Ch 27 – Have You Ever
Dedication: To Emma and Nessa, You've been amazing.
A/N – LAST CHAPTER YOU'VE GOTTA READ THE A/N I write this in the Hamptons, where I've been the past couple of weeks with my aunt. You've probably been wondering where the hell I've been. I don't think I mentioned I was going to America for the winter holidays. So this, my friends, is the last chapter. The longest thing I've ever written too. I did about 3-4 drafts of this chapter; the most I ever do (if any) is one. This chapter is like a story in itself, it so different and sad and happy and wonderful and bittersweet. I wrote about five different endings but stuck with this one, which some of you may dislike but it felt right for me. You guys have been amazing; sometimes I accidentally treat the A/N as my diary but each time you guys have been there for me for the year I've been writing HH. Can you believe it? A year! I cried while writing the ending, I've grown while writing this fic and letting it go makes me feel like I'm losing a part of me. I got my wish of a thousand reviews, I don't even know how to thank you guys enough for that. But that's, oddly, not the most important thing to me anymore. I remember getting breathless at half of that. I remember first stumbling onto this site and envying the people who had 200 reviews! I've tried many a time to figure out why I'm one of the people with an amazing amount of reviews, I don't see anything particularly special with what I've posted, I just see something that's made me feel all sorts of things and what sometimes made me keep going when things got dark. I see a story that I grew up some with. Maybe people can relate to that. I don't know if you'll take me seriously when I say this but I owe you guys more than I can repay. Each time there is a kind word or some advice, you never disappoint. So this is it, this is the last chapter and one that I love to pieces but don't want to post because I hate the feeling of something ending. Like Ginny, a new chapter is opening in my life and it's scary, but promising. Don't worry, I'll be back, just as she will, for another fic. Not a sequel, a brand new one that will blow you away. An HG of course but I'm going to break all clichés and boundaries with it, and break it down, and I know it is going to incredible. My LJ (TATA) is also going to be finished. It's not going to be long. So thanks again, and I'll be back in a couple of months no matter what. If you're not a fan of the ending, take solace in the fact that HBP is only days away… and I will be in Washing DC and in a bookstore at midnight. Lol.
"When you walk out that door, Harry, you're not just walking out on me forever." He turned to look at her but she wasn't facing him, she was staring into the living room and now it was she who put the barrier between them.
"You're walking out on everyone, on Ron, on Hermione, Fred, Mum… Dad… everyone. Even Colin and Cath. You're leaving them, too. Forever."
Harry gripped the doorhandle hard, hand shaking. Yes, he knew that. He took one last look at Ginny, standing there in the hall, then opened the door and walked out. Forever.
Angelina trailed a finger down the mirror, which was steamy from her long, hot shower. She studied her face in the thin line left by her finger. Her cheeks were still flushed from the shower's heat, hair; long black strands that went reached her mid-stomach, eyes; deep brown, but dull, without their usual spark. She wondered if people could tell by looking at her if she had lost a baby. Probably not; they probably would see just a woman that looked sad and somewhat lost. That was how she felt. Lost. Angelina sighed and her breath fogged up the line her finger had made so she couldn't see her face in detail any longer. Maybe if everyone breathed on her, they wouldn't be able to see her clearly, either. Invisible Angelina. It was like the more she thought about it; the more that she cried. The tears stung and her body shuddered whether or not she could help it. But with every tear that she cried, out dropped just a little bit of the pain and sorrow.
A noise in the bedroom startled her and she tilted her head to listen. Fred had obviously flipped the light on and sat on the bed, no doubt wondering what it was that was taking her so long. She knew she wasn't invisible to Fred, she was anything but that to him. So why keep shutting him out, then she asked herself. I'm not, I just need time to myself she argued and drew her towel tighter around her body. Just a little time to mourn on my own.
Was pain supposed to last this long, because she was getting tired of pretending she was better. Fred could see right though her though, he saw through every one of her feigned smiles and empty laughs, could see she wasn't eating or sleeping properly. These matters were trivial to her now, though, she was more concerned with…
Angelina blinked. What was she more concerned with? Well, she was concerned about her – her… she faltered. Nothing. She had no concerns; no anything. She didn't care about the past, present or the future. She didn't care so much that she was becoming a nothing.
"Not true," she whispered to the thin line of her mirror self. There was always her baby; the dead one. She sighed and sat down on the floor, back against the bathtub. A gentle knocking on the door startled her.
"Yes?" she called out.
"Are you dressed?" Fred asked through the door.
Angelina looked down at the towel wrapped around her body. "Uh, kind of."
He opened the bathroom door slowly, shutting it firmly behind him to keep the heat in. Angelina was struck by how tired he looked. She felt guilty about her previous thoughts; she cared about Fred, and she felt even guiltier for not telling him that since the baby. Fred didn't look at her but came and sat next to her on the fluffy bath mat. She waited him for to speak but he surprised her by remaining silent. She turned to look at him; he was staring off into space, his had resting limply on the cold surface of the tiled floor. She timidly moved her own warm hand into his, giving it a squeeze.
"I love you." He said it so quietly she almost didn't hear it. Closing her eyes and resting her head on his shoulder, Angelina nodded.
"I love you," she whispered back.
"Do you?" He didn't sound angry or upset at all, merely as if he was asking the time to a stranger.
Angelina took her hand out of his and sat up quickly, staring at him. "You think I don't love you anymore?" she choked out. "Just because of all that's happened?"
Fred sighed and didn't look at her. She wished she hadn't taken her hand away because it had instantly put up a barrier between them.
"Do you?" she persisted.
"No, I don't. Ok?" He sounded uneasy now.
Angelina took a deep breath. "So then, why – why did you ask me that?" He was purposely not looking at her now, staring at the foggy mirror.
"I don't know, I just – I wanted to hear you say and mean it like… like I do," he finished unhappily.
"Oh, Fred." She felt tears rise up as she put her arms around him. There were tears in his unblinking eyes, too, and she hugged him tighter.
"If I said 'I love you' every minute of every day, and meant it; all of that added together still wouldn't be able to tell you just how much I really love you." Her voice was muffled because she was speaking into his shirt. His hand found hers again and gripped onto it as tightly as possible.
"Because, I do love you," Angelina continued presently, serious. She wiped her eyes and looked at him.
"I know – I knew that," Fred said, "but I thought that you blamed me for the baby."
Angelina gaped at him. When no words could come to express her indignation, she hit him on the arm.
"Ow," said Fred weakly, nursing his arm. A laugh stole out of Angelina. She couldn't help it, he just looked so surprised.
"How could you think that?" she asked him earnestly, serious again.
"Well, I was on the stairs with you and – and…" He shrugged, still nursing his arm ruefully.
"No, no, that's not it at all." Angelina was shaking her head.
"Then what is it?" asked Fred, stressing the word. Angelina opened her mouth to say something and then promptly shut it.
"I – I don't know."
"Maybe you just need a good cry," Fred offered.
