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Memoirs of My Past by EmeraldWolfEyes

Format: Short story
Chapters: 4
Word Count: 15,756
Status: COMPLETED

Rating: 15+
Warnings: Strong Violence, Scenes of a Mild Sexual Nature

Genres: Romance, Action/Adventure, Angst
Characters: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Lupin, McGonagall, Lucius, Neville, Draco, Fred, Ginny
Pairings: Arthur/Molly, Harry/Ginny, Lucius/Narcissa, Ron/Hermione

First Published: 08/19/2006
Last Chapter: 01/04/2012
Last Updated: 01/04/2012

Summary:
The biggest and greatest of "thank you"s to Alohomora, who made this amazing banner! 


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An elderly woman tells stories to her grandchildren of the life she once lived, and the person she once lived it with. *** A Harry/Ginny Romance, this story is made up of a series of flashbacks of their life together.  It is told by revisiting scenes from important parts of their lives.   This story is completed!



Chapter 1: The One I Love
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Disclaimer: Harry Potter and the characters associated with it do not belong to me (though you should know that). The belong to J.K. Rowling (and you should also know that). Every scene in this chapter except the first one is based on a scene from one of the books, as is the first scene in the second chapter. I do not claim the general plot of these scenes, only the content in them as they are in the view of Ginny Weasley, and not Harry Potter. The writing and words are mine. I did not use any of her quotes or sentences. After these scenes, however, the content is entirely new.  This story was written before the seventh book came out also so beware of that!

A/N: It's been requested that I put up a tissue warning, so that I have. I hope it doesn't come to that, but this is here for all of the emotional people out there. :)



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“Grandma,” started the redheaded child slowly, “can you tell us another story about Grandpa Harry?”

The other children looked up from their play with interest, and then scurried over to the old rocking chair in which their grandmother was sitting.

“Oh, all right,” the old woman sighed. Her long wavy red hair, specked with gray, flowed down her back, and the lines on her face showed proof of the hard life she had led. She looked tired; she looked in need of a rest. The only thing that suggested otherwise was her eyes. Their hazel color reflected the life they still held. They danced with emotion and memory. She was still a very beautiful woman. “Your grandfather was a great man: a hero, a friend, a lover, a son. He was my everything, and I can remember everything about him, from the first time we met until the day we said goodbye…”

***

September 1, 1991

“Ron, please let me come with you. You can’t leave me here all alone with her!”

“With who?” he asked distractedly, as he was trying to pack.

“Mum! She’ll drive me crazy; I’ll go insane! You don’t want me to go insane, do you Ronald? Do you?”

“Ginny," he sighed.  "You’re not going to go insane. Besides, it’s just for one year. Next year you’ll have to come with us.”

“But I want to go this year!”

“No Ginny, you can’t. I’ve got to finish packing. Are you just going to stand there, or will you help?”

Ginny threw a pillow at her brother’s head before running down the stairs. She screamed as he started to chase after her, and hid behind her mother’s large form upon reaching the kitchen.

“Ronald Weasley! Get back up there right this instant! Chasing your poor sister around, you could have hurt someone! I doubt you’ve finished packing! Well, have you?” Mrs. Weasley watched as Ron shook his head, and then motioned for him to leave. “We’re leaving in ten minutes, everyone!” she shouted.

Ginny stuck her tongue out at her brother and grabbed a piece of toast.

Ten minutes later, Fred, George, Percy, Ron, Ginny and Mrs. Weasley piled into a cab that Mr. Weasley had called for them earlier that morning. During the ride to King’s Cross, nobody said much of anything. Ron was still fuming: his ears were turning a bright red color. Mrs. Weasley was busy checking everyone over, making sure they looked decent for their first day of school. Fred and George were whispering together in a corner of the cab, as Percy looked on disapprovingly. Ginny was still cross with Ron, but she knew she was still going to miss him, as she would miss them all.  This would be her first year alone in the house without a brother to play with or annoy. 

“Ron, what’s that on your nose?”

“It’s probably just a freckle, mum,” he replied.

“No, it’s not! It’s dirt! Wipe it off, Ron, dear. This is your first day, and you should try to make a good first impression.”

Fred and George sniggered, and Ginny rolled her eyes. It’s just one more year until I go to school with them, she reminded herself sadly.

When they arrived at the station, the kids unpacked their trunks and walked toward the barrier between platforms nine and ten. Percy ran through first, and then Fred and George. Naturally, they had to play a little joke on their mother first. It was expected. They found great joy and amusement in their pranks, as did almost everyone else. Eventually, however, they managed to run through the barrier, leaving Ron, Ginny and Mrs. Weasley alone. Just as Ron was about to run through after them, a boy came up to what was left of the family. He had bright green eyes and untidy black hair. He had circular glasses, but they didn’t make him any less handsome. That was the day Ginny Weasley met Harry Potter, and that was the first and last time she fell in love.

Last Week of May, 1993

Ginny had stolen the diary from Harry. How he had gotten it, she didn’t know. All that mattered now was that he would never discover that it was her who had hurt all those people, or that it was she who had opened the Chamber of Secrets. Ginny opened up the tiny book, and started to write.

Tom, you mustn’t talk to Harry! You would tell him my secrets, wouldn’t you? I tried to get rid of you, and yet you found your way back into my life. Why can’t you just leave? Leave me alone, Tom. I hate you! You made me do this!

Relax, Gin. Just relax. I promise I won’t do anything. I won’t tell Potter about your secrets- any of them. Relax.


Oddly, Ginny did find herself relaxing. Really relaxing. It was like she couldn’t control her own body anymore.

What are you doing to me? Stop! Stop or I’ll

But she couldn’t write anymore. Her hand fell limply by her side. She couldn’t move it. She fell into a dreamlike glide. The diary was in her arms, and Tom was still writing.

This is it Ginny Weasley. I will finally be restored to my body, and Harry Potter will be nothing more than a memory. Ironic, isn’t it? Memory? That's all I was until you came along.  You’ve helped me to kill the Boy-Who-Lived.

That was all she could read before her mind was completely taken over by the memory of Tom Riddle.

***

Ginny woke a while later, her body tired and hurting. She had seen Tom Riddle come out of the diary before she had fallen completely unconscious, but now he was nowhere to be seen. Harry was though. He ran over to her. Ginny gasped when she saw the dead basilisk, the blood on Harry’s robes, and the diary in his arms. What had happened? She tried to explain everything. She tried to tell him that she had done it, that she had helped petrify those people, that she had killed the chickens, and that she had written those messages on the wall. She had done it all.

He tried to soothe her, and it kind of worked. She settled down enough for him to pick her up and help her towards the chamber entrance. She sobbed, thinking of everything that had happened. She felt positive that she would be expelled, and that her family would disown her.

It wasn’t long before they heard shifting rock up ahead. Her time alone with Harry had ended, and now he thought her a lunatic. She was sure of it.

But she was wrong.

June, 1996

Ginny had given up on her childish crush for more than a few years. A lot had happened over those years. Ginny had never truly gotten over Harry, but she had certainly tried moved on. She had started dating other people, though none of them had seemed quite right for her. She had gotten pretty close to Michael Corner, but he too had been a disappointment.

Outside of her love life, many other changes had taken place. The biggest of these was the return of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. Although his rebirth was not accepted by the world, Ginny knew it to be true. She had seen the look in Harry’s eyes the few times he had mentioned it: there was no way he was lying. When he returned that night he was more distant and serious than ever before. He had grown up over Cedric’s death and You-Know-Who’s return. It was as if he had taken on a great burden; a great responsibility.

When it seemed like it could get no worse for him, he had been attacked over the summer, forced to attend a disciplinary hearing, forced to endure an evil teacher who tried to vilify his every word, and forced to experience dreams of a weird nature which made his sanity come under question. In short, Harry had had a rough year. He still had his friends though, and he was the leader of a secret Defense Against the Dark Arts group. Ginny and he were also now closer than they had ever been. Once she had gotten over her crush, she had finally been able to talk to him. She even felt comfortable yelling at him when the occasion called for it.

Now it was nearing the end of her fourth year, and Harry and the other fifth years were busy taking their O.W.L’s. She too had exams, though hers were not as rigorous as those her friends were taking.

Things were different at the school now too. Dumbledore and Hagrid were both on the run, Professor McGonagall was injured and unable to work, and the Ministry was running Hogwarts. Her older brothers, Fred and George Weasley, had also left, leaving the school in absolute mayhem. Did anyone expect anything less of them?

It was a warm spring day and Ginny had just finished her Transfiguration test. She had been walking down the hall with Luna following close behind her when they heard shouting coming from a supposedly empty classroom. Luna broke off of her tirade on used schoolbooks and the creatures that lurked between their pages as Ginny started walking briskly toward the room.

Harry had been yelling at Hermione and Ron. Although she did not understand what was going on, she knew something important was happening, and she was willing to help. After a few minutes of confused conversation, Hermione had ordered her to stand watch outside of the corridor leading to Professor Umbridge’s room. This she did, though she was still trying to understand the seriousness of what was going on.

It was not long before she heard footsteps behind her. She turned around quickly, but it was too late. A rather large girl, whom she recognized as a Slytherin 6th or 7th year, was standing right in front of her. Just as Ginny was about to open her mouth to scream a warning to Harry and Hermione, who were in Umbridge’s office, the girl clamped her large hand over Ginny’s much smaller mouth.

