A Call To Arms

By MyDearProfMcGonagall

Fantasy / Action

Escape from the Burrow

“MUM! DAD! WHERE ARE YOU? GINNY?”

With a startled yelp, Ginny sat up on the couch to see Bill racing through the kitchen doorway.

“Get up, Ginny, get up and grab some things!” he shouted at her, already halfway up the stairs. Ginny looked sleepily at the clock, only half-awake; it was past four in the morning. “GET UP, GINNY!”

“Bill, what is it?” Dad appeared on an upper landing, Mum at his side.

“No time—Dad, you’ve got to get out of here, I don’t know how long—” Bill looked down at his watch. “Come on, please, trust me, I’ve got to get you to Muriel’s!”

“Muriel’s?” Ginny repeated.

Bill let out a roar of frustration, frightening all of them. “I can’t explain now, you’ve got to get going! Get Errol, get some clothes, and I’ve got to take you, now!”

“Bill, what’s happened?” Ginny demanded, her eyes full of tears. It was a strange sight. Bill was halfway up the stairs. Mum and Dad stood together on the top floor, and Ginny stood frozen at the bottom.

“They’ve found Harry,” Bill said urgently. Ginny was deeply scared—Bill, of all her brothers, was never frightened like this. “He’s safe, but Ron was with them, and any minute they’re going to break the enchantments and come through that door!”

Mum looked ready to faint, but sprang into action. “Arthur, get the owl and get Ginny packed!”

Ginny bounded up the stairs. Bill dashed down past her, and she wondered briefly where he was going; then, she realized he was going outside, to defend the house from whoever was going to come and get them. The sight made her sick to her stomach. What if—?

“Ginny, come on!” Dad barked, and she hurried after him into her bedroom, where he was already sending a few stray clothes and books into her trunk with sweeps of his wand. Ginny picked up Arnold’s cage and flicked her own wand, locking the trunk.

Dad shot one more spell at it, which made it glow violet for a moment—when Ginny went to pick it up, it was nearly weightless and a thousand times easier to carry.

“Do not move from this room until your mother and I come to get you,” Dad ordered. “If you hear anything, hide, and if it’s safe, run. I mean it, Ginny.”

She nodded once.

“I’m going to go and help your mother.”

With a swift kiss to her forehead, Dad disappeared, shutting the door behind him. Arnold was squeaking shrilly, and Ginny tried to comfort him. She strained her ears, listening carefully for any sounds. Both of her parents were running around overhead, she could hear two sets of footsteps. She was sure that Bill would yell if anyone broke the enchantments, unless…no, it was too horrible…

Her bedroom door banged open, and Ginny jumped so violently she dropped Arnold’s cage. Mum appeared, and Ginny could just see Dad out on the landing, carrying two bags and Errol’s cage down the stairs.

“Come on, Ginny,” Mum said urgently. “Let’s go.”

Ginny obeyed, following her father down the stairs, her trunk bouncing along behind her. “Mum, what—?” Her mother had stopped at the top of the stairs, and was sealing the doors to all the rooms that she could reach. “Mum, come on!”

“That’s not going to hold them out, Molly!” Dad called. “We’ve got to leave, now!”

“DAD!”

Bill’s cry from the garden filled Ginny with chilling fear; Death Eaters—Ministry workers—it was impossible to know the difference, now, but they had arrived.

Dad dropped the bags and cage he was holding, drawing his wand in one movement. “Take Ginny and go! Bill and I will join you!”

“Arthur!” Mum screamed, and Ginny ran after him. “Ginny, no!

It was the first time in her memory that Ginny could remember her mother using a spell against her. The Impediment Jinx collided with her, and she was knocked backwards. Mum was dashing down the stairs.

“Mum, I can help them!” Ginny insisted, rubbing her aching side. “Please, let me—”

“We’re doing as your father says,” Mum said fiercely, seizing her hand. “You can’t Apparate, you’re coming with me!”

