|femexchange_mod (femexchange_mod) wrote in fem_exchange,|
@ 2008-12-15 21:02:00
|Entry tags:||ginny/luna, pg|
Happy holidays, _afterism! (Ginny/Luna, PG)
Title: Altering Perceptions
Pairing(s): Ginny/Luna (mention of Dean/Ginny, unrequited Ginny/Harry and later unrequited Harry/Ginny, Harry/Cho and Ron/Hermione)
Summary: When Ginny is fourteen, she doesn't like Luna very much, but things change, as do people.
Warning(s): AU-ish. Ignores the epilogue and twists the canon timeline a bit.
When Ginny is fourteen, she doesn’t like Luna very much.
Luna has long, impossibly blond hair, amazing blue eyes, and carries herself with a Veela-like grace.
Ginny feels painfully ordinary and ever so clumsy in comparison.
Ginny has no curves to speak of, either. She’s tall and skinny, unlike pretty, petite Luna with her classic hourglass shape. No wonder Ron’s old trousers fit me so well, Ginny thinks bitterly. I might as well be a boy.
The worst of it, though, even more painful than her constant feelings of inadequacy, is that Harry likes Luna. He appreciates her company a lot more than he ought to, as far as Ginny is concerned.
Seething with jealousy, for her crush on Harry has only intensified over the years, Ginny watches them together; the boy she’s besotted with and the girl to whom she couldn’t even begin to measure up.
The two of them talk, a lot, and sometimes Luna holds Harry’s hand.
Ginny never catches them doing anything that might suggest a romantic involvement, though.
So either they’re being very discreet—or noble, in Harry’s case—or there really is only a platonic friendship between them.
Still, Ginny continues to watch, wait and listen, not only to Harry and Luna, but to the others, too.
Ron thinks Luna is quite weird; not quite right in the head, you know. By Ginny’s assessment, he may be a little bit frightened of her, even.
Hermione, on the other hand, clearly likes the girl, despite the fact that the two of them are obviously worlds apart when it comes to their way of thinking.
Luna herself is pretty candid about her life and family. She talks to Ginny quite often, chatting away happily every time she does, seemingly oblivious to the girl’s vast dislike of her.
It doesn’t take long for Ginny to learn an awful lot about Luna; how her mother died, what her father does for a living, and all those bizarre creatures she believes in… Most of them, Ginny suspects, are only make believe. Perhaps Luna’s dad made them up as a way of helping them both cope with his wife’s death.
Oddly enough, the more Ginny knows about Luna, the harder she finds it to think badly of the girl.
And maybe, just maybe, she was wrong about Luna’s interest in Harry as well.
One rainy Wednesday afternoon, when Ginny is fourteen-and-a-half, give or take a week or two, Colin Creevey barges into the Gryffindor Common Room, loudly announcing to all and sundry that Harry Potter is dating Cho Chang.
“They were snogging in the ballroom. She didn’t seem terribly happy about it, though.”
Frowning, Ginny wonders how she could have missed a development like that, and is then astonished to realise she no longer cares.
A stupid grin spreads across her face, and she never notices the confused look a concerned Hermione gives her.
By the time Ginny turns fifteen, Luna has become her best friend.
The two of them are as different as night and day when it comes to rather many things, and yet they get along amazingly well.
Ginny’s level-headedness helps keep Luna grounded, whereas Luna’s flights of fancy never fail to make Ginny smile when she’s in one of her maudlin, self-deprecating moods.
Some say Ginny hasn’t been the same since that terrible business with Tom Riddle, and they’re right.
She still has nightmares sometimes, and even though she’s quite carefree by nature, trust doesn’t come easily to her anymore.
Perhaps that’s why she clung to her infatuation with Harry Potter for so long; he was the only boy she could trust; or so she believed back then.
A month ago, Dean asked her out.
A week later, she said yes, mostly at Luna’s prompting.
Luna advised her to have some fun, to live a little, which may seem like a strange thing to say for someone so young, but despite her dreamy demeanour, Luna has always appeared older than her actual years. She also told Ginny: “If you keep hiding from the world, Tom Riddle will have won.”
In the end, that was the argument that stuck. Ginny decided she wouldn’t allow that bastard to get the upper hand.
Besides, Ginny likes Dean, too. Quite a bit. She isn’t going out with him just to make a point.
Dean is funny, smart and kind. He’s a sensitive boy as well. He likes art and music, and he’s always respectful towards her, never tries anything beyond a chaste kiss.
