Stargazing

Chapter 1

Hufflepuff

Seventh Year

Category: Standard

Word Count: 860 (Word)

Prompt: [Action] Sneaking out of the house, [Weather] Clear skies

Summary: Ginny sneaks out of the house to meet Luna

Creak!

Ginny lifted her foot off the offending step, held her breath, and listened for any sign of disturbance in the rest of the house. With only her parents, Ron, and (most recently) Hermione in the house things had grown so much quieter. She heard another creak signaling the settling of the house's foundations but other than that, no sound. Avoiding the creaky step, she tiptoed through the house, grabbed a blanket out of the laundry and ever so carefully opened the bottom section of the Dutch door leading out to the garden.

As soon as it was quietly shut, she sped through the garden, vaulted over the gate, and raced across the field towards Luna's home. It seemed chillier than usual. Ginny pulled the blanket around her like a shawl and ignored the stitch in her side.

When she reached the pond, she slowed down and walked onto the dock, taking a seat on the very edge. Finally, she could breathe.

With You-Know-Who's return, technically Ginny wasn't allowed out of the house by herself. She wasn't even allowed to go beyond the garden without supervision for fear of her being kidnapped by Death Eaters. Mum was adamant about everyone staying home under her watchful eye. Sometimes she acted like her two youngest children would be snatched right out from under her nose.

Perhaps she had a point. Ginny did, in fact, break into the Ministry of Magic. Still, she did fight off several Death Eaters. She and the others did have to be rescued but they did alright for still being school-aged. Besides, those Death Eaters probably didn't even remember that she had fought them. They were much too focused on Harry Potter.

Besides, the night was too lovely to ignore. The skies were completely clear with no trace of a cloud, the lamps of the nearby town were too dim to blot out the stars. She could see so many. And even in the cold, little fairy lights in gold, pink, and blue dotted the grass surrounding the small body of water she had spent so many summers playing in and winters skating on. Muggles often thought the lights as fireflies but were often dismissed due to there being no fireflies in Britain. At least, that's what Luna said.

Speaking of, where was she? They had agreed to meet just before midnight. Ginny wished she had a watch. Not that she'd be able to see it anyway. The old dock wood was digging into her bum and really was getting cold. Her cheeks were getting numb and she was desperately craving a warm cup of tea just to hold.

"Sorry I'm late," a voice whispered.

Ginny looked over her shoulder and smiled. She could just see Luna in the dim moonlight. At the very least her waist-length hair shone so beautifully it would make a full-blooded veela green with envy.

"What kept you?" Ginny asked in a hushed voice.

"Daddy was up late editing the latest edition of the Quibbler," Luna explained. "I had to climb out the window. I'm sure last summer I could make an excuse, but…"

"I get it," said Ginny, resting her head on Luna's shoulder. "I was actually getting worried you wouldn't show."

"I couldn't miss this," said Luna. "It is your birthday after all. Happy fifteenth."

Ginny grinned. She couldn't quite remember when they started meeting for midnight stargazing around her birthday, but she loved it. It was a tradition for them.

"I did bring you a gift."

"You didn't have to." Ginny accepted the package and quietly opened it, she lifted the lid off the box and found what felt like omnioculars.

"Lie back and hold it to your eyes," Luna instructed.

Ginny lay on her back, Luna lying beside her, and lifted the omnioculars to her face.

"Oh…" she sighed softly.

Through them she could see the sky and the stars, but as she moved the omnioculars around, white lines connected the stars and created a picture for her, the little box at the bottom listing the constellation name.

"Luna," Ginny murmured. "This is beautiful."

"I found the idea in Mummy's old things," said Luna. "I spent all summer making them. I was hoping it would be a clear night, so you could enjoy it more, but they also work on cloudy nights."

"You did beautifully."

Continuing to hold the omnioculars to her face with one hand, she used the other to grope around for Luna's hand. They found each other, and their fingers intertwined. Ginny longed for these moments. The pair had gotten together January of this year and the only person who knew was Neville, who swore to keep it a secret. He even valiantly offered to be a beard should either of them need it which they laughed about and said they would keep it in mind.

"Tell me a story about a constellation," Ginny requested.

"Which one?"

"Anyone."

"As you wish," said Luna. "Look straight up. Do you see Cygnus?"

"I do."

"This is the story of Phaethon and his valiant fight against Heliopaths."

"They're the ones that ride the sky and set fires, right?"

"Exactly."