Chapter 22 : Chapter 22: Truths Among The Muck
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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.”
“A girl?” Ginny questioned hopefully. “How do you know?”
“I am your soul.” The small boy replied. “I am you and I know all about you.”
She gazed down at him in bewilderment. “How… but you look like Harry!”
The small face split into a grin. “I was trying to save you.”
Her brow furrowed. “I don’t…”
He reached up a hand to touch her face. “The bad man looked like daddy but it wasn’t daddy.”
She chuckled softly as his statement. He kept switching from child to adult. “You look like daddy too. Why do you look like him if you are me?”
His small green eyes sparkled as he answered. “I was trying to save you and daddy saved you before from being possessed. He was a little boy when he saved you from the evil man.”
Understanding filled her. “I see what you mean. I might look at a small version of Harry as my savior.”
“I was hoping.” He looked down at the mossy ground. “You didn’t remember though but you will now. I promise to help you when you need it.” He looked up and hugged her again. “Daddy is waking up now. Tell him about the baby. Daddy needs to know so that he can take care of you.”
Ginny’s eyes fluttered open to find a beaming Harry looking down at her. “You are so amazing.” He whispered in awe.
“Harry… I’m just me.” She protested immediately.
“And that,” he punctuated it with a kiss. “Is completely amazing.” He kissed her cheek. “And beautiful.” He moved to her other cheek. “And sexy”
She giggled and swatted at his arm. “You’re barmy. Did you know that?”
“I don’t think so.” He sat up again and gazed longingly into her eyes. “I think I have the most beautiful wife in the whole world.” He said and his tone was almost reverent.
She swiped at a stray tear that escaped before she could catch it. “I must have the blindest husband in the world, then.”
His mouth dropped open before he began to chuckle. “You will be the death of me but since I’m in such a brilliant mood this morning, I think I will let that insult go.” He moved his hand tentatively up her side and she remembered, belatedly, that she was not wearing anything. Her cheeks flushed and she looked away. “What’s wrong?” He asked her softly.
She took a steadying breath and turned back. “No being nice… I want you to tell me the truth.”
“Okay.” He replied slowly, almost tentatively.
“So… so you don’t think I’m too fat then?” She felt her heart constrict as she said it but she wanted to know.
“You are daft, woman.” He shook his head. “I knew that you didn’t like yourself but this is too much.” He took her face between his hands and gently stroked her cheeks. “You are not fat! Have I said that plainly enough?”
She bit her lip. “I suppose.” Ginny managed to answer and then her dream came back to her. She knew that she had to tell him but it only increased her worry. “It’s just… Mum and I look exactly alike and she was slim until she had Bill and then she had all that extra weight! What if you don’t want me anymore?”
He stretched out next to her and pulled her in close, spooning her from behind. He kissed her neck as he ran his hand over her belly. “How many siblings do you have?”
Ginny turned her head and glared at him. “Six.” She had no idea where he was going with this.
“Well, it seems pretty obvious to me that your Dad did not really care that she put on a bit of weight if they continued to make more babies.”
She was not sure whether she wanted to laugh or gag. She decided to just accept that what he was saying was true. “So then, you’ll still want me when I am even fatter?”
“You Are Not Fat!” He pronounced each word carefully and clearly. “You are so amazingly beautiful and sexy. I feel like a skinny blighter next to you.”
“How can you say that? You have an incredible body and you are so handsome!” She turned completely so that she was facing him and looking into his startlingly green eyes.
“Obviously I don’t see what you do.” Harry looked away from her eyes to sweep down her body. His hand traced a trail along the bare skin of her side. When his eyes came back up to her, she knew her face was tomato red. “Maybe you don’t see what I do.”
She needed to tell him and she felt so in love with him. Right now was the perfect time. “I had another dream.” She went on quickly when she saw the worry overshadow his eyes. “It was a good dream. I was talking to a little boy that looked like you. He had tried to help me before but I could not remember my dream.”
