Harry Potter and
his world is J. K Rowling's marvelous, shiny invention. I'm just
playing with it, still dazzled by it all, and do not expect any profit
from its use other than inspiration. No broomsticks were
harmed in the writing of this story.
This story is a
prequel to my first fan fiction story, Aftermath
story should have been Part I
should have been Part II of the same overall story.
should be read before Aftermath
This chapter is the first of ten chapters, although it can be read as a
Consider this story to be rated Immature for occasional use of
strong language and Mildly Risque for blatant appreciation of the human
version of the
two-gender system. If you want something stronger, it may be found in
operas" on television in the UK and the USA.
Many thanks again are due to J. K. Rowling for providing such a fertile
ground for the imagination of fan fiction writers to grow in. My
gratitude goes to NightZephyr for her excellent beta work. This Part
One was inspired by Sharon's comments upon reading Aftermath. Thank
you, Sharon. It was exactly the right nudge. I hope you like the
After the Death Eater
attack on Hogwarts that ended with Dumbledore's death, many of Ginny
friends and classmates had not returned to Hogwarts during her sixth
year due to fear of
further attacks. As a result, many classes were reduced in size and
students from all four Houses. Harry Potter, her clandestine
boyfriend, had not returned to Hogwarts for
his seventh year, and was on a mysterious quest that supposedly was too
dangerous for her to know about. Ginny's
brother Ron and her best friend
Hermione Granger sometimes would be seen together doing
research in the library. They never seemed to attend classes, nor did
they eat with
the other students. They definitely did not sleep in the Gryffindor
wondered if they were officially students at
all. Nevertheless, Headmistress McGonagall appeared to tolerate their
use of the library. Neither Ron nor Hermione would say what they were
doing. From reading letters from her parents, Ginny realized that they
under the mistaken impression that Ron, Hermione and Harry were normal
seventh year students. Ginny knew better.
* * *
Now that she was off of the Quidditch pitch, Ginny flew her
broomstick in a leisurely way
toward the main entrance to Hogwarts Castle. Flying helped
clear her head, it really did, despite reminding her almost too much of
Harry. He had often flown near dawn or in the late evening, alone in
the sky, hoping to forget for a few minutes his life and his terrible
obligations. Now that Harry was no longer at Hogwarts, out of her
loneliness Ginny had taken on the same habit. She often flew
as the sky began to turn light. Sometimes the dawn would lift Ginny's
heart in a semblance of hope,
but this morning the clouds had hung low and thick, their substance
shoring up her fortitude but hardly lightening her spirit.
Nearing the Hogwarts Castle entrance, suddenly Ginny
was startled to see several figures rise out of the bushes near the
heavy oak doors. They were on brooms and wearing masks and Slytherin
They turned toward her and accelerated. One of the shadowy figures
attempted to cast a Stunning Spell
which missed Ginny. A young woman's voice yelled harshly. "You
cretin! She could've fallen. We have to catch her, not kill her! Do it
like we practiced or we'll really be in for it!"
The figures flew closer to her and time after time herded her away
from the castle entrance. Then she saw a hole in their formation and
dove through it, streaking for the entrance. She glanced back, to see
them still following her in formation. There was something odd about that,
she thought. That was too easy,
that opening. Then, just outside the door she saw another
figure, then a second, waiting for her! They would have had her in a
heartbeat if she had landed in front of the entrance. She angled away
from the trap, flying along a castle wall.
Where can I go? Ginny
thought. Even if I catch someone's
attention, the windows are all locked and warded. Nobody can let me in.
Even the owlery is warded against everything but owls. Where's a
security hole when you need one? she thought angrily. She
quickly looked all around, assessing
her options. Can't fly in or out of
the grounds. Those wards are nasty.
I can walk through the gate, though. Too slow! Too slow! They'll
get me, Stun me! Then Ginny had
a flash of inspiration. Oh!
What if I run through the
worth a try. Did they leave anyone outside the gate? Not that I can
see. This is going to be tricky...
Ginny slowed as she gained altitude. It was enough for the two
fastest pursuers to draw closer to her without them realizing how much
speed she had in reserve. Then she went into a dive and they followed,
faster and faster, then Ginny suddenly pulled out of the dive. One of
the pursuers hit the ground hard, misjudging when to pull up. The other
was still close behind her, and was joined by two others. This time she
flew up at full speed, the three following closely. "Really tricky," she thought. "Now!" Ginny sharply went into a
dive and two of her pursuers hit the overhead wards and, stunned, they
fluttered to the ground. They had forgotten that the wards prevented
anyone from flying outside the grounds by flying high. Ginny knew just
where the wards were, having tested them time and again just for her
Still at top speed, Ginny flew toward Hagrid's cabin. The remaining
three pursuers held back a bit, having learned how quickly Ginny could
change direction. They expected her to attempt another feint to get
them to crash into the cabin. Further from the cabin than they
expected, Ginny swerved and flew at top speed toward the exit gate for
the grounds. The pursuers swung in an arc and picked up speed,
hoping to cut Ginny off from the gate. However, she had just enough of
lead to flip off the broom and run for four steps
through the gate. Hopping back on her broom, she aimed for the sky and
the now welcoming dark clouds. A glance downward showed yet another
Slytherin on the ground, having misjudged when to walk or run through
gate. The ward against flying in or out of the grounds had taken him
out. Didn't even have to hex you,
bastards, she thought fiercely.
