|SIYE Time:20:18 on 22nd 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: 105416; Chapter Total: 4715
Awards: View Trophy Room
And the Final Battle Begins
"It's the moment of truth and the moment to lie
The moment to live and the moment to die
The moment to fight, the moment to fight
To fight, to fight, to fight..."
-This is War 30 Seconds to Mars
Harry potter was standing right before me.
The idea was as ridiculous as the fact that his eyes flashed with emotion when he met mine.
There was shock for sure, and a bit of - dare I say it - admiration and awe, but then it changed to an ever-present sense of regret and fright.
I didn't care. I guess I should have; I should have given him a cold shoulder, a glare- something foreboding- but instead, I smiled. Not like I didn't see that one coming. How could I not be happy to see that all my worrying was in vain, for the object of my anxiety was safe and sound- though rather unkempt and underfed- and ultimately alive and in one piece in the same room as me?
My heart was pumping blood in my ears as it fluttered rapidly. I was still helplessly in love with Harry Potter. It only took half a second to discover that the time apart had done nothing to make me stop.
He swiftly looked away and I realized that only one moment had passed since I saw him first.
Suddenly the game shifted once again when Cho Chang entered the room right after us.
She smiled at Harry too, that I definitely remember.
She unfortunately sat herself beside my old boyfriend Michael Corner before I had the chance to whip out my wand. It was strange how something as silly as Cho Chang distracted me from the actual reason I was there in the first place.
We were at war.
George asked the first question throwing me back into the harsh reality of what was happening, what we were going to do?
"I have no idea," Harry replied, with a deeper and much more raspy voice than I remembered. His reply, however, didn't startle me; Harry never really had a plan to begin with, we kind of usually winged it.
"We’re improvising then?" said Fred.
"What is going on here?” Harry abruptly yelled at Neville, "Why did you call them, it has to stop!"
Everyone stared at Harry with confusion written across their faces, I myself was wondering why Harry was questioning Neville's motives.
But when Dean asked if in fact there was a fight to happen that night, Harry face said all we needed to know. Harry Potter was not at Hogwarts to fight. Harry Potter had not returned for the sake of returning and ending the war.
My dear brother Ron- who was just as scruffy as his best mate- turned to Harry, "They can help us."
This resulted in a bit of whispered arguing between the trio.
It was a reoccurring theme; the acceptance of help, it seemed that though they weren't there to intentionally fight, they had returned for a purpose. This purpose was obviously critical if Harry risked coming back to the castle, and challenging if Ron decided that someone out of the trio could help them.
There was no doubt in my mind that the reason they were at Hogwarts had to do with the God forsaken Horcruxes. It proved that there was more than one- that they were still looking. Perhaps it meant that there was one hidden within the walls of the school..."
Fred and George were socializing while I watch Harry fall into submission. "Fine," Harry relented, "Listen up, everyone!" he called silencing the room. "There is something we are looking for to defeat You-Know-Who."
I was right.
"We know it’s here at Hogwarts," Harry continued, proving yet another one of my suspicions, "we just don't know what it is, all we know is that it was an important artifact to Rowena Ravenclaw, does this ring a bell to anyone?"
No one seemed to have an answer. The room of familiar faces was silent, until Luna, who had perched herself on my armchair, solved the last piece of the puzzle (or well I would find that out later).
"There’s her lost diadem."
Michael Corner, the git, retorted in a snarky tone, "That’s the point, Lovegood, the lost diadem is lost. Hence the name."
Everyone began discussing what that diadem was and how it looked like before our first step was planned.
Cho Chang offered to show Harry what it looked like by taking him to the Ravenclaw tower where the diadem was carved in stone into the house statue.
The idea of Cho taking Harry did not sit well with me. At all to be in fact. I looked over to her and wondered why I suddenly began to feel threatened by her again. During the last Quidditch match of the previous year I had pitied her, and then a year later I was back to twitching in her presence.
When Cho got to her feet, I reacted the way any other jealous teenager would, "No, Luna will take Harry, won't you, Luna?"
She replied enthusiastically as I contentedly watched Cho grumpily settled back in her seat.
The moment Luna left with Harry, and his invisibility cloak I assume, I took a deep breath. He was there, before me for what seemed like a fleeting moment, and then he was gone again. I had been doused with cold water, but so happy to see him again, no matter how short a period of time. Then I jumped from my chair and threw myself into Ron's arms.
"Ginny!" he cried enthusiastically, wrapping his arms around me and twirling me a bit.
"I've missed you!" I trilled, squeezing tight onto my prodigal brother.
"I'm so glad you're safe," he said releasing me from our embrace, "although I have heard some interesting stories about what you've been up to over here."
Hermione nodded, "Care to explain?" she asked in a playful voice.
I laughed and pulled her into a hug as well, "It's a story for another day," I replied, "I'm so glad you are all here! Are you alright? Where have you been? Are you back to stay?"
"Ginny! Whoa, slow down," said Ron, turning to Hermione for what I assume was reassurance, "We are doing as fine as we can be under the circumstances. But no, we don't believe we are here to stay, I really wish I could tell you more Ginny, honest, but we just... can't."
I looked down and took a breath; at the very least they were alright. "Ok. That's fine. I understand."
Ron looked at me curiously, "I expected you to argue with me."
"It’s been a long year Ron; I have to save up my fighting strength when I can. We have bigger things to worry about I, suppose."
