AN: I don't own Harry Potter. Thank you to Miz636 for the Beta! :)
I'm sorry Harry.
You shouldn't have said it.
Ginny's eyes fluttered open as she reached consciousness for the second time that day. Groggily, she sat up and stretched, feeling her pyjamas stick where she lay next to Harry. Leaning down, she tugged on them gently, watching in fascination as they remained attached.
"It's a sticking charm, dear." Molly's voice broke the silence. She sat near the bed where Harry and Ginny were sleeping, dark circles under her eyes. Knitting needles clacked next to her as she sat, the beginnings of a Christmas jumper in a dark blue beginning to take shape.
"A sticking charm?" Ginny asked, her eyes narrowing.
"Yes." Molly stood up and sat on the bed next to Ginny, taking her daughter's pale hand in her own. "It's not fair, before you even start, but it was my idea, and that's because we need you and Harry to remain conscious. You showed us that you're not thinking rationally when you ran away and told Harry that you hated him."
"I've apologized to him for that!" Ginny flared, pulling her hand away from her mother. "You're right, it's not fair! I'm not even twelve years old yet, mum, and now I'm stuck with a boy for the rest of my life! Not to mention how hard it's going to be to take a shower, or go to the loo, or…" The young girl trailed off, her eyes going unfocused for a moment. "Harry just said that it'd be pretty bad, too, when we wanted to start dating!"
Molly nodded, listening to her daughter's tirade. When Ginny's rant finished, Molly smiled slightly. "You're right. It's not fair, and I agree. But we can't discuss what needs to happen with you and Harry if you're going to run off again. The charm is only temporary, and as soon as Professor Dumbledore, Professor Snape, and Professor McGonagall arrive, we will be discussing the situation."
Ginny glared at Molly and crossed her arms across her chest. "Fine."
"Ginevra Molly, don't take that tone with me. No one here is to blame for this situation, not you, not Harry, not anyone. No one expected it to happen, and if you're going to take this out on everyone around you, you WILL be doing all the chores around the Burrow for the rest of the summer, including your brothers'!" Molly's voice had begun to raise, and it was the soft chuckle of Professor Dumbledore that brought both Molly and Ginny's stand off to a close.
"Hello, Molly, Miss Weasley." The professor conjured himself a chair and sat down in it, his piercing gaze on the two redheaded women. "I can see you were having a lively discussion about the bond. Miss Weasley, could you please ask Mr Potter to wake up for us?"
Ginny nodded, her face sullen. Her eyes unfocused again, and a few moments later, Harry's eyes were fluttering.
"Ahh, good. Professor Snape and Professor McGonagall will be here shortly, and then we can begin. Although, I'm certain Madam Pomfrey would like to check over the children again before we start." Standing up, Professor Dumbledore moved into another part of the hospital wing, and his whispered voice could just barely be heard as he advised Madam Pomfrey that the children were awake.
"Hello Harry dear. Did you rest ok?" Molly asked, patting Harry's hand.
"It was all right, Mrs Weasley, thank you," Harry murmured, sitting up. He groped for his glasses and put them on, blinking at the clarified sight.
"Harry, dear, as you're now apart of the family, please call me Molly."
"Sure Mrs... I mean, Molly." Harry smiled shyly.
"Hello, Mr Potter. It's good to see you awake." Dumbledore returned, followed closely by Madam Pomfrey. The matron bustled over to Harry and Ginny, quickly running her wand along them and muttering under her breath. Lights flashed and twisted.
"Well. Their cores aren't gaining as much strength as I would like to see. Normally by now, they would have begun to restore themselves to the point to where they'd be able to consider doing small spells, but it's just barely bigger than it was when they were first brought in." Madam Pomfrey set down several bottles of various coloured potions before Harry and Ginny and motioned with her hand. "Drink up! These will assist you in rebuilding your cores."
Harry looked at Ginny, and she nodded. In tandem, they picked up the green coloured potion and downed it, grimacing at the taste. They continued like this until the potions were gone, and Madame Pomfrey bustled off with the empty vials. She returned a few moments later and settled herself down, ready for the conference between the two children and the adults.
