By Duck Goddess
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or any of the characters mentioned here. I don't own the plot or some of the dialogue either.
basketball15 – I'm glad you liked that part. That was my favourite as well.
Kat – Thanks! I hope this update was fast enough.
SammyLynn – Thanks! I hope you enjoy this chappie as it's the last one.
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Sunshne5 – Thanks! Aw, stop stroking my ego! blushes Seriously, if you keep doing this I'll end up with a head like fifth-year James Potter.
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A/N: I cut some parts of the dialogue in the Hospital Wing out so don't say that's not how its meant to go because for me it would be too boring to explain the story all over again.
Chapter Two – Battle at Hogwarts
Dumbledore was dead. Snape killed him. Harry witnessed it. I can't believe it.
I always thought Snape was a biased git, yes, even Hermione admitted it in private once, but I assumed he was on our side. I, Ginevra Molly Weasley, was wrong. He's probably a full-time Death Eater working for Tom Riddle, used to being pampered by poor Dumbledore. That conniving bastard.
It's ironic, really. It was meant to be a happy time for us, despite the war happening around us. The OWLs were over and Harry and I were going out. But then, everything changed that night…
Harry had to go to Dumbledore's office for his lesson while I was in the library when Ron and Hermione stormed in, looking frantic.
"Ginny!" Hermione called while Madam Pince shot her a glare. "Thank goodness we've found you!"
"What's wrong?" I asked.
"Harry's about to go on one of his adventures with Dumbledore and he wants us to take this in case anything happens to us," Ron said in one breath. He pulled something out from his pocket and I recognized it as Felix Felicis.
"Wh – what? What's going on? Where's he going?" I asked, panicked. If ANYTHING happened to him…he just left without saying goodbye!
Ron and Hermione looked at each other warily.
"Oh, please, Ron, I'm your bloody sister!" I managed to say despite my horrible visions of Harry lying on the floor with a pool of blood beside him.
"Okay, do not repeat this to anyone!" Hermione whispered, looking around cautiously. She proceeded to tell me the story of the Horcruxes and the prophecy.
I was gobsmacked. Voldemort splitting his soul into six pieces? And Harry was going with Dumbledore to destroy one? And we had to watch Malfoy and Snape? I felt tears well in my eyes at the thought of him saying to Ron and Hermione to say goodbye to me. No, this isn't the time to get emotional.
"We haven't got much time," said Ron, "We have to drink this, NOW!" He took a tiny sip, Hermione took a bit more and I drank the rest. I felt confidence and luck flow through my blood and smiled.
"We need to get some members of the DA that are trustworthy and can do this," Hermione said hastily. She took out her DA coin and used her wand to carve something into it. 'Meet at Charms classroom', it said.
We quickly left the library and hurried off. When we arrived, Neville and Luna were the only ones there. I saw Ron and Hermione exchange worried looks. I knew what they were thinking: how come no one else came?
"What's going on?" Neville asked, looking worried.
"Something's happened. Harry thinks that Snape and Malfoy are planning some kind of Death Eater thing and he wants us to watch them," Ron explained.
"We checked the Marauders' Map. Malfoy isn't on it so he's in the Room of Requirement. Luna and I can watch Snape's office while you, Ginny and Neville stay outside the Room," said Hermione, instantly taking charge. Everyone agreed and Ron, Neville and I set off for the seventh floor.
"This is mad," I heard Ron mutter," Malfoy can't be a Death Eater!"
This was the second time I was on some kind of mission to do with Death Eaters. Except one person was missing – Harry. I sighed. What if he died? The last thing I said to him was 'can we do that later? I'm busy'. I wish I had said something that told him how I really felt about him. I should have said 'I love you'.
I felt a hand on my shoulder and my heart started racing. Was Harry back? I quickly looked up and saw that it was Neville. As much as I liked him, I couldn't help but feel disappointed.
"We're going to be fine, Ginny," he said.
"I'm not worried about us, Nev," I replied quietly.
"Don't worry about Harry, then. He'll be fine," said Neville. I smiled; he was always extremely perceptive.