"If I cried every moment for a century, that may work," Angelina answered wryly.
"You'd be an awfully dry person, then," Fred remarked, his expression neutral. Angelina laughed and then laid her head on his shoulder again.
Fred blew softly on her lashes where her tears clung and she closed her eyes. She smiled inwardly; sharing her burden with Fred was actually surprisingly easy.
"You know, at my funeral – or when I die – I'd be honoured if people cry and miss me. I don't think I'd want them to cry all the time, though, and become depressed. They should know that I'd be even more honoured if they could let me go and be able to smile the next week and not have to fake it."
Angelina remained silent, knowing what he was actually trying to say to her.
"Oh, and another thing; I don't want people to wear black to my funeral. I hate black. I want them to wear strong, vibrant colours. In fact, I'd love forever the people who wear red," he joked while pointing at his hair.
"Well, then I'd wear black just to spite you," Angelina stated. Fred grinned and tickled her.
"You'd be there brightest one there, and you know it."
Angelina laughed and squirmed away from him.
"I know," she said.
She smiled at him and took a deep breath.
"Do you – do you – would you think that it's too soon to… maybe try again?"
Fred went still.
"Because I've been thinking…" Angelina trailed off nervously.
"Yes?" Fred's voice was a hushed whisper.
"I've been thinking that maybe it – it isn't such a bad idea and maybe-" That was how far she got because Fred had bowled her over in fierce hug.
"Is that an 'I agree?'" Angelina smiled, looking up at him.
"I'm pretty sure it's an 'I love you,'" he replied.
"Which means a yes?" They sat up.
"It means a 'yes' to whatever you want."
"That's uncharacteristically nice of you," she answered, hiding a smile.
Fred raised a mocking eyebrow. "I see you're getting your lovely sarcastic sense of humour back."
"It's reappearing every now and again," Angelina said honestly.
"Hmm." He shook his head. "So no more telling me you're alright when you're not, OK?"
"I love you and want you to be happy again."
"This is our burden, not just yours."
"Ok!" Angelina cried, laughing, though there were fresh tears in her eyes at his words.
"I know, I just-"
"Fred," Angelina interrupted, putting her finger over his mouth. "Ok."
Fred nipped at her finger playfully, grinning, but his eyes were suspiciously damp, too. "I was just trying to tell you that we can try again when you're ready."
"I'm ready when you are," she assured him. "Now – even."
Fred's jaw dropped to form an O. "Now?"
"No!" She laughed and pushed him. "I mean in general."
"When it feels right, then," he said.
"Yes – but we won't ever forget him," she said hurriedly.
"Him?" Fred looked confused.
Angelina guiltily lowered her gaze. "I kind of asked the Healer to tell me."
Fred nodded and drew her closer. "No, we won't forget him, then." He squeezed her quickly and then stood up.
"I'll let you get dressed." He opened the door.
"Hmm?" He paused looking back at her.
She blinked. "Doesn't matter."
He grinned. "I love you, too." He shut the door behind him.
Angelina sat there for a few seconds longer; a beautiful smile on her face.
Colin lifted the menu higher in front of his face as Mark Peterson strode by where Colin was sitting and sat in the booth behind him alone. His disguise was a good one; even Cath hadn't recognised him when he knocked on her hotel room door. He wanted to tell her he had gotten a tip-off that Mark was meeting someone for lunch and he planned to eavesdrop.
Taking a sip of his drink, Colin looked subtly about the dingy, dusty restaurant. He'd been suspicious as soon as he heard this was where Mark was coming to meet his mysterious lunch-date. It was easy to see why, he reflected, the glass he was drinking from looked unclean, while the booth he was sitting at sagged at one end and stuffing was coming out of the other. Numerous amounts of dodgy witches and wizards sat drinking at the bar, and talk was low and secretive. People who came here were hiding something, or hiding from something. Hardly the place for someone as wealthy and powerful as Mark Peterson.
As Colin adjusted his fake beard and took another sip, the door opened. Colin sat up straighter and then slumped back down in his seat again, kicking himself to play it cool. He laid his hand down on the table and then swore swiftly when it wobbled precariously, tipping over his drink. The bartender looked irritated and Colin threw another look at the door; whoever it was, they weren't who Mark was waiting for.
"Another drink, please," Colin called out as softly as possible, but so that the bartender could still hear him. He attempted to make his voice deeper and more menacing, but it just sounded like he had a bad head-cold. Not very menacing at all. The bartender looked even more irritated at actually having to walk all the way to Colin's booth, and let out a longsuffering sigh when he placed a new, even grimier, glass in front of Colin.
The rusty bells on the door jingled again and Colin tensed as he looked up to see goblins enter. Looking around suspiciously, they spotted Mark Peterson and went over to his booth at the back. Colin watched them out of the corner of his eye, looking away quickly when the goblin on the end glanced at him before sitting down. Spying really wasn't that easy thought Colin uneasily. The arrival of goblins had made him nervous. These didn't look like nice goblins – not that they looked nice in general – but these goblins had a particularly nasty look about them.
Colin shifted closer to the booth behind him and listened intently.
"I trust you have come to your senses then, Mr Peterson, to agree to meet with us?" said one of the goblins sleekly.
"Erm, yes – well I – did -" Mark sounded very flustered and slightly nervous.
"Do you have enough sense then, to perhaps repay us for what you… borrowed?" the goblin said this last word sarcastically and Colin caught his breath in anticipation.
"I, er, well that is – precisely the… the reason I asked to meet with you today."
There was a pause then:
"I don't believe I asked you to stop, Mr Peterson," said the goblin, a note of warning in his voice. "Or perhaps… you are busy thinking up excuses?"
"Of – course not!" Mark blubbered, voice wobbling.
"Oh, so you have a reason for not keeping your promise, too?" This time it was another goblin that spoke in that low, menacing voice.
"Yes – yes I do!" Mark must have realised how loud his voice was and when he next spoke his tone was noticeably lower. Colin had to lean ever closer to hear him. "My son has been er, very sick and we've had to stay home to be with him, so we, er, haven't been earning as much – I mean anything – because of that. I'm sure you've, erm, experienced a similar situation, right? You understand?"
The goblin who had glanced at Colin now began to clap softly, snickering. "Very well rehearsed, Mr Peterson…" He stopped and then growled, "…but you'll have to do better than that if you're not going to give us the money today.
"Did you not realise, Mr Peterson, did it slip your mind perhaps, that we would not check up on your personal life?" This was spoken with distaste. "We know what type of wizards your family are, you attempted to sue another family for false reasons to pay us back because you did not have the money yourself!"
Colin started. The goblin could only mean the Weasley's!
Mark seemed to be choking. "I – I – where did you hear t-that?" he spluttered.
"You took us for fools once, Mr Peterson, I cannot believe you would do the same thing twice."
"Actually, Grindlhook, make that three times," the last goblin spoke up finally.
Mark made some sort of sound like a trapped animal.
"Mr Peterson forgets to inform us that his secret – our secret – has been found out by the press!" the goblin continued.
