|What Could Have Been
Author: JourneyRocks13 PM
What would have happened if Harry had been willing to help Ginny after their encounter in the Chamber of Secrets?Rated: Fiction K - English - Romance - Harry P. & Ginny W. - Chapters: 11 - Words: 57,029 - Reviews: 103 - Favs: 137 - Follows: 177 - Updated: 01-18-12 - Published: 04-25-11 - id: 6939663
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The First True Birthday
Right after lunch, the day after his talk with Gellart Grindlewald, Charlie Weasley apparated into Hogsmeade. Charlie then began marching right into Hogwarts, carving a path right to the headmaster's office. He was stopped right before the gargoyle by a confused Minerva McGonagall.
"Well, look who it is, might I ask what you are doing here, Mr. Weasley?" McGonagall asked.
"I need to talk to Dumbledore, right now. It's urgent" Charlie said, his arms crossed with impatience.
"Is this about your sister by any chance" Minerva asked. Charlie gave her a curt nod before Minerva sighed.
"I really shouldn't do this, and I should kick you out of the castle for having the audacity to show your face here after you left in the middle of the year, but Albus did warn me that one of Ms. Weasley's brothers might come with questions for him" Minerva told him.
"Did he mention what it was about?" Charlie asked, his voice void of all emotion.
"No, he didn't, and I'm guessing that you will not inform me, either?" McGonagall inquired. Charlie gave her a small nod, causing his former professor to sigh in annoyance.
"Salt water taffy" McGonagall said before gesturing for Charlie to go forward as the gargoyle began to go up to the headmaster's office. Charlie noticed that McGonagall reluctantly allowed him entrance, making Charlie think that McGonagall's reaction was caused by more than just being upset with Charlie for leaving Hogwarts six months early, but he didn't have time to dwell on that thought, the gargoyle stopping and Charlie knowing that it was time for answers.
When Charlie got up to the headmaster's office, he knocked and entered quickly as he heard Dumbledore beckon for him to enter.
"Mr. Dumbledore, I need to have a word with you" Charlie demanded, glaring at Dumbledore.
"What can I help you with, Mr. Weasley?" Dumbledore asked, gesturing for Charlie to sit down. Charlie did and narrowed his eyes.
"I talked to somebody who claimed to be Gellart Grindlewald and he showed me a memory that showed that he destroyed you in your duel" Charlie told him.
"Why did Grindlewald tell you that, Mr. Weasley?" Dumbledore asked, the twinkle in his eye disappearing instantly.
"Why he said it doesn't matter. I want to know if it is true" Charlie demanded, his anger beginning to overflow as he slammed his fists on Dumbledore's desk.
"Yes, Mr. Weasley, it is true. Grindlewald beat me, but he made it seem to everybody like I beat him" Dumbledore explained, his demeanor turning grim.
"Why? If he beat you so easily, why wouldn't he just kill you and continue his run for dominance?" Charlie asked.
"Truthfully, I don't know why he didn't kill me. He stopped his plans for world domination, and now he is training Harry" Dumbledore explained, giving out a sigh.
"Do you know why Grindlewald looks like he is fifteen?" Charlie asked.
"No, in truth, it doesn't look like he has aged at all since I met him. Perhaps he is just using advanced glamour charms, but I am not sure" Dumbledore admitted.
"Do you trust him?" Charlie asked. He noticed that Dumbledore took his time in coming up with an answer.
"There is nobody that I would rather have fighting for my life" Dumbledore said cryptically.
"That doesn't answer my question and you know it, Dumbledore" Charlie snapped, clenching his fists, trying to resist the urge to attack the old but cryptic headmaster.
`"Alright, Charlie, you really are forcing me to tell you. I trust Gellart Grindlewald to do what is right" Dumbledore told him.
"You trust him to train Harry?" Charlie asked.
"I still say Harry should have a normal childhood, but Gellart refuses to listen. He started training Harry before talking to me about it, but I shouldn't be surprised. If anything, I have to answer to Gellart, not the other way around" Dumbledore said.
"Is he going to hurt Harry?" Charlie asked.
"He has the ability, but I don't think he will. Gellart seems to be trying to help Harry get stronger. I don't know why, but it seems like all he wants is to help Harry" Dumbledore said.
"Grindlewald seems to think that Harry and Ginny are developing a soul bond" Charlie told Dumbledore.
"Truthfully, I have looked at the signs that the students have been showing over the past year, and I believe him" Dumbledore said.
"What can we do to help them? Does anybody know what will happen to them next?" Charlie asked.
"No, not even Gellart knows. For now, all we can do is listen to them and hope that nothing bad happens. Right now, they know more than anybody else does about this bond of theirs" Dumbledore said, noticing that Charlie was not happy with that answer.
"Is it possible for them to die because of this bond?" Charlie asked, closing his eyes, almost afraid for the answer.
"I don't know, Mr. Weasley, only time can tell us" Dumbledore said sadly, looking up at Charlie. Charlie sighed and looked at Dumbledore, wanting to end the conversation quickly.
"So let me get this straight. Are you willing to admit that Gellart Grindlewald is alive, not in prison, and he looks like he is fifteen?" Charlie asked.
"That is all true, Mr. Weasley" Dumbledore agreed.
"Thank you for your time, Mr. Dumbledore" Charlie said, getting up and beginning to walk out the door.
"Don't tell anybody about this, Charlie! There are only four people who know the truth!" Dumbledore shouted. Charlie rolled his eyes but he still gave Dumbledore a short brusque nod before walking out of the headmaster's office and out of Hogwarts, going back home to the Burrow, getting ready for Harry and Ginny's birthdays.
Back at the Burrow, Harry and Ginny were in the kitchen with Sirius and Molly, trying to come up with birthday ideas.
"Maybe we can just have a joint birthday for you two. Your birthdays are two weeks apart and your friends are mostly the same" Mrs. Weasley suggested.
"I'm okay with that. What about you, Ginny?" Harry asked.
"I like that idea, we can just have one party in the middle" Ginny agreed.
"Where do you two want to have the party? Here or at Grimmauld Place?" Sirius asked.
"It would probably be easier to have the party here" Mrs. Weasley said.
