The Bottom Stair
This has probably been done before, but this is the Seven Potter's scene (both before and after) from Ginny's perspective.
So spoliers for DH, part one! But this is hopefully gonna be a first of a collection of fics about Ginny during scenes of DH.
Ginny sat on the bottom stair, quietly tapping her foot. She couldn't sit still; she just needed to do something. Hermione had wandered away ten minutes ago - probably to find Ron - muttering about nervous energy.
Tonight was the night that the Order were going to Privet Drive to collect Harry from the muggles. The plan was that Mad-Eye, Tonks, Remus and her father, Arthur, were going to be going to Privet Drive to collect Harry, then side-apparate him to the Burrow.
Ginny had been sitting eating cornflakes in the Burrow's kitchen when Arthur and Mad-Eye had come into the kitchen, talking about 'too risky' and 'he'll find out, he's not stupid'. There was no need to ask who 'he' was; he was the dark cloud that hung over the entire wizarding world. Voldemort.
So an emergency Order meeting had been scheduled for tonight. Ginny checked her watch; they were due to arrive in ten minutes. In an hour's time, it would only be herself and her mother left in the Burrow. Molly had forbidden Ginny from getting involved with tonight's events, and Arthur had echoed her decision. Mad-Eye hadn't exactly been overjoyed, as he'd put her under his protection specially to please Molly. Even that hadn't been enough, and he had had to rope in Mundungus Fletcher in her place - who'd been sitting on the Weasley's sofa for half an hour, scowling into his butterbeer bottle. He'd been dragged in by Mad-Eye, who had told him gruffly to 'stay put like a good boy'. Ginny had the sense that Mundungus hadn't chosen to be a part of this. Everyone was arriving to hear the plan, the plan that only Mad-Eye, Mundungus, and Arthur knew about so far. Molly had forbidden Ginny from getting involved no matter what the plan was.
Ginny was staying well away from him. There was just something creepy about him, something that sent a shiver up her spine. She had seen her mother on several occasions give him the same look as Ginny herself was giving him.
The back door opened, and Ginny looked up to find Remus, Tonks and Kingsley Shacklebolt in the doorway.
"Ginny," Remus said as he passed, and Ginny could tell he wasn't been rude, he was just preoccupied with Harry. Remus loved Harry like a son, of that much Ginny was certain.
Tonks winked at her as she passed, tongue sticking out playfully despite the sombre atmosphere; Kingsley just nodded. She'd didn't know that tall, brooding, black man all that well, but if Harry and her parents trusted him, then Ginny trusted him too.
Bill and Fleur came in next, holding hands and very close to each other. Despite Ginny's initial reservations about the French girl, she had turned out to be a very loving, loyal wife to her brother and for that Ginny was thankful. It didn't mean that she got on with her any better though. Ginny had come to the conclusion that Fleur was fine, nice even, just in small doses.
Ginny's head turned as Hermione and Ron came down the stairs, almost as close together as Bill and Fleur were. Ginny would have raised an eyebrow and made a cheeky comment at their closeness, if the situation hadn't been so sombre. They sat behind Ginny, still close together.
When everyone was gathered around the kitchen table - either sitting on seats, on staircases or in Fred and George's case perched on the kitchen counters, while Hagrid was hunched over in the corner - Mad-Eye got to his feet, his magical eye whirling and his mouth set in a grim line.
"The current plan is flawed," he began, and everyone opened their mouths to speak, but Mad-Eye raised a hand to silence them. "It is. I don't care what any of you say. Simple side-along apparition just won't do in this case. Voldemort is onto us, and we need out-the-box thinking. Now, I can't believe I'm saying this, but Mundungus has had a good idea," Mad-Eye glared at the thief, and Ginny looked up sharply from where she had been inspecting her shoes. The whole plan was Mundungus' idea?
Everyone seemed to have the same thought as Ginny; Tonks had let out a unladylike snort, which Ginny would have normally laughed at; Hermione had one eyebrow raised and Fred and George had exchanged a glance that probably meant a thousand things.
