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Chapter 24 : Ch 24 The Attack at Godric’s Hollow
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Harry and Ginny apparated to the area of the house. Harry stood back but Ginny went right up, and tried to open the gate. There seemed to be a barrier preventing her from getting in, but then her engagement ring began to glow, and the barrier seemed to melt away.
“There are wards around the house, but I could get past. It looks like since we are married you will not have any problem” Harry said. “Hand in hand they walked through the gate and into the small house. They looked around the main floor, and found a little room that was obviously used as an office. It had two modest sized desks side by side, and more books and papers than you could imagine could fit into the small room.
“When we get our house done all this will go into our library” Harry said. “For now I’d like to see if I can find out how Dad and the Marauders made the Marauders Map.” Harry went to his father’s desk, and Ginny went to Lilly’s. Eventually Ginny found a lot of notes and personal correspondence. There were also notes in most of Lilly’s text books, and Ginny decided that most of the papers in the desk and text books should go with her and Harry, and took them out to be shrunk and brought back to the New Burrow.
Harry found and shrunk a lot of material, and finally found a large portfolio that would not open. He tried several things, and nothing worked, and finally tried “I solemnly swear I am up to no good.” The portfolio opened and inside was pages and pages of notes, and several early permutations of the Marauders Map. There were also notes on how to make two potions, with what looked like his father’s firm handwriting and what Harry thought may have been his mother’s. “Ginny, look at this” Harry said.
Ginny, who had looked through a number of things Lilly had written, took one look at the notes and said “That’s your mother’s handwriting!”
“She helped with the Marauders Map?” an astonished Harry questioned.
“I haven’t seen a lot, Harry” Ginny said, “But I think that your mum and dad had a pretty complex relationship for the seven years they spent at Hogwarts.” Ginny had found a small box labelled ‘James and Lilly, letters.’ In the small box was a huge collection of notes, way way more than could fit in the small box without magic. The addresses on the front gave away some of the relationship. James was obviously smitten with Lilly from the start, writing to the ‘Lovely Lilly Evans’ and “Lilly the best Potion Student at Hogwarts’ and even a note to ‘Lilly the fifth M.’ “Would that be the fifth Marauder?” Ginny asked.
‘The impossible James Potter’ one letter had on the front, ‘James the Arrogant’ said quite a number of them, ‘To James Potter, in hopes you are still in school after your last idiot stunt’ said still another. Ginny had only read a couple of letters, but the one addressed to James after the ‘idiot stunt’ could have been a howler. Ginny was surprised it was not written on red paper. It was obvious from that letter that Lilly was furious, and as the same time really cared for James.
It took about 2 hours for them to find what they were looking for, but eventually they had a small library of books and notes that they shrunk and took out with them. Harry and Ginny left the house, and saw Kyle and Tammy Lewis waiting for them. They seemed to be trying to stay a little discrete, staying close but not being too obvious. “I’d like to go past the monument to my parents” Harry said.
Harry and Ginny were almost to the monument on the square when they heard Kyle shout “SHIELDS UP! BACK TO BACK!” Harry sprang to life, immediately putting up shields just in time to keep from being hit from by several spells. Harry concentrated on keeping the shields up. He and Ginny pressed their backs against each other and Harry said “we are going to turn around slowly. Try to see how many attackers there are. Are Kyle and Tammy OK?” They turned around 360 degrees with Harry concentrating on keeping the shields up and Ginny trying to see what she could. Kyle and Tammy were firing spells as they started, but before they turned half way around everything got quiet.
Kyle ran over to Harry and Ginny and almost yelled, the strain evident in his voice “Everyone seems to have left. I think they were six or eight of them, but as soon as they saw that there was someone other than you two, and that we were firing spells at them, they left. Not before Tammy caught a couple of bad curses, though. I need to take her to St. Mungo’s right away, and I need you to come with me.” They all hurried over to Tammy, Kyle picked her up and the 4 went to the hospital. Between the first shouting by Kyle until the time they got to the hospital no more than 5 minutes had taken place.
