Title: Brotherly Love
Rating: PG for language
Summary: Set after "Chamber of Secrets". We all know what kind of summer Harry had, but what about the other person who was used by Voldemort.
Disclaimer: Characters aren't mine. Song belongs to Linkin Park.
Dedication: Dedicated to everyone who ever had a big brother like Bill Weasley. In the words of Monty Python "You lucky lucky bastards."
Virginia Weasley sat at the edge of the lake, her legs dangling down the bank, her toes skimming the cool water. She was alone, finally, thankfully. The summer had been a long time coming and she was looking forward to being home again. She desperately wanted to be on her own for a while, crawl into her little hidey hole bedroom and curl up in the bed that she had slept in for eleven years and slide into dreamless sleep.
The last few days had been a complete blur and she still had no real clear idea of exactly what had happened in the Chamber or any idea how she had got down there in the first place. When she tried to think about it all she could see was Harry's face, smeared with dirt and blood and a desperate look in his eyes. She shut out his face and tried for a moment to concentrate on what had happened, but there was nothing - just a blank memory. Ginny picked up a stone and hurled it into the water in frustration. The Giant Squid surfaced for a moment and, if it was possible, gave her a hurt look. She bit her lip.
"Sorry" she called out. She had obviously hit it. It waved a tentacle at her and then slid beneath the glossy blue waves. She couldn't do anything right, not even throw a stone without hitting something. Her mother's voice sounded in the distance, shrilly calling her name. No peace for the wicked, she thought to herself and headed back to the castle, ready for another round with her family and friends.
Harry watched as Mr and Mrs Weasley hugged Ginny tightly. They were so relieved to see her alive, so pleased to have her home. He noticed how she smiled and hugged them back but her expession otherwise was blank and the smile didn't quite reach her eyes. It would take a long time for her to recover from this, he thought. She would be haunted forever.
Ginny met Harry's gaze from her place in her mother's arms. She exchanged a brief smile with him and then turned away, unwilling to even let him close enough to find out just how she felt.
When this began I had nothing to say
And I'd get lost in the nothingness inside of me
I was confused and I'd let it all out to find
That I'm not the only person with these things in mind
Inside of me when all the vacancy the words revealed
Is the only real thing that I've got left to feel
Nothing to lose just stuck, hollow and alone
And the fault is my own and the fault is my own
Bill Weasley stood in his mother's kitchen, watching the rest of his family begin their dinner. He had come home for a few days, and was also keen to check on Ginny after hearing of the events at Hogwarts. He settled himself next to Fred, or possibly George, and opposite his beloved little sister. She glanced up briefly and gave him a "hello" in a quiet voice. The conversation was mostly about Quiddith, Fred and George's academic record, Percy's job and poor Harry having to spend a cruel summer with those appalling people. There was no mention of Ginny's disappearence, there was not even a mention of Ron and Harry rescuing her. It was almost as though no one wanted to talk about it. Bill finished his dinner and leaned back in his chair noting that Ginny had not eaten anything but was instead pushing the food creatively around her plate. She caught Bill's eye and gave him a pleading look, gesturing subtley to her food. He understood exactly what she meant and managed to pull his wand from his pocket. With a quiet whisper under his breath and a surruptious flick the food from Ginny's plate slowly vanished, leaving an empty plate and making Ginny look as she had eaten the lot. She mouthed the word "thanks" to him and stood up, pushing her chair back noisily.
"Have you finished already Ginny?" her mother said in surprise "You must have been hungry."
"I was" Ginny answered taking her plate to the sink. She turned as if to go out of the kitchen.
"Don't you want pudding?" Mrs Weasley asked "It's your favourite."
"I'm full thanks" Ginny answered and continued on her way up the stairs.
Bill watched her in concern and turned questionning eyes on his mother who was exchanging a look with her husband.
