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01 March 2009 @ 04:04 pm
Ficlet: A Birthday Wish  
Wow, I can't believe I won!


Title: A Birthday Wish
Rating: PG-13?
Warnings: mention of canon character death, grief
Word Count: 416
Author's Notes: Thanks to triskellion for betaing :D
Summary: Some birthdays are harder than others.

“Happy birthday to you.”

Charlie stared wordlessly at the cake his mother carried. It was a simple cake, like it had been every year since he could remember. Chocolate cake, his favourite, complemented perfectly by white icing.

The lettering was in red, as always—Weasley red, they’d always joked.

Now, it only looked like blood. Blood, like the thin line that trailed down Fred’s face when Charlie had fetched his body. Charlie’d wiped it off before his mother could see, and burned his clothes afterward.

He swallowed back the memory that made him want to gag and pasted a smile on for his family.

“Happy birthday to you.”

Molly’s hands shook as she set the cake down. Impulsively, Charlie reached out and squeezed her hand, finding a kind look to give her despite wanting nothing more than to flee this party and the chokingly forced, cloying cheerfulness.

The circle of family stuffed in the dining room felt stifling, but it was too cold to have the party outside. He longed to flee to the reserve, but this was the first birthday since the end of the war when everyone could get together. He hadn’t been able to deny his mother when she’d suggested it, teary-eyed in his fireplace.

“Happy birthday, dear Charlie.”

He pretended he didn’t see his mother’s eyes fill with tears or George turn away, unable to handle the pain of the memories.

Charlie’s heart ached for the raw wound of his family, throbbing painfully with every beat of their hearts. He was all too aware of the fireproof balaclava scrunched up on his head, a tradition started years ago when the twins’ prank singed Charlie’s eyebrows off on his tenth birthday. It felt like a lead-filled hat of grief, a dark beacon for the banshees drawn to heartache. The flecks of candlelight blurred but he sniffed the tears back.

“Happy Birthday to you.”

Charlie closed his eyes, wondering what to wish for. He knew what he wanted, but there were too many candles on the cake for him to believe it would ever come true. Fred couldn’t come back; things couldn’t be like before.

No matter how much he wanted it. No matter how much he hurt.

There was one thing he could wish for, though. He opened his eyes and leaned forward, blowing out all the candles in one blow of air.

Please, let this family heal, he wished.

“Happy birthday,” his family said. It wasn’t, but maybe it would be someday.
Tags: ,
babsbybend: sunshinebabsbybend on March 1st, 2009 09:43 pm (UTC)
It's a beautiful story. Congratulations!
Gelseygelsey on March 2nd, 2009 01:04 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
(Deleted comment)
Gelseygelsey on March 2nd, 2009 01:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm so glad you liked it.

That line actually took forever to figure out. Lol. So glad it worked!
Goddess of Potholes and Puddles: Eureka!smeddley on March 1st, 2009 11:50 pm (UTC)
I'm not surprised it won, it's lovely! Well, sad and heartrending, but, you know, fabulous. :)
Gelseygelsey on March 2nd, 2009 01:06 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :D
myownmuggle: Here There Be Dragonsmyownmuggle on March 1st, 2009 11:52 pm (UTC)
The modlies aren't voting (unless poking sticks are needed), but this was my favorite. A terrific blend of sadness and hope.

Gelseygelsey on March 2nd, 2009 01:06 pm (UTC)
Awww, thanks so much! I'm very glad you enjoyed it.
writersblock76 on March 2nd, 2009 02:05 am (UTC)
Tons of congrats!!! This story was lovely. I loved how each chunk was broken up by bits of the song, like it was a punctuation mark, almost.

And yay for us both making it to week 3! :-)
Gelseygelsey on March 2nd, 2009 01:08 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I like using this method every now and then.

Yes, yaaaay! Here's to making it next week!
(Deleted comment)
Gelseygelsey on March 2nd, 2009 01:08 pm (UTC)
Grins. *huggles*
opaljade: do not interruptopaljade on March 2nd, 2009 02:51 am (UTC)
Beautiful and so very well written! Congrats dear Gelsey!
Gelseygelsey on March 2nd, 2009 01:09 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad you liked it.
pokeystarpokeystar on March 2nd, 2009 06:26 am (UTC)
I'm such a sucker for canon moments (not matter how I selectively ignore it)

I loved this.

I voted for it.

I have good taste.

Gelseygelsey on March 2nd, 2009 01:10 pm (UTC)
Hehe, I'm the same way. I'm so glad you liked it.

Hee! Yes, you do have good taste. *hugs* Thanks for the vote!
lyonzalyonza on March 2nd, 2009 07:11 am (UTC)
Wow sweetie! That's most awesome. *sniffle*
Gelseygelsey on March 2nd, 2009 01:13 pm (UTC)
Thank you! So glad you like it, luv.
LewlinX: WeasleyLXlewlinx on March 2nd, 2009 01:07 pm (UTC)
Oh Gelsey, what a well deserved win!

This is absolutely wonderful, what a great drabble for one of my Weasleys -yes, I do consider them to be mine!-

The anguish and pain it's so vivid it really makes you feel like you're there in the middle of Molly's kitchen seeing all the Weasleys go through the same pain.

Great work, my friend!
Gelseygelsey on March 2nd, 2009 01:23 pm (UTC)
Thank you!! I love the Weasleys (most of them) and especially Charlie right now. Mmmhmm.

I'm glad all that came across. I worked hard to make sure it was there but not too much.

Thanks again!
Tabbywhy_me_why_not on March 3rd, 2009 03:01 am (UTC)
This is so awesomely heartbreaking; it definitely deserved to win. <3
Gelseygelsey on March 3rd, 2009 01:06 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed it!
redvelvetcanopy: Ravenclaw Dress Backredvelvetcanopy on March 5th, 2009 10:47 am (UTC)
This is a real gem, J! I love how it sticks with canon so well, and the reminder of the number of years passed since Fred died in the number of candles is very clever.
Gelseygelsey on March 5th, 2009 01:22 pm (UTC)
Thanks, my friend! I'm so glad you liked it. Sometimes sticking to canon is quite fun to do!