It wasn't too long before Professors McGonagall and Snape walked into the infirmary, both of them discussing something in low, hushed voices. They turned to the small gathering around Harry and Ginny's bed. Professor Dumbledore smiled brightly. "Ah, good, we're all here." Taking out his wand, he drew a complicated pattern in the air, and a series of lights shimmered over Harry and Ginny. Professor McGonagall gasped, her hand flying over her mouth.
"Albus! There hasn't been a registered soul bonding in hundreds of years!" Dumbledore nodded at her words.
"Indeed, and that is why I've called you both here. It seems to me that when Harry rescued Ginny down in the chamber of secrets, they formed a soul bond. I believe that because we were unaware of the bonding, we let Harry and Ginny return to their residences for the summer. However, as the bond was unable to stabilize properly, it began to feed off of their magic, and both of them have fallen quite ill because of it."
Professor Snape's perpetual sneer formed into a deep frown. "The bond is feeding off their magical cores?"
"It was, yes. It seems that when these bonds form, they begin to stabilize when the bonded pair remain in constant contact. All my research has backed me up on this."
"Will the bond be stabilized before the beginning of the school year?" Professor McGonagall asked, her eyes still tracing the different lines that shimmered over Harry and Ginny.
"That's why we've called everyone in here, Minerva." Professor Dumbledore looked at both the heads of houses, his eyes dulling for a moment. "We have a most interesting situation. If Harry and Ginny are unable to continue their physical contact, the bond will resort into feeding off their cores, potentially killing them. Because of the delay in the forming of the bond, I do believe that they will not be finished bonding before the beginning of the school year." He turned to Molly and offered her a small smile before turning back to his rather stunned staff. "I therefore have a two-fold proposal. First, that Miss Weasley be allowed to study for the remainder of the summer and take her second year exams prior to the beginning of the school year. Secondly, that Harry and Ginny will then be sharing a room here at Hogwarts."
The knitting needles once again provided the only sound in the room as the silence descended.
Sharing a room with you? How would that work?! I'm a Slytherin, you're in Gryffindor… they can't put us in the same dorm room. The Slytherin boys would eat you alive, Harry.
I wouldn't put it past them. Maybe they'll re-sort you? I mean, if you were already affected by Tom Riddle at the time of the sorting, that's what made you go into Slytherin instead of Gryffindor?
Mum's already talked to Dumbledore, and they discussed it with the hat at the beginning of the summer. The sorting is final, and I'm stuck in Slytherin. There's nothing we can do.
That's not fair, Harry thought, and Ginny nodded her head in agreement.
"Albus… that's preposterous. Not only are Mr Potter and Miss Weasley both of opposite genders, but they're in different houses! Molly, certainly you wouldn't agree to this?" Professor McGonagall stated, looking at the Weasley Matriarch.
Professor Snape nodded in agreement. "Minerva's right. There simply has to be another way."
Madame Pomfrey shook her head. "There isn't. I've run the tests, and their cores haven't been replenishing themselves. As it stands, Mr Potter and Miss Weasley are the magical equivalent of squibs."
Molly sighed. "Minerva, I don't have much of a choice. Albus has sat and had a long chat with both Arthur and I. We love Harry like a son, and now that he's saved Ginny's life… there's nothing I wouldn't do for him. He'll be staying with us during the summers and school holidays. We've already talked to the boys about this, and we've begun expanding Ginny's room at the Burrow to account for Harry and his belongings."
Dumbledore nodded at Molly. "Unfortunately, she's right. I've done a fair bit of late night reading recently into the realm of soulbonds, and all of them state that the bondees were forced to remain in regular physical contact for the remainder of their lives. As it stands presently, neither Harry nor Ginny can remain away from one another for any period of time before they both black out."
"What about us!" Ginny suddenly cried out, her face having gone red. "I don't want to share a room with Harry! I don't want to touch him all the time! Professor, please, please, please, can't you remove this bond? You're the strongest wizard in the world!"
Harry, however, just nodded in agreement. "Ginny's absolutely mortified by the thought of having me around her all the time. Please, if you can break it, please break this bond."
Professor Dumbledore sighed and shook his head at the two youngest in the room. "I'm sorry, I can't break this bond." He placed one of his aged hands over Ginny's, who began to cry.