“He looked like me?” Harry questioned.
She nodded. “He said that he took on your appearance as a small boy because you saved me from the diary’s possession when you were a small boy. The possessor was taking on your adult form in my dreams some times.”
“I’m sorry.” He ran his hand over her cheek.
“It’s okay.” She sighed happily as she leaned into his touch. “He called me Mummy and he referred to you as Daddy.”
Harry’s hand stilled. “That is… well.”
She reached up for his hand and took it off her cheek to guide it down to her belly. “I asked if he would be our child and he said no.” A small hint of disappointment crossed his face but he hid it well. She had nearly missed it. Nearly. “Then he told me that the baby inside of me right now is a girl.”
Harry blinked and mouthed wordlessly for a moment before a grin spread over his face. “Really? So… you think it’s real?” He asked her hopefully as he caressed her soft stomach.
“I think it is. He told me that I had to tell you so that you could take care of me when we go after the bad man.” She leaned in to kiss him. “Do not even think of trying to talk me out of going after him.”
“I won’t. I know you better than that.” He kissed her back and deepened it. “But I will be taking care of you and don’t try and talk me out of that. It is my right as the husband and dad.” Joy filled his eyes and radiated off of him. “This is so wonderful, Gin. I love you.”
“I love you too.” She whispered against his lips and then began to giggle. “We’re going to be late for work.”
“At least our boss knew that we would be.”
“Do we have to hide the fact that we are married?” Ginny asked him in a hushed voice as they walked towards the Auror headquarters, walking hand in hand.
“No. Hermione just wants us to keep quiet about the bonding since that is the unusual part.” He bent down to kiss her cheek. “We are supposed to just act like we eloped last night if anyone asks. They might since we are both wearing rings.”
Ginny groaned. “The press is going to get a hold of this soon and then we will be hounded by them. It is going to make catching Malfoy difficult.”
“We’ll get through it, Gin.” He assured her. “If we don’t advertise it, the press might not hear about our marriage for a week.”
“I hope so.” She whispered as they walked into the office.
The first thing she saw was Ron, Tonks and Kingsley talking quietly. They looked up at them Ginny and Harry as they walked over. “We’re glad you two are here.” Ron said quietly. “Niggs killed himself last night.”
“What?” Ginny could not even contain her voice as she spoke. “How?”
Tonks let out an exasperated snort. “That’s the thing. He did it by muggle means with a knife. He slit his own throat and died before the guards could get a Healer.”
“Muggle… a muggle knife? How did he get a muggle knife?” Harry asked incredulously.
“We didn’t think to check him for a muggle knife.” Ron muttered. “He had the dark mark on his arm and everything. Who would have thought that a Death Eater would have brought in a knife to kill himself? All we did was take his wand and lock him in the cell.”
“He was a Death Eater? Did you know that before?” Ginny blurted out quickly. “I thought the marks had faded since Voldemort is dead.”
“They had!” Ron retorted. “Imagine my surprise this morning when we examined the body and found it there. I about wet myself because I am sure it was not there the first time I brought him in but that was several years ago and right after the last battle.”
Kingsley rubbed at his chin before speaking. “That was when we were short on personnel. So many Aurors had been killed that all the old Aurors had been brought out of retirement and you and Harry were taken out on missions from the off with Tonks, Dawlish and Moody.”
“Right. Moody and I caught him and searched him for the mark but we did not realize that they were all gone by then.” Ron interjected.
“We would never have known that the dark marks were gone if we had not had an owl from McGonagall. She wanted to make us aware that when she had Snape buried his mark was gone.” Harry informed Ginny. “Did we never mention this to you?”
“I vaguely remember it but I don’t know that you did.” She answered honestly. “So if they marks were gone before, how could they be back now? Voldemort is dead. Harry and I both saw him killed.”
“Then what was that green light?” Ron probed quietly.
