Chapter 16: A Giant Problem
Harry awoke to the feeling of Ginny slowly running her hand gently up and down his chest with her hand straying a little further down with each pass.
He tried very hard to lay still to see what Ginny would do but after a couple of seconds she whispered in his ear, "I know you're awake." She then ran her tongue around the outside of his ear, eliciting a small moan from her husband.
As Harry rolled over to capture Ginny's mouth, she took his manhood in her hand and began to caress and stroke him to full hardness.
Harry growled deep in his throat and began to kiss and nibble his way down to Ginny's pert breasts. Finding her nipples already hard, he took one into his mouth and bit down softly.
Ginny threw her head back and moaned out at what she was feeling. There was a little pain but it was mixed with much more pleasure and it sent rockets of fire down to her centre which exploded with wetness.
"I want you," she called out with her desire. "I want you now!"
Harry quickly shifted and moved into position, thrusting his now rock hard member into Ginny's wet open slit. It took him several thrusts to seat himself into Ginny even though she was as wet as he had ever felt her.
He hissed out in pleasure as her hot wetness enveloped him and he began to move with an increasing urgency.
Ginny wrapped her arms and legs around him, trying to pull him in as deep as possible, loving every second of what he was doing to her.
Ginny moaned out deeply as her crisis approached and she fought to keep it at bay just a little longer, lost in the sensations that Harry was causing. All to soon she felt the sensations break loose and she cried out as the pleasure tore through her body, leaving her spent and barely conscious as Harry poured out his offering into her depths.
Slowly Ginny became aware of her surroundings, revelling in feeling Harry's weight resting on her. He was breathing heavily, his head was resting next to hers and he whispered out "Sweet Merlin, woman."
Ginny gave a low chuckle as she tightened her grip, squeezing him a little tighter to her body and turning her head she gave him a tender kiss and whispered "Good morning."
Harry rolled onto his back, keeping a firm grip on Ginny so that she ended up on top of him. "Good morning indeed," he whispered back with a smile.
They turned their heads when they heard a noise by the door to the balcony. The saw Hedwig staring at them reproachingly and Harry chuckled "I think she's jealous of you,"
"That's too bad," Ginny replied with a smile. "You're my husband and she'll just have to find her own."
Sighing contentedly, she snuggled into Harry's body and whispered, "I can't believe how happy I am."
Harry kissed her on the top of her head, tenderly caressing a hand down through her silky hair. "I know what you mean," he replied softly. When I left I never expected to find something so wonderful as you and the love you give me."
Ginny just lay there in Harry's warm embrace, fighting the emotions that welled within her. A mixture of joy and sorrow. Joy for what she had and shared with Harry and sorrow for what he had endured before they were together.
Harry just continued to tenderly caress her, letting her know just how much he loved her.
They lay there quietly, just enjoying being with each other and they love that they shared.
It was a bit later when Harry's stomach gave a rumble, which Ginny's seemed to hear as hers answered.
Ginny gave a low chuckle. "I guess we'd best get up and have something to eat," she said humorously.
Rising, they took a quick shower and headed down to the kitchen. Working together, they had breakfast thrown together in no time.
A little while later when they were done eating and sitting at the table enjoying a second cup of tea, Ginny looked at Harry. "Are we still going to go check out the colony of Giants?" she asked calmly.
Harry looked pensive for a moment. "Yeah, I think it's best not to delay in checking them out."
Ginny nodded, "I agree. The sooner we check them out the better."
"At least from what I gathered from Alina, they seem happy to stay within the confines of the valley they are in," Harry said thoughtfully.
"When do you think we should go?" Ginny asked.
Harry glanced at his watch. "Well it's a bit late to go while they are eating breakfast since we seemed to have a little trouble getting out of bed this morning, I think we should go about noon when they'll be eating again. It gives us the chance to see how many there really are as they gather together," Harry said with a smirk.
Ginny smiled, very Kneazle-like. "I didn't hear you complaining," she replied, her eyes dancing.
Harry shook his head, his smile widening. "Ginny, my love. I'll never complain about waking up like I did."
Ginny just grinned at the expression on Harry's face.
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Walden Macnair prepared to lead his contingent of Death Eaters down into the valley where the Giants were encamped. "Remember," he growled. "Don't pull your wands no matter what. We just about have them convinced to join with our Lord and we don't want to jeopardize the negotiations."
