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Witching Hour by LilyEvans613
Chapter 6 : Shadows
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 4


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Ginny winced as she raked her fingers through her sticky hair. She had had her head stuck at an awkward angle under the running sink faucet in one of the girl’s bathrooms for the past five minutes, hoping that the running water might free her red mop of some of the damage. So far, all she’d done was tangle it more. Sighing, she wrung out her long, wavy hair and pulled the mess into a quick bun on the top of her head. She would deal with this later. Right now, she needed to dash to potions.


Snatching her book bag off the floor, she hurried to the bathroom door, swinging it open.

“Ouch!” came a voice from the opposite end of the door. Ginny’s hand flew to her mouth as she realized she’d opened the door right into someone standing in the hallway.

“I’m so sorry!” she yelped. The door swung shut and Michael Corner was revealed on the other side, rubbing the side of his head with a grimace.

“S’alright,” he grimaced up at her from underneath the dark fringe of his hair, “Should know better than to lurk around the girls’ toilets anyway, I guess...”

Ginny cracked a small grin, “What are you doing lurking by the girls’ toilets?”

Michael stopped rubbing his head, “Oh, one of the third years told me you wanted to see me, or talk to me, or…” he furrowed his eyebrows, “I dunno, she was stuttering a lot. Honestly, she mostly just got out your name…”

Ginny sighed, amused, “Black hair? Pretty?”

“I guess, yeah.”

“Her name’s Alice,” Ginny lowered her voice with a subtle glance around the hall, “I told her to talk to you about bringing along her and some other prospective members from Ravenclaw tonight.”

Michael nodded, “Right, no problem.” A slight look of confusion lingered on his chiseled face, as he asked, “Why didn’t she just tell me that?”

Ginny grinned, “I’ve got to run to Potions,” she said, turning to head back down the stairs towards the dungeons.

“Me too,” Michael called after her.

Ginny stopped, and turned, confused.

“They’ve combined the NEWT level sixth- and seventh-years since there are so few students,” he explained.

Ginny nodded. Of course, they’d done the same with most of her other classes, including Charms and Divination, which is why Neville had been with her most of the day. Despite newly enforcing compulsory attendance, Hogwarts' enrolment had dropped considerably in the absence of most muggle-born students.

“Well, come on, then,” she said over her shoulder. She was halfway down the staircase.

He grinned, looking amused, “Well I would, but I’m not sure where you’re going. And I don’t know if I want to follow you on another wild goose chase.”

Ginny felt her ears burn red and cursed the fact that her hair was in a bun.

In fourth year, when she and Michael had been dating, Ginny had convinced him to sneak out after hours with her so she could prove to him that she knew where the hidden passage into the kitchens was hidden. Unfortunately for her, Fred and George had heard about her plan through the grapevine and, in an effort to prevent their little sister from having what they thought would result in an unacceptably romantic evening, had spent the entire night forcibly switching staircases and magicking illusions of dead-end hallways. Ginny and Michael had both been caught out of bed and received week-long detentions with McGonagall.

I’m going to the dungeons, where are you going?” she grumbled, huffily.

He smiled apologetically, “Slughorn’s teaching potions in the South wing now, since Snape’s turned the dungeon classroom into his own Headmaster’s Office,” his expression took on a sort of dark satisfaction as he added, “Guess he couldn’t handle sitting in Dumbledore’s chair.”

Ginny blinked. “Or the Gargoyle wouldn’t let him in,” she mumbled thoughtfully.

“The – what?”

“So South wing, then?” she chirped, climbing the stairs again.

The two fell into step together as they made their way to the southbound hallway, Ginny clutching her book bag to her chest and Michael walking along beside her, his own bag slung casually over his shoulder. The whole thing felt uncomfortably familiar to Ginny, whose ears were still red.

“How’s Cho?” she blurted.

Michael glanced sideways at her and shrugged. “We broke up when she graduated last year. She’s doing alright for herself, I guess. She’s studying at the Healer’s Institute in London…”

Ginny nodded along as he talked. “I’ve heard that’s a difficult program to get into,” she remarked.

