Chapter 6 : Working on Things
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The balance of May and June passed quickly at the Burrow. Molly did an excellent job of hiding her feelings, and no one was the wiser. The two couples did whatever she asked, and had some time every day for each other. They couldn't have been happier. One of the first things they did was to go to Diagon Alley and asked Molly if she wanted to join them. She agreed and they went on Arthur's day off (which he didn't have too many of with the state the Ministry was in). They went to Madam Malkin's to replace the clothes they had lost and to Quality Quidditch Supplies. Harry was delighted to see a representative for Firebolt brooms was there, who insisted on supplying them with whatever they desired. Harry asked for and received a total of 10 of the newest model, four for them and six to keep at the Burrow in case any friends came by and an impromptu Quidditch Match started up. Molly initially complained about this, as well as the money he was spending, but her husband assured her that Harry could easily afford it. This played on her fears that he was buying their affections not realizing how strongly they felt for each other. Their relationships began well before Harry inheriting money. He had received a small amount as a trust fund from his parents to use while he was at Hogwarts, and was never told he would get more when he came of age.
Molly tried to get the information out of her oldest Bill who worked at Gringotts. "I don't know exactly how much he is worth" he said trying to not lie to his mother. "All I know is that he will never have to work for the rest of his life. If he was to get married one day, his children probably would not have to either." Bill stopped himself from saying 'When he and Ginny get married'. He didn't want to press his luck. After looking into the pensieve he and his brothers had talked. While Ginny had professed since she could talk that one day she would marry Harry Potter, they were glad to see how much he loved her. When the time came for him to ask he would have their blessing.
The biggest projects were the reconstruction of Harry's home when he was a baby, and remodeling #12 Grimmauld Place. They went to Godric's Hollow first. Harry passed through the charm preventing unwanted visitors and quietly walked through the home. Ginny clung tightly to Harry when they went upstairs, not knowing how bad the damage was. Before they reached the nursery you could see daylight, and the reason why became apparent when they entered. The room was in shambles. The only thing left standing was his crib. Every other thing was charred black from the massive explosion. On the back side, the one facing away from the street, a section of roof and the adjacent wall was blown off.
Ginny was hysterical. Harry took her into his parents room and they sat on the bed. "I don't understand how you survived Harry" she said in between her tears.
"It was because of his mother's love. Lily was a very passionate woman Ginny, much like you are" she heard her mother say from the doorway. She had her back to them, staring into what remained of the nursery. "One day I hope you will understand."
Ginny just nodded, thinking her mother was implying she and Harry would be together one day. Instead it was that a mother is very protective of her child and will do whatever it takes to ensure their safety. Whether their child believes it or not is a different story ...
Hermione helped to reinforce the charms surrounding the house when they left. All four got very quiet for the next several days, each wondering what their lives would have been like if Harry had not survived that fateful night. In Molly's case she believed her family would be whole, and better off for not having met him.
Molly was again asked to join them upon their return to #12 Grimmauld Place. She was quite happy to do so. 'I hope Harry and Hermione will be happy together here' she told herself as she studied the faded wallpaper. Much progress had been made, but much, much more remained. The biggest problem was the portrait of Walburga Black which hung in the hall. Try as they might, they could not remove it.
"Kreacher it's too bad we couldn't turn the wall around, so she could visit with the rest of her family" Ron told them.
"As you wish Master Weasley" Kreacher replied. He went and retrieved a step ladder and traced a line on the wall with his finger. It formed a box maybe a foot larger than the frame. He stepped off the ladder and snapped his fingers. They were amazed to see the section of wall float out into the hall, spin around, and return leaving no trace.
"Brilliant Kreacher" exclaimed Harry. He had been afraid that he would be stuck with it forever. While he might have gotten used to her screaming and cursing, his friends should not be subjected to her. This was the perfect compromise. With the mother of Sirius and Regulus Black in an out of site place, he could move forward with his plans to remodel. And Kreacher would be happy knowing that Mrs. Black was not being thrown out of her own home.
It turned out that Molly and Ginny both had a knack for fixing up a house. Ginny did her best, thinking of how she would want the house to be like if Harry ever asked her to marry him. Molly wanted him to be happy too, just not with her daughter. Harry repeatedly thanked them for doing this to help him, and by midsummer the job was complete. The formerly drab and dreary house was now light and airy. Neutral colors covered the walls, except for the parlor which featured the Black Family Tree. That was left alone for the comfort of Kreacher and Mrs. Black. Both the Potters and the Weasleys were pictured on it several generations apart.
