Because we both did this story one handed,
much love to my awesome beta, Felina Black, and her
brand new munchkin. You’re awesome.
If Harry had even sat through a longer night than this, he could not
remember it…They mostly sat in silence around the table, watching the candle
wick sink lower and lower into the liquid wax…waiting…waiting…
Harry Potter and the Other of the Phoenix, American Edition pg. 478-479
The occasional cracking of the logs in the fire was the only sound that dared
disturb the silence they had all fallen into. It was possible Kreacher was
milling about in one of the rooms overhead but the house was old and the walls
thick and any noise he might have made was muffled long before it reached the
basement kitchen where they stood sentry.
In a futile attempt to make herself feel safe, Ginny
had drawn her feet into her chair and curled herself around them. How many
hours had it been since Professor McGonagall had roused her from her bed? How
many hours since she had torn from the common room, Fred and George on her
heels? Had she slept at all? Was it still the same night, or had one eve
slipped unannounced and unnoticed into the next? Was this how it would be from
now on? Her father dead and one day passing mercilessly and
relentlessly into the next?
Fred was asleep. Ginny turned her head and looked at his watch. Quarter till
On her other side, George had dozed off as well. Ginny closed her eyes for a
moment and listened to their steady breaths, glad to be flanked by them.
‘Don’t, Ginny, we’ll send you loads of owls.’
Fred grunted and moved in his chair. Ginny tried to time her breaths to his,
seeking sleep. Seeking reprieve.
‘We’ll send you a Hogwarts toilet seat.’
It was useless. Ginny’s eyes opened of their own accord and she moved her right
foot, which had begun to fall asleep.
Ron was sitting directly in her line of sight. He was hunched forward in his
chair, his hands tangled in his hair. Ginny looked at his long fingers and
wondered when he had gotten so tall. His elbows were propped on
his knees and he could have been sleeping.
‘Go away, Ginny.’
Ginny tilted her head, resting her cheek on her arm. Ron’s fists clenched
tightly in his hair and she realised he was awake.
She willed him to look up, to pull his chair alongside hers. She wanted him
close enough to touch. But he didn’t look up; he just sighed, glanced at his
watch and dropped his head again.
‘She just didn’t want to go with Neville…I mean, who would?’
She wished Hermione were there. Hermione would know what to do. Hermione would
know what to say.
‘Ginny! It came! My letter came. I’m going to Hogwarts!’
She’d cried for a week.
His face was swimming in front of her eyes and had been all night. She couldn’t
imagine how he’d paid for her dress robes, but she'd never forget the look on
her face when he handed her the box.
‘I’m so proud of you, darling. Have a wonderful evening.’
She wouldn’t cry. Absolutely wouldn’t.
‘That’s it, Ginny! Just don’t look down. Don’t look down! You’re doing it
Ginny! You’re flying!’
George gave a loud snore and rearranged himself in his chair. His empty Butterbeer bottle clattered to the floor and rolled away
from the fire, coming to rest against the opposite wall.
Ginny? But Ginny’s not…Ginny hasn’t been…has she?’
Ginny closed her eyes again, silently vowing she’d never disappoint her father
again, if only he’d be all right. If only he’d live. It was a game she’d played
with herself all night.
Sirius was silent and had been since his suggestion they all go to bed. She’d reacted before she could stop herself, looking at him with what
she knew must have been utmost contempt. Even Harry had seemed shocked.
‘Right. This is getting stupid. Ginny, you
can go with Harry…’
She hadn’t looked directly at him since they’d arrived in the basement of 12 Grimmauld Place.
The haunted look in his eyes in Professor Dumbledore’s office had frightened
her more than she cared to admit. It was too familiar. His eyes, wide and green
behind his glasses and his skin pale, making the anger in his scar all the more
‘Harry-what’s going on? Professor McGonagall says you saw Dad hurt-’
He looked too much like twelve-year-old Harry.
‘Ginny- don’t be dead- please don’t be dead.’
She’d played that game with him as well.
‘Don’t hurt Harry. You can do what you want with me, but please don’t hurt
He’d saved her life. Had he saved her dad’s as well? Or had they all been too
late? Had her living breathing hero been reduced to a casualty, a statistic? Simply another death at the hands of a madman? No. She’d
know, wouldn’t she? She’d know if her father was dead. Wouldn’t she?
‘It’s all right. Riddle’s finished.’
There was something else, something he wasn’t telling them. She turned her eyes
fully upon him. He was sitting across the room from her, his hands clenched
tightly in his lap. There was something else. He hadn’t closed his eyes once.
He’d slipped his glasses from his face, leaving him looking young and vulnerable.
His green eyes were glazed and unfocused. Ginny could see them reflecting the
Silent and still they sat. Waiting…waiting…