|SIYE Time:19:22 on 22nd March 2018|
Memoirs of a Red Headed Witch
By My Wicked Quill
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Category: Pre-OotP, Post-OotP, Post-HBP, Post-Hogwarts, Post-DH/AB
Genres: Action/Adventure, Comedy, Humor, Romance, Songfic
Warnings: Mild Language, Mild Sexual Situations, Violence
Summary: Ginny Weasley was always overlooked. Always the youngest, always the smallest, and was never really given the chance to let her voice be heard. But sometimes the best insight comes from those who were always in the background. Her story of redemption, loyalty and love, proves that she was never just the Weasley brothers' little sister.
Hitcount: Story Total: 100074; Chapter Total: 2661
Awards: View Trophy Room
So I have completely redone the Prisoner of Azkaban Section of this story, it's take over a year, but this project was in my back burner. But I FINALLY FINISHED and am VERY proud of the improvements I've made. I think actually developing POA adds to Ginny's development. Now I know this story was originally published....like over two years ago? So anyone reading this now probably NEVER read it before, and for those who do remember this story, thanks for coming back! To new comers who are coming across this chapter as a first time reading of this story, just continue on and let me know what you think!
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azakaban
Entry five: from England to Egypt and Back
“Can I start again, with my faith shaken?
Cause I can’t go back and undo this.
I just have to stay, and face my mistakes
But if I get stronger and wiser, I’ll get through this.
What can you do when your good isn’t good enough,
When all that you touch tumbles down,
Cause my best intentions keep making a mess of things,
I just want to fix this somehow…”
-Get It Right, Lea Michelle (Glee
But I was getting to know him better, him as a person, his likes and dislikes, his moods and habits. It wasn't as creepy as it seemed, yes I will admit, I spent a good portion of time watching and observing him- but he was always around, and we were… acquaintances.
He was becoming just, Harry, rather than the great Harry Potter to me. It was thrilling.
This was all happening my second year and though I was severely shy, when he would speak directly to me, I would blush- but answer.
That growth within myself was due to many things, obviously I was older, there was a major difference between 11 and 12, and obviously down in the chamber Harry and I have created a bond. Even though we wouldn't expand on that bond for years, it was there nonetheless. To my surprise, and I'm sure to yours as well, I didn't see Harry more so as a hero but as a boy with flaws and fears. Down in the chamber I saw him on the brink of death, and that changes the way you view a person. He wasn't indestructible, he was voulnerable, he wasn't perfect, but he was real.
I also have to give credit for my growth to the trip my family took the summer after my first year. The trip we took to Egypt to see my eldest brother Bill, who was working there as a curse breaker.
My father won the Grand Prize Galleon Draw that year, ad we really couldn't think of a better way to spend the money than to travel. And it was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Unfortunately, the timing had left to be desired. I was still thoroughly dysfunctional and my family was watching over me like I was a new born. Which was most likely one of the reasons we were taking a trip in the first place; to give me some fresh air.
"Bill!" I yelled when I saw him, I ran and was the first one to greet him.
He threw his arms around me and twirled me around. "I've missed you, spitfire," he said.
I playfully pushed him away, "I've told you not to call me that."
"Must have forgotten."
"Bill!" cried mum as she reached us, "Oh, sweetheart, it's been too long! You really must come around home more often," she chastised wiping the tears from her eyes. That's what she was I'm able to pick up good looking, "William! What did you do with this hair! A ponytail? What are you trying to do- and an earring?!"
"Alright, Molly, no need to be so hasty, we've only just gotten here," said my dad as Fred and George laughed their heads off behind me at mom scolding Bill.
I only gave Bill a knowing look and he gave me a hidden smile. He had written to me about his new look. I was more than glad to see my brother. Being around him made me forget all about what I had done, what I endured, and the pain I had caused. With Bill, I was just Ginny, his little sister who would sit on his lap and hear stories of Hogwarts.
However, considering that as I watched Ron embrace Bill, I suddenly wanted to be anywhere but there. Bill must have known by then all about the Chamber. We had managed to keep it a secret in school, yes I was the one who was dragged down into the Chamber but it was not divulged, however, that I was the one who opened it in the first place. But, as successful as we were at keeping it hidden at school, my parents- nor I for that matter- could keep it from the rest of our family.
Bill must have been so disappointed, and was waiting to get me alone to berate my choices and my actions. How could he ever look at me the same way? Everything was tarnished, and at least back home I could pretend that nothing had changed between my brother and I, since I didn’t have to see the disappointment resonating in his eyes. He wouldn’t be the only one who thought I was evil.
Voldemort was present in my dreams. The whispers…the chills… they were with my in every step I took. I took a step away because it was getting rather hard to breathe. The floo station was so packed with travelers; I bumped into a woman and became even more disoriented.
“He will never love you again, Ginevra, why would he? How could someone as good as William Weasley love someone like you? Even the great and noble Harry Potter avoided you like plague once you left the Chamber.”
“Stop,” I said out loud, clutching my head.
“Ginny?” said a voice from far away. My lungs were not working right, and I didn’t have the voice to answer.
Everything Tom had said was true.
The Sun was much brighter than it was back home in Britain, the air was lighter too, and I felt I wasn’t getting enough to fill my lungs. A splitting headache began to form.
“Ginny!” there was a crowd now; I had attracted attention.
“Ronald hated what you did to the Granger girl…we almost had her, didn’t we?”
