you will have memories because of what we did back then
ginny doesn’t think twice about going back to school.
so she does.
it starts on a summer day. things always start in the summer - is it the humidity? is it the magic boiling underneath the skin of all the underage students away from school?
but which summer day did it start? the summer day when ginny’s eldest brother was married? the summer day when her ex boyfriend was born and a prophecy twanged? The summer day when the boy from the second year diary got his hogwarts letter?
the summer she spent in a sickly house in london with a runaway convict and a mishmash resistance?
the summer before her seventh year she had five brothers - she had six once, and she’ll dream of having six again one day - and all five of them told her to be safe. (the sixth did too, the one she pretended wasn’t hers. he sent her a letter that said to be safe, that told her to think about homeschool for her last year. she burned it.)
she didn’t listen to any of them. one brother had already joined the cause, one was recruiting in foreign countries, two more were doing their own type of resistance, one with laughter. the last had known it would come to this since his first year when he became the best friend of the boy-who-lived. her parents are happy to think of at least one of their children at school. they’ll try to wrestle her out of it throughout the term.
ginny goes back to school. she has her own cause to keep alive.
there were children born before the last war - or the first part of this one - and they’re mostly grown now. there were children born during the war, and they’re the ones fighting this one. and then there’s her. ginevra weasley. the first weasley child to be born to peace.
but was she?
she’s done five years of school. her sixth doesn’t really count as schooling, per say. in her first she’s possessed, in her second dementors move into her school, in her third a death eater takes the face of her defense teacher and a boy dies, in her fifth the ministry took their turn and carved scars into her hands and she joined a militia her boyfriend ran and she snuck into the department of mysteries and another man died and she dueled with her life on the line for the first time.
peace seems impossibly far away. peace feels like another fairytale from a barely there childhood. she remembers her years tucked away. with all six brothers, and two parents safe. but, even then every holiday there were two missing spots at the dinner table for a different set of troublemaking twins she never got to meet.
she is supposed to be the first set of children born in peace . they forget that for children to live in peace you have to defeat more than just the bogeyman - the parents must defeat their own demons before they fight off their children.
on the first of september there is only one redheaded weasley waiting to board a train. in her brother’s bed at home sleeps a ghoul sick with spattergroit. every other brother sleep in homes with walls of fidelus charms.
did you hear about-yes that's her-wait is he coming this year-huh?-wands taken-filthy mudb-death eaters teachi-weren’t there always look at sna-headmaster??him??
the last weasley left sees a blonde willowy girl and a stocky brown haired boy waiting in the crowds. she doesn’t meet their eyes, not yet. first she finds the firsties. it’s easy enough to spot them, the few that have made it to the platform this year have nervous parents holding their hands.
she finds them, shakes parent’s hands, loads trunks, brushes hair back. then she tells them all a secret.
a little girl with two black braids stares up at her, a cat napping in her arms. ginny gives her a chocolate frog and whispers, “if anything happens go to gryffindor tower and ask for fawkes.”
the girl repeats back the words, “i’m looking for fawkes, please.” they smile and the girl squeezes her hand and as ginny goes to leave the compartment luna’s there waiting with a dark skinned girl with a pink pygmy puff.
ginny stands next to luna and they watch as the firsties sit next to each other. they practice saying a word, quietly. they whisper, “i’m looking for fawkes, please.” back and forth. ginny’s toes are turning cold. luna grabs her hand and when the firsties start talking about which house they’re dreaming for the two walk away. neither will be sorted into gryffindor, as long as they listen to the warnings they were given when they got onto the train.
the house of the brave isn’t safe this year.
they say it’s hard to leave school because you spend most of your life in it. before ginny turned eleven she went to the muggle school down in the muggle town. she learned her maths and how to play muggle sports and ate her snacks and when she came back her dad quizzed her on everything she learned.
muggle primary school was a different kind of magic than hogwarts, looking back. it had been safe.
on her first day of sixth year, ginny goes to the welcoming feast and when one of the carrows, one of her new teachers, passes by he spits on her. neville wipes it off with his napkin and seamus sets his on fire to make her smile. she does, because she’s a target. It means she shouldn’t have to play safe. she’s never been any good at that.
