Chapter 1 : The Touch of Love
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The Final Battle was raging on at Hogwarts and Ginny Weasley had defied her mother’s orders to leave the castle, instead choosing to help the wounded fighters. Things were currently not looking good for the Order; she was forced to admit to herself as she knelt next to a young girl who had gotten caught in a cross-fire before she could be evacuated and was now crying for her mother.
As she sat there, holding the distressed girl’s hand and whispering words of comfort, Ginny was forcefully reminded of the nightmares which had plagued her practically every night since Harry left on a mission for Dumbledore, the details of which only he, Ron and Hermione knew.
The only thing Ginny, or anyone else for that matter, knew about the mission, was that it was the only way to bring Voldemort down. The very fact that Harry had knowingly gone looking for the wizard who was determined to single-handedly murder him, was reason enough for Ginny to live, fearing for his life around the clock. The fact that she still hadn’t seen him, even though the Final Battle was well underway, did nothing to alleviate her fears.
Every night in my dreams
I see you, I feel you
that is how I know you go on
Suddenly, a booming voice brought all duels to an abrupt halt. It was Voldemort, telling Harry to surrender or risk losing everyone he held dear. After that, several things happened in quick succession. In the still moment following Voldemort’s announcement, Ginny could have sworn she felt something brushing past her. But when she looked around, the only visible person even remotely close to her was Angelina.
As the older girl came closer, Ginny realized that she must have seen Fred’s corpse in the Great Hall, because her red eyes strongly suggested that she had been crying. The first thing Angelina said when she reached her, only confirmed that she did indeed know about Fred’s death.
In urgent tones, Angelina told her; “Ginny, you had better get back to the Room of Requirement, pronto! Your Mum is trying to check on all her kids after what happened to Fred and you’ll be in big trouble if she finds you disobeyed her and left the Room.”
Slowly getting to her feet, Ginny nodded; “Right, thanks Angie! Could you take this girl to The Great Hall? She got caught in a cross-fire and is pretty traumatized, as you can imagine.”
“Sure, I can do that, no problem, now get a move on!” With those words, Angelina helped the barely conscious girl to her feet and proceeded towards the Great Hall, leaving Ginny to make a run for it, before her mother could realize that her orders had been disobeyed.
With the speed at which she was running, it took mere minutes for Ginny to reach the safety of the Room. Slamming the door behind her, she sank to the ground and leaned against the wall with her eyes closed. Gradually she felt the tears start rolling down her cheeks, evoked by the fact that she was alone for the first time since the Battle had begun and because she had never before been so scared for her loved ones and herself.
Since she thought that she was alone, Ginny completely let herself go like she hadn’t in months, hugging her knees and rocking back and forth as she sobbed helplessly. Every worry and fear that she had concealed while Harry was away came pouring out in an uncontrollable torrent of salty tears. But then, a scuffling sound coming from behind the bookshelf opposite her, made her look up with a start.
It turned out she was not alone after all, a minute later, Hermione emerged from behind the bookshelf. At the sight of the youngest Weasley’s hunched up figure sitting on the floor in tears opposite her, Hermione dropped the book she was holding and raced over to her young friend. In minutes she was on her knees beside Ginny, pulling her into a sisterly hug she asked gently; “Ginny, what happened?”
Slowly Ginny looked up; “Nothing, I’m fine,” she said, though her tear-streaked face and shaky voice clearly told Hermione otherwise.
Meeting Ginny’s gaze, Hermione proclaimed skeptically; “Ginny, anyone can see that fine is the very last thing you are right now!” Sensing that she had pushed the right button towards getting her friend to crack, she added more gently; “It helps to talk about your fears you know.”
Stubbornly wiping away a few stray tears, Ginny found herself putting all her greatest fears into words before she knew what was happening. “I don’t want to sound like a baby ‘Mione, but you have no idea how terrified I am right now. This whole year everyone worried about Harry, Ron and you, but I was the only one who had to live with that fear constantly. You were all so far away and no one knew what your mission was really about, it was horrible!”
Far across the distance
And spaces between us
You have come to show you go on
Ginny paused there for a moment and shook her head, as if trying to rid her mind of a nasty mental image before continuing; “This may sound wicked ‘Mione, but I admit I was more afraid for Harry than for you or even Ron! I love him more than anyone will ever be able to comprehend and it was the helpless feeling I had building inside me that drove me to rebel against Snape and his Death Eater cronies in the first place.”
