As the carriage arrived in front of Hogwarts, everyone dragged themselves out. As Ginny headed out, she couldn’t help but notice Luna, patting what appeared to be air. Luna, too engrossed in patting the air, barely noticed Ginny staring confused in her direction. “They’re just so beautiful.” Luna said, admiring what happened to be in front of her.
“Sorry, but what’s beautiful Luna?” Ginny inquired earnestly.
“Why, the Thestrals of course. Come and have a look.” Ginny threw Luna a hesitant look. “I really shouldn’t Luna.” She muttered.
“Well come on, no need to be afr—” She stopped mid-sentence, allowing a momentary silence to occur. “I understand now. But Ginny, if you don’t mind me saying, haven’t you experienced several deaths?”
With a short inhale, contemplating her response, Ginny replied, “Well, of course I have Luna, many. But I have only had knowledge of them, I’ve never actually seen one.”
“I’m sorry about that.”
“What about you Luna?” Ginny asked shyly.
“My mother died when I was nine from a terrible spell experimentation accident.”
“Oh I’m so sorry to hear that.”
“It’s okay, I still have my father.”
“So…” The sentence drifted off. Just as Ginny was about to tell Luna that they should go up to the castle because they were running late, something a few metres from her caught her eye. Up ahead, there were three students, two of which Ginny immediately placed as Slytherin’s and one that she very vaguely recognised as a Ravenclaw.
Inconspicuously, Ginny pulled her wand out of her nearest pocket, taking tiny steps towards Luna. “Ginny, what are you doing?”
“Luna can you walk slowly up to the castle, but have your wand out, just in case?” She nodded, silently obeying without question.
It looked as though Ginny had been noticed also. “OH LOOK! IT’S THE FILTHY BLOOD TRAITOR! SHE LOOKS LONELY, MAYBE WE SHOULD COMFORT HER!”
“Go Luna, while they still can’t see you!” Ginny whispered urgently.
“OI? BLOOD TRAITOR?” Ginny clenched her fists to stop herself, from what particularly, she did not know. “WHERE YOU GOIN’?” It was the Slytherin girl again. Kayla, Katy, whatever her name was.
With a blink of her eye, one of the three disappeared. “OI BLOOD TRAITOR?” She called again. “I’M TALKING TO YOU! I SAID WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU’RE GOING? YOU LOOK A LITTLE LONELY, COME OVER HERE! ARE YOU MISSING YOUR BOYFRIEND?”
“Just stay away from me.” Ginny yelled, her words like venom being spat at them. “STUPIFY!” Ginny shrieked, missing Katy by an inch. “IMPEDIMENTA!”
“IMPERIO!” Ginny ducked, quickly retorting.
“CRUICO!” The girl screamed in return after she blocked Ginny’s spell. Hitting Ginny squarely in the chest, she dropped to the floor in pain, withering and screaming.
The Ravenclaw looked helplessly around with a distressed expression. Tightly biting the inside of her lip, contemplating any other alternative, the Ravenclaw stomped up to Katy, and snatched her wand out her hand, immediately causing the curse to stop. Ginny instantaneously made a mental note to thank the girl. “STOP– IT–NOW!” She panted.
“Give me back my wand!” Katy bawled at the Ravenclaw. “You’re an idiot. You’re filthy. TOM! Get your god damn sister to give me back my wand!” But the boy, Tom, was too enthused in casting protective enchantments: “Silencio, Repello. Salvio Hexia—” Oh Merlin. No no no please, this can’t be happening. Ginny lay on the floor, hands covering her eyes, as different shades of blue and purple appeared in little circles in front of her. Her body screamed in pain, demanding to be felt, but Ginny protested against it. If anything she would fight.
Katy inched closer to Ginny. “So any preferences? Maybe drowned, Crucioed, Imperioed? Or maybe you can be on display, in front of your whole family, I ‘pose we could make ‘em watch. Now that would be quite a show!” Katy cackled, too similar to how Bellatrix Lestrange would, too similar to her dream.
