A/N: This section is part missing moment, part perspective shift;
therefore, a large portion of this segment's dialogue is directly from
OOTP (the US version). Special Thanks to Happydog for his mad beta
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or anything
within his world, and I profit nothing by this but my own delight and
Late Spring, Flying Over England
Though Ginny could not see her thestral, she could feel
the occasional, powerful beat of its wings, and she tried to focus on
that sensation of power. It was better to focus on that power than upon
the vastness of Muggle England beneath her.
She had never been so cold in her life.
"This is bizarre!" Ron shouted.
wondered what strong magic in death made it so that only some could see
the thestrals. She had heard that muggles could not see the dementors. Is this a similar kind of magic?
Harry's words returned to her: "You'd better hope it stays invisible." He flew just ahead and below her, with his head angled slightly to the side.
Ginny was a little surprised that Harry's fat head hadn't toppled him from his thestral. "Never you mind." "You're too--!"
tightened her grip on her thestral's mane and altered the angle of her
head so that she could breathe more easily in the wind of Harry's
Not that she wasn't riding what felt like the
length of England after him, and not that she didn't love him, but
Harry was a... Ginny tried to find the right description. A...Lockhart sometimes.
She tried to wipe her eyes without letting go of the thestral mane, but
the grease from the hair only pushed the tears around on her face and
made it worse.
This wasn't about Harry; this was about Sirius.
Ginny gritted her teeth and caught a thestral hair between them. It
tasted like blood. What if we're too late? Trembling and frozen, and even though she could barely hang on as it was, Ginny wished that thestrals flew faster.
"I'm glad that Harry rescued you," Sirius
had told her. Ginny could remember the warmth in his gray eyes, and the
earnestness born out of their common experience and their shared
affection for Harry.
Ginny gave another useless swipe at her
eyes. She loved Sirius. He was moody, but he was funâ€"a bit like
Harry, really, when Harry wasn't busy forgetting about everyone else.
She had offered her help to Harry without pausing to think, but now,
far above the miniature countryside, Ginny had hours to contemplate
that maybe, just maybe, she shouldn't have come. Maybe she had
suppressed her fears and experiences too well.
Maybe I'm endangering everyone by being here. Then she had another thought, one that made more tears come. Maybe that's why Ron and Harry didn't want me here...and Hermione...
were the thoughts Ginny rarely indulged in anymore, but the threat
against Sirius brought them from her. She allowed herself to truly face
them for just a few minutes, as she had learned to do after her first
year; it was the only way to recognize that the thoughts were silly.
Ron and Harry just thought she was young, and Hermione was too
concerned with not making Harry mad to even consider Ginny's feelings.
Right. Being silly, she thought, and then she pushed the bad thoughts down, down, away into the dark fields streaming below them.
plunged downward; Hermione screamed. Ginny clung to her thestral as
tightly as she did when diving on her broom. Despite her fear of what
would come next, she was relieved when she landed safely beside Harry.
length of their flight had not dampened Harry's fears, and after the
group had squeezed into the telephone box outside the Ministry, Ginny
found herself acutely aware of Harry's proximity. She had not reckoned
on the attractiveness of an adrenaline-charged Harry, and she was very
aware that the parts of her that pressed against him felt very
different from where she stood squashed against, say, Hermione, or Ron.
Ginny felt hot.
Maybe, ran her distracted thoughts, Maybe Harry meant "too cute," or "too distracting," and not "too young." She
almost grinned, but then the darker thoughts returned and hinted that
she was too dangerous. She dutifully pushed those thoughts away. Too right that's me: too dangerous for evil. The last evil person who hassled me got to see wings on his bogies.