On the top floor they found an unused closet, and Harry surprised Kreacher by transforming it into his own room. They used the room extension charm to more than triple the size of it, and placed a mattress they found in the attic (this must have belonged to Regulus when he was a child) in it for him to use. To the naked eye you would think this was a play room set up for a six year old complete with a bed, dresser, and a part of the wall charmed so you felt like you had a window. Kreacher was overwhelmed by this, curling up on his new bed sobbing "Master and Mistress are too kind!"
In the case of Godric's Hollow they knew the initial reconstruction was beyond them. So Harry hired a company Kingsley highly recommended to undertake this. It would take them a month to take apart and put back together the upper floor of the old house. It was Harry's and Ron's hope that the two girls would want to live there or at Grimmauld Place. Each was to have four bedrooms, so they did not want to make the girls feel pressured in any way. Molly and Arthur took it to mean that when the time came Harry wanted a large family.
Hermione and Ginny spent a lot of time wondering what was on the boys minds. 'Did they want us to move in with them? We only recently became boyfriend/girlfriend. It would be a big jump to living and sleeping together' Hermione said to Ginny. While both of them had fantasized about it (all four had) they each knew they had not progressed to that level in their relationship. At times it made things awkward for them, afraid of each other misinterpreting a word or gesture. Unfortunately part of that could be blamed by being the child of Molly Weasley. While she is a very loving and caring person, she is also very opinionated. Almost no grey areas, something was either right or wrong. And the worst part was that she felt everyone needed to know how she felt. She couldn't keep her thoughts to herself. More than once this created problems within the Order of the Phoenix. She would clash with Professor Dumbledore over things, but because he was older and more experienced (and way, way stronger) she normally had to back down. He gave in when he could, but oftentimes there was no room for compromise. The best example was when James and Lily died. She argued to take Harry, saying that she was a mother and would give him a good home. Albus replied that he needed to go to a blood relative, and their house was already dangerously overcrowded. He had no choice but to place him with the Dursley's.
The month of July got progressively hotter and hotter. By mid month it had reached 90 degrees. In an effort to beat the heat they decided to go swimming. Molly chose not to join them, telling them that she wanted to go to Diagon Alley and check on George. He had reopened Weasley's Wizard Wheezes at 99 Diagon Alley, two doors down from the original location. Harry financed this telling George that he was only doing what a good business partner should. Seeing this Molly began to have a change of heart about Harry. Nothing bad had happened since the Battle, and her children could not be happier. So she had no problems leaving them alone for the afternoon especially since the wards around their property had been reinforced. Packing a picnic lunch for them she flooed to George's shop. George was there, as were Angelina Johnson and Katie Bell. So was Lee Jordan. They took turns showing her the newest products, including one guaranteed to keep you awake if you needed to stay up and study. She laughed when he showed her (Lee reluctantly volunteered) how it worked. Eat this small piece of chocolate and within 30 minutes your bum was covered with needles. You could not sit down if you had to. They called it 'Studying' candy.
When Molly left the foursome went upstairs to change. Ginny went into the loo, coming out with an oversized shirt (it was Harry's) over her bathing suit. Hermione was not as self conscious, since Harry, Ginny, and Ron had each seen the scar Bellatrix Lestrange had given her. And since Ron was not mad about it (he and Harry actually were, but they disguised it) she did not have any problem either.
Harry and Ron had shirts on too as they walked down the grassy path to the pond. Harry could tell Ginny was apprehensive, and he tried to distract her by talking about his parents home, asking her questions like 'What color should we paint the kitchen?' or 'What kind of furniture would be nice for the parlor? Couches or chairs?' It was his way of giving her something else to think about, other than what was troubling her.
Harry had no way of knowing how ashamed Ginny was. 'He will hate himself when he sees me, I just know it! And every time he looks at me it will remind him of what happened. I will lose him after today, I can feel it!' She began to cry, so Hermione and Ron continued on ahead so they could talk.
"Ginny? Sweetheart what's wrong?" he asked.
"Oh Harry, we have all been so happy. Something is going to happen to mess this all up I just know it !" she replied holding him as tightly as she could.
"That's not going to happen. We have all been through too much. I can't lose you again. I won't. I love you Ginny" he said.
"Harry Potter I love you too" she answered, looking as deeply into his eyes as he was into hers. They gave each other a long, passionate kiss, then proceeded after Hermione and Ron.
"C'mon in, the water feels great" they heard Ron say. He and Hermione were just out past the dock where she could still stand. The water was in the middle of Ron's chest. Harry took off his shirt and the other three stared. It was the first time in the daylight they could see the scars from their journey, and the two girls gaped at him.
"Does it still hurt?" Hermione whispered, closing her eyes so she didn't stare.
