Title: In The Darkness of Everybody's Life
Summary: Years and circumstances change a person. When eleven year old Ginny is sent to an Austrailian boarding school that specializes in Quidditch and the fencing, her life takes on a new direction and a collison course with Draco Malfoy.
Harry Potter might never have noticed the red headed girl if she hadn't been wrestling his best friend to the ground.
One second he'd been talking to Ron as they exited the train. The next, his gaze was drawn to the pale flash of his partner as Draco Malfoy exited the train. They nodded politely to each other. Somewhere in his heart Harry knew he would never like Malfoy, but he was the best person in their Auror training class. As second best, the two of them got paired up often.
When he kept his mouth shut, Draco wasn't a bad partner. He did his work quickly and efficiently and never insulted Ron. At least not in front of Harry.
"So what do you think the chances of me being paired with Draco are?" Harry asked.
After a second, he noticed that Ron wasn't answering him.
He turned to find his friend a few paces back. A pretty red haired girl, perhaps a year younger, had him on the ground, his head in a headlock. Harry's hand slipped to his wand before he realized his friend was laughing.
"Yeild?" the girl demanded.
"No!" Ron roared and twisted in her grip. His fingers hit her side and in a second she was on the ground, laughing breathlessly.
"All right! All right! Call it a truce!" she gasped out.
Ron got off her and held out a hand. "Hey, Gin! Great to see you."
In a second Harry recognized the girl. It had been almost three years since he'd last seen the illusive youngest member of the Weasley family.
"You an Auror yet?" she asked as she got to her feet. She towered over her brother. She looked so much older and more mature.
"Almost," he said. "Confirmation ceremony is tomorrow."
"Oh? So it's possible you didn't get in?" she said, winking at Harry.
"Yeah, Ron," Harry broke in. "I mean. These things aren't definite."
"I'd ask you if you remembered my sister, but you clearly do," Ron said wryly.
"Good to see you again, Ginny," Harry said.
"Ditto. How was training?" she asked.
"Good," Ron said. "Had Lavender Brown for my partner."
"Who'd'a figured she'd be Auror material?" Harry said then winced at the blank look on Ginny's face.
"Sorry," Ron said, noticing the look too. "She was this ditz at school. Still, she really stepped it up since being in the Aurors."
"What are her chances of making it in?" Ginny asked. It was a well known fact that the English Aurors only took four or five members a year.
"Fourth in our class as of finals. Provided she didn't leave all the answers blank on the tests, I think she'll make it," Harry said.
"Cool," Ginny began.
Ron was looking around and missed the wince on Ginny's face. A young man came sprinting over to them and as he neared, Harry suddenly noticed Ginny's attire. She was wearing black jeans and a pale blue tee shirt. The part of her ensemble that stuck out though, was the silver belt she was wearing. Harry stared at it. He remembered a lesson in his Auror Protocol class. It hadn't seemed important at the time but looking at Ginny's belt, he realized how wrong he'd been.
The young man skidded to a halt before Ginny. The younger woman's posture had changed in an instant, from at ease and comfortable, to commanding. She stood, hands on hips and stared down at the poor unfortunate young man.
"Uh...Special Auror Weasley?" the man stuttered.
"Make it quick, boy. I'm on leave as of eight minutes ago."
THe man blanched. "Uh, right. You just forgot your invitation."
He handed her an envelope and she nodded at him. He saluted her sharply and she returned it.
Ron was staring openly now. "What did I miss?"
Ginny waited until the man was gone to turn to him. "Sorry about that. I guess I forgot these at the office."
"What office? Ginny? Ginny, what was that all about?"
Ginny sighed. "Okay, I've got to swear you two to secrecy about this because if word gets out that I told anyone, I'll lose my Level Forty clearance. Did they ever tell you about the International Auror League?"
Ron nodded slowly. "Yeah. It was in one of our classes. But that's, like, a myth...right?"
She shook her head and fingered her silver belt. "'Fraid not."
"Wait...You just graduated school. How are you in this league? Does Mum know about this?"
She sighed again. "Let's just get home. I'll explain it all there. No point doing it twice."