Ginny bolted upright, grabbing her forehead. It felt like someone had driven a railroad spike into her brain. Her teeth clenched so hard that tears started to stream out of the corners of her eyes. Paralyzed, she had no choice but to bear it.
It would be several minutes before the pulses of pain lessened to a degree that allowed her to think straight. The reprieve was short lived, however, as the pain in her head was replaced with a sudden wave of nausea. She threw off the covers and hurried to the loo, making it to the toilet just in time.
She flushed the contents of her stomach away and proceeded to rinse her mouth in the sink. It felt good to splash some cool water on her face. She naturally looked into the mirror above the sink and gasped in terror when the reflection she regarded was that of a young man with deathly eyes. She lost her balance and stumbled backward, slamming into the opposite wall.
She rose slowly to her feet, massaging her shoulder, and defiantly looked into the mirror again. She saw her face and sighed in relief—then laughed at her own expense. She exited the loo, smiling and embarrassed, when she stepped on her book. She must have dozed off while reading it because it was still opened on where she left off. She picked it up and carefully folded the page that marked her spot—folding inward toward the spine.
She massaged her forehead, still finding it difficult to concentrate, and convinced herself that the strange sound was an artifact of the wind whistling through the half-open window. She glanced at the clock. It was well after midnight, yet she wasn't sleepy. Rather, she felt compelled leave her room. She opened the door and ventured out, wearing nothing but her gown.
The hallway was bare; the nurse on duty was not at her station, so Ginny felt emboldened to explore more of the hospital, all the while searching for the source of the mysterious sound:
She found herself at the entrance of a thick aqua-green door that was in desperate need of a fresh coat of paint. In spite of her misgivings, she went inside.
The hiss of the airbrake at the door's closing was deafening given the dim quiet confines of room. Shuddering, she hugged her chest and looked to her bare feet as she walked on the cold floor.
She stopped and took notice of the array of square lockers that lined the right side of the room stacked four rows high. She reached out and grabbed the handle of the one that gave her pause—locker number seven.
She pulled the slab out of the wall, begetting a long protracted creak.
A white sheet was draped over a still form atop the slab. Like a moth to a flame, Ginny was drawn to see who, or what, was under the sheet. She whipped the cover off, and her heart raced when she recognized the body with its serpentine features.
"Voldemort," she whispered.
Was it real? She cautiously neared and gently poked his chest with her finger. The last time she stood this close to the Dark Lord was after the Great Battle, when she oversaw the group that had removed his fallen body from the main hall. Looking upon him again, she was just as sure now that Lord Voldemort was dead.
She heard an odd sound of skin slapping against skin. Her eyes darted to the source to see that the corpse had grabbed her arm. It took her several seconds to process what was happening—hastened by the fact that its grip was tightening. She struggled to pull herself free, but her strength was useless.
In a panic, Ginny drew in as much air as her lungs could manage and screamed as she never had before.