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The Seven Miles Home by Sam M
Format: Short story
Chapter 2: Origins
When I woke up the following morning the ground was covered with a layer of shining white snow. The frosty winter was coming closer. Time was running out, I knew this. I got dressed and walked downstairs. My mum and dad were sitting by the table with Ron and Hermione.
“Good morning Ginny, dear.” My mother said. I bid them all good morning and took a seat next to Hermione. Everyone seemed to be looking strangely at me. I found that extremely uncomfortable and twitched uneasily in my seat as I served myself some pancakes. I was going to leave today, but I wasn’t going to tell them. They would probably prevent me and I’m not good with good-byes anyways.
I totally broke down when Harry, Ron and Hermione left that morning to destroy the remaining Horcruxes…
Ginny entered the kitchen with an eerie feeling inside her. A feeling of nothingness. Just empty and hollow. It felt like she was floating. Like she was a ghost gliding across the room. She sat down by the table across from Harry. She felt his eyes upon her, piercing through her but she did her best to avoid them. They ate in complete silence together with Ron, Hermione, and Mr. Weasley. There was something surreal and strange about it all, in Ginny’s opinion, like they didn’t need words to understand each other. They all understood. It was their silent agreement to let Harry, Ron and Hermione leave for a dangerous journey for an indefinite time.
Ginny dared to cast a glance at Harry, scanning him for any signs of hope. Any small movements or expressions, unnoticed by the others, that would tell her that all hope wasn’t lost yet. That she could still persuade him to stay with her.
But his expression was blank. Ginny felt her heart drop as she watched her friend, her brother and her love say good-bye to them all. Most of the Order members were there. The trio hugged them all one by one. Even Mr. Weasley, Ginny’s father, threw his arms around the three of them and Ginny could’ve sworn there were tears in his eyes as he hugged Harry good-bye. Her mother was already crying, of course, and she wasn’t the only one. Ginny too felt her eyes tear up as she watched Harry approach her.
She didn’t want to say good-bye. She looked around and thought about running away. Escape this painful torture, but for some reason her legs wouldn’t obey her and her eyes were locked on Harry. He made an attempt to hug her, but she wouldn’t let him. To feel him against her again was more than she could bear. A cold good-bye was all he got before he and his friends started walking the road aimlessly.
As she watched him go away, regretting her weak good-bye she stopped them before they had gotten far and threw her arms around his neck, tears falling endlessly down her pale cheeks.
“Don’t, Harry please!” She pleaded, hugging him harder. She could feel the warmth of his body and his arms taking a harder grip around her waist too.
He stroked her hair softly and planted a soft kiss on her forehead. Before he let go of her he whispered in her ear, his voice unsteady;
“I’ll come back for you.”
Those were the words that made Ginny understand the seriousness of the situation. He was really going to leave her. Reluctantly she let go of him, her vision blurry from tears as she watched him turn his back on her. She watched them leave, watched them walk away until she couldn’t see them anymore.
I don’t know for how long I’ve been sitting by this table and staring at my breakfast, which I still haven’t touched. I’ve lost track of time and my eyes are locked on my plate. I just stare at it dumbly before I finally manage to pull myself together. I remember the look on Harry’s face when he walked away from me. I’ve played that memory in my head so many times, thinking that if I had done something differently than maybe he would’ve stayed.
I keep thinking that if I had told him how much I loved him, than maybe he wouldn’t have left me. I never told him that I loved him, and I’ve regretted it everyday since. Maybe he will never know what my true feelings are. That would be the worst punishment God could ever give me.
Where did I go wrong? This is a question that will probably remain unanswered. I’m not sure I want the answer anyway.
I leave the kitchen and walk out in the freezing cold. I wrap my scarlet robes tightly around my body and stare at the horizon. Suddenly I feel a hand on my shoulder, squeezing it affectionately. I turn around to face Ron’s worried gaze. We look at each other in silence. Sometimes words aren’t enough. He pulls me into a warm hug and I feel tears build up in my eyes.
“He’s not coming back, is he?” I ask. I feel Ron heave his chest as he lets out a deep sigh.
“I…don’t know, Gin,” He tells me. I let go of him and turn to look at the horizon again. Ron follows my gaze.
“I’m sure it’ll all be fine, Ginny.” Ron suddenly says comfortingly, but I don’t believe his empty words. I don’t think he does either. I know he hates seeing me like this, and I think he knew, even before me, what I am about to do. He looks at me.
