In the last moment before waking, the dream seemed so real. I could hear his voice softly calling my name, feel his warm breath on my cheek. His bottle green eyes stared into mine as he slowly leaned in to softly kiss my lips. But then I heard another voice drawing me from my perfect dream world. A voice closer and louder. It was my roommate, searching for a lost shoe. I felt anger flood through me, fast and hot. Then, just as quickly, the anger was replaced by despair. It was the first day of term, and I was alone. Harry was on the run, along with my brother Ron and my best friend Hermione. I had never felt so alone in my entire life. Growing up in a house with six brothers, alone time is a luxury. Today it felt like a punishment. Technically, I was surrounded by people. But I was still alone.
I slowly pulled myself up and looked around. The other girls were dressing to go down to breakfast. There were only three of us this year. The other two Gryffindor girls from my year are Muggle-borns. I have no idea what has happened to them. "Coming, Ginny?" asked lost shoe girl, whose name is Mattie. I just shook my head. I saw her exchange a dark look with our other roommate, Kendall. Any other day, I would have made her cry for giving that look. Today I just didn't care. They wisely waited until they were halfway down the staircase before they started talking about me.
I got up and slowly sorted through my trunk for my robes. They were rumpled from my careless packing, but I didn't care about that either. I brushed my hair and teeth, and then sat back down on my bed. I didn't want to go to breakfast; I decided to just sit there until my first class began. I still had twenty minutes, so I pulled out a quill and some parchment. I started writing hoping to relieve some of my saddness, but after a few minutes, I realized I was writing to Harry. I knew I couldn't send it to him, but the act made me feel better. Maybe someday I can give it to him.
I drifted through my classes without hearing much of what the teachers said, and ignored the looks I got from the other students. I knew they were all wondering if I was still Harry Potter's girlfriend (no) and why he'd gone from The Chosen One to Undesirable Number One (because the whole country had gone mad). I couldn't give them answers. The Death Eaters had taken over our school and Harry was missing. I had no answers. I just knew we'd found ourselves in a living nightmare.
Professors McGonagall and Slughorn were a bit kinder to me than I think they normally would have been. McGonagall only yelled at me once for staring out the window and failing to answer her question. I thought the look she gave me may have even been pity. (Not that I want or need pity from anyone.) Once, I caught Professor Snape staring at me across the Great Hall during lunch. I felt a violent wave of rage wash over me when our eyes met. I thought about how much Harry hated him, too, and he smiled a little. It was creepy. Sometimes I feel like he can read minds. I hoped he could read my mind then, so he would know how much I hated him. Murderer. Traitor. I could think of lots of words to describe him.
My last class of the day was Defense Against the Dark Arts. Professor Carrow, what a joke. A Death Eater teaching DADA? No, we learned very quickly that there would be no learning of Defense in this class. Just Dark Arts. Amycus Carrow singled me out first. It must have been my red hair and the screw you look on my face. "Come here, Weasley. Use the Cruciatus curse on Longbottom here." I stared him in the eye and kept my seat. "No." He turned several shades of purple before he used the curse on me for disobedience. I've had injuries from Quidditch and from pranks my brothers played on me, but this was like nothing I had ever felt. It felt like my bones were on fire, like I was being ripped apart from the inside out. And when he lifted the curse, I was surrounded by the laughter of the Slytherins. It was the first time I had ever wanted to hurt someone, really hurt them, beyond repair. I picked myself up and sat back in my seat. I caught Neville's eye, and I knew we were thinking the same thing: there is no effing way we're letting them get away with this.