Luna Lovegood had been watching her friend Ginny Weasley for a number of years. She knew that Ginny was in love with Harry Potter, and she also knew that Ginny seemed oblivious to the fact that Harry returned these feelings. Luna had known they would eventually end up together, however, and hadn't wanted to interfere, as it wasn't her style. She always liked to sit back and watch things unfold instead of actively participate in them, as that was the only way to be able to see everything that was going on clearly. This was an opinion she had almost changed numerous times over the last school year, however, as she watched her friend struggle. Luna hated to see those she cared about in pain.
Luna knew that Ginny's feelings had intensified last year, and as a result she watched as her friend pulled away from Harry out of embarrassment and insecurity. Harry had not reacted well to this. He took her distance to mean that she didn't care for him. And it just got worse from there. Luna was the only one who had seen the expression on Harry's face when Ginny blew him off for the first Hogsmeade visit. He looked like a man burning alive. Things had been tense between Harry and Ginny ever since and this baffled Luna. It made little sense to her why exactly Ginny had reacted with so much anger; it was very unlike her. And Harry had seemed to lose all will to live; Luna had never seen him give up so easily before.
It was baffling.
Things had gotten better after the First Task, until the day that Ginny came hunting her down in a terrible rage, screaming that Harry was the world's biggest prat. Luna couldn't understand why when the guy of her dreams had asked her to the ball, Ginny had responded with anger and resentment. It was then that Luna had almost stepped in, for she hated seeing Ginny so unhappy over something that seemed to be a misunderstanding. But that was not Luna's style. So, instead, she sat back and watched, and began thinking.
It seemed fairly obvious that some force was at work here, causing both Harry and Ginny to act unlike themselves. But she couldn't seem to figure out what it was.
Luna had let out a quiet sigh of relief when Harry and Ginny had emerged from the depths of the lake. It had been obvious to her over the last several days, despite Harry's continued depression, that Ginny had snapped out of whatever it was. Luna didn't really have many friends, and for the last several years Ginny had been largely occupied in various things revolving around Harry, but Ginny still took time to speak to her fairly regularly. As such, she very much wanted her friend to be happy. And it was very evident to Luna that Ginny could only ever be happy if Harry was by her side.
Luna watched as Ginny dragged Harry off for a long overdue talk, and then as Ginny threw herself at him. And Luna watched as the water and the air around them rippled. It had been a very long time since she had seen such a thing; she would have to have a talk with Ginny. Soon.
"Ginny?" The redhead, who was currently sitting with Harry's arm comfortably around her waist, turned from her dinner with a large smile on her face.
"Luna! How are you?"
Luna smiled brightly; Ginny's enthusiasm had always been infectious. "Excellent! The Headmaster gave me permission to harvest wild moon flowers this month."
"Moon flowers? What do they do?" Hermione interjected.
Luna had never liked Hermione too terribly much; her mind was much too close minded and literal. And she often spoke in a condescending tone which grated on Luna's nerves. "If harvested on the 17th day of the lunar cycle, they prevent the spread of the dreadful Marilin virus."
Hermione opened her mouth, presumably to ask about the virus, and then shut it with a snap, evidently deciding that it was better not to ask. Luna suppressed her mirth. There was no such virus, of course, but it was so much fun to tease Hermione. It's not like she could tell everyone what she wanted the flowers for; no one besides the Headmaster knew of her heritage.
"That's wonderful, Luna."
"Yes, I'm quite looking forward to it." Luna met Ginny's gaze head on. "I was wondering if I could speak with you tonight."
"Sure, what about?"
"Okay. The usual place?"
"Yes please." Luna turned to leave, but then paused and turned back. "It might be best to bring Harry with you."
Ginny looked confused but didn't comment. Luna made her way out of the Great Hall and to a little used corridor on the third floor. There was a lovely little room there that she and Ginny liked to use when they spoke. She knew that Ginny's natural curiosity would cause her to come quickly. And, indeed, it was only a few minutes later that Ginny appeared leading a bewildered Harry by the hand. Luna greeted them with a smile and gestured to the couch opposite her own chair.