there are three gryffindor firsties. a boy and two girls. parvati and lavender each sit a girl next to them and tell them jokes. neville shows the boy trevor after he makes sure the boy eats enough.
gryffindor is a long, empty table. four seventh years, five sixth years, four fifth years, seven third years, two second years and three firsties. twenty five lions in robes of gold and red in the entire hall. they all sit at the end of the table, closest to the door and farthest from the professors that are a little too hard to trust this year.
the fall semester does it’s best to bruise.
there is a boy with a scar and two friends by his side that are on the run. they’ve been on the run since the summer. since a wedding with two kisses - one from the bride and groom and one between a boy prophesied to die and his best friends sister. the first kiss was a beginning. the second was an end. i open at the close . the boy sleeps in forests and hunts bits and pieces of souls that sing like the one in his skull. he dreams of green light, and his friends dressed in red, and a mentor with half-moon glasses falling off the astronomy tower, and running through the ministry to see his godfather slip into an archway he can’t walk back through. sometimes, maybe, he dreams of the kiss. the goodbye kiss? or the kiss in the common room, after their win? or all the ones in between? or maybe not.
sprout sits down her ravenclaws and her gryffindors and breathes deep. once. twice. then she begins. the sixth years learn different things this year. they learn how to grow walls, how to set traps, which plants can kill, which plants will heal, the type of things you can find in forests that are safe to eat if you were to find yourself camping - or on the run.
this year herbology is a class on how to survive. neville longbottom stands by her side and tells his friends with forests have the best trees to climb to hide in, and which ones have streams with clean water, and which ones they shouldn’t try because the risk is too big. at the end of class sprout watches him sink into a seat next to his two closest friends and they all hold each others glove covered hands. sprout lets them be and brings her third years to a different greenhouse.
when she leaves neville sinks further into his seat. ginny watches him and thinks, what if i hadn’t come back?
romilda vane screams in her sleep. she wakes ginny up at least once a week. There’s only one other girl in their dorm room, and she charms her curtains quiet. ginny knows the spell, but at least one thing that her mum tried to ram into her head stuck, when people are hurting you help.
ginny and winky have come to a hot chocolate smuggling contract. if ginny calls for her at night winky brings her three mugs with cocoa and marshmallows. one for vane, one for ginny and one for winky. when vane wakes up there's something there to cheer her up, and winky catches ginny up on the gossip she’s heard. she writes it down because she won’t be able to remember it to tell to neville later otherwise.
winky hears what the hufflepuffs whisper when they sneak down to the kitchens, her eyes happen to glance over the notes the ravenclaws pass when she cleans their rooms and the slytherins talk freely in front of her, spilling their secrets without care, for, what difference does a house elf make if they hear something?
“the carrow’s are going to start practicing unforgivables,” winky passes along. ginny’s skin seems to tighten, just at the thought of the cruciatus. she thinks of neville at christmas, visiting his parents. she thinks of the lightning scar on her ex-boyfriends forehead. she thinks of the death eater in year 3 who made her backflip over a desk. ginny drinks her hot chocolate, thanks winky, and waits for vane to wake up.
little maddie jordan, ravenclaw 3rd year, whispers a secret into luna lovegood’s ear on october 3rd. by october 7th every da member at hogwarts knows the first password of potterwatch. river remarks on a beautiful first turnout over the airwaves. ginny sinks into the cushions of a conjured red couch in the room of requirement, neville and luna’s arms wrapped around her and she bites her lip as she hears riot advertise weasley’s wizard wheezes. it’s one thing to know your brothers are fighting in a war while you do your best to mind your business at school. it’s another to hear them help their best friend read off a list of the dead.
DUMBLEDORE’S ARMY IS STILL RECRUITING.
in her very first year at hogwarts ginny tried writing in a diary. she had a terrible encounter with a piece of tom riddle’s soul and at the young age of eleven was possessed. one of the horrid things her tiny first year self was forced to do was right terrible things in blood on walls. on every wall she once stained her hands red defacing with voldemort’s words, she now covers in bright gold paint with a new set of words.
