The Dark Legacy
Chapter Ten: Love Lost
"Ron, will you please pass the mashed potatoes?" Violet asked sweetly.
Along the table, Mr. Weasley continued his conversation with Ginny, and in the doorway, Mrs. Weasley was fighting Kreacher over who would bring in desert. It was an argument that had lasted during their entire stay, which was now four days. Kreacher was delighted to have a family to cook for, but Mrs. Weasley kept trying to take over the kitchen and take part in the cooking process, which made Kreacher indignant and almost combative. The older Weasley brothers hadn't been able to join them at the house; they were too busy with their own lives.
Ginny, the youngest Weasley, had originally wanted to follow Ron and Harry into Auror training, but her parents hadn't been very happy with the idea and in the end she hadn't passed some of the aptitude tests. She was now training to be a field medi-witch, someone who would work very closely with Aurors in the future. She had taken a couple days away from school to visit Harry and her brother.
"Potatoes, Ron?" Violet said in the same sugary voice.
Ron continued to ignore her.
"Ron!" Mrs. Weasley reprimanded from the doorway. "Didn't I teach you manners? Hand the potatoes to the nice young lady!"
Ron turned tomato red. "Mum! I'm an adult now, don't talk to me like a small child!"
"Then don't behave with the manners of one! Pass the potatoes to Violet."
Ron passed the plate, but grumbled, "She's not a nice young lady. She could just have well asked Harry to pass the potatoes."
"Thank you, Ron," Violet said as if she didn't hear him. She glanced at Harry, eyes laughing. Harry tried to give her a stern expression, but ended up quirking a small smile.
Looking up, Harry saw that Ginny was carefully watching Harry and Violet during her conversation with her father. Seeing Harry looking at her, she gave him a special smile. Harry smiled back.
Harry wasn't surprised when after dinner, Ginny approached him. "I found some interesting heirlooms when I was exploring the house. Would you like to see them?" she asked.
"Sure," Harry said, following her. On the stairs, she took his hand and led him down into the basement level, which was filled mostly with storage boxes and old furniture. She had pulled a dusty sheet off of a large couch upholstered in brown velvet, and had been looking through some small boxes. Harry sat down and Ginny showed him some of her treasures. She had found old vintage jewelry, passed down for generations. There were magical watches and lockets filled with moving pictures of Sirius's ancestors. There was a strange large gaudy jewel with some kind of light inside that bounced around slowly, twinkling.
"Wow," Harry murmured.
"I'm so glad I got to see you these past few days," Ginny told him. "I've missed you."
"Me too," Harry said. He leaned over the box of treasures and gave her a long kiss. They moved the box and Ginny scooted closer to snuggle into his arms.
"Why did you invite Violet?" Ginny wondered. Harry could hear from the soft murmuring of her thoughts that she was worried about Harry being interesting in the beautiful brunette.
"She kind of invited herself," Harry said with a smile. "It's ok. She's a friend." Harry emphasized the word friend slightly.
"She doesn't seem very nice," Ginny said. "She just picks on Ron all the time."
Harry shrugged, and they shared another kiss. Ginny's thoughts quieted down to a low happy mumble.
"I just feel like I can share everything with you," Ginny whispered.
Harry blinked. "Oh," he said. Then he realized that was the wrong response.
"Do you feel the same way?" Ginny asked, concerned.
"Yes." Harry said quickly, "Of course."
She sat back. "There's something you're not telling me, is there? Does it have to do with Bastian? Are you doing alright?"
"In a way it has something to do with Bastian," Harry admitted. "There is something I've wanted to tell you. I want to be completely honestly with you, but I'm worried about how you will take it. "
"I won't ever let something come between us, Harry," Ginny promised. "You can tell me anything."
"And you won't tell anyone?"
"I can keep your secrets," Ginny said eagerly. Her expression was earnest.
"Alright," Harry said. "But it's really important you keep it secret." Ginny nodded. "This is kind of hard to believe but… When Voldemort died, part of his powers, part of what makes him a Dark Lord, got transferred to the new Dark Lord. The new Dark Lord is usually the person who kills the last one. That's why Voldemort tracked down the killed Grindelwald. The only way that the person who kills a Dark Lord escapes this transfer of power is if they have never touched a dark spell in their lives. They have to be completely pure of dark magic."
"Do you know who the new Dark Lord is?" Ginny asked.
