The Sugar Quill
Author: VaniityX  Story: Laughing Softly to Myself  Chapter: Default
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I sit in silence as I usually do when I watch Harry, Hermione, and my brother


Laughing Softly to Myself


I sit in silence as I usually do when I observe Harry, Hermione, and my brother. Harry watches a game of chess between the other two. Ronís brow is furrowed in concentration. Laughing softly to myself, I realize he still hasnít caught on enough to let Hermione win. I find that I do that a lot. Besides the twinsí jokes, what is there to laugh about with anyone? We know Hogwarts is where we all belong, but I, like almost everyone else, long to be home with my mum and dad. The Burrow, which could almost seem imprisoning at times (for I am the overprotected only girl), now seems like a comforting haven where I could once again lounge on my bed and read one of my old novels if the opportunity was presented. But in these times, that is an impossible dream. I hope with all my heart that the wards that have been placed around my home are effective. The life of my family is cradled in the arms of those wards and I can only hope they will hold until this is over. I can always feel the darkness looming over all of us. It isnít like a dark and gloomy horror story, but the sunlight simply canít succeed in breaking us out of this dark shell.

Harry is far away. As I watch him now, ďoverseeingĒ the chess game, I know that heís not watching. This seems to be the most comforting thing for him, to sit beside his two best friends, but not be forced to converse. To see how the events of the past year have changed him has made me bitter in some ways, though only to myself. Feeling like I am ten again, I catch myself jutting out my lower lip and thinking itís not fair. And it is by no means fair. As dad told me before I got on the train, things could get bad, even worse than bad which he whispered to me as he hugged me goodbye.


ďGinny, this year could Ė is going to be hard, I have no doubt, so you must prepare yourself. Youíre growing to be a young woman now.Ē I roll my eyes at this over-sentimental moment, but remind myself of the importance what my father is saying at this very moment. I know he is trying to tell me what I already know in my heart. I have to hold every single moment with the people I love like it is the last moment I have with them, because it could very well be.

ďYou have to be strong, Ginny, and brave. I know you will be, as our last Gryffindor.Ē


It has been a while since Iíve seen my parents and I have no doubt in my mind that they are in danger every day, fighting beside Professor Dumbledore. It calms me to think of the lives they are surely saving each time they set up wards or track Death Eaters.

Some people still deny that You-Know-Who has risen again which only makes matters more difficult than they already are. Many of the first and second years have sadly been left in the dark, but I think they choose to be. I donít pity myself in the least, but I do think they are lucky to have never come face-to-face in a terrifying tÍte-ŗ-tÍte with a Dark Lord. I can still feel his translucent fingers tracing my ashy face in the chamber, but I wouldnít take any of it away now. It has become a part of me. However indirectly, I am beginning to see how the Dark Lord has touched each and every personís life.

Harry would have caught me looking at him if he hadnít been staring through my head just now. With a swift breath caught in my throat, I look away in case he comes back to Earth. We donít talk much at all unless heís talking to Ron, too. Growing from being the little girl with her elbow in the butter dish has occurred slowly over the years. I am fourteen and I can feel my emotions beginning to mature. If love is what I think it is, I will love Harry in some way or another for as far into the future as I can see, but I am also well aware that it will always be unrequited. I know that he will live bereaved by Cedricís absence in the world, because in a sense, he lost Cho the night Cedric died.

Ron notices me watching the chess game between him and Hermione and acknowledges me with a quick grin. I know he hasnít got time for me like he used to at the Burrow Ė before Hogwarts. Bill, Charlie, Percy, Fred, and George were all gone and I remember crying because I missed my brothers, but Ron always distracted me while we played our made-up games, pretending to go shopping in Diagon Alley like adults, dressing in ridiculous costumes from the attic and parading around to show Mum. I honestly miss that. Ron has grown vertically much more than I have, but he still seems to have trouble with maturity issues Ė Hermione in particular. I canít even believe how Hermione has matured. Sheís looking more like an adult every day and I canít help but feel a bit left behind. Ron hasnít noticed, Iím sure. Honestly, thereís no hope for him. In Fred and George I put some faith, even though that is rather ironic. Hoping that Weasleyís Wizard Wheezes is coming on well is something I depend on because morale in the common room is held up strongly by those nutters. Without them, weíd all be bored, quiet, and left to over-contemplate the current situation. However, theyíve always got new brands of chicanery to tempt our mouths to break into a smile more than usual. My twin brothers always succeed in reminding me of Mum and Dad back at the Burrow, invoking a mental picture of their responses to their rule-breaking. I even find myself longing for Percyís annoyed tone with them.

