Disclaimer: none of this belongs to me.


In a time when Voldemort's power was growing and the prejudice against Muggle-born witches and wizards was reaching its height, how did the muggle-born Head Girl Lily Evans survive to adulthood? During the dark days of despair after James' and Lily's deaths, Peter's apparent death and Sirius' imprisonment, what kept Remus Lupin, werewolf alone, sane enough to stay alive? Apart from being an Animagus, what other things did Sirius have to keep him sane in Azkaban? Why weren't Remus and Sirius scared to use Voldemort's name?

Near the beginning of Ginny Weasley's sixth year at Hogwarts, a Hogwarts decimated by the events of the previous year, an accident sends her back, twenty years, in time. To the time when the Marauders ruled the school and for six short weeks a redheaded sixth former, Jennifer West from New Zealand, attended Hogwarts. Six weeks that changed many lives. Six weeks that led to the future we have. The future where Harry Potter is the boy-who-lived, the chosen one. The future where Harry Potter actually exists.

Chapter one: Strange Happenings, Death Eaters and Dumbledore

Hogwarts just wasn't the same anymore. There was no way it could be. Less than a third of the students had come back. There was no Dumbledore, well not really. His spirit still infused the school, his grave in the school grounds a constant reminder that he was there, that he loved them all. There was no Ron, no more brothers at the school at all. No Hermione, her best friend, her confidant. But more than that, there was no Harry. Instead there was an empty Harry shaped hole beside her, wherever she went.

He was so noble – it was ridiculous. "It's for the best Ginny." "I don't want you hurt Ginny." "You'd be a target Ginny." That didn't stop him making a target out of Ron and Hermione she noticed. No he didn't mind leading her brother and best friend into danger, just her. A sneaky part of her mind told her what she already knew, she wasn't being fair, but she didn't care because she wasn't in the mood to be fair. Not in the mood at all.

The only things that kept her from screaming, from tearing her hair out with worry, from packing up and going off to find Harry, wherever he was, were Neville and Luna. The three of them were closer than they had ever been. They were the only ones who understood, who knew. But sometimes, sometimes she just needed to be alone. Just needed to wallow in her misery, be selfish.

So there she was. Ginny Weasley, aged 16, student witch, Harry Potter's ex-girlfriend and newly made prefect of Hogwarts School, wandering the streets of Hogsmeade alone and depressed on the first Hogsmeade weekend of the new school year. A Hogsmeade weekend very different from any others she had experienced. A Hogsmeade Weekend where she kept bumping into Aurors and Order members. A Hogsmeade weekend where she could hardly walk two steps without someone saying "Alright Ginny, shouldn't be alone you know. Need to keep an eye out." Of course it had to be poor Tonks who was the sixth person to approach her.

"Wotcha Ginny!"

"Yes alright I know!" She snapped. "I'm keeping an eye out, I shouldn't be alone blah blah blah!" She stopped short as she saw the look on Tonks' face. "Sorry Tonks." She mumbled. "It's just …"

The young Auror smiled kindly at her and put her hand on her shoulder. "It's OK. Nerves a bit frayed, we all are at the moment. Just – look just take care OK?" Tonks squeezed Ginny's shoulder and turned to go.

"Tonks!" As the Auror turned back to her, Ginny pulled her into a brief hug. "Thanks, and take care yourself too!" The two young women shared a look that had so many meanings that they both seemed to understand. Fear for themselves, their families, their friends, their boyfriends, comfort, hope …

'Tonks' thought Ginny after they had parted, 'is the coolest person in the world. She understands. She doesn't think I'm too young, too foolish, too anything! She doesn't try to comfort me with the "it's going to be fine" line or brush me off with the "Don't worry about it, we'll take care of it" line. She really understands.'

It was then it happened, something disorientating, like travelling by floo, or apparating. Ginny blacked out for a moment.

'What the … ' Ginny thought to herself. 'Something just happened but …' she looked around. Hogsmeade looked, different somehow. She couldn't quite put her finger on it. Everything just seemed slightly, well, off was the only way she could describe it. She looked around for someone she recognised. There seemed to be lots of students around but she couldn't recognise any of them. She spotted a young woman alone, walking towards the bookshop on the edge of the village. There was something familiar about her but she wasn't sure what.

The young woman had long red hair – not a Weasley red, a darker red and she moved with a sort of confident grace that Ginny could only envy. She spotted a shadow behind the girl. Instinctively she pulled her wand out. Something felt wrong.

There it was again, except, no it was another one. This didn't feel good at all. Ginny walked towards the girl. And then she saw them – Death Eaters. They had circled around, cutting the girl off from the rest of the village, trapping her. The other girl noticed them and whipped round – too late.

"Expelliamus!" The girl's wand was torn from her hands. Ginny reacted instinctively and started firing curses at the Death Eaters in response.

Taken by surprise, none of them had seen her there. She managed to put two of them out of action before they could react. "Accio wand." Ginny cast the spell under her breath as she drew closer. The girl's wand flew into Ginny's left hand and she threw it to the girl as soon as she could reach.

With two of the Death Eaters out of action, and the wand back in the strange girl's hand, the odds were better, just three against two. Of course the three were fully trained adult Death Eaters and the two were just NEWT age students but still, it was better. 'Where were the Aurors, the Order members?' She thought. Isn't that why they were here – what they were expecting?'

"Crucio!" Ginny screamed with the pain. "How dare you interfere with us?" The Death Eater screamed at her. "How dare you?"

Through the pain Ginny noticed that the other two Death Eaters were surrounding the girl who was fighting them off with curses, to little avail. Slowly Ginny fought to raise her wand. "Expelliamus!" she said silently as hard as she could. It didn't work completely, but it did manage to knock the Death Eater's wand slightly out of the way. The pain ceased suddenly and Ginny swiftly cast her speciality, the Bat Bogey Hex, on the Death Eater who had been attacking her. OK it was more of a joke hex than a truly dangerous one, but it was the one thing that, even in her pain filled state, she could manage perfectly. And it was surprisingly successful.

The strange girl helped pull Ginny to her feet. It was then she noticed that one of the two remaining Death Eaters was also down. Ginny looked at the remaining Death Eater, he was doing something, saying something … "Run!" she screamed at the girl beside her and the two of them took off towards the centre of the town. Ginny heard screaming from around her: the other students realising that an attack was taking place and then something hit her from behind and then there was silence, and darkness and nothing else.

Someone made a noise, a sort of groaning noise, she realised. It was dark, pitch black. But now she could hear noises, voices. They sounded like they were coming from a long way off.

"Headmaster, I think she's waking up."

"Miss?" She recognised that voice from somewhere, she didn't know where.

The groaning noise again. Hold on that was her – she was making that groaning noise. Dark. Her eyes were shut. Cautiously she opened them, wincing from the sudden light. She saw a face. Blue eyes, twinkling blue eyes. A crooked nose, a beard – long, white and long white hair. "Professor Dumbledore?" Her voice was a croak. He smiled at her. "Am I dead?"

"No, you seem very much alive to me. You gave us a bit of a fright though. Miss Evans has been quite worried. Apparently you saved her life back there."

But her eyes closed again and the voice faded as she sank back into a deep sleep.