“Oh COME ON” Ron snorted, butter bear flying out of his nose
“Yuck, Ron. Gross” Hermione and I whimpered as the drink flew over on the table towards us both. Fred, George and Harry just snickered at Ron’s face, screwed up with laughter. We had been sitting inside The Three Broomsticks for hours, laughing, and still scheming about ways to hurt Malfoy.
“Anything else I can get you dears?” Madam Rosmerta said, charming a cloth mopping up the spilt butter bear.
“Umm. Six more beers please” Harry said, gesturing to the empty bottles. “Thank you” He said, whilst Madam Rosmerta collected the bottles, and took them into the back, she came back a few minutes later with new bottles. I took a mouthful from my bottle, and then set it back on the coaster in front of me. Harry’s let go of my hand, which had been held between his under the table, so I looked at him confused, but he refused to meet my stare, he just looked straight at Hermione, but Hermione was staring at Ron.
“Three butter bears please” A calm musical voice asked at the counter. I looked away from Harry, past Hermione to see Cho Chang leaning against the counter, talking to Madam Rosmerta, smiling at Harry. I made a disgusted noise under my breath. Did she not know Harry and I were together – well kind of anyway? Was this why Harry let go of my hand? I looked at him, he was staring at Hermione, or was he? Cho was right behind Hermione. No. I was just being paranoid, act normal Ginny, I thought.
“Thanks” Cho said to Madam Rosmerta, when she handed her the drinks. Cho and her two friends walked out, Cho bringing up the rear, whilst she looked back and winked at Harry before she left. A wave of anger washed through my system. I couldn’t stand it. A red haze filled my view. I wanted to hurt someone or something, which shocked me beyond understanding; I’m not usually a violent person. But here I was, sitting next to the boy I love, surrounded by friends, and acquaintances, and utter strangers, and all I wanted to do, was to punch someone, or scream at the top of my voice in this little pub. I felt something warm clutch my hand on my knee, I looked up to see Harry smiling down at me. The anger flashed out of me in a rush, and calm filled me up instead and I smiled back.
“Where shall we go after this?” Ron asked Harry over the wooden table.
Harry swallowed his mouthful of butterbear, before answering.“Honeydukes?”
“Oh yeah. Defiantly. Then we HAVE to go to Zonko’s Joke Shop” George said quickly, stopping Hermione before she could talk again. The convocation picked up quickly from there. We paid and left The Three Broomsticks, then stepped out into the cold again.
As we walked over to the door into Honeydukes, warm air flew from the shop as Malfoy, flanked by Crab and Goil laughing as they pushed past us and went down an alley down the side of Madam Puddifoot’s café.
“Ugh” We all said simultaneously.
“Where do you think they’re going?” Ron asked.
“Don’t know. Don’t care” I answered before we entered Honeydukes. As well as the warm air that stunned us mid step, we were also met by a beautiful sugary sweet smell. We went crazy in the shop, filling carrier bags with Chocolate Frogs, Liquorice Wands, Pepper Imps, Chocó balls, Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans, Fizzing Whizzbees, Drooble’s Best Blowing Gum, Toothflossing Stringmints, Ice Mice, Cockroach Clusters, Jelly Slugs, Blood Lollipops, Acid Pops and Sugar Quills, stuffing our faces with them as we shopped as well.
“Hiya Harry” Nevel said, passing us down the street outside Honeydukes.
“Hi Nevel.” Harry said.
“Hiya Harry” Luna Lovegood’s dreamy voice sounded from behind Nevel.
“Hello, Luna” Harry said, sounding as shocked as I felt. “What have you two been up to?”
“Oh. Nothing much, just a tad of shopping” Luna answered.
“Okay. Well we’ll see you in the common room Nevel, and, well. I hope to see you soon Luna” Harry said, already trying to walk away.
“Do you think they’re dating?” The question in my head burst through my lips.
“Proberly… We’ll ask him when we next see him.” I stared at Harry as we walked, but rush of warm air made me look around to see which shops we had entered – I didn’t need to look far.
