She is standing before the large crowd of students. Most are still wearing their uniforms – classes ended less than an hour ago. They are down by the lake- Chairs have been set up, and most of the school sits before her. She tucks her red hair behind her ear and takes a breath.
Theres a lamp that won't light in my poetry room
Children out playing
And a big full moon
Her voice is low, deep and raspy. The wind blows around her, and she closes her eyes – dry, after so many hours of hot, angry tears.
He's barricaded there in his room
He'll be coming out soon
I remember when I met him
He blew in like a wind
No one was more beautiful or dangerous than him
he blew through my soul like a tangerine wind
He'll be coming out soon
I never knew I was built so strong
Is a boat on the sea
And I never knew I was build for hurricanes
Is a boat on the sea
She sings for them, to them – to everyone who is here for them. She opens her eyes. Before her sits a row of professors, next to them the rest of her family, Hermione and Draco. Behind them sits Ally, tears streaming down her face. She mouths the words 'thank you' and Ginny smiles through her song.
Luxery looms on a fog bound day
I'm not alone now and I'm not afraid
I'm clean and I'm free its all stripped away
My debts are paid
I wonder if he ever looks down on the sea
Thinks about the time that he spent with me
I know every things exactly how it has to be
All's right with this world
In the cold
And the dark
You're the grace Of my heart
In the cold
And the dark
You're the grace, of my heart.
TWO YEARS EARLIER
Ginny is standing with Harry, looking for a compartment as the train moves forward on its way to Hogwarts. She's still in her muggle clothes, her hair tied back in a ponytail. A group of girls is blocking their path, and Ginny realizes Cho is in their midst. She looks at Harry, and then squeezes past them, away from any awkward conversation that is bound to happen once Harry and Cho spot each other. She looks over her shoulder, feeling bad for just a second at leaving him. Hermione and Ron have gone off with prefect duties, and Ginny shrugs, he'll find them or me later, she thinks and continues on her search. Full. Full. Full – ah ha! Ginny opens a door and the only occupant is a 6th year Ravenclaw, Allyson Dupuis. Ginny asks if she can sit down. The girl answers 'of course' and puts down her reading.
"I'm Ally, you're Ginny right?"
"Yeah, nice to meet you." Ginny sits opposite her, getting situated.
Allyson has dark skin – a light brown, her hair long and wavy. Full lips and dark eyes. Ginny asks her where she is from.
"Well I've lived in London my whole life," she explains, " but my mum's originally French, and my dad's from America. And he's black – as you could probably gather." Ginny says she's from London too. They cover the basics: names, ages, siblings, house and year at school. Their conversation flows easily, and they're fairly close to school before the girls take a break to change into their uniforms.
Ginny briefly wonders what happened to Harry, but then Ally asks, "so, have you heard about this talent show, competition thing that's being implemented this year?" This is news to Ginny. "It's a sort of bonding thing between houses, apparently."
"But it's a competition?" Ginny asks, confused.
"Well yeah, but not between houses, just between…everyone. I guess you're suppose to come up with some sort of bit, a song or dance or act or something, with students in other houses, then compete in a concert for the rest of the school near the end of the year. Apparently" she explains "the winner gets some sort of prize, but as of now, that's highly confidential." She says with a twinkle.
Ginny laughs. "any idea what it could be?"
"Not at all. Ah well. Think you're gonna do it?"
"Oh god, I have no idea. You have to group with students from other houses?" Ally nods.
"I was thinking about doing a dance or something, but I have no idea if anyone else can dance, and I can't do a solo…so that sucks." Ginny nods her understanding
"I guess I could sing" Ginny contemplates.
"You sing?" Ally looks up, interested.
"Yeah, I used to take all sorts of lessons when I was little, but ever since starting Quidditch and Hogwarts I haven't really had time."
"I love to sing – don't know if I have a great voice, but really, that doesn't matter. " Ginny laughs.
"Um, I think it does matter a little…" Ally shakes her head.
"Nuh uh, not when the only place you sing is the shower!"
