And it's done! This is the last chapter of this story and, as you'll see, it has an open end...
The sequel will indeed be named: 'Unbreakable Ties'.
I'll start on it as soon as I've finished 'By the Grace of'
Summary: When Sirius told Harry that all pure-blood families were interrelated, he wondered if he had other living family members, besides the Dursley's,who were close enough related to fall under the blood protection, hoping that once he found them that he could legally live with that family and leave the Dursley's forever. What he found changes everything, for both him and the war...Dark Fic.
Warnings: my mistakes (as always...)
Disclaimer: Nope, not mine.
As always (and for the last time for this story!): I want to thank everyone who reviewed.
I hope you guys enjoy this last chapter!
Letters, books '…'
Spells, inside the memory, vision …
They had managed to get everyone into Hogwarts without either Fudge or Umbridge knowing and Madam Pomfrey had healed most of them within an hour.
Sadly enough, she hadn't been able to heal Sirius, Harry or Emmeline and both Harry and Sirius were still in a coma while the strong, brave, but broken woman had died the very same night.
There was nothing physically wrong with Harry except for the fact that he seemed to have closed his mind of – or shut it down completely – and Sirius was still suffering from whatever curse Bellatrix had placed upon him. It didn't seem to harm him at all but they weren't able to remove it and they weren't even close to discovering what exactly she had used.
In the end, they had to move Sirius back to Grimmauld Place and Harry to a personal room in the Hospital Wing.
The worst of all, though, was that the Weasleys didn't even know what was happening to their youngest child and only daughter. Her tortured and mutilated body hadn't appeared anywhere, Voldemort hadn't taunted them with the fact that he had her – nor had he tried to trade her for Harry – and not one of the Slytherin students had even showed that they knew that she was taken, not even when the youngest Weasley son had verbally and physically attacked them.
It had been four days since the attack on the Ministry and Harry still showed no signs of waking up.
Albus sighed softly as he studied the young man whom was destined to defeat Voldemort. He wished he knew what had happened between Harry, Bellatrix and Tom but no one could tell him as they hadn't been there.
He wondered not for the first time why Tom had left Harry behind alive. Why not take him with him? And why didn't he kill him if he had had no intention of taking him with him? What had changed? Did he manage to hear the prophecy?
And on that note: no one could tell him why Tom had wanted to capture Ginny. Luna and Hermione had both been there and both girls were closer to Harry. Luna as she was his new best friend and Hermione as she was his former best friend.
Also, Ginny didn't know anything of importance at all, not like Remus or Arthur. So why take a seemingly unimportant girl?
So many questions and so little information to answer them. And the only persons capable of answering were either in a coma, kidnapped or henchman of Tom.
The door was thrown open and Umbirdge made her way inside.
"I should have never let him go," she murmured mournfully as she waggled towards the bed, "I knew it was a bad idea."
"May I ask what you're talking about?" he asked her softly. He was somewhat surprised because he hadn't known that she had lost her hatred for Harry.
"Har- Potter came to my office four days ago," she simpered as she dabbed her eyes with a pink, laced handkerchief, "he told me he had gotten a message of his godfather. The man was in trouble."
"Sirius?" Albus asked shocked and the pink-wearing woman reared back.
"No, he assured me that he would never see that man as family," Umbridge told him, her eyes narrowed at him as she lowered her handkerchief, "no, a friend of his deceased Muggle guardians whom they had named godfather."
"Why did he come to you?" he asked her while wondering why Harry would tell such a story. The boy he knew had never been sneaky, nor would he lie about something like that. He would have tried to break into her office or he would have taken another route to get to the Ministry. When had he changed so much? And what had caused it? What had happened to the boy?
"He likes me, of course!" she stated proudly as she gazed fondly at the child resting on the bed. Albus couldn't help but cringe at the sugary tone. He really doubted that Harry liked her as the woman was known to hate everything not human, which included poor Remus.
"He knew that I had direct access to the Ministry floos," the toadlike woman continued, "so he asked if he and some friends could go look for his godfather. I let him go because I know that he can defend himself and others!"
She turned to look at the boy, an almost loving look on her round face, "so how did this happen?"
"We don't know," Albus admitted grudgingly as he stared down at the too young coma patient, "we found him like this in the Atrium of the Ministry."
"His grandfather won't like that," the woman said with a shake of her head as he cheeks coloured red, "was he informed?"
Albus turned towards her sharply, "what grandfather? Harry has no family members left!"
Umbridge looked at him, her bulbous eyes studying him sharply, "you didn't know?"
"Didn't know what?" he asked.
"Har- Mister Potter was adopted a little over six months ago," she told him, "his grandfather on his mother's side, I believe. He truly cares about him too, he was the one who arranged that Mister Potter's name was cleared when he had never been able to tell his side of the story about the night of the Third Task."
Albus nearly gaped at her.
"Now, if you excuse me," Umbridge said primly, "I need to tell Cornelius that Harry here was found in the Atrium. He would want to inform his grandfather himself."
She nodded sharply at him, the gesture barely polite before she left quickly.
"Why didn't you tell me?" Albus asked the unconscious boy mournfully, "I would have protected both of you. I wouldn't have had to send you back to the Dursleys if only I had known!"
Draco almost couldn't contain the gleeful smirk.