Zonko’s joke shop - easy to recognize from the inside and the outside. Bright colours and laughing and talking from excited witches and wizards greet you. A huge clown towers over you in the middle of the room, and naturally Fred and George were there, as always. Harry dragged me by the elbow towards the twins.
“So this is where you got to.” Harry called to them over the babbling crowds around us.
“Yep” Fred said a wide grin stretching across his already cheery face.
“We’re trying to wangle a job out of Zonko. But, no luck so far.” George said. “Though we haven’t given up hope”
“You never will” I said.
“Nope, we won’t”
“George. He said come back later right?” Fred said.
“Well. Ten minutes is technically later. Wouldn’t you say?”
“Yes. I would Fred”
“Lets go. They said in unison” and they disappeared off through a door into the staff room.
“Those two” I said in a disapproving tone.
“Come on. They have spirit. It’s lucky someone has some. All the kids at Hogwarts seem a little down lately at the moment” Harry replied.
“You sound surprised”
“Why shouldn’t I be?”
“Well. It’s just a tad obvious why they are more upset than usual isn’t it?”
“You guess” I said, incredulous.
“Well. I know. I mean, it’s not every day Voldermort comes back is it?”
“No. It’s not” We looked around the shop in silence for a while. I saw a few people quickly look away as we caught their shocked gazes. Even at Hogwarts people cringe away from Voldermort’s name, and how Harry says it so casually.
“You know, you shouldn’t say his name. People don’t like it.” I said when Harry looked back at me. But he merely shrugged.
“Do you want to buy anything, or do you want to go somewhere else with me?”
“I honestly don’t mind” As long as he was there, I didn’t mind where we went.
“Come on then. Before Ron and Hermione come back” He clutched my hand tighter, and dragged me out behind him through the door and into the freezing cold street. It looked like he was leading me towards Madam Puddifoot’s tea shop (the café for couples), until he stopped dead about twenty feet away from the door.
“Harry? Are you alright?”
“Where’s Malfoy going?” He asked, ignoring my question. I followed his gaze to a small lane where the familiar blond haired Draco Malfoy was disappearing down, following a short figure draped in a sandy cloak.
“Hang on. I’m going to follow him”
“I’m not waiting for you Harry. You’ll get hurt”
“Which is precisely why I’m asking you to wait here. I wont get hurt. But I don’t want to risk your health.”
“You’re stupid sometimes. I’m coming with you” He looked into my eyes for a long time, before pulling me along behind him again. He paused at the corner, looked round, and then started walking again. We creped slowly down the alley, always staying about fifteen feet behind Malfoy and the cloaked figure. The slipped down another dark lane and disappeared from view.
“Where did they go?” I asked him.
“I don’t know. But we need to look. Come on”
“Harry?” I was about to protest about going down the alley, after looking down it myself and seeing some scary looking witches and wizards looking back at us. But I suddenly felt a pull, an almost magnetic pull down the alley. I wasn’t sure what is was.
“Nothing. Come on lets go” I started walking until another pull dragged me back. It wasn’t the same kind of thing, it was a physical thing. Harry had grabbed my jacket, and was heaving me back out of the lane.
“What are you doing Harry? We need to go, otherwise we’ll never find Malfoy.”
“Ginny. I don’t know. I think you should go back. Ron will never forgive me if you get into danger. And I’ll never forgive myself if you get hurt.”
“I can take care of myself. And plus, who’s going to hurt me, when I’m with the chosen one” I teased. He tried not to smile, but failed and smirked. I pushed off the wall my back was pressed against, and pulled out my wand.
“Come on” I said. We started down the alley, pushing past the various people who were in the lane. Occasionally they tried to talk to us, but we ignored them and kept walking.
“There he is” Harry pointed over my shoulder into one of the shops. It was a grey building, made of wood. The windows had a crack down the center, and above the door there was once a sign, but they had fallen off. Inside seemed to be a huge collection of sinister and dangerous objects. There were thousands of shelves around the walls, and book cases in the center. Malfoy was walking through a door on the opposite side of the shop to us.
