A SIXTH SENSE
The night sky was calm; there was not a cloud in sight. The moon was full like the lone silver eye of a giant while the stars were its brilliant freckles. The cloudless sky was slightly ominous and yet, it was quite peaceful. Sadly the same could not be said for the forest below.
A young redheaded girl was running through the dark wooden pillars. Every once in a while, she stopped and twisted around to glare into the pitch blackness. A light would explode some twenty feet away and she would dash off.
She dodged a red blast and threw herself behind a tree. Her hand shaking, she shoved her fiery locks over her shoulder. Her wand was shuddering almost as badly as she was: it had never been forced to shoot so many spells in such a short span of time. Behind her, she heard yells and shouts of curses and pain, not knowing whether it was her family screaming or Death Eaters crying out. Her mother had told her to run back to the house and she had not looked back since, only reaching back to fire spells at the oncoming attackers.
It was a beautiful day. She lay in an endless sea of wheat while her mother prepared the picnic on the hill above. Charlie, Bill, and Fleur were over by the ocean. Charlie was making the water dance and swivel and take on various shapes with his wand, while Bill glared at him in jealousy. Fleur squealed every time one of Charlie’s water-dogs came trotting over to her and licked her toe;, then Charlie would flick his wand again and it would take the shape of a dove. Fleur seemed to like that part the best because she would become beside herself with giggles.
“Ah, dear Phlegm, what an inspiration you are to all of us…” Ginny thought from the brush.
It was almost sunset and Ginny could feel excitement twitching beneath her skin: after the sun went down, the waves would become an almost eerie shade of green, the tips of the black sea licked with an electric hue. Ginny knew it was only the plankton being revolved back to the surface- her father had told her long ago. But it still chilled Ginny in a frightfully happy way.
It was definitely ethereal, but in some odd way it made her feel at peace. The next surreal phase of the sea at night was the moon’s reflection. The color of it was simply heart-stopping: it was the palest blue, gently stroked with gray and silver.
As the sun finally sank down below the golden horizon, Ginny sat up and smiled. She was momentarily stunned for Bill, Fleur and Charlie were gone from the sandy coast, but then she just supposed that they had gone somewhere else. She turned to say something to her mum, but realized she was gone too.
Ginny glanced around, fear now replacing the ecstasy in her chest. The wind tugged at her hair and seemed to be hissing something in her ear, but panic was blocking out all sound except the frantic beating of her heart.
The darkness was suddenly pressing in all around her and silence screamed in her head. She immediately drew her wand and at that moment, several dark figures in cloaks and masks twisted out of nowhere and formed a large circle around her. Just as they made their first steps toward her, three redheaded figures appeared, making a wall between Ginny and the Death Eaters and her mother quietly whispered over her shoulder.
Two Death Eaters were blown back and Ginny took off running.
There was a loud thump a few feet away, causing the redhead to jump. Her mind bolted back to the Encyclopedia of Spells Hermione had sent her as she pushed off from the tree and continued her scramble back to the Burrow.
Chapter 1- Angel:
The dark wooden fence was appearing around the bend as Ginny finally tore her way out of forest. She could still hear yelps behind her and the whiz of spells being shot off but if she stopped now, she might never make it.
The Burrow looked just as it always did, except with a few extremes. The shed out back had been enlarged to several sizes above normal, enough to accommodate a good number of people. The attic had been Engorged as well, making the house appear to have a giant blemish upon its face.
Ginny stumbled over the gravel road and heaved herself over the low fence. Panting and shivering, she smiled as she lay on the grass, trying to catch her breath that had evaded her for what seemed like hours. She drew a deep breath of relief; she was under the magical protection of the Burrow, and there was no way that the six or seven Death Eaters that had ambushed Ginny, her mother, Bill, Charlie, and Fleur at their picnic could ever possibly hope to find the Burrow, much less get into it. The armies of Hell itself would have trouble find it, or that’s what Mad Eye had said. Ginny bit her lip.
As she propped herself up with one arm, an old pain tickled her. It had been several months since Mad Eye Moody’s death, but her stomach always squirmed at the loss of such a brave warrior. She started to make her way up into the unbelievably secure house.
No one from inside the Burrow could Apparate out and vice versa. It was also impossible to Floo in and out of the Burrow except for a family member or the Secret Keeper. Only a blood family member of the Weasleys could Apparate twenty feet out from the wooden fence; everyone else had to Apparate about two hundred feet back. The location was hidden by a Secret Keeper (Kingsley Shacklebolt was the Burrow’s Secret Keeper- he was appointed by Dumbledore himself) and just from the size of Shacklebolt, it would take a lot to discover the location of the Burrow much less get into it. For there were thousands of other enchantments and spells laid around the grounds. It could be a safe bet to say that the Burrow had become almost as safe as Hogwarts, if it had still been running.
