Author's Note of Unusual Size:
Here is the sequel to my multi-chaptered AU Daphne Greengrass and the 6th Year From Hell. Just as that story tracked Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, this story will track Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, focusing on what happens with the Weasleys and with the students at Hogwarts.
This story is an AU because 1.) the main character is a Slytherin who has befriended the trio in my other work, and 2.) Ron and Hermione got together in that story as well — even though they're "on a break!" right now.
This prologue will catch up any newcomers with the happenings in the in their sixth year in order to enjoy this story. I will be referencing my earlier work as this current story progresses. But definitely feel free to check out the prequel, and my profile, for further information about my work.
Thanks goes out to stella8h8chang for her valuable comments and respitechristopher for double-checking this final draft after a lot of substantial changes to the original draft. You both rock!
I own nothing. Rated T for strong language. FYI--Ginny's handwriting is in pure italics, and her thoughts are italicized and in parentheses.
Prologue, taking place in the Gryffindor fifth year girls' dormitory, before Dumbledore's funeral.
Ginny Weasley had just packed away all of her schoolbooks into her trunk. As she was assessing her progress, she noticed a hard-covered book that rested, unopened, in her trunk.
Ginny stood still. A couple of times, her arm jerked out, as if she wanted to pick it up, but she stopped herself.
She was glad no one was in the room to see her; they'd probably think she was having a fit.
Ginny stared at the diary.
(I never had the heart to tell Cosi that I'd probably never use it.)
Ginny picked up the book. There were only two words on the cover, in gold, and written with a fancy cursive—
Ginny looked at the thing, turning it over and back again.
It wasn't like she had ever publicized the events of her first year to any of the girls that shared her dormitory. So when Cosima Ramsay had surprised her with a Muggle diary for a Christmas present — "I know your father loves Muggle things, so I thought you'd get a kick out of this," Cosima had said at the time — Ginny accepted it with a gracious smile, and placed it on her desk, never to be opened.
And any time Cosima had asked whether or not she liked writing in her diary, or how it was still in such good condition, as if it had never been opened, Ginny had looked directly at her, smiled, and said she absolutely loved it and simply wanted to keep it in the best possible condition.
Which was, of course, a lie.
But, Ginny rationalized, some lies were okay to tell.
Lies like, "Oh, I adore your present, Cosi!"
Lies like, "Dean, don't worry. There's nothing wrong with us. We're doing fine."
Lies like, "We'll make it out of the war all right, dear. Us Weasleys are survivors!"
Ginny sat on her bed, holding her book on her lap.
(It's really ridiculous, isn't it? Frightened of a stupid book?)
(Particularly when there's a war going on.)
In one quick motion, Ginny cast Alohomora on the diary's tiny gold lock and flung it open—
(It is supposed to be a Muggle diary, right?)
(I don't think they actually do anything.)
The diary creaked as she opened it; the cream-tinted pages were blank with the exception of tan-colored lines to provide writing space. Ginny flipped through the book. It certainly seemed harmless—
And then she remembered that the other diary had appeared perfectly harmless too — until she'd started writing in it.
She moved over to her desk, which still had a quill and ink bottle that she hadn't packed yet. Trying to quell her quick breathing and shaking hands, Ginny reached out and took the quill, covered the tip in ink, and with a trembling hand, touched the tip to the paper—
She exhaled, and she started writing, slowly.
June — three days after Dumbledore died —1997.
(Where to start?)
Ginny set her mouth in a straight line.
I guess I should tell you, as there is no point in holding it back.
I hate diaries.
Ginny sat back, read what she wrote, and cocked her eyebrow.
How could I possibly hate a book?
Well, it's because I was possessed by one during my first year at Hogwarts.
Ginny looked at her writing. It was a bit shaky, certainly, but seeing that particular statement written out in such a tangible way was—
Smiling to herself, and feeling certain that the diary was not going to write back and start a conversation with her, Ginny kept going.
Diary, I want to be absolutely clear; my first year is behind me.
It's in the past; a mere memory and nothing more.
Ginny started writing faster, and the thoughts poured forth from her quill to the paper.
I had already dealt with the "Thing – That – Shall – Not – Be – Discussed". My parents had already taken me to an Emotional Healer. The Healer, Flora Auditor, my family, and my own persistence — all of it really helped me deal with the fallout from being chosen as "You – Know – Who's" plaything.
But, Diary, it's not enough.
I needed to do something more, something to really prove to myself that I've recovered from that mess.
So, here I am . . . writing in you.
I should've done this ages ago.
Is this stupid of me?
Is it silly to think that merely writing down my thoughts is a way to stick it to that evil bastard?
Well, life goes on, right? I'm sitting here, at my desk, putting quill to paper, and the very fact that I can write in you means something, doesn't it?
I'm alive. I've moved on.
And the only one controlling me is me.
Ginny chuckled and snorted, and then let out a real laugh.
The book was harmless.
I've been fixed.
Now, if only everything else wasn't going downhill faster than the Chudley Cannons after their first match of the season, life would be all right.
But it's not. Life is far from all right.
Ginny stopped laughing and touched the tip of the quill to her lips. Her breath trembled and the quill quivered in the path of moving air.
So, here we are, in 1997. And the death tolls each year keep increasing.
I am really trying to look at the bright side of things right now — my family and friends are still alive, unbelievably, as we have survived battles and fights and duels with wizards who are supposed to be older and more powerful than us.
But that doesn't mean we haven't suffered losses. And there's more to come, I'm sure of it.
Ginny's chin trembled.
So many others that I barely knew, and so many others that I've never met.
All are the same. Gone.
Diary, I have this feeling.
