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SIYE Time:1:49 on 17th January 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
Characters:All
Genres: Action/Adventure, Comedy, Humor, Romance, Songfic
Warnings: Mild Language, Mild Sexual Situations, Violence
Rating: PG-13
Reviews: 132
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: 96311; Chapter Total: 3916
Awards: View Trophy Room




Author's Notes:
As the Climax approaches the suspense gets stronger, get ready for some action people!




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"This is a call to arms, gather soldiers
Time to go to war
This is a battle song, brothers and sisters
Time to go to war
Ever want to be free?
Do you even remember?
Want to be god and devil like me?
Ever want to just stop?
Do you want to surrender?
Or fight for victory?
Here we are at the start, I can feel the beating of our hearts
Here we are at the start..."
-30 Seconds to Mars, Vox Populi


I remember when I failed him. I tried my best and wanted with all my heart to make him proud and make some kind of difference in the war. But I didn’t get the chance. I was sent away before I could finish what I had started. Sent away, shipped off. That really didn’t make me a happy person.

“Ouch!”

“Hold still!” I tried again, “OWW!”

“It wouldn’t hurt as much if you would just shut up and stay still!”

“It wouldn’t hurt if you weren’t being so terribly rough with it!”

“Well it had to be cleaned.”

“Why can’t you just spell it close again?”

“Because Neville, as I explained already this particular hex will keep reopening the wound!”

“You don’t have to yell!”

“You don’t have to be so smart with me.”

Neville rolled his eyes and resigned. I returned to the deep gash on his arm, making sure to catch the blood that was dripping down. It was a nasty sight, but no matter how hard I tried the wound would not seal itself up with magic.

“So what are you going to do now?” he asked when I finally managed to stop the bleeding.
I turned and tossed the bloody rag into the sink. “We can’t just leave it open, it’ll get infected and you’ll get sick.”

“What do we do?”

I stared at the gruesome cut, it stretched from his elbow down a few inches from his wrist, and the red meat glistened from the torn missing skin. “It’s repelling all magic. What do muggles do?”

“Do what?” Colin asked making his way into the room of requirement with lavender following him.

“Take a look at his arm.”

Colin didn’t flinch at the disgusting sight, only frowned. “I didn’t know you got detention again Neville.”

“Yeah, late to class this morning.”

“Over slept?”

“No, I was helping boy whose hex burn started flaring up again.”

“Well did you at least help him?”

“Yeah,”

“This isn’t helping the problem! We have no way of curing this!”

“Did you try a skin re-growth spell?”

“Of course!”

“How about a freezing seal spell?”

“Yes.”

“What about a simple sticking charm?”

“Colin do you see all these books?” I waved to the cluster of open texts and parchments I had been studying for the past half hour. “I tried everything that they suggest, but I guess they just aren’t equipped to stand against Dark Magic.”

Lavender bit her lip, “Is it clean at least?”

“I managed that thankfully.”

She watched it as though she could fix it with her mind. “What would muggles do?”

“Muggles?” Neville asked, “How would I know? I don’t know anything about muggle medicine.”

“Muggle medicine?” a seventh year Ravenclaw boy off to the side who was healing the fractured ankle of a younger girl looked over at us. His name was Avery Smite, and the girl was his younger sister, a fourth year Hufflepuff named Anamille.

“Do you know anything about it?”

Avery came over to inspect Neville’s arm. Avery was very handsome; let me tell you, he got as much attention as Cedric Diggory did, he was tall and well built, but still lean, with neat light brown hair and smart blue eyes. He was the type that always looked sharp and perfect, not one hair out of place, not one blemish on his face. Luna told me once that this boy was smart enough to give Hermione a run for her galleons.

“Our father is a muggle, and he’s a surgeon, a doctor that performs operations.”

“Operations?” Neville asked Avery as he tenderly examined his arm.

“Yeah, you know when doctors open patients up to fix the problems inside the body.”

“What?”

“It’s miracle working to say the least.”

“But how…how do people survive that? How do they close them back up without magic?”

Avery smiled up at me; there was a strange unsettling glint in his eye. “They sew them back up.”

Lavender, Neville and I blinked at him, waiting for the real answer.

“What? I’m serious it’s called stitching.”

“Stitching? As in stitches?” Raising an eyebrow I stared unbelieving at the boy.

“Yes it is like sewing clothes expect with skin, when it closes the skin seals back up on its own after a few weeks.”

“That doesn’t sound possible-”

“Or safe-”

“Or sane.”

“It’s true Ginny, there is such a thing. My mom got them once when she was younger.” Colin said.

I stared for a moment, not sure how to proceed, from what I knew, when my father had been in St. Mungo's something was said about stiches, but this couldn't havbe been it. Could it?

“It’s done all the time everyday and I think…if magical medicine isn’t working, then it is the best bet for this wound.”

“You’re not sewing me up!” Exclaimed Neville who pulled his arm away from Avery’s grasp; grimacing in pain as he did so.

“Neville be careful with that! I just stopped the bleeding,” I said, “Avery, are you completely serious?”

“100% and I know I can do it. I’ve watched my father at least a hundred times.”

“Only seen?” Neville squeaked.

“Well he’s let me practice a few times on some prosthetics.”

I could tell he was completely sure of himself, he definitely knew what he was talking about.

“Colin?”

Colin turned to me and shrugged, “To tell you the truth I was ten when I found out I was a wizard Ginny, it didn’t really give me a lot of time to become aware of those things, but from what I have seen during my summers and the time I do remember, Stitches are very common and natural. Avery is telling the truth, but I wouldn’t be able to tell you if we were doing it correctly.”

I took a moment to consider. To consider Neville’s frightened face, Lavender’s confused look and Avery’s reassuring gaze, then the scorching gash on Neville’s arm. “Listen, the longer this is open the more of a chance it will become infected and I’m sure you don’t want to deal with that right now.”

“Ginny, he is not sewing me up.”

“I can’t make you do anything, Neville it’s all up to you. But maybe it is the best solution right now; that is based on what I understand. I can’t think of any other options.”

Neville’s face paled, “He uh… doesn’t even have any muggle instruments to work with so it won’t even-”

Suddenly the Room of Requirement fixed that problem.

“That-well-I…I,” he sputtered as Avery collected the materials.
"Looks like Harry won't be the only one with an interesting scar Neville," Colin smirked seeming very interested in what was about to happen."

"You can even take a dose of pain potion now, you won't even feel it."

Neville nodded and stayed silent I was guessing he still wasn't all convinced.

"I think I'm going to step out for a bit, I have some work to do," I said slowly edging toward the door.

Avery paused his preparations and looked up rather smugly and amused. "Sure you do," he said with a wink.

I felt myself blush and no one but Avery saw. I looked at my feet thoroughly embarrassed. I blushed! I blushed like a Weasley on a summer's day.

"Umm...well yes I do," I tried, not really understanding why I couldn't be more assertive, why I was acting like a shy little ninny.

"Good luck with that then." he flashed an attractive smile. I smiled in return feeling the heat of my flush still radiating.

"Thanks," I replied nodding at him and the rest including Anamille, Avery's sister, and rushed out of the room.

It wasn't a secret that Avery liked me, he flirted enough the past year and several rumors have gone around about my having an affair with both he and Neville. I wasn't really affected by them; I didn't care about such juvenile matters anymore. I was only worried about hearing one particular rumor that involved a fourth person. Thankfully it had yet to come. Avery was handsome, extremely handsome even. But he had nothing on Harry, at least, not to me.

