Chapter 2 : Chapter One
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“B-Bloody hell,” Ginny gasped. His eyes narrowed at her words. “Bloody hell, I’ve gone mad.” She stumbled back a few steps and shook her head as if it could force him to vanish into thin air.
“That’s a charming way to greet someone,” Tom said, obviously disapproving.
Ginny’s back bumped into Albus’s highchair and she was forced to stop and get a good look at him. He looked almost exactly as she remembered from the brief moment they met when he had first come out of the diary so long ago. Tom was pale faced with dark locks down his forehead, his robes were black if not a little faded and he was still rather tall, perhaps shorter than she remembered, but that might have been because she had grown much taller since that time when she was only eleven years old.
She would have thought she had stepped into the past had she not realized that this Tom appeared a little strange. He was faded at the edges and his skin seemed a little transparent. If she stared at him long enough she could see the window through his head, but just a little. Perhaps he was a ghost? Her stare slowly turned into a glare and she knew it didn’t matter what he was. He did not belong in her home.
“What the hell are you doing here? You’re supposed to be dead!” shouted Ginny. “Get out of here! Harry killed you!”
“Did he? I’d forgotten. Thank him for me, would you?”
His bored look, sarcastic tone, and casual stance all made her want to sock him in the face. Of course, Ginny could do much better than fighting him the Muggle way. She felt around her robes for her wand but cursed when she remembered she had left it in her bedroom upstairs. How idiotic. “Get out of here. Leave me alone.”
“You’ve… grown,” he noted, tilting his head to the side as if to get a better look at her. “I still remember you as a very unremarkable little girl. How long has it been? Fifteen years?”
He didn’t move.
Why was he here? Was he going to try to get revenge on Harry for killing him? It was the only thing that made sense at the moment. Would he hurt her children? James was with Harry to do a little shopping and buy a toy broom but Albus was taking his nap upstairs in his room. Did Tom know about Albus and James? She hoped not.
Harry would be back any minute with James and he would destroy him again, all she had to do was buy time and keep him from going upstairs without being too obvious about what she was doing. Ginny took a shuddering breath in an attempt to calm herself. What was the longest time a non-supporter of Voldemort was able to stand alive in his presence without a fight? She was pretty sure she was breaking records.
“I haven’t done anything to provoke this mistreatment… nothing recent, anyway,” Tom sighed, gazing around the kitchen as if he had never seen one quite like it before. If Ginny had thought about it, she would most likely have realized he probably hadn’t.
“You’re not supposed to be alive.”
“I’m not.” She wasn’t sure if he was agreeing with her or saying he wasn’t alive. Tom fixed his gaze on her again, studying her for a second before pulling away from the counter and walking around her to look at a clock on the opposite wall. The clock was constructed just like the one at the Burrow except it only had Ginny, Harry, and James on it. Harry’s hand was pointed at the word, “Traveling.” Tom glanced at the door leading outside and seemed to be thinking hard about something. Funny, she would have thought he had planned his encounter with her beforehand. Tom being uncertain of what to do made him seem human and Ginny refused to see him as anything but a terrible monster.
“Why are you here?” she asked when he took a step towards the door. He stopped just as she hoped. Ginny wanted him where she could keep an eye on him, preferably in one place.
He didn’t answer. If she didn’t know any better she would say he was getting bored. Ginny licked her lips, glancing around to see if there was any weapon for her to use. All she saw was a loaf of bread, but she doubted it was stale enough to knock him out in one hit and if she retrieved a knife from the drawer, he would certainly notice. Well, she was now older than him, maybe she was stronger?
Tom was now examining a few pictures on her fireplace in the living room. Most of them were of her brothers, parents, and friends. His eyes hovered over one of Harry, Ron and Hermione, and then he walked away toward the stairs. She ran ahead of him and blocked his way, glaring viciously.
“What do you want?” she demanded.
Tom rolled his eyes. He opened his mouth to reply but the sound of a door slamming open stopped him. Both of their heads twisted to look at who caused the sound. Ginny’s face contorted into one of horror while Tom just looked curious when James sprinted in while waving a toy broomstick in the air.
