|SIYE Time:16:48 on 23rd June 2017|
Draught of Living Dreams
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Category: Alternate Universe, Post-HBP
Genres: Angst, Romance
Warnings: Extreme Language, Intimate Sexual Situations, Mental Abuse, Sexual Situations, Violence/Physical Abuse
Summary: The year that Harry left was one of the hardest Ginevra Weasley had experienced. The Battle of Hogwarts was the worst day Ginny could remember. It's the scars and nightmares that stay with her that make the decision to leave the easiest.
Hitcount: Story Total: 1105
Disclaimer: Harry Potter Publishing Rights © J.K.R. Note the opinions in this story are my own and in no way represent the owners of this site. This story subject to copyright law under transformative use. No compensation is made for this work.
Good hello. Thank you for taking the time to read this. This was a story that had been sitting with me a long time. I've only just now put pen to paper (figuratively) to get this story out. It starts with HBP/Deathly Hallows, but will veer from canon. I hope you enjoy.
6th Year, September
“I don’t know,” Ginny gritted out, her breathing harsh as she laid on the stone floor of one of the empty dungeon classrooms.
“Well, we’ll just need to revive your memory,” Amycus sneered, raising his wand high. Ginny bit her lip hard as a sharp stinging pain shot across her stomach and she knew without looking, a large welt would be stretched across the skin there.
“I don’t know anything,” she repeated, rolling over onto her hands and knees, mindful of the raw skin of her sides.
Amycus strutted over and used the heel of his dragon-hide boot to kick her back down. Her fist clenched tightly as the stone floor dug into her bare knees..
“Are we done yet?” Ginny felt brave enough to ask, spurred on by the pain in her torso and on her back. “Riddle not let you have enough play time?”
“Do not use the Dark Lord’s name with such carelessness!” he roared, bringing the heel of his boot down onto her face.
Ginny’s head snapped back as stars appeared before her. She let her body fall back against the cold floor, unable to fight back. When her vision finally became clear and focused, she reached her hand up to her lips, fingers coming away covered in warm blood. Gently, she used her tongue to assess the large cut in her lip.
“Teaching not your forte?” Ginny asked flippantly, moving to rest on her elbows. She cried out as Amycus stooped low and grabbed a handful of hair on the back of her scalp, bringing her face close to his.
His breath was hot on her face and made the stinging cut on her lip throb uncomfortably. “You got away last year, Ginevra,” he spoke low, pressing his face close to hers. She tried to use a free hand to push him away, but he tightened the grip on her hair, causing her to cry out in pain.
“But you will pay this year,” he promised, smiling darkly, releasing the hold of her hair harshly so that her head snapped back hard, hitting the stone ground once more.
Ginny struggled against the darkening room as she tried to focus her vision, her eyes rolling towards the back of her head. Amycus chuckled loudly from above her, his voice sounding oddly distorted.
He had made sure to keep his promise.
6th Year, October
“Why do you keep putting yourself in detention?” Neville asked, almost stumbling to keep up with her pace as they made their way back to the Gryffindor tower.
“I don’t mean to,” Ginny argued, knowing she full well meant it. Neville looked like he didn’t. “Look, I promise I’ll watch what I say, but she was going to punish a 2nd year! I couldn’t just-”
“I know, I know,” Neville sighed, rubbing at his tired face. “But look, you’ve got to watch out for yourself. The DA can only do so much.”
Ginny hummed in agreement, frowning deeply. “We’ve got to do something,” she murmured. “Godric’s sword-”
“Is going to be impossible to get,” Neville cut her off, his voice quiet as they stepped into the Gryffindor common room.
“But we’ve got to try,” she breathed, barely refraining from pulling her own hair out. “I can’t just sit here - I’ll go mad.”
“I think you already have,” Neville responded with a small smile as they separated.
6th Year, November
“You think we’d let you off that easy?” Alecto spoke loudly into Ginny’s ear, twisting her red hair around her wand. “I don’t think a little field trip into the Dark Forest is enough to teach this young witch manners, is it, Amycus?”
Ginny had found herself sitting in a chair this time, arms tied behind her back as she struggled to remain unprovoked, tracing the lines of the stone walls to keep herself distracted.
She was failing.
Their plan had failed. Ginny ground her teeth together hard, closing her eyes tightly in defeat as the memory of Snape rushing into the Headmaster’s office, gripping Luna and Neville by the collar of their shirts, his eyes furious rose to the forefront of her memories.
“Oi! Girly, are we boring you?” Amycus demanded, pushing his face close to hers.
“Yes,” Ginny answered honestly, grimacing at his horrid breath. She cried out as he pressed the tip of his wand to her cheek, burning the flesh there.
“Amycus,” Alecto warned, grabbing his arm and pulling him away from Ginny.
She breathed shallowly, blinking away hot tears that had settled in the corner of her eyes.
“Not the face, ya hear? Can’t leave a scar.”
Ginny shut her eyes tightly, nails biting in the flesh of her palms, preparing herself for their idea of ‘detention’.
6th Year, December
“Ginny, you need to talk to us,” Neville implored, as he, Ginny, and Luna sat in their compartment on the Hogwart’s Express.
“Seamus and Padma will be back soon,” Ginny insisted, turning her glare out the window. The sky was grey, beginning to darken as the sun began to set.
“Ginny,” Luna spoke her name with such sincerity and concern, Ginny turned to look at her blonde haired friend.