The last two pursuers were now climbing into the sky behind her, but
the clouds were closer. She pointed her broom towards Hogsmeade, making
sure that her pursuers saw her direction before she entered the clouds.
After she was well inside the cloud layer she slowly curved toward the
south, toward the general area where she knew Harry was. She flew
that her robes did not flap in the wind streaming around her, possibly
attracting the attention of her
After ten minutes of slowly gaining altitude, she could see the
clouds becoming lighter above her. Mustn't
get above the clouds. They could have someone up there, watching,
waiting. Ginny shook her head. Fine
case of paranoia you've got,
Weasley. Of course, they really were
after you, weren't they? She snorted with grim amusement.
Ginny came to a stop. Well, it seemed like it was a stop, but since
the clouds had been moving easterly earlier, relative to the ground,
she supposed that was still the case. Am
toward the Netherlands at a lazy clip? Or was it Denmark or Norway?
She shrugged, not really caring. She decided it was time for an
inventory. Wand. Jeans. Shirt.
Jumper. Bra. Knickers. Funky watch from Fred and George. We'll see what
that can do in a bit, right? Flying cloak... damn... not completely
impervious to rain. Cauldron Cake, somewhat flattened but likely
Double damn... one shoe missing. No wonder my foot's cold.
Happened running through the gate, I reckon. At least I still have both
socks. One locket, with picture
Harry, Ron and Hermione. Good thing photos don't wear out from just
looking at them. I'll see the real Harry soon, and Ron and Hermione,
too. It's about time, Harry. Right?
Okay, watch. Do your thing. Fred
and George, this gadget of yours had better work at four hundred meters
or whatever it is. Ginny turned her wrist to see the time in
the still early light of dawn. Still
way early. No one will miss me for hours yet. It's Saturday and they'll
think I'm having a lie-in. Ginny thought a command at the watch:
"SHOW EVERYONE." A map of the
appeared in glowing lines above her wrist watch. Fred and George in London, me near
Hogwarts. Harry, Ron and Hermione near Godric's Hollow. Right!
Ginny decided to eat the Caldron Cake, and ended up wolfing it down
with more hunger than she expected. She
was uncomfortably aware of the cold mist she was in, and was
about to cast a warming charm. Then she realized, Oh,
no! I'm still under age and I'm away from Hogwarts! Somebody might
track me if I use my wand! Ginny sighed and thought, Still too close to Hogwarts to land
somewhere. Okay, let's get on with it then. Fred and George, this had
or I'll hex you into next week! She focused a command again to
her watch: DISTANCE TO HARRY.
Glowing characters appeared in midair above her watch: 520KM. POINT TO HARRY. The map of the UK
reappeared and rotated until it was oriented to match the ground
beneath her. Then a glowing arrow
appeared on the map, pointing somewhat to her left. She swung
her broom a little and now the arrow pointed straight ahead. The map
started to fade until she thought STAY
ON to the watch. Soon she was flying to Harry as fast as she
could in the early dawn light now filtering down through the thick
clouds, with a golden arrow showing her the way.
* * *
A while back, Harry had discovered that his watch could do more than
Fred and George had indicated. His was able to communicate only
with Ron's and Hermione's watches, or so they were led to believe. One
day he had commanded the watch
to show where Ron and Hermione were, and it indicated Hogwarts, as
expected. He knew they were researching something in the library. Then
thinking of Ginny as he did so often, wistfully commanded the watch to
show where Ginny was. To Harry's surprise and delight, the watch did as
commanded. After further experimentation, Harry concluded that there
were only five others that his watch connected with: Ron's and
which he had known about, and
George's, and Ginny's.
Harry regretfully refrained from using his watch to send
any messages to Ginny, Fred or George, not being sure if there could be
problems. The watches were
experimental, after all. Maybe sending Ginny a message could set off an
watch or something. If her watch worked like his, it would vibrate if
she received a message from him. She could be startled enough by that
to catch unwanted attention. Still, he was so frustrated with the
slowness of the secret exchange of letters that they had managed since
school resumed. Nevertheless, Harry used his watch
he would dare admit to Ron and Hermione, to reassure himself that
Ginny remained safe at
Hogwarts. Unfortunately, seeing that she was there at Hogwarts
sometimes would leave him even more moody and out of sorts than usual.
