|SIYE Time:5:26 on 18th June 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: 105089; Chapter Total: 4609
Awards: View Trophy Room
And now off to Hogwarts!!
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Entry 16: The Perks of Playing Nice
"When you ask me, who I am:
What is my vision? And do I have a plan?
Where is my strength? Have I nothing to say?
I hear the words in my head, but I push them away.
'Cause I stand for the power to change,
I live for the perfect day.
I love till it hurts like crazy,
I hope for a hero to save me.
And I don't know
What tomorrow brings
The road less traveled
Will it set us free?
Cause we are taking it slow,
These tiny legacies..."
-I Stand, Idina Menzel
I might have figured it out. It took all of August- right past my solemn birthday- and my theory hadn’t been completely settled until I took my seat on the Hogwarts express, but I believe I had figured it out.
There were just two possibilities.
One: Harry indeed loved me as my mother said and left trying to protect me so that he could come back to me. He didn’t speak to me after his birthday kiss because he was afraid he’s lose all his resolve, end up taking me with him and trusting me with all his secrets, instead of keeping me safely in the dark.
Two: Harry only felt guilty after we broke up and barely spoke to me because he didn’t want me anymore. He was afraid to tell me anything in case I would find a way to sneak off with them, and that was the last thing he wanted. Not because he wanted to protect me but because he didn’t want me with him in general.
Both realities were plausible; the first because I did still feel that connection between us, even if Harry was a teenage boy no one kisses someone like that unless they meant it. He explained to me, when he ended it, that protecting me truly was the reason, and he just felt as though he would be insulting Dumbledore’s memory if he were to defy his wishes by telling me.
But then again, if he really did mean that kiss and his feelings for me, he wouldn’t have run after Ron and backed off- I’m sure that was what happened out in the orchard after we kissed. And Harry wasn’t naïve; he knew Dumbledore could trust me, he knew that Dumbledore would have wanted me with him, helping him. After all the times he told Harry that love was the key, Harry still refused to tell me anything. All I ever learned was what I heard by eavesdropping. Harry obviously didn’t want me by his side.
It was a stalemate in my mind and with Harry gone- making anymore observations impossible- I was just going to have to wait it out and see when he returned.
“I’m not so sure about this Arthur.”
“Molly, our best bet is to keep a normal front; Ron is supposedly stuck at home ill, so Ginny must continue her education not only for her own good but in case they suspect the Weasley’s have dropped out of sight they will start snooping. We have too much riding on us as is.”
“You sound as though we are using her as a tool!”
I rolled my eyes from my backseat in the ministry car, “Mum dad is completely right. And besides, it’s Hogwarts. I know that’s not as reassuring anymore but at least there will be McGonagall, and Hagrid.”
“You see dear? Listen to your daughter she’ll be surrounded by Order members.”
“Yes well we all thought the school was safe when Albus Dumbledore was there, look how that turned out,” my mother mumbled under her breath.
“It turned out fine! I’m ok, none of us got hurt- well other than Dumbledore I suppose- but that’s not the point. I’m going to school mom and at this point there’s no stopping it.”
“Do not be coy with me Ginevra; you know very well all I have to do is say the word and this car will turn straight around.”
“Yes but mum you’re not a fool.”
“I said no more lip!”
“Technically you said don’t be coy-”
“That is enough!” My father broke into our rapidly increasing debacle, “Molly, you needn’t be so worried and flustered, and Ginny stop disrespecting your mother.”
I honestly had no idea how I was disrespecting her, I thought I was merely trying her, but I let it go. However there were things that she just couldn’t leave alone.
“Well, if you ask me I don’t think the three of them thought this through very well. Who would ever in their right mind believe that the ghoul is actually Ron?”
“But see mum, no one did ask you.”
“And what about whan Harry doesn’t return to school? Don’t you think that will raise a thousand more questions rather than Ginny not going back? After all he is the Chosen One and everyone has rumored he was with Dumbledore the night he was murdered.”
My jaw dropped, “But he was mum!”
“Oh honestly, don’t you think I know that? I’m simply saying that it doesn’t sound good all put together, when Snape has yet to be convicted for murder and especially when Harry will be found missing in a few days time.” She sighed, “What were they thinking?”
They were thinking they’d all be bloody noble and kill off Voldemort while the rest of the world ponders their fate.
“Ginny are you sure they said nothing-”
“Mum we’ve been over this only a dozen times, if I did know anything, if they had told me anything at all, I wouldn’t tell you. It must stay between us. I’m sorry.”
The first few times I had to say that to her I felt remarkably guilty- I felt so terrible I wanted to collapse bawling into her arms and just tell her everything I knew. Then she would have marched up to them, tied them down, and never let them out of our sight. No matter how much I wished that could be the case, I repeatedly put on a face of stone and denied I knew, and refused to say anything. After about the twenty-third time I did that, I became rather accustomed to it and it was as easy as breathing.
“Well then, it seems as though we’ve arrived,” Dad’s voice came from the front. Looking out my window, I watched several hundred muggles going about their day at the train station. Sometimes I imagined how it would feel like to walk around in those awful muggle suits —is that what they are called?- holding one of those briefcases- bag- and not have to watch your every step.
Total oblivion that didn’t come from a cursed obliviate.
