Chapter 1: What Can Be Done?

Crooked yellow teeth formed a smile that she simply couldn't look away from. She was pinned to the wall, wishing desperately that she could tug hard enough to detach her wrists from her hands. For as painful as that would be, surely nothing could match the sensations that she was enduring currently. Wet, hot streaks of tears ran down her face and onto her uniform. Yes, her uniform. She was in school; a place that should be safe. As it turned out, school had become more dangerous than the dodgiest back alley in Knockturn Alley.

She had been out tonight, trying to sneak a message onto the wall that would advertise the D.A. Confronted with a school that was run by Voldermort's lackeys, Neville and herself had resurrected Dumbledore's Army. So far they had been meeting at night in the 7th year boys' bedroom in Gryffindor Tower. It was the only safe place they could think of. But it did restrict members to only being Gryffindors. After a month of this, Ginny had finally chanced trying to inform the other Houses about it. Maybe Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff could start their own branches of it. But just as she was finishing up the graffiti, she had been caught.

Instead of detention, Carrow had struck her with a hex that slammed her into the stone wall. Dizzy and bruised, Ginny hadn't been able to shoot a defensive spell quick enough. Carrow had used the next few seconds to shoot a spell that manipulated Ginny into a spread eagle formation on the wall. And then the worst had happened. Ginny didn't know the spell Carrow was using, but it must have been dark magic. Her hands felt like white-hot rods had been shoved through them.

"My my. Your twelfth incident this year and it's only the second month of school. It seems our little detentions just aren't cutting it eh?" Ginny only continued to cry out in pain. Detentions were awful, and they had only been getting worse. The first few had been enough to deter her from outright defiance. She had since adopted a strategy of quiet rebellion; keeping her mouth shut in class and secretly practicing defense late at night with the others. But it was to no avail. Both of the Carrows had it out for her and she had been given detentions for just about anything. The last one had been for thinking herself too good to eat the food at Hogwarts. In reality, she hadn't eaten as much that night because her stomach was still rolling from her last detention. She had been assigned to scrape out the cauldrons that the fifth years had been brewing in. Their potions this year were highly disturbing. She had been scrapping out blood and some sort of flesh and she didn't know what else. The smell had been absolutely horrendous and exposure to the potion remnants had made her hands and arms burn.

Alecto Carrow continued to scrutinize Ginny with those ugly, beady eyes. "I knew you were one of those brats leading this thing. This attempt to defy your betters. You think you're a little hero? Doing your best to help your pathetic boyfriend? Let me tell you something you filthy blood-traitor; he'll die like the scum he is and you…" Alecto trailed off and Ginny felt a stab of fear. Her eyes had a mad glint to them. "Oh, yes that's it isn't it? The perfect way for you to realize you're alone in all this. No allies for filth like you. Oh yes, if we break the leader, we'll break the whole thing apart. No more of this sickening defiance."

Ginny felt her hands be released and collapsed on the floor in relief. Alecto continued to talk, something about needing to prepare things, but Ginny wasn't listening. All she cared about was the absence of searing pain. Her hands were stiff and sore, barely responsive as she tried to bend her fingers. But the torture was over, at least for now, and she could worry about whatever Alecto had in mind later.

Ginny was queasy with unease as Alecto walked next to her, ensuring that Ginny went nowhere else other than her dorm. But once they reached the Fat Lady, Alecto did nothing. She simply let Ginny go back into her dorm. By the time Ginny had walked up the stairs and reached her bed, her heart was beginning to slow down. A dead weight was taking shape in her chest though. She had failed and now the D.A was back to square one. Hiding in the Gryffindor Tower and no way to let the others know there was hope. More alarming to her, however, was that Alecto now had a new plan for her. If not detentions, what did she have in store?

Ginny didn't get an answer the next day or even the following day. For two days, she tried unsuccessfully to push her panic away and focus on classes. Was this Alecto's plan? To play mental games with her until she completely lost it? Neville told her to try and not worry too much about it, but she couldn't help it. If it had been Amycus who had made the threat, she would have at least known what to expect; some form of horrible physical torture. His sister though, well Ginny liked her even less than her brother. Alecto's vindictiveness could run deeper, Ginny was sure of it. The only thing she couldn't figure out was what form it would take.