"Well… Ginny I'm not exactly pure of dark magic. I've never misused any, but I do know a few spells." That was an understatement. The library of spell knowledge in his brain was growing nightly. "So in a way, it's me. Which is a good thing, because I'm not going to misuse those powers, and until I die they won't be transferred to anyone else. That way I keep a new Dark Lord from rising up as strong as Voldemort. There's more to the story of how this came to happen, but that's the important part."
"So you're saying you're a dark wizard?" Ginny asked.
"I suppose you could say that. Dark magic is just a tool; it's not actually bad unless I use it to harm people."
"And you're saying you're the new Dark Lord," she stated.
"What kind of powers do you have?"
"I can read minds, for one," Harry told her.
"Are you reading mine right now?" she asked.
Harry tuned into her thoughts, and was surprised by what he found there: raw panic. He realized that she was sitting completely still, her body stiff with fear.
"Its okay, Ginny," Harry said, reaching out to comfort her.
The second he touched her shoulder, she jumped to her feet. "What's happened to you Harry?!" she demanded. "Listen to yourself. 'Dark magic is just a tool'. Dark magic is dangerous! I thought you of all people would know that, Harry!"
"It's not as bad as it sounds—"
"It's exactly as bad as it sounds!" she interrupted, and burst into tears. She turned to run from him, but her way was blocked by a dark figure that stepped out of the darkness of the basement.
Ginny shrieked, and Harry jumped to his feet.
Ginny suddenly became still, turning back around. Her face was blank. The figure melted back into the darkness.
Suddenly Ginny seemed to wake up. Seeing Harry standing in front of her, she stepped towards him with a smile, tilted her face back and kissed him. Harry stood frozen. Ginny stepped back with a smile. Her smile faltered as she reached up and felt the wet tears on her face.
"Oh, how embarrassing," she said. "I better clean myself up." She turned and left the basement, footsteps even and calm as she took the steps one at a time. She quietly closed the door behind her.
Violet stepped out of the shadows, wand in hand.
"You obliviated her," Harry said in a dull, uncomprehending voice.
"I had to," Violet said. "Surely you see that." She had a concerned frown on her face. Her thoughts were in a dark grumbling mood.
"Why were you watching us?" Harry asked, realizing Violet had been watching him kiss Ginny.
"I let Bastian hurt you," Violet said. "I may not like that the Ministry is using me, but one thing they wanted me to do was make sure nobody wanted to hurt you. That I'll do gladly."
"So you're spying on me?"
Violet shook her head. "Not usually, no. But I had a bad feeling. I could see Ginny was trying to get you alone, and I know you liked her, but I couldn't imagine her understanding your secret. She didn't, and I don't think she ever will, Harry."
Harry felt frozen inside. It had always been Ginny for him, he felt differently about her then he felt for anyone he had like before. He knew that he would never leave Ginny's side willingly. She was courageous, and passionate. They'd never talked about it, but when Harry was done with his Auror training, they could have gotten married. This dreamed-of future, of Ginny as his wife and their children, faded.
It was not to be.
Harry knew he could never be dishonest with her, and what he was would never change. Would she come to accept it in time? He couldn't know, and he could risk it. If she reacted this way when he told her, he wouldn't even have a chance to convince her to listen more. Ginny was too stubborn, and she had a strong standard of right and wrong that worked against him.
Harry turned and threw the box of jewelry. Bits of metal bounced off the wood floor, sliding away into shadowy corners of the many aisles of storage. He growled frustration after them, wanting to scream. This was not supposed to have happened.
"It's okay," Violet said softly. "I can see you're hurting."
"Go away," Harry said, not caring. Violet left.
Harry sat by himself for an hour, miserable. When Harry finally went back upstairs, he found Ron with his parents.
"I'm ready to go back to Auror Training," he announced.
Mrs. Weasley got up to give him a hug. Stiffly, Harry let her. "I'm so glad you're feeling better!" she said. "We can all be off first thing in the morning. I'm glad we had a couple days together, even under the circumstances. But you're right; it's probably time for you to be back." Mr. Weasley agreed.
"Does Ginny know yet?" Ron asked.
Ron frowned. "Aren't you going to tell her?"
"No. One of you can do it." Harry left, despite Ron's disapproving expression.
Harry went to the small guest bedroom Violet had chosen for herself. He had spent a lot of time there. During the day Harry had spent time with Ron and sometimes Ginny, while Violet hovered nearby without participating. In the evenings and sometimes into the night, Harry visited Violet's room and they practiced Harry's mind reading, which was becoming more accurate, and Harry tried to control his shadow. Violet had given him animagus training exercises to do. Everyone else thought Harry was heading off to bed early.
