|SIYE Time:23:29 on 17th September 2021|
A Gift from the Heart (alternate ending)
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Characters:Albus Dumbledore, Harry/Ginny, Hermione Granger, Minerva McGonagall, Ron Weasley, Severus Snape
Genres: Action/Adventure, Angst, Fluff, Tragedy
Story is Complete
Summary: After months of thought, Harry figures out the perfect Christmas present for Ginny, but an unfortunate accident puts Harry close to death and Ginny there to save him!
Hitcount: Story Total: 4311
(November of Harry’s 6th year)
“Aaargh! Why is this so hard?” Harry said as he threw a pillow across his room. It was still one month before Christmas and he still didn’t know what to get Ginny!
“I could get her some Quidditch gear... no, that’s tacky. I could get her a box of chocolates... no, that’s Valentine’s Day. A mountain of chocolate frogs... too much; a poem...too lovey-dovey; a picture...hmmm, I’ll come back to that,” he said to himself as he paced the room.
Harry loved Ginny with all of his heart and more. He wanted to give her something that told her this, but at the same time, not send the message that he was desperate. A picture was a good idea, but of what, and what would he put it in?
“I can’t put it in just any frame. It has to be special. Something she’ll always think about; always have...” Harry suddenly stopped talking to himself, rooted in his spot. “A locket; it’s perfect!” Harry yelled.
“Shut up, Harry!” Ron moaned. Harry decided to think about it later.
* * *
The next month seemed to zoom by. After what seemed like no time at all, it was the Christmas Eve. Everyone in the common room was either talking about what they hoped to find under the Christmas tree or sitting with their sweetheart. Everyone, that is, except Harry, Ginny, Neville, and Ron (Hermione had gone with her family somewhere).
“Well, seeing as I don’t want to sit here for the next half hour and watch Dean and Parvati thrash around like a pair of beached eels, I’m gonna turn in. Night, mate,” Ron said getting up and heading to the Boy’s Dormitory.
“Me too. Night Harry. Night Ginny,” Neville said following Ron.
“Goodnight,” they said harmonically.
As Neville went up the stairs, a shiver ran down Harry’s spine. He was (kind of) alone with Ginny; as alone as he’d ever gotten in the Gryffindor Common Room.
“Uh, Ginny,” Harry said uncertainly.
“Yes, Harry,” she said sweetly, sending another shiver down his spine.
“D-do you w-want to t-take a walk w-with me?” Harry stuttered.
“Sure, Harry. It’s getting a little loud in here, anyway,” she said.
As Harry followed Ginny out of the portrait hole, he started to panic. What if he said something stupid; what if they ran into Filch; what if he said something that offended her in anyway? Harry was worried, but luckily, Ginny was in front of him and couldn’t see his face. Good thing too: he was as red as a tomato and sweating like a pig. Once they were outside, though, the gentle breeze cooled him off.
“So… anything you want to talk about?” Harry said nonchalantly.
“Oh I just can’t wait for tomorrow morning, and not just because of all of the presents you’re supposed to get, but because of the time spent in front of a warm, blazing fire sipping cocoa while being held in the arms of your sweetheart while he or she whispers sweet things into your ear. It’s just so romantic, but… I only get to enjoy half of that,” she said a little crestfallen.
“What do you mean?” Harry said stopping.
“Well, I don’t have a sweetheart to hold me,” she said also stopping. She wasn’t looking at him.
“You can’t be serious. You, Ginny Weasley, don’t have a boyfriend?!?” Harry said a little surprised. “You must have somebody!”
“No. Besides, why would anybody like me?” she said with a little bit of hilarity in it.
“You’re joking! Why wouldn’t anybody like you?!?” Harry said. “You’re nice, you’re caring, you’re sweet, you’re beautiful…” Harry stopped dead. Even though he wasn’t facing her, he knew that Ginny was staring at him; her face as red as a tomato.
“Did you just say…” Ginny started to say, but stopped because Harry turned to face her and pulled something out of his pocket. Then he walked over to her, pushed whatever it was into her hand, gave her a quick kiss on the lips, and muttered “Happy Christmas.” before he turned and pelted down the hall. Ginny was stunned; frozen in her current position.
* * *
Ginny didn’t sleep well that night. Although she did end up falling asleep, she kept thinking about what Harry had said. “He thinks I’m beautiful?” she kept thinking. Then there was the little gift he had given her. It was one of those boxes men keep the wedding ring before they propose. That worried her. She knew it was some kind of jewelry, but what: a ring, a broach, a bracelet; what?!? It was driving her crazy, but she swore she’d wait for Christmas morning.