Yes, when Harry Potter and his friends left to hunt the Horcuxes, Hogwarts School had been shut down, only temporarily. It was nice not to be bothered by the massive amounts of seventh year homework, but it had kept her mind busy and away from other “people.”
As Ginny took her first steps, she realized she seriously underestimated the severity of her bruises and cuts. Her legs were wobbling beneath her and her left arm, bent at an odd angle, jolted with pain at every attempt to move it. She could feel warm blood streaming from the side of her head. As she approached the dimly lit house, she could see her jeans were badly torn, revealing jagged cuts all along her unstable legs. The adrenaline must have kept me numb to this, Ginny thought grimly.
She muttered the password, the locked clicked and the door swung open to the kitchen. For a moment she hung in the doorway, leaning against the frame and desperately trying to ignore the horrible stings that were constantly pinching her every muscle.
A twig suddenly snapped behind her, but Ginny wasn’t terribly worried: it was no doubt some family member returning.
“I know a Death Eater can’t get through the barrier the Order set up, but my conscience will eat away at me if my whole family dies because I didn’t ask an imposter the password,” Ginny croaked, her voice sounding just as haggard as she was, despite her dark humor. “So what is it?”
The person was in shadow, crawling on the grass as it made its way towards Ginny.
“If that’s you Bill, answer me. I know I should have asked the password the other night when I let you in, but this is no time to teach me a lesson.”
The figure continued to pull along and as they drew closer, Ginny noticed this figure was far too thin to be either of her older brothers, much less her mother.
“Phle- Fleur is that you?” Fear, closely followed by panic was inching its way into Ginny’s chest. She swallowed and tried to keep calm. She shifted around to face the figure, her body twinging with every motion. “I know you can understand that much English so answer me…”
It said nothing, but finally spilled into the light that was coming from the house. At first, Ginny was momentarily relieved to see pale blonde hair, assuming it was her soon-to-be-sister-in-law, but a sallow face and silver eyes followed the blonde hair.
All pain and injury forgotten, Ginny lunged out a hand. She grabbed the scruff of the blonde hair and threw the person inside. She pinned the body to the wall, her wand pressed against its cheek.
“So,” she growled. “Killed anyone lately?” Pulling up the platinum blonde hair so her nose and his pale nose almost touched, she was face to face with Draco Malfoy.
“I…I… am unarmed…” he gasped, his eyes half closed. He was in obvious pain.
“Strike one, pretty boy,” Ginny sneered.
“I… have… information… about…the Dark Lord…” Malfoy wheezed.
“Strike two. One more and you’re out…” Ginny glowered. Malfoy looked back up at her. He seemed to be regaining strength.
“Alright fine…” he sighed, an odd spark of impatience flickering in his eyes. “I know… the whereabouts of your boyfriend… Potter, and his friends…”
Ginny felt an ice cub slip into her stomach. “Are they alive?”
Malfoy let out a low chuckle. “Are you going to keep me alive if I tell you?”
Ginny scowled. She slammed his head against the wall by the chunk of his hair and let him fall to the ground. He let out a soft moan, but Ginny paid no heed as she searched his pockets, his socks- every where that could hide some sort of wand or weapon. She found no wand, but she did find three Dungbombs, a sack of gold coins, and a bag of vials that seemed to be filled with blood.
Ginny wrinkled her nose at the vials.
“These have the blood of your victims in them?” She raised the pouch at him disdainfully and threw it into the pile of other items she had retrieved. She was quite amazed she had found so much in his black jeans, but what surprised Ginny the most was that he was wearing Muggle clothes, or the remains of Muggle clothes. His collared long sleeved black shirt was torn along the neckline and his jeans had gaping holes in them at the knees. To a regular Muggle, he would have looked to be some sort of punk criminal, but Ginny knew it was for him to hide in the shadows. But why did he have to hide in the first place?
She crouched down beside him and grabbed the tuff of his hair again.
“If you are telling the truth, then you get to live. If you’re lying… well then, I’m sure you know the rest…”
“How do you know if I’m lying or not right now?” Malfoy chuckled. She clunked him against the wall again.
“Bloody hell, how many more times are you going to do that?”
“Until you give me a straight answer…”
His silver eyes narrowed, but he just rolled them. “Fine, I’m telling you the truth.”
She slammed his head again.
