My Sister's Keeper

By Celestra (Les-chan)

:cowers in fear : Okay, I am so, so, SO sorry that this update took forever! I know that several of you probably think that I've abandoned this fic – well don't worry, I haven't. I'm just an incredibly slow updater; I've always been one :p Actually, I do have an excuse for not getting this chapter out as quick as possible – and believe me, I've been trying to get to this fic in months. Anyways, a while back in June, I received an email from someone I didn't know. At the time, however, the address looked like that of my friend Alex, so I thought it was him. Anyways, I opened it, as well as the attachment, and yay, guess what? It was a computer virus! Needless to say, I was furious that I hadn't examined the address more carefully, and even more so when my entire hardrive died, erasing everything stored on it, including my beloved fics ;-; So I've had to retype everything I had before my computer died, and THEN update from there. I'm sorry it's taken forever, I really am :(

Anyways, answers and thanks to the reviewers

Chronicles Bailey: Yep. Only this was started a long time before the fifth book was out, thus the differences.

Microphone: I'm glad you like this story, and I really am sorry about the wait, I know it's taken ages :( I don't have writer's block, I just have no time, lol. When I originally planned this story, it wasn't supposed to be a romance, but I can think of a part where I can put some Ron/Hermione, just for you. Personally, I rather like that couple myself :P And as to what's planned with Chris . . . well, we'll see :P

goblz: Don't worry, I'm continuing :D

the-ringspell: I know, 'twas evil. Grr, now I have to rewrite it . . . oh well. Don't worry, I've updated :D

Eh Man: Muah, even abnormal comments are fine, don't worry :P Yes, yes, I know you tend to torture your favorite characters . . . coughPONYANDSTANLEYcough Guess that's another reason why we were separated at birth, right? I too do it . . . coincidentally, since I was nine as well does the characteristic pose Thanks glad you like it!

Naomi SilverWolf: Your shouts at me to update are actually quite inspiring, thank you!

Lawn Flamingo no5: Yes, I know cliffhangers are hard to wait for . . . But I do them all the time. It keeps the reader coming back, see? Muah, you'll soon find out what will happen to Ron and Ginny . . . :cackles because she knows what's coming: LOL And about if they do magic . . . we'll just see ;)

Lil' Smartass: Wow, someone actually depends on having to read what I write! Ooh:looks star struck: I'm glad you weren't too angry with me, lol.

Chasity: Yeah, it can be disturbing . . . but it's fun, you know? You torture your favorite characters so that you feel much better in the end when they feel better. Well, that or die, but it's unlikely I'll be writing that soon, so don't worry ;)

Karlei Shaynner: I'm glad you like it so much :)

Arynnl: Thank you very much! I do plan on finishing, although that may take a while at my updating rate . . . lol

Lourdes: You'll just have to see what will happen with Mrs. Weasley ;) And yes, one of the reasons I'm doing this story is because I really can't stand abuse of any kind, especially child abuse. It's right up there with racism.

slapmesilly: Hey, I'm glad you and your friends like it!

Major Magic: Hey you! Sorry it's taken so long, but you know how slow I am . . . lol :D Yeah, it is an important issue; that's partly why I feel the need to continue it so much. As to what Ron will do . . . you'll just have to wait ;)

Lady Knight of Kennan: Muah, Ron is such a great character. So is Ginny; I can have fun writing them :D I'm glad you like it, and yes, it will be an interesting summer for them, won't it!

Yokata: SEAMOUSE! Muah. Yes. Anyways, I'm finally updating, so you'll see what happens next eventually :D

moonlight2: Not morbid; just torturous

katherinek: Thank you!

tournesol: Hey there! Actually, you brought up quite an interesting point . . . I don't really know if Mrs. Weasley's side of the family would be called 'Weasley' as well, although I presume they wouldn't. Just a little mistake on my part, don't worry, lol. I just had this huge urge to call the villain 'Christopher Weasley . . .' I liked the sound of it. And as for the other Weasleys . . . you'll see ;)

Mel Adrienne: Muah, evil is good That's okay, you didn't know I was planning it that way. And it's fine to hate me, I know perfectly well how evil that cliffhanger was :D