"Right. So the new plan is - and I need six of you to volunteer for this - that the six of you take a small dose of Polyjuice Potion, containing Harry's hair. You'll all turn into Harry. And, if this is successful - "
"They won't know what Harry is the real Harry," Hermione finished, and Mad-Eye nodded, but looked a little bit disgruntled at being interrupted. "That's quite ingenious," Hermione continued, looking impressed.
"It's the best plan we've got, on such short notice. Six of you, front and centre. Now. Whoever doesn't mind being turned into Harry for an hour," Mad-Eye said, and immediately Ron and Hermione stepped over Ginny to volunteer themselves. Ginny sat, torn about her feelings. One on hand, the fact that she couldn't get involved was infuriating her to no end, and she wondered when her mother would see that she was old enough to make her own decision and take care of herself. The other part of her was slightly repulsed at the thought of being turned into her ex-boyfriend for an hour. Not exactly the kind of situation you wanted to be in, two months after you split up
"How are we going to get from Privet Drive back here?" Ron asked, frowning as he tried to work it out. "You already said apparition is too risky."
Mad-Eye nodded. "They can trace it. We'll be using other forms of transport, ones Voldemort nor the Ministry cannot trace. Brooms, thestrals and the like. You will all be paired up - the younger ones with older Aurors. We've given likely safe houses protection - my house, Kingsley's house, your Aunt Muriel's, etcetera, and each flyer knows which safe house he is flying to. Once you are there, there will be a portkey waiting for you, which will transport you back here. Understood?"
Everyone was nodding.
Fred and George, who had volunteered, were eyeing a sack that was on the Weasley's kitchen table.
"Clothes, sons," Arthur said, clapping his two boys on the shoulders. "All identical, so that they truly won't know which Harry is which. There are glasses in there too. Remember, your eyesight will deteriorate to his level of sight, so they won't be there just for show, you'll need them to be able to see."
Ginny could see Mad-Eye was getting impatient. She checked her watch; they were due to leave any minute.
"Right, there isn't enough time for all this talking. Who's coming to be a Potter and who's flying?"
Ron, Hermione, Fred, George, Fleur (who Ginny was secretly impressed at for volunteering), and Mundungus all raised their hands as 'Potters', some more grudgingly than others. That left Bill, Mad-Eye, Arthur, Remus, Tonks and Kingsley to guide the Potters back to the Burrow.
"Right. Partner up. Ron, you're with Tonks. Hermione, you're with Kingsley. Arthur, take Fred and Remus is with George. Hagrid will go with Harry. If they catch onto us, they'll expect the real Harry to be with someone of the most experience - me or Kingsley," Mad-Eye explained. "It should throw them off a bit. That leaves me with Mundungus. I wanna keep my eye on you," he finished, eyeballing his magical eye at Dung. Ginny could see him shiver at the sight of the magical eye.
"Hagrid has provided us with thestrals, and he's taking Harry on his motorbike. They're outside. Everyone, grab your transport and your charge."
Ginny watched from her bottom step as they left - Ron with a high-five and Hermione with a hug - into the night.
It was an anxious wait; of that there was no doubt.
Ginny remained on her bottom step, watching as her mother pottered around the Burrow's kitchen. The tension was rolling of Molly in waves, and Ginny felt her own tension surrounding her, to, but there was a different tone to their tensions.
All Molly wanted was for her sons, husband and friends to come home safely, and Ginny felt that too, for her brothers, father and friends; but she had an extra layer of tension added that Molly didn't have.
After all, Molly hadn't broken up with her boyfriend two months ago and wasn't preparing herself to see seven images of her ex-boyfriend's face staring back at her.
Although she had not shed a tear on the Hogwarts Express over the breakup - and hadn't planned to - when she had arrived back in her room she had decided to unpack her trunk immediately, just for some solitude from her parents and overbearing brothers. When she had reached the bottom of her trunk, she had found a picture, tucked away in a corner as if someone had put it there, hopefully never to see it again.