"Is something the matter?" Ginny asked once they were seated.
"Oh, not at all! I need to discuss something rather important with you, is all."
Luna looked them each carefully in the eye. "I see that you have resolved your misunderstandings."
Ginny blushed and Harry ducked his head.
"Excellent! I must say, I was rather confused by the tension between you this year. Neither of you were behaving as your normal selves."
Ginny shot Harry a look. His head was still bowed and his free hand was clenched in a tight fist. She knew that he was undoubtedly blaming everything on himself again. She really needed to cure him of that habit.
"I'm sorry that I wasn't able to see why. It could have saved you much pain."
Harry's head shot up. "What do you mean? Something was causing us to behave abnormally?"
They looked at each other in complete confusion before returning their attention to Luna.
"So which one of you is a dragon?" She asked calmly.
Luna's eyes twinkled merrily as Ginny gaped in shock and Harry sputtered out a pathetic attempt at denial.
"It thought it was Harry, especially after the First Task." Luna looked directly at him. "Are you aware that dragons mate for life?"
"And that they share a magical connection with their mates?"
"Um, no, not really."
Luna shook her head. "You really should know these things. They apply to you, too, now. Anyway, I witnessed your bond form in completion when you kissed after the Second Task."
"Um, how do you know we formed a bond?" Ginny asked hesitantly.
"My mother and I share a very uncommon gift. I see many such things," Luna answered simply. She could say no more. She met Ginny's gaze calmly, and was relieved that Ginny was one of the few people she knew who would accept that and not push for more. Ginny knew that if she could have said more she would have.
"And what exactly is this bond?" Harry asked.
"Well, obviously you can only be happy together. That is why you fell so quickly into depression last year, Harry. Your mind thought Ginny no longer cared for you and so it mostly shut down." She paused with a thoughtful expression. "I don't understand Ginny's anger, though. Dragons usually grow despondent without their mate, not angry."
"Well, I'm not a dragon."
"Of course you aren't. But I just assumed Harry's form was influencing you both." Luna looked at Ginny carefully. "You're an animagus as well, aren't you?" Ginny nodded. "I would guess something fierce, then."
"Yes, I'm a griffin."
Luna's eyes widened in shock. "Well, that would explain it."
"Everything. Griffins are related to dragons, so the bond is coming from both of you. In addition, griffins are naturally fierce and aggressive when threatened, as you have been. It might also explain why you are so drawn to each other. Both are notorious for guarding their treasure. You two are equally inclined to guard each other. Harry, you are the hero of the wizarding world, and I have no doubt that our safety will soon rest in your care. Ginny, you are Harry's motivation to fight, and hence of even more significance." Luna was amused as both her friends blushed brightly. "But I got distracted. You should cultivate this bond. It is said that a dragon always knows when their mate is in trouble; that could be a useful ability to develop. You must also be careful never again to strain your bond. I fear it very nearly snapped this year. If that had happened, we would have lost both of you."
Luna did not wait for a reply, simply standing primly and leaving the room. She left behind a thoroughly startled couple. It was several long and silent minutes before either said anything.
Harry looked over at Ginny, his expression guarded and wary. "Ginny? Are you okay?"
She shook her head and seemed to come out of a daze. "Of course. Why wouldn't I be?"
He shrugged sheepishly. "She just told us that we are going to be together for life, and that if we ever do separate it will destroy us. That doesn't scare you?"
Her large brown eyes stared at him. "Nothing sounds better than being with you for the rest of my life."
He breathed a sigh of relief. "I'm glad."
"Did you honestly thing that would upset me?"
"I don't know. I didn't want you to feel like you didn't have a choice about this."
Her hand came up to cup his cheek, and he turned into it. "I love you, Harry Potter, and I have no problem with the idea that I always will."
