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Into the Night

No one truly knows what death feels like nor what experiences those who are deceased go through. A few people classify death with a vision of a blinding white light while others claim that death places you at the foot of the gates of heaven where you are judged. Some say that there exist angels whose sole purpose is to safely transport souls to the afterlife. Still, others maintain that death is an unwelcomed state, where we are doomed to spend all days of eternity walking the earth as nothing but paranormal shapes.

But nothing of these – no white light, gates or angels – appeared to Ginny. She could tell that something was different from all the stories she had ever heard about death.

The ground beneath her was soft, almost as if she had landed on a sheaf of pillows or mattresses and she could feel the cool, crisp wind brush against her cheek and arms. The scent in the air was calming and rather pleasant - one of morning rain mixed with ripe fruits and roses. She could hear a continuous creaking somewhere in the distance but the source of the sound was indistinguishable. And, strangely enough, she could slightly taste the morning dew on the tip of her tongue.

‘Is this what death feels like?’ she found herself thinking over and over.

Slowly, Ginny tried to move, first her fingers and then her entire hand. Once she realized that she could feel her entire body, she sat up and stretched her hands over her head. It was only then that she realized her eyes were closed – either that or she had gone blind in death. Suddenly, as if her mind registered her desire to see, images flashed back and forth like a movie burned onto the backs of her eyelids…

…Molly Weasley being crushed…her job interview with Mrs. Pompey…a flash of mesmerizing green eyes…Bill’s dismantled body…bloody grips on her hand...lips coming closer…Neville’s face behind bars…Lily’s death…Harry holding her naked body close…him standing on the top of the stairs…her father saying ‘I loved her’…sudden darkness…Hermione’s pierced leg…Luna’s pale face…Neville’s flying body…Greyback’s malicious grin…and then…

Darkness consumed her once more.

“Is this the place?”

“That’s what the directions say.”

Fred looked back down at the paper, ensuring that he had followed the instructions properly. Half an hour ago, Ron had finally come back after being gone for a few days. He hadn’t said much, only that he and George were going to learn all that they needed to know from Ginny. When they asked where she was, Ron had quickly jotted down an address and told them the counter-spells to the wards and incantations that guarded the house. Without another word, he had disappeared to go and find Arthur. So, staying true to their promise that they would help, the twins quickly packed their overnight bags and Disapparated to the designated location.

“Come on; let’s go before someone sees us.”

Fred followed his brother up the hill, his eyes remaining focused on the structure in front of them. He could tell that it belonged to a financially endowed family, despite the modesty of the landscape and appearance. Once they reached the gate, Fred reached out his hand to stop George from walking any further.

“What is it?” George asked, looking at his brother.

“I think this is the spot Ron said the protection spells start from,” Fred answered, taking out his wand. “If you take another step you might only be propelled backwards or maybe even killed.”

George pondered the possibility for a few minutes before turning a crooked grin on his brother. “Maybe we should just fling whoever this bad guy is into the wall then, eh?”

Fred laughed. “Still have to find out who he is first.”

Aiming his wand, Fred murmured the few counter-spells Ron had given them and waited. However, nothing happened. The air remained as still and calm as it had always been.

“Did it work?” Fred asked, looking around.

“I don’t know,” George answered. “Nothing happened when you said the spells.”

“But there’s supposed to be some sign,” Fred said, taking a tentative step forward. “Like a flash of light or a defeaning sound. Hell, I’d even settle for a poster that says, ‘You bloody well did it, mate’.”

“Maybe there’s another ward that Ron didn’t give us the spell for,” George said, taking out his wand. He waved it and muttered an inaudible word. Still, nothing happened. “That’s strange. I did a spell to reveal wards,” George explained and then looked at Fred. “Nothing showed up.”

“That would mean nothing’s there,” Fred said. “Or that someone’s already breached what was there.”

