HARRY POTTER AND THE UNFORGIVEN
A Sixth Year Harry Potter Fanfiction
"Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus."
...never tickle a sleeping dragon
COPYRIGHT DISCLAIMER: I do not own Harry Potter or anything related to Harry Potter. Those rights are held, exclusively, by JK Rowling, and any other entities, corporations, subsidiaries, or groups not named here possessing legal rights to the aforementioned books and/or trademark.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: the following work of fanfiction is a Harry/Ginny 'ship' fic with heavy angst, dark overtones, and adult themes. This is an AU sixth year story; all events up to the end of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix are considered canonical.
Sibling Rivalry begins while Harry, Hermione, Ron & Ginny are
traveling home on the Hogwarts Express at the end of Harry Potter
and the Order of the Phoenix.
Feedback of any kind is always appreciated.
More information on Harry Potter and the Unforgiven can be found at my website, which is linked in my Author Profile.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS:Thanks to Elusive Evan for making me continue to post this.
"Your brother is here, Mister Weasley."
Bill looked up from the piles of paperwork on his desk and nodded to the goblin standing in the doorway. Only those who knew the curse-breaker well would have noticed the slight narrowing of his eyes, or the tension along his jaw.
"Thank you, Griphook. Send him in."
With a grunt of acknowledgement, the diminutive creature walked out. Bill smiled at the departing goblin's back; he had always admired the enigmatic dignity of goblins. He respected what they had built for themselves in a human-dominated world.
He glanced down at the stack of reports on his desk and settled back to finish at least the top one.
Charlie will be a few minutes, especially if he brought her with him.
But he couldn't concentrate. Sighing, he slid the whole stack into a leather case and sealed it shut. He'd just have to finish it at home.
Merlin, I hate this job.
Bill winced at the bitter taste of disloyalty the thought left behind. Until a year ago, he had loved his job; he had found a home away from home.
Egypt was a place of desolate beauty. A sun-scorched landscape of forgotten treasures and dark mystery. He had been both a scholar and an adventurer, exploring the hidden places of the world and pitting himself against ancient magics. When this was all over, he hoped to go back to Egypt, maybe move there permanently.
But when Albus Dumbledore had invited him to join the Order of the Phoenix, Bill couldn't refuse. There were some things greater than just himself. Bill had accepted a promotion he'd put off for years – Chief of the Gringotts Curse-Breakers.
'Curse-breaker'. The name the rest of the wizarding world gave them always amused him; they broke more than curses and hunted for more than treasure. The goblins running the wizarding bank kept the truth of their Curse Breakers a closely guarded secret. He had always been told no one outside Gringotts knew what the Curse-Breakers really were, but Albus Dumbledore had known.
Doesn't miss a trick, that man. Bill had heard his father mutter those words about the Headmaster countless times as a child. As an adult, Bill had learned how true those words were.
"Dreaming of hot sands and rotting corpses?" The almost gravelly voice was light, bantering, but Bill heard the tension underlying it.
Bill looked up at his brother impassively. "Charlie."
The stockiest and heaviest built of the Weasley brothers, Charlie's face was weathered and seamed with small scars. His hands were rough and calloused from years of working with dragons – and against the men who hunted them. By far the strongest of the brothers, he had spent his adult life in harsh, remote wilderness preserves, helping to maintain the secrecy of the magical world. There was very little that could frighten him.
But he was afraid of facing what he had done to his older brother. Leaning against the doorframe with exaggerated casualness, he glanced at Bill's desk.
"Are we still going to do this?"
Bill shrugged, and grabbed the leather satchel, but made no move to stand. "Don't see why not. Is she with you?"
Charlie nodded grimly. "Yes. She's coming with us tonight. And...I think she wants to talk to you."
Bill shook his head. "I'll find another way home, then."
"You can't get past the wards, Bill. Everyone else has gone home for the day. It's us, or you spend the night at the office."
Bill closed his eyes and rested his forehead against his hand. "I suppose there's a reason why you know the way through the wards and I don't?"
"Damn straight there is," Charlie snapped. "I was there to help set the new wards this morning."
Bill's eyes flashed, and for a brief second, Charlie remembered that behind Bill's normally calm face, he still had the Weasley temper.
"I'm the only link the Order has with Gringotts. What should I have done, just not gone to work?"
Charlie pushed off the doorframe. "That's a bloody sorry excuse. Damn it, it's the Burrow! It's our home that's playing host to the Order! I'm sure your paperwork could have waited a few hours for you to help us protect it – and I know the Order wouldn't have had a problem with it!"