"Actually, I think it would be nice to have the party at Grimmauld Place. It is the first time Harry has ever lived away from the Dursleys. Maybe we should have the party there" Ginny suggested.
"I like that idea" Harry said.
"I hope I will be invited" Charlie called as soon as he walked through the door.
"Of course you will be, Charlie" Mrs. Weasley said, before Charlie sat down between Harry and Sirius before putting his feet up on the table, ignoring his mother wanting him to put his feet down.
"Ginny, I'm sure you would rather have the party here, at your home" Mrs. Weasley told her.
"No, mum, I actually would like to have the party at Harry's house this year" Ginny told her. Mrs. Weasley looked like she had been slapped.
"I'm sure Harry agrees with me too" Ginny said confidently.
"I want to have the party at Grimmauld Place" Harry agreed, not even stopping to think about his answer. Neither Harry nor Ginny noticed when Sirius and Charlie shared a knowing look.
"Whipped" Sirius mouthed to Charlie who snickered.
"Ginny, I'm sure you are making a mistake" Mrs. Weasley told her.
"Sirius, can we have our joint birthday party at Grimmauld Place?" Ginny asked, completely ignoring her mother.
"Sure, I'm cool with that" Sirius agreed.
"So it's settled then" Harry said.
"No, nothing is settled!" Mrs. Weasley argued.
"Why are you so insistent on not having the party at Grimmauld Place mum?" Charlie asked.
"Harry and Ginny are young. They need to have a party in the home that they both know" Mrs. Weasley said.
"Well, personally, I think you are just trying to get the party here and you refuse to acknowledge the fact that both Harry and Ginny want to have the party at Grimmauld Place" Charlie told her.
"Mum, it isn't that we don't want the party here, it's just that with Harry finally moving into a house with somebody who doesn't hate him. We should celebrate" Ginny told her mother.
"I don't see why you don't want to celebrate here, at your home" Mrs. Weasley exclaimed.
"Mum, I am tired of trying to explain this to you. Harry and I are having a joint birthday party at Grimmauld Place and that is it!" Ginny exclaimed.
"How about this? Why don't we have Harry's party at Grimmauld Place on his birthday and Ginny's party here on her birthday? Just to even everything out, mum can cook all the food that she wants for both parties. The real catch is that Harry and Ginny can spend all day together at the house of the party with no interruptions so they can have more time together" Charlie suggested.
"I think that will be a better idea personally" Sirius admitted.
"Mrs. Weasley, Sirius is alright with it, and I think we would love it if you could still make our cake and maybe help with dinner?" Harry suggested, knowing how much Mrs. Weasley liked to cook for people.
"I think I could do that" Mrs. Weasley agreed.
"It's settled, then" Sirius said.
"It's settled" Ginny agreed happily.
"Come on, Harry, let's get going. We have some things to do today" Sirius said, getting up from the table. Harry got up and followed Sirius over to the fireplace, ready to floo home.
Harry gave one last look to Ginny before going back to Grimmauld Place once again.
When Harry got back to Grimmauld Place, he found Sirius sitting on the couch, almost as if he were waiting for him.
"Harry, we have a lot to do today. You need to come up with a birthday present for Ginny, and an anniversary present. While you are doing that, I will be getting this place ready for the party next week. And I also have somebody I need you to meet" Sirius said.
"Okay, well, I actually have an idea for Ginny's birthday present, but I'm going to need your help to get it. We decided to celebrate our anniversary on September 1st because that is the day we officially decided to make our relationship public" Harry told him.
"I can definitely help you with that, Harry. First thing first thought; I would like you to meet Lauren Singleton, one of my old friends from school" Sirius said. Harry looked up to see a woman with long brown hair walking toward him.
"It's nice to finally meet you, Harry. Sirius has said a lot about you" Lauren said.
"Knowing Sirius, I don't know if that is good or not" Harry muttered.
"Don't worry, Harry, it was all good" Lauren assured him, a small grin on her face.
"I'm guessing what Padfoot meant by old friend is girlfriend?" Harry asked, a wry grin creeping onto his face.
"Guilty as charged" Lauren said, a smile appearing on her face again. Sirius smirked as well and Harry had to resist the urge to roll his eyes.
"So, what's the plan then, Padfoot?" Harry asked.
"Well, I think we need to get your birthday present for Ginny figured out. So tell me, Harry, what is your idea?" Sirius asked.
"I think you're going to like this, Padfoot" Harry said, a mischievous smile on his face.
It was the date of Harry's birthday party, Ginny slept in as usual, despite wanting to see Harry. When she did get up, she got dressed and rushed downstairs to eat her breakfast, somehow knowing that her mother would never let her go over to see Harry until she had eaten her breakfast.
"Wow, little Gin Gin, in my whole life, I've never seen you move this fast in the morning" Fred said.
"Why on earth would you be moving so fast, unless you wanted to see a certain green-eyed hero?" George teased. But for once, Ginny didn't care about the twins' teasing. All she wanted to do was see Harry.
Hermione had arrived at the Burrow the night before, but even she was surprised at how much Ginny wanted to go to Grimmauld Place to see Harry.
"Mum, I'm done with dinner, can I go to Harry's house now?" Ginny asked.
"But his party isn't until this afternoon, Ginny. Why do you need to go so early?" Mrs. Weasley asked.
"I want to see Harry, mum. Even though he moved, we still can't spend time together" Ginny told her.
"Fine, Ginny, we'll see you at the party" Mrs. Weasley said. Ginny smiled widely and rushed off to the fireplace.
"Have fun, Ginny" Hermione called out.
"Make sure you use protection, Ginny!" Fred shouted.
"Yeah, we don't want to be uncles yet!" George agreed.
"Shut up!" Ginny shouted, blushing a deep crimson at the twins' implications.
"Come on, guys, we all know Ginny won't do that yet. Nobody can get ahead of Bill" Charlie teased. The eldest Weasley child smirked slightly, turning toward his brother.
"Come on, Charlie, you're the one in Romania all the time. With all the girls I'm sure you attract, if anybody has kids it will probably be you" Bill replied casually.
"Despite all that, we can never be too careful" Fred argued.
"Ginny tends to lose her mind when around Harry" George agreed.
