Chapter 1 : Sleep In Heavenly Peace
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“Don’t worry, Mum. They’ll come,” Ginny said, watching her mother pace back and forth across the kitchen. They have to.
Molly turned to look at her daughter. “You can’t know that,” she rasped. Her face was pale, her eyes bloodshot. “They might not ever come back.”
“Mum!” Ginny cried, aghast. “Don’t say that.” If you say it, it might just come true…
Molly continued her fevered pacing. Ginny sat silent in the chair, staring at the glowing Christmas tree in the corner. The presents lay unopened beneath it. I want to be out there fighting. Not sitting here waiting…why are Mum and I stuck here while the others fight the battle? It’s our battle too!
“I can’t take it!” Her mum’s voice shattered Ginny’s thoughts. She turned her head to see Molly standing by the fireplace, tears pooling in her eyes.
“Mum…” Ginny sighed, rising from her chair. A sharp pain shot through her leg. That’s why they wouldn’t let you come , her head told her.
“Your leg?” Molly was asking, interrupting Ginny’s thoughts again.
Ginny nodded. Her leg had hurt since the battle a few weeks ago. No one knew what spell had hit her. That’s why she was sitting at home and not fighting. Her mother, she knew, was there to protect her. “Sorry, Mum…” she began. “You’re stuck here…”
Molly whirled on her daughter. “Don’t be! Don’t be sorry! At least I know one of my babies is at home, safe and sound…” she trailed off, sobbing.
Ginny limped across the room and wrapped her arms around the trembling woman. “It’s okay, Mum. They’re all going to be fine.”
If only she knew that were true.
What if they didn’t come back?
What if Volemort won?
All would be lost….
”They’ll be fine,” she said aloud, attempting to dispel her dark thoughts.
Molly raised her head from her daughter’s shoulder. “I wish I had your
faith,” she said.
Ginny pulled away and moved to stand by the Christmas tree. I don’t have it either, Mum. Not really.
“It’s all I’ve got,” she said instead, her voice dull. “Agonizing won’t bring them back any sooner.”
Or at all…
Molly sank into a chair at the table, her head resting in her hands.
Ginny blinked back a sudden rush of tears as she looked at her mother’s pain. Sighing, she limped to the window and looked out at the snowy yard.
“It’s Christmas Eve,” she said aloud. She’d forgotten until just now.
“Yes,” Molly said, not raising her head. Ginny heaved another sigh and turned her attention back to the window, leaning her head against the icy glass.
Christmas Eve. They should be together. They should be singing Christmas carols, eating the gobs of food Mum prepared. Ron should be beating Harry at Wizard’s Chess, with Hermione and Ginny egging them on. She could almost hear her mother’s voice singing the old Muggle carol she loved…
Silent Night, Holy Night! All is calm, all is bright!
But instead, the others were all out fighting the battle to end it all. The battle that would change everything…one way or another.
Ginny sighed yet again and raked her fingers through her thick, red hair.
A prickle shot up the back of her neck.
She whirled around but kept her eyes shut against seeing the device both women had studiously avoided looking at all evening.
Ginny opened her eyes.
Round yon Virgin, Mother and Child…
Christmas Eve…a night for miracles…
Her father’s hand had fallen off.
And Bill’s, too.
They lay forgotten in the bottom of the clock.
Ginny felt sick and cold. Her breath came in shallow gasps. Fighting the urge to vomit she walked to the clock and reached in the pick up the fallen hands. As her fingers brushed her father’s, another landed next to her wrist.
No miracle was coming…
Holy Infant so tender and mild!
She picked it up with trembling fingers and carried all three to the table.
“Mum…” she croaked.
Molly raised her head slowly at her daughter’s voice. Wordlessly, Ginny held out the fallen hands.
“Mum…” she repeated, her voice pleading.
Her mother took the hands and cradled them gently. Tears slid down her face. Ginny reached for her, but Molly pulled harshly away, nearly upsetting her chair.
Brushing the tears from her own eyes, Ginny turned her attention back to the wretched clock.
Charlie’s hand was missing now.
As she stared, frozen, Percy’s fell, too.
Sleep in heavenly peace…Sleep in heavenly peace.
The need to throw up was back, and Ginny grabbed the wastebasket and retched.
Pale and dizzy, she turned her attention back to the clock.
The newest hand that read “Fleur” was dislodging, falling to the bottom.