Slowly, Fred took a step, and then another. Soon, he walked past the supposed spot of the barrier without any harm coming to him. The spells had been breached, which means someone had gotten past them. But why would someone remove them and not replace them once safely inside? Both Fred and George’s eyes widened as the thought occurred to them at the same time.

“Someone had done it to get through to where they weren’t supposed to -”

“ - which means that someone was after everyone inside.”

They both looked up at the house and whispered, “Ginny”, before sprinting towards the front door.

Panicking, Ginny initiated the reflexes of her eyelids and her eyes shot open. Breathing heavily, she peered around and took in her surroundings. She was sitting on grass so thick that it hardly felt like ground. The sky was a cleansed, clear blue. When she stood up, she felt the coolness of the grass on her bare feet and smiled. She looked down, only to see that her feet were hidden. This was because she was no longer dressed in her jeans and sweater but in a sleeveless white dress that was so long it touched the ground.

Hoisting the skirt up, she took a few tentative steps forward and came to stand on the top of a small rise. It was here that she saw where she really was. Twenty feet away was a three-person swing set, each seat swinging back and forth as of its own accord and letting out an interval ‘creak’ every few seconds. Pushed to one side was a long slide and, to the other, a long stretch of monkey bars. Ginny felt an inner sense of recognition; it was the park her mother used to carry her and her brothers to every Sunday. She would swing for hours with her mother pushing her higher and higher, chase Ron, Fred and George on the monkey bars for teasing her or lie in the grass cloud-watching and dreaming of the days when she could finally use magic. It used to be her second favourite place, the first being her bedroom.

Ginny rushed forth, her feet meeting sand as she stepped closer to the small park. Once she arrived, she slowed down and reached out to the middle swing. She grasped it, coaxing it to a stop, and ran a finger along the seat. She found herself smiling again as tears swelled the bottom of her eyes.

“That was your favourite swing.”

Ginny dropped her hand from the seat and spun towards the voice. She froze. The person who had spoken was standing by the slide. She was also dressed in a long white dress, similar to Ginny’s. Her skin also matched Ginny’s complexion and she had the same vibrant red hair and shining brown eyes. The smile on Ginny’s face returned and she ran forth, flinging her arms around the woman and enveloping her into a hug.

“Mom!” she cried, tears leaking from her eyes as she pulled away. “Is it really…”

“Yes, Ginevra, it is me.” Molly smiled down at her daughter and brushed an unruly strand of red-hair from her own forehead.

“Oh mum, I’ve missed you so much.” Ginny blinked back tears. “I truly have.”

“I’ve missed you, too,” Molly replied in a soft voice. “But I’ve been watching over you and I must say that you’ve made me very proud.”

Ginny hugged her mother once more before pulling away again. “Am I…dead?” she asked tentatively. She wasn’t sure she wanted to hear the answer. But, she decided it was best to know instead of wondering about it for the rest of her life – or afterlife, whatever the case may be.

Molly exhaled deeply. “No, you’re very much alive.”

Ginny sighed in slight relief and then looked around at the park. Alright, so, she wasn’t dead. But then, where was she? And if she wasn’t dead, why was she here with her mother who was dead?

Before she could ask any of these questions, however, Molly answered with a stern, “All in due time, dear.”

Ginny raised her eyebrow at her mother, still amazed at the woman’s ability to read her children’s mind without the use of Legilimency. It was a bit scary how accurate and quick her mother’s intuition was.

Molly chuckled and tapped Ginny’s arched eyebrow. “You look so much like your father when you do that.”

“But we all know she’s a hell-of-a-lot like you.”

Again, Ginny spun towards the voice. The person who was leaning casually against the ladder for the monkey bars was male. He was dressed in set of white wizard’s robes over a clean white shirt and trousers. His hands were jammed into the pockets of his pants. When Ginny looked disbelievingly at him, he winked at her and laughed, the familiar sound echoing across the park.

