With every breath Ginny Weasley took, she had to fight
back tears. They threatened to spill over any moment, and she did not want them
to. She had done enough crying in the past month to last her the rest of her
It was July. Ginny had turned eighteen two months
earlier. So much had happened since then it was hard to believe there had been
a time when she was happy and carefree.
moment, she was on a sort of Knight Bus. But it was very different from any
Knight Bus she had ever been on because it didn't have any beds – instead, it
had individual cells. Sort of like a dungeon. And each cell held one female,
taking them to the place they would probably never make it out of alive or
going to Azkaban.
She sat in
her cell, staring miserably out the window. It was dark out, but she could tell
that the clouds they were flying through were gray.
forehead against the surprisingly cool glass, she bit her quivering lower lip
as a tear managed to escape down her cheek. Bitterly, she wiped it away and
took a deep breath.
she commanded herself. It won't do you any good. You've cried from the
beginning and you're still on your way to jail.
There was a
loud, sudden rattling noise that made her jump. She turned and looked out into
the aisle of the bus, the narrow walkway between cells, and saw another girl in
her own compartment, just a few years older than Ginny, holding the bars of the
door and shaking them violently.
"I didn't do
it!" the girl screeched, and Ginny tried not to groan. That same girl had been
claiming that for the past three hours. "I swear, it wasn't me! Why don't you
smirked, and looked up towards the front of the bus. The only people that
weren't convicts were the driver, a guard, and one Dementor. Why would they
listen? The driver was old and frail and looked as if he hadn't eaten anything
of real nutrition in ten years. The guard was a tall, thick man with biceps as
big as Ginny's neck, holding some sort of weapon he could use to crash over
someone's head to knock them out. And the Dementor . . . like it would really
listen to anything anybody had to say?
No one that
could help the girl was listening. Instead, another woman, around thirty who
sat in a cell across from her, snapped, "Ain't nobody listenin' to you, bitch,
so just shut up."
tilted her head back and let out the loudest wail Ginny had ever heard in her
life. It went on for a straight minute before the guard finally stood up and
poked his weapon threateningly through the bars.
"If you don't
shut your mouth I'm going to let this Dementor suck the life out of you right
here and now," he growled.
ago, Ginny would've pitied the poor girl who looked as if she had suddenly gone
back thirteen years and was five, and someone had just told her there would be
no more Christmases. But it wasn't two months ago, and Ginny had hardened. She
had finally learned that the world was cruel and unfair. And she felt nothing
but relief and almost gratitude for the guard who made the girl be silent, because
she was getting rather annoying.
until we get there?" another woman asked timidly.
the driver replied gruffly.
Two hours. Two more hours before she would be locked
in Azkaban for the rest of her life.
cold. She wore a black jumpsuit, courtesy of the "Cell Bus" as she'd come to
call it, and a pair of cheap sneakers. But she had no socks and no bra, and
wondered when the next time would come when she would be able to wear them
She turned back
to the window and saw the person staring back at her. Two months ago, her skin
had been as smooth as silk and pale, dotted with many tiny freckles. Now even her
freckles seemed to have faded, and the flesh under her eyes remained a constant
purplish-black. Her hair had once been healthy, wavy, and bouncy, a deep red
color, and probably her best trait. Now it hung limply around her shoulders,
even though Ginny had just washed it that morning. Her eyes, which had normally
been full of life and happiness, a rich, dark chocolate shade, were now full of
worry and anger.
closed her eyelids. It seemed every time she closed her eyes, the crime flashed
back before her. She had nightmares about it, and had gotten so she was
terrified to sleep.
moment, everything came flooding back to her, as if it had just happened
moments ago . . .
Two months ago
can't believe you're even looking at those. Honestly, we can't afford new robes
for you right now. Why don't you get a job and pay for them yourself?"
Ginny sighed and turned towards her mother, letting
the dark blue silk fabric of the latest style robes slip from her fingers. "A
girl can dream, can't she?"
rolled her eyes. "C'mon, we're supposed to meet Ron, Harry, and Hermione for
lunch in fifteen minutes. We'll be late."
on Harry had ended the year he left Hogwarts, which was the previous year.