After a teary goodbye with my parents, I took my window seat in an empty compartment and used that time to sort through everything. My mother was just being a worry-wart; their plan-if not reckless- was solid, more than likely Hermione’s doing. Having our attic ghoul dressed as Ron in Ron’s room was definitely creative. That ghoul was just a free loader who never left no matter what we did, he might as well be put to use.
We let a story leak that Ron had succumbed to a severe case of Spattergroit and if anyone came to check up on him he would look like an over grown hideous beast- apparently the symptoms were in line with that. That way my family couldn’t be tortured for information when people assumed my brother was with Harry, because Ron wasn’t with him; he was home with Spattergroit.
Hermione tampered with the memories of her parents. She told me that much, in the cover of dark late at night when secrets, thoughts, fears and dreams were passed between best friends sharing a room. The whispers we couldn’t take back, not even if we wanted to. Hermione and I couldn’t hide from each other, that’s why I was so hurt the day we were changing the sheets and shocked that she actually held out.
Her parents had different names, different occupations, a different home in a different country, and had no memory of ever having a daughter. She did it to keep them safe. We both knew it was the hardest thing she had ever had to do… but it was necessary.
Anyway, as I before mentioned it hadn’t been until my journey on the train that I came to such a substantial realization. It hit hard to say the least, and so that was how Neville found me, alone, contemplating and moist-eyed.
“I…er…sorry, I’ll find another compartment-”
“Neville don’t be silly,” I rushed, clearing away any evidence of weakness, though it was obviously pointless. “Come in.”
Quietly he opened the compartment door again and took an uncertain step inside. “Are you sure? I don’t want to be a bother-”
I smiled, Neville really resembled what Hogwarts was all about, friends, familiarity and loyalty, he’d always been there timid and all. “You’re not.”
I watched him haul his trunk onto the rack above our heads and take a seat across from me, all the while wary to meet my eyes. “So how was your summer?” I asked in a ruthless attempt to get past the stickiness of the situation.
“Pretty terrible, but I think that was the standard of summers around here.”
“I know what you mean.”
“But one of your brothers got married didn’t he? Luna told me about the wedding.”
My smile was hardly convincing, “Yea, it was nice until the death eaters interrupted.”
“Heard about that too, at least no one was harmed right?”
“Yeah…the little things…” I observed the boy in front of me and I had to admit I was pleasantly surprised, he had grown a lot that summer, and not just in height his face narrowed out and his nose didn’t seem so out of place anymore. He’d always been tall and lanky but like Harry and Ron, he seemed to have filled out. He looked…good. “So you’ve spoken to Luna?”
“Yeah, just now on the platform. I invited her to join us; I thought that would be ok, but maybe I shouldn’t have-”
“Sorry. It’s only; you don’t seem to be in the mood for company. Are you alright Ginny? If you don’t mind my asking, I’ll understand if you don’t want to talk about it.” The honest truth was that I didn’t want to talk about it, but I did want some company to keep me from brooding all by myself. That didn’t mean, however, that I didn’t take my time to answer, he probably thought I wasn’t going to but eventually I gained the courage and looked out the window.
“It’s somewhat surreal don’t you think? Sitting here on our way back after all that’s happened…as though nothing did, and without Harry Ron or Hermione and a huge chunk of the student body? Are they right? Are we the fools sitting here just to take on another year of education while the world outside is fighting a war?”
“I think that we are going back for something larger than education… am I right? I’m not sure about me but it makes you brave and not foolish, we need to keep showing that no matter what they do, how many times they thwart us we will always bounce back. We are not that easy.”
“Who are you and what have you done with Neville Longbottom?”
He blushed, “So…er…do you by any chance know why they didn’t come back do you?”
“Not exactly, anything I do know it’s because I overheard it not because they told me…or wanted me to know at all.”
“I’m sorry, I didn’t- I thought that you of all- well, never mind.”
Luckily Luna broke the awkward silence that threatened to fall. “Is everything alright?” she asked taking a seat beside me.
“Of course, why wouldn’t it be?”
“You mean aside from the obvious? It’s only the auras in here, they happen to be a deep blue.”
“Yea, deep blue represents solemn, somber feelings and conversations, very grave topics.”
“Oh well, I guess so,” Neville shrugged, “We were only just talking about Harry, Ron and Hermione not coming this year.”
Luna’s eyes twinkled in what could have been interest or sadness. “Well of course Ginny would know all about that.”
“Well…she…doesn’t actually,” he replied uncomfortably.
“Harry broke up with me.”
The compartment fell quiet and two pairs of eyes, one blue and the other brown, ogled me. “At Dumbledore’s funeral.” I concluded.
“I’d rather not talk about it.”
Luna had yet to respond but the way she was staring at me had me suspecting that she saw right through me, and was currently reading my thoughts. I shifted.
“So that’s why he hadn’t asked you to dance?”
“Yes, I guess.”
Neville patted my hand, “Don’t worry; we won’t tell anyone, it’s no one’s business but yours.”
“No-actually, it might be better if that spread around quickly.”
“That you’re single? Have you already been scouting out for a new boyfriend Ginny?”
Neville was blushing again.
“Oh good, I knew you were still in love with him.”
“She means Harry right?” He asked clearly lost.
I eyed the locked door and sighed, “Yes I still have feelings for him but that doesn’t leave this compartment, understood?”
“But then why don’t you know why neither of them returned?” Luna questioned.
