Memoirs of a Red Headed Witch by My Wicked Quill



Summary: Ginny Weasley was always overlooked. Always the youngest, always the smallest, and was never really given the chance to let her voice be heard. But sometimes the best insight comes from those who were always in the background. Her story of redemption, loyalty and love, proves that she was never just the Weasley brothers' little sister.
Rating: PG-13 starstarstarstarstar
Categories: Pre-OotP, Post-OotP, Post-HBP, Post-Hogwarts, Post-DH/AB
Characters: None
Genres: None
Warnings: None
Challenges: None
Series: None
Published: 2010.07.18
Updated: 2018.04.08


Index

Chapter 1: Prologue Bedtime Stories
Chapter 2: Pickled Toad
Chapter 3: Breakfast Woes
Chapter 4: 2017 NEW! Bleeding Between The Lines
Chapter 5: New 2017 Re-Write Chamber Scars
Chapter 6: A Riddle Revealed New 2017 Content
Chapter 7: From England To Egypt and Back
Chapter 8: The Potter Pattern
Chapter 9: The Potter Pattern Part2
Chapter 10: When Brothers Play With Fire New for 2017!
Chapter 11: The Brokenhearted Resolve
Chapter 12: The Art of Growing Up 2018 Addition
Chapter 13: The Unforgivable Dread
Chapter 14: A Marauder's Promise
Chapter 15: The Horse and the Stag
Chapter 16: The Petty Princess and the Pink Frog
Chapter 17: The Chocolaty Defeat of Cho Chang
Chapter 18: A Silver Statement
Chapter 19: Definitions of Phlegm and Feelings
Chapter 20: All's Fair in Love and Quidditch
Chapter 21: By the Lake
Chapter 22: Someone Else's Life
Chapter 23: The Stupid Noble Reason
Chapter 24: The Secrets of Potato Peeling
Chapter 25: The Color of Firewhiskey
Chapter 26: Perks of Playing Nice
Chapter 27: Not Nearly Rock Bottom
Chapter 28: The Breaking Point
Chapter 29: Grasping Smoke and Chasing a Myth
Chapter 30: A Bloody Midnight Game
Chapter 31: A Brave New World
Chapter 32: Finding Forever
Chapter 33: The Last Entry


Chapter 1: Prologue Bedtime Stories

Author's Notes: Ginny Weasley has always been my favorite character, and so when I got this crazy idea last october to sit down and write this, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. But I have found along the way that this ride has been one of the best I've ever been on, re-living this whole story all over again in her point of view.
Currently I am working on the finishing chapters so chapters wll be up soon.
I really hope you enjoy this story, and now let Ginny's story begin!


"Who you are is falling over me,
who you are is falling over me
I'm hoping, I'm waiting, I'm praying,
Yea I'm hoping, I'm waiting I'm praying,
you are the one...."
- Falling Over Me, Demi Lovato


I remember the first time I ever heard the story of the Boy Who Lived. It was Christmas time in 1986, I was five years old, and though I remember very little of that age, I remember that night in particular. Perhaps it’s because that was the night I found out what I wanted in life, what I was going to do and who I was going to be. Yes I know it sounds rather silly, all little girls think about at such a young age are dolly witches and pixies, but I was never your average witch.

Ever since I learned to walk I was already running; my first word was broom all I wanted for birthdays and Christmas’s was to go to a Quidditch Game, get my wand and learn how to hex someone into oblivion. That was most likely due to having six older brothers, yet that didn’t seem to explain the power I showed as a child. Apparently none of my brothers had been able to destroy a whole kitchen when they had a temper tantrum.

Anyway, that night I was so sure, when I think back on it I want to laugh, I never had a doubt in my mind what my future would hold.

It was Christmas Eve, and the entire family was home, all my brothers home from work and school, and naturally I was being sent to bed long before I was ready. And I, being my usual hot-tempered and stubborn self, was giving hell to my eldest brother, Bill as he tried to get me to sleep. Which included being difficult as he picked out a bed time story.

Bill wasn’t the most firm brother nor was he one to turn me in when he caught in one of my acts, of all my brother’s he was the more… adventurous. In succession, my brother Charlie was the most rebellious and danger prone; Percy was the strict and snooty; he always had his nose high. Fred and George were the clowns and pranksters getting it from mum daily if not hourly, and then there was my brother Ron. He was the most oblivious and sensitive, but loyal to the bone. And at the tender age of five, I Ginevra Molly Weasley was already portraying traits from each of my brothers.

I told Bill I was tired of The Wizard and the Hopping Pot; sick of Babbitty Rabbitty; bored of The Tale of Three Brothers, and warned him that if he even tried to tell me again of that damned Hairy Heart I would bite him.

“Fine then, I guess you’ll have to do without a story,” he said, frustrated, as he got up from my bed.

“Only because my brother who thinks he’s so smart can’t even think of a proper
one!” I replied, giving him my fiercest pout.

Bill had just about reached the door when he stopped.

I didn’t know, then, what he was doing I thought he just hated the fact that his
baby sister called him thick to his face. But now I know that he was debating whether to continue through the door out of the room or turn around and tell me the story he might get in trouble for.

My siblings and I have always had a reputation for bending the rules, well maybe all except for Percy. He never fit in much anyway. It was always a sight to watch when Fred and George managed to talk their way out of punishment. They would squeeze the truth twist it and turn it until there was only a thread of it left, making their excuses think as brick. The only option my mother had was to let them off with a warning, over the years I picked up a few things.

“Has Mum or Dad ever told you the story of Harry Potter?” Bill turned around to meet my eyes. I could never forget his face, so full of wonder, mischief, and awe.

“Who’s Harry Potter?”

We both ended up on my bed, I willingly, got under the covers to hear. As he told me the tale I clearly pictured in my head a sight that I still hold in my head to this day, one of a handsome young prince waving his sword, saving the world. He eventually became my prince in my head, coming to save me from the house of a million red heads. I always loved my family dearly, though it could at times be overwhelming.

But he wasn’t just that. This boy, who I had just heard of, had no family, no mum or dad to call his own, while as I had enough to last three lifetimes. Harry Potter saved the world but it was still the saddest story I had ever heard.

“Bill?”

“Yeah?” His voice seemed startled, he must have thought I fell asleep; I was only lying next to him staring out my window at the endless snow. Had Harry Potter ever seen snow like that? Did he have anyone to have a snow ball fight with? I had so many questions.

But I wanted to find out the answers on my own.

“I’m going to marry him someday.”

Bill was silent for a moment, then laughed, “Who? Harry Potter?”

“Mmmhh,” I nodded softly closing my eyes.

“Ginny, who says you’re ever going to meet him?”

“I do.”

Bill must have thought I was delirious from sleep, but he seemed curious now, “So you’re going to…meet him…and marry him?”

“I’m going to be his family, if I have one, he should have one too.”

I felt Bill kiss the top of my head, “You really are something Ginny Weasley, that Potter won’t know what hit him.” he laughed again.

I was drifting off to dream about this new boy in my life but managed to say one last thing, “You’ll see Bill, a couple of years from now you’ll see you were wrong.”

“We’ll have to wait and see then.”

Call it a prophecy, call it destiny, fate, whatever you believe it to be, but I knew
right then and there that I was going to make Harry Potter smile, and know he was loved.

That was the first Christmas I wished for the Boy-Who-Lived.

Back to index


Chapter 2: Pickled Toad

Author's Notes: NEWLY REVISITED! EDITED AND NEW MATERIAL!


“Your beautiful eyes, stare right into my, eyes
You’re here, you’re eyes are looking into mine
So baby make me fly
My heart has never felt this way before….”
-Beautiful Eyes, Taylor Swift



I remember the first time I ever saw Harry Potter, ironic of course that I didn’t have a clue who I was staring at so boldly. It’s a small story including a train station, unnerved tears, and a wizarding barrier. My mother and I were seeing off my remaining brothers as they prepared to board the train to school for the beginning of term.

I was not handling it very well; each year I was left behind, I had the consolation that my brother Ron, who was only one year older, would stay behind as well. This was Ron’s first year at Hogwarts, thus leaving me to fend for myself. I hated being the youngest. I complained and begged my mother to let me go with them, telling her that no one would care if I went a year early, of course, I hadn’t resulted to screaming and lashing out- I was far to dignified to put on a show. But, my mother wouldn’t see to it. No matter how my persuasive voice was heard, it still fell on deaf ears.

So, I felt my eyes welling up.

I never cried.

Ginny Weasley never cried.

I just wanted to go so badly; I wanted to learn how to control my magic and use it how I wanted. However, I had to wait another bloody year, and this time, alone.

We had just reached the barrier between platforms nine and ten at the muggle station, my mother leading the pack, when I saw him. I was staying close to my mother in case my unwanted tears dared to give way and my brothers would see.

That’s when a young boy came up to us.

I laid my eyes on him and every other thought left my head. (I didn’t know, then, that I would never lay eyes on another boy the same way.) He was about as tall as Ron, only much skinnier, almost to an extreme; it was obvious by the way his clothes hung off him that he wasn’t well fed. He was pale and wore glasses, but he was easily the most handsome boy I had ever seen.

His eyes…his eyes, were emeralds and maybe I was so dazed, maybe it was because all coherent thought, (I’m still not sure why this came to my head then.) but they suddenly reminded me of fresh pickled toad. His eyes were big and bright, full of elation and a kind of happiness and fear and nervousness I had never seen before, even behind his round spectacles, I could read him like a book. I could see straight into him.

It was a lot to take in for a ten-year-old girl.

His hair was midnight black and it stood up in strange places, making it fun to look at.

I hadn’t been paying attention to the conversation he was having with my mother but I took it that he was a first year and wanted to know how to get on the platform.

I found odd that he didn’t know; what wizard didn’t know how to get to Hogwarts? And why was he all alone?

I wanted to pay attention, honestly I did, but he was so…distracting? I was only ten; I didn’t know anything about those feelings. So I just stood there, smiling, staring, all trace of tears or would-be-tears gone, all I felt was some kind of magic inside me.

Love at first sight? Maybe.

Back then…I didn’t even know who he was.

I heard the last of my mother’s explanation, and I could see he was nervous when it was his time to run through the wall. I managed to open my mouth,

“Good luck!” I called to him. He turned to see me, and he seemed to relax, I must have given him the encouragement he needed. He smiled and then disappeared through the barrier.

And just like that, he was gone.

My brothers then left, one by one, and my mother and I followed. I tried to look for the boy on the other side, but I couldn’t see him.

The train was one of the most beautiful sights I’d seen in my lifetime since I had yet to see the castle with my own eyes. But the scarlet engine was magical all on its own. I watched the hustle and bustle from tight beside my mother, and tuned out my brothers’ bickering.

Look after Ron…Fred, George stop!...Percy’s a prefect….blah blah blah…

It got all so tiresome.

That is, until Fred and George mentioned the boy. My attention returned to my family. “You know the black haired boy who was near us in the station? Know who he is?”

“Who?” asked Ron.

“Harry Potter!”

That was the moment my world changed for good. I had actually met THE Harry Potter. Never in my dizziest daydreams had I pictured him like that. He was so normal, so boyish, so…wonderful. In that moment, there was nothing I wanted more than to run onto that train and introduce myself. Nothing.

“Oh, Mum, can I go on the train and see him, Mum, oh please…”

“You’ve already seen him, Ginny, and the poor boy isn’t something you goggle at in a zoo.”

I scowled, and was about to contort, but she turned to Fred, “Is he really, Fred? How do you know?”

“Asked him. Saw his scar. It’s really there- like lightening.”

I tuned out again. This time, from shock. So it was all true then. The stories, the scar, it was all real. But most importantly, FRED AND GEORGE SPOKEN TO HARRY POTTER AND I HADN’T?

My brothers were saying their final goodbyes while I was losing my chance to meet him. As my brother’s got on the train, I almost started to cry. It was just so damn unfair!


“Don’t, Ginny,” said Fred, “We’ll send you loads of owls.”
But that didn’t console me one bit. The train pulled away and I couldn’t help but chase after it.

“Ginny!” warned my mother, but ignore her. I didn’t want the train to fall out of my eye sight, I waved, hoping that by some miracle Harry Potter was watching me and would wave back.

When I realized how silly that really was, I stopped running. My heart sank as the sound of the engine faded into the distance….without me.

My mother has always been a bright woman, and with having seven children, nothing really ever got past her.

On our way home, I saw her stealing glances at me, it was becoming rather annoying. It took a long, antagonizing while before she spoke.

“Is my daughter, the fine Ginny Weasley, smitten?” her voice was smirking on its own, in the way only Molly Weasley’s voice could.

I blushed, the trademark Weasley blush, my face going as red as my hair.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

My mother wasn’t buying it, naturally, but she spared me.

We figured that over the next few days the reason none of my brothers had written was because they were getting settled for another school year. And I didn’t need letters, I was sure Percy was being his jaunty Head Boy self, Fred and George wreaking havoc and Ron, well, Ron was most likely as insipid there as he was at home.

Two out of three wasn't bad.

Truth was, I missed them terribly, and being the only child in the house was strange.
When we got our first letter from Ron, a little over a week later, I sat to hear what it was like; I had already imagined what the castle looked like but I was always eager for more information, and if he managed to say anything about Harry Potter…

It was a long shot, but a girl could dream.

Ron’s letter, however, was better than I could have ever hoped for, because as horrible as it sound, I didn't really expect much from my brother, he had become best friends with the boy from the train station. With THE Harry Potter.

My mother did not spare me for the remainder of the year.
That Christmas, I wished that Ron wouldn't ruin that friendship

Back to index


Chapter 3: Breakfast Woes

Author's Notes: Thank you soooo much for nominating me for the September/October Dumbledore's Trinket award for Best Romance!!
This story will be posted as it is validated, soon you'll be caught up to the point i'm at (Deathly Hallows)
These first few chapters, just so you know, are pretty quick memories due tot he fact that she wasn't a huge character. But be warned it will get better they will be longer and much more detailed, Enjoy!


"I can't keep myself from doing something stupid,

Think I'm really falling for his smile,

Get butterflies when he says my name,

He's got something special

and when he's lookin’ at me

I wanna get all sentimental

I can hardly breathe something

telling me

Maybe he could be the one,” He Could Be the One, Hannah Montana

I have a strong feeling everyone remembers the first conversation I had with him-or what would have been a conversation had I not been such a giddy ninny. From the moment Harry Potter first stepped into my house I wasn’t the same person for years. I was quiet and shy, two qualities that had not once been related to me, clumsy, bashful, all the terrible things I never wanted to be.

The night before it happened, my brothers were whispering up a whirl wind of plans about taking our father’s flying Ford Anglia to break Harry out of his aunt and uncles house. Naturally, without the consent, or permission of Mum and Dad; not that I worried so much about that.

“Are they really treating him that badly?” I asked from the doorway to Fred and George’s room. Ron and the twins were huddled in the center between the two beds, surrounded by boxes and crates holding hundreds of who-knew-what kinds of mischievous contraptions, that no matter whom you were or how annoying you found them to be, made you smile. Yes Fred and George always knew how to cheer someone up. But at the moment, Fred was dangling the keys to the car in his hand, looking up at me pointedly.

I had only asked for sake of curiosity; there was nothing I wanted more than for Harry to spend some time with our family.

“Well, if it isn’t Mrs. Potter!” Fred began his and his twin’s endless banter.

“Worried about Harry now?” George followed.

“You should be-”

“They starve him-”

“And hit him-”

“Bars on his windows!”

“We’re sure you’d want to make him feel better?”

“Hmm… In what ways dear Fred?”

“Well, George, they say a kiss can take any pain away!”

As they started off making kissing faces and noises, Ron stared at me thoughtfully, I didn’t dwell on him. I rolled my eyes.

“Take me with you,” I said simply.

“No,” They all answered at once.

“Why not? You never let me do anything! You know fair well I can help.”

The twins stood up, these were the brothers I took after the most, and it seemed at age eleven I was already following in their footsteps.

“Ginevra. If we take you with us,”

“Then who will be the look out?”

“Percy?” they asked unanimously laughing at the thought.

“No one can cover for us the way you can.”

Crossing my arms I glared up at them. “That worked when I was six, I’m not falling for it again.”

“Well, then, sorry sis!” they said, closing the door in my face. My temper flared; that was undoubtedly plain rude.

Pounding my fist on the door I called, “Just you wait until I get my wand next week!” and stomped away.

I heard my brothers sneak down that stairs and past my door late that night. I remember how I listened for them, because I knew that since my bedroom was on the third landing of the house they’d have to pass me to get down to the garden. Some of me wanted to walk out of my room and demand again that I accompany them, but in the end I decided against it. I turned in my bed and fell asleep quickly.

I awoke to a commotion in the kitchen. Jumping out of bed I wanted to get dressed quickly in the clothing I had laid out to wear that night when I found that my brothers were planning on bringing him home. I was going to look my best. But of course, my clothes were no where to be seen. Groaning I tore my small room apart, searching for the clothes I had put on my dresser just hours prior.

I spent about ten minutes until I gave up. I needed that jumper. It was the one that would most impress Harry. I never really minded much that my family didn’t have much money, due to the fact that my mother could knit up a storm. Heaving a deep breath I wrapped my bathrobe around me and rushed out the door.

No doubt my mother took the clothes from my room this morning; she had to have known where they were.

I can’t believe, even now, that I was foolish enough on the morning I knew the great Harry Potter, the dazzling brave boy who I had convinced myself at such a young age, was going to be a part of my life one day, would be at my house, that I would walk out of my room, bed headed, sleepy-eyed, morning-breathed and still in my pajamas. I will never forgive myself for that.

I ran down three short flights of stair that led into the kitchen, announcing loudly, “Mummy have you seen my jumper?”

“Are you speaking of the clothes I found thrown all over your…”

But that’s the last I heard of that, because I noticed that not all of the heads the breakfast table were flaming red. Harry Potter’s black hair stuck out like a sore thumb. In that instant he put his fork down and turned to me with the brightest expression I had ever seen, “Hello!”

My brothers were trying not to laugh.

I was trying not to faint.

My mother was going on about my clothes.

I met his eyes for one last second before I ran back up the stairs at full speed. I reached my room, but not before I heard Ron’s voice,

“Ginny, my sister, she’s been talking about you all summer.”

“My more like all her life,” Fred and George muttered.

“What?” Harry’s voice asked.

“Never mind.”

With that I closed my door and sank to the floor with embarrassment. It was my first chance with Harry Potter and I had blown it.

He had gotten older, obviously, but his features had gotten even more partial. Or maybe it was because I hadn’t seen him in a whole year. But my heart was racing my cheeks were flushed, and I’d made myself look like a fool. It would not happen again. I would not let it.

I avoided Harry as often as I could, because I was trying to cope from my former embarrassment and also because I was trying to muster up the courage to speak to him. All in all I wasn’t fairing well, and every chance they got, my brothers made sure I was aware of it. It only got worse.

The next morning, I had learned my lesson, I had my long red mane brushed, breath fresh, face cleaned and was properly dressed before descending into the kitchen. My parents were already down, my mother bustling around making breakfast and my father seated with the Daily Prophet in hand.

I began eating the porridge my mother placed in front of me keeping my eyes away from my father who was watching me as though I had grown another head.

My father wasn’t always so keen on noticing the obvious, in my years since hearing of Harry I had gone around saying I would end up with him, but my father barely took notice. Now, my lack of charisma and quiet appeal since Harry entered the threshold must have him confused beyond belief.

“I’ll tell you later dear,” my mother whispered to my father as she set a steaming cup of tea before him. She thought I couldn’t hear. I pretended I didn’t and blushed into my bowl. I had been doing a lot of that lately.

That’s when Ron and Harry came down the stairs.

One glance at him and somehow my porridge bowl ended up beneath the table. Harry nobly acted as though he hadn’t seen and I ducked under the table to retrieve it. And perhaps control my blush a bit so that he wouldn’t see it. I smacked myself on the head.

Never had I ever been like that.

Back then, I thought Harry must have cast a spell on me at some point turning me into this Ginny Weasley who was slowly becoming more and more ridiculous. I didn’t know that it was just the start of a long winding road of affection for him.

Breakfast went on smoothly after that, until Harry outright spoke to me again. I had told myself that if he were to speak to me I would answer, no matter what it was, that way he would know I had a voice, one that usually never shut up.

The conversation had been revolving around the arrival of our Hogwarts letters, my very first one in fact, when Harry looked up, interested.

“Oh, are you starting at Hogwarts this year?”

He was so kind, so friendly, I found myself swooning, swooning! I managed to nod; there went my promise of speaking to him. I felt myself blushing- again- and somehow, again I don’t remember the mechanics of these small details I only remember the clear feeling of having my elbow in the butter dish.

And of course the only one to see this display, Harry Potter.

That was only just the beginning.

Back to index


Chapter 4: 2017 NEW! Bleeding Between The Lines

Author's Notes: Check out the new scenes and edits 2017 edition. I've split Chamber Scars into two chapter to go more in depth.


Entry 4
Bleeding Between the Lines
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

“You saw me there, but never knew
That I would give it all up to be
A part of this, a part of you.
And now it's all too late. So you see...
You could've helped if you had wanted to
But no one notices until it's too late to do anything
So how can I ever try to be better?
Nobody ever lets me in
I can still see you.
This ain't the best view
On the outside looking in…”
-The outside, Taylor Swift


Diagon Alley was the most magical just before the start of term. I was so excited to be starting school, that I didn’t even complain that we had to shop for second hand supplies. My family’s monetary struggles were something I was used to and understood despite the downsides. My father worked for the Ministry of Magic in the Misuse of Muggle Artefacts office, a not very well paying job, but my father loved what he did. That to me was worth more than any amount of galleons.

Walking down Diagon Alley with my entire family, Hermione Granger and Harry Potter was a great way to remember the start of my first school year experience. I remember that summer my mother had become completely enthralled by an author named Gilderoy Lockhart. She read anything he wrote, not to mention thought he was absolutely adorable. And she wasn’t the only one. When we heard that Lockhart was going to be signing books at the shop named Flourish and Blotts she made sure to drag us all along.

Gilderoy Lockhart was just as charming as I thought he would be. It was ridiculous. As handsome as he was, his theatrical personality was completely over the top. But my mother loved it, and I had to admit…I did to.

It all started the moment Lockhart saw Harry Potter standing in the crowd.

“It can’t be Harry Potter?” (COS page60)

Harry stiffened and I could tell he wanted to slip away into a dark corner. But Lockhart wasn’t going to have any of that. He jumped into the audience and plucked Harry out and onto the stage with him. Harry was blushing but the crowd was loving it. Photographers went wild.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” announced Lockhart, “What an extraordinary moment this is! The perfect moment for me to make a little announcement I’ve been sitting on for some time! I have great pleasure and pride in announcing that this September, I will be taking up the post of Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry!”

The crowd exploded in cheers. It was rather exciting; I was going to be taught by such a renowned wizard, whose tales and adventure in all his books were utterly fascinating.

Lockhart thrusted his complete works into Harry arms- as a great publicity move no doubt- and Harry sauntered out of the lime light towards me.

“You have these,” (COS page61) he told me, placing the new books inside my new cauldron. I beamed. “I’ll buy my own-”

“Bet you loved that didn’t you, Potter?” Interrupted a silver-haired boy with a wicked glare.

Based on the stories Ron had told me from his first year at school I could tell the boy was Draco Malfoy.

The Malfoy family was an awful lot, many nights my father would return home from work furious about his latest encounter with Lucius Malfoy, Draco’s father, who also worked for the Ministry. They were an old pure-blooded family, with a long line of wizarding ancestry. They were rich, powerful and rotten to the core. Draco had started his first year alongside my brother, Harry and Hermione and it was already established they were to be school rivals. After all, Draco and his family were all Slytherins, of course.

“Famous Harry Potter,” continued Malfoy, “Can’t even go into a bookshop without making the front page.”

His demeaning sneer, it —well- it pissed me off. “Leave him alone,” I sneered back. “He didn’t want all that!”
Malfoy seemed amused at my outburst, “Potter, you’ve got yourself a girlfriend!”
That was so much worse than putting my elbow in the butter dish. My face was radiating so much heat I almost started to sweat.

I had never been so happy to see Ron in my life as he and Hermione interrupted the conversation, “Oh it’s you,” he said.
As Malfoy began to insult my family’s financial status, I was glad to note that my father was coming to break up the scene.

But just as Harry and Hermione were holding Ron back from pummeling Draco, Lucius Malfoy appeared.

“Well, well, well- Arthur Weasley.” (COS page62)

“Lucius,” dad said shortly.

“Busy time at the Ministry, I hear, all those raids…I hope they are paying you overtime?”
Mr. Malfoy reached into my cauldron and before I could move away, he grabbed one oy my books to examine it. His height was daunting and this long silver hair was too pristine. He made me completely uneasy, and it wasn’t just because he was looking distastefully at the second hand text book.

“Obviously not,” he said. “Dear me, what’s the use of being a disgrace to the name of wizard if they don’t even pay you well for it?”

Weasley was a very old pure blood line as well, but as snobbish as the Malfoy’s were, they, along with many other traditional wizarding families believed that Half-Blood wizards and Muggle-Borns were second rate and did not belong in the wizarding community. For centuries this ideal had been a political struggle. You-Know-Who was after the purification of the wizarding world: extermination of Muggle-Borns, Half-Bloods…and muggles. But You-Know-Who had been defeated and his followers were silenced. Thanks to Harry Potter.

Malfoy’s opinion that my family were traitors to the Pure-Blood line was a ridiculous and ancient notion. Not to mention immoral. Just because we associated with all witches, wizards and muggles alike only made us decent human beings. The fact that my father worked for the Ministry in a muggle department didn’t make him a disgrace. It made him wonderful.

Dad’s eyes narrowed to slits, “We have a very different idea of what disgraces the name of wizard, Malfoy.”

“Cleary,” Mr. Malfoy replied, placing a hand on Draco’s shoulder and glancing at Hermione, who everyone knew had muggle parents. “The company you keep, Weasley and I thought your family could sink no lower-”

Uncharacteristically, my father lost his temper, and well, threw himself at Malfoy. Had I now been so completely shocked I may have held my cauldron a bit tighter when my father flew past and it wouldn’t have been ripped from my grasp.

Everyone gasped as Malfoy and my father disappeared in a cloud of books. My own books had gone flying everywhere and I scrambled around trying to grab them all as Fred and George cheered my father on and the clerks tried to control the situation.

I had never seen my father in a brawl before. I thought it was bloody brilliant. My mother, however, did not.

When my father and Malfoy were separated Malfoy was still holding my book. “Here girl,” (COS page63) he growled,
“Take your book- it’s the best your father can give you.” With that, he shoved the book forcefully and uneasily back into my cauldron, grabbed Draco’s collar and dragged him out of the shop.

The lot of us left immediately, not wanting to cause any more trouble.

“You alright there, Ginny? Were you able to grab all your belongings?” Harry’s timid voice came from beside me out on the street. I could tell he was thinking the whole scene was his fault.

“Err-Uh-Yes,” I said, blushing. “…Thanks,” I managed but he was already catching up to Ron and Hermione.

I realized that until that incident, Harry hadn’t ever even heard my voice. Not a bad way to have started, if I do say so myself.



My first year started just the same way it started for young witch or wizard taking their first steps in Hogwarts. Nervous and excited, not sure what to expect, though I had six older brothers who could very well tell me what to look out for, their words of wisdom were roughly the same.

“When you see the cat, run in the other direction, and you’ll be fine.”

So when professor McGonagall lead the first years in my class down the entrance hall, I knew we were being sorted into our Hogwarts houses, but not much else. When I saw Filtch for the first time holding Ms. Norris in the corner of the room, I got the picture.

As my name was called to be sorted, I caught eyes with Fred, George and Percy, they nodded slightly, as though it was obvious already what my fate would be. I was under a lot of pressure; the entire pure-blood line of Weasley’s had been accepted with open arms into Gryffindor the home of the courageous and noble, watch my luck to land anywhere else. I remember my heart pounding in my ears, and yet somehow within all my worries, I managed to notice that Harry was nowhere in the room. Call it my Potter radar that I had acquired that summer (which only grew as time went on) but I knew he wasn’t anywhere near, and that distraction calmed my nerves. The moment the Sorting Hat was set on my head it was speaking.

“And yet another Weasley? I’ve seen enough in my day to make an army. But… ahhh.. Wait, wait! A girl…what have we here?” I could see all the other students waiting on a verdict; I had never heard him speak like that to another first year.

I had no clue when I was eleven that the person who wore the hat was the only one who could hear what it said.

The hat began again, “I feel strength, a power that in unknown…the seventh child in a pure-blood family…the first female in seven generations…they say seven is a lucky number in the Wizarding World. Now down to business, you’d do well in Ravenclaw, but your passion and loyalty make it obvious there is only one house for you…”

I never really gave much thought to what the sorting hat said, though maybe I should have when I went to sit with my brothers I got a clap on the back from my new classmates and pushed it out of my mind. I wondered where Harry and Ron had gone off to. I saw Ron and Harry’s bushy-haired friend Hermione sitting beside George with the same question on her face. She met my gaze and smiled softly and turned her attention back to the first years.

I didn’t take long for the whole school to hear about my brother and Harry’s scene with the flying car and the Whomping Willow. I mean, it was in the paper for crying outload.

My father’s obsession with muggle items saw no bounds. He had charmed a muggle vehicle to be able to fly. Apparently Ron and Harry had missed the train. While I just thought they had gone off without me, it turned out they never made it on the Hogwarts Express. Ron’s brilliant idea of stealing my dad’s car and flying it to the school ended terribly when they landed in the only magical tree on the grounds that can actually kill you.

That was when I started getting an idea of what it was like to go to a Wizarding school with the great Harry Potter, the brightest witch of our age and an army of Weasley boys.

And now I had been thrown into the equation.

But I would have never expected to affect that equation to the extent I did in my first year. To this day it is still hard and painful to think about that time in my life, the time that should have been fun and light hearted, making friends, learning, laughing, but what I got out of my first year was fear and scars that would never truly go away.

I didn't really expect to be hanging around my brothers so much in school. It wasn’t as though I imagined the six of us all eating lunch and dinner together every day and completing homework and joking around and laughing all the time as we did at home. I wasn't upset by the fact that they all had their own lives and friends at school. What bothered me was my utter insignificance.

They acted as though I wasn't even there. The fact that I had five older brothers all living in the same dormitory tower and I never got the slightest bit of recognition from them after the welcome feast was what hurt.
I knew I wasn't in their year, I knew I was just a little first year, but it was as though they were afraid I'd embarrass them for just existing. I was used to them playing the older and wiser card when they were doing something boyish and didn't want me around at home, but they rarely excluded me from the shenanigans as a kid. It seemed as though the moment they all started school I was forgotten and always excluded. I had hoped that once I had started at Hogwarts, perhaps they would begin to see me again.

I was wrong.

I spent a lot of my time watching from the corner of the room as Fred and George joked around with their best friend Lee Jordan, Ron ran around after Harry and Hermione and even Percy, when he wasn't bossing the Gryffindors around as Head Boy was connecting with some girl named Penelope.

Naturally, I knew I was going to be making my own friends but it seemed that my red hair branded me just another Weasley, and the Gryffindors decided that already knew me. So no one tried.

Luna Lovegood was a friend of mine since we were younger. She lived with her father in a cottage near the Burrow and on occasion my mother would have her come play with me at our home when my brothers were away at school. Mum always thought Luna's mother's death was utterly tragic and that, "The girl needed a motherly touch once in a while."

So Luna would come and play with me outside. With so many boys it the house it was nice to have a girl my age to have fun with. I was heartbroken when Luna was sorted into Ravenclaw, the house of intellect and wit.

While I sat beside her in classes, I didn't see her too often. Yet, her friendship was very close to my heart.

I still couldn't help but feel a little jealous at Ron Harry and Hermione. Ron was my closest brother, and I was used to spending time with him. It hurt to see him ignore me so consistently and avoid me so often. I was jealous that Harry liked him so much while I couldn't even form two sentences around Harry. I felt there was this wall I couldn't breech: wall that wasn't allowing me to break through and be myself. There was something holding me back. Something holding me down.

I first noticed the diary the day we got home from Diagon Alley, it was mixed in with my newly bought school supplies as well as the brand new books Harry so graciously gave to me. At the beginning, I thought mum had gotten it for me as a sort of going to school present, it was rater nice, the black leather was trimmed with a gold accent, making it look professional and sophisticated. Naturally, I kept it without question. I planned to write all my experiences at school, but so far all I could come up with was the unfortunate fact that I had to start off with second hand robes and hand-me-down school books, the endless silence of my brothers and the small fact that the boy who had already captured my heart didn’t know I existed. So I started with that.

Only to find that the diary spoke back. I was startled at first but then I realized it must have been charmed to act as a friend in your pocket. He said his name was Tom.


ME:I’m not really sure why I had been so excited to go to Hogwarts, it seems like nothing but work so far, the castle is beautiful, but I felt I would be having more fun by now.

TOM:Well the first few weeks are always the hardest, but don’t worry soon you’ll have more friends than you can count, as long as you don’t forget me.

ME:Tom you don’t honestly think I’d forget my first friend here would you? You’ve been wonderful.

He was kind and understanding, everything I wanted in a friend that I had yet to truly find at school. He gave me advice and tried to cheer me up as he put up with my constant woes about the boy who I wanted so much. I told Tom everything, the entire story of Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived. The story I had heard at least a thousand times since I was five.

This seemed to interest him extremely. He asked questions, endless questions about Harry and Voldemort. (Of course back then I still referred to him as You Know Who) so I gave him answers. In the first few months of school I grew closer to Tom than I had to anyone else.

TOM:So this Harry Potter character, he’s done nothing of importance since he defeated the Dark Lord as a child?

ME:Well, last year You-Know-Who came back to steal the Sorcerer’s Stone; he leeched himself onto the back of the head of some teacher. Harry stopped him before it was too late. I wish I could have been here to see that.

TOM:So twice then? He’s defeated the Dark Lord twice?

ME:Isn’t he brilliant?

TOM:Yes. Just brilliant.

Then things started happening. The morning I woke up drenched in blood and feathers I thought it was red paint; I couldn’t for the life of me remember what had happened. I remember that morning as though it were yesterday. I tried so hard to come up with an idea for what had happened that night as a showered, scrubbing off the red substance. I didn’t wasn’t to admit it, but it felt like blood. I came up with nothing.

I was utterly alone. I could tell no one. I was terrified.

That’s when the first attack happened.

I was walking with a few others back to the common room after dinner that night when we passed a corridor that was flooded with water, when I looked up, there was Harry Ron and Hermione looking at the wall on completer horror.

“What do you reckon they’re up to now?” my new friend Colin asked me.

“What do you mean?” the water on the floor was seeping into my shoes as more and more people arrived.

“Your brother, Granger and Potter, they always seem to be causing trouble.”

I thought of their adventure the previous year as well as the flying car incident at the beginning of term. “Yeah, I guess you’re right.”

I heard gasps and some screams and teachers yelling at students to get out of the way.

The wall has some horrendous writing on it, in what people seemed to think was dripping blood. It looked just like the paint I found all over my hands just hours before. And there was the cat, Ms. Norris, the first victim to be petrified. She was frozen stiff.

I watched from the crowds and Filtch tried to pin the mess on Harry, just because he was at the wrong place at the wrong time.

All the way back to the common room I had a strange sensation at the back of my mind telling me the words on the wall were more familiar than I realized.

The Chamber of Secrets has been opened. Enemies of the Heir beware.

When we made it upstairs, I went straight to Tom.

The biggest mistake of my life.

ME:It said; the Chamber of Secrets has been opened.

TOM:Wow, that Harry Potter must have some nerve.

ME:It wasn’t him though! I know it wasn’t Harry would never do something like that.

TOM:Not many people have the power to open the Chamber of Secrets Ginevra.

ME:What do you mean? What do you know Tom?

TOM:Ah now you find me so interesting, the past few days it’s as though you’ve forgotten me.

ME:I’m making friends Tom! Aren’t you at all happy for me?

TOM:I miss you that’s all.

ME:I’m not going to stop writing to you I promise.

TOM:Well then, I’ll let you know this, the only way to open the Chamber of Secrets is to be a parsletongue, meaning you can speak to snakes. The only person to have that ability was Salazar Slytherin, and his descendants. Can Harry speak to snakes?

ME:I…I’m not sure.

TOM:Oh and Ginny, you can’t tell anyone what I’ve told you. It might get you into trouble for knowing so much, we must keep it a secret alright?


As time went on, students began to be targeted. Students were being petrified. and I was losing more and more of my memory, I never knew where I had been or what I had been doing during the time of the attacks. Percy kept telling me I was too pale, and not myself, I just figured it had to do with the newly found stress of trying to fill the gaps in my brain.

School was becoming dangerous, and I hated the fact that everyone seemed to turn on Harry. I had heard that during a dueling match in Defense Against the Dark Arts class that Harry had spoken to a snake that was conjured as an offending move. Only, he was speaking in snake language, and everyone heard him.

According what Tom had told me… it wasn’t looking good for Harry.

Students believed him to be the heir of Slytherin, the one who opened the Chamber of Secrets. But I knew deep down Harry would never be something so evil, he was the knight of Gryffindor if anything. Even after my talk with Tom I knew it wouldn’t be Harry, surely there was someone else who could speak to snakes?

ME:So the Chamber of Secrets was created by Salazar Slytherin?

TOM:Yes. When Salazar Slytherin founded Hogwarts he created the Chamber to house his…pet.

ME:Pet?

TOM:Speaking to snakes was a Slytherin trait. The family was rather fond of them.

ME:Are you telling my there are snakes in the Chamber? What for, why did he-

TOM:Lets just say Salazar didn’t like all students at Hogwarts, and well…he made a way to fix that.

ME:How do you know all this?

TOM:The Chamber was opened 50 years ago. I was there, I saw everything.

ME:What???? Do you know who opened it? Do you know who the hair of Slytherin is Tom?

ME:Tom??

TOM:I’m bored of this topic Ginevra. Tell me about Dumbledore, what do you think of him?


Everywhere I went, people were speaking ill of Harry and deep down I worried that it was all my fault, more attacks, no alibi, I started believing I was the one attacking the students. But it was impossible, why would I do something like that, even if I wasn’t in my right mind? I had no idea what could be making me do things like that, if it was me.

I was so scared.

ME:I don’t know what’s happening Tom, more and more people are getting hurt and I can’t figure out where I’ve been most of the time!

TOM:Well, what kind of people exactly are getting hurt?

ME:There was first Mrs. Norris and then my friend Colin and Justin Fitch-Fletchley just the other day, I heard Malfoy talking with some Slytherin about the fact that they are all muggleborns.

TOM:Then it’s alright, everything will work out.

ME:How could you say that Tom? These attacks…they’re horrible!

TOM:I guess I see things in a different perspective.

ME:What perspective?

TOM: Do you really think a mudblood could ever be as powerful as a pure-blooded wizard, Ginevra? Their born from muggles, magic doesn't run through their veins the way it should. Hiding our magic from the muggle world represses our power, yet we are still expected to allow their children into our community? It's a disgrace.

ME: Just because muggleborns' parents aren't magical doesn't mean they are any less talented, Tom! How does this justify students dying here!?

TOM:Have you ever seen the light go out of someone’s eyes, Ginny?

ME: What kind of question is that?

TOM:There is beauty in death. You shouldn’t be so opposed to the idea.


And that’s when I became suspicious of my diary.

Tom had been so intrigued with the attacks going on at school, although I knew he was withholding information from me. He was becoming so close to the situation and close to me as well, it didn’t seem healthy. My gut told me that it was Tom, messing with my head and making me do things. He seemed to get off on the misery I poured into him.

I started having dreams of walking down corridors, day dreams in the middle of class of places in the castle I had never even been and several occurrences of déjà-vu.

Tom’s tone changed almost overnight. He started telling my things about myself I knew I had never told him. He began telling me of his childhood…setting things on fire…watching it burn…

TOM:You know Harry Potter will never look twice at you with all those freckles that mark your face. He’ll be looking for beautiful girls. Even your bothers think nothing of you, you can’t even remember how you managed to get blood all over yourself. You’re worthless.

ME:Please Tom, don’t…I…I’m sorry if I upset you in some way…I -How do you know it was blood? How do you know I have freckles??

TOM:You still haven’t figured it out, you stupid little-

The word he used-it- I can’t repeat it. I won’t. I was a child. A child. He said that to a child.

I snapped the diary shut, in utter shock. I felt so drawn to Tom, what’s why I kept writing, he knew me better than anyone, he opened himself up to me… but I knew it was wrong. I knew something was wrong.

I needed to know where my mum had gotten the diary. Why would she have given me something so…dark? Her response letter came almost immediately.

“Hello, Ginny dear! It has been so strange without you here at home with me, I'm completely alone and I miss your company darling! I hope you are doing well in school; I better not hear from McGonagall that you have been up to trouble with your brothers! Don't let them be a bad influence on you! Did you get the sweets I sent you? I do hope run didn't eat them all, I probably should have sent the package to you directly.
As for this diary you mentioned in the letter you sent- which has been one of only two Ginevra!! I told you I expected you to right more, Oh well, I 'm sure you're busy with all your new friends! Anyway, I'm not sure what this diary is, dear, I've asked your father, but neither of us have bought you any diary, love."

Back to index


Chapter 5: New 2017 Re-Write Chamber Scars

Author's Notes: I rewrote this chapter to dig deeper into Ginny's encounter with Voldemort. Most of who she is came out of this time in her life so I didn't feel right about how I had grazed over it.


Entry 5
Chamber Scars
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets



“Lost and insecure
You found me, you found me
Lying on the floor
Surrounded, surrounded
Why’d you have to wait?
Where were you? Where were you?
Just a little late
You found me, you found me"
-You Found Me, The Fray



And so I tried to dispose of it, in the Prefects’ bathroom.

I was terrified. Tom had turned from the sweet charming boy I thought I knew, to this daunting...demon. He was conniving and he was deceitful. How it took me so long to realize, I will never understand. 

I should have noticed the degrading way he spoke about muggle-borns and even half-bloods on occasion. I should have noticed his persuasiveness... He was able to make me think whatever he wanted me to think... I trusted him. And I will never forgive myself for that. Ever.

My plan was to flush it down the toilet. Honestly. I know it wasn't the most genius idea, but at the time I felt I was out of options. I certainly didn't want it to fall in anyone else’s' hands...

"Ginny?" I heard someone call behind me as I rushed down the corridor. "Ginvera!"

It was Percy. He was going to scold me for running in the halls, and I normally would have hexed him for using my full name, but I didn't have the time to stop.

I needed to take back control of my life.

The bathroom was empty just as I figured it would be, but when I swiftly opened one of the stalls I didn't hesitate for the slightest moment to chuck the book into the water. To my dismay, however, the stall was occupied by the dead.

Moaning Myrtle was a ghost I never thought I would actually meet, since she was said to spend most of her time in the plumbing of Hogwarts, she haunted this bathroom and most people steered clear of it. But I did meet her acquaintance, but in a very inopportune way.

"Ahhhhhhhhhh!" she squealed as the diary flew through her head. 

I jumped, startled out of my mind. I used so much force hurtling the wretched diary, I actually wondered for a split second whether she was hurt. Then catching myself, I fled the scene before she could get a glimpse of me. 

It wasn't until I had reached the common room that I realized Myrtle had disrupted my plan immensely- I didn't flush the toilet.

The blood rushed from my face. How could I have been so stupid? Yet another mistake to add to my list of blunders.

Taking a breath to steady myself, I turned back around, ready to return to the bathroom and finish the job.

Before I got to the bathroom however, I had a run in with Percy and some Ravenclaw girl named Penelope Clearwater. I was rather surprised to see my uptight brother coming out of an abandoned classroom in mid-snogg with a girl after curfew. But even though the situation was unfortunate, I look back now and think it was absolutely hilarious. Especially Percy’s reaction to being caught. He had just pulled her out of the classroom and pinned her up against the corridor wall when he saw me.

“Ginny! I — w-we- Penny and I- we were just-” The girl’s eyes went wide and she began blushing a pretty pink. Percy was astonishingly red. He was anxiously adjusting his robes and hair, “W-what are you doing here? You- you should be- First I find you running in the corridors, next I see you sneaking out of the common room after curfew?" His rant became more about my indiscretions, than about explaining his.

I looked from him to Penny and back.

His face reddened again instantly, “Yes well, Penelope why don’t you- err- I’ll escort Ginny back to the Gryffindor Common room, and I will see you tomorrow.” I rolled my eyes at his professional tone.

She was gone in a flash and Percy turned back to me, “How about we never speak of this again and, and uh- pretend like this night never happened?”

“Deal,” I muttered.

“What were you doing out here anyway?”

I guess I could have said a number of things. I could have said that there was a psychopathic diary that was out for muggleborns’ blood. I could have said that said diary was doing something to me- something I couldn't explain. I could have said that I was losing most of my memory. I could have said that I was pretty sure I was the one who had written the messages on the walls, with no recollection of doing it. I could have said that I needed help, that the boy in the diary knew all about the Chamber of Secrets....

"I just didn’t notice it was so late…"

As you can guess, I wasn’t able to get the diary back that night.


While I felt lighter without the weight of Tom Riddle’s secrets engulfing me, I couldn’t help but wonder what had become of it. I worried that I had potentially passed the problem to another student and felt guilty that I might have ruined someone else’s life. I was afraid to hand it in to the professors. They were all so intimidating.

Professor McGonagall was a stern woman, but a great teacher. She was the head of Gryffindor and the headmaster's right hand woman. She seemed too uptight to be told anything in confidence. Severus Snape was the head of Slytherin. His potions classroom was in the dungeons of the castle. He had greasy long dark hair and only ever wore black with a grim glare and was as cross as the train station. There was no way in bloody hell I was going to seek him out after class.

I did like Professor Flitwick, he was the charms professor and though it hadn't even been a full year since I'd started at Hogwarts, I knew that Charms would be my favorite class, I had quite an affinity to it, according to Flitwick.

Then there was Hagrid. Rubeus Hagrid was a half giant who lived on the grounds of Hogwarts and he was Keeper of the Keys. He also maintained the grounds and the creatures on it. He was a friendly man from what I could tell. Ron had told me he really liked Hagrid, apparently, Hagrid was the one who collected Harry from the Dursleys’ his first year. He was the one who told Harry that he was a wizard.

But in the end, I decided to keep it all to myself and hope that the diary had just...disappeared.

Despite my efforts, I was drowning in anxiety and was constantly paranoid that someone had found the diary and read all my secrets....and had... figured out what I might have done. This made it even harder to connect with my fellow students. But I was trying. Without Tom's greedy need of my time, I was able to make some acquaintances. But I wouldn't let anyone in. I couldn't.

I decided to try and forget about it. I decided that I was going to throw myself into school activities and school work and friends and anything that didn’t have anything to do with Tom Riddle.

Valentine’s day was approaching and the school was definitely showing the spirit. Professor Lockhart was just as…enthusiastic as a teacher as he was as a celebrity. His lessons were…elaborate. Definitely practiced productions. I wasn’t sure I was actually learning any valuable skills, though.

In the Great Hall at breakfast on Valentine’s day Lockhart announced that he was having dwarfs dressed as cupids running around the school delivering valentines. Utterly cheesy.

But I was 11 and I had a huge crush on a very cute boy. So I did what any other girl my age in my predicament would do.

I wrote a poem.

“What rhymes with lord?” I asked Luna during Defense class later that day. Lockhart had given us the hour to dedicate to making our valentines. He was at the front of the room reading his published collection of poetry out loud under the guise of giving us inspiration. I had suspicion he just liked to hear his own work especially read in his own voice.

Luna looked up from her rather long parchment, it had only been ten minutes but it looked like she had already written a full sonnet. She immediately said, “Blackboard.”

“Hmm. That works. Thanks!”

“Is that going to Harry Potter?”

I blushed, “Yes. But I’m not going to sign it. It’ll be anonymous. That way it’s mysterious.”

“That’s pretty romantic. Although, I’m sure Harry Potter wouldn’t mind knowing it’s from you.”

“No way!” I giggled, “That would mean he would know I like him.”

“But the only way to win in love is to play the game.”

“I think I should be able to at least talk to him first, Luna.” I sighed, “I don’t know why he makes me so nervous.”

Luna kept writing, “It’s probably because of the wrackspurts. They follow him around him you know.”

I shrugged, “Maybe.” Luna was…eccentric to say the least, but these little bugs Luna swore were invisible and flew into your ears and made your brain go fuzzy actually did sound like a good explanation. “Who are you sending your valentine to?”

“Oh, this isn’t a valentine, it’s a poem on the importance of journalistic integrity and the moon phases. I’m going to send it to my father so he can publish it in the Quibbler.”

“How is the Quibbler going by the way?”

“Very well actually. We only had 34 letters to the editor last month claiming our content is rubbish. That’s a whole lot less than the month before that. And we had two whole new subscribers!”

Luna’s father published a magazine called the Quibbler that was not exactly popular. It was mainly because it was constantly publishing articles on creatures that only Luna and her father seemed to believe were real, and conspiracy theories that mainstream wizards didn’t like all that much. I for one, didn’t mind the open minded periodical, not that I really understood it’s content anyway.

“That’s great Luna! Tell your dad I’m happy for him!”

“Are you done with your poem?”

“I think so, here- what do you think?”

I passed the parchment to Luna. She took several minutes looking it over. I bit my lip hoping she’d like it.

“I’d say you’re a natural writer, I’m going to tell father that we may be able to use you one day.”

I beamed, “Thanks!”

Luna’s eyes sparkled, “And the part with that blackboard, it’s really quite good.”


It was after charms a few hours later when it happened. Of course I couldn’t even have one bloody good day.

Us first years were headed out as the second years were headed in. I saw Harry Ron, Hermione, Neville Longbottom and Dean Thomas coming up the stairs and Draco Malfoy and his two loons behind him coming from the opposite direction. And then there was a dwarf-cupid headed straight for Harry. Not that I didn’t like my poem, I just didn’t exactly want to be there when it was sung aloud.

Harry was trying to get away from the dwarf, but it seemed the dwarf was rather insistent. I blushed. Maybe this hadn’t been a good idea.

A crowd began to form and the dwarf grabbed Harry’s bag in order to get him to stay still.

“Let go!” Harry snarled. (COS page 237)

Harry’s bad ripped right down the middle and with a crash, all his school things fell to the ground making a right mess. I couldn’t help but feel instantly guilty.

“Deserves it, he does,” Varnie Pullocks, a Ravenclaw boy form my year, said beside me, “After all these attacks.” I wanted to set him straight, I did, I wanted to defend Harry but…I stayed quiet. Something I had been doing a lot of those days. The diary had really darkened my spirit.

“What’s going on here?” (COS 238) Prefect Percy, of course, had come around the corner and was ready to disperse the trouble.

Harry’s last attempt to flee the scene resulted in cupid tackling him to the floor and retraining him against his will.

“I don’t think Harry like poetry as much as you seem to, Ginny.”

“Thanks, Luna.”

The cupid began to sing.

"His eyes are a green as a fresh pickled toad,
His hair as dark as a blackboard,
I wish he was mine, he’s really divine,
The hero who conquered the Dark Lord."

Some of my best work to this day.

But as you can imagine, the laughter was relentless. Even though I could tell Harry wanted to disappear on the spot, he still tried to act as though he found it funny as well. My intent was to be romantic, not embarrass him. I felt rotten.

As Percy tried to shoo away the mirthful crowd, Malfoy swooped in and grabbed something from Harry’s belongings scattered across the floor, that Hermione, Ron and Harry were trying to collect as quickly as possible.

The first years began to move again and just as we were passing Malfoy I got a clear view of what exactly what he was holding.

All color drained from my face and I froze in my spot.

It was Tom Riddle’s Diary.

“Give that back,” said Harry quietly.

“Wonder what Potter’s written in this?” Malfoy jested to the crowd.

I looked from Harry to the diary having no clue as to what to do. Harry met my eyes, I wanted to relay to him everything, to warn him not to keep the diary, but he looked away and narrowed his gaze at Malfoy.

“Hand it over, Malfoy,” said Percy sternly. (COS page 239)

Malfoy grinned cruelly, “When I’ve had a look.”

Percy stood straighter, “As a school prefect-”

He began to open it and just as I was about to shout out, Harry pulled out his wand, “Expelliarmus!”

The diary flew from Draco’s hands and caught by Ron. My shout remained on the tip of my tongue. I swallowed fearfully.

Percy still wouldn’t let up, “Harry! No magic in the corridors. I’ll have to report this, you know!”

I pushed Luna along to continue into our transfiguration class quickly, but Malfoy had spotted me, “I don’t think Potter liked your valentine much!”

Giggles erupted around me and I knew there was no hiding from this now. I covered my face with my hands and ran past Luna and Colin into the classroom.

I don’t think I had ever been so embarrassed.

“Cute song, Weasley!” called Varnie Pullocks from behind me at the entrance of the classroom. I buried my face in my arms at my desk, fuming. “Got a thing for the Heir of Slytherin eh?”

I willed the angry tears not to fall.

“Never pegged you to like bad boys.”

“OH SHUT IT, BOLLOCKS PULLOCKS!”

The whole class froze at my explosion. I was glaring at him, and his blush rivaled one of my own. I felt several pairs of surprised eyes on me, I hadn’t exactly been outspoken since arriving Hogwarts. I hadn’t exactly been myself.

Until that very moment.

The nickname stuck the remainder of his time at Hogwarts. I lied, that was my best work to date.

But I didn’t feel all that guilty; deserved it, he did.

And I had other things to worry about.
****
I knew it wouldn’t take long for Harry to find the special ability the diary had of speaking back.

What if Harry had seen what I had written about not knowing where I was? About my suspicions? And worst of all, my feelings for him! All there in plain sight- not that he didn’t know them already, but…. the details…. ugh! So I did what I had to do to save Harry from Tom; and myself from embarrassment and possible trouble.

“Is it true that the girl’s dormitory steps turn into a slide if a boy tries climb them?” I asked Luna.

“Oh yes, and when they slip down a whole appears at the bottom and they are sent to Chastis Meadow.”

“What?”

“It’s where Wrackspurts and Nargles feed off them.”

“Oh. What about the boy’s dorm? Can girls get up there?”

“I don’t see why not.”

I smiled weakly.

“Ginny? Are you alright? You look tired.”

“Of course I am, I’m not tired, I’ve been sleeping like the dead; I don’t even have bags under my eyes!” I touched the skin just beneath my eye lids, they weren’t even puffy!

“No, not physically, you just look tired.”

“Right. Ok Luna, I’ll see you later.”

The boy’s dorm wasn’t that much different from the girl’s, the differences were only the obvious living styles of girls and boys: The place was a mess.

I instantly recognized my brother’s bed and space, and Harry’s as well- he did stay with us over the summer.

It was much harder to find the diary than I thought it would be, maybe because I was rushed, flustered and nervous. Going through Harry’s things made me feel guilty, and made me blush from time to time. I emptied pillows, opened drawers, overturned trunks and finally I found it. I grabbed the diary and meant to retreat, but I noticed what was beneath it. It was a photo of a man who looked just like harry with a woman with long red hair, they were laughing and he was twirling her around.

I had to do a double take because at first glance they looked almost exactly like Harry and…me. Shaking my head, I left, realizing later one it was a photo of Harry’s parents.


****

ME:What did you tell him Tom?

TOM:Well, well, well, what a surprise, Miss. Weasley. You’ve returned.

ME:Tom, what did you tell him???

TOM:Wondering if I told him all your humiliating little secrets? Wondering if I told him about all your pathetic pinning? Your useless wishing and stupid whining all the bloody time?!

ME:I want to know if you told him- if he thinks that-

TOM:If I told him, you had opened the Chamber of Secrets?

My quill froze in shock. A drop of ink dripped on into the page and disappeared, as all my writing had, only to be replaced with Tom’s elegant scroll.

TOM:Wondering if I told him you were the one behind all the attacks, behind all the students petrified in the hospital wing? That you’re the reason the whole school has turned on him? Unless…unless you still weren’t sure if it was you. Well, let me tell you Ginevra, you’ve brilliantly succumbed to all my intentions.

ME:It’s been you, the whole time.

TOM:God, I had forgotten how insufferably stupid and useless Gryffindors are, well I suppose not entirely useless. I certainly put you to good use.

ME:No I wouldn’t, I would have never!

TOM:Sure you wouldn’t. So I made you.

ME:What is this diary, what are you Tom?

TOM:The question isn’t what am I. It’s who am I?

ME:You… you’re the Heir of Slytherin. You opened- you made me open-

TOM:Yes, you slaughtered that oaf Hagrid’s roosters and used their blood to write on those walls. After all, the rooster’s cry is deadly to the Basilisk: Slytherin’s monster. It was all you. You released Salazar Slytherins’ Basilisk a brilliant monster that kills with just a look, even petrifies any who don’t make full eye contact. You are the only one at fault for Hogwarts’ near destruction, you stupid little insufferable girl are the reason all the muggleborns in this school will finally be put in their place.

Suddenly, it wasn’t ink dripping on to the diary, it was my tears. I had heard of a basilisk before- it was a serpent. Of course Slytherin’s monster would be a snake. I just had no idea how no one had seen it yet.


ME:You will never make me do anything else, Tom. EVER.

TOM:You’ve tried fighting me off all year, unconsciously, but your magic, your strength is weak. You can’t win. You’ll never win. You’re mine, and I will do what I please with you.

I tried to shut the diary. I was trying so hard. But I couldn’t, I just had to read every word. I was strongly compelled to continue writing, and to listen to him and to…truly believe every awful, disgusting thing he told me.

TOM:Oh no, don’t think it will be that easy, you can’t leave now. You won’t be able to get rid of me again by trying to flush me down a toilet, you idiot. How was that even a good attempt? And yet you foolishly, willingly come back.

ME: WHAT DID YOU TELL HARRY, TOM?

TOM: Well, I’m sure you’d be happy to know you didn’t come up in conversation at all. After all, Harry Potter doesn’t spend a moment thinking about you, Ginevra. I just told him what happened 50 years ago, when I was a student and first opened the Chamber of Secrets. I managed to kill at least one muggleborn- that ghost freak you threw me at in the bathroom, but Dumbledore was threatening to close the school, and considering I liked it at Hogwarts, I had to stop. Of course, I didn’t tell Potter it was me. I told him that I had uncovered the person behind the attacks. I ingeniously blamed the whole thing on Rubeus Hagrid. He did, after all, have a strange affinity to dangerous creatures. It was almost too easy. Hagrid was expelled and the school remained open, I closed the chamber and swore I would continue Salazar Slytherin’s work someday. And here we are.

ME: Harry would never believe Hagrid did such a terrible thing, he’ll know you were lying.

TOM:Oh I do believe I did a good job in convincing him. At any rate, you’ll have released the monster and all muggleborns will meet their end before he’s able to put it all together.

ME:He’ll stop you.

TOM:Harry Potter? Please Ginevra, have some dignity, he’s a child, you are a child, he’s not some knight in shining amour. Your obsession with him is disgusting.

ME:You’re the one who is disgusting.

TOM:Fighting words, I see. Well then why don’t we start by putting you in your place. I think we’ll go after the Granger girl you’ve mentioned before.

ME:No. NOOO.

TOM:She is a muggleborn, you said. You told me all about her love for academia, I’m sure we can find her by the library…


The next morning, I woke up drowsy and with barely any energy. I found myself utterly helpless. I physically couldn’t speak to professors, if not I would’ve turned myself is the moment I was able to finally close the diary the night before. I was trying to stay in bed. The diary was on my pillow next to where I laid my head. I threw it to the floor, and suddenly I was forced to pick it back up. I had no control over my body. My arm unwillingly reached out and placed the diary back on my lap.

Looking around, I saw my Gryffindor scarf hanging over my desk chair. I grabbed it and tried to tie my wrist to the one of the posters of my bed. The scarf slipped out of the knot easily. The knot in my stomach however was tighter than ever.

My dorm mates were all at breakfast, there was a Gryffindor vs. Hufflepuff Quidditch game starting in a little while and I wished I could have gone. I adored Quidditch. I had hoped that I would try out for the team and play for Gryffindors one day, but…my hopes and dreams for the future were not so bright. I would be caught at some point, and if did manage to kill a muggleborn…I’d be a murderer, no matter what or who was forcing me to do so.

At the very least, I would be expelled from Hogwarts. Just like Hagrid.

I sat in my bed for a few more minutes, feeling absolutely defeated.

Pick up the diary, Ginevra.

The voice was so clear I jumped.

Get your quill, I need to speak with you.

I began shaking, staring in horror at the closed diary beside me.

I am out of patience, open the diary.

With the force of his words, once again my arm flew out on its own accord. I pulled back, really hard.

Good God, girl, am I really going to have to make you unconscious every time?

I grabbed my arm back with my other hand. Shaking my head.

Open the diary, or I will make you kill yourself.

I let out a strangled cry and reached for the diary. Tears were falling freely and I had never been so frightened.

TOM:That’s much better. But I’m glad to see you can hear me now, with your mind clear and not succumbed to oblivion.

ME:How are you doing this?

TOM:Magic.

ME:What kind of magic forces people to do things and hear voices? You aren’t even a person!

TOM:Oh ho, I am a person, I may not be fully powerful yet and not have a body- yet- but you’re helping little by little with all of that. Can’t you feel me getting more powerful? It’s dark magic, Weasley, the blackest of all. Don’t you feel it in your bones, can’t you feel it in you veins?

ME:No. I just feel weak and sick and I feel complete and total hatred for you.

TOM: That’s fantastic. Now what is happening in the school today?

I stayed still breathing deeply, fighting the compulsion to answer.

TOM: Answer me, you little brat.

I wasn’t strong enough to refuse him.

ME:There’s a Quidditch match. The school will be empty save for few people that don’t care for Quidditch.

TOM:Perfect time to act then. I love that I can now openly have this conversation with you Ginevra. It proves that we are getting closer.

ME:Closer to what?

TOM:Never mind that now. Let’s begin.

I don’t remember anything after that. Absolutely nothing. I don’t have any foggy memories or trance like recollections. Just blank, completely blank spots in my mind. My belief was that he told me exactly what I was to do, and made me do it. Seemed like somethings he could force me to do while I was conscious of myself, and others, things I would never do on my own and would give him a hard time over… he just…took over.

When I came to, I was in the common room seated in the back and completely surrounded by every single Gryffindor at Hogwarts. When my mind was mine again, I whimpered and held a gasp in. A breakdown in front of a fourth of the school was not going to help matters. I was desperate but terrified to find out what was happening.

Professor McGonagall, head of Gryffindor house was by the portrait hole entrance looking pale and panicked. She began to read from a parchment scroll.

“All students will return to their House common room by six o’clock in the evening. No student is to leave the dormitories after that time. You will be escorted to each lesson by a teacher. No student is to use the bathroom unaccompanied by a teacher. All further Quidditch training and matches are to be postponed. There will be no more evening activities.” (COS page 257)

There was complete silence. I knew there must have been another attack. I knew that I must have… but who?

Who do you think? said the voice in my head.

I flinched. Reluctantly, I looked for a familiar mops of red hair. Fred and George were looking uncharacteristically morose, Percy was, for once, withdrawn and looking lost, and then I found Ron. I couldn’t see very well through the crowds of people, but he was shockingly pale, and I caught a glimpse of Harry beside him, but…no Hermione.

I gulped.

“I need hardly add,” continued McGonagall, “that I have rarely been so distressed. It is likely that the school will be closed unless the culprit behind these attacks is caught. I would urge anyone who thinks they might know anything about them to come forward.”(COS page 258)

Barely thinking twice, I made to stand. I was going to run to her and confess everything, but…Tom was too strong. Too quick.

Tom spoke again, Don’t even bother. Just sit there quietly and don’t make me hurt one of you brothers just to teach you a lesson. As much as I hate blood traitors, you lot are a large pureblood line. I wouldn’t want to spill that blood. That is, unless you force my hand.

Shaking with rage and fear, I stayed put, and McGonagall left us alone.

Chatter erupted, “That’s two Gryffindors down, not counting a Gryffindor ghost, one Ravenclaw and one Hufflepuff,” said Lee Jordan, Fred and George’s good friend. “Haven’t any of the teachers noticed that the Slytherins are all safe? Isn’t it obvious that this stuff’s coming from Slytherin? The Heir of Slytherin, the monster of Slytherin- why don’t they just chuck all the Slytherins out?” He roared. There was tremendous applause.

Throwing out the Slytherins was not going to help. It was me. All me.

Yes, it’s all you. All this pain and suffering, it’s all because of you.

Feeling dizzier with every moment, I moved over to an eerily silent Percy. With a trembling hand, I touched his shoulder. He barely moved. “Percy,” I whispered. “Who- who was it this time?” I nearly choked out.

He remained staring into his hands. I could tell he was devastated. “Penny. It got Penny.”

I swallowed, “Penelope Clearwater? The girl you were-”

“Yes.”

“Percy, I’m so…I’m so sorry-”

“And Granger,” He said, brushing me off. “It was another double attack. They were both found around the library.”

My breathing became labored; my eyes stung with tears.

Good job, dearie.

I dashed upstairs to the bathroom, and was violently ill.

The next morning The Daily Prophet ran an article on its front page that read:

ALBUS DUMBLDORE REMOVED FROM HEADMASTER POST AS TERROR AT HOGWARTS INTENSIFIES.

I heard a rumor that the Minister of Magic himself came for Hagrid. They shipped him off to the wizard prison, Azkaban.

****
I no longer slept. I stayed awake at night staring up into the top of my four poster praying that I would keep conscious. I didn’t want to close my eyes. I didn’t want to let my guard down. There were so many blank periods of time in my life, I couldn’t bare willingly creating more.

The days after Hermione and Penelope were petrified, I watched Harry and Ron becoming more and more discreet, quiet and focused on each other. I hated knowing that I had taken someone Harry felt close to away from him, especially when there weren’t many in the first place. The guilt was drowning me, my forced gag order was suffocating me, my reality made me sick and so was starving me, sleep deprivation was maddening me.

I felt I wouldn’t survive much longer, that is, if Tom didn’t kill me first.

People stopped believing Harry was the Heir of Slytherin, after Hermione. Not that the fact made anything better.

At the very least Tom had been quiet for the most part. He demanded I still write in the diary and he compelled me to divulge more and more of my personal thoughts, more and more of my feelings and he loved it when I spilled negative emotions onto the pages. I couldn’t help but feel as though he was feeding off of my writing. As the days went on I grew weaker and he grew stronger. Clearer in my mind, much more persuasive and evil.

He told me stories of how he’d killed animals as a child, and enjoyed it.

Weeks went on in this fashion. I had tried to visit Hermione in the hospital wing, to apologize to her, to face her even if she wouldn’t know I was there. But Tom wouldn’t let me. After a while, anyway, visitors were no longer allowed in the hospital wing. The school was a dark and dreary place. Just as my life was.

One night, I was watching my brothers and Harry playing Exploding Snap while I sat in Hermione’s usual chair in the common room. My heart was breaking at the fact that she wasn’t there to sit in the chair herself. I stared into the fireplace, wondering how this was all going to end.

“Tough luck it is Ginny,”

“Having to be stuck in here for the better part of your first year.”

I turned to Fred and George who were grinning at another defeat of Harry and Ron.

“Hogwarts isn’t usually this serious,” said Fred.

“You know, besides the whole You-Know-Who and the Sorcerer’s stone incident-” said George.

“And the Heir of Slytherin and the Chamber of Secrets thing.”

Fred half grinned, “Yeah since Harry here stepped foot onto the grounds the school’s gotten much more interesting.”

“Blimey Harry, I’d reckon you don’t have to stir up this much trouble. Just enough to miss a few classes would be good.”

“It’s not Harry’s fault!” cried Ron.

Harry was trying to look like he was enjoying the teasing, but an attractive blush had come to his cheeks. His eyes seemed to darken. Fred and George were making him uncomfortable.

“Oh we’re only joking!”

“Harry gets it; don’t you mate?”

Harry nodded politely.

“Well you don’t have to joke about that. Harry isn’t the Heir of Slytherin, he hasn’t petrified anyone or let any monster loose. Whoever’s behind it all is the worst sort,” said Ron.

I turned back to the fire, retreating into myself.

“I’d say Ron’s a bit wound up.”

“Yeah, must be bothering him not having Hermione around.”

I could picture Ron’s ears turning red and the twins’ eyebrows wagging.

“Oh shut up!”

“Well, Fred, I’m a bit peaked. Wouldn’t you say we’ve beat these two enough tonight?”

“I’d have to agreed, George. Goodnight you lot.”

The got up and started for their room, I got up and followed silently.

“Well goodnight to you too, Ginny,” said Ron.

I was surprised he’d even noticed I was there, I turned to the pair. “Good night, Ginny,” said Harry with a small smile.

“Er… goodnight,” I said and scurried up to my room. Ron was my closest brother, and lately it seemed he was the most level headed of all the brothers I had at the school- that was saying something. As much I was afraid he’d hate me for what I did to Hermione…perhaps… he was the best person to try and tell what was happening to me. After all he and Harry- with Hermione as well- had saved the Sorcerer’s Stone from You-Know-Who’s clutches last year, something none of the other Professors were able to do. They could probably help.

I’d have to at least try and soon, as Tom had seemed to be quieting down. I slept soundly that night.


“I have good news,” (COS page 284) said McGonagall at breakfast a few days later.

All the students began shouting out different predictions, “Dumbledore’s coming back!”

“You’ve caught the Heir of Slytherin!”

“Quidditch matches are back on!” (COS page 285)

I dropped the fork that had been pushing my food around. I waited anxiously. “Professor Sprout has informed me that the Mandrakes are ready for cutting at last. Tonight, we will be able to revive those people who have been petrified,” I sighed a breath of relief. The Professors had been working on an antidote for the victims and it seemed they would finally able to help those students. “I need hardly remind you all that one of them may well be able to tell us who, or what, attacked them. I am hopeful that this dreadful year will end with our catching the culprit.”

It hit me like a bludger. I had no idea about the technicalities of the attacks. I had no idea where I was in relation to them, was I even there? Was I leading the monster? Did the victims even see me?

I had no idea. But if they had seen me at the scene of the crime there was no doubt they’d divulge it tonight. I needed to confess, I needed to tell Ron.

The Great Hall was in the midst of celebration when I hurried over to where Ron was sitting with Harry.

Without thinking I sat beside him, taking deep breaths. He noticed me right away, “What’s up?” he said serving himself more breakfast.

I tried to open my mouth but a huge knot in my throat made it horrendously difficult. I looked around to see if anyone would over hear.

“Spit it out,” Ron urged turning him full attention to me.

“I’ve got to tell you something,” (COS page 286) I managed gritting my teeth. A headache was forming bloody hard.

“What is it?” asked Harry. I had been trying to pretend he wasn’t there, since he made me nervous for entirely other reasons.

Don’t you bloody dare, warned the voice.

I balled my hands into fists to fight Tom. I needed to get this out, but I physically couldn’t get the words out.

“What?” whined Ron.

I tried again, but no sound came out of my mouth.

Harry leaned towards me, “Is it something about the Chamber of Secrets? Have you seen something? Someone acting oddly?” His green eyes looked into mine. I meet his gaze and took a deep breath, the knot in my throat easing up-

“If you’ve finished eating, I’ll take the seat, Ginny,” interrupted Percy, distracting my focus.

YOU’VE DONE IT THIS TIME WEASELY.

I jumped up at the roaring in my head.

“I’m starving…” Percy continued speaking my I wasn’t paying the slightest bit of attention. Knowing I couldn’t confess in front Percy, I lost my resolve.

I warned you and I warned you. We are finishing this- TONIGHT.

I ran away from the Great Hall. Utterly terrified, out of options and out of time.

****

I ran to the diary.

ME: Please Tom, stop this. It’s over, we’ll be discovered in a matter of hours, there’s no point.

TOM:There’s plenty we can do in a few hours.

ME:Please! I’m begging you.

TOM:Groveling is not becoming of you. Now quit your blubbering and listen to me for once. If you just do as I say, the discovery of your involvement will be useless.

ME:What…what do you mean?

TOM:I mean that it won’t matter that they’ll catch you.

ME:Why?

TOM:Because you won’t be around to suffer the consequences. You didn’t think that you’d survive our encounter did you, Ginny?

Fear spread its way down my spine chilling my blood.

ME:You can’t do anything to me, you’re just a book.

But I knew it wasn’t true.

TOM:You haven’t been feeling weaker and sicker each coming day? You haven’t felt withdrawn and helpless and utterly depressed? Ginevra, accept it. You know what I’m doing to you. You must know I’ve been taking your happiness, your life, your mind little by little everyday. You, Ginny will be the sole person responsible for my return to full power.

ME:Please…I’m…only 11.

TOM: And the seventh child of a seventh child of a pureblood family no less. There’s strong magic in your blood.

ME:But, you told me I was weak and wouldn’t amount to anything!

TOM:I said a lot of things. Now are you going to do as I ask, of are we going to have to do it the hard way?

ME:What… what are you going to make me do?

TOM: Well, I think it’s time to kill those roosters that replaced the last ones. We have a new message to leave Hogwarts. How does “Her skeleton will lie in the Chamber Forever” sound to you?

I gulped.

TOM:I’m sure the moment your brother and his friend Harry Potter find out you’ve been kidnapped they’ll do everything in their power to come and find you. After all you’ve told me about Potter, I’m absolutely dying to have another… chat with him. If I don’t have time to kill any more mud-bloods at least I’ll have taken down the great Harry Potter.

Me: If you want Harry, then you’ll have to take me the hard way.

I fought so hard that for the first time, I had glimpses of memory of the time that Tom took over. I remember the blood dripping down my hands.

I remember standing in front of the sink in Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom, which turned out to be the entrance of the Chamber of Secrets. I fought to keep my consciousness, I fought to stop myself from entering the chamber. There was a cold wetness I felt beneath me. I was laying on my back, the stone ceiling all I could see. But the voice- the voice I could hear clear as day.

            “You’re dying Weasley. Thank you for all you’ve given me.”

            It took a while to register that the voice wasn’t the same eerie whisper, it was a real voice; it echoed off the walls. Blinking, I turned my extremely heavy head to the side and saw a teenage boy staring coming out of the diary.

            “Tom… Tom Riddle?”

            He smirked.

I was crying, his figure became blurry as my tears clouded my vision. “Let me go.”

“You know I won’t do that. It’s rather ironic, Harry Potter is going to come to try and save you, and his death will be on your hands. It’s not exactly how Romeo and Juliet went, but, the result will be exactly the same.”

“He…won’t come- you said it…yourself…you said… no one cares for me- I’m not- worth risking their lives for,” I sobbed breathlessly.

Tom rolled his eyes, “Merlin, you are so easily manipulated, it’s pitiful.”

I tried to stand, to at least sit up, but I had no energy. I began to slip back in into the darkness. “Please…don’t…. don’t hurt him.”

            “Good bye, Ginny.”

            I was resisting so hard that I must have given into the exhaustion because world went black.  

 
 

            I remember the first time Harry ever saved my life.

When I awoke, it was with a start. I bolted up right, wet, bloody and cold.

         What I saw was a sight I had seen before, but only in my dreams. A young Harry Potter kneeling before me holding a ruby baring sword, the monstrous basilisk slain a few feet off. At first, I thought I must have been dreaming, my wildest fantasies becoming a reality was never what I expected. Yet there he was, looking me over checking to make sure I was alright.

            I looked again at the dead basilisk…and then to the diary that was beside him. There was a huge whole gauged into the middle of it. My mind was clearer than it had been in months. My surroundings clicked into place.

Harry- Oh, Harry- I tried to tell you at breakfast, but I c-couldn’t say it in front of Percy- It was me, Harry- but I —I s-swear I didn’t mean to — R-Riddle made me, he t-took me over — and- how did you kill that- that thing? W-where’s Riddle? The last thing I r-remember is him coming out of the diary-” (COS page 323) It was the most I had spoken in weeks, and the most I had ever said in front of Harry ever.

“It’s all right,” He said, his green eyes glowing in stark comparison to his pale sweaty face, “Riddle’s finished. Look!” he held up the destroyed diary, “Him and the basilisk.”

            I looked over at the huge beast. It was the largest snake I could have ever imagined. It lay dead, bloodied eyes and face several meters away. It’s lifeless body continuing down the dark corridor of the chamber. There was a large tooth beside Harry, a fang more like, I noticed the basilisk was missing one, and the whole in the book looked like it might have been a perfect fit. “C’mon, Ginny, let’s get out of here-”

            I just knew that he wasn’t going to believe me, after my confessions I knew I was going to be expelled, he was going to hate me, all my worst fears ran wild in my mind.

            “I’m going to be expelled!” I cried. Ugh I was so disgusted with myself. First, I couldn’t even speak in front of the damn boy and then I couldn’t stop blubbering! Harry was helping me to my feet, but I just couldn’t Goddamn stop. It was as though now that I had my free will to speak poor Harry was going to have to hear it all, “I’ve looked forward to coming to Hogwarts ever since B-bill came and n-now I’ll have to leave and — w-what will Mum and Dad say?”

            At the thought, I suddenly would have rather faced the Basilisk.
Still holding the huge sword, Harry was leading me out of the Chamber where a huge red bird was hovering the air, seemingly waiting for us. We stepped over the snake’s carcass carefully and I was just an outright mess.

            “I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry you came all the way down here; you really shouldn’t have even bothered.”


            “Err- don’t say that, Gin, I’m just really glad you’re alright.”

            At the sound of the new nickname, the tears came down even faster. I didn’t deserve his friendship; I didn’t deserve his respect. By the looks of things, I almost killed Harry Potter. And I still had no idea what the hell the bird was about.

            A minute later we came to a dead end of boulders at the end of a dark tunnel, “Ron!” Harry yelled, “Ginny’s okay! I’ve got her!”

            I heard a cheer and some shifting, and then a moment later a gap in the rocks appeared and so did my brother’s face.

            “Ginny!” he cried, thrusting an arm out and pulling me through the whole. “You’re alive! I don’t believe it! What happened? How- what —where did that bird come from?” (COS page324) My brother had pulled me into a tight hug and I couldn’t help relax into it for moment before he only too quickly let go and faced Harry as he came through the rocks. Once again I was an afterthought and I still hadn’t stopped crying.

            “He’s Dumbledore’s.” Harry replied.

            “How come you’ve got a sword?”

            “I’ll explain when we get out of here.”

            I looked up surprised that Harry hadn’t began confessing everything to Ron about my involvement.

            “But-”

            Harry shook his head, “Later. Where’s Lockhart?”

            “Back there,” said Ron pointing towards the water pipes that I assumed lead back up to the bathroom. “He’s in a bad way, come and see.”

            I didn’t even bother asking what Gilderoy Lockhart was doing in the Chamber with them I just tried to stay small and invisible.

            “His memory’s gone,” said Ron. The attractive man was sitting down completely uninvolved, and unaware of his own surroundings. He was humming quietly to himself. It seemed there had been an accident with a memory charm and the man had been rendered useless. He was probably coming down to save me as well, another thing to feel utterly guilty about.

            As Ron and Harry discussed and escape plan, I stared at the mysterious bird circling us. As it brushed past me, a tear drop fell from its eye and landed on a small scrape I had on my hand. The scrape vanished. My eyes widened, I had only heard of one animal with healing powers.

            It stopped in front to Harry and wiggled its feathers, “He looks like he wants you to grab hold,” said Ron,
“But you are much too heavy for a bird to pull up there.” (COS page325)

            “Fawkes,” said Harry. “Isn’t and ordinary bird.”

            Fawkes was a phoenix.

The bird pulled us all up and out of the Chamber of Secrets and I wondered briefly if, as I held my Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher’s hand as well flew through the air, if this would be my last memory of the magic of Hogwarts.

Moaning Myrtle was waiting for us in the bathroom when we landed. “You’re alive.”

Harry was cleaning blood off his glasses when he responded. “There’s no need to sound so disappointed.”

I took my first real look at Moaning Myrtle, a fatal victim of Riddle’s. She was staring at Harry like he was something to eat, “Oh, well…I’d just been thinking…if you had died, you’d have been welcome to share my toilet.” (COS page 326) I barely heard what she said, I just remember wondering why she’d stayed in the bathroom, why she’d stay where she was murdered, why relieve the horror again and again?

“Harry!” said Ron as we all left the bathroom. “I think Myrtle’s grown fond of you! You’ve got competition, Ginny!”

I didn’t react. I was feeling so numb. Ron was such an insensitive idiot he wasn’t even worth it; besides, I’d probably never see Harry again so being embarrassed would’ve been pointless. Tears were still streaming down my face, I hadn’t bothered helping find a way out of the chamber and I was just dead weight. I was doing absolutely nothing to help the situation but cry like a baby, and I knew it. Yet, deep down, I still had hope that Harry would someday take me seriously.

I guess like Moaning Myrtle; I was a glutton for punishment.

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Chapter 6: A Riddle Revealed New 2017 Content

Author's Notes: It's been a joy in my heart to write this story, and to continue to revisit it in the past few year has been just as fun, if not more fun than it originally was. Adding details, making the story even more airtight and adding moments that truly define a character is what makes fiction writing so exhilarating. ALSO! there is a scene toward the end that is cannon to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Please rate and review!


Entry 6
A Riddle Revealed
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

“There's a place that I know
it's not pretty there and few have ever gone
if I show it to you now
will it make you run away
Or will you stay?
Everybody's got a dark side
Do you love me, can you love mine?
Nobody's a picture perfect
But we're worth it
You know that we're worth it
Will you love me?
Even with my dark side?”
-Dark Side, Kelly Clarkson


“And then when we went to go visit Hermione in the hospital wing, we found a piece of paper squeezed in her hand. It was a bit of research about Basilisks how they kill people and at the bottom she had written, the word ‘pipes’. So Ron and I put together that the voice I had been hearing all year that no one else could was in fact a snake, because I can speak to snakes, and it was getting around by the school plumbing,” Harry took a deep breath and then continued, “Then we remembered the Moaning Myrtle had been killed 50 years ago inside a bathroom. We figured that we should ask her if she knew where the entrance to the chamber of secrets was and it turned out to be in the same bathroom where she was killed!”