Though some of the younger members grumbled, they all nodded their heads, knowing that if they disobeyed and the Dark Lord found out that they'd be in serious trouble. A long bout with the Cruciatus at best if they weren't killed outright.
Macnair motioned to Crabbe and Goyle to lift the last gift for the Gurg, the leader of the Giant tribe. "At least they are good for something," Macnair thought, wishing that Voldemort hadn't saddled him with two such incompetent helpers.
The previous two visits, while contentious, had gone reasonably well, in so much as nobody had been killed and the Gurg had allowed them to return.
Macnair rolled his eyes as Crabbe reached for his wand, probably to levitate the gift. "No Wands!" he snapped.
"Oh, yeah, I forgot," mumbled Crabbe, restowing his wand.
"Merlin preserve me," Macnair muttered lowly. He watched as Crabbe and Goyle struggle to lift the massive item, draped in a large covering, keeping it hid from view so that they could make a grand presentation to the Gurg.
Finally everyone was ready and they began their arduous trek to the Giant's encampment. Macnair chaffing at how long it had taken to get organized. They were pushing their luck by arriving close to the noon hour when the Giants would be eating. They were a contentious bunch and prone to violence when dividing the food to eat.
As they made their way into the edge of the camp, they found their way blocked by several of the larger Giants who looked at them distrustfully.
"We're here to see the Gurg," Macnair stated firmly, meeting the glares of the Giants with one of his own.
Finally one of the Giants nodded. "Gurg, this way," it stated, turning to lead the group into the camp.
They soon found themselves in the centre of the encampment. Almost all of the remainder of the Giants were already there. Macnair noticed that the several of the Giants gathered closest to the cooking fire appeared to be females who were just starting to serve up large crude bowls of some type of stew.
As they came to a halt, Macnair noticed a number of the Giants staring at them in a way that he could only describe as hungrily. He shuddered slightly, remembering the stories from his youth that the Giants preferred meat was man-flesh. Though supposedly it had been centuries since they had eaten any.
He turned his attention to the Gurg. The largest and without a doubt the ugliest of all the Giants. He was laying near the fire wrapped in a great cloak of coarsely woven wool, dyed a muddy red, one of the previous gifts that Voldemort had sent.
Macnair thought it looked horrendous but to the Giants it was the height of fashion. "There is just no accounting for taste," he thought.
The Gurg had yet to notice their arrival. He was smacking his lips and drooling as he watched one of the females ladle out a huge portion of the stew.
"Hail, Malrack, great Gurg of the Giants," Macnair called out. "I bring you another gift as I told you I would."
Malrack broke his eyes from the bowl of stew and turned his attention to the Death Eaters. Frowning, he wiped his mouth with one of his massive fists, smearing the drool across his cheek, which did nothing to improve his looks.
Malrack's eyes darted from the bowl of stew over to the large draped gift, a look of indecision on his face.
His eyes finally rested on the gift. "What you bring Malrack?" he grunted, a frown still on his face.
Macnair motioned for Crabbe and Goyle to move forward and lay the gift before the Gurg. With a nod, he had them whip off the cover revealing a massive club of polished and stained English Oak, banded and studded with spikes of iron.
"Behold, a weapon fit only for the great Gurg so that other's may quail before you," Macnair espoused.
The Gurg looked at him with a puzzled expression. "What quail?" he asked dumbly. "Quail be to small. Take many to make mouthful. Waste of time. Better to eat cow. Much more satisfying."
Macnair sighed in frustration, wishing Voldemort had sent anyone but him on this mission. "No, no," he said with a shake of his head. "I mean that they may bow before the mighty Gurg so as to escape his wrath."
"Why you not say so?" Malrack asked looking slightly perplexed. Rising he made his way over to the club and picked it up. Testing its balance by swinging it around several times, he turned his attention to a large log that lay near the fire. With a mighty swing he brought it crashing down, reducing the log to splinters.
A huge smile broke out on his face. "This be good club," he announced happily.
Macnair smiled widely. Now was the time to finish the negotiations and have the Giants join the Dark Lord and return to England. "The Great Lord Voldemort would like you to come back to England to help him in his fight and you can extract your revenge against those who drove you out."
He was pleased to see the look of interest in the Gurg's eyes. Revenge was something that even the Giants seemed to understand.
