Harry slowly opened his eyes, blinking away the glare of the early morning sun. The young man was lying in bed in Sirius’ old room, which he had claimed as his own. Something felt different about the day; something that Harry couldn’t quite place. The elf dressed leisurely without a care in the world, before washing up, and bounding down the stairs.
“Morning, everyone.” Harry said as he stepped into the basement kitchen, and slipped into his chair at the head of the board next to Hermione. Mrs. Weasley smiled in salutation before setting down a plate of bacon and toast at Harry’s place. As the leader took his first bite his former best chum, ignoring his younger sister’s griping, began to speak.
“Harry, I’m sorry for the way I’ve behaved these past few days. I have treated both you and Hermione very indecently; please forgive me.” Harry looked at his fiancée and their faces broke into smiles.
“Welcome back, mate,” Harry and Hermione chanted. “We have so much to tell you! ” And so the couple, starting with what had happened the night after their engagement, updated their best mate on events, which occurred during the last few days.
“Bloody brilliant, mates.” Ron ogled at Harry and Hermione, clearly impressed by the couples’ adventures. “So… when are we going to destroy the you-know-what?” he concluded with a cautious look at his preoccupied sibling and his mother.
“Tonight…as long as I am well, and am able to activate the charms.” Upon, which Hermione gave her fiancé a wary look.
“What do you mean, “am able to activate the charms”, Harry?”
“In order to fully destroy the horcrux using my pure magic,” Harry elucidated, “I will have to wear it as an elf, which means if I am not safeguarded by charms my neck shall be scorched to a crisp by the dark magic.”
“Dumbledore’s hand…”Hermione comprehended, “It was burned black!”
“Yeah, it was.” Ron agreed. At that very moment, McGonagall marched into the room for breakfast and greeted the three of them, confessing she was glad that the trio was together again.
“Daernana,” Harry addressed. “Is there a way to let humans into the Hall?"
“I suppose, humans can enter the Hall if they are accompanied by an elf.” Minerva reasoned, “Why do you ask?”
“Tonight is the night.” Harry stated, “And I want to do it in the Hall, but if Ron can’t get in…”
“Are you sure you’re up to it?” the professor doubted, skeptically.
“I’ll be fine,” Harry, guaranteed, “I will probably have to lie on the daybed, though.”
“Do you want to go out and play Quidditch, Harry?” Ron queried, changing the subject.
“Sure, why not?” Harry answered, “I haven’t played all summer!” The two teenagers then dashed outside to spend several fun-filled hours in the sun on their brooms, leaving behind the two, elven women.
“Oh, I’m exhausted!” Ron whined.
“I’m not,” Harry differed, “Why don’t we go in, and I can show you the Hall?” With that, the two pals headed to the Hall, and boy oh boy was Ron surprised! Hermione was sparring with Minerva! Seeing this, Harry transformed instantaneously before seizing his blade, and diving into combat. Whereas, Ron settled himself contently on the divan and desperately attempted to follow the battle, which was an extremely difficult task to accomplish even for humans with sharp eyes!
“Oi, Ron!” Harry called after sometime, “Would you like to try?”
“Nah, that’s okay.” Ron declined, “I’m fine. I don’t believe I’d do too well.”
“Ron’s right, Harry,” Hermione, said. “Besides, I think it is time for supper. Aren’t I right, Professor?”
“Oh, yes” Minerva emphasized, winking at Hermione. Soon, the group trooped down the corridor, and into the kitchen.
“SURPRISE! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
“Merlin’s beard,” Harry shouted, clapping a hand to his head and gawking at his laughing friends. “Today’s my birthday!” The boy then burst out into a fit of chortles and hurried, alongside his family, to open his presents. Lupin and Tonks gave the elf a couple of defense books, which he decided to give to Ron in private. While Moody gave him a Spy Pin, a device that was like a magical eye except you pinned it to your shirt. In short, Harry didn’t really receive any gifts he could benefit from until he accepted Hermione’s.
“This is my present for you.” Hermione projected her thoughts into Harry’s mind.
