Disclaimer: Harry Potter does not belong to me. All rights go to JK Rowling/Warner Bros. I do not profit in any way.
Come Back to Me
It was late when Ginny Weasley finally fell asleep – she'd had a hard day; her face was bruised, her lip bleeding, and all of her joints ached. Luna Lovegood watched her sadly, hoping that her friend wasn't hurting too much.
It had all started in Dark Arts. Ginny was the only leading member of the DA present, the Carrows had made sure to split up those whom they suspected. It was only November, and already the DA had made a name for themselves.
Amycus Carrow had been ranting on about how the Imperio curse was very useful for all kinds of magical endeavour.
"Of course, it is most powerful when used on muggles, for they lack our strength and endurance, but..."
Ginny grimaced, and the words slipped out of her mouth before she had time to consider the consequences:
"Excuse me, Sir, but I think you'll find that the information you just relayed is incorrect," she said, her eyes flashing angrily.
Carrow spun slowly to look at her, with his cruel grey eyes.
"Silence, Weasley. I am the teacher here."
"You're not a teacher," Ginny spat. The rest of the class were deathly silent.
Carrow narrowed his eyes at her for a moment, before turning back to the board.
"Now, that being said, the Imperio Curse is not the most powerful. Avada Kedavra is what you want if you do come across any disobedient muggles, mudbloods or Blood Traitors."
Ginny held her gaze, and grasped her wand, which was carefully hidden in her pocket. The trick wand she'd nicked from Weasleys Wizard Wheezes sat with all the others on the teachers' desk – there was no way she was going without a wand in this Death-Eater-infested school. The Carrows had implemented the 'no wands in class' policy after Amycus spawned a handsome pair of antlers one lesson.
The Carrows never found out the perpetrator, but Ginny couldn't help but admire Luna's spellwork.
"Only one boy is known to have survived it, and who wanted him alive anyway?" Carrow continued, a thin smile growing on his face as he surveyed Ginny.
She gritted her teeth.
Breathe, Ginny, she told herself. Deep breaths. Punching the bloody Death Eater isn't going to help you in this situation...
"A shame, really. The boy has caused a lot of trouble in our world. Nevertheless, the Dark Lord will find him any day now, and peace shall be restored to the country. Granted, the boy is exceptionally good at hide-and-seek..."
Breathe, Ginny, breathe.
"But soon his cowardly escapades will come to an end."
Sod it. Ginny flew out of her seat for the second time.
"Harry Potter is not a coward," she seethed.
Carrow's cruel grin grew wider at the bite on his bait.
"Really, Weasley," he replied in a cold, clipped voice, "Then why doesn't he come forward and admit to his crimes."
"Crimes," she scoffed. "What crimes."
Carrow grew paler, drew himself to his full height, and strode towards Ginny's desk, his long black cloak billowing behind him ominously.
"How dare you..."
"How dare I?" Ginny asked, aware that she wasn't far off signing her own death certificate. "How dare I speak the truth? Well I'll let you into a little secret, Amy, I learned from the best."
Amycus' face was turning an interesting shade of fuchsia now, which might have been entertaining if she wasn't in such a dangerous situation.
Ginny couldn't help but wonder what Harry would say if he could see her now. He'd yell at her, probably, for putting herself in the firing line of the Death Eaters in his defence. After all, Harry was the only one who was allowed to do that...
She fought to keep the smile off her face... smiling at the Death Eater might confuse him, sure, but it probably wouldn't help her situation.
"The best?" Carrow repeated in a soft but deadly voice, staring down at the 5"5 Ginny with fire in his eyes.
"Harry Potter, of course," she replied fearlessly.
The reaction to her words was instantaneous.
Several of the students gasped, breaking their previous obedient silence, Colin Creevey, who was one of the unknown members of the DA, and one of the few who had the initiative to carry a fake wand, pulled out his real one to defend Ginny against the inevitable reaction that she'd coaxed from their teacher.
He was too late though.
Ironically enough, the way in which Amycus Carrow attacked Ginny was primal; as if he'd forgotten about his wand entirely. He slapped her hard across the face – hard – and dragged her by the hair out of the room without a word.
Out of the corner of her eye, Ginny saw Colin fire a curse at Amycus, but it didn't reach him, instead taking a chunk out of the doorframe. She appreciated the thought, but really, she wished he would stop. Colin had terrible aim, and he'd only get himself in trouble.
He seemed to reach the same conclusions, because no spells followed them out into the corridor.
"Let... go." Ginny said angrily to the stocky Death Eater dragging her by the hair.
He still didn't reply, stopping outside an empty classroom... or what used to be an empty classroom; they were known as interrogation rooms these days.
He finally let go of her when he'd locked the door behind them. Ginny slipped her hand into her robe pocket. The wand was still there, but she didn't want to use it just yet – she didn't want to reveal the DA's trick unless absolutely necessary.
"Where's Harry Potter," he asked suddenly, rounding on the sixth year, his wand pointed at her forehead.
"How the hell should I know?" Ginny replied impatiently, "He's missing... the clue's in the word."
Professor Carrow's face did change to interesting colours, Ginny thought, as she watched it turn magenta with a hint of green.
He hit her again, a backhand this time – across her other cheek. Huh. She should have been expecting that.
"That's not going to change the fact that I don't know where Harry is. And if I did there'd be no way I'd tell you."
Maybe she should be quiet...it might be better for her face.
But Death Eater baiting was so much fun...
