Get Out Alive
Breakfast was quiet the next morning. Ginny could tell that the boys knew something was wrong. They were eating silently, not even looking at each other, which was odd for them. She gripped the letter in her pocket tightly and cleared her throat. "Boys? I'm going to be at St. Mungo's today with Mama. The Healers think they've found a way to make her better, so I'm going to go…sit with her, while they figure things out. I don't know how long it's going to take, so I don't want you to worry if Auntie Angie picks you up from school again. Alright?"
"Good," Ginny said, smiling. "If you're finished, go grab your bags for school."
Ginny walked quickly down the hall towards Tonks's room. She was relieved when she walked in and Harry and Kingsley were already there with the Healer. "Morning."
"Hey Ginny," Harry said. "This is Healer Wimpet. She's going to be doing the procedure today. We're just waiting on a few more MLE members to get here."
"What is the procedure exactly?" Ginny asked, not taking her eyes from Tonks. The older witch had lines forming on her face from where the spell was working.
"In a nutshell," Wimpet said. "Someone will have to go in and get her."
"Into her mind?"
"Yes. Whoever goes in will have to convince her that what she's experiencing isn't real. It'll be difficult, so I suggest someone close to her be the retriever."
"I'll do it," Ginny said at once.
Wimpet nodded. "Once you get through to her, you'll have to make some sort of physical contact to bring her back."
"That's it? I just have to convince her that she's dreaming and touch her?"
"More like hold her. Hold her hand, hug her, something. And remember, the dream is working to keep her there, but none of it is real. Don't forget that."
The door behind them opened and two witches came in. Ginny recognized them as MLE members who worked in Tonks's department.
"I think we can get started then," Wimpet said. "I'm going to be your anchor, Ginny. Lie down there, and take Tonks's hand."
Ginny did so, and listened to Wimpet chanting in Latin. Her eyes began to drop, and she shivered violently. Vaguely, she could hear Harry talking to Kingsley, but that began to fade after a minute. She shut her eyes completely, now too drowsy to keep them open. When she could finally open them again, she was sitting up against a tree. She stood up quickly and looked around, feeling for her wand. She couldn't find it. "That figures," she mumbled, and began walking down a path. She recognized the woods she was in; it was the forest their cabin was in. As she came closer to the house, she saw Tonks outside, playing cricket with the boys. She closed her eyes hard for a second, and then reopened them to make sure she was seeing properly. Yep, she had it right. She watched as an image of herself came out of the house and tossed the loose ball back to Tonks. Determinedly, Ginny continued down the path until she came within view of Dream Ginny and her wife. "Tonks?"
"Whoa!" Zack yelped. "Mum, what's going on."
"Go in the house, boys," Dream Ginny said. "Tonks—"
"What in the hell?" Tonks said, looking between the two of them.
"Tonks, it's me," Ginny said. "The real me. She isn't real."
"What are you talking about?" Dream Ginny said. "Tonks, of course it's me."
"You got hit with a spell, Tonks," Ginny explained hurriedly. "When you were working a mission."
"I haven't been on a mission in years," Tonks said, still confused. "Not since Nyke was born."
At that moment, a little girl appeared in the doorway. Ginny took a deep breath and continued. "I know you think that, Tonks, but I swear this isn't real. We haven't had any more kids yet. The spell is just making you think that so you'll want to stay here."
"She's lying, Tonks," Dream Ginny interjected.
"Why would she lie?" Tonks asked slowly.
The scene around them faded slightly and Ginny smiled. She was getting through. "Exactly. I wouldn't. You know I wouldn't lie to you, Tonks."
"I wouldn't lie to you," Dream Ginny said. "Whoever this woman is, she's obviously crazy."
"You know this isn't real," Ginny said. "Try me. Ask us something, anything. Something that would prove which one of us is real."
"You didn't even know about our daughter," Dream Ginny said. "How do you expect to win that one?"
She had a point. Ginny thought for a moment. "How are the kids?"
"They're great," Tonks said, still eyeing both Ginnys warily.
"They're perfect angels," Dream Ginny said smugly.
"Really?" Ginny feigned shock. "Because the Zack and Ridder I know are always causing trouble. Tonks, no practical jokes? Clean room?"
"Now that you mention it…" Tonks said, and the scene around them faded again.
Ginny knew Tonks was coming to. Ridder and Zack were wonderful, but they'd inherited the Weasley trouble making gene. No one in their right mind would call them angels. She took a step closer to Tonks, but found herself trapped. Blue bars were surrounding her, forming a cage. She looked back at Dream Ginny. The dream had her wand pointed at her.
"I don't know who this is, or when the Polyjuice Potion is going to wear off," Dream Ginny said. "But I'm sure Magical Law Enforcement will take her off of our hands."
"This isn't real," Ginny reminded herself. "Tonks, come here. We don't have much time."
Tonks stood frozen, looking between the two Ginnys. The scene was coming back now.
"No! Listen Tonks, this isn't real."
"If it isn't real, then why are you trapped?" Dream Ginny sneered.
The scene dimmed drastically.
"I'm not," Ginny said, realizing that the dream had done itself in. "I'm not." She closed her eyes and walked a few steps forward. She was out of the cage. "Tonks! Watch out!" She ran and pushed Tonks out of the way of the Dream's spell. She expected to feel the impact as they hit the ground, but she didn't. The scene had faded completely, and they were standing in the dark.
"Ginny?" Tonks's voice sounded drowsy.
At that moment, the same sleepy feeling came over Ginny. "I…I don't know…" she closed her eyes, and woke up a second later with a gasp. She looked to her right to see Tonks waking up as well. The lines on her face from the spell were disappearing. "Thank God…." She tried to sit up, but Healer Wimpet held her back.
"Easy," she said. "You both need to rest."
"Yes, it worked. And your friend Mr. Potter took Fitzroy into custody for criminal negligence. How are you feeling, Tonks?"
Tonks muttered something that Ginny couldn't hear, but apparently Wimpet was satisfied with her answer. She smiled at both witches. "I'll be back later to check on you both."
"Thank you," Ginny said.
"Mummy! Mama!" Ridder yelled, running out to greet them.
Ginny caught him before he could tackle Tonks. The metamorphmagus was still pretty tired from the spell. "Easy, Mama's still a little sick."
"I'm fine," Tonks said, smiling brightly. She hugged Ridder tightly. "Where's your brother?"
"Here I am!" Zack called from the window. A second later, he was outside with the rest of the family. "Are you better, Mama?"
"I am. I'm glad I'm home with you guys!"
"Are you going to have to go away again soon?" Ridder asked quietly.
"No," Tonks smiled as they walked into the house. "Mr. Kingsley gave me a new job. No more going away."
Ginny smiled brightly and took Tonks's hand. "You have no idea how good that is to hear."
Tonks chuckled. "I think I can guess."
If you want to get out alive
Hold on for your life.
If I stay it won't be long
'Til I'm burning on the inside.
If I go I can only hope
That I'll make it to the other side.
If I stay it won't be long
'Til I'm burning on the inside.
If I go…
If I go…