Harry apparated to the village common, his second step almost took him into a fairly large hole where his family’s statue had been standing. The buildings in the immediate vicinity were leveled or so badly damaged that it was hard to tell what they had been.
Without using his wand, to point out Ginny, Harry walked across the common to the small convenience store on the other side. He was led there by a dread that permeated every fiber of his soul. He had known from the moment he had become sick to his stomach back at the house, after the explosion, that she had been hurt. He needed to find her as quickly as he could since the sense of dread had begun to intensify.
The facade of the store still stood but the front windows were shattered inwards. The food racks were pushed back to the far end of the store and jars, bags, and bottles were strewn all over the floor. Smoke slowly wafted from the edges of the roof of the little convenience store that Ginny had grown to love for its simplicity and charm.
People, or what had been people, were on the floor in several isles. Some were starting to get up others would never get up again. The window had blown into the store in long jagged blades of glass. The store owner had not wanted to spend the extra money to purchase the better shatterproof plate glass windows since they saw no need for the expense. Their frugal decision would cost them their business, their reputation with the community, and the lives of several of their customers.
Those who had been closest to the front of the store had been cut to shreds by those same blades of glass. Blood was all over the place and on several of the shelves of food. A lobster that had been freed from its tank, when the explosion shattered it, was trying to make a slow escape across the floor
Harry’s heart was in his throat as he walked through the carnage to find his wife. “Ginny! Ginny! Where are you?” he yelled. He had only taken a few steps into the store when a familiar voice yelled his name. He ran to the far side of the crushed building and moved one of the shelves aside. Ginny was laying on her side clutching a shard of glass that was almost a meter long and sticking straight through her abdomen.
She looked up at her husband with terror in her eyes. Blood was seeping from around the blade; but Harry knew that he couldn’t pull it out, here, without killing his wife.
He considered using the Petrificus Magnus spell to keep her from feeling any pain but was afraid that it could cause the glass inside of her to shatter into splinters and do even more damage then was already done.
“Harry, I saw your dad’s head turn around and look at me just before the statue exploded. I had been right at the window, but when I saw that, I ran toward the back of the store. I didn’t get far enough. Ahhhh! It hurts so much,” she groaned as she clutched the edge of the glass blade that was sticking out of her abdomen and tried to pull it out. Harry just put his hand on her to stop her from causing herself anymore damage than had already occurred.
He tried to scoop her up into his arms but when he went to move her she screamed in agony. He stopped for a second and tried to figure out the safest way to move her. He took his wand out and levitated her off of the floor, and before anyone else could see what he was doing, stepped forward into St. Mungo’s Hospital.
“Augustus! I need help!” Harry yelled as he moved toward the operating room doors. Two other doctors came out of other rooms, and when they saw what he was doing, grabbed a gurney and moved it under his wife’s body. Harry gently placed her on it as they went to wheel her away. He bent down and gave her one last kiss as they disappeared into the operating theater.
“Mom! Dad! Ginny’s been hurt. I’m at St. Mungo’s. Please come as quickly as you can. It’s bad!” Harry informed his Patronus. It charged off through the nearest wall, leaving Harry by himself, with his thoughts. He turned toward the window, once again, to keep vigil for his injured wife.
Within ten minutes, the entire Weasley clan was standing next to Harry in the waiting room. Ron and Hermione were the last to arrive, since they had to disapparate from their honey moon, half way around the world. Friends started to arrive, once they had heard about Ginny’s injuries.
Molly was holding her son in law since he didn’t seem to be able to stand or function on his own. Ron was at Harry’s right side and was holding him up by his arm. Hermione was pacing back and forth near the operating room’s doors. The family was quiet and conversation was held to a minimum, during the wait.
The time ticked by more slowly as the day went by. The light coming through the window continued to stretch into the room as the sun continued on its course, oblivious to the sufferings of the creatures that needed it for their very existence.
Four hours later, Celeste came out and pulled her operating mask off. She walked over to Harry and the look on her face told him he didn’t want to hear what she had to say.
“Harry!? Ginny was very badly hurt. We were able to remove the glass shard and repair the damage to her internal organs. She’ll have to undergo several weeks of therapy for the restrengthening of the muscles of her lower abdomen,” his friend informed him.
The look in her eyes told him that she hadn’t told him the worst yet. He felt that he knew what she was about to say but he knew that there was no way that he was going to be able to steel himself for the news. “We weren’t able to do anything for the baby. I’m so sorry Harry. He was dead before you were able to get the two of them here. The shard pierced him, he didn't have a chance. The baby bled out before any of us could do anything to save him. I’m so sorry, Harry! I don’t know if she’ll ever be able to have children after the amount of damage she suffered,” she told him as she wrapped her arms around him to give her friend a hug. Harry held her gently for a few seconds and very calmly asked if he could see his wife.
