Chapter 1 : Facing choices
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Disappointment comes in many shapes and sizes. Sometime it's small, like finding out you didn't get the job you wanted, and sometimes its huge, like having the man you love tell you that you're better off without him. Having him go off and fight a fight that would change the world, and leave you behind, scared, alone, and wallowing in disappointment.
He's been gone for a long time now. A couple of years. He left me, after telling me he needed to stay away from me for me to be safe.
And safe I am.
I'm living in a small town in the middle of nowhere, in a new country. I left England after my parents were killed. I didn't want to stay there anymore. I couldn't. No one knows where I am, as I didn't bother to tell anyone. I settled down and put away my wand pretending that I was no different. That I was no one. I forced myself to forget my life. Who I was. I couldn't live with the disappointment.I only had two reminders of my former life. The name I chose, Molly, and my scarf. My red and gold scarf.
And yet every day, I'm disappointed, mostly in myself. Every once in a while, like today, I take a walk. I walk and I remember what it was like to have family. I remember Ron, and the way he stuck with me. He was my closest brother, and friend. Fred and George, I miss them so much its hard to breathe when I think of them. Bill, my Bill. My confidant and protector. Charlie, the adventurer. I lived so vicariously through him. Percy, the prat… and yet he filled us out. He taught us so much, in his own way.
Mum, and dad… I loved them, oh god… I loved them so much. Oh god, oh god… I miss them so much. I'm so sorry… So, so sorry...
I stumbled along the quite road, the streetlights illuminating the desolate street. The houses were quiet, and the only sound I heard were my muffled sobs. I wrapped my scarf, tightly around my mouth, letting the soft material strain my crying.
I got back to my small, two room apartment that I was sharing with a close friend of mine, and fumbled for the keys. After letting myself in, I wearily went up the stairs, and opened my door. I leaned against the door, closing it with my body. After locking and deadbolting, I kicked off my boots, and closed my eyes. I felt my way along the narrow hall, the prospect of bed giving me the energy I needed to make it there. I fell, exhausted onto my bed, and was immediately asleep.
I groaned and shifted as a voice sang in my ear.
I opened my eyes, and the face of my friend Jordon swam into view.
"Wake up…" he sang annoyingly as he poked me softly.
I groaned, shoved him off my bed and turned over. The next thing I knew, his body was smothering mine.
"Up up! Rise and shine! Its time to go SHOPPING!!!" he yelled exuberantly as he jumped on my body.
Laughing, and finally awake, I playfully tickled his sides. Shrieking, he vaulted off my body and, to my chagrin, took all the sheets with him.
"You know, you're lucky I don't sleep naked." I commented, my voice still thick with sleep.
"Well, from the looks of you, I think we should buy you some PJ's." he commented. I was still fully dressed in jeans and a tee-shirt, my scarf wrapped around my neck. "Why the scarf darling. Its not winter yet. And the colors…" he sucked in a breath." Just say no."
I unwrapped the scarf from my neck. He grabbed it and studied it. I tried to get it from him, but he danced out of my reach.
"Ok, ok, not funny." I said lightly, not comfortable with the fact that he had it. This was not my life anymore, and I didn't want questions, or anything that might make anyone question.
"Honey, you need to throw this out!" He exclaimed, as he poked a finger through one of the many holes.
"Give it back."
"As your friend, confidant, and fashion consultant, I insist that you cannot have something so ratty in your wardrobe." He balled it up and started to walk away with it. "Come on, get up and we'll go buy you a new one."
I stood up, panic and anger flaring in me.
"Give. It. Back."
He turned and looked at me. Fear clouded his eyes for a second as he looked at me. I felt my unused power building in me, and it sparked from my fingertips.
"All right, all right, don’t get yourself all worked up…" he said uncertainly, as he handed the scarf back to me."I'll just wait out here till you're ready…"
He backed out of the room, and closed the door. I fell back onto the bed, clutching the scarf to my chest. After a minute of concentration, I pushed the magic down, not used to the feeling's they brought back. I got up, folded the scarf up neatly, and put it away in its hiding place in the back of my closet.