"You... What did they... Where-" Ron was searching for the right way to phrase the questions he in turn wanted to ask me.
"What Ron means to ask, Ginny, is why Neville called you all here and how everyone managed to get here so quickly. It's almost as though you were all expecting this, as though you've been waiting for it."
I smiled at Hermione, "Why wouldn't we have been, Hermione? We've been ready to fight all year, and you know us, we can be ready on a moment’s notice, eager to win this war."
She looked around, "This is incredible..."
Ron and I followed her gaze to the surrounding horde of people still coming through the portrait, Angeline Johnson, Katie Bell and Oliver Wood appeared inside the room.
"We have you to thank of course, if it weren't for those coins.... we would not have been able to accomplish anything this year, like re-starting the D.A. and setting up this hide out," said a voice from behind me.
"I'm glad I could help, even if I technically wasn't here," replied Hermione, blushing a rosy shade of pink.
I almost cried at the sight of Neville. He had a new scar on his jaw line and a black eye that had not been there when I left during Easter, but it was just so wonderful to see him. "Neville."
He laughed and hugged me, "You have no idea how thankful I am to see you Ginny. I've been almost out of my mind here without you and Luna."
"But you managed Neville, this place.... you did it. Thank you. Thank you for listening to me."
"How could I not, you are the mastermind behind all this."
"Ginny?" asked Ron with surprise in his voice.
"Thanks for having such confidence in me, dear brother," I said wryly.
Hermione laughed, "He's proud of you all the same I'm sure, right Ronald?"
"Well yeah! It's just, I keep forgetting that you aren't a little girl anymore," he admitted.
"Ron, you'd do well to remember that. Trust me."
"Ginny, can I talk to you for a minute?" asked Neville.
"Yes of course. I'll be right back," I told my brother.
Neville took me aside a few feet, but the room was already so crowded that we had to weave our way around a group of past Gryffindor graduates.
"What is it, Neville?" I asked once we were out of earshot.
Neville glanced around anxiously before taking a breath and answering. This action immediately put a nervous knot in my stomach.
And the game changed again.
"The Carrows began scouting the building just a short while before Harry arrived at the Hog’s Head. I have a feeling Harry, Ron and Hermione might have triggered the alarm inside Hogsmeade."
I waited for him to continue, but he didn't.
"What does that mean exactly, they made it inside the castle without a problem, didn't they?"
"Well, yes, but that doesn't mean the Carrows and Snape don't already know they are here."
"Yeah, I was on guard when I heard them saying something about a trespasser and hoping it would be Potter. That's why I went to find out who it was. And I found Harry, Ron and Hermione."
"Oh Merlin, that means they know the three of them are here!"
“Wait, there's more."
Neville took a step closer and I wondered how it could possibly get worse. "They mentioned orders about patrolling the Ravenclaw Tower."
"I don't know how they knew Harry would need to go there, but they do. And I think that's where they are now."
"But, but- orders you said they had orders! Who would have given them? Snape?"
"Snape hasn't really been seen since you left Ginny."
"So, I don't think the order came from him, Snape hasn't bossed those two around since our failed mutiny."
"Then who Neville?" I asked already afraid if the answer I knew was coming.
"No, no…” I said shaking my head, "Voldemort here? Now? Already? You heard Harry; he had no intentions of fighting tonight at all! We haven't even had time to organize ourselves! And Voldemort is already ordering his army around?!"
"Ginny it's the only explanation that makes sense!"
I looked away into the massive crowd. They all said they were prepared and they all looked ready to fight tooth and nail. But looks could be deceiving couldn't they?
"But... if the Carrows are guarding the Ravenclaw Yower how could you let Harry and Luna just go off like that Neville?! They are walking right into a trap!"
Neville grimaced in regret, "I tried to get him aside to warn him before he disappeared but I couldn't. I didn't say anything aloud because I didn't want to alarm anyone."
"Alarm anyone?! Neville this is war for goodness sakes! Everyone should be on their toes!"
"I’m sorry ok? I messed up."
"What are we going to do?"
"I don't know, I have to stay here and keep the portal open, and I'm not letting you go anywhere, so don't even think it!"
I glared at The Boy-Who-Grew-A-Backbone. He, of all people, wasn’t about to start deciding what I could and could not do.
"I can handle it, thank you very much."
"Yes, and so can Harry, they have that cloak right? I'm sure he'll be able to manage," said Neville in an attempt to patronize me, but in fact I don't think he even believed it himself.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw my mother and father, as well as Lupin and Kingsley enter the Room of Requirement. It was too late for me to do anything, for I knew that the moment I was seen by my mother any chance of me fighting would be long gone.
"Is there any way you can get a message to McGonagall? You don't have to tell her what's happening, just give her a reason to pass by the tower," I said quickly, turning away from the entrance and trying to blend in.
"I could try but I don't see how that would do anything-"
"If she comes across Harry in trouble, that woman will move heaven and earth to help him."
"Right, I'll see what I can do," he replied and began to retreat, when he added one last thing, "Oh and Ginny?"
Avoiding my mother's seeking gaze, I dodged my way back to my brother and Hermione, hoping that though Ron would probably agree with my mother, he would take pity and help me hide from her wrath.
When I reached him, however, he was whispering urgently to Hermione. "Ginny!" cried a guilty looking Hermione having just spotted me.
"What's going on?"
"We have to go somewhere, but we'll be right back," finished Ron.