“Mum!” he said excitedly. “Mum, look at it! Dad said I can go flying with it now if you watch me! Can we do it now? Can we? Can we?”
Ginny had no idea how to reply to that when Tom was standing just three feet in front of her. She could have sworn she heard Tom breathe the word “Mum?”
James wasn’t even looking at Tom. Had he just not noticed the boy? She doubted it, James loved people, he would have been blabbering on and on about some nonsense to any stranger if he stood still long enough. Why wasn’t he doing it to Tom? Was she the only one who could see him? No, that couldn’t be possible. There was no way that her luck was that terrible and the thought that only she could see him were too nightmarish to be real. When she remembered James was still waiting for an answer, she shook the thought away.
“I… I’ll… James, don’t you see we have company?”
The little boy jumped a little and looked around. “Uh, no?” he replied sheepishly.
Ginny’s heart sunk.
Tom was beginning to look amused. “I deduced that nobody could see me quite a while ago,” he purred. She stared at him in shock. He stared back at her in what she thought seemed to be fascination. “Nobody except you.”
“Muuuum!” James whined, still waiting for the answer to his question.
“W-Where’s your father?” she managed to ask.
“Here,” Harry said, walking inside and closing the door. She heard Tom snort when he saw him and tried to ignore him. After hanging up his cloak, Harry took one look at her face and immediately noticed something was wrong. “Ginny, what happened?”
“Yes, Ginny, what did happen?” Tom asked softly, staring at her in what she could only described as gleefully malicious. To her disappointment, Harry did not react to his voice at all. The absurd thought that Tom might not really be there crossed her mind but it left just as quickly.
Harry grew more concerned the longer she took to answer. “Ginny? Are you ok? Is Albus…? What about the baby?”
Tom twitched at that last word and his eyes flashed down at her stomach. She tried to repress a shudder at his interest.
“I’m fine,” she whispered. “We’re all fine.”
Tom left the two of them and wandered back into the kitchen. Ginny could have sworn he was moving slowly deliberately in order to torture her. Her eyes followed him around the house. It didn’t go unnoticed by Harry who was now trying to follow her gaze, narrowing his eyes in suspicion.
He cleared his throat, catching Ginny’s attention. “You know who we haven’t seen in a while? Teddy,” Harry said, putting a hand on her shoulder. “Let’s get Albus and give Andromeda a visit.”
Ginny sighed in relief. Harry would never play the skeptical cop like those on the Muggle TV, he saw a problem so now he was acting on it. “It has been a while, hasn’t it?” It had only been a week. “I’ll get Albus, you wait here.”
“Are you sure?” he asked.
“You’re the one who suggested it…”
He flushed. “Oh no, I meant to get… alone… Never mind.”
Ginny glanced at Tom, and then went up the stairs, wincing when she heard his quiet steps following. She tried to hurry into Albus room before he could see where she went, but he was close behind and simply entered the room with her.
“What do you want from me?” she asked, standing in front of the new bed they had bought for Albus.
Tom looked around her at the sleeping child and the small sign on the bedframe. “Albus Severus Potter, is it?” he asked, sneering. “Charming name.”
“It’s none of your business,” Ginny spat. “What do you want? Why have you been following me? And why aren’t you dead?”
He snorted. “Of course I’m dead,” he replied. “Your dear husband made sure of that. There is no spell to bring back the dead. “
“Then what… Are you a ghost?”
A few emotions flashed across his face but he quickly reigned them in. “No,” he said stiffly. He attempted to walk around her to get a closer look at Albus but she sidestepped to block his path. She didn’t have long before Harry would wonder what was taking her so long and come up to check on her.
“You know what? I don’t care what you are anymore. I just want you to go away.”
“We all want things.” Tom tried to go around her once more but she just blocked him again. He looked momentarily frustrated but didn’t try to get past her again, instead backing away a few steps to look around the room. “Who’s Teddy?”
