Looking into the abyss
Molly Weasley had been holding her daughter for quite a while.
She still thought of Ginny as her baby, even though it had been quite some time since she had called her that. She had to admit to herself that Ginny was not a baby anymore. Still, that wasn't going to stop her from taking care of her little girl. With that thought she carried on holding her, as if trying to protect her from any more harm.
She was thinking about what else could possibly happen to her, or for that matter, to them; Ginny, her baby, had been possessed; her husband almost killed by the snake; Ron had been poisoned by accident; Bill was deformed by his scars; George's ear had been cursed off; and Fred was dead. She was too stunned to cry anymore.
Then came to her mind both Harry and Hermione, those two sweet teens who had become part of her family.
Would Ginny have fought so hard if Harry hadn't been involved? Would she have disobeyed her own mother about halting her campaign at school? Would Ron?
Yes, both would have, that was her immediate conclusion. Nothing would have changed, their campaign wasn't only about Harry, it was about defending themselves, and probably... about retaliation for their own suffering.
Into her head drifted something Hermione had said once, a long time ago, something about an abyss and being careful with monsters.
She wasn't trying to hard to remember, after all, they now had all the time in the world, but for some reason the quote stayed in the very front of her mind. After a few minutes of it hanging around, determined not to leave her head, she became certain that it was very important.
Then she remembered. It was a quote by a Muggle philosopher:
He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster.
And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.
Now she was scared.
Revenge? Could that have been Ginny's motivation? Was it Ron's? She shuddered at that thought.
She trembled inside, but what an accurate description of what had just happened that was. Just how damaged were the kids? Were they damaged? That was something important to find out. They should heal, and not be left scarred for life.
From one second to the next, she realized that they really didn't have that much time. She needed to talk to her husband urgently about this.While Molly was lost in her thoughts, her daughter, who had been quiet for what seemed an eternity, started sobbing.
To Ginny, it seemed as if in one single moment, everything that had happened came to her, all at once. It was simply just too much to bear.
She had always been strong. However, after surviving the battle, losing her brother, her friends, it was too much. All she could think was that they were never coming back, with the full realization of what that meant.
As if talking to her mother, but more likely talking to herself, she whispered, "I'm confused... part of me wants to stay here with Fred, and Colin and Tonks and... oh my!" Her sobs got her again and she tried to gain some control but couldn't.
Once she was a little more composed, she began, "Mum, I don't know how or what I feel. I mean... when I saw Fred," yet again she lost the little control she had, after a while she continued, "I felt despair, and anger, and sadness, but when I thought that Harry was dead, I... I..." she could not gather herself to finish the sentence.
"Shhh darling, don't look for words where there are none," She paused, and took her time to think of exactly what she wanted to say, "There are certain things that only the heart can say. You can try to look for the right words and only find something that, at best, is close enough to what you really want to express."
"I want to go to him, see if he is all right, but I don't want to leave here, I don't want to leave you, and them," she added that last part almost as an afterthought, but was really the question behind her words. She felt perhaps that by leaving them here; her friends, her brother, to go to Harry, she was betraying them.
Her mother's eyes were focussed on Ginny's through all of their conversation. She decided not to answer directly. "You do know that he cares about you more than he shows?"
A questioning look escaped Ginny.
"There are many signs," For the first time in several days she had a smile on her lips, even if it was a small one. "For example, when I went after... that woman, I brushed against someone. I didn't give it much thought back then, but now if you think about it, he appeared very close to where you were standing - he wasn't that close to... Riddle, he was probably heading towards you."
"Probably he would have intervened in your fight, if I'd not arrived first." She sighed.
"For several years, I've been pretty sure that you two are destined for each other."
Ginny remembered something; a tiny smile began to etch on her face. "Is that why you were so cold to Hermione when Rita Skeeter said that she and Harry were an item?"
"I was not!" Mrs. Weasley answered with a very fake show of outrage. "She is, after all, like another one of my children."
Ginny smiled. "Yes, you were," she teased her mother, "Well, good! You should have, after all, you were just protecting your little baby's interests." Ginny had a bigger smile this time.
After a small pause she added, "Besides Mum, they've always seen each other as siblings, I guess because both were raised without brothers."
Molly Weasley smiled a bit and hugged her daughter. "Thank you, dear."
"What for, Mum?"
"For making me remember that there is good and happiness in this world, even after a day of such terrible evils," She then added, "and because as I grieve for everybody today, especially for Fred; I can see possibilities."
After a pause Mrs. Weasley added, "Have you answered your own question?"
When Ginny didn't answer she continued, "While you have to draw your own conclusions, I don't think that what you two share is a teen crush anymore." Pausing to think clearly, she added, "If I were to put a name to it, I would say that is the start of something more."
"He is a good boy, a very good boy who deserves to be happy, and so do you."
"Mum, I feel this need to see him, to see that he is fine, and I know that he feels the same about me."
"I would suggest that for now you wait. Harry has gone through hell and back and has earned some rest." She looked around, searching for someone, "I'm guessing that Hermione and Ron are taking care of that right now."
