Authors note: We've got a little break away from Hermione and Severus. In this chapter, we finally find out what happened those years ago, we finally find out exactly what Lucius Malfoy did. Warning: I'm not sure exactly what I'm warning here, it's just lots of blood and the leftovers from violence and abuse. Anyway, read on my dear readers, don't say I didn't warn you though- Bee x
Ginny Weasley was content with her life, and she had no reason not to be. Her fiancé was a wonderful, wonderful man who was willing to give her everything that he could, even though she asked for nothing other than his love. He had struggled at first with the press continuously hounding him about every aspect of his life, but when he had finally adjusted to it everything was fine. He always had a smile and a kiss for her in the morning; he listened to everything she spoke of, even if he had no interest in any of what she was saying, and every wish or desire of hers he fulfilled. Yes, Ginny Weasley was content with her life, and things could only go up from there. At least, that was the case till she saw the front cover of the Quibbler. Lucius Malfoy released The title was simple enough, it said what had happened and that was all that Ginny needed to know. Lucius Malfoy had been released; he was back out in the world again. No longer was he caged, and Ginny felt sorrow fill every inch of her being. Hermione had been as free as she could whilst he was in Azkaban, but that freedom was over for her now. No matter what people might think about Azkaban reforming criminals, Ginny knew that Lucius Malfoy would try to take Hermione. That would be the first and perhaps only thought in his mind; take Hermione Jean Granger, and kill her. Then the man's quest for revenge would begin and Ginny had a horrible feeling that Harry would become a target. After all, he had finally destroyed Lucius' Master, Lord Voldemort. Then, as Ginny thought on the best way she could protect Harry whilst making them both breakfast, she was hit with a sudden realization. She had rescued Hermione from Lucius Malfoy. She, Ginerva Molly Weasley, had taken Hermione from Lucius Malfoy. Perhaps she too would become a target. It had been five years since the war; would he still remember? As the question entered Ginny's mind she knew how stupid it was. The answer was glaringly obvious; of course he would. All that the man would have been able to think of in Azkaban would have been revenge. For five, long years. He would have had every day to think on his revenge. He would have had so much time to plan; what would have seemed an eternity to plot his revenge. The real question then was how long would it take him to implement his plans, and what could Ginny do to stop him?
At that precise moment Harry chose to open the kitchen door of number 12 Grimmauld Place, a bright, cheerful smile on his face. It was a smile Ginny thought endearing, and one he presented her with every day. That smile was reserved only for her. When he set his emerald green eyes upon her though, that smile disappeared very quickly. He rushed over to Ginny and wrapped his arms around her, pressing her tightly against him
"Ginny, are you ok? You're face is white, are you feeling ill?" Harry asked, pulling away to examine Ginny more thoroughly, holding her at arms length. His voice was filled with worry and it warmed Ginny's heart, despite the coldness surrounding it, desperately trying to break the defences. Dread and fear threatened to overtake her being. She sighed heavily and gestured to the Quibbler on the kitchen table. Harry frowned slightly, reaching for the paper. His frown grew deeper as he quickly scanned the front page, immediately finding the cause for Ginny's concern
"Don't worry Gin. He won't do anything to us, I won't let him" Harry vowed with conviction. The man was always full to the brim with conviction. Ginny sighed heavily and shook her head, a sad smile on her lips.
"I'm not worried about us Harry" Harry looked confused and Ginny immediately guessed that Hermione had never told Harry about what had happened. Ginny had never wanted to discuss the events and as such, Harry had remained blissfully unaware it seemed.
"Who then Ginny? I'm sure the Ministry can help them" Harry said, trying desperately to reassure Ginny. Ginny knew that he was going to eat his own words with what she said next
"Hermione" Ginny whispered. Just hearing Hermione's name spoken aloud brought tears to Ginny's eyes. Ginny did not know how Hermione had felt in those moments when she was with him, and Ginny hoped that she never would know. Harry's expression changed immediately, his face appearing to harden. Hermione might as well be his sister; she was Ginny's in all but blood.
"He won't touch her Gin. That I will make sure of" Ginny flinched slightly at the barely contained anger in Harry's voice. It flashed dangerously in his eyes and Ginny could not help but be scared. This, the way Harry looked now, it was how he had done in the war. It was with that expression that he had killed Voldemort, and it was with that expression that he had followed after Bellatrix Lestrange, determined to be her end. As it turned out, Ginny's own mother had been the one to kill the vindictive, demented witch.
