The house came into view through the blinding snowstorm slowly. The figure took weak steps to it, only able to walk because of the wooden walking stick that supported him. It once had white bandages tied around it for an easier grip, but they had long since lost their innocent color when blood from the traveler's hand had baptized them.
The traveler's breath came out in puffs of white mist. It was so cold. The wind bit at him like a harsh cursing sting that would not leave him alone. His trail was covered almost as soon as it was made. The only evidence that would let anyone know he had indeed came this way was the few drops of red snow that he left behind.
He was obviously hurt. Under his traveling cloak, his shirt was ripped almost to shreds and his pants were sagging with all the cuts in them. Blood leaked from various wounds on his body, leaving the red snow. His right eye was glazed with a slight whiteness to it, showing the world that he could no longer see out of it. In short, it seemed had blazed a trail to the seventh pit of hell and barley made it out to tell the story.
The Burrow was in full view now, as he had ascended the stairs and fell against the door. He breathed heavily, having used all of his energy at such a simple task. He was still covered in snow and was only standing thanks to the door. His hand gripped the frozen knob on the door and he pressed it in before turning it, the Weasley secret key.
The door flew open from his weight and he staggered in, grabbing out for something to break his fall. Unfortunately it just happen to be a shelf. Giving under his own weight, the traveler's knees buckled and the shelf fell with him, making a loud crash as books fell and the glass animals on top of it crashed into a thousand pieces.
He blacked out.
Mrs. Weasley was the first to awaken and scurry down the stairs. She gasped when she saw the body laying on her floor and the open door. Without a second thought, she whipped out her wand and moved the books and shelf from the fallen person's back and then magiced over the person to see who had invaded her house. Her eyes went wide.
I awoke to the feeling of someone shaking me roughly. My mind screamed that it was still too early to get up, but the persistent person shaking me would not give in. Finally I groaned and sat up, ready to hex the intruder into next week. "What?" I demanded harshly, but realized it was more of a whimper from my lack of sleep.
"Get up, Ginny." The voice, my mother, told me in a worried tone. "It's Harry! He's back!"
My mind snaps awake. "Harry?!" I squeaked. "When?!" I was already scurrying out of my bed, not caring I was only wearing a shirt that went to mid thigh. "Where is he!?"
"He's downstairs on the couch." She told me, following me as I ran down the hallways and down the stairs. "Ginny, he's--"
I gasped. No. No, this can't be him…
Harry lay on the couch with one arm hanging limply off. His shirt had been removed and so had his shoes. His chest was covered in cuts that were outlined in purple from infection. His arms held several dots that were red and purple with specks of white. His breathing was harsh and was evident he was frost bitten. His feet were cut badly and also held the same look of infection on them. His hair was messier than usual and had grown a considerable length.
"H… Harry…?" My mind was reeling. It was a dream. It had to be. I knelt down next to him and tentatively touched his shoulder, which twitched under my touch. Suddenly my vision was blurry and I realized that I had begun to cry. He had been gone for six months. Six long months. And now… And now here he was, back again… but at what cost? My mouth opened again and I didn't even realize I had begun speaking. "Mum?" I heard myself ask, but it felt as though I was hearing someone else speak. "What happened to him?"
"I don't know dear…" She told me while walking over to our family owl and tying a parchment to its legs. Probably a letter to Dumbledor saying they had found him. "We'll have to wait until he wakes up."
Until he wakes us seemed to be a lot longer than it sounded. Ron had came home the second he heard his friend had been found. In fact, he was still holding the note in his hand. Obviously he had only read to the part where Harry had been found. He clearly missed the part where his mother had told him not to apparate into the house. This was because people were busily trying to figure out why Harry was not awake yet. I had bumped into him as soon as he had appeared, dropping the pillows and blankets I had been carrying.
"Ouch." I felt myself fall and hit the ground rather hard. "Oww…"
I looked up at my older brother and frowned at him. "Didn't Mum tell you not to do that?"
"Where's Harry?" He didn't waste any time.
"In my room." I was going to ask him to help carry the pillows, but he ran away like I probably should of known he would.
It had only been two days since Harry had come to the Burrow, but with the best medics Dumbledor could send still have only been able to tell a few things of why Harry was in his condition. I picked up my things and continued into the living room. They had told me that Harry had been captured by Voldemort. That much was obvious. The next thing they found out was he was sleep deprived. Apparently, at night when he was to be sleeping, someone had woken him up every twenty minutes on the dot. After a few days the person would be too dazed to even realize what was going on… But a month and the poor person would probably be driven on the edge of insanity. Thankfully it seems Harry had only had a week of this. I never questioned how they could tell. Even after graduating Hogwarts last year, I still found modern magical means to be no less than simply fascinating.