There were restrained cries of outrage and anger at this. Colin furrowed his brows; if it had leaked to the press why didn't he know? Borrowing large amounts of money from goblins had been made illegal about a year ago and would have made a huge story. These goblins themselves were also in the wrong, not just Mark.
"What? Is this true?" asked the first goblin who had spoken, he seemed to be the leader and right now he seemed absolutely furious.
Mark muttered something.
"Speak up, Mr Peterson, you could at least show what little pride you have left. Or perhaps you have none, I would not be surprised," added the goblin nastily.
"Only one person knows from the press," said Mark inaudibly, he sounded terrified and Colin felt a flash of sympathy before he remembered the real reason Mark had sued the Weasley's.
"And who would that be?"
"And why has this Bree Warren not told anyone?"
Colin stopped breathing and turned his head slightly to the left and out of the corner of his eye saw Mark slump forward in his seat, defeated. Colin raised his eyebrows, Mark looked like he had given up.
"Because… because she was blackmailing me."
A hiss from one of the goblins startled Colin and he whipped his head back around to face forward.
"Blackmailing you?" Then he sniggered unpleasantly. "Oh, I see now. Yes, I understand. You were being blackmailed by this Bree Warren, so you paid her, meaning you had no money to pay us back with, so you found a reason to sue someone else for money. Well, you are quite the schemer, Mr Peterson, but I'm afraid that stops now. Hand the money over now or you shall suffer… consequences."
Colin was struggling to breath now, he was about to explode. That was why Bree suddenly had all that money! That was why she could afford all those nice things! That was why she had stopped bothering Ginny and the rest of the Weasley's and Harry! She had blackmailing to keep her busy. It was all fitting into place now, like a jigsaw puzzle. He couldn't wait to tell Cath. Wait – no – he couldn't wait to write about this and tell everyone!
"C-consequences?" Mark was stammering.
"Perhaps you should come with us, then, Mr Peterson, if you refuse to hand over the money," suggested a goblin.
"Refuse… but I've just told you why I can't pay you back! What else can I do?"
"You own a mansion, do you not? Have a couple of prize possessions? Maybe even a couple of family heirlooms? We shall see when we go to your home, now."
Colin stood up, he'd heard enough to write a whole bloody newspaper by now, plus, he didn't particularly care what happened to Mark Peterson. He walked over to the door, not looking back when –
"Oy! Tryn'a ge' off wi'out payin, then ya son of a Bludger?" cried the outraged bartender. Colin whipped around and, as he did so, ripped his beard on a nail and it came right off. Colin swore and looked to see everyone in the room staring between him and his fake beard that was hanging limply from the nail including, Colin groaned, the goblins and Mark Peterson. He thrust his hand into his robes and threw a handful of Sickles onto the ground but Mark had realised already who he was and had warned the goblins. All four goblins were running towards him now and Colin panicked, not knowing where to go.
"Um… um… um…" Cath's hotel? Ministry? Burrow? He squeezed his eyes shut and Disapparated.
He ended up on his stomach in… wait, where was he? He sighed in relief when he realised he was just outside Cath's hotel room door. He moved to get up but his legs wouldn't move. Colin looked down and yelled in confusion. His legs were gone! Then he swore… he'd gone and splinched himself in the heat of the moment. He had no doubt in his mind that his legs were lying back in the restaurant surrounded by the furious goblins. Cursing his stupidness, and starting to feel faint (a common symptom of splinching oneself) he yelled out Cath's name, rapping his knuckles on the door.
Cath opened the door and looked around, then down and screamed.
"Oh Merlin! You're wounded! Who hurt you? Oh my goodness, we have to get you to St Mungo's! Wait… why aren't you bleeding? And… why in Merlin's name are you here? You're supposed to be spying on Mark… and why-"
"Cath! Get help, get Arthur Weasley, Ginny, Harry… anyone! Splinched myself… rest of me is in Knockturn Alley, pub called Boar's Breath…" Colin groaned, he was losing consciousness because his body was split in two and the Accidental Magic Reversal Squad would find him soon, he had to tell Cath. "Go get my legs, make up any story you can, don't let the goblins there follow you. Please… even pretend you're Ministry… Personnel… Just don't let goblins take my legs or follow you! Or Mark Peterson!... Get… help… Bree Warren… blackmail…" And with that Colin fainted.
Cath took a deep breath and Disapparated to the Boar's Breath.
Colin awoke with a groan and a pain in his middle, he blinked slowly, everything was fuzzy. Then he remembered; the goblins! He had to do something while he was awake, find his legs, warn someone… anything. He sat up and swung his legs over the couch. Wait… swung his legs. He looked down and yelled when he saw his whole body intact. That meant… Colin snapped his head around, looking for the goblins and sighed in relief when he saw none and then yelled again when he realised he was at the Burrow.
"Colin! You're awake!" Cath framed the doorway, face tight with worry. She came into the room and sat next to him. "Thank goodness, I was so worried. I mean, the Accidental Magic people said you'd be find but… you really are fine!" she paused, "Right?
Colin didn't even acknowledge she's spoken. "Cath, how did I get my legs back? Am I suspended or fined from Apparating?" he asked her urgently, squeezing her hand. "Did the goblins try to hurt you?"
Cath laughed and shook her head. "You should have seen it, I can't decide if it's hilarious or scary now. As soon as you fainted, I went straight to the Boar's Breath to find your legs being," she giggled, "prodded by a group of goblins and I knew they were yours and so I, like, ran into the goblins, grabbed your legs, and ran as fast as I could out of there. I tell you, it would have been some picture seeing me run down Knockturn Alley with a pair of legs! Then I hear a shout and I turn to see the goblins chasing me and then like a yell and I notice that, even closer, some Ministry people are chasing me. So it was like me running through Diagon Alley with the legs now, followed by the Accidental Magic Reversal Squad, followed by the goblins…" She was laughing now and Colin was too, then stopped when he realised her was still holding her hand… but he didn't let go.
"Then I hid in a corner and grabbed the Ministry people when they went by and told them to stay quiet and all the while your legs were being uncontrollable and the goblins ran by without a clue… then I told them to Apparate to my hotel and then, miraculously, we got there because the goblins had spotted us again." Cath took a deep breath and kept speaking. "So then they put you back together and sent you to the Burrow with me for safekeeping while they went to go and inform the Minister that goblins were running around for some reason to do with Mark Peterson."
Colin lay back down with a sigh of relief.
"So," began Cath, "want to fill me in on everything? It sounds like quite a story." She was grinning and Colin couldn't help but give a grin back. Colin stared at her and, for the first time in his life, ignored the little seed of doubt inside of him and leant forward and kissed her. She didn't resist at all and Colin could feel her lips smiling before she broke away.
"That isn't the answer to my question," she teased, her cheeks red. She looked pleased, though. Colin grinned again and she leant forward for a longer, deeper kiss. Colin felt a burst of success, ever since he had left Bree in the dust his life had gotten so much better.