I ran to the bathroom, and took a quick shower and cleaned myself up. Feeling slightly more…muggle, I pushed back everything, hiding it behind a mask of my new life, and ran to the living area to convince Jordon to help me pick the perfect outfit for our shopping trip.
"And another day well spent." Jordon exclaimed as he fell into the plush chairs at Starbucks. "And by well spent, I mean spent. I don’t think I'll have any money for the next couple of months."
I laughed as I examined the mounds of shopping bags piled by his chair. I settled back into the soft material, and took a sip of my tea misto. A newspaper was sitting next to the chairs, and I picked it up, and started sifting through the pages. And then, it happened. I turned a page, into the world news, and there they were. Just like I remembered them. The golden trio. Stunned, I could only stare at the black and white photo, entranced by how good they looked. Ron was there, holding onto Hermione. They were both smiling so big, and they looked so happy. And there he was, standing out front all alone, like normal. He looked tired, but still amazing. I could remember the color of his eyes, and how beautiful they were. I looked down at the article, and read the story about how the British were celebrating a courageous young man and his two friends who had managed to bring down a notorious mass murderer.
"Molls, are you ok?" Jordon asked. I couldn't answer, I could only stare. Feelings rushed back to me. How he held me. How he kissed me. How Ron used to pick on me. George and Fred trying me to a chair. Bill teaching me how to play quidditch. Charlie showing me a baby dragon. Mom and I shopping. Dad tinkering with something muggle related.
Hogwarts. My friends. My family. Magic. The life I left behind.
I started to hyperventilate. I couldn't stop. I don’t remember Jordon grabbing me and lifting me up. I don’t remember the ride home. I couldn't let go of the paper. I couldn't think outside of the layers of memories flooding through me.
The next thing I knew, I was in our apartment, with Jordon forcing a cup of warm tea into my hands.
"Molly, please. What's wrong?" He whispered urgently.He stroked my hair, and I looked up and into his kind blue eyes. "Molly?"
"I can't tell you…I can't…" the tears came at this point, flooding down my cheeks. "Its too horrible, too bad. I can't…" and all of a sudden I began to sob. I couldn't hold back anymore. I cried. My heart was ripping with pain, and I couldn't stop. The cup I was holding fell from my hands, shattering on the hard floor, as I covered my face. Feelings I had put aside, not let out came pouring out of me. "I…I…"
"Shhh," Jordon soothed, stroking my hair. "It's ok. You don’t have to tell me."
My crying subsided slowly, and soon, I was just laying in his arms. I closed my eyes, just enjoying the rocking motion, and soon I was asleep.
I opened my eyes to Jordons sleeping face. I smiled and rolled onto my back. Staring at the ceiling, I started thinking. I had been through so much. There was so much to say, and I had no one to talk to. I wanted to go home. I wanted my family. I wanted… I wanted to return to the life I had before. I missed everything, and everyone.
I missed Harry.
Emotions rushed through me at the thought. I felt the power of my magic rush through me again, like my soul coming back to life. I reveled in the feeling for a moment, before I came to my senses. Gritting my teeth, I pushed the magic away, burying it under layers of emotions. No more magic. Never again. I couldn't. Not after what happened. No more.
Jordon stirred and opened his eyes. Yawning, he reached for me and gave me a hug.
"How are you doing this morning sweetie?"
I sighed. "Jordon, if I tell you something, will you keep it a secret for me?" He just smiled, fluffed up his pillow and looked at me.
"Alright…" I laughed. I had decided to tell him. Not everything, but some things. And with a deep breath, I began my story. I told him about my family, and my life. I left out magic though. No need to scare him. I told him about Harry, and how the "mass murderer" had killed his parents. How he swore revenge, and then left me and everyone behind while he went to hunt him down.