She struggled against her captor, kicking and elbowing the girl with all of her might.

“Hey! Hey, what are you doing?”

Ginny looked up to see Neville Longbottom running towards them. “No! Neville, please! Go back! Run and get help!” she managed to say before the hand was back over her mouth.

He didn’t listen and instead ran right up to her, trying to pull her away from the other girl’s clutches.

“Neville! Behind you!” Again, she was too late in her warning. Some of the other members of Umbridge’s Inquisitorial Squad had entered the hallway, dragging Ron and Luna with them. With a nod from the Slytherin Chaser, Warrington, Vincent Crabbe grabbed Neville.

“Let go of him, you foul-” Ginny was once again cut off by the Slytherin’s hand.

“Here, take this,” ordered Warrington. He handed a rag to the girl holding her, and then one to Crabbe. Ginny gagged as the material was roughly pushed into her mouth. She could see that Ron and Luna had also been silenced.

“This way,” Warrington instructed. He led them towards Umbridge’s office. Ginny’s heart sunk. They had failed. They had failed Harry and they had failed Sirius.

They struggled through the doorway, each of them still fighting their captor. That is, each of them but Luna, who was once again in her dreamy state.

Ginny didn’t pay attention to much of what went on for the next fifteen minutes or so. She recognized that Umbridge, Harry and Draco Malfoy were already standing in the room, and that Millicent Bulstrode had already seized Hermione. She vaguely noticed that Snape also entered and left the room. She was struggling too hard to really pay attention to what was happening. It was Umbridge’s cold anger after Snape’s departure that snapped her out of her daze, and though she continued to struggle, she now kept close tabs on what was taking place.

Umbridge had started talking to herself. It was as though she was making up a story, and trying to strengthen it by speaking it out loud. She was planning on torturing Harry to make him talk about what he was doing in her office. Ginny felt sick as she realized that Umbridge was dead serious.

She looked on numbly as Hermione, who had not been gagged, began to beg and plead, and then as Hermione finally broke. Ginny was disgusted by how easily Hermione had given in, but also understood where she was coming from. They all cared for Harry, after all.

Ron tried to shout at Hermione and Neville was staring at her as though she had gone quite mad. Ginny had noticed the odd look on Harry’s face though and kept quiet. Hermione started to tell an elaborate tale about speaking to Dumbledore, Ministry resistance, and weapons. She had to have been making it up as she told it. Ron, Ginny, Neville, Luna and Harry had fallen still, though surprisingly their new immobility went unnoticed.

Hermione’s crafty but insane tale seemed plausible to Umbridge, who ordered to be taken to the weapon immediately. Hermione even managed to convince her that taking the Slytherins was not safe, much to Draco Malfoy’s disappointment. She, Harry and Umbridge left the office together. Soon only Ron, Ginny, Luna, Neville and the Slytherins remained.

Ginny had started struggling again. Her mind raced wildly as she tried to think up a plan. She looked over at Ron, who was now in Goyle’s clutches; at Neville, who was still attempting to fight Crabbe; at Luna, whose gaze was still directed on a tree outside the window; and then at Malfoy, who had resumed his game of throwing Harry’s wand up into the air and catching it. She stared at the wand. No one had taken her own wand from her. It was still in her pocket. If only she could get her arms loose, they might be able to escape.

In a sudden rush of adrenaline, Ginny magnified her struggling. Seeing her, Neville and Ron also fought harder. Soon she had one arm free. Using it, she grabbed her wand and shot a stunning spell behind her. She was instantly released.

Ron and Neville had also stunned their captors.

“Impedimenta!” Neville shouted, his arm pointed at a few of the Slytherins, causing them to freeze. Ron disarmed Malfoy, grabbing Harry’s wand and pocketing it.

“Nice one, Neville!” Ron shouted.  He and Neville continued to stun the remaining Slytherins, until the only one who wasn’t frozen or unconscious was Malfoy. Ginny walked right up to him and hit him with a Bat-Bogey hex. They left the office together, leaving Malfoy wailing and swatting at the bogies around his head.

“Where now?” asked Ron quietly. “Good work guys, by the way. But how do we find Harry and Hermione? She didn’t say where they were going!”

“They’re in the forest,” said a wistful voice behind them. “I watched through the window.”

“Luna! Are you sure?”

“Yes, Ronald. I am sure. Unless they were lanatias who had taken Harry, Hermione, and the toad lady’s body shape. That’s very possible too, of course.”

“Lanatias?”

“Now isn’t the time,” Ginny cut in sharply. “We’re going to the forest.”

“Why does it always have to be the forest?” whined Ron beside her.

They made their way to the Forbidden Forest. They walked for a while, but it wasn't too long before they heard voices. Ginny’s group reunited with Harry and Hermione and from there they went to the Department of Mysteries, hoping to rescue Sirius.

Ginny got her first real glimpse at Harry’s life and future on that night. The Death Eaters and He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named had set a trap for him. They had wanted to kill Harry and they didn’t care who was hurt in the process. Ginny herself had almost been tortured that night, and she had broken her ankle. Yet, she had not been scared. She had complete confidence in Harry.

The danger in his life would have turned most girls away, but Ginny was not like most girls. Somehow, she was attracted to it. She didn’t care that his life led to life threatening situations because she felt safe with him.

That night, Harry lost a great friend and father figure. Later on that night, he exited Dumbledore’s office after having a serious conversation with the Headmaster. Harry had returned to them, but he never returned as the same person he had been before that evening. He now carried some new trouble, and Ginny found herself wishing desperately that she could help him shoulder it.


Chapter 2: Heartache
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June, 1997

He was breaking up with her. It was not like she had not seen it coming. He was a noble hero. He was not able to commit to her, not yet anyway. Ginny had known they would not last, especially after Professor Dumbledore’s death. That did not make the pain any less gut wrenching though.

The last few weeks of her life had been some of the best. She was just about the only girl who could claim she had been Harry Potter’s girlfriend. She was one of the few girls her age that could claim she had been in love, and she could truthfully say that she knew he was still in love with her too.

The moment in which their love was truly unleashed kept replaying in her head. The Gryffindor quidditch win, his unsuspecting face entering the common room to screams and shouts, her sudden inability to stop herself from running into his arms, his smiling face bending down to kiss hers.

People had been shocked at first to hear of the romance, but they eventually got over it. Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley were a match “made in Heaven,” as the muggleborns would often say. They spent all of their free time together, though that wasn’t much considering she had O.W.L’s coming up, but it was enough for them to be content with. She most enjoyed the hours they would spend together at the lake, cuddling in the grass or just sitting together, hands entwined. They shared this magnificent gift: the gift of love.

And yet here he was, breaking her heart. He was giving her all of the right reasons, but it still felt so wrong. She sat next to him, smiling and agreeing, when inside she really felt like running off and taking a good cry.

She knew their relationship was not truly over, and that it probably never would be, but she also knew that it would not be the same as it had been those past weeks for a while yet.

Early August, 1997

Ginny lay snuggly in her beg, happily trying to sleep off the effects her brother’s wedding had had on her. It had been a happy day, filled with laughter, dancing and delicious food. Ginny couldn’t remember feeling this happy and secure in a long time.

The sound of footsteps padding lightly down the hall broke her from her reminisces. She turned to face the door, listening intently. The footsteps suddenly stopped. She realized that there were two people outside her room. Heart hammering in her chest, she reached for her wand.

Suddenly, she heard rustling on the other side of the room. She did not turn, but she knew that Hermione was moving about, and in the direction of the door. Ginny now understood who was in the hall. She sighed in relief as Hermione stepped outside the room, closing the door quietly behind her.

“Are you ready?” asked Harry.

She heard Hermione draw in a deep breath, answering with a strong “yes”.

They are leaving! Ginny thought suddenly. She waited until the footsteps had resumed walking before she jumped out of bed, pulled on some clothes and a light robe, snatched her wand back up, and swiftly ran from the room.

She left the house in time to see Harry, Ron and Hermione enter the woods in back of the burrow. Ginny followed and stopped just short of where they had gathered. She was close enough to hear their hushed conversation, but far enough to not be noticed. Harry was talking.

“-find them before we kill him. So I guess that is our goal for now.”

“But what are we doing right now, Harry? It’s the middle of the night!”

“She’s right, mate. There’s nothing much we can accomplish in the dark.”

“I didn’t want to raise suspicions. I’m going to Godric’s Hollow.”

“Now?”

“Yes! I only woke you two up because I knew you’d be mad if I didn’t. If you don’t want to come, I’ll understand.”

“No, it’s not that. Of course we’ll come.”

“We’ve got to get going though, before anyone notices that we’re gone.”

“Alright then, Harry. If you are sure.”

With three small pops, the trio disappeared. Ginny scowled, grounding her teeth angrily. Doesn’t want to raise suspicions, eh? What wasn’t suspicious about sneaking off in the middle of the night? And to add to that, Ginny had no legal way of following them. Feeling that of her two options, using a portkey would be easier and safer than apparating, she quickly made one.

Looking around, she found a deflated ball that she or one of her brothers must have left when they were younger. Pointing her wand at it, she whispered a single word: “Portus”. The shapeless clump seemed to glow with power. She then whispered three more words: “One. Two. Three.”