“What shall we do?” I asked.
“I don’t know. Shall we go in?”
“I really don’t think so” I said, but the magnetic pull was even stronger here, and I wanted to go indoors.
“It’s a glass roof. We can proberly find some stairs, and look from above.”
“Okay.” I said. Eager to see what Malfoy was doing, and to see what this pull was leading me to. We walked further down the alley, and went round the back of the shops.
“There” I said, pointing out an old green fire escape. Harry walked over to it, and tried to pull the first ladder down to the floor, but it was stuck. He lifted me up, and I climbed up the ladder. He followed shortly after. There were three other ladders that were easier to climb since they weren’t so rusty. Harry met me on the roof – it was a lot higher than I thought it would be – we lay down and shuffled closer to the glass. We peered down into the shops, slightly relieved, and excited at how close we were to seeing what was going on.
And stopped dead.
Malfoy and around twelve other people in black cloaks were circled around a huge cauldron. I recognized at least six faces. The faces of Belatrix Lestrange, Fenrir Greyback, Draco Malfoy, Lucius Malfoy, Peter Pettigrew… And a white face I knew too well. One I had never seen in real life, but had imagined too many times…
I gasped loudly. My heart beat sped up very fast, as did Harrys. Harry grabbed my hand tightly, and dragged me back away from the class. He stared deep into my eyes, horror covering his face entirely. But I didn’t feel the wave of fear that usually washed over me when I imagine Voldermorts face. I didn’t feel it, because I wasn’t scared. My mind told me I should be. It was an automatic warning, but I didn’t feel it. I wasn’t scared. I felt oddly reassured… Harry dragged me back down the fire escape – virtually carrying me – and ran with me back to Hogsmead.
“Ginny” Harry said, when we were safely by Dervish and Banges. He was gasping, trying to speak. At least he could just about speak. I couldn’t. My mind was swirling around and around. I felt like I was about to faint. I finally realized what I had been drawn to. That ghostly white face. I had been drawn to Voldermort. What did this mean?
“We have to get back to Hogwarts” Harry said. We ran back to Hogwarts, knowing we couldn’t do anything before Dumbledore knew. We threw ourselves through the front door, ignoring Filches list of curses as we flew past him and up the moving staircases. We were in luck, all the stairs were where they should be to get to Dumbledore’s office in record time. Harry virtually screamed ‘Liquorish Quills’ at the gargoyle, which obediently moved aside. He sprinted up the stairs, me on his heels.
“DUMBLEDORE” He shouted as we entered his office. Dumbledore sat calmly behind his desk, Professor McGonagall, Professor Flitwick and Snape opposite him. They all turned as we came crashing through the door. Dumbledore read our faces carefully, before a sheet of fear covered him as well.
“Harry what is it?” He said, his voice full of ancient grief. But Harry didn’t answer, his eyes were locked on Snape, glaring at him.
“Harry. You can talk.”
“Yes Potter. You can speak, and we will listen” Snape said, a smirk pulling at the corners of his mouth.
“Dumbledore, may I speak to you privately” Harry said, pulling his gaze away from Snape, to look at Dumbledore. I panted loudly at his side, but no one seemed to really acknowledge me. Professor McGonagall’s gaze volleyed between Dumbledore and Harry, Flitwick looked at Dumbledore questionably.
“Professor Snape, Professor McGonagall and Professor Flitwick, could you please step outside so I may speak to Mr. Potter and Miss Weasly privately.” Dumbledore said.
The three teachers all left quietly, still looking at Dumbledore on the way out. As soon as the door closed behind them, Harry burst into explanation, so quickly I could barely make out the words.
“Voldermort Dumbledore. Voldermort. He’s really back. We saw him. Down one of the alleys leading off Hogsmead. He’s there. With the other death eaters. And Malfoy. He’s one of them now. He’s a death eater. We need to get everyone out of Hogsmead, or they will all die. Dumbledore. We need you to help!”
