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Chapter 7 : Chapter 7: Colin
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“I need new clothes.” Ginny informed him as she tried to dress. Harry watched her attempt to zip her jean but with a sigh she gave up and pulled them off again.
“At least you don’t have to wear that stupid uniform skirt anymore. It was good of Dumbledore to let you wear whatever is comfortable to class.” Harry dug through his old clothes and came up with a pair of jeans that had once belonged to his cousin Dudley. “Here love. These will work for today.”
She eyed the jeans wearily but slipped them on before locating a belt that would hold them up. They were huge on her slight frame even with her round belly. “They’re a bit long.”
Harry looked down and laughed when he noticed that he could not see her feet. He knelt down and rolled her pant cuffs for her before kissing her belly. “Hello in there, baby.” He stood up and finished dressing.
“We are also going to need to get clothes for the children.” Harry looked at her and saw that her eyes had taken on a far off look. “They are growing so fast.”
He slipped his arms around her expanded waist and held her from behind, his hands resting lightly on her tummy, enjoying the feeling of knowing she was starting to show. “They are growing up. Nicole turns two in less than a month.” He kissed her neck and felt her shiver. “How are classes going? I noticed that your homework is starting to pick up.”
She sighed and relaxed into him. “It is getting more intense but Bill’s class is quite interesting. He’s just as good as Flitwick was and he’ll sometimes share stories of when he was in Egypt to help show us different ways that the charm can be used. He makes the lessons more practical. McGonagall is the same as always. Snape is the Professor that has surprised me the most.”
Ginny bit her lip before continuing. “He switched me to partnering with Natalie Rose. She’s the best in our year at Potions.”
Harry was stunned. “Why did he do that?”
“He muttered that he owed you for Azkaban and he was repaying it by making sure Colin didn’t hurt our baby with his abysmal Potion skills.”
Harry laughed. “That’s Snape for you. Only he would thank me for sending him to prison.”
“It did save his life.” She turned in his arms and stood on tiptoes to kiss him. “Colin is going to meet us in the entrance hall to help us out with shopping.”
“That’s good.” Harry kissed her back. “With Bill and Tyler coming along we’ll need an extra set of hands to keep the children entertained while we outfit them all with new clothes.”
“He’s really good with them too. They love playing with him.” Ginny moved out of his arms to finish dressing. “We’d best get a move on. The children will be up in a few minutes.”
Sunday February 14th, 1999- 6pm-Restaurant in Hogsmeade:
“I’m so glad that Mum came up to Hogwarts tonight. This is really nice.” Ginny smiled warmly at Harry. “I really loved the flowers too. The Calalilies that you got me were beautiful.”
“You’re beautiful.” Harry smiled at his wife who was glowing with happiness, her hair pinned away from her face but flowing freely down her back. She was exquisite. “I love you so much.”
Her eyes glowed with happiness. “I know Harry. I can feel what you are feeling.”
He grinned. “Good. I want you to know how happy you make me. You and the kids are everything to me.” He reached across the table and took her hand. “Now with the new baby coming, I wanted to make sure that we spend at least one evening with just the two of us.”
She grinned. “It’s easier to relax and enjoy ourselves when we know that the children are not missing us.”
Harry laughed. His mother-in-law had them playing games before he and Ginny had even left and she had planned on them making biscuits that they could decorate and eat. The kids barely said goodbye to them before getting back to their game with ‘Nana’. “They are amazing. Three months ago they would have cried if we had tried to leave but now they were enjoying a night away from us and being spoiled by their grandmother.”
“It is exactly as it should be.” She smiled dreamily and caressed his hand lovingly. “They know that they are loved and they are secure in our love of them.”
He leaned over the table to kiss her gently. “I love you.”
“I love you too.”
Tuesday February 23rd, 1999- Second Period- Third Year Hufflepuffs:
Harry used his Animorphmagus abilities to take he shape of a Red Cap. The class was standing around his desk, studying him closely. He transformed again and hopped off of his desk. “So now you know what they look like, so please take your seats again. The Red Cap can often be found on old muggle battlefields. Why is that? Yes, Mr. Timber?”
“They love to be where blood has been shed.” Kyle Timber answered.
“Excellent, five points to Hufflepuff. Who can tell me,” Harry looked round at the classroom door as it flew open.
Colin ran into the room and his face was a mask of panic. “Harry! Ginny passed out as we left Potions!”
