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Chapter 21: Comfort
The room was filled with awkward silence. Occasionally the odd sounds of crunching could be heard at the dinner table. No one spoke; they just chewed on their meal. Sometimes you could even hear the sounds of people’s brains screaming at how unbearable the silence was becoming.
It lasted about a month. Mum and I haven’t spoken a word to one another and I have every reason to believe that Fred and George overheard our conversation, even though there was a silencing charm placed on the door. I don’t know how, but it is Fred and George. They would have found a way. Mum probably told dad about our little chat, and I’m sure Muriel found out somehow by using her ultra powerful hearing.
Dean and Mr Ollivander had arrived at the house, much to the dismay of Muriel, of course.
Actually, on second thought, I’m sure she was quite pleased about their arrival. It meant that there are more people doing house work for her.
Once everyone had finished their meals, mum flicked her wand towards the table. The dishes began to float and glide into the kitchen sink, where she’s placed them to wash up later.
Muriel was the first to get up. She looked quite pleased with the quiet and the fact that none of us were talking. I instantly wanted to send bogies flying at her because of it.
Everyone else followed her and left the room.
I walked with Dean back to my room – which we now share because Muriel doesn’t seem to think that we have enough rooms in the house. The fact that Dean and I are exes makes it quite awkward at times. Like yesterday, when he was searching the drawers and found all of my monthly stuff. It was beyond uncomfortable. He often asked me what all the commotion was about, but I refused to tell him the truth. I just said it was a long story. I mean, it was, I just didn’t want to go into it.
“Well, that was an interesting dinner. Is it always like this at your house or something?” Dean was still trying to push the matter.
It’s what always annoyed me about Dean. He just kept trying to push you into doing something and was too desperate and needy. It’s one of the many reasons why we broke up.
“No, it’s not. I think it’s just that they’re getting worried with the whole war thing going on,” I lie, saying the first thing that came to mind.
He nods but I don’t think he quite believes me.
We were about to walk inside when Fred and George came up behind us and gently grabbed me by the arm. They pulled me up the stairs leaving a very confused Dean behind, staring at us. Not sure if he should follow or not, he just shrugged and then continued into the room.
“Guys? What is this about?” My confusion mounting as they dragged me into their room which was extremely dark.
“Would you hate us,” George started.
“if we overheard your conversation with mum?” Fred finished his twin’s question; the troubled look on his face made it clear he wasn’t sure if he should laugh or look guilty.
I started laughing, myself. “I knew you two would find a way to listen, but now tell me how the bloody hell you did it,” I exclaim, throwing my hands in the air.
“Ah now, young sister that would be revealing our secrets,” George chuckled, placing a hand on my shoulder as though it were all a big joke to him.
Oh, I see. Fine, they want to play dirty; well, let the game begin.
I remove my wand from my pocket, which I keep on me at all times, these days. Even if I am only with my family; you never know with Aunt Muriel! I whisper, “lumos,” which engulfs the room in a blinding light. I twirl the wand in my fingers menacingly. “I suggest you lot re-think that. Now, tell me how you heard,” I threaten; pointing the wand at them and smirking at their horrified faces. Of course, they know all about my perfected bat bogey hex and the fact that I’m quite skilled at all kinds of curses. Yea, they should be careful.
“Ugh! Fine, me and George realized that mum would have put a silencing charm on the door, so we went up to the room above hers. It’s Muriel’s so we had to be careful. We just put an invisibility charm on an extendable ear and hung it over the balcony. Luckily mum’s window was open so we could hear a bit better,” Fred finished by throwing his hands in the air and sighing loudly. He threw himself on to one of the beds that I could barely make out in the wand light.
I shook my head with a small smirk on my face. Inside I was a little frightened at what they must think of me. I mean, I’ve always been seen as a strong person. For them to find out that I’m really terrified of my own memories must be a disappointment.
“Why’s it so dark in here, anyway?” My imagination was reeling at the possibilities. There were so many reasons the room would be dark; it’s Fred and George for crying out loud! There is always some ridiculous explanation.