“Mum, please!” Ginny begged, tears filling her eyes. She didn’t know what she would do if this was the last time she ever saw her father or Bill…

“No, sweetheart,” Mum whispered. “We’ve got to go.”

Ginny’s lip trembled. “Okay.”

With a flick of her wand, Mum sent the bags and cages ahead. Outside the sitting room windows, Ginny could see flashes of red and violet…streaks of bright blue…something in the room caught her eye.

“Mum, wait,” she said, and she leapt over the back of the sofa to grab the object. “Okay!”

There was a sudden, terrible yell of pain from outside.

“Bill! Dad!” Ginny yelled, trying to break away from her mother, who clung tightly to her arm and turned on the spot.

Ginny hit the ground hard in Aunt Muriel’s front garden. She lay on her back, gasping for breath, and hurriedly wiped away two tears that had started down her cheeks.

“What the devil does he mean by it, waking me in the middle of the night!” Auntie Muriel was standing in her doorway wearing a dressing gown, ranting angrily to, apparently, no one.

Mum was already on her feet, casting protective charms. Ginny, winded, crawled over to where Arnold was squeaking miserably in his overturned cage, and Errol was soundly sleeping in his.

Salvio Hexia…Cave Inimicum…” Mum muttered, racing around the garden. “We can’t set the Fidelius Charm until—” she broke off, looking at Ginny, who paused in the act of wiping her muddy palms on her jeans. “Until your father’s here…”

“Mum! Ginny!”

“And these two!” Muriel shrieked.

Ginny looked around just in time to be seized in a relieved hug by George, who had come racing out of the house, Fred on his heels. “What’s going on? Bill turned up at our flat, said we had to get out—”

“Where’s Dad?” Fred asked immediately.

Ginny looked between her brothers, and she knew they picked up her overwhelming fear. “They came for us, just as we were leaving,” she said. “Dad and Bill were fighting them…” She trailed off.

“They’ll be okay,” George said bracingly, though he looked extremely white under the light of the moon.

“I don’t suppose anyone’s going to tell me why you’re all here, setting up charms I didn’t ask for!” shrieked Aunt Muriel across the garden.

“She’s been in a right state since Bill left to get you,” George muttered, and Mum nodded.

“It’s all right, Auntie,” she said, hurrying over to her. “Come inside, I’ll explain everything—”

“Well somebody had better, I’m a hundred and seven! I need my rest!”

Ginny gave a miserable laugh. “Help me with these?” she asked, and Fred and George quietly set to work picking up the scattered bags, cages, and Ginny’s trunk. The toe of her trainer hit something as she bent to pick up Errol’s cage, and she saw the item she had rescued from the sitting room: Mum’s clock. As had been the case for nearly two years, all nine hands pointed at “Mortal Peril,” so there was no way of knowing if Bill or Dad were all right. It was with a pang in her heart that Ginny saw Percy’s name; was he going to be safe?

“You saved that?” George asked, coming over to examine it. “Wow, Gin.”

“Mum would’ve missed it,” she said quietly. She pointed at the clock. “What about Percy?”

“The great prat can fend for himself,” Fred said bitterly.

“Fred,” she said, shocked.

“I mean it!” Fred said furiously. “He’s had two years to come round, and I’m tired of waiting for it. All of this is about a thousand times more important than a stupid family fight. For all we know, he signed the order that you and Mum and Dad should be arrested.”

“He wouldn’t,” Ginny retorted fiercely. “He would never.”

“He hasn’t spoken to any of us in almost two years, so we can’t say what he would or wouldn’t do anymore,” said Fred.

“Fred, he’s still our brother,” George said. And, as it always did when Fred was angry, George’s levelheadedness made him drop the subject. George looked at Ginny. “I’ll ask Lee to check on Percy, okay?” Ginny nodded.

“C’mon, let’s get inside,” Fred muttered. “It’s freezing.” He picked up Ginny’s trunk and a bag and led the way inside.