*******

Christmas came and went, as did New Years and the rest of January. But things were far from okay.

No matter how we tried time never seemed to pass without incident. Students went home for Christmas and several didn't return. One in particular.

We had attempted to deny the truth a d hoped for the best but we couldn't pretend forever.

However if we learned anything at Hogwarts it was how to act as though nothing was wrong.
Somehow I had managed to avoid detention all that time. Oddly enough I had yet to experience it.

The D.A. trained three times a week, maybe four, we rarely held official meetings. The room became a place to practice when you could at your leisure. Everyone took it seriously and dedicated themselves making me so proud. We were becoming very strong.

Silence in the Great Hall continued, whispers in the common room grew quieter, laughter was scare and genuine smiles were rare.

Defense Against the Dark Arts was back to its old Umbridge days, book work and nonsense with nothing productive was being done as Amycus stalked about the room. He passed me with a hungrier look every day. I wondered when he was going to act, what he was going to do, I knew our conflict was not going to go untouched.

"Well isn't this just a delicious sight? Ginny Weasley alone in the snow?"

I stopped reading a defense book provided by the room of requirement and shuddered. Zambini calling anyone delicious was disgusting, "Leave me alone," I said refusing to lift my gaze.

Suddenly a tall shadow blocked my sunlight. "What do you want?"

The boy chuckled, "Can't I just enjoy the scenery?"

"Not until that scenery happens to be the inside of a cozy Azkaban cell."

"Well aren't you a feisty one?" He laughed again and kneeled down to meet my eye level. "But of course I already knew that."

There was bile in my mouth as he managed to make his big head the only thing in my line of sight. "I'm going to give you another chance to leave."

"What are you doing out here all alone Weasley? There's no Longbottom to protect you this time."

"I can protect myself just fine," a smile grew on my face, "but of course you know that." the truth was that I couldn't handle all the crying in the common room anymore. Neville was a mess.

Zambini smirk, "Too bad your friend Lovegood couldn't..." he said sliding a dark skinned hand onto my knee.

Completely shocked I reached for my wand, "Get away from me you-"

"Don’t get all riled up, sweetheart I'm sure they are taking great care of her."

I froze. Who? How did Zambini know anything?

I waited, enduring the hand that was inching up to my thigh in hopes he would give another clue as to where Luna was.

"Meanwhile... I think I could take great care of you, I know you've been lonely, and I think it is time for us to become better... acquainted." He seemed rather too smug when I quit struggling but I knew he wasn't going to say anymore about Luna, at least not willingly.

Grabbing my wand, I threw him off of me effectively catching him off guard. In a second I had him pinned to the ground with my wand pressing dangerously into his throat. "Now listen to me. The only thing you will be getting acquainted with is the end of my wand," I muttered darkly into his ear. Whether he was too scarred or pinned down too hard he didn't move. "Where is she?"

"You know," he said rather breathlessly, "this in many ways is incredibly sexy."

I sat up as I realized that in my attempt to coerce information out of him I had straddled his torso and completely leaned into his body to get to his throat and ear. So much for scarring the goblins out of him.
"Gross," I mumbled getting off him nut keeping my wand in place, "Get up."

He stood.

"You will leave my friends alone, is that clear? If you want to keep your bits that is. It will be wise for you to avoid us."

"If the alternative it you having my bits then I- Owww!" he cried as I hit him with a mild stinging hex, "You little bi-"

"It can be a lot worse than that Zambini. I mean it."

"I could report you so quickly-"

"But you won't because I could reply with a harassment charge."

"Who would believe you?"

"Are you willing to risk it?"

"You're making a mistake Weasley, at some point one bloke in this school will get you, now that Potter's gone everyone wants to conquer what he couldn't," he said reaching for his wand.
I stung him again moving my wand to the center of his chest. Zambini was rather short so it wasn’t that difficult. I didn’t even think twice about any consequences, I just reveled in the feeling of being in control of something.

“What is that?” he groaned in pain, “One of those little hexes from your precious D.A.? Haven’t opened that up again, have you?” He was rambling then, obviously finally grasping the fact that I was not joking. I was deadly serious. Emphasis on deadly.

“That isn’t any of you business, Zambini, just keep your distance. That should be the most you worry about right now.”

“So you have started it up again.” I lowered my wand, only enough to let him walk away. “Go away, now.”

He gave me this devious smile that gave me the creeps as he straightened his robes. “I never thought you were so stupid,” he said as he retreated, “you must have gotten it from your looney friend Lovegood.”

“You bastard!” I yelled preparing another curse, only to find that he was gone before I could cast it.

I stood there panting with rage, sadness, and fright. I had never held anyone at wand point like that. What had I done? I slipped to the floor, still not breathing regularly. Luna was kidnapped on her way home for Christmas. They left a note, one McGonagall showed to me after finding me in the hall as I left Neville in Avery’s care. I assumed she had made it home. She hadn’t.

I ignored the burning sensation of the snow seeping into my clothing as I began to cry. They had her. She might have already been dead.

I pulled my legs to my chest, and rested my head on my knees, happy that no one could find me there

Scared that no one would find her anywhere.




Again, I had no idea how I skipped out on detention, how I had never been served one at all, but I didn’t have to wait much longer until I did.

Students fell hard into their work since there was not much else to do. Quidditch was canceled and fun was all but forbidden, and quite frankly, no one felt like acting happy those days. The only comfort we had was the D.A. and there was about to be a huge change that made the group and obstacle that was almost to risky to handle. But we did.

At the largest cost of my life.

There was to be a speech after dinner one day and the entire school was expected to attend. This caused a lot of talk throughout the students, and though it didn’t bother me much, it was a nice change from endless banter about my multiple affairs and romances.

The nature of the speech, however, worried me. What would Snape possibly have to say now? He had made himself scarce the few months prior and he was so quiet, it was easy to forget that he was the one running the failure of a school.

We waited anxiously at the end of the meal, the four tables as usual, eerily silent. McGonagall was nervous; I could tell by the way her eyes were darting back and forth between all the students.

At last Snape stood and made his way to the podium, not wasting any time in getting to it. “In light of recent events and information that has come to my attention I’ve decided that this school is in fervent need of an adjustment. Under no circumstances is there to be magic used outside of the classroom. There had always been a no magic in the hallways policy but it seems that rule has been utterly disregarded and so there will be a few new restrictions.”

I turned to Neville; his face proved that he was as bewildered as I felt. I feared to know exactly what information he was referring to. I had hoped Zambini was bluffing, but perhaps he wasn’t playing.

“Curfew for all students, first to seventh years will be 5 p.m. All students are to be in their respective common rooms by that time," there were gasps and grumbles, but no outright comment or complaint. "Students will report to their classes and then back to their dormitories. No dawdling in the corridors. No one is to be on the grounds outside of class.
And again under no circumstances are there to be any associations, organizations and or communication between students outside the common room."

He knew. Zambini tipped him off about the D.A. and now he was going to do everything in his power to stop it students were all whispering, scared, nervous but the D.A. all over the hall seated in all tables just seemed more determined than ever.

"Any violation of these rules will lead to grave punishment."

And I knew that no matter what Snape did, nothing would break us.

"You are dismissed."