She cheered up at the memory of a bogey-faced Malfoy. A little.
within the Ministry, they crossed a large room; Ginny was distracted by
the splash of its massive, gaudy fountain. She remembered watching the
fountain as a small child, and thought how strange it was to be here
now, in the middle of the night, so very much older, to help the
Boy-Who-Lived rescue the notorious Sirius Black.
surprised that the Ministry was empty, but no one else commented on it,
so she said nothing. The portraits watched them pass. Ginny locked
gazes with one of them and wondered if she should ask one of them, but
Harry acted impatient, and Ginny knew that he'd take any excuse to
leave one of their party behind. Perhaps it was a Ministry holiday;
certainly, the portraits were not begging for attention. When the
golden lift doors clattered open, Ginny rushed into the lift with the
When the lift creaked and shuddered to a halt, they
stepped into a corridor and stopped before an unobtrusive, black door
that drew Harry's attention. He made a thinly disguised attempt to
leave a couple people behind as lookouts, but Ginny raised her
eyebrows. She had a fairly clear idea of whom Harry wished to leave
"And how're we going to let you know something's coming?" she asked him. "You could be miles away."
saw the frustration on his face; he thought of precious time, and Ginny
understood his frustration, but she knew that, if anything was wrong,
Harry would need the help of everyone.
Harry relented, and everyone passed through the plain black door.
watched as each delay and setback increasingly flustered Harry. When
Neville closed the door of the circular room, and all of the doors spun
around, Harry sounded suddenly unsure. When they entered the first
room, with its great tank full of brains, and Ron pointed out that
there were more doors, Harry appeared overwhelmed. She knew that,
through all of this, he was despairingly aware of the passing time.
All of his focus faded, however, when they reached the court-like room with the stone archway in its center.
Ginny didn't want to think about the veil, but it wasn't just because
of what Neville had told her about Sirius. She had heard her brother in
there, and that frightened her as much as it fascinated her. She had
not anticipated mysteries like this here, even in the Department of
Mysteries: brains like fish, spinning rooms, whispering archways.
Despite the urgency of their mission, Ginny found herself distracted by
a swaying bit of ratty curtain. She was so absorbed in listening for
the voices that she barely noticed when Hermione grabbed her arm and
dragged her back up the steps.
The round room spun. Harry
tried opening the next door with a knife that melted in one of the
doors. When the room spun again, Luna grabbed Ginny's arm.
know what could be in there?" she asked. Hermione's snide answering
comment rendered Luna silent, but when the next door opened, casting
bright, dancing light into the circular room, Ginny caught the
significant look that Luna was giving Ginny. What did Luna mean? she wondered.
She would have asked Luna, but Harry's excited cry of, "This way!" drew her after him.
wasn't until they were partway through the room that she took in the
new room's brilliance, and the source of the dancing light. On the desk
was an enormous bell jar, and in the bell jar's center, a hummingbird
fell and became an egg again. The bird was so small, like a little
snitch, and the egg was smaller than a pea. The clocks and the bell jar
hinted at a theme: it was clear that this department was concerned with
matters of time.
"Oh look!" Ginny said.
"Keep going!" Harry said from beside her.
glared at him. She had let the first few comments slide, but it truly
felt as though Harry kept singling her out. "You dawdled enough by that
old arch!" she said, but he had already moved toward the back door, so
she hurriedly followed.
Something about the intent way that Harry looked at the door made Ginny pull out her wand.
He turned the handle.
room was cold; Ginny knew this even before she could see into it.
Hermione shifted to Harry's left side and Ginny got her first look into
the room. It was far larger than she had imagined, with shelves that
stretched several stories high.
There was no immediate sign of Sirius. Ginny could see the confusion on Harry's profile and wondered what he had expected.
said it was row ninety-seven," she heard Hermione whisper
encouragingly, and Harry came to himself. He whispered a few commands
and entered the room. Hermione's gaze shifted from Harry's face and
rested on Ginny's before she followed Harry into the room.
Ginny's heart thudded. She knew that look.
Worse than Sirius being bait, she doesn't think Sirius is even here, Ginny knew. She tried not to think the worst. Sometimes a bad dream is just a dream,
she told herself, but she was not convinced. She believed Harry.
Whatever happened now, they were each committed to it, and Harry needed
all of them through trouble or disappointment.
They made their
way silently, but Ginny no longer listened for Sirius. The others could
do that. Her attention was instead on the shadows, and the high places,
and anywhere else that was not Harry's increasingly worried visage.
reached row ninety-seven and found it empty. Ginny's throat constricted
at Harry's desperate expression. He led them forward, but the aisle
grew no less empty. When he spoke now, he was hoarse.