Magic Midget: Yes David . . . it was. Can't say I don't agree though

Moonie2: Muah, I lurve Remus too Not as much as Ron though! Of course I mentioned you, weren't you one of my first reviewers? grins I'm glad you feel special, heheh. Yay, death threats to make you write or always neat

swimade333: Yep, angsty Ron fics are fun

Aurumlupi: Yes, Mrs. Weasley would definitely be in a rage; I can picture it now, lol :p Of course, you'll have to wait until you'll see what involvement she'll have . . . if any . . . :is having fun being cryptic:

Carey: No problem And yeah, see, we know what we're talking about. We're all about the Ron torture! laughs

x cherrykoolaid: Wow, I didn't know you read this fic LOL :D Muah, yes, poor Ron :P

If you reviewed at least once and I didn't mention you, I'm sorry! Please inform me and I'll put you up in the next chapter :)

Anyways, just one more quick note before we start. I am well aware of all the events that took place in the fifth Harry Potter book, including the summer, having read it more then once. However, this story was begun long before OoP was released. Therefore, I'm going to continue it the way I already had it, which was the wizarding world believing Harry and Dumbledore about Voldemort. So please don't tell me that in the book the summer was much different, because I know. If you like, you can consider it semi-AU, but it really is only me continuing the mood from before

Disclaimer: Okay, I lied; I have to do this first before I start. Anyways, I don't own anything at all from the world of Harry Potter. JK owns it all. Well, I do own Christopher Weasley . . . unfortunately . . . and I must stress the fact that if you use him in one of your fics before asking me first, I will be very displeased, among other things -p

My Sister's Keeper

Chapter III: Holding Back

By Celestra (AKA El S)

"Don't worry, Ginny, I'll protect y-" And suddenly, without warning, Ron collapsed on his bed.

"Ron!" Ginny shrieked, completely losing her head as she scrambled towards Ron, who lay facedown and unmoving on his bed.

"Ron, Ron, wake up! Please Ron!" she shook Ron desperately, trying to rouse her brother.

However, to her very great surprise, Ron hadn't fainted. He moaned and stirred slightly, mumbling something Ginny could not hear.

"Ron?" she whispered, leaning over him in concern.

"I'm okay . . ." he said quietly. "I haven't fainted . . . I just – just – I guess my energy gave out for a moment."

From his cage in the corner, Pig hooted something that vaguely sounded like concern.

Ron managed to turn over, each heavy breath ridden with pain from his sore and aching chest.

"Oh Ron, I just – I was – scared . . ." Ginny started to babble, sobbing slightly as she buried her face in his chest. To her surprise, Ron arced away, hissing in pain.

"Ron . . . what . . . ?" she asked in confusion, seeing her brother's face marred in such pain.

"It's nothing," Ron responded, gasping. He tried to lift himself up into a sitting position, but he couldn't do it. He collapsed back down again with a little cry of pain.

"Ron, what's wrong?" Ginny asked sternly, regarding her brother seriously.

"It's nothing . . . just my ribs . . . bruised when I got pulled down the stairs . . . and when I got smashed into the wall."

"Let me see," Ginny demanded.

"No, it's nothing, Ginny."

"Don't lie," Ginny frowned, "It's obviously really hurting you. If I can't see what's wrong, how can I help you?"

"You don't have to do anything. Don't worry about me; okay Ginny? Let me do the worrying." Ron made a feeble attempt at smiling, but his face was still pale.

Ginny shook her head and moved closer to Ron. She began to peel his shirt upwards so she could see the extent of damage on his chest. Ron tried to move away, but there was nowhere for him to go, and pain sliced through his mind when he moved his torso too jerkily, so he complied, and allowed Ginny to take a look and see what she could do to help him.

Ginny bit back an exclamation of horror as she regarded her brother's chest. All around his ribs, dark purple bruises marred his normally only freckled skin. The area was red as well. She replaced the shirt and turned to speak to Ron.

"You're going to need ice for that, those bruises are nasty."

"Fine," Ron grunted, "I'll go down and get some ice."