"Oy! Quick, where's Colin's camera?" Colin broke away as fast as lightening when he heard Fred's mocking voice in the doorway and George's laughter as he disappeared down the hall – most likely in search of the camera.
"Fred! I – uh…" Colin was alarmed to see Fred grinning wickedly.
"Now worries, Colin old chum, just a bit of a joke." He leaned against the door frame harmlessly and crossed his arms, blinking as he looked from Colin to Cath. "So. So… You two are together now, are you?"
"Fred? Fred is he awake yet?" Mrs Weasley voice could be heard coming closer down the hall.
"He's awake," Fred said in a sing-song voice, still grinning. Colin could see Mrs Weasley standing behind her son in the doorway now and he shifted away from Cath. This only made Fred grin wider.
"I think you should enforce that no hanky-panky rule you used to have Mum, Colin and Cath were in a very compromising position," said Fred innocently.
Mrs Weasley stopped and looked at the aforementioned pair closely and then smiled. "That's good to hear dears; I was hoping that would be the case." Then she began straightening pillows.
Fred's grin fell as Colin's grew. Fred looked extremely displeased that his news had been taken so lightly and hadn't embarrassed anyone in the slightest.
"You never let any of us have girlfriends in the house!" he said in outrage.
"That's because you never had any to bring home to begin with, except for Bill and Ron, I suppose," Mrs Weasley said matter-of-factly.
Fred looked a bit offended and opened his mouth say so but Mrs Weasley, without looking at him, spoke first. "Go and get the rest of the family, Fred, I'm sure they'll want to hear Colin's story, too." Fred opened and closed his mouth, somewhat like a fish, and Colin grinned at him.
"Now," began Mrs Weasley after Fred had stomped out. "You don't have any lasting effects from the de-splinching spell, do you?"
Colin shook his head, glancing at his fully restored legs with relief. "Nope."
By the time, the whole family (minus Ginny) has arrived in the living room; Colin was willing to take back his answer. Because it was so cramped, Fred, in an "act of kindness" had offered to get rid of Colin's legs for more space, much to his dismay. He was also eyeing something small George was holding in his hand.
"Excuse me, could I just say something, before Colin speaks?" asked Angelina suddenly. She looked at Fred and he stood up and went over to her, holding her hand, for she was still weak. Colin let out a sigh of relief and Cath snuck a quick grin at him. His face grew hot.
"Um," Angelina smiled nervously about the room. "It's very early days yet, but – well Fred and I are going to try again."
Mrs Weasley looked anxious. "Have you been to St Mungo's, Angie? Is it a bit too soon? There may be complications and…" Mrs Weasley stopped talking when she saw the joy in Angelina's eyes and said, sniffing, "I'm very happy for you, we all are. And we're going to take very good care of you!" Her eyes were teary. "Aren't we?" She smiled brightly around the room.
"Mum…" Fred looked alarmed at Mrs Weasley's emotional reaction.
"We'll have to ban her from every staircase in London, to do that, Mum." George's eyes were twinkling.
"Oh, no of course not," said Mrs Weasley, taking the tissue Mr Weasley offered to her as he smiled at his wife. "I'm just… oh, all of a dither!"
"Yes, well." Angelina squeezed Fred's hand and looked rather breathless. "We have a good feeling about this."
Colin cleared his throat. "I've – we've got some good news, too." Heads turned expectantly in his direction. "I think you'll be pleased to know Bree Warren won't be bothering anyone for a long time."
"She hadn't been bothering anyone, lately, either," Ron pointed out.
Colin nodded slowly, looking around at all of them. "There's a reason for that, too." He looked at his pocket watch, and seemed to be thinking. "The Ministry should be taking her into custody right about…" he blinked. "Now."
"Custody? What?" There was a buzz of noise from everyone.
"Mark Peterson has been doing illegal trade with goblins and owes them a lot of money," Colin began after everyone had quietened down. "Unfortunately, he wasn't as secretive as he thought because Bree Warren found out and has been blackmailing him for the past couple of months, otherwise threatening to write about it. So Mark had to pay her a tidy little sum each week, meaning he had none to pay the goblins back."
"So where do we come in?" George asked, his eyebrows raised.
"Now. Actually, this is where Ginny comes in. Mark finds a target to get money off, after a lot of trying - I'm guessing you weren't his first selection. The target – or victim – is Ginny. And he does it through… Tommy."
"Hold on, Mark owns a mansion and I bet there's a whole of valuables in there, too," Charlie interjected.
"Yeah, why not just sell that?"
"It would draw too much attention. Why would Mark Peterson want to start selling everything he owns? Plus, he didn't want the goblins finding out he was struggling to pay them back. And anyway, he had been selling a lot of his possessions, but they weren't fetching anywhere near the price he owed."
"So Mark finds a way of getting money off Ginny?" Hermione was looking intently at Colin.
"Yes, and he thinks he's done it. But it proves to be a lot more difficult than it seems, especially with Harry there and Bree sucking him dry. So he has a better idea; sue Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes – possible the most rich and profitable business in London."
"Through Tommy," Hermione finished, nodding quickly.
"Oh, the poor boy, having to do all this without being told why," Mrs Weasley said, shaking her head crossly.
"Mum, have you met Tommy? He probably enjoyed it." Fred looked disgusted.
"Who's for lunch?" Penny, who had gone out a few minutes earlier, popped her head in and stopped Mrs Weasley from replying.
"Excellent idea, Penny," said Percy, rising to his feet.
A smashing sound startled them all. The sound of glass falling met their ears and Bill and Charlie ran into the kitchen, their wands out. Someone was screaming angrily and more glass shattered. Everyone else followed Bill and Charlie, eyes wide with astonishment. A bream of red light hit the kitchen bench and burnt a hole in it that sizzled noisily. There was more screaming and shouting. Fred pushed Angelina and Penelope behind him, pulling his own wand out. Ron tried to do the same to Hermione but she fixed him with a glare and pulled her own wand out just as another jet of red light hit the wall and made a hole. They ducked, trying to see out the window. More shouting; it was a woman's voice.
"Stay down, I'm going out the back door." Bill crawled on the floor towards the door, followed by George and Charlie.
Another spell pounded off Mrs Weasley's pots and pans, knocking them to the ground.
"My pots!" Mrs Weasley looked very alarmed.
Bill dodged a ray of light that passed within an inch of his nose and swore. George banged into him from behind.
"What the hell is going on?" George muttered, making sure Charlie didn't bang into him.
"Whoever it is, they're not really aiming, but the spells are pretty strong. Someone's quite angry."
"I know you in there!" the woman screamed from outside. Colin blinked, he knew that voice.
"It's Bree!" he shouted, stepping in front of Cath. "It's only Bree!"
"Only?" Charlie shouted back. "She's trying to kill us!"
"Not you – me!" Colin replied.
"Well, she's doing a bloody good job of trying to finish off all of us!" Bill shouted from the floor.
"I thought you said she was getting taken into custody now!" Ron accused, ducking a ray of light.
