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Disclaimer:  As always, I must admit that I do not own anything associated with the Harry Potter universe. 

Thanks to the terminator at The Dark Arts for another awesome chapter image.





            “Where’s Luna?” Ginny asked as soon as she entered the compartment where Neville sat alone, dragging her trunk in behind her.

 

Neville shrugged nonchalantly, munching on a feebly struggling chocolate frog and reading the back of the collector’s card. It looked like he’d got Agrippa again. Ginny had at least four of him, but wouldn’t trade with Ron because she enjoyed teasing him. She was just doing her job as a younger sister.

 

            “I dunno,” he said thickly, his mouth full of chocolate. He swallowed and cleared his throat. “I saw her on the station earlier, though, so she should be here soon. Maybe she’s lecturing some poor first year about Corky Snorkles or whatever they’re called.”

 

Ginny snorted. She wouldn’t put it past her doing something like that. Neville helped her hoist her trunk into the overhead rack, then she sat down opposite him, feeding Pig a few owl treats through the bars of his cage. She pulled out a copy of Witch Weekly. It wasn’t a particularly trustworthy read, having been taken over by the Ministry, and hence the Death Eaters, some months back. But Ginny still found the quizzes quite interesting and some of the articles amusing. The Death Eaters must’ve been plucking off all the journalists, because some of the stories were atrocious, both in content and structure. Once she ignored Harry’s face smirking from the front cover with a large heading in bold red writing, “The Boy Who Killed? New information revealed in relation to the suspicious death of Albus Dumbledore. Was Harry Potter an accessory to his murder? Exclusive story pages 2, 3 and 14”, the rest of the magazine was readable enough. 

 

She’d just got settled into an appropriate article about the marriage of one of the Holyhead Harpies’ players when without warning, Pigwidgeon went mad, his wings beating furiously and his tiny body banging against the bars of the cage. Unfortunately, Ginny hadn’t bothered to secure the cage properly, and the door burst open as she launched herself towards it. He zoomed around the compartment above their heads, hooting loudly in a way she had never heard him. Ginny recognised that this wasn’t out of excitement or anything remotely normal for the hyperactive bird – this was fear. 

 

At almost the same time, Neville’s toad, Trevor, made a terrific leap towards the window and Arnold the Pygmy Puff hid behind Ginny’s trunk in the overhead racks. Ginny and Neville exchanged bemused and worried glances as they tried to make sense of their animals’ peculiar behaviour.

 

            “What’s happening?” Neville asked loudly, barely able to be heard over Pig’s continuous screeches, diving after Trevor, who had subsequently hit the closed window and slid down onto the compartment floor.

 

            “I don’t know,” Ginny answered, trying to coax Arnold out with the tip of a Sugar Quill, yet failing spectacularly. She frowned. “That’s really weird. Arnold never turns down sugar, even when he’s sick. I just don’t understand.”

 

She flopped back into her seat, attempting to ignore the ear-piercing shrieks of the bird above her head. He seemed to be getting more and more distressed with each passing moment. Ginny got to her feet and flipped open the blind over the compartment door. She saw a boy run past the door, and she looked over her shoulder in case Pig or Trevor tried to make a dive for freedom. Arnold didn’t seem to want to go anywhere. She opened the door quickly and slammed it shut as soon as she’d slipped through the thin opening. She motioned to Neville through the glass for him to stay, and he merely nodded, holding his hands over his ears.

 

Ginny looked up and down the corridor, pressing herself to the wall as a first year ran past, chasing what looked like a terrified cat. Taking more notice now, Ginny realised that Pig wasn’t the only one making a racket. Owls’ distress calls mingled with the sound of cats hissing, bellowing frogs and the shrieks of their human owners. A young girl was on her hands and knees, bawling as she searched for her pet rat. Ginny hadn’t registered it at the time, but during the period that she had been preoccupied, the train had stopped. She bent down and scooped up a kitten as it unwisely tried to claw its way beneath the carpet in the corridor. She returned the struggling feline to its relieved owner, who subsequently got her arms, face and neck scratched as she returned to her compartment. 