Ginny shook her head sharply. "You most certainly will not; you are going to stay here and rest."

"Don't be stupid, Ginny. You aren't going downstairs if there's a chance Chris will be there." At this, Ron tried to lift himself off the bed, but he fell back with a whimper of pain. "Er, could you help me up?

Ginny looked triumphant, in a sad way. "There you are, Ron. If you aren't fit to get off the bed yourself, you aren't fit to sneak downstairs for some ice. You're going to have to leave it to me."

Ron groaned in frustration, but he knew his sister was right.

"Fine, but promise me, be extra careful. Don't take risks just for me, all right?"

Ginny nodded her head solemnly as a feeling of doom settled somewhere in her stomach, like she had just swallowed a heavy paperweight.

"If he comes after you, run right back upstairs and lock yourself into a room somewhere, all right?"

"Yes Ron, I promise. But I also promise that when I come back up, I'll have ice for you with me, no matter what."

And before Ron could berate her for such a promise, she had disappeared through the doorway, closing the door silently as she went. Ron held his breath – even Pig was keeping silent.

Ginny kept close to the wall of the hallway as she moved as inaudibly as she could towards the stairwell. Chris was nowhere in sight, but her own heart was beating so loud she was sure he would hear and come from wherever he was in the apartment and catch her.

She reached the stairs and started to climb slowly downwards, taking her time lest she made a noise in hurry that might betray her.

She made it to the last few steps, and she jumped down and landed as noiselessly as cat. The room right beside the stairwell, the living room, had the television on. Ginny could hear it as well as see the flickering images reflected in the hall's mirror behind her. Cautiously, she peered into the room to see if Chris was there.

He was. He was sprawled over the couch, eyes fixed on the television, with the open bottle of alcohol from the brown bag before propped beside him on the floor.

Ginny saw his eyes flicker from the screen to the doorway in sudden suspicion, and so she jumped backwards and away, her read hair bouncing against her neck and back. Luckily, Chris had not seen her – and so she let out a tiny sigh of relief as she made her way to the kitchen.

She knew she would be cornered if Uncle Chris caught her – but yet – as she thought about it, it didn't seem to matter as long as she could get the ice for Ron. Ron was always willing to take a risk or two, and he would do anything for her, and so it was necessary for her to do anything she could, no matter how small at the time, to help him as well.

She stepped onto the tiled floor of the kitchen, remarking that the spilled Tortellini from before was still on the floor, but that Uncle Chris had obviously taken one of the undisturbed plates and emptied it into his stomach.

'Interesting,' Ginny thought, deciding to bring the plate up with her as well so that she and Ron didn't wake up absolutely starving.

She took the two forks left and stuck them into the plate among the pasta shells, and stalked over to the refrigerator. Deciding it wouldn't be a good idea to press the button that caused the ice cubes to rumble down because it would cause far too much noise, Ginny instead grabbed a plastic bag lying on the counter, and opened the freezer, scooping some ice into the bag.

'Thank goodness they taught us about these in Muggle Studies, or I would have no idea how to work this thing,' Ginny thought gratefully.

She then grabbed her ice parcel as well as the single plate of pasta and headed back upstairs, silent as before, without drawing Uncle Chris's attention to her.

Ron gave a sigh of relief as his sister reappeared, with ice and a plate of pasta no less. The lithe female Weasley handed him the ice, and gratefully he applied it to his bruises, giving a mingled hiss of hurt mixed with respite. Ginny regarded him with concerned eyes.

"I'm fine," he consoled, "just bruises, nothing broken. I'll be fine in the morning." After a few tentative minutes of keeping the ice pressed against his chest, his hand numbed painfully and he switched, also placing some ice on his face where he had been struck to ease the sting. The redness hadn't gone yet, and with his red hair, it gave the impression his face was fiery.

"Come eat," Ginny demanded, sitting on the bed and placing the plate in between them while handing a fork to Ron and keeping one for herself.

Ron nodded mutely as they both began to eat. It wasn't half bad, but Ron still found himself hoping it would disagree horribly with Chris and perhaps leave him disabled for much of the summer . . . but that really was too much to hope for, since if that were the case, they would most likely be sick as well.