“It wasn’t me…” I whispered. He made me do it. I would never hurt Hermione…
“It must be the climate, and exhaustion from the trip,” said the voice of my mother, in what I knew was an attempt to draw away the curious crowd.
“You see? They are ashamed and embarrassed of you…they brought you around the world to hide from the humiliation…they know the truth about you…they all do…”
I couldn’t even tell him he was wrong, because the headache took over, and my world went black.
I’m not sure how long I was out, exactly, I only remember several dreams portraying different outcomes that could have transpired in the Chamber, and none of them were good.
Harry had destroyed Tom Riddle…but somehow, he was still with me- and I still hadn’t told anyone. He mostly spoke to me at night, in the time between dreaming and consciousness, when my mind had nothing to think about. I was terrified, and kept hoping that I would wake up in the morning and he’d be gone forever. But he never was...and it had been an entire month. Tom always brought fear and anxiety with him, but, I hadn’t experienced such a bad headache since I passed out in the Chamber of Secrets.
I was extremely disoriented when I came to. I could tell that I was in some kind of cot, and that I was really hot. Extremely, in fact, and the only air was coming from the magical fan across the room. The ceiling was made of cotton and so I deducted that I was inside a tent. Carefully, I sat up, feeling the blood rush from my head as it spun. Nearly blacking out again, I forced myself to focus.
The tent was nicely furnished, in a completely different style that I could only describe as other worldly. The sun was beating through the fabric of the tent and I was drenched in my own sweat. The next thing I noticed was that I was all alone. That was odd, knowing my mother she wouldn’t let me out of her sight when I was sick, especially on another continent.
“Shh!” said a voice from behind me. I turned and there wasn’t a soul in sight. MY instinct told me to explore, but I was afraid as to what I could run into.
Thankfully, my fears were slightly calmed when I heard soft sniffling coming from the same direction; there was definitely someone behind the curtain on the far end of the room. I slowly made my way closer, and only stopped when my mother’s shadow appeared. In reflex, I hid in the corner and peaked around. There was a thin, orange curtain separating my from the adjoining room, and the light that was hitting my parents casted their shadows onto the cloth.
It looked like they were in there with only Bill.
“How could you not have told me?” said my brother with a sniff. So it was Bill who was crying. I couldn’t remember him ever crying before.
My parents replied softly, “It wasn’t something you could put in a letter, dear.”
“We wanted to tell you in person.”
“Yeah? Well look how that worked out! I had to watch my little sister have an emotional breakdown, or a panic attack or whatever you call it, having no idea what could have possibly brought it on!” Bill’s silhouette dropped his head into his hands.
This surprised me, I had been under the impression that Bill already knew.
“We had no idea that would happen, and we aren’t even sure why! She’d been doing so well, she’s been a bit quiet and reserved, but alright. I’ve never seen her like that.”
“Not even when…it happened?”
My mother took Bill a cup something and watched him take a sip. “Well, we can’t be entirely sure…Harry was the one with her…then,” said Mum. “And, well, he’s keeping as quiet as he can about this whole thing.”
“But we need to know! What if something is genuinely wrong? Potter has no reason to be keeping secrets!”
“He’s not keeping secrets,” countered my father, “He’s keeping her confidence.”
I smiled- I knew my father would understand.
“Harry Potter…I just…can’t fathom it.”
“He’s a good boy, Bill,” said Mum, on the verge of tears.
“He saved my little sister’s life; I’ll never have one word to say against him.” Bill sighed, “I just don’t understand how we could have let this happen. She had four brothers there who were supposed to be watching out for her. How did we let her slip through the cracks?”
“I’ve had a few good words with the other boys, Bill,” assured my father, “And believe it or not, they feel even worse than you do. Don’t’ give them anymore of a hard time; you know how Ginny is when she is determined to keep something to herself.”
“It’s still wrong. Ginny-our Ginny- involved in this…horrific…what has Dumbledore said?”
Mum answered that one, “He said that this won’t define who she I; she’s much too strong to let this be her downfall. He said that she has brilliant things ahead of her, and that the Chamber will only help shape her into the person she is meant to be.” Mum stopped for a moment, it was obvious that she wasn’t having an easy time speaking of this, “Dumbledore believes your sister is destined for great accomplishments, but she’ll have many demons to live with and hopefully get through,” she finished with a thick voice.
“Does he think there’s going to be anything wrong with her? What did Madam Pomfrey say?”
“She’s healthy- still weak- but physically, Ginny is unharmed.”
“But mentally? Emotionally?”
My parents turned to each other in hesitation, and in that moment my heart fell to my toes. They must have known that Tom Riddle was still inside my head…somehow. That’s what I thought they were referring to. I started to accept that fact that there truly was something wrong with me. I was going to go mental…did I have a personality disorder? Would it affect my magic? I was evil. They knew it. They knew Tom still spoke to me…
Would they send me away? To some mental facility? I’d heard of witches and wizards whom had voices in their heads- wizards who’d gone mad- some were locked up…and others were…
Why had no one spoken to me about it? How could they run the risk of letting me over hear it like that? Why had everyone lied?
“He said…that with time…enough time to heal the emotional damage, she’ll be fine,” replied my father at last.
So they did believe I was fine?
“But you both don’t seem to sure,” Bill mildly accused, “I’ve worked with Dark Magic for a while now, and that diary sounds like just about the worst sort. I just can’t believe that she’s completely untouched by it.”