 

Ginny tried to make sense of what was happening. What was causing all the animals in the train to go berserk? Of course, they had a sixth sense that alerted them when danger was coming, but what was this imminent danger? Her thoughts were answered almost immediately as a cold, hopeless sensation swept over her. The window fogged up and her breath became visible as the temperature suddenly plummeted. She knew the culprits before she had even had a chance to spy them. Dementors.

 

She withdrew back into her compartment, sliding the door close quickly as Pig let out an extraordinary screech for his tin size and Trevor leapt at her. She caught the slimy toad and gave him back to Neville, who secured him in a cardboard box with holes in the lid. Ginny went to sit down, jumping up almost immediately as a tiny creature squeaked from beneath her. She pulled Arnold from his hiding spot behind the cushion of the seat and put him at the bottom of Pig’s cage, his own out of her reach. She pulled her wand out of her back pocket and pointed it towards the door, her happy memory at the forefront of her mind in case a dementor entered the compartment. But it just didn’t add up. She briefly remembered back in her second year the dementors that had swarmed the train searching for Sirius Black. It had been completely different to this. It had been deathly silent. So what was causing this behaviour if it wasn’t the dementors? She had a horrifying inkling that there was something much, much worse accompanying them. And she was absolutely right. The compartment door was pushed open so forcefully that the glass shattered, spraying Ginny and Neville with tiny shards. 

 

            “Where is she?” Fenrir Greyback growled, advancing on the two of them, his wand raised in his hairy hand.

 

Neville brought his knees up to his chest as the sudden cold from the corridor flooded in. Behind Greyback stood the Carrows, a Death Eater Ginny was pretty sure was named Travers and a few masked Death Eaters. The party was flanked by a pair of dementors. What stunned her the most, however, was who was standing nearest the window.  Stan Shunpike? Ginny stared at him in confusion. What was he doing there? Her thoughts were disrupted when Greyback grabbed her under the chin and forced her face upwards, leaving deep scratches on her cheeks and neck. 

 

            “I said, where is she?” he asked again dangerously.

 

            “W-who?” she managed to splutter as she felt the warm blood trickle down the side of her neck. 

 

His hand came swift and hard, slapping her clean across the face, his long nails leaving scratches across her cheek. She hadn’t been expecting it, and lost her balance. She was pulled back upright by the impatient werewolf, who was gripping her collar so she was raised slightly out of her seat.

 

            “Luna Lovegood, Weasley. Where is she?”

 

Ginny’s breath hitched in her throat. No. They couldn’t want Luna. She had said it was only a matter of time. “I-I don’t k-know,” she stuttered, trying the shrink away. “And even if I did know, I wouldn’t tell you,” she added bravely, as Alecto Carrow raised her wand and a spell ripped open the shoulder of Ginny’s robes, leaving a deep gash on her right shoulder blade. Ginny gasped in pain.

 

            “Don’t use that tone with us, young lady,” she wheezed as a few of the other Death Eater’s chuckled. Ginny glowered at them.

 

Pig was still whizzing around the room making a terrible racket. Ginny silently pleaded with him to be quiet. Greyback had also noticed the noise, and looked up at the bird.

 

            “SHUT UP!” he roared, as a flash of green light shot from the end of his wand and the tiny owl fell out of the air, finally silent.

 

            “No,” Ginny whispered, tears springing to her eyes as Greyback kicked Pig’s lifeless, feathered body into the corner of the compartment, smirking.

 

            “May that be a lesson to you,” he said, his face contorted with amusement. “Annoy us, and it’s that simple.”

 

He drew a line threateningly over his neck and cackled. “Now do you want to cooperate with us?”

 

Ginny glared at him, steadfastly refusing to let him walk all over her that easily. “You should learn that killing a person’s pet won’t make them cooperate with you.”

 

            “Apparently not. Not to matter...” Greyback pointed his wand at Neville, who squeaked in fear. “What about your friend? Will you cooperate if I killed him?”

 

Ginny’s mouth went dry, and Greyback could taste her fear in the air. Besides, he was a werewolf, and those senses were heightened.