Fred burst through the front door and looked around. The place was in total darkness but even through the gloom he could sense that something was amiss. Right behind him, George entered the house, nearly running into him. He heard his brother whisper, ‘Lumos!’ before a bright light lit behind him. He did the same with his wand and then took a few more steps forward.

In the darkness and silence, his footsteps sounded like thunder in the hall and he feared that whoever had broken in might still be present, waiting for them to turn the wrong corner. Neither spoke as they continued in a slow walk through the long hall. They cast their light into every room they passed but everything looked still and untouched. Finally, as they neared the end of the hall, they noticed swirls of dust spiraling around the beam of light made by their wands.

Quickly, they ran forward and stopped in the entrance by the kitchen. What they saw inside caused them both to gasp. Shards of glass and pieces of broken wall littered the ground. From where they stood, they saw one body lying on the ground. The person was twisted, their head unceremoniously lulled to the side. Rushing over, Fred crouched and shone his light on the person’s face.

“I don’t know who this is,” he said, standing up. Just then, a soft groan issued from behind the island. Fred leaned over it, his light coming to rest on another figure leaning against a cupboard. “Hermione?”

She looked up. “George?”

“No, it’s Fred.” He moved to her and knelt beside her. “Are you alright?”

Hermione shook her head and pointed at her leg. Fred looked and bit back another gasp. Protruding from Hermione’s calf was a huge piece of glass.

“That must hurt,” another voice said and both Fred and Hermione looked up to see George standing over them. “Hello again, Hermione.”

“George, right?” she asked weakly and the boy nodded saying, “One and only, technically speaking.”

Hermione chuckled but stopped when the pain shot through her leg. “Can you get it out?”

Fred nodded and placed his wand on the ground. “George, could you hold Hermione’s leg for me while I try and take this piece of glass out of it?”

“Can do.” George knelt down and placed a hand on either side of Hermione’s leg, gripping it tightly.

“Take a deep breath and hold it,” Fred said, looking at Hermione encouragingly. “It’ll only hurt for a second.”

Nodding, Hermione closed her eyes and inhaled deeply. Fred gently gripped the tip of the glass and began to slide it out of the bloody crevice. Her leg shook from the pain and George held it tighter. Once the glass was removed, Hermione exhaled and George let go of her leg. Then, Fred aimed his wand at the wound and said, ‘Episkey!’ The cut healed instantly and Hermione gave a sigh of relief.

“Thank you,” she said, moving to stand.

Fred helped her up. “No problem. Where’s Ginny?”

Hermione looked at him and spoke rapidly. “What do you mean? You didn’t see her? Did he take her, too? Oh, no.” She pushed from Fred and ran around the island. She stopped when she saw Neville’s body. “Neville,” she whispered, dropping to his side. She checked his pulse and exhaled when she felt it beat beneath her fingers. “He’s still alive. But where’s-” She stopped when she saw what she was looking for. “Ginny.”

Fred and George rushed towards the hunched figure of their sister. Lowering her gently to the ground, they checked for a pulse and were relieved to discover that she was still alive. Thinking quickly, Fred aimed his wand at her and said, ‘Rennervate!’ Nothing happened.

“Why didn’t it work?” he asked, repeating the spell.

“I don’t know,” George said, moving to his sister’s other side. “Look, you’re better with healing spells. Help Hermione repair some of the damage in here and get Neville checked out. I’ll try to wake up Ginny.”

Fred nodded and stood up, immediately setting to work on fixing the windows and kitchen table. George looked down at his sister and gave her an experimental shake. Her head only bobbed to the side. He tried a few more awakening spells but nothing seemed to work. He moved on to more physical means of waking her up. He tapped her cheek gently, shook her shoulders again and opened her eyelids, hoping they would stay open and she would wake up. Nothing seemed to work.

“Come on, Ginny. Don’t give up on us, now.”

“Hello, sis,” the owner of the voice said.

