When Ginny awoke, everything had changed. The last thing she remembered, she had been outside fighting off Death Eaters… Hermione had been Stunned, she had been trying to get her away from the manor and then … nothing. Now, Ginny found herself sitting in a kitchen. Have I been captured?Where’s Adam? Where’s Hermione?
What in Merlin’s name happened? Ginny wondered. Then, she felt a surge of panic. I can’t move!
Ginny tried furiously to move her arms and legs, but to no avail: she was tied to whatever it was she was sitting on.
“Oh!” a voice cried in delight. “She’s awake!”
Ginny froze, a feeling of dread washing over her. That voice… it was Bellatrix Lestrange.
Ginny looked around the room and saw Lestrange perched on one of the large, ornate sideboards on the far side of the kitchen, twirling a wand in her hand.
“So…” she paused, hopping off the sideboard and crossing the room towards her. “Ginevra. I hope you are you enjoying yourself. I know I am… or rather, I soon will be.”
Lestrange approached her almost casually, and ran her hand over Ginny’s face, causing her to shudder.
“So,” Lestrange began sweetly, “Ginny, would you tell me why you came here today?”
Ginny shook her head and snapped, “What have you done with Adam and Hermione?”
Lestrange chuckled in response. “Potter is quite safe; he is being saved for the Dark Lord… In fact,” she paused, as if silently mocking Ginny’s current situation, “I think it’s about time I called him.”
Ginny watched, involuntarily gasping as Lestrange pulled back her sleeve and pressed her finger to the Dark Mark that was seared upon her arm.
“Now,” Lestrange said, the tone of her voice changing and becoming far more dangerous. “Why did you come here today?”
“I’m not telling you anything until I can see Adam!” Ginny responded, trying desperately to keep her voice even as she stalled, attempting to buy some time for some method of escape to present itself.
“Stop wasting my time!” Lestrange snapped. “Crucio!”
Ginny screamed as pain overtook her body, her restrained limbs thrashed vainly against the ropes that bound her, but then, a few seconds later, the pain receded.
Ginny blinked her eyes and looked dazedly around the room; she was vaguely aware of Lestrange laughing at her, but everything still seemed fuzzy.
Adam had confided in her about his time in captivity and she knew from him that the Cruciatus Curse was terrible, but what she had just felt as far worse than she could ever have imaged. Oh, Adam. Ginny despaired. How did you survive weeks of this?
“I’ll ask you again,” Lestrange continued. “Why did you come here? What are you after?”
“Screw you!” Ginny spat venomously.
In response, Lestrange cast her spell again, only this time, the pain was worse than before. It felt as if every nerve in Ginny’s body was burning.
“I’m…” Ginny gasped, as she slumped forward in the chair once Lestrange released her from the spell. “I’m not telling you anything!”
“Oh, well,” Lestrange said casually, as she raised her wand.
“NOOOOOO!!” Ginny shouted, but her shout turned into a scream, as pain once again engulfed her and she writhed and screamed on the chair.
When Ginny became aware of her surrounds again, she noticed that there was now a second Death Eater in the room. Letting her head hang limply in the hope that Lestrange wouldn’t realise she was conscious, Ginny peeked out from under strands of her hair that had fallen over her face.
“No sign of how they got in…” the Death Eater said to Lestrange. “The gates are secure and I have posted two guards there.”
“No sign!” Lestrange shrieked. “There could be more of them for all we know! Did you search the entire grounds?”
“N-N-No…” the Death Eater stammered. “We don’t have enough men, I…”
“You fool!” Lestrange snarled. “The Dark Lord himself is on his way here and our defences are lax! Do you think he will be as forgiving as I am when he asks these questions and you have no answers?” She paused and paced back and forward several times. “I will sort this out myself.” She paused again. “Oh, she’s awake!”
Lestrange crossed the room towards Ginny. “Changed your mind yet?” she asked bluntly and, when Ginny didn’t respond, she stepped back and tutted. “A shame.”
Then Ginny was blasted once again by the Cruciatus Curse. This time, however, it was far worse than any of the previous times and she screamed and writhed in the chair. As the curse continued, Ginny felt her awareness of the outside world beginning to recede. She felt a strange impact with the side of her head and then everything went black.
When Ginny regained consciousness, her head was thumping.
“Oohh,” she moaned half heartedly. Her entire body hurt; it was like a tremendous biting ache was gnawing at every muscle in her body.
“Shut it,” a gruff voice said.