"Alright, let me come with you, mum is going to go spare if she sees me.
Ron and Hermione's eyes widened in horror. "NO! No, you need to stay here and... and-"
I looked them curiously; did they really think I was that daft? And so I tried again, "Neville has everything under control. I can help you guys."
"Ginny, no. We have to go- and you better stay here!"
"What is it with everyone trying to trap me in here?!" I groaned in frustration as they made their way toward the door, "At least tell me where you’re going, like you failed to nine months ago!"
"Prefect's Bathroom on the third floor!" called Ron over his shoulder.
I wasn't sure what surprised me more, the fact that they were headed to the bathroom or the fact that they were headed there holding hands
"This isn’t the time for a bloody bathroom break! WHAT THE BLOODY HELL IS GOING ON?!"
If there was ever a moment to resent my temper it was right then.
The sight of a thundering Molly Weasley pushing through a crowd of qualified witches and wizards was not a humorous one. I knew I was in for it.
"Do you have any idea what it is like to be awoken by an urgent Order message, and find that all of your children are mysteriously missing from their beds?" she practically growled when she reached me.
"No! There is nothing you can say to justify leaving without warning, no note, and coming here endangering, yourself! How could you be so foolish to risk everything coming back?"
"Don't you Mum me, young lady! I don't want to hear anything but the sound of your feet scurrying back through that portrait this instant!"
I stared at my mother, noting the tiredness in her eyes, “I’m not going anywhere.
She narrowed her eyes, "Oh, yes you are!"
"I’m sorry Molly," came the anxious voice of Remus Lupin, interrupting my mother's oncoming tirade, "But I was wondering if Ginny had seen Harry, do you know where he is Ginny?" his dark eyes kept flitting around the room searching for Harry I assume.
"He went with Luna to the Ravenclaw Tower," saying the information twisted the knot in my stomach for many reasons: for one, I had actually answered the question 'where's Harry?' with confidence, and for another, I knew that Harry was waltzing with trouble in the Ravenclaw Tower because Voldemort knew he was there, and had sent the Carrows to find him.
"The Ravenclaw Tower? What for?"
"He was... er... looking for something."
"Looking for what?"
"The Diadem of Rowena Ravenclaw..." I said aloofly.
"The Diadem of Ravenclaw?" asked my bewildered mother, "Why, that's been missing for centuries! You mean to tell me that young man has come all the way here to search to something that he has no chance in finding?"
"What is it with you children not giving a second thought to life threatening choices?"
"We are not children!"
"Do you have any idea when he'll be back Ginny? I don't think I like the idea of him running around the castle and I really have to talk to him," urged Lupin.
If only he knew.
"No, Professor, I have no clue. I'm sorry."
"That boy, always thinking he can handle everything on his own. It's an admirable trait but I do wish he would care for himself a bit more," sighed my mother.
Remus smiled sadly, "Always puts others before himself, that one; he's going to be a great godfather."
"Oh yes! Have you told him the news? A beautiful little boy that Teddy is!"
Teddy Lupin, the son of Remus and Tonks was only weeks old. They immediately appointed Harry as godfather, and my family and I were delighted by the news. They couldn't have picked anyone more fitting, really.
"Yes, I told him when he was at Shell Cottage just a bit ago, he accepted, of course."
"And Nymphadora? How is she feeling? I haven't been able to contact dear Andromeda since before the birth..."
I slowly began stepping away as my mother was clearly distracted with talk of the newest member to our unconventional extended family.
Scanning the room I was surprised to see Avery and Anamille Smite entering the headquarters; I suppose they had left the school at some point after I did. I watched Fred and George speak with Bill and Fleur, Cho converse with Michael Corner and Marietta Edgecombe, and Lee Jordan joke with Alicia Spinnet as I tried to come up with a plan to sneak away to find Harry and warn him of what was happening. But in a room full of familiar faces, sneaking away unnoticed was impossible without an invisibility cloak, and since Harry had the only one available...
"Ginny!" cried Colin Creevey as he pulled me into an embrace that rivaled one from Hagrid.
"Colin! I've missed you so much!" I replied, returning the hug.
"Did you miss us too?" asked Seamus with a sad grin on his face, behind him was Lavender Brown, Dean Thomas and the Patil twins.
"Of course!" I said solemnly, taking a moment to greet each one of my friends.
"So do you know what's going on here?" asked Lavender.
"Yeah, ever since Harry, Ron and Hermione got here no one knows if there is even going to be a fight at all tonight!" added Dean.
Oh, there would be a fight alright, if what Neville suspected was true. "I'm not sure guys; so much is happening all so fast I'm not even sure where I stand in all this madness."
"It definitely is madness, you're right about that," said Finnigan.
"But can't you feel it though?"
Everyone turned to Colin, "Feel what?"
"Something big is going to happen tonight, I can feel it in the air."
Seamus shook his head, "Always the poetic one, eh Creevey?"
"I think he has a point though," commented Padma Patil, "the hairs on the back of my neck have been standing up all night."
"Mine too," agreed her twin.
If I had to admit, ever since I had woken up I had an odd sensation in the pit of my stomach, talking to Colin it was nearly eleven and the sensation had not mellowed one bit.
The rest of the time I spent in the Room of Requirement before Harry returned passed in a blur of people and voices, greetings and several instances in which I had to insist that I knew nothing of the current situation.