He beamed. "And I, you, Ginny."
"Good." She grinned. "Now what do you think this bond means?"
He shrugged. "I don't know. I like the idea that we'll know if either of us is in trouble."
"Me, too." She paused and stared off, lost in thought. "Do you think this explains some of the things that have happened to us?"
"What do you mean?"
"Well, the time you destroyed the diary. I always thought it was weird how angry you got about that."
Harry tensed, and his eyes flashed to cold flint. "That… that bastard tried to hurt you. I wasn't going to let that happen."
"Precisely. And my animagus form. In my vision your phoenix is what changed me into a griffin, remember?"
"Yes." He hesitated before continuing. "And your lion reduced the evil influence of Voldemort."
She looked up, startled. "You never mentioned there was a lion in your vision."
"I was too embarrassed, and didn't want to have to put up with more teasing from Sirius. He already wouldn't leave me alone about you."
Ginny smiled and scooted closer to him, burrowing into his side as his arm came around her. They sat in silence, content to hold each other, both thinking happily about the fact that they were apparently meant for each other. It was a comforting thought.
Excerpt from the Nature of Dragons, by Florian Feumore:
Very little is known about the dragon culture, though it has been obvious for centuries that if left to themselves they would have a very clearly defined society. The most that researchers have been able to discover is the rather unusual bond that exists between dragon mates. Like many species, dragons mate for life, however this means something different to them than it does to us. If a dragon loses its mate, it falls into a lethargy so profound it starves to death. If a pair of mates is separated for a significant amount of time, this lethargy will result even without the death of one of the dragons. In addition, a dragon always knows when their mate is in need of help, and they can invariably locate them immediately in these circumstances. Many times, I have witnessed a dragon grow frantic and take flight. When I followed it, I arrived just moments before its mate was injured. Somehow, the dragon knew before it was even needed. We have no idea how this need is communicated, however. Indeed, we know nothing of the dragon means of communication.
It is obvious that they do communicate, as they can work together quite ably, but they have very few vocalizations. Even attempts to catalogue their body language did not reveal enough to understand them. We remain woefully ignorant of even this most basic fact of our fiery friends.
Nonetheless, it is clear that dragon mates have a rather unique bond between them. I was once witness to a misguided wizard who got in the way of this bond. By the time the pair was done with him, there was nothing left to return to his family. A similar bond can be seen between a mother dragon and her young, though it is not nearly as strong.
Even more important than never tickling a sleeping dragon, never get between a dragon and the love of its life.
The second half of the term was vastly different than the first. Harry was still worried about the Tournament, and whoever had entered his name, and he was still worried about Voldemort. His training did not let up, though he was once more joined by Ginny for most of it. He still had to put up with most of the occupants of the castle casting him odd glances and whispering as he passed. But none of this mattered to him anymore. Ginny was once more by his side, and Harry could not contain his joy at this. They spent all the time they could together, only reluctantly separating when they had to go to class. Most of their time was spent studying or training, but Ginny still managed to drag him off into the occasional broom cupboard, and Harry was never one to object.
They were unable to determine any more about this strange bond between them, aside from what Luna already revealed. Sirius was of the opinion that it might have other properties, but they probably wouldn't be able to figure them out until they were needed. Something about stressful situations forcing things to be revealed.
In early April Ron managed to complete his animagus transformation, and for several nights a large grey wolf could be seen running through the forest with a black dog by his side. They even managed to convince Hermione to finally take the potion to discover her own form, a small brown kneazle with an abnormally bushy tail.