"Shush, someone's coming!" Ron ordered. We immediately tensed and drew our wands. I could feel my hand shaking. I had never been this scared before except in my first year and when Bellatrix Lestrange threatened to torture me in the Department of Mysteries last year. And I had Harry both times. But this time, I only had my brother and Neville. Don't worry, you can protect yourself. You fought ten Death Eaters last year and escaped with only a broken ankle!
Then, a horrible thought struck me. What if Ron died? Mum and Dad would never be the same – they were already heartbroken over Percy. Bill and Charlie would miss all the games of chess they had, Fred and George wouldn't have anyone to tease and I…I would have lost my closest sibling. And Harry and Hermione would be equally as devastated. I knew Harry's soul would die with him. For Voldemort, it would be like killing two birds with one stone.
"Just a first-year," Ron mumbled. I didn't look at him. I couldn't, not knowing that he might lose his life today, as well as Neville.
An hour later, we heard some more footsteps. I looked at the wall opposite the tapestry. No door. The footsteps grew louder and suddenly, a door appeared. I gripped my wand tighter and my heart started beating faster. The door opened and black-robed figure ran out. Malfoy.
Ron, Neville and I ran towards him and Malfoy threw some black powder at us, holding a shriveled-looking arm. Everything went black.
"No one's here to save you, Ginny," said Tom, smiling maliciously, "Not even the great Harry Potter. He'll be dead and it'll be your fault."
"NO!" I screamed, "You can't kill Harry! Please, don't!"
"Oh, I will, Ginevra, I will." The last thing I remembered was the statue of Salazar Slytherin before I fainted.
"Ginny!" a faint voice called. I snapped out of it and looked around. I couldn't see a thing. Am I blind? Oh Merlin, please, give me some light!
"Ginny!" the voice called again.
"Ron?" I answered, feeling my legs shake.
"Can you see?"
"No!" I said, shaking my head. Not that he could see me anyways.
"Lumos!" he muttered. Nothing happened.
"Incendio!" Neville tried. Nothing happened.
"Dissendium!" I cried. Nothing happened.
"Bugger!" shouted Ron, "Damn Malfoy got past us!"
"What did he throw at us anyway?" Neville asked.
"Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder," Ron said gloomily, "Stupid twins!"
We tried all sorts of spells but nothing happened.
"We should just try to feel our way out of here," I suggested.
We walked in single file along the wall, holding it for support. I had to stop myself from shuddering every few seconds. I hated darkness ever since my first year. I felt all sorts of paintings and tapestries and finally, we could see light. I smiled gratefully.
"We have to go catch them!" Ron cried. We started running but stopped when we saw some very familiar figures.
"You three have to go back to Gryffindor Tower," ordered McGonagall, and for the first time ever, she sounded frightened.
"Do you really think that we're just going to sit in our dorms and twiddle our thumbs while Death Eaters take over the school?" Ron snapped. He obviously didn't care about getting a detention or losing House points anymore.
McGonagall muttered something like 'Damn Potter's posse and Gryffindor bravery'.
"No," said Lupin firmly, "It's too dangerous. Now, I'm not going to argue so go!"
I felt anger flare up inside me. I actually fought Voldemort and Death Eaters before and I could easily do it again!
"We fought Death Eaters last year and all six of us survived. We're wasting time arguing. We have to go," I said stubbornly.
Bill, McGonagall, Tonks and Lupin exchanged defeated glances.
"Alright, let's go," said Tonks before running off. Lupin, McGonagall and Neville followed. Ron and I were about to go but Bill drew us aside.
"You have to promise me to be careful. Mum would kill me if anything happened to you two," he said, wrapping his arms around us.
"I promise," Ron and I said in unison.
"Good luck," he said and the three of us followed the Death Eaters. We were going in the direction of the Astronomy Tower when we spotted them.
"Stupefy!" one of them cried when he spotted us. The rest saw us and started running. Cowards, I thought angrily.
"Avada Kedavra!" a big, blonde one shouted, sending the spell over his shoulder. Tonks dodged it before sending a spell of her own at him.
It was hard work, trying to chase them while trying to dodge and cast spells at the same time.