Instead of looking forward to seeing only Harry, she was looking forward to
seeing Hermione and her brother, too. Hermione, of course, had landed a stable
job about a minute after she graduated. She was now the Transfiguration teacher
at Hogwarts, Professor McGonagall having retired the year Hermione had left.
Ron, however, was still looking for a consistent job and was working in George
and Fred's joke shop for a little while, paying for a place of his own. And
Harry, of course, was an Auror.
been fun. Ginny had laughed a lot, mostly at how Hermione and Ron still
bickered with each other when Hermione had the engagement ring on her finger
from him. The wedding was planned for December, on Christmas day.
the five of them decided to shop around for a little while. Ginny followed her
brother and his fiancé and best friend around for a little while, then grew
bored of how even though they were nearly adults, they still ignored her. So
she went off to find her mother and perhaps manage to talk a few Galleons out
of her to buy the robes she wanted.
couldn't find her, and when she passed by Madam Malkin's Robes for All
Occasions she couldn't help but go back inside and look at the dark blue silk
robes once more.
mistake of her life.
The shop was
very busy. "Be with you in a minute, dear," Madam Malkin said in an exasperated
voice, as she tried the sizes for an upcoming first-year who wanted to get an
early start on his school year, even though the previous one had just barely
absently and admired the robes she wanted for nearly ten minutes. Then she
decided to look for something else, perhaps something she could afford, and
moved towards the back of the shop where the sale racks were.
she heard it.
"What are you
doing?" someone cried loudly.
wondered where it was coming from. She paused from searching the rack. It
seemed to be coming from behind the clothes, from the shelf
where she was looking. Glancing around, she saw that no one was around. Whoever
had spoken seemed panicked, as if something bad was about to happen.
the robes aside and peeked through. To her surprise, there was a whole other
room behind the rack of clothes. She had never known about it, because it was
invisible when the robes were in the way.
And then the
screams that seemed to echo throughout the whole store. Without even thinking
Ginny scrambled through the robes into the hidden room, and saw someone on the
floor, shouting wildly and twitching as if they were being tortured by the
Cruciatus Curse. And that was exactly what was happening.
Ginny saw it, the screaming went on for a few more moments. Then the person
stopped moving, and she was able to see that it was Lucius Malfoy.
of the corner of her eye caught her attention, and she jerked her head to the
right. A figure, wearing all black, turned and disappeared through a hallway in
the back. Whoever it was had been torturing Lucius.
everyone in the shop came in.
people hurried to Lucius's side, and helped him sit up. He was sweating and
breathing hard, his eyes glaring angrily at everything that he looked at.
Cruciatus Curse," Lucius sputtered out.
"Who did this
to you?" one man asked, helping him to his feet.
And then Lucius looked directly and Ginny, and
pointed an accusing finger at her. "She did it," he said softly and venomously.
"That girl did it."
everyone believed Lucius. No matter how badly Ginny protested, no one believed
her. But finally, her father insisted they use a truth potion on her. A very
strong dose was made, one that no one could lie through, and she drank it.
"Did you use
the Cruciatus Curse on Lucius Malfoy?" Cornelius Fudge asked her.
And she had
even her mother wouldn't look at her without shame and pain in her eyes. But
Ginny hadn't done it. Why the truth potion had made her say the biggest
lie in her life she never knew, and had a feeling she never would.
didn't, then who did?" people asked her. Witnesses had seen her there before
anyone else had arrived.
"A man in
black," Ginny had tried to explain. "I saw him leaving before anyone else
that was a lie. He said he watched as she pulled her wand out on him and said
the deadly words.
nearly two months for everything to happen, but finally, Cornelius Fudge looked
Ginny straight in the eye, disappointment showing visibly, and said, "You will
serve a life term in Azkaban for the use of an Unforgivable Curse on another
I didn't do
it, Ginny thought now, very bitterly. As much
as I hate Lucius Malfoy, I did not use an Unforgivable Curse on him. I would
never do that to anyone, never.
Someone had set her up. She hadn't even been there
when Lucius had started screaming.
I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
A/N: Please review and tell
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