At the sound of a voice other than Lestrange’s, Ginny opened her eyes slowly and suddenly realised that she was no longer sitting on the chair. Instead, she was now lying on the floor, still tied to the chair.
I must have toppled over!
Slowly and carefully so not to attract attention, Ginny tried to move her arms and legs and she found, much to her joy, that her arms could now move independently of the arms of the chair to which they had been tied.
The chair must have broken in the fall! Ginny realised excitedly. I can use this to escape. I just need to wait for the Death Eater to be distracted.
Ginny waited patiently, and the Death Eater seemed completely happy to ignore the fact that she was lying on the floor. A few minutes later, Ginny had her chance. There was a crash and the sound of spell-fire from further inside the house and Ginny watched as the Death Eater leapt into action and charged towards the sound.
Once Ginny saw him disappear through the door, she acted, pumping her muscles in a desperate attempt to free herself from the chair. A few seconds later she had freed both of her hands, although her right hand was still bound to the shattered lump of wood that had once been the arm of the chair. Next, with a solid kick, Ginny was able to break the bar that joined the legs of the chair.
Yes! Ginny thought triumphantly. Her feet were now free, but still tied together and still tied to a wooden bar.
Taking stock of her situation, Ginny realised that she now probably didn’t have long before being discovered, but there was also no way she could escape with her feet tied together and various bits of chair still tied to her limbs. So, looking around for somewhere to hide, Ginny half crawled across the floor to the far side of the kitchen and the large sideboard that stood there.
Once she reached the large oaken piece of furniture, Ginny pulled open one of the doors and slid herself inside, smashing a load of crockery in the process, so she was lying flat on the bottom shelf. Once she was inside, she pulled the door closed and immediately set to work on freeing her feet and hands.
However, less than a minute after she entered the cupboard, Ginny heard a noise. She heard several sets of footsteps walk across the wooden floor of the kitchen and then a conversation that was just a little too quiet for her to make out the voices. Then, she heard more footsteps and Ginny held her breath in anticipation as she desperately tried to figure out what was happening in the kitchen.
As she waited, she heard someone pacing around the kitchen. Whoever it was even came close enough for Ginny to hear them tapping their fingers on the top of the sideboard.
Then, what felt like an age later, she heard several other sets of the footsteps enter the kitchen and some more hushed conversations. Ginny waited apprehensively in the sideboard, expecting to be discovered at any second.
Surely they can’t be this stupid? Ginny thought. Did they think I’ve run for it? Why didn’t they check the sideboard?
As Ginny waited, she continued to listen, trying to make out the conversation. The most she could tell was that one of them was male, and two of them were female. After a few more minutes of anxious waiting, sounds broke out in the room again. Someone practically ran through the kitchen and once more conversation broke out.
Then someone screamed.
“Run! Just run!” a voice shouted, and Ginny felt her breath hitch in her throat. It was Adam… Adam had been in the room all along.
“Into the garden!” Ginny now heard Bellatrix Lestrange shrieking. “If they get away, our lives are forfeit!”
Further feet pounded through the kitchen, and Ginny heard the sound of a door slamming. Then, there was silence.
She waited, counting the seconds under her breath. Once three minutes had passed and there had been no further sound, she again set to work freeing her arms and legs. Once she was completely free, Ginny slipped out of the sideboard into the now empty kitchen.
Getting to her feet, and stretching out the kinks in her muscles, Ginny crept cautiously towards the door and peered out into the garden. All she could make out through the dark was a number of cloaked figures that seemed to be moving away from the house towards the main gates.
Treading cautiously, so not to make any undue noise, Ginny set off across the garden, knowing that she was extremely vulnerably without a wand. The wand problem, however, was soon solved as she came across several Stunned Death Eaters and promptly liberated one of their wands.
Now that she was armed, Ginny continued across the garden at a quicker pace but, when she saw flashes coming from the group of cloaked figures that were barely visible in the dark, she broke into a sprint. Adam was fighting! He would need her help!
Ginny tore across the garden, focused solely on getting to Adam, but just as she was getting close, she slammed into what felt like a solid wall of cold so intense it nearly knocked her off her feet.
No… Ginny thought weakly, coming to an immediate stop and struggling to force herself forward. Not Dementors!
Ginny hated Dementors… but she had to continue. She had to get out of here, she had to get to Adam.
Using all of her willpower, Ginny continued forward, gripping her borrowed wand tightly in her right hand. The Dementors were drifting away from her at speed, as if they were chasing something.