I was leaning on my mother’s shoulder remaining silent and listening to Harry’s adventurous tale. Professor McGonagall’s office was fully occupied when we’d walked in. My parents, Dumbledore and McGonagall were discussing our disappearance and questioning if we were going to make it back alive. My mother had grabbed me the moment she saw me and hadn’t let me go. I didn’t want her to.

Harry had yet to say anything about the Diary or my involvement in everything. I was just waiting for it to come, and blow up my world. Harry Potter had a lot of power over my life at the moment.

“Very well,” (COS page 328) Professor McGonagall said. “So you found out where the entrance was - breaking a hundred school rules into pieces along the way, I might add — but how on earth did you all get out of there alive, Potter?” (COS page 328)

“Well, Fawkes came into the chamber and dropped the sorting hat into my lap, and I was able to pull this out of it,” Harry lifted the large sword he was holding. “I used it against the Basilisk, I managed to kill it. It’s fang got stuck in my arm- but Fawkes helped me with his healing tears — I used the fang to stab the…the…”

Harry faltered and looked at me. I knew there was no way to explain the whole mess without talking about the diary. This was it. Harry looked as though he was trying to keep it a secret. I felt even more indebted to him.

“What interests me most,” said Headmaster Dumbledore, “is how Lord Voldemort managed to enchant Ginny, when my sources tell me he is currently hiding in the forests of Albania.”

Every person in the room startled at attention.

Lord Voldemort? He had nothing to do with this!

Harry looked relieved at Dumbledore’s statement, I looked at him with questioning eyes.

“W-what’s that?” (COS page 329) said my stunned father. “You —Know-Who? En-enchant Ginny? But Ginny’s not…Ginny hasn’t been…has she?”

“It was this diary,” Harry quickly added, picking up the destroyed diary and showing it to Dumbledore. “Riddle wrote it when he was sixteen.”

I was holding my breath, did that mean that, Tom Riddle- was he…?

Dumbledore took the diary and shook his head slightly in wonder, “Brilliant, of course he was probably the most brilliant student Hogwarts has ever seen.” He turned to my parents whose jaws were hanging open. “Very few people know that Lord Voldemort was once called Tom Riddle. I taught him myself, fifty years ago, at Hogwarts. He disappeared after leaving the school . . . traveled far and wide . . . sank so deeply into the Dark Arts, consorted with the very worst of our kind, underwent so many dangerous, magical transformations, that when he resurfaced as Lord Voldemort, he was barely recognizable. Hardly anyone connected Lord Voldemort with the clever, handsome boy who was once Head Boy here.”

I felt so utterly dirty I wanted to scratch my skin off. I started trembling.

“But, Ginny,” said mum, “What’s our Ginny got to do with — with — him?”

“His d-diary!” I cried, looking at my mother’s round face, “I’ve been writing in it, and he’s been w-writing back all year-”

I’d never seen my father look so shocked. It was all out in the open, it was over. No matter what happened, at least it was all over. “Ginny!” he said, “Haven’t I taught you anything? What have it told you? Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can’t see where it keeps its brain. Why didn’t you show the diary to me, or your mother? A suspicious object like that, it is clearly full of Dark Magic-”

“I d-didn’t know! I found it inside one of the books Mum got me. I th-thought someone had just left it in there and had forgotten about it-”(COS page 330)

It was a nice note book; I’d never had anything that looked that nice before. I didn’t question it until I absolutely had to, because, because I wanted to keep it, I didn’t want to risk someone taking it from me.

“Miss. Weasley should go up to the hospital wing right away,” said Dumbledore, “This has been a terrible ordeal for her. There will be no punishment.” I stared at him- surprised. I had done terrible, terrible things. I deserved to be punished, I deserved to be- to be put in Azkaban.
He noticed my expression, and his softened. He endearingly said, “Older and wiser wizards than she have been hoodwinked by Lord Voldemort.” He walked to the door of the office and opened it. “Bed rest and perhaps a large, steaming mug of hot chocolate. I always find that cheers me up,” he added. “You will find that Madam Pomfrey is still awake. She’s just giving out Mandrake juice – I daresay the basilisk’s victims will be waking up any moment.”

“So Hermione’s okay!” said Ron brightly.

Tears welled in my eyes, the relief that washed over me was so overwhelming I thought I would burst into a puddle of pumpkin juice.

“There has been no lasting harm done, Ginny,” said Dumbledore looking straight into my eyes.
What I saw was understanding and acceptance. Just like that, I was forgiven. Just like that, I was the poor little girl who was tricked by Voldemort. Just like that a, bubble formed around me; a bubble everyone I knew would try to keep me in.

But in that moment, I realized I wasn’t a murderer, I wasn’t insane. It was Voldemort. Tom Riddle was Voldemort.

As my mum and dad whisked me out of the office toward the hospital wing, I thought about how stupid I’d been. How could I not have at least suspected the similarity Tom had to Voldemort. They were after the same thing! The purification of the wizarding world…and both had a twisted fascination with Harry Potter.

He confessed to using Dark Magic and oh, it all made so much sense.

“I don’t understand why you didn’t come to us about this, love,” whispered my mother after a few moments of silent walking. She was uncharacteristically somber; I had expected rage.

I wiped the tears from my face, “I- I couldn’t well- Tom was sweet at first, he was normal I guess, and then when…he… he started to change and suddenly he physically wouldn’t let me speak to anyone.”

My parents shared a worried but knowing glance.

Dad looked back to me, “That’s the diary you wrote your mother about, isn’t it?”

“Yes.”

“And what did it…Dumbledore said it enchanted you, what exactly did it do to you, why, why were you in that chamber?”

So I told them.

My mum stared crying, “I should have known something was wrong when you hadn’t been sending me any letters… but a diary? How- Arthur- I would never in my wildest dreams suspect-”
Dad put a hand on my mum’s shoulder, calming her instantly, “How are you feeling, sweetheart?” he asked me. It was the first time anyone had asked me that. It was the first time I had to actually think about it.

“I’m tired. I’m just really, really tired,” the moment I realized, I was almost fainting with exhaustion. The weight of Hogwarts lifted off my shoulders and left me feeling about ready to sleep for a week straight.

We reached the infirmary and Madam Pomfrey was making a fuss with her full hospital wing. She looked me over ran some tests and found that I was physically sound.

“And- err- how is her- her…mind?” my father whispered the last part as though I weren’t two feet away from him. My mother was helping me into the hospital bed.

“Professor Dumbledore sent a note say that he will be here soon to have a private conversation with you and Mrs. Weasley.”

With that, she left us to work on the petrified students. I couldn’t see any of them, as each were hidden behind a private curtain, but I didn’t see any movement other that Pomfrey scurrying about.

“You just sleep now, darling,” said mum with a kiss on my forehead. She and my dad didn’t leave my side until I fell asleep. I drifted off for a much needed nap, and woke up an hour later to some familiar voices. The mandrake potion had worked.

And on my bedside table, in a cup that was charmed to stay warm, a cup of hot chocolate. Smiling slightly, I took the cup and sipped.

All the unpetrified students ran out of the hospital wing to join the large school feast that was taking place downstairs. I stayed in my bed drinking the hot chocolate. I assumed my parents were with Dumbledore.

“I thought it was only muggleborns that got petrified!” I looked up from my mug. Hermione was standing over my bed curiously. “Are you okay, Ginny?”

I blushed, “Yes- I wasn’t…I wasn’t petrified.”

“What happened?”

“Erm-long story.”

Hermione looked at me oddly then said, “Aren’t you coming? There’s a huge celebration feast apparently.”

I shook my head, “No, I don’t think so.” I was happy to see her up and about, I was sure Harry and Ron were going to be beside themselves when they saw her.

Hermione took a step closer tilting her head knowingly, “It was you who broke in to the boys’ dormitory, wasn’t it?” It wasn’t a question. I nodded. “You had the diary all along.” Again, I nodded.
“The chamber being opened had something to do with that Tom Riddle. Not Hagrid, he was framed, wasn’t he?”

I shifted in under the covers and stopped meeting her gaze, “You’re really smart.”

“Thanks.” We sat in awkward silence for a moment. “I just, I don’t understand how a diary could have done this, and- what happened to you, did it- did it hurt you?”

“It…it took control of me, it made me do things- I-I’m the reason this all happened. I’m so sorry, Hermione.” I put my entire heart into my apology. I couldn’t be sorrier that she’d suffered.

Hermione’s eyes widened in recognition. “Tom Riddle, he possessed you.”

My jaw dropped open and I spilled my drink all over the blankets.

Hermione grabbed her wand immediately, “Scourgify.” The mess was cleaned instantly.

Possession. she was absolutely right. I had been possessed.

“There’s no need to apologize. You didn’t have control over what you were doing.” Hermione stood, I was surprised to how well she was taking everything. “Well I’ll be off to the feast then, if you’re sure you’re going to stay here.”

I nodded. I wasn’t in the mood to celebrate, and especially didn’t want to face certain people.

Hermione headed out but turned toward me again when she reached the door, “You know, I wonder when I started taking everything in stride. I mean, I’m happier about the fact the Ron and Harry solved the mystery than I am mad about the fact that I lost weeks of my education. Funny, isn’t it? I guess this means I’m getting used to the wizarding world. What an induction.” With a last smile, she left.

I couldn’t understand just how anyone would believe she didn’t have the right to be what she was. Hermione’s parents may not have been magical, but she was one heck of a witch.

****
My mum and dad were reluctant to leave me at Hogwarts for the remainder of the year. Final Exams had been canceled as a treat to the students and there were only a few days left, so they figured I might as well return home with them the morning after the Chamber.

“I want to stay,” I had told them, “If I leave now, I might be too scared to come back. I need to face things.”

“You’re being very brave, love, are you sure?” mum asked.

I nodded.

My father sighed, “Well, I suppose it is only a few days. We’ve had a talk with your brothers, we are extremely disappointed that they hadn’t noticed something was wrong, they were supposed to be looking after you. They know what happened, but aside from than them, Harry, Hermione, Dumbledore and McGonagall, no one knows about the diary.”

Now my brothers were in trouble for something I did. Fabulous.

Mum was about to burst into tears again, “We love you, darling. More than anything. If anything starts troubling you, you come right home!”

“I love you too, mum.”

They left, and I was feeling more and more like a baby.

Hagrid was released from Azkaban after it was revealed to the Ministry of Magic that he hadn’t nor had ever opened the Chamber of Secrets, Dumbledore was reinstated and things were, for the most part, getting back to normal. The school was buzzing about the Chamber of Secrets rumors but I tried to block it all out.

“I heard Harry Potter fed Professor Lockhart to the monster in return for the girl. That’s why he’s not coming back next year, he was snake food!”

“I heard that the girl who was taken down into the chamber was actually a house elf from the kitchens-not a student.”

“You’ve got it all wrong, Draco Malfoy opened the Chamber of Secrets, and used it to feed Susan Bones to the monster, Potter killed the beast by stabbing it with a knife over and over.”

“Why would he have a knife?”

The only explanation given to the students was that Ron and Harry had gone into the chamber and defeated the monster. And truly that’s all they needed to know. They didn’t need to know what girl or who opened the chamber, just that it was closed and there was no monster any longer. The staff left the messages on the wall up to interpretation, and for that I was eternally thankful.

However, that didn’t mean my brothers could enjoy being just as clueless. I could feel their eyes on me at all times, but they didn’t speak to me at all. None of them approached me, not once. Perhaps, they just didn’t know what to say. Perhaps, they felt too guilty to face me…Perhaps they were scarred of me.

Either which way, I was shut out completely. Which wasn’t far off from how the rest of the year had gone.

“I heard Fred got a boogie flavored one once.” I looked up startled at the voice and found Harry Potter standing in front of me. It was the night before we were leaving for home and I was sitting in the common room by myself eating Bertie Botts Every Flavored Beans from yet another care package my mum had sent. There had been many in the span of a few days.

I blushed. OF COURSE I BLUSHED. “Yeah, he did.”

“Mind if I sit?”

I nodded. He took a seat on the bench in front of me, looking rather uncomfortable. I was probably that last person on the planet he wanted to speak to, so I didn’t understand why he was trying to. I offered him the box of beans and he took some, picking out the ones of…questionable color.

“Lockhart was a fraud by the way,” said Harry conversationally, “He confessed it to Ron and I before trying to erase our memories, he didn’t write any of his books, he never did any of those things.”

“Really?”

“Yeah, Ron and I thought he could help us down in the chamber, but turned out he was just a big coward.”

We fell into an awkward silence for a moment, I had no idea what I was supposed to say. “Fancy a game of exploding snap?” asked Harry.

It then hit me. Harry was trying very hard to include me, to not ignore me, to acknowledge me. It was so utterly sweet my heart swelled.

“Yes, I-I’d love to.”

As we played Harry continued talking. “Did err- did Dumbledore tell you how you got your hands on the diary?”

I looked up at him, “You mean…it wasn’t an accident?”

Harry didn’t meet my eyes, “It was- it was Lucius Malfoy. That day at Flourish and Blotts. He slipped the diary into your books. He denies it, though, and since Tom is gone we can’t prove it. But I think we was a Voldemort supporter.”

I flinched at the name. But thought back to the day in Diagon Alley, it made perfect sense.

“That bastard!”

Harry’s eyes nearly popped out of his head.

“Sorry,” I said…. with a bush.

“No you’re right, he is a bastard,” Harry laughed.

I smiled. “Thank you,” I said bashfully. I was thanking hi for everything, for the Chamber for talking to me, for telling me the truth, for being so…wonderful.

“No need. Honestly.”

Hermione and Ron had just walked into the common room. Seeing us, Hermione smiled and pulled Ron along. They sat with us and joined in the game, soon Fred, George and Lee Jordan joined as well. Even Colin came and sat with us for a while. But mostly to get a picture of Harry and Ron, the Hogwarts Saviors.
It was the first time I truly smiled in a long time.

The next day, I shared a compartment on the train with my brothers and Hermione and Harry. I was feeling better, I was…almost completely happy, I was trying to move on trying to ignore the gross dark ugly side of my nightmares and day dreams since the diary was destroyed.

I knew that if I tried to be happy, then soon I wouldn’t have to try anymore. And I was… happy- happy to be rid of Tom Riddle at least.

“I’m sorry, Ginny.” I looked at Fred, he was watching me cautiously, as though I were about to break. George was setting off the remainder of the twins’ Filibuster fireworks with Harry and Ron, and Hermione was reading a book.

“It wasn’t your fault, I’m the one who wrote in the damn thing.”

“But I- I should have noticed you’d been really quiet all year. George and I- we had no idea. Dad set us straight, he did, but I still need to say I’m sorry.”

I shrugged, “I’m the one who should be sorry.”

Fred shook his head, “Yeah, well I’m always getting into all sorts of trouble can’t really judge you for making some of your own.”

“I have a feeling not everyone will feel the same.”

Fred sighed, “You’re a lot tougher than you look, Ginny. Don’t worry about what people will say.”

Fred returned to the fireworks and I thought about Tom Riddle. I thought about how Dumbledore seemed to know exactly that Harry was thinking about Voldemort without Harry even mentioning the diary. I thought about how Dumbledore mentioned Voldemort was hiding out in Albania. If Voldemort was out there waiting, obviously hell bent on getting to Harry, trying to figure out a way to get back to full power, would that mean… I hadn’t heard the last of Tom Riddle? Was it truly over? Did that mean that You-Know-Who…knew who I was?

“Ginny-” (COS page 340) at the mention of my name I jumped, “What did you see Percy doing, that he didn’t want you to tell anyone?” Harry asked, eyes beaming with happiness and laughter. Those eyes were too hypnotizing for their own good- I giggled.

GIGGLED. “Oh that,” (COD page 341) I said. “Well- Percy’s got a girlfriend.”

“What?” Fred exclaimed.

“It’s that Ravenclaw prefect, Penelope Clearwater. That’s who he was writing to all last summer. He’s been meeting her all over the school in secret,” and the rambling just kept coming. THOSE EYES WERE DANGEROUS. I had promised Percy I wouldn’t say anything, and here I was. Then again- it was Percy, and it was rather funny. “I walked in on them kissing in an empty classroom one day. He was so upset when she was- you know- attacked,” I stopped. I wish I would have stopped sooner. But then I saw the gleam in the twin’s eyes and had to add, “You won’t tease him, will you?”

“Wouldn’t dream of it,” said Fred.

“Definitely not,” said George.


Moments later we had pulled up to King’s Cross station and my first year was officially over.

The twins excited the compartment together snickering, Hermione walked out with Ron was explaining to him what a tellyphin was because Harry had given them a tellyphin number, or whatever it was. Harry, noticing my trouble had reached up and helped me with my trunk. I blushed in gratitude.

“Have a nice summer Ginny!” he said before catching up with Ron and Hermione to exit the train. I watched him go wondering how on earth I was ever supposed to not be head over arse infatuated with Harry Potter.

“Ginny?” Luna’s face popped into the compartment, her hair a halo around her head. “Where have you been the past few days?! I thought you may have come down with wispfly fever, you know it’s the leading cause of disappearance in merfolk and in some cases witches and wizards as well, but it’s very rare for our kind to-”

“I’m okay Luna, honestly. But I do have a crazy story to tell you, and I hope you’ll still want to be my friend after you hear it.”

She furrowed her brows and tilted her head, “A crazy story could only make you more interesting, Ginny. And I do enjoy interesting.”





A/N: For all of you that read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, you might remember a scene between parents, Harry and Ginny, discussing their son Albus. Ginny reminds Harry of what a great person he is to people in need, she reminds him of the time that he found her alone in the common room after the Chamber of Secrets and asked to her to play a game when everyone else had shut her out. I had always imagined something like that happened, and was so glad when Rowling added it in the play. Since Cursed Child is cannon i knew I had to add it.

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Chapter 7: From England To Egypt and Back

Author's Notes: So I have completely redone the Prisoner of Azkaban Section of this story, it's take over a year, but this project was in my back burner. But I FINALLY FINISHED and am VERY proud of the improvements I've made. I think actually developing POA adds to Ginny's development. Now I know this story was originally published....like over two years ago? So anyone reading this now probably NEVER read it before, and for those who do remember this story, thanks for coming back! To new comers who are coming across this chapter as a first time reading of this story, just continue on and let me know what you think!
-ALI


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azakaban

Entry five: from England to Egypt and Back



“Can I start again, with my faith shaken?

Cause I can’t go back and undo this.

I just have to stay, and face my mistakes

But if I get stronger and wiser, I’ll get through this.

What can you do when your good isn’t good enough,

When all that you touch tumbles down,

Cause my best intentions keep making a mess of things,

I just want to fix this somehow…”

-Get It Right, Lea Michelle (Glee



But I was getting to know him better, him as a person, his likes and dislikes, his moods and habits. It wasn't as creepy as it seemed, yes I will admit, I spent a good portion of time watching and observing him- but he was always around, and we were… acquaintances.

He was becoming just, Harry, rather than the great Harry Potter to me. It was thrilling.

This was all happening my second year and though I was severely shy, when he would speak directly to me, I would blush- but answer.

With words.

That growth within myself was due to many things, obviously I was older, there was a major difference between 11 and 12, and obviously down in the chamber Harry and I have created a bond. Even though we wouldn't expand on that bond for years, it was there nonetheless. To my surprise, and I'm sure to yours as well, I didn't see Harry more so as a hero but as a boy with flaws and fears. Down in the chamber I saw him on the brink of death, and that changes the way you view a person. He wasn't indestructible, he was voulnerable, he wasn't perfect, but he was real.

I also have to give credit for my growth to the trip my family took the summer after my first year. The trip we took to Egypt to see my eldest brother Bill, who was working there as a curse breaker.

My father won the Grand Prize Galleon Draw that year, ad we really couldn't think of a better way to spend the money than to travel. And it was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Unfortunately, the timing had left to be desired. I was still thoroughly dysfunctional and my family was watching over me like I was a new born. Which was most likely one of the reasons we were taking a trip in the first place; to give me some fresh air.

"Bill!" I yelled when I saw him, I ran and was the first one to greet him.

He threw his arms around me and twirled me around. "I've missed you, spitfire," he said.

I playfully pushed him away, "I've told you not to call me that."

"Must have forgotten."

"Liar."

"Bill!" cried mum as she reached us, "Oh, sweetheart, it's been too long! You really must come around home more often," she chastised wiping the tears from her eyes. That's what she was I'm able to pick up good looking, "William! What did you do with this hair! A ponytail? What are you trying to do- and an earring?!"

"Alright, Molly, no need to be so hasty, we've only just gotten here," said my dad as Fred and George laughed their heads off behind me at mom scolding Bill.

I only gave Bill a knowing look and he gave me a hidden smile. He had written to me about his new look. I was more than glad to see my brother. Being around him made me forget all about what I had done, what I endured, and the pain I had caused. With Bill, I was just Ginny, his little sister who would sit on his lap and hear stories of Hogwarts.

However, considering that as I watched Ron embrace Bill, I suddenly wanted to be anywhere but there. Bill must have known by then all about the Chamber. We had managed to keep it a secret in school, yes I was the one who was dragged down into the Chamber but it was not divulged, however, that I was the one who opened it in the first place. But, as successful as we were at keeping it hidden at school, my parents- nor I for that matter- could keep it from the rest of our family.

Bill must have been so disappointed, and was waiting to get me alone to berate my choices and my actions. How could he ever look at me the same way? Everything was tarnished, and at least back home I could pretend that nothing had changed between my brother and I, since I didn’t have to see the disappointment resonating in his eyes. He wouldn’t be the only one who thought I was evil.

Voldemort was present in my dreams. The whispers…the chills… they were with my in every step I took. I took a step away because it was getting rather hard to breathe. The floo station was so packed with travelers; I bumped into a woman and became even more disoriented.

“He will never love you again, Ginevra, why would he? How could someone as good as William Weasley love someone like you? Even the great and noble Harry Potter avoided you like plague once you left the Chamber.”

“Stop,” I said out loud, clutching my head.

“Ginny?” said a voice from far away. My lungs were not working right, and I didn’t have the voice to answer.

Everything Tom had said was true.

The Sun was much brighter than it was back home in Britain, the air was lighter too, and I felt I wasn’t getting enough to fill my lungs. A splitting headache began to form.

“Ginny!” there was a crowd now; I had attracted attention.

“Ronald hated what you did to the Granger girl…we almost had her, didn’t we?”

“It wasn’t me…” I whispered. He made me do it. I would never hurt Hermione…

“It must be the climate, and exhaustion from the trip,” said the voice of my mother, in what I knew was an attempt to draw away the curious crowd.

“You see? They are ashamed and embarrassed of you…they brought you around the world to hide from the humiliation…they know the truth about you…they all do…”

I couldn’t even tell him he was wrong, because the headache took over, and my world went black.



****



I’m not sure how long I was out, exactly, I only remember several dreams portraying different outcomes that could have transpired in the Chamber, and none of them were good.

Harry had destroyed Tom Riddle…but somehow, he was still with me- and I still hadn’t told anyone. He mostly spoke to me at night, in the time between dreaming and consciousness, when my mind had nothing to think about. I was terrified, and kept hoping that I would wake up in the morning and he’d be gone forever. But he never was...and it had been an entire month. Tom always brought fear and anxiety with him, but, I hadn’t experienced such a bad headache since I passed out in the Chamber of Secrets.

I was extremely disoriented when I came to. I could tell that I was in some kind of cot, and that I was really hot. Extremely, in fact, and the only air was coming from the magical fan across the room. The ceiling was made of cotton and so I deducted that I was inside a tent. Carefully, I sat up, feeling the blood rush from my head as it spun. Nearly blacking out again, I forced myself to focus.

The tent was nicely furnished, in a completely different style that I could only describe as other worldly. The sun was beating through the fabric of the tent and I was drenched in my own sweat. The next thing I noticed was that I was all alone. That was odd, knowing my mother she wouldn’t let me out of her sight when I was sick, especially on another continent.

“Shh!” said a voice from behind me. I turned and there wasn’t a soul in sight. MY instinct told me to explore, but I was afraid as to what I could run into.

Thankfully, my fears were slightly calmed when I heard soft sniffling coming from the same direction; there was definitely someone behind the curtain on the far end of the room. I slowly made my way closer, and only stopped when my mother’s shadow appeared. In reflex, I hid in the corner and peaked around. There was a thin, orange curtain separating my from the adjoining room, and the light that was hitting my parents casted their shadows onto the cloth.

It looked like they were in there with only Bill.

“How could you not have told me?” said my brother with a sniff. So it was Bill who was crying. I couldn’t remember him ever crying before.

My parents replied softly, “It wasn’t something you could put in a letter, dear.”

“We wanted to tell you in person.”

“Yeah? Well look how that worked out! I had to watch my little sister have an emotional breakdown, or a panic attack or whatever you call it, having no idea what could have possibly brought it on!” Bill’s silhouette dropped his head into his hands.

This surprised me, I had been under the impression that Bill already knew.

“We had no idea that would happen, and we aren’t even sure why! She’d been doing so well, she’s been a bit quiet and reserved, but alright. I’ve never seen her like that.”

“Not even when…it happened?”

My mother took Bill a cup something and watched him take a sip. “Well, we can’t be entirely sure…Harry was the one with her…then,” said Mum. “And, well, he’s keeping as quiet as he can about this whole thing.”

“But we need to know! What if something is genuinely wrong? Potter has no reason to be keeping secrets!”

“He’s not keeping secrets,” countered my father, “He’s keeping her confidence.”

I smiled- I knew my father would understand.

“Harry Potter…I just…can’t fathom it.”

“He’s a good boy, Bill,” said Mum, on the verge of tears.

“He saved my little sister’s life; I’ll never have one word to say against him.” Bill sighed, “I just don’t understand how we could have let this happen. She had four brothers there who were supposed to be watching out for her. How did we let her slip through the cracks?”

“I’ve had a few good words with the other boys, Bill,” assured my father, “And believe it or not, they feel even worse than you do. Don’t’ give them anymore of a hard time; you know how Ginny is when she is determined to keep something to herself.”

“It’s still wrong. Ginny-our Ginny- involved in this…horrific…what has Dumbledore said?”

Mum answered that one, “He said that this won’t define who she I; she’s much too strong to let this be her downfall. He said that she has brilliant things ahead of her, and that the Chamber will only help shape her into the person she is meant to be.” Mum stopped for a moment, it was obvious that she wasn’t having an easy time speaking of this, “Dumbledore believes your sister is destined for great accomplishments, but she’ll have many demons to live with and hopefully get through,” she finished with a thick voice.

“Does he think there’s going to be anything wrong with her? What did Madam Pomfrey say?”

“She’s healthy- still weak- but physically, Ginny is unharmed.”

“But mentally? Emotionally?”

My parents turned to each other in hesitation, and in that moment my heart fell to my toes. They must have known that Tom Riddle was still inside my head…somehow. That’s what I thought they were referring to. I started to accept that fact that there truly was something wrong with me. I was going to go mental…did I have a personality disorder? Would it affect my magic? I was evil. They knew it. They knew Tom still spoke to me…

Would they send me away? To some mental facility? I’d heard of witches and wizards whom had voices in their heads- wizards who’d gone mad- some were locked up…and others were…

Why had no one spoken to me about it? How could they run the risk of letting me over hear it like that? Why had everyone lied?

“He said…that with time…enough time to heal the emotional damage, she’ll be fine,” replied my father at last.

So they did believe I was fine?

“But you both don’t seem to sure,” Bill mildly accused, “I’ve worked with Dark Magic for a while now, and that diary sounds like just about the worst sort. I just can’t believe that she’s completely untouched by it.”

One look at me and Bill already knew. I had known this was going to happen, that Bill would see the evil inside me. I started to tear as I stood there paralyzed to the spot. He knew that there was something wrong with me, it seemed even my parents were doubtful.

“Sweetheart, think of Harry, the boy has been touched with the darkest magic there is and he is doing just fine.”

I wasn’t sure if my mother was trying to convinced Bill, or herself.

“I don’t know…something just feels off.”

In time I would find out just how right Bill was. Dumbledore was right about my being destined for big things, but he also knew a bit more than he was telling us regarding my emotional complications. Regarding how Tom Riddle had affected my soul. There were even pieces of information that Dumbledore didn’t even know at the time, like what the diary truly was. But you’ll have to wait a lot longer to discover the truth.

Dumbledore was a great wizard…but he was human and he had several flaws. Some of the decisions he made were costly, and I can’t help but wonder how things would have turned out if I knew what I know now about what truly happened in the Chamber of Secrets.

“She just needs family, love and time.”

“So that’s why you’re all here, then?”

Mum’s shadow nodded, “Dumbledore suggested that we get her away for a while, some fresh air and new sights. WE figured there was no place else we’d rather be than with the whole family. We told Charlie, and he thought it was great idea and we informed him of Ginny’s…situation on the trip over. He didn’t take it too well, as we knew you wouldn’t either but we wouldn’t possibly tell you over a floo call, or a letter. So here we all are.”

“But don’t tell her,” said dad. “We don’t want her to think we are worried about her; she needs to relax and enjoy her time here.”

I felt guilty. I knew mum and dad had wanted to visit Bill for a very long time but perhaps they truly wanted to spend their winnings on something more…permanent. Had we really gone all that way just for me?

“How is she now?”

“She’s calmed down. She stopped thrashing about half an hour ago.”

Bill stood to refill his cup. “She’s suffering from nightmares?”

“Yes,” answered mum, “and I don’t believe she knows the extent of them; I’ve woken up to her screams. But at least-at least they are dreams and they will pass.”

I didn’t want to hear anymore. I just kept feeling worse and worse. I hadn’t a clue that I was keeping my mother from sleep.

“I’d better go in and check on her. The cooling charm must have worn off by now.”

Quickly, I tip-toed across the room and climbed into my cot just as someone stepped into the room. Footsteps came closer as I feigned sleep, and then suddenly, I felt refreshed and cleansed. They must have been keeping cooling charms on me the whole time I’d been out.

“You can open your eyes. I know you’re awake,” said Bill from beside me, surprising me so much I opened my eyes. He smiled sadly, and I noted the trace of tears in his eyes.

“When did you know?”

“When I saw your shadow haul over back to be, I told mum I’d take care of it, so here I am.”

I stayed silent peering up at my eldest brother from under the light, sheer blanket. “Do you hate me?” I asked him in a small voice.

“Hate you? How- what? Why would I ever hate you?”

“Because I’ve made such a mess of things, you don’t have to pretend like this doesn’t change things, I’m ‘emotionally traumatized’, Bill.”

Pushing me over so he could sit, Bill rolled his eyes, “I am not going to say this twice, so listen to me now. I do not hate, nothing you ever do could make me hate you. You are not a bad person, Ginny. You are one of the best I’ve ever met, and nothing that has happened will change that. Ever.”

I personally hadn’t spoken to anyone about what had happened, other than Dumbledore. And although explaining myself to him was difficult, it was nothing compared to telling my own brother. Tears of my own began to form, “I hurt people,” I whispered.

“Ginny-”

“Bill, I let him…possess me- I let him…use me. I hurt Colin; I hurt….Her-Hermione.”

Bill had heard all about Hermione from Ron. It seemed Ron had a lot to say about his close friend. But Bill’s face seemed heartbroken at the mention of her name. “I’m so sorry,” I was terrified that he’d be disgusted with my actions, and I had never felt so vulnerable. How could he say that nothing I could do would make him hate me? Hadn’t my parents told him what I’d done? Ron hated me…

“I know you’re sorry, but it should be us who are sorry. We should have noticed something was wrong.”

“I’m scared, Bill,” I admitted, “What if I really am evil? What of-”

“You are NOT evil. You are Ginny Weasley. You are not evil.” He took my hand, “But, we don’t have to talk about this right now. You need your rest, and tomorrow I’m showing you the pyramids.”

I half smiled for his benefit, “That sounds nice.” I couldn’t really believe him. At least, yet. “I don’t want to sleep now, I’ve been sleeping all day.”

“Okay then,” said with a nod, “I know what we could do.”

Bill summoned a chess board from across the room and began setting it up, as I watched him, wondering how he could see me the same way he used to.

“Hey,” he called, “Wipe those tears, this is no game for cry babies.”

I actually let out a throaty laugh.

“By the way there is something we need to discuss.”

“Yeah?”

“Yes. The next time you want to get the attention of the great Harry Potter, just fall out of a window next time, it’ll probably be less dangerous.”

And I really laughed at that one.

Bill made the first move with his pawn, “So what is he like? Everything you imagined.”

I countered his move, “No. He’s better.”

“And how’s that?”

“Because he’s real.”

****

The remainder of the trip went smoothly, as far as my health and sanity was concerned. Tom hadn’t shown up so strongly again and only returned in my dreams.

“Would you get in trouble for bringing me here?” I asked, running a hand across the smooth golden bricks.

“Of course not. All witches and wizards are allowed up here ever since the Egyptians built this thing.”

“It’s incredible how the muggles were able to create this without magic.”

Bill laughed, “Without magic? Please, Ginny, civilization wasn’t that evolved. Without the help of wizards, this pyramid would not exist right now.”

“No way!” I said, looking out over the desert. Bill had taken the family to visit the pyramids, however, it wasn’t just any trip. Bill was able to take us inside the structure, and at that moment, Bill and I were standing on a platform which opened out into a hidden window at the top of the pyramid. Standing on the edge, you could see the entire world stretched out before you.

“Yeah, ever since the beginning of time, wizards and muggles were able to work together. But then we were banished, branded as dark forces and evil creatures, we were forced to make our own hidden world, that of which only a few secret muggles are actually aware of. But we still have our secret workings in the muggle world, like this. This landing you are standing on, we have several more just like it on all the wonders of the world.”

“And the muggles can’t see us?”

“Not at all, we have an Impenetrable Charm on this entire area.”

I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, enjoying the fresh air. Being that high felt like being on a broom. The world went on forever; flat and empty golden land. So simple, so beautiful.

“Thanks for this, Bill.” I felt free and open, as if nothing would ever bother me again. The rest of the family was exploring downstairs somewhere, and I felt almost full again.

“Ginny?” called a timid Bill. “I wanted to ask you something, I was hoping you’d tell me what drew you to the diary in the first place,” he looked at his feet, “I mean, once it started writing back, why did you become so attached to it?” I could see the trepidation in his eyes for asking something so personal. And although I truly wanted to avoid answering, he’d been so god to me that he deserved an answer. What did draw me? It was a fair question.

“Well, I suppose…Tom was…friendly. And since I was a Weasley, everyone thought they already knew who I was and never took the time to get to know my for me…I was lonely…” It seemed silly, admitting something so childish.

“And he said his name was Tom. He was genuinely interested in what I had to say…Most of the first years were scared of coming near me,” I smiled sadly, “I was Fred and George’s sister, and their reputation is infamous even with the first years. And Ron was Harry Potter’s best friend, not only was he busy, but everyone was more preoccupied with that Weasley.”

“You really did slip right through the cracks, didn’t you?”

“Tom, he was…he always said just what I needed to hear.” I didn’t know how but he did. He was embedded in me. Now, of course, I understand, but not at 12. He understood my feelings and used them against me only to make me weak.

“And so you trusted him?” he curiously asked.

“Yes.”

“You should have told someone when you started forgetting things.”

“But I would have gotten into trouble, Bill, I was frightened. I thought they would blame me. And if I had thought it was me…I would have turned myself in. I truly had no idea. I felt that I would have known….but then I wasn’t so sure anymore.”

Bill sighed, “Not every friend is going to betray you like Riddle did.”

“I know that. Not everyone is You-Know-Who’s 16 year old self.”

“Touché.”

“Bill, Ginny?” I turned to the entrance of the landing, coming face to face with Ron’s intrigued expression.

“Hey, little brother, come on up.”

“This is incredible! Blimey, you can see everything from up here,” he said as he shuffled his feet near the edge and peered down.

“I’m going to go find mum and dad,” said Bill, “You can’t fall because the charms prevent it, but don’t do anything stupid.” With a smile, my eldest brother was gone.

“What were you guys talking about?” asked Ron.

I sat, pulling my legs to my chest so that I could lean my head on my knees and enjoy the view. “Nothing terribly interesting.”

Ron had never been very intuitive, especially when we were younger, he was highly sensitive, and I believe that was the reason he avoided all gushy, mushy, emotionally traumatic situations like a spider. Then there were moments he surprised me.

“Yeah, I’m sure You-Know-Who isn’t all that interesting.”

“Were you eavesdropping?” I asked, a bit miffed at the entire family’s lacking concern for privacy.

He shrugged, “Not really, but what else would you be talking about? Quidditch? You haven’t been in that kind of mood all summer.”

“Well, I’m sorry if my mood isn’t what you want it to be, Ron. Now, why don’t you just go and write to Harry and Hermione or something.”

“Because I’m talking to you! All summer long you’ve been distant and I just want to help!”

“Well, don’t.”

“Isn’t that nice after everything I’ve done to you-”

“Harry got me out of the Chamber of Secrets, Ron, you weren’t even there.”

It was the meanest thing I’d ever said to my brother, by far, and even to this day. I know. But I was afraid he was about to scold me for what I’d done wrong, and I got on the defensive. I’d heard enough of it from everyone else, including my ever present conscience. I regretted my words, instantly, but I never took them back.

His reaction, however, surprised me.

Ron’s face contorted into a frown as he slid down to the spot next to me, “I’m sorry.”

“What?”

“I should have been there. It should have been me; I shouldn’t have gotten left behind on the outside of the Chamber. But most of all, I should have known there was something wrong.”

I rolled my eyes, “And I shouldn’t have trusted Tom Riddle; we all have things we regret-”

“I should have been the one to get you out, Ginny. Not Harry.”

“And you shouldn’t have ignored me, or have been embarrassed by me.”

“So you’re mad at me?”

“I’m mad at everything,” I sighed. We stayed there, silent and still, for a while. Just staring out into the sky.

“I would do it again, you know,” he said, “Go down into those pipes to save you.”

“I know.”

“And I’ll be here when you’re ready to talk to me.”

“I know.”

Nodding, he asked, “So…what do we do now?”

“We sit here and don’t do anything stupid.”

Ron and I still had a lot to work through. Out of all of my siblings, aside from Fred and George, of course, Ron and I were the closest; before school started that is. In that moment on the pyramid I had never felt so far from him. We had a very on and off relationship and for the next few years we rarely ever saw eye to eye. And unfortunately, we couldn’t blame Riddle for that one.



The trip ended, as all good things do. And right before we went off to school, we spent some time at the Leaky Cauldron, with Hermione and low and behold, Harry Potter.

Whereas Hermione arrived with my family, it seemed Harry had already been staying at the Leaky for some time. He had apparently, in a fit of rage and accidental magic, blown up his vile aunt into a twice sized balloon of a woman. He then effectively left the destructive household, finding his way to the Leaky Cauldron by use of the Knight Bus- the Wizarding form of transportation that picks up any stranded witch of wizard unseen by any muggle.

When I saw him at first, I couldn’t help but feel foolishly embarrassed. I wondered if he resented saving me for all the trouble he ended up in, and the danger he experienced. However, Harry was nothing but polite and utterly kind. I had hoped that after seeing the light nearly leave his eyes I’d be able to hold a full length conversation with him, but alas, not yet.

I was never a naïve person. When I was younger the reason I seemed oblivious to things was because I was intentionally left in the dark, “You’re too young,” they would tell me. But I knew when something was wrong.

For instance when I got rid of the diary the moment I began to suspect it.

No one told me what was wrong the summer after my first year, I figured it out myself. It had to do with Sirius Black; the man who at that point I believed to be evil.

Sirius Black was a mass murderer who had killed thirteen people the year I was born, the year that Voldemort was defeated by Harry Potter.

Now, it seemed he had escaped Azkaban Prison, being the first wizard in history to do so. Could you imagine? And it only gets worse. What was more horrific, I found out, being my sharp self, it was Harry he was after.

I had heard from my father (well I had eavesdropped really) that Sirius had been talking in his sleep, for a few weeks before he made his infamous escape. He kept repeated the same words over and over, “He’s at Hogwarts. He’s at Hogwarts.”

It didn’t take a master mind to put together a hunch. Of course I hadn’t put it all together right away, but I had a feeling.

Sirius Black, one of the most dangerous men alive, and known for working under Voldemort’s regime, had broken out of the world’s most impenetrable unit secured with the most brilliant and talented wizards. He was wanted more than anyone at the moment and was out somewhere unseen, and I could only imagine that he was headed straight for Harry Potter.



I remember the day Harry, Ron, Hermione, Fred, George, Percy and I left for school. I was excited to start the year; I was older and ready to start fresh, to forgive myself for what I let happen my first year. The lot of us were, as I mentioned, at the Leaky Cauldron. Ron and Hermione were arguing, again, Fred and George were playing with some artifacts they collected from Egypt, my father and were Percy discussing something about the Wizarding community we experience there, and mum was looking out for everyone.

I don’t remember what it was exactly that Ron and Hermione were bickering about (never can really) but because of it, she began speaking with me, and I found that I really enjoyed her company. Whether it was because I never really had a girl around to confide in, or even talk to- with having six brothers well it was hard to find girl time.

It seemed Hermione had the same feelings, she was an only child and her two best friends were boys. Our friendship grew quickly and it wasn’t long after that I considered her my sister as well.

However as intriguing as my new friend was, I didn’t miss how tired Harry looked, as though he hadn’t gotten any sleep the night before. Harry was preoccupied with something and I wished I could figure out what it was.

Hermione called my attention again, “Ginny? Were you listening? I asked if you were planning on taking Ancient Runes next year.”

“What?” I asked tearing my eyes away from the boy.

“Ancient Runes. I know it’s a rather prestigious class, but it’s never too early to start…what are you staring at?” I had accidentally let my eyes slip to the other side of the table again.

“Uh, nothing…Ancient Runes… I hear that class is a head case waiting to happen.”

She laughed once, “Yes, well, there are already people who think of me as a head case.” I couldn’t help but notice her own eyes slipping to my brother Ron, who, at the moment was stuffing his face with everything and anything in sight.

“Hermione, Ron is a nitwit, don’t give him a second thought; things come out of his mouth before he thinks about them.” We both glanced his way, “Heck he stuffs things in his mouth without even thinking.”

She laughed, “Well I guess you’re right, but, I know what you’re thinking- I don’t see Ron that way.” Her hazel eyes looked back down to the open book on the table, she was trying to conceal a blush even though there was no need.

“Right; and I have ears the size of a house elf’s.”

She looked back up with wide eyes. “Ginny, please don’t find me rude when I say this, but, I never thought of you as such an outspoken person. You’ve always seemed so quiet and timid.” That was her attempt at changing the subject. I was about to call her out on that when George interrupted, having heard that last bit from Hermione.

“Ha,” He snorted, “Quiet. I could swear the Ron wishes he had a muzzle at times, but me and Fred, we find her completely entertaining.”

“Thank you dear brother of mine, but the answer is still no, I will not for the life of me try your newest project.” George rolled his eyes in defeat and turned back to the rest of the family.

Hermione shook her head, “Why then Ginny? At school, you kept to yourself so much, when we would ask you something you’d practically faint.”

I looked over at Harry again; he had finally looked up from his breakfast with sleepy eyes and engaged Ron in conversation about the new broom, the Firebolt. I took one glance at his eyes and it reminded me just how easily I could faint looking into them.

Hermione didn’t miss this, “That’s what I thought.”

“What?”

She just raised an eyebrow at Harry and turned back to her book. I suddenly became exceedingly nervous. Would she tell him? She was his best friend! This couldn’t be good.

“No, it’s not- Hermione I don’t think of him that way.”

She didn’t look up from her book, “Right. And I have ears the size of a house elf’s.”

I couldn’t help but notice what close attention my father was paying to Harry the morning we left for King’s Cross station. Everywhere we went and each turn we took, dad kept close to Harry’ elbow. This only fueled my suspicion that Harry was in some sort of danger.

Finally making it through the barrier, the Hogwarts Express never looked so beautiful. For me in that moment, it represented a new start. And nervous as I was, I couldn’t wait for that new start to begin.

“Ah, there’s Penelope!” said Percy (HP POA ch. 5 The Dementor) running a hand through his hair, he straightened his Head Boy badge on his robes, and hurried to the pretty blonde girl that was smiling shyly at him a few feet away.

Penelope was my brother’s girl friend, and I found it rather humorous the way he blushed and stuck his chest out to meet her. I wasn’t the only one either, Harry who had come through the barrier right before me caught my eyes and we shared a secret laugh. My heart did a little jump in that moment. And even though it wasn’t much, it was something. It was proof that somewhere deep down, I could handle myself around Harry. We shared something life changing, and that couldn’t just go ignored.

“I need to talk to you in private,” Harry said to Ron and Hermione.”

“Go away, Ginny,” said Ron.

No one said a word. Maybe it could go ignored.

“Oh that’s nice,” I replied, stalking off.

Or at least, that’s what they thought I did. I took a quick round about and finally came to the door of the compartment the three of them found. My story has several instances of eavesdropping; it was unfortunately the most effective way I ever actually got information. I didn’t get the beginning of the conversation but I did hear enough.

It was Ron I heard first, “Are you sure that’s what my dad said?”

“Positive,” replied Harry. “Sirius Black is coming after me; I’m the reason he escaped Azkaban. At least, that’s what everyone thinks. I mean, it makes sense. That’s why I got off easy for blowing up Aunt Marge.”

“I thought you said it was an accident,” inquired Hermione.

“It was-”

“They take underage magic very seriously at the Ministry,” Ron added, “Obviously Fudge was too grateful that Harry was alive when he turned up at the Leaky to punish him.”

My eyes were practically bulging from their eye sockets by this point. My suspicions were confirmed; Sirius Black was targeting Harry, I just didn’t understand why. What would the motive to be- and what about the timing? Black had been rotting in his cell for twelve years. What made him disappear all of a sudden? Why did he wait? Or did something finally just snap?

Nothing was adding up. Harry had been at Hogwarts for two full years, if Sirius was so preoccupied with him being at Hogwarts wouldn’t he have escaped two years earlier? So if in fact everyone was wrong about Black, then who was he really after? It would only make sense that it was someone new to Hogwarts.

“You’re, Ginny Weasley, right?” A new voice broke through my ponderings. I turned to meet a young boy I knew was in my brother’s year.

“Yes, I am.”

“I’m Neville…Neville Longbottom,” he told me somewhat shyly.

I shook his hand, “Nice to meet you.”

Neville was the first real friend I made at Hogwarts, sure I had befriended Hermione over the summer but at school, she was mainly involved with Harry and Ron. Neville and I…our friendship would become the stuff of legends at Hogwarts. But back then, he was still the shy and clumsy little boy.

“I was just on my way to say hi to Harry, Ron and Hermione. I’m guessing they are in there?”

“Yes, actually,” I said, knowing that he couldn’t just walk in on that kind of conversation. I needed to stall. “But before you do, you should know that Hermione got a new cat over the summer, and well, it’s not very friendly. You aren’t allergic are you?”

Neville shrugged, “Not that I know of, my grandmum says I’m only allergic to turnips. It makes it kinds of hard to work in the Hogwarts garden, to be honest, my nose starts to swell up. You wouldn’t imagine the number of turnips in the greenhouses…”

He was sweet…just not extremely socially talented. He’d get better with time. Before I could end his soliloquy, a new distraction presented itself.

The blood drained from his face, “Oh no,” Neville muttered.

“What is it?”

“Malfoy.”

The name made my stomach churn. Draco Malfoy was a very bad person, and his father was even worse. Lucius Malfoy was the one who put Tom Riddle’s diary in my cauldron the year before. Or at least that’s what Harry believed. The Malfoy’s play a crucial role in this story, as the vicious most cruel villains you will ever come across.

“Quick!” the boy named Neville said to me, “Hide!”

Reacting purely on impulse, I followed him behind a stack of trunks still waiting to be settled inside the compartment.

“Why are we hiding?” I asked when I noticed the white blonde boy with sharp robes and two other hefty boys on either side of him stopping outside Harry’s compartment door.

Neville seemed extremely uncomfortable, “Avoiding Malfoy is one of my favorite past times.”

I shook my head, “Malfoy is a big, ugly ferret. By hiding away from him, we only make him stronger. It’s better to just stand up to him and not give him the satisfaction.” How I felt about his father, however, that was a different story.

“I wish, I could, but I wouldn’t know how to stand up to someone so…ferrety.”

I spent most of the train ride speaking with Neville behind the trunks. I found that though he might have been a bit dull, and extremely shy and insecure, he had a sense of humor. It was a while later that the train began to slow.

“That was oddly quick.”

“Could we be making a stop before we get to the school?”

To add to the strange situation, the lights went off and the train plunged into darkness. “Ginny?”

“I’m still here.”

Neville was getting nervous, “Let’s go inside the compartment; maybe they’ll have some answers.”

I agreed with him, but seconds later I was all alone, as I couldn’t see which way he went. I heard several voices from all over; other students were wondering what was going on as well. Carefully feeling my way, I pulled open what I believed to be the right compartment door.

“Who’s that?”

“Who’s that?” I countered.

“Ginny?”

“Hermione?”

“What are you doing?”

It was weird taking to blackness. “I was looking for Ron,” I replied, only half lying.

“Come in and sit down.”

“Not here!” cried Harry’s voice, “I’m here!”

Well that would have been embarrassing.

After a few more moments of rearranging and settling into the dark, suddenly a light came from the corner of the compartment. A light produced by a man I had never seen before, startling me into silence. I had no clue that there was anyone else in the room, especially someone I didn’t recognize.

The question of his identity was on the tip of my tongue, but was interrupted when the compartment opened again. This time by a cloaked figure that seemed to be floating into the room. Fear gripped my body,(I grabbed Hermione’s arm beside me) and I vaguely wondered that the bloody hell was happening. If I was imagining it all in my head.

Just when that thought was about to form into words, I became freezing cold.

It was colder than any winter I’d ever experienced, and the cold went down into my soul. I felt the cold inside, rather that surrounding me. It was a biting cold, it stung my heart.

The only thought that came to my mind was oddly, the time my Uncle Jim died, and the sadness I felt. Then I was thrusted back into my first year at school. The loneliness the confusion…the fear…Tom’s voice in my head telling me that I was going to die, that he was using me…using my body to kill people…the pain I felt in the Chamber…the pain that was strong enough to make me lose consciousness…

“So they’ve let you back have they? They’re letting you go back to school…what fools…” I wanted to tell him he would always be wrong. About everything. “No matter…Harry Potter is who really counts…and he will never, ever see you as anything more than a helpless...little…girl…”

I couldn’t find the voice to tell him any different.

Just as darkness was threatening to pull me under I could hear Hermione’s voice calling to me, “Ginny!”

The cloaked creature was gone, the lights had returned. I was shaking so strongly I almost fell from me seat.

“Ginny, thank goodness!” she said before turning her attention elsewhere. “Harry!”

Pulling myself up, trying not to vomit I noticed Harry was unconscious on the floor. What was that? How could something have the power to make someone feel that terrible? Tom’s voice was clear as day. It was as though he’d never left. As though I was right there with his 16 year old memory as it sucked the life out of me.

I curled up, trying to understand. As if far away, I heard Harry wake up. But I was too spent to ask if he was alright. The man apparently named Lupin, who I found was going to be our Defense Against the Dark teacher, began giving us all pieces of chocolate. I noticed that he gave the larger pieces to Harry and myself. It was fitting, I suppose. Chocolate was food for the soul. It was medicine for the heart. It always made you feel better.

“What was that thing?” Harry asked.

“A dementor. One of the dementors of Azkaban,” Lupin was a tired looking man. A man who looked older than he probably was. He had soft blue eyes and sandy brown hair; the appearance of someone who would look very handsome all cleaned up. He promptly left to speak with the driver, giving the others the chance to discuss what happened.
(POA> The Dementor)

Not in the mood to socialize, I closed my eyes and listened to the conversation. I understood that the thing called “a dementor” was on the hunt for Sirius Black. I couldn’t decide what frightened me more, the fact that Tom could be brought back to my consciousness so easily, or the fact that Sirius Black was being hunted on the Hogwarts Express.

“You belong to me…”

****

After the incident on the train, everything else at school seemed monotonous in comparison. Aside from the fact that dementors dotted the perimeter of the school grounds, and the fact that my nightmares had yet to cease, the start of term was thankfully regular…or as close as you can come at a magical boarding school.

Hermione and I became close friends very quickly, and so of course it became nearly impossible to keep my childish infatuation from her. She told me to wait and see how things would play out; I could tell she liked the idea of my feeling towards her best friend.

The Daily Prophet had been going on with new information of Sirius Black, and it wasn’t much; There were a few sightings, though they could have been rumors. Other than that, he had disappeared.

Professor Remus Lupin turned out to be an exceedingly intelligent man. He was a whole lot better of a teacher than Gilderoy Lockheart was the previous year. Plus, he seemed to be well informed on the subject of dementors. I was hoping I could find out all he knew. Ron, Hermione and Neville, faired the attack with nothing but a small case of the chills. I needed to know why I hadn’t. And why Harry hadn’t. If there was a link between Harry and me that was the cause of our breakdowns…then I deserved to know. And if that link had anything to do with Tom Riddle a.k.a. Voldemort, something had to be done.

A few weeks into the first term, Halloween to be exact, the third years and above were given the chance to visit the Hogsmeade, the quaint little village outside the castle gates. A fieldtrip form was required to attend, one that was signed by a legal guardian. Unfortunately, due to Harry’s hasty flee from the Dursley’s, he hadn’t gotten the signature (not that they would have signed it regardless). When he entered the common room full of first and second years all by his lonesome, my heart broke for him.

I gave him a small smile as he passed my solace on the sofa, and his face brightened a bit, but the gloom was evident.

I had just returned my attention to my Transfiguration essay when, “Umm…Ginny?”

Finding me voice, and willing for it not to crack, I answered, “Yes?”

Unsure of himself, Harry rounded the couch and took a seat. As nervous as I felt, I was more curious to hear what it was all about.

“I’m not sure if…well…” he ran a pushed a hand through his hair. I knew I was making him uncomfortable. He couldn’t even talk to me! How could I blame him when I couldn’t even look him in the eyes without blushing?

I stared at his eyebrows. There. If I stared at his eyebrows I couldn’t mess it up.

“I don’t want to upset you, but, I’ve been meaning to ask…about what happened on the train.”

I wasn’t exactly sure what it was he wanted to hear. The truth I guessed. But I hadn’t told that to anyone… “What do you want to know?” I asked my hands.

“Well, aside from me, it seemed that you had the worst reactions to the dementor.”

I nodded slowly.

“Ron and Hermione were just fine, other than feeling a bit chilly. What made ours any different?”

“I don’t know,” I replied in a small voice.

“What do you remember from it? I heard a woman screaming…I think-Ginny- I think it was my mum’s voice.”

I was surprised at his confession, and surprised that he would tell me something that seemed so personal. “You’re mum?”

I had to look up at him, I owed him that much for such honesty. He really seemed worried about what was happening to him…us. “Yes. I think it was right before…” his eyes darkened slightly as he stared into the fireplace.

“Right before what?”

He shook his head, “Never mind. That’s not what’s important. What’s important is you.”

“Me?”

“Yeah,” he said, and I dreaded his next words, “Did you hear anything out of the ordinary?”

You belong to me…

“No.”

“Oh.” He was so disappointed. I didn’t think I had it in me to lie to his face like that. Harry had always been such a weakness; I was shocked I hadn’t revealed all my inner most secrets the moment he asked as much.

The guilt was weighing down hard on my shoulders, “Well, I-” Could I tell him? Should I?

He looked up hopefully, “Yes?”

His eyes were so beautiful, so open and honest. Tom had told me to stay quiet, and I always thought that telling anyone I had voices in my head would lead to mental hospitals. I knew I needed help. I knew that Harry was probably the only person in the world who could understand, and I knew that denying him the truth would be the end to any friendship we would have started. I would never be able to look him in the eyes again.

“I’m sorry. Harry, I…just please promise me you won’t say a word to anyone,” I pleaded.

He was morbidly curious now, “Alright. I promise.”

Looking around us to make sure no one was in ear shot, I made my choice and whispered, “I felt like I was back in the Chamber.” Noting his widened eyes, I took a deep breath and continued, “I felt the pain of Tom Riddle when he…”

“Gin?”

How was it so difficult to tell Harry? He was actually there! But it was ghastly admitting it out loud. “I heard his voice. He was telling me that I shouldn’t be going to back to Hogwarts.” I blushed in embarrassment, disgusted with myself, “That I was going to hurt more people.”

We both sat there, silent.

Life went on around us, laughter and happiness. To me…their happiness was too loud. Harry was probably going to get up and walk away- avoid me the best he could for as long as we would know each other.

A sudden heat graced my hand, and it took a second to register that Harry had covered it with his own. “Voldemort can’t use you to hurt people anymore,” I flinched at the mention of his name. “Tom’s gone, Ginny. He’s not in your head,” whispered Harry. “It’s going to be okay.”

I met his eyes head on for the first time, without looking away, without a blush, without any hesitation, I just looked at him. And he looked back. That’s the true moment I learned there was a connection between the green eyed boy and myself. We might not have been best friends yet…but it was a start. “Okay,” was all I said.

Moving away, as if clearing his head, Harry smiled shyly, “Thanks for telling me, Ginny. I know what it’s like to hear voices in your head, and I think talking about it will help."

I blushed, again.

“I still don’t understand what happened. I guess that’s partly because I don’t understand dementors, but it’s good to know I’m not the only one…sensitive to them.”

“I’m glad I could help… I guess. I have to go, Harry. I’ll see you later,” I said before quickly grabbing my belongings and rushing to my dorm. Once there, I slumped onto my bed. I knew that if I spent one more moment there with Harry on the couch I was going to explode.

You stupid girl, you shouldn’t have told him…he’ll never see you the same now.

In that moment, I decided I needed to speak with Professor Lupin as soon as possible.

A while later, after the Halloween feast ended, is when things took another turn for the worst. I had been returning to the common room with my new friend Colin, as we had just parted ways with Luna (she was on her way to the Ravenclaw tower) discussing the food at the feast, nothing particularly interesting, when I literally bumped into a wall of people crowded on the steps outside the Fat Lady Portrait. Everyone was oddly silent.

“What’s going on?” I asked Hermione, Ron and Harry whom were conveniently right before us. (POA Flight of the Fat Lady)

I received no answer, but that didn’t seem to matter since Dumbledore appeared, sweeping toward the portrait. Something was terribly wrong.

Moving forward to investigate, the moment I got a glimpse of what the hold up was about I paled, as did Ron, Harry, Hermione and Colin. The Fat Lady was not in her portrait, instead it was slashed repeatedly so that pieces of the canvas hung loosely off the frame. Several teachers arrived then, and before they could begin the search for the missing opera singer, Peeves the Poltergeist (the most irritating ghost that could be found on the school grounds) informed us that she had run through the fourth floor not long before, apparently in a right panicked state.

“Did she say who did it?” asked a still rational Dumbledore. (POA> Flight of the Fat Lady)

Peeves nodded, and the audience waited for the response with shallow breath. I had a horrid feeling I knew what was coming- and I could have sworn, Hermione, Ron and Harry shared the sentiment.

“He got very angry when she wouldn’t let him in, you see. Nasty temper he’s got, that Sirius Black.” (POA> Flight of the Fat Lady)

Sirius Black was inside the castle. And at least four people in the crowd were certain why.

Back to index


Chapter 8: The Potter Pattern

Author's Notes: I loved writing Lupin! Tell me if I did him justice!


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Entry 6: The Potter Pattern

"He drowns in his dreams,

an exquisite extreme I know,

He’s as damned as he seems,

But more heaven than a heart could hold…

He’s magic and myth,

As strong as what I believe,
He's tragedy with,

More damage than a soul should see,
But he's so beautiful, he's a beautiful disaster." Beautiful Disaster Kelly Clarkson





You didn’t have to know him long to notice a pattern in his life. Just when things were becoming stable and ordinary, something would come up and Harry Potter once again found himself in the midst of the danger and confusion all over again. I had never once really considered the risky actions he performed I just took notice in the fact that he was always a part of these great adventure stories, not realizing what exactly they entailed. But as I got older I found that it wasn’t always fun and excitement, it was life threatening. His life, no matter how famous and loved he was, it wasn’t what he deserved.

My first glimpse, of course, was down in the chamber. But I was the damsel in distress, it wouldn’t be until later, that I really had a first-hand experience with these so called, “adventures”. Nightmares, more like.

But now, Sirius Black was in the castle hunting him down and the danger was vehemently upon us, upon him.

The students were shoveled off to the Great Hall along with the Ravenclaws, Hufflepuffs and to most of our displeasure, the Slytherins; supplied with rather lavish purple sleeping bags, we were all to stay within the confines of the magically guarded Great Hall under the watchful eyes of the Head Girl and the Head Boy (Percy —as if he’d let you forget it) and sleep while the faculty and staff searched the castle for the notoriously dangerous madman, Sirius Black. It was a rather complicated situation, and I knew that there wouldn’t be much sleeping going on.

“Let’s set up over there,” came a whisper from my left.

Hermione, Ron and Harry were already making their way, rather inconspicuously, toward the corner of the room.

“This is rather exciting, isn’t it?”

I turned toward the new voice, “Exciting? Luna, aren’t you at the least bit anxious?”

My friend stared at me as though considering, “Not really, I guess. If Sirius Black is clever enough to get through the dementors and sneak into the school….then he is smart enough to not stick around once he couldn’t get into the Gryffindor common room, don’t you think? The walls do talk in this place, everyone knows how the portraits gossip, even Sirius Black.”

Her logic, surprisingly, calmed my nerves. It was true what she said, and I considered how clever the man had to be to get all the way to the seventh floor without being detected as I set up my sleeping bag beside hers. “How do you think he got in anyway?” I asked once we were both warm and settled.

“Oh there are a millions ways to get into Hogwarts…the real question is ‘which way did he chose?’ My bet is the underground tunnels.”

“Luna, there aren’t any underground tunnels.”

“Well, they are supposed to be secret, so you wouldn’t know about them, would you?”

I sighed. For a while I laid there consumed in my musings of a man made of smoke, whisping his way through the walls, suffocating anyone who stood in the way of his goal, Harry Potter.

Then, I started to worry about the so called “safety” of the school in general. Voldemort managed to hold a position as a Professor two years before; the previous year, the chamber of secrets was opened by an eleven year old, which threatened the lives of hundreds of children and hospitalized a dozen….and currently…. A murderer was quite possibly running rampage through the halls.

My older brothers never came home for holiday with such dire tales of their schooling; the most explicit stories came from the Quidditch pitch. Was this really what Hogwarts was supposed to be like? Or could there be some coincidence that the moment Harry stepped back into our world… it went bonkers? If only I knew then, that something like Sirius Black tearing up the Fat Lady’s portrait would be child’s play compared to what Hogwarts was going to witness within and without its walls in the next four years….

“Luna,” I asked, coming back to reality, “What exactly do you think is so exciting about all this?” I would never have thought Luna as the adrenaline type.

“Well, it’s like a big sleepover. With sleeping bags and sleeping on the floor with a friend, and everything. I’ve never been to a sleepover before.”

The answer was not what I was expecting at all. Then again, it never was the case with Luna. That’s what I liked about her so much. She was the most refreshing person I ever knew. I smiled “Me either.”

She smiled back. And for a little while, even though the school around us was gossiping and spewing theories and concerns… Luna and I didn’t pay much mind. I had had my fill of danger for the day. At that moment, I was having a sleepover with my best friend. Black be damned.

The morning came without any results and an all clear on the grounds. Sirius Black was gone again. He remained, however, the topic of conversation throughout the student body for the following days. Questions on his motives and on his whereabouts as well as exaggerated stories on supposed sightings were very popular with the school population.

“I swear, I saw a glimpse of him today by the lake! He ran into the trees and vanished again!”

“I swear there was someone following me from the third floor corridor last night, it must have been Sirius Black!”

The only people who took the Black situation seriously (no pun intended….okay, maybe a little bit) was those who knew he was hell bent on killing off Harry. Meaning the faculty, and Harry, Ron, Hermione and myself. Life did, however, move on. Classes kept coming and students kept studying, and Quidditch kept being played.

It was during one of these matches that the rain came down so thick I could barely see my hands let alone the players on their brooms. Instead of staying indoors like some of the other first and second years, I was out there cheering on the Gryffindor team with the older, more passionate students.

Ravenclaw was putting up a good fight, and while it was tough to watch the game, the excitement was still gripping the audience.

“I hope no one gets hurt!” Hermione cried over the roar of the wind and the crowd.

I laughed, “It’s Quidditch Hermione! Of course someone’s going to get hurt!”

“That’s an awful thing to say!”

“But it’s the truth! The players know what they are getting themselves into, it’s a brutal game!”

“If you know so much about Quidditch, why don’t you go on up there then? I’m sure you’d love to play in these conditions!”

“I’ll be up there someday, I promise, and I’d play in any condition.”

Hermione shook her head and shielded her eyes from the rain, “I can’t even tell who is who!”

“As long as you can tell who is red and who is blue, nothing else matters- WOO!!!!” I cried as Gryffindor made a score.

“Who’s that?” yelled Hermione, pointing out a player who was ascending into the sky at an impressive pace.

Putting two and two together was simple.

“It’s Harry,” I informed her.

She rewarded me with a skeptical, but concerned look, “How do you figure?”

“Well, the only reason someone would be up that high would be to follow the snitch. And since that player is wearing read, and is a seeker….”

We watched as Harry disappeared into the clouds.

“Did you see that?” Cried a hyped Ron from Hermione’s other side; he’d been enthusiastically enjoying the game with his roommates named Seamus Finnegan and Dean Thomas. “Harry’s just crossed the pitch boundaries!”

It really was all exciting in that moment. We all expected Harry to emerge from the storm, the snitch tight in hand, as well as and a victory for Gryffindor. That would have been… amazing.

And then suddenly: there was a crack in the sky, a hole in the clouds, in which a form fell through. Harry was free falling…off his broom. Falling over one hundred feet, he became clearer and clearer to the crowd, as he fell closer, and it was obvious that he was completely unconscious.

He was just falling, helpless, lifeless, as though he was already dead. When he fell, my heart fell with him. Hermione gasped at my side, shocked into immobility. Harry had been doing so beautifully, playing the game with determination and swiftness. He fell as fast as the rain drops.

Thankfully, Dumbledore stopped him before he met the ground fatally. His body slowed to a drift and it was Dumbledore who had cast the spell to catch his body.

People were screaming but I hadn’t heard them until Dumbledore caught Harry, my world had just ignored everything around me and focused on him. I breathed a sigh of relief, and turned to find that Ron and Hermione had vanished from my side. I wanted to go with them, knowing they would be going to see if he was alright, but when I turned they were gone. I was alone… and I was wet. I grudgingly made my way back up to the castle not caring to see if that damned Cedric Diggory won the match.

Dementors. As if Harry didn’t have enough to worry about at the time, the dementors monitoring the school affected Harry worse than anyone else. I heard all this when I entered the castle and McGonagall was yelling up a storm about how they shouldn’t even had been on the pitch to start with. The dementor had reached Harry up in the clouds where no one could see, rendering him unconscious. Just like that day on the train.

The dementors had just turned deadly.



I spent that whole night, (I know, I know.) making a (Merlin, what got into me I had no idea.) singing get well card.

Yes it sang.

Yes I gave it to him.

“I think it looks great!”

“You really think he’ll like it?”

“Of course, but then, I don’t know him. So, I could be wrong. Maybe he doesn’t like anything. I wouldn’t know. I know I like it.”

I laughed, “Thanks, Luna.”

We were in the library, far from the nut case that was Madam Pince. I felt pretty confident about the card, and was just showing Luna the finishing touches.

“It truly was awful, seeing him fall.”

“Yes, it was. Why do you think these things happen to him Luna?”

I closed the finished product and turned to my friend. She sighed, “I don’t know, maybe it’s his scar.”

“His scar? As in, everyone is after him- these things happen because he’s the Harry Potter?”

“Well yes…in a way, I think it’s more that his scar has some magical power, some kind of curse or something that draws danger towards him…like a magnet!”

She thought, his scar…

“His scar is magical?”

“We’re magical aren’t we? Why couldn’t the parts of us, like a scar, be magical too?”

I thought she was insane. I loved her, but, I really thought she was insane. As an older woman now, knowing things even most full aged wizards wouldn’t dream of, I see that she was spot on. But you’re going to have to wait.

The following day I wasn’t there when he awoke but I made myself find time to get up to the hospital wing to wish him well and present him with the card. If I said I was nervous that would have been an understatement.

I walked up to his bed and realized we were completely alone. He looked so tired and worn out, I almost told him I’d come back later, but he told me not to worry and I knew if I backed out I wouldn’t have gone back.

I should have backed out.

My hands were shaking but he didn’t seem to notice, unless he acted as though he didn’t notice. And when he opened it and it began to sing his face almost turned as red as mine. Almost.

“Err… wow, Gin, this is… this is great. Thanks…thanks so much.” He smiled up at me. I almost couldn’t breathe.

“No- no problem, Harry…I hope you feel better.” My voice cracked and shook, but I managed.

I said a quick farewell, and practically ran from the room, but I did hear the singing from the card on my way out.

He had been calling me Gin ever since that moment in the Chamber and he’d been the only one.

********

Once Harry left the Hospital Wing with a clean bill of health, I knew it was time to get some answers. The dementors were suddenly much more dangerous than they had been before. It was practically a matter of life or death; nothing was ever enough to get Harry off a broom. Not a rouge bludger: he managed to regain balance and STILL caught the snitch. Not even a cursed broom (as I heard the mad Professor Quierrel from Harry first year was to blame) could throw him off: Harry managed to keep a one handed grip as he dangled from the handle.

The dementors had a strong enough effect to not only knock him out, but drop hundreds of feet to his death. This was very, very wrong. It was time to speak with Professor Lupin. This was actually one of my better ideas; he had proven himself to be a smart man, and thanks to Hermione, I also knew he was trustworthy.

I asked my friend for advice on whether I should seek some help from said teacher, and she, with some persuasive coaxing from me, divulged that Harry had in fact already chatted with Lupin regarding the same subject. Not that I would admit to anyone that I knew. it was Harry’s personal business after all. But I figured it was my turn for some information, so I returned to the Defense classroom after daily lessons were out.

“Um…Professor Lupin?”

He turned around, startled to see me there. “Oh, Miss. Weasley, what a pleasant surprise. What can I do for you?”

I had no idea how I was going to bring the subject up- I really didn’t- it wasn’t exactly light and easy conversation. But if he could help Harry, then he could help me too.

“I’m actually not sure how to start, exactly,” I said.

Lupin took a seat behind his desk and gestured for me to take the one opposite him.

“Well, I’ve heard it’s usually best to start at the beginning,” he replied with a lopsided grin. “Do you per chance need assistance with your schoolwork?”

I shook my head, taking his offered seat, “It has nothing to do with school actually.”

“Is there a problem at home, then? I am familiar with your family and I’ll do what I can to help.”

I was touched by his genuine concern. He really seemed to be interested in what I had to say and it was nice. “No, no, Professor; actually, I was wondering if I could speak with you…about Dementors.”

He stared curiously as I sat hoping he wouldn’t question me too much. There was a lot that I was not going to be comfortable talking about with someone I only recently met.

“Dementors aren’t usually covered until fourth year, Miss. Weasley. Is there a specific reason you are in search of more information than I’m sure you already have?”

I looked down to my hands, “Don’t you think it would be prudent for all Hogwarts’ students to know as much as they could about a creature that is present in every day of their lives? Especially if they are supposedly protecting the school?”

Lupin’s light eyes narrowed, “Supposedly? The dementors are in fact guarding the school-”

“Yes, I’m sure that’s exactly what they were doing when they knocked Harry Potter off his broom.” It was rather forward of me to imply, but it was out before I could stop it.

Lupin seemed surprised as he raised an eyebrow, “You are much more eloquent than you seem Miss. Weasley.”

“Call me Ginny.”

“Alright, Ginny.” Lupin leaned forward on his desk and crossed his fingers, as he looked straight at me. I felt almost uneasy, until I saw the sadness in his eyes. It was heartbreaking; I didn’t know the man, yet, I could tell that he was seriously troubled.

“I saw you on the train,” he said. “I do remember your reaction to the dementors, and I must confess, I’m surprised it has taken you this long to come to me.”

“What?”

“Many students have approached me about this subject, but it was because they felt sad, and remembered a pet running away, or a grandparent passing, in which case, I explained to them the basics of what a dementor does and request they eat some chocolate if it ever happened again. I assured them that it wouldn’t happen on these grounds.”

I shook my head, “But I already know the basics about a dementor.”

“Precisely.”

“Excuse my confusion, Professor, but how did you know I was going up to show up here?”

“Ginny, all those other students had mild experiences with the dementors on the train, they were merely distraught. So this made me positive that two specific students were bound to come to me sooner or later.

“Two…being myself and…?”

“Harry Potter.”

Well that made sense, considering what Hermione had told me. Lupin didn’t know that I knew however.

“But I’m sure you knew that, and you’ve come to hear what I told him.”

I flushed, or not. “Well, I didn’t know what else to do, it seemed you had shed some light for him...and I…how did you figure a connection between the both of us in the first place?”

I asked for the sake of asking; anyone with half a brain could see that Harry and I had the worst episodes.

“You both suffered reactions that were, shall we say, different in their own right- but disturbing none the less.”

“Disturbing, Professor?” I asked through a lump of shame in my throat.

“No one so young should be put through such emotional strain. I have something to tell you. After witnessing what I did on the train, I immediately understood the effect on Harry, but not yours. Please excuse my curiosity; I decided to ask Dumbledore about you the moment I could. The events of last year have been kept very confidential- on a need to know basis. Some of it is still a mystery, but Dumbledore entrusted me with the truth.”

I blushed, feeling embarrassed and almost betrayed. I knew that I had no right to ask to hide the truth, my actions last year were bound to have consequences. But that didn’t mean I had to like the idea of strangers knowing my past.

“Don’t feel bad, I pried it out of him and he relented. He decided that it would be beneficial to have me understand what happened to you. At this point only Professor McGonagall knows about the,” he dropped his voice a bit, “possession.”

I grimaced and looked away at the sound of the word. I didn’t even know this man and he knew my deepest darkest secret. And the fact that he would even bring it up! Who did he think it was?

“I’m terribly sorry if I’ve upset you, Ginny,” said Professor Lupin in a soft voice. “But Dumbledore believes as I do, that I could help you.”

“Then why didn’t you approach me earlier, when you found out? If you are adamant on helping me, then why haven’t you said anything?”

He smiled, “Because this was something you needed to do on your own. Admitting you need help, even if it is just wanting information on something that is bothering you, it’s the first step.”

It took a minute to formulate a coherent response, “So you’re going to help me get over what happened in the Chamber?”

“You really should talk to someone about it, and now, you can talk to me.”

He was being so genuine- that I could tell. And deep inside I was relieved to hear all of it- that I could get help that someone would listen, someone who already knew what happened and was still willing to help me through it. But, naturally, I was terrified of doing so.

“I came here to talk about Dementors, actually. Not for help, or to talk about the Chamber. I came for information.” He was making me feel weak and helpless, and I didn’t like it at all.

The Professor stood with a shrug, “Well, whatever it is you think you came here for, you showed maturity and confidence, and for that, I commend you. Not many students have the courage to be straight forward like you’ve been. Actually, I can only think of one.”

I instantly felt bad for being so stand off-ish. “Are you going to tell me how you’ve been helping Harry?” I asked hopefully.

He walked over and closed the classroom door and I instantly became excited. Opening the window so that fresh light washed over the room, he said, “I’ve been teaching Harry how to fend off dementors.”

My jaw dropped wide open, “You’ve been teaching him how to fight them?” Now that was impressive.

“It is actually more along the lines of defending himself.”

“Can you show me?” I eagerly asked.

Lupin chuckled and returned to his desk, leaning against it, “Nice try, but I’m afraid not.”

“But that’s not fair!”

“Harry is a year older-”

“Yes, and I suppose he is a boy too!”

“No, Ginny, don’t be upset. I’m sure you have just the same amount of magical power as a third year; you are, after all, the seventh child of a pureblood family. But I don’t think you need to learn this just yet.”

I crossed my arms defiantly, “Oh, and Harry does?”

“Well, considering the dementors seem set on knocking him out, I’d rather teach him than watch him fall another 150 feet.”

I winced, disappointed that I had let him make a fair point. “Fine. Then how are you going to help me?”

“Alright first things first, what did you come here to learn?”

“The only thing I know about dementors is that they feed off of people’s happiness.”

“Essentially, yes,” he told me, “dementors manage to suck all the happiness you’ve ever felt out of you. That is why you feel as though you will never be happy again. As though that sadness is the only thing you will ever feel.”

“So why is it so different for different people? Why are some more affected than others?”

Lupin sighed, “Some are cursed with more misfortune and heartache than others. When the dementors start taking someone’s happiness, those with have been subjected to more pain and endured more darkness will be more deeply affected.”

“So Harry lost consciousness because there’s been so much pain in his life, it was too much for him to handle upfront?”

“Yes, not to mention he has been touched by You-Know-Who,” he said carefully. I stiffened. “And that evil leaves fingerprints. The Dark Lord is the epitome of everything the dementors make you feel."

I didn’t say anything. What could I say? He was basically saying that the dementors could feel the evil inside me.

Professor Lupin kneeled down by my chair and put a hand on my shoulder, “Ginny, sometimes dementors make you relive your worst memories, and I believe this is why you had such a hard time on the train. Did Harry tell you what he heard?”

“He…said he heard…screaming. He thought it was his mum’s voice.”

Lupin sighed, “It took a while, but I figured that what he heard was his mother the night she was murdered in front of him.”

The weight of that piece of information was not lost to me. I couldn’t believe he was telling me such personal information, but mainly I felt terrible that Harry had heard what he did. It took me a minute to realize that the tear that had dropped onto my hand was my own.

Somehow, it seemed Professor Lupin knew what I was thinking. "You are not evil," he said, "But you have experienced it. You were touched by You-Know-Who and went through an emotional trauma; whether you admit it or not, you are still sorting through all the baggage. Please tell me what you heard on the train, Ginny, I can help you through this, but you just have to help yourself first.”

At the time, I didn't understand how he could even offer to help me. I felt I was a lost cause. I felt that although I could hide the darkness from someone like Bill, Tom would always be there inside my head, and how could I conceal that from my Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher?

"I can't," I whispered.

"Can't, or won't?"

I looked away, nearly crying. I hadn't gone to talk about Tom, and as great as it sounded-

"You heard him, didn't you? You heard Tom Riddle's voice? As though you were back inside the Chamber of Secrets?"

Why was he so pushy? Why couldn't he just teach me how to protect myself like he was teaching Harry?

"You don't have anything to be ashamed of," he continued when I remained silent. "No one is mad at you; I am not going to judge."

"You say that now but-"

"But what?"

I looked right into his eyes. There were old, deep scars on his face, and I briefly wondered what he had been through to get them. I did not know much about Remus Lupin, but he looked much, much older than he really was. It was that moment that I realized Lupin had his own daunting demons, and somehow he was still in one piece- somehow he seemed a good man. It was that moment I started to trust Remus Lupin. The moment I decided that perhaps he really could help me.

But there was a deeper side of me warning me not to say anything...

“My brothers and my parents…they have forgiven me….but they don’t know that I-I still hear T-Tom Riddle’s voice in my head.” The statement the truth shall set you free had never really felt as real as it did right then. A major weight was lifted off my shoulders and a breath of fresh air settled into my chest.

Remus Lupin slowly nodded his head, no doubt assessing and swallowing the information I just told him. “Alright. I want you to come and see me after classes every once in a while, and whenever you need me. We will work this all out, and you will see that opening up helps, it really does. Keeping everything bottled up inside makes you hateful and angry; it won’t lead anywhere good.

“Okay,” I finally said, “I can do that.”

He smiled wildly and it was infectious. “Good. You are going to be okay, you know. You don’t have to do everything alone; your brothers aren’t here and there is no need for that brave face.”

“I just don’t want to be thought of as the lost little girl.”

“You aren’t. You are something special, Ginny Weasley and not even Voldemort can take that away from you.”

“You said his name.”

“Yes, well, he is dead. I think that is going to be your first step, proving to Tom, as well as yourself, that you cannot be intimidated by him. Say his name.”

“I can definitely do that.” With a deep breath I got up to leave. “Thank you, Professor.”

He smiled, “Of course.”

Making my way to the door, Lupin called me once more, “Oh and Ginny?”

I turned, “Yes?”

“Just don’t say the name in front of your mum, I am acquainted with her and she might have my head for encouraging you.”

If only I had known that in a few years’ time, not only would my family be acquainted with Remus Lupin, he’d be part of it.



*******



I went to Lupin's office at least once a week. We had several more chats about the dementors, as did we talk about what Tom was saying in my head. Talking it through was like a way to keep Tom weak and after a while, he wasn't there at all.

Lupin believed that it was my mind who created him to voice my doubts and fears in the most real way possible, while I felt that since he had been inside me, my conscience held onto a piece of his personality. Eventually, we have to compromise and suggest that it was a little bit of both.

I also told him every detail of what happened in the Chamber before Harry arrived. This has been one of the hardest things I ever had to do but it was the most freeing as well; talking to Professor Lupin was the best thing that could've happened to me in my second year at Hogwarts.

But as things were personally looking up for me, the wizarding society was becoming frantic about Sirius Black.

“I need to tell you something very private about Harry.”

“Hermione, I have to wonder, will there ever be a point when ANYONE keeps Harry’s personal information….I don’t know… personal?”

She rolled her eyes, “Oh come on! I need to talk to someone outside them two, and it has to be a girl! Ron makes me insane, and Harry makes me worry too much all the time.