Ginny felt as if someone had tied a knot around her stomach and was now pulling it with all their strength. One moment she was standing in the woods behind her home. A few seconds later she lay crumpled in a heap in the middle of a cobblestone street. She stood shaking, looking around her as she did. On both sides of the street stood small, quaint 18th century cottages. The street was lined with streetlamps that held candles, instead of the light bulbs the muggles now used. Ginny felt as though she had just traveled through time. Afraid that something had gone horribly wrong with her portkey, she went off in search of Harry, Ron and Hermione.

Rounding a corner, she found the three of them standing outside of a white picket fence. Inside the fence was an overgrown yard. Large stone steps stood in the middle, and a charred rectangle of land lay just beyond them. It looked like the remains of one of the old houses. In what must have once been the front yard, a lone tree stood. From one of its strongest branches hung a wooden swing. Behind the remains of the house, Ginny could just make out a wooden sandbox. A plastic blue shovel was sticking up from the sand.

Harry, Ron and Hermione still stood before the picket fence. None of them spoke. Their silence was peaceful. Slowly, Harry reached for the gate. Swinging it open, he stepped inside the yard. He walked up to the stone steps, and there he fell.

Ginny knew that this had to be one of the toughest moments of his life, and he had had plenty of them. Ron and Hermione, being the good friends they were, kept their distance. Ginny wished she could do the same, but something would not let her. This was the man she loved. When he suffered, she suffered. She felt the need, the longing to comfort him. Running down the street, she brushed past Ron and Hermione and entered the yard. She stopped in the middle, staring at his slumped form. Time stopped right then. She could hear nothing but her own pounding heart.

As if he sensed her presence, Harry turned to face her. The traces of his tears shone in the moonlight. Before he could say or do anything, she ran up to him and held him in her arms. They stayed like that, rocking back and forth slightly in the breeze for what felt like an eternity.

June, 1998

Ginny sat outside, wearing a yellow sundress and waving a white fan wildly in the heat. She hated the flowery dress, but she knew that the occasion called for it.

School had ended yesterday, but here she sat on the grounds with her family. The day was hot and humid, and the sun beat down unbearably.

Today was graduation day.

Today Harry, Ron and Hermione would be forever leaving their school days behind. Ginny could hardly believe it. They had been so close to not graduating at all.

Last summer, Harry and his friends had no intention of returning to the school. They had things to do of greater importance. Professor McGonagall had come to them one night with a proposition. She wanted them to return to the school. She had found a letter from Professor Dumbledore asking her to ensure that the trio completed their training. Professor McGonagall promised that if they came back, they would be allowed to leave whenever they needed to. She had set up a portkey herself, which would bring them out of the grounds to somewhere they could apparate from. She promised that if they came back to the school, they would have free reign of the castle and grounds, including the restricted section of the library and the Room of Requirement. Lastly, they were to have additional private lessons with each of their teachers and some of the aurors stationed around the school.

The offer had been too good to give up.

So the three friends had returned to the school, where they learned more in their last year than they had in the rest combined. They left the school almost every weekend and though reluctant at first, they eventually began letting Ginny accompany them. They also began teaching her some of the spells they learned in their private sessions. Sometimes the teachers would let her join the actual lessons.

Harry and Ginny became closer than ever that year. He told her everything he knew about his life and his destiny, and she accepted who he really was. She helped them in every way that she could. Together, they had destroyed all of Voldemort’s horcruxes, and she even destroyed one herself. She had grown into a powerful young witch. This year had been the greatest of her life.

Now though, it was all over. They were graduating, and she still had another year to go. She had thought about leaving school with them and not graduating, but Harry and Ron strictly forbade it. They played their roles as the overprotective brother and the overprotective boyfriend very well- almost too well. She was to finish school and then, and only then, could she join them in the fight against the Dark Arts. After many arguments and heated discussions, she had finally given in. The only reason she did, however, was because she could see how much they both truly loved her.

Clapping erupted around Ginny, startling her out of her reverie. Looking up at the stage, she noticed that McGonagall had entered and now stood standing in the middle. Ginny looked over at Harry, who was clearly lost in his own thoughts.  She knew what he was thinking.  Although Professor McGonagall meant a great deal to them, they both knew that it should have been Professor Dumbledore standing there today.  It was not fair that he was gone.  Professor McGonagall held her wand up to her neck for a moment and muttered something inaudible. She then took a scroll out of her pocket. Addressing the crowd, she read:

“‘Witches and Wizards, ladies and gentlemen, welcome. Today you have come to bear witness to the graduation of these very special students. Take pride in the young men and women who stand before you, for they combine to form one of the most talented classes to ever pass through Hogwarts’ doors!

“Each student standing here has accomplished great things during his or her time at Hogwarts, and I think I speak for the whole staff when I say they will be sorely missed.

“During these dark times, it is sometimes hard to find the goodness in the world. This class will help you find that goodness. They are funny. They are bright. But most importantly, they are inspirational.

“Let these young people be as much of an inspiration to you as they were to me.

“A graduation like this one serves not only as recognition of the completion of school, but also as a celebration of these students’ entrances into the adult world. All of the people you see in front of you are either seventeen or eighteen, and therefore what we call “Of Age”. They are legally adults now. I have watched each person here grow from the scrawny children they were when they entered this school to the strong, intelligent adults they are today and all I can say is this: I could not be prouder.

“Take them under your wings as I have taken them under mine. Encourage them to grow as I have encouraged them to grow. Love them as I have loved them. Take care of these beautiful children; these beautiful adults. We could not be prouder.’”

Professor McGonagall paused as she rolled up the scroll. Ginny started fanning herself harder. A bead of sweat trickled down her face. McGonagall resumed her speech.

“Those were the words of the late Albus Dumbledore.”

Ginny’s head snapped up as the crowd and students broke out into surprised muttering. Harry just sat staring out over the lake and at the white tomb in the distance. Professor McGonagall waited for the silence to resume before continuing.

“I found this scroll inside Professor Dumbledore’s office late yesterday afternoon. I’ve never seen it before, though I have been through that office many times. It was undoubtedly intended for this class, for it showed itself on the eve of your graduation. Professor Dumbledore obviously saw the promise in this class, as do I. I want to congratulate you all on what you have done here at Hogwarts, and on what I know you will do in the years to come.

“Please rise when I call your name and come to the front of the stage. You will each receive a certificate of completion and the Tap of Closure. The Tap of Closure is a ceremony that has taken place at Hogwarts since the First Graduation. I will tap each of you with my wand once. Although you will see no physical changes, you will receive knowledge, luck and of course, a sense of closure. Let us begin.

“Hannah Abbott!”

The crowd cheered as the blond-haired girl walked up to the stage. She smiled as she received her certificate and Tap of Closure.

“Susan Bones!”

Ginny!

Harry?


Of the many things they had learned this year, this was one of the most useful. They had learned to talk to each other in their minds. The practice was considered unorthodox however, and was only used in dire situations. The fact that Harry was using it in the middle of his graduation worried her. She turned her attention back to him.

He’s here.

Who Harry? Who’s here?

Voldemort.
And with that, he was gone. Ginny watched as he slowly stood up and walked over to where Professor McGonagall was currently giving Justin Finch-Fletchley his certificate. Harry waited politely until Justin had left before addressing the Professor.

“Potter! It’s not your turn, I-” frowning at the look on his face, she once again raised her wand up to her throat. She had a hurried discussion with Harry, in which she turned steadily paler. She magnified her voice once more and addressed the crowd.

“I have just been informed that there are Death Eaters on the grounds. Please don’t panic. I have several portkeys ready to whisk you off to the Ministry. This being said, I’m going to ask that anybody willing to fight please remain behind. I am not about to let this school fall.

“Now, all children, Muggles and adults unable to fight please follow me. I’m going to leave the rest of you in the care of Mr. Potter here.”

Ginny was pleased to see that the only people leaving were young children, Muggle parents and a few Slytherins. The children were exchanging tearful goodbyes with their parents. This saddened Ginny, for she knew that the possibility that some of these children would become orphans today was great.

She looked next to her to where her own mother and father were sitting, clasping each other’s hands.

“Mum. Dad. Maybe you should be going as well. I-”

“Oh Sweetie,” Mrs. Weasley sighed sadly. “Your father and I may not seem like we belong here, but we’re much tougher than we look. We’re not about to run like cowards. We were top in our defense class back in the day. Together, we’ll be alright.” Mr. Weasley squeezed his wife’s hand and held it with more ferocity in his own. They both had a look of steely determination in their eyes as they looked out across the grounds.

Ginny smiled grimly. She could only hope her mother was right. She stood up, pushing her chair back as she did. She told her parents she loved them.  She calmly walked up to the stage, where she joined Ron and Hermione. Together, the three of them joined Harry at the front. He looked gratefully at them as Ginny took his hand in hers. She gave him a nod of encouragement, and he turned back to the crowd.

“I am not going to lie to you. I want you to know what you are facing.” Harry took a deep breath. “Lord Voldemort is here.” The crowd flinched as one, and then broke out in frightened muttering. “I need you all to promise me that you won’t go after him, no matter what he has done to you or your family. A prophecy was made eighteen years ago. You are not going to be able to kill him so please, do not try. Stick to fighting the Death Eaters. Although some are powerful, many are weak. Voldemort does not train his followers, for he fears they will turn on him. The Death Eaters do not work with strength. They work in numbers. The Death Eaters do not fight fair. They only win by outnumbering their victims.

