“Hello there.” Tonks grinned mischievously at the four friends as they walked down to the dungeons. “I’ve been waiting for you to get here so the fun can begin.”
“I won’t tell you anything.” The prisoner muttered.
Ron smirked at him and walked over towards the chair he was chained to. “Paulson Niggs.” He clapped a hand on the other man’s shoulder and Ginny had to hide her smile. Ron had arrested the man several times and it was amusing to see the other man, who had curly brown hair and gray eyes, squirm. “I was hurt,” here Ron squatted down to get right in Niggs’ face. “You did not stop to say ‘hello’ when we saw you in Hogsmeade. I thought that we were friends.” Ginny saw Hermione turn away, probably to conceal her laughter. “Then you go and attack my wife and I take that personally, Niggs. I really do.”
“Fuck off.” Niggs bit out but his tone clearly gave him away. The man was scared.
“Why did you do it? Tell me now and we’ll take it easy on you.” Tonks informed him as she rested casually against the wall. Ginny noticed that Kingsley was standing off to one side, simply observing.
Niggs began to shake slightly. “I won’t tell you anything.”
“You will.” Ginny finally spoke up and motioned to Hermione. She had seen her sister-in-law slip a small vial of clear liquid into her pocket before they had left the Department of Mysteries.
Hermione walked slowly over to the prisoner and spoke in a formal, official voice. “You have broken into a maximum security area of the Ministry. This automatically gives the Aurors the authority to use of Veritaserum and because we have the head Auror present, we will be using on you now.” She took a deep breath. “You will be telling us everything you know.”
Fear shot into his eyes and he began to splutter. “You can’t! I… I’ll be dead if you do and I… please, no!”
“So sorry old chap but you are taking it.” Tonks muttered. She, Ron and Harry moved to restrain his upper body while Ginny took the truth potion from Hermione and she moved forward to administer it. She removed the stopper and put three drops into his forcefully opened mouth.
“Why didn’t you just stun him before giving it to him?” Hermione asked in confusion.
Ginny and Tonks started to laugh. “It is more intimidating this way. He will remember us doing this to him and later on he might be more willing to cooperate since he knows that we can control him.”
Hermione shook her head in exasperated amusement. “That is barbaric.”
“Absolutely, love.” Ron came over and put an arm around her. “Do you want to sit down?” He indicated a chair in the corner and she nodded gratefully before retreating to the chair.
“He’s ready.” Kingsley said as he finally moved towards Niggs. “What is your full name?” He directed his question at the dazed looking man.
“Paulson David Niggs.” He answered softly.
Ginny spoke up next. “Why were you breaking into the Department of Mysteries?”
“I was to stop Hermione Weasley from bonding Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley.” He replied.
Another question occurred to Ginny but Harry beat her to it. “How were you going to stop her?”
“I was to incapacitate her so that she would not be able to perform the ritual for at least a week.” Niggs answered. “I was supposed to use Aconitum Curse on her.”
Ginny felt her entire body fill with anger and she heard Hermione gasp. Ron went immediately to her. While the curse that had been used on Ginny two days before could be cured, it would most certainly have damaged Hermione’s body so badly that she would have lost the baby. The cure was also nearly as physically draining as the actual curse. “You… you…” She tried to move forward to get at the man but Harry caught her around the waist and held her back.
“Ask more questions.” He whispered in her ear.
Ginny felt herself fuming at his interference but did as he instructed. “Why were you after her to stop the bonding?”
“Lucius Malfoy ordered me to stop her.” He said. “He wanted her stopped but I do not know why.”
“I can guess.” Harry muttered.
“So can I.” Ginny agreed.
“Was Malfoy in Hogsmeade when we ran into you?” Harry probed suddenly.
“No.” Niggs replied. “I was ordered to show up there and use Polyjuice Potion and pose as him for a few minutes. After I was spotted there, I was to leave but I went to the Hogs Head Inn for a drink.”
Tonks asked the next question. “Why did you stop at the bar?”
“My nerves were on edge. I did not want to impersonate Malfoy and then run from the Aurors but he has evidence against me that could land me in Azkaban for years.” His voice was bland as he spoke. “It was the first time I had impersonated Malfoy and I was scared. I felt a bit of the drink might help.”
