The Sugar Quill
Author: J Forias (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: The Dance  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

Disclaimer: My thanks go to JK Rowling for providing such inspiring characters and themes. Said characters and themes remain hers at all times.

Authors Note: I would like to claim that the origins of this story are the Quill's frivolities on Zsenya's birthday, when I received the unique opportunity to ask Lord Voldemort for a dance. However, this is almost certainly a fallacy. The true origins of the story occurred when I sat down to write a nice little fluff story about a young Ginny flying on a broomstick and ended up with... well... something completely different.

Thanks to Jill and to Birgit for their help with this piece.

(PG-13)

The Dance

by J Forias


Teacher and pupil stood side by side as they looked into the mirror.

~*~

Ginny whirled.

Like a child.

She danced through falling bodies.

A simple smile lighting up her face.

The entire world… her whole universe, lived now as the tiny, fleeting moments that wove themselves beneath her feet. It was perfect.

She felt free.

Several yards away, her boyfriend, whom she loved beyond her comprehension, was locked in a life or death struggle against Tom. Around her, family and friends were fighting tooth and claw against the servants of the dark.

She spun onwards, releasing great jets of light to lance out into the turmoil.

More and more bodies were falling. She saw her father knocked down, blood streaming from his nose. They locked eyes for a moment – a silent, wordless moment – before more twirling bodies blocked him from her view.

A spell singed her skin.

She looked up at the castor, seeing only hatred and madness.

And she danced some more, weaving through death and life, light and dark, moment to moment.

She was alive.

She mattered.

The hatred fled in the face of the light, falling from sight as the body collapsed. Tom’s servants were losing ground. The dance floor was clearing. They were winning!

And then the boy fell; an agonised cry of failure ringing out as he was thrown backwards, blood soaking out from his gut, wand driven from his grasp to skitter across the floor.

She didn’t run to him. She couldn’t.

Instead she stepped over his bleeding body and faced what had to be faced.

“Hello, Tom.”

Tom leered down at her, so different and so much the same.

“You’ve lost, Ginevra.”

The ghost of a smile traced its way across her face. “You always say that.”

“You can’t defeat me,” he continued. “You were never the one. You were never strong enough.”

She could still hear the sound of the boy, gasping behind her, dying slow.

“Strength is a choice,” she replied. “I chose to be here, facing you.”

He sneered. “Then by that choice you will lose your life, little girl.”

Ginny stared into blood-red eyes and saw the darkness beyond, endless; it was like mirror facing mirror, a world of never-ending reflections, but without any light.

She looked into it and kept herself.

She raised her wand.

“Poor Tom,” she mocked. “Don’t you realise that I’ve already won?”

~*~

The teacher ended the spell and the mirror fell silent.

“I don’t understand,” whispered a twelve-year-old Ginny.

“The Mirror of Erised shows us nothing more or less that the deepest desires of the heart,” Dumbledore replied. “And in so doing, it reflects our greatest fears.”

“But I don’t want that!” Ginny shouted. “I don’t want Harry dead! I wouldn’t want to face Tom all alone!”

Dumbledore peered down at her sadly. “Your greatest wish,” he began, “is to be able to face that which Tom Riddle left with you: fear sown by the greatest of evils. A burden you will carry for the rest of your life.”

Ginny bowed her head, blinking back tears. “Why did you show this to me?” she asked fiercely.

“Because, Miss Weasley, it is important that you know who you are. Your greatest desire is to face the darkness. Not to flee from it. Not to have it disappear.” The faintest smile added more creases to his worn features. “And as we have learnt, the choice to look darkness in the face and call it by name… that is a strength all of its own.”

The young girl looked into the mirror, again, seeing the older version of her own face looking back.

“Is it truth?” she asked. “Will it happen?”

“Will you have to face Tom Riddle, all alone, on a battlefield?” The blue eyes had turned grave. “I have no way of knowing that.” He paused. “But what I do know is that you will have opportunity enough to face him elsewhere.”

“He’s still in me…. isn’t he?” she asked. “Even with the diary gone…”

“Yes,” the Headmaster answered. “And you will have to learn to live with that.”

All of a sudden, Ginny spun to face her teacher, her red hair swinging behind her.

“I won’t let him win, you know!” she hissed, her teary eyes fierce. “Harry nearly died saving me. I won’t… I won’t let that be wasted.”

Dumbledore said nothing for several long moments. Then he glanced into the mirror as himself, a look of pain and longing appearing within his eyes, before he sighed and turned away.

He met her gaze.

“Then we may yet have a chance.”

//
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