Hermione had gotten here a few hours ago by flu powder – as was requested in her letter. She was by Ron now, both sitting by their best friend. 'Poor thing.' I thought to myself as I laid a freshly fluffed pillow under Harry's head. 'Having their best friend so hurt…' I pulled another blanket over him. It seemed no matter how many he had, he was still so cold. 'But then again… At least they aren't in love with him…'
"We need to know what happened to him before we can force wake him." The man spoke, looking at all of us. We were in the living room currently. I sat between Hermione and Ron. Bill and Charlie were across the room, leaning against the wall. Percy was also here, as well as the twins and of course my mum and dad. The man speaking to us was the doctor Dumbledor had personally sent. He was explaining something to us at the current moment. "You see, it seems odd to be in the state he is in. It appears almost no magic was cast on him, but by looking at his body, we all know that he was tortured."
I winced visible and Hermione took my hand. She probably felt the same as me right now. At least Ron was more angry than scared. He knew his friend, had confidence in him. He turned to me and gave me an odd smile. "He won't break like that." He told me firmly, eyes meeting mine to show he knew what he was saying. "Harry's stronger than that."
"There is a spell…" The man continued. I seem to recall his name being Steve or something like that. "A spell that will allow someone to see what he saw in the last six months. The spell will last exactly an hour. That's ten minutes to a month."
I was a little confused.
"Whoever does this spell will see everything he does, but it will go by extremely fast. The time he is unconsense will not count, because he is not seeing anything. The person who does this will have to have a special connection with Harry…" He looked at the stairs that lead to my room. "So that means a close friend… or a lover, a girlfriend."
"I'll do it." Ron immediately stood. "He's been my best mate for over eight years now."
"No, me." Hermione stood. "I've known him for so long, let me help him."
"Hermione, no." Ron looked over at her. "You won't want to see what happened to him."
The look on Hermione's face almost broke my heart. It was clear that she felt something for Harry. I knew it wasn't a romantic love, but it was darn close. It was a special relationship that nobody could understand but the two that were in it. I felt like crying. I loved him deeply. Everyone knew I had a crush on him, but I was sure nobody thought it was this deep. I should be the one to do it.
"I will." My voice didn't come out strong like I had hoped. I was scared. I knew it, they knew it. "Me."
Ron shook his head firmly. "No, Ginny, I-"
"I love him." I said, taking in a breath. I heard a few people gasp, probably Bill and Charlie. They didn't hang around as much as everyone else because of their jobs. "You may be his best friend, but I love him, Ron."
Ron opened his mouth to say something, but shut it. He probably decided that I was right.
"But Ginny." Hermione had her hands on my shoulders now. "Seeing what he went through…"
I shivered. I wanted to cry. I wanted to so badly, but I knew I couldn't. Harry needed me right now. I couldn't let him down. "I can do it."
There was a short silence before Steve spoke up. "We should get it over with so we can treat him."
The spell was a lot simpler than I thought it would be. I just had to move my wand over the length of his body and say a few simple phrases. It was so simple, in fact, that I was startled to find myself falling forward onto the bed a moment later. I was vaguely aware of someone calling my name, but soon, I found it wasn't mine. It was Harry's.
Harry snapped his head up and glared at the person in front of him. He was currently chained to a wall too tightly for comfort. The man walked closer to him, ignoring the several small scorpions that scurried over the ground.
"Welcome to hell, Harry Potter." He said to him, really close to his face.
"You'll be there when I get out of here." Harry retorted smugly, adding effect by spitting on him and smirking.
"You'll be thinking that when I kill you!" The man grabbed Harry's neck and squeezed. Several punches followed, but Harry did nothing more than grunt. "Your first day is always the worst." He said, glaring daggers at Harry. "We hear that we have spys among the death eaters. It's my job to get that information out of you."
"Heh." Harry smirked. "Like I would tell you."
"Did I mention we'll be doing this the muggle way?"
Harry set his jaw. "Do your worst. We both know it won't be enough anyway."
The person hit Harry hard in the stomach, making him double over and pass out.
Harry was awoken by a dip into cold water.
His head was pulled up a moment, allowing him to suck in air before being slammed hard back into the murky slushy water.
Harry groaned in pain as another scorpion stung him. He rolled over in his bed and onto another scorpion, who promptly stabbed it's tail into Harry's arm.
The morning always brought the same. Scorpion anti-venom and a fresh dunk into the water, followed by a fight for his life against a person with a knife. Meals consisted of sludge that tasted horrid but offered him more anti-venom and the nutrients he needed to survive. He was beaten daily by either fist or a whip. He slept with scorpions and was forced to drink water that was clearly not healthy for him.
I screamed. Several hands were holding me still, but I thrashed out against them. My throat hurt terribly. I was probably screaming for a while now. Every bone in my body ached. My eyes shot open and I recognized my room a while later. I stopped screaming in favor of feeding my lungs air. The restraints receded and I then noticed that Ron and Bill had been holding me. I was also covered In cold sweat.
