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Harry Potter and the Final Riddle by Timechild
Chapter 8 : Daddy's Little Girl
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 7


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“Just about ready, Hermione?” Harry asked as the sun was just beginning to set on the lake Friday evening. They had just had finished dinner about an hour previously and had packed for the trip.

“Ready to go!” Hermione replied as she put some last items in her rather large handbag.

“Is that humongous thing really necessary?” Ron asked her.

“I’m not sure what might be needed, so I packed for several possible scenarios that might happen.”

“Won’t that get noticed?”

“This? Oh no, large purses and handbags are normal in the Muggle World.” Hermione laughed, and then reached over to kiss Ron on the cheek. “I need to take you on a trip to see things from my world, don’t I?”

“I guess so.” Ron replied while putting his arms around her and kissing her in return. Harry smiled at this. He was very pleased that the incident with Parkinson had not overly affected Hermione. Indeed, after the initial shock wore off, she went right back to being the confident, self-assured woman Harry had seen Hermione grow into. The air again seemed to dance around them as they held each other for several long moments just embracing each other and nuzzling. He was immediately comparing how they interact with how he and Ginny do. Hermione is much more subdued and subtle, while Ginny’s straight forward, exuberant manner just seemed to uplift him at just the right time. Harry then realized that Ginny wasn’t here.

“Where’s Ginny?”

“Right here, darling.” Ginny came into the common room and lightly kissed Harry on the lips; she was carrying her school bag. “Homework…some of us still have it from outside sources, remember? I am off to the Room to finish this and to do some drills.”

“Drills?” Harry wondered aloud.

“I am working on my Patronus, my love.” She said prior to kissing him again. “Good luck…and hurry back.”

“Count on it.” He said as Ginny slowly disappeared from the common room.

Ron and Hermione had just separated from their embrace when Hermione looked at Harry, “We need to talk about her, Harry.”

“We do?”

“Yes, but that can wait until after we are away.”

“All right, then. Let’s get going. I don’t want to be gone any longer than you do. Keep an eye on things, Mate.”

“No problem.” Ron said nodding slightly.

Hermione came over to Harry and placed her hand on his left arm while Harry drew his wand from his pocket. He waved his wand in a semi circular motion while Hermione gave him the scene of the area that they wanted to arrive at, and then they apparated out of the area. Ron was almost surprised by this as no one is supposed to apparate in or out of Hogwarts, but then they were in the highest point of the castle, and many of the rules just did not seem to apply to Harry anymore. He just laughed and went to the task of going over Monday’s sessions with the Defense classes.

***

Ginny arrived at the Room of Requirement, set her bag down, and drew her wand. She went over to the program board and set up the drill to simulate dementor attacks. The screen popped up the question – “Level?” She typed in for level six.

“Password please?” Ginny coded in the pass code she had gotten when she passed level five.

“Authorization Code by verbal command please?”

“Delta-one-eight-gamma.” Ginny said slowly.

“Voice pattern not recognized for Authorization Code.” The computer replied.

“Damn this foul machine, now what?”

“Authorization Override, add voice pattern Weasley, Genevra to upper echelon authorization access. Key sequence aught-sigma-four-delta-phi.” Came a voice from behind

“Voice patterned recognized. Weasley, Genevra added to upper echelon access. Level six granted.” Ginny turned around and saw the portrait of Morgana smiling at her.

“Thank you.” She said to the painting.

“You’re Welcome; I did the same thing for Hermione as well. Sometimes we girls just have to stick together.” Morgana said.

Ginny took off her school skirt and blouse and set them down on a chair. She was wearing a leotard with a sweatshirt on that Hermione had given her. The shirt had a logo of some department store from the Muggle World that she had never heard of. She stepped onto the floor and it illuminated with a glowing light from beneath it.

“Simulation ready.” Spoke the computerized voice from above.

Ginny took a deep breath and focused on a happy memory, the same one she always used when she needed her Patronus. The moment Harry kissed her in the common room when she had run up and threw her arms around him after winning the Quidditch Cup last year. With that scene firmly planted in her mind, she opened up her eyes and said “Engage.”

Immediately five large dementors appeared on the practice floor and went straight for Ginny. She just looked at the group with grim determination and shouted “EXPECTO PATRONUM!”

The blast of silvery light shot out from her wand and immediately dispelled two dementors into puffs of smoke, while the other three were repelled back several feet.