The Gurg thought hard about what the wizard had said. (Though it hurt his head to do so.) He remembered the numbers they had lost before they had been forced to leave their previous home, his own first mate being one of them.
"Yes," he thought. "Getting revenge will be sweet." He looked at Macnair and nodded his head but before he could speak, one of the other Giants pointed to the sky. "Look! The Golden Ones!" he shouted.
Everyone's eyes turned to where the Giant was pointing.
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Harry and Ginny left the chalet and headed to the practice clearing. Once there they transformed into their Griffin forms and took to the air. It was a very pleasant day with the Sun shining bright, with only a few scattered clouds and a breeze that though cool, was beginning to warm up.
Harry was surprised when Hedwig flew up and joined them, so they kept an easy pace so she could fly with them.
In a relatively short time they approached the valley where the Giants were encamped. Hedwig gave a short hoot, as if saying "I'll leave you two to get on with it," before she winged away, back towards the chalet.
Harry and Ginny spiralled higher and higher into the sky to remain unnoticed by those far below, knowing their enhanced Eagle sight would allow them to see what was taking place.
They circled above the valley, watching the denizens below. Off to one side they noticed a small contingent of people approaching the Giants.
~Damn!~ Harry muttered.
~Harry?~ Ginny asked softly in surprise.
~Ginny?~ Harry said in shock.
Ginny made a purring sound deep in her chest. ~I guess we can communicate in our Griffin forms~
~Looks like~ Harry replied. He then looked back far below. The small group of people had reached the centre of the camp.
~What's wrong, Harry?~ Ginny asked, wondering about what was happening below.
~Death Eaters~ Harry replied darkly.
~You sure?~ Ginny asked.
~Yeah, I recognize Macnair as one of them,~ Harry said in disgust.
~What will we do?~ Ginny asked worriedly.
Harry stared down intently. ~I wish I knew what they were saying~ he muttered. ~We need to get closer~ he said with regret.
If Griffins could smile, Ginny would have done so, happy that Harry had said we, not trying to exclude her or keep her safe.
Slowly they spiralled down. ~Try to keep the Sun at our backs~ Harry called out. ~It will make it harder for them to see us.~
Harry banked to dive lower with Ginny following close behind. They used what clouds there were in an attempt to remain hidden, but there weren't many.
They had just levelled out when the heard Macnair speak. "The Great Lord Voldemort would like you to come back to England to help him in his fight and you can extract your revenge against those who drove you out."
~Shite!~ Harry exclaimed, obviously too loud.
"Look! The Golden Ones!" one of the Giants called out, pointing in their direction.
All eyes looked where he was pointing. The Death Eaters with ones of shock, but the Giants looked on in awe, none more so than the Gurg, who smiled widely.
"BOW!" he shouted. "Bow before the Golden Ones!"
All the Giants hastened to comply, while the Death Easters looked at Macnair for directions.
Macnair was in a quandary, knowing that they were not supposed to bow to anyone but the Dark Lord.
The Gurg took one step towards the Death Eaters, brandishing his new club menacingly. "Bow!" he snarled.
When the Death Eaters hesitated he smashed the club down right near where they were assembled, rattling the ground so hard the Death Eaters fell to the ground. Satisfied, the Gurg bowed too.
Harry and Ginny looked on in surprise.
~Harry?~ Ginny asked questioningly.
Harry quickly assessed the situation. ~Ginny, follow my lead. For some reason it looks like the Giants revere Golden Griffins.~
They swooped down, landing on a small outcropping of stone above the Giant's camp. Below them, they heard various Giants muttering. "The Golden Ones." or "The Golden Ones have returned." and various similar versions. All while bowing down in Harry's and Ginny's direction.
Harry looked at Ginny. ~Do you have any idea or heard of any legend as to why the Giants would worship Griffins?~ he asked in bewilderment.
~None whatsoever,~ Ginny replied, just as bewildered as Harry.
Harry noticed the Gurg sit up on his haunches. "We be double blessed, High Golden One brings his Mate with him," he intoned in awe.
All the Giants began bowing at the two Griffins, prostrating themselves low till their noses touched the ground and then raising up, arms outstretched over their head's, repeating the action over and over while chanting " The Golden Ones, The Golden Ones."
~This is really weird,~ Ginny whispered to Harry.
Harry just stood there bewildered, wondering what was going on.