Ginny thought her heart would actually break. Her vision blurred. Any moment now, Harry would realize the truth.
Hermione kept repeating his name. Ginny wanted to tell her to stuff it,
but she went on: "I...don't think Sirius is here."
wouldn't look at any of them; he turned and ran down another aisle,
clearly not willing to let go and almost certainly embarrassed. No one
moved to follow him; even Luna recognized his need to be alone. They
all stood as they were, listening to the sound of Harry's footsteps
advancing, retreating, and advancing again through the aisles of
Ginny felt sick. She separated a little from the
group and wandered partway down row ninety-seven in search of
distraction. Some of the glass balls glowed as she passed, and Ginny
allowed herself to be mesmerized. She stared at the tiny blue lights
and tried to think of nothing.
"What do you think they are?" Luna asked, appearing beside her. "Spirits?"
sniffed. She, Ron, and Neville had followed Ginny down the aisle. Now
that the urgency had left the group, the others were finally taking a
"I don't know," Ginny said quietly. She passed
her hand in front of one of the balls and it flared like a falling
star. This ball, like some of the others, bore a date with an acronym
beneath it. Some of them were blank below the acronyms, and others bore
brief descriptions. It was too dim to read the description on the ball
that held Ginny's attention, and Ginny didn't want to touch the dusty
glass and leave her fingerprints behind. Years spent living with the
twins had taught her discretion.
Hermione and Ron were whispering, huddled over something on the shelf beside her.
"What is it?" Ginny asked.
Harry's name," Hermione answered. She had relaxed once it seemed clear
that there was no trap after all, but now her nervousness had returned.
"Well, I'm telling him," Ron whispered fiercely.
Hermione glared at him. "Ron, don't! Please!"
Ron stared directly at her. "Harry!"
Hermione hissed, "Ron, don't! I don't like this."
Ron ignored her, still staring in defiance. "Have you seen this?"
Harry appeared at the end of the aisle with a frantic, eager expression
that made Ginny's heart lurch again. He was still thinking about Sirius.
joining them, Harry had to crane his neck to read it (Ginny couldn't
read it at all), and even then, none of them knew what to make of it.
No one else appeared to have their names on one of the little glass
Harry stood on his toes and reached for the dusty orb.
were protests, first from Hermione, and then from Neville. As they
bickered, Ginny found herself sweating despite the intense cold.
Then the glowing ball was in Harry's hand, and everyone had crowded around it.
good, Potter," said a familiar voice from behind them. They had relaxed
too soon: if Lucius Malfoy was here, then there were others with him.
turned and saw silhouettes emerge from every direction, thus trapping
them. Ginny gasped, suddenly very afraid. The tightness in her chest
suggested that Voldemort was there. She could not see the Death Eaters'
faces, but she knew that one of them must be him.
She stepped closer to Harry.
the stand-off with Malfoy demanding the orb and Harry demanding Sirius,
Ginny wondered if Sirius was already dead. One thing was soon clear:
the orb was important to them. She heard the word prophecy, and immediately realized that the small glass ball contained a prophecy concerning Harry and Voldemort.
Why would Voldemort need a prophecy?
looked around at the hooded faces, again wondering which hood disguised
Voldemort. Lightheaded, she was unable to focus on the argument that
ensued between Bellatrix, Malfoy, and Harry until the argument suddenly
focused on her.
"Let him watch while we torture the little girl," Bellatrix said. "I'll do it."
didn't realize who Bellatrix was talking about until she felt the
others press against her. Harry stepped sideways, blocking Ginny's view
of the older witch. Harry wasn't tall, but he was tall enough to hide
She could smell the stale blood on his robes.
Ginny felt grateful for the solidarity of her friends, she also felt
claustrophobic. She was so much shorter than any of them that she could
no longer see what was going on with the Death Eaters. The acute sense
of claustrophobia made her breath quicken. In the hopes of breathing
easier, she lifted her gaze to the back of Harry's head and the
towering stack of glowing prophesies beyond him. She had never imagined
that there were so many prophesies. Then again, the centaurs did like
The floor seemed to sway. Breathe, she told herself.