Dumbledore listened obediently, before cracking into action.
“Right. We need to evacuate the village. Miss Weasly, run and get Professor McGonagall, Hagrid, Snape and Flitwick. Tell them to open the doors and let all the witches and wizards in that we send up, then tell Professor McGonagall to send everyone to the Great Hall.”
I made my muscles move and dragged myself out the door, down the stairs, just in time to see the three teachers who left Dumbledore’s office round a corner.
“WAIT!” I yelled.
“Miss Weasly. What are you doing?” Professor McGonagall said, turning along with Flitwick and Snape who also looked at me.
“I need to talk to you.” I said, still panting.
“Yes. What is it Miss Weasly?” Flitwick chirped up in his tiny voice.
“You need to trust me. You have to believe every word I say. Dumbledore sent me to come and tell you. But you can’t ask questions. I am following his orders. Okay?”
“Okay…” Snape said in his dreary voice.
“When Harry and I were in Hogsmead, we followed Malfoy down an alley way. He went into a shop, and through the back door, and we couldn’t see him. So we climbed to the top of the building up a fire escape. When we looked through the roof, we saw him, his father, about twelve death eaters and….”
“And?” Snape said. He seemed the only one who could talk.
“Voldermort” I said. Everyone except Snape flinched at the name. “Dumbledore told me to tell you,” I looked at Professor McGonagall “to tell all the students to get into the Great Hall, and calm them down. Order them into silence. Don’t tell them anything till Dumbledore comes back. He is getting everyone from Hogsmead to come up to the castle. He wanted to ask you two,” I looked at Snape and Flitwick “to tell everyone who comes up here to go the Great Hall, and order them into silence as well. Dumbledore will explain everything to them as well. Also I think he will want all the teachers to help him protect the castle from the Dark wizards. I need to go get Hagrid, and tell him everything.”
“Someone should come with you. Tell Professor Peaks to join you. He is in his office.” Professor McGonagall gasped. They broke into action and did their instructed jobs. I sprinted down three flights of stairs to the defense against the dark arts classroom. I didn’t bother to knock. I flung the door open, and there he was. Standing less than five feet in front of me.
“Miss Weasly? What is it.” I repeated the convocation I had had with the other teachers.
“So Professor McGonagall suggested that you come with me to get Hagrid.”
“Okay. I will accompany you to Hagrid. Then I will help Dumbledore and Harry in Hogsmead. Lead the way Miss Weasly. Wands out.” We scurried down the flights of stairs, and ran through the crowds of pupils and other witches and wizards from Hogsmead that were filing into the Great Hall. Fortunately, we did not need to go outside. Hagrid was there, by the door, Flitwick had told him everything. His face was of blank horror, like all of those people who knew the reason why everyone was evacuating Hogsmead, and coming to Hogwarts.
“I guess I will be off then. Take care Ginny” before I could turn to look at Professor Peaks, he was already walking swiftly out the front door.
“Ginny. What’s going on? I bet you know. McGonagall said Harry and Dumbledore know, so you must.” I turned to glare at Hannah and Mary’s keyed up faces.
“Yes. I do know” I said.
“Really?” This seemed to excite them further. “What’s happening? Come on, tell us Ginny.”
“YOU THINK THIS IS FUNNY?” I screamed at them. The groups of people near us went quiet at my outburst.
“Come on Ginny. It’s a little thrilling, don’t you think?”
