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Eleven: Letters from the Princess


Dear Harry,

I know it’s been a while since we last spoke, and I’d just like to apologize for any problems I may have caused you. You must understand that I was only trying to help you with your guilt. Please tell your flatmates and girlfriend that I send my sincerest apologies.

I certainly hope you’ve had a good Christmas and New Years. I myself have spent it with some of my friends and neighbours and found it thoroughly enjoyable. How did you spend yours? I do hope it was a good one. You deserve a nice long break after all you’ve done for the Wizarding world.

I hope you don’t mind corresponding with me, as I really enjoyed your company last time we were together.

Best wishes,

Runa Prince



It was late a late Saturday morning in February, and Harry was re-reading this strange letter for at least the tenth time. There were already coffee rings on it, and it was quite disheveled. Harry hadn’t yet found a way to reply to it; there were numerous started-but-not-finished letters crumpled up in his trash can.

Sipping his coffee, Harry put the letter back down and observed the empty flat. He didn’t have to go into work until noon today, but both Ron and Hermione were already at work. Harry didn’t really have anything to do for the next two hours, except to finish off a Potion’s essay and start some reading for Herbology.

Sighing, he figured he ought to at least finish his essay. He retrieved the parchment and a quill from his bedroom and started to write.

Harry became so absorbed in his essay that he jumped when someone knocked on the flat’s door. Tossing the parchment to the side, Harry went to answer.

It was Armida. Today, she was wearing tight jeans and a stretched purple sweater with high heels. Harry instantly felt himself freeze up. He knew that all he was wearing at the moment were track pants, and his hair was even messier than usual.

Running his hand through his hair and crossing his arms to trying to cover his chest, Harry spoke, “Hi, Armida, er, what are you doing here?”

“Oh, I thought I’d just drop by and say hello.” Armida pushed past him into the flat, which was less than clean.

“Can I sit down for a few minutes?” Armida asked, but not really wanting an answer. She brushed some toast crust off the sofa and sat herself down.

Harry sat down across from her and crossed his arms tighter. “So…how was your Christmas?” Harry asked stiffly, trying not to look at how far down her sweater was sliding.

“Good! I visited some friends in London. Girlfriends.” Armida added as an afterthought, flashing her teeth, which were as white as the snow Harry had kissed off Ginny’s lips. He swallowed.

“How was yours?”

“Oh…I visited Ginny – that’s my girlfriend – and Ron – that’s my best mate –‘s family. I usually spend every year there.”

“That’s so cute!” Armida said. Harry blushed.

“Thanks…I suppose…”

“You know, Harry,” Armida said, sliding across to the other sofa so she was sitting next to Harry, “I think how you defeated the Dark Lord is really wonderful. You were so brave,” Harry edged away.

“Thanks.”

“You’re a really great man, Harry.” Armida said throatily, her voice coming closer and closer to him. He could feeling the gentle whisper of warm air on his neck. Suddenly, her mouth was on his ear, and moving steadily upwards. As they kissed, Harry felt her arms wrap around him and lean over, so that she was on top of him. Harry’s brain seemed to have turned to ice. His hands and mouth were reacting enthusiastically to her advancements, while his mind was screaming, “Ginny! Ginny!” Suddenly, he snapped, sitting up and pushing her roughly off him.

“I don’t think you should come back here anymore.” Harry said loudly, crossing his arms as she got to her feet, looking utterly humiliated.

“Well, if you think so,” she said curtly, her face beet red. She marched out of the flat. Harry breathed a sigh of desperation and collapsed on to the sofa.

***

Later on, Harry hurried across the main street of Hogsmeade to the Turner’s, trying not to think of what had just happened. He knew he couldn’t blame it entirely on Armida, either. Part of it was his fault. But what could he say to Ginny? As Harry entered the shop, Tabitha Turner was just leaving.

“Oh, Harry, there you are, there are some parcels that have been delivered recently, take care of them, won’t you? I have to go but I’ll be back around six when you can leave. Morgana is in the back room.” Harry nodded as Mrs. Turner bustled out of the store on to the main road. Shadow leaped gracefully off the counter and rubbed up against Harry’s legs, purring. Harry petted the cat absentmindedly, as he walked around behind the counter. He hoped that Morgana would not come out of the back room, at least for a while.

Unfortunately, out she came a few minutes later. Luckily, she wasn’t dressed the way she previously had been.

“Hi, Harry. How was your Christmas?” Morgana asked, as she walked in, holding a box. She placed it on the counter as she approached Harry.

“Good. How was yours?”

“Good.” Morgana said. She had a strange little smile on her face, “These are the parcels Tabitha wants you to unwrap. She wants you to sort them into categories, like you know, jewellery, defensive items, books, that sort of thing. I’ll help, OK?” Harry nodded, and for the next hour or so, he and Morgana didn’t speak as they un-wrapped parcels. There were quite a number of strange books, some in Runes, others in English with strange titles like Mugwamp’s Guide to Poisonous Mushrooms and The Night Sky: A Novel. There was tarnished and rusted metal jewellery, with dusty stones set in them. Harry and Morgana worked along minded the occasional customer in the shop, and sorting the merchandise into categories.

It was three hours later when Harry finally took a break. “I’m just going to head off to the bathroom, OK?” Harry turned and headed off to the back of the shop where the bathroom was. Just as he turned off the tap, Harry heard a scream and felt his blood run cold.

Morgana. Harry sprinted out of the bathroom and towards the front of the shop. Morgana was sprawled out on the floor, her eyes rolling to the back of her head. She was moaning, and her face was going deathly pale.

