|SIYE Time:19:20 on 22nd March 2018|
Memoirs of a Red Headed Witch
By My Wicked Quill
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Category: Pre-OotP, Post-OotP, Post-HBP, Post-Hogwarts, Post-DH/AB
Genres: Action/Adventure, Comedy, Humor, Romance, Songfic
Warnings: Mild Language, Mild Sexual Situations, Violence
Summary: Ginny Weasley was always overlooked. Always the youngest, always the smallest, and was never really given the chance to let her voice be heard. But sometimes the best insight comes from those who were always in the background. Her story of redemption, loyalty and love, proves that she was never just the Weasley brothers' little sister.
Hitcount: Story Total: 100069; Chapter Total: 125
Awards: View Trophy Room
A/N: In the books it is unclear whether the death eaters outside of Voldemort’s tight circle were aware of the fact that Voldemort was a half blood. When ever it was mention in front of them they would get angry, or deny. As far as my story I am going to stick to the same MO if Barty Crouch jr knew that Voldemort was a half blood he would still deny it for the sake of appeasing his master. If he didn’t know, then hearing it would be bound to make him furious. Enjoy and Happy Valentine's Day! 2/14/2018
The Art of Growing Up
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
“Feels like I just woke up
Like all this time I've been asleep
Even though it's not who I am
I'm not afraid of who I used to be
No one stays the same (oh, oh)
You know what goes up must come down
Change is a thing you can count on
I feel so much younger now (oh, oh)…”
-Younger Now, Miley Cyrus
So that was it then. No more obvious pinning; no more ridiculous blushing or stupid poems or get well cards. It was done. I would stop obsessing, let things happen organically, if they would at all. If I was just supposed to be friends with Harry, then that's what I'd be. At least, I'd convince Hermione I was taking her advice.
"It's just not fair!" Maurine Zipknot whined from her bed, "Third years are plenty mature to attend a ball. Why I promise I'd behave better than any fourth year boy." Maurine collapsed dramatically back onto her pillows, her intensely curly blonde hair a cloud around her head.
"Yeah, Ginny you are sooooooo lucky," Eliza Berwinxie drawled from where she sat on the floor with a copy a Witch Weekly. Her voice was drenched in a sharp envy that made me very uncomfortable.
“Yeah, well, I guess I have Neville Longbottom to thank for asking me.”
Both girls snorted, "On second thought...I think I'd rather stay up here."
I turned from the mirror I was using to- unsuccessfully- curl my hair and stared at them, "There's nothing wrong with Neville."
Eliza's blue eyes narrowed, "Oh don't be so righteous, Ginevra," she said in that same annoying drawl, "Neville's nice and all but hardly anything to be excited about, guess since Harry didn't like your advances, you had to lower your standards."
My jaw dropped at her audacity.
"Goodness, Eliza!" said Maurine holding back a giggle, "Don't be such a- bitch." She accentuated the last word with a pillow to Eliza's head.
"Oh come now, Ginny knows I'm joking."
Eliza's voice did not support her case.
I grabbed my toiletries and the dress robes that were hanging from my four poster.
"And just where are you going?"
"Somewhere less Slytherin-like."
I left the dormitory and climbed a flight of steps. I knocked on the door and when it opened, a flustered Lavender Brown poked her head out. Her hair was ridiculously teased and it looked as though her makeup charm had gone askew, her eyeliner was practically at her ear. "Can I get ready in here?"
Opening the door wider, Lavender huffed, "Just don't hog the mirror!"
I felt...pretty. I did. I felt as though the simple robes my mother had been able to get for me were decent and actually quite flattering. I had worried briefly that I would look a little...worse for wear, but I supposed… I cleaned up well.
Hermione looked absolutely stunning. Lavender Brown's jaw dropped comically once Hermione had finished getting ready. Her usually curly hair was straightened and shiny and her dress robes were the most beautiful shade of blue. She looked just as beautiful outside as I knew she was on the inside.
She blushed, “What?”
I smiled, “You look-”
“Bloody hot,” gasped a shocked Lavender Brown.
Hermione blushed even harder ad I giggled. “Honestly, Granger, I had no idea you had all that under your school robes!”
“Thank you, Lavender,” said a bashful Hermione. “Your dress is really pretty too.”
Lavender’s siren red dress was definitely a bit more...mature...but she wore it well.
“Pavarti is taking forever!” Lavender turned to the bathroom door, “WOULD YOU HURRY UP! It’s starting soon!”
“I’m coming!” came a muffled call.
Lavender rolled her eyes, and said to Hermione and in in a lower voice, “She’s been all flustered worrying that Harry won’t like her dress robes.”
At the mention of Harry, I busied myself by grabbing my wand and stowing it in the pocket if my robes. Hermione’s eyes burned a hole through the back of my head.
“But of course he will, any guy would be a fool not to think that Parvati’s gorgeous, she's got the exotic look going for her.”
“I can hear you, Lavender!” came Parvati’s voice again. “Harry’s a champion, I’m just glad he asked me at all, with it being so last minute. I have to look my best. I do hope he’s a good dancer.”
Instantly, two pairs of eyes were on me and I couldn’t avoid them. “Well, I doubt any of the boys in Gryffindor will be good dancers. They don’t exactly seem the type,” I recovered quickly, heading for the door.
Neville looked nice, his hair, which was usually hanging in his face, was brushed back and his robes were elegant and made him look much taller.
“Y-you look b-beautiful,” he said with wide eyes and a shy smile.
