DISCLAIMER – Harry? Hermione? Anyone with a surname of Weasley? Not mine.
A/N – well, it has most certainly been a long time since my last update. But recently someone rediscovered my other fic, New Beginnings and Old Wounds, and left reviews that kind of revitalized my interest in it. As a result, I began thinking once more of all that I had had planned for Hidden Scars – and this is the result. Enjoy the next chapter of…
"Are you sure it'll be in here, Hermione?" asked Ginny as she handed the Ancient Runes textbook to her friend.
"Well, no," said Hermione uneasily, "But it's worth a try, isn't it?" She began flipping through the pages restlessly. "Oh, here it is," she said at last. Her eyes quickly scanned the passage, and then she looked up.
"No…it doesn't tell us anything we don't already know," she whispered, defeated.
"Children! Breakfast is on the table!" called Mrs. Weasley.
The three of them looked at each other. "Well…" said Ginny.
"Looks like we'll have to tell Dumbledore," said Ron.
"Wait…" said Hermione. "Why not just…tell your mum?"
Ron and Ginny gaped at her.
"What?" she demanded. "She's in the Order, is she not? She goes out on assignment, she knows what's going on, doesn't she? What did you think she was, the Order's housekeeper?"
"Er – well – yeah, I suppose," Ron confessed, his ears burning.
"Listen, both of you," Hermione said firmly, "A lot could have been stopped this year if Harry had just told someone what he was seeing, or if Dumbledore had just told Harry about the prophecy. It's time to stop hiding things that may come back to bite us later."
There was a moment's silence. Then Ron said, "Fair enough," and walked out the door and down the steps, aware that Hermione and Ginny were right behind him.
As they emerged into the kitchen, Mrs. Weasley appeared, holding a plate of sausages. "Good morning, dears," she said warmly.
"Morning, Mum," Ginny said softly as the three of them seated themselves.
"Er – Mum?" said Ron, mustering up his courage.
"Yes, Ronnie?" she asked as she joined them, and added a few sausages to her plate.
"I have to tell you something," Ron said in a strangled voice.
"Go on," said Mrs. Weasley, eating her sausage unawares.
"It's about the night in the Department of Mysteries."
Mrs. Weasley's forked stopped halfway to her mouth. "What - ?"
Ron drew in a deep breath. "Whenever anyone touches my scars, I get these weird visions of someone's memories…and we reckon that they're You-Know-Who's memories. We reckon it was his brain what attacked me at the Ministry."
Mrs. Weasley stared at him. "What kind of visions, Ron?" she asked in a would-be calm voice.
Ron closed his eyes. "I see out of You-Know-Who's eyes in them…in one of them, I killed You-Know-Who's dad and grandparents…and in the other…I killed Harry's mum," he finished, eyes still closed.
No one moved, though Mrs. Weasley looked stricken.
"Well. That certainly sounds like the work of You-Know-Who…I ought to tell this to the Order straight away," she said, standing and exiting. "Thank you for telling me, Ronnie," she said just before she left the room.
"That didn't go too badly," Hermione offered.
"And now they may be able to do something about it," said Ginny encouragingly.
Ron weakly picked up his fork and speared a sausage. "Just hope it's worth something," he said. He would feel stupid if his visions ended up being harmless.
For a moment they ate in silence, before Hermione broke it once again. "How is your Mum talking to the Order?" she said thoughtfully. "Are they still patrolling the Floo Network?"
"Sure, but for the opposite reasons now," said Ginny. "I heard Dad and Percy talking about it, they're watching the fires to see if any of Voldemort's supporters are communicating."
"That's good news," said Hermione approvingly.
Just then, Mrs. Weasley returned. "I've just spoken to Remus, and he said he'd be sure to pass on the word to Dumbledore, but apparently something's just happened at Grimmauld Place, and they're sending Harry straight over."
"What?" Ginny exclaimed. "I only just got a letter from him, saying he'd be going to Grimmauld Place!"
"Owls travel slower than Portkeys, dear," said Mrs. Weasley vaguely. "And he's only been there a short time…but Remus wouldn't say what the disturbance was, maybe Harry will have some news – "
There was a knock at the door to the Burrow.
"Um. That was fast." Hermione sounded clearly impressed as Mrs. Weasley bustled away to the door, reappearing mere seconds with the familiar form of a black-haired, green-eyed teenager.
"Morning," he said feebly.
"Harry, what's happening?" Ginny asked immediately.