Michael nodded his agreement. “She’d been working towards it for the last few years, though, making sure she got all her OWLs and NEWTs, keeping her grades up and all that… After Cedric died, she spent a lot of time with Madame Pomfrey sort of, you know, talking it through and all that,” he laughed briefly, “I think she consumed half a tankard of pepperup potion just to keep herself, you know, not happy, but… placated…”

He trailed off for a moment and Ginny tucked a stray strand of red hair that had escaped her bun behind her ear. A flash of Harry distraughtly gripping Cedric’s limp body, his green eyes anguished, sobbing as he was pulled away from the limp corpse. She winced at the memory.

“I guess they sort of bonded and she found her calling, or whatever,” Michael continued, “She started brewing the pepperup herself, with Pomfrey’s help, and it sort of just went from there. I think it’s her way of giving back, you know? Her way of fighting this war.”

Ginny glanced quickly sideways at his set expression, as the pair turned the corner to the South wing entrance. She hadn’t yet heard anyone other than herself, Luna, and Neville openly acknowledge the war.

“She really loved him, you know. Even for them being still pretty young and all,” he continued to stare straight ahead, running a hand roughly through his hair. After a beat he finished, “She never loved me. Not like that anyway.”

“Did you?” Ginny asked - the words were out before her brain could stop her. Michael glanced at her questioningly. “Love her. Like that.” Ginny clarified awkwardly, hastily tucking the same strand of hair behind her ear again as they arrived outside the classroom.

Michael shifted his book bag on his arm thoughtfully, and stretched his arm out to hold open the door to Slughorn’s class for Ginny. He paused before opening it, avoiding Ginny’s eyes.

“No,” he said simply and held open the door.

Ginny thanked him quietly and walked over the threshold.

Michael nodded at her, heading to the back left corner of the classroom where Terry Boot sat, looking bored.

Ginny glanced around the classroom, making her way over to an empty workstation in the middle of the class. She rolled her eyes at Seamus, who was wiggling his eyebrows suggestively, having witnessed her enter the classroom alongside Michael.

She pulled her potions textbook out of her book bag, flipping through it idly as she waited for class to begin. Slughorn was chatting up a blonde Ravenclaw who Ginny had never met. The girl looked slightly uncomfortable and eager to get away. Ginny was almost certain she’d just earned herself an invitation to the Slug Club.

“Hi Ginny! How was your summer?” a perky voiced girl asked eagerly as she settled in beside Ginny.

A flash of memories blurred through Ginny’s mind...

…Sitting in her room at The Burrow with Hermione struggling to learn spells well beyond her ability, all the while worrying about Harry at the Dursleys (‘He’s fine, Ginny, you have know that.’ Hermione had told her earnestly. ‘Besides, we’re all going to fetch him in two weeks’ time. Now focus!’)

…Overhearing Ron chastise Harry after he caught the two of them together in Ginny’s bedroom. The boys’ voices had drifted up from the yard through her open window with the light summer breeze… (‘…you go snogging her now and she’s just going to get her hopes up again-’ Ron had growled, as Harry snapped back, ‘She’s not an idiot, she knows it can’t happen, she’s not expecting us to – end up married, or-’*). Ginny had slammed the window shut and allowed herself to cry, hands buried in her long hair.

…The Order arriving back at the Burrow with Harry, one by one, piece by piece… George, drenched in blood, Fred white as a sheet. Bill stonily reporting that Mad-Eye had fallen, dead, from his broom somewhere over London. The welcoming burn of Firewhisky as grim reality slipped down their throats...

…Curses slicing through the screams erupting all around her at Bill and Fleur’s wedding
“Do you not fear death, little girl?” Bellatrix whispered, wide-eyed and smiling as Ginny stumbled, bleeding and exhausted from the battle that had only just begun.


Ginny forced a smiled and turned to Lavender Brown, “Good, thanks, yours?”

