Ash (tartanboxers) wrote in ash_fics,
Ash
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The Battle for Hogwarts, Chapter 1

Rated: PG-13
Summary: With Harry off hunting Horcruxes, Ginny, Neville and Luna reform the DA and do what they can against the new regime at Hogwarts. Contains spoilers for DH!

Chapter One

Ginny couldn’t remember a time that she didn’t want to attend Hogwarts. Ever since she was old enough to be aware of such things, she’d wanted to follow in her older brothers’ footsteps. Stepping onto Platform 9 ¾ to embark on her sixth year of wizarding education, she realised that this year, for the first time in her life, she didn’t want to go. The scarlet engine stood in its usual spot, puffing steam, but the white clouds it sent forth felt more to Ginny like a Dementor’s fog.

Looking about her, she got the feeling she wasn’t the only person who felt this way. The usual chatter of friends greeting each other after the summer holiday was much subdued. In fact, the number of friends themselves seemed greatly reduced. There appeared to be twice the normal amount of adults on the platform accompanying half the usual number of students.

Ginny had wondered why both her parents, along with Bill, Charlie and the twins had insisted on seeing her off, but it looked like most of the other families had had the same idea. Sombre-faced parents were kissing their sons and daughters goodbye, hugging them just a moment too long, as if this were the last time they expected to see their children. And not all of the adults were parents, either. There were a number of strangers wearing official-looking robes stationed about the place at regular intervals.

“Where is everyone?” she wondered aloud.

Her mother remained tight-lipped as she pulled Ginny into a hug. “Have a good year, dear” was all she could say.

As Ginny’s father kissed her on the cheek, she saw her mother’s glance dart around the platform. She was looking for Harry, Ron and Hermione, Ginny realised. In spite of herself, she looked, as well, but there was no shock of messy black hair in sight.

“There’s still a chance,” Ginny told herself, but she didn’t really believe it.

“You stay out of trouble,” Fred was telling her solemnly.

Ginny’s mouth quirked. “You’re one to talk.”

“But this time we mean it,” George put in, and there was no hint of sarcasm in his tone.

Ginny was about to ask them what they were on about – they had to know something – when her mother broke in. “Best get on the train now. You don’t want to be left behind.”

But she did. What good was school when Voldemort had taken over the Ministry of Magic? She wanted to fight. That was what Harry was off doing, she was sure of it. He wasn’t going to waste any more time going to school. He was going to do something; he was going to act. Ginny wished fervently that she could do the same, and she cursed the fate that dictated she be born a year too late.

She climbed aboard the train, and chose the first vacant compartment she came to. She didn’t feel like asking people empty questions about how their summer had been. Theirs had probably been just as bad as hers. Getting out from under her mother’s watchful eye was the only positive aspect Ginny could see in returning to school. In the month since Bill and Fleur’s wedding, she’d been practically confined to the house. Her mother had barely let her out of her sight, as if she’d been afraid that Ginny would simply disappear the way Harry, Ron and Hermione had. The idea had been tempting enough when Remus Lupin had informed her family that Harry, Ron and Hermione had found a hiding place at the Order of the Phoenix’s old headquarters. Ginny knew where it was; she’d been in on the secret, after all. If only she could Apparate…. No amount of begging Fred and George to teach her how had produced any results.

She knew there was something Harry had to do. She’d understood that about him long before he’d ever kissed her in front of the entire Gryffindor common room. But there had been no chance for them to say so much as a goodbye to each other. She’d been hoping for that much, at least. If she were honest with herself, she’d been hoping for more than that. She’d been hoping they could come to an understanding that, once all this Voldemort business was over with, they could be together again. She wanted him to know she was willing to wait….

“You mind if I sit here?”

Ginny looked up to see Neville standing in the door to her compartment. He looked older, somehow; he stood taller with his shoulders more squared. From his expression, she could tell that he wasn’t planning on bothering with small talk.

“Not at all,” she replied.

Neville took the seat facing her. “I don’t suppose you’ve seen….” He broke off, looking uncomfortable.

“Harry?” Ginny supplied. “No. To be honest, I don’t think he’s coming back to school this year. Not when the Ministry’s put a price on his head.”

“I know, but somehow I thought…. I guess I thought he’d find a way around that. What are Ron and Hermione doing then?”

“They’re off with Harry… wherever he is. We’re telling everyone Ron can’t come back to school because he’s come down with spattergroit. Hermione’s hoping it’ll just look like she’s gone into hiding with her parents, since she can’t come back to school anyway.”

