My bag was all packed and ready, sitting by the door. Downstairs I could hear Mum bustling around checking things, making sure everything was set for my trip to Hogwarts. It was just me now, and it felt sort of odd to have the house so empty like this. Bill and Charlie were off doing whatever it was they did now, what with Voldemort having control of everything. Recruiting other witches and wizards to the fight against him was more like it. Even though the entire Wizarding World was on the lookout for people against the New Policy, basically against Voldemort and his ideals, Bill and Charlie always said that the world's need was more important than their own safety. I was proud of them, but also terrified at the same time. If they were to be caught, then who knows what would happen. Percy was still at the Ministry. I find it hard to believe that he can't see even now how awful it's becoming, but Percy had always been a bit pigheaded. Fred and George always called him a pompous git, and I personally agree with them.
Fred and George are still at their shop, but doing some anti-Voldemort broadcasting as well. Ever since they started up the broadcast I've wanted to help, to do something for the anti-Voldemort cause, but Mum is adamant. She's convinced I'm too young to handle any sort of danger at all. And so I'm stuck here, at home, while everyone I know is off doing something worthwhile. Even Ron is gone, although he didn't get permission from Mum to go off wherever he's gone with Harry and Hermione. It was almost funny to see Mum's face when she looked into Ron's room and saw the ghoul instead. She yelled at Dad for hours, but he didn't lose his ground like he usually does. He just said that Ron was overage and deserved to decide for himself what to do with his life. If he wanted to help Harry in his mission to destroy Voldemort that was his decision and him and Mum didn't have any say in it anymore. Mum took a while, but eventually she calmed down. I'd imagine it'd all start up again if she ever saw Ron again, though. But I have to admit; even I didn't think that Ron would leave so quickly. He, Hermione, and Harry disappeared during the wedding; right after the Death Eaters broke through our defenses and crashed it. I'm glad they got away, but it's still hard to sit here, safe and at home, all the while wondering where they are and if they're safe. At this very moment Harry might be captured, tied up, waiting for Voldemort to come and finish him off…
It's too much to think about. I stand up and walk across the room, picking up things at random. There's nothing I can do about it if that really is what's happening. I'll hear about it soon enough if Voldemort has killed Harry. He'd be sure to broadcast it everywhere so that everyone will know that he really was won, that there really is no hope. But still, it kills me to stay here, alone and quiet, not knowing anything. I think this must be the most difficult thing in the world-to sit safe at home when the person you love is in danger.
"Ginny! The car is here." Mum called from below. I broke out of my reverie, grabbed my bag and went to the car.
The ride to King's Cross Station was uneventful. Neither Mum nor Dad said much, and I was too lost in my thoughts to reply. I ran at the barrier and it opened easily for me. The Hogwarts Express was already sitting there, puffing steam out of the top of its engine. It looked exactly as it always had before, the bright red letters emblazoned across the coal black side of the train. Strange that it hadn't changed at all even though everything else had.
I hugged Mum and Dad goodbye, boarded the train and pulled my suitcase up onto the platform. I walked down the red carpeted aisle, found the first empty compartment and let myself in. Although I had seen several of my friends from last year in the other compartments I didn't want to be with them. I felt like being alone now.
A discarded newspaper lay on the seat beside me. It was from today. I picked it up and flipped through it, not because I was really interested but just for something to do. Suddenly, however, a story caught my eye. Underneath all the stories about disappearances and crazy people claiming to have been attacked by Harry was a small story entitled "Severus Snape Confirmed Hogwarts Headmaster." I stared at it in shock for a moment. Snape, Dumbledore's killer, had taken over his position? Snape, the Death Eater? I couldn't believe it, but nevertheless I opened it up and began to read the accompanying story.
The door to my compartment opened, and Luna and Neville came in. They sat down on either side of me as I looked up from the newspaper.
"Awful, isn't it?" Neville asked, taking a glance at the article I was reading. I nodded.
"Yeah. Snape. I mean, I knew they'd have to put in a new headmaster, but I never reckoned it'd be Snape. The one who killed him."
"And look at the others." Neville said, pointing lower down in the article, "Those Carrows, or whatever their names are. Those two ugly blonde Death Eaters there. Harry reckoned they were up on the tower when Dumbledore died, I heard him say it."