"She'll talk when she's ready" Mrs Weasley said "You're not to push her. Any of you." Her voice became stern and she glared at everyone around the table. The boys nodded. They all adored their baby sister and Ron had been heartbroken when she had vanished into thin air, almost insane in trying to find her. Ginny had been loved and protected her whole life. Hogwarts was the biggest step she had ever taken on her own.
Bill was well aware that the Weasleys were a standing joke at Hogwarts. Only he and Charlie had not been laughed at and that was only because the two of them had been in consecutive years, had been as close as brothers could be and were easily bigger than everyone else in their years. Percy, whilst being a bit stuck up was bright and had managed to get himself into a position of authority so he rarely faced people taking the mickey out of him. Fred and George tended to cause laughter wherever they went but they had always been pranksters. Ron had the misfortune of sharing a year with Malfoy but the luck of meeting up with Harry and Hermione. Bill paused for a moment thinking of Hermione. She was going to be quite a woman when she grew up. He grinned to himself. She and Ron probably fought all the time. And then there was Virginia, Ginny to everyone and to him, Ginnybabe. He had loved her from the moment he set eyes on her as a baby and she was growing up so fast, every time he came home he swore she grew an inch taller. No one could love their little sister more.
The meal finished, Bill took the opportunity to slip away upstairs. Ginny's door was firmly shut and he tested it carefully and was unsurprised to find it locked. He argued with himself for a moment and decided to leave it locked for now. He was home for a while and there was plenty of time to try and cheer Ginny up. He conjoured up a bunch of flowers and a little note and left them outside Ginny's door, knocking before he left.
Ginny, lying back on her bed staring at the mottled ceiling, heard the knock but made no move to unlock the door. If anyone wanted to talk to her they were more than capable of opening the door. There was silence and, curious, Ginny moved off her bed and opened the door an inch. There was a bunch of flowers, her favourites, the Scented Butter Flower, and a note. She picked them up, closing and locking the door behind her. She read the note quickly - they were from Bill. She couldn't help the corners of her mouth turning up in a tiny smile. He was so thoughtful and no doubt he just wanted to cheer her up. The expression on her face became bleak. No amount of flowers or notes or even useful spells to vanish her food would make her feel any better at the moment.
She settled herself back on her bed with the note, leaving the flowers in a glass of water on her beside table and resumed her position of staring mindlessly up at the ceiling.
It was strange, being home. Her mother and father were as loving as ever, free with their hugs and kisses, love and affection but still, there was something in the way they looked at her, the way they touched her. It was almost as if they were terrified to do it, they were scared of her. She had been somewhere they could not comprehend. Hell, half the time she couldn't even comprehend it. She guessed they thought that, given time, she would heal - that she had been unconscious most of the time anyway so it's not like she's going to remember much of it anyway. But the torment she had endured did not simply stretch to her time in the Chamber. She had been teased, strung along, used for the whole of the school year.
The terrifying gaps in her memory and the evidence of the horrors she was doing had slowly taken their toll on her. Ginny hadn't eaten a decent meal for the last two months and it wasn't for want of trying. Half the time she didn't have any appetite and when she did, the food refused to stay in her stomach. She had not dared tell anyone.
The only person whom she could turn to had been miles and miles away, uncontactable. Ginny had missed Bill desperately and instead had turned to Harry, she had so needed to get her secret out. But Percy had shown up and she couldn't get the words out. And then it was too late.
The tears welled up in her eyes and spilled over down her cheeks. She had learned the secret of crying silently, she would have been horrified if her parents and brothers had found out just how traumatised she was. She still felt numb, as if she had been hit with a Stunning spell. The Virginia Weasley who had left The Burrow a year before to enter her first year was not the Virginia who lay on her bed now.
I wanna heal
I wanna feel
What I thought was never real
I want to let go of the pain I felt so long
Erase all the pain till its gone
I wanna heal
I wanna feel
Like I'm close to something real
I want to find something I've wanted all along
Somewhere I belong