The Sugar Quill
Author: Firebolt909 (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: The Scar  Chapter: Chapter One: Le Mort D'Arthure
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A/N: This would be the expanded version of "The Scar." This was the first story I wrote that actually had a bit of a plot to it and at the time, I wasn’t as comfortable with writing as I am now and wrote the first version in a hurry. I want to correct that and make this one a bit longer. I also wanted to delve a bit deeper into the story especially with Ginny’s character since I’ve come to understand her more through working on "Dear Tom…" which ironically enough, was inspired by a short paragraph in this story (see Chapter 4). Thanks and enjoy!

Chapter One: Le Mort D’Arthure

Ginny Weasley brushed back a lock of bright red hair from where the wind had blown it across her face and concentrated on the drawing in front of her. It was a beautiful late-summer morning and she was in the glen near her house watching her brothers and Harry Potter practice Quidditch. Actually, if the truth were known, she was drawing them on her sketchpad that she brought out, rather than watching them.

"Looks nice. One of your best, I’d say," said a voice above her. Ginny held her hand over her eyes to shade them from the sun as she gazed up at her friend and her brother Ron’s girlfriend, Hermione Granger.

"Thanks," Ginny replied, looking up at the hovering figures hundreds of feet above them as they swooped, glided, and zoomed in the sky.

"Although," Hermione said, grinning as she took a seat next to Ginny on the warm green grass, "One would never know that there were actually four players up there, since you’ve only drawn one so far." Hermione was referring to the sketch Ginny was drawing, where Harry Potter was captured, his arms reaching out to catch the apple that had been bewitched to look like the Golden Snitch. Ginny drew back from her work, comparing the representation with the reality. She had captured Harry’s expression exactly as she saw him; the intense look of concentration, the furrowed brow, the way he bit his lip just as he reaches out to grab the Snitch, the look of triumph in his forest green eyes when he closes his fingers around it.

"Oh, if only he knew he was the object of such artistry!" Hermione sighed, giggling. In spite of herself, Ginny laughed along with her friend.

If only he knew, period, Ginny thought. Ginny had been in love with Harry ever since her first year at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. She was just about to start her sixth year there and she had become quite good at hiding her feelings for the black haired boy. Even her own brothers thought she was over him. Everyone did, except for the smartest girl in the school, and Hermione would never tell.

Ginny was just about to reply to Hermione when the object of her thoughts landed right in front of her, startling her. She hastily flipped the page of her sketchbook over so he wouldn’t see it.

"Hey there!" Harry smiled down at them.

Ginny returned the smile, ignoring the way her heart skipped a beat as he stood over her, sweat dripping down his face, hair mussed from the exercise, green eyes bright.

"Oi!" Ron gasped as he plopped down next to Hermione, giving her a quick kiss. "I’m beat," he said, sprawling out on the grass.

Harry sat next to Ginny, grabbing the bottle of water next to her and taking a long sip from it.

"You do know that I was using that to clean my paintbrushes off with, don’t you?" Ginny asked. Harry promptly spit out the water, spraying Ginny in the process, who was now laughing. Ron and Hermione joined in, seeing the look of disgust on Harry’s face.

"I was just joking!" Ginny chortled. "I don’t even have my paint brushes out here!"

"I’m going to get you for that," Harry promised, wiping his mouth with the hem of his shirt.

"Ha! I wouldn’t dare, Harry," said Fred as he and his twin George joined them.

"Yeah, Ginny’s the worst of the lot," George chimed in. Ginny stuck out her tongue at her brothers who both blew raspberries at her.

"Shouldn’t you two be working on the opening of your store?" Ginny asked before the two dunderheads could start in on her.

"We will, we’re Apparating back to Hogsmeade tomorrow in fact." George told her. The twins had finally achieved their dream of starting a joke shop, Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes. The grand opening was on Halloween, in the village of Hogsmeade, not very far from school.