One look at me and Bill already knew. I had known this was going to happen, that Bill would see the evil inside me. I started to tear as I stood there paralyzed to the spot. He knew that there was something wrong with me, it seemed even my parents were doubtful.
“Sweetheart, think of Harry, the boy has been touched with the darkest magic there is and he is doing just fine.”
I wasn’t sure if my mother was trying to convinced Bill, or herself.
“I don’t know…something just feels off.”
In time I would find out just how right Bill was. Dumbledore was right about my being destined for big things, but he also knew a bit more than he was telling us regarding my emotional complications. Regarding how Tom Riddle had affected my soul. There were even pieces of information that Dumbledore didn’t even know at the time, like what the diary truly was. But you’ll have to wait a lot longer to discover the truth.
Dumbledore was a great wizard…but he was human and he had several flaws. Some of the decisions he made were costly, and I can’t help but wonder how things would have turned out if I knew what I know now about what truly happened in the Chamber of Secrets.
“She just needs family, love and time.”
“So that’s why you’re all here, then?”
Mum’s shadow nodded, “Dumbledore suggested that we get her away for a while, some fresh air and new sights. WE figured there was no place else we’d rather be than with the whole family. We told Charlie, and he thought it was great idea and we informed him of Ginny’s…situation on the trip over. He didn’t take it too well, as we knew you wouldn’t either but we wouldn’t possibly tell you over a floo call, or a letter. So here we all are.”
“But don’t tell her,” said dad. “We don’t want her to think we are worried about her; she needs to relax and enjoy her time here.”
I felt guilty. I knew mum and dad had wanted to visit Bill for a very long time but perhaps they truly wanted to spend their winnings on something more…permanent. Had we really gone all that way just for me?
“How is she now?”
“She’s calmed down. She stopped thrashing about half an hour ago.”
Bill stood to refill his cup. “She’s suffering from nightmares?”
“Yes,” answered mum, “and I don’t believe she knows the extent of them; I’ve woken up to her screams. But at least-at least they are dreams and they will pass.”
I didn’t want to hear anymore. I just kept feeling worse and worse. I hadn’t a clue that I was keeping my mother from sleep.
“I’d better go in and check on her. The cooling charm must have worn off by now.”
Quickly, I tip-toed across the room and climbed into my cot just as someone stepped into the room. Footsteps came closer as I feigned sleep, and then suddenly, I felt refreshed and cleansed. They must have been keeping cooling charms on me the whole time I’d been out.
“You can open your eyes. I know you’re awake,” said Bill from beside me, surprising me so much I opened my eyes. He smiled sadly, and I noted the trace of tears in his eyes.
“When did you know?”
“When I saw your shadow haul over back to be, I told mum I’d take care of it, so here I am.”
I stayed silent peering up at my eldest brother from under the light, sheer blanket. “Do you hate me?” I asked him in a small voice.
“Hate you? How- what? Why would I ever hate you?”
“Because I’ve made such a mess of things, you don’t have to pretend like this doesn’t change things, I’m ‘emotionally traumatized’, Bill.”
Pushing me over so he could sit, Bill rolled his eyes, “I am not going to say this twice, so listen to me now. I do not hate, nothing you ever do could make me hate you. You are not a bad person, Ginny. You are one of the best I’ve ever met, and nothing that has happened will change that. Ever.”
I personally hadn’t spoken to anyone about what had happened, other than Dumbledore. And although explaining myself to him was difficult, it was nothing compared to telling my own brother. Tears of my own began to form, “I hurt people,” I whispered.
“Bill, I let him…possess me- I let him…use me. I hurt Colin; I hurt….Her-Hermione.”
Bill had heard all about Hermione from Ron. It seemed Ron had a lot to say about his close friend. But Bill’s face seemed heartbroken at the mention of her name. “I’m so sorry,” I was terrified that he’d be disgusted with my actions, and I had never felt so vulnerable. How could he say that nothing I could do would make him hate me? Hadn’t my parents told him what I’d done? Ron hated me…
“I know you’re sorry, but it should be us who are sorry. We should have noticed something was wrong.”
“I’m scared, Bill,” I admitted, “What if I really am evil? What of-”
“You are NOT evil. You are Ginny Weasley. You are not evil.” He took my hand, “But, we don’t have to talk about this right now. You need your rest, and tomorrow I’m showing you the pyramids.”
I half smiled for his benefit, “That sounds nice.” I couldn’t really believe him. At least, yet. “I don’t want to sleep now, I’ve been sleeping all day.”
“Okay then,” said with a nod, “I know what we could do.”
Bill summoned a chess board from across the room and began setting it up, as I watched him, wondering how he could see me the same way he used to.
“Hey,” he called, “Wipe those tears, this is no game for cry babies.”
I actually let out a throaty laugh.
“By the way there is something we need to discuss.”
“Yes. The next time you want to get the attention of the great Harry Potter, just fall out of a window next time, it’ll probably be less dangerous.”
And I really laughed at that one.
Bill made the first move with his pawn, “So what is he like? Everything you imagined.”
I countered his move, “No. He’s better.”
“And how’s that?”
“Because he’s real.”
The remainder of the trip went smoothly, as far as my health and sanity was concerned. Tom hadn’t shown up so strongly again and only returned in my dreams.
“Would you get in trouble for bringing me here?” I asked, running a hand across the smooth golden bricks.
“Of course not. All witches and wizards are allowed up here ever since the Egyptians built this thing.”
“It’s incredible how the muggles were able to create this without magic.”