Mum was just coming down the stairs. “Is your father here, yet?” She read the answer in their faces. “I got your aunt to go back upstairs. Fred, George, you’ll be sleeping in the parlor up there. Ginny, you’ll have the attic room.” She sighed heavily. “You should all get to bed—”

“Are you mad?” Fred, George, and Ginny chorused at once, and Mum gave a flicker of a smile. At that precise moment, there was a popping noise outside in the garden.

“Oh, thank goodness,” Mum gasped, hurrying to fling the door open just as Dad appeared. He was pale white and shaking as he hugged her. “Where’s Bill?” she asked.

“He’s gone back to Shell Cottage,” Dad said. “He’s just fine. We got away, Molly, we’re all right,” he added soothingly, hugging her tighter still as she clung to his shoulder, her face hidden. There were a few moments where no one spoke. Ginny held one arm tightly around Fred and the other around George. She closed her eyes; she felt safest with at least a few of her brothers…

“Dad, we’ve got to get the Fidelius Charm up,” Fred said quietly, as though afraid of intruding on this moment between their parents. “They’re going to start looking for us. Then we can worry about warning Charlie…”

“Probably already at the flat,” George muttered nervously. “I don’t care about the merchandise, but the Pygmy Puffs…”

“We’ll ask Oliver to rescue them, when it’s safe,” Fred promised, as Dad prised Mum off of his shoulder.

“All right,” he said, addressing them all. “This is very simple, if you all stand still. Come and stand in a circle, here.”

“Wait a moment, you’re not barring me from my own house!” snapped a crabby voice from the stairs. Aunt Muriel was coming down, mumbling unintelligibly about disrespect and inconveniences. Dad’s nostrils gave an impatient little flare, and Ginny repressed a snort. Aunt Muriel joined them, standing between Fred and George, who shared a look of exasperation over her hairnetted head.

“I’m Secret Keeper,” Dad said calmly. He drew his wand and swept it in a wide circle over their heads. A trail of silvery dust and light seemed to drop from it, fading before it touched their shoulders. “If anything happens to me…the Secret goes to you all. Don’t forget that.” He drew a second circle going in the opposite direction. “You’re bound from speaking. No one can make you tell anyone else where we are. Understood?”

Ginny nodded, still clutching her mother’s clock to her chest. She felt inexpressibly exhausted. Every inch of her ached, just as though she had had a night of detention with the Carrows…

With a half-hearted thrill, she realized that she wouldn’t have to return to Hogwarts again. But what of Neville, and Dumbledore’s Army? Would it be safe to try and contact them? She decided to wait until morning, to ask the twins what their plans were for contacting their friends.

“I don’t know why they send Dawlish, really,” Dad was saying to Fred and George as Mum saw Aunt Muriel up to bed again. He shook his head regretfully. “I must have Stunned him three times, just tonight.” Dad went to the kitchen to make a pot of tea.

“Sounds like one hell of a fight,” Fred said ruefully. George grimaced, but said nothing, and without further conversation, they went upstairs to the parlor where they would be sleeping. Ginny was left alone, holding the clock and Arnold’s cage. She heaved a sigh and walked over to the downstairs sitting room, where she perched herself in the window seat. The sky was just turning gray at the very edges of the horizon. She let Arnold out of his cage, and he scampered up her arm and snuggled into his favorite spot behind her ear. Her eyes itched and burned, and she wanted badly to sleep, but she could not stop her mind whirring…what were they doing, back at the Burrow? Had Death Eaters turned up?

She had a sudden, horrible mental image of Bellatrix Lestrange snooping about in her room, and shuddered. What if they destroyed the house, furious that they couldn’t find anything? All of her mother’s photographs, books…everything they had…

She drew her knees up to her chest, taking comfort in the feeling of Arnold purring against her ear, and sat still for nearly twenty minutes, just watching the sky grow lighter.

