mirabella: (HP Seeker)
mirabella ([personal profile] mirabella) wrote in [community profile] mirabellafic2013-02-01 06:32 pm
Entry tags:

The Lubberkin Dancing, HP, Ginny/Tom, PG

Title: The Lubberkin Dancing
Rating: PG
Pairing: Ginny/Tom
Summary: Ginny is such a teenie.

The Lubberkin Dancing

Once upon a time, Ginny tells herself in the warm dark of summer night when the fireflies glimmer outside her window and the soothing voices of her parents and grown-up brothers drift up to her from downstairs, there was a princess.

Her name was Princess Eugenie and she was as lovely as the dawn, and not a wild thing in the forest was afraid of her or fled before the soft tread of her bare feet on the grass. Everything around her was light and laughter and love, and she should have been the happiest princess in the world. Instead she sat every day by the well in the garden and cried, because her father had promised her in marriage to a horrible, evil king.

One day as she sat by the well, she heard a soft tapping sound. Looking around, she was amazed to see a lubberkin sitting cross-legged by the well and tap-tap-tapping with a tiny hammer, making the most beautiful shoe she had ever seen. "Who are you?" she asked in wonder.

"Lubberkin, luchorpan, Jack O'Shamrock," the lubberkin sang. "I have a gift for you, princess."

"Those shoes?" Princess Eugenie asked hopefully, because sweet and gentle and full of love she might be, but she still knew trend-setting shoes when she saw them.

"No, these shoes are for another, who has far less than you. I bring you the gift of good counsel: love, even when it seems to fall on barren ground, and persevere for a year and a day. You will triumph in the end."

Princess Eugenie frowned, her flawless lower lip trembling. "If you say so, I will try. But it will be long and lonely."

"I will dance for you, princess," said the lubberkin. "You will not be alone."

Princess Eugenie laughed. "Dance, lubberkin," she begged, and the lubberkin danced.

The next day she was married to the evil king and went to live in his dark castle. Eugenie was frightened of the castle and frightened of her husband; but she remembered the lubberkin's words, and taught herself to love him. She spoke softly to him, and smiled; she told stories at dinner and sang songs afterward while he sat, a vague shadow in the darkness, unmoving. And every night she said to him, "I love you. You may not care now, but there will come a day when you will be glad to hear someone say it; and I will love you on that day too, and on every day after."

And once a month at the full moon the lubberkin came to visit her, and they danced in the moonlight, and in the morning there was always a new pair of shoes under her bed.

Exactly a year passed in this way; and on their wedding anniversary, Eugenie's husband spoke to her for the first time. "Stay out of the Great Hall tomorrow night, if you value your life," he told her. "My vassals and I are completing a great rite, and it will give me power over all the world. You will not want to see it." His voice was rusty, as if he had broken the silence of years to speak to her now.

"I will stay out," Eugenie told him. "But today I want you to come with me into the garden. We have been married a year and I have asked nothing of you. Come out with me into the sun."

She led him out into the garden, where everything was blooming; he blinked in the light, casting his hood over his face, but she saw that the sun warmed his skin and was glad of it. "Look," she said, gesturing around. "There is power here, for those with eyes to see."

"There is more power in the darkness," he answered.

"Nothing grows there. Nothing dances and is glad. When you stand in the dark I cannot see you, husband. I like you better in the light."

The king said nothing, but turned and went back inside.

The next night, Eugenie sat alone in her room, wondering what was going on in the silent castle. At midnight the bells in the clock tower tolled, and she sighed.

"For a year and a day I have loved and been patient," she said. "I hope it has borne fruit." And she went to bed.

The next morning, she was awoken by her husband standing beside her bed. "Wake, my wife," he said.

Eugenie sat up, rubbing her eyes. Her husband's hood was over his face but he was bathed in the rays of the morning sun, standing straight and unashamed in the light. "Did you complete the ritual?" she asked, rather fearing the answer.

"No," he answered. "I sent my vassals away. I have decided that you were right, and for love of you I have stepped out of the shadow. Will you not tell me again, my wife?"

Eugenie smiled and held out a hand. "I love you. I have loved you a year and a day, and on this day too, and will love you all the days after."

