The light streaming in from her window glints off the gold of the little fluttering ball in the corner. No, she corrects herself. The light glints off the snitch.
Golden snitch. Bludger. Quidditch. The words mean nothing to her any more. Even her own name, Ginny Weasley, doesn't feel like hers. She feels more like a Miranda. That's a name that matches her flaming red hair. Or perhaps a Veronica. She's always liked names that end in 'a'. Or at least, now she does. She doesn't remember anything from before the accident.
It happened almost a year ago now. The white coats tell her that she was going to an anniversary dinner with her husband, that she was hit by a dark curse and that there's no cure. They always tell her this with sad eyes and sombre voices as if it should mean something to her. It's as though they expect her to be upset about the memory loss.
But she doesn't see why she should miss something she doesn't remember.
She doesn't feel like she has no memory. Sometimes, when she's not thinking about the past, she feels almost normal. There's no brain damage - the white coats were careful to tell her this. If she wasn't locked up here in St Mungo's, she could live a normal life. But they won't let her out. She's tried, but they insist on keeping her just a little longer.
"For observation," they explain.
She thinks that there's something more. Something to do with the dark haired man who visits her sometimes. Every time, he tells her that he's Harry Potter, her husband.
"I know," she tells him irritably. "There's nothing wrong with my short-term memory."
Every time, he tries to take her hand, but she always moves it before his fingers can wrap around her own. She doesn't remember this man who purports to be her husband. It's not as though she doesn't believe him. It's just that she doesn't feel anything when she looks at him. He's attractive, there's no doubt about that, and then she thinks maybe, another time and place...
Of course, then she realises that before the accident, it was another time and place. They had a whole lifetime together before the accident.
Everybody tells her that they were so happy together, that they were the perfect couple, that she should try to make it work again, that it's possible for her to fall in love all over again with the love of her life. Sometimes, she wonders if it really is that easy. Perhaps if she tried, she could fall in love with Harry. But then she thinks that maybe, if it was really meant to be, she wouldn't need to try at all.
She knows she can't fall in love with anybody. Not now. Not while she's locked up in this room. There's no room for love within these whitewashed walls. "Let me out of here," she pleads with Harry.
He looks at her, his eyes unreadable. "It's not my choice. The doctors don't think that you're ready yet."
She thinks he's lying, but she doesn't know. She can't read him, not properly. She can't seem to even read her doctors. When they enter, all she sees are white coats and needles and the room closes in around her, until one of them lifts a wand and then she's wrapped in the warm embrace of a spell. "I'm fine."
She swivels around and stares at the wall.
"The last few times, you've forgotten who I was."
Lies. She knows they're lies. The last year's been printed indelibly in her mind. She remembers everybody she's seen since the accident. It's as though her mind's trying to compensate for the gaping hole in her past.
"Ginny..." There's a catch in Harry's voice. "Don't you think that if I could get you home, I'd jump at that chance? I've asked, so many times, but they say that it's getting worse."
"There's nothing wrong with my short term memory," she says icily as she turns and glares at him. Her heart pounds as she sees the pained look on his face. It's so raw, so obvious, that it really can't be real; she tells herself that.
"That's because you don't remember," Harry says helplessly.
His words haunt her long after he's left.
Is it true? Could she be deteriorating? But deep inside, she knows that he's lying to her. She doesn't know why, but she knows that he couldn't be telling the truth. She knows her own mind. She knows her own memory. She'd know if her memory was failing her.
Her memory's perfect.
A bright glint catches her eye, and she turns her head to see a small, fluttering ball in the corner of the room. She doesn't know what it's called, but she thinks it's beautiful, the way it glitters in the light that streams in from her window.