Lavender beamed and launched into a story about her own summer as Ginny felt her mind slip away from the conversation. She began to pile her potions supplies on the table, nodding along with Lavender’s exuberant expressions.

“…anyway, I’m looking forward to tonight. Pavarti was saying we should expect you to be leading the meeting, is that right?” Lavender had lowered her voice to a murmur and Ginny’s attention had snapped back instantly.

Ginny’s eyes subtly scanned the classroom for eavesdroppers, “Well...” she hesitated, not used to being viewed as an authority figure, “Yeah, I guess you could say so. Neville’s got detention with one of the Carrows tonight so I suppose I’ll be doing the introductory stuff, yeah.”

Lavender tucked her hair behind her ear, eyes eagerly searching Ginny’s, “Well,” she pressed, “you’ll do more than that, right? You’re going to help us - teach us - to fight, right? I mean, that’s what the DA’s all about.” Ginny nodded hesitantly as Lavender continued to ramble, “I mean, you named the bloody thing. And without Harry or that bushy-haired girl-”

“Hermione,” said Ginny flatly.

“Right – without her and Harry-”

“-And Ron,” Ginny snapped.

Lavender ignored Ginny’s tone, but instead wrinkled her nose, spinning a quill between her fingers. “Ah, yes. I suppose he’s gone off with her this year?” She glanced at Ginny questioningly.

Ginny cleared her throat and shifted in her seat, glancing around the room once more. She lowered her voice even further before responding, “Yes, they’ve both gone with Harry, but-”

“I knew it!” Lavender shrieked, slapping a hand down on the table. Two Ravenclaw girls at the bench beside theirs jumped, startled, and looked over quizzically. “I knew he didn’t have Spattergroit, the prat. He would go gallivanting off with that bushy-haired, know-it-all, bi-”

“Didn’t you ditch him?” Ginny interrupted. Lavender had offered up a few too many insults at Hermione’s expense for Ginny’s liking.

Lavender open and closed her mouth, and gathered up her potions supplies in a huff. Slinging her book bag over her shoulder, she stalked off to join Pavarti at her own workstation two tables over.

Ginny sighed and rubbed her forehead. Seamus plunked down beside her, sending her jar of beetles’ legs flying. She watched it roll away, and frowned.

“What d’you have to go get her all in a tiff for?” he moaned, “Now we’ll be listening to her wail in the common room for the next two weeks. Honestly, it’s like boarding with a right bloody banshee…”

Ginny giggled in spite of herself and Seamus grinned back, handing her the jar of beetles’ legs he’d just summoned back from the floor.

“I just can’t be friends with girls,” Ginny muttered, “They’re so… sensitive.” She wrinkled her nose. "Am I mean?"

Seamus laughed heartily as he tucked his wand back into his pants pocket, “Not mean. Just fiesty. I s’pose six brothers’ll do that to you.”

Ginny cracked a half-smile and Seamus shrugged, “Anyway, Neville and I don’t mind that you only get on with blokes,” she raised an eyebrow at him, “Seriously – we blow things up a lot less frequently when you’re around,” he deadpanned, honestly.

Ginny grinned again and turned her attention to the front of the classroom where Slughorn stood, arms wide.

“Welcome NEWT level potions masters!” he chuckled cheerily, “I hope you like our new classroom. I thought a change of scenery was in order this year,” he smiled around at the class.

Ginny took a moment to gaze around the room. More likely that Snape told Slughorn to beat it from the dungeon, although it was quite nice to see the autumn sunshine spilling in through the high-ceilinged windows, stretching lazily across their desks like a cat in the sun. The walls were a rich mahogany and the ceiling arched upwards, making the room seem larger than it really was. Handsome, ancient bookshelves lined the north wall behind Slughorn, filled with potions textbooks, ingredients and supplies.

Slughorn beamed back at the class as they took in their surroundings. “If you would all be so kind as to turn to page one hundred twelve, we will get started with today’s lesson.” He turned to the chalkboard easel behind him, and with a wave of his wand, revealed a list of potions ingredients. (‘Revelare Secretum’ Ginny recited automatically in her head. It was one of the revealing spells Flitwick had taught them this morning).

