The longer he looks at her the more he realizes that she is the most beautiful thing he has ever seen. She is so small, fragile and fair. She shines like a beacon – gleaming innocence – the personification of everything good in the world, of everything that is worthy to be protected.
Porcelain skin, doll face, puppy eyes looking up to him like he saved the world today. Gleaming, shining, he just can't take his eyes of her. He rolls her name off his tongue over and over again - a name so familiar, as he spoke it a thousand times before: at breakfast: "Could you give me the butter, Ginny?", in Winter: "It's rather cold today, isn't it, Ginny?", on Christmas mornings: "Why don't you open your presents, Ginny?", but he never spoke it like he does now. Five letter, soft and warm, just like her.
He wakes up at night after dreaming of her face, her eyes, her hands, dreaming of ink stains on her robes and barrettes in her red hair.... He loves her hair, his own (as similar it is in colour) isn't like that - shining and soft. He wishes he could run his hands through it, but he cannot, not like he wants to. Brotherly gestures can only go so far and so he embarrasses her by ruffling it after her first Transfiguration lesson just to feel that golden warmth again.
There are kisses on the cheek when he kisses her good night; he has to look after his baby sister after all and nobody will ever suspect anything. The nightly ritual is reassuring, she is real, she is with him and for a second when his mouth touches her skin, he can believe that things are different.
Sometimes he wonders if she knows - she can't be that oblivious, can she? Sometimes he wakes up from dreams of pointing fingers, whispers and spit on his face. He hopes she will never know, but in the darkest corners of his soul he wishes that she already does.
One day he stands besides her and then runs way, he just looked at her, her slightly pouty mouth, her rosy cheeks, her smile, her teeth and suddenly he can't stand the thought of being close to her ever again.
His own thoughts terrify him; she is so young and he doesn't know how to escape his own fantasies and desires. He tries to stay away, but then she is standing at his door, crying over diaries and Toms and Harrys and he doesn't understand, he just looks at hands stained with ink and her tear-streaked face and suddenly he knows that he loves her.
Not because she can pout like there is no tomorrow, not because of her soft hair and her pale beauty, not because he can't stand looking at the sundown without thinking about her, he loves her just because.
Disclaimer: These characters are not mine, they belong to Warner Brothers and J.K.R.