Chapter 3: Back home
The next morning Harry was woken gently by Ron, who said that breakfast was almost ready. But Harry didn’t feel at all ready to do anything at the moment. He had not slept well and his eyes felt like they had sand in them. For a moment he just lay there not wanting to move. Everything that had happened in the last forty-eight hours seemed so unreal, and he wished that it were not true. But the pain filling his heart told him that it was real. He felt helpless, and he didn’t know how he could help Ginny. But as he lay there on the spare cot in Ron’s room, he vowed that he would try to help Ginny get through this no matter what.
After a few minutes he rose from the bed, and put on some clothes. Then he quietly walked down to the kitchen. There he found every member of the Weasley family, including Hermione, sitting at the table. But one particular redhead was nowhere to be seen. He had expected that, but still he wanted to see her.
When Mrs. Weasley saw his searching eyes she walked over to him and said quietly, “She is still in her room. I don’t think she will be coming down right now. I know it’s hard for you too; we all want her to be okay. But we just need to give her some time to deal with all this.” The last sentence was said with a strangled voice as if Mrs. Weasley tried not to cry.
“I know,” Harry sighed and walked over to sit next to Ron, who gave a slight nod and whispered good morning.
Not much was said during breakfast, only a bit of small talk and people asking for someone to pass them the toast or eggs.
After breakfast, Hermione, Ron and Harry decided to walk down to the pond. They needed to get out of the house. The rest of the morning was spent almost silently; they only discussed light topics, like how Ron was glad he had a few days off from Auror training. And Hermione told them how things were going at her new job at the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. She had gotten a job there as a research assistant a few months back. She had a knack for finding the little details in a case that were the clue to getting the case solved. Even though she was only an assistant, she had already gained some respect among her colleagues. Ron and Harry also tried to talk a bit about Quidditch and how things were going for the Chudley Cannons. No one mentioned Ginny and what had happened to her; things were still too raw for them to talk about it.
That day no one seemed to get anything done, and everyone just tried to get through the day without breaking. Even the twins seemed to be unusually quiet this day: no jokes were said and no pranks were pulled.
Mrs. Weasley had tried several times to talk to Ginny but had had no luck. Ginny didn’t want to talk to anyone, she said, and the food that was brought up to her was returned untouched.
Everyone just wished that Ginny would be okay and get back to her normal cheerful self again. But as they went to bed that night there was still no sign of Ginny.
The next few days went pretty much the same, but the family tried to get the daily life going again. On Monday morning, Mr. Weasley went to work and so did the rest of the family. Only Harry stayed behind, he still had summer break from Quidditch games, he only had some practice sessions scheduled every week.
An owl had brought a letter from the Department of Magical Law Enforcement that said that they wished to see Ginny the following Monday. They were going to get the final things set, before the trial. The letter also briefly told that Mr. Malfoy, Mr. Crabbe, and Mr. Goyle had been taken into custody a few days before. When Mrs. Weasley had told Ginny about the letter she had not mentioned that last information, as to not upset Ginny further.
Mrs. Weasley told the rest of the family that Ginny seemed to open up a bit more, and at this Harry had gently asked if she thought it would be okay if he went up to see her. He had only seen her once since that day in the Hospital Wing when she had run from the bathroom to her own room. Mrs. Weasley had been a bit hesitant at first. But when she saw the sadness in Harry’s eyes she had said that it would be all right, only if he promised to go if she asked him to leave.
Harry almost took the stairs two steps at the time, only stopping when he was in front of Ginny’s door. Taking a deep breath he quietly knocked on the door.
At first, he heard nothing but then he heard a quiet, “Yes?”
“It’s me. Harry. Can I come in, please?”
“No, please go away; I don’t want to talk to anyone right now. Just please go away.”
“But Gin, I need to talk to you. Please talk to me, Angel,” Harry begged.
He heard a strangled sob from the room and then, Ginny saying, “Please just go away, please.”