"What is your relationship with Potter?"
Well, she wasn't expecting that, she'd give him that much.
Not that she'd give him an answer – no chance.
After ten minutes of the Death Eater's questioning, and Ginny's continued silence, he changed tactic – repeating the same kind of stuff he'd been saying in the classroom.
"So, Weasley, how long do you think it'll be before we catch him?"
"It's not far off; Potter can only play hide and seek for so long..."
"And then the peace will return to the wizarding world..."
She couldn't resist this one.
"Oh yes," she said, her voice dripping with sarcasm. "We can have a nice peaceful dictatorship."
The next slap was on one of her already bruised cheeks, so it hurt more than the other two had.
Worth it, though.
"Nobody wants him alive anyway..." the stocky man continued spitefully, "there'll be no grief when the Dark Lord kills him."
"You won't catch him," Ginny said, desperately hoping it was true, "Harry is worth so much more than any of you, and that's why your lot are searching for him so desperately... he's a threat to your dear master." She paused, surveying his beetroot face in satisfaction; "And you know it, don't you."
The Death Eater flicked his wand. 'Oh shit' was the last thought Ginny had before the brilliant red light rendered her unconscious.
The voice was familiar...
"Rennervate! Rennervate! Oh bloody hell... I was never good at that spell."
Ginny's eyes fluttered open to see a familiar face hovering above her.
"I'm okay, Neville," she groaned, sitting up. Bloody hell... everything ached.
"Oh, thank Merlin," he said, sitting next to her. She took in the surroundings... the punishment room, of course.
"They were using Crucio on you while you were still unconscious..." Neville explained in response to her grimace. "And your face was already bashed up... what happened?"
Ginny gingerly felt her face. Bruised... split lip... it wasn't too bad.
"Defending Harry in Dark Arts," Ginny said, "and I might have thrown in a couple of sarcastic comments about Death Eater ideology..."
"Harry would kill you," Neville pointed out, looking amused, if a little concerned.
"I know," she sighed. "You should have heard Amy though..."
"I can imagine," he replied dryly.
Ginny stood up and offered Neville a hand, which he accepted.
"What happened to you, anyway?" she asked, noting the new cuts on Neville's face.
"Stood in front of a first-year who was being tortured by Alecto," he winced, "Not that it did either of us a lot of good."
"Luna in the ROR?" she asked.
The DA had begun to refer to the Room of Requirement by its initials only, for security reasons. The original members hadn't yet forgotten the disastrous meeting of '96.
"Yeah. Tending a couple of Hufflepuff second-years who got beaten up by Slytherin seventh-years."
Ginny nodded. Such events were commonplace in these dark times, and Luna was especially good at calming down the younger ones.
She looked around. Just herself, Neville, and two Ravenclaw third-years.
"Dealing with a disobedient Slytherin," Neville sighed. "Third-year. He's a good kid."
"Ready to bust out of here, then?" she asked with a bitter smile. This wasn't the first time they'd left this room with no struggle – she couldn't believe that the Carrows hadn't realised they still had their wands.
"Sure," Neville replied.
It wasn't long before Ginny and Neville were walking down the seventh-floor corridor, having released themselves and the Ravenclaws, and relocking the door to the punishment room neatly behind them.
They stopped outside the Room of Requirement, and completed the usual ritual of walking back-and-forth outside the room, before entering.
"Hello, Neville and Ginny," Luna greeted them. "You're rather late home."
"Carrows," they answered together, taking the sleeping bags either side of the blonde girl.
"That's unfortunate... is your face alright, Ginny?" she asked.
"Yeah - I'm fine thanks, Luna," she yawned, "just tired."
"And you, Neville?"
"Yeah... Ginny's in a worse condition than me."
"Yes," Luna said, looking between them, "she does look hurt."
There was a pause where both of the Gryffindors looked around the room. There weren't many in today – most people were in the Great Hall; only the injured and the students elected to be healers (Ravenclaws, mostly) remained in Dumbledore's Army headquarters.
"I'll get the food from Abe today," Neville said, standing up. "Take a nap, Ginny, you look awful."
Ginny didn't protest; her head was killing her. She watched Neville step through the portrait of Dumbledore's sister, and then closed her eyes for a moment. She wondered what Harry was doing right now. Were Ron and Hermione still with him? Had they been split up? She hoped not... what if they were in danger?
She was almost slipping into unconsciousness when a voice roused her.
"You're crying, Ginny," Luna observed.
Ginny opened her eyes, and found that Luna was right; the tears blurred her vision until she wiped them away.
She never cried.
"I- guess I am," she said, hating the way her voice wavered.
"Harry's not going to die," Luna said, in her straightforward way. She couldn't possibly know that, of course – but Luna's voice was so convincing...
"He can't," Ginny murmured. She sat up, and looked into the shrewd eyes of Luna Lovegood. "I need him to come back to me, Luna. I don't- He can't-"
"You love him," Luna commented, looking interested. "Harry will come back – he's brave. He has Ronald, and the clever girl – Hermione. They'll help him."
Ginny nodded, and slipped down in the sleeping bag again; replaying Luna's words in her head, and trying to believe them wholeheartedly.
'Please come back to me, Harry,' she thought in silent prayer, 'You have to come back to me.'
And it was with this thought that Ginny Weasley finally lost her grip on consciousness.
A/N: A one-shot that I thought up a while ago, and finally finished tonight! I hope you liked it! Feedback is always welcomed.