“We broke up Luna, we’ve just covered this.”
“But what does that matter?”
“It matters a great deal!”
Not if you still have feelings for him, and especially not if he still has feelings for you.”
“Luna where did you get an idea like that?”
“You just said-”
“I meant about Harry feeling the same for me!” Luna was usually so insightful, so intuitive, I was surprised she didn’t understand.
“Isn’t it obvious?” she asked Neville, who only shrugged. “He obviously didn’t want to break up with you-”
“I said I didn’t want to talk about it,”
“He still has a great deal of feelings for you, didn’t you notice the way he was watching you at the wedding? So it makes sense that he only ended it because of something mildly important, like say, safety.”
“Mildly important?” Neville squeaked.
“Of course, how could anyone forget that happiness is the most important thing, as is love.”
And there it was, her insight. It was incredible how she put together what took me a whole summer to put together (and I still wasn’t sure) in a matter of two minutes. Maybe she was right, but option two was still probable.
“Alright! Enough. Everyone is to think we broke up for the regular reason other couples would, if only just to ease Harry’s mind. He is worried people will find out it was just to keep me safe.” Which though Luna might have been sure about I still thought it could be just an excuse.
“This whole thing is just a nightmare if you ask me.” Neville sighed dropping his head into his hands.
“And it’s about to get worse. I may not know a lot about what the three of them are doing but I know enough. Harry let it slip that what they are doing is about ending Voldemort. They are playing their part in the war now.”
Neville gulped, “By themselves?”
“Looks like it.”
“Wow,” he let out a huge breath and sank back into the cushion of the seat.
I leaned forward, “This has to stay between us. Promise me, if anyone where to find out…it could be fatal, for everyone.”
“Especially considering the new headmaster.”
“Daddy believes that Voldemort is using the imperious curse on the new minister and that’s why they let Snape take Dumbledore’s spot.”
Pius Thicknesse was appointed Minister of Magic right after the murder of Scrimgeour, and it hasn’t been very subtle the changes in the Ministry. The number one example, as Luna mentioned, making Snape king of the castle.
“Or poly-juiced, or threatened, or maybe Thicknesse has been a death eater all along.” I suggested.
“Either way,” Neville said with authority in his voice, “this is not going to be a usual year; we need to watch each other’s backs. We need to help Harry.”
I looked at him quizzically, “What are you saying?”
“If Harry, Ron and Hermione are fighting this thing out there then we have to help by protecting the school and the students, there’s plenty to be done here.”
“You don’t mean-”
“Yeah Luna, war within the walls.”
I smiled, “Neville I love you.”
“Don’t let Harry hear you say that,”
“And I have a few ideas on what we can do, well if you’re interested.” There was a confidence in him that I had never seen before, it was surprising.
“Of course I’m bloody interested.”
“If it means opening the D.A. again I would love to help.”
That’s exactly what it means.”
“Oh good, it’ll be like having friends again.”
Neville and I just smiled; it would be like having friends indeed.
From the outside Hogwarts looked the same. There was no evidence of the battle that took place right on the grounds only two short months before. But the students who were what made the castle buzz with life dulled that year. Many were missing, close to a whole third of the student body, Cho Chang, Padma and Partavi Patil, Susan Bones, Justin Finch-Fletchley and…
Draco Malfoy and
The Golden Trio
It was odd, they were only a few among many that failed to show their face but they were ones I noticed personally. Walking into the great hall I held my breath
never before had I experienced Hogwarts so taciturn, no one spoke, there were no greetings only glimpses and glances. Colin sat with his brother and they raised their eyebrows as I passed, I replied with a nod in recognition.
“Oi Weasley!” The screech cracked and ricocheted through the eerie silence every head turned.
“Just keep walking,” Neville whispered beside me.
“You ignoring me, are you? Won’t be as easy now without your little army of redheaded protectors!”
I bit my lip, the urge to snap back was over powering my reticence. We had almost made it to an empty spot next to Seamus.
“And where’s the boyfriend Weasley? Home sick with Spattergoit? Or maybe he’s home tending to a missing ear.”
In a flash that not even I understood I had turned around and held my wand to Blaise Zambini’s face. “Shut. Up.”
“Or what?” his dark eyes gleamed with mirth, as he fell into a comfortable stance.
“Or I’ll hex your brains out,” I growled.
“Oh I’m so scared!”
“You will be when you see it coming out of your arse.”
That finally threw him off, he swallowed and took a step closer, dropping his voice so that only I and the few around could hear, “I’d watch your back if I were you, there are people here that wouldn’t be afraid to put you in your place.”
“Is that supposed to be a threat?”
Losing all sense of whisper he laughed once, “No, it is more like a question, how would you like to get personal approval from Potter’s parents?”
People gasped, I shook, and Neville went for Blaise before anyone could blink. But that didn’t mean he got to him. A milli-second before Neville’s fist collided with the slytherin’s face, a voice broke out from the head of the room.
All was still in those first few moments before reality hit, and then suddenly students, all houses alike became troops, toys in a games controlled by one voice. As a whole in one rumble and gush of wind, the school sat, except of course fro Neville, Blaise, his cronies and I. It seemed neither of us found Snape daunting enough to stop the discord (of sorts, to put it mildly) we found ourselves in.
“Zambini, Longbottom, Weasley do you wish to start term with a weeks worth detention?”
