Waking up the next day, Ginny felt stiff and achy all over. Her back was pressed to Harry’s chest, her spine feeling like it had been forced to conform to the hard ground for thirty years, her neck at just that right angle that made everything feel like she was arthritic, her hip sore and pulsating with a faint pain that the mat beneath her did nothing to aid.
Blinking, she shifted from her side to her back, and everything clicked into their correct places, her spine popping unnervingly. She looked out at the rest of the room, seeing the loveseat Neville had fallen asleep in empty, Seamus almost falling off the edge of the sofa, Dean drooling onto his pillow, and Ron and Hermione spooning each other across the room. She rubbed at her eyes with her fists, then lifted her wrist to check her watch. Quarter to seven.
She heard a toilet flushing distantly, decided it was just Neville, and tried to fall asleep again. There were no windows in the sitting room, but light from the bedroom was spilling into the room, staining her eyelids a dark orange that wasn’t conducive to sleep.
She heard footsteps, then a body flopping onto cushions and the rustling of fabric being pulled over fabric. She glanced up at Neville, curling up in the loveseat with his pillow, then shut her eyes tightly again.
Harry must have opened his eyes, then, because she was met with a suddenly blurry sight of red and cream.
“Get your glasses,” she muttered in a raspy voice.
Harry shut his eyes, and the blur vanished. Then he opened them again, blinked, and yawned. Ginny opened her eyes, finding his horrid vision disorienting, and stared blankly up at the ceiling.
Anyone else awake?
Neville, I think. He just got back from the loo.
Harry yawned again, then she yawned and rolled over to face him. He blinked down at her, squinting, then shut his eyes and smiled lightly.
I like sleeping in bed better than the floor.
I agree, but solidarity.
Yeah, I know.
Ginny glanced over her shoulder, seeing Seamus still perched on the very edge of the sofa with an arm dangling off the side and the other curled under his head. His face was blank in sleep, no indication of the angry panic he’d been in the night before.
His mum’ll be alright, she decided. It’ll turn out okay.
Harry just nodded, his eyes still closed. Ginny shifted to lie on her back again, her eyes falling shut.
I feel like I should tell people.
Tell them what?
The whole story. You were right. They deserve more than what the Prophet says. They deserve to hear about it.
Ginny didn’t answer him. She was still thinking about Seamus’s mum. She couldn’t imagine what it was like.
The question is… is Seamus going to be okay? The people who lost family, are they going to be okay?
Harry just squeezed his arms around her, pressing his lips to her temple. The dark orange of her eyelids brightened slightly.
Something fell onto her stomach and Ginny opened her eyes. Fawkes was perched on the mantle, looking at her with a beady eye. He let out a trill, then bobbed his beak at her. She looked down and found a scroll lying on her chest. There was a flash of light in the corner of her eye, and when she looked back up at the mantle, the phoenix was gone.
Okay then, she thought.
What is it? Harry asked her in a bleary thought. She picked up the scroll and broke the seal, unrolling it to answer his question.
“Harry and Ginny, the time for precautionary training is over. We shall now be meeting twice weekly whenever possible, and on Saturday evenings the both of you will begin additional training. Harry shall meet with me, and Ginny with Mrs. Vance. Be at my office tonight at 8 o’clock. — Professor Dumbledore.”
“What time issit?”
Ginny looked up from the note to see Seamus sitting up and rubbing at his eyes. She glanced at her watch, then answered him with: “Almost seven.”
Seamus fell back against the arm of the sofa, nodding vaguely and looking like death incarnate. He rubbed at his face, then dropped his hands and stared up at the ceiling.
“Me mam’s dying,” he said quietly.
Ginny felt a pang, knowing there was nothing she could do to comfort him. He kept staring at the ceiling, his lips parted and his eyes glassy. There was nothing he could do, either.
“I thought when her and me da started fighting, nothing would ever be worse,” Seamus said. “I thought them getting divorced would be the hardest thing I’d ever have to go through.”
“I’m so sorry, Seamus,” Ginny whispered.
“It’s a trifle, now,” he said. “I’d go through it all again if it meant… If she’d just…”
Seamus slid down on the couch, hugging himself slightly and continuing to stare blankly into space. Ginny wondered if she ought to get up and hug him.
“I don’t even know if I believe Harry,” he said. “I don’t know how You-Know-Who could be back, I don’t know why anyone would do this.”