They ate in silence – neither Ron nor Ginny felt much like discussing the evening's events. Indeed, they were rather more concerned with forgetting it as soon as possible.

When they finished eating, Ginny blinked and smacked herself in the forehead. Ron raised an eyebrow. "What was that?"

"Mum . . . when mum comes by tomorrow!" Ginny exclaimed excitedly. "We have proof now, we can show her your bruises and the mark on your face from his ring! She'll have to believe us and take us somewhere else, somewhere safer!"

A grin slowly plowed its way across Ron's face. "Blimey . . .you've got a point, Gin! We'll be out of this hellhole by tomorrow afternoon!" he added triumphantly.

"But until then . . ." Ginny murmured, looking nervously at the door that led to the hallway and the rest of the apartment. The fiery-haired girl wrapped her arms around her knees. "We can't even use magic. . ."

"I don't think there's ever been time I've hated that Decree For The Restriction Of Underage Magic more," Ron swore vehemently. "You'd think they'd lift it, what with You-Know-Who out there."

"I expect they will soon but haven't yet had the time do so," Ginny said wisely. "And in any case, there are more sub-decrees about using magic on muggles – it's definitely not allowed except in special circumstances, and you get sent up to the Muggle Hate-Crime Office. But for life-threatening situations . . . they might let us do something about it in that case . . ."

"This isn't life-threatening, it's just Chris smacking us around a bit. It doesn't qualify, as much as I wish it did," Ron grinned wryly.

Ginny eyed his chest and hissed, "Not funny, Ron."

Ron gave her a serious look. "Ginny, I don't want you staying in your room alone. There's no telling what he might do in the middle of the night once he's got himself right drunk and we aren't allowed to use magic to protect ourselves."

Ginny gave Ron a disbelieving look. "Honestly, do you think I would want to stay alone with him around? Don't think I'm a baby or anything, but I would prefer to stay in your room with you tonight."

Ron shook his head. "I wasn't going to give you a choice," he grinned.

"Just a sec," Ginny said as she quickly ducked out of Ron's room into her own. She was back in a flash of red with her quilt and pillow. Ron made to get up and let her have the bed, but Ginny wouldn't hear of it, insisting that since he was injured he should have the bed and making a sort of nest for herself on the carpeted section of floor.

Pig started to tweet wildly from his cage in the corner, apparently happy he had another houseguest.

Once they were both settled down and didn't feel much like talking again, they figured it would be a good decision to get some rest, as they whole-heartedly intended on leaving as soon as possible.

"Good night, Ron. Feel better," whispered Ginny from her spot on the floor.

"You too, Gin," mumbled Ron, who feigned a sleepy voice with the intent to stand watch until the wee hours of the morning which were practically night anyways due to the darkness.

And so the night melted back into a day full of sunshine that touched upon all the corners of the room, awaking once more the Weasley children from a restless sleep.

Ginny disappeared into her own room to change as Ron did the same, feeling his bruised chest and face and remarking on how it was still very sore. As the two made their way into the kitchen, they both noticed Chris hadn't bothered cleaning up the spilled pasta from the night before. Soon after, Chris himself made his way into the kitchen, tousle-haired and looking sleepy coupled with a possible light hangover.

"Clean that up," he barked to Ron, who gave him an infuriated look at his gall at bossing him around in such a manner, but not wanting a repeat of last night's events. He hissed in pain when he tried bending over, but a wide-eyed, angry Ginny muttered that she would do it and hopped to it.

Chris took note of Ron's glare and smirked. 'Damn freaks think they're so special . . . but they'll learn not to try any funny stuff with me.'

Once Ginny was done, Chris again took pleasure in bossing around the adolescents. "I don't know what time your mother will be coming around, so you better get to making her breakfast," he sneered.

"Oh, no need for that," Molly Weasley's voice sounded from the hallway as she strolled in, flowered apron flowing as she twirled her wand in her hand. It was apparent she had just Apparated.

"Mum!" Ron exclaimed hoarsely, privately thinking he had never been so happy to see her as he was now.

