Title: Do You Miss Him
Email: bananacosmicgirl at hotmail . com
Site: www . cosmicuniverse . net
LJ: bananacosmic . livejournal . com
Words: 1 520
Category: Angst, friendship
Characters: Ginny Weasley, Luna Lovegood
Spoilers: Book two
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.
Summary: After her ordeal in the Chamber of Secrets, Ginny is in the Infirmary. Someone unexpected keeps her company and asks her strange questions.
Author's notes: Inspired by a plotbunny by Twisted Biscuit on FictionAlley. Plotbunny can be found at the end of the story. Quite possibly my last Harry Potter fanfic (although one never knows what inspiration strikes, of course). Thanks to my lovely beta Anne for her help.
Do You Miss Him
She did not feel ill; she had not been hurt. There had been no injuries to her body, and nothing had been permanently damaged.
Yet Ginny Weasley had been confined to the Infirmary, lying still in a hospital bed, almost like those who had been petrified, though they had now been allowed to leave. For that, Ginny felt glad – one night had been far more than enough with the creepy, frozen forms of her classmates. Hermione had looked like a stuffed doll.
But even as they those who had been un-petrified left, visitors would not stop coming by. Harry had been there, looking the part of her battered saviour, his hair unkempt as always and his glasses on askew. He had asked her how she was, and she had replied quietly that she was fine. He had saved her, after all. Ron and the twins and Percy had been there. Her mother had come too, hugging and weeping and kissing her forehead.
"My darling, my baby," she had whispered in Ginny's ear, "it'll be all right now – it'll be okay. You don't have to be scared anymore."
Ginny sat there, and listened to her mother speak, only opening her mouth every now and then, nodding when appropriate. She knew her mum – she needed to talk, needed to touch, needed to make sure that all of Ginny was still there, with her, even after the horrid, dark things that had happened to her.
They had all told her that she was okay now, everything would be fine.
She thought of Harry again, because he never strayed far from her thoughts, especially not these days. Ginny remembered her blood running cold when he told her that he was going to die because of the basilisk venom – she had felt like she was going to die then. She would be responsible for his death – the Boy Who Lived, Harry Potter. He had survived—him, but would die because of her.
"Do you miss him?"
Ginny startled at the sudden question, coming softly from her right. She had not realised she was no longer alone.
The rest of the Infirmary had become oddly vacant, not even Madame Pomfrey trotting about, checking her cupboards or smoothing the linens of the beds. Darkness had fallen beyond the windows of the Hospital Wing, and Ginny could make out stars if she only looked. She did not. Beside her sat the strangest of her classmates: the Ravenclaw girl – Loony—Luna Lovegood, right?
"What are you talking about?" Ginny asked. "Of course I don't – he's a horrible murderer – he's Voldemort!"
Luna, with her long, blonde hair falling down her back, and her eyes seeming to focus on a point just beyond Ginny, cocked her head slightly to the side.
"But you must have talked to him," she said. "Didn't you?"
Ginny stared at her. "I was possessed."
Luna did not hear, or at least pretended not to hear, Ginny's rather hostile tone. Ginny wondered what the girl was doing there – they had never spoken before, and they were not in the same house. Besides, she was strange. Like, really, really weird.
"I think I'd have liked to talk to him," Luna said, in that almost cooing voice of hers. "A secret of my own – and someone who'd listen. Did you tell him everything?"
Ginny crossed her arms over her chest. "I don't know what you're talking about."
"I'd have asked him about the Nargles," said Luna. "He's powerful, he must know something. It'd have been exciting, having a friend like that."
"He almost made me kill people!" Ginny hissed angrily, getting fed up with Luna's crazy talk. She did not miss Tom Riddle – how could anyone miss a nasty, horrible dark Wizard such as him? He had almost made her kill Harry's best friend, and then the Basilisk had almost killed Harry—
She pushed the thoughts of guilt away. They ripped at her heart and her mind, tearing holes. She should never have opened the stupid diary – her mother had taught her better than that. Beware of things that talk that shouldn't, she had said to Ginny, ever since the twins made Ron's teddy bear talk and tell him to go up on the roof and try to fly.
