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SIYE Time:13:25 on 13th August 2022


Moody's Blues
By gryffins_door

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Category: Post-OotP, Alternate Universe
Characters:Harry/Ginny
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: 8617; Chapter Total: 723
Awards: View Trophy Room




Author's Notes:

A/N: Up to this point I have been mainly tweaking canon text to fit my purposes (such as Bill & Fleur at the kitchen window - straight out of HBP chapter 6, just not the reaction by the teens). However, this chapter puts this story firmly in the AU category; it contains some echoes of Book 7, but otherwise is completely new in celebration of the New Year. May it be wonderful for you and yours!


I confess that I spent countless Tuesday Afternoons attempting to sing like Justin Hayward; if I cranked the stereo volume high enough, I could convince myself that I was.


Ch 5 in which Ginny celebrates a birthday and Harry has some memorable encounters...





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- 5 -

Tuesday Afternoon

Something calls to me
The trees are drawing me near
I've got to find out why
Those gentle voices I hear
Explain it all with a sigh

- The Moody Blues

o o
o

“Ow! I think he bit me.”

“Well, you were biting me, so he’s just showing how well he defends me.”

“But mine weren’t really bites -”

“How is Arnold supposed to know that? Besides, his teeth are so small he couldn’t have done much damage.”

Arnold was Ginny’s new Pygmy Puff - a miniature puffskein purchased at Fred and George’s new shop - and Harry was thinking of what an annoying menace he was, except that the tiny creature was just so ridiculously cute. Not to mention that Ginny loved it as well.

“I’m starting to think you care more for that little furball than for me,” Harry said with an overly dramatic sigh. “Another failure in the long list of lovelorn losses for the Boy-Who-Lived, details on page three.”

Ginny covered her laughter to avoid waking the whole house. “Are you channeling Rita Skeeter now?!”

“Nah, she’d make it page one for sure. My relationships are headline news, you know.”

“We can’t miss what’s important,” Ginny giggled.

“It’s a requirement for all those with hyphenated aliases, apparently.”

Their banter might have continued for a considerable time longer, but the kitchen clock decided it had heard enough and chimed the hour.

Once all twelve bells had sounded, Harry pulled Ginny close again. “It’s midnight - Happy Birthday, Gin!”

“Does that mean I can get my present now?”

“Of course!” Harry gave her a peck on the lips. “But that’s not it.”

“It’s not?” Ginny said with a mock pout.

“No, I got you something else.” He handed her a small package with silver wrappings, including a small bow.

She took it slowly, surprised that Harry would have been able to get her a real gift. She carefully removed the trimmings to reveal a small box. Opening it, she discovered a small golden amulet with delicate patterns on a fine gold chain.

“Ooh, Harry, it’s beautiful! Thank you! These look like runes - does this mean something particular?”

“Yes, those are runes, and after I put it on you I’ll activate them.”

“What does it do?”

“Ginny, this protects you from mind magics - legilimency, the Imperius curse, certain potions, even possession can be blocked while you are wearing this.”

Ginny was speechless. She knew he had promised to protect her, but this was too much. She also knew that could not tell him that, because he would probably feel that to reject the gift would be akin to rejecting the giver.

“How ever did you manage it?”

Harry smiled. “I asked Mad-Eye if there was a store that sold real protection items, not the junk from the street vendors. He took me there after our wild goose chase of Malfoy. I hope… it’s okay?”

“It’s… wonderful. Thank you, Harry,” she said, almost in a whisper. “So much. Put it on, please?”

She gathered her long red hair and pulled it aside. Harry loved when she did this when they were close together, because her fresh flowery scent would envelop him in a euphoric high - a heady mix of affection, desire, and care for her. She said it was just the shampoo she used, but he wondered if it had something magical in its ingredients.

He tenderly pulled the chain around her slender neck and fastened the clasp, which disappeared so that it could not be removed by anyone she did not specifically ask to do so. He brought his wand to the amulet and read carefully from a slip of parchment that came with the necklace.

When he completed the incantation, the amulet glowed for a moment, and Ginny felt a tingle wash over her as the powerful enchantment took effect.

“Wow, that feels amazing.”

The tingling disappeared after a couple of minutes.

“I don’t feel anything now. Is it still working?”

Harry studied the parchment. “You shouldn’t notice anything normally, unless someone tries to invade your mind. Then you should feel some kind of pressure, like it’s pushing back, so that you know you’re being attacked.”

“So I’m not under attack right now?”

