This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
As someone said, "All good things(I hope this has been good for you) must come to an end." I was going to end this story twice before but I kept getting so many positive comments that I just kept going. The time has come now for this story to end and I want to say how much I appreciate the kind words you have had for me and yes I even appreciate the criticisms because constructive criticism only helps one to become a better writer. Please look out for my new story titled 'The 19 Years'. True Harry Potter fans will already know what this one is about. Thanks again.
Barnabus Collins J
Harry Potter apparated just inside the gate of what had once been the stately Malfoy Manor. It had fallen into disrepair since the death of Lucius Malfoy. His wife Narcissa wasn't strong enough to maintain the estate by herself and her son Draco no longer wanted anything to do with the place. It appeared that Draco had finally seen the light, he was still a jerk but he wasn't DeathEater material or so it seemed. Harry's little side trip had almost made him late for the hour time limit the DeathEaters had set. He stepped cautiously forward, hand on his wand, waiting for the trap to be sprung. He knew it was coming, he just didn't know when. As he started up the steps to the main entrance the huge oaken doors swung open as if they were the jaws of some nightmare creature preparing to take him into its maw…
The mood at the Burrow was quite somber, everyone waited with apprehension for a Patronus from either Ginny or Harry that would signal the Weasley clan to go to the Malfoy manor as quickly as possible and be ready for a fight.
"We never should have let him go alone," said Molly.
"Now Molly I think its best we trust Harry's judgment in this situation," replied Arthur.
"Yes Mrs. Weasley, I think Mr. Weasley is right. In all of the years I've know him he always seems to know the right thing to do… mostly," said Hermione.
"Hermione is right Mum. Harry has pulled our chestnuts out of the fire more than once and he's saved Ginny before, don't forget that," offered Ron.
"You know he would give his life to save her," added Bill.
"Harry will save her if anybody can," said Charley.
"I don't want him to give his life. I want Ginny and Harry both safely back here with me, that's what I want," said Molly sobbing softly.
As Arthur moved to put his arm around Molly to comfort her there was a knock at the door.
Everyone pulled out their wand and pointed it at the door as Ron eased forward and slowly opened the door. It was Dean Thomas.
"Dean!" yelped Molly as she ran to him and smothered him in a patented Molly Weasley hug.
"It's so good to see you Dean. What brings you here?" asked Molly.
"Wasn't sure if I would be welcomed here but I had a few wedding presents that had come into my possession and need to be returned but I wasn't sure how to do it. I figured you folks would know who they needed to be returned to."
"Dean, you will always be welcome here," said Molly giving him another crushing hug.
"Why did you all have your wands out and pointed at me when I came in," asked Dean.
Arthur quickly explained the situation to Dean and let him know that they were waiting to head to Malfoy Manor at top speed as soon as the Patronus arrived.
"You can count me in too. I will always have a place in my heart for Ginny, and Harry and I were mates once," said Dean.
"Bless you Dean. Bless you and thank you," said Molly.
"Now where is that bloody Patronus?" asked Ron.
Ginny tried to close her eyes but the Petrificus Totalus spell she was under would not allow it. She was chained to a brick wall, hanging by her wrists. She had been tortured with the Cruciatis curse almost to the point of madness. Every bit of her body screamed with the agony of what the DeathEaters had done to her but the sight that she was now forced to look at gave her more pain than anything the DeathEaters had done. Her love, her Harry had been taken by the DeathEaters and was now sprawled out on the floor of the cell. They were doing the same thing to him that they had done to her. First they placed him under the Petrificus Totalus spell and now they were using the Cruciatis curse on him. His body was seething with the most unbearable pain a person could imagine. She knew that Harry wanted to scream out in agony but the body-bind spell would not allow it. Ginny could tell from Harry's eyes that he was near the breaking point. She didn't know how much longer he could last.
Suddenly the DeathEaters stopped their torture of Harry and stood back to admire their handy work.
"Whew! This cursing is thirsty business. I need a pint and a bit of a breather," said the tallest DeathEater.
"Let's go ahead and finish him," said another.
"Plenty of time for that. You don't want to put an end to all of our fun too soon," said a third.
A DeathEater who appeared to be the leader of this group stepped up close to Harry and looked deep into his eyes.
'He's just about had it. Don't think there is too much left of him. Don't forget, when we are done with him we can still have some more fun with the Weasley tart. Don't forget, some of the others want a shot at the two of them also, we can't have all the fun," said the leader.
The DeathEaters finally decided to chain Harry up by his wrists so that he was facing Ginny.
"You two take a last long look at each other, there will be a new group in to finish you off after we've had a pint or two," said the leader as he hit Harry in the stomach as hard as he could.
