Rachel E. Thompson
Web page: www.racheview.com
Disclaimer: Alas, I don't own Harry and Co.
Summary: Voldemort won and imprisoned the world under his regime. Now six years later, a new resistance called Lils struggles on their crusade to free the world again. So where does Ginny Weasley fit in? H/G, R/HG, N/L. OoTP Spoilers.
Author's Note: This is my sugar baby fic! It practically spawned on its own, and I've been possessed to finish it ever since. So here it is, my mauling of a classic tale by J.K. Rowling.
Chapter Eight. The Secret of Lils
Cold darkness surrounded her. An unforgiving pressure curled around her heart and squeezed the life from her very body. Her blood swam loudly through her ears. Ginny panted heavily, she found it difficult to properly breathe. She gagged, as she tried to move away from whatever was killing her. Her fingers clawed at the cool marble floor. She knew exactly where she was, the Chamber of Secrets. Her dark eyes roved upwards. Though she couldn't see him, she knew Tom Riddle was near. She could feel his forceful presence as clearly as her own. Ginny knew she had to get out of the chamber.
"Oh no…" She growled between her teeth. "No, no!" Her heartbeat quicken, as a wave of dark fear crept into her soul. 'I have to get out of here! Now! If I don't, I'll die! I can't die!' She thought wildly. Ginny whimpered, as she continued to pull her weaken body across the ground.
But the nightmare intensified.
Something emerged from the floor and latched onto her ankle! She jerked her head downwards to see a skeleton hand. She could see rotten flesh still clung to it. Ginny grimaced as she sat up, and tried to free herself. "Let go!"
Another hand materialized from the floor and grabbed onto her right wrist. Startled, she screamed as it begun to tug her downward. She abandoned her ankle and tried to free her captured arm. Only more hands ascended from the blackness the floor had become. Her eyes widen in horror, the chamber had morphed before her very eyes. Now it resembled the depths of hell.
The hands' owners had also become apparent, as maggot-infested skeletons. The putrid corpses laughed and hissed up at her. There were thousands of them, and each grabbed at a piece of Ginny. She screamed as she twisted around and tried to fight their pull. If she let them win… She'd die!
"No!" She sobbed, as tears came to her eyes. "No! Stop! Help! Someone help! Someone help me!" She pleaded to the stillness above. It would not answer, but instead the laughter below grew deafening.
The thudding of her heart intensified, until that was all she could hear. Her body warned of oxygen depravation. Her eyes burned and begun to close of their own will. Her strength was bled from her body. The demons continued to draw her down into death.
Suddenly the hands were gone. The pressure to her heart vanished. Her heartbeat settled into a steady, calm rhythm. The air cleared and allowed her to breathe large beautiful breaths of air. The darkness was lit with glorious rays of sunshine that kissed her chilled skin. It would be all right.
"Wake up, Ginny. Wake up!"
Unexpectedly, she heard a soft whimper, like a dog's.
Gradually, Ginny opened her eyes, to see James nestled under her chin. She blinked the sleep from her vision, as she stared down at her snoozing son. He wasn't the source of the whine. "What's going on?" She asked tiredly, as she rubbed at her face.
Only then, did her sleepy brain register a dog's growl. The redhead turned to see a very upset Border Collie. The hairs had risen along the sheepdog's spine. He continued to snarl at something beyond the closed doorway. Lils came to her side, before he let out another worried moan. "Lils? What's wrong?"
Ginny felt a wave of fear rise in her throat. Her heart resumed a mad pace, as her body came alive with the sense of danger. Only now that she was awake, she knew what caused it. "Dementors!" She cried softly, as she sat up. "James! James, get up. Get up now."
The boy groaned and rubbed at his eyes. "Mum? What?"
Ginny's hand moved under her pillow, to retrieve her wand. "Up, James! Get up! Hurry!" She moved silently to the closed door and listened for movement outside. Ginny couldn't hear anything. At her side, Lils scratched at the door and growled again.
"What's going on, mum?"
She hushed James. "I need you to be quiet. Come here, quickly." Fear came to his large green eyes, as he gripped her hand tightly.
The redhead swallowed hard as she brought up her wand. Here it was, the moment of truth. She slowly cracked opened the door. No sooner had she, then did Lils shoot out of the small opening. "Lils!" She hissed after the creature. The sheepdog growled fiercely, as he charged towards the lobby. He scratched at the door and demanded to be let out of the flat.
"I have to get everyone up." She told herself firmly. The witch went into the first room next to hers. It happened to be her eldest brother's. "George! Wake up! Wake up!" She snapped at the sleeping George, who slowly woke from a troubled sleep.
"Ginny? What in the name of Merlin…?" He groused, but sat slowly up. "What's going on here? What's all the fuss?" The witch noted even in the dim light, that he was sweating from a nightmare.
"Dementors, George! Now get your lazy arse up!"
George jumped from the bed and fumbled for his wand. "Dementors, you say? Well, that explains the bloody nightmare." He mumbled, as he walked past her. He was visibly shaken from the effects of the dark creatures.