“Ginny.” She looked around. Her father stood in the doorway, a tea service in his hands. “Your mother’s got a bed ready for you. Come upstairs.” Wordlessly, and still clinging to the clock, she unfolded herself from the window seat and followed Dad up the staircase. He gave a tired groan as they reached the top.

“Are you okay?” she asked, thinking for a moment that he was injured.

“I wasn’t exactly expecting a duel, this time of night,” he chuckled. “I need my beauty rest, at my age.”

Ginny smiled. “You’re not old, Dad.”

“Well, thanks,” he said amicably. He kissed her cheek. “Go to bed, sweet pea.”

“Er—wait. Can you give this to Mum for me?” She held up the clock, and an odd expression overtook Dad’s face.

“Thank you,” he said softly, “For getting that.”

Ginny shrugged, blushing a bit. “Uncle Fabian and Uncle Gideon gave it to you. I didn’t want you to lose it.”

Dad nodded to the door just across from where they stood. “Why don’t you come with me and give it to her?”

Ginny followed him into the bedroom, where Mum was just turning down the covers. Her hair was coming out of its braid, and she was still in her dressing gown. She looked up. “Oh, thank you, Arthur. Ginny, can you find your room?” she asked.

“Yeah—here, Mum, I grabbed this for you,” said Ginny, holding out the clock.

“Oh,” Mum said quietly, taking it from her and gazing at it as though she’d never seen it before. Something in her expression made Ginny want to turn away in embarrassment. “Sweetheart…thank you.” She pulled Ginny into a tight hug. “Thank you so much.”

“It’s all right,” Ginny mumbled. “I think I’ll go to bed. Good night.”

“Good night,” Dad said, as Mum hurriedly wiped away a tear.

But Ginny didn’t move for a moment. Something had just clunked into place in her brain. “Dad…did Bill say…where Harry was safe?”

He blinked slowly. “I think they’re at Shell Cottage.”

“They?” Ginny asked quickly. “So, Ron and Hermione—?”

Dad nodded. “I think so.”

Ginny bit her lip, though she couldn’t stop her smile. “They’re okay. I mean—for now—but they’re okay!” And she hurried forward to hug both of her parents again. “I love you both, so much. Thank you for—for everything.”

Mum kissed her forehead. “There’s not one thing in this world we wouldn’t do for you or your brothers, Ginny. Don’t ever forget that.”

And for some strange reason, Ginny felt another twinge of embarrassment. It was different from the guilt she had been nursing for hiding everything that the Carrows had done to her…there was something shameful in it…what was she hiding, if she was not going back to Hogwarts any longer? Her parents had just lost their home, why cause them more pain by keeping secrets and lying? As much as it might hurt them now, it would be better, would it not, if the truth were out?

“Ginny?” Mum asked. “Are you all right?”

Tears filled Ginny’s eyes, and she looked out the window. The sky was turning pink on the horizon; it was nearly dawn, and they were all exhausted, but if she did not speak now, she might not ever.

“I think I need to—tell you both some things,” she said quietly, swallowing a lump in her throat.


Ginny ducked into the twins’ parlor-turned-bedroom, closing the door on one the sound of Mum’s angry voice. She seemed to be arguing, yet again, with Auntie Muriel, who was growing more impatient by the day with the presence of so many people in her home. It had been nearly two weeks since they had left the Burrow, and everyone’s emotions were running high. To her great irritation, Ginny had not been permitted to leave Aunt Muriel’s house, despite all of her begging to be allowed to go to Shell Cottage. But quite apart from her mother’s development of a protective reflex that prevented Ginny from ever leaving her sight again, Bill had not visited once since the night they had left the Burrow. As he was Secret-Keeper of the cottage’s location, only he could bring visitors with him.

“It’s just about Ollivander coming tonight,” she informed Fred and George when they looked at her curiously. She nodded to the door, where Aunt Muriel’s squawks could still be heard. “Though Mum’s not in a great mood, and that part’s my fault.” She heaved a sigh and flopped down on the sofa that was George’s bed. Arnold poked his nose out from behind her hair and rolled happily down onto her stomach, purring and humming. “Goodness me, do you know, I’m starting to think I shouldn’t have told her everything at once,” she said sarcastically.

