|Dumbledore's Army, Still Recruiting
Author: Jane Willow PM
Neville could never have guessed what his 7th year at school would be like this. With Dumbledore's Army still recruiting, there's no telling how bad the war being waged at in school might get. But it doesn't matter to them. The DA lives!Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Angst - Neville L. & Ginny W. - Chapters: 18 - Words: 47,771 - Reviews: 157 - Favs: 92 - Follows: 109 - Updated: 07-04-11 - Published: 06-15-10 - id: 6054540
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The Hogwarts Express
"This year is going to be very different, isn't it?"
Ginny spun around to see Neville running up to her. She had just loaded her things onto the scarlet Hogwarts Express, placing Arnold carefully on her shoulder.
He reached her, looking around, as if expecting someone else to show up. "They're not coming, are they?" he said after a moment.
She shook her head, staring at the ground as she kicked a crumpled bit of parchment that someone had dropped.
"I figured they wouldn't," Neville said, sadly. "I figured they wouldn't leave Hermione."
Ginny shook her head again, angrily. "This policy is ridiculous," she spat. "Hermione is the brightest person I've ever met, but they won't let her study magic? It's madness."
"I know," Neville said, sympathetically. "The school's going to seem so empty this year. And Ron and Harry? I expect they're not coming because of this policy? Protesting against it or something?"
"It's more then that," Ginny whispered, leaning a bit closer to him.
Neville sighed. "I was worried it might be. Are they all right?"
Ginny looked nervously from side to side. Heavily cloaked witches and wizards watched the students and their families milling around the platform, checking off names as the students climbed onto the train. The Ministry had sent them to make sure the children who were supposed to be there were. And to keep out the ones that weren't.
"I'll explain on the train," she said, eyeing the Ministry wizards nervously and grabbing his wrist, pulling him after her.
"Wait, have you seen Luna?" Neville asked, following Ginny clumsily. "She'll want to know, too."
"I expect everyone will want to know," she sighed, imagining all the questions everyone would have about the three of them – and who else was there to get answers from but her? She looked back at Neville. "But I'm only telling you. And Luna," she added. "But don't go spreading it around," she said, warningly.
Neville just nodded.
Walking quickly, Ginny kept her eyes open for any sign of Luna.
"Up there," Neville said, suddenly, pointing ahead of them. Luna stood in front a Ministry wizard near the train as the wizard waved something animatedly in front of her, shouting.
Neville and Ginny exchanged worried glanced before setting off at a run towards her.
"But you don't understand," Luna was saying, "it's only a magazine."
"Yes," said the wizard in a horrible, nasally voice, "and as I've said, it's banned. Now, get on to the train," he ordered.
Luna looked around exasperatedly, and then spotted Neville and Ginny. "Oh, it's you two. Please, tell him that there's nothing bad in the Quibbler." She turned back to the wizard. "My father's the editor, you see. So, I really do want to read it."
"Look right here!" the wizard cried. "It says right on the cover: page 23, Potter Supporters Plan Secret Radio Show, details inside. And there is to be nothing about Potter on this train, do you understand? He is a criminal."
"Oh no," Luna said, earnestly. "I know Harry Potter! He's really quite a nice boy. In fact, last year I went with him to –"
"I've had enough of this," the wizard muttered. He pulled his wand out from under his robes.
Neville grabbed Luna by the shoulders and pulled her closer to him, out of the path of the wizard. Ginny stepped forward, looking at Luna.
"Luna, don't you remember? Honestly, if I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times." She sighed, dramatically, flipping her red hair over her shoulder. "We're done with Potter. He's a… a horrible liar and…a, uh, a rebel and he has… stupid glasses."
Luna stared wide-eyed at Ginny. "But I thought he was your boyfriend. Last year you told me you thought you were in –"
Ginny put her hands firmly on her hips. "As if I would ever dream of dating someone like that. Let's just get on the train."
She turned to the Ministry wizard. He eyed her suspiciously for a moment, then said, "name."
"Ginerva Weasley," she announced, hands still on her hips.
He pulled a piece of parchment out from under his robes which floated in front of him, a long list of names written in green ink on it. Ginny could just make out her name glowing on the other side of it. The he took out a quill, ticked off the name and stepped aside to let her on the train.
"One moment," he said, stopping her. "You've got a brother, seventh year. Where's he?"
