Anya looked up as I flew into the Gryffindor Common Room. “Where were you?”

“Talking to Luna,” I lied, collapsing into the chair next to her. I was still shaken from my conversation with Draco Bloody Malfoy. Anya already had nearly two feet of parchment filled with her neat miniscule writing and a stack of reference books spread across the table. “Is the essay hard?”

“No. I’m almost done. You can look at mine when I finish.”

“Thanks,” I said gratefully. I wasn’t sure I could concentrate on writing an essay from scratch right now.

I sat there for a few minutes, flipping through one of Anya’s books, not really paying attention to the pictures and words.

“There,” Anya said, finishing the last word with a flourish and quickly casting an Instant-Drying charm on the essay. “It’s done.”

I held out a hand, and the essay flew to me. I caught it and looked it over. “This is a little too lengthy, isn’t it?” I said doubtfully, scanning her essay. “I mean, you even quoted famous Healers…”

I looked up and saw Anya watching me. “Ginny, you should really tell someone about your wandless magic.”

My face flushed red. “Oh, that. Sorry…I didn’t even realize I did it.”

“And that’s precisely the reason you should talk to McGonagall or one of the teachers,” Anya argued. “They would probably want to know.”

“I don’t want them to make a big deal,” I hedged. “Besides, they’re all so busy right now. Maybe the wandless stuff will go away in time.”

I knew I was just making stuff up to get out of confessing. Anya knew it too.

“Can you do regular spells?” she asked.

I shook my head. “Not standard level spells, but sometimes I can do simple charms. Mostly it’s just…” I trailed off, not really wanting to sound like I was bragging or not.

“Go on,” Anya urged.

“It’s weird,” I said, lowering my voice. “It’s like ever since last year I’ve become more aware of the magic around me. It began slowly, with just little things. I first noticed it with the nonverbal household spells that my Mum does. It was like suddenly I could feel the magic moving from one place to another. Then the feeling started getting more powerful, and I started to sense magic all the time. In everything. The air, the ground, the spells, the wizarding stuff we have at home, in me…”

I swallowed. Now she’d really think I was weird. But Anya simply nodded. “And…?”

“And so I started experimenting it. I started seeing if I could channel some of the magic together to make objects move. It worked.”

“So you can move items? Is it more like the summoning and banishing spells, or is it more like levitating?”

Both,” I said, shrugging, a little embarrassed that she seemed so interested. “The farther away the objects are from me, the harder it is for me to move them.”

“Can you shut the curtains?” Anya asked, pointing to the red drapes hanging over the window across the room.

“I don’t think so,” I said. But I knew I could. “Besides, there’s too many people in the Common Room right now. Um, about that essay?”

Anya snapped back. “Oh, right, the essay,” she said, taking it back from me. “Are you sure you want to start now? I mean, it’s almost six. Remember? Quidditch practice?”

I groaned, wondering if Demelza would be too upset if I just didn’t show. “I don’t want to go,” I muttered before I could stop myself.

Anya watched me, concern lining her face. “Gin? Is everything alright?”

“Everything’s fine,” I said, a little too quickly.

“Are you sure? You seem…well, a little different. Did something happen after class?”

“Nothing happened,” I snapped, finally loosing it. “Just mind your own business!”

As I fled up the stairs to the dormitory, I regretted my rudeness. Anya was one of the only friends I had right now, and she had proved her loyalty again and again in the previous months.

Why did the stupid ferret have to confront me like that? Why did this have to happen to me in the first place? Wasn’t my life bad enough already without this added stressor? I angrily threw off my robes and fished around in my trunk for my Quidditch uniform. I grabbed my broom and headed down the stairs at a rum.

The table where Anya had been was deserted. I silently cursed myself for my harsh words. Now I’d have to wait until after practice to apologize.

With one last glance at the empty table, I headed out the portrait hole.

Quidditch practice was horrible. For me, anyway. In our warm up, I dropped the Quaffle four times, and during the practice game, I didn’t spot the Snitch once. Demelza pulled me aside after practice.
“Is everything alright?” the Gryffindor captain asked, pushing her dark hair out of her face.

“I’m OK,” I said, sighing. “Everything just kind of built up today. And I had a run-in with Malfoy.”

Demelza made a face. “I’m sorry. What did the slimy git want?”

I looked away. “I’m a girl,” I said in a lower voice. “What do you think he wanted?”

Demelza’s eyes widened. “The nerve of him! Bloody bastard!”