Ginny said nothing, more out of not wanting to make Seamus feel worse by insisting.
“Nobody knows a bloody thing,” he said.
“I know ya are. I know that much, at least.”
Seamus glanced around, then dropped a leg off the edge of the sofa and nudged Dean. “Oi,” he said.
“Wha’?” Dean half snorted, half gasped, sitting up with a jerk. “What?”
“Can we get to St. Mungo’s by Floo from your house?”
“We’d have to take a bus,” Dean answered, rubbing at his eyes. “Wait, what?”
“You’ve got to get a Floo connection,” Seamus muttered.
Dean glanced at Ginny, frowning. She shrugged. Dean muttered something under his breath and flopped back onto his pillow.
“We should go get breakfast,” Seamus said.
“There’s cake behind you,” Ginny said.
“Cake?” Seamus spluttered, turning around. “Why the bloody hell is there cake?”
“Ron’s idea,” Harry said.
Seamus started, then flushed. “You’re awake,” he said.
Harry nodded, then sat up and felt around for his glasses. Ginny picked them up and pushed them into his hands.
“Listen, mate,” Seamus started, his voice distinctly uncomfortable, but Harry shook his head.
“It’s okay,” Harry told him. “I don’t mind if you don’t believe me right now, you’re dealing with enough as it is.”
Seamus just nodded. Ginny propped her head up on her arm, watching Seamus staring blankly at the coffee table. Dean flopped back onto his mat and buried his face in his pillow.
“I don’t like chocolate cake,” Seamus said.
“Who doesn’t like chocolate cake?” Ron muttered.
“Is tha’ what wakes you up?” Seamus grumbled. “Me, I don’t like chocolate cake.”
“Why don’t you like chocolate cake?” Ron asked, sitting up.
“Because, it’s all sticky and spongey,” Seamus answered. “It’s too sweet.”
Ron gaped at Seamus, then rubbed at his eyes. “Noted,” he mumbled. “I won’t bring you cake again.”
“We should go down to the Great Hall,” Ginny said. If Seamus didn’t want cake for breakfast, they’d have to do something else.
Seamus prodded Dean with his foot. “Wake up, mate.”
Dean flapped a hand at Seamus’s foot, but Seamus poked him in the head. Dean groaned and sat up, rubbing at his eyes again.
“’M up,” he muttered.
“Breakfast,” Seamus told him.
Dean nodded, dropping his head onto the couch behind him. Seamus bundled up his blanket and threw it at Neville; Neville sat up with a jerk and a snort, looking around blearily, his thin eyes squinting from the light and sleep.
“Breakfast,” Seamus repeated dully.
“Okay,” Neville mumbled.
Ginny got up from the floor, her spine popped as she did, and walked into her bedroom. “You lot can raid Harry’s closet for clothes or use charms, I don’t care which.”
“I care!” Harry protested.
“Hermione, you can borrow from me.”
“Thanks,” Hermione called back in a half-asleep voice.
Ginny pulled a fresh bra and panties from her dresser, then socks and a fresh robe. She ducked into the bathroom to change, just in case one of the boys did need different clothes. She heard the door open, then soft footsteps. As she was tossing her socks into the laundry hamper, someone knocked on her door.
“Ginny?” It was Hermione.
“I’ve got a bad feeling that I’m going to need something from in there.”
“They’re under the bed, right side by the nightstand,” Ginny replied. “Do you want a different pair of underwear?”
“I’ll just charm them clean,” Hermione answered. “Thanks.”
“No problem,” Ginny answered, pulling her robe over her head. She pushed back her hair, starting to braid it back, then opened the door and stepped out. Hermione slipped past her, shutting the door gently. Ginny tied off her braid, then stood there, staring ahead as she tried to think of how to behave. One moment, there were over a dozen people dead, the next simple everyday activities like periods were occurring. What did one do in moments like this? How was one supposed to go on, act like everything was fine when everything was most clearly not? How was one supposed to deal with small things then when bigger problems like dying mothers and funerals for children were being scheduled?
Harry stepped into the room. “Dean has requested Seamus’s socks be pitched,” he said to her.
Ginny dropped onto the trunk at the end of the bed. Small things, like nasty socks, and big things, like dying mothers.
Harry glanced at her, pausing as he opened his sock drawer. “You can’t keep dwelling on that,” he told her. “You can’t be so fixated with it.”