Colin sidled up to the window, holding his breath, and peered out. Bree was in the back yard, still screaming and pointing her wand at the house. "She must have left her house before they found her, or escaped them," Colin answered, his back against the wall.
A jet of light hit the lunch table and all the food went flying everywhere.
"Now, really!" Mrs Weasley exclaimed angrily.
Colin looked out the window again. Bree was taking deep breaths, about to start yelling and pointing her wand again.
"Tried to take me away… I'll show you… your entire fault… Colin… Creevey!" She dropped her wand and bent down to pick it up.
"George – go now!" Colin whispered fiercely.
George nodded and sprinted out into the garden. Everyone ran over to the window to watch. Bree was trying to hit George, who had grabbed her wand right out of very hand. She kicked him in the shin and he winced. Colin noticed that George was still holding in his hand whatever he had been holding in the living room. Fred whooped when he recognised it.
George held Bree down and set the tiny box beside her and watched gleefully as it grew big enough to fit a human.
Ron guffawed when he realised what George was going to do. "Never thought I'd live to see the day where I'd be happy to see that thing." For George was holding the bewitched box that would come to hold whatever it was called upon to hold, usually Ron when he and the twins were younger. Bree was kicking and screaming as George dumped her into the box and locked it. He wiped his hands and grinned, looking up as the rest of the family filed out of the back door.
Mrs Weasley surveyed the Burrow from outside, looking put out. "Just look what she's done to my kitchen, Arthur."
"We can fix it, Molly," Mr Weasley soothed his wife.
"Oy!" Everyone turned to the house. Fred grinned at them all and wiped some food off the window with his finger. "So who's for lunch?"
Ginny held up her wedding dress wistfully, a bitter half-smile on her face. So much had passed since buying this that she felt like a different person. Actually, she kind of was a different person. Almost. The dress beamed a perfect white even in the dim, tired light of the afternoon. Ginny held it against her and moved slowly around the room. The soft folds draped gracefully along the floor behind her and Ginny felt the tears begin to fall. She would have been married now, had she chosen Jason. The trophy wife of a successful Ministry man. Sometimes she found herself thinking how simple her life would be if she'd gone down that path, but she knew she wouldn't change her decisions even if she could.
A cloud passed over the sun and Ginny stopped moving to stare out the open window as the soft pitter-patter of rain sounded. At least she didn't have to water her garden now, she thought. She turned away from the window and leant against the wall. Her mother had stopped by a couple of hours ago to tell her all about Bree Warren and the Petersons. Ginny couldn't believe Bree had actually gone to the Burrow and attempted to attack them – mainly Colin. Then again, this was Bree Warren they were talking about. Mrs Weasley had wanted her to come over for dinner but Ginny declined, not feeling like company.
Ginny sat on her bed and placed the dress beside her. Everything now seemed so… dull and boring after all that had happened. How was one supposed to go back to how things were when all she wanted to do was to hold Harry in her arms? She sighed and walked into the kitchen and sat down at the table. She noticed the Daily Prophet lying on the table and pulled it towards her. She flipped through it dismally, noticing painfully a small article about Harry going back to Romania to play for the Rockets.
Then she saw it.
Wanted: Witch/ Wizard (preferably witch) to take care of children
orphaned by the WAV (War Against Voldemort) at
Lugar-Brae Orphanage in Europe.
Must be educated, friendly, gentle and most importantly, good with children.
Room and food provided.
Ginny skimmed the ad again. The ad closed tomorrow, it must have been in the paper a while. Her heart was beating quickly in her chest. It took but a split, heartbreaking decision to make up her mind. Before she could rethink or regret what she had decided, she grabbed some parchment and a quill, scribbled down her name and details, and sent it off attached to Lou's leg. She watched her owl fly off, his snowy wing flapping in sync to her beating heart.
She had not even thought about what her family was going to do when she told them. They would be devastated; she knew that. Ginny blinked, she mightn't get chosen, she hadn't even had the interview yet. Ginny closed her eyes, her mind has skipped to the last time she had gone away. Images of hot desert and the smell of sweat and heat filled her head. She shook the daydreams away and focused on the good things about Europe. She would forget about Harry, for one thing. Ginny paused. Was it? Did she really want to leave Harry behind? Yes, she did. Ginny took another deep breath; she liked how strong that thought made her feel. Yes, she did.
Ginny was surprised the amount of people who showed up for the interview. A whole two (not including herself). A young man and a woman so old that she looked like she was on the verge of falling over and dying. Not much, as far as competition went. Ginny sat down and waited but it wasn't long before the brown door to her right opened and a friendly-looking middle aged woman in plain black robes stepped out into the corridor. Her face fell when she saw the number of people. It struck Ginny that she would get it, the old lady was on her deathbed and the man had the distinct air of a pedophile about him.
"Hello, I'm Rosa. I assume you're all here for the Lugar-Brae Orphanage interview?" Rosa's eyes traveled over all of them and brightened when they fell on Ginny, who smiled and nodded. "Right then," began Rosa, smiling back quickly before smoothing her robes and looking down at the paper in front of her. "Mrs Ravenwood?" Ginny watched her take painfully slow steps towards Rosa, while Rosa's smile dimmed. Very sweet, but Ginny doubted she could even use her wand. Evidently Rosa thought so too because moments later Mrs Ravenwood was being led out and Mr Reynolds was in. Ginny was taken aback to see him smiling when he finished and she mentally kicked herself for assuming she'd get the job.
Rosa looked at her paper. "So that leaves… Mrs Weasley. Hello."
"Hi." Ginny stood up. Why was her heart beating?
"So why do you want this job, Mrs Weasley?" Rosa asked once they had seated themselves.
"Ginny. Well, mainly because I love kids and wanted a change of scenery. It seemed like a good cause and very rewarding."
Rosa nodded and wrote something down. Ginny rolled her eyes at herself; she sounded fake. She sighed and lay back in her seat, closing her eyes.
"Actually, forget that, it was vice versa. Swap change of scenery with me wanting to escape. Mainly, I want out, but I do like children. Obviously, it's a good cause."
Rosa laughed and put down her pen. Ginny opened her eyes slowly. "Much better." She studied Ginny over her glasses. "I've actually read about you in the paper recently."
Now all hope was lost. Ginny could see Rosa thinking. A child abuser working in an orphanage? Yeah, right. Ginny opened her mouth to defend herself.
"Would it help," Rosa interrupted, "if I told you that I am not a fan of the Peterson family?"
Ginny smiled weakly. "I daresay it would."
The interview flew by after that, it became more of a chat between friends but neither noticed or cared. Ginny walked out the door knowing she had gotten the job. Not because of the successful interview but because Rosa had told her so.
Now to tell her family…
When Ginny Apparated to the Burrow she was confused to find it a mess. Her mother was bustling around the kitchen fixing broken pots while her wand fixed smashed windows.
"What happened?" Ginny asked gingerly, stepping over a broken glass plate.
