Harry & Co. visit Godric's Hollow and the Chamber of Secrets. Ginny recieves a letter from Percy.
Harry had two reasons for visiting Godric’s Hollow. First, he wanted to visit his parent’s graves. Second, he had figured that if, as Dumbledore claimed, Voldemort was intending to make a Horcrux at Godric’s Hollow, then he would have brought the would-be Horcrux there with him.
While Dumbledore had believed that Voldemort had intended to make the Horcrux out of Harry’s death, Hermione had speculated that Harry, being a Half-Blood, wouldn’t have been a significant enough death in Voldemort’s book to warrant making a Horcrux. She suspected that Harry’s father might have been more likely to be used to create a Horcrux, as James was pureblood and the head of a very old wizarding family. Harry disagreed but figured that it was at least worth a shot. Godric’s Hollow was a Muggle town, so Hermione drove the group to the village in time for lunch. After they finished eating, Harry approached an elderly Muggle and his wife who looked as though they had lived in Godric’s Hollow for a while.
“Excuse me, you wouldn’t happen to know where I might find the Potter House would you?” asked Harry.
“Potter House,” said the old man, looking surprised. “No ones been there for about sixteen years now. Not since Lily and James died, I imagine. Shame what happened to them; great people those Potters. You look mighty like him.”
“I’ve been told,” said Harry, smiling. “What exactly happened to them?” asked Harry, curious to find out what the Muggles had been told.
“Well, all anybody knows is that there was this huge explosion in the middle of the night. Lily and James died, but their son, Harry I think was his name, escaped with barley a scratch. No ones heard from him since. Word is some huge bloke on a motorcycle came to take him to some family in Surrey. You must be him, I guess he’d be about your age by now,” said the Muggle.
Harry confirmed that he was indeed Harry, the son of Lily and James Potter.
The teens followed the Muggle as he led them towards the Potter house. After thanking him for his help as the Muggle left, Harry turned his attention to the building. The windows had been blown out, the roof missing several tiles. Ginny, seeing Harry tense, placed a comforting hand on his shoulder as he led the group into the damaged structure. The teens moved from room to room, checking for any sign of a Horcrux. Soon it was evening and Harry didn’t think he could stand to be in the house anymore.
“Hey guys, why don’t you keep looking, I’m going to find my parents graves,” said Harry.
He left for the cemetery, which was several blocks away. One block from the graveyard, he heard a familiar voice.
“Where’s the Potter house?” demanded Fenrir Greyback.
Harry saw the Muggle who had helped him find the Potter House earlier standing in front of a child Harry figured was no older than 6. Harry noticed, to his horror, that in a few minutes, the full moon would rise and Greyback would transform.
“You stay away from my grandson,” said the Muggle, who had no idea how much danger he was in.
Greyback went to retort, but was interrupted by a deafening roar. Just as the full moon rose, Greyback turned to see a lion with a dark mane and emerald eyes standing where Harry had been. The Werewolf transformed and lunged at Harry, who pushed him off with a powerful swipe with his claws that left five long gashes on Greyback’s chest. Harry pounced and bit into the other beast’s arm and dug his claws into its face and abdomen, but was met with a powerful bit above his shoulder, ripping a piece of flesh off the body. Greyback tossed the weakened lion off and moved in for the kill.
Harry picked himself up off the ground in time to see a lioness with brown eyes and a red tint to her fur intercept the Werewolf as he prepared to pounce on Harry. The beasts circled each other and began to battle. Soon, Ginny threw the bloodied Werewolf against the wall. The monster recovered, only to see that a larger lion with a red mane was now joining the fight. Ron dove at the wolf and threw him behind his back. Unfortunately, he landed right behind Ginny and on his feet.
With his last ounce of strength, Harry grabbed Greyback and delivered a powerful bite to the neck, ending the wolf’s struggle. The attack had taken its toll on Harry, however, and he collapsed, unable to support himself anymore. Ginny and Ron sniffed the body to confirm that Greyback was indeed dead and returned to their human forms.