“EXPECTO PATRONUM!” Ginny yelled again, and two more dementors disappeared. The last one, however, was closing in on her. Ginny’s focus began to waver as she slowly began to realize that this was the strongest of the set and she was not able to sweep it away as she had the others, as she had done all the other levels, as she had seen Harry do countless times. She pointed her wand directly at the last dementor.

“EXPECTO PATRONUM!” The light shot directly at the dementor, who staggered back, but did not disappear. Slowly, the creature began to advance through Ginny’s spell as she felt the pain rise from her that she had been keeping down these last few days. She saw in her mind the class where she had bested McLaggen and how she had put on a happy face and feigned pleasure at coaching when, in fact, she was miserable. She felt the ache that had been with her since her last conversation with Harry about searching for the Horcruxes. She felt the emptiness that came knowing Harry was out risking his life and she was not there with him.

“NO!” She screamed and crumpled to the ground. The dementor moved closer and began to apply the kiss.

“You need a stronger memory, Ginny!” Morgana shouted from her painting.

“I don’t have one!” Ginny screamed through the tears.

“Then make it up from your desires!”

Ginny looked through her tear soaked face at Morgana, who nodded. Her body was in agony as the dementor had begun to suck the happiness out of her. Everything she had hidden had now been pulled to the surface. Yet, out of all the misery she was suffering, a single thought came into her mind. One that would make her the happiest she could ever be. She inhaled the scene, drinking in the pride and joy she would have if this could be, and then turn and went nose to nose with the last dementor.

“EXPECTO PATRONUM!” She shouted and jabbed her wand into the Dementor’s hood. The creature exploded into dust and the lights to the floor dimmed.

Then the computer voice spoke out, “Simulation completed. Level six. Level seven authorized. Code Printing.”

“Well done Ginny!” Said Morgana, but to her surprise, Ginny fell back to the floor and began to bawl uncontrollably.

“What is the matter, my dear?” Dumbledore’s portrait asked her with a sincere affection. “You created a memory stronger than any you have had in your life.”

“But what I saw can never happen, Albus, and that’s what’s so wrong!” She cried while pulling her legs to her chest. The sobs were coming out in screams now, as Ginny was past hysterical at this point. She had curled up in a sort of fetal position, grabbing her legs and holding tight. Her face showed vertical streak where her tears had washed across her nose and down to the floor.

“What is happening, Dumbledore?” demanded a scared Morgana.

“I believe that the truth is finally rising to the surface, unless I am very much mistaken.” Dumbledore calmly responded.

“But how do we help her?”

“We cannot, for this is beyond our capabilities. However, I believe I know someone who can. I am going to speak to Cornelius to have him sent for immediately.”

“Surely the dementor could not have done this type of damage in a simulation.” Merlin inquired.

“This is not a Dementor’s work at all, old friend. This is the anguish of a young woman’s broken heart.” Dumbledore remarked, and then left his portrait to visit the one in the Headmaster’s office.

Ginny was rocking in small circles on the floor and, while she was no longer screaming, the sobs were continuing at the pace set earlier. The room was filled with her soft voice saying phrases on how this was too much to bear and just let her die. Despite all the assurances that each portrait gave her, nothing seemed to dull the torture she was experiencing.

“Talk to us, Ginny, we can help you through this.” Morgana said to her with a voice that was now in a panic.

“You can’t help me, no one can. I put myself in this position like a fool and now it is crushing me. No one could understand this. I don’t understand this. I needed to be stronger and I’m not. Please let this go away!” She groaned in agony.

“It is alright, Morgana, he has just arrived.” Dumbledore announced as he returned to his portrait.

“Who’s arrived?” Ginny thought while still convulsing. “Good grief! Not Harry! He cannot see me like this. What will he think? I have to be strong for him. But I’m not strong enough…”

At that exact moment, a gentle hand came across her shoulder and softly pulled her up from the ground. Ginny caught the scent of cologne that she had only smelled on one person. She looked up into the caring eyes of her father, Arthur Weasley.

“Daddy?” Ginny said in a voice that was completely hoarse from crying.

“Oh, my sweet girl. Have things gotten so bad? It’s all right now, Daddy’s here. You can tell me, sweetheart.” He curled his arms around his daughter and slowly lifted her up from the floor. He carried her to one of the easy chairs and sat down – putting her down gently in his lap.

“I’m not a little girl anymore, Daddy. I can’t run to you with my problems anymore.” Ginny sobbed.

“Ginny, you have grown to be a fine young woman. However, no matter how much you grow, you will always be my little girl. There will always be this lap to sit in and my shoulder to cry on, no matter where you go or what happens to you. I will be there for you as long as I am alive.” Ginny looked deeply into the eyes of her father, and saw the understanding that she never knew. This was not the father of years ago, when she was a little girl and he was there to rein her in gently whenever she got too far off center. The man she saw here was a father who could see through her pain and down to the problem that caused it. As if he was reading into her soul, he quietly said.

