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Before the Dawn (Lyras) (01 August)
Molesworth the Hufflepuff
lyras wrote in 30_hath
It's August here, so I hope it's all right to post this now :).

Title: Before the Dawn
Author: lyras
House: Hufflepuff
Date/Challenge: 01 August
Characters: Ginny, Hermione
Rating: PG
Word Count: 300
Genre: Gen (angst)

The Burrow was quiet now, and the walls pressed inwards as if the house itself had slumped with exhaustion in the aftermath of the festivities. Ginny listened sleeplessly to the snuffling of the resident ghoul and watched the darkness ebb and flow according to the moonlight. They would be gone by dawn, she knew.

When Hermione rose silently alongside her, she closed her eyes and forced herself to remain still, choosing her moment precisely.

Only when the soft footsteps came to a halt by her side of the bed did she open her eyes.

"Time to go?" she whispered.

A suspicion of a nod from Hermione, and then a muttered Lumos. The wand tip illuminated just enough for Ginny to perceive Hermione's pained expression, and suddenly she felt tired. Tired of pretending that she hadn't been hurt by Harry; tired of pretending she wasn't worried about everyone she knew, but especially Harry, Ron and Hermione. Tired of being Ginny Weasley.

"Take care of yourself," she said quietly. "Take care of them. Make sure they come back."

Hermione reached out an arm and then suddenly they were hugging, a proper hug, not the polite clutches they'd occasionally exchanged in the past. Girl-left-behind and Girl-venturing-into-danger strove to comfort one another, providing final reassurance before the walls of security were thrown down. When Hermione pulled away she was sniffing suspiciously, and Ginny sought the right words with which to send her forth.

"Tell him I'll kill him if he ends up dead."

A stifled giggle that was half sob, a kiss on the cheek; then Hermione was at the door, through it, pulling it to behind her with tortuous exactitude. Ginny curled on her side and closed her eyes against the red that tinged the horizon through the open curtains.

Tomorrow loomed, and she still had a lot of pretending to do.

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Oh, this is sad, but so beautifully written.

Thank you so much! I'm all burned out on fic exchanges at present, so it's such a relief to be writing for the fun of it again.

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