This did not seem right. Malfoy had been spotted so many places but had not been caught. “So if it isn’t Lucius Malfoy that we have been hunting, then who is it?” She mused aloud, not expecting a response.
“Blaise Zabini had been posing as Malfoy but he was caught a week ago when the London house was raided. He thought that Ginny Weasley was at the house and he alerted everyone else to start the attack.”
“Oh.” Ginny knew that Zabini had been taken into custody. She had caught him personally and had recognized his voice from her time at Hogwarts when they had been dueling. “So after he was caught, you were recruited to fill his position?”
“Yes. I was to lure you out into the open.” Riggs told her.
“Why?” Harry asked bewildered. “What does Malfoy want with us?”
“I don’t know.” Riggs answered. “I never spoke with him personally. One of his followers would give me orders and hand me the potion.”
“Who were they?” Tonks interjected. “Who gave you the potion?”
“Malcolm Baddock and Tracey gave it to me. Malcolm gave it me for the Hogsmeade trip and Tracey gave the potion to me for the attack on Belstone.”
“Tracey who?” Ginny asked.
Niggs continued on. “I don’t know what her last name is. She gave me the orders to try and subdue Ginny Weasley in Belstone.”
She heard Harry growl in anger. “You used the Aconitum Curse on Ginny?”
“Yes.” He replied softly. “I was in an invisibility cloak away from the fight, waiting for my chance. When I saw that I would not be able to get her, I tried to incapacitate her. I had my orders to not kill her or Harry Potter. They were to be captured if at all possible. After I hit her with the curse, she fell and immediately Harry Potter sent her via portkey to St. Mungo’s. I was unable to get her then. Next, I went to St. Mungo’s but security at the hospital was tight. I was unable to get past the front desk.”
“So Malfoy is arranging for these attacks and having his followers impersonate him. Why?” Ginny looked questioningly at her colleague.
“I don’t know.” Tonks answered.
“I’m at a loss as well.” Ron added.
Hermione stood and walked over to him. “This just seems so odd. He was easy to catch. I’ve fought fourth years at Hogwarts who were better trained. He is truly an amateur and I can’t see Lucius Malfoy intentionally sending someone that incompetent to try and stop me.”
“I believe Hermione is right.” Kingsley added. “There has to be more to it than what he knows. Niggs might have been sent as a decoy in order to plant false information for us.”
Ginny sighed heavily. “So we still have nothing.”
“I’m sorry Ginny.” Hermione whispered before straightening up. “I need to speak with my boss now.” She looked pointedly at Ginny and Harry. “You two need to go and talk about what happened today. I know it was sudden but you are married now and there are several things that I am sure you two need to work through.” She turned to Kingsley and Tonks. “I hope that we can count on your discretion.”
“Of course.” Kingsley assured them. “If you like, you may take some time off.”
“No.” Ron interrupted. “That will look suspicious and we don’t want to give Malfoy any more information than possible. If he knew that they were being bonded then there is obviously a spy high up in the Ministry.”
“I agree.” Harry said before taking Ginny’s hand. “We’ll head out now but we’ll be back for work tomorrow.”
Tonks let out a snort of laughter. “Ten galleons says that they’ll be late for work tomorrow.”
“Not even a goblin would take that bet.” Ron grinned at the newlyweds. “I’ll tell the rest of the family and keep them off your tails until this weekend.”
“Thanks mate.” Harry smiled back at him and pulled Ginny into his arms.
“I don’t really know what to say.” Ginny whispered a few hours later after they had eaten and sat down to talk. They were sitting together on their bed. “You knew we were being bound but… no one does that anymore because it is so permanent.”
He shrugged dismissively. “I do not have a problem with being married to you for the rest of our lives.” He then grinned and gave her a lingering kiss. “I also would never want to be with anyone but you.”
The last thought that weighed heavily on her mind was about the baby they had to conceive soon. “What about having a baby?”
He studied her for a long moment before answering. “It took a little while to get used to the idea but I am fine with it and I know that you have wanted to have a baby for a while. I want you to be happy.” Harry gave her a small smile. “What about you? Are you ready to be a Mum?”