Ginny doesn’t actually fancy him, though. He doesn’t give her those butterflies in her belly like Harry used to. He’s just a pal, and some day soon, she’ll tell him as much, once she gets the impression that he might want to get serious; or as serious as anyone gets at his age.
Luna, meanwhile, doesn’t seem interested in boys. She spends most of the time she’s not studying or busy with her DA training, reading about those creatures her father is obsessed with. She writes long letters too, to penfriends with exotic names, who live in faraway places Ginny has never heard of.
One night, Ginny decides to ask Luna why she doesn’t have a boyfriend. “I’m sure you don’t have to be alone if you don’t want to be. I’ve seen the way some of the guys look at you.”
“Boys are… not for me, really,” Luna replies cryptically. “Not in this lifetime.”
Ginny frowns momentarily, but then shrugs. She’s used to her friend saying things that probably make perfect sense within the confines of her own head, but once spoken aloud, lose all coherent meaning.
When Ginny is almost sixteen, her relationship with Dean ends amicably, no hard feelings on either side, and to her astonishment, she soon finds herself at the receiving end of Harry Potter’s attentions.
A few years ago, she would have been flattered beyond words, over the moon with happiness even, but now…
Her discovery is almost annoying. It’s too little, too late, and she’d rather not, really, thanks very much, if it’s all the same to you.
One afternoon, after a shattering Quidditch victory for Gryffindor, he runs up to her with a strange smile on his face. He throws his arms around her and tightly pulls her to him, as though he has wanted to do so for a long time and automatically assumes she has, too.
Reacting quickly, Ginny turns her head to the left, causing his sloppy kiss to land on her cheek, not her lips as he intended.
She swiftly disentangles herself to find him looking embarrassed. His cheeks are blazing and he’s reluctant to meet her eye.
She’s about to say something—thank him for his enthusiasm, if not his way of expressing it—when she catches sight of another person.
Luna is standing in the doorway. Her smile is wide and her eyes sparkle with merriment. “Great game, Ginny,” she says and gives a thumbs up.
Ginny grins, and then, all of a sudden, out of nowhere the butterflies are back. She’s quite certain they have absolutely nothing to do with Harry Potter this time.
When Ginny is seventeen, the wizarding world is at war.
All around her, people—friends, family members and acquaintances—are doing their utmost, either behind the scenes or in one of the Ministry’s special task forces.
She, on the other hand, is stuck at the Burrow.
Her mum doesn’t want her to get involved. Nor do her brothers. They claim it’s too dangerous.
“You don’t want to get yourself killed, love.”
It would be an understatement to say the whole situation has her seething. She’s not a little girl any longer, and she’s certainly not helpless. Didn’t she give an adequate enough demonstration of her skills during those DA meetings, or was she only there for show? Were Harry and Ron afraid she might have kicked up a storm if they’d excluded her?
After yet another tense dinner with Molly and an exceptionally rattled Tonks, some Ministry bloke Ginny has never seen before comes knocking at the front door.
Hidden behind the living room settee—if they’re going to treat her like a child, Ginny believes it’s well within her rights to act like one, too—she learns that a few of their side have been captured by Death Eaters and are currently being held at Malfoy Manor.
Luna’s name is mentioned.
Ginny shudders. Her mind drifts to Lucius Malfoy and that horrid business with the diary. The man is a nasty piece of work. He’ll stop at nothing to please his master. None of them will.
“When are you going in?” Molly asks, her voice trembling.
“Just as soon as we can spare the resources, Madam,” the man replies.
It takes all of Ginny’s restraint and willpower not to scream in anger and frustration. God, a human life means so little these days, doesn’t it?
No. Not to her.
Later that night, she sneaks out of the house, leaving her mum a note that will hopefully explain everything.
She takes a deep breath, mounts her broom and sets course for the Manor.
She fervently hopes she won’t be too late. Holding prisoners involves feeding them and putting extra guards on duty to keep an eye out, and Voldemort’s lot probably don’t believe in wasting resources either.
Malfoy Manor’s massive grounds are shrouded in darkness when Ginny arrives.
She has no concrete plans, not even a vague clue of which action to undertake next, only a strong determination to do what must be done.
She has to rescue her friend.
Luna doesn’t deserve such a harrowing fate and furthermore, without her, Ginny’s life would be pointless.
She lands in a clearing, taking great care as she dismounts. She has heard many rumours about this place. They involved poisonous roses, enchanted hedges, venomous snakes and other decidedly unpleasant obstacles she probably shouldn’t ponder on too much, especially in the dead of night, all alone.