Bill slumped, looking tired. "Trust, Charlie. I trust the Order to protect my home and my family, and the Order trusts me to keep Gringotts from turning to You-Know-Who." The hollow look in Bill's eyes told Charlie just how close to the bone his remark had cut. "And despite everything, I still trust you."
Charlie breathed out slowly, and forced himself not to look away from the hurt on his brother's face.
"I think Dad wants you to stay the night and set your own wards come morning. None of us, except maybe Dumbledore, have your touch."
Bill smiled wanly. "My 'touch' hasn't helped much, has it?"
Charlie tried to count to ten but he didn't make it past three.
"Damn it, Bill, we didn't mean for it to happen! You didn't believe her and I did! She needed me, and it just happened!"
The silence suddenly seemed louder than it had a moment before.
"I know," Bill's voice was hoarse. "And I did believe her, Charlie. I just disagreed – disagree – with what's been decided."
Charlie sighed, and raked his hands through his hair. "The Order didn't believer her, and you didn't try to convince them! Damn it, Bill, if she's right, then this is the best chance we have. And he's our brother! Can't you trust him, too?"
Shrugging, the eldest Weasley shook his head. "No. Because he's doing this for the wrong reasons."
Charlie growled, looking for a moment like he was going to tear at his hair. "Then why the hell are you helping us?"
"Because someone has to be on Harry's side."
Charlie ground his teeth, all guilt momentarily forgotten. "We all are. Whether you believe it or not."
Bill stood, and cut Charlie off with a sharp gesture. "Enough. It's too late to change anything at this point." He looked up at his clock. "Come on. Let's get this over with."
The two walked out into Bill's reception area. She was waiting, perfectly poised, languidly lounging in one of the comfortable leather chairs. She swept herself to her feet, long silvery blonde hair falling around her pale, delicate face.
"Fleur." Bill nodded politely, but kept his eyes down. Some things, he desperately needed to keep private.
She took a tentative step towards him. "Bill, I..."
Charlie stepped close to her and gripped her hand tightly, shaking his head. Now wasn't the time.
She nodded almost imperceptibly, and stepped closer to Charlie. Charlie's arm went from her hand to around her waist, trying to give her what comfort he could.
"Ready?" He asked.
Bill put a hand on his brother's shoulder, and they apparated into the Burrow's kitchen with a heavy explosion of air. Bill sneezed a bit; no matter how good at Apparition Charlie got, the air always smelled of sulfur at the other end of the spell.
"You're late." Mad-Eye Moody grumbled. "Never known a Weasley to be on time."
Charlie shrugged dismissively. He'd never had much tolerance for Moody's guff. "And?"
The retired Auror snorted and gave Fleur a distasteful once over. "Let's make this quick so I don't miss the train. Your mother wants a few of the Order there to...remind Potter's relatives he has friends who will gladly transfigure them into something small, slimy and invertebrate."
Even Charlie smiled at that. "So I heard. Is he here yet?"
"Ah-hem?" Percy cleared his throat. "It hasn't been that long since you last saw me, Charlie."
Bill and Charlie saw Percy sitting at the head of the table, in neatly pressed dark purple robes that clashed with his red hair. In front of him, he had a large number of scrolls, each sealed with wax imprinted with the Minister's seal.
"Please, sit." Percy gestured magnanimously to the remaining chairs. Charlie still shot his brother a glare for his high-handed courtesy, but Percy didn't seem to notice. Annoyed there was no real reason to refuse, the four of them sat.
"The Minister's office is very grateful you chose to approach us with this information, and I am here to convey the Minister's heartfelt thanks." He sat up a bit straighter, if that were possible. "And on a personal note, I would like to say how proud I am that two of my brothers could look past the rivalries of the past and work towards mutual cooperation in the upcoming troubles."
Moody barked out a laugh. "Upcoming troubles, boy? Troubles are already here, and your precious Minister is too bloody daft to realize it. That you're here instead of him proves that."
"You told the Minister?" Bill asked incredulously. "Why?"
Percy bristled a bit. "Surely you didn't think approaching me as you did that I would not pass along the information to my superiors?"
"Non," Fleur interjected. "Zat is exactly what I had in mind. Ze minister, he can do things to help us?"
Percy nodded eagerly, finding it hard to tear his eyes away from the part-Veela. "Oh yes, Miss Delacour. I can promise you the minister is already taking steps to do just that. He is sending his personal representative to speak with the Dursleys. They should already have his Owl, and I am most sure everything will be arranged by the time they pick him up from King's Cross."
Fleur nodded. "Merci, Monsieur Weasley."
Percy slid two scrolls to each of them. "These are copies of the Minister's instructions to the Dursleys, and a letter of personal thanks from the Minister. I promise you that the Minister's office will take every step necessary to protect Harry."