“Why thank you!” I said with a playful little curtsey, “You don’t look half bad either if I do say so myself.”
Neville straightened a bit more; when had he gotten so tall? “Shall we?” he asked extending an arm out.
I hid my surprise at his sudden confidence and took it, “We shall.”
The great hall was dazzling. Every inch was frosted with glitter and lights. It was like walking into a winter wonderland dream.
Everyone looked impressively good. And even though my brother had been graced with some awful dress robes. I noticed he’d taken the time to cut off all the lace and actually brush his hair.
But it was when I noticed Harry, preoccupied with this Triwizard Champion commitments, clad in the most beautiful green dress robes, that I knew what image I would remember forever about that night. He… he took my breath away. And I had to pretend I didn’t even care, for my sake and for Neville and for my promise to Hermione. He looked like he felt so utterly uncomfortable and out of place I wanted to talk to him and maybe, maybe try to ease his nerves.
Not that I’d ever been able to successfully make Harry feel better ever, considering I had just started being able to speak in front of him.
“Thanks for coming with me, Ginny.”
“What? Oh yes! Of course Neville!” I replied quickly tearing my gaze away from Harry.
Neville’s eyes wandered to where mine had just been. I tried not to blush and occupied myself with picking seats at one of the hundred tables in the Great Hall. From the corner of my eye I saw recognition on Neville’s face and slight frown.
I had to get better. I had to.
“You know I asked you here as just friends, right?” Neville asked in an unsure tone. “I-I mean you’re great but I don’t want to, to feel…. like you have to- well- no pressure- I mean- Oh dear- forget it.”
“I understand, Neville,” I said cheerily, trying to joke off the awkward moment. “You’re my friend and I’m grateful that you asked me so that I could come at all!”
Neville pulled out a chair for me as Seamus and Lavender and a few others from Ron’s year sat around us. “I know you probably would have rather come with Harry-”
Neville paled, “Well, its just- I mean, I’ve always known you liked him and-”
“Ugh!” I cried and dropped my face into my hands utterly mortified. “Does absolutely everyone know?”
“Yes,” Neville squeaked.
Well it wasn’t exactly a surprise.
“You alright there, Ginny?” said Seamus, “My mate, Neville here treating you to a nice evening?” Laughter and chit chat rumbled through the Great Hall. I lifted my head and smiled.
“He sure is.”
Neville blushed and I knew he’d probably never mention Harry in front of me again. It was time to grow up a bit. Face my past, my stupid crush, my insecurities and move on.
“Would you like to dance?” asked Neville once dinner was over.
I couldn’t help my surprise.. Once dinner had finished, Dumbledore invited the champions and their dates to start off the festivities with a waltz. I had just been watching a graceful Hermione in Viktor Krum’s arms looking elegant, poised and…happy. Really truly happy. No one else had joined yet. Was Neville actually offering to be the first?
I looked at him with wide eyes. “Really?”
This boy was so full of surprises. I had to admit I really liked this confident Neville. I considered for a moment. Everyone would be watching, what if I looked a fool?
Then again... if Neville could be so confident, then so could I. It was time to stop worrying so much about what everyone at the school thought of me. I smiled at Neville, “Let’s dance.”
I tried not to make eye contact with anyone or I might have lost my resolve. Neville wasn’t that great of a dancer, actually he was pretty bad, but he followed the steps and aside from my feet screaming in pain every time he stepped on me, I figured no one could really tell we were that bad. I tried not to show my pain.
“This isn’t so bad,” said Neville. “Wonder why everyone was acting like this was a death sentence or something.”
“If you’re referring to your roommates,” I replied hiding the pain in my voice, “they’re all idiots.”
Neville laughed and so did I, and suddenly my feet didn’t hurt that much anymore.
A few other couples joined in but soon enough the slow music died out and the Weird Sisters began playing more upbeat music and the student body poured onto the dance floor for less formal dancing.
“Ahh!” I squealed when Neville spun me and caught me before I almost fell a few songs later. We fell into a fit of giggles. “I’m parched, I’m going to get something to drink, do you mind?”
“Oi Neville!” Dean called from our table, beckoning him over.
“I could come with you if you’d like, get your drink,” he offered.
“It’s alright, I’ll meet you back at the table in a moment, want anything?”
“I’m alright, thanks!” Neville cheerily made his way to his friends and I watched as Seamus punched Neville in the arm with a wiggle of his eyebrows and a knowing smirk.
“Why little sister,”
“You don’t look so little tonight.”
I beamed at Fred and George. “And I have to admit, you both look rather dashing yourselves.”
“Naturally,” they said together.
“Where’s your date, Ginny?” asked George.
“Yes we’ve been meaning to corner Neville and speak to him about the way a lady should be treated.”
“A lady with six older brothers, that is.”
I rolled my eyes, watching as my cup magically filled itself with pumpkin juice at the refreshments table. “Oh please, it’s Neville, we came as friends. Let him be; poor kid had enough trouble getting the courage to ask me.”
My brothers shrugged and Fred promptly took the drink that I was about to sip from, “Oh no, you can’t have this.”
“We spiked it earlier.
“Fancy a dance?” asked George, taking my hand and pulling me back to the dance floor.
I couldn’t help but laugh as he twirled me around. I waved at Neville who was chatting with Dean and Seamus and noticed Ron and Harry sitting alone looking angsty and miserable.
For once, I didn’t care. It was supposed to be a fun night. And I was having fun. For the first time ever, I put Harry completely out of my mind.
