This was written for Round Three of Fanfiction Idol
It was a quiet night; other than the crickets and the soft whistling of the wind, the only sound to be heard was the tiptoes of one small redheaded girl. Ginny stopped suddenly, holding her breath, startled by what she decided must be the wind. Her hands were sweaty with nerves and the broom nearly slipped from her hand. Determining that she was far enough away from the Burrow, she set the old Cleansweep down.
The broom twitched feebly and Ginny sighed. This would be harder than she'd thought.
One end of the broom rose in the air and came crashing down.
Dismayed, Ginny collapsed onto the grass, hugging her knees. Had it taken Charlie this long to get the broom up? Fred and George? Bill? Had Percy taken this long to get his broom up? She was horrible at this; her brothers had been right…
"We just don't want our little sister getting hurt—"
"Girls can't fly—"
"You can learn when you get to Hogwarts, for now just watch the big kids fly—"
"Just go play with your dolls or something, Gin—"
"No," she whispered, "I'm going to fly."
She sat up, wiping away her tears, and glared at the broom determinedly. She would do this. Four years from now, when she went to Hogwarts, she would be the best bloody flyer in her year.
"Up." Finally, finally the broom rose shakily into her hand. Breathing hard, Ginny swung one leg over the broom.
The moment of truth.
Ginny had seen more than enough Quidditch matches to know what to do next.
Push up and fly.
Ginny remembered a few years ago, she was three maybe, lying beside Charlie on the grass near the Burrow, staring at the clouds.
"Chawee," she had asked, staring at the birds, "Wha's it like to fly?"
Her big brother had turned over on his side to face her, "It's the best feeling in the world, Gin. When you fly, you leave all your troubles, all your problems behind you. All that matters is you, the broom, and the sky."
Ginny stuck her thumb in her mouth, considering, "Is tha' how the birds feel?"
Smiling gently, Charlie gazed at the sky and the birds above them, "Yes, I imagine that's exactly how the birds feel."
Ginny pushed up and had a moment of panic as she realized that she was completely suspended from the earth.
So this was flying.
She crawled along slowly at first, only a foot or two above the ground until she realized that she wasn't falling, that this was easier than she'd thought. She went higher, faster, slowly increasing her speed at first but then began accelerating faster and faster. Higher and higher she flew, until she was well above the birch trees under which she had so often found refuge from the heat.
This is how the birds feel: elated, careless, and free, with all their tears and struggles left on the hard, cruel earth. Ginny was like a bird; she was free.
But sometimes birds forget to pay attention.
Ginny didn't know what it was that swooped in front of her, a hawk maybe, but she panicked and swerved and found the broom hurtling toward the ground. Ginny, terrified, let go.
Falling. Birds didn't fall.
Her brothers were right.
Ginny braced herself for the crash but instead felt a peculiar sensation, like landing on a huge stack of feather pillows, and found herself back on the ground.
Well that wasn't so bad.
Smirking, she dusted herself off. She would return tomorrow night.
If she hadn't been too busy checking the broom for damage and worrying about what her mother would think of the dirt on her pajamas, Ginny might have noticed a dark figure hiding behind the birch tree and chuckling to himself, "Not bad for a first timer, Gin. You really do fly like a little bird."