Finally, we arrived at the base of the Astronomy Tower and one of them quickly shot a spell at me. I saw Bill, Tonks, Lupin, McGonagall, Ron and Neville battling a Death Eater each. The one Bill was dueling was a particularly vicious-looking one.
"Petrificus Totalus!" I cried, dodging the Stunner he sent me. That was lucky. Oh yeah, Felix Felicis.
The duel continued when we heard a whoop of glee. Huh? I heard someone running down the stairs and one of them stopped. A ray of green light was moving towards him from that big, blonde one. The spell hit him in the chest and he collapsed; his eyes wide and empty. He was dead.
I gaped. I had never seen anyone die before. It was a horrible feeling, even if he was a Death Eater. It was worse that he was killed by his own side.
"Crucio!" the Death Eater I was dueling with suddenly shouted. Instincts kicked in and I quickly dodged it.
Suddenly, the blonde Death Eater fired a spell and I heard the ceiling crack. I looked up and so did the Death Eater. The ceiling started to crumble and I screamed. We ran forwards, covering our heads with our arms and made it just in time. Two figures emerged and started running but the Death Eaters were back and started fighting again.
The duel continued and I could feel my energy running low. Don't give up, Weasley, I reminded myself.
"Crucio!" the Death Eater cried again. I dodged it and he continued shooting the Cruciatus Curse at me.
"Crucio – crucio – you can't dance forever, pretty –"
Suddenly, a very familiar voice cried, "Impedimenta!" The Death Eater was blasted into the wall and he sank down, unconscious.
I turned towards the voice and I gasped. It was Harry with his messy black hair and his glasses covering his bright green eyes. He looked furious and his knuckles were white from gripping his wand so tightly. I felt a feelings of hope and love rise in me. How did he get here?
"Harry, how did you get here?" I yelled. He didn't answer, he just started running. I couldn't help but feel hurt…how come he didn't answer me? I saw him sprint off in the direction of the two figures and the Death Eaters followed. I felt tears well in my eyes. It was pathetic, crying just because someone didn't answer you. But I couldn't help but feel that he didn't care about me at that time.
"Everyone, get to the Hospital Wing!" McGonagall barked. I saw Ron try to get past McGonagall to follow Harry but she stopped him. Tears were falling freely now…
Suddenly, I heard someone scream and I jumped. Tonks was pointing shakily at a bloody, red-haired figure on the floor. Bill.
Ron and I ran towards him. He has to be alright, he has to be alright. I grabbed his wrist and sighed with relief. There was a very faint pulse.
"Bloody hell, look at him," I heard Ron breathe next to me. I looked at him and gasped. His face was full of savage cuts and I knew Bill would be scarred forever. All thoughts of Harry vanished. Bill had always been handsome – that's what attracted Phlegm in the first place – and now, he was just brutally attacked!
"Merlin's beard," McGonagall said shakily, "Remus, get everyone to the Hospital Wing. I'll try to find Dumbledore." She walked off and Lupin and Tonks conjured stretchers.
"C'mon, Ginny," I heard Tonks say, "Bill will be alright."
I felt her lead me towards the Hospital Wing while I was in a daze. My brother was hurt. It was a nightmare.
I spotted some rubies on the floor and frowned. I walked quickly and saw that the Gryffindor hourglass was broken. Harry. Where's Harry?
I looked to my brothers, Neville, Tonks and Lupin. They were ahead of me with Hermione and Luna. My heart lifted as I saw that they were alright. I have to find Harry.
I followed them into the Hospital Wing and sank down into a chair. Madam Pomfrey screamed at the sight of Bill and quickly tried to mend him.
"What happened?" I heard Hermione ask.
"We think Fenrir Greyback attacked him," Lupin replied.
"I'm afraid he won't look the same anymore," said Madam Pomfrey, her eyes filling with tears, "But there will be some after-effects. Greyback was a werewolf but he wasn't transformed so I really have no idea what will happen."
I looked up and saw another body on a bed: Professor Flitwick. Luna saw me look at him and said: "Snape knocked him out."
"Ennervate," I heard Madam Pomfrey mutter. Flitwick's eyes quickly opened and he gasped.