Neville looked disappointed. “I was hoping…. Well, I was hoping he’d come back and reform the DA.”

Ginny tamped down the first hopeful feeling she’d had for a month. “The DA? What for? What could we possibly do while we’re all shut up at school and most of us underage?”

“You haven’t heard the news then? It was in today’s Daily Prophet –“

Neville broke off abruptly as the door to their compartment opened again, and Luna drifted in. Her blonde hair was covered with a colourful head scarf and she was sporting her radish earrings. “The Daily Prophet? Why would anyone want to read what they have to say? They don’t even think there’s anything to the Rotfang conspiracy.”

Ginny didn’t feel very well disposed towards the Prophet herself. Her mother wouldn’t allow it in the house since they’d run Harry’s picture on the front page beneath a headline proclaiming that he was wanted for questioning about the death of Albus Dumbledore.

“Maybe not,” said Neville darkly as Luna sat beside Ginny, “but they do think there’s something to this.”

He pulled a copy of that morning’s Daily Prophet out of his jacket. Ginny’s eyes widened with horror at the picture of their former Potions master staring from behind his curtain of greasy black hair.

“How can they print stories about this and ignore the Rotfang conspiracy?” Luna wondered aloud.

It was on the tip of Ginny’s tongue to point out that the story about Snape was most likely true, but she preferred not to offend Luna. Instead she snatched up the paper and read the accompanying article.

Our finest wizarding traditions and values,” Ginny snorted. “Oh, that’s a good one! You’re right, Neville. As soon as we get to school, we need to start recruiting.

“Oh yes, wouldn’t that be lovely!” exclaimed Luna.

Neville looked as if he was going to say something more, but at that moment the door to their compartment opened again. It was Draco Malfoy, looking self-important, his Head Boy’s badge shining obscenely on his chest. With him was a man whom Ginny had never seen before, but he was tall, bearded and powerfully built, with a distinctly official air about him. He dropped a few pink leaflets on the empty seat beside Neville.

“Albert Runcorn, Muggle-born Registration Commission,” he announced curtly. “I’m here to check on your blood status. Names?”

Ginny wasn’t inclined to cooperate, and neither, it seemed, were Neville and Luna, as they all maintained a stony silence, in spite of Runcorn’s menacing appearance.

“Don’t be stupid about this now,” warned Runcorn. “If you’re not willing to cooperate, I can take you all off this train and into the Ministry for questioning. I’m sure Undersecretary Umbridge would be delighted to see you all.”

Malfoy smirked. “I can tell you their names if they don’t want to talk. That one,” he said indicating Neville, “is Dean Thomas. No wizarding blood to speak of –“

All three of them were on their feet, their wands pointing at Malfoy. Runcorn intervened before anything could happen, casting a Shield Charm between Malfoy and his attackers.

“Now, there’s no call for any of that,” he growled. “I suggest you all cooperate now, or else I’ll have no choice but to bring you all into the Ministry for questioning.”

Ginny, Neville and Luna had no other option but to take their seats and comply, while Runcorn checked their names against a list. His eyebrows lifted when Ginny gave her name, but beyond that, he made no further comment.

“Too bad,” Malfoy commented from behind his protective shield. “They’re Purebloods, after all. Pity you couldn’t‘ve come down with something nasty like your brother,” he added to Ginny.

Ginny felt a restraining hand on her wrist. Luna was preventing her from raising her wand once more. She’d have given anything for an excuse to curse Malfoy, Shield Charm or no.

“I’ll just have to get him later,” Ginny said when they’d gone.

“Yes,” agreed Neville, “but maybe we’d better not talk about it on the train. Too many interruptions.”

Since they could no longer discuss the DA safely, Luna disappeared behind a copy of The Quibbler, which featured a picture of Harry on the front page beneath a supportive headline. Ginny was tempted to ask for it, but staring at Harry’s photo would only make her miss him all the more. To distract herself from these thoughts, she picked up one of the leaflets that Runcorn had left.

Mudbloods

and the Dangers They Pose to

a Peaceful Pureblood Society

read the title in gold lettering. Ginny gave vent to some of her feelings by shredding it into mulch. Once that avenue of distraction was gone, she thought about tearing into the Daily Prophet, but her eyes kept returning to the article about Snape.

How was it possible for the man who had murdered the previous headmaster to be named headmaster in his place? She knew it all went back to Voldemort’s influence, but it was still wrong. How could Professor McGonagall and the other Heads of House stand for it?

