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“Ginny?” Demelza whispered as she pushed aside the dark curtails on Ginny’s bed. The inside was bathed with white light illuminating from Ginny’s wand. It was bright and made Demelza squint as she made out the figure huddled inside.

Ginny sat with her knees held against her chest and her eyes wide open. They were bloodshot with bags underneath them. Her skin was sallow, like a corpse. She stared straight ahead at the bright light, unblinking.

“Ginny,” Demelza said again. She sat next to her friend and pulled the wand out of Ginny’s hand. She didn’t fight it. “It’s been ages. Please. Shut your eyes. Sleep.”

“Please don’t take away the light,” Ginny begged Demelza, her voice hoarse and desperate. “Please.”

“It’s right here. The light isn’t going anywhere.”

Demelza came closer to Ginny and slowly put her arm on Ginny’s shoulder. Her friend flinched away from her touch, but then allowed Demelza to get closer.

“Shut your eyes Gin,” Demelza said. “I promise you, there is nothing to be afraid of here. Just shut your eyes. Sleep.”

“There’s everything to be afraid of.” Ginny shook her head as she spoke. She didn’t lean into Demelza’s touch, she sat up straight and kept staring at the light.

“Gin… what did they do to you?”

Demelza bit her lip as she waited for Ginny to speak again. She didn’t. She never did when they asked her what the Carrows had done to her in the five days they had her locked up. Luna had told them about the dementor and Neville’s screaming, vivid nightmares gave it all away, but Ginny had gone silent. She hadn’t said a word about it at all. She had come out physically unscathed, but her eyes seemed so hallow. Ginny couldn’t sit in the dark without panicking. She couldn’t sleep. She flinched when she was touched. She could barely eat. She only drank some water and picked at pieces of bread they managed to steal for her.

“We’re going to help you,” Demelza promised. “I swear. We’ll get that potion. You’ll finally sleep and Neville too. He won’t scream anymore. I know you can hear his screams at night. We’ll get you the potions.”

“Can I… can I be alone?”

Demelza hesitated for a moment before nodding slightly and giving Ginny her lit up wand back. Ginny didn’t move as Demelza shut the curtains again, leaving her alone in her florescent cave. Outside her cave, Demelza stayed there standing still. She stared at the light emanating from Ginny’s bed and listened as their single roommate snored softly. Finally, she sighed and Demelza left the sixth year girl’s dormitory.

Down in the common room, the fire burned softly and steadily still. It illuminated a figure standing in front of it, just staring.

“How’s Neville?” Demelza asked.

The boy didn’t turn around to face her. He shoved his hands into his pockets and continued to stare at the dancing embers.

“Asleep,” Seamus said. “He’s not screaming, thrashing a little, but not screaming. I think he’s exhausted himself out. He tries to stay awake, but he can’t. Sleep comes and so do the nightmares. Calming potion will let him sleep peacefully right?”

“Yes,” Demelza said. She sat on the armchair behind Seamus and stared at the fire too.

“Dependency,” he said. “That might be a problem, won’t it? They could become dependent on the potion to sleep or even just to function.”

“What’s the alternative?”

“Right.”

“Michael says the potion is our only hope,” Demelza continued talking. “He got word to his mother. She’s a healer. Use the potion and then eventually wean them off it since we don’t have enough to keep them going for long. Occupy their minds too, but no stress.”

“We’re fighting a war right now. It’s pretty fucking stressful.”

“I know.”

“Do you think we can trust her?”

“Selwyn?” Demelza asked.

Seamus nodded. It was barely perceptible in the dim firelight.

“What other choice do we have?” Demelza sighed. “How else do we get a calming draught?”

“I guess you’re right. I just don’t want to make a mistake here. There’s too much at risk.”

“I know.”

~

Anastasia took a deep breath and then knocked on Alecto Carrow’s office door. She stood up straight with her hands behind her back and her tie on tightly around her neck. She breathed in deeply and felt her tight collar constricting her neck. But Anastasia didn’t do anything about it.

“Miss Selwyn,” Alecto said when she opened the door. The tall blonde woman looked down her nose at the fifth year girl, but not with any contempt or malice. Alecto’s expression was blank, unreadable. “To what do I owe the pleasure?”