Luna scooted forward, moving quickly to maintain the redhead’s attention. “Please, tell us what’s going on. You haven’t been yourself and it’s worrying us,” Luna said quietly, reaching out towards Ginny.
Ginny flinched unintentionally, pressing herself closer to the window. Luna looked hurt, slowly retracting her hand as she glanced towards Neville. He turned away, his face twisted in pain and guilt.
As soon as she realized what she had done, Ginny immediately felt her face color in shame. She forced herself to relax, trying to nonchalantly ease the tenseness of her shoulders.
“Harry wouldn’t want you acting like this,” Neville declared defiantly in a quiet voice. He did not meet her gaze as Ginny winced at his words, swiftly turning her glare towards the tall boy.
“Neville,” Luna admonished, fully ready to berate her other best friend. Ginny could sense Luna’s surprise at Neville, herself being the one known for her blunt words.
Their conversation was cut short as the train suddenly halted to a shuddering stop, throwing the three in the compartment off balance in their seats.
From outside in the corridor, many voices rose in protest and annoyance.
“Not again,” said Neville angrily, jumping to his feet. Ginny followed suit, grabbing her wand from inside her cloak.
“What can they want now?” she wondered, annoyance growing low in her stomach. The three stumbled again as the train came to a full stop. “Where’s Slughorn?”
“Last I saw, at the back of the train,” Luna answered, wand at the ready as she stood behind Ginny.
Neville slid the compartment door open and leaned out, pressing against the doorjamb as Ginny squeezed herself into the doorway beside him, glancing both ways down the corridor.
Ginny’s eyebrows knit together in confusion. “Where are th-”
A loud explosion sounded and she screamed, instinctively ducking. Pieces of wood and glass showered over them. Turning back, Ginny squinted through her eyelashes and gasped loudly. The rest of the compartment was essentially gone; the window and exterior had been blasted off. The spot she had been seated previously was completely obliterated.
“What’s happened?” Neville cried out, struggling to stand.
“Luna,” Ginny worried, leaning forward to help her blonde friend stand. “Are you alright?”
“I’m fine,” Luna answered, brushing off splinters of wood. Ginny, for the briefest moments, had to appreciate the way Luna could become completely serious when the time called for it.
Once Luna had her footing, Ginny crept forward slowly, taking care to step lightly as she leaned out into the open air. Her eyes quickly scanned beyond the field and up towards the sky, but did not see anyone. Confused and wary, she turned back towards her friends, wand still gripped tightly in her hand.
“No one’s there,” she started, catching sight of the small crowd in the corridor. Her breath was visible in the cold air.
“Look out!” Neville shouted, jumping forward to grip her arm and pull her to the ground as he and Luna both ducked.
A bright spell shattered the compartment door to pieces, glass and wood showering them for a second time.
“Protego!” Ginny shouted instinctively, feeling heat at her back as she heard screams from the corridor.
“Stupefy!” she heard Neville call loudly and she turned, feeling her stomach drop as she saw at least five Death Eaters apparate into the snow covered field just beyond the train.
Ginny dodged another spell, crying out as she ran into Neville in the small space. She heard Luna’s voice shout ‘Diffindo’ and one of the Death Eaters curse loudly.
“We need to get out of here!” Neville called unnecessarily, grabbing Ginny’s arm tightly.
“Luna!” Ginny called, struggling with Neville’s iron grip. “Let’s go!”
The Death Eaters were approaching quickly. “Bombarda!” Ginny cried, feeling a sliver of hope as she heard one of the men cry out. Her spell had knocked up a large cloud of dirt and grass, effectively blocking the Death Eaters’ view.
Successfully escaping Neville’s grip, Ginny jumped forward to help Luna stand. “Up you get,” she declared, briefly smiling at Luna as the two girls turned to follow Neville into the corridor.
“You’re not getting away!” a raspy voice cried out, gripping the end of Ginny’s cloak. The force of the grip knocked Ginny back, the collar of her cloak choking her as she fell back, accidentally pulling Luna with her.
“Ginny!” Luna cried out, tightening the grasp she had on Ginny’s hand. “Confringo!”
Both girls fell forward as the grip on Ginny’s cloak was released, the spell having hit its target.
Another masked Death Eater stepped forward, raising his wand. “Crucio!”
“Protego!” Ginny shouted, still feeling a shadow of the spell as it connected with her shield.
“We just want Lovegood!” the Death Eater shouted in annoyance, reaching forward to grab Ginny’s foot. Luna lunged closer and hugged Ginny from behind, wrapping her arms the redhead.
“No!” Ginny shouted, using her other foot to kick out, the heel of her shoe connecting with the man’s mask. He released her and clutched at his face instead.
“For fuck’s sake,” another cursed, jumping up into the compartment’s new opening. “Crucio!” he shouted, the spell catching Ginny in her side. She screamed, the pain sharp and blinding as it spread throughout her body.
“Reducto!” she heard Neville’s voice from above her and the blinding pain ceased.
“Let’s go,” Neville said firmly, using his free arm to loop under Ginny’s arm. Luna helped him, taking Ginny’s other side.
“I can stand by myself,” Ginny declared angrily, shaking them off as she swayed dangerously. Ignoring the incredulous looks, she turned towards Neville. “They want Luna. Get her out of here. Get Luna out of here!” she ordered, shoving at the two to keep moving before turning back to the destroyed compartment they had been occupying only moments before.
