Disclaimer: I do not own the characters or the universe in which they dwell.
Ginny circled her finger on the table top in the kitchen. She found it comforting to feel the rough lines and ridges in the wood brush against her fingernails. It helped her to clear her mind, think. Although it was hard to think in the horribly disturbed atmosphere in the house.
Harry had gone for a wander in the garden to mull over the events of the evening, and had requested for Ginny not to join him. Her mother and father had gone to bed where Ginny thought it likely they would be wide awake and worrying.
James and Albus were in Charlie’s old room, quite unaware that anything tense was going on, and Aurora was sleeping in George’s old room. She had fallen asleep while her father was here. Silas was in Ginny and Harry’s room for now, sleeping soundly.
Ginny rubbed her swollen stomach ruefully, the baby seemed to be tap dancing rather uncomfortably.
She turned her gaze towards the kitchen window, she could see Harry moving slowly around the old tree, hands in his pockets, brow furrowed. Ginny could tell he was irritated at himself.
Of course they had all promised to help Severus protect Hermione, who he believed was still in threat of danger. But none of them had taken him that seriously, they all believed that Draco was gone for good.
She knew Harry was beating himself up for not discovering Draco’s escape sooner; he was berating himself for not keeping a closer eye on Hermione more than he already did. It was his nature to blame himself; he had done it for most of his life.
But the blame for this incident fell on no one’s head other than the Ministry, and even then their decision to keep the information about Draco concealed was done so with the best of intentions.
Neville had received a busted nose for his chivalry of keeping everyone else protected from the truth, and Harry had a split lip for being noble to Neville. That was the petty vengeance wreaked on the both of them.
But Severus’s vengeance on a large scale, coupled with Harry’s would cause far greater destruction.
The door suddenly burst open, and in stumbled Harry holding his right hand aloof, which was bleeding quite profusely. There where thick dribbles of blood leaking from his knuckles.
‘I’ve done it again’ he grumbled, blinking his eyes heavily to conceal his tears of pain. Ginny stood silently from her chair and walked to the medicine cupboard. She picked up the needed supplies in bottles and jars then pushed Harry’s shoulder gently so he sat in a chair.
She pulled a chair next to him and began dabbing his hand with Essence of Dittany. She ignored his winces and sharp intakes of breath.
‘And by “I’ve done it again” am I to believe you picked a fight with the bark on the oak tree and came off worse?’ she asked, not looking at him.
‘Yes’ he winced.
She traced her wand along the deep abrasions on his knuckles, there were no bones broken this time. She wrapped the healed, yet swollen cuts in gauze and then patted his arm to tell him she was done.
She handed him a little tube of cream colored solution.
‘Drink that’ she said bluntly ‘it will ease the swelling and take away the pain’ He just stared at it for a moment. Ginny knew he was contemplating on whether to relish in the pain. She uncorked it quickly and shoved it into his hand; he stared at her for a few seconds, still not moving the potion to his lips, so she took desperate measures.
She took his injured hand in hers and squeezed it hard so he cried out, and drunk the bottle in one gulp.
‘There’s no point in punishing yourself for what’s happened to Hermione, Harry’ she said, shaking her head ‘this isn’t your fault, this is in no way your fault’
‘I just keep thinking that I should have been there you know’ he muttered, his voice a little gruff ‘If I was there, if I had checked up on her while Snape was away… if I had arrived a mere five minutes before any of it happened she would be here… we might all be laughing about the possibilities of what could have gone wrong’ he took his glasses off and rubbed his eyes roughly, pressing the balls of his palms against his brow.
Ginny walked to him and knelt in front of him, holding his knee’s tightly.
‘Don’t be a daft prat’ she said quietly, and Harry peeled his hands away from his eyes to look at her ‘We’re not going to get her back if we sit around moping’
‘There’s no “we” in this Ginny’ he said, sitting up and holding her hands ‘I’m going to go to Spinners End in a couple of hours and help Snape, whether he wants the help or not’
‘But I’m going to help as well!’ Ginny fired up and Harry cupped her cheek with his hand, shaking his head from side to side.
‘No… you’re not’ he hushed, and before Ginny could verbalize the fire that burst from her eyes Harry cut her off ‘I’ve told you Gin, I won’t let you over-exert yourself. You are going to have enough in your hands looking after Aurora and Silas while me and Snape are working’ Ginny’s brow furrowed, and she pursed her lips but she did not dare retort.
‘What are you going to do?’ she asked gruffly, though her eyes were wide and appealing. Harry shrugged as his hands dropped away from her face.
‘My guess is that Malfoy wanted her for some reason or other… he’s got a motive, we just need to find out what it is. Clearly Hermione is important to him in some way… otherwise he would have just’ he winced at the next word ‘killed her, he-he would have killed her then and there at Spinners End. He wants her for something’ his eyes began to wander as he thought.
‘I might start at that name, the name Neville mentioned, the one Malfoy was muttering in his sleep… Amodius Xenobia’ he nodded as he said it.
Ginny stared at him, and as his eyes met hers he was surprised to see tears sparkling on her lashes, she gulped loudly as he wiped a stray tear away from her cheek.
‘Do you… do you think we’ll get her back?’ she whispered, no louder than a single breath. Harry stared at her, feeling helplessly lost for what to say.
‘I don’t know Gin, but I won’t give up’ he whispered back. He lent his face down to plant a kiss on her lips; he grew closer and closer, his lips a bare centimeter away before a shrill scream ripped through the house.
Both Ginny and Harry’s head snapped to the kitchen ceiling where the sound was coming from, and in a second Ginny was speeding up the stairs with Harry close at her heels, a mothers instinct giving her a pace unbefitting to her heavily pregnant state.
She ran to Aurora’s room and flung open the door. Silas was crying in his cot, Harry ran to him and picked him up, trying to sooth him. Aurora was thrashing about in her bed, the covers wrapped tightly around her legs like a coiling python.
She was writhing and squealing; Ginny ran to her and shook her shoulders trying desperately to wake her from her dream.
She noticed a vast amount of sweat beaded over the young girls face, the roots of her black hair were soaked through, her eyelids were quivering wildly.
‘MUMMY!’ she screamed as Ginny pulled her into a hug, trying to wake her up.
Her eyes snapped open quite suddenly, and Harry looked down at the little girl with mixed shock and horror, her pupils were so dilated he could barely tell were her pupils ended and her irises began, a horrid growl seemed to burst from her throat and she spoke in a voice quite unlike her own. She didn’t stutter, she didn’t falter.
‘I said you would…… always be mine’ she growled ‘and you shall be… you are mine!’
Ginny tried to sooth her, she stroked her face as she continued to shake and thrash. She turned and stared at Harry, mirroring his expression. Neither knew what this could possibly mean, but both knew this was a far bigger coincidence than could be expected.
Hello all, here you are, another lovely chapter! Please have a read and let me know what you think! Many thanks!