I didn’t lower my wand, nor did Neville turn away. “No professor.”
“Then. Sit. Down.”
There was nothing to do but oblige, personally I hadn’t intended to make a spectacle of myself- at least not yet.
“What a fine example for all the new students,” he sneered, and for the first time I looked up to the head of the room. Seeing that man, excuse me, murderer up there on that pedestal made me sick.
I can still remember what it was like at that time to name him as headmaster, the sting of betrayal from that man we had-not by choice- trusted, someone how had supposedly worked on our side. Having to accept him as our head was an act of depravity, I loathed him more than I could describe.
Now of course I regret everything I felt about him, however at that moment so long ago I was completely justified in feeling that.
Neville pulled me to my seat before I could vomit.
Snape appeared so comfortable up there with his angularly pale fingers strumming against Dumbledore’s stand. I kept forgetting that he was actually dead, yet I couldn’t forget that Snape was the one who killed him.
“One would think that the older, more experienced school veterans would know better,” he continued, “but of course there are those who are incapable of learning from…experience,” he said looking straight at me.
“Ginny ouch!” whispered Neville in pain, I had a grip on him from when I sat down and for some reason I had my nails digging into his flesh.
Bloody bastard, I’m still not sure if anyone noticed his less than subtle message but I certainly did.
“150 points from Gryffindor for that display, on the account of Mrs. Weasley and Mr. Longbottom.” No one protested, no one made a sound. Had it been a normal day I’d be rewarded with death glares from a fourth of the school but today everyone knew they’d have done the exact same thing. “And I suppose 20 points from Slytherin should cover it for…exacerbation purposes. Well isn’t that just wonderful, starting the term in debt with points.”
Rolling my eyes I search for more familiar faces, meaning comforting faces. The rest of the staff was seated in their respective seats not out of the usual. However there was nothing usual about them. Hagrid of course was the first one I spotted, his fists were so tight I suspected there to be blood. Flitwick’s eyes were darting back and forth between students, but Trelawney was the worst. The bags under her eyes were glowing and she was inconspicuously rubbing her temples, she must not have been sensing good auras.
McGonagall was most likely with the first years, gearing them up. As though of cue the doors opened and the fewest number of first years I had ever witnessed, and also the most anxious.
The sorting went on as routinely as always, the child sat their new house was called the only difference was that the cheers had been reduced to demure applause.
“Well now, I suppose I should welcome you al to another year, but you all already seem so…comfortable. This year we have new administrators in the school, and you are expected to have the upmost respect, I will not allocate anything less.” He said that with another glare in my direction. Why didn’t he just outright say I was a disrespectful, guile, scum of the earth? I would have returned the feelings and it would have ended so much sooner. “Amycus and Alecto Carrow.”
No one really had anything to react to, the school was indifferent, and they had no idea who the two wizards coming to stand beside Snape were. But Neville grew pale, and I thought I was going to be sick. And I couldn’t be sure but I believe Luna was muttering to herself over at the Ravenclaw table.
It was one thing to tolerate being in the same room as Snape, (yes at the time he was a murderer who had yet to be convicted however at least he had never attempted to lay a hand on me) but it was a total different situation to be in the same room with Amycus Carrow, a man whom in fact broke my ankle two years ago and had tried and failed to kill me just three short months before. He was ruthless.
And his sister no doubt was just as despicable.
“They will be teaching classes, but most importantly they are the head of discipline.” Neville’s hand squeezed mine.
How could they have possibly gotten away with that? It still baffles me to think of how deep Voldemort’s claws got into every aspect of the world, and how there was nothing I could do or say about it.
Seamus Finnigan threw me a funny look and tried to smile back; there was no point in alarming anyone prematurely.
“Now, everyone will have dinner and proceed to his or her respective dormitories immediately. No dawdling.” Snape finished his speech without so much of a dismissal and stalked out of the hall trailed by the death eaters. HE couldn’t even eat with us.
“Well that was…”
“An interesting start,” Neville said.
“Do the two of you have mutiny plans yet?” Seamus asked. Colin, his brother and several others were waiting officiously for the response.
“We have an idea, but we’ll just have to wait for the right time.”
Seamus snorted, “Right time? More like the worst time possible.”
I was late. So late I dreaded to meet my destination. Maybe I should have skipped the class altogether, but it was just such a gamble. I fully expected McGonagall to blow a gasket, “Miss. Weasley! This is only the first class of the year, your sixth year! There is no excuse, is this an example of what is to come?” I’d get detention for sure.
I pushed my frowzy hair out of the way, waking up late on the first day of class really was a hassle; I hustled my way over to the Transfiguration room. My world was startled to say the least when I tip-toed into the lesson. McGonagall, did stop mid sentence but only to turn to me and say, “Take a seat Miss. Weasley,” and continue.
No reprimands. No strident criticisms. Nothing. I didn’t hear a word she said throughout the entire lesson. I was analyzing her reaction when the door opened once again and Amycus stepped into my first lesson of the year.
No one made any kind of sign that they even noticed his appearance. McGonagall keep talking, so I mimed taking notes and kept Carrow in the outskirts of my eyesight.
“This year we will be preparing for your N.E.W.Ts, covering subjects that will appear on the test.”
