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Dinner, overall, was quite pleasant. The twins and Hermione asked questions about all that had happened over the day. 

Bill was particularly interested in the details of their meeting with Gornhall.

But, as the stories were retold and details added, Ginny watched her parents. Merlin knows, after her Mum had stopped shouting, they had been wonderful. She wasn’t complaining, but she was sure there was more going on than they had let on during the day. 

She also watched her Mum’s reaction to Dobby’s meal. It had been simple, given the warning he had been allowed who could complain, but delicious…. a generous roast of beef with carrots and potatoes, preceded by fresh greens with sliced apples, and finished with an apple crisp. Her Mum had seemed to find things acceptable, and that was good enough for this day. 

As everyone was finishing, Dobby caught her eye and nodded. “Would all of you come back to the parlour?” Harry looked confused, so she leaned over to whisper,” We should thank them all, don’t you think?”

He smiled,” Thanks hardly seem enough.”

Ginny stood and held out her hand. Harry took it and followed her up the stairs. The parlour looked just as she had asked. There was a fire, and by the right wall was a table with a silver tray on top. The tray held crystal champagne flutes. Beside the table were two stands holding ice buckets; each with a wine bottle inside.

Everyone turned to her and Harry when they saw what was waiting,” I thought Harry and I should say ‘thank you’ in a more special way.”

Harry was looking flummoxed by the wine bottles. Bill stepped over to help.

“Watch Harry. Remove the wire cage from around the cork.”

After a bit of fumbling, Harry removed the wire.

“Now grip the cork with the cloth…..good. Now turn the bottle instead of the cork…slowly.”

With a soft, rather than a sharp, pop the cork was out. A moment later, Bill’s bottle popped as well.

Bill handed Harry a flute,” Pour down the side just until the bubbles reach the rim.”

A few moments later, everyone was holding a glass. Ginny looked at each of them, composing her thoughts,” Today has been overwhelming. As we’ve told you, we were shocked by it all just like you. But, it could well have been a disaster for Harry and me if not for all of you.”

There was murmuring from some of the family, and, Weasley or not, everybody in the room was family.

“Mum and Dad, thank you for loving us and supporting us today. It would have been impossible without you. Remus, the same applies to you, as well. I know Harry feels that way, too. Tonks and Bill, you supported us and made us laugh. Charlie, George, Fred and Hermione you proved that when everything seems to be totally out of control, family stands with you.”

Ginny felt a tear start down her cheek and her throat was all of the sudden clogged. She looked to Harry to rescue her.

“Err, I couldn’t say things better than Ginny has. When we had read the letters this morning, I was pretty sure you lot would disown me on the spot. Thank you…all of you.”

After a few moments, Bill raised his glass,” To family.”

“To family.” Everyone toasted each other.

Her Dad waited for everyone to take a sip then stepped closer to her and Harry,” I thought it would be a few years yet before I needed to toast your marriage…”

Ginny felt Harry tense beside her.

“..but I had hoped when I did that it might be Harry standing beside you. Neither of you should ever doubt the love all of us have for the two of you. Congratulations, Harry and Ginny. May your years together be long and full of love.”

“To Harry and Ginny.”

Ginny didn’t see or hear if anyone joined the toast. She handed her glass to Harry and ran to her Dad.”Thank you so much. Do you have any idea how much I love you?”

Her Dad hugged her tightly and kissed her on top of her head, “ And I you, Princess.”

*  *  *

Harry sat on the sofa watching the fire while Ginny changed into her night gown. Everything, the Bond, the trip to Gringotts and Madam Malkin’s, the Order meeting, it had all been almost unreal until the time in the parlour. Seeing all of those people standing there, supporting them had brought it all home.

Now he and his wife were going to spend the night together…every night together. As he thought about that, his nerves came back ten fold what they had been just a few hours earlier.

He heard the door to the loo open. A moment later Ginny walked around the opening from the bedroom. “ Your turn, Harry.” Her face was pink and she was looking slightly away. With one hand she was clutching her dressing gown just below her neck, the other hand was lightly touching the wall.

Harry picked up his clothes on the end of the bed and went in to change. When he came out he was looking at the archway into the sitting room. He almost missed Ginny sitting on the bed. She had left her dressing gown at the foot of the bed, and was sitting near the head board with her legs crossed, a pillow in her lap. He noted that she wasn’t wearing a gown, but flannel sleep pants and a tank top. To him she looked very pretty.

Ginny looked up, “I thought we might talk in here….Less formal, I guess.”

Harry nodded and dropped his dressing gown on the bed, too. He felt self conscious about the way he was dressed. As usual he was wearing Dudley’s cast off pyjama bottoms. They were loose in the waist and a little long. He had put on one of his new t-shirts, so at least it fit. He propped his pillow against the head board and leaned back against it; his knees pulled up to his chest.

“Harry? What you said this afternoon about thinking about me ‘that way.’ Was that really true?”

He felt his face flush,” Yeah, for a while now.”

“But you never said anything, or gave me any clue…”

“Well, you were with Corner, and I don’t think you noticed me looking, maybe.” He watched her study her pillow. She was smoothing out the case, then twisting it, then smoothing it out again.

“I was with Michael part of the time, but why not after?”

Harry laughed sadly,” By the time I heard, things were getting a little crazy. I…I was pretty mixed up, and angry, you know?” He saw her nod. “It was probably better. After, you know, after Sirius I would have probably done something really stupid and ruined it forever.”

She finally looked at him, and smiled, “ Well, forever’s gone the other way now hasn’t it?” Her smile changed to the one from Godric’s Hollow. He felt himself getting warm all over.

He looked at her for a while before nearly fifteen years of brutal conditioning  grabbed his heart in its icy grip, “ Ginny, can you forgive me for this? I know you weren’t expecting,” He waved his arms at them and the bed,” to be here. You’re just fourteen and I’ve ruined your whole life. You probably had plans…” He stopped talking as he watched her face change. ‘That’ smile had disappeared and she looked furious.

“Harry Potter, don’t you dare treat me like some weak minded victim in this. I’ve been that before and it will never happen again. I knew we would end up here.” She waved her arms just as he had. “ True,I thought it would be a couple of years, but I knew. I told you I was with you, Bond or no Bond, no regrets. I meant exactly what I said.”

Harry felt his eyes start to burn. He was not going to do that tonight. Not now. He blinked a couple of times and took a deep breath “ I’m sorry.” He saw her start to turn red again. “ No, I… I didn’t mean to say that you were weak or anything. It’s only….I’m glad we’re together. I didn’t want you to feel like you were tricked or anything.” 

Her expression softened, “You never quite believe that people love you, do you?”

He knew his eyes got big…Love?

She smiled knowingly, “That’s exactly what I mean. You can’t understand because of those ‘people’ who raised you. Now listen carefully. I’ve loved you for years. I had a crush on you, but that was different. My whole family loves you, too, even Ron.” She made a face. “ Lily asked if I could or wanted to be ‘in love’ with you. If I hadn’t said yes, we wouldn’t be here.” She waved her arms again, but not quite so widely.

Harry reached over a touched her hand, “I don’t know much about this sort of thing. I’ll try not to make  complete rubbish of it.”

Ginny put her other hand on top of his, “You’ve done quite well all day, I think.”

“Really?”

She smiled crookedly,” That kiss in the kitchen in front of Mum was spot on Mr. Potter. Excellent timing, too. You shut Mum right up.”

Harry laughed,” Do you think that was what did it?”

