Chapter One - The Little One
Chapter One – The Little One
The blank parchment would never fill itself in time for tomorrow’s
deadline; especially if she never picked up her quill. The
assignment was simple enough. Professor Blake had said that before
you could begin to understand Muggles, or compare the differences
between their culture and our own, you had to understand who you
were. She had said that one of the keys to knowing who you were
was to see who you were in the past. Or you could look at
who you wanted to become in the future. Both images were important
for determining who you were today. But how do you write an essay
about yourself without exposing yourself to the world’s ridicule, or
worse, to its blame. If she had only not been so foolish, or had
she been a little stronger…
Blaming herself for the mistakes in the past still wouldn’t get the
essay finished. She glanced around the room, hoping inspiration,
or at least determination would find her. But here in her
dormitory, there were too many memories; too many haunting experiences
to allow creativity to find her. She could go down to the common
room, or even to the library to escape her past. That’s it, run away
, the voice in
the back of her mind scoffed at her.
Reaching the bottom of the stairs, she glanced around the common room
for an empty seat. There was one next to Hermione as she sat near
the fire knitting a house-elf sized sweater. Would she never give
up? There was another seat that she should have taken by Dean, but
Colin was also sitting near by. She knew that he would ask her to
explain the assignment for Charms to him for the seventh time that
day. He would then expect her to read over his final draft to make
sure that he hadn’t made any mistakes. Who did he think she
was—Hermione? It was nice that Hermione had resumed checking Ron
and Harry’s papers in the middle of last year, but it was aggravating
when they, or any other Gryffindor boy, expected you to do the same.
She continued gazing around the room. Ron had just vacated a seat
at the table by the window to join Hermione by the fire. She
smiled at the awkwardness still between them as she headed for the empty
seat; but paused when she saw Harry was also at the table finishing some
of his homework from this first week of school. She looked around
for another seat, but even the one by Dean had been taken by Dennis now.
“Do you mind?” She asked trying not to sound silly, desperate,
embarrassed, or a hundred other things that had once run through her
mind when she spoke to Harry.
“No, go ahead,” he said pulling some of his books out of the way.
“Thanks.” She sat down quickly and unrolled the blank parchment
still wondering where to begin.
“Twelve inches of parchment,” Professor Blake had said earlier.
“I know that it isn’t a lot, but I want each sentence, each word to
count. Tell me who you are. Pretend that I know nothing
about you, your family, or your history. You could write all the
lies in the world about yourself—please don’t—and I wouldn’t know the
difference. But is that who you are—lies and deception? I
want this to not only be a way for me to get to know you better, but for
you to get to fully understand what makes you tick—what makes you unique
and different from everyone else in this room.”
She had thought that because it seemed to be such an easy assignment,
that she would have time to put it off until later in the week.
But as she had completed her homework for Transfiguration, Potions,
Charms, and her other classes, the essay still nagged at her to start
it. Perhaps she procrastinated because she afraid to confront
herself, knowing what lurked in her darkest corners. She glanced
at the watch Ron had sent Harry for his birthday before allowing her
eyes to catch of glimpse of the owner. Harry tapped his fingers on
the table, pausing to think for a moment before continuing to
write. She was momentarily envious that he could write and she
still had no idea of what to do. But, perhaps, if she just started
writing whatever came to her head, she could come up with something that
was acceptable to turn it. It was worth a shot.
name is Ginevra Molly Weasley, but everyone calls me Ginny. I’m
actually glad that no one calls me Ginevra. It’s a name that
sounds like it belongs to someone great, like a fairy tale princess or
some strong woman warrior. I don’t know where my parents found
it. I don’t think it fits me, because I’m not great. I’m not
strong. I’m just…me.
I come from a large family. My
parents have seven children. I’m the youngest and the only
girl. Is it hard? Yes, on both accounts. My mother
wants to protect me from everything, which is very annoying because I
feel like I’m old enough, and have been through enough, that I should be
able to be treated like an adult. But I guess that I am not yet,
because EVERYONE still treats me like a little girl. Little
Ginny. Isn’t she the cutest thing you’ve ever seen?
