The Sign

Chapter 3 Discovery

On that bright, warm morning, Harry and Ginny were out in their favorite spot by the pond, under the trees. How many wishes could be made with one eyelash? Just one in many such important philosophical discussions.

Ginny glanced over and spied George striding from the house. "Oh, no." she groaned.

"Morning," George raised his hands in peace. "Don't shoot. I come unarmed."

"Now what? Teasing us for PDA?" Ginny sighed and sat up. She wiped the grass and leaves off her sleeves.

"No. Just bearing a warning. Mum's on a warpath again. I suggest you stay out of her way for a while."

"What's got her riled up now?" She glanced at the house and flinched when she saw her Mum looking out the window.

"It's not what, it's who. She got another letter from the Grangers. It seems they don't want Hermione involved with Ron anymore. They actually think Mum would want to break those two up." George plopped himself down in the shade with them, "They don't know Mum."

"Why would her folks care one way or the other? They're adults now." Ginny demanded.

"Not according to the Grangers, I guess. But I do know something, their betrothal will be announced any day now." George looked at her, waiting for a reaction.

"Betrothal? But…now?" Her face looked so confused that she looked like a caricature.

"They're engaged?" Harry asked. He knew they loved each other, but this much?

"No, Harry. Betrothed." George laughed at his reaction. "There's a difference."

"Why are they getting betrothed so young? He doesn't even have a job. She's going back to school." Ginny pushed. "Shouldn't they wait?"

"No, they can't." he answered shortly.

"Don't tell me she pregnant!" Ginny was shocked. They were both too smart for that.

"Look, it's not my place to say, but I overheard them talk just now." He paused and looked around him, checking for eavesdroppers. "They have the Sign."

Ginny gasped loud, her color paled almost deathly as she rubbed her right forearm nervously.

Harry was still bewildered. "Pretend I'm new here. What's the Sign? Anything like The Grim?"

"Harry, it's very rare. I…it's…I'm not sure how to explain it. Can you, George?" Ginny said in a tiny voice. Her arms were crossed closely to herself.

George, seeing her reaction, sat silent for a moment. "Ginny?"

She shook her head. Her confused look was being overtaken by shock and fear.

"What's going on here?" Harry was getting defensive. Ginny doesn't show fear.

"Just a minute, Harry. Ginny? Do you have something you need to share?" George looked surprisingly gentle and caring.

"It…it's just a scar, from the battle. It won't heal." She murmured.

"A scar on your right forearm?" Her brother asked in a soft tone that Harry had never heard before.

George sat in deep thought. Harry couldn't stop looking over at Ginny, wondering what was so terrifying about a scar.

No. Wait. A scar that won't heal. Right forearm. What the Hell? He rolled up his sleeve. Centered on the forearm, bright and clear was a spot. A thumbnail sized blood vessel that was nearly bulging out of the skin. deep red. Pulsing.

Ginny glanced over and stared at his arm, yelped, scooted away, then stopped still.

"George, what is this?" Harry asked, concerned and frightened at Ginny's reaction.

George shook his head and held up a finger to tell him to wait. "Sis. He needs to know. Either you show him, or I'll …No, I'm sorry, I have to get Mum." His face looked very concerned, there was no sign of his jovial nature.

"No. I mean… Harry," She pushed her long sleeve up to her elbow. "Harry, it doesn't mean…You're not obligated. I thought it was a myth." There on her arm was a spot, a vein in just the same place as his own. "It was just a scar. It started to heal when you went away. Now it's worse than ever." She started to cover it again when she noticed George was striding to the house. "Harry, quick. When did you get that?" She pointed at his arm.

"This… after the battle, after you cleaned my wounds. I thought it was maybe a cursed scar." He followed her gaze and saw Molly walking back to them, waving George to stay behind. "And yours?"

"The day after the battle. While you were sleeping."

"Ginny, what does this mean?" He asked in a whisper.

00000

'Oh Merlin. What a mash-up.' Molly thought as she floured her hands, ready for a final kneading. Ron and Hermione discovering the Sign just before traipsing over the globe. Harry leaving and having both he and Ginny fall into deep depression within a day of him being gone. What if? No, It can't. It's unheard of. The Sign is rare enough, skipping generations before manifesting within the same family. But what if there were two of her children affected by it? Two just a generation after Her and Arthur. Was it the war? Such emotional upheavals tend to bring it on.

Oh, no. Why is Harry showing George his right arm? What is Ginny doing? George is coming back.

"Mum?" George stepped through the door, searching for her. His face confused and concerned. "Mum, I think…" he pointed to his right arm. "I couldn't help overhear you with Ron and Hermione. But I think…" He pointed to the couple sitting under the walnut tree by the pond.

"Do they…?" She slipped off her apron and wiped her hands.

"From what I've read, yeah. I think so." He looked around, not knowing what to do.

"Alright, you stay here. I need to talk with them, without you there." Without looking to see if he obeyed, she strode towards the pond. She could see them touching each other's arms. She nearly slowed to a stop.

00000

Ginny shook her head and shushed Harry as her mother came close.

"Honey? George said…?" She asked fearfully.

Ginny blushed a flame red and nodded her head. Her arm seemed to move of its own accord to show fully the bright Sign.

Molly turned quickly to Harry, her face glaring. Without her asking, he twisted his arm to show her. Molly grasped both arms. She found Ginny's pulse and touched Harry's Sign. It took her only Moments to confirm.

"Yes. I thought it…" She let go of their arms, sat on the ground and sighed. "It explains a lot. Why I felt I had to bring you back." Her face, once fierce, now looked resigned. "Harry, do you know what this is?"

"No Ma'am. Just we both have the same thing. Why is everyone so upset about it?" He was afraid he had done something wrong.

