Chapter 8 : A New Enemy
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Two days after they got back, Mrs. Weasley took Ron Hermione and Harry to Diagon Alley, insisting they get new robes. “They are a disgrace! Look at the holes” she exclaimed as she moved towards her son. He tried to shield himself behind Hermione, but that only gave his mother more momentum. “And look at poor Hermione!” she said, gesturing at the girl before her. “Wearing robes that are two seasons old and barely fit! Get your things; we are leaving right now… GINNY!!”
Ginny groaned as she heard her name. She’s mental if she thinks I am going with them she thought as she returned to her book. It is really amazing how naďve a daughter can be, especially when her mother is Molly Weasley.
An hour later Ginny, Harry, Hermione and Ron were making their way down Diagon Alley with Mrs. Weasley and a couple of aurors Ginny didn’t recognize to look for new robes. Although Voldemort had been defeated he still had supporters so the ministry had given Harry extra protection. Ginny stayed near her mother as they walked, unwilling to get drawn into a conversation with the trio.
Everything went relatively well at first. Everyone was civil and when they arrived at the shop Ginny stayed in the front while the others tried on robes in the back. There wasn’t anyone else in the shop and Ginny was enjoying her book when she felt herself jerked roughly out of her chair.
One minute Harry was trying on a new robe, the next minute there were screams, flashes and smoke everywhere. As he made his way out of the dressing room his blood ran cold. Mrs. Weasley was unconscious on the floor, blood seeping out of a cut on her forehead and Ron and Hermione were nowhere to be found. He could see the aurors through the window, waiting outside and apparently oblivious to what was happening. They had to have heard the screams he thought. There must be a charm on the shop.
Harry’s eyes moved from the window to a wizard standing by the door holding a struggling Ginny with a hand over her mouth, muffling her cries. He was scruffy looking, his dull drown hair streaked with grey and he was wearing a tattered black robe that was too short and showed his well worn boots. “Hello Potter,” he said. “I’ve got your girlfriend here. I think she misses you.” Harry said nothing. He just narrowed his eyes as his hand tightened convulsively around his wand.
“What, nothing to say Potter? I see why you would like her,” he continued, running his hand across her stomach and up until is was resting just under her breast, pulling her more firmly against him. “She does seem to have spirit.”
At his words, Ginny began struggling more desperately. “What do you want?” Harry asked, a silent fury glinting behind his eyes.
“I need something from you, so I figured hey, what better way to get it than to take something from you that can be traded. I’m sure you’ll be willing to do just about anything to save her, so I… aaarg!”
His speech was interrupted as Ginny brought her heel down as hard as she could on his foot and spun away from him and out of his grasp. I knew there was a reason I had six brothers she thought as she moved.
Harry waited for Ginny to get out of the way before throwing a curse at the wizard but he blocked it and threw one at Ginny - “crucio!” Ginny screamed as she dropped to the floor. Harry moved towards her but stopped short as the man’s wand swung towards him. “Now now Harry,” He taunted. He flicked his wand quickly at her and she screamed again, curling into a ball on the floor, trying to lessen the agony and stop her body from twitching…
“What do you want?” Harry asked again, his voice low…
“I work for someone who wants to meet you… the great Harry Potter who brought down The Dark Lord,” the man said as he moved behind Ginny. “So, I’m going to take the girl as a little insurance that you show up,” he said.
As the pain subsided Ginny began to laugh slowly. Both men turned towards her as she tried to sit up on the floor. “I… I’m so sorry to tell you” she gasped between her laughter, “that’s you’ve made a bit of a mistake.”
Harry looked at her, but she looked up at the man. “What do you mean girl?” he said roughly.
“I mean,” she replied with a chuckle that sounded like and odd mix of pain and mirth, “that I am not his girlfriend. Apparently you missed it but we broke up last year. We aren’t even speaking… I’m sorry to say that your brilliant plan is not quite so brilliant.” At this she turned her gaze to Harry. “I’m not his, so you can’t really take me from him, and I’m pretty sure he would not do anything to save me.” He gazed back at her, his eyes narrowed as if trying to read her thoughts.
“Is that so?” the man asked, pointing his wand at her. He watched Harry’s face as Ginny dropped back to the floor, screaming as the pain shot through her body again. The man’s smile faltered a bit as Harry’s gaze didn’t waver; as he showed no outside emotion at Ginny’s pain. The wizard kept the curse on her longer, waiting to see what Harry would do while Ginny twitched on the floor, trying to stop her screams, but she couldn’t; the pain was just too much.