Then two other names caught her attention. Amycus and Alecto Carrow. Why did those names sound familiar to her? The names hovered in her mind like ghosts, maddeningly refusing to cross the threshold of recognition. Memory came flooding back as she turned to the inside page. There, grinning cruelly at her were a lumpy sort of man and a stout, slope-shouldered woman. They looked enough alike to be siblings, and the caption below the picture only confirmed the matter. These were the Carrows. The last time she’d seen these two was at the end of the previous year.

“I can’t believe it!” she cried out.

“Oh, Daddy says you can believe anything if you just open your mind,” commented Luna, looking up from The Quibbler.

“Look! Just look!”

She turned the newspaper around so that Luna and Neville could see. Neville did not react. He’d obviously already read the news.

“They look as if they’ve been attacked by Wrackspurts,” commented Luna.

“They’re Death Eaters!” said Ginny perhaps more harshly than she’d meant to. “They were among the attackers last year when Dumbledore died!”

“Oh, I know. I remember. But why are they in the paper?” Her brow furrowed. “Have they had their brains replaced by Aquavirius Maggots?” she added, sounding worried.

“No, they’ve been hired to teach Muggle Studies and Defence Against the Dark Arts!”

“That doesn’t sound like a very good idea. Whatever was Professor Snape thinking?”

The frustration did little to improve Ginny’s mood by the time they arrived at Hogwarts. It didn’t help matters when Professor McGonagall accosted her and Neville in the entrance hall.

“Weasley, Longbottom, if you’ll come with me, please,” their Transfiguration teacher said sharply.

Ginny and Neville exchanged glances.

“I expect Professor Flitwick will want to have a word with you, too, Miss Lovegood,” she added to Luna, as she headed up the marble staircase. Ginny and Neville had no choice but to follow in her wake.

When they’d reached her first floor office and closed the door, McGonagall rounded on them.

“What is this I hear about an incident on the Hogwarts Express?” she demanded.

“Some Ministry official checking our blood status,” said Neville. “It’s never happened before. When has that ever mattered?”

“I bet he was doing more than that!” added Ginny. “I bet he was looking for Harry!”

“Be that as it may, things have changed in recent weeks. You can’t have failed to see the latest Ministry decrees which make attendance at Hogwarts compulsory for all but Muggle-borns. It would behove you to comply with such requests in the future without making any trouble.”

Ginny could no longer curb her tempter. “Making trouble! That’s exactly what we should be doing! We shouldn’t just lie down and take this!”

“Miss Weasley, as admirable as I find your sentiments to be, there is a time and a place. When you go back down to the Great Hall, you will find that things have changed significantly about this school. For the moment, it would be most advisable for you to keep your head down and your mouth closed.”

“But…”

McGonagall’s mouth thinned along with her patience. “There are no buts about it. Now is not the time. My main concern is the safety of all of my students. I cannot allow them to rush rashly into danger.”

Her tone brooked no further argument, but inwardly Ginny was seething. How could Professor McGonagall, the head of Gryffindor, hold such an attitude?

She stomped back down the marble staircase ahead of Neville and into the Great Hall. The Sorting was over already, and it looked as if Snape (headmaster or no, Ginny refused to think of him as deserving a title) was getting ready to make the start-of-term speech.

He cleared his throat, as Ginny marched to a seat at the Gryffindor table. “Twenty points from Gryffindor for lateness. Each,” he added as Neville came in behind her.

Ginny crossed her arms and stared straight ahead, refusing to listen to anything that traitor had to say. After a moment, she realised that she was staring at empty space. The entire end of the Gryffindor table was vacant. In addition to Harry, Ron and Hermione, Dean Thomas was also conspicuously absent, as were the Creevey brothers and others that she knew, all of them Muggle-born. Glancing a bit further, she saw that the ends of the Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff tables were equally devoid of students. Only the Slytherin table at the opposite end of the hall looked as if it were full.

A smattering of half-hearted applause drew Ginny’s attention to the staff table. The Carrows were sitting on either side of Snape. Her stomach turned over. She hadn’t needed Snape’s introduction to know that these were the new Defence Against the Dark Arts and Muggle Studies instructors announced in the Daily Prophet article.

When food appeared on the table, she wasn’t able to touch a bite.

A/N: It’s been a while, hasn’t it, but book seven inspired me to write again. Please review and let me know what you think. Thanks to Carissa for the beta.




Chapter 2
Tags: general, post-dh
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LOL, I just saw your post over on the OC thread, and I thought, "I'll be getting there eventually...."

