A/N: Many, many thanks go to my beta RinnaMarie, as well
as to Ladybug and VinatieriFan, who read the story before and
encouraged me to post it.
first day back at Hogwarts has been rather normal. I was named
Quidditch captain. And I've had a talk with our new Head of House,
Professor Sinistra. She told me about my new timetable. Nothing
surprising: I'm continuing most of my subjects (except History of
Magic, Muggle Studies and Care of Magical Creatures). We've got a new
teacher in Defence lessons, Professor Bones. Not overly exciting.
you heard from the others yet? They're not the only ones who didn't
come back to Hogwarts. It looks like lots of parents are afraid of
letting their children go back. Have there been more attacks lately? On
anyone we know?
Reading her letter again, Ginny grimaced
and crumpled it up in her hand. Her mother would grow anxious about her
little girl if she sent her as dispirited a letter as that. Wearily
throwing it for Crookshanks to play with, she stared into the fire of
the common room.
One month. One whole month since anyone had heard from Ron or Harry.
was no better. Apparently, she had only roughly explained to her
parents what was going on in the wizarding world before disappearing
with the two boys. When she left, she only wrote them a note, asking
them to contact the Weasleys for more answers and to give Crookshanks
And people called Hermione a smart witch. She should
have known better than to leave like that. Same as Ron, for that
matter. And Harry. Mrs Weasley had been furious, not that it did any
Ginny blinked, her eyes stinging. Surely not from
remembering the others? No, it must be because of the bright fire she
had been staring into for several minutes now. Tearing away her gaze,
she looked around the room.
The students gathered here were
making a lot of noise, probably trying to cover the absence of those
who had not returned. Underneath all the boisterous conversation, there
was an almost imperceptible tension.
It seemed that nearly all
of her friends were among the missing. Apart from Harry, Ron and
Hermione, two of her classmates had left, and she was stuck here with
people like Lavender Brown.
"Jer tame, tee armo, ish leebe
dish ... D'you know what it is in Spanish?" asked Betty, one of her
roommates, from the sofa on the opposite wall. Ginny tried to shake off
her thoughts and turned to Betty.
you. Oh, don't stare at me like that. I'm writing to my boyfriend.
Terry, remember? So, what is 'I love you' in Spanish?"
Ginny glanced over at Betty's writing, who noticed her look and held out the letter.
don't know what to write anyway. Frankly, I think I'll break it off
soon. Long distance relationships are never that good, you know. Go on,
Trying to keep her face from turning into a jealous
grimace, Ginny took the letter. Really, girls like Betty didn't deserve
being able to write any letters if they could throw away relationships
like that. What she would give...
My darling Terry, - the letter read in squiggly, pink writing -
can't believe it's already two days since we last saw each other.
Imagine that! Two whole days: That's 48 hours, or 2880 minutes or...
Well, I'll let you count the seconds (you're always so clever with maths).
miss you. Things are so different now that you're gone. Remember
sneaking away from the others to find broom cupboards? And that
wonderful room on the fourth floor...
I miss you like mad, sweetheart...
Write back soon!
P.P.S. I love you, je t'aime, ti amo, ich liebe dich
yes. Wasn't it unfair: Betty and Terry, who had spent all their time
kissing and groping each other just so they didn't have to talk, were
able to write the worst, kitschy love letters to each other that were
completely devoid of content - while she didn't even have an address to
give a post owl. When Harry had broken off their relationship, she had
accepted it because Harry deserved her understanding. And whether she
liked it or not, it was probably safer for both of them. Nevertheless,
she had vowed to herself not to let this disrupt their friendship. She
knew he had not wanted to break up; just as well as she knew she loved
him. They should at least remain friends, until maybe, one day...
"So?" Betty prompted.
"Seems fine to me. Nice ink, by the way."
I don't know." Betty took back the parchment and coloured it a delicate
shade of lilac, surveying the effect critically. "That'll do. I'll just
add a little heart at the end, don't you think?"
Satisfied with her work, Betty stood. "I'm going to send it off to him straight away. You finished with your letter?"
"No, I'll sit here a little longer. See you later."
Ginny sat still for a minute, staring into the fire. Suddenly she picked up her quill and grabbed a new piece of parchment.
If Betty could hide her feelings, she could, just as well.
It's been a long time... How are you? Is Dad still trying to get himself arrested for improper use of Muggle gadgets?
at Hogwarts everything is back to normal - as normal as possible, that
is. The number of students is growing smaller and smaller. That can be
a good thing, actually. At least the common room doesn't sound like the
twins are inventing fireworks any longer.
Our new Head of House seems to be okay; she's less severe than McGonagall, it seems.
you won't believe it - I've been appointed Quidditch Captain! Let's see
if I will grow as mad as all the captains before me. Ha. That will show
Crookshanks says meow to you.
P.S. I'm missing your ginger cookies, by the way. Hint, hint.
Ginny read her letter again. It sounded almost happy. Even though she didn't feel like it.
But she didn't feel better in any way. Shouldn't she tell her mother how she really felt?
Lost in thought, she began to crumple up the edges of the parchment.
"Hi there," a chirpy voice broke the mood. Lavender Brown sat down in front of her, daintily crossing her legs.
your day been like? Mine's been rather nice - had a lesson with
Firenze, you see. What a man ... or whatever you call him." She
giggled. "So, what have you been doing? Writing home?"
glanced at the parchment that Ginny was holding, lifting an eyebrow at
the torn edges. Before Ginny could utter a word, she continued.
"Personally, I hate writing letters. I got one from Parvati the other day. She seems to be so depressed. And how am I supposed to answer to that?"
Ginny shrugged mutely, thinking back to her first letter. What, indeed, would her mother have said?
"See, letters are always problematic," Lavender said. "Why don't you just use the Floo?"
looked at her letter, then at Lavender and back at the letter again.
She smiled. Without any explanation to the bewildered girl, she took
the letter in both hands, crumpled it up and threw it into the fire.
Yes, she thought, as the last piece of parchment curled up in the flames. Yes, that's what I'm going to do. It's just easier to talk about some things, instead of writing.