“Today we will be brewing a magnificant potion, and one of great importance for those of you considering a future career in either Healing Practices or Magical Law Enforcement as an Auror,” Slughorn told the class.

Ginny turned the pages in her Potions book to the appropriate section, grimacing as they stuck together (this book had belonged to one of the twins). She finally wrestled the pages apart and read the title of the chapter just as Slughorn announced it to the class.

Liquidium Retinentia! Or, the memory potion. Used to retrieve otherwise hidden memories, or even wipe a memory clean. The more potion you drink, the more memory you lose – so no taste testing if you want to remember how to brew it for the exam!” Slughorn chortled at his own joke, rested his hands on his bulging belly, “Now partner up and start preparing your ingredients! Instructions are on page one hundred and thirteen, which you may follow after reading the summary of Liquidium Retinentia on page one hundred and twelve. Begin!” He chirped cheerfully.

Seamus bid his goodbye to Ginny and made his way back to his own workstation where his partner was waiting. Ginny looked around - everyone had a partner but her. She sighed and began to read the chapter summary on her own.

“Would you mind being partners?” a dreamy voice floated through the suncast air.

Ginny looked up, delightedly, “Luna! Of course not, I’d love too! Please,” she motioned to the seat beside her. Luna took it happily, placing her own potions book on the desk. “I didn’t know you were taking potions this year,” Ginny said.

“Oh yes,” Luna said, nodding “I love potions. It’s so fun, it’s just like baking,” she sang happily. “I always like to make my potions with a floral smell. The stronger the scent of your potion, the less likely it is that nargles will steal it.” She finished matter-of-factly and began to chop her beetles’ legs with a smile.

Ginny grinned and reached for her own beetles’ legs. If she coudn’t be friends with very many girls, she was certainly grateful for Luna and Hermione.

The minutes ticked away as the students worked, chopping and slicing ingredients, stirring the concoctions forming in their cauldrons. Luna pattered on beside Ginny about fantastical creatures that Ginny was reasonably sure did not exist, at least not in Europe. Ginny felt quite content as she smiled and giggled at Luna’s stories, stirring her own potion three times clockwise, and twice to the left.

“…the clinkhorned snahrlback is particularly nasty. Daddy’s only seen one of them in his life, while he was in Ireland for field research on a story,” Luna said thoughtfully, “He said it nearly bit off his good wand finger…”

Ginny grinned, still looking at her potion, “Lucky for him it didn’t.”

“Yes, quite lucky,” Luna agreed earnestly.

Ginny rolled up her sleeves, continuing to stir, as a slow heat began to creep up her arms. She glanced at her textbook, which lay open next to her cauldron. The potion was supposed to be the barest sky blue colour. The perfect Liquidium Retinentia would appear slightly transluscent, similar to memories once they were removed from the individual’s mind.

“My, my Miss Weasley!” Slughorn exclaimed, surprising Ginny. “Well it seems as though you’re quite the potions master,” he bubbled, glancing into her cauldron.

Ginny looked down at the translucent, sky blue liquid. The perfect potion.

Slughorn winked, leaning in towards her, “Knew I’d done the right thing asking you to join the Slug Club, eh?” he chortled happily, “Everyone! Miss Weasley has finished her potion! If you’d like to see what a perfect Liquidium Retinentia looks like, just glance into this cauldron. Like I made it myself!”

Ginny flushed and backed away from her cauldron as the others began to mill around hers and Luna’s workstation.

Seamus was staring right into her cauldron, then back at his, then at hers once more. He was disshelved, to say the least. His tie hung loosely around his neck, top buttons of his shirt opened. He was sweating slightly, and had his sleeves hastily rolled up. “Blimey,” he said, exasperated, “How in the ruddy hell did she do it so fast?”

Luna beamed at Ginny, blue eyes wide with admiration. “Wow, it looks just like the inside of a penseive! You’ll have to watch for nargles though, as it doesn’t smell like much of anything...” she trailed off dreamily, sniffing the air lightly.