"Ginevra! Don't think I'm just going to forget about you! I want you back at Muriel's this minute!" mum said when she found me again.
But I wasn't able to finish the thought because suddenly the room went still as Harry Potter re-entered the room. The knot in my stomach eased a bit knowing that he was ok for the moment at least.
"Harry, what's going on?" asked Lupin who had met him at the doorway.
And then Harry settled Neville's theory, "Voldemort's coming," he informed us, also mentioning the fact that Snape had run aawy like the coward he was and extreme measures were being taken to protect the school.
I caught Neville's eye across the room, I had never seen anyone so remorseful about being right.
"They are evacuating the younger kids and everyone's meeting in the Great Hall to get organized," Harry said. "We're fighting."
All of a sudden the entire crowd jumped up in excitement and began rushing for the door. Harry backed up into the wall as members of the D.A. and the Order, as well as old alumni clambered past him.
"Let's go Ginny," said an excited Colin.
I tried my best to blend in with the crowd, but unfortunately a hand grabbed my wrist and yanked me out of the fray.
"And just where do you think you are going young lady?"
"To the Great Hall," I replied evenly.
"Oh, no you're not!"
"Oh, yes I am!"
"You're not of age!" she shouted, "I won't allow it! The boys yes, but you've got to go home!" she continued, as I saw Harry approach us from the corner of my eye. The only people left in the room, were the twins, Bill, Fleur and Remus.
"No!" I refused again, this time pulled my arm from her iron grip. Why was it always a double standard with her? "I'm a part of Dumbledore's Army-"
This, obviously, didn't convince her, she scoffed and down played Dumbledore's Army for a children's club.
Fred thankfully said something before I lost my top, "And we children are about to go against You-Know-Who, something most adults would squeal at the thought of!"
"She's only sixteen! Much too young for this! Obvisouly you two do not have her best interests in mind, bringing her here and endangering her life! You two never think!" As expected she immediately blamed my brother's as if it were there fault, not once would she think I was there on my own accord.
Fred and George only looked slightly ashamed, I'm sure they would have agreed with me had I said there was no way they could have stopped me, even if they did refuse to have me join them. They knew I would have made it there somehow.
“I have to be here!” shouted annoyed at the fact that tears of anger were forming in my eyes, “My entire family is here, all my friends, how would you like it if you were sent away, not knowing-"
Harry. I knew he must understand, he hated being kept out of things, he hated being left behind in the heat of battle for a cause he was passionate about. Harry must have understood that I couldn't just leave! I knew he would stick up for me, because if he really cared for me- if he ever truly cared and or understood who I was, what I believed in and that all I ever wanted was to be treated evenly like a capable witch, then he would stick up for me.
So I turned to meet his eyes. The color was strong like he was, and I wonder how his aunt could have ever been so cruel to him, for those eyes on a young child could have only made any woman with a heart melt. Good luck to any future mother of children with eyes like those.
I was expecting an encouraging response, but Harry Potter only shook his head.
That moment, that precise look was more heart breaking than anything else I had ever experienced. Harry did not want me fighting beside him; I was still the little girl he needed to save from Tom Riddle, the girl who couldn’t protect herself. The girl who was too young to go to the Ministry. He didn’t care that by siding with my mother he turned away from me and everything I thought he felt for me. Whatever last strand of hope I had for our future together was shattered.
He had not thought to contact me in nine months because he did not want to. Not because he was busy, but because I didn’t matter. I might have been a nice escape, as he said, being with me was like living someone else’s life, but when it came to reality I was nothing more than a young girl who shouldn’t have anything to do with this war and helping him fight it.
He didn’t need me.
And it hurt more than anything.
I turned away bitterly knowing that my fight was lost. I was upset at Harry, but mostly upset at myself. “Alright,” I said, “I’ll say good-bye now, but-”
And then the game shifted again.
A noise came from behind me as the occupants remaining in the Room of Requirement turned to face the portrait hole. My brother Percy stumbled in like a fire whiz-bang.
“Am I late? I just heard, I got here as fast as I could! What have I missed?"
So much was happening, I was under so much emotional strain already, and so when my git of a brother waltzed back into my life with his glasses skewed and his robes disheveled, I could only stare blankly.
Fred and George, my mother, my father, Bill and I were silently shocked to see him return at the most unexpected time. I didn’t even hear what Fleur was saying to Lupin to break the tension.
“I’m a fool!” cried Percy, his blue eyes full of emotion. He was skinnier than I had ever seen him; his hair was frizzy and wild, unlike how he usually tamed it for a more professional look. “I know I was an idiot, I was wrong!"
“Ministry —worshiping, family-betraying, power-obsessed arehole,” said Fred.
Percy heartily agreed.
“Well, I can agree with that,” smiled Fred holding out his hand. My mother burst into tears and my father welcomed his son as well. I stood watch for moment with a thousand thoughts speeding past my head.
Percy explained his reasoning, his epiphany had been coming for a while and he knew the ministry was corrupt but didn’t want to admit it. But I really didn’t want to hear it. It was going to take a little more than that for him to gain my forgiveness. He turned away from us, helped turn in the D.A., went against Harry, it was too much that one simple, “I was an idiot” could fix.
I realized it was my one and only perfect chance to sneak out and join the rest downstairs.
But just as Percy was greeting his new sister-in-law and I was almost out the door my mother spotted me.
“Molly, why can't Ginny can stay here," Lupin suggested, "then at least she’ll be on the scene and keep up with what’s going on, but she won’t be involved with the fighting?"
