Harry restarts the D.A. Ginny must relive her darkest memory
“I want to restart the DA,” said Harry. “With Hogwarts closed, people have no means to receive training and they need it now more than ever.”
The Gryffindors agreed and set off. Harry’s first stop was the Longbottom’s house.
“Harry Potter, what a surprise to see you here. Come on in,” greeted Neville’s formidable looking grandmother.
“Hello Mrs. Longbottom. I apologize for coming unannounced, but is Neville available?” asked Harry.
“Of course, young man. I’ll get him. Why don’t you have a seat on our sofa?”
“Harry, good to see you. How have you been?” asked Neville.
“I’ve been well, keeping pretty busy actually. What have you been up to?” answered Harry.
“Nothing much. I haven’t had much to do with Hogwarts closed. I’ve been reading a lot, trying to get ahead for when school opens back up. So, what brings you here?” said Neville.
“I was wondering how you would feel about starting the DA back up. I figure that people need all the training they can get and with Hogwarts closed, they are really falling behind,” answered Harry.
“That would be great. I learned so much from you last time. Where would we meet?” said Neville enthusiastically.
“Well, I was thinking about Potter Manor. We have a dueling room in it and the grounds are big enough so we can hold team exercises,” answered Harry.
Together the two young men rounded up as many of old members as they could. They managed to round up Dean, Seamus, Zacharias Smith, and about 10 other members. When they arrived at the Manor, they found that Fred and George at returned with Lee Jordan, and Ginny had Luna as well as the Creevys.
“Alright, now, you were all here before so you know why we’re meeting. Let us start with what should be a bit of review,” began Harry. The next hour was spent reviewing disarming, stunning and impediment spells.
“Ok everybody, now that we have those basic ones down, I want to review the Patronus Charm. Many of you were able to produce a Corporeal Patronus in our last meeting, but it takes practice to be able to do it consistently. In case you forgot, in order to produce a Patronus, concentrate on the happiest thought or memory you can and say Expecto Patronum. The key is using a memory happy enough. I find the memories involving those we love work the best, ” said Harry.
The DA spent the next hour practicing the Patronus Charm. By the end of the hour all the members had produced a Corporeal Patronus.
“Let’s call it a day. We’ll meet again tomorrow,” said Harry.
After researching Dumbledore’s notes for information on Horcruxes but once again coming up empty, the day was over. The DA met all week before taking a break on the weekend. During this time, Harry taught them many of the spells he had learned from his parents as well as Levicorpus, one of several spells created by Severus Snape, the self-styled Half-Blood-Prince. On Friday, the DA had been taught Amourus Protego, though they had reviewed regular Protego shield as well.
“So, to find out where you all are, we are going to hold a Dueling Tournament today. Because Ginny, Ron, Hermione and I have been training with Aurors this year, it would be unfair for us to compete. Instead, we will be judging and officiating. Before we begin, Ginny and I will demonstrate what a formal duel looks like. Don’t worry, Gin, I’ll try not to hurt you,” said Harry.
“Oh, you’ll pay for that, Potter,” said Ginny. From the look that this comment had elicited from Ginny, Harry could tell he had just brought out Ginny’s competitive spirit.
Ron raised the Dueling Platform and the couple stepped up, bowed to each other and assumed their position as Hermione gave the countdown.
“Expelliarmus!” shouted Harry. Ginny blocked Harry’s spell easily.
“Stupefy!” Ginny returned fire with a Stunning Spell that Harry dodged before missing with a stunner of his own.
“Levicorpus!” shouted Ginny after ten minutes of intense combat; Harry was hanging upside down, his wand on the ground just out of reach.
“Do you give up Harry?” asked Ginny.
“Yes, good job. Now, can you let me down please?” said Harry. However, instead of lowering Harry to the ground, Harry found himself being yanked even higher.
“Who’s the greatest witch of all time?” teased Ginny.
“You are,” answered Harry,
“And what is your purpose in life?”
“Um, to bow to your every whim,” answer Harry, fairly certain that he was supposed to say something along those lines. “Now can you please let me down while I have some dignity left?”
“Congratulations Ginny. You’ve accomplished something Voldemort has been trying to do for seventeen years,” said Hermione as Ginny let Harry fall to the ground.
