Fears and love
Chapter 9: Fears and love
A/N: Hi guys... as always I was most pleased and very much emboldened by your faithfull reviews – honestly they REALLY help me with continuing the story – I can´t thank all of you guys for the lot of ´em :) I was extremly pleased, when you guys liked Naja and her "womanly battle" with Ginny. Though you guys don´t need to worry... Naja is NOT like Alice :p You´ll see... she and Ginny will become good friends in no time – seeing that they share something very importaint (three guesses what :D).
I´m also happy that you guys like Angus – he´s one of the OC´s I´m most proud of, I very enjoy writing his character :) I´ve been thinking of drafting a picture of him – I sometimes need once to get with the character – I know... its kinda wierd :D Also his relationship with Susan... I feel I could use some input on this... :)
As for the Potter siblings – including Neville of course – I could tell you the story behind them instantly, but honestly – what fun would THAT be? :D I also see, that you guys enjoy our Snake-squad´s (they needed a name, didn´t they?;D) little secrets – don´t worry, plenty more coming on... :) As for the Potter sibs, this chapter will provide some answers for the Alice and Harry´s more-than loving relationship :D Plus I´ve been very eager to finally include the Weasley family into this – I like them and given my wish, I would have the entire family survive the war – I´ve kept Fred alive for this reason – truthfully, its a family I would love to belong into even without magic – yes, guys... even Percy however pompous he might be :D... Plus many of you were wondering what would their reactions be regarding to Harry – I´ve devised the Burrow scene to answer that question, but not without throwing something interesting into the mix – at least I hope, you guys will find it interesting :) For those of you, who gave their questions to me – I took them into consideration – I felt, that answering them would spoil the story for you... except a few technical questions I tried answering... but anyways, I have to admit to a panfull truth: this story is evolving based on my whims and ideas which CAN change very easily – true, I´ve got my basic story made, but the background scenes come and go in my head as time goes by... For instance – and to come completly clear with you guys – The first scene in the Burrow wasn´t planned at all, but came to me in a brainstorm – but please DO let me know your thoughts and feelings on it, I really hope I made it into a powerfull and amazing scene.
As for the OCs – Naja, Angus, Fidus and others just seem to "Pop" in my head and more will DEFINITELY come, so keep an eye out for them ;) Heh... wait ´till you get a look at Angus´ wacky family or Blaise´s dear ol´Mum :D
Anyways... I hope, that I can make other chapters soon, but should they not come for a slight while don´t worry. I am trying to work on the story ASAP. However, given my duties and work its becoming difficult, so please bear with me... :)
The Burrow was crammed full on Friday morning. Minus Ron and Ginny, all of the Weasley children were present at the kitchen table, along with their respective significant others. Bill along with his wife Fleur, Charlie with Tammy – his best friend during Hogwarts years, then his partner in their work with dragons and now his loving bride-to-be(something which pleased Molly immensly), Percy with Audrey and George with Angelina. Only Fred sat there alone, but he (along with everyone else) knew it would not remain so for long. Molly made a king-style breakfast for all of them, but still kept glancing at the clock, that showed the whereabouts of the family members, as the young-ones were discussing many different things as they dug into the amazing breakfast. No sooner did Arthur´s clock-hand go from "Work" to "Traveling", than Arthur Weasley stepped trough the front door.
"Morning, Weasleys."he greeted happily to general happiness.
However someone was standing behind him – a certain someone, who Fred had been hoping to see, missing her dearly dispite the fact they were only apart from eachother for twelve hours.
"Alice..."he beathed, getting up from his seat – his face shining like the rising sun.
His beloved fianceé gave him her most radiant smile.
"Freddie..."she breathed as she moved past her future father-in-law and threw herself into her beloved one´s arms – the remainder of the family watching the exchange with affection, as the pair exchanged loving kisses.
"How was training?"asked George eagerly as the pair sat down, still holding eachother.
Alice Potter looked beat, nevertheless she was smiling radiantly.
"Amazing, Georgey. More than that... we had a REAL situation to respond to..."
There was general curiosity at the table at this. All of them knew, that Alice was studying to become an Auror – something she wanted to be since childhood – something which had A LOT to do with her father and Godfather being Aurors, both men were heroes in her eyes since she was a cute little girl.
