The Dark Arts
Ginny Weasley/Harry Potter
In the nineteen years between the last chapter of
Epilogue to Deathly Hallows
Published: 01/17/2008
Updated: 01/17/2008
Words: 3,223
Chapters: 1
Hits: 2,478



Story Summary:
Harry and Ginny try to put a guest list together for their wedding.

Chapter 01


Harry and Ginny sat on opposite ends of the sofa, comparing lists. 'Okay, I can understand Hagrid, McGonagall - ugh - -Minerva - that still feels weird - Kingsley, Neville, Luna, Seamus, and even the Patil twins. Well, Pavarti anyway. But Dean? Really? And Cho? Seriously?' Ginny looked at Harry over the top of the list she held in her hands.

'Dean was in my year!' Harry protested. 'We escaped from the Malfoys' together. He did the mural in Teddy's room. I can't just not invite him.'

'Isn't it wrong to invite an ex of the bride to the wedding?' Ginny flipped through an etiquette book. 'And Cho? What on earth are you thinking?'

'That I wanted to invite the DA?'

'She's still an ex,' Ginny muttered, turning pages in the book.

'Hardly. We had one date. One. And it ended so terribly, it nearly put me off girls.' Harry snuck a peek at Ginny. 'Only kissed her once, and she was crying the entire time. Didn't exactly knock my socks off.' He smiled widely. 'Nothing like that one you laid on me on my seventeenth birthday. That was in a category all by itself.'

'Okay, fine. She can stay on this list. But that doesn't mean she'll make the final list,' Ginny sniffed. She looked at the list again. 'You know, keeping this small is going to be a lot harder than we thought.'

'Yeah, between the DA and the Order, it's going to turn into an event.' Harry shuddered. He and Ginny wanted a small wedding, but the preliminary guest list was growing rapidly.

'Teddy, Andromeda, Oliver, Angelina, Alicia, and...' Ginny turned the list over. That was it. His Muggle relatives weren't on the list. Ginny chewed the inside of her cheek trying to figure out how to broach the subject. To say it was a touchy subject was quite an understatement. 'Um, Harry?'

'I swear, there's not another ex-girlfriend on there!' he exclaimed.

'No... that's not it.' Ginny held out the list. 'Um... your relatives...?' Ginny knew the words were a mistake the second she said them.

'They're not my relatives,' Harry flatly stated, pulling his feet back, and putting them on the floor. He went into the kitchen and out the window to the balcony. The Dursleys were not a subject he enjoyed talking about. Even the Weasleys and Hermione, who he had considered his family since he left Privet Drive for good, didn't know everything. Harry put his head on his drawn-up knees. After the war, he had promised Ginny that he would be honest with her, but in this instance it was going to be harder than he thought.

He hadn't spared a thought for any of the Dursleys in the three years since he had left. The closest he had come to thinking about them was to ask Dedalus Diggle to not bring them back to the house until he was able to clear his things out of it. He had gone to Surrey alone, and come back with his trunk, packed full of his things he had left the previous summer, and never said a word about it. He had tried to leave all of them behind, like a bad dream.

'Harry?' Ginny climbed through the window, and sat next to Harry, carefully leaving some space between them. 'How about I tell you what I know, and you can fill in the blanks?'

'No... I'll tell you. Just...' Harry pulled his wand out, and Summoned a bottle of Firewhisky from the cupboard. It was only about half-full, but it would do. He opened the bottle and took a swallow from it, passing it to Ginny. Harry rested his head against the bricks of the building wall, feeling the burn of the whisky work its way down his throat.

'There are some things you know. Like how I went to live with them after my parents died. Minerva didn't want leave me there, but Dumbledore insisted.' Ginny handed the bottle back, and Harry took another swig from it. 'I didn't know until later, that it was because she was my mum's sister, and as long as I could call that place home, I was safe.' Harry snorted softly. 'Dumbledore had to convince them to let me come back the summer after my sixth year. They didn't like me much. Mostly because of the magic thing. Plus, everything had to be a certain way, and I didn't fit into that picture. I was different.' Harry passed the bottle back to Ginny. He didn't drink Firewhisky often, and he could feel his head starting to spin a bit.

