Chapter 80 - Departures
A pounding on her door Monday morning woke Ginny up way too early in her estimation. Ron peeked in around the corner of the door. "Get up and get going already! We've got a train to catch!" Ginny was very accurate in throwing her pillow at him. She hit him in the head, but he just laughed and slammed the door as he left. Twice!
Ginny grumbled a bit as she got dressed and made sure her bag was properly packed by the door. Only her ugly green healer robe and a couple of snacks for the train ride were in her small bag. She had debated staying home and just flooing to Hogwarts later to spend the afternoon with Harry but he had convinced her and her mum that Hermione needed to have one friend on the train.
There was something going on with Harry and Ginny wasn't exactly sure what it was. She wished their mental connection was working again. Harry had been in a very quiet mood the day before. He had been awake early yesterday morning and hadn't said much of anything to anybody before they had flooed back to Hogwarts. Madame Pomfrey had checked Harry over and said that he was none the worse for wear for his evening out. Ginny had stayed until she had made sure that he had eaten his lunch and then reluctantly told him that she wouldn't be able to come back and visit the rest of the day. The last night at home was strictly a family affair and even a visit to Harry couldn't violate that rule!
Harry had said he understood and that it was probably better as he still felt very tired. He said he would definitely make the next one and Ginny had threatened that he'd better.
He assured Ginny that although he would miss her a lot, he would be ok until the Welcoming Feast. Harry had decided that he would show up and be sorted (again) properly with everyone else. They hugged for a long time and Harry kissed her forehead when she left. It was an awful sad Ginny that arrived back at The Burrow and she spent most of the rest of the day in her room. She only had come out for supper and had helped her mother with dishes before she went upstairs again, Ginny had a hard time going to sleep as she thought of Harry and everything else that was going on the next day.
As she ate her breakfast though, Ginny couldn't decide if she was excited about finally riding the train that all her brothers had left on or upset that she wouldn't be seeing Harry until much later. She was still very worried about his condition. It was very unsettling having conflicting emotions like that. Her mother seemed to understand her nervousness as she had extra hugs for Ginny until they were all ready to go.
Everyone, except for Ron, was waiting outside when the car from the Ministry showed up. Ron had, of course, put off his packing in favor of breakfast and then had to scurry making sure that everything he needed was in his trunk. Her mother finally went in and shut it for him saying that Ginny could bring anything he didn't include. Ginny idly wondered how much she would charge Ron for each delivery.
All the luggage was stowed in the car boot finally and Mr. Weasley sat in the front seat with the driver. The rest of the Weasleys sat in the magically expanded back seat and Ginny sat next to her mother so she could get an occasional look out the window. She had found out the hard way that sitting anywhere among her brothers usually meant she never got a look outside. She and her mum didn't talk much on the way to London.
The car pulled into Kings Cross with plenty of time to spare before 11 o'clock. The boys were sent out to fetch carts to put their belongings on. While she was waiting for the boys to get their belongings sorted properly, Ginny looked around to see if she could find Hermione. Not seeing her or her parents anywhere, Ginny hoped they were waiting at the platform entrance. She didn't think it was fair that adult muggles had to wait outside while their magical sons and daughters could go through the barrier.
They all finally came to platform 9¾. Ginny wondered if Hermione had gone through by herself and her parents had already left. She asked her mum if they could go in and check if Hermione was on the platform and pop out again if she wasn't. Her mother agreed but insisted that the boys go through first. Knowing her brothers talents for getting into trouble, Ginny reluctantly agreed. Her father patted the boys on the back and wished them good luck and gave Ginny a hug before he walked away to go to work.
After watching all her brothers race through the entranceway, Ginny walked beside her mum as they walked through. She had only taken a few steps after letting go of her mother's arm when she was quickly pulled around a corner by one arm. She didn't have much of an opportunity to yell as she was instantly nose to nose with a very familiar pair of green eyes!
"Harry?" she cried.
"Yes, got it in one!" he replied laughing.
Mrs. Weasley turned around the corner to see where her daughter had gone and just engulfed Harry in one of her massive hugs! "How did you get here?" she asked.
"I hitched a ride." He pointed over his shoulder at the massive scarlet and gold train engine. "I have Dumbledore's approval. He thought it would be a good idea if I 'arrived' at Hogwarts with everyone else."
Ginny nodded in agreement. She had left Harry yesterday afternoon and never expected to see him this morning! This was great if they could make the trip together!
"Have you seen Hermione?" Ginny finally asked.
"No, she hasn't arrived yet. I've had a good spot to watch everyone come in. I've been waiting for you."
Mrs. Weasley excused herself then. "I'm going to go check on Ron, and then I'll go out and wait for Hermione and her parents for a bit, Ginny. Your father's going to be upset that he missed another surprise by Harry." Mrs. Weasley hurried off to see where the rest of her children had gotten to.
Ginny took a good hard look at Harry. He seemed different somehow.
She suddenly realized his eyes were sparkling again! They had been dull with pain and tiredness ever since he had woke up from his coma. Ginny saw that Harry was also standing straighter and carrying a different walking stick. There were no runes on it but it looked like there was a small emerald on the end of this one. Ginny was suddenly very suspicious.
