Ginny sat cross-legged in the window of the fourth year girls' dormitory. Outside, a huge, sparkling, and violently purple dragon soared around Gryffindor tower. She could hear cries of excitement and awe at her brothers' handiwork from the common room. She smiled to herself and turned back to the structure she was building from Ron's pack of Exploding Snap cards.
The dormitory was empty; as there were just two Gryffindor girls in their year, Ginny and Meghan shared the space with the fifth year girls. Parvati and Lavender, presumably, were off somewhere together. Hermione was with the boys, surely. Meghan….well, Ginny and Meghan had never managed to get on as friends. Perhaps it was because Meghan was terribly feminine. Or terribly rich. Or terribly terrible. Ginny frowned a little.
In their first year, Meghan O'Donnell had been a little too excited to be in the same house as the Harry Potter. Now she spent a great deal of her time telling anyone who would listen that Harry was a deranged lunatic and that Dumbledore was losing his grip.
The injustice of it all made Ginny exhale suddenly in disgust. She shook her hair back and stared at the card she flipped between her fingers. Poor Harry. Her Harry. At that thought she squeezed her eyes shut and felt her cheeks grow hot. How could she possibly even think of boys at a time like this? It was such an awful year, and all she wanted was for the fighting to stop. It was too much.
Ginny turned her head to look out of the window. First Harry and Cedric last June. The news about…You-Know-Who (she mentally kicked herself for not even being able to think his name). Leaving the Burrow, her home, even if it was just for the summer. Cramped in Grimmauld Place. That horrible snake, attacking Dad. Umbridge. She wrinkled her nose.
And Percy. Oh, Perce, what were you thinking? Ginny sighed. That fight, their last night in the Burrow. How could you have said such awful things to Dad?
Ginny always felt close to her brothers; all of them, even when they acted like great stupid gits. Bill was her constant. She trusted his judgment. Bill gave her a strong sense of leadership. She loved Charlie's adventurous spirit, and much of her childhood had been devoted to learning to fly just like he did. Charlie gave her a love for thrills. Fred and George gave her a willingness to get into trouble for the sake of others. Ron was her friend, more than anything else. They had always been together, and she had spent more sleepless nights crying when he had left for Hogwarts than she could count.
Percy, though, Percy was something special. He was always quiet, organized, reserved. He was reluctant to play the wild games the other boys did. He was always more happy with a book, and maybe, someone to read with. Once, when Ginny was very small, and the other boys didn't want her underfoot, she came running into the house in tears, begging to be told that she could play their games too. Before she could find Molly, though, Percy scooped her up. He dried her tears and gave her a cuddle before he pulled her into Molly's rocking chair and took up his book.
Ginny sat contentedly in his lap, thumb in her mouth, as Percy read her the stories of Beedle the Bard. The tiny enchanted paintings that decorated the margins of the pages fascinated her, and she reached a chubby hand out to touch the drawing of Babbitty Rabbitty fleeing the King's dogs. Percy had looked down at Ginny, smiled and kissed her soft hair before reading on. From then on, Ginny and Percy had had a special kind of bond. Stuffy and uptight as he could be, Ginny could always count on Percy to be there with a supportive talk. She couldn't remember him ever having a harsh word for any of his siblings, let alone his parents.
In her dormitory, Ginny felt her eyes sting with tears and gave a great sniff, drawing the back of her hand across her nose. Then she cleared her throat and returned her attention to her card house. She picked up the last card in the deck and held her breath, moving both cards carefully to the top of the pyramid. The last few moves were always a tug of war with the enchanted cards. But, when she rested them on the tip, they stayed up, illuminated by the fiery lights of electric blue Catherine wheels and green unicorns galloping above the castle. Ginny felt a second of relief before—
BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!
As two fireworks collided, a shower of silver-winged pigs shot in every direction, and one of the cards in the middle of her pyramid popped and hissed, setting off the others. One by one, the house of cards fluttered to pieces on the floor. Something about the sight of the smoking cards, lying pathetically before her made Ginny's eyes fill with tears again.
