Chapter 31 : Chapter 31: St. Mungo's
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“No,” Mrs. Weasley choked out and collapsed in a chair across from him. “You’re to stay here, Harry, while they… they rescue her.”
Not going to happen. He pulled hard on the magic ropes that bound him even though he knew instinctively that a powerful wizard must have put them on him. He looked over to his left and saw that Ron and Hermione were both slumped on the floor.
“They tried to fight us,” Mrs. Weasley answered his unspoken question. “Harry, you can’t go. If you’re killed…”
“You don’t know anything,” Harry snarled at her, so angry at his helplessness that he was ready to breathe fire. “You know how I feel about Ginny! I’m going!” The whole house seemed to shake along with the waves of anger that were pouring off of him.
“I’m her mother!” This time it was anger fueling her voice. “I know and you don’t! You don’t know what it’s like to watch your babies grow and have to face something so evil that-” her voice broke off with a sob. “You don’t know, Harry! To you life is just a few years and the future is inconceivable. I know you think about the future but you don’t know yet what it means to hold your baby, care for it and watch it grow, and the heartbreak of what it means to have that baby die. You don’t know!”
Harry wrenched his hands up, breaking his magical bounds. Mrs. Weasley gasped in surprise but did not move. Instead of following his first impulse to storm from the house, he kneeled in front of her and pulled her into a hug. He wasn’t sure where he’d found the nerve and he didn’t care. She’d lost her son, her baby, this year and it brought Harry quickly back to his experience with the box. What would he do if he ever lost a child?
The honest answer was that he would do anything to keep his children safe. Mrs. Weasley didn’t have that luxury. He could see in her lined, tired eyes that she knew she had to let them go… that she had to let him go. She knew that she might lose several more of her children before it was all over with.
“I have to go,” Harry said, straightening. He was going to bring Ginny back safely, that much he could do. He didn’t have a shred of doubt either.
Mrs. Weasley shook her head. “You’ve been out for almost thirty minutes, Harry. They’ve probably already got her by now.”
“Thirty minutes?!” Harry exclaimed, stepping backwards like he’d been hit. “Why didn’t you wake me sooner?”
Mrs. Weasley shook her head. “I didn’t wake you at all. You pulled yourself out of it.”
“I did?” He blinked in surprise, but didn’t really dwell on it. He went over and pointed his wand at first Ron, then Hermione, rousing them from their stunned ‘sleep’.
“Wha happened?” Ron ran a hand over his forehead. “Last thing I remember I-”
“Remus stunned us.” Harry informed him briskly. “Ginny’s in trouble.”
Ron shook his head, as if clearing it and got to his feet. He grabbed Hermione’s arm and helped her to stand. “Right, let’s go then.”
Harry turned to Mrs. Weasley, his eyes boring into hers. “Where are they?”
This time her tired face told him everything he needed to know. “They didn’t tell me so that… so that I couldn’t tell you.”
Harry swore violently, ready to stomp out of the room.
“Harry James Potter!”
He stopped and turned cautiously back to Mrs. Weasley. He hadn’t even known that she was aware of his middle name.
This time her expression was stern, and she was on her feet again, hands on her hips. “I realize that you want to find Ginny and Merlin knows, I want her found too but there is no call for that kind of language.”
Slightly pink now, he nodded, “Sorry.”
“All right, then. Now, if you wait for news here; they will let me know when they have her. If you want to go out and look on your own, you will probably miss finding out when she’s safe.”
It was so logical, so simple and so maddening that he couldn’t stand it. He gave a sharp nod, walked to the door and pulled it open. Harry slammed it behind him and strode over towards the back garden, fury building with each step that he took until finally he couldn’t take it anymore.
He pulled out his wand, and yelled with all of his rage, as he pointed it at a very large oak tree. It exploded spectacularly, satisfyingly, sending shards of tree flying in every direction and leaving the core to burst into bright orange flames that quickly extinguished themselves into the crater sized hole that remained.
It wasn’t much, but it was something.
“Harry…” Hermione’s voice came from behind him.
He was in no mood to speak to her; didn’t want to hear her remonstrations over destroying the tree. “Go away.”