“Apparently not. Unless you want me to return the birthday gift you gave me - “

“Oh, I don’t mind that kind of attack from you!”

And Arnold was unable to defend his mistress from the onslaught, because the poor Pygmy Puff had been returned to his box.

o o o

It was a beautiful day for Ginny’s birthday and the whole Weasley family was there, except for Percy who was still being a git, and Charlie who couldn’t get time off for frivolities such as the birthday of his youngest sibling. The twins had even closed the shop for the afternoon.

Fleur was still there, as were Harry and Hermione, and Harry was surprised to find that Luna Lovegood was also invited to the outdoor luncheon.

“Oh, Ginny and I’ve known each other since we were little,” the young blonde explained when he asked. “Our house is just over the hill to the north so we’re some of the closest neighbors. It was very different coming here - so many boys.”

“I can imagine,” said Harry as they stood near the tables. “I wanted to thank you for the record you sent me last month. I wasn’t dealing with things very well and it helped a lot. I’ve listened to it several times now. I know it must have been special to you, so you’re welcome to have it back if you’d like.”

“That’s nice of you to offer, Harry, but I prefer the version that plays in my head. That’s the one where Mummy sings along.”

Harry had no idea how to respond to that. Luna had a way of expressing painful truths with elegant simplicity, and his reply was unavoidably awkward. “Erm, okay. Of course. Still, thanks.”

Luna was studying him, head tilted, a hand to her chin. “It must have worked. Your wrackspurts have gone away.”

“Wrackspurts?”

“Yes, they’re invisible creatures that float into your ears and make your brain go fuzzy. You had a nasty infestation by the end of the school year.”

“So, if they’re invisible, how do you -”

“I can feel them somehow.”

Harry glanced to where Ginny was sitting, trying to hide a smirk behind the back of her hand. “What about the rest of us?”

“Oh, Ginny had one when she was going out with Michael. I think that’s why she was dating him.”

Ginny smiled, “Why thank you, Luna, that confirms a lot.”

Harry let a small chuckle escape.

Luna continued, “Hermione and Ron, I believe, will have theirs until they admit they like each other.”

They all looked down the table where the two in question were arguing over place settings.

Ginny raised her eyebrows. “But the wrackspurts are keeping their brains fuzzy…”

“So we don’t expect any developments for quite a while yet,” finished Harry, laughing.

Once again, Luna was studying Harry, but now she included Ginny in her discerning gaze. “And is your announcement today?”

“What announcement?” said Ginny warily, glancing at Harry with concern.

“Oh, I see,” Luna said, before continuing in a whisper. “It’s a secret.

Harry realized they needed to have a long talk with Luna very soon.

The rest of the party was great fun with plenty of raucous sibling banter and less of the dire news that had accompanied Harry’s birthday. Ginny loved being the center of attention - until the subject of potential boyfriends came up.

“As I told Ron,” she protested, “I dumped Michael when he became a sore loser. I am not dating Dean Thomas - at least not yet. I just said that on the train as a possibility. So if and when I do date somebody else, I definitely won’t be broadcasting it to you lot.”

Harry sat between Ron and Luna, laughing along with everyone else, when the young blonde leaned to his ear.

“You’re doing very well, Harry. I would be very upset if someone denied me in front of everyone that way.”

Startled, Harry nearly slipped off his chair, but he eventually whispered back, “It’s to keep her safe, you know that, right?”

Luna beamed at him. “Good answer. Be good to her.”

“I will. Thanks, Luna. You’re a good friend.”

“I think Daddy would like to meet you. Would you like to come for tea? The others should come too, so it doesn’t look like I'm trying to steal you away.”

Harry smiled. “No problem, Luna, that sounds great.”

It wasn’t until she was about to leave for home that she mentioned it to the other teens.

“That would be wonderful, Luna,” said Ginny. “When should we come?”

Luna’s eyes unfocused, lost in a far-away place, and she began to sing:

“Tuesday afternoon, I'm just beginning to see, Now I'm on my way.

“It doesn't matter to me, Chasing the clouds away…”

Her focus returned to the Burrow as she stepped back into the fireplace saying, “See you then!” and threw down a handful of floo powder.

“Lovegood Roost!” she exclaimed with a smile and a wave, then with a flash of green she was gone.

All but Harry stood staring blankly at the empty fireplace.

“And that’s why they call her Loony,” muttered Ron.

“Ron!” chided Hermione, who then turned to Harry. “Was she really singing the Moody Blues?”

“Yeah,” Harry said with a grin, “she’s a big fan.”