“Bill,” she whispered. Ginny ran towards him and pulled him into a fierce hug, the threatening tears finally falling. The image of his dismantled body burst forth and she found herself reliving that day – the whispering voices, oozing blood, frantic fear. “I’m so sorry, Bill. I never ever betrayed you. I just wanted to stop this, all of it.”

“Ssh, it’s ok, Ginny.” Bill rubbed her back and then pulled away to look into her face. “I know you’re not a traitor.”

“But that day…in the room…you said…”

Bill shook his head. “It wasn’t me. It was all you.” When Ginny knitted her eyebrows together in confusion, he tapped the middle of her forehead. “It was all in here,” he said. “You yourself were afraid that what you were doing was wrong and the guilt played your mind.”

“But I never thought-”

“You may think you never thought it but deep down you might have believed that you were betraying your family by siding with Harry. That day did not really happen. It was all just a subconscious mind trick to help you understand what you were really feeling and get past it. Which, I’m glad to see that you did.”

Ginny sighed and nodded. It was true. She didn’t feel guilty anymore about any of what she was doing. Just as she was about to respond, she noticed something different about her brother. His hands and face were completely devoid of all scars and bruises; he looked as though he had never even had the meeting with Greyback that cost him his life. “Bill, you’re not-”

“Scarred?” he finished. “No, I’m not. Apparently death fixes those sorts of things.”

“So, this is the afterlife?” she asked, looking around again and then back at Molly who was walking towards them. “But mum said I wasn’t dead.”

“You’re not dead. This isn’t the afterlife,” Molly added, stepping to Ginny’s side. “This is more like limbo – a dividing line between life and death.”

“So, I’m on my way to death?”

“No, you’re not dead or dying. You’re just knocked out really badly.” Bill chuckled when Ginny rolled her eyes at his statement. “Just telling you like it I, sis.”

“So, then do you want to explain why I’m here in limbo? And why limbo looks like the park we used to go to?” she added, gesturing to their surroundings.

“Well we don’t really know the answer to that last question,” Bill said, putting his hands back into his pockets. “I guess it just mirrors the place you felt the most comfortable, so you wouldn’t be too afraid about being here.”

Ginny nodded and said, “Makes sense. Now, what about the first question…”

“Well, that all depends on you,” Molly said, walking over to the swing set with her eldest son and only daughter in tow. “This meeting wasn’t really scheduled. It only happened because Greyback rendered you unconscious. It’s all up to you what you learn here and what you don’t. The trick is that you don’t have much time.”

“And why is that?”

“Well,” Bill started, “because of how you got here. You’re only here for as long as you are unconscious. As soon as you are revived, you’ll be gone from here and so will we. So, you better hurry up before you wake up.”

Ginny stared at her brother as he sat down in the left swing. He started moving back and forth slowly, his feet dragging in the sand. Her mother followed suit, taking the swing to the right and leaving the one in the middle, Ginny’s favourite, vacant.

“Come on, sis,” Bill said, as her mother pat the swing. “Take a load off.”

“It should help clear your head,” Molly added.

Ginny obliged and sat down. She didn’t start swinging right away. Instead, she wiggled her bare toes in the sand and smiled at the familiar sensation. Then, she looked around as she started pushing back and forth on the swing, wondering what exactly she came here to find out. Surely her mother and brother didn’t know what was really going on. But, then again, her mother told her that she had been watching over her so maybe they did know what was going on. But what was she to ask first? There were so many things she wanted to know. Why had her mother been the one to be killed? What really happened to David? Who was behind it all? And, above all, what was going to happen once this was all over?

She stopped swaying and turned to look at her mother who was staring up at the sky with a smile on her face. She studied her for a bit, memorizing everything about her. It was sad to say but over the years, she had started to forget little things about her mother. Of course she remembered certain aspects – the songs she used to sing and hum, the smell of her perfume, the way she used to wear her hair, the dresses she loved – but they were all concrete. The more simple things – like the crinkle by her eye that only showed when she laughed, the way she flared her nose absentmindedly when she was deep in thought, how she would pat down their hair right before she kissed their foreheads – those were the things she didn’t want to forget about her mother.