It was Thursday night and Ginny had just put a boiled baby potato in her mouth when Rionach nudged her hard in the ribs. Ginny scowled and raised an eyebrow at the Gryffindor, but Rionach paid it little to no attention. She was jerking her head to the side and Ginny followed the direction with her eyes. Neville was there, giving her a look she didn't quite know how to interpret. She scrunched up her face and shook her head. Why would he try to be telling her something now? In the Great Hall where the Carrows and Snape were? There was an unspoken agreement that out in public, they would be keeping their heads down and saving anything important to talk about for when they couldn't be heard. Neville sighed and rolled his eyes, before violently flicking his fork in the direction of the Slytherin table.

Out of all the houses, Slytherin was the largest this year. The other three had all lost a few given that muggleborns were no longer welcome at Hogwarts. Slytherin also had the most house points, largely thanks to the Carrows, but you wouldn't know it by looking at them. If anyone thought that Slytherins would be happy and obnoxious now that the Dark Lord was in power, they were woefully wrong. On the whole, the Slytherins were victims of the oppressive atmosphere just as much as any of the other houses. Most were quietly eating just like the rest of the school, shoulders hunched over in an effort to make themselves small. Of course there were exceptions. Some seemed to revel in their power, but it was a minority. But what was it that Neville wanted her to notice? She spent a minute scanning the table before she realized what Neville had seen. The tall, blonde head that made her seethe with hate wasn't there.

She wasn't so blinded by prejudice and hate that she didn't realize what Malfoy was. He wasn't a malicious death eater who had spent the summer torturing and killing people, no matter what the younger years said. At meals he looked half-dead and had dark circles under his eyes. She also knew from seventh years that he barely spoke in class, looking on vacantly as the Carrows made life hell for his classmates. He was a shell of his former self. And it absolutely infuriated Ginny. Among the students, Malfoy had the most knowledge about the dark arts. Whatever else he was, he was smart. He had money. He had the ability to get others to follow his lead. And he was wasting it all!

It was beyond obvious that he didn't like how Hogwarts was being run. He wasn't getting joy from any of it. So why couldn't he do something about it? He was a deatheater, same as Snape and the Carrows. If anyone had the guts to confront them about something, it should be him. Instead he wallowed in self-defeat, acting as if he was as helpless as a first-year. He had the potential to do so much. If only he would act on it.

She nodded at Neville to show that she understood. If Draco was really gone, then something big must have happened. Was he being given a new mission? And if so, what? She didn't get much of a chance to ponder this as Alecto chose that moment to leave the table and walk over to where Ginny was sitting. Ginny could feel every eye in the Great Hall on her. Alecto noticed this as well and smiled. A horrid, crooked smile that made the students cower. "It has come to my attention that some of you think going behind the backs of your professors is a smart move. I am here to tell you it is not. Miss. Weasley will no longer have the privilege of evenings with her peers. There will be no plotting or planning. Instead she will spend her time that is not in class in her own little cell. Alone. Now get up." Ginny gulped and grabbed her satchel off of the floor. A cell? How was she going to practice defense now? How was she going to have those all-important conversations with friends; the ones that kept her from the edge of despair?

She could feel the sympathy coming from her classmates, but no one said a word. It was this that Ginny thought she hated the most. The ever-present fear that kept everyone subdued and silent. Alecto led her down into the dungeons, past flickering torches and cold stone walls. Then she stopped and Ginny stared. There was nothing there. Alecto smirked at her and then roughly grabbed her hand. Ginny cried out, but fell silent as Alecto made a small cut on her hand then shoved it onto the wall. Stones began to shift and created a doorway. "You should consider yourself lucky. If there are any more problems from you, you can bet you'll have nothing but a mat and a bucket." Ginny nodded and blinked back a tear. So that's why her cell looked rather nice. It was so that there would still be something to take from her if she stepped out of line again.

Alecto left her and Ginny heard the stones shift shut. The room had all the standard furniture in it. There was her bed, her trunk, end table, light, and her desk. There was even a door that led into a small bathroom. All in all, the only horrid thing was that she was alone. Stuck in the dungeons, far away from anyone who could comfort her. It made her feel lonely; just what Alecto had intended. Sighing, Ginny pulled out her Charms homework and tried to focus on that.

Two weeks passed as Ginny slowly began to feel herself slip into a state of depression. Even Halloween was horrid. The students had all been forced to stay in the Great Hall and listen to Alecto tell them horrible stories where muggles ran amuck and attacked wizards. There were so many detailed accounts of wizard-persecution, even Ginny began to find herself questioning if some of it had some truth after all.

