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Alphabet Soup

By Maq

Romance / Drama

Prologue

Disclaimer: You're only going to see this once, right here. When I look at my birth certificate, the name on it is not 'J.K. Rowling'. You should therefore assume that I am not her and that I am just borrowing her characters. I own nothing but the plot (which I hope is original) and the very few OCs used herein.

NB: When the names of Muggles are misspelled, it is intentional.

Thanks to pop-pop-bananas. It was her story "The Letter P" (now called "Rewind") that gave me this idea.

Alphabet Soup

Prologue

D-A-D

Slurp.

F-R-E-D

Slurp.

T-O-N-K-S

Slurp.

H-A-G-

"Ginny, will you stop that already?" Molly snapped, scrubbing dinner plates laboriously.

R-I-D

Slurp.

Ginny wasn't paying much attention to anything but her lunch. She didn't even notice that strands of her long red hair were floating in her alphabet soup. She wasn't even eating, really; the letters were all that mattered. She spooned them into the names of dead friends and relatives and then swallowed them loudly. It should have been depressing; it wasn't.

Ginny didn't feel much anymore. Everything she knew was gone. She and the remaining Weasleys had moved out of The Burrow and settled in Kent, where they lived as Muggles. It was far too dangerous to do magic now. He always knew when and where a spell was cast. He would send someone to collect the caster; usually the person would be killed. The Ministry was completely gone; there were no Aurors to protect those He didn't think deserved to live.

Being a Muggle was harder than any of the living Weasleys could have imagined. Even Arthur and his delusions about the Muggle world would have been welcome. Eckletricity was terribly confusing to Molly. She wished she had taken an interest in her late husband's plugs. Scrubbing all of the dishes by hand, toweling them dry, putting them in the cheap cabinets, peeling potatoes and not being able to Vanish the rubbish, folding all of the laundry, using "deterrent" or some such to clean the clothes- this was the life of Mrs. Weasley.

The Weasley children were not doing well, either. Charlie was safe, for the time being, in Romania. Bill and Fleur had to abandon Shell Cottage; Molly didn't know where they were, or if they were even still alive. Percy, George, and Ron lived in Kent as well. They had to get Muggle jobs; this was particularly hard on Percy. He had been on his way up in the Ministry; now he was a file clerk for a small haberdashery. He sulked about the small house, rarely speaking. George, trying to retain his good-spirits in the memory of his twin, demanded to be called "Your Holeyness", as Fred had once called him. His co-workers at Pret thought him mad but were kind enough to him. Ron was nearly as depressed as Percy. He couldn't see Hermione: she had joined her parents in Australia. He couldn't see Harry regularly, as Harry was moved from place to place as often as possible for his own protection. He took tickets at the local cinema but was quickly demoted for not being cheerful enough. Mopping the sticky spots of the floors between films took up most of his time. The family had little money and an entirely too small house. This one couldn't be magically enlarged; He would know.

Then there was Ginny. She sat, spelling dead words in her soup, and helped her mother with the housework. This should have been her NEWT year at Hogwarts, but she couldn't go there anymore. Severus Snape was Headmaster there. Fred had died there. He was in charge of the school. Ginny Weasley, a blood traitor, would most certainly not be welcome at Hogwarts.

D-A

Slurp.

If only they had learned more Defense… no, nothing could stop Him, not since Dumbledore's death. Not even the Elder Wand had been able to stop Him. It couldn't lose a duel, true, but that didn't mean that it always won. The Battle of Hogwarts should have ended it all, one way or the other. It was a stalemate. Harry Potter had resorted to the Killing Curse, something no one ever thought would happen. He managed to deflect it. It had hit Him square in the chest. He should have died, but He just vanished on the spot and reappeared the next day, as powerful as ever.

Ginny's head shot up as she heard the door open and promptly slam.

"Ronald?" Mrs. Weasley asked.

"Got sacked," Ron mumbled as he skulked towards the room he shared with Percy and George. "Want to be alone."

Mrs. Weasley sighed heavily. "What more can happen to this family?" she asked no one. She wrung the dish towel dry and sat at the little kitchen table with Ginny. "Your hair is in your soup, sweetie."

Ginny shrugged and tried to find more letters; she had eaten most of them.

"Oh, nobody's even trying anymore!" Mrs. Weasley snapped. "Witches and Wizards all over the country and on the continent are living like this and I doubt they all sulk so much. Get your hair out of your damn soup, Ginny!"

Ginny started, spilling some soup on her trousers. The front bits of her hair dripped onto the cheap table. She squeezed her hair to rid it of the cold broth. Ginny stood and started to pace. She looked at the family clock. Nine hands. Seven of them sat on the words "Mortal Peril". Two hands no longer had pictures and hovered over a word that hadn't been there until recently: "Dead".

"I'm going for a walk," Ginny stated. She twisted the rusty door handle and left the house before Molly could respond. She walked across town to a small park and sat beneath the tallest tree. She watched children flying kites and families having picnic lunches. Her face flushed with envy. She wanted her life back, those carefree days when He was still gone, when she could play Exploding Snap with Fred and have late-night chats with Hermione.

There's no use dwelling on the past, she told herself. She sniffled and wiped a tear from her cheek. There's no use dwelling on the past… but I can't help it.

"Stupid Voldemort," she whispered, unable to stop herself quickly enough. She clapped her hands over her mouth and squeezed shut her eyes, praying that He hadn't heard, that no Death Eater would come murder her.

As she was snatched up by unfamiliar arms and Apparated alongside the Death Eater, she pictured her soup.

T-A-B-O-O

She had said His name, and now she would pay.

Next Time:

"Bellatrix had the most wonderful idea. We intend to use the Cruciatus Curse on her while she's still Petrified. With your permission, of course."

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