The next morning, Ginny woke abruptly. She jumped out of bed, threw on her nightgown, and ran down to the common room. There was already a lot of people down there opening their presents, but as Ginny scanned the room, she couldn’t find Harry. Crestfallen, she went down to the common room floor in search for the present from Harry under one of the many Christmas trees. Though it was small, she knew what tree it was under. Unfortunately, it wasn’t where she had left it. She knew no one had taken it because Hogwarts put Possession Protection Charms on all of the presents, so if anyone tried to take them, they would automatically glow red and emit a low wail until the proper owner gains possession of it.
After forty minutes of searching, she finally found it at the base of a tree four trees away from where it was supposed to be. As she picked it up, a card appeared out of nowhere on top of the box. Ginny picked it up, put the box in her pocket and examined the front of the card, blushing an even deeper shade of red than last night. The cover had on it a picture of a red Christmas tree with pink heart ornaments that were bewitched to blink on and off. Atop the tree was and emerald-green star; probably symbolizing Harry, but she didn’t know. As she opened the card, she started to hear music, so she shut the card. After gathering up all of her other presents, she hurried up to the Girl’s Dormitory to open the card where no one would hear.
Up in the dormitory, she dropped all of her other gifts onto her bed and pulled up a stool as she got the card out of her pocket. Once again, when the card opened, the music began to play, but Ginny wasn’t paying attention to the music. Tears came to her eyes as she read her card from Harry.
Written in a green to match his eyes was:
My dearest Ginny,
I really wanted to give this to you in person, but I was too nervous. Even though I ran last night, I meant everything word I said. You’ve been the nicest person to me over the last few months. Plus, you’re always caring for others and you’re always as sweet as a sugar quill. Most of all, you are, without a doubt in my mind, the most beautiful person in the entire world. Never doubt yourself about any quality you possess, because you are the best thing that has ever happened to me. I just wanted you to know that. That and what you said is wrong. I would give up Quidditch to be your boyfriend.
She sat there; never looking away from the card. She continued to cry as others started to file into the room. They were all talking cheeringly amongst themselves, so they didn’t notice Ginny right away. Then they looked over and saw her crying and gasped.
“Ginny, are you okay; what happened?” Stephanie asked. When she didn’t answer, she came over and read her card over her shoulder. By the time she was done reading it, tears were streaming from her eyes too.
“Wow, Gin, that’s…that’s…wow,” she said. She sat down of the bed staring into nothingness. The other girls came over and read the card too, but when they were done, a majority of them were fighting back giggles.
Some them were chanting, “Ginny’s got a boyfriend, Ginny’s got a boyfriend,” while others were just giggling silently to themselves, and Ginny still just stared at the card. Then she remembered the box in her pocket. She pulled it out of her pocket, catching the attention of everyone in the room. A few of them gasped, a few of them giggled, and a few of them just stared, but Ginny paid no attention to them. She undid the red ribbon tied around the small box, revealing the actual box. It was misty white with a gold ‘G’ on the top. With a shaky, sweaty hand, she opened the box and gasped at its contents. Lying on a small pillow was a small snitch on a chain. It was made of gold with small, silver wings. When she picked it up, she noticed that it was a locket! Slowly she opened the locket, and what was inside almost made her start crying. Inside the right side was a picture of Harry beaming at her. She stared at him for several seconds before she noticed that there was writing etched in the left side. As she read it, she started crying again and her face turned red.
I love you with all of my heart and soul, and I would do anything to be with you. Happy Christmas, my love.
I am, most truly and sincerely,
Ginny just sat there, taking in all of the things she had just read. Harry loved her. She couldn’t believe it! Her dream had come true! She put the locket on, sat for a second, then, hoping he was still in the common room, threw a robe on and ran down to thank Harry and tell him that he felt the same.
She burst threw the door and hurried down the stairs. When, she looked down into the common room, she froze in horror. Harry lay spread-eagle on the ground; a bottle of red liquid spilled next to him.
“Somebody get the headmaster, a teacher, somebody!” Dean yelled. About three people ran from the room in the direction of the portrait hole. Ginny, still rooted in her spot, continued to stare at Harry’s body. He couldn’t die; not now. Not before he knew how she felt. She ran down the stairs and kneeled to Harry’s side.
“Harry, Harry, wake up,” she said as tears streamed from her eyes.
