Chapter 3 : Dancing With A Limp
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She dreaded what she would find once she reached him. Was he already dead? No she thought, if he were dead she'd know it.
The screaming stopped as she reached the bottom of the stairs that opened into a dimly lit dungeon corridor.
She looked around taking in her surroundings. There were a few doors on both sides running down the length of the corridor but only one door stood ajar with light filtering through the cracks.
She began to run towards the door completely oblivious of the death eater that had caught up with her.
"Avada Kedavra!" a voice screamed.
She barely registered the voice yelling the curse and had she not tripped right before the curse had reached her, she would've been hit. She threw her hands out to break her fall as a jet of green light soared just over her head where she had been running moments before.
She immediately jumped up, wand in hand, and turned around to face off against the unknown foe.
The began exchanging a volley of spells but the battle was over almost as soon as it had begun.
"Incarcerous!" The man yelled.
Ginny was just recovering her bearings after dodging a killing curse he had thrown at her when the spell hit her. She felt ropes wrap around her body as she fell to the ground for the second time that night.
Ginny knew this was the end. She thought about Harry briefly, wondering if he was already dead like she was about to be.
The figure moved closer to her until he was standing right above her, "Now you're going to die, but take comfort in knowing that your dear Potter will be joining you very shortly."
He raised his wand, "Avada Ke...."
"Stupefy!" she heard a voice yell somewhere behind the death eater that had her trapped. The man pitched forward, narrowly missing Ginny as he fell.
"Ginny, are you alright," her rescuer said as he ran up to her.
The face of her brother, Ron, swam in her vision as he got rid of the ropes that were binding her.
"I'm fine," she replied as she got to her feet and looked at the door that had been her destination, "Harry is down there. Throught that door. We have to hurry."
She grabbed Ron's arm and began running towards the door, barely registering the fact that it was to quite as her and Ron came crashing through the door.
The sight that met her eyes would forever been imprinted into her memories.
Voldemort was laying on the floor dead, and aways from him, lay Harry. He was coughing up fair amounts of blood as he labored to take steady breaths which came out as raspy and shallow.
"Harry!" she screamed as she rushed to his side taking his head in her hands and laying it on her lap.
"Ginny," he said softly, "I did it. I actually di..."
He was interupted by a loud wracking cough followed by more blood.
"Ssh! be still," She said, "We're going to get you some help."
Harry laughed at this as he coughed some more before replying to her, "Ginny look at me. I'm dying. St. Mungos can't fix this."
"But Harry, you're only wounded," she said in a shaky voice as Ron sunk to his knees and grabbed his best friends hand, "You'll be okay. We'll fix you up in no time."
Ginny didn't notice the rest of the survivors make their way into the room. They stood around her but she took no notice.
"I love you," Harry said weakly, "I'm sorry."
"You promised me!" She half shouted, "You promised me Harry James Potter that you would come out of this alive."
"It looks like I'm going to have to break that promise Gin," he said, "I didn't want this to happen. You know that, but everything will be okay."
"No, Harry, NO!" Ginny yealled frantically, "You're going to be okay. You're just tired."
"I need to tell you something and I need you to listen to me Ginny," Harry said, "This is the most important thing i've ever told you. I need you to promise me something."
Ginny was about to protest and tell him to save his energy but the seriousness in his eyes and tone made her nod her head instead.
"Never forget me Ginny," he said slowly, "And next time we meet, please don't let me forget you. Don't give up on me."
"I won't Harry," she said lowering her head as she began crying softly, "I.. I promise I'll always remember you. I won't ever give up on you."
"Hey," he said as he reached up and tilted her face to his, "It'll be okay Ginny."
It was a lie. And she knew it.
He brushed away the tears that had fallen on her face, "Goodbye love."
He lowered his had and grabbed hers in his. He closed his eyes breathing in one last breath before he went still.
"Please Harry," she begged, "Don't leave me."
She felt a hand grab her shoulder and call her name but she didn't let go of Harry.
The calling was insistent however and soon she was laying back in her bed at the Burrow with Hermione standing over her looking at her with a worried expression on her face.
"You were having a nightmare Ginny," her best friend said.
Ginny took one look at her before before grabbing her friend in an embrace as she started to cry into Hermione's shoulder.
Hermione didn't say anything as Ginny cried on her shoulder. Ginny didn't need words right now. She needed the comfort of someone close that cared about her and she wouldn't ruin it with words. Ginny would talk when she was ready.
It was a few minutes later before Ginny calmed down, her sobs turning into near silent whimpers.
"I saw it again," Ginny said as she finally let go of Hermione and sat on her bed, "That night. The night he died."
"I know Hermione replied, "I heard you."