“Morgana…” This was not unlike what had happened with Katie Bell in Harry’s sixth year. On the counter was a partially opened parcel. Harry grabbed up his winter gloves from under the counter and slipping them on, he picked up the parcel, still covering the item with paper. Taking his gloves off, Harry carefully rolled up the cursed item in his gloves and slid it in his pockets. Then, he carefully slipped both of his arms under Morgana, and, cradling her like a baby, Harry ran out of the shop, not even bothering to put his jacket on. He ran, up to the castle, knowing Madame Pomfrey could help for a moment, and then McGonagall would help him get her to St. Mungo’s. She’d be OK.

Harry yelled as he ran, feeling Morgana’s limp body become colder and colder in his arms. I’ll get you there. I promise.


***

Harry returned late that night after delivering Morgana to St. Mungo’s and finishing up work for Mrs. Turner, who had gone immeadiately to her niece’s bedside. The healers suggested that Harry come back tomorrow evening to visit, as Morgana wouldn’t be awake until around tomorrow afternoon. After Harry hand handed over the cursed parcel, they told him it was a braided leather chain, and that it was probably passed on by some of the remaining Death Eaters, because Morgana was a Squib. Also, they explained, Morgana would probably be all right as there was only a slight tear in the paper when Morgana picked up the package. This was a relief to Harry, but he still didn’t know what to do about his run-in with Armida.

All three of the trio were home from work now, but after exchanging stories at dinner, had gone their separate ways. Harry was in his bedroom now, pondering his predicament.

At first, he decided he might ask Ron about it. They were both blokes, obviously, and he might better understand Harry’s point of view on this. But then Harry remembered how protective Ron was of Ginny. He shook his head. Ron definitely need not know about this.

So that left Hermione. But no, Harry could tell her either. She would scold him, and be extremely angry at his misjudgement. Then who?

Suddenly, Harry knew. Hurrying over to his desk, he pulled out a piece of parchment and a quill…

Dear Runa,

Thanks for writing me. I’m glad everything is going well with you. I know this may sound strange, but I’m in a bit of a predicament and I think you may be able to give me some advice…


***

There was a knock on the door the next morning, a Sunday, around eleven, but this time, Harry was ready. He was already dressed and waiting for Ginny to come to St. Mungo’s with him. Assuredly, he opened the door. Runa’s reply had arrived this morning, and Harry was nervous, but ready, to talk.

“Hi, Harry.” Ginny said, smiling. Harry felt his stomach twist with guilt, but he shrugged it off.

“Hi, Gin. Listen, we need to talk.” Harry was grim-faced as he led her to the sofa.

“What’s the matter Harry? Why aren’t we going to the hospital?” Ginny looked truly anxious as they sat together and Harry took her hand.
“Ginny, I made a mistake. And guilt is eating me up inside. So I’m going to own up to it and explain, or, at least try to…”

***

An hour later, Harry and Ginny sat in the St. Mungo’s waiting room, arms around each other, a bruise just beginning to reveal itself on Harry’s cheek.

“You, are such a jerk. But I love you.” Ginny said, managing to put equally as much tenderness as forcefulness in one sentence. Harry winced, rubbing his cheek.

“I know I deserved this, but it hurts. Can’t I-“

“No. I won’t let you fix it. Now let’s go see Morgana. I’m going to set her straight about whose boyfriend you are.” With that, Ginny stood up and set off at a brisk pace towards the elevator, Harry following behind her.

“But don’t you think you could let her down on a day when she hasn’t just almost died?” Harry said, as the elevator doors clunked shut in front of them.

“Oh, no. Definitely not. This can go on no longer.”

Harry shrugged, and, not wanting to get on her bad side again, let her go. The wizard standing beside them in the elevator gave him a curious look.

Healers bustled all about the corridor outside Morgana’s room. Timidly, Harry took Ginny’s hand and slid the door open.

“Morgana?” Harry asked quietly. A pale hand waved from the far bed.
“Hi.” Morgana whispered breathily, smiling, “Tabitha tells me…you saved… my life.”

“I save people’s lives all the time,” Harry grinned, “It’s nothing.”

“Thank you.” She said, taking deep breaths, “The healers say…they say…I can go home…next week.” She stopped, breathing harshly. Despite her weak condition, there was a blazing look in her eyes.

“Hi Ginny,” Morgana breathed, grinning. Ginny nodded.

“Listen, Morgana,” Ginny said, frowning, “There’s some stuff we need to talk about, OK? Harry’s going to wait outside.” Ginny turned, her brown eyes locked on his. He nodded and left the room, his heart pounding. Would breaking her heart in this state ruin her chances of healing?

Ten minutes seemed like ten hours as Harry waited outside the hospital room. Finally, right before Harry was about to come back in, Ginny emerged, looking worried. When she saw Harry, she sighed and fell into his lap. Wrapping arms around her, he rocked her back and forth, murmuring softly.

“What happened?”

“She apologized. And...and she cried.” Ginny almost whimpered, “It was the worst thing I’ve ever done, breaking her heart like that. Telling her it couldn’t be.”

“What did she say?”

“She said…oh, she said that she knew she never really had a chance, but she always wanted to believe…and it reminded me of…”

“Of what?”

“Of when I was eleven. And I had that huge crush on you. And it was like…like reliving the pain.” Harry held against his shoulder, shushing her.
“Hey…hey, we’re here together now. And I know Morgana. She’s a strong girl. Everything’ll turn out. You’ll see, love. You’ll see.”

{A/N} Sorry this chapter took so long, but it had a lot of re-writing to do. And I am now fairly pleased with the result. Hope you liked it too :) Leave a review!

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