A/N: Hey, this is my first Harry Potter fan-fic so be nice. –pout- It's DMxGW, with a slight HPxLL and RWxHG. If it's too predictable, please tell me. Thanks!
Disclaimer: None of these characters are mine, apart from the unimportant people like Jaqi who I just made up on the spot. Trust me, I'm not J.K. Rowling – if I was, Lily Evans and Fred Weasley would have survived.
The Stone Speaks
One: Mud, Mould and Magic
The sky was bright and sunny – annoyingly so, compared to the filth of the ground. At the horizon, the forest Grim began, and the odd Threstral roamed out, and nibbled at any hunk of grass that dared to attempt growth through the brown slime that covered the field.
A large group of sixth years stood, bored and shivering in the crisp autumn air, in the center of the battlefield, where the three-year-long Goblin Wars had taken place, long ago. Unpleasant splatters of glowing green blood could still be seen, though most of it was gone now, sinking into the mud with the bones and armour.
"And this, here, is where Montol the Great was stabbed…"
It was surprisingly easy to tune out of Professor Binns' droning, Ginny found, and she turned from the group. Professor Umbridge had declared that there should be more practicals and field trips for classes – anything but learning, Ginny supposed.
History of Magic was usually taught by Professor Gateshand for the sixth years, but as he had caught spattergroit while visiting his mother in St. Mungo's, they had a new teacher gifted with the powers of sending any student to sleep in five minutes.
Ginny Weasley had turned sixteen a half-month ago, and was revelling in her age. Sixteen was age where you became automatically pretty, cool – sixteen was when you started to have adventures. True enough, she'd had her fair share of adventures by the time she was eleven, but that concept over-looked, she was eager for the fun to begin.
She wandered across the ancient battleground, treading carefully so as not to drop suddenly into a sinkhole. The afternoon light reflected off every pool of water, so that the entire arce of sludge seemed to glow – you had to squint to see the mud-ridden bog it really was.
Ginny hopped nimbly over a puddle, but as she landed, her foot disappeared, and she rolled forwards, tumbling in the dirt. Mud sloshed over her clothes, her face – she was blinded, where was she going..? – and then she skidded to a halt.
She lay, face-down, for a moment, stunned by the cold slime dripping down her body, before sitting up, and spitting out a globule of mud. Ginny wiped her eyes (a little nagging voice that sounded suspiciously like her mother said sharply: "Ginevra, you'll only smear it and make it worse." She ignored this) and blinked clumsily, her eyelashes partly glued together.
Ginny pushed the slimy green mess that had used to be her hair over her shoulders, and peered down for what had happened to abruptly end her bored, mindless walk. She found her leg, disappeared up to the knee, and for one startling moment she panicked, Omigod, have I stepped on some weird goblin curse and lost my leg?
Then, however, she felt a suction on the bottom of her allegedly 'hexed' leg, and hauled herself free, blushing at her own stupidity. "Ew," she moaned, flicking beads of filthy water and grime from her school trousers. Ginny puffed out her breath irritably, and as she stood warily, she noticed a glint of black at the bottom of the sinkhole where her leg had just been.
Ginny's eyebrows rose, and she peered down the sinkhole curiously. The black seemed to be smiling at her, beckoning and whispering, Ginny, rescue me and love me. She obliged, and, dipping her hand down (a grimace unfolded on her face as she felt the mud try once again to trap her and swallow her alive), retrieved whatever it was that wanted so badly to be found.
It was an amulet. Ginny took hold of the thick silver chain and dangled the pendant down between her fingers. The chain was heavy, suggesting that it wasn't a delicate female necklace, and the pendant on the back was a large, triangular piece of perfectly-cut black onyx, or obsidian – or something like that. It was a man's amulet; just the sort of thing that Ginny adored. However, the necklace cooing to her, Wear me, Ginny, unnerved her. The last inanimate object that had spoken to her was the soul of a raving lunatic, who, as she recalled, had tried to possess her.
Ginny decided that she would check it for curses or jinxes when she got back to Hogwarts, and slipped it into her pocket. For now, she trekked back to group, trying to pretend that she wasn't drenched in mud and hadn't disappeared for ten minutes.
As the group headed back towards the Portkey, Luna fell into step beside Ginny. "Hey," Luna smiled, "why are you covered in slime?" Before Ginny could answer, Luna's gaze focused on a cloud, zoning out all other thoughts, and the first girl did not bother to respond.
As they neared the purple cap, lying in a puddle, Ginny's thoughts strayed again to her new accessory. It didn't look dangerous – but there was a feel of immense power glittering in that dark triangle.
Ginny stepped out of the shower, holding the fluffy towel around her. The last of the mud had been scrubbed off, though her skin now seemed to be permanently bright pink from heat and friction. She padded through to the Gryffindor girl's dormitory, slipping slightly as her damp feet skidded on the wood.