Then, as she began to close on the Dementors, she saw a flash of silver. A Patronus… Prongs! Adam was there, he was fighting off the Dementors!
Acting immediately, Ginny conjured up images of herself and Adam together over the years and she let herself savour in the love that she felt for him.
“Expecto Patronum!” Ginny cried and her Patronus surged out of the end of her wand.
As the Patronus charged towards the Dementors, Ginny just stared in open-mouthed amazement. Her Patronus had changed. Gone was her horse and in its place there was a… it was a doe.
“My Patronus… just like Adam’s,” Ginny mumbled to herself, as she watched the doe battle off the Dementors. Hers did look almost exactly like a female version of Adam’s. It’s almost as if they’re mates, Ginny thought, suddenly blushing. Well… that is about right, but why did mine have to change? Couldn’t his change into a horse?
The two battling deer forced a gap into the crowd of Dementors and Ginny saw him. Adam was standing on the far side of the swarm of Dementors and, despite the distance between them, their eyes met.
Adam waved frantically at her, signalling her to try get to him. Ginny paused for a second, not particularly keen on racing through the Dementors unless she had to, but then she saw the reason Adam was signalling her, behind him, just barely visible in the dark, were the gates.
Her way out was through the Dementors!
Steeling herself, Ginny set off at a run, charging directly towards Adam and summoning her new Patronus in the process. As she ran, she saw Prongs and her own Patronus ahead of her, clearing a path.
Once she entered the swarm of Dementors, the Patronuses were immediately at her side, acting as her silvery escorts from the evil of the Dementors.
Then, suddenly, without warning, Prongs flickered and disappeared and Ginny felt the biting cold despair of the Dementors seep into her very being, slowing her down and making her sluggish. Then, just as she thought things couldn’t get any worse, her Patronus vanished.
“Expecto Patronum!” Ginny screamed, as each step forward became a battle as if she was fighting against a storm of horror.
Ginny slowed even further. “EXPECTO PATRONUM!” she screamed, vainly trying to conjure an image of Adam.
Once again nothing happened, but still, Ginny tried to continue forward.
Why had Adam abandoned her? Why hadn’t he come to save her?
With a whimper, Ginny felt herself fall to the ground, but she didn’t care anymore. Her strength faded. Adam had obviously abandoned her. He didn’t care anymore.
Then, suddenly Ginny felt a hand on her shoulder.
Adam! she realised with joy and moved her position so that she could see him. However, what she saw only made her scream: a hooded figure, its face growing ever closer to her. It raised a second hand, this one went around her other shoulder and began to pick her up.
As her feet left the ground, Ginny realised the deadly peril she was in and she suddenly felt her entire body fill with energy. She had to get away! She had to get out of here!
Ginny kicked, screamed and tried to punch with her arms, but the Dementor’s grip was excruciatingly tight and it didn’t even seem to feel any pain as her legs kicked against it.
Then its face was against her and she heard a terrifying sucking sound.
No no no no! Ginny panicked. It was going to take her soul! No no no no no! Adam, Mum, Dad, save me! Someone save me! I don’t want to die!
Someone… please… anyone…
Then, her thoughts were interrupted by pain. Pain unlike anything she had encountered before, it was even worse than the Cruciatus Curse. It felt as if someone had placed a pair of hooks inside her body and was slowly dragging her insides towards her mouth.
Ginny felt herself fading as the two hooks, one now slightly in front of the other, neared her head and, as the first one seemed to leave her body, she realised that this was it. She was going to die.
Her eyes flew open and she saw a ball of green light floating into the Dementor’s mouth, causing the Dementor to emit a harrowing scream. Adam!! she screamed silently, trying to conjure an image of him, in one final plea for survival. Then, the second ball reached her mouth, and Ginny knew she would die.
Ginny had expected everything to go black, and for her to cease to exist. That didn’t happen, but everything had changed.
Ginny felt light, it was as if she was floating. Everything felt distant, but yet close at the same time. She couldn’t see anything, but that didn’t seem to matter because she could sense things near her.
She could feel large collections pain and suffering floating around near her. One, in particular, seemed to be floating away from her rapidly, this one felt familiar, as if some part of it had been a presence in her life for years.
She could also feel other, more singular entities, also floating near her, and they seemed to have more variety as to how they felt. There were some that felt like sadness and grief, and some that felt… dark and evil.