And that led to more questions, so he related the whole story of her summer gift, which led to a much better understanding of the only non-Gryffindor that fought at the Ministry with them that spring.

o o o

Tuesday mid-afternoon found the teens popping out of the floo at the Lovegood home, into a perfectly round kitchen decorated with brightly-colored flowers, insects and birds in what Harry thought might be Luna’s style. Despite being somewhat cramped, the unique space was efficiently designed with all the cupboards and appliances curved to fit the walls. 

Dainty feet appeared in a spiraling wrought-iron stair in the center of the room, descending with legs and then a full body attached, and then Luna’s radiant face became visible below the ceiling.

“You’re all here! This is so wonderful! Can I get you anything, or would you like a tour? Should we start with the house or the garden?”

“Luna?” Ginny said, trying to get a word inside Luna’s verbal cascade. “We’re fine. Are you okay?”

“Oh, I’m sorry,” she said, finally reaching the bottom of the stairs, “I’ve never had friends over and I’m just so excited.”

“Perfectly understandable,” Ginny soothed, pulling the blonde into a hug. “Just relax. We’re all friends here - we can do whatever you want.”

The words helped Luna settle down and show herself to be a very capable hostess, taking them first out the front door to walk around the quaint little garden, full of interesting plants that they didn’t usually see outside the Hogwarts greenhouses, including dirigible plums that appeared to be growing upside down and a gnarled stump that was most likely a Snargaluff and therefore deserved a wide berth.

The round kitchen was explained when they looked up at the house, which looked like a large chess rook, impressing Ron more than anyone else.

Returning inside, they went up the spiral stair to the first floor - a round sitting room that also contained a work area with several shelves groaning with papers and books, a small mechanical printing press and a crowded table, where a thin white-haired man sat scrawling on parchment.

The man rose to greet them as they entered the room and announced, “Xenophilius Lovegood, at your service. It’s so very nice to see friends of my Luna.” As he greeted Ginny and Ron he asked, “You are Arthur and Molly’s youngest, are you not?”

“Yes, sir,” they chorused.

“My, it’s been some little while, then. You’re both all grown up, just like my Luna.”

Harry stepped forward to grab his hand. “I’m Harry, Harry Potter.”

“Yes, Mr. Potter, we finally meet in person. The Quibbler with your interview remains our highest number of reprints ever. Just give me the word when you’re ready for another one and we will make room for you.”

“Thank you, sir,” Harry said diplomatically. “I’ll keep that in mind. And this is Hermione Granger -”

“Ah, Miss Granger. I still have trouble believing you persuaded that Skeeter woman to write an intelligible article, and that it sold nearly as well as it did.”

“Thank you, sir. She wouldn’t have gotten to write it otherwise.”

“Fabulous! It’s so nice to see some friends of my dear Luna - come, sit down and have a cuppa.”

“Sir,” Harry began hesitantly, “I wanted to apologize for getting Luna involved at the Ministry last month -”

“Nonsense,” Xenophilius cut in. “Keeping my Moonbeam from an adventure is like telling the wind not to blow. She’s rather like her mum was in that regard.”

Harry glanced at Luna’s wide smile and then knowingly at Ginny, who returned his glance. They silently agreed, Moonbeam was a very fitting name for their young friend.

They chatted for a while about school, adventuring and other topics while Luna brought up tea, biscuits and some other treats.

“Don’t take anything Daddy offers you. His taste buds were damaged from a strain of wizard flu and he loves everything uncommonly bitter. You wouldn’t like it.”

Hermione began to remark how terrible that must be, but he waved it off.

“It’s actually become quite the boon, you see. You would not believe how much you can learn from tasting a sample of fresh feces in the wild - the type of animal, it’s diet of course, it’s range if you are familiar with the botany of the region -”

The teens began to look at each other, wondering how they got on this topic, and Hermione was desperately searching for something, anything to change the direction of the conversation.

“Oh, that’s a fascinating medallion you’re wearing. Does that symbolize something in particular?”

Xenophilius’ train of thought crashed head-on with another and he sat momentarily stunned.

“My dear,” he said in a low, deliberate tone, “I take it you are unfamiliar with the Deathly Hallows.”

What followed was the fascinating yet bizarre story - The Tale of Three Brothers, read happily by Luna, acting out all the parts herself - as scribed by Beedle the Bard, about three brothers who tried to cheat Death by magically creating a bridge over a dangerous river. They were “rewarded” for their efforts by each being offered a gift from Death himself, who was secretly vengeful and determined to have his due. The combative first brother asked for a superior wand more powerful than any other, the arrogant second brother asked for a stone to recall others from death, but the wise third brother asked to be able to hide from Death and was reluctantly given Death’s own Cloak of Invisibility.