Harry sighed and looked up at the sky. 'I never had a proper bedroom until I was almost eleven. They made me sleep in a cupboard under the staircase.'

'What happened if you had a bad dream or something as a small child?' Ginny nearly whispered.

'Nothing. Petunia would hiss at me through the door to shut up if I woke up and cried.' Harry hunched his shoulders. 'I learned by the age of three to keep quiet.' Ginny took a sip from the bottle and handed it to Harry. 'By the time I was seven or eight, Petunia had me working around the house.'

'Doing what?'

'Anything she could think of. Cooking, cleaning, work in the garden. You name it, I did it. And if I didn't do it fast enough, I got to know the back of her or Vernon's hand pretty quickly. If I did it wrong, I got locked in the cupboard. If I showed any signs of my "abnormality", I got locked in with no meals.' Harry gave a mirthless bark of laughter. 'I suppose I should thank them for that, at least. It made it easier when we were trying to find the Horcruxes. At least I knew how to deal with not eating regularly.' Harry took another swallow from the bottle. It didn't burn so much anymore. 'They turned a blind eye when Dudley and his friends used me as a punching bag.' He took another swallow of the Firewhisky. 'I wore his old clothes for years. They were so big, that I could still wear the ones I got when I was ten when I was thirteen.

'The one time I used magic and didn't get in trouble for it was when Petunia tried to make me wear this horrid jumper of Dudley's. It was brown with orange puffballs. The more Petunia tried to make me wear it, the smaller it got.'

'How'd you get away with that?'

'She figured it shrunk in the dryer.' The alcohol was starting to buzz in his system, and the memories didn't seem to hurt so much.

Ginny took the bottle and tilted it back, letting a healthy swallow slide down her throat. 'The summer before my first year, I overheard the boys telling Mum you'd been locked in your room, with bars on the window, that morning they brought you to the house.' Ginny looked at Harry. 'Was that true?'

'Yep. No meals then, either, really. Usually just cold tinned soup. I had to share it with Hedwig, because they wouldn't allow me to let her out to hunt at night.' Harry gave another bark of laughter. 'Wasn't even my fault. Dobby exploded a pudding while there were guests over for dinner. A dinner where they pretended I didn't exist.'

'And I overheard Mum and Dad talking about how you blew up your aunt...?' Ginny was dying to hear the answer to that one.

'Oh, I didn't blow her up, like blasting her to pieces. Just like a balloon.' Harry let himself laugh for real. 'It was pretty funny, too. Marge floating off into the night, and Vernon trying to keep her down in the garden, while her bloody dog took a chunk out of his leg. Oh, it was priceless.' Harry wiped a tear from the corner of his eye. 'After that, they more or less left me alone. I stayed in my room for the most part, and we all preferred it that way.'

Harry grew quiet, and took the bottle back, squinting at the level of liquid left. Shrugging, he took another drink. 'The first birthday present I remember getting was when Hagrid gave me Hedwig. The first time I knew what it might be like to have a mother was when Molly told me how to get to Platform 9 ¾.' Harry took another swallow of the whisky. 'After the Triwizard, in the hospital wing, she hugged me. You have no idea how badly I wanted to hug her back. I still have the jumper she sent me my first year at Christmas.' Harry leaned into Ginny, knowing he should stop drinking, but there wasn't much left in the bottle, so why bother stopping now?

'Your mum and dad... Your whole family... they're brilliant. I knew your mum had all but adopted me, but I really knew I was part of the family when she gave me her brother's watch for my seventeenth birthday.' He handed the bottle to Ginny. 'It was the first time I really hugged your mum.'

Harry felt the scalding prickle of tears behind his eyelids. 'The Dursleys neglected and abused me for years. They took anything resembling a childhood away from me. Made me believe I was worthless.' The scalding tears were beginning to fall in earnest and Harry didn't even try to stop them. 'I'd rather have Snape at my wedding than any of them,' he choked. 'I don't even know if I hate them,' he said, using the heel of his palm to wipe the tears away. 'They're not worth the time or effort to find out.'