"We were training up north and suddenly we got an echo about a Death Eater break-in. The stupid gits wanted to break into some old, abandoned house. God knows why... but you´ll never guess what we saw when we all got there. The Masked Wizard... fighting four Death Eaters at once! Pushing them back... the bloke had ´em on the ropes. But as soon as we got there all of them scammered... all of them dissapeared before we could get the Anti-Dissaparation field up. But Nott and Avery remained, bloody bruised and glued to a wall – took ages just to get them down, Sirius said that that was the unknown curse the Masked Wizard used on the Aurors during the Ministry break-in. Well... at least we got them... but anyway reporters from the Daily Prophet came in with Skeeter in the lead. Asked us a lot of stupid questions before Sirius took over. But guys... you never saw something so COOL! This masked bloke... Dad and Sirius were right... FOUR Death Eaters at once... and they were on DEFENCE... I´ve never SEEN anyone so skillfull at duelling – reckon he would be on equall skill with You-Know-Who, maybe even better... and that stupid Skeeter woman asking me about the Repopulation Act when something so amazing was happening... mental..."she said in a daze, shaking her head – her raven-hair dancing behind her.
The entire table looked at eachother as though they weren´t able to believe it.
"Talk about skill..."breathed Charlie under his breath.
Arthur cleared his throat.
"Well anyway... let´s move on to a more pleasant subject..."he said, hoping to divert the attention.
Suddenly an owl flew trough the window and landed on the table, infront of Arthur. Everyone at the table looked on – the owl seemed to be a Hogwarts-one.
The occupants of the table looked on as Arthur took the letter, kindly thanking the owl and offering it some water, that he conjoured with the wave of his wand – the owl drinking it with much appretiation before taking off. Looking over the letter, a happy smile erupted on his face.
"Its from Ginny."he announced and the table´s curiosity was at once aimed at him, including that of his wife, who was looking at the letter over his shoulder as he read aloud.
Dear Mum and Dad, and you Grand collection of GITS, if you´re there!Everything´s fine. Most of the lions are still angry with me for "siding with a dirty-rotten snake", but somehow I really feel that I don´t care! I want to tell you (Mum most of all), that you needn´t worry. Everything with my snake of a fianceé is going fine – MORE than fine, as a matter of fact. Professor Snape said, that I need to get to the part of him wanting to let me into his world – something, which I have done quite well it seems. Harry is being wonderfull about EVERYTHING... I really feel, that I´m getting to know the mysterious Harry Potter and truth-be-told... Me, Luna and Susan Bones have taken into spending time with Harry and his mates – an experience, which never fails to surprise us... I know, that you will no doubt be worried of the progress as it were... rest asured, that you do NOT need to worry.
By the way, Dad... you being a muggle-world-lover (Arthur chuckled happily at that) will certainly have something to talk about with Harry... you wouldn´t believe all that he knows about it... Yesterday I´ve seen his (and also Angus Lennox´s) favourite pass-time reading – a Muggle Science and History weekly Magazine called The Amazing World – supplied to him by his Muggle grandparents... Dad... I was lost... I could only keep up with bits and pieces of the texts in it... lots of stuff I never even heared about... plus they listen to Muggle music – something which they call The Muggle Underground. Its really amazing... reckon they´d give The Wierd Sisters a run for their money any day of the week... plus Harry said, that his Muggle cousin also plays in one. In any case... he just... never ceases to amaze me...
He also helped me with my Potions homework – you know what a great friend I am with Potions – and... well... he seems to also have a knack for teaching as well. I mean... something which I couldn´t understand previously, he explained to me easily and patiently – as though it were the simplest thing in the world – when I pointed this out to him, he said that he has his Godfather to thank for that little skill.
All-in-all... I know, that you guys were a bit worried about our match-up... rest assured, that I couldn´t have gotten a better boy - sorry, a man – for a fianceé and I´m very hopefull, that you can meet up with him soon – you and Mum will surely like him and unless the boys want to get Bat-Bogied, they will like him too (Bill, Charlie, Fred and George chuckled happily – this was their beloved little sister all right)! I have already met his parents over the Hogsmeade weekend and they are positively the nicest people on the planet – I suppose you, Dad must already know... I´m really looking forward to the party James mentioned, so I expect I´ll see you there – Harry and the others hinted a great surprise for those, who are members of Gryffindor House – I have no idea what they mean... these snakes are so damn secretive, but with Harry... it just makes everything all the better and worthwhile.
All my love,
P.S. Whatever stupid rumors – my fianceé seems to attract them – you hear, rest assured that they DEFINITELY don´t speak the truth of my lovely, beautifull, cheeky, sneaky and absolutely wonderfull Green-eyed Mystery to which I have the greatest fortune of being engaged to...
Molly couldn´t help but giggle at the post-script before she sat down beside Arthur.