“Today, our numbers will be about even. I know many of you are great fighters and powerful witches and wizards. If we stand together, our chances of winning are great.

The Death Eaters do not know that we know that they are here. Therefore, we have the advantage. We have the element of surprise. We will continue this graduation as normal. We will wait for them to attack. They will be thrown off by how quickly we respond to their aggression, and how we do not panic. When it is time, I’ll tell you. Let us give them a fight that they will remember.

“We don not have much time. Prepare yourselves.”

Harry nodded to Professor McGonagall, who had returned from her trip to the portkeys. She resumed calling out names as Harry guided Ginny over to the seats.

“You should probably go back down there. They will be here soon.”

“Nobody is going to notice me and even if they do, they will probably just think that we have special permission. Everyone knows that the Hogwarts Heads have a weakness for the famous Harry Potter,” she teased.

“The day McGonagall likes me enough to have a weakness for me will be the day Voldemort renounces his ways and joins the Order. It will never happen.”

Ginny leaned in, and kissed him deeply. “I have a weakness for you.”

“I have one for you too.”

“Do be careful. Do not do anything stupid.”

“Confronting Voldemort when you are only seventeen is stupid, and there is no way out of that,” he reminded her softly.

“I believe in you, Harry. Most of the people here stand with me on that matter.”

He turned away, choosing not to answer. Finally he said:

“They’re going to attack when I’m up there. I can feel it. Ginny, if something goes wrong here, as it very well may, I want you to know that I love you. With all my heart, I love you.”

“Harry Potter!” came Professor McGonagall’s voice from the front of the stage.

“I love you too Harry.”

“Promise me you’ll take care of yourself.”

“Harry, you are-”

“Promise me, Ginny!”

“I promise.”

This was all they had time for before Harry had to start walking. Ginny was vaguely aware of the fact that they had missed Hermione’s turn. Out of the corner of her eye, she could see that she and Ron were holding hands. She could also see that each of their free hands were in their pockets, undoubtedly clutching their wands. She turned her attention back to Harry, bracing herself for the attack. It never came. He received both his certificate and Tap of Closure without incident. Turning his back on the crowd, his eyes locked with Ginny’s. Confusion and worry was etched in every part of them.

Just then, a red jet of light flew towards his head.

“Harry!” she cried.

With a flick of his wand, the spell shot back in the direction it came from. Harry had a steely glint in his eyes.

“Cowards!” The twins shouted from the crowd. “We would like to see them try that when his back is not turned!”

“Rise!” shouted Harry. “Rise and fight! Fight for your families! Fight for your freedom! Rise now and fight!”

Death Eaters were now streaming out of the woods, shooting spells at the crowd as they did. Harry nodded to Ginny and then dove into the fight.

“Good luck, Harry!”

He raised a hand to acknowledge that he had heard, pushing his way through the crowd. He was gone.

Ginny immediately turned to Hermione and Ron. The three of them set off. It was not long before they too were separated.

Ginny was finding it hard to move in her dress. Bending down, she tore the edges, making it easier to run in. When she straightened up, she found herself face-to-face with Draco Malfoy.

“Good of me not to jinx you when you were down there,” he acknowledged. “I think we will have more fun this way.”

She stared at him coldly, without saying a word.

“What is the matter, Sweetheart? Have you forgotten how to speak? You know,” he said quietly, leaning towards her, “it’s a shame you’re a blood-traitor. You and I could have had some fun together. Ah, well, I still have to get you back for that cute little hex you put on me back in my fifth year. Weasley’s only sister, the Mudblood’s friend and Potter’s girlfriend? Yes, I believe we’ll have to find something special for you.”

“I am surprised that you are still alive, Draco dear. From what Harry has told us, it seem like Voldemort should have killed you long ago.”

“What do you know about it?” he asked angrily

“A whole lot. Did you know that Harry was up there with you on that tower the night you were supposed to kill Dumbledore? He saw the whole thing. I guess we should be thanking you though. If it wasn’t for you, we would have never known Snape was a traitor.”

“Shut up!” he yelled, pointing his wand at her. She barely flinched. Before he could do anything, however, Ginny had him in a full body bind.

“Idiot,” she murmured. Then, just to spite the boy, she cast a bat boogey hex on him too.

She ran off, and soon engaged in another fight. Easily defeating her opponent, she again went off in search of some action. She found it in the form of Neville Longbottom, Michael Corner and Dean Thomas. Well, isn’t this ironic? Ginny thought wryly.

The three boys stood back-to-back, with their wands held in front of them. No less than ten Death Eaters surrounded them. Ginny quickly stunned two of them, providing the boys with the break they desperately needed.

With two of their number down, the remaining Death Eaters seemed a bit unsure of themselves. Using this distraction to their advantage, Ginny and her former love interests managed to stun each of the other Death Eaters.

“Thanks, Ginny,” muttered Michael. He started to turn away, but his eyes widened with shock. Instead, he pushed Ginny to the ground. A green bolt of magic hit him in the chest, and he fell next to her.

“Michael! Michael!” she screamed. Kneeling next to him, she turned him over. His blank eyes looked up towards the heavens. The emptiness of his once dancing eyes chilled her to the bone. He was dead. “No! C’mon Michael, get up!” she moaned.

“Come on, Ginny, there’s nothing more you can do for him,” Neville told her quietly. He started to lead her away from the fighting, but she pulled out of his grasp.

“No, Neville, I’ve got to stay. There’s too much at stake. Fight with me. We make a great team.”

He nodded soberly and followed her to where a great mass of Death Eaters was fighting a great mass of the graduation crowd. Ginny and Neville joined the crowd, taking down more than 15 Death Eaters between the two of them. That particular fight was more than won by the Hogwarts Crowd.

Ginny turned to congratulate Neville, but he was no longer there. Turning, she found him locked in a serious battle with Bellatrix Lestrange. Though longing to, she didn’t dare go help him. Neville would never forgive her for that. She knew that he had to capture Lestrange on his own, or die trying.

Seemingly out of nowhere, Rodolphus Lestrange jumped into her path. He had an evil glint in his eye, and Ginny couldn’t help but feel a little unnerved. Although the other Death Eaters had been no match for her, this one was in Voldemort’s inner circle and was therefore an experienced and strong fighter. Ginny could tell that she was more than well matched. She eyed him coldly, looking for a weakness. She couldn’t find one.

“Imperious!” Lestrange shouted. Ginny suddenly felt very light, as if she was floating in a cloud. Ginny knew what to do. She waited for his command.

Kill, came his voice. Kill the Order. Kill the aurors. It sounded like such a good idea, but she also knew that there were other things that she had to do.

“No! Stupefy!” Lestrange had been so surprised by her ability to defy of his command that he had no chance of blocking the spell. He was down. One less Death Eater, she thought savagely.

Ginny looked up, noticing a change in the fight. The Death Eaters were getting desperate, and they were making mistakes in their desperation. The Hogwarts Crowd bore down upon them, taking many out even as she watched.

A bolt of purple spell went flying by Ginny’s head. She turned to face her attacker, and found Lucius Malfoy smiling at her. She glared back at him. This was the man who had endangered everyone’s lives in her first year, and who had caused her to be possessed by Tom Riddle, the boy Voldemort.

“Miss Weasley,” he acknowledged. “I do believe we have met.”

“What do you want, Malfoy?” she snapped.

“Dear, dear. Where are your manners?”

She only continued to glare in reply.

“I can imagine how distraught your blood-betraying, muggle-loving father would be if his only daughter were to be murdered. What a tragedy it would be!”

“What has he ever done to you?” she asked angrily.

“Your father is an insult to my kind. To our kind. To wizard kind.”

“You and I will never be of the same kind, Malfoy,” she spat.

“Tut, tut. I had hoped you would see the flaws in your father’s ways. With the Death Eaters, you could be great. But maybe it is not your father that has influenced you? I have been hearing some pretty rumors, girl. Now tell me, are they true? Have you really captured the heart of the famous Harry Potter?”

He spat his last words like they were cursed. She did not respond. His smile grew even wider.

“It is true then.” It was not a question. “This has the potential of being even more fun than I could have hoped for. Both Weasley and Potter love you. Ha! Crucio!”

The attack had been so sudden, so unexpected that she did not have even the slightest chance of stopping it. The pain hit her, and she fell to the ground, writhing in pain. It seemed to go on forever. When he finally let up, she could hardly move.

“Now, you could die instantly, or you could die slowly and painfully. I prefer the slow and painful death myself. Crucio!”

Again she was hit by the strong curse, this time simply too weak to deflect it. He held it for much longer than he had the last time. When he lifted the curse, she was once again panting on the ground. Lucius Malfoy was examining his fingernails. She backed up on her hands, trying to get as far away from him as possible. Her hand hit something long and slender. It was her wand, which she realized much have dropped when he had hit her with the curse.

“You’re not going to get far, you know,” he said, still looking at his hands.

“Impedimenta!” He went flying back maybe twenty feet or so, landing in a tree. His cloak ripped and he started to fall. The fabric was untangling. The only part of it that didn’t break was his collar. Ginny watched, sickened, as he jerked back toward the tree, where he was caught. His body went limp, and she knew he was dead.

Ginny felt numb. She had never killed anyone before, accidentally or not. She felt sick. Weakened immensely, she collapsed.

It wasn’t long before she felt strong arms pick her limp form up, carrying her away. She recognized their touch.