Ginny had been sitting quietly, not saying much. She was amazed at her ability to keep the anger building inside her tamped down while Harry was talking. Harry was leaning against her shoulder, sniffling a bit. Ginny looked at him, able to see what he must have looked like as a three-year old, learning to cry silently. That just made her even angrier. 'Come on, Harry,' she said, astonished at how calm she sounded. 'Let's get you to bed.' Ginny helped Harry stand up and through the window. She steered him to their bed, and made him lie down. Ginny took off his glasses, and set them on his night table.

He looked up at her, eyes still damp from his crying spell. 'Love you...' he muttered, before his eyelids fluttered down and he turned over and went to sleep. Ginny sat on the edge of the bed, stroking his hair for a few minutes, trying to decide whether to do what she was thinking about doing.

She found a pair of shoes and put them on, stopping in the bathroom to run a brush through her hair. Ginny went back to the open kitchen window, climbed through the window, and Apparated.


Ginny found herself surrounded by rows of neat houses, identical in their ordinariness. She snorted as a quote from a Muggle novel went through her head. -Happy families are all alike, but unhappy families are each unhappy in their own way. She wondered how much unhappiness those neat mullioned windows hid. She walked down the street, looking for Number Four.

If the other houses seemed tidy and neat, Number Four was unnaturally so. Ginny wondered if weeds dared to grow in the flowerbeds. Ginny walked up the drive to the front door, still seemingly tranquil. She wondered if this was how Mum felt before she let loose a stream of incoherent yelling. Taking a deep breath, Ginny knocked on the door. A shadow grew larger as it came closer. The door opened to reveal a bony woman with a horsy looking face. Ginny raised an eyebrow at the rubber gloves on her hands. 'Yes? What is it?' the woman asked impatiently.

'Petunia Dursley?' Ginny's blood was starting to roar in her ears.

'Yes. Who are you?' Petunia asked suspiciously.

'Right. You don't know me, do you? Ginny Weasley.'

'Weasley?' Petunia looked closely at her. 'Are you with that family of redheads who destroyed my sitting room?'

Ginny smiled a little. 'Yes, I am.' Ginny looked around. She could see a few curtains from the other houses twitch aside. 'Are you going to do the polite thing and invite me in? I have something I need to say to you, and I'm going to say it, regardless of how you feel about it.' Petunia made as if she was going to slam the door, but Ginny's cold voice stopped her. 'Go ahead and slam the door in my face, but I'll just blast it off the hinges anyway.' Petunia froze, remembering the day that large man tore the door of that hut off. She stood aside and motioned for Ginny to come inside.

Ginny stepped into the entrance hall of the house. Her nose twitched slightly, as the scent of disinfectant slammed into her face. Well, this explains a lot, she thought as she remembered what a slob Harry had been as a teenager. She waited a bit for Petunia to show her into the sitting room. Apparently, she's not going to do that, either, Ginny thought grimly.

'Well?' Petunia's patience was running thin. Ginny was looking around the entrance hall, and her gaze fell on a door set into the wall under the staircase. There was one almost like it at the Burrow. Mum kept buckets and other cleaning supplies in it. Ginny's eyes widened. The cupboard in the burrow was small, dusty, and full of spiders.

'That's it isn't it?' Ginny accused, pointing at the door. 'The cupboard?' Petunia's mouth dropped open, and with an audible click of teeth clacking together, she snapped it shut.

'Yes,' she answered tightly.

Ginny nodded once. 'I see.' She opened the door, and peered inside. A small camp bed still occupied the space, as well as a few dusty, broken toys. She whirled back to Petunia. 'You let him sleep in here for ten years?' Ginny's voice was quiet, with a deadly edge that any of the Weasleys would have recognized and gone running from. 'How could you? And you were a mother!' Petunia stared stonily at Ginny. 'My family, who had no connection to him at all, except his best friend was my brother, gladly took him in. My parents have treated him like one of their own for almost ten years for no other reason than out of love and affection. Something you should have done,' Ginny spat. 'Merlin's arse, how can you look at yourself in the mirror, after you abused and neglected a little boy? After you let your prat of a son beat him up for fun?' Ginny's voice rose to a volume Molly would have appreciated. 'You made him think he wasn't worth our time and question everything people did for him!' Ginny was shrieking now. 'Merlin's holey Y-fronts, you couldn't even give him -clothes that fit! My mum took in everything he brought with him, because Harry always had to turn up the cuffs of his trousers and shirts. He tripped over them otherwise!'