And every night Ginny was forced to sleep in a cell. After dinner, Flich would "escort" her to her cell and there she would have to stay. The stones refused to open back up into a doorway until half eight the next morning. That gave her just enough time to race to breakfast, eat quickly, and get to her first class. Throughout the day few dared to try and speak to her, aware of the Carrows lurking. In fact, many seemed mired in their own depression, unable to do anything but move around bleakly and stare at professors blankly. Worst of all, Ginny could never go at night to practice defense with the rest of the resurrected D.A. In those two weeks, she realized that those nightly sessions had been a large part of what had kept her going. If not much, at least it made it feel like she was doing something.

It was now the beginning of November and she was getting desperate for something to break the bleakness. As she got in bed for the night, she realized she'd even be thankful for tears. Now all she had was a heavy, hollow feeling. It wasn't as if she had never had a reason to be scared before. Her first year at Hogwarts had in fact included a lot of fear on her part. Fear of why she couldn't remember things, fear of why she woke with blood on her hands, fear of getting petrified. The difference was that there were events in between her bouts of fear, whether it was watching a Quidditch game or complaining about a Transfiguration essay. And the fear back then had sent her adrenaline pumping. Now it was an oppressive blanket, slowly smothering her with no respite. Worse, it was affecting everyone. Even little eleven-year olds whose wide eyes made her heart break.

The next morning she went up for breakfast, chewing a piece of toast and scanning the paper to make sure no one she knew had died since yesterday. She tried not to read the articles anymore, but she couldn't help but notice the front page today. A research study had been conducted that concluded that the way mudbloods had acquired magic was that they had stolen it from squibs. It said the Ministry was now instituting a system where squibs would be the rightful judges of what was to be done with the mudbloods. Ginny had to admit it was clever. If the Ministry was really going to push the ridiculous idea that muggleborns had stolen magic, not been born with it, this was as likely an explanation as they could have come up with. And now the squibs would have a role in this crazy world-order. She was sure Flich would be over the moon. Looking up to pour some juice, she stopped and stared. Malfoy was back.

He looked like shit. She could see some of his housemates trying to quietly talk to him but he was focused on his plate. Then Parkinson put her hand on his arm and his head came up to look at her. She watched his initial flash of anger soften, and then he was speaking to her. It shouldn't have taken Ginny aback. Logically, she knew he must care about his friends. Still, it was strange seeing it in action. He was speaking quietly, but sincerely, and Pansy's worry was slowly replaced by a relieved smile. He smirked at her as she said something, and apparently that was enough to ease her mind. She went back to talking and laughing with her housemates, while Malfoy's face fell and he went back to staring at his plate.

Ginny looked away, her stomach having twisted uncomfortably. She felt as if she had just witnessed something she was never meant to see. She should be curious. She should want to know what he had said to make Parkinson smile. She knew it had to have been about what he had been up to for the last two weeks. What he been summoned by You Know Who for. Had there been more attacks, a plan being set up? It should be important. Knowing what the death eaters were doing should matter. But it didn't. Not really. Even if she knew all their plans, down to the very last detail, what would she be able to do? How would she be able to stop them? Their only hope now was Harry, Ron, and Hermione. She was useless here at Hogwarts.

The day dragged, and Ginny found she couldn't concentrate on a single lesson. She hadn't found much enthusiasm for her classes all year, but never had it been this bad. In Potions, she almost blew her cauldron up, but Slughorn feigned ignorance and gave her a passing grade regardless. In Ancient Runes, her translation was complete gibberish. Professor Babbling only handed it back to her, giving her an extension until tomorrow to fix it. Her last lesson was Herbology. The plant they were working with had the potential to burn if not stroked correctly before handling. Ginny didn't realize she had done anything wrong until she dropped it with a shriek, her entire hand an angry red. Professor Sprout had given a disappointed sigh before sending Ginny to Madame Pomphrey. On her way there, Ginny realized her mental state was dangerous.

She couldn't go on like this. She had no opportunity to hang out and be carefree, she had no way to help her friends and family, she had no purpose. She felt as if she should be sobbing, but the tears wouldn't come. Instead, she remained stoic as she went into the Hospital Wing for something to treat her hand. She waited as she saw Madame Pomphrey busy with another student, staring at the scene vacantly until it clicked. She knew that student. Millicent Bulstrode was sitting on the hospital bed, hyperventilating. Madame Pomphrey was attempting to get her calm enough to ingest the potion being offered to her.