His sister glanced down at her upset son, before she followed. "George! Quick, I'll w-wake R-Ron…" She told him, as a tremble developed in her voice. "Get R-Remus…" Her brother nodded. Ginny drug her son towards the couple's room. She pushed opened the door to the darken bedroom. "R-Ron! Hermione! W-wake up! Dementors!"
"Huh?" Came Ron's sleepy reply, while Hermione sat up straight away, obviously a lighter sleeper.
Ginny winched, as Azalea screamed in her crib, no doubt scared of the Dementors. "Azalea!" The sightless mother cried, as she picked the baby up. Hermione turned back to the redhead witch, "You're r-right, Ginny… I f-feel cold… Ron! Up, now!"
Ron grumbled under his breath, "A chocolate frog would be bloody nice about now." He reached for his wand on the nightstand, his movements very jerky. His blue eyes wide with fright, but his voice was steady. "Awright, we have to get you out of here. Just to be safe."
"Ron?" George asked frantically, before he poked his head in. "You awake yet, lad?"
Ron nodded to his brother's question. "Yeah, I'm awake, you ol' codger." He stepped past Ginny and James. "I'll guard the front, get the girls out of here."
"Come on, you lot." George told the women, as he turned and headed towards the living space. "Make it quick."
"W-where we goin' now, mum?"
"I don't know, James." Ginny whispered, as she glanced down at her son. He lifted his arms in a silent motion to be held. She smiled tightly, "Up w-we go, love." She picked him up and cradled him close. She could vaguely hear Hermione place a silencing charm on Azalea's shrilly wails.
The brunette answered her nephew's question. "R-Ron and George h-had a safe h-house set up just in case of emergencies…" Hermione drew in a deep breath to calm her fears, and it seemed to work. "W-we'll be secure there… However, we're going to miss our w-window to New York."
"That's enough chit-chatting," Ron grumbled from behind the women, he gestured up towards the living room. "Get going!" Ginny turned and did just that. Behind her, Hermione hesitated, but her husband playfully hit her on the behind.
"Go on, Hermione. It'll be all right. Move it now."
In the living room, George stoked the fire in the massive fireplace. "Incendio."
Ginny's eyes were draw away, to the frantic movements of Molly Weasley. Her mother clawed at her chest, as if she couldn't breathe properly. She stared at the elder witch, who murmured complete nonsense.
"Mum? What is it? What's wrong with her?!"
"It's alright, Ginny." Remus called to her, when he entered the main room. He escorted Hermione towards the fireplace. "Even the soulless are affected by Dementors." Ginny felt her stomach lurch. The werewolf went on, but directed his words towards George. "We don't have much time. There's five, maybe seven Death Eaters… That number sure to grow if they think we might fight… I couldn't tell how many Dementors. They're all getting ready to barge into Lils Inn at any moment."
"YOU INSIDE!" A male's voice boomed from outside the inn. "YOU ARE CHARGED WITH BREAKING THE FIFTH AMENDMENT OF LORD VOLDERMORT'S MAGIC BAN ACT! YOU HAVE ILLEGALLY USED MAGIC WITHOUT AUTHORIZATION! YOU ARE TO COME OUT, WITHOUT YOUR WANDS! IF YOU DO NOT ABIDE BY THESE TERMS, YOU WILL SUFFER IMMEDIATE AND NON-NEGOTIABLE TERMINATION! YOU HAVE THREE MINUTES TO COMPLY!"
"Like we won't be killed anyways?" George asked deliriously. "The moment those bastards find out who we really are, we're dead!"
"This is all my fault!" Ginny moaned in self-disgust. "It was all those bloody transfiguration spells!"
"Too late to worry about it now, Ginny. We should be counting our blessings that it took them this long to find us." There was a hint of disappointment in Remus's voice. The redhead looked away in shame. 'How could I be so stupid?!' She thought angrily, as she glanced down at a terrified James.
"George," Remus called. "You said there was a way out of here?"
"Floo?" Ginny asked in surprise, "I thought the Floo network was shut down by Voldemort…"
"It was," Hermione replied, with a ghost of a smile. "However, we of the Lils Resistance have ways of getting around little things like that."
"SIXTY SECONDS REMAINING!"
"Hurry up, you lot!" Ron shouted from down the hall. "They're getting ready to do something nasty!"
"No time to explain," George cried, "Hermione, you first!"
That wasn't out of his mouth a second, before a loud crash came from the hall! A ball of fire exploded through the walls! The building couldn't hold and the corridor crumbled. At her side, James screamed, while Ginny covered his body to protect him. Splinters of wood and sparks hit her back. It didn't take long before black smoke filled the flat, with red flames that swarmed towards the room.
"F-all!" George roared, as he stepped away from protecting his mother. "They would fight dirty like that!"
Nearby him, Hermione pulled herself from Remus's shielding arms. She whirled towards the direction she knew the hall used to be. "RON!"
"There's no time!" George snapped, and caused Ginny to shiver at his harshness. The redhead witch turned to look in the direction Ron had been. Remus battled the fire, and called out to the missing Weasley.
When Ginny heard a commotion behind her, she turned back to see George push Hermione towards the fireplace. "Hermione! Get the ruddy hell in there!"