“This is about Harry and his quest, isn’t it?”

All the pain immediately came back to the surface, and she poured it all out.

“Oh Daddy,” she sobbed, “I have been lying to everyone, even myself when I kept saying that I accepted what Harry had to do. That is was alright.”

“But it is not alright, is it Ginny?” Arthur Weasley asked as he put his arms around his daughter knowing what was coming. Ginny crashed her head into Arthur’s shoulder.

“IT HURTS DADDY, IT HURTS SO BAD! I FEEL LIKE SOMEONE IS RIPPING MY HEART AND SOUL OUT AND CRUSHING IT ON THE GROUND! I THOUGHT I COULD HANDLE THIS, BUT HE IS OUT THERE RIGHT NOW AND I AM NOT WITH HIM. OH, GOD…WHAT IF HE DOESN’T COME BACK? I FEEL SO EMPTY AND USELESS. I NEED HIM, DADDY. I WOULD RATHER DIE BESIDE HIM, BECAUSE I AM GOING TO DIE IF I AM WITHOUT HIM!”

Arthur gently hugged Ginny and began rocking her slowly back and forth on the chair. His shoulder was quite soaked from her tears now as she continued to cry into it. He just quietly held her and talked softly to her as she cried herself out. This went on for about ten minutes, after which Ginny looked up at her Dad and sniffled.

“Some grown-up I turned out to be, huh?” She said very hoarse.

“Oh, baby girl. This is not immaturity. On the contrary, these are the most grown up of feelings that you can ever have. Do you remember how hard of a time your mother had with that boggart at Harry’s house two years ago?”

“Yeah, sort of.”

“Well, you are having the same feelings now; loss, grief, and to a point heartbreak. It is easy to say that you have accepted fate when it is so far away from you. It is quite another when you are face to face with it. Harry isn’t gone, but none of you was there when your mother saw dead bodies in that room either. Love is a very powerful emotion, Ginny. It can work for you or against you. Despite all you have grown, you are still just seventeen. All of these emotions are still new and raw. For the first time in your life, Death is a reality you have to face. Yes, Harry may not come back from this journey, and it is painful. However, you are too hard on yourself, Ginny. You didn’t lie to anyone. You believed that everything was going to be all right. When you found out it wasn’t, it must have hit you very hard. How could you know how to handle it when you have never had to do so before? Even Dumbledore’s funeral was not a true test because he was old when he died. Harry is your age, young, and he is your soul mate. Of course, this was going to affect you. Your only mistake was in believing you would not feel it. You have feelings, Ginny, and this is a big one. If your mother could be so affected by an illusion, how could you be unscathed from a major dosage of a real probability?”

“I see that the truth has finally emerged.” Dumbledore said through this portrait. “You have nothing to be ashamed of, Ginny. Bigger and stronger wizards and witches have fallen victim to these emotions with far more devastating results. You have strength you have not even discovered yet.”

“Thank you, Albus.” Ginny replied, her tears finally running out as she wiped them from her face.

“Since when did you start calling him by his first name?” Arthur inquired.

“Ever since he asked me to.” She said sheepishly

Arthur laughed. “Well, if you need any proof of maturity, there it is.”

“Really?”

“Oh, yes.”

Ginny stood up and turned to face her father. She put her knees on the front of the chair and looked squarely into his eyes.

“Oh, Daddy, what am I going to do? I cannot go on like this. The ache inside is unbearable.”

“May I ask you some personal questions, sweetheart? I am not trying to pry, nor am I passing judgment.”

“Uh-Oh” said Ginny, equally sheepishly. Somehow, she had an idea as to what her father was about to ask.

“Have you and Harry been, how shall I put this, intimate?” He asked with a soft expression on his face.

“If you mean have we slept together or had sex, we haven’t.”

“Yes that is what I meant. I will say that I am surprised though. Not saying anything bad, Ginny, but I concluded that, after seeing the materials you bought at Diagon Alley, it was a matter of time.”

“Well there is a nice little defense system in place that keeps the faculty from having that kind of fun. The students have more freedom in that respects. You should have heard the shrill; it would have rattled your teeth.” Ginny said sarcastically.

“Oho, so that’s why we have never had any pregnant teachers!”