 

            “I thought you would,” he whispered. “Brave Weasley? I think you’re all talk.” That was the same thing Carrow did during her detention. Damn those Death Eaters. They knew that mocking her got her wound up, and when she got wound up, she made mistakes. “I never thought Gryffindors were much use. Noble, selfless, stupid. It’s a harsh world out there, Weasley. Survival of the fittest. You noble bastards won’t last a minute in the New World.”

 

            “The New World? What’s ‘the New World?’” Ginny spat.

 

            “The one where muggles are treated in regards to what they are – scum. Wizards will reign supreme, and only those loyal to the Dark Lord will be granted freedom. So you, Weasley, will no doubt be one of the first to go,” he feigned pity, though he had a big fat grin plastered across his face, ruining the effect. “Muggles, mudbloods and blood traitors.”

 

            “I bet your blood isn’t as pure as you pretend it is,” Neville said scathingly, turning the attention of the room from Ginny to him. He’d lowered his legs and was sitting up straight, a brave face in place.

 

            “Keep your mouth shut if you know what’s good for you, Longbottom,” Travers warned darkly. “You don’t want to end up like your parents, do you?”

 

Travers laughed cruelly. Fury flashed across Neville’s face, and in an instant he was on top of the Death Eater, holding his wand to the man’s throat.

 

            “My parents... take that back... don’t say... shut up... they didn’t…” Neville spoke in broken sentences, not making any sense at all.

 

Everyone around them was too surprised to do anything, poised so still and in such a way it was almost comical. Travers and Neville wrestled on the ground until one of the masked Death Eaters blasted Neville away, using the Crutiatus curse on him. His screams echoed around the room, and Ginny placed her hands over her ears as tears sprung to her eyes. It seemed to go on for an eternity, Neville writhing in pain, the seconds being drawn out unbearably. Finally it stopped, and Neville lay on his side on the floor, panting. Out of the corner of her eye, Ginny saw Greyback eyeing her hungrily and she inched away from him. He stared at the blood soaking her sleeve and collar, his pupils dilated as he came closer to her. He inhaled deeply and Ginny let out an involuntary frightened squeak.

 

            “FENRIR!” someone called from the door as he licked his lips eagerly. Greyback turned to glare at the man who had disturbed him. “We’ve got her. Let’s go.”

 

Ginny’s head snapped up, looking past Greyback to a Ministry official in a suit who Ginny didn’t recognise. And beside him stood Luna, as calm, dreamy and unconcerned as ever, an eagle-feather quill tucked elegantly behind her ear. She didn’t even look at either of them. Ginny tried to yell out to her friend, to tell her to run as fast as she could away from these people, but she was silenced by a spell directed straight at her stomach, making her double over in pain. It was no use. There were too many of them to take on. Luna was ushered up the corridor by the Death Eaters, and Ginny attempted to limp after them. Neville was still curled up on the floor of their compartment.

 

            “LUNA!” Ginny bellowed, noticing that most students had barricaded themselves in random compartments; seventh years with first years, boys with girls, Slytherins with Gryffindors. Ginny bypassed them all, her eyes set on the flapping train door. “LUNA!”

 

The door closed as Ginny reached it, grabbing the handle and yanking at it continuously, but it refused to open for her. The train lurched, starting to move forward again slowly. Ginny reached a window and threw it open, revealing what was the green Scottish countryside, but was now completely covered in snow. The cold wind blasted through the window, but Ginny didn't care.  Numbly, she leant out the window, inclining a little too far so she almost fell out. However, someone grabbed her around the waist, preventing her from moving any further. Arms wrapped around her, and she fought half-heartedly against them, sobbing and beating her fists into his chest. In the end, she gave in to Colin’s embrace, hugging him back as she cried. He caressed her tear-streaked face, taking care not to touch her injured shoulder, not worrying that his new white shirt was being soaked.

 

As the train moved away, the group of Death Eaters and Luna disapparated with faint pops. There wasn’t even a platform there. Ginny called out her friend’s name over and over again, tears streaming down her face as Neville joined them, equally distressed at the disastrous turn of events. There was a great chance that they may never see Luna again. 




A/N You all knew that had to happen.  I hope you enjoyed my version of events.  Please leave a review, it would seriously make my day.

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