He was eyeing each and every student, and McGonagall turned to the board. I wished I could tap into her mind, I wonder what she thought of all this, never in my years at that school had any teacher been observed during her lesson- no wait- Someone had, Delores Umbridge. Carrow began to pace the rows.
“The basic ideal of transfiguring a complete animal for a new one is among one of the requirements to pass-”
Colin beside me continued to bounce his leg like a maniac as Amycus grew closer. I couldn’t be certain if the death eater had realized I was there yet though it was bound to happen. My eyes remained on the board when he finally reached my desk; he paused, and furtively placed a hand on the desk. A quiet growl like sound echoed from the back of his throat, I took it as a small, “Ha! I’ve found you!”
Fortunately no one around heard. But when Carrow walked out of the room, McGonagall’s hand at the board froze for a slight second. Though she was positioned away from us I could imagine the relief on her face, but before I could blink again she had resumed the lesson.
“Miss. Weasley could you stay for a moment?”
“Of course Professor,” I replied waving Colin off and was then the last person in the classroom.
“Miss- Ginny,” she resigned to using my first name for the first time since I’d met her. I knew then that the topic wasn’t going to be light hearted, “don’t think I didn’t notice your walking in late to the first class of the semester. You know better.”
“I’m sorry, it’s just I-”
“There’s no use for extraneous explanations at this point, I do believe I understand. However, next time I will not be so lenient.”
“Now, I know that this must be a bit scary for you; we’ve succeeded in keeping the knowledge that Snape killed Dumbledore away from the students, but, of course, it is too late for Mr. Longbottom, Miss. Lovegood and yourself. I need you to know that my office will be open whenever. If you need something, anything, do not hesitate. I need your help Ginny.”
I nodded, amazed at the magnitude of the conversation; I had never heard her speak like that, to me, to anyone.
“How could this have happened?”
“Dark forces Miss. Weasley, they are all around. Now stay as far away from the Carrows as possible alright? Do not go drawing attention to yourself; I am aware of your history with Amycus.”
As I made my way to the door she stopped me once more, “Mrs. Weasley, I’m sorry, I’m almost positive you won’t want to answer it but I feel I must at least try, do you have any idea where-”
“No ma’am, I honestly don’t.
The first few weeks were very quiet. Classes commenced, dinners commenced, and homework was done. Conversation was modestly saved for late nights in the common room and even then it was whispers; it was easily the place we felt most safe.
“No Quidditch can you believe it? You would have been captain!” Neville complained.
“Oh please, it would have been Coote or Peakes before me.”
“Whatever helps you sleep at night,”
Sleep? That was a joke if I ever heard one. I’d had a dearth of good sleep since Harry disappeared.
“Besides, I would never have done Harry justice.”
Truth be told, I already longed for the feeling of being on my broomstick, the smell of the wood and the robes.
"Has anyone seen Seamus?” Lavender Brown asked descending the steps of the boy’s dormitory.
“Not me, haven’t seen him since breakfast,” Neville replied.
“He didn’t show up to Herbology, did he?”
“Now that I think about it, he didn’t.”
I shrugged, “I’m sure he’s fine, probably just trying to nick some sweets from the kitchen.”
Lavender floundered nervously, “He was supposed to meet me an hour ago.”
I had almost forgotten the two had gotten together at the end of the previous year. Ironical that. Dumbledore’s untimely death was the untimely end to Harry and me but the start of Seamus and Lavender as a couple.
“You guys talking about Finnigan?” Colin asked falling on the couch next to me.
“Yeah, do you know where he is?”
“Well it probably has something to do with what happened after breakfast.”
“What happened after breakfast?”
Neville shut his potions book, Lavender ceased her hair twirling and I raised my eyebrows, “You guys didn’t hear?”
“Oh…well he was with a few Slytherins and Alecto —right?- the woman. She was sneering at him, sort of how Snape does when he’s barmy. All I know is that he got detention, no idea why though.” Colin seemed nonplussed as he stared at our blank faces. “You hadn’t heard? It’s been all over school today.”
“So he’s in detention? Well that’s a relief,” Lavender sighed, suddenly breaking out her usual perk again.
Neville caught my eye; I knew we were thinking the same thing. Detention with the Carrows? It was nothing to sigh about.
And the theory was evinced…thoroughly, when the portrait hole opened and Seamus climbed in. Blood was trickling down from his lip and a red shadow on his cheek bone was slowing turning purple.
In an instant every whisper and scratch of a quill came to a halt, Seamus however, didn’t pause to answer any questions and proceeded up the stairs to his dorm with a frantic girlfriend at his heels. The shut of the door echoed in the stunned room.
It was getting worse.
“Is it the right time yet?”
Seamus’ shiner wasn’t discussed over the next month or so- it was a taboo; we all understood what happened but we just didn’t want to think about it.
Students scurried around with their chins tucked in and tails between their legs. One word from the Carrows and the students galvanized into an action that helped them disappear. I understood that everyone was on edge, but how we were supposed to start up the D.A. and the so called rebellion if the students were too frightened to speak at dinner?
At least one student from each house, apart from Slytherins naturally, had gained a face like Seamus’ and it succeeded in intimidating the population.
October’s end was nearing and we had yet to do anything. I knew Harry would have been disappointed.
“We need to act,” I told Neville in an undertone at lunch one day.
“I was starting to think the same thing. I was just hoping it wouldn’t have to be so soon.”