DUMBLEDORE’S ARMY IS STILL RECRUITING.
luna gets the idea the third week into school and neville finds them the paint and ginny picks the walls. the three of them cloak themselves in disillusionment spells and write their messages during the witching hour. with gold flecks in her hair and splotches on her clothes, ginny beams up at her walls. now , she feels like she’s come back to school for a reason.
kids come asking in the morning, only a few are dumb enough to ask one of them directly, most of them know by now to ask friends who will ask friends who will ask friends. hannah abbott sits next to neville two mornings later with a list of hufflepuffs. ginny watches lily cho show luna a charming doodle, when luna shows it to ginny later she sees that the lines of the sunflower are done with names of ravenclaws from first to seventh year that would like to try their hands at fighting back.
the gryffindors pass her notes in class, or come up to her in the common room with shy smiles, or catch her on the quidditch pitch. by the end of the week twenty three of the twenty five lions at hogwarts have their names written in neville’s record book in the room of requirement.
on halloween three little boys with ties of yellow and black knock on gryffindor tower and ask for fawkes. a group of upper year boys in robes trimmed in green and silver practiced hexes on them in front of professors. parvati and lavender wrap them up in blankets and romilda vane sneaks down to the kitchens with her friends to fetch hot chocolate.
ginny weasley and neville longbottom won’t hear about this until the next day. they are a little bit busy trying to steal the sword of gryffindor with luna lovegood.
the sword is on display. it’s in a rectangular glass box, on display as if it’s a piece of art or really special relic in a museum. the sword is ancient and all, but something about it makes ginny’s skin crawl. the last time she saw that thing, she was half dead and it was in the hands of harry potter, stabbing a diary and a basilisk and filling her lungs with air again.
the sword of gryffindor shouldn’t be in the hands of snape. luna grabs her hand and squeezes it, luna’s practically got a seventh sense for knowing when ginny’s out of sorts. ginny takes a deep breath and nods. the three of them are still standing in the doorwar, right in front of the stupid eagle that let them off. ginny steps forward, pulling luna with her to stand in front of the sword.
“so,” ginny asks. “how do we get this pointy bastard out of here?”
luna smiles at her, “we could ask the paintings if there’s a key or spell, but then we’d have to wake them up after we went through all the trouble of charming them to sleep.”
ginny looks up at the walls of slumbering former headmasters. normally, theres at least ten or so blatantly eavesdropping, but luna wove some fancy spell to keep any of them from reporting back to snape. “hey neville,” she says. “any ideas?”
there’s no answer for a few seconds. ginny turns back to see neville staring, almost frozen, at the glass case with gryffindor’s sword. “nev?” luna asks.
“are you sure that the paintings can’t see or hear us?”
“as sure as a wringlesquitz.”
Neville nods. Then he walks up to the glass case, lifts up the broom he’d been carrying and smashes it nice and hard against the glass. luna and ginny jump back a bit and then the ringing starts in her ears. oh. fuck. the three of them meet eyes and then ginny lunges forward and picks up the sword. it doesn’t feel quite right, but she ignores it. luna spots a window and the three of them race over to it. ginny pulls her broom out of her pocket and luna enlargens it and they both jump on. neville moves to open the window when the eagle crows at the other end of the room.
fuck. snape’s caught them in the act,
that night while three badgers are fed and have their wounds wrapped, the three students that told them to ask for fawkes are stuck doing detention in the forbidden forest.
they’d been dragged out of snape’s office with nothing but detention in the forbidden forest with hagrid. it should be more. even before snape was revealed to actually be the worst and one of voldemort’s followers, his detentions had always been laced with a level of cruelty. luna holds her and neville’s hands and asks hagrid about the different creatures in the forest. it almost feels as if it’s not a detention at all.
they chose fawkes as the firsties password because the da had died with sirius black. but this year it had to come back. it had to come back to keep the first years safe and to keep some sort of light left on hogwarts. hogwarts has always been a castle with walls to keep those inside safe from the outside. this year, and all the years ginny could remember to be honest, the sickness and evil came from teachers. ginny hadn’t known dumbledore very well, but his death should mean something. his name did mean something.