“I can’t,” she replied simply. “They’ve got her and they’re going to St. Mungo’s. Put water on that fire to make sure it’s out and we’ll go.”
A weight seemed to lift off of his chest as he shot water at the hole; quickly filling it to make sure that it was out. “Is she okay?”
Hermione handed him his cloak. Her grim expression answered him. “She’s alive, but only just.”
If he hadn’t wanted to waste time at that moment, he’d probably have blown up a whole forest. Instead he took off for the house at a run, sprinting into the kitchen to find Mrs. Weasley with the pot of floo powder. “In you go, then,” she told him. “Ron’s already there.”
He grabbed a pinch and chucked it into the dancing flames. “St. Mungo’s!” He called as he stepped in and felt himself spin through. He fell out, barely catching himself before he hit the floor.
Ron was waiting with Remus and two Aurors in their formal robes in an otherwise empty room. “You!” Harry lunged for Remus, ready to strike out at him. The Aurors, two blokes that outweighed Harry by a good three stone, grabbed his arms and held him back.
Remus didn’t even look abashed. “We got her out, Harry. She’s alive and that’s all that matters.”
“I trusted you!” Harry snarled, trying to shake off the two men. “How could do this?”
Remus motioned for them to let go. “If he wants to hit me, he can.” They let go and somehow, Harry managed to keep himself from hitting him. “We got her out safely. You were supposed to trust me and yet, when I told you to stay out of it for your own good, you didn’t trust me.”
It wasn’t the same thing! This was Ginny! “I want to see her,” he growled at the Auror on his right. He was so angry with Remus that he couldn’t even speak to him any longer.
“Sorry,” the man said gruffly. “The Minister has her sequestered. We’re expecting him to charge her with treason if she lives, which,” he added hastily, noting the thunderous expression on Harry’s face, “The Healer said that she probably would.”
“Harry,” Mrs. Weasley put a hand on his shoulder and he jumped. He hadn’t even heard her or Hermione arrive. “Let’s go find Arthur and see if we can’t get any more information.”
He nodded grudgingly and then felt a pang of guilt as he saw the tears on her and Hermione’s cheeks. “Okay, let’s go.” He walked out of the room, not looking at Remus at all.
The two Aurors escorted them up to a small waiting room and thankfully they didn’t run into anyone on the way. Mr. Weasley was pacing inside and he was not alone.
Luna was sitting in one of the chairs, her pale face even whiter. “I was here to see Neville and I heard…”
Hermione walked over to the other girl and they hugged, both crying into each other’s shoulders.
Ron sat in a hard backed chair while Mr. and Mrs. Weasley hugged. Remus spoke quietly to the Aurors and then closed the door before placing several privacy charms on it. “They will be on the lookout for the others. They’re in the Order,” Remus explained to the group at large.
Luna looked between them curiously but did not ask for further details.
“They’ve got her mostly stable,” Arthur told the teenagers as he held onto his wife. “We got there in time.”
“What happened?” Harry demanded, barely controlling his rage.
“She’s been cut up pretty badly,” Remus explained quietly. “When we got there, she was being tortured and the word was that Voldemort himself was on his way for her. I’m not sure she would have survived until he got there.”
Harry closed his eyes, fighting the urge to hit something. It wasn’t fair! She shouldn’t have even been there in the first place.
“What is this nonsense about her being charged as a traitor?” Mrs. Weasley asked her voice choked with tears, although her face seemed to be tinged with doubt. “She’s not a traitor.”
“The Interim Minister sent me an owl saying that with her ties to this obviously dark family, and the fact that there is a leak in the Ministry, that our family is now being looked at as traitors,” Mr. Weasley told them. Each of them gasped in horror and Harry’s eyes flew open. Mr. Weasley was looking straight at him. “He also said that if you would be willing to speak to him, that he would consider dropping the charges against Ginny. In other words,” Mr. Weasley said cynically, “he’s trying to blackmail you and Harry, I don’t want you to give in.”
A wide range of emotions flooded Harry. He couldn’t let the Weasley’s take the fall but he couldn’t see how cooperating with the Ministry would achieve anything. “Is that why we’re not allowed to see Ginny?”
