Chapter 2 : Don't Dream, It's Over
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"Ron, we're under attack!"
"You think?" he said ironically and then he turned around the bench to glance out. "I can't see them!" he added while curses flew all over the place.
"Ron, they're aiming to kill!" Hermione screamed while a killing curse hit the opposite wall.
"Mum? What's happening?" Rose asked, entering the kitchen.
"Rosie, watch out!" Hermione yelled terrified just as a curse flew right above her daughter's head.
Ron reached out and grabbed his daughter pulling her behind the closest wall and using his own body to protect her.
"Hermione there's a whole bunch!" Ron said now being able to spot about six to seven masked men outside their house.
"Yeah", he replied sending a curse at them but missed.
He turned to his horrified daughter.
"Rosie go and get your brother. We need to leave!"
As Rose obeyed her father and ran to her brother's room, a curse blew Hermione's whole breakfast in the air, sending milk and orange juice everywhere.
"My breakfast!" Hermione squealed and then jumped out, wand in hand. "Okay that's it! Now I'm really mad!"
"And they just attacked your house?" Ginny asked her brother again.
"Yeah Ginny, I already told ya!" Ron said as he held his daughter in his hug.
They had managed to apparate to the Potters about a couple of hours ago. Hermione and Harry had left almost immediately for the office and Ron with Ginny stayed home to explain what happened to their mesmerised and frightened children.
"What did they want?" Lily asked giving Hugo a cup of tea.
Ron and Ginny looked at each other. Their kids already knew everything about the war and Death Eaters, there was no way they could keep it a secret anyway, their story was included in every history book; but still, they had never lived the horrors they had and so it was hard for them to understand what was going on or why would someone attack their family.
"Yeah who were they?" James asked looking at his uncle but it was Rose who answered him.
"Mum said they were Death Eaters".
"Death Eaters?" Albus repeated, his tone making it obvious that he was torn between a snort or a gasp, as his brother looked from his uncle to his mother in disbelief.
"Yeah", Ginny said hesitantly. "Apparently they've formed a new group under some crazy guy called...what was it again Ron?"
"Apostollo", Ron replied.
"Who?" James asked but Albus interrupted.
"What does that mean? Death Eaters? Are we in danger?"
Ron exchanged another look with his sister and then he replied.
"Yes, I guess we are", he said and was met with disbelieving looks yet again.
"Does that mean we are not going on holiday?" Lily asked and Ron rolled his eyes; they just had no clue.
"Ha! I told you so!" Hugo exclaimed and Lily glared at him.
"No, Lills, sorry but I guess we're not", her mother replied.
James took a relieved look that no one but Albus noticed. As the boy looked at his brother confused two loud pops came from the kitchen, the only place in the house someone could apparate in. When Harry entered the room with Hermione he glanced at the kids.
"So you told them", he guessed from their faces.
As they walked in the living room, Ron noticed his wife's red eyes. She had been crying.
"Hermione? What happened?" he asked as Ginny too stared at her and then at Harry.
Hermione shook her head and sat next to Ron, placing her head in her hands.
"Mum, are you okay?" Rose asked.
"They burned it!" she whispered.
"What?" Hugo asked confused.
Harry sat on the arm of Ginny's chair and confirmed the terrible suspicion that had crossed her mind with a look.
"Hermione what are you talking about?" Ron asked, fear building inside him, but she had burst in tears again.
Ron turned to his best friend and the sadness in his eyes got him really scared.
"Your house..." Harry whispered, Ron's eyes widened and Lily took Hugo's trembling hand into hers. "We went back with reinforcement but...they weren't there and...and the Dark mark was everywhere and it was...burned...along with most of your belongings".
Before Ron could comprehend what he had just been told another loud pop came from the kitchen and Harry run in just in time to see his godson, Ted Lupin, collapsing on the floor.
Neville Longbottom is a teacher. He teaches Herbology at Hogwarts. His students were really fond of him because he was funny, because he never failed anyone and because it was said that he was one of the heroes of the Great Battle that had taken place in Hogwarts years ago. But school was over now. Neville however was already planning his course for the next year, but he was disappointed to find out that he needed the Minister's permission to bring some of the plants he wanted in the country. So that afternoon Neville was visiting the ministry of Magic.
As he waited in the line for the receptionist, the man behind him gestured to his wife.
"Hey Anne isn't that Harry Potter?"