Angrily, Ginny shoved the entire deck off her perch in the window. She curled up in a ball and began to cry in earnest, feeling ashamed for not being as tough as everyone thought she was, for not wanting to fight anymore, mixed with misery over the state of her family. Living in constant danger was overwhelming; seeing her mother and father, her brothers, her friends, constantly fighting to both stay secretive and stay alive, was wearing her down, and she just couldn't always be the brave girl they all seemed to see in her.
"Ginny?" Hermione stood in the doorway, her hand on the knob.
Ginny sat up, quickly wiping away her tears. "Yeah?" she cursed her voice for cracking. Hermione heard it, and came hurrying over to the window seat. She put her arms around Ginny, who stiffened. Then, slowly, she let her tears come afresh, and pulled Hermione closer.
Ginny sobbed, shaking with little moans for almost twenty minutes before going quiet. When she stilled, Hermione loosened Ginny's grasp and held her at arm's length, her own eyes full of tears.
"Better?" Hermione asked.
"Do you want to talk about it?"
Ginny sighed and leaned back, wiping her face. Hermione fished a handkerchief out of her school robes and handed it to her. Drying her tears, Ginny said, "I'm just stressed out. The danger's not even in the open yet, and I'm sick of war. I miss my family, I miss Per—" she froze. Hermione said nothing. "I just, I love being here, because I've got you and Fred and George, and Ron and Harry, and the DA. But…there's so much going on out there, I can't stand to think about what could happen to Mum and Dad or the others." Her eyes filled with tears. "What if something happens to Percy? We might never find out—" She began to cry again.
Hermione was rather taken aback by Ginny's desolate attitude. She rarely lost control like this. "Come on, Gin," Hermione said. "You know that—that no one in the Order would—" she broke off, suddenly overcome with emotion. She was silent for a long while, tears pouring down her cheeks. She had nothing to say, because there was nothing she could think of to reassure Ginny, and they both knew it.
After a few more minutes, they both sat back and looked at each other. Ginny gave a watery giggle, and held out the tear-soaked hanky. Hermione laughed and took it to wipe her own eyes. There was a slight popping noise and Hermione jumped, yanking an Exploding Snap card from beneath her leg. She held it up, raising her eyebrows at Ginny.
"Oh," said Ginny. "Sorry. I was building a card house."
Hermione nodded and rolled her eyes. Ginny gazed down at the cards spilled on the floor. "Ever feel like one of those?" she nodded at the remains of the house of cards.
"One blow from caving in?"
"All the time."
Ginny looked up at Hermione, who was staring out at the fireworks, and for a brief moment she suspected that maybe, just maybe, Hermione wasn't talking about the war. Her thoughts were clearly somewhere in a set of too-small maroon pajamas in the boys' dormitory. Ginny smiled to herself. Maybe when this is all over, they'll figure it out. Idiots.
"But we've got to stay strong," Hermione said, with a small sigh. "It's hard, but we've got to, because we have a lot more to fight for than they do."
"Yeah," Ginny said. "We can do it, right?"
Hermione grinned. "Of course we can."
Hermione and Ginny jumped at a resounding explosion from a huge, glowing green toad that looked suspiciously like Professor Umbridge. Both girls laughed as the toad shot a long, pink tongue toward a glittering silver pixie, popped it in its mouth, and erupted into a rainbow explosion of lights that, for a moment, seemed to hang in the shape of an interlocking D and A.
"They're even brighter than the moon," Ginny said.
Hermione smiled. "After the hurricane comes a rainbow," she said sagely. She and Ginny each put an arm around the other and faced the big window. No matter how terrible as everything seemed, no matter how hopeless they felt, there was always a rainbow shower of sparks to surprise them, to make them laugh and gasp in awe.
For a moment, Ginny felt that Harry, and Hermione, and Ron, and her family and friends, were going to be all right. No matter what, there was always going to be another day to fight for love, light, and friendship.
This is for MidnightEmberMisery's Lyric Challenge 3
I had a lovely time writing it, and it's my first uploaded story here!
My prompt was Firework, by Katy Perry. Obviously the story takes place during Order of the Phoenix, when the twins set off their fireworks.
Also, obviously, I don't own my dear friends here. But if you want an old laptop and some quarters, you can sue me.
Thanks for reading. Review if you like!