**********
We were prisoners inside the school, inside our own common rooms and inside our minds because for about two weeks we obeyed the new laws. Unjust as they were, we didn't risk breaking them right away. No one spoke until we got to the Gryffindor common room, where we would all sit, barely able to fit and complain, let out our anger or just talk and comfort each other. But if anything was for certain we were going to lose our minds.

Hogwarts wasn't even a place anyone wanted to be anymore. Many people left, many could not stand the silence, the fear and the paranoia any longer. Unfortunately there were still other’s with family on the run, in hiding or too scared to bring their children home. Many were stuck, and as for me, I couldn’t leave. I felt a strong responsibility to the school and the students I intended to stick it out to the end.

Detentions didn’t stop, they only got worse. If a Carrow caught you talking, you got detention. If you were caught outside after five you got double detention, and all you could do was bite your tongue. In those weeks we dealt with the pains of our beatings. I still didn’t understand why I always skipped detention by the skin of my teeth.

We didn’t risk trips to the Room of Requirement; at least not until the obnoxious Cormac McLaggan decided he’d had enough.

“We are just sitting here like petrified zombies while the school is falling to ruins! I can’t just stare at Longbottom’s face for the rest of the year!”

“What’s a zombie?”

“What’s wrong with my face!?”

“Don’t start with me Longbottom you know who will end it!” he said standing.

“Shut it Smith, you don’t stand a chance,” Neville countered rising to his feet as well.

“The hell I don’t-”

“STOP!!-” Lavender screeched with tears tainting her eyes. “You are scarring the first years and I-I… can’t take it,” her voice cracked, as she took a deep breath, “WE can’t fight…we…can’t turn against each other-please…don’t-” she was about to crumble to the floor when Seamus caught her, and for a while the only sound that broke the stillness of the room was her muffled sobs. The first years indeed sat frightened on the steps to the dorms.

“Romilda, could you please take Lavender to bed, no one needs to see her like this,” I delicately said from my spot at the window where I was watching the rain. For the first time I was glad to have Romilda there for she complied without comment. When they made it up the stairs I turned to the boys. “Can you be any more ridiculous?! Nothing is wrong with your face Neville and McLaggan what do you want us to do? Time is fragile right now; one wrong move and we could all go down.”

McLaggan shook his head, “It’s mid-February, Weasley if we are going to do something it has to be now!” I hated to admit that he was right, but he was. so much time had passed with stoic movement. I knew that the first thing we would have to do would be to get the D.A. to meet again.

“I don’t know, guys, it’s just too risky.”

“When the hell has that ever stopped you before?”

This made Colin look up with a sad smile. After a moment he began to chuckle. McLaggan was right.

Seamus coughed to disguise a laugh. A girl in my year started laughing quietly to herself.

Suddenly a smile was threatening to emerge on my face, and when Neville burst out laughing I couldn’t help but crack up as well. He was right, we were Gryffindors and we spit at the face of danger and risk, and I especially had a reputation of taking the most risks without even blinking, whether it be on the quidditch field or not. Others began to join the laughter too.

It was silly, there we were with the chance to take the biggest risk of all for the most important reason and we were hiding.

It was bloody ironic.

I watched the room laugh, glad that for the first time in months we found a reason to. I looked at Cormac, “Okay, okay, we’ll get the D.A. going.”

Seamus sniffed as he cleared his tears of laughter, “How?”

“Trust me, I’ve got an idea.”


****
So it wasn’t a mater minded plan, but Colin’s worked well enough and there was hardly any preparation for that anyway. With a few more precautions we’d be set.

I must admit, I let the rest of February pass keeping quiet until we couldn’t postpone it any longer.

“You ready?” Neville asked when I emerged from my dorm room (where I was reading a letter from my mother) and descended into the common room.

I nodded in response before I pulled him to the side, “I just heard from my mum.”

“And?”

“They still haven’t found her,” I muttered somberly, “apparently one ‘dark night’ my family couldn’t find the moon and she thought it was so interesting she’d share it with me. Of course the story was fluffed up with dreadful fiction but the message was received loud and clear.”

“I think she’s going to have to be more subtle than that.”

“I know, but what are we going to do? Ask them not to send anymore letters? I can’t be anymore in the dark Neville,” I pleaded,

My mother sent the occasional letter careful not to let much (and sometimes nothing at all) slip. The letters made me feel better, that was how I found out about Potterwatch. The wireless station hosted by the Order of the Phoenix dedicated to discussing the war and, of course anything that had to do with Harry. I listened as often as I could which led to my falling asleep on the couch in the common room bundled up by the fire just listening to the voices of my brothers, and my friends. However, the new restrictions affected that too. Along with our free time and free roam they took away each wireless from the four common rooms. It left me with many sleepless nights. The letters came as a blessing.

“I know Ginny but, ‘can’t find the moon’?” he sighed. “They are going to catch on.”

“Filtch is the one monitoring the mail and he barely knows enough English to know that luna means ‘moon’ in Spanish.”

“Fine,” Neville said courtly, “can we just get going please?” The hurt on his face was plain to see and I knew he was being so strong. It was killing him, not knowing where she was, just like it was killing me, not knowing where Harry was.

“She’s going to be okay,” I reassured him, “if we start second guessing and doubting that…we are going to really go insane.”

He didn’t say anything, and then turned back to the group assembled around the room.

“Okay guys, are we all here?” I did a head-check and all the Gryffindor D.A. members were in attendance. “Alright now everyone, make sure you have your partner. I’m sending the first signal now.”

Taking out my D.A. coin, I changed the numbers to straight one’s: Gryffindor’s number.
We had all agreed to use another coin number system, the one’s for Gryffindor, the two’s for Ravenclaw, the three’s for Hufflepuff, and four’s were Slytherins (there were actually two members from Slytherin, they had proven to be trustworthy, not with lack of trying on their part however) the first signal meant the house was ready to proceed.

Within a minute I got the message returned for both houses. Then we started in a pattern:
Two Gryffindors would take the planned route from the tower to the Room of Requirement. One leading in the front the other taking up the rear. When they made it they would send the second Gryffindor message meaning they were safe.

Next two from Ravenclaw would take their own planned passage to the room and send their signal when they met with the others.

Then the Hufflepuffs and then Slytherins, each sending their message signaling the next house to send two more. The process would continue in the cycle until we all reached the D.A. room. Neville and I planned to go last, we would be the last to arrive.

Straight five’s meant disaster, emergency, and what not.

It was a black and white, plain and simple, cut and dry plan.

The harder part was getting the others-the students from the other houses-in on the scheme. With carefully structured notes, charmed to be invisible in case they fell into the wrong hands (a little trick Hermione taught me) and with exact, clear and concise instructions we let the other houses know what we were up to. Because co-house communication was banned getting these notes passed was the hard part.

A subtle bump in the hall way to swiftly pushing the note into a surprised hand, or slipping it into the other’s belongings when the subtle bump drops everything to the floor and there’s a scramble to collect everything, these were some of the less creative measures we took. Others included levitation charms and pumpkin juice but the point is that we got the message sent and made sure it was received.

“Okay then,” I said to the group “Seamus and Lavender, you volunteered to go first.”

Things went smoothly; no incidents and everyone was making it in great time. Neville and I didn’t speak the whole way down the corridors he kept watch behind us, I peaked around every corner before we turned. My heart was somewhere between my kidney and my stomach.