“Mom,” she said, drawing Molly’s attention. “I’m sorry.”

“For what, dear?”

“For not listening,” Ginny whispered. It was the first thing she wanted to clear up. All these years she had tried to deny it but she felt that her mother’s death was her fault. “If I had just listened to you and stayed with Bill-”

“Don’t blame yourself, Ginny,” Molly quickly said, taking her daughter’s hand. “They came there looking for me. They would have gotten me.”

“But if I hadn’t distracted you-” She paused and looked down. “- you might have stood a chance.”

“Ginny, look at me.” When she did, Molly continued. “In death, we come to accept a lot of things. And I accept that it was my time to go. There’s nothing we can do to fight death, Ginny. When it’s our time to go, it’s our time. End of story.”

Ginny nodded and turned to Bill who smiled in confirmation. Suddenly, she felt oddly relieved. Knowing that her mother didn’t blame her for her death felt wonderful. All these years she had held onto that guilt and now, she was finally able to let it go.

“Is that all you want to know?” Molly asked.

Ginny shook her head. “Why is this all happening, mum? I mean, we all think that there’s some sort of power war going on but we’re not completely sure.”

Molly said, “Someone wants the money and the power your father and Mr. Potter have. Unfortunately, they can’t have it while the two men and their families are still alive.”

“So, we are right about that,” Ginny said with a sigh.

“As you are about everything else,” Molly added. “The theory about the third party, the way they were able to carry out the war by using past relationships. It’s all on point.”

Ginny looked at her mother. “You knew about dad and Mrs. Potter?” she asked in a shy voice.

Molly nodded sadly. “I knew from before your father and I were married. He didn’t know I knew, of course. Don’t be mistaken, dear,” she added, before Ginny could say anything. “Your father and I loved each other very much but one does not always forget their first love. Anyway, when the war started, I knew that it had something to do with the past relationship but I didn’t know exactly what.”

“We think it has something to do with some sort of blackmail,” Ginny said, starting to swing once again. “We believe that this person – whoever he is – wanted to start the war in such a way that would keep all eyes off of him. So, he used a past grudge that would make both men think the other had some hand in it.”

“I always knew you were too smart for your own good,” Bill interjected, standing up from the swing. “How did you manage to figure that out, anyway?”

Ginny shrugged. “I had quite a bit of help,” she said. “Besides, it’s only a theory. We’re not really sure.”

“Well, you’re theory rings true once again,” Bill answered. “That is exactly how it all started. You and that Potter kid make quite the team,” he added, almost as if an afterthought.

“His name’s Harry,” Ginny said automatically. “And he’s the one who’s been able to find all of these things. I only found out about dad and Lily and that’s only because I have Weasley blood. Besides, it’s more than just us two who are trying to figure this all out.”

“Ah, you assume I was meaning ‘team’ as in co-workers,” Bill said with a mischievous gleam.

Ginny looked at him and then blushed and turned away. She heard her mother laugh and turned to look at her.

“Yes, dear,” she said, smiling. “We know about that, as well.”

“So, er, besides complete acceptance and the erasing of all mortal wounds, does death also come with the talent of divine knowledge?” Ginny asked, tilting her head sideways with a shy smile.

Bill laughed. “Not at all, Ginny. We don’t know everything, just what’s needed to know to be at peace. Knowing that you – as well as Ron - have found happiness helps with that.”

“And, knowing things that led to our death helps us find peace as well,” Molly added, standing up. “That is why we know all about the war.”

Ginny stood up quickly. “So, then you can tell me everything. You can tell me who’s behind it all and how we can defeat them.” Bill and Molly shared a look. “Can’t you?”