‘That’ smile was back,” Oh, yeah. It was. Mum knew then that shouting wasn’t going to change things.”

Harry began to feel like he did after the second incantation. He closed his eyes and enjoyed the sensations.

“Harry?”

He turned back to Ginny.

“While we’re sort of on the subject.” She was blushing and back to studying the pillow,” I know we’re married and you might expect things…..Dammit!” She looked up at him very uncertainly,” I know you may be expecting us to have sex but I would like to wait if that’s alright ‘cause I’m still only fourteen and I’m not ready yet.” The words had poured out in a torrent.

It took Harry a minute to sort through what she had said. When he did, his whole body flushed,” Ginny, I…I’m not expecting…I wouldn’t try to force you…” Now he was looking anywhere but at Ginny. “ I wasn’t expecting us to..have…sex.” He laughed, “ I’m still trying to get used to kissing you.” 

Her hand was against his cheek. It was so soft…he leaned into it and closed his eyes.

“Harry, I’ll give you plenty of opportunities to get used to kissing me. We can do the other things, too. Let’s just take it slow, alright?”

He looked up and saw that she was leaning close to him, a very soft smile on her lips. They looked so good, he decided they needed kissing.

They didn’t talk for a while.

*   *   *

One floor below them, Arthur was sitting on the side of the bed, “ Molly, are we handling this the right way?”

Molly rolled over and put her hand on his back, “ Merlin knows, dear. How can you tell until after?”

“You’ve been very supportive all day. I’m sure Harry and Ginny meant everything they said tonight.”

Molly laughed,” You weren’t there for the shouting. “

Arthur started and looked back at her. “When they first told you, you were shouting at them?”

“You better believe it. I was trying to flay the hide right off of the both of them. I would have too, if it hadn’t been for…”

“What? If it hadn’t been for what?”

Molly looked a little wistful, “ I was going at them in full voice, when Ginny turned her back and said something to Harry. He looked surprised then had the loveliest smile on his face. At that moment he forgot I was even in the room. He leaned down and kissed her…a very sweet kiss, not passionate, and I could see that all of the shouting in the world wasn’t going to change what was between them.”

“Why do you think that?”

“Arthur,there was a feeling then, but it was several things that happened over the course of the day. I know they told the absolute truth about being surprised. But that kiss, Ginny telling Harry she was the only witch he had to listen to, the way Ginny took over at Madam Malkin’s and Harry smiled and let her go, watching them walk up Diagon Alley together…  Dora even said they looked like they belonged together. Arthur, I’m so angry and frightened I don’t know how to act, but I look at those two together and I just don’t know.”

“Angry at the kids?”

“No, not the kids. Harry’s mother, for one. How dare she put my fourteen year old daughter in a situation like this? Ten minutes later, I think if I were in her shoes I might do exactly the same things. Arthur, we heard what Harry said about being more powerful when he faced Voldemort. ‘When’,  Arthur, not ‘if’ he faced him again. Harry knows something, Ginny too, about how this is all supposed to end. In my heart I know Harry and Ginny are going to be there. I’m scared.”

Arthur stood and began to pace the room. “You’ve got me worrying now. I was just worried about my young daughter up there in bed with a teenage boy. I want to run up there and burst in and put her to bed where she belongs. Which is with her husband, and around I go again..”

“Arthur, I asked Ginny about a potion and she said they wouldn’t need one for a while. Does that make you feel better?”

“I guess it does.”

“Then come to bed.”

“Yes,dear.” They both lay there for a while, neither close to sleep.”Molly?”

She turned back to her husband, waiting.

“I’m angry and frightened about the kids, too…Harry and Ginny.....”

“I know, dear. Me, too.”

“They shouldn’t know any of that. As far as they will know , I am surprised, but I love them and support them unconditionally.”

Molly raised up and looked down at Arthur,” I don’t believe we can do anything else. That will just make it that much harder for Ron.”

Arthur frowned,” It’s his sister and best friend. He’ll be alright in a day or two.”

Molly rolled back over to her side of the bed, “ I hope so. Good night dear.”

“Good night Molly.”

*   *   *

The parlour was still well occupied. Bill, Charlie, the twins, Remus and Tonks were scattered around the fire talking. Remus had liberated a bottle of Fire Whisky from his room, so conversation was flowing along with the spirits.

“Are you sure that’s what he said?” Bill was stretched out on the carpet near the fire.

Remus nodded,” I’m sure. That makes me almost sure the rumors about Harry being the ‘Chosen One’ are close to the truth.”

“That would justify….”

“…what his parents did. I would probably do the same…”

“…if I were in their place.”

The twins had been talking like this all evening, so even Remus and Tonks no longer paid it any mind.

Charlie was sitting with his forearms on his knees,” Well yeah, except they included our baby sister in all of it.”

Bill sat up,” I’m pretty sure that Bond or no Bond, Gin would be right in the thick of it anyway. After that stuff in the Chamber of Secrets, Ginny changed. I just never noticed how until today. The time I spent with her and Harry, she’s very determined…I’m pretty sure she knows exactly what’s coming and has to be there. The question for us is what are we going to do…support our child bride sister and her husband or complain about how wrong things are?”

Tonks sat forward,” Can an outsider get in on this?”

The brothers all nodded or said something encouraging.

“Well, I’ve been with the two of them all day. They are both scared to death. I’m guessing that it is partly what’s coming, partly how you lot are going to accept them after tonight, and mostly awe at what they’ve gotten themselves into.” She looked at each brother in turn,” Harry has, I think, made peace with himself some time ago that he would face Voldemort. I get the feeling that Bill is right, Ginny would be there with Harry no matter what.” All of the Weasley’s were nodding. 

“Now, what a bunch of older brothers don’t want to hear is they are a couple.”

Charlie snorted,” They’re married,’ He grimaced,” of course they’re a couple.”

“Charlie, working with dragons hasn’t improved your perception very much.”

While his brothers laughed, he sat up and stared at the young Auror,”My perception is quite sharp, thank you very much.”

“Your perception missed that Arlene Keener was chasing you hot and heavy for six months our seventh year. Any idiot that had figured it out would have jumped at the chance to go out with her. I’ll bet this is the first time you had any idea.” She looked smug as she watched her former classmate squirm under his brothers’ taunts.

With Charlie glowing Weasley red, she continued,” My point was, Harry and Ginny have connected on some very deep level. Molly and I both noticed how they acted as though they had been together forever instead of one day, or two weeks, depending on how you figure things. I, for one, intend to treat them as if their being together is the most natural thing in the world. You might think about doing the same.”

The room was quiet for a few minutes.

“Dora is right.” Remus stood and walked over to the fire. Bill moved over to give him more room. “ This Bond took a huge amount of magical energy to form. The text says the ability is far beyond the capability of underage wizards and witches, but here we are. There’s something going on here…fate or..I don’t know….something. We need to commit to protecting those two until it’s time for them to act.”

Bill was nodding, a sad smile on his face,” You’re right. Mum said as much at the bank today just with her facial expressions…But they’re just kids.” He stood and set his glass on the mantle. “I’m going to bed. When I get up tomorrow, those two will have my blessing and I’ll hex anyone who says a word wrong about them.”

Charlie set his glass on the table next to the sofa, “ I’m with you. We back them no matter what.” He looked at his older brother,” Am I stating with you, or is three a crowd?”

Bill blushed, but held Charlie’s look,” If you don’t mind, why don’t you stay here with the family?”

Charlie nodded,” That’s fine with me. You know Mum will find out?”