When she had finished her little speech, Ginny nearly broke down again, but this time Hermione squeezed her shoulder comfortingly, helping her to keep her composure. “You know Ginny, he missed you too. After Ron abandoned us, he would look at the Marauder’s Map every night, just to watch you going about your daily business. Don’t ever think he forgot about you even on such a dangerous mission!”
Near, far, wherever you are
I believe that the heart does go on
Once more you open the door
and you're here in my heart
and my heart will go on and on
She smiled at the pure relief reflected in Ginny’s eyes; “See, I told you it helps to talk when you’re worried about something. On a more serious note though, you said you feel helpless as far as fighting Voldemort is concerned, right?”
Ginny nodded the momentary relief in her eyes replaced by confusion, which diminished only when Hermione pulled a strangely familiar-looking stone from her pocket. “Do you know what this is?”
“The Resurrection Stone,” she murmured in an awed whisper. “Ron told me about the Hallows when he arrived at Shell Cottage. I could hardly believe it, his story seemed so far-fetched. Do all the Hallows actually exist then?”
“Yes, they do,” Hermione confirmed. “But we don’t have time to discuss the other two just now, I have a plan involving the Stone. If this works out you won’t be helpless anymore, in fact you’d probably give Harry the support he needs to defeat Voldemort.”
“How?” asked Ginny, completely intrigued by Hermione’s plans.
“Well, the Stone gets activated if you squeeze it, thinking hard of the people you want to see. There’s a catch though, the spirits called upon by the Stone can only have physical contact with the one who called them, in this case, that would be you. Harry will be able to see and hear whomever you call, but they won’t be able to touch him. This could be distressing for the spirits, because while the Stone is activated they have completely human feelings. I suggest you take the Stone and hurry to the Great Hall, Harry and Voldemort should be facing each other soon according to my calculations. Good luck, when the time comes, you’ll know what to do Ginny!”
After giving Hermione a grateful hug, Ginny turned and sped towards the Great Hall, hoping she wasn’t too late to help Harry. It struck her as ominous that she didn’t meet a single Death Eater on her way there, which could only mean they were all gathered in the Great Hall already. Since she was certain that this was the case Ginny stopped in the Entrance Hall. Slowly she withdrew the Stone from her pocket and closed her eyes focusing on a mental image of the two people whose presence in this situation would mean more to Harry than anything.
She kept her eyes firmly shut in deep concentration, praying that this would work out for the best, not daring to open them until she heard a gentle voice say her name; “Hello Ginny.”
Letting out a breath she hadn’t realized she’d been holding, Ginny opened her eyes. Standing before her were Harry’s parents, Lily and James Potter. When it sank in that the Stone had effectively heeded her prayers, Ginny was overwhelmed by relief and began to weep. Lily and James exchanged an awkward glance and then Lily mouthed at him; “Go look for Harry I can handle this!”
James looked doubtful, but slipped silently into the Great Hall nonetheless. As soon as he was gone, Lily turned back to Ginny who had already wiped away her tears and now merely looked embarrassed that she been seen in such a vulnerable condition.
Sensing this, Lily kept her distance and simply said; “Ginny, why were you crying? It shouldn’t be such a surprise that we came, the Stone can sense whether you were summon a spirit with personal gain in mind or to help a loved one. You aren’t only doing Harry a favor today; I can’t even begin to tell you how grateful James and I are that you called us today. We may not have been physically present in Harry’s life since he was a year old, but that doesn’t mean we love him any less. You should be proud of yourself for giving him the love we couldn’t!”
Love can touch us one time
and last for a lifetime
and never let go till we're gone
Love was when I loved you
one true time I hold to
in my life we'll always go on
With a weak smile, Ginny nodded, but before she could actually speak, the doors to the Great Hall swung open and James re-emerged looking very worried. Lily’s expression matched his, as she ran towards him; “Jamie, did you find him?”
“Oh, I found him alright, not that it did much good. A Death Eater got to him first, it was only a Stunner but I couldn’t do anything about it, because for some reason I can’t touch him!”
“What do you mean you can’t touch him?” Lily asked, looking skeptical. Neither of them noticed Ginny frown in concern, she understood his meaning perfectly but was now faced with the unpleasant task of telling them why they couldn’t touch their son.