The first brother was killed in his sleep after bragging about his gift; the second brother tried to bring his lost love back from death but decided to join her instead. The third brother lived a long satisfying life, passing the cloak to his son before gladly joining Death as equals and going to his rest at a great age.

Xenophilius insisted that these three objects - together known as the Deathly Hallows - were real and were represented by the line (the Elder Wand), circle (the Resurrection Stone), and triangle (Cloak of Invisibility) in the design on the medallion, and that the three brothers were named Peverell. He claimed that the wand’s violent history could be traced through the ages until recent times. Only questers such as himself even knew about their real power - that whoever united the three Hallows would become the master of Death.

They were understandably skeptical, but remained polite until they departed for the Burrow.

After exiting the fireplace from their short floo trip, the teens retrieved the Weasley copy of Beedle’s storybook. Hermione wasted no time debunking Mr. Lovegood’s version of events.

“I know you want to believe your cloak is special, Harry, and it is, but Death’s own? It’s a fairy tale! It’s a lesson on morality for children, not some coded message for mastering Death! It’s utter and complete rubbish.”

“But he described my cloak exactly when he was talking about it… Why would Death need an invisibility cloak anyway?”

“Maybe he wanted to change things up a bit,” Ron said. “Sneak up on people, not all scary - flapping his arms about and shrieking -”

“But it would be pretty awesome to have an unbeatable wand,” Ginny mused, “if there was such a thing.”

“There have been records of very powerful wands over the years,” said Hermione, “the Deathstick and the Wand of Destiny -”

“Which he said might all be the same wand,” Ron reminded them. “It shouldn’t be a problem having it if you didn’t go bragging about it.”

“Like you could ever do that,” chided Ginny.

“But the most ridiculous thing,” continued Hermione, “is the way he justified the existence of the Resurrection Stone by saying ‘prove it doesn’t exist!’ By shifting the burden of proof, you could claim almost anything!”

“Harry?” asked Ginny, noting his far-away look. “Are you okay?”

“But what if there was a stone like that?” Harry whispered. “That you could actually talk to…” He swallowed hard, unable to continue.

Hermione was stricken - of course he would want to use the Resurrection Stone. He could say all those things he’d never had a chance to his parents, to Sirius… 

“Harry, I’m so sorry…”

She quickly jumped to his side and pulled him into a long hug. Ginny used the opportunity to add comfort from his other side.

“Oi, don’t smother the poor bloke!” said Ron with a chuckle.

Harry joined in the mirth at their awkward emotional display, but he certainly didn’t mind being held between two pretty girls that meant the world to him. “Thanks, guys. You’re the best friends anyone could hope for.

“Seriously, though,” Harry went on, “I asked Mad-Eye for a favor when we were in Diagon Alley. Next week he and Remus are going to take me to Godric’s Hollow. I’ve never seen where I grew up or where my parents are buried.”

“Oh, Harry, that’s very nice of them.” Both girls held onto one of Harry’s hands. “Can we come along?”

“Sorry, I asked, but they’re concerned about security; they wouldn’t budge on that. Just me, and I have to stay under my cloak the whole time.”

“That makes sense. When will you be going?”

Harry recalled the other words in the song that Luna had sung to them on Ginny’s birthday, and the anxiety to visit his original home rose another notch.

“Tuesday afternoon.”

o o o

A bloody tourist attraction, complete with graffitied sign in front - that’s what his former home had become.

Harry had been warned about the war memorial in the village square - how it would transform to a statue of the young Potter family whenever approached by magicals - but the house was something that defied description.

The last of a row of cottages on this quiet lane, it was a dark hulk of overgrown vines, nettles and shrubbery, except a blown-out gaping hole in the top story, attesting to the power of backfiring curses. Seeing it now, he had no idea how he, as a mere toddler, had survived such violence. It renewed his thankfulness to be alive and his awareness that there must be a higher purpose, that there was a reason he remained the “Boy-Who-Lived” despite all the brushes with death he had experienced.

Stupid prophecy.

Of course, he couldn’t talk about any of this right now; he was under strict orders to remain silent under his invisibility cloak.

“Sad to see what the place has become,” Remus said sullenly.

“I’m going to have a discussion with magical maintenance,” said Mad-Eye, Harry’s other minder today. “I doubt anyone’s been here since ‘81.”

