This fanfic requires an explanation at the top of every
section because it is written as though I’ve lifted random chapters from the
"next book", imagining the logical steps between the chapters without
actually bothering to write them out (because, quite frankly, I don’t really
feel like writing a book. I just want a little fun, thank you very much,
heh heh.) However, since you have no way of reading my mind, I’ve done summaries
of these imaginings to take you from chapter to chapter – hopefully without
So then, that established, let’s imagine for the sake
of this fanfic that it’s the end of summer just before fifth year. Harry’s just
arrived at the Burrow from the Dursleys’. Hermione has also come to stay, and
they’ll be there, all together, for a little over a week...
When Harry woke up it was to the cat-calling
of Fred and George, who, at a distance outside his window, were having a game
of mock-Quidditch in the glen. From the yells he heard below them, he guessed
that Hermione and Ron were outside, too and for a moment he was annoyed that
they had let him sleep in. He hadn’t passed out the night before; it
had only been a bad headache. And though everyone seemed to fear that the headache
had been something to do with Voldemort, Harry knew this wasn’t true. His scar
hadn’t hurt him at all. The headache had just been his mind’s way of burning
off that last horrible day with the Dursleys.
Or had it?
Harry’s nightmare suddenly flashed back upon
him with startling clarity and he winced. As scene upon scene washed over him,
he felt the old, familiar burn in his scar – slowly mounting, becoming blinding
– and he clapped his palm to his head in agony, burrowing backwards into the
pillows of his bed and praying the anguish would be short-lived.
Just as suddenly, the pain was cut off. For
a moment Harry didn’t know what had happened; he sat dazed with his hand to
his head; blinking around him unseeingly. The pain had never stopped like that
before – wiped out as quickly and completely as if it had never been there at
all. Harry fumbled for his glasses and put them on, staring around Ron’s room
for something – he wasn’t quite sure what.
And then he heard it. Singing. Somebody was
singing – far off, it sounded, and careless and sweet, a female voice that Harry
didn’t know. Not understanding how he knew it, he realized that this was the
reason that the burning sensation in his head had stopped. He rubbed two fingers
on his scar as if making a connection between the sound of the voice and the
sudden cessation of pain, wondering if he was still asleep, perhaps, and dreaming.
The singing went on for another moment, and then trailed off...the voice was
no longer audible... he shut his eyes, straining to hear it but the moment his
eyes closed, he saw again the gruesome, red-eyed, snakelike face of Voldemort
– and the pain returned with a vengeance.
In confusion, Harry wondered if he had imagined
the voice, if it had been some echo or enchantment, and he wished it would start
again as the throbbing in his scar continued to build. A minute later and not
a moment too soon, he heard the voice again.
Harry leapt out of bed, his pain eradicated
again completely, and went quickly through the door into the hall, toward the
faint sound of the singing. Was it a real voice? Where was it coming from? It
seemed to be carried up along the stairs. Determinedly he followed the sound,
leaving Ron’s room at the top of the Burrow and hastening down the narrow stairway
into the hall below. Here the sound was much more distinct, and quite obviously
coming from the left. Harry strode toward it doggedly, and found that its source
was concealed behind a door at the end of the hall.
He hadn’t been behind this particular door in
the Burrow before and it didn’t occur to him to think whose it must be. Silently
he nudged it open, praying not disturb anybody’s privacy but desperately wanting
to know whose the voice was. The door swung softly ajar. Harry saw the singer.
Ginny Weasley, her back to the door, was tidying
up her little room, moving objects here and there and humming to herself as
she went about it. Too shocked by this discovery to think properly, Harry found
himself conducting an internal test – had he been right in his connection? Was
it this humming that had cleared his head so swiftly, after the nightmare? He
shut his eyes and brought it back into his mind. There was Wormtail’s wand,
raised high – there was the blinding flash of green light – there was the sickening
thump of Cedric’s body beside him – there was the cold, familiar laughter of
his mortal enemy.... but there was no pain... only a feeling of peace. His scar
sat harmlessly on his forehead, as if he didn’t have any scar there at all.
His eyes flew open and he jerked himself into
reality. Ginny was staring at him in horror, her face utterly pink. Harry felt
his own cheeks become extremely warm. Suddenly he felt neither pain, nor peace.
He felt like an idiot.
"Harry!" Ginny repeated, seeming to
choke on the word. "What are you doing in here?"
Harry was at a loss.
"Just – heard you up the stairs is all
– wanted to see who it was..." He suddenly found a spot on the doorframe
particularly interesting and fixed his eyes away from her, wishing very much
that he had never opened the door in the first place.
"Oh..." Ginny’s voice was unreadable.