At one point Fred grabbed my hand and George grabbed Fred’s date, Angelina’s hand and they switched us smoothly and quickly.
“Do that a few more times and I’ll be so dizzy I won’t be able to tell you two apart,” joked a flushed Angelina. Her rosy cheeks told me that either she’d been dancing far too much or Fred had given her a glass of Pumpkin juice.
“Do you like her?” I asked Fred making sure that only he could hear me above the music.
“Angelina? She’s great, good Quidditch player!”
“No, do you like, like her?”
A serious expression came across his face. “I- I don’t think so, I asked her because I knew she’d be a fun date…but...”
Fred was watching Angelina and George dance a few feet away, they were both singing along to the music at the top of their lungs.
“I think… I think George likes her. Like likes her.” Fred turned back to me with an uncomfortably guilty face.
“Serious. But I only noticed after I asked her. He hasn’t told me anything, but I just get this feeling. As though he’s upset that I asked her.”
“Something like that.”
We had stopped dancing. Fred grabbed a piece of hair that had fallen out of my plait and put it back in place.
“Well, you can’t blame yourself for that. George is his own person, you know. You are too.”
Fred chuckled, “Yeah, hard to remember that sometimes.”
They were so close; I couldn’t remember a time I ever heard them arguing. I couldn’t even imagine each of them having their own individual families and being separated and doing their own things. It was a hard concept to grasp. And apparently, Fred was having a hard time grasping it too.
“Angelina doesn’t seem to remember she came here with you,” I said nodding over to where George and Angelina were still dancing.
“Yeah well,” he said straightening his collar and walking toward the Entrance Hall, “I think I’ll let them be.”
I started toward my table and called after him, “You’re a good brother!”
“The best!” he called over his shoulder.
I was walking back to Neville and the other Gryffindors who were taking a break from jumping around like uncivilized banshees when I met Michael Corner.
He crashed into me, nearly knocking me over. I would have been a bit miffed if it weren’t for his reaction.
“Oh! I’m sorry I-” steadying himself from dancing into me he turned to face me. His mouth dropped a little and he blushed almost as strongly as Neville. “I’m- I- Hi, I’m Michael, Michael Corner.”
He stuck his hand out and I just stared at it, perplexed.
He cleared his throat, “You, you’re the Weasley girl, right?”
I snapped out of my stupor a that. “It’s Ginny.” I said taking his hand hesitantly.
Michael, he had said his name was, I’d never noticed him before. Ever. The school wasn’t all that big. Michael had tanned skin and dark hair. His eyes were brown and nondescript.
He was... cute.
“Well, I’d better get back-”
“I’ve heard you’re good at charms.”
Suddenly, I was really perplexed. I was very good at charms indeed. Professor Flitwick had actually pulled me aside after class and given me some advanced textbooks in case I was interested in expanding on my talent. Hermione was very pleased, and I wished I had never told her. But I doubted she would have told anyone, especially this boy.
“How did you know that?”
Michael grinned, “We Ravenclaws are always keeping track of students’ academic proficiencies; we see it as sizing up the competition- if you see what I mean.”
“So you’re a Ravenclaw.” Now that made sense. But as far as why he was talking to me… no clue.
“Fourth year,” he clarified. Then looked down at my dress again. “You look really beautiful, by the way, not sure if I had mentioned that.”
I fidgeted under his gaze but smiled. “Thank you,” I replied shyly. Attention from the male species was not something I was used to.
“You came with Longbottom, eh?”
“Yes, he’s a good friend.”
“He’s a decent bloke. Not the sharpest tool in the shed but he’s got an affinity for Herbology.”
I raised an eyebrow, “Yes, well, I’m sure you’re not good at everything either.”
Michael winked, “Wanna bet?”
“Rather arrogant aren’t you?”
“Can’t help it, but I’ve heard you’re no push over either.”
“Where exactly are you hearing all these so called facts about me?”
“Ravenclaws know everything.”
“I’m sure you do,” I laughed and began to walk away.
Michael didn’t let up, “Wait! Would you like to er- get a drink of something?”
“No, thanks I don’t drink alcohol.”
Michael furrowed his brows, “I meant the pumpkin juice…”
I smirked over my shoulder back at him, “Yes, the pumpkin juice- it’s spiked. I thought Ravenclaws knew everything.” I walked away not helping the small smirk that spread across my face.
“What did Corner want with you, Weasley?”
“What’s it to you, Finnegan?”
“Heard he’s a git.”
“You say all Ravenclaws are gits,” said Dean Thomas, rolling his eyes.
“You wanna dance some more Neville?” I asked ignoring the others.
Seamus grinned, “That’s more like it! Longbottom take your date to dance and don’t let more men distract her!”
His macho display was rather funny. “Has he been drinking the Pumpkin juice?” I asked Dean.
Dean laughed deeply, “Oh yeah.”
The whole table laughed and then Neville stood, “Let’s dance.”
The night didn’t end on such a happy note, of course, and we all have Ron to thank for that. The Gryffindors walked up the tower once the music had ended and the ball had concluded. I watched Hermione say goodbye to Victor Krum and noticed the very angry glare she threw at my brother.
“What’s up?” I asked when she caught up to us.
Hermione blushed, “Nothing, it’s just- never mind. Your brother is an idiot.”
Seamus laughed out loud, “That’s hardly news eh, Granger? Thought you were supposed to be the brightest witch of our age.”