At this Harry could almost feel his heart breaking and he took in a long breath and lay a hand on her door, right on top of the frayed poster with yellow and pink flowers and cut out letters saying “Ginny’s Room”. He traced the letters in her name, and wished that he could just hold her and tell her that everything would be okay. But he also knew that it would do no good if he just ignored her pleas and walked into the room.
Taking one last longing look at her closed door he turned and walked down the stairs again. He walked into the kitchen and found Mrs. Weasley in there. When she saw his sad face she knew that it had not gone well at all.
“I’m sorry Harry. I do hope she’ll come around some time soon,” she said with sympathy and gave him a hug.
“It’s just so frustrating. I only want to hold her and tell her that everything is going to be okay, and that I’ll always be there for her,” Harry said and sat down at the table.
Mrs. Weasley came over with two cups of tea and put one in front of Harry and then sat at the table herself.
“I know how you feel, we all feel the same. But she’ll come around. She even agreed to see that psychologist at St. Mungos. I talked with her about it, and after some time she agreed it might be a good idea if she talked with someone who isn’t her mother. Or her boyfriend, for that matter,” Mrs. Weasley said and gave him an encouraging smile.
Harry blushed a little when she mentioned him being Ginny’s boyfriend. But he also knew that she only meant well and that they all were happy with the fact that they had sort of dated in the last year, even if it had been a long distance relationship.
“Thanks Mrs. Weasley, I know what you mean, and I’m glad she wants to talk to the psychologist, that would help her. I think I need some fresh air now. I’ll just take a walk down to the pond,” Harry said and rose to put his cup in the sink.
Then he walked outside and down to the pond, where he found a nice spot and sat down. Harry sat there the rest of the afternoon, and only came back when Ron came down telling him that dinner was ready.
When Hermione and Ron came to the Burrow Friday afternoon, they walked together with Harry down to the pond. They sat down and let their bare feet cool off in the water.
“You know, at work today I heard how they found Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle!” Hermione suddenly blurted out.
Both Harry’s and Ron’s face turned red in anger when they heard the names of Ginny’s molesters. But Ron couldn’t help being curious and he asked, “How?”
“Well, they said that they were having a bit of a party at Malfoy Manor. You know Malfoy owns the place now that his father is in Azkaban and his mother died during the last battle. They were drunk as a lord when the Squad came in to search the place. When they heard the charges they only laughed in their faces. Then they said that they could just buy the bloody best lawyer in all of Britain and be free in no time. I only hope they won’t be able to do that, or I’ll personally do whatever I can to make them pay for what they did to Gin…” Hermione finally stopped to breathe normally again, and looked at the two shocked young men sitting beside her.
“What?! Are you telling me they are not even trying to deny what they did? Those little good for nothing scum…” Ron huffed and looked like he would gladly hit Malfoy or any of his two cronies if they were there right now.
Hermione tried to calm him down by putting a hand on his shoulder and said, “I know, I couldn’t believe it when my co-worker told me. They deserve to go straight to Azkaban.”
“But we have to wait until the trial. I just hope Ginny will get through that and be able to make her testimony, so they’ll get convicted,” Harry sighed and picked up a small stone and threw it out in the pond. He also wanted to be able to talk to Ginny again, when all of this was over. He couldn’t stand this much longer, he just wanted to hold her in his arms and kiss every tear away.
Ron and Hermione saw how all of this really pained Harry deeply. Ron patted his friend’s shoulder, trying to encourage Harry.
The next day Harry woke up early and decided to take a walk to clear his mind. Even Mrs. Weasley was not up yet so the whole house was really quiet when he made his way out to the garden.
When he walked out the backdoor he was really surprised to find Ginny sitting under the large oak tree. She was looking the other way and hadn’t seen him coming out of the house.
Harry almost felt his heart stop at the sight of her. The dim morning light shone in her bright copper red hair almost making it look like she had a halo above her head. He hesitated for a moment, not sure if she wanted his company, but decided that he’d give it a try.