Bill laughed, “Without magic? Please, Ginny, civilization wasn’t that evolved. Without the help of wizards, this pyramid would not exist right now.”
“No way!” I said, looking out over the desert. Bill had taken the family to visit the pyramids, however, it wasn’t just any trip. Bill was able to take us inside the structure, and at that moment, Bill and I were standing on a platform which opened out into a hidden window at the top of the pyramid. Standing on the edge, you could see the entire world stretched out before you.
“Yeah, ever since the beginning of time, wizards and muggles were able to work together. But then we were banished, branded as dark forces and evil creatures, we were forced to make our own hidden world, that of which only a few secret muggles are actually aware of. But we still have our secret workings in the muggle world, like this. This landing you are standing on, we have several more just like it on all the wonders of the world.”
“And the muggles can’t see us?”
“Not at all, we have an Impenetrable Charm on this entire area.”
I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, enjoying the fresh air. Being that high felt like being on a broom. The world went on forever; flat and empty golden land. So simple, so beautiful.
“Thanks for this, Bill.” I felt free and open, as if nothing would ever bother me again. The rest of the family was exploring downstairs somewhere, and I felt almost full again.
“Ginny?” called a timid Bill. “I wanted to ask you something, I was hoping you’d tell me what drew you to the diary in the first place,” he looked at his feet, “I mean, once it started writing back, why did you become so attached to it?” I could see the trepidation in his eyes for asking something so personal. And although I truly wanted to avoid answering, he’d been so god to me that he deserved an answer. What did draw me? It was a fair question.
“Well, I suppose…Tom was…friendly. And since I was a Weasley, everyone thought they already knew who I was and never took the time to get to know my for me…I was lonely…” It seemed silly, admitting something so childish.
“And he said his name was Tom. He was genuinely interested in what I had to say…Most of the first years were scared of coming near me,” I smiled sadly, “I was Fred and George’s sister, and their reputation is infamous even with the first years. And Ron was Harry Potter’s best friend, not only was he busy, but everyone was more preoccupied with that Weasley.”
“You really did slip right through the cracks, didn’t you?”
“Tom, he was…he always said just what I needed to hear.” I didn’t know how but he did. He was embedded in me. Now, of course, I understand, but not at 12. He understood my feelings and used them against me only to make me weak.
“And so you trusted him?” he curiously asked.
“You should have told someone when you started forgetting things.”
“But I would have gotten into trouble, Bill, I was frightened. I thought they would blame me. And if I had thought it was me…I would have turned myself in. I truly had no idea. I felt that I would have known….but then I wasn’t so sure anymore.”
Bill sighed, “Not every friend is going to betray you like Riddle did.”
“I know that. Not everyone is You-Know-Who’s 16 year old self.”
“Bill, Ginny?” I turned to the entrance of the landing, coming face to face with Ron’s intrigued expression.
“Hey, little brother, come on up.”
“This is incredible! Blimey, you can see everything from up here,” he said as he shuffled his feet near the edge and peered down.
“I’m going to go find mum and dad,” said Bill, “You can’t fall because the charms prevent it, but don’t do anything stupid.” With a smile, my eldest brother was gone.
“What were you guys talking about?” asked Ron.
I sat, pulling my legs to my chest so that I could lean my head on my knees and enjoy the view. “Nothing terribly interesting.”
Ron had never been very intuitive, especially when we were younger, he was highly sensitive, and I believe that was the reason he avoided all gushy, mushy, emotionally traumatic situations like a spider. Then there were moments he surprised me.
“Yeah, I’m sure You-Know-Who isn’t all that interesting.”
“Were you eavesdropping?” I asked, a bit miffed at the entire family’s lacking concern for privacy.
He shrugged, “Not really, but what else would you be talking about? Quidditch? You haven’t been in that kind of mood all summer.”
“Well, I’m sorry if my mood isn’t what you want it to be, Ron. Now, why don’t you just go and write to Harry and Hermione or something.”
“Because I’m talking to you! All summer long you’ve been distant and I just want to help!”
“Isn’t that nice after everything I’ve done to you-”
“Harry got me out of the Chamber of Secrets, Ron, you weren’t even there.”
It was the meanest thing I’d ever said to my brother, by far, and even to this day. I know. But I was afraid he was about to scold me for what I’d done wrong, and I got on the defensive. I’d heard enough of it from everyone else, including my ever present conscience. I regretted my words, instantly, but I never took them back.
His reaction, however, surprised me.
Ron’s face contorted into a frown as he slid down to the spot next to me, “I’m sorry.”
“I should have been there. It should have been me; I shouldn’t have gotten left behind on the outside of the Chamber. But most of all, I should have known there was something wrong.”
I rolled my eyes, “And I shouldn’t have trusted Tom Riddle; we all have things we regret-”
“I should have been the one to get you out, Ginny. Not Harry.”
“And you shouldn’t have ignored me, or have been embarrassed by me.”
“So you’re mad at me?”
“I’m mad at everything,” I sighed. We stayed there, silent and still, for a while. Just staring out into the sky.
“I would do it again, you know,” he said, “Go down into those pipes to save you.”
“And I’ll be here when you’re ready to talk to me.”
Nodding, he asked, “So…what do we do now?”
“We sit here and don’t do anything stupid.”
Ron and I still had a lot to work through. Out of all of my siblings, aside from Fred and George, of course, Ron and I were the closest; before school started that is. In that moment on the pyramid I had never felt so far from him. We had a very on and off relationship and for the next few years we rarely ever saw eye to eye. And unfortunately, we couldn’t blame Riddle for that one.