Neville turned to the hall to see a man with messy black hair walking fast towards the elevator. Yep, that was Harry Potter.
"Yeah I think it's him" the woman replied excitedly.
"Wow...he didn't look very happy".
Neville stared at the elevator where Harry had just vanished in concern. All the years he knew Harry Potter told him that he wasn't just not very happy; he was really and extremely pissed off.
Harry burst into his boss' office not even bothering to knock on the door. Matthias looked at him bewildered; never in all the years he had worked with him had he saw Harry so furious. Not at him least.
"What are you...?"
"You have all of these aurors in this office and you still can't stop a bunch of amateurs Death Eaters?" he said his voice rising in every syllable.
Matthias lost his words for a moment. Everyone outside the office was staring at them since Harry had left the door open.
"Harry", he started calmly understanding that yelling back at him wouldn't do him any good. "I know you're upset about what happened to Hermione but..."
"It's not just that! They ambushed my godson!"
"Teddy! They ambushed him! He fought back but someone actually cast Sectumsembra on him! It's a wonder he managed to apparate home!"
"Harry, I'm so sorry",the man said shaking his head. "At least are you convinced now that you, Hermione and your families should go into hiding?"
"My family will go into hiding but I won't. I want in!"
"In?" Matthias repeated confused.
"No,no,no...I don't just want to be in", Harry rephrased his own words. "Make me charge of this whole operation! This joke has to end now!"
"Make me charge, Matthias!" he insisted.
Matthias was ready to argue but then he stopped himself. This whole thing with the new Death Eaters was turning into a nightmare and Harry was without doubt the most capable auror he had and if someone knew Death Eaters that was definitely Harry Potter. He exhaled.
"If you're going to get into this you might as well learn everything about it".
"What do you mean?" Harry asked curious enough to forget to yell.
"It's about the thing you collected in Mexico", Matthias said in a low voice, noticing that some were still looking at them.
"What's that has to do with anything?"
"Close the door".
James knocked on the door and then walked in not waiting for an answer and carrying a tray with food. Teddy sat up with a sleepy look upon his face as the boy approached his bed.
"Hey, mum sends you this!" he said leaving the tray on his lap.
"It smells good", he replied spreading his arms carefully since his body still ached. "Thanks Jamie".
"Don't call me Jamie", the boy said shrinking his nose in dislike.
"Harry always calls you that all the time", Ted said dismissively.
"You sound just like Al. Just because dad does something doesn't mean that everybody should go with it".
"What's that suppose to mean?" asked Ted.
"Nothing", James replied shaking his head. "So, how are you feeling?"
"A little tired...I lost a lot of blood, but your dad healed my wounds perfectly, so I guess I'll stay here with you guys today and hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to go back to work".
"Doesn't it feel weird? Getting healed by somebody else while you're a healer?"
"Well it could be but I don't think I was in state to understand it", he said and James laughed. "What about you kid? How are you dealing with this Death Eater thing?"
"I don't know", James shrugged. "All happened so quickly that I hadn't have time to consider things over".
"I hope those Death Eaters won't cause us any more problems".
"Yeah, you know I was really worried about you".
"Yeah right", Ted grinned ironically.
"Yeah...you know you've always been like a big brother to me and you've always helped me with stuff and I really, really love you and you were always there for me and..."
"James!" Ted cut in finally understanding where this was going. "What do you want?"
"WHAT? Is this the kind of person you think I am? Someone who would say nice things to you just to get what he wants?"
"Yes", Ted said tiredly.
"Ah, well you're right" the boy admitted shrugging. "I...well, here's the thing...I want you to talk to dad about something..."
"James, just know that whatever this is I'm not going to lie to my godfather".
"You won't be lying...just not telling the whole truth".
"Just hear me out, man!" James said before he could continue. "It's about my band".
"The Alaska or whatever you guys are called?"
"It's Anasha and yes".
"What about it?" Ted asked curiously.
"Well...we got selected in the Teenage Battle of Bands!" James announced proudly and his face fell when Ted didn't get excited.
"What the hell is that?"
"It's the biggest summer festival in the whole magical world! It's the biggest opportunity ever! Weird Sisters actually signed their first contract after one of these shows!"
"Wow...it does sound big...well, congratulations kid, well done!"
"Thanks!" said James smiling broadly.
"So when is it?" Ted asked and the smile faded from the boy's lips.
"In two days from now", he replied.