Beside her, Hermione briefly squeezed her arm.
reduced her quick breaths to longer, steadier ones. She could see the
shadow of Harry's hair fluttering in her breaths. She could see flares
of red light reflected in the long rows of glass balls. The barrier of
her friends muffled the dialogue just enough that, though she could
follow the discussion, she couldn't hear everything.
"What about my scar?" she heard Harry ask, and then, sotto voce, "smash shelves...when I say go..."
Hermione and Ginny passed the message around. Reducto.
Determined to be useful, Ginny clutched her wand tightly. This was why
she had joined the DA; it was why Hermione had asked her to join. She
was prepared this time.
Ginny could feel Neville quivering.
confidence didn't fully truly return until she heard Bellatrix loudly
shriek at the idea of Voldemort fetching the prophecy himself. The
relief Ginny felt at Bellatrix's laughter was palpable. Voldemort was
Ginny directed her wand toward the dark globes far above their heads, Reducto!
Then she felt her arm nearly wrench from its socket as Ron grabbed hold
of her and pulled her down the aisle after him. Ginny flung her other
arm over her head as wood and glass rained down. She could feel glass
embed into her arm, graze her cheek, gather at the collar of her robes,
and still it fell upon her. She looked back once and saw that Luna was
directly behind them, but Ginny could not see behind Luna through the
ghostly prophesies and black cloaks of the Death Eaters. Several of the
ghostly figures looked like Ron, and Ginny was distracted for half a
moment with the thought that, maybe, one of their ancestors had been a
It wasn't until they reached the circular room that Ron
finally noticed: Harry, Hermione, and Neville had not followed them.
Before they could stop her, Luna closed the door, and the doors spun.
Hermione's fiery crosses were gone.
"Where are the others?" Ron asked, panicked.
Ginny tugged his arm. "Come on, Ron. We have to keep moving. This way."
Ron shrugged off her arm. "No, it's this way..."
"The crosses are gone," Luna said. "There's no way to know which way is the proper way."
could see Ron inhaling to give his I'm-the-big-brother speech, just as
they heard voices outside the door. Ginny rolled her eyes, took Luna's
hand, and wrenched Ron's door open into what appeared to be space.
One of the other doors opened, and beneath its lintel stood four silhouettes.
"Hurry!" Ginny muttered. "Nice going, Ron."
three of them fell into the dark room. Ginny tried to close the door,
but floated away from it before she could pull the door closed. She
gasped in surprise. She could hear one of the Death Eaters shouting
"Damn! Keep going," she whispered to the others. "They know where we are."
going?!" Ron sounded hysterical. "I can't move! How do you move in this
place?" He made a few wild, thrashing movements that set him turning
end over end. Luna calmly pushed off from one of the planets, snagged
him, and used her momentum to drag him to one of the other planets.
Ron's somersaults altered Luna's trajectory somewhat, but she managed
to bring them both to safety.
Ginny looked back the way that
they had come. They had already drifted a far way into the room. She
saw a shadow drift past a red planet; the Death Eaters were there,
looking for them.
"I told you this was the wrong way, Ron,"
Ginny said when she drifted closer. "But this might be a brilliant
accident. If we keep floating around in here, we could hide for hours."
Luna reached a hand out and brought Ginny to dock at a bright, bluish-green planet.
"Mars is bright tonight," Luna commented.
It was very quiet in the room; too quiet.
Red sparks suddenly streaked through the air like a comet. Ginny didn't quite realize what they were from until Ron yelped.
steady aim, Ginny shot a body-binding curse back the direction that the
sparks had come from and, heart pounding, she pulled Ron behind the
bluish planet and tried not to expect the worst. Luna kept lookout.
are you all right?" Ginny asked quietly. She braced her back against
the planet and held Ron to keep him from floating away.
She was relieved when Ron grinned. His eyes were on the bright planet behind her.
Ginny. I can see Uranus!" he said, and then began to giggle
uncontrollably. Red sparks from spells erupted all around them as the
Death Eaters realized where they were. Ginny stared at Ron; her eyes
widened in horror. He would not stop giggling, and it was clear by his
vacant expression that he could not.
