Ginny was shooting any spell she could think of at the two Death Eaters she was fighting while double the light was coming back at her. She was using all she could to dodge the curses, including the classroom desks and decorations. She could feel and hear other Order members around her, also trying to defeat the Dark Lord’s followers. And then, without any warning what-so-ever, a blinding light shot throughout the school and Ginny felt dizzy. With one last curse thrown out at another rival, she fell to the ground, all thoughts leaving her mind.
Ginny looked away from her hospital sheets that she had been laying in for the past week to examine who else was in the Hogwarts Infirmary with her. Every single bed was filled, a feat that had probably never occurred in the history of the school. Many people were unconscious, either sleeping or still affected by a traumatizing curse. Others like herself, were sitting upright in their cots with minor injuries such as bruises and cuts, broken or missing limbs. Yet one thing in the room remained constant - the silence of everybody who wasn‘t being attended to.
“Good, you’re awake.” Madam Pomfrey bustled over to Ginny’s residence. She grabbed one glass bottle of potion and tried to force a beaker full down Ginny’s throat. It didn’t help though, because Ginny spluttered and coughed it all up onto her sheet. “You’re brothers are in St. Mungo’s, but your mother is currently trying to get past the strict security measures to come see you.”
“What is that?” Ginny wiped her mouth and stuck out her tongue in disgust, paying no attention that her brothers were in hospital care, which had been quite obvious since they weren‘t in the Infirmary with her. It had tasted as though somebody had just shot great balls of fire into her mouth. She looked around for a large glass of cool, refreshing water; she found none.
“It’s Skele-Gro, to grow back some of the bones in your left hand,” Poppy said angrily. “And you just wasted it. I have fifty people in here and now one of them will not have any bones!”
“Well maybe if you hadn’t of tried to suffocate me with it -” Ginny glared, taking the glass the Healer had just handed to her. She downed it in one gulp while pinching her nose to try to block out the taste. “There, are you satisfied now?”
“No, you still have to take all of these.” She motioned to the other six potions waiting for Ginny on the bedside stand. The redhead groaned, but began to cough on the medicine anyway. About halfway through the potions, Madam Pomfrey was tapped on the shoulder.
“What? I have enough people to attend to and I’ll get to you as soon as I can. Go lay back down!” She turned angrily on her heel but stopped short when she saw the underweight, straggly haired man in front of her.
“Professor McGonagall wants to see Ginny in her office.” Harry Potter stepped forward towards Ginny’s cot.
Ginny looked hard at the man before her. He wasn’t the Harry she had come to know and love. This person was shaken, jumpy and most of all, afraid of what was to come. Ginny had noticed his changing personality ever since the end of her fifth year, his sixth. It scared her to know that he might be that way for the rest of his life, but she didn’t let it show. One more worry going through the minds of her family would have been sure to tear them all apart. Even Fred and George had stopped their maniacal jokes and the once booming Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes was going bankrupt. She could only hope things would go back to normal.
“I - I,” the stern witch stood inarticulate in front of one boy who she had been treating medically for years. “She has bones to grow,” she finished lamely.
“She said it was urgent,” Harry said, not making any move. He was aware of all the eyes on the back of his neck and seemed nervous about it. What had ever happened down in the dungeon with Voldemort seemed to have taken his soul, no different than a Dementor’s Kiss.
“Fine, but I want her right back here when you’re done!” Pomfrey said sternly, finally getting her personality back. Why should she be nervous around a boy she had been treating for years? She turned to Ginny. “Don’t do anything irrational.”
“I won’t,” Ginny promised. Then she slowly got up from her resting place; just the movement made her head pound, but she gave no sign of weakness, as Madam Pomfrey would be looking for any reason to keep her from leaving.
Harry and Ginny walked slowly from the hospital wing and as soon as they were in the corridor, Ginny felt the back of her head. The now throbbing headache was a cause of the gigantic bump the size of a tennis ball on the back of her head. She winced as she put pressure on it.
“Are you okay?” Harry asked uncertainly. His hands were twisted in knots, apprehensive of the next few days, and his eyes seemed to be forced to the ground.
“Better than you are - probably,” Ginny replied sadly. “Are you okay?”
“Not really,” he answered honestly. It seemed as they were a couple again, always being modest and not really knowing what to say. The only thing missing was the affection, which Ginny missed deeply.