“Yeah, I know. Our sweet little sister has already planted the seed.” He laughed,” And she did it so well, too.” He looked over at Tonks and Remus. They both agreed.”Good night, all.” 

The twins were eagerly looking back and forth between the others.

“So Bill has a room mate…”

“…and Mum doesn’t know.”

“I think a little detective work…”

“…or a talk with our sister…”

‘…is in order.”

They were both grinning happily as they climbed the stairs.

“So, do you want to stay here tonight?”

Tonks leered at the older wizard,” Why Remus, is that a proposition?”

Remus blushed and looked down,” I just thought it might be better if you stayed.”

Tonks let him off of the hook, “ Hermione is looking for a new room mate since Ginny has other plans now. I’ll go see if she is still awake.”

He waited for her to climb the stairs before he gathered the dirty glasses (evidence) and the empty bottle. After putting out the lamps, he went by the kitchen to drop off the glasses and then went up to his room.

*   *   *

The couple everyone had been discussing had kissed very enjoyably for a while. Harry broke away and fell over on his back,” Merlin Ginny. I could die right now a go out happy.”

Ginny giggled as she snuggled up against him,” Please don’t. I have lots of plans for you.”

His expression softened, “ I’m still getting used to that idea.”

Ginny couldn’t see his face, so she frowned, worried,” Maybe it won’t feel so strange…”

“No, Ginny, that’s not the way I meant it. It’s like this great dream, but I get to keep telling myself it’s real.”

Ginny smiled into his chest,” That I understand. Me, too.”

Harry was quiet for a minute,” It’s going to be strange facing your family at breakfast and them knowing we’ve slept together.”

Ginny raised up and smiled at him,” You don’t have to. I told Mum we would be down late because we had a lot to talk about. Dobby is bringing breakfast in the sitting room.”

Harry smiled and pulled her down to continue what they had interrupted, “ You’re brilliant.”

Against his lips she murmured, “Never forget that.”

*   *   *

Ginny awoke to the soft light of morning. She lay there still feeling the glow from before. She and Harry had kissed off and on for much of the night. Despite the intensity of emotions, it had never gotten much beyond kissing. After all they had much to learn about each other there before things went further.

She had run her hands over his back and chest under his t-shirt. After a little encouragement, Harry had slipped his hands under her top and gently touched and rubbed her back. She could still feel his touch. With their first night behind them, she was comfortable that Harry would wait without complaint for things to move along. 
That was a huge relief, because she knew deep down she wasn’t ready for ‘that.’

Still, being ready didn’t seem to be in the far too distant future as it had. She smiled to herself,’ That’s Harry Potter next to me and he’ll be there forever. Some times dreams do come true Ginevra.’ She turned and spooned him against her front. A few minutes later she had drifted back off to sleep.

The wonderful smell of food pulled her awake again. She could just make out the sound of someone moving about. Very carefully, so as not to wake up Harry, Ginny slid from the bed and slipped on her dressing gown. In the sitting room she found Dobby just finishing setting out their breakfast.

“Mistress Ginny, Dobby didn’t mean to wakes you.”

Ginny smiled at his stricken expression.”You didn’t. I have been drifting in and out for a while. This smells wonderful.” She saw the little elf smile with pride. She kneeled down next to him and hugged him gently,” You’re a good friend to Harry, Dobby. Me, too.”

When she looked at his face, there were tears running down his cheeks,” Dobby worries for Harry Potter ,Mistress Ginny. Evil wizards wants to hurt Master Harry.”

Ginny was surprised at the emotion in Dobby’s voice,” We’ll have to watch out for him, won’t we.”

Dobby smiled at her choice of pronouns,” Yes, Mistress, we will.” He cleared his throat of emotion, ” Dobby has put warming charms on all the foods. Mistress can let Master Harry sleep if she wishes.”

Ginny kissed the elf on the head,” Thank you Dobby. How are the others this morning?”

“Mosts have gone to work. Mistress’ mother and brother Charlie is in the kitchen. Harry Potter’s friend Hermie is not coming down yet.”

Ginny reached over for a piece of toast,” Maybe you should go down and see if they need anything. We’ll be fine here. You’ve taken care of that.”

Dobby bowed just a little and was gone.

Ginny curled up on one of the sofas and had a small plate of eggs and sausage. It disappeared so fast, she had another. As she was chewing her last bite of toast, Harry plopped down beside her. She grinned at his, worse than usual, messy hair and sleep swollen eyes, “Good morning, sleepyhead. Feeling better?”

To her utter shock, he laid a hand on her thigh and smiled, “Yeah, but it has nothing to do with sleep.”

“Harry, you’re really not rubbish at this, you know.” She covered his hand with hers.

“It’s pretty easy with you, somehow.”

“Very good answer Harry.” She kissed him on the cheek, “I’m going to the bath while you eat. Back in a few.”

She found her bra and knickers where Dobby had stowed them sometime last evening, and went in to take a shower. When she came out, Harry was not in sight. She hesitated for a moment, then dropped her dressing gown on the bed, and sat at the dressing table wearing only her underthings. She unwrapped the towel from her hair, draped it across her shoulders.  and began working the tangles out.

It was only a few minutes later that she caught Harry’s reflection in the mirror. He was staring at her, a half smile showing. Suddenly, she was very unsure of how she looked, or more importantly, how Harry saw her. Her first instinct was to cover herself, but she stopped her hands before they could try. Instead, she dropped her hands to her lap and watched Harry in the mirror.

Harry’s eyes flew open more widely when he realized he had been caught, and he jerked back. His face began to glow as he dropped his eyes to the floor,” Err, sorry. I didn’t mean to..I’ll just get my clothes.”

Ginny was hurt. He obviously didn’t like what he…No, that wasn’t it at all. She stood and turned to face him,” Harry?”

He peeked briefly then lowered his eyes again.

“Harry, you can look if you want to.” She smiled,” We are married, remember?”

He finally raised his head. As his eyes roamed over her, once again she was afraid that he would find her less than he expected or wanted. That fear was gone in an instant.

“Merlin, Ginny. You’re beautiful.” He was blushing magnificently by now.

A thousand butterflies took flight in her stomach. The sincerity in his voice was intoxicating. He really thought she was pretty…no, he said’ beautiful.’ She smiled, shyly at first, then widely,” I’m telling you Harry, you’re not rubbish. Twice in thirty minutes.” She smirked, all self consciousness gone,” I may start expecting you to be like this all of the time.”

The words were barely out of her mouth before she froze. He was walking across the room, directly for her. 

He stopped a short step away and looked at her eyes, not her exposed skin. 

Hesitantly, he raised his hand and softly stroked her cheek. Instinctively, she closed her eyes and pressed her cheek more firmly against his touch. She could sense him moving closer, then his arms slipped around her and pulled her tightly against him.

When Ginny finally looked up, Harry was smiling down at her,” I know this isn’t going any further, but can I just hold you like this for a minute?”

She smiled and nodded before running her hands up under his t-shirt and stroking his back,” Take your time, Harry.”

She was brushing her hair away from her face to put barrettes in when he came out of the shower wearing only his boxers. She turned and looked him over, grinning, as he blushed. “Turn about, Harry.”

He nodded and smiled back, "Guess you’re right.” He finished dressing without fumbling about.

When they entered the kitchen, Charlie was leaning against the counter with a cup of something in his hand. Her Mum was sitting at the table with the Daily Prophet opened in front of her. Hermione was peering over her shoulder. They both looked up at the couple; neither smiled.

“Did you sleep well?”