“I’m afraid so,” Mr. Weasley replied solemnly. “I don’t think that you’re wrong though, Harry. I don’t want you to make a deal with the Ministry. They’re getting desperate after Scrimgeour’s assassination and the public is panicked, but that’s not your responsibility. Anyway, Ginny clearly isn’t guilty of passing along secrets to the Death Eaters, and it will come out at her trial.”
If she was allowed a trial. Harry suddenly recalled that many suspected Death Eaters were not even given that luxury. Sirius certainly hadn’t been.
A sickening, nauseous feeling settled into his stomach as he sat down heavily into one of the seats. Even if Ginny survived this, and they didn’t know yet for sure that she would, she might end up in Azkaban for the rest of her life.
The door opened then and Bill, Fleur, Fred and George piled into the room, all pale and full of questions. Mr. Weasley explained again about her condition and what had happened, after Remus had replaced the secrecy charms.
“This can’t be happening,” Fleur said, her accent not as thick as Harry had remembered it. “She’s only a little girl!”
It was the same thing that she’d said about Harry, but in this case, he felt himself agreeing wholeheartedly. Ginny wasn’t a frail, damsel by any stretch of the imagination, but she was only sixteen years old. What she was being accused of was preposterous.
“Why didn’t you call us when you got word?” George demanded of his father. “We’d have helped.”
“There wasn’t time,” Remus answered for Mr. Weasley. Harry felt the anger begin to boil up again. He, Ron and Hermione had been sitting there with him. They could have helped if he hadn’t been stunned. “I got word from Tonks to come immediately, and left straight away after sending my Patronus to your father. He brought in the Aurors that are in the Order. When we got there, she was barely alive.”
“I could have helped,” Harry muttered mutinously, not caring that he sounded about five years old. “We were there with you.”
Remus rounded on him, all traces of his formerly kind self gone. “What if we’d lost you, Harry? Were you not listening to me? Voldemort was coming after her, and he could have gotten you. Dumbledore wouldn’t have been there to save you this time.”
“I can take care of myself!” Harry bit out, getting into Remus’ face. “I’m a damn good fighter and I could have helped!”
“We didn’t need your help, Harry,” Remus reiterated fiercely. “We got her out alive and we lost a member in the process. We can’t afford to risk losing you.”
Slightly taken aback, Harry asked, “Who died?”
“Elphias Doge.” The answer came not from Remus, but from Mr. Weasley. “He was killed by Nott Sr.”
The room fell silent at this, and was interrupted again as the door opened, yet again, this time ushering in an older woman who had blood all over her Healer’s robes. “Well,” she looked around at everyone. “We seem to have quite the crowd. Mr. Weasley, she’s stable now. We have most of the bleeding under control.”
Mr. Weasley pumped the woman’s hand and Mrs. Weasley cried in relief, but Harry could only stare at the woman’s robes. Had all of that been from Ginny? Could her small body have afforded to lose that much blood?
“I am sorry for my attire but I thought you’d want to know, straight away, that she was all right. I’m sorry that we can’t let you see her.” The Healer waved her hand helplessly. “I will do what I can and I promise to keep you posted. Now please excuse me. I must go clean up.”
Harry felt as if his stomach had sunk down to his feet. He’d nearly lost her… he’d nearly lost the chance to see her, hold her, kiss her… marry her. Then an even nastier thought sunk in. If he didn’t kill Voldemort then they wouldn’t have a life.
“Did Ginny say anything, Dad?” Bill’s question broke through Harry’s ruminations.
He looked around to see Mr. Weasley shaking his head sadly as he held onto his crying wife. Harry noted that Ron was doing the same for Hermione and Luna. As his eyes panned the room, he saw Fleur in Bill’s arms and the twins both leaning against the wall, their arms crossed in identical poses of anger.
Remus spoke next, clearly seeing that Mr. Weasley was beyond words at this point. “She was too far gone when we got there.”
“What was she doing there? I just don’t understand why-” Bill began, but Harry couldn’t take it any longer.
“She was a spy!” Everyone swung to face him, very surprised. Hermione shook her head, but he wasn’t paying attention. Ginny’s idiocy had nearly gotten her killed! “She was spying on the Death Eaters to get information for the Order. How she did it, I don’t know.”