Before Ginny was aware, she found herself watching anxiously as Harry walked out to the Quidditch pitch for the Third Task. His training had not changed much in the last month, since finding out what he was about to face. Sirius and Remus had taught him a couple direction finding spells, but mostly they thought the training he had already undergone was more than adequate to prepare him and just carried on as normal. Still, Harry was nervous and jittery as he kissed Ginny on the cheek and squared his shoulders before stepping into the space before the maze where the other champions were gathering. Ginny headed up into the crowd and towards the rather large group of people there to cheer Harry on. Bill had joined her parents for this event, as well as Sirius and Remus. Neville's grandmother was also sitting with them, as well as Luna's father. Ginny took her seat between Bill and her mother, her hands reaching for both of them as she sat down. She knew that Harry had worked hard to be ready for this, but it still made her incredibly nervous to be there and unable to help him.
She watched as Harry headed into the maze first, her hands tightening around her mother's and Bill's. The crowd around her was loud and boisterous as they waited excitedly for one of the champions to win. The walls of the maze were so high that no one could see anything that was happening, besides the occasional light of a spell. She did, however, have a much better idea about what was going on than the rest of the spectators, as she was fairly confident in her ability to pinpoint Harry's location. She watched carefully as he moved steadily towards the centre of the maze, her breath catching as his location corresponded with the first shower of red sparks.
She drew in a ragged breath when Professor Moody came out of the maze with Fleur levitated in front of him instead of Harry.
The anxious wait continued until another shower of sparks illuminated the space above the maze. This time, it was Victor Krum who was helped out of the maze, limping as blood spilled down from a massive wound on his left leg. She felt Bill wince next to her and looked up at him briefly.
"Hope that doesn't affect his game…" he murmured.
Ginny chuckled weakly before her eyes shot back to the maze. Not even Quidditch was enough to pull her attention away from Harry tonight.
She had no idea how much time had passed when a loud gong sounded through the stands. It felt like Harry was near the centre of the maze, and she smiled with relief. It was done, and he had won.
Ginny collapsed, screaming, when Harry's presence abruptly left the area. She saw as Dumbledore's eyes shot towards her and widened in shock before he jumped to his feet and waved his wand. The maze shrunk into the ground, and her eyes locked on the centre of the maze where a large table sat, empty. Cedric was some distance away, standing before what looked like a sphinx.
Harry was nowhere to be found.
Ginny screamed again, and started shaking. Fear shot through her, fear that was stronger than her own. "Harry!"
Her eyes were frantically searching the bottom of the pitch, looking for him everywhere despite the fact that she knew he wasn't there, when everything went hazy for a split second. She blinked in shock. She could have sworn she just saw a graveyard with a large mansion on a hill overlooking it. Ginny shook her head to clear it, and resumed her searching.
It took her several minutes to realize that the frantic screams she heard were coming from her.
She collapsed back against Bill in shock, and her vision wavered once more. A large black cauldron, bubbling smoke, with a pale figure rising out of it. Again, fear and panic shot through her that were not her own.
She frantically tore herself out of Bill's arms and started pushing her way down to where Professor Dumbledore was waving his wand quickly over the now empty table in the centre of the pitch. The confusion of the crowd meant that she had to fight for nearly every step, and her panic built with each minute that went by. Near the bottom of the stairs, she stumbled against the wall as her vision swam once more. A fierce spell fight and figures circling in black.
Ginny ran blindly for several seconds, unwilling to wait until she could see the pitch before her to continue her way. She sprinted towards Dumbledore, her breath coming in ragged pants as she ignored the ache in her side. When she was still about twenty feet away from the centre of the pitch, she gave a cry of joy as the familiar feeling of Harry's presence came back to her. She launched herself at him before he even came into sight, and tackled him to the ground.
Harry's arms came up and crushed her to him, holding her so tightly she could barely breathe. She could feel him shaking underneath her, but whether it was from panic, relief, or pain she couldn't tell. For endless minutes that weren't long enough she held him before they both became aware of the elderly headmaster who was kneeling by their side and trying to get their attention.
"Harry? What happened?"
Ginny scooted down slightly and rested her head on Harry's chest so that he could turn to face Dumbledore. Her hands crept under the back of his shirt so she could feel his bare skin.
