The Sugar Quill
Author: Boarhound  Story: Ginny's 10 Points  Chapter: Default
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Ginny's Ten Points
*DISCLAIMER*



The characters belong to JK Rowling. I just decided to play in their world for a bit.


*Dedication*

To, and for, Princess T. My inspiration for life and my definition of beauty.

Ginny's Ten Points

It was a warm Friday in late May. Harry, Ron, and Hermione were in their last class of the day, fifth-year Transfiguration. They were attempting to change mirrors into glasses of water.

"No, Ron," said Hermione, as she took a sip from her glass. "You are not focussing properly - that's the problem."

"How can I focus when you keep talking in my ear?" Ron snapped back teasingly.

Ron, like most of the fifth-year Gryffindors, was having trouble making the spell stick to the mirror, which had a tendency to reflect any spells directed at it. When two desks suddenly turned into large water barrels, Professor McGonagall decided to place anti-Transfiguration charms on everything and on everyone in the room.

About an hour and a half through the lesson a loud explosion shook the classroom. Everyone in the class turned around to look at Seamus.

"What? It wasn't me!" protested Seamus.

Since his eyebrows were still intact, his classmates believed him and started to murmur about what may have been the source of the noise.

"Wait here - no one leaves this room until I get back," said Professor McGonagall, as she swept from the room into the hall.

The mirrors forgotten, the class waited in anxious anticipation for her return. After ten minutes, Professor McGonagall came back.

"Everyone will please return to their dormitories and wait there until further notice," she announced. "I don't fully know what has happened yet, but apparently there was an incident in one of the potions labs."

Everyone in the class gathered their books hurriedly and started to head to the door. Just as Harry, Ron, and Hermione were about to go, Professor McGonagall called them.

"It is best that you three come with me," she said, tight-lipped. "Miss Weasley was in the lab when the accident occurred. The fourth-years were in class with Professor Snape at the time. She was taken to the Hospital Wing, along with another classmate. They are being looked at by Madam Pomfrey at the moment."

Ron turned a deathly shade of white, while Harry's heart stopped beating for a second. Hermione's eyes widened in alarm - it was apparent that Hermione cared for Ginny as she would for a beloved sister.

They headed towards the Hospital Wing in a hurried silence and got there in a few short minutes. As they proceeded inside, they saw that Madam Pomfrey, Snape, and Dumbledore were standing around the bed where Ginny was lying. Madam Pomfrey was tending to Ginny, while Professor Dumbledore was talking to Snape.

Ginny was in horrid condition. They could see that she was severely burned and was bleeding from several large wounds. Her left arm, as well as both of her legs, were at an unnatural angle.

Harry came immediately to Ginny's side. He took her badly scarred right hand in his, as he tried not to let the tears that formed in his eyes show. He could feel his own heart dying, as he watched her - her breathing was becoming more irregular with each passing moment. Ron knelt beside the bed, placing a hand on Ginny's leg. Hermione, for her part, held Ron's other hand and watched Ginny, apparently hoping for a miracle.

"... The resulting explosion sent Miss Weasley flying across the room and over some desks," Snape was informing the Headmaster. "I extinguished the flames and I sent the rest of my class to their dormitories. I then placed a Levitation Charm on Miss Weasley and Mr. Creevey and brought them to the Hospital Wing for Madam Pomfrey to tend to. When I came across Professor McGonagall, I gave her a quick summary as I continued to make my way to the Hospital Wing."

"When Professor Snape  told me what  happened, I went to inform the remaining classes to have all the students return to their Houses," added Professor McGonagall. "I also sent for Fred and George Weasley, so that they would be informed of the situation. I then proceeded to dismiss my own class and to fetch Potter, Weasley, and Granger."

There was a momentary pause, which was interrupted by Madam Pomfrey.

"Mr. Creevey will make a full recovery," she said. "I have placed him on a bed in the other room.  I am sorry to say, however, that I am not hopeful about Miss Weasley. She is affected in so many different ways. There are several different poisons in her system. By the time I tend to that, she could either succumb to the bleeding or her wounds will be so infected that they would overtake her. The burns and the broken bones are still another matter entirely. There are too many afflictions and not enough time to deal with all of them."

As she said this, Professor Dumbledore promptly came to her side to give some assistance.

Snape didn't waste a moment - he swept out of the room without saying a word.

"You three should go outside and wait," Dumbledore urged Harry, Ron, and Hermione, as he worked frantically with Madam Pomfrey.

