Chapter Three: Explanation
Ginny was trapped again. She couldn't
move, no matter how she tried. A terrible voice sounded, filling her
with claws of fire that tore at her insides. "Harry? Harry!" Her words
became an agonized scream...
... and Harry woke, shaking. He saw that Ginny was crying,
whimpering in her sleep, moving her head and arms in agitation. It was
another nightmare, one that he somehow shared with her in his dream.
Harry took her hand and talked quietly to her, but his attempt to calm
her was not working like it had other times. Harry now could feel her
agony as if it were his own. By this time Ginny's parents had come
awake. "Mister Weasley, get a healer in here, now! Ginny's hurting
inside. Something's very wrong! It feels like the curse is back, sort
"On my way..." and Arthur dashed out the door.
By this time Molly was also trying to calm Ginny, stroking her face,
holding her hand, calling her name as Molly must have done when Ginny
was small and suffering from a nightmare.
"I'm going to try the shield. Maybe it will help," Harry said.
Molly watched, wide eyed, as Harry closed his eyes and thought the
words they had chosen so many weeks ago to trigger the raising of the
...swirling clouds of pain that they
both felt, hid Ginny from him. "Glowing Calmness From Within." Then the
warm inner glow spread out, enveloping Harry and then Ginny... All
concerns dropped away, and they remembered that Inner Smile that was
their symbol of the Love that is the source of all things. And then
Ginny was protected from the worst of the pain. Now the pain was 'out
there' beyond the core of her true self to which she had retreated...
Harry's eyes opened, and he saw Leanna and another healer beginning
to examine Ginny. Harry pointed. "Most of her pain is centered here and
here." He pointed again. "And some is up here too." He could now look
at the healers with utter calm. "It's not as bad as when I first
brought her in. Seems more localized too. I'm helping her hold off the
pain." Standing there with one of Ginny's hands in his, he closed his
eyes to focus totally on Ginny again.
...Words drifted by Harry's and
Ginny's consciousness, and faded away as soon as they came. "...both
ovaries this time... You deal with the liver, like last time... watch
it, there's still a bit of damage there... yes, that's it now..." and
soon Ginny and Harry were aware that the pain 'out there' was slowly
Harry and Ginny opened their eyes at the same time and looked at
each other. "How do you feel, Ginny?" Leanna asked, while slipping her
wand into her robe.
"A little sore, mostly through here." Ginny pointed. "Leanna, what
"You had a... let's call it a relapse. There was still a bit of
residual magic from the curse that somehow got activated instead of
fading away as we had hoped." Leanna looked at Harry and the three
Weasleys. "How did you all tell that something was wrong so quickly?
Arthur called us before our own alarm went off. I heard the alarm after
we were already in here."
Harry shrugged. "I woke up because I felt Ginny having another bad
dream, but then I could feel her hurting for real. So I asked Mr.
Weasley to get you."
"He told me, Leanna. Quite
forcefully." Arthur grinned. "Good thing, too."
"Ginny, dear, you need another sleeping potion. I want you to have
as sound a sleep as you can." Leanna looked at the others. "Arthur?
Molly? Do you need anything to get back to sleep?" They shook their
heads no. "Harry, I want you to be able to wake up quickly if you sense
anything else, so I'd prefer that you not have one. Apparently you are
quicker than our own alarms. Will you be able to sleep?"
Harry nodded, smiling warmly at Ginny.
* * *
When Harry, Ron and Hermione entered the Master Healer's office,
she looked up and smiled. "I want to thank you, Harry, for all
the help you have provided for Ginny. I don't fully understand yet
just what you are doing with her, but it calms her nightmares
remarkably quickly. I suspect you have a natural talent for healing,
since she seems to be healing so much faster than I would have
She looked at him frankly. "It's time you told me what you two
did to shield yourselves. That curse is almost unstoppable once it
starts, even if the person casting it is killed. Somehow you two
stopped it or turned it back on Voldemort."
"Has Ginny told you anything?"
"No, except to say that she would rather you explain. I
gather it will take a while to describe it?"
"Ginny can't talk for very long as yet since she still tires
so easily, so I understand why she would prefer to leave it to you
all." Leanna smiled encouragingly at them.
"Hermione can tell you about the theoretical side, if you
want that." Harry gestured to Hermione and Ron. "And Ron
kept us on the right track when we got bogged down in details and
stuff. I'll just tell you what we did that worked, and leave out the
blind alleys we went down.
"Because of a prophecy, I've been hunting Voldemort for
most of this last year, and he's been hunting me for much longer. I've
had the help of a number of friends, most especially Ron,
Hermione and Ginny. Do you know what a Horcrux is?"