“Oh, what’s that?” asked Ginny.
“Have the Chosen-One completely under your control,” answered Hermione. Harry scowled as the rest of the DA burst into laughter.
The tournament began once the members were paired off. Finally, Neville defeated Fred to win the tournament.
“Alright everyone, I’m afraid we’re not going to be needing our wands today. Today, instead of teaching you Defense Against the Dark Arts, I’m going to teach you a bit of History of Magic,” said Harry, the DA groaned. “I know, not the most exciting subject, but I’m not Professor Binns so please at least try not to fall asleep. Now, if you were to guess, what kind of student would you expect Lord Voldemort to be when he was at Hogwarts?”
“A bully,” said one member.
“Arrogant,” answered Dean Thomas.
“Some one who spent a lot of his time dealing with the Dark Arts,” said Susan Bones.
“In other words, your typical Slytherin stereotype, someone like a Draco Malfoy,” said Harry.
“Right, but smarter,” answered Seamus.
“Well, let’s see, you are definitely right about that, he was without a doubt smarter than Draco Malfoy. We’re taking the Floo to Hogwarts. You all go first, I have to grab something,” said Harry, who hurried to his room to grab Dumbledore’s Pensieve before heading to Hogwarts, where he led the DA to the trophy room.
“Many of you polished these awards in detention without as much as a thought about who earned them,” began Harry when they reached the section for Special Services to Hogwarts as he picked up a few random trophies.
“After all, how are you supposed to care about what some random wizard you’ve never heard of did several decades ago. Of course, some names may be more familiar than others,” continued Harry, gesturing at the awards he and Ron had won Second Year. Finally, he was in front of the award he was looking for. He briefly wondered why Dumbledore had not had that particular trophy removed before continuing.
“This is one of the few reminders in this building of maybe the brightest student Hogwarts has ever seen,” said Harry. “Tom Marvolo Riddle, prefect, Head Boy- yes Luna?”
“Why did Voldemort change his name to an anagram. What didn’t he like about the name Tom Riddle?” asked Luna serenely, proving why she was in Ravenclaw as she wrote Tom Marvolo Riddle in the air in front of her and made the letters rearrange themselves to say I Am Lord Voldemort.
“Two reasons. First, he thought the name Tom was too common. As he put it, ‘There are a lot of Toms’. I will cover the main reason in a second,” answered Harry. “So, the story of Tom Riddle begins in the town of Little Hangleton before he was born. In a run down shack, there lived three people: Marvolo Gaunt, his son Morfin and daughter Merope. The Gaunts were an old pureblood family known for its lack of mentally stability as well as for being the last relatives of Salazar Slytherin,”
“Is it true that all of Slytherin’s descendants are Parselmouths?” asked Terry Boot.
“Yes, as far as I know, all of them, including Voldemort, are Parselmouths,” answered Harry.
“Aren’t you a Parselmouth? Does that mean you are a descendant of Slytherin?” asked Zacharias Smith.
“Yes I am a Parselmouth. As far as I know however, I have no relation to Salazar Slytherin,” said Harry.
“Merope was often berated and insulted, especially when her brother caught her staring longingly at Tom Riddle, a rich Muggle who lived down the road from the Gaunts. Meorpe’s family forbad her from conferring with any Muggles. But, one day Morfin was sent to Azkaban and Marvolo died three months later. This meant there was nobody to stop Meorpe from talking to Muggles. However, Tom seemed uninterested in her and looked down upon her. Desperate, Meorpe gave Riddle a love potion and the two ran off and got married. Eventually she became pregnant. Once this happened, she stopped feeding Tom Love Potion believing, if nothing else, that Tom would stay for her son. However, Meorpe was wrong and Tom left, never bothering to see his son. Broke, Meorpe went to a Muggle orphanage to give birth. After informing the orphanage that the baby’s name was Tom Marvolo Riddle, she died.”
“You mean You-Know-Who is a half-blood,” said Seamus.
Harry nodded and continued with the story of Lord Voldemort uninterrupted, including his time betweens wars and his attempt to steal the Philosopher’s Stone.
“And that’s the story of Tom Riddle, history’s biggest monster and its greatest hypocrite. Any questions?” said Harry.
