We Were Soldiers
By Argenteus Draco
When you get the chance to sit it out
I hope you dance
I hope you dance.
Our regiment in the war was quite small. Just fifty or so in all, and
while that may seem like a lot, it really wasn't, not compared to the
regiments of a hundred or more my brothers fought in.
We were the Witches Relief Force, a group of young girls just out of
school who entered the war just when things were starting to look really
bad for the Light Side. It wasn't all glory and saving the day though, not
nearly. Women hadn't been included in the initial draft as the men had, and
before us, none had volunteered. We were laughed at, and sent home at
first. "We need warriors," they said, "Not women. If you want to help, work
in the hospitals."
Some of our number did stop there; most didn't. We came back to the
volunteer station day after day. We had our family members already in the
army speak to commanders about letting us in. We proved our worth and
loyalty by turning in several Death Eaters caught where the army couldn't
go in strength. And, finally, about a month after the first visit, they let
We were told by almost everyone that we wouldn't make it; that war
wasn't fit for women. Some of us didn't, but not everyone made it in the
men's regiments either. It isn't that one gender isn't fit for war; some
people are just less well suited than others.
We were a small part of the big army, but we were there through
everything. I was there when the Light Side won its first major battle, and
we helped bring down Death Eaters in that battle. The group was in the
field when the Dark Side attacked at the river and was forced back, taking
as many casualties as we had in the whole war so far. We were there, in the
field and the hospitals, when the final battle took place. And we sat by
the sides of the wounded and dying, offering what little comfort we could,
just as they would have done for us.
Someone in my brother Ron's regiment said we were like a family; we
looked out for one another, we helped each other when we were in need, and
we stayed together through the end. And in that sense we were. However, I
haven't spoken to several of my comrades for months now. Many of the people
I fought alongside were people I had only known by face before. We came
from every aspect of life: muggle-born, pureblood, half-blood; we had
people from all four Hogwarts houses and a few who hadn't even attended
Hogwarts. We had never been friends before then, and yet we were able to
work together to help win the war.
By the end of the war I knew everyone in the army as personally as if
they were related to me. And I realized there were two very different kinds
of people in the group: those who would get up and dance, and those who sat
there and took orders. We were in the group that danced. We fought for our
right to fight, and we won. We were out there; we proved we were just as
strong as the men, physically and mentally.
We were soldiers.