Before there was time to protest, Professor McGonagall pulled the trio from Ginny's side and pushed them out.

"Have faith children, she is under the best of care," she said reassuringly, before heading back into the room herself.

Harry, Ron and Hermione stared at the door after it had closed.

"It was Snape," said Ron, breaking the silence. "You saw how he fled the scene."

"Why would Snape want to hurt Ginny?" asked Hermione anxiously, still sounding very worried about Ginny. "It just doesn't make sense - there is nothing to be gained by it."

"Yes there is," whispered Harry, stiffening under a wave of guilt.

Neither Ron, nor Hermione, heard him.

Harry felt desperate - he had been afraid of this happening for months now. He had been scared of what would happen if Voldemort found out that he was in love with Ginny and now, it appeared that he had.

"How?" Harry muttered to himself.

How did he find out?

Obviously Voldemort had somehow found out.  Not only that, but he must have ordered Snape to kill Ginny. Harry was sure that this was no accident.

This was Harry's darkest nightmare.

Harry had grown very fond of Ginny over the summer and by the time October came, he was definitely in love. It started when he had finally been able to go to the Weasleys during the summer break. He had not been doing well since his last encounter with Voldemort and had been struggling under the weight of last year's Triwizard Tournament and Cedric's death. All of the Weasleys had tried to encourage him, but it had been Ginny who had really helped him to heal.

Ginny had, somehow, helped him to feel happy again. He didn't know if she was purposely trying to help or not, but she always seemed to be able to make him feel better, and even make him laugh a bit, whenever she was around him. In the darkness that had been his life, she burst in with light - she brought sunshine back into his world.  He had started to consider sharing his feelings with her in late September - but had realized that if Voldemort ever found out, he would use her to get to him. Now, apparently, he had and this was the result.

"Since when does Snape need to make sense," Ron argued back.

"Even evil has a purpose - and there would be no purpose in killing Ginny. Ron, I know you're worried - I am too. We just don't have enough information," said Hermione.

 "She's my sister ... I don't ..." Ron sniffled.

 "I know, Ron. Nothing is going to happen to her, she'll be all right," said Hermione softly, as she stepped forward and reached out to him. She then leaned close and hugged him gently.

Just then Snape returned carrying a bottle of brownish liquid.

"It's because of me, isn't it?" Harry was speaking to Snape, his voice as cold as ice. "Voldemort told you to kill Ginny, didn't he?"

Snape tilted his head, curling his lips in to a snarl.

"I don't know what you mean , Potter, now out of my way!" He almost spat out the last word, and went back into the hospital wing, pushing Harry aside.

"Harry, why do you think Snape did this?" Hermione turned and asked.

Harry didn't have time to explain. Just then, the twins appeared - both of them out of breath.

George started, "We got here as soon as we could!"

"We were in the middle of the lake ..."

"Studying the squid with Hagrid."

"How is Ginny?"

"We were told there was an accident," George finished, still panting.

Hermione quickly filled the twins in on the incident.

Just as she was finishing, Dumbledore came out.

"Ginny will make a full recovery. You can all come in and see her now if you wish, but I should warn you that Madam Pomfrey will not want her disturbed too much."

All five of them  followed Dumbledore quickly into the infirmary and to a bed where Ginny was sitting up, looking as healthy and unhurt as could be.

"Are you okay, Ginny?" exclaimed Ron, as he rushed to his sister's side.

Hermione stood beside him, while Fred and George came to Ginny's other side. Harry stood a few feet back. He looked away for a moment, blinking back a tear.

"She will be now, although it wouldn't be the case if it weren't for Professor Snape here," Madam Pomfrey said, nodding to Snape and pausing for a moment. "And she won't be if you keep disturbing her either," she continued sternly.

"Actually the credit should go to Miss Weasley here. She showed tremendous aptitude in class today, but perhaps she can fill you in on that."

Snape flashed an imperceptible smile at Ginny. He then stood up stiffly, shifted his eyes from side to side, and proceeded to leave. "Perhaps, Headmaster, you  would like to hear my account about the potion I used. Miss Weasley can provide her classmates with her account."

With that,  Professor McGonagall, Madam Pomfrey, Dumbledore, and Snape left the room.

"Thanks for coming, but I'm all right," said Ginny, a slight blush on her face. "Madam Pomfrey just wants to keep me under observation to make sure the potion works properly and that it doesn't have any side effects. It is the first time she has used this potion and she doesn't know anything about it. So she just wants me to stay a little while longer."

