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Chapter 1 : The Thing With Feathers
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Disclaimer: All that you recognize within the story belongs to JKR, and the poem is by Emily Dickinson (the title, as well as the last sentence, are inspired by the poem).
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
The Thing With Feathers
The sun shone brightly onto the lake’s surface. Ginny Weasley felt tears sting her eyes as she stared absentmindedly into the brilliant reflection that lay atop the water. She blinked several times and looked away.
Spring was fast approaching. The heat of the sun seemed warmer every day, and Ginny knew that soon she would no longer need the handmade cardigan that now rested, buttoned, over her collared school shirt. Even now she unbuttoned the first few buttons and enjoyed the warmth of the mid-Saturday sun as she leaned against a pine at the edge of the forest.
Ginny, from her perch against the tree, had not only a view of the Black Lake, but also a most stunning view of the castle. Though the inside walls of the castle were far different than any previous ruling of the school (save for perhaps the times when Salazar Slytherin himself ruled a fourth of the student body), the outer architecture was still breath-taking. She heard Harry’s voice in her mind, speaking as though he were very distant, home.
Then again, for all Ginny knew, Harry might be very distant. All she knew was that he, Ron, and Hermione were off doing dangerous things, and she herself had heard not a bit of news from any of them. It seemed that no one had.
Oftentimes, in the darkest hours, Ginny could not deny the ominous thoughts that entered her mind: what if one—or, God forbid, two or even all three—did not come home?
And then she would snap to her sense again. This was Harry, Ron, and Hermione—despite their ages, they were no amateurs when it came to defence. Ginny truly had a feeling, despite her mind’s playing tricks on her, that all three were alive and as well as could be permitted in whatever situations they might be in.
The wind picked up, sweeping across the lake with a chill as it brushed Weasley-red hair across Ginny’s lightly freckled face. The reflection of the sun scattered in the water’s now broken surface.
A war was coming. Ginny could feel it.
She resented herself for it, but she was almost glad to know that Harry would return. She had no doubt in his abilities to fight any dangers that faced the wizarding world. Known dangers—Death Eaters and Dementors—should be easily fought off by any of Dumbledore’s Army’s members, but Ginny had faith that Harry could fight even the unknown dangers if necessary. She had faith in Harry alone to duel He-Who-Must-Not—well, Voldemort; she only wished she did not have this feeling that it had to be Harry who fought him. She wished that there was someone else to rely on so that she could have Harry back for herself.
Ginny knew that as times grew more treacherous, she grew more selfish. But she would stand beside Harry as soon as he returned. Of that she was completely sure.
Ginny reminded herself of a pact that she, Neville Longbottom, and Luna Lovegood had made at the start of this school year. The three of them had sworn together not only to fight against the changes within the walls of Hogwarts but also to fight, with Harry, Ron, and Hermione, against the rapidly darkening changes outside of the castle.
Yes, Ginny reminded herself, Death Eaters had penetrated the once-safe walls of the school, but He-Who-Must-Not—that is to say, Voldemort—had not. As long as he was not in control of the school from within, the dark side was still struggling. Until Harry could get there, Ginny had temporary comfort in such facts.
A chirp came from her right. Ginny jumped—it had pulled her from her reverie quite suddenly. She narrowed her eyes, her hand automatically reaching for her wand that lay in her lap.
A small bird hopped on its measly legs from a shrub at the edge of the forest. The bird was about five metres away from Ginny, and she scooted carefully toward him.
As she got closer, Ginny noted how beautiful the bird was. He had a black head, while the feathers on the rest of his body were a vivid yellow. The bird’s appearance surprised Ginny; animals and creatures within the forest rarely came outside of the comfort of the trees these days. In fact, Ginny had spent many a Saturday with Neville and Luna wandering the forest until the sun began to set.
The bird continued to hop along, occasionally pecking at the ground, perhaps for something to eat. Ginny, feeling a bit sorry for the animal, reached into her school bag and pulled out a piece of toast she had grabbed at breakfast this morning. She pulled off a piece of crust and tossed it a few centimetres away from the bird. He hopped over to it and took it into his beak, eating it instantly. Ginny continued tossing crusts at the bird for quite some time.
The bird, after about six pieces of Ginny’s crust, spread his small wings and took flight toward the forest trees. Ginny watched wistfully as he flew off, wishing that she too had wings, only she knew that she would fly not into the forest, but to Harry—wherever unknown place he was.
She imagined flying to him, seeing him sleeping, maybe on a cot in some abandoned cabin he, Ron, and Hermione had happened across, and she imagined gliding through an open window and nestling in beside him as he slept. She’d take one of her own feathers and place it beside him before he woke, leaving him with a piece of her, a piece of hope.
She would leave with him hope, the thing with feathers.
A/N: Hope you enjoyed this. Just a drabble on Ginny during DH. Let me know what you think in a review, please. =)
Thanks for the read,
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