Ginny exhaled through her nose. 'My family may have been poor, and what we had was second-hand, but at least it fit, and I didn't have to punch holes in a belt to make sure my trousers stayed up.'

'Who the bloody hell are you?' Ginny spun on her heel to see a large, mustachioed man standing behind her.

'Ginny Weasley,' she ground out. 'You must be Vernon Dursley. You're just as bad as she is.' Ginny pointed to Petunia. 'Locking a child into a brook cupboard. Even in our world it's abusive.'

'Get out of my house!' shouted Vernon. 'I won't have abnormal people in here!' His meaty hand shot out and he tried to grab Ginny by the arm and bodily remove her.

'Lay a hand on me, Dursley, and you'll wish you hadn't,' Ginny warned, ducking out of the way. 'And I won't need to use my wand,' she threatened. Vernon took a step back from the seething young woman in front of him.

'He was a freak,' yelled Petunia. 'Him and his parents. That world,' she sneered, 'took my sister away from me and sent back an abnormal... thing. He was nothing more than a freak, just like her and just like that boy she went and married. And it killed her! That wasn't going to happen anymore.'

'If you wanted to break him, you failed,' Ginny said, forcibly trying to calm herself. 'He was a better person at the age of eleven that either of you ever have been.' She slammed the cupboard door shut. 'In spite of what the two of you did to him.' Ginny went to the front door, and opened it. She turned on the threshold. 'Harry and I are getting married soon. And don't worry. You won't be receiving an invitation to the wedding,' she snarled before slamming the door so hard, the glass broke. 'Damn it. Reparo.' The glass flew back into place, seamlessly repairing itself. 'Served them right if I'd left it, though.' Ginny charged down the drive, and into the street. 'Bloody gits.'

She blindly walked down Privet Drive, not knowing where she was going, or even caring. She came to a play park, and dropped into a swing. Ginny swayed a bit in the swing, rubbing her hands over her face. It was nothing short of a miracle, then, that Harry was capable of loving anybody.

Ginny shivered a bit in the cool breeze. It was getting late. She pulled herself to her feet, and Disapparated.


Harry slumped at the table, hands wrapped around a cup of tea. He felt like he'd gone ten rounds with a Norwegian Ridgeback. Maybe I shouldn't have drunk most of that bottle of Firewhisky, he thought wryly. He'd awakened to a dark, empty flat and Ginny nowhere to be seen. He heard a pop behind him and turned to see Ginny Apparate on the balcony. She climbed through the window and stopped short, surprised to see him.

'How are you feeling?' she asked.

'I've been better. Where were you?'

'Just out for a walk.' Ginny kissed him. Her nose wrinkled. 'You taste like Firewhisky.'

'Yeah, I don't think I'll be drinking any of that for a while...' Harry put his arms around Ginny's waist and pulled her closer. 'I'm sorry about earlier.'

'You don't have to apologize.'

'I wasn't trying to hide anything, I just don't like to talk about them.'

'I know.' Ginny stroked his hair. 'They make Auntie Muriel sound like a nice person.' Harry managed a soft chuckle. 'And that's hard to do.'

'I think I've got the wedding figured out,' Harry told Ginny, pulling her down into his chair. 'You, me, your mum and dad, Bill, Fleur, Victoire, Charlie, Percy, Penny, George, Katie, Ron, Hermione, Hagrid, Neville, Luna, Teddy, Andromeda, Kingsley, and Minerva.'

'Works for me. But we'll have to add Auntie Muriel. Or we'll never hear the end of it. Bloody woman.'

'Fine. As long as we don't ever have to have this discussion again.'

'I agree. Not enough Firewhisky in Diagon Alley for that.'



'I love you.'