"Spattergroit," she explained, quickly. "It's awful. And in his N.E.W.T year, too…"
The wizard looked at her for another moment, and then shrugged, letting her on the train.
"Get on. Name."
"On you get, then."
"Are you sure I can't just have my –"
"Come on, Luna," Neville hissed, pulling her on the train after him.
"Luna," Ginny said sternly, "you need to watch what you say from now on."
Luna sighed as the three of them searched for an empty compartment. "But maybe if we just explained – Harry isn't a criminal. You know that. You did date him. You lied back there."
"I know I did."
"She saved you," Neville interrupted. "That guy had his wand out."
"Oh, but he wouldn't hurt me."
Neville and Ginny glanced at each other.
"What?" asked Luna, catching the look. "They wouldn't. Would they?"
Ginny sighed. "I'd rather not take the risk and find out."
Luna stared down at her feet. "This year is going to be very different, isn't it?"
Seamus Finiginn sat slumped in the otherwise empty compartment, staring blankly out the window.
The door slid open, but he didn't look up.
"Seamus," said a voice. It took Seamus a minute to place it – Ernie MacMillan. "Good to see you," Ernie said. "Mind if we join you?" He motioned behind him to Susan Bones and Hannah Abbott.
Seamus shrugged. "Go ahead."
Ernie sat next to him, the girls across from them. "Had a good summer?" Ernie asked, conversationally.
Seamus rolled his eyes. "Small talk? Really, Ernie?"
"Just trying to make conversation," Ernie muttered, sounding angry.
Susan sighed. "I suppose this really isn't the time for small talk, is it? What with… everything…"
"What do you want to talk about then?" Ernie asked, sounding meaner then he had intended.
"Let's just be quiet," Seamus suggested, crossing his arms over his chest and staring back out the window.
Ernie narrowed his eyes at Seamus. "You know –" he began, but then he caught sight of Hannah waving her arms to get his attention.
"Dean," she mouthed to him.
Ernie sighed, running his hands through his hair. "All right," he muttered. "Let's just… be quiet."
"Oh, look!" Susan said suddenly, pointing out the window of the compartment door. "Ginny's here – do you think Ron's with her?"
Seamus shook his head. "There's no way he is. Not without the other two."
He sounded bitter. Ernie wondered whether he too had tried to get out of coming back to Hogwarts to be with his friend.
Hannah stood up and slid the door open. "Neville," she smiled, "Ginny, Luna, come sit here. Is Ron with you?"
Ginny shook her head.
"Oh," Hannah sighed, sadly. "We figured. Come on, sit with us."
"We can't," Ginny said, quickly. "We've promised we'd find Terry and Michael. We'll come back later."
"We haven't," said Luna.
"We have, you've just forgotten," Ginny hissed, pushing her past the compartment.
Neville stood there for a moment. Finally he shrugged awkwardly. "Sorry," he murmured.
Hannah shrugged, too. "Well, maybe you can look in later."
"Yeah," Neville said, nodding. "Deffinatly. We'll look in later. Yeah."
"Neville! Come on!"
And with one last, lop-sided grin, he was gone.
"Draco? Draco, are you listening to anything I'm saying?"
Pansy rolled her eyes. "What's wrong with you today?"
Draco rubbed his eyes. "I'm tired. That's all."
Pansy put her arm around his shoulder. "You can sleep on my shoulder, if you like," she smiled, eyeing him keenly.
"No, I just, uh… I need to stretch my legs."
Pansy jumped up. "Let's go then."
"I'd rather go on my own," he muttered, moving past her and out of the compartment.
Pansy watched him go, her eyes narrow and suspicious and somewhat hurt.
"Don't worry, Pans, you know that they say," Blaise sniggered, "absence makes the heart grow fonder. I'm sure he'll only be gone a few years."
Folding her arms, Pansy stuck her tongue out at him.
"Gets to you, doesn't it?"
Draco spun around. "Nott! You scared me."
"Not my fault you're jumpy."
"I'm not jumpy."
Theodore rolled his eyes. "Sure."
"And how would you know if I'm jumpy?" Draco spat.
"Like I said," Theodore went on, coolly, "it gets to you."
"What gets to you?"
"I hear you've got an old man locked up in your basement." He grinned at the look of surprise on Draco's face. "Remember, I know what it's like, Malfoy."