“What happened to the Chamber of Secrets? If You-Know-Who opened the Chamber fifty years ago, who opened it a few years back?” asked Hannah Abbot.
“Voldemort opened it that time as well,” answered Harry.
“But you said he was in Albania at that time,” said Cho Chang.
“He was. He had a diary that was specially enchanted. When someone wrote in it, a 16-year-old Tom Riddle would write back. As that person continued to write, the 16-year-old Tom would bewitch that person to open the Chamber. A Death Eater who had avoided Azkaban by claiming to be under the Imperius slipped that diary into the possession of a student, and the diary forced her to attack several students and nearly killed her in the process,” answered Harry, hoping that would end the line of questioning.
“Why did the person write in the diary to begin with? They should have fought back,” insisted Zacharias Smith.
“Tom Riddle was very charming at age 16. He had to be to gain all his knowledge without anyone being suspicious. You saw the memories of the younger Tom I showed you. He even had Dumbledore fooled to a certain extent. If he could fool pretty much all of Hogwarts, staff included, how easy would be it to fool a first year?” said Harry. “And for your information, they did fight back. But full-grown wizards have been hoodwinked by Lord Voldemort, so it’s hardly fair to expect a child to be able to resist. They did a better job than I would have been able to do; they tried to dispose of the diary. I found it and, not knowing Voldemort’s real name at the time, wrote in it and was myself fooled. Had the diary not been stolen from me, I would have been its next victim.”
Smith opened his mouth to continue his debate.
“I will hear no further argument on the subject. Now, Hannah, I believe you asked what happened to the Chamber? Well, it is still here, though most of the staff knows its location there are only two people in this world that can open it, Voldemort and myself. Slytherin’s monster, however, was killed five year ago,” said Harry.
Harry ended the session and returned home, where he noticed Ginny seemed unusually quiet.
“Are you all right?” asked Harry, concerned.
“I could have killed so many people,” said Ginny.
“None of that was your fault,” said Harry.
“Yes it was. All of those people, Colin, Justin. Harry, how can you say that when I nearly killed Hermione, one of your best friends? And you, you had to save me and you were a few seconds from death yourself. Without Dumbledore, without Fawkes, you would have died because I was stupid enough to trust him,” said Ginny.
“Damn it, I am going to kill Smith for making you believe that. Ginny, come with me into my Pensieve, I want you to see something,” said Harry.
Together they watched Harry enter the Chamber and run towards Ginny’s lifeless body. After making sure Ginny had seen how relieved Harry was to see Tom, before he learned what he was, Harry pulled them out of the Pensieve.
“You see Ginny, I trusted him. No one could blame you for that. This is so much more my fault than it is yours,” said Harry.
“How can you say that?” said Ginny.
“Because it’s true. I had the diary also. I had met him. The moment he showed me his capture of Hagrid, I should have realized the kind of person he was. I should have gone to Dumbledore and asked him about Tom Riddle. He would have told me what Riddle went on to become. And most of all, I should have destroyed that diary; it was clear nothing good could come from it. But instead, I kept it and it nearly killed you. If you are going to blame yourself than you have to blame me even more so,” said Harry.
“You had no way to know,” insisted Ginny. “How could you?”
“You didn’t have anyway of knowing either,” said Harry, who had expected that comment.
“It nearly killed you also. Like you said, you had the diary and I stole it back from you, ” said Ginny.
“You stole it back because you were afraid that I would see things the way you seem to see them. You were afraid that I would see you as a want-to-be murderer. That’s a perfectly logical fear. And even if you hadn’t stolen it back, I may very well have kept writing in it and Tom would have made me open the Chamber,” said Harry.
“Still, you nearly died because you came down to rescue me,” said Ginny.
“But I didn’t die and even if I had it would have been worth it if I had been able to get you out of there alive. My death wouldn’t have been your fault. The diary didn’t kill anybody that time. Only one person suffered any lasting damage, and that’s you. You were scarred for life there, and that is something I will never forgive either Voldemort or Lucius Malfoy for. But you are strong enough to overcome it,” said Harry.
“I don’t think I’ll ever forgive myself for almost killing you,” said Ginny.