Molly’s sobs were filling the room. Ginny was only dully aware of the harsh, wracking sound.
Ron’s hand began to fall.
“No!” Ginny’s own voice surprised her as her shriek filled the room. She dove for the clock and caught Ron’s hand, trying to connect it back to the clock. She gathered the others, too, trying to hold them against the now nearly empty clock-face.
A miracle, please…a Christmas Eve miracle…
“No no no no no! Noooooooooooo!”
It was no use. Ginny fell to the floor.
Molly’s wails pierced the heavy silence that draped the Burrow.
“No,” Ginny repeated, her voice a whisper.
Time seemed to stop. There was no sound except the occasional hiccupping sob from Molly. Ginny just lay on the floor, shaking. It was her mother’s voice that finally broke the silence.
“Ginny,” she rasped.
Ginny raised her head. “What?”
Wordlessly, her mother pointed outside. Ginny struggled to her feet and gasped. They were coming. She grabbed her wand, but Molly blocked the door.
”No, Ginny! Hide! I’ll run outside and…and…”
It was useless. Two witches could not fight off Voldemort’s army. Ginny found herself reaching for the wastebasket again as the horror of their situation reached her. She felt her mother’s arms around her as she retched violently. Mum’s hands patting her back, stroking her hair, murmuring soothing sounds….
“Mummy,” she whimpered.
“Oh, my Ginny,” Molly said softly, cradling her daughter. “Go,” she said, kissing Ginny’s forehead. “Hide.”
Ginny stared. She could feel death pressing in. “Mum!”
Molly ran to the clock and broke off Ginny’s hand, shoving it at her daughter. “Hide! Let them think I’m alone.”
“Mum, come with me!” Ginny pleaded.
Silent Night, Holy Night…
“I can’t….I’m a member of the Order. We don’t hide. Now go! You’re injured, you’re underage. You’re my daughter! Go!”
Ginny clung to her mother’s arms. “I love you, Mum,” she choked.
Molly kissed her forehead desperately. “I love you, too, baby!”
With one last look at her mother, Ginny fled to the attic, locking herself in a closet. There she sat clutching her wand and the clock hand with her name. Her heart was pounding so loudly she was sure the Death Eaters downstairs could hear it. Tears poured down her cheeks.
At the sight…
She could hear crashing and yelling. A scream.
She could picture the last clock hand falling….falling….
Feet were pounding up the stairs.
Glories stream from Heaven afar…Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
They were coming for her.
Think…Think! her mind screamed.
She’d had apparition lessons…but no license.
Who cares about the damn license now?
She shut her eyes tight but opened them quickly.
She could die….her family was gone…she was alone.
Christ the Savior is Born….Christ the Savior is born!
She was a Weasley. The last Weasley. And Weasleys didn’t give up without a fight.
She shut her eyes again and concentrated. Hogsmeade.
And she was there. But nothing prepared her for what she saw. Bodies. Hundreds of them. Only a few remained standing.
Silent Night, Holy Night!
But one of those figures…one of the few standing, living figures, ran to Ginny, hugging her tight.
“Ginny!” Hermione gasped, “Ginny!”
“They got everyone, Ginny….”
All is calm….
Ginny’s heart seemed to stop. “Harry?” she asked.
Hermione shook her head. She was covered in cuts and bruises. Her robes and hair were caked with dirt and blood. She was shaking.
The world seemed to stop turning. “V-v-voldemort?”
All is bright!
“He won…oh, Ginny, he won! It’s all over….” Hermione was sobbing now. Ginny felt separated from herself as she held her trembling, crying friend. None of it seemed real.
Round yon Virgin, Mother and Child…
As Hermione wailed, Ginny glanced around, looking at the few survivors. She only knew one.
He stood silent in the snow shaking from head to foot. Ginny managed to lead Hermione to him and held out her hand. The three of them held each other for a long time.
Holy Infant so tender and mild…
It was truly over.
All was lost.
They were doomed.
Christmas would bring them no miracles.
Happy Christmas, Ginny thought bitterly.
Sleep in Heavenly Peace…Sleep in Heavenly Peace!
A/N: Thanks for reading...I've never done anything remotely resembling a songfic before. And I know I repeated the first verse at the end instead of going on to the 3rd...did it for effect.
Thanks for reading and thanks again Pipperstorms for the challenge!