"She has it bad, doesn´t she?"
Arthur also grinned happily – his little girl was clearly head-over-heels.
However Fred, George and Angelina looked at eachother uneasily before they looked at Alice, who had a stony expression on her face. Fleur however smiled radiantly.
"What a happy thing to happen... well... I imagine Harry being so charming to her."she said smiling fondly – her english was getting very good, since she married Bill a year ago.
The entire table looked at her curiously and in the case of Alice – a disbelieving look crossed her face.
"Y...you know him, Fleur?!"she asked quietly.
Still smiling, Fleur nodded.
"During the Triwizard Tournament me and Victor often spent time with him and his friends. I´m looking forward to seeing them again."
Alice looked horrified.
"You like hanging out with them?! The Snake-squad?! Malfoy, Lennox, Zabini, Greengrass and... him?!"she said, listing each name as though they were Death Eaters and she scrowled at the last word as though recalling something highly disgusting – a feat that left most of the table frowning.
"I think they are funny. Not to mention very skilled. They knew who to do things even me and Victor didn´t. I know, that you and Neville do not like them, which is the more strange thing to me."said Fleur, her eyebrow raised on Alice.
Angelina and Audrey looked skeptical though.
"There are nasty rumors about them though... there always have been. Since the Chamber of Secrets incident."said Angelina quietly.
"But we all know how true Hogwarts rumors are."Fred pointed out, grinning at Alice apologeticly.
"Always a hundred percent true. No matter how many babbling mouths they go trough."
"At least we know, where the Daily Prophet reporters learned their difficult reporting skills."
The table shared a small laugh, Alice taking Fred´s hand under the table gave him an appretiative smile, though not quite agreeing with him on this.
"I remember their first three years at Hogwarts. Very troublemaking even for Slytherins..."scoffed Percy, folding his arms.
"... going around the school after hours... no regard for the rules at all."he muttered darkly.
"They NEVER play by the rules, Perce."said Alice as she shook her head.
Audrey bit her lip.
"There were some nasty rumors during the Triwizard Tournament too... something about Hagrid´s Blast-Ended Skrewts running amock during a class, started to attack the students and Harry Potter using Unforgivable Curses on them..."
"I remember that one...they say that he subdued them with the Imperius Curse... only two days after that imposter Death Eater who was supposed to be Moody shown the Unforgivables to their class. They said he got into trouble with Dumbledore for this."said Angelina quietly.
Alice looked in savage truimph as the table exchanged looks.
"Ron and Hermione also said, that when the fake Moody placed the Imperius on their class, only Neville and Potter were able to throw the curse off completly. Ron and Seamus said, that it didn´t seem to work on Potter at all."recalled George thoughtfully.
Charlie and Tammy exchanged awestruck looks.
"And that old rumor of him being a Parselmouth and having a pet snake."recalled Angelina.
Alice scoffed, while Fred grimaced uncomfortably.
"That one is pure truth."said Alice, folding her arms.
The entire table gaped and Molly even held a hand to her mouth.
"The stupid little git is even proud of it. Keeps four slimy snakes in his room and that´s not counting that wretched Cobra Queen he calls Naja."
The remainder of the table minus Fred and Fleur looked horrified.
"He has a Royal Queen Cobra apparently."said Fred quietly.
Arthur´s and Molly´s mouth fell open, while Bill shook his head in utter disbelief.
"Those cobras are extremly hard to even find... they say they avoid any contact with people."whispered Molly, remembering the stories all too well.
Her younger brothers - Gideon and Fabian wanted to go to Egypt and find one when they were fifteen.
"Unless they form a bond with someone..."breathed Bill quietly, knowing the stories from the times of his working in Egypt.
"A bond, Bill? That´s an understatement... you should see those two. Being all affectionate with eachother, wrapped around eachother day and night and hissing away in Parseltongue."
Molly shot a horrified look at her husband, but before he could say anything Percy stood up from the table.
"I´m going to the Ministry to have a word with Kellen. No way our Ginny gets someone like that for a husband."he growled furiously, his eyes showing the same fire and determination as two years back when he had a blazing row with his father.
Arthur however shook his head frowning.
"There´s nothing you can do, Perce. Haven´t you heared what happened when Severus Snape found out he was engaged to Ron? James told me, that Severus had Fudge completly disarmed and helpless but he still refused to anull the engagement. Plus James believes, that it was Fudge, who let slip that engagement to Rita Skeeter. Going after Kellen would only cause more problems than solve them."