"We can only hope that little Gin Gin can resist" Fred agreed. Ginny quickly grabbed some floo powder and flood to Grimmauld Place. The last thing Ginny heard from the Burrow was Ron talking about how happy that she makes Harry.
She couldn't help but feel her entire stance improve at that.
"Come on, Piniks, what are you doing?" Sirius shouted.
"Sorry, Padfoot, I'm just not rushing today" Harry returned.
"Well, your girlfriend could be here any minute, and I don't think you want to keep her waiting" Sirius lectured.
"I know, I know; don't worry about it, I'm coming down" Harry shouted back. And true to his word, Harry Potter came bounding down the stairs with a sheepish smile on his face when he saw the annoyed look on his godfather's face. Truthfully, Sirius had to resist laughing at how lazy Harry was being until he mentioned Ginny.
"Don't worry, Sirius, I'm sure Lauren is coming over soon" Harry joked. He knew that he said the right thing when Sirius smiled a little bit.
"She's coming over soon, but somebody is about to come through the fireplace. I don't know who it is, but it isn't Lauren" Sirius told him. Moving seemingly faster than he had ever moved before, Harry sprinted toward the fireplace, getting there just in time to see a small blob with red hair walking out.
Almost before she could react, Ginny felt herself being picked up by Harry. As Harry picked her up, Ginny kissed Harry full on, causing the largest bolt of electricity that either of them had ever felt to fly through their bodies at that precise moment. They only broke the kiss because they needed air, but when they looked at each other; both of them wished they hadn't stopped.
"Whoa" both Harry and Ginny said in tandem, giving each other ear-to-ear grins at the same time.
At that, Harry took Ginny's hand and led her up to his new room, both unable to focus on anything else.
They attention was so intent on each other, they didn't even notice that everybody was waiting for them already and that everybody had been watching the kiss that Harry and Ginny shared together.
"Whoa, anybody else thinks it's weird that they didn't notice us at all?" George asked. Everybody seemed so shocked that Fred didn't even have a response to that.
"That was really weird; we've been here sitting here, watching them for twenty minutes. I thought they would have noticed us by now" Ron said.
"And Ginny got here almost four hours ago" Sirius said.
"It seemed like they are losing track of the time whenever they are together" Arthur noted.
"That would have been so helpful back in school" Lauren said casually, winking at Sirius.
"Yeah, that definitely would have helped" Lupin agreed, smirking along with Sirius.
"Well, maybe we should go get them and start the party?" Bill suggested.
"I will go get them" Mrs. Weasley decided, but when she got up, she was blocked by her 2nd son.
"No, no, I will get them for us, mum. You just sit down and relax. We'll be down in a minute" Charlie told her. Before Molly Weasley could respond, Charlie rushed up the stairs and up to the bedrooms. Not knowing which room was Harry's, Charlie performed a locating spell on the rooms.
When he found which one Harry and Ginny were in, he knocked three times on the door.
"Come in!" Harry called. At Harry's words, Charlie walked into the room, to see Ginny sitting on Harry's lap, sitting on the bed and covered in a blanket. When Harry and Ginny saw it was Charlie knocking on the door and not Sirius, they blushed and scrambled apart, careful to stay under the blanket.
"I really hope you two are decent under there" Charlie said, looking at the floor, careful to avoid looking anywhere near the young couple sitting on the bed in front of him.
"Yeah, we are, don't worry about that" Harry assured him.
"Do you two know that we were all downstairs when you two were sucking each other's faces?" Charlie asked.
"You guys were downstairs all this time? Impossible" Ginny told him.
"Yeah, we've been up here for about two hours" Harry told him, not believing a word that Charlie was saying.
"Well actually, you two went upstairs about two minutes ago, and you two were snogging so intently in front of all of us for about twenty minutes. We were all trying to talk to you, but it was to no avail. You two didn't listen to anything" Charlie told them, his gaze almost looked scolding.
"That's impossible, we would have heard you" Harry argued.
"Harry, do you think that maybe this could be part of the bond?" Ginny asked. She winced when Harry shushed her and Ginny paled, just remembering that Charlie was looking at them.
"Don't worry; I already know all about the soul bond between you two" Charlie told them.
"How do you know?" Harry asked.
"Grindlewald told me" Charlie said. Harry's eyes opened wide and he squeezed Ginny's hand under the blanket.
"We need to see if Grindlewald has figured anything out about our bond" Harry said, gazing into Ginny's deep brown eyes.
"We need to talk to Ron and Hermione too, they are our best friends, and I think it is time to tell them about this" Ginny told him.
"Harry, Ginny, as much as I hate to interrupt this little episode, I think it is time to start your party" Charlie told them.
Smiling slightly, as if sharing an inside joke between them, Harry and Ginny got up and walked hand in hand out the door behind a bewildered Charlie who was mumbling something about how Harry and Ginny were acting weirder and weirder every time he saw them.
When the three of them got downstairs, they were met with amused stares from the twins, Bill, Sirius, Lupin, and Lauren as well as disapproving stares from Molly and Arthur. Charlie, Percy, Ron, and Hermione were indifferent, with Charlie already seeing the two and Percy not knowing them well enough to make assumptions. Ron and Hermione were truthfully used to seeing their two friends like that after the past year of seeing it.
"So, what were you to doing up in your room after that long kiss?" Sirius asked.
"Yeah, you two didn't even stop to breathe for over forty-five minutes. That's higher than the record Sirius and I set. I applaud both of you" Lauren added incredulously.
"We didn't realize that you guys were watching us, or we would have stopped" Harry said, giving a sheepish smile.
"Yeah, right" Remus muttered.
"I agree with Moony, you two can't resist each other" Sirius agreed.
"I don't even want to know what you two would have done if Charlie hadn't gone up" Bill told them.
"Bill!" Ginny shouted while her face began turning a shade of red darker than her hair.
Sensing the awkwardness, Hermione hit Ron's knee and urged him to try and break the silence.
"Well, is anybody else hungry?" Ron called out.
Rolling his eyes at Ron's poor attempt to lighten the mood, Sirius called for everybody to take a seat at the table.
"Well, I guess I'm supposed to say something. Well, happy birthday, Harry, let's eat" Sirius said. He looked over at Kreacher, a miserable looking house elf in the corner. At Sirius's glare, Kreacher reluctantly snapped his fingers and a feast appeared on the table, much like at Hogwarts.