I didn’t like the idea much, let me tell you. I was being locked away like a damsel in distress. That, I assure you, I was not. But it was better than not being in the castle at all and there was also a slight chance that I would be able to get into some action.
With uncertain agreement, and many fervent warning from my parents. The plan of what to do with me was set. I nodded reluctantly.
"Where did Ron and Hermione go?” Harry asked as my parents and Lupin exited the room.
“They went to the bathroom,” I replied not looking at him. I went and sat in the arm chair I had been seated in before and closed my eyes. A war was going on down stairs and I was trapped in a hide-out camp. Not to mention I was alone in a room with one Harry Potter and I just wanted to be as far from him as possible.
Of course, that was only somewhat true.
“They went to the bathroom-?" came his curious voice, and I looked over to the corner of the room where he was standing. His eyes were open and glazed over; I knew it meant he was seeing something other than the room in front of him. I stood up because no matter how upset I was with him, he was in trouble.
“Harry?” I asked softly.
Suddenly he shook his head clear and swallowed loudly.
He looked at me with a scared gaze.
“Are you okay?”
“No… I’m not,” He took a breath and looked away, “I’m…I’m scared.”
I was stunned. His admission was the furthest thing I could have ever imagined. Why would he tell me such a thing, Harry never…he…to no one… we never showed fear if he could help it.
“Me too,” I whispered, startling even myself.
Dumbledore was right then he said I never liked to show weakness.
He nodded and rushed toward the door. “Gin?” he asked as he grabbed the handle.
“It’s good to see you,” he said without turning around.
“Go save the world already, Potter.”
And he was gone.
I did some pacing. Correction, I did a lot of pacing. I was worried about what was happening right below my feet…outside the walls… what was my family doing? But most of all, the ever present conundrum that is Harry Potter was bouncing around inside my mind. He was glad to see me. I know he meant it because he would never intentionally try to mess with my head. I assumed it was because I reminded him of better times. It wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, if he wasn’t consistent in keeping me apart from anything involving the war.
He wouldn’t tell me of the prophecy, nor of the horcruxes, (I had to figure them out myself) but he told me what he was thinking; he told me his craziest dreams. Was that enough? Should that be enough? Not for me.
And yet I knew that Harry was enough for me, and good outcome or not it was good to see him again too.
And no matter what was going to happen that night I didn’t regret one moment, from my elbow in the butter dish to the kiss in my bedroom.
I pivoted in my spot and came face to face with a pink haired Tonks.
“What are you doing in here all by your spunky self?” she asked pulling me into a fierce hug that I returned with the same enthusiasm.
“What do you think? I’ve been locked away in the tower like a hopeless damsel in distress."
“Story of your life, eh?”
“Alright, so down to business-"
“Great Hall. The organization has begun, your husband left with my parents about twenty minutes ago.”
“But, Tonks what are you even doing here? I thought you were at home with the baby.”
“I know I was, it’s just I couldn’t just sit there and miss all the action, you know? I wanted to be here. I tried, honestly, but I couldn’t stand not knowing.”
I stared at my friend; she knew precisely how I felt.
“So what did you do?”
“I left Teddy with my mother and came here as quickly as I could.”
“You’re my idol."
“You’ll get your time kid,” she winked, “I promise.”
“I hope you’re right-"
And then the game changed again.
A cold, deadly voice rang out. It broke through the walls, it shook the ceiling, it trembled in the air… it sent shivers down my spine and bile up my throat.
“Do not think that I am oblivious to what you are doing, I am quite aware of your worthless army. I will give you a warning now, there is no point in fighting against me, you will lose. I do not wish to kill innocent life.”
“Was that…?” whispered Tonks.
“Tom,” I breathed.
“If you only release Harry Potter to me I will be merciful,” Lord Voldemort’s voice spoke. “Give me Harry Potter by midnight and I will go. Don’t be foolish.”
There was an impeccable silence. The castle stood still attempting to process the reality that Voldemort was right outside our sanctuary, our home. He had arrived and he was ready to kill. I’m not sure how long we stood there, Tonks and I. She a capable Auror, and I, who had seen horrors, were both paralyzed by just the voice of the one who called himself the Dark Lord. He no longer sounded anything like Tom Riddle.
"What in Merlin’s hat was that?” screeched an elderly voice, Tonks and I snapped our necks to the portrait, surprised to encounter a short, thin woman with white hair peeping out of an old withered hat. She carried a rather large red handbag and had a pinched expression on her face. I knew exactly who she was.
“That, Mrs. Longbottom, was Lord Voldemort,” I stated as calmly as I could.
“Ah, I see. And you are?"
“I’m Ginny Weasley,"
“Ah, yes, of course, I should have noticed. My grandson has spoken greatly about you. Harry Potter’s girl, aren’t you?”
I blushed, “Well actually-”
“No matter, this is hardly the time for socializing.”
“Harry’s girl? What?” Tonks gasped looking straight at me, “I can’t believe you never told me!"
“Why! What audacity! We are in the middle of war here young lady; I trust you can act accordingly?”
The castle really trembled then and the sound of an explosion resonated in our ears.
Any amusement fell from Tonks’ face and it became white as a sheet.
“So it’s begun. Well, let’s get on with it.”
“I can’t just sit here alone, I can’t do it!”
Before the words even let my mouth, Harry, Ron and Hermione blasted through the door.