Celeste looked at him for a few seconds before she told him he could go in and see her as soon as she could be moved to her recovery room. The look in Harry’s eyes frightened her in that they were colder and harder then she had ever seen on this young man’s face. She had looked at death several times in her profession but she had never seen it living in someone’s eyes.
Ginny was in bed with the covers up to just under her arms. She was still asleep from the potion that they had given her to put her under so that they could do the repairs to her abdomen and uterus. The healers had smeared a poultice over the jagged wounds just below her navel and the opposing point on her back. It would slowly help the skin to seal back up without leaving to pronounce of a scar in its place.
Harry stood there, looking at his wife. She had always been beautiful in his eyes; even more so when she was sleeping. He took her hand and just stood there watching her. He leaned forward and whispered into her ear. “I have loved you for who you are. I don’t care what happens, so long as you’re always by my side. Use my strength my love to get better,” he told her as he placed his hand on her brow. A dim blue glow emanated from the palm of his hand and slowly enveloped his wife’s entire body.
Molly stepped into the room to check on her daughter just as he touched her. The power that Harry radiated out to his wife could be felt from the doorway of the room. Molly stood there thunderstruck by what she was experiencing. Harry stood there for more then a minute with the glow from his hands intensifying until Molly had to turn her head away from the intensity of the light in the room.
Ginny levitated off of the bed and floated high enough that her blankets were pulled out from around her mattress. Arthur stepped next to his wife and watched as his daughter slowly turned so that she was floating in an upright position above her bed. A blast of light energy radiated out from their daughter as a thunder clap shook the walls of the room and floor. The sound caused Hermione and Ron to join his parents at the doorway. Hermione gasped as she covered her mouth with her hand.
“Harry, stop!! You’re going to hurt yourself. She’s going to be all right. Harry! Stop!” she commanded as she took a step toward the bed. A soft, warm wind blew her back into Ron’s arms, since Harry wouldn’t let anyone interfere with what he was doing.
He slowly returned his wife to her bed and, with Molly’s help, tucked the blankets back in. He stood there next to the bed and watched to see if his wife would awaken.
Molly came over to her son in law and wrapped her arms around him. “Harry you shouldn’t have done that, you could have hurt yourself,” she gently admonished him.
“What I’ve done! I’ve done!” was all that he said.
Ginny opened her eyes, blinked her lashes at her husband and reached out to him with her right hand. Harry fell forward and grabbed it as if it had been a safety line thrown to a drowning man. He sat at the side of his wife’s bed and, leaning forward, kissed her lips. “Rest my love. Everything will be all right now,” he told her in a way that gave everyone in the room chills.
Harry’s voice had changed. It had deepened, with a power that could now be felt as a physical vibration in the ribs of ones chest. No one realized that it was the gift that Merlin had bestowed on him upon their first meeting. Harry had not needed it until now but the stress of what had just happened had triggered its use.
“It’s gone isn’t it?” Ginny whispered to her husband.
He sat there looking at his wife, not knowing what to say or how to break the horrific news to her. He loved her too well to inflict the pain that he knew his information would cause. He cleared his throat and tried to shake the tears from his eyes but was failing miserably at it. Though his face told her what she didn’t want to know her mother slowly came forward.
“Ginny! I’m afraid that the baby didn’t survive the accident,” her mother told her.
“It was no accident!!!” Harry almost screamed. “This was a deliberate attack on my home and family. She’s an innocent; there was no reason for this to be done. Who would want to destroy a statue in the middle of a village that most muggles don’t even know existed. This was a direct attack at me, because I’m investigating the other statues,” Harry told his mother in law with more force in his voice then he had ever used with her before.
Harry bent down and kissed his wife. Without another word, he turned on his heels and walked out of the hospital room. He stopped at the window in the waiting room and looked out at the setting sun. Hermione and Ron came over to him to check if he was all right.
“I say this out loud so that everyone here will hear me. I swear on my life that I will not rest until I identify and destroy those who would attack me and mine. I will not let anything or person stand in my way in seeing my goal accomplished. This I vow on the souls of my parents,” Harry hissed out between his teeth. The power that he was exuding was too much for his friends to stand next to him. They stepped over to the hearth in the waiting room and waited for their friend to calm down.
Though they waited for several minutes the power continued to increase instead of dieing back. Wave after wave of energy pulsed from their friend until it seemed that the very walls of the room itself were going to crumble from the onslaught. The energy in the room only abated when Molly called from Ginny’s room, for Harry to come and talk with his wife.