The remainder of the table growled at that – the article about Ron and Snape still left them furious at Rita Skeeter. Still grumbling a bit, Percy sat down and Audrey placed a soothing hand on his shoulder to calm him down a bit. Arthur cleared his voice.
"I trust Ginny´s judgement on this. If she says – as shown by the letter here – that her fianceé is fine and that she is happy with this arrangement, its good enough for me."he said with a final tone to his voice, well aware of the unsure look his wife was shooting him.
Fleur nodded and flashed a supportive smile at her father-in-law.
"I second that. I trust Ginny to make her own decidions."said Bill, nodding.
"Hear, hear..."exclaimed George.
"Yes. Our little firebug is a smart girl. She knows what she´s doing."nodded Charlie smilingly.
Percy humphed and folded his arms. Fred shot a small apologetic look at his fianceé.
"Sorry Alice... you may not trust your brother, but I trust our little Gin Gin."
Alice gave a small smile.
"I trust Ginny too... I´ve known her for years and she´s an incredible girl. But still... I feel sorry for the fact, that she has to deal with my idiotic slimy snake of a brother."
There was a small silence at the table for a while. Everyone wondered what on Earth may have happened for Alice to hate her little brother so much. Suddenly something banged loudly above them.
"I´ll check it out."said Percy, standing up once more.
As he moved Molly, Audrey and Alice made movements to get up as well. Percy however shot them a small smile.
"I´m sure its nothing to worry about."he said, placing a hand on Audrey´s shoulder before he made his way upstairs.
As he dissapeared, the table once more broke into happy conversation, Molly was very happy about the change of subject, but felt she will have to discuss the matter with Arthur later on. Suddenly a loud horrified yell rang from upstairs. Alice at once shot up from her chair and drew her wand. The rest of the table soon followed and all of them scrambled upstairs towards Ginny´s room as a white-faced Percy exited it. Following his line of vision they saw something that made the blood run cold – a tall, slender, black-robed man came closer, his wand raised. His snake-like face sported a manic smile and a high, mirthless laugh escaped him. Alice however laughed openly.
"C´mon Perce. A stupid Boggart?! Let me take over."she said confidently, moving forward towards the snake-faced man, her wand at the ready.
However before she could do anything, the Boggart changed form. The other Weasleys looked confusedly as it transformed into a tiny boy with scrawny jet-black hair. He scanned all of them with his big emerald-green eyes innocently and gave them an big, angelic smile.
"How cute... sooo adorable..."breathed Audrey, her eyes turning extremly gentle.
Angelina, Fleur, Tammy and Molly also fell weak-hearted to the little boy´s charms – the angelic smile making them want to squeeze the boy to death with their love. The male population however looked confused. Arthur instantly associated the boy´s looks with that of James Potter and frowned. Fred also looked in concern at Alice, who was slowly lowering her wand – an unmistakable look of deep longing written all over her face as her lips trembled.
"Harry...?"she breathed in an all-but an whisper as the boy spread his arms wide-open and gave her his biggest smile.
"Sis..."chirped the boy in a happy, child-voice - the invitation promting her closer.
"Alice... Alice, its not real... its a..."said Fred, but Alice took no note of it.
She lowered her wand completly and stepped closer to the tiny boy as though in a trance.
Suddenly the little boy started to grow before their eyes. Eleven, twelve, thirteen – a great big serpent appeared, wrapped tightly around his shoulders, hissing violently at her as the boy grew into a man. Alice´s face went pure-white as the man´s eyes flashed dark-red and a sinister, cruel, maniacal smile appeared on his face. A laugh, even worse than that of Lord Voldemort´s escaped his lips, spreading a powerfull wave of fear over everyone. Alice´s wand fell from her grip onto the floor and her breathing grew laboured as she stared wide-eyed and white-faced at the black-robed man, completly unable to look away.
"What is wrong, sister?"asked the terrifying figure in a sneer.
"Isn´t this what you´ve always wished for?!"
Alice´s white-face went into an expression pure and utter horror. Shaking all over, she shook her head, tears pouring from her eyes.
"No...no...no... I... I...Harry... please..."she chocked out of herself quietly, as the snake around his shoulders hissed furiously again and he grinned cruelly at her, his eyes flashing red again.
"Bow before me, sister... bow before the greatest Dark Lord, that has EVER LIVED!"
Alice appeared to have stopped breathing as his eyes flashed red again – a look of pure hate appeared on his face and he raised his wand, pointing it at her.
"Riddikulus!"roared Fred and the man exploded in a wisp of smoke.
Fred at once took Alice into his arms, Alice shaking violently in his embrace.