Ginny almost made a smart come back , but bit it back,” Yes we did, Mum. I think we were both exhausted.”  

She noticed dark circles around her Mum’s eyes, “ What about you?”

Her Mum smiled and shook her head,” Too much to think about, I guess. But, it’s all sorted now, I’m pretty sure.”

Ginny sat in the chair Harry had pulled out for her not noticing the smiles on the other side of the room. As Harry took his seat, Hermione pushed the paper across the table.

“Hope you’ve had your breakfast.” She looked embarrassed.

Harry pulled the paper closer and began searching. He found it first because Ginny heard him growl before she saw the article.

                                                CHOSEN ONE TAKEN?

                                                          Arlan Oban

Rumors are flying all about magical London that Harry Potter, “The Chosen One,” may be married. An unnamed Ministry source told this reporter Potter’s marriage to Ginevra Weasley was officially registered yesterday. Miss Weasley, or is it Mrs. Potter now, is the fourteen year old daughter of Arthur and Molly Weasley. One can only speculate why two so young would suddenly get married. Could a baby Potter be arriving soon? Another source hinted at other circumstances, but they remain vague. A quick check with classmates of the couple found no one aware of any sort of relationship between the two. Several students said that Ms. Weasley (Potter?) was, in fact, romantically  involved with another student. Is there an even bigger scandal possible? We will update this
story as more facts become available. 

Ginny was furious,” Those despicable, lying gits. How dare they all but say I’m pregnant.”

Harry’s chair went flying back as he jumped up,” I’m going over there. They can’t get away with saying this.” His voice had risen with every syllable.

Ginny heard her Mum get up as someone behind her spoke softly,” Harry?”

Remus was standing in the doorway. “Sit back down.” He certainly sounded calm.

Harry didn’t,” No! Do you want to go with me, or can I just go alone?”

Ginny stood beside Harry,” You’ll not go alone. I’m going, too.”

Remus held up his hands,” Calm down, both of you. Arthur has spoken with the paper. They are running a corrected story in the evening edition and tomorrow’s morning edition as well.”

Ginny put her hand on Harry’s arm, “Do you know what it’s going to say?”

Remus smiled, “ Yes. Will you sit while I get a cup of tea?”

Ginny sat back down as Harry retrieved his chair. When he was settled beside her again, she reached for his hand. He squeezed her hand gently and began running his thumb over her knuckles.

As Remus sat across the table with his cup, her Mum came around and sat on her other side.

“Arthur went straight to the editor this morning. Needless to say, your father was angry. After a brief bit of shouting, the editor brought in a different reporter and had her take down the actual facts. They’ve promised to include an apology, but we’ll see.” He chuckled, “ While your dad was there two Howlers came in…one from Professor McGonagall and the other from Albus. “ Remus looked at her Mum, “Arthur said it was like being back at Hogwarts, and just as scary, when Minerva’s voice began shouting.”

Ginny cut her eyes at her Mum. She was smiling,” Serves them right.” She laughed,     ” Arthur was terrified of Minerva when we were in school. I would have loved to have seen his face when the Howler started.”

After they had all enjoyed the thought of her Dad’s reaction, Ginny saw Hermione impatiently watching her and Harry.

“Could we talk somewhere?”  she finally asked.

Harry nodded, “How about our rooms?”

Hermione jumped up,” I need to get some things. I’ll be right there.”

As their friend hurried out, Ginny looked at her Mum,” Could Harry and I go shopping in muggle London this afternoon? I want him out of his cousin’s cast offs.”

Her Mum looked over at Remus who nodded, “ I don’t see why not. Dora said she would be here all afternoon. If you two will go with me it should be alright.” She was still looking at Remus.

Remus looked at his watch, “ Dora should be here in an hour or so. How about we go around two. I’m looking forward to watching Ginny order Harry about again.”

Charlie was smiling, “Can I go watch, too?”

Harry spoke up,” Isn’t anybody going to be on my side?”

Ginny stood and held out her hand,” Sorry, no.”

 *   *   *

Harry almost rolled his eyes when Hermione came into their rooms carrying three very large books. He didn’t because he remembered how she had reacted last night. Instead, he smiled,” Found something, have you?”

Hermione placed the books on the end table and sat in the chair opposite them.

“Actually, I have. After dinner I went to the library on the first floor. If one ignores the books on Dark Magic, there are quite a lot of interesting books in there. I found these three on magical bonds.” She hesitated for a moment, “How much do you know about some of the…consequences?”

Ginny leaned more firmly against him,” We know that one will barely survive the other’s death.”

Hermione seemed to stare at them for a long time,” I notice you didn’t bring that up last night.”

Harry grimaced, “ Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, Bill, Remus and Tonks know. I don’t know if Bill told Charlie or not.”

Beside him Ginny shook her head,” Me either.”

“You both seem so calm.”

Harry shrugged his shoulders as Ginny answered,” Every once in a while it sneaks up on me and I’m scared for a minute. Then, I remember that if something happens to Harry, I’ll probably be right there anyway, so it may not matter.”

Harry wanted to argue with her logic, but now wasn’t the time. Instead, he turned the tables a little bit, ” You sure took the news well. I was expecting a sound scolding for doing something rash or the like.”

Hermione smiled at that, ‘ I thought about it. But, it struck me how good the two of you will be for each other. I could have done without the marriage part for now, but I think the Bond is just what you both needed.”

Harry sat up,” What do you mean?”

Now Hermione was almost laughing, “ You can’t get mad.”

Harry nodded and so did Ginny.

“First, you Harry. You're so moody and caught up in all of the bad things going on. You want to take the blame for everything. Ginny will have none of that and will let you know right now. Also, she makes you smile; has done for months. Both of you were too dense to see it. You, Ginny, are still caught in the Chamber of Secrets. It shows in your eyes sometimes. Harry is the only person alive who can begin to understand. Also, he is just as stubborn as you. He’ll not let you mope about when those memories come back. You have wanted him for a long time; even after you knew he wasn’t the superhero from your children’s books. No one else would have ever measured up to Harry for you, so I’m happy for the both of you.” She became much more serious," I'm also pretty sure things are going to get much worse for all of us. You'll need each other."

Harry didn’t know what to say. He just smiled at Hermione as Ginny went over and hugged her.

When Ginny was back on the sofa, Hermione picked up the first book and opened it to a page she had marked.”Let me tell you what I’ve found so far…”

*   *   *   

They took two taxis to a store Hermione recommended. She had smiled brightly as she gave the taxis the address. Neither Harry or Ginny had ever been in anything like this before. When they got out of the taxis on Oxford, they were faced with an enormous building. The name of the store was- Sefridges & Co.

Hermione led them inside and over to the escalators. They rode up to the first floor then asked an employee for ‘Men’s Casual.’  Following directions back to the left, they soon found an overwhelming selection of men’s clothing.

 Taking Harry’s arm, Ginny led the charge into that section of the store. A few minutes later, Harry was ordered into a changing room and began what he later described as ‘a mind numbing afternoon of trying on, showing off, changing, and doing it all over again’ as Ginny supervised. An eternity later ( according to Harry), a beaming sales clerk began totaling up ‘Harry’s’ selections. Fortunately, underwear and pyjamas had been close by, so they were easily added to the pile. 

Again following directions, the group went back past the escalator they had come up on, to the shoe department. Ginny gave Harry instructions on what he was to buy. 

When he had his shoes, Hermione announced it was ‘girl time.’ Charlie and Remus retired to the food shop near the center of the floor taking most of Harry’s bags with them.