After a while, the flow of words came to a stop. I sat back and took a deep breath. Jordon looked stunned, a little shocked, and completely confused.
"So…" he began, confusion lacing his tone "You're telling me that you're in love with a hero?"
"I'm not… that wasn't…there's more…"I stuttered, completely baffled as to how he could have jumped to that conclusion.
"And your real name is Ginerva."
I looked into his eyes as he grabbed my hands, "Molls, what happened to your parents?"
Tears filled my eyes as memories filled me. The traitorous emotion spilled over my cheeks. "I… can't. I can't… I'm sorry…. I…" And I was choked by sobs again. Jordon sat up and wrapped his arms around me again, stroking my hair till my sobs subsided.
"Moll… sorry Ginerva…"
"Ginny, please." I interrupted I hiccuped.
He smiled. "Ginny. You need to go home. You can't live your life in fear and disappointment. Life is better then that. Life is more important then that. But more importantly, you deserve better then that."
"I can't. You don't understand how angry they will be."
"Then you face their anger, and you all work through it. You deserve a family Ginny. You are so amazing and so strong. I can't believe what you've been through, and what you've done to protect yourself. Now do yourself the biggest favor, and forgive yourself. Go home. Go see them. Go ask for forgiveness, and then live the life you were meant to live. Don't hide, don’t be anyone but yourself." He reached up and stroked my cheek. "Plus, it sounds like you're still in love."
I scoffed, but I knew he was right. I did love him still. Seeing his picture after so many years just made that conviction that much stronger. "I may love him, Jordon, but I'm sure after what I've done, he doesn’t love me."
"What's life without a little risk, honey. Just do it. Live. Be free from this. Go home."
Looking up into his eyes, I knew he was right. The time of hiding was over. I needed to face my fears, and my sorrows.
A few weeks later, I was ready to go. I was so nervous I could I didn't even hear Jordon's goodbyes, and promises to call whenever I could. The flight seemed to be over way to quickly, and soon I was standing at the doorway of the Leaky Cauldron, more tired then I'd ever been. Keeping my head down, I entered the bar. The magic hit me like a warm blanket, and the feel of it surrounded me, comforted me. I got my room key, and as I was walking towards the stairs, a familiar voice broke over me, making me gasp. I turned and saw Fred, standing by the bar, ordering some butterbeers. He was talking and laughing loudly. I melted into the shadows by the stairs, not ready to see him. Not ready to face him. He left the bar, heading into the alley, and I raced upstairs and locked myself in my room. I paced back and forth, scared and panicking. I called Jordon, and he talked to me till my fears were pushed behind my logic. Sitting on my bed, I fingered my wand, and soon, I stood up and determinedly started to practice dissapperating.
The Burrow was just like I remembered it.
Old, broken, and full of harsh memories. But also such great memories. I sat on the ground, staring up at my childhood home.
I sat there for a while, just thinking. The house had survived the war, but not without many scratches. Large chunks of it were different, like they had rebuilt it. The tree swing in the backyard was gone, but a new, small tree was growing in its place. The tree house was still there, and the lake was still shining. I wanted to go inside, and see if there was anyone there. See what changes were made on the inside. But I couldn't stand. I could just look. All of a sudden, three loud cracks came from by the front door. Tears sprang to my eyes, as I looked at my three old friends. Ron looked good, older but good. I couldn’t believe how much he had changed. He was no longer awkward and lanky. He was strong, muscled and lean. He walked with his back straight, and a smile on his face. He turned and I smiled as he linked his fingers with the tall, slim woman behind him. Hermione turned to the side, and I gasped at her swollen belly. She was pregnant, and from the looks of it, my brother was the lucky man. Tears slid down my face as I realized that I had missed their wedding. I wasn't there to give my brother support and love. And then, behind them both, laughing, was Harry. He looked so good, so strong. I couldn't tear my eyes away from him. I couldn't stop my brain from conjuring up old feelings and memories. Suddenly, I was scared. I didn't want to face him.