“Damn it woman! I thought you said you weren’t going to do anymore!” Malfoy exclaimed, truly getting angry.
“I said I wanted the truth, not some lame-ass excuse to save your own hide…”
His nostrils flared and his jaw tightened. “I swear to God that I’m telling you the truth. And if that’s not good enough for you, then I swear on your precious Harry Potter that I’m not lying…”
Ginny’s scowled darkened and once again she knocked his blonde head against the wall. But she leaped up and stormed over to the couch.
“What the HELL? I’m telling you the whole truth!” Malfoy reached up and gingerly rubbed the back of his head.
“I know. I just wanted to hit you…” Ginny’s smile was smug. “And Harry and I aren’t together anymore…” She added quietly. But, unfortunately, Malfoy heard. His mood perked up at once.
“Oh dear, is scar-head coming up short? I knew he couldn’t be ‘brilliant’ at Quidditch and be good in the sack – OW!”
Ginny had Malfoy up against the wall by his throat, her wand shoved under his chin.
“Shut up, now, before I decide to flambé your face right here.” Her words were lower than whispers.
“You don’t have the stones…” He whispered back. There was a brief silence, then a bright spark and a yelp of pain. When the light cleared, there was an open cut streaked along Malfoy’s cheek. Blood trickled down his face and onto Ginny’s clenched fingers.
“Fine, I’ll keep quiet about you and Potty, just let me go…”
Ginny released him and he fell again to the floor. She turned away from him. A dark silence followed.
“So where are the rest Weasel clan-”
Malfoy fell over, his hands and feet tied up in ropes. His mouth was bound by a piece of cloth but his eyes were swimming with suppressed rage and spoke volumes. Ginny knelt down by him again and grabbed him by the front of his shirt.
“First of all, it’s the Weasley clan, Wea-sl-ey. Second of all, it’s none of your bloody business. And third, just for the love of God, shut up!” She threw him back down and he immediately started to struggle against the ropes.
“You ought not to do that,” Ginny said absentmindedly. “I’ll just make the bonds tighter.” She flicked her wrist towards the trapped Malfoy. He let out a muffled groan as the cords grew smaller. He stopped squirming.
Ginny sat down on the couch and grabbed the junk she had hauled out from Malfoy. She began making motions over the items with her wand, trying to make them reveal any hidden curses.
“Now let me have some peace as I go through your stuff.”
It was a good five minutes when there were cracks of a few people Apparating and then deep breaths. Ginny threw down the junk unceremoniously and hid it under the coffee table. Malfoy gave her a scathing look from his corner.
“Quiet, you…” Ginny muttered. She didn’t exactly plan what she would say to her family when they returned to a house with a captive Death Eater inside. Perhaps she should wait for the right moment.
Ginny glanced around the room…and her eyes fell upon the large cupboard. She narrowed her eyes at Malfoy, who immediately began to shake his head in protest. Ginny flicked her wand and the doors flew open, then she swished her wand again and he skidded into the cupboard.
Ginny leaped up, then crumbled slightly: after her encounter with Malfoy, her adrenaline level had gone back down and the pain had returned. She hobbled over to the door and pulled it back slightly.
“Who’s there?” she muttered. She didn’t hear an answer, only wheezing. Finally a breathless voice answered.
“It is I, your mother, Molly Weasley… and you became potty-trained at the age of… five…” A plump, stout woman came into the light, but her bright red hair made her the most recognizable.
Ginny turned scarlet and opened the door to allow her mother to totter inside, but immediately closed it again to a crack.
“And the rest of you –,”
“Don’t worry…,” her mother heaved from the couch. “I already checked them all, they’re clean…”
Ginny opened the door once again and the two other Weasleys and Fleur trudged inside. Charlie immediately fell into a love-seat and Bill, half carrying Fleur, spilled onto the other couch. They sat there, panting and gasping for a minute before Ginny leaped up and rushed over to the sink to fill up glasses of water.
After they were distributed, Ginny sat down again, a tense bubble forming in her chest.
“Um… Mum, there’s something I need –,”
“Did any Death Eaters follow us back?” Charlie suddenly barked. He had pressed the ice cold glass to his forehead and was wearily glancing over to his mother. Bill was now patting Fleur’s clammy head as he cradled her in his arms. She seemed barely conscious.
“I’m pretty sure they didn’t. And even if they did, there’s no way they could get in through the barrier. Dumbledore himself put them up.”
The thought of Malfoy sitting in a dark closet was suddenly pushed from her mind as she remembered the attack.
“Follow you from where?” Ginny asked.
