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This Fire Will Burn Us All

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Ginny couldn’t believe it, fury swept through her veins while she sat in the Great Hall and stared up at Snape. The bloody tosser was standing up there, all high and mighty giving the welcome speech as if he had any right. Any right at all after what he did. It was all Ginny could do not to just stand up and hex the man. A small smirk played on her lips as she thought of Snape being affected by a Bat-Bogey Hex, before it disappeared back into the scowl that had been there since being forced onto the train earlier that day. The scowl deepened at the memory of her mother standing on the platform with tears in her eyes. Her father was stuck at work, he always seemed to be at work these days. So Ginny had forced herself to smile, tell her mother it would all be okay, she was tough and she wouldn’t be alone at school.

“Our staff has a few rearrangements, I would like to introduce Amycus Carrow who will teaching Dark Arts and along side him will be his sister, Alecto Carrow, our new Muggle Studies professor. Together they will be your new Deputy Headmaster and Headmistress. Now onto further news…” Snape’s low drawl was drowned out by the rushing roar of anger inside Ginny’s head. Not only did Snape take over as Headmaster, over McGonagall, but they bring in two Death Eaters. Ginny was so consumed by the fury, she hadn’t noticed herself clutching her wand and starting to stand until her arm was gripped and her body forced back down onto the wooden bench. The red haze cleared, and Ginny looked to her left to see Neville give her a slight shake of his head, his hand still on her arm. She wanted to shout at him, to yell and scream. Wasn’t he angry? Furious at everything that had happened? But then she looked in his eyes, and behind the warning for her to stay sitting and quiet, Ginny could see it. The anger, the fury, the need to do something. But Neville was always the cautious one, one of the few Gryffindors who stopped to think before he acted. For the second time today he saved her arse and Ginny could only offer him a small smile of thanks.

At this point Snape had taken his seat and allowed the Carrow siblings to say a few words, the sister, Alecto had started speaking and despite Ginny not actually listening to her words, she could still hear the hatred and vile being protruded from that horrible human being. Instead, Ginny looked up and down the table at her house mates. Seamus sat across from her, looking almost lost without Dean there next to him. For the first time in her six years at Hogwarts, the entire table sat still and quiet. No laughing or jokes, no rough housing and yelling over each other to be heard. The few remaining seventh and six years sat quietly with their backs straight, glaring hard across the hall or up at the head table. A few fifth and four years were comforting the new first years, who sat trembling, trying to stay strong but terrified about what would now happen. No one in this school was under any illusion that the school was ran by any other than Voldemort, and his followers now were in the school.

Speaking of followers, Ginny’s hard gaze turned to across the Great Hall. The Slytherin house, Ginny felt the fury build up in her again. Unlike her own house, no one looked scared, no one was cowering or needed to be comforted. In the middle of the table sat Malfoy, his stupid blonde hair almost shining in the lantern light. She wanted to set it on fire, wipe that self-satisfied smirk off his face. And next to him was Parkinson, looking around with her piggy nose in the air. God, they made Ginny furious. Not a care in the world while their lord destroyed everything Ginny held dear. She thought back to the train earlier that day, while she was trying to find a compartment, Parkinson had yelled from her own, calling Ginny a blood traitor, her family was blood traitors, blah blah blah. It wasn’t until Parkinson had brought up Harry and Hermione and her brother, saying Voldemort was going to catch them and torture them and kill them. And Ginny had been so angry she forgot her wand and physically lunged at the Slytherin, before Neville had caught her around the middle and nearly carried her to his and Seamus’ compartment.

The youngest Weasley felt a prickle go up the back of her neck, like someone was watching her, brought her out of the memory as she looked around. Her blue eyes flitted over a few people until they met the golden-brown eyes of no other than Blaise Zabini. What does this prick want? Was the thought in her head and she stared down the Slytherin boy. She didn’t know much about him and what she did knew only made her dislike him that much more. It was sheer stubbornness that made her hold his gaze, until Zabini finally looked away with a dismissive look in his eyes.

The sudden appearance of food in front of her shocked her out of the Zabini-hatred thoughts. She couldn’t muster up enough hunger to eat though. Ginny could only watch as the near quiet hall started to slowly eat. Only the sound of forks and knives clinking against the plates accompanied the feast.

“-to eat.”

Ginny looked up and to her left as Neville’s voice broke through. “I’m sorry Neville, what did you say?”

Her reply only made the concern deepen in his eyes, “I said you need to eat. Just a little bit.”

Ginny’s first reaction was to snap that Neville wasn’t her mother, but she checked herself at the last moment. She wasn’t angry at him, the whole world maybe, but Neville held nothing but genuine concern for his friends. “Sure thing Nev.” And with that she dished a little onto her plate, not even paying attention to whatever it was as she took small bites. It all tasted like ash anyways.

As she mechanically chewed, Ginny again looked about the Great Hall. Both the Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw table seemed less occupied than normal. But it brought some happiness to her to see the blonde wavy locks of Luna Lovegood. Ginny hadn’t thought much about the Ravenclaw at first, thought her kind of loony as did everyone else. It wasn’t until her second year, Ginny was wandering the halls late at night, awoken from nightmares of the previous year. And then she ran into Luna, cornered by some Slytherins in their year. She couldn’t recall their names but felt the anger left from the traumatic events last year build up in her, how dare they. Picking on someone smaller and weaker than them, just because she’s a little weird. A little different. Before she had realized, Ginny had raised her wand and had started hexing those boys. They didn’t even have a chance to defend themselves, and Ginny may have only been a second year, but with so many older brothers, she quickly learned not only how to defend herself but give as good as she got. The boys had ended up running away, but before Ginny or Luna could have said a word, they heard the meowing of Ms. Norris and where that damned cat was, her owner wasn’t far behind. So Ginny had quickly grabbed Luna’s hand and dragged her along as Ginny ran down the halls. They hid in a closet in another hallway until they heard Mr. Filch walk past. Ginny walked Luna to her tower and then quickly walked back to hers. They had never talked about it after, but a kinship had quickly formed. Ginny didn’t mind Luna’s quirkiness, and Luna never mentioned if Ginny was a little to angry, her hexes a little to powerful.

“This is shite. Complete and utter shite,” Seamus says, breaking the silence as he throws down the fork he had been holding. The sound makes a couple of the firsties near them jump and look up worried. “This school, these professors, Snape. Its bollocks. I hate this. I hate them.” The anger in his voice matches the anger Ginny feels inside and she’s about to reply before Neville speaks up.

“I know, we all know. But there’s nothing to be done, not while Harry and the others are out there trying to end this…” He goes quiet for a second, thinking. “All we can do is stay strong, fight as much as we can from the inside while not putting ourselves in trouble. And to keep everyone safe. It’s up to us.”

In that moment, Ginny realizes how much Neville has grown. He’s still quiet, but not the timid, scared boy he use to be. He’s the strong yet calm presence that is needed to keep the hotheads she and Seamus tend to be in line. But the three of them working together...

“You’re right,” she replies, thoughts going a mile a minute through her head, “we might not be out there, but we are in here. And it’s our duty to fight, be the Gryffindors we call ourselves.” She looked at Seamus and then Neville, “What do you boys think about reinstating the DA?”