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Chapter 23: Dodging the unexpected
2nd May 1998 – Battle of Hogwarts.
The wait for Harry was agonising. Everyone was screaming and shouting directions at one another, rushing around like maniacs but I just stood here my heart racing at the thought of a battle breaking out.
Order members eventually started appearing a look of anxiousness written across their faces. Lupin had just arrived and I waited for Tonks to appear... she would at least put a smile to my face, but she never showed up.
“Lupin! Where’s tonks?” I asked calling him over to me at rising from my chair that I’d been sitting on for far too long.
“She’s with Teddy, I told her not to come it was just too dangerous” He replied with a slight sad smile to his face. He missed them.
“Well I’m sure it will be alright” I give a stab at trying to comfort him, not that it’ll be much help.
“Yeah thanks, anyway I’ve got to go. I except Harry will be back in a minute”
He sent me a nod of the head in thanks and was of again.
“Yes I except he will” I mumbled to myself allowing my thoughts to take over again.
In the corner was Katie Bell and Angelina Johnson, some of my former quiddittch players, as well as Oliver wood who had his arms casually draped around Katie.
They all seemed too excited for the battle to commence, they were not one bit scared but Happy and overjoyed at having the opportunity to fight.
Did they not realise that in battle people died?
Why was everyone so happy… they should be scared and frightened and terrified of this war that’s been raging on for the past couple of years. I know I am.
Bill and Fleur then came dashing in through the portrait whole both looking around franticly for something.
Fleur spotted me and pointed me out to Bill only to come rushing over to me. As soon as they reached me Bill ran and pulled me into a brotherly embrace and wrapping his arms around me.
“Bill? Bill what’s-”
“Mums gone mad, she got up to find all of her children out of their beds with only a note explaining where they were. I expected this from you but Fred and George have done this before and are a lot older and should know better. Where are they anyway, I’m gonna kill them when I find them” He started searching around the room with his wand in his hand. I wasn’t to sure how serious he was when he said he was going to kill them.
Fleur grabbed him just in the nick of time as Bill spotted them in the crowed.
Oh dear lord if Bills angry then how bad will mum be?
A shiver goes down my spine just at the thought of it.
“Fred, George over here now!” Bill yelled at them but with the chattering of everyone in the room it hardly travelled to my ears “They are so bloody dead” I’d never seen Bill so angry… really, I’m being serious he’s never angry. Even Fleur looks frightened.
“Perhaps let Molly zort zem out Bill” Fleur placed a reassuring arm on Bill trying to calm him down.
I took the moment of distraction to my advantage and slowly moved away from the loving pair and towards the hufflepuff load where I’m sure I could blend in.
“Ron, Hermione!” I called them over noticing them trying to leave the room without being spotted.
“Sorry, we haven’t got time too talk. We’ll explain later"
They ran of and I swear I heard Ron whisper to Hermione something about a bathroom. Lets just end it with it gave me a few ideas as to what they’re up to after they left.
“Ginny!” A girl yelped at the sight of me.
“Yeah… that’s me” I answered trying to find the source of the noise, or rather the person.
“Ginny, its me Hannah” Hannah waved a hand in my face signalling to whom she was.
“Oh hey, how are you?”
“I’m good. Have you seen Neville, I can’t find him…” She trailed of staring straight at Neville who was currently giving Luna a big hug.
Huh? Hang on I thought she was with Harry.
I turned my body to every angle of the room trying to find any sight of a certain Raven haired boy and when my eyes fell onto my mothers who was glaring right back at me I instantly stopped.
Really? Am I that bad at hiding.
“Harry what’s going on?” Someone asked from the crowed.
My mum came over to me and my ears completely shut down as I watched as mums mouth moved in outrage.
“I’m fighting mum” I cut her off halfway through her sentence not caring what the consequences will be.
“You will do no such thing, you are not old enough. I’m taking you right back to Muriel’s this instant”
“I’m not going. I’m going to defend my school” I said with angry tears threatening to leak from my eyes.
“You’re sixteen, What were you two thinking of bringing her here” Mum rounded onto the twins who had sneakily come up behind me.
There faces fell with guilt and I knew I was fighting a lost battle.
“I can’t! what if… what if something was to happen. I can’t go home knowing that someone I love…”
My eyes locked with Harry’s. It was the first real connection we had had in a year and in those split seconds of the silence, his eyes read the unspoken words between us. I tried, I really did and I looked at him with such determination to get him to back me up. But he shook his head.
He didn’t want me to fight.
I turned back to my mum, biting my lip. Did he not want me to fight? Or was it he didn’t want me here at all?
I was cut of my a scrambling behind me. Percy, my workaholic, arshole, traitor, power hungry, blithering idiot of a brother just walked in casually as though it was the most normal thing in the world like the last few years never existed and do you know what he said “Am I late?” Yes your bloody late, three years too late!
I was beyond caring though I took a step back and let the family catch up with missing time.