“We’ve been Apparating around that forest every minute for the past hour, trying to lead them off the scent so you could get home.” Bill answered. He still didn’t look up from his bride. Off Ginny’s worried and questioning look, he said:
“She was hit by a fairly strong Stunning spell. She’s been like this for over an hour.” His brown eyes were dark from sadness and anger.
Mrs. Weasley got up and patted her eldest son’s back.
“She’ll be fixed in no time.” She gave a reassuring smile then went over to the sink and gently wetted a cloth. She returned and handed it to Bill, who then applied the cloth to Fleur’s forehead.
“It would be better if you were a hundred percent sure that they didn’t follow us, Mother,” Charlie said pointedly. “It would be a hell of a way to go, if we all died because we didn’t have the strength to save ourselves and the Death Eaters won without a fight…”
“Speaking of Death Eaters…”
“Fine, Charlie, yes I’m a hundred percent sure!” Mrs. Weasley snapped. She threw a glare at her son but then her attention returned to Fleur. She took out her wand and traced her face. Whereever the wand touched Fleur’s skin, there was a faint trail of blue light that would quickly disappear. She repeated this until Fleur opened her eyes…
“Bill… w’ere iz my Bill?” She whispered. He scooped her up and hugged her tightly.
“I’m right here.” He kissed her cheek. “Thank you, Mum. But she still needs to rest, so we’re going to head up to bed.”
Mrs. Weasley nodded but Charlie merely grunted, his face showing deep thought. After the couple disappeared up the staircase, Charlie leaped to his feet.
“Dad needs to know about this attack…” He muttered. “See you two in the morning…”
“DRACO MALFOY IS IN THE CLOSET!” Ginny suddenly screamed. A hand flew over her mouth. Charlie froze in mid step and Mrs. Weasley turned white. She slowly got to her feet and went over to the large cupboard, asking no questions and seeming to believe that her daughter was telling the truth about the fact that the son of a known Death Eater was in the Burrow.
“In here?” she whispered. Ginny, also a ghostly white, nodded. Mrs. Weasley turned the handle and Draco Malfoy tumbled out of the closet. Her mouth dropped to the ground. The gash caused by Ginny’s curse had gotten worse and now the blood had stained his shirt. His eyes were wide with fear as he stared at the dumbstruck Mrs. Weasley, but they flickered to fury as he glanced at Ginny, who didn’t seem to believe that Draco Malfoy sat tied before her.
Charlie suddenly let out an incensed roar. In three strides, he had grabbed Malfoy by his black collar and shoved him against the wall, much like Ginny did, but when Charlie did it, the whole house shook. He whipped out his wand and it glowed green.
“How the hell did scum like you get in?” Charlie hissed. He waved his wand and the cloth around Malfoy’s mouth disappeared.
“I need help,” he gasped.
“Damn right, once I’m done with you…” He waved his wand again and the cloth appeared again.
“Charlie, wait!” Ginny gasped. She was shaking and her face was a horrible sallow color. “He… uh, knows Voldemort’s plans. And where…Harry is, where Hermione is. Where Ron…” She glanced at her mother: the mention of Ron’s name had recently caused her to close her eyes for a long while as though she was in pain, but not tonight.
Mrs. Weasley just continued to stare, with her mouth agape and her eyes, hardly believing what they saw.
“What could this little whelp know that the Order doesn’t?” Charlie growled. Malfoy closed his eyes and leaned back his head. “He’s a Death Eater for God’s sake. We should kill him where he stands.”
“Exactly… he is a Death Eater and they’ve been tracking Harry for weeks, and unfortunately they seem to have an idea of where they are…”
Charlie’s vibe to kill was still rolling off in waves.
“Look, Charlie, please do this for me. I have to know where Harry and Ron and Hermione are. They’re my friends and I’m terrified…” Ginny said quietly. Malfoy opened one eye. Charlie shook him again. Ginny walked up to her brother and put a small hand on his broad shoulder. “Please Charlie… for me?”
Charlie scowled and threw Malfoy to the ground, then stormed off out of the kitchen. In a matter of seconds, the “Charlie” hand on the family clock was on “traveling.”
“I… I suppose we ought to make you a bed…” Mrs. Weasley said quietly. She seemed to be on another planet entirely.
“No, Mum, its okay… you go to bed and I’ll deal with this. You seem to be in shock,” Ginny said and she pushed her mother toward the stairs. Mrs. Weasley began to totter up to her room.
“Yes… shock… bed…” They heard her mutter. Malfoy raised his eyebrows at Ginny, who scowled and grabbed him by the ropes, pulling him onto his feet. She scooped up his items and jabbed him harshly in the back with her wand.