Neville’s grandmother was quick on the uptake, and asked for an update without missing a beat.
The first order of business for Tonk and I, however, was to make sure everyone was fine.
And as far as Harry knew, they were, only, it was still too early to take any comfort in that.
The next thing I knew Augusta Longbottom was marching proudly out of the room on her way to assist her grandson.
My stomach twisted as she left; assisting Neville in a fight was my job.
When I turned my attention back to the situation at hand, Tonks was leaving the room and Harry was speaking to me, “Sorry, Ginny, but we need you to leave.” My eyes sparkled with interest, “But you can come back as soon as we are done.”
Would you blame me if I said I ignore the last half of his comment.
Didn’t think so.
I took my opening and bolted, of course hearing Harry’s last, “You’ve have to come back!” behind me as I fled.
I didn’t get very far.
The castle was already in severe condition. I could see walls crumbling and there was enough noise to blow out ear drums. People were running to and from places, and I hadn’t the first idea as to where I should go to help.
That is, until I spotted Tonks to my right firing spells out a window that was missing its panes. I ran to her side and looked out into the night.
The scene was right out of a nightmare. The night had no stars, not one single cloud- unless it was a cloud of smoke. Fires had started, and death eaters were playing on the grounds. Centaurs and giants even, thrashing around and out for blood. Flashes of light and color filled the air, and in the two seconds it took for me to get my wand out I watched two people fall.
“Reducto!” I cried hitting a death eater below straight in the back.
Someone behind me rewarded me with a compliment but I didn’t turn around to see who, I just continued firing.
Tonks asked whoever it was behind us, if he had seen Remus and was not awarded with an encouraging response.
I knocked out another cloaked figure before I turned o a still-pale Tonks. I made an empty attempt at trying to console her, but she ran off in the dust, leaving me alone in the chaos.
I turned around and saw the trio yet again.
“Please be safe,” Harry told me, “Please,” looking into his eyes, I saw the same Harry from under the trees by the lake. And then, just as quickly as I saw him, he was gone once more.
I wouldn’t see Harry again until the end.
If you were to ask me now for a full play by play of the final battle, I’m sorry, but it will not be the detailed story I’m sure you were anticipating. It’s taken years for me to get past it all; everything went so fast, it’s only a blur of color and pain. For your benefit I will retell several scenes that I can remember, because if you are still with me now, then you deserve to know.
But that is the best I can do.
“Ginny, what are you doing here?” Remus yelled, ducking behind a suit of armor as a bolt of red missed his head by centimeters.
“Stupefy!” I yelled at the rouge death eater, succeeding in blasting him down the corridor.
Remus blinked at me, “Er…thanks…”
I smiled, “No problem.”
Professor Lupin was covered in a film of dust and had a gruesome gash on the side of his head that was dripping blood onto his tattered robes. I, myself had been running through the castle hoping to find Neville and the rest of the D.A. but I had yet to come across anyone near my age. We were standing in the middle of a corridor on the first floor, and every few seconds a new blast hit the walls.
“Have you seen Tonks?"
“Not since we left the Room of Requirement,” I replied, “she ran off looking for you."
He groaned, “So she is here."
“Does that really surprise you?”
“I guess not."
I nodded, “Well then, see you around,” I said taking off down the passage.
Remus, however, had another idea. He grabbed me by my wrist in an attempt to stop me, “Just where do you think you’re going?”
“I’m on my way to find Neville, actually. I believe he has some unfinished business with Bellatrix I assume I’ll find him when I find her.”
“Oh, you must be joking, it’s back up to the Room of Requirement for you.”
I pulled away, “NO! I’m fighting. I just showed you I can hold my own. If it weren’t for me you’d- never mind, just let me go."
“No you are too young, too valuable; they will grab you so quick you won’t have time to defend yourself-"
“Save it, Professor, we don’t have time for this!”
Without giving him the chance to respond, I sped away into the dust. “GINNY!”
Then I was hit by a random stunner aimed at a senior Auror, casted by a burly dark wizard as I passed them. It hit straight and swift at my side, blew my off my course and threw me against the wall.
The pain was staggering, but the awful part was overcoming it to get up and keep going before something worse happened. Cursing myself for my oblivious stupidity, I pulled up from the ground, the ache in my side taking all the breath out of my body.
“Ha! Caught myself a little treat!” taunted the death eater as he finished off the Auror with another flash of green. I recognized the man laying there with open unseeing eyes; he was in the battle of Hogwarts the year prior. My breathing turned shallow.
I looked up into the man towering over me; he smiled and raised his wand at the same time that I reached for mine which had slipped from my grasp with my body collided with the stone wall.
Tonks showed up before he could take another step, and she tossed him across the hall. We heard the distinctive crack of a skull, and he fell into a wrangled heap. She took my hand and hurled me up and pulled me along. She didn’t tell me to go back, nor scolded me for my reckless crusade.
“I still haven’t seen Remus, have you?"
I looked at her with sympathy, “I actually just left him; he was looking for you.”
She took a breath and nodded.
Tonks and I continued to watch each other’s backs and we fought as an impressive pair.
At one point we came across the Carrows. I’m not sure if it was fate giving me my chance at personal revenge or just plain, ironic justice, but I wouldn’t have had it unravel any other way. With our backs pressed together, I dueled Alecto and she, Amycus.