“Socks,” she said quietly. “We’re worrying about socks and what to eat for breakfast.”
Harry pulled a pair out at random, then knelt down in front of her, the hand not holding socks taking hers. “Gin,” he whispered, “you can’t do this. You’ve got to let that go.”
“Let it go?” she murmured.
“You’re…” Harry looked around, but she didn’t follow his gaze. “I dunno, you’re spacing out, I guess. You can’t let this break down everything into bases. It’s not all neat boxes, it isn’t supposed to be that way.”
Ginny blinked. “What am I meant to do instead?”
Harry dropped his gaze, his mouth closing, then he shrugged. “I made chicken soup,” he said simply. “You’ve got to find something that’s going to ground you.”
Ginny didn’t know what he meant. She didn’t understand, but she nodded anyway. Harry didn’t look satisfied, but he kissed her forehead and stood up. Ginny kept staring ahead, thinking about socks and dead children.
Harry paused in the doorway, looking back at her and trying to meet her gaze. I mean it, love. Stop thinking about it.
Ginny just nodded. Harry sighed and went back into the sitting room.
The bathroom door opened and Hermione exited. She glanced around, then stepped over to her. “Thanks,” she said again.
“No problem,” Ginny murmured, her eyes not moving. Hermione glanced at the door again, then dropped down next to her.
“I heard what Harry said.”
Ginny’s gaze dropped a little, but didn’t shift towards her friend. She nodded.
“My granddad fought in World War II.”
Ginny turned her head, her gaze sitting listlessly on the ground.
“He moved in with my parents when I was 6, after my grandmother died. There used to be days when he would just sit in this big armchair in the parlor and stare at the wall.”
“Why are you telling me this?” Ginny asked quietly.
Hermione didn’t look at her, and she didn’t answer the question, not immediately. “They called it shellshock back then. It’s post-traumatic stress disorder now. But my granddad, he used to stare into space for hours. He’d look at me as if he’d never seen me before. He’d look at my mum like he’d never seen her before. There would be times when he couldn’t even tell us what was wrong.”
“I’m fine, Hermione,” Ginny said.
“Just listen,” Hermione said. “You and Harry had to deal with something horrible this summer. I can’t imagine what it was like. You haven’t talked about it until now. You saw Seamus last night, how he got embarrassed about crying over the fact that his mother is dying. My granddad refused to talk to people about what happened to him in the trenches, and he died not remembering his own name let alone my mother’s. Seamus needs your help, but you need help, too.”
“I’m fine,” Ginny insisted.
“No, you’re not fine, no one here is fine,” Hermione said. “Harry keeps lashing out, Seamus can’t cry because he’s embarrassed about it, and you’re staring into space just like my granddad.”
Ginny dropped her gaze to the floor again.
“No one here is fine,” Hermione murmured.
“We will be fine,” Ginny corrected.
Hermione inhaled shakily. “You — you can talk to me, you know. You can tell me about things.”
“I know,” she said.
“Harry can talk about it, too. War is a traumatic thing. People should talk about stuff like that.”
Ginny didn’t have words to respond. Hermione was staring at the ground, too. War, she thought.
“I hadn’t thought about war,” Ginny said. “I just thought… I dunno, I didn’t think about war.” Hermione gave a sigh.
“Did you know that the start of World War I coincided with Grindlewald starting his Cult of Suffrage?”
“The what?” Ginny said.
Hermione sighed, seeming to accept that she didn’t pay attention in History of Magic. “Grindlewald started his Cult of Suffrage barely a month before the outbreak of World War I. Well, we call it the Cult of Suffrage, but he didn’t call it anything, he just said it was a movement for the greater good. But, anyway, he stirred up trouble in Europe, started killing Muggles all over Europe. He caused an American ship to explode in Cuba, one that had some American Aurors on it. America thought it was the fault of Spanish Wizards, then a whole village of Spanish wizards were slaughtered and it looked like it was the fault of Americans, then Wizards were causing chaos all over Europe, and before they realized it a Russian wizard working for Grindlewald murdered the leaders of Russia’s Wizarding republic and lead to the assassination of the Muggle tzars.”
“Okay,” Ginny said.
“The International Confederation of Wizards branded Grindlewald a radical activist,” Hermione said. “Two years later, Muggle and Wizards were engaged in World War I, twenty years later the Muggles were in World War II because of lasting tensions from World War I and Grindlewald was on the brink of overthrowing almost every Wizarding power in Europe, and even after the end of World War II, there was the Cold War and —”
“You’re saying that we’re going to end up in World War III?” Ginny asked. “Because of Voldemort?”