Harry leaned over to whisper in Ginny’s ear, "Should I be afraid that those two passed their Apparation Tests on the first try?"

Ginny replied, "We all should be very afraid. Although, I’m not really surprised. Fred and George tend to excel at things that could possibly get them into a lot of trouble, and just think what sort of mischief they can get into by Apperating and Disapperating everywhere."

"All of you!" Ginny’s mother yelled out, causing the entire group to jump in startlement as she marched towards them with a vengeance. "Get inside this instant! Your father is coming home this evening and I’ll not have him come home to a bunch of street urchins! Now to the showers!"

The group groaned and moaned as they got to their feet, although no one would dare argue with that tone of voice. Ginny’s father was out on an assignment for the Order of the Phoenix and had not been home in four weeks. No one knew what he was up to, or what the assignment was, but an owl had arrived at the Burrow that morning with a message saying that he would be home by this evening. Mrs. Weasley was now preparing the house for her husband’s arrival.

Harry stood up and held out a hand for Ginny to take it. She did, ignoring the flush of heat that rushed to her cheeks. After five years, he still had the same effect on her.

"You excited about starting school, Ginny?" Harry asked her as he helped her gather up her art supplies. Ginny made sure she grabbed the sketchpad, which was almost full with different sketches of him.

"I guess so," Ginny replied as they followed the rest in. "Actually, I think I’d just rather stay here, where I can pretend everything’s ok, you know?"

Harry stopped and stared at Ginny. "Yeah, me too. I’ve always thought of this place as a safe haven from the rest of the world, where nothing can go wrong here. Didn’t think anyone else did, you know, considering you live here and all."

Ginny smiled. It always amazed her how much she and Harry thought alike. Such a shame he’d never noticed it.

As they came in through the kitchen, Ginny’s mum hurried them all up the stairs to shower and change. Ginny and Hermione were ordered to set the table and finish getting supper ready. The kitchen was filled with the wonderful aromas of the delicious meal planned. The boys came down, filing up in front of Ginny’s mum for inspection, then hurried off to get out of the way. Soon, everything was in order and all they had to do was wait for Ginny’s dad to come home.

The entire family gathered in the living room to wait. The boys were all polishing their broomsticks, while Hermione sat next to Ron, reading a book. Ginny’s mum would sit for moments, then get up to go check on things. Ginny got out her homework from school and started on it.

An hour later, there was still no sign of Ginny’s dad. Her mother had started to worry. "He should’ve been here now. Something’s wrong."

"Nonsense, Mum," said George. "He’ll be fine."

Just then, two loud popping noises were heard in the kitchen. "He’s here!" cried her mother. As she was just getting up, two figures walked in the living room, neither of which was Ginny’s father.

"Dumbledore! Sirius!" The two men wore grave faces. "Molly," said the Headmaster, "you’re going to need to sit down." Ginny froze at these words. Something was terribly wrong. Both Dumbledore’s and Sirius’ eyes were red, and both looked as if they had aged years since she last saw them.

"What’s happened? Where’s Arthur?" Ginny’s mum started to panic.

"As you know," Dumbledore explained to the room at large, "Arthur was on a special assignment for us. We had been planning months for this. We received word through our spy in Voldemort’s inner circle that an attack was being prepared on the Muggle Prime Minister. Arthur, given his love for Muggles, volunteered to set a trap for the Death Eaters. His job was to stop the Death Eaters before they got near the Prime Minister. He succeeded." Dumbledore paused. "However, one of the Prime Minister’s bodyguards mistook Arthur as an assassin. Arthur was killed by one of the Muggle’s weapons."

Ginny felt as though her lungs were no longer able to work. It was pure torture just to breathe. Her throat clenched, tears silently ran down her face as she looked at her mother, embraced by Dumbledore, weeping loudly. Fred and George were white as snow, both with identical expressions of shock and grief. Hermione was comforting Ron, who was shaking. Ginny never noticed that her pot of ink had turned over, and was slowly being absorbed into the sofa seat. She never felt more alone. She stood up, dazedly, staring around the room for a second, then Ginny felt herself running.