"Ginny," Hermione started, "what kind of treatment does Madam Pomfrey not know about?"

"Snape prepared it for me," answered Ginny.

"Then I think you definitely should stay for observation," interrupted Ron. "No telling what Snape would have given you."

"The potion is fine. Really. He even added the mint."

"Ginny, why wouldn't Madam Pomfrey know about a potion that could completely heal you in a matter of minutes?" asked Hermione, in what seemed an attempt to get the full story. "We heard and saw what the explosion had done to you."

"Well, the potion is a combination for treating poison, burns, cuts, broken  bones, pretty much everything simultaneously. That's what Madam Pomfrey said happened to me. I was right by the cauldron when it spilled - and she didn't know about the potion because it didn't exist until about an hour ago."

"What cauldron, and why didn't it exist?" asked Ron impatiently.

"The cauldron I was using. After what Professor Snape did, Colin knocked it over in shock. He spilled the contents all over table. It was a pretty bad explosion - we had lots of stuff on the table, including the poisons Professor Snape was using to test my potion."

"See, it was him!" Ron jumped in. "He threatened to poison Harry last year and he decided to get Ginny this year."

"No, Ron," said Ginny , trying to continue. "He didn't try to poison me."

"Well then, what did Snape do?" Ron pressed on.

"Professor Snape ... well, he kind of ... " Her voice trailed off.

"He kind of what?" asked Hermione, seeming concerned.

"He attacked her!" Ron exclaimed. "After poisoning her failed, he just attacked her!"

"He didn't attack me, he ... that is he ... ten points," Ginny's voice trailed off again.

Fred spoke up. "It's okay Ginny, me and George have lost lots of points in his class."

"Yeah, everyone does," added George.

"He does it once ..."

"Or twice ..."

"Every class," Fred finished.

"No. He gave me ten points." Ginny blurted out.

Silence hung in the room. Ron gaped, Harry blinked, Fred looked at George, George looked at Fred, and Hermione looked like she was attempting to solve the mystery of the ages.

"Snape gave you ten points ... are you sure he didn't say he was taking ten points?" asked Ron.

Ginny looked down, blushed, and nodded.

"Professor Snape?" asked Fred.

"Head of Slytherin House?" continued George.

"The one with greasy black hair?"

"And sneers a lot?" the twins finished.

Ginny continued to look down, examining the quilt on the bed and blushing - she gave a slight nod.

Ron sat down on the bed, still stunned.

"She must be delirious," he finally concluded. "How many fingers am I holding up?" He raised a hand and extended three fingers.

"Perhaps you had better tell us from the beginning what happened in class," said Hermione. She seemed to have given up on trying to figure out what had happened.

Ginny thought back to her potions class and started to tell her tale to the five anxious people around her.
 

Snape had burst into the room like he always did as if taking the time to come in at a normal pace would just be a waste.

"We won't be making any potions today, so you can put away your cauldrons," he instructed in a way that indicated they should have known this already. "We will be reviewing the various ingredients and potions that we have worked with this year in hopes that some of you might pass the exams."

There was a bustle of activity as the class put the cauldrons away.

"We'll start with the ingredients first. Who, here, can name the five most common medicinal ingredients and what they are primarily used for?"

Snape didn't wait for anyone to raise his or her hand. "Mr. Creevey," he hissed.

"Tea Tree Oil is used for curing poison," Colin stumbled after a second.

"No, Mr. Creevey, it is not," said Snape, before allowing Colin to continue. "Let us try someone else ... Miss Weasley, how about you?"

"Tea Tree Oil is used to cure a variety of illnesses and infections, Bezoar is used for poisons, Spider Silk is used to mend bones, Mandrakes are used as a restorative, and Lavender is used to heal burns and scars." Ginny had spoken steadily and calmly in response to Snape's question.

"Well done, Miss Weasley, can you also tell me the use for Powdered Snake Fang and the Skin of an Eel?"

Snape knew that she would have difficulty answering. He had noticed over the years that Ginny had shown remarkable abilities when it came to anything with medicinal qualities, but was less able with the darker aspects of potion making.

Ginny closed her eyes and tried to remember. After a moment, Snape continued. "Pity. Perhaps you can answer, Mr. Lotts."

The fourth-year Slytherin had no problem relating the horrible effects of the two ingredients mentioned.