"Shh... Alice... shhh... its okay, sweetheart... it was just a dumb stupid Boggart."he whispered to her, running soothing circles on her back, Alice gripping onto him as though he was her life-line, choking on her tears.
"Freddie... This... this... can´t... my brother... a Dark Lord..."she muttered shakily, trembling even more.
Fleur, Audrey, Angelina, Molly and Percy were as white-faced as Alice, all of them still staring at the spot the Boggart was before it exploded. The transformation of a tiny innocent little boy into a terrifying Dark Lord seemed to chill them even more, than the concept of Lord Voldemort alive and powerfull again. George and Charlie looked uneasy – they couldn´t deny the horror of the transformation either, even if they knew it was not real. Bill however frowned at his father, who had a most thoughtfull expression on his face. Their eyes met and both nodded at eachother, understanding something the others didn´t as their sights returned to Fred and Alice.
September 23, 1997
The Ministry moves on with the Repopulation Act
Since the begining of this week the Ministry of Magic has been very busy in order to support the enacted Repopulation Act. The Repopulation Act Office has been enlarged and several Ministry workers were promoted into it.
"Aside from our Head – madam Kellen, we have over twenty specially trained workers in our office, each assighned to adress different matters to oversee the Act. The Minister puts high emphasis on us assisting the public in any way we can."informed Mr Borderick Bode junior, 25, half-blood, who is one of the high-ranking members of the Repopulation Act office.
The Repopulation Act office has publicly encouraged the people to turn to them with any question or problem at all regarding the Act. Some have already done so.
"Yes... I have been very insecure with the pairing chosen for me, but The Repopulation Act office has helped wuth my engagement enourmously and thanks to them I feel, that I am prepared to sighn the Marriage Contract at any day now – when my sweetheart feels ready, that is."said Miss Marrietta Edgecombe, 18, half-blood.
Some however are not entirely supportive of the help offered to them.
"Its stupid. This is another attempt by the Ministry to butt-in into every aspect of life around here. Plus, people don´t need – or want any such assistance. Especially since there are other problems the Ministry would do better to adress right now."said Miss Alice Potter, 19, half-blood, when asked.
Indeed the Death Eater skimish in the wee hours of this morning has once more raised a small hysteria among the Wizarding Population. The reasons for it are unknown, but what is known for sure is the reappearance of the Masked Wizard, who apparently engaged no fewer than six Death Eaters, resulting in a terrifying battle before the Aurors could arrive.
"The entire damn house was on fire as we arrived. The remaining Death Eaters escaped, the Masked Wizard as well but at least we were able to arrest Nott and Avery, who were heavily injured. Why the Death Eaters were so intent on breaking into that particural house is not really clear, but it may be that they only wanted to vent some stress. Hell, the entire country is getting married and no one invited them to join in... wouldn´t you be pissed?"said one of the Aurors at the scene - Mr Sirius Black, 37, pure-blood, drawing quite a few laughs from many people around.
Cornelius Fudge, Minister for Magic has expressed his feelings to this incident.
"Regrettably we still have a group of disorganized Death Eaters, who were able to escape justice during the Battle of Hogwarts – hence the public sees now the need for the enforced controls on our borders, regarding travel in and out of the country. Regarding the matter I am extremly confident in our Aurors, whose talents were well shown during the battles with He Who Must Not Be Named. I urge the Magical Community to remain calm, yet still vigilant. Now however is the time to think about the future – the very point of the Repopulation Act. Our office, headed by madam Kellen is prepared to help in any way possible. And regarding the concerns of the adults regarding our young ones, we have already adressed this issue. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry will host the newly appointed Relationship Counsil, whose members will be visiting the school periodicly in order to help the respective couples. They will help the youngsters during their sessions..."
"...there we go. Finally mentioned it. And not a moment too soon. Its Friday already... they should arrive today. So polite of them to say it now..."said Harry mildly over the fresh copy of Daily Prophet.
The remainder of the table gave small chuckles.
"Although... I do not believe I require any assistance at all."said Blaise smugly as he gave Luna a kiss on the cheek, making her giggle giddingly.
Chuckles at the table were renewed. Harry, Angus and Blaise were now sitting with their respective fianceés at the Slytherin Table – a feat that drew quite a lot of dark looks from many other tables – The Slytherins didn´t seem to mind at all, though Ginny suspected, that Harry had requested this lenience from his fellow snakes. A feeling of manic joy erupted in the core of her being and she couldn´t help but kiss his cheek, ignoring the looks of outrage and disgust from the Gryffindor Table.