Luna spoke up suddenly, "Neville and I were thinking we should start Dumbledore's Army again." She said. I looked at her, startled. Neville looked shifty, while Luna just stared straight ahead, humming softly as usual.
"But who'll teach us?" I asked, "Harry isn't here anymore, and we're not likely to find someone as experienced in defense as he was."
"We were thinking we all could." Luna said, "We'd all teach everything we knew, and then learn new things to teach when nothing else was left." I was startled, but this was starting to make sort of sense. And this would be a way to help the anti-Voldemort cause in a way I couldn't have done just by myself.
"Yeah, that sounds good." I said, "But are we going to keep using the Room of Requirement? Umbridge blasted in last time, remember?"
"Neville thinks he has a way around it." Luna said. Neville blinked, blushed, then said,
"Well, you know how the room gives you whatever you want? Well, I was thinking that maybe if we asked it for a practice room that no Death Eaters or Death Eater supporters could get into, then maybe it'd be locked to those people. I dunno, though, it was just an idea."
"Neville, that's genius!" I said, surprising him and making him blush even more, "When do we get started?"
"Well, I guess right now we could try to recruit members." Neville said, "You know, like the people from the DA, but probably more will want to join now that it's Voldemort and not the Ministry we're fighting. And then we could have our first meeting… oh, I dunno, maybe Monday? Give people enough time to settle down but not enough to get cold feet. I only wish we had some more of Hermione's fake galleon things- that'd be a good way to communicate with everyone."
"We could probably figure out how to make more of them." I said, "But we shouldn't worry about it yet. What I think we should discuss is what…" I stopped talking. The compartment door had just banged open.
Neville, Luna, and I looked up. Two hooded Death Eaters stood in the doorway, glaring at us. One had his wand out, and it was pointing straight at me.
I felt for my wand in my pocket but couldn't feel it anywhere. Oh great, I must've left it in my suitcase. My mind was racing. Had they somehow overheard our plans to start up a secret rebel organization? Were they going to kill us right now?
"Out." The one with the wand growled, pointing to us.
We filed out silently. I tried to motion to Neville and Luna to ask if either of them had their wands on them, but neither seemed to. Darn, we were trapped with Death Eaters with no wands and no way of escape. And what were they going to do with us anyway? And how could they have found out?
Two Death Eaters went into the compartment and began rifling through things, checking quickly and silently under the seats, in the overhead compartments, and opening up our bags. The remaining Death Eater stayed outside with us. He sneered at me and I glowered back at him, pulling my arm out of his grasp.
"He's not in here, Macnair." One of the Death Eaters said to the other.
"Yeah, I can't find Harry either. Let's clear out of here, check the other compartments." The other one said. Harry he had said. They were looking for Harry Potter on the Hogwarts Express? Even with the seriousness of the situation I nearly burst out laughing. They must be pretty thick to think that Harry would even consider going to Hogwarts with all this going on.
We were shoved brutally back into the compartment and the door locked behind us. Even before they were gone I was rifling through my suitcase, messing up Mum's orderly arrangement looking for my wand. I found it at last at the bottom of the bag, stuffed in between socks and Advanced Potion Making. I pulled it out and shoved my bag closed, kicking it under the seat. "Those...slimy…gits!" I yelled suddenly, kicking the bag with all the might I had, "To come blasting in here looking for Harry when any idiot would know he's gone off somewhere else. We really do need to do this rebellion thing so we can teach those Death Eaters a thing or two." At least now I'm prepared, I thought.
I turned around to see Neville and Luna pulling out their wands as well. "Yeah." Neville agreed, and Luna nodded simultaneously.
"Now?" I asked them, once all our wands were in our hands, "We can recruit new members and tell all the old ones to meet us on Monday. Then we can pass out the galleons and everything."
"Yeah, c'mon, now's good." Neville said. He and Luna went out of the compartment, but I stayed behind for a moment to fix my suitcase which had come undone again. Voldemort, I thought as I wrestled The Monster Book of Monsters back into the bag, you have no idea how much of a fight we're going to put up. Hogwarts is going to rebel.
I left the compartment in search of my friends and anyone else who would be interested in undermining the new regime.