“YOU CAN’T TOUCH THEM! YOU WOULDN’T DARE, TOUCH THEM!” She argued feebly, in between desperate breaths that felt sharp as knives in her chest. “JUST SHUT UP!”
“LEAVE GINNY ALONE KATY!” All this arguing broke out. Tom just continued reciting the incantations and Ginny just lay there, but Katy and the Ravenclaw they fought till there hearts were content.
“If only…” She whispered. “If on—” It came to her. She yanked out the mirror, staring directly into it and seeing only blackness and… a lolly wrapper? “Harry. Please. Come. Please. Please.” Her voice drifted off towards the end of her sentence as her head lolled, and all she saw were flashes of black and white.
“Go to hell!”
“Right back at you!”
“Just stop messing around Mullins and get on with it!” Tom ordered, a hint of frustration at her childish behaviour detectable in his voice.
“Tom, don’t you dare touch her!” The Ravenclaw threatened, which was followed by a series of chuckles and finally a loud slap, like hitting water only more defined.
It felt as though anger was bouncing against the walls of enchantments. Ginny was gathering all this anger, amongst all this courage. She tried to haul herself up, but she moved a little too quickly, which caused her to fall to the floor with a thud. “Your stuck Weasel.” Tom spat at her. “Not your family, not your boyfriend, not your brother, nup, none of them ain’t gonna save you this time.”
“How can you be so sure?”
“PETRIFICUS—” But what happened next Ginny couldn’t recall, because she was swallowed by this black nothingness.
“Ginny? Ginny? Ginny, wake up!” The man yelled desperately. Slowly, Ginny opened her eyes, being greeted by the man in a tight embrace. He had a soft scent of aftershave and a surprisingly soft voice. Ginny cursed herself for not realising who this person was, his name was at the tip of her tongue, but somehow, she just couldn’t remember. “Ginny, thank God you’re alright. I was beginning to think–, well, never mind.”
“I’m sorry, but who are you?” Ginny asked as politely as possible.
“It’s me! Harry!”
“Oh Harry!” Ginny exclaimed, hugging him tighter. Attempting to sit up was certainty the wrong decision, because instantly, she felt a wave of nausea. “Whoa. Steady. Steady.” He said concerned, as he caught her just before she fell.
Carefully shutting her eyes, the pain slowly reduced. “I’m afraid that’s the best I can do. Though at least people won’t really ask too many questions… I hope.”
“Sorry, I wasn’t aware you were fixing my facial injuries, but thank you.”
“My pleasure.” He replied as he sat down, allowing Ginny to rest her head on his lap. “How’d you get here?”
“How do you think?”
“I have absolutely zero energy right now, so I will have to leave it to you to tell me.”
“So I guess you heard me, or saw me?”
“Yep, you got that right.”
“But I didn’t see your face, whilst I was speaking to the mirror, you weren’t there.”
“My face must’ve materialised whilst you were loosing consciousness, but I definitely saw you, or else I wouldn’t have known.”
“Oh. I’m glad you’re here.”
With Harry’s assistance, Ginny managed a sitting position, and was awarded with a bar of chocolate. “According to Remus it’s supposed to help, mind you I’ve experienced enough of these incidents to know that it sort of does.”
“Thank you Harry, for everything.”
“It was my pleasure Ginny, but you should really also thank Nina.”
“Huh?” Ginny questioned stupidly.
“She was here whilst, well you know. She’s the Ravenclaw. Nina Grant.”
“Oh, yeah, right.” Ginny understood. “Harry?” He nodded. “About the letter.”
“You have questions.”
“Well, of course. I want to know, why you’re telling me about this inevitable war and recruiting the D.A. I want to know more about these Horcruxes, like what they are exactly. I want to know if you’ve discovered anything else that I need to know about. I want to know,” Ginny paused for breath, “I want to know why you decided to tell me now.”
“Anything else?” Ginny shook her head.