All of these feelings washed over Ginny as she floated there but, while these other feelings that were near her seemed to be able to move around, Ginny could not.
So Ginny floated, but with no sensory input other than the sense of these feelings floating around her, it was impossible to know how long she waited.
Then Ginny felt a tug, and she started to move, but it wasn’t as if she was moving herself. In fact, it was more like she was being towed along by some outside force, a force that was gradually pulling her closer all the time. As she moved, Ginny was aware that she was getting further and further away from the pain and suffering, but she was getting gradually closer to the evil feelings. In fact, one of them seemed to be very close.
Soon, she stopped floating and, once again, she was hanging there, motionless. The only thing she could sense now was one feeling of evil, but it was now tinged with some other emotion that she couldn’t quite figure out. Then, Ginny was being pulled once again, this time downwards, like water being drained from a bath. Down and down she spiralled, completely unable to resist the unrelenting pull.
Suddenly, everything tingled and she could almost feel her body again. Then, everything around her seemed to twist, and Ginny felt a stretching sensation that was rather similar to Apparition and, quite suddenly, she could see again.
I’m back in my body! Ginny thought, but then, before she could even begin to try to comprehend what had just happened, she felt someone touching her.
Ginny bolted upright and came face to face with a man she didn’t know. The man had on black robes, that meant he was a Death Eater… a Death Eater had his hands on her!
Acting completely on instinct, Ginny kicked, taking the Death Eater completely by surprise. Her kick impacted with the Death Eater’s head and he crumpled to the floor.
“WHAT WERE YOU DOING!?” Ginny screamed at the Death Eater, kicking him again, despite the fact he was unconscious. “WHAT WERE YOU GOING TO DO!?”
She felt absolutely sick. He must have thought her body no longer had a soul… so… Ginny couldn’t think about it. It was just too horrible to think about.
Ginny paced the room several times, trying to clear her head and to understand what had happened to her.
She had somehow survived a Dementor’s Kiss. She had never heard of anyone surviving a Dementor’s Kiss before.
Mind, Ginny thought, my boyfriend has survived a Killing Curse and that had never happened before, either.
So, Ginny continued to think, running through what she remembered before she returned to her body, trying to work out what had happened, the Dementor Kissed me, but somehow it didn’t actually take my soul, it only made it leave my body for a while, but my soul eventually found its way back… and just in time, too, she finished, staring with hatred at the Death Eater and feeling sorely tempted to cross the room and give him another good kick.
Having come up with the best possible explanation she could for now, Ginny looked around the room she was in. It seemed to be some sort of small sitting room with a fireplace. It was richly carpeted and furnished with several lavishly decorated chairs.
Okay, Ginny, she thought, pausing in the centre of the room, still trying to take everything in, you need to come up with a plan. You need to get out of here and get back to Adam.
The first thing Ginny realised was that she needed a wand. So, she crossed the room and relieved the Death Eater of his and, for the first time, she took a look at him. What she saw shocked her; he was young, probably only about the same as age as Percy. How could someone so young be so evil?
Immediately feeling better now she had a wand, Ginny fired a Stunner into the man and, conjuring ropes, she tied him up, but even before she had finished tying him up, there was a knock on the door.
“Smith!” a voice from outside the door said. “Finish up in there, they want you downstairs…” The voice paused, waiting for an answer.
Ginny stood there, frozen in shock. She couldn’t believe that she’d been discovered so soon.
“Smith?” the voice said again. “Are you in there?”
Ginny knew that she only had seconds before the man entered the room, so she gripped her wand tightly, ready to Stun him as soon as he came in. Then, she had another idea and so, muffling her mouth with her hand and trying to make her voice sound as deep as possible she replied.
“Just a minute!”
“Smith?” the voice replied.
“Just a minute, I said,” Ginny replied, trying to make her voice louder without making it shrill.
“Okay, okay!” the voice replied, and Ginny felt a surge of triumph. “I can hear you. I’ll wait out here in the corridor. It’s all gone to hell downstairs anyway.”
Hopeful that she had at least bought a few minutes to come up with a plan, Ginny looked around the room frantically for ideas. Crossing to the window, she looked outside, trying to make out how easy it would be for her to escape through it but, as she looked out of the window, Ginny realised that she wouldn’t be getting out that way. She was on at least the third or fourth floor, and even in the dark, she could see cloaked figures patrolling the grounds.
