Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot

Ginny stared out the kitchen window in Grimmauld Place. A few flakes of snow blew past the window, but they were sad, light things and certainly wouldn't stick for more than a few hours. Sighing she turned and sat down by the stove, crossing her legs Indian style. She pulled a lock out in front of her, and twisted it into a tight plait.

The kitchen was very dark and the firelight from the stove flickered across the walls. Her plait finally finished Ginny flicked it away with a fingernail. She stared into the fire for several moments, trying to ignore the pain bubbling up inside her. Her breath started to come in little spurts, shivering out of her throat. At last she out her face in her hands and sobbed loudly – tears streaming down her face.

She couldn't stop them, not even if she had had the will to try. Lord she hated this place – Boggarts in the attic, foul-mouthed portraits in the hall, and memories everywhere. Such a dark and horrible house, and they were all shut up in it for Christmas.

She had never cried for him before – well, that wasn't quite true. She had wept with Hermione when they heard on that dreadful morning in June – both of them holding hands and sobbing in shock. But it hadn't meant anything to her, not really. It was just a set of dreadful words; it was only when Ginny had come to Grimmauld Place, without its master, seen the haggard faces of Harry and Lupin and heard Mrs Black crowing in triumph that it had finally hit.

She would never see Sirius Black again. Ever. He was gone. Ginny would live a whole life, and Sirius would never gossip about Ron and Hermione with her; he would never try to convince her not to give up on Harry Potter (with rather more subtlety than Ron to be fair) or scheme to make said Harry Potter happy in spite of himself; or tease each other over piles of burning books or anything. He was just gone. And it wasn't fair.

He never did anything wrong – he stood by the Order all his life and all it got him was Azkaban and then a Killing Curse. Why were things like that allowed to happen? Where was the justice in that? Lord what was the point in even fighting if that was all it got you.

Of course Ginny knew that Sirius would never not have fought – any more than Harry or Ron would have. Or she would. But it was just all so unfair – all those ruined lives. And for what – for a chance to fight the same war all over again. She shook her head, feeling tears spill down her face quickly.

She was cold and slightly cramped from sitting on the floor – her eyes stung and she had a pounding headache, and yet still the tears poured down her face. She wasn't even sure why she was crying now – but she hadn't cried in so long, and somehow under it all she felt weirdly better. Wobbly and headachy and quite sadly fragile, but nonetheless, better.

"Be cheerful for Harry" her Mum had said, and Ginny was trying, oh she was really trying, but it was so hard sometimes when this house just made her want to cry. Still, she would lift her chin and paste a smile on her face – someone had to make him happy.

She snorted at her thoughts – that was healthy. Bury her pain so Harry could be cheerful (which didn't look like a strong possibility anyway), yeah that was a really good idea. Her gust of laughter turned into a sob after a moment, and Ginny felt the tears start again. Damn it all! Why couldn't she stop?

The door swung open, and Ron called for her. She didn't turn around – she didn't want him to know she had been crying. If he saw her face he'd know and then Harry would soon know and then her Mum would be disappointed that Harry had been reminded of it, though she wouldn't be angry at Ginny for feeling sad. It was all so horrible.

Unfortunately for her Ron wasn't alone, and someone, probably Hermione, must have pointed out that she was crying, because he sat down beside her, put an arm around her shoulders and said, "Oh Ginny."

She turned her head into his shoulder, and cried some more, the rough wool of his jumper scratching her eyes. Ron's arm was very strong, and Ginny felt a fresh surge of sobs come on as she thought about him – she loved Ron so much. She heard Harry's voice say, "Is she all right?" (Which was just typical of his usual understatement.) Hermione sat down beside her and took her hand.

Finally Ginny lifted her head up and looked at her brother, who smiled slightly and said, "What's up Ginny?"

"I'm sorry Ron…it's just…I hate this place…and I was thinking about…about…" Ginny ducked her head; she didn't want to say his name in front of Harry.

Ron squeezed her shoulder – "Spit it out." He said.

"I was thinking about…Sirius, and…everything…and it's just…it's not fair Ron. It's not fair!"

Hermione gasped, and Ginny continued, babbling now. "I'm sorry Harry, I didn't mean to mention him to you, I'm really sorry. It's just being here and…you know."

He managed to crack a smile at her, and handed her a tissue from the dresser. Ginny managed to smile at him watery, and then looked away – it was just too painful. Ron squeezed her shoulder again, "Come on Ginny" (saying her name with a hard G – more like guinea than Jinny.)

Hermione stared at them. "What?"

Ginny laughed, a little. "Ron couldn't pronounce my name when he was baby, so that was his name for me."

"He couldn't even say Ginny?"

Ron bristled at Hermione's tone and said, "Hey – Mum tried to teach me Ginevra first. You try saying that when you're only one and a half."


Ginny looked at Harry – "My full name. Try saying it three times fast."

He snorted and looked away. Ron grinned and said, "Come on, I need my favourite sister to help beat these two."

"I'm your only sister."


"You stupid arse. As if you need my help anyway."

"I am always grateful for your input Ginny."

"Does that mean you'll let me make any moves?"

"No. Moral support that's your job – I've told you and told you."

Ginny managed to swallow what was left of her tears, and joined them in siblings versus siblings (spiritually if not actually) chess match. Later that night she remembered Harry's face, alive and glowing, during the game. She cried a little as it struck her that that was what Sirius would have wanted; to see Harry happy. Well, he would be happy, if he could be – for Sirius Ginny would see it done.

Author's Note

The title comes from the song Auld Lang Syne, written by Robert Burns.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days of auld lang syne?
And days of auld lang syne, my dear,
And days of auld lang syne.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days of auld lang syne?

We twa hae run aboot the braes
And pu'd the gowans fine.
We've wandered mony a weary foot,
Sin' auld lang syne.
Sin' auld lang syne, my dear,
Sin' auld lang syne,
We've wandered mony a weary foot,
Sin' auld ang syne.

We twa hae sported i' the burn,
From morning sun till dine,
But seas between us braid hae roared
Sin' auld lang syne.

Sin' auld lang syne, my dear,
Sin' auld lang syne.
But seas between us braid hae roared
Sin' auld lang syne.

And ther's a hand, my trusty friend,
And gie's a hand o' thine;
We'll tak' a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak' a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.