The trip ended, as all good things do. And right before we went off to school, we spent some time at the Leaky Cauldron, with Hermione and low and behold, Harry Potter.
Whereas Hermione arrived with my family, it seemed Harry had already been staying at the Leaky for some time. He had apparently, in a fit of rage and accidental magic, blown up his vile aunt into a twice sized balloon of a woman. He then effectively left the destructive household, finding his way to the Leaky Cauldron by use of the Knight Bus- the Wizarding form of transportation that picks up any stranded witch of wizard unseen by any muggle.
When I saw him at first, I couldn’t help but feel foolishly embarrassed. I wondered if he resented saving me for all the trouble he ended up in, and the danger he experienced. However, Harry was nothing but polite and utterly kind. I had hoped that after seeing the light nearly leave his eyes I’d be able to hold a full length conversation with him, but alas, not yet.
I was never a naïve person. When I was younger the reason I seemed oblivious to things was because I was intentionally left in the dark, “You’re too young,” they would tell me. But I knew when something was wrong.
For instance when I got rid of the diary the moment I began to suspect it.
No one told me what was wrong the summer after my first year, I figured it out myself. It had to do with Sirius Black; the man who at that point I believed to be evil.
Sirius Black was a mass murderer who had killed thirteen people the year I was born, the year that Voldemort was defeated by Harry Potter.
Now, it seemed he had escaped Azkaban Prison, being the first wizard in history to do so. Could you imagine? And it only gets worse. What was more horrific, I found out, being my sharp self, it was Harry he was after.
I had heard from my father (well I had eavesdropped really) that Sirius had been talking in his sleep, for a few weeks before he made his infamous escape. He kept repeated the same words over and over, “He’s at Hogwarts. He’s at Hogwarts.”
It didn’t take a master mind to put together a hunch. Of course I hadn’t put it all together right away, but I had a feeling.
Sirius Black, one of the most dangerous men alive, and known for working under Voldemort’s regime, had broken out of the world’s most impenetrable unit secured with the most brilliant and talented wizards. He was wanted more than anyone at the moment and was out somewhere unseen, and I could only imagine that he was headed straight for Harry Potter.
I remember the day Harry, Ron, Hermione, Fred, George, Percy and I left for school. I was excited to start the year; I was older and ready to start fresh, to forgive myself for what I let happen my first year. The lot of us were, as I mentioned, at the Leaky Cauldron. Ron and Hermione were arguing, again, Fred and George were playing with some artifacts they collected from Egypt, my father and were Percy discussing something about the Wizarding community we experience there, and mum was looking out for everyone.
I don’t remember what it was exactly that Ron and Hermione were bickering about (never can really) but because of it, she began speaking with me, and I found that I really enjoyed her company. Whether it was because I never really had a girl around to confide in, or even talk to- with having six brothers well it was hard to find girl time.
It seemed Hermione had the same feelings, she was an only child and her two best friends were boys. Our friendship grew quickly and it wasn’t long after that I considered her my sister as well.
However as intriguing as my new friend was, I didn’t miss how tired Harry looked, as though he hadn’t gotten any sleep the night before. Harry was preoccupied with something and I wished I could figure out what it was.
Hermione called my attention again, “Ginny? Were you listening? I asked if you were planning on taking Ancient Runes next year.”
“What?” I asked tearing my eyes away from the boy.
“Ancient Runes. I know it’s a rather prestigious class, but it’s never too early to start…what are you staring at?” I had accidentally let my eyes slip to the other side of the table again.
“Uh, nothing…Ancient Runes… I hear that class is a head case waiting to happen.”
She laughed once, “Yes, well, there are already people who think of me as a head case.” I couldn’t help but notice her own eyes slipping to my brother Ron, who, at the moment was stuffing his face with everything and anything in sight.
“Hermione, Ron is a nitwit, don’t give him a second thought; things come out of his mouth before he thinks about them.” We both glanced his way, “Heck he stuffs things in his mouth without even thinking.”
She laughed, “Well I guess you’re right, but, I know what you’re thinking- I don’t see Ron that way.” Her hazel eyes looked back down to the open book on the table, she was trying to conceal a blush even though there was no need.
“Right; and I have ears the size of a house elf’s.”
She looked back up with wide eyes. “Ginny, please don’t find me rude when I say this, but, I never thought of you as such an outspoken person. You’ve always seemed so quiet and timid.” That was her attempt at changing the subject. I was about to call her out on that when George interrupted, having heard that last bit from Hermione.
“Ha,” He snorted, “Quiet. I could swear the Ron wishes he had a muzzle at times, but me and Fred, we find her completely entertaining.”
“Thank you dear brother of mine, but the answer is still no, I will not for the life of me try your newest project.” George rolled his eyes in defeat and turned back to the rest of the family.
Hermione shook her head, “Why then Ginny? At school, you kept to yourself so much, when we would ask you something you’d practically faint.”
I looked over at Harry again; he had finally looked up from his breakfast with sleepy eyes and engaged Ron in conversation about the new broom, the Firebolt. I took one glance at his eyes and it reminded me just how easily I could faint looking into them.
Hermione didn’t miss this, “That’s what I thought.”
She just raised an eyebrow at Harry and turned back to her book. I suddenly became exceedingly nervous. Would she tell him? She was his best friend! This couldn’t be good.
