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[personal profile] jeb124
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Hm. So you seem to be asking two different questions here, and you don’t seem to know that they’re different. They’re both interesting stories probably, but I think what I’d like to talk to you about here is that nonequivalence. 

You’ve asked for a dark!Ginny, one who secretly hates, who secretly relishes in pain or dismissal, one with a hidden superiority complex and a violence in her that’s cruel enough to match a young, arrogant Tom Riddle. The youngest of seven, forgotten and left behind, belittled, bitter, and the orphaned boy who orphaned so many more in his time. 

It’s not quite my type of story, that–my Ginny is not a kind beast, but she is not a cruel one either–but it could certainly be a story. 

But then–

Or basically: What if, Ginny was sorted into Slytherin?

This is not the same question. Did you know that? 

Slytherin, despite everything, does not mean evil. It certainly doesn’t mean that on my blog, but even in canon– this is where you find Regulus Black, who died to stop old Tom. This is where you find Draco Malfoy, who was an ignorant, whiny, and self-important child, but hardly an evil one. This is where you find Andromeda Tonks, who loved so hard and so fierce and so well that she ran from superiority, wealth, and family to marry into a Mudblood house that was so much warmer than her childhood home ever had been. 

And Slytherin!Ginny is a story that would fascinate me. The traits of Slytherin– ambition, cunning, adaptability, selfishness, and possessive love– these sit well on the youngest Weasley. She falls in love with Harry day one and never gives up on it. She transforms herself to step out from waiting in the eaves for him and lives for her own self, and it’s that bright creation of her daring self that wins him in the end. She goes after things with a single-mindedness that delivers– in love, in Quidditch, in kissing boys and defending Hogwarts until the end. She breaks rules. She loves hard. She doesn’t give up. She belongs in Gryffindor, sure– bravery is a watchword; her red hair is a war banner– but she would not be out of place in Slytherin. 

And what a story that would be? The silence in the Great Hall when the name “Weasley” got followed by “SLYTHERIN.” Mrs. Weasley’s face when owls flap through the Burrow’s windows, carrying Percy’s concerned note and Ron’s dubious scrawl and Hermione’s anxious ‘Dear Mrs. and Mr. Weasley, I’d thought you’d like to be informed…’ (Fred and George of course just laughed and laughed and laughed into the silence and fell off their bench at the Gryffindor table and got bruises on their bums.) The way the Weasley parents would stress and wonder and pace and ask what did we do wrong– but in the end, the warm Weasley Christmas sweater that would arrive in the mail at the Slytherin table, a G knitted into the front, all brilliant in silver and green. 

But the worries Ginny would have that first year, as the diary ate her from the inside, as it did cruel things with her hands–she’d have the same fears that are written up there in that ask as certainties: that being Slytherin meant she was secretly wrong. That her loneliness and her anger, her ambition and all her little selfishnesses meant she walked in the same skin as Tom, the ghost-boy who was using her hands to strangle chickens and write threats and hang cats by their tails and let out monsters so they could murder schoolchildren for the sake of their blood. She would worry she was like him and she would be wrong. 

But this is what I would want out of that story– that growth, that realization, that reclaiming. You can be lonely without lashing out. You can be angry without being cruel. You can be ambitious without stepping on other people to get there. Ginny is good– a Ginny with green on her herms is still good. She is sarcastic and a bit dark in her humor, casts a mean Bat Bogey and is jealous about Cho and fiercely defensive of Luna– this is true in a lion’s House or a snake’s. 

I want Fred and George playing Exploding Snap with her and teasing her for not cheering for them in Quidditch matches. I want her to find Millicent’s temper as hilarious as she finds Luna’s oddities, and to threaten a hex on anybody who calls Millicent fatty just as quick as she threatens the ones who call Luna loony. I want Harry to conscript her to help him spy on Draco and her to take to espionage like a duck to water– because you’re a Slytherin, he says, and she laughs and says, no, because I’m a nosy little sister and always have been. 

When Ginny stays her sixth year, during the Carrows’ reign and Voldemort’s months of power, I’d want her to spit cruel words at Death Eaters and to hide her wand up her sleeve, and to stand between children and their abusers. I’d want her to marshal an army in the Room of Requirement, with Luna and Neville and every other scared, willing soul. This was her home. These were her people, her family, the things she was willing to fight for. 

When they told her–their firebrand, their war banner–that she ought to have been in Gryffindor, I hope she laughed, I hope she fumed, I hope she proved them wrong. She was here for her friends, the way Regulus betrayed Voldemort for Kreacher, the way Narcissa lied to save Draco, the way Snape spent his adult life atoning for Lily, the way Andromeda left everything behind for Ted Tonks. 

I would want Ginny to wear green proud by the end of it. I’d want her to know the evil was in Tom’s shadow, not in her, not in the color they both wore. I’d want Hermione to look up histories for her of Slytherins who saved children and fought good wars and taught and loved and built things meant to last– because ambition is about going after what you want. What in that is evil? Selfishness is about understanding that you yourself have value. What in that is evil? Cunning is about creativity, quick-thinking, rolling with the punches and paying attention– what in that is evil?

Do you know the sort of evil you can do in the name of fairness? Do you know the sort of damage you can do with bravery, with not knowing how to back down, not knowing how sometimes there is a need to give, to adapt? Do you know how you can cut with cleverness, what sort of scornful superiority can live in those high towers? 

These are stories about choice. You choose your House. You choose how to live your House. Be brave, be cunning, be fair, be curious– all of those have their dark wizards. I refuse to believe otherwise. 
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