“May I speak with you, professor?” Anastasia asked in her pipsqueak voice. Alecto pursed her lips, but then nodded and allowed Anastasia into her office.

Anastasia sat on a brown armchair with her ankles crossed and her hands folded in her lap. She stared all around the office, avoiding Alecto’s piercing glare. She felt sweat forming in beads on her neck, her mouth was dry, her hands threatened to shake.

“I have something I need to tell you,” Anastasia said at last.

Alecto leaned forward in her own soft armchair towards Anastasia, a look of concern suddenly across her usually stony face.

“You can tell me anything,” she said softly.

“I… it’s about my father,” Anastasia finally said quickly. She took in a sharp breath as she spoke and shifted her hands so that they were stuck under her thighs.

“I’m scared for him,” she said. “He’s… mother says he’s always away. Late at night too. And… he has such a high up and important position.”

Anastasia bit her lip as she spoke and looked up at Alecto through her curly hair, throwing just the smallest hint of emphasis around her father’s rank. Alecto seemed to sit up straighter at the mention of Nathaniel Selwyn.

“You needn’t worry about your father,” Alecto said. “He’s a competent man.”

“But I do worry!” Anastasia cried. A few tears began to slide down her face as she continued to speak rapidly. “Mother says he’s always gone! He comes back hurt sometimes! I can’t sleep, I can’t eat, I’m just sick with worry professor!”

“I see,” Alecto said. “Do you feel anxious?”

Anastasia nodded vigorously. “I don’t know what to do!” she sobbed again. “I know the fear is unfounded. I really do. But I just can’t help it. You know, I’m just sort of naturally anxious. Mum has suggested potions, but I don’t know where to get them. I know with everything that’s going on… only essentials are allowed and…”

“A calming draught?” Alecto asked. “Your mother suggested a calming draught?”

“Yes,” she said. “Father has too. They’ve tried to calm me with their letters, but I don’t know. I just don’t want to keep worrying them. Father has enough on his plate.”

Anastasia and Alecto sat in silence for a moment. Alecto pursed her lips and stared at the cabinet in the corner of her office. Anastasia watched as her professor seemed to be deep in thought over the situation.

At last, Alecto stood up and walked across the room to the cabinet. The heels on her boots clicked across the floor as she walked and opened up the cabinet with a flick of her wand. She fumbled inside for a moment and then pulled out a bottle of orange liquid the height of her palm.

“One drop when you feel that you really need it,” Alecto instructed.

Anastasia took the potion eagerly from Alecto and stared at the vibrant fluid. It was enough to go around to them all for weeks, she realized.

“Thank you!” Anastasia gushed as she pocketed the potion. “I’ll make sure my parents know what you’ve done for me Professor Carrow. They’ll be so grateful!”

“Of course,” Alecto said, with her lips turned upwards in what Anastasia assumed was meant to be a smile, but came across more like a grimace. “You should go. It’s a lovely day out.”

“Right,” Anastasia nodded. “Thank you again professor. Really. I really mean it.”

With the potion safely inside her pocket and a final wave to Alecto, Anastasia hurried out of the office and finally breathed out again. Her heart was racing as she ran through the hallways off to find someone to pass the potion off to. As she hurried towards the direction of the Room of Requirement, Anastasia heard voices behind the statue. She knew the voice well.

“It’s dangerous!” the girl said sharply. Anastasia slowed down and stopped just around the corner where she could hear them, but they could not see her.

“It’s the right thing to do!” the boy said back. They seemed to be arguing. Anastasia fiddled uncomfortably for a moment before stepping around the corner and letting the couple see her. Valerie immediately turned to her best friend and looked at her with an expression of pity and concern.

“Ana,” she said. “Hi.”

“I have it,” Anastasia said, looking more at Michael than Valerie. The Ravenclaw boy’s face perked up at Anastasia’s words and grabbed her wrist as he pulled her forward.

“I’ll call a meeting then,” he said.

“Stop it!” Valerie whispered harshly. “Ana, you don’t know what you’re getting into.”

“I’m already in, Val,” she said with a little smile.

“This is insane!” Valerie grabbed Anastasia’s other wrist. “You’re a Selwyn, Ana! Do you know what that means?”

“I know a lot better than you do,” Anastasia frowned.

“It means you’re safe, Ana!” Valerie cried. “It means you don’t have to do this!”

