Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.

A/N: This was originally a songfic (and it still is on Fictionalley.) I don't know if it's better this way or not, but I do think it works without the lyrics. The song, if you want to know or make the connection, is the Dixie Chicks' "A Home"

Ignoring Whispers

I'm sorry. I say it out loud, but she's not even here. And that's my fault.

Nobody understood why I was with Luna. I didn't even really understand it myself. We started as friends. I didn't even realize that I could have feelings like that about another girl.

This is one of my favorite stories. One time, Terry Boot came up to us in a hallway and told us it wasn't natural for two girls to be involved romantically. I blushed bright red but Luna just looked him in the eye and said, "We are both human beings. If we do something, isn't that, by definition, 'natural?'" Terry sputtered something about Loony Luna as he walked away. Then she turned to me and whispered, "You are a human being, right?" I laughed and kissed her right there in the hallway. Suddenly I didn't care who knew.

But in the end I did care. Some people, like Terry, had problems with the whole homosexuality thing, but there were other reasons people objected. Ron… Well, I suppose Ron would have objected to anyone I wanted to date, male or female. He still saw me as his little sister who needed protecting. Hermione didn't care at all that I was with another girl; it was the girl I chose that she had a problem with. "Honestly, Ginny, Luna is so… so flighty. I don't even understand how you can hold a conversation with her." Harry was the most supportive. He actually was the opposite of Ron; he was happy with me dating anyone. It eliminated the awkwardness of the crush I'd had on him my first couple years at Hogwarts. Looking back, I guess Hermione was the one person who was most influential in the break-up, if I had to name one person. However the whispers and disapproving glances definitely factored in too.

Luna never seemed to notice the whispers or glances. And she never cared who knew. She was the one… Actually, I guess I should explain how this happened first.

To be honest, I'm not sure when I started to have feelings for her. I was dating Dean Thomas at the time. Dean was a nice guy, but talking to Luna one day I realized he wasn't what I wanted. The idea came out of nowhere; I didn't even know what I did want at the time. I just knew Dean wasn't it, but I stayed with him for another month after that. I had a dream about Luna, not an erotic dream, just a dream. I still wasn't admitting my feelings to myself, but I broke up with Dean the next day. He was clearly upset, but said the upside was that maybe Ron would start talking to him again.

After that, every time I saw Luna I felt an increasingly stronger desire to kiss her. Somehow I still wasn't sure what that meant. I knew that homosexuality existed, but I'd never thought of it as a possibility for me. It just didn't occur to me, even with the desire to snog Luna.

One day, toward the end of May in our fifth year, without even realizing what I was doing, I gave in to the desire. We were in the library, supposedly studying for our impending O.W.L.s. In reality, Luna was being her usual airy self, telling me about one of her father's outlandish conspiracy theories, and I just kissed her. I pulled away quickly and covered my mouth. I was shocked by my actions, but Luna just smiled. I didn't know what to do and finally I said, "I don't know what I was thinking." Then Luna kissed me. When it was over, I cleared my throat and told her that we needed to get back to studying. I was unable to concentrate, and after a half hour I told her that I was going back to my common room. I hurried away before any more kissing could happen.

I thought it was implicit that we would keep the whole kissing incident secret. I'd never heard of another homosexual couple at Hogwarts and figured it would be best to stay in the closet. Apparently the thought hadn't occurred to Luna. The next day at breakfast, a mere eighteen hours after our first kiss, she came up to the Gryffindor table and Harry asked her what she wanted. I suppose he had assumed she was there to see him for some reason. Luna smiled and said, "Why I'm here to see my girlfriend. Ginny," she added at the sight of Harry's confused expression. Ron choked on his toast. I saw Dean and Seamus, who were sitting a few seats down and across from me, exchange a look, and Dean shrugged.

Hermione was the first to speak. "When you say girlfriend, you mean…"

"I mean that Ginny and I are involved in a relationship." I was a little amazed at how serious she'd made it sound considering that we had only shared two kisses. However I quickly realized that somewhere deep beneath the embarrassment I was very pleased to know that I was in a relationship with Luna.

It was a few days later that the Terry Boot incident occurred. He was probably speaking on behalf or Michael Corner. Michael was my other ex-boyfriend, from nearly a year before. For some reason he was very displeased by my relationship with Luna. Dean, on the other hand, couldn't have been more thrilled when he found out. Always a "glass is half full" kind of guy, he realized that meant that our break-up was not a reflection on him personally; I was just into girls.