Harry was too weak from blood loss to do the same, so Ginny used her wand to do it for him. The last thing Harry saw before he blacked out was Ron sending his Patronus to tell Hermione what had happened. He then Apparated Harry and Ginny outside Potter Manor, where the two carried Harry into the house.
“Ginny?” said Harry when he woke up.
He found himself lying in his bed, except he was not alone. Ginny was lying next to him, asleep, her head on his chest. “Ginny, as nice as it was to wake up to this, you need to get up before your family sees this.”
“Harry! You’re awake! Are you ok? Do you need anything?” asked Ginny, getting up quickly.
“I’m fine,” said Harry. Ginny looked skeptical.
“Harry, you’ d say that if you were holding your insides in your own hands. How are you really feeling?
“Like I got pounded by about fifty Bludgers,” Harry admitted.
“Thought so. Do you need anything?” asked Ginny.
“No, thank you. How long have I been out?” said Harry.
“Two days. You lost a lot of blood and we couldn’t heal the wounds. We would have lost you, but Fawkes showed up and healed your bites,” answered Ginny. “We’ve been taking turns watching you, to make sure someone was here for you when you woke up. I’ve been doing it mostly, Hermione, Fleur and Mum have been taking over when I can’t be here.”
“I killed him, didn’t I?” asked Harry.
Ginny paused; she knew Harry would take this hard. He wouldn’t want to be a killer, but she knew that there was no way to keep it from him.
“Yes, Greyback died,” she answered.
“I killed a man,” said Harry, his voice full of shame and guilt.
“No,” Ginny corrected. “You killed a monster who was about to kill a defenseless old man and his grandchild.”
“I’m no better than Voldemort,’ said Harry.
“The fact that you feel any remorse for someone like Greyback shows just how much better you are than Voldemort,” insisted Ginny.
“How can you stand to be with a murderer, Gin? You deserve somebody better than me. Someone who isn’t tainted, who doesn’t have blood on his hands,” argued Harry.
“You get that thought right out of your head this instant, Harry James Potter,” ordered Ginny, mentally cursing the Dursleys once again for teaching Harry that everything was his fault.
Harry opened his mouth to protest, but Ginny cut him off. “You are a kind, loving person. You are not a murderer. Yes, you took someone’s life. Yes, you will have to do it again when you face Tom and maybe even before and after then, but you will never take a life out of cold blood. You will do it because you are trying to protect the ones you love and heaven help them if they stand in your way. You will do it because they leave you no other choice but to kill them,” said Ginny.
“I still killed someone. I’ve watched so many people I care about get killed. Murder and death have made my life a living hell and yet I still did the same thing that they have done,” said Harry.
“I know it’s hard to think highly of yourself when you grow up being taught that you’re worthless and that everything is you’re fault, but you must realize that you cannot take the blame for everything unpleasant that happens around you,” advised Ginny. “Remember what Greyback did to Remus? To Bill? To all those other children? Think about what he would have done to us if we hadn’t killed him. We had no choice. If Ron and I hadn’t gotten there when we did, he would have killed you.”
“What was Greyback doing there anyway?” wondered Harry, trying to get his mind off his guilt. He didn’t necessarily agree with Ginny, but knew that she wouldn’t be convinced otherwise. “Voldemort can’t have known I would be there or he would have come himself.”
“I think I can answer that,” said Hermione as she and Ron entered the room. “When I was at the house I found your family tree. Harry, you’re the last descendant of Godric Gryffindor.”
“Yeah, well that’s very interesting and all, but what does that have to do with Voldemort?” asked Harry.
“Voldemort wanted to make his Horcruxes out of objects that belonged to the founders. He knows that the diary was destroyed, so he’s going to want to replace it. He must have been looking for the Sword of Gryffindor, since that’s the only known relic of him. Luckily, since it’s safe, he won’t be able to,” explained Hermione.
“So what’s to say he won’t use some other object?” asked Ron.
“Because he wouldn’t think any other object was good enough for his soul,” said Harry. “He won’t make another one unless he can find a relic of Gryffindor.”