“What?” Harry’s brain froze but his feet started to take him out the door before he remembered that he had a class. He looked back at the third years but Colin must have seen his dilemma.
“I’ll stay with them. What is the topic?” Colin asked hurriedly.
“Red Caps.” Harry said distractedly, his thoughts with his wife.
“She’s in the Hospital Wings. I took her there before I came here.” Colin looked at the teacher’s desk. “You have notes?”
“Yes. Are you sure?” He saw Colin nod and he ran a hand through his hair and turned back to the alarmed looking Third Years. “Your Head Boy, Mr. Creavey, is in charge. I expect you to behave and participate as if I were here. For homework read the chapter on Red Caps and summarize, to be handed in next week.” He turned back to Colin. “Thanks,” and with that he was out the door running towards the Hospital Wing. He had made it up one flight of stairs before he remembered that he could Apparate and instantly he was outside the Hospital Wing. He threw open the door and rushed in to see Madam Pomfrey checking Ginny over with her wand; she was still unconscious. “What happened?” He moved quickly over to them.
“Pregnant women often have fainting spells Mr. Potter. Please calm down.” Madam Pomfrey replied.
Harry sat down and took his wife’s hand, which felt clammy. Her eyes fluttered for a moment but she only moaned before becoming still again. “Why isn’t she waking?”
“She will!” Madam Pomfrey exclaimed exasperatedly.
Ginny’s eyes fluttered again. “Colin…” She murmured.
“What?” Harry moved closer to her pale face. “Come on love, wake up.”
“Colin…” She whispered his name but did not open her eyes. Her face contorted in pain and she started to thrash.
“This is not normal.” The nurse checked Ginny’s pulse. “I think she’s dreaming.”
“Ginny!” Harry shook her shoulder gently but spoke with force. “Wake up love. You need to wake up.”
“No… it hurts… Colin…” She writhed and Harry moved his hand to her face.
“Ginny, please love, wake up!”
Her eyes flew open and she drew in a sharp breath. “Oh Harry… where’s Colin?” Her eyes were wide and fearful.
“He’s teaching my class right now.” Harry moved his hands over her as he spoke, assuring himself that she was okay. “What happened love?”
“It’s Colin!” She tried to explain but she started sob and fell in to his arms. “It hurts Harry.”
“What does Ginny? Tell me what hurts?” He looked up at Madam Pomfrey but she shook her head.
“There is nothing wrong with her as far as I can see. I don’t know why she is in pain.”
“It’s Colin!” She yelled through her tears.
“Did he do something to you?” Harry asked in horror.
“No…” She moaned and started to sob again. “Why? Why didn’t he tell me?”
“I think we need to give her a calming draft.” Madam Pomfrey started to move towards her potion supplies.
“No!” Ginny croaked. “No… no potions. It might hurt the baby. I’ll be fine. I’ll calm down.” Harry watched the nurse nod and walk into her office, closing the door. Harry turned back to Ginny. She tried to stop crying but he saw that she was struggling. “Harry, hold me and think about how much you love me.”
“Er… right.” He was confused but he held on to her and stroked her back while trying to concentrate on how much he loved her. The fear that had consumed him was still clawing at his insides but he fought hard to hold it back. He tried to remember something good and their Valentines Day date from a few weeks before, came to mind. Thoughts of the date led him to remember that they had come home to find their children already in bed and soon he and Ginny had also retired… but not to sleep. His face flushed and he had to breathe deeply to keep himself from delving too deeply in to that memory.
Ginny gasped. “What were you thinking about?” She asked him huskily. He was glad to hear that her voice was sounding closer to her normal tone.
“Uh… Valentines. Were you feeling what I was?”
“Yes… it worked though.” She moved away from her and ran her hands through her hair, moving it away from her face. “I need to see Colin.”
Harry studied her. “Why?”
“He’s hurting Harry! He must have let his guard down finally and I felt it. I touched him and I was overwhelmed because I was not prepared for it. I must have passed out then.” Her eyes filled with tears again. “It hurts so much that I don’t know how he can stand it!” She wiped her eyes. “Let’s go back to our rooms and then I want you to find him and bring him back to me. I need to talk to him.”
Harry and Ginny’s Study- One Hour Later:
Harry brought a reluctant Colin into the room to see that Ginny was pacing the room. When she saw Colin she let out a cry and flung herself at him. “You stupid prat! Why didn’t you tell me?”