It's the same feeling that I got during my fourth year, the day before Christmas holiday. All I could think is that I had this feeling that I thought something really bad was going to happen.
That same night, we found out that we nearly lost Dad.
Ginny had to stop for just a moment; she leaned back and stretched, and as her hand passed by her face, she took the opportunity to wipe her eyes.
Even though she reassured herself that she was not crying.
(Most definitely not . . . right, Ginevra?)
Ginny rolled her eyes at herself.
Even her own thoughts managed to sound condescending, scolding her like she was just a little girl.
So now, when I get that feeling in my guts, I listen to it.
I got that same feeling when we fought at the Ministry last year. Harry's godfather, Sirius Black, was killed in that battle.
He was a good bloke. A little wild, and reckless, sure.
But he loved Harry so much.
And that feeling came back a couple of nights ago, just before Neville, Luna and I were summoned to meet Ron and Hermione next to the Room of Requirement.
That night, we lost Dumbledore. And we almost lost Bill.
When all of us were gathered around Bill's bed in the Hospital Wing, I could only think of one thing—
I realized then I would've gone through my whole first year, even with Tom Riddle's diary, one hundred times over, if it would keep all of my family alive and safe and sound.
Ginny placed her quill down and rubbed at her eyes.
(So much for not crying!)
She shook her head, and she watched, as a couple of drops fell onto the page of her book. But Ginny kept writing.
Dammit! I'm doing it again.
I can't let myself start crying at every single bloody thing anymore. There's too much going on now that wasting tears on the past seem fruitless.
It's also just plain immature and stupid.
There will be a hundred things to cry about when all of this is over, I'm sure of that as I'm sure the Chudley Cannons will once again have a losing season.
Ginny smiled and chuckled, despite her tears.
That's two Cannon insults in one entry.
If Ron ever reads this, there's a very good chance that I might end up dead — or at the very least, forced to sing "The Cannon's Cheer" while dangling from my fingernails from the strongest branch of the Burrow's oak tree.
Or, he may not.
Ron's been a bit . . . different this year.
I dunno if it's because he had been seeing an Emotional Healer to help him deal with the effects of the brain attack during the battle at the Ministry. Or, maybe it's because he manned up and admitted that he had feelings for Hermione.
My brother, the sensitive prat.
He's changed a lot, Ron has. Before my fourth year, he wouldn't have given two shits about any Slytherins.
Then, out of nowhere, Daphne Greengrass appears at our first meeting of Dumbledore's Army. You should've seen Ron, all red-faced, spluttering angrily and objecting to allowing that "crazy, snake-loving slag" to join us. He despised her, he yelled at and fought her. He was convinced that she was going to turn them all in.
But, she didn't.
She stuck by the DA. She fought with us at the Ministry.
Maybe it was all this that started softening Ron toward Daphne. Maybe Hermione and Harry really worked on him, to get him to understand Daphne and to give her a chance.
Or . . . maybe Ron realized, all on his own, that Daphne wasn't like the other Slytherins — that she was nothing like Malfoy, Parkinson, Crabbe or Goyle. In fact, I think she despises them as much as we do.
Whatever it was, Ron changed. Ron grew up.
And now, Ron counts Daphne as one of his closest friends.
Ginny re-read the last sentence she wrote
It's amazing to me how much things can change in the span of a year.
Ron's best friends with a Slytherin.
Ron and Hermione are together.
Harry and I are together too. And yes, he's a fantastic bloke.
And Godric! I really do like him.
I like him a lot.
And, even though love is in the air, we can't enjoy it for very long.
Because, once again, this school year ended with one more casualty.
How? How did this happen?
A man that Dumbledore trusted. A man who was supposed to be one of us. One of the Order.
He killed him.
Maybe I'm still in shock. I haven't cried about Dumbledore yet. The funeral's coming up, so it might hit me then.
Right now, the only reaction I have to the news that a professor at Hogwarts killed our Headmaster is just shock. Numbness.
He killed the most powerful wizard alive. And I want to cry about it, and I can't.
But that doesn't stop it from playing over and over in my head.
The image popped back into her mind, unbidden and unasked for; any time she thought back to that night, to Dumbledore's death, she always remembered—
The thing that got to me — the thing that gets me every time — is Bill.
Bill lying in that hospital bed.
Bill, bloodied and broken.
Bill almost dead.
I lose it every time.
And it doesn't stop with Bill. It's Ron . . . Fred . . . George . . . Percy . . . Charlie . . . Mum and Dad. I see them, motionless, prone. They've stopped breathing and their eyes are wide open, staring at nothing.
I can see them . . . but they don't see me.
I yell for them . . . but they don't wake up.
My whole family is in this war until the bloody end.
Until we win, or until we're all dead.
Diary, I'm so . . . so scared. I know that I already wrote that I would go through my first year over and over again if that was all that was needed to end this war.
But, as terrified as I was then, it's starting to pale in comparison to what's going on now. The only difference is that, now, my fear is not for me.
It's for my family and everyone I've ever called a friend that's in this shit!
It's for Ron; because I know he'll probably sacrifice himself to save Hermione and Harry for "the greater good".
It's for Hermione, who will become a target should You – Know – Who gain power, all because her parents are Muggles.
It's for Harry, who had no choice but to become "The Chosen One".
But my fear is not for me. I'm in control of my mind and my body now. I'm not that eleven-year-old who allowed that bastard inside my head, my heart and my soul.
I'm afraid that my family will not make it out of this . . . but I'm not afraid for me. I still have my power, and I will use it when my time comes.
I'm Ginevra Molly Weasley, and I am not afraid. I am not afraid.
I am not afraid.
A/N: Read and not leave a review? INCONCEIVABLE!! I'd love to hear what you think about this. Thanks for reading.