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Dandelions by braidedsilver
I promised this four years ago, so here it is.
Chapter 1 by braidedsilver
Ron always believed that Ginny was a smart girl. From the time she was a little girl weaving crowns of dandelions into her hair, he had seen that she was a smart girl. He watched with pride as she grew up, but never grew out of dandelion crowns. He watched with horror as she entered the world of dating. Boys, then men, were occasionally brought to the Burrow to meet the family. Usually they all approved of her choices. She was a smart girl, and she knew what to look for in a man. When she chose to take up with that louse Malfoy, Ron decided that his best choice would be to support her, because she was a smart girl who knew what she was doing. This, of course, came after a long bout of sputtering, color changing, and threatening on his part.
Gradually, he got used to the other man's presence. He had to give him credit where credit was due--when confronted with six older brothers of varying height, weight, and skill, he was composed and pleasant. This was an admirable accomplishment considering he wasn't as welcome as the rest of the gentlemen Ginny had brought home. When Ginny decided to marry the insufferable git, it wasn't a great surprise, although Ron had secretly held out hope she'd change her mind and find a nicer bloke.
The wedding was lovely. Malfoy had insisted on paying for the entire affair, but it was their mum who made the dress. The simple elegance that Ginny exuded as she walked down the aisle outshone all the fancy flowers and tapestries Malfoy had the wedding planner use for the occasion. Not a single guest could help but smile at the dandelions that littered the path between the bride and the altar, a tribute to the little girl who grew up into the woman they were seeing wed that day.
The ceremony was short but traditional, and as the reception commenced Ron began to think that Ginny, being such a smart girl, had done rather well for herself.
Watching the bride and groom dance together, push cake into each other's face--'atta girl, Gin--and kiss passionately each time spoons were applied to champagne flutes, Ron could not deny they were truly a couple in love. Their mum wept the whole time, their father handing her a handkerchief and consoling her. As the party died down, the bride and groom made their grand exit. Dandelion petals were thrown, showering the couple as they approached the Muggle car. That Malfoy had rented a Muggle anything spoke volumes of his love for Ginny and her family.
Ron fondly remembered his father's excitement at the idea, and the positive glee he exuded when Malfoy had asked him to assist in the vehicle's selection. The bride kissed her parents and brothers in turn, while the groom shook hands and indulged their mum in a hug before handing Ginny into the car and entering after. The picture he carried of his sister that night was of her smiling radiantly, small yellow petals sprinkled in her dark red hair. That night he smiled peacefully to himself and slept soundly, sure his baby sister was in good hands.
Ron had always believed that Ginny was a smart girl, but when he watched her dash in front of him on that battlefield he seriously reconsidered. And when she hit the ground, he was glad she had been killed instantly, as the hex he'd fired and she'd intercepted was still working its way over her body. Thin lines kept appearing, rivulets of blood welling up and dripping onto the grass, the pure green of it marred by the red stain it absorbed. Why was it better for her to die than he?
He who was unmarried, he who hadn't begun plans to start a family. He should have been the one struck by that killing curse, not his beautiful baby sister.
He picked up her body and made to leave the battlefield, noticing that the Death Eater he'd been fighting had disappeared the moment she died. Uncaring, Ron made ready to Apparate when he noticed she had fallen on a small patch of dandelions. Bending, he picked one and placed it almost reverently into his pocket before he disappeared from the field.
Ginny was always a smart girl. From the time she was small she learned quickly and was soon making her own choices. Even though she sometimes made bad ones, she always learned from her mistakes. Ron thought she would have made an excellent mother. Her happy smile and never-ceasing ability to play would have made her the perfect companion for any child.
The funeral party was large, barely fitting into the allotted area of the cemetery. Ultimately it was decided that she would be buried in the Malfoy family cemetery located behind Malfoy Manor. Malfoy said a few words about his wife, a woman who seemed so far removed from Ron's own sister. And then the floor was opened for all to speak.
Bill talked about piggy-back rides, Charlie of make believe games; Percy talked about playing school, Fred and George about teaching her hexes; he spoke of Quidditch, Mum talked about baking cookies, and Dad remembered favorite bedtime stories. They all carried different memories of her: the precious little girl, the surly teenager, and the proud woman with dandelions in her hair.
Many more people got up to share their favorite memory of Ginny. Hermione's was of studying in the Library together, Harry remembered the silly Valentine's day poem she wrote for him her first year at Hogwarts, and still more came; more memories, more tears, more love for the one who had left them.
As the ceremony came to an end, each person stepped forward to place flowers on her grave. Ron placed a poorly made crown of dandelions on the head of the angel tombstone and thought that perhaps when he had a daughter of his own, he would be the one to teach her how to make crowns of dandelions and wear them in her hair.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.