She inhales sharply and prepares to sneak closer, suddenly wishing she’d brought Harry’s cloak along. She has no idea whether he’d still be swayed by her charms, but it might have been worth it to find out, for Luna’s sake.
Still. No matter. It’s too late for that now.
Squinting, she looks around the general area and finally spots a wan light in the distance, like a lit lantern on a lawn. She assumes that’s where the mansion is.
Slowly, one foot in front of the other, careful not to step on anything dodgy and making certain she keeps a safe enough distance from the surrounding shrubbery, she walks in the direction of the light.
Then, suddenly, loud voices pierce the still night air and stop her dead in her tracks.
Afraid to make a sound or even breathe, she slowly turns around.
A few feet away, two figures are hurrying towards what Ginny assumes are the gates.
She looks a little more closely and then almost curses aloud when she recognises the long, blond hair she knows so well.
A muttered “oh, bugger!” escapes her lips.
She shakes her head wryly and feeling incredibly foolish, trots back to where she hid her broom.
No doubt someone somewhere is having a good laugh at this peculiar turn of events.
Neville Longbottom, of all people, rescued Luna before Ginny could.
When Ginny is seventeen-and-a-half, she returns to Hogwarts where the secret DA meetings have started up again at Neville’s initiative.
Ginny can’t recall when he became so brave, exactly.
Up until a few weeks ago, she only knew him as a very kind but also incredibly clumsy boy. Her toes still hurt every time she thinks back on that evening he took her to the Yule Ball.
But things change, she supposes, as do people, and she isn’t complaining that training has resumed, or that Neville has taken over where Harry left off. He seems a fit candidate for the job, and this is a far better option than just sitting around doing nothing because they happen to be relatively young and in her case, female to boot.
The training schedule is quite rigorous, more so than ever before, but no one expresses any concerns. Quite the opposite. People seem to be genuinely enthusiastic about participating. Even some of the Slytherins have joined up, including Blaise Zabini.
On what Ginny thinks to be her ninth night back—she could be wrong; all around her, chaos reigns and days turn into nights unnoticed—she wanders into her dorm. She’s exhausted and a bit rattled, too. She hasn’t heard from her mum since yesterday morning—yes, she’s practically certain it was yesterday—and that’s not like Molly at all.
Only Luna is present in the dorm. She has already changed into her nightdress and is sitting on one of the beds.
Technically, she shouldn’t be in Gryffindor Tower, but there is a war on and despite McGonagall’s best efforts, the rules aren’t enforced as strictly these days as they ought to be. Just as well, Ginny decides. Without Luna’s support, she’d be a complete mess right now.
Luna seems to take fear and tragedy in her stride and happily skips through life even as the whole world is falling to pieces.
Ginny, for her part, worries too much; Gryffindor bravery be damned.
“Are you all right?” Luna asks, her eyes wide with concern as she breaks the loaded silence. “You look like death. You’re not worried about… stuff, are you?”
“Well, I…” Ginny frowns, unsure what to say, or whether to even speak at all.
Luna pats the space next to her the bed. “Sit with me for a sec. If you just keep standing there like that, you’ll end up making me nervous.”
Ginny manages a small smile and sits down next to her friend.
“You’re not still thinking about that time I was taken, are you?” Luna ventures carefully. “I’m all right now, you know. They didn’t do any lasting damage. Really. I’ve almost forgotten the whole thing already.”
“Yeah. You’re all right. Thanks to Neville,” Ginny says, a little too quickly, unable to keep the bitterness from her tone, and instantly, she’s reminded of the besotted schoolgirl who would have done everything in her power to gain Harry Potter’s attention, but never quite did, not when she still wanted to.
That was years ago, of course, but now it seems Ginny has come full circle, though not quite because nothing in Ginny’s life is ever straightforward. There are always detours and clauses and loopholes and what ifs.
She gazes at Luna, who has somehow ended up in the what if category.
Not for the first time, Ginny considers that her friend is quite beautiful; her long hair, porcelain pale skin and those stunning blue eyes. Luna’s smile is dazzling, too, even now, despite the obvious concern that lies behind it.
Ginny gets that fluttering feeling in her stomach again. Her instincts tell her to turn away, and go to her own bed, because really, this is neither the time nor the place, and this is one friendship she cannot afford to lose, not for the sake of some silly teenage crush. It is just a crush, isn’t it? Truth be told, Ginny’s not so sure.