I stood up, and the movement attracted Harry's attention. As I turned on my heel, Harry's eyes met mine and I saw a look of disbelief fill Harry's features. And then I was gone.
Standing on the streets of Diagon Alley, I was again overcome by old feelings and memories. I knocked on the door on the back side of Weasly's Wizarding Wheezes that I knew lead up to the flat where my brothers lived, and took deep breaths to steady my nerves. Lights flickered on, and I heard feet pounding down the stairs. The door swung open, and there was my brother, George.
"Hi." I whispered.
Disbelief clouded his features, and he froze into place. "Gin???" he breathed. "Gin is that you? Oh my god GIN!!!" He flung his arms around me as I laughed relieved at his reaction, the butterflies in my stomach fluttering madly. "FRED!!! FRED!!!" he shouted picking me up off the ground and twirling me around. "We've been looking for you for so long! Where have you been? Why did you leave? What the hell happened???"
All of a sudden, another set of arms were flung around me, and Fred ripped me out of Georges arms. "GINNY! OH MY GOD GINNY!" Fred sobbed. He wrapped his arms around me, and sank to the ground with me on his lap. I felt the fear and confusion radiating from him and when George wrapped his arms around all of us, I began to cry. I missed them so much, their love and protection. Together we all cried on the streets of Diagon Alley.
After some more tears, we were all upstairs in Fred and Georges flat. After an overwhelming barrage of questions I couldn't seem to let myself answer, I begged off to bed, promising explanations in the morning. I went into my room, and sat down on the bed, overwhelmed. I heard Fred and George talking in the kitchen and their voices soothed my confusion. I was just starting to drift off when there was pounding on the back door. I jumped up, and pressed my ear to the door. I was hoping it wasn't who I thought it was.
"Is she here?" I heard him say. "Fred, IS SHE HERE??"
"Calm down mate, she's sleeping." I heard Fred say. "Give her some time."
"Time? TIME? She's been missing for four years, and you want me to give HER TIME?" I heard something crash, and I started to shake. Then I heard Ron coming up the stairs.
"Harry, are you here?" and behind that, Hermione's worried voice calling Harry's name as well.
"Harry!" Ron exclaimed as he came into the kitchen "Harry, calm down. I don't know what you saw, but it WASN'T HER!"
"Harry, be reasonable" I heard Hermione say.
Silence ensued from the kitchen, and I bit my lip in fear.
"Where is she?" Ron whispered.
"Sleeping." I heard Harry say in a flat voice.
"Sleeping." Ron went silent again. "Can I see her?"
"Ron, maybe we should let her sleep."
"Hermione, I haven't seen my baby sister in four years. Please. Please. I just want to see her."
"Promise you won't wake her. She looked really exhausted." I heard Fred say.
Their footsteps started to move towards my door, and I threw myself into bed. I couldn't face them yet. I was too tired, too scared. I had just calmed my breathing down when my door creaked open. I heard a sob come from the door, and then I could feel Ron standing by my bed. His hand brushed my hair, and it took all my strength not to jump up and hold him. But I knew Harry was there, and I didn't have the strength.
"God Ginny, what happened to you?" I heard Ron whisper, as his hand moved lightly on my head.
"Ron, lets go home. We'll talk to her in the morning." I heard Hermione say as she came up behind Ron. His hand left my hair, and they started to leave. "Harry, let's go."
"NO!" he whispered fiercely. " I can't… I can't leave." I heard the sadness in his voice, and my eyes flicked open. His hand was up, over his eyes, and I saw the light hit the wetness of tears on his cheeks. Ron and Hermione put their hands on his arm, and walked out of my room. I closed my eyes again, as Harry looked my way. He came up to the bed, and stood over me. I felt the lightest of touches on my cheek, and then he was gone, and the door closed, leaving me in darkness once again.
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