"Yeah and I was bummed because we would go on holiday and I
had to convince dad to leave me here, but then Uncle Ron and Aunt Hermione got attacked and we wouldn't go on holiday and I was really relieved, which by the way I think Al noticed, but then dad said that we should all go into hiding and now I don't know what..."
"James!" Ted yelled in order to stop him from mumbling. "Calm down, kid, will you? What do you want from me?"
"Well, I told you that dad wants us all to go into hiding and performing in frond of four hundredth people and thirty other bands doesn't actually agree with that. So, I thought that I can come to your flat for those days and go to the festival without dad knowing I was there", said James finally revealing his master plan and leaving Ted speechless for a few seconds.
"This means a lot to me Teddy, it really does!" James pleaded.
"I can tell and I'm sorry but besides the fact that I cannot lie to Harry, I think that he or your mother wouldn't even let you come with me under these circumstances", Ted said feeling bad for how frustrated the boy got, yet he went on. "Plus ,you said it yourself Jamie, performing in frond of all those people doesn't actually qualifies like hiding and those Death Eaters proved themselves really dangerous...I mean, look at me...look at Ron and Hermione, who were left without a home..."
They both went silent, James not making eye contact with him, but just when Teddy thought that the boy was going to start crying, he looked up and smiled.
"Okay, don't worry. Just do me a favour and don't say anything to anyone, especially..."
"Yeah, yeah I know, your father", Ted nodded as the boy stood
"Thanks for listening, Teddy", he said as he opened the door.
"Sorry I wasn't more helpful", Ted replied.
"Don't worry" James said and walked out. "I'm going no matter what", he added after he had closed the door behind him.
Ginny left Hermione to try and console her children over the loss of their house and most of their belogings and went out in search of her brother. She knew that he probably wanted to be alone, but she also knew that it would be best if he talked it out. She found him, sitting of the edge of the fence, with a far off look in his eyes. It wasn't until she spoke to him, that he even became aware that she was there.
"Hey", she said approaching him. "Are you okay?"
"I have to be", he sighed with a bitter smile that didn't reach his eyes.
"You know that you guys can stay with us for as long as you want. I mean, the house is big enough for all of us".
"That's not the problem, Gin. Everything is gone, everything me and Hermione worked and fought for...our entire life got burned...just like that!" he exclaimed and Ginny was startled to see her brother's eyes welling up.
"I know Ron, but at least you're all fine", she said rubbing his back.
"Yeah...for how long?" he replied and Ginny shook her head.
"Don't say that".
"You saw what happened to Teddy, they almost got us too...those guys are not kidding Ginny and we..." he said but stopped when he saw the tears in his sister's eyes. "Gin, don't...I'm stupid, I don't know what I'm talking about, I'm just so bummed about our house that I'm being pessimistic, I shouldn't have..."
"No, Ron. You just said what I was thinking", she said, dabbing away the tears before they had a chance to fall.
"Ginny we made it the last time..."
"The last time I didn't have kids, Ron" she yelled.
"Don't tell me to calm down, Ron! Those lunatics are somewhere out there and my husband, my children; my whole family is their target!"
She didn't know how she had gone from consoling him, into yelling at him, but she didn't care. The stakes were too high this time, she couldn't deal with the possibility of something happenning to any of them.
"Ginny, you know that Harry won't let anything happen to them", Ron whispered wishing his best friend was there to reassure his sister.
"Yeah, but what if something happens to Harry?" she asked with a suddenly cold voice.
"Harry is strong Gin", Ron replied not even bothering to give another argument. "You know he's always gonna be okay in the end".
"You don't know that", she argued. "Just because he has survived everything so far, it doesn't mean that at some point, he's not going to run out of luck!"
"Ginny!" Ron said strictly. "This is going to end soon, I assure you!"
"Fine. Say that Harry and his precious aurors manage to stop the new Death Eaters, then what's going to happen?"
"What do you mean?" Ron asked confused.
"Come on Ron!" she said indignantly, turning to face him. "Everybody knows that Matthias is resigning this year and who's going to replace him? And Harry is going to become head of the auror office and he's going to fight bad guys until he gets killed and..."
"Harry is an auror almost two decades now, Ginny. Did you just figure out that his job is dangerous?"
"No, Ron", she replied ignoring the irony in his voice. "I just wish he would let somebody else save the world for a change".