As they started back toward the center of the village, Harry silently thanked them for their concerns. He understood that the Ministry had purchased the property, but this was not his idea of a suitable memorial for his parents.

A few cottages along, they were stopped by a small elderly woman.

“Alastor Moody, is that you?” she rasped.

“Aye, it is,” the retired Auror said. “Bathilda?”

She nodded shakily and looked at Remus. “Ain’t you that werewolf what taught at Hogwarts?”

He bowed. “Remus Lupin, Ms. Bagshot. It’s an honor.”

Harry stood in wonder - Bathilda Bagshot. Was this the same woman who wrote the old History of Magic textbook? Hermione was going to be sooooo jealous.

“Ah, young James’ friend. You’ll do,” she harrumphed. “I need you two to deliver Albie a message.”

“Albie?”

“I know he likes to sit in his little tower up at the school, but he needs to bring that boy to see me.” She waved idly towards the ruined cottage. “The boy probably doesn’t know his own legacy, and I’d bet a hippogriff’s hindquarters he ain’t sharing.”

Remus and Mad-Eye exchanged a look.

“Aye,” Mad-Eye said, “we can do that.”

“Make sure that ye do,” said the woman, more fervently than she seemed capable. “If he doesn’t, you also tell him that some things I know might just find themselves printed up in that trashy rag that comes out of Diagon.”

“We understand,” Remus said. “Thank you for letting us know.”

She nodded, turned, and disappeared through a rusty gate in front of what they assumed to be her own cottage.

They continued their walk back towards the village square.

“What do you suppose that was about?” Remus wondered out loud.

Harry echoed those thoughts as he walked quietly alongside.

“No idea,” said Mad-Eye, “but it sounds like she knows some secrets about both our young lad and the headmaster. If I was that lad, I would press ‘Albie’ for whatever he knows.”

“And I would probably not call him that,” Remus said with a grin.

“Aye,” agreed Mad-Eye, “she can get away with it since she was born before they had history.”

They both laughed, and Harry squeezed each man’s shoulder to let them know he appreciated what they were doing for him.

By this time, they were back at the square and walked through the kissing gate beside the small village church into the cemetery that stretched well beyond the rear of the stone chapel itself.

They began to weave their way between the headstones, which came in all sizes, styles, and ages. Harry passed one with the name Abbott carved on it, and wondered if Hannah had family here. Several others were interesting, but one really ancient headstone caught his eye and he found himself staring at the same symbol on the medallion worn by Luna’s father. He reached out to brush some of the lichen off the surface and thought he could make out a name: “Ignotus Peverell.”

Stunned, Harry stared at the headstone. This was the youngest brother that purportedly owned Death’s invisibility cloak, buried in Godric’s Hollow near his own parents. Was this just a crazy coincidence, or - 

“They should be just there, a little beyond the Dumbledores.”

Dumbledores? Harry hurried forward and saw the names Kendra and Arianna Dumbledore, mother and daughter, and the dates matched what Harry imagined the headmaster’s mother and sister might be. Had he grown up here as well? Harry noted that he had several things to ask after he returned to school.

He looked up again, and both of his minders were standing before a large white block of carved marble. He stepped around between them and beheld his parents' names, almost aglow in the afternoon sunlight. Funny, he’d never known their birthdays - his dad’s was 27 March and his mum’s 30 January. Both were 21 on that fateful Halloween night.

There was a line across the lower portion: “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” Harry had no idea what to think about that - weren’t they already dead?

He felt he should say something, but he was supposed to stay perfectly quiet, and what could he say anyway? Thank you for your sacrifice? While that was true, it seemed wholly inadequate for what they went through that night. The whole scene replayed in his head whenever dementors were near.

His dad had told them to run while he made a futile stand to delay the inevitable. His mum took him to what was apparently the nursery but what followed was very curious. When Tom entered the room, he did not kill them immediately. He offered to spare his mum - his Muggle-born mother - if she would stand aside. She refused, of course, and insisted that he kill her instead of her son. He eventually followed through with that, but it was if he hadn’t really wanted to -

Suddenly, a familiar pain pierced through his scar, and he let out a soft involuntary moan.

“Harry?” Remus whispered, concerned.

Harry shut his eyes tightly to fight off the pain, and suffered a moment of vertigo.

In his mind, he was watching the backs of two men standing before a white marble slab, several rows away.

“Remus, Mad-Eye,” he forced out through clenched teeth. “We’re not alone. We need to leave, now.”

o

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