“Harry, you beat him good?”

“I beat him good,” he laughed roughly in reply.

***

In the weeks that followed, Ginny learned many accounts of the fight dubbed “The Battle of His Downfall” by the Wizarding World. Besides Michael Corner, thirty-four others had died. Of those thirty-four, only two had been Death Eaters. Although it seemed from these numbers that the Hogwarts Crowd had turned out on the worse side of things, this was not true. They had not been aiming to kill, whereas the Death Eaters had. They were only trying to capture. By the end of the fight, over two hundred Death Eaters had been captured.

Harry defeated Voldemort, as she knew he would. He never shared details of his personal battle with the Dark Sorcerer, and she respected his decision.

Ginny’s friends and family had had a huge impact on the battle. The twins were said to have organized a big group of students that they led against the Death Eaters in strong ranks. Working under their identical generals, the ranks destroyed all Death Eaters in their path. Stories about the twins had flown around the wizarding community.

Neville had defeated Bellatrix Lestrange, but he had to spend a few days in St. Mungos as a result of it. Like Harry, Neville would not speak of his ordeal. Bellatrix had been under tight security ever since.

Besides Voldemort, Harry had fought a second personal enemy. He had captured Wormtail, avenging his parent’s deaths and his godfather’s life. When Wormtail realized that it was Harry who was attacking him, he had turned into his rat animagus form, hoping to flee. Harry chased him right into a mousetrap he had conjured. The trap kept Wormtail from changing back into his human form. Wormtail tried to bite off his own leg, hoping again to escape, but Harry found him and put him in a cage. Rumor had it that Wormtail was now located in an African Zoo, with the instructions that he was never to be let out of his cage.

Hermione, Ginny’s parents, Bill, Charlie, Tonks, Lupin, McGonagall, the teachers, the members of the Order- they had all played a big part in the Battle of His Defeat. Their presence was what really won the Battle and by winning that battle, they had won the war.

One of the most remarkable things about the battle had to do with Ron. Hermione had come up to Harry and Ginny just minutes after the Death Eaters surrendered. She was wringing her hands, and her eyes were darting around wildly.

“Have you seen Ron? I can’t find him anywhere.”

Harry and Ginny exchanged worried glances, and Harry hurried off to help in the search. Ginny was still too weak to even attempt moving.

Ginny learned later that Ron had stumbled out of the forest a half-hour later, bleeding heavily from his head, chest, and shoulder and limping freely. Harry and Hermione had taken him straight to St. Mungos, and then Harry had come back for Ginny. By the time they had returned to the hospital, the Healers had taken Ron away, unconscious.

Ginny remembered everything that followed very well.

Hermione was a wreck, and Harry guided Ginny over to a chair next to her. Weary though she was, Ginny acknowledged her friend.

“Congratulations.”

“What?” asked Hermione tearfully.

“Your ring. You didn’t have it before today. Ron proposed?”

Harry stared at Hermione and Ginny, shocked beyond belief. His two best friends, engaged?

“Oh. Yes. That,” said Hermione shakily. “We’re not ready for marriage, not for a couple of years anyway. It’s more for commitment. Ron gave it to me right before the fight. And now… and now we don’t even know if he’s going to survive it! What am I going to do, Harry?” she broke down, large tears streaming down her cheeks. Harry awkwardly patted her on the back, trying to comfort his friend.

It was hours still before they were allowed to see Ron. By that time, the rest of his family and friends had also arrived. They packed inside his room, where he still laid unconscious. It was another hour before Moody and Kingsley arrived, and the news they carried surprised everyone.

“We went to the part of the woods Ron was in. There was a clearing, and we found this in it. Kingsley held up a gold chain. On the chain was an ancient looking gold ring, with an emerald set in the middle.

Ginny recognized the ring immediately. So did Hermione.

“That’s- That’s my grandmother’s ring!”

Everyone turned to stare at her, shocked.

“It doesn’t fit me, so I wear it around my neck. I gave it to Ron today, as a substitute for his engagement ring!”

Mrs. Weasley gave a small scream, her hand over her mouth. This was quickly followed by a dry sob. They had forgotten to tell her of the engagement.

“This wasn’t the only thing we found in that clearing. The other was Severus Snape.”

The crowd gasped and looked back at Ron with newfound surprise and wonder. Ginny noticed that Harry was looking on thoughtfully.

The story came out slowly, and in pieces, but soon what had occurred between Ron and Snape in the forbidden forest was common knowledge, and Ron was famous because of it. A few days after leaving the hospital, he had come back from Diagon Alley beaming from ear to ear. His happiness seemed to radiate from his person.

“Ginny! Harry! You should’ve seen them, Mate! Lining up to get my autograph! Mine! There was even this one kid who said he wanted to grow up to be just like me!”

He walked away happily, looking for other people to tell his story to. Ginny could swear she heard him humming something that sounded awfully like “Weasley is our King.”

“Fame’s gone to his head a bit,” she observed thoughtfully, watching Harry closely. He laughed.

“Yeah, just a bit.”

“How’re you feeling, Harry?”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, you defeated one of the most powerful wizards of all time. You must be feeling something.”

“I knew it would have to happen someday. I just hate that I had to kill him. I hate waking up everyday knowing that I’m a murderer.”

“Not really, Harry. He would have killed you and the rest of us if you had not stopped him first. It was more like self-defense.”

“Still, it did not make me feel good, like I once thought it would. I thought that revenge would somehow make my parents’ and Sirius’s death easier to bear. I was wrong though.”

“I’m glad to hear that.” He looked back at her, amazed. “Harry, I’d be worried if you had enjoyed it.”

He grunted. “That is not the only thing you wanted to ask me though, was it?”

“Well, no. I know how badly you wanted to get Snape yourself. Are you mad Ron got there first?”

He considered her for a moment before answering. “No,” he said finally. “I think if you had asked me before I would have said yes, but now that I see the results… I like it better this way. Snape is still captured, is he not? And Ron is truly happy. He has always wanted some fame, and now he has it. Ron was Dumbledore’s student too. He avenged Dumbledore and the school for the students.”

Ginny looked at him admirably. “I love you, Harry James Potter.”

“As I love you, Ginevra Molly Weasley.”


Chapter 3: An Ocean View
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December 24, 2003

“You ready?”

“Yup, she answered, patting her robes down in one last futile attempt to look neat. Harry rapped his knuckles on the wooden door. A few seconds later, they heard footsteps hurrying towards them and the sound of the lock being undone.

“Harry! Ginny! You are here!” Mrs. Weasley shrieked. “Welcome home, dears! Arthur, Harry and Ginny are here!”

“Merry Christmas!” they heard him call from the den.

“Not quite, Dad. I believe we have about nine hours to go,” Ginny called back. They could hear him laughing in reply.

“Dinner will be ready in about half an hour. Everyone is in the den, you are welcome to go make yourselves comfortable.”

“Do you need any help in the kitchen, Mum?”

“I have Hermione and Fleur helping right now, but we may need another hand later on. I’ll call you in about fifteen minutes.”

“Mrs. Weasley, is there anything I-”

“No, no, Harry dear. Go sit down. I am sure the boys are waiting for you.”

Harry grinned and led Ginny into the den.

“Harry! Wait ‘til you hear about the product we finished last night!” called George from the couch.

“It will be a best seller for sure!” added Fred happily.

Ginny and Harry laughed, overjoyed at the prospect of being with loved ones on this special evening.

Dinner was soon served, and everyone spent time exchanging stories and catching up. After an hour of feasting, they retired to the den for coffee and dessert. As Ginny was finishing her second cup, she felt someone brush her hair away from her ear.

“Come with me,” Harry whispered gently. He took her hand in his and quietly led her from the room. They left the house, where the warmth from the fire filled the air. Outside the air was bitterly cold, and an even chillier breeze blew around their heads. Ginny shivered as Harry wrapped his cloak around her shoulders.

“Hold my hand tight, and don’t let go,” he instructed. He apparated, dragging her with him. They landed in a clearing surrounded by woods. The ground was white with a blanket of snow, and no footprints interrupted its beauty.

Harry guided her into the woods. There was no path, but he seemed to know where he was going. They walked for a while in silence before the trees started to thin and Ginny could hear something besides her own feet crunching in the snow.

They had come to a clearing.

“Harry! It’s- It’s beautiful!”

They were standing on a rock cliff overlooking the ocean. Below them, the waves crashed loudly into the rocks. Above them, the stars and full moon shone brightly in the dark winter sky. Snow had begun to fall, though the sky remained clear. Soft flakes glided through the air.

“It is magical,” she stated with awe. Harry chuckled. “Are you laughing at me?” she asked indignantly, turning to face him. He did not answer right away, but instead stared at her. “What?” she asked curiously, searching his eyes for an answer.

“You look so beautiful.”

She raised an eyebrow, trying hard to contain her smile.

“You are deathly pale right now, but your cheeks are flushed and rosy. Your hair is fiery red against your skin, and your eyes are dancing and bright, reflecting the stars. I don’t think you have ever looked so beautiful.”

Ginny was at a loss for words, something she was not used to at all.

“Ginny…” he started hesitantly. “I know that we’re kind of young, and that we have our whole lives ahead of us… but I love you so much. I can’t think of spending my life without you. Every moment spent away from you is a moment filled with sorrow and longing. I need you. I love you.” Harry pulled his hand out of hers and reached into his pocket. “Ginny… will you marry me? Will you spend the rest of your life with me, and be my wife? I can care for you. I love you.”