"Would you love him if he did?" he smiled and as she sighed Ron hugged her."I'm sure we're all going to be alright", he added and then looking at her he suddenly started laughing.
"What?" she asked annoyed.
"You're amazing, Ginny, you are. My house and most of my belongings got burned and yet you're the one who needs consoling!"
"Oh, shut up".
Ginny started running down the hall as fast as she could with a wounded leg. All the windows were broken and as she stepped in the living room she saw that most of their furniture was destroyed. A loud scream echoed from upstairs and the woman wished it didn't belong to anyone she loved but to one of the Death Eaters that had attacked their home.
She looked around her for something that could help her fight since her wand was broken. Just as she walked towards the baseball bat Hermione's father had given to Hugo, a Death Eater stepped into the room and shot a curse at her. The curse lifted her in the air and send her right upon the opposite wall. She hit her head and her upper body really hard and as she dropped to her knees she felt blood running down her face.
The Death Eater moved closer raising his wand to finish her but as he opened his mouth to say the killing curse a flash of red light hit him and he fell on the floor motionless. Harry run to his wife and helped her up. She was shaking but she couldn't help but notice the big wound on his left shoulder.
"Gin are you okay?" he asked her.
"Yeah, are you?" she returned the question but he dismissed his injuries with a nod.
"Ginny, listen to me. Lil is in the kitchen, which I protected against Death Eaters as much as I could. Gin, I need you to take her and leave".
"No, I'm not leaving you, I'm not leaving the boys", she said shaking her head.
"Ginny you're hurt and you don't have a wand! Take Lily and go! I'll find the boys and follow", he said and pushed her towards the kitchen but she wouldn't move. "Ginny, please go!"
"Gin, think of Lily!"
"I can't leave you Harry".
"Gin, I'm not going to die! Just go!"
"But I can't..."
"You have to! Now, go, please, I'm begging you!" he pleaded and she finally obeyed him.
She run to the kitchen and grabbed Lily. The girl was shaken and had a bruised eye but other than that she was alright. With Lily's hand into hers she was ready to apparate along with her, using her daughter's wand, when she heard loud screams. What make her heart froze was the fact that they were screams of excitement.
She run back into the living room and for a moment she thought no one was there but then she saw him. She didn't control the scream that escaped her throat; it was like it belonged to somebody else. Harry Potter, her husband, the father of her children, the love of her life was lying on the floor drown in his own blood. She dropped beside him just as she heard Lily's scream from somewhere far away in spite the fact that she was standing at the door.
Somehow he was still conscious and he managed to whisper her name as she placed his head on her lap. His trembling hands were pressed against his stomach, that's where the wound was. She ripped a part of her shirt off, wrapped it and pulling his hands away she pressured it on his wound. Tears run down her face as her hands filled with his blood.
"Gin", he whispered again.
"Don't talk", she said as she placed her palm on his forehead, her lips inches from his cheek. "It's gonna be alright, you're gonna be okay".
"Ginny...I'm cold", he said and the panic in his voice scared her more than everything. "I...I cannot feel my legs".
"No", she said her tears falling down on him. "No, you won't Potter. Don't you dare die on me...don't you dare leave me!"
She looked around for his wand...she could use a spell to stop the bleeding and then drug him in the kitchen and apparate at Saint Mungo's. But as she made to pull away in order to get the wand and make her plan come true he took a weak hold of her hand.
"Wait...don't go", he murmured his whole body shaking, his face white as paper.
He fixed his eyes on hers and the pleading in them made her sat still and also made her realize that he was going to die.
"I love you", he whispered and his head fell on the side, his eyes staring at nothing and Harry Potter was dead, leaving her back, still alive and swimming in his blood.
Ginny screamed as hard as she could and when she couldn't scream anymore she put her head in her hands and started sobbing into them, her whole body shaking, just like his did before he died. His vacant stare came back at her and she didn't notice immediately the warm hands that hugged her shoulders. When she finally did she jumped in shock and grabbed one of them, turning to face the owner.
Harry was staring back at her alarmed just as her eyes widened in shock. She looked around her and realized that she wasn't lying in the living room floor but in her bed. Then she turned to face him again, her breath trembling, her eyes swimming in tears. She placed her hands on his face, feeling his skin against hers, and then she moved her right hand across his bare chest, feeling his heart, making sure it still pounded. Then she hugged him tight, never wanting to let go.
"It's okay Gin, it was just a bad dream", he said as he stroked her hair.