Suddenly a stunning spell hit the man from behind and the curse was lifted as he fell to the ground. No one had noticed Mrs. Weasley waking up behind them. “Mrs. Weasley!” Harry exclaimed rushing over to her and dropping to his knees. “Are you ok? I saw the blood and thought…” He broke off as Mrs. Weasley waved her hand.
“I’m fine dear, check on Ginny while I get the door open.” He started to argue but she waved him off, “Harry, get over there, she needs you…” He helped her up and she headed to the door with a look on her face that made Harry thankful he wasn’t one of the aurors she was about to talk to and he turned toward Ginny.
She was still curled on the floor as Harry approached her warily. He knelt beside her and started to put his hand out, but drew it back, not wanting to touch her. He had been furious when the man had touched her, had hurt her, and her screams still seemed to be echoing in his heart softly but he didn’t want to give her the satisfaction of knowing that he had cared.
“Ginny,” he said softly, “are you ok?” He hadn’t said her name out loud in so long that it felt strange to him. She didn’t move so he put his hand on her shoulder cautiously. She jerked away as he touched her and glared up at him. Every part of her was hurting and she groaned as she moved.
“No thanks to you,” she spat, wincing as she began sitting up. Harry suddenly felt stupid for having worried and his eyes narrowed.
“What does that mean? This wasn’t my fault,” he shot back as he stood up. “Excuse me for wanting to see if you were hurt!” Ginny hauled herself unsteadily to her feet.
“Oh right, like this wasn’t about you? I thought everything was your fault Harry,” she said, eyes flashing, “isn’t that what you always said?”
“You should remember Ginny, that I only seem to get people I love killed and we both know you aren’t in that category,” he shot back, his voice full of bitterness.
“Oh believe me, you have made that more than clear,” she said, stung by his words and the hate shining in his eyes.
She turned and tried to walk away but her legs crumpled and he caught her as she fell, pulling her up against him to steady her. Their faces were inches apart, his arm wrapped around her and they stared at each other for a second, both of their insides suddenly in knots at the close proximity of the other. This was the first time they had touched and the closest they had been since last year. “I don’t want you… I don’t want you to help me,” Ginny said after a second, not wanting the feelings that had flooded into her. Harry blinked.
“Fine,” he spat, and he let go of her, walking away as she sank back to the floor.
I can’t stand her, Harry thought darkly as he moved to the other side of the shop. Even so, he couldn’t stop his heart from hurting a little at her words and he shook himself, trying to get rid of the feeling in his stomach.
Everything that happened after was a bit of a blur. The aurors took the man away to be questioned and Ron and Hermione, finally able to get out of their dressing rooms, ran in to see what had happened. “I could hear you screaming and I was pounding on the door but I couldn’t get it to open,” Ron said shakily as he pulled Ginny up from the floor and into a hug. Hermione couldn’t help but notice that Harry and Ginny were ignoring each other more than usual – if that was even possible.
Once they got back home, new robes forgotten, Remus came to talk to Harry. “He said he worked for someone? Did he say who?” Harry ran his hand through his hair, beginning to get frustrated…
“No Moony, he didn’t say – I already told you… If I knew anything else I would tell you… Of course, it must be someone who is getting old information if they thought they could use Ginny against me,” Harry said, leaning back on the couch. Remus asked several more questions, going over again what had happened and what had been said before getting up to leave.
“Ok, well, I’ll let you know what this guy gives us… I’m glad you guys are fine, although I thought things would have been better now that Voldemort is gone.”
Harry looked at him. “Voldemort may be gone, but all of his death eaters aren’t… I’m sure there are plenty of people who aren’t very happy with me.”
“Can you think of anyone specific that would want to hurt you?” Remus asked again and Harry gritted his teeth, tired of talking in circles.
“No Moony. Maybe the Malfoys, but this wizard said someone wanted to meet me so it couldn’t be them…”
Remus nodded then added, “plus they are in Azkaban,” and Harry looked up at him.
“All of them? Even Draco?”
Remus nodded at him before turning to go.
“Hey Moony,” Harry said, standing up suddenly. “I want aurors posted at Beth’s house. Ginny might not be of any use to them, but Beth would be, and it is only a matter of time before they realize they chose the wrong person to try to take.” Remus frowned and nodded once more before heading out of the room.
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