I watched my brother splutter out apologies, I watched fleur desperately try to break the tension; successfully, I watched Fred start shouting insults at Percy only for Percy to agree with every single on of them, I watched mum burst out crying and run into Percy and give him the biggest hug I’ve ever seen, I watched dad follow mums footsteps.
Yet I said nothing; I wasn’t forgiving him that easy. No he’s going to have to prove to me who side he actually is on.
When everyone made there way up the steps after there sudden family group meeting I desperately tried to blend in, hiding behind Fred and George who I know firstly is the least likely to notice me and there are two of them meaning there is more to hide behind.
“How about this, Ginny can stay in the room of requirement while we all fight then she knows what’s going on but doesn’t necessarily have to fight.
I didn’t like the idea much. Luna is allowed to fight but I can’t, but then again at least it was better than going home and at least this way I might have a chance at joining the fight without anyone knowing.
“Where are Ron and Hermione”
“They said something about a bathroom” I replied trying not to sound nervous and keeping it as casual as possible.
“What? Are you sure-”
He stopped talking suddenly and his hand went straight to his scar. Pain coursed over his face, he looked as though he was of somewhere else that he wasn’t here with me. My instant reaction was to hold him and help him but I forced myself to stop just in time as my hands went out to him.
“Are you alright” I asked him.
“Yeah I’m fine” He nodded “Just my scar”
I wasn’t sure what to say to that. I haven’t had much experience with searing scars.
The pain seemed to vanish from his face as soon as it had come and he stared up into my eyes giving me butterflies flying through my stomach. I felt the need to dance and sing out loud to the world, but now was not the time.
“You’ve got to go to the hall” I said finishing the wonderful moment that had to end at some point.
He nodded “Just stay here. It’ll be over soon and you-know-who will be finished”
“I know, I have faith in you”
I smiled, the first real smile I’d given in ages, it felt so unreal on my face but wonderful at the same time.
He gave a little smile in return and dashed off.
Then the world turn dark again and that little ray of hope that flooded through me as soon as he appeared in the room of requirement vanished and I was all alone in the room.
“Why can’t I fight, its not fair” I moan to myself kicking a open trunk flat on its side.
I waited for ages. Seconds turned into minutes and with every minute that went past I wanted to scream out to the world.
I’d heard the first crash and then the echo that followed after it. That wasn’t what startled me; it was the sounds of screaming; innocents people screaming, they screamed names, pleas for help and spells that sounded foreign to me.
It was war and we were fighting for our lives.
“GINNY!” Tonks yelled at me startling me out of my wits.
She seemed so panicked.
“What’s going on?”
“I don’t know, they wouldn’t let me fight. Shouldn’t you be at home with Teddy”
It at least brought a smile to her face the sound of her babies name but it was nothing compared to what I imagine her feeling right now.
Her husband could be dead and she had no idea.
We were sort of in the same position; in the unknown and it was the most horrible experience ever. I wouldn’t even wish it on my worst enemy (looking at you Cho Chang)
“I couldn’t just sit there could I, Remus needs me”
An elderly witch came trotting through the portrait hole and with great difficulty managed to climb down from it.
“You’re Neville’s grandmother aren’t you?” I asked instantly recognising the infamous mouth-eaten hat and handbag that Neville talked about often.
“what’s happening, has a fight broken out” She asked turning to me for answers “you’re that Weasley girl. Neville talks about you often, and from what he’s told me about you I’m surprised you’re not fighting right beside him”
“Believe me Mrs. Longbottom if I could I would”
The door opened once again revealing the golden trio.
“Ginny, I’m really sorry but we need the room of requirement just for a second. Once were done you can come straight back”
I took the moment and went with Tonks outside delighted to be out of my prison for the time being, just as the door slammed I heard the echo of Harry yell “But you can come back” Yeah likely.
Moments later Harry, Ron and Hermione came out. They both had a arm full of fangs.
“Look you can come back in a moment but for now keep safe and keep hold of your wand and stay out of the way, I don’t want you getting hurt” He sighed and called out for the others to follow him back in the room of requirement without another word.
If only I’d known then.
“Come on Tonks lets go!”
She made a mad dash for the opposite direction and I fled in the other suddenly feeling so vulnerable.
When you have seconds to decide what spell to use when a curse is rushing towards you, that’s when you’ve got to think quickly and sensibly. Harry was right when he said that there is no time for mistakes when you’re seconds away from death. I realize that now, coming face to face with it.
I quickly cast a shield charm, praying that whatever had just been sent my way was not one of the three Unforgivables.
When the curse was blocked, I sent a body binding curse at the death eater I was dueling with. He was caught off guard and I heard the crash as he fell, but I didn’t dare look back. Once they were down, I left the scene and attacked another. .
Lavender Brown knocked into me, pushing me to the floor. There was no time for apologies; it was straight back up again and running for your life.