"What about us, Harry? Do you think we need help?"she asked cheekily, wiggling her eyebrows at him.
Harry gave her a mock-serious look.
"I think we need all the help we can get, Miss Weasley."
Ginny, Luna, Susan, Angus, Draco, Blaise and Astoria laughed heartily.
"Personally I think you need all the help you can get, Ginny. My big brother is not an easy one to handle."said Astoria teasingly as Harry shot her a small glare.
Ginny however giggled along with Astoria.
"Oh, I think I know how to handle this lovable snakie, Torie."she exclaimed, winking at her and ruffling Harry´s hair with affection.
Harry humphed and turned away along with the newspaper and the girls´ giggles were renewed.
"Sorry, Harry."said Ginny in a mock-guilty voice before she gave him a sound kiss on the cheek.
Harry looked at her, a smug look on his face.
Ginny, Luna, Astoria and Susan erupted in giggles again. Ginny chaught the looks the Staff table was shooting them – Dumbledore, McGonnagal, Flitwick, Sprout, Snape, Lupin, Burbage and Sinistra shot their group gentle and aprooving smiles. They were happy, that this group was bridging inter-house relationships, though they didn´t know half of what was going on these days. If there was one thing these three girls learned oer the past few days – these snakes NEVER play by the rules. Just yesterday they had a smashing party in the Room of Requirement, that carried on until one in the morning – Disillusionment Charms came in mighty handy at times like this. Ron and Hermione were also invited – something that Harry AND Draco insisted upon. Ginny was beyond happy that Ron and Hermione not only accepted Harry, but also seemed to forge a friendship with him (becoming on first-name terms) as well as Angus, Blaise, Draco and Astoria. She had had enough of friends scrowling at her for being engaged to a scary would-be Dark Lord. She wasn´t speaking to Neville since the incident infront of Gryffindor Tower and she also had a blazing row with Hannah Abbott the first thing on Monday. And she wasn´t the only one – Susan, Hannah´s best friend since their first year had an even more severe row with her. Hannah had been most furious with Susan for siding with "a member of Potter´s stupid little gang" and insulted Angus in such ways, that the two girls resorted to wands before Ernie and Justin put a stop to it – right now they were absolutely refusing to speak to eachother. Angus had been most troubled by hearing this bit and he started to apologize to Susan franticly before Susan silenced him by pressing her index finger to his lips and saying "I stand behind my decidion, Angus."
That certainly broke down a few walls the muscular boy built around his heart. He wasn´t as jittery as before, though still as shy as a first-year with her – but Susan merely found this trait to be highly endearing. He DID however become a bit more relaxed around her, not afraid to show his true colors. Susan admited to Ginny, that she was slightly envious of the affectionate relationship she seemed to have with Harry right now – saying in no unclear terms, that she would dearly love to snog Angus these days, but she restrained herself for his well-being, finding that she came to care very much for him, finding that dispite his strong physical built he was very vunerable in other ways – something that promted her compassionate side to rule over her desires and it looked like Angus was very well aware of it and was more than appretiative, which was more than enough for Susan at the moment. Susan, Luna and Ginny also found a great friend in Astoria, who seemed to be a kind of missing-link in the girl pact. A Slytherin girl, who knew their boys more than well, plus she had traits she shared with each of them – a hard-worker with a powerfull aptitude for Herbology (her best subject) she shared with Susan, an outstanding intelligence and a knack for speaking obvious truths she shared with Luna and a wild streak for fun, as well as a bold-nature she shared with Ginny. It was easy to see, why these boys had her in their group and the girls also observed Torie´s relationships with them – one based on equality with Blaise, a big-sister-sort of thing with Angus and a little-sister relationship with Harry. The girls bonded almost immediatly and it was plain to see, that the boys (even Draco) were over the moon for this fact. Plus Torie often took on the role of the "Translator" when someone didn´t understand the other, though there was very little use for this. Ginny found herself becoming fast friends with the snakes and she even felt guilty for being so hostile to them over her years at Hogwarts. In an act of something she used to believe to be impossible, Ron and Draco even came to having a casuall friendship, dispite the fact that they were Captains of their respective House´s Quiddich teams – something which Hermione was anxious about. For the first time in what seemed like centuries, it seemed that the upcoming Gryffindor-Slytherin match would be a match of two teams fighting eachother with complete and utter respect. Draco also joked a bit with her – being Seekers for their respective teams, teasing eachother playfully much to Harry´s hilarity as well as