"Voldemort... he's back," Harry spoke quietly. His voice was raw.
Dumbledore's jaw dropped in shock before he regained his composure. "I am sorry to ask this of you, but I must know what happened."
Harry shut his eyes briefly before nodding. Ginny climbed off of him, rather reluctantly, before hauling him to his feet. This seemed a rather precarious perch, and so she wrapped a supporting arm around his waist as they made their way back to the school. As they walked, they were joined by many with anxious faces. The Weasleys and Hermione were there immediately, and Sirius came up to Harry's other side and helped Ginny support him. McGonagall, Moody, and Snape had also joined the procession.
No one spoke until the door closed, shutting them all into Dumbledore's tower office. Ginny guided Harry into an armchair by the fire, and curled up against his side, his hand firmly clasped in her own. When Harry finally started speaking, it was in a detached voice, and he kept his eyes firmly trained on the ground. Only Ginny, who could feel every time he tensed when he would squeeze her hand, could tell how much this was costing him.
"The cup was a portkey. It brought me to a graveyard, where Malfoy was waiting for me, along with a large cauldron. Once I got there, we fought for awhile. I think I was about to win when this little elf came and snapped his fingers, throwing me into a tombstone. They tied me up, and then began brewing a potion. They took bones out of the grave beneath me, some of my blood, and then Wormtail was there. He cut off his own hand. The elf was holding this child like thing. It was deformed and just... messed up. They put it in the cauldron, and Voldemort stepped out. He got his body back. He called all his Death Eaters, and then we fought."
Ginny let out a quiet sob and pushed closer to him.
"How did you get away, Harry?" Dumbledore asked softly.
"The elf. He looked miserable, and Malfoy kept on hitting him. During the duel with Voldemort I sent that strangulation spell Hermione found for me, the one where your own robes attack you. It hit Malfoy instead, and he ripped them off of him. The elf caught them, never seen anyone dive for something so fast before. Then he was free, and he helped me get out."
"Where is he now?"
Harry shrugged. "I told him thank you, and to come see me if he couldn't find a place to stay. His name was Dobby; he told me that it was him who had entered my name in the Goblet, on Malfoy's orders."
Dumbledore nodded. "Are you hurt?"
"Not really. A little banged up and tired, but I'll be fine. I just want to sleep."
"I imagine so. Thank you for telling us, Harry."
"What does this mean, Dumbledore?" Arthur Weasley asked quietly. "Will Fudge even take our word for it that he is back?"
"No, probably not."
"So we don't give him the choice," Sirius growled.
Dumbledore turned to him. "How do you mean?"
"I've got a friend that works for the Prophet. We pull a few strings, and have them print Harry's story."
"But we have no proof, Sirius." Harry spoke up quietly.
"Sure we do. You were there; you saw everything. We can do a memory preserving charm and print the pictures. There's no way Fudge will be able to talk his way out of that."
Harry still didn't look convinced, and Ginny had a feeling she knew why. She reached her free hand up and caressed his face. "You don't want to have to tell the story again, do you?"
His eyes shot down to hers. Slowly, he shook his head.
"But you will, because you telling everyone the truth with make sure they prepare, because you telling your story will ensure that everyone is more careful, and because you wouldn't be the man I loved if you didn't."
He blinked his eyes as they swam with tears, but he nodded his agreement.
You-Know-Who is Back!
We at the Prophet feel it is our duty to inform the public that the wizard commonly known as You-Know-Who has returned, and we learned about this from the only witnesses to the event who are not followers of the Dark Lord. Yesterday afternoon I had the great pleasure of sitting down with Harry Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived, and his girlfriend Ginevra Weasley, youngest child of Ministry employee Arthur Weasley, along with Harry's godfather, Sirius Black. Harry was obviously distressed to be speaking of this, but he told me that it was his responsibility to make sure that everyone knew the truth so that they could better protect themselves.