I couldn't help it then. Tears spilt from my eyes freely and I felt no shame in hugging my knees and crying against them. My whole body wracked with sobs and my throat was still sore. I felt Hermione wrap her arms around me and rock me slowly. I only cried harder against her, not able to breathe steadily.
I don't know how long I cried, but when I finished I was terribly tired. I wasn't able to rest, though. Steve asked me exactly what I feared to answer.
"Ginny," He began slowly, placing a hand on my shoulder. " I know it was horrible, and that you don't want to talk about it. It's cold, but I'm afraid you have to. I would give you time, but the memories aren't yours, they'll fade almost all by morning. Please tell me. For Harry. Tell me so I can help him."
I took a long breath. Yes. Harry needed me. I couldn't let him down. I tried to say everything I could remember. "Scorpions." I began. "He was stung every day, so many times I lost count. They gave him the antidote every morning and afternoon. They held him under water a lot. They cut him, they beat him, sometimes with a whip." My eyes stung with fresh tears, but I pushed myself on. "They made him fight for his life on more than one account. They made his hair grow so they could use it to grip his head." My voice cracked. " They injected things into his bloodstream by a long needle… They, they…" I started to sob, but I forced myself again. Harry needed me. I told them everything I saw.
"Oh Harry…" Hermione took his hand, saddened even more when it flinched under her touch. "You poor thing…"
"Dang, mate." Ron looked down at his friend. "And to top it off, you escaped too."
Steve nodded and began to work on a potion. "Muggle methods, no wonder we didn't know how to treat him. Magical cuts are way different than normal ones. He'll be awake tomorrow morning.
I nodded slowly. I really needed some sleep.
I awoke the next morning to the sound of a short scream. Without wasting time, I went to my room (I was sleeping with Ron), where I saw Harry sitting up in bed with his head in his hands. "Harry?" I ventured, looking at him with wide eyes. Whatever potion was given to him last night had healed all of his cuts and now you could see how skinny he was even more.
"Ginny." He greets, his tone a little shaken up. "Hey, what's going on?" He gives me a short little laugh and I realize that he was in some sort of shock. I don't blame him, I would be much worse off. His eyes looked a little glazed and he was shaking lightly.
"You're okay now." I tell him, walking over and sitting next to the poor boy. "You made it here a few days ago. No one will hurt you anymore." I reach for his hand, but he pulls sharply away. "Harry?"
"Oh, sorry." He replies sheepishly, allowing me to touch him this time. His hand felt restless, though, like it didn't like being touched.
"Harry…" How long would he be like this? Not wanting human contact? No. No, I would not let him be like this. Not now, not ever. I flung myself on him, wrapping my arms around his neck and my legs around his waist. He lets out a type of gasp/scream, but I don't let go. His arms try to find a way to push me off, but I gripped him tighter, not letting him. A full minute passed of struggling before he finally collapsed to whatever fear was plaguing him and suddenly I found his arms around me, holding me like his very world depended on it. His face was buried in my neck and I could feel his tears rolling down my collarbone and down my breast before my shirt absorbed them.
"Ginny." He gets out through his tears. "It was so horrible…"
"I know, Harry." I tell him soothingly, stroking his hair, as he would do me.
"I didn't cry out, though." He kept going. "No once."
"I know." I tell him again, I was so proud of that.
"I missed you." He tells me softer, easing his touch and pulling back to look at me. "Would you mind if I stayed here for a while?"
Gently I push him back onto the bed and straddled his waist. "The burrow, or my bed?" I ask him, slowly sliding my body along his. "Because you can stay with me tonight if you want." Yes. Yes, Harry, you're always welcome here. You can stay in my arms and know that I won't let anyone ever hurt you. I'll protect you, like you have done me so many times. Just let me.
"Thanks." He breathes, not really answering my question. His arms find the small of my back and pull me closer to him, though. I then find his lips on mine. His kiss was soft and gentle, almost like kissing a cloud. It was gone almost as soon as it came, and I found my lips wanting another one. This time I kissed him. I'm a little clumsy at kissing, I'll admit that, but for some reason he didn't seem to mind. After pulling back, I nestled myself next to him and draped one arm over his chest and a knee over his legs. He was a little bony, but then again, he always was.
"Harry…" I told his chest, getting a little reply of a half breath half moan. He was already going back to sleep. "You have morning breath." He chuckled a little and I could feel his smile. His arms pulled me closer and I smiled to myself. He would be just fine, I knew. After all, he was Harry Potter.
And now, he was my Harry Potter.
A/N: I hope you enjoyed it. I ussually don't write like this, usually I just do fluff or normal romance. Sorry for it being so short, but it feels like it should be cut here. If anyone has any ideas that they want to see, feel free to IM me (Vejita98) and request a 'fic, I'll gladly try it for you. Well, review if you think you need to, if not it's okay ^.^