"Oh! Ginny!" Mrs Weasley caught her daughter in a warm hug. "Where have you been? You left Lou at home and we've been trying to Floo you all last evening and morning! I've been so worried."
"Is anyone hurt?" Ginny looked around the kitchen again, slightly alarmed.
"Oh, no, no, we're all fine, it's was only that Bree Warren trying to kill Colin."
Ginny choked. "Kill Colin… Bree… what?"
"That's why we've been trying to find you. Bree dodged the Ministry yesterday and came her to get revenge on Colin for denouncing her. We've been at the Ministry for hours as witnesses so I could clean up. They also wanted to take photos as evidence, so we had to leave it. That woman ruined by kitchen." Mrs Weasley looked cross.
Ginny took a deep breath. It was a bit much to take in all at once. "But nobody is hurt?"
"Of course not, it only looks bad. George locked her in that funny box that shrinks or grows before she could do serious damage." Ginny surveyed the mess; it looked serious to her but she nodded and gave a forced smile.
"Still, I don't really approve of that thing. So where were you, Ginny, dear? Are you here for lunch?"
Ginny felt guilty.
"No, not exactly, Mum. To tell you some news."
Food came flying out of the cupboard and began arranging itself to be chopped. Lunch.
"Mmm?" Mrs Weasley cracked some eggs.
"I've got a new job."
"Well, that's wonderful! Stay for lunch and celebrate."
"At an orphanage."
"Oh? Which one?"
Ginny bit her lip. "The one in Europe."
Mrs Weasley kept cutting. "The one in…" She stopped and didn't turn around.
"Europe," Ginny said firmly.
"Oh." Mrs Weasley's voice was very quiet. She turned. "Is this because of Harry?"
"No, it's because… well, okay, some of it is," Ginny admitted.
"How will going to another country solve it?" Mrs Weasley resumed chopping, her back to Ginny.
Sighing, Ginny sat down and laid her head on her arm.
"It's won't, but that's not the point."
"So what is?" Mrs Weasley's voice gave a suspicious sniffle.
"Mum, please don't cry."
"It's the onion!" she snapped, lying.
"I can't stay here, Mum. Things have happened whether I like it or not and I think the best thing for me is to get away. It's not going to be a long time. Yes, some of this is because of Harry, but there's a part that isn't. I've got no job. This one opened. It hurts so much to say goodbye to you already, but I know I'm doing the best thing I can do."
"And it's definite?" Mrs Weasley's voice was gentler.
"I leave in a few days."
The chopping stopped again. "So-so soon?"
"I asked for as soon as possible." Ginny tried not to let a guilty expression fall over her face. She had done it so her mother wouldn't throw a huge goodbye party, as she was wont to do.
Her mother was facing her again. "Is this what you really want, Gin?"
"Yes," Ginny whispered.
Mrs Weasley gave her daughter a sad smile. "Then go. I want you to do it. Be – be happy." She wiped her eyes. "This silly onion is making me cry," she said hurriedly.
Ginny reached over and placed her hand over her mother's.
"It's not forever," she consoled her mother. Oddly, Ginny felt she was saying it more to herself than to her mother.
"No, of course not. I expect you home for Christmas, though."
It was hard telling the rest of her family. They didn't want her leaving any more than her mother did. Fred proposed kicking Harry's ass to make him see sense so she'd stay, Percy said there were plenty of jobs free in his Department still because of the War, even Fleur pleaded that she stay. Ginny was torn between tears and laughter for most of it but she was acutely aware that a door was closing on the life she had always known and a scary, but promising, new one was creaking open. It made her want to hide under her blankets but the Brave Ginny inside was insisting she walk straight through this strange new door. And Brave Ginny, through intimidating, was who she wanted to be.
"It's not forever," she said again, this time to the rest of her family. A part of it was though, and everyone in the room knew that, making the news so bittersweet.
Mr Weasley held his daughter back as everyone exited the room for lunch. Ginny studied her father's face, he wasn't crying.
"No tears?" She tried to sound lighthearted.
"How can I cry when my daughter is doing something so selfless and kind which makes her happy? What kind of father would that make me?"
Ginny couldn't think of anything to say, but her love for her nice, simple father soared to new heights.
"You always know what to say," she told him and smiled somewhat regretfully.
"I can always find something to say about someone perfect." She went into his arms, six years old again as he stroked her head.
She was glad to be leaving her family when they were back on her feet, leaving earlier would have been unfair. Fred and Angelina nearly glowed with happiness and love, Mrs Weasley was completely healthy, the Petersons and Bree were out of the picture (along with the money issues), Colin and Cath couldn't stop looking at or touching each other and the old spark was back in everyone's eyes. Even the Burrow had a happier feel to it. Yet, Ginny still knew that much of her decision truly lay upon the fact that a pair of green eyes never strayed far from her thoughts. And that was reason enough. It was reason enough.
Ginny walked up the steps to Enfantes, a wave of nostalgia pouring over her. Some of the best years of her life had been spent here, it was sad to be letting it go. Anna Harding, new Headmistress of Enfantes opened the door for Ginny with a huge smile on her face.
"Hello, Anna," Ginny greeted her, carrying the wedding dress carefully through the oak front doors.
"It's been so long," Anna said, giving Ginny a quick hug and taking the dress from her and setting it carefully on an armchair.
"Too long." Ginny smiled at her.
"Listen, I really want to thankyou for giving me the job of Headmistress, it means a lot," Anna began.
"It's nothing," Ginny replied, waving her hand. "I mean, I had to choose between you and Jane and that wasn't hard at all." They both laughed and peered through the doorway at Jane struggling to control the children. "But really, I wouldn't trust anyone else but you."
"Well, thanks." Anna bit her lip. "So – so what are you going to do now?"
Ginny shrugged. "Well, there's the Orphanage in Europe. But after that, I don't know. I haven't really thought about it, I just want a change."
Anna looked at her thoughtfully. "Yes, I'm sure that you do," was all she said though. There was a small silence and then –
"Oh! Is this your wedding dress?"
"Yes," Ginny answered, unzipping it so Anna could see it properly.
"It's beautiful," Anna breathed. "Why on earth are you giving it back?"
Ginny raised an eyebrow. "I don't really see myself getting married anytime soon."
"Oh, I'm so sorry, I wasn't thinking. I just thought – maybe you should save it or – no… I'm sorry." Anna looked embarrassed. "It's just, I remember so clearly how happy you were to be getting married to Jason and now – now things are so different."
"Yeah, well, times change," Ginny answered as she zipped the dress back up.
Anna walked over to her desk and picked up a box full of items. "Here, this is everything, I gathered it up for you."
"Thankyou, um, hmm… maybe I can shrink it. I've still got to go into Muggle London for the dress." Ginny pulled out her wand and shrunk the box so that it would fit into her pocket. She pointedly ignored the photo of her and Jason on top shrinking.
"I think the children wanted to say goodbye, too," Anna said, going to the playroom. Ginny followed her, passing her hand over the moving pictures the students had drawn as she went.