Harry couldn’t tell if she was frightened – her breath seemed unsteady. "Everyone
else is outside," she faltered, "I thought I was all by myself."
She looked at him quickly. "Sorry if I woke you, or anything."
"Oh, no – you didn’t." There was a
long, uncomfortable pause. Harry couldn’t say, really, why it was uncomfortable
to be standing there – after all, it was only Ginny – yet he was sure he wanted
to get away from her rather quickly. "Er," he attempted, "everyone’s
outside then?" He knew very well that they were, but he very much wanted
to make an escape.
"Hmmm....?" Ginny returned, thoughtfully.
Harry didn’t think she’d heard a word he’d said. He chanced a look at her. She
had gone back to staring at him, but she wasn’t blushing anymore – instead,
she appeared to be considering him.
"Are they all outside?" he said again.
He felt very odd, with her looking at him like that. Presently, though, she
seemed to come to some conclusion because she sighed and shook her head slightly.
"Yes. They’re all out playing Quidditch,"
she said shortly.
"Oh." Harry hesitated.
"Why don’t you go and join them, then?"
she suggested after a moment, when he still hadn’t moved.
"Right," he said, awkwardly. "See
Harry bolted. He got dressed in five minutes,
quit the Burrow for the glen and joined Ron and Hermione as soon as he could,
feeling extremely strange.
"Oh, good," called George from above,
seeing Harry. "Come on up. Ron, Hermione, you too. We’ll scrimmage."
"But I don’t know how to play," Hermione
protested, looking anxious and flattered together.
"Bet you do," said Ron, who had run
to grab their broomsticks and returned panting. He threw one at her. "You’ve
seen enough matches by now. C’mon up."
Harry was glad of the scrimmage. There was no
room in Quidditch for thoughts of Voldemort, or his scar, or that uncomfortable
scene between himself and Ginny. Quidditch was perfect freedom from all these
things. And playing with this particular crew was especially entertaining.
They made two teams: Hermione, Fred and George
against Harry and Ron. The summer before, Charlie had enchanted a couple of
balls to act as a Quaffle and Bludgers, but there wasn’t any way to fake a decent
Snitch, so they decided to cut the Seeker and just play for goal points. Ron
played Keeper and Beater with Harry as Chaser, while on the opposing side Hermione
was the Keeper, Fred a Beater, and George their Chaser. It was a highly improbable
scrimmage and there was more than one yelp from Hermione as Ron mercilessly
hit Bludgers toward her. Eventually, though, she became very good at dodging,
and by the end of the match she had managed to keep the Quaffle from passing
her twice, which earned her approving grins from all ‘round. When Mrs. Weasley
yelled at them to come in and eat lunch they were laughing and famished, and
Harry had quite forgotten the morning’s earlier confusion.
It was after lunch, sitting in the front yard
with Hermione, while Ron and his brothers de-gnomed Mrs. Weasley’s flowerbeds,
that Harry heard the singing again. He glanced at the windows above him and
saw a movement in Ginny’s room, but Ginny did not appear to be aware that anyone
was listening. She sang as unselfconsciously as she had before.
"How pretty," murmured Hermione. Since
she could not possibly be referring to the red, struggling gnome in Ron’s dirt-covered
fist, Harry assumed that she too was listening to Ginny sing. He glanced sideways
at Hermione, frowning. The way that the pain in his head had come and gone –
he wanted to tell somebody what had happened. Somehow, he didn’t think it was
a wise idea to talk to Ron about it.
"Wait, Harry, I’m trying to listen."
So she had meant the singing. Harry pressed on.
"It’s about that. Look – Ginny’s voice
– it somehow..." he trailed off. It somehow what? Made his pain go away?
Harry recoiled from the sound of that. It healed him? That sounded even worse.
"Never mind," he finished lamely.
But Hermione had turned and was facing him,
her eyes full of interest. ‘No – what were you going to say, Harry? What about
The singing above them stopped abruptly, and
Harry had the horrible feeling that Ginny could hear them as well as they could
"Nothing," he muttered, his face suddenly
filled with heat again. And before Hermione could urge him any further, he had
stalked across the yard and begun flinging gnomes over the hedge with the Weasleys.
It took Hermione a week of constant questions,
meaningful looks and surprise attacks to wear Harry down. The following Friday
at dinner, when she began to involve the rest of the family – "Mrs. Weasley,
I heard Ginny singing so nicely the other day; Harry and I were wondering –
does it run in the family?" – that he finally gave in. One swift kick under
the table was all it took to cut Hermione off and though she pressed her lips
together in pain, her eyes were alight in triumph. Harry glared at her. He stole
a look at Ginny, but she neither lifted her own eyes from her dinner, nor registered
any reaction at all.
After dinner, Hermione volunteered to do the
dishes with Harry.
