Hullo again! This is longish!
Tom gets tipsy this time, but only a little bit. Is Tipsy!Tom okay or does he suck? Let me know in a review! I'll pass on all comments regarding this to the lovely Juvy, the Official Tipsiness Correspondent (because I've never in my life gotten even the least bit tipsy. I know, I'm a wuss).
"It's been like, what? two weeks or something that you've been here and you still haven't found any boy you find attractive?"
"What about that boy who sits next to you for meals?"
"He doesn't even speak English!" Ginny snapped. She was getting really tired of these girls, especially the ones she didn't know very well, telling her that she should hurry and find a beau.
"That doesn't matter."
"You'll get in trouble if you don't hurry up!"
"I'll start punching people if you lot don't shut up!" Ginny shouted. She balled her hands into fists for effect and bit her lip to control her temper. Count backwards from ten…
"We're just looking out for you, Ginny. Don't get so upset."
Better make that backwards from twenty…
"I think you're making her rather angry," said Luna's dreamy, far-off voice. "Perhaps you should stop."
"Loony, stay out of it. This has nothing to do- augh!"
Blood was streaming from the nose and into the mouth of the girl who had spoken. Ginny thought she may have been a Hufflepuff, once upon a time. "No one insults my friends," Ginny seethed. "Especially not her." The girl was pinching her nose to stop the bleeding. One of the others ran to get a 'chaperone'.
"Ginny, you didn't need to do that," Luna whispered, taking Ginny's hand. "But thank you all the same."
"Not a problem," Ginny responded, squeezing Luna's fingers harder than was necessary. Luna didn't seem to mind, or, if she did, she made no remarks. As she was pulled away by a Death Eater, Ginny heard Luna call out to her.
"You'll be fine…"
The next voice she heard was that of the Death Eater. "Stupid mistake, girl," she said. She had a thick Portuguese accent and smelled of heavy perfume. "You aren't 'priority one' anymore; the Dark Lord will not make us be merciful." She pushed Ginny into a hard, sturdy, and very uncomfortable chair. "Stay."
Ginny snorted. "I'm not a dog; you should use your manners." She received a slap instead of a spoken answer.
Stupid girls with stupid superiority complexes. Stupid rules. Stupid people tattling when they deserved to be hit. Stupid chair. Stupid Death Eater. Stupid Tom. Stupid spell being cast at her… oh, shit.
She woke up hungry. Where was she? How long had she been out? What was that noise?
"Who- who's there?"
"I asked- please, who's there?"
Fear doesn't become you…
"Oh, turn on a fucking light or something," she bit.
"Fine. Lumos." Draco Malfoy was leaning in a corner, smirking.
"Oh, it's just you, ferret," Ginny laughed. "And I thought there would be something scary in here." Draco frowned. "So, do you ask for assignments involving me or are you just that lucky?" She laughed at Draco's irritation. Maybe Tom's words had some weight; acting brave was certainly working for her.
"You would do well to watch your tongue," Draco said. "Bellatrix is waiting for any reason to claw out your eyes. Sassing her favorite nephew would be more than reason enough."
"Aren't you her only nephew?" Ginny countered.
Draco flushed. "That's neither here nor there. The point is that I'm in charge. Anyway, I'm to escort you to the kitchens and then leave you."
That's my punishment? Kitchen duty?
But there was more to it, Ginny realized upon entering the hot kitchen full of house elves. As soon as they started asking things like "What does Miss want to drink?" or "Would Miss like roast chicken?", Ginny's arm was tugged and she was placed on a stool against the wall. The elves were hitting themselves in the head. "We is not to give you food, Miss," an elf squeaked. Its eyes were brimming with tears and it looked compelled to simultaneously hand Ginny a roll and bash its head on the floor. "You is only watching us. We is wanting to feed you, but Master said that feeding you is a bad idea or we gets punished." The elf nearly howled with sadness when she heard Ginny's stomach rumble. "Oh, how we wants to give Miss pasties!" It pulled hard on its ear.