“I’ve never seen any wizard do what Harry did this afternoon. His power has increased to a point that he’s beyond what most of us can do. I know that Harry is a descendant of Ignotus Peverell, but I don’t know if even the brothers could produce the type of power that Harry exhibited today,” Hermione was telling Ron and his parents as they sat around the table back at the Borrow.
“What I saw him do in Ginny’s room today was something that I had only heard about. He shared part of his power with her. He used his own magic to strengthen her to the point that she was able to recuperate much faster than she should have. We always knew that Harry was special but since he’s married Ginny, it seems that his power has increased even more. I just can’t understand how,” Arthur said to no one in particular.
“Love of our daughter has allowed Harry to come into his own. He’s become a man! Her pain pushes him to produce greater power than he had ever done before. If he intends on following through with his vow; I pity those who are behind these attacks. It’s going to be difficult keeping Harry from eliminating all of those involved,” Molly told the ones who were sitting there.
The four of them had returned to the Burrow when they were sure that Ginny was all right. Harry bade them go home while he stayed with his wife for awhile longer. Hermione and Ron returned with his parents for supper and to await their friend. Once they were sure that Ginny was all right they would return to their honeymoon since the servants on the island didn’t know that they had left. They would have to return to take the plane home in a few days.
A gentle knock on the door was the only precursor to Harry returning to the Burrow. Arthur opened the door and pulled his son in law into the kitchen. “Are you all right Harry?”
“I’m all right Dad. When I left, Ginny was sleeping. Augustus gave her one of his sleeping potions and she should rest through the night. He told me to go home. I just didn’t want to be alone tonight,” Harry admitted to his in laws.
“Your bed is awaiting you upstairs, Harry. You can stay here as long as you need, son. Did they tell you when Ginny would be coming home?” Arthur asked.
“She’s almost completely healed. They’re going to check her out in the morning, and if she’s better they’ll send her home. Mom, I don’t want her to be alone for the first few days. Would you consider staying with us until she gets back on her feet?” Harry asked his mother in law as he joined the others at the table.
“Of course, Harry. Do you want Ginny to go back to Potter’s Pride or come here?” she asked.
Harry sat and thought about it for a few minutes. Would you mind coming to our home for a few days. I want her to get comfortable there again. Once she settles back into her routine, you won’t have to stay any more. Is that all right?” Harry wanted to know.
“That will be fine dear. I saved you some supper; afterwards you can go up to bed and rest. You had a long and arduous day,” Molly told him.
At nine the next morning, Harry returned to St. Mungo’s to bring Ginny home. It took almost an hour for the healers to explain what potions to take and in what order to take them. One of the healer’s assistants came in and smeared another application of poultice onto the site of the injury and covered it with a clean dressing before they would let Ginny get out of bed and put on her clothes, which Harry had brought with him.
Harry wrapped his arm around his wife and took two steps forward. Ginny was greeted by her mother in the parlour of Potter’s Pride. Harry helped her lay down on the couch and covered her up with one of the blankets that she had placed on the back of the couch in the same way that her mother did back at the Burrow.
When Molly was sure that Ginny was comfortable, she excused herself and disapparated away to Haven Home to check on what was on the schedule for that day. She would have to instruct the other caregivers on what to do for the children so she could spend some time with her daughter.
She returned just before lunch and found that Harry was in the kitchen making chicken salad sandwiches for the three of them. Once the plates were on the table he went and gently awoke his wife so that she could join them. She ate quietly, the fire in her eyes, which Harry normally saw there, was out. She answered his questions with one or two words and didn’t try to maintain a conversation on her own.
Harry covered his wife’s hand and sat there quietly for a few minutes. She knew his touch was there to let her know that she wasn’t alone and he understood that she was hurting. For her part, Ginny knew that there was no way that her husband could understand how she was feeling at this point. She felt hollow inside, as if someone had taken a melon baller and scooped her most important parts out of her.
She wanted to tell her husband that she loved him and was grateful for his saving her life again, but she just sat there, trying to figure out how she was going to go on with her life and do the things that she knew her husband needed her to do for them. Ginny felt drained, she had no energy, no drive, and no interest in any thing that was around her. She just wanted to go back and lay down on the couch.
Within a few minutes, she was asleep; once again. Harry stood in the doorway watching his wife. This was not the Ginny that he knew and loved. Her lack of emotion frightened him but he didn’t know how to help her.
As if reading his mind, Molly came over and wrapped her arm around his waist. “Come back in the kitchen with me, we have to talk,” she whispered to him as she pulled him away from the doorway.