5 minutes later Jim and Sue Shook showed up at the hospital. Jim asked “What in the world is going on? We got word that you two had been attacked!”
Harry briefly told them “Tammy is hurt. There was an attack on us, Ginny and me, and as soon as they saw what was happening Kyle and Tammy shouted to us and started to fire spells to protect us. The six or eight wizards who were attacking us disappeared very quickly, but not before hitting Tammy. I don’t know what is wrong with her, but Kyle is in with her right now.”
“I’ll go in and see Tammy and Kyle” Sue said. “Maybe I can find out how Tammy is, if she is badly hurt.”
Jim said “Did either of you see any of the attackers?”
“No” said Harry. “I just saw the spells and put up shields, because that’s what Kyle ordered us to do, and to protect Ginny.”
“You don’t remember anything more?” asked Jim.
“It all happened really fast” Ginny volunteered.
Within another 15 minutes there were 4 more Aurors, 2 North American, one French and one Chinese. Everybody had to be brought up to date. Sue came back with more information from Kyle. “It looks like Tammy is going to recover, but they want her in the hospital at least overnight. Sometimes curse wounds are tricky. It does not look like she suffered any permanent damage.”
A short time later Kyle came out, saying “Tammy going to recover, but she is going to be in the hospital at least overnight. I’m glad the attackers were not very coordinated. That could have been a disaster. I’m going to go back to the site of the attack to see if I can help the team that’s on the site identifying any leftover spells or evidence. I should be back in an hour or so.”
Harry said “I’d like to go with you.”
Jim said “Harry, our standing orders are to get you and Ginny to a safe place if there is an attack. We’re not to let you leave until the situation is under control. They want you, not us! As long as they want you, you being there is going to make things more complicated and more dangerous to everybody else! As long as one of the two teams that is shadowing you two is out of commission and another has not been assigned the situation is not under control! Besides this attack changes everything! Stay here until Al or someone from his team is here.”
“You didn’t notify Al?” Harry asked in horror.
Jim responded “Hell Harry, the whole Ministry knows about the attack. Everything is in an uproar. Stay here please and don’t make the situation much worse!”
For the first 10 or 15 minutes after the attack Harry and Ginny were just operating on adrenalin, trying to remember any detail of the attack. Finally Harry asked Jim “What could we have done differently?”
Jim said “There was some discussion early on about having more security when you or Ginny were out in a more public area, but we did not want to get more intrusive either. As long as there had not been an attack it was hard to argue for more security. Harry, this attack changes things.”
Harry was very concerned about his safety and even more about Ginny’s safety. Ginny was getting mad. She wanted to know what they could do to catch these dark wizards. They were also getting impatient to do something. After about 2 hours they were told they were going to take a secure floo to the new Potter/American Auror headquarters, and go to a large conference room there. Harry and Ginny were met by Bill and Fleur, Ron and Hermione, and Arthur and Molly Weasley, and all the other Weasleys. They were also met by several Aurors. As they were getting seated they could hear Al VanLente’s booming voice say “I told you this was going to happen! What the hell did you think was going to happen?”
Al came striding into the room, followed by a very concerned Kingsley Shacklebolt and a very harried and worried Gawain Robards. Gawain said “Our Aurors were not assigned to protect Harry” as they walked into the room. Al responded “There is no way in hell you would have been allowed to protect Harry. First, he is paying for the Aurors shadowing his family himself. Second, if you had your way there would not be anybody protecting him. To quote ‘Is Harry Potter that important that we need to spend precious resources guarding him?’ Damn right he is that important and damn right we do need to guard them, Gawain. These idiots want to hurt Harry above all else, or his family.”
Damn!” said Al, “right in the middle of my Christmas vacation. It’s probably not the way you intended to spend your Christmas vacation either, is it Harry, Ginny, Weasley clan? Damn! Damn! Damn!” Each damn was punctuated by Al’s fist pounding on the conference table. “This is one of those failures I talked about. Way too close. OK, what went wrong?”
Harry said “Well Ginny and I were safe at Hogwarts and Diagon Alley and the New Burrow. How much security do you have at the New Burrow?”