few people knew the name of dumbledore’s phoenix. ginny knew because the bird had helped save her life when she was eleven, hopefully it would help save all the eleven year olds at hogwarts this year, too.
in november the da starts having meetings again. thirty badgers, twenty eagles, and all but two of the lions at hogwarts find themselves in the room of requirement. two slytherins have been given the rings neville made up from some strange plant. the snakes have their names written up in neville’s list of records and every da member knows not to hex them too bad, but it’s not safe for them to be up here. to know everything.
not one member has to walk through the school like they once did in ‘95. neville’s asked for passageways to every common room, ones that only he or luna or ginny can open. the passageways are a little too short to make sense, but their existence is already nonsensical enough. ginny asked luna about it once, when neville first requested them and the room bowed over to fill his every want.
“oh, but gin it’s magic,” luna smiled, her freckles sparkling in the candle light. “it doesn’t have to make sense unless we really want it too.”
the castle is cold, so neville asked for the room to be warm like the greenhouses still are. the room gave him glass walls fogged up too much for anyone to see what lies behind. during the day sunlight bleeds in and lights up the room, at night candles line the walls and lamps hang in convenient spots and a fireplace is found burning low.
the floor was hard and stone, so neville asked for cushions and sofas and more. when the three of them started falling asleep over plans they woke up to blankets covering them and pillows beneath their heads. luna teaches neville how to embroider the nicest ones when nev’s too stressed to get more work done. ginny tries to tidy up the cushions a bit and sleep the floors and water the plants neville drags in.
by the time the da makes its way in, the room’s started to be a bit of a home. everyone helps move the furniture to the walls, the walls that seem to have expanded once everyone trickled in, and they plop all the first years who’ve used their passwords onto the hammocks and ply them with exploding snap and quidditch books. and then they plan, and practice and breathe.
by midway through november another ten students have found their way into the room and susan bones has gone and named this version of the room fawkes’ nest . the name prompts some of the fourth years into helping the first years do a big mural of the phoenix himself on one of the stone walls.
neville tells luna and ginny one night, after they’ve seen all the other students back to their common rooms, that the room’s never been so pleased. it’s never been so scared either, but it’s so terribly happy to be doing some real good.
ginny hugs the two of them breathless at that. this. this feels good again.
if she didn’t go to class her mum would be disappointed. her mum’s heard of some of the things she’s gotten up to this year, and she isn’t happy. she’s proud, of course, but ginny knows her mum thought that going back to hogwarts meant she wasn’t going to be fighting in the war. her mum’s always been a dreamer when it came to her, but ginny supposes she should at least try to do the things you’re supposed to do at school.
the only classes she has with luna are herbology, runes and astronomy, the rest she’s got on her own. there aren’t many kids left in her year and ginny’s trying to take classes that will actually help in case she doesn’t end up playing for the harpies the year after next. so, she goes to classes by herself and does her work as well as she can and does her best to remember everything her teachers connected to the order right on her marked papers.
a day will go like this:
breakfast is spent barely awake, finally getting going when seamus sets something on fire.
- herbology with luna and sometimes neville. luna frets over neville if hes there.
- ancient runes with luna, ginny does her best not to scream when she gets it wrong.
- ginny volunteers to be tortured in dark arts so she doesn’t have to cast any unforgivables. unless she manages to trick one of the snakes into volunteering. then she hexs them until carrow gives her detention.
- slughorn praises her average potions skill because she’s the best of the six kids in the class
then there’s lunch. most of the time ginny’s spending it in detention. when she’s not she sometimes sneaks off to flirt with one of the cute hufflepuffs in her year or the year below. luna eats with lily cho and her ravenclaw friends at lunch and neville spends it in the greenhouses with sprout.
- ginny does alright in transfiguration, all the gryffindors in her year are still in the class because mcgonagall is the only professor that plies them with points for anything they do. ginny doesn’t even lose points when she calls mcgonagall minnie.