“Again, none of your business.” She back up closer to Albus, making sure he was still asleep. “Whatever you want, I’m not going to let you have. Whatever you’re going to do, I’m not going to let you do it. So get the hell out of my house.”
“Oh, Ginny, I think you’ll find you won’t have a choice.”
Ginny thought she saw a red gleam in his eyes and shuddered. “What? You’ll kill me? You’ll kill my family? Of course I should have expected this from Voldemort. Doing either of these things won’t help you with convincing me to do whatever the hell you want me to do.”
“Voldemort is dead,” he said slowly. “That era has come and gone. Twice, actually. Those tactics are useless to me now. Neither do I have a wand to cast the Imperius Curse and I doubt I have the ability to hold a wand anyway.”
“You’re dead too so you’re still Voldemort,” she scoffed but he didn’t seem to care. “So you can’t do anything? How exactly do you plan to make me do what you want then?”
He smirked. “First I was going to ask you if you’d like to help me.”
Ginny sneered. “If I refuse?”
“We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”
She was about to say they were going to cross it right now because there was no way she would ever help him, but the door to Albus’s door opened and Harry walked in, looking worried. James was at his side, peeking around him and gazing at Albus instead.
“I heard you talking,” Harry explained. “Is someone else here?”
“Just you, me, Albus, and James,” Ginny replied in a voice calmer than she felt.
“And our dear old friend Tom,” Tom added mockingly. “I’d tell you to reintroduce us, but we wouldn’t want anybody to think you’re mad, would we? Talking to a person who has been dead for fifteen years isn’t a good sign.”
“Ten,” she corrected.
“What?” Harry asked, looking confused and even more worried.
“I told you so,” Tom whispered softly. “Talking to yourself…”
Ginny almost snapped at him to shut up. It reminded her eerily of the diary during her first year. After she began to realize all the attacks that had been happening had something to do with her, Tom slowly began to convince her she was going mad. She almost killed herself after she thought she attacked Nick and Justin. Not that anybody except Tom knew that. She wasn’t sure who she preferred, the Tom from her first year or Voldemort. She wasn’t even sure which one was in her house.
“I meant, Teddy is turning ten this week, isn’t he?” she asked Harry. “It’s just a few days away, we’ll be visiting him then for the party too. Do you think Andromeda would mind? Visitors are always a hassle.”
“Clever save,” complimented Tom as Harry thought about it.
“I’d like to visit him early, he’ll be very busy at the party and I may not get to spend time with him,” Harry said. “You don’t have to tell me what’s wrong, but I would appreciate it if you came to me for help, Ginny.”
She smiled. “Thank you, Harry.”
Harry just nodded at her and turned to wake up Albus. Ginny looked back at Tom and was surprised to see the piercing glare he was sending into Harry’s direction. She would have assumed it was because of their history, but then it occurred to her that Tom hadn’t been glaring at Harry when he had first seen him.
It took only a few minutes to get Albus ready and they prepared to Apparate to Andromeda’s house. Ginny glared in Tom’s direction. He was circling Albus’s old crib with an unimpressed look on his face. She prayed to god that he wouldn’t be there when she came back. He looked at her as if he had read her mind.
“I’ll be waiting for you.”
She sucked in a breath as Harry took her free hand that wasn’t holding Albus and squeezed it gently. Ginny merely glanced at him and then went back to glaring at Tom. There was a pulled from behind her naval and the kitchen spun in front of her. It and Tom disappeared as a clear view of a garden in front of a modest house took its place.
“Harry!” shouted Teddy excitedly when he saw them from the garden. Harry was grinning at him and even Ginny managed to crack a smile. Andromeda was also in the garden and seemed to be clipping some of her bushes without a wand. She raised a hand and waved at them, using the other to pin her hat to her head as the wind threatened to blow it away.
“Teddy!” Albus squealed excitedly, attempting to wiggle out of Ginny’s arms.
She lowered him onto the ground and he ran forward with James. Harry gestured for Ginny to follow him as he scolded James when he laughed at Albus for falling on his face in his excitement. Ginny looked around to make sure Tom was nowhere in sight, then followed her husband. Teddy had already caught up with him and it seemed he was giving him some kind of lecture.