The two Weasley children shot like rockets to their mother, their flaming hair adding even more to the image of rockets taking off.

"Goodness! You've only been gone a day," Mrs. Weasley blinked.

"Mum, mum!" Ginny near sobbed. "We need to talk to you!"

Chris' face, which had been previously sporting a fake cheery smile, abruptly switched to an ugly scowl as he realized what the brats were trying to do. A wrathful mother was one thing, but a wrathful mother protecting her young with the ability to do just about anything, including a large number of incredibly unpleasant things with just a narrow strip of wood, was quite another. His second cousin Molly Weasley was surely the reason behind the myths that redheads have evil tempers.

If they told Molly what he had done, he would certainly be turned into a horned toad or disemboweled - or maybe even both. He couldn't let that happen; this was exactly why he didn't want them in his house in the first place!

Chris thought fast, and a truly malicious smile lit upon his face.

"Ginny, dear, come help me set the table. The nice dishes are in the other room," he said sweetly, yanking the girl along and thrusting her into the dining room of his spacious apartment.

"What, no, sto!" Ginny started, but Chris clapped a hand over her mouth, and abruptly the nasty smell of his dirty hand clouded her sense of taste. She tried spitting but his hand stayed put.

"Don't say a word," Chris breathed dangerously.

"When Ron tells mum, you'll be so screwed!" Ginny tried to threaten angrily, but with Chris' nasty hand still there, she could only make muffled indiscernible noises.

"If I slit your throat right now, even magic won't be able to save you," Chris warned.

Ginny gulped, a fear much more palpable then yesterday slowly coursing through her body and making her blood run cold in her veins. Here it was . . . actual threats against her life . . . and yet, he was still right. Magic couldn't bring back the dead.

"Don't make a sound," Chris snarled as he pushed the girl towards a cabinet roughly. "And don't you dare move until I get you!"

Meanwhile, Mrs. Weasley was fussing over her son's state.

"Ohhh, Ronniekins! Where are all these bruises from? You certainly didn't have those yesterday! What happened?"

Ron opened his mouth to speak but felt his chest constricting in fear. 'No! Ginny! He's taken Ginny! He must know what we're going to do! If I say anything . . . I can't take a chance we won't get to her before he does!'

To make matters worse, Chris appeared in the doorway.

'Does mum notice how menacing he looks, or is it just me?'

"Yes, Ron, what happened?" Chris' voice had a definite edge in its tone now, although Mrs. Weasley appeared not to notice, as she was busy gazing at her son in concern.

"Er . . . I fell down the stairs and crashed against the table," Ron said clearly, staring right at Chris determinedly and hoping against hope his mother would understand what he was trying to tell her without possibly putting Ginny at risk. In any case, it was as truthful as he was willing to be, given the situation.

Mrs. Weasley shook her head. "Oh Ronnie, you really must be careful . . . especially these days . . ." She pressed her wand-tip gently against his cheek and he felt the bruise dissipate, but as the bruises on his chest were concealed, he didn't want to bring attention to them.

"Now, where has Ginny got to?" Mrs. Weasley questioned, mostly to herself. "And what is it you two wanted to tell me?"

"Oh, I'll go check on Ginny make sure she hasn't gotten into any accidents," Chris volunteered in an amiable voice, leaving the room slowly. Ron didn't need Hermione's brains to recognize the veiled threat.

Chris lurked right outside the doorway, straining to hear what the boy would tell his mother.

"Er . . . that is . . . let Harry and Hermione know they can't stay over until you're done what Dumbledore's asked." Ron thought quickly on the spot.

Outside the doorway, Chris grinned, satisfied with himself and feeling very powerful, as he went to retrieve a trembling Ginny and a stack of china.

Mrs. Weasley regarded her son fondly. "Once we've set a headquarters up, things should be less hectic. No telling when that'll be, but we'll have you all over soon, darling."

"Oh . . . right . . ." Ron said, at a loss. 'What if we're here for almost all the summer? What if we don't make it to that happy Chris-free time?'