"You're right," Harry said. Violet, sitting on the bed, just looked at him wordlessly. Harry left and went to bed.
Submerging himself in memories of his childhood was a relief. Memory Araeva took young Harry on side-long apparition, into a deep dangerous forest Harry had never been in before. There Araeva pointed out poisonous mushrooms as well as edible food, and they practiced moving quietly without disturbing the often dangerous wildlife. There were big shadowy creatures, and moving plants. At one point Harry wandered away and was suddenly surrounded by a group of five vampires, hunting. They surrounded him, drawing in closer with fangs sliding out over their white, bloodless lips. Their eyes were piercing red.
Young, naïve Harry watched them curiously approach, feeling a small note of alarm. When one reached out to touch him, Araeva was suddenly standing in the trees nearby.
"Careful with the kid," Araeva said in a low voice. "I have plans for him."
Seeing Araeva, the Vampires fled. They were suddenly and immediately gone.
It occurred to sleeping Harry how dangerous the woods were, and how easy he could have died there. But young Harry, almost eight years old, had such complete faith in his mentor that the danger didn't bother him. He followed Araeva trustingly through the trees for several hours more.
The sunlight, falling through a crack in Harry's curtains and over his bed, waking him, was not welcome. In fact, Harry couldn't remember a time he had been less happy to wake up. He knew he had to get out of the house; it was torture for him here, knowing Ginny was nearby. He wanted to be back at Deeperbourg where he would be distracted by the demanding training.
Harry ate breakfast early, to avoid the others, but Ginny still managed to corner him as he brought his small bag down the stairs.
"Harry," she said quietly, blocking his path. "Why didn't you tell me yesterday you wanted to leave?"
Harry shrugged. "I'm feeling better. I have to get back at some point."
"I know…" she said hesitantly. Then she sighed and stepped closer for a goodbye kiss. Harry didn't.
Ginny frowned. "What is it?"
"Ginny, you know I care for you," Harry began to say, seeing shock in her eyes. "But I don't think it's the same between us anymore."
She was quiet for a few seconds "Was it something I did?"
"No. Just the distance, is all."
"Is it Violet?" Ginny asked as her expression darkened. "They've probably been together all this time at Auror training," Ginny thought, "That's probably why Ron hates her."
Harry hesitated contemplatively. "Yes," he said finally. "I've found someone else." Harry knew it was cruel, but he forced himself to look into her face. It was the best way to clearly end it once and for all. He didn't want to leave Ginny hanging. She was pretty, and intelligent. She would find someone to comfort her.
Ginny burst into tears, and turned and fled down the stairs. And the bottom, she passed Ron, who watched her go.
When Harry caught up to him, Ron had an angry expression. "What was that all about, mate?"
"We broke up."
Ron looked confused. "I wasn't expecting that… I thought Harry felt the same way about my sister as I feel about Hermione?"
Harry moved on before Ron could ask what happened. He said goodbye to Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, and then he and Ron stepped outside the front door where Violet was already waiting for them. The three of them apparated away, to the large open field in front of Deeperbourg. They immediately went inside and dropped off their bags, parting ways to change into the MOAT uniforms and get ready for their first day back.
Deeperbourg was quieter and more wary than they had left it. All the instructors told Harry they were glad to see him back, and the students waved excitedly. Ron avoided Harry, and Harry avoided Ron, but Violet appeared quietly at Harry's side as he walked out to join the other students.
Ron was already standing with Jack and Neville.
"Glad to see you back," Neville said. "Since you three left we've been only doing review. It was a nice break, but I kind of enjoy all the challenging stuff. It would have been terrible if you'd survived Voldemort only for some arrogant dark wizard wannabe to do you in."
Jack frowned at him. "That was a little callous, Neville."
"Oh. Sorry mate."
"Perfect timing, you three," Frederik Friedenwald said in his booming voice, appearing in front of them all. "It's time to get back to business. We're one person short at the moment, but Ron's new partner will be arriving tomorrow!"
Everyone looked at each other in surprise.
"You're replacing Bastian?" Ron asked.
"Of course," Friedenwald replied. "We can't have uneven teams now, can we? Don't worry Ron, we've checked out this one thoroughly, and he had to undergo a short Veritaserum interrogation to assure he didn't mean anyone at the school any harm. Today we will work on Stealth and Tracking in magical forest environments, but that will be tomorrow topic: Interrogation."
They all asked, but he wouldn't say anything more about the new trainee.