The Sugar Quill
Author: zzzFF Sioux Denim  Story: Time Will Come  Chapter: Default
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She had tripped and landed here in this pile of dead leaves that smelled pleasantly of fresh earth, but not so much as to distr

Time Will Come

 

She had tripped, and landed here, in this pile of dead leaves and broken twigs. The ground smelled pleasantly of fresh earth, but not enough to distract her from the pain in her chest. It was like being both suffocated and nauseous at the same time. And the more she thought about it the worse she felt. Harry had asked Cho to the ball.

 

It wasn’t that she thought Harry felt the same way she did, but Ginny had always harbored the fantasy that, when the time came for an event like the Yule Ball, Harry would ask her to go with him. And she’d waited, hoping, for what seemed like an eternity, until it dawned on her that maybe, just maybe, it wasn’t going to happen.

 

Ginny had sulked for days, until Hermione had talked to her, and they’d come up with a plan. In her desperation to at least be at the ball with Harry, even if she couldn’t be at the ball with Harry, she had arranged to go with Neville. It was a good plan. A plan soured only by Harry asking her to the ball. Well, Ron had suggested it, and Harry probably would have gone along with it, perhaps simply out of desperation, if it hadn’t been for Neville. Not that she blamed Neville; it was entirely her own fault.

 

Ginny squeezed her eyes shut as a fresh set of tears began. She had been crying before she’d even made it out of Gryffindor Tower - just a couple of stray tears she’d swiped away discreetly while tucking her hair behind her ears. And as she’d descended through the castle, her resistance had gotten lower and lower, a new tear for every step, until she’d reached the trick one on the second floor and stumbled, coming frighteningly close to getting stuck in it. And the torrent had taken over. She was a sea of tears, feeling nothing but the grief-like ache in her soul.

 

And so she’d run.

 

It was the millionth time she’d been thankful for Fred and George’s secret short cuts, but the first time she’d ever been really thankful for the forest. It was the only place she knew no one was mad enough to follow her. Aside from herself, he was the only one she knew who was not afraid to go in there. Both of them had faced far worse.

 

Ginny wondered how it was possible for them to be so perfect for each other, and yet he still hadn’t noticed. Indeed, he had noticed her in the way that people do notice their friends little sister gazing rapturously at them, but he didn’t really seem to see her as anything but that. It was like she wasn’t even there half the time, so insignificant she may as well be dead. And why wasn’t she? Because of him. Because he had saved her when no one else could. He’d risked his own life for hers. Almost died so that she might live, and all for what?

 

Not for her.

 

Ginny let out a choked sob into the cool quiet of the forest. He’d done it because that’s what Harry Potter did. He was The Hero. But he was more than that as well. How had she even come to think that he might be interested in her? She was pathetic. A childish little dreamer sitting in a dirty hollow on the ground; crying because she hadn’t got her way. Why would he ever notice her? Why would anyone? Ginny took a slow shuddering breath and embraced her sadness like an old friend, letting the tears flow. Not caring that she was wet and dirty and cold and hungry. Not caring how loud she was sobbing. No one would hear her anyway – she was all alone. She always was.

 

“You are crying. Why?”

 

Ginny started and jerked up from her prone position in the leaves, her blood suddenly pounding in her ears.

 

“Who are you?” she asked.

 

“I am Firenze. And you are Miss Weasley, are you not?”

 

She considered lying. Considered running away. But he could out-run her, and those eyes… those eyes that bore right through her with their intensity… they would know if she lied.

    

“Yes… How do you know?” Her voice faltered. He was much larger than her. If he wanted, he could easily over-power her.

    

“On especially dark nights, when the stars are bright, your future is visible to those who can read them.”

    

“My future? Is everyone’s there?” Her curiosity calmed her, pushing away her fear.

 

    

“Only the paths of those who bear great responsibility are revealed. For it is they who will shape the world.”

    

“What do you mean? What great responsibility? What do I have to do?”

    

“In time, you will know.”

    

“I will know what? What’s going to happen to me? Am I in danger?”

    

“Those who run with The Boy Who Lived are always in danger. Soon it will be worse.”

 

“Will he be okay?” she asked, without thinking.

    

“Harry Potter will be instrumental to the fate of the world. He is the key.”

    

“And what am I?” Ginny asked softly.

Firenze looked at her for a long moment, his were eyes cold, calculating, and Ginny considered briefly how she must appear. A grubby, soggy child, with puffy eyes and a selfish misery. Just as her grief began to surface again, he spoke, very quietly.

    

“He is not ready for you.”

 

Ginny’s brow furrowed in confusion for only a second before her eyes flew wide open and her heart leapt into her throat. She tried to speak – to ask lamely, ‘Who’s not ready for me?’ even though she knew full well who it was, and nothing came out of her mouth but a pitiful garbled squeak. Firenze gave her a barely noticeable smile, and she bowed her head, hiding her blushing cheeks behind a curtain of hair.

    

“Your time will come, but it is not now.”

 

“When will it be?” she dared to ask, “How long will I have to wait?” She lifted her head and caught his gaze. He looked softer somehow, sad.

 

“It does no good to linger. Only when you stop waiting, will the future come. You will know when it does.”

 

He flicked his tail and half-turned to leave. Ginny called out to him.

    

“But what should I do until then?”

    

“Anything you like. It will not matter in the end.” He said to her. And then he was gone, swallowed by the shadows, his hoof-beats fading swiftly in the distance.

 

Ginny sat silently, as if frozen; her surroundings slowly creeping back into her conscious mind. It was dark, darker than it had been before, and colder. She stood, brushing off the worst of the forest debris. Her body ached from the impact of her fall, magnified by the stiff cold, but the internal ache was duller than before. It would be hard not to wait for him, now that she knew. But it was a comfort to know that no matter what happened, no matter who Harry took to the ball, in the end, he would be hers. She would just have to find a way to distract herself until that time came. Lost in thought, she turned back toward the castle, stepping carefully over the branch she had tripped on earlier, and set off through the darkness.

//
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