“Ginny,” Ron said coming out from the crowd. “he won’t wake. He drank whatever was in that vial. It was labeled Castalia’s Liquid Candy Concoction, but when he drank it, he started coughing, then...” He gestured toward Harry’s body.
“No!!! He can’t!!! He can’t go like this!!! Not before...not before I tell him!!!” she screamed at the top of her lungs.
“Tell him what?” Ron asked as he, too, started to cry.
Before she answered, Professors Dumbledore, McGonagall, and Snape came bursting through the portrait hole and went straight for Harry. Snape picked up the vial and examined its contents. Dumbledore and McGonagall examined Harry’s face and pointed their wands at various places and used different spells, but the look on their faces told Ginny that they weren’t working.
“Headmaster, the content of this vial was an unusual poison.” Snape said not looking away from the vial.
“What can we do?” McGonagall asked.
“I’m trying to figure that out. First, he passes out, which has already happened. Next, he will acquire a massive fever, and by the look of his forehead, that’s taking effect as I speak,” Snape said looking at Harry. I whipped my head to face Harry to find his forehead sweating horribly and his face screwing up in pain.
“Next, he will undergo unbearable pain, then he will start vomiting, then the pain will return, and then...” He cut off. It didn’t matter; everyone knew what the last symptom Harry would experience was. Ginny started to cry her eyes out and
Ron went over and comforted her.
Suddenly, the portrait hole burst open once again and Hermione ran in; tears streaming down her face. She stopped at the sight of Harry’s body and collapsed to her knees.
“Mione,” Ron said rushing to her side.
“What troubles me,” Snape said ignoring Hermione “is that I have know idea how to counter this poison.” Everyone in the room stared at him.
“Are you sure, Severus?” Dumbledore said looking worried. “Are you there isn’t something we could do? What about a beozar?”
“No, a beozar will only work on minuscule to moderate poisons, while this one is...” He was cut short by Harry, who immediately started screaming in pain, scaring both Hermione and Ginny, who also screamed.
“This would be the unbearable pain that I talked about earlier.” Snape shouted over Harry’s screams of pain. “As I was saying, this poison is more advanced than the beozar is qualified to counter.”
“What is the name of this poison? I might’ve heard about it somewhere,” Dumbledore said summoning a potion book from nowhere. Snape turned to face Dumbledore with a face he’d never showed before; a face of fear.
“Sir, I hate to tell you this, but I don’t know,” Snape said dropping his head. If there was any color left in Dumbledore’s face, it was gone now.
“No, no, no, no, no!!” Ginny yelled. “There’s got to be something we can do; anything!”
She was interrupted by Harry vomiting all over the floor. A cleaning spell later, Snape was on his feet pacing the room.
“What I don’t understand is how this vial got in the castle. All of the students and post are being checked, so how did it get in?” McGonagall said.
“Look at the color of the poison, Minerva. That could have easily been mistaken for cranberry juice of punch,” Dumbledore said as he cleaned up more of Harry’s vomit.
“Who cares how it got in!!!? What matters now is how to save Harry!!!” Ginny shrieked.
“Calm down, Ms. Weasley. We...” Dumbledore started to say, but Ginny exploded.
“CALM DOWN!!! HOW CAN YOU EXPECT ME TO CALM DOWN WHEN HARRY IS DYING AND I CAN’T DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT!!!” she roared.
Suddenly, both Dumbledore and Snape looked at each other.
“It couldn’t be, could it, Severus?” Dumbledore asked.
“I believe so, Headmaster. I need to get down to the dungeons,” Snape said.
“Right you are, Severus. Ms. Weasley, would you please follow me? Minerva, if he shows any fatal signs, send Fawkes immediately.” Dumbledore said. Then he turned, blew an ear-splitting whistle, then walked out of the portrait hole closely followed by Ginny. As they made there way to the dungeons, Fawkes flew by them at a break-neck speed into the Gryffindor Common Room.
Once in the dungeons, Snape immediately summoned a caldron, a silver dagger, a book, a large, potted, blue bush, and about thirty-five different jars, vials and containers.
“What is he doing, Professor?” Ginny whispered as Snape began chopping, smashing, and mixing things.
“He is making a very ancient antidote to an even more ancient poison,” he whispered.
“The poison that Harry drank, sir?” Ginny asked hopefully.
“The very same poison that that Harry drank, Ms. Weasley. The poison is called Lover’s Dread. It is a unique poison that will only take effect if the drinker has a lover,” Dumbledore said.
