Father and Daughter - Harry Potter Fanfiction
Harry Potter books, and all characters therein are belong to J. K. Rowling, © 2001/2002 Warner bros. In short, they aren't mine, so please don't sue.
Father and Daughter
Arthur Weasley awoke with a start for the tenth time since he had returned from Hogwarts. He sat there for a moment in a cold sweat, gasping for breath. The same dream had been haunting him each night since he'd learned what had gone on at Hogwarts this past year, and what had happened to his little girl. He closed his eyes tightly and held back a shudder as he involuntarily recalled the dream.
Ginny, alone, in a dark, damp corridor. She was being chased by a huge snake, the dark mark burning a sickly green overhead. She was calling for Arthur to help. Arthur tried to move to help her, but he stumbled. He looked up. The snake was almost on top of Ginny now; she was begging Voldemort to stop. The snake made a lightening fast strike, Ginny's scream was cut short by a nauseating crunch…
He looked to his side, where his wife lay, still asleep. This had taken so much out of her. To be told that their only daughter had been killed. Arthur remembered hearing rumors about the Chamber of Secrets when he went to Hogwarts, a girl had been killed then, too. Arthur had spent the half hour in McGonagall's office in numb shock, believing his daughter, his Ginny was dead. It had brought a surge of joy knowing she was all right, that she'd not only lived, but with her mind intact and in relatively good mental health. Though not without deep emotional scars, he thought.
It was then that he noticed the dim orange light glimmering on the wall across from the door. There was a meek light filtering into the hall from the living room. Careful not to wake his wife, he got up, slipped on his dressing gown and headed out of the bedroom toward the living room.
There was a weak fire burning on the grate, but the thing that caught his attention was a sudden sniffle that sounded unnaturally loud in the quiet room. It was followed shortly after by a series of barely audible sobs coming from the vicinity of his old brown and orange recliner. It looked as though it had been pulled closer to the fireplace and turned so that its occupant could watch the fire.
Arthur moved silently around the chair and found Ginny sitting with her head on her knees, which were pulled up against her chest. Her white flowered nightgown was stretched over her legs all the way down to her toes. She hadn't noticed him standing there; she rocked herself slightly in the chair still making whispers of sobs.
A memory popped up in Arthur's mind of his last conversation with Dumbledore.
"Ginny will recover, Arthur. It will take a good deal of time and tears, I'm afraid, but she will recover. The road ahead of her won't be an easy one. She'll have to re-learn trust, and faith. But she is much stronger than any of us ever gave her credit for, to have come this far. She'll need the support and understanding of all her family…"
"Ginny," said Arthur.
Ginny's head popped up off her knees, punctuated with a gasp. She looked up at him as if she thought she was in trouble. There were dark circles under her eyes.
"Couldn't sleep, Hon?" said Arthur, sitting on the arm of the chair. Ginny made a move to get up but Arthur rested his hand on her shoulder. "It's okay, I couldn't either," he said smiling down at her.
She shifted her eyes toward the fire and sniffled again. Arthur watched as her face grew more tense. She slowly started to screw up her face as tears began to form in the corners of her eyes. A moment later she turned toward him, losing her fight to hold her tears back.
"Oh Daddy, I'm so sorry…" she sobbed. On reflex, as she put her arms around his chest, he closed his arms around her shoulders. One of his hands found the back of her head and clutched her close to him. He suddenly found it impossible to keep back the tears that had been fighting to get out since he'd thought she was dead. He tilted his head downward and rested his cheek on the top of her head.
"It's all my fault," sobbed Ginny from in between Arthur's arms. "I'm so stupid, I'm a disgrace-"
"No, you're not!" said Arthur more forcefully than he intended to. "You're my daughter, your Mum and I love you and your brothers more than anything. You're smart, beautiful, caring, funny,-"
"Gullible," sobbed Ginny.
"No, Ginny," said Arthur sternly. "You-Know-Who has fooled some of the best wizards around. He had everyone fooled into thinking Hagrid opened the Chamber of Secrets and attacked students. You aren't gullible."
"Why do I feel so?"
Arthur thought for a moment. At first, he wasn't sure he could answer her, but then it came to him.
"Because you're noble," he said simply.
Ginny looked up at him with doubt in her eyes.
"Your mum and I love you far more than any amount of family honor."
Ginny searched his eyes for a long moment. Then, as if by plan, they both separated and stood up. Arthur took Ginny's place in the seat while she waited by the chair for him to get settled in. Then without another word, she crawled up into his lap and rested her head against his chest, still weeping quietly.
They sat, unmoving, for quite a while before Arthur chanced a look down at his daughter. She'd fallen asleep. Her cheeks were still wet from the tears but her face looked peaceful. Arthur leaned his head back, letting out a sigh. His eyes traveled from the dying fire to the mantelpiece above. He focused on the latest picture he'd taken of Ginny, in her Hogwarts robes the day before she was to set off on her first year at Hogwarts. She had a broad smile on her face and was waving her wand about; it was emitting sparks every so often.
Beside it was the latest picture of Ron, taken on the same day. He and Harry were both waving and taking turns making rabbit ears behind each other's heads. Harry was grinning widely, and Arthur had to smile as he watched the action.
"Thank Merlin for you, Harry Potter," he said at almost a whisper. "The Weasleys are forever in your debt."