I shook my head disapprovingly, “He’s a bit punch drunk.”
Hermione smiled sadly, and spoke in a voice only I could hear. “Ron seems to think that the only reason Krum invited me to the dance was to learn about Harry and use to me to spy on him.” Hermione’s updo had come out a bit from its place from all the dancing. This was supposed to be a great night for her and my brother was acting the prat.
“He’s an arse, don't listen to him.”
“I’m not an arse!” called Ron racing up the steps behind us.
“You sure look like one, Weasley!” called a swaying Seamus.
Lavender tugged his sleeve and pulled him away, casting an annoyed look my way.
Hermione sped up in order to avoid Ron and he stayed stuck on the lower staircase as it began to move.
“She just can’t handle the truth!” he called, looking rather pathetic as the staircase moved him away.
Ignoring his calls, we bustled into the common room a bundle of poofy dresses and dress robes.
“Thanks for a great night, Ginny.”
I gave Neville a quick hug, “Thanks for taking me.”
His blush radiated heat as he said, “G-goodnight.”
Lavender was pulling Seamus up the stairs to the boys dormitory and Neville used the excuse to help her and escape embarrassment.
Ron barged in a moment later, red in the face and looking vicious. “Hermione! I’m not done-”
“OH YES YOU ARE!” she screeched turning to face him.
The common room went silent for a moment in surprise, and then everyone began disappearing into their respective dorms.
I stayed put, ready to stand up for Hermione. “We should get out of here,” mumbled Dean when he realized I wasn’t moving.
“I’m going to stay and make sure they don’t kill each other.”
Dean shook his head, “Be careful with that.”
“I can handle these too any day.”
Dean shrugged looking pretty unconvinced, but he let us be.
“WHAT ARE YOU YELLING AT ME FOR? It’s Victor who is the enemy here!”
“So what, you’re just trying to help; trying to be a good friend?”
“Thought that was obvious!”
Hermione clenched her fists and stomped her foot, “You are a friend of the worst kind Ronald Weasley! Do you have any consideration at all for my feelings? This is a happy night for me and you’ve ruined it!”
“RUINED IT? You ruined it when you decided to go with that - that-that bafoon!”
“Oh stop acting like this has anything to do with Victor, you just don’t like the idea of me having a nice time with a boy from another school! It could have been anyone and you wouldn’t have like it!”
“No, I don’t like it!” Ron yelled, “You should be loyal to Hogwarts! To Gryffindor even!”
Hermione’s hair was all in her face a that point, she was close to tears. “Well if you don’t like it, then you know what the solution is, don’t you?” (GOB page432)
Both Ron and Hermione didn’t notice the portrait hole opening and a somber Harry walking in. For the first time in a long while, I hadn’t even noticed he wasn’t there.
“Oh yeah? What’s that?” countered Ron crossing his arms defiantly.
“Next time there’s a ball, ask me before someone else does, and not as a last resort!”
My mouth dropped open. Harry’s eyes went wide and Ron’s arms dropped to his side. He was gobsmacked.
Hermione stormed off in perfect theatrical form. I followed her when I got my wits about me. She was officially my hero.
Luna was fabulous at Divination. Not that is was surprising in the least. I had a feeling that Luna spent most of her free time trying to open her mind to the beyond. I knew Hermione hated the subject; Divination was the opposite of logic and facts, it was emotion and creativity and completely abstract. Trust me to have best friends that were completely opposite. I was smack in the middle. It wasn't that I opposed the idea that we could predict the future or read auras, after all we were magical beings. It was just that I wasn't ready to put all my faith in a subject that was not extremely...reliable.
Professor Trelawney was as eccentric as the subject she taught. Third years began their journey into the word of the beyond- whatever that meant. I was doing alright in the class I supposed, I had yet to create a prophecy or see much more than clouds of smoke in my crystal ball, but my marks were okay and I had yet to fall asleep. Something my brother repeatedly did, according to Neville.
But it was around February that Trelawney took notice of me.
Sitting next to Luna made the class much more interesting, I thought, listening to Luna describe the
scenes inside her ball.
"And there's the door, the door I always see, It's protecting something that is of true importance. Although, I don't think what it's concealing is important to me."
"Then why do you see it in your future, Looney?"
I turned to glare at Bullocks Pullocks, daring him to speak again. He swallowed and stayed silent.
"Go on, dear," said Trelawney, who was basically eye-glass to crystal ball beside Luna, utterly intrigued in what my friend was telling her.
Luna tilted her head. "There’s much fear, and...and darkness."
I almost laughed when Trelawney’s eyes widened; she ate this stuff up.
"This door, Miss. Lovegood, where is it?"
"I can't exactly tell. But something in my gut is saying it’s in London."
"Maybe it's the door to your future home? Or a future job?" I suggested.
"Oh yes!" trilled Trelawney, "That's the spirit dear! Keeping your mind open to all possibilities, critical thinking and positivity are great assets in Divination."
I wanted to say that they were important assets in basically all factors of life, but just smiled instead.
Trelawney moved toward me, as it was my turn to share, but as she got close she took a step back and placed a hand over her heart.
I wondered briefly if I smelled.
"Miss. Weasley, I-" she said reaching out to touch me on the shoulder, keeping her body as far as she could. "I sense that you...are deeply conflicted. There’s something bothering you dear, something weighing on your mind?”
I had a potions essay due that I hadn’t started.
Michael Corner kept staring at me in the Great Hall.
The second task was coming up.