“Whatever you two are planning, I’m in,” Colin disguised he whisper as leaning over to serve himself more turkey. “And I bet that many people around here would be too.”
I almost laughed, “Are you kidding? Everyone around here has been closing into himself shaking with fright.”
“That doesn’t mean they don’t want to help. Besides it could be just an act you know, pleasing the Carrows so that they think they have full control, never suspecting what we are going to do.”
“Are you serious?” The answer was evident when almost all the heads of Gryffindor turned to me deliberately.
My heart lightened incredulously. “Ok then. Be on the lookout, they’ll be signals for a meeting very soon.”
I didn’t feel alone. I was the only one in the room granted but I sensed life all around me. People I hadn’t seen or heard from in a while.
I could almost hear him, “A memory, a really strong happy memory will suffice. Don’t hold out, it must be strong enough to counter even the worst of thoughts-”
I could almost see him wandering around securing wand grips, postures, adjusting wrist movements.
I could almost see his smile when someone succeeded.
Had it already been two years since those memories were realities? I remembered it like the last thing I said.
Perhaps it was just the room. Perhaps I required the feeling of hope, the feeling of Harry, because I truly was alone where I was. I was half glad about that too, no one would have understood if they saw me introspective like that.
I sound silly don’t I? Now that I think of it- now as I’m much older and I write this- I realize that these feelings were entirely too premature.
I know what you’re thinking, “I was only 16, I didn’t know anything about such strong love; the feeling of Harry what did I know? Blah, blah, blah…” but I did know.
I was the exception.
When I was eleven, barely a pre-teen, I was manipulated by a troubled 16-year-old whose past was just as severe as Harry’s. I’ve told you I poured my heart and soul into him, I bared everything out on a table the insecurities of a young girl, the worries and stresses of a student. But I never told you that he returned the favor, he poured everything into me. He made me feel everything and experience his youth first hand. His anger, his pain, his sense of betrayal.
His loneliness, the abandonment he felt at the orphanage he lived in as a child, his confusion to what love meant, it all bubbled up to the surface as he used my soul to recreate his own. I know now what exactly he was doing and why he did that, why the diary did that, but you I’m afraid will have to wait a little bit longer.
Anyway, because I was so young when this happened to me my experience with emotion was far beyond that of a regular teenager. I knew then, as I know now how it feels to not have the love that I have with Harry, to have no one care for you. I know how it can drive you to do all the things Tom did. The feeling of Harry to me, was the feeling of love in general, not necessarily the hot and steamy romance, but how I care so much for him, how I feel when I watch him give all the caring back without knowing, without a reason.
Harry too understood what it felt to have no one care for you; his past is a slight resemblance of Tom’s. So to watch him come out so much better on his own accord, to see him stronger and have the heart to love and care without anyone showing him what it meant gave me the hope that there was enough good in the world to conquer anything. Harry was that good. He was the hope that after the war there would still be enough love in the world, so that children like Harry would turn out alright when they had no one either.
I’m being so elaborate for a reason, not just because I’m a rather barmy person, but I want you to understand this as you read. I’m sure you’ve thought of me as overly dramatic at times, overly emotional, especially for someone so young. You think that I added all these things now as a an older woman looking back, but I haven’t, nor have I barked at things I couldn’t see because I did feel those emotions I did think those thoughts just as raw and powerful as you’ve read them, and now you know why.
It was Tom.
It was Voldemort.
Just another thing to blame on him. But I must admit if I did take anything with me as I walked away from the Chamber it was my sense of emotion. Merlin help me, I was not, nor have I ever been, a silly little girl in puppy love. It was much more than that, always.
The Room of Requirement didn’t hesitate at all to transfigure back into the old D.A. room. It was a bittersweet moment as I stood there, all the memories rushing back, but I was glad it came back to me nonetheless.
I wasn’t going to be able to do him justice as leader of the D.A. that was fact. But fact never stopped me before.
“Kind of odd isn’t it? I was sad that we couldn’t continue last year but it’s even worse that we have to start it up again right?” Neville appeared beside me surveying our work area.
“The summer did you well, Neville, you’ve changed.”
“Haven’t we all, at least a little?”
“Well yes but…did something happen?”
He looked torn, his brown eyes troubled, I waited silently until he replied, “I really don’t want to talk about it.”
“Oh isn’t this just wonderful? Everything is still here.” Luna was wondering around when I turned to her smiling at everything in sight. “Everyone is truly excited, but I do feel bad that the Slytherins are left out of the fun.”
“The Slytherins are the cause of this Luna.”
“If that were true then why isn’t the war against the Sorting Hat? He’s that one who makes the Slytherins after all.”
I couldn’t even fathom a response. “So who is starting the lesson then?”
Neville averted his eyes to the ground, Luna stared blankly.
“Are we early?” Colin asked walking into the room followed by his brother and a few other Gryffindors.
I shrugged, “Doesn’t really matter does it?” People shuffled in, groups of three or four. Many seemed anxious, while others were barley containing their excitement. The murmurs were dwindling and I knew the time to say something was drawing near.
“The floor is yours,” Neville nudged me to the center of the room.
“Of course it is,” I muttered.
How had Harry done this and make it look so easy? I mean, I was only just Ginny and he was only just Harry.
Yeah, Harry bloody Potter.