“What is it?” Harry thought, opening the box. “Mithril! Love, how did you get this?”
“I have ways,” Hermione laughed. “Do you like it?”
“I don’t like it, Mione.” Harry stated, “I love it!” The elf then pulled his fiancée into the most amorous kiss both had ever experienced, a kiss that left the couple yearning for more. The kiss that caused Ginny to tremble with violent envy and the kiss, which propelled her to cry out in malice, after seeing the foundation of the caress.
“You gave him a bracelet? And he likes it? Merlin’s beard, what a ninny! What an imbecile!” Ginny scoffed.
“You little… witch!” Hermione roared. “How dare you insult the love of my life? You are not… my best friend’s sister, as you once were! Oh, no… you are Malfoy’s little sister!”
“Aye,” Harry joined in. “Lord Voldemort would be proud to have a sharp-tongued little spy like you!” And then… Harry did something unimaginable! The elf struck the girl down with a blast of lightening! The party instantly turned into a chaotic jumble.
“My baby!!!” Mrs. Weasley was sobbing, hysterically.
“What did you do that for?!!”
“How dare you!!”
“I can explain!!!!!” Harry yelled above all the voices. “This girl lying on the ground, before us, is not Ginny Weasley.”
“You have got to be kidding, lad.” Moody rebuked, “If she isn’t Ginny, then why do I not see someone else with my magical eye?”
“We have all been tricked,” Hermione informed them. “Just as he had done before, Voldemort carefully devised a plan to use Ginny and break Harry emotionally.”
“Will you go retrieve a bottle of Vertiserum from the private Black family stockroom, Professor?” Harry calmly asked his grandmother. When Minerva returned with the serum, Hermione tilted ‘Ginny’s ’ head back, and Harry poured exactly three drops into the girl’s mouth.
“Enervate,” Harry intoned, not wanting to use elven magic because of the wizards. The child’s eyes fluttered open and she stared blankly at all the people before her.
“Who are you?” The young elf inquired.
“I am Elwyn Malfoy, the younger sister of Draco Malfoy.”
“Why are you here?”
“I am the only member of the Malfoy household with red hair. When I was born, Father was humiliated, saying: ‘the babe looks like the blood betraying Weasleys! I always knew being related to them would backfire, someday!’ Mother was not pleased either, but I was still her daughter.” Elwyn sighed, wistfully. “By the time, I turned ten, Father had decreed I wasn’t to go to Hogwarts. Instead, my parents employed an educated, retired Death Eater as a tutor, and sometimes in his spare time, Uncle Severus instructed me in the brewing of potions. I was basically kept a secret in this way for several years, that is, until Lord Voldemort took notice of me. The Dark Lord had captured Ginny Weasley, and he commanded that I become an imposter to take her place.”
“For how long, have you been Ginny?”
“Since, the start of her fifth year.”
“Did you relay any valuable information to your master?”
“No, actually. Even while I was dating Potter, I did not learn anything new about what was going on.”
“Where is Ginny Weasley?”
“She is being held at my family’s ancestral home. My parents have been merciful, and have allowed her to continue her studies.”
“Does she love Potter?” Hermione butt in.
“She fancies Dean Thomas, I believe. I only dated Potter to get the inside scoop on things.” At this, Harry and Hermione shared a secret smile and kiss.
“Would your family miss you if you were killed?”
“Father wouldn’t of course, as I am useless in the service of the Dark Lord, Mother might, I guess; and Draco wouldn’t. It is true, Draco and I were fairly close as children, but over the years we have drifted apart.” Having finished the interrogation, Harry snapped the girl’s wand, knocked her unconscious, and threw her in a closet to anticipate further questioning. With that, Harry turned to the stunned members of the Order and spoke.
“The Order will have to go rescue the real Ginny Weasley, tonight. I may join you or I may not because of business. If I do not go, Celeborn shall go in my stead to ensure that the plan is carried out.” And for the rest of the afternoon, the Order planned their escapade; all happiness drained from their faces.
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