author's notes: An missing scene in Book IV, in the duration of pretty much the whole of Chapter 9 – The Dark Mark. Written in Ginny's perspective, and beginning during the after-game discussion by everyone who attended the World Cup. This is something I've been itching to write for a while, so please review!
And whilst the sun sleeps, The moon hanging overhead, Strange happenings are sure to come about.
"And, Ginny, you thought that Aidan Lynch was pretty cute, didn't you?" Fred asked, poking me in the ribs.
"FRED!" I squealed, and promptly turned bright red. The whole table laughed.
I couldn't believe it. I, Ginny Weasley, had just watched the World Cup! And, oh, it had been amazing!
…Well, except for the Bulgarian team mascots. I hate veela. And just looking at how they captivated Harry at first…Well, let's just say I'd positively die if he looked at me the way he was looking at them.
I wish I could look like a veela.
But, no matter. I don't, and I can't.
I happily teased Fred back, giggling like crazy. All of us were acting a little drunk that night – well, I suppose it was all the excitement.
"Absolutely not," Ron was saying to Hermione. "What are you, crazy? Ryan is a superb Keeper! That score Bulgaria made was a fluke!"
"Well, I think that there are several defensive Keeper mechanisms that-"
"Since when do you know anything about Quidditch, Hermione?" asked Harry, looking interested. I looked on as well, wondering the same thing.
Hermione blushed to the roots of her hair. "Well, I might have looked through Quidditch Through the Ages once or twice over the summer..."
"Ha!" said Ron triumphantly. "Sucked you in, hasn't it? You're just a die-hard Quidditch fan now, aren't you?"
"I am not, Ron Weasley," Hermione said. "I simply read the book for its educational value…"
"And you liked it, didn't you?"
Hermione blushed. "It wasn't horrible," she conceded. "But, oh, it could have been so much better! Chock full of grammar mistakes, and the diagrams were poorly drawn and-"
"HERMIONE!" both Harry and Ron bellowed, and I giggled.
"It's alright, Hermione," I said, smiling at her. "That book was a waste."
Hermione nodded, looking prim.
Next to me, Fred, George, and Bill were having a heated discussion on the techniques of the Beaters.
"We've got to try that ‘Bulgarian Bludger Pass' move," George said, sounding excited.
"Did you see how the Bludger went of Volkov's stick, ricocheted off Vulchanov's, and went and hit Quigley?!"
"It's a great move," Bill put in. "But they were a bit sloppy in their finish, I thought that…"
I took another sip of my steaming mug of hot cocoa, and yawned.
Here I am, surrounded by my happy friends and family, I thought to myself. Can life get any better?
I yawned again and stretched, keeping half an ear in all of the conversations. I was starting to feel quite tired—I'd been up since four that morning.
My eyelids were heavy, and I ached to close them. Just for one…second, I promised myself, as my eyes slid shut.
"Girls! Wake up!" I groggily heard Bill's voice shout.
I groaned. "Go away," I moaned. "It can't be morning yet."
"Ginny! Hermione!" came his voice again, sounding oddly tensed. "Wake up, dress, and come out here, quickly!"
I cracked an eye open, and saw Hermione, dressing hurriedly.
"What's going on?" I asked, my voice scratchy.
"There's something wrong," said Hermione frantically. "Something's happened. Can't you hear the screaming?"
Now that she mentioned it, I could. Horrible, awful, evil sounding screaming. Feeling panicked, I leapt out of bed, pulling the Muggle coat hurriedly over the boxers and tee shirt I'd slept in.
"Damn these coats!" I whispered, trying to get them up around my stomach. "Why do Muggle coats have to have so many buttons?"
Hermione shrugged, trying to struggle into a shirt.
I struggled to get the coat on. Giving up, I grabbed Hermione's hand, raced outside.
"What is it?" I asked, breathlessly, "What's going on?" I looked around, frantically.
Then I heard a gasp from Hermione, and turned in her direction. There were tents collapsing everywhere, and echoing screams played in my ears.
And then I saw them.
Large, hooded, cloaked figures, their wands out, taking menacing steps all over the field.
Death Eaters. I knew without a doubt—I'd heard about them all my life, and there they were, more than fifty off them, less than a hundred feet away from me.
"Hermione," I clutched at her, and she seemed to be speechless, looking up, of all directions.
I followed her gaze, and the minute I saw the sight she saw, I felt sick to my stomach.
"Oh, God," I whispered.
It was the campsite manager, being Levitated up off the ground by one of the hooded figures, and his family. His wife was screaming bloody murder, and his two children looked as if they were going to be sick. The man himself had a look of pure terror on his face.
I felt sick to my stomach.
They were being tossed around, like confetti, in the sky. The two little children began to scream for their mother.
"Mummy!" they screamed. "Mummy, help!"
"Betsy!" said the woman, reaching her arms out frantically to the girl. "Albert! Oh my God, my babies! Please don't hurt my babies! Dear Lord Jesus, save my babies!"
I clutched my stomach, looking at them being tossed around as if they were in a dryer.
"Help, please," the man screamed. "Dear lord, someone please, help us!"
The children were crying, and the wife seemed to be trying to swim through the air towards them.
I felt dizzy, and I started to stumble around. "Someone help them," I whispered.
"C'mon," said Fred, grabbing my hand. He started to pull me to the woods. "Dad, Bill, Charlie, and Percy have gone to help the Ministry," he called to me. "We've got to stay in the woods!"