His sister-in-law was sobbing, and fighting him. "NO!" She shouted up at him, "I can't leave Ron!"
"Hermione, do as the man says!" Ron's gruff voice came from behind them. "Get going!"
Hermione stilled at the voice, and grinned through her tears. "Ron!"
Ron, sooty and bloody, stumbled out of the wreckage. In his arms was a grubby Lils. The dog seemed all right when he was dropped to the ground. Remus, who was the closest, helped the injured Weasley over to them. "I'm awright." He sniffed, "Just got nicked with a I-beam, is all, not like it hasn't happened before." George shook his head at this. "Enough fancying about. Hermione, go! George, take Mum next!"
Ginny whirled around to watch as Hermione rushed into the fireplace. She tightened her hold on Azalea. The brunette threw down some floo powder then clearly shouted, "Marigold Hills!" In a puff of green smoke the mother and daughter were gone.
"Come on, mum." George grabbed his mother at the elbow, he ushered the still distraught Molly into the fireplace. He looped his left arm around her, as he took some of the floo powder from Remus. He said, "Hurry, you lot. Marigold Hills!"
"You're next, Ginny!" Remus shouted back towards her. The redhead nodded and rushed over to them, in her arms James shook violently. She kissed his forehead before she whispered, "Hold on tight, James."
As Ginny was about to enter the fireplace, there came a loud whine. It sounded like a large object, as it cut through the air. Then there was a thunderous crash of wood cracking. Not a second after, a red fireball hurtled into the room! She only had a fraction of a second to move aside! "F-ing all!" Ron was heard, as he grabbed her. He flung James and Ginny safely backwards. Her son cried out when they hit the ground. While his mother felt lightheaded from the sudden shift in location.
Debris loudly crashed to the ground, after the impact of the fireball. Then there was nothing but a strange stillness. The redhead witch grimaced, as a body moved underneath her. James sobbed and clutched at her neck. "James?" She wheezed around a vicious coughing fit. Ginny could hardly make him out in the smoke. "You all right?"
"Mum! I'm scared!"
"Ginny." Ron's weary voice came from her side, before he struggled to get himself to stand. "Get up, we have to get out of here, before the whole place falls apart!" He then erupted into his own coughing fit.
Ginny nodded and stood on her wobbly feet. She assessed the damage. James looked all right, soot covered and maybe bruised, but fine. Her brother though, had gained a few burns from his act of heroism. What worried her was the nasty gash to his forehead that oozed with blood. "Ron, your head!"
He groaned and pressed his hand to his forehead, "That ruddy hurt!"
A blacken Remus called out to them, the family whirled to the werewolf. He favored his left shoulder, but otherwise appeared all right. When Ginny looked closer at his wound, she could see a large black spot of blood. "You three all right over there?"
"Fine," Ron called around a coughing fit. "The floo is out! Shit!" He stared at the collapsed fireplace. "We have to find another way out!" Her brother suddenly looked struck with an idea. "We could apparated out of here!"
Ginny whirled on him, "Not with James, Ron! He'll be splinched!"
"Well what do you suggest?! We can't stay here, Ginny!"
"We won't!" Remus called out to them, before he struggled with his injured arm. He lifted his wand and pointed it at the far, but remaining wall. He muttered a spell, before the drywall exploded outwards to form a makeshift door. "Will that do?"
"Bloody brilliant!" Ron crowed, his eyes a lit. "Let's get out of here!"
They all rushed to the hole and peered out into the darkness. Another brick wall blocked their view, which belonged to the healer's shop next-door. Thankfully, there was a small alleyway between the inn and the store. It would just be enough space to escape from the blazing wreckage.
"I'll go first and head off any dangers," Remus ordered the siblings, "Ginny, you and James follow. Ron take the rear, and watch your back." The brother and sister nodded tensely.
Remus pulled himself over the wall and disappeared outside. The werewolf looked around with his heightened senses, when it was clear, he motioned them to follow. "All right. Quickly, and stay quiet." He whispered to them.
Once outside, Ginny sucked in a breath of glorious fresh air. She encouraged her son to do the same. James loosened his arms around her, but continued to cough the smoke from his lungs. She glanced up at Remus, who stared out of the face of the alley, but stilled remained in the shadows. "It's no good, they're waiting for us out there."
Behind the mother, Ron cursed. "Hell… We don't have much of a choice, Remus! If we wait in here, we'll be blasted to death! Not much of a alternative, if you ask me."
"Maybe not. I could rig us up a Portkey." The werewolf responded evenly. The Weasley siblings exchanged a worried look. Portkeys took time to make, and that's something they didn't have.
Before her older brother could argue, Ginny interjected. "Do it, it's the best chance we got…" She then gently extracted her son from her arms. She set him down near Lils. The boy tried to hang on to her. "No, darling. Wait here, Jamie."
James looked terrified with the separation from his mother. He watched Ginny rise back up, and pull her wand from her skirt's pocket. Meanwhile, the sheepdog gave the child a nudge in the arm. The dark haired boy turned to the Border Collie for comfort.