“That can’t be right!” Bill said, his scarred face showing his shock. “She’s just a girl!”
“Excuse me!” Hermione barked in indignation. “I’m just a girl, thank you very much, and I’m certainly not sitting on my bum, waiting for some bloke to save the world!”
Technically she was, Harry thought, but decided not to voice it. She was helping him get to where he needed to go, and he doubted he could do it without her… or at the very least it would take him a lot longer.
“But Ginny’s just… she’s… blimey, she’s sixteen already, isn’t she?” Bill suddenly looked like he’d been punched.
“Nice of you to finally notice,” George told him sarcastically. “Ginny’s been our spy, then?” He looked to his father and then to Remus. Neither of them would comment so he turned to Harry. “How did you know she was a spy?”
“It just made sense,” Harry answered. “Plus she told me, at the wedding to be careful, like she’d known something. Then Tonks said-” He cut off, as he suddenly remembered. “Where is Tonks?”
“At the Ministry, filing a report,” Mr. Weasley answered him, although something in his tone sounded off. It was almost like he was humoring Harry about his theory. “She left soon after she brought her here.”
“Tonks has answers,” Harry told the room at large, deciding to ignore Mr. Weasley. “She’s been hiding something since the beginning.”
“Harry,” Remus began slowly, patiently, which infuriated Harry more. “She doesn’t know anything more than what we know. She’s kept a special eye on Ginny, and as an Auror she had more information than the rest of us but she’s been keeping the Order updated. Ginny wasn’t a spy.”
This time all three of the friends gasped. “She was a spy!” Ron told them firmly. “She was the one giving information to the Order, George just said that there was a spy for the Order. It makes sense that it would be Ginny.”
“I’m confused,” Fred added.
Arthur shook his head. “Tonks would have told us if Ginny had been spying for the Order.”
Harry just stared, dumbfounded. “But Tonks knew that Ginny was up to something and you,” he pointed to Remus, “told us to trust Tonks to keep Ginny safe! How could you have not known what Ginny was up to?” It was yet another reason for Harry to be angry with his old professor.
“Ginny wasn’t spying for the Order!” Remus protested, finally looking hurt at Harry’s accusations. “The Order would not use a sixteen year old girl to spy on Death Eaters. How incredibly foolish do you think we are?”
“Ginny was spying,” Hermione told him. “We’re sure of that.”
“Yeah, everything she said and her notes to us… plus she stole Hermione’s cat.” Ron kept his arm firmly around Hermione who’d gasped.
“Did anyone see Crookshanks?” Hermione questioned hopefully.
“Crookshanks will be okay,” Luna assured her, surprising Harry. He’d nearly forgotten that she was there. “Ginny told him that if things got bad that he was to cut out and head home to the Burrow.”
Everyone turned slowly to look at her. “Ginny told him that?” Mrs. Weasley probed faintly. “Why would she do that?”
“Because she knew she was going to get caught eventually.” Luna got up and walked over to Harry, patting his shoulder. “You’ve got it right. Ginny was spying.”
“No!” Mr. Weasley shouted. “Tonks wouldn’t have-”
“Tonks didn’t have a choice, Mr. Weasley,” Luna informed him plainly, in her unnervingly calm voice. It was almost as if she was speaking about the weather and not Ginny’s escapades. “Ginny had her make an Unbreakable Vow before she’d tell her anything. Ginny told Tonks that she was going off to do something stupid and Tonks could help or she’d do it alone. Tonks chose to help, although I think she regretted her vow of silence.”
“What?!” Remus bellowed in shock. He marched over and grabbed Luna’s shoulders. “She did what?”
Harry simply gaped at her as Hermione asked, “How do you know?”
Luna smiled sadly, her eyes never leaving Harry’s face. “Because I was the Bonder.”
A/N: Many thanks to Wolf's Scream and JPx for beta'ing for me!
Also, thank you so much for your patience. I know it has been awhile but it should be better now. As a bonus, there is another Missing Moment posted in the Files section of my yahoo group. The link can be located in my profile.
Many, MANY thanks for reviewing and keeping me motivated. :-)
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.
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