Leanna grimaced. "Some of the darkest magic I know of. Go
"In her first year at Hogwarts, Ginny got... involved with a
Horcrux that contained a piece of Voldemort's soul. Nobody knew what it
was then. It appeared to be a diary that she could interact with. At
first it seemed to be friendly to her, something that she could tell
her secrets to, and all that. It said it was the diary of a Hogwarts
student of fifty years ago, Tom Riddle. Tom Riddle was Voldemort's
original name, but we didn't know that. In the end, the diary took over
Ginny and made her do things, including releasing a basilisk that
Riddle had in the chambers under Hogwarts. She was missing hours of
time, and could not remember what she did when Riddle controlled her.
Still, she managed to get rid of the diary; I told you before that
she was a strong witch. I got a hold of the diary myself, not knowing
what it was. To make a long story short, Ron and I ended up rescuing
Ginny when Riddle captured her. He was draining her life to form a
body for himself. He nearly succeeded, until I killed the bit of soul
in the diary."
The healer looked at Harry a long time, thinking. "So there
was a significant connection between Ginny and Voldemort. Go on."
"I had a connection to Voldemort too." Harry pointed to
his scar. "Since I was one year old. It started when he tried to
kill me. Ever since, we've had a connection through the scar, although
it took a while to realize the connection was there. Eventually we
sometimes could tell what each other was thinking, or anyway that we
were feeling something strongly. Then in my fourth year at Hogwarts,
he made an additional connection with me. He captured me and used
some of my blood and some other things to form himself a body. Ever
since then he had a shield against me on his side of the connection. We
were hoping to find a way to break through his shield and somehow
use love to destroy him, like Dumbledore suggested."
Leanna replied. "Love. Yes. You might be surprised how much love is
necessary part of our healing magic. It is an old and very basic magic."
Hermione nodded in agreement. "Some of our most useful ideas came
from books on healing spells."
"Ginny almost got kidnaped at Hogwarts," Harry continued. "So she
left and came
looking for us. She found us at our hideout. She point blank
refused to leave, to go somewhere more protected. To tell the truth I
didn't want her to leave, I had
missed her so much. So we started working on how to use love as a
"You can't, really," the healer said quietly. "It
always turns to something less desirable if you try to use love that
"So we finally concluded."
"But we did know it could
be a shield. We experimented. We
thought about it. Especially my mother's love and what it did.
Somehow we had to get love down to its basics. Um... sexual love didn't
work; the desire bit got in the way somehow, although it sure was
very comforting and we very much needed comforting."
Leanna had noticed how Ron and Hermione had been holding hands the
whole time. "It's especially like that in wartime." Leanna
smiled and did not say anything more.
"We stumbled onto something. The links we both have had to
Voldemort, combined with our feelings for each other, helped open up
a link directly between Ginny and me. If we focused on each other
then we could feel each other's emotions. And even sometimes
thoughts, if we were careful about it. Usually it worked the quickest
and strongest if we started by looking in each other's eyes with the
right intent. And we found that if we both focused on feeling love
just by itself, while the link was open, then it was tremendously
intensified. It got to where we could hold it for many minutes at a
time, even while doing all sorts of other things. And it did work as
a shield against some sorts of spells."
Harry continued. "We thought the shield would protect against Avada
Kedavra, but Ron figured Voldemort might not use that. It turned out
Ron was right. Anyway, we thought we might have to break down
that barrier to Voldemort's mind. And there was really no way to
practice that. We thought it might be easiest if we were physically
in his presence. Then while the rest of us were away from our hideout,
Eaters caught Ginny and took her away." Harry stared into space,
focused on his memories of that event, until Ron touched his
"The link was still there and so I knew she was alive. And I
had used the link before to Apparate to her. So I did, and after some
fighting, unfortunately I was caught."
"Like I said before, just before he cursed her, we managed to
look at each other and that made it easier to raise the shield.
Then when he cursed her and she screamed, I broke through to him. It
just felt like I pushed the shield into him. And Voldemort started
screaming too. It seemed like a terribly
long time, but I think it actually took just a few seconds, like I told
you before. Then I
felt he was gone and his Petrificus Spells on us ended. I could tell
hurting very, very badly, so I Portkeyed her here."
Hermione spoke up. "Dumbledore said that somehow love was a
poison for Voldemort. It was because he was so devoid of it for his
whole life. Especially when he was young. We think Voldemort simply
had no experience of ever being loved, especially in his formative
years. That's probably why a love-based shield killed him."
Ron cleared his throat. "Leanna?"
"I think Mum and Dad need to hear some of this
explanation of what went on. They've just been sort of trusting that
Harry and Ginny did the right thing. But it was Ginny that was hurt
so bad, and she's still their little girl and all that. It'll help
them if they understand more about it. I think we three need to tell
them. What do you think?"
"Yes, Ron, you are right. And the sooner the better. I'll
leave that up to you three how you tell it. And how much detail is
Leanna looked at Hermione and smiled. "So you are the
theoretician of this little gang?"
"Yes, I suppose you could say so."