Ginny’s heart was threatening to pound its way out of her chest. She was shaking and was finding it hard to breath.

“Harry, of course! Of course I’ll marry you. I’m in love with you!”

Relief spread across Harry’s face, and he grinned down at her. “Really?”

“Yes! Of course! I do, I do, I do!” she exclaimed. Ginny stood up on the tips of her toes and kissed his lips. They stayed there for a moment, wrapped together and kissing each other with passion.

“You are freezing,” said Harry suddenly.

“It is a bit cold,” she admitted.

“Come on, let’s go back to the house. Your parents are probably wondering where we are.”

“They are your parents now too,” she said suddenly.

“Yeah,” he said softly. They didn’t say anything more as they walked from the cliff. Ginny knew he was thinking about the meaning of having parents.

“My parents are going to be thrilled,” she said softly.

“ Your dad already knows. I asked him first.”

“It’s not up to him! You didn’t need to ask him permission! I lead my own life!”

“I know,” he laughed. “And I would have married you even if he had said no. I just thought we should have them on our side when we marry, that’s all.”

She smiled in spite of herself. “Let’s go home,” she said before apparating. She landed on the front walkway of the Burrow. Harry followed her with a small ‘pop!’. They opened the front door quietly, trying to sneak back in. It did not work.

“They’re back!” yelled George.

“Through the front!” screamed Fred.

“Grab them!” they yelled together. They made to run at the duo, but Mrs. Weasley got to them first.

“Boys! Stop!” she said. Then, turning on Harry and Ginny: “Where were you? We were worried sick!”

“I am sorry, Mrs. Weasley,” said Harry guiltily.

Ginny cut across before anything else could be said. “Harry and I went out for a bit, Mum. Can I get a warm bottle of butterbeer? It is freezing out there.” She brushed past her mother and headed for the kitchen. She stopped suddenly, walked back to where her family was standing, grabbed Harry’s hand, and started to pull him along with her.

“What is that?” her mother shrieked suddenly, pointing a shaking finger at Ginny’s hand. Ginny had grabbed Harry’s right hand with her left one, which was now sporting a gorgeous diamond ring. Ginny gasped. She looked up at Harry, who shrugged sheepishly.

“I slipped it on when we were walking,” he said.

The diamond was huge. It had light blue streaks running through it, which made its beauty far more noticeable. It was held in a silver band that swirled and twisted to form the ring. It fit snugly around her finger. Ginny tore her eyes away from it. “Mum, Harry and I are… we are… well, we are engaged.”

“I knew it!” she exclaimed again. “Oh, come here you two! Congratulations!” She pulled them into a bone-crushing hug, and then ran away, sobbing. Mr. Weasley was beaming, Hermione and Fleur were smiling, Fred and George were confused, and Ron’s jaw had dropped to the floor.

“Harry and I are engaged?” Ginny suggested to them again shyly, trying to find what had made them appear so strange. It was silent for another moment, excluding the sobs that could be heard from the other room. Hermione was the first to break it. She squealed and then copied Mrs. Weasley in hugging them both. Next came Fleur, who kissed them both on their cheeks. The rest of the family came up, congratulating them both. After Fred and George had wrung both of their hands for the umpteenth time, and pretended to run away sobbing like their mother, the happy family made its way back to the den.

“Harry, Ginny, can you hold on a moment?” came Ron’s voice from the hall. Ginny turned to face him, and could see Harry do the same.  Ron waited until the others were out of earshot, and then spoke quietly.  “This is it then. You are sure you want to do this? I mean… you really love each other?”

“Do you really love Hermione?” Ginny asked.

“Yes, but that’s not the same. This is my best mate here, and my only sister.”

“And you are my best mate, good enough to be my brother, marrying my other best mate,” Harry pointed out.

“You have got me there,” said Ron smiling. “It’s just that I want you to be sure. I couldn’t bear it if you hurt each other.”

“We’re sure, Ron,” Ginny said.

“C’mon then,” he replied. “We better go get Mum before she drowns in her own tears.”

June 17, 2005

Today was her wedding day.

Today was to be the happiest day of her life.

Today she and her love would be joined in a life-long union.

Today, Ginny Weasley would marry Harry Potter. Today, she would become Mrs. Ginny Weasley-Potter. Today, she and Harry would start their new life together.

Ginny sucked her stomach in as Mrs. Weasley zipped up her gown. Looking in the mirror, she saw her own wide-eyed reflection looking back at her. Her strapless dress fit snuggly around her chest. The bottom flayed out a bit, but still flowed all the same. A glittering pattern of thorny white roses, barely visibly on the white dress, ran down its length. The gown was simple, yet elegant. It sparkled when it met the eye, but it also looked silky and smooth.

Her vibrant red hair hung down her back in ringlets. A few strands from the side of her head had been tied back, and a small white flower had been woven into it. Around her neck hung a loose silver necklace, which supported a single small square diamond. Diamond studs and her diamond engagement ring were her only other accessories.

She had barely any makeup on, only a bit of eyeliner and a dab of rosy blush. There was no need for anything else.

Ginny felt that she had never looked so beautiful.

She was fully prepared to walk down the aisle.

“Ginny,” said her mother proudly, “it is time.”

Ginny nodded and followed. She picked up her bouquet of white roses and other, smaller white flowers. They had rented out a muggle church for the ceremony, for its beauty alone. It was old and magnificent, with tall ceilings and a wide interior. They had thought of getting married on the cliff where they had become engaged, but had decided in the end to keep that place private. Ginny was happy with their choice.

They had reached the back of the church. Ginny’s bridesmaids waited there, as did her flower girl and ring bearer. Ginny’s maid of honor was also there. She had chosen Hermione for this special role. Ginny had met Hermione before her first year of school. She was one of her oldest friends and more like a sister to Ginny than anything else. Ginny had been confiding in her for years, and Hermione had not once told her secrets, even though she was best friends with the most discussed topic.

For bridesmaids, Ginny had chosen her close friends Gabriele Delacour and Luna Lovegood and her sister-in-law, Fleur Weasley. Since most of her close friends had been guys, and they would hardly make for good bridesmaids, she had decided to have only the three. Her flower girl was little Emma Weasley, Bill and Fleur’s daughter, and the ring bearer was Cody, their son. Cody was barely old enough to walk, but his pride at being chosen for such an important role had caused him to do very well during rehearsals.

Ginny looked towards the front of the church. Harry stood there waiting for her, handsome as ever in his black and green dressrobes. Behind him, Ron stood proudly. Naturally, he had been chosen as Harry’s best man. With a ping of sadness, Ginny could see Remus standing farthest back on the altar. He was to wed them. Ginny felt no regret that it was him they had picked, for he was the last of the Marauders and the last of Harry’s father’s friends. Still, if fate hadn’t been so cruel she knew it would have been Sirius or Dumbledore standing there, ready to wed the man they had both become fatherly fond for. Ginny felt a small tear forming at the edge of her eye at the thought of them. She knew that they and so many others should be here, but they could not because the monster Voldemort had taken them away from the Earth far before their time. Oh, how she wished Harry’s parents could be here to witness their son’s marriage, just as her parents were there to witness her own.

“Are you ready?” asked a soft, happy voice behind her. Ginny turned, smiling, to face her father. He kissed her gently on the cheek and then outstretched his arm, offering it to her.

“I don’t think I could be more ready,” she replied, entwining her arm in his. Slow, beautiful music filled the church. A handsome phoenix had begun its song. Harry looked down the aisle expectantly, smiling nervously but contently all the same.

Little Emma started to walk towards him, throwing wild flowers of all shapes and colors as she went. Cody followed right behind her, dutifully following his big sister. Ginny and her father were next, with her faithful maids in tow. Ginny held her head high, and she smiled confidently. She was being led to the man of her dreams. She was being led to the love of her life.

Her father kissed her again when they reached the front. He took her hand in his, kissed it once more, and then placed it in Harry’s. He whispered in his ear, though Ginny could hear what he had tried to cover. “Take care of her.” Harry nodded to him. The song ended suddenly, though it did not cut off as one might have expected, but instead died off, slowly and peacefully. Ginny and Harry turned to face Lupin.

“We join together today to see these two young people become connected in a way that only the deepest of loves can allow. They are here to get married, and to allow you to witness part of the pact they make. This pact is deep and tragic, and is unseen by the naked eye, but with the heart it may be seen. Harry and Ginny are going to join each other, hearts entwined, for all their life.”

Lupin paused for a moment, staring meaningfully at their audience. When he resumed speaking, his soft, gentle tones had gained a certain merriment. “All of you here have heard or seen the story of these two lovers. It started back many years ago, when Harry Potter entered the Weasley family as the best friend of their youngest son, Ron. Ginny of course was quite taken with him right away. Harry, being the young man he was, did not realize her feelings or even his own until later in his schools years. In fact, it wasn’t until his sixth year that Harry discovered he was in love with his best friend’s little sister. This knowledge didn’t come in a loving form though. It came on the back of a raging emotion- jealousy.

“Harry and Ginny were officially 'going-out' for a bit of that school year. It didn’t last, as Harry felt the need to put heroics in front of love. That didn’t work out so well.” The crowd chuckled appreciatively, and Ginny ducked her head to hide a smile. “Harry and Ginny have survived obstacles that most couples wouldn’t have to face in five lifetimes, let alone a short part of one. They are, as I’m sure you will all agree, truly in love. And for that, I look up to them.

