Chapter 1 : Unforgivable
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They watched the Lynx dissolve into wisps of silver. She was still holding Fred and George’s hands… they’d been dancing.
Screams erupted everywhere as reality came crashing down. How foolish they were to think they’d be granted this small pocket of happiness in the midst of a war.
Ginny’s eyes soaked in the horror rapidly seeping through the crowded dance floor. Witches and wizards everywhere disapparated in fear, scrambling over one another like flight animals fleeing desperately from those in pursuit of them.
The protective spells around the Burrow had shattered. They were no longer safe.
She felt George’s hand slip out of hers and she was pushed roughly into Fred as groups of people pushed through the crowd, panicked and desperate for escape. Fred held her close to his chest with an iron grip, protecting her.
Ginny wriggled free of his grasp and darted through the crowd with the agility of a fox, Fred’s panicked shouts a fading echo in her ears. Dark figures with cloaks and masks were apparating everywhere, but Ginny had no time for them.
‘Petrificus Totalus!’ She pointed her wand at the closest Death Eater and watched him fall to the ground, completely immobilized.
Ginny kicked off her shoes and ran on through the crowd. He was going to leave. He was going to leave and she may never see him again. Her hair was lashing around her face, unruly, red tendrils licking her face like eager flames.
“Ron! Ron!” Ginny heard Hermione’s voice, half sobbing, yell from her right. Harry stood beside her, gripping her arm, a set expression on his face. Of course, he was ‘Cousin Barney’ today, but he was still Harry underneath.
Ron shot out of nowhere at the same time a Death Eater aimed a curse in Ginny’s direction. She turned to watch Ron shout ‘Protego!’ deflecting the spell, and giving Ginny a firm look. She understood it to mean that he was leaving, indefinitely.
Ron touched her cheek briefly before dashing towards Hermione and gripping her arm. Ginny let out a strangled cry as she watched the three turn on the spot, and then they were gone, gone, gone…
She felt, more than heard, a presence behind her and turned so quickly the Death Eater had no time to react. ‘Stupefy!’ The blonde woman fell, stunned. Ginny stared down at Narcissa Black’s crumpled figure with pity.
The battle raged around her, spells exploding in the air like morbid fireworks; Ginny saw the twins battling three Death Eaters, wands a blur. A fourth darkened figure was skulking its way wordlessly behind George. He wasn’t going to see him. The death eater raised his wand, but Ginny was quicker. The Conjunctivis Curse met its target like a hot knife through butter. The cloaked man staggered backwards, hands over his eyes, and tripped over a body, slamming his head on a rock on the ground. He was unconscious.
Briefly, Ginny hoped the body didn’t belong to their side, and aimed another curse at one of the two Death Eaters fighting Bill and Fleur.
[Dealthy Hallows, (136) | © J.K. Rowling]
"The others - everyone at the wedding-"
"We can't worry about that now," whispered Hermione. "It's you they're after, Harry, and we'll just put everyone in even more danger by going back."
"She's right," said Ron, who seemed to know that Harry was about to argue, even if he could not see his face. "Most of the Order was there, they'll look after everyone."
Harry nodded, then remembered that they could not see him, and said, "Yeah." But he thought of Ginny and fear bubbled like acid in his stomach...
Ginny felt her dress rip open, and blood trickle down her back, hot and sticky. She spun to meet the cackle from the shadows, red hair whipping her face. ‘Duro!’ she spat fiercely, and watched Rodolphus Lestrange turn to stone, surprise etched on his lined face. Ginny's back was warm with blood. The cut was deep, but she didn't care. She could feel a bruise forming on the side of her face where someone had elbowed her in the rush to leave the horrible wedding scene.
A shot of bright green light grazed Ginny’s left ear and she turned to stun the offender, her vision spotted from the sharp burst of light. Bellatrix Lestrange blocked the stunning spell with an almost careless swish of her wand: aged black willow - hard and unyielding, like its owner.
“Silly girl, why haven’t you run?” she taunted, her wild black hair streaked with silver, sticking out in all directions. The manic witch wore deep, dark circles under her eyes like trophies, her skin sallow and paper-thin. She giggled girlishly as she sent another curse spiraling towards the redhead.
Ginny blocked the curse, leaping slightly to the left to avoid the purple flames growing from the jet of light, which were struggling to wrap themselves around her arm despite the shield charm.
“I’m not a runner,” Ginny responded grimly, wand at the ready.
Bellatrix narrowed her eyes and raised her wand. “Stupid girl,” she spat at the fiery redhead standing determinedly before her, “Or perhaps… you’re hoping to find someone you seem to have… misplaced?” she cackled wildly into the night. It was one of the most chilling sounds Ginny had ever heard.
She had seen him get away. He got away.
The young witch felt as though a cold hand was clutching her insides, pulling both left and right at the same time as she thought of Harry. Where had he gone? Would he be back? Would she ever see him again?
“Do you not fear death, little girl?” Bellatrix whispered, wide-eyed and smiling.