Ginny wasn't sure what to do. Ignoring her hand could mean scarring. And yet, staying here seemed intrusive. As a compromise, Ginny left the actual room, and went to go sit down next to the doorway. The hallway was cold and the stone floor was hard. She didn't mind. The only time she had ever really had to interact with Millicent was when she had been on that ridiculous squad Umbridge had appointed. She remembered the Slytherin had docked points from her for using a jinx in the halls. Of course her opponent, another Slytherin, hadn't been punished a bit. At the time it had infuriated her. She had lumped Millicent in with the entire Inquisitional Squad, and decided she hated her. Now though, it seemed idiotic to hate her. All Ginny could feel was a small shred of sympathy.

The sound of running footsteps broke her out of her revive. Looking up, she saw another Slytherin hurrying down the hall and undoubtedly into the Hospital Wing. Some remnant of decency forced Ginny to stand and block their path. "Madame Pomphrey is busy. You need to wait out here." The girl sneered at her and reached for her wand. Ginny was quicker. "Don't." The girl looked at Ginny's wand pointed at her and then back up into Ginny's eyes. Ginny didn't know what she had expected. All she knew was that it was certainly not what happened.

Daphne's face had paled and she looked on the verge of tears. "Is, is everything okay in there? I couldn't leave any earlier, it was Dark Arts. Skipping that class, it's immediate detention." It took only a moment for Ginny to piece it together. Of course. Daphne and Millicent had been dorm mates for over six years. It wasn't a reach to assume they might be friends. Ginny lowered her wand and shook her head slowly. "I don't know. I left when I realized Madame Pomphrey was busy. I'm just waiting for some burn salve."

Daphne glanced down at Ginny's hand and jerked her head back in shock. "That looks horrible." There was a beat of silence and then Daphne lifted her wand again. "Here, I know a little healing. If you need it." Ginny was rather sure she had never spoken to Daphne before. She had spoken to her sister Astoria a few times in class though, and really didn't have much against her. She was a snob, always wearing the best designer clothing, but snobbery seemed like such a small complaint to have against someone now. Squelching her urge to hesitate, Ginny thrust her hand out and let Daphne wave her wand over it. Her hand glowed white for a while, and then the glow dissipated. The pain and soreness had definitely improved, but the red was still there. She smiled. "Thanks." Daphne nodded uncertainly, and then looked back at the door, her thoughts obviously on her friend.

It was the second time in a day that Ginny found her stomach twisting. She didn't really know either girl. But just ignoring everything, accepting things were the way they were, it obviously wasn't working. She needed to care more about life, about other people. And if she started with this, well, why not? "I know this is intrusive, but what happened to her?" Daphne's eyes snapped to hers, and her mouth thinned. Ginny stayed still, hoping Daphne would realize she had no ill intentions. Eventually, after a long glare, Daphne seemed to deflate. "We all have things to contend with this year Weasley." Ginny's brow furrowed and she went to ask another question, but at that moment the door opened and Millicent walked out. She was clutching the potion Pomphrey had given her desperately, her entire body still shaking, wet trails evident on her face from sobbing.

Gasping, Daphne ran to her friend and Ginny watched as Millicent seemed to collapse into the hug. Knowing that interrupting would be horribly rude, Ginny slid quietly into the Hospital Wing and went to get her burn salve. By the time Madame Pomphrey had gotten it, applied it to her hand, and given her leave to go, the Slytherins had disappeared. It was surprising, but Ginny found that she felt better. Not just her hand. No. She felt more focused, more real. Like she wasn't just floating through the castle, living her life by accident. While she supposed there were many things that could shake up a Slytherin this year, the number one reason was family. As far as Ginny knew, none of Millicent's family members were death eaters. She went straight to the library, intent on grabbing a copy of the Daily Prophet. She didn't know where most of them went after breakfast was over, she suspected the house elves threw them out with the leftover food, but at least one copy would sit in the library. Well, at least it normally did.

Looking at the table it was almost always on, Ginny was stupefied to see it empty. Another student must have it. Glancing around, her stomach sunk as she spotted it. It had been left on a study table. This was of course fine, except that study table was currently occupied by none other than Draco Malfoy. His stuff took up half the table. At first she thought it was just arrogance that had made him claim half a table, spreading his stuff out as if no one else was entitled to space. And then she realized why he would be in here, textbooks and parchments around him, the quantity outstanding. He was making up work. He had been gone for two weeks. No doubt he was behind, alarmingly so. He seemed thoroughly engrossed, scratching away at some essay. She decided to take a risk.