Harry began his story nearly a year ago. At the start of term feast in September, Harry was the one who recognized that Alastor Moody was not who he claimed to be. Professor Dumbledore was able to apprehend Barty Crouch, Jr. who was under a Polyjuice potion, and return him to Azkaban. Crouch had installed himself in the school in an attempt to kidnap Harry. Unfortunately, another was found to carry on his plans when he failed. Harry told me how he was astonished when his name came out of the Goblet of Fire, as he had not entered the Triwizard Tournament. It wasn't until recently that he learned the truth. Lucius Malfoy, who has previously been cleared of being a Death Eater, sent his house elf to enter Harry's name into the Goblet. And then, two days ago, Lucius changed the Triwizard Cup into a portkey that kidnapped Harry just as he won the tournament.
Harry had brought the little elf with him, and I had the rather unusual experience of interviewing him. It was obvious to me that the poor elf had been severely abused in the Malfoy home. He cried as he described how this was the second time he had been privy to Malfoy's plots against Harry. The first being nearly three years ago and nearly resulted in the opening of the Chamber of Secrets at Hogwarts once more.
When Harry was taken two nights ago, he found himself in a rather rundown cemetery in the village of Greater Hangleton, near the ancestral home of Tom Riddle. Riddle, Harry informed me, was You-Know-Who's father. I was shocked to learn that Riddle was a Muggle who married Merope Gaunt, descendent of Salazar Slytherin. There, Harry's blood was forcibly taken and used in a Dark ritual which returned You-Know-Who to his body. Then, Harry witnessed as You-Know-Who summoned his Death Eaters. I was shocked to learn that so many had escaped punishment after the end of the last war. The full list of those present is given below for the public's information, along with details of their suspected crimes and trials.
It was then that You-Know-Who made a grave mistake. He freed Harry. In his ignorance, he wished to defeat Harry, and so they fought. Harry would not tell me much about this duel, but the fact that he made it out alive, and relatively unscathed, must speak for itself. There is also the fact that the house elf Dobby clapped in excitement as he described how awe inspiring the fight was. It was in the course of this fight that Harry was inadvertently responsible for Dobby's freedom from the Malfoy family. This turned out to be rather fortunate, as it was the elf's unique magic that helped Harry to escape.
I asked Harry why they had come to me, instead of reporting these facts to the Minister of Magic. Harry shifted uncomfortably and refused to answer, but his godfather spoke up quite enthusiastically. He explained how he wasn't convinced that the Minister would even believe them, let alone tell the public about it.
I will not comment on this opinion, but I must admit that after seeing the images they brought, I have little doubt about the truth of their story. Harry tentatively offered to let me view his memory of the event, but the fear on his face as he offered made me decline. Anything that could make a boy who has four times faces You-Know-Who, by his own admission, that frightened was not something I wanted to witness. (For further details on the previous encounters Harry had with You-Know-Who, see page 5, 7, and 9). Instead, I viewed the numerous pictures they brought for me, which had been developed from Harry's memories. All were rather disturbing, some horrifyingly so. The ones I chose to include were on the mild end, but they show the truth.
You-Know-Who is alive and among us once more. Protect yourselves and your families as best you can.
A/N: This chapter was horribly difficult for me to write. The problem with writing stories where I am redoing so much of canon is that I need to write scenes that we all know very well, and I am only changing a few things. Finally, I came to the conclusion that it was just better to not try and write the maze and graveyard scene, hence why we got it from Ginny's POV. I have a pretty good idea of what I want to happen in Harry's fifth year, and the war is definitely started for good now. Hopefully it won't take as long this time.
To answer questions before you ask them: Harry and Ginny are not soul bonded in this story. They will not be able to speak mind-to-mind, and they won't generally share emotions or senses. They can send images to each other, but just images, and usually only under extreme duress. Also, they are more aware of each other. The bond comes from their animagus form, it is not anything else.