The Gurg paused in his bowing, locking his eyes on Harry, looking at him expectantly.
Harry watched the Gurg for a moment, then for some reason he couldn't explain, he regally nodded his head once at the Giant's leader.
Then in a move that Harry neither expected or could have predicted, the Gurg jumped to his feet. No small feat for a Giant who weren't exactly nimble.
The Gurg then proceeded to dance what Harry and Ginny could only describe as a jig. This caused the ground to shake and rattle, knocking the Death Eaters who were just starting to stand, back off their feet.
He finally spun to a stop in front of the rest of the Giants who were watching him with great interest.
He roared out, thrusting his hands skyward, shaking his massive club. "I great Gurg!" he shouted. "Golden One look at me, nod head."
The other Giants muttered and looked on.
"I Leader when Golden Ones return. High Golden One give his blessing on us and valley. We live here in peace, raise families, eat good," he proclaimed.
The rest of the Giants grunted in approval, looking at each other and smiling.
Macnair got to his feet, looking quite displeased. "What about coming back to fight against those who wronged you?" he asked darkly. "I thought we had an agreement. The Dark Lord will reward you greatly."
The Gurg glanced between Macnair and Harry, a frown on his face. Finally he looked at Macnair and the Death Eaters, who had gathered behind him.
"Golden One decide." he grunted.
Macnair looked at the Gurg uneasily, not liking how things were going.
The Gurg looked up at Harry. "Golden One, should we follow this wizard," saying the word with disgust. "and fight for his Lord in a land far away?"
Harry reared back, screeching loudly, shaking his head vehemently.
The Gurg turned back to Macnair. "Golden One has spoken. We stay here," he said emphatically and turned and started to walk away.
Harry watched the scene play out before him. While Macnair was a large man, he didn't even come up to the Giant's waist. He grabbed the Gurg's arm, trying to stop him.
"Wait one min . . . ." was all he got out before all hell broke loose. The Gurg swatted Macnair away like a bothersome insect. At the same time several of the Death Eaters drew their wands.
A couple fired spells at the Gurg and several nearby Giants. One turned, Crabbe Harry thought, and fired a spell at him and Ginny. Harry wasn't sure which because the spell flew between the two of them, missing each by inches.
Incensed, Harry launched himself at the offending Death Eater, claws and talons extended. He crashed into the man, crushing him to the ground, claws and talons doing their deadly work.
Meanwhile, six or seven of the closest Giants attacked the remaining Death Eater, wielding their clubs with deadly efficiency.
Harry glanced at Macnair who had been flung far from the others. He had obviously been seriously injured, one arm and both legs bent at impossible angles.
Just as one of the Giants turned towards him, he grabbed something around his neck and portkeyed away.
As quickly as it had started it was over, all the other Death Eater lay dead, pulverized by the angry Giants.
Harry noticed Ginny standing close behind him, looking quite frustrated as there was no one for her to attack.
The Gurg came up to Harry and bowed his head. "Gurg sorry for trouble. Bad men will no longer bother Golden Ones."
Harry gave the Gurg a nod and since things had wound down, he thought it best if they left. With a look at Ginny who nodded at him, he unfurled his massive wings and sprang into the air with Ginny following close behind him.
He gave one might screech and he and Ginny's flew off in the direction of the chalet.
Far below one of the female Giants came over to the Gurg. "What we do with them?" she asked, pointing at the bashed and broken dead Death Eaters.
The Gurg took one look at the retreating Griffins and with a shrug said "Throw them in pot. No use wasting good meat."
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Macnair crashed to the ground in the courtyard at Malfoy Manor and he screamed out in pain as he landed on his shattered legs. Several nearby Death Eaters looked on in concern, hesitant to approach him because of what Voldemort's reaction might be.
Wormtail scurried away, rushing in to inform Voldemort of Macnair's return.
Voldemort glared at Wormtail. "Well why isn't he here before me?" he hissed with his displeasure.
"He – he ap-pears to b-be injured, My Lord," Wormtail stammered.
Voldemort shook his head, his anger boiling just below the surface. "Why am I surrounded by incompetents?" he growled lowly.
Rising so quickly that Wormtail fell over backwards as he back-pedalled in an effort not to get run over by the Dark Lord.
Voldemort pulled his wand as he strode past the fallen man and casually flicked his wand over his shoulder, muttering "Crucio." He gave a satisfied smile as he heard his servant screamed out in pain.