Going over, she not only grabbed the Prophet off of the table, but she sat down to read it. She realized half of her was hoping he would notice her. She would be lying if she said she had nothing to say to him. She liked to believe she wasn't particularly scared of him, and maybe this was a chance. She glanced over at him, but he was still working, oblivious to her. She wasn't sure what she wanted to happen, but she wasn't ready to initiate it quite yet.

Half stalling for time, and half genuinely curious about what had happened to Millicent, she flipped through the prophet and read. It was page four that eventually stopped her search. Most of the page was an article about how to charm areas so any muggle would become violently ill if they got too close. She found herself disgusted, and remembered why she didn't do any more than skim the paper these days. The charms to keep muggles away had always been harmless. There was no need to make them ill to avoid a place except in order to hurt them. She was just about to move on the page 5, when the bottom of the page caught her eye. In small script, as if it had no importance, was a list of mudbloods that had their trials slated for tomorrow. There were only two names, and neither a Bulstrode, but she couldn't think of what else it could be.

Looking back over at Draco, she knew this was possibly going to end very badly. But nothing ventured, nothing gained she supposed. "Malfoy?" His head shot up and he looked around, positively startled, until his gaze landed on her. She saw him immediately reach for his wand and decided to talk quickly. "Do you happen to know the maiden name of Millcent's mother?" It wasn't an impossible question. A number of purebloods knew the genealogy of others, especially among the sacred 28. Her family excluded of course. The question had thrown him, so much so that he actually answered. "Jenkins."

Ginny nodded, and then furrowed her brow. That name hadn't been one of the two either. Surprisingly, Draco was still looking at her, and not in a particularly horrible way either. "Why?" She shrugged and looked back at the paper. She kept her voice neutral and refused to think about why him staring at her made her nervous. "I thought one of these people might be related to her, but I guess I was wrong."

She was just about to give up and leave, when his voice stopped her. "Let me see." She looked over and felt her heart pound slightly faster. She knew she had initiated the conversation, but the fact that she was talking to him was still slightly panic inducing. And not for the reasons it should be. It wasn't that he was a death eater. It was that she hadn't had his attention on her since she was fourteen and she had hexed him. They had both grown a lot since then and she had no idea what she wanted from him anymore. Holding the paper out to him, she saw him looking at the page in confusion. "On the bottom. The two muggleborns." His eyes dropped down to the bottom and then narrowed as if he was trying to think.

"I'm not sure. Do you know her line well?" He looked up at her and Ginny realized he thought she had been asking because the name was familiar. That she would know the sacred 28 lines as well as he did. It shouldn't have, but him assuming they had something in common made her feel good. That he was seeing her as just a fellow pureblood, and not as someone underneath him.

As for his question, she didn't have any loyalty to Millicent. She wasn't even an acquaintance. Still, it seemed wrong to tell him if she hadn't. And yet, she remembered seeing him at breakfast this morning and how he could care about others. She was his house mate. She obviously needed support right now. If he knew, would it help? She didn't know if this was the right thing to do. She didn't even know why she should care. "No, I'm probably mistaken. Never mind." And then she left, quickly, before he realized he had just spoken to her without insulting or cursing her.

Ginny never thought her involvement in Millicent's life would ever go further than seeing her in the Hospital Wing that day. And she likely wouldn't have gotten involved, if it hadn't been for Charms the next day. Ginny had gotten there five minutes early, escaping the oppressive atmosphere of the Great Hall, only to find Astoria Greengrass red with rage, yelling at fellow Slytherin Liam Puckle. Both had apparently arrived early as well. "My sister is not a fool!" Liam laughed cruelly and glared at her. "Bulstrode's secret was found out for all to hear. A mudblood for a grandmother, appalling. If Daphne had any sense, she would have disavowed her friendship immediately."

Her surprise at hearing her hunch had been right was small. It had been the most likely cause after all. Instead, she found another emotion building. Ginny felt a spark of anger in her, and let it catch. This wasn't a death eater. This was someone who was a student, just like her. And this, for as strange as it was, was something she could do something about. "I wouldn't be talking if I were you Puckle. If your looks are anything to go by, there's bound to be a troll hidden in your family line." He spun around and tried to shoot a curse at Ginny, but she had been well prepared and threw up a shield charm with ease. The next blast he sent shattered her shield charm and she had to duck to avoid his jinx. She shot back at him, and found herself dueling, when suddenly both their wands flew out of their hands.

