"Good afternoon, Miss Weasley."
"For the hundredth time, Robert, just call me Ginny," she chuckled.
"Old habits are hard to break," Robert replied. "Can I help you with those bags?"
"Thanks," Ginny replied, giving the Auror one of the heavy bags of groceries she was holding. She made her way into the kitchen of number 12 and started sorting through the bags, putting things away.
Robert leaned against the counter and watched Ginny work. "You weren't gone for very long," he commented.
"It's hard to leave him at all, much less for very long," she replied. "It's not easy lying to my brothers about living here and pretending to work a job that doesn't exist, but it's even harder to be away from Harry. If he woke up and I wasn't here…"
"I understand," Robert assured her. "If it was my wife in there I wouldn't leave either. But, still, it's been a month."
"And I'll keep doing it for a year if I have to," Ginny said with a shrug. "I love him."
"I know you do," Robert replied quietly. "Why don't you let me finish putting this stuff away and you can go on up to him. I don't mind; my shift ends in a little while anyway."
"Thanks, Robert." Ginny smiled at the Auror before heading out of the kitchen and up the stairs to Harry's bedroom. She opened the door and forced a smile on her face so her voice would be cheerful when she began to talk to Harry. There was sun shining into the room, but Harry still looked pale and deathly.
"Hello, love." Ginny walked over to his bed and began to straighten his bedding. "Susan was here this morning, but Robert is on duty downstairs now. He's a nice bloke; you'd like him. He's married and has two little girls. He's shown me pictures… the girls are adorable. Tonks is taking the late shift tonight. She'd be here more, but she promised Charlie when he proposed that she'd spend more time with him and less time working. I told you Tonks refuses to set a date until you wake up, right? So that's just one more reason you have to come back to us. You wouldn't be much of a friend if you kept Tonks from getting married."
Ginny picked up the vase with flowers on the dresser and walked into the bathroom so she could change the water. She walked back into the bedroom and set the vase on the bedside table.
"I'm going to leave these over here this time. They smell brilliant." Ginny sat down on the edge of Harry's bed and gently took his hand. "You know you can come back to me anytime now. If there's something you're waiting on, something you want me to do, you just have to let me know and I'll do it… anything."
Ginny stood up and began to pace the room. She was trying so hard to be strong for Harry, but she would give anything to have him come back to her. The healers had at one point been afraid that Harry's magical abilities would be completely diminished, but not too long after the accident he had started to banish their clothes at night again. That action gave Ginny the hope she needed to make it through the days. She had to believe that he was still thinking of her and wanting her.
She had even taken to whispering to Harry what he had to wake up to. She figured that if he was dreaming about her, she might as well continue to remind him that she was willing. Ginny would do anything if she thought it would bring Harry back to her.
There was a gentle knock on the door and Ginny turned around.
"Hello, Tonks," she replied. "Did Robert leave?"
Tonks nodded. "I wanted to get here early to talk to you about some things. I finally found some more time to go digging through Jeff's history today."
"Not in front of Harry," Ginny said quickly. "We'll go downstairs to talk." They walked out of the room and headed down the stairs. Ginny walked into the kitchen and sat down at the table across from Tonks. "So, have you found anything new?"
"Well, over the last month he's been laying fairly low except for his trade to the Magpies, which is of course suspicious in itself," Tonks began.
"Definitely. If he didn't like the publicity Harry got, why would he want to be on his team?"
"Right, it takes away from our case. And you know that his school records have been almost impossible to get into," Tonks added. "I've been racking my brain trying to find an inside connection in France. If he had gone to school in England our job would have been much simpler."
"But he didn't, so what can we do about it?" Ginny asked.
"Well, we've run an extensive search on British wizarding families with the last name of Collins. There were a few families that came up, but the most interesting was an old pure-blood family that's been dwindling in numbers lately. There's only been one male born in the last two generations."
"And I'm guessing it wasn't Jeff."
"So what's so interesting about that family?" Ginny asked, glancing at the clock on the wall and starting to wish she was with Harry.
"They disowned a daughter when she became pregnant. They tried very hard to keep everything private, but somehow the fact that she was pregnant leaked out. Rumor has it the father of her baby wasn't a pure-blood, and that's why her family was so upset."
"Do you know if she had a boy?" Ginny asked eagerly.
Tonks shook her head. "Unfortunately, no. Like I said, they tried very hard to keep the whole affair out of the public eye, so there have been very few details available. But, from what I can tell, the child would be about Jeff's age."
"Where's the woman now?"
"Died from complications in childbirth," Tonks replied smugly.
"Do you think Jeff would have told the truth about his mother dying when he was a baby? Maybe he just took her name, and his father really is an Auror," Ginny said excitedly.
"There's a very good possibility that that's what happened, but if Jeff was telling the truth it makes him look even more innocent."
"So what do we do now?" Ginny asked.
"Keep digging. If Jeff is guilty, we'll find something to convict him," Tonks replied with a shrug.
"I hate waiting almost as much as I hate not knowing," Ginny sighed.
"I know, I know. But there's nothing more we can do. The hit looked like an accident, and there's nothing linking Jeff to the threats. I'm doing all of this research into his past in my free time."
"Bet Charlie hates that," Ginny snickered.
"He understands," Tonks chuckled. "And he understands why I don't want to get married until Harry can be there."
"He's a good man."
"The best," Tonks agreed. "Why don't you go upstairs and try and get that man of yours to wake up."
Ginny forced a smile. "I'll be down sometime later to eat something. There's plenty of food in the kitchen. I went shopping today. Help yourself."
Ginny stood up from the table and headed back upstairs to Harry's room. She closed the blinds on his windows and crawled into bed beside him. She put her arm across his chest and closed her eyes.
"I love you Harry, but you're breaking my heart. You have to wake up. There is no medical reason why you can't open your eyes. We go through this every night. You have to open those beautiful eyes of yours. You still have so much to live for, but I'm not sure I have much left without you." She buried her head in his shoulder as she started to cry.
"Ginny…" His voice was low and hoarse, but it was his voice.
She picked her head up and watched as his eyes slowly blinked open. "Harry?" she asked hesitantly, almost afraid to believe it was real.
His voice sounded weak, but he was able to keep his eyes open to meet her gaze.
A smile broke across Ginny's face and she leaned down to kiss Harry's forehead.
"Tonks!" she yelled. "He's awake!"
A/N Well, that's the end of part one. It's been a long ride, but I reached the end. This project definitely grew from what my original intentions for it were. (Which is one of the reasons why I'm doing the revisions.) Look for some one-shots from me that take place in this universe throughout the summer, and for the revisions. Other than that, I'm taking the summer off. I almost burned out writing this, so I need the time if I want to make the sequel the best I possibly can. My goal is to have the revised version finished before I start posting the sequel, but I'm not sure how long that will take. My back up goal is to be very close to having about ten chapters finished before I start posting the sequel. There will be updates on my livejournal, though.
Thank you to all of my loyal reviewers! I don't know if I could have continued to make myself write during some of my low points without you. So I hope you enjoy the bits of work I do this summer, and I look forward to hearing from all of you again with the sequel!
ETA I forgot to tell you that the tentative title for part two is Chasing the Dream!