Chapter 16 : Nightmares
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About a week after his meeting at Gringotts, Harry got an owl from Kingsley. It was about Hermione's parents. Harry invited him to his home. "We really need to get the floo network working for you."
Harry shook his head no. "No thanks. Too many uninvited guests."
Kingsley laughed. remembering Molly's attempt to drag Harry to the Burrow. "The Australian ministry contacted me. Hermione's parents have been located. They are in the town of Brisbane. They have a dental practice there and seem to be happy. Here is the address." Kingsley handed him a sheet of paper. "I would suggest you have them fly there, fix their memories, and fly back. It's really too far to apparate, and since they are muggles we can't use a port key."
Harry nodded in agreement.
"Did you think any more about what you wanted to do Harry? I know at one time you wanted to be an Auror. You, and any other members of the DA are welcome to enter the training program. It takes between 12 and 24 months, depending on the person. Although, I bet for you it would probably be a couple of weeks."
Harry blushed. "I don't know what will happen in the future. Yes, being an Auror is what I thought I always wanted, but now I'm not so sure." He felt like there were pieces missing from his life. "Please tell the Aurors for me that I am going to think about it. I will be meeting with Hermione and Ron tonight. I'm sure they will be happy with the news."
After Kingsley left, Harry sent one of his 'special delivery' letters to Hermione and Ron. Could they please come over for tea at 4? They owled back yes, and arrived promptly at 4. They made small talk about life at the Burrow. Ron brought up Ginny, but Harry didn't seem to notice.
"I have a surprise for you" he said to Hermione with a smile. He handed her a piece of paper. It said on it 10. She looked at Harry. "Look again." It said 10 Hampton. She looked up, then down. Brisbane occurred. Her hand went to her mouth. Australia appeared next.
"HARRY - YOU FOUND MY PARENTS." She hugged him so tight he couldn't breathe. Ron had to pull her off. "Well actually I asked Kingsley to contact the Aussie Ministry. They found them today. They are OK with a dental practice. Do you want to bring them back?"
She nodded yes thru the tears. "When would you like to go? How about three days from now?"
Hermione nodded again. "Ron, are you coming with me?"
Ron said "Absolutely."
"OK then." Harry waved his hand. "Here are your passports, plane tickets, car rental, maps, and money. When you are ready to return, the tickets will turn into 4 tickets."
Ron stopped Harry "Blimey, mate. This feels like Christmas. Are you sure you can afford this? We don't have the money to .."
Harry put his hand on Ron's shoulder. "You know I have more money than I know what to do with. More money than I can spend in a lifetime. Let me do this for you after all you did for me." They thanked him and left, wanting to share the good news with Ron's parents. After telling everyone at the Burrow about her parents they ran upstairs to begin to pack.
When the children were young, Molly and Arthur used to check on them at night. As they got older, it became more of a 'let's see who snuck out.' Or 'who hasn't made it in yet.' The kids had learned how to creep past their room to not wake them.
During the war, no one was sleeping well. Many nights they would be found in the kitchen, or the parlor. They could be motivated to get to bed by telling them since they are up there are chores to be done 'without magic.'
Once the kids had returned to the Burrow, they knew Hermione was sneaking into Ron's room. Molly wanted to put a stop to it, but Arthur said no. "Look at how peaceful they are" Arthur would say. When they didn't do it, they felt terrible the next day.
Ginny was just as bad. Her bed was destroyed each morning. That night, they found Ron sitting against the wall. He was holding Hermione. The front of his pajamas were soaked. His eyes were red too. He just looked at his parents. He closed his eyes, gently rocking her.
Harry was having trouble sleeping too. He began having dreams about the battle. The forest. Being on the run. And Malfoy Manor. Mixed in were good dreams. Doing one of his favorite things, playing Quidditch at the Weasleys. Quidditch was a game played on brooms. You tried to score goals thru three giant rings, and avoid being hit by a large, hard ball. He was the seeker. His job was to try and catch the snitch, a small ball with wings. If you did, the game was almost always over.