Harry led Ginny to a small corner nearby that was lit up by sunshine. She was about to ask him what was going on but he put a finger over her lips and pointed up. She looked up but didn't see anything. Harry pointed up again. Ginny shook her head. "I don't see anything Harry."
A small smile went across his face and then he leaned in so their foreheads' were touching.
"Blue skies smiling at me
Nothing but blue skies do I see"
Bluebirds singing a song
Nothing but bluebirds all day long
Never saw the sun shining so bright
Never saw things going so right!"
Ginny mouth dropped open in shock! Harry was expecting it but he was almost knocked over as Ginny leapt at him and fastened her arms around his neck! He wasn't expecting the five words she whispered into his ear however!
Ginny looked up right into Harry's eyes and felt immediately mortified by what she had just said in her excitement. She tried getting away from Harry but he just let her down but held onto her hand. Their faces were both very red but Harry was smiling at her.
"It's ok, Ginny, I'm happy I'm feeling better also!"
"Ginny, what was THAT?"
"Hermione, Ginny just got carried away a bit. She's very embarrassed but I think she's very happy now."
"Yes, I'm here."
"He's healed up! Hermione, he's back to normal!"
"How did this happen?"
"It's a little complicated. I promise I'll tell you both on the train."
Harry let go of Ginny's hand and they walked back to the middle of the platform. They stood and watched as Mrs. Weasley walked through the portal with Hermione. She was pushing her cart alone so Harry and Ginny went to help her. Mrs. Weasley was also carrying a large toad in her hands that she said she had found outside.
Ginny looked around and saw that two people were looking around in the corners and crates of the platform for something. Relieving her mother of the toad, Ginny carried it over and tapped her friend Susan on the shoulder. "Are you and Neville looking for this?"
Neville had seen Ginny carrying something and quickly took it out of her hands. "Trevor! I'm sorry. He's slipped away twice since we arrived here. Thanks Ginny."
Harry and Hermione had come up with her cart so Ginny introduced everyone. Neville's mouth dropped in shock when he heard Harrys correct last name but Harry just shook his hand and said that he was glad to properly meet him! Ginny saw that Susan was smiling in the background so she knew her aunt had straightened out the name trouble with her.
The twins and Ron came up beside them and said that they had found an empty car near the rear of the train for Ron and everybody to ride in. Neville and Susan went to fetch their carts and Ron and the twins surprisingly took Hermione's trunk and other things with them. That left Harry with his two friends in the middle of the busy platform.
Looking around, Harry 'asked' the two girls to follow him back to that secluded alcove. When all three had gotten some privacy, Harry pulled two items out of his pocket and gave one each to Ginny and Hermione.
Ginny opened hers first and pulled out a nice thank you note from Harry. Something shiny fell out of the envelope and Ginny reached down and picked it up as Hermione opened her envelope.
"Harry, what's this..?"
"I was never serious about holding you to that…!"
The two girls looked at the presents Harry had brought them. Each girl looked down on a small silver spoon ring that had a simple knot of gold on its face. Harry explained as he took each ring from them and slipped it on their pinkie fingers.
"I certainly needed to thank you both for all the help and support. And affection! I found these in Diagon Alley; the embellishment is Irish and it's called a trinity knot. These are promise rings to you from me and they are charmed so that they can only be seen by you! I promise that I will always be your friend and be there for you throughout our time at Hogwarts and afterwards. I also promise you my intent to always keep you safe."
Harry held his left hand out flat in front of him and the girls saw that he was wearing an identical ring himself! Ginny shakingly put her hand on top of his and Hermione, slightly dazed herself, put her hand under their two. Both girls were totally unaware that they each murmured "I promise" in response!
There was a sound of a very clear bell that somehow went through the youngsters. Then the loud whistle of the Hogwarts Express sounded startling the youngsters. The three friends quickly left the little alcove. Ginny went quickly to stand with her brothers in getting a hug from her mother. Mrs. Weasley also beckoned the others over and gave hugs to Harry and Hermione.
Everyone hurried to get on the train as the last boarding whistle sounded. The three waved at Mrs. Weasley from their compartment window as the train left on its trip to deliver the newest class to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry!
It was a very bright and sunny day when Harry Potter and his friends arrived at Platform 9¾ to leave for Hogwarts. As such, hardly anybody noticed a number of simultaneous events that happened just before the train left on its journey.
- There was a quick and fleeting sense of happiness and contentment that covered a number of blocks centering on the rail station at Kings Cross. People in the area had a smile on their faces for no apparent reason for the rest of the day.
- The surviving Death Eaters that retained the Dark Mark on their
forearms felt a sharp pain that quickly spread from their marks up their shoulders and to their hearts. A number furtively checked with healers complaining of heart attacks symptoms.
- A certain ledger in a small office in the Ministry of Magic opened itself and a line of text was written on a blank page by an invisible quill. The page shook itself once and then vanished and the book quietly closed again.
- The Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry raised his head from the book he was reading and smile briefly before turning to the menu that was planned for the Welcoming Feast.
- The goblin named Griphook was quietly working on a number of accounts that were his responsibility when a bright glow came from a pile of ledgers sitting at a place of honor in his cubicle. When Griphook opened the front page of the book of his most important client, he nodded. Griphook secured his cubicle and went to see his supervisor. Unusual events called for unusual measures and Griphook had no idea when and to who send announcements must be sent out!