"Everybody, let's all say goodbye to Ms Weasley," Anna said. If she had expected them to all wave and say goodbye calmly she was wrong, they bowled Ginny over and there were many floods of tears and wailings. Ginny tried not to cry either but she couldn't help it, she was going to miss all of them.
"Yes, goodbye Pia, I'll miss you too, Lauren. Behave for Anna, Jack."
It was hard saying goodbye but Ginny finally found herself on the front steps waving goodbye to everyone as their faces framed the front door. She turned her back and conjured up an umbrella to shield her from the rain and walked down the steps, closing another chapter of her life. Ginny held the dress close to her as she walked down the wet, grey streets of London, breathing in its scent. She walked without really seeing anything, without caring that the rain somehow dodged the umbrella and trickled down the back of her neck, making her shiver. Her eyes were open but she walked like a blind person, sensing the world; not seeing it.
It seemed like a lifetime had passed when she reached the bridal shop, a lifetime of walking through the rain and cold. Ginny stepped into the shop, surprised to find it empty except for one serving woman. The woman had looked up when Ginny stepped inside.
"Oh, hello! Do you need any help?"
Ginny shook her head. "I'd just like to return this dress."
The saleswoman came around the counter and looked at Ginny. "Is it damaged?" she asked suspiciously.
"No, no, nothing like that I – just have no use for it anymore." Ginny felt the tears well up again and she looked away, shoving the dress at the woman.
Her face softened. "He wasn't the man of your dreams, huh, sweetie?"
Ginny shook her head, closing her eyes. "There, there," the woman said, leading Ginny over to the counter to sit on a stool. She sat down next to her and patted Ginny softly. "I can relate."
"He was – was the man of my dreams," Ginny hiccuped. "They both were."
The woman looked slightly sceptical.. "If you had two good men, love, how'd they both escape?"
Ginny shrugged, still crying. "I keep asking myself that."
"You had to choose, didn't you, sweetie?"
Ginny nodded. "I did choose, and I thought I was happy but – but he left for no – no good reason." She sniffed and laid her head on the counter.
"And by then, the other one was gone, too, right?" The woman looked sympathetic.
"Well, I can't say the same thing happened to me but I'm here today because the man of dreams turned out to be of my nightmares and I realised just in time."
"What happened?" Ginny asked, still not looking at her.
"He hit me and stuff, cheated on me, you know. I realised just in time what would happen if I married him. So I packed up and left, and opened my own bridal shop, with the help of my mentor; another bridal shop owner."
"You're lucky you had something to do." Ginny's voice was muffled and her nose was blocked from crying.
"Oh, I've got no doubt you'll find something – pretty young woman like you always can. Come on now, let's just put this dress on you because I have to check for damage, even though I believe you, it's the rules."
"Ok." Ginny picked up the dress and went into the changing room. The dress fit like magic now, contrasting to how it had been a little bit too tight before. She must have lost weight while in hospital.
She stepped out of the changing room and the saleswoman smiled. "I knew you'd look beautiful in it." She motioned Ginny over to the mirror and Ginny stared at herself in it. She began sobbing and couldn't stop. She wept for what could have been and what may have been. The saleswoman tried to calm her but Ginny turned away and stared out the huge window, watching the rain fall down in big, fat droplets. She watched people walk by the window; some stared at the tearful redhead in the wedding dress in the window, while others didn't notice – like Harry Potter.
Ginny stopped moving and put her palm up against the glass. What? Harry turned at the sound of her hand hitting the glass and stared up at her. His hair and clothes were soaked through, and his hand came up and rested on the glass where hers was. She looked like a vision to him, standing in her wedding dress with the light behind her. They both ran for the door at the same time, but when the door opened, neither of them knew what to do but stand there.
Ginny was taking deep breaths, swallowing and blinking rapidly. Harry shivered in the cold rain, but still could only look at her.
"What are you doing here?" she asked, shocked. Her heart was beating a million times a second.
"Your mum said you would be here," Harry replied, his voice very weary.
Ginny stared at him, he hadn't answered her question.
Harry seemed to be having trouble breathing. "I'm here - I'm here because I realised about halfway home that I had done the wrong thing. That what I did was stupid."
Harry realised she was waiting for an answer. "Ron came to reason with me before I left. He - he asked me where I was going and I said 'home.' Then he told me that my home was - is - here with you. And at the international Disapparition stop, I understood."
Ginny felt a surge of love for her youngest brother but still did not say anything.
"Listen, I know it's a bit late, but, I'm sorry." He took her hand. "If I could take back everything I said, I would. Because it didn't mean anything, I wasn't thinking," he said gently.
Ginny looked straight at him straight in the eye. Emotions swam through her and her hands were shaking. Why now? Why did he have to come back now? Why not earlier?
"It's not a bit late, Harry, it's too late," she said quietly.
Surprise flitted across his face. "What do you mean?"
Ginny bit her lip. How to tell him?
"I'm leaving," she said after pause. "I'm going to help teach and support the orphaned children from the war against Voldemort."
Harry looked slightly relieved. "I'll come with you, then," he stated.
"Harry..." she began, her heart twisting with remorse. How could it be possible for one to feel so much pain?
He cut her off, knowing what she was going to say. "I did the wrong thing; I know! But I'm going to make it up to you, starting from now. I love you."
Him saying those words made it so much harder, but Ginny took a deep breath and gently took her hand out of his.
"I'm going to Europe, Harry - and I'm staying there. You can't come, you have your life to think about and - and -" Ginny felt herself shaking, "... and I have mine."
Harry was shaking his head, unable to listen to what she was saying. "Ginny, this isn't what we need," he said desperately.
Ginny gave him a sad smile.
"You decided this."
Harry took her hand back in his again. She never seemed so unreachable than she did now; standing in a wedding dress with rain in the background and unshed tears in her eyes.
"I was scared by how much I loved you. I was confused and terrified by the fact that I didn't know what would happen to me if you died. I was dumb... I." He ran out of words, none of them worked for what he was trying to say. Sorry wasn't enough but more than one word seemed phony.
"I meant well," he managed out.
"Of course you did." Ginny's tone was flat, she was still hurt.
What was wrong, why couldn't she understand that it has taken so much of his courage to ask her to take him back and forgive him? "I love you!"
"I know, Harry!" Her calm broke. Why couldn't he understand? "I know you do, but you're too late! This may never have happened, you could have prevented it but - but you didn't and now life goes on. My life goes on. I was ready and willing to be with you - I loved you." She was crying openly now. "You had your chance, you gave it away so I am moving on - have moved on. I have moved on and I... oh Harry, don't you understand? You're not a part of my life anymore."
Harry stood still. "You mean it."
For the first time, real regret caught hold of his heart and chilled him to the bone. She did mean it. He had been stupid, yes, but he was only realising now just how stupid he had been. A life with Ginny wasn't possible now.
Ginny clenched her fists and tried to look away but she couldn't tear her eyes away from his haunted and heartbroken face. That expression would be in her nightmares.