"Ron and I'll guard the front." Ginny firmly said. "Get to work on the portkey, Remus." The men gave her a worried look, but nodded in agreement. The three adults switched places.
"I need something to use…" Remus muttered to himself. She glanced back to see him frantically look around the alley. He spotted Lils, but the former professor gave the animal a funny look. Ginny frowned in confusion, as she witnessed the bizarre little exchange. 'What's wrong? Can he tell what Lils is? Better yet, who he is?'
Lupin shook his head. He cautiously reached for the sheepdog's collar. The Border Collie didn't back away from the wizard, but looked at him questionably. "If I may…?" The dog seemed to understand, because he untangled himself from James, and then went to the werewolf. He allowed Remus to take the leather choker from around his neck.
With a final strange glance towards Lils, Remus began the incantation.
"Ginny, get up here." Ron ordered his sister. Ginny glanced back towards him, and then nodded. She tipped-toed up to the face of the alley, and peered out at their odds. Remus was right, it didn't look good.
Out there, under the harsh glow of the streetlights, were no less then fifteen Death Eaters. Behind them, the Mr. L. Johnson stood. He was waving his arms, as he spoke loudly. "I still want my money!"
"That no good bastard sold us out!" Ron snarled. "When I get my hands on him…"
"There's no helping it now, Ron." Ginny calmed him, while her eyes moved to more pressing matters. She spotted three dementors that hung in the back, awaiting orders. Though, what truly caught her attention was the man in front of the small army. An elder, bleach blonde wizard, Lucius Malfoy. She had grown to hate that man over the years.
"You'll be paid, Mr. Johnson, once we have the criminals in our hands. Not before."
"That wasn't part of the bargain!"
"Please, kindly keep your face, sir. If you recall, Mr. Johnson," Lucius sneered in his pompous voice. "We did not, in fact, need your assistance. The offenders gave their location away quite plainly enough. You should count yourself lucky that I'm willing to pay you half of what you demanded, if anything at all."
"Half! Why you no good snake!" L. Johnson reached in his robes, for presumably his wand.
A faceless Death Eater beat him to the draw. "Avada Kedarva!" Green light spouted from the wand and hit the traitor full in the chest. Johnson collapsed on the cobblestones, and didn't get up. Lucius sniffed at the smoldering body, before he stepped over it. His cold blue eyes narrowed on the inn.
"I've seen enough, send the Dementors in." Lucius commanded his band of death wizards. His voice biting and hard, "I want Potter's bitch alive, understand? Dispose of the rest."
"Shit, here we go." Ron whispered at her side. His wand lifted slightly higher. "Be ready, Ginny."
Lucius addressed the Dementors. "Go. Do not take the woman's soul. The rest are yours to deal with as you please. Understand?" The demons inclined their heads as an answer.
All consuming terror rose in Ginny's throat as the dementors approached. It wouldn't take long for them to be found. The beasts of Dark Magic had the uncanny ability to sniff out their prey. It had always help to hunt down escape convicts from Azkaban. The dementors would find them.
There were the soft sounds of feet and cloth, as they scraped across cobblestones. They approached the little alleyway! 'They know where we are!' Ron glanced pleadingly towards Remus. The werewolf bleakly shook his head, he continued to quietly rig the portkey.
Her brother readied himself for one hell of a fight. Ron smiled faintly towards his sister. He then turned back to the site of the coming battle. Ginny squared her shoulders and tightened her sweaty fingers on her wand. She closed her eyes, and called on her happy thoughts to summon her Patronus.
It didn't take long, as a lone cloak figure floated by the entrance. In the eerie glow of the streetlamps, the Dementor appeared more demonic then usual. The beast of Dark Magic came to a slow halt, while two more came to a sluggish stop behind it. The leader slowly turned its hooded head in their direction, Ginny's brown eyes widen in horror, as their unseen eyes looked directly at her!
A horrible vision overtook her. Lifeless green eyes stared up at her from a layer of muddy water. "Harry," She whispered, and squeezed her eyes shut. She tried to will the image of misery out of her mind. Still, the vision of Harry Potter's death refused to go. 'No! I won't fall for this! I'm only seeing this because of the Dementors! I'm stronger then this! Think a happy thought! Happy thought!'
That's when it went from bad to worse. Remus called out to her son, "Jamie!" A pale James collapsed to the ground, much the way Harry had. The werewolf rushed up to the fallen boy and shook him. "James! Stay strong, lad!"
Ginny would not have a chance to go to her son, because the Dementors chose that moment to attack. She spun around when Ron readied his Patronus. His silver-white-eagle dive-bombed the magical beasts. The bird of prey swooped and propelled the demons back. "Ginny, I need your help here!"
"Alright!" Ginny cried, and struggled to remember a happy memory. 'Happy. I need something happy! Wait…' Her eyes opened and shifted towards her fallen son.
"Mum, I got stung by those bees again!" In her mind, a golden-honey-covered James stood in front of her. His eyes alit with pride, as he wore his bee sting like a medal of honor.
She whirled back around, a determine look came over her face. She knew what made her happier then anything else. James. "Expecto Patronum!" From her wand, a ghostly leopard materialized. The wild cat let out a vicious snarl, before it charged at the closest dementor! It rancorously drove it back.