Ginny’s face hardened as she addressed the dark witch, words dripping like venom into the cold, dead air of the evening. When she spoke, her voice did not waver, “I have fought alongside Dumbledore’s Army and the Order of the Phoenix more times than you’ve been honest in your lifetime. I was possessed by Voldemort at the tender age of eleven and managed to not only come out alive, but stronger, cleverer, and more determined than I’d thought possible. I’ve seen the inside of the Department of Mysteries, ridden on the back of death, heard prophecies, fought battles, and won. I fell in love with The Boy Who Lived at fifteen and studied Defence Against the Dark Arts under him for years. I’ve broken bones, witnessed death and heart-wrenching defeat,” she paused as the corner of her mouth twitched upwards in a grim smirk, “I have not come this far to die at the hands of a deranged death eater.”
‘IMPERIO!’ Bellatrix shrieked, enraged.
Ginny stood her ground, trying desperately to fight the Imperius Curse. She would not succumb to Bellatrix’ control.
“Bow to the Dark Lord’s power, little girl! We’ll see how brave you really are!” she cackled once more, the sound slicing through the cold, dead air at The Burrow that had been so warm and full of love not thirty minutes prior.
Ginny felt herself begin to bend at the waist and then stopped, blinking back determined tears. The battle continued to rage around her, the screams and sounds of spells being cast around her now fading away, muffled, like she was slipping slowly under water.
She thought of her family, fighting behind her. They would never submit themselves to Voldemort or his followers. George had lost and ear, and Mad-Eye was dead, but they’d fought bravely. Hedwig was dead too, she remembered. A careless death. A meaningless death. That was what the world was full of just now. Meaningless deaths. Casualties of a needless war.
She thought of Ron and Hermione. Her brother and best friend who had left, she knew, to help save the wizarding world. She thought of the DA, and the night in the Ministry in her fourth year. She remembered Sirius falling through the veil, and Ron being nearly strangled to death. She thought back to last year, Dumbledore’s death, and Fenrir Greyback’s attack on Bill. She thought of Lupin, bitten by Greyback as a child and forced into a werewolf’s life of exile as a result. She thought of Neville Longbottom’s parents, who’d been tortured into insanity by the very Death Eater that was now trying to control Ginny.
She thought of Harry. Of Harry and the Prophecy. He was the only one in the end who could stop it all. His bravery and strength was more than she herself could ever imagine. She recalled his story, parents murdered by Voldemort when Harry was just one year old… They’d been members of the Order of The Phoenix too. Harry had gone through far more than anyone in the magical world could begin to imagine. Ginny loved him, as she had since before Hogwarts. Harry had set off on his final journey to hunt and kill Voldemort, knowing full well he might never return. Ginny blinked back tears.
All these people, her friends, her family… all victims of Dark Magic. All brave, all strong…she would not let them down. Bellatrix’s unforgivable curse pressed down upon her, like the weight of a thousand deaths. Ginny’s fists shook, her jaw clenched. The pain that her loved ones had been through, and continued to go through on a daily basis, meaningless deaths and the steady taste of blood in the air.
That was unforgivable.
‘PROTEGO!’ Ginny screamed through the magic attempting to bind her.
Bellatrix let out a yelp, rubbing her wand hand as if she’d been stung, black eyes flashing in anger.
Ginny stole her chance. ’Expelliarmus!’ The dark witch’s wand flew out of her hand, the force of the spell causing her to stumble backward. ‘Stupefy!’ Ginny bellowed, and watched Bellatrix fall to the ground, fury etched in her once-pretty face. ‘Incarcerous!’ Ginny added, and ropes bound their way around the Death Eater’s body. The witch lay unmoving.
She stood silently, her shoulders shaking. Ginny felt exhaustion attempt to envelope her as a result of fighting the Imperius Curse, as well as casting so many spells in rapid succession. The redhead balled her hands into fists and took a steadying breath. Harry would be facing more than a simple unforgivable curse.
Suddenly, she received a hard blow to the back of the head. Knocked to the ground, she rolled over onto her back, and pointing her wand up at the offender with two hands, 'Incendio!' she bellowed.
The Death Eater, Avery, raised an arm to block the spell, consequently setting his cloak on fire. He yelped in agony, but managed ‘Aguamenti!’ to extinguish the fire and counter Ginny's spell. He returned a menacing gaze to her flashing brown eyes.
Avery's tongue rolled back in his mouth. He choked, unable to say the spell out loud, but Ginny knew that he would perform a curse non-verbally very soon. She stunned him before he had the chance. As Avery’s large frame swayed on the spot and began to fall forward, Ginny rolled sharply to her left to avoid getting flattened.
Ginny became very aware of the grass and dirt that were now edging their way inside the gash on her back, and she rose to her feet, wincing slightly at the pain.
There were five death eaters closing in on Ginny's mother and father. "Mum..." Ginny whispered before summoning the last of her energy and screaming 'REDUCTO!'
She watched as the five Death Eaters were thrown backwards by the force of the spell. She'd nailed that one in the DA meetings, Ginny thought to herself. Thanks, Harry… she thought fleetingly.
She noted that another Death Eater was running towards her, wand raised at the ready, and that they didn't look happy. But Ginny's vision was blurring, and she raised her wand half-heartedly, knowing she would have no aim.
'Obscuro!' Ginny heard Charlie's voice shout as he shot the blindfold spell at the Death Eater before Stunning him, and everything went black.