Ginny followed Hermione up one floor, Harry reluctantly in tow. Now Ginny was nearly overwhelmed. She browsed for a few minutes , then allowed herself to be camped in the changing rooms as Hermione , Tonks and occasionally her Mum brought her things to see and try on. Three pairs of denims, a pair of dressy pants, three skirts, two dresses, five blouses, and four jumpers later, they were finished..on this floor. 

The look on Harry’s face when she had modeled one of the dresses had made her stomach flutter, and her decision easy. 

 Next was the shoe department. Here she bought new trainers, two low heels, a pair of sandals, and another pair of high heels…she liked that look in Harry’s eyes.

 With a real gleam in her eyes, Hermione led them up one more floor. Ginny spent most of the next half hour beet red, but not as red as Harry. Ginny left with the most incredible lingerie she had ever seen or touched. Harry, to his credit, had stayed close, as they were supposed to, and had not passed out from embarrassment. She thought he kept his eyes averted much of the time.

When they walked out to the kerb, everyone was carrying bags or hangers. 

Ginny kept an eye on Harry on the way back to Grimmauld Place. Despite his complaints, he looked pleased.

The whole entourage helped get the bags up to the rooms before going on to their own rooms or down to the parlour. A moment later, Dobby, uncalled, appeared and began putting things away. 

Ginny flopped onto one of the sofas and toed her shoes off.”Was that just too awful?”

Harry had collapsed beside her. He grinned,” Not as bad as I pretended.” He turned and looked at her in an odd but pleasing way,” I was a little disappointed you didn’t model anything in that last department.”

Her breath caught as her face flushed. His eyes were much darker than usual,” Ma…maybe I should save some of that for a while.”

He really looked disappointed,” I’ll promise only to look.”

She leaned up and kissed him,” Then you may get a surprise now and then.”

Now was not the time to mention the book Tonks had slipped her that afternoon. She wanted to see what  “The Loving Touch” had to say first.

Harry was a good sport at dinner as Charlie and Tonks, primarily, went on about his afternoon of shopping. Thankfully, Tonks was astute enough not to go into much detail about the lingerie in front of her Dad and brothers. She didn’t want the teasing because she knew it would end up being very uncomfortable for her Dad and Harry.

Ron came down to eat, but never, to Ginny’s knowledge, looked at either of them, nor participated in the conversation. He sat at the end of the table, ate and left the room.

 Hermione got up to follow him, but her Mum stopped her,” Let him be for now. He needs to grow up like the rest of you.”

Tonks took Hermione back home after dinner. She gave them both a hug and promised to come back in a few days.

Things were getting more at ease. It was a much more casual ‘good night’ to her family when she and Harry retired to their rooms. Best of all, it felt very near natural to crawl into bed with Harry and snuggle together for the night. After a little kissing practice of course.

*   *   *

Everyone was at the table when they came down the next morning. Of course, Ron left as soon as they walked in. Harry had been hurt by Ron’s attitude, but now he was mostly annoyed. 

The twins left soon after to go work on the shop. They wanted to open by August first when the Hogwarts letters went out. Being open as students collected their supplies made good business sense.

“We’ll take Ron with us…”

“…we can always test something on him…”

“…if he gets on our nerves.”

Harry saw Mrs. Weasley start to object, but she only shook her head.”Nothing dangerous.”

Fred grinned evily,” That leaves…”

“…a lot of choices.” George, if anything, looked even more devilish.

Harry tried not to laugh, but when Ginny giggled, he gave up.

The twins both patted him on the shoulder on their way out.

Harry noticed Mr. Weasley hid behind the paper through the whole conversation.

“They did get the story in this morning.” He folded the paper and passed it to Ginny.
She laid it so Harry could read at the same time.


                                          POTTER MARRIAGE CONFIRMED

                                                        Rhonda Dalmore

The marriage of Harry Potter and Ginevra Weasley was confirmed by Mrs. Potter’s father, Arthur Weasley. “Harry and Ginny completed a Bond on Thursday morning. Under wizarding law they were married as soon as the Bond was completed. While Molly, my wife, and I were both quite surprised, we have long considered Harry a member of the family and are pleased to have it become official. We, the whole family, are going to support Harry and Ginny in any way we can or they need. As they are both now adults, as well, Harry and Ginny have access to the Potter family assets and they are able to live independently as they choose. I hope this will put to rest completely the rumors and untruths published and circulated yesterday. Both are quite happy and are settling in together very well.” 

Mr. Weasley declined to disclose where the couple is currently living or what their plans for the coming school year might be. We hope to be able to interview the couple soon.


A PUBLIC APOLOGY TO: Harry and Ginevra Potter
The Daily Prophet apologizes to Harry and Ginevra Potter, their families, and friends, for the article in Friday’s edition hinting at a forced marriage and that Mrs. Potter might be ‘with child.’ We now know this information to be false in its entirety. This newspaper strives to report accurately at all times and hopes this apology in some small way mitigates any pain caused by the previous article.

Harry looked up when he had finished. Ginny still had a look of pain in her eyes. His anger returned in full force,” When did they start worrying about the truth?” He snapped his mouth closed as soon as the words came out. As he spoke Ginny had turned to him, tears leaking from her eyes. He wrapped his arms around her and gently rocked back and forth.”I’ll shut my big mouth, alright?”

He felt a half hearted laugh against his chest,” I’m sorry Harry. It’s just…the apology didn’t have to repeat the lies. Probably, half the people who read it won’t get the part about it being wrong.”

Harry looked over his wife’s shoulder at her father,” Thank you for doing that.”

“I meant every word Harry. You both need to believe that.”

Ginny raised her head and turned to her father,” We do. We really do. It’s everybody else. They can’t leave Harry alone, or they make up lies.” She sniffed one time,” I’ll get used to it. Everyone that matters knows the truth or will believe the truth when the see it.”

The kitchen was quiet for a while.

“May I see the article?” Mrs. Weasley held out her hand.

Harry picked up the paper and passed it over to her, “ Sorry.”

“It’s fine, Harry.” She began reading.

”Would you two like to get in some practice?” Remus was picking up his dishes to take to the sink, where Dobby was standing on a stool frowning.

“I would, how about you Harry?” Ginny was already out of her chair.

“Looks like we’re practicing.” Harry stood up, too.

“Go on down. I need to get something before you begin.” Remus left the kitchen towards the upper floors.

They went down to the practice room. A moment later, Charlie and Mr. Weasley came into the room,”We thought we would watch if you don’t mind?”

Harry and Ginny both nodded, “Sure. It may not be very exciting though.” Harry was thinking about the spells he needed to work on.

“I may change your mind about that.” Remus came in carrying a flat, metal box. He put it on the floor and released three locks. When he open the top, five lumps of what appeared to be rock or stone were visible. 

Charlie stepped closer,” Are those..?”

Remus grinned up at him, “ Yeah, Golem.”

“Blimey.”

Now Mr. Weasley was kneeling down to get a better look,” I’ve never actually seen one.”

Harry looked at Ginny. He was relieved to see she didn’t appear to know what was going on either. “Dad, what are you going on about? What are Golem?”

Remus stood and walked closer to the couple,” Golem are an ancient magical being. They have been created in several cultures. In some they become fearsome creatures with no control. Others have ways of controlling them but that varies. Most are made from soil or mud. These,” He pointed at the box,” are very old. Sirius’ family supposedly bought them in Egypt long ago. For whatever reason, creating them from this type of rock allows special qualities.” 