I listened half-heartedly as Demelza set a new record for the number of insults in one sentence describing one person. At least my friend was standing up for me. Suddenly I realized Demelza had asked me a question.

“Sorry, what was that?”

“What did you tell Malfoy?”

“What do you think? I told him no, not in this lifetime.”

“Good,” she said, looking satisfied. “He needs a deflation. He thinks he’s so bloody sexy he can have any girl he wants eating out of his hand.”

I said nothing. I was still trying to banish the other things Malfoy had said from my mind. But his words haunted me as I followed Demelza up the staircases to the Gryffindor Common Room.

Bet you’ve forgotten all about your so-called friends, Malfoy had taunted.

I have not forgotten them! I…I…just don’t know what to do, I had screamed.

His chilling words still echoed in my mind. Now you know.

“Pogrebin,” Demelza said to the Fat Lady, who sniffed and swung open.

To my relief, Anya was once again in the Common Room, her books spread out over a back table. I rushed over.

“Anya, I’m sorry…” I began, but the dark-haired girl waved me away.

“It’s OK, Ginny, really,” Anya said, a smile playing at the edges of her mouth. “You were upset, that’s all.”

I lowered myself into the next chair, and my shoulders slumped. “I still shouldn’t have yelled at you.”

“What are friends for?” the other girl said simply. “Go change, and then we’ll work on the essay.”

“Oi, Ginny, over here,” Dean called as I entered the Great Hall the next morning for breakfast. I smiled politely and marched past him, over to where Demelza and Anya sitting next to Colin Creevy.

“That Thomas bloke needs to take a hint,” Demelza said angrily after greeting me.

“He won’t leave me alone,” I sighed, plopping down next to Anya and serving herself some scrambled eggs. Dean had been following me all year long. “Gosh, he thinks that just because Ha…” I gulped. “…just because Harry isn’t around he can make moves on me again,” I finished, determined to act normal. I could do this. I could get over Harry.

Colin was eying me interestedly, but to my relief, Anya and Demelza were acting as if nothing unusual had happened. “He should just get a life,” Anya said. “And a girlfriend. Then maybe he wouldn’t follow you around all the time.”

Colin had regained his composure. “Or you need a boyfriend. Maybe then he’d leave you alone.”

I raised my eyebrows. “And who’d you suggest?”

Colin grinned slyly. “Me. Want to go out with me, Ginny?”

Anya and Demelza went in to fits of giggles. I merely rolled my eyes. “That’s like the twenty-second time you’ve asked me, Colin. And the answer is still no.”

“Wow, you counted!” Colin said, not looking put out at all. “Maybe the twenty-third time will be the charm.”

I opened my mouth to reply that even if he asked me a million times, the answer would still be no, but at that moment there was a commotion as fifty owls soared into the Great Hall. To my surprise, a tiny brown owl was soaring towards me carrying an envelope that was twice its size.

“Look, Ginny, you’ve got a letter,” Colin said excitedly. “Who’s it from? Hey, isn’t that Ron’s owl?”

“It was,” I said, absentmindedly stroking Pigwidgeon as I untied the letter from his leg. “But Ron gave the owl to Mum last…last summer. Before he…disappeared.”

I ripped open the letter. “It’s from my mum,” I informed the onlookers.

Dear Ginny, the letter read.

I have charmed this letter so only you can read it. How is school going, dear? Your father and I miss you horribly. Fred and George drop in every so often, and we see Bill and Charlie at Order meetings, but other than that, the house is much too quiet.

No news from Ron, Harry, or Hermione. The Order is still looking for them. I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but I will against my better judgment because you deserve to know. Remus and Tonks searched Godric’s Hollow—the home Lily and James lived in before they were killed—and found signs of a recent fight. There were blood stains on the ground and some complex spellwork revealed that some of the curses were cast with Ron and Harry’s wands. We don’t know what happened. Maybe they ran into Death Eaters, or maybe it was someone else attacking them. If all three were there though, the fact that there are no traces of Hermione’s wand being used makes it seem as if she was hurt or otherwise unable to cast spells. I’m so worried and I probably

Ginny, you’re all I have left now, so please stay safe! Don’t do anything rash, and if you hear anything suspicious going on, you know who to tell. There are plenty of trustworthy Order members at Hogwarts, and you can confide in them.

Love, Mum

I stared at the letter, my head reeling. Ron and Harry and Hermione… They were attacked. Hermione was most likely hurt, if not dead. Maybe they’d been captured. My brother, Hermione, and Harry… Oh no, oh no, no, no….

The world was beginning to spin.