Throwing one glance back at her friends, she was filled with relief as she saw Neville forcibly pulling Luna to safety, the girl herself struggling hard against his grip. Ginny turned her attention back towards the immediate danger, twisting and raising her wand confidently.
“Reducto!” she shouted at first sight of a black cloak, unwilling to take any chances. The Death Eater was flown back with gusto, knocking into the corridor’s wall and landing in a heap on the floor hard.
Ginny held her breath as he did not move.
She was knocked breathless as a silent spell hit her, her feet leaving the ground as she was slammed into a glass compartment door. She attempted to shield her face with her arms as small pieces of glass cut into her flesh.
“Expelliarmus!” Ginny called out blindly, waving her wand in the general direction the attack had come from. Hopeful, she thought her spell had hit it’s mark as something fell at her feet, but Ginny cried out as a swift kick connected with her lower stomach. Another landed on her ribs and she quickly curled into a fetal position, trying to protect herself.
“Leave the Weasley girl!” a gruff voice ordered and Ginny heard heavy footsteps pass, heading in the direction that Neville and Luna had gone.
“No!” Ginny panicked, thrusting her foot out and feeling satisfaction as her foot connected with the man’s, effectively causing the Death Eater to stumble and fall.
“Bitch,” the Death Eater snarled, striking his foot out and connecting with Ginny’s forehead. Her vision blackened as she fell back against the corridor’s broken door.
“Luna!” Ginny gasped, not even fully conscious as she sat up quickly. “Where is she?” she demanded wildly, eyes spinning. She reached out searchingly, relieved to find her wand at her side.
“She’s gone,” she heard Neville’s voice say, quietly miserable. Ginny was knocked speechless, an invisible boot landing an imaginary kick to the stomach.
“S-she can’t be,” she whispered disbelieving, blinking her eyes fiercely to focus on the form of Neville. He was sitting next to her on the floor, leaning his back against the corridor’s wall.
“They took her,” said Neville robotically, his face now coming into focus as she rubbed at her eyes hard. His left eye was blackened and a long cut ran from his temple to just below his jaw. His eyes were shining.
Ginny felt bile rise to her throat and fell back, raising her arms to cover her eyes as she let out an angry howl, glad that the only person to hear her was Neville. She stomped her foot angrily, feeling more glass shatter beneath it.
Neville reached out and placed a hand comfortingly on her arm, clearly unsure of what else to do. Once she appeared to calm down, Neville cleared his throat.
“The train started back up, full speed to King’s cross.”
Ginny swallowed hard and forced herself to sit up, trying to breathe through her nose to remain calm; to keep herself from exploding. When she turned to look at Neville, he was giving her a hard look.
“What?” she asked, her voice was rough as her throat felt uncomfortably tight. He nodded towards her, his gaze dropping towards her partially exposed stomach, the fabric of her shirt nearly shredded by glass.
“Those scars aren’t fresh, Ginny,” he said, his voice rigid as he stared at her. “What did they do?” he demanded.
“Leave it be,” she snapped quickly, feeling ice slide into her throat.
“The Carrows can’t-”
“Leave it be!” she screamed, slamming her hands into the ground. Neville’s mouth snapped shut, his lips settling into a thin line.
The rest of their train ride was silent until they reached King’s Cross. Aurors flooded the train, checking every compartment for any sign of Death Eaters. Neville remained silent as Ginny felt too stubborn to talk, fists clenched at her side.
She made sure to stop in the train’s lavatory to clean up, before meeting Bill and Fleur on the platform.
6th Year, Christmas Holiday
Though she were surrounded by family, Ginny had never felt more alone. She felt sick, worried for Luna, worried for Ron and Hermione, and forever worried about Harry.
There had been no news; only news of the wizards and witches dying daily and the constant attacks that continued happening. No one from the order had visited the burrow; not since the wedding.
Ginny found most her nights sitting at the kitchen table alone, sipping at a hot cup of tea that would turn cold in her hands. Though the cup remained often full, the tea still soothed her senses. It became a routine during the summer, having the same nightly ritual when Harry had been here, for the short few weeks.
Though they would remain silent, her glare had spoken volumes as she sat across from him, curled in her chair. The hot glass of the mug would ward off the chill that always tried to creep in, every time she thought about Harry leaving. Ginny could recall the headaches she’d received, yelling internally at him whenever he would gaze at her apologetically.
Just two summers prior at Grimmauld Place, she had been joined by Sirius during the late nights, plagued by insomnia constantly. A cup of tea always waiting for her when she entered the dark kitchen.
“Great minds think alike,” Sirius had said, his handsome face smirking gently as he raised his cup to cheers.
Ginny’s heart hurt as she sipped her now-cold tea.
6th Year, January
Ginny looked up at Neville as he walked into the Gryffindor common room, eyes downcast and shoulders sloped low. He was able to locate her in the corner easily, veering towards her spot near the fire.
“‘ullo,” she greeted, closing her Defense Against Dark Arts book quietly.
“Hey,” he responded quietly and sitting beside her on the couch, mindlessly pulling out the gold DA Galleon from his pocket, spinning it between his fingers.
“I think everyone’s losing their morale,” Neville said quietly, raising his eyes to stare into the fire.