"So tell me again where you found this?" Hermione Granger asked, turning the amulet over in her hands. The older Gryffindor was the cleverest girl in the school, and it could be proven by the gold badge she sported, the black letters HEAD GIRL glowing on it. This gave Hermione many privileges – and useful person to have around, as ever.
"In the battlefield of the Goblin Wars. Near where whats-his-face was killed. Mogon. Something like that," Ginny said, squeezing hot shower water from her hair, and pulling on her school uniform.
"Montol," Hermione corrected absently, engrossed in studying the black jewel.
"Whatever," Ginny said. She tugged her school jumper over her head, and patted the untidy blankets of her bed, looking for her wand. Where is it? She caught sight of dark wood, and, crowing a triumphant "AHA!", pounced on her wand, and stuffed it in her back pockets. "The point is," she continued, starting to straighten her bed, "that it sort of feels powerful. I'm just thinking that it wouldn't be very smart if I put it on and it…"
Ginny trailed off. She rarely talked about what had happened to totally destroy her first year at Hogwarts. Only one had ever coaxed it out of her, and that had been Harry.
Hermione fell silent too, and Ginny thought, I hope she understands what that was for me. No-one understood – not even Harry.
"No-one wants to be possessed," Harry said warmly. "I know that your angry because you made yourself vunerable and easy to abuse." He hugged Ginny tight. No, Harry, actually you're totally missing the pointshe thought darkly.
But that was long ago.
"So," Hermione cleared her throat, easing past the awkward silence, "you just want me to see if it's a Horcrux, a jinx, or something else evil that wants to take over your mind… right?" she asked.
Ginny shrugged, and as Hermione muttered and waved her wand repeatedly, she focused on pulling on her shoes. As she was knotting the laces, something tapped her on the back. She looked up, and saw Hermione.
"Well?" Ginny asked.
"It's all good," Hermione said, "Have fun." She handed the amulet to her friend, and stood. "Sorry to go so early, but I have three feet of Charms prep to do. These NEWTs are so much work, I'm really worried that I might fail Potions. It was always my worst subject, and I get so nervous whenever we have our mock-exams," she said with an exaggerated shudder.
Ginny raised one eyebrow. Hermione, who produced an 'Oustanding' on every exam without fail, was worried that she wouldn't pass the Potions test? Nonetheless, Hermione hurried away, drawing a quill from her school bag. Ginny was left sitting alone on her messy bed, a strange amulet in one hand and a damp towel in the other.
She heaped the towel on her bed, and stood, still staring unsurely at the black amulet. Hermione said it's safe, so it is, Ginny reminded herself, and slid the chain over her head.
Ginny waited. One second… two seconds… three – she hadn't been possessed. She abruptly let go of a breath that she didn't know she had been holding, as a small wave of relief washed over her. She pointed her wand at her hair, murmured, "Flagnio", and, with her hair drying from a thick brown lump to glossy red spilling down her back, left the dorm.
"Ginny," someone called from the red sofa before the fire, waving.
Ginny sat obediently beside Harry Potter – a handsome, brave, intelligient young man, the Boy Who Lived, and, her boyfriend – leaning comfortably against his shoulder. "Hey," she smiled.
Harry grinned down at her, "From what I hear, the trip went – ahem – very well… What's this about you returning as the Thing From the Deep?" he teased.
Ginny scowled. "I wasn't that muddy," she protested, folding her arms across her chest.
"She was!" hooted a bossy, irritating Gryffindor girl in Ginny's year, called Jaqi.
"Shut it, Jaqi!" Ginny called across the common room, her annoyance met by giggling and whispered name-calling. She huffed out her breath, and her fingers found the black gem around her throat. Power surged through her, and her mild anger transformed into an unstoppable urge to hex Jaqi into oblivion. Her slim fingers clenched her wand, and she stood, every muscle tense –
"Ginny, what the hell are you doing?"
Harry's incredulous voice shattered Ginny's line of thought, and the young redhead lookly blankly at her boyfriend for a moment, trying to gather her mind again. "Er…" she said, not quite sure of herself. She was vaguely aware that the entire common room was gaping at her, and a hot flush rose high on her cheeks. She dropped back onto the sofa, and allowed her round hazel eyes to meet Harry's wide green ones.
Harry and Ginny sat in silence for a moment, and Ginny suddenly realized how predictable her friend was. Every emotion was out on display in his emerald eyes; he wore his soul on his sleeve. Now that I think about it, Ginny said to herself, Harry is actually an incredibly easy target. It's no wonder that every year he gets himself into a mess and we have to help him.
However, these were cruel thoughts, and Ginny pushed them aside. She tore her gaze from Harry, and, with a sigh, stared into the flickering fire, her hands around the amulet, wondering what the hell had happened to her.
A/N: Hey, this is my first Harry Potter fan-fic! First chapter wooo. Please review!