"Not for a while. Not since he died. This one's almost healed" he said, gesturing to the one made by the locket. It was now a reddish brown, almost back to his skin color. But the lightning shaped one on his chest was greenish purple.
Ginny gently touched it. "Are you sure? You are not keeping anything from me are you?" she quietly asked afraid that he would respond with 'yes it does and probably always will'.
"When we were out there on the run, one of the things I promised you, in front of these two (he gestured to Hermione and Ron) was that there will be no more secrets. Never again."
"Thank you Harry" Ginny replied, again dreading his reaction when she removed her shirt. "Now you two guys close your eyes so I can get in" she teased.
"Ginny you didn't forget the top to your suit did you?" asked an embarrassed Ron.
"No but can't I be modest in front of my brother and my boyfriend?" she laughed, winking at Harry.
"Absolutely" Harry answered covering his eyes. He heard Hermione pulling Ron towards her so he could not watch. He felt a splash as Ginny dove in and opened his eyes to see her in the deeper water so only her head was showing.
"Don't I get a chance to see my beautiful girlfriend?" he teased back.
"Maybe if you're good" she replied laughing back. But not with her eyes. She was terrified. Her eyes met Hermione's when she saw the scar, knowing why Ginny was acting the way she was.
"I want my boyfriend all to myself" Hermione selfishly said, pulling Ron to the opposite end of the pond.
"Yes dear" he replied swimming alongside her.
"Now where were we?" Harry asked as he swan over to her.
"You were telling me how beautiful I am" Ginny replied, pulling Harry tightly against her.
"And to me you are Ginny. Way prettier than those muggle TV and Movie stars. Lots of makeup and stuff on them. What I love the most about you is how real you are. No act, no pretending to be someone or something you're not. Just the kind of person I want to spend the rest of my life with" he answered.
Ginny clung to Harry, trying to get as close as possible. She still dreaded how he will react when he saw her, but with each minute that passed she became more confident. After a good bit of snogging she made her decision. "Harry you have been honest with all of us, and I need to be with you also. While the three of you were gone, Hogwarts got worse and worse. Voldemort had sent two Death Eaters Alecto and Amycus Carrow to be teachers. Muggle Studies turned into why we are better than them, and Defense became how to curse someone.
Students began to get injured, especially the muggle born. Some disappeared completely. So we restarted the DA. Along with Neville, Luna, Seamus, Michael, Hannah and the others we began to act. Sometimes we tried to sabotage the Slytherins, but most times we wanted to help the injured students. We found some in the dungeons and brought them back to the Room of Requirement which was our home.
One night I was out with Michael, Cho, Seamus, and two others who had joined our cause. I saw a crying student in the hall and bent over to help her. It was a trap set by Draco Malfoy with the help of Crabbe, Goyle, and Millicent Bullstrode! Cho and Seamus escaped, but the rest of us were captured."
"Ginny did they hurt you? What happened?" Harry asked his body stiffening. His worst fear was about to be realized, that the woman he loved was hurt because of him.
"Harry this wasn't your fault! We went out there to help people, just like the three of you were doing" she softly told him, brushing his long wet hair out of his eyes. Seeing his scar reminded her that she needed to finish her story. "We woke up chained to a wall in the dungeon. Alecto Carrow was there, and used the Cruciatis curse on us for information about the School, you, and where we were hiding. The next day some muggles were brought in, and Pansy Parkinson used the Avada Curse to kill them. But it was the way she did it that was even more horrible. She put her hand on my chest like this" she placed her hand over Harry's heart "and then shouted the curse! I have never felt such pain as that. Did it hurt you when Voldemort did it to you?" she wondered crying as she told him.
"Yes" he whispered, knowing that when he showed in the pensieve what happened he knew she felt it too. "You said muggles. How many were there?"
"Four" she responded into his blank face. She could feel him withdrawing from her blaming himself. 'If only' had to be going through his mind right now.
"Hold me please Harry. I feel so cold" she said, shivering as she wrapped her legs around him. This snapped him out of the depression he was headed towards. He wrapped his arms around her moving them into the shallower warmer water.
"Oh Ginny" he said, when he saw why she had herself covered up. In the center of her chest, directly over her heart, was a palm shaped scar. It had shades of purple and green in it, similar to his. He bent over and kissed it, just like she did after the pensieve.
"We make quite a pair don't we" he said smiling at her. She came completely unglued, so grateful that he did not hate her or himself because of her disfigurement.
"Are you OK now Ginny?" she heard her brother Ron ask. He and Hermione could not wait any longer to see and hear what happened.
"Now I am" she answered as she kissed her Harry, not knowing that this would be that last time they would be together for a while.
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