Draco pushed past him, walking up the corridor, Theodore following him, matching his hurried strides. "How do you know about that?" Draco demanded. "You know… about the man," he whispered.
"You forget our fathers run in the same circles. So, what do you make of these Ministry wizards?"
Draco shrugged. "What's there to make of them?"
"Well, if the Ministry was that involved at the station, just imagine what Hogwarts will be like."
"A fair bit better then it was, I expect."
Theodore shrugged. "Maybe. Did you hear they're changing Defense Against the Dark Arts to The Dark Arts? My father told me we'd be following the Drumstrang curriculum."
Draco just grunted, sounding neither pleased nor upset by this.
"I'm planning on dropping it. I've had enough of the Dark Arts to last me a lifetime."
Draco stopped and raised an eyebrow. "Really? You're not going to take it?"
"If I can avoid it. Rumour is it'll be manditory, though."
Before Draco could respond, a door near by slid open suddenly. Draco spun around quickly, his heart going far faster then he'd ever readily admit. Parvati Patil came out and spotted the two of them. With a glare at the two of them that would have stopped a giant in its tracks, she banged the door shut again.
Draco turned back to Theodore. He was smirking.
"What?" Draco demanded. "Why are you smiling?"
"I told you. Jumpy."
"I don't understand, why would Dumbledore give them a job no one could help them with?"
"I don't know, Neville," Ginny sighed. "But they wouldn't tell anyone anything."
"And you don't know where they are?" Luna asked.
"Hopefully they're far away," Neville said, thoughtfully. "The further Hermione is from here, the better. And as for Harry…"
Ginny shook her head. "No, they're close by. They're not hiding or running away… that's what's so scary about it. I'm sure they're right in the thick of it all."
A mischievous, almost nostalgic grin spread across Neville's face. "Yeah, it wouldn't surprise me if they broke back into the Ministry and took the Minister for Magic hostage."
"Or started their own secret army of house elves," Luna smiled.
"Or won over all the giants. And Goblins. And werewolves."
"Or made a hijacked the next Quidditch match."
"Or snuck into Hogwarts."
"Oh!" Luna gasped, looking wide-eyed at Neville. "Do you think they're on the train right now?"
Neville shrugged. "Harry does have that Cloak. And Hermione's so clever, she's probably been able to make loads of Polyjuice Potion or cast a Dislustionment Charm. They could be anywhere."
Ginny sighed, sadly, her brow furrowed. "I expect they will come back to Hogwarts, before the end. If for no other reason then for Harry to get revenge."
"Revenge?" Luna repeated.
"Snape," Ginny said, simply.
Neville lowered his head for a moment, then looked back up at the two girls. "We've got to keep Dumbledore's Army alive. It's got to come back this year."
"But they know about the Room of Requirement," Ginny pointed out.
"We can figure it out," Neville said, firmly.
"And who would run it?" Luna asked. "Harry isn't here."
"We could. The three of us could run it," he said, getting excited the more the he thought about the idea.
"Us?" Ginny asked. "But we…"
"Why not us?" Neville asked. "Maybe we're not as good at Harry at defensive magic, but we're not bad. And besides, he taught us loads, all we'd have to do is make sure everyone practices enough."
"We'd get in loads of trouble is anyone ever found out…" Ginny murmured, almost to herself.
"And since when has that ever stopped us?"
Luna nodded. "Yes, I think it's a god idea. We'll do it, for everyone who's at Hogwarts this year."
"And everyone who isn't," Ginny added, darkly.
They got off the train, just like they had done so many times before, bit this time everything was different. No one was laughing, no one was running. When Hagrid called over the first years, he wasn't smiling warmly at them, but scowling at the Ministry wizards pushing them all into line.
Draco looked up and saw Longbottom, the Weasley girl, and that odd girl Pansy always made fun of hurrying into a carriage. They were talking quietly about something that seemed very important.
But he didn't really take notice of them. He was looking, horrified, at something else.
"Draco? You coming?"
It was Crabbe, or Blaise, or Pansy, or Goyle – someone, he wasn't sure, didn't care, who.
"What's wrong with you?"
Then Nott passed him, looked from the carriage and back to Draco.
"I can see them," Draco muttered hoarsely to him.
The thestral flicked its head back, black and skeletal and horrible, and began to pull the carriage up the pathway.