Dedicated to Patrick, who's been kind enough to read over my shoulder these past two days. Well, I'm not exactly sure what he's doing, but he's sitting here, so…
Also, a quick thanks to Anne, who tolerates me sending her stuff that I write at three in the morning, and stops my panicking attacks with one coherent e-mail, also, she betas for me, which means she should be nominated for sainthood. The other person who I now owe a life debt to is Seren, who not only helped me with the mechanics of the following chapter's plot, but beta'd as well!
Chapter Three: Painful Admissions
School has been maddening. Absolutely, completely, maddening. I can't even think straight. Honestly, you're lucky that you got out. I thought O.W.L.s were bad, but if I survive these tests, I think I can do anything.
I trust you're keeping yourself alive and well, though it would be nice to see you in person for a change. I know we've taken a few too many risks this year, as far as sneaking off to see each other, but I positively can't wait until the next Hogsmeade visit.
Harry, Ron and Hermione still aren't talking. I wonder what could be wrong. Why don't you try to find out? There's no reason for the two of them to be this serious about breaking up.
I know this is a terribly short letter, but remember, I love you, darling.
Love from your,
I've haven't been able to find out much, other than what Ron wants to tell me at the top of his voice. Hermione was acting strangely, though, even before they broke off their romantic relationship. I think that there may be more going on than she's telling us.
Ginny my love, I'm not going to make it to Hogsmeade. I've tried everything, and I just can't get off work. There's something big going on… I can't tell you much more than that.
How I wish you were with me! I could hold your hand, or kiss your ear, or whisper sweet nothings to you… the possibilities are endless! For right now, I have to be content with letters, and although I've got to know you in a way I would have thought didn't exist, sometimes I long for you to be here. Then I could tell you everything, and you could tell me that everything was going to be all right, and I could believe you. Maybe it wouldn't hurt so much then.
You're the most wonderful girl in the world.
Love from your,
I wish you could tell me what was going on, and to tell you the truth, I'm not going to take much more of this. If I don't get some answers soon, I may very well go insane. Not knowing where you are, what you're doing, who you're with, that's very painful, especially when I know that your life is in danger.
Harry, I know that I've made light of it before, but please be careful. If you died, I just don't think I could live.
Hermione's sent me an owl. She really needs Ron now. The doctors have told her that she'll never be able to have children. It set her off, and that's why she was picking all those fights with Ron. You've got to make him see reason, without giving away anything. Let Hermione tell him. She thinks that if he finds out, he won't love her anymore, or some other ridiculous nonsense.
Keep yourself and my brother alive.
I am forever yours,
The Daily Prophet
May 16, 1999
Weasley In Hospital!
Ronald Weasley, the youngest Weasley brother, was hospitalized earlier this morning. No comment was made to the press, though The Daily Prophet was told that Mr. Weasley is awake and coherent.
We've just taken Ron into St. Mungo's.
Thanks to the brilliance of my own department, and the threats I made to several key people, there is a special spell on this letter. Only someone whom I love as much as I do you would be able to read it.
I think it's time to tell you everything.
What The Daily Prophet said is true. Lucius Malfoy did die because of me, but I didn't kill him.
I'm getting ahead of myself.
Just after I got the job with the Cannons, I was approached by none other than Ronald Weasley with a job offer. It seems your little brother is a bit more than a Clerk at the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. He's a strategic officer, which shouldn't surprise you, because of his addiction to chess.
Anyway, the Department wanted me for what they called "experimental dark defense spell testing." To tell you the truth, they made it sound like a job offer, but it was really more of a "you will do this" type of thing. Needless to say, I wasn't very happy.
They've put me back to active duty, which means I'll be experimenting with dark defense spells again… translation, fighting the remaining Death Eaters.
The night before I disappeared at the Department's request, we had a raid on Malfoy Manor planned. Ron had the plan outlined, we had blueprints of the house, and everything was set to go.