“A lot more than you can see, Harry” said Al. “There are a lot of people to protect, but most of them do not move outside the protected perimeter. You are paying for six Aurors for the family in addition to the four for you, and the ministry usually has a couple close or assigned as ready backup. We have had a couple of times where we found what we thought were dark wizards scouting around the area, but since it is rural and there is no reason for them to be there we have been able to scare them away easily.”
Harry said “But Godric’s Hallow is a place where small groups of wizards would not attract attention, and you had no idea who should be there and who should not be there. And once we went into my parents’ house the dark wizards had time to get backup, and we only had 2 Aurors protecting us.”
Al brightened up. “I think we may be able to keep you and Ginny alive if you keep thinking like that. What we need to do is to assign extra protection when you or Ginny are going to be in a place that may be dangerous?”
“Plenty of advance notice?” asked Harry.
“Yea” said Al, “Hell on spontaneity. We create safe environments, and when you are going to leave those environments you give us plenty of advance notice. And we respond with enough protection.”
“How am I going to function as an Auror?” asked Harry.
“You never were going to be an ordinary Auror, Harry” said Al. “You are always going to have several Aurors around you, and although we cannot protect you from all danger you are too valuable to get killed for some stupid reason.”
“Do you have any ideas on who attack us?” Harry asked.
“Not really” Gawain said. “Although I didn’t agree at first I believe you do need protection. The Death Eaters and their allies have every reason in the world to hate you, and there are rumours out there that they are determined to kill you in revenge for killing Riddle.”
The rest of the meeting was working out details on how the enhanced protection was going to work. Al announced that he was as he said “pulling rank” and his family was going to spend Christmas in the United States, but that they would be back before the first of the year. Meanwhile Harry and Ginny were not to go out of protected areas without arranging extra protection well in advanced. Al wanted Ron and Hermione to have extra protection, and in fact wanted any Weasley to get extra protection if they were going to spend any time in a “dangerous” area. The Weasley clan was frightened enough by the attack to agree.
Harry, Hermione and all the Weasleys went back to the New Burrow to talk about this new development. Until they could catch the dark wizards they were all going to have to be more careful.
Wednesday December 23 Harry and Ginny spent the day helping Molly decorate the house for Christmas. Ron and Hermione were busy at WWW, and as part of his compensation Ron was getting a share in the ownership of WWW. Harry would probably have worked at WWW as well, but Al told him to lay low until he was back and they had a chance to re-evaluate security.
Harry had his first chance to really look carefully at the New Burrow since talking to Al and Dan VanLente about Magical and Muggle space. The New Burrow was built on the foundation of a Muggle building, and because of this the rooms were all at least a minimum size. It was fully wired for electricity and the Internet, and somehow that wiring adjusted when rooms changed in size.
Molly really liked the look of wood, and there was beautiful wood wainscoting about 3 feet up on almost all the walls. Molly never realized that the antique wood finishes that she liked were more expensive than simpler looking woodwork. Above that in the kitchen was a scene of the gardens and orchards, magically painted to look like a kind of ideal vision of the outside of the New Burrow. The scene was painted to be able to give out light, and in the evening if you wanted good light in the kitchen you could make the scene a daylight scene. There were only a couple of Wizard Artists in the world who could paint a scene like this, and Harry never told Molly how much this scene cost. All of the walls could give out light. The dining room was separated from the kitchen by sliding doors. It had more conventional wallpaper like pattern on the wall, but you could open both rooms to each other and extend the kitchen painting onto the dining room. Harry noticed that there was nowhere near enough room for the sliding doors to open all the way with the little stub of wall that was left, but this sort of thing never seemed to matter in magical spaces.
The library was about 30% full of books, including copies of just about every home schooling book or Hogwarts text book any of the children ever used, plus most of the standard Wizarding reference books. Of course all of these books were brand new. They took the books and notes that they had taken from Harry’s parents’ house and put them in the library as well.