“NO. I DON’T” I was still shouting. This shocked me. I was still furious, but not at them. I had been keeping busy, not thinking about the weird feeling I had down the dark alley. That pull I felt towards Voldermort. I turned away from their terrified faces, and ran to the girls toilets. As I was running, I heard them behind me, murmuring things that sounded like “What’s her problem?” and “Boy. She’s CRAZY” but I ignored them and kept going. I locked myself in one of the green cubicles. The salt water in my tears fell over and ran down my cheeks. I clutched my jewel necklace that I had found at home. Loud whimpers burst through my lips as the vital questions flew through my mind. Why was I drawn to Voldermort? Will he come to the castle? Will Harry and Dumbledore be okay in Hogsmead? Will they escape before the death eaters attack? I have to help. I HAVE to. I stood up - stumbling a little in the process – and wiped my cloak sleeve over my cheeks and unlocked the door. I strode out with my head down, not wanting people to see I’m upset. I went straight to the doors – pushing through the continuing crowds of people – and marched out the front door – ignoring Flitwick’s shouts of objection at my leaving. I made my way to Hogsmead, never letting myself think of the questions, or the pull I felt…
When the first few shops came into view – over the heads of the hordes of evacuating witches and wizards – I started running. Running straight over to where the mob stopped where it was most probable to see Harry. I took my wand out, holding it in front of me as I sprinted.
“HARRY!” I screamed. “HARRY!”
“Ginny?” Harry said, shocked to see me.
“HARRY!” I yelled again.
“Ginny. What on earth are you doing here? It’s not safe!”
“I’m here to help Harry. I can’t do nothing.”
“Ginny. We’ve got this covered. Professor Peaks came along, we’re all set, about to leave with them as a matter of fact!”
“Well. Then I can leave with you.” He gave me a disapproving look, before shaking his head and carrying on moving the throng of people towards Hogwarts.
“Where is Peaks?” I asked after a while.
“I’m not sure. He said he was going to Gladrags Wizardwear to get everybody out, but that was about fifteen minutes ago.”
“Where’s Dumbledore then?”
“Telling the Ministry.”
“What? That Voldermort is back, and may attack Hogwarts at any minute? I’m sure they’ll believe that!”
“Yeah. Making the ministry believe anything, that’s a battle that’s lost before it stated.” He chuckled, and I joined in.
“HARRY!” I jumped at the outburst of Harry’s name. We looked around until we saw the person who was shouting at him. To my disgust I saw Cho Chang’s face of pure horror staring at Harry, completely ignoring me.
“Cho?” Harry breathed.
“Harry. What’s going on?” She asked.
“Cho. You need to get to the castle; Dumbledore will explain it all when you get there. Hurry Cho. We don’t know how much time we have.”
“Harry. You HAVE to tell me!”
“No Harry, don’t!” I whispered to him. Red clouding my vision as I looked to glare at Cho.
“Go to the castle Cho.”
“NO. GO NOW” He interrupted her by yelling. She scurried off, following the mass of people, with a hurt expression on her face. Harry looked after her, looking almost… guilty?
“Come on Harry, and… Miss Weasly? When did you arrive…? Oh that’s by the by. Everyone is going to the castle. We better follow.” Professor Peaks said, coming from behind us. He put a hand on both of our shoulders, and led us in the general direction of the castle.
“Irma… Oh I mean, Mrs. Pince” Peaks said, glancing at the pupils in front of him – Voldermort was back, possibly less than four miles behind us, and he was fretting over the correct way to address the Hogwarts decrepit librarian. “Are you alright?”
“No Andros,” - she obviously didn’t care for his etiquette – “I am not alright. You know who is coming, and I want to get as far as possible from Hogwarts. That’s where he most likely will attack. So I’m leaving!” She got louder at the end.
“Come now Mrs. Prince. That would be the opposite of helpful. Who is you know who most afraid of.” Mrs. Prince’s gaze shot to Harry, and back to Peaks’ gaze.
“Yes. Mr. Potter, and…?”
“Precisely. So running away from them is not a good idea. You are more likely to hurt away from the castle than staying inside. Look how many witches and wizards are here. They all trust Dumbledore…”
“THEY DON’T KNOW THOUGH DO THEY ANDROS?”
“No… That is correct. But they will. And then they will trust in Albus, and stay”
“How do you know?” They continued this argument more quietly, but I didn’t hear the end as Harry grabbed my hand, and dragged me away from them.
“Sorry. I couldn’t stand that bickering anymore.” He said, smirking at me.
“So…. What happened back there with Cho?” My question surprised him.
“What do you mean?”