“I call it the Potter Pattern.”

She smiled, “Clever.”

“Alright,” I said with a sigh as I closed my text books, giving up on studying. I had been alone in the library while a few students finished up there evening work around me before dinner, when Hermione came and interrupted me. “Tell me.”

“Not here, follow me.”

She began to walk to the back of the library and I quickly grabbed my things and followed. “Where are we going?”

“Shh! Wait until we are out of ear shot from the other students.”

The information really must have been good.

When we reached the last few book shelves, Hermione began to walk down one of the aisles.

“Hermione?” She turned to face me and watched me warily, “I can handle whatever it is, Hermione.”

“I know you can, it’s just, this is some disturbing news, and I’ve tried to help Harry the best I can and…. He’s now more determined than ever…”

“Determined to what?”

“To catch Sirius Black.”

“Why would he do-” Hermione clasped a hand on my mouth as I had nearly yelled.

“Be quiet! You need to listen to me. Harry might be stubborn and too bold for his age, but he’s not exactly reasonless, he has revenge to gain by going after Black.”

I nodded slowly, indicating that she should remove her hand. “Vengeance? But Black has been rotting in Azkaban since Harry was a year old, what could Harry possibly hold against Black personally, aside from Black threatening his life, of course.”

Hermione lowered her hand slowly and her eyes lost their spark. “That’s just it,” she sadly said, “It’s what he did before he went to Azkaban. The other day Harry met us in Hogsmeade under the Invisibility cloak, and we over heard some information about Black when we passed Professor McGonagall speaking to Madam Rosmerta from the Three Broomsticks. They went inside the pub to finish their conversation and Harry sneaked in behind them and witnessed the entire conversation.”

“What did they say?”

“Ginny, it turns out that Sirius Black, was James Potter’s best friend.”

I nearly lost my footing from the weight of the news. “What?”

Hermione had tears in her eyes, “Sirius and James we inseparable at school, and after graduation.”

“Oh my, how…how could Harry’s father be friends with a madman?”

“Ginny, you don’t know the worst of it.”

I blinked, “What else did Harry find out?”

“Sirius Black gave You-Know-Who information on the Potter’s whereabouts when they were in hiding during the First Wizarding War.”

“Wait, I don’t understand- that means-”

“Sirius Black was the one who betrayed Harry’s parents to the Dark Lord; he’s the reason they are dead.”

A new found hatred for a man I had never even met grew in my heart. “The bastard. No wonder Harry wants to catch him-”

“Harry wants to kill him.”

My head snapped up and I stared her in the eyes. “Kill him?”

“Ginny, it gets worse.”

My heart started pounding, “How could it possibly get worse?”

“Before Black went crazy and killed all those people, before he betrayed the Potter’s…when Harry was born, James and Lily named Sirius Black, Harry’s Godfather.”

It definitely could get worse.

“I think I have to sit down,” I said, sinking to the ground.

“I know, it’s the worst thing I’ve ever heard.”

It broke my heart. Here we all thought that the only family Harry had left were his terrible aunt and uncle….and surprise, surprise, Harry still had a Godfather.

A Godfather who was intent on ending his life.

The both of us sat in silence for a few moments, “That’s all of it, isn’t it?” I asked.

“What?”

“That’s all you wanted to tell me? There’s nothing worse, is there?”

“Could you think of anything worse?”

“No.”

Sirius Black was the most horrid human being I’d ever heard of, aside from You-Know-Who.

Suddenly, Hermione stood and began looking through the books on the shelf.

“What are you doing?”

“I almost forgot, I brought you back here for a reason.”

“Well, yes, to tell me this news.”

“No, we could have gone anywhere else for that, but I needed to come back here for a reason.”

“And that would be?”

“I’m looking for the Wizarding Encyclopedia from 1973.”

“Why?”

“Well the wizarding world publishes a new encyclopedia of wizarding information each year for new spells, and new terms, events and background information. Magic is always changing, you know.”

“Yes, I know that, I was born and raised in this world, Hermione. But why 1973?”

“A few weeks ago, your brother’s Fred and George gave Harry a magical object called ‘The Marauder’s Map.’ It’s a magical map of the school grounds that shows where every person on the grounds is at any given moment, and their movement. That’s how he was able to sneak out and meet us in Hogsmeade.”

“You must be joking!”

“I’m not, it’s truly incredible magic, but very wrong as well.”

I rolled my eyes, only Hermione would bring down such a useful tool. “Come on, Hermione, that thing could help any one of us escape detention every time, not to mention-”

“Not to mention dangerous if it gets into the wrong hands. I’ve told Harry countless times to turn it in to McGonagall.”

“Are you sure you’re not a teacher here? You sure sound like one.”

Not bothering to give me a look as she continued on her still inexplicable search, she said, “I’ll take that as a compliment.”

“So then why are you looking for this encyclopedia?”

“How much do we know about the creators of this map? Other than that they call themselves the ‘Marauders’? It took sometime but I was able to date the map to see when it was created-”

“You know how to do that?”

“I told you taking Ancient Runes this year would be helpful. Anyway the map was made 20 years ago in 1973.”

“That still doesn’t explain the need for an encyclopedia.”

“What does the word Marauder mean Ginny?”

“Err..um…like a wanderer, a vagabond?”

“Yes. Now what if it meant something different back then? Why would a group of four students call themselves ‘wanderers’?”

“Hermione, this is crazy. Who cares what they were called? They probably ‘wandered’ the castle together so much they made a map.”

“There might be some sort of clue.”

“What clue?”

“Ginny. Look,” she snapped, “I want to find out who these Marauder people were, and whatever else I can about them. It’s research, it’s digging, and when you start research and digging it’s always the best idea to start with simple origins. All the way back to the beginning. Then, I can work my way up, it’s what I’ve always done. We want to find out about these Marauders? We need to see the definition, origin and information for marauder as they saw it back in 1973.”

In a silly kind of way it made sense; it was all very thorough, but it was Hermione. I didn’t see how a simple definition could shed any light on this mystery. Besides, the whole Marauder thing was playing second to what was really at the front of my mind, the notorious Sirius Black.

“Ah, here it is.”

“Hermione, this is a far-fetched waste of time, I’m sure you realize it.”

“Shut up, Ginny,” she said as she pulled out the practically ancient text and opened it. A puff of dust consumed her face, and I, still on the ground, held back a chuckle. There was no point in discussing it with her anymore, Hermione always did what she thought was the best idea. I watched as she scanned the pages looking for the right term.

What amount of madness could possibly cause a man to turn on his best friend, and make him want to drown in the blood of his own Godson? How could a man just flip a switch and have snapped so drastically? The Potters were known for their brilliance and intelligence, how could it be they never suspected their best friend to be mortally disturbed? Had they truly not noticed it?

“It should be on….this….page,” said Hermione’s voice in the back of my mind, “Opps!”

Suddenly, a feather light object fell on my head, slid off and landed on the floor, startling me out of my musings.

“Ginny….could you grab whatever it is the fell, it slid out from this page….” I looked up at her to find she was already consumed in her reading. My gaze drifted back to the floor where the mystery object fell; it was a photograph.

I wondered why anyone would stuff an old photograph into the pages of a stuffy old reference book. But when I picked it up and examined it, there were many more vital questions that presented themselves.

I nearly dropped the thing, wanting nothing more than to throw it as far away from me as possible and pretend I’d never seen it, but of course I couldn’t, nor wouldn’t do that.

The photo was taken at Hogwarts out by the lake and in it was four Gryffindor boys who looked like they were in their fourth of fifth year. But an old photograph of four friends from 1973 was not a cause for panic, but it was recognizing the boys that was utterly terrifying.

On the left was the easiest one, James Potter. I’d seen tons of photos of Harry’s father, but they were usually with Lily or baby Harry, never had I seen a picture of him with his apparent best friend, according to Hermione, Sirius Black. I knew it was him, a much younger cleaner looking picture, but it was definitely him. With their arms around each others shoulders, and broad, wide grins etched upon their faces, there was no hint of the evil that would touch their lives. It made me sick.

There was another boy, shorter and chubbier with a rat-like face, that I had no inkling of a clue as to his identity. Then my eyes fell upon the last boy on the right side of Black, clutching what seemed to be a text book, and a contented smile, almost as broad as the other boys. That’s when I panicked. It was the deeply haunted, troubled eyes that caught my attention.

I knew those eyes.

“Ginny?”

I jumped, “Yes?”

“What was it that fell?”

I looked up to see she was still reading. Not five seconds had passed.

“Um…”

I had to be careful about this, if I showed her, she would tell Harry, and things would get complicated, heated and it could lead to hurt. Then again, maybe Hermione would know what to do, besides, this was exactly the kind of clue she was looking for. I could hardly believe something like this would just fall into my lap.

Would it be like betraying her? If I didn’t show it?

It’s not like they don’t keep plenty of secrets, and in all honesty, I needed to hear the explanation for myself.

“Nothing, just a black piece of paper someone was probably using as a book mark,” I replied coolly, slipping the photo into my bag. “What did you find?” I jumped up and peered over her shoulder.

“There’s a lot in here about famous historical marauders, but ultimately, it states that marauders are a band of rebellious outlaws. Like pirates.”

“Troublemakers.”

“Exactly.”

I had heard once that James Potter was a lively young man always getting into trouble…it was one of the reasons everyone always told Harry he was just like his father.

Was it a far stretch to assume they were “The Marauders”?

Hermione snapped the book closed and pushed her bushy hair out of her eyes. “Well, that’s a start.”

“A start? Hermione you already knew whoever made that map was up to no good.”

She looked at me and laughed, “Funny choice of words.”

I was obviously missing something. , but I didn’t care, I needed to get out of there.

“Dinner is about to start, let’s go.”

She shoved the large book back into its place on the begotten shelf and led me out of the maze that was the library.

“Actually, I’ll meet you there, I have to do something,” I said, feeling a dead weight from my shoulder bag.

“What-”

“Bye!” I called behind me, for I had already taken off running down the corridor and leaving Hermione baffled and clueless behind me.

Back to index


Chapter 9: The Potter Pattern Part2

Author's Notes: Here is the conclusion to the previous chapter, as well as to Prisoner of Azkaban. Tell me what you think!


THE POTTER PATTERN part 2

"He's tragedy with,

more damage than a soul should see

and do I try to save him, my whole world could cave in,

it just ain't right....."- Beautiful Disaster, Kelly Clarkson



Continued....



“What do you know about Sirius Black?”

Professor Lupin stopped what he was doing and turned ever so slowly to face me. His eyes, as always, were sad and haunted, and there was now a questioning looking in them.

“Why do you ask?”

“Well, I’ve recently come into some disturbing information, and was hoping you’d know more.”

“Why me?”

“Well, aside from the fact that you’ve never been anything but truthful and open with me,” I carefully took out the old photograph from my bag that was hanging over my shoulder, and lifted it so he could see, “I’ve also found this.”

It seemed I had surprised Lupin, for he dropped his quill and stood, “Come in and close the door behind you, please Miss. Weasley.”

I did as I was told, noting the anxiety in his expression.

“Let me see that,” he said as I came closer.

I handed him the photograph, completely unexpecting the reaction that followed. Professor Lupin took it from my hands softly and gently, and then slowly examined the people in the photo, as though it were a priceless artifact. It seemed that to him at least, it was in fact.

After a moment, his face dropped any hints of nerves and concern and his usually grim frown turned up just a bit, before a sole tear leaked out of his eye and fell onto the picture.

I was enthralled in the way it affected him so.

“Professor?”

He glanced up at me, startled, he must have forgotten I was there. Embarrassed, he eased back into his desk chair and sighed, “Where….where ever did you find this?”

“It was shoved inside a copy of the wizarding encyclopedia in the library, no one uses that thing these days, but Hermione and I were looking up a specific word, and we found this on that page.”

A ghost of a smile emerged through the crack of his lips. “And that word, was what, might I ask?”

“Marauder.”

His smile widened.

“But I’m sure you knew that already.”

“You know a lot of things too, Ginny, much more than any girl your age should.”

“I still want to know more.”

“Haven’t you ever heard the saying, curiosity killed the cat?”

“Good thing I’m not a cat.”

Lupin looked at me for a moment, considering. “I’ll answer what I can, from what you ask. On one condition.”

“Yes?”

“You don’t show that picture to Harry, nor mention it to him. I only think it will upset him.”

He was right, and after seeing his attachment to the photo I knew there was really only one thing to do, “I was going to ask if you wanted to keep it, actually.”

He smiled again, “That would mean the world, Ginny. Thank you. What is it you want to know?”

“Those boys in the picture. The one in the glasses, that’s Harry’s father, isn’t it?”

“Yes.”

“And the one on the end, that’s you?”

“Yes.”

“And the boy in the middle…. That’s…. that’s Sirius Black.”

“Yes.”

I swallowed, “So it’s true then? Sirius was James Potter’s best friend?”

“Yes he was. And so was I.”

It was a troubling thought. How could someone as utterly demented as Sirius Black have had friends as good as James Potter and Remus Lupin? Lupin was good. I knew it deep down inside. I could trust him. But... how could he have been friends with such a monster?

Perhaps Hermione was right, Sirius Black had turned into one bad seed. He snapped.

“Does Harry know this? That you were his father’s best friend?”

“He knows I was acquainted with his parents, yes, but not the extent of our friendship.”

“Are you ever going to tell him?”

“When the time is right, I believe the truth will come out.”

“The truth being that you four, you were the Marauders?”

His eyes gave me the answer Hermione had been looking for.

This was insane. Would the mysteries and the shocks and the confusion and the complications ever end? What was normal anymore? I had lost all sense of it.

“How could you have ever been friends with a man so dark? Unless…unless you are still friends with him? Have you been the one letting him in-“

“GINNY! Please. You know better than that.”

I sat in my usual chair opposite him, “I don’t know what to believe anymore. I feel like there are lies and secrets hiding behind every corner and the truth is something I have to search for myself! You were best friends with Sirius Black, Harry Potter’ Godfather! A man hell bent on killing Harry! A man who has killed innocent people already! I want to trust you, but you must understand my hesitation.”

“I do.” He sighed and rubbed his tired eyes, “But believe me, Ginny, Sirius Black was not a madman when I knew him. He was a kind, mischievous boy, who was rough around the edges and grew up in a messed up family, but a man who I trusted my life with. Whoever this man is blasted on all the papers wasn’t the boy in this picture.”

He looked up at the ceiling, and took a deep breath. “When Harry was born, James and Lily named him godfather, and he was in love with the boy, the best god damn godfather I’ve ever seen. But when the first wizarding war started, Sirius changed. He started becoming paranoid…. he distanced himself from me. He became completely inseparable with our other friend, Peter Pettigrew,” he said pointing at the rat-like, chubby boy in the photo. “The Potters went into hiding….and I never saw them again. The next thing I heard of my best friends, was that James and Lily were dead, that Harry had been taken away… and that Sirius had killed Peter….along with several others.”

I gasped.

“All that was left of Pettigrew…was his finger. Sirius was locked up, and I was completely alone.”

The pain in his eyes was as evident as ever and I started to understand why this man looked so torn apart. His story was as sad as Harry’s.

“Why are you telling me all of this?”

“Isn’t it what you came her for? The truth?”

“Well, yes but, I never thought that- I mean-”

“Miss. Weasley, I know what it’s like to be kept in the dark. You found this picture, you want answers, and knowing my story isn’t going to land you in any trouble. There’s no harm in my telling you the truth, after all you’ve told me your personal secrets. Now we are even.”

He made a great point, and for that, I was grateful to him. No one else would have trusted such a young girl with so much information.

“What do you think happened to him?”

Remus Lupin slanted his head and pressed his lips together, “His family…was dark. They….supported Voldemort’s regime. I’ve spent twelve years trying to figure out what happened, where my best friend went wrong. The only thing I ever came up with, would be that he gave into his bloodline.”

“I’m so sorry, Professor.”

“Sorry for what? That I lost all my dearest friends, that one of them killed the other? That Voldemort tore apart a beautiful new family? And an old friendship? No, Ginny, don’t be sorry for things that happened before you were even born, I’m sorry for burdening you with this tragedy.”

“I’ve burdened you with mine, I guess that makes us even.”

He smiled. “Still, I hope you don’t think I have anything to do with Black getting into the school. I’ve not seen him in twelve, almost thirteen, years.”

“But you knew him well once, do you have any idea how he did it?”

An eye brow was raised and I swear I could see a twinkle in his eye. “I have my theories. James, Peter, Sirius and I did get up to a whole lot on these grounds, we had many secrets, and they will remain secret, Miss. Weasley.”

“But if you know-”

“I don’t know anything, I only think I know. But it’s all handled, you will sleep safe tonight, I assure you.”

A whole world went on before I existed, the walls of Hogwarts had seen so much, things I couldn’t even begin to dream of.

I had already become part of the chaos.

I began to stand when another thought came to me. “What will they do to him? When they catch him, I mean.”

“If they catch him.”

My eyes widened, and I took a deep breath, “If.”

Professor Lupin’s tears welled up again in a subtle manner. “I suspect he will be subjected to the Dementor’s Kiss.”

“What is that?” I thought he had told me everything there was to know about dementors.

“It’s when a dementor feeds off someone enough to suck out their soul.”

I blanched, not believing that was even possible, “Why not just kill him?”

I could see why he was so upset, we were discussing the demise of his once most loyal and trusted ally; a brother.

“Because being soulless… a Dementor’s Kiss is a fate worse than death.”





I never told Harry, Ron or Hermione what Remus Lupin confided in me. To this day, I wonder if it would have changed the outcome of what happened that year. However, at 12 years old I was still kept in the dark, and in truth, all the events of that year flew right over my head without my knowledge. I was told to keep a secret and that is precisely what I did. Looking back, it’s easy to say that perhaps things would have turned out better, but I can’t only blame myself.

Lies and secrets were all over and it all led to unfortunate circumstances. As happened each year I attended Hogwarts. But it was something I had to get used to if I wanted to sustain my sanity.

I was doing very well in all my classes, turns out, I could be almost as brainy as Hermione. My favorite class was charms; Professor Flitwick had quickly grown a liking to me as I seemed to be a natural. There was something about being able to use magic to perform the simplest tasks, there were so many uses for magic, and I was obsessed with the ability to harness and use magic whenever I could. I was eager, I was talented and I was determined to prove to my brothers that I was just as good as they were. My least favorite subject was potions. This was not only due to the fact that Professor Snape was most probably the worst human being I’d ever met, but because there was little wand waving and actual magic used in potions, it was more like cooking- as helpful as it could be. Aside from that, attending classes was something I looked forward to and enjoyed doing.

“Is your brother doing any better today?” Colin Creevey asked during our Transfiguration lesson. We were practicing turning animals into goblets, and his bearded dragon was rejecting his attempts.

I paused and looked at him questioningly, “What’s wrong with my brother, and which one, for that matter?”

“Ron, he came bursting into our dormitory last night screaming for his rat, Scabbers. He was pretty upset, he nearly tore our room to shreds searching for him, until Harry and Dean Thomas came in and practically dragged him out.”

My jaw dropped, “You’re joking?”

“He kept muttering under his breath something about Hermione Granger’s ‘stupid cat’,” Colin shrugged, “Looks to me that he blames her cat for Scabber’s disappearance.”

Typical Ron. “Why am I always the last to know around here?”

“Well, it’s not such a big deal, he was only in our room for a few moments-”

“I actually meant about the rat, Colin.”

He flushed, “Oh.”

“That was my brother’s Percy’s rat, he’s been in the family for twelve years.”

“Isn’t that a little long for a rat? I mean, do they usually live that long?”

“No,” I said, “That’s why he’s so important to our family, if Ron lost him…Percy will say it’s ‘preposterous’,” I mimicked, raising my nose in the air and pretended to pushed up imaginary spectacles.

Colin laughed.

“Mrs. Weasley, Mr. Creevey!” called Professor McGonagall, who had appeared out of nowhere, like the stealthy cat she was, “Would you care to inform me why there is so much conversation and laughter coming from the two of you as opposed to what you should be doing?”

The class snickered.

“Go on, tell me, what is so funny?”

“Nothing, Professor,” said a shamed Colin.

“Sorry, Professor,” I piped in.

“Well, then, if you have found the time to tell jokes then you must have mastered the spell. Let’s see it, Miss. Weasley.”

Professor McGonagall was known for her lack of tolerance for funny business, but she was nowhere near as cross as Snape. Still, she was able to send the ice cold stab of intimidation into the souls of any of her students. She was a great teacher and I held her in the highest respect, being chastised by her was almost worse than being torn apart and humiliated by the Potions Master, because deep down we all knew that she was right.

Colin fidgeted beside me, because we both knew I had yet to even try the spell, I had to make it look as though I’d been practicing. She was asking me to perform a success, and that was a very tall order. Unfortunately, I didn’t really have a choice.

Focusing all my concentration on the newt before me, I tapped my wand three times envisioning the scarlet newt transform into a glass. “Feraverto.”

A stream of energy flowed through my arm and from my wand to the completely unsuspecting animal, in one fluid moment the newt grew into a blood golden water goblet. I picked it up and felt the cool metal that had just been a scaly creature. The wonder of magic dazzled me yet again.

The class was very quiet, from what I knew, I was the first to be able to cast the spell without any kinks at all.

“Very impressive, Miss. Weasley especially on your first try,” she tried to hide her smirk.

I replied with a guilty smile, the woman was too cunning for her own good.



“When were you going to tell me you lost Scabbers?”

“I didn’t lose Scabbers! Hermione’s bloody cat got to it.”

“Alright, no need to be so testy with me, I haven’t done anything.”

Ron crossed his arms in an immature pout, “I have every right to be testy; my rat’s been eaten.”

Shaking my head, I sat beside him on the couch in the Common Room. “I’m sorry, Ron.” It was a crummy situation. “But, I hear you’re being awfully rotten to Hermione.”

“Mind your own business, Ginny.”

“Oh that’s nice! Why don’t you just go back to pretending I don’t even go here like you did last year? I’ll do the same and that way I’ll never have to get in your business again. Let me just say one last thing: If you keep pushing Hermione away, you are going to lose her as a friend.”

I walked away after that, boiling and blazed with anger. If Ron had been dead set on making up for the previous year, he had failed. He was also failing Hermione. There was only so much more my friend would take before she gave up on Ron. I was fully aware they had their history and I knew that there were times when Ron could be the most loyal and rightfully deserving of her friendship, but those times were few and far in between,

I hadn’t spoken to Ron much at all that year, it was as if my brothers were in another universe, on another plane of existence while we were under the same roof. Those early years, I was in the background and I was hiding in the dark, I rarely came to them for anything, and they rarely noticed I was a student at all.

This is why I was surprised when Ron approached me a week or so later.

“When were you going to tell me you’ve been having private sessions with Professor Lupin?”

My eyes widened in shock and I quickly scanned the area to see if anyone had heard him before looking up from my studies and vehemently whispered, “They’re private for a reason, Ronald! Be quiet!”

Sensing the ice in my voice, he carefully sat across from my at the Gryffindor table in the Great Hall. “Private or not, I’m your brother and I should know these things, not hear about them second hand from my best mate.”

“Hermione told you?”

“No, Harry. Apparently Lupin casually mentioned it to Harry weeks ago, and Harry just happened to casually mention it to me just now. He figured I’d already knew!” he said raising his voice again.

“Low your voice or I’ll turn you into a water goblet.”

“What is Lupin teaching you?”

“He’s not teaching me anything. I just go and talk to him from time to time about how I feel, and what I went through last year. It’s not a big deal, I just don’t want people around here thinking that I need help or therapy or something.”

“But that’s obviously what you’re doing, so, you do.”

“NO!” I half yelled. Padma Patil looked over from where she had been studying with Lavender Brown. Blushing, I shrunk back into myself, “Look, he’s just helping me analyze what happened last year. It’s personal and private okay? And I didn’t tell you because it’s not your business.”

Ron’s ears went red at the tips. Throwing his own stupid words at him was always the best way to put him in his place. He sat in silence for a few moments as I memorized the intricate details of my quill. “Has he helped you any? Professor Lupin, I mean?”

“Loads, actually.”

“Good.”

More awkward silence ensued.

“I….I… cleared things up with Hermione, by the way.”

“You did?”

“Yes, I told her it wasn’t her fault. Scabbers was pretty old…it might not even have been Crookshanks at all.”

“Good.”

I thought back on the whole year, thought back on the hours I spent in Lupin’s office, speaking my mind and expressing my fears and anxieties. I thought about how I finally let got Tom out of my life, and I felt guilty for not telling any of my brothers of the progress I’d made. While it should have been in their own interest to check up on their sister from time to time…I could have made an effort too. I was grateful to have found an incredible friend in Hermione; somehow, after that year, I knew she’d be the sister I’d always longed for.

Looking at Ron now… I knew that he’s grown some too. We both still had so much more to go, so many more tragedies to go through, but as my second year came to an end, I was satisfied with what I’d accomplished.

“Ron!” Hermione’s voice broke my soliloquy. We both turned to see her rushing up to the table looking frantic and very upset. “Ron, Hagrid’s just sent this for us,” she told him, shoving a note into his hands.

I watched, utterly perplexed, as he read the note. His face paled, “Oh, no. We have to go see him. Now.”

“What’s going on?” I asked.

“One of Hagrid’s pets is being executed. Tonight.”

I frowned, “That’s terrible.”

“Where’s Harry?”

Hermione shook her head, “I don’t know.”

“Let’s go wait for him in the common room,” he said, already getting up and ushering her away.

“Bye!” I called, but there was no point, they were already gone.

I sat there left behind, in the dust, in the dark, every cliché you could possibly think of. And so it began. That moment was one of the first of many in which I would be tossed aside and hidden from the truth. I sat, and I watched them run out of the room. Onto yet another adventure I would never hear about.

No. All I heard was the same thing everyone in the school heard the next morning.

SIRIUS BLACK- CAPTURED RIGHT OUTSIDE SCHOOL GROUNDS!

SIRIUS BLACK ESCAPES IN THE NIGHT FROM HOGWARTS IMPRISONMENT!

ESCAPES ON THE BACK OF FUGITIVE HIPPOGRIFF, EVADING DEMENTOR’S KISS!

They had him. And yet somehow, he’d managed to fly off in the distance. All I wanted was for him to pay. Pay for what he did to Harry, pay for what he did to Lupin. And it seemed like it would never happen.

Oddly enough, when I saw Harry the next day, where I had been expecting a disgruntled and angry frown, I found the happiest grin I’d ever seen on his face. It made no sense. But I was still too shy to ask him why.

“He got away. HE GOT AWAY! I can’t believe it! How good of a criminal do you have to be to- What are you doing?” I froze mid-rant when I actually noticed what Professor Lupin was doing. I had walked in shooting words out of my mouth, and he’d been…packing.

“I’m packing my things, Miss. Weasley.”

“But the term doesn’t end for a few more weeks. Why are you putting everything away now?”

“Because I’m leaving.”

“Early?”

“Ginny. I’m leaving Hogwarts, leaving my post.”

I was confused, “Why? Dumbledore couldn’t have sacked you, why would he?”

“I’ve not been sacked, but I do think I should go before someone sees fit to bring the issue up to the ministry of my removal from teaching students. I’d rather save Dumbledore the headache,” he calmly stated as he folded up worn out robes and placed them in his trunk.

I slunk down into a desk in disbelief. “But….but…I don’t understand. Why is your teaching an issue?”

Lupin stopped what he was doing and took out his wand; he pointed it at the door and it slammed shut. “Ginny,” he sighed, “You’ve been awfully honest with me this year, and though I’ve tried, I’ve not been fully honest with you.”

My throat was exceedingly dry, but, I nodded for him to continue.

“One of the reason’s Dumbledore asked me to help you was because I have my own demons as well, I’ve lived a very dark and challenging life. He felt, that I could learn from you the same way you could learn from me.”

“Learn from me? What could I have possibly taught you?”

He gifted me a sad smile, “You are one of the strongest, good willed people I’ve ever met. You are so talented, Ginny, and you don’t let anyone, or anything get in the way of that. You’re a fighter. And through your resilience, and seeing someone as young as you come to terms with darkness and come out from it I’ve learned to hate myself a little less, and I’m inspired to be a little more like you.”

His words were beautiful. They were so genuine, I actually believed them myself. I felt tears come to my eyes when I realized he was saying goodbye.

“Why do you hate yourself, Professor?”

Closing his eyes in resignation, he spoke, “When I was very young, I was attacked by a man named Fenrir Greyback.”

I gasped, I knew that name. Fenrir Greyback was an infamous… “You mean you’re a-”

“I’m a werewolf, Ginny.”

Suddenly it all made sense, he’d been “indisposed” for class often throughout the year, and it explained the scars on his face, and why he always looked so tired. Professor Lupin was a creature of the night.

The poor man.

“I…. I don’t know what to say.” I wasn’t scared of him, I knew there were potions one took to help with the transformations and they only turned under the full moon. I knew I was totally safe with this man.

“You don’t have to say anything, just as long as you forgive me for never telling you.”

“There’s nothing to forgive.”

He smiled a true smile. “Now you can see why I should leave, somehow my true identity has been revealed.

There was an edge to his voice when he said that which made me think he knew exactly how the information leaked. But I didn’t ask.

“I’m going to miss you, Professor.”

“As I you, Ginny. You’ve got a long and adventurous life ahead of you, I’m sure we’ll cross paths again one day.”

Being bold, I took a few steps forward and hugged the man. He was startled, and I wondered how long it had been since he’d received a hug. But after a moment, he returned it gently.

“Be good,” I told him, reluctantly heading for the door.

“Be good,” he replied.

It was sad to leave, knowing that I’d never find solace in that room again. But as I realized it, I also realized, I didn’t need it anymore. Tom was gone, and I was happy. I had forgiven myself, and only hoped that Lupin would follow suit one day.

Lost in my musings, I bumped into someone who must have been on their way to visit Professor Lupin as well.

“Oh, hello, Gin.”

Straitening my stance and smiling brightly, I replied, “Hello, Harry,” without a single blush.

Back to index


Chapter 10: When Brothers Play With Fire New for 2017!

Entry 9
When Brothers Play with Fire
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

“Yeah, perfect disasters
Yeah, we were swinging,
swinging from the rafters
Hey, we were dancing in cars,
we were looking for ours
We were naming the stars after people we knew
'til we had to go
And we were saying things like
I refuse to look back thinking days were better
Just because they're younger days
I don't know what's 'round the corner
Way I feel right now I swear we'll never change
Back when we were kids
Swore we would never die…”
-Kids, One Republic



They were going to get it; they were really going to get it. I almost felt bad for the twins, but then again, they’d been the ones who dug their whole. They were really going to get it. I don't think I had ever seen my mother so angry. I was positive Fred and George had officially knocked mum off her edge and they were about to pay a heavy price.

"I know you're in here!" she roared from the hall outside my bedroom. Her voice vibrated through all the landings of my house. "SHOW YOURSELVES!"

Not wanting to walk into the line of fire, but not helping the urge to witness the mayhem, I opened my door slightly and peered out. I could see her standing with one hand on her hip, the other clutching a piece of parchment and waving it in the air as she yelled up the stairs. "GET DOWN HERE, FRED, GEORGE!"

Movement out of the corner of eye caught my attention. I looked to my left and I saw the twins silently tip-toeing on the floor landing towards the kitchen, obviously making a run for the back door. Mum's back was still facing our direction, and for a moment I thought they'd actually get away. But then the wall clocked chimed the way it did when a family member's hand on the clock moved, and at the same time that a pop sounded in the kitchen.

Mum turned around just in time to see the twin ram right through whoever had arrived home and make a break for the door. "Hardly the way to greet someone when they've just returned home from work!" Percy's voice yelled as mum flicked her wand.

I ran out of my room down the short flight of stairs to find Fred and George in midair, hanging as though being held only by their ears. They were grimacing in pain as their ears grew redder and redder under the pressure.

Mum was watching them with narrowed eyes and a lip purse. Percy scrambled up off the floor picking up all his scattered documents that had been thrown about the kitchen. Ron ran into the room, took a look at the twins and burst out laughing.

“Oh, don’t you start!” Mum snapped, and waved her wand at Ron, whose mouth instantly sealed itself.

“This is cruel and unusual punishment!” cried Fred.

“Yeah we’re going to lose our ears!” cried George.

“Oh, ho, you’ll be lucky if that’s all you lose George Fabian!”

“What have they done now, mother?” Percy asked, straightening his glasses.

“Your brothers seem to be under the impression that they will be selling their little projects for profit! At Hogwarts no less!”

She thrusted the piece of parchment into Percy’s hands. He looked it over and his eyes went wide, “Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes? Fake wands…Ton Tongue Toffees? Order forms? Why… that- that’s illegal! It is against school rules to sell items to other students. Not to mention products unregistered by the Validation of Magical Baubles and Gadgets Office! Do you even have a permit?”

Fred and George blinked a few times before saying together, “Do you have a permit for being so utterly boring?”

Percy sniffed and raised his chin. “Why do I even bother asking? You two will only ever be disasters! Here you are mother,” he said handing her back the paper, “If you all won’t mind keeping quiet, I have very important work to do for the ministry.” He set off for his bedroom.

After graduating Hogwarts the year before, Percy had landed a job in the ministry of Magic under the Department of Magical Cooperation as assistant to Mr. Barty Crouch and had not let us forget about it.

“You have crossed the line, you two have. How many times have I told you I didn’t want any more explosions out of your rooms, I didn’t want to see any use of magic outside school, especially improper magic! I don’t care if the Ministry can’t tell who the magic is coming from, you can jeopardize your fathers position! Underage magic! Why do you not understand the concept?? How can you expect to follow in your father and brothers’ footsteps and work for the Ministry after Hogwarts if you waste any talent you may have on concocting these pranks and joke items that will only land you in more trouble!”

George’s mouth dropped open, “But mum we don’t’ want to work at the ministry!”

“Yeah we want to open up our own joke shop!”

Mums face grew hotter instantly, “A JOKE SHOP? WHAT THIS- WEASLEYS’ WIZARD WHEEZES? OF ALL OF THE RIDICUOUS- MIND YOU I- BUT-” she sputtered. “Now you two listen to me. It is about time you grew up and out of all this childish foolishness. If you want to be treated as adults, you had better start acting like a pair of respectable ones.”

Fred and George looked away. I’d never seen them look so resigned and… defeated. I felt bad for them. I had heard them talk a few times about ideas for some tricks and treats -they were pretty imaginative; I’d give them that. But obviously my parents didn’t approve. For some reason my mum pictured the twins working desk jobs at the Ministry directing floo networks at the Department of Magical Transportation.

Not that I knew much of anything, but it was hard to picture them doing that.

“THIS. WILL. NOT. STAND. I will not have you two thrown out of school for this nonsense!” She took out her wand, “Accio order forms!”

Instantly, a stack of parchment came flying down the stairs into my mother’s hands.

“What are you doing?” asked Fred.

“We worked really hard on those!” whined George.

Mum shook her head, “If only you’d spent half that time on your summer coursework! Have you even started?”

The twins dropped their gazes again.

“It’s a wonder that I expected more O.W.L.S. from you last year!” The twin’s fifth year test results hadn’t been as high as mum would have liked. With a huff mum lifted her wand to the order forms, “Incendio!”

In a bright burst of flames, the papers burned to a crisp and the ashes fell on the floor before she banished them with another charm.

“Finite Incantatum.” With another flick, the boys fell to the ground looking utterly devastated.

A chime and a pop later, my father appeared in the kitchen. His smile faded quickly when he caught wind of the tension in the room. “Molly?”

“Everything is alright dear; I believe the boys have finally come to an understanding.” She swooped in a gave my father a kiss on the cheek in greeting and walked out into the garden. Fred and George picked themselves up and shuffled up the stairs. There was a definite thud of a door closing.

“Another quite day on the home front eh, Ginny?” Dad shook his head and kissed me hard on the top of my head.

I sighed, “The twins have officially tried starting their joke company.”

“Eee-mmphhh-mmrrr.”

Dad and I turned to see Ron nodding and adding to the conversation, only, his mouth was still sealed shut.

Dad took out his wand and said, “The trouble about being a parent is trying to decide how far we should let you go before impeding on a dream. Your mum only wants the best for those boys- for all of you. We want to see you happy and doing what you love, but we can’t condone the trouble that follows.”

He turned his wand on Ron and Ron was free to speak again, “Is mum going to make us all work for the ministry?”

“That’s completely up to you, son, what do you want to do?”

Ron scrunched his face, “I have no idea.”

“Quite alright for a 14-year-old boy, how about you, Ginny?”

“I want to play Quidditch. Professionally,” I replied without a moment’s hesitation.

Ron burst out laughing, “That’ll be the day, you don’t even know how to fly!”

I glared at him, and dad put his hand on Ron’s shoulder. “Never underestimate anyone son. Never. Now off you go, I’m going to go check on your mum.” Dad walked out into the garden and Ron looked at me,

“Quidditch? Really? You’re serious?”

“Yeah,” I said defiantly, crossing my arms.

Ron mirrored my stance and raised an eye brow, considering. “What team?” he asked after a moment.

“The Hollyhead Harpies.”

His face scrunched up again, “No. Cannons.”

“No. Harpies.”

His eyes narrowed. “What position?”

“Chaser.”

“Mock game. Outside. 20 minutes. You chase, I’ll keep. Let’s see if you’re any good.”

“You’re on.”

Ron raced upstairs and I followed. After changing I walked out of my room and found, Bill, Charlie, Ron and surprisingly, Fred and George descending the stairs. All my brothers were home that summer and the house was pretty cramped, considering we weren’t little children anymore. They were all calling Quidditch positions.

“Gonna come watch?” asked Bill as he passed me.

“No, I’m gonna play chaser,” I said brightly.

“Play? You can’t play with us,” laughed Charlie, ruffling my hair as he passed.

My jaw dropped “But Ron and I- we- He just said-”

“Sorry Ginnikins, not enough brooms!” called George over his shoulder

“Besides you can’t fly like us, you’re a girl. You’ll get hurt!” said Fred.

“BUT I WAS GOING TO PLAY WITH RON!”

Ron, the last in line looked at me and shrugged, “I just mentioned Quidditch and they all came running.” He left out to the orchard with the others.

I stood there fuming. It was as though I wasn’t 13 years old but 9 all over again.

“I don’t understand why you’d even want to play with them. Its barbaric and pointless, Quidditch,” came a voice from the landing above. I rolled my eyes. “If you ask me-”

“I didn’t, Percy.” I heard, rather than saw, his door slam closed once more.


Harry and Hermione were coming to stay with us that summer, the summer we attended the 1994 Quidditch World Cup. Having everyone at the burrow I knew made mum’s heart full, she like to think that Bill and Charlie took time off work just to come see her- never mind that the biggest Quidditch event to happen in Britain in 30 years was taking place and dad had gotten us all tickets through his connections at the Ministry.

“Does Ginny still blush every time she sees Harry?” asked Charlie leaning against the doorframe to me bedroom as he nursed a butterbeer.

“Hey! That’s not funny!” I said.

“I’ve heard she does!” Yelled Bill, coming down the stairs in our direction.

“I do not!”

“Does she, Hermione?” Charlie chided, prompting Hermione who was curled up on her bed in my room with a textbook.

Hermione looked up, “I don’t think I’ve ever noticed.”

Bill appeared beside Charlie, “Yeah sure, Granger. According to Ron, you notice everything. Hardly doubt you’d miss Ginny fawning over the poor boy.”

“You shouldn’t believe everything Ron says. He over exaggerates everything, Ginny doesn’t even fancy Harry-”

Bill and Charlie started laughing and I knew Hermione had just blown my cover. “Granger don’t even bother! You should have heard what she told me when she was just five years old! She said she was going to ma- oofff!”

A pillow had forcefully made contact with Bill’s head.

Charlie was clutching his sides in laughter.

“Out of my room, the both of you! I MEAN IT!”

Bill chucked the pillow back to me, “Oh sis, I don’t mean to be so awful, just poking a bit of fun!”

“And anyway the others should be back with Harry at any moment, we’ll see then.” Charlie wiggled his eyebrows at me and disappeared with Bill down the stairs before I could throw my copy of Quidditch Quarterly at him.

“How do you do it?”

“Do what?”

“Manage six boisterous and outright annoying older brothers?”

“By locking the door.”

Hermione giggled. Then said, “What was it you told Bill when you were five years old?

Just then I heard several whooshing sounds, followed by new voices. “I think Harry’s arrived!”

Hermione instantly perked up and forgot all about what she’d asked. Thankfully.

Walking down the steps we could hear my father berating Fred and George, “You wait until I tell your mother-” (GOF 53) page we heard him say just as we saw mum reached the kitchen doorway.

“Tell me what, Arthur?”

Hermione and I came behind her, all my brothers, father and Harry were crammed in the kitchen. I smiled at Harry in greeting, and he smiled back.

And I blushed.

And Bill and Charlie sniggered quietly.

But not even my eldest brothers could interrupt what was happening.

“Tell me what, Arthur?” (GOF page 54) she asked again with more ice in her voice.
“It’s nothing Molly. Fred and George just- but I’ve had words with them-” it was sweet how dad always tried to protect us from mum’s wrath.

“What have they done this time? If it’s got anything to do with Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes-”

“Why don’t you show Harry where he’s sleeping, Ron?” Offered Hermione from beside me, it was a great call. I didn’t want to witness yet another row.

“He knows where he’s sleeping,” said my idiot brother Ron, “in my room, he slept there last-”

“We can all go,” said Hermione a little more forcefully.

Ron’s eyes widened, “Oh, right.”

“Yeah, we’ll come too,” tried George.

“You stay where you are!” Mom growled.

Harry, Ron, Hermione and I slipped out of the kitchen and started climbing the stairs to Ron’s room at the topmost landing.

“What are Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes?” asked Harry.

Ron and I chuckled, Hermione hadn’t found any of it funny. “Mum found order forms when she was cleaning Fred and George’s room,” Ron explained “Great long price lists for stuff they’ve invented. Joke stuff, you know. Fake wands and trick sweets, loads of stuff. It was brilliant, I never knew they’d been inventing all that . . .” (GOF page 55)

“We’ve been hearing explosions out of their room for ages, but we never thought they were actually making things,” I said. “We thought they just liked the noise.”

We told Harry all about the twins’ plans to sell it all at Hogwarts and how mum was already mad that the twin’s weren’t doing as well in school as she’d expected “And then there was this big row,” I continued, “because Mum wants them to go into the Ministry of Magic like Dad, and they told her all they want to do is open a joke shop.”

We met Percy on the staircase, he was, as usual, complaining about all the noise we were making by SPEAKING IN OUR OWN HOUSE. Percy had been slowly getting more and more on my nerves, and I knew the rest of my family felt the same way. Before he could bore Harry too much with all his Ministry talk, we pulled him away and made our way into Ron’s room. It was nice to not be sent away for once. It was nice to be able to be around Hermione and Harry without my brother getting all possessive.

I always felt that Ron didn’t like that his siblings were also friends with Harry, as though he was only supposed to be Ron’s friend. I guess that came from being one of the younger middle children and youngest boy. While I understood Ron’s behavior I didn’t mean I liked it.

“Shut up, Pig,” (GOF page 56) said Ron to the sweetest little owl who was the newest addition to our household. The little fellow was bouncing up and down and hooting because he was just excited to see us is all.

“Er-why are you calling that owl Pig?” (GOF page 57) asked Harry.

“Because he’s being stupid,” I explained. “Its proper name is Pigwidgeon.”

Ron rolled his eyes, “Ginny named him. She reckons its sweet.” Harry looked at me straight, trying hard not to laugh. I raised my brow at him, daring him to say something. “And I tried to change it, but it was too late, he won’t answer to anything else. So now he’s Pig.”

We were speaking about Harry’s summer at his awful relatives house when the conversation took a strange turn, “And have you heard from-” (GOF page 58) Ron began, but stopped abruptly when Hermione gave him warning look.

I looked a Harry and then back at Ron both were avoiding my eyes. It was obvious they were keeping something from me. It was utterly awkward, and pretty disappointing. Feeling completely unwanted, I was about to excuse myself when Hermione said, “I think they’ve stopped arguing. Shall we go down and help your mum with dinner?”

I followed them down the stairs feeling noting that that was the longest conversation I’d had with Harry ever, if you don’t count in the chamber. Them three had their secrets, but I figured it would always be that way and anyway I wasn’t really part of their group.

Yet.

Dinner was a wild affair. All 11 of us sat at a large table outside discussing everything from the Quidditch Cup to Percy’s job. Mum was complaining once again to Bill about his long pony tail and edgy earing.

“I like it,” I said from beside him, “You’re so old fashioned, Mum. Anyway, it’s nowhere near as long as Professor Dumbledore’s.” (GOF page 62)

“Ginny, class is not old fashioned. I just don’t want your brother to walk around looking like a hooligan.”

“I have long hair. I wouldn’t say I look like a hooligan.”

“No,” she replied, “You look like a girl who’s about to be grounded.”

Bill snorted.

“Honestly you lot, why won’t you just listen to your mother.”

“Mum you worry too much, Fred and George will figure themselves out and I promise to cut my hair if it ever gets as long a Professor Dumbledore’s.”

“Throw in that your sister will stop giving me lip and you’ve got yourself a deal.”

Bill sighed, “Never mind, then.”

Mum went on to pester dad and Percy and Bill lowered his voice and said, “Harry sure seems like a decent bloke.”

I stuffed my mouth with chicken and ham pie nodding nonchalantly.

“Still going to marry him?”

Nearly choking on my food I swallowed, “Shut up,” I snarled.

“Just asking is all.”

“You’re playing with fire, William Weasley, I’ve got two years of jinxes under my belt now.”

“Playing with fire is Charlie’s job. I’m not scared of you, Ginny.”

“Oh really?”

Bill smiled and ruffled my hair.

That night, before we all went to sleep, Bill accidently ate a Ton Tongue Toffee that someone had just happened to leave- or plant- in his bedroom. It was a hilarious sight to see his tongue growing at an alarming rate.

Best part about it all, Fred and George got the blame.


When the Death Eaters interrupted what would have been one of the most memorable weekends in my life, it marked the beginning of a long winding road.

I had never seen so many foreign witches and wizards in my life. The World Cup was everything I had been imagining it to be. Fanatic Quidditch fans of both the Bulgarian and Ireland team were everywhere camping out for the game. It was one huge party and I was extremely grateful hat my father had been able to give me such an experience. Hermione and I shared our own tent, and my father and the boys had one to themselves. We met several people from dad’s job, including Percy’s boss, Barty Crouch, the one of the men in charge of the whole event, who was so much like Percy I suddenly understood my brother’s obsession. We even had seats in the top box with the Minister of Magic himself.

The game was incredible. I was rooting for Ireland of course- and they won of course.

But I had to hand it to the Bulgarian Seeker, Victor Krum, he was spectacular.

That night was a grand affair, the campsite was vibrating with cheers and celebration. The Bulgarian fans were either hiding in their tents or had left for home.

“Did you see that Wronsky Faint by Krum? It was incredible. I’ve got to learn how to do that!” I said to Charlie.

“You fly?” asked Harry excitedly, turning bright green eyes on me.

Charlie took it upon himself to answer, “No she doesn’t.”

“Yes I do!” I snapped.

“Oh, really? Where’d you learn?” Charlie challenged.

I suddenly found myself in a particular dilemma. If I told Charlie my secret I’d probably get into trouble with the lot of them- big trouble. With Mum even. So the dilemma was, do I tell the truth and impress Harry, or keep my secret and stay out of trouble? Unfortunately, I had to go with the latter.

“Well, first years are always taught how to fly with Madam Hooch...”

“Ha! There’s a big difference between learning to hover, stop and go on a broom than flying well
enough to play Quidditch.”

Harry nodded and smiled and turned to continue his conversation with Ron.

A while later, I was dozing off at the table, and managed to spill my hot chocolate all over the floor when my head slipped from my hand in sleepiness.

“Alright I think then it’s time for bed,” said dad.

I felt as though my head had just hit the pillow when I was being shaken awake.

“Ginny- Ginny!”

“Huh?”

“Ginny, grab your coat and get outside, Hermione, let’s go!” said my dad’s urgent voice. Hermione and I looked a t each for a moment and then, hearing screams outside jumped into action.

Running outside I took note of the surroundings, people were running and screaming trying to leave the campsite. Across the field, a scary looking group of wizards were walking together with their wands drawn. They had black hoods and their faces were masked but that’s not what was causing the fright. Above them hovering in the air were the muggles that had been working the entrance of the campsite. The wizards or witches were having fun torturing the poor people as though they were toys. The muggles were struggling.

They began to get out of hand as other witches and wizards joined in and began setting fire to several tents. It was horrific.

Dad turned to us, “We are going to help the Ministry!”(GOF page 120) he yelled as a fully dressed Bill, Charlie and Percy headed toward the scene with their wands out. “You lot- get into the woods, and stick together. I’ll come and fetch you when we’ve sorted this out!” Dad ran after them. I swallowed thickly.

“C’mon,” said Fred grabbing my hand and tugging me towards the trees. George, Harry, Ron and Hermione followed, but by the time we reached the dark forest, Harry, Ron and Hermione were nowhere to be seen.

“Where are they?” I asked breathlessly. George and Fred had stopped running and were bent over trying to catch their breaths.

“I don’t know,” said a very serious George.

I started running back to the field, “We have to find them!”

I could hear one of them running behind me, and then I felt two arms wrap around my waist pulling me backwards, “Are you insane!?”

I wriggled in his grasp, “We have to make sure they’re okay!”

“It’s Harry Ron and Hermione, they can handle themselves!”

“Yeah they’re probably getting themselves into their usual spot of trouble,” said George.

“Then get pulled into an adventure,” agreed Fred.

“And then end up saving the day.”

Fred let me go when I stopped resisting. “We shouldn’t have left them behind.”

“Don’t worry Ginnikins, Harry will be fine.”

I rolled my eyes, “It’s not a joke. Whatever is going on out there- it’s not good is it?”

Fred shrugged, “Honestly, I have no idea.”

“I, for one want to know who those blokes in the mask were and what they think they’re getting at. I didn’t think anyone hated Quidditch that much,” said George.

Fred shook his head, “Nah, I don’t think it’s Quidditch that’s got their nickers all bunched. Why wouldn’t they have just ruined the game? Why wait ‘til after?”

“And why hurt those poor people?” I asked.

We sat on the ground under a cluster of trees watching people running through the wood, this way and that, hiding anywhere they could.

“They got some nerve, I’ll tell you that,” said Fred.

“Yeah I reckon they’ve got some bold bullocks for putting on such a show in front of so many ministry workers,” said George.

I was keeping an eye out for Ron and Hermione, and Harry of course. They were still nowhere to be seen.

“Well-that’s pretty creepy, wouldn’t you say?”

“I’d say…”

I looked at the twins, who were both staring up at the sky. I followed their gaze and where
there had once been a clear night sky, there was a strange image, as though formed by clouds. It was the image of a snake slithering out of the mouth of a skull.

Terrible screams came from the forest, leaves and branches shivered.

“What in Merlin’s name is that?” I asked.

Hahaha…

A low laugh grumbled in my ears. Refusing to believe I was going bonkers again, I told myself it was the wind blowing sounds from the hidden witches and wizards.

“No idea,” said the twins together.

We waited a few more minutes in tense quiet, then Fred said, “I don’t hear anything anymore, should we go back?”

“Dad said to wait for him to come get us didn’t he?”

“What if he’s back at the tent along with the rest of them?”

“What if he’s not?”

“You reckon we’re meant to sleep out here all night, George?”

“What, are you chicken?” countered George.

“We’re already hiding from bad guys, you nitwit!”

It was one of the rare times that the twins didn’t share the same mind. I rolled my eyes, “It’s a wonder you two don’t make mum even crazier than she already is. Your antics alone can make anyone barmy.”

“Like you’re so perfect,” they said together.

Shrugging, I said, “I don’t get into half the amount of trouble as you too, that must count for something.”

Fred crossed his arms, “You’re what- ten? What do you know about anything?”

“You swear you know how mum works, you swear you know how to get around her and trick her, yet, you’re constantly the ones getting in trouble. Perhaps, if you took mum seriously for once, if you actually listened to her every once in a while she’d be more open about your plans for the joke shop.”

They were quiet for a moment, the George said, “Fine then, let’s go back to the tent.”

I had a point and they knew it.

Carefully moving through the dark, we made our way back to the clearing.

“I think it’s a cool idea, by the way. Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes.”

“Thanks,” I heard them say through the darkness.

“There you are!” cried Charlie when we reached our tent, “We’ve been wondering what’s taken so long, figured you lot got lost.”

Looking around I asked, “Wait, dad’s not back yet?”

Bill’s eyes widened, “You mean he’s not with you?”

“No.”

“And where are Ron, Harry and Hermione?”

“We…sort of-” Started George

“Lost them,” finished Fred.

Bill looked nervously at the sky, “Someone should find Harry and quick.”

I looked at the strange figure in the sky, “What’s that got to do with Harry?”

Bill ignored me, “Let’s get inside.”

“What does that have to do with Harry, Bill?!” I asked again, following him inside the tent.

He didn’t have to answer, however, Dad arrived with the three of the them in tow. According to
dad -and Hermione, of course- the figure in the sky was the Dark Mark, the calling card for You-Know-Who. The men and women in the masks were believed to be Death Eaters, the loyal followers and servants of You-Know-Who. Apparently, they weren’t sure who had conjured the Dark Mark but it was serious business. My stomach twisted at the thought of You-Know-Who’s influence still reaching the wizarding world. Then again, Harry had defeated Voldemort three years ago at Hogwarts, but he hadn’t exactly killed him…According to Dumbledore Voldemort was said to be in Algeria…waiting… perhaps…. perhaps… my stomach ached a little harder.

Those poor muggles, it was wretched to think that these so called Death Eaters took pleasure in hurting them. Thankfully, the ministry workers were able to save them and erase their memories. The Death Eaters vanished…not a single one of them caught.

Hermione and I retired to our tent once again. She was going on and on about the injustice of the way house elves were treated, inspired by the fact that, Barty Crouch’s elf, who had been waiting on his master throughout the event was caught in the forest just under the Dark Mark. In an unfortunate turn of events, Winky, the house elf had picked up Harry’s wand and though they didn’t believe that she had conjured the mark the fact that she held a wand at all was beyond comprehension and Mr. Crouch freed her, dismissing her immediately.

Trust Hermione to worry about the rights of the house elf when in some way or another, You-Know-Who had just made an appearance.



*******

The rest of the summer went without incident, well for the most part. The ministry was in a right state, dad worked long hours and Percy was even more unbearable talking our ears off about Crouch and cauldron thickness and paperwork and on and on.

Before we knew it we were on the way back to school and it was on the train where I first noticed the impending doom with Miss. Chang. I had been in a compartment with a few friends from my year, Luna Lovegood from Ravenclaw, Colin Creevey and a second year, Romilda Vane from Gryffindor. Romilda was the type who only spoke to me and sat with me to question me about none other than Harry Potter.

“Common Ginny, you have to tell me! You practically live with him! You must have seen him in some kind of undressed manner!” Godric, this girl was twelve!

Colin looked as though he was going to throw up he caught my glance and I shut my mouth that had dropped open. “Uh… Romilda…no just, no.”

She scowled and pushed her curly hair behind her, “Hmm. Right, you’re just saving all the details for yourself. Hardly fair, Weasley.”

I looked up at Colin again, he seemed just as shocked as I was. Luna was reading the Quibbler and so not paying attention to the conversation.

“Err...Ginny, do you um… do you have the assignment Professor Snape assigned over the summer?” Colin asked in a desperate attempt to change the subject.

“Yes! Yes, I do!” I stood and pull down my trunk, “It’s in my potions book, somewhere in here…” I pushed around my belongings trying to find the paper so that the conversation wouldn’t take such a drastic turn again. There was no way I was answering that question, especially not truthfully, not after that past summer. That was when I realized I had left a few of my books in Ron’s trunk because they didn’t fit with the rest of my items.

“I’ll be right back; I know exactly where it is.”

I walked out of the compartment and made me way to my brother and his friends. The trolley had just stopped causing traffic and a horde of students to emerge from their seats. I saw Ron come out of the compartment the trolley had stopped at, he ordered some sweets as I tried to get his attention. “Ron!”

There were too many people to hear. I sighed and prepared to wait. That’s when I saw Cho Chang coming from the other side of the trolley; she was accompanied by a few other girls giggling mercilessly. Ron had disappeared back into the compartment and Harry stepped out but rather than ordering, he caught eyes with Cho. You know how the world seems to slow down when you see that person? That person, the way I saw Harry for the first time, well I could see that it was happening for Harry just then. And suddenly my world slowed down as well. I had never seen Harry look at a girl like that before.

He never looked like that at me before.

Cho smiled and took her sweets while her friends began to giggle at Harry. She walked away with them at her heels, the lot of them looking back at Harry every few steps.

“Anything sweet for you dear?” the trolley woman asked Harry who seemed just as dazed as Luna.

“Err… Couldron Cakes- yeah some Cauldron Cakes,” he said shaking the fog out of his head. Harry disappeared again with the most amazing smile on his face.

It felt so wrong then; I had promised I would be the one to make Harry Potter smile. I walked back to my compartment forgetting the paper completely.



When we got to school it was only to get another surprise, Hogwarts was hosting the Triwizard Tournament.

This was a complete shock to most, mind you the Tournament had only been held very few times, and was discontinued after a competitor died in 1792.

Regardless, Hogwarts was chosen to host this, epic, event. The rules were simple. One champion was chosen from each of the three competing schools, and obligated to perform three different dangerous and life threatening tasks for the chance to win the Triwizard Cup and, essentially…. Eternal Glory.

Select students from each of the rival schools stayed on our grounds for the entirety of the school year, and this made for interesting developments. Students from Beuxbatons Academy Of Magic, a school for witches and wizards in France and the daunting boys from Durmstrang Institute in Bulgaria, were thrown together with the less than refined students from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

I automatically disliked the students from Buexbatons, they were- right off the broom- extremely petty and obviously thought they were way better than anyone else. Naturally several boys form Hogwarts and Durmstrang alike were fully aware of the frenh beauties. I honestly didn’t think the French girls were all that pretty.

Being that it was such a grueling game, only students that were seventeen were allowed to partake, and would be able to enter their names into the Goblet of Fire. The magical object that would chose three competitors.

Then again, when it comes to a boy named Harry Potter, rules always seemed to bend and break left and right.

Dumbledore warned us and warned us about the dangers and about the strength those chosen would need, both magically and mentally. He told us that with the great honor came responsibility and a lot of hard work. Everyone knew it wouldn’t be easy. And we were all told that once we were chosen there was no going back. The moment the Goblet of Fire expelled a name, a binding contract would be formed that would force the champion to compete.

This is why, when fourteen-year-old Harry Potter’s name was released by the Goblet of Fire, the Great Hall was deathly silent.

The three champions had already been called. Fleur Delacour from Beuxbatons, Victor Krum from Durmstrang- yes the very talented professional Quidditch player- and Cedric Diggory for Hogwarts were all celebrated and cheered for as they were led from the Hall to a secret champion meeting. Everyone believed that the ceremony was over, only… The Goblet roared to life once more with a fourth and final name. It was utterly unheard of.

“HARRY POTTER.” (GOF page 271) Called Dumbledore. There was a quiet madness in his eyes, a panic of pure shock and controlled anger. The last person who should be playing with their life chances was the Boy-Who-Lived.

I thought it had to be a mistake. I KNEW it must have been a mistake. Harry wouldn’t, he couldn’t. The Goblet was protected by an age ring that wouldn’t let anyone younger than seventeen pass to submit their name. And Harry was talented, but I doubted he was capable of coming up with a way to bypass such strong magic.

If I even thought for a moment he was the culprit and had cheated his way into a dangerous tournament, all it would have taken was one single glance at his face when Dumbledore yelled his name. He was paralyzed. Confused. Surprised…. Scared. not excited, proud nor smug.

No.

It was not Harry’s doing.

I was absolutely positive that last thing he wanted was another year of defying death.

No one else seemed to understand that, however. Idiots, the lot of them.

“I didn’t put my name in,” I heard Harry say lightly, “You know I didn’t.” (GOF page 272) Ron and Hermione just stared in surprise.

“HARRY POTTER!” Dumbledore’s eyes were searching. “Harry! Up here, if you please!”(GOF 273)

He still hadn’t moved He looked frozen still.

“Go on,” whispered Hermione. I’m sure everyone heard it, considering it was the only sound in the room. I watched as she pushed him to his feet.

Ron’s jaw was slumped open. There was a look of hurt and betrayal in his eyes. And anger from people surrounding him.

Harry stumbled forward, as though in a trance. The entire moment was surreal.

The moment he reached Dumbledore, it seemed that no one was doing anything to rectify the situation. People began to take notice that this was not a joke, nor being brushed aside. “Well… through the door, Harry,” said Dumbledore in a strange emotionless voice.

Harry was going to be a champion.

That’s when the whispers started, “Cheat.”

“Liar.”

“Attention seeker.”

I turned to Hermione the moment Harry’s figure disappeared to the side chamber.

She was terrified.

The teachers rushed away without even a word to the crowd of dazed students. And so the out roar started.

“He’s not even seventeen!”

“CEDRIC IS THE TRUE AND RIGHTFUL CHAMPION!”

“This is a conspiracy!”

People arguing and screaming at each other. It was getting out of hand; even he head boy and girl couldn’t calm it down.

“How do you reckon he did it?” asked Colin beside me.

“I… I don’t think he did.”

Harry was instantly a pariah. Again.

******

I cheered him on of course, while everyone else seemed to turn their backs on him because he somehow managed to land himself as the center of attention yet again. It had been days since the ceremony and Harry had officially been deemed the fourth champion, the contract was indeed final. This caused the other two schools to hate Hogwarts and anyone affiliated since we now had a better chance at taking home the trophy with two contenders. The others schools assumed we had it all planned and not to mention we had a home field advantage.

Hogwarts apparently was tired of hearing about Harry and his adventures and his “saint-like” treatment for which resulted in his never being punished for the acts he committed.

No one ever seemed to understand that Harry did not like to be the center of attention, in fact he despised it. He only did what he had to do for the safety and well-being of others. Even Ron was acting like a bloody git that year.

“Ron, can you get over yourself for just one moment and hear what Harry has to say?”

“What for? So I can just sit and listen to his excuses for wanting eternal glory? As if he doesn’t already have enough!” Ron had been ignoring Harry and only rarely awarding him with snide remarks since the ceremony. Apparently Ron couldn’t take the fact that Harry had left him out of the loop; he was upset that Harry had managed to submit his name without telling Ron how to do so as well.

“Are you even hearing yourself? How could you say that? Here you are acting like a complete git when you should be with Harry, your best mate- if you’ve forgotten- supporting him and helping him figure out how to survive this thing. NOT WIN. But SURVIVE. You can’t possibly believe he’d wanted this!”

Ron looked at me and rolled his eyes. “Please, you’re only defending him in the hopes that maybe he’ll realize he’s as smitten with you as you are with him! Ginny, after all these years- it’s pathetic.”

“Ronald!” I had never heard Hermione’s voice so vicious.

I bit my lip wanting so much to slap him across his face but not having the energy to do so. I just stood from the couch in the common room, glad to see no one seemed to have heard.

“You’re right, Ron. It is pathetic. But not as pathetic as you turning your back on the Boy-Who-Lived because someone put his name in the Goblet of Fire.” And with that, I turned my back on him.


*****

“Hey, Charlie!” I exclaimed, hugging my brother.

“Hey, squirt!” he replied, crushing me to death. Charlie looked good. For working with dragons so long, anyway, he still had all his arms and legs.

“Are you planning on cutting that hair anytime soon, or were you going to give Bill a run for his money?”

“Ha, ha,” he pushed his red hair out of his blue eyes and gave me a sarcastic eye roll. “So who told you I was here?”

“Hagrid, because apparently you couldn’t even tell your own sister you were visiting.”

He proudly stuck out his chest and grinned, “I’m here on top secret business.”

“As top secret as you can get at Hogwarts, anyway.”

“True.”

We were out on the border of the school grounds, covered in the shade of the trees of the Forbidden Forrest. “Aren’t you going to get into trouble being out here?” he asked.

“Like that ever stopped you when you went here-”

“Hey!”

“Well, I might get in trouble, but I have permission if you want to get technical about it. I mean Hagrid is a teacher now, you know.”

“Don’t tell me he pulled a ‘You didn’t hear the information I just accidently just gave you!’”

“He wouldn’t be Hagrid if he hadn’t.”

Charlie laughed, “That man is going to get himself into trouble.”

“Who’s in trouble?” came a new voice.

Ron emerged from behind a tree trunk.

“Not you too!”

I ignored Ron’s presence completely.

“Well, isn’t that a nice welcome,” commented a bitter Ron, “Hagrid tells me he’s meeting my brother at a certain time and place, and you expect me not to come?”

Charlie rolled his eyes, “I’m here on top secret business!”

“Oh, and she is too, I bet,” challenged Ron.

Charlie sighed, “Well do either of you know where he is? The only actual person who is supposed to be here?”

I shrugged.

Ron shook his head.

It was a comical situation, but I knew Charlie wasn’t going to send us back, like bill or Percy might have. I knew I was in for a treat. It was then that we heard Hagrid, before we saw him.

“Charlie?” He whisper-called, not that it was much of a whisper coming from Hagrid.

“Over here, Hagrid!” My brother flat out yelled.

“Oh, I see yer now! Sorry I took ser long, I-” When he appeared, I almost burst out laughing when he noticed me and Ron. “Wha-wha- yer lot can’ be here! How did ya even fin’ out? Charlie! Yer weren’ supposed to tell ‘em!”

Charlie chuckled, “I didn’t Hagrid, you did.”

The poor giant’s face paled in realization. I rewarded him with a broad grin, and Ron clapped him on his elbow (where he could reach him of course) “Well, Hagrid, how many years is it going to take for you to understand that if you don’t want us to listen to what you say, don’t say, ‘Pretend you didn’t hear that’.”

Ron might have been an annoying git, but he was right about that.

“Don’t worry, Hagrid, we’ll be discreet.”

“Can’t promise we will though!” came a new voice. Fred emerged from the darkenss followed closely behind by George.

“Yeah! We’re not knonw for our discretion,” said George.

“Yer all goin’ get me in ter sum serious trouble one o’ these days,” Hagrid grumbled.

Fred pat Hagrid on the back, “Join the club!”

“Well, let’s get a move on!” Charlie excitedly began to lead the way.

“Where, exactly, are we going, by the way?” I asked.

Charlie led us through the trees in a quick pace. It all seemed pretty sketchy. “You’ll see.”

“This wouldn’t have anything to do with the Tournament, would it?” Ron asked, voicing my theory.

“Well of course it has to do with the Tournamnet, Ronlad,” said Fred.

“Why else would Charlie drab his bum all the way from Romania if not for the tournament,” continued George. I had to agree, but considering Charlie worked with dragons, and dedicated his life to them in Romania… it worried me some…

Another devious laugh came from my audacious brother Charlie, “The champions are in for a wild surprise, that’s for sure.”

“Charlie, you do realize that Harry is one of the Champions…” I said warily.

Hagrid cursed under his breath bitterly, the whole school knew just how he felt about that.

Charlie, slowed his pace, “I heard about that. The poor kid can never catch a break, can he?”

I looked pointedly at Ron, hoping I’d convey the message.

Ron looked away stubbornly.

I wanted to throttle him. Ever since we had started attending Hogwarts, I didn’t understand who my brother Ron was anymore. He’d changed, and I guess I’d changed too, but it seemed we could never stay on good terms. We were always ready to bite each other’s heads off and we’d never been like that growing up. Each time we seemed to by making progress in reconstructing our relationship, some new reason to want to curse him came right back up.

“No, he can’t,” I said.

“What do you mean by surprise, Charlie?” Ron asked in an attempt to revert the conversation back to its original track —away from Harry.

As if timed, Charlie paused in front of a wall of vines. “Take a look,” he said, pulling the vines apart.

The first thing I saw was fire, and a whole lot of it.

“Bloody…-” breathed Ron Fred and George at the same exact time.

Dragons. Four enormous dragons, in four enormous cages. The screeching and roaring must have been masked by a silencing charm because when Charlie opened the make shift curtain the sound hit like a brick wall. The four dragons, all different shapes and forms) were setting fires to the surrounding trees, rattling their confinements, it was a terrifying scene to behold.

Hagrid sighed, “Wha’ beauties.”

“Come on then, Hagrid. My manager wants to talk to the game keeper of the grounds; you’ll be spending a whole lot of time down here for the next few days.”

“What about us?” I asked, still entranced by the dragons.

“You want to go down and get up close and personal?” I could tell Charlie was excited by the idea of his sibling sharing a piece of his life and his interests.

“Hell yes!” exclaimed George.

Ron, on the other hand, was pale as a ghost wearing a sheet, and frozen in place.

“You can’t take ‘em Charlie, they’ll be getting in trouble, they will.”

He shrugged, “Nah, my guys won’t say a thing, no one from the school is down here at the moment, they’ll be fine. Let’s go.”

I could have sworn I heard Ron whimper, but he followed behind the giddy twins anyway.

“Does this mean that Harry has to…”

“Fight a dragon?” Charlie swiftly turned to me and sent a wink my way, “How’s that for your knight in shining armor Gin-Gin?”

My face turned beet red as some life came back to Ron’s; I ducked bashfully under Hagrid’s questioning gaze.

“Nice one, Charlie,” laughed Fred.

“It’s hardly something to joke about Charlie,” I muttered, suddenly realizing I was sounding more like Hermione every day. But with that also came the full understanding as to why this Tournament was…deadly. The idea that they’d be forced to face a dragon… “It’s barbaric.”

“He’ll be fine though- Harry, I mean. He’ll be fine, right?” asked an anxious Ron.

“What do you care?”

“I care plenty!” he defiantly yelled at me.

“Good job showing it!”

“Whoa, whoa, both of you, calm down. Of course he cares, Ginny, Harry’s his best friend.”

I rolled my eyes but let it go, it’s not like Charlie knew what was going on.

“Maybe we should, you know, warn him?” Ron suggested in a small voice.

The five of us stopped and looked at him. I raised my eye brows surprised…. that was more like it. I was more surprised, however, that there was no immediate refusal to his request.

Hagrid narrowed his eyes in thought and Charlie seemed torn. I wanted to warn him; he needed to know. I didn’t even need a moment to think about it. Ron was right.

For once.

“It’s cheatin’.”

“There are legal troubles involved.”

“It’s not fair to the other champions…”

“What if the ministry found out?”

“It’s not fair to Harry regardless, he didn’t choose this.”

Ron looked down to his feet. I knew he’d finally heard me.

Charlie sighed, “Well…”

“Poor boy,” said Hagrid. “I’m scared for ‘im, I am. And Ginny’s right, he didn’ chose this.”

“On second thought, why are we even thinking about it? It’s for Harry,” said George.

“When was the last time we let rules stop us?” asked Fred with an eyebrow wiggle.

We looked expectantly at Charlie. But I knew my brother, I knew he was all for bending the rules. Fred and George didn’t learn how to do that on their own, after all. “His life cheated him; I say we do it. Carefully of course.”

Hagrid tried to hide his smile, I knew he was having the hardest time admitting we were going to go against the rules. Ron and I openly grinned from ear to ear. “Harry’s got an invisibility cloak,” added Ron.

Charlie smirked, “Perfect.”

Back to index


Chapter 11: The Brokenhearted Resolve

Author's Notes: Newly re-written December 2017


Entry 10

The Broken Hearted Resolve

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

"She's can't see the way your eyes light up when you smile,
She'll never notice how you stop and stare whenever she walks by,
And you can't see me wanting you the way you want her,
but you are everything to me,
I just wanna show you,
She don’t even know you,
She’s never going to love you like I want to,
And you just see right through me,
But if you only knew me,
We could be a beautiful, miracle,
Unbelievable,
Instead of just invisible…”
Invisible- Taylor Swift

“Where have you been?” I asked Hermione as she slipped into the spot next to me.

“Pacing a bit, trying to calm my breathing a bit, trying to not have a full blown panic attack basically.”

“You better be careful, if Rita Skeeter sees you this worked up she’ll write a new story before the task is over.”

Rita Skeeter was a journalist of the worst sort. The kind that wrote about celebrities and formulated rumors and contorted lies and misconceptions out of truth. Now that the Triwizard Tournament had given Harry a fame reboot Skeeter was all over searching for a new angle. She had recently taken to writing about Harry and Hermione’s new love affair.

“Ginny, who gives a damn if people think Harry is in love with me if he is dead by the time the story comes out?”

She had a point.

The arena was vast and utterly packed, I don’t think I’d ever seen that many people in my life outside the Quidditch World Cup. In the middle of the rocky ditch the audience surrounded, lay a nest of eggs, and one of them was solid gold.

“Am I right in assuming that that is what Harry is trying to best the dragon for?”

“Your intelligence often bewilders me Hermione.”

“Ginny, I don’t need your sass right about now.”

I knew I was being rather unpleasant, but it was a great way to let out my anxiety.

“Did he prepare?” I asked. According to Hermione, Hagrid had shown Harry to the Dragons under his cloak as planned. He knew about the dragons, but I had no clue as to what he did with the information.

“He met with Professor Moody, and he gave Harry a great idea.”

I was exactly sure why Harry had sought council from the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Alastor –commonly known as “Mad-eye”- Moody. He wasn’t exactly a welcoming man; he was old and intimidating and his one mechanical eye sent chills down everyone’s spine. He was rough and less than friendly and I had a feeling that there was something a bit stronger than butterbeer in the flask he kept handy. The only reason I could come up with that would draw Harry to him would be the fact that Moody had a whole lot more experience with dark forces than anyone else in the castle. He was a retired Auror, Dark Wizard catcher, something like what the muggles would call detecteves or palice. Dumbledore seemed to have some sort of close friendship with the man, but to me he just seemed… off.

I glanced at the Professor’s box, noting the preoccupied expression on McGonagall’s face, Dumbledore’s calm and collected mask, and Moody’s concentrated contortion of his face.

Something about his eagerness seemed unnaturally daunting to me. No one really disliked the man and there truly was no reason to distrust him.

“Will it work?”

Hermione nodded, “It should. I practiced with him for a while, he out did himself in training for this, I must admit. He just hasn’t exactly practiced-”

“While facing a dragon.”

Our eyes met in understanding. Harry needed some impressive skill to pull this off.

“It’s starting!” called Ron from the other side of Hermione.

The announcer explained that the first challenge of the tournament was to retrieve a strategically placed gold egg that sat in the center of the rocky ditch in the quickest time possible, equipped with only a wand.

Sounded simple enough.

If it weren’t for the dragon the champion had to get through to reach the egg in the first place. It was decided that Harry go last.

As incredible as the whole thing sounded, the moment the champion stepped out into the ring, it seemed less like a game and more like a sacrifice. It was nearly barbaric.

“Dumbledore isn’t going to let anyone die, is he?” I asked just as Cedric’s robes were scorched at the bottom by an impressive flame. He was facing the Swedish Short-Snout while trying to transfigure a rock into a dog as a diversion.

Hermione was watching the even through her fingers, and beside her Ron was watching avidly with Seamus and Dean, but not cheering as much. “I…don’t know,” she replied.

Fleur was second and her dragon, a Welsh Green, was eventually put to sleep with a charm, but not without Fleur’s skirt catching fire first. Krum was third and he was out up against the Chinese Fireball.

Which meant that Harry was to fight the Horntail. Figured.

The three original champions each managed to fulfill the task and defeat the beast in some way or another, thus, by the time Harry came out to the scene, he had some pretty big acts to follow. As much as I was hoping he would just get the egg and be done with it, I was kind of wishing Harry would show them all who he was. He was Harry Potter and when put to the task, he didn’t do anything half way. Other than his homework.

“This is madness,” said Ron as Harry stepped out on the rocky arena.

“Still think it was Harry that got himself into this mess?” asked a bitter Hermione.

The crowd was still undecided on whether or not Harry deserved to be supported and the adults were anxious about having such a young student in such dire circumstances.

At first Harry seemed frazzled, unsure, out of place and completely disoriented.

“Poor Harry.”

“He’s defeated 100 dementors,” Ron offhandedly commented.

No one bought his act of indifference.

Harry was tossed around a bit but managed to get right back up each time. Finally, he did something none of the other champions had even thought of, and it blew all their performances out of the water.

He summoned his broomstick. “Accio Broom!” the crowd held its breath, waiting. Harry growing more worried by the moment must have been praying to Merlin the Broom would show up. It was a far distance from the pitch to the castle, it would have had to be a pretty powerful spell. A moment later a familiar figure soared toward Harry. He mounted swiftly and was instantly airborne.

“Brilliant!”

I had to agree with Ron, the idea was utterly brilliant. Whereas the other competitors tried many different charms and spells to confuse and fight the dragon, Harry performed one spell and was able to dodge, thwart and avoid the beast, taking the competition to a new height.

With strategic flight patterns Harry was leading the dragon away from its eggs. It was only one occasion that he flew too close and was harmed on his shoulder, but managed to not lose his balance and lead the horntail just far away enough for him to swoop down and snatch the egg.

“YES!!!” hollered Ron.

The crowd jumped up in a raging uproar. Harry had caught the egg in record time. He wound up tied for first place and with a load of new supporters; Ron became his number one supporter after he and Harry made up after the challenge.

The entire event was an extravaganza of danger and an indulgence of adrenaline. It was exciting to watch but all the while, I couldn’t help but think that perhaps it was all too…cliché.
What were the odds that Harry would be out in yet another life threatening situation? Of course he had to fight a dragon: he was Harry Potter and he was a hero. It all seemed so…

Contrived.

*******


Someday after the first challenge, we were all seated at lunch where I was watching Harry, embarrassing as it is to admit, but he wasn’t in his usual conversation with Ron and Hermione. My brother and my best friend seemed to be bickering again, but Harry was watching something else, or well someone else.

I followed his gaze ever so slightly, and of course he was gazing at none other than Cho Chang. Again.

He’d been doing that quite often lately. When her friends started giggling again, I rolled my eyes. They nudged her here and there, teasing her until she turned around. She met his gaze and smiled bashfully, and what happened next made me drop my head into my hands.

The great Harry Potter must have forgotten all about the drink in his hand because when he smiled the smile that made my knees go weak, the liquid in his mouth leaked out all down his front. The girls laughed even harder now and Harry blushed and turned his attention back to the other two. Thankfully, it seemed I was the only outsider witness, but I wouldn’t tease him for that. Especially when he was so noble to look past my nerves around him.

But when I dropped my head into my hands it wasn’t because one of my friends made a complete fool of himself, but because that damned girl made him so damned nervous. He was becoming giddy around her. He never seemed nervous around other girls… ok I meant me. Why couldn’t it be me?

I was the one who knew him, or well was beginning to know him better than anyone. It seemed that no else could tell when he was angry and frustrated. I knew when he needed someone to go up and talk to him, cheer him up. He’d been needed a lot of that lately, and even though I came across many an opportunity to go up and speak with him and be that person for him, I cowardly walked away.

Gryffindor: yeah right.

Not caring to eat anymore, I stood and made my way out of the great hall. When I passed Cho the conversation caught my attention and I slowed down.

“Well, If Cedric doesn’t come to his senses this year, then it looks like there’s another champion who thinks he’s worthy,” a girl by the name I knew to be Marietta Edgecombe, said slyly.

“Harry Potter making a fool for our very own Cho,” someone else laughed.

“I don’t think you would mind Cho, would you? Potter seems like a respectable second place.”

Cho laughed, “Maybe…”

But I just stomped away, using all my willpower to not take my wand out on the spot, back then, my Bat Boogey Hex was getting better by the day and I was itching to try it out one someone. I should have done it. However, looking back maybe it was for the best, I may had ended up in detention and missed the last two challenges of the tournament.

Harry Potter was no sloppy second.

Merlin, did I hate that girl.

She was giving Malfoy a run for his galleons.

“Hey Ginny!” Someone called from behind me.

“Hey Ron,” I replied irritably but unwilling to let him know what I had just heard.

“Listen about what I said a few weeks ago…I’m sorry.”

“For what?” I shrugged. “You were right, I am pathetic.” He stopped walking and I turned to face him. “Look you don’t have to say anything ok? I’m just glad you fixed things up with Harry.”

“Ginny? You’re my sister.. and I love you, you know that?”

“Of course, I do.”

“Then you should know that I was being a git and didn’t mean what I said. You’re not pathetic. I know you really like Harry-”

I raised my hand. “Ron, don’t even bring it up ok? It’s weird.”

His ears turned red, and I almost laughed. “It is isn’t it?”

“Very much so. I love you too Ron.”


*****

“Will you pleeeeeease wear it?”

“Hermione, it’s not that I don’t want to, it’s that… I don’t want to.”

“Some friend you are!” Hermione dropped her outstretched arm. She had been pushing me for weeks to wear a S.P.E.W. badge. Hermione was becoming relentless with her Society for the Promotion of elfish Welfare. After what happened with Winky at the Quidditch Cup Hermione had devoted herself to giving house elves equal rights and benefits. After she’d learned that over a hundred house elves work in the kitchens of Hogwarts, tending to the cooking cleaning and maintenance of the school for no pay, she’d become practically unbearable.

“But Ginny, if only you could see the conditions in which they work!”

“Hermione, I doubt Dumbledore has them chained together and tortured. House elves like their jobs. I doubt they even want to be freed.”

“Why does everyone keep saying that!”

I rolled my eyes and looked back down to my homework.

“Dobby is loving his free life! He loves being able to work for pay and benefits.”

“Dobby?” I asked, looking back up at her. Who in the heavens was Dobby?

Hermione raised her eyebrows, “Oh. Wow. I guess… why would you know?” She was speaking to herself an took a seat next to me.

“Hermione, cut it out. Who’s Dobby?”

“He’s this really sweet house elf who saved Harry’s life his second year.”