“Ah, and that was right on queue for us to do this!”
George lazily flicked his wand and all of the lights in the room suddenly came back to life. The room was messy, as usual. Odd contents from their bag along with clothing had been thrown on the floor. My attention was drawn to the corner of the room. There sat a trunk; padlocks and chains sealing it. It rattled and knocked.
I’ve always valued myself as quite a smart girl and I knew what it was instantly. “This isn’t going to work,” I said. I was immediately annoyed at myself for the quiver in my voice. I stepped away from the trunk only for a comforting arm to be placed around me.
“You need to stop running, Gin,” Fred whispered and gently nudged me towards the trunk that was still rattling madly.
“Guys, I can’t do this.” All the humour had vanished from my face. Everything revolved around that box that was shaking in front of me. I almost fainted; my whole body was trembling and I couldn’t take my eyes off of the trunk. “Please…” I pleaded more to myself than to the twins.
George and Fred look at one another with trepidation, taking a deep breath, but ready their wands and aim them anyway.
I didn’t hear them say the incantation; my brain was buzzing. My heart threatened to jump out of my chest as the chains fell away and the trunk began to open.
Fred and George stepped back, not wanting to confuse the boggart with their own worst fears. From out of the trunk came Tom Riddle. He was as young as the last time I saw him with his jet black hair that was combed down neatly, chalky white skin, and eyes that could burn into your soul. In some ways he even looked like Harry, *but the thought made me sick so I dismissed it from my mind.
I wanted to collapse; to scream out; to be saved. I stepped back, but Fred placed an encouraging hand on my shoulder that told me I had to do this.
“You silly little girl,” it hissed, sending shivers running down my spine and weakening the grip I had on my wand.
I had a hard time believing it wasn’t actually Tom. Its features seemed too real and my mind kept refusing to believe it was a boggart.
“You can do this Ginny; don’t listen to it,” George said, encouraging me on. They stood in the background; both of their wands were raised, supporting me. I was grateful they were trying to help, but I couldn’t shake the slight anger at them for forcing this on me. They could have warned me or asked me if it was alright, but instead they just throw it at me like this.
“Come on, Ginny. It’s only a memory; fight it and it will all go away,” Fred whispered in my ear. His words struck me and I realised I’d been a fool wasting my years. Scared of my own shadow and pretending like things don’t affect me, because they do. I’m only human, after all. I have feelings and weaknesses like everyone else.
I was determined, now. I charged at it. I wasn’t going to let it destroy me. I’m not the same girl I was years ago, and I never will be.
I pointed my wand at the boggart and bellowed, “Riddikulus!” A flash of light appeared from my wand and the image of Tom pulled a wrapper of sweets from his black trouser pocket. He moved what looked to be a toffee to his mouth and started chewing. Only seconds later did Tom’s tongue start to grow larger and larger, eventually expanding too much that it was pouring out of his mouth.
Ton tongue toffee! My imagination amazes me sometimes.
A howl of raucous laughter erupted behind me. I turned to see Fred and George wiping tears of mirth from their eyes. When I turned back the boggart had disappeared; their laughter had done it.
A hushed poof sound came as the boggart disappeared. My legs started to wobble and I broke down in tears. It wasn’t a feeling I was accustomed to. It was more relief than anything that was causing me to cry; relief that I’d finally beaten him. An arm found me and wrapped around me supportively, making me feel safe. I hugged it back hard, as though it was the last hug I would give and clung onto it for dear life, stopping me from collapsing to the ground.
“Shh, it’s okay now; it’s over,” Fred whispered in my ear, stroking my hair while embracing me. George stood in the background giving me a comforting smile while twiddling both his and Fred’s wands in his hands.
I felt more vulnerable than ever, but I didn’t have the energy to move from the arms that were currently around me, nor did I want to. It was comforting here.