But when we were just about to consider ourselves home free, I caught Filtch scoping the tapestry hanging on the wall that led to our destination. I gasped and stepped back stunning Neville who was pushed back into a nitch behind a stone torch. “When the hell did he get there? It’s only been four minutes since the last pair!” I whispered with the breath I had left.

“I’m guessing sometime in the last four minutes.”

I was about to respond with a smart remark when I looked up at Neville. I suddenly realized it was very cramped between him and I in the tight little nook.

His breathing was right on my forehead because he had to duck his head a bit so it wouldn’t hit the top. I was pressed up between him and the column…rather tightly.

For a second I could close my eyes and easily believe it was Harry, due to the new height and closeness, but the smell was all wrong.

“Where are they my sweet?” we heard Filtch’s raspy whisper.

Miss. Norris’ paws soft patters came closer.

Aside from all my past experiences with near death trouble and mortal peril, aside from how I always kept calm, cool and collected in those moments, hiding there with Neville, I lost it. honest to Merlin I had a panic attack. I’m not sure if it was how risky our circumstance was, or how close we were to danger, or how everything, everyone was riding on that one last shot, we couldn’t afford to get caught. Maybe it was because I wasn’t sure if that was the way Luna felt before she was taken. I just felt we were going to get caught. I just felt it.

These small gasping sounds came out of me along with other un-identified noises.

“Ginny?” he breathed. “Quiet, Ginny…please. Shh…” he urged. Neville was getting frantic because Filtch was getting closer and I was becoming hysterical. He covered my mouth with his hand but it didn’t work. I felt like I was suffocating.

“Ginny-”

“Do you hear that? Those sounds love? Looks like someone is out way after curfew…”

“Please-“

“This way Miss. Norris…”

Neville’s anxious eyes were on mine, “Gin-” and then he kissed me.

At least that shut me up.

From the moment he put his lips on mine I was stunned into silence.

"Where r you, you little sneaks. I can hear you..."

I closed my eyes; it is just the natural reaction when you are being kissed. His lips just stayed on mine only slightly moving, just barely. I could hardly comprehend what I should have been doing against what I truly was doing. I don't think I kissed him back, but I didn't pull away either. I have a feeling I was just too scared to move.

"I can't see them anywhere," Filtch grumbled getting a hostile meow in return. "Perhaps they went down this way... Let's go we'll catch 'em."

We didn't move until we heard him clambering down the hall, and then in a swift movement Neville pulled back. However when he did he unfortunately did not account for his height and size and he hit his head on the overhang. This startled him and, dazed, he fell onto me again.

I managed to wrap my arms around his torso before I tumbled from under his weight and we both went toppling in a big heap to the floor.

It was a rather embarrassing situation to be in with someone who just kissed you, and an awkward position to land in with your best friend.

"Er...ahem...uh,"

"Let me... Why don't you...emm,"

"I... errr, can you move your leg?"

"Yeah...I'm-"

"Sorry," we both said at the same time.

We detangled our limbs and stood. Neville was looking everywhere but me and I was fine with that for the moment.

"We should go before anyone else comes along." I said moving onward.

"Right."

We kept our pace, and our awkward tension and when we finally made it to the door to the room of requirement Neville stopped ma again.

"Look I'm sorry for what I did back there... I just err... Nothing was working, we were about to get caught and I thought maybe you would shut up if I just kissed you and you did, but I never meant anything more by it, I mean I didn't even want to kiss you- not that I wouldn't because you're great really it's just you are my friend, and I like- well I just I didn't even feel anything when we kissed we're just friends-"

"Neville!" I grabbed his wrist that was waving around as he babbled. "It's ok. Alright?" I sighed, "I'm actually glad you said that because I feel the same way Neville, you are my friend, and I don’t want anything to change or affect that. I won’t let it, not even a little kiss.”

“So no hard feelings then? Nothing strange or awkward? Still friends?” he asked warily. I smiled.

“Of course.”

“Whew, I thought I had just screwed everything up.”

“But you didn’t. However if we stay here any longer and get caught we will.”

“Deal.”

When we finally made it inside everyone was in a state of panic, it seemed our delayed arrival worried the group. As we explained what happened I pondered what how everyone would react to me next great idea. Would they cower away or would they stay and take part?

Those students, bruised, scarred, torn and battered, would they fight? All that time I had managed unscathed as though someone were watching over me, but they weren’t as lucky, would they finally realize they’ve had enough?

“I told Neville my intentions for this group months ago,” I began, “and I know you might think I’m crazy but I promise you I still haven’t lost my mind I want this school back and I have an idea on how to do so. Just bare with me alright?”

Some people left. After I explained. They left so quickly I could see the fright on their faces. It was inevitable of course, some didn’t want to even hear anything to make sure they weren’t involved in anyway.

My close friends stayed, Seamus, Lavender, Colin, Michael, Avery, and a few others. We could still pull it off.

I ended the meeting quickly, not wanting to stay out so late on the first night we broke curfew. We left in the same matter we came, and again Neville and I planned to be last, Avery and another boy, second to last.

“You are amazing at this you know.”

I jumped, startled from my gazing out the window.

“Oh, Avery, you scared me.”

Avery smiled, “I didn’t think that was even possible.”

I was at a loss for words for a moment, not sure how to proceed, “I’m not fearless Mr. Smite, no one should be, it’s a sign of ignorance.”

I turned back to the window once again lost in thought, yet exceedingly aware of his proximity.

“That’s a really wise way to look at it,” he nodded, thoughtfully taking a step closer. “Ginny, I wanted-”

“You did a great job with Neville’s stitches, by the way, when we took them out his scar was practically healed.” I faced him realizing just how close he was standing and how I was pressed up against the wall. I intended to change the subject and lead it somewhere I wanted it to, scared of what would happen if he let it wander.

“Thank you, I’m glad I could help.”

I smiled maybe a bit too enthusiastically, “You did more than help, you really saved us there, I really would not have been able to deal with-”

“Are you alright? You seem keyed up- sorry muggle term- you seem almost nervous.” His light eyes narrowed curiously into mine.

I swallowed seeing my throat was uncomfortably dry, “Yeah, I’m fine.” The truth was I needed some more personal space.

“Are you positive?” He places a hand on my arm, and my eyes widened. Why did that boy make me so nervous?

“Err…yes.”

“Good,” he brightened and I could’ve sworn his teeth twinkled. “Look, I know this isn’t a great time, we are all in danger and such but I was wondering if maybe when this is all over we could-”

When “this was all over”? o had no reason to believe I would live to see the end and this boy wanted to make plans for a date? Harry would have laughed, or punched him in the face. Either way Avery deserved to know nothing could ever happen, nothing would.

I was much too invested in the war effort to be romantically involved with anyone who wasn’t as invested. I hadn’t the time, the effort nor the heart to keep the secrets I would have to keep.

But aside from that insignificant point I was in love with someone else.

“Avery, I’m sorry but I can’t,” I said pulling away.

“If this as to do with the war, I know you have responsibilities, I know about your family, I understand and I’ll wait. When it does end we could take it slow-”

“No Avery you don’t-”

“I know I don’t have to, I want to wait,” he insisted misinterpreting what I was trying to say. “Ginny,” he continued, taking my hands in his. I gulped. “You are one of the most incredible people I’ve ever met. I’ve watched you all year and I just-”

“Please. Please stop.” I was a little more forceful with my words. I didn’t want to hear that. Especially not from such a wonderful boy. Avery and I had become good friends in the weeks after he helped Neville, and I just couldn’t lead him on.