“You and Cho? What’s going on?”
“Nothing” He said, still puzzled, but sounding a little nervous.
“Really? You used to be head over heels for her.”
“Exactly. Past tense. Used to be” He quoted, over exaggerating each word, like I wasn’t mentally competent – I wasn’t even sure I was. The pull I felt towards Voldermort earlier today was crazy. But, fortunately, that same pull was not there when I was in Hogsmead moments ago. What did that mean? Was Voldermort attacking the castle already? Either way, we better hurry everyone along!
“Harry. We need to get the line moving. Everyone needs to get to the castle as soon as possible!”
“No time for explanations, we HAVE to get moving!”
“Okay... Come on.” He called, continually dragging me through the crowd. “DUMBLEDORE!” He gasped. I followed his gaze and saw him, he was easy to see because of his long grey beard, and his half moon spectacles, and the oddly calm expression that stood out against the masks of horror around him. He noticed us after a while, and walked swiftly over to us.
“The Ministry… was difficult. They send John Dawlish – an Auror – to the castle. He will be arriving shortly, to check everything out. As per usual, Cornelius didn’t believe me.” Dumbledore shook his head slowly as he updated us on the situation.
“Dumbledore, Ginny and I feel that the line is moving far too slowly. We need to get them moving faster.” Harry explained.
“Yes. Yes. I agree. Well done by the way Harry, you have done a fantastic job at getting everybody out of Hogsmead. Did you get everybody out?”
“Yes. Professor Peaks helped a lot as well. He’s trying to calm the crowds down. Flitwick is at the castle, lots of the teachers know now. McGonagall is getting everyone settled for when you tell them everything. Flitwick and the others are waiting for everyone to arrive, and then he will help you put some protective charms around the castle, you know. Just in case.”
“Yes. Defiantly. Well, I’ll get everyone to move along quicker. Cover your ears.” Dumbledore said. He pointed his wand to his throat and muttered “Sonorus” and Harry and I was right to cover our ears.
“Everybody, if you don’t mind, could you please move faster. No hold ups. Come on.”
There were mumbled complaints, before the huge mass of people moved faster.
“Quietus” Dumbledore said, re-pointing his elegant wand to his neck again.
We walked in silence for a while, proberly too worried to speak, until the castle was in sight and a wave of calm seemed to wash over us, and everybody’s pace seemed to quicken. Eventually everyone was indoors. Most people were settled in the Great Hall, – all the tables had been removed to make room for people to stand up inside – but everyone else, who couldn’t fit in the dining room were in the Entrance Hall crowding around the door to the Great Hall so that they could still listen. Dumbledore exited behind us, and went back through the door, and joined Flitwick and the other teachers to cast protective spells around the castle.
Around us were babbled questions. Mostly aimed towards Harry, but he ignored them and kept walking with me – more like pushing – through the crowds until we were at the front of the Great Hall where the teachers usually sat at mealtimes. We waited by the side of the raised platform for Dumbledore. I glanced around for Dumbledore, until he suddenly appeared behind us.
“Right. Let’s get this over with.” Dumbledore said before making his voice magically louder like he did before. The prattle of voices echoing around the hall was quiet as soon as they noticed Dumbledore standing on the stage.
“First of all, I must say thank you to everyone here, who complied so trustingly. I have to say it is lucky since it is cold outside, that not too many of you were at Hogsmead, otherwise not everyone would fit in this castle. So thank you all. But I expect why you all are curious as to why we have brought you here. So this is it. Voldermort is back. We all know that, but he is close. Closer than anyone knew, and A LOT closer than any of us wanted. I have informed the ministry about the situation, they are being… incredulous. They do not want to believe the truth, but I hope you will all be different, and believe me. And for your own safety, stay inside the castle. We have all of the teachers casting protection spells around the castle. Because, as we speak, dark forces may be trying to penetrate the castle. But as long as you stay indoors, you are safe. I promise you.” He said with a sincere expression on his face. Gasps filled the silence as Dumbledore fell quiet. Then the scared voices began. Everyone was shifting, as if wanting to scream and run from the room. I clutched Harry’s hand tighter as everyone started shouting.