How long or how far Ginny ran, she never knew, but she ran until her lungs nearly seized up from lack of oxygen and her legs collapsed. She landed with a thud on the ground, stirring up dirt, leaves, and branches. Ginny lay there, random memories and images of her father flashing before her eyes; the way he would get all excited when he found some new Muggle artifact, the way he’d always try not to get Fred and George into trouble, how he looked the day he placed her on her first broomstick, how he never failed to greet her mother with a kiss. Ginny cried face down in the leaves, thinking about her father and how he wouldn’t be there to do those things again. The pain was unbearable.

"Ginny?" a soft voice said. Ginny ignored it.

"Ginny, come on get up." Harry rolled her over and lifted her in his arms. She was barely aware of him carrying her over to a large boulder and sitting on it, gently brushing the leaves and dirt from her face and hair, murmuring words of comfort as he held her while she sobbed, her tears drenching his shirt.

"That’s it Ginny, that’s it, let it all out," Harry whispered as he stroked her back. She should have been embarrassed as the loud, gut-wrenching sobs escaped her, tears flooding down her face as Harry held her. She should have felt embarrassed to lose control like that in front of Harry, but there was no room for anything but grief inside her. She’d probably feel embarrassed later on though. Especially if her daddy could see how she was acting.

At last she was all cried out. She drew back, eyes focused on the wet stain her tears had left on Harry’s clothing. "I seemed to have cried all over you," she said dully. "I’m sorry."

"Shh," Harry said softly, drawing her head back down to his shoulder. "Why did you run like that?"

"I don’t know." Ginny watched a bug crawl across the boulder they were sitting on. "Everyone should be pleased now, huh?" Her voice was cold, cruel. "Over the past few years, ever since Voldemort’s return to power, everyone had always said that we were so lucky because we hadn’t lost anyone to him. No Dark Mark above our home! Well…well…they should all be happy, cause a Weasley finally died, shouldn’t they?"

"Ginny—" Harry began, but Ginny interrupted him. "No, Harry. I’m sorry. That was just really awful of me to say such things. Dad would have been shocked, to hear his little girl talk like that." She looked up at him, seeing the light from the house illuminate his glasses, making them opaque, hiding his eyes. "He loved you like a son. He always said all you needed was a bit of red hair and a temper and you’d be a full-fledged Weasley."

Harry bowed his head. "He was the father I never had," he said quietly. "I’m so sorry, Ginny."

"Its not your fault, Harry. None of this is." Ginny said firmly.

Harry raised his head sharply. "I’m supposed to be The Boy Who Lived, I’m supposed to be the champion of good. Everyone’s hero." He gave a harsh laugh. "Some hero. I wasn’t able to save Cedric, or your father, or the hundreds that have died in between them." Ginny had never heard Harry speak with such anger. He was always so controlled, so calm, ever since his fourth year. Nothing ever riled him.

"Its not your job to save the world, Harry. You’ve done all that you could do. Voldemort’s just too powerful now." She gently pulled back his fringe covering his scar, fingers lightly tracing the pink skin. "You’re in constant pain because of him. Isn’t that why he hasn’t even bothered trying to kill you since the Tri-Wizard Tournament?" Harry’s scar, a sort of connection between him and Voldemort, constantly throbbed since his return to power. Harry had described it to Ginny as just a bad headache, that never went away. He claimed to rarely notice it anymore. "There’s nothing we can do," she said flatly.

Harry nodded, knowing she was right. Ginny jumped down off the rock and took Harry’s hand, pulling him after her. "Come on, we have to get back. What everyone must think of me running off—" She shook her head sadly, thinking about how cowardly she was, running away when her family needed her most.