“Ginny!” Hannah called, blocking a spell that was about to hit me because of the distraction.
“Where are Neville and Luna?” I drag her into a shadowy corner, concealing us so we wouldn’t be seen.
“I don’t know. I was about to ask you that,” she replied, wildly looking around; her eyes taking in the surroundings and flinching whenever a loud noise erupted.
She was frightened and I just wanted to hug her for it, but now wasn’t the time.
“Ginny, if we don’t make it out of this, I just want you to know that I’m grateful for all you’ve done this year for me. You’ve been a great friend,” she said, her eyes fogging up.
“Nothing’s going to happen.”
“You don’t know that!” She snapped back.
She got her wand at the ready and before I could even respond, she had disappeared. I was alone again, as usual.
I took a steady breath and sighed, then got up and rejoined the battle.
I sprinted across the transfiguration courtyard where the battle hadn’t really hit yet. There were a few Death Eaters there, which I flicked my wand at and smashed into the wall. Sometimes with such force, bits would collapse.
I was dodging Professor McGonagall. If she knew I was fighting I’d be instantly sent back to the Room of Requirement, and that is the last place I wanted to be right now.
My excuse to participate in the fighting was the need to know that my family was safe. That, of course, was a lie. A very poorly told lie, considering it was practically impossible to recognize anyone when fighting, even with blazing red hair like ours.
I just wanted to be in the action, fighting like my brothers and parents, and for once not being classed as the little kid. I wanted to prove to Harry that I was capable of being brave; that I was capable of being strong. I needed to prove that to him.
The wall exploded next to me, causing odd bricks to fly every which way. Goodness knows how the walls actually break. Maybe they just hate me and feel the need to smash into pieces every time I go near them.
Glass from one of the windows cut into my arm.
“Damn it!” I exclaim, pulling it out and applying pressure to my arm. I have no idea if that’s what you’re meant to do or not. I never really paid attention when my mum was teaching me medical stuff.
“What are you doing here, Gin?” Neville was at my side pulling me up and shifting some bricks aside.
There was no sight of Death Eaters in the corridor, so we were in no immediate danger. I could still hear the echoes of spells being screamed and their light reflecting from every window.
“What does it look like?” I snapped at him, still holding pressure onto my arm. “A bloody wall just collapsed on me!”
* “Uh...we’ll, er I’ll find you…a…um…bandage?,” Neville muttered, looking around for any sign of help.
“Oh and where are you going to get that from?” I erupted sarcastically; my wound stinging. I know I shouldn’t get mad, but I couldn’t help it. I needed to take my anger out on someone.
“Oh, yeah…I’ll…” His eyes were pleading with the air to find him something that could help him.
“How about your wand,” I said, as though it was the most obvious thing in the world.
I stared down at my hand, slowly shaking my head but silently laughing as Neville panicked. My wand was somewhere in the rubble. I must have dropped it from the impact of the fall.
He pointed his own wand at my arm which was throbbing dangerously. It was so numb and flaccid, I felt like it would fall off any second, now.
“Neville, where is Luna?” I asked trying to distract myself from the stinging pain I felt.
“Um…I don’t know. I lost her in the crowd. Uh, Ginny? I don’t know the spell.” Sweat was running down his forehead and I wanted to laugh at him.
“Luna knows it,” I wince, now rocking back and forth desperately trying to divert the distress I was feeling.
“Shall I got get her, then?” He looked around while suggesting this.
“That would be a good idea.”
“Okay, I’ll go. Just…stay here out of trouble, okay?”
He ran off in the opposite direction while I moved odd bits of rubble around trying to find my wand. I was praying it wasn’t snapped in half because that might have just been the end of my life.
The odd bricks that I was sitting on kept on pricking my bum, so I wriggled, trying to get comfortable. This only caused me more discomfort.
It took about five minutes to gather Luna, who in her own words was “getting wrackspurts to attack the Death Eaters, although they all fled because of the action.”
She grabbed my arm straight away and uttered an incantation that I was completely unable to remember. I immediately got up; thankful to be off the dangerous floor which I’m sure had given me some nasty scratches on my bum.
“Your mum’s looking for you, you know? She knows that you left the Room of Requirement without permission. Perhaps she has a strange signal to know where you are all of the time…mums are clever like that,” Luna announced in her dreamy voice. “She asked me to tell you to go to the Great Hall as soon as possible. She looked extremely grave, actually.”
I didn’t have time to dwell on the matter for too long because, quite suddenly, a cold voice interrupted my thoughts, giving me chills. He seemed too close, so much so that I almost thought we was with us in the corridor. I turned and pierced every object in the corridor with my gaze, just to make sure he wasn’t actually there.
That’s when I realized he was speaking to everyone; to Hogwarts as a whole.
Quotes from pages:
Page 486 of Harry Potter and the deathly Hallows
Page 488 of Harry Potter and the deathly Hallows
Page 502 of Harry potter and the deathly Hallows