“Ginny? Ginny! What’s wrong?”

Demelza’s voice was coming from far away. I hardly felt several sets of hands pushing me to my feet and guiding me out into the Entrance Hall. Someone was pushing down on my shoulders. Wearily I obeyed and sank down onto the bottom step of the staircase. A cool goblet was being shoved into my hand, and willingly, I drank.

“Ginny! Are you OK? What happened?” Anya said loudly. Finally, her words made it through into my mind.

I looked up, and found Anya, Demelza, and Colin, all staring down at me with anxious expressions. “The letter,” I muttered. “Some Order….some of Mum’s friends found traces of Harry and Ron’s spells in an old house. There was blood all over the floor, and they think Hermione was badly hurt.”

Anya sat down next to me and put an arm around my shoulders. “I’m so sorry, Ginny….I’m sure they’ll be alright, though. You know Harry, he’s the best dueller at Hogwarts. He ran the DA. They’re smart…if Hermione’s hurt they’ll get help. They wouldn’t do anything to hurt her. It’ll be OK!”

I took several deep breaths and brushed away a few unwanted tears from my eyes. She was right. Harry was too smart to let a bunch of Death Eaters get him like that… He’d take care of Ron and Hermione. I was certain.

Was I? I knew Harry had faced Voldemort many times, but what if this time had been the unlucky one? His luck couldn’t hold forever. I closed my eyes and tried to squeeze the worry out of my mind, but it stayed there, lurking in the back like an ominous shadow.

Get a hold of yourself, I ordered myself.

But I don’t want to, another part of me complained.

Everyone’s watching. Everyone was watching? That jerked me back into reality. I opened my eyes and looked up at my friends.

“Merlin’s Beard,” I said softly as Colin helped me stand again. “Don’t tell a soul, OK?”

“Of course not,” Demelza said firmly, elbowing Colin in the ribs, who was looking disappointed.

“Oh, er, sure, I guess,” he stuttered. “I didn’t hear a thing.”

I smiled weakly. “Thanks. Thanks a lot.”

I had resolved to put the whole Malfoy incident behind me, but that was becoming impossible for several reasons. One, I couldn’t stop thinking about the letter Mum had sent me. What if Harry, Ron, and Hermione were all hurt? What if they had been captured? Maybe they were dead. Their faces kept pushing themselves into my mind again and again. I wished I knew for sure—knowing that they were indeed captured or dead must be better than not knowing anything for sure. Every time the pessimistic thoughts entered my mind, anxiety balled up in the pit of my stomach. As a result, I only picked at my lunch and supper, unable to eat.

The second reason I was having a hard time putting the Malfoy incident behind me was quite simple, actually. The reason was Malfoy.

Suddenly Draco-Bloody-Malfoy had taken to stalking me. When I rushed to classes, he was lurking in corners, leering at me. When I ran to the Gryffindor Common Room, he was a the top of one of the staircases, just watching. When I sat in the Great Hall, I had taken to always sitting with my back to the Slytherin table. But even this measure didn’t stop the prickling sensation that I experienced—without looking, I knew that from the Slytherin table, he was staring at me.

My friends noticed it too.

“God, he’s a bloody bastard,” Demelza spat as they headed down to the pitch one Tuesday afternoon. “Following you like that. If it were me, I’d have killed him already.”

I buried my face in my hands. “It’s living hell! He won’t leave me alone.”

“Hex him.”

I sighed. “It won’t work, ‘Melza. Not with Malfoy. It will just make him more persistent.”

Demelza arched her eyebrows. “He hasn’t seen your Bat-Bogey Hex, has he?”

We laughed. Then Demelza sobered. “Honestly, Ginny, be careful.”

I stopped in my tracks. “Why? I can take care of myself.”

Demelza shrugged. “I know, but there’s no reason for you not to be cautious. He is a Malfoy, after all. His dad’s a Death Eater.”

“His father is in Azkaban,” I said carelessly. “I’m not afraid of any Malfoy.”

“And you shouldn’t be. I’m just advising you to be careful, Ginny. Malfoys get what they want.”

“Not this Malfoy,” I shot back.

But Demelza’s words lingered in my mind and reappeared whenever I passed the offending Slytherin in the hall, or whenever I felt his eyes burning holes in the back of my robes. And at night, I was haunted by Demelza’s observation: Malfoys get what they want.

Author notes: Welcome to my version of a powerful!Ginny story.I was quite dissapointed with Deathly Hallows, which is actually where I got the idea for this story.

To Be Continued.
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