The king cast back his hood, and behold – he was young and handsome, with dark wavy hair and rich chocolate-colored eyes. He reached out to her and took her hand, and his eyes were full of love.

"My name was something else once," he said, smiling. "But I think that now I will be plain Tom Riddle again."

Once upon a time, Ginny tells herself in the darkness of the Gryffindor tower, while Harry, Ron, Draco Malfoy, and various backup Gryffindors and Slytherins sleep off the latest inter-House rumble in the infirmary and Hermione has gone to bed in tears after spending the whole evening polishing her prefect's badge and raging about boys, there was a girl named Gina who could do anything she set her mind to.

Gina was smart and beautiful, and so noble and brave that the Sorting Hat hadn't even had time to sit on her head yet before it shouted out "GRYFFINDOR!" Of course, no one really saw it, because Gina was a transfer student from America (or possibly Paris; Ginny can't decide) and so her Sorting took place in private. Within a week she was the most popular girl in Gryffindor; the Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs liked her too, and she was friends with all the house elves, and also with the lubberkin who danced and capered in the light of the kitchen fires.

One day Gina was out for a walk when she saw something that took her aback: Draco Malfoy kneeling in the grass, speaking kindly and patiently to a crying first-year Slytherin boy with a gushing nosebleed. As the boy's friends watched and shuffled from foot to foot, Draco took out his wand and deftly cast a couple of charms, stopping the flow and clearing away the blood.

"There now," Malfoy said, standing briskly up and wiping the grass off his robes. "Slytherins don't cry in front of other people."

"All right," the first-year said, looking up at Draco as if the older boy had slain a dragon instead of stopping a nosebleed, and Gina began to think that maybe it wasn't very fair for all the other Houses to pick on Slytherin so much.

She spoke to the lubberkin about it that night, sitting at a table in the kitchens with pumpkin juice and a plate full of cupcakes that Dobby the house elf had given her.

"A plague on both their Houses," the lubberkin cackled.

"That isn't very helpful," Gina said severely.

"Love and hate, light and dark," the lubberkin answered mysteriously. "When you tire of the dark, drive out the shadows. Dance with me, child."

And they danced in the firelight for hours, and Gina went back to the Tower in a thoughtful mood.

The next day, a new transfer student came to the school and was sorted into Slytherin. He was darkly handsome, with an interesting edge of anger to him, and Gina resolved to get to know him. She asked Snape, who liked her alone of all the Gryffindors, to pair them in Potions, so he did. They worked together for weeks, and at first the new boy, Tom, was only icily polite. But Gina was nice to him and talked about whatever small nothings came into her head, and eventually he began to smile at her when she came into the room. After a month had passed, he asked her out.

The other Gryffindors were surprised at first to find that the most popular girl in the House was dating a Slytherin. But Gina talked to them, and brought Tom around to the common room, and eventually the other Gryffindors began to see that Slytherins weren't so bad after all. In time it led to Hermione, who looked up to Gina, dating Draco Malfoy; and while that ended in tears (Hermione's), recriminations (Ron's and Harry's), and protestations of innocence (Draco's), Angelina's relationship with Goyle eventually produced the finest Beaters ever to play Quidditch for England, so that was all right.

"Do you remember when our Houses used to hate each other?" Gina asked Tom on the last day of their seventh year.

"I remember," Tom answered with a smile, and left cookies out for the lubberkin.

Once upon a time, Ginny tells herself as she scrubs angrily at her tears in the bathroom, there was a girl named Janie, who had a boyfriend named Tom, who was strong and handsome and loved her more than anything else in the world. One day Janie was walking into the Dining Hall for lunch when Justin Finch-Fletchley stuck his foot out and tripped her, spilling her books all over the floor, then turned back to his friends with a loud, braying laugh.

Janie stood up and dusted herself off, not for a minute embarrassed or ashamed; because her boyfriend shot out of his chair at the Slytherin table, stalked across the Hall, grabbed Justin by the scruff of the neck and hauled him outside. The next time Janie saw Justin he was covered in bruises that even Madame Pomfrey hadn't been able to get rid of, and the nurse had just barely been able to heal that oversized, ugly, dislocated jaw.