"So, you are saying that I shouldn't go to him then? At least not right now?"
But this time Molly didn't answer.
"Remember that while our losses are many, he has lost a lot more, and deserves to not be bothered, at least not for a while." Molly added after some time.
"But I can't wait! I want to go to him," Her mother was about to say something, but she cut her off, "just to be near him, and to be there for him."
"Ginny, since you are going anyway, just make sure that you are going with him for both, yours and his benefit, not just yours, agreed?" She added as a last attempt to make her point.
"Just be careful, because you can be quite impulsive, you do know that?"
With a smile and a kiss on her mother's forehead, Ginny left, leaving her mother to her thoughts.
Molly looked to the people around her, and admired that while most of them were not exactly adults, they behaved like grown ups.
She looked at Ginny who had stopped to talk with Luna Lovegood for a few minutes, or more accurately Luna was telling her something, and Ginny was very attentive to her.
When they finished, she saw Ginny's back while leaving the Great Hall, Molly thought about Harry, then about Hermione and Ron, and concluded that if she did things right, perhaps they would have time to be together, to be happy.
At the same time that Ginny and her mother were talking, Kingsley and Arthur Weasley were having a quiet conversation.
"Arthur, I'm really sorry about Fred," Kingsley sighed, "I can only imagine what you must feel, but you must understand that we need to act fast, stop any remaining Death Eaters from doing any more harm."
They were walking away from the rest of the survivors, avoiding being overheard.
"Arthur, I'm going to remove you from your post at the ministry. I have a new assignment for you."
He motioned towards the survivors.
"These kids have gone through enough to last them a lifetime, and some of them might be, and lets hope they're not, permanently damaged. They might be of age but they are still kids.
"It's going to be your new job to make sure that everybody who has been involved in this war has at least a chance to have a normal and happy life."
Especially the two trios: Longbottom, Lovegood, your daughter and the Golden Trio; they've gone beyond what we could call responsibility."
"While I agree with the need to insure their well being, why me?"
"Because Harry Potter sees in you a family to which he belongs to. You took him in before anybody even listened to him, and stood by him through the hell he has gone through."
"Now listen carefully. If Potter wants to become an Auror, good for us, we need him; but if he wants to play Quidditch professionally because that's what makes him happy, then that's what he will do."
Kingsley threw a look that dared him to ask for more, but then added with a smile, "and besides I'm quite sure that you and Molly will make sure of it either way, and it's better if you have the full support of the ministry behind you."
With a sigh Arthur said, "That's a tall order Minister. I need to set up a plan, because right now I don't know where to begin… however I can see that it's going to take a lot of resources."
"Well Arthur, I am sure you will do fine, I can't think of a better man for the job."
"Well, if you put it like that, I'm honoured and will do anything that's necessary."
"And Arthur, don't be so formal we're still friends."
Arthur smiled, and thought for a moment, then added, "First of all we need to keep them safe from any kind of retaliation."
Kingsley nodded. "Agreed. I would like you to arrange for the two trios to disappear from the public eye, for a few days, while we sort out a lot of things, handle it like a well earned vacation."
"Kingsley, do you think any Death Eaters left are capable of a major attack?"
"I don't think so, if the ones who escaped regroup, then they might attempt something, but for the moment you let me worry about that. Your priority, Arthur, is their present, and perhaps that way we can all have the chance for a good future."
Kingsley sighed and added, "When you meet with them, tell them that this time the Death Eaters are not going to have it so easy, and that we'll make sure that there are retributions."
Arthur Weasley was concentrating on something. He was deciding if he should reveal it to Kingsley, after a moment he decided to do so.
"The twins had a back up plan for getting away, in case things went really bad, so it will be useful for the vacation."
"I take it nobody knows about it?" Kingsley asked.
"No, I don't think they told anybody else. As far as I know only we three knew about it. It's somewhere abroad, I don't even know where; I only know there are some Portkeys that would take us there in case of an emergency."
Kingsley was beaming. "Excellent, Arthur! This way we can keep them safe for a few days or weeks if it's needed."
"Make all the necessary arrangements, and don't worry about expenses or licences, I'll approve anything you do."
Arthur was flabbergasted. He had never expected this level of support from the ministry, and was at a loss for words.
After a while he said, "I think that we should also send someone with them, like a counsellor."
"Do you have anybody we can trust in mind?" Inquired Kingsley.
"I might, I'll have to see."
"Arthur, I will probably transfer you to the Department of Mysteries, so that we can keep this quiet. I wouldn't want them to think that we're acting out of pity.
"You should also tell Molly, but besides some very specific people in the ministry, this is something we are going to keep very quiet.
"I will also assign some key people to investigate this entire affair. Both Harry and Riddle ventured into the realms of magic like no other two wizards have before, at least that I am aware of."
"I agree, and there is so much that Harry has not told us yet," added Arthur.
"Indeed, and you are to make sure that it is done with care, time and thoughtfulness. Fortunately it seems that time is something that now we do have."
"Now Arthur, please arrange all of this and go back to your family."