When he got closer to her, he could see that she had her eyes closed and small tears still clung to her eyelashes. Harry stopped for a moment, but when he put his foot down it broke a small twig. He held his breath, still not sure how she would react when she saw him.
Ginny looked up to see who had come and when she saw Harry, she gave him a small smile, but it never really reached her eyes. When Harry saw this he hurriedly said, “I’ll just leave you alone… I don’t want to bother you…I…”
“Please don’t go, it’s okay. I don’t mind the company for a while,” Ginny interrupted him and patted the ground next to her. Harry breathed out in relief, and sat down. He didn’t know what to say to her at all, or if she even wanted to talk.
“Did you sleep well?” That was all he could think of asking her, without being too direct in what he really wanted to know. What he really wanted to know was how she was dealing with everything, and if she was ready to talk about what had happened. And was she ready to go to the Department of Magical Law Enforcement on Monday morning? There were a lot of questions he wanted to ask her but he feared that she was not ready to answer them yet.
“Yeah I guess so, all things considered… you know…” Her voice faltered a bit. She drew in a shaky breath and closed her eyes again, leaning her head on the tree behind her. She didn’t really feel quite ready to talk to him about what had happened so she just hoped that he would be content with just sitting there with her.
“Hmm, I know. I’m just glad to see you again,” Harry said quietly and looked at her. But when she didn’t seem to want to look at him or answer, he just sighed and leaned his back against the tree as well. It pained his heart that she didn’t seem to want to talk about it more, but he knew that she needed time. At the moment he just willed himself to be happy that she had come out of the house. That was a start, and then hopefully they would be able to take it from there.
The next two days the Weasley household began seeing more and more of Ginny, she had even begun eating down in the kitchen. Everyone was happy to have her around again, but they also knew that she wasn’t ready yet to discuss that awful experience.
It was late Sunday afternoon and again Harry found himself sitting under the oak tree with Ginny. Every time they had sat there it seemed as if she had moved a bit closer to him. Like she instinctively wanted to move closer to him again but didn’t know how to say it out loud. At this point she had her head resting on Harry’s shoulder and held his right hand between hers.
Ginny let her fingertips run slowly along each of his fingers, and drew patterns across his palm. Harry had his eyes closed, just enjoying that she obviously wanted to be near him again. He tried to be content with just sitting with her out under the oak tree. But his heart yearned to know how she really felt about everything.
“Gin?” Harry asked timidly and looked at her with expectant eyes, not sure if she wanted to talk.
“Hmm, what is it Harry?” Ginny said, and nervously bit her lip. She had an idea as to what Harry wanted to ask her, and she was not sure if she was even ready to give him an answer.
“Well, I was just wondering if you’re ready for tomorrow? I mean to go to the Department of Magical Law Enforcement and tell them what happened, and to prepare for the trial.”
When Ginny heard his question she looked away, not sure how to respond to that. But after a moment she said, “Well, I think that I’m ready. I have had a lot of time to think and prepare things.”
“I know, but it’s just you haven’t really talked to any of us about it, wouldn’t it be weird talking to total strangers about what happened?” Harry asked, hoping that she would understand what he meant.
Ginny closed her eyes, and knew that she would have to answer in a way so that he would understand why she hadn’t talked to them about it, yet.
“Well I have talked a bit with mom you know. And I think it’s going to be okay talking to someone not really close to me. I really liked that Mrs. Jones from the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. She seemed okay, I guess,” she said and looked back up at Harry to see if he understood, then she continued, “I know it might seem odd to you, but please understand that it might take some time before I can really talk to you, or anybody else for that matter. I even agreed to talk to that psychologist mom talked about.” At this Ginny wrinkled her nose, thinking how long it had taken before she had been convinced that this would be a good idea. Going to a psychologist made her associate with total nutty people who thought they could hear their furniture talk or some other weird things. But now she had decided to give it a try, and her mom had made an appointment for her the following Wednesday.