“I can’t Avery, not now and not when the war is over, I’m sorry.” I took my hands away.

I could tell there was so much more that he wanted to say due to his sad eyes, I felt terrible. He cleared his throat and looked back to the window. “Does it have to do with Harry Potter? I know you two dated a bit last year, but I thought that since it ended so quickly feeling just weren’t really there, but you still have them don’t you?”

“Avery-”

“It’s alright, I’m not mad, a bit upset but I just don’t understand what kind of bloke could leave someone as strong and as beautiful as you. Especially here.”

I blushed at the compliment though I hardly believed it, “The kind of bloke who has more important things to do.” Even as I said the words I realized how bad they sounded. But it was a very important thing I told myself. Somehow that wasn’t comforting.

“Nothing should be more important than you,” he said softly as his blue eye bored into mine. “But I guess I understand, he’s Harry Potter, I’m sure there must be something about him. I know a lost cause when I see one, just know that if you change your mind, I’ll be here.”

He leaned in slowly and kissed my cheek. I stopped frozen in shock and he was gone.


That night as I got into bed I realized that Avery had to be right. Even if Harry was doing something vitally important, I should have at least known he cared about me at all. At that moment I had no clue, no reason to believe he even gave me a second thought anymore, no evidence that I was important to him, or that he felt for me any of the feeling I still had for him.

Had roles been reversed I might have found a way to let Harry know. I don’t think I would have just been able to leave him alone in the dark for so long. A coded message, a secret visit something to show I cared.

Seven months. It had been seven months and still no word. It proved that Harry didn’t care as much, he didn’t care enough. Maybe not at all.

I believed my confusion on the topic was clearing up, and I didn’t like what I was finding.

But if one thing was certain, and Zambini was right, boy really needed to start giving me my space.


****
And again we trained, we came up with a plan, we waited, we held more meetings. All the while people who got detention were not seen for hours and returned, so defected, battered and barely lucid. They slept for a while before we could even attempt to heal them.

It was just before Easter, just as spring arrived, when we decided we had waited long enough.

“No matter what happens,” Neville told me when we met in the common room, “if something happens to me Ginny you keep going, don’t break the façade, don’t worry about me, find a way to get yourself out of the mess, if something happens lie through your teeth.”

I stopped, “I can’t promise you that, Neville.”

“You have to.”

It took a few moments before I relented, “Fine,” I said before my emotions got the best of me. “Just be careful.”

“I will be.” We watched Seamus and Colin head down to dinner, they turned just as the portrait opened. we locked eyes with the pair and they gave us a nod of encouragement.

“This is going to expose the D.A. you know.”

“I know.”

“We’ll definitely be expelled if things go wrong.”

“Of course.”

“Let’s go.”

People were heading to diner, and for once I was glad I couldn’t follow. I was nervous sure, but finally I was doing something. We didn’t say good bye, Neville and I, as we parted. No good luck, nothing. Just a quick moment of understanding.

I walked down to the kitchen praying to Merlin I wasn’t walking into a catastrophe. The house elves seemed surprised to see me but just continued scurrying about. I wondered briefly where Dobby was but quickly dismissed the thought. I made my way to the back, dodging pots, pans and elves. I reached one of the back pantries where the food is stored and standing outside the door twirling his wand was a sixth year Hufflepuff trying to remain calm.

He was sweating, but was determined when I went up to him, and when he saw me he breathed a sigh of relief.

“Is it over?”

“No, sorry,” I replied regretfully. “I’ve just come to make sure this part is done and under control. If it is then I move on to the next step.”

The boy, whose name was Liam nodded, “Right…err, we managed fairly. It was rough but everything is under control now, I’m just not too sure how long it will last.”

“We’ll move quickly then. But first, I need to see for myself.”

“Yes, of course.” The boy took another deep breath and turned to the door he was guarding. With a quick unlocking incantation and a whispered password the door clicked open.

The light inside was dim but I was able to make out the shadows of the shelves lining the room with food. Another boy, this time a sixth year Gryffindor paced in the corner, marching back and forth, and I could tell he was slightly injured. He glanced up and smiled, obviously excited and proud at the accomplishment.

The accomplishment that was in the center of the room, tied down by magical restraints, and muted my several charms, was Alecto Carrow in all her non-glory.

Her eyes were wide with rage and she was obviously attempting to thrash and thrust around, her black pupils were swaying around the room and when they fell on me, her mouth twitched and I had no doubt if given the chance she would yelling and screaming profanities, but I didn't care.

"So she fell for I then?" I asked, "She believed there was a house elf rebellion in the kitchens?"

The Gryffindor laughed once, "She was skeptical at first, not believing that it was even possible. But I did as you suggested and told her it was that house elf Dobby who riled up the others. After that she took the story as truth."

"And then?"

"Then I led her down here saying that Snape was waiting for help and everything went as planned. We walked in and Liam was ready behind one of the racks of pans, he stunned her from behind and caught her off guard. She put up a fight, managed to throw off the stun and got my arm with a Reducto," he said gesturing to his bloodied arm.

"But you managed."

"Yes, thanks to that bat boogey hex you taught us. She had never heard of it before, she didn't know how to handle it. Of course it wasn't as strong as yours but it worked."

The truth was that I was surprised. Even though it was two against one the odds were not in their favor. She was a death eater and was highly magically advanced, in dark magic no less. I'm not saying I had expected to send them to their death, but I was not expecting her to be able to fight back in the first place. Her having a chance to react was not part of the plan. Nonetheless I was glad.

"That's amazing, great job."

"It was the surprise that helped most of all, we were prepared and she wasn't."

Still, it was lucky. "Alright well, I'd throw some more restraints on her, she seems to be twitching, in fact," I turned my wand on her, "Incarcerous."

She stopped moving. "Keep a close eye, please; repeat the process the moment she so much as quivers."

Liam and I exited and I bid him good bye.

Alecto Carrow was taken care of, Neville was tending to Amycus and now with everyone at dinner and the Carrows out of the way, my part would be that much easier and go smoothly as planned. It was my turn.

My breathing didn't want to stay calm; it was a battle to keep it under control.

When I made it to the great hall all that I heard was scraping of forks and the Clanging of spoons on plates and bowls. A random cough or sneeze would disrupt the quiet for an instant and then the students and faculty would plunge back into the deafening silence.

I took one last breath and began to make my way down the hall. Snape was seated head and center, looking oddly curious because the two seats on either side of him were empty. This for my part was a good thing. He'd be waiting for an explanation, and I had one.

People looked up as I passed, the closer I got to the front table the more curious the glances were. Seamus and Colin were seated with Lavender and all three watched warily as I went. Avery smiled encouragingly. I kept my eyes forward. McGonagall made me believe I had grown about two other heads for the way she gazed at me, but Snape seemed bored and not amused.

"Professor," I said as I climbed the steps to the staff table.

"Mrs. Weasley, taking a page from Potter's book on how to make an exceedingly bland entrance?"

I bit my tongue- I had to act normal- not sweet and apologetic. He'd see right through me and then he would never trust me.

So I went with sarcasm.

"I was unaware Harry had even written a book, Professor, I always found him rather busy for free writing."

A few people close enough to hear laughed at the understatement of the decade.