- that’s charms. charms is really defense now, flitwick puts them through the paces of a dueling club and pushes pushes pushes for them to learn how to cast non verbally. he tells them they’ll need it soon.
- ginny has care of magical creatures with hagrid. it’s nice, she’s always liked the idea of wrestling beasts. her mum blames charlie. charlie blames mum.
- this is the blessed spare. if she’d bothered with divination for another year she’d have that, but ginny’s trying to get helpful courses. not nonsense.
then there’s dinner. neville, luna and her take turns sneaking food from the kitchens and they bring it up to fawkes’ nest . then they curl up on a cushion or couch around one of the tables with plans and names and numbers and rings and they try to come up with something to do.
- Before they fall asleep luna and ginny trudge up to the astronomy tower and listen to professor sinistra teach them about the skies. ginny’s fingers itch for a quaffle.
it’s better than it could be. ginny knows it won’t last forever. she holds luna’s hand when she can and she brings vane cocoa when she has nightmares and she takes care of firsties and tries not to think about her brother and her friend and her ex boyfriend off fighting voldemort.
it doesn’t last past the train home for christmas.
luna had the window seat because she likes to look out every so often when she gets tired and it just makes ginny’s head dizzy. neville had the other side because he has long legs and he needed a nap.
luna was whispering star names into ginny’s ear, her breathe warm and ginny’s ears embarrassingly red. ginny can still hear her voice. “gin, oh gin isn’t cygnus just the prettiest? i do love swans. i think i’d like a swan in a pond you know. what about you, gin?”
then they were pulling luna out from her. ginny doesn’t remember that much, she knows she didn’t let them at first and that neville woke up but it was so fast and she tried so hard and-
ginny’s hands twitch for the rest of the train ride, neville tries to hold them but his hands don’t fit the way luna’s did.
when they pull into 9 ¾ neville has to get help from some of their friends to pull her off the train. neville carries their trunks, but he puts pig and trevor and arnold firmly in her hands. her hands cling to them. she won’t let go of them like she-
her mum is smiling when she spots her, but it doesn’t last long at the sight of neville and lavender and lily and susan. the four drop her off at her mums feet and neville asks for trevor, but she doesn’t hear it at first and then it’s
“hey ginny, can i have trevor?””ginny, can i have trevor?””can i have trevor?””i have trevor?””have trevor?””trevor?trevor?trevor?trevor?”
ginny blinks. “of course.” then she hands trevor over and collapses into her dad. bill is next to him and he picks ginny up. and carries her out. she doesn’t remember what happens after that.
at home it’s better. pig is let out of his cage and fred and george make fun of arnold and even fleur isn’t that bad, she brings fresh cookies. bill gives her a hug every time he sees her and her mum doesn’t let her out of her sight.
ginny thinks of luna and she-
she doesn’t think of luna. she thinks of hogwarts and she wonders how she’s supposed to get through runs and astronomy without luna-
she tries not to think of luna. she eats and she unwraps presents and she beats her brothers when they race on their brooms in the yard. dad, mum, bill, fleur and the twins whisper at night. order business.
hello we have a new guest today. her name is rover!
hi river, it’s nice to be here and seeing the magic instead of just listening for once.
you’re a listener? aw shucks rover.
oh you know, a little stream got me hooked.
ha! alright everyone, rover’s here to give us an update on the hogwarts situation. she’s either a student, a teacher, or just in very good contact with someone there! so rover, how is it?
well, dumbledore’s army is still recruiting so you know they aren’t taking things easy up there. a good thing too, the carrows have turned defense against the dark arts into just the dark arts and muggle studies is now basically pureblood propaganda. so, if you’re a hogwarts student and you think you need a helping hand ask any of the upper years with the flickering green vines on their fingers for fawkes and that should help.
thank you, rover. i’m sure glad i’ve graduated but we’re all worrying for you. and- i’m sorry for the incident with ms lovegood especially.
oh i - thank you river.