Ginny shrugged at her, smiling, “I just followed the instructions,” she insisted.

“No you didn’t,” Luna laughed airily, “I saw you - you were stirring it oddly, in some sort of pattern, and you crushed your beetles’ legs after you cut them.” She smiled sweetly, and said softly, “The book doesn’t say to do any of that.”

Ginny glanced at her textbook, confused.

Chop beetles’ legs carefully before adding to the mixture...

Stir potion clockwise for twenty minutes until potion starts to change colour...

“Looks like you’ve got the same undeniable potions skills as another student of mine,” Slughorn winked cheerily, then faltered slightly, “Well... former student, I suppose.” He blinked his beady eyes, and smiled kindly at Ginny once more, “Excellent job, dear. I think you’d put our own Harry Potter to the test!”

Slughorn turned and waddled to the front of the class, chortling to himself, and Ginny felt several sets of eyes become glued to her back, each trying to gauge her reaction. She looked around quickly, catching Michael’s eye for a fraction of a second - he looked away quickly as if he’d been burned. Lavender Brown’s mouth hung slightly open in hungry curiosity.

Ginny shifted uncomfortably in her seat, turning her own gaze back to her cauldron. She was rather proud of herself, really. She seemed to be nailing her classes this year, and if there was ever a time to do so, it was in the midst of a brewing war.

***

The meeting would begin in fifteen minutes, and Ginny was pacing the Gryffindor common room nervously. Neville had left for his detention with Carrow about an hour ago, after having drilled Ginny on things to remember to mention at the meeting.

“Don’t forget to tell them to be more careful this year,” he had pressed.

“I know,” she had responded impatiently.

“We can’t have anyone thinking they can run around this castle setting off fireworks like your brothers with Umbridge-”

“I know, Neville.”

“Because this lot – the Carrows – they’re the real deal, Death Eaters. They’re a lot more dangerous than that Umbridge hag, all she ever did was cut open Harry’s hand a little-”

“I KNOW!”

She had been confident in leading the meeting with Neville nagging her, but now that she was on her own she wished she had him rattling off a list of things to remember. She checked her watch. Ten-to.

“Shall we, then?” Seamus stood near the portait hole, hands in his pockets. His wand stuck out of the left one.

Ginny nodded and he motioned for Seamus to go through first.

They would all be arriving in pairs, so as not to draw too much attention to themselves. If any of them were caught, it wouldn’t look too suspicious. Ginny let her mind wander briefly to worrying about what the punishment might be these days for being caught out of bed after hours (a loss of house points and a scolding from McGonagall seemed like a fairy tale to her now), and quickly shook the idea off. They had all signed up for this. It was likely that they’d all be punished for something before this year came to a close.

They were nearly at the corridor, having passed the main tower when Seamus drew up short suddenly and Ginny stepped on his heel.

“Sorr-” she began to apologize, but Seamus had spun around, covering her mouth with his right hand and raising the other to his lips with a pointed finger. Ginny’s felt her heartbeat speed up as she heard footsteps approaching them from around the corner.

Seamus’ head swung back and forth, looking for a place to hide. Removing his hand from Ginny’s mouth, he pointed urgently at a classroom door a few feet down the hall.

Silently, they retraced their steps towards the door. The footsteps in the distance weren’t quickening, but they were drawing closer. Ginny felt a woosh of relief as they reached the door with time to spare. Seamus turned the handle and pushed. The old door creaked in protest. It was locked.

Ginny’s eyes widened as the footsteps quickened. She glanced at Seamus, who shrugged back hopelessly, jaw set. They were out of options. Ginny burried her face in her hands. They hadn’t even made it to the first meeting.

The footsteps were louder now, whoever it was would turn the corner at any moment. In a last, instinctive attempt of desperation, Ginny and Seamus flattened themselves against the wall, as if hoping they would just blend in to it.

Ginny squeezed her eyes shut. If only they could disappear.