Ginny couldn’t help it, she burst out laughing. Soon the laughs had taken her over as much as the pain had done earlier. It was only when Arthur started rubbing the top of her back did she find the control to regain her composure. Her face was much more sedate, and she looked more like the Ginny that everyone knew.

“It will please your mother greatly to know that you are still a maiden.” Arthur stated.

“Seeing as she has thought that I’ve been a slut for how many months now?” Ginny inquired.

“That’s not true, Ginny. She didn’t think that you were, she was afraid you were going to be out of some act of desperation.”

“Why doesn’t she understand this?”

“Because she never went through it. When we fought Voldemort’s horde the first time, your mother and I were never really on the front lines. We never had to think that much about what would happen if one of us were killed. Also, we were already married at the time.”

“And older.”

“Oh, yes, sweetheart, much older, and that is why I am saying this now. I have never been more proud of you then I am now.”

“Daddy, I fell completely apart.”

“And you just might well, again. Nevertheless, you are facing it and doing everything you can to overcome it. You will be stronger for the experience.”

“I need to ask a question here if I may, Arthur.” Dumbledore interjected.

“Of course Albus, what is it?” Arthur replied.

“The created memory Ginny made to defeat the last dementor, what was it? I heard her say that it was something that would never happen.”

Arthur looked at Ginny. She closed her eyes and breathed in slowly. One more tear came out of her eye when she opened them again to answer.

“I was giving birth to Harry’s and my first child.” She said softly.

“Oh, my. And how did you come up with that as something so happy, if you don’t mind me asking?” Arthur looked at his daughter while asking this question.

“It is my heart’s deepest desire, Daddy. I want to marry Harry Potter and have his children...” Ginny replied.

“Ah, so you looked to the future to create your Patronus.”

“Not very well, I’m afraid.” Ginny sighed, turning to the face of the old Headmaster.

“Nonsense, dear. You did remarkably well. You defeated the dementors, and that is the purpose.”

“But it didn’t take a corporeal form, and it was supposed to.”

“In the form of what, Ginny? Patronus’ take the form of something vital to your life. Harry’s is a stag because his father was an animagus stag. Yours will be some animal of great importance to you.” Her father replied to her.

“Animal?” Ginny asked.

“Yes animal. Sorry, your Patronus can’t take the form of Harry.”

Ginny stuck out her lower lip and did a mock pout. Everyone in the room laughed, including her. She was feeling much better now. She turned and hugged her father.

“Thanks Daddy.” She said affectionately.

“That’s what Daddy’s are for, sweetheart. May I make you one more suggestion?”

“Sure.”

“Have this out in the open with Harry when he gets back, otherwise he is not going to know how much of a fool he is being.”

Ginny sighed, “He is bound and determined to protect me at all costs.”

“Well then,” said Dumbledore, “we shall have to demonstrate for him that his fears are quite unfounded.”

“I need to be at Harry’s side. Whatever it takes to prove I am up to the task, I will do.” Ginny said with a renewed determination.

“You go girl!” Morgana said.

Ginny looked at her father one more time. “I must, Daddy.”

“I know, sweetheart. I want so much to keep you safe, but I know where your proper place is…with Harry.”

She hugged her father again.

“Well, now that she’s gotten THAT out of her system, maybe she can actually help me with the first years.” Ginny and Arthur turned to see Ron standing in the doorway. “Hi Dad.”

“Hello, Son. Looking well I see.”

“How long have you known?” Ginny asked.

“Are you kidding me? Since day one when you ran up the stairs six years ago. I was wondering when you were going to stop acting like nothing was the matter? Hermione and I were both going to corner you when she got back. Now I can pass it on to her that you’ve been taken care of and she can concentrate on Harry and his stubbornness.”

“I second that!” Ginny yelled.

“Care to have a go at some first years, Dad?”

“I would love to, but I should get back to the Ministry.” He looked at Ginny on more time. “Whenever you need to talk…”

“I promise…” Ginny said and raised her right hand.

“Good.”

“OK, then let’s go.” Ron said and the three went out of the room together.

***

By the time Harry and Hermione returned to Hogwarts. Ron and Ginny had come up with a plan to convert Harry to the idea of a team effort. A dangerous plan, as Dumbledore’s portrait pointed out, but one that should work if everything went correctly. He pointed out to Ginny that she would be taking a very large risk in this plan.

“I know, Albus, but I must. If I am to prove worthy of being by his side, then I must show I can handle the tough stuff.”

“Very well Ginny,” said Dumbledore, “best of luck to you.”