It was very frustrating that he could not meet her at Hogwarts during
his rare visits. She just wouldn't be safe if he were to be seen with
* * *
Damn, it's cold
thought. She slowed to a stop and tucked the flying cloak around her as
best she could. She had been flying in the clouds to remain undetected
by wizard and Muggle alike. Unfortunately, what looked like fog when
she was still, became a miserable, cold, insidiously wet mist when she
flew at top
speed. The cloak was beginning to soak through. Her hands and face were
terribly chilled, no matter how much she crouched close to the broom
handle. After waiting a little bit, floating motionless within the
clouds, she felt a little better. Okay,
broom. Let's press on.
She gave a shuddering sigh. Damn, I'm cold.
* * *
Harry had not slept well. This night's dreams had been a confusing mix
of Ginny, Voldemort, and Harry's parents, although he could not
any details. There was a hint of coming light in the sky, so Harry
decided to get up and go outside, hoping the morning air would clear
his head. When he stepped out of the cottage door, he heard the
beginnings of bird song in the woods that surrounded the cabin where
Ron and Hermione were staying. Under
he thought, this could be a promising morning, even
though there are a lot of clouds. I wonder if they will clear up later?
Then, not bothering to resist his impulse to check on Ginny and the
others, Harry idly thought a command to his watch: SHOW EVERYONE.
He looked at the
map of the UK that appeared. George
and Fred in London. Ron, Hermione and me here. Ginny at...
caught his breath. She was not at Hogwarts! A chill ran down his spine.
Harry did not recognize her location. SHOW
The map now was centered on Ginny's location, but did
not show as much detail as a simple road map. MAGNIFY.
Still no helpful details
After some study, Harry noticed the dot that represented Ginny had
moved slightly. He waited and watched the dot, until he was sure. She must be flying at the top speed of her
broom! She's coming in this direction! She's about a quarter of the
way here. Or,
realized, someone might be bringing
her in this direction against her
will. What if someone had taken her watch and it was not her that he
was watching? Oh, wait. The direction bit only works if she is wearing
it. Still, better not reveal the exact location of the hideout, yet.
In a near panic, Harry did not realize that he wasn't thinking
straight, that Ginny's
map would still show the location of Ron and Hermione at the cottage
Godric's Hollow, even if he was not there.
Harry rushed into the cottage, and seized his broom and flying cloak.
He dashed back outside and
rose into the overhanging clouds, aimed straight as an arrow toward, he
fervently hoped, his Ginny flying to meet him.
Once he was on his way, Harry calmed down enough to realize that he
must stay out of sight. Then he cast a Disillusionment Charm on
himself and his broom so that no one would notice him. Next he
cast a warming spell for the times he passed through the thick clouds.
cold mists became uncomfortably wet at high flying speeds.
An Impervius Spell seemed to decrease his speed slightly, but was worth
it. Finally, Harry swept aside his cautious thoughts about the watches.
He used his watch to send a brief message to Fred and George, telling
them that he was flying to meet Ginny.
* * *
Eventually, on Harry's display of where the two of them were, the two
merged. She had to be right here, in these clouds. Where was she? Harry
looked wildly around, his heart beating hard in his chest. He
began circling. Where was she? MAGNIFY.
Still not enough. MAGNIFY.
there! The two dots, his and hers, were now separated just a little,
circling each other. Where?... Then through the mist he saw her, below
him and off to the left. "Ginny!"
Her head turned with a jerk toward
him. "Harry?" She rose to his level, and they began orbiting each
Closer. Closer. Slowing, slowing, until he saw her eyes, wide and
unsmiling, her wand pointed at him. "I need to know it's really you,
Harry," she called to him, "and you need to know it's me." Harry drew
his wand, though his heart was already telling him, yelling at him,
wouldn't be needed. "Harry, when and where was the second
time we kissed, and did
anyone see us?"
"The first time was in front of everyone in Gryffindor's Common Room,"
he called to her. The clouds seemed to swallow his words, muffling them
in cold, wet cotton. "The second time was outside the portrait
just after the first time, and the Fat Lady and her friend Violet said
something like, 'oh, how sweet' and 'it's about time.'" Harry was
looking, staring, at Ginny, drinking in the sight of her.
"Now you have to ask me something, Harry." They were orbiting, circling
closer now. Her eyes were dark pits, ready to swallow him. Her hair was
a wild, wind tossed, red tangle around her head. Streaks of water from
the clouds had left trails on her pale face. Or had they been tears?