A Death Eater was stationed next to her. "I've seen you before," Ginny said. "You were at the Department of Mysteries."
"Well spotted," he sneered. "Ah, and here comes my little snack, Miss Weasley. Sorry, I really am quite hungry and will be keeping it all for myself."
Cake. Tom knows I love cake. He's starving me. Does that count as torture? Is that better or worse than the Cruciatus Curse? I'm rather dizzy. God, that smells good.
"How long was I, er, passed out?"
"How long is 'not long'?"
"Only a few days, I think. Three and a half, I'm pretty sure." Ginny's stomach growled loudly again. "Hungry?" the Death Eater asked. Ginny looked up at him angrily. That delicious-looking cake was stuck to some of his crooked teeth. She was so hungry that it hurt. The heat of the ovens made her throat dry and she ached for something to drink, yet she shivered. Dizzy. She leaned back against the wall and closed her eyes, wishing she was in a regular chair and not a stool. The room spun and she felt like she was falling. Dizzy. Yeah, she was falling. No, the Death Eater caught her and straightened her. "You're here until dinner is over, Weasley." Hungry. Dizzy. I'd even eat sprouts at this point. Hell, I'd eat a live garden gnome.
She cracked a small smile. She remembered something Ron had said to a Muggle about garden gnomes.
"Olivia, Bob's got three more garden gnomes. Honestly, I think this obsession of his is getting out of hand." "What does he have now, forty or so?" "Something like that." "'scuse me, but did you say you had forty garden gnomes?" "You're the Weasley boy, right? Yes, we have far too many gnomes in my opinion." "All you have to do is pick them up by the legs, get them good and dizzy, and throw them. Or I could do it for you. Since they bite, you know. I'd do it for a Sickle." The Muggles looked at him strangely. "Ron, her husband collects garden gnomes- the ceramic lawn decorations. I don't think he would like it if you threw them." Ginny said. "I'm sorry, ma'am, but my brother has an overactive imagination." "Right. I really must be going. I'll talk to you later, Olivia…"
Ginny would have laughed had her throat not been so dry and her diaphragm so achy. Her stomach gurgled and she looked desperately at the Death Eater (who was now downing shepherd's pie) to see if he had let his guard down so she could make a break for it and stuff the closest piece of food into hew maw. No such luck. She thought about trying anyway, knowing that she would be hexed in a heartbeat but thought better of it. What would Tom do to her?
That's not to say you'll never be punished…
She thought about the rules. The house elves couldn't give her food. She had to stay on the stool until dinner was over. That left her with one option: Summoning food. That way the house elves weren't breaking their promise, nor was she leaving the stool. She remembered how she had wandlessly Disarmed Malfoy a few weeks earlier. It was worth a try, right? She stared at the food closest to her, a doughnut, and concentrated on how much she needed it. "Accio doughnut!"
She got one bite before the Death Eater snatched the food from her hands. "The Dark Lord will hear about this."
"I'm sure he will," Ginny mumbled.
Once she was given the go-ahead to eat, Ginny stuffed herself with everything she saw until she was full. Then she kept eating. Then she got a headache. Then she got sick. Then she ate more. Then the Death Eater took her arm and lead her out of the kitchen. Then she got sick on the Death Eater. That's what you get for taking my doughnut.
Friday the 31st
Halloween snuck up on Ginny. It seemed to her that she had been on this god-forsaken island prison forever and, every day being the same, she didn't know it was her favorite holiday until she heard the nervous whispers of Death Eaters.
"They call it 'Harry Potter Day', you know. I don't think the Dark Lord will like that one bit."
Harry Potter Day- October the thirty-first, when Voldemort had been seemingly destroyed by a one-year-old so many years ago, was noticeably different this year. Aside from whispers, the Death Eaters didn't talk. The prisoners were confined to their rooms, only let out for meals. Things in the dining room were noticeably different as well; there were no Death Eater chaperones. The plain room with its plain china was buzzing with whispers. Luna was staring thoughtfully at the adjacent wall. Neville was trying to get Ginny to talk to him, but she wasn't about to open her mouth. No more rule-breaking. The din grew steadily louder as the people realized that they were eating unaccompanied. Ginny shut her eyes tight. Many of the voices were going on about Harry Potter. She ate silently. Someone could come in at any time.
