that’s why I love you! If you could beat me at Quidditch, I don’t know what I’d do.”
“So, you’re saying that you would doubt the entire basis of a relationship just because a girl could beat you at Quidditch? That’s so typically male, Ron!”
Harry chuckled as the sound of Ron and Hermione fighting echoed up to Ron’s room.
Before leaving, Harry pulled Ginny into a hug.
“Thanks, Ginny. I couldn’t have gone through that again without you there,” he whispered into her hair.
He felt her sigh, and pull away. Her face had a grim smile upon it,
“You should trust me to be there for you, Harry. You don’t always have to go through everything by yourself, you know? Now, let’s go play some Quidditch. If I tell you that I’m going to squash you out there, will you get all, what was it ‘typically male’ on me?”
Harry smiled genuinely and responded,
“No, I love that you can beat me at Quidditch. But you have to try really hard!”
Ginny laughed and gave him a quick kiss,
“You wish! Now, let’s go.”
As Harry traipsed down the steps behind Ginny, he thought that, perhaps she was right: he didn’t have to do everything on his own. He was glad that he had let her come; that he had let his friends in. He now had so much more to consider and then there were more memories to look over: namely the memory of Dumbledore’s death. But for now, he was content to go out and play Quidditch with his best friends and his girlfriend. However, when he walked behind Ginny through the kitchen, he saw Ron and Hermione had stopped and were looking at Mrs. Weasley. She looked distinctly put out at the parchment she held in her hands. Harry stopped short and looked around. The other three wanted just as much as he did to know why Mrs. Weasley was so put out about whatever was written on that parchment. But no one wanted to ask. Harry did see a letterhead at the top of the envelope lying on the corner of the table. It read: The Ministry of Magic: Urgent.
A/N: Ok, so I’m leaving it there. Draw what conclusions you may, but my dear friend Macca is the only one who knows what the letter truly holds, seeing as it was her suggestion that gave me the inspiration. So if you still want to know what’s going to happen, let me know so that I can continue to write. Again, I do apologize for the IMMENSELY slow update. I’ll try to be better. But *surprise* I’ve actually developed a social life in my new town. Yay! So, review please! I beg of you!