SIYE Time:12:37 on 13th August 2022

Moody's Blues
By gryffins_door

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Category: Post-OotP, Alternate Universe
Genres: Action/Adventure, Drama, Romance
Warnings: Death, Mild Language, Sexual Situations, Violence
Rating: PG-13
Reviews: 31
Summary: The adults in Harry's life start acting more like adults; in the meantime, Harry discovers something special in Ginny. Starts late in OotP; mostly canon to that point. Total AU after Book 6. H/G, mentor Moody.
Hitcount: Story Total: 8613; Chapter Total: 1500
Awards: View Trophy Room

Author's Notes:
Originally conceived for challenge "The One Where Everyone Finds Out," this story came to me while I was streaming a playlist from one of the great bands that pioneered progressive/symphonic rock. Feel free to listen while reading; chapter titles are song titles.

Dedication: He didn't know much about Harry Potter, but he knew about life - a man of exceptional character, intellect and strength - my personal mentor, my dad, went from independent elder gentleman to dreaded diagnosis to his next great adventure in a matter of weeks as I started on chapter ten of this story. He hikes the hills of heaven now.


- 1 -

Wh y do we never get an answer
When we're knocking at the door?
With a thousand million questions
About hate and death and war


But in the grey of the morning
My mind becomes confused
Between the dead and the sleeping
And the road that I must choose.

- The Moody Blues

o o

Harry Potter sat by the shore of the Black Lake, feeling like a boat adrift, buffeted by the emotions that stormed wildly just below the surface, ready to leap outward at anything that came too close.

It was only the third day since that fool’s errand to save his godfather, Sirius Black, in the Department of Mysteries only to find that his godfather didn’t actually need rescuing. It had been instead a trap meant to bring him to the Hall of Prophecy and retrieve a prophecy he didn’t even know existed. It resulted in his godfather rescuing Harry then losing his own life through the Veil of Death.

It was a tragic irony, and the feelings of guilt and foolishness would not leave him alone despite how much his friends tried to convince him that the fault did not lie with him, but the Dark Lord who engineered the trap.

And then - the evening’s coup de grâce - Headmaster Dumbledore gave him the contents of that same prophecy, which said that he was marked the night his parents were murdered, that he must kill their murderer or be killed himself. And he had no idea how to share this with his friends, making excuses and running out of the hospital wing when it came up. He had gone to see Hagrid, but the groundskeeper kept on about how sorry he was about Sirius, so Harry had to escape from there as well.

“I see you’ve found my favorite spot to brood,” said a familiar voice.

Harry turned to see Ginny Weasley, youngest of those same five friends - these amazing friends of his who insisted on going into the unknown with him and were all recovering nicely from the ordeal, thanks to the healing magic of Madame Pomfrey. Ginny’s sprained ankle and Neville Longbottom’s busted lip had been fixed in no time at all, Ginny’s brother Ron was under observation after coming into contact with disembodied brains, and Luna Lovegood hadn’t been injured at all. Only Hermione Granger was still on a strict potion regimen after taking a nasty Death Eater’s curse.

“Mind if I join you?” Ginny hesitated. “Or I can leave, if you’d rather be alone.”

“No, it’s OK, I’m just feeling a little tetchy still. I’m trying not to be a git about it.”

“Well, that’s something, I suppose,” she said with a chuckle, settling herself beside him. “I saw McGonagall is back.”

“Yeah, she gave us fifty points apiece for the other night, so Snape would have some to take away.”

“Snape took points? What was it this time?”

“I ran into Malfoy and his goons and they started trash talking. I guess I was supposed to be all bothered by their threats, but I wasn’t so they went for their wands -”

“And you were faster?”

“Yes, but Snape was right there.”

Ginny smiled. “He was probably waiting there the whole time, just to catch you in the act. He didn’t take points from the Slytherins, I bet.”

“Of course not.” He looked at her appraisingly. “You’re probably right. The whole thing may have been a setup.”

“It’s what I would do if I was a sneaky, greasy bastard like him.”