“I’m saying that we are facing an internal war,” Hermione said. “And it has the chance of becoming something wider.”
“That’s encouraging,” Ginny muttered.
“I’m not very good at being encouraging,” Hermione muttered. “I just… I want you to know that throughout whatever happens, you’ve got me to talk to.”
“That… That actually is encouraging,” Ginny said. “Thanks.”
Hermione patted her knee.
“Shellshock?” Ginny asked.
“Why did they call it shellshock?”
“Oh, because, well, because of all the explosions and stuff like that. I don’t remember precisely when it was changed.”
Ginny nodded. The bedroom door opened again and Harry stuck his head in. “You girls coming?”
“Yes,” Hermione said, rising from the trunk. “Right, yes.”
Ginny followed Hermione, her gaze still trailing on the ground. The boys were up and waiting by the door, Seamus as expressionless as Ginny was. At their entrance, Ron opened the door and started out, followed by Neville and Dean. Hermione and Harry moved through the door, but Ginny walked over to Seamus and put her arm around his waist, hugging him gently. Seamus responded by putting his arm around her shoulders, squeezing her briefly.
“Are you okay?” she asked softly.
Seamus shrugged. Ginny swallowed, then pressed a light kiss to his temple.
“I think you’re taller than me now,” she said.
“I’ve always been taller than ya,” Seamus muttered.
“No, I’m certain you were at least an inch shorter last summer,” Ginny said.
A little smile curled Seamus’s lips. “I’m certain you were an inch shorter las’ summer,” he said.
“Tomato, tomahto,” Ginny declared, squeezing his waist again. “Come on, let’s get you fed.”
She dropped her arm, then held the door for him to step out into the hallway. Harry was standing by the door to the stairs, waiting.
“There you are,” he said, pretending as if he hadn’t been able to hear every word they said. “For a moment there I was wondering if you were trying to seduce my wife away from me again, Seamus.”
“Nah, I couldn’t do that,” Seamus chuckled. “She’s much too loyal.”
Harry smiled as Seamus moved past him into the stairwell. Ginny pressed a light kiss to Harry’s lips.
You heard Hermione?
I heard Hermione.
The common room was empty when they exited but for Ron, Neville, Hermione, and Dean waiting at the portrait hole. Ron pushed the portrait open as Harry, Ginny, and Seamus stepped out from the stairwell, stepping through as they approached. Dean set a hand on Seamus’s shoulder as he passed him to step through the portrait hole.
The castle was eerily quiet. Ginny had to wonder as they walked how many students were sat in waiting rooms at St. Mungo’s or still gathered around the atrium at the Ministry. When they reached the Great Hall, they found it empty.
“This is weird,” Ron murmured. They all stood frozen in the doorway, staring at the empty hall. There was food on the tables, but not even the teachers had come down.
“Let’s go to the kitchens,” Harry said. No one protested.
“I’ve never seen it that empty,” Dean said.
“I have,” Seamus mused. “Once, I snuck out around three in the morning. Not even the elves were up.”
“It’s strange,” Hermione said softly.
“It is,” Ginny agreed.
Harry tickled the pear, and its giggle sounding foreign to her just then. They entered the kitchens, finding it bustling with life. It was warmer down there, somehow, and not just in temperature.
“Hello, masters and misses,” said a squeaky-voiced elf. “How may’s I help you?”
“Waffles,” Seamus said.
“You like waffles but not chocolate cake?” Ron asked.
“Don’t judge me,” Seamus muttered, half a smile on his face.
“Of course, sirs,” the elf said, “it will only take a moment.”
“Do you mind if we eat down here?” Harry asked.
“Not at all, sir,” the elf answered, bowing. “Please, feel free to make yourselves comfy.”
“Thank you,” Hermione said to the elf as they left for rows of tables in the back.
Taking seats, Ginny ended up between Harry and Ron, across from Dean and Seamus. Hermione sat on Ron’s other side, Neville taking a seat across from her. Seamus propped his face up on his hand, staring blankly at the table.
Ginny looked at Harry out of the corner of her eye. He glanced back at her. What?
You’re the only one here who’s lost family like this.
Um. Neville is here?
Oh. Right. Okay, you and Neville. I can’t communicate with Neville telepathically.