“No, it’s not- Hermione I don’t think of him that way.”
She didn’t look up from her book, “Right. And I have ears the size of a house elf’s.”
I couldn’t help but notice what close attention my father was paying to Harry the morning we left for King’s Cross station. Everywhere we went and each turn we took, dad kept close to Harry’ elbow. This only fueled my suspicion that Harry was in some sort of danger.
Finally making it through the barrier, the Hogwarts Express never looked so beautiful. For me in that moment, it represented a new start. And nervous as I was, I couldn’t wait for that new start to begin.
“Ah, there’s Penelope!” said Percy (HP POA ch. 5 The Dementor) running a hand through his hair, he straightened his Head Boy badge on his robes, and hurried to the pretty blonde girl that was smiling shyly at him a few feet away.
Penelope was my brother’s girl friend, and I found it rather humorous the way he blushed and stuck his chest out to meet her. I wasn’t the only one either, Harry who had come through the barrier right before me caught my eyes and we shared a secret laugh. My heart did a little jump in that moment. And even though it wasn’t much, it was something. It was proof that somewhere deep down, I could handle myself around Harry. We shared something life changing, and that couldn’t just go ignored.
“I need to talk to you in private,” Harry said to Ron and Hermione.”
“Go away, Ginny,” said Ron.
No one said a word. Maybe it could go ignored.
“Oh that’s nice,” I replied, stalking off.
Or at least, that’s what they thought I did. I took a quick round about and finally came to the door of the compartment the three of them found. My story has several instances of eavesdropping; it was unfortunately the most effective way I ever actually got information. I didn’t get the beginning of the conversation but I did hear enough.
It was Ron I heard first, “Are you sure that’s what my dad said?”
“Positive,” replied Harry. “Sirius Black is coming after me; I’m the reason he escaped Azkaban. At least, that’s what everyone thinks. I mean, it makes sense. That’s why I got off easy for blowing up Aunt Marge.”
“I thought you said it was an accident,” inquired Hermione.
“They take underage magic very seriously at the Ministry,” Ron added, “Obviously Fudge was too grateful that Harry was alive when he turned up at the Leaky to punish him.”
My eyes were practically bulging from their eye sockets by this point. My suspicions were confirmed; Sirius Black was targeting Harry, I just didn’t understand why. What would the motive to be- and what about the timing? Black had been rotting in his cell for twelve years. What made him disappear all of a sudden? Why did he wait? Or did something finally just snap?
Nothing was adding up. Harry had been at Hogwarts for two full years, if Sirius was so preoccupied with him being at Hogwarts wouldn’t he have escaped two years earlier? So if in fact everyone was wrong about Black, then who was he really after? It would only make sense that it was someone new to Hogwarts.
“You’re, Ginny Weasley, right?” A new voice broke through my ponderings. I turned to meet a young boy I knew was in my brother’s year.
“Yes, I am.”
“I’m Neville…Neville Longbottom,” he told me somewhat shyly.
I shook his hand, “Nice to meet you.”
Neville was the first real friend I made at Hogwarts, sure I had befriended Hermione over the summer but at school, she was mainly involved with Harry and Ron. Neville and I…our friendship would become the stuff of legends at Hogwarts. But back then, he was still the shy and clumsy little boy.
“I was just on my way to say hi to Harry, Ron and Hermione. I’m guessing they are in there?”
“Yes, actually,” I said, knowing that he couldn’t just walk in on that kind of conversation. I needed to stall. “But before you do, you should know that Hermione got a new cat over the summer, and well, it’s not very friendly. You aren’t allergic are you?”
Neville shrugged, “Not that I know of, my grandmum says I’m only allergic to turnips. It makes it kinds of hard to work in the Hogwarts garden, to be honest, my nose starts to swell up. You wouldn’t imagine the number of turnips in the greenhouses…”
He was sweet…just not extremely socially talented. He’d get better with time. Before I could end his soliloquy, a new distraction presented itself.
The blood drained from his face, “Oh no,” Neville muttered.
“What is it?”
The name made my stomach churn. Draco Malfoy was a very bad person, and his father was even worse. Lucius Malfoy was the one who put Tom Riddle’s diary in my cauldron the year before. Or at least that’s what Harry believed. The Malfoy’s play a crucial role in this story, as the vicious most cruel villains you will ever come across.
“Quick!” the boy named Neville said to me, “Hide!”
Reacting purely on impulse, I followed him behind a stack of trunks still waiting to be settled inside the compartment.
“Why are we hiding?” I asked when I noticed the white blonde boy with sharp robes and two other hefty boys on either side of him stopping outside Harry’s compartment door.
Neville seemed extremely uncomfortable, “Avoiding Malfoy is one of my favorite past times.”
I shook my head, “Malfoy is a big, ugly ferret. By hiding away from him, we only make him stronger. It’s better to just stand up to him and not give him the satisfaction.” How I felt about his father, however, that was a different story.
“I wish, I could, but I wouldn’t know how to stand up to someone so…ferrety.”
I spent most of the train ride speaking with Neville behind the trunks. I found that though he might have been a bit dull, and extremely shy and insecure, he had a sense of humor. It was a while later that the train began to slow.
“That was oddly quick.”
“Could we be making a stop before we get to the school?”
To add to the strange situation, the lights went off and the train plunged into darkness. “Ginny?”
“I’m still here.”
Neville was getting nervous, “Let’s go inside the compartment; maybe they’ll have some answers.”
