Authors Note: You may need this.
Chapter 16: School's Ending; Summer's Start
Ginny debated the invitation from Riddle and Potter. On Friday she approached her older brothers as they plotted in the corner. "Fred, George, can I ask you guys something?"
"Sure Gin-Gin, sit down," invited Gred.
Ginny sat down and scooted close to them. "I have been invited to a meeting tomorrow with Riddle and Potter. Granger and Longbottom are supposed to escort me to the meeting tomorrow around 1pm. They said I could bring you two. Will you come with me?" Her words were quiet and slightly rushed, but the twins heard her.
"Why are you meeting with them?" asked Forge.
"I need to find out what to do concerning the life debt I now owe and there is some other stuff I feel I should talk to them about."
"We will gladly go with," said Gred.
"Any time Gin-Gin," stated Forge. "Now what do you say to some exploding snap?" Ginny smiled in response and nodded.
Break. Break. Break. Break. Break. Break.
The school was gearing up for the end of the year. With only three weeks until OWLs and NEWTs the fifth and seventh year students were in a frenzy, many fainting from exhaustion or fear. The other years were slightly less frantic since they had four weeks until finals, but even they were feeling the year end stresses. As per the previous year the Slytherin quartet and their adopted lions were less anxious then their classmates due to their constant study and review sessions throughout the year.
The six friends took a break from their study sessions in order to meet with Ginny and the twins. As the serpents went to the hidden Slytherin room, Hermione and Neville went to Gryffindor tower to retrieve Ginny. The three red heads were waiting near the tower stairs; with simple acknowledgements the five lions made their way to the dungeons.
The serpents arranged the refreshments they had requested of the Hogwarts elves. They wanted the lions to feel comfortable and so did not change the multitude of red and gold back to green and silver. On some level the heirs were nervous, yet they maintained their calm as they were trained to. Neither was sure what to expect of the youngest Weasley and so mentally prepared themselves for any contingency.
The four lifelong friends were eating as the five others arrived. Kira smiled at them, "Thank you for bringing them Hermione, Neville. Fred, George and Ginny please join us. We had the house elves provide refreshments since we are meeting while lunch is still occurring."
"Looks good," said a Fred as he grabbed a sandwich and drink. George and Ginny selected their own food before all three sat on a red couch with gold trim. Hermione and Neville each retrieved portions before sitting on the other red couch which already contained Blaise. The heirs were on a green and silver couch with Draco.
"So, miss Weasley, you wished to speak with us," stated Harry as a prompt.
Ginny swallowed her bite and said, "Yes… I know I owe a life-debt and…"
Kira interrupted, "Actually what would have been a life-debt was negated by the cause of your danger. As the heir of the diary's creator, I cannot accept a life-debt from one who was harmed by it."
"I also am named his heir by magic if not by blood," stated Harry.
Ginny sat stunned for a moment before she spoke again, "If I owe no debt… I still want to thank you for your help. I was also wondering if you knew who gave it to me?"
"Why are you asking them?" questioned George.
"Because I know who gave it to me and I want to know if they know."
"We do not have proof, but we know Dumbledore gave it to you," said Harry.
"Take that back," exclaimed Fred.
"He can't," said Ginny putting a hand on him and pulling him back to the couch, "because Dumbledore did give it to me."
"What?" both twins looked at her in shock.
Ginny sighed and told the eight older children what she had told her parents just over a week before. It was almost easier this time. Her older brothers held and comforted her as she spoke. She noticed the serpents while not surprised by her revelations were certainly furious at Dumbledore. Hermione and Neville looked ill as she told her tale.
"What Dumbledore set in motion was unforgivable," began Kira, "But the actions of my father's shade was even more so. I apologize for the trauma you suffered and if there is anything I can do to help you on the road to recovery just let me know."
"I too offer my aid," stated Harry.
"You both saved me," said Ginny, "that is enough. I would have died in that cold place without you. I just want to know something… is the," she stuttered slightly, "is the lost little boy still living afraid in Tom Riddle?"
The twins were uncertain where their sister was going. Draco and Blaise were slightly uncomfortable with the topic. Neville and Hermione were surprised by the question. Kira and Harry wondered how much remained with Ginny of what the diary had poured into her.
Kira sighed, "The scared abused child will always be a part of my father. His youth is not something we speak of often, the fact that mother has helped him move past it is enough for us. I hope that is enough for you."
Ginny nodded and there was silence for a few moments as everyone took a bite of food or drank some juice. Finally Ginny decided on her next words, "After what he set into motion this last year, I can never support Dumbledore, but after what the diary did I can never truly stand with your father either. I know there will eventually be a war… but I…"
As she trailed off Draco was the one who answered, "You want to know if there is a way to be neutral. You want to know if there is something you and your family can do to not become targets of Lord voldemort's army when the war starts." Ginny nodded. "Then all you need do is make sure you and your family does not stand with Dumbledore. Those who stand with him are the enemy all others are neutral in our eyes."
Harry expanded, "Everyone who can be will be given a chance to be neutral in the coming war. Unlike Dumbledore we do not have the mentality of if you are not with us you are against us. We simply ask you not be against us if you will not be with us."
"We will speak with our parents," said Fred.
"We will do what we can to ensure our family does not stand with Dumbledore," added George.
"Thank you," finished Ginny.
"If you can convince your parents to do so, a Declaration of Neutrality is always strongly recognized by the pureblood community during conflicts," added Blaise.
The Weasleys nodded and after the meal they left. Hermione nearly pounced on Blaise after the red heads left wanting information of the Declaration. What followed was a three hour long conversation on Pureblood Ritual and Tradition.
Break. Break. Break. Break. Break. Break.
The last weeks of school flew by. Second year students met with their heads of house and finished signing up for their electives the following year. The heirs encouraged Hermione not to overdo her electives but were pretty sure they were not successful. Harry finished third year Transfiguration curriculum and was somewhat saddened but also excited as he learned he would be with fourth year transfiguration students the following year. Kira and Harry both finished third year Charms would be in class with fourth year students the next year. Kira would be in fifth year potions so long as she passed the fourth year final next September first. She had about eight weeks of fourth year work to finish over the summer as well as pre-fifth year summer potion work.
The great hall during the leaving feast was decked in green and silver. Without Dumbledore to commit last minute changes it stayed that way. Severus accepted the House Cup with a smirk. The Quidditch Cup had been presented the Friday before finals. Slytherin pride was flying high as the students left for the Hogwarts Express. Promises to write were exchanged and games were played. The train ride was almost too short and good-byes came too soon. The summer had begun.
I know this was short, but it didn't feel right being part of the last chapter. Second Year is finished. There will be some small fragments/stories in a different story. Also I do not know if I will find the inspiration to finish year 3 (only the first chanpter is written) so I will wait until I have a few chapters of it down before I actually do it. Until then the short fragments which will be under the title Dark Heirs: Shadows and Interludes will be all I publish.