--Everyday I travel, travel in time
try my best to reach you
I just don't know what I'll find
Everyday I travel--
Ginny Weasley was alone on the platform, save for her parents who were anxiously looking down at their youngest daughter. The steam was billowing out from the Hogwarts Express, the scarlet snake trailing out of the station on the track leading towards Scotland. She couldn't see anyone else from her year who was returning for this sixth year at Hogwarts- although all those who were pure- or half-blood were supposed to return, she supposed that some would have been pulled out of school by their parents… and of course the Muggleborns wouldn't be allowed to return. Dean, her boyfriend at the beginning of last year, had already left; where he'd gone she didn't know.
Her mother sighed, looking at the clock over the platform. "Only a minute left, Gin, you'd better get on the train." She looked sadly across at her youngest daughter, who had suddenly become the only child that she had left. Except Ginny wasn't a child either, shortly to turn seventeen, and the same height as her mother. And so beautiful, with the loose curls of copper-coloured hair, chocolate brown eyes, and the flawless milk-coloured skin that was the saving grace of all the female Weasleys. Although she hadn't mentioned anything about it, Molly knew that Ginny had begun dating Harry, finally, at the end of the school year, and she was quite intrigued as to how it was going to work with Harry away for the whole year. Oh, she didn't doubt that they were both sincere about their relationship, but at sixteen and seventeen a year apart is like a lifetime… but still, this was Harry and Ginny, and Ginny had liked Harry since she was ten…
She'd pushed and pulled her trunk onto the train earlier with her father's assistance, wishing for just one of her brothers to be there to help her out. But, as she suspected would be a common action this year, she had looked round to find no one there to help her or support her. This year was going to be the first that there hadn't been at least one of her brothers in school, and she wasn't sure how different that was going to make the experience.
She turned to her mother who had begun crying, dabbing her tears carefully with an old cotton handkerchief. "Be careful this year, Gin. It's not going to be the same with Dumbledore gone, and now that Snape's the Headmaster… just be sensible, okay? We don't need to give them a reason to attack, do we?"
Ginny shook her head mutely, and hugged her mother and father goodbye, trying not to notice the way even her father's eyes were welling up. She stuck her head out of the window, waving frantically at her parents, standing on the platform, her father's arm around her mother's shoulder as her mother sobbed into his chest. She had seen that image before… And then it hit her- Ron and Hermione at Dumbledore's funeral had stood in exactly the same way, tears dripping off Ron's nose to land in Hermione's bushy hair, and the memory made her miss her brother even more…
Before she could get too caught up in her introspection, reminding herself once again how much she hated all Slytherins and particularly Snape, Neville came up behind her, dragging Luna along as the girl stared vacantly at the compartments they walked past. "Hey Ginny! So, are you ready to torment some Slytherins this year?"
He grinned at the fierce-looking redhead in front of him, who was now glaring at Malfoy standing at the other end of the corridor. "I'd have thought that git would be too busy murdering Muggles to come back to school," she muttered, grinning back at Neville. He'd gained a lot of self-confidence in his role in the last two battles they'd fought, at the Ministry last year then in the halls of Hogwarts last summer. She supposed it didn't exactly hurt that he was now touching six foot, and had filled out over the summer. "Good to see you, Neville. I'm not exactly supposed to be drawing attention to the family, but I'm up for a few covert missions."
The trio walked down the corridor, before finding a compartment where they could talk uninterrupted. Ginny cast Muffliato on the walls just in case a Slytherin- or anyone looking to curry favour- listened at the door. She supposed it was widely known that the three of them had been within the inner circle of the DA and that they would be the ones to look to if there was any trouble this year. "Have you still got your Galleon?"
Luna and Neville pulled theirs out of their pockets, laying them on Ginny's lap along with her own.
"I don't pretend to be an expert at this, but Hermione taught me a few of the basics after I bugged her about going away—"
"Where?" interrupted Neville, looking curiously at Ginny. "Is that why Harry and Ron aren't here?"