Life has changed; there is no doubt about that. People have died out of fear, defiance, bravery, avarice, shame, innocence, and almost any other reason imaginable. That doesnít stop us from living our daily lives. Harry still smiles and plays Quidditch, Ron plays chess with Hermione, and Dumbledore remains himself, with his constant flow of wisdom. Those who are deceived or deny to themselves the truth, I believe are more melancholy than those who can only wait to see what life throws at us. The knowledge that the Dark Lord has risen is a firm conclusion in my mind. There is also a firm conclusion that after this is over, there will be a new beginning and I look forward to that with all my heart.

Slightly cold because I am far from the fire, I spot some abandoned chairs close to the hearth and move into one of the softer ones. I wrap a humungous quilt around myself so that my head only peeps out of the top, and I gaze lazily into the fire. I imagine it filling my insides with a flooding warmth. Harry appears and snuggles under the blanket with me, pressing his warm hands into my chilled ones. We watch Ron and Hermioneís chess game as we drift off into a peaceful slumber, guaranteed to be completely void of nightmares and full of wonderful dreams.

I snap back to reality as I close my mouth and blink my eyes in a drowsy stupor. Harry gives me one of the oddest looks Iíve ever seen on a face, causing me to blush profusely. He offers a grin then turns back to the game, leaving me to wonder how long he was watching. I donít have long to contemplate, however, due to a slight distraction.

ďAha! Iíve won! Ron Weasley, I beat you! I won! Do you see that? Iím willing to bet you donít feel so clever now, right?Ē

Ron blushes and turns from Hermione, keeping his head down and staying silent. Iíve never seen Hermione become so excited about anything but house elves, and she is clearly appreciating her victory, from what I can tell. Sheís got Crookshanks hugged to her chest, dancing in circles, which Iím sure Crookshanks is not appreciating at all. Her face is lit up with an ear-to-ear grin, her cheeks flushed and red. I see Harry and Ron facing each other, and Ron opens his mouth to whisper something to Harry, some four feet from my fireside chair.

ďI let her win, mate,Ē he whispers with his eyes full of Ron-Weasley-genuine-honesty. Harryís mouth drops to the floor, then is followed by a wide-eyed grin. The two of them stand there, grinning stupidly at each other for about ten seconds before they run to Hermione to join the celebration. Hermioneís face at Ronís acceptance and even happiness at this occasion is something Iíll never forget. Like they are suddenly revolving in a void in some other dimension, they stare at each other like Harry and Ron did, but with a bit of something else added in their gaze. Something mutual happens between them before Ron breaks the moment.

ďI could beat you any day, Hermione! Iím just a bit tired tonight,Ē he adds, oh so cleverly.

I watch the three of them laughing and I find myself laughing to myself as well simply because they look so happy. This is friendship like Iíve never seen it before - live and in person. Despite all the bedlam in the world, these three find it in themselves to create their own world at times, supported by the love and friendship between them. I can only hope we all make it through this, unscathed or not, to reach the beginning weíve already begun. I look away from the celebrating friends. Thinking of Ronís action of letting Hermione win, I begin to think there is hope still yet in this world if such impossible things as that occur. At this, I laugh softly only to myself, which I know I will always do. I may not have wonderful friends like Harry and Hermione. Iíll never own a joke shop or be Head Girl, but Iíll be Ginny Weasley. And that alone is enough to make me strong enough to get through this chaotic time and emerge at the Beginning.

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