“So, with that impossible, we have three others left, one of which we have no idea what it is,” said Ginny.
“Correct. However, I think I know where one of them is,” said Harry. “Where’s the one place Tom felt at home?”
“Hogwarts,” answered Hermione.
“Correct. Now, if you’re Lord Voldemort and you want to hide something in Hogwarts, and you want to make sure it’s in a place where only you can find it, where would you put it?” asked Harry.
“The one place only you could get to,” said Hermione, eyes widening in comprehension. “But if it was in the Chamber, wouldn’t you have seen it when you went down there?”
“I didn’t see the entire Chamber. I never went into the Basilisks lair,” said Harry. “Ginny, you don’t have to go if you don’t want to, we would all understand. You went through hell there.”
“No, I want to go. I want to see it. I can’t really remember any of it,” said Ginny, looking determined.
The group waited a week for Harry to recover from his injuries before they Flooed to Hogwarts. After a brief stop at Hagrid’s, they entered the castle and went towards Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom. Making sure to have their brooms ready, the group dove into the Chamber.
Harry led the others towards the statue of Salazar Slytherin, where they climbed into the opening the monster had come out of five years ago. They found themselves in a dark, narrow tunnel, littered with the skeletons of various rodents. Wands drawn, Harry and Ginny led the way. Eventually the tunnel gave way to a large lake, which the teens flew across, landing on large island that had Hufflepuff’s cup sitting in the middle. Cautiously, Harry aimed his wand at the cup and performed the killing curse, destroying the Horcrux.
“That was too easy,” commented Ron.
“Not really. When Voldemort placed the Horcrux here, the Basilisk was still in the Chamber, so there’s one barrier we didn’t have to get past. Plus, anyone attempting to get to the Horcrux would need to be a Parselmouth and until Harry became one, Voldemort was the only living Parselmouth in existence. Voldemort as always underestimated Harry’s skill, so he would certainly never expect Harry to be able to get past the snake, and he’s the only other Parselmouth,” reminded Hermione as they flew out of the Chamber.
The group updated Dumbledore on their progress and returned home to find the Weasleys intently reading the morning’s Owl Post.
“Ginny, dear, you have a letter,” informed Mrs. Weasley.
Ginny opened the letter and her face quickly assumed a look of outrage.
“I can’t believe this! The nerve of him! After everything he’s done,” said Ginny to no one in particular.
“What’s wrong, Gin?” asked Harry. She handed him the letter.
There is a rumor going around in the Ministry saying that you have begun a relationship with Harry Potter. I do not know if these rumors are true, but if they are I must warn you against this. Not only would this make you a valuable target for He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, but also Harry is not the kind of person you want to be associated with.
I have tried convincing Mother and Father as well as Ronald of this, but to no avail, as they seem blinded by his fame. He has constantly opposed the Ministry at every turn and has shown no respect for authority figures. He has always craved attention, as he showed with his comments to the Prophet several weeks ago.
You need to understand that Harry Potter isn’t the hero you read about in your storybooks. If the others do not understand, you are welcome to stay with me until things cool down or the rest of the family sees the light. You were always the smartest, so I trust you will be able to make the right decision.
Your brother Percy
“That git!” exclaimed Ron after he read the letter.
“Yeah, where does he get off saying Ginny’s the smartest?” agreed Fred, insulted.
Ginny set to work on her response.
Dear Prat That Calls Himself My Brother,
How dare you! How could you think Harry strives for attention when he has always hated his fame? He shows perfect respect for authority figures unless they abuse their power. He has an enormous amount of respect for Professor Dumbledore and all of the other professors. He fights with the Ministry because they have slandered him to suit their purposes.
Don’t write to me again. You have no right to tell me whom I date, as that is my decision and no one else’s. Yes, I am dating Harry and he has been nothing but a perfect gentleman the entire time. And if you think that I’m going to distance myself from anyone, especially someone as kind, good hearted and often isolated and lonely as Harry because I’m afraid of making myself a target for Voldemort, you are even thicker than I thought.