confusion. She was sure now, that she positively loved Harry to bits... but (like Hermione)he just DIDN´T understand about Quiddich, eventhough he DID know about her ambition of becoming a professional Quiddich player for the Holyhead Harpies. As Draco told her, Harry NEVER even comes to watch Quiddich matches, so Ginny didn´t even bother asking him to come and watch this one – respecting his uninterest in Quiddich (though agreeing with James about it – it DID hurt slightly). She saw very easily, that his real interests lie in learning, teaching others (she saw him in the Room of Requriement teaching Torie Occlumency and he promised to teach her as well) and discovering new things to learn – both magic AND muggle. She remembered his reaction in the Hog´s Head when Albus remarked that Harry would make for an outstanding teacher and Headmaster – Harry blushed a deep-red and denied it, but after yesterday´s help from him (when he explained a complicated Potion, using small jokes and hints in such a way, that she was sure a bloddy first-year would be able to brew it afterward), she felt that the greatest Headmaster in Hogwarts´ history seemed to have a very good point. The only problem right now was Harry´s dear little Naja. Only in the Great Hall was Ginny sure, that he was cobra-free. Though as Harry said, he explained everything to Naja and though Ginny tried to explain to her, that she would most certainly NOT steal her master away, Naja still seemed to feel a bit threatened. She still kept herself wrapped around Harry tightly but when he and Ginny kissed in front of her, even Ginny couldn´t miss the positively heartbrocken look in Naja´s beetle-black eyes. Ginny didn´t exactly know how to feel over it – a part of her feeling compassion towards the cobra, the other one however was saying that Harry was HERS. Harry, in an act of gentleness most of the school would never have believed of him, asked her to allow him to include the poor heartbrocken cobra into their free-time, feeling that including her with them would make Naja feel less sad and also it would help her to accept Ginny. Ginny couldn´t help but agree – seeing by now how much Naja meant to him (it made her feel envious of him having such a faithfull and loving pet) and it seemed, that Naja was appretiating it very much, forming a friendship with her though at a very slow pace (something, which she absolutely had no trouble to do with Luna, Susan and Hermione – who was beyond ecstastic of seeing a live Royal Queen Cobra). Nevertheless, Naja finally allowed Ginny to stroke her scales yesterday before midnight. Both girls were instantly rewarded for this by an overjoyed Harry, who dished out affectionate, loving kisses to both Ginny and Naja – both girls instantly wrapped around him, and no one in the room was sure who squeezed him tighter. Ginny sighed, looking at her Harry, who was still scanning the Daily Prophet with his infamous "tiny boy"-like interest. Her small battle with Naja made her realize something, something she perhaps wouldn´t have if Naja hadn´t been there...
"I love him!"her mind screamed as she sighed and gripped his arm with both of hers in the same way as Luna was gripping Blaise´s – really, the girl had a very good point with that.
Harry suddenly looked at her – as though he had HEARED what her mind was shouting as the newspaper fell from his hands in shock.
"Ginny..."he breathed in a dazed, overjoyed whisper.
His emerald eyes seemed to search for something in her brown ones and suddenly, as though they found the greatest trasure in the world, they sparkled like Naja´s golden scales.
Before she could even flash him a curious look, she found her lips assaulted furiously by his – something which she only took a half-a-second to respond to. She couldn´t recall EVER being so happy... this boy... he was kissing her so affectionately, so lovingly... and thistime there was NO Impediment Jinx to interupt, no stupid Chosen One OR his fianceé, NO heartbrocken Royal Queen Cobras... it was just HER and HARRY and this wonderfull, amazing feeling between them – she could go on forever living on JUST that feeling alone. Ginny felt positively the top of the world, as though anything – anything at all, was possible... as long as she had HIM with her.
After what seemed like minutes... no, hours... no, several happy sun-filled summer days, they spearated, but their arms still remained around eachother – neither wanting to break the feeling of closeness. Ginny spied the smile, she became accustumized to over these last few days – a smile she was sure was reserved only for those closest to his golden, loving heart – and she felt her lips go into one of her sunniest smiles – a smile, that she resolved to keep reserved ONLY for him and NO ONE else. His emerald eyes were positively shining as he pressed their foreheads together.
"I love you too, Ginny... I love you, my brown-eyed fireball..."he whispered to her with a voice so passionate (good thing she was sitting – it made her weak-kneed)... so quiet, that no one except her could hear it.
Ginny felt as though she might go insane with sheer and utter happiness – hearing it said...
"He loves me... he LOVES me... he... he..."