"I need to find the Ravenclaws," was all he said before he ran out. Madam Pomfrey didn't stop him. She moved onto Neville and gave a small smile. "He'll make a full recovery," she said.
"Where's Harry?" Hermione asked, panicking. She was holding onto Ron's hand and he didn't seem to notice. Harry. My heart started racing again.
"I have to find him," I told them before running out the Hospital Wing.
I ran out the Entrance Hall and onto the school grounds. I spotted a crowd at the foot of the Astronomy Tower and sprinted towards it. A black-haired boy was seen and I saw Hagrid next to him. Then, I saw what the crowd was looking at. Dumbledore's body. No, no, it can't be!
"C'mere, Harry," I heard Hagrid say.
"You can't stay here, Harry…come on, now…"
"Harry, come on," I heard myself say. I instinctively reached for his hand and lead him out of the crowd. I felt tears threaten to fall again and I wiped my eyes. Dumbledore couldn't be dead. He couldn't be. He was the most powerful wizard in the world! I didn't care about Harry not answering me anymore. Why should I?
We walked into the Entrance Hall and I said, "We're going to the Hospital Wing."
"I'm not hurt," he replied hollowly.
"It's McGonagall's orders," I told him, still holding his hand. My voice sounded strange from the effort to not cry. "Everyone's up there, Ron and Hermione and Lupin and everyone –" My heart sank at the thought of Bill. Would he survive?
"Ginny, who else is dead?" I heard the worry in his voice and I looked at him. He was pale and his eyes were glassy. He was clutching something in his other hand that I decided not to ask about.
"Don't worry, none of us." I hope not, anyways.
"But the Dark Mark – Malfoy said he stepped over a body –" It must have been Bill then. At least he was still alive. I was NOT delusional despite how shaken up I was.
"He stepped over Bill, but it's alright, he's alive."
I heard the worry in my voice and gulped. The tears were in my eyes yet again and I clutched Harry's hand tightly.
"Are you sure?" Harry asked, looking at me closely. I looked at his emerald-green eyes and I bit my lip.
"Of course I'm sure…he's a – a bit of a mess, that's all. Greyback attacked him. Madam Pomfrey says he won't – won't look the same anymore. We don't really know what the after-effects will be – I mean, Greyback being a werewolf, but not transformed at the time."
I heard my voice tremble and inwardly scolded myself. Be strong, Ginny, be strong! It was too late. Tears were falling down my face and I squeezed Harry's hand.
"But the others…there were other bodies on the ground…" Harry trailed off. I knew what he was thinking. Please don't let the others die. Thank Merlin I drank the Felix Felicis. Who knows what would happen if I didn't.
"Neville's in the Hospital Wing, but Madam Pomfrey thinks he'll make a full recovery, and Professor Flitwick was knocked out, but he's alright, just a bit shaky. He insisted on going off to look after the Ravenclaws. And a Death Eater's dead, he got killed by a Killing Curse the huge blonde one was firing off everywhere. Harry, if we hadn't had your Felix potion, I think we'd all have been killed, but everything seemed to just miss us –"
We had reached the Hospital Wing and I pushed the door open. Ron, Hermione, Luna, Tonks and Lupin all looked up. Hermione ran towards us and hugged Harry. She then turned and hugged me as well.
"I'm so glad you're safe," Hermione whispered in my ear.
"Me too. I'm so sorry about what I said to you about Quidditch. You're my best friend and I'm so sorry," I said, my voice thick from my sobbing.
"It's alright. I forgive you," she said gently, patting my back. She led me over to Bill's bed and I saw Madam Pomfrey dabbing his face with a green substance.
"I'm sorry I didn't apologize to you before," I said quietly to Hermione.
"Honestly, Ginny, it's alright!"
"Can't you fix them with a charm or something?" I heard Harry ask.
"No charm will work on these," said Madam Pomfrey, looking defeated. "I've tried everything I know, but there is no cure for werewolf bites."
"But he wasn't bitten at the full moon," Ron argued, staring down at Bill. "Greyback hadn't transformed so surely Bill won't be a – a real -?" He looked at Lupin.