I agreed with him, but seconds later I was all alone, as I couldn’t see which way he went. I heard several voices from all over; other students were wondering what was going on as well. Carefully feeling my way, I pulled open what I believed to be the right compartment door.
“Who’s that?” I countered.
“What are you doing?”
It was weird taking to blackness. “I was looking for Ron,” I replied, only half lying.
“Come in and sit down.”
“Not here!” cried Harry’s voice, “I’m here!”
Well that would have been embarrassing.
After a few more moments of rearranging and settling into the dark, suddenly a light came from the corner of the compartment. A light produced by a man I had never seen before, startling me into silence. I had no clue that there was anyone else in the room, especially someone I didn’t recognize.
The question of his identity was on the tip of my tongue, but was interrupted when the compartment opened again. This time by a cloaked figure that seemed to be floating into the room. Fear gripped my body,(I grabbed Hermione’s arm beside me) and I vaguely wondered that the bloody hell was happening. If I was imagining it all in my head.
Just when that thought was about to form into words, I became freezing cold.
It was colder than any winter I’d ever experienced, and the cold went down into my soul. I felt the cold inside, rather that surrounding me. It was a biting cold, it stung my heart.
The only thought that came to my mind was oddly, the time my Uncle Jim died, and the sadness I felt. Then I was thrusted back into my first year at school. The loneliness the confusion…the fear…Tom’s voice in my head telling me that I was going to die, that he was using me…using my body to kill people…the pain I felt in the Chamber…the pain that was strong enough to make me lose consciousness…
“So they’ve let you back have they? They’re letting you go back to school…what fools…” I wanted to tell him he would always be wrong. About everything. “No matter…Harry Potter is who really counts…and he will never, ever see you as anything more than a helpless...little…girl…”
I couldn’t find the voice to tell him any different.
Just as darkness was threatening to pull me under I could hear Hermione’s voice calling to me, “Ginny!”
The cloaked creature was gone, the lights had returned. I was shaking so strongly I almost fell from me seat.
“Ginny, thank goodness!” she said before turning her attention elsewhere. “Harry!”
Pulling myself up, trying not to vomit I noticed Harry was unconscious on the floor. What was that? How could something have the power to make someone feel that terrible? Tom’s voice was clear as day. It was as though he’d never left. As though I was right there with his 16 year old memory as it sucked the life out of me.
I curled up, trying to understand. As if far away, I heard Harry wake up. But I was too spent to ask if he was alright. The man apparently named Lupin, who I found was going to be our Defense Against the Dark teacher, began giving us all pieces of chocolate. I noticed that he gave the larger pieces to Harry and myself. It was fitting, I suppose. Chocolate was food for the soul. It was medicine for the heart. It always made you feel better.
“What was that thing?” Harry asked.
“A dementor. One of the dementors of Azkaban,” Lupin was a tired looking man. A man who looked older than he probably was. He had soft blue eyes and sandy brown hair; the appearance of someone who would look very handsome all cleaned up. He promptly left to speak with the driver, giving the others the chance to discuss what happened.
(POA> The Dementor)
Not in the mood to socialize, I closed my eyes and listened to the conversation. I understood that the thing called “a dementor” was on the hunt for Sirius Black. I couldn’t decide what frightened me more, the fact that Tom could be brought back to my consciousness so easily, or the fact that Sirius Black was being hunted on the Hogwarts Express.
“You belong to me…”
After the incident on the train, everything else at school seemed monotonous in comparison. Aside from the fact that dementors dotted the perimeter of the school grounds, and the fact that my nightmares had yet to cease, the start of term was thankfully regular…or as close as you can come at a magical boarding school.
Hermione and I became close friends very quickly, and so of course it became nearly impossible to keep my childish infatuation from her. She told me to wait and see how things would play out; I could tell she liked the idea of my feeling towards her best friend.
The Daily Prophet had been going on with new information of Sirius Black, and it wasn’t much; There were a few sightings, though they could have been rumors. Other than that, he had disappeared.
Professor Remus Lupin turned out to be an exceedingly intelligent man. He was a whole lot better of a teacher than Gilderoy Lockheart was the previous year. Plus, he seemed to be well informed on the subject of dementors. I was hoping I could find out all he knew. Ron, Hermione and Neville, faired the attack with nothing but a small case of the chills. I needed to know why I hadn’t. And why Harry hadn’t. If there was a link between Harry and me that was the cause of our breakdowns…then I deserved to know. And if that link had anything to do with Tom Riddle a.k.a. Voldemort, something had to be done.
A few weeks into the first term, Halloween to be exact, the third years and above were given the chance to visit the Hogsmeade, the quaint little village outside the castle gates. A fieldtrip form was required to attend, one that was signed by a legal guardian. Unfortunately, due to Harry’s hasty flee from the Dursley’s, he hadn’t gotten the signature (not that they would have signed it regardless). When he entered the common room full of first and second years all by his lonesome, my heart broke for him.
I gave him a small smile as he passed my solace on the sofa, and his face brightened a bit, but the gloom was evident.
I had just returned my attention to my Transfiguration essay when, “Umm…Ginny?”
Finding me voice, and willing for it not to crack, I answered, “Yes?”
Unsure of himself, Harry rounded the couch and took a seat. As nervous as I felt, I was more curious to hear what it was all about.
“I’m not sure if…well…” he ran a pushed a hand through his hair. I knew I was making him uncomfortable. He couldn’t even talk to me! How could I blame him when I couldn’t even look him in the eyes without blushing?
