Author's Note: This is unbeta'd because I'm just hardcore like that.
Daddy's Little Girl
He's watched her. He's watched his little girl grow, watched her smile, watched her laugh and cry and hurt and scream and love. He's been broken-hearted at her frown, light-hearted at her grin, and sometimes he hated the ones she loved because she loved them and he wanted her to be eight years old forever.
Arthur always knew that' she would be a warrior. He knew, from the moment she was first came home and aimed her throw-up at Fred because he slipped her one of his jokes, that she would be good enough, strong enough, tough enough to take her brothers down a peg.
He watches her still. He watches her wake up in the morning, expressionless and tired, and stumble into the kitchen for food. He sees her go about her day with dull eyes, neither knowing nor caring how thin and unhealthy she is. Her nights are spent crying herself to sleep, where she is among fitful nightmares. She forces herself awake and the cycle starts again.
Is it possible to love and hate someone so much? He knows that she is missing the raven-haired boy, is in love with him, needs him just as he surely needs her; how can Arthur hate a boy that has caught his daughter's heart so tightly? Yet how can he love him, when he has reduced his fiery youngest to a shadow of her former self?
Then, one morning, he watches her wake from her dreams, her eyes fierce and lit and blazing. He watches her pack her things and take a deep breath and prepare to floo from the safety of their home into the wide, tumultuous, dangerous place that is the world. He waits for his chance, the only moment when he can stop her, can keep her home in his arms where he knows she'll be safe and alive.
Her eyes meet his, and he knows that it is the time to tell her to put the powder back in the pot beside the fireplace and go up to bed. He feels his heart burst with love for his little girl and does what any loving father would do.
He steps back and watches her leave.