Alphabet Soup

B

Hi again! How y'all doing? Everything okay? Feelin' groovy? Here's hoping!

WARNING: this chapter contains graphic descriptions of self-mutilation. If you find such things icky, I suggest skipping the second part of this chapter entirely.

Also, herein the worst OC in the world is featured: Racist Mirror.

Enjoy & please review!

Alphabet Soup

B

Brotherly Love

Ginny had been gone for almost two hours. Molly was beginning to worry. It wasn't unusual for Ginny to storm out and take walks, but she usually came home within about fifteen minutes. Maybe she had gone into town, Molly rationalized. Maybe she went to the cinema. But what if- what if she had gotten hurt? What if she was lost? What if, god forbid, someone had recognized her and… No, Molly resolved. She wouldn't think about that. It was virtually impossible, after all.

Virtually…

"Ronald," Molly called, straightening her face. She didn't want Ron to worry as well.

Ron skulked into the kitchen, shoulders slumped. He was holding his favorite book, Flying with the Canons. "Yeah?"

"Have you seen Ginny recently? She's been gone quite a while is all."

"No," Ron replied. "Last time I saw her she was still washing her hair with soup." Molly smiled. Small blessings, she thought, were all that kept her going. "She's probably just sitting by that yew tree in the park like she always does when she's upset."

"Oh," Molly sighed, relieved. "Would you mind going to fetch her?"

"Maybe she just wants to be alone or something," Ron answered, turning to leave the kitchen.

"I'm going to pretend that you didn't say that, Ron Weasley," Molly snapped. Her voice was raising; her temper flared a lot more than it did before they had to leave The Burrow. "You are going to go find your sister this instant, understand? Go, go," she urged, ushering him toward the door with a frenzied hand gesture. He sat his book on the table and left, scowling.

It wasn't a long walk to the park, but Ron was irritated all the same. He wanted to be with the Canons, watching them fly through the pages like orange blurs, and pretending that life was as it should be. He wanted to be in training to become an Auror with Harry. He would even be happy to get bubotuber pus squirted in his face. Instead he was living like a stupid Muggle in stupid Kent looking for his stupid sister.

Well, Ginny wasn't under that damn tree. He didn't dare return to the house without her; his mother would be furious. Some children were playing nearby, watched closely by their parents. Ron walked towards the adults and said, "'scuse me, but have you seen my sister? She's got red hair."

The parents looked suspiciously at him. He was one of those new people, the ones who never smiled. They were an odd family. All of them had bright red hair and spoke nonsense, talking about magic wands and other nonsense when they thought no one was listening. They didn't even know how to do simple things, like change a light bulb or count change. There was something funny about that new family. They were so busy staring at him that they seemed to have forgotten his question.

"So… have you seen her? Mum's getting worried."

"No, I haven't seen her," a Muggle man answered, "but my son and I just arrived a few moments ago."

"Is she that pretty girl who sits by the big tree a lot?" one of the women asked. Ron nodded excitedly. "She was here earlier, watching the kids fly their kites, I think."

"Did you happen to see where she went when she left?" Ron asked.

"She went with a very strange man," the woman replied. Ron raised his eyebrows. "I only know because there was a loud noise and I turned to look. The man was wearing a …dress of some kind. I watched my children again, but then there was another loud noise. I turned and saw the tree, but not your sister. She must be able to run very fast; it was almost like she just disappeared!"

"Uh… thanks," Ron said. He knew what had happened, what must have happened. "Will you, er, if you see Ginny, can you send her home?"

The woman nodded. "Good luck," she said insincerely as she glanced at the kites in the sky once more.

Ron sprinted home. He threw open the door and screamed, "They've got her, Mum! Ginny's been taken by Death Eaters!"

Molly blanched but remained outwardly calm. "That's impossible. Honestly, Ron, I don't know where you got that idea, but it's a terrible lie to tell!"

"It's true! The Muggles saw it!"

"Muggles told you that Death Eaters kidnapped Ginny, right in front of them?" Molly asked incredulously. Her stomach was twisting.

"They didn't say 'Death Eaters Apparated with your little sister', but they described what happened!" Ron said, speaking so quickly that Molly was having trouble keeping up with his words. "She said there was a loud pop and a man in robes- she called it a dress- came and she looked away but there was another noise and she looked and Ginny and the man were gone!"

Molly quickly looked at her clock. Ginny's hand was still on "Mortal Peril".

"What are we going to do, Mum?"

Molly began to cry. It couldn't be true- there was no possible way- but she felt like it was the truth. "What can we do, Ronald? Nothing. Maybe when Harry and some of the others get here we can… save her."

"Why would they have taken her, though? How could they know we're here? Why take just Ginny? Unless…"

"She's not that stupid," Molly stated firmly.

"But what if she did say his name?"

"She can't have," Molly said, more to herself than to Ron. "We'll have to pack up and move again…"

"What if Ginny comes home? She won't have any idea where we are!"

"Ronald, if we stay here, then my other children will be in danger as well! Do you want P-Percy to end up l-like Fred?" she wept. "G-Ginny will know what to do whe-when she c-comes b-back… She- she's resourceful…"

"Mum, I'm not going anywhere without Ginny. I won't lose another sibling to You-Know-Who!" Ron shouted.