Ginny wasn't even embarassed that she had been caught reliving the moments in her sleep. She wouldn't be suprised if she relived that night for the rest of her life.
Hermione sat down next to her and took her hand, "It's going to be hard Ginny," she said, "It's hard for me. If Ron wasn't there for me I don't know what I would do. I already would've broken down. I know I can't possibly know exactly what your feeling because we love him in different ways, but I just want you to know you can always come to Ron or me. We'll always be there for you."
"I know, thank you," Ginny said, "I'm just afraid that it will always hurt like this."
"It won't always be so bad," Hermione said, "It'll get better with time. Sure you'll never forget him and it will always hurt, and I know that there's a piece of your heart that will always be broken, But Harry will always live in that broken piece. The wound will never really seal back up. But you'll make it through. I guess it's kind of like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly, that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you still learn to dance with the limp."
Ginny giggled and Hermione looked at her in suprise," What did I say?"
You sound like Professor Dumbledore," Ginny said with another giggle, "Since when did you become so wise?"
"I wouldn't call myself wise," Hermione said laughing, "I would just call it more knowledgeable after everything i've been through."
Ginny giggled again and Hermione smiled. She was glad that Ginny could show some other emotion than sadness. She really hated when her friends suffered the way Ginny was. The way they all were.
"I'm going to go back to bed," Hermione said standing up and hugging Ginny, "You should probably try to get a little more shut-eye to. You really need it."
She moved to the door and had it open when Ginny called from behind her, "Hermione?"
"Yes Ginny?" she asked turning back around to face Ginny.
"When does it start getting better?" Ginny asked.
Hermione looked sad for a minute before replying ,"It doesn't get better Gin, you just get better at handling it."
"Thanks," Ginny said, "For talking to me, helping me through this."
"Anytime, "Hermione said as she put on a smile and walked out of Ginny's room closing the door behind her.
The healing process had begun.
Ginny woke up a few hours later to the sunlight streaming through her window. She groaned as she turned over and buried her face in her pillow, trying to salvage any last remnants of sleep before she had to face the day.
The task was futile however when her stomach growled audibly letting her know that she hadn't eaten since she came home. She threw back the covers and stood up before making her way to her closet for something to wear.
She changed into a pair of jeans and a jumper and was making her way out of her room when she spotted an official looking letter bearing the seal of St. Mungos on it.
She grabbed it and headed downstairs to the kitchen intending to read it through breakfast.
When she entered the kitchen, the only people there were Ron and her mother.
"Oh Ginny dear did you get a good night's sleep?" Her mother asked
"Yes mum I slept soundly," she replied. She didn't know why she didn't tell her mother about the nightmare she had had. She looked over at her brother who was staring at her and she knew that Hermione had told him.
Her mother put a plate of bacon and eggs with toast in front of her and she began to eat slowly.
"Wait a minute," she said as she paused, her fork halfway to her mouth, "What are you even doing up Ron? Everyone knows you don't wake up early. In fact you're always the last one up."
"I couldn't sleep," He replied in a low voice to her which gave her the impression that he didn't want their mother to know, "To much on my mind."
She knew he had been thinking about Harry all night and thoughts of him immediately swarmed her mind. Before she could succumb to those thoughts and break down again, she began opening the letter from St. Mungos that she had forgotten about till this morning.
She pulled out what looked like pamphlets before finding the note tucked behind everything else.
She unfolded the parchment and looked at the two wands crossed that was emblazoned at the top confirming that it was from St Mungos and began reading:
Ginerva Molly Weasley
We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted as a trainee. We have looked over your NEWTS and you meet all the requirements needed to become a healer here at this establisment. We have set up a meeting for you to come and talk with us at 2:30 p.m. on the 23rd of July. This gives you time to rethink your descision on the career you have choiced if you so choose and to look over the additional information in the pamphlets that we have provided to you in this letter. We hope to see you soon.
Head healer at St. Mungos for Magical Maladies and Injuries
"Wow!" she exclaimed as she laid the letter down completely forgetting that she had barely touched her food.
"What is it dear?" Her mother asked from the sink.
"I've been accepted as a healer mum," she replied.
"Oh Ginny," she squealed as she rushed over and enveloped her daughter in a hug, "I knew you could do it. Congratulations. When do you go in? When do you start? Do you need help preparing? Have u studied at all?"
"Relax mum," Ron said with a laugh, "Let the girl breathe."
Molly smiled an apologetic smile as she released her daughter and stepped back.
"This calls for a celebration," Molly said excitedly, "It's not everyday that your only child gets the job of her dreams and moves up in life."
"Oh thanks mum," Ron said with a snort, "What does that make me, a friend of the family?"
Ginny laughed as her mother replied, "Oh hush Ronald you know what I meant. She's the only girl."