There were many things weighing on my ind. And I was sure none of it had to do with the fact that I wasn’t supposed to be thinking about Harry Potter at all.
"Tell, me, what do you see?" she said motioning to the ball in front of me. Placing her hand on my shoulder I felt an instant rush of adrenaline. Suddenly, my worry felt as though it was washing off of me and into the crystal ball. Suddenly, the cloud in the ball began to take form.
"Yes, dear yes, release all your tension and let it materialize in front of you, concentrate on it, feel it!"
It was the first time any of this was actually working for me. I could feel the curious stares, but I didn't care, I was watching the image of a face, or well, it looked like a face at first and then as it became clearer the face had no nose, but unmistakable red snake-like eyes-
"Stop!" Trelawny pulled her hand away.
I jumped up immediately cutting off what I had been doing. The blurry image faded away.
"Class is dismissed for the day."
Professor Trelawney moved to her desk and without needing an explanation, the entire class rushed out of the room.
"Are you alright, Professor?" asked Luna standing up.
I stayed where I was, trying to will the image to come back to the ball. I wasn't having much luck.
"Yes-I-Well-" Trelawny took a sip of some sort of tea she had at her desk.
"What was is you saw, Ginny?"
I looked up at Luna, "I can't really tell, it wasn't quite formed but it seemed like a...man with...red eyes?" Trelawney's teacup trembled in her hands.
"I am sorry about that Miss. Weasley, That was my fault, I keep seeing the same face as well, when I placed my hand on your shoulder I must have affected your vision. It was careless of me, pay no mind to it."
I stood. "But it was my crystal ball, it was my energy."
Trelawny took another sip of tea as to not answer my question.
"You say you've seen it before, do you know who it is?"
"You ladies must be going now, you'll be late for your next class.
"You've let us out 20 minutes early Professor," noted Luna.
She shook her head and let out a strangled laugh, "Yes well-" she stopped mid-sentence and ran into her private office.
I shook my head, "Luna, I think she's officially lost it."
Luna looked pensive. Then quickly, she picked up my crystal ball, "Lets go!" she said skipping form the room. "Luna, you can't do that! That's stealing!' I whisper-shouted, following her into the hallway.
"Not really, it is your crystal ball, it just stays in divination for safe keeping."
I couldn't' really argue with her logic.
"But, what are we going to do with it?"
"We are going to try and see if we can find what made Professor Trelawney so frightened."
"But I'm rubbish at this stuff, and we only saw that because Trelawny helped -"
Luna paused and gave me the bluest sparkling gaze she'd ever had, "I think, the Professor might have been making that up. Crystal gazing is a very personal act."
That's what I was afraid off, "But Luna," I dropped my voice low again. "What if...we see something that has to do with the chamber, and... Tom?"
"That's in your past Ginny. We are looking to your future."
We ran up to the library, quietly sneaking past Madam Pince the librarian without her noticing us. We sat on the ground in the back, one row away from the restricted aisle where no one really lingered.
“I don’t think this is going to work again,” I said taking the crystal ball from Luna’s hands.
“Not if you remain negative.”
I nodded and closed my eyes, letting everything leave my mind and focus on relaxing and letting my energy flow into the glass. I sat there for several minutes not sure anything was happening. I opened one eye and peered down, the cloud was begging to take shape again, just as it had in the classroom.
A pink blob appeared, and slowly, it became clearer until I could make out a short stubby woman lecturing a class.
“What is it?” Luna asked trying to get a look see.
“I’m not sure...it looks like….it looks like the Defense Against the Dark Arts Class.” Upon closer inspection I confirmed it was the DADA room and I could see in the front of the class on the Professor's desk were feminine knick-knacks and a plaque reading Professor Umbridge.
“What else do you see?”
I moved my focus from the lady and noticed the back of Colin’s head, it was my perspective I was seated behind him, in front of me on my desk a textbook called, Defensive Magical Theory: Year 4.
“It’s next year, I see next year’s class of Defense Against the Dark Arts. It’s a different Professor.”
Luna gazed at me, I assumed she was expecting more detail. “I guess Moody won’t be around much longer. It’s so strange, we’ve had a different Defense Teacher every year we’ve been here.”
“It could be a side job of the Roftgang Conspiracy. All I've read points to their sole purpose to be the downfall of the Ministry of Magic, but I suppose getting it’s influences on the education department is effective as well. Perhaps they’ve decided to take down one professor at a time.”
I shook my head, “I doubt that Luna, but perhaps it is a conspiracy of another sort. Isn’t there a rumor going that Snape wants the DADA spot? Percy told he he’s been after it for years. He might just be sabotaging the professors.”
Luna considered for a moment then said, “I think the Roftgang makes more sense.”
I chuckled. “Well, at least I did it. I can see the future!” I said in a my best Trelawny impression.
“So this new Professor has red eyes?”
My mood sagged a little as I realized she made a good point. “No. No she doesn’t. It's not the same vision.”
“I supposed it was rather naive to think you’d see the same thing again, there’s an infinite amount of moments in your future.”
“Yeah….but…. Trelawny seemed really scared. I wish…” It alarmed me that something in my future would frighten my professor so much. “Nevermind. Both are unrelated to each other.” I said standing up and taking the crystal ball with me.
Luna followed suit, “I wonder what Professor Moody is going to do.”
“What do you mean?”
“I wonder what Professor Moody is going to do to get sacked, it’s January already, whatever is going to happen must happen soon.”