It took all her will-power not to jump him right there and then. But it didn´t stop the expression of utter and manic joy from appearing on her face and her heart purred at the look of the very same happiness mirrored on his face.
There was a moment of dead silence in the Great Hall - all of the stares were glued on them. Puncturing the silence a sound of hands, clapping in an applause rang trough the silent Great Hall. Professor Dumbledore stood up and was clapping, fixing the pair his warmest smile. Half a second later he was joined by Severus, who wore a look of utmost content and aprooval (mystifying most of the student body) on his face, then Remus (his eyes seeing something all-too familiar, an overjoyed grin on his face), McGonnagal (holding a hand over her mouth in order to stop the sob of sheer happiness at what she just seen), Flitwick (bursting into happy tears unshamedly), Sprout (giving her warmest smile while wiping tears from her eyes) and then Hagrid - positively howling for the entire Hall to hear "Tha´s so beautifull". Angus, Blaise and Draco grinned at eachother like maniacs before joining in with much enthusiasm, Astoria following suit flashing the pair her warmest smile while clapping as hard as she possibly could – her eyes sporting happy-tears as well, Luna and Susan also joining in happily, then most of the Slytherins, then Hufflepuffs, Ravenclaws... at the Gryffindor Table Ron and Hermione (looking extremly happy), Seamus, Dean (though half-heartedly), Parvati, Demelza, Colin, Dennis... some other Gryffindors as well... Neville and Hannah looking stone-faced at the scene...
"Well... my dear students... there you have it (Dumbledore gestured proudly at the pair, still locked in their embrace). As Mr Potter and Miss Weasley – soon to be Mrs Potter, I´m sure (he gave a rougish grin to which Harry and Ginny responded to blushingly and to which Severus, Remus, Astoria, Draco, Blaise, Angus, Susan, Luna, Ron and Hermione gave a gentle chuckle to) - have shown to all of us, by the way I must credit their boldness, given that they have just risked a week´s worth of detentions, love as you see CAN be found quite easily, if only a person knows where to look..."
He paused for a moment, a small look of regret crossing his face, before carrying on.
"...I do hope, that you youngsters will take example from them, but kindly NOT in this Hall during breakfast, please..."he said, flashing Harry and Ginny a wink.
At the "take exapmle" statement Angus blushed a deep-red, especially since he felt a tiny hand enclose his, but not without a caress – as gentle as a feather. He turned to look at Susan´s happy, affectionate smile and at once (emboldened by the feat of his dear friend) decided to do something, which he was previously scared to do. Susan´s eyes opened wide as she felt Angus´ lips make contact with her right cheek, Angus drawing back red-faced with the most adorable expression of shyness she had EVER seen. She felt her eyes watering with emotion as she mimicked the action of Luna AND Ginny, grabbing Angus´ large, muscular arm with both of hers, pressing her face to the firm, strong muscle. She felt a jolt of wild happiness as she felt Angus´ other hand go around her shoulders, gently strocking her shoulders and back, albeit a bit clumsily. She snuggled into his arm even more.
"... in any case, I must inform you of the fact, that the Ministry´s Relationship Counsil will be paying us the first of their regular visits today. It has been said, that they are here to help you to... bond with your selected partners. As Mr Potter and Miss Weasley have shown all of us, this feat is NOT impossible – even without Ministry assistance. However many of you may find these sessions helpfull... I however implore on each and everyone of you to NOT let these sessions rule over your relationships. Each of you must find their own way towards your significant other and should you wish for help – any help at all, the Heads of Houses (he gestured to McGonnagal, Flitwick, Sprout and Snape) have all agreed to be of any help possible to you, as they are looking out for your best interests. You are, each and every one of you, welcome to speak to them OR myself should you have any questions at all...
Any matter at all... have no fear of being laughed at, for this is NOTHING to be ashamed of. I know, that you youngsters would DEFINITELY say otherwise, but believe your dear old Headmaster – when you will become old and grey as I have, you will laugh at the memories of your unsucessfull and now-embaressing misadventures. We – older ones are here for you. Any problem – ANY at ALL, you can confide to us..."
A moment´s silence lingered in the Great Hall before Angus stood up from his seat (drawing all attention to himself) and faced Dumbledore.
"You got it, boss. Any problem at all and I´ll be the first one there!"he exclaimed, making a sallute, speaking as though it were a matter of national security.
The Great Hall erupted in appretiative laughter, the Staff table(along with his trusty friends) giving a look of utmost appretiation to the Muggle-born Slytherin, who couldn´t possibly miss the look of awe and appretiation from his loving fianceé.