Chapter 1 : In Absentia
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Besides, if you’re not one of the lucky few who get to spend the day slobbering on your significant other (much like my brother Ron did with his girlfriend Lavender years ago – ugh) then it’s the day of the single person sitting forlornly by a cold Floo gate, eating their weight in chocolate, contemplating a future with four cats and six domestic ghouls for company. You can see why this day is unappealing to me.
Well, I suppose I liked the idea of it when I was little and naïve – candy hearts and poems and all that attention for me, well, it did sound nice. But that was before Fred and George convinced me to write a singing valentine for my crush, who was no less than the famous Harry Potter. A singing dwarf read the thing to a whole corridor of students, and Harry hated it.
I was so mortified, I decided on the spot that I loathed Valentine’s Day. My good opinion once lost is lost forever*, and thanks to my meddlesome brothers, Valentine’s Day lost my once high regard. I spent the remainder of that day in my room, hating that Valentine-singing dwarf, eating my weight in Chocolate Frogs, and then searching fruitlessly for my lost diary that had actually been possessing me for most of the year. All in all, not one of my better days.
Looking back on that one, it’s rather funny now.
Unfortunately, everyone was miserable on that day five years later, and there was nothing funny about it. Both Hogwarts and the entire Ministry of Magic were in the hands of Voldemort and the Death Eaters, so most people were too scared to display affection at Hogwarts. We couldn’t all be the perfect pureblood couples the Ministry (and by that I mean the Death Eaters controlling the Ministry) approved of. I suppose Malfoy and Pansy were enjoying it, maybe – the pureblood kids who had nothing to worry about.
I remember sitting on the floor in the middle of the Gryffindor common room that Valentine’s Day, devouring my way through a large box of Chocolate Cauldrons with Parvati Patil, Romilda Vane, and a third-year girl named Portia. Parvati cried a lot. The four of us had nothing in common – I didn’t even like Romilda – but it didn’t take much to bring people together in those days. On the day you were supposed to spend with the person you loved, none of us could do that for various reasons, so we spent it with each other.
Harry was away from Hogwarts, fighting a war. He had broken up with me over the summer in order to protect me while he went looking look for Voldemort, because that’s what was fair to me, he’d said. I didn’t want to hear it, but I wasn’t surprised by it. And then I heard nothing from him, or about him, for months. I was fairly sure he was still alive, or else I’d have heard something. In the Daily Prophet, perhaps, or from one of the Carrows eagerly starting class with news to crush our sprits.
This all sounds incredibly pessimistic of me. Of course there were times since then that I had a lovely Valentine’s Day with Harry; we were married for many happy years. But I still remember those sad, emotional occasions because they stood out. Somewhere, in the back of my mind, those days defined Valentine’s Day for me in my youth. And those are the ones I think about now, the first one we’ve spent apart in decades.
Valentine’s Day for Harry and me was usually a day like any other, and it was happy. We generally didn’t do anything special, because I hated the ceremony of it all. But Harry was always much more of a romantic than I, so he went through a phase of a few years when he’d surprise me on Valentine’s Day with a candlelit dinner, rose petals, handwritten sonnets (those weren’t much better than mine at Hogwarts, but at the very least they were better than Celestina Warbeck’s love ballads). He always tried, whereas I was the dumb arse who once forgot our anniversary. In my defence, it was one time, after I’d just played in a Harpies game that lasted two days – I was tired.
And there’s now.
If we were both still alive, together, maybe he’d make some comment about how we’ve been in love all these years, these decades. I’d tease him for being soppy. He’d remind me of that song I wrote about him when I was eleven. I’d remind him how red his face was when he heard it.
That won’t happen ever again, now. But I don’t feel sad; I can’t feel much of anything anymore.
Since I have nothing else to do, I wonder. Maybe I should have told him more often that I loved him. Obviously, he knew – I’m not entirely romantically-challenged (it’s a trait that runs in the Weasley family though). I told him sometimes, often, but not enough. I hope he remembers those times today. Harry told me several times a day that he loved me.
Well, they always say that about dead people, that you wish you had told them you loved them before they died. But dead people feel the same way about the living.
Our life together wasn’t really cut short; I was just old. Harry is old too. Our children are getting old. I suppose even our grandchildren would consider themselves old as well, as the relatively young often do. But it was my time. I only wish I’d had the time for three more words.
So here I am, wishing, waiting, wondering. I don’t know where I am – in fact, I don’t think it’s a real place – but they don’t have Chocolate Cauldrons.
Well, somehow this ended up a lot more existential and odd than I originally intended! I started writing and then a few hours later it was finished, completely different, and surprised me. Anyway, tell me how I did with no dialogue? Did I do well at writing Ginny?
* The quote “My good opinion once lost is lost forever” is from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
Many thanks to Courtneyd, LightLeviosa5443, and celadon for the writing challenges!
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