“Albus Dumbledore was famous for proclaiming that love was the greatest power. Throughout my lifetime, I have come to find that he was correct. Love does amazing things. Today you witness the love between this man and this woman. Cherish it.”

Lupin looked to Harry and nodded. Harry looked Ginny in the eye and cleared his throat. “Ginny,” he seemed to say her name just for the sake of saying it. “When we first met, I did not see you for what you were. I did not believe that the feelings you felt for me could be anything more than a young girl’s crush. You always believed in me though, and still accepted me when I finally grew up and discovered it has been you all along. I am sorry that it took me so long, Ginny. Thank you for standing by me all of these years.  You have always accepted and loved me, and I couldn’t be happier. I want to take care of you. I love you.”

It was her turn now. “Alone, those three words mean nothing. But when spoken by the right person, and with some emotion put behind them, they can mean everything to someone. You are the right person for me, Harry. Hearing you say those words means the world to me. I love you too, always and forever.  You mean everything to me.  You make me feel safe, you make me feel special, and you make me feel loved.  You are my everything. I love you.”

“Harry and Ginny, you are now taking the final steps in this bond of love. Are you sure you want to take them?” Lupin asked.

“We are,” they responded.

“Harry Potter, do you promise to always love and protect Ginny Weasley?”

“I do.”

“Ginny Weasley, do you promise to always love and protect Harry Potter?”

“I do.”

“Well then. I now pronounce you… married!”

The crowd cheered as Harry kissed her swiftly and passionately on the lips.

“I’m Harry Potter’s wife,” she whispered to herself.

Harry heard her though. “And I’m Ginny Weasley-Potter’s husband,” he said with a wink.


Chapter 4: Fallen Angels
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A/N: I didn't want to say this at the end of the chapter, because I like to leave the endings of my stories interruption-free. I just ask that you leave a little review... I'd really like to know what you think! :D



April 24, 2007

Married life was treating Ginny well. She and Harry had been incredibly happy during the past two years. Harry had gotten several promotions in the auror office, and Ginny was living her childhood dream. She had begun organizing a school for young children. Ginny had always thought that the younger witches and wizards should have somewhere to go before Hogwarts. It was not to be a boarding school, only a day school at which busy parents could drop off their kids. Harry supported her completely, and helped in every way he could.

Today was Saturday, and they both had the day off. They had slept in late, and were now sitting down to an early brunch. They each had steaming mugs of coffee, warm scrambled eggs, and slightly burnt toast in front of them. They were just getting settled and ready to eat when green flames erupted in the empty fireplace, carrying a young head with them. Ginny recognized the face of Ian Flitherprumps, a new trainee under Harry’s command.

“Mr. Potter, sir. So sorry to bother you, sir. Mrs. Potter,” he nodded in greeting.

She smiled back, amused by his behavior. She had always found Ian quite entertaining. He was a good kid, though a bit overenthusiastic.

“Mr. Potter, there’s been an emergency in Diagon Alley. Mrs. Narcissa Malfoy has taken hostages in Gringotts. She refuses to let them go until she sees you.”

Harry sighed, rubbing his temples exhaustedly. “There’s no other way to talk her down?”

“No, sir. She wants to speak to you.”

“Fine. I’ll be there in 10 minutes.”

“Hurry, sir. She’s threatening to kill them.”

“How many?”

“Ten, we think. But there could be more. We don’t have any way of really knowing, and she won’t tell us.”

“Thank you, Ian. You may go.”

With a pop, the younger auror disappeared from the fireplace.

“Ginny, I-”

“Go, go. They need you. I can wait.”

“I’m sorry,”

“It’s fine. I have some stuff I need to get done around the house anyway. Just promise me something.”

“Anything, what?”

“Promise you’ll come home and finish this meal with me. I’ll keep it warm.”

He smiled and leaned down to kiss her.

“Promise me, Harry.”

“I promise. I promise I’ll come home and share this meal, and many more to come,” and with that he stood up, changed into his black auror robes, retrieved his wand, and left the house. He returned a minute later, gave her one last kiss, and left the house again. She could hear a small “pop!” from the garden, and then all was still.

Ginny started clearing the dishes away, storing the food in warming containers. She soon moved onto paperwork for her school… she was behind in the records. After a while had passed, she started to feel queasy and nervous, and her hands were shaking and sweaty. She could feel that something was wrong, but she didn’t know what it was.

“Harry, where are you?” she whispered as she collapsed on a couch. A few minutes later the doorbell rang.

“Ginny! Ginny, it’s me! Open up!” Ron called from outside, where he was banging on the door.

“Come in, it’s open!” she yelled back, her heart sinking in her chest.  Something was very, very wrong.

She heard the front door swing open wide and heard his footsteps as he hurried down the hall.

“Hey, are you okay?”

“Yeah, I am just feeling a little ill. Something is wrong Ron, I can feel it. You have got to get Harry. Please, go.”

Ron was shaking his head sadly, watching her with worried eyes.

“Something has happened, hasn’t it? Tell me Ron! Is it Harry? Where is he? Where is Harry?”

“Ginny, it was a setup. Narcissa set him up.”

“What are you talking about, Ron? Is Harry hurt? Is he at St. Mungos?”

“Ginny, he- he- he did not make it. I am so sorry.”

Ginny felt like the floor had fallen from under her.  She was falling.  The walls were crashing down around her.  “Do not say that, Ronald!” she whispered.  “Why would you say something so cruel? I hate you! I need to see Harry! Tell him that I am looking for him! Go!”

“Ginny, he is gone. Please, Ginny, believe me.  Do not make this harder than it already is.  He is gone,” he pleaded.

“Shut up! I don’t believe you!” Tears were streaming down her face, and she felt ready to throw up. Though she was fighting hard not to, part of her was beginning to accept that Ron was telling her the truth.  She had felt it. “You must have heard wrong! There has been a misunderstanding! Go get your facts straight Ron! Harry is not dead, he cannot be!”

“Why not, Ginny? He was just a man, after all. He was not immortal. All men die.”

“Harry was, no, is not just a man, Ron! He’s my husband!”

Ron had tears running down his face now too, but they were nothing compared to hers. There was a dull aching in her heart, and she was starting to feel an absence in her life. When you are truly in love with someone, you can feel when something has happened to them. Like a mother knew when her child was hurt, Ginny knew when Harry was hurt. She had felt sick; she had felt him get hurt and she had felt him leave his body. Her husband was dead and though her mind did not want to believe it, her heart knew it.

“Ron, what am I going to do? I cannot live without him. Ron… I need to see him.”

“Ginny, I don’t think that’s such a good idea.”

“Now, Ron. I need to see him now.  Take me to my husband.” Ginny didn’t know why she needed to see Harry; she just knew that she really did.

“Fine. Come with me. You are too weak to apparate by yourself. Hold on to me.”

She reached out a shaking hand to her brother, and they apparated together. They landed on the steps of Gringotts bank, where a crowd of somber looking witches and wizards had gathered. They stepped back when they saw Ginny, and formed a path toward the doors of the intimidating bank. Ron helped her towards the entrance, where the doors were pulled open for them. She took another shaky breath and stepped forward.

The lobby was a mess. The ceiling had caved in several spots from misplaced spells. Dust covered the floors, and any statues that had once stood in the hall were now in pieces. Craters covered the floor, and pictures hung ruined from the wall. It was truly the location of a battle.

Ginny’s eyes caught on a dark form at the end of the room. A lump caught in her throat as she tried not to cry out. She collapsed, but Ron caught her just before she hit the floor. With a lot of support from him, she made her way over to the shapeless form. She laid herself across his body, trying to shield him from the danger that had already befallen him.  “Harry,” she moaned softly to him. Her love had fallen at last. Her fallen angel.

A shriek of victory at the end of the hall startled her from her grief. Unfolding herself from Harry’s body and turning, she saw Narcissa Malfoy staring at her. The woman was dirty and a wreck: she clearly hadn’t been taking care of herself. She looked maddening.

“What is she still doing her?” Ron roared.

“You wrecked my family!” Narcissa shouted, pointing a shaking finger at Ginny. “You ruined us! You killed my husband and sent my only son to jail! Now you will feel what I feel; now you will live what I have to live! You brought this upon yourself! I killed your husband, as you killed mine! It is your fault, and you will never forget it! You ruined everything! My family! You ruined us!”

A still hysterical Narcissa Malfoy was led away by no fewer than ten aurors. Ginny turned back to Harry’s broken and defeated body, and collapsed again by his side.

“Harry. Harry, I am so sorry. Please, Harry. Come back to me. You promised, Harry! You promised you would return to me! Please!” she sobbed over him, wishing with all her might that he would return. “Please.”

“Ginny, it is no use. Come on, we need to get you out of here.”

“She is wrong, Ron. I didn’t ruin her family, Voldemort did.”

“I know, Ginny, I know.”

“But she didn’t. If she had known, she would not have killed him. I would still have him. Why, Ron? Why are people still suffering from ignorance?”

“I don’t have an answer for you. C’mon, let’s go to mum’s.”

“We can’t leave him here all alone, Ron!”

“He is not here anymore, Ginny! That is just his body! Please, why can’t you see that? This is hard enough as it is!”