He opened a piece of parchment. It looked to be quite old, too.”These incantations let you create as many as you need and imbues them with the skills you desire. I thought I would activate two of them and let each of you duel alone for a while. If you like, we can change things later so you work as a team against both of them at once.”

Harry was fascinated. Looking around, so was everyone else,” Yeah, that sounds great.”

Remus held up the parchment so he could more easily read it. A moment later he had his wand pointing at the box as he recited the incantation. Just seconds later, two huge, sort of human looking, creatures were standing by the wall.

“Why don’t each of you work at different ends of the room for now?”

Harry nodded and began walking to the other end of the room.

“The Golem can cast spells and will react as a wizard would if hit by a spell. I can increase their skill level as needed.” 

He sofly spoke again and the two Golem each drew a wand and immediately began to attack.

Harry was caught off guard and had to dive away from the first spell. It looked like a stinger. As he rolled to his feet he began counter attacking. In less than a minute he had disabled the Golem. 

He glanced over at Ginny. She was watching him, tapping her wand against her arm,” About time Harry. I’m getting bored.”

He grinned back at her,” So, it’s a contest, is it?”

She laughed,” Not so far.”

Remus had a big grin on his face,” You two have been learning a few things, I see.” He looked at the parchment again,” We’ll up their skill a bit more.” He pointed his wand at each of the Golem again.

This time, Harry was ready. He was countering as the first curse flew. The only problem was, this Golem was much faster than the first. Harry battled for several minutes, taking a few, light hits in order to respond more quickly. Finally, he disabled the creature. Gasping a bit for breath, he spun to check on Ginny. She was again leaning against the wall looking bored.”

“Three out of five Harry?” She was smirking  at him.

Remus looked almost maniacal as he reset the creatures. Charlie and Mr. Weasley were both wide eyed looking back a forth between the two teens.

Harry took his position for the third time. Unexpectedly, a cutting curse was flying at his legs. He jumped and fired off a stunner with a full body bind behind and to the left. The Golem blocked the stunner, but stepped into the body bind. Match over. A quick check of Ginny showed her still fighting. Harry leaned against the wall, patting his foot. 

“Lucky shot Harry. My match after this one.”

Harry just smiled and raised his wand. Spells flew from the Golem’s wand and his free hand. Harry was on the defensive from the start. After a couple of minutes he scored some solid, but not disabling hits. He pressed the attack and finally was able to fire a pattern of stunners at different heights and in slightly different directions. The Golem moved straight into one of them.

Ginny spun around a second later. “Ahhh,tied. Winner gets a back rub.”

“Great idea. I need one.” The first spell almost cut his head off. He rolled, firing shields and spells. Within a minute he was back on his feet. A minute later, he was fully on the offensive. Suddenly a hex flew by from behind his left shoulder. Sneaking a  quick peek, he saw another Golem on attack. Now he was purely on the defensive until he could work himself around and get both attackers in sight at the same time. 

Finally he was fighting at the ten and three o’clock positions. Two minutes later, three o’clock was out. Thirty seconds later ten was out ,too. He put his hands on his knees and gasped for breath. When he looked up, Ginny was doing the same thing.

“Who….won..?” She gasped at Remus.

He smiled, “ The good guys. It was a tie.”

Harry started walking back toward the door. He was really tired.

When he walked up, he saw a couple of small cuts on Ginny’s face and arms. Looking down, he was in no better condition.

Charlie blurted,” That was bloody incredible. Both of you. Where did you learn to do 
that?”

Ginny grinned,” Ask Dumbledore…wasted Wednesdays in Godric’s Hollow.”

Mr. Weasley was smiling,” Only a few in the Order would take on either of you one on one. If you two get better, Merlin help us all.”

Harry grinned at Ginny as he spoke to her dad,” I was only able to use maybe half of what we’ve learned. The rest I’m still too slow or don’t have enough confidence in yet.”

Ginny was nodding along,” Maybe a few more than half for me, but I don’t cast with the power I want to, yet.”

Remus looked at the two, “ One more round. Three against two?”

Harry took Ginny’s hand and began walking away from the others,” Start when you are ready.”

Remus spent a little more time on the incantation. Suddenly,  the three Golem spread out and began a powerful attack.

The pair held hands in the beginning , mostly, defending. As they became more at ease fighting together, they found they only needed to be touching the other lightly. 

Even then, the Golem pressed them hard. The battle raged up and down the room for more than an hour. The three observers watched from the protection of two powerful shielding spells. Otherwise, they would have been in serious jeopardy  of being injured.

Slowly, it became clear that Harry and Ginny were working more and more in unthinking concert. The battle moved from a brutal stalemate to a blistering attack. The attack lasted only four or five minutes after it started and the three Golem were all incapacitated. The observers applauded the couple as they bent over at the waist, gasping for breath.

Remus had changed the four Golem back into rocks and placed them in the box.” I can work with you every morning if you like.”

Harry checked Ginny. She was nodding.”We’ll do it.” He turned to Charlie,” Why didn’t you give it a go?”

He was shaking his head,” By the third round, I was out matched. I gotta tell you Ginny, you now officially scare the pants off of me.” Harry saw her beaming. “And you Potter, if you’re slow, I’ve got to be here when you speed up…. Behind a protective barrier again.”

Harry looked at his watch as they climbed the stairs. He was amazed to see they had been down there just under two hours.”Let’s go get a shower.”

Ginny leaned close and sniffed,” You definitely; I’ll take one just to feel fresher.”

Harry swatted her lightly on the arm,” My loving wife…”

Ginny stopped dead,” Is that going to be alright?”

Harry looked down, embarrassed,” Oh, yeah. More than, I think.” He looked back up.

Ginny grinned,” Good thing, too.” She grabbed his hand and took off for their rooms.

“ How did it go?” Mrs. Weasley was watching Dobby finish preparing lunch.

Mr. Weasley walked over to his wife and placed a hand on her shoulder,” If Harry or Ginny draw their wand against you…I’ll really miss you.”

She looked up to see what the joke was. When she saw he wasn’t smiling, she turned to Charlie,” What’s he going on about, Charlie?”

“Plain and simple Mum, no joke, Harry and Ginny can take any of us by themselves; probably, two of us at a time if they had to.”

Remus sat down across from her,” James and Lily have been teaching these two some very powerful magic, and they are very good students. I can attest to that from my own experience as their professor. Seeing what we did just now…the Bond, everything else is probably worth it.” He looked up at Arthur,” I can’t wait to see them work together after they really learn to share their magic.”

Mr. Weasley was quiet for a moment.” I see what you mean, but the thought of why they would need to…”

No one had an answer for that. 

After lunch, Ginny insisted they work on their summer assignments. The rest of the day passed pleasantly, if quietly, in their rooms. From time to time, Harry would look up at Ginny. He was awed and amazed at how different he felt now rather than three weeks ago. The grief and anger that had consumed him was now loosely bundled and put aside to be dealt with a little at a time. What mostly filled him now was a combination of happiness and, best of all, hope. The reason for both was sitting on the other sofa, chewing a piece of hair as she read her Transfiguration assignment. He had hope because Ginny wouldn’t have it any other way.

After a while she caught him watching,” What?”

Harry shook his head, embarrassed,” Err, I was just watching..you know.”

She closed her book; holding her place with a finger,” No, I don’t. Why were you watching?”

As his face became more and more red, Harry tried to say what he was feeling,” It’s just…since we… you…you make me feel things.”’ There that should do it.’ He was quite proud of himself.