“None of this is your fault,” Fred promised her.

“Besides, we’ve got something that’ll cheer you up,” George said. “We got a message from Hagrid this morning via Oliver Wood. He says hello, and he’s doing fine.”

“Did you apologize about that Potter party thing?” asked Ginny sternly.

Fred nodded. “We told Oliver to pass it on. I felt awful about it, but as that was what he made it look like…”

“Are you kidding? He was probably thrilled he made the escape look so convincing,” George snorted. “Can you imagine, get all those scumbags down to your house only to already have gotten away? He’s really proud of himself, I’ll bet you anything.”

Ginny smiled; she had been at first upset to hear of Hagrid’s departure from Hogwarts, and then relieved to know that he had gotten the last word, and planned his own leaving instead of letting the Carrows chase him out. Mum’s angry voice could be heard coming up the stairs; Ginny winced. “I really should’ve kept it from them a little longer…at least until we got the Burrow back…”

“No, you shouldn’t have,” George said seriously.

“I’m glad it’s not a secret anymore,” Fred said. “I hate keeping things from Mum and Dad.” Throughout this entire conversation, he and George had been pouring a variety of sinister-looking ingredients into a crystal vial, which George was alternately heating and cooling with his wand.

“And what is it that you two are doing, exactly?” Ginny asked.

“Keeping things from Muriel,” George said seriously, frowning in concentration. “Entirely different Quidditch match.”

“What’ve you got for her today?” Ginny asked with interest, getting up and coming closer with Arnold dangling upside down from her sleeve. George tried to tickle him, but when Arnold gave a territorial snort, he quickly withdrew his hand. “Never interrupt a Pygmy Puff when he’s playing,” Ginny warned. She held Arnold’s fuzzy body next to her cheek and made an intolerably adorable face that had, for sixteen years, gotten her way every time she wanted it. “Come on, tell us.”

Fred looked at Ginny. “To answer your question that is based only upon slanderous assumption, my business partner and I are interested in the effects of the Canary Cream potion on a wig.”

“More accurately, a moldy, disgusting wig,” George supplied, “And what we’re curious about is whether or not the sprouting of feathers on said wig would or would not go unnoticed by the wearer.”

Ginny burst into laughter.

“You didn’t hear the old bat this morning, before you got up,” George continued. “After disparaging my stunning good looks with another crack about my ears being uneven—” he pointed at his missing ear, “—she proceeded to inform us that torture at Hogwarts was a standard back in her day, and she didn’t see what the fuss was. Now, personally, I always thought Filch was barking mad when he went on about it, but…” he shrugged.

The smile slid off Ginny’s face.

“So this is a bit of revenge for you, little sister,” Fred said confidently. “And we would only do this for our favorite sister, so you’re in a lucky spot, you are.”

Ginny tried to smile for a moment, couldn’t, and so stood on tiptoe to kiss Fred’s cheek first, then George’s. “Thanks, you two.” She started to leave.

“Don’t you want to see how it goes?” George asked.

“Oh, I’ll see later,” she said casually. “I’m kind of tired. Think I’ll lie down.”

On her way across the landing, Ginny met her red-faced and slightly disheveled mother, who looked momentarily startled to see her. “Oh, Ginny, dear,” she said, touching her hand. “Could you bring me any spare pillows you might have in that attic? Bill’s going to be here with Mr. Ollivander very soon, and—”

“I’ll get them,” she promised quickly. “Did you say Bill’s bringing him?”

“Of course,” Mum said distractedly, hurrying across the landing to a large linen cabinet and withdrawing a set of sheets from the drawers that opened themselves helpfully.