That evening, up in the Astronomy Tower, Tom put his arms around Janie and said, "Nothing can hurt you when you're with me."

Once upon a time, Ginny tells herself as she huddles into her bed and presses trembling hands over her ears to shut out her mother's keening and Ron's harsh wrenching sobs from downstairs, there was a princess named Joan with armor as bright as her eyes and a magic sword that could call the lightning and pierce any evil creature to the heart. She had half a dozen brothers who loved her, and their kingdom was bright and peaceful until the day that an evil sorcerer stole away one of the twins. Then the whole kingdom went into mourning, and the twin who remained sat silently on his throne while the doctors tended his wounds, and would not sleep or eat or even speak.

Joan kissed her brothers and went to the armory, accompanied by her faithful house-elf and the lubberkin whose bright hammer crafted her armor. There she pulled on a padded overtunic and shining chainmail, strapped on metal shinguards and bracers, pulled a helmet from the armor rack, belted on her sword, and called for a horse.

"I am going to get my brother back," she told the house-elf and the lubberkin.

As Joan climbed onto her horse, the house-elf wept and wrung her hands. "You is not going, princess, please! You is dying if you do, and then your Wheezy is dying of a broken heart!"

But the lubberkin watched her with bright, sad eyes, and said, "There are worse things than dying, O princess."

"Maybe," Joan answered. "But not worse things than war."

She found the evil sorcerer on a broken plain, surrounded by standing stones against the overcast sky. Dismounting outside the circle, Joan walked unafraid past the circle of black-shrouded figures to stand before him where he floated above a stone altar. "I have come for my brother," she told him.

The sorcerer laughed, and the sound of it hurt her ears. "And who are you that I should give him to you?"

"Watch and see," Joan answered, and she reached up a hand and called the lightning.

"I know you," she said as bolts rocked the ground around them, filling the air with the smell of ozone and the dying cries of the sorcerer's minions. "You were Tom Riddle once. Somewhere deep inside, you are Tom Riddle now. I loved Tom, and I think there was a time when he loved me too. He would give me my brother back if I asked it of him."

"Ask, then, child, and see what good it does," the sorcerer sneered.

Joan stepped forward and drove her sword into the altar with a scream of metal and a shower of sparks. "I am Joan. I am a Pureblood, and my brother is a Pureblood. I want my brother back, and I want back the boy I loved, and you will not keep either of them."

"Avada kedavra! " the sorcerer shrieked, and green light filled the air and was driven back by Joan's sword.

There was a long, low roll of thunder and then silence; and the sorcerer began to laugh. He floated down to the altar and cast back his hood, and his face was Tom's and yet not. "You see who I am?" he asked quietly.

"I see," Joan answered. "You loved me once. Give back my brother, and take anything I have in return."

There was another thunderclap and her brother appeared beside the altar.

"Go home, Fred," Joan said, and Fred apparated back to the castle in a blinding flash; and somehow Joan knew that he was home and safe.

"And what will you have in return?" she asked the sorcerer.

"Nothing that you do not want to give," he answered, and held out his hand; and Joan remembered that he had been Tom once, and had loved her when she was special and important to no one else.

Stepping forward, Joan took his hand.

Once upon a time, Ginny tells herself as the Mark sears into her arm, there was a queen named Ginny, who was tall and lovely and terrible, and put an end to war and lifted her family from the kitchen ash they had lain in her whole life. Her king was the most powerful sorcerer in the world, handsome and strong, and wanted no one in the world by his side but her.

Their wedding was glorious, full of candles and firelight, and all the kingdom was there. When Ginny lifted her black veil and turned on her husband's arm to face the crowd, black-hooded heads bowed in row after row in a wave reaching as far back as she could see. In the front of the congregation stood a lubberkin, weeping, and Ginny frowned; on her day, she wanted no tears.

"Why do you weep, lubberkin?" she asked.

"Because I remember when we danced in the moonlight," he answered. "I remember when nothing feared you. I remember your bright armor, and a little girl with pumpkin juice and a plate full of cupcakes in the night. I weep for you, O queen, and for the child that was."

Ginny held out her wand and laughed, and said "Dance, lubberkin."

And the lubberkin danced.

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