Chapter 8 : Warnings and Curses.
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Her vision was blurry with tears.
“Please,” Ginny gasped, holding up a hand shakily. “Not again, I don’t know anything, please!” she screamed. The woman laughed and screamed the curse again. Ginny writhed on the floor, pure agony spreading through her veins. The scene changed.
She was in the middle of the battle, and Fred was lying dead on the floor. George was lying over his body and her mother was a sobbing heap on the floor, her father close by her side. She looked up and saw Ron, Hermione, and Harry. Ron looked terrified, and rushed towards Fred’s body, Hermione close by his side. She saw Harry slip quietly out of the hall. After a few moments of consideration, she decided that he was off to do something important. The scene changed again.
She was kneeling outside by a little girl who had broken her leg and was crying by for her mother.
“It will be okay,” she whispered her voice breaking. She went rigid, as she felt someone standing by her.
“Harry,” she whispered. She swore that she heard a quick breath and footsteps against the cold, bloody stones of the courtyard. Everything became blurred again.
Now she heard Voldemort’s high voice echoing around the castle. No. No, he couldn’t be dead. Ginny broke into a dead sprint, ignoring her families’ yells for her to come back. She wasn’t the only one. Dark masses of people were coming towards the castles, firing off lights, and laughing. And in front was someone much taller than the rest and holding something that looked terribly limp and dead.
“Wait. Where’s Harry?” Hermione’s panicked voice rang through her head.
“I thought that he was with us. You… no…” Ron mumbled. Her mother, who was shaking uncontrollably, came forward, and put a hand to her mouth, once she caught sight of the Death Eaters.
“No… Please, no, not another son, NO!” she screamed.
“Molly, it’s impossible, he couldn’t have gone out alone,” They came closer, and Ginny was frozen in her spot. Hagrid was in front, sobbing, and carrying someone covered in blood and dirt. Who ever it was wasn’t moving. He was dead. After a few moments, they came closer and people were starting to scream. Ginny’s voice was stuck somewhere between her throat and her lungs. The boy in Hagrid’s arm was surely dead. His black hair was matted with dirt and blood. His mouth was lolling open. His rounded glasses were falling off. Harry Potter was dead. Ginny ran towards him screaming, and…
“Ginny, wake up, please, your okay,”
Harry was surely dead, and Voldemort was laughing, people were screaming everything was utter chaos.
“It’s a dream, Gin,” Harry’s voice echoed through her head, and she opened her eyes.
She was lying in her bed, sunlight spilling through her window. Harry was in front of her, wearing a t-shirt and sweats, looking worried. Ginny quickly brushed the tears from her face with her sleeve, but more came cascading down.
“I’m sorry,” she whispered shakily, feeling embarrassed. She had cried so many times that summer, and it was so unlike her. Harry sat down on her bed beside her, and put an arm around her, while she buried her face in his shoulder.
“Do you want to tell me what it was about?” Harry asked quietly, rocking her gently. Ginny remained silent. She didn’t want to tell him about the Carrows. She didn’t want to tell him about her fears that one day a Death Eater would come and kill him. But she most certainly didn’t want to tell him that she still had nightmares of him dead, and they were slowly creeping into her waking thoughts. She shook her head. Harry pushed her shoulders gently away from him, and looked her straight in the eye.
“You can tell me anything, you know that? Please tell me what’s wrong. I don’t want you to be sad.” Harry pleaded quietly. Those eyes were so green, and questioning. She couldn’t look him in the eye and lie to him. But if she told him about the Carrows, it would ruin his birthday. Ginny sighed.
“I can’t tell you everything. It’s your turn to trust me now.” She replied carefully. Harry stared at her for a few moments, and nodded.
“Okay. But I want to know soon. If anything is bothering you, I need to know. What can you tell me?”
“I have the same nightmares all the time, I just can’t shake them. Most of it was when you were dead…” she droned off, her throat and eyes burning. Harry brought her into a hug. She wrapped her arms tightly around his arm body, remembering that it was all just a dream. And that he was still here with her.
“It’s okay… I was never dead. Well… not exactly. I’m sorry, I wanted to call back to you, but you understand why I couldn’t, right?” Harry inquired. Ginny nodded into his shoulder. “To be honest, I’m surprised that I’m still here. But I’m happy I am. And if you have any more of these nightmares, then you have to tell me, okay?” Ginny separated from him.
“But you have them worse than I do.” Ginny replied quietly. Harry smiled.
“But I’m used to them.” His words didn’t really comfort Ginny, so she nodded.
“I ruined your birthday. I’m sorry,” she whispered. Harry shook his head.