"Very good, five points for Slytherin for the response," awarded Snape, glancing at Ginny.

The class continued in this manner for about 15 minutes. Then, tilting his head, Snape acknowledged Ginny, who had her hand raised.

"Yes, Miss Weasley, what is it?"

"Well... I was just wondering why there are several different potions instead of one do-all potion for curing disease, treating poisons, mending bones and such," Ginny asked cautiously.

"If you had been paying attention at all this year, Miss Weasley, you would have known the answer to that," spoke Snape, through clenched teeth. "The ingredients don't work together, because they have a tendency to react with each other. The Bezoar will work against the Tea Tree Oil and the Mandrakes, but not before the Mandrakes absorb the Spider Silk. Then, the Lavender would react in a violent manner with what is left. Five points will be taken from Gryffindor for such a foolish question."

Still not convinced, Ginny decided to press the point. "But what if ... what if they were combined in an Inhibiting Potion to prevent them from negating each other?"

"Why do you insist on wasting my time?" hissed Snape. "Wizards have been trying for years, but the inhibitors only have an effect on the first ingredient you mix in. Five more points will be taken from Gryffindor for this continuing distraction".

Ginny reflected on this while Snape continued the class. Then she raised her hand for a second time. When Snape acknowledged it, she started, "Then what would happen if you mix the inhibit..."

Ginny, however, was not given the chance to finish her thought.

"Enough!" growled Snape. "Enough! You will waste no more of my time with this nonsense." He then proceeded to place a variety of potions and ingredients on the demonstration table at the front of the classroom. "Come here, Miss Weasley. You will spend the remainder of the class wasting your time with your silly notions, not wasting more of mine. On Monday you will give me three feet of parchment on why it does not work. Another five points will be taken from Gryffindor for this foolishness."

Ginny could feel her classmates staring at her as she went up to the front. She kept her back to the class as she worked over the table. She tried various combinations, but Snape was right - it just wasn't working. On her fourth attempt, the mixture made a small explosion.

Turning and seeing that she was unharmed, Snape sneered.

"Miss Weasley, I thought I made it clear that you were not to disturb the rest of us. Five more points will be taken from Gryffindor." He then continued with the class as the Slytherins snickered at his comments.

Ginny struggled on. After another twenty minutes, she turned to Professor Snape and cleared her throat.

"What is it now, Miss Weasley?" Snape said impatiently.

"It's ... that is I have something that I... I think might work," Ginny said cautiously.

Snape, in obvious frustration, left the room and returned a few moments later carrying a large toad.

"Why you continue to waste time like this I do not know," he hissed. "Perhaps if we tried it on you, you would stop disturbing the class." Taking the fated frog, Snape proceeded to inflict various injuries and subject it to different poisons and diseases.

"There you go Miss Weasley, save the frog with your potion - and hurry up."

Ginny took her concoction, administered a few drops directly to the injuries, and put another few in the frog's mouth. A minute passed. Then the frog began to change. The visible wounds on the skin started to disappear, and the limbs that had been placed at odd angles straightened. A few seconds later, the frog, which had  been sprawled on the table, gave a cheerful "Ribbit" and  hopped away without a care in the world, until Snape picked it up and examined it, that is.

The Gryffindors cheered. The Slytherins, however, did not.

"Well done, Miss Weasley, tell me - how did you make this potion?" Although Snape still spoke with a sneer, it did not have the usual edge.

Ginny started to explain how she had tried combining the ingredients in separate inhibitors first and then mixing them together. She had applied a simple filter to remove the excess inhibitors, leaving the potion she had used. "Then I added some Mint," she finished.

"And why did you add Mint?" questioned Snape, back to his usual voice.

"I ... well, it didn't smell very good so I though it would taste awful," Ginny said meekly.

Snape closed his eyes as if he had a headache that he was trying to get rid of. By this point, Colin had moved to the other side of the desk to take a look.

"Well, I think I will have to give you back the points I took," said Snape, to the class' astonishment. "I'll give you ten points for your most insightful discovery. Congratulations, Miss Weasley."
 

"Everyone was shocked at that. The next part I remember is a loud explosion, and then I remember waking up in the Hospital Wing. I guess Colin knocked over the table when Snape gave me the points."

When Ginny finished her story, she looked around at the people standing beside her bed.

Silence followed Ginny's account of the Potion's class. No one seemed to know what to say.

"Now I think it is time that we let Miss Weasly have some sleep," advised Dumbledore, who was standing beside Madam Pomfrey. They had returned sometime during the narrative.