Ginny readjusted her legs, folding them beneath her as she pulled her hair back. She didn’t speak, as she knew what Neville had said was true. The rest of the students left in Dumbledore’s Army were losing morale and spirits were low; the halls were quiet for fear of being punished.
Ginny ran her hands over her worn Defense cover, flipping it open idly and smiling softly as she caught sight of her brothers’ signatures on the inside cover.
Gred and Forge Weasley’s
She ran her hand over the ink, fingers tapping idly in thought.
“I think I’ve got an idea,” Ginny grinned, catching Neville’s eyes.
Snape’s voice rang out loudly in the silent Great Hall.
“The culprits will be found and punished justly,” he was saying. “Professors Alecto and Amycus Carrow will be completing a thorough investigation to find the delinquents responsible for this graffiti.”
Ginny watched him speak with a deep anger in her heart. His tone was threatening as he cast his eyes over the student body, pleased to notice his gaunt and shallow featured appeared wary.
Both of the Carrows seemed more eager to find the vandalizers. The two ‘professors’ appeared to be surveying what was left of the Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, and Ravenclaw tables. Ginny felt she could safely assume they already drew the conclusion that none of the Slytherins committed the act.
“You may go,” Snape snapped, waving the students away. Ginny did so eagerly, walking between Seamus and Neville as they filed out of the Great Hall. She had to refrain from smiling proudly at her handiwork.
Dumbledore’s Army - STILL RECRUITING
Neville caught Ginny’s eye and grinned, both noticing the excited buzz and chatter, though quiet, among the crowd as it slowly dispersed.
“We know it was you, pretty,” Alecto snarled, pressing her wand to Ginny’s cheek. “Someone saw you do it.”
Ginny struggled against her binds, finding herself once again in a chair in the empty dungeon classroom. Though it felt bruising, she forcibly held her head straight; the wood of the woman’s wand pressing hard into her cheek bone.
“You’ve no proof.” Ginny felt confident in saying it, as Alecto’s face turned more red, clearly angered.
“I know you did it!” Alecto screamed, stepping back to bring her wand down in a slashing motion. Ginny cried out, feeling a stinging sensation across her chest.
She felt blood drip down her jaw onto her clean white school shirt, gritting her teeth against the pain.
“You know where Potter is, too! Tell me and I’ll let you off easy!”
Ginny snorted audibly, letting her head fall back as she stared up at the ceiling in amazement. “Blimey. I’ve already told you. I don’t know where he is. And I wouldn’t tell you even if I did!”
Alecto raised her hand this time, bringing it down fast to strike Ginny in the mouth. Her head snapped to the side from the impact and it took her a moment to clear her vision, feeling her mouth fill with blood.
“Desperate because Tom’s getting antsy? Not happy with you?” Ginny mocked, shifting against her binds again.
Alecto brought her arm down again, this time slapping Ginny with such force her eyes watered.
Alecto looked pleased at Ginny’s discomfort. “Now you shut your mouth, you little slu-”
Before the woman could finish the word, Ginny used as much strength and force to spit in the woman’s face. With Ginny’s talent with Quidditch and aim, it was no surprise that the mix of spit and blood landed squarely on the woman’s cheek.
Alecto herself appeared shocked at first, then quickly let out a sound of furious rage and disgust. Her wand raised and Ginny shut her eyes reflexively.
“Alecto!” her brother’s voice echoed loudly in the room, effectively stopping his sister’s actions.
“What?” she barked, clearly annoyed.
“I thought you said no scars,” said Amycus, his annoyance bleeding into his movements as he came closer. “Not the face, ya hear?” he mimicked and even Ginny couldn’t deny how well his impression was.
“Shut the bloody fuck up,” Alecto snapped. “Did you get it?”
“Yes,” Amycus answered, placing a goblet on the desk in front of Ginny. Curious, she leaned forward, stretching forward to try and get a glimpse of the liquid.
“Don’t tempt me, Weasley,” he sneered, leering at her chest, straining against her shirt.
Ginny immediately threw herself back, feeling disgusted and appalled. Amycus cackled loudly and clapped his hands together. “You’re such a fun plaything.”
She decided not to goad him, instead focusing on the goblet resting on the table. “Veritaserum?” she asked, trying to sound nonchalant, feeling uneasy as she had no idea where the Carrows’ minds were.
“Better,” Alecto smiled, her pale lips stretching back to reveal crooked, yellow teeth. “It’s sort of a new concoction we’re working on for the Dark Lord-”
“- so he gives you homework, too?”
“-for interrogation,” Alecto snapped, adamantly ignoring Ginny’s jab. “You’ll be one of the new test subjects, it seems.”
“I’m so excited,” Ginny replied, voice dripping with sarcasm, even as she felt her stomach drop. “What should I be expecting?”
Amycus hummed thoughtfully. “Well, let’s see… it’s a mix of Draught of Living Death.. added with a little mixture that causes.. certain dreams.”
Ginny felt revulsion, unsure if he were inferring dreams about him or nightmares. Either would make her retch.
“McGonagall will find out,” Ginny insisted, meeting Alecto’s stare head on. “This is illegal,” she added, growing slightly desperate. Alecto smiled, hearing worried tone of Ginny’s voice.
“Illegal? Pretty little thing, do you think we care about illegal?”
Ginny’s mouth snapped shut, quickly realizing that no, they most likely didn’t care.