I can’t fight my way out of the house and past all of these Death Eaters on my own! Ginny thought in desperation. So, what can I do?
Then, her eyes settled on the crumpled form of the Death Eater on the floor. I wonder… she thought.
Ginny quickly crossed the room and started removing the robes from the Death Eater. Thankfully, he had other clothes on underneath, so Ginny took the black robes, his boots and mask off him and started to put them on herself.
Finally, after a few minutes of fiddling around, shortening the robes slightly, struggling to secure the overlarge boots and, finally, hiding the man’s body as best as she could in the fireplace, Ginny was dressed as a Death Eater.
This won’t fool anyone! Ginny suddenly realised. I’m a good few inches shorter than him! she paused. Come on, Ginny. This is your best chance to get out of here.You can do this!
So, tucking her hair firmly behind her head to ensure it wasn’t visible, Ginny raised the hood, put on the man’s mask and walked over to the door.
Then, taking a deep breath and gripped her wand just in case, Ginny opened the door and stepped outside onto the landing.
“Finally!” another cloaked Death Eater said, rising from where he was sitting on the chair, then he chuckled. “But then, I don’t blame you. It’s all gone to hell downstairs. The Dark Lord arrived and is treating Lestrange and Malfoy to the business end of his wand.”
Ginny froze in horror. Voldemort was here!
“Anyway,” the other man said, taking a pace towards her and holding out a black-gloved hand, “I’m Jugson.”
Ginny paused for just a second, trying to take in what had just happened. The man, Jugson, didn’t suspect anything because he didn’t know the Death Eater Ginny was pretending to be!
Ginny, realising she had to act before he became suspicious, held out her similarly gloved hand and tried to give him the manliest handshake she could muster.
“I’m Smith,” Ginny replied, trying to keep her voice low and gruff.
“Well,” Jugson continued, “you wanna go back downstairs, or hide around here?”
“Er…” Ginny paused, unsure if this could be a test or not.
“We’re probably better off up here, anyway. Apparently, Potter escaped and took something valuable with him. So I’m going to stay out of the way until the Dark Lord’s finished taking out his temper on the bosses.”
“What was that?” a new voice said, and Ginny had to stop herself recoiling in horror as Lucius Malfoy climbed the stairs towards them. “Trying to hide away up here and avoid all the work, eh?”
“No, boss!” Jugson quickly replied. “We were…”
“Save it, Jugson,” Malfoy said, scorn obvious in his voice. “I don’t want to waste my time with the likes of you.” Then he paused, turning to face Ginny, and asked, “Who are you?”
“Smith,” Ginny replied, deciding that it was far better to keep her answers short.
Malfoy paused for a second. “Oh, yes. I remember you now. Don’t you have a relative in my son’s year at Hogwarts?” he smirked. “A Hufflepuff, by all accounts, if I remember correctly.”
“Yeah,” Ginny grunted. “My nephew,” she said, rapidly trying to come up with something to say to Malfoy. “Wanted him to be in Slytherin, but…”
“Ah, don’t we all!” Malfoy replied, suddenly sounding jovial. “Of course, Draco had no trouble with his Sorting, but I guess all families can’t keep the same pedigree.” Then his expression hardened. “You two are to go to Hogwarts. The Dark Lord knows that is where Potter is going next.”
“Hogwarts… at this time of night!” Jugson exclaimed.
“You are complaining?” Malfoy snapped, all pretence of friendliness gone.
“No!” Jugson quickly stammered. “No!”
“Very good,” Malfoy replied. “Now, get moving.”
Then, without any further pleasantries, Malfoy turned on the spot and strode off down the stairs.
Jugson sighed. “Let’s go then,” he said and then muttered under his breath, “Babysitting a bunch of bloody kids.”
The two of them began a trek through Malfoy Manor. As they walked, Ginny allowed Jugson to lead, as she wasn’t actually sure where they are were going. On their way back through the large house, Ginny walked through the kitchen where she had been tortured earlier, only now it had several Death Eaters in it eating and drinking. As she walked through the room, Ginny felt her breath hitch in her throat when the eyes of Death Eaters all turned briefly to her but, as she continued walking, they ignored her, assuming that she was one of them.
They walked through the now pitch-black grounds, towards the gate and, when they reached it, Ginny hesitated for a second, forcing Jugson to open the gate and earning her a funny look.
Once outside the gates, Jugson paused on the path, and Ginny suddenly realised he was about to Apparate away.