"About time too," agreed Madam Pomfrey. "This girl needs her rest, you know."

"Can I ... that is...err - if it is okay with Madam Pomfrey, I was wondering if I could stay with Ginny tonight," said Harry,  looking back and forth between Dumbledore and Madam Pomfrey. "I just need to make sure that she is okay," he added hastily,  looking at his feet.

Ginny blushed and smiled.

Dumbledore gazed at Harry through his half moon spectacles. "I don't think it would do any harm for one person to sit with her - do you, Madam Pomfrey?"

Judging by the way Dumbledore was looking at her, Madam Pomfrey didn't seem to think she had a choice and relented.

"Great!" said Ron. "We'll stay, too!" he added, indicating to himself and Hermione.

"And don't forget us," piped George.

"I think, one is best," said Dumbledore, stemming the flood of well-wishers.

"Then I should stay. I'm her closest relative after all. Age-wise, that is," Ron added.

Hermione gave him one of her looks and said, "I think Harry should stay." She exchanged a meaningful look with Ginny and seemed anxious to leave her alone with Harry.

Ron looked down at Hermione cluelessly.

"I'll explain later," she added quietly, a little exasperated, and nudged him in the direction of the door.

Harry was allowed to stay with Ginny, while the rest of the group bid them "Good Night".

When they were left alone, they sat in silence for some time before Harry finally spoke.

"I ... I hope you don't mind if I stay with you. Do you Ginny?" asked Harry hopefully, not meeting her eyes. His heart was beating faster than he wished, and his voice was more than a little hoarse.

"No. I don't mind," Ginny replied, sounding both curious and happy about him staying. "It's always nice to have a good friend," she added cautiously, but her deep blush made it seem as if she might be wishing for more.

"I ...But it is more..." stammered Harry. "When I was with Ron and your family this summer, I... well... I was not doing very well...Everyone was trying to cheer me up and help me through what happened last year, but they didn't really help. I know we never talked much, but when we did, you didn't bring up Voldemort or Cedric," Harry paused at the name, "or anything. You talked about other things and kept my mind off of it. When I brought it up, you listened patiently and without interrupting or trying to reassure me. You helped me more than I think you know."

"I'm glad I could help. That's what friends are for, but you don't need to stay because you think you owe me or anything," said Ginny, smiling bravely, but sounding sad. "You don't have to pay me back."

"It's not because I am trying to pay anything back," continued Harry. "I feel more than just friendship."

Harry had never felt as exposed and vulnerable as he did right now, but he knew he had to go on. After the events of the day, he realized how hard it would be not to tell her - how hard it would be to never know what it would be like to be with her.

"It was not long before I started to look forward to spending time with you. Just the thought of you made me brighten up inside. Whenever we were apart I felt empty and like a part of me was missing. I had wanted to tell you this months ago, but I was afraid to do so. Ginny I ... I love you."

"Oh Harry, why were you afraid? Did you think I would laugh or something? I love you too." Shyly, Ginny  reached out with her hand.

"No it's not that. I was afraid that if Voldemort found out he would try and hurt you. He took my parents - my entire family. Because of him and his Death Eaters I can't be with my Godfather." Harry took a long pause. "If he took you too, I ... I..." he could not continue with the thought. "But today, when you were hurt, when I saw how injured you were, it was like my heart was dying with you. I knew that if you made it, I would have to tell you. I thought - how could I go on without finding out if we could be more than friends? Ginny will ... would you go out with me?"

"Oh Harry - of course I will!"

Harry sat on the bed beside Ginny and smiled. Then, he hugged her for what seemed like an eternity. They continued talking for a few more hours until Madam Pomfrey came and insisted that Ginny get some sleep.

Harry brought a chair and sat beside her as she slept. He didn't doze once. He held her hand all night, watching her - amazed at how beautiful, and sweet she was.

He was still holding her hand when he helped her through the portrait hole the next day, after Madam Pomfrey released her. When they entered the common room the entire Gryffindor House greeted them. There was butterbeer, sweets, cakes and puddings of every kind. The twin's had gone all out getting food for the celebration. The Creevey brothers had made several banners which hung around the room flashing sayings like "Ginny for President", "Ginny is a 10", and "Ginny 10 - Snape 0". The celebration lasted all afternoon and deep into the night.

Through it all, Harry didn't let go of Ginny's hand - not even once.
 

//
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