"I went to school with Harry," Padma Patil boasted. "He and Ginny- her, the ginger- were in love!"
Ginny shook her head, fighting back a colorful string of phrases to fling at Padma. Her lip twitched and she started to flush.
"Oh, they went out for a while," Parvati said. "Their first kiss was so romantic! It was in the Common Room, right after a Quidditch match. He just swept her off her feet. Tell them, Ginny." Ginny stayed quiet.
"She's just being shy," Padma stated. "Ginny, tell them all about Harry! Didn't he save the Philosopher's Stone? Oh, you weren't there yet."
"And the diary, Ginny! Tell them about the Hat and the sword and the Chamber of-"
"I don't want to talk about Harry Potter!" Ginny shouted. "I just want to get through supper quietly and then go to sleep, okay? Stop asking me about Harry, because I'm not going to tell you anything you probably don't already know!" She stood and moved to leave.
Someone screamed. Her first instinct was to snatch her wand, but it had been taken two months ago. Everyone turned in different directions as the lights began to flicker on and off, as the screaming got louder, as their voices became more pronounced and eventually drowned out that far-away scream, as the door opened and closed of its own volition, as the floor trembled and the walls shook, as the cutlery bounced willy-nilly on the table and china fell to the floor, and then they themselves started to scream.
It stopped, all of it.
All of the young people bolted for the door, clogging it, and ran. Ginny, Luna, and Neville held on to one another and stayed at the back of the crowd. The three held hands and sat on the floor.
"It's probably best if we stay here," Ginny whispered.
"Oh, I'd much prefer to stay here. We can't talk if we're stuck in different rooms. Well, I suppose we could, but we'd be talking to ourselves and that's not nearly as rewarding as talking to someone else." She paused for a long moment. "I wonder what that was, and who was screaming."
"It felt like an earthquake," Ginny said.
"I bet they're using the Cruciatus Curse on someone," Neville murmured, white-faced. "That's why someone was screaming. They're being tortured."
"Tom's too creative for that," Ginny replied. "When he punished me, I got four days without food, not a curse."
"Tom? Who's that?" Luna asked.
"Er…" Ginny stammered. "He's the guy who decides the punishments."
"Oh," Neville said. "I figured You-Know-Who would decide." There was another sudden crash, much nearer, and heavy footsteps.
"I figured You-Know-Who would decide," someone mimicked derisively. Neville's eyes shifted and his sweaty fingers tightened around Ginny's. "Look, how quaint. It's a little reunion. You're only missing the Mudblood, the half-wit, and your little savior."
"Tom!" Ginny leapt to her feet and ran to him. "Are you okay?"
"Am I okay, she asks," Tom said, stumbling a bit. "No, Ginny. I'm drunk, pissed off, and ready to hex the next word that touches me. That was a dumb question."
"Tom," she tentatively said, "Tom, you need to sit down. Luna, fetch Tom a glass of water."
Luna handed him a glass (half empty or half full?) of water. He promptly threw it to the ground. …Okay, entirely empty. "Don't patronize me, little Ginny," he snapped.
"She's just trying to help," Neville said, jumping to Ginny's defense.
Tom turned his gaze in Neville's direction. "Longbottom," he said. "Bellatrix scrambled their brains like eggs, huh?" Neville clenched his fists and stepped towards Tom. Luna grabbed him by the wrist before he could take more than two strides. "I wish your Mum had managed to kill her at Hogwarts, Gin. She's a right bucket of nuts, that one. Pissed me off. Harry Potter, Harry Potter!" he tried to mimic her voice, then looked directly at Neville. "Want to kill her? You'd be doing me a service, and Lord Voldemort rewards those-"
"Tom," Ginny interrupted quickly, "why don't you lie down, have some water or aspirin or something."