“Listen, Harry. This has been a terrible shock to her system. It may take several days to a few weeks for her to come back to her old self. Let’s give her a few days and see what happens. I’ll stay with her while you go to work. There’ nothing you can do for her at this time. We just have to wait,” she told him softly.
Harry walked into the kitchen at 12 Grimmauld Place just after one O’clock that afternoon. Kitchi Proudfoot was at the table with Dawlish. Both men were looking over maps and written reports that were before them. When they saw Harry walk in, they came over and patted him on the back. It was their way of showing him how they felt about what had happen to Ginny and his baby. The look in Harry’s eyes stopped both of them from saying anything.
“Have you gotten any other information about what’s happening with the statues?” Harry asked them.
Dawlish walked him over to the table and showed him what they had been looking at before he arrived. Harry could see that they hadn’t gotten much further than the other day.
“Did you go back and talk with Watson and Harris?” Harry came right to the point.
“We questioned them but they didn’t have any other information for us. They don’t seem to understand how this is happening. We felt that we should look elsewhere since they can’t tell us anything else,” Kitchi told Harry.
“Ginny told me that the statue of my father turned his head toward her just before it blew up.
“He did what?!!” Dawlish asked; astonished.
“The statue turned its head just before it exploded.
What would make a statue move like that before self destructing?” Harry asked himself.
“I’m going to go back and talk with the head of Watson and Harris. I’m positive that the answer to what’s happening, is there. They may not even know what they’re doing to cause the devastation but they are responsible,” Harry told the two Aurors as he walked out of the kitchen.
Harry stepped out from behind a large mound of iron scrap that was tucked off behind the main office of the company that was doing the work on the statues that had exploded. He knocked on the office door and stepped in before any one called him in. There was a young girl sitting at a small desk cleaning out the drawers. A box with the accumulations of a few years worth of paper and notes were piled up on the desk as she shifted through them to see if there was anything important enough for her to keep.
“I’m here to speak with Watson or Harris,” Harry told her by way of introduction.
“You and everyone else, they’re somewhere out in the work yard. You look to young to be an investigator. What are you here for?” she asked him as she threw some of the papers into the box on the floor.
“Perhaps you could help me. Do you know where they get the sealant for the statues?” Harry asked her.
“Another one with questions; what do I look like a library? Thanks to these stupid explosions I just lost my job. It seems that no one wants to have our company take care of their statues if they’re going to explode,” she almost yelled at him as she broke down crying.
Harry could see that this girl was not involved in what was happening but had been hurt by it. She wouldn’t be able to stay in her apartment, since she wouldn’t be able to pay her rent. He took a piece of paper off of her desk and wrote the name and number of Grint and Sons down for her.
“Mister Grint is a friend of mine. Tell him that Harry Potter sent you and wonders if he could use a good office girl,” he told her. She took the slip of paper from his hand and just looked at him. Who comes into an office and gives the person there the only hope for continuing her life as she had.
“I think that Mister Harris is in the small office in the foundry,” she told him.
“Thank you for your help,” Harry turned and walked out of the only door to the office.
A few minutes later, Harry was sitting in front of a small desk talking with Mister Harris. The man was short but seemed to be quite strong for his size. He had worked the furnaces since he had been a young boy and had worked his way up through the ranks to the point that he was able to buy out half of the company from the previous owner and his original boss.
“I’m telling you Mister Potter, I’ve checked everything in our factory. There’s nothing that could cause a statue to explode like that,” Harris told him.
“Have you changed any of your suppliers in the last three or four months. It could be something trivial but it could be the trigger for the explosions,” Harry told him.
“There is nothing that we’re doing new. I’m sorry Mister Potter but we haven’t changed a thing in the last ten years.” Harris sat there for a second as if struck by a bolt of electricity. “Wait a minute; we did change our supplier for the seal coat that we use about five months ago. The old place that we had used for years had a mysterious fire that wiped everything out. We had no alternative but to buy our sealant from another company,” Harris told him.
“Could you give me the name of the company that you’re using now?” Harry asked him.
“I don’t have the name here but it’s in the main office. I’ll have Evanna pull the company’s name out for you. You can stop by on your way out, if that’s all right with you?” Harris checked with Harry.
“That would be fine Mister Harris. If this company isn’t involved in what’s happening I’ll see if I can have a statement made to clear you of any involvement. You may still be able to save your company yet,” Harry told him as he stepped out of the door and headed back to the main office.
Twenty minutes later, he was standing at the table in Grimmauld Place with the name that Evanna had given him. Khyber Iron Works and Additives was the company that was now supplying Watson and Harris with their metal sealant. Harry had found that the new information still didn’t explain what was happening. What could they be doing to the sealant to cause it to explode?
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