“I’ve seen a lot of things, Val,” she said, shaking her head slowly. “Things you wouldn’t believe. No one is safe. We have to go.”

“Ana,” Valerie pleaded one last time, but the stony look in Anastasia’s eyes made her stop in her tracks. There was no love in her eyes anymore, just stormy resolution. Valerie didn’t recognize the look anymore and she stepped back, dropping Anastasia’s wrist as an expression of anger came across her delicate features.

“Fine,” Valerie spat out. “You do what you want. Both of you. But I won’t sit back and watch. I’m out.”

She turned on her Mary-Jane heel and started down the hallway, tears beginning to spill from her eyes.

“Valerie!” Michael called after her. He dropped Anastasia’s wrist and hurried after his girlfriend. “Wait!”

She stopped and turned slowly to face Michael, a hopeful glint in her eyes. Michael stopped a foot away from her and stared right into her eyes.

“If you tell anyone what you know or what you’ve seen,” Michael said in a low voice. “You’re ruined.”

“Is that a threat?” she shrieked. Michael stayed stony faced in her hysteria. “You’re my boyfriend!”

“Ex-boyfriend,” Michael crossed his arms over his chest. “You better not talk.”

“So you chose her.”

“I chose the resistance. I chose what’s right, not what’s easy.”

“I get it,” Valerie said. She glared over Michael’s shoulder at Anastasia. Her best friend looked back at her with pain all across her face. Anastasia wanted to run to Valerie and hold her tight, but she couldn’t. She was rooted to the spot by the orange potion in her pocket. She couldn’t chose what was easy. Not again.

“Don’t worry, I won’t tell on your little militia,” Valerie spat as she walked away from them.

~

Anastasia sat uncomfortable in the Room of Requirement as several pairs of eyes stared at her. Her green and silver tie, a symbol of pride outside, was a target inside the walls of the magical room. She could feel their hatred seeping into her skin, but she couldn’t find herself to blame them for it. Her surname, worn as a badge of honour all her life, was suddenly a mark of shame.

“So she got the potion,” Lavender frowned. “That doesn’t make her one of us.”

“She risked a lot to get it,” Michael said.

“We all risk a lot every day,” Lavender crossed her arms over her chest as Michael held the potion out to her. “And how do I know she didn’t poison it or something?”

“I’ll take the potion if you want,” Anastasia said in a pip-squeak voice. She barely looked up from her shoes as she spoke, still mostly hiding behind Michael. “It’s just a calming draught. Not like it’ll do anything to me. But I promise, I wouldn’t hurt you. I swear.”

Lavender frowned, but nodded at Anastasia. Michael looked as if he had more to say, but Lavender’s sharp glare stopped him in his tracks. He gave the potion back to Anastasia and she pulled up the stopper.

“One drop,” Anastasia said. She stuck her tongue out and let one drop of the amber coloured liquid drip onto her tongue. It dissolved into her, tasting like nothing at all. Anastasia shut her mouth and looked expectantly at Lavender.

“I’m feeling a little sleepy,” she said after a minute. “But that’s all. No poison.”

Lavender took the potion tentatively from Anastasia’ outstretched hand. She glared at the little bottle and then back at the Slytherin. “This still doesn’t make you one of us.”

“I know,” Anastasia mumbled. “I just want to help.”

“Stay here,” Lavender ordered as she pocketed the potion. “I want to know where you are in case something goes wrong.”

She turned on her heel and walked out of the room. Still wands were gripped tightly in Parvati and Seamus’s hands as they guarded Anastasia. She didn’t mind the surveillance, but their untrusting glares made sweat break out across the back of her neck.

“You don’t have to let her treat you this way,” Michael told her when Lavender left. Anastasia looked out the corner of her eyes at Seamus and Parvati, they didn’t look any kinder.

“It’s not that we don’t trust you,” Parvati bit her lip lightly. “It’s just that well… you’re one of them.”

“I know,” Anastasia mumbled.

“She isn’t though,” Michael countered. “She got this potion, she stole the ribbon.”

“She didn’t even know what the ribbon was,” Seamus snorted. “And how hard could it be to get the potion? She’s a Selwyn, that’s one step below Lestrange in Death Eater royalty.”