I blinked a few times, waiting for her to laugh and say she was joking. She didn’t. “When did a house elf save Harry life?”

“Well, he tried to save Harry’s life anyway. Dobby was the Malfoy’s house elf, they treated him most awfully.” Well, that I believed. “He found out about their plans to release the diary two years ago and he warned Harry. He even blocked the wall to Platform 9 ¾ so that he wouldn’t be able to go to school.”

I was blinking again.

“I suppose a lot of what he did landed Harry in trouble. OH! He’s the one who set the rogue bludger after him in the quidditch game that year, so that Harry would be sent home. He really loves Harry, he’s practically obsessed! But that’s because Harry tricked Lucius Malfoy into freeing Dobby, you know, as a thank you.”

Still blinking.

“Dobby was incredible happy. It changed his life, and now I want that for all the house elves.”

“Hermione, if I wear the badge will you stop talking?”

“Yes.”

“Give it.” I pinned the badge to my school robes and Hermione smiled brightly. Without a word, she scooped up her school things and walked out of the common room.

Looking back down to my homework, I couldn't help but think that I really wanted to meet this Dobby. He sounded like a hoot. It was just a shame that if it weren’t for Hermione, I’d never know anything about anything at all.


The year grew on as I watched my one heart’s desire fall for this girl who wasn’t worthy if she thought of him as a sloppy second. It was maddening, but I just couldn’t bring myself to tell anyone, not when he looked so happy around her.


When notice went up that there was a Yule Ball to be held the 25 of December the school positively buzzed with excitement. My first reaction was utter disappointment.

Since I was only a third year, the only way I could attend was if someone in their fourth year or higher invited me to go with them. There was only one person I could think of that would fit the bill. Well, only one person who I wanted to go with anyway. So I let myself hope. I let myself hope with every fiber in my being that Harry would ask me.

I didn’t even envy all the Beauxbatons girls who had every guy’s attention on them. I didn’t care about any other guy, just Harry.

But he seemed to be having as much trouble finding a date as I was hoping he’d ask me. It really was a stupid situation. If I had any courage at all, I would have just told him we should go together because it would benefit both of us. It just made sense. He’d have a date without out all the pressure and I’d be able to go to the ball in the first place.

The Yule Ball was coming closer and I wanted to attend so badly I was driving myself mad. Hermione took notice.

She told me Neville had asked her, but she had to recline.

“Neville? Really? He got the courage to ask you?” I asked in disbelief.

“Well of course he just wanted to go with a friend, you know, take some of the pressure off, but he barely got the words out!” she smiled, “I had to turn him down though.”

My eyes widened, “You had to? You’re not telling me you already have a date?”

She blushed and looked away; we were seated on my bed in the third year dormitory.

“Hermione Granger! Are you saying that my brother finally did something right?”

The small blush grew bigger but her face fell, “No, Ginny, no not Ron.”

“Oh.” I felt so guilty. “I’m sorry, then…um… who is it?”

“Victor Krum.”

My jaw dropped. “No, way! Hermione I am so happy for you!”

“And you, Ginny? Don’t you have a date yet?”

I looked down at my sheets, “No, I don’t. No one has asked me.”

“No one? Or just not Harry?”

I bit my lip, not wanting to answer.

“Ginny, if you don’t say yes to someone you won’t be able to go.”

Those were the words that resonated in my head on my way to the Great Hall for breakfast the next morning. There were plenty of other boys who I could go with, perhaps Dean Thomas? I’d always thought he was rather attractive…

“Err-um...Hi, Ginny.”

I was shaken out of my thoughts and found a red-face Neville Longbottom staring down at me.

“Hi, Neville!” I replied brightly.

We were standing outside the great Hall just out of earshot from the rest of the students bustling in. “H-how are you?”

“Bit peaky this morning, I was up all night working on a report for Snape on the difference between befuddlement draughts and-”

“Will you go to the ball with me?”

I should have seen it coming, but I honestly hadn’t. It looked like Neville had used up about everything in him to ask. But hey, my brother hadn’t gotten up the courage to ask one girl, let alone two.

I only hesitated a moment, imagining the opportunity to go with Harry diminishing but then again, it was unlikely anyway. And I really wanted to go to the ball. And Neville as a good friend…

‘Ginny, if you don’t say yes to someone you won’t be able to go.’

The pros undoubtedly outweighed the cons. “Sure Neville, I’d love to.”

His smile was more rewarding than anything I could have hoped for.

“Well isn’t this cute,” said a nasty voice. “Longbottom and Weaslette going to the ball together.”

“Go away Malfoy,” I said to him. Was Draco just waiting around looking for opportunities like this?

Draco smirked and look at Neville, who was doing his best to look indifferent. He didn’t look that convincing. I’d never understand why Neville let Malfoy get to him so. Neville’s insecurities only fed Draco’s bullying and it was a rough cycle.

“What Longbottom, can’t do better than a Weasley?” Malfoy’s loons laughed behind him. “On second thought, maybe it’s a perfect match, not sure who's the one slumming it!”

“Come on Neville,” I said motioning to the hall.

“Oh wait, Weasley what is that you have on your robe there?”

I tried to walk away but Malfoy grabbed the back of my robe and pulled me back. I almost lost my balance but Neville caught my arm and steadied me. “Hey! Dont’ touch her!” yelled Neville standing up to Malfoy.

“Oh I wouldn’t dream of touch that, Longbottom. It’s revolting. I just noticed she’s wearing one of those ridiculous pins Granger’s been running around with- what is it? Stupid Project for Elf Worthlessness?”

I clenched my fists and scowled. “I’m surprised to hear you say that. From what I hear, you relied heavily on your house elf, and apparently he was relieved to be rid of the task of constantly cleaning your soiled trousers.”

“That’s revolting Malfoy,” added Neville.

Malfoys cronies were giggling behind him and with a glare Draco marched off.

Neville and I grinned at each other. Turned out we made a pretty good team.


Later that evening, I was on my way back to the common room with Lavender Brown and a few others when we saw Ron’s attempt at asking Fleur Delacour to the Ball, it was rather a peculiar sight. He was literally green and she seemed frightened. A crowd was starting to form and suddenly Ron ran for it, and I ran after him. I felt bad for him, sure he was an idiot but Fleur didn’t have to stick her nose up so much.

“Oh it’s alright,” I said to my brother once we were both up in the the common room. “With all that’s going on, no one will remember this by tomorrow.”

Ron groaned.

“What’s up, Ron?”(GOF page 398)  said Harry, entering the scene.


“Why did I do it?” Ron wailed, “I don’t know what made me do it!”

“What?”

“He-er-just asked Fleur Delacour to go to the ball with him.” I tried not to laugh, and just patted my brother on the arm sympathetically.

“You what?” Harry gasped.

“I don’t know what made me do it! What was i playing at? There were people- all around- I’ve gone mad - everyone watching! I was just walking past her in the entrance hall- she was standing there talking to Diggory- and it sort of came over me - and I asked her!” Ron dropped his head into his hands. “She looked at me like I was a sea slug or something. Didn’t even answer. And then- i dunno - i just sort of came to my senses and ran for it.” (GOF page 399)

The next part of this story I remember as though it happened only an hour ago.

“She’s part veela,” Said Harry. “You were right-her grandmother was one. It wasn’t your fault, I bet you just walked past when she was turning on the old charm Diggory and got a blast of it- but she was wasting her time. He’s going with Cho Chang.”

Hmm… so she got her first choice then.

Ron looked up at Harry in question, “I asked her to go with me just now,” He said sadly, “And she told me.”

I stopped smiling.

“This is mad,” Ron began. “We’re the only ones left who haven’t got anyone- well except Neville. Hey - guess who he asked, Hermione!”

“What?” Harry’s jaw dropped this time.

“Yeah, I know!” Ron shook his head, “He told me after potions! Said she’s been really nice, helping him out with work and suff- but she told him she was already going with someone.
Ha! As if! She just didn’t want to go with Neville…I mean who would?”


I became furious as they started to laugh. “Don’t! Don’t laugh-”

Hermione decided to waltz in just then. My anger was flaring when she asked, “Why weren’t you two at dinner?”

“Because,” I started but the boys were still laughing, “Oh shut up laughing, you two- because they’ve both just been turned down by girls they asked to the ball!” That shut them up.

“Thanks a bunch Ginny,”(GOF page 400) my brother said sourly.

“All the good-looking ones taken, Ron? Eloise Midgen starting to look quite pretty now, is she? Well I’m sure you’ll find someone somewhere who’ll have you.”

Ron looked up at her thoughtfully, “Hermione, Neville’s right- you are a girl..”

My mouth fell open and Harry grimaced. “Oh well spotted,” Hermione said acidly.

“Well- you can come with one of us!”

“No I can’t,” She snapped. I suddenly realized that this conversation had long ago taken a turn for the worse.

“Oh come on,” Ron urged. “We need partners, were’ going to look really stupid if we haven’t got any, everyone else has…”

“I can’t come with you, because I’m already going with someone,” Hermione’s blush told me a story that the boys would never truly understand. The poor girl wanted to go with my brother… and it was now too late.

“No, you’re not! You just said that to get rid of Neville!” if one more person said something else about poor Neville, I was going to draw my wand.

“Oh did I?” Harry and I took a step back at the same time. Hermione was looking at Ron so dangerously I could almost feel the heat. “Just because it’s taken you three years to notice, Ron, doesn’t mean no one else has spotted I’m a girl.”

Ron grinned. HE GRINNED. He wasn’t taking her seriously. Merlin. He was so blind when it came to Hermione. So ridiculously blind!

“Okay, okay, we know you’re a girl, that do? will you come now?” His eyes beamed. I shook my head, as if this couldn’t get any worse.

Oh it did get worse, much, much worse.

“I’ve already told you, I’m going with someone else!” and with that she stomped away leaving Harry Ron and I alone.

“She’s lying,” said Ron after an awkward silence.

“She’s not,” I said softly.

“Who is it then?” (GOF page 401) Ron was suddenly very interested in Hermione’s social life.

“I’m not telling you, it’s her business.”

“Right.” Ron sighed. “Well, then this is getting stupid. Ginny, you can go with Harry…” in that moment Harry looked up at me, and our eyes locked.

And there it was, my perfect chance, I pictured it in my mind, dancing all night with him, laughing, smiling, magical. Harry looked as though the idea finally hit: the perfect plan. He opened his mouth hopefully, but that’s when reality hit.

“I can’t,” I said blushing softly looking away. “I’m going with- Neville. He asked me when Hermione said no.” I babbled on a bit more, giving some lame explanation can hardly remember now. “I think I’ll go have dinner,” i said miserably. Not that I regretted saying yes to Neville….but I regretted saying yes to Neville. Had he only waited a few more hours I’d be….going to the ball with Harry.

I left the common room hearing Ron say, “What’s gotten into them two?”

What had gotten into us? If Hermione didn’t kill my brother I would. Those two boys ugh! They were the most frustrating ever! The two girls that had been pining away for them for years gave them the perfect chance and it was too late. Now they decide to notice? Now they decide to do something about it.

It was too late, for Hermione and for me. I barely ate anything and felt guilty when Neville arrive for dinner looking so cheerful he could burst.

When I knocked on Hermione's door a bit later she opened her dormitory as though she was expecting me. “Ron is the thickest person I have ever known Hermione, don’t take it personally,” I said plopping onto her bed in a blob.

“I don’t honestly, I don’t,” she said, “He just… he just-”

“I know,” I said when I saw tears spring to her eyes.


She shook her head and focused on me. “I’m sorry by the way.”

“What?” I asked, my voice muffled through the pillow I had stuffed my face onto.

“I hid to hear how the conversation would end. I’m sorry about Harry.”

I really did feel pathetic then. “There’s nothing we can do now.”

“Have you ever thought, maybe, that Harry wasn’t the one for you? That maybe you shouldn’t hold onto him so tight?”

“What? Like give up?” I asked incredulously.

Hermione smiled softly, “It’s been three years Ginny.”

“Eight.” I muttered.

“What?”

“Never mind.”

“Maybe if you just learn to relax around him, let him get to know you better. Date other boys. You want it so much but nothing’s happening, you need to let it happen.”

“You really are serious about this?” I said through the knot in my throat clogged
With threatening tears.

“Yes, Ginny I am.”

“Well then what do we do now?”

Hermione threw herself onto the pillows beside me, “Wallow.”

“And in the morning it never happened?”

“Never.”


“Happy Christmas to us.”

It hurt worse than I could have imagined, letting go of Harry wasn’t easy, if it were, then I wouldn’t have been feeling to crummy and miserbally hating myself on my friend’s bed. He couldn’t see the real me, because I didn’t let him. I was scared and nervous and now I had lost my chance. He was the most amazing person I knew, gorgeous, sweet, caring and more loyal than anyone could ever be. Of course he wouldn’t like me.

I was just Ginny Weasley.

But I was Gin.

Why couldn’t that be enough?

That Christmas, despite what Hermione said, despite what I knew I had to do, I wished it would have been Harry I went to the ball with. Because sometimes daydreams are better than reality.

Back to index


Chapter 12: The Art of Growing Up 2018 Addition

Author's Notes: A/N: In the books it is unclear whether the death eaters outside of Voldemort’s tight circle were aware of the fact that Voldemort was a half blood. When ever it was mention in front of them they would get angry, or deny. As far as my story I am going to stick to the same MO if Barty Crouch jr knew that Voldemort was a half blood he would still deny it for the sake of appeasing his master. If he didn’t know, then hearing it would be bound to make him furious. Enjoy and Happy Valentine's Day! 2/14/2018


Entry 11
The Art of Growing Up
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire



“Feels like I just woke up
Like all this time I've been asleep
Even though it's not who I am
I'm not afraid of who I used to be
No one stays the same (oh, oh)
You know what goes up must come down
Change is a thing you can count on
I feel so much younger now (oh, oh)…”
-Younger Now, Miley Cyrus


So that was it then. No more obvious pinning; no more ridiculous blushing or stupid poems or get well cards. It was done. I would stop obsessing, let things happen organically, if they would at all. If I was just supposed to be friends with Harry, then that's what I'd be. At least, I'd convince Hermione I was taking her advice.

"It's just not fair!" Maurine Zipknot whined from her bed, "Third years are plenty mature to attend a ball. Why I promise I'd behave better than any fourth year boy." Maurine collapsed dramatically back onto her pillows, her intensely curly blonde hair a cloud around her head.

"Yeah, Ginny you are sooooooo lucky," Eliza Berwinxie drawled from where she sat on the floor with a copy a Witch Weekly. Her voice was drenched in a sharp envy that made me very uncomfortable.

“Yeah, well, I guess I have Neville Longbottom to thank for asking me.”

Both girls snorted, "On second thought...I think I'd rather stay up here."

I turned from the mirror I was using to- unsuccessfully- curl my hair and stared at them, "There's nothing wrong with Neville."

Eliza's blue eyes narrowed, "Oh don't be so righteous, Ginevra," she said in that same annoying drawl, "Neville's nice and all but hardly anything to be excited about, guess since Harry didn't like your advances, you had to lower your standards."

My jaw dropped at her audacity.

"Goodness, Eliza!" said Maurine holding back a giggle, "Don't be such a- bitch." She accentuated the last word with a pillow to Eliza's head.

"Oh come now, Ginny knows I'm joking."

Eliza's voice did not support her case.

I grabbed my toiletries and the dress robes that were hanging from my four poster.

"And just where are you going?"

"Somewhere less Slytherin-like."

I left the dormitory and climbed a flight of steps. I knocked on the door and when it opened, a flustered Lavender Brown poked her head out. Her hair was ridiculously teased and it looked as though her makeup charm had gone askew, her eyeliner was practically at her ear. "Can I get ready in here?"

Opening the door wider, Lavender huffed, "Just don't hog the mirror!"

I felt...pretty. I did. I felt as though the simple robes my mother had been able to get for me were decent and actually quite flattering. I had worried briefly that I would look a little...worse for wear, but I supposed… I cleaned up well.

Hermione looked absolutely stunning. Lavender Brown's jaw dropped comically once Hermione had finished getting ready. Her usually curly hair was straightened and shiny and her dress robes were the most beautiful shade of blue. She looked just as beautiful outside as I knew she was on the inside.

She blushed, “What?”

I smiled, “You look-”

“Bloody hot,” gasped a shocked Lavender Brown.

Hermione blushed even harder ad I giggled. “Honestly, Granger, I had no idea you had all that under your school robes!”

“Thank you, Lavender,” said a bashful Hermione. “Your dress is really pretty too.”

Lavender’s siren red dress was definitely a bit more...mature...but she wore it well.

“Pavarti is taking forever!” Lavender turned to the bathroom door, “WOULD YOU HURRY UP! It’s starting soon!”

“I’m coming!” came a muffled call.

Lavender rolled her eyes, and said to Hermione and in in a lower voice, “She’s been all flustered worrying that Harry won’t like her dress robes.”

At the mention of Harry, I busied myself by grabbing my wand and stowing it in the pocket if my robes. Hermione’s eyes burned a hole through the back of my head.

“But of course he will, any guy would be a fool not to think that Parvati’s gorgeous, she's got the exotic look going for her.”

“I can hear you, Lavender!” came Parvati’s voice again. “Harry’s a champion, I’m just glad he asked me at all, with it being so last minute. I have to look my best. I do hope he’s a good dancer.”
I snorted.

Instantly, two pairs of eyes were on me and I couldn’t avoid them. “Well, I doubt any of the boys in Gryffindor will be good dancers. They don’t exactly seem the type,” I recovered quickly, heading for the door.

Neville looked nice, his hair, which was usually hanging in his face, was brushed back and his robes were elegant and made him look much taller.

“Y-you look b-beautiful,” he said with wide eyes and a shy smile.

“Why thank you!” I said with a playful little curtsey, “You don’t look half bad either if I do say so myself.”

Neville straightened a bit more; when had he gotten so tall? “Shall we?” he asked extending an arm out.

I hid my surprise at his sudden confidence and took it, “We shall.”

The great hall was dazzling. Every inch was frosted with glitter and lights. It was like walking into a winter wonderland dream.

Everyone looked impressively good. And even though my brother had been graced with some awful dress robes. I noticed he’d taken the time to cut off all the lace and actually brush his hair.

But it was when I noticed Harry, preoccupied with this Triwizard Champion commitments, clad in the most beautiful green dress robes, that I knew what image I would remember forever about that night. He… he took my breath away. And I had to pretend I didn’t even care, for my sake and for Neville and for my promise to Hermione. He looked like he felt so utterly uncomfortable and out of place I wanted to talk to him and maybe, maybe try to ease his nerves.

Not that I’d ever been able to successfully make Harry feel better ever, considering I had just started being able to speak in front of him.

“Thanks for coming with me, Ginny.”

“What? Oh yes! Of course Neville!” I replied quickly tearing my gaze away from Harry.

Neville’s eyes wandered to where mine had just been. I tried not to blush and occupied myself with picking seats at one of the hundred tables in the Great Hall. From the corner of my eye I saw recognition on Neville’s face and slight frown.

I had to get better. I had to.

“You know I asked you here as just friends, right?” Neville asked in an unsure tone. “I-I mean you’re great but I don’t want to, to feel…. like you have to- well- no pressure- I mean- Oh dear- forget it.”

“I understand, Neville,” I said cheerily, trying to joke off the awkward moment. “You’re my friend and I’m grateful that you asked me so that I could come at all!”

Neville pulled out a chair for me as Seamus and Lavender and a few others from Ron’s year sat around us. “I know you probably would have rather come with Harry-”

“Sorry, what?”

Neville paled, “Well, its just- I mean, I’ve always known you liked him and-”

“Ugh!” I cried and dropped my face into my hands utterly mortified. “Does absolutely everyone know?”

“Yes,” Neville squeaked.

Well it wasn’t exactly a surprise.

“You alright there, Ginny?” said Seamus, “My mate, Neville here treating you to a nice evening?” Laughter and chit chat rumbled through the Great Hall. I lifted my head and smiled.

“He sure is.”

Neville blushed and I knew he’d probably never mention Harry in front of me again. It was time to grow up a bit. Face my past, my stupid crush, my insecurities and move on.

“Would you like to dance?” asked Neville once dinner was over.

I couldn’t help my surprise.. Once dinner had finished, Dumbledore invited the champions and their dates to start off the festivities with a waltz. I had just been watching a graceful Hermione in Viktor Krum’s arms looking elegant, poised and…happy. Really truly happy. No one else had joined yet. Was Neville actually offering to be the first?

I looked at him with wide eyes. “Really?”

“Yeah. Really.”

This boy was so full of surprises. I had to admit I really liked this confident Neville. I considered for a moment. Everyone would be watching, what if I looked a fool?

Then again... if Neville could be so confident, then so could I. It was time to stop worrying so much about what everyone at the school thought of me. I smiled at Neville, “Let’s dance.”

I tried not to make eye contact with anyone or I might have lost my resolve. Neville wasn’t that great of a dancer, actually he was pretty bad, but he followed the steps and aside from my feet screaming in pain every time he stepped on me, I figured no one could really tell we were that bad. I tried not to show my pain.


“This isn’t so bad,” said Neville. “Wonder why everyone was acting like this was a death sentence or something.”

“If you’re referring to your roommates,” I replied hiding the pain in my voice, “they’re all idiots.”

Neville laughed and so did I, and suddenly my feet didn’t hurt that much anymore.

A few other couples joined in but soon enough the slow music died out and the Weird Sisters began playing more upbeat music and the student body poured onto the dance floor for less formal dancing.

“Ahh!” I squealed when Neville spun me and caught me before I almost fell a few songs later. We fell into a fit of giggles. “I’m parched, I’m going to get something to drink, do you mind?”

“Oi Neville!” Dean called from our table, beckoning him over.

“I could come with you if you’d like, get your drink,” he offered.

“It’s alright, I’ll meet you back at the table in a moment, want anything?”

“I’m alright, thanks!” Neville cheerily made his way to his friends and I watched as Seamus punched Neville in the arm with a wiggle of his eyebrows and a knowing smirk.

Boys.

“Why little sister,”

“You don’t look so little tonight.”

I beamed at Fred and George. “And I have to admit, you both look rather dashing yourselves.”

“Naturally,” they said together.

“Where’s your date, Ginny?” asked George.

“Yes we’ve been meaning to corner Neville and speak to him about the way a lady should be treated.”

“A lady with six older brothers, that is.”

I rolled my eyes, watching as my cup magically filled itself with pumpkin juice at the refreshments table. “Oh please, it’s Neville, we came as friends. Let him be; poor kid had enough trouble getting the courage to ask me.”

My brothers shrugged and Fred promptly took the drink that I was about to sip from, “Oh no, you can’t have this.”

“What? Why?”

“We spiked it earlier.

“What?”

“Fancy a dance?” asked George, taking my hand and pulling me back to the dance floor.

I couldn’t help but laugh as he twirled me around. I waved at Neville who was chatting with Dean and Seamus and noticed Ron and Harry sitting alone looking angsty and miserable.
For once, I didn’t care. It was supposed to be a fun night. And I was having fun. For the first time ever, I put Harry completely out of my mind.

At one point Fred grabbed my hand and George grabbed Fred’s date, Angelina’s hand and they switched us smoothly and quickly.

“Do that a few more times and I’ll be so dizzy I won’t be able to tell you two apart,” joked a flushed Angelina. Her rosy cheeks told me that either she’d been dancing far too much or Fred had given her a glass of Pumpkin juice.

“Do you like her?” I asked Fred making sure that only he could hear me above the music.

“Angelina? She’s great, good Quidditch player!”

“No, do you like, like her?”

A serious expression came across his face. “I- I don’t think so, I asked her because I knew she’d be a fun date…but...”

Fred was watching Angelina and George dance a few feet away, they were both singing along to the music at the top of their lungs.

“But what?”

“I think… I think George likes her. Like likes her.” Fred turned back to me with an uncomfortably guilty face.

“No kidding?”

“Serious. But I only noticed after I asked her. He hasn’t told me anything, but I just get this feeling. As though he’s upset that I asked her.”

“Twin telepathy?”

“Something like that.”

We had stopped dancing. Fred grabbed a piece of hair that had fallen out of my plait and put it back in place.

“Well, you can’t blame yourself for that. George is his own person, you know. You are too.”
Fred chuckled, “Yeah, hard to remember that sometimes.”

They were so close; I couldn’t remember a time I ever heard them arguing. I couldn’t even imagine each of them having their own individual families and being separated and doing their own things. It was a hard concept to grasp. And apparently, Fred was having a hard time grasping it too.

“Angelina doesn’t seem to remember she came here with you,” I said nodding over to where George and Angelina were still dancing.

“Yeah well,” he said straightening his collar and walking toward the Entrance Hall, “I think I’ll let them be.”

I started toward my table and called after him, “You’re a good brother!”

“The best!” he called over his shoulder.

I was walking back to Neville and the other Gryffindors who were taking a break from jumping around like uncivilized banshees when I met Michael Corner.

He crashed into me, nearly knocking me over. I would have been a bit miffed if it weren’t for his reaction.

“Oh! I’m sorry I-” steadying himself from dancing into me he turned to face me. His mouth dropped a little and he blushed almost as strongly as Neville. “I’m- I- Hi, I’m Michael, Michael Corner.”

He stuck his hand out and I just stared at it, perplexed.

He cleared his throat, “You, you’re the Weasley girl, right?”

I snapped out of my stupor a that. “It’s Ginny.” I said taking his hand hesitantly.

“Right.”

Michael, he had said his name was, I’d never noticed him before. Ever. The school wasn’t all that big. Michael had tanned skin and dark hair. His eyes were brown and nondescript.

He was... cute.

“Well, I’d better get back-”

“I’ve heard you’re good at charms.”

Suddenly, I was really perplexed. I was very good at charms indeed. Professor Flitwick had actually pulled me aside after class and given me some advanced textbooks in case I was interested in expanding on my talent. Hermione was very pleased, and I wished I had never told her. But I doubted she would have told anyone, especially this boy.

“How did you know that?”

Michael grinned, “We Ravenclaws are always keeping track of students’ academic proficiencies; we see it as sizing up the competition- if you see what I mean.”

“So you’re a Ravenclaw.” Now that made sense. But as far as why he was talking to me… no clue.

“Fourth year,” he clarified. Then looked down at my dress again. “You look really beautiful, by the way, not sure if I had mentioned that.”

I fidgeted under his gaze but smiled. “Thank you,” I replied shyly. Attention from the male species was not something I was used to.

“You came with Longbottom, eh?”

“Yes, he’s a good friend.”

“He’s a decent bloke. Not the sharpest tool in the shed but he’s got an affinity for Herbology.”

I raised an eyebrow, “Yes, well, I’m sure you’re not good at everything either.”

Michael winked, “Wanna bet?”

“Rather arrogant aren’t you?”

“Can’t help it, but I’ve heard you’re no push over either.”

“Where exactly are you hearing all these so called facts about me?”

“Ravenclaws know everything.”

“I’m sure you do,” I laughed and began to walk away.

Michael didn’t let up, “Wait! Would you like to er- get a drink of something?”

“No, thanks I don’t drink alcohol.”

Michael furrowed his brows, “I meant the pumpkin juice…”

I smirked over my shoulder back at him, “Yes, the pumpkin juice- it’s spiked. I thought Ravenclaws knew everything.” I walked away not helping the small smirk that spread across my face.

“What did Corner want with you, Weasley?”

“What’s it to you, Finnegan?”

“Heard he’s a git.”

“You say all Ravenclaws are gits,” said Dean Thomas, rolling his eyes.

“You wanna dance some more Neville?” I asked ignoring the others.

Seamus grinned, “That’s more like it! Longbottom take your date to dance and don’t let more men distract her!”

His macho display was rather funny. “Has he been drinking the Pumpkin juice?” I asked Dean.

Dean laughed deeply, “Oh yeah.”

The whole table laughed and then Neville stood, “Let’s dance.”

The night didn’t end on such a happy note, of course, and we all have Ron to thank for that. The Gryffindors walked up the tower once the music had ended and the ball had concluded. I watched Hermione say goodbye to Victor Krum and noticed the very angry glare she threw at my brother.

“What’s up?” I asked when she caught up to us.

Hermione blushed, “Nothing, it’s just- never mind. Your brother is an idiot.”

Seamus laughed out loud, “That’s hardly news eh, Granger? Thought you were supposed to be the brightest witch of our age.”

I shook my head disapprovingly, “He’s a bit punch drunk.”

Hermione smiled sadly, and spoke in a voice only I could hear. “Ron seems to think that the only reason Krum invited me to the dance was to learn about Harry and use to me to spy on him.” Hermione’s updo had come out a bit from its place from all the dancing. This was supposed to be a great night for her and my brother was acting the prat.

“He’s an arse, don't listen to him.”

“I’m not an arse!” called Ron racing up the steps behind us.

“You sure look like one, Weasley!” called a swaying Seamus.

Lavender tugged his sleeve and pulled him away, casting an annoyed look my way.

Hermione sped up in order to avoid Ron and he stayed stuck on the lower staircase as it began to move.

“She just can’t handle the truth!” he called, looking rather pathetic as the staircase moved him away.

Ignoring his calls, we bustled into the common room a bundle of poofy dresses and dress robes.

“Thanks for a great night, Ginny.”

I gave Neville a quick hug, “Thanks for taking me.”

His blush radiated heat as he said, “G-goodnight.”

Lavender was pulling Seamus up the stairs to the boys dormitory and Neville used the excuse to help her and escape embarrassment.

Ron barged in a moment later, red in the face and looking vicious. “Hermione! I’m not done-”

“OH YES YOU ARE!” she screeched turning to face him.

The common room went silent for a moment in surprise, and then everyone began disappearing into their respective dorms.

I stayed put, ready to stand up for Hermione. “We should get out of here,” mumbled Dean when he realized I wasn’t moving.

“I’m going to stay and make sure they don’t kill each other.”

Dean shook his head, “Be careful with that.”

“I can handle these too any day.”

Dean shrugged looking pretty unconvinced, but he let us be.

“WHAT ARE YOU YELLING AT ME FOR? It’s Victor who is the enemy here!”

“So what, you’re just trying to help; trying to be a good friend?”

“Thought that was obvious!”

Hermione clenched her fists and stomped her foot, “You are a friend of the worst kind Ronald Weasley! Do you have any consideration at all for my feelings? This is a happy night for me and you’ve ruined it!”

“RUINED IT? You ruined it when you decided to go with that - that-that bafoon!”

“Oh stop acting like this has anything to do with Victor, you just don’t like the idea of me having a nice time with a boy from another school! It could have been anyone and you wouldn’t have like it!”

“No, I don’t like it!” Ron yelled, “You should be loyal to Hogwarts! To Gryffindor even!”
Hermione’s hair was all in her face a that point, she was close to tears. “Well if you don’t like it, then you know what the solution is, don’t you?” (GOB page432)

Both Ron and Hermione didn’t notice the portrait hole opening and a somber Harry walking in. For the first time in a long while, I hadn’t even noticed he wasn’t there.

“Oh yeah? What’s that?” countered Ron crossing his arms defiantly.

“Next time there’s a ball, ask me before someone else does, and not as a last resort!”

My mouth dropped open. Harry’s eyes went wide and Ron’s arms dropped to his side. He was gobsmacked.

Hermione stormed off in perfect theatrical form. I followed her when I got my wits about me. She was officially my hero.

*****

Luna was fabulous at Divination. Not that is was surprising in the least. I had a feeling that Luna spent most of her free time trying to open her mind to the beyond. I knew Hermione hated the subject; Divination was the opposite of logic and facts, it was emotion and creativity and completely abstract. Trust me to have best friends that were completely opposite. I was smack in the middle. It wasn't that I opposed the idea that we could predict the future or read auras, after all we were magical beings. It was just that I wasn't ready to put all my faith in a subject that was not extremely...reliable.

Professor Trelawney was as eccentric as the subject she taught. Third years began their journey into the word of the beyond- whatever that meant. I was doing alright in the class I supposed, I had yet to create a prophecy or see much more than clouds of smoke in my crystal ball, but my marks were okay and I had yet to fall asleep. Something my brother repeatedly did, according to Neville.

But it was around February that Trelawney took notice of me.

Sitting next to Luna made the class much more interesting, I thought, listening to Luna describe the
scenes inside her ball.

"And there's the door, the door I always see, It's protecting something that is of true importance. Although, I don't think what it's concealing is important to me."

"Then why do you see it in your future, Looney?"

I turned to glare at Bullocks Pullocks, daring him to speak again. He swallowed and stayed silent.

"Go on, dear," said Trelawney, who was basically eye-glass to crystal ball beside Luna, utterly intrigued in what my friend was telling her.

Luna tilted her head. "There’s much fear, and...and darkness."

I almost laughed when Trelawney’s eyes widened; she ate this stuff up.

"This door, Miss. Lovegood, where is it?"

"I can't exactly tell. But something in my gut is saying it’s in London."

"Maybe it's the door to your future home? Or a future job?" I suggested.

"Oh yes!" trilled Trelawney, "That's the spirit dear! Keeping your mind open to all possibilities, critical thinking and positivity are great assets in Divination."

I wanted to say that they were important assets in basically all factors of life, but just smiled instead.

Trelawney moved toward me, as it was my turn to share, but as she got close she took a step back and placed a hand over her heart.

"Oh my!"

I wondered briefly if I smelled.

"Miss. Weasley, I-" she said reaching out to touch me on the shoulder, keeping her body as far as she could. "I sense that you...are deeply conflicted. There’s something bothering you dear, something weighing on your mind?”

I had a potions essay due that I hadn’t started.

Michael Corner kept staring at me in the Great Hall.

The second task was coming up.

There were many things weighing on my ind. And I was sure none of it had to do with the fact that I wasn’t supposed to be thinking about Harry Potter at all.

"Tell, me, what do you see?" she said motioning to the ball in front of me. Placing her hand on my shoulder I felt an instant rush of adrenaline. Suddenly, my worry felt as though it was washing off of me and into the crystal ball. Suddenly, the cloud in the ball began to take form.

I gasped.

"Yes, dear yes, release all your tension and let it materialize in front of you, concentrate on it, feel it!"

It was the first time any of this was actually working for me. I could feel the curious stares, but I didn't care, I was watching the image of a face, or well, it looked like a face at first and then as it became clearer the face had no nose, but unmistakable red snake-like eyes-

"Stop!" Trelawny pulled her hand away.

I jumped up immediately cutting off what I had been doing. The blurry image faded away.

"Class is dismissed for the day."

Professor Trelawney moved to her desk and without needing an explanation, the entire class rushed out of the room.

"Are you alright, Professor?" asked Luna standing up.

I stayed where I was, trying to will the image to come back to the ball. I wasn't having much luck.

"Yes-I-Well-" Trelawny took a sip of some sort of tea she had at her desk.

"What was is you saw, Ginny?"

I looked up at Luna, "I can't really tell, it wasn't quite formed but it seemed like a...man with...red eyes?" Trelawney's teacup trembled in her hands.

"I am sorry about that Miss. Weasley, That was my fault, I keep seeing the same face as well, when I placed my hand on your shoulder I must have affected your vision. It was careless of me, pay no mind to it."

I stood. "But it was my crystal ball, it was my energy."

Trelawny took another sip of tea as to not answer my question.

"You say you've seen it before, do you know who it is?"

"You ladies must be going now, you'll be late for your next class.

"You've let us out 20 minutes early Professor," noted Luna.

She shook her head and let out a strangled laugh, "Yes well-" she stopped mid-sentence and ran into her private office.

I shook my head, "Luna, I think she's officially lost it."

Luna looked pensive. Then quickly, she picked up my crystal ball, "Lets go!" she said skipping form the room. "Luna, you can't do that! That's stealing!' I whisper-shouted, following her into the hallway.

"Not really, it is your crystal ball, it just stays in divination for safe keeping."

I couldn't' really argue with her logic.

"But, what are we going to do with it?"

"We are going to try and see if we can find what made Professor Trelawney so frightened."

"But I'm rubbish at this stuff, and we only saw that because Trelawny helped -"

Luna paused and gave me the bluest sparkling gaze she'd ever had, "I think, the Professor might have been making that up. Crystal gazing is a very personal act."

That's what I was afraid off, "But Luna," I dropped my voice low again. "What if...we see something that has to do with the chamber, and... Tom?"

"That's in your past Ginny. We are looking to your future."

We ran up to the library, quietly sneaking past Madam Pince the librarian without her noticing us. We sat on the ground in the back, one row away from the restricted aisle where no one really lingered.

“I don’t think this is going to work again,” I said taking the crystal ball from Luna’s hands.

“Not if you remain negative.”

I nodded and closed my eyes, letting everything leave my mind and focus on relaxing and letting my energy flow into the glass. I sat there for several minutes not sure anything was happening. I opened one eye and peered down, the cloud was begging to take shape again, just as it had in the classroom.

Luna smiled.

A pink blob appeared, and slowly, it became clearer until I could make out a short stubby woman lecturing a class.

“What is it?” Luna asked trying to get a look see.

“I’m not sure...it looks like….it looks like the Defense Against the Dark Arts Class.” Upon closer inspection I confirmed it was the DADA room and I could see in the front of the class on the Professor's desk were feminine knick-knacks and a plaque reading Professor Umbridge.

“What else do you see?”

I moved my focus from the lady and noticed the back of Colin’s head, it was my perspective I was seated behind him, in front of me on my desk a textbook called, Defensive Magical Theory: Year 4.

“It’s next year, I see next year’s class of Defense Against the Dark Arts. It’s a different Professor.”
Luna gazed at me, I assumed she was expecting more detail. “I guess Moody won’t be around much longer. It’s so strange, we’ve had a different Defense Teacher every year we’ve been here.”

“It could be a side job of the Roftgang Conspiracy. All I've read points to their sole purpose to be the downfall of the Ministry of Magic, but I suppose getting it’s influences on the education department is effective as well. Perhaps they’ve decided to take down one professor at a time.”

I shook my head, “I doubt that Luna, but perhaps it is a conspiracy of another sort. Isn’t there a rumor going that Snape wants the DADA spot? Percy told he he’s been after it for years. He might just be sabotaging the professors.”

Luna considered for a moment then said, “I think the Roftgang makes more sense.”

I chuckled. “Well, at least I did it. I can see the future!” I said in a my best Trelawny impression.

“So this new Professor has red eyes?”

My mood sagged a little as I realized she made a good point. “No. No she doesn’t. It's not the same vision.”

“I supposed it was rather naive to think you’d see the same thing again, there’s an infinite amount of moments in your future.”

“Yeah….but…. Trelawny seemed really scared. I wish…” It alarmed me that something in my future would frighten my professor so much. “Nevermind. Both are unrelated to each other.” I said standing up and taking the crystal ball with me.

Luna followed suit, “I wonder what Professor Moody is going to do.”

“What do you mean?”

“I wonder what Professor Moody is going to do to get sacked, it’s January already, whatever is going to happen must happen soon.”

Outside the library the corridor was filling with students as classes were dismissed, so I had to whisper back, “We’ll just have to watch him very closely then.”

****
Watching Professor Moody was a funny concept, considering his wandering eye watched everything and anything at all times. I could barely hiccup without him noticing. He was so unsettling that my instinct was to do anything in my power to avoid him outside of class. But I knew there was something off about the man, besides the obvious. For all I knew the reason he would return the following year was simply because he did not want to. Perhaps he’d fall ill. But my gut was telling me something wasn’t right.

So I kept my own wandering eye out.

Before I knew, it it was the morning of the second task and I was distinctly much less nervous than I was for the first task.

“Wonder if Harry ever figured out the clue last night, poor bloke.”

“Yeah he looked outright defeated.”

I served myself some biscuits and gravy listening to the twins but not commenting. All of Gryffindor saw Harry last night pouring over texts books until far late into the evening. We all assumed it had to do with the task.

“I thought it odd that Ron and Hermione weren’t helping him,” said Colin across from me.

“Well, they were until McGonagall called them to her office,” said Fred.

Lavender Brown, “Hermione never came to bed last night, so I assume that when she returned she helped him.”

“Yeah, Ron and Harry never showed up to the dormitory last night either,” said Dean. “Must mean they all stayed up all night figuring it out.”

“Must have been a doozy,” said Dennis Creevey.

Just then an interruption in the form of a Blonde Beauxbaton appeared, “H’ve any of you seen my seester?” Fleur Delacour asked to our table in general.

The boys shook their heads with blank faces. I think I saw some drool out of Varnie’s mouth.

“I haven't, Fleur,” said Pavarti who was probably on a first name basis with her after they sat together at the Champion's table during the Yule ball. “Is she missing?”

“No- I’m sure- eet iz, non- what I mean to say iz- I just do not want her to miss ze event iz all.” It was the first time I had seen her look like a normal human being. Her stumbled words broke her facade, the boys stopped drooling. Fleur walked away, most likely to the tournament.

“Anyway,” said Lavender obviously drawing the attention away from Miss. Delacour, “You’d think they’d show up to breakfast wouldn’t you, Harry’s not daft enough to think he can compete on an empty stomach?” asked Lavender.

We all looked around. There was no Harry, Ron or Hermione. I looked up to the head table. There was a grim mood among the Professors.

Moody looked excited.

We were waiting until the last moment to leave for the tournament. No one had to say anything but I knew everyone was itching to know if the Gryffindor Champion was up to this task.

“Well he’s not showing up. Let’s go,” said Fred.

As we exited the Great Hall a speeding Harry Potter ran past, a blur of robes and even messier hair than usual. He pushed through us, knocking Colin and Dennis down in his wake.

“Well there’s our champion.”

Lavender pursed her lips, “It looks like he just woke up, you’d think he could at least brush his hair.”

“I didn’t see Ron or Hermione anywhere, do you?” I asked Dean.

He shook his head.

“So where are they?”

No one had an answer.

We hustled to the Black Lake where the second round of the competition was taking place. It was more ominous looking than ever. The water stretched on for what seemed like ever until it hit the distant mountains. The morning mist above the water was taking longer to clear since the sun was hidden behind the February clouds. It was obvious the water was freezing.

“Well, all of our champions are ready for the second task, which will start on my whistle. They have precisely one hour to recover what has been taken from them,” (GOF page 493) said the booming voice of the tournament judge Ludo Bagman. On the whistle, Krum, Fleur and Cedric dove into the water. Harry was still taking off his shoes. Had he really over slept? Why wouldn’t Hermione have made him go to bed last night, and where was she to make sure he was on time this morning?

Where was Hermione now?

“To recover what has been taken from them.” Bagman had said.

Harry was stating to wade in the water, I felt awful for him: that water looked deathly. I only hoped he had a plan. Fred and George were cheering him on, as well as all our friends around us. But the Slytherins were making fun.

Let’s go, Harry, I thought.

“Wonder what they are supposed to find. Think they’ve got his Firebolt?” Seamus was yelling.

“Ten sickles it’s his invisibility cloak!” called George.

“Why would they go out of their way to hide those things underwater?” asked Dennis.

Harry finally dove into the water, and the four champions were all beneath the surface, surviving somehow without being able to breath.

“Yeah! 15 sickles it’s his owl!” replied Fred.

My eyes widened in recognition.

I looked around making sure I hadn’t just missed Hermione or Ron. “What did McGonagall want with Ron and Hermione, Fred, George,? Did she say?”

“Nope, she just looked really upset. Wonder if they got in trouble.”

Or maybe…. There were in trouble. Now.

“Luna!” I called her from the row behind me, she looked at me quizzically, “Have you seen Cho Chang?!”

“Actually, she’s been missing all morning, a few Ravenclaw girls are actually-”

I didn’t even bother letting her finish.

“It’s them!” I called to everyone.

“Who?”

“What?”

The crowds around us were still cheering even though there was nothing to see. The countdown clock was ticking.

“It’s THEM! Hermione, Ron, Cho Chang, Gabrielle Delacour, they are in the water. The champions have to retrieve them!” My heart was pounding as all of a sudden the tournament got very real again.

Fred and George paled.

“What- what happens if the timer runs out and they...they don’t get to them?”

“I - don’t know.”

Lavender’s mouth parted a little in shock. The cheering started dying down. All there was to do was wait.


“Time’s getting tight,” said George.

“You’d think at least one of them would be back by now,” agreed Fred.

There were five minutes left. “Come on, Harry,” I muttered under my breath.

A commotion down at the Professors stand broke out, there was yelling and bustling and suddenly Madam Maxime waved her wand and mere seconds later, a sputtering Fleur Delacour was emerging from the water. The moment she did, several pairs of hands grabbed her and pulled her out of the lake; she was screaming and hollering. I couldn’t make out what she was saying but it probably had to do with the fact that her sister was nowhere to be seen.

As they consoled Fleur, a loud timer went off. The hour mark had past.

Not knowing what this meant for by brother and Hermione, and Harry for that matter my heart began beating wildly. “Where are they?!”

Before I could work myself into an outright panic two head sprung up from out of the water. “It’s Cedric!” Roared Ernie McMillan. Cedric tugging a soaking Cho Chang along was the first to emerge, clenching the win.

“Damn,” said the twins together.

Krum was next to arrive with Hermione in tow.

Of course Harry would be last. Of course!

The only people remaining in the water were Harry Ron...and Fleur’s sister. Two hostages. One Harry.

I quickly did the math.

“20 SICKLES HARRY COMES BACK WITH RON AND GABRIELLE DELACOUR!” I shouted.

Seamus laughed, “Yeah right, not even Potter’s that stupid, he won’t waste that time. He was the last one in the water, he’s just the last one out.”

Dean shook his head, “Yeah, there’s no way any of the Professors would let anything happen to the students down there, it's definitely under their control, look at how they pulled Fleur out!”

“Yeah, and Cedric and Krum came back after the hour and they were fine. Harry’s not stupid to think that they’re actually in danger,” said Lavender.

“So then take the bet,” I said.

Dean smirked, “Fine. Easiest money I’ve ever made.” We shook hands.

When Harry finally emerged from the water, with two bobbing heads beside him no less, I felt a weight lift off my shoulders.

“IDIOT!” yelled Dean.

But Harry actually wasn’t. When it was time to score the champions, we learned that Fleur had been attacked by underwater creatures and had to be rescued, giving her the lowest marks. Harry used the most effective way to travel underwater using Gillyweed, a substance that had him grow gills and webbed hands and feet. Because apparently Harry was the first to arrive at the hostages and was so determined to bring back as many people he could, the judges awarded him almost full points. Harry came in second.

Not bad for a fourth year.

“Easiest money I’ve ever made,” I said, putting my hand out to Dean. The twins cackled.
Dean shook his head and rummaged through his pockets, “How did you know?”

I shrugged, “He’s Harry Potter. He’s got a hero complex.”

Dean dropped the money in my hands, “Well played, Weasley. Well played.”

****

“Any of you have any ideas about what his little projects were? What sort of experiments he’d managed to concoct that would have him banished from a school notorious for teaching the Dark Arts?”

He was too impassioned for my liking. Moody. There was a sparkle in his eye that just...wasn’t right for one to have when lecturing about such things.

Maurine fidgeted nervously. The class was tense; even the Slytherins seemed strangely uncomfortable.

“No one with an unorthodox imagination, eh?” challenged Moody with a low snarl.

The class remained still and silent.

“Gellert Grindelwald was unlike any in his league, he had a thirst for power and a cause. Even after he was expelled from Durmstrang, he only became more determined. His main goal, to destroy the statue of secrecy of the Wizarding World was one that was highly supported by many….even some law abiding wizards who didn’t defend the Dark Arts.” Moody smirked, “Hard to believe someone like that could wield enough power to have rational people agreeing with him too, eh?”

I wanted to leave. I understood that it made sense as part of our Defense Against the Dark Arts curriculum to include the history of the dark arts but….Moody seemed to be preaching. Not teaching. He had yet to denounce a single thing Gellert Grindelwald ever did.

I thought that as an Auror he’d hate the Dark Arts.

“It only made sense that after his downfall someone else would want to take his place...someone even stronger and… much more…. Inventive.”

“You mean You-Know-Who?” said Henry Hiplume, a Slytherin, from the back of the room.

Mad-Eye Moody’s entire demeanor changed, a visible shiver went down his spine and he licked his lips with a gleaming eye. “The one and only.” He began to limp his way through the desks slowly, each drop of his wooden leg making a clatter on the ground. The hairs on the back of my neck stood. “I’m sure you’ve all heard the rumors: that he’s still out there. Waiting. Getting stronger. I’m sure you’ve all heard the stories of what he’s done. The only question that remains is….if he returns….will it be like last time, or will he succeed?

“The annihilation of muggles and muggleborns, the totalitarianism of pure blooded wizards,” he continued, “Will the Dark Lord fulfill that dream? Will he take the teachings from Gellert Grindelwald, the idea of immortality and absolute power, and go further with it to where the ideal as originally supposed to reach? Creevey?”

Moody stopped at Colin’s desk before me, leering down on him. It was clear that Colin was edging away from him. “Do you think he’ll succeed?”

“I- N-No,” said Colin.

“Hmm.” Moody got into Colin’s personal space, looking straightening into his eyes. “Straight answer ehh? Rather naive thinking. You best be prepared for the worst Creevey. Be prepared for both outcomes.”

“I- I was under the impression that You-Know-Who was dead...Harry Potter-”

“Do you ever feel the eyes of a person who’s not there watching you Creevey? Do you ever feel the hairs on your neck stand and the quiver in your stomach when you’re alone in the dark?” He looked for the answer in Colin’s eyes until he found it, “Yes- that- that is the feeling of dark magic in the air Creevey. It’s everywhere. Always be on guard, never rest easy that the Dark Lord isn’t out there.”

He slowly stood straighter giving Colin room to breathe, even though I felt like there was no air left in the room to inhale. “Now, the purification of the wizard line is an age old idea of only having the strongest of magic in its purest form running in the veins of every wizard,” He lectured, “No interbreeding, no mixing of the lines, no half-bloods, no muggleborns-”

“But You-Know-Who was a half-blood.” I said out loud. I still to this day don’t understand why I spoke out. It was a compulsion in me that made me say what I knew.

My cheeks reddened as soon as the words left my lips. Mad-Eye, who was standing only a few steps away swooped in and banged his palm against my desk.

“Think you know something, Weasley- DO YOU!?” His outburst was met with several gasps and I nearly jumped out of my skin. “The Dark Lord- a Half-Blood! That’s a laugh!” His tortured face twisted into something utterly unrecognizable, he looked like a different person.

I knew I was right however, and I didn’t want people to make Riddle out to be anything other than what he was. “H-his father was a muggle. Tom Riddle. You-Know-Who was named after him.”

I felt questioning eyes from all around me. “And how would happen to know that, Weasley?” he growled.

I looked to my left and Luna was staring at me encouragingly, but I wasn’t going to be honest. No way. “Harry-he told me.”

The rest of the class bought the excuse but Moody’s magical eye was looking right through me. “Potter told you-ehh?” he said his voice lowering slightly. The eye contact was terrifying. “Haven’t been writing in any diaries lately, have you, Weasley?”

The final bell of the day drowned out his last words but I heard them. The class rushed out of the room and Moody limped away with a last warning look. I sat frozen for a second before grabbing my items and running out, practically hyperventilating.

What was I going to do? How did he know? Who told him? Was he going to tell everyone, why did he sound so menacing? Why didn’t I feel safe? The corridors were emptying as everyone headed to dinner and I leaned against the wall, clutching my books to my chest trying to relax.

Obviously it must have been Dumbledore, they were good friends from what I knew. That still didn’t explain why he would throw it in my face and become so hostile.

Instantly I decided I wasn’t going to worry about Mad-Eye Moody anymore, I was going to let what was going to happen, happen. He wasn’t going to be around much longer anyway. Dumbledore would see it and all I had to do was wait. I wasn’t going to risk everyone knowing my secret.

“Have you seen this!?”

I looked up, Hermione was bounding toward me waving a copy of the Daily Prophet in the air.

“What is it?” I said shaking my thoughts of Moody entirely.

“See for yourself!” Hermione thrusted the paper in my hands and it only took a moment to realize what had her in a state. Rita Skeeter had written an article.

How she had the gall to write utter lies was baffling to me. “Miss. Granger a plain but ambitious girl, seems to have a taste for famous wizards that Harry alone cannot satisfy,” she wrote, “Since the arrival at Hogwarts of Viktor Krum…. Granger has been toying with both boys affections.” According to Rita Skeeter, Hermione was having her long term boyfriend Harry Potter on and breaking his heart by having a torrid affair with Viktor Krum. It was almost funny, actually.

“I wish I could say people don't read this rubbish Hermione,” I sighed, giving back the paper. “What are you going to do?”

Hermione ripped up the paper, “I’ll think of something. I can’t let her keep getting away with these…. preposterous lies! I only wish there was an easy way to- to-”

“Squash her like a bug?”

“Exactly.”

“Well. For now, all you can do is act as though it doesn’t bother you, the Slytherin’s will get bored when they see that they can’t get a rise out of you, It’ll blow over.”

“I know; I’m trying to act as though it’s not bothering me. I even told Ron and Harry that I thought Rita could do better than that. But…” Hermione watched her shoes, “What about everyone else outside of the school? It’s a national paper, Ginny. I’m not just worried about students; people everywhere are reading this.”

She was right. But this problem was over my head and I didn’t have an answer for her. “How about we go get some dinner for now; I’m sure you’ll think of something.”

Hermione nodded, banishing the scraps of paper with a simple charm. “I just wish everything wasn’t such a challenge. I wonder if maybe next year when this whole tournament is over we’ll have a normal year.”

“Maybe.”

“I’m fifteen. I don’t want to have to worry about the press calling me a scarlet woman,” Hermione’s voice was small and unsure. I tangled my arm with hers empathetically. Hermione rarely let her insecure side show. This was obviously shaking her to her core. “I can’t even imagine how Harry must feel- all the time.”

“Probably like this.”

Her brown eyes turned on me, “He doesn't let it show.”

“Cause he’s Harry, he’s been trained to keep it all inside. The muggles never cared for him; he’s used to dealing with his emotions by himself.”

Hermione nodded sadly, her curly hair falling into her face- a stark contrast from the night of the Yule Ball. She looked younger now, “Are you sure you’re only 13, Ginny?”

“Not sure of much about anything really. But I’m starting to realize that it’s okay. We don’t have to know everything Hermione.”

“Self-awareness is actually the highest form of intelligence, you know. Knowing you don’t know everything and understanding yourself… it’s the true sign of maturity.”

I rolled my eyes, “Too heavy Hermione, let’s go eat.”

She laughed, “Why so rushed? Is it the Weasley appetite, or are you hoping to sneak looks at the Ravenclaw table again?”

I blushed and shoved her a bit, “I don’t!”

“You sure do! You best be careful; if I notice you doing it, Corner must notice too!”

“Hermione!”

We both broke into a fit of giggles.



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Chapter 13: The Unforgivable Dread

Entry 12
The Unforgivable Dread
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire



“All the pain and the truth
I wear like a battle wound
So ashamed, so confused
I was broken and bruised
Now I'm a warrior, Now I've got thicker skin
I'm a warrior, I'm stronger than I've ever been
And my armor, is made of steel, you can't get in
I'm a warrior
And you can never hurt me again…”
-Warrior, Demi Lovato

Molly is there for final task

Up to this point, my story hasn’t seemed like much more than a tragic love story between a little girl and oblivious boy. Up to this point, the only villain, the only enemy has been a mere memory of a boy called Tom Riddle, and up to this point nothing of extreme significance has happened on a worldly scale. My story has just been about me. All of that is about to change.

I’m sure you had already started to foresee an ending of an older girl and handsome boy riding off into a typical sunset.

You couldn’t be more wrong.

This story, my story is a whole lot more.

But until the end of my third year, I ignored the darkness lurking around the edges.


“It’s pretty interesting, isn’t it?”

“What is?”

“The third task. A maze. It’s rather ironic.”

Hermione and I stared at Luna.

“Why is it ironic?” I asked her.

“Well the champions now must look for way to get out of a challenge that they willingly took in the first place. They got themselves into this mess, and now they have to get themselves out,” she explained, staring blankly at our confused faces.

“I’m sorry, I’m Hermione Granger,” said a confused Hermione, “And you are?”

“Luna Lovegood.”

“Nice to meet you, err… Luna, but I must disagree. The maze is a test of stamina and survival skills, not tedious problem solving.”

“Aren’t they the same thing?”

I interjected here, because I knew Hermione didn’t like to be corrected, “Luna is one of my closest friends, Hermione. We’ve known each other since we were little.”

It was an interesting match. I didn’t think you could find a more different characters. Hermione was brilliant with logic and facts, Luna was more open minded and theoretical. Luna believed in anything she couldn’t see and Hermione was studied in real and not real. The match was not made in heaven but over time the two would form a friendship.

We were in the stands of the arena where the final task was taking place. Before us, a vast, lush maze stretched out past the horizon. I wasn’t nervous for this task since Harry had more than proved himself capable and a maze didn’t seem all that daunting.

The crowd began singing and cheering when the champions emerged from their tents. It was obvious that this was a proud moment for each of them: The Finale. No one seemed prouder then Cedric’s father who entered with him. It was nice to see them together again, I remembered our encounter at the Quidditch World Cup over the summer. Mr. Diggory was a very nice man and seemed to truly love his son. Cedric for his part was rather nice too. He always acknowledged my existence despite his seventh year-champion-ultra-popular-gorgeous-face status.

Harry smiled tentatively and sent a subtle wave towards the crowd. I thought he looked better than Cedric.

“He doesn’t seem so young compared to the others anymore,” said Luna.

“I guess it’s cause he’s proven he can compete on his own,” I replied. “And faring better than some,” I added, stealing a glance at Fleur Delacour throwing kisses at the crowd. Gross. Through the corner of my eye, I noticed Hermione elbowing my drooling brother.

Within a few minutes, the champions were sent off and the moment each stepped into a different entrance of the maze, the bushes magically closed behind them, indefinitely concealing them from the crowd’s view. If anyone had known what was about to transpire we would have clawed through the leaves and wretched the four of them back.


*****


Time was spent socializing, playing exploding snap and in Fred and George’s case, gambling.

“I wonder how long they’ll be in there,” said Ron after about an hour.

“The maze goes on for miles, they could be in there all night,” I replied.

“I for one do not pity them,” quipped Michael corner from the stand above us.

I smiled, “Are you not interested in eternal glory?”

Michael flashed an attractive smirk, “Not as interested as Harry Potter seems to be.”

“You really think he put his name into the Goblet of Fire?”

“Well how else would he have been chosen?”

“Someone else must have done it.”

Michael shook his head, “Look he is your friend so I won’t argue with you, but it is highly unlikely.”

I didn’t really like his response but at least it wasn’t as damaging to Harry as other comments flying about had been.

“You look nice without a ball gown too, by the way.”

I blushed and returned my attention to Hermione Ron and Luna.

Another hour crept by and I could tell people were becoming restless. As for me, at the hour and a half mark I was starting to get a stomach ache.

“Are you all right, you look like you’ve eaten something foul,” questioned Hermione.

“I’m fine.” But as the night worn on my stomach ache grew stronger. Eventually, not wanting to leave to lie down, I decided upon sitting and hugging my knees to my chest as Luna sat beside me keeping me company.

“Something bad is going to happen, isn’t it?”

I looked up at her, “What?”

“Your stomach ache isn’t an upset tummy is it? Its dread isn’t it?”

I waved her off, “Luna don’t start making up wild theories, I’m not in the mood.”

Luna’s response was cut off by red sparks shooting up into the air from deep within the maze and a piercing scream.

“AHHHHH!!!!” It was Fleur’s voice, “AHHHHHHH!!”

The screeching brought silence to the crowd and the professors sprang into action ready to retract the competitor from the maze. Within a few seconds she appeared held within the arms of her schools’ headmistress. She was shaking like mad and struggling against everyone around her.

“Give her space!” cried Madam Pomfrey. Fleur, who had yet to stop screaming, looked utterly horrifying. Scrapes and bruises covered her skin and her expression had yet to ease from shock.

My stomach ache only got worse.

It took some time, but finally Madam Pomfrey was able to calm Fleur with a handy drought.

“What the hell is going on it there?” wondered Ron.

“I haven’t a clue,” I heard Hermione tell him.

The crowd soon was back to its excited chatter, but I was still uneased by Luna’s comment. “There’s no way anyone is truly going to get injured right? It’s just a maze. Fleur must have just been frightened.”

“When they discontinued the tournament in the late 1790s it was because of the high death toll,” said Hermione. “I read an article in the Daily Prophet that stated they reinstated the tournament this year under the conditions that the students’ safety was the main priority and that there would be no room for fatalities.”

“Do you believe it?”

Hermione’s grim expression did nothing to make me feel better.

Another burst of sparks erupted in the sky further away than Fleur’s had. When Victor Krum made his entrance, he was violently thrashing and pushing anyone in arms reach. His demonic demeanor alerted the administrators and suddenly the mood began shifting from confused excitement to utter bewilderment when he almost bit McGonagall’s hand off.

“And you like that guy, Hermione. I see that’s your type.”

Hermione’s usual retort would have been a punch on the arm but when I looked over, she wasn’t even paying attention to Ron, she was intently watching Krum.

“He’s gone mad!” Seamus Finnigan shouted out.

“What is in that thing?” Lavender Brown asked beside him.

Luna was the one who answered her, “Plenty of beasts and obstacles, I’m sure, but that has nothing to do with Krum. Didn’t you hear what Dumbledore said right before the champions entered? That they might lose themselves along the way. He wasn’t speaking about sense of direction. Krum is not himself at the moment…as though he’s under some bewitchment-”

“The imperious,” whispered Hermione still staring at Krum.

“Hermione, have you lost it?” Ron looked around to make sure no one had heard her and lowered his voice, “Who would have put Victor Krum under and unforgivable?”

“What’s an imperious?” I asked staring to feel nauseous.

“I’m positive Ron, after Moody’s lesson I did more research. I looked into the signs and how to tell- Victor’s eyes…they aren’t…. It isn’t him!”

“She’s right, you know,” said Luna.

“And who are you?” apparently Ron had just noticed there was someone standing beside me for the past two hours.

“Can someone please tell me what’s wrong?” I pleaded feeling a headache forming.

“Victor Krum is being controlled by someone else.”

“What?”

Before I could get an answer, Ludo Bagman, the Head of the Department of Magical Games and Sports announced that Victor Krum, who was restrained and whisked away, and Fleur Delacour were disqualified from the tournament.

The crowd around us began cheering like mad realizing that since there was only Cedric and Harry left it in the Maze, it was an automatic win for Hogwarts.

“Something’s wrong,” murmured Hermione, I was straining to hear her as everything was becoming fuzzy. “I have to tell a professor; I need to get to Dumbledore.” She began pushing people out of the way.

“Luna,” I gasped grabbing her arm.

“Ginny?” she cried over the crowd.

Ron grabbed Hermione tried to pull her back, “Hermione you can’t go down there now, look at the professors, they already know something is wrong!”

“Let go, Ron, we are all in danger!” she cried tugging against him, “I’ve told you since the beginning of the year, someone put Harry’s name in the Goblet of Fire- someone is out to get him! They’ve stunned Fleur- they’ve imperioused Victor!”

A splitting pain seared in my brain.

“And I can only guess who will be pulled out of the maze next and he won’t have a lightning bolt on his forehead! Someone wants Harry to win desperately- he’s need us!”

“Ahh!!” I yelled losing my grip on Luna’s arm and falling to my knees.

“Ginny!”

The pain was white hot, it was blinding. My head pounded and my heart raced. Ron and Hermione were at my side at once while everyone continued celebrating.

“What happened!?”

“She just collapsed!”

Something bad was taking place, and suddenly I knew Hermione and Luna had been right all along: Harry was in danger.

“I’ve missed you, Ginevra,” whispered a voice in my head.

“Ginny can you hear us!?”

“Somebody go get help!”

“It has been so long…”

My blood ran cold, I heard it pulsing in my ears.

“Don’t worry, we’ll meet again soon.”

“No,” I muttered out loud. “No.”

I tried to focus on something real, something in front of me: Luna’s face- her pale blue eyes. I felt scared, I felt dark…dirty. I looked past the faces of my worried friends, through the crowd and met eyes with a far off Dumbledore who, coincidently, was string right at me. His eyes were filled with sorrow.

“Oh yes, dear Ginny…” the snake said, “I’m back.”

“NO!” Slamming back into reality, the pain disappeared. But the dread, the dread remained.

“What’s happened?”

“Ginny! Talk to us!”

I met eyes with a teary Hermione. She looked just as terrified as I felt. Tom’s voice had made sense after the chamber…but now? Nothing had led me to think about that time in my life… so why?

Unless…

No. It wasn’t possible.

Was it?

“Ginny, answer me!”

“Miss. Weasley, are you alright?” The new voice startled us. A preoccupied Professor McGonagall stood between the bustling students. “What is the commotion?”

“She just collapsed, Ma’am.”

“She’d been feeling sick all night,” added Luna.

“Is this true, Weasley?”

I nodded.

“I see,” Professor looked back to where the other teachers were obviously eager to return. “Can you stand Miss. Weasley?”

Ron helped me up and kept one arm around me. “Let’s get her down to Madam Pomfrey,” she said. “I’m sure the excitement got to you; have you eaten today? In this heat…”

Followed by Hermione and Luna, we made our way down to the base of the arena but I knew Madam Pomfrey couldn’t fix this dizzy spell.

“I need to speak with Professor Dumbledore.” I didn’t know where the courage to speak came from but everyone heard me.

“I’m afraid he is occupied with the tournament at the moment.”

“He’ll see me,” I said, “Please, Professor.”

“Miss. Weasley-”

“Something terrible’s happened! I need to see the headmaster, it’s urgent!”

“Mr. Weasley, please help your sister to Madam Pomfrey in the champion’s tent-”

“Professor I’m begging you!”

She casted a resigned look my way, “What’s happened then Ginevra?”

“I-”

A flash of light was followed by a roar of applause and cheers. The five of us turned to find that Harry and Cedric had appeared. Upon arrival, the Triwizard Cup tumbled out of their grasp and they’d fallen in a heap with Harry on top of Cedric. I smiled in relief.

But only for a moment.

The crowd cried out joyously oblivious to the fact that they hadn’t moved. Professor McGonagall left our side at once and hurried the rest of the way to the scene. Ron dropped his hold of me and sprinted after her, I followed suit.

Suddenly a tear stained Harry looked up- and Fleur screamed. It only took a few seconds for the whole crowd to jump up and start screaming out in horror. I couldn’t see anything as I tried to push through the last few people standing in my way; my heart was in my throat. When I got to where Ron had stopped by the railing of the first level, the professors were attempting to tear a hysterical Harry away from Cedric’s unresponsive body.

“Do you believe me now”?

“Why isn’t he moving?” a frozen Ron uttered beside me.

“Diggory’s dead!” (GOB page672) a voice shouted out.

“CEDRIC!” People screamed around me.

“NO! CEDRIC, NO!!!!!.”

I staggered backwards as though hit with a bludger.

Too consumed with Tom to pay any attention to the cries of agony from Cedric’s father, I pushed and shoved my way through the audience trying to follow Harry as he was being led away by Moody. But they were too far to hear; they were retreating too fast for me to follow. Quickly, I performed a new charm Fred had taught me the twins had created for a new product called Extendable Ears that would allow me to listen to someone far away.

“…Portkey,” (Gob page 673) said Harry as they Mad-Eye Moody ushered him out of sight, “Graveyard… Voldemort … Lord Voldemort.”

“Do you believe him?”

The spell cut off when they were no longer in sight, or I was just too inexperienced to make it work, but I was left leaning again the railing off to the side of the stands… alone and utterly terrified.

“You’re not alone, Ginevra,” he said, “But you aren’t going to tell anyone are you? No, you’ll want to keep me a nice warm secret.”

It was then that I ran off the stands to the nearby bushes and lost my dinner.



****


Hours later, I was in my dormitory bed, listening to sniffles and soft crying sounds. My roommates, Eliza, Maurine and Varity had been utterly terrified when we returned to the dorm as was the rest of the Gryffindor common room. A shadow had crept into our lives in a matter of hours. Conspiracy theories and crazy accusations had already emerged since the scene down at the arena. People saying that Harry had claimed Voldemort was back the moment he appeared in the arena. People said he was crazy. That he must have been poisoned or cursed into seeing hallucinations. So many questions were buzzing about but no answers.

I stayed away from all the chatter. I stayed in my bed, wishing my mother could be with me, or at least Hermione to keep my company, but I knew they were in the hospital wing with Harry. My mother and Bill had been at Hogwarts to represent Harry and were with him now, but I couldn't be there. I was sent away. Again. I had made Ron promise not to tell my mother anything about what had happened to me down at the pitch and I only hoped he kept his promise. I didn't need my mothering scared or worried. I just needed answers. But a hug from mum would've have been nice too.

Cedric’s body was in some secure area of the castle, as to not cause a crowd in the hospital wing.
It was a little past midnight when a pop sounded at my bedside. I shrieked, a small house-elf with huge eyes and huge ears was staring up at me. My roommates tore aside their bed curtains with wands drawn.

“It’s alright! Dobby did not mean to scare yous missuses. He only has a letter to present to Missy Weezey.”

Getting control of my heart rate, I said, “Dobby? As in the old Malfoy’s house-elf, the one who Harry freed and now works in the kitchens?”

“You know who is Dobby, Missy Weezey? Dobby is so honored! You is from a great family, you is!”

I smiled, he was actually pretty adorable, with his mismatched socks and Weasley sweater I learned my brother had given him. “Thank you Dobby, you said you had a letter for me?”

“Yes! Here it is, Madam McGonaglly asked me to give this to you,” he handed me a small note and then turned to my roommates, “I know you all is sad tonight, very sad indeedy, would yous like some Hot Chocolate?”

We all exchanged glances, “Yes, I think that would be wonderful, Dobby.” I said.

He snapped his fingers and instantly four cups of warm chocolate appeared on our side tables.

“Goodnights missuses!”

“Goodnight, Dobby,” whispered Maurine.

“Thank you, very much,” said Eliza.

Dobby looked so happy I thought he was about to cry, before he did, he dissaperated with a pop.

“What- what does it say?” Sniffed Eliza.

I read the note quickly, “Professor Dumbledore wants me in his office at 5am.”

“What in heavens for?” asked Varity.

“I don’t know,” I lied.

And that is how I found myself at 5am standing outside Professor Dumbledore’s office feeling particularly nervous.

“Bumbling Borcats,” I said to the statue of a Gargoyle as instructed by the note. I wasn’t sure what I was going to tell Dumbledore. Not that I wanted to listen to Tom, but keeping it a secret sounded appealing. I didn’t want anyone to know Tom was in my head again. Would people think he was inside me somehow? Was he? I didn’t even know myself.

I climbed up a winding staircase into a menagerie of interesting artifacts and what looked like prized possessions. I noticed the sorting hat snoring peacefully in a bookshelf, portraits of past Headmasters dotting the walls, they too were all snoring peacefully. Albus Dumbledore’s Office was as eccentric as he was. In the middle beside his enormous desk sat Fawkes the Phoenix on his perch. I smiled at him, and then noticed behind him, on the wall, the large sword with embedded rubies. The sword Harry used to save my life.

“Harry showed the same bravery last night as he did when he used Gryffindors’ sword.” I turned to find a weary Dumbledore had appeared beside Fawkes, stroking his feathers.

“Gryffindors’ sword….?”

“That sword was the sword of the late Godric Gryffindor, founder of Gryffindor house. I’m sure you were a bit preoccupied to ask just where Harry had gotten such a thing all that time ago.”

I shook my head, “No I- I suppose I never asked.”

“It only appears to a true Gryffindor when he needs it the most. Harry was able to pull it out of the Sorting Hat, because he indeed was a brave sole who was in dire need of it.”

The sun was beginning to peek over the mountains in the distance. The view from Dumbledore’s office was spectacular and the light began making all the odds and bits in the office sparkle.
I could tell Dumbledore hadn’t yet gone to bed. “I’m sure there are many things you have to attend to, Professor. If this is about my actions at the tournament I assure you I’m feeling much better.”

“That does not completely satisfy the questions I have.”

I looked down at my hands knowing I did not want to have this conversation. Funny how just a few hours ago I was doing anything in my power to speak with Dumbledore, now I wanted to run in the other direction. I took a seat in front of his desk.

“I know a tragedy when I see one, Miss. Weasley,” he said. “I’ve seen many in my life, and tonight was most tragic. But as intuitive as I seem, I am perplexed to find that not only didn’t I see, but I hadn’t the slightest inkling of what was going to transpire tonight. However, you did.”

McGonagall had told him.

Of course she would; of course they would find it alarming that I was screaming bloody murder right before an actual murder.

“Do not misunderstand me, I did assume that Mr. Potter competing in the tournament was a foreboding coincidence, but I had no idea to what scale.” He came closer, “I was hoping you could shed some light on what happened down at the maze.”

I swallowed thickly, wringing my hands together, “Well, Sir, I hadn’t eaten all day, you see-”

“Miss. Wesley,” he interrupted with an exhausted smile, “As much as I hate to pry into the personal lives of my students, there are a few who need help, and I will stop at nothing to help them so please spare me the lie, Ginevra.”

I blushed, “No professor, honestly I was completely fine.” Even I didn’t convince myself.

He sighed and went to sit at his desk. He looked dead level into my eyes and said, “I’m sorry to remind you that the last time you withheld important information, it almost cost you your life.”

I held his gaze realizing I wasn’t the same little girl I once was. I wasn’t going to be afraid anymore of what people would think. He was right. I wasn’t going to let this break me or wind me up into trouble. I could help.

“Don’t tell him, you were a fool to divulge me to that werewolf.”

If there was anything I had learned from my past, it was not to listen to Riddle. “You’re wrong,” I whispered.

“Pardon?”

If I wanted to be considered an adult, then I needed to start acting like one.

“He’s back. You —Know-Who… he’s back.”

Dumbledore looked oddly surprised. “Yes, he is.”

“You believe Harry?”

“I spent a great deal of time speaking with Mr. Potter tonight and he indeed informed me that the trophy in the maze was charmed to be a portkey that transported both he and Cedric Diggory to a cemetery outside the Riddle house. A lot of black magic was done to bring what was left of Tom Riddle to full power, and back to his own form.”

It was way too much information to digest in one sitting.

“How… but…” It was ridiculous to even try and believe what I was hearing. Yet I knew he was right. If You-Know- Who was really back in power, then it meant that people were going to die. People I loved. It meant a war was coming. “So HE killed Cedric?”

“Cedric Diggory was killed by the killing curse, Avada Kedavra, the third and most terrible of the Unforgivable Curses, the nurses have confirmed this. According to Harry he was killed by a death eater named Wormtail. So far, the tale Harry has told is being proven as true.”

A chill ran down my spine. I knew that name. Wormtail was a nick name for…. Peter Pettigrew. But…he was supposed to be dead. Sirius Black had killed him! Against my instincts I didn’t comment. There was a reason Dumbledore didn’t outright say Peter Pettigrew. If Peter was alive…. then that meant…. that meant that Sirius Black was…he would be- I was going to get to the bottom of all this if it killed me.

“So,” I said instead, “The whole tournament was a trap. Someone else truly did put Harry’s name in the Goblet of Fire?”

Dumbledore nodded, “His name was entered by the son of the Ministry Official Barty Crouch.”

“Crouch has a son?” Barty Crouch, Percy’s boss, his idol, involved in this mess? That must have been why he’d disappeared. “Why would he do that?”

“Barty Crouch Jr. was a Death Eater. He was disguised under polyjuice potion as Professor Alastor Moody.”

I stared blankly for a moment, running the words over in my head again and again thinking about Moody. It suddenly made sense. His strange obsession with dark lords, his creepy behavior….his comment to me in class. I should have reported him, perhaps Dumbledore would have realized…maybe. But then again…he had been able to fool Dumbledore for an entire year, he was a death eater! There was no way I would have known any better.

“Was Crouch Senior a part of it then?”

Dumbledore looked away, “We received a lot of information for Crouch Jr. tonight, unfortunately we had to use the influence of Veritaserum, a truth potion, to force him to confess. He confessed to many things, one being murdering his father earlier this year.”

Percy was going to have a stroke. Had everything gone utterly wonky?

“Professor, why are you telling me all this? Not that I object.”

“It is my belief that, if I expect you to be truthful to me, you deserve as much truth from myself.”

I nodded. Still reeling from the onslaught of information.

“And if I am being truthful, I am a fool Miss. Weasley. Alastor Moody was a good friend of mine and I failed to see that it was an imposter in his place.”

“I’m sure no one blames you, Professor.”

“But alas, all that matters is what you think of yourself and I know I am not perfect; remember that Miss. Weasley. Not one person has a clean slate, or a clear conscious, it is in our nature to make mistakes and be affected by influences out of our control. Thus, I would truly appreciate it if you would tell me how you knew Voldemort was back before Harry Potter returned with Cedric Diggory’s body, no matter how bad you may think it sounds.”

“I’m assuming Professor McGonagall told you that I wanted to speak to you right before they returned?”

Dumbledore shook his head. “More than that. Although Professor McGonagall did express to me how guilty she felt not believing you, I did see your face, Ginevra. I already knew that the challenge was not going to end merrily once Miss. Delacour and Mr. Krum arrived so dramatically. Your reaction confirmed for me that dark forces were at play. By obvious association, Voldemort came to mind.”

I thought about Lupin, and what he would tell me if he were here. He would want me to be open about my feelings, and be open about the darkness. ‘For an open door always lets some light in…’ he told me once.

“Did Professor Lupin inform you about our… sessions last year?”

Dumbledore’s knowing expression told me he knew where this conversation had led. “That is what I feared…” he said.

“You’re a stupid, stupid girl.”

The sharp comment cut through my mind, making me flinch.

“Miss. Weasley?”

“Lupin said Tom’s voice was a part of my subconscious. But how could that be true now? How is that possible if Riddle was able to tell me he was back before anyone knew?” I said in a rush, feeling all these questions pour desperately out. I had tried so hard to push Tom down and not listen to it but suddenly I couldn’t anymore. “I’m not crazy Professor, I’m not…. Dark….I just don’t know what is wrong with me.”

The man before me softened, “It’s alright,” he said, “I assure you it is your subconscious bringing out your fears and your worries to the front of your mind in a voice you fear especially.”

“But-”

“You created a bond with Tom Riddle.”

I couldn’t help a small gasp, “Excuse me?”

“Miss. Weasley- Ginny,” he said. He’d never used my nickname before. “When you wrote in the diary, you already know Riddle came close to your soul and in return you came close to his. You were young and I didn’t wish to frighten you but in the Chamber he was taking your soul for himself. Mr. Potter got there in time to stop it but it went on long enough to leave an impression.”

Impression? How had I not known that Riddle was slowing sucking the life out of me? All this time they told me that Tom Riddle used my body for following through his actions, that he was intertwined in my head…not this.

“You became partial to his magic. Your experience has left you with a keen sense for his power and his presence. I can assure you Miss. Weasley that you felt his power when he rose again and recognized it. Your subconscious told you what was happening, in an …imaginative way.”

So now it was my imagination? I found this explanation plausible but rather insulting; If not just plain embarrassing. I felt so small, so stupid. Of course there was more to the diary, of course they wouldn’t trust me with the full truth. I was only 11. And currently at 13 I was still feeling utterly insignificant.

“What does this mean for me? If the Dark Lord truly is alive, then we’re all in danger but… will I be alright?”

“I’m sure you will. As for the rest of us, I can make no assurances for safety anymore, I’ve failed one too many times to promise anything.”

This conversation had taken large toll on my sanity. Not only was Dumbledore confiding in me with his doubts and his secrets but I was all of a sudden tied to You-Know-Who in a way I never thought possible. I wanted it to end before he told me anything else I truly didn’t need to hear.

“I think; I think I’ve had enough Professor. I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed, perhaps it’s time we retire?”

Dumbledore sighed and stood. I pitied him. The wizard was just a man after all and no one ever seemed to notice.

“I do have a feeling you will be seeing Professor Lupin again soon, I encourage you to seek him out whenever you feel you need to.”

“I will, Professor. I hope I was of some help,” I said feeling he already knew what I was going to say when he walked in.

“You most certainly were. Proving that Lord Voldemort is back is going to be a challenge, there are many who are going to reject the idea. I need as much proof as I can gather. Do not worry,” he said catching my nervous expression, “Your privacy means a great deal to me Miss. Weasley, and I hope that same can be said for you?”

“I promise won’t go running my mouth.”

“Good.”

“Professor?”

“Yes?”

“Is Harry alright?” I hadn’t wanted to speak about Harry, it wasn’t my business and I was trying not to think of Harry at all those days, but I couldn’t help myself.

“Harry is a resourceful young man. Voldemort has attempted to kill him 4 times now and has failed each time. Mr. Potter is okay, for now, and that is what we must focus on.”

“Even though You-Know-Who is out and about hell bent on getting to him?”

Dumbledore frowned, “I do believe we all must start calling him Voldemort, for fear of the name only increases fear of the thing itself. We must all start showing our Gryffindor colors now more than ever.”

I nodded and left his office. He was right, it was time to toughen up. Out in the hallway Dumbledore’s office disappeared behind me just like the world I once knew.



Back to index


Chapter 14: A Marauder's Promise

Author's Notes: Based on JK Rowling's Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Here's the next chapter!!!


"Wait, I'm wrong
Should have done better than this
Please, I'll be strong
I'm finding it hard to resist
So show me what I'm looking for
Save me, I'm lost
Oh lord, I've been waiting for you
I'll pay any cost
Save me from being confused
Don’t let go
I’ve wanted this for too long
Mistakes become regrets,
I’ve learned to love abuse," Show Me What I'm looking for-Carolina Liar

I've seen him angry- trust me, it's not a sight you want to witness on a daily basis. I've also seen him hurt, wounded in a way that would send anyone into a right fit of pain and they wouldn't even try to hide it. But of course, he always puts on his brave face and acts as though it was but a scratch because everyone had to worry about everything but him. It was most likely do to growing up without anyone there to take care of him.