"Remus," Ron shouted, as he paused to catch his breath. "How's that portkey coming?!"
"I just need a little more time!" Remus called out to them, "I'm almost finished!"
That's when the bad upped a notch. Lils began to madly bark. Ginny glanced back at the dog, to see what had it so upset. Her eyes widen, as she gasped. "Oh shit!"
The flames from inside the inn had spread during the fight. The building gave a dangerous low moan, as it threatened to cave in. "We can't stay here! The building is about to go! We'll be killed if it falls!"
Remus glanced at the inn, then nodded in agreement. "She's right!" He grabbed up James, "Run for it!"
Ron nodded to the order, "Okay! We'll cover you! Just get that damn portkey working!"
Ginny swallowed hard, as she exchanged another glance with her brother. Here went everything. She nodded and they both darted out into the street, with Remus and Lils right behind them.
"THERE THEY ARE!" A Death Eater shouted. "I see them!"
Ron wasted no time, and hexed an approaching Death Eater. His sister noted that he didn't have any qualms against using an Unforgivable. She kept to the legal forms of magic. She aimed her wand at a Death Eater and shouted, "Stupefy!"
Behind her, she heard Remus sprint off towards freedom. Her attention was diverted forward when a stunner came an inch from her body. Ginny yelped and dodged to the side.
"Ginny!" Ron suddenly shouted over to her, "I got an idea! When I say run, do it!"
"Awright!" Ron turned his wand towards the Lils Inn. "Cover me!"
The building had enfolded into a fiery blaze. Smoke pillowed up into the nighttime sky. The heat could be felt even at the siblings growing distance. That's when her brother shouted something, and a stream of red magic hit the inn. "Run!" He suddenly turned and grabbed Ginny's hand. He tugged her into a full out sprint. Up ahead, she could see Remus pause. Ron motioned the elder wizard to keep running, "RUN!"
Not a second later, Ron's plan took action.
Kaboom! Ginny and Ron were thrown forward by a powerful shockwave!
Ginny let out a startled scream as she flew threw the air!
In the course of it, her wand flew from her fingers and rolled away into the shadows. She wasn't thinking so much of that, because gravity grabbed her again and slammed her into the ground. The young mother grunted, as she rolled several times, before she came to a shaky stop. Ginny groaned, as she pushed herself up to see what had happened. When she did, her eyes widen. "Sweet Merlin!"
Where Lils Inn and a good portion of the street had stood, was nothing but an inferno! Any unfortunate soul that had remained in front of the hotel, had been eaten up in the blaze. Including the Dementors, who screamed and shrieked as they hurried away! Everywhere she looked, she could see nothing, but flames. It looked as if hell had arisen within Diagon Alley.
"Bloody hell…" Ron mumbled some distance away. He slowly rolled off his back and sat up. "That hurts every time!" He laughed then, and shook his head. "I'm brilliant."
She gawked at him, "You've done that before? Are you mental?!"
"Well. Beats getting killed, now doesn't it?" He glanced back at her before he smirked, "Come on, we have to get out of here." He stumbled to his feet. He walked to her, then yanked his startled sister up. Ginny gasped, as her wobbly legs were force into action. Ron shouted up to the werewolf, who was hurrying back to the siblings. "Remus! How's that portkey?!"
"I'm almost finished!" Remus answered. "WHAT exactly was that?"
"Ohh… Just something me and George thought up."
Ginny ignored them, as she pulled her revived son from Remus's shoulder. She hugged the boy to her chest. "Oh Jamie! I was so worried!" James still shivered from the leftover effects of the Dementors. "It's alright, love. I'm here."
"Mum, it's cold."
"Well, so much for Lils Inn." Ron breathed unhappily. "You served your purpose well, ol' girl."
Ginny looked at him sadly, before her eyes turned to the inn. It seemed such a shame to see the once quaint little inn go up in flames. She wouldn't have long to regret, because Lils, the dog, begun to growl. The Border Collie stalked forward, as if he could see something in the fire.
"What's wrong, mutt?" Ron demanded, as he readied his wand. "Smell something?"
"Trouble," Remus told them. "Five, maybe seven men." He then turned back to the portkey and let out a chuckle. "It won't matter much anyways. We're leaving. Ready, everyone?" They all nodded eagerly.
That's when Ginny felt the air stir beside her. Remus happened to glance in her direction, before his eyes widen. "Ginny! Look out!" Too late! An arm snaked out, then around her throat! James let out a wild shriek.
A Death Eater had apparated behind Ginny! He held her in a chokehold!
The woman knew she had to act fast, so she dropped her son, "Run, Jamie!" James backed slowly away. During the boy's hesitation, another Death Eater reached for him. "NO! James! MOVE!"
There was a blur of black and white. Lils snarled, as he tackled the enemy to the ground. There was a loud scuffle, in which the dog tore at the enemy's face. The victim shoved the sheepdog off of him. The Border Collie yelped, as he hit the ground a good ten feet away. He didn't get up.
"Lils!" James screamed, "LILS!"