Harry shook his head, still in disbelief. "I'd been inside for all of five minutes, when all of a sudden Snape comes barreling through the door and gasps out, 'There's something wrong with the Dark Lord!' and he saw me standing there and said, 'It's because of you, and Ginny Weasley! Leaving parts of himself on you is spreading his power too thin, he's weakening!' And then the rest of the Order dragged him away and Remus told me it would be best for me to leave for a bit, and tell you what's going on." He shook his head, still trying to process the information.
Everything seemed to be happening at once.
"Me?" Ginny asked in a small voice. When Harry had said 'Ginny Weasley,' she reacted as though she had been slapped.
Harry nodded wordlessly. "I guess…it's taxing on him, to have himself spread out across three different people."
"Four," Hermione breathed in terror.
Harry turned to her.
But Hermione, Ginny and Mrs. Weasley were looking at Ron. "Four," Hermione repeated. "Four people…Ginny, when's the last time you had a peek into Voldemort's memories?"
"Few months ago…in a dream," said Ginny.
"And you, Harry?"
"Not since…not since the night at the Department of Mysteries," said Harry dully.
"But he's only become aware of this recently, hasn't he?" Hermione said, her voice shaking. "It's only started weakening him now, hasn't it? And what's changed?"
Ron stared at her. "Me," he said. "It's because a new person's started sapping his strength. I've had two visions in the last two days."
"And besides which," said Hermione, looking terrified, "If the three of you all have access to his memories…maybe he's got memories of things that he wants to keep secret from the Order, things he doesn't want anyone to see…he's going to need to get rid of you. All of you."
"Would anyone mind explaining to me what's going on?" Harry said angrily.
"All in due time, Harry dear," said Mrs. Weasley, looking sick. "But I think…we should first get you all to safety."
"Mum – where are we going?" asked Ginny timidly.
Mrs. Weasley had packed a large bag of things, mostly edible, and had lead the four teenagers outside through the backdoor. As she strode purposefully into the woods behind the Burrow, Ron, Hermione, Ginny and Harry had not spoken a word, but merely followed her.
"We're going to our shelter," she said.
Ron goggled at her. "We've got…a shelter?"
"Of course we do, most wizard families have got one," said Mrs. Weasley impatiently. "Don't you think your father and I would have made provisions for your safety?"
"I guess," said Ron, still mildly surprised.
Finally they reached a small circle where there were no trees. "Look closely, children, in case you'll have to come here again on your own," said Mrs. Weasley as she bent down to the earth and began searching for something.
Ron, Hermione, Ginny and Harry exchanged a dark four-way glance.
"Ah, here it is," she said, pushing a large log away, and, having located what appeared to be a sort of seam in the ground, she looked up at them.
"What you need to do is stick a wand into the crack," she said in a low voice. "It doesn't activate any magic, so no one can trace it, but it'll still open at the presence of a wand core." Then she stuck her own wand into the crack.
Immediately the ground lifted, as though on a hidden hinge, and the five of them were looking down into a sort of shelter. A ladder lead down into it – Ron could see that it wasn't just one room, but lead off into other darkened chambers. "What's down there?" he asked.
"There are supplies for light, food, and even communication. But pay attention. Once you get in, the shelter will seal itself against any intruders. The only way to make is accessible again is to put your wand in the crack from below," said Mrs. Weasley in a business-like tone. "But even if you're down there and hear, for example, my voice, don't open it. I could be talking to you because a Death Eater's wand is at my back. And there are ways to bewitch your voice to make it sound like someone else's, besides. So we've made up a sort of code – only open the shelter if you hear one of our voices saying, 'All's clear, nothing to fear.' Do you understand me? Only if you hear that phrase."
"Yes, Mum," said Ginny, looking shaken.
"Stay here for a bit…maybe I'm overreacting, but better safe than sorry, wouldn't you say?" asked Mrs. Weasley. "I'm going to go to Grimmauld Place and tell them in more detail what we know. I'd bring you, but right now I'm more concerned about your safety. Just stay and wait, alright? I think we left a very old wizard chess set down there…" She looked at them expectantly, but with a tinge of anguish. "Go on, get in," she said.
Seeing his mother's emotional state, Ron descended the ladder into the shelter. He had never felt so odd – so much was happening at once that his brain had not yet caught up, wasn't adjusted. He watched Hermione's progress down the ladder, then Harry's, and finally Ginny's.
"I'll be back soon," said Mrs. Weasley with a weak smile, and then she shut the shelter cover, leaving them in absolute darkness.
A/N – okay. BUT IT WILL STILL GET BETTER, I PROMISE. And sorry that was so short, but such is what happens when you're trying to write two completely different fics at once.