I've seen him happy, truly happy, but those moments come later. Moments where his eyes shine and he can truly breathe.

But I've also seen him at rock bottom, where he feels so alone no matter how many times we try to convince him otherwise. I've watched as he shut out the world. And Merlin help me, I will never allow that to happen again.

It started the summer before my fourth year; it was one of the scariest times of my life. The Dark Lord had returned at the end of the previous year and my family being blood traitors went into hiding. Of course at that time no one from the wizarding public believed Voldemort was alive and it seemed as though it finally happened:

The Wizarding World finally turned its back on Harry and Dumbledore.

Fools, every last one of them.

It seemed that no one could believe Harry's story. No one wanted to believe that the Triwizard Cup had been bewitched into a portkey during the third task. No one wanted to believe that when Harry had touched the cup he had been transported to the graveyard located at the home of Tom Riddle. No one wanted to believe that the recent attacks like the ambush at the Quidditch World Cup had all been signs, warnings and omens that the Death Eaters had rekindled their old fire to bring back their old leader.

No, no one wanted to believe that Harry had once again slipped from the grasps of You-Know-Who.

Everyone was content to think that Cedric Diggory fell dead on his own accord. Everyone was content to believe that the Dark Lord could never be back.

After all, ignorance is bliss, is it not?

But anyway, that was the summer I spent at 12 Grimmuald Place; the summer I discovered the Order of the Phoenix, a group of witches and wizards led by Dumbledore that fought on the light side in the first war, and worked apart from the ministry as an underground organization; the summer I met Sirius Black.

And I'd be lying if I told you it was easy. For all my life I knew Sirius Black to be a mass murderer, a dangerous, dark wizard that would forever be incarcerated in Azkaban. When I was twelve, I learned that he had also betrayed his two best friends, Lily and James Potter, to the Dark Lord; I learned that he was the one to be blamed for Harry being an orphan.

So when I was fourteen and discovered that not only had he been framed by another old friend, Peter Pettigrew, but that Harry, Ron and Hermione, had a major role in his quest for freedom, and Pettigrew's escape from the dementors and justice, I was utterly baffled.

Merlin, I remember that conversation well…

"I'm scared."

"Me too," my admission was followed by silence. "Hermione?”

"Yes?"

"How is this possible? How could this happen?"

Hermione didn't reply for a few still beats. "I...don't know."

That was a first.

It had been several hours since the third task and all the students had been ordered to go to bed. Harry still hadn't returned after being taken away, and Ron, Hermione and I hadn't been able to see, nor speak with him. Hermione and I, we were hiding away in her bed, as all the other Gryffindors were sitting in huddles down in the common room.

I still hadn't taken the sleeping drought that Dumbledore had given me, but I still didn't want to be around people, and I knew Hermione didn't either. Ron had left us for a while, swearing that no matter what it took he was going to get some answers. I told him it was hopeless.

Tom was back. I knew he was. I could feel it. I could feel him. He was the shiver in my spine, the goose bumps at the back of my neck, the pit in my stomach. He was alive. The only question was, how?

Dumbledore gave me no clarification other than black magic, and that death eater- Croung Jr was involved. I didn't have much more information and Ron was not satisfied.

"You really have no, tiny inkling-"

"I said, I don't know, Ginny," she replied rather curtly. I turned my face to hers, our bodies were covered by the white sheet like children pretending to be ghosts or playing hide and seek under the covers. Only, the funny part was I had never felt less like a child.

I knew the more questions I asked, the more frustrated she would become, (Hermione hated not knowing the answers to things) but I was so desperate for the truth! Any truth, that I couldn't help but ask something more.

"What does Peter Pettigrew have to do with Tom returning?"

Hermione's head snapped up, "Excuse me?"

"Peter Pettigrew. I know he is the one who was murdered by Sirius Black, one of Lupin's and Harry's parents' old friends. But I don't see why he'd be related to this in any way. He's been dead for thirteen years." I hadn't asked Dumbledore due to the fact that I would have gotten in trouble for eavesdropping.

Hermione winced at the mention of Sirius Black, and was biting her lip suspiciously.

"What do you know, Hermione?"

"The better question is what do you know? Why are you bringing this up? What even gave you the idea that Pettigrew is in some way involved?"

"That's just it, isn't it? He couldn't be involved-"

Hermione waved my next sentence away, "Where did you get this idea from?"

"Harry. He was frantic...obviously and he didn't stop....screaming...when he appeared with the body and the cup... even as Dumbledore took him away. Harry mentioned something about Peter Pettigrew; no one else seemed to be paying attention to him though. They were focusing on Cedric. But Dumbledore-Dumbledore told him to calm down and to be careful of what he said."

"Wait, wait, wait!" Hermione said quickly. "How did you even hear that? We were up in the stands! They wouldn't let us anywhere near enough to hear anything but screams!"

It was my turn to hold back and bite my lip suspiciously, "It's this new spell Fred and George are working on. They are creating a new product called 'Extendable Ears' and I just used the simple charm behind their idea. It doesn't work that well, so I could only hear a few select things, but I'm positive I heard the name 'Peter Pettigrew'."

"I've never heard of such a spell-"

"Hermione!" I snapped. "Please. Tell me what you know."

She struggled for a bit, but finally determination set in her eyes and she looked me dead on, "There's something we haven't told you, something Harry, Ron and I haven't told anyone... except Dumbledore."

I wasn't really surprised that they would have a secret, but I was shocked that I was going to be the first to hear a secret that absolutely no one else knew. "Figures."

"Sirius Black is innocent."

I almost laughed. INNOCENT? That man killed his best friend!

But I didn't get a chance to reply.

She told me a tale about my brother, Harry and herself ending up in the Shrieking Shack, with the notorious Sirius Black, the apparent werewolf, Remus Lupin, the supposed dead, Peter Pettigrew (who until that time was pretending to be Scabbers, my brother's old rat) and the slimy Severus Snape.

Rather mixed company, I would say.

However, I was in such a state of shock I couldn't find anything to say. Apparently, Peter Pettigrew framed Sirius Black. He went as far as cutting off his own finger to successfully land the man in Azkaban. The truth came out in that Shrieking Shack and, unfortunately Peter Pettigrew escaped. He slipped through their fingers like a cloud of smoke.

Sirius ended up captured by the dementors that were guarding the school, and determined to rescue him, Harry and Hermione used a time turner to actaully travel in time, to fix all they could.

Saving Sirius' life, and Hagrid's Hippogriff, Buckbeak.

"I don't think I can take anymore," I said rubbing my forehead thoroughly confused. There was this whole other adventure that I would have never known... a whole history between Harry and his godfather, Sirius, as well as Ron and Hermione, had passed without even a whisper of rumor or speculation.

I felt like an idiot, a stranger, an outcast. "Look, I know it sounds insane, but the point is, Pettigrew is out there somewhere, and Sirius is the innocent victim in this mess. Pettigrew was working for Voldemort before he betrayed Harry's parents and went into hiding as your brother's rat. If Harry mentioned something about Pettigrew, it probably means that he went back to serve the Dark Lord."

The Dark Lord. The Dark Lord had risen....

"I just can't..." my head was spinning; it was just too much information, too many things to think about.

"Ginny?"

"How could...how can...everything I thought was true..." I stopped and took a deep breath as I pulled the blanket off my head. I needed to collect myself. The fact that Tom was back, that he could get to me again...that he was back at all...."I just can't believe this is happening." I needed to get a grip on reality. I needed to hold my chin up and I couldn't be afraid. I couldn't let Tom get to me again, not ever.

"I can't either."



Fred, George and I instantly grew a liking to him. Sirius and I became close that summer, seeing that everyone else seemed to have someone to talk to about the things that I was "too young" to know about, Sirius would seek me out and asked me all sorts of questions about Harry.

"The only full proof way to gage his moods is to read his eyes- he's become quite the actor over the years. But you can tell through his eyes what he really thinks or feels," I told him one evening while we sat by the fireplace as the rest of the house got ready for dinner.

"You reckon Ron and Hermione know that?" he asked in an offhandedly.

I scoffed, "Please, if they did then they wouldn't argue as much as they do."

"So that's something about Harry that only you are aware of?" there was a playful tease to his voice, as well as in his eyes. I froze.

He thought…well you know what he thought. I swallowed, and blinked. "And now you."

"And now me."

We stayed silent for a moment; I was trying desperately to conceal my blush. I should have seen that coming, I walked right into his trap.

"Well, I guess there's just something about Potters and red heads…"

"I…I no! Sirius, Harry and I… we're not…I'm seeing someone!" I stammered, blurting the last part out. The sly smirk on his face…it was so…juvenile. If I hadn't known better I would have thought Sirius thought he was still a teenager.

"Ahh…I see," he nodded, it may have been my imagination but I swear I remember a slight bit of disappointment in his voice.

I had to keep a strong exposure, staying true to what Hermione said; it would be harder if everyone still expected me to be fawning over Harry. And this was his godfather, not to mention an original Marauder, something Fred and George never failed to mention at least three times a day.

"Yeah,"

"It's just- the way you spoke about him…I figured there was something there."

I didn't take my eyes off of my hands resting on my lap; it was hard enough without having to look him in the eye.

"Tell me if I'm wrong Ginny."

I sighed; he would figure it out anyway, the moment Harry got there. I could say I was over him until I was blue in the face but apparently I couldn't help the longing in my eyes.

"Unrequited love is a simple story, not much else to say."

"Oh," was all he said as he put a hand on my shoulder. "He's young Red, and he has much more on his mind than any other teenage boy, give him time."

"I know, and I know he doesn't deserve any of this, and if given the chance I would wait for him forever, but I honestly don't think it's ever going to happen anymore."

I looked up when Sirius didn't answer; he was looking at me as though I surprised him. I shoved him a bit. "You wanted the truth, just being honest."

He laughed, "It's just, that's the exact same thing James told me about Lily in our sixth year," his grey eyes glazed over a bit, and I knew he was somewhere long ago.

I remember smiling at those words, still not sure what he meant by them, now, it seems obvious.

"Not a word about this to anyone you hear? Especially my brothers." I pulled him back out of his reverie.

"I've seen what you can do with that wand; I'd be a fool to cross you."

"Too right you are."

That was the night we got the message that Harry had been expelled from Hogwarts, but that Dumbledore was already working on his case. The house went into a right frenzy. The entire Order of the Phoenix was running about getting ready to go pick up Harry, my brother's voices were heard all around and not without at least one swear in each sentence. Hermione and my mother I remember were crying, out of fear and downright rage but that didn't stop them from bustling everyone into order and getting his room ready.

I sat in an armchair away from the noise with my resolve. If Harry wasn't going back to school, well then neither was I. And Merlin help anyone who tried to stop me.

When Harry did arrive, I caught the first glance at what was to come. There was no expression in his eyes, he was too thin, and he didn't seem too pleased with the fact that neither Ron nor Hermione had written to him that summer. Not that I was surprised, it was rude to leave him out in the cold for six weeks when he'd been a wreck.

My greeting was bright as it could be, trying to get some kind of cheer out of him, "Oh hello Harry, it thought I heard your voice." I turned to Fred and George who were already seated around the trio, holding an extendable ear, seeming ready to listen for information on the Order again. "It's no go with the Extendable Ears, she out an Imperturbable charm on the kitchen door."

Typical Molly Weasley not letting her children now what was going on with the world.

That night we sat and caught Harry up on everything we knew, but mostly I was just looking for changes in his features, another summer, another change. Of course one that made him only more handsome.

When we reached the subject of Voldemort, things started getting ugly, Harry finding out that the Ministry thought of him as a joke didn't fair very well.

And when he went off on his rampage, I was the one who could stop him; it seemed no one else knew how. "We know Harry," he had to understand that we were there for him; that the people in that room stood beside him, we weren't the enemy. No matter how hard he could try to make us think he really was all alone, I seemed to be the only one to have the nerve to make him see otherwise.

My mother interrupted shortly thereafter sending me off on a chore before dinner, I was always sent away! However this time it was worth it, because when I came out of the bathroom, I got to witness Harry's first encounter with his godfather. It had been two years since he'd seen him last and Harry's eyes practically danced; I hid in the doorway not wanting to ruin the moment, but I saw that Sirius knew I was there. When he swept Harry into a manly bone-crushing hug he met my eyes, and I smiled. He'd apparently noticed Harry's eyes.

Dinner started as usual, everyone sitting around the table, Tonks- an order member I'd grown fond of- was making faces and the only difference was we all seemed to relax more, it was always better when Harry was in sight. Still, it wasn't too much longer before the argument broke out. My mother was desperately trying to keep Harry out of the Order's business- she wanted him oblivious- while Sirius and a few others disagreed. It got rather heated, and Sirius seemed as though he was about to start steaming.

"Very well," My mother caved, her lower lip still trembling. My insides were soaring; I was about to actually hear the information I so desperately wanted to know. "Ginny-Hermione-Ron-Fred-George- I want you out of this kitchen, now." She finished.

My mouth dropped.

"We're of age!" Fred and George bellowed together.

"If Harry's allowed why can't I?" shouted Ron.

"Mum, I want to!" I wailed; there was no way I was going to be chewed out again.

"NO!" she shouted, "I absolutely forbid-"

"You can't stop Fred and George, they are of age," my father intervened.

"Fine, Fred and George can stay but Ron-"

"Harry'll tell me and Hermione everything you say anyway!" he turned to Harry, "Won't you?"

"Course I will," Harry replied.

"FINE! Ginny- BED!"

Oh, I did not take that lightly.

"YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!"

"DON'T YOU DARE USE THAT TONE WITH ME YOUNG LADY!"

"OH RIGHT BECAUSE, IT'S ALRIGHT FOR YOU TO TELL ME THAT GIRLS MATURE FASTER THAN BOYS WHEN IT'S CONVEINIENT TO GET ME TO SHUT UP, BUT YOU GO ON AND LET THEM LOT IN ON WHAT EVER IS GOING ON, BUT NOT ME! IT'S NOT FAIR MUM!" I took a deep breath, but didn't drop my mother's glare. She pointed out of the room with such force that I had no choice but to leave as she followed me out to make sure I got to my room.

I heard a few chuckles behind me, but what I distinctly heard was Sirius' voice, "I told her she reminded me of Lily."

"Don't you even think about coming down and listening!"

"I think I have a right to know!"

"You are a fourteen year old girl; it's no business to you!"

"YEAH A FOURTEEN YEAR OLD GIRL WHO HAS SEEN MUCH MORE THAN ANY OTHER TEENAGE GIRL EVEN OLDER THAN ME!" I was so frustrated that I didn't even care that everyone in the kitchen could hear us bickering all up the stairs.

I slammed my door before she could say anything else, and went and plopped myself on my bad to await Hermione's return. I'd get her to tell me everything. I was glad that Harry got his time- his explanation whatever it was- but the injustice of the situation was ridiculous. When would they understand that I wasn't just a little girl?

Harry was allowed back at Hogwarts, thankfully, but things were getting tense. There was very little talk over the last few weeks at Grimmuald place and I wasn't the only one to notice. The morning we were leaving for King's Cross Station, we said our goodbyes to Sirius; he gave me an extra squeeze and whispered in my ear,

"Take care of him, even when others can't or don't know how, I know you can."

"I promise." Whenever I thought of those words I would laugh, I had been making that promise over and over ever since I was five it seemed.

On the train Ron and Hermione left us for their Prefect duties, and so I found time to spend with Harry, and now that my nervousness around him ceased, I could really just be there for him as a friend. Unfortunately, however, the nervousness had turned into secret longing.

"Come on," I said, "If we get a move on we'll be able to save them places."

Harry quietly nodded, "Right."

I didn't say anything else, what was I supposed to say to a mood like that? I would have to think of something. Unfortunately, every compartment seemed to be full, save for the last one. We met Neville Longbottom at the last carriage, holding Trevor and looking a bit unsure.

"Hi, Harry. Hi, Ginny...Every where's full...I can't find a seat..."

I looked into the compartment he was standing before, Luna was the only one seated there reading the most current Quibbler Edition. Figured. Everyone was always avoiding Luna, her nickname 'Looney Lovegood' was more popular than her actually name. It truly was a shame.

Well, they were about to see how great she really was. "What are you talking about?" I asked, squeezing passed Neville, "There's room in this one, there's only Looney Lovegood in here." I usually abstained from using the name but they probably didn't even know her by her real name.

"I didn't really want to disturb..." mumbled Neville.

Harry, for his part, just seemed thoroughly confused.

"Don't be silly, she's all right," I replied opening the compartment door. "Hi, Luna. Is it okay if we take these seats?"

She looked up, smiled and nodded. "Thanks," I said. The boys were obviously uncomfortable as they settled in. It was rather funny; Luna didn't seem to think anything was out of the ordinary at all. "Had a good summer, Luna?"

"Yes," she dreamily replied. "Yes, it was quite enjoyable, you know." Without break face she turned to Harry, "You're Harry Potter."

I had to hide a smile, hoping that Harry's reaction wouldn't be one of spite and biting sarcasm.

"I know I am," he said.

Well so much for that.

Neville chuckled, catching Luna's attention, "And I don't know who you are."

"I'm nobody," said Neville hurriedly.

Before I made to introduced Neville, I caught eyes with Harry. In that one quick moment I could have sworn I saw his smile. But it vanished just as quickly. Maybe Harry wasn't completely hopeless.

Or maybe it was just wishful thinking. Either way, sitting there with the three of them, I knew something was coming. Something big was about to change everything.

"I'm glad you didn't get expelled Harry. My father and I knew Dumbledore wouldn't allow it, we didn't think our readers would like to find out that Harry Potter didn't finish his education. It's really important you know," Luna's dreamy voice said, and I smiled that may have been the least odd thing I had ever hear her say.

Harry leaned over to me and whispered, "Readers?" Luna had gone back to her magazine, "And she's not holding that upside own is she?"

"Yes she is. It's how she reads it, The Quibbler, the magazine her father publishes."

"Oh," he said still seeming confused..

"It's more like a tabloid, rather fun to read, you'll find yourself as the main topic pretty often."

"Wonderful," he groaned sitting back in his seat.

I let out a small quiet laugh, "You'd be surprised, the articles are far more truthful than anything The Prophet could imagine writing."

He looked over at me thoughtfully for a moment, and then gazed out the window.

The rest of the train ride was an interesting one. Ron and Hermione joined us soon after Harry, Neville and I had begun swapping frog cards. Luna was extremely entertaining, and conversation flowed easily enough. It was even worth the visit from Malfoy; Harry and Hermione were getting better at putting him in his place, let me tell you that.

Thinking back on that moment, the first moment the six of us were together, I feel somewhat nostalgic. If we knew then, what we know now, maybe we would have appreciated each other more. Together, the six of us, in that one train compartment, were heading towards a destiny bigger then ourselves.

Harry started drifting away from us at school; he would only spend time with Ron, Hermione and I when it was absolutely necessary. It was like watching a ghost, only Harry was much more alive than Nearly Headless Nick, but it was hard to see him so sad.

The whispers of the students were enough to make me want to curse someone terribly. He closed himself off but acted as though nothing was different. Everyone could see it; I could see it clear as day. No one tried to do anything! Ron and Hermione paid no vigil, no attention, they ignored it and I just knew they were hoping it would just blow over.

He would still smile at Cho, he would study, he would eat, he would answer his letters to Sirius, but he was hallow. There was no feel to anything he did.

He got angry and frustrated very easily, and if I didn't know him any better I would have been frightened.

Of course I blamed most of Harry's bottled up anger at Umbridge who would always find a way to enrage the fire building inside him.

Dolores Umbridge. Well if there ever was a woman deserving a spot on my enigma list, right after Cho and Romilda, it was Dolores Umbridge. And then of course, Rita Skeeter and Bellatrix Lestrange. But we haven't gotten to them yet.

Inside her pink, puffy and bloated exterior was an evil soul. Umbridge was cruel and hideous, and at the time I only had a feeling she was working for the Death Eaters. She was appointed the new Defense Against the Dark Arts Teacher that year, and she somehow managed to become the shortest dictator Hogwarts had ever seen.

But things started looking up again when the D.A. formed. Getting it started was an affair all on its own, but with Umbridge teaching- or well not teaching- it was the best idea Hermione ever had. Getting the people at the Hog's Head convinced that Harry would be the best teacher wasn't hard at all. There was excitement naturally, and for the first time all year everyone put all their distrust in Harry aside, and started treating him as they had before. With unconditional faith.

At the end of that first meeting I watched as Harry, Ron and Hermione walked down the street together; Harry was actually smiling. Just like he did a few minutes before when I made a joke. I had never thought I'd be able to make a joke in front of him yet I did. It felt so right.

"Hey, Ginny you want to go over and get a bite to eat at Madam Puddifoot's?"

"Um…" I looked over to the retreating backs of the trio, "would you mind if I got a rain check Michael?" I asked my boyfriend who was currently watching me with curious eyes, "I have to talk to Hermione."

"Yea, sure no problem." Michael shrugged and with a wave he marched away towards some Ravenclaws I recognized as his friends.

Michael Corner. That was…a milestone. My first boyfriend; my first kiss. He wasn't the most typical boyfriend, and as I think back I realize that was one of the reasons I dated him.

Michael was not clingy by any means.

At all.

I probably could have bluntly flirted with every guy that passed right in front of him and he wouldn't have noticed.

He was unconcerned, unbothered, and I know that sounds terrible, but he really could be a sweet guy…sometimes. I figure now, that I chose to date him because not only would it be a great distraction but he wouldn't have demanded my commitment, wouldn't have asked for my heart (that sounds like some over used soap opera cliché) and that was just as well, because I was still head over elbows for Harry.

Plus I hated Madam Puddifoot's. Still do.

I was about to go up to them and walk the rest of the way, but I stopped a few feet behind when I heard the conversation swiftly turn to me.

"They met at the Yule Ball and they got together at the end of the year." Hermione said, before getting distracted by a shop window. "Hmm… I could do with a new quill."

A new quill? She had just told my brother- and Harry- that I had a boyfriend. The whole purpose I hadn't told Ron- or Harry- was because I was afraid of the reaction, and she had blown it all up now. I ducked into the space between the two shops, the Hog's Head and the shop that Hermione had stopped to look through the window when I heard them speak again.

"Which one was Michael Corner?" Ron asked strictly.

"The dark one," said Hermione.

"I didn't like him," I heard Ron but they had turned into the shop, I quietly followed, they all seemed distracted enough to not notice me. Big surprise.

"Big surprise," Hermione startled me with her words.

"But, I thought Ginny fancied Harry!" Ron perused her as she looked through rows of quill and parchments; I hid behind the shelf opposite them.

"Ginny used to Fancy Harry, but she gave up on him months ago. Not that she doesn't like you, of course." She gave Harry a smile, and Harry to this point didn't seem to be listening, but at this, his head snapped up. My heart pounded to see what he had to say about this.

"So that's why she talks now? She never used to talk in front of me." I slapped my head with the palm of my hand; of course he would've thought that odd. I was hopeless!

"Exactly."

I was about to run for it, thinking that was the last of that before I saw Hermione turn to Ron once more, "Ron, this is why Ginny hasn't told you she's seeing Michael, she knew you'd take it badly. So don't harp about it for heaven's sake!"

"What d'you mean? Who's taking anything badly? I'm not going to harp on about anything…"

They walked out of the shop, and I was ready to stay in there until they were well down the street but Hermione managed to catch my attention again, "So speaking of Ginny and Michael…what about Cho and you?" she whispered.

"What d'you mean?" he said a bit too quickly.

"Well, she just couldn't keep her eyes off you."

And they were gone. Hermione and I were going to have a chat later. A really long and possibly loud chat.

I found it funny that in only a few days time, Umbridge made a new decree. All school organizations were utterly disbanded. Any meeting of more than three students was forbidden and any student caught in a club or team that had not been a approved by her,

would be expelled.

Coincidence? I think NOT!

Did it stop us? I think NOT!

We used the Room of Requirement. Brilliant Idea really, it was a room that could only be revealed to those who needed it most, and, boy, did we need it. Umbridge wasn't teaching, so Harry would.

We arrived to the first meeting with high hopes and nervous excitement. The room was incredible; the walls were lined with wooden bookshelves with all the spells and jinxes we could ever hope to master. The room was providing us with materials and anything we could possible need to become...an army. A force to be reckoned with. It was perfect.

"This magic stuff just keeps getting better and better," said a voice from beside me.

I had been wandering around alone, checking out the text books when I turned to find Dean Thomas, Ron and Harry's roommate inspecting the place as well. He was a muggle born, so like Harry and Hermione, magic was still relatively new to him.

"It never stops," I replied.

Dean's dark eyes sparkled, "Really? Even though you've been surrounded by it your whole life?"

"Even then." I meant what I said too. It might have been something that I grew up with but it still lit my eyes with wonder when something incredible, that defied what Muggles believed to be basic, indisputable science.

Dean was surprised to hear my answer; I didn't know him well at all, but he was what seemed to be an open book. I could tell. Or, maybe…I was just that good at reading people.

"Hey, Ginny."

"Oh, hi, Michael," I greeted my boyfriend. When I looked back to introduce him to Dean...Dean was already gone. It didn't matter, however, because we were going to start. Everyone took a seat on the cushions the room provided.

"Are you excited?" I casually asked Michael as we settled in.

He shrugged, "I just hope we are really going to be learning valuable information, and not just rallying together to complain about Professor Umbridge and discuss the possibility of You-Know-Who returning."

I rolled my eyes, "How many times do I have to tell you that it is not a possibility, it's true."

"Do you have any proof of that?"

"Yes."

"Other than Harry Potter's word?"

I couldn't exactly tell him that I wasn't running on just Harry's word, but the Order of the Phoenix's insight as well as my own deep seeded feelings. I just sensed him. I knew he was back. Tom was no longer in me, but he still left an impression that would never go away. So since I was not allowed to give him anything he would consider proof, I just said, "No. But Harry's word is enough."

"For you."

"Michael-"

"Okay, everyone, I suppose it's time to get started.

Hermione's first order of business was to elect a leader, which confused most, as it was already unspokenably agreed that Harry was our leader. He one by a landslide.

"We also need a name," she said.

That was true. I've already mentioned our name, but at our fist meeting it was yet to be decided. Angelina Johnson, the Gryffindor Quidditch captain, suggested the Anti-Umbridge League. I liked it but...it wasn't a strong enough name.

"I've got it!" said Fred, "The Ministry of Magic Are Morons Group."

That was shot down too. "We need something that can be discussed outside this room, but won't cause much attention," added Hermione.

"I've got one," chimed Cho Chang, "The Defense Association. D.A. for short."

I had to admit that was good. But still not good enough. We needed soemthing that would forever go down in history, a name that stood for change. Something symbolic. Something...grand. We were the rebellion, and there was one person I knew who was at the head of such a rebellion. (And I swear the next words out of my mouth were not because I had a minor animosity towards Cho Chang)

"Yeah, the D.A. is good. Only let's make it stand for Dumbledore's Army because that's the Ministry's worst fear, isn't it?" (392)

The reaction was exactly what I was going for.
Dumbledore's Army was set into motion.

Soon after tragedy struck again, this time with my father. Things had been so great, Harry had said that when everyone came back from Holiday Break we'd actually work on patronuses. He was finding himself, only to lose himself again in the worst way.

Being whisked out of your dormitory in the middle of an extremely cold night was never a good sign, especially when you take some kind of part in Harry Potter's life. McGonagall was trying to comfort me on the way to the headmaster's office, which worried me even more, but she wouldn't tell me what was wrong. Only that my father had been injured.

I almost sighed when I saw Harry in the office, he would tell me, or so I thought, "Harry-what's going on? McGonagall said you saw dad hurt…?"

Dumbledore was the one to speak, Harry just looked beside himself, fear, anger, helplessness, but mostly anger.

"Your father has been injured in the course of his work for the Order of the Phoenix," replied Dumbledore before Harry could. Not that Harry seemed to be in the right mind set to reply rationally, or even speak.

George beside me gasped quietly, Fred on my other side stopped breathing all together. I wanted more answers than was possible at the moment. What did Harry have to do with my father being hurt? Why was he the first to be informed? As much as I hated it, I knew it wasn't the time nor place to ask. I was going to have to listen for clues and grasp at anything I could understand.

But before anything happened, plans were made to get the lot of us to Grimmuald Place to meet my mother, and eventually my father.

Things just never got easier.

The moment we got to Sirius' house he pounced on us, "What's going on?" he asked extending a hand to help me up from our quick port key arrival.

Watching the struggle as Harry tried to explain, it reminded me of myself, trying to make sense of what Tom had done to me. "It was…I had a- a kind of- vision…"

"A vision?" asked a very concerned Sirius.

"I was sleeping and, well…It, I- I saw,"

Ron took a step forward and placed a hand on his shoulder, "Harry was dreaming, at least, that's what I thought it was, but it seems that somehow…it was really happening."

"How is that possible, Harry?" I asked.

He turned his eyes to me and I could tell what he was thinking, he was afraid that this was somehow his fault, that it made him some kind of evil. I knew this because it was how I felt for a while after the Chamber, and if I was really honest, I still felt it knowing at my conscience.

No matter what anyone told me…to some extent it was all my fault. I wrote in the diary, I told Tom all about, and no one could tell me otherwise. Sure I was twelve, sure I didn't know that Tom Riddle was really Voldemort and sure he did take control of me. But if there was one thing my father told me over the year, "Don't trust something that thinks for its self but you can't see where it keeps its brain."

Did I listen? No.

But Harry…he had some kind of connection with Voldemort. And although the lot of us wouldn't truly realize what that connection was for another two year, we knew that it wasn't good.

Not good at all.

But, I didn't think it was Harry's fault that Voldemort's snake attacked my father. It was Voldemort's and his alone. My father was in critical condition…on the brink of death, if Harry hadn't seen my father when he did, he wouldn't have been able to alert anyone in time. As it was my father was at St. Mungo's Hospital For Magical Maladies and Injuries fighting for survival, and if anyone thought I was just going to sit around and wait- they were dead wrong.

"We've got to go to St. Mungo's," I told them as I began standing up, "Sirius, can you lend us cloaks or anything?"

"Hang on, you can't go tearing off to St. Mungo's!" said Sirius.

"'Course we can go to St. Mungo's if we want," countered Fred, "he's our dad!"

I felt inclined to agree. How could we just sit around while my father… I couldn't even think of it! We were only met with refusals, but thankfully, when word from our mum arrived, informing us that dad was alright, we calmed down a bit.

Harry was the only one who, though obviously glad to hear that my father was okay, didn't seem altogether okay himself. He went to his room…and didn't come out.

His eyes were so dark, it seemed that Voldemort had dragged all the light out and left a broken piece of what Harry was becoming.

He didn't understand how grateful we were to him; Harry only saw what he wanted to see, he believed that we were accusing him of having something to do with it, just because he saw the attack take place. What he didn't understand was that if it weren't for him, my father would be dead and…I'd be dead. Yet that didn't stop him from blaming himself as though it was he who did all the terrible things he only witnessed.

Hermione, Ron and I were failing as friends to convince him otherwise. Over the break Harry would lock himself in a room and hide away from the rest of us, I knew he felt we were being too understanding; he felt that we should all hate him he felt he didn't deserve to be around us. He had it all wrong. Again.

It was when he stopped accepting food that I finally had enough, I literally had had to drag Ron and Hermione with me to get him, Hermione had just arrived after spending Christmas with her parents and when Ron told her what had been going on even Hermione was hesitant to go up and check on him. It was getting that bad.

"Ginny, why don't we just give him some time? He's been through a lot."

"Hermione, Harry is always going through a lot, is that going to stop us from stopping him drift away lonely thinking he has no one left in the world?" I grabbed her arm and pulled her up the stairs, "He hasn't been that way since the moment he found out he was a wizard, I'm not just about to let him go back there."

That seemed to shut them up and they followed me willingly. It wasn't surprisingly hard to get to him thankfully. He was stiff, and quiet.

"So how're you feeling?" asked Hermione.

"Fine," He said.

I held back a snort.

"Oh, don't lie, Harry, Ron and Ginny say you've been hiding from everyone since you got back from 's."

"Oh they do, do they?" he looked up to my brother and I who were seated on the bed opposite him, he glared, Ron dropped his eyes to the floor, but I didn't back down to took his glare straight on. He was being unreasonable.

"Well you have!" I said, "And you won't even look at any of us!"

"It's you lot who won't look at me!" Harry growled. I almost laughed.

"Oh stop feeling all misunderstood. The others have told me what's going on." Hermione said sharply. I was glad she was actually trying.

"Yeah? All been talking about me behind my back…well I'm getting used to it."

"We wanted to talk to you Harry," I told him, "but as you've been hiding ever since we got back-"

"I didn't want anyone to talk to me."

"Well, that was a bit stupid of you, seeing as you don't know anyone but me who's been possessed by You-Know-Who, and can tell you how it feels." The words we out of my mouth before I could comprehend what I was doing. I didn't regret them, as time went on I couldn't think of anything I could've said that would have worked any more efficiently. I told him he was being stupid. And he was, even if he could justify it.

I won't ever forget the look he gave me, so shocked, surprised and yet not surprised that I had just said that. Ron's eyes were wide, and Hermione was biting her lip, but I didn't tear my eyes away from Harry, our locked gaze was intense and intriguing, thoughts of what happened down in the chamber passed between us.

Then he grimaced, apologetically, "I forgot."

Those two words stung with a pain I still remember today. I understood that he was dealing with more than one person's fair share of hardships…but the fact that he could forget something that for me, was the center of my universe, something that affected me so it changed me forever, something that up to that point I had though created a special bond between us, hurt more than I thought possible.

"Lucky you."

"I'm sorry," and I could see that he meant it. "So you think I'm being possessed then?"

"Well, can you remember everything you've been doing? Are there big blank periods where you don't know what you've been up to?"

"No," he said thoughtfully.

"Then You-Know-Who hasn't ever possessed you," I said surly.

His face lightened, and by the end of that conversation I could tell he finally believed it himself.

Later on I was in an empty room on one of the higher landings, away from all the ruckus of dinner downstairs, I didn't feel like eating. I don't remember the room exactly but I was sitting on some kind of chair, and looking through old photo's I found of Sirius' family. My thoughts flew around, from Harry back to Sirius' depressing past, to my boyfriend Michael.

"What did you do?" a familiar voice came from the doorway.

I looked up, "To what?"

Sirius crossed the room and sat in the chair before me, "Well a certain green eyed boy is actually seated at the dinner table with the rest of the family, and he's eating."

I looked back down to the album before me, there was one of his mother yelling and screaming at the house elf, who looked beside himself with happiness as he raced down the stairs because he had something to do. "That's great."

"It is…but I wonder…if the reason for his sudden reappearance had to do with a certain someone."

"Did you have anyone exact in mind, because if you don't I can't help you," I met his eyes, no emotion in my face, I was far too tired to play any games.

"Why aren't you eating?"

"Not hungry."

"You should eat something,"

"You're not going to start acting like my mother now are you?" I closed the album harshly, annoyed.

"Never. But it's not like you to pass up a home cooked meal, and it's not like you to enclose yourself away to stare at pictures of horrid people." His voice was soft but accusing.

"Maybe it's just that there are too many people in this god forsaken house, and I just want to find a moment to myself!" I stood angrily, annoyed with the interrogation.

"Ginny, it's alright." He stood as well, grabbing my shoulder before I could walk away. "I'm sorry I just wanted to thank you for keeping your promise."

That was when I felt my eyes filling with sudden tears, "You don't have to thank me, I just told him he was being a git and that seemed to wake him up."

"There's more to that and you know it."

"What do you want me to say Sirius? That Harry came up to me and told me all his inner darkest secrets? That we had some kind of revelation together and we now have each other to know that everything is going to be fine?" The tears were falling now, despite my best interests. "I can't tell you that, because it wouldn't be true!"

"I'm so sorry, I never meant…it's just Harry doesn't seem to be the kind of person you can get through to easily."

"Can you blame him?" my voice was horse, and that was why I never cried, it made everything so weak. "With everything he's gone through you'd think that the storm could only get better, but it only gets worse!" I cried, and Sirius pulled me into a hug, it was loving and caring and I cried into his shoulder like I had never done with anyone before.

I was just so frustrated with my never dying feelings for Harry and my father's close call, and Voldemort's ascendancy… it was just too much all of a sudden.

"I know, I know, but we have to keep strong, we have to keep our heads up, if not for our own sake, then his."

"You're right," I said sniffing. "It's just…not fair. To him, to me, to any of us."

"Life is like that," he laughed, "Hasn't anyone ever told you?"

I pulled away, wiping my eyes. "Of course, but everyone gets a break at some point, shouldn't he get one too?"

"Hem hem." Sirius and I turned our attention to the door, yes of course it was Harry, but I didn't even have the energy to blush, whatever he heard, so be it. "Uh...Sirius can I…talk with you for a minute?" he asked looking from me to his godfather with an utmost confused and bewildered expression in his eyes.

My eyes were red, so I looked away, "I was um…just going." I turned for the door avoiding their gazes before Sirius stopped me.

"Ginny."

"Yes?" I said without looking up, or turning around.

"Give it time. I'm sure it'll happen one day."

I nodded and passed Harry out of the room. But I stopped just outside in the hall to see if Harry had something to say.

"What…was all that?"

"What was all what?" Sirius' voice dripping of innocence, he would have to teach me to lie so smoothly.

"Is… is she ok?" Harry asked worriedly, it made me smile sadly.

"Yes, she's just fine."

"Then what…what was wrong?" he stammered when he was confused.

Sirius sighed, "If you never find out, then I was wrong and she was right, but you are a smart boy, you'll come to your senses sooner or later."

There was a moment of silence, "I'm so lost."

"Not for long, my dear boy. Now what is it you wanted to tell me?"

With that, I walked down the stairs thinking to myself, "Sure I'll give it time, but he's going to be wrong, nothing will ever happen between me and Harry, it was hopeless." But even that thought didn't make my feelings change one bit.

Back to index


Chapter 15: The Horse and the Stag

Author's Notes: Thanks for getting me on the ballot for the Trinket awards guys!!! PLEASE if you enjoy my story vote for it!!!!!!! oh, and reviewing would be great too!


" Don't dream too far
Don't lose sight of who you are
Don't remember that rush of joy
He could be that boy
I'm not that girl
Don't wish, don't start,
Wishing only wounds the heart,
there's a girl I know,
he loves her so,
I'm not that girl,”
I'm not that Girl- Idina Menzel

I had always known Harry was a powerful wizard, naturally. But it wasn’t until my fourth year when I saw the extent of it. I never had a doubt in my mind when I signed up to be in Dumbledore’s Army, I trusted Harry, with my life at that point, and I wasn’t going to be left out of something again. I dragged my current boyfriend, Michael Corner into it, but I could tell that after a few meetings he seemed excited too. Things were going magnificently, we learned more in the few weeks with Harry than we had ever learned with any other teacher, well maybe except Remus.

I could tell that Harry had found his calling. The way he beamed at anyone who showed any signs of improvement, the way his eyes gleamed when someone got something right. I’m not sure if anyone noticed, but it was the happiest he’d been in a long while. The D.A. become near and dear to everyone in it, a place where it didn’t matter what house you belonged in, whether you were a pure blood, half blood or muggle born, we were all on the same side.

We were working on Patronesses.

He gave us the incantation and told us exactly what we need to do to perform one.

Harry said we needed to think of a happy memory, the happiest we had.

“So what does the animal it transforms into have to do with it?” Dean Thomas a fellow Gryffindor asked.

“Well, I believe that the animal reflects the power of your magic, like an essence, I suppose.” Harry shrugged, “A full body animal is the hardest to perform.”

“What does yours resemble?” I asked.

Harry turned to me, and smiled wistfully, as though there was something he knew that no one else did. “A Stag.”

I heard a few quiet gasps but I was trying to contain the smile that was stretching across my face. Of course Harry Potter would have a large strong graceful one.

“My father was an animagus; he would turn into a stag; maybe that has something to do with it, maybe not.”

“Can we see it?” I raised my eyebrows motioning towards his wand, “You know, as a demonstration?”

He saw right through me, I knew it but he didn’t comment. “Sure.”

Everyone gathered in front of Harry about a dozen feet away, I could see the Patil twins on their toes trying to see over Neville’s shoulders, as for me, I remember placing myself right at the front in the center. Once everyone got into place it we waited, Harry seemed to be thinking of his happy memory, this seemed odd.

“Don’t you already have your memory?” I asked. “If you’ve done it before…?”

His eyes flashed to my face and I could see the color rising in his cheeks, “Yes well, I like to change it up sometimes, and I kind of have something new to work with…” as he said this he ran a hand through his raven black hair, a sign that showed he was nervous, confused, embarrassed or frustrated. But I could see this time he was embarrassed and the reason being was that of his emerald eyes glancing at Cho Chang. She smiled softly, looking down to her shoes.

The girl drove me mad, had I been in her shoes, I would have beamed at the fact that Harry Potter openly said I made him happy. Of course, she didn’t know him. She didn’t know that it took a lot out of Harry to be happy; his mind wasn’t as full as a regular person’s of happy memories and thoughts. He did indeed have a lot less to work with.

I remember I scowled at her, no one noticed, other than Hermione, of course. And as though she could read my mind she nodded toward the boy next to me.

My boyfriend. Right.

“Anyway,” Harry continued. “It definitely isn’t the easiest spell to perform; it does take out a lot of energy so prepare your selves, and know that when faced with a real dementor, it will be much more intense.”

There was a murmur that flew around at his words, I just caught the tone to be shock that he knew what it was like to fight a real dementor, but I didn’t participate; I watched Harry.

As he raised his wand, with a look of determination and focus, I could tell we were all going to be blown away by this display. “Expecto Patronum,” he stated clearly and sturdy. The words sounded like music out of his mouth either because I was losing it or because there was something so incredible about watching Harry use magic.

It came effortlessly to him most times, I knew that academically, he wasn’t the most impressive, but just the way he moves his wand you can see there’s something there…something special.

As the white light illuminated from the tip of his wand I was entranced by the beauty of it. I remember that moment so well, it was as though everything else around me had faded away and Harry was the only one there along with that lovely light. It grew larger and I could feel the wind from it playing with my hair.

When it grew large enough it transformed into the head of a noble stag, Its antlers spreading far, and coming closer. Then came the neck, the front legs, and finally the body, it came faster and stronger. Until there was a full sized stag of white light before us. The room buzzed with electricity, and the look on Harry’s face so many feet behind it, he was smiling with his mouth and his eyes. It was incredible.

And just as fast as it came, it left. I was sure you could hear a pin drop in the room, everyone was shocked into silence. Harry put his wand down and looked at me, “You see?”

I smiled and bit back a laugh, “I see.”

No one had spoken yet, still not believing what they had just witnessed, Harry Potter’s power, plain and simple. I felt proud of him really, I knew how he needed that spell before, almost getting expelled for it just a few months prior. That’s when I knew Michael and I wouldn’t last. It wasn’t going anywhere, and I knew I wouldn’t let it go anywhere because… I was going to marry Harry Potter.

Hermione decided to speak up next, she was more composed because she had already witnessed this display, as he fought off a hundred dementors two years before.

“Wow Harry; that must have been some memory.”

Damn Hermione.

I had completely forgotten of the vile Cho and instantly I could feel my heart screaming at her for bringing it up. Hermione was smirking at Harry while no one else seemed to notice. Cho was blushing trying to hide her face, but not as much as Harry. I knew what his memory was of course, it was obvious. To this day I still remember that memory.

________________

Just before Christmas Holiday, our last meeting before my brothers, Harry and I left school to spend a few weeks at the Burrow, Harry had been teaching us simple stunning charms. I was working with Luna but couldn’t help noticing the way Harry stole glances at Cho every few minutes, as though he wanted to end the meeting right then and there, but he was too much a gentleman to do that. Everyone was paired off, scattered about the room, and I took a few hits just because Harry was so distracting.

I was jealous, oh boy was I jealous, I wanted him to look at me that way. Even after what Hermione and I spoke about the year before it was still so hard. I put a brave face but that fact that he chose Cho… who was always crying about Cedric, ALWAYS. It was a tragedy and it pains me to think about the night he died. It was terrible, unnecessary, and just horrifying. But Harry needed someone strong to stand beside him, to fight beside him, to keep his head up. Not someone who would crack at any moment, and would need him there every moment to wipe away her tears, and if it wasn’t me well… it had to be someone else. Preferably someone who didn’t think of him as a runner up prize.

I somehow managed to channel all the hurt and frustration into my spell, and with a simple, “Stupefy,” Luna shot up right into the air with a speed that caught everyone’s attention and landed on the other side of the room. Of course she wasn’t hurt the Room of Requirement made sure of that.

But everyone stopped what they were doing to see Luna.

And Harry looked over; his smile almost knocked the air out of me, “Fantastic Ginny!” Everyone gave a quick round of applause before continuing on with their partners.

When the end of the lesson came I saw Cho hanging back in a corner of the room starring at the old photo we had of the original Order of the Phoenix. I rolled my eyes; no doubt she was just fawning over the picture of her ex-love Cedric Diggory that was just next to the other picture. I made to leave the room making sure to stop by Harry who was trying to excuse himself from the Patil twins. I could tell he was trying to be polite. The twins finally took the hint looking back at Cho; they giggled and walked out of the room.

“Great class Harry, as always.” I told him, I expected him to mutter a thanks and walk past me but he surprised me by smiling and resting his hand on my shoulder.

My knees almost buckled as he said, “That was incredible today Gin.” I had gotten used to him being around more so I learned how to control my blush.

“Thanks, that’s a lot coming from you.”

He rolled his eyes a laughed once, “Ginny Weasley, always the joker.”

“Anything to hear you laugh,” I wanted to say, but I didn’t. I was such a ninny.

“I guess I’ll see you later then?” his hand came off my shoulder, and I could still feel the heat of it weighing me down.

He looked over my head and said, “Uh, yes, of course. Bye.”

“Bye-” But he was already gone.

I turned around to see him walking to Cho; she smiled with tears in her eyes…again. I watched for a moment, and then seeing that there was no one else in the room, and I was intruding, I walked out as well.

Fred and George met me outside the room, and as the door sealed itself behind me they spoke.

“Well if it isn’t Miss. I Have a Boyfriend So Don’t Think I Still Like Harry.”

“That’s a rather long and complicated name, Fred.”

“Complicated name for a complicated girl.”

“Too right.”

I tried to walk past them but they followed.

“Sometimes things-” George started again.

“Just aren’t meant to be,” Fred continued.

“Like an extendable ear that does not draw the attention of Hermione’s bloody cat.”

“Or a Nosebleed Nougat that spurts black blood.”

“Or possibly, a Harry Potter and Cho Chang?” George said surprising me. I almost stopped my pace; I thought this conversation was going in a different direction.

“And a Ginny Weasley and Michael Corner?”

I didn’t answer them but I knew they could sense my smile.

______________

But when Harry had performed an outstanding patronus on that memory, I thought, then, that my brothers were wrong.

“I want to try!” Dean called from the back of the audience.

And everyone broke out into a position where they had space. Some got the heads of their patronesses, others just a blinding light… and then there were others. Hermione’s Otter was flying about the room; Luna’s Hare bouncing off the walls, Padma Patlil’s humming bird, Ron’s terrier. I was taking my time thinking of a good memory.

And when I did, of course it had to do with Harry. The look on his face when he saw Sirius, back at Grimmuald Place this past summer. I felt so happy that he had some kind of link to his family, his eyes said it all.

I pictured it clear as a bell in my mind and said, “Expecto Patronum.”

It felt as though something was pulling from me, energy I guess but I saw Harry in my mind, and I could make out a figure coming out of my wand, Hermione gasped somewhere behind me. I paid no mind, it was the first time I had ever seen my animal.

My Patronus was a horse.

And suddenly my memory wasn’t a memory anymore; it was a reality as Harry stood before me shaking his head in awe, grinning from ear to ear.

That Christmas I wished that Harry would notice that a horse is just as graceful and strong as a stag.

Back to index


Chapter 16: The Petty Princess and the Pink Frog

Author's Notes: So this is the new chapter I've been promising! There are several changes coming to this story so keep coming back!


Princess Cries-a-lot and The Pink Frog
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Go on and hold her 'til the screaming is gone
Go on, believe her when she tells you nothing's wrong
But I'm the only one who'll walk across a fire for you
And I'm the only one who'll drown in my desire for you
It's only fear that makes you run
The demons that you're hiding from
When all your promises are gone, I'm the only one.
-I’m the Only One, Melissa Etheridge


“Hold your form! Hold it!”

“We’re holding, we’re holding!”

“Weasley, you’re slipping!”

“Am not!” I yelled.

“Not you, the other Weasley!” replied an irate Angelina Johnson.

“Well it would be best if you specified; there’s a lot of us Weasleys!”

“Ron, hold your form!”

“I’m trying!”

“Not hard enough, obviously, tighten your grip!”

“If I tighten anymore, my masculinity will be in jeopardy!”

And that was it: a laugh erupted from my left and I watched through my peripheral vision as Jack Sloper lost his grip on his broom and fell- catching himself at the last possible second before he could drop to his death, or well, hurting himself seriously. As it was, he was dangling in mid air with a one handed grasp on the broom stick.

I, upside down as we all were, didn’t miss Angelina’s groan. “Alright, everybody get right side up, and Ginny, help Sloper before he kills himself, please.”

Assisting the poor helpless boy mount his broom 30 feet in the air, I just wished practice would end. That year, captaincy was awarded to Angelina Johnson, and she and the rest of the team showed great prospects for a Gryffindor win of the house cup. Fred and George were fantastic Beaters, Angelina, Alicia Spinnet and Katie Bell were an unstoppable Chasing team, Harry Potter was the star Seeker, and surprisingly enough, Ron had made the team as a fair Keeper.

Only, things took a turn for the worst.

“I don’t see the point to this exercise,” whined Andrew Kirke as we all began touching ground. I stayed silent because as painful as it was, I thought it was a brilliant idea to practice hanging upside down from our brooms in mid-air.

“Well, Kirke,” countered Angelina, “Not only does it test your stamina, but with this practice you’ll hopefully never fall from your broom again, no matter what the circumstance.”

There were mumbles of complaints amongst the group. “But it’s hardly likely that we will be upside down for an extended period of time-”

“I don’t want to have an argument on this. You are practicing gripping your broom with your arms and legs because your lives do depend on it. The gripping is the difference between you and a successful game, and you crashing into the ground! You’ll thank me when you are able to play Quidditch upside down, with no arms, sideways, while doing spirals around the Slytherins, not once wavering in balance or grip, and still with a firm hold on the quaffle, beater bats or, in the seeker’s case, the snitch.

“Plus! Dementors, or not, I will not have a repeat of Harry Potter in 1993!” Angelina had worked herself into a rant and had begun pacing before the rest of the team; it was hard not to feel as though we were being scolded. “Not to mention the advantages you will have when attempting to dodge a bludger! Did anyone read Quidditch Through the Ages? They had an entire section devoted to the Sloth Grip Roll!”

But we all knew Angelina was upset about more than Ron and Jack’s inability to clench their thighs tightly enough around a broomstick- oh. Now I see why Jack found humor in that…
Anyway, when she finished her tirade ten minutes later, the team felt utterly guilty and Kirke was standing with his tail between his legs.

“Alright, I believe that is enough of that, next I want Spinnet, Bell and myself to practice the Porskoff Ploy we discovered last week. Ron you’re at the posts and I want the beaters working with Ginny-”

As she was about to send us off, a thunder clapped above and faster than you can say Pumpkin Juice, a down pour began to drench us all. There was about a full 15 seconds that we all stood frozen in the rain, awaiting Angelina’s reaction, all too nervous to do anything else. She seemed about ready to explode.

Closing her eyes and collecting herself, Angelina audibly sighed and said, “Well isn’t this just fitting? You know what? Forget it. This practice has been a disaster anyway. Let’s just call it a day, everyone.”

It was saddening to see Angie so defeated. She was usually the epitome of optimism, so no one said a word against her. She was just having a terrible day- there had been many of those around that time. The team started retreating to the changing room but Angelina called me out, “Everyone but Ginny. It’s the perfect time for seeker practice.”

Alicia and Katie gave me apologetic looks as I turned and passed them on my way to the captain. “Alright then,” I replied.

“I am honestly sorry, Ginny, but I don’t want to lose this pitch time. The others, well they’ve been so bad today that making them play in the rain would be a death wish and we don’t want to lose any more players because of a practice.” She did have a point.

“It’s alright.”

“Trust me, Ginny,” she continued, “You are the best new recruit replacement, but we can’t miss out on practice. The seeker is the most important player, after all. Alright, I’m letting the snitch go. Up in the air with you.”

I mounted my broom and took off, but I didn’t miss Angelina’s last words, “Alicia reckons you can give Potter a run for his money. Prove it to me.”

So you are probably wondering what happened. Why in the name of Dumbledore’s pet phoenix was I shooting through the sky of the Hogwarts Quidditch pitch as the new seeker of the Gryffindor team, when it was well known that the spot was none other than Harry Potter’s- after all, he wasn’t the youngest seeker in a century for nothing. Of course I knew that, and of course Angelina knew that too; no one could hold a candle to Harry, no matter what Alicia said and this is a completely unbiased proclamation, even now, years later as I write this; I believe Harry had a great talent as a young player.

And I suppose when you get down to it, Fred and George were right good beaters as well. Yet there was Jack Sloper and Andrew Kirke replacing the twins on the team.

You see, it all started after the first match of the year before Christmas Holiday…

....................................................Several Weeks Prior...................................................

It was a great match: Gryffindors versus Slytherins, a classic. From the start, the energy was high and the stands were booming with noise. Ron had tried out at the beginning of term and was impressively given the spot of Keeper, and so thus it being his first public match, he was green with nerves.

I didn’t have a chance to wish him luck before the game, though I’m not sure it would have changed the course of the match what-so-ever.

Let’s get something straight before I continue. Harry Potter has a temper, always did always will. You can’t blame him with all he’d already been through to that point, but he had an incredible knack for restraint when the time so called for it. Of course, more often than not, Harry would lose his temper which would result in something drastically terrible, like say, blowing up his aunt into a humanized balloon, or frightening his friends away, and what happened at that match was no exception.

There were many things that Harry was able to brush off, but there were many things that he struggled with. One in particular went by the name of Draco Malfoy. Let’s get something else straightened out- something you must already know by now- I have a temper. It is a Weasley family trait, it is hereditary and it is hardly fair to be judged upon something that you have no control over- so don’t judge. When it comes to Draco Malfoy, Harry has ten times the restraint that I do, so I can’t blame him for what happened at the end of the match either.

Draco Malfoy bought his way onto the Slytherin team as a seeker in his second year at the school; he hadn’t caught a snitch to date. But that didn’t stop him from making fun of everyone else around him. I was standing and jumping and clapping and cheering along with the rest of the Gryffindors, Hermione on one side of me and Luna (who was sporting a wild Lion hat in support) on the other. The match started well enough; the bludgers were flying and the quaffle was hot, and Lee Jordan was doing a spectacular job of entertaining the crowd with his commentary.

But soon, the cheering and the commentaries were not the only sounds that flew throughout the pitch. The Slytherins had written a song. A song based on my poor brother, Ron.

Weasley is our king,

Weasley is our king,

He always lets the Quaffle in,

Weasley is our king!

“What is that?” cried Hermione.

“Seems like the snakes have decided to become lyricists,” I replied sourly.

“Well, the lyrics aren’t very good, are they?” Luna asked, “The pentameter is basic and redundant, and the rhymes aren’t that impressive.”

Luna would find a way to criticize that song rather than the singers.

“Ron! The center!” I cried, just as the Quaffle passed through his arms into the center ring.
Hermione bit her lip as I groaned in frustration, “Do you get the feeling that this isn’t going to end well, or is it just me?”

I looked over at the other Gryffindors, everyone was still cheering and very much into the game, but the faces of doubt where obvious. “It’s most definitely not just you.”

I began to watch Harry for a bit, searching for the snitch myself. As much as I loved chasing and goal scoring, I did have an eye for seeking. An upset growl came from my end of the stadium and looking towards the score board it seemed I missed my brother’s second failure to block a goal…

The game was a harsh one, and very intense, especially with that wretched song. It not only distracted and embarrassed Ron- it brought down his spirits and made him lose his confidence. In all the years that I watched my brothers play Quidditch in the back yard of the Burrow, since I was rarely ever allowed to play, I had seen Ron block almost every Quaffle thrown his way. My brother was good. Unfortunately, the Slytherins were doing everything in their power to make it seem like he wasn’t.

Soon, however, the fact that we were down by thirty points did not matter. “He’s got it,” I said with a relieved smile.

Hermione and Luna looked at me questioningly, “Who’s got what?”

I pointed over to Harry whose eyes were darting around and who was nonchalantly picking up speed right before he dived. “Harry’s spotted the snitch. It’s all over.”

Hermione looked out onto the pitch, “How could you tell?”

“Harry is always calm and collected when he catches sight of the snitch; he doesn’t want the other seeker to notice it’s been spotted until he has a sure lock on it. So you can tell by how focused he gets, he stops watching the other players, obviously, and begins focusing in one direction. Then he dives. Isn’t it obvious?”

“To you maybe…”

We both turned back to the game just as Malfoy’s hand grasped at Harry’s whose was closing over the snitch. The crowd erupted into a stupendous cheer, and Luna’s hat was roaring up a storm.

So yes, we won the match…but we lost a whole lot more.

Being up in the stands where I was with Hermione and Luna, I could only see what happened next, not hear the reason for it.

“Oh, no, what is Malfoy up to now?” asked a rhetorical Hermione.

Malfoy had walked up to the team as they were busy celebrating the win, the rest of the stadium had risen from their seats to join the team on the pitch, but Malfoy seemed to be ignoring the crowd around him. He was locked on Harry and my brothers.

“Just trying to save face, I’m sure. He’s probably just crying over the fact that his song didn’t affect the team as much as he hoped it would.”

Hermione didn’t laugh. She kept her eyes on the scene that was unfolding before us; I followed her gaze. “Oh, no,” I muttered.

Harry had George by the arms and was attempting to hold him back. Angelina, Alicia and Katie on the other hand, were all three busy holding back Fred. The only thing between Malfoy and face full of Weasley fist was the pure strength of the Gryffindor Quidditch team.

“We better get down there,” said Hermione as we simultaneously raced past several speculators towards the steps.

“Yeah, as much as I’d love to see Draco’s face get smashed in, Umbridge will have a field day with this.”

But, by the time we reached the steps, it was already too late.

Malfoy turned to Harry for a moment and then began laughing as he walked away. No less than one comment later, both Harry and George were tearing their way towards the ferret.

“No!” we cried at the same time that Harry’s fist made contact with Draco’s stomach.

He went down with Harry and George right on top of him.

I’d never seen Harry hit anyone before; I’d never seen him so violently angry before. If I was truly honest, it was rather scary.

Hermione and I made it to the chaos that was the Gryffindor team as Madam Hooch arrived at the scene.

“Harry! STOP!” cried Angelina as she began to pull at the boys, “GEORGE!”

It took a curse from Hooch’s wand to blast Harry off of the Slytherin, but I knew, as did the lot of Gryffindor and every other witness, that the harm was already done. I looked back to the last place I had seen the pink toad that was Dolores Umbridge. Sure enough she was still standing proudly in her professor’s box, with a nasty smirk on her face.

A Quidditch life ban. That was the punishment (thanks to Educational Degree Number Twenty-Five, giving Umbridge the right to discipline as she pleased) dealt to Harry and George, as well as Fred because it was assumed that if the girls hadn’t been holding him back he would have acted as well. Of course, this was true, but how evil would you have to be to punish someone who hadn’t even thrown a punch?

At least, that was Angelina’s position on the whole debacle as we all sat by the fire in the common room a bit later. Hermione and I were sitting on either side of Harry for moral support and Fred and George were at my feet wearing the gloomiest expressions to ever come across their faces. And the cause to all this- I found out later- Malfoy had been, as usual, insulting my home, family and parents. But Harry lost it when Malfoy mentioned his mother.

I glanced to the side a bit, enough to make out Harry’s profile from where I was sitting. He was looking into the fire with the natural far off look in his green orbs. I couldn’t help but wonder what else was going to go wrong for him that year.


So now we return to the current Quidditch practice I was telling you about before, I took up the job of seeker and Harry was seated on the sidelines.

“Nicely done,” said a soaking wet Angelina as I dropped the freshly caught snitch in her hand, a few minutes later

“Thank you,” I replied with a tired smile. “What time is it?”

“A quarter to three, why?”

My heart nearly dropped to my toes, “I’m late for class!” I called behind my shoulder, for I had already started running.

Angelina caught up to me quickly, “Oh, I’m sorry, I had no idea! Why don’t I walk you to class- I’m sure I can explain, who do you have now? It’s not Snape is it?”

“Worse, it’s Umbridge.”

Angelina stumbled over her feet. “I’ll get Hermione to get your books while you change! And then I’ll come back to dry your hair!”

You’ve got to love friends, don’t you?

Soon enough, I was dressed and dry and sprinting into the entrance hall, and had exactly two minutes to get to the Defense Against the Dark Arts room.

“Quidditch is going to be the end of all three of you, I swear it!” said Hermione coming up beside me and matching my brisk pace. She shoved my text books into my arms and hung my bag across my shoulder.

“It’s all part of the fun, Hermione.”

“Fun? You call falling 150 feet to your death, being ridiculed and humiliated in front of an entire school body, and practicing at ungodly hours in a bloody storm for so long that you jeopardize running into class late with a teacher as vile as a death eater, fun?”

“Yes.”

Yes, not only did I find it fun, but it was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Mum would have kittens, but I wanted to become a professional Quidditch Player. I loved the Holy Head Harpies, see I have never been a fan of the Cannons like Ron is. The idea of an all girl team, girls who are strong in their own right and don’t need boys to fight their battles or over shadow them was something I aspired to be a part of. I wanted to be fierce like the Harpies.

Going about getting there was a different story entirely. I, of course, would have to get on the Gryffindor team for starters; not only to get noticed, but for real fundamental practice and experience, a team like the Harpies didn’t just take anyone. So when Angelina began recruiting for replacements, I was the first to approach her. And since there was no way someone as little as I was could even pass for a fair beater, seeker was exactly where I needed to be.

There were a few reasons for my choice of action. Of course, there was the whole “I want to be a professional and I must start looking towards my future” thing. Then there was the fact that Gryffindor needed to win the House Cup for the sole purpose now of rubbing it in not only the Slytherins’ faces but Umbridge’s as well. And also, there was my love for flying and my chance to prove to my brothers that I was good enough, and that they under estimated me. And lastly…Harry.

Harry was the rightful Gryffindor seeker, I would have never dreamed of taken that title away from him, but that didn’t mean that everyone felt the same way I did. Especially that particular year with all the animosity directed at him. Had it not been me to temporarily claim the title, someone else would have, and most likely would have made it a hassle to give the position back to Harry when the time came. I would, when the time came, give it right back to him. By that point, having made a name for myself in Quidditch, I would gain a rightfully earned spot on the team as a chaser the following year after Angelina and Alicia graduated.

I had it all planned out. When I explained my plan to Hermione as we rushed across that castle, she had more than a few objections, “But, Ginny, Harry has been given a life ban do you not know what that implies? It means he will never be able to play Quidditch at Hogwarts ever again.”

I rolled my eyes, “Honestly, Hermione? Who issued the punishment?”

“Umbridge.”

“Right, so when she’s gone so is the stupid sentence. I mean, I doubt McGonagall is going to enforce it the moment after the door hits Umbridge on the way out. By the sound of it, McGonagall is just as horrified as Fred, George and Harry are.”

“Wait, wait, when Umbridge is gone?”

“What, you don’t honestly think she’s going to be sticking around forever, do you?”

“Well I don’t know-“

“Not only will she want to go back to the Ministry to be with her beloved Minister, but Umbridge is the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. By the end of the year, she’ll either snuff it, get sacked, lose her memory, or resign. Everyone knows it’s cursed, Hermione.”

Hermione seemed shocked at my boldness, “You don’t honestly believe in that curse do you, Ginny?”

I shrugged, “I believe in coincidences from time to time, but you have to admit the track record is ridiculously consistent. It surpasses sheer coincidence.”

We were reaching the Defense Hallway now, and I was already late one full minute. It was like walking down towards my own funeral. “And if it doesn’t work? If this so-called curse doesn’t get rid of Umbridge?”

I gave Hermione an evil little smirk, “Then I have my ways. I’m not Fred and George’s sister for nothing, you know.”

She laughed that time. Just as I made it to the door, I hesitated- I was going to DIE. “One last thing, how did you get so good at Quidditch?”

“I’ve been sneaking into the broom shed behind the Burrow since I was six to practice. I think my dad knows what I’ve been doing, but he’s never said anything. I ride early in the mornings, even before my mum gets up. When I see her light turn on, I lock up the broom again and sneak upstairs. It’s gotten me pretty far don’t you think? And what’s best is my brothers don’t even know half of what I can do on a broom. Now, any more questions or shall I continue on to my immediate destruction?”

“You are something else, Ginny Weasley.”

I smiled, “So I’ve been told.”

Opening the door ever so quietly, I figured it would only take a miracle to not be called out. How hard was capturing a miracle anyway? But surprisingly enough, when I did enter I was only met with the sounds of scratching quills and page turning in an otherwise silent classroom. I was awarded with nervous glances from my classmates when I slipped inside. In fear of attracting too much attention to themselves, they only lifted their eyeballs.

As I’m sure you’re wondering, Umbridge was nowhere to be seen; she was not at her typical place at her desk in the front of the class, nor was she anywhere in sight after a quick once over. So then, why did everyone seem so edgy?

I quietly claimed my usual seat beside my roommate Demelza Robbins, holding back the questions I so desperately wanted to ask. Still eager for an explanation regarding a missing teacher, I pulled out my books and materials. When I couldn’t take it anymore, I turned to the girl beside me and was about to whisper when her eyes widened and gestured upward.

I scrunched my eyebrows, what was she doing?

More urgently now, she motioned upward with her eyes once again.

“What-”

“Hem-hem.”

That sound. Those two little syllables were enough to send shivers of resentment and repulsion down your back. My blood ran cold, because in that situation, that circumstance, I knew she had all the power, so yes, I was rather….nervous. Not scared. No. Never scared of Umbridge….

The pink toad was standing in the doorway of her personal office on the balcony that overlooked the class. “I was hoping you’d join us Miss. Weasley. I had just gone to send a search party or you.”

Now, I, of course, didn’t want to her to see how nervous she made me, so I squared my shoulders and met her gaze straight on. “Search party, Professor? It’s only been three minutes.”

Umbridge began to descend the steps, “Well, Miss. Weasley, considering your family history, three minutes is enough to, how shall I put this…wreck havoc? Yes. Tardiness is more than just unacceptable, it is prohibited,” her voice was, as usual, dripping in sugar.

But, honestly, prohibited? And insinuating that my “family history” was one of only wrecking havoc? Sure my family included Fred and George, but what of it?

“I was at Quidditch practice,” I replied dryly.

“Ahh, you see, your family has already influenced you. I was right to worry. You’ve literally taken your brothers’ place. I also do hope you realize that nothing, especially Quidditch, is a legitimate excuse for tardiness.”

The students were trying hard to look busy at work, but I knew that all the focus was on what Umbridge would do next.

Resisting the urge to make a sarcastic remark, I calmly nodded, "Yes, Professor, it won't happen again."

When she reached my desk, she smiled down at me. "Oh, we'll make sure of that, won't we?" she said. I wasn't sure what she meant by that, nor what she was even going to do; ever since she had entered Hogwarts and became the High Inquisitor, it seemed nothing was off limits.

"As High Inquisitor, I am in control of all punishment and discipline, I am sure you are aware of that?"

"Yes, I am aware."

"So you do realize I cannot let such tardiness go without fair judgment?"

"So… what? Are you going to ban me for life from Quidditch too?"

I hadn’t meant to say that out loud- honestly-but I did, and with a sarcastic tone that did not go unnoticed.

Umbridge, for her part, resembled Malfoy a bit; her dark, beady little eyes sparkled with fire. She had been looking for a fight. As adults said to never poke a sleeping hippogriff with your wand, Umbridge was not the hippogriff, she was the bloody woman with the bloody wand! I could see it in her eyes. Any excuse to get me to lose my calm and give her the perfect incentive to have me shipped off to detention, or even worse, home, was an excuse she was going to take.

But, oh no. I was not going to play her game. I was going to keep calm. My prior reaction was exactly what she had been fishing for.

"You, Miss. Weasley, seemed to be opposed to my choice of sentencing."

I gathered my wits about me. By that point, the students had given up feigning being hard at work and were now openly staring. I had two options spread out before me; I could either save myself the trouble by telling her the ban was just and that she was right, or... I could stand up and oppose.

In the end, I figured that Harry shouldn’t have been the only person standing up to Umbridge. He needed support. “Well, now that you mention it, Professor,” I said in a light tone- that could in no way be construed as insulting- to her retreating back, “I do think that was an unfair call. Yes.”

She had not been expecting that response; she probably had not been expecting a response at all. We were playing a card game, she had been expecting me to fold and cower in defeat, or even hoping I would throw my cards at her so that she would have the perfect chance to reprimand me. She got neither. She got the card that had been hiding under my sleeve; (we were studying muggle pastimes and game terminology in muggle studies) I had a Royal Flush.

“Well that isn’t surprising isn’t it?” she said, saving face, “Considering your family’s lack of manners and discipline.”

That almost did me in- almost. But Demelza, quick on the uptake, ever so subtly stepped on my foot below the table.

“If you were there, Professor, you would have seen that Draco Malfoy-”

“Draco Malfoy was only expressing himself and his disappointment in an unfortunate loss in a healthy and un-violent manner.”

“Sure, if you call that healthy-”

“Enough. Another word out of you, and you will be banned from the team. Or, better yet, at the rate this seems to be going I will dismember the Gryffindor Quidditch team altogether,” she said with a smile when she heard the various audible gasps from around the room. She turned and began walking back to the head of the classroom. “Is that clear, Miss. Weasley?”

Obviously, that was a rhetorical question, for I had been ordered not to speak. But I was seeing red…and I had inherited my mother’s temper, as you well know. There she was, threatening my team, insulting my family, and getting away with it, all the while defending Draco Malfoy.

So I couldn’t help it.

Even as Demelza was shaking her head and mouthing a distinct warning, I couldn’t help it.

“Well, in all honesty, Professor, you did ask for my opinion. After all, you don’t want any of us telling lies.”

When she turned around, the silence was like a fog- practically visible. Every person was tensed and did not even want to move an inch to pretend to be “working” again.

Harry Potter was the only other person who had ever openly defied Umbridge, or at least, gone against her and he had scares on the back of his hand to prove it. Looking back, I’m glad I had said what I did. Even as she glared at me from across the classroom, I would have done it again and again.

“That is correct, Miss. Weasley. And just to make sure that the idea is cemented into your head, I want you to write lines for me, every night for the next two weeks. My office- 6 p.m. Do. Not. Be. Late.”

“I already promised that I wouldn’t be again, didn’t I?”

“Better make that three.”

****
“I heard a rumor-”

“A deliciously delectable rumor,”

“A rumor so fantastic-”

“I could cry for joy.”

“And what rumor would you be speaking of?” I asked.

“Well, it seems that…”

“The fourth years are all buzzing,”

“About a new hero.”

I looked up from my book, “Okay, you two, out with it.”

Fred gave me a wicked smirk and George winked one very blue eye. “Apparently some red head decided to give Umbridge just what she dished out.”

“And it wasn’t Ron.”

“And it wasn’t him,” said George as he pointed to Fred.

“And it wasn’t him,” said Fred as he pointed to George.

“And especially considering not one of us is a little fourth year…”

“That leaves you.”

I was seated in my typical corner spot of the common room finishing my transfiguration work before my first night of a very long sentencing. The room wasn’t particularly loud, but I wouldn’t say it was quiet either; thankfully no one was paying any attention to us. Of course I knew that the “rumor” had spread like wild fire, as everything at Hogwarts did, but I didn’t want my brothers encouraging it like it was some circus act. It was serious and symbolized a point. I didn’t even need my name attached to the story because that was not the point. I hadn’t done it for attention, nor for a reputation. I mean, I had several friends at school by the time I was fourteen; I was what you could call…popular- but I wasn’t getting a big head over it.

“Well, I honestly have no idea what you are talking about,” I replied as I began to collect my things. “Haven’t you learned anything? You can’t believe everything you hear.”

“Oh, I see,” said George.

“She’s right,” said Fred.

“You can’t believe everything you hear.”

“Look at what happened to Sirius Black.”

“Look at what happened to our own Harry.”

I nodded, “Precisely.” I had fifteen minutes to get to detention and needed to get a move on.

“I’m leaving, I’ll see you later.”

“Where are you going?” they asked.

Just then, the portrait hole opened and Harry stepped in with a curious look. Spotting me and the twins, Harry came over to us. “Hey.”

“Hey,” I replied. “I was just leaving.”

“No, wait. You guys might know-”

“Know what?”

“I heard that some fourth year ripped Umbridge a new one. Any idea who?” I rolled my eyes and hitched my bag over my shoulder. As much as I wanted Harry to know I was willing to stand up beside him, I did not “rip Umbridge a new one” whatever that meant. I merely responded with wit. Damn rumors. Now if I didn’t retreat, Fred and George were going to take this prime advantage to humiliate me to a new level.

“We heard that too, didn’t we Fred?”

“We sure did, and we have a hunch about it too,” agreed Fred, sneaking a look at me.

“I really do have to go-”

“Why so interested, Harry?”

“So, I’m just going to head out,” No one was really listening to me. Not very unusual.

Harry shrugged, “Well, if there is someone else standing up to the toad, I’d like to thank them personally.”

I just walked away- seriously. I was heading off to detention, I wasn’t in the mood to hang around and let Fred and George hassle me. If I sneaked out without them noticing-

“Oh, Ginny!” chimed the twins.

I was going to ignore them…but in the end I figured it was better to deal with it sooner rather than later; I turned around.

“Yes?”

“You never told us where you were going?”

I knew the answer would confirm what Fred and George already knew. It wouldn’t be all too painful. I only wished Harry wasn’t there.

“I have detention…with Umbridge.”

The twins smiled like two alley cats.

“With Umbridge?” asked Harry, “What did you do?”

The twins’ smirks grew more pronounced. “Yes, dear little sister-”

“What did you do?”

“Well I guess, I kinda, ‘ripped her a new one,’” I replied dryly.

Harry’s eyes widened, “It was you?”

“You seem oh, so shocked, Harry.”

“Well, I- I mean-”

“Look, I’ve had a long day and I really am going to be late, so if you three old women are done gossiping...” I didn’t know why I was in such a mood. But I didn’t want to hang around.

“No wait, Harry, what were you saying you were going to do when you found out who this person was?”

“Yeah, something about thanking them…”

“Personally?” they finished together.

That’s when I really left. I was not going to stand and take it. I had taken enough ridicule and banter earlier in the day.

But Harry caught me just outside the portrait hole. “Look, I really did just want to say thanks.”

I sighed, “Your welcome. I’m sorry it’s just…hasn’t been my day.”

“Hasn’t been my day in a while either.”

I instantly felt terrible, Harry had it so much worse than I did and there I was complaining to him. Hadn’t I stood up to Umbridge to show Harry he wasn’t fighting alone? Or did I really just do it for me?

I supposed it was a little of both.

“I have to go,” I said a bit reluctantly.

Harry smiled, “Yeah, one on one time with Umbridge, you don’t want to be late for that.”

“No, I definitely don’t.”

Harry turned around, gave the password and walked back into the common room, while I watched him.

Just so you know…I was late to detention…


***

Valentine's Day was fast approaching and there were subtle signs of it all get the castle. No one seemed even remotely concerned that the Dark Lord was alive and running amuck- no. Ignorant bliss swam about the school. And for once, it was fine with me. I needed a break from disasters. My father was home and healing, thankfully, and this was the first Valentine's that actually meant something to me. I had a boyfriend, and he was... great.

That was the year that Ron and Hermione were getting closer, and so naturally they were avoiding any evidence of the day like a fleet of dementors.

Harry on the other hand, had Cho. Since their kiss at Christmas, I wasn't really sure where they stood. I saw them walking the halls from time to time- not that I was watching or anything.

But any who, I assumed Harry would at least summon the minor amount of courage to ask the girl on a proper date.

And I definitely wasn’t thinking about how I wished it was me. No. I was listening to Hermione’s advice. I was not jealous or bitter. I had a great guy and I really liked Michael.

“So,” I said casually looking up from my Muggle Studies homework. “There’s a Hogsmeade trip coming up.” Why Michael hadn’t mentioned the date yet…I still have no idea. Now, I wasn’t one of those hopelessly gooey romantics. Sure I’d only ever been really interested in one guy. A guy that I’d wished for…for while, (plus that was all in the past) but I didn’t demand attention all the time. I didn’t expect flowers, and I didn’t want to go to Madam Puddifoots’s restaurant and get showered in flowers or little hearts and cupid arrows. It sounded disgusting really. But, however un-clichéd I might be, I did at least expect my boyfriend to acknowledge Valentine’s Day, or a Hogsmeade trip!

Something!

“Yeah,” he replied looking up from his text book.

I nodded, the tiniest peaked that I wasn’t getting anything else out of him. I sat back again. The winter breeze was refreshing and I loved being outside on a beautiful day after being cooped up inside for so long. I pulled my scarf tighter.

And just when I thought that nothing would catch my boyfriend’s attention away from his school work, he seemed to notice my preoccupation with my scarf. “Are you cold?”

I smiled, I didn’t like being smothered, which was one of the things I liked about Michael, but I wouldn’t mind if he was going to offer me his arm, or his scarf or jacket-

“You should go get a sweater.”

“What?”

“Yeah, I’ll wait here. How about I check your work while you’re gone?” Without waiting for a response, Michael took my work from me and began revising it.

The smile that had began forming disappeared, and I blew my hair out of my face in defeat. The disappointment didn’t really sting with hurt, but annoyance, “Yeah, I think I’m going to do just that.”

Not bothering for a response I grabbed my bag, and because I felt I should, I swooped down and pecked his cheek. I mean, he was revising my essay, and Hermione was busy with her O.W.L.s which meant she was busy with Ron and Harry’s as well.

I walked into school, pulling off layers as I went. So what? I had a boyfriend who didn’t really act as a boyfriend?

I’m sure Valentine’s Day just slipped his mind.

“Hey, Ginny!”

“Hey, Angie. How are you?”

Angelina fell into step beside me. “I’m about to be dead by the end of the day.”

“Oh, really? Why?”

“I’m scheduling a practice next weekend, and I’m going around informing the team.”

I stopped walking, “On a Hogsmeade weekend?”

“Yeah I-”

“On Valentine’s Day?”

“We need-”

“Angelina!” I whined, “This place is already like a prison with Umbridge running around as high inquisitor! We need fresh air.”

She gave me an apologetic look and I knew that there was nothing I could say to change her mind. I also knew that she wasn’t going to spend any more time arguing since she really had no support other than we sucked. So I just went on my way. It seemed I just kept taking things in stride. But it didn’t matter since Valentine’s Day wasn’t even a consideration any more. Michael was off the hook.

“Are you okay?”

“Yes.”

“You don’t look okay.”

“Hermione, it’s just been one of those days.” Boy was I sounding like- as the muggles said- a broken record.

She put her hand on my shoulder comfortingly, “Why don’t we go down to the kitchens and get some hot cocoa?”

I slumped down into the couch in the common room, “Don’t you have studying to do?”

“I’m sure, but I feel like I haven’t seen you in weeks. We need some girl time.”

I laughed, “Sounds good to me, let me just drop my things up in my room.”

When I returned, Hermione was ready to go. “Girl time: that sounds fantastic,” I said, “I’ve just about had it with the male species.”

“And just in time for Valentine’s too.”

“I’m not sure Valentine’s Day is in the cards for me this year. Michael seems to have forgotten.”

She frowned, “Oh, I’m sorry.”

I shrugged, “It doesn’t matter anyway; Angelina set a practice for that day.” “Are you kidding? Wow. I’m sure the team won’t take that well.” Hermione tilted her head, “But, I actually think this will be the first time Harry can be grateful he is no longer on the team.”

We had begun down the stairs, “How do you figure?”

She smirked, “Well he finally asked Cho to Hogsmeade.”

My stomach churned a bit but my only physical reaction was quickening my pace.

“Ginny,” Hermione chuckled, trying to keep up, “What’s the hurry?”

“Suddenly I need that hot chocolate a whole lot more.”

***


The word luck held no meaning for me in the weeks that followed. One morning I woke up to the Daily Prophet announcing terrible information that changed the future of all of us.

When the post arrived that morning, most of the school was already eating breakfast. I was beside Demelza and few other friends, and saw Hermione a few people down with Harry and my brother. On the other side a few ways down were Fred and George with the rest of the Quidditch team. Neville, Dean and Seamus Finnigan were across from me and my friends.

Seamus was, as always, flirting with my friend Tabitha, as his best friend, Dean, was talking to me. He was a sweet guy, an artist he said. Neville was a quiet one and was currently reading the paper, but he joined in our conversation a few times; he and I were good friends ever since attending the Yule Ball together.

So basically when the news broke, I had a visual on all my closest friends and family.

The article was front page.

And the headline read:

Mass Breakout From Azkaban
Ministry Fears Black is “Rallying Point” For Old Death Eaters


Not only had an impressive amount of Death Eaters just escaped from incarceration, but they were blaming Sirius. Would nightmares ever end? I longed to see the day when Sirius would be proven innocent man. But until that time, we had to deal with several notorious Death Eaters running about.

And the Prophet singled one out specifically.

Bellatrix Lestrange. Not only was she Sirius’ cousin, one of the several reasons why it was believed that he was the one behind the breakout, but this was a woman who tortured Neville’s parents. Who I recently discovered were passing their days away at St. Mungo’s, forever incapacitated due to Lestrange’s curses.