“LIER” A balding man wearing an ugly brownish green cloak yelled from the back of the hall.
“Yeah. Dumbledore, You’re lying. And so is HE” An old women with grey hair like medusas snakes screamed, jabbing a finger at Harry.
“I AM NOT LYING. No one here is lying.” Harry called.
“LIER. LIER. LIER” Was repeated over and over again through the crowds. There was uproar. Everyone was shouting and screaming, only the Hogwarts students stayed still, proberly too shocked still too move. I couldn’t make out specific voices from the crowd; it was just aloud humming as everyone shrieked.
“SILENCE” Dumbledore yelled his voice still magically louder. Everyone turned quiet, and looked back towards Dumbledore.
“Will everyone please, not panic. I understand your confusion, and I understand how difficult it is to stay calm under the circumstances. But please… PLEASE try. Try your very hardest to stay calm.” Unlike the last time, no one moved. No one spoke, even the breathing was quiet.
“Thank you. Thank you all. Now, I have to ask a lot of all of you. But please remember that anything I ask you to do, is for your own safety. Is that clear?”
There were murmurs of “Yes” and people were nodding.
“I have to ask you to stay in the castle. Overnight… We will give you the best accommodations we can conjure up. Again, this is for your own safety. And I have to ask you all not to step one foot out of the castle grounds.” Everyone still stayed quiet. I gazed over the crowds of faces, that suddenly, completely understood. They all made me feel calm, until my gaze locked on a familiar face that made anger zap through my veins. Unfortunately Cho Chang’s leer aimed at Harry, did not meet my angered glare, then maybe she would have looked away, and not infuriated me further.
Everyone had dispersed from the great hall, and had gone to do different past times. Some were exploring the castle; the teachers were creating blankets and pillows for everyone to sleep on. I was traipsing around Hogwarts behind Harry, and glaring at Cho every time she tried to talk to Harry. Apparently my gaze was enough to make her leave him alone. I had watched the front door being bolted shut with seven enchanted bars for the night. Everyone was taking security very seriously – and with good reason. Virtually the whole castle was lit up with candles, and people were starting to find places to sleep. That’s where the real problem was. There wasn’t enough room. The classrooms weren’t being used for bedrooms since the pupils still needed to be taught. I thought this was a ridiculous idea, and that we shouldn’t be being taught as usual. But Dumbledore had ignored this and simply said “It’s a difficult time for pupils, staff, and for the whole magical community. We should try to keep things going as normally as possible.” But no one knew what to do about the sleeping arrangements, the great hall was already full, and the house elves were shedding blood and sweat trying to prepare all the hundreds of extra meals for all the new people. We needed new accommodation… But how? Harry, Nevel, Luna, Hermione, Ron and I were sitting in one of the corridors that people barely walked down, discussing the coming terror.
“I don’t understand. Why now?” Hermione said.
“Element of surprise I guess… But that’s no use to Voldermort now is it?”
“Dumbledore doesn’t seem worried” Luna trilled.
“Brave face I guess.” Hermione replied.
“What if someone here is a death eater in disguise. And they’re getting inside information?” Ron asked.
“I doubt that Ron. What death eater would have the patience and self restraint to be so close to Dumbledore, and Harry, without trying to kill them?” Hermione reasoned.
“The room of requirement.” Nevel murmured.
“I’m sorry?” I said.
“For the people to sleep in. If we walk three times past that wall, opposite the tapestry of Barnabas the Barmy trying to teach trolls to dance, thinking REALLY hard that we need a huge room for people to sleep in… Then we’re sorted.”
“That’s brilliant Nevel!” Hermione said.
“Good idea” Ron approved.
“You should tell Dumbledore. I’ll come with you.” Luna said, standing up, and pulling Nevel along with her. They disappeared round the corner at the end of the corridor. Harry pulled me closer to his side as a gust of freezing cold wind blew around us.