This is it! Ginny thought. I can just Apparate away now!I can meet up with Adam! She paused. But what if Adam has gone to Hogwarts? We’ve been trying to figure out a way to get into the school for weeks, and this may be my only chance of getting into the school.
“Wait!” she called, flinching when she realised how high-pitched her voice sounded. “Where are you Apparating to?”
Jugson stared at her. “Are you serious?” he snapped, glaring at her. “We Apparate to the school gates.”
Ginny nodded back at him, and, before she ended up making him anymore suspicious, she visualised the gates of Hogwarts and, turning on the spot, she disappeared with a pop.
As soon as she reappeared at Hogwarts, a high-pitched shriek filled the air around her, causing her to jump violently and immediately spin around, searching for the source of the noise. With no sign of the thing that was making the horrible clamour, Ginny grabbed her wand and stood ready to defend herself.
When there was a loud pop from nearby, Ginny spun around yet again, this time coming face to face with Jugson.
“Cancel the Charm!” Jugson roared at her, then he waved his wand and the noise ceased. “What the hell are you playing at?” he shouted at her. “Why did you set it off? It’s supposed to ignore us…” Then he paused and stared at her.
Ginny felt her stomach drop and she gripped her wand. He was getting suspicious.
“The Charm is supposed to ignore people bearing the Dark Mark,” Jugson said dangerously, pointing his wand at her. “Show me your Mark.”
Ginny froze, trying to decide what to do. Should she just Stun him? But if she did that, then there was no way she could get into the school.
If Adam was coming here, this was where she needed to be. They had been struggling for weeks to figure out how they could sneak into the school; if only she could think of a way to convince Jugson that she was a Death Eater, she would be able to sneak in and be in the best position possible to help Adam! Within a second, Ginny had decided what she had to do. Now that she thought about it, she didn’t need to convince him.
“Imperio!” she shouted.
The Imperius Curse was the strangest feeling Ginny had ever felt. It was as if an invisible thread suddenly joined her brain and Jugson’s. She could see the thoughts flowing through his mind, like the voice of a singer coming through the Wizarding Wireless.
Carry on as normal. I am a Death Eater. I am Smith. Open the gate and lead me up to the school, Ginny inserted into the man’s thoughts, and immediately he walked over to the school gates and raised his arm.
Apparently, the enchantments on the school had been changed to recognise the Dark Mark as some sort of key because immediately the gates to the school creaked open.
Acting almost as if he was on auto-pilot, Jugson, with Ginny following him, walked towards the school. Ginny was amazed at the power of the Imperius Curse; she had expected it would be like Jugson was her puppet, but it wasn’t. He was continuing to act independently, except that he now listened to her orders and took what she said as absolute fact.
Hop! Ginny thought in the direction of Jugson, and she noticed with satisfaction that the Death Eater hopped once as he walked up towards the school.
Ginny couldn’t help but grin at this. If she could just keep Jugson under control, she might be able to stay undercover long enough to help Adam… assuming Voldemort was right, and he was actually coming here. That thought made Ginny pause. What if Adam didn’t come? She could have just Apparated to where they had left the tent… No! Ginny corrected herself. They had to defeat Voldemort, and right now, she was in the best possible position to try and find the final Horcrux, assuming that Adam had managed to get the one from Malfoy Manor.
Tell me what our job here will be? Ginny commanded Jugson.
“We must watch the students,” Jugson replied in a deadpan voice. “Make sure there is no trouble, and intervene if there is. Unfortunately, Snape is adamant that we do no permanently damage to any of them.”
Ginny shuddered at the thought of Death Eaters punishing the students and, for the first time, she actually thought about what it must be like to have been at Hogwarts with Snape in charge. Still, Ginny thought, while I’m here, I may be able to help the students as well as Adam.
Adam February 24th 1998
When Adam awoke, he was lying on his back on something soft. He opened his eyes and looked around. He was in his bedroom in the tent.
Then, suddenly, everything came crashing down around him. He remembered the trip to Malfoy Manor, he remembered their capture and escape… he remembered.
Adam felt tears welling up in his eyes as his mind replayed the Dementor’s Kiss. He saw the Dementor clamp its mouth over Ginny’s face. He saw Ginny struggling, and he saw Ginny’s body flop limply as the Dementor sucked out her soul.
Ginny was gone.
Adam turned over and buried his face in his pillow, trying to make the pain go away.
Ginny was gone, and he hadn’t been able to save her! He had failed her.