"Oh, I can do it, dear, that’s fine,"
protested Mrs. Weasley, looking obviously pleased at the offer nonetheless.
"That’s all right, Mrs. Weasley. It was
such a lovely supper and Harry and I really want to do it, don’t we Harry?"
"Er –yeah. We really do," said Harry
Mrs. Weasley beamed at the pair of them. "How
nice! Well, you’re both welcome to come and stay whenever you like!" She
shot a look at her own children. "You, on the other hand..." she said
warningly, raising an eyebrow and trying not to smile.
When Hermione had Harry alone in the kitchen,
she grabbed a sponge but made no move toward the dishes. Instead, she folded
her arms, pursed her lips and stared at him. "Well?"
"All right, Hermione." He sighed,
disgusted that he’d ever mentioned anything. "Look, it’s just this. I had
one of my – you know, my bad nightmares, Voldemort and all that – and I got
that pain in my scar. But when I woke up and heard Ginny singing, it stopped."
He felt himself going red again, and wished he could retrieve the words as soon
as they were out. He didn’t know why it bothered him so much that these were
the facts of the matter, but it did bother him, and quite a lot. However, to
his great relief, it didn’t seem Hermione would give him any trouble on the
"What, your scar stopped hurting?"
She looked suddenly businesslike and worried.
"Well, yeah," he continued, feeling
validated by her concern. "The pain just... left. Really fast. It’s never
done that before."
"And you’re sure it’s because of Ginny’s
singing?" Hermione’s voice was still quite clinical, but Harry could’ve
sworn he saw something like girlish delight flash across her serious demeanor.
He gritted his teeth.
"I’m sure," he answered.
Hermione sighed, a little too happily, Harry
thought, as she turned back to the sink and started to soak the pans. "I
wish I could use a Scouring Charm," she muttered. Then she peered back
at Harry keenly. "So, Ginny’s voice....that’s really... interesting...."
She didn’t need to say anything else. Harry knew what she was getting at.
"Look," he retorted, annoyed, "it’s
nothing like that!"
Behind them, someone snorted derisively. "Hope
not!" It was Ron. Harry felt himself go from red to white. "What’s
that you say then, Harry? About my little sister’s voice?" His voice was
dangerously light. Harry gulped and shrugged, trying to seem offhand, but feeling
as though he was suddenly skating on very thin ice.
"I dunno – it was just weird. It was probably
nothing," he said defensively. Ron eyed him narrowly, but didn’t respond.
"It is too something!" Hermione
said hotly, turning back from the sink and dripping sudsy water at her feet.
"Harry, if Ginny’s voice can get between your scar and You-Know-Who, that’s
a very important thing to know about! We should test it and make sure!"
"Test it?" Ron’s voice dripped
with sarcasm and he snorted again. "That’s rich. But yeah, all right, we’ll
see about this. Oi! Ginny!" he hollered suddenly, his eyes still on Harry,
"What is it?" she called back from
up the stairs.
"C’mere – we’re doing an experiment. Harry
wants to find – "
"Wait, never mind, I found it!" cried
Harry hastily. What was Ron on about? "You don’t have to come down!"
There was a silence from upstairs and then,
"Okay. Goodnight, Ron, Hermione – goodnight, Harry."
"Goodnight," they called back all
together. There was a light sound of footsteps, a door closing, and then it
was safe to continue.
"What’s your problem?" Harry hissed.
But Ron ignored him.
"If it’s just nothing," he
demanded in a low voice, "then why’d you tell Hermione and not me?"
Harry answered honestly. "Because I knew
you’d take it like that," he said, hoping it would be enough. The two looked
hard at each other for a moment, and then Ron seemed to be satisfied because
he took his eyes off Harry and frowned at Hermione instead.
"You reckon anybody’s singing could do
it?" he asked her. She pondered this for a moment, tilting her head to
"Maybe...." she answered slowly. "We’d
have to test, though, to really know. Harry, next time your scar gives a twinge,
tell us, and we’ll sing for you and see what happens."
"You, sing?" Ron snickered.
"If we test that, it’ll kill him."
Harry bit back a laugh, suddenly feeling much
more normal about everything as Hermione gave Ron her usual huff and put her
hands on her hips, accidentally soaking herself with the sponge. "And you
sing like a bird, I suppose?" she retorted tartly. "I’m just trying
to help, there isn’t any need for you to be rude!"
Ron merely grinned, gesturing at the now large-ish
puddle that Hermione had let drip to the floor. "You’re making a terrible
mess," he pointed out, raising his eyebrows roguishly at her as he backed
toward the door. "Get back to those dishes, why don’t you–"
And Harry laughed outright as Ron fled, narrowly
escaping being hit by a very soapy sponge.