And just like at Hogwarts, everybody ate to their fill, talking aimlessly about everything from school to Quidditch.
"So, Ginny, are you trying out for the Quidditch team next year?" Sirius asked.
"I haven't really thought about it, to be honest. I didn't know that positions were opening" Ginny admitted.
"Yeah, Wood and Alicia both graduated this year, so the keeper position is open and one of the chaser positions is open" George said.
"Are you going to join us on the team, little sister?" Fred asked.
"You know, I think I will" Ginny agreed.
"What about you, Ron? Are you going to try out?" Charlie asked.
"Yeah, I think I will too. I have always wanted to be a keeper for the Gryffindor team" Ron admitted.
"And I want to be a chaser, just like Bill" Ginny said. Bill gave Ginny a small smile in appreciation and Mrs. Weasley looked like she was about to blow.
"So, I guess next year's team will be red" Fred said.
"Even more so than our uniforms" George agreed. The hollow, poor attempt at a joke caused everybody to roll their eyes or just ignore the twins for the time being.
Once everybody was done eating, Sirius ushered everybody into the front room while Kreacher took care of the plates.
"Alright, I haven't been to a birthday party in just about thirteen years, so I don't know what we do next" Sirius admitted, giving Harry an apologetic smile.
"And this is the first birthday party I have ever been to, not to mention the first party for me, so I don't know either. Anybody who wants to help, feel free" Harry agreed simply.
"Well, mate, there's a giant stack of presents here with your name on all of them" Ron told him.
"So open them!" Hermione told him.
"Wait, these are all mine?" Harry asked in disbelief. Ginny saw him sway back and forth, in shock, and she put her arm around his waist to help keep him steady. He turned and gave her a small smile of appreciation before turning back to the large stack of presents. While it wasn't as big as anything Dudley had had when Harry was growing up, it still was a large size. Sensing Harry's shock, Ginny sat him down and sat down next to him, ignoring the raised eyebrow she was getting from Charlie.
"Well, we have an issue with our present" Fred said.
"Well not really an issue per say" George argued.
"What's the problem?" Molly asked.
"Our present isn't just for Harry. It's for both Harry and Ginny" Fred said.
"It is there choice as to when they want to open it though" George announced.
"But you should open it now" Fred and George said in tandem. Harry shrugged and looked at Ginny who was glaring at her twin brothers, though Harry could not imagine why.
"Now" Harry and Ginny both said.
Fred and George smiled, throwing a large box with a large W on the side. Harry, at first weary of opening it, but when he and Ginny opened it, he realized that it wasn't one of their jokes. Or maybe it was one. All that was in the box was a folded up piece of parchment. He opened one end and a little piece of parchment fell out of it. Ginny picked up the parchment and held it in front of her and Harry.
"You know how to open it" the parchment read. Harry smiled and together with Ginny thanked the twins for his birthday present, carefully not telling anybody what the twins got them. Ginny just continued sitting right next to him, holding his hand discreetly and smiling at the parchment.
"Here, Harry. Ron and I got this for you" Hermione said. Not even wondering why Hermione and Ron teamed up to get him a gift, he opened the gift to see a large book titled "Everything You Need To Know about Being a Quidditch Captain".
"Thanks you guys, this is awesome" Harry said happily.
"Here, Harry, this is from me" Lupin told him, handing Harry a package in the form of a book. Harry opened it and he was shocked to see what it was. The book was titled "The Guide to Shields and Magical Protections."
"Thanks Moony, knowing my luck at school, I will need to use this many times next year" Harry said casually.
"You know, Piniks, I bought you this so you would hopefully stay out of trouble at school" Moony told him condescendingly, though a grin was threatening to burst onto his face.
"Well, Piniks, maybe you should open ours next" Sirius told him.
"Yeah, Harry, this one is from me and Sirius" Lauren said, tossing Harry a small package. Harry opened the present and he found a pocket sized notebook, but the title was what Harry was truly amused by.
"The Key to Getting Out Of Detention?" Ginny asked, reading the notebook from Harry's side. But, unable to help themselves, Harry and Ginny burst out laughing. They were soon followed by Lupin, Charlie, Bill, Fred and George. All of them were shocked that Sirius got something like that for Harry, but Lupin really wondered why he was surprised.
"You know, Mrs. Padfoot, sometimes I wonder how you always got out of detention. Now I know how, I have to ask. Why didn't you help us?" Lupin asked, glaring at Lauren.
"Come on, Moony, as often as you guys were in detention, that was the time where Lily, Audrey, and I got to talk about you boys and all the stupid things you did" Lauren told him. Harry noticed Lupin's blush and noticed Lupin's normally composed persona turn dark instantly.
"Remus, I'm sorry, it just slipped out" Lauren whispered, her head hanging.
"It's fine, let's just move on" Lupin snapped, not willing to look up from the floor. Seeing Lauren call Remus by his birth name and not by his marauder name was something that Harry caught, and he looked up at his ex defense against the dark arts professor, seeing the guilt high on his face.
"Well, Harry, how about you open ours next" Bill suggested, gesturing toward him and Percy. Harry nodded and had to react quickly when Bill tossed him a present that felt like it weighed twenty-five pounds at the least. Harry opened it and saw that it was in fact, a collection of textbooks, five volumes.
"What is this, Bill?" Harry asked.
"This is a collection of textbooks that we bought in my first year at Hogwarts. Bill had told me about how boring Binns is in class. At first, before I got to Hogwarts, I just thought Bill was exaggerating, but once I got there, I found out that he was actually understating the obvious" Percy said.
"Harry this, is all five volumes of The Complete History of Magic. It is everything that you will learn from Binns, and trust me, it is a lot more fun than listening to him" Bill explained.
"I found this collection so helpful, I took it to class every day and while Binns was talking, I was reading this, and eventually I began enjoying going to History of Magic every day" Percy said.
"Thank you guys; I think I will actually stay awake in class for once" Harry said, smiling slightly.
"Well, not every day, Harry, but trust me, it helps" Bill said, a knowing smile on his face.
"Well, even if I don't read it instead of sleeping through Binns like everybody else, I will definitely read it in my free time" Harry said.