"But still, don't forget to write Harry," Mrs. Weasley was saying as Ginny and Chris re-entered the room with said dishes. "Poor boy . . . cooped up with those muggles with such awful memories from the end of this year . . . I'm sure he would love to hear from you, besides just me telling him we'll get him eventually. Hermione, too."

Inwardly, Chris made a face. 'Blech. More wizarding freaks. And I can't risk Ron 'accidentally' letting slip his situation and bringing more magic-types up here. Will have to see to this problem.'

Mrs. Weasley conjured up a sumptuous breakfast for the lot of them, and it quickly disappeared, though not by any magic save the grumbling of hungry stomachs. As Mrs. Weasley made ready to leave, she hugged both Ron and Ginny and told them to keep in touch, although to be discreet about what they put in letters in case they were intercepted in these dangerous times.

Even their mother faded from view with a soft popping noise, the Weasley children couldn't help but think 'No! Come back! We need you here!'

Once the dishes were put away, Chris rounded on the two like an angry wolverine.

"You almost talked," he growled. "This I will not allow. I won't have your parents coming back here and bothering me just because you lot happen to be freaks of nature. You will keep quiet and make sure no wizards or witches" (here he spat the words) "come up here, or you will be very sorry indeed. In fact, I don't think I trust you with sending any letters. Not after the stunt you tried to pull today."

'No! Pig is our last connection to the outside world!' Ron thought in panic. Out loud, he spoke rudely to Chris. "You heard mum. She wants us to send letters to our friends, and to them."

Chris laughed cruelly, noting the dread that was enveloping the Weasley children. "If they should ask, I shall tell them you are fearful about getting your letters intercepted, being such a close friend to this allegedly important Barry Trotter person or whatever his name is, and your parents being involved in some sort of dangerous shenanigan."

With that, he strode to Ron's room and seized Pigwidgeon's cage. The tiny owl hooted in alarm and flittered around his cage, almost getting his head stuck in between the cage bars.

"I wonder if owl tastes like chicken," Chris remarked with a pitiless chuckle.

"No! Leave him alone!" Ron shouted, his love of animals prevailing over his pretend annoyance with his small pet.

"He's just a bitty owl! Don't hurt him!" Ginny pleaded, eyes following Pig's frantic efforts.

"We'll see," Chris said dramatically, laughing sardonically as he took the owl t and locked it within his own room. They could still hear the owl's frenzied hoots. Ron was fuming at the mistreatment of themselves and his pet.

"Now, you two – I've got work to do. You shall stay here, or there will be hell to pay. Understand me?"

Still glaring, both teens nodded.

Chris chuckled. "Good. I shall see you tonight."

After he was gone, Ron raced to the balcony to make sure he was really leaving the building. Once he was gone, he breathed a sigh of relief, and made his way towards the door.

Ginny blinked bemusedly. "What are you doing?"

"Damned if he thinks I'm going to put up with his bullshit. I will not stay here so that he can come back at his leisure and threaten us some more before beating up on us"! The redheaded boy fumed.

"Well, I'm coming with. Mind . . . do you have any idea where to go?"

"Anywhere but here," Ron sighed.

They wandered the sunny, crowded streets for an hour or so, but it was quickly becoming boring, and Ron didn't have a whole lot of wizard money, let alone muggle money, to spend on amusement. Ginny had told Ron what had happened when Chris took her aside and after raging a bit more, they were currently debating what to do and how long they could prolong going back.

Just then, a familiar voice sounded in Ron and Ginny's ears, making them both jump.

"Ron! Ginny! What are you two doing here!"

Ron slowly turned around in shock . . .

TO BE CONTINUED!

Meep, sorry about the wait again. covers eyes in shame Oh, and the cliffhanger. Except.. it's fun leaving readers in suspense -p I doubt very much this was worth the wait, but I'm hoping it was. Been busy along with all the other stuff listed up there, and I don't know when the next chapter will be out. Hopefully soon, but hey, I have a new semester starting now. Bah, high school.. shakes head

Anyways, please review and make my day! Reviews actually make me write faster, no joke. When I get nice reviews asking me to update, they make me feel all warm and fuzzy and guilty for not getting chapters out faster, so it inspires me -p