Paper Flowers

Notes: A sort of companion piece to 'Endings'. This is from Ginny's POV after the war, after she was driven insane. You could say that it is the G/D version of 'Fifira' if you wanted to. Don't own the characters.

It was odd, she thought vaguely, that things should be so...changeable.

She pushed the thought away immediately, of course. That thought was too close to Reality, too hurtful for her now; she didn't want to think about that. Reality, she thought vaguely, is some dismal place that she had used to live until she realized that it didn't matter, nothing mattered at all to her.

She had known people, in that odd place called Reality, and sometimes they were nice to her. Most of them, though, were highly boring people. Her brothers, she thought dreamily, she had had brothers, once, and they had been fun. They would have liked her world.

There were other people. Most of them were highly unpleasant, and somewhere in the back of her mind memories broke through her world, memories of lying on the floor, terrified, feeling herself violated as she stared at the dark ceilings with eyes wide open, the taste of blood in her mouth from biting her lip not to cry aloud, the searing pain that went through her along with the shame, the hate, the fear---

She stopped.

She had learned how to stop, over the years; how to make them go away. She had learned that if she had simply stopped thinking about it, that the pain would go away. She had thought about nothing, nothing that was Real, for a very long time now, nothing that she could help. She liked her own world much better.

Her world was not like Reality, that vague place they had dreamed up for her and told her to live in. Her world was happy; she would lie back in fields of flowers, feeling the breeze around her. It was somewhat like the real world--there was thrilling fear of utter blackness in the middle of the night that made her sleep sounder with him by her side, holding her and protecting her from the dark. There was a velvet-black sky at night with stars of all colors, so near she could reach out and touch them, and sometimes she did. In the daytime the sky was purple, purple the deepest shade of blue, with clouds so white and fluffy she would lie and watch them for hours. The flowers were always blooming; the roses never had thorns.

Things were colorful in her world, not like the gray in her half-life in that odd world of Reality. She didn't like Reality, she decided. Sometimes, when she was asleep in her world, she would find herself in Reality, unable to escape, locked in a narrow gray room with no windows, with no sunlight, with only a harsh flourescent light for light and no warmth at all. She would scream, sometimes, scream and try to claw her way out, yelling and screaming and banging on the door, screaming and sobbing for them to let her out, then when they wouldn't she got angry. She would yell at them in her language, cursing them for a thousand years, and still she was alone, until she clawed at herself, doing anything to get away from this place.

Reality wasn't real. Reality was a world full of pain, a world where memories haunted her, memories of rolling on the ground, unable to stop screaming as knives slashed every part of her heart, her skin, her soul, killing her and needles piercing her skin, where the person who loved her was a cold-hearted monster and she hated herself for loving him. Things were wrong, in Reality--too sharp, too clear, too dangerous and evil.

Besides, she didn't need Reality, for he existed in her world, too.

She remembered the last day she had ever spent in Reality, the day they had locked her up, even though she had not built her own world yet. She remembers that he had come into see her, and he was like he never had been before; he held her and kissed her and whispered her name over and over, telling her he loved her. She had whispered to him that day, telling him that she loved him forever, that she would always be there, that she would never leave him.

But she had. She had had to.

Because it wasn't real, you see, she had chanted to herself, over and over. He would never really do something like that--and that was something she could not face. So she built a world out of it.

It was divided into three worlds, for her; childhood, when she had been little and happy in something that could not be Reality, when she had lived in a castle held together by magic and worn dresses and been little, been loved, been Mummy's princess, and maybe had gone to school. Then there was Reality; Reality had set in somewhere during school, and taken hold fully after she graduated. Reality was a world full of pain and darkness and nothing for her, nothing but him whispering pretty nothings in her ear that meant nothing, things she had wanted to believe but could not believe, not after he had stood there, watching her roll on the ground, dying, doing nothing to stop it. She needed him and she had hated it.

She didn't hate anything, anymore.

In her world, there was nothing to hate, and it had been a relief, in that sort of happy effortless way that it was. He was in her world, the unreal him, the him that had held her and whispered things into her ear that meant things, who took care of her and protected her from the watching eyes and darkness, who was with her always. He would never leave her. She would never have to face the fact of him leaving, for he was always with her.

There were people that came to her, sometimes; people that came in the daytime, when the sun streaked through metal-grated windows outside her door, shining bright and false and all she had was flourescent lights. She would scream at them, screaming for them to get out. One came almost every day, and he would whisper that he loved her, calling her name over and over, Virginia, Virginia, Virginia, but she did not know him.

There was the Reality version of him--and deep in her heart she knew it was the real one and she hated it. The Reality him had been a Death Eater, had stood at Voldemort's side and killed her brother, leaving her best friend a widow. He had stood by Voldemort's side, motionless, while she had rolled on the floor in agony, screaming and screaming and screaming, while he had done nothing. She had lain on the floor, sobbing, afterwards, her body aching, and crawled to him, lying at his feet, a broken woman. Her hair had been spread out over his feet--her hair, that he had said he loved the most--and he had stepped back.

Her life ended that day.

She lay on the floor at his feet, sobbing, and she lay there until the sobs had gone. Her mind was blissfully blank, and she felt like she were lying on the surface of a great gray sea, tossing back and forth. Voldemort had ordered her to get up, and she had merely looked up at him, her eyes blank, unable to move. He had pointed his wand at her, then, and whispered nameless curses of pain, excruciating pain and agony ripping through the air, but it had not touched her. She had felt a tingling at her mind, and then it was gone.

That was the last of her humanity.

That was when they had taken her away, then, and locked herself in the cell, for Voldemort had feared her. It was then, then that he had come to her and held her, whispering to her, and she had loved him because of it, loved him and kissed him and he had held her and they had been happy, and it was Reality.

But it was impossible for Reality to be that alive.

Things have changed, now. The stranger barely comes back to visit her anymore, and she has a vague feeling that maybe he has been locked up too, but she doesn't care. Her hair grows long and curls around the edges, a fiery halo around her face, and her eyes are calm. She doesn't claw herself anymore, and her skin is white and pale and beautiful, except for the slightly paler scars that have almost faded. Her eyes are beautiful and brown and peaceful, but they are not quite there, because she is not quite there anymore.

She is happy, now; he is not in her world anymore and somehow that doesn't matter to her as much as it used to. She lives among her flowers, her silk flowers and paper petals, and watches the sky, and sometimes she sings. The darkness has faded, now, and all the nights are bright with jeweled stars. She watches them, and they are the same, heartbreakingly the same.

Once, she wondered if there are different stars.

But she kept on dreaming.

don't say I'm out of touch
with this rampant chaos, your reality
I know well what lies beyond my sleeping refuge
the nightmare I built my own world to escape

in my field of paper flowers
and candy clouds of lullaby
I lie inside myself for hours
and watch my purple sky fly over me...
-Evanescence, Imaginary