Keywords: femslash, fluff
Archive: Just ask first :)
Notes: Thanks to shadowfey for the lyrics! Got my dates mixed up and realised yesterday that it was due today and I hadn't even started... so wrote it in a hurry!
i. it will be something she can’t hold
The golden ring is tightly clutched in Ginny’s fist as though it might try to escape at any moment, and she finds that it’s much nicer to hold it this way than to put it on her finger. Every now and then, she uncurls her fingers and marvels at the shininess of the thin band, the way that the ruby, tiny as it is, glints in the light and seems to sing out to her.
She’d sleep with it in her fist, if she wasn’t so scared of losing it, so at night she has it on a chain around her neck, and by morning although it will have fallen from her grasp, it will always be safe against her chest.
“Anyone would think that you loved that ring more than Michael himself,” Grace jokes, as she tilts Ginny’s head back up again and continues to brush the long red hair.
Ginny smiles at the idea. Of course she only loves this ring because of all it represents. How could it be anything else? Holding the ring so tightly is just like holding Michael. Her reflection in the mirror smiles back at her. Hair in the process of being curled, and her face is carefully made up.
Tonight, at the Halloween Ball, Ginny will be dressed as a princess, and she already feels the part.
ii. All the tales remain untold
Ginny can hear the gasps as she appears in the ballroom. She’s proud, of course, but she can’t really see why everyone is still so surprised about how much she’s grown up. If it wasn’t for Tom, maybe she’d have grown up long ago. It’s only been three years, but it seems like her whole life. She’s somebody different now.
Michael is waiting, blushing with pride as he takes her arm. He doesn’t know about Tom, of course. Or her crush on Harry, or anything about how she was before. Before she learnt how to be what she wants to be, and not what she’s told. And it doesn’t matter that he doesn’t know, because that was so long ago now.
All that matters is now.
iii. Aluminium mistaken for gold
Twenty minutes later, Ginny arrives in the girls’ bathroom to check her make-up. It’s so hot in the hall, with all the candles and her thick make-up, and the way she can feel herself glowing with pride.
Luna is sitting on the surface between two of the sinks, reading the Quibbler, and Ginny wonders what it must be like to be so carefree about balls and dates. Luna is dressed as a cat, thick felt ears on a hair band and a tail peeking out from underneath her short black dress. The wide eyes are charmed green, and they stare at Ginny.
“Hello, Luna,” Ginny says, happily, and gazes at her reflection. Her make-up charms have not faded, and her hair only requires a quick touch-up with her wand.
“You’re very shiny.”
“Thank you.” Ginny smiles. Luna’s always been slightly odd, but she’s a friend. Somewhat of a relief sometimes, when all the girls in her house can talk about is their failed love lives.
“I didn’t mean it like that.”
“Oh?” Ginny frowns, and turns, her dress swishing around her legs.
“You’re like…” Luna thinks. “Aluminium.”
“Aluminium?” Ginny asks. She wonders if she’ll be able to dance in these high heels she borrowed from a sixth year. She’s been practising all week, but there’s not much room in the dorms.
“Mistaken for gold.” Luna said, decidedly.
Ginny stares in confusion. It sounds so much like an insult, but she’s never heard Luna say a bad word about anyone. Luna stares back, coolly, and Ginny takes a step backwards.
She wants to say something back, but all she can do is clutch her golden ring tightly and step clumsily out of the door and into the ballroom, face flushing red.
vi. she is like a river so wild and graceful
Michael looks worried at Ginny’s flustered entrance, but she straightens up and puts on a winning smile. She slips her ring back on her finger, because he is holding out his hand to her and she wants to dance, spin around wildly until everything else is vanished and her fairy tale only consists of her and her prince.
She can see her ring in her mind, she knows it off by heart. Perfect gold, Hermione had said so, with a strange look in her eyes as she inspected it. Perfect gold. Nothing else. Luna has strange ideas about a lot of things, and Ginny is determined not to be one of them.
Spinning around on the dance floor, all Ginny can feel is tears pricking at her eyes and a slight sense of dizziness. Luna is graceful, and maybe she’s wild too. Luna never seems to be hurt by anything, never seems to be sad, and Ginny decides that she’s going to be productive about the encounter in the bathroom, and learn something from it. She can be wild and graceful too, she can be cool and collected and say anything she likes, without ever saying what she means.