“You don’t think that was Voldemort, do you?” Harry shook his head.
“No Ron.” Ginny denied vehemently. “I have had Tom Riddle inside of my head before and whatever that was, it was not him.”
“I want to head out to Azkaban and check the marks of the other Death Eaters that we have there. It might be someone just using that symbol.” Tonks rocked back on her heals. “I also want to question one of them under Veritaserum. Can you get the authorization that I need?” She posed this question at Kingsley.
“It is not likely that I will be able to without telling them why I want it exactly. It was simple yesterday with Hermione there, since an Unspeakable has those powers and privileges.” He replied smoothly. “But even she would not be able to question an already convicted prisoner without the proper endorsement from her boss.”
Ginny let out an exasperated sigh. There were times when having an Unspeakable, as a relative, could be useful for her. The Unspeakables had the highest clearance in the Ministry and were allowed to do many things that most witches and wizards were not allowed to do. This was how Hermione was able to marry them the day before but even then, Hermione had to get permission. In this situation, though, her sister could not help. “So what do we do? If we tell Madam Bones or Minister Whitley then we risk exposing the information to a leak in the Ministry.”
“So we know for sure that there is a leak?” Kingsley questioned slowly.
Tonks let out a huff. “It looks that way. How else would Niggs have known that Hermione was seeking permission to perform the bonding?” She finished in a whisper before returning her voice to its normal volume. “I would imagine that she had to go through several channels to get clearance for that.”
Harry studied her for a moment. “You are probably right. We need to be as careful about this as we can be.” He glanced quickly down at Ginny. “We need to get Malfoy but there is no sense in us getting killed for it.”
“I think we can trust Amelia Bones, though. If we go to her personally, then as the Head of Magical Law Enforcement, she can give us the go ahead to use the Veritaserum.” Ginny said suddenly. “She will have already known about Harry and I. We can explain the rest of our theory and why we have doubts about Niggs having the dark mark. She is a straightforward woman. We have probable cause to believe that we might be facing another dark lord and we need to get information from his Death Eaters so that we can confirm that.”
Kingsley nodded. “Ginny is right. I will go and speak to her personally right now and get clearance for Tonks and Ron to go to Azkaban.” Ginny and Harry both began to protest simultaneously but the older man held up his hand to silence them. “You two are in enough danger and I do not want to jeopardize you even more. You are also conspicuous. Let them go and ask the questions and report back to you tomorrow.” He glanced sideways at Ginny before turning back to Harry. “I also understand that you have a magical contract to fulfill from the bonding. It is best not to have you two exposed more than is necessary.”
Ginny felt herself swell in indignation. “I will not be held back. It is my job to catch Malfoy and I am going to see that through. I can take care of myself.”
“I know you can.” He assured her calmly. “But this is a risk that you do not need to take. Let your brother and Tonks handle this one. Every time you are out in the field, you are vulnerable to attack or possible abduction. We should save those risks for when we are sure we have Malfoy cornered. Now, I’ll be off.” With that, Kingsley turned and marched out of the office.
“Come on Ron. We have to come up with an excuse for our partners as to why we will be leaving them behind.” Tonks grabbed Ron’s arm and dragged him off to her large office.
Ginny and Harry walked quickly to their desks and Harry sat down before pulling her onto his lap. “Are you angry?” His voice was full of concern as he held her tight.
She sighed and rested her head against his shoulder. “I don’t want to get hurt.” She placed her hand against her stomach, still marveling that there was a very small baby in there. “But I have been suffering for years at the hand of that asshole.” She sniffed to keep her tears back. “He nearly kept me from being with you.”
“We will get him. I promised you before and I mean it. We will make Malfoy pay.”
“All right.” She turned her head slightly and kissed his neck. “I trust you and I know you’ll take care of me.” She felt his hand slip down to cover hers over her stomach. “Of us.” She whispered softly.
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