"Little Ginny, you're treading in dangerous ground," he growled.
"You can't tread in ground," Luna lightly interjected, "only water."
"Tell your friends to shut up and go away," he barked at Ginny. Trembling, she widened her eyes, nodded her head, and waved her hand at the door. Neville and Luna moved over the threshold with trepidation. She gave them a thumbs-up and shooed them away. At least they'll be safe. Tipsy Lord Voldemort. Never thought I'd see the day. "Wait, somebody get me some Pepper-Up Potion!"
Feeling Better ...and just plain feeling
Tom was sitting against the plain wall of the dingy dining room of Ginny's age group. "Better."
"That's good," Ginny sighed, stretching her legs and yawning.
"Why are you still here?" Tom asked harshly. "Did you like seeing me humiliated like that?"
"And here I thought you'd be grateful," she replied dryly and extended her arm down, offering to help Tom stand.
"Grateful? For what?"
"For trying to help you, you idiot!" Ginny snapped.
"Aw, it's almost like you care, dear Ginny," he drawled; he pushed away her hand and stood on his own.
"I don't. I shouldn't," she said flatly, "but you were saying things that I'm pretty sure you don't want people to hear. If you'd let them know that you're just a younger-looking version of You-Know-Who, you'd have probably found some way to punish me for it. Lose-lose situation, it seems. I help, you bitch at me. I let you get on, well, who knows what you'd have done to me."
Tom sighed and put his face in his hand. "I'll have to modify their memories."
Ginny didn't answer; she just nodded.
"You're going to do what you want, Tom," she sighed. "There's no point in trying to change you. It would be fruitless and foolish to boot."
"Tom…" Ginny began, "may I ask what happened to make the whole complex shake like that?"
"Bellatrix," he answered. "I heard her talking about your Gryffindor boyfriend," he spat, "and this being the anniversary of my 'demise'." He looked at her, eyes rimmed with fury. "I'm here, aren't I?" he shouted. "I was obviously not destroyed! To think that a little toddler could bring down Lord Voldemort, it's ridiculous! Oh," he paused, smiling sweetly. "I'm speaking ill of your love. Aren't you angry with me? Your face is flushing."
"Angry? Yeah, I'm angry," Ginny bit. "I'm not dumb enough to play into your hands, though. I'm not giving you the satisfaction of seeing me irritated. And for the record, Harry was only my boyfriend for about thirty seconds, and I wasn't in love with him. And you still didn't tell me where that earthquake came from."
"I told you, Bellatrix made me angry. Sometimes even I forget how powerful I am. I was only trying to curse her senseless."
"So, when you're really mad… and have been drinking… you can make tectonic plates shift? Remind me to stay on your good side."
"I don't have a good side."
"I haven't forgotten," Ginny said. "It's just a turn of phrase."
"Go to your room, Ginny."
"Oh, yes sir. Right away, sir," she hissed. As she walked from the room, Tom heard her say, "ungrateful bastard" and knew that it was meant to reach his ears.
"I thought you already knew that," he shouted throatily.
Ginny stopped in her tracks and turned to look at him. Pitiful. Lord Voldemort leaning on a wall for support. If he was anyone else, I might feel bad for him. "Knew what?" she asked slowly.
"That I'm an ungrateful bastard, little Ginny."
The emphasis was not lost on her. "Oh," she said, looking at the floor. "No, I didn't know that, Tom."
He looked at her suspiciously. "Your little boyfriend didn't tell you all about me? I find that hard to believe."
"Believe what you want, Tom," she sighed. A slight blush touched her freckled cheeks. He doesn't have a dad either. Her lip twitched and she remembered who he was. Good. He doesn't deserve a dad.
Later, when she was snuggled beneath her (blue) blankets, she thought more on this. Maybe… maybe if he'd had a dad, he wouldn't have turned out so evil. No, she decided. Harry didn't have a dad and he turned out decent. Some people must just be born wicked.
Like? Dislike? Let me know by reviewing!
Thanks again to Juvy
OH! You are officially 25% through the story.