She finally relaxed in his arms and as they sat in silence she was listening to his heart beats, thanking God that it was only a nightmare.
"What did you see?" he asked when she finally let go of him.
She looked at the emerald eyes that she loved so much and the picture of him dead in her arms came back at her.
"I saw you", she replied, silent tears still running down her face.
"Was I so scary?"
"You died", she said and he sighed.
"Gin, I'm not going to die", he said and a sad smile appeared on her face.
"That's exactly what you said in my dream before you did".
"You can't think like that, my love. You're only torturing yourself", he said shaking his head and wiping her tears away with his thumbs.
"I can't lose you".
"You won't...we're gonna make it through this...together", he said and kissed her lips softly.
She sighed and Harry hugged her again.
"Just know", she said looking up at him, "that I wouldn't make it without you".
He looked at her with a serious look on his face.
"Yes you would", he said and she sat up looking at him. "You'll have to...for Jamie, Al and Lily".
"I know that it's probably not the right time for this but given the situation with the Death Eaters, I think we should make this conversation".
"What are you talking about?" she asked confused.
"Gin, if something happens to me..."
"You were the one who told me not to think like that! If I can't think like that, you can't either!"
"If something happens to me", he repeated without commenting her words, "I need to know that you'll be okay".
"Okay? I just had a nightmare of you dying and I was scared to death...you think that there's a way for me to be okay without you?"
"I'm not going to die", he repeated. "But if I do you'll be the only one to protect the kids".
"Fine", she said. "I'll promise that if something happens to you, I'll try and be strong for the kids, if you promise me the same thing".
"What?" he asked perplexed.
"Will you be okay and strong if I die?" she asked raising her eyebrows.
"You're not going..."
He looked at her. He couldn't imagine his life without looking at her face, without stroking her hair, without kissing her lips, without touching her skin, without caressing her body.
"I will", he responded and she nodded.
"Then I will too".
Harry was walking a big hall in the Ministry along with Hermione. He hadn't told her yet what Matthias told him, he just didn't know how. Plus he had to tell her that he was now charge of the Apostollo case. He opened his mouth to talk but Hermione beat him to it.
"You look really tired Harry", she said looking up from the papers she was holding.
"Yeah...Ginny and I didn't sleep at all last night" he replied and she laughed.
"You guys are unbelievable! All these things happening and still all you can think is how to grope each other as always!"
"What? No", he said shaking his head. "Ginny had a nightmare and it took me like forever to stop her from crying".
"Ginny...crying?" she asked in disbelief.
"Yeah, I know, but I think these later events really shook her. I'm kind of concerned actually".
"I know it's strange...Ron told me she got upset yesterday when they talked in the garden" she said and Harry shook his head deep in concern.
Hermione suddenly burst into laughing out of nowhere.
"Why are you laughing?"
"Well...it just came back to me...remember when we watched the Titanic in my parent's house?" she said still laughing and Harry joined her.
"How could I forget?"
"Your wife must have been the only woman in the whole wide planet who didn't cry!"
"Instead she was outraged!"
"Yeah...because that stupid fake-redheaded couldn't move her butt just a little so that the fox would be saved as well!"
"Oh, you remember her words exactly!" he said.
"And Ron was trying to explain to her how romantic the movie was!" Hermione giggled.
"While he was crying his eyes out!" he said and they both roared with laughter.
"Okay, enough, my ribs hurt!" Hermione said after a while and she tried to suppress another outburst of laughter. "Still that makes it even harder to explain why Ginny is taking it so hard", she added and Harry became serious at once.
"I don't know...I mean yeah it's weird, but even before this whole Apostollo thing she was acting kind of strange", Harry said as he began walking again.
"Strange? What do you mean?"
"She just got irritated over nothing all the time".
"Well, that sounds like Ginny to me" Hermione said smiling. "You should know by now that the Weasleys have a nasty temper! She always gets irritated when Ron..."
"Yeah, Hermione, but she never did that with me! I mean I'm just realising that something is wrong", Harry said and stopped walking again.
"Oh, come on Harry. I'm sure it's nothing. It's not like she's acted like that before".
"Oh, she did act like that before, but that was back when she was..." Harry started but cut his sentence as he finally recognised the signs. "Oh, my God!" he said and closed his eyes.
"What?" Hermione asked alarmed.
Harry opened his eyes and smiled at her tiredly.
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