Amycus had come to stand behind her and now stepped forward, thrusting his hand into her hair to pull her head back. “Such beautiful hair,” he murmured, grinning down into Ginny’s face.
At that moment, Ginny wished her mouth hadn’t gone dry in panic, as she very much wished to spit in his face, just like she had done to his sister.
Alecto grabbed the goblet from the table, using her other hand to reach towards Ginny’s face. Ginny struggled, trying to kick out and hit the woman, but Alecto made a wide circle, coming to stand beside her brother behind Ginny.
“Open wide,” Amycus sneered and placed his sweaty hand on her face, trying to pry her mouth open. Ginny made a noise of protest, trying to swing her head from side to side to avoid the nearing goblet, but his grip in her hair kept it in place. He struggled for a moment to open her mouth, his fingers bruising.
“Amycus. Her bloody nose,” his sister commanded, all patience gone.
“Right,” he said and Ginny fought the urge to roll her eyes. He tightened his grip on her hair as his hand moved to cover her nose, effectively cutting off all options of oxygen.
Ginny was too stubborn to let them win.
She held her breath determinedly, blinking rebelliously up at the Carrows as the seconds ticked by. Even when her vision began to blur, she would not open her mouth.
“She’s gonna pass out,” Amycus complained, but didn’t remove his hand.
“Give it a minute,” Alecto barked, the goblet poised in her raised hand.
When Ginny’s lungs began to burn, she shifted uncomfortably, unintentionally making a noise of discomfort. Amycus grinned in satisfaction and excitement. Alecto brought the goblet closer.
I won’t give them the satisfaction, Ginny thought with conviction. I won’t. I won’t. I won’t. I won’t.
She repeated it like a prayer, but her eyes were beginning to prickle and spots began to appear before her. The burning in her lungs spread till it felt like they were on fire.
Alecto frowned when Ginny’s eyes began to droop.
“The bloody bint - she’s - fuck.” Alecto reached forward with her free hand and knocked her brother’s hand away. With her nose uncovered, Ginny struggled to take deep breaths. “Well, then,” Alecto started, bringing her free arm back.
Ginny cried out loudly as the woman’s fist connected with her temple, blinding her temporarily. Amycus gave a shout of excitement, realizing that Ginny’s mouth was open as she sat in a daze. He reached out and forced her jaw open wider.
The liquid Alecto poured down her throat burned her tongue, scalding hot, then turned freezing cold as it hit the back of her through, the potion filling her mouth quickly. Once satisfied, Alecto stopped pouring and Amycus slapped his hand over her mouth, forcing her to swallow the potion.
When he released her, Ginny coughed and sputtered, trying to spit out what was left of the potion, her chest on fire from the lack of oxygen as her stomach began to fill with ice.
“We’ll revive you in the morning,” Amycus said, a smirk curling his lips over his teeth.
“Fuck off,” Ginny snarled, gasping for air, trembling in hate.
As her eyes closed in the real world, her eyes opened in a waking nightmare.
6th Year, March
Her days and nights began to bleed together as her body worked hard to make up for the lack of true sleep.
The Carrows would find ways to give her constant detentions; of which would be their experimentation time.
The nights she fought back were the worst.
They would bind her to the chair, throwing in casually mention of her friends and family.
“Longbottom’s mum looks quite nice in her bed,” Amycus had sneered one night, her having successfully kicked the potion from his hand. “I would hate to see something happen.”
“Percy’s doing great things at the Ministry,” Alecto had mentioned casually, using her wand to clean up the potion she had managed to spit out.
To worsen the effects of the potions, they would keep her awake longer; using various stinging or cutting curses to prevent her from falling asleep.
The scars and burns across her stomach, chest, arms, and thighs were growing quickly in numbers, becoming almost unbearable to take showers and bathe. She made sure to avoid the mirror.
She couldn’t sleep; the nightmares plaguing her even in her daydreams. One thing she was glad of, was that the Carrows knew nothing of her nightmares.
Though it did not stop them from torturing her to find out.
“Ginny!” Neville called, his voice a loud whisper in the hallway. Ginny stopped automatically, turning slowly to greet her friend as he jogged closer to her. “I didn’t see you last night - please tell me you didn’t have detention,” he pleaded, keeping his voice quiet.
Ginny blinked owlishly and shook her head. “No,” she lied easily. “Close, though. Some 1st Years were out after curfew- moving staircase- I’m just glad I found them before the Carrows did,” she added, knowing that part of the story was true. It just happened when she was returning from the detention.
It seems Harry may have rubbed off some of his Hero complex...
Neville looked apprehensive for a moment, bringing his hand to rub the back of his neck. Ginny felt a sliver a fear that he didn’t believe her. At the thought, she immediately felt guilt, feeling a horrible amount of crushing weight as she realized she was unable to talk to one of her best friends.
“You look like death,” he said instead. “I know you’re a Weasley and you love the danger, but you’ve got to be more careful.”
Ginny nodded vigorously, placating him with a smile. “I know,” she insisted. “But I can’t let them hurt other people.” Her voice had risen in conviction, some of the students around them turning curiously. “Look, I’ve got to get to Transfiguration. I’ll see you later, Neville.”
He watched her for a moment as she left, clutching her book to her chest tightly. He saw as she jumped as 5th Year accidently dropped their bookbag on the ground, the sound resonating in the hallway.