The owner of the footsteps turned the corner, and Ginny’s eyes snapped open to meet their maker. Professor Trelawney floated around the corner, a large shawl wrapped around her shoulders. She hummed to herself as she made her way towards them. Her oversized, bespectecled eyes passed over the two students as if they were exactly were they ought to be at 9 o’ clock on a Tuesday evening.

Ginny and Seamus remained glued to the wall in silence, not daring to breathe as Professor Trelawney continued on her course, passed right by them and turned the corner towards the North Tower.

“Old bat’s lost her mind. Blind, she is,” Seamus breathed.

Ginny’s pulse began to return to normal. It was like she hadn’t even seen them.

If only they could disappear.

Ginny glanced at her hands, which were tingling curiously. Her wand was still in the small bag slung around her shoulder (Hermione had cast an anti-extension charm on it so that Ginny could transport materials to and from meetings without looking conspicuous). Had she done that? Ginny shook her head. She didn’t even know how to cast a disillusionment charm, let alone one strong enough to conceal two people that well and with that little effort – not to mention silently, and without a wand.

She realized she was still pressed against the door as Seamus grabbed her wrist and pressed on towards the meeting. A large, ornate door had appeared along the wall at the far end of the corridor. Glancing both ways quickly, the two pulled open the door slightly and slipped inside.

Ginny blinked, startled. The room of requirement had beautifully transformed the original DA meetings’ setting. There were still objects and props with which they could practice offensive spells, but also rows of desks, a library of relevant textbooks, and chalkboards. At the far end of the room, cushy chairs were laid out near a roaring amber fireplace, above which hung the Hogwarts’ coat of arms, from which the four houses proudly glowed. The room had expanded to twice its original size, which was good, Ginny thought, given that it seemed quite full at the moment.

Excited chatter filled the room as members of the DA milled around, taking in their surroundings. Ginny glanced at Seamus who was grinning from ear to ear as he took in the changes the room had made for them. Alice Tolipan was blushing furiously and nodding along, eyes wide, as Michael Corner chatted with her. Ginny grinned.

Ginny inhaled deeply, and marched over to the table at the front of the transformed classroom. Sunlight spilled across the desks from what she assumed must be an enchanted ceiling, given that it was certainly dark outside. She began to unload books from her magically expanded purse onto the table, noticing as she did that the bookcase closest to her had an empty shelf with exactly enough space to hold the books she had brought along with her. She smiled again. She loved this room.

“Ready to go?” Seamus asked, a splitting grin still splashed across his freckled face.

Ginny nodded, and felt some nerves trickle up her arms as Seamus shouted for everyone to grab a seat.

Thirty faces gazed up at her eagerly. She cleared her throat nervously.

“Er – hello,” she began lamely. “I’m Ginny, if you don’t already know me, and um... welcome to the DA’s first meeting of the year.”

Ginny twirled her wand absent mindedly, cracking a smile as scattered applause broke out.

“Tonight, we obviously have some housekeeping to take care of. We have several new members and I’ll need to distribute new coins to you all,” she nodded at Alice and her friends. They held her eyes with rapt attention.

Ginny shifted her weight again, tearing her eyes from theirs. Everyone was staring at her. Why did Neville have to get detention... she grumbled in her mind.

“So what are we doing tonight? Stunning spells?” Lavender Brown asked eagerly from towards the back of the room, holding up a pillow she'd found.

“Learning how to blow things up, I’ll bet!” a third year boy piped up excitedly.

“Um - ” Ginny began.

“No way, stupid, we’ve got to learn to defend ourselves first,” Alice retorted.

“Right - ” Ginny tried again.

“But this groups about fighting, how else are we going to win?” the boy sneered.

“So you’re just going to start exploding things and hope for the best, are you?”

“That’s not what I -”

“I’ll bet we start with more offensive spells, I mean that’s what important, right?”

“I thought, actually we’d start with the basics – Protego, Expelliarmus and -” Ginny tried again.

“The disarming spell? Why would we bother...”

“It’s Harry Potter’s go-to move, don’t you read?”

