He has to stop himself from running out of the Great Hall as her shrieks grow louder—piercing and inescapable. His eyes screw shut and he fights back a grimace as images flood his consciousness; the nightmares have bled into his days, and wear more faces than just hers or his or Luna's—a constant reminder of this is real, this is happening that's never far from the surface.
Eyes snap open; the Headmaster has dissappeared. He wonders where to, and why, but more importantly, and in a hysterical, tiny voice at the darkest corner of his mind, Why don't you do something?
Dennis Creevey nearly jumps out of his skin at the sharp clatter of Neville’s fork onto his plate, and Neville shakes his head, silencing that small, desperate voice inside him belonging to a boy that's long since died. He stands and walks to the end of the table furthest from the staff, and looks directly at Alecto Carrow; she's staring right back with narrow, slitted eyes, and a toe-curling sneer.
After a brief whisper into Seamus’s ear, Neville levels his gaze at the rest of his Gryffindors; some smile sadly, others nod, and still others just watch him as he leaves.
They know where they can find him.
So, barring any contemplations from Mr. Longbottom as he makes his way from the Great Hall to the hospital wing, you'll see what happens to Ginny in the next installment. I'll warn you right now: It won't be pretty. I must say that I seem to be rather taken with this series of events. I plan on signing-up for the Dark Fest when sign-up happens in August(?) and I'm thinking this might be the backbone of a story.
Finally this evening, a bit of Remus/Sirius. I'm not feeling this as much, though it was fun to write. I don't read a lot of Marauder-era fic (although, I'm trying to rectify that), so you'll have to forgive me a bit for some liberties with characterization; the above DH-inspired stuff has me spellbound (ugh, no pun intended), so, this is I have for you, brighty18 and loveangelsiri (it's a bit subtle, but you can read into the James/Sirius thing if you squint, IMO, but maybe that's just wishful thinking).
Sirius Black was all sweaty, limp limbs and unkempt hair and dark eyes staring holes into him from across the room. Remus could feel him willing him to put the book down and pay attention to him already, but he was having none of it and redoubled his Definitely Ignoring Sirius efforts in the hopes of getting some last-minute studying in before NEWTS.
Prongs and his Lillypad—as Sirius had taken to calling her whenever she was Off With James (quite often as of late) and well out of earshot—were holed up in some secret alcove exploring the Untold Secrets Of The Universe or some such poetic nonsense Sirius had described in enough sordid detail to make his arrogant, bespectacled friend shut up proper and blush up to his ears and probably into next Tuesday. Remus smiled at that thought and turned the page of his Potions text.
An absent, “Hm?" A Pause. "Oh, come on, already! Merlin!" Sodding Potions and Sodding Slughorn and Sodding NEWTS, thought he in complete and utter frustration as he saw no, it wasn’t sliced fluxweed that went into the Elixir of Elution at all, but whole fluxweed harvested at the new moon. He sighed heavily and pinched the bridge of his nose.
"I'm not wearing any trousers, y'know," Sirius said off-handedly, as though informing Mr. Moony to bring in his wash—it's supposed to rain, don'cha know?
Remus opened one eye—the left—and then the other, as his hand fell away from his face, and he stared at the glorious picture that was a Naked Sirius Black. "Nor shirt, nor pants," he added, mouth suddenly a bit dry.