Without breaking eye contact, Ginny sat up and leaned forward, “What sort of things?” Her voice was very soft.

‘Damn.’ “Well, you know since we…well I’ve…I’m more happy, and I…I, most of the time, I have hope, you now…like maybe I’ll win and we can…” His face was throbbing it was so red. He couldn’t continue.

Ginny’s eyes seemed to be shining as she watched him,” Are you saying that I make you happy, and I give you hope about our future?”

He nodded in relief that she understood.

Still watching him, Ginny stood and walked over to Harry. Without saying a word, she leaned down and kissed him slowly and softly on the lips.”I’ll give you that and anything else you need, Harry.” She turned and sat on his lap; slipping both arms around his neck as he wrapped his arms around her waist.” Do you mind if we sit like this for a while?”

Harry grinned into her hair,” Only ‘til dinner time. My wife insists I eat with her.”

Ginny tucked her head under Harry’s jaw,” That will work out perfectly.”

*   *   *

Sunday was a relaxed day. The whole family was there to see Charlie before he went back to Romania. Breakfast was much like days at the Burrow; pranks by the twins ( Ron’s marmalade kept falling from his toast every time he tried to take a bite, and Bill’s tea dribbled down his front whenever he tried for a sip.), and lots of mostly true stories told on each other.

Ginny watched and laughed unlike any time for the past couple of years. She had realized, teetering on the edge of sleep last night, that she had been less than herself for some time. She was pretty sure the downhill slide began in the Great Hall her third year. A small, tight ball of worry had formed when Dumbledore called Harry’s name for the Triwizard Tournament. Despite her ‘relationship’ with Michael, it had stayed and grown right up until she met Lily Potter. 

The ball had been generously fed worrying mostly about Harry; the tournament, his kidnapping and escape, mistreatment by Umbridge, and the attacks and fights at the Ministry resulting in Siruis’ death had each added to its growth. Her Dad’s attack had certainly contributed much, as had Percy’s rejection of the family. Still, laying there beside Harry, Ginny identified what had left her feeling so withdrawn, at least by her standards. It had mostly been her fear for Harry; his physical safety and mental health. 

She had also seen, clearly, her true feelings for Michael. Their whole time together had been like having a conversation with someone while trying to overhear and watch someone else. It had been unfair for the both of them.

Harry’s stumbling attempt, she smiled inside every time she thought of it, to describe what she brought to him had, in its simplicity, mirrored her own climb from the depths of her own unacknowledged fears. Life was truly strange. 

Ron was still surly, and barely smiled at the pranks and tales. Ginny found he was less and less a distraction as each hour passed. The rest of her family treated her and Harry as well as she could have possibly hoped, and Harry seemed less concerned, as well.

Ginny went to help her Mum and Bill begin collecting the dirty dishes. “ When are you going to start including your room mate in these get togethers?” She spoke softly so as not to be overheard.

Bill’s head snapped around. His expression was one of growing panic,” Please Ginny. Mum will be like a hound on the scent if she hears a word.”

As Ginny smiled at her oldest brother, she heard Charlie ask Harry to see his stag charm, “I’m not going to tell her, but you know she just seems to suddenly know things. If that happens, it will be worse for you and really bad for Fleur.”

Bill had just opened his mouth to answer, when a scream filled the room,                       ”Aaaagggghhhh.” It was followed by the sound of a body hitting the floor.

Ginny spun to see what happened as the room descended into pandemonium. When she looked, everyone was on their feet rushing toward…..Harry!

She ran around the table, trying to get to her husband, but there were too many in the way.

“Don’t touch him!” Tonks grabbed Fred’s hand. “There’s no telling what could happen.”

Ginny finally squeezed near enough to see Harry. He was writhing on the floor; his hands pressed against his scar. Seeping through his fingers was a steady flow of dark, sticky blood.

“Let me by!!” She was pushing against Tonks. In turn the Auror was tightly gripping her right arm as her Mum held her left and wrapped an arm around her waist. “Get off of me, and let me by!” Ginny was getting both frantic and furious.

Harry continued to moan and scream. His legs were moving spasmodically as though he was having a seizure. Now Ginny could clearly see his face. His eyes were open but were rolled back so only the whites showed. His hands were pressing against his scar as if to hold back the pain that was obviously torturing him. Her heart began to break as she was prevented giving him the comfort she instinctively knew was present in their Bond.

Without a conscious plan, she began summoning her magical energy and focused it into her arms. When the power seemed to peak, she thrust her Mum and Tonks away. She didn’t take notice of their flight of several feet each; she only knew she was free and dropped to Harry, grasping his head in her hands. As she leaned down , she  began speaking urgently into his ear, “ Harry! Harry, Fight him Harry…”

*   *   *

Harry was as relaxed as he had been in months. He laughed at the pranks and tried to take in all of the details of the stories being told. Having spent so many years in a cold, hostile household, it was still fascinating to watch and experience the warmth of a loving family gathered together.

Watching Ron pointedly staying out of things, except for the marmalade prank, Harry realized he now felt sorry for Ron rather than being hurt or angry. It was sad that anyone would let petty anger distance themselves from their family…then again, there was Percy, too.

He offered to help as Ginny went to gather the dirty dishes, but she pushed him back into his chair,” Bill and I can do just fine. Finish that cup of tea.”

He watched her move around the table, a warm glow in the pit of his stomach. That small witch became a bigger part of his being every minute they were together. He was marveling at the change she had made in him and almost missed Charlie’s request.

Harry pulled the stag up over his collar before taking off the necklace. He passed it over to Charlie and turned back to catch the start of a story Fred was telling about Percy.

Without warning his head seemed to split open. As he raised his hands to press against the blinding pain, he was unaware of his scream and tumble to the floor.

“Ahh, Harry. Did you think you could hide from me? How foolish of you. My followers tell me you have been quite busy playing with magic far beyond your meager abilities. You surely don’t believe a bond will help you?” He heard a disgusting, hissing sound that probably passed for laughing to Voldemort. “ I believe I know the tart you’ve bonded with. She was a pitiful, weak little girl, but if you’re content with my leavings, so be it. Maybe I taught her some things you will find pleasurable before I kill you both.” The sound came again.” Enough of that, let me show you what you’ve been missing…” Visions of torture, murder and destruction began to play before his eyes. Each scene seemed to raise the pain to a higher level. In that small, rational recess of his mind not consumed with agony, he knew the pain would soon drive him mad or kill him. Behind the horror and pain that laugh played on and on.

Then, it began to ease. In the distance he could hear a voice calling to him. It was too faint to make out exactly, but he knew it was calling to him. In the sound he could hear love and concern and the pain faded even more.

Suddenly, Voldemort’s presence exploded back into his visions,” Who dares to interfere? I will crush you like I am doing with this pathetic pretender.” Harry felt even more malevolent energy flow into him
. But, it seemed to strike a barrier and stop. 

Almost instantly in began to flow back out. At some point, time had no meaning, the black river of hate became mixed with a faint red and gold glow. The glow became brighter. As it did the pain faded. Harry could hear Voldemort’s howls of fury as he was forced from Harry’s mind. After a time, the pain was gone and the glow was all that was left behind. It was warm and safe and full of love…Then all was black.  


*   *   *

Ginny spoke urgently into Harry's ear, trying to be heard over the screams from Harry’s own mouth, “ Fight him Harry. I’m here and we won’t let him win. Reach out Harry. Remember the Bonding ceremony? Remember how I shared my heart with you? Take it again and let me help you fight him. Please Harry, reach out to me and let me help you.”

