Harry Potter and Gryffindor's Secret

Chapter 18: The Show Must Go On

By: Lin-z

A/N: It may be beneficial to skim the previous chapters, in case you've forgot what's going on. Oh, and by way of disclaimers, I don't own anything except the storyline.

Two weeks following Ginny's death, and there was still an uneasy silence between Ron and Harry. Ron had told Harry at Ginny's funeral that he didn't blame Harry in the slightest, although Harry still held himself accountable for what had happened. Both boys seemed uncharacteristically sullen. Hermione, who hated seeing her friends this way, decided to do something about it.

"Harry?" Hermione asked, taking a seat next to him on the couch in front of the fire in the common room.

Harry's head shook as he snapped out of his reverie. "Yeah?"

"Are you alright? You haven't really been yourself lately," she said.

Harry sighed and looked up towards the ceiling. "Did I ever tell you what was in the note I got the day Ginny died?"

Hermione thought for a second. She remembered the note arriving, but in the flurry of events that took place afterwards, had almost forgotten about it. "No," she answered.

"It was from Voldemort," Harry answered, now staring back into the flickering light.

Hermione had guessed as much-the seal was, after all, the dark mark. She waited for a moment for Harry to continue. When he didn't, she quietly asked, "What did he say?"

For a moment, Harry said nothing. Then, "It was almost like a howler, only at first, he didn't say anything. All I could here were Ginny's screams. Then I heard him say 'Avada Kedavra,' and that she'd still be alive if she thought somebody cared about her," he paused. "I just can't help but think that if I had been there for her, Voldemort wouldn't have been able to get to her." He leaned forward with his head in his hands.

Hermione absently ran a hand along his back as she thought for a bit. "Harry, I'm sure I'm speaking for everyone when I say that I know you are in no way responsible for Ginny's death. There was no way you or any of the rest of us could have known this was going to happen, and you can't go around blaming yourself for something that isn't your fault." She stopped, and then had an idea. "Harry, have you told any of this to Ron?"

"No," he answered. "Every time I try to tell him I. I just can't."

"Would it be easier if the three of us went somewhere private and you could tell him there?" She offered.

Harry looked up at Hermione and gave her the closest resemblance to a smile she had seen in a while. "That would be good."

Hermione ran up to the boy's dorms and softly rapped on the door. Ron had been in there doing homework most of the afternoon. "Come in," Ron said, looking up as Hermione entered.

"How's your homework coming along?" She asked, walking in and sitting on the edge of his bed.

"Slow," he answered. "I can't seem to concentrate."

"Would you like to go for a walk with Harry and me?" She asked.

"Yeah, that would be good," Ron said, shutting his book and throwing all his homework stuff back into his book bag.

Harry met them at the base of the stairs, and the three of them left the tower together. They walked aimlessly for a bit, nobody saying much of anything. Harry had unknowingly been guiding the small group towards the room he had read Voldemort's letter in a fortnight before.

"Ah, I see you've returned. And you've brought company!" Harry stopped when he heard one of the portraits shout out. He hadn't noticed, but they had wandered all the way to the portrait of Sir Rutherford.

"Harry, who's this?" Ron asked quietly.

"I am Sir Rutherford of the Hollows, at your service," the man in the portrait answered.

"Might we go inside?" Harry asked. Sir Rutherford swung forward, and Harry, Ron, and Hermione stepped inside.

The three of them took seats around the fire (which had roared to life the moment the portrait swung open), and Harry proceeded to tell Ron exactly what he had told Hermione earlier that afternoon.

"I'm so sorry, Ron," Harry said.

"And you honestly believe it's your fault?" Ron asked. "C'mere," he said, standing up.

Harry stood, and Ron enveloped him in a brotherly hug. "We all miss her," Ron said as they broke apart, "But it's not your fault, and I can hardly believe you were daft enough to suppose it was." He smiled, and Harry couldn't help but smile back.

"So what's with the room?" asked Ron, trying to lighten the mood.

"I dunno," Harry replied. "I was walking along the corridor after I got that letter, and it just sort of appeared."

"Do you know who that is in the portrait above the mantle?" Hermione asked, gaping at the smiling man in the portrait.

"No," Harry and Ron said. "He looks awfully familiar though," Harry added.

The man stood up, and as he did so, Harry saw a flash of silver as his sword shifted. "I know that sword though!" He exclaimed. "It's the one that came out of the Sorting Hat our second year!"

"Sir Godric Gryffindor," the man in the portrait supplied, smiling. "Welcome to my quarters."

"Oh!" Hermione said, looking at her watch. "We're late for supper, we'd better go." The three of them left, promising to return later. Harry was especially anxious to explore Gryffindor's quarters. Just before they left, Harry was sure he saw a door that hadn't been there before, and his curiosity was peaked.

"Later," he said to himself, taking one last glance at the door before running after his friends.


I know it's short, and I know it's a year in coming, but at least it's finally here! This is kind of a transition chapter so I can get into the 'beef' of the story. Now *that* is what I like to call writer's block. Talk about a giant brain fart. Anyway, this chapter is dedicated to all you readers out there who kept on encouraging me to keep this story going. No school until the middle of June, so I'll try and keep on with regular updates from here on out. You guys are awesome! Now review, and let me know how you liked it!