Unfortunately for Dean's ego, I'm also into boys. I know I am. When I was with Michael and Dean, I wasn't faking anything; I really enjoyed our relationships. Well, up until the ends anyway. Of course, it was different with Luna, and not just for the obvious reason. Luna pulled me into a much deeper relationship than I had ever known with either of those boys. Maybe it was because we were getting older, but I don't think that's why. I think Luna was just more capable of understanding love on that profound level. In fact, I think she was incapable of understanding the shallow dramas of most teenage relationships. She didn't play games; she didn't even know there were games. I don't know, maybe it scared me how honest and raw the emotions were. In the entire two years we were together, the intensity of her love never faded. It was scary, wonderful, but scary.

So now I'm sitting here alone in my flat, wondering where Luna is. I broke up with her. After everything that we had been through, I broke up with her just when the light had started to shine at the end of the tunnel.

There was a war, and we survived it together. A lot of people didn't. Dean didn't survive. Bill has been lying in St. Mungo's for over a year, and I've lost all hope that he'll ever recover. There are many other casualties I could list, but I don't want to think about the war right now. Anyway, after that, in a time when all the dying was supposed to be over, Luna's father was killed in some kind of potions mishap. It happened right after we got back from Christmas holiday in our seventh year. I helped her to make the arrangements for the funeral and for her future. She decided to take over at The Quibbler as soon as she finished school and I helped her arrange that too. Actually, that's probably where she is right now, at the Quibbler office. We faced so many crises that could have either torn us apart or cemented our love all that more firmly, and each one cemented it.

But I could never forget or ignore the whispers and taunts. In my sixth year, Draco Malfoy's father died. (That's one casualty I don't mind thinking about.) From that point on, Malfoy was more unbearable that usual, especially after Ron and Hermione went public with their relationship. He took time out of his busy schedule of tormenting Harry, Ron, and Hermione to tell Luna and me how disgraceful it was for two pureblood girls to waste their bloodlines on each other. I guess in his eyes all pureblood women are good for is producing more pureblood children. At first, I was a little flattered that he considered me enough of a threat, or at least a nuisance, to take a break from the golden trio. That was until he said, "You know, Ginny, I didn't think it would be possible to disgrace the Weasley family any more than your mudblood-loving father and brother, but you found a way." He was right. My parents are good people, but Mum had a lot of difficulty with the idea of me being with another woman. I'm sure Dad did too; he just hid it better. After the attack that put Bill in the hospital, Mum started crying that she would never have grandchildren. It seemed ridiculous until she pointed out that Percy had been disowned, Bill would probably never wake up and I wouldn't be able to have children with Luna, not natural children anyway. She said it was only a matter of time before something incapacitated the other four children. Fred and George became so paranoid about this that for the next three months, neither one would leave the house without a protective charm and a muggle athletic cup.

So, in a way Malfoy was right. My parents were much more thrown by my relationship with Luna than Ron's with Hermione. (Although I doubt very many people were surprised by Ron and Hermione's relationship, even if they thought they were hiding it well.) No one we would associate with had any qualms about an inter-bloodstatus relationship. That did not turn out to be the case with homosexuality. So, I did bring more disgrace to the family than Ron. In fact, I think that Malfoy is secretly ecstatic that Hermione's first child will "taint" the Weasley name with muggleborn blood. You see? Everyone supported them. But I'm not bitter. Well, maybe just a little bit.

After a while, Ron got used to the idea of me dating and left it alone. Hermione, on the other hand, just kept picking at it. She's still my best friend and she did it in a way that only a best friend could get away with, the "I'm thinking of what's best for you" tactic. I do believe that she was only concerned with my best interests, but… Well, of course I believed it; I broke up with Luna. But even now, sitting here alone, I still think that Hermione was trying to help; even though she just screwed things up for me. That's probably why I'm bitter; she out there planning a perfect wedding and I'm in here alone.

So, I broke up with Luna at graduation. I told her it was time to turn a new chapter in my life. The night before I found myself hoping that she wouldn't cry, but really I wanted her to cry. That sounds selfish and stupid. I only saw her cry once, when her father died. Rationally, I knew that this wouldn't rank up there with his death, but still I wanted her to cry. She didn't. She just stood there with a placid look on her face and said that she understood, that she had enjoyed our time together and was sorry to see it end. There was no emotion at all. The only thing she did that showed she was at all upset by my words was lean in to kiss me on the cheek as she said good-bye. Halfway there she apparently thought it would be inappropriate, and instead she smiled at me and walked away. It turns out I was the one who cried. As soon as she was out of sight, I felt the tears welling up and I hurried to somewhere I could be alone.

I've only seen her once since then. She was walking into Gringotts. I don't think she saw me though. I hope she didn't see me, because that would mean that she ignored me. I tried to get over to her, but by the time I got through the crowd, she was already on her way to a vault. I just wanted to get the chance to tell her I'm sorry.

Luna, if you can hear me, I'm sorry and I'd really like to go back to the way things were. I promise I'll be stronger this time. I'll ignore the whispers. I'll tell Hermione that I love you and that… What's the point? She can't hear me.

END