Things went horribly wrong.
We were supposed to just capture Lucius and Draco, if he was in residence. Intelligence wasn't sure of his location. Special Aurors were assigned on the mission as well, to keep a disaster from happening.
If only everyone did their job, then Ron and I wouldn't be in this mess.
We entered the house with no problems, which should have alerted certain people that there were going to be issues with the mission. We were expecting a bit more security than the wards that we have around The Burrow, and even some Dark Magic wards that would have been much nastier. There were wards that any first year Auror could break, even if they were brain damaged. Despite how many times they deliver the cautionary speech to us, the Powers That Be don't take kindly to being on the receiving end of that same speech, so we were ordered to search the house.
Malfoy Manor has dungeons. Huge, vile smelling, nasty dungeons. They look like they haven't removed the skeletons in years. I'm surprised the Ministry hadn't raided the place before.
Lucius didn't like to keep Dark objects in the main house, but he had them, let me tell you. Some things I'd only ever heard of, and something I hadn't even heard of. Ron and I kept our wits about us and our hands to ourselves, and so we were some of the few that didn't get injured.
Of course Mr. Malfoy was in residence, and of course he knew we were coming. We walked right into a bloody trap. He was waiting for us.
Never in all of my life was I so repulsed by the sight of a man. He'd been wasting away, sustaining himself on Dark Magic and the luxury of his physical things.
Some of the Death Eaters were still about, still practicing. They were looking for Lucius Malfoy, and when they found him, it wasn't going to be pleasant.
At least, that's what he told us, before two hotheaded idiots entered the room. They panicked at the sight of our prisoner, and started shooting off wild curses.
I think that's what happened, anyway. It's all a blur. The Department is investigating them, and heaven help them if they have any Dark connections at all. Even though they deserve it, I can't help but feel a bit sorry for them, if they're innocent. If they're guilty, I hope the Department gets to them before Ron and I do.
One of their blasted curses caught Lucius's bonds. He was up and out of his chair before either of us could blink.
He shouted Crucio at Ron while the members of our own team made life difficult for me. Ginny, I swear, his legs just buckled under the pressure.
Everything seems so foggy now that I think about it. The only thing I can remember clearly is the expression that was on his face. I don't think I've ever seen anyone in that much pain. I had to stop it, stop Lucius, before Ron went insane.
I levitated one of the conveniently located bones, intending to knock Lucius out. At least, that's what I think I intended to do.
It did more than knock Lucius out. It killed him. I don't remember anything else, because I fainted.
God help me.
I thought that I had done my share for the wizarding world. I never wanted to have to be in one of those situations again, where I would have to fight for my life, for the lives of my friends.
Is it so wrong to want to rest?
Now someone is dead because of me. And not just anyone, someone who could have told us where Draco is.
I don't think I'll ever be able to relax until he's behind bars, or dead.
What kind of person does that make me?
They wanted to hospitalize Ron and I immediately, but Ron managed to talk them out of it. He said he was just fine, and I was conveniently out of it. It's amazing what a few well-placed curses and exhaustion will do to you.
Just this week, when they threatened to activate me again, Ron went to headquarters in my defense.
Let's just say that the Department really doesn't want to lose Ron. He's brilliant at what he does, not that I'd expect anything less of him.
Well, they finally saw that Ron couldn't walk in a straight line to save his life. We all know how much that Severe Charm did to him during sixth year, but the only person who can't face it is Ron.
The medi-wizard said it was a good thing that the Head of the Department made Ron go in, because it was getting harder and harder for him to walk. He might have lost the ability all together. Without Hermione, he's helpless, and he certainly wouldn't have listened to me.
As soon as Hermione found out about Ron, she ran over to St. Mungo's and gave him a talking to. I think they're both all sorted out now. She may have told him the news, or she may not have, but either way, they're talking to each other now.
And they all lived happily ever after.