"Do you think I want to lose any more of this family to him? Ronald, this is the only way I know how to keep the rest of you safe! Go pack your things, no arguing. You can help Percy and George when they get back…"

As Ron left, Molly put her head in her hands. When Percy and George get back; what if 'when' suddenly turned into 'if'? Silently she prayed that wherever Ginny was, she was safe. She had to be safe. Harry would save her. Harry had loved her once; he wouldn't let her die.

Blood

Ginny woke up. She wasn't in the tiny pantry anymore, but a small sitting room. She had been tossed onto an antique couch with old red upholstery that could have done with replacing. Sighing, Ginny examined the rest of the room. No windows- well, that was to be expected. There was light, but no visible source. A mirror hung on one of the walls. Its frame was tarnished and Ginny had the feeling that if she were to take it from the wall there would be a mirror-shaped light spot on the dingy wall. There would be no sense in trying to open the door; with her first quick glance, she noticed that the knob had been removed.

She was alone with her thoughts.

She didn't want to be alone with her thoughts.

She looked in the mirror. She didn't look as bad as she thought she would. Her hair was more than a little disheveled but she didn't have bruises on her face or bags under her eyes. "Alright, Ginny," she said aloud, "it could be worse. They didn't kill you, right?" She tore at the tangles in her long hair.

"No, but don't count on staying so comfortable," the mirror answered.

"What?" Ginny asked incredulously. "This is hardly comfortable."

"The last person here was dragged out by the ears and they said he'd be going somewhere that would make Azkaban seem like a holiday."

Ginny paled. "Were they bluffing?"

"How should I know? I'm stuck in here, too," the mirror snapped. "Your hair needs a good brushing. Pulling at it with your little fingers isn't going to fix anything… not that it'll matter for long."

"If you're just going to try to frighten me you can shut up," Ginny replied. She had torn a chunk of red strands from her head. "I don't need crap from a dusty old mirror."

"Old? Dusty?!" the mirror yelled. "I'll have you know that I'm in fine shape, thank you very much!"

Ginny wrote the words "wash me" on the mirror's surface with her finger and smirked.

"That's enough! If I could, I'd bite off that hand of yours! Unless you're a Mudblood like some of the others were; I wouldn't ever be able to rid my… figurative mouth of the taste!"

"I'm not Muggle-born," Ginny said sharply, "but I don't feel like talking to a mirror with a superiority complex." She took her hands from her hair, made a fist, and punched the mirror, shattering it.

"Damn," she muttered. "That certainly wasn't the best idea." She looked at the broken bits of mirror on the floor and noticed a steady dripping of blood onto the shards. Looking over her right hand, Ginny saw that her knuckles were shredded rather badly. The skin had peeled off in a few places and bits of glass were stuck here and there in her fingers. She just looked at her hand.

It didn't really hurt, per se. It certainly wasn't pleasant, but there was no real pain to speak of. Her hand felt almost… numb, she thought. Odd, that. It was like her emotions, almost- what should be immensely painful she turned into a nagging ache. Maybe she could make the rest of her feel that way, too.

Picking up a piece of mirror with a few drops of her blood on it, Ginny sat on the tattered sofa. For a while she just looked at her eyes in the little shard of glass. Slowly she rolled up the leg of her jeans and moved the mirror toward her shin. Blankly she pushed a sharp corner through her creamy skin. It prickled a bit. She looked at her hand, the mirror, and her leg. She inhaled deeply, closed her eyes, and dragged the glass shard up to her knee. She let go a rasping breath when she opened her eyes. A jagged line of blood was slowly leaking out of her. It didn't hurt, really. She felt satisfied- proud, even. She was in charge in this little room. There were no Death Eaters to hurt her, there was no Mum to tell her to stop sulking, there was no Voldemort here. There was only Ginny M. Weasley to control what hurt her. She had the power.

She lifted the mirror again, jabbed it into the same shin, harder this time, and pulled. This line bled more than the first. "The first one is for Dad," she said, "and the second one is for Charlie. This-" she repeated the macabre gesture "-is for Bill."

"This is for Fred." her already distorted hand was clutching the glass so hard that it cut a new line into her palm.

"This," she shouted and tore more violently than ever, "is for the ones who are still alive." Her socks were turning crimson and getting soggy, but she didn't notice. "This," she screamed, tears finally falling from her eyes, "is for false hope!" She paused a moment, breath hitching. A tear fell from her cheek onto her leg and she yelped helplessly as she sobbed. She brought her hand to her head, not caring that her face was now stained with the blood of her anger. Her jeans had slipped below her knee. Whatever denim touched her skin soaked up blood like a sponge.

She dropped the mirror at long last and curled into a little ball on the worn sofa. Her eyes burned and breathing hurt, but somehow she managed to fall asleep again. As she slipped into the darkness beneath her eyelids, her last thought was that she should have made more lines- many more lines- in memory of every person Voldemort's schemes had ever hurt.

Good? Bad? Okay? Semi-neutral with a dash of crap? Not suckish? Let me know in a review! I respond to all signed reviews. Criticism is requested.

Next Time: "Hello, Ginny," Tom said with a smile.

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