Over Michael’s shoulder, she can see people looking at her, jealous glances. But… what if they aren’t jealous glances? What if Luna knows something she doesn’t?
vii. she will keep her feelings on hold
It doesn’t matter what Luna said, it doesn’t matter why people are looking at her because it doesn’t matter what other people think. That’s what Hermione told her, when Ginny showed her the ring. If people say horrible things to her then they aren’t worthy of being her friend anyway, and it’s stupid to get hurt over them.
She can’t even squeeze her ring for comfort, with her hand resting neatly on Michael’s shoulder, but the ruby shines in the candles above her head.
So she pushes everything into the back of her mind and gazes into Michael’s big brown eyes, smiles at the way his hair falls over them, and resists an urge to push it back. When he frowns, she is puzzled, until she realises that she is the one who frowned first.
“Ginny? Are you alright?”
She hesitates, and then lets go of him. As she hurries across the dancefloor, holding her skirt up so that she doesn’t trip, she tugs her ring off and holds it tightly in her hand.
viii. aluminium mistaken for gold
She pushes the door open, willing Luna to be there, and it seems the other girl hasn’t moved. Luna looks up from the Quibbler in surprise, and jumps down off the counter.
“What did you mean, when you said that?” Ginny demands, and feels a lock of hair fall across her face. She brushes it back firmly.
“Everyone thinks you’re gold,” Luna explains, slowly. “But really you’re aluminium.”
“But what does that mean?”
“You reflect everything that everyone expects of you.”
“I don’t do what people tell me to anymore!”
“That’s because they don’t need to tell you anymore, you already know.”
“That’s not true.” But even as she says it, Ginny knows it’s true and feels as though something melts inside of her. She’s tried so hard to get everything and now she knows it’s not even real. She can’t even work out if she’s cross anymore, and she stares back at Luna, waiting for something else, something to replace everything she’s lost in this moment, and then Luna giggles, biting her lip in apology.
Ginny finds herself breaking into a laugh, relieved suddenly, and it’s as though she has pins and needles all over as her fingers loosen on the ring and her feet ache in the high heeled shoes.
“I’m sorry,” she says, still smiling, and rubbing at the tears in her eyes.
“I know. I’m sorry too,” Luna says, and then smiles very seriously.
“I’ve been stupid,” Ginny says, as much to herself as to Luna, and then she asks, “How can I fix it?”
“By following your heart,” Luna says, simply, and Ginny feels a shiver rush through her as though she’s been woken up all over again.
The ring seems heavy in her hand suddenly, and she puts it down quickly, trying to make a first step, but something else is still not right. She pulls her hair out of its tight bun, and feels it fall loosely around her shoulders, and then kicks off her shoes. The floor is cold beneath her feet, but she doesn’t mind because it feels comforting somehow.
“The make-up’s staying though,” Ginny announces. “Because I rather like it. I did that myself.”
Luna nods. “Alright then.”
“I still don’t feel right,” Ginny complains, and frowns at her reflection. “What’s wrong with me?”
“Are you listening to your heart?” Luna asks her, and Ginny turns to face her.
“I don’t know!” Ginny sighed to herself. “I feel like doing something reckless.”
“Then do the most reckless thing you can think of.”
Ginny hesitates, and takes a breath. Her eyes are suddenly drawn to Luna’s, and then to Luna’s soft pink lips, surrounded by inked whiskers, and a glimpse of white teeth as Luna smiles at her.
“Shut your eyes, Luna.”
Luna doesn’t question it, and shuts her eyes immediately. She doesn’t attempt to peek, waiting patiently with her hands by her sides as Ginny hesitates again, and then leans forward.
When their lips touch, Ginny feels like laughing again, but she holds it back and concentrates on listening to her heart, which doesn’t seem to be protesting, and bare feet and discarded rings and inked whiskers and a princess being rescued by a cat.
vii. It will be something she can’t hold
Ginny and Luna sit together on the counter, squeezed between the sinks, and read the Quibbler together, with Luna explaining who all the writers are and all the staff gossip. Ginny’s bare feet are cold, but Luna offers her one of her own socks, and each rubs their bare foot against the other’s.
When Grace comes in, looking for Ginny, she is sent back out to deliver the ring and an apology to Michael, who sighs to himself but is easily cheered by Grace, who tentatively comforts him with a mug of butterbeer.
And Ginny clutches Luna’s hand as tightly as she ever clutched the ring, but the only difference is that this time, she knows what she loves and knows she could never tie it down, but she wouldn’t ever need to.
Song title: gold
It will be something she can't hold
All the tales remain untold
Aluminium mistaken for Gold
She is like a river so wild and graceful
She is beautiful
She will keep her feelings on hold
All the tales remain untold
Aluminium mistaken for Gold
It will be something she can't hold