“No, you didn’t.” He leapt from her bed and ran out the door, and closed it quietly. There was a faint knock. Ginny couldn’t help but smile.
“Come in!” she called. Harry poked his head through, looked around, and walked in, grinning.
“Morning. Happy birthday.” Ginny greeted, pushing herself off of her bed.
“Thanks for remembering. Breakfast is ready, by the way.” Harry noted vaguely. Ginny smiled, and excused herself to the bathroom to wash up while Harry went downstairs. She ran a brush through her tangled, wild hair, and splashed water on her face. Her eyes were slightly puffy from crying, and she was deathly pale from the nightmare with just a hint of flush across her cheekbones. She brushed quickly, straightened her Gryffindor jersey, and made her way down the stairs, after the smell of bacon, toast, eggs, kippers, pancakes, and so many other delectable breakfast foods. She sat down near Hermione, who was excitedly reading a letter.
“What’s up, Hermione?” Ginny asked.
“I’m Under-Study to Professor McGonagall! She’ll be my personal trainer, and it’s the only position higher than Head Girl or Head Boy,”
“Then why didn’t Dumbledore have a Under-Study?” Harry asked.
“It’s only because she just started. Dumbledore had been a Headmaster for years.”
“And how come Harry and I haven’t received our school letters?” Ginny asked. Hermione folded the letter, a large grin on her face.
“You two should be getting yours tomorrow. I just have to be there a few days before everyone else to help out with everything.” Hermione said pompously. Harry and Ginny exchanged grins before eating. After breakfast, Harry did a bit of paperwork, which didn’t last for long, as Ginny snatched it from him, and held out her wand in a threatening manner.
“It’s your birthday. No working.” She warned. Harry put his hands up in surrender, and the two resigned to a game of Wizard’s Chess. It was a very fair game, as Ron had trained both Ginny and Harry, but Harry was the winner in the end.
“It’s only because I let you win,” Ginny told him grudgingly. “If it wasn’t for it being your birthday and all, I would’ve taken you down.” Harry smirked at this comment, and rolled his eyes.
“Harry, can I talk to you for a moment in the garage?” Mr. Weasley’s voice asked. Ginny nodded encouragingly, and Harry followed Mr. Weasley into the garage. It was crammed with Muggle objects, but in the very middle was a very large motorcycle. Harry felt his mouth go dry.
“Yes, it belonged to Sirius. I’ve been repairing it for the last year or so now… it will take you a while to learn how to properly use it, but I figured that you would like something of his. The flying function still needs to be tested a bit, but I’m afraid you would have to do that, as Molly will kill me if she finds out that I’ve been spending all this time fixing this.” Harry laughed, and thanked his unofficial surrogate father.
“What does she think you’ve been doing?” he added. Mr. Weasley nodded towards an old swing. Not like the ones that children played on, but the sort that held a few people, and gently swayed them.
“It’s coming along, but I’m not that good with a hammer and nails. Molly figures that it would be better not to use magic, but the parts that are done I had to cheat on.” Mr. Weasley admitted. Harry grinned, and put his hand on the throttle.
“I’m sure I could help you with that… where did you find the bike, by the way?” he inquired.
“Sirius gave it to me a few weeks before he died. It was in pieces, and I hinted that I worked with Muggle things, so he gave it to me. I started working on it around Bill and Fleur’s wedding… it was worth the work. Molly agrees that you can use it, under one circumstance…” he went to the near by closet, and pulled out one of two helmets. “You have to wear this.” It was bright blue, and very large and clunky. Harry’s smile grew. “Well, I’m sure that you’d have to go into town to get a new one, but, for now it will work. I’m not sure, however, how easy it is to learn how to drive one of these.” Harry fumbled on the handle, and ran a hand through his hair.
“Mr. Weasley… Dad…” the word felt foreign in Harry’s mouth, “I was wondering if I could bring Ginny into London as an early birthday present.” Mr. Weasley nodded.
“I’d think that she’d like that. But why London?”
“I was washing up for breakfast this morning when I heard her crying. She was having a nightmare, and I want to get her mind off of it.” Harry shrugged, looking a bit worried. Mr. Weasley looked at him carefully, nodding.
“It seems like they’re getting worse for you as well.” He stated. It wasn’t a question, so Harry leaned against he motorcycle. “Harry, we can hear you. Ron can too. You can talk to Molly and I about anything. You know that don’t you?” Harry nodded slowly. “Is there anything in particular that’s troubling you?” Harry opened his mouth, but closed it on second thought. His parents. Ever since he saw them appear from the Resurrection Stone, their deaths had been replayed in his head every night. Sirius’s came at least a few times a week. But he couldn’t say that. He didn’t want to think about his mother’s screams, or Sirius as he went through the veil. So he shook his head, and lied.