Ron was able to pass the plan to Hermione just before she and Harry returned from Australia, so she was warned as to what was about to happen. As they returned to Hogwarts, Fudge was running out to meet them. Unknown to Harry, Dumbledore had told Fudge exactly what to say…

“Harry, Hermione, you must hurry to the Room of Requirement. It’s Miss Weasley. She is in the dueling chamber and there has been a malfunction.”

“What kind of malfunction?” Harry demanded.

“The scenario did not end with the first duel. It reset itself and went to the next level.”

“Ok, so what’s the problem? The safety protocol stops at level five. That will be a cakewalk for Ginny.” Hermione said with a smile.

“No, you don’t understand. The scenario STARTED at level five. When I left, she was battling at level seven.”

“WHAT?” Harry and Hermione said together.

“What’s worse, the opponents are now taking the form of known Death Eaters. When I left, she was battling a doppelganger of Belatrix Lestrange.”

“Don’t just stand there, Move!” Harry shouted.

They were running into the Room when the computer said aloud. “Level eight sequence complete – ready to engage.”

“Priority Override! Cease scenarios! Code Potter-Hedwig-Hagrid-seventy three!” Harry screamed at the computer at the top of his lungs!

“Code Accepted!” The computer voice replied.

“Thank Goodness.” Harry sighed

“The scenarios will terminate with level eight.”

“WHAT?” Hermione screamed.

“Ginny!” Harry screamed.

“I’m alright, Harry. So far, I haven’t had too much trouble. If that was Lestrange at her best, I’m not worried.” Ginny thought to him.

“Ginny, the levels are exponential! Whoever this is will be four times as hard!”

“I’m ready, my love.”

“I don’t think so, Miss Weasley.” Came from the voice of the opponent. The face and voice was completely familiar, it was Lucius Malfoy.

“I hope you’re a better representation then the one of Bellatrix.” Ginny said coyly.

“I am most assuredly so, Miss Weasley, for I am no representation. I am Lucius Malfoy. Now tell me, child, how did you get me out of Azkaban?”

“That can’t be! The program doesn’t pull people out of prison?” Hermione exclaimed.

“In order to complete programming as modified, levels eight and nine have been combined. Program selected subject closest to these parameters.” The Computer voice stated calmly. “Subject will be returned to previous location upon defeat.”

“Really, and if I win, then what happens?” Malfoy asked the computer.

“The subject will be returned to previous location.” The computer replied

“Then I have no reason to fight, do I?” Lucius stated.

“Program will not end until contest has been completed.”

“Well now, Miss Weasley. It seems we will starve to death together, unless you are willing to make a little wager?”

“What kind of wager?” Ginny inquired.

“Simple, I assume we are at Hogwarts somewhere?”

“That is correct Lucius.” Dumbledore’s portrait replied.

“Hello Albus, so it is true, my son got you killed.”

“Yes, you might say that is true.”

“Anyway…” Lucius stated turning back to Ginny, “it is very simple. If I win, I am free to go as I please. If you agree, Miss Weasley, then we fight. Otherwise, we starve.”

“Ginny, don’t do it, please!” Harry pleaded with her. “We will find a way to get you out of there!”

Ginny eyes looked at Harry with determination. “I love you, Harry.” She thought to him.

“Ginny No!”

“I must, my love.”

“Why?” Harry was now frantic.

“To prove I belong with you.” She turned to Malfoy and said, “I accept, but you’re going to have to kill me to win.”

“That was the intention all long, Miss Weasley.”

“For someone about to try to kill me, you sure are being polite. No ‘blood-traitor’ or ‘Muggle-lover’ comments? That is so unlike your family Lucius.”

“Ah, that is because you are used to my son, Draco. I admit he has not quite mastered manners yet. The rest of the Malfoy family shows courtesy at appropriate moments and, for as long as you last, you are a proper dueling opponent, Ginny. I may call you by your first name as well?”

“By all means Lucius, so whenever you’re ready.” Ginny spread her arms out wide. “First shot is yours.”

“Ginny, what are you doing?” Harry was screaming now. Malfoy nodded and slightly chuckled.

“You have courage, I will give you that. In addition, you know protocol. Very well, but I warn you, I do not do warm-ups. Imperio!”

The light shot out straight at Ginny, who then swept her hand and blocked it. It went bouncing off and crashing against the wall.

“Impressive, Ginny. You have grown strong for your age.”

“Thank You, Lucius, I suppose.”

“Impedimenta!” Cried Malfoy.

“Protego!” Ginny counted and Malfoy’s spell hit Ginny’s shield and evaporated.

“Again, impressive, but don’t you know any offensive spell, my dear?”