Harry could see her pleas, in her eyes, for him to understand how she felt. He could somewhat reason that it might be easier for her if she first talked to someone not being close to her. He just hoped that one day she would open up to him and the rest of her family.
“I think I understand what you mean. But please know that whenever you’re ready I’m here for you. I just want you to move on, and put all of this behind you. I know it’s difficult, but I’ll be there for you, always,” Harry spoke in a quiet voice, hoping that she could read the sincerity in his words.
“I know, and thanks for understanding,” she said and gave him a small smile and turned towards him and gave him a hug. For a short second Harry was stunned as this was the closest he had ever been to his girlfriend in a long time. But after a short moment he reached around her lithe form and hugged her back. Harry savoured the moment to the fullest, feeling happy again, and knew that someday she would be ready to talk about what happened.
Suddenly their peace was disturbed with a loud voice. “Hey lovebirds! Mom wants you inside, dinner is ready.” They turned towards the house and saw Fred - or was it George? - waving for them to get inside the house.
Ginny sighed, and looked at Harry, who smiled slightly. It was difficult having peace and time alone in a house filled with people. Especially on Sundays when every member of the Weasley family was together for dinner.
“Hmm, I guess we should go inside and see what’s for dinner,” mused Harry and gave Ginny a lopsided smile. He really loved this family, but he also wanted to have some time alone with Ginny, just the two of them. One day he hoped that they would start building their own life together, and start a family. Just as an image of a small cottage with a garden with red and black haired children began filling his mind, he was pulled out of his reveries by Ginny standing up.
“Well, are you coming or not?” Ginny asked, and looked down at him oddly. She had seen the dreamy look in his eyes when she stood up from the ground. She wondered what he had been thinking about just now, it seemed like a good and pleasant thing. But before she could ponder further on it, he also rose, took her hand gently and walked her back to the house.
The family dinner was as loud as always and even Ginny joined in on some of the fun and jokes being shared around the table. At one point Harry saw Mrs. Weasley smile fondly at her daughter when Ginny was seen giggling together with Hermione over some joke Ron had made. Harry caught Mrs. Weasley’s eyes at that moment and they shared a knowing smile. They both hoped that things with Ginny were finally turning the right way.
As the dinner was winding down everyone had noticed the slight change in Ginny, but none had made a comment. But when everyone was leaving, they all gave her big hugs and whispered that they loved her in her ear. This almost made Ginny cry, but she held her tears in check. She felt Harry slide up beside her, putting a gentle hand on her back while he said goodbye to Hermione and Ron.
When the living room once again was quiet Harry turned to Ginny and gave her a small hug.
“We should go to bed, we have to be up early to go to the Department of Magical Law Enforcement,” he said and pulled away.
“Hmm, I know. Thanks Harry, for everything. Thank you for being there…” Ginny looked down shortly and then raised herself up and put a small kiss on his cheek. This made Harry’s insides soar like a whirlwind, he had not expected her to do that just yet. But he could not hide the huge grin spreading on his face and he restrained himself from jumping up in the air whooping with glee. He just reached out his hand and brushed her hair away from her eyes and said, “You’re welcome, Angel.”
Ginny’s mind was torn, one part wanted to run up the stairs, the other part wanted to do more. But just at that moment her mother came into the living room and said that it was time for bed. Both Ginny and Harry slowly walked up the stairs and into their rooms. Harry borrowed Ron’s old room, while Ron had gone back home to their apartment. Ron had understood that Harry wanted to be near Ginny at this time.
The next day they got ready to go to the Ministry. Ginny had reluctantly allowed for Harry to come along; she really didn’t need a lot of people hovering around her that day. But Harry had promised that he would not try and make her talk about anything, he just wanted to be there for her. Only Mrs. Weasley would come with them. But neither Mrs. Weasley nor Harry would come with Ginny into the room, when she would be talking with the investigator. It had been a request from both Ginny and Mrs. Jones, who would be the only one talking with Ginny that day. Ginny was relieved that it was a woman she would be talking to. It somehow made it easier.