The boy smiled apologetically but Ginny had already turned, walking quickly towards the Transfiguration classroom. When she entered, the classroom was half full (which was normal these days) and took her seat quietly, returning McGonagall’s tired smile.
Ginny opened her book and began to dutifully take notes.
At the end of class, as everyone was collecting their things, McGonagall called Ginny’s name and requested she stay behind. It made her feel incredibly uneasy as she slowly packed her belongings.
“Miss Weasley,” Professor McGonagall started, taking off her spectacles to rub at her eyes. “Mr. Longbottom has come to me as a confidante.”
Ginny felt her stomach fall, but kept her expression steady. A look of mild, innocent curiosity appeared on her features.
“He says that you haven’t been yourself; withdrawn. He seemed rather worried, especially with the amount of detentions you’ve earned yourself with the Carrows. I know that what I’m about to ask can be rather ridiculous, given our daily circumstances, but... are you feeling alright?”
Ginny stared at a point just above the professor’s shoulder, thinking about what the older woman had just said. She felt her chest tighten slowly and had to force herself to breathe evenly.
Wondering what she looked like in McGonagall’s eyes, she barely refrained from shuddering. Pale and tired, slow reaction and listless.
Curiously, she wondered if she looked much like she did back in her first year.
McGonagall was the closest thing that she had to a parent at this school; and although she hadn’t spoken to the woman much this year, Ginny knew she could say anything she needed.
Her lip began to tremble.
“Oh, Miss Weasley,” McGonagall murmured, moving to stand, but Ginny stopped her with a hand.
“No, no, fine. I’m just worried about... my family,” Ginny quickly inserted, which was the truth. She was worried about them.
“You will seem them soon,” McGonagall assured, reaching forward and patting Ginny’s arm softly. “Easter break is coming soon. Just please keep yourself safe,” her professor added earnestly.
“I will,” Ginny said, hoping to keep the promise.
McGonagall dismissed her quickly, sending her off with one last encouraging smile and Ginny left hurriedly, knowing she’d only have minutes to get to Muggle Studies with Alecto Carrow.
As she rounded a corner, she ran headlong into someone, the contents of her bag emptying into the corridor.
“Sorry,” she apologized immediately, dropping quickly to collect her things, glancing up through her eyelashes curiously.
Draco Malfoy stood in front of her, looking incredibly uncomfortable. “Just - watch where you’re going,” he muttered half-heartedly, adjusting the bag on his shoulder.
As she stood to stand, stuffing books and inkwells into her bag, she subtly studied him. His face was pale and tired and he continued to shift uncomfortably between both legs.
Ginny wondered briefly if it was how she acted; uneasy and ready to run. When she caught his eye as she turned to leave, his eyes flitted away quickly, filling with emotion. She paused, suddenly curious, then was struck with realization.
He knew, she thought with horrifying acknowledgement. He bloody knew what the Carrows were doing!
Malfoy seemed to come to the realization she knew he knew, his eyes watching as she slid the wand from her cloak. He attempted to reach for his own, but his actions were far was too late.
It had been a while since she had performed her infamous Bat-bogey hex, but the spell came out naturally and with familiarity.
Hexing Draco Malfoy (for a second time) had been something she had longed to do for as long as she could remember. Her only regret was that she wasn’t sure if it was worth the weeks worth of detention she had earned herself.
The Carrows had delighted in the fact she had done something to get herself in detention this time; her stomach rolled at their twin looks of exuberance and eagerness. The two professors decided to spend the week experimenting with the potion itself, changing the ingredients to test the effects.
The fourth night was the worst.
“Stay still,” Alecto snarled, struggling to keep Ginny’s head straight as her brother attempted to pour the potion down her throat.
Despite the torture and pain she had gone through, Ginny refused to make it any easier for them, doing all that she could to hinder the progress of their ‘homework’. She’d leave with more bruises and welts, but the satisfaction in her stomach at seeing their annoyance continued to grow.
On that night, Amycus had resorted to slapping her across the cheek with the back of his hand, the impact jarring as Ginny saw stars burst behind her lids. Taking advantage of her dazed state, he poured the concoction down into her mouth quickly, not even attempting to keep it clean; the potion fell down her chin, dripping down onto her shirt.
Ginny let out a string of curses and invented names that caused both Alecto and Amycus to smile satisfactorily.
“Let’s see how this batch goes,” Alecto grinned excitedly, leaning back against the stone wall to watch Ginny. Amycus took the seat opposite of Ginny, settling into the chair comfortably. “The Dark Lord has prepared something special just for you.”
Ginny burned with curiosity, her stomach churning painfully as she repeated the words mentally.
They had tied her arms uncomfortably behind her again, the back of the chair digging into her back each time she moved. Ginny glare contemptuously at the both of them as they sat with pleased, curious smiles. She could feel herself growing more and more angry as it nothing seemed happened. She told them so.
“We’re fine with waiting,” said Amycus leisurely, moving to stand. “I’m sure we can find something to do in the meantime..”
“If she’s to suck your prick, I’d rather not watch,” Ginny remarked dully, a smirk forming as a look of horror and disgust appeared on both of their faces. Amycus was the first to recover.
“Oh, is that what you’re dreaming about?” he crooned, taking lazy strides towards Ginny as he pulled his wand from his robes, gripping it tightly.