Guests became to arrive around dinnertime; Hagrid, Luna, Neville, Dudley, Harry’s Aunt Petunia, George from the shop, Fleur, Bill, and Andromenda with Teddy. Overall, it was the best birthday that Harry had yet. He had no thoughts about horcruxes, and Mrs. Weasley had decorated the yard again. A table with presents, more than Harry had ever received, was in the middle of several others where people were sitting and talking over Butterbeer, Firewhisky, and other drinks along with a large assortment of food. It was only when Harry had finished talking to Luna, who went off to watch the Garden Gnomes, that she coaxed him into the house. She held out a large bag to him.
“It isn’t much. But it’s something.” Harry smiled at her, and reached in, and took out the first photograph. It was a framed picture of Lily, James, and Sirius, arm in arm at their wedding.
“Ginny…” he whispered, taking out one of the journals. He slowly looked up at her. “This is amazing… where did you get these from?” he asked. Ginny blushed.
“Well… I went into Godric’s Hollow, and ... I um... got them from your house.” Harry remained silent for a moment, and then grinned.
“Gin, you have no idea how much this means to me. Thank you.” He said, and enveloped her in a warm hug.
“Wow, you’re thanking me for Apparting illegally, breaking into your house, and taking things? You’re such a bad influence,” Ginny teased, parting from him.
“Ah, but you’re still my friend.” He looked down and pulled out the stuffed teddy bear. “Seriously?” his grin grew larger with sarcasm. “Is this for me or Teddy?” Ginny shoved him mockingly.
“Well, if you really want it I guess you could have it.” She said, still grinning foolishly from Harry’s hug. Harry rolled his eyes, and set down the bag.
“Thanks again. And you never told me that your Dad made me a motorcycle…” he said accusingly.
“Well, he only repaired it. Besides, you still have to learn how to ride it…” Ginny was starting to find it hard to think. Harry was only feet away, his hands in his pockets, and was smiling that smile. She wouldn’t be surprised if he heard her heart beating. Why did he have to be so adorable? “Anyway…”
“You’re cute when you’re nervous,” Harry blurted, then his eyes widened. Ginny laughed, and moved closer to him.
“Do you mean that?” she asked seriously.
“Well, I do… but…” he ran a hand through his hair. “Yes, I mean it.” He sighed, and grinned down at her. “Is there something wrong with that?” Ginny shook her head.
“No… not at all.” They were incredibly close now, inches apart. She put a hand on his shoulder, and he wrapped his arms around her. Ginny closed her eyes as Harry tilted her chin up. She could feel the heat from his body, and she was sinking into a world of bliss. Their lips were hardly an inch apart… And then the sound of a scream shattered it. Harry tore apart from Ginny, giving her a glance before running out the door. A crazy looking man was standing in the middle of the lawn. He had tangled black hair, and rotted teeth. His black eyes glittered with hatred. Petunia and Dudley were hesitantly watching from as far away as possible, while the others had taken out their wands.
“One of you,” he spat, “Killed my-“ he stopped, spotting Harry. He waved his wand absently, and moved towards Harry quickly. Several curses hit him, but he obviously had a shield charm, as the curses were banging against him harmlessly.
“Ginny, go,” Harry whispered quickly. Ginny hung onto his arm.
“No, Harry,” but she didn’t have the choice. Rodolphus Black had waved his wand at Ginny, who was thrown back. She tried running towards him, but he had seemingly cast a Protego charm.
“You,” he hissed, seizing Harry by the robes. “You killed my wife.” Harry slowly drew his wand.
“Expelliaramus!” he shouted, but Rodolphus was too quick.
“Protego!” he shouted, the spell hitting the shield and dissolving. “Answer me Potter: Did you kill my wife?” Harry cast a glance to Mrs. Weasley who was shaking her head viciously, and trying to break the shield.
“Yes,” he swallowed. The man drew his wand again, and pointed it into Harry’s chest.
“Listen to me, Potter,” he growled quietly, “You don’t deserve to have a quick, painful death. Your time will come. And while you think about that… put away your wand or your family will be killed.” Harry swallowed. It looked as though they were outnumbered. He let his gaze sweep over his friends, who looked horrified, and at last Ginny’s. She was shaking her head, and screaming. I love you, Harry though, his throat burning. Knowing that his family would be okay gave him overwhelming confidence… the confidence he needed to pocket his wand. “Good. Crucio!” Suddenly a thousand white-hot knives were being driven into every inch of his skin. It was the worst curse he had taken, surely. He screamed louder than ever before, and as soon as it began, it stopped, but only for a second. It started again, and suddenly everything was black.
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