He lay there for a long time, crying, or just staring blankly into his pillow, feeling at a complete loss for what to do. He felt empty. Like half of him had been cut away.
Then, eventually, something occurred to Adam through the haze of grief. His last memory was of him trying to get to Ginny, so how had he ended up back at the tent?
Hermione! Hermione or Luna must have done something. If he had reached Ginny, maybe he could have done something.
So, determined to find out what exactly had happened last night, and because he felt a sudden call of nature, Adam dragged himself out of bed and walked slowly into the main area of the tent, which was lit by the early morning sunshine pouring in through the open flap.
There was only one person in there, but it wasn’t the person he wanted to see more than anything in world. It was Hermione.
“Hermione,” Adam said, his voice coming out as a rasp.
“Harry!” Hermione exclaimed, turning around on the sofa so she was facing him. “How… how are you feeling?”
“What happened?” Adam asked bluntly. “How did I get here?”
“I…” Hermione stammered, and only then did Adam notice that her face was stained with tears. “I brought you.”
“The last thing I remember was trying to get to Ginny,” Adam said in a dull voice. “What happened?”
Hermione froze. “I…” she began, “I Stunned you…” Her voice trailed away. “We… we had to get out of there.”
“You…” Adam said. “You Stunned me?”
Hermione only nodded in response. “You…” she choked back a sob, “you wouldn’t leave. I… I had to…”
“Damn right I wouldn’t leave!” Adam snapped. “I was trying to save Ginny!”
“Adam, no!” Hermione cried, leaping to her feet. “I…” she choked again. “I saw the Dementor Kiss her! She was gone!”
“I STILL COULD HAVE DONE SOMETHING!” Adam snarled.
Hermione was now in tears. “When a Dementor Kisses a person, it takes their soul; all that is left is an empty body,” she explained tearfully. “If you’d have got there, it wouldn’t have been Ginny, just… a body.”
“I know what a Dementor’s Kiss does, Hermione,” Adam said derisively. “I still…” he faltered. “I was supposed to protect her… she was my…” His voice broke and he felt himself slumping to the floor.
Within a second, Hermione was at his side and she put her arm around him.
“I love her, Hermione,” Adam said despairingly. “I love her and I couldn’t protect her. What use am I?”
“Harry,” Hermione said weakly, “there was nothing you could have done…”
“I don’t know if I can go on without her,” Adam continued, rambling. “I need her. I can’t do it on my own. “
“Do what, Harry?”
“I…” Adam hesitated, “I have to beat him, Hermione.”
Adam nodded numbly. How can I beat Voldemort without Ginny’s help? That thought made him jump. The whole reason they had broken into Malfoy Manor in the first place was to get Hufflepuff’s Cup. The Cup! Where was it?
Adam leapt to his feet and dashed back into his bedroom to find the overcoat he had worn last night. There, in one of the pockets, was the small Horcrux Cup.
He had two of the Horcruxes now, and with two already destroyed, plus Nagini, it only left him one more to find. There was only one place left to look.
Adam dashed across the tent, passing a now completely bewildered Hermione, and entered Ginny’s area of the tent. He rummaged around in the drawer that she kept her clothes in until his fingers closed around a hard object. Pulling his hand back, he withdrew the locket.
Then the scent hit him… and Adam’s world came crashing down around him once more. His hand smelled like Ginny.
Allowing himself to sink down onto her bed, he rummaged around before withdrawing Ginny’s favourite jumper and holding it tightly against him. The jumper was the one her mother had knitted her the year the Death Eaters had attacked The Burrow. She loved it because it reminded her of home.
As he sat there, Adam cuddled up against the jumper, inhaling its heavenly scent. He looked up briefly to find Hermione standing at the door of the bedroom, staring at him.
“I…” he began, but soon stopped, finding that he just couldn’t continue.
“I’ll…” Hermione began hesitantly, “I’ll leave you alone.” She paused, half turning to leave the room. “I miss her, too, you know.”
Adam could only nod numbly in response, but, as Hermione left, he felt a new sense of determination form within him.
He would find all of the Horcruxes — for Ginny.
He would defeat Voldemort — for Ginny.
The only place they still had to search for the final Horcrux was Hogwarts. He would go there.
The prophecy had said, ‘and either must die at the hand of the other’, and even though he had put it out of his mind as much as possible, Adam had secretly feared he would die at Voldemort’s hand, but now that prospect didn’t seem so terrifying anymore.