Striding purposefully he made his way to the courtyard where the portkey had brought Macnair. He frowned when he saw the several Death Eaters that had remained standing about looking hesitant about approaching the downed man.
Seething, he glanced about. "Why has no one attended to him?" he yelled. "He has important information for me. Were you hoping that he would die before reporting it to me?" he asked rhetorically.
He was satisfied when he saw them blanch at his words. Pointing to two of the closest Death Eaters he said, "Take him to be healed." Then looking at them malevolently he added "Then I want all of you to come see me and we'll discuss your actions."
Smiling evilly he was happy to see the fear on their faces.
It was much later after he had punished those from the courtyard when Macnair came limping into the throne room. He immediately prostrated himself before the Dark Lord.
"What have you to report," he hissed. "Though from your state when you arrived I suspect I will be displeased with what you have to say."
Macnair remained kneeling but raised his head to look at Voldemort. "Things were going well. The Gurg was pleased with the gifts you had sent him and he was just agreeing to return with us when two Golden Griffins arrived." Macnair explained.
"Golden Griffins?" Voldemort asked lowly with a frown.
"Yes, My Lord," Macnair said, appearing a bit hopeful.
"Continue," Voldemort said with a wave of his hand, looking displeased.
"The Giants all began to bow and fawn over the Griffins," his servant explained. "The Gurg said how they were blessed by the appearance of the Griffins and when I reminded him of our agreement he asked the Larger Griffin if they should accompany us back here, the Griffin shook his head."
Voldemort pondered what he heard for a moment. "What happened next," he pressed.
Macnair gulped, knowing what he was about to say wouldn't be well received by his master. "Crabbe and a couple of the other's drew their wands and began to fire spells off."
He cringed when he saw Voldemort's look darken.
"Where are the rest of you team?" Voldemort growled.
""Dead," Macnair replied softly, dreading Voldemort's reaction.
Voldemort pulled his wand and shook his head in disgust as Macnair flinched. He expected better from his servants, they should accept whatever he did without reacting.
He levitated Macnair and summoned him close. Starting into his eyes he pillaged the man's mind, drawing forth everything he had done and seen in his interactions with the Giants.
Tossing the man aside, he contemplated what had taken place. While the appearance of the Griffins was interesting, it really was of no importance. If he couldn't have the Giants join him, he'd just have to redouble his efforts to recruit other dark creatures to his cause.
Macnair managed to roll over and kneel before Voldemort, keeping his head down, not looking at the Dark Lord.
He braced himself as he heard the Dark Lord move. "Crucio!" Voldemort spat out. Long did Macnair's screams fill Malfoy Manor.
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Harry and Ginny returned to the chalet and transformed back into their human selves.
Harry immediately swept Ginny into his arms, hugging her tightly to his body.
"Well that didn't go as I had thought," he said into her ear.
Ginny couldn't help herself and gave a low laugh. "No, I guess not," she replied.
Ginny spent several moments just enjoying being held by Harry. She always felt so safe and secure in his arms.
"Do you think we'll be okay?" she asked with concern.
Harry knew she meant that there had been Death Eaters so close to where they were.
Giving a small slow nod of his head, Harry replied "Yes, I think so. There is nothing that connects us to what happened. We'll just have to be extra careful for now."
Ginny smiled in relief. She really didn't want to have to leave in a hurry and not get to say goodbye to Alina.
"Besides," Harry said with a shrug. "We should be moving soon anyway."
Ginny sighed sadly. As much as she knew Harry was right, she'd miss seeing Alina and spending time alone with Harry were far away from everything else.
Harry tenderly cupped Ginny's cheek and kissed her softly. "It's okay, love. I know you've grown fond of Alina and so have I but we can't stay in one place too long. We'll get her address and phone number and keep in contact."
Ginny smiled, "I'd like that," she said softly.
"We still have a little time here, so don't worry. I think one more week or so. We can talk to Alina when she shows up here next. It should be in a few days," Harry said.
Ginny nodded and took Harry's hand. "Let's go get cleaned up before having dinner. Dealing with Death Eaters always makes me feel dirty."
Harry just smiled. Any reason to bathe with Ginny was good enough for him.
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A/N: In case you didn't figure it our ~ Text ~ signifies Harry and Ginny speaking Griffin.
As always, your reviews are greatly appreciated.