Ginny pondered that info for a moment. That meant that Harry had a lover, but who was it?
“That is why I have asked you here. I believe that it is you that Harry adores,” Dumbledore said.
“Do you really think that Harry loves me, Professor?” Ginny asked him taken off-guard.
“Yes, I do, Ms. Weasley. I think he loves you more than you can imagine,” he said.
Ginny couldn’t believe her ears. This was her dream come true! Harry loved her and...
“Wait, what do you need me here for?” she asked Dumbledore a little worried.
“For this antidote to work, we require a lock of hair and a possession of the loved one to put in the potion. This possession, however, has to be something that ties in with both of you. To make it simple, it has something to do with you and Harry. Do you have something like that?”
Ginny thought for a moment. There was only one thing that she could think of that fell into that category, and she wasn’t about to drop it in a potion!
“No, I don’t think I have anything like that yet. Harry and I weren’t really dating or anything, so we really didn’t get each other anything,” she lied.
“Let me remind you, Ms. Weasley, that, not only am I skilled in Legilimens, and I can tell when you are not be truthful, but that we need that locket to save Harry from passing on,” Dumbledore said, leaving Ginny as pale as a sheet.
“Will I get it back? Will it be damaged in any way?” Ginny asked a little worried.
“You will get it back, yes, but as to if it will be damaged, I do not know. Should your trinket be damaged, however, a simple repairing charm should suffice.
Suddenly, and to everyone’s horror, a single phoenix feather with a note attached appeared and fluttered to the floor. Dumbledore picked up the letter and read it.
“Severus, I hate to rush you, but Harry has started on the final symptom before death. Ms. Weasley, if you would kindly cut a lock of hair for Severus,” Dumbledore said conjuring a pair of scissors.
Ginny snatched the scissors so fast that Dumbledore actually did a double-take to make sure they hadn’t vanished. She carefully measured a considerable amount and snipped her hair. She handed it to Dumbledore who gave it to Snape, who dropped it into his turquoise-colored concoction. Immediately, the potion turned the exact color of her hair.
“Now, Ms. Weasley, may I have that locket for a moment?” Dumbledore asked holding out his hand.
Reluctantly, she undid her locket, took the picture out and handed it to Dumbledore. He handed it to Snape and he dipped the locket into the potion causing it to turn a magenta-goldish color. Then he pulled the locket out of the potion and handed it back to Dumbledore. Ginny stared at the locket, dumbfounded.
Though the chain remained solid gold, the locket itself had transformed into solid emerald! She couldn’t believe it; of all the things it could have turned into, emerald was perfect!
“In all my years of teaching potions, I have never seen a reaction to this potion such as this,” Snape said. “Anyway, the potion is ready, Headmaster. We must hurry. I don’t know how much time we have left.”
The second Snape had corked the vial, all three of them, Ginny in the lead, broke into a run in the direction of the Gryffindor Common Room. As they approached the portrait hole, the fat lady yelled “Hurry!” and swung open.
Everyone in the common room immediately turned their head, saw who was coming, and made way for them to get in.
“Out of the way, please, out of the way. Minerva, how is he?” Dumbledore said kneeling before Harry’s body.
“He’s still in pain, but I don’t know how long he has left,” McGonagall said with an easily noticed note of fear in her voice.
“Severus, quickly administer the antidote before it is too late,” Dumbledore hastened.
“Yes headmaster,” he said moving next to Harry’s head and pulled out the vial of antidote and uncorked it.
Carefully, he poured the contents into Harry’s open mouth. Immediately, Harry began yelling and screaming as though his entire body was on fire.
“What’s wrong with him?” Ginny asked as tears came to her eyes at the sight of Harry.
“The antidote takes a few seconds to work, but before it does, it enhances the current symptom ten fold,” Snape said standing back.
After a few moments, Harry stopped screaming. He twitched for a moment, then he lay limp.
“Is he...is he still breathing?” someone asked.
“Yes, yes he is. He’s going to be alright,” Dumbledore said with a grin.
“Oh thank you God!” Ginny said crying tears of happiness and hugged Harry’s unconscious body.
Harry’s body was transported to the hospital wing to await his return to conscious. Ginny never left his bed side. Even though Dumbledore had assured her that Harry would be fine, and that it would take a bit of time for him to wake up, she wondered if Harry would wake up.
After three days of only leaving the hospital wing to shower and use the bathroom, Harry woke up. He felt around for his glasses, and only when he put them on did he realize three things: one: his entire body ached, two: he was in the hospital wing, and three: Ginny was lying on his bed, asleep.