“It’s been a whole week since you’ve visited!” Teddy said, crossing his arms and glaring at Harry after helping Albus to his feet. The younger boy ruined the effect when he started hugging him. “You used to visit four times a week!”
“I’ve been working, Teddy,” Harry said guiltily. Ginny almost laughed out loud when she saw he was attempting to give the nine-year-old his best set of puppy-dog eyes. “I’m so sorry.”
He looked at Harry reproachfully. “You are coming to my birthday party, aren’t you?”
“Of course we are!” Ginny said.
“You know they wouldn’t miss it for the world,” Andromeda said as she approached, letting James hug her. “Besides, the Weasleys have been visiting and you were too distracted to even notice Harry wasn’t there.”
Teddy blushed and quickly began to tell Harry all about the past week. Andromeda led Ginny and Albus into the house and started fixing some tea for them.
“How has Teddy been?” Ginny asked, pulling out a few toys from a small bag for Albus to play with on the floor.
“He’s a wonderful child,” Andromeda replied. “A bit of a handful though, he reminds me so much of Nymphadora when we’re out in public. He likes to practice his ability, you know. I can’t leave him alone for a second or he’ll turn into some other child, especially if he doesn’t want to come home. He did it just the day before in Diagon Alley. I terrified some poor child thinking it was Teddy!”
Ginny giggled. “He tried that with us once, but when he saw us leaving without him he got scared and changed back. If you’d like, he can stay with us for a few days so you can have some time for yourself. James and Albus would love it and Harry will surely be coming home early those days. He’s been so busy lately; it’s about time he gets some time off.”
“He’s no trouble, but if Teddy would like to I don’t see why not.” Andromeda swirled her tea in the cup. “Although, I’m worried if he will be trouble since you already have two children with a third on the way. That reminds me, last time Teddy stayed with you, he said you and Harry-“
She cut herself off when Harry, James, and Teddy walked into the house covered with fertilizer. Andromeda glared at them sourly so Harry grinned back sheepishly and half-heartedly told the two boys how rolling around on the ground was inappropriate.
“You were doing it too,” Teddy snickered.
Harry sputtered a few weak defenses of how he was stopping them from doing it but the clump of dirt that fell out of his hair said otherwise.
“Go wash off,” Ginny laughed. All three of them slumped into the largest bathroom on the floor. Ginny turned back to Andromeda. “You were saying?”
“So, Ginny, how have you and the baby been doing?” Andromeda asked instead. “How are things at home?”
Ginny grimaced when she remembered Tom and how he was practically haunting her. “I’ve been fine. A bit tired lately because of the baby, but the nausea has stopped.”
“Do you know if it’s a boy or girl this time?”
“Harry wanted to check it at the Muggle hospital again, but I want it to be a surprise this time around.” The whole experience had been uncomfortable the first time. She hadn’t even been able to see the image of James on that strange screen thing. Harry had seen him just fine so she went along with it.
Andromeda studied her for a while. She flicked her wand and a tray of biscuits appeared. Ginny eagerly helped herself to one. “Molly says you’ve been going over different names.”
She smiled at the thought of the names Harry had. He always named them after somebody. Lily, Neville, Cedric, Arthur… It was almost ridiculous. “I like the name Alicia or Katrina for a girl and Isaac or Andrew for a boy. We’re still thinking about it though. I probably won’t like those names anymore in a few days.”
“Alicia Potter…” Ginny’s head snapped around to the source of the voice. She paled when she saw Tom sitting on a chair in the corner. “Isaac alone is not too terrible, but Andrew Potter sounds better and Alicia rolls comfortably off the tongue.”
“Something wrong, Ginny?” Andromeda asked. She was looking into the corner where Tom was sitting.
“Nothing,” she whispered. “I just thought I heard something.”
“You heard me,” Tom said, smirking.
“Excuse me, I’m going to use the bathroom.” Ginny almost slammed her cup down onto the table and walked to the bathroom on the second floor. To her annoyance, Tom wasn’t following. She gave him a quick glare and his eyes widened in surprise before he eventually followed her.