"Too true, too true" Ginny agrees. They pause, both lost in their own worlds. Their cabin door suddenly flings open, and a very, very cute boy with very, very messy black hair – Ginny thinks his name is Blaise - sticks his head it.
"Taken!" he cries "Excuse me, ladies." He says, before closing the door again. Ginny and Ally look at each other, confusion and laughter written on both their faces.
"What the hell was that!" exclaims Ginny. Ally leans back shaking her head.
"That's Zambini – my year, a slytherin, good mates with Malfoy and that crowd. I know, I know, but he's sort of hilarious."
"Apparently" Ginny agrees.
When Ginny makes her way off the train, Allyson goes off in search of fellow Ravenclaws, as Ginny looks around. She sees a flustered looking Ron, trying to round up some first years with Hermione, and laughs out loud.
"What is that horrible sound?" someone drawls behind her. She turns to see a sneering Malfoy. "Please refrain from producing that noise in my vicinity, weasel." He starts to brush past her, but Ginny places one hand on her hip and glares up at him.
"Well excuse me, ferretboy, but I would greatly appreciate it if you could please refrain from producing that horrible smell in MY vicinity." She states, wrinkling her nose, then whipping her hair around, and stomping off in the opposite direction, leaving a steaming Malfoy. She spots Harry and runs over to him, and they make their way into the Great Hall for the sorting.
After the feast, Ginny is walking to her dorm with Harry and some other Gryffendors, when Professor Snape stops their little brigade. He eyes them all, his gaze finally resting on Ginny.
"Ms Weasley, please follow me." She looks at Harry, who shrugs and gives her a pitying look, and Ginny is escorted away from the group.
"I'm sorry, sir, did I do something- "
"We shall be explaining everything in just a moment." He answers crisply, and Ginny jogs to keep up. He leads her over to his classroom, where she finds Proffesor McGonagall, and, more surprisingly, Dumbledore.
"Take a seat," Snape says. Ginny sits down nervously, what is going on!? McGonagall starts.
"Good evening, Ms Weasley, I trust your summer holiday was relaxing." Ginny nods. Dumbledore is sitting back, a slight smile on his face. "Well I shall cut right to the point then, seeing as this is your first night back. You did exceptionally well in potions last term. Proffesor Snape was extremely proud of your accomplishments, and, upon suggestion by Professor Dumbledore, is willing to accept you into his 6th year level potions class." Ginny looks back and forth between Snape, whose face is as impassive as ever, and Dumbledore, who is now almost grinning.
"well I –" she starts, then stops. "Um, won't that interfere with my other studies, Professor?"
"Not at all, I'm glad to say. We've had to tamper with you're schedule a little though. You'll have to attend a few more classes with other houses than is typical, but everything fits." McGonagall stops, waiting for an answer.
"I'm sorry Proffesor, I'm a little confused – I still need to take OWLs at the end of this year – right?"
"Quite right, Ms Weasley," Snape explains. "First off, you will need to study with me an extra night each week, to catch you up on what is typically covered in 5th year, but otherwise you will learn 6th year advanced potion work, and should, one hopes, reach an Outstanding at that portion of your OWLs."
"Isn't that like cheating?" Ginny wonders. Dumbledore speaks up at this.
"How so, my dear!? OWLS are in place to test whether the student can go on to NEWT level, and if said student is already in NEWT level, well, the test is nothing more than checking that student's abilities to maintain that position." He smiles. Ginny is still a bit confused – was she really that good a potions? Snape never mentioned it before.
"Well, I guess, of course I'll take 6th year potions. Thank you. I – I don't have any of the materials though."
"I shall provide your supplies until you can acquire them" says Snape. "well then! That is all Ms Weasley. You are dismissed." Ginny stands, takes her revised schedule, and leaves. How odd, she thinks. I mean really strange. 6th year potions. It suddenly dawns on Ginny she'll be taking it with Harry, Ron and Hermione. She gives a little shriek, and runs up to share the news.