Disclaimer: I don't own the characters; they belong to the genius that is J K Rowling.
Written: 24/12/02
Feedback: paranoidkitten@yahoo.com

So what do you do when your hero's gone? Ginny didn't know. No one had ever told her what to do in situations like this. She couldn't be like Hermione and Ron, sobbing and sniffling and waking up in the middle of the night screaming from the nightmares, because they'd been there, they'd seen him be killed by Voldemort, and they had every right to grieve because they'd been his best friends and she - what was she? The girl he'd saved once, the girl he'd barely noticed, the girl who was his friend's little sister and nothing else, the girl who made a fool out of herself every time he was around.

And now he was gone forever and she didn't know what to do. She wanted to cry. She tried to cry, but it seemed too silly a thing to do over something so serious. She cried over things like being given out to by the teachers for not paying attention and when she couldn't find her wand. Trivial, meaningless things. She couldn't cry over him.

It was easier for the others. They'd meant something to him. They were important. They went to see Dumbledore and were asked in soft tones how they were getting on, reassured that if they needed to talk, he was always there. They turned to each other for comfort, always together now, never individuals.

Her mother had placed a hand on her shoulder at the funeral, held her, reassured her that everything was going to be okay, but when she saw Ginny's dry eyes, she believed that her daughter was stronger than she'd given her credit for, that she hadn't been affected as deeply as Ron or Hermione.

Everyone thought she was handling it just fine. She hadn't been that close to Harry, after all. Little Ginny Weasley was getting on with her life. She pretended to smile at her classmates, and she sat in class and tried to pay attention, and she tossed and turned at night and cast a spell to make the shadows under her eyes disappear every morning, and was quiet and almost-invisible like she'd always been.

She didn't eat much and she didn't talk much because she really didn't see the point of it all. She'd learned that no one wanted to hear anything she had to say, and she didn't feel like eating, ever. She wanted to stay in bed all the time, but she knew she couldn't, and anyway the noise in her head only got louder when she was on her own and had time to think, so instead she retreated to the library and read everything they had, only she could never remember any of it once she closed the book.

Sometimes Hermione and Ron would see her in there, and Hermione would smile at her and approve of her dedication to her studies, and Ron would grin at her and pat her head, and everything seemed completely normal, and they'd got on with their lives, so - why couldn't she?