"No, James, stay with me." Ron whispered, as he jumped forward and grabbed his nephew. "There's a good lad."
The little child struggled. He sobbed, as he tried to reach for his mother. "No! Uncle Ron, we have to help mum! Let go! NOW! MUM! MUMMY!"
"Be still," Ron whispered in the boy's ear. Ginny locked her eyes on her brother, who looked powerlessly back at her. His blue eyes moved and darken with hate at her captor. "Let her go, Malfoy! Now!" When she realized who had her, the young mother shivered in fear.
"Well," Lucius Malfoy drawled in her ear. "So Harry Potter's whoring bitch has finally returned." There was a pause, as Ginny could only guess, that he turned his eyes to her frantic son. "Though, you're not a very fit parent are you, Mrs. Potter? I believe we shall have to remove you of your child. We shall be sure to provide him with a more nurturing family."
"Go to hell!" She snarled, as she tugged at his arm. Her temper rewarded her with Lucius crushing her windpipe, and she was left to violently choke.
"You'd do better to show some manners, little girl. Then again, I'm not surprised, what with that idiot for your father and your brutish mother." Across from them, Ron growled darkly as his rage flared. Lucius went on mercilessly, "You Weasley rats were always better off dead, I've always said."
"You fucking bastard!" Ron roared. He was about to drop his nephew and charge Malfoy. "I'll shut your mouth!"
"No! Ron, no! Stop!" Remus ordered, "It's no good. It's what he wants, don't play his game, lad." The werewolf held him back, and the younger wizard settled – if only barely.
James looked positively terrified of what to expect next. He settled his worried eyes on his mother. "Mum…"
They were trapped.
Ginny let her eyes meet Remus's again. The werewolf was fast at work to formulate a plan. Should they stay and fight and be killed? Or should they flee, but sacrifice Ginny?
Her heart thudded within her chest. She realized she was dead either way. Her son and family still had a chance. She closed her brown eyes, and smiled sadly. Within the deepest part of her heart, she knew the right choice.
She would gladly die for her son's life.
"I'll make you a deal, Weasley…" Lucius had begun, unaware of Ginny's choice. His arm tightened around her throat. She felt herself grow dizzy with the lack of air. She would faint any minute! "If you hand yourselves over, peacefully," He stressed, "I'll let the woman and boy go free."
"Like hell, you will!" Ron roared back, his blue eyes burned with a murderous fire. "That's not going to work a second time, you lying snake! I'm not handing over anything. You're going to let my sister go… Or I'm going to beat the shit out of your bleach-blonde arse!"
"Humph," Lucius snorted, "As I do recall, you lost one of your brothers when you tried that… Crude… Method. Which one was it again? Charlie, was it? Hmm… Oh, I'm not sure… You redheaded maggots all look the same." Ron looked ready to drop James again.
Ginny had to do something.
"Ron, don't." She ordered, her voice level. "I need you to protect James." Her brother didn't look like he heard her, however his arms tighten protectively around her son.
Lucius laughed in her ear, "Ah. Isn't that adorable, motherly love," He tightened his arm around her, and she gagged loudly. "I despise love." He chuckled, and went on in amusement. "My, will you look at that? Just like his bastard of a father. A hero-complex." Her son resumed his struggle to save her. Malfoy whispered the next part in her ear, "I'll enjoy killing it out of him."
Her eyes locked with Remus, who nervously fingered the portkey. His eyes shifted from her, to Lucius, then back again. The Death Eaters were closing in. They were out of time! They had to act now!
"Remus!" Ginny shouted out to him. Her eyes blurred with tears, be that because her lungs lack of air, or what she was about to do. "Go! Please! Don't worry about me! Go! James is more important! Go! Protect my son!"
"Ginny!" Ron cried in horror. "There's no bloody way we're leaving you!"
"Yes, half-breed," Lucius sneered at the conflicting werewolf. "You won't leave your poor little student to die, would you? After all, you don't want another death on your hands. As I do recall, you have quite a few." The former professor's eyes opened, and narrowed hard on the blonde.
"Remus!" Ginny called back his attention. "Please! Take care of my baby… GO! NOW!"
Then in a heartbeat, his expression changed from uncertainty, to determination. The only sign of what he was about to do, showed in his expressive eyes. He looked like a man whose heart was breaking.
"I'll hunt you down, Lucius." He warned. "When I find you, you son of a bitch, the beast within me will have the pleasure of killing you."
Ron's eyes widen, as he whirled to face the werewolf. "What?" Remus activated the portkey! He grabbed the startled redhead's arm. "Remus!" He glanced back at his sister, as it dawned on his boyish face. "NO!"
There was a pop of magic and all three of them were gone!
Safe. She wasn't. Ginny was alone. She smiled dismally, 'Is this what Lily felt right before she died?' She was drug out of her musing, when Lucius growled madly behind her.
"You idiots!" He addressed his stupefied Death Eaters. "Don't just stand there! Go! Track them! I want them found! Bring the boy back! Now!" The redhead grimaced, as she watched the dark wizards disappear with a collective pop.