“We can’t, dear,” Molly said.

“So, then, this was pointless,” Ginny said, getting angry. “You told me I was here to find out what I wanted and now you’re telling me that I can’t know? That makes no bloody sense!”

“Ginny, you already have the answers to three of your queries,” Molly said, ignoring Ginny’s outburst. “You already know how and why it’s all happening. The confirmation that you were right was what you really needed. You can’t know more than you need to. All we can tell you is to be careful around those you consider family,” Molly added, her voice going suddenly solemn.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Ginny asked, looking from her mother to Bill and then back. Neither one of them answered. “What aren’t you telling me?”

“It wasn’t always him, though,” Bill said cryptically, looking past the small rise. “Someone else wanted what he’s after but they are no longer here. So, he took over the dream.”

“Bill, what are you talking about?” Before he could answer, the vision of the park swayed and Ginny grabbed the swing’s chain for balance. Then, it all stilled and she looked at her mother. “What was that?”

“You’re slowly returning,” she said.

“But, I’m not finished asking questions yet,” she said frantically. She turned back to Bill. “What were you talking about just now?”

“There was someone else who was in charge before the man you’re after. Someone who started the whole thing but died before his plan could be carried out fully.”

“Who was it?” Ginny asked. Unfortunately, when Bill answered, she felt herself start to drift, as if she was getting drowsy. Bill’s words were all mingled together, sounding as if someone was speaking to her from below a pool of water. She took a deep breath and the world steadied once more. “Who was it, Bill?” she asked again, sensing the feeling coming on again. “Hurry, before it’s too late,” she added frantically.

Bill shook his head and spoke quickly, stepping closer to her. “There’s no time. You’ll find out soon enough, and when you do, everything will be clear and you’ll know what to do.” He pulled her into a hug. “Take care, sis. I love you.”

He pulled away and Molly stepped forward, engulfing her daughter into a tight hug. “Don’t give up, sweetie. Everything will work our beautifully.” She released Ginny and then cupped her face in her hands.

Ginny’s vision shook again and she closed her eyes, willing herself to stay for a few seconds longer so she could say the words she had longed to say to her mother. “I love you, mum.”

“I love you, too, Ginevra.” Molly brushed Ginny’s hair back and kissed her forehead. Before she let go, she whispered, “Take care of my grandchildren.”

Before she could reply, her eyes closed involuntarily and a heaviness settled against her chest. For a few seconds, it felt as though she was suffocating before the feeling disappeared. It was replaced by a sense of falling and she descended, unable to stop herself.

“I think she’s finally waking up.”

Ginny stirred and let out a low groan, both from the loudness of the person’s voice and the thumping in her head. Suddenly, her eyes burst open and she sat up quickly, knocking whoever was leaning over her on their forehead with her own.

“Ow, shit!”

Her vision swam before slowly coming into focus. She clutched her forehead and breathed heavily and deeply as she blinked back the blurriness. Her eyes came to rest on a head of long red hair.

“Fred?” she asked, blinking a few more times.

“No, it’s George,” her brother replied. “I knew you had a hard head but I thought that was just figuratively speaking,” he added, rubbing at the spot that Ginny’s forehead had collided with. “Is your skull made of bricks? Bloody hell!”

Ginny rolled her eyes. “You’ll live you big baby,” she said, moving to her knees.

“Don’t be so sure,” George said, standing up to his full height. “I could have some minor brain damage from that impact.”

“It would be nothing but an improvement.” She smiled sweetly at his glare before rubbing at her own temple.

She tried to take register of her surroundings but found it slightly difficult. At first, she was confused about what was going on but slowly it all came back to her. The darkness…the fight…being knocked unconscious. She looked around her as George helped her to her feet. Most of the debris had been cleared and the windows and doors were repaired. But there were a few things missing.

“Where is everybody?” Ginny asked, rubbing her neck. She cursed as her hand grazed a cut, causing it to sting.