The DeathEaters exited the cell, closing the door and leaving the young couple to hang there, staring at each other. A little tear rolled down Ginny's cheek as she thought about nothing but her sweet Harry, oblivious to her own pain. If she only had the power, if she was only stronger… then she saw it.
A tiny red beetle had worked its way under the cell door. It seemed to be looking around as if checking out the cell. Then the beetle scurried over to Harry and took up a position in front of him. Suddenly the beetle had vanished and in its place stood… Rita Skeeter!
Very cautiously Rita looked around the cell as if she expected to be attacked at any minute. They she drew a wand, pointed it at Harry's locked chains and whispered "Alohomora!"
Harry immediately dropped to the cell floor and lay motionless. Rita pointed her wand at Harry again and whispered "Finite Incantatum!"
It was all Harry could do to keep from crying out in pain when the body-bind spell had been lifted from him. He managed to control himself though as Rita performed the same spells on Ginny that she had performed on him. Ginny now lay on the cell floor beside him, moaning softly.
"Ginny please, I know it hurts but you have to be quiet my love, we can't let them hear us," pleaded Harry.
Ginny smiled and was able to control her pain. She took Harry's hand in hers and held it tightly.
"We're unchained Harry but I don't know how we will be able to get out of this room. I heard them talking and they have placed wards on this room that won't allow us to apparate out. I also heard them say that there must be twenty or more of them here in the manor, too many for us to fight past if we try to go through the door!"
"Pardon me for interrupting but I'm getting out of here the same way I came in. That's the deal we had Potter. I help you release the Weasley girl and in return you never report me as an unregistered Animagus and have me sent to Azkaban prison. Well, she is released and I am leaving," said Rita as she bent down and handed Harry two wands.
"Yes Rita, that was our deal, thanks. You can go now," said Harry.
"Harry you can't just let her go without helping us get away," said Ginny.
"Its okay Ginny, she has done her part, besides I have a plan," said Harry.
With that, Rita reverted to her beetle shape and scurried back out under the cell door.
Harry handed Ginny a wand and helped her move around behind an overturned table in the middle of the cell. They both crouched low and held each other tightly.
"Okay Ginny we have to send a Patronus to the Burrow to tell them to get here as quickly as possible. Go ahead, you do it."
Ginny closed her eyes and searched her mind for a happy thought to help create her Patronus which was a horse but even when she thought about the first time Harry had kissed her she just couldn't make the Patronus come.
"I… I don't think I can do it Harry. It just won't form, you try it!"
"Okay Ginny I'll give it a go."
Harry racked his brain for memory after memory and even though the most pleasant memories would come into his mind he could not get the Patronus to form. Finally, exhausted, Harry lay back and Ginny rested her head on his chest.
"Can't seem to do it Ginny, my grand plan isn't working," said Harry with a half smirk on his face.
"Oh Harry, you mean we can't send for help?"
"No, it looks like the great Harry Potter has failed you, when you needed him the most."
"Don't say that Harry. It's not your fault. You couldn't have known there would be a problem forming a Patronus."
"I should have known, I should have figured things out. Now I've led us to this."
"What's going on? Where are they?" yelled a voice from the cell door view port.
Harry quickly rose and yelled "Sectumsempra" as he pointed his wand at the door. The DeathEater screamed and fell backward into the hall, his face oozing blood from a large gash across his eyes.
Harry and Ginny could hear the other DeathEaters yelling now and the sound of running feet.
"We might not be able to get out Ginny but we can make it hard for them to get to us."
Harry pointed his wand at the door again and a brick wall immediately sprang up in front of it.
"It will take a little bit of time for them to get through that Ginny."
Ginny pulled Harry back down behind the table with her and held him in a tight hug.
"I'm sorry Ginny, I'm so sorry."
"You don't have anything to be sorry about Harry. If this has to be my last day then all I could ask is that I get to spend it with you. I loved you from the first time I saw you Harry Potter and I never stopped."
"I have to be the luckiest bloke alive to have your love Ginny and to be as much in love with you as I am."
Ginny snuggled closer to Harry as the DeathEaters began to attack Harry's protective wall.
"I'm afraid the wall won't last long Ginny but we can for sure give a good account of ourselves."
"Harry, I don't want to be taken by them again. I don't think I could take that kind of pain again. I don't want to end up like Neville's parents. There is no telling what else they might do to me."
Harry rested his chin gently on top of Ginny's head. He smiled as he realized that even after all she had been through she still smelled like vanilla and strawberries. Harry leaned back a bit and with his hand under her chin he lifted her head so that they were at eye level.
"I won't let them take you again Ginny, I promise you that."
Ginny screamed as a portion of the wall collapsed.
"Avada Kadavra!" yelled a voice from the hallway.
A green light just missed Harry as he fired back, "Avada Kadavra!" Harry didn't miss.