Outside the library the corridor was filling with students as classes were dismissed, so I had to whisper back, “We’ll just have to watch him very closely then.”
Watching Professor Moody was a funny concept, considering his wandering eye watched everything and anything at all times. I could barely hiccup without him noticing. He was so unsettling that my instinct was to do anything in my power to avoid him outside of class. But I knew there was something off about the man, besides the obvious. For all I knew the reason he would return the following year was simply because he did not want to. Perhaps he’d fall ill. But my gut was telling me something wasn’t right.
So I kept my own wandering eye out.
Before I knew, it it was the morning of the second task and I was distinctly much less nervous than I was for the first task.
“Wonder if Harry ever figured out the clue last night, poor bloke.”
“Yeah he looked outright defeated.”
I served myself some biscuits and gravy listening to the twins but not commenting. All of Gryffindor saw Harry last night pouring over texts books until far late into the evening. We all assumed it had to do with the task.
“I thought it odd that Ron and Hermione weren’t helping him,” said Colin across from me.
“Well, they were until McGonagall called them to her office,” said Fred.
Lavender Brown, “Hermione never came to bed last night, so I assume that when she returned she helped him.”
“Yeah, Ron and Harry never showed up to the dormitory last night either,” said Dean. “Must mean they all stayed up all night figuring it out.”
“Must have been a doozy,” said Dennis Creevey.
Just then an interruption in the form of a Blonde Beauxbaton appeared, “H’ve any of you seen my seester?” Fleur Delacour asked to our table in general.
The boys shook their heads with blank faces. I think I saw some drool out of Varnie’s mouth.
“I haven't, Fleur,” said Pavarti who was probably on a first name basis with her after they sat together at the Champion's table during the Yule ball. “Is she missing?”
“No- I’m sure- eet iz, non- what I mean to say iz- I just do not want her to miss ze event iz all.” It was the first time I had seen her look like a normal human being. Her stumbled words broke her facade, the boys stopped drooling. Fleur walked away, most likely to the tournament.
“Anyway,” said Lavender obviously drawing the attention away from Miss. Delacour, “You’d think they’d show up to breakfast wouldn’t you, Harry’s not daft enough to think he can compete on an empty stomach?” asked Lavender.
We all looked around. There was no Harry, Ron or Hermione. I looked up to the head table. There was a grim mood among the Professors.
Moody looked excited.
We were waiting until the last moment to leave for the tournament. No one had to say anything but I knew everyone was itching to know if the Gryffindor Champion was up to this task.
“Well he’s not showing up. Let’s go,” said Fred.
As we exited the Great Hall a speeding Harry Potter ran past, a blur of robes and even messier hair than usual. He pushed through us, knocking Colin and Dennis down in his wake.
“Well there’s our champion.”
Lavender pursed her lips, “It looks like he just woke up, you’d think he could at least brush his hair.”
“I didn’t see Ron or Hermione anywhere, do you?” I asked Dean.
He shook his head.
“So where are they?”
No one had an answer.
We hustled to the Black Lake where the second round of the competition was taking place. It was more ominous looking than ever. The water stretched on for what seemed like ever until it hit the distant mountains. The morning mist above the water was taking longer to clear since the sun was hidden behind the February clouds. It was obvious the water was freezing.
“Well, all of our champions are ready for the second task, which will start on my whistle. They have precisely one hour to recover what has been taken from them,” (GOF page 493) said the booming voice of the tournament judge Ludo Bagman. On the whistle, Krum, Fleur and Cedric dove into the water. Harry was still taking off his shoes. Had he really over slept? Why wouldn’t Hermione have made him go to bed last night, and where was she to make sure he was on time this morning?
Where was Hermione now?
“To recover what has been taken from them.” Bagman had said.
Harry was stating to wade in the water, I felt awful for him: that water looked deathly. I only hoped he had a plan. Fred and George were cheering him on, as well as all our friends around us. But the Slytherins were making fun.
Let’s go, Harry, I thought.
“Wonder what they are supposed to find. Think they’ve got his Firebolt?” Seamus was yelling.
“Ten sickles it’s his invisibility cloak!” called George.
“Why would they go out of their way to hide those things underwater?” asked Dennis.
Harry finally dove into the water, and the four champions were all beneath the surface, surviving somehow without being able to breath.
“Yeah! 15 sickles it’s his owl!” replied Fred.
My eyes widened in recognition.
I looked around making sure I hadn’t just missed Hermione or Ron. “What did McGonagall want with Ron and Hermione, Fred, George,? Did she say?”
“Nope, she just looked really upset. Wonder if they got in trouble.”
Or maybe…. There were in trouble. Now.
“Luna!” I called her from the row behind me, she looked at me quizzically, “Have you seen Cho Chang?!”
“Actually, she’s been missing all morning, a few Ravenclaw girls are actually-”
I didn’t even bother letting her finish.
“It’s them!” I called to everyone.
The crowds around us were still cheering even though there was nothing to see. The countdown clock was ticking.
“It’s THEM! Hermione, Ron, Cho Chang, Gabrielle Delacour, they are in the water. The champions have to retrieve them!” My heart was pounding as all of a sudden the tournament got very real again.
Fred and George paled.
“What- what happens if the timer runs out and they...they don’t get to them?”
“I - don’t know.”
Lavender’s mouth parted a little in shock. The cheering started dying down. All there was to do was wait.
“Time’s getting tight,” said George.
“You’d think at least one of them would be back by now,” agreed Fred.