I was a baby. I was barely a year old.
Ginny did some fast math. Fifteen months.
Does that make it better? I still don’t remember.
“I know you’re all thinking that you don’t know what to do,” Seamus said. Ginny looked up shamefully. “I know you don’t know what to say. It’s okay.”
“What…” Dean started, then seemed to blank. Seamus patted his hand absently, as if he was the one doing the comforting, not the one being comforted.
“What could we say?” Ron asked.
“I don’t know,” Seamus whispered.
An elf appeared, carrying a tray of steaming mugs.
“I is hearing about the trains,” the little elf said somberly. “Yous is looking sad, so I is bringing you hot chocolate.”
Ginny’s heart just melted at the little elf, holding his tray of hot chocolate above his head and looking at them with the biggest doe eyes she’d ever seen. Seamus turned round to face the elf, then, blinking rapidly, took two mugs.
“Thank you,” Seamus murmured.
The elf set the tray on the table. “We is saying old elf prayers for alls of you,” the elf said. “Yous is all in our hearts.”
“Thank you,” Seamus said again, and his voice broke.
The elf reached out and put his arms around Seamus’s waist. “May the mother witch be with yous. All will be well soon.”
Seamus patted the elf’s head, his cheeks wet. Ginny felt her heart breaking a little further.
“I hope so,” Seamus mustered. The elf released him, then, bowing, stepped away. Seamus swiveled back to face the table, then sniffed and wiped at his cheeks. He pushed a mug towards Dean, then raised the remaining one up. Ginny grabbed two mugs, handing one to Harry, and copied Seamus’s raised mug. Hermione, Neville, Ron, and Dean raised their mugs as well.
“To whatever the hell the mother witch is,” Seamus said. “And elves bearing hot chocolate.”
“To mothers,” Harry said. Seamus met his eye and nodded.
“To dads,” Dean answered.
“To family,” Ron said.
They clinked mugs. “To friends,” Seamus added. They all took long gulps.
Two more elves appeared, these bearing plates of waffles floating in midair. “Waffles for the young masters and misses,” said the fatter of the two elves. The plates set themselves on the table. The taller elf bowed to them, and the fatter added in a softer tone: “Yous in our hearts this grievous day.”
“Thank you,” Seamus told them. “We appreciate it.”
The elves walked away again, their heads bowed in somber acknowledgment. The group of them picked up their forks, and collectively hesitated, looking at the waffles before them.
“Mam would make these almost every Saturday during the summer,” Seamus said. “and when it wasn’t waffles, it was pancakes.”
“My mum used to give me sweets,” Neville murmured. “Every time I did something I was supposed to, she’d reward me with little hard candies or bits of licorice, that sort of thing.”
“I ‘member, my dad used to take me to football matches every month,” Dean said. “It’s the only thing I remember about him.”
Harry tried to think of something about his parents to add, anything from when they were alive. Anything at all, he wracked his brains. He found something in the depths of his memory and latched onto it.
“I remember,” he started, pausing to try and clear up a detail or two, “I think my dad used to conjure bubbles for me to play with.”
“Bubbles,” Seamus murmured.
“They flashed different colors.”
“Sounds like you had a happy time as a baby. Up until, y’know…”
“Yeah,” Harry muttered.
Seamus sighed and stabbed his waffle with a fork. “This is a very cheery conversation.”
“It’s a cheery day,” Dean answered him dully.
A silence crept over them, broken only by the sound of Ron’s fork clacking on his plate. Everyone looked at him, and he raised his eyebrows, his cheeks bulging. He swallowed and set down the fork, looking disappointed. Seamus laughed and noisily started cutting up his waffle. The sound of forks quickly replaced the quiet as the rest of them caught on, chowing down on their waffles and hot chocolate. The elves bustled about them, magicking dishes and food into their proper places, and when they had finished their food, an elf appeared to take away their plates within seconds.
They got up, as one seemingly, and walked slowly, somberly, from the table to the portrait-covered exit. Dobby waved to them as they left, and Harry just barely managed to wave back. They walked back up to Gryffindor tower in silence, finding just as few people on their way back as they had on the way to the kitchens. The common room was just as empty, and the stairs were just as quiet. Back in Harry and Ginny’s room, the group collapsed onto cushions, staring into space.
“You got a radio?” Seamus asked.