“No, not for the moment.”
“Okay, well let’s begin with the Horcruxes Ginny. Horcruxes are very powerful objects, not much can destroy them. Only once you have committed a terrible act of evil –murder for example– can one take a fragment of their soul and hide it in any object, living or not. Creating a Horcrux is an act of violation, it is against nature, as the soul is really supposed to remain whole. But You-Know-Who created six and I was mistakably the seventh. Because the night he killed my parents, his soul was so damaged, that when he turned to kill me, it broke almost. When one is attacked and faces death, they can never truly die with Horcruxes –unless all are destroyed– because part of the soul remains unharmed. However, as for new information, there is none, and Ginny, I only want you to be prepared.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Well, put two and two together, can you figure it out?”
“Harry, that in no way helped me. Please, why can’t you just tell me?”
“‘Cause, if you think about it logically, I know you can figure it out.”
“What do I need to be prepared for?”
“Just, think about it.” Harry added. “Remember if you need help, you know where to find us. Good luck with your thinking.” He chuckled to himself at the last bit and resumed his position under the Invisibility Cloak. He was gone, just like that.
Ginny took a quick look at the two way mirror. What she saw didn’t shock her; she had expected worse. Only some almost invisible scars, a cut lip and some barely identifiable bruises remained. Her legs felt stiff, so the first attempt at getting up failed, however on the second, Ginny managed to maintain enough balance to walk back up to the castle. Quickly brushing herself off, Ginny grabbed her robes and stuffed them on, neatened her hair and safely tucked her wand away.
Assuming the Sorting Ceremony was over, Ginny sneaked through the door without too many people noticing, only to realise that Professor McGonagall was speaking at the podium. Professor McGonagall? What about Snape? Whoa! I don’t understand. It looked as though half the school was missing, well at least all the Death Eaters.
“Now as you all know.” McGonagall continued. “You were checked upon your arrival here at Hogwarts. That is because of a certain dark wizard, who has an aspiration to destroy the Wizarding World, becoming somewhat like the ruler of us all. May I assure you that will not come so easily to do. He may have his followers, but we have much more and a better reason to fight. Now, without further ado, may the Sorting begin!”
The first years stood nervously in a crowded clump. “Alex Bellick.” Being the first person to be sorted, she was fairly confident, though you could see a slight tremble in her fingers. “GRYFFINDOR!” The hat shouted.
“Ava Elizabeth Darcy.”
Ginny barely noticed when the Sorting finished and the food appeared on all the empty plates, but the first years certainly did, all gasping and leaving their mouths hanging open. The food she put on her plate, was only stirred around. “Oi Weasel?” Ginny tried to ignore the voice, but they kept on pestering, just like before, that same voice. “Weasel are you deaf?” Ginny turned her attention to them. “You all fixed up now? Cause before you were lying on the ground twitching like a useless—”
“Shut your mouth Tom. You don’t know what the hell you’re talking about. Nobody cares what you Slytherins have to say. You’re cruel and vile and you’re all just pathetic so shut it!” He certainly did, not that he was afraid, he laughed as he turned around, but somewhere, deep down, he surely felt some remorse. Oh, who was she kidding, of course he didn’t, he probably just didn’t want to cause a scene as he was walking by.
“I think you took them a bit by surprise,” said Luna’s airy voice. “What happened anyway?”
“Ginny it’s okay if you don’t want to tell me, I imagine your just feeling upset, but just know I’m here if you need.”
“Yeah Ginny, me too.” Neville agreed.
“And us.” Annabelle said on behalf of Sara, Tegan and herself.
“Thank you, it means a lot, but I’m tried, so I’m probably just going to head up to bed.”
“See you in the dorm.” Sara replied. With a wave of her hand, Ginny was walking up the marble staircase leading to the numerous amounts moving staircases. It was upon switching staircases that Ginny heard it, making her dream sound pathetic compared to this. It was as though it was challenging her to ignore it.