When they arrived at the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, Harry and Mrs. Weasley were seated in a waiting area and Ginny followed Mrs. Jones down the hall to her office.
In the next two hours Ginny told her story to the patient Mrs. Jones. There were many tears and Ginny was thankful that Mrs. Jones never pushed her too far, only encouraging her to go on in her own time.
At the very end of the meeting Ginny was forced to really think clearly of the whole incident, as Mrs. Jones extracted Ginny’s memory from her brain and put it in a secured Pensieve. This was a Pensieve that was specially made for use in trials. It had extra secure spells locking it, so none other than Mrs. Jones would be able to open up the memories stored in it.
This last thing drained Ginny completely and when she met Harry and her mom, she could only muster a small “hi”, before she cried her eyes out on her mother’s shoulder. Mrs. Jones stood in the background, waiting for a chance to talk to Mrs. Weasley. At one point Mrs. Weasley looked up and saw Mrs. Jones waiting for her, then she carefully shifted the still crying Ginny into Harry’s arms and walked over to the waiting investigator.
“Hello, Mrs. Jones,” she said and nodded her head politely.
“Good day, Mrs. Weasley. I’m sorry that your daughter had to go through this, but it is necessary to get all the evidence we can before the trial. I do hope you understand that,” Mrs. Jones said.
“I know. I know that you did all you could to make this as easy as possible. I just hope that it’s enough to get the violators convicted,” Mrs. Weasley sighed.
“I’m sure that we have all the evidence we need at the moment. Your daughter did fine in there, and I was able to draw out a quite clear memory from her brain. It will be really useful in court,” assured Mrs. Jones and patted Mrs. Weasley’s shoulder lightly. She could see that this was just as hard for the mother to deal with. Mrs. Jones knew that Ginny was Mrs. Weasley’s only daughter and she knew that this must hurt Mrs. Weasley deeply.
“Thank you for bringing her here today. I’ll contact you when we have set the final date for the trial. It should be in a couple of weeks. And if you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to contact me,” Mrs. Jones said and reached her hand out towards Mrs. Weasley.
Mrs. Weasley took the offered hand and said, “Thank you for helping with this. Goodbye.”
Then she turned towards Harry who still held the crying Ginny in his arms. She saw the pain in the boy’s – no, young man’s - eyes. She saw that this remarkable young man really cared for her daughter, and she thanked the gods that the young couple still had each other. She wanted nothing more than for her daughter to be happy. She knew that Harry might be the one bringing that happiness into her daughter’s life.
When they arrived home Ginny went straight to her room. When Mrs. Weasley saw that Harry moved to follow her, she stopped him and said that they might let her have some time alone. She had been through a lot this day, and she needed some time to deal with everything. Harry sighed and reluctantly agreed with Mrs. Weasley.
The rest of the day Harry tried to occupy himself as much as possible, and ended up helping Mrs. Weasley with various house tasks. But when he walked up the stairs and went past Ginny’s door, he couldn’t resist trying to knock on the door.
“Yes,” Ginny said quietly.
“Hey Gin, it’s me Harry. Just wanted to hear if you’re okay?”
“I’m okay Harry. Thanks!” answered Ginny.
When the door never opened he said, “Well I just wanted to say goodnight, hope you sleep okay. I love you!”
Harry heard a strange sound from inside Ginny’s room, which reminded him of a small sob, but he wasn’t sure. But after a short moment he heard her say though the door, “Thanks and goodnight to you too, Harry.”
It hurt Harry when she never said that she loved him too. He only wished that she still did love him, but just wasn’t ready to say that to him just now. With that little pain still lingering in his heart he went up to his room and crawled into bed. Sleep didn’t come easy that night; he lay awake thinking about everything that had happened that day. He knew that it might take a lot of time before things would be back to normal. But he vowed that he would still be there for her, when it happened. He loved her too much to let her go; he wanted to be with her forever.