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a/n.
for the dedicated readers of daddy returned:

i don't think i can apologize enough. i haven't updated it in more than a year and i am so, so sorry; life just span out of control, school pressured down on me, family drama, personal drama, friendlings drama... and add a pinch of writer's block and you get the idea. but now, no more exams! i'm free! drama has massively settled down and i don't have to learn anymore stupid school things. so, i sat down and started reading over daddy returned to get into it again - and i just hated it. the writing, the way i laid things out - it was horrendous. so, i'm starting from scratch. the plot will be the same, the characters the same, the events the same - just different, hopefull better, writing. again, i am tremendously sorry, and i hope you forgive me!
and so, here we go. daddy returned 2.0., renamed 'hope', with a prologue - set during the end of the final battle at hogwarts...








Blinding coloured flashes of spells, of blood, of emotion. Deafening screams of incantations, of pain, of loss. Bodies moving, ducking spells, running away, at the speed of light; bodies falling, falling lifeless, in slow motion. She didn’t know where to look, she didn’t know what to think, she didn’t know what to do. People, alive and dead, were everywhere. Spells, legal and illegal, were everywhere. Emotions, good and bad, were everywhere. It was impossible. Everything was impossible. There was no hope.

One hand held protectively, unconsciously, over her stomach, she ran, red hair streaming behind her. She didn’t know if she was running away or to. Her name was called out several times, but the screams and shouts had made her deaf; her foot hit something solid and she fell, crying as she did so. Clutching her stomach she scrambled hastily to her knees, looking at the object; the face was disfigured, covered in blood and dirt, frozen in agony. A bloody eye socket and a bloodshot eye stared unseeingly at her, the hands limp by the torso, wandless and defeated. The long hair fanned out like a pillow to comfort their bludgeoned face; the legs were bent, bent impossibly. Blood was everywhere. Dry blood. Seeping blood. Wet blood. Red blood.

Gasping for breath, for rationality, she staggered upright, eyes burning to look away but unable to. A sharp spell burnt past her ear, snapping her eyes from the object; staggering again, hand still clutching her stomach, she ran.
 
The sky above her was blood red, matching the scene below, streaks of optimistic, hopeful oranges and yellows and pinks here and there; the grounds were illuminated with spells and screams. She didn’t know who was who, who was fighting who, who was on her side, who was on the other side, who was caught in the middle.... It was chaos. She saw faces she knew, she saw faces she feared. She couldn’t identify them, couldn’t recall their names.
 
“HARRY!”

She knew that name. Her head snapped towards the lost source, feet running towards the safety, the familiarity; but, as quick as it was shouted, it was gone. Panting, streaming, she ran blindly, trees becoming thicker around her.

“Hiding out here – coward. I knew you were a murderer, but not a coward, Tom.”

That was him. That was him. Where was he? He was here. Where? Nothing made sense; running, she tripped, stumbled, caught trees for branches, spinning in different directions…

 
Shouts. She couldn’t make sense of them. They were too fierce, too passionate, too angry for her to understand. They were shouted and whispered, loud and soft. She tried to follow them, tried to find them –

A clearing – 

Two people –
 
A shout – 

Four eyes, staring at her –
 
Froze –
 
Red and green –
 
“GINNY - !”

A laughing snarl –
 
A shout, a spell –
 
Red – 

Blind – 

Agony –

Screams –
 
Laughter – 

- Nothing.

 




 

There was a sharp pain in her left leg. Her abdomen was numb. Her brain was pounding as much as her frantic heart. Her memory didn’t exist.

“Oh Ginny – oh thank Merlin – oh, Ginny – Ginny…”

She couldn’t open her eyelids. They were too heavy, she was too weak.

“Ginny, can you hear me? Ginny? Ginny!”

Hands gripped her shoulders, shaking her; she groaned, pain rattling her bones –

Ron – don’t!”

The large, rough hands were pulled away; her body fell heavily to the ground, sparking another moan of pain – leaves rustled as weight shifted, the noise deafening, piercing her head.
 
“Ginny, are you okay? Where does it hurt?”
 
The voice was soft, caring, familiar. She opened her mouth to respond, but only tasted blood. Her voice was lost.
 
“It’s okay - ! Don’t force yourself; Ron, cast ferula on her left leg – fer-ew-la, not fer-ull-la – it looks broken…”
 
There was some muttered, some blunt objects touching her skin lightly like red hot wires; suddenly her left leg felt much lighter… it was bound tightly in bandages, protected in a splint. They started talking again; her ears awoke, hearing footsteps, heavy and light; voices, loud and soft; shouts, hopeful and hopeless. Suddenly most of the pain from her body left her and some strength flitted through her veins. With effort, she pushed open her eyes, blinking the blood and tears furiously out of them.
 
“Oh, thank fuck…” The red head on her left breathed, his faint smile lopsided, his hair messy, his face marked with freckles and bruises and blood. She knew him, she recognized him.
 
“Ron – Ron - ” she muttered, reaching for his shirt, his hand, just to prove that he was real. Quickly, albeit awkwardly, he took her hand in his, smiling down at her. He was real.
 