“You’re leaving, aren’t you?” He says. I just look at him. I don’t need to answer that. He already knows the answer.
“You can’t stop me.” I say. He just nods his head. He knows that’s true too. I feel bad for Ron. I wish he wasn’t so overprotective. I take his hand. He looks at me and forces on a smile. I know he knows that I have to do this. I let go of him and walk inside, leaving him standing there alone, out in the cold.
I run upstairs and stuff some clothes, some of my money and some food in a backpack. I feel a single tear fall from my eye as I heave the bag up on my shoulder. I run down the stairs, hoping that I won’t run into mum or anyone else. I wouldn’t be able to explain to them why I’m leaving. This is something I have to do. I have to find Harry, I know he’s alive. I manage to leave the house without being seen, tears streaming down my cheeks. I don’t want to say good-bye. That will only make it harder. Lord, what will mum say when she finds out that her only daughter has run away? I try not to think about my parents reactions. I try to focus on what I have to do, focus on Harry. I turn around. The house is barely visible now.
I keep walking. There’s no turning back now. I keep a steady pace away from my home, the tears still falling freely. When I reach the outskirts of Ottery St. Catchpole something comes over me. All the emotions, the pressing silence and loneliness suddenly a factor. I collapse and cry out my fears.
I’ve always been surrounded. I have always had my brothers. They’ve protected me and kept me from harm. But not anymore. I’m alone in this now, and I have to face that, otherwise I won’t be able to go on. Gods, what am I talking about? I’m not a hero. I can’t do this myself!
I scream out these words at the starry sky. Has it already been several hours? No, surely I haven’t been gone that long? They are probably looking for me now. I stand up. It’s getting, if possible, even colder. I have to go. I look up at the evening sky, and then I cast a glance back at the familiar road, leading back into the village of Ottery St. Catchpole. My home. Should I go back? No. Ron didn’t try to stop me, did he? Or perhaps he knew I would be too stubborn…
“Ok, I need a sign. Anything! Just something that tells me if I should go on, or not.” I say aloud and wait. Nothing happens. I try desperately to gain more warmth. I am freezing like mad.
I cast yet another unsure glance back at the road home. Feeling new tears build up, I slowly start to walk back to the warmth and safety of the Burrow. What was I thinking anyways? Suddenly, I hear a strange sound break the evening’s silence. It sounds like tiny wings, flapping. I turn around. My eyes are met by a tiny golden object, circulating my head. I try to grab the round golden thing.
When my cold fingers finally manage to grab the tiny orb I realize that it is a snitch. And not just any snitch. Harry’s…
“Happy birthday!” everyone, including Ginny, exclaimed as a surprised-looking Harry entered the kitchen, still dressed in his pyjamas, smiling wearily. Mrs. Weasley walked over to him and gave him a hard hug.
“Congratulations dear!” She told him.
“Thank you. But really Mrs. Weasley, you didn’t have to-”
“Oh, rubbish!” she said, “It’s not everyday a young wizard comes of age, now is it?”
Harry smiled. Ginny watched him un-wrap his gifts. She couldn’t remember the last time he had looked so happy. Maybe, she thought, maybe he was better off without her after all. When he was done un-wrapping Hermione’s gift (a book), Ginny handed him her gift. He looked up at her and smiled carefully. Ginny smiled back and watched as he removed the wrapping.
She really hoped he would like it. She had picked it out carefully. As the paper came off, a tiny golden snitch flied out. Harry grabbed it in his fist before it had the chance to escape. He looked at it, a faint smile taking over his lips.
“Do you like it? I know it’s stupid, but yesterday it hit me that you aren’t going to play Quidditch in a while now. I mean, since you’re not returning to Hogwarts anymore, you’ll never play for Gryffindor again. I just thought I’d give something to remember it by.” Ginny explained, waiting for Harry to reply.
Suddenly he looked up. There was something peculiar with the way he looked at her.
“Thank you Ginny,” He said with an oddly hoarse voice. “That is really thoughtful.”
“I love it.”
Ginny looked at the golden ball in her hand. This was the snitch she had given to him, of this she was sure. Was this a sign? Where did it some from? She examined the ball closer. Suddenly she noticed something on it she didn’t recognize.
The ball had engraved the number 7 on it.
A/N: Hello dear reader(s). I hope you all liked this chapter. Please review and tell me what you thought about it. Good? Bad? Dreadful? Troll?! I reckon there's probably some spelling errors or grammar mistakes. I apologize for that, ehehehe! I'm only human, after all! So, review people! ~ Sam M