“You wish,” Ginny snapped, knowing it was a childish retort, but her skull had begun to pound fiercely just behind her eyes. “Fuck off,” she spat, struggling and straining against the binds as he bent over her. He smiled darkly, using his wand to press it against her bare sternum.
“I’ve always wondered…” he murmured, leaving the sentence unfinished as he leered at her, using his wand to pop off one of her shirt’s buttons.
“Sick bastard,” she spat, pressing herself into the back of the chair, cringing away from his wand’s touch.
He snapped open the next two easily, making Ginny’s stomach churn. He whistled low, smiling wickedly as he used his wand to prop open her shirt more. “Look at those scars..” he frowned with faux concern.
Two more and her white bra was exposed. The rush of blood to her face and neck caused her to feel light-headed, but she stared straight ahead, trying to push herself away from her body, away from her thoughts and the pounding now behind her eyes.
Three more buttons and her shirt was completely open, exposing the cool air to her bare skin, causing both old and new scars to prickle uncomfortably. Her cheeks burned with mortification as Amycus leered, stepping back to watch her shift uncomfortably. When he chuckled appreciatively, she turned towards him and spat, her spit finding home easily.
“What the fuck!” he crowed, wiping his face with his cloak. “You’ll pay for that.”
Alecto looked on with a look Ginny could only describe as amused disinterest.
Her attention was pulled as a chuckle echoed from the corner of the room, the sound oddly and chillingly familiar. Ginny felt her stomach drop as she attempted to squint in the darkness, trying to locate the source of the disembodied voice.
Amycus cut off her vision as he stooped over her, pressing the tip of his wand just below the underwire of her bra, the wood digging between her ribs. “How about I give you another scar?” he breathed in her ear, the tip of his wand growing hot.
Ginny bit her lip against the sensation, resolute to not show any pain. It became harder as Amycus dragged the tip of his wand across her ribs and down to her hip. “Feel good?”
The taste of blood was in her mouth as she clenched her teeth together harder and she shook with effort to keep from crying out. She nodded slowly, shakily, feeling such anger when Amycus let out a surprised sigh.
“Oh, you do?” he whispered, leaning closer to her ear. Again, Ginny nodded slowly. “Well then..”
Ginny snapped her head hard, the side of her skull connecting with his face. He shrieked, jumping back while clutching his nose. Blood had begun to spurt between his fingers.
“Oh, bloody hell,” Alecto cried in annoyance, coming forward to aid her brother. “Such a stupid fuck..”
The two left the room quickly and Ginny grinned as she could hear Amycus whimper quietly, being forcibly led away by his sister.
The figure in the darkened corner chuckled again, the sound more clear this time; the laugh dark and demure. A shudder ran through Ginny, her heart sputtering painfully in her chest.
“Who’s there?” she demanded, quickly realizing how vulnerable she was left, bound to a chair half-exposed.
“You already know the answer,” he sighed, pushing himself off the wall with ease, his movements fluid as he moved closer.
“Y-you c-can’t be here,” said Ginny in disbelief, involuntarily beginning to shake. “Y-you are-”
“Standing right in front of you, yes,” sixteen-year old Tom Riddle smirked, as he gazed thoughtfully at her form.
“It seems, Ginevra, dreams can be quite strong.. nightmares even stronger.” Tom Riddle paused to study the room around him, his steps quiet on the stone floor.
“You’re a dream,” Ginny breathed, feeling relieved. “I’m dreaming.”
His sharp eyes turned towards hers quickly, calculating, before a grin broke out on his handsome features. “But see, you’re not dreaming, Ginevra. You’re awake. It seems that the.. Carrows..” she noticed he said their name with slight disdain. “...That they’ve helped create something that could be called the Draught of Living Dreams. However, it appears that my older self has acknowledged your history together. He’s ensured this potion affects you specifically.”
He stepped closer and Ginny shut her eyes tight, taking a shuddering breath. This was a nightmare. Just like the others. “You thought he didn’t know about the diary?” he asked in amused disbelief.
“You aren’t real, Tom,” she murmured. Not real. Not real. Not real. She had this nightmare enough times to recognize it. She opened her eyes slowly, revealing an empty room. She released a low sigh, her heart beating loudly in her ears as she sagged in relief.
“Am I?” he breathed, standing behind her chair and Ginny jumped, feeling her body tense up painfully. She whimpered in fear, feeling immediate shame at the sound.
“Now, now, Ginny, nothing to be worried about,” he consoled, curiously reaching forward with a pale hand to touch her hair.
Her insides turning to ice, Ginny watched as the red strands twisted in his fingers as he lightly twirled and twisted the hair, releasing them slowly as they fell back against her shoulders. He pressed his nose behind her ear, burying his face into her hair and inhaled deeply.
The ability to breath escaped her as he moved around her and and dropped to his knees in front of her, moving his hands so that they clasped the edge of the chair. The coolness of his skin cut into the flesh of her thigh, seeping through the fabric of her wool skirt.
Ginny knew she was visibly shaking as he studied her, his eyes flickering down and across her body, pausing at her chest - the welt, she realized. He raised his right hand slowly, dragging the tips of his fingers across the top of her thigh then higher as he leaned forward, tracing the line of the stinging welt with a long, pale finger.
The feather light touch bit into the already blistered skin, leaving a trail of stinging pain as he skimmed the line of the burn.
He caught her eye and his brows knit together curiously; a soft, reassuring smile on his lips.