Her eyes darted to the person on her right; she wasn’t smiling, but instead her face was pulled into a concentrated frown. Bruises and blood adorned her face also, her hair wild and bushy, frayed slightly at the ends. She felt her hand reach up, trying to grab her, to see if she was real… “Her-Hermione…”
 
Hermione’s lips flickered, allowing a small, uneasy smile settle on them; her hand grasped Ginny’s. It was cold and bruised, and two of the fingers were bleeding and in splints. Something was wrong. Something was missing. Ron stared down at her, still with a faint lopsided grin – but his eyes darted around the clearing, jumped up when someone shouted. Hermione busied herself with Ginny’s injuries, focusing on her, jumping simultaneously with Ron when shouts rang out. Someone was wrong. Someone was missing. Her brain pounded with her heart, each agonising beat; she forced it to work, to figure out –
 
“Harry.”
 
Without thinking, without feeling, she stole her hands from theirs, pushing them to the ground, attempting to scramble to her feet; Harry. Where was Harry?
 
“No - Ginny - !”
 
Heavy hands kept her to the ground; she struggled. She had to find Harry. She had to see his brilliant green eyes, she had to touch his messy raven hair, she had to feel his arms around her –
 
“Ginny - fuck - stop it!”
 
She heard his voice, loud and angry and caring and sad, but she didn’t listen to it. It wasn’t Harry. She could feel herself become hysterical, feel her rationality rapidly disappear, replaced by sheer desperation –
 
Suddenly, she had no energy to kick out, to struggle, to fight – she fell, limp beneath their hands. Ron looked at Hermione, who was frowning, eyebrows furrowed over serious eyes, tucking her wand back up her sleeve.
 
“Where – where’s Harry?”
 
The silence encasing them was deafening. Ginny didn’t understand – it was a simple question, a simple answer – her heart pounded in her ears, each passing second causing an increased tsunami of panic, of anxiety –
 
“Ginny, Harry’s - ”
 
“Fine! He’s perfect! He’s – they’ve taken him on to Saint Mungo’s, but he’s up and about and walking and talking and… and we didn’t go with him because he asked us to find you, to make sure you were okay. He wanted to himself but they wouldn’t let him and they – they took him to Saint Mungo’s and then we went to find you and we found you so...”
 
He continued rambling, but she didn’t hear him, nor notice his awkwardness or incoherent sentances, and she didn’t see Hermione’s puzzled look; all she heard for the words, and the words were all that mattered. All she saw was hope. Harry was fine, Harry was fine, Harry was fine…
 
“He’s fine… he’s okay… he’s fine… Harry… fine…” she muttered, repeating the safe words over and over again. The anxiety filling her was quickly replaced with relief – thick, warm relief. And, for the first time in a long time, she felt hope. That pure, innocent glimmer of hope she had dearly missed.

 



 


The voices outside of the door stabbed into her subconscious, causing her to groan awake; her leg was still strapped in a brace as a precaution, so she was lying uncomfortably on her back, bandages here and there, a large square piece of parchment glued to the wall behind her, recording her heartbeats.
 
“What are you talking about?”
 
“You saw what she did just looking for him! Imagine if – NO, Hermione! - she would’ve just ran off and killed herself looking!”  
 
“But now she has no idea, false hope - ”
 
“We don’t even know anything yet. We don’t know.”

“I think it’s pretty obvious - ”
 
“Shut up! Just – just shut up! We don’t know anything! We could be wrong – we are wrong! SHUT UP!”
 
“Ron - !”
 
A door slammed. Something smashed. Someone started crying.
 
What were they talking about? Why wasn’t – where was – who was - ? Why wouldn’t they tell her? Was she too young, too brittle, too weak? Would she fall like a glass, would she hit the ground and break? No, she was only one year younger, she could handle it. She wasn’t just a little sister, a watcher by the sideline. She was involved as much as they were. She wasn’t just - she was a Gryffindor. Just like them. Minus twelve stupid months.
 
Ignoring the warnings she had been told and strict instructions to stay in bed – since when did she abide the rules – Ginny reached forwards, undoing the straps on her splint and pushing herself off of the hospital bed. She stumbled, pain shooting up both of her legs and around her body; grabbing onto the bedside table, she shifted all her weight onto it, trying to gain control. Keeping one hand on her stomach, she limped towards the door, lunging and grabbing the door handle. Despite whatever pain medication and charms and shit they had placed on her, she was still in extreme agony; thinking of Harry, clutching her stomach, resting most of her weight on her right leg, she pushed down the door handle, opening the door.
 
A mane of bushy hair hid their face, but the hair gave their identity away; Hermione was curled up on one of the chairs outside of Ginny’s hospital room, a sling draped around her neck like a necklace, various bandages around her. Her hands, fingers no longer in splints, clutched at her face, tears seeping through. Her whole body was shaking and quivering.
 
Ginny had never seen Hermione break down like this. She had seen her cry and throw tantrums, but this… this was different.
 
“Hermione?” Ginny whispered, her voice low and hoarse. Her friend jumped as though cursed, hands slapping away the tears that fell from her eyes, an extremely fake smile upon her lips.
 
“G-Ginny!” Even her voice shook, “What a-are you doing u-u-up?” Stepping forwards, she attempted to help Ginny back to her bed; Hermione’s hands were shaking badly, and she seemed completely and utterly at loss. Hermione was never at loss. Hermione always knew what to do. Hermione never broke down, never gave up. Hermione… didn’t do this.
 
“What’s wrong? What’s happened? Where’s Harry?” Ginny whispered, staring, wide eyed, in shock, at Hermione. Hermione trembled, shaking, unbelievably emotional; tears slipped down her face, body shaking and trembling and crying…
 
Her eyes were wide, frantic, telling. Her lips quivered.
 
“He – oh Ginny - h-he’s gone.”

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