Fred pulled away from me slightly, staring me in the eye with a worried glint in them
I dry my eyes on the back of my sleeve before answering. “Yeah,” I respond softly. It had started getting darker outside the window. The world seemed so unreal to me at that moment, as though it wasn’t really there.
I stared into space, wishing this war would be over soon.
Please let it be over soon. Come on, Harry…you can save us.
“GET TO BED GINNY!” Mum’s voice travelled up the stairs.
I absentmindedly get up and start to move. My thoughts were off in some far and distant place where everything was so much easier. Where there was no war, and Harry was with me and things were simple; nothing more than that.
“I’ve got to go.” I wander out of the room, into the corridor, and down the stairs. I open the door and enter my room where Dean is sitting on the extra bed that Muriel had summoned for him to sleep in.
He had already changed into his pyjamas.
“Hey,” he smiled at me. “What was that all about? You were-”
At that point he noticed my expression and his face turned downwards. He pressed on eagerly, wanting to hear news. “What’s happened?”
“Oh, nothing,” I lie, shaking myself so that I had a small smile on my face. I am a brilliant actress, if I do say so myself, and can fool just about anyone.
He grinned brightly, obviously satisfied with my answer, and flipped his pillow into a more comfortable position.
“Fred and George are great, you know? I’ve never laughed as much as when I’m around them.” He chuckled a bit, clearly replaying a humorous memory. “Earlier they put a niffler in your great-aunt’s room. I’m not sure how they got a hold of it, but I can’t wait until she finds it!”
I forced myself to laugh at his words, but in all honesty I hadn’t been listening. I was off somewhere else, but my body seemed to be stuck here. He started talking again, but my ears didn’t seem to be picking up anything he said. I just nodded every once in a while, interjecting a, “yeah,” while rubbing my forehead because of the beating headache that had started.
“I knew Ted before he died, actually. I was there when the killed him. It was horrible, but Ted just kept fighting back and eventually they just…killed him. Afterwards they took me to the Malfoy Manor. Malfoy didn’t seem too happy to see me, though,” he rambled on, practically talking to himself. I got into bed and let his voice fade into the background. It had been a very long day. “Luna’s very kind. I never really knew her before this year, but…I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but’s she’s quite cool and funny. Of course she’s weird as hell, but she’s nice.”
I rolled my eyes at him. The lights had been turned down, so luckily he hadn’t seen me, but he shut up after that. I gave a big yawn and my eyes drifted off, forgetting about the unfortunate events that had transpired today.
“So, they’re gone?” Mum looked a bit depressed as she asked this. Bill nodded, gulping at mum’s reaction. Fleur was wrapped around him and a sombre expression painted on her face.
Dad had a worried glint in his eye, although he was trying not to make it too apparent.
“Do you know where they were going?”
“Uh…” Bill scratched the back of his neck uncomfortably. “Well…I was probably just hallucinating, but…I think I saw Hermione take a vial of something and then, next thing I know, Bellatrix Lestrange was outside my house! It frightened the hell out of me, but as soon as I blinked they’d all vanished. I really only just saw a quick glimpse of it! They all thought Fleur and I would still be asleep; probably trying to sneak out or something.” He cringed at everyone’s reaction to his explanation.
Mum just shook her head as though her son had gone mad, dad had gone a little doubtful, and Fred and George burst out laughing. Muriel still sat with the same stern, thoughtful look on her face and I was just rolling my eyes at Bill.
I mean, come on! Bellatrix Lestrange? The trio are mad, but not that mad! If they were to be caught it would be like suicide! Bloody Bellatrix Lestrange…Bill must be seeing things.
Maybe we should get him a check-up just to be sure.
“Bill, I’m not so sure that what you saw was correct,” mum said; the crease in her forehead from worrying so much, more noticeable.
Dad looked deep in thought for a moment before he responded. “I’m not too sure, Molly. You just never know with those three.”
Mum threw her hands in the air, clearly exasperated. “Oh, you can’t believe it’s true! Why in Merlin’s name would they need to disguise Hermione as Bellatrix?”