“Well, now that you mention it, flashbulb!”

“What?” Malfoy exclaimed as a bright flash of light hit him right between the eyes. Instinctively he raised his arms to his face to fend off the blindness. Ginny struck fast.

“Stupefy!” She shouted and a blue stream of light went straight for Malfoy. To everybody’s surprise, Malfoy managed to barely parry the blast before it would have hit him dead in the chest.

“You asked for it Lucius!” Ginny said slyly. Everyone was actually beginning to think that Ginny might have the upper hand. Clearly Lucius Malfoy did not think she would put up such a challenge. Hermione was beaming, though Harry was still frantic.

“You go girl!” Hermione shouted at Ginny, who smiled and waved back.

“Pay attention! For Pete’s sake Ginny, this isn’t even close to over!” Harry yelled. Ginny took the hint immediately and refocused at Malfoy, who was now able to see again and was no longer amused. He was flat out angry, and the air began to circle around him.

“Uh-Oh” said Ron, “that can’t be good.”

“Enough of this, Crucio!” Malfoy screamed as a red jet of light shot out of his wand. Ginny, however, stepped forward, spun counter-clockwise, and parried the blast so that it looked like it went through a revolving door; she then pointed her wand at Malfoy.

“SectumSempra!” Ginny shouted and Malfoy raised his left arm in pain as his forearm suddenly spurts out with blood.

“Is that enough offense for you Lucius? Not bad for a little girl, eh?” Ginny scowled at him. Harry looked at her with shock, she had a look of grim resolve on her, and she was going in for the kill…literally. Could she actually defeat Malfoy, Sr.?

“That was the spell Potter used on my son!” Malfoy cried in rage.

“Yes I believe it was, although I wasn’t there to see it in person.” Ginny retorted with equal fury. “I’m done playing games, we finish this now!”

“Absolutely…Avada Kedavra!” The green light of the Killing Curse came out so fast that Ginny barely had time to get her wand up. “Goodbye Ginny.” Sneered Malfoy.

“GINNY!” Harry roared. NO! Not her too.

“Alto Protego!” Harry heard her shout in her mind and a strange thing happened. Ginny literally stopped the green light in mid air. Slowly it crept closer to her as she pushed harder and harder to repel it. Harry could see her face strain more and more against the spell, and get redder and redder with each push. Finally, she let out a burst of fury and the green light shot back at Malfoy.”

“What??” was all Malfoy could say as he tried to deflect. There was an explosion at the end of the dueling floor. When the smoke cleared, Malfoy was gone.

“Level eight scenario completed successfully.” The computer voice called out. Ginny dropped to all fours and was gasping for breath. Her dueling clothes were drenched with sweat and blood. Harry ran over to her and grabbed her by the shoulders.

“Whew, that one really WAS hard.” She managed a smile as she said that between gaps. She saw Harry’s face. He was furious; however she had expected this and was ready. She looked for just the briefest moments at Ron and Hermione, who nodded.

“WHAT THE BLODDY HELL DID YOU THINK YOU WERE DOING? YOU ALMOST DIED! I TOLD YOU I COULDN’T TAKE YOU DYING TOO, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?”

Ginny looked him deep in the eyes and then let him have it.

“Well you almost came home to a near dead me anyway, Harry. Did it ever occur to you that you dying would do the same thing to me? It damn near did!”

“What are you talking about? I was fine, there was no trouble whatsoever.”

“I DIDN’T KNOW THAT, DID I? YOU LEFT ME BEHIND, DAMMIT, AND IT ALMOST TORE ME APART!”

“I knew I shouldn’t have let you in this far…” Harry started to say, and then Ginny grabbed his mouth. Harry gulped in surprise.

“Well, if you didn’t want me in, you shouldn’t have kissed me that night after Quidditch then. Do you think your monster was the only one awakened that night? So was mine. It’s called lust and desire, Harry. I wanted you as badly as you wanted me. So now we’re in this together, period!” She stated quite forcefully.

“Ginny?” Harry thought, somewhat stunned.

“Loving someone means trusting them, darling. You have to stop protecting me and start sharing with me. If Dumbledore hadn’t seen me and called for my father, you would have found me pretty much brain dead from the pain and the ache.”

“What, your father was here?”

“Yes he was, and he gave me a very good piece of advice. So good, that I am going to heed it right now.” She pulled herself up to where she was sitting on her knees and brought Harry to the same position opposite her. She stared deeply into his eyes with a loving and caring look. She took his right hand and placed it to her breast, over her heart. She took her right hand and touched his.

