A/N: On these characters, I own no rights. Or even wrongs. That's important I guess.
Last time on The Power He has Not:
Goblin warriors are substantially larger than the average goblin. As tall as a man, and immensely stronger, still they need air to breath. Harry hung on despite being slammed into the cavern walls. He felt two ribs break, but still hung on, as the warrior finally started to falter in his efforts, Harry pulled up closer, still holding tight to the make shift garrot. "Your mother sells at deep discounts! She sacrifices profit for friendship!"and the Goblin fell.
Harry spared him one last kick before joining his squad. "Guess I cheated again."
Liphook pushed a goblin short sword into his hand as they made for the exit to the room. Together, as they were trained, they made asquad under fire exit from the interrogation chamber.
Straight into the arms of their Squad leader Slorhook and Clan War Master Baglock.
"I thought you had taught them escape and evasion. Pathetic!"
Harry Potter and the Power He Has Not.
Chapter 24 - Redemption
Ottery St. Catchpole
Arthur read the letter again. Just home from the office, the late November weather reflected his current mood, dark and gloomy.
Molly was at the table working on a Howler.
"Just stop it Molly, you aren't going to send that."
"What do you mean by that Arthur? How dare you try and tell me how to deal with Ginny."
"I dare because this is YOUR fault Molly." He looked again at the letter. "Seven instances of being caught after curfew with a boy. Each time a different boy. Minerva said she herself caught Ginny three times in aweek, each time with a different boy, each time at least partially undressed." Arthur removed his glasses and pinched at the bridge of his nose in a futile attempt to head off the headache that was starting to build. He was mildly disgusted with himself. He recalled a similar letter concerning Charlie in his 6th year, though that one concerned being caught multiple times unclothed in the presence of a single girl. His first reaction had been'that's my boy'. Why was it so much harder with daughters? "When her reaction to Harry losing his magic became evident, what did you do? You sent her out after other boys. No mourning for Harry's loss, no time to evaluate her feelings for him, no talking about why how she was treating him was wrong, just'fix it with affection from someone else'. Oh it's my fault as well for not putting my foot down when I heard what the two of you tried to do with young Neville Longbottom." He sat at the table himself, taking the quill and parchment away from her. "I will send the letters. I'm going to write Ginny and ask her to think about what she is doing. I'm going to write Ron and ask him to try and help his sister, and I'm going to write Hermione and Luna and ask them to look out for their friend. There will be no howlers to embarrass anyone from this house tonight."
Molly huffed, "Hermione Granger? She's engaged to Harry Potter now, you want her lording it in poor Ginny's face?"
"Molly, when did Hermione and Harry get last names in your mind? It's not like Hermione stole Harry from Ginny. She spent hours trying to get Ginny to speak to Harry. Their relationship only started when Ginny made it ever so clear that she was no longer interested, and even then, Harry and Ginny had only been dating for a few weeks. I recall thinking at the time, that their relationship just seemed to come out of no where, almost as if..." it was then he noticed that Molly's eyes had gotten wide, her hands were wringing a napkin in the way she did when she was hiding something. "Molly, you didn't."
"They were perfect for each other; he just needed a little push."
"And you supplied her with that little push. Damn it Molly. What if some girl did that to Ron, how would you feel?"
"That's completely different!"
The argument raged on for hours.
Room of Requirements:
The entered the room to find it looking like the Gryffindor common room, sofas and chairs around a roaring fireplace.
"Ooh, Colin, this is lovely" Ginny Weasley purred into his ear. "I've never been here for a date, you're a genius."
"I don't know if this is really a date Ginny." He stepped away from her holding having taken her wand from the pocket she kept it in. She hadn't noticed, and hopefully wouldn't discover it was missing. What he had to say was going to anger her, and she was too damned powerful for him to face on an even footing. "I'd like it to be, but I'm not all that sure you like me all that much."
"Of course I like you Colin." She smiled that smile that turned his insides to jelly. "I wouldn't be here otherwise."
"Wouldn't you? By my count, I'm the 4th guy you've gone out with this week."
"What is this?"
Colin sighed. "In the muggle world, it would be called an intervention. If I wasn't a coward, this room would be filled with all the people who love you, but Ron would skin me alive if I suggested it, Luna would ask odd questions having nothing to do with the situation, Fred and George would beat me to death for suggesting that their sister was doing what you are doing. That leaves you with me."
"The last person I would go to for help is you. I'm leaving." Ginny went to the door and found it locked, when she searched her robes for her wand, she found nothing. "Open the door Colin."
"Open it yourself. You don't want my help remember?"