Ginny pulled Harry’s head tight against her chest and continued her pleas,” Let me take some of the pain Harry. We can fight this together. Reach out to me…my love. I’ll give myself for you, just let me help you.”

Despite her concentration on Harry, Ginny could feel energy…magic..love, something flowing from her into him. As the flow strengthened, she sensed Harry regaining a part of himself. Frighteningly, she also felt a cold, evil mist flowing back towards her. Redoubling her efforts, she focused on pouring everything she had into Harry and into repelling the mist. She wasn’t even aware of her choice of words.

Ginny could tell that he was calming. The thrashing and screaming had faded to low moans and twitches. She sat up slightly and tried to pry Harry’s hands from his forehead. After a moment, they fell away. She clinched her jaws as she heard several gasps around her. Harry’s scar had split along its entire length. The blood which had flowed down over his eye and cheek, was still seeping from the wound. 

As his hands fell away, Harry seemed to relax fully. Or, maybe he finally passed out. Either way, his body became limp. 

“Someone get me some cool water and a flannel.” She didn’t take her eyes from Harry’s face. A moment later, her Mum joined her on the floor.

“Let me take him dear, you need…”

“NO! I’m not leaving him.”

More gently, her Mum asked,” Do you want me to try to clean his face?”

Ginny shook her head, “ Voldemort’s still there. I’ve pushed him out for now, but I don’t think you should touch Harry, yet.”

Her Mum squeezed the excess water from the flannel and passed it to Ginny. She began to gently clean Harry’s face. They worked together for several minutes…Ginny cleaning, her Mum rinsing the flannel and replenishing the water. The room was abuzz with soft conversations, but nothing registered with Ginny. She stayed focused on her task.

When she had cleaned him as best she could, she looked up for the first time,             ”Charlie, I need the charm back.” Her brother came around the table and handed it to her with an obvious question on his face.

“The Potter’s had placed spells on the charms to block invasions of the mind..Imperius curses, Legilimency and the like. Harry thought it might be protecting him from Voldemort. I guess he was right.” Using only her right hand, she managed to slip the necklace back around Harry’s neck.

Ginny turned to her mum,” Can you help me get Harry back to our rooms?” Her Mum nodded and drew her wand as she stood.

“I’ve Flooed Albus. Maybe we should wait until he…” Tonk’s words faltered as she saw the look on Ginny’s face.

Molly levitated Harry and began directing him up the stairs. Ginny kept a firm hold on his head and shoulders; afraid to break contact in case the necklace didn’t help after all.

As they entered their rooms, Ginny directed her Mum to place Harry on the bed. “Pull the doors closed as you leave, please.” The polite request had also conveyed a couple of orders – Leave the room and leave us alone. “ Mum?” Molly looked back from the arch, a pocket door latch in each hand. “ I’ll be out when Harry is better. We don’t need any visitors for a while.”

Her Mum didn’t move for a few moments. She smiled just a bit, and pulled the doors closed.

Ginny managed to draw her wand without releasing Harry. Quickly, she cast a locking charm, a sealing spell, and a silencing charm. ‘Maybe they will get the hint.’ Having done all she could for the moment, Ginny made herself more comfortable and settled in to wait for Harry to come back.

*   *   *

When Molly turned from the door, she found the sitting room rapidly filling with family. She raised her finger to her lips to signal quiet, then turned and cast a silencing spell on the pocket doors (No sound at all was going to disturb the couple now).

“How is he?” Remus was white and obviously shaken.

“Still out.” Molly smiled wryly,” That’s all we’re going to know until Ginny tells us different.”

Arthur had stepped in beside Remus,” What do you mean?”

“I mean that Harry’s wife, the little witch you all warned me about yesterday, ran me from the room and made it clear they were not to be disturbed.”

Arthur thought,’ Getting some of your own medicine,’ but wisely kept that thought to himself. Behind him , he heard a soft giggle he was pretty sure belonged to Tonks.

Molly turned to the twins,” Nothing will happen for a while. You two go down and stop anyone else from coming up here. One of you ask Dobby to keep tea and coffee on the stove. We’ll probably need it before the day is out.” Fred nor George offered any objection before leaving the room.

“Dora, would you mind going for Hermione? She’ll not forgive us if we don’t.”

“Glad to, Molly. Should I tell her what happened?”

“Might as well,” Molly looked at Arthur, he nodded,” she’s seen this before.” She walked over to one of the chairs and sat down,” Nothing to do now but wait.”

Arthur took the other chair. Remus sat on one sofa, Bill and Charlie on the other. Ron had disappeared.

A few minutes later, Professor Dumbledore swept through the door,” How’s Harry? Where is he?”

Molly didn’t bother getting up,” He’s still unconscious and he’s in there.” She pointed toward the bedroom.

“I need to see him.” Dumbledore reached for the doors.

“You really shouldn’t, Albus.”

The Headmaster paused, confused.”And why is that?”

Molly smiled grimly, ”Harry is being carefully guarded by Ginny at the moment. She said not to disturb them, and we’re abiding her wishes.”

“I really must insist..”

“Albus,” Remus was standing now,” If you open those doors, be ready to defend yourself. We watched Ginny and Harry duel yesterday and none of us would want to take her on if we could avoid it.” 

He looked around to see Arthur and Charlie both nodding their agreement. “I don’t think Harry could be in better hands right now.”

After a moment of hesitation, Dumbledore nodded and came over to the sofa, “Tell me about the duel..” He sat in rapt wonder as Remus, Charlie and Arthur described what they had witnessed.

Dumbledore also wanted all of the details of what had transpired in the kitchen. Everybody had some piece of the story to clarify or elaborate upon. 

Tonks came in with Hermione at about noon looking for news. but there was none to be had. Shortly thereafter, Dumbledore returned to Hogwarts promising to check back later in the evening.

Afternoon faded toward evening, but the doors remained closed. 

Finally, Charlie stood to tell everyone ‘good bye.” “Tell Ginny and Harry I waited as long as I could.” He kissed his Mum and left the room. 

A short time later Hermione was alone in the room, allowing the others to go down for something to eat and to stretch their legs. She was surprised by the sound of the bedroom doors sliding open.

Ginny peered through the opening and smiled,” Good, you’re here.”

“How’s Harry?”

“Awake, but pretty tired. Why don’t you come in and we’ll tell you what happened.”

And that’s why the others found the sitting room empty, but the doors still closed when they returned.

*   *  *
A/N: A bit of explaination. On 2007.07.10 I went to see OotP (I had seen the first four movies; read none of the books). Coming out, I decided I needed to know more of the story. That night and next day I read OotP, then dropped back and read GoF the next two days. Thoroughly hooked, I reread OotP then read HBP. By now it was July 20. I blew through DH in a day, put it down for two, then read it again. Now obsessive, I started with PS and went 1-7 nonstop. Laughing at my obsession, someone asked if I knew about the fanfiction sites ( about mid-August). Lord help me. Now I was no longer constrained by just seven books. I have, since then, read hundreds of on-line stories on a multitude of sites. Long preamble to the point…if something sounds familiar, it may have stuck from one of the other stories. I promise it is not intentional. I make special effort not to use some of the wonderful phrasing and descriptions I have found in other’s stories. I encourage you, if you have not already, to search out some of these writers on various sites: CTS, Melindaleo, IMOGEN, St. Margarets, crys, Kjpzak, and the fabulous Sugarquills23 ( On HPFF. Her “Dream’ stories are among the best HG you will find.). I’ll mention others from time to time.
hubris



 

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