Her lips were almost colorless, compressed into a firm straight line.
Her robes were wet and bedraggled, and she had lost a shoe
somewhere. She was holding herself rigid, trying to keep herself from
shaking from the cold. He wanted nothing more than to hold her close,
to protect her.
"Harry?" Her wand was still pointed toward him.
"Oh! Um. Where did we last
kiss, and what happened just after that?" Harry smiled at her and
"We kissed under that old oak by the pond," she said softly. Their
brooms were only a few feet apart now, and now, instead of the two
some ill-defined space between them, the clouds seemed to be moving in
a slow, stately dance
around them. They
could touch hands now if they reached toward each other.
"And then?..." Harry said, searching her face.
"And then you said that you loved me, and... and... then you promised
me that some day we would be together again, whenever, however we could
be." Her eyes searched his face and there was no longer even the
slightest suspicion or fear in her eyes. "Then I told you that I loved
you, and I always would, to the end of time and beyond. Then Ron and
Hermione called you, and you and I hugged one more time, and then you
walked to them... and you all Apparated away." Ginny smiled sadly at
"It's all burned into my memory, Harry. I could never forget it."
By this time the world had stopped spinning slowly around them.
The two broomsticks and their riders floated down toward a small patch
of woods, where a little stream flowed by a grassy bank. Then, as they
landed on the grass, the
brooms were flung aside with sudden impatience and the two seized and
held each other for a long, long embrace and, finally, a kiss.
Harry realized that Ginny was shivering in his arms. Then she was
violently shaking from the wet cold that she had endured for the
last hour. "Ginny, you're hands are so cold! Your
soaking wet!" Ginny's teeth were chattering now. He removed her flying
cloak which had so inadequately protected
her. After casting warming and drying spells on her cloak and very
carefully casting a warming spell on Ginny herself, he removed his own
cloak and wrapped it around her. Then he sat on a reasonably smooth and
dry boulder near the edge of the stream and pulled her onto his lap and
held her close, waiting for her trembling to stop.
Her arms reached under his robe, seeking his warmth. "Harry! You're
only wearing pyjamas and a robe. What were you thinking?"
Harry laughed. "I was thinking my Ginny was on her way to me, and I had
to meet her the soonest." Her shaking had begun to subside now, but she
him close, so close. "I spotted you on my watch's direction finder
had left Hogwarts. Ginny, why didn't you cast warming or drying charms?
You could have put up a shield, couldn't you?"
Ginny shook her head and reminded him, "I'm still under age, and
I was away from Hogwarts before I could get a chance. The Ministry
could have detected my under-age magic. I didn't dare
They or others might have used it to find you."
"Oh. Good thinking, that." Harry then asked, "Ginny, what happened?"
"Some Slytherins tried to capture me. Please, can I tell you later? Ron
will want to hear, too."
Her shaking was diminishing; his arms around her knew it; his heart,
her head lay against his chest, knew it. The steam rising from Ginny's
ceased, and his almost idle thought summoned her now warm, dry
to them. The cloak wrapped itself around them both. Recalling it later,
wonder at the ease of such spontaneous, wandless magic. But for now,
warmth and wonder of her in his arms was enough.
"Harry, do you have anything to eat? I'm absolutely
"I can Apparate and bring some food back."
her head violently. "I don't want you out of my sight. Not for now,
anyway." She shuddered. "I think I could fly now, though not in those
clouds. Talk about a slow,
trickly, cold shower!"
Harry transformed a rock into a coffee mug and dipped it into the
stream. Then he transformed the water into hot coffee and handed the
mug to Ginny. She
held it in her hands, her eyes closed in bliss as the warmth
entered her fingers. Then her eyes opened and shown with gratitude as
began sipping. "The flavour might be off a bit. I'm still working on
that," Harry apologized. "Hermione tells me it should still be safe to
though." Ginny grimaced a little at the taste but kept on
drinking. At least it was warming her insides.
"Ginny, how are you at side-along Apparating? Did you get a chance to
practice it yet? I know you don't have a license yet."
"I can do it. Dad's taken me several places that way," Ginny replied.
Her shivering had largely subsided by then.
"If we Apparate, it would save us an hour of flying."
"Okay." Ginny took another sip of the ersatz coffee and swallowed,
grimacing a bit at its taste. "You really do need to work on the
flavour," she said with a small smile, her gaze never leaving his face.
Without further thought, their lips met. Her face was still cold and
pale, though no longer fearfully so. Her mouth tasted of the truly
horrible coffee, and something indefinable that was Ginny, his Ginny.
"I've missed you for so long," Harry whispered.
"I've missed you, too, Harry."