"Well," She sneered. Her Gryffindor courage welled up into her chest. "Looks like you let them get away, Malfoy. Tom's not going to be too happy with you, when he finds out."
She was suddenly yanked around. Her legs twisted and left her off balance. Ginny was forced to stare up at a livid Lucius Malfoy. "You will address Lord Voldemort by his proper name, girl!" He growled down at her. "Your friends may have escaped, dear, but you didn't!" He pulled back his right arm then delivered a vicious backhand to her face!
The witch let out a startled yelp, as she spun out of his arms and hit the ground. Ginny winched, as she reached up and pressed her trembling fingers to her lip. She pulled them away to see blood. Her dark eyes lifted and narrowed with hatred.
He stalked towards her, but Ginny spun her legs around and kicked him hard in the kneecaps! He let out a loud yelp and doubled over. The redhead dragged herself to her feet, and got up to run. She sprinted hard and fast away from the man. That's when she heard the sound of a curse rip from Lucius's lips. "Crucio!"
Cruciatus curse slammed over her! She arched backwards and screamed, as she collapsed to the ground. A wave of hot shocks ripped across her body, and left her nerves fried. Her brain was on overload with an intense amount of pain. While her heart threaten to explode within her chest. Her body smoldered as the spell faded.
All she could hear was her loud heartbeat. She groaned miserably, as she pressed her pounding head into the cobblestones. Tears leaked freely from her eyes. Bile rose up in her throat, along with the strong urge to throw up. The curse had drained the fight from her.
"I hope you are quite pleased with yourself, little girl." He told her pompously, as he walked over to her. "However, your sacrifice will have been in vain, I'm afraid." He reached down and grabbed a handful of her hair. He used her locks of red to pull her off the ground.
"Go ahead." She snarled up at him. "I'm not afraid to die."
He placed the tip of his wand to her forehead. By the smirk on his face, she knew she was in trouble. This was the same man that gave her the diary of Tom Riddle… This was the same man that blinded Hermione… He wouldn't think twice to do something even more wicked.
"Who said anything about killing you, Mrs. Potter?" He leered down at her, "Let's just see if we can drive the bravery out of you, shall we? Crucio!"
Again the curse rolled over her, and all she could do was scream. He let the spell linger longer then the last. She felt her blood afire. It wasn't long before lifeblood oozed from her nose, mouth and ears. Death lingered within her vision, but even that looked bearable compared to the horrid pain.
Then she was dropped back to the cool ground. She whimpered, while she hovered above unconsciousness. She forced her blurry vision to focus on a pair of leather boots. Ginny's eyes slowly lifted to see the towering Malfoy in front of her.
"Ah." Lucius mocked, "Not so brave now that she's had a taste of pain, is she? Well, my dear… That's only the beginning." He bent down in front of her, and went on in a vindictive whisper. "I'll make you beg for death, before this night is through…" He pointed his wand at her and readied another spell. "Cru—ARGH!"
There was a vicious growl, before the Death Eater was knocked to the ground! Ginny turned towards her savior, and when she saw whom it was, she grinned. "Lils!" She watched the valiant Border Collie maul at Malfoy's arm and face!
She had forgotten about the sheepdog in the chaos. She had thought the Death Eater had killed it. It seemed everyone else had too. The poor creature looked like hell. His paws were bloody, and he seemed to favor the left front leg. Still, he fought on with everything he had, and Ginny couldn't help but admire the dog…
That's when she noticed her dropped wand down the street. Ginny grunted, as she struggled up onto her hands and knees. "Accio Wand!" She summoned, even when she heard Lils let out another yelp of pain!
The magical stick whizzed from down the street into her outstretch hand. She turned to aim the wand at Lucius, but her hand was crushed painfully into the cobblestones! She yelped, as her head snapped up and her eyes widen.
"Oh no," A mangled up Lucius growled. "I don't think so." What a mess the blonde had become. There were deep bloody slashes across his face and neck. Teeth marks marred his left shoulder and his arm.
The redhead smirked at the horrid sight of the vain man. A gust of sudden brass came to her, "So. Lucius Malfoy, the great Death Eater, can't even get the better of a fleabag-mutt? Wow. Wait until your Lord Voldemort hears about this!"
"Be silent, you uncouth bitch!" He roared before he kicked her dead in the face!
Ginny cried out and fell backwards. The witch grimaced, as more blood flooded her mouth. She rolled onto her side and spit the foul coppery taste out. Her blurry eyes opened when Lucius again bent in front of her. He grabbed her chin in a bruising grip, his hold so tight she thought he'd break her jaw.
"Lord Voldemort will just have to accept your body. I want the pleasure of sending you, and your bastard dog to hell myself." He snarled out viciously. "Avada," He begun. "…Kedav—KRGH!"
Suddenly Lucius was heaved away from her!
Ginny flopped limply onto the ground. That's when she heard the distinct sound of a fist smashing bone. A loud cry of pain followed. Her eyes snapped open again. She weakly lifted her head to see what was going on.
A taller, dark haired man towered over the fallen Lucius. She couldn't make out what her hero looked like in the shadows of night. The blonde whimpered, his broken nose leaked with blood. He tried to stand back up, but the mysterious savior grabbed him by the collar.