“Ginny?” Luna says again, and reaches out to grab Ginny’s wrist. “Please. Something’s troubling you. I can tell. What is it?’
“I-“ Ginny begins, but soon finds herself lost in Luna’s eyes. Scarcely aware of what she’s doing and no longer held back by the possible consequences, at least not in that very moment, she scoots closer, slowly, giving her friend plenty of chance to pull away.
Luna doesn’t, though, and when Ginny kisses her, she kisses back and places her soft, slim hands on Ginny’s shoulders.
All Ginny can think is that this feels natural and nice, not overwhelming and awkward like that one time when Harry threw himself at her, almost literally.
Yet, the minute they break apart again, reality crashes down on her like a ton of bricks. “W-We’re both girls,” she stammers, and immediately wants to kick herself for pointing out the bloody obvious. God, is she channelling Ron or something? At the end of the day, who cares about that sort of thing anyhow? You fall for a person, don’t you?
“Yes,” Luna says simply and then adds with a small smile as she reaches for her wand and spells the curtains shut. “We won’t be needing any contraceptive potions, then, if we ever get around to...”
Ginny blinks, baffled and momentarily speechless, but her confusion soon turns to pleasant surprise when Luna kisses her again, with more fervour this time.
The following morning before breakfast, an urgent DA meeting is held.
Zabini has some important news to share. During the course of the night, he happened to overhear—accidentally, or so he claims—whispers of an imminent attack.
Apparently, the Dark Lord—Ginny sneers at the title, and she isn’t the only one—intends to target Hogsmeade next, and possibly Hogwarts, too.
Professor McGonagall, it would seem, is gravely concerned there might be another security breach at the castle.
”Remember what Draco Malfoy did last year?”
Honestly; as if anyone could even forget…
The specifics of Voldemort’s present battle plan are as yet unclear, but not a single person in the room is surprised to learn that matters will be coming to a head soon. The members of the DA are prepared, or as prepared as they could ever be, and they understand the significance of what awaits them next…. It’ll be either a new beginning or the bitter end.
As if sensing her friend’s distress, Luna reaches out, takes Ginny’s hand and squeezes.
Ginny glances to the left and smiles. Suddenly, she feels a lot less worried. Whatever happens next, just so long as she has Luna by her side, she’s confident that things will be all right, somehow.
When Ginny Weasley is eighteen, the war has been won. People are picking up the pieces of their lives and are once again planning their future.
She has given hers a great deal of thought too these past few weeks.
Her family expects her to return to Hogwarts to finish her education. Qualifications are important, they claim, and she does want to get somewhere in life, make something of herself, doesn’t she?
She never knows how to reply to that. She barely knows what it means anymore, to ‘get somewhere’.
There were so many casualties; Tonks, Professor Lupin, Alastor Moody, Professor Snape; even Colin Creevey. And George will probably never recover from Fred’s death; nor will their poor mum.
After everything that’s happened, everything the Weasleys have been through, anything Hogwarts has to offer seems quite irrelevant in comparison, like something from a past life, something she has outgrown.
This morning, Ginny finally made up her mind.
Luna will be spending the next six months in Peru with her dad, trying to track down a creature that is rumoured to be one of the last living dinosaurs.
The tales are rather far-fetched in Ginny’s opinion, and even Luna seems to doubt her father’s words for once, but still…
Ginny believes a change, some time away from Britain, might do her good. Besides, she can’t imagine being without Luna for half a year. The two of them have become inseparable.
“Oh? I thought you were going to play professional Quidditch,” Ron says once she’s done announcing her decision to him and their friends. She’ll tell Mum and Dad later at lunch; that is, provided things go well here. “I thought that was the reason you didn’t want to say anything either way. Mum wouldn’t have been too pleased, I reckon.”
Resisting the urge to make fun of her youngest brother, who was miles off the mark as usual, Ginny merely shrugs. “Plans can change, can’t they?”
“I’m sure she knows what she’s doing, Ronald,” Hermione interjects in a tone that leaves no room for argument. “We all have to find our own way in life, you know, and a Quidditch career only last so long. Most professional players are burned out after ten, fifteen years at most. And then what? Some time-out seems like a far more sensible option.”
“I suppose,” he says, and then adds, quick to change the subject before his girlfriend goes off on one of her tangents, “Um, do any of you suppose there’s any apple pie left from last night?”
Hermione gives him an incredulous look. “Oh honestly! We just had breakfast an hour ago!”
Ginny meets Luna’s gaze across the room and winks.
This time next week, they’ll be in South America.
This time next week, their lives can really begin.