“We can do much worse, can’t we Ginevra?” he hummed, pulling her wand from his robes.
“You’re quiet,” Neville observed in interest as they sat in the Common Room. “Are you sure you’re alright?”
Ginny swallowed hard, pulling her dry eyes from the fire. “I’m just tired. Ready to go home,” she told him shortly, her eyes resting on the top of his left ear. “I’m exhausted.”
Neville gave her a long look as he wrung his hands together nervously. “Look... Ginny, I know something’s wrong - tell me, we can fix it,” Neville insisted, leaning forward. “You’re going home tomorrow and we have a week to figure whatever it is out-”
“It’s fine - it’s nothing to complain about,” Ginny cut him off, quick to feel irritated.
“I’m calling shite, Ginny,” Neville declared, learning forward. “You’re acting like a -”
“Like what, Neville?” she demanded, turning to look at him sharply. He huffed angrily, unwilling to step down.
“I know everyone’s detentions have been hell, Ginny, I’ve had one or two - but you’re constantly in detention - you come back like you’ve seen actual Hell. What are they doing to you?” Neville demanded, his voice filled with conviction and concern. “Tell me,” he pleaded.
“Neville-” her voice cracked from exhaustion and looked away, turning her eyes back onto the blazing fire. Neville let out an angry sigh, realizing she wouldn’t tell him.
“I’ll see you after break,” Neville said firmly, standing quickly and returning to his dorm.
“I’m sorry,” she said to his back as he walked away.
Ginny pulled her knees to herself and mashed her lips together tightly, thinking for the first time she was glad Harry was not here to see her.
6th Year, April
As it had turned out, she wouldn’t be able to return to Hogwarts to see Neville. Ginny was torn, unsure if she felt more relief or guilt.
The nightmares, it seemed, had no bound, as she had thought returning home would cause them to cease. Her active dreams afflicted her nightly and she made sure to place a Silencing Charm on her room, hoping to hide the sounds of her cries of fear and pain.
She couldn’t figure out if it was a lasting effect of the potion that had been fed to her almost daily or if the nightmares were something that her mind did to torture itself.
He had followed her in her dreams, waiting patiently each night.
There were nights she woke up, ripped from the dream by her own screaming. She’d wake, still feeling the sting of fingertips and burns that followed her from the nightmares. She’d become so disoriented, unable to tell the difference between her dreams and the real world that she had found herself sick multiple times. The taste of bile had become a constant, stuck in her throat as she would lay in bed. The disgust she felt at herself grew each time she jumped at the empty shadows.
Her father had come upon her one late evening, sitting alone at the long kitchen table, stirring a cup of tea that had turned cold long ago.
“Ginny?” he had asked, using his wand to light up the room.
“Dad!” she had yelped, flinching so violently that the cup in her hand flew, spilling the tea across the wooden table, The glass mug landed on the floor, shattering loudly. It took a moment for Ginny to recover, before she visibly shook herself and noticed the spilled tea. “Oh, bugger,” she murmured, jumping up to grab a towel.
“I’ve got it, pumpkin,” he said, stepping forward and using his wand to clean up the mess. She stood near the sink, smiling her thanks, but he noticed how her eyes unintentionally followed the movement of his wand.
She shift uncomfortably under his gaze and slide back into her seat, leaning down to pick up the repaired glass.
“Are you feeling well?” he asked, taking up the seat beside her, watching as her body seemed to deflate, her face falling. She hunched over herself, wrapping her arms tightly around her stomach and look at him with trembling lips. She was oddly mindful of the chair around her.
The last he had seen his daughter so lost had been…
“No,” she answered softly, leaning closer. “I can’t sleep,” she murmured, pressing her face hard into his shoulder, just as she had done when she was little, whenever she had felt scared or tired.
“What’s wrong, Ginny?” he inquired softly, wrapping his arm around her shoulder. He frowned deeply, her slender shoulders feeling oddly angular. She shied away from his touch, noticeably avoiding the arm around her back.
She remained silent, sniffled occasionally, but he did not push her for an answer, suddenly feeling uneasy. Her breathing evened out, a resolution coming onto her face as she visually gathered herself emotionally. His grip on her shoulders tightened, holding her close. She flinched involuntarily, inhaling sharply.
“What happened at Hogwarts?” he tried softly, coaxing her to speak. His heart dropped as he felt her tense and physically pull away.
“I’m going to bed, Dad,” she quietly said, standing to place her cup in the sink and turning to head towards the stairs. “Thank you,” she added weakly, almost inaudible.
“Anytime, pumpkin,” he said, watching her go with a heavy heart.
At the discovery of Ron Weasley’s involvement with Harry Potter, Ginny found herself swept up and moved to her Aunt Muriel’s home. She had begun to spend most of her time hiding in her room, curled up as she traced invisible lines on the ceiling, forcibly keeping herself awake.
She spent most nights listening to the voices of Potterwatch broadcasts, her chest tightening painfully as the list of dead became longer and longer. Feeling blinding hope each time as Harry’s name was not listed.
Though her parents had begun to constantly fight, Ginny was grateful; the loud arguments, often joined by Aunt Muriel, helped her to avoid sleep and stay distracted. The pain from her scars was constant.
Sleep would come inevitably; her eyes closing against her will in the low light and her nightmares would begin. Although they did not become worse, they would not stop.
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