A/N: Written for Round I of Fire The Canon's November Fanfiction Tournaments.

This is completely in canon for the New Year NextGen (RP) * just throws that out there*

Enjoy.


You took a day to do it. The winter before the year you turned fourteen, you snuck up into one of the old rooms of the Burrow and shifted through the many piles of clothes and rubbish that laid cluttered about the floor. You looked under the bed and pushed an empty box aside. That was your room, the room you slept in over break those nights you wanted to spend with your grandparents, or maybe with just your many cousins you spent too much time with already. But they were your family and you couldn't love anything more.

You found your journal next. Your mother had bought it for you as a diary, but you called it a journal because diaries were where girls spilled the secrets they had of their crushes, their classes, their troubles, and you kept your life under lock and key there instead. You didn't write something so petty as the fact that you got pelted with ink in the halls because Peeves was bored. You laughed at things like that, not blush and run away.

You didn't write about the fact that you dropped your books in front of a handsome Slytherin boy and felt like the world had broken into shiny pieces - you never died of embarrassment. You wrote about the fact that you dropped your books in front of a handsome Slytherin boy and felt like you were walking on clouds, because he actually smiled at you.

The journal was your treasure, and you found your favourite quill and opened a bottle of ink.

You wrote down the names of every cousin you had.

Hugo. He helped you and smiled at you and always talked to you when you stopped him in the halls. He didn't push you away at the end of the day even though you could see the slight redness in his eyes and hear the tiredness in his voice. You didn't know that you would discover something more about him one year later and be completely fine with it.

Lucy. She whined and she cried and she was the perfect tease in your eyes. You teased her in that good-natured manner but you didn't realise it really did affect her on the inside. She spent too much time dissolved in the Muggle world. You stopped keeping count of all the books she read and their names - you hardly cared. But you didn't know there was more behind that little innocent-like exterior.

Victoire. She was gone, she'd graduated, and she'd left to go work in the Ministry at the Department of your dreams. Her voice was dull - you rolled her eyes at her at times. But she was much fun because she was always willing to follow you in your games.

Louis. He was less of a tease than than little Lucy, but you laughed at his stutters and giggled when girls walked up to him. You would watch from afar and you never felt uncomfortable at his awkwardness. You pointed your finger at him when the answer to a girl's question tumbled instead of rolled off his tongue. But you would hug him when she left and call her a bitch for him. But even you didn't realise he never cared when a girl walked away.

Dominique. She was a mystery better left unsolved in your eyes. She was a princess, she was a queen, she was the brightest star of Ravenclaw and you told everyone you didn't care. But your eyes narrowed and your heart burned when you heard someone mention who was thought to be the most beautiful girl in Hogwarts. You didn't know that you would cry yourself to sleep when she disappeared a year later.

Molly. She was the closest you ever came to having a second favourite cousin. She held you, she calmed you, and she dried your eyes and hugged you tight those rare times you broke down. She was the one who agreed to helping with homework only for you, because Molly was an internal wreck and for a short time only you managed to break her barrier.

Rose. She was a forest you never wanted to walk through. She hid things and said things you wish never reached your ears. Because you were her cousin and you loved her more than anything. But she pushed you away despite her obvious want and need for attention. You would give it to her, you wanted to give it to her and so did Hugo. But she pushed you away because she was a bubbling brew of confusion.

Fred. He was your brother. He was there for you and you knew he always would be. He was your best friend, your partner in crime. The one who held you and never let you go because you were his sister and he loved you too much to let you choke when you cried. He was the one who could make you laugh when your face was wet with tears. He was the one who stood by you with every prank you planned. But you didn't realise he would be forced to grow up oh so soon.

Albus. He was a cage you wished you never shook. He scared you, he angered you, and he made you cry because he acted the way he did but he made you laugh at the same time. Because you asked Aunt Ginny to show you photos and tell you stories about when he was little, stories you didn't know, and he made you cry because you knew he would never be the same again.

James. He made you laugh because you would watch him flirt and never fail, he made you smile because he was there to play along with you in a prank. But he made you grimace and he made you sick because watching him go through girl after girl after girl was almost sickening to you. But you didn't realise he had too many layers for you to even guess what was behind his wall.

Lily. She was your favourite cousin. She was your doll, the one you took care of and never abused because you knew she was fragile - you didn't want to break her. But you painted her face and curled her hair with the little magic you knew when you got your wand. You played sister with her, whether she liked it or not. Because she was your family and you loved her, but she was a dancer with fragile legs and stained shoes, she was a ghost fading more and more by the day. She had 'xs' running up her legs and arms. You never noticed the girl behind the broken mirror.

You wrote them words they would never see, because you loved them and you couldn't do that to them. The real Roxanne laid weaving words through pages because she didn't want to tell her cousins her feelings on the whole. But you felt like an outcast for being the only truly happy person in your family.

You took a day to do it. The winter before you turned fourteen and wrote your cousins' letters they would never receive. But you didn't know that soon you would have to grow up too.


A/N: I would like to note that DobbyLovesSocks (who is awesome, by the way) wrote a story based off of this. It's called "Because" and you all should seriously go and read it (if you haven't already) as it's beautiful.

Thanks for reading, and reviews are love.

~ Painted Lady