Harry seemed deep in thought and Ginny knew better than to interrupt him. Between herself, Ron and Hermione, they all had different ways to approach the Boy-Who-Lived. Hermione liked to take things slowly and ease into questioning, Ron was a little bit too assertive with his friend, and Ginny, well, she liked to be quiet until Harry seemed ready to talk. All the ways worked, just some better than others and of course, Ginny thought her way was the best.
That was the reason why Ginny kept her mouth shut tight until they reached McGonagall‘s chamber (Dumbledore‘s old office). Harry quietly said the password and they climbed the steps once by one up the gargoyle. Inside the office was the usual portraits of the old Headmasters and Mistresses, with one more pastiche added to the collection. Dumbledore’s portrait was sitting directly above the desk placed carefully in the middle of the room, evidently the most important and respectable. The Headmaster looked just a little bit younger than he had been at the time of his death and considerably healthier. Ginny had known Harry frequently visited the frame asking for help during the year. In a way, Ginny knew the man couldn’t survive without his hero helping him. She briefly wondered what Harry would do when he wasn’t allowed back into Hogwarts. Surely, the teachers couldn’t just turn him away?
Then she remembered why she was in the office. Minerva McGonagall was standing just in front of the desk with Dumbledore’s portrait hanging over it. “Miss Weasley, I presume you are well enough, seeing as Poppy has let you out of the infirmary?”
“I’m missing a few bones, Professor, and a lump is growing on the back of my head. Other than that, I’ll be okay,” Ginny answered, as the place where her finger bones used to be began to sting. She showed far greater courtesy to her teachers than her peers. “Seeing as you’re not in St. Mungo’s with the rest of my family, I’m guessing you’re well?”
“I was unconscious for about three days, but they finally decided to let me go a few days ago,” the Headmistress replied. “But enough about that. I have informed Professor Dumbledore here all I can about what happened here a week ago, and Mr. Potter has informed him about what happened between himself and Voldemort,” she looked up at Albus respectively as she muttered the Dark Lord’s name, “down in the dungeons. Right now, Albus would like to speak to you two alone.”
Minerva left her office swiftly, leaving Harry and Ginny to stare blankly at the Dumbledore stuck in a picture frame. He had been watching with a slight grin on his face and his electrifying blue eyes were still twinkling under his half-mooned spectacles.
“I would like to offer you both the chance to sit down, it is such a pain being in this frame, I can’t even politely hand you two a lemon drop. They are on the desk if you wish to enjoy one while we have a conversation,” Dumbledore spoke differently than when he had been alive. There was more of a childish tone and act to his voice. Ginny wasn’t sure if she liked it or not.
After neither Harry nor Ginny moved to grab the Muggle candy, Dumbledore began to speak intensely about the last week.
“I am very proud of both of you for sticking out this whole war. I must say, that with everything I kept from you, you still went on to fight without a backwards glance. Harry has, as Minerva said, told me about everything that went on down in the chamber with Voldemort. Before Tom fell officially dead, he paralyzed everybody in the castle, much like the basilisk did a few years ago, only this time on a much larger scale. That way, it would only be him against a seventeen year old child - in his eyes this was an advantage. Just like the Tom that was a student at Hogwarts, he was narrow-minded, forgetting about all the times he was defeated by Harry Potter, much younger than the Harry we have sitting here before us.”
Harry shifted in his seat, a little embarrassed by his accomplishments.
“So the duel had started and Harry was face-to-face with a man he had seen in all states. But, Harry knew his weaknesses and therefore, kept him from getting the upper-hand on things.” Ginny felt that the man was speaking directly to her and tried not to break eye contact. “Then Voldemort, sensing defeat, devised his own plan. He used his power of Legilimency to put images in front of Harry’s eyes. These so-called visions were detailed pictures of everyone in the Order dead, having suffered a painful death.”
“After the horrifying trail of Mr. Weasley and Ms. Granger, the Dark Lord put the vivid shot of you into Harry’s mind. Harry has not yet confided of what it was of, but since the young Tom Riddle had already met you personally, I can only imagine that it was of more violence than the others. Harry, if you could please explain the rest. My memory of the event cannot withhold to your own experience.”
Harry gazed up at Dumbledore, with a determined expression set on his face. Ginny could see tiny bumps on his arm as she looked at him expectantly. He took a deep breath and began to tell the end of the very true story.