Fleur patted Bill on the chest encouragingly, untangled herself from his arms, and left the room. All the while, Bill was focused on our faces. We thought he was mental and he knew it, which caused him to shrink back.
“Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about your weird visions?” Fred and George howled. I’m surprised they’re not rolling on the floor with how much they’re laughing.
“Well, yes actually, there is! They took Griphook with them…they’ve been making plans for something with the goblin. I tried to warn them that whatever they’re up to is dangerous and that making deals with goblins is never a good idea,” Bill argued with a serious face, “but Harry wouldn’t listen.”
Fleur came back a few minutes later, levitating a tray filled with tea cups and a tea pot in front of her.
“Goblins?” Mum frowned in deep thinking.
Goblins? Polyjuice? Lestrange? Horcruxes?
Nothing makes sense anymore.
Everyone else in the room started to talk again. I absentmindedly tuned it out, keeping to my own thoughts while sipping my tea.
Everything must fit somehow; there has to be a reason for all of this weirdness that’s going on. I tried to fit the pieces together like a puzzle. Why are they being so secretive; surely they can trust us?
We are, after all, the only family he’s really ever known, so what’s with all of the secrets?
Eugh, I’m so confused.
Bill tilted the cup back and finished off his tea. “Well, we’ll be going, then,” he announced, grabbing his coat and belongings and taking Fleur’s hand in his own. “Oo wait, Bill! What about Luna?” Fleur exclaimed in her very French accent.
“Oh, yes. We were wondering if Luna could come and stay here, Muriel. If it’s not okay then we understand, it’s just-“
Muriel cut his sentence short, beaming brightly at him. “Dear Bill, it would be my pleasure to help you out.”
Eugh…she’s such a suck up to Bill.
“Alright then, we’ll bring her around later today.” Bill smiled at everyone and led Fleur from the room by her hand.
Fleur smiled warmly and waved. “It was very nice to ze you all!”
With a loud slam of the door, they had gone.
Mum paced a bit while sighing and rubbing her forehead in frustration. I sipped on my now ice cold tea. It tasted awful, but I hardly noticed. It was just the thought of not knowing anything again that bothered me. Not knowing where they are and if they’re alright. At least when they were at Bill’s I knew they were safe and had a little peace of mind.
“Right, then. We’re off,” Fred announced. “We can’t keep the Potter Watch fans waiting, can we?”
“The password’s Ted, by the way,” George added before the pair followed the direction Bill and Fleur had just exited.
I was excited! I was going to see Luna again…today! I hadn’t seen her in four months, almost five. Questions circulated my mind about her wellbeing and anything she’s heard about Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Was she okay? Dean was beside me with a dazed smile on his face, also thinking about Luna.
“LUNA!” I squealed; racing down the stairs and pelting past Dean who I knocked over. I ran into Luna who had a beaming smile on her face and gave her a great squeeze. Bill and Fleur, who had just entered wearing massive coats due to the heavy rain outside, gave me soft smiles and continued into the living room. Luna looked better than ever, especially considering she’d been kidnapped and incarcerated for several months!
“Hey, Ginny,” she said with the same dreamy voice, as though nothing had changed at all in the past few months. I just love this about her. She’s so laid back. “I have missed you very much! How’s Neville?” Her voice suddenly became keener and I knew instantly that she still liked him. What do I do? Tell her that Hannah’s been taking her place for the last couple of months and that her and Neville have gotten closer? It’s a nice way to start a conversation with your best friend who’s just been rescued from her kidnappers, don’t you think?
“He’s been good. Me and him have been running the DA strong.” It wasn’t necessarily a lie; we had been running Dumbledore’s Army, I just didn’t mention that Hannah helped.
I couldn’t believe she was really standing in front of me. I felt like poking her just to make sure that she was real; that it wasn’t just my imagination set wild, because that would have been painfully disappointing.