“I was wondering where you were, Weasley,” cried an exasperated Amycus from over Tonk’s shoulder. “I knew you wouldn’t miss out on the fun!"
“Duck!” urged Tonks and we both dropped into a crouch instantly, watching the curse fly above our heads and hurtle into the surprised chest of Alecto. She fell to the ground with the same shocked expression that Sirius had. As Amycus took a second to comprehend what he had just done, Tonks only took half of it to send him off with his sister.
I undoubtedly remember spitting on his body and we moved on.
Not long had passed after the death of the Carrows when Percy found me.
When the game was changed forever.
He was the one who told me.
Percy, with singed robes and who smelled of burst hair and ashes.
Percy, who I hadn’t seen for months before his dramatic return to our family.
Percy, who didn’t know me at all.
Percy was the one who asked Tonks to cover us, as he pulled me aside.
Perfect Pompous Percy was the one who cried in anger as he told me that Fred was dead. Murdered by an explosion caused by a man named Rookwood, whom Percy said he had just left unconscious and broken in a corner of the school.
Percy, who hadn’t shown one bit of emotion for my family in years, was the one who told me that my own brother’s body was lying limp in the Great Hall.
“NO!” I screamed taking a step away, “How dare you? Are you even sure it was Fred? Can you be sure you recognized him correctly, I mean you haven’t seen him in how long Percy?"
“Ginny…please,” he croaked.
Tears were running down my face and the world was swirling around me. I felt dizzy and…and…
What did he mean one of my brothers was dead? How could he look me in the eye and tell me Fred was gone? FRED COULD NOT BE GONE.
It just couldn’t be true.
But when I looked up again, Tonks had silent tears down her face, and Percy resembled a corpse of a man.
Percy grabbed me urgently by the shoulders. “Listen to me,” he said shaking me once, “We can’t lose you too, please go, please go back-”
“I’m not going anywhere,” I murmured, “Especially now.”
“Percy you never cared to know me and you certainly cannot act like you do now."
I sprinted past him, past Tonks, to reach the corridor Percy claimed he and several others watched Fred die.
Fred, Fred, he couldn’t be gone, he…he was always cracking jokes, he never went anywhere without a smile, how could he be gone?
Where was any justice in that!? How was that even possible? What had he ever done to deserve his life being cut short? My heart was hurting in ways that had only ever been described to me in stories and books. It was like an unknown force squeezing my chest until there was no breath left in my body.
“Ginny!” yelled Tonks who had taken off after me. I was pulled to a stop and suddenly she occupied my full line of vision, “Ginny- Fred is gone. We have to keep moving; he would have wanted you to keep yourself safe-”
“How would you know what he would have wanted? No one knew him like George and I did! Like we do!” My eyes felt like they were on fire, and my throat was clogged and dry.
“We need to fight or hide, Ginny, and knowing you, you want to fight until the last areshole falls dead. We will avenge your brother but you must keep your head. That is the first rule of combat,” she said wiping her last stray tears. “Listen to me, pull yourself together right now and we’ll keep going, if you don’t then I am going to haul you back up to the Room of Requirement, and you know I’m the only one who could be successful at that.”
Shaking with rage and grief, I reluctantly nodded.
“You remind me a lot of myself you know. Just remember, no matter what, keep your head up. Don’t let them have the satisfaction. It’s the best revenge and the best way to stay happy, to keep on fighting and give them hell.”
We ran off again, leaving Percy far behind.
“By the way Ginny,” Tonks called over her shoulder as we left two more unconscious bodies, “you know we named Harry as Godfather to Teddy-”
As we rounded a corner, we came across a group of about five hooded figures, who seemed to be arguing about something, cutting Tonk’s off of whatever she had been about to say.
“The Dark Lord is growing impatient; it seems he is going to make an announcement soon.”
“What kind of announcement?”
“An ultimatum of sorts.”
“How do you know?"
“We don’t have time for this! They are falling just as fast as we are, and I am not going to be the one to let our Lord know this.”
“He’s right, they are stronger than we anticipated, that little ministry twit, the Weasley, he finished Rockwood off without so much as a blink…”
“Ginny,” whispered Tonks with our backs against the wall, “we were wondering if you would be Godmother to him. In case we don’t…make it, Remus and I want to know our son will be taken care of and I know you two would be great to him.”
I met her eyes in a long gaze and wondered what she was up to. She sounded as though she was speaking her last words.
“I’d be honored Tonks.”
“Good. Now go."
“Go, Ginny, go find Neville or anyone else right now."
So that was what she was up to, “Tonks I’m not just going to leave you!”
“You owe me, Weasley!”
I truly did owe her, not only had she saved my life but she was the one who gave me the chance to fight in the first place. “No…”
“Do it for Fred, then. And for Harry."
She wasn’t going to make it easy for me. I knew that if I didn’t comply she would make me leave and I was caught in between a rock and a hard place. She wanted to go against those men alone; she obviously must have known what she was doing.
It went against everything I stood for but when Tonks narrowed her eyes, I knew there was nothing else I could do.
“I’m going to be the greatest Godmother to your son, Nymphadora, and you are going to watch me do it, I know it!”
I felt terrible leaving her, but she left me no choice, she was a fully capapble Auror, was she not? What if Neville needed me? What if he was about to end up like…like my brother?
She was going to swat me for using her first name but I ran for it before she could.
I never saw her again. She died sometime after that, and no one is really sure how, I think I might have some idea, but four men were found dead exactly in the spot I had left her. So even if that was where it happened…I know she gave them hell.