She swallowed hard. “I think that my subconscious was causing me to want the baby.”
Harry gazed at her in confusion. “What?”
“I knew how to help myself.” She answered quietly, her voice was hoarse as she pulled her pillow towards her to hug it to her chest. “I did research on bonding when I was in seventh year but the memory of it was repressed by Malfoy. Part of me knew that marrying, well bonding would rid me of the evil.” She met his eyes and saw the amazement there. “I knew that because it was what I concentrated my study on; love and the power of two who love, joining in a bonding. It can free them of almost anything. Maybe even a part of me that knew I was possessed forced me to research that topic because it would cure me.”
“You knew?” He asked gruffly.
She shook her head. “Not until after the bonding was complete and my head cleared. So many things made sense after that.”
“I felt better when I was around you because I love you. Then the dreams got worse when Hermione got pregnant and…” Her mouth fell open. “Oh shit. I think I made my dreams worse!” She covered her mouth with her hands.
“You did?” He looked skeptical.
“I think so.” She felt tears pool in her eyes. “I got to sleep with you when I had a nightmare. It started when I thought I was going to lose you to someone else and then again when Hermione told us about the baby. If my dreams were worse, then I got to be with you. I think my subconscious was fighting the possession by giving me more nightmares in hopes that I would seek out help from Hermione which is what the Mind Healer told me to do…” Her voice trailed off.
“It was blocked out by Malfoy.” Harry finished her thought. “So if you and I spent all that time sleeping together, we would both feel better except the possession was getting worse and not better. It had been intensifying since Malfoy escaped from Azkaban.”
“I’m still so confused.” Ginny buried her face into the pillow for a moment and it caught up all of her tears. “But I am glad I married you and I do want to get pregnant.”
“Are you still set on capturing Malfoy?”
“I…” Ginny found her insides writhing uncomfortably as she glanced up at him. “No. I don’t care as much about capturing him. I want to, of course, but it is not a driving force.” Her heart constricted painfully as another realization hit her. “I don’t have a voice in my head compelling me to go out and catch Malfoy.”
“Damn.” He breathed the word out as if on a sigh. “I was afraid of that. You were so driven that it did not seem natural. I just didn’t want to push the issue.”
She wanted to stop the direction that this conversation was headed. “Harry?”
“Yeah?” He looked at her lovingly and she felt a smile begin to tug at her lips.
“So… should we get started on making that baby?” She then cringed at what she had said. It was certainly not the most romantic thing that she could have said.
He chuckled but his face was flushed. “I wanted to give you something first.” He fished around in his pocket until he brought out a small bag. “I got these during lunch today.” He pulled out a small box and opened it. “Oh, this is mine.” Inside was a man’s wedding band in plain gold.
The tears returned as she reached out a trembling hand for the box. She removed the ring before slipping it onto the ring finger of his left hand. She beamed up at him with a watery smile. “I love you. I am very glad that I trusted you.”
He winked and pulled open the last box. Inside were a diamond solitaire and its matching wedding band for her. He took her hand and slipped on the wedding band before placing the engagement ring on her finger. “I love you too.”
She could not answer. The rings were so beautiful and she felt like her throat was closed off. Instead she leaned up and kissed him.
Harry wrapped his arms around her waist and deepened the kiss. “You are so amazing.” He whispered against her lips before moving down her cheek and to her neck. Ginny let out a soft sigh and then a moan.
Ginny turned quickly and saw the small, black haired boy standing at the edge of a small stream. She was in a lush forest and the light that floated down around them, danced as the leaves swayed in the gentle breeze. “Hello, love.” She moved towards him and pulled him into her arm.
“Daddy will take care of you.” He whispered against her neck, as his soft and chubby baby arms circled her. “You need to get the bad man now. He will be mad that you made him leave.”
“I will get him. I’m sorry I didn’t listen to you before.”
He pulled back and looked deeply into her eyes. His were a startling green to rival Harry’s. “I want to help and I will if you need it. I’ll come to you when you need help but you know most of it now.”
The voice sounded more mature than that of a small child. She was not sure that this dream boy was not her subconscious speaking to her. “Will you be my child soon?” She questioned.
He beamed. “No. The baby that you are growing right now is a girl.”
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