"No, I don't think that Bill will be a true werewolf," said Lupin, shaking his head, "But that does not mean that there won't be some contamination. Those are cursed wounds. They are unlikely ever to heal fully and – and Bill might have some wolfish characteristics from now on."
"Dumbledore might know something that'd work, though," said Ron. My heart started pounding at the sound of our Headmaster's name. I looked at Harry. His eyes were guarded and his jaw was set.
"Ron – Dumbledore's dead," I said quietly.
"No!" Lupin cried. My eyes widened. Our former Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher was usually mild-mannered and in control. I felt defeated. The Death Eaters had won.
"How did he die?" Tonks whispered.
Everyone looked at Harry. He looked uncomfortable but started speaking anyway. Everyone listened intently. I knew what they were all thinking – how could some measly Death Eater kill someone as powerful as Dumbledore?
"Snape did it. The Avada Kedavra." Harry stopped as Madam Pomfrey burst into tears.
"Ssh! Listen!" I told the matron.
Suddenly, a terrible song was heard and I gasped. It was a phoenix song. It felt like it wasn't the phoenix singing, it was me. My grief. My sorrow. Everyone listened as Madam Pomfrey continued crying and it seemed like hours till Professor McGonagall came in.
"Molly and Arthur are on their way," she said gravely. I looked up at the sound of my parents' names. How would they react towards Bill?
"Harry, what happened? According to Hagrid you were with Professor Dumbledore when he – when it happened," McGonagall corrected himself, as if she couldn't bring herself to say what really happened. "He says Professor Snape was involved in some –"
"Snape killed Dumbledore," Harry said bluntly. I reached for his hand again and squeezed it. McGonagall gaped at him and swayed on her feet. Madam Pomfrey quickly conjured a chair and she collapsed into it.
"Snape," McGonagall said faintly, "We all wondered…but he trusted…always…Snape…I can't believe it…"
Everyone continued disbelieving it as I gazed at Harry. He was looking at his shoes before he started explaining how Death Eaters got into the school.
"I messed up, Harry," said Ron weakly, "We did like you told us: we checked the Marauders' Map and we couldn't see Malfoy on it so we thought he must be in the Room of Requirement, so me, Ginny and Neville went to keep watch on it…but Malfoy got past us."
My mind flashed back to that; the darkness, the cloaked figures, that awful shriveled arm…
"He came out of the Room about an hour after we started keeping watch," I heard myself say, "He was on his own, clutching that awful shriveled arm…"
"His Hand of Glory," Ron said hollowly, "Gives light only to the holder, remember?"
I continued explaining what happened and Hermione burst into tears.
"I was so stupid, Harry!" Hermione said in a high-pitched whisper, "He said Professor Flitwick had collapsed and that we should go and take care of him while he – while he went to help fight the Death Eaters –" She covered her face, still crying. I instinctively wrapped my arm around her, still holding Harry's hand. It hurt to see everyone like this – my family, my friends, my teachers and…Harry.
We continued explaining what happened when suddenly, Mum and Dad burst in with Phlegm behind them.
"Bill," Mum whispered, "Oh, Bill!"
I could feel tears prickling in my eyes again as I saw the expression on my parents' faces.
"Of course, it doesn't matter how he looks…it's not r – really important…but he was a very handsome little b – boy…always very handsome…and he was g – going to be married!" Mum said, bursting into tears.
"And what do you mean by zat?" Phlegm said suddenly. She looked defiant and was currently shooting daggers at my mother. "What do you mean, 'e was GOING to be married?"
Mum looked startled and very uncomfortable.
"Well – only that –"
"You theenk Bill will not wish to marry me anymore?" Phlegm yelled, "Because of these bites, he will not love me?"
"No, that's not what I –"
"Because 'e will!" Phlegm shouted, standing up straight and throwing back her hair, "It would take more zan a werewolf to stop Bill loving me!"
She continued ranting and suddenly, she and Mum started hugging. Hermione and I exchanged looks. If Phlegm still loved Bill, maybe she wasn't so bad after all. I might even call her by her proper name, Fleur.
"You see!" a voice suddenly cried, "She still wants to marry him, even though he's been bitten! She doesn't care!"