"Alright, Harry, I guess we're next" Arthur said.
"This is from both of us and Sirius as well" Mrs. Weasley pointed out as Harry grabbed an envelope from Mr. Weasley's hand. Harry opened it and a small ticket popped out.
"1 ticket to the Quidditch World Cup on august 22nd, 1994" Harry read, almost forgetting to breathe. He only remembered to breathe when Ginny hit his back a few times.
"Is this for real?" Harry managed to ask.
"You got it, Piniks, it's all real. I can't go, I start work with the Auror office on the 22nd, so you are going to go with the Weasleys" Sirius told him. Harry just stared from the ticket to Mr. and Mrs. Weasley to Sirius and back again. He only stopped when he felt Ginny run her fingers across his hand. He gave her a look of thanks and looked back to the group sitting in front of him, giving Mr. and Mrs. Weasley and Sirius a quick thank you.
"Well, that's going to be really tough to overcome, but I'll give it a shot" Charlie said, tossing Harry a small soft present.
Harry opened the present to see a pair of seeker's gloves.
"Harry, those are the gloves that I wore in every match that I won leading up to the four Gryffindor Quidditch Titles from 1987-1990 and in 1991 when we set the record for most points in a game. Now, I pass them on to you, and I hope that you can do better" Charlie said.
"Hold on, Wood told us that you never even shook hands with the other captain with these gloves on. You had one glove off and you put it on after the handshake" Fred shouted.
"Yeah, you didn't even let mum wash them for you! It was like those gloves were your babies" George agreed.
"And now you are giving them away to Harry?" they asked in tandem.
"Yeah, I am" Charlie said, smiling slightly.
"Brilliant" the twins said.
"Just take care of them, Harry. I thought they were going into retirement about midway through my 7th year, but these old things still have some tricks left in them. Just do me a huge favor though. While you are wearing the gloves for Quidditch, don't let the memory of Charlie Weasley die" Charlie said, a sarcastic smirk appearing on his face. Everybody who had ever seen Charlie play Quidditch knew they would never forget him, and Charlie knew it.
"Alright, Harry, I guess it's time for mine" Ginny whispered, blushing deeply. It didn't help her blush when Harry smiled but she still handed him a small package. Harry opened it and he found a golden snitch. There was also a note in the box, which Harry took.
"This snitch is magically enhanced to move three times as fast as a normal snitch. I got Grindlewald to do the charm himself so we know it won't fail. Now you have a way to become better than Charlie" Harry read. The note was clearly in Ginny's handwriting and he gave her a small smile.
"Thank you for everything, everybody. Best birthday ever" Harry told everybody, a smile on his face so big that for once it was like he was a normal teenager, not somebody being trained by Gellart Grindlewald in hopes that he won't die when he finally faces Lord Voldemort.
"We're not done yet, Harry" Hermione piped up.
"Yeah, we've still got to eat some cake" Ron said, eying the cake hungrily. Laughing slightly, Harry motioned for Sirius to go and get the cake.
The cake, specially made by Mrs. Weasley, was strawberry with vanilla frosting and easily large enough for thirty people.
Everybody had their fill of cake, and there was still enough left for it seemed like three more parties. When everybody was done with the cake, the party slowly started to die down. When everybody was done with their own piece of cake, they wished Harry one last happy birthday and proceeded to leave.
Eventually, everybody who was left was Harry, Ginny, Ron, and Hermione. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley went back to the Burrow, leaving Ron, Hermione, and Ginny at Grimmauld Place at the insistence of Bill and Charlie, who had gone out for a drink. Sirius and Lauren had gone upstairs, Harry telling them to put up silencing charms before they did anything. Lupin was also gone, needing to get back to his own house. Percy claimed that he had to get home and get some sleep, saying something about an interview in the morning. The twins wished Harry one last happy birthday before they also rushed home to "help" Percy.
"Thank you guys" Harry said, specifically directing it to his three best friends, though they all waved it off.
"Don't mention it, mate, you've earned this and more after all that you've done for everybody" Ron told him.
"Yeah, Harry, with you-know-who always coming after you, anybody else would have cracked under the pressure, but not you" Hermione told him.
"Come on, Hermione, you've always been better at magic than me" Harry argued.
"Please, books and petty knowledge? Sure, I do better in tests, but who has always done better in real life?" Hermione asked him.
"You have, mate, you have done some extraordinary things, not in class like Hermione, but at the end of the year, every year, when people are trying to kill you, you are the one who saves everybody" Ron told him.
"You were the one who saved the sorcerer's stone from you-know-who back in our first year" Hermione told him.
"You were the one who saved me from you-know-who in your second year, killing a basilisk and killing you-know-who with a giant puncture wound on your arm" Ginny told him.
"You were the one who saved everybody from over a hundred Dementors last year" Ron agreed.
"But I always had so much help!" Harry argued.
"Shut it, Harry, you have always done everything for everybody" Hermione reminded him.
"You might be right, but I think you all deserve to know why I have gotten better at magic in the past year, and why I am taking my O.W.L. exams next year" Harry told her. Ginny gave him a knowing look and he gave her a small smile.
"What do you want to tell us?" Hermione asked.
"Yeah mate, you can trust us" Ron agreed.
"Not tell you, show you" Ginny said, smiling at her boyfriend. Ron and Hermione followed Harry and Ginny up to Harry's room and Harry opened up his trunk.
"Where are we going, Harry?" Hermione asked.
"We are going into my dueling chamber that is in my trunk" Harry told her. Before she could ask anything Harry jumped into his trunk, disappearing from view. Ginny followed right after her boyfriend. Ron gave Hermione a shrug and followed after his sister with Hermione coming right after.
When all four of them were in Harry's trunk, everybody looked around to see that there was one room on the far side of the dueling chamber. Harry took one step forward and the door was thrown open seemingly with enough force do derail the Hogwarts Express. When a hooded man in a black cloak came out of the room, the four students took a step back out of pure instinct.
"Potter, I gave you the day off today for a reason" the hooded man snapped.
"Sorry, sir, but you are the one who told me that I should tell my friends about you. I thought it would be best to show them" Harry said. The hooded man groaned and pulled his hood back, revealing Gellart Grindlewald.