It was a picture of Harry and her, in happier times. They had both been by the lake - her studying for her OWLs, and him studying for sixth year finals - and Colin Creevey, one of her best friends, had walked by and had declared the light absolutely perfect and asked if he could take a picture. Ginny had half expected Harry to tell Colin where to go, but to her surprise he had agreed, and that very picture had been occupying her bedside table for months. It ended up being one of her favourite pictures ever, because it was so natural; Harry leaning back against a tree, one leg outstretched and the other propped up, bent at the knee. Ginny was leaning back against his chest, smiling into the camera as she playfully glared at Harry, who was playing with her hair.
It was so them that it had made her miss him even more than she had thought possible, and she didn't know she was crying until she felt the warmth on her cheeks, the saltiness on her tongue.
After that, she couldn't really stop. She'd hidden the photo in one of her muggle books that she knew no-one would bother touching, but she couldn't stop herself every night looking at it, wishing that she could go back that time and tell him how much she wanted this, for the rest of her life. She'd end up crying herself to sleep, the photo clutched in her hands.
She always made sure the tear tracks were gone by breakfast, and if her family were suspicious of anything, they didn't say so. But Ginny knew that she had every right to cry, even if she didn't want to. Because once you took away all the layers of complication - Voldemort, saving the world, The Chosen One - she was just a girl who had been dumped by a boy she had loved, and if that didn't give her a good enough reason to cry, then Ginny didn't know what did.
There was a sudden crack in the air, so loud and unexpected that it made Molly drop her tea towel and made Ginny's head come up so fast it hurt her neck. Before she knew what she was doing, Ginny found her legs running after her mother towards the back paddock. Coming up through the tall grass was Hagrid, and with him Harry, both soaking wet. They had evidently crashed into the swamp. Ginny would have laughed at him if the situation weren't so dire.
"Where are the others?" Molly said, her face in a frown. "You were meant to be third back."
Ginny ran forward, as Harry's face turned to her. His face was literally begging her for information, and she felt a rush of sadness and loneliness. She found her arms coming up to circle his neck involuntary, and she stopped them in their path; she clenched her hands into fists and tucked them under her armpits.
"Ron and Tonks should have been back first, but they missed their portkey, it came back without them," she said quietly to Harry, who turned to her. His eyes followed her hand as she gestured to the rusty oilcan that was Ron's portkey. She pointed again to an old sneaker. "That should have been Dad and Fred's, they were supposed to be second. You and Hagrid were third and if they made it, George and Lupin ought to be back in about a minute," she finished. She thought she saw a flash of something in his eyes, but it was soon gone as another crack flashed in the air.
It was Harry, again, but with blood streaming down one side of his face, as Remus propped him up. Ginny almost vomited as she saw Harry's face contorted in pain. But it wasn't Harry, Ginny reminded herself. Who was with Remus? Think, think ... 'Arthur, take Fred, and Remus, with George.' George. It was George.
George was turning back into himself now, his once ebony hair turning redder and his whole body elongating in Remus' arms. Molly helped him onto a couch, sobbing over the amount of blood pouring down his left side. It took a moment for Ginny to realise what wasn't there; his ear. They'd cursed his ear clean off.
Remus left George and turned immediately to Harry. But instead of embracing him like Ginny had expected, Remus grabbed him by the throat and pushed him against the fireplace.
"What the hell are you doing?" Ginny found herself asking, shock clearly all over her face.
Remus ignored her, and Harry, who was struggling against his hold, confused as to why Remus would do such as thing. "What creature sat in the corner the first time that Harry Potter visited my office at Hogwarts?"
Harry thought for about two seconds. "A ... A grindylow in a tank," he managed, still trying to fight off Remus. Remus smiled and let go. Harry glared at him, and Ginny was throwing daggers into his back.
"Sorry, Harry. I had to check that you weren't an imposter. We were betrayed tonight," he said, and Ginny's expression softened, and she saw Harry's had as well. It made sense.
Another crack filled the air, and Ginny ran out, Harry hot on her heels to see who had arrived.
It was Hermione, who was with Kingsley and both were clutching a bent coat hanger. Immediately, Harry and Hermione embraced, but Hermione pulled Ginny into her arms almost as soon as she'd let Harry go.
Remus brandished his wand at Kingsley, a fierce look on his face. Kingsley was mirroring his stance.
"What were the last words Dumbledore said to the two of us?" Kingsley asked, his wand not wavering an inch.