“My heart to your heart.” Sparks flew around them. She took her left hand and brought his cheek to where it just touched hers.

“My mind to your mind.” She placed her left hand around to the small of Harry’s back. Instinctively, Harry did the same to hers.

“My soul to your soul, my love.” The light shimmered so brightly that both Ron and Hermione had to cover their eyes.

“Ginny, what are you doing?” Harry’s thoughts were racing as to what was about to happen.

“My dearest, I am no longer going to hide anything from you. All I am and all I have are yours. I am not trying to make love to you, I want to bond with you totally now. We are one, my love. I give all to you freely so that you can be a part of me as I wish to with you. I cannot force you to do the same; I just hope you can trust me with the same freedom.”

With those words, she opened up everything to Harry. The pain and heartache she felt. Her collapse in the Room, her father coming to her aid, her greatest fears, her deepest desires, and most of all, her greatest dream…to be his bride and the mother of his children. Harry was so overwhelmed with it all that he shook. At last, he understood her, why she took so many chances. Why she needed to keep pushing herself to keep up with him. To be his soul mate, his partner, his lover, his friend. Finally, the last of his resistance faded with her simple plea.

“Join with me Harry. Together, there is no foe we cannot defeat, no challenge we cannot overcome, and no task we cannot accomplish. Join me as one.” She quietly thought to him. Harry replied at once.

“My love, I give you in return all that I am and all that I have. I do this freely so that we can be one with each other.”

She saw the part of him that no one else had seen. The flash of green light the night his parents were killed. The horror of the Dursley’s until age eleven. She saw the joy of Hogwarts, seeing her at the bottom of the stairs, finding out about how she felt from Riddle in the diary, the kiss, and Sirius falling into the archway. Then she saw Dumbledore’s death and Harry under his cloak completely helpless to stop it. She saw his nightmare of her on that marble slab instead of Dumbledore, with Death Eaters singing a Wedding Song while laughing beyond his reach. She saw his greatest desire, to claim her in the manner of the old school. To see her in white, with her parents watching, as he placed a ring on her finger and made her his bride. They had the same dream…to wed each other.

Their souls rose up like the flames from a large bonfire. They then intertwined together, fusing to become one stronger then the sum of the two separately. They each felt the burning of the meld. Agony and yet ecstasy, the burn running through them like a white-hot knife. The pain was yet joy. The passion was yet turmoil; hot and cold, torture yet release. Their bodies began to intertwine with each other as Ginny actually cried out aloud. The fire continued to build, to burn, to release, until they collapsed on the floor together in a flash of energy that could have lit the whole of Hogwarts brighter than a hundred suns.

When he opened his eyes a moment later, Ginny was stroking his cheek. They both had tears streaming down their faces in the pain, and yet they were so calm.

“Oh my love, what burdens you had to carry for so long.” She thought to him, “What weight has been on your shoulders. However, you are not alone anymore. We are one, body and soul, now and forever.”

“My dearest Ginny,” he said as he lightly kissed her nose (to which she giggled), “What I have put you through. I never knew. But I know now. We are together, and there are no more secrets.”

Just then, they realized that there was still someone crying. They turned to see Hermione sobbing into Ron’s shoulder, her face contorted with pain. His face was also pain ridden. His look was one of complete horror. They two had also felt the bonding, for it had been that strong.

Ginny and Harry reached out to them, and they quickly ran forward. All four grabbed each other, cried, and hugged. No words were spoken, for none was needed. Everything was in the open. The bond was with them as well, and would be stronger than blood for life…

The group of first years coming in for lessons found them still on the floor, still huddled together, still clad in their clothes from the previous day. Many of the students were getting scared when Dumbledore’s Portrait brought them to order.

“They have just returned from a great ordeal and have not completely regained their senses. Your assignment today is to guard them until they awaken. This is not mandatory and, if any wish to leave, they may do so without penalty.”

With this, McLaggen got up and headed for the door. “They can rot in hell for all I care, I will never help them!” he screamed as he slammed the door behind him.

“Yes, well, that was not a surprise. Is everyone else here desirous of assisting your teachers?”

Everyone nodded.

“Excellent. Form a circle around the four of them.” They immediately complied. “What you need to do is create a barrier for them. Fortunately, you can do this by maintaining your shields in a forward position while keeping in this circle.

“We can call the watchtower, Professor.” A Ravenclaw student called out.

“You can?” Merlin responded, “That magic hasn’t been taught to students in centuries!”

“It is a tradition in our community, Sir.” Another of the Ravenclaws said.