Harry nodded and levitated the radio off the mantle, letting it drop into Seamus’s arms. Seamus switched it on and tuned it, an urgent voice breaking through the static.
“After what many are calling one of the darkest day in Wizarding history, the Wizengamot passed the Wembley Act of Caution in efforts to prevent illicit uses of magic in the future. Minister Fudge said this afternoon at a press conference: ‘The Wembley Act is the best that we can do right now; requiring all wizards to be fitted with the Trace will make it possible to track and apprehend anyone attempting a terrorist attack such as what was seen yesterday morning.’ The Daily Prophet’s editor Barnabas Cuffe calls this move ‘a major advance in the struggle for pacifism; something that will be remembered in the history books as a triumph in the war against violence.’ Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement Pius Thicknesse praised the success of the Wembley Act, stating: ‘This new law will make the jobs of our Aurors and Law Enforcers much easier.’ In other news, the last of the Wizards killed at King’s Cross yesterday have been identified. We have reached out to the families of the victims for comment, a few have offered statements —”
Harry turned the volume down.
“‘In other news?’” Ron spluttered. “No mention of how it’s completely barmy?”
“I was afraid of this,” Hermione breathed. “The Prophet’s in the Minister’s pocket, isn’t it? It’s not telling the bad things now that the act was passed.”
“Why’s it not telling the bad things?” Ron demanded. “There’s plenty to report!”
“I’ll bet that Fudge or Malfoy or even both are paying Cuffe to keep it quiet,” Hermione answered darkly.
“That’s just wrong,” Neville said, shaking his head. “There are only a few Wizarding news outlets that people trust, and the Prophet’s easily the biggest.”
“That’s why, though,” Hermione sighed. “If the people are fed nothing but one opinion, the people won’t bother to listen to other opinions.”
“I’m glad I don’t buy their bloody paper,” Seamus growled. “I’ve half a mind to hex Malfoy into a coma as it is.”
“Do us all a favor,” Harry replied. “I’ve half a mind to join you.”
“You’d just get yourself suspended, the way you’d been carrying on,” Seamus muttered.
“I’d be sneaky, then,” Harry decided. “Slip something into his morning pumpkin juice. No one’d ever know it was me.”
“Good luck with that,” Ginny told him.
“It’s Malfoy, Senior, that’s the problem though,” Hermione said.
“We could mail him a pipe bomb,” said Harry. “Worked well enough for the Unabomber.”
“The what now?” asked Ron.
“Never mind,” Harry muttered.
“I think that would count as murder,” Hermione told Harry, ignoring Ron’s question.
“That’s not the point,” Harry sighed, dropping his forehead onto Ginny’s shoulder. Ginny patted his knee.
“I think a pipe bomb would do nicely,” Seamus said. “Tick, tick, tick, boom! I’ll make it.”
“You’re not actually going to kill Lucius Malfoy with a letter bomb,” Dean told his friend.
“Why not?” Seamus asked, sounding a bit too serious for a discussion of letter bombs. “He’s practically killing us, if You-Know-Who’s really back.”
“He is back,” Ginny said. “We saw him.”
Seamus said nothing for a second, then his lips dropped into a frown. “But, hang on… Harry saw him?”
“I saw him too,” Ginny answered, words spilling from her mouth, “he used the Cruciatus on me in front of Harry before he dueled Harry.”
Seamus opened his mouth, closed it, and paled. No one said anything, the radio crackled quietly. Then:
“This is real, isn’t it?”
Neville was staring at the radio, his face pale. He looked up, to find them all staring at him. “This,” he repeated. “It’s really happening.”
Harry nodded, and nothing further was said. Neville looked down at the radio again, and after a moment, he reached forward and turned up the volume.
“Tell us, Mr. Malfoy, what inspired you to write the Wembley Act?”
“It was the children, really. I knew some of the people killed; James Wembley was my personal apothecarist, I’d met his daughter at his shop several times. It just made me think, what if it had been my child and my wife at the station that morning? What if it had been them, and there was no way for anyone to realize what was happening until after the fact? Less than an hour later, I had a draft of the bill written, and I presented it to the Wizengamot that afternoon.”
“What would you have done if it had been your wife and son at the station yesterday? If your family had been among the dead?”
“I wouldn’t have stopped to write a bill. I would have gone straight for the terrorists who started this.”
“This is really happening,” Neville whispered, more than a touch of despair in his voice.
“It is,” Harry answered.