for those of you that haven’t heard, luna lovegood, the daughter of xenophilius lovegood, was kidnapped off of the hogwarts express on her way home from christmas because of mr lovegood’s honest words in his magazine the quibbler. keep them in you heads. Now thank you again rover.
of course river!
and now, for the list of the missing.
ginny goes into town and she learns that the muggles have sent a robot up to mars. and that before that they sent one up to the moon. the muggles call these robots rovers. they’re supposed to send back pictures and watch over the planets.
her aunt muriel comes by. her mum's christmas cards this year asked everyone to stay away because of the son sick with spattergroit in the attic. aunt muriel comes anyway. she pokes and prods and says fleur is too skinny and that charlie needs a girlfriend and which one of the twins is dating the girl and which one is seeing the boy.
(the answer is neither because they both have their heads up their asses, but that isn't the point.)
she clicks her tongue at ginny’s jeans and asks, “oh what’s the fuss about calling her a girl if she’s just going to keep wearing trousers?”
all of that is expected. it’s awful and horrid but it’s expected. and then aunt muriel drops a sixth brother sized bomb.
“oh, is percival not coming?” she smiles her shark teeth. “when he wrote me back last week, he was the one talking about missing christmas dinner. i’d so hoped to see my favourite of your brood, molly.”
when ginny came around there were six brothers waiting. bill was the oldest and had to help the most, ginny was a bit of a chore for him. him and charlie, both. but, the two of them had both scurried off to hogwarts before ginny was more than three. the twins teased her and tormented her until she was old enough to get them back to get them off her back. and ron was more of a friend and playmate than an older brother.
ginny only has five brothers now. but when she was little, the older brother who took care of her was percy. he took all four of them to the pond and to the muggle village and taught ginny how to bake brownies and helped her read her first book. he was a bit of a prat at hogwarts but he wasn’t all that bad. he wasn’t all that bad until he and dad screamed at each other and ginny lost her older brother. percy was the one to call her gin first.
maybe-maybe ginny would let him come home for christmas. but he doesn’t really want too, she’s sure.
fred and george wake her up on the 1st of ‘98 as soon as the sun rises. then they drag her out of bed by her arms and cram her into her coat and carry her down to the frozen pond and lace up her skates before she’s fully awake.
ginny pushes them both over and they grin back at her, fred chasing her one way and george the other. they tackle her into the snow backs and they stay there until their pjs start to get soaked.
george can do a couple of jumps and ginny learned a spin or two from luna. fred just throws snowballs at them and skates around them. the three of them laugh and laugh and laugh.
they start ‘98 as best as they can. then their mum comes down and yells at them, but she’s smiling.
there is no red headed weasley waiting at platform 9 ¾ because there is no blonde willowy girl there to hold her hand. a general boards the train without his seconds. still though, one will be waiting in the castle to greet him and the army when they arrive.
ginny floos to hogsmeade and mcgonagall walks her to school, “things will be worse this term.”
“things already are worse.” ginny’s hands twitch. she has no brothers to keep her busy and no mother to keep her eyes on her.
but she has a friend and an army to help. fall bruised, and winter burns.
january twists and turns and all she hears are whispers and screams. she listens to potterwatch in fawkes’ nest . friends ask her about rovers. she wraps her hands, still twitching. she goes to class and the carrows crucios open the words she once carved into her skin when a sorry excuse for a teacher made her.
things always start in summer, always happen on halloween. winter break is a refuge. when you return from break the trees are gone and every menorah on every house table put away. but- the pine needles are still on the floor and when you look at the table the candle wax hasn’t been wiped down yet.
professor sinistra tells the newt class that the black lake is frozen enough to skate on. ginny glides and twirls and pictures her brothers with her. she glides all the way down to the middle of the lake and stops. here, underneath, is the giant squid. her hand reaches out - for luna’s hand. but luna’s not there. she skates back and hides her skates underneath her bed.
in february ginny and neville start setting up permanent corners in fawkes’ nest . they’re hiding their first years now. winky had warned her months ago. but last night she had a worse twist on it.