Ginny, I'm bone-deep tired. Moving my quill across this paper is a supreme effort. Hedwig is looking very cross, and I take that to mean that I should stop writing and say good night, but when I write to you, it's almost like you're here, and you can put your arms around me and tell me it's going to be all right, and I can lean over and kiss you and make the world go away for us both.
Maybe that's the thing I miss most about not having you around, or it could be your laugh, which has this very wonderful musical quality. The other possibility is your eyes. Your wonderful brown eyes that tell me everything I need to know with a look.
The urge to write a sonnet about your eyes is a clear sign that the place I need to be is in bed. The place I want to be is with you. Now, if I could be in bed, and be with you, that'd be nice.
Really nice, come to think of it.
Hedwig's poking me with her beak. I fell asleep. Good-bye until next time.
I've taken to reading your letter at odd moments, and just now only have the time to write back to you. How horrible that is! When you need me most, I'm thinking of Slumber Potions and Patronus Charms.
I know that you'll say that I'm supposed to be thinking of those things, but I'd much rather be thinking of you. You're so much nicer.
Harry, I really don't think that active duty is a good idea. They're wearing you to the bone. I can see it in the wobbliness of the letters that you wrote. I can see it in the words that you choose.
You're still a wonderful person, Harry. You did what you did because you had to. Lucius would have killed Ron. I know it, and you know it.
I wish that you had told me the names of those agents that caused all of this. If they think that the Department is scary, I would have caused them to pass out. No one almost kills my brother and my boyfriend and gets away with it.
I'm expecting their names by the next letter.
My brother's pride has always been his downfall. I wasn't surprised to hear about him refusing to go to the medi-wizard. I love Ron, but I'm constantly surprised that Hermione hasn't killed him by now.
As for me, I know what I miss most about not having you around all the time. It's the way that you'll put your arm around me, and lay your head on my shoulder, even though you have to bend way down. Then you'll say something, and it doesn't have to be particularly brilliant, and just the sensation of your breath on my skin makes think that I could die of happiness. I also like the way you always touch me. It's like you can't get enough of the physical contact. It makes other girls jealous, and makes me very happy.
I wish I could be there, but I can tell you that it's going to be all right from here. I can also tell you that you and I are going to live happily ever after, because we won't settle for anything else.
I'm ignoring the comment about bed.
Get some sleep, love.
I'm always your,
I've taken to carrying your letter around with me everywhere. Even Sirius has noticed it, though he keeps the eye rolling to a minimum. I've been told Dad did the same thing with Mum's letters.
I've got a question to ask you, Ginny, now that your exams are over…
June 27, 1999
Potter's Engagement Announced!
Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley have finally announced their engagement, and although they were unwilling to give The Quibbler a date, they did tell this reporter that they're both, "extremely happy".
On the subject of Potter's recent engagement, Miss Pansy Parkinson was quoted as saying, "Our love affair could never last. Different houses and all that. I'm not hurt at all."
According to a reliable source, Miss Parkinson has maxed out her credit card buying Kleenexes.
The End! Well, it's been a wonderful time writing this story, and I'm sorry the last installment took so long. It took a desperate e-mail to three people to kick my writer's block in the bum. I never do anything by halves, and this was no exception.
It's time for acknowledgements.
Saint Anne of Canada beta'd all three chapters.
Seren also beta'd the last one. She's a really neat girl, who lets me get sneak peeks of her story. Of course, I beta it, but that's not really the point, right?
I want to thank Jess and Chelle for putting up with my non-stop whining about this story.
I want to thank Magoo42, a.k.a. Ami, for understanding about web comics and anime.
Stephen I want to thank for being a good friend, and for inspiring some Ron moments in the upcoming sequel. Also, I think he enjoys seeing his name in print. Just kidding, Steve. Just kidding. If I must do penance, PM me.
Also, I want to thank Monty Python. Without their help, I would have given up and cried a long time ago.
And now, for something completely different…
Silence from Chi.