More curses entered the room.
Ginny quickly regained her composure and fired off a curse at the hole in the wall. She hit a DeathEater and evened up the odds a bit.
The DeathEaters backed away from the cell and all was quiet for a bit. Harry Figured they were just regrouping for the final assault. A million thoughts raced through his mind but he kept coming back to one thought, he couldn't let them take Ginny alive.
"I don't know if we can hold them again Harry. You know what must be done, I don't want to be taken and I don't think I have the strength to go on," said Ginny in a husky voice.
"And I wouldn't want to live in a world without you my love," said Harry.
Ginny smiled and took hold of Harry's wand hand. She guided the tip of his wand to the center of her chest. She then touched her own wand to Harry's chest.
"On three my love?" asked Ginny as she smiled her brightest smile at him.
"On three my love," replied Harry as he returned her smile tooth for tooth.
The whole cell shook and the sound of battle was everywhere. Harry realized that there seemed to be a new element involved in the fight, the battle now was taking place in the main hallway, away from the cell.
"What is it Harry?" said a muffled voice from under Harry's body. Harry had thrown himself on top of Ginny to protect her.
"Don't know for sure luv but I think the cavalry has arrived."
"Cavalry? What are you talking about?" asked Ginny as she managed to wriggle out from under Harry.
"Just something I picked up from one of Dudley's books. I think we have help from the Burrow."
Harry and Ginny crept to the hole in the wall and peered out at what was happening. The entire Weasley clan along with Hermione, Fleur, Dean Thomas and even Rita Skeeter had taken the DeathEaters by complete surprise. When Harry and Ginny joined in, the two pronged attack was too much for the DeathEaters, fifteen of them had been killed outright, three were wounded and three had surrendered.
"Ginny! Harry!" screamed Molly as she gathered them up in her arms and squeezed for all she was worth.
"You did it Harry, you saved her. Way to go Harry!" said Bill as he pounded Harry on the back.
Charlie grabbed Harry's hand and attempted to shake it off his arm, at least that was what it felt like to Harry.
Ron was guarding the prisoners and gave Harry a big thumbs up. He didn't even stop smiling when Hermione gave Harry a huge lingering kiss right on the mouth.
Harry was finally able to separate himself from the pile of people and found himself face to face with Rita Skeeter.
"Rita! It was you wasn't it? You Apparated to the Burrow and brought help didn't you?" asked Harry.
Rita seemed to blush a bit and nodded her head.
"That wasn't part of our deal though. Why did you do it?"
"Well, when you first explained your plan to me I just had it in the back of my mind that something could go wrong and since I'm not the totally bad person that everyone thinks I am I decided I'd better lend a hand. Besides Potter, if something ever happened to you, what would I have to write about?"
Harry just shook his head and laughed. The kiss that he gave Rita brought another blush to her face.
From out of the mass of Weasleys Ginny came running to Harry and the two young lovers held each other and kissed long and lovingly, oblivious to all the joyful faces around them.
Two Months later
Harry took one last look at himself in the mirror and decided that he just might make a respectable looking husband for Ginny after all. His battle wounds were pretty much healed now.
There was a knock on the door and Ron entered.
"Hey Harry, look who's here," said Ron.
Behind Ron stood Dean Thomas with a present in his hand.
"Hello Dean," said Harry.
"Hello Harry," replied Dean as he handed Harry the present.
"No problem Harry. Are you all okay now Harry, all healed up that is?" asked Dean.
"Yeah, I'm fine thanks, all healed up."
"Good," said Dean.
Dean swung from downtown and hit Harry squarely on the chin, dropping him on the floor in a heap.
Ron immediately jumped Dean and a big time brawl was beginning to breakout when Harry staggered to his feet.
"Stop Ron! That's enough!" commanded Harry.
"But Harry, he…," started Ron.
"It's okay Ron. Dean and I both know that I deserved that."
"I still have strong feelings for Ginny but I want most of all for her to be happy. You take care of her, treat her right and maybe we can be mates again some day," said Dean.
"I'll look forward to that day," said Harry.
Dean quickly turned and left the burrow, leaving Harry with an aching jaw.
Well, here he stood. Ron by his side and Hermione in her place as maid of honor. Harry had never seen so many pretty girls at one gathering but when Ginny entered, on her Father's arm, there was no doubt as to who the most beautiful girl in the world was.
Ginny and her Father approached the alter and stopped.
"Who gives this woman in matrimony?" asked the joiner.
"I do," replied Arthur as he kissed Ginny on the cheek and took his seat next to Molly.
Ginny stepped up to the alter and turned to face Harry. They were both smiling so brightly it looked as if they might burst with happiness.
The joiner began, "Friends and family, we are gathered here today…"