The living room looked like a prosperous wizard’s house with leather seating, a big fireplace, plenty of gas light sconces on the walls, and big windows on the end wall. There was a big glass double door between the living room and the front yard to enable the yard to function as an extension of the living room on summer days. The area between the 2 L shaped suites of rooms in the back of the house was a patio with a glassed in ceiling, and you could control the temperature of that area with magic as well.
The upstairs bedrooms all had either large beds or pairs of smaller beds, and dressers and chairs, usually a desk. Most of the furniture in each room matched, but all of the rooms were different.
The rooms that Andromeda Tonks lived in had her furniture and possessions in them. The furniture in Teddy’s room, plus toys and anything else of Teddy’s, was in a bedroom just upstairs of Arthur and Molly’s room; Teddy had come to them with almost nothing so Ginny and Molly had gotten things for him, and at Harry’s insistence had gotten new nice looking furniture and toys.
Molly had been able to get copies of photographs, awards, and some other family memorabilia to put on the walls, but she still felt that the house was empty. Of course most people felt the old Burrow was a cluttered and quirky place, but Molly accumulated people and stuff and losing all the accumulation of a lifetime was very hard on her.
Harry had a lot of stuff from Grimmauld Place, but there was no place in Molly’s house for snake themed sconces and Black family possessions.
December 24 turned out to be a very quiet day. Harry and Ginny played with Teddy. Harry, Ginny, Arthur, Molly and Andromeda talked. Harry and Ginny had plenty of time together, to talk about anything and everything. They even started to sort out the books and notes that they had brought back from Godric’s Hallow, although they did not get into reading the information, just sort of sorting it out so they knew what they had.
George and Angelica were closing the store at 5:00 PM, and then going over to the Johnson house for Christmas Eve. Hermione left for her parents’ house about 3:00 PM, and Ron followed at 5:00 PM. Percy was going to be spending Christmas Eve with Audrey’s parents. Charlie was tending dragons Christmas Eve, but would be at the house in the morning. Bill and Fleur were going to spend Christmas Eve in France with her family.
Christmas day Harry and Ginny got up at 7:00 and were downstairs by 8:00 to help with breakfast, but with house elves there really was no need. Molly was beginning to teach Berry how she liked food cooked, and they were slowly beginning to function as a team. By 9:00 everybody was at the New Burrow for food. The only child was Teddy, and he was about 8 months old. He received his fair share of gifts, but his biggest delight was having all these people pay attention to him. Of course he wowed the crowd by changing his hair to match that of everyone who held him, including Fleur’s long, beautiful blond hair. Teddy was close to walking, could crawl or roll to where he wanted to go, and had to be watched every second.
Although the family did not want Christmas to become a meeting about the attack there was plenty of talk about it and about the threat that still hung over the Weasley family.
The 26th was Boxing day, but because it was Saturday WWW was going to be open. George felt that there would be plenty of young witches and wizards eager to spend Christmas money at the store, and in this he was not disappointed. Ron and Hermione tended the Hogsmeade store, and it was well worth their while to be there. So the next time the family got together was the following Sunday morning.
Harry and Ginny did spend part of Saturday with the Potter notes from Godric’s Hallow. There was a lot of information about the Marauders Map.
Sunday morning the whole family gathered together again. Percy and Audrey were grinning from ear to ear, and announced that the evening of the 26th Percy had asked Audrey to marry him. They were planning on getting married the first part of July. Hermione was trying to arrange a June wedding. Molly of course gave Audrey a copy of Witches and Wizards Graphic Guide to Married Sex. Audrey thanked her future mother-in-law and put the book unopened in her purse. Later when Ginny and Harry were alone Ginny wondered aloud if Percy and Audrey would ever feel free enough to open the book. When she thought of the two of them having sex she started to giggle, and before she was through she had Harry laughing as well.
Molly was ecstatic with the thoughts of all these weddings to plan. Her big chance to have a formal wedding for her only daughter had been frustrated by the rather quick wedding of Ginny and Harry, but she was determined to make the most of daughter-in-law weddings if she could. It remained to be seen how much help her future daughter-in-laws would allow her to be.
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