“the carrows are going to start practicing unforgivables on first years.”
hannah abbott, ginny weasley, lily cho. three students, three houses. they’ve all volunteered to sleep with the firsties this week. next week it’ll switch. but ginny knows it won’t be needed for long, they won’t all be able to stay out in the halls and in the classrooms if they’ve already started hiding firsties.
ginny puts the cots and blankets and chests by the fireplace for now. then - oh shit. “nev?” she calls over. “we can’t keep raiding the kitchens and how’re we gonna feed them?
neville pauses where he’s setting up a table for the first years meals. “oh.” he stands up straight. “fuck uh. hey room? do you think you could help us feed the firsties?”
that’s when the passageway opens. ginny’s jaw tightens. neville looks back at her, “i guess we should follow it.”
“no,” ginny says. “i’ll go. you need to find bathrooms and we don’t know what’s down their. i’ll send sparks if i’m in danger.”
neville looks all worried at her, he fiddles with his cuffs and sighs. he knows how stubborn she is and he knows he does need to find some sort of bathrooms. “don’t be dumb, all right?”
ginny squeezes his hand when she passes him on her way to the passageway. she’ll probably be a bit dumb, but she’s a bit dumb to be at hogwarts at all right now.
dumbledore’s brother ends up smuggling food to dumbledore’s army.
neville and ginny take the third week with a fourth year ravenclaw. the ravenclaw’s fallen asleep underneath the three eleven year old lions. neville’s already taken a picture and tacked it to the pictures on the wall with the phoenix mural. ginny sighs back on the old red sofa they’ve had since september. neville collapses next to her and squeezes her hand. ginny closes her eyes, but she doesn’t like what she sees behind them. she opens them and pulls neville back to his feet, ignoring his grumbles, and they dance the same dances they had to learn for the yule ball she made him take her too. neville laughs into her shoulder.
they taught the younger years how to dance for valentines last week. ginny’s still never danced with luna. the two of them keep dancing to no music.
she starts having tea with mcgonagall. mcgonagall even smiles when she calls her minnie sometimes now. they start on the 1st of march. on the 17th of march minnie hands her back a marked essay at the end of tea with a note hidden in a code in the notes.
luna’s safe. lunassafelunassafelunassafelunassafelunassafelunassafeLUNASSAFE. it takes ginny three minutes to get that out of the paper and she hugs mcgonagall tight and races out the door. and then she calmly and slowly makes her way to gryffindor tower where she calmly and slowly slips through the passageway and up into fawkes’ nest and then she screams it for everyone to hear, “LUNA’S SAFE!” and when everyone else jumps up and screams back - then ginny starts crying happy tears. romilda vane even tackles her in a hug.
later, neville will comb through her essay and laugh, bright and loud. “hey gin.”
“yeah?” she asks from where she’s sprawled, sort of twisted up in a hammock as some second years giggle up at her.
“you, uh, kinda missed something after you saw ‘luna’s safe,’ ” neville looks as if he’s trying not to smile.
ginny rolls her eyes, “what’d i miss?”
“harry, ron and hermione are with her at your brother bill’s, they’re all safe.” that’s when the hammock untangles and drops ginny onto the floor, right on her face. they’re all safe.
the second years fall over each other laughing at her.
easter comes. less students go home for easter, but mcgonagall pushes for her to head home so neville helps her sneak out of the castle and out of hogsmeade and fred and george are waiting there to apparate her out. she waves to neville and makes him promise to stay safe. the both have them have gone into full time hiding with classmates smuggling them work. ginny doesn’t want to have to repeat a sixth year.
ginny goes to move out of fred and george’s arms to run up to the door of the burrow - but then she realizes it’s not the burrow. “no,” she says.
“oh gin,” george says, frowning. “we thought you’d known.”
the families at aunt muriel’s. they’ve gone into fucking hiding and they’ve dragged her out of the hiding spot where she’s doing something to the one where she's as useless as a gnome.
everything blurs together. it’s less than a month spent in aunt muriel’s home, but it feels longer.
fall bruised, winter burned and spring itches.
on may 1st her coin burns in one pocket and less than five minutes later her ring tightens around her finger. it won’t release until luna, ginny and neville are all their to untie the one around neville’s finger. she winks at her brothers and jumps into aunt muriel’s fireplace before any of them can try to keep her out of the fight. her fight. as the fire turns green she hears muriel say, “oh molly, you’re daughter’s always been a firecracker.”
aberforth nods at her, almost smiling, “you’re the first so far.”
