hey there! I'm back! This story has been on my computer for a while now: I wrote it during my exams last May, when I had to study, but instead wrote thisXD

Anyway, it's not even finished, but there are already 45 chapters on my computer, so I thought it would be time to start posting! I think I will post once a week:)

Huge thanks to beta-Lisa!

ow, and I'm just the child, playing in JK's playground... thanks for the swing mrs. Rowling!

1. About hexing and inviting

-The road to truth is long, and lined the entire way with annoying bastards.-

Alexander Jablokov

"Hey Ginny, wait!"

Ginny sighed. She had tried to ignore Zacharias Smith's furious waving, but apparently he had found another way to get her attention: shouting her name down the corridor of the Hogwarts Express. Ginny knew exactly why he had been trying to get her attention: to ask her about the same things that Terry Boot, Seamus Finnigan and Colin Creevy had already asked about. She turned around and indeed, Smith was walking down the corridor of the train, straight toward her. This really was not her lucky day. She had hated the guy ever since he had been so sceptical about Harry last year.

"Hi, Zacharias. How was your summer?" she asked politely.

"It was fine, it was fine," he said quickly. "Listen, I was reading the Daily Prophet this summer," (so he can read, Ginny thought) and every day there were at least two wild stories about what happened in the Ministry!"

The boy hadn't even tried to be polite. At least Terry Boot had had the manners to ask about her summer first.

"Yeah, I read some of the articles too," she said vaguely, hoping he would get the signal that she didn't want to talk about it. However, he did, not.

"So tell me, D.A. member to D.A. member," he grinned and looked very smug, "what did happen that night?"

Ginny shrugged. "Not much. The paper's making a bit of a sensation out of it when there's really not much to tell. Now, if you'd excuse me, I have to get—"

"Come on, we both know that isn't true." He waggled his eyebrows. "What about that whole Chosen One thing? Is that made up as well?"

Ginny suddenly noticed how loudly Smith was talking and saw, much to her horror, that there were actually a lot of people trying to listen in on the conversation.

"Look, personally, I think that's crap," she lied. "But even if it was true – it's still none of our business, is it?"

"Of course it is!" He was blocking the entire corridor, and Ginny was getting more frustrated by the second. She had expected that Harry, Ron and Hermione would be harassed like this but had completely forgotten that people might pester her as well.

"Harry is the leader of the D.A. – how can we not be involved?"

"Since Umbridge is gone, I'm not sure there's any point in having the D.A. again. Hopefully we'll get some proper education in Defence this year." She was only parroting Hermione now, although that seemed to be the safest way around the question.

"Oh. But still – you'd know, right? Your brother is his best friend! It's no secret that he spends most of the holidays at your house – those Muggles seem to be disgusted by him."

Something about Smith's smug tone was making her blood boil. He really needed to get out of her way.

"No, I don't know anything about it, I just told you! Now will you please let me by? My boyfriend is waiting for me." She tried to edge by him, but he still blocked her path.

"So you didn't hear anything about a prophecy?" he asked hopefully. Ginny drew her wand. "Nothing about You-Know-Who actually being there? You did see Death Eaters, didn't you?" Smith was definitely trying her patience, but the next thing he said made Ginny furious.

"I heard Harry was a mess when he came back to school. Blood everywhere, and didn't his godfather die or something? Maybe he really is as mental as the Prophet said he was. Of course he's always been a mess, don't you —"

Before he had even finished his sentence, at least fifty bats had fought their way out of his nose, all attacking him with their wings and biting him where they could. He started to scream, but suddenly, everyone around them was busy with something else besides eavesdropping, all pretending they hadn't been trying to listen only a few moments ago.

But Ginny didn't mind their hypocrisy. She was looking at Smith with some satisfaction. A summer without magic (all right, without some magic) always made her forget how good her Bat-Bogey Hex was, especially when she was angry.

"Oho! That's not so nice, young lady!"

Her feeling of triumph disappeared when she heard a voice – a deep, teacher-like voice – behind her. She turned around.

"I'm sorry sir, but he wouldn't stop." Smith was still shouting and swatting at the bats. Ginny felt more uncomfortable with every passing second, but to her surprise, the old fat man began to laugh.

"I haven't seen such a good hex for a long time, my dear! Tell me, was there a proper reason as to why you hexed this lad?"

It wasn't often that one could catch Ginny Weasley looking completely baffled, but this was one of those moments.

"He was mocking Harry, sir."

The man's eyes bulged slightly.

"Harry? Not Harry Potter, the Chosen One? Who defeated You-Know-Who?" Ginny was annoyed that the man came to the same conclusions as Smith had, but she swallowed and nodded. It was weird, but somehow, the heroic sound Harry's name made when the fat man said it didn't fit with the Harry she knew.

"Yes, that's him."

"Are you friends with him, my dear?"

"Yes, sir."

"So may I conclude that not only is your spell-work is fabulous, but you're also close friends with Harry Potter?"

Ginny shifted a bit, and answered truthfully, "Well, I'm not sure that we're really close, but we get along. He's better friends with my brother, and he spent some time at our house over the summer holidays."

"I bet he can get along with a lot of people," Slughorn said, looking at her as if to be sure that Ginny had both her arms in the right place. Then, he shook his head. "But forgive my rudeness – I've not introduced myself. Horace Slughorn, or Professor Slughorn as of tomorrow." He held out his hand and Ginny took it, a bit unsure.

"Ginny Weasley, sir."

"Lovely to meet you, Miss Weasely. I will hold a small gathering in my compartment in about half an hour. There will be some food and refreshments. Would you care to come?"

She had promised Dean that she would be back soon, and even without looking at her watch, she knew that twenty minutes had already passed by since she had left to go to the toilet. But on the other hand, this man could easily have gotten her into trouble and yet had now invited her to eat in his compartment with other students. It would seem quite rude not to accept.

"Well, I'd love to, sir."

"Splendid, splendid! Oho! If you aren't the only one with such great magical abilities, I'll bet that teaching again won't be such a pain after all!"

As Ginny walked away, she looked back over one shoulder. Zacharias Smith was still on his knees, slapping at his head, but between the wings and the hands, Ginny could see an expression of utter surprise that she had gotten away with hexing him.

"Who's a mess now?" she mumbled softly, and grinned.


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