Molly gave a wry shake of her head. "This is called the sign. It's ancient and rare magic. And now there's two in the family."

"But what is it?" Ginny pushed. "I've only heard rumors and of course, romance stories."

"Yes, well. Let's see if I can find the right words," She sighed and thought, "This is part of your heritage. A part of your bloodlines."

"Heritage?" Harry interrupted. "Like Pure Blood?"

"No, not really. Celtic blood magic is what we are talking about." Molly assured Harry. "It started several thousand years ago, ancient times. Before the Romans ruled Britannia, a Celtic magician wanted to know if his lady love was the one for him, so he cast a spell. If she truly loved him, her heart would beat as his. Sure enough, her heart was on his arm. The results of this spell have been potentially passed to all their progeny, any with Celtic heritage. Scottish, Irish, Welsh. Just about any magic folk from the isles. I've only heard of a few each generation. It's very rare. Ginny's heart is on your arm, Harry." Molly smiled at him.

Harry looked down at the beating mark. "So that's Ginny's…"

"Yes, That's Ginny's heartbeat," Molly affirmed. "She is wearing yours. There's an old saying, wearing your heart on your sleeve. It originated with this."

Ginny finally met his eyes, shyly. "But what if he doesn't want…"

"But why would I not want?"

"You mean you do…?"

Molly just sat while the two let things sink in for a few moments.

"But what does it mean? Where do things go from here?" Harry spoke again, not taking his eyes of his girl.

"It depends on where you want them to go," Molly answered. "Legally there are two ways, and only you two can decide."

"Us?" Ginny asked, still confused.

"Yes. You see, what you have there shows the world that you belong to each other and no one can dispute that. No parent, guardian or government. But you can say no and walk away. In a month or two it will fade away and be gone, never to show again. Only you'll then hate each other for the rest of your life. You'll even hate yourself. I wouldn't recommend it, I hear the depression is like ripping your heart out with a spoon."

"Like the big depression we both were feeling when Harry left?" Ginny asked.

"Exactly." Molly smiled. "I was afraid that might be a reason. I hoped it wasn't. Ginny, you're only 16, but this happens so often at troubled times like this."

"Like the war?" Harry asked quietly. He was answered with a brief nod.

"But we have to separate again. I go back to school, He starts training. Will that end it all?" Ginny asked, a little panicky.

Harry held tight to Ginny's hand, "If we decide not to leave each other, what are we to do next?"

"Like I said," Molly took a deep breath, she really wasn't ready for this. This was her little girl, after all. "There are several options. What Daddy and I did, and Ron and Hermione have decided, is go for betrothal and then the Vows when school was finished." She smiled at Harry, "But Harry, your parents went right to the Vows."

"Betrothal? is that like engagement?" Harry asked, confused again. "Wait a minute, you said my parents had this sign also?"

"Yes, About six months after leaving school. According to Sirius, their reaction was spectacular. But no dear, betrothal is not like engagement. Muggles took the word and used it like that, but it's really a temporary marriage. A place holder until you're ready for the Vows."

"Ok, I'm going to regret this, but what are the Vows?" Harry asked, getting a little overwhelmed.

Molly laughed. She was expecting this. "You have heard of unbreakable vows?" She waited for his nod. "Well, that is what this is. It is a marriage vow that is unbreakable. A Witch and Wizard who are bound by the Vow are literally not able to cheat on each other, hurt each other, lie to each other, turn on each other, or reveal the other's secret. The vow is a very powerful spell to have over each other. Betrothal is a time to make sure they're ready before making the total commitment."

"Wait, What? Mum? You and Dad? You have the…what did you call it, the Sign?" Ginny picked up on what Molly said. "Show me!"

"Yes, dear. And no. It faded away after it had done its job. We were Betrothed when we were 16. We took the Vow Just a month after our Newts." Molly smiled at the memories.

"But you didn't answer my question. What happens when we HAVE to separate?" Ginny asked again.

"Eer…There's spells." Molly tried to think fast and still be tactful. "Now, you two have a lot to think on. Talk it over." She stood, "We'll talk more when Daddy gets home.." She walked quickly back to the house.

"What's happening, Harry?" Ginny watched her mother enter the house before turning to Harry. She was afraid he would be angry, or worse, disgusted at the idea of the Sign on their arms.

But instead, he was fascinated. "I don't know," He said simply, "But it's something, right?" He looked over at her arm. "Is that really me there?"

"Check it out." She placed his finger on his pulse and then on her Sign. After a moment, he smiled brighter. There was no doubt. They had questions that needed answers.

"What should we do?" Harry whispered into Ginny's hair.

"Well, I'm not gonna let you walk away again, that's for sure." She said savagely. Her fear turning to a desire to fight for what she wanted.

He looked down at their arms, "I want to do this." He said quietly.

She stood. "I want to go through with this too. As soon as possible. I don't want to lose you."

"Me neither, but I'm concerned…at our age…"

"But what? Are you going to spout that nonsense about our age?" Her cheeks turned red with internal fire. "Yes, I'm still sixteen. You're still seventeen. How about we do something. Let's add a year for every person we've killed in this past war. Okay? I think that puts me up somewhere about twenty. You, maybe late twenties. Does that sound about right? Would that make it better? Would that make it more socially acceptable? Well guess what. I don't give a sh** about social acceptance. I care about you. I gave you up for a year, because you thought it would keep me safe. It didn't. That's okay. I still did my part. You did your part. Same war. War is over. We won. It's time for us. I don't care how old I am. Harry, I want you. So, shut up and marry me. Okay?" No female Celtic warrior could ever look more fierce than Ginevra Weasley with the sun in her face and her eyes on fire.

Harry was just as stunned as if she had petrified him. A slow smile spread over his face, "Okay, then. Yes." He didn't think he could ever be more in love with her. "I will marry you."