"Would you accept an appointment with a colleague of mine in
the Department of Mysteries to discuss the theoretical side of what
you did? I think you all accomplished something that should be
"Certainly. I'd love to talk with your colleague. Ron should
be there too." She squeezed his hand. "Ron kept us on
track, especially me, when we would veer off in all sorts of
directions. I think he could help again." Ron grimaced,
and Hermione elbowed him in his ribs. "Yes you can, Ron. Even if
it is theory."
Hermione paused to look at Ron with an indecipherable expression.
"Leanna, there's more. The shield does
work against Avada Kedavra, just as we had hoped. Ron and I were both
using the shield when we were at Voldemort's hideout."
Ron looked startled and then his face filled with anxiety.
"Hermione, did you get hit with..."
She shook her head. "No. You did.
From behind. The Avada Kedavra bounced right back and hit
the Death Eater who cast it at you. You didn't even notice! I was so
proud of you." Hermione turned to Leanna. "Ron's shield usually was the
least strong of our shields, yet it worked beautifully against Avada
Ron had a wry smile. "I guess all that practice was a good idea." He laughed and
hugged Hermione briefly when she began to look askance at him. Then Ron
became serious. "Leanna, the shield may not seem like a proper spell to
most folks. No wand or anything, you know. And you pick your own
non-verbal trigger phrase to raise the shield, instead of having
standard spell words. But it uses magic and it is teachable! It's not really hard
to learn, if you know what proper love feels like."
Hermione said, "Remember, Ron, you also pick your own imagery for
dealing with a boggart or raising a Patronus. Leanna, the shield isn't
for everything. It doesn't protect against the spells that are...um..."
"...more physical in effect," Ron interjected.
Harry laughed in delight. "There's another one." Ron and Hermione
turned to glare at him. Harry explained to a puzzled Leanna. "They've
started completing each other sentences like an old married couple.
Ginny and I have been hearing them do it more and more. I think it's
empathy, though both Hermione and Ron seem in denial about it."
Hermione's face was showing a bit of both irritation and amusement.
"I was just searching for the optimum words to express the limitations
of the shield."
Ron grinned. "Hermione was probably looking for a much longer word
than 'physical.' She knows a lot of good ones to choose from. After
"...'physical' only has three syllables," Hermione said, shaking her
head and sighing. "It's getting to be an old joke, Leanna." Now Harry
and Ron were both laughing.
Leanna broke in. "Some degree of empathy is not uncommon, at least
between spouses, siblings close in age, and sometimes even co-workers.
It's not just due to familiarity with each other. Also, our sort of
magic isn't necessary for it to happen."
Hermione agreed. "My mum and dad complete each others sentences at
times. Sometimes I have no clue how they do it, and neither do they
when I point out to them what they did."
"Then there's Fred and George, of course," Ron laughed. Then he
looked puzzled. "Leanna, I don't remember Mum and Dad doing it. Seems
like they would."
Leanna smiled. "They did it quite a lot, when I first knew them. I
think they've gone to the next stage. Few do." The others looked
curious. "If either is at a loss for words but the other isn't, they
would just automatically use what words the other might have available.
There's no loss for words normally, unless both of them would be at a loss for
words. Remember, that's just an external indication of the extent of
their shared empathy, you understand."
Ron looked a little worried. "If that is so, it sounds like their
personalities could be merging or something. Are they?"
"I hardly think so, Ron," Leanna laughed. "Does your mum like to
work at the Ministry or collect Muggle artifacts as a hobby? Does your
dad like to be an expert cook or do gardening? Yet, Molly and Arthur
are as in tune with each other as any couple I have ever seen, when
they choose to be." Leanna looked at the three friends. "There is much
more to empathy than being able to end each others sentences,
especially when it is combined with magic. You've seen some of its
effects with Harry and Ginny. Their empathy concerns feelings first,
not thoughts. But empathy is a very large topic best left for another
Leanna glanced at her notes. "Do you have anything more to add about
the shield? I'd rather leave further questions to my colleague."
They shook their heads no.
Leanna's smile grew as she thought about what she had learned. "Oh
my! A shield against Avada Kedavra. Such
good news." Leanna was beaming. "I'll get in contact with my colleague
straight away and let you know
when she might be available. In the meantime, Molly and Arthur are
with Ginny now, as you know. You
go up there and tell them a simplified version of Harry's prior
information along with the information you all gave me today.
If Ginny is not asleep, so much the better. She should not be left
out of these discussions any longer, even if she does not feel like
saying much as yet. It's best if Molly and Arthur
hear Ginny's side of it from her directly, if she is willing to speak
about it at this point."
Leanna stood up, and the three friends followed suit. "Thank
you for coming to help me understand what happened. You three and
Ginny have done a remarkable thing, several
remarkable things, and for that I also thank you on
behalf of the whole wizarding world."
Author's Notes: I've had enough highly improbable "sentence ending"
experiences that empathy seems to be the only reasonable explanation.
The word 'empathy' can denote many things, ranging from telepathy or
ESP to the feel for growing plants that we call "having a green thumb."