“Get walking… you’ll be sleeping in the attic. No one’s been using it since Lupin and Tonks moved out.”
They climbed the staircase up and up to the very top of the house where they came to a landing with no more stairs and no doors or windows. The ceiling was low enough for a young adult to touch. Ginny reached up and pushed one of the ceiling’s tiles. Suddenly, a wooden ladder clumsily jetted out of the hole in the roof.
Malfoy gave her a scathing look again but she just prodded him with her wand again and he trudged up the latter.
Ginny flicked her wand and the room was alit by candlelight. She muttered a long incantation and the tip of her wand emitted a purple ring that circled the room.
“Now you can’t leave unless someone wants to get you out…”
Even through the cloth, Ginny could see the old Malfoy sneer. She shoved him backwards onto a bed. She waved her wand and the bonds disappeared. He gasped as he rubbed his wrists.
“Mum will be up here in the morning to clean up that cut and if I hear any word of complaining from you, I will personally kick your ass out of this house. Got it?” Ginny scowled. She pointed her wand at the end of the bed and a plate filled with sausage, bread and potatoes appeared. A goblet of water appeared on the bed side table.
There was a gruesome silence.
“Yeah, well, don’t get too comfy. Half the Order will be back up here tomorrow to question you, so rest up. Can’t have you falling asleep during the interrogation, now can we?” Ginny pulled open the trap door and had put her foot on the first step when Malfoy spoke again.
“No- thanks for sticking up for me back there, against your brother. I’m really not ready to die…”
Ginny felt an awkward heat creeping up her spine but immediately shook it back down.
“Why were you here, anyway? And how could you get through?” she suddenly asked, desperately trying to change the subject.
He didn’t immediately answer, but stared pointedly at the ground. “You were the closest Wizarding inhabitant and I needed…” His eyes jerked back up at Ginny, cold and harsh again. “Look, I’m sure you’ll find out all you need to know tomorrow after your mates overload me with Veritaserum. It’s not like you were my first choice...like I’d ever come to the Weasley’s by preference…” he added airily.
That oddly stung.
“It wasn’t for you, by the way,” Ginny said harshly. “I was doing it only for Harry’s sake.”
“I thought you broke up…”
She froze. “That doesn’t mean I don’t still love him.”
And with that, she slammed the trapdoor closed.
She rubbed her cheek, her palm becoming increasingly wet. Finally, the violent spasms of her body and the horrible downpour of tears forced her to sit down on the bed so her crying could finish its course. It had been more than a year, yet it still hurt like scorching fire. It was true, what they said: love burns and consumes. But what they conveniently left out is that love burns and consumes until there’s nothing left but blackened ashes.
After fighting the tears as she made her way back to her room and then stashing Malfoy’s items under her bed, Ginny decided to brush her hair to keep her mind busy. It did not work as well as she hoped.
Ginny threw her hair brush down: there was no use in attempting to bring her mind away from Harry. And if she continued to viciously swipe the wooden brush down her hair, she would soon become bald. It had been longer than a year since Harry had broken up with her, and now today, with everything that happened, sensations returned.
With Harry’s former arch-nemesis sleeping a floor above her, the memories were not only filled, with peaceful walks down by the Black Lake, there were flashes of Harry’s bravery and righteousness against not only Malfoy but Voldemort himself. This caused an onslaught of thoughts and feelings about what Harry and his friends were doing at this very moment, causing Ginny to hug her knees and wrap a quilt around her shoulders like a straight jacket. She laid down.
Her chest heaving and her face drenched, she closed her eyes, but not in an attempt to sleep. She was just merely trying to stem the flow. She could have laid there for a good five hours and the tears wouldn’t stop. But suddenly, there was a cold brush of air and Ginny gasped. She sat up and stared around her room, the cold air intoxicating her body. There was nothing out of the ordinary; the dresser was in the corner while her floor-to-ceiling window looked out on the orchard. Moonlight trickled in, covering the floor in a silver dust.
Ginny gasped again. Though it was colder than ice, the air was somehow oddly comforting. It was stiffening every muscle, but yet it made her calm and relaxed. Feeling strangely sleepy, she lay down and closed her heavy eyelids. Just as her mind fell into dark, waiting dreams, she felt a second presence in the room. She slipped into the hands that were waiting beneath her.
No fear came wiggling into her, no panic that a complete and utter stranger had just entered her room. Her mind and body had become slightly catatonic with no other feeling but peace and serenity. In fact, when Ginny put her head down onto the stranger’s chest and fell quite contently to sleep, she completely accepted the fact that someone was stroking her cheek with long, cold fingers.
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