He enjoyed having dinner there too. He began to have more recent memories with Ginny in them. Nothing to do with their relationship, but it was a step in the right direction. On this night, his dreams were filled with a feeling his friends were in trouble. He needed to help them. He woke up to find Kreacher standing next to him.
"Yes Master Harry?" said Kreacher.
Harry looked anxiously at Kreacher. "Hermione and Ron need me. I have to go." Kreacher went to get his cloak. Because of his connection with Harry, he was as troubled as Harry was. "Do you want Kreacher to accompany you?" Harry told him no thank you.
Harry apparated directly into the kitchen in the Burrow. He smiled at the familiar sights, sounds, and smells. He began to ascend the stairs. Because of his emotional state, his glow became brighter than normal. It spread to his eyes, which sparkled like sunlight on the pond in the morning. When he entered Ron's room, he saw Molly and Arthur standing helplessly near the window.
Ron looked up at him. "Help her please..." he pleaded to Harry through their link. Harry walked over to Hermione and put his right hand on her forehead and closed his eyes. The power of love flowed from him into her. Her face became calm, and her breathing slowed as she relaxed in Ron's arms.
Ron laid down, holding her tight against him. "Thank you" he whispered. Harry did the same for Ron. and he quickly fell asleep. Molly covered them with a blanket. Both had peaceful looks on their faces.
Arthur motioned for Harry to follow him. They went into Ginny's room. She was thrashing wildly in her bed. The grimace on her face was horrible. She was talking, but no words were coming out. Harry knelt on the floor next to her. Although he couldn't remember all the things happening she had told him, he could not bear to see the pain she was in.
Closing his eyes, he placed his left hand on her forehead. With his right hand, her picked up her left hand and held it against his heart. Thru her hand, he could feel her heart racing. He let his power flow into her to slow her heartbeat to match his. Thru his left hand he tried to calm her.
His mind reached out to hers. He saw scene after scene flash before him. Some were clear, some were not. He was in some of them. He felt they must have some kind of relationship, and now he could see it thru her eyes. She loved him deeply. She had been tortured because of him.
He almost lost himself in her pain. He managed to step back and refocus. The light around them became brighter as he let more and more power flow into her. She was now glowing almost as much as he was. He tried to steer her towards good memories. He chose those of her childhood. And playing Quidditch. They seemed to be the strongest, other than her special ones about him. He could not face those. He felt like it would be invading her privacy.
Gradually, he felt the pain lessen in her heart. She slowly relaxed, and the good dreams replaced the dark ones. Harry let his mind separate from hers. It seemed to him like she didn't want him to. Subconsciously, she knew he was there.
When her smile returned, he pulled away. It was getting light in the room. He had spent most of the night there, but he wasn't tired. He knew he had helped them. Mrs. Weasley gave him one of her bone- crushing hugs. His chest was wet from her tears. "Thank you" she whispered. "Thank you for bringing our child back to us. Will you please stay for a while?"
Harry considered her offer. "I'm sorry. I can't yet.." Molly and Arthur nodded, thanked him again, and watched him disappear. Kreacher had fallen asleep waiting for Harry to return. He was curled up in a chair. Harry conjured him a blanket, crawled back into bed, and fell asleep.
It was late in the morning when Hermione, Ginny, and Ron came downstairs. Their eyes were red, but they looked much better. To Molly, it seemed like all their eyes had a faint glow. "How did you sleep?" asked Arthur.
"I think better" said Hermione. Ginny nodded. Ron asked Hermione if she remembered anything.
"No, why?" Ron explained how upset she was. He knew she was worried about her parents. He was holding her trying to calm her. Then Harry came. He must have sensed the pain she was in. He took away whatever was bothering her, and helped her to relax and sleep.
"He did the same for you Ron." said Molly.
Arthur looked at his daughter. "He also helped you. He was there for several hours, trying to calm you. The love that poured from him was amazing. I thought we were going to lose my little princess. But he brought you back. We can never thank him enough for all he had done for our family."
Ginny was dumbstruck. In her nightmares, she was reliving one tragedy after another. She was drowning. Then it felt like a hand took hers and began to pull her away. Away from the darkness and into the light. She tried to see who it was. He was surrounded by light and by love. Was that Harry? It had to be him.
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