“Ginny!” Harry cried in mock horror. “What would your mum say?”

“Nothing at all,” she said imperiously, “because no one is going to tell her I said that, right Potter?”

They laughed for a fleeting moment, then remained staring out at the shimmering water as the giant squid playfully splashed its tentacles.

“Thanks, Ginny,” Harry said.

“Hey, what are friends for, right?”

He looked away. “I’m kind of dangerous to have as a friend, you know.”

She reached for his arm. “Harry, we are not going to stop being your friends because we ran into a spot of trouble.”

“Ginny, we could have gotten killed and I . . . don’t know how to deal with that. Sirius is gone because I was stupid. Trouble sort of follows me around. And . . . it’s not going to get any better.”

“Why, just because a random prophecy probably says you and Tom have to battle it out sometime?”

He dropped his head.

“Merlin,” Ginny gasped, “you know what it says, don’t you?”

“Ginny…” Harry looked back at her, his eyes reflecting the depths of his despair and anguish.

“Oh, Harry,” she sighed, wrapping him in a hug.

Harry’s emotions were riding high again, for this impossible task that lay before him, for the loss of his godfather, and for the knowledge that his parents were gone because of him, and no matter how much he fought to avoid it, Ginny’s arms were squeezing them over the edge.

He wept.

The tears leaked slowly at first, but it was as if a gate opened and the pressure gave way. Ginny felt her shoulders getting wet as he shuddered in wracking sobs. She held on, trying to outlast his grief, nearly coming undone herself.

o o o

Ginny observed that Harry remained quiet - distant even - from everyone the last few days of term. He had apologized after his breakdown by the lake, but she had reassured him that everyone needed to “let it all out” occasionally and she was glad to be there for him. Hermione in particular seemed to want to talk to him about the death of Sirius, but Ginny and Ron kept running interference for him.

Ginny thought he was grateful, but there was something else going on with Harry. Maybe she was imagining it, but he seemed to glance her way more often, like she was a piece to a puzzle he was trying to solve.

Wishful thinking, she was probably imagining things. But that didn’t mean she couldn’t wind him up a little.

The opportunity presented itself on the Hogwarts Express end-of-year return journey. Ginny was in a compartment with Harry and the others who had assisted him on the Ministry mission, when Cho Chang, along with DA traitor Marietta Edgecombe, passed by their window, looking embarrassed. A lively conversation ensued about her relationship with Harry.

“Mate, she’s good-looking and all that,” said Ron as he surveyed the chess board between himself and Harry, “but you really want someone a bit more cheerful.”

Harry shrugged and looked back at the chessboard, not really caring to impress the Ravenclaw seeker anymore. “She’s probably cheerful enough with someone else.”

“That someone else would be Michael Corner,” Ginny chimed in from behind the Quibbler magazine she was reading.

“Michael Corner?” said Ron, turning to her. “But you were going out with him!”

“Not anymore,” she returned. “He got really sulky after Gryffindor beat Ravenclaw at Quidditch. He wouldn’t let it go so I ditched him - the sore loser - and he and Cho got together to comfort each other.”

Harry let out a small huff of amusement at that.

“Well, good for you. I always thought he was a bit of an idiot,” Ron said, glancing up towards Harry. “Just choose someone - better - next time.”

“What about Dean Thomas,” said Ginny, “would you say he’s better?” She caught Harry’s sharp look and gave him a quick wink.

Harry turned away in surprise as Ron went on a mini-rant about how his little sister was going to get a reputation if she wasn’t careful. Harry could not avoid the heat rising in his cheeks as Ginny laughed away everything her brother threw at her. What was this feeling he was having? Was he still self-conscious over his meltdown by the lake, or was this something else? He couldn’t think clearly on it, only that there was something different about Ginny Weasley this year, more than just her brilliance in the DA and her assistance at the Ministry.

The only thing he was sure about was that, unless he was invited to the Burrow in short order, he would have plenty of time to think about it at the Dursleys’.


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