You are no longer my brother. If you value your health, you will not speak to me again.
The mood in Potter Manor was dark. Percy’s faith in the ministry and view of Harry was seen as a betrayal by the Weasley children. Bill and Charlie were furious, as was Ron. Even Mr. Weasley looked ready to disown his third eldest son.
Worst of all was Mrs. Weasley. Her expression was not one of outrage, but one of extreme sadness. Harry knew that since Voldemort had returned, her greatest fear was losing one of her family. She was extremely frightened at the idea of anything happening before she had the chance to make peace with Percy.
For his part, Harry couldn’t understand why anyone would turn away from a family as loving as the Weasleys, since he would have killed to have grown up as a part of a family like this. Of course, he guessed that he might not have valued them as much if he hadn’t grown up without a family of his own. Percy, he decided, didn’t have any idea how lucky he was.
Ginny was angriest of all and was often heard muttering things like “git brother” “strived for attention” and “no respect.” Fred and George were often overheard planning vicious pranks and had begun referring to Percy as “Brother-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named” in response to his own use of the epithet He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.
Luckily for Ginny, Harry had plans with her that day that were sure to take her mind off of her elder brother. He had arranged a Portkey to take them to Paris, where they would spend the day, returning at midnight. When the Order tried to have someone sent along to escort the couple, Harry and Ginny made it perfectly clear to the Order that they were not to be followed, and that as fellow Order members, they were to be treated as equals and not children who needed protection. They had very reluctantly agreed not to send a guard after Harry informed them that they would treat anyone following them as a threat, Order member or not.
Harry had initially been concerned that, as he had gotten his Portkey authorized, that the Death Easters would get wind of his movements and interrupt his date. He had been assured, however, that his Portkey could be kept secret, unknown to all but a select few high up in the government who had to approve the travel. Unfortunately, the Portkey had not been kept secret enough.
“Good evening, Potter. How nice of you to join us,” greeted the Death Eater Amycus Carrow as Harry picked himself up from his regular Portkey stumble.
Harry looked up to see a huge blond Death Eater holding a struggling Ginny. 10 Death Eaters trapped him against the wall.
“Come with us quietly and we will consider sparing your little blood-traitor girlfriend.”
Harry raised his wand and shouted, “Accio Ginny!”
The powerful summoning charm sent Ginny flying from the Death Eater’s grasp so fast that she was steadied in Harry’s arms before the Death Eaters had time to react.
“Expelliarmus!” shouted Harry and Ginny.
Six wands flew towards to couple despite the shield charms preformed by the Death Eaters.
“Crucio!” shouted Carrow, aiming for Ginny, who had her back turned, facing the huge blond.
Harry saw this and jumped in front of the curse, letting it hit him in the chest. Harry screamed as the all-too familiar pain filled his body. Through the pain and screaming, he heard Ginny scream “Impedimenta!”
There was a deafening BOOM and Carrow was blasted into the air, knocked unconscious. This lifted the curse from Harry, who got back to his feet gingerly and stunned a Death Eater he knew to be Rookwood.
Pointing his wand an inch from the ground Harry shouted “Reducto.”
The spell went directly into the ground, causing the earth to shake, knocking the remaining Death Eaters to the ground where they were quickly stunned. It was then Harry realized that he had no way to contact the Order to take in the Death Eaters, nor anyway to leave to go for help. As Harry wasn’t particularly keen on being in the Death Eaters’ presence anyway, he decided that they would settle for merely escaping the attack with their lives and, after assuring Ginny several times that there was no lasting damage from the Cruciatus Curse he had been hit with, decided to continue their date.
The rest of the night passed uneventfully. Harry and Ginny had a candlelit dinner. Harry had rented the nicest Quidditch pitch in Europe for the two of them that night. Harry was glad that he able to finish the evening without further interruption, as he and Ginny hadn’t really had the opportunity for a real first date. They were returned to Potter Manor at midnight, as planned, exhausted from a day filled with dueling and flying. Despite the dangers of the day, both agreed that its ending made it all worth it.