"Harry. He's going to kill her" Ginny's voice wavered horribly, and she tried not to sob at the thought of Hermione dying. It was something they had all had to deal with and accept during the war, but this was different. There was no war and if he killed her (when Ginny thought ominously) it would be harder to accept for there was even less of a reason than during the war.
"Why would he want to kill her Ginny?" Harry questioned, his voice softened slightly more than she had thought it would be. Ginny had expected his speech to be as hard as steel. Ginny had no desire to talk with Harry about this, to expose Hermione's secret, but she felt that Harry had to know. Ginny took a deep shuddering breath and screwed her eyes shut tightly before opening them again and beginning to speak
"It was during the Final Battle. I couldn't find Hermione anywhere, and I was so worried for her. I thought she was dead. I went looking for her and when I found her. Oh god. Harry, it was horrible; so horrible. She looked as though she should have been dead. You remember how she was in the Hospital Wing?" Ginny questioned, pausing for two reasons. Firstly she wanted to make sure Harry was following what she was saying, and secondly she needed a little more time to summon up that famous Gryffindor courage. Harry nodded and Ginny continued
"Her blood was everywhere. The grass, you couldn't tell it had ever been green. Red grass. She had nothing; I don't know where her clothes were. She told me later that he had destroyed her wand, that was why she needed to go to Ollivander's that time when we all went to Diagon Alley together, of course she didn't want you all to know which is why she asked me to distract your attention away from her by taking you to the Quidditch store whilst she said she was going to the bookshop. It was a good idea because you would never have seen anything unusual in Hermione going to a-" Ginny was cut off in her narrative by Harry placing his finger on her lips.
"I remember Ginny. Please, tell me what happened. I need to know what happened" Ginny nodded her head and Harry removed his finger. Ginny didn't have much of that Gryffindor courage right now, but she would still tell all, and get it over and done with sooner rather than later.
"There were so many cuts, all over her body and she was covered in dirt, her blood and the dirt mixing together. Her hair though, it was untouched. When I tried to clear some of the blood away, trying desperately to see what other damage had been done, I could see the bruises. There were so many cuts, so many bruises and symbols. There was a cross on her wrist, a pentagram on her neck. Then there was the writing. She had 'mudblood' carved into her skin, just below her breasts. When I touched her she opened her eyes and screamed. That scream, it made my soul burn with pain, and my blood freeze. Then when she saw me she started crying, saying my name over and over again. She said later that she thought she was hallucinating, and that I wasn't real. I wrapped her in my cloak and I lifted her up. I ran, as fast as I possibly could, holding onto her so tight. She was limp, as though all her bones had been broken, or she had no strength left in her. Just when I thought we were going to be safe I heard him roar and I knew that if we didn't get out of there we were going to die, both of us. With the state she was in, I thought Hermione was probably going to die anyway. I was just about to apparate to Hogwarts when I caught sight of him. He was running after us. On a wing and a prayer I apparated just as he came within range and shot the killing curse" By the time Ginny was finished tears were streaming down her cheeks and Harry had his arms wrapped around her so tightly. It was such an ordeal for Hermione, but Ginny had been through her own. She would never ever forget the sight of Hermione in that state.
"I had just gotten into the castle when she started groaning and convulsing. I could barely keep hold of her. Then she stopped making any noise, and she stopped moving. I thought she had died" Ginny sobbed freely, finding little comfort in Harry's arm. He could do nothing to help Ginny as she relived what had happened. She would never ever forget how she felt when she thought Hermione had died in her arms. It could so very easily have happened that way
"It's ok Ginny. It's ok. Hermione's alive, and she's safe. You saved her Ginny. You saved her" Harry whispered to her. Ginny only cried harder. Yes, she had saved Hermione that night, but Ginny might not be able to save her from him a second time.
"She still has the scars. The cross, the pentagram, the word. They've faded slightly, but one of them hasn't. The worst is still there, clear as day" Ginny murmured, her tears beginning to subside. She had needed to cry, and she had needed Harry to know
"What is still there Gin?" Harry asked cautiously. Ginny could tell by the tone of his voice that he wasn't entirely sure if he wanted to know the last horror that Lucius Malfoy had inflicted upon Hermione. Ginny pulled herself from Harry's embrace, her reddened eyes locking with his own, shiny with tears he stubbornly refused to shed
"The Dark Mark" Ginny whispered, a final tear sliding it's way down her face. Hermione had gone through hell once and she had barely made it through alive. She was about to go through it again, and Ginny didn't know if her friend could make it a second time.