As soon as they both stepped into the bathroom, she shut the door and locked it, turning to glare at Tom.
“This is cozy.”
She raised her wand and pointed it at his chest. He raised an eyebrow challengingly.
“Give me a good reason I shouldn’t destroy you right now,” Ginny growled. She wasn’t sure if she could do it, but he had admitted he wasn’t able to do much. If that was true, maybe he couldn’t defend himself either.
With a small smirk he raised a hand and brushed his fingers against the wrist of her arm which was holding the wand. She shivered at the contact even though his hand was warm. She tried to keep her face blank. What would Harry do in this situation?
“You can’t harm me,” he replied.
“Nobody else is able to see or hear you except me. Maybe hurting you is a privilege reserved for me as well.” Ginny hadn’t had much faith in those words but when he saw the expression that flashed on his face for less than a second she knew it was something he hadn’t thought about. It would have been a pleasing thought if the curious look hadn’t appeared on his face.
“That is not something I am unwilling to find out.” He stepped closer, allowing the wand to poke his chest. For the first time Ginny noticed he was dressed in his Hogwarts Slytherin robes. They were obviously second-hand like the ones she had once worn in her Hogwarts years. Why was he wearing them? She swallowed nervously. He might have been the same Tom from the diary. All the clues were pointing to that.
“Didn’t you say you would wait for me?” she asked instead. “You sounded so cryptic. You coming here in less than an hour after we left ruined the whole effect.”
“Maybe so, but I couldn’t help it. It seems I’m drawn to you, love.”
She jabbed him harder with her wand, furious at the term of endearment. “Why? For fuck’s sake, Tom, what the hell do you want?”
“I already told you, I need help.”
Ginny licked her lips, not truly believing him. He had said the same thing earlier, but she hadn’t believed him then either. What would Voldemort need help with? It wasn’t like she would ever give it but that didn’t mean she wasn’t curious.
Tom brought his other hand up and gently clasped hers between them. They seemed to be the same height even though Ginny was sure he was only sixteen compared to her twenty-six. He stared into her face and she found she couldn’t move or break eye contact.
“I’m dead but it seems I am bound to the living world. I know there is a significant reason as to why I’m drawn to you. I think it means you’re the only one who can help me.” His grip tightened on her hand and he sighed. “Ginny, I want to move on.”
Ginny stared at Tom in shock. Thankfully, her brain was still able to function and allowed her to remember something and come to a realization.
“You’re lying,” she declared. He blinked and she swore she saw the corner of his lips twitch. “You’re scared of death. Why would you want to pass on now of all times?”
Tom dropped his hands. “Has the fact that I’m actually dead now so it might have changed my opinion occurred to you? Being stranded here is hell, Ginny.” She narrowed her eyes and he smirked. “Although you are right about my lie. To be perfectly honest, this would have been the truth an hour ago had you not presented a brand new opportunity to me.”
What kind of opportunity? Was it another way to pass on? To revive? She didn’t remember saying anything that would lead him to finding a way to do something beneficial for himself. But then, as much as she hated to admit it, he was probably much cleverer than her. “What opportunity?”
“You’ve given me a way to live once again.” He closed his eyes as if concentrating on something. “Yes, I think this will work well.”
“Whatever it is, I’m not helping you with it.”
“I don’t need your consent for it, actually… However, for old time’s sake, I’ll refrain from doing it if you assist me with collecting the rest of my soul. You may not be aware, but my soul is incomplete.”
Ginny sneered at him. Oh yes, she knew that very well. “Because of your seven Horcruxes.”
His small smirk froze on his face and Ginny was horrified. He didn’t know. “I made seven? How fascinating,” he said, changing his expression to one of extreme self-satisfaction. “That would explain a few things.”
“Like what?” She wondered if Andromeda would come looking for her in the bathroom if she took too long. Would it be too worrying to find Ginny supposedly talking to herself?