“Why are you helping us?” Parvati sat down and leaned closer to Anastasia watching the trembling young girl carefully. “What have you got to lose under him? Nothing at all. You’re rich. You’re pureblood. Your darling daddy is a commander.”

Anastasia fell silent. The images of the summer played in her mind. Screams reverberating through her home that had been transformed into a prison. She felt his screams echoing down her spine. Don’t worry, Ana. Her father used to say that every night when he found her shaking in bed from the noises. It’s nothing. Don’t worry about it. But she couldn’t forget. She couldn’t forget any of it. Not the screams, not the dead man’s eyes, not the spot of blood on her father’s usually pristine robes. Stained. He was stained. She was too.

“No one’s safe,” she muttered. “No one can be safe under someone like him.”

~

Ginny stared at her empty wall. It wasn’t quite flat. Not quite smooth either. It was off-white. Almost grey. Almost everything was sort of grey. Maybe she was just tired. Little bumps were on the wall. Almost imperceptible bumps, but she’d been staring long enough to see them. She wanted to count them like the stars in the sky. Form constellations with the bumps and irregularities in the plaster just to occupy her mind. She counted, one, two, three, four… Anything to take her mind off it. Off him. Young, handsome, charming. She had loved him with all her heart and he’d taken advantage of her naivety and loneliness. And still four years later he could bring her to her knees.

Ginny, Ginny, Ginny. No one else had ever said her name in such a beautiful voice. No one had ever called to her with such love. She wanted him, she needed him still after all these years. She’d never found a voice to replace his.

How she missed the man who nearly took her life.

“Ginny,” a softer voice called to her. It wasn’t Tom’s comforting bass. Higher pitched, but soft. Almost like a whisper. A hand touched Ginny and she didn’t flinch away. It was a soft hand, touching her shoulder lightly. A warm touch.

“Ginny.” A face appeared in front of her. Soft, curly hair in honey brown. Pale skin, dark circles under her blue eyes. Ginny blinked at the face. She was pretty.

“Ginny, I have something for you,” the pretty girl said. She held out a mug, steam coming off the top. There was tea inside, it looked just right. The perfect colour. Ginny stared again at the girl’s blue eyes. She was very pretty, beautiful even.

“Please drink it,” the girl pleaded. She took one of Ginny’s hands and placed it around the mug. Ginny couldn’t make herself hold it though. Her arm seemed too weak. Besides, if she took the mug the pretty girl would leave her and she couldn’t leave her.

“Do you need help to drink it?” the girl asked. Ginny said nothing and did nothing. She just kept staring into those brilliant blue eyes. Endless, like the ocean. Ginny wondered if she knew what the ocean looked like. She did, she determined. He lived by the ocean. She wondered who he was. All she could remember was orange hair like hers and a silvery blonde. But when she thought of the ocean she thought of that. Sea salt smell, silvery blonde hair, and white seashells. It was a beautiful image.

The cup of tea reached Ginny’s lips and the warm liquid filled her up. She liked the feeling of the tea sliding down her throat. It was comforting. Familiar. Ginny liked tea, she decided.

Before long, almost in one, long gulp, Ginny had finished the entire cup. The pretty girl crouched in front of her still, but suddenly she came into focus. She was just curly hair and blue eyes anymore. She was a rounded jawline, pink lips, and freckles across her skin.

“Lavender,” Ginny mumbled in a weak voice.

“Yes!” Lavender exclaimed, though still in her soft voice. “Yes, I’m Lavender!”

Ginny blinked twice and watched as tears welled up in her friend’s eyes. She could feel a deep sense of relief spread through her body. A warmth she hadn’t felt in weeks. There was something magical in that tea.

“Thank you,” she finally sighed before at last, shutting her eyes and drifting off into a deep sleep. 




A/N: Hello lovelies! I'm back after a very long time with a new chapter! The website has changed a lot since I was last here and I'm a little sad about that, but still, I'll hopefully finish sharing this story here someday! Anyway, I hope you all had a lovely New Year's and I wish you all a wonderful 2017!

Cabaret Voltaire was the name of a gathering of Dada artists during the pre-First World War era. These were artists all nationalities coming together at a time when their nations were growing increasingly hostile towards each other. They were a show of solidarity and sameness in the face of growing difference. The idea of unity is what I wanted Anastasia's presence in the resistence circles to bring. 

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