There were five minutes left. “Come on, Harry,” I muttered under my breath.
A commotion down at the Professors stand broke out, there was yelling and bustling and suddenly Madam Maxime waved her wand and mere seconds later, a sputtering Fleur Delacour was emerging from the water. The moment she did, several pairs of hands grabbed her and pulled her out of the lake; she was screaming and hollering. I couldn’t make out what she was saying but it probably had to do with the fact that her sister was nowhere to be seen.
As they consoled Fleur, a loud timer went off. The hour mark had past.
Not knowing what this meant for by brother and Hermione, and Harry for that matter my heart began beating wildly. “Where are they?!”
Before I could work myself into an outright panic two head sprung up from out of the water. “It’s Cedric!” Roared Ernie McMillan. Cedric tugging a soaking Cho Chang along was the first to emerge, clenching the win.
“Damn,” said the twins together.
Krum was next to arrive with Hermione in tow.
Of course Harry would be last. Of course!
The only people remaining in the water were Harry Ron...and Fleur’s sister. Two hostages. One Harry.
I quickly did the math.
“20 SICKLES HARRY COMES BACK WITH RON AND GABRIELLE DELACOUR!” I shouted.
Seamus laughed, “Yeah right, not even Potter’s that stupid, he won’t waste that time. He was the last one in the water, he’s just the last one out.”
Dean shook his head, “Yeah, there’s no way any of the Professors would let anything happen to the students down there, it's definitely under their control, look at how they pulled Fleur out!”
“Yeah, and Cedric and Krum came back after the hour and they were fine. Harry’s not stupid to think that they’re actually in danger,” said Lavender.
“So then take the bet,” I said.
Dean smirked, “Fine. Easiest money I’ve ever made.” We shook hands.
When Harry finally emerged from the water, with two bobbing heads beside him no less, I felt a weight lift off my shoulders.
“IDIOT!” yelled Dean.
But Harry actually wasn’t. When it was time to score the champions, we learned that Fleur had been attacked by underwater creatures and had to be rescued, giving her the lowest marks. Harry used the most effective way to travel underwater using Gillyweed, a substance that had him grow gills and webbed hands and feet. Because apparently Harry was the first to arrive at the hostages and was so determined to bring back as many people he could, the judges awarded him almost full points. Harry came in second.
Not bad for a fourth year.
“Easiest money I’ve ever made,” I said, putting my hand out to Dean. The twins cackled.
Dean shook his head and rummaged through his pockets, “How did you know?”
I shrugged, “He’s Harry Potter. He’s got a hero complex.”
Dean dropped the money in my hands, “Well played, Weasley. Well played.”
“Any of you have any ideas about what his little projects were? What sort of experiments he’d managed to concoct that would have him banished from a school notorious for teaching the Dark Arts?”
He was too impassioned for my liking. Moody. There was a sparkle in his eye that just...wasn’t right for one to have when lecturing about such things.
Maurine fidgeted nervously. The class was tense; even the Slytherins seemed strangely uncomfortable.
“No one with an unorthodox imagination, eh?” challenged Moody with a low snarl.
The class remained still and silent.
“Gellert Grindelwald was unlike any in his league, he had a thirst for power and a cause. Even after he was expelled from Durmstrang, he only became more determined. His main goal, to destroy the statue of secrecy of the Wizarding World was one that was highly supported by many….even some law abiding wizards who didn’t defend the Dark Arts.” Moody smirked, “Hard to believe someone like that could wield enough power to have rational people agreeing with him too, eh?”
I wanted to leave. I understood that it made sense as part of our Defense Against the Dark Arts curriculum to include the history of the dark arts but….Moody seemed to be preaching. Not teaching. He had yet to denounce a single thing Gellert Grindelwald ever did.
I thought that as an Auror he’d hate the Dark Arts.
“It only made sense that after his downfall someone else would want to take his place...someone even stronger and… much more…. Inventive.”
“You mean You-Know-Who?” said Henry Hiplume, a Slytherin, from the back of the room.
Mad-Eye Moody’s entire demeanor changed, a visible shiver went down his spine and he licked his lips with a gleaming eye. “The one and only.” He began to limp his way through the desks slowly, each drop of his wooden leg making a clatter on the ground. The hairs on the back of my neck stood. “I’m sure you’ve all heard the rumors: that he’s still out there. Waiting. Getting stronger. I’m sure you’ve all heard the stories of what he’s done. The only question that remains is….if he returns….will it be like last time, or will he succeed?
“The annihilation of muggles and muggleborns, the totalitarianism of pure blooded wizards,” he continued, “Will the Dark Lord fulfill that dream? Will he take the teachings from Gellert Grindelwald, the idea of immortality and absolute power, and go further with it to where the ideal as originally supposed to reach? Creevey?”
Moody stopped at Colin’s desk before me, leering down on him. It was clear that Colin was edging away from him. “Do you think he’ll succeed?”
“I- N-No,” said Colin.
“Hmm.” Moody got into Colin’s personal space, looking straightening into his eyes. “Straight answer ehh? Rather naive thinking. You best be prepared for the worst Creevey. Be prepared for both outcomes.”
“I- I was under the impression that You-Know-Who was dead...Harry Potter-”
“Do you ever feel the eyes of a person who’s not there watching you Creevey? Do you ever feel the hairs on your neck stand and the quiver in your stomach when you’re alone in the dark?” He looked for the answer in Colin’s eyes until he found it, “Yes- that- that is the feeling of dark magic in the air Creevey. It’s everywhere. Always be on guard, never rest easy that the Dark Lord isn’t out there.”