The Great Hall was not proving to be a place of somber and worried anxiety. How everyone could just not be moved by what was happening outside the castle walls flummoxed me. But when I looked up, Neville’s face had become a mask of fierce determination and anger. He stood and walked out of the room and I wished I could help somehow. I had only just learned about Neville’s parents, and I was sure there was still things for me to learn, but I knew for sure this was the woman to blame for it. Dean was confused as to why his friend had left so abruptly. I pushed the paper towards him and watch his eyes grow wider and wider.

Turning over to Harry Ron and Hermione, I could see that their reactions were a bit more horrified and shocked. After all, they had every right to exercise those reactions, I was feeling them myself. I watched as they began whispering fiercely amongst each other, and I wished I could hear what they were saying.

At the head table, Umbridge was looking, shall I say, a bit smug. Not a comforting thing at all.
If that wasn’t a clear indication that the Dark Lord had returned, then I don’t know what other kind of proof the Wizarding World needed.

“This is bad, isn’t it?”

“Most definitely. Dean…you do realize this is all the Dark Lords doing, don’t you?”

He nodded, “I believe Harry. I believe Dumbledore. You-Know-Who is back, and Sirius Black is probably helping him recruit his old followers.”

I nearly choked on my pumpkin juice. “Err- well-”

“And Bellatrix Lestrange- I wasn’t raised in the Wizarding World so I don’t know much about past wizards and witches- but even though I don’t know much about her, I have heard a few things that would horrify anyone.”

I also didn’t know much of Bellatrix Lestrange- however- I would, in time, have my fair share of meetings with the miserable woman.

I just hated seeing Sirius portrayed in such bad light; if only everyone would know him how I did, or how amazing the man truly was. It was hardly fair.

Losing my appetite, I bid farewell to Dean and walked out of the Great Hall hoping to find a few moments of mental peace before I had to go to class.

And also, in hopes of keeping my breakfast down.

***


Before we knew it, Valentine's Day was upon us and the mood was tarnished- more for some than for others. Umbridge was making it a point to squash any reminders of the day. Paper hearts strung up by the house elves? Disintegrated. Any cupids charmed by the Hufflepuffs? Shot down.

And then there was the “No Signs of Affection” debacle that was driving everyone nuts. Sure it's acceptable to establish a rule making it illegal to completely plunder each other's mouths in the hallway between classes, but if Umbridge saw any handholding as well, you'd be blasted on either side of the hall.

All in all, everyone was itching to go to Hogsmeade; she couldn't do anything to us there. Not to mention, the day was absolutely perfect, just cool enough to enjoy a nice warm pumpkin cider at the three broomsticks —

"Okay, everyone, right side up!"

That's right- I wasn't allowed to enjoy the freedom of Hogsmeade I was at practice.

"So, Ginny, what do you and the boyfriend have planned for today?"

I stretched out my arm as I answered, "Nothing."

"What do you mean nothing, it's Valentine's Day."

"Well, he's just not a fan of the day."

"Oh. Well you should at least spend the day together, where is he now? Watching practice?"

"He's at Hogsmeade with some friends."

"Without you?"

"Yeah."

She was silent and I pretended that I was oblivious to all that was wrong with the situation. Besides, Michael could do what he wanted, I wasn't his keeper.

Ron was in the air and was continuously getting hit by the Quaffle in ways that looked most painful.

"Well...at least he is stopping them," I told Katie.

Katie didn't respond, but she gave me a dubious look. I spoke too soon- Ron got hit by the bludger that he should've dodged and let two scores in.

"I just think you deserve better than that."

"He's my boyfriend."

"So you like it because he's your boyfriend? He's not your boyfriend because you like him?"
"Is there a difference?"

"A big one."

Although I should have, I didn't think much about what she said. I was searching for the snitch actually thinking about why Dean Thomas was sitting in the stands watching us, when he should've been at Hogsmeade with everyone else. I caught his eyes and he smiled, and I found myself smiling back too.

"Ginny, watch out!!" Was all I heard before a hard bludger knocked into my shoulder. I almost fell, but managed to regain my balance at the very last second.

"Are you okay?"

"Didn't you see that coming?"

"Sloper! I didn't tell you to knock one at her! I meant the other Weasley!"

My arm and shoulder were sore, but okay, I was shaking it off as people swarmed about me.

Jeez... I wasn't some China doll. I looked back to see Dean's expression, I suddenly felt embarrassed and then confused as to why I should feel embarrassed because of Dean.

I saw him standing up trying to get an angle and what it happened. Only when I waved a casual hand did he seem to relax again.

I wasn’t a china doll or anything…but, it was nice to know someone cared. Where was Michael? Having fun without me on Valentine's Day. Perhaps Katie had a point.

As I began to think into it, I was quickly distracted by the sight of Cho Chang running up the steps to the main entrance of the castle grounds. Even though I was far away and high in the air, it wasn't hard to see that she was crying.

Cho Chang shouldn't have been crying if she was on a date with Harry Potter.

And then again… It was Cho Chang the human hose pipe.

But I didn't see Harry anywhere. Had she just up and left him?

Was he hurt? Is that what she was crying? Something terrible had happened and she was running for help?

That didn't make any sense. Hogsmeade was flooded with people that could help. So many possibilities flashed in my head even after Cho passed my line of vision.

I was going to tell someone but practice was already going so terribly… Again. I let everything faster in my mind until I began to go crazy. I nearly touched ground a few times to run off and see what was going on.

"Sloper! Kirke! Just put down the bats! That's it- LAPS. NOW!"

"This is a disaster," murmured Katie, appearing beside me once again.

"How much longer is she going to keep this up?"

"What, are you that eager to see your boyfriend?" she replied sarcastically.

I elbowed her, which is no easy feat when you're 40 feet in the air.

"Ginny, Katie! Stop it!"

We both froze, surprised at the outburst, "Is no one listening to me?! Does everyone just want to fail?"

"Sorry, Angie," said Katie, as she then began to console her friend.

I wasn't listening because students were shuffling into the gate and I noticed Michael with a group of his friends. And soon after, Harry walking in with Hermione. I zoomed my goggles in a little more. (Goggles that adjusted to your wish that could make you see as far as the horizon if you wanted. They were handy at keeping the snow and rain out of your eyes.)
Harry seemed just fine, if not a little frazzled.

"You know what? That's enough for today," called a defeated Angelina, "everyone just head out."

No one have to tell me twice. Once I knew Harry was okay, I wasn't worried anymore. But I was still curious to know what happened.

Before I knew it, I was walking into the Great Hall with Ron at my tail.

I made it a point to head straight to the empty seat beside Hermione who was seated across from Harry. I wasn’t sure how I was going to bring up the Cho Chang incident, but I was damn sure I was going to find out precisely what happened somehow. When I made it to the table, however, it seemed Harry and Hermione had just about wrapped the conversation about the topic up. She was telling him to try and understand how Cho was feeling, and by the way Harry was watching the girl in question leave the room, I could see that it was not my place, nor was it a good time to ask anything. Just my luck.

Harry turned the conversation to quidditch in no time, “So how was Quidditch practice?”

“It was a nightmare,” said Ron.

“Oh come on,” Hermione replied in a chipper voice, “I’m sure it wasn’t-”

“It was appalling,” I said, “Angelina was almost in tears by the end of it.”

I ate the rest of my dinner in moody silence. Harry ate in a depressed state. Ron only ate half the amount he usually did in an utterly distraught demeanor. And Hermione sat there picking at her food, worried about her three best friends. What a fine group we made.

When I finished, I decided that I needed a shower, so bidding everyone a somber farewell, I fled the scene.

“Hey, Ginny!” called Michael as I passed the Ravenclaw table.

That was the first time I had seen my boyfriend on Valentine’s Day. “Oh, hey,” I replied lamely.

He smiled, “I almost forgot,” and there came the hope that he remembered it was in fact Valentine’s Day, “You left your essay with me. I finished revising it,” he said, handing over the folder holding my report. “I wrote some side notes in there; your thesis was good, but the execution was a little weak-”

“Thank you, Michael,” I curtly interrupted. “I’ll see you later.”

I left without letting him respond, and then, just when I thought the day couldn’t get any worse, I heard a conversation that I could have gone without hearing.

But I eavesdropped on it anyway.

Cho was outside the Great Hall speaking with her gaggle of giggling girlfriends, so before they could spot me I dashed behind the Great Entrance Tapestry.

“So then he was sitting there, as though he wasn’t even remotely interested in me at all!” whined Cho.

“Well, that can’t be right. Every guy at this school would kill to have been in his place today, Cho! Besides, he took you to Madam Puddifoot’s- it is a clear sign that he does like you.”

“Although, honestly, I wouldn’t even bother,” came the voice of Cho’s snobby best friend, Marietta Edgecombe. “It’s Harry Potter, you can do so much better than him, have you heard at all what the papers are saying?”

“The papers have lied about him before…” argued Cho.

I had to admit, I commended her for sticking up for Harry. But then I heard the rest of the conversation.

“Oh, please! The last time Harry Potter was in the papers was when there was speculation about his more than platonic relationship with Hermione Granger.”

At that, Cho burst into tears again.

“What happened next, Cho?”

“We ordered our food and he told me that he had to meet Hermione Granger at the Three Broomsticks afterwards!”

That was right, Hermione had told me she had scheduled a meeting with Rita Skeeter, the snotty reported that loved dragging Harry’s name through the mud, at the Three Broomsticks to discuss Harry. Naturally she told Harry to be there. I figured that Harry would have taken Cho…

“How rude!”

“You are much prettier than that Granger!”

“He’s not even worth it!”

Oh! So she had taken offence that Harry had planned meeting another girl on Valentine’s Day! Well. That would make sense. But hadn’t Harry explained?

I knew Harry wasn’t the smoothest when it came to women…but I didn’t think he could mess that up so much.

“Did he tell you why?”

“No! I left him before he could give me some ridiculous excuse!”

Oh. That. Was. It! she left him before he could explain the crucial reason for the meeting? Didn’t she understand that there were much more important things than herself going on at the time? There was a bloody war on!

Sure it made sense that she would be upset. Harry was stupid for bringing it up like that, but if she didn’t realize that Hermione was a major part in his life…then she was not worth it.
Cho Chang was a vile witch if she didn’t see that Harry Potter was worth everything. Nothing would ever happen between Harry and Hermione, and he needed a girl that understood and respected that.

She left poor Harry standing in the middle of the street according to what she told her friends. But I didn’t even care to hear anymore. I carefully sneaked away, mad and bitter.
Harry deserved better.

And thinking about Michael, I decided that I too deserved better.

Fred and George were probably right. Michael and I and Harry and Cho, were two couples that didn’t match.

Back to index


Chapter 17: The Chocolaty Defeat of Cho Chang

Author's Notes: new chapter for those who have read this story already and have come back to see what I've added, this and the previous chapters are brand new!




The Chocolaty Defeat of Cho Chang
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

“Don't tell me not to live, just sit and putter
Life's candy and the sun's a ball of butter
Don't bring around a cloud to rain on my parade
Don't tell me not to fly, I simply got to
If someone takes a spill, it's me and not you
Who told you you're allowed to rain on my parade…”
-Don’t Rain On My Parade, Barbra Streisand

I remember the first time I got my first personal glimpse inside the real Harry Potter. Not “The Great Harry Potter” but the troubled and lonely Harry James.

Not that it was the first time I ever saw past his outer shell; obviously, I’d seen him with Sirius back at Grimmuald Place and I suppose you could argue that I saw the real Harry Potter in the Chamber of Secrets as he was at the brink of death. But even then, I was scared out of my mind and he was trying hard to stay calm and be the hero he always refuses to believe he is.
No. He true first time I ever evoked a crack in the thick exterior of Harry Potter was in my fourth year. It wasn’t brought out by snake venom, nor was it due to seeing his Godfather for the first time in two years. It was all me.

As I mentioned before, the months marking the ending of the 1995-1996 school term were dark and dreary and full of animosity pain and sorrow. I didn't see much of Hermione, as she was constantly studying for her exams, and Umbridge was making the school the last place on Earth anyone wanted to be.

She was monitoring the Halls with her Inquisitorial Squad, packed with Slytherins no less. I couldn't even tell you how many times I just barely slipped out of receiving a detention. Hogwarts felt like a foreign place.

But still, we were constantly moving forward. It’s funny how things happen, one action can cause a ripple effect and cause every action after that one to fall into place. Long term cause and effect, or, as the muggles call it, the Damano effect. No idea why.

The story of Harry Potter is one that to this day people claim to know like the back of their hands. Unfortunately, they always seem to miss a few vital details that change the name of the game.

What if I told you that one of my actions began a ripple effect that changed the course of our story?

Now, the first time I was able to open up Harry Potter is interconnected with my ripple in the story. It was what led to the events of the end of the 1995-1996 school year.

Oh yes, everyone knows the story, but no one seems to regard my prominent involvement.

To get a good start, I’m going to have to begin right where I left off in the last entry.
The next quidditch game…


It was torture- pure agonizing torture to sit through a match of that shameful performance, and it was worse to take part in it.

I was sitting up on my broom scanning the pitch for the snitch, but really just watching in amazement at the ridiculous events taking place in the air.

Within the first ten minutes, there was more bloodshed than the entire season altogether! The beaters were brutal and the bludgers were flying hard and fast. I couldn't turn my head in fear that I would be blasted off my broom.

Ron wasn't saving a thing, and the chasers were just totally off their game.

It was just terrible. So I quickly realized I had no choice; to save the well being of my team and keep them alive, as well as to regain composure for our team.... I had to catch the snitch. Even though we were down by a whole lot, and there was no way our team was going to be able to make up the points we were losing by, I had to catch the snitch.

We wouldn't win, but we wouldn't have won regardless. Plus, if we still wanted a chance at the Cup, I needed to make the scores a whole lot closer.

Not to mention, I would never let the other team seeker catch the snitch while I was playing.
We might have been losing, but I was a Weasley and I still had my pride.

"I'm going to catch it, Angie!" I called as she flew past me.

She gave me a panicked, but resigned look. "Alright! Just, make it quick, I think someone is going to die out here!"

She was right; people had already been pulled off the pitch on stretchers.

And that is how 20 minutes into the match, I was desperately seeking the snitch. I tried to not make it look obvious as to not tip off the opposing seeker, but I failed at that. I caught wind of the snitch easily and the other seeker became aware of that too. He obviously knew his team had the win- no doubt about it- yet my catching of the snitch would be too profitable for Gryffindor.

I caught it. Precisely 22 minutes since the match had begun, I had the snitch grasped in my hand. The other guy sneezed and missed it by half an inch…too bad for him. It was an odd scenario, to have caught the snitch and be holding it as the other team celebrated around me.

When we reached the changing rooms, it was agreed that although we lost, we were not going to let it get us down. We passed it off just as we brushed off a bad practice.

"Good game, Ron," I told my brother when we were the last two in the room.

"I don't care what anyone says, that was not a good game. You all should hate me."

"Of course we don't hate you, don't be dramatic."

He tore his protective gear off, "I don't even know why Angelina is so determined to keep me on the team. I'm terrible."

I shrugged, "I've seen worse."

"Yeah, sure."

"Ron, you play so well at home, and you were amazing during your try out."

"Well maybe that's because I don't have the whole bloody school watching and waiting for me to fail so that they could sing that blasted song!"

I took a step closer to him and put a hand on his shoulder, "I'm sorry. I know it's wretched. But we'll find a way to make Malfoy pay, we always do."

Sighing, Ron finished puffin his clothes on. "I'm going for a walk. If Hermione asks, tell her I just want to be alone."

"Hermione?" I asked, highly amused, "What about Harry?"

His ears turned a bit red and he seemed to have been caught red handed, "Err... Harry too."

"Sure thing."

I began walking back to the castle by myself, wondering where my supposed boyfriend was... but not really caring anyway. I had actually started to begin wondering, as I reached the common room, where Dean Thomas was, when Harry came up beside me as I entered the common room, "Good catch," he said.

I paused. Harry Potter had just complemented my Quidditch playing in a game we lost, while I had played his position. It felt rather nice.

I could've gone on and on about how I truly wasn't that great, or I could've gleamed and said that he’d better watch out. I ended up deciding to go half way.

"I was lucky," I said, "It wasn't a very fast snitch and Summerby's got a cold, he sneezed and closed his eyes at exactly the wrong moment. Anyway, once you back on the team-"

Harry shook his head, "I've got a life ban, Ginny."

Why didn't anyone seem to understand that the ban was a fickle assessment? It was temporary. So I told him the same thing I told Hermione, "You're banned as long as Umbridge is in the school, there's a difference. Anyway, once you're back, I think I'll try out for chaser. Angelina and Alicia are both leaving next year and I prefer goal scoring to seeking anyway.” He didn’t argue with me, I pretty much knew he wouldn’t disagree, the “curse” was a real thing and I wasn’t the only one who believed in it.

But the truth was I wanted to be in the middle of the action of the game. Figures right?

I noticed Harry glancing in the direction of a still gloomy Ron, who had finally returned from his walk. I wondered if Harry was envious of Ron, who was still on the team, or if he felt sorry for him. The song “Weasley is our King” had become a crowd favorite.

“Angelina still wouldn’t let him resign,” I told Harry, “She says she knows he’s got it in him.”

“He does,” agreed Harry, “I’m just not sure if it’s worth the strain on him.”

Then I spent a moment realizing just what was happening around me. I took in the scene.
There I was, robbed in Gryffindor Quidditch gear after a game in which I got the snitch, but we lost anyway, having a butter dish free conversation with Harry Potter, who was not robbed in Gryffindor Quidditch gear, about my brother’s sanity.

And all I did was take a sip of my butterbeer, and nod in agreement with Harry as though nothing was out of the normal. Which I supposed at the time…nothing was.

After that Quidditch match, things went from bad to worse (if you can even imagine possible). The article Harry had been interviewed for on Valentine’s Day was finally published and printed in the Quibbler. The article was bloody brilliant, and so was the effect it had on the Wizarding society, but this only made Dolores Umbridge madder. And so it seemed that from then on out, we had passed poking the hippogriff to punching it in the gut. Repeatedly.

Her face, as she read the piece that morning in front of the entire student body, was priceless. It was a relief to have at least one piece of publication reporting the truth, and not some made-up, euphemistical garbage.

The best part of it all was the fan letters Harry began receiving only minutes later in response to the article. They were letters of support from witches and wizards from all over the country telling Harry how they had complete faith in him, and most importantly, how they believed him. That was the first time I saw Harry genuinely smile that whole year- not even during D.A. meeting did his face light up like that.

Sure Umbridge took the initiative to cut off Harry’s mail right away and created accordance 25 which stated that students were not allowed to socialize with any person involved in the press, but I knew, as did Ron and Hermione, that it was all worth it.

Even if Umbridge became even more unbearable. Everyday it seemed there was a new amendment in the law of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Dumbledore was seen less and less when I had rather hoped he’d be the one to put Umbridge in her place. McGonagall was the one who was fighting each and every battle all on her own.

Until the day Umbridge went too far; she had been evaluating teacher performances and sitting in on lessons. Basically, Umbridge was making the lives of all the teachers absolutely miserable. As fun as it was to watch her humiliate Snape, it wasn’t so fun to see her criticize say, Professor Sprout. Apparently, though I was not there, I heard that Professor Trelawney’s class did the worst with Umbridge present and the entire school was there to witness the outcome of the evaluation.

Umbridge was sacking Trelawney and effectively throwing her out as well. An impressive audience had gathered around the entrance hall where the scene was taking place. ‘This is so wrong,” I muttered to Colin who stood beside me.

“Can she even do this?” He asked.

Trelawney’s two trunks sat at her feet as the woman cried in despair. Sure she wasn’t the best teacher, and sure I didn’t believe she was a real prophet, but Dumbledore hired her to teach his students Divination on his good judgment. And though it was true that no one- not even Trelawney’s number one fan, Lavender Brown- was really learning the gift of seeing into the beyond, we all truly were learning valuable concepts of life, the universe and the significance of questioning everything. We were learning how to use our minds, how to clear them and how to open them.

And that was probably why Umbridge was cutting the course from the school’s curriculum. It promoted mental freedom, it encouraged questioning authority and it rebelled against oppression dealt by the Ministry of Magic.

“I’ve been here 16 years! H-Hogwarts is m-my h-home!” Trelawney begged.

“It was your home,” Umbridge emphasized, “Until an hour ago when the Minister of Magic signed your dismissal.”

“Can’t somebody do something?” Colin was looking over at the distraught Lavender Brown and Partavi Patil.

“There’s McGonagall now,” I pointed out as the elderly woman rushed to Sybil Trelawney’s side and attempted to comfort her. “Here comes another Umbridge-McGonagall spat-” But before the words could come out of my mouth the oak doors opened and Colin smiled.
“I’d hold that thought.”

Dumbledore finally entered the mix. “About time he showed up,” I said.

Dumbledore started by pointing out to Dolores that she in fact had every right to dismiss his teachers, “You do not, however, have the authority to send them away from the castle. I am afraid that the power to do that still resides with the Headmaster.”

Even Snape smirked at that one, and noticing Snape, I saw Harry right beside him. It was strange company until I remembered that Harry was taking Occulamency lessons with Snape to keep Voldemort out of his head.

And suddenly I didn’t see Dumbledore besting Umbridge as a big victory at all. And yet, to the oblivious that was the only thing that mattered at the moment. And that ignorance was scarier than any pink toad.

****

We were in the midst of an avalanche, honestly, when Dumbledore’s Army was exposed. Because Umbridge had suspected our meetings earlier on in the year, she was keeping a very close eye on us after initiating the ban of school organizations. So entering the Room of Requirement without being caught by Filtch, the Inquisitorial Squad or Umbridge herself presented a new challenge all in itself. A challenge that we had managed to overcome….until Umbridge became desperate and began questioning students for information. And unfortunately, not all of us were as strong willed as others.

I fear what it would have been like if we hadn’t been warned.

We were working on Patronuses, like I said, and there had been much improvement. Mists were beginning to sharpen and confidence was soaring, and the Patronuses of a select few were zipping around the room. Hermione and I were laughing as my horse chased her otter.

“They’re sort of nice, aren’t they?” she said.

I was about to agree when the door to the Room of Requirement opened and closed. I nearly dropped my wand when a house elf entered the room. “What in Merlin’s underpants-”

“That’s Dobby the house elf,” said Hermione in disbelief. Dobby the house elf; I had heard stories of him. Dobby was the ex-house elf of the Malfoy family, before Harry tricked Lucius Malfoy into freeing the poor little soul.

Dobby was rather fond of Harry, and Harry had a soft spot for him too.

Harry seemed bewildered at the sight of Dobby at his feet, and though I couldn’t hear what the elf was telling harry, I could easily see that the creature was terrified and shaking from nerves. The room fell silent as people began taking steps closer.

“Who’s ‘she’ Dobby?”

Dobby was too frightened to speak, but Harry seemed to put things together on his own, “Umbridge?” questioned a horrified Harry. Dobby nodded. “Is she coming?”

A collective gasp raced about the room, and Dobby finally caught his voice, “Yes, Harry Potter, yes!”

It didn’t take long to discover the next logical step in our situation, “What are you waiting for?” asked Harry turning to us, “RUN!”

And we did, oh boy did we run. I made sure to get as many people out before me as I could until Ron took me by the wrist and dragged me along with him. “Ron! What about Harry and Hermione?”

“I thought she was with you!” He called stopping his break-neck speed very abruptly, but as he did, Hermione rushed past us.

“I’m right here, come on!”

We continued running, “Where’s Harry?” I called, panting and extremely frazzled.

“He was getting Dobby out of the way, he’ll be along right away, I’m sure.”

Without another word the three of us raced down the corridor, intending on making it to the common room, before we heard a contented yell of victory.

Someone had caught Harry.

“No!” I stopped dead in my tracks.

“Ginny, come on!”

“We can’t just leave him, Ron! We can’t let him go down for this alone; it was our fault as much as his!”

“Look, Harry can take care of himself, you are my first priority.”

“Where is your sense of loyalty?” I asked my brother, astonished at his attitude, “You sound like a Slytherin more than a Gryffindor!”

“We need to do something other than just stand here,” whispered a nervous Hermione, “They are going to come looking for us especially.”

“We have to go back.”

“Harry’s my best friend, alright? But I know he is going to be fine, and you know that he wouldn’t want us to go back if we had a chance to get away. There is no point in all of us getting mixed up in that right now, if we are going to get in trouble at some point anyway.”
“Ron!-”

“I’m not going to let you get hurt again!” he abruptly said, shocking me into silence. “I know we’ve had our issues, but I will not let anything happen to you if I can help it, not again. I don’t care about anything else right now, and I don’t bloody care if you don’t want me to protect you, and I can promise you that Harry would agree. Keep moving.”

“I’m not some sort of doll that you can control! I’m not going to let you think you need to protect me!” If he thought that would be his way to atone for what happened my first year he was surely mistaken.

“You didn’t see yourself coming out of the Chamber!” Ron stressed. Hermione looked down at her feet, “I did. And Harry did. This isn’t about making up for what I did; it’s about wanting to do the best thing for you, even when you don’t know what that is. You were broken, and I don’t give a damn if you deny it.”

He looked so determined, and suddenly I remembered the hurt in his blue eyes during our argument at the pyramid in Egypt the summer after the Chamber. This was grown up Ron now still holding that hurt in the back of heart, and I could see it. I felt instantly guilty. And as much as it went against what I stood for, I let Ron have that one. Just once would he take care of me and Merlin help him if he tried it again.

“We need to go, I hear someone coming this way.”

I supposed Harry would be fine, he always was. So we left and were in the common room in no time, welcomed into the midst of Gryffindors asking questions.

“All we know,” replied an exasperated Ron, “Is that someone got Harry.”

There were many solemn and remorsefully regretful looks. “So what are we supposed to do now?” Someone in the crowd asked.

“We wait.”

The whole lot of us began pacing; back and forth pacing in opposite directions. Those who were not involved with the D.A., which was mainly the younger students, seemed frightened and not sure what to do. The cat was out of the bag, so to speak, but we weren’t about to discuss the D.A. in front of them.

“We are done for. Not only are we going to get it, but we will never be able to re-group this thing,” complained Seamus.

Ron turned to face him, “As if you ever cared all that much, Finnigan, you’ve been against this until just recently.”

“I’ve paid me dues, I have. I said I was wrong, and I was sorry. Dumbeldore’s Army if the best thing we’ve got, in’t it?”

Everyone was worried about our fates with the club, but I was more anxious about what Umbridge was doing with Harry. What a surprise.

“What is taking so long?” asked Hermione.

“No idea.”

It was a while before we heard anything and the time was going slowly.

“What do you think is happening?” asked a curious Dean Thomas as he joined me by the window.

I sighed, “Umbridge is probably creating a way to make this seems like a conspiracy.”

“That’s exactly what she’s doing!” called Ron from his seat beside Hermione.

“I just hope he’s okay,” I said.

“Who, Harry? I’m sure he’ll be fine.”

Dean’s words weren’t comforting- even if they were the ones I had been repeating in my head, because suddenly the image of Harry dying from Basilisk venom at twelve years old, flashed in my head, followed by the image of Wormtail slitting his arm too deep in the graveyard and dying of blood loss.

“Yeah, I suppose he is.”

But Dean wasn’t an idiot, he noticed my preoccupation. “So Ginny, how are things with Michael?”

“With who?”

He was immediately perplexed, “Michael…your boyfriend…?”

“Oh, yes!” I jumped, completely embarrassed with what he must have thought of me. “Michael, of course, sorry I wasn’t paying attention.”

Dean chuckled, “Obviously.”

“Um…things are alright, I guess. Why do you ask?”

He shrugged bashfully, “I just…never see you two together, and I wasn’t sure if you had broken up, and if maybe you had…moved on to someone else.”

He meant Harry; of course I knew he meant Harry, he had seen it all over my face. But he was wrong. I was only worried about Harry because he was a close friend of the family, and I would even dare say he was my friend too- even though that was a far cry since the argument we had at Christmas.

“No, no, I’m still with Michael.”

“Dean’s face dimmed a bit, and it was because of that look that the butterflies in my stomach kicked me to say, “But I honestly don’t think it’s going to last much longer.”

It was terrible for me to say such a thing, but I didn’t regret it, not after the smile I was rewarded with. The smile was infectious, so I smiled too…I really liked Dean’s smile.

“Well, then, when you are single…owl me.”

I was pleasantly surprised with his forwardness and was amused to see he was too.

“Wow, I can’t believe I used that line,” he said.

I laughed, “It’s okay…it was sweet.” And just liked that, I realized that Dean Thomas was succeeding at distracting me from the mess; I was going to have to end it with Michael, I knew it. We never got on well in the first place, and I was starting to have feelings for the boy before me.

“Harry!” cried Hermione, causing everyone’s attention to snap towards the door.

He was climbing into the common room with a very dark expression in his eyes.

“What happened, mate?” asked Finnigan.

“I…you are not going to believe this.”

“Let him sit! Oi- out of the way!” ordered Ron, pulling Harry toward the couch.

“Alright, Harry, tell us what happened.”

The boy in question stared into the fire as the whole of Gryffindor gathered around. “She accused us of being the weapon that the Ministry believes Dumbledore is hiding,” he said after some time.

“What?”

“She accused Dumbledore of rounding us up and training us to fight against the Ministry.”

“She can’t seriously believe-”

“Dumbledore took the blame.”

The common room was dead silent; you could hear a feather drop.

“Why would he do that?” I asked, breaking the shock.

“To protect me, to protect all of us!”

“But, he had nothing to do with this!”

Harry shook his head, “He kept insisting that since it was his name, Dumbledore’s Army was all his doing.”

That name was my idea. Dumbledore was blamed because I gave the stupid idea that we were fighting behind Dumbledore, not against the Ministry but against Voldemort. And now Dumbledore was going to be punished for my doing. I felt so guilty that I couldn’t help but ask, “What did they do to him?”

“As much as Umbridge hates me, she hates Dumbledore even more. She believed it, like it was exactly the response she was searching for. Kingsley Shacklebot was there and even Cornelius Fudge.”

Now that was huge news. Kingsley Shacklebot was and Auror (magical law enforcer) for the Ministry of Magic and also was a guard of the Minister and Muggle Prime Minister. Also, and more importantly, he was a double agent for the Order of the Phoenix. He was a lead wizard in the secret society who was a passionate believer of Dumbledore and supporter of Harry. He was part of the guard that collected Harry from the Dursley house before term, and he was the one thwarting the Ministry’s attempts to find Sirius Black by constantly leading them in wrong directions.

And Cornelius Fudge, of course, was the Minister of Magic at the time- in case I haven’t mentioned that already.

“The Minster of Magic, here at Hogwarts?” asked Lavender Brown.

“What?”

“Shh! Let him finish!”

Harry ran a hand through his hair and stood up. “This was a bad idea; we never should have done this-”

“Harry,” interrupted a guilty looking Hermione, (seems like there was a lot of guilt to go around) “It was worth it. We all agree that this club was worth any amount of detention.”

“This is about more than detention, Hermione!”

Dean took a step closer, “What happened then, Harry, finish your story.”

Poor Harry seemed at a loss for words. He couldn’t even look us in the eyes, and I knew it was going to be really bad.

“They were going to arrest him and send him to Azkaban.”

Pandemonium broke out. Dumbledore in Azkaban- it was a ridiculous thought and we all knew it.

“No! We can’t let him take the blame!”

“Dumbledore can’t go!”

The common room had never been so noisy, “He didn’t do anything wrong.”

Harry spoke again, “They made it seem like Dumbledore was plotting a violent rebellion against the Ministry and it’s because they know people will follow him.”

“We have to do something,” Seamus said.

“It’s too late.”

At this, the Gryffindors quieted. “What do you mean it’s too late, they’ve already taken him?”

“Oh no, I never said that, Dumbledore would never let himself be taken to Azkaban.”

“I don’t understand, Harry. Where is Dumbledore now?” asked Ron.

“He’s gone.”

“Gone? Where?”

He shrugged, “I have no idea, but he knows how to make an exit.”

I zoned out after that and returned to my window. Dumbledore was gone and already the school felt unsafe. Everyone was listening to Harry’s description of Dumbledore’s departure, but I was preoccupied with my own thoughts.

The last time Dumbledore left the school…I was taken into the Chamber of Secrets.


The story of Dumbledore’s wicked exit on the tail of his pet phoenix was the main bit of gossip in the underground rumor mill for the following week.

Underground because we had a new headmaster- or shall I say, headmistress.

Or better yet, ruthless dictator. Little did we know that that wouldn’t be the last time Hogwarts was run by tyrants.

As for the D.A., well what did you expect? Detention. I had noticed the peculiar scar on the back of Harry’s hand but I never questioned it. I know Hermione was hounding him about telling a professor about Umbridge’s less than orthodox punishment, but he never did. And now we were all subjected to face the same punishment he did.

Blood quills.

We wrote lines with blood quills; instead of ink the quills wrote with our blood. The parchment was red and so were the back of our hands where the inscriptions were forming to display what we were writing. The blood source was our hands and the cuts that carved the words into our skin got deeper each time we started a new line as they were retraced. We didn’t scar thankfully. But due to Harry’s repeated cut opening…he did.

Something. Had. To. Be. Done.

The D.A. culprit was caught of course. It was none other than Cho’s darling friend Marietta Edgecombe who turned us in to Umbridge and the Inquisitorial Squad. But at least we did have our own revenge; to be completely honest, Hermione had only informed Ron, Harry and myself that she had jinxed the registration list for Dumbledore’s Army so that anyone who sold us out would gain a face completely full of pimples and the word SNEAK written across their forehead. She told us because she knew that the three of us were the ones who would die before ratting out the club. And that is no exaggeration.

Then again we didn’t think anyone else would do it either, but we were proven wrong, and Marietta was being treated in the hospital wing. As far as Cho Chang went, it seemed that the situation with her best friend put a heavier strain on her relationship with Harry. I watched them argue in the corridor one day and rolled my eyes when I saw that she was walking away with tears in her eyes. Although I had no idea what had transpired, I couldn’t keep my mouth shut when she stormed by, “Harry has a lot more pressing matters to deal with, I don’t think that Marrieta qualifies. Cho, if you want to keep him, I suggest you actually listen to him and his problems for a change.”

She turned and gave me the hardest glare I had ever seen. “Excuse me?”

I squared my shoulders, I was completely sick of her attitude, and the way she’d been treating Harry and Hermione. “You heard me, Cho. Harry is a great guy and he deserves better than a girl who always walks away mad.”

Given I had walked away furious with him before, but I wasn’t his…girlfriend? Significant other? I never understood how to define that relationship.

She sniffed and wiped her eyes, “You seem to think you know a lot about Harry and his needs. Are you fighting for his affections too? You and Granger are pathetic.”

“Excuse me? Who the bloody hell are you to-”

“I’m sure Michael would like to hear about your little crush on Harry Potter,” she sneered, “Or well, from what I understand, the crush that never really went away.”

Cho stormed off before I could hex her, which was pure luck on her part, because my reflexes were getting better with each D.A. meeting. It just so happened she took me that completely off guard. Oh she had it coming. Threatening me? When I was only trying to help? Perhaps my execution was edgy, but it was good advice none the less. Oh no, no, no, she had it coming.

Cho Chang was thoroughly mistaken if she thought I was going to let her get away with her holier than thou attitude.

If one thing was definite it was that when the Gryffindor vs. Ravenclaw match came around I was going to annihilate her.

She was the Ravenclaw seeker, and I was going to catch that snitch.

*****
In no time, yet another tragically horrible Quidditch practice was upon us, but don’t worry, I won’t have you sit through yet another one. I will spare you from the details and myself from having to relive it. Basically Angelina called it quits once Ron left to carry Sloper off to the Hospital Wing. There were only theories to what had really happened.

Anyhow, I went for a walk to burn off my leftover adrenaline and I wound up in the Owlrey. Since the Easter holiday was upon us, I figured mum would be sending a care package at any moment. And as I suspected, there was a box in the cleared postal area.
No doubt Umbridge and Filtch personally went through each piece of mail. I was sure Fred and George were driving them insane with the ordered items from Zonko's joke shop in Hogsmeade.

I couldn't exactly wait to see what was inside, however. So I opened the package, noting the red lettering on the cover reading, 'Inspected and passed by the Hogwarts High Inquisitor.'
Inside were several delicious looking chocolate eggs, each one decorated differently, personalized for each person. Mine was obviously the pink one with rainbows and flowers. Not surprising, I was mommy's little girl after all. So I just rolled my eyes and took it out taking a bite and savoring the taste. I must admit, I did consider keeping them all for myself; maybe no one would notice if I never mentioned them. That's when I realized, however, that there were more than just four eggs.

My brother's were easy to decipher; Ron's was the orange one with quaffles and broomsticks, Fred's was the blue one that sported fireworks and a large F that made it distinctly different from George's nearly identical one, except his had a large G.

Then there were two left, two that I had not been expecting. One was embellished with small books and quills with ink, while the last one had golden snitches flying around a tiny lightning bolt.

It was rather obvious that these were for Harry and Hermione.

So I quickly ate my egg and decided to deliver the rest. On my way, I found Fred and George. They seemed to be plotting something so I left them to it and didn't linger around. Then, not sure where the Trio was, I asked around and it seemed Hermione had locked herself up in her dorm room revising and Ron was showering from practice after leaving the hospital wing. Harry was said to have been seen near the library.

And so, I headed off to the library, feeling somewhat like the Easter bunny. I found him sitting by himself off to the side of the library.

The sight nearly broke my heart. He just looks so… sad. I hated seeing him like that and, unfortunately, I had much too often that year.

I knew I looked a fright. I was still post- practice looking. But then again, what did I care how I looked in front of Harry?

Not allowing myself to think about it anymore, I walked over to Harry. “Studying hard, or hardly studying?” I asked.

His eyes remained gazing at his paper, giving me no indication that his mind was anywhere in that library. His hair was as frazzled as ever; he’d obviously been tearing at it with his hands. There were deep and prominent shadows under his eyes, and a wicked scar on his hand (just one to add to his collection). This, my friends, was the Great Harry Potter. And he still hadn’t looked up.

“Harry, I’m talking to you, can you hear me?” I knew he probably just hadn’t been paying attention to anything around him.

He blinked and focused on me; his green eyes were open and vulnerable. “Oh, hi,” he said as he took a second to recognize me. “How come you’re not at practice?”

“It’s over,” I said, “Ron had to take Jack Sloper to the hospital wing.”

“Why?”

“Well, we’re not sure but we think he knocked himself out with his own bat.” Sloper was a lethal weapon of mass destruction. “Anyway, a package just arrived; it’s only just got through Umbridge’s new screening process.” He took the package and curiously began to unwrap what I had haphazardly rewrapped. “It’s Easter Eggs from mum,” I told him as I picked out the one I knew to be his, “There’s one for you,” and passed it to him, “There you go.”

He stared at it and several emotions passed through his face. There was appreciation and gratitude. Wonder. Surprise. Then it finally settled on just plain sadness. I didn’t want to pry…but I had promised Sirius I would look after Harry and help him in any way I could.
Besides, this was probably about Cho, and though Sirius actually liked the idea of a different romantic arrangement, I still owed it to him to be there for Harry. And what was Harry supposed to do? Talk to Ron?

“Are you okay, Harry?”

“Yeah, I’m fine,” he replied with a gruff. I refrained from rolling my eyes; Harry was always ‘fine’.

“You seem down lately,” I plunged on, “You know, I’m sure if you just talked to Cho-”

“It’s not Cho I want to talk to,” he admitted, throwing me for a spin. I didn’t say a word, as to not distract him from letting his thoughts out. I just hoped he trusted me.

And he did.

“I wish I could talk to Sirius,” this confession was not easy for him; I could tell by the way he lowered his voice and his head. I couldn’t help but think that this was the first time he’d said those words out loud. “But I know I can’t.” His eyes were so tortured that I was afraid he was going to cry.

He took a piece of his chocolate as he awaited my reply. In the meantime I was trying to think of something that would console his desperate need to see Sirius. The only thing I could think of was for him to actually see Sirius. And why not? We’d done crazier things.

“Well,” I finally said taking a piece of his chocolate, (it looked delicious and I had eaten all of mine) “If you really want to talk to Sirius, I expect we could think of a way to do it.”
He’d battled dragons. Ron, Fred and George flew a car to Surrey to retrieve Harry in the middle of the night. Hermione took Harry back in time. Ron had beaten a life size chess board. I unlocked a monster from behind the sink in the girl’s bathroom.

What was this situation compared to our history?

“Come on,” he sighed, “With Umbridge policing the fires and reading our mail?”

This was Harry Potter-the boy who had defeated Voldemort at the age of 1 and bested him at the age of 11, 12 and14. He obviously was in need of a reminder.

And I suppose we all did.

“The thing about living with Fred and George, is that you sort of start thinking anything is possible if you’ve got enough nerve.”

And right then, Harry and I linked eyes. I felt it down to my toes. He just seemed more hopeful and his eyes brightened-

“WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING?”

“Oh damn,” I whispered feeling my heart fall into my throat. “I forgot!” I jumped up as Madam Pince, the irate librarian marched her way toward us.

“Chocolate in the library! Out-out-OUT!”

And so we ran, chuckling and stumbling as she charmed our belongings to hit us repeatedly as we retreated.

“Close call, huh?” I laughed as the door to the library closed behind us and we collected our things.

“Yeah,” replied a short-breathed Harry.

We began walking in the direction of the common room out of habit rather than actually thinking about it. We were quiet, as I really didn’t know what to say, and Harry was lost in thought.

It wasn’t an awkward silence, really, it was calm and comfortable- for me at least- but since Harry wasn’t fidgeting, or running a hand through his hair (the tell-tale signs that he is uncomfortable) I understood that he was fine with the silence too.

It was a nice, new feeling. Calming. I could be alone with Harry without tripping over my words or myself for that matter.

“You know, Ginny,” commented Harry, tearing me out of my thoughts. “You-I…no, I guess-…well…” he sighed, a very resigned sigh.

I almost laughed, “Cat caught your tongue, Harry?”

He blushed and I was pleasantly surprised- no- I was thrilled. Don’t judge me.

He looked away, “I suppose…” Harry admitted, proving that he really was having trouble getting out what was obviously bothering him. I didn’t particularly care to see him so down, and though I hated the girl for him, I cursed Cho for leaving him alone after he was willing to open his hear to her- to someone.

“I guess the shoe is on the other foot now, isn’t it?” I said hoping to lighten the mood.

My face was burning when he turned to me with questioning eyes. I continued looking straight forward gauging his reaction through my peripheral vision. At first, he was confused, that is, until he saw my flush of embarrassment; then he took in my meaning and smiled softly. I was glad I said it. Hey, what’s a jab at my expense when it could make him feel the least bit better? I was never able to string three words together when I was in front of him. I could allow him this.

“You see? That’s what I mean. Ginny, you always know that right thing to say, and when to say it.”

And thus the truth emerged. I looked at him for a moment, forgetting my previous embarrassment, totally bewildered. Me? The right thing to say? “That’s not true.”

“Yes it is.”

“Harry, if that was true, I would have said ‘Hello’ to you that first day at the Burrow instead of running away like a nutcase.”

“But-”

“If that were true, I wouldn’t have told Tom anything in that blasted diary.”

“Hey,” Harry sharply pulled back and grabbed my elbow forcing me to stop. But then like an electric shock, he pulled his hand away.

I stared at my elbow.

“You were young, he took advantage of you. It was a mistake.”

“A big one.”

“Yes, but we learn from it, move on and accept that it’s a part of you.”

I looked into his eyes, “Have you been telling yourself that too?”

He didn’t reply; I didn’t expect him to.

We kept walking.

“What I’m trying to say here…I never apologized for what I said…back at Christmas.”

“It’s done-”

“No. I…really stuck my foot in my mouth, I was just…angry.”

“It’s fine, Harry, really-”

“No. Not it’s not, Ginny.”

His conviction was so strong, I had no choice but to stop and listen.

“I was insensitive. I haven’t forgotten about the Chamber, Ginny. I promise, how could I?
But… I didn’t really give much thought to how it affected you and what you had gone through… and what you had to go through to get over something like that…after.”
He was so ashamed of himself, I could easily see that. Yes it hurt, that he could just walk away and never look back when I was still fighting off the demons, but what did my feelings matter in the big scheme of things? Harry didn’t need another thing to fret about; I was a big girl I could handle it. Besides I couldn’t stay mad at Harry Potter for long.

“I understand, Harry, I honestly do. You’ve had enough on your mind the past few years to worry about your best friend’s little sister.”

Harry grimaced, “See? That proves it. I mean, Ginny you’re more than just my best friend’s little sister, you’re my friend too. I should have made sure you knew that instead of disregarding it.”

I couldn’t help it, I smiled. I was finally more than just the little sister, tag along. I was my own person in Harry’s eyes.

“You’re my friend too, Harry.”

He smiled just as wide. “Good.”

We walked some more, nearing our destination before he said something that changed the course of my story forever.

“You know, I think…that perhaps I never thought too much about how you were dealing with it…because you were so strong. You never let it show that it got to you. You held your head up every day after the Chamber. You did become your own, like I said, you seemed to move on from it. How could I think of you as the little girl who was fooled by Voldemort, when you were off being so good at being… Ginny?”

I tried to control my blush. “What do you mean by ‘being Ginny’?”

He half smiled shyly, “I mean aside from, the few…er…embarrassing incidents,” I knew exactly what he was referring to, butter dishes and get well cards flashed before my head. “You’re smart and funny, and a great Quidditch player.”

I honestly thought I was going to die. “Not as good as you-”

“You can out chase me any day.”

“You can’t mean that.”

“I do.”

I was flushing, almost drowning in melting, girlish goo. I had to do something to save face. So I said the first thing that popped into my head, “You better be careful, you don’t want Cho hearing you talk like that.”

He seemed puzzled. Boys. They could compliment girls and say things without realizing that it holds a completely different meaning for girls. It's that boy/girl translation. It can be very misleading.

I knew that Harry and Cho were not together, but against what I wished, he wasn't going to be able to talk like this to other girls if he wanted a second chance with her.

"Cho? Why should I care what she hears me say?"

"Because she was angry enough when you suggested meeting Hermione, imagine how upset she'll be when she hears you complimenting you're best friend's sister. That would definitely diminish any chance you have left." The jealous wrench.

Harry and I were reaching the portrait hole when he stopped. "Chance? I don't want another chance, we didn't work out, and we probably never would."

I stopped too, "Really?"

"Yeah."

"Oh good, Harry cause she's awful. I heard what happened on Valentine's Day, but was afraid you still had feelings for her."

Harry shrugged, obviously uncomfortable with the turn the conversation had taken, "No."
"You deserve better."

"Thanks. She was rather...temperamental. I mean, yes, Cedric...but... I don't know. Maybe I'm just being insensitive again."

"No. Any girl who tries to make a guy feel jealous by bringing up past relationships and goes beserk because said guy has a female best friend can't be worth it. Especially for you."
Harry smiled widely. "Yes, I guess I need someone...stronger." With that he walked through the portrait hole, smirking and throwing a last, "Thanks for the chocolate, Gin!" over his shoulder.
And I stood there, utterly paralyzed in shock, for Harry Potter had, not only actually flirted smoothly with the opposite sex, but he has flirted with me. It couldn't believe it. He was...perfect, nothing embarrassing, and not tripping on his words.

And then I took what he said into consideration. And was baffled again. If someone would have told me that morning that the day would wind up like that... I would have laughed in his or her face and told them to stay out of Snape's potions.

I knew he meant the underlining message. I saw it in his eyes. Not that he meant it to go anywhere, but it was a boost to my ego and I appreciated it. No. I loved it. And I hadn't seen Harry in such a light hearted mood since the Quidditch World Cup the year before.

Then from around the corner came my boyfriend, Michael, and I fell right back into reality.

***
I had promised to talk to Fred and George, and that was a promise I intended to keep. Talking to my brothers would be the easy part, all I had to do was mention an idea and it would automatically beginning a tennis match between their heads (Tennis —according to muggle studies, a sport played one on one or at times two on two in which each player hits a yellow ball to back and forth over a net to each other using a racquet. Racquet- according to muggle studies, a sport’s implement, usually consisting of a handle and an oval frame with a tightly interlaced network of strings, used to strike a ball) and the rest would fall into place. Like I said, Damino Effect. The hard part was making them think it was their idea the whole time.

Why?

Because they would take the mickey out of me if I suggested we help Harry.

“Trying to earn some appreciation, Gin-Gin?” they would say.

“Or are you still after that close and personal thank you?”

Oh they would still help Harry- they would move heaven and Earth to help- but I would lose my sanity, dignity and pride in the process.

So I did what I had to do.

Trick Fred and George.

Easier said than done.

“Look, the only reason I asked for your help is because you two actually appreciate this and agree to it.”

“Wait,” said George as he and his twin followed close behind me.

“What exactly is this book about again?”

“I told you,” I whispered as we entered the library, “I found this book just recently: a prank book.”

“A book that pranks you?”

“Or a book full of ideas for pranks?”

“We are not stupid dear sister-”

“You can’t put the wool over ours eyes.”

I wasn’t facing them so they couldn’t see my smirk, “A book about pranks.”

“And why do you need us?”

“Not that we aren’t flattered that you would share this secret with us.”

“Are you both hard of hearing?” I asked leading them through the shelves, “I just went over this! I need someone 17 or older. It has an age restriction and it won’t let you open it up if you are underage.”

I wasn’t lying; there really was such a book. The only thing I wasn’t being truthful about was the fact that I had truly found it my second year and was saving it for my last year when I turned 17. I had never told a soul about it- save for Sirius and he seemed to know exactly the book I meant. What shocked me was the Fred and George hadn’t discovered that particular Hogwarts secret in all their time at the school. I knew that showing them would ruin it but Harry was more important, as was my sanity. The book was the best bait I could think of.

“I must admit, Gin-Bug-”

“I am most intrigued.”

We reached the back and I searched for the shelf with the engraving, “Here,” I said when my fingers grazed the etching. I took my wand out and noticed my brothers’ eyebrows rising.
“There are no books on pranking here.”

“Really?” I waved my wand over the shelf and muttered, “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.” Just as quickly, a compartment popped open from under the wood holding the books. I heard two collective gasps. “The Marauders created this compartment. Apparently each generation must hide it in their own form for the next trouble makers to come across it.”

“Wicked,” they said together. The book was called Mischievous Minds and I knew they couldn’t resist.

“Go on, take it. There’s an age barrier that won’t let me touch it.”

I watched them grab it and hide it within their robes, and I won’t tell you how, it is a trade mark Weasley secret.

“I have to say-”

“This is most impressive.”

“And we are most proud.”

I’m sure they were; I’m sure they were grinning like cats on the inside, “Yeah, yeah, let’s just get out of here so we can take a look about what’s on the inside.” I then began to lead them out a different way from the one we used to get in, and just as I figured, they didn’t notice.

“You know, Forge, I don’t think we should let her read this at all.”

Now, that I had been expecting too. My brothers could be gits. “What?!” I said, playing my part while I was really searching for a specific head of black hair that was spotted soon enough. Perfect.

“You’re absolutely right, Gred. She isn’t 17 yet-” George stopped talking and I knew exactly why.

It was like clockwork.

Harry was seated just where I had left him the day before. Though he seemed in better spirits then he was when I first saw him, (I hoped the change had to do with our chat) he still didn’t look anyway nears okay.

And Fred and George obviously saw that. See, if I had been straight forward with them they would have thought I was over reacting and accused me of being too much like mom because I was in love with Harry. They would have helped, but wouldn’t have taken it as seriously just because I had been the one to ask. They could never understand the fact that I had moved on from Harry and was happy with someone else (well, mostly over Harry, and well, mostly happy- but I would never admit it).

Here, they saw it for themselves with no prior bias or persuasion. “What’s wrong with him?”
“He looks like death.”

“Have you forgotten?” I asked, “He’s kind of been having a rough year. Come on, let’s leave him to it; you know how he gets when people fuss.”

“I suppose-”

“Maybe.”

“But something more specific must be bothering him today-”

“Something big-”

“Bigger than the toad-”

“If that is even possible.”

And that was my cue, “Well, I did talk to Hermione just the other day and she brought up Harry, and mentioned that he was really missing Sirius and wished there was a way he could talk to him.”

“Talk to Sirius?”

“Is that all?”

“Yeah,” I sighed a perfectly crafted sigh, “But it’s impossible. Umbridge has blocked all the floos and is checking all the mail.”

The twins shook their heads and led me out of the library, “What have we always taught you, dear sister?”

“Nothing is impossible-”

“Difficult maybe-”

“But not impossible.”

“Are you thinking what I’m thinking Fred?” asked George looking down to the book in his hands.

Fred smiled, “That would be a safe bet, George.”

Check and mate.


Turns out that Fred and George took advice from the book I so graciously sacrificed; which I found surprising because, when had Fred and George ever needed help creating a ruckus? But I suppose they read something that was much too tempting to pass up. They wanted to help Harry, and so that is precisely what they did…and of course, they didn’t do anything the easy way.

“Ginny, I don’t like this at all. He’s going to get caught and he has gotten into enough trouble this year as is,” fretted Hermione the morning of said “plan.” She had overheard the twins’ idea and ever since had been a down-right nag, but what could I do? I had nothing to do with it.
“Hermione,” I said anyway, “What is the worst that can happen? Harry get’s sent home? I’d rather be anywhere than here.”

She gave me a serious look, but it was out of my hands. I had left it all up to Fred and George, and if they were planning some sort of surprise I was not going to be blamed for it. “Brilliant role model you are, Ginny Weasley.”

“I try.”

As you could have expected, the plan worked magnificently. Fred and George managed to turn one of the school corridors into a disgusting swamp. It was one of the funniest things I’d ever seen, only to be topped by Umbridge’s face when she saw it. It was just enough to distract the whole school and I made sure to notice Harry rush in the opposite direction towards Umbridge’s office.

The only thing I hadn’t planned on was the final result. I talked with Harry, which led me to plant the idea in the twins’ head, that caused me to give them the book that they took the idea from, which resulted in Harry running to talk to Sirius and that was my plan all along, though I never cared to admit it. However, to my surprise, Fred and George were not planning on staying and serving whatever punishment befell them. Fred and George bid adieu to the school with a grand exit, a bow, a wave and flew from the premises un-graduated after seven years.

Mum was going to have a fit.

And I could not be blamed for a thing.

It was fantastic!

Harry, soon after, joined the fray that had erupted outside just as it had when Trelawney was sacked, and I could already see the change in his eyes, some of the darkness was gone and he seemed a bit more at ease.

I inconspicuously made me way over, not that anyone was watching while they were busy watching my brothers fade away into the horizon on their broomsticks.

“How was your chat?” I murmured.

Harry looked down, once again surprised to see me. “Just what I needed actually.”
I smiled, “I told you. When it comes to Fred and George, nothing is impossible.”
Harry shrugged, “I don’t know, I’m starting to think they aren’t the only Weasley’s with that trait.”
So… he saw right through me. “You have no idea, Potter, no idea.”

****
When the last match of the yer arrived, I was so green with nerves I almost lost my breakfast in the changing rooms.

“I don’t know how we did it,” said Angelina as she delivered the traditional pre-game pep talk, “But we’ve made it to the Quidditch final and we are playing for the cup. We can win this thing. We’ve made it this far why not go further?” Cheers and hollers erupted and I stayed silent holding my stomach.

“Wouldn’t that be a way to end the year? Proving to Umbridge that she can’t stop the Gryffindor team no matter what she does? That cup is ours and not even that pudgy frog can take it away from us!”

More cheers rang out and that time I smiled. It would have been the greatest end; my mood had been so bad that entire year that a turn of events would be delicious.
We were playing well; the demanding practice seemed to be paying off and the crowd definitely noticed. Ron was saving most of what came his way and Katie, Angie and Alicia were hitting the mark. The only thing I was worried about was catching the snitch since everyone else was doing their part so well. When it came down to it, I knew was a better player than Cho. She was too keenly influenced by her emotions and that made her flighty and erratic. I always remained in check and the only emotion I let show was my competitive streak.

So when she approached me in the air, I wasn’t disappointed by my reaction.

“I would care less about Harry and more about Michael if I were you, Weasley,” she called, “It doesn’t seem like Michael is too happy with you at the moment.”

“Oh, really? And how would you know that?” Sure, they were in the same house, but I hadn’t realized that they were so well acquainted.

“It’s not my fault he felt so neglected he searched for attention elsewhere,” she said in one breath; the moment the words left her mouth I nearly jumped off my broom and attacked her. But that would have been a disaster because she was already gone. She’d done it again! Run her mouth and said something so vile I wanted to strangle her, then leave in a flash!
Cho had seen the snitch and attempted in distracting me so that she could reach it first. It was a mean trick, but she didn’t know that it wouldn’t work on me.

Not only was my relationship with Michael pretty much over to begin with (we had yet another disagreement when he bumped into me right after I spoke with Harry) but her comment only made me angry and even more determined. I would beat her to the snitch and then into the ground. So I was only about 3 seconds behind her.

How dare she have the audacity to dangle my boyfriend’s loyalty in front of me when at
the same time her loyalty lied with Harry! Two wrongs did not make a right.

She didn’t deserve him and I would say it until I had no voice. She did not deserve Cedric, and she most certainly did not deserve the snitch. So I caught it.

“Maybe,” I said once we touched ground, “You should focus more on Quidditch than the love lives of younger boys. What is it? No one in your year have the time to dry your tears?”

“Woo-Hoo!!!”

“We did it!”

“The CUP! We WON!”

My team had reached me and it didn’t give Cho the chance to respond. Not that she could have anyway, since she was sobbing so hard. With a frustrated cry, she threw her broom to the ground like a spoiled little princess.

I know I seemed harsh, I know that her boyfriend had been murdered not a year before, but that did not give her any right to be so crude! She was not honoring Cedric’s memory by implementing that attitude. She could no longer use the pity excuse. She was mean, and shallow, and I couldn’t help but stand up to her.

And even though she was the one to capture Harry’s heart (though not anymore, apparently, he still had feelings for her) and I envied that she did what I never could, in that moment I felt at least a little bit superior to Cho Chang.


Back to index


Chapter 18: A Silver Statement

Author's Notes: HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWs PART 1 WAS EPIC!!!!! who agrees? anyone watch it at midnight? i did, and the next day at school was Harrry Potter day so everyone went dressed up, it's been a good (BUT BUSY) week. sorry this chapter has taken so long! hopefully i make up for it with the story :)


ENTRY 17
A Silver Statement
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

“How you gonna cope when there is no closure?
Where you gonna reach when the goal gets higher?
How you gonna make it through when you think you lost your chance?
Play on when you're losing the game
Play on 'cause you're gonna make mistakes
It's always worth the sacrifice
Even when you think you're wrong
So play on, play on
Even through a storm on the darkest night
don't you ever give up the fight,
Even when you think you’re al alone
Play on,” Play on - Carrie Underwood





If you haven’t already been able to tell, I tend to be left behind every time Harry goes on some crazy mission with my brother and best friend. Whether it was because I was too young, I didn’t know what was happening, or they just didn’t want me tagging along. With all the changes that had happened my fourth year, my friendship with Sirius, my boyfriend, and relaxing around Harry, I should have known that that was the year I would embark on my first adventure with him.

The school year was coming to a close, and Umbridge was just has terrible as ever. Ever since the D.A. crumbled and Dumbledore left the premises, Umbridge was the dictator we all despised more than before. It didn't even feel like school anymore, and this was precisely what I was telling Luna as we walked down the corridor that night.

She was about to respond when we heard a familiar voice yell, “I EXPECT HE’D SAY SOMETHING
DIFFERENT IF HE KNEW WHAT I’D JUST-” (ootp 735) He never really got to finish, however, because Luna and I walked through the door in alarm. Harry’s voice sounding like that was never a good sign.

“Hi,” I said, “We recognized Harry’s voice. What are you yelling about?”

“Never you mind,” the green-eyed-boy replied harshly.

“There’s no need to take that tone with me,” I said just as coolly, “I was only wondering whether I could help.”

“Well you can’t.”

“You’re being rather rude, you know,” said Luna.

Hermione looked at me thoughtfully before saying, “Wait…wait Harry they can help.”

My attention was caught immediately, I remember being so startled that I was actually being considered to help in some way, even though I still had no clue what they were talking about.

“Listen,” Hermione continued. “Harry we need a way to establish if Sirius has really left headquarters-” But Harry interrupted then, saying that he knew what he was talking about, and it turned into a quick bicker.

I froze, Sirius out of hiding? If Sirius had left Grimmuald Place, then the situation was awfully severe. My heart dropped as I concluded that Harry had another vision, this time it was of Sirius and he was being tortured. Hermione was right to question Harry. However much I believed him, we had to somehow check and see if Harry wasn’t mistaken before flying off to London.

I remembered what Lupin had told me about not knowing if Harry visions were accidental… or intentional.

“Sirius is being tortured NOW!” shouted Harry,(ootp 736) making me flinch. “We haven’t got time to waste.”

“But if this is a trick of Voldemort’s, Harry we’ve got to check, we’ve got to-”

“How? How’re we going to check?”

“We’ll have to use Umbridge’s fire and see if we can contact him. We’ll draw Umbridge away again, but we’ll need lookouts, and that’s where we could use Ginny and Luna.”

“Yeah, we’ll do it,” I said.

“When you say Sirius, are you talking about Stubby Boardman?” Luna asked. There was no time to help the poor girl.

Ron, Hermione Harry, Luna and I came up with a plan and we were all given tasks to perform at top speed. Luna and I were to clear the corridor before Umbridge’s office, so that Harry could sneak in and speak to Sirius though the fireplace. If Harry couldn’t get in touch with Sirius, then Sirius was in trouble, and it meant that Harry’s vision was true: that Sirius was being tortured in the Department of Mysteries at the Ministry of Magic in London. Whatever that was.

“Luna and I can stand at either end of the corridor and warn people not to go down there
because someone’s let off a load of Garroting Gas,”(ootp 737) I said quickly, everyone looked up at me surprised at either my quick thinking or my unusual idea, I shrugged, “Fred and George were planning on doing it before they left.”

We broke apart: Harry went to fetch his cloak to sneak inside with Hermione undetected and Luna and I made our way down the corridor, telling as many people as we could to get out of the way. When we couldn’t get their attention and realized they weren’t listening, I decided I needed to do something drastic. Or well, loud.

I lifted my wand and sent red sparks flying, the corridor packed with students seemed to freeze, but I was already frustrated, and Merlin, people needed to know better than to ignore Ginny Weasley.

“YOU CAN’T COME DOWN HERE!”(ootp 739) I yelled. I was met with doubtful responses,
“No sorry, you’re going ot have to go round by the swiveling staircase someone’s let off Garroting Gas just along here-”

“I can’t see no gas,” called some blonde-haired Ravenclaw.

“That’s because it’s colorless. But if you want to walk through it, carry on, then we’ll have your body as proof for the net idiot who didn’t believe us.”

It was definitely effective; Luna beside me nodded.

“Welts aren’t particularity nice, especially in such a strong wackspurt season, they like big swollen ears much more than regular sized ones, you know.” The students reacted as well as we expected; Luna really was brilliant, only she could shut a room into a shocked awkward silence with one sentence.

“Thank you Luna,” I said. “NOW, ALL OF YOU JUST TURN AROUND AND WALK THE OTHER WAY, THIS CORRIDOR IS UNDER THE INLUENCE OF FRED AND GEORGE WEASLEY. THEY SEEM TO THINK THAT THE BLOODY OLD HAG RUNNING THE SCHOOL NOW SHOULD BE WELCOMED INTO HER OFFICE WITH A RATHER INTERESTING SURPRISE.”

There were a few murmurs and laughs, but people seemed to get the message. That is until I
realized I should have just quit while I was ahead.

“Hem Hem.” Every head in the hall turned to face Umbridge who was looking straight at me with the falsest face of sweetness. “Fred and George Weasley are no longer students at this school.” She smiled, and came closer, “If I didn’t know any better it would seem that you, Miss. Weasley are trying to keep anyone from going past my office. Am I right? Or am I just a bloody old hag?” I maybe should have checked that she wasn’t anywhere near when I let that slip.

“I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.”

“Do not lie, you should know by now my tolerance with liars, it’s written right on your hand.”

“If you want to go on to risk it and try your luck, don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

The horde of students seemed ready to flee the scene, but the Inquisitorial Squad had just appeared, blocking everyone’s way. Umbridge was just about to turn and retreat, believing me, when Neville came up to us, looking rather worried. (Talk about the worst timing possible.)

“Ginny! Have you seen Harry?” he asked looking around, “I haven’t seen him since he passed out during our exams.”

“Harry Potter?” Umbridge’s attention whirled to Neville.

Neville had just noticed her. “I…I…Uh…yes…you…um…Haven’t seen him have you Ginny? He…uh…didn’t look…good,” Neville mumbled and stuttered nervously, his eyes flipping from mine to the new headmistress of our school.

She looked at me, at Neville, and then behind us towards her office. I held back a gulp.

“Neville, I haven’t-”

“You children think you’re all too smart for me. When I get my hands on that Potter he will be wishing he were with his parents,” She snarled, and I took all my restraint not to slap her across the face, instead I said,

“Really, I find it funny how that’s just the sort of thing You-Know-Who would say, but you wouldn’t know anything about that now, would you?”

“Why you little…” her voice raised an octave or two.

“What, blood traitor?”

She took out her wand, as did I, but the moment she saw mine she seemed to realize what she was doing, and pushed me out of the way and moved her peggy little feet towards her office.

“No-” I started but she called from behind her retreating shoulder,

“Get them.”

Everyone started screaming as the Inquisitorial Squad moved about the crowd. People ran, pushed and shoved themselves out of the way. I grabbed Luna’s hand and dove into the moving swarm. I got stepped on, and my hair was pulled but there was nowhere else to go. That was until I felt a rather rough hand grab my arm, pulling me back.

I fought against it but it was too strong.

Someone had grabbed Luna too; I could see her struggling through the corner of my eye.

“Ginny!” I heard Neville call.

“Let go of me,” I yelled at the Slytherin who was pushing me around.

Neville came up then and started trying to get the person off of me. It turned into an all-out struggle as someone grabbed Neville as well- it was Crabbe. The girl holding me was about twice my size but I wasn’t giving up that easy. Sirius needed my help and I coudnt’ do anything from eternal detention.

The Slytherins dragged us into Umbridge’s office; Ron had appeared suddenly fighting off yet another green-robed git. Umbridge had Harry by his hair, and Malfoy was grinning wildly by the window sill. Hermione was pinned against the wall.

“Got’em all,” (ootp 742) said one of the Slytherins, he seemed to be one of the heads of the squad. “That one,” he poked a thick finger at Neville, “Tried to stop me taking her. So I brought him along too.”

I was desperately trying my hardest to kick the large girl in the shin, but it wasn’t working out so well.

“Good, good,” said Umbridge, watching me, “Well it looks like Hogwarts will shortly be a Weasley-free zone, doesn’t it?”

I stopped my leg at once, looking up at her in complete shock. Malfoy was laughing hysterically behind me but I couldn’t do a single thing about it. They had taken my wand.

It got nasty as she interrogated Harry, accusing him of trying to communicate with Dumbledore who still hadn’t been seen since he left the school. His escape from the Ministry’s grasp had the press in a frenzy and Umbridge on a mad hunt. But no matter what she said Harry refused. It felt too surreal to be there, rather than hear about it later, seeing and witnessing the action was far more frightening than it sounded.

Umbridge sent for Snape, and when he arrived I thanked Merlin that Snape wasn’t able to give her the Veritaserum she was demanding. One drop of it and Harry would tell her everything.

Just as Snape made his exit- without a blink as to how several students were being PHYISICALLY DETAINED by other students, mind you- Harry had a brilliant idea.
“He’s got Padfoot!” Harry yelled, “He’s got Padfoot at the place where it’s hidden!” (ootp 745)
I instantly stopped struggling and met Hermione’s eyes from across the room. Did Snape even know Sirius’ nickname? And the place where it’s hidden? I gave her a questioning stare. She nodded hopefully.

If Snape indeed knew what Harry was trying to tell him, he didn’t let on one bit. His black eyes were slits looking at Harry, his gaunt face tilted incredulously as though Harry had just grown another head.

Umbridge was losing it, “What does he mean, Snape?”

“I have no idea,” Snape said coldly, (ootp 746)finally leaving the room with a snap of the door.

Umbridge was steaming when she came to her resolve. Neville and Ron were both trembling, Luna for once, actually seemed coherently in the moment. Hermione seemed to be calculating Umbridge’s next move and Harry…Harry seemed wickedly furious. Hatred was oozing out of his pores. His scar burned red against his pale skin and that’s all I was looking at when Umbridge said, “The Cruciatus Curse ought to loosen your tongue.”

I had learned that there were three unforgivable curses from sources like Hermione and Dumbledore but I only knew what two of them were. I had seen Victor Krum under the Imperious Curse and knew all about the Avada Kedavra killing curse. But I had yet to come across the third, the Cruciatus Curse. Unfortunately, I would eventually become well acquainted with it.

So Hermione’s outburst came unexpectedly, “No! Professor Umbridge-it’s illegal!”

Umbridge paid her no mind and raised her wand. Neville let out a stifled cry.

“The minister wouldn’t want you to break the law, Professor Umbridge!” Hermione was twisting and turning trying to get out of the Slytherin’s grasp.

Harry was staring at Umbridge determinedly, and I felt beads of sweat roll down my spine.

“What Cornelious doesn’t know won’t hurt him. He never knew I ordered the dementors after Potter last summer but he was delighted to be given the chance to expel him, all the same.”(ootp 747)

I gasped and Harry heaved with rage. “It was you?”

I looked over at Ron, and noticed he and his detainer, Goyle were standing very close to some aroma candles Umbridge seemed to be fond of…if only Ron could struggle just enough to get Goyle to lose his balance and burn himself…

But just as I was trying to get Ron’s attention to get the plan rolling, Hermione’s outburst came again.

“NO! No-Harry-Harry we’ll have to tell her!”

“No way!” he yelled, clearly as bewildered as the rest of us were.

Umbridge was pleased.

Ron pleaded with Hermione through his gag, but Hermione seemed to been decided. I just had faith her knew what she was doing. I Dolores Umbridge sent dementors to Harry and was associated with people like the Malfoys, there was no way she wasn’t in cahoots with Voldemort. It’d be turning Sirius and the rest of the Order in.

But then, Hermione rambled about a weapon that Dumbledore was supposedly keeping on the grounds, and I knew what she was up to. It was a distraction. Whatever weapon Umbridge was looking for it wasn’t at Hogwarts. Hermione’s performance was award worthy to say the least. Within moments, Umbridge pushed Hermione and Harry out of her office forcing them to show her where it was.

The moment the door shut behind them, we all started struggling again.

“LET HER GO!” Ron roared, as the girl twisted my arm painfully.

“Well, you wouldn’t know how long I’ve waited for this,” Malfoy stepped in from of me, “The weasels, finally being exterminated.”

“When we get out of here Malfoy you are going to wish you were never born a wizard!” I spat.

“How dare you talk to me Weaslette? Aren’t you a bit young to be in such a mess?”

“You’re a right foul git, you and your entire damned family!”

Malfoy sneered and walked over to Neville; I was breathing heavily with rage when Luna leaned closer to me, and saying so softly that not even the people holding us could hear. “What is she doing?”

She was speaking if Hermione of course, “Improvising.”

And we were going to follow her lead, somehow.

And we did, it all happened so fast I don’t exactly remember every detail but I finally was able to get out of the girl’s grasp and we thrashed around before I managed to reach into her robes and stun her. There was a nasty scratch on my cheek that was bleeding but I didn’t care. Ron over powered the Slytherin, grabbing him because everyone in the room was so shocked at what I’d done, that’s when we took our chance.

Luna disarmed most everyone in three shots, and Neville impressed us with a sweet jinx, sending prats all over the room. “Where did they go?” Ron asked.

“I watched them walk out of the castle into the forest,” Luna replied, gazing out the window.

“Ok let’s go,” Neville turned to lead us out of the office but we found Malfoy and two others
behind him, wands out and angered.

I wanted to laugh, I almost did but we didn’t have time for that, Hermione and Harry were out there with Umbridge as we spoke and who knew how long that toad would fall for her story. I didn’t want to think about what would have happened if she figured it out, she had no limits.

So instead I warned him, “I wouldn’t do that if I were you, it’s three against four.”

“Well, I guess you can say that, but considering it’s Longbottom, Loony and two Weasleys…”

“That’s not very wise of you, have you forgotten that we have actually been studying Defense Against the Darks Arts this year? Training under Harry himself?”

The two boys behind him dropped their wands a bit looking more nervous after realizing the fact, but Malfoy kept a straight face. I knew he was only faking.

“Potter? Please what does he have to teach you? Nothing.”

“Really? How much do you want to bet?”

Apparently the other two weren’t going to bet much, for they ran out with little yelps like the cowards they were.
Malfoy looked behind him growing paler if that was possible but his wand didn’t waver. He gulped, and we all took a step forward, we could have taken him easily, right then and there but I got the feeling everyone was enjoying it a little more than we should have.

“Well, don’t say we didn’t warn you Malfoy.”

“I’m not scared of you Weasley.”

“If not me,” I said shrugging, “Then my wand.”

I hit him with my Bat-Bogey Hex. I had mastered it finally, and it was impressively efficient. I won’t lie, it was rather a gruesome sight to see Draco Malfoy being attacked by his own bogeys but neither of us looked away. In fact, we laughed, it almost seemed impossible to laugh at a time like that but there we were; He ran away screaming and I was surprised with my own magic, I felt smug.

“Hurry!” We rushed out the door and down the corridors, past hundreds of students watching in wonder as we went. I was so proud that finally I was part of the scene rather than starring in question from a distance like the people were then. When we made it out of the castle Harry and Hermione were still nowhere to be seen, until we encountered them on the outskirts of the forest.

Harry and Hermione were surprised to see us. We quickly explained how’d we’d gotten away and they explained that Umbridge had been taken off by Centaurs in the forest. I never gave it a second thought. The next problem was figuring out how to get to London, apparently Harry’s vision of Sirius had taken place at the Ministry. But when brooms were mentioned I spoke up,

“I have a broom!”(ootp 761) Harry’s was locked up so I thought it would have been a good suggestion, but I didn’t expect, especially after all that had happened, after all I’d done to help, that I would get the response I did.

“Yeah but you’re not coming,” Ron said.

“Excuse me, but I happen to care as much about Sirius as you do!”

“You’re too-” Harry began but I saw where it was going way before I could even think about letting him finish, and it made me furious.

“I’m three years older than you were when you fought You-Know-Who over the Sorcerer’s Stone,” I argued fiercely, “And it’s because of me that Malfoy’s back in Umbridge’s office with giant flying bogeys attacking him-”

“Yea but-” Harry lost his argument in the end, we all ended up coming with him, we were in it together is what we always told him. And he decided against wasting time to fight the inevitable.

We rode on the thestrals; I won’t say it was the most frightening experience but it came pretty darn close. Honestly I never thought twice about getting on a broom stick, dives and all, but at least in that case I could see the broom, then, I was apparently riding on the back of a hideous creature only visible to witnesses of death. I couldn’t see it yet.

But I would, soon enough.

The rush of being in the air again, the adrenaline of the matter at hand, had my stomach thrilling even though I was very aware that Sirius was in danger.
When we reached London, I gratefully dismounted whatever I was on. I had only been to the ministry on a few occasions with my father, but I knew that the circumstances were much different. We all crammed into the telephone box entrance and descended, silently. I remember being so surprised at the event, it wasn’t at all what I imagined a typical Harry, Ron, Hermione adventure to be like.


When we entered the Department of Mysteries Harry’s eyes brightened at the sight of a long corridor and an eerie looking door at the end of it. “Let’s go.” (OOTP) I wasn’t sure how he knew where he was going, but if there was ever a time to blindly follow it was that one.


“Okay, listen,” he said before he made to enter a tall black door at the end of the corridor.
“Maybe…maybe a couple of people should stay here as a- as a look out, and-”


“And how are we going to let you know something’s coming?” I asked, “You could be miles away.”

He gave in instantly and we made our way into a circular room on the other side of the door. There were tall black doors surrounding us, each one of them identical and everything was quiet and surreal just as though we had walked into a dream. Suddenly the ground beneath us moved and the doors began to revolve.

Ron instinctively grabbed my shoulder until the motion ceased. “What was that about?” he asked.

Looking at the symetical room, I realized there was only a small chance of backing out now, since we couldn’t be sure where we had come from. Putting two and two together, I answered, “I think it was to stop us knowing which door we came in through.”

Harry, accepting my suspicion as truth pushed us on. He was right, we had come too far to give up now in any case.

Our mission was to find Sirius and get out. We had no idea of how to execute that, where to start or where to go, we were all just flying blindly. Harry Potter at the lead, and I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else. When I was a little girl I would always say silly things like following Harry to the end of the earth, and at that point I almost wanted to laugh at the memory. Did everything I said have to come true?

To this day, I’m not able to make sense of what lay behind all those doors in the Department of Mysteries, hence the name, but there are things that are hard to forget, like the archway. I have had many dreams of that one room in particular where that ancient, crumbling archway warily stood. That curtain- or veil whatever it was- fluttering, even though there was no wind. I was so enchanted by the mystical artefact that Hermione had to drag me away as well as Neville.

Then there was the room with the prophecies.

“This is it,” Harry said as we arrived, “It’s through here.” There were hundreds of thousands glimmering white orbs, but what should have been such a bright intriguing room was nothing less than a cold basin of eeriness. I could sense something was wrong. The room went on for what seemed like miles but what was beyond the shelves, whatever lay in the corners, was unbeknownst to us.

As Harry led the way we saw that each row was numbered. “You said it was row ninety-seven,” Hermione whispered. I looked up; we were only at fifty three. I kept close to Luna, who was actually more serious and concentrated then I had ever seen her before. Our breathing and our steps were the only sounds I recall. I was frightened, naturally, but I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to be frightened of.

“You know perfectly well.”

I gulped.

“Keep your wands ready.” That came from Harry, though why he thought we would have put them away I have no idea. We kept moving onward, and I checked behind us every few feet. Tom wouldn’t be foolish enough to be torturing Sirius himself in the middle of the Ministry of Magic would he? I shook my head at my naivety. Perhaps not foolish, but brazen enough.
“He’s right down at the end.” Harry said when we reached row ninety-seven. He started moving faster, excited and anxious. But as I looked ahead, I saw nothing but the same dim glow from our wands and the orbs.

“He should be near here…” he sounded as though he was just trying to convince himself, I couldn’t see Sirius anywhere. “Anywhere here…really close…” I saw all the doubt in Hermione’s eyes, there was nothing. Harry was wrong.

“Harry?” she said.

He was determined as ever, Harry. Looking a bit mad as he searched.

“Harry?”

“What?” he snapped.

“I…I don’t think Sirius is here.” No one spoke, Neville was biting his lip, and I looked around row ninety -seven, still looking for my friend.

Then Ron found an orb with Harry’s name on it.

And this is where the story of Harry Potter, the Chosen One begins.

Harry stepped closer to Ron, to see for himself.

“Harry, I don’t think you should touch it,” said Hermione as Neville, Luna and I were trying to see what it said from where we stood.

Harry didn’t listen, and as he picked up the small ball there was a still moment where we all expected something great to happen, something eye opening that would explain the mess in which we found ourselves.

The only thing that happened was Lucius Malfoy stepped out of the darkness.

“Very good, Potter. Now turn around, nice and slowly, and give that to me.”(OOTP 780)

We all turned swiftly and tight up against each other. We were surrounded; all these hooded people came out of nowhere to point their wands straight at us, and I couldn’t help but let out a gasp. They looked just like the Death Eaters form the Quidditch World Cup. The back of my neck started to drip, even though the room was abnormally icy. There was an argument, Malfoy wanted that prophecy from Harry and he wanted it bad, I didn’t really listen because I was waiting on Harry’s signal.

He was so composed; I watched in awe at how he could stare death in the face and still have dignity to play back. He kept talking to Lucius, and I knew Harry couldn’t just pass that thing over. It would have been too much a risk.

Then there was that woman, my very first encounter with Bellatrix Lestrange. I would hate her and I will still hate her until the day I die, you can have my life on it. She was so wild- so unnaturally animalistic. She was a deranged woman who lived life as though it was a game, in which the lives of people were just little pieces she could handle and use to her advantage.

“I want to know where Sirius is!” demanded Harry.

“I want to know where Sirius is!” Mimicked Lestrange.

Malfoy seemed to be getting frustrated with her antics; he seemed very preoccupied that the object in Harry hands remained intact while she was less refined. Harry was not giving in.

“You need more persuasion then?” she asked when Harry refused yet again. “Very well-take the smallest one,” she ordered the hooded figured around us. “Let him watch while we torture the little girl. I’ll do it.”

I barley had a second to realize what was happening: one moment all the people moved towards me and the next Harry was standing right in front of me, one hand still clutching the prophecy, the other behind his back grabbing mine. I didn’t even have the chance to feel fear. I was reassured by his touch. “You’ll have to smash this if you want to attack any of us,” he spat back at her.

There was more dangerous banter, but it was so long ago it was all lost to the nerves and sadness of that night, they started speaking of Voldemort, and apparently it was he who needed the ball.

Bellatrix was the first to curse at us, but we dodged it and it landed on some of the other orbs which proceeded to crash down upon us.

“DO NOT ATTACK! WE NEEDTHAT PROPHECY!”

Something he didn’t have the last time.

“You haven’t told me what’s so special about this prophecy I’m supposed to be handing over,” said Harry one he regained his composure.

That’s when I noticed Harry was subtly communicating with Hermione.

Malfoy raised an eyebrow, his thin lips trying to hide his amusement, “Dumbledore never told you the reason you bear that scar was hidden in the bowels of the Department of Mysteries??”