I stared at his eyebrows. There. If I stared at his eyebrows I couldn’t mess it up.
“I don’t want to upset you, but, I’ve been meaning to ask…about what happened on the train.”
I wasn’t exactly sure what it was he wanted to hear. The truth I guessed. But I hadn’t told that to anyone… “What do you want to know?” I asked my hands.
“Well, aside from me, it seemed that you had the worst reactions to the dementor.”
I nodded slowly.
“Ron and Hermione were just fine, other than feeling a bit chilly. What made ours any different?”
“I don’t know,” I replied in a small voice.
“What do you remember from it? I heard a woman screaming…I think-Ginny- I think it was my mum’s voice.”
I was surprised at his confession, and surprised that he would tell me something that seemed so personal. “You’re mum?”
I had to look up at him, I owed him that much for such honesty. He really seemed worried about what was happening to him…us. “Yes. I think it was right before…” his eyes darkened slightly as he stared into the fireplace.
“Right before what?”
He shook his head, “Never mind. That’s not what’s important. What’s important is you.”
“Yeah,” he said, and I dreaded his next words, “Did you hear anything out of the ordinary?”
You belong to me…
“Oh.” He was so disappointed. I didn’t think I had it in me to lie to his face like that. Harry had always been such a weakness; I was shocked I hadn’t revealed all my inner most secrets the moment he asked as much.
The guilt was weighing down hard on my shoulders, “Well, I-” Could I tell him? Should I?
He looked up hopefully, “Yes?”
His eyes were so beautiful, so open and honest. Tom had told me to stay quiet, and I always thought that telling anyone I had voices in my head would lead to mental hospitals. I knew I needed help. I knew that Harry was probably the only person in the world who could understand, and I knew that denying him the truth would be the end to any friendship we would have started. I would never be able to look him in the eyes again.
“I’m sorry. Harry, I…just please promise me you won’t say a word to anyone,” I pleaded.
He was morbidly curious now, “Alright. I promise.”
Looking around us to make sure no one was in ear shot, I made my choice and whispered, “I felt like I was back in the Chamber.” Noting his widened eyes, I took a deep breath and continued, “I felt the pain of Tom Riddle when he…”
How was it so difficult to tell Harry? He was actually there! But it was ghastly admitting it out loud. “I heard his voice. He was telling me that I shouldn’t be going to back to Hogwarts.” I blushed in embarrassment, disgusted with myself, “That I was going to hurt more people.”
We both sat there, silent.
Life went on around us, laughter and happiness. To me…their happiness was too loud. Harry was probably going to get up and walk away- avoid me the best he could for as long as we would know each other.
A sudden heat graced my hand, and it took a second to register that Harry had covered it with his own. “Voldemort can’t use you to hurt people anymore,” I flinched at the mention of his name. “Tom’s gone, Ginny. He’s not in your head,” whispered Harry. “It’s going to be okay.”
I met his eyes head on for the first time, without looking away, without a blush, without any hesitation, I just looked at him. And he looked back. That’s the true moment I learned there was a connection between the green eyed boy and myself. We might not have been best friends yet…but it was a start. “Okay,” was all I said.
Moving away, as if clearing his head, Harry smiled shyly, “Thanks for telling me, Ginny. I know what it’s like to hear voices in your head, and I think talking about it will help."
I blushed, again.
“I still don’t understand what happened. I guess that’s partly because I don’t understand dementors, but it’s good to know I’m not the only one…sensitive to them.”
“I’m glad I could help… I guess. I have to go, Harry. I’ll see you later,” I said before quickly grabbing my belongings and rushing to my dorm. Once there, I slumped onto my bed. I knew that if I spent one more moment there with Harry on the couch I was going to explode.
You stupid girl, you shouldn’t have told him…he’ll never see you the same now.
In that moment, I decided I needed to speak with Professor Lupin as soon as possible.
A while later, after the Halloween feast ended, is when things took another turn for the worst. I had been returning to the common room with my new friend Colin, as we had just parted ways with Luna (she was on her way to the Ravenclaw tower) discussing the food at the feast, nothing particularly interesting, when I literally bumped into a wall of people crowded on the steps outside the Fat Lady Portrait. Everyone was oddly silent.
“What’s going on?” I asked Hermione, Ron and Harry whom were conveniently right before us. (POA Flight of the Fat Lady)
I received no answer, but that didn’t seem to matter since Dumbledore appeared, sweeping toward the portrait. Something was terribly wrong.
Moving forward to investigate, the moment I got a glimpse of what the hold up was about I paled, as did Ron, Harry, Hermione and Colin. The Fat Lady was not in her portrait, instead it was slashed repeatedly so that pieces of the canvas hung loosely off the frame. Several teachers arrived then, and before they could begin the search for the missing opera singer, Peeves the Poltergeist (the most irritating ghost that could be found on the school grounds) informed us that she had run through the fourth floor not long before, apparently in a right panicked state.
“Did she say who did it?” asked a still rational Dumbledore. (POA> Flight of the Fat Lady)
Peeves nodded, and the audience waited for the response with shallow breath. I had a horrid feeling I knew what was coming- and I could have sworn, Hermione, Ron and Harry shared the sentiment.
“He got very angry when she wouldn’t let him in, you see. Nasty temper he’s got, that Sirius Black.” (POA> Flight of the Fat Lady)
Sirius Black was inside the castle. And at least four people in the crowd were certain why.
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