"What do you want, Miss. Weasley?" He asked as though he thought the entire conversation was untimely.

"Professors Carrow have a bit on an emergency and sent me to get you assistance."

"What kind of emergency?"

"They told me it was none of my business."

"Hmm I suppose they're right," he admitted dropping his fork, I knew he still wasn't sold however.

"Although, I did understand something about a message -I overheard bits of their conversation, a message from... Little Hangleton?" I said clear as day, no facade of a whisper, innocently confused voice. The reaction couldn't have been more perfect.

McGonagall's fork fell from her grasp and clattered onto her plate. Every head in the quiet hall snapped in our direction. Snape froze and I knew our plan would work; the stares I knew would make him anxious to leave. And he was.

He stood and made his way swiftly around the head table; no expression on his face, Snape did not look back to the frightened faces of Professor McGonagall and Hagrid. "Where are they?" He asked.

"I'll take you to them now."

"That will be most unnecessary."

I had presumed this would happen, but we had thought of virtually every possibility. "They kept something of mine to ensure that I would get you. Somehow they seemed to be under the impression that I would just ignore their request as those I didn't respect their authority." I replied with sweet sarcasm evident in my tone; not unlike the way I always dealt with Snape. A few others listening chuckled a bit. McGonagall was pale and still as stone.

"So they gave you an incentive? What exactly do they have of yours Weasley?"

He didn't trust any word out of my mouth yet. I pushed hair behind my ear to reveal a bare ear lobe. I did my best to act annoyed; after all I was performing before an audience. "My Aunt Muriel's diamond earring."

"How do I know you aren't making all this up?"

I pushed hair behind my other ear to show him the diamond stud that was given to me for my sixteenth birthday, and put on the most insulted and disgusted facade I could muster. "They said that taking something of actual value from a Weasley was incentive enough."

He did not argue any longer. We walked out of the hall, Snape right at my heels.

"Where are we going?"

"To the dungeons."

"And how, exactly, were you dragged into this Weasley?"

"On my way to dinner I heard them arguing on their way to the dungeons. Then they noticed me and told me to get you."

"Why couldn't they call for me themselves?"

"Trust me I asked them that too, do you think I voluntarily wasted my time? I hope you are not under the impression that I want to be here with you Professor. They said they didn’t have enough time to get you, something about ‘responding to the message immediately’ whatever that means.”

“And why did they ask you? Of all people? Because you were at the wrong place at the wrong time? Are you sure you aren’t taking tips from your lover boy?”

“He’s not my lover boy,” I snapped, “I happened to be running late to dinner. And to answer your next question, I was checking on Neville Longbottom who is sick with wizard-pox at the moment, so that is why he was not at dinner either.

“Hmm…”

It was silent for a while and with every new step my heart was beating faster and faster. I had no way of knowing is Amycus was down yet, if he wasn’t that could have been disastrous, worse than Azkaban, one of us could have winded up dead.

When I think back I’m proud of our courage but shocked at our boldness.

“What do you know about Little Hangleton?” Snape asked abruptly.

“Nothing,” I lie, “Why?”

“I’m trying to decide whether that’s true.”

“Decide what you want, I don’t care anymore. Do what you want with your little death eater family, I just want to go to dinner and stay out of it.”

“That doesn’t sound like you at all Weasley; do you really expect me to buy that?”

“Yes, well, just the fact that Madam Pomfrey can’t help anyone and I am caring for my friend’s wizard pox, discourages any thought of involvement. Besides, my side is going to win the war in the end anyway,” I brutally replied.

My breathing all but stopped when we reached the door to the potions class room.

“Well I’m sure the Order, and your family would be most pleased to see that you have come to your senses,” he said as I opened the door. The lights were on just as planned. Snape stepped in and I hovered by the door letting it click shut.

“Well?” he asked, “Where are they?”

“I don’t know, but I want my earring and I want it now.”

“Immobulus!” shouted Michael Corner as he jumped out from the desk at the head of the room. The spell hit Severus Snape right at the center of his back and he froze. His face resembled that of pure loathing when it configured to realization in the mili-seconds he had before the spell hit.

“Petrificus Totalus,” I casted for good measure, “and just so you, Professor,” I told him as Michael crossed the room with her wand trained on Snape, and when he made it to my side, he handed me my earring, “my family would be more pleased to know that I along with the rest of the D.A. brought peace back to the school,” I said putting on the stud.

"So what next?" My ex-boyfriend asked.

"You stand guard outside, and we wait for Neville's all clear."

Michael nodded and left the classroom. I cautiously made my way to Snape and took his wand from his front robe pocket. Holding it in my hand, I went over the operation in my head again.

It was cut and dry to divide and conquer. After Alecto was captured in the kitchens, Amycus was to be held in the Room of Requirement. One of the two slytherins from the D.A. Was to tell Amycus that Snape needed him, that he had discovered the D.A. Amycus hopefully fell for it. And then of course my part, mentioning the name Little Hangleton (home of Tom Riddle, and supposed place of Voldemort's vigil) was- just as planned- enough to get Snape interested.

We covered our tracks, we used help from only the most random gang of students, all known member of the D.A were attending dinner, to make things seem normal.

We even faked Neville's illness and had him excused from Charms in case something went wrong and questions were asked. It was a good thing I still had some WWW products straggling at the bottom of my trunk.

Once they were all down- and timing was impeccable, for we didn't want any of them running into each other- McGonagall would be free to take back the school. And no one outside the grounds would have to know.

Snape squirmed suddenly and his wand quivered slightly in my hand; wandless magic.

“Ahh Professor, don’t think you can take me by surprise, we’ve thought of everything. Duearmium Areste,” Snape’s eyes struggled then closed as he fell asleep and his body fell limp. Useful charm really, when you need to keep control of something or someone.

Then I levitated his body into one of the storage rooms for good measure.

We made sure to check the time table for students and there were no potion classes scheduled for the remainder of the evening. We checked it as a precaution; we didn’t think McGonagall was going to keep Snape there for long but in case it took longer than expected to get help we made sure no one would need to enter the classroom that night.

When Neville came with the all clear I would go to McGonagall and explain the situation and then she could decide what to do with the bodies. I only hoped she wouldn’t be too shocked.

I turned to the unconscious death eater; this whole thing just seemed too easy.

The trick was trust and surprise. The trick was to get the three to believe us with the most plausible story we could concoct. Then there minds were occupied with the situation at hand (Snape’s mind was no doubt revolving around a message from Voldemort) and the last thing they thought would ever happen was a lowly student having the courage to raise a wand to them. They each had their guards down.

Soon the time came much to my relief, that Neville arrived and told us everything had been handled.

“Amycus is secure, you’re positive?” I asked Neville who was bleeding from his lip.

"He put up a fight- let me tell you. How was Snape? Are you hurt?"

"No not at all. He went down easy; Michael and I weren't even scratched." It was odd when I thought about it, both of the others managed to fight back. Snape hadn't even tried to defend himself, other than a sad and feeble attempt to retrieve his wand. Something told me he could've done better than that.

"Hmm, well anyway go to McGonagall. I'll stay inside with Snape."

"Right."

I made it in no time to the great hall where dinner was finishing up.

Again my entrance was met with the same reaction, this time I practically ran to the head table, by the time I reached McGonagall she was standing at her seat.

"What in the world is going on Ginevra?" She said more flustered than ever as other around us reacted to hearing her use my name and the secret of my full name, but I paid no mind.