“Show us.” Merlin requested before Dumbledore could interject. The students nodded and four of them stepped outside the circle one-step. They motioned for the others to move in closer. They then sat down in the correct positions and began the call.

“Hear me Raphael of the East, guardian of Air, we call thee to come and give us your blessing as we seek to protect those who would teach us.” The first student incanted, as yellow energy swirled around them.

“Hear me Michael of the South, guardian of Fire, come and protect us as we nurture those who have need of such.” Spoke the second, adding a red energy to the circle.

“Hear me Gabriel of the West, guardian of Water, heal and sustain our teachers that they may continue in your work.” Chanted the third, and blue added itself to the swirl.

“Finally I call thee, Auriel of the North, defender of Earth, come forth, and grant peace to these who have given for us all.” The last exclaimed as a green light formed with the other colors to create a barrier dome around them, the class, and the four.

“Excellent! Well Done! Now you others begin to cast your shields as a chant. All together now…Protego!” Dumbledore instructed

“Protego!” the students began to chant continuously as their shields added power to the barrier.

After about half an hour, McGonagall came into the Room answering the summons of Dumbledore.

“Oh my word, what has happened here Albus?” she exclaimed.

“They sleep, and the young ones have been guarding them faithfully.” He replied to McGonagall

“Except one in particular, I see.”

“Unfortunately, Mr. McLaggen cannot see past his imagined hurts.”

Harry began to stir; the First of the Circle alerted them.

“Harry? How are you feeling?” McGonagall asked.

“Now I know what a hangover feels like, except I didn’t have the drinks.” Harry replied, and then saw the students. “What’s going on here?”

“You are safe in our barrier, Professor Potter. Professor Dumbledore spoke of your work through his portrait and that your personal defenses were down. We have erected this ward circle to keep you safe until you all awaken.” The Third replied.

“You did this for us?” Hermione said on arising. “How thoughtful of you. How did you know?”

Harry pointed to Dumbledore’s portrait, and then asked, “How did you teach them this barrier, Albus?”

“He didn’t…,” said Merlin, “the four on the outer circle created a ward set by calling on the Archangels. This is very old magic indeed. And it would have been given top marks even in my day.”

“Really?” Harry stood up and lightly tested the barrier. He nodded while he poked and prodded. “I agree, Merlin, this is very good work. Fifty points each to the students for both their quality and their dedication to the four of us.”

“Plus an extra fifty to the four who called the watchtower, Harry…” Hermione said. “That is some really advanced stuff, even if it is old.” She smiled at Merlin’s Portrait, and he laughed.

“I agree an extra fifty to the four of you. Now, if you would please down the barrier while Miss Granger and I awaken the Weasley’s.”

The inner circle of students stopped chanting and, while the four outer students released the guardianships with proper respect (again gaining admiration from Merlin and this time also Morgana) Harry and Hermione helped Ron and Ginny to their feet. Ron came up easily, but Ginny took some coaxing.

“Go easy on her Harry;” advised Dumbledore, “hers was the hardest work, so she is more drained than the rest of you.”

“Right Albus thanks.” Harry leaned over and touched Ginny lightly on the shoulder. “My love, can you hear me?”

“Yes, darling, I am with you…always.”

“Can you open your eyes and stand up. Minerva is ready to fetch Madam Pomfrey she is that worried.”

“Please tell her I am fine, I just cannot seem to get my body to function just yet. Forgive me dearest.”

“What for being exhausted? After all you did last night, part of me is surprised you’re even thinking at me.”

“I am always with you, I told you that. We are one, my darling.”

“So we are, so now I am taking you to bed.”

“But won’t that set off the shrill again?”

“Ginny!” Harry looked shocked as Ron and Hermione tried to keep from laughing. Even McGonagall guessed that Harry and Ginny had been communicating telepathically and, from everyone’s giggling, that Ginny was going to be fine.”

“Minerva, would you help me get Ginny to her room, she needs some more rest that’s all.”

“Afraid of the alarm, are we?” Hermione asked with a wink.

“Oh no, not you too!” Harry winced.

“Oh, is that what she said to you without talking?” McGonagall whispered.

“Pretty much.”

“Of course I will help you, and I also want to hear about your little trip.”

“Agreed…Well done all of you! Class dismissed for the day. By Friday, I want an essay from each of you telling me of your experience and thoughts of what happened today. No line minimum, just tell me what you feel and think.”

As the students filed out, Harry, Ron, and McGonagall lifted Ginny up and followed Hermione to the tower. All the while, the newfound peace of soul that she and Harry now shared continued to grow.



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