Annie stood in their dormitory, rummaging through all the things on her bedside, when a blue leather diary fell out from beneath Ginny’s pillow. She didn’t want to pry, but just couldn’t resist. She flicked through the pages of parchment, filled with small cursive writing of Ginny’s innermost thoughts. It felt wrong, seeing someone so deeply like this without consent, but one particular entry, dated only a few days back, caught her eye, it read:
Everyone’s frantic, worried like hell, it makes me feel more out of place than ever, because for some reason I’m not entirely. I’m not in a state of panic like I have been previously. I just am. I’m mostly calm, with a rush of adrenaline; I’m going to fight.
But I suppose, if there was one thing that I was anxious about it would be if this is it. Is this the battle? Is this where we’re either going to defeat them or be defeated by them?
If this is it, I’m going to fight like I’ve never fought before. I have to, because, I’ve finally convinced them (sort of) to let me fight, so now I have to accept that this is what my life will be like –as it has been since it all began– until this war ends. A battle.
I feel ready, like I was born for this, but I know I wasn’t born to be in a war, I was born a witch, which is entirely different yet it feels the same.
The door rattled ever so slightly on its hinges, unwelcome company, Annie thought.
“Professor?” The name slipped out, said with anger and confidence, whilst her heart palpitated and her clothes absorbed the sweat that trickled down her neck. “You’re just a girl, Annie, who got lucky with my brother and I earlier. It was nothing more, than luck.” Alecto paused. “Now you’re all alone. And no one, will come save you, because they don’t care, they don’t care about you.” She whispered the words smugly in Annie’s ear, her breath hot against Annie’s face.
“So it’s just you and me, and I’m going to kill you.” Taking a step back, Annie took her chance and fired the first spell that came to mind. “Petrificus Totalus.” It missed, barely passing the side of Alecto’s body.
Spells struck every corner of the room, the force of them shattering the windows and splitting the furniture, but neatly dodging a Cruciatus Curse, Annie picked up the diary and turned to run out of the room. But she was too slow. As soon as she heard the clatter of furniture, the spell left Alecto’s lips before she could do anything.
“Avada Kedavra.” A small scream escaped from Annie’s mouth, but that was all, because that was all she had time for, the last second of her life.
She fell to the floor, motionless.
“Dead.” Alecto blew the tip of her wand, as if blowing out a candle and walked calmly out the room. “One down, three to go.”
The castle was falling apart. Spells flew in every direction, dust was emanating from the walls, the air was smoky and blurred everyone’s vision. People walked cautiously around corners, with their wand held in front of them, afraid of what they might bump into. By now, it seemed as though everyone had absconded, it was too late; this wasn’t the fight, only a part of it.
It wasn’t safe to stay as long as they did, none-the-less, what was remaining of the Order of the Phoenix reconvened in the Gryffindor Common Room. It was hard to discern what anyone was saying. It was all shouts and pleas, everyone desperate to be heard, but no one was really listening. It made the situation that much more daunting, the fact that everyone was hysterical and frantic for answers. “Everyone just shut up!” Everyone did. Because it was surprising, almost the youngest girl in the room, not even of age yet, was telling everyone to be quiet. “No one will get anywhere like this. So every else, shut up, and let one person speak at a time. You might find it will help get somewhere.” Ginny snapped, marching out of the room to her dorm room. Astounded by Ginny’s frustrated outburst, the room remained silent, first for one minute, then two, until a shrill scream erupted from upstairs, only absorbed by the carpet and heavy red curtains.
Harry was the first to reach Ginny, swinging himself into the dorm room, he saw as Ginny collapsed against the wall. Pulling her to him, she sunk to the floor, not hearing a word anyone said, as everyone poured into the room, curious about all the commotion. Harry whispered reassurances in her ear, holding her together as her heart ached and she gasped for breath. They retrieved the motionless body behind a pile of wrecked furniture and lay her on a clear patch of floor at Ginny’s request. Everyone turned to leave, giving her space and time, but she pulled Harry by the sleave, and the two of the sat side by side, his arm draped over her slumped shoulders, her eyes boring into the eyes of her best friend. “It hurts.” She spoke, in barely a whisper, almost inaudible.
“I know Ginny,” he wiped an isolated tear from her cheek.
“How do you do it Harry?”
“You push on, every day you fight, until someday, you wake up, and it doesn’t hurt as much. But even after that, they’ll be days that you just need her, more than anyone. Truth is, I don’t think it ever goes away, that feeling in your chest, like you’ve just lost something so dearly that you can never get back. With Sirius… it still–I still find it hard.”
The window let in what little moonlight the night had to offer, accompanied by a cool, bitter wind, barely felt amongst the clutter of furniture. The peaceful sound of Harry breathing by her ear steadied the beat of her heart, slowing down to match his. “When do we have to go?”
“We’ll stay as long as you want, we’ll come back tomorrow too.”
“It’s not safe.” Ginny stated. “We can go home Harry.”
“Whatever you want Ginny,” he replied earnestly. Ginny picked his arm off of her and laid it gently on the floor. Crawling over to Annie, she tilted her best friend’s head towards her own and kissed her forehead. “Goodbye.” Draping her hand over Annie’s face, she closed her eyes, stood up and walked away, with Harry following close behind her. “She’s sleeping now.” Taking her hand, Harry led Ginny away.