“Mum,” said Ginny, “Do you think—”

“You’re not going anywhere, darling, and neither are your brothers,” she answered immediately. Then she saw the pain in Ginny’s face. “Don’t you think I want to see them, too?” she asked. “But they’re safer without us there.”

“You mean we’re safer away from them!” Ginny retorted, flaring up furiously. “I’m not scared!”

“Ginny,” Mum sighed, but she was already storming away. She slammed the door to her attic behind her. Then, she remembered her mother’s request, seized a few pillows off the bed and out of the wardrobe, and tossed them into the hallway, sealing herself off with another slam of the door.

She deposited Arnold in his cage on the windowsill and went to her trunk to withdraw her D.A. Galleon from the tangled folds of robes. She had no message from Neville; this probably meant that the D.A. was in the midst of another midnight assault on the castle. She had very little idea as to how they were doing, but Neville’s occasional reassuring message on the coin was enough to know that they were at least still staying safe. She had come to accept that no news was generally good news. Still, it bothered her that it was getting late, and Neville had not sent her any kind of note. She flicked the Galleon onto her bedside table and dropped onto the bed, kicking moodily at a patch on the wall. A few flakes of paint chipped off, and she rolled onto her back, staring at the ceiling.


“Ginevra!” called Aunt Muriel sharply from the next room over. “Stop that racket!”

Ginny sighed heavily. “Sorry, Auntie,” she called.

“And don’t yell in the house!”

She was too annoyed to even chuckle. She lay still for a long time, listening guiltily to the sounds of her mother picking up the pillows she had unceremoniously flung into the hallway. After nearly an hour, however, she had forgotten this, and was anxiously checking her Galleon every few minutes. Where was Neville?

Suddenly, from downstairs came the clanging of the doorbell. Unable to resist her desire to see Bill, Ginny rolled onto her feet and went out to the upper landing, where she heard her mother’s high and anxious voice at the front door.

“Who’s there?” she asked, pressing her ear to the wood.

“It’s your eldest son, William Arthur Weasley, husband of Fleur Delacour for the last seven months, and when I was two years old I gave myself a bald spot when I got an Acid Pop stuck in my hair,” called Bill’s voice from outside. “I’m bringing Mr. Ollivander.”

“Oh, Bill!” Mum cried, quickly opening the door. Ginny scurried down the stairs, just in time to see her father come hurtling into the foyer, wand drawn.

“It’s him, Arthur,” Mum said in a scandalized voice. “It’s all right.” Ginny’s heart almost broke as she watched her father’s face suddenly relax. He gave Bill a tight hug.

“Do come in, Mr. Ollivander, we’ve got everything ready for you,” Mum was saying as she took the rather sickly-looking wandmaker by the arm. He looked awful; had he really been held prisoner since his abduction, Ginny wondered? “There’s a lovely room down this way,” she said, leading him away.

“Thank you, my dear,” murmured Mr. Ollivander.

Ginny bounded down the rest of the stairs. “Bill!” she cried, leaping into her brother’s arms. He caught her expertly in a warm hug.

“Hey, you,” he said, giving her a kiss and setting her down.

“Bill?” Fred asked as he and George poked their heads over the upstairs banister.

“Hi,” Bill called. “Come down here, I want to see you all, but then I need to get back to Fleur.”

“Is everything all right?” Dad asked, frowning.

“Everything’s fine,” Bill promised. “I just want to say hi and catch up for a minute. I owe you an explanation.” Ginny’s heart leapt. “Come on, let’s go in here,” he said, gesturing to the downstairs sitting room. The twins came galloping down the stairs, four at a time, and Ginny hurried after Bill.

“Okay, sit down,” Bill said, running his hands through his hair. The sitting room was only partly illuminated by the fire in the grate, so his scars were thrown into relief. Ginny winced slightly at the sight, but sat down on the arm of the sofa, putting her hand on Dad’s shoulder. Bill sank down on the coffee table and Fred and George stood in the doorway. George chewed his lower lip anxiously.