“I know, Ron. I am sorry,” she cried. “He just can’t be gone. Please, he can’t be. He promised to come home. He promised! Our breakfast is at home, still waiting for him. Our home! We have made a life together, and it is gone in one moment because of one disillusioned woman! It is just so wrong!”

“Harry used to tell me that ‘death is but the next great adventure’. He said it is something Dumbledore once told him. He is on his next adventure. You know him, he is always looking for adventure.”

“He is supposed to be adventuring with me, Ron! We’re supposed to have kids, start a family! How could you say that?”

“I am sorry, Gin.”

“I know. I have got to get out of here. I cannot do this. You cannot expect me sit back and watch them bury my husband, to live life without him. I’m leaving. I am- I am going with him.” And with that, she disapparated. She could hear Ron shout her name right before she disappeared.

She reappeared in the middle of a distant wood. She knew exactly where she was headed though, for she had been there many times before. She ran barefoot over the hard ground- she must have lost her shoes while running. She skidded to a stop, panting, at the end of a cliff. This was where Harry had proposed, on that cold winter night three years ago.

She stood at the end, studying the waves below. The reached up to reach her, calling her to them. Stormy clouds rolled ahead, threatening rain, and thunder sounded in the distance. Lightning flashed from the clouds and into the seas. She smiled, insane with grief. To think that it had been a perfect sunny morning only hours before!

Her white flowing dress blew around her, and her hair was whipped by the wind. She stood there for a moment, mentally preparing herself for what she was about to do.

“I am coming Harry.” She jumped, flying through the air freely. The rocks were coming closer and closer. She would see her husband again soon.  She felt so peaceful.

She closed her eyes, bracing for the impact. It never came. Ginny felt herself being lifted gently upward. At first she struggled, trying desperately to escape. She gave up though, allowing herself to be carried back to the cliff.

Hermione stood there, pointing her wand at her and smiling grimly. Her eyes were red and her face blotchy- she had been crying too.

Ginny floated towards her, and landed in a heap by her side, sobbing silently.

“I thought I would find you here,” said Hermione sadly. “I was almost too late though.”

“How did you know?” Ginny asked in a teary whisper. Only she and Harry knew about this place, and neither of them had told any of their friends. It was too personal, too sacred.

“Harry told me,” Hermione replied. Ginny stared back at her. Harry would not have told her. Would he? “I received this a little while ago,” she explained, handing Ginny a white piece of parchment. Ginny opened it with shaking fingers, and read what was written inside.


Dear Hermione,

If you are reading this then I have truly left this world behind. Thank you for making my life what it was. You and Ron truly saved me.

Please send Ron my farewell and best wishes. He was truly a best friend, and even more of a brother.

My real reasons for writing are formed by the anxiety I am feeling over Ginny’s reaction to my death. I need to ask one last thing of you, Hermione. I need you to find her. Comfort her. Keep her safe.

If you cannot find her, then my worst fears are confirmed. If this is true, please follow my directions right away. They are on the back of this piece of parchment.

Oh, and Hermione? When you do find her, can you give her the enclosed envelope? Thank you, Hermione. Give everyone my love.

With much love, your friend,
Harry Potter.


Ginny felt the tears streaming down her face as she traced his handwriting with her finger. She next reached for the small envelope that had come with it. It had her name written on it. She opened it carefully, trying not to rip the invaluable paper that had once been touched by her husband. With trembling fingers, she pulled from it a small piece of parchment.


Dearest Ginny,

If you are reading this, than Hermione has found you and I am indeed dead. I am sorry that we could not spend more time together in this lifetime. I love you as I have loved no other. You mean everything to me, and a world without you would mean nothing to me.

Although I feel like a hypocrite for telling you this, I know I must. I need you to keep on living Ginny. Please, live out your life. I know I could never live without you, but I must ask you to live without me. There is nothing you can do, I am dead and that is the way things are. You do not have to be dead because I am. Live Ginny.

I love you; I hope you’ll always know that. But I want you to move on.  I want you to find someone else and be happy.  You are such a beautiful person; I love you so much.  I want nothing more for you to live and be happy.  But if what I have said thus far has not convinced you, I have another reason that you need to keep living, Ginny.  You are pregnant.

I love you with all of my heart and all of my soul, and I will be waiting for you in this next great adventure. Love,
Harry

P.S. Trust me. You are having our baby. Healer Bishold wrote us this morning with the results of your check up last week. I plan on telling you tonight, but if something should happen to me today I would still like you to hear the news from me. This baby needs you now, my sweet angel. I am sorry that I will not be there to help. I love you! I love our child too, even though we never had the chance to meet. Please tell our baby that. Tell him or her that I always loved you, my family. Goodbye Ginny.


Ginny folded the letter back up carefully, and returned it to its envelope. She was breathing with small gasps now, trying to breathe through the pain in her heart. The tears had not stopped. She had never cried this much in her life. It just was not her way.

As much as Harry’s letter had hurt to read, it had also given her something new to think about. Was she really pregnant? Could she really be carrying Harry’s only child, the only child left to continue the Potter line? The last of the Potters?

The thought seemed to ease her pain a little. Harry would live on in his child, and Ginny would give it all her love. She would see to it that the baby would be happy and loved, and she would tell it all of her memories of its father. The dream comforted her.

“C’mon, Hermione. Let’s go to St. Mungos. I think I am pregnant.”

Present Day

Back in the living room of the old woman’s house, the light of the fire flickered against the walls. The sun had long ago set, and the mood of the room was drowsy and calm. Realizing that her grandmother was finished, one of the older children cleared her throat and asked a question.

“And Grandpa Harry was right, wasn’t he, Grandma? You were pregnant!” she shrieked with delight.

“That’s right,” the woman laughed.

“Except he was wrong too! You didn’t have a baby; you had two babies!”

“That’s also right, sweetie. I gave birth to two beautiful children.” Then, as if in an afterthought she quietly added “Lily and James. They saved my life. Without them, I would have been lost.”

The woman and her grandchildren sat in silence for a few minutes more. The warmth from the fireplace was comforting, but the warmth from the happiness and love between them was even more protective. Wind blew at the walls and windows from outside, but it didn't affect them.

“Listen children, it is far past your bedtime. Why don’t you go up to your bedrooms and I’ll come tuck you in? You little ones are falling asleep right where you sit!”

The children got up, one by one, and slowly started up the stairs. Soon only the redheaded girl remained.

“You really loved him, didn’t you, Grandma?”

“Yes, I did.”

“I hope I will fall in love like that some day. It is so romantic!”

The old woman laughed again. “You have a while yet.”

“I wish I could have met Grandpa Harry.”

“I wish you could have too.”

“Grandma?”

“Mhhhmmm?”

The girl thought for another minute before asking her question. “Did Grandpa Harry really promise to return to you?”

“He did.”

“Well, I am sure he really tried, Grandma. He would have definitely returned to you if that woman didn’t kill him.”

“Grandpa Harry doesn’t make promises he cannot keep, Sweetie. He’ll come back for me, don’t you worry. Now get up to bed, and dream sweet dreams. I will be up in a moment.”

The girl looked back at her grandmother, puzzled by the statement, and then walked up the ancient stairs. The old woman stayed in her chair for another minute, staring deeply into the fire, lost in her thoughts. After a few minutes, she too went up stairs. She kissed each of her grandchildren good night, and got into her own bed.

That night, she dreamt of Harry Potter.

***



Lily Potter-Longbottom, Craig Longbottom, James Potter and Jasmine Potter stood on the front stoop of Lily and James’s mother’s house. Ginevra Weasley had lived there for over fifty years. She had not left since her husband died in the year 2007.

After about two minutes of knocking, a very sleepy girl with large green eyes opened the door.

“Mummy!” she shouted happily, embracing Lily. As mother and daughter reunited, her uncle asked her a question.

“Honey, where is Grandma?”

“She’s still asleep, Uncle James,” said the girl seriously.

James looked worriedly at his wife, sister and brother-in-law. It wasn’t like his mother to sleep late when she had the children. She was usually up at dawn, cooking some elaborate meal or preparing for a day of fun and games.

“I am going to go check on her,” he whispered to the others. James walked up the stairs slowly, almost knowing what he was going to find at the top of them. He entered his mother’s room, and walked over to her bed. He could tell just by looking at her that she was no longer living. Even in death, she was beautiful. Her pale skin made her graying red hair more vibrant than ever. She was smiling slightly, as though in a happy dream.  In her hand, she clutched a yellowing letter.  He recognized it as the one his father had written to her so many years before.

James shook his head sadly and tucked the sheets in around her. His mother had lived a hard life. She deserved this eternal peace.

He walked back downstairs to where the adults were waiting for him. He told them about his mother in a hurried, hushed conversation. Then he called the kids over to him, and told them to sit down.

“Hey guys. I have some bad news.”

“Did something happen to Grandma?” one of the smaller children wondered out loud, scared for his Grandmother.

“Kids, your Grandmother passed away last night.”

His statement was met by a stunned silence. Some of the children had tears in their eyes, but none of them openly cried.

“Are you guys okay?” asked Jasmine softly.

The older redheaded girl stepped forward. “Grandma told us last night about the promise Grandpa Harry gave her the day he died. Grandma said that he would keep it, and he really did. He finally came back for her.”

The adults looked at each other, each at a loss for words.

 


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