'd like to join your comm. I'm definitely over 18. ;-)

Just click the "join community" link in the profile. I'll approve you.
Oh, it's so lovely to have good, canon-backed fic again, Anne. (I'm horribly sick of badly beta-d fic.)

That and it's always good to read your characterizations. Mmm. :D
Loving it so far (I read Ch2 first on the writing comm). I've been looking forward to seeing how the DA reforms. Glad to see you writing again. :D
I've wanted to read the Other Trio's adventures as well since finishing DH. This looks like it will fit the bill rather nicely and I'm loving it so far.

I'm looking forward to reading more!
Interesting start. Malfoy is properly nasty, too. It can't have been a pleasant year, and I'm glad to see you're not sugar-coating it.
I like it! I've been interested in seeing a fic from the "other" Trio's point of view. This should fit the bill quite nicely. :D
Oh, this is awesome. I've been really interested in what the second Trio got up to, and this fic looks like it promises to explain just that. I love your characterization of all three of them, too, it's perfect.
I'm on board.... Nice job, ready for more!

There's something really touching, somehow, about Fred and George telling Ginny to stay out of trouble in all apparent seriousness. :(

I hadn't visualized, up to this point, the idea of Snape making the start-of-term speech. After the way HBP ended, it's a powerful image.
Huh. Apparently when I said I wasn't going to read any post-DH fic, I didn't mean it... Dh was very strange in that we didn't see the school year, so I can't wait to see what you come up with. *g*
Thanks so much for this pov. I'm really liking it so far!
My fic reading has been really sporadic and my reviewing non-existent (I just...have a hard time with it for some reason) but I'm ready to be an active participant. :)

I'm excited about what you are undertaking and this is a very good start. Your Luna is &hearts, the leaflet is a nice touch, and I like that Ginny tried to get the twins to teach her to Apparate. These are my favorite lines:

-"There appeared to be twice the normal amount of adults on the platform accompanying half the usual number of students."
-“That doesn’t sound like a very good idea. Whatever was Professor Snape thinking?”

Here are a few nitpicks (let me know if his level of feedback is even useful).

-the word pair of "rush rashly" was a bit jarring given that I'm a slow reader who subvocalizes
-an "o" is missing from "behoove"
-"her eyes kept returned" should be "...returning"

Yes, nipicks are useful! I never pick up the little nits on my own, and I usually go back and fix them, if I agree with them. The "kept returned" is obviously something I edited but didn't edit the entire thing, for example. For some reason my brain passes over stuff like that all the time and then I'll come back and notice it months later, and it'll bother me.

On "behove/behoove" -- I have my Word program set to Canadian English and it gives me a spelling error for "behoove". I have the feeling that "behove" is the accepted UK spelling (since Canadian spelling tends to follow UK spelling).

I'm glad you like Luna. I have a tough time writing her, and eventually I'm going to have to put some of this story from her POV. I hope I can manage it!

Thanks for reviewing!
I have the feeling that "behove" is the accepted UK spelling

Yes, I just looked it up (and will probably do so before speaking prematurely again :D)! It's like how "love" used to be pronounced "loove".
This is wonderful and I cannot wait to read more. I've been reading tons and tons of post-DH stuff, but not many things set during the time-line of DH, I think I was waiting for THIS to happen! :-)
More comments, because the joy of this fic been done well is the gift that keeps in giving. ::laughs:: And, re-reading is rather nice, you get to appreciate the smaller things. McGonagall, for example ...is brilliant. Perfect, to the last detail, and I also loved the beginnings of a rebellious streak in Neville.

Here's to more. Cheers! :)
I just found this! Yes! I can't wait to read more. (goes to find chapter two...)
Chapter two exists in mostly rough form, so it hasn't been posted for public consumption yet. I need to get it ready for beta.
I, too, like this very much and would like to read more of it.
From Across the Great Divide was my first ever fanfiction I read, and it immediately got me to love Harry and Ginny together as a couple. I love your writing and I'm so glad to see you writing again! This was such a great start, and I can't wait to see where you take it. Great job!
THIS is the start of a story I've been wanting to read since book seven, about what happened at Hogwarts. Neville was truly amazing in the book, and his story, along with Ginny's and the rest of the DA's I'm thinking will have some great fanfics. I'm looking forward to reading this in entirety, and this is a great start, hope it'll be a good long story. :-)
yay! I've really been wanting some insight into what was going on at Hogwarts during the year, and I'm glad to see you doing it.

I've sent in a request to join the comm. by the way, so that I can keep up with this.