“G-Ginny, is that you?” he said groggily. Ginny immediately sat up. She stared into Harry’s eyes for a split second, and then jumped up on Harry’s bed and gave him a back-cracking hug.
“Harry, oh Harry!!! I’ve so worried about you!!! When you were screaming, and then you went all limp like you were...you were...oh, I’m so happy you’re alright!!!” she said as tears came to her eyes.
Harry was stunned. He couldn’t remember anything up to the point where he’d drunken that bottle of liquid candy.
“What happened?” Harry said returning her hug. “The last thing I remember was trying that bottle of Castalia’s Liquid Candy Concoction, but everything after that is a blank.”
“That was no candy-drink you drank. It was poison, Harry,” Ginny said laying her head on Harry’s chest.
“Poison?!?” Harry said surprised. “How did poison get under our Christmas tree, let alone into Hogwarts, and why am I still alive?”
“We don’t know how the poison got into Hogwarts. We’re still investigating that. As to why you’re not a corpse, Snape made an antidote while you were experiencing the symptoms of Lover’s Dread,” Ginny said with a note of bitterness on the last part.
“Excuse me?!? Lover’s what?!?” Harry said.
“Lover’s Dread; it’s the poison you drank. It’s a poison that will only kill if that person has a boyfriend or a girlfriend,” Ginny said as she started playing with Harry’s hair.
“Well,” Harry asked running his hand through her hair “I have an aftertaste that tastes like sewer water, flowers, and metal, so what went in that antidote?”
“Well, I don’t know what made the potion taste like sewer water, but I contributed to the other tastes. The flowery taste was probably the lock of hair I gave Snape, and...” She stopped because Harry was giving her a dreamy kind of look.
“A-are you okay, Harry?” she asked him.
“It’s you, isn’t it?” Harry said.
“It’s me what?” she asked sitting back up and looking him in the eye.
“You’re my lover! It’s because of you I’m still here, isn’t it?” Harry said
“Yes, Harry, that’s what I was getting to. I contributed my hair and the one possession I had that symbolized our love: the locket you gave me,” she said pulling it out of her shirt.
“Wait a minute, I gave you a gold locket, not a green one,” Harry said.
“First of all, it’s pure emerald, which I think reminds me more of you anyway. Secondly, it’s the same locket, but I had to use it in the potion and when Snape used it, it kind of morphed or something,” she said.
“So wait, my gift to you saved my life? Why?” Harry asked her as he went back to running his hand through her hair.
“I don’t really know, but if what Dumbledore always says is true, then it’s because love is the most powerful magic in the world,” she said playing with the neck of Harry’s t-shirt.
“So, you really love me, Gin?” Harry asked her.
“Yes, silly. If I didn’t really love you, you wouldn’t be sitting here talking with me right now,” she said. “Besides, what’s not to love about you? You’re smart, talented, caring, not to mention dead handsome!”
“I’m flattered, but please, don’t use the word ‘dead,’ because it’s not a word I’m fond of at the moment,” Harry said making Ginny giggle. “Anyway, you should talk. I mean, really, you’re a fast-thinker, you’re a superb witch, you cast one hell of a Bat-Bogey Hex, and you are, without a doubt in my mind, the most beautiful, person I have ever met, Gin!”
Ginny, by now, had become the darkest shade of red Harry had ever seen anyone blush.
“Oh Harry, that’s...that’s...” but words had failed her. Instead, she leaned forward and gently kissed Harry on the cheek. It was Harry’s turn to turn the color of bricks. He sat stunned at what she had just done.
“Well...um...I’ll just...um...I’ll just go,” she said as she got up to go. Before she was out of his reach, Harry grabbed her arm. She looked back into his bright, emerald-green eyes. Then she turned back, sat back down, and their lips met.
It was like nothing they had ever felt before! Harry’s lips were strong, yet gentle, while Ginny’s were smooth and soft to the touch. Harry wrapped his arm around Ginny’s back and pulled her closer to him. Ginny could feel Harry’s heart beating in his chest. She shifted back and picked up Harry’s hands in hers and put them above her right breast.
“Do you feel that, Harry? That is my heart beating, Harry, and it beats for you and you alone,” she said.
Then Harry took her hands in his and placed them on the right side on his chest.
“Ginny, my heart beats for and only you and it will continue to beat for you until my last breath, I swear,” he said watery-eyed.
“Oh Harry...” Ginny cried as she gave him another hug and their lips met once more.
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