So much for hiding, she thought.
"Uranus!" Luna was saying. She cast a few lazy spells using the planet as a shield; red sparks continued flying past them. "Funny!"
Ginny felt like she was about to explode.
"We have to get out of here," she said. "Luna, how many are there?"
"Four, I think, but your curse stopped one of them."
looked down at Ron in dismay. He wasn't giggling quite as loudly
anymore, but she got the impression that he wouldn't be very easy to
get moving. She thought about bewitching Uranus to move out of its
orbit and provide a shield for them, but the logistics of traveling
with an object that large while simultaneously losing her ability to
cast other spells nixed that idea.
She could tell by the size and density of the sparks that their pursuers drew closer.
"Luna. Go for Neptune on three..."
muttered the numbers one, two. On three, she cast the banishing charm
on Uranus and sent it careening into a couple of the Death Eaters.
While they were stunned, she and Luna cast body bind spells at them.
Then, holding onto Ron, Ginny used the banishing spell on her brother,
and they shot off through the darkness.
Luna used Ginny's
banishing idea on one of her shoes; she banished her shoe toward Pluto,
which was now making its way back around toward the exit. Ginny was
angled to reach Neptune. If Luna was right, then there was only one
Death Eater left.
Ginny stretched her free hand out, touched
Neptune, redirected herself, and had just pushed off toward Pluto when
a hand shot from behind Neptune and clutched her ankle.
hand had an almost mechanical grip, as though the Death Eater grabbing
her had no idea how much pressure he applied, or how strong he was.
Ginny shoved her brother toward Luna and then stomped at the hand to
get free. Her kicking had no effect, but only caused the hand suddenly
clamped down harder, harder, harder...Ginny did not think that any
human hand could squeeze so hard...she could feel the bones of her
ankle and foot being crushed, pulverized.
Ginny shrieked. The
pain sent sparks across her vision. When her sight returned, she saw
that she was nearly to Pluto. Luna was there, looking determined. Ginny
looked down and saw that the Death Eater still clutched her ankle.
Either he knew better than to let go of her, or he was incapable of
They came closer, closer. Suddenly, Pluto shot towards them, banished.
Luna shouted, and Pluto exploded on the Death Eater's head. It also
exploded on Ginny's leg. It took all of her willpower not to black out.
Luna finished the Death Eater off with a stunner.
Ron was giggling. He pointed at the bright moon orbiting the slowly-revolving earth. "Hey! Loony! Loony Lovegood!"
Luna looked tired. "We should go back," she said.
tried to respond, but couldn't get out more than a hiss. The pain was
unbelievable. She closed her eyes and fought to control her emotions.
She could not cry, but this was unfair. She had wanted to be a help,
but now, even without gravity, she was a burden. She knew that she
would be an even bigger burden once they emerged from their room.
Luna gave Ginny one of her rare small smiles. "Don't worry," she said. "We'll be fine. I can manage Ron."
they finally fell exhausted into the circular room and saw that Harry
and the others were still alive, Ginny thought she might have laughed
if she had been able to respond at all. As it was, the sudden rush of
gravity made the pain in her ankle a million times worse.
"Ron!" Harry said, rushing to them. His expression changed when he looked at her. "Ginny, are you all--"
No, I am not all right, she thought, looking up at his concerned face. But I wish I could pretend that I was. No, Harry, don't look guilty; please, stop looking guilty.
lost focus for a moment as Ron said something that seemed to frighten
Harry, but Ginny wasn't frightened. She was used to Ron's strange
Harry gaped at her with Ron still dragging from his robes. "Ginny? What happened?"
I failed, she thought. I'm sorry. I wanted to help you, but I failed, and I'm sorry.
hadn't been there at all, but Harry had rescued her from Bellatrix.
Now, instead of being able to help like everyone else, she was
incapacitated by a silly ankle injury.
