Author’s Notes: Thanks to dancinginmagic times a billion. This was a Christmas present for twistedslippers, a long time ago.
Ginny was there, squealing, at the station. She was jumping, she was pleading, she was goggling. She ran after the train, but soon it was enveloped in smoke.
Hermione was bossy and bushy and barging in; Hermione was endless books and hours spent in the library; Hermione was potions and knitting, Time-Turners and toast. Hermione was Krum and Cormac; trolls and giants; encouragement, advice and support.
Ginny was nightdresses and red hair and big brown eyes; she was elbows in butter dishes and fuming at Malfoy. Ginny was singing Valentines and Pepperup Potion, her face glowing, her hair on fire. Ginny was a small figure, lying, crumpled in the middle of a chamber. Ginny was a fight to the death with Basilisks and swords and memories. Ginny was his first rescue mission. Ginny was the first girl to cry on his shoulder.
Cho was a Seeker: Cho was the opposition. Cho was pretty in blue, butterflies in stomachs; Cho was shiny hair, dark eyes and Quidditch. Cho was someone to smile at during the World Cup, someone to glance at during meals. Cho was someone to think about.
But when the Yule Ball rolled around, suddenly Cho was everywhere, insanely popular, always with an escort. Cho was lassoing, crossing fingers, hoping, praying…
Cho was already taken.
Ginny was small and comforting, soothing words and pats on the back. Ginny was suppressed laughter and subdued smiles. Harry mentioned that he had asked Cho to the ball.
Suddenly, Ginny stopped smiling.
Parvati was giggling and butterflies – butterflies in her long, shining hair. Parvati was big smiles and bright colours, clinking bangles and awkward compliments. He was her show-dog; she was drastic action. He held her close as they revolved on the spot, but there were no feelings there. Perhaps he should have paid her a bit more attention.
Ginny was cool, calm, collected. Ginny was a mane of red hair, unexpectedly skilled at chucking Dungbombs and telling flawless lies. Ginny was the baby of the family, yet Ginny was not one for the sulks. She was chanting round the kitchen of Grimmauld Place, naming the DA, showing off her ability at the Bat-Bogey Hex …
Ginny had a boyfriend. Ginny was over Harry.
Cho was shy smiles and awkward greetings; Cho was troubled and traumatised. Cho was cornering him at Christmas: brain-stunning and wet kisses and tears – tears clinging to her eyelashes, sliding over her cheeks, nose and mouth … bringing sticky wetness to his face and salt to his lips. Cho was Hogsmeade and Madame Puddifoot’s and sugar bowls. … Cho was more tears, accusations and jealousy. Cho was friends with the snitch.
Cho and he just … didn’t work.
Ginny was direct, to-the-point – not one for beating around the bush. “Lucky you,” she said. Ginny had taken his place as Seeker – Ginny performed well on a broomstick. Ginny was curling up, catlike, by the fire. Ginny was chocolate in the library. Once again, Ginny was concerned, Ginny was assurances – but this time, Ginny had enough nerve to make it possible.
Luna was straggly hair and noticeboards, lost belongings and Stubby Boardman. Luna’s conversation was discomfort, her existence pitiable – yet Luna understood. Luna was walks in corridors and unpleasant honesty; Luna was party invites and Loser’s Lurgy. Luna was spangled and silver and away with the fairies – or the Wrackspurts.
Ginny was a twinge of annoyance, a long mane of hair dancing down her back. She was a seductive scent, something flowery at the Burrow – Ginny was a perfume being smelt in places that it shouldn’t.
Ginny was shared glances, private jokes and Quidditch, but the laughter stopped when Ginny kissed Dean.
Like being struck by a lightning-bolt: something changes forever.
Ginny stuck up for Luna. Ginny was maggots in his hair and goosebumps on his neck. Ginny was a freckled face, red hair and bright brown eyes, refusing to leave his thoughts.
Ginny was shouting at her boyfriend for laughing at Harry, breaking up with him for trying to help her through the portrait hole. Ginny was vicious in her put-down of Hermione, when Harry’s spell-experimentation went a little too far.
Ginny was running through the common room and scarlet robes; Ginny was windswept hair and a hard, blazing look; Ginny was throwing herself into his arms, Ron’s little sister: off-limits, out of bounds, absolutely forbidden …
… but he kissed her anyway.
Wolf whistles, beaming smiles, gobsmacked expressions – shattered glasses and furious glares …
Happy hours spent by the lake … A quick kiss while others pointedly look away … Time snatched between detention and revision … Ginny was sunlit days.
When a dark hour comes, a hand to hold … When you speak the impossible, an ear to listen …
Tears at a funeral, a brave face and that hard, blazing look: Ginny knew what not to say. Ginny was like a dream … like someone else’s life.
Ginny was there, on the scarlet steam train, as it slowly started to puff out of the station. Ginny was hanging out of the window, saying her last goodbyes. Ginny was big brown eyes, bright with tears. She waved; he waved back. As the train picked up speed, starting to gather momentum, he tried to run after it, and she laughed through her tears; but soon it was enveloped in smoke.