We made our way up to our room where Dean was sitting on his bed fiddling with the wireless, trying to get the tuning right. I’m not surprised he didn’t come and greet Luna downstairs after being knocked tumbling down the stairs. I doubt he wanted to get in the way of that again.
“Luna!” Dean immediately gave up on the wireless, which was now high pitched and bursting my ear drums, and rushed over to Luna to embrace her in a friendly hug. “How have you been?” His face was eager for news of the outside world.
She didn’t have time to say anything because the voice of a very high pitched George announced “And it’s been said that lighting has been seen flying out of Gringotts on a bloody dragon! Must have been an awesome sight. River here managed to get a great sight of it from his grandfather’s place in diagon alley”
Everyone stopped talking and listened eagerly to the radio. I stopped breathing. My thoughts returning to Harry, who I couldn’t imagine breaking into Gringotts. Was that why they needed the goblin?
Lee Jordan, Fred and George’s old school friend’s voice came onto the radio, tinged with humour. “Yeah, gave him quite a fright, I must admit. He’s just glad it didn’t do any major damage to his roof,” he chuckled. “Rapier, what do you have to say on this? Do you think it was actually Lightning that was seen?”
“Well, we do know that Lightning has been keeping a low profile lately, so something this spectacular and out of the blue does sound like a thing they would do. Shame, I was hoping me and Rodent would have been the first ones to steal from Gringotts,” Fred’s voice sounded both amused and disappointed.
“Thank you for that, and we’ll be back with more news tomorrow with Royal by our side.” There was a loud squeaking noise and then a load of hushed whispers.
“Uh, the password?” George or Fred’s voice whispers as silently as possible. I doubt they’ll ever learn to whisper properly; they’re just too loud.
“Oh, yea! It will be, er, DA,” Lee said hurriedly coming up with something randomly from his head.
Another loud squeak came from the radio and an advertisement for broom supplies came on telling us that the Potter Watch for today had ended.
“Well, who’d have thought?” Dean sat back down on his bed and sighed. He reached over and switched off the wireless that had now started to play “Light Up the Lumos”, a new track by the Weird Sister, which I’m ashamed to say I haven’t listened to yet.
Luna was staring distantly off at the landscape out of our window, where I presume she was in heavy thought. If not, then she’s having one of her weird daydreams again.
I’m pretty sure both of the others in the room could hear my brain stressfully thinking.
Goblin? Polyjuice? Lestrange? Horcrux?
I placed the pieces together bit by bit and slowly it made more sense. Everything was becoming clearer for me. They needed Gripnook, or whatever his name was, to get into Gringotts. Would it be possible that Hermione needed to dress up as Bellatrix Lestrange to get into her vault? It would make sense, I guess.
And then there’s the thing with the Horcrux. Could there be a Horcrux in the Lestrange vault? Bellatrix was You-Know-Who’s most faithful servant; it wouldn’t surprise me if he trusted her with an important thing like this.
How many of the Horcruxes were there? There can’t be that many; surely there’s only so many times a person can split their soul.
“Ginny? Ginny!” Dean clicked a finger in my face, suddenly making me aware of my surroundings that I’d been out of for a few minutes. “Your mum just said we have to go to bed. I’m going to show Luna where she’s sleeping and I’ll see you in a bit.”
I nod, not quite sure what was going on and mindlessly make my way over to my bed. Today had changed a lot of things.
Luna was alright and Harry was alright. Gringotts had been robbed and possibly another Horcrux was down. How many more until Harry can come home to me?
a/n another chapter is up! yay, and were one day away from the battle, another yay!
I want to say a huge thanks to lovley.slytherine who is the most amazing beta reader anyone could ever ask for and also for the idea of the boggart scene where tom turns funny.
I also want to say thank-you to the people at hpff foums who gave me and lovley. slytherine ideas on the boggart scene, it was a huge help :D
And of course a final thank-you to all my readers... and i've just realised, that it's really only one more day until my favourite charecter dies :'( *sniff sniff"
* I do not own harry potter, it is all Jk rowlings doing because she's completly amazing