I took a breath and just let the right words come out.
“I want to thank you for coming. It means so much, not only to me but to everyone who is involved and those who want to fight back. The fact that we can all stand up together shows we can fight back too.” Public speaking shouldn’t have been that hard; with being so verbose that people wanted to bring out a muzzle, this should have been a breeze for me- but it wasn’t. Although, when Neville smiled at me I knew it was all going to be alright.
“I know that there are bad things-scratch that -horrific things going on in the underground of our world right now and it’s already leaked into our school, leaving a stench.” I subtly gestured to those with hints of battering detentions.
“I know this used to be Harry’s job, heck I know it still is. And I also know what that rag of a newspaper is printing about his so called 'desertion' and if you’re here because you agree with that, believe it or otherwise, then you need to leave right now. Because I can assure you, he’s fighting every damn minute of the damn day.”
I heard some gulping, but I wasn’t about to back down. Ever since it was common knowledge that Harry Potter hadn’t return to Hogwarts for his last year of school everyone had been accusing him of running away from his destined duties as Voldemort’s ascendancy plagued both the wizarding and the muggle worlds. The Prophet along with Rita Skeeter fully supported that explanation for his sudden disappearance.
“Now look, we are all here for the same reason, whether it’s too out right fight, or to learn how to defend we are still here because we are against Voldemort.” Some still flinched at the name. “Harry once said that every great witch of wizard started out as nothing more than what we are today, if they could do it, why not us. He was absolutely right. Let’s prove it to him shall we?”
Colin beamed, Luna smiled and Neville nodded, looked like I had done something right. “So I think we should start by reviewing everything the original group learned two years ago. We’re going to help each other, learn from each other contribute anything we can and become the best bloody army this school has ever seen. Are we ready?”
“You…er…wanted to see me Professor?” I poked my head into the Headmaster’s office.
I know. I was…impulsive as a teenager, I did things that wouldn’t have been that wise in a rational mind, so when I was summoned to the Headmaster’s office during the second month of the school year, I wondered what had taken so long.
“Come in Mrs. Weasley.” I knew I didn’t have anything to worry about; the D.A. had only met up a few times and we had yet to do anything compromising.
No one had said anything yet, and I would have known. Aside from the inevitable pimples gained with a confession we use last time, Luna came up with an idea to charm everyone, if anyone spoke up —for any reason- we would all be alerted that was we wouldn’t be caught unaware.
But I hadn’t done anything wrong…yet.
“Yes Sir.” Playing nice was the best tactic sometimes.
Even if I hated it.
“Take a seat.” I did. Snape strummed his fingers again. “I understand that you’ve had a conference with Professor McGonagall.”
Conference? I had no idea where he was getting at.
“Don’t be too quick to defend or deny,” He said before I could respond, “I’m not accusing you of anything.”
Snape not accusing? That was a laugh. It seemed he was playing nice too.
“Honestly I’ve had no such meeting with Professor McGonagall…well she had me stay after class for a moment.”
One of his dark arching eye brows rose, “Precisely.”
“Only to reprimand my tardiness.”
Snape pursed his lips; his façade slipping. “There is no use in hiding the truth Miss. Weasley, we both know you discussed more than just your incompetence.”
“I haven’t the slightest idea what you’re meaning Sir.”
“My patience is wearing thin; I will ask you once more-”
“If you’re so sure there was such a conversation then why don’t you question Professor McGonagall? Or do you think she will be unwilling to tell you anything? Sure you can try to intimidate me into confessing something but getting the truth out of an Order member would be quite difficult especially after you-”
Snape stood up so swiftly it caught me off guard, he’d had enough of our little game; I knew he couldn’t stand to be nice for very long, he decided to drop all pretenses. “The sudden respect is flawed Weasley, no one would believe it for a minute.”
I followed his lead without hesitation, “Only because no one would believe you earning or deserving any sense of respect.”
“I’d watch my words if I were you, you seem to keep forgetting that I run this school now it is mine,” his voice dropped so low and quiet it was a growl from a tempted animal.
“For the moment.”
“I know you discussed the whereabouts of Potter and Granger!”
“You are wasting your time.”
“Where are they?”
“Why do you care? Oh that’s right! You want to know so that you can go off skipping to your master, You-Know-Who and tell him what you’ve learned!”
“You assume too quickly. Not everything is what it seems, it would do you a wonder of good if you understood that, but you’re just too stubborn, just like the rest of your family.”
It was my turn to stand up, “Do not bring my family into this! I don’t know where Harry is! I wouldn’t tell you even if I had the slightest idea!”
“You will regret that decision soon enough, why don’t you try again?”
I saw red. My anger must have been waving off my like flames, there was no way I could control myself if I stayed any longer.
The git smirked and dropped his voice again, “It’s getting to you isn’t it?”
“What?” I spat.
“Not knowing; that is if you truly don’t. you’re keeping something and if I hadn’t known it before you definitely cemented the idea on my head the moment you walked in…what is the term…’playing nice.’
The insufferably git was calling me out on a card that he had played! I looked away from his disgusting face when something brilliant caught my eye. An idea hit so inspiring that it took all I had to maintain a neutral face.
“I’m not keeping anything Professor, the Order would never tell me anything anyway. You unfortunately know that. Why are you so insistent anyway? Is the Dark Lord miffed at you? Are you trying to get on good terms, trying to suck up? What’s wrong? Did you not murder Dumbledore the way he wanted you to?”