"You can't come back here and ask me to take you back and say that you love me. It doesn't work like that. It - it works like this."
Harry glanced around the room and then back at her, the expression gone from his face, now it was hollow.
"Do you love me?
She couldn't even lie.
He nodded. "Right, then." She had confused him even more. They loved each other, why stay apart?
Ginny could read his thoughts.
"I've accepted that job, Harry. I told you, when you said no and left me, I left you behind, too. There's no way of going back."
"So then this is... is going to be a goodbye?" He turned his lifeless eyes to her own.
"It's a farewell."
"For how long? Forever?" He tried to imagine seeing her again in a couple of years. Being with her now seemed much better. But that seemed to be looking less and less likely.
Ginny shrugged helplessly and tried not to move her eyes, for, if she did, she's cry again.
"Who knows? Maybe."
"Maybe," Harry echoed, but Ginny could tell that he didn't think so.
"Good luck," she whispered, giving him her hand for the last time.
"You, too," he choked out, clasping her hand as tightly as he could and letting it go quickly. "You, too," he repeated, as if he was in a dream.
And then he turned on his heel and walked away blindly through the rain, and not once did he look back.
Ginny watched him until he faded into the distance and then fell to the floor and wept for it had been the hardest thing she had ever done to let him do so.
Weeks and months passed, then years. Ginny grew to like the harsh beauty of her new surroundings and came to love the young orphaned witches and wizards she took care of. They quickly filled in the place her family had when she was near them. She missed her brothers and parents dreadfully those first few months but after a while, it was just a dull ache.
But she saw his face behind every corner and before every breath of wind. In each child's innocent face she saw his smile beaming out at her. At night, she closed her eyes and he walked her dreams so that she tossed and turned and cried out for him in her sleep. He was in her thoughts with every decision she made and everything green was his eyes fixed on her when he told her that he loved her. With every step that she took, her heart called out his name.
So when she came face to face with him again, back in England, by chance, many years later, older, smarter, humbler and knowing more about the world and its ways, it was only right that she went home with him and woke up and had breakfast with him the next morning.
And to have breakfast with him every morning for the rest of her life? That was only right, too. So she did.
A/n #2 – So there it is. The hardest thing I've written. I want to apologize for promising a totally happy ending. It wasn't. It was a mixture. I want you to know it was always part of the plan to have a happy ending but when it actually came to the end, this is what felt right. I'm not doing it again soon, though, sad endings aren't my thing so don't get used to it. Until next time! And I'd love to hear what you guys think of HBP. Any or all of you, send me an email because none of my friends are big fans, so I need people to discuss it with. I mean it. But really I just love talking to you all, so this is like an excuse. Look at me, I'm putting off ending the second A/N. I'm a joke. Look in my Bio for upcoming fics. Bye!
Thanks to: azkaban712, ginnyroxmysox, babykat89, Rebel Rose, Shadyday9, notdapunkprincess, Hyper Tigger, Blue-Eyed-Baby91090369, kiwiblue, How I Rescued the Potato Salad, Kimberly, Harrys lover, stargazerlois, snuffles007, Rishdogg, whimsy007, Bummer, glittericous, HpC0ldplay, Swishy Willow Wand, SeeStar, Aquarius Angel, The Critique, caillion, darkrosepetals122, FirstDaysOfSummer, meddlesome-muggle, Misshogwarts1125, CSIcrazy, lost angel92, saima, Huggikins, WinterDistortion, HersheysKisses11, Harry kid
Sarah Noisette – I assume you're driving now. And I hope all is well.. I had my French orals before I left for America. I've discovered this new Coke here called Zero. It's got like zero fat zero calories zero anything. I've been trying to figure out what actually is in it. Lol. Do you have it over there?
Harry and Ginny 4eva – You're feeling was kind of right, but kind of wrong.
HannahLulu – Life is pretty good. But how can it not be on holiday? I love America (especially the Hamptons) so I'm doing okay. Yup, she'll have Louise's eyes forever. But they aren't Louise's anymore, they're Ginny's. Harry changed his mind, he was pretty confused. I hope to see you back when I post again!
Smile88 – He was confused and he made a stupid decision. He's made a lot in canon, too. Lol. It was a happy ending… of sorts.
I HATE YOU – You hate me times 9? Hey, I hate you back times 10.
Fallen Angel Of The Skies – Nope, he's not leaving but now Ginny is.
Michaelrccurtis – Can I just say you are a great reviewer? You are just always there rain, hail or shine with an upbeat comment. Thanks a lot!
A Lack Of Color – Keep up with your fic and don't forget to drop by my LJ sometime. I've neglected it lately but I'm gonna get it up again back in Australia.
Tamaran Girl – Woah! Thanks for that lovely long review, it made me laugh. I'm really glad you found and loved it then. Stick around, there are more stories to come.
GiGiFanFic – You hate the entire chapter just because of what Harry did? I don't think it makes him self-centered. Wrong and thoughtless yes, but not shallow or self-centered. I have seen it happen. I doubt you'll like this ending but thanks for being a steady reviewer all the same.
Cyrano2.0 – Excuse you but it was not a cruddy chapter. I really resent that. The ending was weak and probably not the wisest choice but that doesn't allow you to be so rude. Don't like it, don't read it. As simple as that.
Danny – Haha, that's a great quote. And I like you going gaga over a story, it's a compliment.
Lizzie Weasley – hello darling. Sorry I haven't emailed, I promise I will I just have been really busy especially because I'm in America. We're due for a chat because I'd like to know how everything is going with you now.
Darcy17 – I don't remember you but I'm still all the same glad you're back. Hope you enjoy this chapter!
Clau-hogwarts-writer – I was in hospital for intestinal problems. Lol, even I don't understand properly. But thanks for caring ;)
Crazed Chipmunk – Lol what is the name of the 'profit dude'?
Annaleah – If there is one thing that always gives me a glow of pride it is someone telling me I have inspired them. That is the greatest compliment. So thanks a bunch, that's a wonderful thing to say. And I'm glad you like it.
XxHellzAngelxX – Haha, you were the only one to comment on Dung being MoM. I thought more people would be baffled by that but I guess not lol. And 'crikey' is right.
dracoisahottie13 -yeah well that last chapter ending didn't help with that. But I have ended it with a long but action packed chapter. Hope that stopped "draggingonness".
Deer boy – I posted before the 27th and even before returning to Australia just for you! We'll talk asap, I'll email you or something.
the-insufferable-know-it-all - looks guilty … of course.
A/N#3 – Ok, I know, another A/N. But I just wanted to plead for long reviews because this is the last chapter. I want to know what you all though of the story overall, what you loved what you liked what you thought was lame what made you cry and what you hated. And a goodbye. Because I wont be speaking to most of you for a while and (believe it or not) I'll miss that. And happy reading HBP! Oh and forgive the spelling errors and grammatical stuff in this one, it hasn't really been looked over by either of my BETA's.
Lot's and lot's of love and thanks, Sede