Gnny shook her head and
sank against the wall. She didn't trust herself to speak; Luna
explained everything that had happened. Ron of course had to make his
idiot Uranus joke again. He'd been making that joke since he was five,
when Mum had first taught them the names of the planets, and Fred and
George had pointed out what Uranus sounded like. Mum had been livid.
Mum would walk out of here without any help, crushed ankle or not.
Harry had Luna help her upright, but this for Ginny was the last straw. She would not be a burden to the group.
"It's only my ankle, I can do it myself!" To prove her point, she took a step forward, and promptly collapsed.
Post Ministry of Magic
Ginny heard it everywhere.
the lift rose to the main floor of the Ministry, Ginny thought she
could hear Harry screaming Sirius's name again, but it was only the
clattering of the box. She could hear Harry's scream in the crash of
the fountain, in the silence of the hospital ward, in the excited
murmur of the Hogwarts students as they chattered in the Great Hall at
breakfast still ignorant of everything that had happened.
Well, almost everything. There was much talk about Umbridge's fall from power.
"SIRIUS...! SIRIUS...! SIRIUS!"
stared down at the soggy pancakes on her plate. She took in the
conversations going on around her: gossip about Filch, something about
Fred and George's swamp, a discussion regarding who would teach
Divination now that Dumbledore was back.
"Hey, Ginny," Dean said. "Why weren't you at the party last night?"
looked up from her plate and forced a smile. Professor Lupin had warned
them against discussing what had happened until Professor Dumbledore
had addressed the school.
an orange from the basket in front of her. "Was there a party somewhere
else? Your brother didn't come back to our dorm last night."
"Yeah," she said a little too brightly. "We were somewhere else."
In spite of everything, she couldn't help grinning a little at Dean's disappointed expression. How dare someone throw a party and not invite him...
tight, Ginny turned, expecting to see Harry burst through the Great
Hall doors, but no one else had reacted. Everything seemed normal;
Harry wasn't there, at any rate. She was just hearing things again.
Ginny blinked rapidly. Sirius was dead, and Harry was probably still locked up in some room with Dumbledore.
first glimpse of Harry after their adventure came while walking near
the lake. He was by himself, looking lonely and out of place against
the sunny Hogwarts grounds. Ginny was about to call out a greeting when
she hesitated; she decided to leave him alone. After finding a seat at
the base of a large tree, she unsealed her latest letter from George.
It had arrived that morning along with Ron's mountain of Chocolate
Dear Terror, it began. Congratulations on
hexing Malfoy and evading death, etc., etc., but don't relax yet. The
worst is to come. To assist you, our protegee, we've come up with a few
suggestions for evading Mum's wrath, having only recently escaped
certain death ourselves. How do you feel about Mongolia...? Fred
reckons we can afford to send you...
"Who's that from?" Harry asked, sitting beside her.
was more than surprised to see him there; she was especially surprised
by the look of interest on Harry's face. Then again, he had looked
lonely out on the green, and Ron and Hermione were still stuck up in
the hospital wing. She had noticed that, when Harry did talk now, he
tended not to talk beyond their group. Maybe he really had been feeling
lonely, and she hadn't just assumed that her own feelings were his.
Are we a group now? she wondered.
she said. "My ridiculous brothers believe that my escaping to Mongolia
might prevent Mum from murdering me. She's livid about my going to the
Ministry." She looked away, suddenly remembering their argument just
before the flight to London.
She glanced at
him. Harry seemed to have remembered it as well. He looked a little
uncomfortable, but Ginny consoled herself that he wasn't thinking about
what had happened later.
"Well," she said cheerfully. "At least I understand why Hermione wasn't mad at my brother and you for excluding us."
seemed to relax a little, as though he realized that she was not about
to renew their argument; he looked at her, clearly curious. Ginny
waited out her dramatic pause.
"Why's that?" he prompted.
"She's jealous of Luna, of course." Ginny smiled at him.
It took a moment for Harry to get it, but when he did, he almost smiled.
Ginny continued, "Anyhow, the way that she muttered and made snide
utterances, I can think of no other reason. Hermione's usually pretty
magnanimous. She's friends with the lepers and House Elves, you know."
"Like you," Harry agreed.
Ginny felt her grin slip a little.