"Yes, I don't know where, but Ron has spattergroit if anyone else asks, and Hermione's not coming back because she's Muggle-born. You're supposed to persuade people that Harry went on his own." As the climate worsened over the summer, Ginny hadn't been allowed to send any more owls in case they were read, and it felt good to be telling her friends. She trusted these two to keep it between the three of them, knowing that no one wanted more than them to take down You Know Who. "Anyway, my coin is now a master coin, so I thought I'd make yours as well. I think it's up to us to lead the DA this year. And then I'll show you how to change the date and everything."
Getting Neville to accomplish the spell took less time than she had thought it would- although he was by no means brilliant at using his wand, he was certainly proficient and the boost in confidence had obviously improved his ability. Ginny only hoped that could last in school what with the place being run by Slytherins. She'd get Seamus to tell her if Neville returned to being a quivering wreck in his first Potions lesson.
By the time all the swapping of spells learnt over the summer was finished, and they had changed into their robes, the storm clouds were rolling in over the hills and the sun was sinking lower in the sky. Ginny felt the train come to a halt gently, and looking out of the window saw the Hogsmeade station. All three of them could now see the Thestrals pulling the carriages, having seen the death of one of the Death Eaters attacking the school last summer, and Ginny felt almost cruel for having mocked Luna's talk of horses pulling the carriages the September before.
Ginny stepped out of the compartment first, leaving her trunk to be taken up to the school. It would have been a perfect day of avoidance of Slytherins if it hadn't been for the fact that in stepping out of the compartment, she stepped into Draco Malfoy who had a shiny Head Boy badge pinned to his chest.
"Ah, the Weaselette. Didn't manage to catch spattergroit off your brother then?" he sneered. She looked up into his grey eyes, and marvelled at just how quickly the story had spread. "I'd have expected it, living in a hovel like yours."
Ginny merely raised an eyebrow. "Ah well, at least I don't have to resort to dating animals. Oh sorry, I didn't mean that personally about Pansy…" she sighed, leaving Luna in fits of laughter. "Well, I suppose that it's to be expected from a ferret." She tossed her hair over her shoulder, allowing the other two to step out into the corridor as well as the train emptied around them.
Had she seen the hint of a smirk in his eyes as she'd made that comment about Pansy? But then she'd made the "ferret" comment and he'd been angry… She really did detest Slytherins! He obviously couldn't come up with a comment in response to that, merely reddening to the extent that she was sure she was going to be expelled for causing the Head Boy's heart attack before she'd even set foot in school. "Gryffindor starting the school year on negative points? Now the last time that happened was when Potter crashed a flying car into the Whomping Willow… you must be used to it by now."
"In case you'd forgotten, they didn't take any points for that… something about school not actually starting until after the Feast?" Ginny said mildly, knowing that she could get Professor McGonagall to back her up on this. She allowed a small smirk to grace her lips as Pansy Parkinson, looking more like a pug than ever as Head Girl, came up and claimed Draco's arm, planting a kiss on his reddening cheek. Now, that look of displeasure flickering in his eyes definitely cannot be my imagination…
Pansy looked at Ginny as if she was slightly less fragrant than mud. "Forced to turn to the Slytherins, Weasel? No one left in your own House?" The way she was looking at Draco was clearly intended to be affectionate, possessive, but instead reminded Ginny of Percy's face when he'd got the runs a few years ago.
"I'm never going to be that desperate, Pansy," Ginny retorted, sucking her cheeks in an attempt not to laugh, which failed miserably when she heard Neville's guffaws behind her, and even Luna returned from her own planet for a minute to add in her silvery laughter.
Pansy huffed at that, and turned on her heel, her long blonde hair smacking Draco in the face as she did so, causing another bout of laughter from the Gryffindor. To the sound of hearty laughter, laughing in a way Ginny hadn't done in so long she'd forgotten that she missed it, the two Slytherins exited the carriage, Draco shooting a glare to Ginny behind him.
Normally I stick to canon, but for this I'm making an exception... I can't believe that Ginny wouldn't be hugely pissed off about being dumped by Harry because it's "too dangerous".
Kind of a slow start I know but it gets better... I'll update again in two weeks when I get back, if I haven't keeled over and died from the amount of holiday homework my teachers have insisted on giving me!
Lyrics from Alone by Gabrielle