He pushed her off and shook his head. “I don’t know…”
Ginny’s face turned red as she glared at Colin. Harry took a seat in a chair to observe the exchange. This was obviously something to do with Ginny being an Amulain and she needed to work this out. He watched in awe as Ginny built up a full head of steam. “YOU KNOW I CAN FEEL THINGS AND I KNOW THAT YOU ARE HURTING NOW TELL ME WHAT IS WRONG!”
“I… I…” Colin’s face turned ashen. “I can’t tell you Ginny. You’d hate me.”
Her face softened. “I won’t and you’ll feel better if you talk about it.”
He sat down heavily on an old couch. “What do you want me to tell you Ginny?”
She sat next to him and took his hand. “I want you to tell me why you are hurting.”
A tear slid down his face. “I got my girlfriend’s parents killed.”
Harry sat up but kept his mouth shut when Ginny shot a warning look at him. “No Colin, you didn’t...”
“I did.” Harry heard the dismay and resignation in his voice. “I… I…”
“Why did you learn Occlumency?” Harry asked him, remembering that the Head Boy had told him months before that he had been practicing it for months.
He sighed. “I learned it because of you and Ginny.”
“What?” Harry was even more confused.
“When you and Ginny got together I knew that she would be more of a target and that meant I would be targeted more for information on you two.” He closed his eyes. “I never told you why my family was attacked… when Dennis was… killed.” He opened his eyes and looked straight at Harry. “The Death Eaters tried to get me to tell them where Ginny was but we didn’t know anything so I told them I wouldn’t tell them anything, which is why they killed Dennis. I started throwing curses and the Aurors arrived and… I knew then that the Death Eaters thought I would have information to get to the Weasley’s and thus to you, Harry.”
Harry felt his anger rise at Voldemort and his minions. He wanted to speak but found that he couldn’t. Ginny spoke softly to her friend. “So when Harry and I started dating you realized that it would be more important that you could protect your mind against Death Eaters?” When he nodded she went on. “In case they came after you again to find me… since I was an even bigger target and you are one of my closest friends.”
“Yes.” He replied dejectedly. “I just wanted to protect you if I could!” He gazed at Ginny.
“What happened with your girlfriend?” Ginny probed, looking in to his eyes. “I feel the sorrow, please tell me.” Her eyes were shining with unshed tears.
“After you two got engaged… I really started to miss Melissa, that’s my girlfriend. I watched you two and all I could think of was being with her.” He paused to swipe at the tears on his cheek. “I asked McGonagall if I could go home for a weekend and she agreed.”
Ginny nodded. “I vaguely remember you leaving. What happened?”
“We… we…” Colin’s face turned red. “You’ll hate me Ginny! I know it’s wrong and we… we went on a picnic in the woods behind her house and made love to each other.” He whispered the last part but both Harry and Ginny had heard him.
“Oh Colin.” She sighed. “I can feel your love for her and of course you would want to express that with each other. I know that you were raised in the muggle world. It’s different and I understand that. I’m not going to hate you for it.”
“There’s more.” Colin got up and started to pace, as Ginny had when they arrived. “I came back here and went on with school. I still got letters from Melissa and they seemed normal but I had told her to never put anything important in writing so I didn’t know.”
“Oh no…” Ginny fell back against the couch and put her hand protectively over her rounded belly. “What happened then?”
He turned to her. “Please don’t make me go on Ginny… I just couldn’t stand it if I lost you too!”
She sat up. “You WILL NOT lose me!”
More tears rolled from his eyes. “I got back and went straight to see her. I walked from my house down the street towards hers. She lived about two miles away from my parent and I was almost to her house when two Death Eaters Apparated in front of me and stunned me. When I awoke they had me tied to a tree behind Melissa’s house. She and her parents were there, also tied up. They asked me where you and Harry were but I wouldn’t say. One of them tried to use Legilimency on me but I was able to block him out. He wasn’t very good.” He began to pace again. “They told me that they would kill Melissa’s parents unless I told them where you were and I said no… I said no and they killed them.”
Colin sat down on the couch again. Harry felt his chest constrict at the pain he saw in the other man’s face. Ginny took his hand again but Colin did not even seem to notice. His face was too haunted from horrors that had been held in for too long. “They threatened to torture Melissa if I didn’t tell them what they wanted and Melissa was crying but she knew about why Dennis had been killed… and about you, Ginny and she told me not to tell them anything.” He smiled derisively. “I didn’t really know anything about where you were anyway but I laughed at the two masked men to try and enrage them so that they might attack me and not her. I had almost worked my hands free from the ropes and I was pretty sure that I could use the karate we had been practicing to at least inflict some damage on them.”