"Professor, you need to listen to me before you do anything please," I said lowering my voice so that she'd be the only one to hear, If I thought we had time to spare I would have gotten her in private. "The Carrows and Snape are secured in three different spots around the castle; one of the pantries in the kitchens, the room of requirement and a store room in the Potions Classroom. They are incapable of doing anything. Professor you need to take back control,"
Her face was chalk-white- that much I remember- but I wasn't sure if it was out of anger or shock.

"Professor," I urged making sure that it was still practically impossible to hear me, "we need to act now it's a moment of vulnerability!"

"We, Miss. Weasley will be doing nothing of the sort. I am absolutely appalled that you would dare to do what you've done."

The teachers sat on either side of us of course heard the whole story. Hagrid gulped unsure of where he stood on the situation.

"Professor you can discipline me later, something needs to be done now!"

"Miss. Weasley!" She snapped breaking the quiet of the conversation, "This is not a matter of discipline or punishment; we've left that a long time ago! This is far more than that, this is life and death."

I couldn't understand why she wasn't doing anything, "So you aren't going to do anything? You are just going to release them?"

“No, I am going to contact the Order,” she dropped her voice again and then promptly began to leave the table.

“Professor,” I called out, “no one outside the school needs to know! We can’t risk this information being leaked and letting this opportunity be ripped from us!”

“What opportunity would that be Miss. Weasley: The opportunity to have something worse forced upon us when they realize what you’ve done?”

“I’ve done what no one else would! Why can’t we just keep up pretenses? We can’t go back!”

“I’ve had enough; you’ll do well to keep your mouth shut.” She turned again and started a brick pace for the door.

“NO I WON’T! I’m tired of you all feeding me that line over and over!”

She froze, and I realized it was not very smart of me to speak out like that. And we both realized we had an audience. McGonagall turned on her heels, and presented me with a tired, worn out, tortured face. Nothing like the face of the cool calm and collected stern woman I’ve always known. “Do you realize how dangerous this was? I promised your mother that I would do everything in my power to make sure you stayed out of trouble, and you just continue to run after it! It was hard enough for me to convince her to let you come back, we need you here. You are a target Ginevra, you know that!”

“Harry would have done the same thing if he was here!”

“He is not here Miss. Weasley, if that’s what this is about you needn’t fill any shoes.”

“I’m doing something just like he would.”

“Yes but that is precisely we he is not here. You can’t fight this war in these walls; this school is not even big enough for that!”

At that precise moment the hall doors blasted open, “That is absolutely right Minerva,” a fuming Amycus Carrow snarled. His death grip on Dennis Creevey’s collar made his knuckles white.

“I’m starting to believe this school isn’t even big enough for such a little brat,” Alecto echoed with a threatening wand at Liam’s throat. “I think it’s time to exterminate the last weasel.”
McGonagall step protectively in front of me, “I’m sure there is a way we can discuss this rationally.”

“Oh no, no, no, Minerva, the time for discussion is past. I’ve spent half an hour inside a pantry unable to move- I am feeling more action right now.”

“Leave her alone Alecto.”

“Why, McGonagall?” Amycus growled, “Protecting her isn’t wise. The Dark Lord wants her; the blood traitor Weasley girl has driven him crazy for years. Only daughter to the front running family in the war, Harry Potter’s rumored girlfriend and of course the girl who helped the Dark Lord open the Chamber of Secrets five years ago. He owns her.” The students who had been too terrified to move or make any noise began gasping and mumbling in shock.

Until then I had managed to keep that information under wraps.

I began shaking with anger, that Dark Lord wanted me? Well he’d get a fight.

“Shut yer mouth yeh old snake and let those boys go!” Boomed Hagrid’s voice from across the room.

“No I don’t think we will,” he answered making Dennis cringe, “unless you give her to me first McGonagall. The Dark Lord wants her alive, but that won’t stop me from breaking more than her ankle this time.”

That’s when the fight broke out. Somehow McGonagall was blasted from before me and chaos ensued. I only remember Neville having casted the first curse.

“Where’s Snape?” I yelled as Colin sent a curse past my head to save his brother. There was a wave of student passing by, trying to get out trying to fight and I felt I was in a body of water trying to stay afloat.

“Expelliarmus!” Neville cried at one of the seventh year Slytherins that obviously made their choice. “I don’t know! After he escaped I came here thinking he’d be here!”

Everyone was screaming and pushing, the teachers were fighting as was the D.A. “Get the first years out of here!” Someone yelled.

One way or another Amycus made it to my side while fighting of an enraged Flitwick and Avery. He grabbed my arm and pulled me against him so hard I couldn’t pointed at him, then punched me swiftly in the gut to leave me breathless and momentarily dazed. He took my wand.

“Ginny!” I heard Neville yell. I was being thrashed about in all the confusion, children, running past stepping on me and I couldn’t move due to Amycus’ hold and couldn’t breathe because of his punch. Everything happened so fast. I tried to step on him tried to head butt, anything nothing worked.

“Neville!” I yelled back, I was drowning I felt I was going to suffocate.

“I’ve had enough of this,” Amycus said, “let’s take our leave shall we?”

“Let, go, NEVILLE!” I tried again but it was too late, Amycus pulled me out of the great hall.

"It's about time you served detention don't you agree? Long time coming if you ask me."

I pulled back and tried to push him away but no avail. "You nasty scum let me go!"

"Strong words for someone without a wand," he taunted.

"I don't need a wand to put up a fight."

"Well we will see about that now won't we?"

He vigorously threw me into one of the cleared chambers in the dungeons where detentions were being held. From what I had heard it was as close to prison as you could get: closed off, no light, solitary confinement.

"Does this make you feel high and mighty? Does this make you feel stronger?" I asked motioning around with my arms, newly released from his grasp. "Torturing young children?"

"It makes me feel rather nice, yes. But you know what Weasley? I actually like the older ones; they show more resistance. They fight back and don't just cower like the others. That is why I have so looked forward to having you here." He said letting the door slam shut behind him, basking us in darkness.

I took a step back and was met with the wall.

"I knew you would show such... passion," he murmured.

I could only see his tall profile slightly from the light that fell through the crack in the door.

"You're sick! What kind of monster hurts children and won't even let them be healed or treated? You've forbidden madam Pomfrey from her job!"

"You didn't think students were going to learn their lesson that way did you? If they could get instant relief, what impression would that make?"

"So what are you going to do to me then? Something worse I presume." I was terrified but I wouldn't show it.

"Oh I have something special saved for you. I don't give a rat's arse about Snape's order to stay away from you anymore, I've reached my breaking point; I've been dying to get my hands on you all year..."


I'm not going to go into details; I couldn't really even if I tried. Like any traumatic experience that anyone goes through that one muddled itself in my head, it's a blur of pain.

Only because whoever is still reading this has been with me for so long and deserves to know, I'll divulge that he used the cruciatus curse on me. He tried to get information out of me but I didn't crack.

When I look back I realize that I thought he was going to... he had the chance to do it, there I was a completely helpless girl...

But he didn't, and that was a long time ago, those horrors only come once in a while, very rarely.

When it was over I was huddled on my side on the ground by myself in the dark.

Weak, I know. I was shaking and the smell of my own bile sinched the air. I told myself I needed to get up, I needed to find a way out. If Amycus came back he was going to take me to Voldemort and I would still be too weak to defend myself.