To delay the moment when she would have to break the bad news to Lily and James, Ginny pushed past them to see Harry with her own eyes. She felt her heart skip a beat at the sight of him, lying sprawled on the ground in the middle of the room, clearly unconscious. Blatantly ignoring the surrounding fighters, she raced over to him and dropped to her knees beside him.
As she stared at his motionless body, every nightmare she’d had that year seemed to merge into one endless reel of torture, playing mercilessly before her eyes. Every nightmare had ended like this, the only difference being that in the dreams; Harry had always been dead instead of unconscious.
As soon as this unnerving thought occurred to her, Ginny let out a strangled sob, but was denied the chance to break down completely by the arrival of Lily and James. He had evidently been trying to prepare Lily for the more than upsetting sight of Harry on the ground. It soon became apparent, just how necessary this was. As soon as she saw her son, Lily’s first reaction was just like Ginny’s, but far less suppressed.
Ginny, who had calmed down by this time, watched sympathetically as Lily attempted to touch Harry, only to meet some kind of invisible barrier just a few inches short of contact. After her third unsuccessful attempt, Lily finally gave up.
“Try the Revival Charm, Ginny!” Ginny looked up slowly, it was the first time James had spoken since he had told them that he’d found Harry and though his tone was even when he spoke now, the pained look in his eyes betrayed the desperation he was feeling. Ginny’s hand shook as she lifted her wand; the Revival Charm was one of her weakest and the fact that Voldemort could return at any moment did nothing to banish her nerves.
“Ennervate,” she said, as calmly as possible. Disappointment welled up inside her when nothing happened, much as she had expected it to be so. After brooding on her failure for a moment, Ginny finally realized something: Lily had stopped crying at long last. Intrigued by the reason for this development, Ginny shot her and James a sideways glance.
What she saw gave her an idea: After whispering something which evidently had a calming effect in her ear, James leaned closer to Lily and kissed her tenderly. When he pulled back she had a smile on her face for the first time since first laying eyes on Harry.
Near, far, wherever you are
I believe that the heart does go on
Once more you open the door
and you're here in my heart
and my heart will go on and on
“Flower look!” Lily felt her jaw drop, as she too turned to see what James was getting so hyped up about. Ginny was in the midst of planting a kiss on Harry’s lips, as a last resort to try and revive him. A few heart-stopping moments later, his eyes eased open.
Before they could display their relief at his recovery however, the ancient oak doors of the Great Hall were demolished with a resounding crash and Voldemort swept imperiously into the room. James and Lily backed away, into the shadows, while Ginny pulled Harry to his feet.
He groaned and rubbed a spot on his head; “Merlin that hurts! What happened, Ginny?”
“A Death Eater Stunned you,” she replied shortly, eyes brimming over with concern. “Are you alright?”
Harry just smiled grimly; “I’ll have to be alright, won’t I?” With that he indicated in the general direction of Voldemort, who was coming steadily nearer. At that moment, Ginny couldn’t help but marvel at his courage. Before she knew what was happening, Voldemort reached them.
He stood coolly opposite them and sneered maliciously; “Ah Harry, is your pretty little girlfriend here going to be the next person to die for you?” His expression at that moment, was one of such pure loathing, that Ginny felt the last of her courage vanishing.
Yanking her arm out of Harry’s grasp, she took a tentative step towards Voldemort and begged him desperately; “Please, leave Harry alone!”
Voldemort merely smirked evilly;”Well, doesn’t this scenario look familiar? Harry, you presumably know what I’m talking about and also how that ended. Do you really want history to repeat itself?”
Meanwhile, James and Lily had fearfully watched Voldemort’s every move from the shadows. At his last comment, their expressions changed. Lily looked more devastated than ever and James simply looked very confused.
“What on earth is that git talking about, Lils?” he asked with a frown.
“This is exactly what happened just before he killed me,” she explained sadly. “Voldemort must have noticed the similarities, you know, a red-head begging for Harry’s life to be spared and all. And of course that occasion ended in my death, that’s what he means by history repeating itself.” She paused for a moment and then blurted out in clear desperation; “The memory will crush him Jamie, how on earth is he going to pull this off?”
Giving her a comforting hug, James pointed out; “Harry’s tough Lils, he can do this! Besides, if you ask me, he looks angry rather than crushed right now.” At his words, Lily turned and scrutinized her son in the distance.
Turning back to him, Lily raised her eyebrows skeptically “How can you tell?” she asked.