"Who are you?" Ron asked.
"Gellart Grindlewald" Grindlewald said, obvious by his stare that he wasn't too happy being forced to explain himself. It was obvious by the look on Hermione's face that she didn't believe him. Ron and Ginny weren't that far behind.
"Is this some kind of a joke, Harry?" Hermione asked.
"No, I thought it was at first too, but Dumbledore confirmed it" Harry told her.
"Hold on just one minute. You told me that you had a teacher, and now you expect me to believe that for the past year you have been getting trained by the one and only Gellart Grindlewald?" Ginny asked.
"Come on, mate, this is crazy, even for you" Ron told him.
"Gellart Grindlewald is over a century old and he has been trapped in Nurmengard since 1945 when Dumbledore beat him in the greatest duel in history. This guy looks like he's fifteen" Hermione argued.
"Yeah, how do you look so young, sir?" Harry asked.
"Some things are better left unsaid. But I assure you; everything I have done has been done for the greater good" Grindlewald told them. While that was good enough for Harry, Hermione wasn't buying it at all.
"That's impossible, if any of this was true, why wouldn't Dumbledore have sent you to prison or killed you after he beat you?" Hermione asked.
"Dumbledore and I have been best friends for a century. He doesn't want to fight me again" Grindlewald told her.
"Hold on, Hermione, if Grindlewald is as evil as you think, why isn't Harry dead yet? Why hasn't Grindlewald killed him yet?" Ginny asked.
"He isn't as evil as people make him out to be. Grindlewald has actually helped me more than anybody" Harry said. However, Ron had been silent for the greater part of the conversations, so Ginny urged him to say anything.
"Why are you training Harry?" Ron asked.
"I don't want to see him die when he finally faces Voldemort" Grindlewald said simply.
"Why don't you kill Voldemort yourself?" Ron asked. Though it was a simple question, it was one that Harry, Ginny, or even Hermione had thought to ask.
"Mr. Weasley, you are so like your brother. And like your brother I have the same answer for you" Grindlewald said.
"And that is?" Ron asked.
"While I am sure that I could beat Voldemort, it is Harry that has to end it. If you don't know why it has to be Harry, then you will find out before too long" Grindlewald said, a calculating grin appearing on his face.
"I hope you all know that I am not going to fight. I am going to train Harry. All I can say is that you all need to do is live your lives as normal, but don't forget that the ultimate weapon that you four have is your friendship. Your friendship is the one thing that nobody can take away from you. Don't forget that" Grindlewald said. Ignoring the looks of confusion that he got from the faces of Harry, Ginny, Ron, and Hermione, Grindlewald just glared at the four people in front of him.
"Now, get out. Potter, I will see you at 6:00 AM tomorrow morning" Grindlewald said as he turned around and went back into his personal chamber before slamming the door once again. Harry turned to his friends and grabbed Ginny's hand. Ginny, noticing Harry's gaze grabbed Hermione's hand and Hermione grabbed Ron's hand.
"Hold on tight" Harry said, pulling out his wand a muttering an incantation. Before anybody else knew it, they were propelled up and out of the trunk. Harry, unable to keep himself and his friends off the ground any longer, let his spell off after they all cleared the edge of the trunk, causing the Fab Four to crash onto the ground of Harry's room with a thud.
"Wow, he wasn't happy" Ron mentioned after he dusted himself off.
"He's never happy" Harry told him simply, shutting his trunk and helping Ginny up.
"Well Harry, this has been a lot to take in. I'm sure you won't mind if Ron and I go back to the Burrow to soak this in?" Hermione asked.
"Not at all, see you at Ginny's party" Harry said, giving his two friends a hug goodbye, secretly happy that she didn't mention Ginny going with them. When Ron and Hermione were gone, Harry turned to a confused Ginny and just smiled.
"I think we get some time for ourselves, Gin" Harry said happily. He went back over to his bed and sat down. Ginny came over and sat down next to him, curling up into his arm before pulling a blanket over them again.
Covered in a blanket as well as right next to each other, Harry and Ginny couldn't help but feel sleep beginning to approach them. Ginny rested her head on Harry's shoulder while Harry rested his head on Ginny's head. Sleep found the two young Gryffindors within seconds, though that wasn't Harry or Ginny's plan.
Sirius walked down to the fireplace to see that he was getting a call from Mrs. Weasley from the Burrow.
"Hello, Molly, what do you need?" Sirius asked.
"Sirius, Ginny isn't home yet, can you send her home please?" Mrs. Weasley asked. Sirius nodded and walked upstairs to Harry's room. He knocked on the door and when no response came, he opened it slowly.
When Sirius walked into the room, he saw Harry and Ginny sitting on Harry's bed, asleep. Having to stifle a laugh, Sirius walked out of the room and he went to his bedroom, grabbing Lauren and telling her to grab a camera quickly. She did, not even wondering what he was up to and she followed Sirius to Harry's room.
When she saw Harry sleeping with his girlfriend on his bed while sitting, Lauren stifled a laugh and Sirius smirked at her. She smiled at him and took a picture of the two asleep before Sirius sent a small spell at the two minors to wake them up, when they were slowly stirring, Lauren snapped another few pictures.
Only then did Harry and Ginny realize what had happened. They had been caught sleeping together by Sirius and Lauren.
Harry and Ginny quickly opened their mouths to try and explain themselves, but Sirius quickly waved it off.
"Ginny, your mother wants you to come home" Lauren told her.
"I know you must hate that you guys have to leave this oh so amusing position, but I'm afraid you have to. Oh, and by the way, Harry, next time, just remember one thing. You have a wand; use it" Sirius told his godson. Harry looked up at Sirius in confusion before the "guardian" left with his girlfriend.
Sighing, Harry began to move the blanket away but Ginny stopped him.
"Ginny, your mom is waiting" Harry told her as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.
"I know, but before I go, I just want to see Fred and George's present first" Ginny told him, smiling and putting his hand on the parchment. Harry took out his wand and pointed it at the parchment.
"I solemnly swear that I am up to no good" Harry whispered. Words began to appear on the parchment and Harry smirked at what they said.
