Ginny Weasley sat in the empty Gryffindor common room and gazed absently into the roaring fire. As a prefect, she should have been down in the Great Hall with the others watching the first years to be sorted into their houses, but she couldn't summon the ambition to rise from the comfortable crimson chair. All her thoughts were centered on Harry, who was now in his seventh and final year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. In just a few short months, he'd be out in the wizarding world, no longer protected by the walls of Hogwarts, and at the mercy of Voldemort. Voldemort and his Death Eaters had grown stronger with each passing year, and with each passing year, Harry had grown more and more withdrawn. It started had started with Cedric Diggory's death in the Triwizard Tournament. Nobody blamed Harry for Cedric's death; nobody but Harry.
Ginny twirled a strand of her long, red hair around her finger as she thought about Harry. All his classmates were busy making plans for their future -- all except Harry. He was making plans to die. He never told anybody this, but Ginny knew. Ginny knew a great many things. Sometimes it paid to be the baby of the family. If she sat around quietly enough, people tended to talk like she wasn't even in the room. She'd learned a lot these past few years from sitting quietly in the background. Ginny stood up and walked toward the portrait hole. After she climbed down into the hallway, she flashed a quick smile at the Fat Lady and made her way towards the Great Hall.
Ginny waited outside the Great Hall, hoping for an opportunity to slip in unnoticed when she heard someone approaching her from behind.
"Going somewhere, Miss Weasley?" a sarcastic voice asked behind her.
"No, Professor Snape, I was going in, and you?" she asked in a flippant voice, the makings of a plan forming in her mind.
"Why are you skulking around the castle? Aren't you anxious to see what dregs of humanity will be entering your house this term?"
"Twenty points from Gryffindor, Miss Weasley, and detention tomorrow night in the Potions room. I must say this is a record for any of the Weasleys. You are the first one to get a detention before classes have even begun. Now get yourself in there right now before I recommend that you be removed as prefect." Never one to be quelled by male arrogance, Ginny simply flashed him a glimpse of her brilliant grin and walked into the Great Hall. As she slipped into her seat at the long Gryffindor table, she looked across the room to where the Slytherins were seated and caught Draco Malfoy's eye. When she was certain she had his attention, she slowly winked at him, and watched as his face turned red brighter than her hair.