"No, I'm better. I'm
friends with Luna...even if she is a bit dot--"" She broke off
mid-sentence. White smoke chugged through Hagrid's smokestack. Ginny
smiled helplessly, glad to be relieved of another worry. "Hagrid's
Harry's head whipped around quickly. "He is?"
"Let's go," she said, watching him.
walked over silently. Ginny had a fair idea of where Harry's thoughts
had returned, but she was glad to have helped a little. Humor was
needed at times like these; the twins had understood that.
asked them to tea, but Harry declined, promising that he would return
some other time. When they had escaped from Hagrid's month-old toffee,
Ginny excused herself, sensing that Harry had had enough of people for
Later, Ginny sat in the hospital wing with Hermione
and talked quietly with her while Ron slept. Ginny lay curled at the
foot of Hermione's bed while Hermione sat propped up with pillows.
Ginny picked at a long wrinkle in the bedding. "Will he be all right?" she asked, thinking of her conversation with Harry.
"His scar tissue is still pretty inflamed. Madame Pomfrey said that thoughts leave among the deepest known scarring."
Ginny answered. Hermione's answer was a little unexpected. Ginny
supposed that Voldemort's thoughts must be more scarring than
others--she had cause to know--but Ginny hadn't been asking after
Harry's scarâ€"wasn't that a curse scar? It wasn't like Hermione to
confuse her details. Hoping to prod Hermione into explaining further,
Ginny opened her mouth and looked up.
She saw Hermione watching Ron.
closed her mouth and felt a little stupid. Hermione had meant Ron's
scars, the ones that he got from the brain. Why did Madame Pomfrey's
words still seem like they should apply to Harry's scar?
"Ron said that Dolohov killed your uncles," Hermione said.
Ginny took a moment to adjust her thoughts. "Do they know what curse he used?"
but Ron thinks it's the same one that he used on your Uncle Bilius --
the one who saw the grim." She added, in a whisper, as though afraid
that Ron would wake, "He said that he's glad I didn't die like your
Uncle Bilius did. Can you believe it?"
Ginny raised a brow. Ron wasn't even there; how would he know what curse was used? Then she laughed. Ron didn't know. He just wanted an excuse to say what he did. She laughed again and looked fondly at her brother's profile. Idiot. He doesn't need any excuse; Hermione is just a friend, isn't she? She giggled again.
froze when she realized what she was doing. "Oh, Hermione, I'm sorry! I
shouldn't be laughing now..." She put her face in her hands. "I'm an
insensitive idiot like my brother."
Hermione turned to face
her with a wistful smile on her face. "No, Ginny, it's fine. We need to
laugh." She lowered her voice. Her eyes were full of good humor. "You
should have been here earlier, when they brought Ron in. Madame Pomfrey
got that brain off of him, but he was still a bit barmy." A slight
smile came to her face. "Ron took one look at Umbridge and started
making clip-clopping noises. It took several people to keep her from
running out of the infirmary. We all laughed." She lowered her voice
further, and her brows drew together. "And, Ginny, you know that Sirius
would have laughed."
Ginny thought of Sirius singing the wrong
words to Christmas carols. He would have laughed, but that wasn't
enough to alleviate the pain she felt.
"Hermione, I wanted to help, but I just ended up injured."
expression was grim. "Me too," she said, which only made Ginny feel
like a bigger idiot. Almost all of them had been injured; it was
foolish to feel guilty about it. Besides, the true guilty party was
Voldemort for his deception.
Ginny pulled her knees to her chest and laid her head down.
"Do you remember how I said that Harry needed Cho?"
That's a silly question. Then, sighing, watching her brother's still face, "Yeah."
were great, actually." She seemed to struggle for her next words.
"You're a good friend to have. I think Harry will see that soon, if he
Ginny shrugged and craned her neck to see her
friend. "Maybe. Best best friend's kid sister to have, anyway." She
grinned. "Malfoy knows the truth, though." Still with her chin on her
knee, she pretended to brandish her wand. "I'm a dangerous opponent to
A chocolate frog landed square on her forehead.
"Dangerous to a person trying to sleep," Ron grumbled.