She started to beat on the door in a rage. Impressed in spite of himself, Colin was glad that on top of the locking charm, he had cast silencing charms as well. After a few moments of no one responding to her calls and beating on the door, she raged about the room destroying what she could, turning over what she could not.
"Are you happy Ginny?" he asked setting the chair he had been sitting in back up on its feet before sitting again. "I've watched you for 6 years now. You've always been happy other than the time Voldemort possessed you first year, and I spent most of that petrified anyway. This year, you're looking hard for happiness, but can't seem to find it."
She flopped down in the one chair she hadn't overturned, and stared into the fire ignoring him.
"I know last year you got really happy just before Harry started dating you, and you stayed happy after the two of you pretended to have broken up in the common room." She continued to ignore him, but he suspected she was actually hanging on his words in a hope to find a way to get him to let her out. "I also watched Harry. From the time I learned about Hogwarts and read up on the Wizarding world, I wanted to BE Harry Potter. Since I couldn't do that, I tried to be his friend. I think I tried too hard and annoyed him to death. I ended up an acquaintance and not the confidant I wanted to be, but Istill try to be his friend. I noticed how he went from eyeing girls like Padma and Pavarti and suddenly you became the total focus of his attention in like aday. I'm a guy, I know that it doesn't work like that. That's when I noticed you putting stuff in his drinks at meals." She turned to look at him, mouth open. He had seen her?
"It wasn't hard to figure out. I didn't say anything because it was making you happy and didn't seem to hurt Harry. I like to see you happy Ginny. It's important to me." He turned his gaze to the fire, embarrassed. "But then Harry was cursed and lost his magic. I saw how you reacted to his loss at St Mungos, but figured that you were just upset FOR him, not BECAUSE of him. Then I didn't see you all summer, when we returned, you started, well, /dating/."
"Hearing what the other guys call you is more than I can take Ginny. A 'mattress back' is one of the kindest nicknames you've gotten. I can't count the number of fights I've gotten into with idiots calling you aslut or whore. I just can't take it anymore." He started to sob quietly. "I'll do what ever you want me to Ginny, but please, please, don't let guys use you like this. I've loved you since first year. This is killing me." And sobs racked his small body.
Ginny left her chair and gathered him to her in a hug, holding him until his sobs stopped. /Colin loves me?/ They moved to one of the sofas and sat talking for several hours. It was well past curfew when they returned to Gryffindor tower hand in hand. They made it back without being found by anyone, and parted to go up to their respective dormitories. At that parting, they didn't even kiss. It would be a month before Ginny was comfortable kissing anyone again, but her free time would be spent with Colin.
Gryffindor Heads Suite
Head Boy's Bedchamber
Luna cuddled into him following their love making. Her summer project had indeed bore fruit, and Ron continued to be an enthusiastic fellow researcher. Now he held her and stared at the ceiling in that way he did when he was worried about something. Perhaps he was ready to share.
"What's wrong Ronald?"
He tightened the hug he held her in, and kissed her on her forehead, just the way she liked it. "Just worried about Ginny."
"Oh, poo. You don't need to worry about Ginny. She's going to be fine tomorrow."
"I don't know. Something tonight, but I am here with you, so obviously I don't see what it is. All I know is that starting tomorrow, she no longer disappears every night. At least not until May."
"What happens in May?"
"After Voldemort is defeated, she and Colin Creevey go off together to mourn and comfort each other."
Ron really didn't want to know that. He had found that he wasn't bothered with Luna's predictions of their lives together, but he found any references to the aftermath of Harry's final confrontation with Riddle to be disconcerting. He was horrified that if he knew for certain that something was going to happen to someone (Harry, the only one of their friends not mentioned in Luna's future past May) he would do everything in his power to stop it, and if Riddle survived to kill again, too damned bad. He wasn't willing to trade Harry for stopping that. It was better not to know.
Time for a happier thought. He had no expectation of surprising his cuddly little precog, but enjoyed her reaction anyway. Between the money he had saved over the summer holidays working for the twins in Diagon Alley, and the loan he had negotiated from them (they had been particularly soft touches in the hours following Denise's birth) he had scraped together the Galleons he needed to purchase the engagement ring she had pointed out months before as the ring he would buy her. He reached over to the bedside table for the small box. "Luna Lovegood, would you do me the honor of agreeing to be my wife?" he opened the box and put it into her hand.
Luna sat up, squealing in excitement. Moving to sit astride him, she removed the ring from its box and put it on her hand, then lay atop him kissing him. After a few seconds, she giggled. "It feels like it might be time for a little more research."
Unable to believe his luck he held her still for a moment. "Any subject worth research is worth review..."