I looked over at Tonks. She was glaring at Lupin, her hands on her hips.
"It's different," Lupin said quietly, looking uncomfortable. "Bill will not be a full werewolf. The cases are completely –"
"But I don't care either, I don't care!" Tonks cried, seizing his robes, "I've told you a million times!" I was stunned. Who knew that young, carefree, clumsy Tonks would fall in love with serious, mild-mannered Lupin? My mum and Phl – Fleur getting along, Dumbledore dead and now Tonks and Lupin were in love? What was going on?
"And I've told you a million times," Lupin said, avoiding her eyes, "That I am too old for you, too poor…too dangerous…"
"I've said all along that you're taking a ridiculous line on this, Remus," said Mum sternly.
"I am not being ridiculous," he said coldly, "Tonks deserves somebody young and whole."
"But she wants you," said Dad, smiling, "And after all, Remus, young and whole men do not necessarily remain so."
My parents knew about this? Were they matchmakers now?
"This is…not the moment to discuss it," said Lupin, avoiding everyone's eyes, "Dumbledore is dead…"
"Dumbledore would have been happier than anybody to think that there was a little more love in the world," said McGonagall gravely as Hagrid walked in through the doors.
His face was swollen and he was wiping his face with a gigantic spotted handkerchief. I looked away. It hurt me to see the lovable half-giant so upset.
"I've…I've done it, Professor," Hagrid sobbed, "M – moved him." I instantly knew that he was talking about Dumbledore. "Professor Sprout's got the kids back in bed. Professor Flitwick's lyin' down but he says he'll be alright in a jiffy, an' Professor Slughorn says the Ministry's bin informed."
"Thank you, Hagrid," Professor McGonagall said, standing up, "I shall have to see the Ministry when they get here. Hagrid, please tell the Heads of House – Slughorn can represent Slytherin –" Harry's face darkened as the thought of Snape –"that I want to see them in my office forthwith. I would like you to join us too. Before I meet them I would like a quick word with you, Harry. If you'll come with me…"
I let go of his hand as Harry faced us.
"See you in a bit," he murmured before following McGonagall. I stared after him. Why did all of this have to happen? I knew he was close to Dumbledore…everyone sat in silence as they digested the fact that the most powerful wizard in the world was dead.
Over the next few days, Harry had become less distraught and was even talking freely. However, whenever the subject of Snape was brought up, he would flare up and lash out at us. The weather was horrible – it was sunny and bright. The OWLs were over so we weren't under pressure anymore but how could we be happy when all of this had happened?
Harry was acting strange towards me and would always be conversing with Ron and Hermione. I knew he didn't know that I knew about the Horcruxes and I didn't want him to know. He would instantly try to protect me and push me away from him.
One evening, I bid the Golden Trio goodnight and went towards the girls' dormitories. I closed the door and instantly took out an Extendable Ear. The flesh-coloured worm-like thing wriggled out and moved towards them.
"Harry, I found something out this morning, in the library…" I heard Hermione say.
"RAB?" Harry said. I frowned. Who was RAB?
"No, I've been trying, Harry, but I haven't found anything…" Hermione said sadly, "There are a couple of reasonably well-known wizards with those initials – Rosalind Antigone Bungs…Rupert "Axebanger" Brookstanton…but they don't seem to fit at all. Judging by that note, the person who stole the Horcrux knew Voldemort, and I can't find a shred of evidence that Bungs or Axebanger ever had anything to do with him…no, actually, it's about…well, Snape."
I felt my jaw drop. Someone stole a Horcrux…someone called RAB? Inside, I couldn't help but feel hurt again. They were still keeping secrets from me, despite the fact that I was Harry's girlfriend, Ron's sister and Hermione's best female friend.
"What about him?" I heard Harry ask heavily.
"Well, it's just that I was sort of right about the Half-Blood Prince business," Hermione said timidly.
"Do you have to rub it in, Hermione? How do you think I feel about that now?" Harry sounded very, very annoyed.
