“The Ministry is clambering for answers and we’re right in the middle of it,” I tell my sister as she strides towards me. We were both summoned
to the Ministry to answer questions.
In response to my statement, Ginny throws a wadded up ball of parchment at my chest and I catch it easily. I unfold it to reveal her own summons
. “I assume you let them know about Padma,” she asks as she plops down in an uncomfortable wooden chair. The very one I vacated when I saw her walking to me.
“Of course, as soon as I got Harry’s note. How is your friend?” I ask as I study her drawn and tired face.
She starts to answer and then shrugs, “she’s surviving. Sometimes I think she’ll be okay but other times I can see her just ending it all to get away from… well, she’s had a rough life already. Mum did help though. She came this morning and Amy seemed to do well while being mothered.”
I nod and squat down next to her, putting my hands on her knees until she looks up at me. “What else happened?”
“Harry and I had a fight,” she admits hollowly and I am forced back to the times when Fleur and I have fought. It was always draining on us but in the end, we’ve always come out stronger for it. “We resolved it,” Ginny assures me, “but what he told me has me afraid.”Now that isn’t something I expect to hear. What could he have said and am I going to have to hex him for it?
“What did he say, Gin-Gin?” I ask and I deliberately use my pet name for her. She always opens up more when I do.
“He… he… told me that without me he wouldn’t be able to go without me!” She’s whispering and she glances around nervously before casting Muffliato so that we can’t be overheard. “He also said that he wouldn’t have been able to defeat Voldemort without me and…” shock fills me at these words and I have to resist the urge to contradict her. “…and he told me that he’s got a bad feeling about the tomb. He wants to go to Egypt with us because he’s afraid that something might happen to me and… oh Bill,” she throws her arms around my neck and I hug her fiercely. “I can’t help but think he’s right. Something was off with that tomb! You knew it and when I was thinking straight, I did too. You were always worried about it and now they’ve all disappeared.”
She pulls away, sitting back in the seat again. I expect to see tears but instead her eyes tell me that she is close to panic. “What is it?”
“What if something is really wrong, and what if… what if something does happen to me… everyone, they all count on Harry! He’s their hero and,” she pauses to run her hands through her long hair, messing it up. “He’s a hero, Bill! He’s important but if he needs me like that
and I fail, what will they do? What will he
do?!” She lets out a bitter laugh before adding, “I really wish that I didn’t make him vulnerable!”
I turn her face to look into my eyes, “I am the same way with Fleur.”
Her mouth drops open in surprise, “oh.”
I give her a small smile, “maybe you’ll understand now why I married her, hm?” and she nods. “You’re right, you do love an important man but Ginny, as with all other powerful men, there is always a more powerful woman behind them keeping their butt in line.”
She lets out a giggle and shakes her head. “You’re impossible.”
“No, I’m serious. I wouldn’t be half the man that I am without Fleur and I am smart enough to know that I need her as much as I do. Harry is the same way, Gin-Gin and you can’t hold it against him.”
“I don’t hold it against him but I don’t want to be his liability,” she says and she sounds completely miserable.
“No, that isn’t how he sees you!” I assure her, “he needs you like you need him and there isn’t anything wrong with that.”
She sighs and glances up at the ceiling, her eyes look suspiciously bright. “But he matters to people Bill! If something else happens then they will turn to him, like they turned to Dumbledore, and he will need to be strong for them. That’s just who he is and he doesn’t need me hanging like an anchor around his neck.”
I rock back on my heels, horrified by what she’s said. “I’m sure it isn’t like that Ginny and I hope you have told him that this is how you feel.”
She shrugs, “I haven’t and I’m not sure he needs to hear about my stupid fears.”
“They aren’t stupid and I expect you to tell him how you are feeling,” I say in a stern voice. “Take this as an order from your boss.”
Her eyes are hollow as she gazes back at me but turns as movement catches our eyes from down the hall. A man that I had seen earlier comes over and hands me a list without a word. I glance down at it, blinking in surprise as one name on the missing list catches my eye. I hand it to Ginny without saying anything and she reads it over. I know she is shocked by what she reads and whispers, “oh no. Poor Padma… she’s got to be devastated. I didn’t know that Diego had returned to Egypt.”
I take the list back and fold it carefully, placing it in an inside pocket. “All we can do is be there for her and I hope that helping to solve the mystery helps her cope with the loss.”
“Some how I doubt it will,” she says quietly to me as she stands and look down the hall where the other man had disappeared. I look around and see Padma Patil walking towards us.