Chatter and debate continued to break out, the volume growing steadily as Ginny tried to get everyone’s attention, her temper rising impatiently. They were talking like it was a joke. Like a defending yourself was easy, like a reductor curse could save your life...

“If you’ll all just stop talking for a moment, I’ll tell you what we-”

“Shield charms, it’s got to be shield charms!”

“What about stunning, idiot, a shield charm won’t block an unforgiveable...”

“OI! SHUT UP!” Ginny roared. Silence fell instantly. Thirty pairs of eyes turned to face her but her nerves had fled. A curl of smoke twirled from the tip of her wand, and she loosened her fist, placing the wand on the table beside her carefully.

She turned back to her audience, eyes flashing angrily.

“This isn’t a game. This isn’t a class you’ll get credit for. It doesn’t matter how hard we train, where we start, or how much we plan. There is a war out there,” she pointed sharply to the wall next to her, scanning each pair of eyes. “And we are part of it - whether we like it or not.”

She let her arm fall to her side. “Now, we can sit here all night if you’d like, arguing over what spell will be most likely to save our lives in battle, but the reality is there’s no right answer to that question. War is upredictable.”

Michael met Ginny’s eyes with a grim smile, while Lavender’s mouth hung slightly open. Alice Tolipan’s eyes were as wide as Ginny had even seen them. Luna sat in the front row, her usually dreamlike expression morose.

“The reality is they are cunning, they have no qualms use the darkest of dark magic, and they have years – years – of experience. The Death Eaters don’t play by any rule book. You will not be dueling, you will not get to practice. It is real and it is terrifying and you will take that leap of faith and go with your gut when the time comes,” she paused, “...because that’s all you can do.

“If you want to argue with me over where to start, that’s fine,” she shrugged, “But I’ll remind you that as of this moment, you are members of Dumbledore’s Army. As of this moment, you represent one of the greatest wizards, and greatest men, that ever walked these halls. You represent the fight for light in a world of darkness, and you will become part of the front line in this battle.

“It is a tragedy that some of you will never get to meet Albus Dumbledore. It is a tragedy that some of you, as of now, have never set foot in Hogwarts. This,” she paused, motioning around the room as slight confusion spread across some faces, “This is not Hogwarts. You sleep, eat, and breathe in the bare bones of what Hogwarts once was. This is just a shadow of the castle that I hope you will one day come to know and love as many of us once did,” she glanced around, meeting Seamus, Luna, Lavender, Pavarti, and Michael’s eyes, to name a few. Tears shone from Luna’s, threatening to slip down her pale cheeks.

Ginny returned her gaze to the rest of the group, mouth set in a grim line, “If you still want to fight alongside us, we are glad to have you. But keep in mind what this group represents, and what our goals are. I am confident that the war will come to Hogwarts. And we will have to be prepared to fight. For our lives, and for the lives of others. For the lives of the ones we love.” Ginny began to pace slowly, “We will work hard, we will study harder. This year will not be easy. If you aren’t prepared to put the effort in, then I suggest you leave now and find an excellent hiding place, because this war is coming. It is coming here, to us. And if you aren’t ready, if you aren’t practiced... you will become a casualty of war,” she paused, turning back to the class – tense silence stretched thin through the atmosphere. “And I do not intend to be responsible for casualties.”

A deafening silence followed the end of Ginny’s speech. Tears flowed freely from Luna’s eyes, now. A grim, determined smile played on Seamus lips. Ginny nodded at the group and picked up her wand.

“Let’s get started.”






Disclaimer:

*Deathly Hallows p. 117






A/N: 
Hey all. As I'm revalidating and editing these chapters up a bit in 2016, I am finding my love for Ginny reigniting with a vengeance. This is a great sign, because it means I'll start updating again! To those who love this story/the idea of this story as much as I do and who are still around HPFF today, thank you so much!

I am also reliving my secret love for Ginny/Michael. Though I would never mess with H/G canon (because I adore them too, and really, who doesn't), I do love those two together along with the unwritten tidbits of their previous relationship, of which we only ever heard in passing...
 


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