James made a disbelieving noise; “You’re seriously asking me this? Honestly Lils, I’ve been faced with your fiery temper practically ever day of my life and even after-life. It might have escaped your notice, but while Harry may look like a clone of me, his personality is a copy of yours, right down to the way his emerald eyes glint when he’s angry!”
When he had finished explaining, Lily grinned sheepishly; “Sweetheart, you know me too well! Some would call me your obsession, you know?”
“They would be completely right in saying that,” he whispered and leaned in for a kiss. Before their lips could meet however, an increasingly loud cheer snapped their attention abruptly back to the Battle or lack of it rather.
They saw Harry standing in the middle of the room, with two wands in his hand and Voldemort’s dead body at his feet. It was only when he turned to look at Ginny, who was clinging to his hand as if her life depended on it, that they noticed how miserable he looked.
They watched her hug him, wondering all the while if she would tell him that they were there. That question was answered in the nicest way possible, as she turned suddenly and dragged Harry towards the corner where they stood.
Harry’s confusion was increasing by the minute, as he jogged along behind Ginny. “Ginny, would you please just tell me the objective of this whole exercise?”
She shook her head, smiling inwardly to herself; “You’re going to love this, I promise!” Before any more words could be exchanged, they reached the corner where Lily and James stood waiting. Harry stopped short at the sight of them and felt the tears prick the corners of his eyes.
Slowly he turned to face Ginny once more; “How did you do this?” he asked shakily. With a smile, she raised her fist and showed him the Stone still nestled in it.
“You actually have Hermione to thank for this, she gave this to me! Here, you need to hold it.” With that, she carefully handed him the Stone. In the brief moment while the Stone changed hands, the spirits flickered like a weak signal, but as soon as Harry had it firmly in his grasp they were back, seemingly stronger than before.
Once she had handed the Stone over, Ginny backed off to give the Potters some privacy. That was just what they needed, she realized, as she saw Lily break down the minute she had her son in a tight embrace.
It was only when her gaze shifted to James however, that the lasting impression of Harry’s parents implanted itself in her mind. Thinking back, she realized that while Lily had openly cried more than once that day, James had been in perfect control of his emotions throughout, an admirable feat considering the circumstances.
A few minutes later, Ginny snapped out of her musings to see Harry standing before her. The only thing she could register before their lips met was the fact that though he looked more exhausted than ever, the weariness was now accompanied by a genuine smile, which was really all that mattered.
Eight years later
“Ginny, why don’t you go get rid of that Boggart in the attic while I give James a bath?” Harry suggested one day to his wife. The Boggart was the only thing still out of place in their happy family home and so she agreed.
With a smile, she listened to James’ giggles in the bathroom as she climbed the stairs and soon found herself facing the spare wardrobe in which the Boggart had taken up residence. With her hand clenched tightly around her wand, Ginny unlocked the wardrobe.
As soon as the door creaked opened, two corpses came tumbling out, one was large and the other tiny. By some eerie coincidence, the force of the bodies hitting the carpet caused them to roll over. At the sight of their bloody faces, Ginny’s wand fell to the ground with a clatter and she screamed.
Seconds later, the sounds of pounding footsteps reached her and Harry came sprinting into view, holding James in his arms. At the sight of him, Ginny dropped down on her knees and wept completely overwhelmed by relief. After a split second of hesitation, Harry knelt beside her and asked gently; “Baby, what happened?”
Once she had calmed down enough to speak, Ginny pointed a shaking finger at the wardrobe and croaked; “The B-B-Boggart turned into yours and James’ corpses, I’ve tried so hard to get rid of those memories, but my worst fear is still your death.”
You're here, there's nothing I fear,
and I know that my heart will go on
we’ll stay forever this way
you are safe in my heart
and my heart will go on and on
When she had finished, Harry met her gaze; “Listen to me Ginny, I can’t promise the remaining Death Eater’s won’t want revenge one day, but I can and will promise you this: If that day comes, I will do anything and everything in my power to keep you, James and the new baby safe!”
One look into his eyes told Ginny that he meant every word, there was a fierce determination reflected there which she had seen once before; “You look exactly like your father right now,” she whispered.
“So I’ve been told,” he replied with a smile. “And considering we named the best boy in the world after him, I think I’ll take that as a compliment!”
“You should,” she murmured, leaning her head against his chest. At that moment she realized, that no matter what obstacles life put in their path, with just a little touch of love, anything was possible.
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