“You were just as close to death as I was. At least I had a choice and risked likely death anyway. You were awarded no such luxury; you had death thrust upon you,” said Harry.
“I can’t believe I’m getting told not to blame myself by the boy who blames himself when the weather’s bad,” said Ginny.
“Oh, I’m not that bad,” said Harry.
“Harry, I mapped your mind for you, remember. Only you would blame yourself for your parents dying when you were only a year old,” said Ginny.
“I know there was nothing I could have done, but they would still be alive if I hadn’t been born,” said Harry.
“You don’t know that. Your parents were pretty powerful members of the Order. Voldemort would have gone after them prophesy or no prophesy. There are a lot of people responsible for their deaths, Voldemort, Wormtail, Snape, but you are not one of them,” said Ginny.
“I guess. You changed the subject; by the way. Don’t think I didn’t catch that. You’re not the only one in this house that’s been possessed by Voldemort,” said Harry.
“I thought we agreed that no one was possessing you back then,” said Ginny, remembering how Harry had locked himself away during her fourth year because he believed Voldemort was using him to spy and attack people.
“No, I didn’t mean then, I meant at the Department of Mysteries,” said Harry. “You know how Voldemort showed up towards the end and dueled Dumbledore? Well, they had been chatting about death, and how Dumbledore says there are worse things in the world. So when it became apparent that Voldemort wouldn’t be able to beat Dumbledore in a duel, he tried another tactic and possessed me using the connection. It was like I was wrapped up in this monster that spoke with my mouth. It was excruciating, worse than anything I’ve ever felt. Voldemort told Dumbledore that if death was nothing then he should kill me in order to defeat Voldemort,” said Harry.
“I didn’t know that,” said Ginny. “What does that have to do with why the Chamber wasn’t my fault?”
“Neither of us chose to be possessed, and we certainly didn’t want to. Some things are out of our control,” said Harry.
“You know, there’s one thing we haven’t covered in the DA,” said Ginny.
“What’s that?” asked Harry.
“Fighting off the Imperius Curse, making sure he can’t use them like he used us,” said Ginny.
“I agree, but how are we going to do that?” said Harry.
“Practice,” said Ginny.
“Do you know how much trouble I would get in for that?” said Harry. “I don’t know if we can trust that everybody will keep quiet about me using an Unforgivable on them.”
“Make them take the Unbreakable Vow or leave,” said Ginny.
“No, that’s too risky. Someone could accidentally let something slip and it would kill them. I’m thinking something along the lines of a modified Fidelius Charm would be better. I think I read about one of those in my parents journals,” said Harry.
Harry performed the charm on the DA the next day after explaining what it did. The members were curious but consented without knowing exactly what it was that Harry wanted hidden.
“Right, what I wanted to discuss is the Imperius Curse. As you know, many of Voldemort’s servants do not follow him out of their own free will, but are forced to. It is possible to fight the Imperius Curse. All you need is determination,” said Harry.
Harry lectured briefly on the curse and what it took to fight it before those DA members who were willing got a practical demonstration. In the end, several of the DA members had hesitated before doing as ordered and Fred, George, Ron, Hermione, Ginny and Luna had even managed to completely beat it.
The DA lessons continued through out the month. One of Harry’s favorite techniques was to divide the group into two teams and simply let them have at it. Potter Manor gave them much more room with which to operate and the DA was quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with.
“Harry, what exactly are our plans for the DA? You seem to be training them more aggressively this time,” said Hermione one day after the DA had left.
“I want them ready. As soon as we get that last Horcrux, I want to move in hard and fast on Voldemort and Nagini. I have a plan for the battle; I won’t give you all the details yet because I don’t have it all worked out. But they will be ready. For this plan, we will need as many people as we can get. The Ministry is not an option because of Umbridge and the Order is too small for a decisive battle,” answered Harry.
“Don’t you think it’s a bit early to be thinking about that? I mean, will still have Ravenclaw’s Horcrux to find and who knows how long that will take,” said Hermione.
“The final battle is going to come sooner rather than later. I can feel it. I got the same feeling just before we went after the Philosopher’s Stone, and just before the Third Task. I was caught off guard those times. I will be ready this time.”