They continued talking about Voldemort, Malfoy and the Half-Blood Prince AKA Snape. Every time someone uttered a word, my heart would sink deeper and deeper. They were still keeping secrets from me. I collected the Extendable Ear and went up to my dormitory, feeling disheartened.
On the morning of the funeral, I woke up at 5:00. I didn't want to leave Hogwarts but I knew I had to. I packed slowly, ignoring the other girls in my dorm. I went downstairs, wearing my dress robes and walked into the Great Hall with Ron, Harry and Hermione. All my anger had dissipated as I saw the empty chair in the middle of the staff table.
McGonagall finally said, "It is nearly time. Please follow your Heads of House out into the grounds. Gryffindors, after me."
We obediently followed her and I sat next to Harry and Hermione, facing the marble table next to the lake.
I couldn't help but smile as I saw Tonks and Lupin holding hands and Neville walking with Luna. Everyone turned around to look as Hagrid walked up the aisle between the chairs. He was carrying Dumbledore's body. I felt tears well in my eyes. Dumbledore really was dead. There was no doubt about that now. I could feel the tears splash onto my robes and I quickly wiped my eyes. A little man in plain black robes stood up and made a speech.
I tuned out as I thought about Dumbledore. He was so kind to me, especially after the Chamber. He gave me hot chocolate and didn't get angry once. I was so frightened; I thought I would get expelled. But, of course, I didn't. I wish I got to thank him for believing in me.
Suddenly, people screamed. My head shot up and I gasped. White flames were engulfing Dumbledore's body and the table. The next second, however, the fire vanished. In its place was a white tomb.
I felt Harry look at me and I looked at him. There was determination in his bright green eyes and I suddenly realized why Harry was acting so strange. He was finally going to do it.
"Ginny, listen…" he said, very quietly, "I can't be involved with you any longer. We've got to stop seeing each other. We can't be together."
Inwardly, I cursed Voldemort and all his stupid minions to hell. Be strong, Ginny, be strong…
"It's for some stupid, noble reason, isn't it?" I asked, trying to smile. I didn't want to let him know that I knew about the Horcruxes.
"It's been like…like something out of someone else's life, these last few weeks with you," Harry said, "But I can't…we can't…I've got things to do alone now."
I stared at him. This was how it would end. I always knew that. Don't cry, Ginny, don't cry…
"Voldemort uses people his enemies are close to. He's already used you as bait once, and that was just because you're my best friend's sister. Think how much danger you'll be in if we keep this up. He'll know, he'll find out. He'll try and get to me through you," Harry continued, looking forlorn.
For Merlin's sake, Harry, I don't care! I'm not as stupid or as naïve as I was in first year! I can fight him! my mind screamed.
"What if I don't care?" I surprised myself by saying.
"I care," said Harry gently, "How do you think I'd feel if this was your funeral…and it was my fault…"
I couldn't look at him anymore. I knew he would act like this. Thinking everything was his fault. What if I wanted to die for him? Didn't he know that not everything was his fault and that people were willing to die for him? I loved him! Tell him that, Gin. Before he leaves you forever. Tell him how you feel.
"I never really gave up on you," I said, tears threatening to fall again, "Not really. I always hoped…Hermione told me to get on with life, maybe go out with some other people, relax a bit around you, because I never used to be able to talk if you were in the room, remember? And she thought you might take a bit more notice if I was a bit more – myself." I remembered her voice in my head and gave a weak smile.
"Smart girl, that Hermione," Harry replied, trying to smile. It looked like a grimace though. "I just wish I'd asked you sooner. We could've had ages…months…years maybe…"
"But you've been too busy saving the wizarding world," I replied, laughing wryly. It was typical Harry. "Well…I can't say I'm surprised. I knew this would happen in the end. I knew you wouldn't be happy unless you were hunting Voldemort. Maybe that's why I like you so much." And I did. I did love Harry for who he was – flaws and all.
I saw the longing in his eyes and looked away. He got up and left. I turned my head and looked after him. He looked so dejected and was clutching something in his pocket again. I sighed. I still loved him. And I always would – even if Harry didn't love me.
A/N: This is the last chapter of Bitter Memories. I actually cried when I was writing this chapter so please review! It's not like me to write such sad stuff…