Messrs Gred and Forge
Purveyors of Aids to Magical Mischief-Makers
After Only Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs
Are proud to present
THE MARAUDER'S MAP
When another small piece of parchment came out, Ginny picked it up and read it to Harry.
"Ginny and Harry; this map, much like the original, is of all the grounds at the Burrow. We never would have been able to do this without the help of Moony and Padfoot themselves. Anyways, use it wisely, Gred and Forge" Ginny read.
"I wonder what they think we are going to use this for" Harry pondered.
"Isn't it obvious, Harry?" Ginny asked. Harry gave her a look that said that it was definitely not obvious.
"Oh Harry, you are so dense. They are helping us to get away and have some time for ourselves at the Burrow. This way we will know when people are coming so if we are doing something, we can stop without needing to come up with a story like we usually do. This is why they had us open it before you come over on my birthday" Ginny told him.
"That's ingenious" Harry muttered once he got over his little bout of disbelief. Part of the disbelief was at Fred and George giving them something so useful and part of his disbelief was directed at Ginny actually being smart enough to figure that out.
"Glad you think so, hero" Ginny teased. Harry winced at the nickname and Ginny hugged him a little tighter than usual. She let him go quickly and pulled him off the bed and down to the fireplace, knowing that if she stayed much longer, her mum was going to destroy something.
"Well, I guess I'll see you at your party, Gin" Harry said.
"You don't think you can come over sooner?" Ginny asked, looking up into the green eyes of her fourteen year old boyfriend.
"I don't think so, Gin. Grindlewald hasn't been very happy lately, even by his standards. I don't even know what's going on with him" Harry told her.
"I wouldn't worry about it, Harry. I will see you on my birthday, okay?" Ginny said, giving him a small smile that Harry knew she didn't mean.
"Come on, Gin, don't be like that, I promise, if I have any free time between now and your birthday I will come over, okay?" Harry told her.
"Okay, but you owe me, hero" Ginny said, smiling slightly. Harry laughed and gave her a small kiss goodbye before she walked into the fireplace and flood to the Burrow.
Ignoring everything else on his way up to his room, Harry shut his door and went to bed, knowing he had to get up early again tomorrow and knowing full well that he would not get to see Ginny until her birthday.
The day after Harry's birthday, Sirius went to Gringotts to meet with Bill. He walked in the front door and saw Bill waiting for him.
"Sirius, thank you for coming; I know what you're thinking, but I am not here to talk to you about your bank accounts" Bill told him.
"Then what do you need to talk to me about?" Sirius asked, his eyes narrowing at the redhead.
"First off, your motorcycle is in your personal vault. Hagrid put it there" Bill told him.
"You said you weren't here to talk about my bank accounts, Bill. Get to the point" Sirius told him. Bill smirked and ushered for Sirius to go on a walk with him.
"I won't lie to you, Sirius. I am here to talk to you about Harry and Ginny" Bill said simply once they were out in the crowd of Diagon Alley.
"What about them? Don't tell me you are trying to break them up" Sirius begged him.
"No, I am just trying to think about how they are going to spend time together when they are home from holidays" Bill said.
"I don't follow" Sirius admitted.
"Mum is going to try and break them up at every turn. Ginny will be thirteen in a few weeks and Harry just turned fourteen. Mum thinks that is way too young" Bill explained.
"The only way seems to get them away from Molly, but that's easier said than done" Sirius said, knowing how Molly Weasley acts.
"But the trouble with that is getting them away. Mum doesn't like it when things don't go her way. She has been trying to break them up since the beginning and now I think she is going to start taking it up a notch" Bill said.
"Is there any way to get them away from your mum for extended periods of time?" Sirius asked.
"Hopefully by the holidays she will be willing to let Ginny go over to Grimmauld Place. I don't really see it happening though" Bill said sadly.
"I will think of that, but for now, I will go get my motorcycle and I will think about this. We have four months until they come for winter holidays, so we have time" Sirius said, turning back toward Gringotts.
"I leave for Egypt right after Ginny's birthday, so I won't be able to help. I just wanted to make sure you were aware of this issue" Bill said to the older man.
"Thanks, I will try to think of something, but the trouble is getting around Molly Weasley" Sirius remarked. Bill laughed and muttered his agreement.
"Good luck, between you, Moony, Gred and Forge, I think you four can solve this problem easily" Bill joked.
"We'll do our best, that's for sure" Sirius said, the traditional marauder grin tattooing his face.
"Let's just hope mum doesn't break them up first" Bill muttered, barely loud enough for Sirius to hear. At that note, the two men went their separate ways, the same topic weighing heavily on both of their minds.
Harry and Grindlewald were boxing at about 1:40 in the morning the day of Ginny's birthday, working on Harry's boxing form when Grindlewald hit a light uppercut that brushed Harry's left cheek, but it also knocked his glasses off. Not being able to see, Harry couldn't block the big right fist that came from Grindlewald.
When Harry was renovated by Grindlewald a few seconds later, he looked up to see a frustrated yet almost amused Grindlewald.
"Well, I think we need to do something about that vision of yours, Potter" Grindlewald said. Grindlewald looked amused as he pulled his wand out and healed all of Harry's injuries from the fight. Harry stood up and Grindlewald pointed his wand at Harry's eyes. The blonde wizard cast an incantation and Harry could see perfectly with no glasses.
"Tell me how well you can see" Grindlewald told him.
"Perfectly, sir, thank you" Harry answered.
"Well, it wouldn't do for you to get killed because Voldemort knocked your glasses off, now would it?" Grindlewald replied, still slightly amused by Harry's lack of vision.
"But sir, I am curious about something. How is it that you improved my eyesight by magic? Hermione looked it up after my first Quidditch practice in the rain and she found that improving eyesight was impossible with magic" Harry told him.
"When one is the Master of Death, one can do incredible things" Grindlewald said cryptically, turning and walking away, into his quarters again.
Looking at the time and seeing that it was almost 2:00 in the morning, Harry then got into his bed and tried to sleep though he failed, tossing and turning in his bed, attempting to sleep all the way until 4:00 in the morning. Harry rolled his eyes and put his glasses on, before remembering that he didn't need them anymore. He then got dressed to go for a run around his personal Quidditch pitch. Harry went for his run and took a shower in his trunk before going downstairs, wondering if Ginny was up yet. It was almost 5:30 in the morning and Harry didn't want to floo over before Ginny got up.
