Chapter 6

The Belly of the Beast

Ginny's head was spinning. She had just watched her closest friends die. She was exhausted, but she knew it would be impossible for her to get any sleep at all. She looked around. Although she had never really thought about it, the Death Eater headquarters was definitely not what she would've expected. For the most evil thing in the world, Voldemort's headquarters could only be described with one word and that was, well, nice. Shiny hardwood covered the floor, there was a temperature control in every room, and even though the whole place was underground, there were windows everywhere, showing the exact scene the looker wanted to see. Ginny saw her friends and family smiling at her with open arms. Hogworts stood proud and tall in the background, unconquered. Ginny felt tears leap to her eyes almost instantaneously, but she resolutely held them back.

"This way please." Bellatrix Lestrange was leading the group of new recruits around the headquarters. She held the tone of a tour guide: bored but obligated. "The barracks are over here in this wing. This is where you'll be staying unless you have a Dark Lord approved home that you would prefer to live in. Questions?" Three people raised their hands tentatively. Bellatrix rolled her eyes and without even asking said quickly, "Yes, the rooms are comfortable. Yes, the rooms are separated by gender. Yes, food will be provided. Now, we're moving people. Let's go, hurry up, I'll show you your rooms."

Ginny was placed in a room with four other newcomers. The bedroom was indeed comfortable and big, although a bit cramped. The six bunk beds were enchanted to be as cozy as possible. With only a thought, the bed would adjust the temperature and firmness of the mattress. There was one nightstand with a pitcher of water, cups, and tissues with a trashcan right next to it. Also in the room was a small wardrobe with new pajamas and robes inside it. The floor was blanketed in thick, lush carpet, making every step feel like stepping onto a cloud. The walls were painted silver and different shades of green. Ginny gazed around the pleasant room, wishing she had died like the rest of her friends.

Ginny chose the bottom bed farthest away from the door before turning your attention to her new fellow Death Eaters. She had seen them around Hogworts before, but never bothered learning their names. But now was not the time for learning them. She went to the wardrobe and picked out some pajamas. Then she went into the small adjoining bathroom and got ready for bed. As Bellatrix had promised, there were plenty of toothbrushes, toothpaste, and hair accessories. There were three shower rooms, all with their own door. Ginny changed into her pajamas and brushed her teeth in the marble sink, staring blankly at the girl in the mirror. She was grimy, bloody, and miserable beyond belief. Her face was like stone though, so grief torn that it no longer held any expression.

Ginny walked back into the bedroom and collapsed on her bed. It immediately responded by reaching the perfect temperature and firmness. Despite her grief and unwillingness to sleep, her exhaustion got the better of her, and she was asleep before the light was even turned out.

Two Weeks Later

Ginny woke from another restless night. Her dreams had been filled with her friends calling for help. She had tried to help them, but no matter how much she ran toward them, she had never gotten any closer to them. The nightmare ended with a green light that filled the world, and Ginny was left sobbing by her friends' side in the black nothingness. As always. She had had the same dreams every night since the day she had arrived at the Death Eater HQ. It was always the same, but she still woke up with sadness just as fresh as the night she had come.

"Come on, up!" called a gruff female voice. "Let's go you sleeping beauties! We have work to do!" Ginny retrained a groan. The voice was Captain Rulkin was in charge of the girls' dormitories, and she insisted on getting up at six in the morning so they could do chores. She was also in charge of training new recruits, which meant that Ginny had to deal with her drill sergent-esque way of doing things almost every waking. Luckily, Ginny only had to endure one more week of shouting before she would be rid of Captain Rulkin.

Ginny sighed and got up. She opened the convenient little wand-holding compartment built into her bed and grabbed her wand. With a flick of her wand she made her bed. She quickly glanced under her bed for any trash or clothes she might've missed the previous night. Not surprisingly, there was nothing. After a quick shower Ginny pulled on some robes and brushed her teeth and hair. Although far from happy, Ginny was getting used to the routine, and with routine came some small comfort. After looking herself over in the mirror, Ginny walked briskly to the mess hall, which was as far away from Ginny's room as could be. The spacious room was filled with wonderful smells as always, but it just wasn't the same as breakfast in the Great Hall. Ginny filled her plate with eggs and bacon. She had learned quickly to fill up at breakfast time, as training was quite strenuous. She sat away from the rest of the Death Eaters as usual and ate in silence. Suddenly someone tapped her on the shoulder. She looked up, surprised. Draco Malfoy stood there awkwardly.

"Can I sit here?" he asked, gesturing unsurely to the seat next to Ginny. Her expression must have been amusing because he cracked a small smile. She hesitated before responding, "Sure." He sat down. There was an awkward pause before he said, "So… how's training?" Ginny smiled exhaustedly, her first smile in what seemed like years.

"It's okay." she said. "It's exhausting but it helps keep my mind off… things." Draco smiled like he understood.

"Yeah. I know what you mean. The Dark Lord is making me take training since when I wasn't really able to complete training." Draco and Ginny talked all of breakfast and when it was time for training to begin, they walked up to the training grounds. They did all their training activities together; even though there was no time for talking, they simply enjoyed each others company. By the end of the day, Ginny was considering Malfoy as a possible friend. By the end of the week, she was considering him as a possible ally in her plan to kill Voldemort.