Neville was sitting uncomfortably close to the Whomping Willow. He felt vulnerable with his neck turned to the tree. Across from him, Ginny was gently snoozing against a rock. He watched her breasts heaving, her beautiful hair, filled with longing, but all the while knowing he would never touch her. She loved Harry. Neville never had and never would resent Harry. Harry had given him hope, and Harry had given him the will to fight.
His thoughts were interrupted by a whisper.
“Hey!” cried a dark, hooded figure.
Neville shook Ginny awake and said, “There’s our informant, c’mon.” Ginny shot to her feet as though she had never been asleep. She drew her wand like a scimitar. Neville raised his left hand in the devil horn shape, and hooded figures appeared, surrounding the informant. He pointed his wand directly at the informant and said, “Who are you?”
“I’m not fool enough to tell you. Information only.” His voice was harsh and raspy. He had obviously taken potion to disguise it.
“Very well, do you know Snape’s plan?” Neville was sweating but deadly serious.
“He let the Slytherins go to Hogsmeade so they could organize an attack plan against Dumbledore’s Army.” His great hood covered his face completely.
“How do you know this?” snarled Ginny.
“I am a Slytherin.” Though he was crouched, he suddenly stood up, proud and erect.
“Bullshit!” cried Terry Boot.
“Stupefy the lying bitch!” shouted Seamus Finnigan.
“Quiet!” cried Neville, “Where are they meeting?”
“At the Shrieking Shack,” said the informant calmly.
“What do you have to gain from this?” asked Luna in her innocent voice.
A moment of silence. Then he spoke, with hatred and contempt in his voice,
“I want Severus Snape to die. I want to see him bleed. I want to see his goddamn head on a stick!” A long animal like roar of rage burst from his throat, mangled by the potion. It died with a violent spat of wheezing.
Murmurs rose from Dumbledore’s army. Ginny’s eyes narrowed as she glared at the informant. Neville’s wand hand trembled as he contemplated the bitter bloodlust in that metallic voice. He was serious no doubt. Many of the faces in the circle looked disturbed and mildly panicked. Only Luna seemed unperturbed.
“Are all the Slytherins involved?” queried Luna.
“No, less than half of them are involved. Only trash like Crabbe and Zabini.” He was bent over, trying to catch his breath.
“What about you? Who are you?” Ginny questioned aggressively.
“Fuck off, Weasley, I’m done!” Ginny raised her wand threateningly but Neville motioned at her to lower it.
“One last question.” said Neville, reasonably but firm.
“Fine.” The informant wiped his mouth and his glove was stained red.
“What is Snape going to plan with the Slytherins?”
“The end of your quixotic army, Longbottom. All of you bloody idiots will get blown to hell and back.” The informant looked up and Neville could finally see under his hood. He wore a plain white, horrific mask. It was stained with red, mostly around the mouth hole. The front of his cloak was also stained red. “Staring, are you? I paid dearly to disguise my voice.” He coughed and spat out more blood. Then with a massive explosion of green flames, he was gone.
Neville stood up tall and strong. He wasn’t sure who the informant was but he had a good idea. He also knew how to get to the Shrieking Shack from Hogwarts, because Fred and George had told Ginny about a secret passage under the Whomping Willow.
“Meeting tomorrow morning, in the Room of Requirement. Don’t get caught or you’ll end up in the hospital wing with shock and blood loss like Michael. Ginny will blow your head off if you ditch. And even if she doesn’t, it looks like that son of a bitch Snape will.” And with those words, General Longbottom left for the dormitory.