“Ugh” Ron muttered so quietly I wasn’t completely sure he even said it.
“Shall we go after them?” Hermione asked, looking over to where Luna and Nevel had disappeared.
“Yeah. We could help round the people up and tell them to go into the Room of Requirement.” I said. Hermione and Ron got up, and started walking off. Harry wrapped his arm around my waist and hauled me up onto my feet. He spun me around to look at him, and inclined his face towards mine. I closed my eyes, stood on my tip toes.
“COME ON HARRY.” Hermione called from the end of the corridor. “Oh. Sorry.” She blushed, and ran off. Harry sighed loudly, and then pulled me along next to him.
“This way.” Harry called to the horde of witches and wizards that were filling into the room Nevel had created out of the Room of Requirement. It was gigantic with warm gold and brown walls. It was FULL of beds. Not four poster beds like the ones in the dormitories, but they were big enough. Everyone had a bed, so no one was sleeping in the Great Hall. The four house tables had been restored into their usual places again.
“Harry?” I asked.
“Just a minute Ginny.” He said, not looking at me, he was waving the people through the double doors. “Come on!”
I stood still, not looking at the people; I was looking at the tapestry of Trolls, being taught how to do ballet. I chuckled quietly to myself as I thought of the impossibility of this. I didn’t have much experience with Trolls, only the one that had been let into the castle in Harry’s first year. And even then, I had only been told about it by Ron, I was never there.
After quarter of an hour all the people that we evacuated from Hogsmead were all in their beds.
“Harry?” I said again.
“Yes?” Harry said in a dreary voice.
“Shall we go to the common room?”
“Sure. I need to sleep.” He walked next to me to the common room. We went through the door, spotting Hermione, Ron and Nevel were sitting by the roaring flames, that were licking around the coal and logs like they were great lovers.
“Hey Guys.” I said.
“Hey Harry, Hi Ginny.” Hermione said.
“What are you guys talking about?”
“Nothing really.” Nevel said, repressing a yawn.
“I’m going to bed. See you guys tomorrow.” Harry said, although he looked wise awake. Harry disappeared up the stairs.
“It’s been such a long day. Hasn’t it?” I said. “I think I’m going to go to sleep as well.”
“Ginny, you actually look kind of hyped up. Not at all sleepy.” Hermione said.
“Oh well…” I trailed off, and went upstairs.
Hermione was right. I couldn’t sleep. I didn’t even try. Like I had said before, it had been a VERY long day. It had started so casually. Now, the castle was full of stranger witches and wizards. I sat up right in my bed; most of the other girls who slept in the same dormitory as me were asleep, only a few were using this excuse to stay up late. I swung my legs out of bed. I was still fully dressed – like I said, I didn’t even try to sleep. I tiptoed out of the dormitory, down the stairs, and walked straight through the common room to the door – ignoring Hermione when she called my name. I had no idea where I was heading, but I just needed a walk to think the questions that had been bouncing in and out of my head all day. The questions about the pull I felt towards Voldermort… What was that about? Maybe I was just seeing, well, feeling things in this case… Maybe I was mad. Or maybe I just wanted to get rid of Voldermort once and for all, and subconsciously I felt the pull so that I could kill him and stop him annoying Harry.
“Aghh” I moaned, as I felt a burning pain spread across my collar bone as I thought of destroying Voldermort. What was that about? Fear? I clutched my neck, and was almost surprised to find my purple necklace hanging around my neck that I had found in Charlie’s safe at home.
I didn’t look where I was going as I descended another stair case and walked to the court yard. I passed several classrooms, but there were far too many people around talking to seriously think in peace. I marched forward until I was far away from the groups of pupils. There was a closed door at the other end of the corridor and walked through. The door opened silently. The room inside was already dimly lit, and I could hear people breathing inside. I was about to turn around and leave, until my eyes adjusted to the light, and I saw the two faces at the back right corner of the room. One of them had their back to one of the walls, with their hands pushed against the other persons shoulders.
A red haze clouded my vision, and I completely lost control…