He slowly stood straighter giving Colin room to breathe, even though I felt like there was no air left in the room to inhale. “Now, the purification of the wizard line is an age old idea of only having the strongest of magic in its purest form running in the veins of every wizard,” He lectured, “No interbreeding, no mixing of the lines, no half-bloods, no muggleborns-”
“But You-Know-Who was a half-blood.” I said out loud. I still to this day don’t understand why I spoke out. It was a compulsion in me that made me say what I knew.
My cheeks reddened as soon as the words left my lips. Mad-Eye, who was standing only a few steps away swooped in and banged his palm against my desk.
“Think you know something, Weasley- DO YOU!?” His outburst was met with several gasps and I nearly jumped out of my skin. “The Dark Lord- a Half-Blood! That’s a laugh!” His tortured face twisted into something utterly unrecognizable, he looked like a different person.
I knew I was right however, and I didn’t want people to make Riddle out to be anything other than what he was. “H-his father was a muggle. Tom Riddle. You-Know-Who was named after him.”
I felt questioning eyes from all around me. “And how would happen to know that, Weasley?” he growled.
I looked to my left and Luna was staring at me encouragingly, but I wasn’t going to be honest. No way. “Harry-he told me.”
The rest of the class bought the excuse but Moody’s magical eye was looking right through me. “Potter told you-ehh?” he said his voice lowering slightly. The eye contact was terrifying. “Haven’t been writing in any diaries lately, have you, Weasley?”
The final bell of the day drowned out his last words but I heard them. The class rushed out of the room and Moody limped away with a last warning look. I sat frozen for a second before grabbing my items and running out, practically hyperventilating.
What was I going to do? How did he know? Who told him? Was he going to tell everyone, why did he sound so menacing? Why didn’t I feel safe? The corridors were emptying as everyone headed to dinner and I leaned against the wall, clutching my books to my chest trying to relax.
Obviously it must have been Dumbledore, they were good friends from what I knew. That still didn’t explain why he would throw it in my face and become so hostile.
Instantly I decided I wasn’t going to worry about Mad-Eye Moody anymore, I was going to let what was going to happen, happen. He wasn’t going to be around much longer anyway. Dumbledore would see it and all I had to do was wait. I wasn’t going to risk everyone knowing my secret.
“Have you seen this!?”
I looked up, Hermione was bounding toward me waving a copy of the Daily Prophet in the air.
“What is it?” I said shaking my thoughts of Moody entirely.
“See for yourself!” Hermione thrusted the paper in my hands and it only took a moment to realize what had her in a state. Rita Skeeter had written an article.
How she had the gall to write utter lies was baffling to me. “Miss. Granger a plain but ambitious girl, seems to have a taste for famous wizards that Harry alone cannot satisfy,” she wrote, “Since the arrival at Hogwarts of Viktor Krum…. Granger has been toying with both boys affections.” According to Rita Skeeter, Hermione was having her long term boyfriend Harry Potter on and breaking his heart by having a torrid affair with Viktor Krum. It was almost funny, actually.
“I wish I could say people don't read this rubbish Hermione,” I sighed, giving back the paper. “What are you going to do?”
Hermione ripped up the paper, “I’ll think of something. I can’t let her keep getting away with these…. preposterous lies! I only wish there was an easy way to- to-”
“Squash her like a bug?”
“Well. For now, all you can do is act as though it doesn’t bother you, the Slytherin’s will get bored when they see that they can’t get a rise out of you, It’ll blow over.”
“I know; I’m trying to act as though it’s not bothering me. I even told Ron and Harry that I thought Rita could do better than that. But…” Hermione watched her shoes, “What about everyone else outside of the school? It’s a national paper, Ginny. I’m not just worried about students; people everywhere are reading this.”
She was right. But this problem was over my head and I didn’t have an answer for her. “How about we go get some dinner for now; I’m sure you’ll think of something.”
Hermione nodded, banishing the scraps of paper with a simple charm. “I just wish everything wasn’t such a challenge. I wonder if maybe next year when this whole tournament is over we’ll have a normal year.”
“I’m fifteen. I don’t want to have to worry about the press calling me a scarlet woman,” Hermione’s voice was small and unsure. I tangled my arm with hers empathetically. Hermione rarely let her insecure side show. This was obviously shaking her to her core. “I can’t even imagine how Harry must feel- all the time.”
“Probably like this.”
Her brown eyes turned on me, “He doesn't let it show.”
“Cause he’s Harry, he’s been trained to keep it all inside. The muggles never cared for him; he’s used to dealing with his emotions by himself.”
Hermione nodded sadly, her curly hair falling into her face- a stark contrast from the night of the Yule Ball. She looked younger now, “Are you sure you’re only 13, Ginny?”
“Not sure of much about anything really. But I’m starting to realize that it’s okay. We don’t have to know everything Hermione.”
“Self-awareness is actually the highest form of intelligence, you know. Knowing you don’t know everything and understanding yourself… it’s the true sign of maturity.”
I rolled my eyes, “Too heavy Hermione, let’s go eat.”
She laughed, “Why so rushed? Is it the Weasley appetite, or are you hoping to sneak looks at the Ravenclaw table again?”
I blushed and shoved her a bit, “I don’t!”
“You sure do! You best be careful; if I notice you doing it, Corner must notice too!”
We both broke into a fit of giggles.
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