“I am fairly certain that I am one of the pieces of a soul, the piece that was inside the diary your first year. Ripping apart a soul is a violation against nature, it will eventually try to piece itself together; that is what I think is happening. The reason I am drawn to you might have something to do with the time you had written to me in the diary. We established a strong bond between our souls so we may actually be literally connected.” He glanced at the disgusted look on her face, amused. “This is all a theory, of course.”
“So… you’re a Horcrux.” Ginny’s heart thudded heavily in her chest. That would make him even harder to destroy. She didn’t have basilisk venom and she didn’t think she would be able to control the Fiendfyre spell. Those were the only two methods of destroying a Horcrux that she knew.
“A Horcrux is an object that a wizard hides a fragment of his soul in. They are like anchors, keeping the main soul in the land of the living until it reconstructs a body for itself,” Tom corrected. He seemed to think about it for a minute. “I suppose you can say I’m a piece of a lost soul. I am not keeping anyone alive, Ginny. Lord Voldemort is dead. If my soul is whole again, maybe I can move on.”
“Why do you need me?”
He hesitated; looking reluctant to explain (or perhaps he was coming up with a reason on the spot) but eventually gave in. “I can barely interact with the living world. I am not a ghost so I cannot go through walls or other physical objects. I can, however, vanish and reappear somewhere else if I’ve been there before or if you’re there. I want you to be my physical body… without the use of possession of course.”
“That’s oddly specific.”
“I’m sure there is something far more significant for you to do, but I haven’t had many chances to test out those theories. Contrary to popular belief, there is no supreme being that tells you what to do once you’re dead so all of this is a large guessing game for me.”
She couldn’t believe she was still talking to him. “No. No, I refuse.”
Tom frowned. “How unfortunate. You see, the other option is for me to use possession to live again.” He looked down at her stomach and a greedy look flashed across his face. “Possession of something small, weak, pure… like that of an unborn child.”
Ginny paled. “You can’t do that. That’s not possible.”
“Do you want to find out? The choice is yours, Ginny. You can assist me in searching for the pieces of my soul capable of redemption in order to pass on into what’s after death or you can watch helplessly as I take the life of your unborn child so that I may live again. I personally don’t care which at this point.”
With a bored look, he reached forward and placed a hand on her chest. She was too shocked at the action to respond right away, but by the time she did, it was too late. Tom’s hand sunk into her body and he appeared almost completely transparent.
It was like having large needles shoved into her skin. Her body seared in pain as if it was being torn apart in every direction. Was her skin being torn off? She didn’t know, but it seemed she was withering in pain, she hoped she wasn’t screaming. Random strings of thought flew through her head and it frightened her that none of them were her own. Despite all of the pain, there was undeniably something foreign in her body, something spreading itself out into every inch of it and claiming it as is own. She had little control.
“You can feel me, can’t you? Your baby is connected to your body as well, if I can possess you, I can possess it as well. Right before it’s born I will take control.” His eyes appeared to flash red and she felt a pain below her stomach. “You can try to kill me, yes. I will just be a defenseless baby… How will that look to your husband? To your children? You’ll sound mad if you try to tell them the truth.”
She dropped her wand and fell on the floor, Tom bending down with her to keep his hand inside.
“So weak,” he murmured, looking sincerely disappointed for just a moment. “You could almost resist me when you were only eleven. Is this what happens when you fall under the protection of St. Potter? You used to long for independence, to be the best, to make your mark… You were almost there, Ginny. I helped you. Now here you are, crumpled beneath me. You may have been an unremarkable little girl, but as a woman you’re just pathetic.”
Ginny hissed a few unintelligible curses at him. Tom pulled his hand out of her slowly while he stood and waited for her to stop shaking and look at him.
“You never helped me!” she spat. She felt around the floor blindly for her wand and stood up, trembling violently. Her vision was blurred and she wasn’t completely sure if she was looking at him or not. “You used me!”
“I lowered myself to help you. Did I need to give you advice on what to do about your social life? Did I need to encourage your relationships with Potter? Did I need to tutor you in Defense Against the Dark Arts?” He shook his head, frustrated. “All I had to do was listen, but I wrote a bloody sonnet for you to give to Potter, Ginny, and you didn’t even use it. All of your failures that year were your fault because of your inability to listen or act on any of my advice.”