They ran back to The Burrow. It was the same scene in the den that she had left, almost as if everyone was too scared to move. Dumbledore was still clutching her sobbing mother, Sirius stood awkwardly in the background, not too sure what to do. Ron, Fred and George just stared off into space. Hermione was nowhere to be seen, but clinking sounds coming from the kitchen signaled that she was making tea.

Ginny walked over to her mother. "Mum," Ginny said softly, touching her shoulder. "Come on. Dad wouldn’t want us crying so, would he? Come with me, I’ll put you to bed." Molly cried harder, but allowed her daughter to pull her from Dumbledore’s embrace and escort her to her room. "I’ll be back in a minute," Ginny said to the room at large.

Ginny eased her mum into her bed. "I’ll be right back, mum. I’m going to get you some tea." In the kitchen, Ginny opened a small bottle of a sleeping draught and poured it into a cup of tea Hermione held out for her.

Back in her mum’s bedroom, Ginny had to force her mum to drink. "Come on now, mother," she said sternly. "We’re gonna get through this." Molly was still sobbing, her body shaking with the force of them, tears streaming down her face. Somehow, Ginny managed to get her to drain the cup. Molly laid back down, instantly asleep. Ginny reckoned she may have used a bit too much of the draught, but her hands were trembling when she poured it into the teacup. Blowing out the candle, Ginny tucked her mother into bed and went back into the living room.

"Fred, George, Ron," she said, drawing their bloodshot eyes to her. "Go to bed. We have a long day ahead of us and we’ll need all the rest we can get." The three nodded dully, and each slowly rose. It hurt to see Fred and George, who were always joking, always full of mischief, always finding something to laugh at, so silent and mournful as they treaded up the stairs.

Ginny immediately turned to the other two men in the room. "Professor, my brothers Bill, Charlie—"

"and Percy are all being tracked down as we speak," the Headmaster finished for her. "They should be here by morning at the latest."

"Thank you," Ginny said. "You and Sirius are both welcome to stay the night here if you like."

"My dear girl, we wouldn’t dream of leaving you all like this. We will be staying until all arrangements are finalized." Ginny gave the kindly old man a weak smile of gratitude.

"I’m going to be staying with mother, if you need me." Ginny turned and went back to her mother, who was snoring softly. She must have laid there for an hour, praying for sleep. She thought about taking a bit of the sleeping draught herself, but she needed to be clear headed tomorrow. Sighing deeply, she rose and went into the den, stretching out on the sofa, her head falling back on the armrest.

"Here," said Harry’s voice. Ginny opened her eyes to see him sitting down on the floor beside her, holding out a cup of tea. "Drink this." She looked at the cup skeptically, wondering if he drugged it. As if reading her mind, he said, "I didn’t put anything in it, don’t worry."

Ginny smiled and took a sip. "I put Fred and George into Ron’s room and Dumbledore and Sirius is in their room," Harry told her.

"I didn’t even think of that. Thank you, Harry." Ginny blew out a deep breath. "I’m such a coward, Harry. I never should have run like I did. I disappointed everyone tonight. And that’s twice that I’ve done that. The first time was with that diary of Tom Riddle’s and the Chamber of Secrets."

Harry looked at her strangely. "You’re no coward, Ginny Weasley," he stated firmly. "And you weren’t a coward then, either. Don’t ever let me hear you say that again." He took her hand and held it tightly. "You’re stronger than you give yourself credit for. You managed to fight off Voldemort as a little girl and there aren’t very many people who can say that. I can’t even say that. I had my mother’s love protecting me the first few times we met, and the last time…" Harry’s voice trailed off. "My parents managed to give me enough time to get away."

"I think you are braver than you give yourself credit for," Ginny retorted softly. It might have been the trick of the light that made it seem as if Harry was blushing, but he squeezed her hand and smiled.

"Thanks, Ginny." He kissed her hand. "Now get some sleep."

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