“So,” Bill said, as if he were trying to figure out where to begin. “I—uh…okay, look. The night I came to get you, Harry, Ron, and Hermione had just turned up at Shell Cottage. I didn’t have the whole story that night, and they haven’t said everything, but they, uh,” he looked over his shoulder, trying to see if his mother was coming down the hall. “I think they were being held at Malfoy Manor,” he said in a low voice. “It’s headquarters—his headquarters. I know I heard Ron mention something about the Malfoys, and Bellatrix Lestrange. It would fit.”

Ginny felt a wave of dizziness hit her. “Are they okay?”

“They’re fine,” Bill said quickly. “But when they turned up the night I came to get you at the Burrow, Harry and Ron were both hurt, and Hermione—again, I’m only guessing—but I think she’d been tortured.”

Dad blanched, and both Fred and George swore. Ginny closed her eyes.

“That’s not all,” Bill pressed on. “They brought a house elf, too. He was a young one, but he’d been badly hurt, and he died at the house.”

“Dobby,” Ginny said softly, sadly. Fred, Dad, and George frowned at her, but she paid them no mind. She had heard of the house elf only a handful of times, but she knew that Harry had to be crushed. She had never wanted so badly to bridge this infinitesimal gap between them, to grab onto Bill as he Disapparated and go to find Harry.

Bill nodded and continued. “Mr. Ollivander was with them, and an injured goblin, plus two more Hogwarts students. Luna and Dean.”

“They found Luna?” Ginny almost shrieked, getting to her feet. “What? She and Dean—they’re alive?”

Bill smiled. “Yeah, Ginny, they’re fine, they’re at the cottage.”

“Oh, please let me go!” she cried, looking between her father and brothers. “Just for a few minutes, Dad, please!”

“No, Ginny,” Dad said in a tired voice, rubbing his face. “Calm down, no one’s going anywhere.”

“Yeah,” Fred said warily, stepping forward and putting his hand on her arm. “Dad’s right.” She gaped at him. “They’re only going to stay safe if we don’t put more people near them. The house sounds like it’s already too crowded.”

Ginny made an exasperated noise, looking between Bill, Dad, Fred, and George. “Fine,” she said angrily, when she realized that none of them were going to agree with her. She turned to Bill. “Just tell them—tell them I miss them,” she said, her voice cracking on the last word, to her fury. With that, she stomped from the room, fuming.

“Ginny?” Mum asked as she returned from Mr. Ollivander’s room, watching her daughter storm past. Ginny marched up the stairs, ignoring her. She met Aunt Muriel on the upper landing.

“Is that William?” she asked Ginny. “Does he have my tiara at last? I’ll bet not, I knew that that French girl was far too fond of it—”

Ginny ignored her as well and strode through her door, slamming it behind her. She flopped onto the bed, feeling a hard, painful lump rise in her throat. Hermione, Ron, Dean, Luna, Harry—oh, Harry—all wounded, recovering, only miles away, but where she couldn’t see them…Ginny screamed with anger into her pillow at the top of her voice.

Torture! They had tortured Hermione! Luna was probably as starved as Mr. Ollivander, and they would have killed Harry and Ron if they’d had the chance. Ginny sat down, her head spinning at the very thought of losing Harry. And Ron…they would have murdered her brother—that idea hit her hard, as if someone had struck her with a hammer. She couldn’t imagine losing a brother. The very thought made her lightheaded with anger.

Ginny had never heard of Malfoy Manor in her life, nor did she know where it was or what it looked like. But now she knew what it was, and she knew that she would like nothing better than to see it burn to the ground. Draco Malfoy’s face as he cursed her in that final Dark Arts lesson swam forward in her mind, and she pummeled her pillow, punishing it for all of his wrongs…for his involvement in killing Dumbledore…for his cruelty to Dumbledore’s Army…for his cowardice…

And then Malfoy became Snape, and then the Carrows…until at last, Ginny collapsed on the bed, crying, hating herself even more for all the hate she felt towards them.


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