"There has to be something you can do! Please, Professor, I don't know if either of us can live like this." Harry's brilliant emerald eyes held a haunted, stricken look as he gave voice to Ginny's thoughts.
Molly Weasley put her hand on her daughter's head, brushing her hair back from her face. "Ginny, honey, I thought you liked Harry?"
"She does Mrs Weasley, but that's part of the problem." Harry turned bright red. "She…" Harry was cut off as one of Ginny's hands covered his mouth. The two of them glared at each other for a second.
"Don't – tell – them!" she hissed.
"Mrmph!" Harry glared at Ginny.
Let me talk, Ginny!
No, I don't want them to know how much I like like you!
Well I already know, why can't they?
Because it's embarrassing!
And thinking I almost wet the bed wasn't? Let go! Harry flashed a memory at Ginny of his Uncle Vernon doing the very same thing to him that she just was, and she pulled away, her face going bright red. "I'm sorry, Harry…" she whispered. She dropped her hand away from his mouth.
"Ginny really likes me, and it's more of a like like than a friend like, and she's embarrassed because now she can never get away from me!" Harry blurted quickly.
Professor Dumbledore chuckled. "Miss Weasley, it's ok to "like like" Harry. There's nothing to be worried about." Professor Dumbledore smiled.
"Albus, what happens when the kids grow older?" Professor McGonagall asked, frowning.
"We'll have to deal with it as it comes. Indeed, I think the most important things that we need to worry about at the moment are ensuring that Harry and Ginny are able to function separately from each other long enough to attend to themselves." Professor Dumbledore looked at the two and sighed.
"Molly has been taught some spells that will assist the two of you in your bodily functions, along with keeping you clean. Until you're able to be separated from one another long enough to perform these functions by yourselves, we'll have to utilize them appropriately. Please don't be embarrassed by the necessity of these spells, or by Molly having to perform them. The next few weeks will be tough for all of you, I'm sure. Mr Potter, we'll need you to assist Miss Weasley in her studies in order for her to join you in your classes in September, and between study times, we'll be working on the amount of time you two can be physically separated."
"And when the school year commences?" Professor Snape asked.
"Mr Potter and Miss Weasley will be given a joint room. Provided they are able to remain separated for a decent amount of time, Miss Weasley will retire to her room every night and activate a small portkey that will only work within Hogwarts to take her to the room. Mr Potter will do the same. This is an added layer of protection that will help further down the line." Professor Dumbledore turned to Professor Snape and nodded. "You will need to "check" on Miss Weasley nightly, Severus, and place a ward around her bed, along with a few illusionary spells that make it seem like she is in her bed all night. Minerva, I will need you to do the same with Mr Potter. There are eyes everywhere, and I don't wish for this to be spread around."
"Professor Dumbledore, what about Hermoine?" Harry questioned.
"Of course, you may tell Miss Granger, and Mr Weasley will already know the circumstances. I would advise that you and Miss Weasley 'accidentally' sit next to one another in your classes to ensure that your secret is mostly safe.
"Professor, you keep saying this is nothing to be embarrassed about. Why are we being secretive then?" Ginny asked softly.
The twinkle in Dumbledore's eyes dimmed a bit. "As you undoubtedly know, there are still many out there who support Voldemort, and he has not yet been fully defeated. I am afraid, Miss Weasley, that if your soul bond became common knowledge, those who still support him will attempt to do you harm. This is to help protect both you and Mr Potter."
Professor Dumbledore stood up and vanished his chair, looking at the various adults around the room and the young children still stuck together in the hospital bed. "As for the rest, we'll have to see how it plays out. Now, Mr Potter and Miss Weasley, you will need to get some rest."
Molly Weasley sighed and patted both Harry and Ginny on the head before standing up herself. "All right, it's time to work on separation. Finite Incantatum!" Molly waved her wand and the sticking charm holding Ginny and Harry together disappeared. "Now, move away from each other, and I'll time you."
Ginny scooted away from Harry, and Molly began to count softly. When she hit the count of 20, however, both children's eyes rolled back into their heads, and they slumped down, passed out. She gently placed Ginny's hand in Harry's and smiled sadly. "Twenty seconds… it's a start!"