"Maybe I should ask Sirius what I should do" Harry thought. But then it hit him; Sirius. Harry wrote a quick note to Sirius that said that he was going to go to go to Ginny's house and he ran quietly up into his room, closing the door. Harry took a deep breath and turned into his phoenix Animagus form. He took another deep breath and a flame engulfed him.
After three failed attempts at flaming to the Burrow, Harry finally was able to flame into Ginny's room, noticing that she was still asleep in her bed. Harry turned back into a human and landed with a thud on the ground, though the thud was not loud enough for Ginny to wake up. In fact, it almost sounded like it was just one of the usual small explosions that came from the twins' room on a regular basis to everybody who even heard the small thud.
Harry walked slowly toward Ginny, smiling as he looked onto her sleeping form. He smiled and bent down to give his girlfriend her first kiss of her teenage years. The kiss woke Ginny up and when she looked up and saw Harry standing over her, she rubbed her eyes, not believing it. When Harry was still standing over her after rubbing her eyes, she blushed deeply, not quite thinking it was real.
"Harry, I'm not dreaming?" Ginny asked, her blush receding slightly.
"No, I'm really here" Harry told her, smiling at his tired girlfriend.
"What time is it?" Ginny asked.
"5:30" Harry said, looking at his watch.
"Why are you here so early?" Ginny asked, sitting up and pulling the blanket up with her.
"Well, I got done working with Grindlewald at about 2 this morning, and spent two hours trying to sleep before getting up to go for a run. Then I decided to come over here and surprise you" Harry said.
"So you didn't sleep at all last night?" Ginny asked.
"No, I tried but I just couldn't sleep" Harry told her. Ginny gasped and looked over at him. Ginny then pulled her blanket back and beckoned for Harry who just looked at her with confusion. Ginny groaned softly and pulled Harry down to the bed before pulling the lone blanket up to cover her again. Ginny then moved slightly, so she was resting her head on Harry's shoulder with Harry's arm around her.
"Go to sleep, Harry" Ginny whispered, closing her eyes. Harry, however, seemed like he was about to have a heart attack.
"Ginny, we can't sleep together" Harry told her, causing Ginny to frown and open her eyes. She looked into his green eyes and couldn't resist a small smile from appearing on her face. Even though Harry looked like he hadn't slept in days, Ginny could still see the true resolve of a hero in his eyes.
"Harry, we aren't going to do anything, just sleep. Besides, nobody is going to get up for a few hours, so we have time" Ginny told him.
"But Ginny, what if somebody catches us like this? I don't even want to think about what your mum would do. Sirius already caught us doing something similar to this and we weren't even trying to do anything. I don't want anything to possibly hurt the relationship that you have with your family" Harry told her.
"Harry, don't worry, even if we do get caught, which we won't, it doesn't matter what anybody else thinks, because we know the truth and that's all that matters" Ginny told him.
"I just don't want to cause any problems" Harry said quietly, gazing into the brown eyes of his girlfriend.
"You won't, hero. Now please get some sleep, you need it. You look like you haven't slept in days" Ginny told him.
"Are you saying I look bad?" Harry asked, frowning slightly. Ginny rolled her eyes and hit his chest before smiling and curling into Harry's body.
"Just go to sleep, hero" Ginny told him. Biting back a retort before sighing, Harry relented and closed his eyes for sleep.
Seconds later, Harry and Ginny were asleep, in each other's arms, truly happy, and their sleep was filled with happy dreams for once, not nightmares.
Ginny woke up the morning of her birthday feeling well rested after her first sleep without nightmares since her unexpected nap with Harry on Harry's birthday. She rubbed her eyes and looked to see the green eyed Wizarding hero sleeping to the side of her.
It just then dawned to Ginny that she had used Harry's shoulder as a pillow again and she hadn't had nightmares again. It was the one time that Ginny hadn't had nightmares since Harry's birthday. Ginny looked down at Harry, sleeping below her, his arm wrapped around her protectively.
To Ginny, it was like living in one of her dreams, one of the ones she had before the Chamber of Secrets in her first year. The dreams were of Harry Potter, the boy who lived, the vanquisher of the dark lord. But the more that Ginny thought about it, she realized how far off that she really was before meeting Harry. He was a hero, especially to Ginny, saving her life once already. But he was more than that too. Ginny now knew Harry as being one of the nicest, the most selfless, and one of the most humble people she knew. That was why her crush was moved from a crush on the icon to a crush on the person.
Ginny looked down at Harry and realized how much she had learned from him. She also realized how much he had helped her cope with the Chamber, even if he didn't know he was doing it. Just by holding her, Harry had kept Tom away from Ginny's dreams.
"This can't be just a coincidence" Ginny muttered, looking at how peaceful Harry looked when asleep. But despite how happy Ginny was, she knew that they wouldn't be able to stay for very much longer, so she put her head back on Harry's shoulder and curled into him, feeling the warmth that Harry was radiating, finally closing her eyes and allowing sleep to claim her once again.
Author's Note: I know I promised the end of the summer in this chapter, but I had to split up this chapter because it was so long. On the bright side, the next chapter is well on the way, and it will start by Harry and Ginny together. I wish I could have put the whole summer in two chapters instead of three, but it just couldn't happen. The chapters would have been way too long. Part of me thinks that even 10000 word chapters are too long. Either way, I am truly happy with how I am doing in this story and I hope my readers are too. I hope you will review and tell me what you think I am doing well, what I can do better, anything.
There is one other thing that I need to address. I currently don't have a beta, and with the length of this story increasing steadily, I think it would be a good idea for me to get a beta, so if anybody knows anybody who might be interested in being a beta for me. I have tried to do most of the beta work myself, but I am not perfect, I am just attempting to improve my writing.
But I know that the next chapter really will end the summer and take us into Harry's fourth year, with the Goblet of Fire appearing. What is Dumbledore going to say about Sirius getting Harry out of Privet Drive? Ginny's birthday will also be in the next chapter, as well as Harry and Ginny's one year anniversary. Harry has to keep training with Grindlewald. He is running out of time before his 8/27 deadline.