Ginny never thought she would find her way back to words.
Before, she’d always loved paper and notebooks and little stationary things. She had a small shelf in her room where she kept her notebooks in a row, nondescript spines in perfect order. Some were full, others only had a page or two of her inky handwriting. (She couldn’t stand having a blank one.) Ginny’s thoughts were safe there. And only once had a brother - Ron - poked around, trying to pry, but Percy had caught him and in his Percy way made sure Ron would never read any of her notebooks ever again.
It was always a competition to make yourself heard in the Weasley family. With pen and paper, it was just her and she could say whatever she wanted. Ginny tried her hand at everything: poems (haiku, sonnets, limericks, and villanelles), prose (mostly short stories, but a few very incomplete novels and novellas, too), and personal essays and various nonfiction bits and bobs. But mostly, Ginny kept a journal, letting her thoughts ripple across the page as she retold each day’s events to herself. (She didn’t know then how much she would come to treasure those written snapshots of a Weasley family not yet touched by Voldemort.)
Lucius Malfoy really had no idea how easy he had made it for himself, slipping her that diary. There was so much precedent for Ginny to be hunkered over a notebook, writing furiously away. No Weasley took any notice at all. Why would they? If Bill was the “hardworking” one, Charlie was the “dragon-obsessed” one, Percy was “straight-laced,” the Twins had their “troublemaker” title, and Ron was… well, Ron, then she was the “writer” in the family. Her parents tended to pigeonhole them this way - maybe to make it easier to keep track of them all - but Ginny really didn’t mind. She liked being the writer. It made her feel important and special.
After, she had to find a new Weasley identity. Her quill was silent and there would be no writing anymore. For awhile, she was even nervous about trying to complete homework assignments, anxious that the parchment not start talking back to her. She would have given anything for a Muggle typewriter, the kind Hermione had told her about.
Eventually, Professor Lupin noticed Ginny’s handwriting kept changing from paper to paper. (She kept begging people to write for her, while she dictated, but it was getting harder and harder to find willing peers.) Lupin hadn’t been there, hadn’t witnessed that long nightmare, so he didn’t treat her like a fragile and foolish girl. He let her sit in his office, and while he worked out lesson plans in that calm way of his, she would unroll her parchment and write, with Lupin occasionally looking over her shoulder to make sure no unseen monster was reaching its claws out towards her.
But still, it wasn’t until after Hogwarts, after Voldemort, and after she started with the Holyhead Harpies that her fingers twitched towards a quill again. Not because she had to write an owl to someone or had a homework assignment to complete, but just for the act of writing itself.
She hadn’t meant to. Ginny had been good about staying away from all that. But here she was. Her thoughts came slow and stuttering at first, but then, like magic, her pen moved confidently across the page, words bursting forth like they’d always been there, waiting for her. She’d found herself again.