I couldn't fall asleep and lose consciousness. So naturally I did.

I didn't rouse until I heard the door creak open and footsteps come closer. Slowly I opened my eyes to the bright and after a few moments of painful and disorienting refocusing I saw a dark figure standing above me with his or her wand towards me.

I cringed and braced for the pain.

"Scourgify," came Snape's drawling voice. Instantly I was cleaned and the scent of vomit and soot vanished.

"What-"

"Drink this," he commanded shoving a vile into my hand. I pushed it away weakly. "I don't have time for games Ginevra." I turned my head at the sound of my name in his voice. It was odd, what was with these teachers? Had they all suddenly decided to diminish all lines of formality that had been drawn years ago? Perhaps they thought that after all we had been through there was no point in keeping up jaunty tittles and appearances.

"Sit up."

"I...can't."

"Oh for Merlin's sake," he grumbled, grabbing my arm and forcing me into a sitting position. "This is what you get when you try to play Potter's role as the vigilante martyr."

"I-"

"Don’t argue with me Weasley, drink that potion Weasley it will clear all the effects of the curse."

I didn't trust him, but I somehow believed him. If that makes any sense. My head was spinning and I struggled a bit as I held the vile up to my mouth. It had a bitter taste and smelled even worse.

"It's ghastly," I croaked.

"Shut your mouth and finish it."

I did and instantly my head and the nausea cleared. "What was that?"

"An antidote of my own creation," he replied pocketing the vile. "After so many times under, you believe that having instant relief handy is dead useful. Now get up."

I complied still unsure of what was happening. He broke his own rule; he healed me.

"Stay quiet and move quickly to my office," he said without leaving room for refusal.
I remember Snape rushing me out of the chamber to his office swiftly without a glimpse of anyone. It was strange for everything to be so still and quiet after what had occurred that night. How long bad I been out for? What happened?

I also didn't know what to expect from Snape. Why was he saving me? And what was that Amycus had said about Snape not allowing him to give me detention? Why was he always going out of his way to protect me?

The door to his office shut and a grueling silence settled in the room. He stood behind his desk starring down at something.

"I’ve contacted your parents," he finally said, "after I came to from your little curse I organized your release from this school."

"No-"

"Not another word. Not one." His threatening eyes met mine. And for the first time I saw his face in the light. I almost gasped; he was so pale and worn: bags under his eyes, his hair limp and fried. How long had I been down there?

"Do you have any idea what you have done? You have raged a war inside this school.

You've endangered every single one of the students-"

"Me? I’ve endangered the students? You-"

"I said to stay quiet."

I expected him to blow up, I had spoken before I could stop myself and it was just what Snape snaps at. But he did not sound spiteful nor dangerous, he was just... tired.

"I understand that you feel the need to fill the shoes of the "Golden Trio" but your misguided attempts at justice were futile and juvenile to say the least. But now? Weasley, after everything you've done: restarting that blasted D.A, trying to steal the sword. How could you think- after all those failures- you had the ability to attack three fully trained wizards, trained in the dark arts? Answer me that question."

"We've done it before! When Amycus cursed me at the battle at the Ministry I fared well, when he did so again at the battle of Hogwarts last year I blasted him away. And if it weren't for your running away from Harry like a coward you wouldn't be here to criticize me, do not think that my generation isn't strong enough-"

"Do. Not. Call. Me. A. Coward."

"Then what shall I call you? Because I refuse to call you Professor!"

"Well that is fitting considering that fact that you no longer attend this school."

"I-"

"Don’t you realize that all you've done in the past is disregarded? Everything changes when the bad takes over and is in control! You cannot attack authority when you have no one to stand up with you!" he slammed him fist onto the desk, "The Carrows are now out for blood, especially yours."

"What do you care? Why did you help me? Why are you just sending me home? Wouldn't you rather I stayed and served grave punishment?"

"Things are not what they seem, when are you going to get that through your think head?"
"My head is just fine because things are exactly as they seem. You killed Dumbledore and then were sent back here to reap the benefits."

"Your audacity is uninspiring Miss. Weasley. Do not pretend to know what you are talking about. The Order has successfully kept you in the dark. Pack your things you will depart from Hagrid's."

"I'm not leaving!" I yelled taking a step forward. "You can't make me."

"I can and I will. I'm sure your mother would be thrilled to have you home."

"Don’t talk about my family, don't act like you know us, you never did, we only ever trusted you because Dumbledore did. Look how he ended up-"

"GO! GO NOW! Before I have to clean up yet another one of your messes! You have no idea how much it will take to calm down the Carrow and reinstated security for the students again!”

When what he said hung in the air I was appalled, confused and unsure of…everything. Reinstate security? Is that what he intended on doing? Is that what he had been doing all that time? That was the moment I began second guessing every thought I’d ever had about Severus Snape.

He on the other hand seemed horrified: the kind of horrified that came when you divulged a grand secret.

“Wh-What?” I stuttered.

Snape swallowed and twisted his face into an even more disdainful expression, “No inane little nuisance like you will undermine me again, I’ve put up with more than enough, you’ve evoke more trouble than I can fathom. I will not have any more of it! Because you seem to refuse I will have a house elf do it for you. Your things will be at Hagrid’s by the time you arrive there.”

After a moment I distractedly nodded with my mind still reveling at his this revelation. I headed for the door.

“And Weasley,” he sighed slumping into his chair, “I urge you to be discreet, the Carrows are under the impression you are still in detention.”

****

Knowing that the Carrows would most likely feel inclined to kill me if they found me outside the chamber, I ran. I was being sent away and all I had been successful in doing was making things worse. Tears formed in my eyes but I blamed the wind I was gaining from my rapid pace.

“Ginny?” the voice came like a splash of water.

“Neville?”

“Oh Merlin, are you ok?” He asked grabbing my arms, “You’re bleeding.”

Until that point I hadn’t even realized I was bleeding from a gash right above my ear. You’d thought that after all he did for me Snape might as well have healed that too. “I’m fine.

Neville what’s going on, where is everyone?”

“Everyone is barricading themselves into the common rooms, doing anything possible to make sure the Carrows won’t be able to penetrate their barriers. It’s a mad house-“

“Why are you out here then?”

“I came to look for you!”

“Are you insane? What if you were caught? What if you can’t get back into the common room? You need to go back.”

“Not without you-“

“I’m being sent home.”

That stopped our rushed whispered conversation dead in its tracks.

“What?”

“I’ve been expelled-at least I think, all I know is Snape is making me leave. My things are at Hagrid’s I need to go.”

“No, no you can’t-“

“I don’t have a choice!”

“I can’t lose you too!”

The tears in my eyes began to drop as I struggled to pull away from him. He wouldn’t let me go. “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry. It’s all my fault.”

“No, we all made our choices. I’ll go take the blame.”

“No this is my mess; I’ll be the one to fall into it.”

“Please,” he was crying now too, “they are going to kill us next, we need you here; everyone needs you.”

"Then it's time Neville, you need to move as many people as possible into the room of requirement."

He shook his head.

"Neville they need to hide! They need safety! Be in charge, I know you can everyone looks up to you. I have to go." I said moving away. "If they find me I'm dead."

I ran again hearing only his last, "Please stay safe," behind me. Easter break was starting and hopefully the Carrows would think I just decided to return home and not come back. Because at that point I thought I never would.
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