“Get. Out. NOW.”
“Gladly.” I walked away with one last glance at the Sword of Gryffindor mounted on the wall above Snape’s head. Something told me this wasn’t over, however at least the first round went to me.
“Yes Professor?” When I turned back to face him, I almost felt frightened, I had never, in all my years of sitting in his class with his suffocating attitude, had I ever seen him so deadly angry, so evil.
“If I find that you and your little friends have started up that…fool’s club again, you’ll be worse than sorry.”
“If I may make a point? We only ever opened that club when we weren’t learning defense, and we are now. Not to mention it was Harry’s job, it was his club and as you know, he’s not here.”
“Are you insane?”
“Not the last time I checked why?
“When we said ‘act’ I thought it meant opening the D.A. just to learn to our defend ourselves. I thought we agreed our part of this war was to teach and keep the students safe. Not risk…death to run an errand!”
“Oh please, I think death is over doing it,” I told Neville as I picked up yet another fallen cushion. “Besides, what’s wrong with doing both?”
“Luna can you please talk some sense into her?”
“Who’s sense? Mine or yours?”
“Wait. You don’t agree with me?”
Luna tilted her head, “Well,” she said, “I thought we were in danger already, what is more flame to the fire?”
I chuckled, “I think it is said, ‘fire to the flame.’ ”
“How does that make any sense?”
“Anyway!” Neville seemed pretty flustered, and it was pretty surprising. I had thought he’d have been all for it and prepared considering his new found attitude. I guess the Neville we always knew was deep inside, not that it was a bad thing, but I didn’t need someone so edgy and fearful at that moment.
The three of us were picking up after a rather explosive meeting- our third to be exact- when I brought up my idea.
“I think it’s just too chancy,” he continued, “stealing the Sword of Gryffindor from Snape’s office is a death wish.”
“Two things, first it isn’t Snape’s office, its Dumbledore’s-”
“Dumbledore’s dead Ginny,” Neville spoke out right frustrated the silence following his words made me feel empty.
“I…know that,” I replied still shell shocked and not sure what he wanted me to say.
He frowned, I wasn’t sure if he regretted what he’d said or if he was just annoyed. He bore his eyes into mine trying to get his point across, “Do you really? Because you still talk about him as though he were here.”
“Of course I know! Of course I’ve come to terms with it, you think I’m in denial? I saw his body Neville! We were all there! I haven’t treated it as though it never happened!” I stared at the boy whom I went to the ball with, the boy I knew, but if he was suggesting that I didn’t want to come to terms with that…then he wasn’t the same boy who knew me.
“Fine! Whatever! Let him be the rightful headmaster, but that sword is not.”
“It wasn’t even Dumbledore’s to give to Harry in the first place!”
“Why are you so against this?!”
“BECAUSE GINNY! Whenever we go out without thinking things through on some vigilante mission someone always gets hurt!”
He was right, and I had to admit it to myself. It took me a long time to make myself see that what he said was the honest truth. Sirius…our fault…my brother Bill…my fault…George and Mad-Eye…the Order’s fault. We kept saying the nothing was our fault to help through the morning but deep down... I knew that if I hadn’t fought in the last battle Bill wouldn’t have chased after me and come into contact with Greyback.
“We can’t let that stop us Neville, if we do then they win!” I was pleading with him now, “Harry needs that sword for reasons unknown but if Dumbledore thought he did then that’s reason enough. Yes he’s dead, but even in death I still trust Dumbledore’s judgment. It had to be important; you’ve got to believe that!”
“Oh I think he believes it,” Luna said as she stood up, “He just doesn’t want to see you get hurt. That really would be awful; you’re the closest I’ve ever had to best friends.”
“Luna, we are you’re best friends.”
“We are going to be more careful than all the other times! It isn’t as impulsive as running out of the grounds; there won’t be an army of death eaters banging down our doors. No Voldemort. Please Neville.”
He shook his head, “I’m not sure.”
“Well it’s rather impossible not to be sure isn’t it? You’re sure about not being sure, so what you’re saying is flawed, and maybe it means that you do want to do this.”
Neville shook his head, “Luna-”
“She’s right Neville, in her own way; you’re not one to be not sure, well not anymore anyway. You told me this summer changed you. Prove it.”
He didn’t say anything.
“I need you, I need you both, and if you’re not willing to help then I’m going solo.”
“I’ll help, besides I don’t think we will really get hurt, Snape’s aura is against it.”
Luna thought that Snape was against physical injury? Then why the hell were students walking around with black eyes? I seriously thought Luna was losing her mind by that point.
“Neville?” he was torn, between diffidence, diligence and courage.
And finally he caved, “How the bloody hell are we even going to do this?”
“We’ll think of something.”
“Ok, ok…I’m in.”
“Brilliant!” I exclaimed and kissed him on his cheek. Neville blushed.
How indeed? I have my conspirators, but now I needed a plan.
“Why don’t’ we just ask for the sword?”
Luna shrugged, “Why don’t we just ask for it, it’s not as though they are using it anyway.”
“I honestly doubt they will be willing to just hand over an artifact like that, especially if we asked.” Neville was right; it was just ridiculous to even think about it.
“Anyways,” I sneered, “I’m through with playing nice.”
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