When he spoke, the words seemed to flow out of him, wanting to escape the horrors of his mind permanently. He told Ginny that the vision of herself dead had caused him great pain, without looking her directly in the eyes. He explained that a feeling had coursed through him like no other. How, after seeing Ginny dead, he had come out of his trance exactly the opposite of what the Dark Lord had wanted. He, Harry, had become so powerful, with only one try at the deadliest Unforgivable Curse, Voldemort had been lying dead in front of him, no fight needed. Though it had wiped Harry of all the energy he had possessed, he had defeated Tom Marvolo Riddle. And it was all owed to herself, Ginevra Molly Weasley.
Ginny took a moment to digest the details. She was at a total lost for words. The only thing she managed to say was, “Do Ron and Hermione know?”
“Not yet,” Harry answered. “They’re on their way. We thought it best if you knew first.”
“Oh,” Ginny muttered. Just then, as if right on cue, a knock at the door came and then it opened wide. A bushy haired girl and a tall, lanky boy walked into the room. Grins spread over their faces when they saw who was in the room - it was obvious they hadn’t been told what to expect.
“Harry!” Hermione gushed, running over and enveloping him in a great big hug. “We didn’t know what happened to you! Nobody would tell us anything. We were so worried you had - you know - but then we heard that Dumbledore wanted us and we just knew -”
“Hermione,” Harry cut in. “I’m fine. You’re choking me.”
“Oh, sorry.” Hermione let go, blushing slightly, but her excitement that her best friend was alive wasn’t gone. “What happened? Is Voldemort dead? We heard rumors, but people were also saying that he had just disappeared like last time.”
“Yeah, he’s gone.” Harry managed a small smile. He then sat his best mates down and told them the whole story. They gasped and said just the right things and by the end, Hermione was in tears. Ron sat, gaping, staring at his sister.
“You defeated You-Know-Who, because of my little sister?” he asked, flabbergasted.
“You know, she’s not just a pile of bricks that you like to yell at, Ronald,” Hermione answered for Harry and hit him hard on the arm.
“Bloody hell, Hermione! I didn’t mean it that way,” Ron retorted. Hermione was about to say something back, but Dumbledore interrupted her with a slight coughing noise, much like the kind their old Defense teacher had used to make her presence known.
“As I have always said, true love conquers all.” He smiled warmly at Harry and Ginny, who each blushed softly. “You have all suffered a great deal and I think you have all had enough for the night. I’m sure your beds in Gryffindor Tower are waiting for you.”
“Good night, Professor,” they all mumbled and then got up and left the office.
All four were silent as they made their way up to their Common Room. Ginny mulled thoughts over in her mind. “True love conquers all.” Did Harry actually love her? Did she love him? Of course she did. Ginny hadn’t spent half her nights thinking about him for nothing.
They had reached the portrait of the Fat Lady and after saying the password, they were all settled down in front of the famous Gryffindor fireplace.
“Now what are we supposed to do?” Hermione asked quietly, almost to herself, after a few moments of talking.
“I suppose get jobs, start a normal life, though I doubt anything will ever be normal with us,” Ron answered.
“I still have another year here,” Ginny contributed, eyeing Harry, who was staring into the embers of the dying fire. She longed for him to speak and felt instantly relieved when he did.
“I suppose we have to get our own apartments. I don’t have to go back to the Dursley’s anymore,” he said. Everything everybody was saying seemed blank, without any real explanation behind it. “It seems as if my life’s has ended.”
Ginny looked at him sacredly. “It’s just the beginning. Sure, Hogwarts is ending, but think, everybody will want you. You’re not going to be lost in the crowd.”
“Yeah, and why?” Harry looked up and stared deeply at Ginny. “Because of this stupid scar.”
“No, because you defeated Voldemort, the most feared wizard of all time.” That seemed to change the expression in Harry’s face to a look of dawning, as if he had just realized what great affect he actually had on the world.
Ginny took in Harry’s features. She was taken back to the time when she first met him on the platform in King’s Cross station. He had been so young then, just as she had. The first thing she noticed was his scar. She remembered staring at it with envy, wanting something that made her stand out in the crowd. Now a matured woman, she realized that it wasn’t anything special. To her, to Ron, to Hermione…and now even to Harry, all it was, was a time period when Harry had been unfortunate . Forever and always, it was, and would be, just an ordinary scar.
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