“it’s gonna be a long night,” she tells him. she doesn’t know the truth in her words yet. then- the fire crackles again and she turns around to see luna. luna steps forward to meet her and ginny almost tackles her in a hug.
then they race through arianna’s portrait, ginny showing luna the secrets she missed and they trip out into fawkes’ nest. their army is waiting. their army tugs them forward, she almost loses luna but then their hand’s link together and luna squeezes their hands and - now. now ginny can breathe. she might die tonight, but she’s held luna’s hand one more time.
when harry walks in, the room quiets down. the first year’s don’t know him, but everyone third year down has been forcibly evacuated. neville pushed for fifth year down but then they all reminded him he’d gotten into the ministry with fourth years just two years ago. he let it be. ginny’s heart had twanged. some of them will die.
but then harry’s walked in and he has a plan. he meets her eye and she wonders if he thought of her. she’s barely thought of him, he left her. she built a better army in the walls of the castle than the one he’d left behind his fifth year. luna squeezes her hand again and she squeezes back.
her mum really tries to keep her from the fight. harry looks as if he’s on her side and ginny wants to puke, but she gets out anyway. she doesn’t wish she hadn’t gotten out, but she wishes there wasn’t a fight in the castle’s halls as she trips through a battle. she can duel and she does and she sees glimmers of her friends and she does her best to breath and she thinks she understands what neville said months ago when she falls into a suit of armour and it helps her back up.
hogwarts wants to help.
the night doesn’t seem to end until it does. she makes her way to the great hall and when she does a count she finds six brothers standing. six brothers . her hands itch and then percy’s lifting her up and fred and george are crowding them and bill and charlie are laughing and ron’s tugging her back down to hug her solid. she turns to smile at her mum, disbelieving and her mum is sitting next to her dad and- her dad doesn’t have any legs. just as quickly as they’d all gone up to hug ginny they all rush over to their dad’s side. but - he’s alive. thank everything he’s alive
later, ginny finds luna and they go to count the fallen rings neville made them. they haven’t seen neville yet, but if he was dead their rings would have all fallen apart. dumbledore’s army is only two thirds here with so many other years safe and away. still, they find too many rings.
harry potter is dead. harry potter is dead and this sick creature who once snuck in and out of her mind is smiling. luna lets go of her hand and ginny does her best to not look as if she’s terrified at the loss of contact, but she doesn’t have the strength to link even their pinkies anymore.
but then - he’s alive. harry potter. the boy who lived, the boy who brought down voldemort, her ex boyfriend, the gryffindor quidditch captain, the founder of the da, a 17 year old wizard.
a 17 year old wizard that survived. ginny breathes in and out, and later this will be the part she doesn’t remember.
the next thing she does remember is peace. not peace , not yet. but a breath of air. harry potter finds her and his smile is hopeful and ginny smiles back, but not in the same way and then - there’s luna behind him. she walks up to ginny and harry takes a step back and then she says, “gin, gin you’re okay.”
“you’re okay,” ginny says, just as relieved.
and then luna grabs her hand and when she squeezes it, ginny leans in and luna’s leaning in and they’re kissing. it’s the easiest thing they’ve done all year and ginny feel’s luna’s smile underneath her own lips.
ginny goes back to school the next year, because it’s her school. and her girlfriend’s coming with her and they have to make sure that the firsties know that there’s a room where they can go when they’re worried. they won’t ever sleep there again, but if they need a hug from an upper year all they have to do is ask for fawkes.
hogwarts purrs ginevra molly weasley’s seventh year. but, when summer comes it lets her go.
everything seems to start in summer. and the rest of ginny’s life is no different. the sun burns and her hair is fire and she is safe and she is going to finally live in a world of peace one day soon.