I suppose that I have been called a
lot of things besides my name like the talkative one, the girl with the
“flaming” red hair, the outspoken one, the quiet one, Gryffindor’s new
replacement seeker (glad that one’s over with), Michael’s girl, Dean’s
girl, the invisible one, the little sister,
the one who was
possessed by You-Know-Who. I HATE IT! I hate them
all! Titles, personas, they aren’t me. I used to be so happy
when I was younger. Now I feel like what was me is gone—stolen
forever. I used to try to forget what had happened to me, but I
can’t. I can’t go back to be the little innocent, stupidly naive
girl. I suppose that I really wouldn’t want to, because I have
changed so much. But changed into what? I once heard that
teenagers struggle to find out who they are, and that writing it down
helps (is that why we’re writing this paper?) But I can’t trust
myself to write down my feelings anymore. The evil voice in the
back of my head is gone now, most of the time. But the thought of
if I’m not careful, he could come back, still frightens me. I
even get jumpy still each time I run across a black leather book.
It’s not fair! But that’s the way it is.
So, who is Ginny Weasley?
Really…who is she? I know who she was. I know who she tries
to pretend to be. I know who she once dreamt of becoming.
But who is she really, right here, right now? I don’t know.
I made a mistake when I was
eleven. And that will always be with me. It’s become part of
who I am. I wonder still as I walk through the halls, if people
aren’t whispering behind my back, speculating on how stupid I was to get
mixed up in it. But if they had been in my place instead, they
would see that there really wasn’t anything I COULD have done.
They couldn’t have been stronger than I was. Eight months—that’s
a long time to hold out against the inevitable. I suppose a few
people who had gotten themselves into my predicament could have held
out longer, but not many. And I still haven’t thanked the one to
finally rescue me from
You-Know-Who my death
I guess one of the reasons that
writing this is so hard is because I don’t necessarily know who I want
to become. Yes, I’ve dreamed about who I want to be, or at least
wanted to be. But I’ve told myself several times that it’s
impossible, even ridiculous.
Besides, he still hasn’t
even noticed that I exist yet. From who I was and what I
did, to this limbo that I’m in now, I just can’t see that silly dream
coming true. Not unless a miracle happens, or he gets struck by
lightening. But I wouldn’t wish that upon anyone, except perhaps
a certain ferret I know.
So, who am I? I guess I don’t
know entirely. I’m just a girl writing this essay. A
girl trying to be grown up; trying to establish the real me—the
one without personas and titles; trying to do what is right
despite all that’s happened and the evil voice that still haunts
me. Ginevra Molly Weasley may be my full name, but I’m just Ginny.
While not some of her better work, it wasn’t bad considering how late
in the night it was becoming. With a few sentences deleted, it
would be acceptable for tomorrow’s class. She leaned back in her
chair stretching her arms. The common room was practically
empty. Katie Bell was still working on something in the far corner
of the room and Hermione had fallen asleep on Ron’s shoulder. She
looked at her brother. He seemed uncomfortable and unsure of what
to do with himself, but pleased to be where he was at. Her gaze
returned to Harry who was finishing up his last assignment for the
night. He had done more for her than anyone else ever could, or
would. Well, there were always her dreams that continued to come,
even though she wouldn’t allow herself to believe in them anymore.
She quickly got a fresh sheet of parchment and copied the final draft
of her essay before realizing that there was still something that she
still needed to do.
“Thank you, Harry.”
“For what?” He glanced up from writing his last paragraph.
“Letting you sit down?”
“No. For just being you.”
He looked confused as she smiled, picked up her things, and headed for
~ * ~
Thank you for your many kind and practical reviews. Contrary to
popular belief, my first year of teaching is actually going very
well. But thank you for the concern. (To be honest, I did
experience many of the feelings of Professor Blake, and momentarily
thought of running away from the responsibility ahead of me.)
The inspiration for this story came as I sat considering my own life
and a seemingly hopeless relationship. (Good luck, Ginny! I
feel for you.) So, her essay came first and the rest of the story
and plot followed close behind. I'm planning on writing bits and
pieces of this while waiting for more inspiration for Retrospection (Currently, chapter eight is being looked
over by my unofficial beta. Hopefully, it will be ready to post