“I-What?” Harry turned all his attention back to Malfoy.

“Can this be? “ The Death Eaters began to laugh at this, some secret that was lost on us, but

Harry used that distraction to whisper,

“Smash Shelves,” to us. “When I say now.”

We waited, prepared for Harry’s go. I stood tall and met eyes with Bellatrix making sure she knew I was not one to back down. She smiled at me, and it chilled me more than the room did.

“Someone made a prophecy about Voldemort and me?” I knew the situation was dire and that we really needed to escape, but I knew that at least four out of six of us were really becoming invested in the conversation.

It wasn’t a weapon, it wasn’t a curse, what Voldemort didn’t have last time was…information. A prophecy. Immediately, I realized this was what the Order was protecting. This is where my father was when he was attacked. And then…this is where Harry saw Sirius, not because he was here, but…

“And he's made me come and get it for him?” because Tom wanted Harry to see it and come here. It was a trap. “Why couldn’t he just come down and get this himself?”

“The Dark Lord walk into the Ministry of Magic, when they are so sweetly ignoring his return?” cackled Lestrange. “The Dark Lord, reveal himself to the Aurors when they are wasting their time on my dear cousin?”

Sirius.


Hermione looked to me an then to Neville and Luna and mouthed an incantation. And that’s when Harry yelled, “NOW!”

Everyone turned on their heels and yelled, “Reducto!”

The prophecies all started to sway, and people just froze to stare in shock, “RUN!” and we did. We ran all together with thousands of glass orbs smashing to the ground around us. Somehow my feet kept going, the adrenaline making me feel something I had never even dreamed of. We ran.
I was with Luna and Ron when our group was separated. I heard yells and curses, whenever I spotted a flash of black I would stun and jinx with the first thing that came to my mind.

A rather large man appeared before Ron, knocking him to the ground, I sent a stunner but he blocked it easily. But thankfully, it was three against one. Luna got him unexpectedly from the back sending him crashing harshly to the floor. I grabbed Ron’s hand and we kept moving. I started to worry about finding the others, what if someone was hurt?

“We need to find Hermione,” Ron said taking the lead, I nodded.

“Right behind you.” We were in another room then, they all blended together, one whirl wind of confusion and color. That room had all the planets floating around the sun, it was a rather peculiar sight, like some kind of gigantic model of the universe taking up the entire room. The gravity was different there, there were moments I remember feeling I was hovering just above the ground. Had we been there any other day I would have gladly stayed to see it some more, but at the exact moment we paused three death eaters entered the room behind us shutting the door.

“Now,” one of them said, “No more games of tag, children, you are all coming with us.”

“Go to hell,” said Ron. The room was so dark; I could hardly see Luna standing right beside me.

“Hide behind Jupiter,” I whispered, and she nodded succeeding in sneaking off unnoticed.

“Weren’t there three of you just now?” one of the death eaters asked, coming closer. Ron stepped in front of me but I pushed him aside.

“I think you all just might be mental.”

“STUPEFY!” Ron yelled at one of them, and we both split form where we were standing dashing under two of the models, the curse hit the shorter man.

“You can’t hide! IMPEDIMENTA!!” he shouted missing me by inches.

“PETRIFICUS TOTALUS!” I cried back, watching the white light escape my wand but it was no use.

I heard the other death eater cry out a curse I had never heard before and Ron screamed in agony, I turned my head reflexively allowing the death eater after me to grab my ankle.

I desperately dove under the nearest planet hoping my momentum would make the Death eater lose his grip, but to no avail. The gravity made my movement practically impossible.

“Let GO!” I yelled trying to inch further beneath Pluto. But he only grabbed harder and I heard my bone crack, at first I didn’t feel the pain, the rush of adrenaline over powered it.

I only slightly saw Luna explode the planet above me while I covered my face with my arms. The man holding my foot had no chance, he didn’t see her coming. I stood and ran awkwardly towards the nearest door, knowing Luna was dragging Ron behind me; I fell out of the door, as a sudden jolt of sharp pain reached my foot. I landed with a thud at Harry’s feet, the sharp nail being dug into my foot pushed its way up to my knee, or at least that’s what I felt like. The pain was all I could think about.

“Ron! Ginny- are you all-?”

Ron started speaking some rubbish, a side effect of the curse he was hit with, but I couldn’t listen enough to try and make sense of it.

“Gin?” Harry voice asked fearfully, “What happened?”

I could only shake my head, the pain was to sharp and intense to speak, I slid to the floor
grabbing my throbbing ankle.

“It think her ankle is broken,” explained Luna, “I heard something crack. Four of them chased us into a dark room full of planets; it was a very odd place, some of the time we were just floating in the dark-”

'Harry, we saw Uranus up close!' said a blubbering Ron. “Get it, Harry? We saw Uranus--ha ha ha–“

“Anyway, one of them grabbed Ginny’s foot, I used Reductor Curse and blew up Pluto in his face, but-”

She went on to explain about Ron but it was time to get a move on.

“Luna can you help Ginny?”

“Yes,” she reached down to grab me, but I had enough.

“It’s only my ankle! I can do it myself!” But when I stood my damned body betrayed me, and thankfully Luna caught me before I hit the ground. I couldn’t get very far. Stuck in a room filled with more mysteries Harry ran on ahead leading the Death Eaters away from us. Neville followed him closely. Luna sat me in the corner, unseen in the dark, the death eaters following Harry and Neville into the adjoin room, the room with the veil. Paralyzed where I sat, an unconscious Hermione on the ground before me and my brother out of his wits I was rendered useless. Luna surveyed Hermione and came to the conclusion she was only knocked out.

Desperate to see what was happening, I pathetically crawled to the open doorway and peered down the stone steps into the large room below me. I watched it all. I watched Neville as he confronted Lestrange, wishing I could support him in facing the woman who had tortured his parents mad.

The confrontation did not end well.

“Crucio!” she yelled and Neville collapsed in agony. I screamed.

Neville sobered only a bit and Harry, seeing no other way out held his hand out to Malfoy, ready to surrender.

But like light conquering darkness, Sirius, Lupin, Mad-eye, Tonks and Kingsley came running into the room, bewildered by the mess the four of us looked. There was no time to explain.

“Down there!” I screamed pointing them in the direction of the chamber through the doorway at which I sat. They rushed down the stone steps.
Harry still had the prophecy tightly grasped in his hand.

The battle before me was something I still can’t get out of my head, streaming lights of color flashing miles a minute, people falling, flying, apparating, swift movements and incredible form. These were the members of the Order of the Phoenix, and Harry fit right in. He seemed so in tune with Sirius as they fought side by side. As the rest of us huddled together I couldn’t keep my eyes off him; his magic was so quick to strong.

Things changed quickly.

The prophecy fell and diminished into nothing.

Dumbledore appeared. Barely looking at Luna and myself, he passed us as though knowing exactly where he was going, utterly unfazed by the scene.

Luna abandoned Hermione and came to my side to watch.

“That’s Sirius Black,” she said.

“Yes.”

“He’s who we came to save?”

“Yes.”

She didn’t bother asking for more explanation. She was watching him strangely a dark look falling across her dirty face.

“Luna,” I gasped through the pain of my ankle, “What is it?” She tilted her head to the side.

I followed her gaze, watching Sirius too when suddenly a green light came from Bellatrix’s wand; it hit him squared in the chest.

As quickly as everything turned to a rush, everything slowed to a halt. I gasped and thought of the pain that must have cause him, but I was waiting for him to shoot something back.

He didn’t.

He just stood there a baffled expression on his face. Harry turned to Bellatrix with an odd look of disbelief in his face. I tried to remember what curse she used, I listened to hear if maybe it would come back to me…Ava-something…

And then all the pain from my ankle disappeared as the blood fell from my face. I turned back to Sirius just in time to see him slowly fall back, dead weight, into the veil and dissapear. Harry watched, frozen, and Lupin stopped what he was doing.

Bellatrix smiled.

And all I saw was the bright green of the curse etched in my memory.

“Come on Sirius….” I whispered. “Come back….get out..” he didn’t. And I had no more words in my mouth, there was a buzzing in my ear.

I felt nothing.

I didn’t even hear Harry’s scream of terror.

Next thing I remember Harry was running after Bellatrix. “SHE KILLED SIRIUS!” he bellowed. “SHE KILLED HIM-I’LL KILL HER!”

His words sent chills through my blood. Sirius couldn’t be dead. He just couldn’t.
Bellatrix Lestrange ran past us throwing a curse behind her that hit Luna in the stomach and had her groaning in pain. I shot back at Lestarange but she was too fast, I only singed the hem of her robes. Harry flew past and all I could utter was, “Harry-what-?” before he was gone again.


It’s painful to summon up these memories, harder to write them down even, but the last while we stayed down in the Ministry was all blurred, all I knew, all I felt, was Sirius.
Lupin’s expression confirmed it. He was dead.

As always the first step is denial, and like Harry I didn’t want to believe it was true. Soon after Harry ran out of the room, everything went dark and quiet. And it made it easy to pretend that nothing had just happened, that Sirius would walk through those doors again, and I made myself believe he would. Hermione was still out cold, and Ron was rocking back and forth I laughter. Luna was curled on the floor as I tried to help her and Neville was hunched over Hermione trying to get her to regain consciousness while wiping blood off his own face.

“Is it over?” Luna whispered when she caught her breath.

Dumbledore reappeared and disappeared in a breath following where Harry went.

“I… don’t… know,” I replied, with no emotion in my voice. I couldn’t tear my eyes away from where Dumbledore had just been. Somewhere in the distance we heard a blood curdling scream. But no one commented.

“What were you lot thinking??!!” Tonks appeared right next to me bending down to meet my level. “Ginny! Guess I’m not surprised that you found your way into this, what’s going on here?” she said gesturing to Ron and Hermione. I could see something was wrong, she wasn’t smiling and there wasn’t any light in her eyes. Her usually bright pink hair was deep, dark and depressing.

“Tonks what’s happening?”

“We don’t have time Ginny.” Lupin came up behind her.

“The hell we don’t! Where’s Sirius?” Tonks looked away.

“He’s dead Ginny,” Remus finally said.

I tried to act as though I was fine, not letting the pain show, “What’s happening with Harry?” I persisted though it seemed he didn’t want to waste time telling us what we wanted to know.

“Remus it won’t hurt to let them know, they’ve been through so much already.”

“Well then up! All of you let’s go. We need to get you back to the school.”

“You…you…worthless…deviant little… you and your degusting blood-mixed friends!”

All breath left my body as I felt the surge of power: Tom’s surge of power. It was boiling and furious. I could feel his aura vibrating through the walls.

“All year I’ve been after that damned Prophecy and now- now-!!!”
I was queasy and lost any balance I could muster. Luna understood it as my ankle bothering me and wrapped one of my arms around her shoulders. Tonks clued in, helping me with my other side. Neville helped Ron up and Lupin picked up Hermione.

“You-Know-Who is here.” I said.

“How do you know?” asked Tonks.

I met eyes with Lupin.

He replied with an understanding nod. “It’s rather obvious, I think,” he said.

“He knows about the Prophecy,” I continued.

Neville paled considerably, almost dropping Ron.

Lupin nodded once again. “Dumbledore will keep Harry safe. Harry still has Dumbledore.”
I didn’t miss the deep sorrow in his voice. I knew no one was to say anymore on the matter. No one was going to speak. I turned my head as much as I could behind be to steal one last glance at the veil where I last saw him.

Harry may have had Dumbledore but he didn’t have Sirius.

And it may have been our fault.
****

Madam Pomfrey didn’t start letting us out until two days after we arrived from the Ministry. Once we sat through the story of Harry’s latest encounter with Voldemort, or well Tom to me, and how he was brutally possessed she said that the post-traumatic stress would hit us soon. And of course she wanted us there when it happened rather than around other unprepared students.

However, I had a feeling she didn’t realize who she was talking to, we were all used to this sort of thing, maybe not Luna or Neville; Ron Hermione and I had seen worse. That didn’t free us though and as though all odds were against me I was the last to be released due to my broken ankle. We all knew Madam Pomfrey could mend a broken bone in a heartbeat, but she hung onto that excuse for as long as possible.

“Well, we’re off,” Ron said as he and Hermione stood from their cots.

“Yeah, yeah, be free,” I sighed.

Ron walked over to me with his hands in his pockets, “Do you need anything? You want us to go get you some real food?”

“Nah, I’ll leave that to mom when she gets here.”

“Are you sure?” Hermione asked.

“I’ll be fine, go find Harry.” They both smiled reluctantly and left.

I was glad, because even though I was fairing with the so called post-traumatic stress fairly, I still wasn’t okay, I needed to be alone so that no one would see just how upset I was. Sirius was gone, and he wasn’t coming back. The only one who would actually listen to me- aside from Hermione. The one who made me laugh and feel important; my friend.

I had told him everything about the Chamber, though I had never told anyone else, and everything I told him died with him. It now only rested with Harry. No matter how I tried, the vision of Sirius’ intrepid fall into the veil, disappearing from our sight forever would not escape my mind. A terrible ending to a terrible year.

“Hey Ginny,” came a chirpy voice from the entrance of the hospital wing. I quickly composed myself and turned to face Michael rather crossly.

“Michael.”

“How’s it going?”

“How’s it going?” I retorted, “How‘s it going? I’ve been in this bed for the last two days, where have you been all this time?”

He came closer, as though he hadn’t a worry in the world. Which he didn’t. “Um… well I was just down at the pitch with the Ravenclaw team. They’re really shaping up; trust me we won’t be losing to Gryffindor again.”

“Is that really all you care about?” I asked annoyed.

“No…but Cho…she’s well…” oh of course she was still hanging around.

“Do you even know what’s happened? The Dark Lord has returned and this time there’s even more physical proof, so you can’t doubt it this time Michael, there are more important things to worry about!”

He stopped walking, “Yeah and you went with Potter and his little elite group to try to do something heroic. I’m guessing you’re going to hold that over me now too?” The sarcasm in his voice was insulting.

“You don’t have any idea what you’re talking about! You haven’t seen, you don’t know what or why we were there, so don’t judge me! Sirius-” I stopped dead.

It hit me like a full speed bludger, I couldn’t say anything. Just like I hadn’t for years, I couldn’t speak of the Diary, not only because it hurt but because there were so many secrets involved, I couldn’t tell a single soul that I knew where Sirius Black was, that would have killed him instantly. I couldn’t even say that he died in our attempt to save him. I knew I would never trust Michael enough to explain any of that to him, so what was the point in continuing a relationship that was doomed without trust?

“God fine! This is what I get for dating a Gryffindor.”

I raised an eyebrow. “Well I’m glad you feel that way, because you won’t have to deal with dating a Gryffindor any longer. Just get out Michael, go find Cho or something.” I really didn’t care at that point.

“You know what? I will.” And he turned to walk out the door, I felt a bit relieved, he was turning out to be a pain in my side. When he opened the door we were both surprised to see Professor Dumbledore standing on the other side just about to enter.

“Ahh, Mr. Corner,” he said, “Do have a good day.”

Michael looked back at me with wide eyes, I gave him no expression. He turned back to the Headmaster, “Yes Professor,” he nodded and continued out to the corridor.

No matter how long I would know Dumbledore I would never cease to be in awe at how simply majestic and mysterious he could be. Sometimes I felt like he wasn’t even real, he was just a figment of my imagination spewing wisdom into every dark corner he comes across. He walked towards my bed.

“Good afternoon Professor.”

He watched my steadily for a moment but then replied, “Better than most Miss. Weasley.”

I averted my gaze; I knew that was his way of telling me that everything was and would be ok, that things could have ended much worse, and all the other generic clichés. But he had a way with twisting everything into new ways that will have you pondering your intelligence for days, as well as your sanity.

But everything was not ok. Sirius was dead.

When he made it to the foot of my bed I spoke again, “You’ve only just missed them, they were released today, but Harry was let go last night and no one has seen him since.”

His eyes narrowed behind his iconic spectacles, “What makes you think that I am here to see you brother and Mrs. Granger?”

My head tilted a little, “Why else would you be here Sir?”

“Didn’t you consider that maybe I was here to see you?”

I could only blush at this, “I guess not.”

“Well I did.” He looked down at my healed, yet bandaged ankle. “How are you feeling?”

“Perfect, Madam Pomfrey fixed me up in no time, but she still won’t let me leave.”

“Rest is important; I trust you know that.”

“Yes professor.”

There was a moment of silence. “But you Miss. Weasley, how are you feeling?”

It wasn’t surprising that he would use such cryptic language, I couldn’t remember a time when he didn’t speak in such ways. I saw where that conversation was headed.

“I’m just fine.” I lied.

He nodded once and sat in the chair beside my bed where my mother had previously been. “Miss. Weasley, I had a very close relationship with Sirius Black, I’m not sure if you knew that, but I was the only person he would talk to after he was rescued. He trusted me when he had no one else, only Remus.”

I smiled with no happiness in it, he had to go and bring up Sirius two minutes into the conversation. “I don’t find that very hard to believe, you’re the most trusted man I know.”

His eyes twinkled, “You’d be surprised that not many people would agree with that, but thank you, nevertheless.” He paused for a moment and then continued, “I had a long conversation with him just recently- just before the Ministry- had I known it would be our last I would have done things
differently.” It was suddenly hard for me to swallow. “Sirius was very fond of you, you know.”

“I figured,” I managed.

He patted my hand, “It’s alright to miss him; I can’t believe you wouldn’t be sad right now, by the way he spoke, it seemed you were very close to him as well.”

I looked down to my hand, steadied myself and spoke, “I’m no Harry, but he was a great friend to me, we were close and…and I miss him so much.”

“We shouldn’t hide what we feel, there’s no point, especially when all feelings are mutual.”

I watched him with a blank face, “Have you tried that on Harry?”

Dumbledore smirked, “Ahh yes, Sirius did speak much about you, of course I’ve always known this of you since the incident three years ago, but he said it was one of your finer qualities. Yet, something he worried about.”

“I’m not sure what you mean.”

“Mrs. Weasley, isn’t it true you hate to show any kind of weakness?” If I didn’t want to talk about Sirius, then this was the second thing I least wanted to talk about. Yes, that was obviously true but it sounded different in his words. He waited patiently for my reply.

“Someone has to keep it together right?”

“You have a point. But we all have faults, we all show weakness; it is how we learn about ourselves, through the darkest of times.”

I nodded, “But professor, during those times, like now, we have to keep moving don’t we? We can’t look back now with this war starting we can’t break apart! That’s what he wants isn’t it?”

“That’s exactly what he wants, yes.” I sat a bit stunned at his blunt response.

“He doesn’t want us to have one moment of peace, one moment of happiness, and I think he’s doing a good job of that Sir.”

Dumbledore raised his chin. “Miss, Weasley, a foolish man sees happiness in the distance, but a wise man grows it under his feet.”

Again I stayed quiet as I took in his meaning, he truly was a brilliant man, but I was determined. “It should be easier to make your own happiness.”

He squeezed my arm, “If only, but it isn’t healthy to dwell on what isn’t.”

“So I won’t.”

He smiled at my response and I decided he would see through my bastion front anyway. “Professor, I miss him more than anything,” I whispered.

“As do many.” With that he sat back and reached for something in his robes, “Sirius left all
his belongings and inheritance to Harry.”

“That’s wonderful,” I said softly wondering why he would bother telling me such a thing.

“However, there was one item that was not accounted for, it doesn’t have any importance, but I didn’t have the heart to dispose of it. I thought he’d like you to have it.”

When Dumbledore opened his hand, it was all I could do not to gasp. It was his chain; the one Sirius wore beneath his clothing every day. Sirius had shown it to me once when I spotted it, a simple silver chain with a silhouette of a dog that resembled his animagus.

“A very masculine statement,” I teased him the summer before. But now I felt the irony playing with me, now it was the biggest statement of all.

“Ginny?”

My head snapped up. “I asked you if you wanted to keep it.”

I couldn’t help but feel my eyes sting, I was about to break and if front of Albus Dumbledore no less, I didn’t dare speak, so I nodded.

The moment it touched my palm my strength dissolved and my tears burst, I couldn’t breathe. The silver was so beautiful, so simple but a forever reminder of how much we lost. My sobs shook me as I closed my hand around it; there was no point in gaining composure anymore.

One of my closest friends had been murdered right in front of me, he was gone and I was here in a hospital bed completely healed, where was the justice in that? How could we find happiness if the odds were always against us? Dumbledore said nothing as I cried, just sat with his hand still resting on my arm, somehow he knew what I was thinking,

“We must try.” I didn’t even bother to ask how he knew. I had long adjusted to the mystery of Albus Dumbledore. “Trying never hurts, the only thing that does, is giving up,” he sighed, but for some odd reason the newly found mischief in his eyes made me realize the double meaning in his words, giving up trying to be happy obviously hurts because the only thing that comes out of it is pain and sorrow. But what else could he mean? What else am I giving up on? “Yes Miss. Weasley, he told me very much about you.”

I looked up at him as he stood, finally understanding what he meant. “Well as it seems, Harry does in fact need someone right now, I‘m not sure if I’m the right person for that but I will have to try until someone else comes along,” he didn’t even bother making his glance at me not obvious. Sirius must have told him everything.

“Thank you Professor,” I called to his when he made his leave.

“You’re very welcome.”

The moment he left I tied the chain around my neck.
____________________

We were all on the train home in no time and it seemed that though we all had long ways to go we were acting like we were pulling ourselves up out of the mess hoping it would all be ok. It was an eventful trip. With the whole D.A. standing up to Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle, they were slugs by the time we were done with them. But Neville, Hermione, Ron, Harry and I found ourselves in a compartment for the longer portion of the ride.

“Hey, Harry,” Ron nodded to the door. I looked up from the Quibbler I was reading and saw Cho walking past the window. I rolled my eyes but sought out Harry he looked but then went back to the chess game he was playing with Ron, clearly not interested in her.

I lowered my magazine a bit.

“What’s-er-going on with you and her anyway?” asked Ron.

“Nothing.” I could tell he was being truthful, and it didn’t seem like he was all that bothered either. I wish I could say my heart didn’t pick up in speed, but I’d be lying. I tried to concentrate on the page before me, knowing well that the conversation wasn’t any of my business.

“I-er-heard she’s going out with someone else now.” Hermione put down her newspaper, and as I put two and two together.

I wasn’t going to say anything.

“You’re well out of it mate.” My brother clapped him on the back, Harry didn’t seem affected by this information at all, and it was a good thing too, he shouldn’t have to worry about her anymore. She didn’t deserve a second thought. “I think you’d want someone a bit more cheerful.”

Cheers to that Ron.

Harry shrugged and made a play, “She’s probably cheerful enough with someone else.”

It wasn’t my place to say anything.

“Who is she with now anyway?” Ron asked.

Who was I kidding? I couldn’t resist.

“Michael Corner,” I said glad that my brother gave me perfect entrance to the topic.

“Michael-but-,” Ron turned to me, “But I thought you were going out with him!”

“Not anymore. He didn’t like Gryffindor beating Ravenclaw at Quidditch and got really sulky, so I ditched him and he ran off to comfort Cho instead.”

I acted interested in my magazine again, pretending not to see Ron’s over the moon face. “I always thought he was a bit of an idiot,” he said, “Good for you. Just chose someone-better-next time.” And there it was again, that thoughtful look I hadn’t seen in years, not since Fred and George were joking around the night they took Harry from the Dursley’s, I couldn’t forget it, this time his eyes slipped over to Harry. Gosh my brother was so odd!

“Well I’ve chosen Dean Thomas, would you say that’s better?” Not that I cared one bit what he thought.

"WHAT?"

I just ignored him and went back to what I was reading, every now and again touching the chain around my neck.

Back to index


Chapter 19: Definitions of Phlegm and Feelings

Author's Notes: I know I haven't updated in a very long time but I have several chapters coming up! This story is completed just not validated :)


“Set me free,
Leave me be,
I don't wanna fall another moment into your gravity
Here I stand so tall
Just the way I’m supposed to be…”
Gravity- Sara Barreilles


There comes a time in one’s life when things change in a way you would never expect. These moments can happen so suddenly and so vigorously that when you realize the change, it might be too late to do anything about it.

I remember the exact moment I felt I was over the infamous Harry Potter.

Yes, you read right.

It didn’t take long for me to start dating Dean Thomas when my relationship with Michael ended; I wasn’t really saddened by it at all- that break-up-I barely blinked. He could have her and they could be happy together forever for all I cared. I just found it funny how the only time I was ever so broken was because of a boy I never had in the first place.

Dean was sweet, clingy, but sweet. He took a real interest to me when I emerged from the hospital wing; he walked me to my last classes of term, offering to hold my books because he didn’t want me to add any unnecessary weight onto my fragile ankle. He made me feel wanted and good enough, he was comfortable and I enjoyed my time with him until we had to leave school for yet another summer.

That was the best summer of my life.

Before Harry arrived at the Burrow I tried not to worry about him too, too much, though of course it was impossible. But every time I would think of him, it hurt because he reminded me so much of Sirius. I knew it was selfish but Sirius was the only person ever who actually gave me the time of day, listened to me, valued my opinion and didn’t think of me as a silly little girl. I missed him terribly. It was extremely selfish; Harry must have been hurting even more.

Each time I picked up a quill to write to him, I’d get stuck, sad or doubtful and walk away. Not only because I was trying desperately trying to cope with the fact that we were still only friends, but because I didn’t think he’d want to hear what I had to say. There were so many things I could tell him, but I couldn’t bring myself to write them down.

I finally got it in mid July.



Harry,
Writing this letter was much harder than I thought it would be, with all that’s happened we both know that words aren’t going to fix any of it. But you know that won’t stop me from trying. I hope you’re doing well, hopefully the muggles are treating you right, they should know better by now not to cross you. I’m sure you hate being away from us, your rightful world, but it’s probably for the best, you need to sort yourself out.
Dumbledore told me once that time heals all wounds, I hope he was right because at the moment I’m missing Sirius terribly. I know it couldn’t even compare to how much you do, but know that you’re not alone in this. And as much as I got to know Sirius, he wouldn’t want us mopping around, so you better not be doing that Potter, because then that means I have to mope too, and I’d rather just think about all the times he made me laugh and told me I reminded him of your mum. I think about all the stories he told me about him and your father and the trouble that followed them everywhere, whenever I start to miss him.
I’m sorry that you didn’t get to spend as much time with him last summer as I did but he absolutely loved to talk about you. He loved you so much Harry. As does everyone.
And don’t worry, I’ll tell you all the stories one day, just tell me when.
Try to stay out of trouble.
Wow I can’t believe I wasted ink asking Harry Potter to stay out of trouble.
You know you want to smile.
Gin



Yes I still remember that letter, I see it all that time, but little did I know that it was the start of something huge. Friendship maybe? I wouldn’t know yet.

It utterly surprised me when he replied.

Ron went to the window to let Hedwig in before yelling, “Hermione! Harry’s sent a letter!”

I looked up from my book in the sitting room to Ron who was in the kitchen- naturally. He pulled the letter off her ankle as she settled herself on the window sill.

“What did you say Ronald? Screaming up three flights of stairs isn’t going to help anything if I’m not going to be able to-” the sound of Hermione’s voice floated into the room as she came down the stairs, but it stopped when she saw the parchment in Ron’s hands and Hedwig. “Harry? He wrote?” They didn’t give him enough credit, sure he was in a bad place at the time but it wouldn’t have been a miracle if we would just jump back up from it, it would have been a very Harry thing to do, not let anyone see him suffer and keeping up pretenses that he was “fine.”

“Yea,” said Ron who still hadn’t opened the letter, rather he was staring at it as though it had just grown three legs. “But not to us.”

“Not to us?” Hermione asked, “Then to who?”

“Ginny.”

I stood up without a word and went over to pluck the envelope out of his frozen hand, “Thank you.” I walked out of the room leaving the both of them stunned in their spots.

I made my way to my room making sure to close the door behind me. Of course I still remember the letter, and if you’re shocked at this then you obviously still don’t know me. The envelope only contained my name in his script, and the parchment was almost blank:



Thanks. I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to reply but it’s because some part of me knows you’re right, but the other part doesn’t want to admit it yet. It means a lot, and I won’t forget, I have a feeling I’ll be needing them someday.
I promise.


It was short and to the point but coming from Harry at such a time…it was special.

We were both so blind that following year; we wasted more time than I care to admit.

It wasn’t too long after that, that Harry graced us with his presence at the Burrow. That was the summer a certain French hag was driving me mad. Fleur Delacour made her way back into our lives in full force, engaged to my brother Bill. They had known each other for a year at work yet the news came as a shock. Fleur’s superior attitude constantly had me reaching for my wand. One Bat-Bogey hex and she would learn her lesson.

“No, No! I ‘ave eet!” she said one morning as I started cracking eggs. Whipping out her wand, they were suddenly cracking themselves.

“No, I had it! Honestly there was no need,” I told her with my voice drowning in false sweetness.

I turned to the sausages on the frying pan and began to tend to them, only to have them flipping themselves in a matter of seconds. “Fleur. I am perfectly capable of making breakfast by myself.” I turned to the girl.

Sure she was dazzlingly beautiful and striking, she was skillful enough to land herself in the Triwizard Tournament, and yes she had that French mystic going for her, but her personality was as soft as a Hungarian Horntail. Bill could have done so much better.

“No! Ze’ little children ou’ can’t do magic at ‘ome shouldn’t make meals! You should be upstairs wiz you’re dolls!”

“I am fifteen years old and I do not need you telling me what to do, or what not to do. I have my mother for that.” I spat.

She came closer, sending her blonde shimmering hair behind her shoulder, and pat me on the head.

“No, do not get so worked up, young angered girls aren’t very attractive. Do not fuss mon amie.” I hated when she spoke French. As though all the English lessons my brother had given her didn’t matter.

I’m sure she heard my mouth drop. I clenched my wand- but that’s when my mother walked in.

“Ginevra!” she scolded and I put it down again. Fleur smirked and raised a perfect eyebrow. “Harry’s here, why don’t you go see him.”

Of course she wouldn’t be mad at me, she probably wished I would have finished before she walked into the room. But at the mention of Harry I lost most interest in Fleur and my wand.

Walking up the stairs I was muttering about how annoying she was, and I was glad to hear a conversation that I could turn into one about my exasperation.

“He can’t be worse than Umbridge, can he?” Harry said.

“I know someone who’s worse than Umbridge.” Fleur, or Phlegm, as I liked to call her definitely was up there. “Hi Harry.”

“What’s up with you?” Ron asked.

“It’s her.” I grumbled dropping myself forcefully at the foot of Harry’s bed making sure to miss his feet. “She’s driving me mad.”

“What’s she done now?” Of course Hermione would understand, apparently Fleur didn’t only have something against redheaded witches but bushy brunettes as well.

“It’s the way she talks to me- you’d think I was about three!”

I was tired of people thinking I was so little only because I happened to be born last. Everyday every minute, it was “Oh not Ginny she’s just a child!” I didn’t know when they were going to realize that I wasn’t just a child. It seemed like that was the roll I played, not the smartest witch of our age, that was Hermione, not the most successful pranksters, that was Fred and George, not Harry Potter’s courageous best friend that was Ron. I wasn’t the chosen one to save the world- no that was Harry. I was the little sister.

Ginny Weasley, the youngest girl of the endless family.

I wanted to know when, if ever I was going to be considered something different. Something more. And when it came to Harry, yes I had a boyfriend, yes I was good friends with him, but I wanted to at some point grow out of being solely his best mate’s little sister.

“I know; she’s so full of herself.”

My brother rolled his eyes, “Can you two lay off her for five seconds?”

I snorted, “Oh that’s right defend her. We all know you can’t get enough of her.”

I then realized that Harry must have felt so lost, because he started,

“Who are you--?” But his question was answered before he could finish it.

She waltzed through the door in her ballet-ish style carrying the tray full of food. By hand! I was appalled. She just wanted everyone to think of her as sweet and considerate. Please, she never lifted a finger if she could help it.

She was too sour for me. But when she walked in the room, Harry instinctively pulled his bed covers up to his chin, throwing me and Hermione to the floor. I didn’t like that reaction, but I found it interesting that he felt comfortable enough around me to let me see him in his pajamas. I stopped myself from thinking too much about it… Harry had reached a high point in his attractive growth that summer. I had a boyfriend and my thoughts were straying too much.

“’Arry, eet’ as been too long!”

The look on his face was priceless. “There was no need to bring up the tray, I was just about to do it myself.” My mother said crossly entering behind her.

“Eet was no trouble.” If I had thought the look on Harry’s face before was good, it was nothing compared to the one I saw when she lowered the tray onto his lap and kissed him on each cheek. “I ‘ave been longing to see ‘im.” Don’t judge me but I remember my hand going to my wand. “You remember my seester Gabrielle? She never stops talking about ‘Arry Potter. She will be delighted to see you again.”

Hmmm…that little girl sounded quite familiar.

“Oh…is she here too?” Poor Harry. Phlegm didn’t even give us a chance to explain what was going on to Harry before she pounced on him. He probably had a headache wondering why she was in the wrong country.

“No, no silly boy,” she laughed. “I mean next summer when we--but do you not know?”

“We hadn’t got around to telling him yet.” Mum answered.

“Bill and I are going to be married!” I looked away from the scene, it just felt so wrong. I didn’t know why Bill was doing that, she was so…obnoxious. I didn’t like her for my brother at all.

Harry didn’t really seem to know what to say, and I didn’t blame him, it was all so random, so sudden. “Oh…Wow. Er- congratulations!”

She had the nerve to swoop down and kiss him again.

“Bill iz very busy at ze moment, working very ‘ard…”

I tended to zone out her voice, everything out of her mouth was just…blahh. I took notice again when she walked out of the room. Mum made some weird sound as though she was trying to get her frustration out in one syllable, I wanted to laugh.

“Mum hates her.” I said instead.

“I do not hate her! I just think they’ve hurried into the engagement, that’s all!”

“They’ve known each other a year,” said Ron annoying me further.

“Well that’s not long! I know why it’s happened, of course. It’s all the uncertainty with You-Know-Who coming back, people think they might be dead tomorrow, so they’re rushing all sorts of decisions they’d normally take time over. It was the same the last time he was powerful, people eloping left, right, and center-”

“Including you and dad.” I said slyly.

“Yes well your father and I were made for each other, where as Bill and Fleur…well… what have they really got in common? He’s a hard-working, down to earth sort of person whereas she’s-”

“A cow.” I sighed. I wasn’t a rude person, really, it’s just all these memories seem to revolve around the people who made me seem so harsh, Cho Chang and Romilda Vane included. “But Bill’s a curse breaker, isn’t he? He likes a bit of adventure…a bit of glamour…I expect that’s why he’s gone for Phlegm.”

Harry and Hermione fell into fits of laughter, “Stop calling her that Ginny!” Mum said. I wasn’t going to give up that nick name. No matter how rude it was.

Mum left the room then with just an order for Harry to eat.

“Don’t you get used to her if you’re living in the same house?” he asked me. I was going to say something about how she wasn’t as easy to live with as he was but Ron spoke up first.

“Well, you do, but if she jumps at you unexpectedly, like then…”

“It’s pathetic!” Hermione suddenly furious with my brother.

“You don’t really want her around forever?” I asked exasperated. He just shrugged, I shook my head. “Well mum’s going to put a stop to it if she can, I bet you anything.”

“How’s she going to manage that?” asked Harry.

“She keeps trying to get Tonks round for dinner. I think she’s hoping Bill will fall for Tonks instead. I hope he does, I’d much rather have her in the family.”

Ron denied it, and I got angry, Tonks was great, funny, smart, “She’s a damn sight nicer than Phlegm!” I shot back. Merlin, what was it with boys and foreign, exotic girls!

“And she’s more intelligent, she’s an Auror!” Thank you Hermione.

“Fleur’s not stupid, she was good enough to enter the Triwizard Tournament.” I almost gasped when those words didn’t come from Ron’s mouth. I would have thought him to be the exception, the only one to not be dragged under the veela charm; it would only be fitting for Harry to be unaffected by it, but he never ceased to surprise me.

“Not you as well!” Hermione complained.

“I suppose you like the way Phlegm says ‘’Arry,’ do you?” I asked him disappointed, but mostly disappointed in myself. Why did I care? I. Had. A. Boyfriend.

Harry looked as though he wished he had never spoken, “No, I was just saying Phlegm-I mean Fleur-”

“I’d much rather have Tonks in the family,” I said finally, crossing my arms. “At least she’s a laugh.” The only way Fleur would make me laugh is if her bogeys were attacking her face.

Mum called me just a few moments later, “I’m talking to this lot!”

“Now!” she yelled, and I groaned.

“It’s only because she doesn’t want to be left alone with Phlegm!” and with that I danced out of the room, doing my best impersonation of the French witch.

That summer Harry, Ron, Hermione and I played Quidditch everyday and laughed more than I ever remember. Though Sirius was gone it seemed we all just wanted to bask in our teenage years in ways we rarely could. And I know he would have wanted us playing around and acting our age rather than worrying about all the things that followed where we went. The disappearances, kidnappings and all. Ollivander the wandmaker went missing just before Harry’s 16th birthday. There were no leads and not even suspicions as to why his shop had been ransacked.

Aside from the news- Harry seemed, happy. Though I knew a lot of times he was putting up a show, his laughs were genuine.

And I found it quite interesting that I was the main cause of his laughter.

It was also brilliant that Harry was named Captain of the Gryffindor team, he was perfect for the position, and it distracted him from all else. He seemed rather smug about it, but it was his intent not to show it.

“Oh come off it Harry! You are the best choice for the team.” Hermione laughed as we made our way to the pitch in the yard, she had opted out on this game claiming she had too much studying to do.

“But there’s Katie Bell, she’s just as deserving,” he said.

“Well, You’re the captain and that’s that.” She drifted off to the side with her book, to watch- well read- and Ron lifted into the air already announcing that he was more than excited for his best friend. Ron, however, just seemed concentrated on the game we were about to play, I figured he was preparing himself for the saves he was going to make when Harry and I went easy on him.

“You, Sir, are bloody proud, admit it,” I whispered to him before we mounted.

He tried to compose his smile, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Of course you don’t,” I said in the same mocking tone. “Whatever you say.” I pushed off the ground to instantly be greeted with the rush of adrenaline flying gives me. I didn’t get very far before Harry called my attention again, I turned in mid air, hovering a few feet above him.

“I’d watch it if I were you, you don’t want to cross your captain before tryouts, he just might make you practice like crazy during the season.”

“Are you saying I’m already on the team?”

He mounted his broom and kicked off to meet me, “Now, what kind of example would I be setting If I just let you on the team?” he smiled and I could see he was joking. “My best mate’s little sister?”

“Little?” I raised an eye brow.

“You are trying out for the team, aren’t you?”

“Why don’t we wait and see?”

“You’re trying out Weasley, I won’t take no for an answer.”

“Ordering me around are you? I’d be careful I just might decide to try out for seeker, I am rather good at it...as you know.”

“You wouldn’t.”

“What makes you think so?”

“You like being in the center of the action. You find playing seeker fun, but for a whole season you’d rather be chasing.”

I stopped short at his admission to knowing something remotely personl about me. For a moment I couldn’t think of anything to reply with.

“You never know… I may surprise you.” I said risking a look in his eyes.

He smiled widely, “Yes, you’re rather good at that,” he said taking off in the opposite direction.
***



I was dying to get out of the house by the time our Diagon Alley trip came around. Sure spending weeks in the same house as Harry was always great, when he wasn’t being moody- like that summer, but I desperately needed a change in scenery. That morning my mother had just served breakfast when I came into the kitchen. Ron and Harry were already seated at the table anxiously awaiting the food, as usual. Bill was home and it was making Phlegm perkier than usual. When Bill handed Harry a bag of galleons from Gringotts, Fleur went off in praise about my brother. I already knew that Bill was thoughtful and kind; he was my brother for heaven’s sake! She didn’t have to tell us over again and again, I’d known him longer.

I wasn’t aware that Harry was watching me as I pretended to vomit into my bowl of porridge. He suddenly broke into hysterical laughter, causing himself to choke on the small portion of porridge he inconveniently had in his mouth. It was a rather funny sight especially when Ron thumped him forcefully on the back only making Harry’s situation worse. Mum turned to look at the commotion and that was when I started laughing as well.

“Are you two alright?” she asked. But I couldn’t answer. Harry finally managed to swallow, yet he was crackling too hard to respond either.

“I think they’ve gone mad.” Ron said. Even after a while I forgot what was so funny, however, every once in a while when Harry and I would catch each other’s eyes we would chuckle again.

When we finally made it to Fred and George’s shop, Weasley Wizard Wheezes, it was everything I knew it would be. It was buzzing with people- mostly Hogwarts students who had gotten a small taste of their products over the school years. My brothers looked like they were on top of the world, professional in their magenta robes, and having the time of their lives. Leave it to Fred and George to get a job where they got to play the whole day.

Ron and Hermione were bickering again somewhere behind us so Harry took to walking around with me. We didn’t get far into the shop before the twins reached us.

“Oh look! If it isn’t our favorite sister!”

“And our favorite benefactor!”

Harry and I both rolled our eyes, “I’m your only sister.”

“And I’m pretty sure I’m your only benefactor, but don’t even mention it.”
Fred and George clapped Harry on the back. “That doesn’t mean the both of you don’t hold a special place in our hearts!”

“And speaking of special George…” Fred looked between Harry and I with a single raised eye brow. George caught on and smirked.

“This seems to be especially mixed company.”

“Is there something the both of you need to tell us?” they concluded together. I glared at them my warning couldn’t be any more clear.

“Uh…” Harry started, “I’m not sure…”

“Don’t worry Harry they are just looking for trouble,” I told him, with a bit of infliction in my voice and a glare at the twins.

“And I think we found it George,” said Fred taking my hint.

“And we don’t have time for it, since we have to take dear Harry here on the grand tour.” George added quickly.

“Good choice.” I answered.

“Well, Mr. Potter if you don’t mind us, we’ll be taking you away from the lovely company of this great catch here.” They came over and each took a cheek to swoop down and kiss at the same time.

Harry laughed as I shoved them away. “Oh, sod off!”

“Already gone.”

“This way Harry.”

It was a little while later when they returned; Hermione and I were infatuated with my brother’s Patent Daydream Charms. It really was extraordinary magic, and to think my brother’s hadn’t even finished school yet they were already doing so well for themselves.

“What are you girls still doing over here?” asked Fred.

“Haven’t you seen our section for lovely witches like yourselves?”

They led us over to their Wonder Witch products and I instantly found myself drawn over the love potions. There were only about a million or so girls in the area pushing and giggling and plotting schemes to slip some into the drink of the boy they fancied. It was a bit overwhelming in fact, but I still found myself -for reasons unknown at the moment- attracted to them.

“They actually work?” I asked my brothers, who here standing with Harry away from the female frenzy.

“Of course they do! For as long as twenty-four hours,” something in what he said made me sink.

“But they are not on sale for our sister.” George finished.

“And may I ask why not?”

“From what Ron’s told us, you have about five boys tailing after you at this very moment and we are in no way going to help that cause.”

“Well the one boy who I want to give it to hasn’t been tailing after me!” No. I didn’t say that, but it’s what came to my mind, and it surprised me, I hadn’t been so admittedly crazy about Harry to myself in a while. I looked over at him and wondered why it had been so long. I wasn’t going to give him a love potion, especially if it was only going to last a day, by the end of the twenty four hours he still wouldn’t feel a thing for me and it would all have been a lie. It wouldn’t be fair to him, or to me. Besides if I knew Harry he probably wouldn’t react to the potion and it would just turn into an embarrassing attempt.

Besides I had Dean.

As if on cue my brothers continued, taking my silence as a denial to their words.

“You are dating a boy by the name of Dean Thomas aren’t you? Or is everything Ron has been telling us a lie?”

“You really shouldn’t believe him, he’s an over dramatic git.”

“So you’re not dating a boy by the name of Dean Thomas?”

“Yes I am! Are you happy now? At least he’s in Gryffindor this time; how could I forget the grief you gave me for dating a Ravenclaw?” I huffed.

It wasn’t too long after that, that I found Arnold, my new pet Pygmy Puff, and watched as the golden trio slipped out of my parent’s watchful eyes disappearing out of the shop. They were following Draco Malfoy and I didn’t need to know why. But it would have been nice to have been invited, or at least told what they were up to. I could spend all summer with those three and when the first opportunity presented itself they would drop me like a burning piece of treacle tart. It hurt, but at least I had gotten used to it.

So I, being the amazing person that I am, did what I always did when they were finding trouble without permission- I covered up for them.

“Ginny, have you seen Harry, Ron or Hermione?” mum asked when she found me playing with Arnold.

“Oh yes, they told me they were going to help Fred and George in the back for a bit, seeing as this place is so busy.”

“Oh that’s nice of them.” she smiled, and then looked at me and noticed something. “And why aren’t you helping out? Really Ginny you should follow their example!”

“Yes mum I guess you’re right.” That was how it always went. I would be scolded for doing nothing, and I never once told them I saved their butts. To this day they have no idea how many times I’ve done that. But that moment I walked away from my mother mumbling, scathingly annoyed. “Yea if she knew what those three were really up to I’d be the one on the pedestal.”

I ran in on their conversation with mum when they managed to sneak back into the store.

“I just went to the back room where you were supposed to be and I couldn’t see either of you!”

Ron looked at Harry in question, but Hermione was the one to step in. “That’s exactly where we were, you just might have missed us, we were back there. In the back room. All three of us.”

I rolled my eyes at her sad attempt. My mum narrowed her eyes but walked away, letting it go.

Summer ended, like all good things, but I was looking forward to seeing Dean again. I loved the thought of how much he liked me and loved that I was appreciated in a way that I never got anywhere else. Outside of Dean I was just one of a thousand red heads, he made me think I was otherwise.

Boarding the train was an interesting experience that year. Ron and Hermione instantly went off for their prefect meeting leaving Harry and I alone, though I hadn’t noticed, I was searching for Dean when Harry came up behind me and tapped my shoulder.

“Fancy trying to find a compartment?”

I looked into his eyes, finding the sparkle I always did, but my urge to see Dean suddenly overcame me. And there I was with Harry asking me to find a compartment with him, alone, and I said,

“Sorry Harry, I’ve promised to meet Dean, I’ll see you later alright?”

He nodded, but I couldn’t read his face.

As I walked away I could have sworn I felt his eyes on me, but I bet it was just my imagination. I met Dean and sat with him for most of the ride, picturing Harry’s face and trying to understand what he was thinking. I was normally so good at it but it just threw me off. There was confusion, mixed with some kind of…sadness…or disappointment? I wasn’t sure.

A little while later the excitement on the train picked up again when I somehow landed in the Slug Club. This was an elite group of students that the new Hogwarts professor, Horace Slughorn, concocted in order to make connections with the most promising students.

Honestly I really do let my temper get away from me at times, the only reason I found myself in that club was for hexing Zacharias Smith after he annoyed me so much, interrogating me about what happened at the Department of Mysteries. Not only was it none of his business, I didn’t want to talk about it- with anyone. Some memories are better forgotten, I lost a close friend that day and Smith was acting as though it would be the talk of the school if he got to find out what really went down. But still, my reaction was a bit rash. At least I didn’t get into trouble and the impressive magic I performed was appreciated by Slughorn, enough for him to be eager to get me in his club.

And again, when Harry took forever to enter the Great Hall for the opening feast, it served as the icing on top of the cake for a truly interesting start to a truly interesting year. After the sorting Mr. Potter made his entrance, rather quickly, trying his best not to gain too much attention though that was close to impossible, he must have just been trying to avoid letting anyone get a good look at him. After all, what would people start saying when they saw Harry Potter, The Chosen One, who hadn’t been seen since the train ride, walk in late covered in dried blood?

“It looks like his own this time.” I said as he made his way over to where Hermione, Ron, Neville, Seamus, Dean and I were seated.

Dean looked at me, confused but Hermione understood what I meant. “And most of it from his nose,”

“He’s angry.” I concluded.

“Extremely.” Ron and Hermione answered unanimously.

He found us and forced himself between his two best friends. I looked at Dean and smiled as though nothing out of the ordinary was taking place, attempting anything to get the attention off of poor Harry. Unfortunately, it didn’t work as the group was leaning in to catch anything Harry was saying that could explain his state of war like bloodiness. Harry refused to say anything, and once Hermione cleaned him up I noticed Draco Malfoy on the other side of the Hall doing exaggerated movements resembling someone’s nose being smashed in a million pieces. I looked back at Harry and realized the missing piece to that puzzle. My hands clenched into fists and my jaw set.

The bloody nerve of that boy, to this day I still am not sure if I will ever begin to not hate Draco Malfoy.

Dean noticed something was wrong, “What is it?”

“It’s nothing. Just a ferret problem,” I said.

He let out one laugh. “You are highly amusing you know that?”

“I try.”

“But that doesn’t mean I understand anything you say.”

I sighed, “I know.”

The year started as it always did, teachers drowning students in homework the very first chance they got, and since that was my fifth year I knew it was going to be a headache.

It wasn’t a walk in the park for the others either. It seemed sixth year was just as, if not more, demanding than O.W.L. year. Whenever I saw Harry Ron or Hermione they were hidden by a stack of books and covered in ink. Dean was just the same but we had taken to doing homework and our studying together on one of the chairs in the common room each night. I got at least three looks from Ron each five minutes as though he was expecting us to do something inappropriate in the common room, I remember hardly being able to concentrate on my work for how mad I was at him.

But if anything defined that year for me, it was Quidditch. Yes I had played on the Gryffindor team occasionally when they needed a replacement, like I had filled in for Harry when he was put under that Quidditch ban from Umbridge and I played seeker. But when I go back and think of that blissful year all the memories somehow tied their way back to that incredible Quidditch season.

The morning of try outs Ron and Harry made it to the Great Hall for breakfast before I did, and that was a shock, but that must have been due to try out excitement. The buzz going around that school was mad. It seemed that everyone and their house elf wanted to go out for the team. And of course it wasn’t just because of some crazy increase in the game’s popularity, but in the immense increase of Harry’s popularity. As though he didn’t have enough of that.

He was now “The Chosen One” not only would he live with being the Boy-who-Lived but now another title came about. I wanted to see the day when he could just be plain old Harry.

Of course it didn’t help that he had grown about a foot over the summer and filed out, completely. But I’m just stating fact.

Dean was tall too.

Try outs would have taken over a week to get through if he really allowed each person who showed out a full trial. It was hard not to laugh at the scene I came across when I made it down to the pitch. So I didn’t try. I laughed. Harry was running his hand through his hair, as I went to sit by the awaiting want-to-be chasers.

“If you are NOT in Gryffindor, please leave NOW!” He yelled. Nothing was ever easy when it had something to do with him. I shook my head when a group of third year girls giggled their way off to the stands looking back at Harry over their shoulders. I was never like that over him. Talk about obvious.

It was taking forever. I remember being under that sun for so long, watching and growing frustrated as people wasted time and energy. Time was dragging and if I hadn’t wanted to play so badly that season I would have cut my losses and gone to find something else to do.

Thank Merlin I didn’t.

Harry made it through the beaters eventually and he called for the chasers. As everyone began to create a single filed line, which was quickly turning into chaos, Harry grabbed my arm. In the confusion he pulled me to the front.

“What am I doing?” I asked him in a whisper not necessarily wanting to go first.

“Saving me and our precious time,” he whispered back.

“Hey!” yelled a fourth year at the head of the mess. “That’s skipping!”

“Being reprimanded already Potter?” I asked him. “You might want to be careful they might just pull a mutiny already.”

“Oh shut up,” he muttered rolling his eyes; he turned to the boy, “Well she was the first one ready! And last time I checked I was the one running this!”

I started to laugh again.

“Oh Merlin! Is everyone really trying to make this a disaster?”

“No!” I told him between laughs, “Honestly Harry, Katie Bell wouldn’t have done any better.”

“Get on with it Weasley,” he said fighting a smile himself.

“Alright, alright, but remember you were the one who needed me.”

I flew really well. Watching Harry all summer must have influenced my technique, it was a perfect run.

And that’s how I ended up playing chaser for the rest of the day, filling in where a chaser was needed. When it was time for the keepers to fly Harry asked me to do the work, not that I minded. Helping him made things go smoother, faster and it made things much more amusing.

“I’m pretty sure everyone will think I went easy on Ron,” I said just before they started, Ron was trying out for keeper of course.

Harry just shrugged, “At this point I’m so hungry I wouldn’t object to closing my eyes and point to someone at random.”

He had something there… I hadn’t eaten since breakfast and it was well into the late afternoon. “Ok then,” I placed one hand over my eyes and spun in one complete circle pointing at where I knew Ron was standing. I opened my eyes in false surprise and smiled. “Look! Problem solved, let’s go.” I turned toward the castle. “Treacle Tart Harry?” I suggested over my shoulder as I tried to make a run for it.

He snorted and quickly took hold of my wrist not letting me go anywhere. “Ok, you lot are the last group so let’s make this move fast and painless so…” but no one was listening. There was pushing and shoving, yelling and screaming. It had been a long day, and Harry seemed too tired to regain control.

“HEY! IF YOU REALLY WANT TO BE ON THIS TEAM THEN THE FIRST RULE IS TO LISTEN TO THE CAPTAIN!” I called.

“SO SHUT IT AND MAKE ONE LINE!” he finished. “Thanks.”

“Anytime.”

The crowd had gone silent and I smiled at our work, at least they were starting to form something that resembled a line, and were doing so quietly. I looked over at Ron, and my poor brother was rather green. I knew it must have been the nerves but he was staring at Harry and me rather strangely. “Do I have something on my face?” I asked Harry.

He looked down at me, “No.”

“Hmm. Neither do you.” I shrugged.

“Uh…ok….Mclaggen isn’t it?” he asked the boy at front of the line. Boy was more of an understatement; he was huge, wide and tall. Handsome face too.

“Yes it is. And don’t you forget it,” he replied pompously, suddenly making him look like a troll. First impressions are the most crucial after all.

“Yea, well you’re up.” Checking his watch Harry turned back to me. “5 shots I think will do, and the faster we finish the faster we can eat, hopefully not missing dinner.”

“Done.” I meant to mount my broom but something held me back. That’s when I realized Harry’s hand was still gripping my wrist. I looked down at it and realized we were practically holding hands subconsciously. I understood Ron’s queer look then.

Harry noticed my preoccupation and quickly let go. “Err...Sorry.” He didn’t blush, as I didn’t either, but he had that same look of confusion on his face.

“No…no problem.” I didn’t meet his eyes.

Ron eventually got the spot but don’t ask me how, I just remember worrying about nothing other than the ball and my broom. And definitely not my tingling wrist.

The first few practices went great, Harry was a natural at giving pointers, helping and leading our team. It was also safe to say we were a fun group. Ron on the team ended up being entertaining but it wasn’t too soon before the downsides of having brothers made themselves shown.

One day after practice Dean met me by the changing rooms.

“Hey.”

“Hi.” I smiled as he took my hand and we made our way to the castle. Dean and I didn’t speak much. Where as Michael would never shut up. Michael would go on and on about his house’s Quidditch team and how they were going to win the house cup, it was never ending chatter. It drove me half mad, but Dean was the complete opposite. He would keep to himself around me. Granted it seemed he had a great old time with his friend’s, Harry and Ron being some of them, but with me…when we did speak it wasn’t about anything in particular.

Although the few times we did have conversations, he liked to talk about me. Not that I minded that much, I never really got to talk about myself, usually it was either about one of my older brothers or Harry. It was nice to have something that was all my own for a while. It was nice to have someone interested and preoccupied with me and only me.

We were about one corridor away from the common room when he pulled me into the secret passageway behind the tapestry.

“What are you doing?” I laughed.

He stood close to me even though there was plenty of space, and I got an idea of what he was trying to do. “Getting some privacy with my very pretty girlfriend.”

“Something tells me you’re all talk Thomas.”

He smirked placing his hands on my waist, “Well then I’ll shut up.”

He was rather corny, I wasn’t really one for loovey gooey types, but he was a good kisser. He held me close and kissed me deeply, I gave him back just what he was giving me.

I never saw sparks though. How everyone says when you do when you meet “the one” and some kind of explosion happens when you kiss, but all I got from Dean was that he thought I was a great snog partner, and though that may have bothered me, at that exact moment I didn’t care.

Things got pretty intimate in that secluded corridor, I felt his hands getting lower on my back and I wasn’t getting any air. He didn’t want to stop, I remember that well enough, he would have been happy to stay there forever, but I wasn’t. I was just about to pull away when suddenly I didn’t have to because we were interrupted.

“OI!”

Whirling around I found Ron and Harry with surprised looks on their faces, I thought Ron was about to throw up. And instantly I grew annoyed, my brother had no business looking at me that way. And then there was Harry. I couldn’t begin to describe that one, shock, anger, embarrassment, any one of those with something else. Back then I took it as disappointment and shame. For a moment I felt mad at myself for disappointing him, but just as fast, I realized this had nothing what so ever to do with either of them.

“What?” I asked.

“I don’t want to find my sister snogging people in public!”

Unbelievable, “This as a deserted corridor until you came butting in!” I snapped.

Dean was embarrassed, but managed to say, “Er…c’mon, Ginny, let’s go back to the common room…”

I didn’t miss the look Harry gave Dean. I honestly did NOT need another over protective older brother. “You go!” I told him, “I want a word with my dear brother!” my temper seeping through each word. He left, not that I cared, I could handle those two on my own any day. “Right.” I said tossing my hair out of my face to get a perfect view of him. “Let’s get this straight once and for all. It is none of your business who I got out with or what I do with them, Ron-”

“Yeah it is!” he interrupted me. He actually interrupted me. “Do you think I want people saying my sister is a-”

There was no way I was going to let him finish that thought. I pulled out my wand, “A what? A what exactly?” even though I was bloody angry, those words hurt. I was not some kind of Cho Chang, Pansy Parkinson or Romilda Vane, I had too much dignity for that, but for my own brother to hint that I was some kind of….I still don’t want to even think about it.

Harry spoke up right then, “He doesn’t mean anything, Ginny-”

“Oh yes he does!” and for him to hint it in front of Harry of all people… it was worse than anything. What I must have looked like in Harry’s eyes, that disappointment I thought I saw burned me. I grew mad at Harry and yelled at him too, “Just because he’s never snogged anyone in his life, just because the best kiss he’s ever had is from our Auntie Muriel-”

“Shut you mouth!” Ron was the color of fire at that point, his eyes were so narrow I could hardly see them.

“No I will not!” Ron pulled out his wand too. “I’ve seen you with Phlegm, hoping she’ll kiss you on the cheek every time you see her; it’s pathetic!” I knew they were low blows but I would never quit getting grief from him every time I kissed a boy. It wasn’t fair, and it was just because he had no idea what it was like. “If you went out and got a bit of snogging done yourself, you wouldn’t mind so much that everyone else does it!”

Harry was in between us at that point, not that it mattered Ron was going to get what was coming to him.

“You don’t know what you’re talking about!” he roared, causing Harry to stand in front of me, arms outstretched protectively. Leave it to Ginevra Weasley to notice that while in a heated fight with her brother. “Just because I don’t do it in public-”

What a joke! Of all the things he could have said, he chose the one thing his best friend and sister, the only two other people in the room, would know it was a lie straight off.

I pushed Harry out of my way, “Been kissing Pigwidgeon, have you? Or have you got a picture of Auntie Muriel stashed under your pillow?”

“You-” but as he said it a jet of light dashed from his wand, missing me by pure centimeters. Harry’s abrupt reaction made me pause. He grabbed Ron by the collar and pushed him up against the wall. I was left behind with my wand limp at my side. My brother just cursed at me, how much more pathetic could I get? I almost wanted to cry, he made me so angry, though I was more ashamed of myself. I wouldn’t for the life of me let on though.

“Don’t be stupid-” Harry started but I cut him off.

“Harry’s snogged Cho Chang!” that vile witch. “And Hermione snogged Victor Krum, it’s only you who an act like it’s something disgusting, Ron, and that’s just because you’ve got about as much experience as a twelve-year-old!” I stormed away after that. Not even going back up to the common room, but outside where I could blow things up without anyone telling me otherwise.

It took a few days to stop steaming but that didn’t mean I spoke to Ron. When the first Quidditch game arrived we met it with great conditions and great luck. The only sour point to the match was the commentating; Zacharias Smith was truly an idiot. He down played our team’s incredible performance, and criticized every inch of each player Harry added to the Gryffindor team. But he ate his words- Ron saved everything, surprisingly easily, and I was on a scoring run. I smiled at the old favorite, “Weasley is our King” being sung by the Gryffindors in the background.

And when Harry caught the snitch I figured the only way to make the match even more perfect would be to get revenge on Smith. So I did.

“Ginny, where are you going?” I heard Harry call from the center of the massive team group hug. I was moving too fast to answer him, and swiftly collided into the commentator’s stand. I tried not laugh when I got up to see Smith in a pile of rubbish wood. A few bruises on my part was definitely worth it. The crowd roared with laughter, “Sorry professor,” I said apologetically to McGonagall, “Forgot to brake.”

I heard Harry laugh behind me and turned to face him when he picked me up in a tight hug, he let go quickly, as though he was surprised he did that, and moved onto Ron avoiding my gaze. I didn’t miss the feeling of being in his arms, however, no matter how quick that moment was.

I shook my head and went to find Dean.
***
He was sitting alone, a few days later, in one of his favorite arm chairs by the fireplace in the Gryffindor common room. It was late in the evening so everyone was out enjoying themselves the way all teenagers were supposed to.

It was strange not to see him with Hermione or Ron, but seeing that the pair were not speaking or tolerating each other at the moment, due to the whole Lavender fiasco, it left Harry alone. Ron was such a git and the biggest hypocrite to ever walk the halls of this school. Right after the game Ron made a spectacle of himself, distastefully snogging Lavender Brown in front of the entire Gryffindor house. And of course a scorned Hermione refused to speak to him.

Harry was flipping through some book, curious and interested, but when I came closer I saw that it was a potion’s text book. I rolled my eyes, either he had something hidden between the covers or he was taking his new career choice seriously, there was no way Harry was that intrigued with potions on his own choosing. Either way it looked like he could use a distraction, a… friend.

I sneaked up behind him and leaned over his shoulder. He was so absorbed in his reading he didn’t notice my face just inches from his ear. I was about to speak when I took notice of his book, it had scribbles all over the pages, ink scratching out the text and writing over it. It was potions, revised recipes, but not Harry’s handwriting.

“What are you reading Mr. Potter?”

He jumped out of his skin, as well as a good foot above the chair, slamming the book shut as it fell to the carpet. I grabbed my sides in hysterics, he really had no idea I was there.

“Good God Ginny. Don’t- don’t… do that!” he said sharply trying to regulate his up-tempo breathing.

“Wow, Harry wow, you can face the darkest wizard of all time again and again with no questions asked, but I come up behind you and you almost have a heart attack.”

“I don’t know what to say to that.”

“How about, ‘You’re right Ginny, if You-Know-Who isn’t the one to finish me it’ll be you’.” He glared as I seated myself at his feet. “But still, what were you reading?”

“Uh… nothing I was just studying.”

“Hermione would never believe it.”

He smiled, “Anyway, what are you doing up here at this time? Shouldn’t you be out with Dean?” I may have imagined it, but now I know I hadn’t, I thought I saw a sense of sadness in his voice and expression. Back then I took it that he thought I was going to leave and he didn’t want to be alone.

“I can always set aside time for The Chosen One.”

Rolling his eyes he picked up the book and placed it back in his bag, then readjusted himself so that his head was resting on one arm of the chair and his legs hanging off the other arm. “Don’t I feel special.” his eyes were softly looking at me.

“You know, Harry, I haven’t had the chance to tell you that I think you are doing an amazing job with the team.”

He sighed, “Thanks, I love it, it’s just…” he trailed off. I shifted over so that my back was leaning against the foot of the seat and my head touched his chest, so that I had to turn my neck to look at him.

“It’s just what?”

“It’s a lot of pressure is all; I feel that since everyone thinks so high and mighty of me, I’m expected to be to be brilliant with everything I do. Like it’s expected of me to win the house cup.”

I shrugged, “Tell them to sod off.”

He laughed. “You’re the one person who would be so straight forward.”

“Listen. You shouldn’t care what people think, especially after all you learned last year, you know that. The only thing that matters is what you expect of yourself, and I know that sounds like a ratty old cliché but you’ve got enough to worry about other than people’s expectations.”

“How do you know I have so much on my mind?” he raised his eyebrows playfully.

“You’re Harry Potter; you always have things on your mind.”

The way he looked at me then, it was as though he was seeing me for the first time. There was this new emotion as well, something I had never seen him give me before. But I couldn’t figure out what it was.

I was so stupid. So incredibly stupid that I allowed what happened next, to happen.

“I guess you’re right. Thanks Gin.”

“Hmmm… I think I’ve heard that before,” I said softly, remembering him writing that to me, we had never spoken about our letters from the summer. They were mostly just an unsaid understanding.

He smiled, “Yeah.”

I wanted to lighten the mood, “Don’t worry though, we’re going to win the cup anyway.”

It worked, “Well with you scoring the way you have been lately,”

“And your habit to always catch the snitch,”

“We have it in our hands.”

I nodded, “And we can’t forget our secret weapon.”

He leaned towards me, dropping his voice in mock secrecy. “What?”

“You really don’t know?” I whispered leaning in as well.

“No.” His voice cracked on the word, which was strange, that never happened to him around me.

“Uh…” I almost forgot what I was going to say because of that distraction, “Felix Felicis.”

His eye brows came together, but the smirk on his face was prominent.

“Don’t think I don’t know what you did Harry. Pretending to drop some luck in Ron’s drink and then getting Hermione all riled up.”

“Well, I…but…” he looked ashamed and I laughed.

“Harry it was brilliant, I‘m just wondering if you thought it up all by yourself.” I smiled.

“Yes I did,” he said defensively.

“Hmm… Not bad Potter. If only you had thought of it sooner, before Ron completely pummeled Demelza in the face. But hey I’m not one to complain.”

He looked at me for a moment and then started violently laughing. I stared incredulously not remembering having an intention to make him laugh. I had been entirely serious. “Well…in a way it’s better,” he said between laughs, “now the Slytherins will be too scared of him to sing!”


I began to laugh as well, “I’ll let Demelza know that she took one for the team.” and we both fell into fits of laughter. That was the moment I realized it.


There we were so close, with my chest practically resting lovingly on his chest laughing our heads off in our own world and I wasn’t nervous at all. I wasn’t blushing my heart was under control, I was happy and comfortable. Actually my heart was very much out of control, but then, I only thought it was because of the laughter.

I was stupid.

I realized that I wasn’t fawning over him anymore. We were two best friends, who cared about each other, and that was it. That’s all we would ever be.

I was over Harry Potter; my heart that was tattered by the battle of unrequited love was healed. I was happy with another boy… My infatuation was over.

Or so I thought.

I ignored the back part of my brain telling me that I was wrong.

Sure I knew Harry better than anyone, Ron and Hermione were the exception but even they didn’t understand how to deal with his moods. Sure he needed me in times like this when his two best friends couldn’t be there for him. But I could accept just being friends then. The little girl dreams and prophecies I made at five years old, maybe they meant something else.

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Chapter 20: All's Fair in Love and Quidditch

Author's Notes: Based on Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince


All’s Fair in Love and Quidditch

How did you get here under my skin
Swore that I'd never let you back in
Should've known better then trying to let you go
Cause here we go, go, go again...
Here we go Again- Demi Lovato

I remember when I knew things were changing, but I was so stubborn at fifteen that I ignored it all.

I would have been an idiot not to notice the way’s Harry looked at me, especially when he thought no one was watching. I would have been mad not to see how he oriented himself around me, how he was always asking me to tag along, on Hogsmeade trips even. And I did notice how he was starting to get nervous in my presence, when I came too close. Such as Christmas Day that year when he came downstairs and sat at breakfast, with strangely, a maggot in the depth of his hair. When I told him this, I went to pick it out and the moment I touched him goose bumps rose on his arms and a faint blush crept across his cheeks.

But I denied it, I constantly told myself that it was my eyes playing tricks on me because now that I had convinced myself that I was over him, it would have been funny to see him start liking me. It was all in my head.

I think, back then, I was just afraid of getting hurt again. Scared of hoping and wishing and watching as it never lead up to anything. That would have been worse than giving up so I just held tight onto Dean.

Whenever Harry asked me to do something with him I’d decline and say I had made plans to meet with Dean. I’m kicking myself, now, for having done that. We could have had so much more time.

However as luck would have it, problems were evolving with Dean. I found him becoming clingy and needy, he always had to know where I was, who I was with. And he was entirely too gentlemanly. That wasn’t a problem exactly; it was that he was old fashioned to an extreme. Sure for some girls that is what they wanted, what they expected, but I wasn’t some girls. I grew up with 6 older brothers, I stood on my own two feet, I did things for myself. When he would help my through the portrait hole I would roll my eyes and ask him sweetly not to.

Of course he didn’t listen.

Quidditch was still going extremely well, but I couldn’t deny the amount of bludgers Harry had been taking because of a distraction. I pretended not to know why, though it was obvious, after practice he would complement each one of my moves and give me endless pointers. He wasn’t watching the snitch but me, closely. My pony tail sagging all over the place, covered in sweat he was watching me.

When Romilda Vane was at fault for landing my brother in the hospital wing after sending a love potion at Harry that fell in the hands of my brother, and with Katie Bell in St. Mungo’s our team was taking major blows. We had to get replacements and those replacements came in the forms of Cormac Mclaggen and Dean Thomas.

Mclaggen was just about as foul as Romilda Vane herself, only in male form. With him on the team it was a new headache every day. He would nag Harry about new Quidditch techniques telling everyone else what to do and how to do it, being everywhere except where he should have been, at the posts, covering for Ron.

“Where is he?” I asked sitting down to tie my quidditch boots in the changing rooms.

Demelza looked up. “No one’s seen him all morning.”

I sighed and was about to say something when Mclaggen spoke up. “Well, that’s not very professional of a captain. If I were captain I’d be here bright and early before anyone to make sure everything is in order,” he was already up and pacing in front of the team who were all seated preparing ourselves for the upcoming match. That last thing we needed was to hear his voice. “Well, I guess since Potter’s late, I’ll-”

“Oi!” I stopped him. “Sit it, and zip it.” My history with the Bat-Bogey hex made him sit.

Minutes were slipping away and the game was coming closer, and we should have been pumping up, going over strategy, Harry should have been there, motivating us. He still hadn’t shown. I could see the team getting restless, without our seeker it would have been an automatic forfeit.

He eventually made it into the changing rooms, at the last possible second mind you, and everyone blew a sigh of relief.

“Where have you been!” I asked standing up extremely annoyed.

He grabbed his robes and whispered to me, “I met Malfoy.”

Of course he did.

I looked over my shoulder at all the pair of eyes watching us in question. “So?” I asked waiting for his head to come out of his robes and passed him his gloves.

“I wanted to know why he was up in the castle rather than down here with the rest of the school.” he replied putting his glassed back into place.

“Does that really matter right now?” I gave him his firebolt, and he was ready.

“Well I’m not likely to find out now am I?” he said to me then turned on his heel. “C’mon then!” I rolled my eyes and followed them all out of the tent. Some things would just never change.

Out on the pitch the match was going alright, until Mclaggen opened his trap. The one moment I let the quaffle out of my reach he started yelling at me left and right, at one point I got so fed up I turned to yell back but Harry got to it first. We scored a few times but Cormac was just the biggest distraction, I didn’t need to know how Cootes should have been going after the chasers on the outside, but Mclaggen was loud enough to let everyone in on it.

If that weren’t enough, Luna was doing the commentating. I loved Luna, I hated how everyone treated her she was just so entertaining. But I would have appreciated her voice more if I had been seated in the stands, not zooming about trying to get on the left side of Demelza for a quick pass. At some point McGonagall had to cut in.

“Seventy-Forty to Hufflepuff!”

I was fifty feet in the air at that point, covering Demelza who had the ball, Cootes on her other side like we had planned, the only thing that was missing was Peakes, who should have been bringing up our tail.

“Is it already?” Luna asked, her attention coming back to the game. “Oh look! The Gryffindor keeper’s got hold of one of the Beater bats!”

I stopped the back wind almost knocking me off my broom and I turned around. And there he was, Mclaggen with Peakes’ bat teaching him how to hit the oncoming Hufflepuff players. Peakes was trying to grab hold of his bat again and my hands were just shaking in rage. That was our winning strategy, I had thought up that position, and he was ruining it!

So many things happened at once.

I was still on the other side of the field and I couldn’t really change any part of what happened but Merlin that didn’t stop me from trying, the moment Harry roared, “You give him back that bat and get yourself to the goal posts, or so help me Mclaggen!” I went full speed to the commotion because I saw Mclaggen go to hit the bludgers. And even before it made contact with the bat I knew where it would go. I kept my eyes on my destination and managed to see Mclaggen miss hit the ball, again, it all happened to fast.

In one instant I stopped and turned around and the next I was racing towards Harry as the bludgers made its way to his skull. I wasn’t going fast enough to save him, I knew that, but when the ball collided with him my heart stopped. I didn’t let my broom do the same, I kept moving as though my life depended on it. Everything and everyone was a blur around me and I wondered if they had seen what I had seen, or if I was the only one doing anything.

I yelled his name as he fell unconscious and I caught him the moment he slipped off his broom. The sudden weight of him on my broom caused us to dip steep and dangerously towards the ground. I kept my arm around his torso balancing him on my broom. Peakes got to me then, but I was too shaken up to let Harry out of my arms.

So he and Cootes helped me get to the ground safely where a crowd had already formed and I let them take Harry. I watched as they took him away to the hospital wing while I was trying to regulate my breathing.

A chorus of “Are you alright?”

“Is he going to be ok?”

“How did that happen?” Chanted around me, but I was barely aware of the voices. I needed to find Cormac. But no.

They expected me to keep playing as though one of my own team’s players had not just knock out our captain, seeker and not to mention my…

Harry.

That though distracted me even more from the game; what was he to me? It seemed like we were leaning on a thin line, one that I stubbornly didn’t want to attempt to cross. He was more than just my brother’s best friend, we were close. Perhaps like siblings, but I wasn‘t sure if I could handle that type of relationship. And after seeing him bludgered right in front of me my reaction didn’t convince me that what I felt was sisterly. It was confusing when you threw it all in the mix, I just hoped Harry wasn’t as confused, he had more important things to worry about, like those secret meetings with Dumbledore no one ever told me what they were about. I began to see that I truly had been lying to myself those last couple of months, but I was too chicken to do anything about it.

AND FOR LORD SAKES I HAD A BOYFRIEND!

I didn’t play well obviously. Once we all made it to the changing rooms when it was over there was silence. No one had the guts to do it, so I did.

“WHAT THE BLOODY HELL WERE, YOU THINKING?” my voice was ice; sharp and cold.

“Well… I….uh…Peakes was-”

“I was doing just fine by myself!” the other boy said. The whole team was now following my lead, standing up behind me, I reached for my wand.

“Yes he was.”

Cormac was absolutely terrified. “It was an accident.”

“An accident that after every time someone told you mind your own business you just did it again?” Coote behind me asked, annoyed. Mclaggen gulped and stepped back, only, we had him cornered.

“I know what you’re thinking,” I told him. “you’re relieved that the great Harry Potter is up in the castle unconscious, because after that stunt you just pulled he’d kill you.” I laughed, “Well guess what? I’m positive he trusts me to do his job well, and I will.”

Mclaggen let out a shriek and pushed past us trying to get away, but he didn’t get away quick enough before I caught him with one of my favorite jinx’s. I don’t think anyone will forget the sight if Cormac’s underwear rising up from the back of his trousers. Everyone roared in laughter as he flew from the tent, trying to stop it. There were already tears in his eyes and he hopped out.

I on the other hand hadn’t cracked a smile, I was far too furious. “That’s what you get when you piss off a girl with six older brothers.” I had most definitely used that one before.

Up in the common room my arms were still tingling from where his body had been. I needed to shower and get to the hospital wing, the longer it took the more I needed to see him. I made my ways up to the bathroom.

“As much as it sucked to lose the game you must admit, Harry’s face when he saw that bludger coming was hysterical.”

I turned around, halfway up the stairs. “What?”

Dean shrugged, chuckling, “The whole thing, it was rather amusing.”

“Amusing? Really you think?”

“C’mon Gin you have to admit-”

“Don’t call me Gin.”

“Why not? Isn’t that what Harry calls you sometimes?”

“You’re not Harry.” he froze, as did a lot of other Gryffindors who were slumped around after our loss. It was too late to take back those words; they came out only too easily.

“Obviously…”

“Because if you were, you’d be lying in a hospital bed with your skull cracked open and your blood all over my Quidditch robes!” I pointed at the bundle of soiled red clothes in my hands. I marched back down the stairs to face him head on.

“Where’s your sense of humor huh? It was a joke, laugh it off and move on.” his voice was rising too, and now even more attention was being attracted, I didn’t care.

“A joke? You’ve never gotten hit by a bludger have you? Do you remember the last time he got hit with one? He had to grow his bones back, you were there Dean. So sorry if I don’t find it ‘amusing’.”

“God!” he scoffed, “Do you realize what you sound like right now? Harry Potter’s over protective girlfriend. But you’re not your mine!”

I didn’t allow those words to sink in, I just answered to the last bit. “Oh really? Keep this up and we’ll see just how much longer that’ll last.” I pushed past him dropping the robes at his feet. And that is how I found myself storming up to the hospital wing, a mess and not showered. I can still remember how angry I was, all of a sudden more at Dean than Cormac.

Where did he get off just standing there laughing when his own friend, roommate, had just been injured in front of him? I made my way through the corridors not really caring where Dean and I stood. I needed to see Harry.

The wing was empty except for Ron who was flipping through a book warily and Harry on the bed beside him, still asleep with a thick bandage wrapped around his head. A pit in my stomach formed at the sight.

“Ginny!” Ron exclaimed when he noticed me tossing the book aside.

“Shh!” I warned him shutting the door behind me and walking closer.

“Oh relax! I’m so bored! Thank God you’re here, I’ve been trying to wake Harry up but it seems no matter how big the book I use is he doesn’t even stir. He’s not good company when he’s out cold.” Sure enough I could see some magazines and such scattered around Harry’s bed and the floor.

“Ron, honestly?” I asked rolling my eyes. “So he still hasn’t woken up?” I got to my brother’s bed to see that there was, conveniently, a chair placed in between them two. Apparently I wasn’t the first to visit.

“No, but would you tell me what the bloody hell happened out there?”

“They didn’t tell you?” I asked taking a seat.

Ron blushed, “Well Lavender was here when they brought Harry in…and I was well..”

“Pretending to be asleep.”

“Yeah.”

“Ron honestly, get rid of her already.”

“Anyway, tell me,” he said shrugging it off.

So I did. Ron was grimacing towards Harry’s life less form when I finished. “So over all, not one of our best performances?”

I groaned and sat back in my chair, “The whole thing was a disaster, from the commentating to Harry showing up late.”

“Late?”

“Yea, he almost missed tip off.”

“But he was with me earlier, and he left with plenty of time.”

I shrugged, “He told me he met Malfoy.”

Again, I was never a naïve girl, so when I saw Ron look away I knew something was going on with Malfoy. “What is Malfoy-”

“Where’s Hermione?” he asked changing the subject, I knew a lost cause when I saw one.

I sighed, “Up in the common room, she’s probably taking care of her prefect duties, making sure no fights erupt.”

“Everyone must be pretty upset with Mclaggen right about now.” he was grinning from ear to ear happy to know that we all preferred him over Cormac.

“Well we dealt with Mclaggen already, right at the pitch. He hasn’t been seen since.” My voice was a tad smug.

“So what’s wrong in the common room?”

“I really don’t want to talk about it.”

I looked over at Harry, he seemed so helpless? It was odd to think of him that way, when usually he’s so strong and all, but I bet that was the best sleep he’d had in a while.

My attention came back to my brother, who was watching me with that same expression he had a few years before, that thoughtful look, I hadn’t seen since the night they rescued Harry from the Dursley’s, and again the day on the train when he found out I broke up with Michael last year. It was a distinct look, what it meant, I had no clue, but I still blushed because he caught me starring at Harry.

“What?”

I stayed for a long while, not particularly wanting to meet anyone else for the rest of the day. Ron had fallen asleep by the time Harry stirred.

It was just a slight movement of the head but it made me feel loads better. I wanted him to sleep, but I also just wanted him to open his eyes look up at me and threaten Mclaggen’s life. I wanted him to sit up and agree that in the future we will look back on this and laugh, I hated seeing him so fragile like that.

I started thinking about what Dean had said, though I knew I shouldn’t have, there wasn’t much else to do. ‘Harry Potter’s overprotective girlfriend?’ What would it be like if I really were? Of course I had thought about it before but never as though it were a real possibility as it seemed to be now.

My mind went into over drive, suddenly it wasn’t Dean and I in that empty corridor, it was Harry and I.

His arms around my waist, my hands in his tangled hair, just so different from Dean. He would smile against my lips because he knew it was me, rather than just some snogging partner. We understood each other, and what we wanted... his woodsy smell, like a broomstick, warm and inviting. His eyes would glow so close to mine I would have a perfect view to his momentary happiness, I wasn’t too short, we fit well. Two pieces of a unsolved puzzle left alone for so long.

I wouldn’t mind that I couldn’t breathe…

“Gin…” he’d sigh…

I jumped when I realized, that sigh didn’t come from my imagination. I was brought back from my day dream with a force I almost felt whip lashed. I turned, expecting to see Harry awake, but he wasn’t.

No one else was in the room and I was certain that was Harry’s voice. He smiled and shifted a bit speaking again.

“Ginny…flowers…”

Harry was dreaming.

I almost fainted.

Flowers? What the bloody hell did that mean?