Unexpectedly, Lucius was sent head first into a shop's window! There was a great shatter of glass, as it rained down on the Death Eater. The mysterious man didn't relent just yet either. He stepped into the shop and went after the wizard.
Ginny heard more of a scuffle and yelps of pain. Her eyes narrowed slightly, as she pushed further up off the ground. Confusion flooded through her, "Who is that? What's going on?"
It wasn't long before the redhead watched in amazement, as Malfoy stumble backwards out of the window. He was a mess, she could even tell that much in the dim streetlights. His face was covered in more blood and welts. He staggered from one too many blows to the head. He lifted his hands in a weak attempt to defend himself.
He collapsed onto his knees. "No…" He begged, "Please… Mercy!"
The dark haired man stood in the shadows of the ruin window. When the Death Eater said that, he grew more upset. His shoulders rose and fell violently, as his fists shook. He stalked up to Lucius, who fell backwards and whimpered. "NO! Stop! Please!"
The conqueror rolled something in his hand. The redhead's eyes narrowed on the object. "A wand? He's a wizard." She frowned, "Then why isn't he using magic?"
"Mercy?" Came a harsh reply, "Just like you showed my family, right?"
Ginny's heart pounded within her ears. 'That voice… I know that voice! But,' she thought. "It can't be."
"NO! It's not possible!" Lucius shrilled hysterically, ending her musing. Thunderstruck, Ginny watched as the Death Eater coward away. Her eyes moved up to the quiet wizard, who continued to stare down at the terrified blonde.
'Why is Malfoy cowering away? This can't be the same man that caused us so much grief, can it? What's going on?' She thought, as she fingered her wand. She crawled unsteadily to her feet. Though, Ginny didn't move to break up the surreal scene.
"You're supposed to be dead!" Malfoy shouted, "He killed you! You DIED!"
The man crouched in front of Lucius. He shook his head pityingly. What the stranger said next, made Ginny go pale in alarm. "Yeah. I was, but death didn't agree with me much."
The Death Eater glanced over in the witch's direction. The fear slid from his face, as he took a murderous look. The snake was up to something. Sure enough, Malfoy reached into his robes and yanked out a small dagger! He wasted no time to thrust it at the startled man.
Ginny screamed, when the ill-aimed blade stabbed her hero's shoulder! The stranger fell backwards, in the process, he lost his hold on his wand and the upper hand. The wizard cried out in pain, but he would have no time to recover.
He wrestled with Malfoy, who was on top of him. The Death Eater yanked the bloody blade out. Blood sprayed up into the air, as the dagger arched upwards. Lucius intended to kill. He aimed the dagger for the man's heart and then rammed it downwards!
Ginny jerked her wand up, in full-blown panic. "NO!" She shouted the first curse that came to her mind, "Avada Kedarva!" A green light exploded from her wand and washed over the Death Eater! The man let out a blood-chilling scream, as he arched backwards in pain. He then tumbled off of the stranger…
Ginny panted heavily, as she trembled from head to toe. The curse had taken a great amount of energy from her. Her watering eyes locked on Lucius, the very same she had killed! Slowly, she glanced over at her wand. It seemed to no longer be hers.
"Shit," She swore, before she threw the wand down. Her quivering hands came up and covered her mouth. A wave of sobs threatened to tear from her throat. She continued to stare at the dead body of Lucius Malfoy. "What have I – I killed – Oh Merlin – I used a…" That's when someone stepped in front of the body. Ginny's eyes had no choice, but to lift upwards.
The stranger slowly, almost cautiously, stepped under the streetlamp.
He was covered in a thick layer of soot and dirt. Blood from the stab wound soaked his ragged clothes. There was so much of the lifeblood, that she worried he would pass out. Still, what drew her attention were the curious wounds to his fingers, as if he had been clawing his enemy, not punching. His left wrist held a nasty bent to it. 'Wait a minute. Where did I see…? No way! Merlin! Can it be?! Is that—!'
"Lils." She whispered in realization. "You're Lils!"
Lils towered a good head and shoulder over her height. His unruly raven hair was in a bad need of a haircut and a good wash too. Her eyes were drawn up to his bottle green eyes, the same that sparkled like two green stars in the streetlight. That's when it hit her harder then a Bulger. Ginny recognized whom Lils really looked like! It all made sense! The protectiveness, the gestures, those same intense stares… They were all the same.
Harry Potter smiled lovingly, as he came to a slow stop in front of her. "I promised I'd find a way back to you, Gin." His voice was calm, but also full of love. He slowly reached forward to run his bloody fingers along her face. His green eyes stared deep into her brown set. He swallowed silently, as he went on in a near whisper. "And I did."
It was all too much for her. Too exhausted, Ginny Weasley's world skewed. She saw only darkness.
There it is! The chapter I've been dieing to do! For those of you who guessed correctly on who Lils really is, congrats to ya. Now, a few of you have been asking about the situation with the twins. I haven't exactly come to a final decision just yet, and when I do, well… That would be spoiling by telling, wouldn't it? Sorry! :)
As always, thanks for the reviews!