The defense was out of her mouth before she could think about it. “You were just trying to gain my trust.”
Tom snorted. “I had your trust two days after you began to write to me,” he said. “You may have been naïve and average, but you were strong. Harry has weakened you.”
She cringed at the familiar words. They were familiar because she had thought about something like that many times. She never thought about it too deeply, but she knew that being married to Harry did something to her. There was no doubt that she loved Harry, but was it true? Did his passionate protection actually weaken her? With his image and her surroundings becoming clearer, Ginny’s grip tightened on her wand and she snarled, “Reducto!”
Tom flinched when the spell went through him, but it seemed he wasn’t harmed. The triumphant look that had begun to form disappeared when the door behind him exploded with a loud bang. The force blew her back and she hit her head against the sink, falling to the floor again with a groan. Tom looked like he was going to say something but Andromeda rushed in, catching Ginny’s attention instead.
“Ginny! What happened? How did…” The older witch shook her head and ran a hand over the injury on Ginny’s head. She pulled out her wand and healed a cut, then went over the rest of her body, specifically her belly.
“Andromeda? Ginny? What happened?” Harry shouted, running into the bathroom with his wand out. Ginny looked up at him groggily, the bump on her head made her thoughts extremely muddled. Andromeda said something to Harry and left the bathroom but Ginny didn’t hear what she said. Everything seemed to echo and bounce off the walls around her.
“Harry,” she said weakly. “Harry, I see Tom. I’m seeing Tom all around… He wants the baby. He won’t… he won’t leave me alone.”
“Come on, Ginny, we’re going to get you help,” Harry said, wrapping his arm around her. “Andromeda is-“
“He thinks you’re mad,” Tom whispered urgently in her ear, drowning Harry out. “I warned you not to say anything. I warned you.”
“I-I’m not mad,” Ginny murmured.-
Harry froze. “No. You had a nasty fall, Ginny. I just thought we should check on the baby at St. Mungo’s to make sure it’s not hurt.”
“He’s lying. The woman – Andromeda – she knows the baby is alright. She told Harry. I heard her tell him. He’s going to get your head checked.”
She closed her eyes, trying to ignore him. Tom was a liar, she thought, Tom always lied.
“Once you go, they’re going to check your mental status. You can try to pretend I don’t exist but in the end you won’t be able to ignore me, Ginny. The Healers will know you’re seeing something. They’ll think it’s in your head, they will keep you there for weeks, they may hurt your baby…”
“Shut up!” she shouted. Harry pulled his arm away from her in surprise. She wobbled a little on her legs. Andromeda must have only healed the surface of the wound on her head. “Shut up, shut up, shut up!”
“You’re making it worse!” Tom hissed.
“Ginny, calm down.” Ginny could hear the fear and uncertainty in Harry’s voice. At the same time she could feel Tom’s intense stare on her back. Her mind was still foggy and she was reminded of her first year of Hogwarts so long ago when Tom possessed her.
“Leave me alone, Tom!” she cried.
Tom actually had the gall to act startled and innocently confused. “I’m not doing anything to you,” he said gently. She didn’t believe him for a second.
Harry went down on his knees, trying to look at her face. “It’s me, Harry.” He took her hands into his own. “Something’s wrong and we’re going to fix it. Just relax. I’m going to Apparate us to St. Mungo’s and we are going to check on the baby and everything is going to be fine. You’re not mad.”
“He’s lying. Do you really think he’s going to take you to St. Mungo’s without having your head checked after you had a breakdown in front of him?” Ginny was unnerved that Tom actually did sound worried that she would be admitted to some kind of psych ward. No, he had to be messing with her head. He was the best actor she knew.
Harry’s hands tightened around hers and she was suddenly terrified. She pulled her hands away from his and fumbled with her wand.
“You have to leave now,” Tom said quickly. “Leave, Ginny. Leave.”
With a loud CRACK, Ginny Apparated away.
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