“Right there,” George said, gesturing to the newly repaired kitchen table. Fred was seated in one of the chairs looking at her. Neville was lying on the table while Hermione stood beside him, wand in her hand. She was waving it over his body, repairing cuts and performing other healing spells.

With George’s help, Ginny managed to hobble to a chair and sat down. “How’s your leg?” she asked, watching Hermione work on Neville.

“It’s fine,” she replied, looking up briefly. “Fred’s pretty good at healing spells. Had it fixed in a manner of minutes.”

“That’s good. How is he?” she asked softly, taking one of Neville’s hands in hers.

Hermione sighed. “He’ll live. He’s quite lucky actually.”

“I thought he was…” she trailed off, scared to say what she thought.

“So did I,” Hermione said. “But when I checked his pulse it was still there, albeit faint. The crunch and snap we heard were three of his ribs breaking. I’ll need to get him a few potions from downstairs to help heal them but I wanted to make sure nothing else was wrong first.”

Ginny nodded and then looked at her brothers. “How did you two get here?”

“Ron told us you sent for us,” Fred answered, slouching a bit. “If you don’t want us here we’ll be glad to leave.”

Ginny shook her head. “It was only a question, Fred.” She sighed and rubbed at her eyes.

“Duly noted,” Fred said. “So, mind telling us what happened here?”

“We were attacked,” Ginny said, still rubbing at her eyes.

George took a seat next to her. “Care to explain how exactly it all happened? When we got here this place was in complete ruins, and all three of you were knocked out. Must have been some attack.”

“It was,” Hermione said. “It all started when Luna thought she heard something.”

“Who’s Luna?” Fred interrupted.

“She’s a friend of ours,” Hermione replied. “Er, well, we’ll explain who she is later. Anyway, she heard something from outside. We thought it was nothing but I guess now it was just Greyback lurking outside.”

“Greyback?” George interjected. “As in the infamous Bill-killing Greyback?

“Are you two going to let me talk?”

“Er, right, sorry,” the twins said simultaneously.

Sighing, Hermione explained about the attack. Ginny, however, was not really listening. Instead, her mind was reeling over the surprise encounter with her mother and brother. At first, she thought that she might have been hallucinating again, but she couldn’t deny how genuine it all felt. In fact, she could still feel the touch of her mother’s hands on her cheek and her lips against her forehead. It was very much real.

“Ginny,” Hermione said, shaking her shoulders. “You look a little peaky.”

“I’m just a little exhausted, I guess.” She stood up slowly. “I’m going to have a lie in for a while.”

Hermione nodded. “That’s fine. Fred and George carried Neville upstairs so he could rest, too. If you want, I could bring you a Pepper-Up Potion. It should make you feel a little better.”

“No, don’t worry about it, ‘Mione. A nap should be enough.”

“Once you’re sure,” Hermione said, watching Ginny guide her way towards the exit. “I’ll just explain everything to Fred and George.”

“Thanks, Hermione.”

Ginny waved before heading up the stairs. She did feel weak but oddly comforted as she made her way down the third floor hallway. Speaking to her mother helped her shed her years of guilt and now she finally understood what had happened that day Bill died. It was reassuring to know that neither of them held any resentment towards her. It made her happy, too, to know that everything she and the others had been doing had not been in vain. They were right and everything was moving along an accurate course. But there was still the question of Bill’s last statement. He had said that someone else was involved before this other person. But who did he mean? They had thought that there was only one other person now there was someone else to consider.

The thought only gave Ginny a headache. She entered the bedroom and closed the door behind her. Eagerly, she made her way towards the bed and climbed into it, closing her eyes once she was comfortable. Her thoughts immediately went back to her mother and brother. As she replayed the conversation in her head again, her mother’s very last words caught her attention. What in the world could she have meant? But before she had a chance to fully comprehend the meaning, she drifted off into a calming sleep.

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