At the start of the year everything had appeared to be going so well. Umbridge hated both Potter and Dumbledore while she seemed to dote on the Slytherins. His father had told him that the Dark Lord was looking for someone, an heir, and Draco had known that he would be that heir. After all: he was the most popular, the most powerful and the smartest and richest Slytherin of the moment and the Dark Lord would surely choose a Slytherin.
But then, everything had gone southwards when not only did Potter manage become the Dark Lord's heir, he also got his godfather Severus killed, his father demoted in his Lord's ranks and the Ministry and Umbridge on his side.
But not anymore. The Dark Lord had left Potter behind in the Ministry, the boy had fallen into a coma and his blasted godfather – the only thing between him and the Black fortune – had been taken out of the picture.
He no longer had to hold back in his attacks against Potter or his friends.
Yes, life was good!
Ginny shivered slightly as she huddled closer to the wall. The room she had been locked in was cold and dark but clean and she had yet to be hurt by anyone beyond the wounds she had managed to gain while in the Ministry.
But that didn't mean that she wasn't frightened. She knew next to nothing so she couldn't give them the information they would most likely want from her.
And she hoped that they hadn't taken her because of her relationship with Harry.
She had tried everything to get his attention but nothing had worked. She had turned to other boys to make him jealous and to learn how to please a boy. All for him.
She had learned that boy's both liked to be dominant and to be dominated. They liked curvy girls with pit and not the simpering, fainting types. They liked to be seduced and they liked to feel her against them. So why hadn't Harry responded to everything she had tried? Had she tried the wrong things? Did he like other things? Or was he already in love with someone else?
She loved him so much but she knew that he didn't love her back, not in the way she wanted him to.
But she could still hope, couldn't she?
She had heard – and seen – that Harry and You-Know-Who had a very strong bond between them and that Harry could see what Voldemort was doing. She wondered if they would use that connection to hurt Harry.
She shivered, though this time it had nothing to do with the cold. Most Death Eaters were male and she had heard her parents talk about some of the happenings during the raids. Men had been tortured and killed; women had been raped, mutilated and left to die. To some of the Death Eaters they had been nothing but objects: there to be used and thrown away.
A sob escaped her lips and – even though she tried to stop it – tears started to stream down her cheeks.
The soft sound of shoes on stone neared her prison cell and the door opened almost soundlessly. She attempted to wipe the tears away as she was not willing to show any weakness before she tried to bury herself closer into the wall in fright as a man entered her cell.
He was tall, pale and handsome with dark, neatly combed hair – though there was grey near his temples. His nose was aquiline, his eyebrows seemed carved and his eye lashes were long but didn't make him look female. He was slender but had some muscles and his cloths were tailored and expensive.
He could have been anyone really, even though he was far more attractive than she was used to. It was the eyes however that gave him away: they were red, slit and slightly slanted and she only knew one person who had red eyes. You-Know-Who.
"You must be wondering why you are here," he asked softly, his voice a smooth, sibilant baritone.
Ginny just stared at him, her eyes wide and fearful. For once in her life she was truly afraid. In her first year she was sure that Harry would save her as he was a hero, her hero. But now? Now she had no one that could save her. It was far too dangerous and no one even knew just where she was.
"You are not here to hurt Harry Potter," the Dark Lord informed her when she didn't answer, "you are here to make sure he stays safe."
"He'll never be safe as long as you live!" she spat at him.
The monster in front of her smirked at her, "there are things you have no knowledge of."
He moved closer to her before he crooned, "that child is safe as long as he keeps his side of the bargain."
"He would never make a deal with you!" she exclaimed as she glared at him, "you killed his parents and so many other people that are important to him!"
"There are some things you have no knowledge of," the monster in disguise repeated, "and didn't you know: family is everything to him."
She bared her teeth at him in a move she had seen Charlie use on people that pissed him of.
You-Know-Who's smirk just grew more sinister which somehow didn't diminish his attractiveness, "you are here because you saw something you shouldn't have seen. I promised the boy that I would keep him safe and I promised that I wouldn't hurt certain people. You'll stay here, in this cell, to make sure that I will not break another promise."
"Because your word can be trusted," Ginny sneered.
Voldemort laughed, the same cold, high laugh she had heard from Harry in the Ministry and which had shocked her and the Death Eaters, "you'll find that I do not break my promises."
"Now, food will be brought to you twice a day and water three times a day," the monster told her, "I hope you enjoy your stay."
With one last smirk towards her he left.
Voldemort looked down upon the kneeling Death Eaters, the once from the Ministry mission at the very front of his army.
"I believe I gave some orders," he stated softly, "would someone care to repeat them back to me?"
Silence was his answer.
"No?" he asked as he pierced his servants with his eyes. He had once again donned the snakelike disguise and his servants didn't dare to meet his eyes.
"Let me remind you in terms understandable for your miserable excuse for a brain function disguised as intellect," he hissed lowly, "hurt Potter's friends and be punished severely. Hurt Potter and die. Wasn't I clear the last time?"
"You were, My Lord," Bellatrix simpered, one of her eyes was covered by an eye patch but the other gleamed with the same worshipping shine she always had when she looked at him.
"Then why didn't you obey?" he snarled angrily, "Sirius Black is in a coma, Harry Potter is in a coma and Emmeline Vance is dead."
He watched them all emotionlessly and the Death Eaters started to squirm underneath his accusing gaze.
"Actions have consequences," he finally stated, "All actions have consequences. It's time everyone faced theirs."
And it's finally done, almost 2,5 years after I've started it...
Comments are very much appreciated!