A corner of Remus' mouth curved upwards. "Harry is the best hope we have. Trust him."
Harry just looked shocked, and Ginny smiled a little.
Ron was next, with a shaken-looking Tonks, who ran straight into Remus' arms. They were unhurt, but Ron was still looking like Harry. Hermione ran straight to him, hugging him, and Harry joined them for a three-way hug; it looked strange, Harry hugging himself and Hermione.
Ron's hair was slowly turning redder, and he was gaining muscle as he turned back into himself.
There was another crack in the air, and Ginny saw her father and a tall Harry - evidently Fred halfway through transforming back into himself. Arthur kissed his daughter on the head as he passed into the house.
Bill and Fleur were next, on a thestral; Fleur was sobbing and Bill looked shocked beyond belief. Ginny's heart starting thumping, and she scanned the pair, but found that they didn't look like they had been hit. Both were walking and talking, Bill's arm supporting Fleur, who looked like she was a minute away from fainting.
Ginny ran forward towards her eldest brother, but he put a hand up before she could even open her mouth. "I only want to say it once. When everyone is inside," he whispered, and Fleur cried harder.
Ron and Hermione walked back inside, and Harry exchanged a look with Ginny before following them. Ginny wanted nothing more than to take his hand, to have his arm supporting her in the way that Bill's was supporting Fleur; she just swallowed her wishes and followed them inside, to whatever grave news Bill had.
Bill stood in the centre of all the commotion, as everyone was getting various minor injuries tended to. He coughed, once, and everyone's eyes snapped to him
He took a deep breath, as if what he was so say caused him great physical pain. He stared straight into his father's eyes. "Mad-Eye. Mad-Eye's dead."
Ginny gasped, along with everyone else. Fleur sobbed harder, and Molly joined her, Tonks not long after. Ron and Hermione looked shaken, while Harry just looked like he was in denial.
"We saw it," Bill continued, not looking anywhere else but at Arthur. v
"It happened just after we broke out of the circle: Mad-Eye and Dung were close by us, they were heading north too, Voldemort—he can fly—went straight for them. Dung panicked, I heard him cry out, Mad-Eye tried to stop him, but he Disapparated. Voldemort's curse hit Mad- Eye full in the face, he fell backward off his broom and—there was nothing we could do, nothing, we had half a dozen of them on our own tail—"
"Of course you couldn't have done anything," Remus said, as Bill's voice broke.
They toasted to Mad-Eye's memory that night, and everything went by in a blur for Ginny, who saw it all from her perch on the bottom stair. She didn't move, she just sat and watched as the world revolved around her in a pace that boggled her mind. Surely time should stop, the world should stop turning, when such an important figure like Mad-Eye had died? Ginny didn't see how the Order would function without him. He was a central figure.
Eventually, when Ginny found herself slumped over the stairs, she left her bottom step quietly and made her way to her bedroom. Hermione was already there; she'd gone to bed about an hour ago, still grieving for Mad-Eye. Ginny tried her best not to wake her as she got herself ready for bed.
However tired Ginny was, she couldn't get to sleep. Her mind played over tonight's events like a movie reel; of George, looking like Harry and bleeding profusely; of Mad-Eye, falling backwards of his broom; of Harry in Mad-Eye's place, of Voldemort's high pitched, manic laughter as he watched Harry take the killing curse full in the face, falling backwards over his broom to his death a thousand feet below.
Sighing, Ginny picked up her favourite muggle book - Pride and Prejudice - hoping that it would help ease her mind enough for her to get some sleep tonight. It was her book of choice to read, and she had read it so often it was battered and many of its pages were held in by magic. She had barely read three words when a small photo slipped from one of the back pages.
It was the photo of herself and Harry, and Ginny dropped the book on her lap with a thud as she picked up the photo and stared at it in the dying light; soon, she felt the familiar prickling of tears behind her eyes.
Her book forgotten, Ginny turned her back to Hermione as hot, wet tears slid down her face, silent and unwavering. Ginny bit her lip as she cried, hoping that she wouldn't wake Hermione.
And Ginny fell asleep that night as she had for many other nights previous; in tears, with a photo in her hand of a time forgotten.