Later that night, Ginny lay awake in her bed, feeling that ache in her chest. She had felt this cutting feeling inside years ago, when Sirius died, and then again when others had followed- Dumbledore and Colin and Lupin and Tonks and Fred. Fred. She wondered what he would do to Harry if he were here and found out that he had broken his little sister’s heart. Shove him down a toilet perhaps. Well, no, that was really more George’s style. Fred had always been more temperate, subtle. Or at least as subtle as you could be when you were a Fred and George.

Well, whatever Fred would’ve done, she would never know. He was gone, lost, never coming back, just like how Harry was now never coming back. She tried not to think about it, tried not to think about the way it felt to tuck her hand within Harry’s larger one, the way his chest would rise and fall against her when she leaned in for an embrace, the steady thud of his heart next to her own, the feeling of content and safety she felt by simply being near him.

And that was all it took. Before she knew it, Ginny had big fat tears rolling down her cheeks and her body was shaking as she tried to suppress the heaving sobs that were rising inside her throat. She hated herself for it, hated to be the kind of girl who would cry over a boy. But try as she might, she couldn’t hold back the barrage of sobs that were breaking against her chest, and before long her pillow was sopping wet from salty tears.

Ginny buried her head beneath the covers, attempting to quiet her crying, knowing that Hermione could hear from her room next door. Trying to control her breathing, she turned over, squeezed her eyes shut and began to recite potions ingredients to herself. Shrinking Potion: chopped daisy roots, skinned shrivelfig, sliced caterpillar, one rat spleen, a dash of leech juice. Draught of Living Death: asphodel in an infusion of wormwood, valerian roots, sopophorous bean… She did not want to think about Harry. It didn’t stop the tears completely, but at least it kept her sobbing from resurfacing.

With thoughts of Draughts and Potions and Solutions, her mind slowly calmed and faded to a blank nothingness. Her cheeks were still wet from the heavy flood of tears- the proof of her pain- but she squeezed her eyes shut tight, concentrating hard on mantras of fluxweed shavings and powdered bicorn horns.

And so, for one of the few times in her short life, Ginny Weasley cried herself to sleep.
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