Seeing my sick, scared expression, he squeezed my hand tighter.
"It'll be alright, Gin," said George, giving me an awkward pat on the back.
Usually, I resent my brothers' fierce protection of me. But never in my life had I been so glad to have one of my brothers' hands to hold. I clutched to Fred's hand tighter, and tried to manage a smile.
"What's happened?" I whispered, feeling like I was going to vomit.
"Death Eaters," said George, savagely. "They got hold of some poor Muggles and they're torturing them—you didn't see the worst, they were performing the Cruciatus Curse on them, and everything." Both he and Fred looked angry.
Suddenly, I knew I was going to be sick. Dropping Fred's hand, I ran to the bushes. I vomited into them, feeling like all my insides were coming out. And Fred and George were there, patting my back, telling me everything was going to be okay.
George held my hand, and Fred rubbed my back as I vomited more into the bushes. I had never felt so sick to my stomach in my entire life.
Finally, it stopped. I sat on the ground, feeling dizzy, spitting out the bad taste in my mouth.
"It's okay, Gin," said Fred, looking uncomfortable. George looked just as awkward.
"Yeah," I managed to choke out with a half-grin, "Yeah, it has to be."
"Hey, where are Ron, Harry, and Hermione?" asked George, looking around.
Panic again clutched my heart. "You don't think…" I asked Fred, who was looking around with a rather nervous expression as well. "I mean, they haven't…The Death Eaters wouldn't…"
I began to feel dizzy again.
"No, of course not, Gin," George reassured me. "They've all got heads on their shoulders; I'm sure they just lost us in the dark."
"Yeah," said Fred, as if to reassure himself as well as me, "Yeah, I'm sure they did."
Suddenly, Fred gasped. George and I both looked at him. "What?" I asked. He pointed, wordlessly, at the sky.
I looked up, and for the second time that evening, felt sick to my stomach. Up in the air, high above the trees, was an almost glowing green skull. Its expression was of depraved joy – the joy murderers feel after killings.
I didn't know what it was, but everything about it seemed to radiate evilness. I clutched George's arm.
"The Dark Mark," he explained to me, seeing my confused expression. "Bill said that Death Eaters used to send it up into the air after…after they'd killed someone."
I felt dizzy all over again.
"Not…not Harry?" I whispered, sinking slowly to the ground.
"Of course not, Gin," comforted Fred, sounding scared. I saw him give George a worried look, though.
"We'd better get back to the campsite," said George. "I don't hear anymore screaming."
I closed my eyes momentarily, and took a few dizzy steps.
"Why don't you let me carry you, Gin?" asked George. "You look about ready to faint."
I was ready to faint. I couldn't get my brain off the fact that Harry, Ron, or Hermione might be dead. Or the campsite manager and his family. Or my father and brothers.
Without waiting for an answer, George scooped me into his arms, and we walked through the forest. Once we reached the tent, Bill, Charlie, and Percy ran out to meet us.
"Ginny!" Bill called. "Are you alright?"
"Yeah, I'm fine, thanks for asking," Fred muttered sarcastically.
"I'm fine," I told Bill. George put me down, and I took a few wobbly steps. "I'm just not feeling that well."
"You should lie down," said Bill, giving me a once over.
"No," I said, vehemently. "Bill, is Hermione in there? And Harry? And…and Ron?"
Please, please say yes, I thought. Please say that of course they're in there, where else would they be?
"No, Gin," said Bill, sounding worried. "We thought they were with you."
I almost cried, I was that exhausted and worried.
"You're bleeding," said Fred to Bill, worriedly. I looked at Bill's arm, bleeding profusely.
"Oh my God," I whispered. "Are you alright?"
"Fine," said Bill, waving his arm, and wincing. "Could be much worse."
I let myself be helped inside.
"George, go get Bill a bed sheet to put on that cut," I ordered him. I was genuinely worried for Bill, who looked like he was bleeding a lot.
I saw Charlie with a rip on his shirt, and Percy with a bloodied nose. "Perce, lean your head back, and hold a handkerchief up to that," I told him. "And Charlie, for goodness sakes', put on another shirt. Honestly, you men."
"Yep, she's Mum's daughter alright," laughed Charlie, as George and Percy complied.
On the outside, I appeared perfectly calm, tending to my brothers. But on the inside, I was dying. Where was Harry? And Ron? And Hermione?
"Maybe I should go out and look for them," I said, after a spell of silence.
"Uh, how about no?" said Fred, standing up as well. "There are Death Eaters out there, Gin. I'll go."
"Are you crazy?" asked Bill, wearily. "You haven't even finished Hogwarts! I'm the oldest, and I'll go look for them."
"Now, really," said Percy, "Dad told us to stay here, and-"
"Shut up!" Charlie hissed. "I think I see them."
He poked his head out of the tent. "Dad, what's going on?" he called. "Fred, George, and Ginny got back okay, but the others-"
And then, to my relief, I heard my father's voice: "I've got them here."
When Harry, Ron, and Hermione walked into the tent, I just wanted to kiss them for being alive.
"Ginny, you should go to bed," said George, bossily, as Bill and Charlie talked to Dad.
"You should," said Ron. "You look pale."
"I'll just stretch out here," I told them, lying on the living room rug. I tried to clear the images that were flying through my brain, but no avail.
The conversation all of them were having floated around me, and after hours, I finally fell into a sleep filled with nightmares of that child of the campsite manager, screaming out for her mother.