Ginny had not heeded her mother's warning, and she had paid the price. Worse, others had paid the price.
"Wasn't he charming?" Luna asked.
Ginny wanted to slap herself for the word that escaped her before she could stop it. A lump in her throat throbbed dully. He had been charming, all the way to the end in the Chamber of Secrets. Only when she had fallen down, dying, had he turned and become the monster of Voldemort.
She felt much older than eleven years.
"What did he say?"
Luna could have sounded like one of those gossip hungry girls when she asked, but she did not – she sounded slightly off, as always, with interest and distance mingling all at once in her voice.
And Ginny, for some reason, replied. Her voice travelled softly through the Infirmary.
"He—he listened. When I felt lonely, he would be there. He said—that I was beautiful and smart, and that the others were just—missing out. He made me feel less—alone."
Ginny studied her hands, shame rising in her. She had confided in Voldemort when she had been alone, never even thinking that it might be a bad person at all. It had simply been—someone. Someone who would listen to her when she talked – wrote – about her crush on Harry, or about failed tests, or the awfulness of Professor Snape.
Tom had been her friend.
The thought made her want to cry. The first best friend she had ever truly had was a mass murderer who thought Muggleborns and Muggles should be eradicated from the face of Earth and, more specifically, removed from Hogwarts by any means possible.
But he had been. He had been a good friend, her best friend. And that conflict was slowly driving her mad. Would she turn out like him? Was she insane too, a murderer and a horrid person?
"It seems nice," Luna said. "I'd have liked to have a friend."
Ginny's thoughts came to a halt. She looked at Luna, although the strange girl did not seem to notice. She wore strawberry earrings, and she had a thick necklace with a thousand trinkets on it around her neck. Her robes were regular school robes, well fitted, but they still looked—odd, perhaps because the whole girl made for such an odd impression.
Others made fun of Luna. Even Ginny thought of her as 'Loony Lovegood', and very few people ever talked to her. Those who did only teased her, and hid her things and made fun of the way she spoke or dressed.
Luna had just said she would have liked having a friend. Not a best friend, not another friend, but a friend.
Alone together, Ginny thought. Perhaps she was not the only one who would have answered Riddle's writings without thinking much of it. Perhaps it had not been all her fault, perhaps, maybe, Riddle had used her, even though it had not felt like it at the time.
"It was nice," Ginny said thickly. "It was really nice."
Would she ever be able to trust again? If she should not have trusted someone as lovely as Tom, then how would she ever be able to believe in her own ability?
She cried quietly then, tears of regret and shame and anger slowly making their way down her cheeks. She wished he had been anyone but the one he had turned out to be – she wanted him back as a friend. She had liked having someone to talk to, she had liked having someone listen. She had liked him.
And she wanted to scream at him, kick him, hurt him for the way he had hurt her. Her heart felt as though it was about to break.
The two girls sat in silence, and Ginny suddenly realised that no one else would ever ask her the questions Luna had just asked. Harry would forever be her saviour, rushing in to save the day, but he would never, ever ask her if she missed Tom Riddle. It would be completely incomprehensible to him.
Her family would never ask either, choosing to continue to try to shield her from the world outside, even after she had felt the worst evil currently in it. She had felt his essence, his thoughts and dreams, course through her blood; she had acted out his wishes. She had told him everything – and no one but Luna would ever know that.
"If you'd like," Ginny said quietly, "I'd like to be your friend."
Luna looked up, her eyes for once straight upon Ginny, and she blinked slowly, the sides of her mouth turning slightly up.
"I suppose that could be a way to go," she said.
Ginny smiled through her tears. Perhaps not only pain and suffering would come in the wake of the diary.
Challenge by twisted biscuit:
45. Ginny was lying in the Hospital Wing after her possession by Tom Riddle when a strange girl started talking to her. Not just talking, like other people talked, but asking her strange, rude and deeply personal questions about her ordeal. Asking her things like "Do you miss him?" which no one else had asked before. Naturally, this girl is Luna Lovegood.