Running so fast, I completely overlooked the fallen tapestry on the ground and I proceeded in tripping on it, tumbling to the ground.
“Damn!” I cursed, grabbing my tender ankle. The same one that was never quite the same after Amycus broke it at the Ministry.
I heard a soft sound from behind me and I twirled around with my wand already drawn.
And the bloody game changed again.
“There is no need for a wand, Weasley, I am of no harm to you,” said Severus Snape in all his infamous glory.
I stood up slowly making sure my wand didn’t waver, “I thought you fled the castle, Snape.”
We stared each other down, until he took a step forward, I responded with a step of my own. “Let me pass, I told you I mean no harm. I’ll just walk away and you’ll be free of any threat you think I poses.”
“You’re not a threat,” I said without moving.
Snape raised an eyebrow, “But of course. Don’t waste your breath, Weasley, I know you aren’t afraid of me, you’ve said it enough.”
“It’s more than that; you’ve never meant any harm to any of us. You saved me from detentions all year, you made sure you knew all the Carrows’ bidding, and you stopped things from getting deadly, which I’m sure Voldemort originally meant to happen."
Snape shook his head, “I do not have time for this-“
“Even now, you can easily blast me out of the way, you won’t. This was all part of a scheme wasn’t it?” I asked, finally putting all the pieces together, all the time spent pondering Severus Snape in my purgatory of Aunt Muriel’s seemed to have paid off.
Snape’s slight change of expression said all I needed to know.
I was right. I looked straight at his dark, cold eyes, “When you asked me if I knew what Little Hangleton was, you know I lied. Admit it.”
“Yes, I knew it was a conspiracy the whole time,” he said in a bored sneer, “you can only have wizard-pox once, and Longbottom caught it is first year. I was the one who created the remedy; I knew you were lying. What's more, Voldemort was residing at the Malfoy Manor at the time, any correspondence would have been sent from there."
“And yet you allowed me to continue to trap you and the Carrows?”
He said nothing for a moment, “Let me pass.”
But I couldn’t stop, it all made so much sense, “Dumbledore was the wisest wizard of the time, you wouldn’t have been able to kill him unless he allowed you to, because he trusted you.”
“Dumbledore was not invincible-”
“I know that! Of course he wasn’t, but he was smarter than that, he was too smart to die at the hand of a trusted ally. He ordered you to kill him that night didn’t he?” I asked with a tear falling down my face. “To hold appearances and to let things fall into place, it was his plan, and then you volunteered to take over the school so you could watch over the students. You’re a double agent Snape, since the beginning. Don’t’ deny it, you let us in on so much insight, Dumbledore was always a step ahead, and yet Voldemort is certain that you work for him. You’ve just been feeding him well calculated rubbish.”
“And you sent the sword to Harry after I told you about Dumbledore’s will. The only reason you hadn’t sent it before was because you Dumbledore hadn’t told you, isn’t that right? That’s why you turned to the portrait, you were angry with him!” I took a breath to steady myself, “You’ve been helping us all along.”
I watched the resignation in his eyes and I knew I was right…about everything.
I lowered my wand and stepped aside. He did even hesitate to quickly stalk pass. And the man I had once hated walked away.
“Thank you,” I said softly just before he turned the corridor.
Snape paused, only for a moment, but in that moment he shifted his head slightly as though to look back. He didn’t, he only continued escaping.
I never saw Severus Snape again.
“Thank Merlin, Ginny!” cried Neville’s voice as he swooped me up into his arms. It was the first time I felt safe the entire night. “Where the hell have you been?”
“With Tonks…well I was…”
Neville released me and looking into my eyes, he had been crying. We were standing right outside the Great Hall once I had finally made it, things seemed to have calmed down and I wondered what had happened to the battle that was raging, “What’s happened, Neville? You’re crying.”
“Ginny…there are many bodies in there; you’re going to have to prepare yourself.”
A wave of nausea came over me, as I thought of my brother, “Neville…I…I’m so glad you are ok,” I said.
He wiped his face, his tear made tracks through the grime on his skin, “Everyone has been so worried about you, when they heard you had joined the fighting. What were you thinking?”
“I was thinking I couldn’t sit by and do nothing! Look, I’m alright, I survived.”
“I know. I know.”
“Is everyone in there?” I asked gesturing to the hall.
“Yes, we think the death eaters have finally retreated.”
I smiled through my tears, “Thank Merlin.”
“Are you ready?”
I swallowed, “I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.”
He opened the door and the first thing I noticed was the incredible amount of people in the room, all the tables had been cleared, “Wait,” I said stopping in my tracks, “Is Harry in here?”
Neville looked away, “I haven’t seen him.”
And then the game took its final twist.
Voldemort’s voice returned to the night air, “You have fought, valiantly. Lord Voldemort knows how to value bravery. Yet you have sustained heavy losses. If you continue to resist me, you will die, one by one. I do not wish this to happen. Every drop of magical blood spilled is a loss and a waste. “I speak now, Harry Potter, directly to you. You have permitted your friends to die for you rather than to face me yourself. I shall wait one hour in the Forbidden Forest. If, at the end of that hour, you have not come to me, Harry Potter, the battle recommences. This time I shall enter the fray myself, Harry Potter, and I shall find you, and I shall punish every last man, woman, and child who has tried to conceal you from me. One Hour.”
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