“What happened?” Ginny urged him to continue.
“They used the Cruciatus Curse on Melissa and she screamed… I wanted to tell them something… anything… but when they lifted it she told me not to tell them anything.” He shook his head. “She’s so strong, Ginny…” He rested his back against the couch. “They used it again but when they lifted it she was still screaming and clutching her stomach… she started to bleed and…”
“She lost the baby.” Ginny finished quietly and Harry gasped at the revelation. Ginny moved over and pulled him in to her arms, comforting him as she comforted their children.
Colin continued with his tale but his voice was muffled into her shoulder. “I didn’t even know she was pregnant! She hadn’t gotten a chance to tell me but the Death Eaters laughed when they saw her bleeding and told me that it was just another mudblood’s baby dead and I snapped. I attacked them but I don’t clearly remember what happened. I got my wand and started hexing them and soon the Aurors were there. I think they were alerted by my use of underage magic.” He pulled out of her arms. “They took Melissa to a muggle hospital and she was treated but she isn’t the same. She doesn’t speak and when I visit, she cries.”
“I’m so sorry.” Ginny said and her voice carried the note of someone who had also suffered greatly.
“I chose you over my own baby… and I hate myself for it! How do I live with this and how do I face you know that if I could go back, I would have done anything to save my baby.” Colin faced her defiantly. “How can you not hate me?”
Ginny’s face was set. “I do not hate you and even if Voldemort had found us, Harry and I would have understood. You need to protect your children above everything else.” She rubbed her stomach absentmindedly. “Is that why you have been so protective of me?”
He nodded. “I can’t change the past so I’m trying to make up for it by making sure that you are okay.” He started to cry again. “I love kids and I would have married Melissa if I’d known.”
Ginny nodded. “I know Colin. You are so good with our children.” She paused and rubbed her stomach again. “Have you take Melissa to see a Healer?” Ginny asked but comprehension dawned on her face. “That is how you met Maddie and Merri, isn’t it?”
He nodded once. “I went to St. Mungo’s and asked to speak with a Healer who specialized in curse damage. Maddie and Merri agreed to go to the muggle hospital and visit with her but it’s no use. Melissa was not hurt permanently from the Cruciatus Curse… it was just the trauma of seeing her parents killed and losing the baby that caused her to withdrawal. She’s a resident at a long term facility for mental patients.”
“How did we not know about this?” Harry asked him.
“I begged the Aurors not to tell anyone our names and the same for Maddie and Merri, although they are bound my patient confidentiality.” Colin turned his head away from them. “You two were getting married and I didn’t want to ruin that happy time for you.”
“You should have told us.” Harry said sadly. He could not believe that his friend had been through so much and they had not even known.
“We could never hate you Colin.” Ginny assured him. “I can still feel that your fear but you do not have to be afraid. Harry and I understand about wanting to protect your children and you didn’t know that she was pregnant. You couldn’t have done anything else because she would have been in danger sooner if she had written to tell you that she was having a baby. The Death Eaters felt no remorse about killing.”
“I know you are right but I still feel like I am the reason that my girlfriend is insane and my baby and Melissa’s parents are dead.”
“It isn’t your fault… it’s those damned Death Eaters and Voldemort that did this!” Harry said sternly. “I’m sorry that she was hurt Colin. I don’t know what I would do if it were Ginny.”
“I might be able to help her Colin.” Ginny whispered quietly. “I’m not really good at being an Amulain yet but I’m improving every day and I think that soon I might be able to get through to Melissa.” She patted his shoulder. “I was even able to break through your walls today and I have been trying to do that since Christmas.”
“Really? You might be able to help her?” Colin gazed hopefully at her.
“Can I tell Hermione about this? I really think she’ll be able to help me find a way to reach Melissa.”
He looked leery. “She won’t tell anyone else, right?”
“No, she won’t even tell Ron if I ask her not to.”
“Thank you Ginny.” Colin hugged her and broke down in tears again but Harry could see that his face was full of relief.
Ginny rubbed his back as she comforted him. “Just give me a few weeks and I’ll try my best to help her.”
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