"I wouldn't say that mum," Ginny said with a giggle, "Sometimes I wonder about Ron."
"She's got jokes," Ron said as he loaded his fork with scrambled eggs and flung it at Ginny.
Ginny ducked and the eggs sailed over her head. All of a sudden the expression on her brother's face turned to one of complete horror as he stared behind her.
"Ronald Weasley!" a voice said behind her, making her turn around.
The sight that greeted her was comical. Hermione had just walked through the kitchen door when Ron had flung the eggs and they had hit her in the face. She was wiping them off with a napkin and had a scowl on her face that was directed at her brother.
Ron began to get up to help her before she said, "Don't bother I'm pretty sure I can handle it."
"Hello Ginny, "Hermione said as she sat down completely ignoring Ron, "Did you sleep good last night?"
"Yeah I slept fine after you woke me up," Ginny replied.
"Why did she wake you up dear?" Molly asked.
Shite! Ginny thought, I forgot she was still in here. She was saved from answering when Hermione spoke up, "I left something in her room and I didn't just want to go digging through it, so I woke her up to get it for me."
Her mother seemed to accept the excuse, even though it was pretty lame in Ginny's opinion, and turned back around to the counter.
"That was close," Ginny whispered in Hermione's ear, "Thanks."
"Anytime," Hermione replied with a wink.
The other habitants of the Burrow began making their way downstairs and soon the whole table was was full of talk and the sound of scraping silverware.
"What are you doing down here Ron?" Fred said noticing his brother for the first time since he had sat down.
"I'm enjoying my breakfast was does it look like?" Ron snapped back.
"No need to get your knickers in a twist," Fred said as George sniggered beside him, "It's just a little early don't you think. Everyone knows you need your beauty sleep."
"Piss off," Ron replied.
"Language." Molly said as she finally took her place beside her husband.
"What's this?" George asked as he picked up Ginny's acceptance letter to St Mungos.
She snatched it back before he could read it and replied, "It's my acceptance letter. I'm going to be a healer."
"Ginny that's wonderful news!" Hermione exclaimed as she gave Ginny a hug, "I've been pushing Ron to get a job but he says nothing of interest has come up. At least someone has their head on straight."
"Nothing has come up Hermione," Ron grumbled.
"You haven't even been looking Ronald," Hermione replied, "Just remember what I told you."
"What did she tell you?" Ginny asked with interest.
"Nothing, nothing at all," Ron said hastily as his ears turned a deep shade of red.
"We're not getting any younger Ronald," Hermione said, her expression softening.
"Don't worry Hermione. Before you know it Ron will have a job and you two can get married and shag and have a whole litter of kids," George said slapping Ron on the back.
Ron spluttered and coughed as the rest of the table roared with laughter at Ron's discomfort.
"That's not what we...That's not what she meant!" Ron said recovering from choking down the food he had been swallowing.
"Relax mate," George said with a chuckle, "I was only yankin your wand."
"Isn't that Hermione's job?" Fred asked
The whole table erupted into another fit of laughter as Ron looked down at his plate. Even Hermione was blushing now.
"Enough teasing your brother," Molly said trying to hide the look of amusement on her face, "Shouldn't you two be heading to work?"
"Ah the joys of owning one's own business," Fred said haughtily, "We make our own hours."
"Well some of us do have normal jobs," Hermione said as she stood up, "I'm off to work. Walk me to the door Ronald?"
Ron got up and him and Hermione exited followed by cat calls and wolf whistling from the twins before Arthur stood up and announced that he too needed to head to work.
Soon it was just Ginny and her mother left in the kitchen.
"How are you doing dear?" Her mother asked, startling Ginny from her thoughs.
"I'm fine mum," Ginny replied, "Still a little tired but I'm doing better. I'm just gonna go up and take a look at these pamphlets."
"Alright dear," Molly said.
It looked like her mother wanted to say more to her but she walked through the door before her mother had a chance to start.
She threw herself on to her bed when she reached her room and began looking through the pamphlets that had come with her letter.
They were mostly about the different positions at St Mungos and what each position required and the duties she would have to perform once she chose.
She didn't know what she wanted to do yet. There was many to choose from. She did have two weeks to decided though and thought it plenty of time to decide.
All of a sudden, one caught her attention and she pulled it out from behind the others and began reading it.
She smiled when she was done. She always wondered what it would be like to have children. She knew that dream was out of reach because the only person she could've seen herself having children with was dead but the idea was no less appealing.
She sat the letters back on her bedside table and went to find her mother to tell her that she had already decided what she wanted to do at ST Mungos.
The pamphlet that had held her interest lay on top of the others and the words "Do you have what it takes to be a midwife" could be seen at the top of the page.
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