Enraged, Ginny turned to scream at whoever had disarmed her, only to have the yell die in her throat. Professor Flitwick was looking at both of them, their wands firmly in his hand. "We have not started the practical portion of our class yet. Though, your eagerness to practice charms is admirable, I do believe you mispronounced the charm horribly. Allow me to instruct you first, if you will." Ginny shared a look with Puckle and they both sat down quietly, understanding passing between them. Whatever anger they had for each other, it wasn't worth forcing Flitwick into giving them a detention. Gently floating their wands back to them, the Professor continued towards the front of the class and began his lecture.

Ginny tried her hardest to focus, and even managed to perform the charm by the end of class, yet she couldn't stop thinking about earlier. She didn't regret it. In fact, she was incredibly proud of herself. In any other house, having a muggleborn family member meant sympathy and quiet support. She hoped it was so in Slytherin house as well, though she knew it was unlikely.

As soon as Flitwick dismissed them, Ginny looked over to see Astoria making a bee line for her. She did not look happy. Ginny felt a wave of indignation, but before she could speak, Astoria had started in. "Never do that again, do you understand? It's bad enough what my sister is doing. If it gets around a Weasely is defending her choices, she'll be a complete outcast!" Ginny worked hard to control her tone. She didn't want to yell.

"I do what I think is right. And right now, your sister is doing what is right." Astoria sneered, almost looking as if she could spit. "No, what my sister is doing is stupid. And you'll make it worse." And with that, she spun around, walking out of the classroom. Ginny was left alone, shocked and angry. Was that really what Astoria thought? That Millicent should be abandoned by her friends just because her grandmother had been a muggleborn? She knew they were prejudiced, but that was just insane. Even taking into account their bigotry, Millicent was a halfblood at least. Her father was from an ancient, pureblood family for Merlin's sake!

The thoughts followed her into Dark Arts, where she found they were to practice a bone snapping curse on mice. She blinked back tears and sent a numbing spell to her animal, hoping fervently that it had worked. As the mouse's legs broke, she heard the squeak of panic and couldn't help it. She sobbed, and Amycus looked over to her and smiled. She wanted to vomit. He loved making them feel this way. She swore he got off at night at the thought of them crying.

At lunch, Ginny found she had no appetite. Her mouse's terrified eyes haunted her. Taking a long gulp of pumpkin juice, she tried to get her emotions under control. She would not start crying in the middle of the Great Hall. Hoping to distract herself, she looked around at the other students. It was the Slytherin table that her eyes landed on. Millicent and Daphne were sitting at the edge of their table, the rest of the House giving them a wide berth of space. Millicent looked like she had been crying all morning, and Daphne was glaring defensively around the Hall as if she expected an attack at any moment.

Scanning the table, she located Malfoy and tried to read him. He was speaking to Nott, not looking anywhere else. He didn't even glance at Millicent or Daphne and Ginny felt her heckles rise. He was ignoring it. Being a coward. She didn't care that they weren't friends. That he had no reason to listen to her. As loathe as she was to admit it, Astoria had been right. Her standing up for the two girls would only make things worse for them. But if Malfoy would do it, she was rather sure the rest of the house would follow.

"Weird to see isn't it?" Ginny turned around to face Neville and nodded. Throughout lunch, the gossip had trickled down and now nearly everyone knew. Millicent's grandmother had been born to muggle parents. Her family had kept the secret buried for decades, and if it hadn't been for the Ministry investigation, likely no one would have remembered. In the paper, her grandfather had managed to have his wife's maiden name printed instead of Jenkins, hoping to spare his family shame. Somehow it had gotten out though.

"Who knew Crabbe knew enough words to speak for so long?" Ginny blinked at him like he was crazy, and Neville furrowed his brow. "You haven't noticed? Crabbe's been puffing out his chest all day. Wouldn't shut up in Herbology this morning, going on and on about Millicent's dirty blood. It's enough to make you want to defend her." She looked back and realized what she hadn't before. Draco wasn't speaking to Nott to avoid Daphne and Millicent. He was doing it to avoid Crabbe, who seemed to be holding court next to him.

What in Merlin's name was going on over there? In what world was Crabbe someone people listened to? Turning around, Ginny let the conversation at Gryffindor table wash over her, never quite being able to get the Slytherins out of her mind, while also not knowing what to do. What she had told Astoria this morning was true. She did think Daphne was doing the right thing. And she did want to help. She just didn't know how.