I grabbed his hand and moved forward, stroking it with my thumb, it was so warm, just like my day dream. My other hand went to his bandages and I started tracing them lightly.

I don’t remember why I did that, I just remember I couldn’t think straight, all I wanted was to be that close to his eyes for real, I wanted to see right into them.

“I’m here Harry,” I whispered, not sure if I was supposed to speak or not.

He smiled again, making my heart stop. It seemed to have been doing that a lot that day. A sudden urge moved me nearer, I was inches from his face when his lips parted, practically asking me. I was so close goose bumps made their way up my arms, I wasn’t breathing straight but it still felt amazing, I wanted so much to make that dream into a reality.

No.

I snapped back up into my original sitting position. I just couldn’t risk my heart like that. I stood and walked out briskly.

I was with Dean. That was when the argument came about it my head, Dean or Harry.

I want Harry.

What if he doesn’t want you?

What if he does?

You’re with Dean.

We are having problems.

Everyone has problems.

I’m better off without him.

No, you’ll just be alone.

I’ll have Harry.

And if you don’t?

Then I’ll just be alone!

So I didn’t do anything. But of course, Hermione didn’t waste any time realizing things either.

“Have you noticed anything different about Harry lately?”

“Uh… no not really, what are you talking about?”

She looked at me and I raised my eyes from my homework, “I’m not buying that Ginny.”

“I don’t need your sickles,” I said dropping my gaze again.

“When I mentioned your argument with Dean to him he seemed particularly interested.”

“Did he?” I asked trying to sound distracted, though she had captured all my attention and then some.

“Yes, he said he didn’t want his team messed up.”

I groaned internally, that’s what I get for reading into things too much. “Of course he wouldn’t.”

“He was lying Ginny.”

“Now why would he do that?”

“Isn’t it obvious?”

“Hermione,” I said still not looking up, “not everyone is as swift as you, so no it’s not obvious what you’re talking about.”

She ignored me, “Ginny.”

I dropped my act and set my quill down on my parchment. “I’m with Dean, Hermione.”

A smile made its way across her face, “But who’s the one calling you ‘Gin’?”

“What?”

“Oh come now Ginny! You told the whole common room that Harry Potter was the only one allowed to call you by a pet name.”

“Ginny is a nick name.”

“Ginevra!”

I shook my head, a bit surprised that no one had told us to keep it down, the library seemed crowded all of a sudden. “What Hermione? You were the one who told me to get over him!”

“Not in so many words.” she snapped, clearly getting frustrated. “I said to let things happen as they should, and you have!”

“So you think things are happening?”

“If they haven’t already then they’re about to.”

We stared at each other for a moment before I said, “I’m with Dean.”

She stood, taking her books, with a last, “Well in your words, ‘let’s see how much longer that lasts.’”

It didn’t last much longer. After that day everything Dean did started to annoy me even more than usual, I didn’t want to admit that I took her words to heart, but he back of my mind was never wrong. One night we were walking silently up to the common room, we didn’t speak much anymore, which was impressive considering we never talked all that much in the first place. As we came though the portrait whole I felt a nudge against my arm, throwing me off balance and almost tripped inside.

“Don’t push me, please, Dean. You’re always doing that, I can get through perfectly well on my own.”

“I didn’t-”

“You didn’t? You really expect me to believe that after all the times I’ve asked you not to?”

He ignored me and kept walking over to the step, just the same as though nothing was going on. “Don’t just walk away!” I called after him.

He turned around and that was when I noticed Ron and Hermione for the first time, Ron was having an argument with Lavender, though it seemed though she was just scolding him as he looked at his feet, Hermione stood awkwardly in the midst of it.

“I can’t even get a word in with you anymore so what’s the point?”

“Maybe you would if you would just listen to me sometimes rather than trying to turn any conversation into a snogging session!” I said with a huff.

“Oh, don’t act like you ever minded it.”

“Well, now I do.”

“Just like how all of a sudden everything I do is wrong?”

“Yea just like that.”

He shook his head, and I crossed my arms. He was finally getting the picture. “Well I don’t know what you want me to do any more.” he turned again but I wasn’t quite done.

“Maybe you would if you would get to know me, I feel like you don’t understand anything, those long winded talks about absolutely nothing! It drives me mad!”

He stopped, “Understand? Of course I don’t understand, there’s so many secrets you keep from me every day, and I’ve finally realized you have no intention on telling me anything.”

I was taken back, he was right, but there was nothing I could do about that. “There’s a lot of things you don’t know, sure, but that doesn’t mean we can't talk about other things!”

“That’s not fair at all.”

“Well then, maybe we should just and it and be done with it!”

“If that’s what you want then fine. I don’t care!”

Though I was furious, each word hit me like a block of ice, he didn’t care, maybe he never had, and our relationship was all chemical and generic. Maybe it was artificial from the start. We didn’t have a connection so naturally he wouldn’t care if it all broke apart.

He seemed to notice the depth of his words and he stepped forward guiltily. “I didn’t mean- Ginny I…”

“It’s ok because you’re right: I’m too much trouble to care. All the drama with my family, my involvement in the war, the secrets, and everything, it’s not worth it, I’m not worth it,” I said, meaning every word. We stared at each other silently; the only other sound in the room was coming from Lavender’s shrieks at Ron.

“It’s Harry isn’t it?”

It became so clear so fast. Who else would I be able to open up to without worrying about revealing too much information? Who else wouldn’t be afraid to stand up to me and treat me as an equal? Who else would understand me when I let them know what Tom put me through?

Who already did?

“It’s always been Harry.” I whispered, knowing there was no point in lying.

He nodded solemnly, “I just hope you can be happy, really.”

“I know. And Dean you really are a great guy it’s just-’

“Not right for you.” I nodded. “Ok…well, I guess…goodbye Ginny.”

“Bye Dean.”

Though the break up with Dean was harder than the one with Michael, I was genuinely ok with it. The only times I missed having him was when I would walk the hallways alone with no one there holding my hand, but it didn’t take long for that to change.

Quidditch went on as normal as the team’s spirits soared when Katie and Ron rejoined the team. We were glad to see Mclaggen go. My personality returned as well I was going about joking around during practice making everyone laugh, especially Harry. Maybe it was my imagination but, it was as though he was glad to have an excuse to look at me. But nonetheless I was glad to finally be the cause of his smiles. But that didn’t mean he hadn’t taken any more bludger hits. He was distracted…

“So what are you going to do about Mr. Potter over there?” Katie zoomed up to me in the middle of one of our practices.

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, if he continues like this, we might not have a functioning captain by the end of the week.” she smirked nodding over to Harry, who at the moment had the beaters running drills. He seemed so determined so focused, and yet the smile on his face just showed how content he was with our progress and well… everything. Other than his mysterious lessons with Dumbledore every so often it seemed things were getting back on track, more that could be said for us in years. I watched him with Katie beside me and I wouldn’t have been surprised if she could hear my heart pounding.

“And what could I possibly do about that?” I asked her.

Katie’s smirk went from slight to full blown. “Hmmm… I don’t know…maybe just snog him senseless and give him back some piece of mind.”

“What!?” I shrieked a little too loudly swerving on my broomstick a bit from shock of how strong my response came. I guess the reason for it was because before she said it, snogging him senseless was just what was going on in my head, being called out on it was completely unexpected.

“Oh please Weasley. It’s me. Katie, Fred and George’s best friend, the one who knows all about your history with a certain infatuation on a green eyed boy?” she laughed when I blushed. “Ginny, come on don’t; you remember your first years here? You admitted to me, begrudgingly might I add, that you wanted two things. To be Chaser on the Gryffindor team and Harry Potter.”

“Begrudgingly? Bell, you practically forced it out of me. But I don’t blame you it blame the twins.” I shook my head at the memories. “still, what does that have to do with our captain and his recent bludger hits?” I knew perfectly well what she meant but playing dumb was the safest choice.

“Ginny you know if you act now you can have both of the things you always wanted? You’re one of my best friends, and if I have to push you towards him I will.”

“Katie, I have no idea what to say to that.”

“How about the-”

“HEY! I’M MISSING TWO THIRDS OF MY CHASERS!” we both looked up to see Harry making his way over to us. “What’s going on here? Gossiping during practice? I thought better of you two.” his voice was serous but we knew him well enough to see his joke.

“Sorry, major news in the world of females.” Katie smiled winking at me.

Harry narrowed his eyes, “Can’t really respond to that. But let’s get back to work alright?’

“Of course Captain Obvious.” and with that last remark she accelerated past us causing enough wind to practically knock me off my broom.

“Bloody!” was all Harry said before he caught my elbow to balance me.

I tried to ignore the tingle it sent up my arm but it was more difficult than it should have been. I pulled my arm away. “I can keep my own on a broom thank you very much.”

“Obviously you can, if not you wouldn’t be on the team.” he said matter-of-factly.

“I wasn’t about to fall off.” I lied.

“And I wasn’t about to let you fall,” he shot back acknowledging my lie.

“Of course not,” I said smiling, “It’s part of the hero complex you have.”

“Hermione’s got you convinced of that too?”

“Nah,” I whispered as though everyone could have heard us. “I’ve known about it for years, I witnessed it firsthand remember?”

He leaned in, “How could I forget?”

“You do sometimes.”

“Yea but not anymore.”

“Really?”

“Really.”

His smile was just so contagious; it created the most attractive little wrinkle just below his eyes that you could only see from close up. I couldn’t help but give him a dazzling smile back.

“So what was Katie going on about?”

“No idea.”

“You’re lying.”

“Don’t you know it?”

And I left him sitting there in mid air as I went to join Demelza and Katie.

He walked with me to and from practice and classes, not holding my hand but still. We talked all the time however the moments we spent alone were close to none, after a few seconds someone mainly Ron would come trudging along and we would include them in our conversation. When Ron was the one to catch up to us I would always sense Harry tense, and that’s when it became clear.

Harry was worrying about my brother‘s reaction, what would he think if his best mate started seeing his little sister? And the bothered me to no end. Ron seemed oblivious to Harry and I becoming closer, and neither of them would ever get the courage to talk to each other about it if he had noticed. I knew and understood that Harry valued Ron’s opinion more than anyone else’s; he wouldn’t to do anything that would risk or harm their friendship.

So I was stuck. And suddenly, I wanted Harry Potter more than I ever wanted him before. Only because I knew it could actually happen. I remember being so happy one moment then grumpy and frustrated the next, things were becoming too complicated for my taste.

Complicated became a bold letter word a few days later.

Hermione and I were in the Common Room when Ron told us something was happening with Harry. “He was covered in blood! Again! He ran up to me telling me to give him my potions book. It was so strange.” Ron looked down. “I think he’s in trouble.”

“Well that wouldn’t be out of the ordinary,” I muttered.

Hermione shook her head, “I bet it has something to do with the Half Blood Prince. I keep telling him-”

“Who’s the Half Blood Prince?” I asked.

“The owner of his potions book, well the original anyway, the Half Blood Prince wrote all over that book footnotes and Harry has been following each one to the letter, that’s how he’s been doing so well in class! But he doesn’t even know who it is! I just think it’s wrong, it doesn’t feel right.”

I sat, frozen in shock and disbelief. What Hermione said couldn’t have been true. But then I was sent back to the night I found Harry in the common room reading his potions book, the same night I convinced myself I was over him. I had seen the writing of the Half Blood Prince, she was telling the truth. It didn’t take long for Harry to turn up.

He sat with his head in his hands as he told us the tale of how he almost murdered Draco Malfoy in the bathroom using one of the spells in the foot notes of his potions book. He said he had no idea what It was going to do before he used it. Ron had gone pale while Hermione sat visibly fuming. I just couldn’t find any words.

Harry was ashamed of what he had done, but was defending the Half Blood Prince, still. I had enough of a headache to continue to hear her.

“Give it a rest Hermione! By the sound of it Malfoy was trying to use an unforgivable curse, you should be glad Harry had something good up his sleeve!”

“Well of course I’m glad what wasn’t cursed!” she told me. “But you can’t call that sectumsempra spell good Ginny, look where it’s landed him! And I’d thought, seeing what this has done to your chances in the match-”

I interrupted her, “Oh don’t act like you understand Quidditch, you’ll only embarrass yourself.” Hermione and I were never cross with each other so the three of them sat it silent shock. I was too mad to apologize.

“So seeing that I have detention with Snape every Saturday for the rest of the year, Hermione is right, I won’t be playing anymore,” said Harry softly.

“But…but the quidditch final!” Ron stuttered.

“I know. Ginny will be playing seeker and Dean will rejoin the team as chaser again.”

I looked away, I was in no way defending what Harry had done. I wasn’t on his side, what he did hurt me, the only reason I spoke was because Hermione was getting annoying. So when Harry looked up at me I didn’t meet his eyes.

“It’s the only way that makes sense Ginny!” Harry pleaded when he saw that I wouldn’t look at him. “She’s the best choice for seeker, and you all know it.”

“It’s not that I don’t agree mate…” Ron started, but he seemed to be at a loss for words. I finished for him.

“It’s just unbelievable that this has to happen in the first place.” With that I stood and walked out of the common room, having no desire to continue that conversation. I wanted to breathe by myself and pull it together, but Harry stopped me just outside the corridor.

“Gin!” I didn’t turn around but he persisted. “Listen, I’m sorry.” he looked down at his feet when I finally turned. “I know I let the team down, but I want to thank you for what you said in there.”

I looked into his eyes and whispered, “The team?” I shook my head. “Just the team? Well yes, they’ll be pretty upset when they find out that our star seeker won’t be playing, but can you honestly not think of anyone in particular who might be more upset?” he pulled his eye brows together. “You can’t, can you? No not when you’re off taking orders from a book, hanging on to it’s every word, a book that you just happened to come by. Treating it like a friend. I thought maybe you of all people would know better.”

He was speechless, naturally, but I didn’t care, it hurt to think that what happened to me never registered with him. He seemed to always forget what I went through, and what hurt worse was that aside from Dumbledore, he was the only one who really knew what happened, so it was like it meant nothing. I stood there for a moment. Resisting the urge to lean up and kiss him.

It was a random thought but I was so put of I felt like doing something rash.

But I didn’t.

“You’re right, I don’t know what I was thinking, but Ginny you have to understand me, the Prince didn’t do anything wrong!”

I sighed. “Harry if you’re waiting for me to say, it’s alright, go back and find that book and trust it again, no harm done; I can’t, I won’t.”

He nodded slowly, “I guess you’re right.” he put his hands in his pockets and began to turn away, I could see that he was ashamed of himself, and I felt guilty. Sure what he did was wrong, but if anyone deserved a break, it was Harry.

“I believe you, you know.”

“About what?” he asked.

“Malfoy being a Death Eater. Ron and Hermione just don’t want to accept the worst.”

“Really?”

“Yes.” I turned again and walked away, feeling his eyes on my back as I did so.

When the final Quidditch match finally came there was no doubt Harry was reluctant to walk away from us to head to Snape’s office. I felt bad for him, but I was more nervous about playing seeker, I hadn’t played seeker for Gryffindor in over a year. Ironically enough, we were up against Ravenclaw, and I was playing opposite Cho Chang.

The team wasn’t looking all too excited in the changing rooms; the nerves were getting to us. A lot rested on our shoulders, without a captain and original seeker the game was going to be hell. We knew that from experience. No one really spoke in the few moments before it started; I just smiled encouragingly at my brother who seemed about ready to show us his breakfast.

The moment the Quaffle left Madam Hooch’s hand, I was air born. The adrenaline sparking up my interest and excitement for the first time all morning. I played smart and calm, taking my time to watch for the snitch, also watching the chasers and deciding how many points I was going to bargain before I caught it. Cho, as I couldn’t help but notice, was zooming around frantically like that little house elf Dobby when Harry didn’t have anything for him to do.

The score was close. We made a goal and Ravenclaw would follow immediately. I knew we needed over 200 points to get win the cup, Ravenclaw needed much less, so I began to sweat. I had to wait, but that didn’t stop me from noticing that forty-five minutes into the game I hadn’t seen a glance of the snitch yet.

Ron was doing well; he saved 4 out of 5 of the balls and was paying more attention to the game than the people in the stands. Dean and Demelza were actually a great pair they had the quaffle moving at blazing speeds. And gratefully, there had yet to be any injuries.

It had been an hour when one of the beaters on the other team was sent to the hospital wing, broken limb. “And back to the game,” Smith was back commentating, unfortunately, “120 to 90, Ravenclaw, seems like Potter ruined the team’s chances landing himself in detention, taking Weasley off her post of chaser isn’t doing any good either.

Just then the snitch showed up, swirling around me before taking a quick plunge. I followed it determined, already blocking out the rest of the world, entering my seeker zone, as Harry and I called it. Only me, my broom and that glint of gold.

It took a few minutes for Cho to catch on but by then I knew I was going to get it, I had to. She came up on my right, her blue blur of a robe against my red one. Don’t ask me why, to this day I still don’t know what made me do it, what made me break out of my concentration, but I turned my head to look at her. She was pretty, I give her that, pretty enough to catch Michael’s attention, pretty enough even to be preferred by Harry Potter. But that was it. This girl who I was so envious of for a few years, she didn’t go to the Department of Mysteries, Harry had never told her about the order of the Phoenix or that his godfather was a framed mass murderer on the run. She knew nothing, like Michael, like Dean. She didn’t have enough in her to keep Harry interested that’s why it was easy for him to walk away. He didn’t have time to dry her tears.

She met my eyes, we were shoulder to shoulder going over 65 miles an hour 150 feet in the air, but all I noticed at that moment was the fact that I didn’t hate Cho Chang. As much as I thought I did, I didn’t, I pitied her. She gave me an incredulous look and focused in front of her again, but it was too late, my hand had clasped around the snitch.

The next few moments were a blur, I probably couldn’t remember them if I tried, but I do remember Ron lifting up my hand that was still holding the ball and yelling, “FOR HARRY!!!” the crowd around us went wild.

The party in the common room was really out of hand, but incredibly fun. Music, banners and confetti, chorus’ of Weasley is our King went around, from what I heard it had been lengthened to add a verse of Weasley is our Queen. Everyone was overjoyed at winning the cup again, but I was only waiting for Harry to show. He deserved to be there, but no doubt Snape was keeping him longer, he must have enjoyed the situation.

“Too bad Harry isn’t here,” A girl whom I knew from my year, Anarise, spoke up behind me, taking a swig of her butterbeer. She never really spoke much so the comment threw me off.

“Uh... Yea, but I know he’ll be here any moment.” I stood on the tips of my toes in the crowed room to search for Hermione or Demelza but all I saw were the heads of Dean and Seamus.

“Hi Ginny.” Dean said softly, warily. “You did great today.”

“Thanks, Dean.” There was a moment of awkward silence as we watch the party around us.

“So Ginny, on the subject of Harry, you have to tell me some stories, considering he’s the man of the hour. You practically live with him there has to be something juicy you can tell us about.” No doubt she was taking a page from Romilda’s book, sure enough, Miss. Vane -no pun intended- herself was standing by the window watching us with a glass of pumpkin juice.

A prominent smirk on her face. Anarise was waiting on me for an answer though that was the last thing I wanted to do. Dean let out a strained uncomfortable cough.

“Well…I Don’t-”

“Is he seeing anyone?” she interrupted me. “You must at least know if he fancies someone.” I knew for a fact that Anarise was a very devoted fan of Harry’s I figured it didn’t take long for Romilda to convince her to get some information out of me. Her blue eyes watched me excitedly, as I struggled with one of the most uncomfortable situations of my life.

Why of all times did she have to carry out this plot in front of my ex boy friend. I had the urge to grab her butterbeer and pour it all down her front, well, maybe not, this girl was just under the influence of Romilda, the butterbeer would be more appropriate down her front.

When I didn’t answer Dean turned towards me with hurt eyes, “Harry’s my roommate, he would have told me if he’s seeing someone,” he said, partly to me, partly to the girl standing beside me. I clearly heard the double meaning in his words.

“That’s because he isn’t,” I said nonchalantly, taking a sip of my drink.

She smiled, “Oh good! I would just be a shame if a catch like him is taken.” Curse her words!

“By someone other than yourself you mean,” I muttered under my breath praying for something, someone to get out of there.

Dean heard what I said, but didn’t comment. He nearly smiled half heartedly.

“I mean Harry Potter! The Chosen One, Ginny you’re so lucky you know him so well, aren’t you both extremely close? I wish I had that kind of relationship with him. Hey you never know, if he’s single then…”

I bit my lip and held my cup tighter, if I had opened my mouth it wouldn’t have been nice, I mean Harry wasn’t mine, it wasn’t like I had the right to be mad at her for saying such a thing, but it irked me extremely. Dean noticed and said, surprisingly,

“I wouldn’t get my hopes up, I know Harry’s type.” Her face fell at his words, but I was looking at Dean he gave me a look that said it all, I turned away blushing. Thankfully I found a way to get out of that mess.

As I looked up Ron was pulling Harry into the center of the party. His face was so bright and shocked at our win.

“Excuse me.” I pushed past the girl and the crowd of screaming people who were currently worshipping our captain, and rushed to him. I forgot all of my embarrassment of that last few minutes I just remember being so happy to see him, when he turned my way, and smiled back at me. Reaching him, I threw my arms around his necj and hugged the life out of him. Ii was so great to know that something as simple as a quidditch cup could raise his spirits so much…and that was my last thought before he kissed me.

Out of nowhere, in front of fifty people, Harry Potter kissed me, Ginny Weasley.

And people thought it would never happen.

It was amazing, everyone, everything faded away and we entered our own world where Voldemort didn’t matter, the war didn’t matter, my brother’s didn’t matter only each other. His lips were slow and loving, cherishing the moment as though he had waited for it so long. However, he hadn’t waited as long as I had.

It wasn’t like kissing Michael or Dean, there was something more, special. Maybe because I knew I had fallen in love with him, or maybe it was how his hand on my neck was sending goose bumps down my spine, or how I fit so well into his body. And my heart, rather than speeding up, it slowed down, making me feel light. I wasn’t sure how long it was but at some point I pulled away and stared into his chest, wondering if that really had just happened.

There were whistles and a few giggles that broke out in the otherwise dead silent room. Hermione to my right was grinning like a fool and Ron just seemed rooted to the spot. I almost laughed when I caught that expression on his face again, it seemed to follow a pattern, as if I could ever forget. Harry must have seen it too, I guessed the only person he would care about then was Ron. I looked up and met his eyes, almost dazed, I had never seem him look so happy, I like I said before back when I told you about the summer I met Sirius, this was the first time I had ever seen him completely happy, with me. The first time he ever kissed me.

I was almost sure I was dreaming at that point but then he nodded to the door and I smiled. We walked out of the common room, leaving everyone still speechless in our way.

I made sure not to miss Romilda’s face.

Back to index


Chapter 21: By the Lake

Author's Notes: This story is comleted! It is only just waiting for validation!


“Before I fall, too fast
Kiss me quick, but make it last,
So I can see how badly this will hurt me, when you say goodbye.
Keep it sweet,
Keep it slow,
Let the future pass and don’t let go,
Cause tonight I could fall too soon under this beautiful,
Moonlight…”
-Catch Me Demi Lovato

The very first time Harry and I visited the hidden, shaded bank by the Black Lake together was right after our first kiss. We spent most of our alone time there, where no one could find us and we had all the time in the world to discover what we had been missing out on for so long.

My relationship with Harry has always been about helping each other up and through the hard times that fate threw at us, from the Chamber of Secrets to the Department of Mysteries. But those first few weeks in my fifth year that we had before all hell broke loose, would be weeks I would cherish forever. It was the calm before the storm.

It was spring of 1996. Yes, now you see what I mean by right before everything came crashing down. If you aren’t good with history, or well dates, then just wait a bit while I tell you about the best- and worst- times of my life.

The moment we both stepped out of the portrait hole the nerves kicked in. Not the blinding sick nerves but ones of excitement and anxiety. I could tell he felt embarrassed for his actions just a minute before, you already know that Harry isn’t that rash with girls, which made me curious to hear what he had to say for himself. Still, I felt honored that I was the one to drive him to such bold measures.

And so, I daringly threaded my fingers through his and headed down the staircases. He followed enthusiastically with a smile playing across his face, making me sure he didn’t regret what he had done. Merlin knew I didn’t. We had much to talk about but they weren’t conversations meant for public.

“Where are we going?” I asked him we he suddenly took the lead and began to pull me along.

“The lake,” he replied. My face brightened at the thought but unfortunately he couldn’t see my reaction. He stopped abruptly causing me to crash forcefully into his back. “That is…if you want.”

I couldn’t believe that he sounded unsure of himself! “Are you serious?”

He turned around and gave me a sheepish smile, “No, I’m Harry.”

“That Mr. Potter,” I said pointing up at him, “Was a bad joke.”

“Well you left it right open!”

“I guess you’re right,” I laughed- but then just as quickly faced him sincerely, squeezing his hand, “The lake sounds perfect.”

I led now, excited, still feeling the soft tingle on my lips where his had been. It was as though I was on this high that no one could ever bring me down from; for years I had wanted to be with Harry, I wanted to be the object of his attention only because I understood him better than most- now I had my chance. Yet, I wasn’t too stunned to function cohesively and that surprised me; the fact that I was calm and collected proved that my patience had been rewarded. Harry and I had been good friends first, and it made things a heck of a lot easier.

We wound our way down the stairs together, silently, fingers intertwined, and completely comfortable. But of course being as popular as Harry, and well I guess by that time I already held my own well known status, there was nothing possible to prevent the whispers. They must have been second nature to Harry by now and they didn’t register to me much either. Being a Weasley, the chaser of the Gryffindor team, and one of the people involved in the Ministry fiasco, I had my history of stares and whispers but I found it kind of extreme when we passed two younger Ravenclaws.

The first girl stopped dead in her tracks, riotously shaken at the sight of our hands, while the other- who was so completely consumed in her text book- crashed right into her back.

Harry laughed.

“Well,” I said, “That’s what they get for staring so rudely.”

He tugged on my hand, “Let them, it’s not like we can prevent the inevitable anyway.”

I slowed and thought for a moment, “You’re right, every person in the school gossips like old women. I give it two hours before every creature on the grounds knows.”

He furrowed his eye brows but smirked, “Have some faith; let’s give it until dinner.”

“You’re on.”

“Hmm. Seems like your competitiveness streak hasn’t worn off from the match.”

With that he pulled me forward outside so that I was running to keep up.

“Well, now I know why you are so fond of Quidditch, where else can you release all of this energy?” I called, “Obviously Snape didn’t have you cleaning cauldrons with a spoon.”

“Actually I had to act as though the punishment was terrible. He had me rewrite old detention slips. Most from my father, and the Maraders. I got to imagine their schemes.”

I laughed, “That’s interesting; I had a feeling you would have been more distracted with the game going on.”

And yet again I found myself bumping into him. “Trust me I was distracted,” he was blushing. Harry James Potter was blushing. Around me. For me. Because of me. I would have given anything to find out why.

“You were? Then why?”

“I really wanted to see it. I should have been playing,”

“We’ve had this conversation already, but it doesn’t explain the blush.”

“What blush?” he asked innocently trying to maneuver the conversation elsewhere.

I gave him a pointed look but then soften it. “You know what? I’ll return the favor, I saw no blush.”

With all the times Harry had pretended not to notice my own embarrassment without fooling the mickey out of me, the least I could do was drop the subject, no matter how much I wanted to know what he was thinking. He picked up the pace again, now seeing the lake in our path- obviously bent on making it over there in record speed.

I came to realize that with two people as stubborn and take charge as Harry and I the debacle over who would lead who to the lake wasn’t going to be resolved at any time soon. And so I pulled him back slowing him so that we walked side by side, together. He laughed a bit at this but complied none the less.

“Where to now Mr. Potter?” I asked once we reached the lake’s shore.

“Why don’t we take a walk around it?”

“Sounds good to me.”

We started hand in hand, silently once again. One thing I loved most about my relationship with Harry was that there wasn’t ever an uncomfortable moment between us, with Dean and Michael, moments like that had been awkward and strange, no matter how long we had been dating. With Harry, it was just calm and peaceful. There was never a need for constant conversation, constant action with us, maybe it was because of all we had to go through when we weren’t together, our time together was an escape into the lives we wanted. The ones where we had some kind of control.

Just a small touch or look fed us more than any conversation.

I remember that grin he was wearing broadly on his face; he was watching the lake and seemed so content. If anyone passed by him and didn’t know who he was they would say that he thought all was right with the world.

“A knut for your thoughts?”

He turned to me, and like I was little again his eyes gave me that swooping sensation that knocked my porridge bowl under the table and plunged my elbow into the butter dish so many years prior.

“You’d get bored pretty fast,” he shrugged then slyly added, “Had it been any other day.”

I concealed my smile. “You’ve peaked my interest,” I said seriously, trying to sound as best as I could like McGonagall.

Taking a deep breath he replied, “I’m trying to figure out why in Merlin’s name I did what I did. Why I’m doing what I’m doing.”

That’s what I had expected him to say, but it still stung enough for me to drop his hand as though it were an untested project of Fred and George. He didn’t want this.

“Oh,” I blushed looking away.

Harry stopped, “Ginny! You asked me what I was thinking,” he said taking my hand once more as I reluctantly let him. “The least you can do is wait until I finish, and not interrupt.”

I bit my lip, not sure if I wanted to hear the rest.

“What was I thinking!? Obviously I wasn’t. I wanted to get you alone, tell you how I felt and wait until I knew how you felt too before I did anything rash.” I looked up at him curiously. “I didn’t mean to ambush you in front of everyone…and your brother.” He let the last bit weigh heavily in the air. “And then I just run off with you! Still not knowing if you felt the same. I feel like a git for doing that, and your bothers are going to kill me, but I can’t find it in me to regret it, or stop,” he sighed running a hand through the mess on his head.

“Then don’t,” I said simply with a shrug. He smiled but continued to walk in silence. “For the record my brothers won’t kill you, you know.”

“How can you be so sure?”

“You’d be surprised, Fred and George have always made it quite obvious they wanted me to end up with you, and the others… well Harry you’re practically part of the family already so I guess in their minds if I were to end up with anyone they’d rather it be you.” Despite the fact that we had just snogged each other senseless and he was holding my hand as we walked I still blushed at the confession.

“That makes sense I guess. But there we go again! I am with the most amazing girl I know, knowing what I want, what her six older brothers want, but I have no clue as to what she wants,” he cried out exasperated as I stepped in front of him. “Doesn’t that make me some kind of horrible person?” he asked me raising our twined hands.

I touched his face, “It makes you thick.”

“What?”

“I said it makes you thick. Harry you should know that the only reason I’m here right now is because I want to be, you of all people should know that I don’t let anyone make me do things I don’t want to do. And considering the fact that you’re not in the hospital wing right now, you should figure that I didn’t object to you kissing me.”

“True.”

“I’ve liked you for so long Harry, how could you doubt that?”

He gaped at me, slumping down until he reached the ground with a thud. “But you had Michael! And Dean!”

I followed his lead by planting myself before him so that our knees were touching. “Michael and I were falling apart before we even got together; honestly, I just tried to like him to get over you...and Dean…”

“I understand if you don’t want to talk about it,” he said stroking my palm, sending goose bumps all the way up to my elbows. I smiled, with his experience with Cho I’m sure he thought some water works were coming.

“No, it’s just that, we ended because we both admitted to ourselves that I was still not over you.” I blushed again concentrating on the grass blade my free hand was pulling at.

Harry boldly lifted his hand to my burning face, “I missed that blush.”

“Oh be quiet, I know you didn’t.”

“Well I guess there’s one thing left to do.”

“What’s that?”

He took in a deep breath and turned to me seriously. “Gin? Will you be my girlfriend?”

I took a moment to answer, only because I was committing the moment to memory. Obviously I did succeed in remembering each and every detail since I can know easily tell you how amazing it felt to get everything you wanted in one day: the cup, the kiss, the boy. Pinching myself was just too risky- there was no way I was popping this bubble of joy.

Maybe if you wanted something more than anything thing else, if you will it to happen, you can get it, with patience and understanding. I guess anything was possible, if you had enough nerve.

“I don’t know…” I said.

“But- I- well-”

“Sorry, Harry. I just think it’s going to take more convincing on your part.”

He bit his lip, obviously strung high on his rope not sure of what to do, or what I was getting at. And so I decided to even the score, leaning in on my knees I stopped mere inches from his face.

And when he finally seemed to comprehend the only thing he had time to say was a whispered, “Oh.”

Just like the first time, we melted into a comfortable embrace as though we had been kissing each other for years, yet it was so new and exciting. However, unlike the first kiss this one was more passionate, faster. My hands were lost in his hair which felt softer than I imagined, his hand were grasping my sides just above my waist. It was so amazing to have them on me no matter how much my knees complained.

As though he read my mind Harry situated me easily on his lap.

“Ginny?” he breathed when he caught a chance. “Are we…I mean…we haven’t even…” he managed to get out between kisses. “Moving too fast?” his words were mumbles but sincere. Nevertheless I could tell he was reluctant to stop any of this.

My only response was to kiss him deeper, letting my tongue poke at his bottom lip. Sighing happily he pulled me closer, only to speak again moments later. “Really Ginny…Don’t you think-”

I pulled away. “Harry?”

“Yeah?” his voice cracked.

“Are you uncomfortable with this?”

“No.”

“Are you trying to say we don’t know each other well enough yet?”

“No.”

“Are you saying to want to stop?”

“Bloody hell, no.”

“Then shut up.”

As if he had a choice, my lips had their own agenda.


A while later we were still lying by the lake calmly conversing about the match, when I remembered something fatally important.

“By the way, Harry, I would very much like to be your girlfriend.”

I couldn’t see it but I could sense his grin; he stroked my hair. “Thanks.”

*****

Walking into the Great Hall was one of those moments that is so uncomfortably awkward, most people wouldn’t be able to take it. However obviously, Harry and I, we weren’t most people.

“And no one has seen them since!” we heard a voice say animatedly somewhere behind us. Harry pulled me around a corner.

“What are you doing?” I asked watching him press against the wall.

“Shh!” he told me pointing to his ear, “I want to hear what they’re saying.”

“No doubt they’re locked up in come broom closet finishing up what was going on in the Gryffindor common room.”

Instantly, I backed up on the wall beside Harry. The voices were getting louder as the footsteps got closer. “Of course it would have to be Potter, the Chosen One,” added a male voice. “the Boy-Who-Lived gets one of the prettiest girls in school.” I blushed, but Harry’s smile was smug. I nudged him in the ribs.

“What was that for?” He asked although I could tell her knew exactly what it was. “What do you want me to disagree with him? Sorry, can’t do that.”

I wasn’t really about to argue.

“And naturally it had to be Weasley! Can you believe it? Out of nowhere she just up and snatches Harry Potter! Hardly fair.” A girl’s voice sounded disappointed. It was my turn to feel smug.

“They’ll be the talk of the rest of the year, those two, bet you anything they won’t even show up for dinner.”

“If Harry Potter kissed me in front a good fourth of the school, not only would we not show up for dinner, but my teachers would be lucky if I made in class once in the whole week.”

It was then that they showed up, two girls and one boy all from Hufflepuff making their way down to dinner, luckily they hadn’t spotted us. We stayed silent until their footsteps disappeared.

“So,” I started, “seems like you were right, seems like everyone found out by dinner.”

“One of the only things I’ve been right about lately,” responded Harry suddenly sounding a tad dark and gloomy.

“Hey,” I said teasingly, “You follow your gut, what’s so bad about that? If it weren’t for your gut you wouldn’t have kissed me today, stirring up the entire school, making everyone’s day a little more interesting.”

“If it weren’t for my gut, Malfoy wouldn’t be up in the hospital wing, I would have played the quidditch final, and…Sirius would still be alive.”

I turned to him surprised; no one had brought up the Sirius issue in a while. “Harry? Where is all this coming from?”

“I’ve been thinking a lot lately, especially since Ron and Hermione only just started tolerating each other again, I just haven’t really told anyone... I’m sorry I’m ruining the mood aren’t I? Didn’t mean to do that, just spoke before I noticed I guess.” His eyes wandered anywhere but me, I bit my lip seeing just how much he was still hurting. I was still hurting too, thinking of Sirius was never easy. Harry and I spoke more often that year, but there was never a confession like the one at the moment.

“Harry,” I took his face in my hands so he would have no choice but to look at me. “You can tell me anything, I want you to know that, opening up to me isn’t a bad thing, I want you to. Doubting yourself is the bad thing. So you are off sometimes, most often than not you are right. It doesn’t make everything your fault.” He nodded. “However, with Malfoy, it was your fault,” I scolded, “but he deserved it so it’s beside the point.”

My attempt at lightening the mood seemed to work. “Thanks,” he smiled and bent down to peck my lips.

“We’ll talk more about this later, yeah?”

“Yes.”

“Good because I’m hungry, and I know you haven’t eaten all day so you must be starved too.”

“To be honest, I haven’t even realized.”

“I’m flattered.”

Taking my hand again we made our way to the entrance of the Great Hall, “Here we go,” he muttered sarcastically only loud enough for my ears.

The moment we stepped foot inside the dining room, every bloody student in the room fell silent. Of course. Because Harry Potter dating Ginny Weasley was the farthest thing anyone could have imagined. Except for Hermione of course but she knew everything anyway. I could tell we had been the object of every conversation roaming around the room by the way all eyes snapped over to us.

We didn’t stop until we reached the empty spot by Hermione, I was trying not to blush and Harry was trying hard to act like he noticed nothing. I caught Dumbledore’s expression at some point. I can still remember the gleam in his eye and the prominent smirk he flashed my way too quickly for anyone other than myself to see. I nodded back at him once just as an understanding gesture. McGonagall was obviously trying to be indifferent, as though it was just another couple in her house, but there was something in the way she watched Harry that made me suspect she cared much more than she let on.

“Pass the turkey would you?” Harry asked Ron already setting up his plate, his voice being the only other one in the room. I followed suit. Ron just gaped at him, wide eyed and shocked. Harry sighed, “Katie?”

Without a word Katie grabbed the larger platter and passed it to him, sneaking in a wink in my direction. “So Minerva have you at all spoken to Professor Gubbly-Plank, about how she is enjoying her retirement?” The completely random comment had come from the head table, each student turned to find Professor Dumbledore waiting for McGonagall to respond. She seemed to get the hint.

“Why yes Albus I have, she is out traveling all the places Bathilda Bagshot spoke of in her newest book…” I got bored. The fact was that the tension was severed, and the attention was off of us or about 30 seconds. However, that was enough time for Hermione to help as well.

“Has anyone finished the 16 inches Flitwick assigned us on the advantages and disadvantages of a proper vanishing spell?”

Neville dropped his fork, “Finished?” he croaked, “I thought that was due next week!”

“One slice or two Gin?” Harry asked me, knowing already it wasn’t a question on whether I wanted turkey or not, but how much I wanted.

“Two.”

Ron rolled his eyes. “Of course it’s due next week! Hermione would be the only one done.”

“I never said I was finished Ronald, what’s got your mood all twisted? You’ve been in a particularly good mood since Lavender…and winning the cup.”

I busied myself by stuffing my face; I hadn’t realized just how much skipping lunch did not suit me.

Harry on the other hand, was bouncing his leg beneath the table. I slipped one hand under and placed it encouragingly on his knee. His leg came to an abrupt stop.

“I’m not in a mood Hermione, it must be your imagination.” His face was pretty interesting, he seemed amused, yet uncomfortable. I knew Ron would rather have me with Harry than any other guy but I’m sure he never saw that coming.

“So the paper is due next week right?” Neville had yet to pick up his fork.

“Yes Neville,” Hermione assured him.

The hall was now at its regular volume; the eerie silence long gone, they were all analyzing every move Harry and I made. I stole a glance at Harry, besides the obvious jovial expression I could tell he was worrying about damage control, I was proven right when he murmured to me; “I don’t think I’m Dean’s favorite person right now.”

I looked over to him, an unsurprisingly he did not look pleased. Dean was slumped over his plate pushing around the food half heartedly. “Well, I mean he knew it was going to happen.”

“But he didn’t look all too happy when we left the common room earlier.”

“I think he was just shocked, it was all so sudden. Everyone was stunned.”

“Again, maybe I should have reconsidered that spur of the moment decision.”

I smiled and batted my eyelashes, “Anything that would have had me waiting any longer would not have been the best idea.” the sarcasm was evident.

“Why do I get the feeling that if I hadn’t kissed you right then and there it would have been you to kiss me?”

“Because you know me well.”

He laughed and I hoped it was enough to lighten his nerves about my brother.

Ron looked over at me when hearing us laugh, thankfully Harry wasn’t paying attention. He stared at me blankly for a moment; I almost believed he wasn’t actually seeing me. Then he smiled, and went back to bantering with Hermione.

Dinner went without incident after that. Ron didn’t pay much more attention to us while we ate, as Harry and I tried not to be entirely engrossed with each other, like we had been all day, for the sake of everyone around us. Hermione, in her very un-clandestine manner, shot me glances assuring me that there would be a full interrogation in the common room, directed by her.

Students shuffled out ready to lounge in their respective houses for a Saturday evening. Harry and I left when the crowed thinned as to not become a spectacle again.

When he took my hand I saw that it was going to get some taking used to, it was all so fresh that it caught me by surprise each time. But in a very, very good way.

“Hey Harry, hey Ginny,” Luna Lovegood smiled hazily from behind us.

“Hi Luna,” I beamed back; suddenly aware of the very little time we had spent together lately.

“How have things been Luna?” Harry asked.

“Just fine Harry, thanks. I wanted to congratulate you on the fligils.”

Nargles and Wackspurts I had heard of, from the amount of talking she does of them I’m almost an expert as well. The creatures my friend so deeply believes in are to say the least original and unlikely but I have come to believe in them too. If an animal can have the head and wings of an eagle, but the body, legs and tail of a horse, why can’t Wakspurts float around in your ears?

But now Fligils? I‘d known Luna for a very long time, with her home being located just by the Burrow we had been friends ever since we were little, I loved her to death but it was times like this where she threw me off for a whirl spin. “The what?”

“Have you never heard of them? That’s odd.” Her peculiar expression proved that I was the crazy one. I mean I guess everyone knew what Fligils were; it must have just been me.

I highly doubted that.

“They feed off of people who are so obviously in love. They’re what make you clumsy and goofy; they make you feel light and happy all the time. I guess they are also known now as love bugs, but I think that’s a ridiculous name, father and I prefer to call them by their real name, Fligils.”

Ahh, so maybe I had heard of them. Still, I flushed at the comment about love. I knew I had fallen for Harry but I was positive he didn’t feel that strongly.

Yet.

“Thank you Luna,” Harry laughed brightly, “It’s always nice to er…be congratulated for this…accomplishment.”

Playfully pushing him, I said, “Yes, Luna, thank you.”

I felt Harry beside me trying to conceal his laughter. I knew he liked Luna a lot, but times like these were -to say the least- down right hysterical.

“Although, I must say they took their time with you,” she continued her love bug examination, “Fligils usually act quickly in bringing people together. What I mean to say is: I thought this would have happened years ago, especially with Ginny telling me for so long how much she lov-”

I saw where the conversation was headed.

“Ok Luna! I don’t think Harry needs to know all the details.”

To my utter dismay this didn‘t go unnoticed by my boyfriend. “Wait Luna, I think I do.”

“Details aren’t all that important I guess, all that matter is the bigger picture, right? You’re here now what does it matter how long it took or what you went through?”

Leave it to Luna to wrap everything up soundly in her own logic.

“But I must say the amount of Fligils in your system is impressive, the more Fligils the stronger the bond is, you know. Considering how much you have, I hope you don’t pick orange as the color for my bridesmaid dress Ginny. I don’t particularly look good in orange. Well I Best be off. Father had me on a lead for a new Quibbler story that I still need to research in the library. I’ll see you soon!”

And with that her silvery hair flounced away leaving us very winded… and very red faced.

“Er…” he coughed, “bridesmaid…dress?”

I turned an even deeper red if it was possible. “Well you see… Luna and I have been friends since we were little, and what little girls don’t plan their weddings together promising each other they’d be bride maids?”

“Well I wouldn’t know…that’s sweet though.”

“Yes it is.”

“So if you plan your whole wedding, don’t you have to plan the most important part as well?”

“You mean the flowers?”

I knew what he was getting at but decided to pull his leg.

“No I don’t mean the flowers! Ginny-”

“I was joking Harry.”

He sighed “I meant: what did you plan for the groom?”

“We left him out- he’s the part that come in at the last minute,” I lied through my teeth.

“That’s a joke too right?”

“No it’s not, think about it- you plan everything. Then the man of your dreams kneels down asks you to marry him and BAM! That’s the last piece, everything is ready to go.” So many lies…it was just too easy.

“That’s not how it works you know, usually the kneeling comes before the planning.” Darn.

“But everything is different in the world of little girls Harry.”

“You want to know what I think?”

I didn’t. Merlin knows I didn’t.

“I think- you are avoiding the answer.”

He had to be smart? “To what?”

“To who you planned on as the groom.”

“I already told you-”

“Never mind Ginny I already know the answer to that anyway.” He started walking leaving me behind I was almost certain I saw a glimpse of a smirk.

Not. Good.

“You do, do you?”

“Of course I do, I know a lot about Ron, he’s my best mate; he tells me everything. Why would he leave out the fact that his baby sister used to go around pretending she was going to marry the Boy-Who-Lived?”

“I’ll kill him.”

“Don’t. It’s very sweet, and flattering I might add.”

I hadn’t realized that I had voiced my last comment. No matter.

“Don’t get a big head over it, I hadn’t even met you.”

“But now you have.”

“What do you mean by that?”

He stopped just in front of the common room door and kissed me softly, resting his hands on my waist. “I mean I should be thanking the Fligils.”

“Thank you…” I murmured before he captured my lips again.

“Oh it’s like history repeating itself!” we heard a woman cry. I groaned as I pulled away from him. We turned to the Fat Lady who was on the edge of tears. “How you two remind me of your parents! God rest their souls.”

I wasn’t sure how Harry was going to take that, surprisingly he smiled. “Hmm… I never thought of that. You’re right.”

Lily and James Potter.

Lily and James Potter.

We resembled Lily and James Potter. What was it that Sirius had told me that summer? The comment about Potter’s and their red heads! I smiled in spite of myself.

“Sirius told me the same thing too.”

Harry turned to me stunned, “What?”

“The summer before last. He found out about my crush on you, and he figured you felt the same way about me. He told me we reminded him of your parents. I set him straight though.”

Harry was lost in thought for a heartbeat and then he came to a realization. “That night…”

“What night?”

“The night I came down to dinner after locking myself up in a room in Grimmuald Place, the night you knocked some sense into me, I found you crying on Sirius’ shoulder.”

It all came back to me in a rush, the only time I had ever broken down like that, the only time I had ever let anyone see me cry.

I missed Sirius terribly. “What about that night?”

“He told me you were fine, but I knew there was something wrong. He told me, ‘If you never find out, then I was wrong and she was right, but you are a smart boy, you’ll come to your senses sooner or later.’ I had no idea what he meant.”

“And?” I asked missing the point in all this.

Harry stepped closer again caressing my cheek. “And now I have come to my senses.”

“I never took you as a sap Harry Potter.”

“A sap?”

“Yes but a very cute sap. My sap,” I laughed kissing him for what felt like the hundredth time that day.

“Let’s go, it’s time to face the music.”

The Common Room was busy as always the banners were still hung, now sagging and the confetti littered the carpet. Ron and Hermione were seated in their usual spots heads close together in serious conversation.

“Harry! Ginny!” Seamus boomed squandering over to us, he was just a little punch drunk from what I could see. Obviously he consumed most of the left over drinks from the celebrations. “Just wanted to give my condolences to the new couple! Not everyday something good happens around here!” I was very aware of the attention he was gathering.

“Uh…Seamus maybe you should sit down-”

“No!!! I’m alright! You two are just- beautiful together!” he cried leaning onto Harry’s shoulder.

“Mate! Really you should-” but Harry’s words were no use- Seamus had already collapsed into the couch, which was unfortunately already occupied.

Not surprising however, all Gryffindors were accustomed to his antics, and so without missing a beat the fourth year girls who were seated there shoved him off onto the floor and continued their conversation.

I shrugged.

During the commotion Ron and Hermione tore away from themselves and became aware of us. Ron stood silently nodded and swiftly fled up the stairs. Harry watched after him.

“Go.”

“Yea…I have a feeling this isn’t going to be easy.”

“It’ll be fine, Ron can be a git sometime’s but he wants us to be happy. He’ll understand, besides what I told you about my brothers applies to him too.”

Harry looked down at me sheepishly. “I knew there was a reason I liked you.”

“You mean other than my wand work and clever wit?”

“More reasons than you will ever know.”

I blushed. “Go talk to my brother Potter.”

He kissed my cheek, “See you later, yeah?”

“Of course.” Without another word he took a breath to steady himself and followed the path my brother had just taken. I stood there until the door to the sixth year boy’s dormitory closed shut.

“Ahem.”

“Yes, I know you’re waiting Hermione,” I said without turning around. I knew that this could go two ways, embarrassing or pride damaging. It was going to be both and I knew it. I turned slowly and made my way to the chair Ron had vacated seating myself I made sure not to meet her eyes. We sat there in a terribly awkward silence for what seemed like forever. I wondered if something like this was going on upstairs.

Perhaps Harry was right.

Hermione cleared her throat again, and I reluctantly looked at her. She was perched at the edge of her seat words hanging on the edge of her lips.

She wanted to say it.

I bit my lip and looked at my hands, as I felt her stare bore into my head.

She was dying to say it.

However, she wanted me to say something first, and really what was there to say that she already didn’t know? I noticed her foot tapping.

The words were on the tip of her tongue.

Another moment of silence passed before,

“I told you so!!” I knew it.

“Ugh, Hermione can we not get into this?”

“Ginny, I told you and you didn’t believe me. If you would have listened this would have happened a while ago.”

I lifted my chin stubbornly, “I’m fine with when and how it happened thank you very much.”

She raised an eyebrow. “Please. I know you too well Ginny.”

“Maybe you do, but that doesn’t change the fact that I was with Dean.”

“And you broke up with him two days later, but you wouldn’t admit it.”

“Is that all you want to talk about? Cause if it is I think I’d rather just go to bed.”

I began to stand when she grabbed my wrist and threw me back into the chair with a force that rivaled a stunning charm. “Alright! I’ll drop the subject. Tell me about what happened when you left the common room.”

“We took a walk around the lake.”

“Is that all you’re going to tell me?”

“Do you honestly want to know all the details about me and Harry? Wouldn’t that sort of be like you telling me all the details of you and Ron?”

“Ginny!”

“Ok. Ok! I get it, you aren’t together. But still the same concept applies.”

She raised another eyebrow. “You really don’t want to talk about it?”

Sighing I gave up. “Fine you were right, he’s liked me since the beginning of the school year, but I had Dean. We took a walk around the lake, and he asked me to be his girlfriend.”

“And what did you say?!” Hermione Granger stared at me with her wide eyes practically bulging out of their sockets. She was so excited to hear my next words she didn’t realize how stupid she sounded. I just gazed at her blankly.

After a minute of waiting she still hadn’t said anything. “I told him he was a terrible kisser and to never come near me again.”

“WHAT?!”

“Hermione what the bloody hell did you think I told him? Obviously I said yes!”

She crossed her arms and sat back. “Hmp. I thought it would be a little more interesting than that.”

“Well it was. Harry Potter finally asked me out. I think that counts as a little bit interesting.”

“If you hadn’t already seen it coming.”

“Buzz kill.”

“Sarcastic witch.”

We stared at each other with narrowed eyes. “And for your information, he’s an incredible kisser.”

“That’s all I wanted to hear.” And with that my best friend stood and made her way up to her room. Completely alone, I let my happiness of the day engulf me.


Now when Harry walked me to class he held my hand.

He stole some kisses, and now that Quidditch was over the time we usually had for practice we spent by the lake. We sat next to each other during every meal, telling each other everything and anything that crossed our minds. The only thing that put a damper on everything was the fact that my O.W.Ls were coming closer and I had to study with every ounce of free time I had.

“How did you do it?!” I cried out in frustration slamming my book closed. I was lying out in the grass under our tree as Harry played with my hair. Doing nothing. Lucky.

“How did I do what?”

“In all the mess of last year how did you actually manage to learn all this stuff and pass practically everything?”

“Gin, you’re doing just fine, you are way better than me at all the book work, almost as good as Hermione, why are you having trouble now?”

“I never said I was having trouble. I asked how you did it. Last year I could hardly concentrate on anything other than how bad I wanted to hex Umbridge into a million pieces, but you actually had to handle all this too. I’m feeling my brain being fried from all this!” I waved my arm around the explosion of books and parchment I had everywhere.

“No idea,” he sighed and closed his eyes again enjoying the sun.

Deciding I needed a break I pushed everything away from me and stared at him. Gosh he was handsome. And just laying there in the sun, care free…where was Colin when you needed him?

I moved over and straddled his waist, he didn’t open his eyes but a smile grew on his face. “You should be studying…”

“Not when you look like that. You’re way too distracting.”

He opened one eye, “Then I should leave, your grades are much more important.”

“You move, you’re hexed.”

“You got me there.” I leaned down and kissed him softly, both my hands in the grass on either side of his head. “You hair smells so good, did I tell you that?”

My hair was currently hanging around my face giving us a curtain and a way to block the sun. “No.”

“Well it does.”

I laughed. “You never told me what Ron said when you talked to him.” I eyed him, “You did talk to him right?”

“’Course I did.” He didn’t say anything else, just continued to play with his new favorite toy: my hair.

“And what did he say?”

“That should stay between a bloke and his best friend.”

“Harry,” I warned. It was my brother and my boyfriend so I think I deserved to know.

He groaned, “Gin, he asked me how long I had liked you, how much I liked you and why I didn’t tell him. That’s it.”

“Well I know the answer to all of that.”

“Exactly.”

“So…he doesn’t have a problem with us then?”

“No. He doesn’t.”

I smiled, “See you worried for nothing.”

He looked a little disgruntled after that comment and turned his face to the side.

“What?”

“I wasted so much time thinking he was going to punch me in the face.”

I shook my head pitifully, and since his face was turned away I couldn’t get his lips so I settled for kissing his jaw, “Silly.”

“Not funny, I followed him up those steps bracing myself for a black eye.” I continued kissing him where I could get him.

“I would still like you even if your eye was swollen.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah.”

Harry no longer worried about Ron.

He kissed me again, his hands finding my waist, my own taking comfort in his mangy hair. I probably could have stayed like that for hours and might have if my necklace wouldn’t have fallen from my shirt.

“What’s this?”

“Hmm?” I asked not really listening just concentrating on the feel of his hair.

“This, I’ve never noticed it on you before.”

This time I pulled back, realizing the silver trinket dangling from the chain that hung around my neck into Harry’s face. He caught it with his fingers eyeing it carefully.

“It looks like…”

“It’s Sirius’,” I told him softly.

The expression in his eyes was not just confusion, but sadness and hurt, I suddenly felt guilty for not showing it to him before.

“He…gave it to you?”

“Well, after he died…he left everything he had to you, but Dumbledore found this, and he thought Sirius would have liked for me to have it.”

The words aloud sounded worse, it made it seem like I had stolen it…is that what I did? Maybe Sirius didn’t want me to have it. The doubt flooded my mind and I sat up quickly searching for the clasp behind my neck.

“Maybe, you should keep it-”

“No.”

I hadn’t really wanted to give it back, that was the one thing I had left of my friend, but Harry had his rights. “You’re not mad?”

“Why would I be mad?”

“I guess… I don’t know…it’s just-”

I was stopped when Harry grabbed the back of my neck and pulled me down to him. “He would have wanted you to have it Gin; I know you two were close. It’s yours.”

“Are you sure?”

“I’m positive,” he took the charm once more, examining it. “Do you wear it often?”

“Everyday.”

“Everyday, really?”

“Yes, it’s him, it represents everything about him who he was, what he did for his friends. I wear it every day to make sure he’s close to my heart.” The truth wasn’t hard to say exactly, it was just I hadn’t known it until I said it all aloud.

Harry tucked the necklace back into my shirt. “You really are something you know that?”

Just then we heard the faint ringing of the bell, lunch was over, which meant we had to reconnect with the real world.

“We’re going to be late!” I cried jumping off of him.

“Oof!” Harry gasped in surprise at my sudden weight shift. I rummaged around grabbing sheets of paper that I had tossed about carelessly.

“You won’t be late!” Harry tried to assure me, I only stopped to stared at him; he was hastily tucking in his shirt and flattening his hair.

“You look like a guilty school boy,” I giggled.

Harry stopped and took two strides forward, wrapping his arms around my body, with a smirk he replied, “Cause I am.” He leaned in for another kiss, and as much as it pained me not to give in- I couldn’t be late. I dodged him, grabbed my bag and made a run for it.

“HEY GINNY!” I heard him call from behind me, “YOU MAY WANT TO FIX YOUR SHIRT, UNLESS YOU WANT EVERYONE TO KNOW WHAT YOU WERE UP TO!”

By the state my shirt was in…I would have never been able to live it down.

The days went by too fast. I remembered every second of it, every kiss, and every laugh. It all meant so much those first few weeks.

A few days later I found myself in the company of my 5th year friends in the library. We created a rather large study group, and gained several warnings from Madam Pince, but it really all fell on deaf ears, that day was no different.

“Well if it isn‘t little Miss. Ginny Weasley.”

I didn’t even try to hide my groan. “What do you want Romilda?”

“Why would I want something? Can’t I just talk to you? We are friends after all.”

I looked up from my potions text book. “Just barely,” I said pleasantly.

Colin snorted keeping his eyes on his paper.

Pursing her lips she sat in the empty chair across from me. “Always the comedian. I’m surprised to see you here; you’ve missed so many sessions I thought you wouldn’t even bother.”

“Yea, I’ve been busy, but that doesn’t mean I don’t take school seriously.”

“Hmm.”

I let it go and continued to ignore her, but felt the back of my mind demanding to know what that hmm meant. No I wouldn’t give her the satisfaction. I was Ginny Weasley I didn’t break easily- “What Romilda?!”

I still had my pride.

“Well, I just meant that I’d expected you to be locked up in some deserted classroom with your boyfriend,” she replied indifferently, scribbling onto her parchment.

“And that’s your business how?”

“Never said it was; I was just merely thinking to myself.”

I scanned the large room, Madam Pince was nowhere to be seen; we were all fairly hidden by the biography section far off in the back. Colin sat beside me, Luna a few seats down, and others scattered around the corner we occupied in the vast library. Everyone was rather intrigued in their own work so I doubted anyone would hear my next words.

Dropping my quill I leaned over the table close enough so that she could hear me whispering, “Might as well stop thinking and day dreaming about Harry, he’s mine. If I even suspect you’ve gone anywhere near him with another potion I won’t hesitate to put you at the business end of my wand.”

She looked bored. Romilda Vane stared back at me uninterested and jaded. Merlin help me, I was losing my touch.

“You can’t tell me what to think and what not to think Weasley. Even the great Ginny can’t stop me from day dreaming about her momentary boyfriend.” My hand instinctively clasped around the wand sticking out of my back pocket.

“Momentary?” I grounded through my teeth.

She smirked, “With the way you’ve been running through guys I give it another month before you get bored. But don’t worry about feeling guilty, I’ll be there to pick up the pieces of his broken heart.”

I couldn’t believe she said that. I was so shocked I didn’t even think about pulling out my wand. She had just bluntly called me come kind of man-eating hag and without breaking face.

“Nothing to say then? Well, that must mean we’ve come to an agreement, you can have him for the time being. I’ll just sit back and wait, dreaming about the hippogriff tattooed to his chest.”

My mouth dropped open, and unfortunately without silence, the gasping slash growl, slash shout, got everyone’s attention on us rather quickly.

She loved drawing attention however, so as she continued the smirk on her face grew. “You have seen it, haven’t you?”

Harry. Did. Not. Have. A. Hippogriff. On. His. Chest.

She was just riling me up, trying to get me to succumb to her level of immaturity. I would not let her win. I could not let her win it was beneath me.

Yet all I did was sit back, and pack my things. Everyone’s eyes were on me as I did so, but I could care less. Romilda Vane was going to pay I just didn’t know how yet. Snapping my bag closed I walked around the table to meet her eye to eye.

“It’s a Hungarian Horntail, and to prevent future misunderstandings, my brother’s is a Pygmy Puff,” I threw in for good measure, “Next time you may want to get your facts straight before thrusting them out like that, it makes you sound petty.”

The laughs I heard behind me as I retreated were enough to have Madam Pince emerge from the back room, and threatening everyone that they’d be kick out.

Where the bloody hell did she get off making up such ridiculous stories? Two can play at that game. No one messes with Ginny Weasley.

That night I had finally given up my studies for the day and opened the Daily Prophet. The four of us were lounging around the common room in our usual spots; I leaned against Harry’s legs as I sat on the floor. The war was not going well. There was already so much destruction that I was grimacing the whole way though each article. How could I feel the best I’d ever felt, when right outside the school boundaries one nasty war was ragging? I took comfort in the fact that I was better than Romilda, I had actually taken part in this I knew what was going on while she couldn’t care less.

“Three dementors attacks in one week!” I said aloud to no one in particular, flipping the page of my paper rather forcefully. “And all Romilda Vane has to say is that you’ve got a Hippogriff tattooed to your chest!”

The moment the words left my mouth I realized just how sidesplitting the whole situation was. Ron and Hermione fell to hysterics out of their respective armchairs. Naturally Harry ignored them due to the fact that he had other pressing things on his mind.

“What did you tell her?”

“That it was a Hungarian Horntail of course. It’s much more macho.” No Harry Potter was going to have a bloody hippogriff on his chest; he might as well have a blanket named Buckbeak. This comment seemed to only throw Ron and Hermione into another fitful of laughter.

Harry, oh Harry, he didn’t seem to keen on his friend’s antics, so he said, “Thanks, what did you tell her Ron has?”

My boyfriend knew me too well. I don’t think he actually knew I had told her anything of my brother, but whether I had an honest answer or not he wanted me to play along. Coincidentally, I had mentioned Ron.

“A Pygmy Puff.” Although I realized I may have left out a vital part of the information I gave to Romilda. “But I didn’t say where.”

Hermione clutched her sides, I had a feeling they were about to burst, Harry was laughing just as hard. Ron didn‘t seem too amused with our little comedic routine. “Watch it,” said my brother, scowling, “just because I’ve given you my permission doesn’t mean I can’t withdraw it-”

“Your permission? Since when have you given me permission to do anything? Anyway, you said yourself: you’d rather it be Harry, than Michael or Dean.”

“Yeah I would, and just as long as you don’t start snogging each other in public-”

My dear brother Ron must have really liked the taste of his foot, for he always knew what to say to stick it in his mouth. “You filthy hypocrite! What about you and Lavender, thrashing around like a pair of eels all over the place?”

“That is none of your business.”

“Then we agree that what happens between Harry and I is none of your business.”

Hermione hiccupped, finally regaining control of herself.

“Whose ever business it is,” Harry intervened, sensing the argument coming about, “I thought we were talking about the Hungarian Horntail in my chest.”

I looked up at him through narrowed eyes, “You don’t have a Hungarian Horntail on your chest.”

“How would you know?”

“Many ways. It’s not like I’ve never seen you shirtless before Harry, there was the second task in your fourth year,” I grinned wickedly, “And not to mention the incident in the bathroom the summer before that.”

“What incident?” Ron grilled.

Harry’s blush burned down his neck. “Nothing Ron, she’s just joking.” He would have sounded convincing, had his voice not broke.

“Nice one Harry,” I laughed.

“What incident?!?” I was referring to an accident at the Borrow right before we had gone to the Quidditch World Cup. With the entire family and Harry and Hermione home, one bathroom was well…you can imagine. I remember Romilda asking me if I had ever seen Harry undressed, I never answered her, but I hadn’t said no either.

Sometimes the door didn’t lock.

Sometimes your need over powered the thought of knocking.

Well not sometimes, it only ever happened to Harry and me, go figure.

“Ron don’t get your knickers in a twist, I just saw a little bit more of Harry than usual.” Hermione started laughing again.

“Ginny!” Harry whined, hiding his face in his hands, “I thought we agreed to never talk about it again!”

“And I thought you would never ask me out- things change.”

Ron still hadn’t pulled himself out of his horrified state. It really wasn’t that much to be so worried about, honestly I didn’t see everything. But I guess what I saw was enough.

“Right, so how do you know I didn’t get that tattoo over this summer?” Harry challenged.

“I guess I don’t. But there are ways to find out.”

“Really, now?”

“I’m feeling rather dizzy,” Hermione sighed closing her eyes, silent once more.

“Yeah,” I replied turning back to my paper, “Just let me finish this article, and then we’ll go find some place more private.”

Ron snapped out of it pretty quick, “You-he-but-I- DON’T YOU DARE!”

“Gin, I think we better take it easy, we are going to give your brother a heart attack.”

“That’s just great, so this is what it comes down to? I’m just her brother now? I thought you were my best mate; I thought I could trust you!”

Ron was serious, only not too serious; there was no real fire beneath his words. Harry noticed as well and chuckled, “Of course you can Ron; you’re my best mate too. I’m just looking out for your well being here. She’s the one who started all this.”

I smiled, looking up at the three, my brother, worried about his sister’s innocence, my best friend trying to rid herself of a headache caused by laughter, and my boyfriend gazing back at me fondly.

If only we could have been like that every day.

Back to index


Chapter 22: Someone Else's Life

Author's Notes: Get ready for some fluff!


“I have to wonder,” I said on our way to lunch the next day, “has Slughorn noticed any difference in you since you disposed of the Half Blood Prince? I mean, the Prince practically gave you all the answers all the time.”

“He just says I’m lovesick,” Harry laughed.

“Then he must be a bit put off with me then? Right?” I liked Horace Slughorn, but let us just say Hermione had to drag me to that Christmas party. I never mentioned it because honestly nothing happened that was worth mentioning. Unless you count Luna and I having a conversation on the reasons why Slughorn’s special guest really was a vampire.
“No, he definitely approves- he likes you; he says you remind him of my mum.”

That was one of many comparisons I had gotten to Lily Potter, and I liked that. I liked that a lot.

“I’ve been hearing a lot of that lately.”

Harry shrugged. “My mom must have really been great.”

The Potters were a taboo subject with Harry; he tried to act indifferent about the fact that his parents weren’t around but everyone knew it got him wound up, he would defend his parents honor ‘til the day he died, and he had never even met them. He just avoided the subject when he could; which was rarely seeing that they were two of the most famous wizards of our time.

“Of course she was.” Then I maneuvered the conversation back to its original subject. “Have you been suffering though, without the Prince’s help?”

“Well, the Prince did teach me enough to hold out on my own for a while, obviously not like Hermione, but still. I think that soon I might-”

“You are not going back for that book.”

“But-”

“No buts. It got you in enough trouble to start with; anyway if you really do want to be an Auror, Harry, then you need to gain your marks on your own.”

Sighing, Harry gave up his argument.

“You are planning on Auror training after you graduate, aren’t you?”

“Yeah, I guess that’s the only thing that I would be good at really: defeating dark wizards.”

“Maybe, or maybe you can be great at whatever you put your mind to.” Somehow the idea that he was only good at fighting wizards didn’t rest well with me- if it wasn’t something he wanted to do then why should he do it?

“You’re growing sentimental Ginny Weasley.”

“Eat your heart out, it doesn’t happen often.”

Harry laughed again then grew curious. “And you? What are you planning on doing?”

Hmmm….what did I want to do? That was easy. I hadn’t so much thought of planning just yet. “Quidditch. But that’s not really something I can control is it? Either I have it or I don’t,” I told him as we finished the last flight of stairs.

“I think you’ve got it, and that’s coming from your captain not your boyfriend.”

“I think it’s coming from a little bit of both.”

“Anyway- what team then, Chaser?”

Obviously he had never been in my room before, I thought it was common knowledge that I didn’t root for the Cannons like my naïve brother. “The Holy Head Harpies of course.”

“I wonder what your brother has to say about that,” Harry questioned, trying to hide a grin.

“Do you even think I’d stop to care?” Nor did I care that at that moment Romilda was shooting daggers at Harry and me from across the crowded corridor.

“Not particularly,” he said, “he’d be a little more than put off when he finds his own sister playing for the rival team.”

“The Holys are hardly the Cannons’ rival. Besides other than giving me permission to date you, he had no say in anything else I do with my life.”

Harry stopped dead in his tracks causing me to stop as well. “Wait did I hear you right? You gave him permission to give you permission to date me?” The crowd hording towards the food continued past us, and I longed to be one of them, my stomach wasn’t very happy at the moment. “You?”

I shrugged knowing he was going to want an explicit explanation, hopefully I could manage to steer myself out of it. “In my own twisted logic, yes, though you’re going to have to find a way to say that that won’t make me sound like a head case.”

He was about to say something when I lifted an eyebrow, “Don’t even think about it.”

“Never was,” he hammily lied.

“Come on Potter,” I said tugging at his hand, “I’m hungry.”

“You’re always hungry. But don’t think you can distract me, why the change of heart? Last night you almost bit his head off.”

Had I really been that harsh? Perhaps. I needed to find a way to explain myself quickly so that my stomach would be satisfied sooner. “Look Harry its simple, Ron is your best friend. And with your history, I know that you take Ron’s opinions- however barmy they may be- to heart. I know how much his friendship means to you, you can’t lose that, so if it only takes Ron’s blessing to have you keep this up with me then I’ll take it with a smile. For the record, I knew he’d be ok with us before you did, but if he had gone the other way…” I looked up into his eyes noting that the banter mood had evaporated. Those moments I also noticed had been much more frequent lately, but gladly they didn’t last long. “I would never have made you choose between us.”

He responded with a kiss, and pulling me into a narrow space behind a statue of a hippogriff in the now empty hallway. Pushing me up against it he grabbed my face.

“What are you doing?”

“What does it look like I’m doing? I’m trying to snog my brilliant girlfriend before lunch.” With that he captured my lips again and rendered me speechless. There was something about kissing Harry, it was so addicting; he was so sweet and gentle. Not like Dean who always seem about ready to ravage me all the time. That’s when I thought of something.

Grabbing his face I pulled it away, which I had just been holding as close as physically possible. He grinned and started pressing chaste kisses along my jaw line. I had a thought a moment before, I really did have one…but his breath was so warm… “Obviously that’s what you’re doing.” Nope that wasn’t what I had been thinking, my words came out rather distractedly, and then the distraction stopped.

“So what’s the problem with that?”

None what so ever to me. So why had I stopped him? Harry could have probably had his way with me and I wouldn’t have complained, but there had been a reason I stopped him. And I soon remembered it.

“I thought you hated public displays of intimate affection.” I couldn’t help but picture his reaction to finding Dean and I in that corridor.

He moved to press his forehead to mine, scrunching his eyebrows. “Where did you get that from? Ginny have you already forgotten our first kiss?”

He had a point.

“But…but what about when you and Ron walked in on Dean and me? You seemed so…disappointed.” It was tight and dark in the corner he enclosed me in so reading his face wasn’t the easiest task. But I did see him shake his head.

“Ginny, did it ever occur to you that maybe I wasn’t so much disappointed and disgusted, as I was jealous?”

“What?”

He laughed, “I wasn’t doing anything at that moment other than wishing it was me you had been kissing in the secluded corners of the castle.”

I was shocked, so utterly shocked all I could say was, “You know I lost sleep over that.”

“Over the fact that you thought I was disappointed?”

“Yes.”

He kissed me again, “That’s ridiculous.”

“I really cared about your opinion,” I admitted, which I probably wouldn’t have if he wasn’t so close and influential.

He blushed at the comment in a very Harry-ish manner taking one hand from my back to ruffle his hair.

“But hey,” I continued cupping his face so that he wouldn’t look anywhere but me, “I don’t think you pulled me back here for talking.”

Before I could even finish, he was kissing me again. My hands moved from his face to his hair, reveling in the silky, messy feel of it. “So how many points do you think we’ll lose if we get caught?” I panted a few minutes later when his lips moved to my jaw again.

“Mmmm…50...each?” he murmured.

“Maybe…”

“Depends on who catches us.”

“Snape…200...”

“Each,” he decided.

My fingers found the hem of his un-tucked shirt. I felt his smile against my skin as his lips moved down to my neck, but at the same time heard voices on the other side of the statue. “We’re going to get caught,” I groaned.

“Shh,” he warned waiting until the voices died away, not stopping his own lips of course. “We need a better place within the castle.”

I ran a finger across his midriff beneath his school shirt, holding back a chuckle when he shivered. “Any ideas?”

“Well there is this broom closet on the second floor that-” he didn’t get to finish as I pulled him away from the statue and up the stairs once more, “I thought you were hungry!” he called still surprised at our hasty departure.

“I’m easily distracted!”

Where was that bloody closet?

“From food?”

I looked back at him; he was desperately trying to fix his hair again, “Don’t bother with that! No one is going to notice the difference!” Besides the moment we made it there it was going to get a lot worse.

“Guess you’re right Gin-”

But I had found the door to the broom closet, and that conversation was never finished.


****

“To the library, Ginny,” Hermione warned pointing her finger at the portrait hole.

I looked around her, to where she gestured, and then back to my position, comfortably settled on Harry’s lap by the fire. “Err…I’m fine thanks.”

No doubt she was going to try to tell Harry about her newest suspect to whom the Half Blood Prince was; I knew Harry didn’t really care.

“Ginny! Your exams are two weeks away!”

“And I’m prepared for them!”

“Not as much as you could be; this is serious Ginny! Harry, don’t just sit there back me up.” Putting her hands on her hips she did mean business.

“Um…I’d rather stay out of this if you don’t mind,” Harry grimaced.

“Ron?”

“Anything to get her away from him, I’m almost sick from their Fligils.”

Harry reached over and threw a cushion at my brother, I laughed as it hit him square in the face.

“Is anyone worried about her future here? Am I the only one who is taking this seriously?”

She shouldn’t have left herself open like that. “Yes,” we all replied unanimously.

“Ginevra, if you don’t get your butt in the library I am going to owl your mother and tell her that-”

“Fine! Fine! I’m going.” I wasn’t ready to tell my mother anything, especially not when she was a floo away from my brothers. I kissed Harry one last time, and rushed out of the room before Hermione could say anything else. The hallways weren’t busy, a few students here and there were determined to get to where they were going. I sighed, damn O.W.L.s.

“I was hoping to run into you,” came a voice from beside me, I jumped startled as Dumbledore appeared at my side.

“Sorry Professor didn’t see you there.”

“Quite alright, on your way to do some studying I assume?” his gentle smile was playful.

I nodded, “Yes, Sir, O.W.Ls start next week.”

“And Miss. Granger can be rather persuasive, can’t she?”

How did that man know everything? I wanted to deny it, I mean, I’d studied without the suggestion of Hermione countless times, but I knew Dumbledore could see right through me. “Extremely,” I sighed.

We rounded a corner into another rather empty corridor. “You’ve taken my advice I see.”

“Not that I’d forget anything you’ve ever told me, but what advice are you referring to now, Professor?”

“Well, only that if you weren’t studying right now where would you be?” I looked up at him and noting the mischief in his smirk I looked away blushing. Where would I have been? Most likely inside of a broom closet. “Ah, silence speaks wonders.”

“Obviously you know about Harry and me…”

He laughed, “Oh yes, you two seem very happy.” That’s when I understood what advice he was speaking of, making your own happiness in times where there seems like there is none left. I guess Harry and I took a huge leap into doing that.

“You were right, Professor, as always.”

His light hearted expression died slowly, “I’m not always right, Miss. Weasley; there is not one person who is always right. However, I know what I am doing from time to time.”

I wanted to laugh. This was Albus Dumbledore! The one of the greatest wizards of all time! Nothing could prove him wrong.

But of course we’ll find that he was right about that too.

“I also wanted to thank you for being there for Harry when I’ve been so busy these past few months. Although I have to say I do believe he’s enjoyed your company much more than mine,” he added.

This only made me blush some more. “You’re welcome.”

We were growing nearer to the library now, “Ever since the incident with the chamber all those years ago, I knew that you both would be good together. You children have seen things far beyond your years and because of that, you’ve become amazing adults I hope you all know I’m very proud.”

I stopped my pace and met his eyes. He was speaking as though….no…I must have been imagining things. “Where is this coming from, Professor?”

He put a hand on my shoulder, the black withered one. I tried not to stare. “From an old man who has never said it before, and feels that it needs to be said.”

I smiled, “I wouldn’t say we are amazing adults, we still get into ridiculous amounts of trouble, we don’t know what we are doing half the time, and well, I…I’m not sure that I-”

“Miss. Weasley, you are one of the cleverest witches I have ever met; there is no need to doubt yourself. Just make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.”

There were no words I could pull together that would even match the graveness of which he spoke. “I’ll remember that.”

He raised his hand as his sleeve concealed it once more. “Then off to your studies, Miss. Weasley, I don’t want to keep you.”

“You weren’t keeping me, Sir; speaking with you is always a highlight of my day.”

He paused for a moment, and I noticed a bit of sadness in his eyes. “Your words are most rewarding, thank you, Ginny.”

“Of course,-” but he was gone.

I stared off as he swiftly made his way, trying to shrug off the feeling that there was a hidden meaning to all he said. Finally I put it out of my mind and entered the library.
****

The chamber was wet… wet slimy and humid. Even with the massive space, I could hardly breathe.

There was blood, so much blood, coming from me… and coming from the body a few feet away a body that I couldn’t identify from where I was. I couldn’t stand…I couldn’t scream…the diary was open and I was being sucked into it. I wanted the body to get up and help me, yet no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t yell for help…


The third task was in full blown chaos. One moment Fred and George were taking bets on who would win the tournament the next there were screams and wails. I pushed people out of the way to find Cedric dead on the ground. His body was bleeding…that couldn’t be right he shouldn’t be bleeding…that wasn’t how it happened.
Harry was nowhere to be found all there was… was Cedric dead…


Sirius was fighting in the Department of Mysteries; I had seen it before and I knew what was going to happen. I saw Bellatrix raise her wand and I tried to scream out to him. Nothing came out. I yelled and I yelled but there was nothing but a sick buzzing in my ear. Then it happened all over again, the green light hit him square in the chest and he fell.

Only, this time, Remus wasn’t there to catch Harry. I watched as he followed Sirius, running to catch him. I was screaming telling him to stop but it was too late, Harry threw himself into the veil after his godfather…

The Department of Mysteries was crumbling; the walls came down to reveal another room. I was back in the Chamber of Secrets. The book was still open and the unconscious form was still bleeding.

“This is just the beginning Ginny,” a voice spoke out from behind me, a voice that I never wanted to hear again.

Tom’s handsome face came into view, stalking towards me like I was something to eat- it made me sick. “Leave me alone Tom,” I called shakily.

“Always a firecracker weren’t you, Ginny? I’ve missed you.”

“Go to hell.”

Tom only just smiled and knelt down before me, “Manners, dear.”

He went to reach for me but I spat in his face.

“Ugh!” he screamed stepping away to wipe it off. “You whiny brat, I should have killed you when I had the chance.”

I was still bleeding profoundly from an unknown source, but I found I was able to move. Slowly I made my way over to the body. Harry would be here any minute I told myself, he was coming.

“He’s not going to save you this time Ginny. Take this as a warning- this is all just the beginning. Harry Potter will not be the end of me.” I finally crawled close enough so I could shake the person laying there and try to get them conscious, though I couldn’t tell who it was. But that all changed when the body sagged and rolled onto its side. “I will be the end of him.”

Harry.


“Harry!” I screamed sitting up in my dorm bed.

Thankfully, it seemed I hadn’t woken anyone. So many thoughts and images were floating in my mind, blinking faces of people dead or injured, so many my head throbbed.

I took deep slow breaths, still shaking from the dream. It was so real; I guessed it was because it had all happened… only differently.

The dream was becoming a jumble of blurred memories; I could hardly understand it anymore. I knew this was the moment were you forgot the dream. I tried to grasp it again. I tried to remember. Tom said something….something important…

Tears fell from my eyes though I wasn’t aware I was crying. Shuffling out of bed quickly, I shoved my feet into my slippers and tied my bathrobe. The common room was deserted, of course, and that was just as well as I sat tucking my legs under me. My regular breathing pattern hadn’t returned. What had Tom meant Harry wouldn’t be the end of him? Like there were only two choices; Harry killing him or him killing Harry. It made no sense.

It was just a dream.

A very real dream.

Something deep inside me told me not to let it go.

“Ginny?”

I turned around, not even slightly surprised to see Harry walking into the room. Who else has trouble sleeping? “Hi.”

He came around and knelt on the ground to meet my eyes. “What’s wrong?”

“Can’t sleep.” Not a lie, but not the truth. He would know.

“There’s more than that,” he cupped my face, “Gin? Tell me.”

I stared into the fire. The dreams had stopped; I hadn’t had one in years. I didn’t want to worry him I didn’t want everyone to get all worked up over it.

But this was Harry, if I wanted him to tell me about everything then why wouldn’t I be able to let him in as well. I hated double standards. “Just another nightmare.”

He stroked my hair, I loved it when he did that, it sent tingles all over. “You still have them?”

“No. Just tonight.”

Harry stood and sat next to me rubbing my back. “Was it Tom?”

That was the Harry I knew, incisive, there was no eating around the bush with him. “Yes…but I guess there was more than just that…I can’t remember-”

“You don’t have to; forget about it, it was only just a dream.”

“No. Harry you have to believe me this was not just a dream, no matter how much I wish it was something keeps telling me that this has a deeper meaning.”

“Gin…” he sounded doubtful, and why wouldn’t he be? Still I had to make him believe me.

“Harry, when people tell you ‘It’s just a dream’ you follow your gut anyway right?”

“It’s not the same; I have some kind of connection with Voldemort-”

“And I don’t?”

Harry looked at me solemnly then pulled me into his lap, holding me close. “Tell me about the dream.”

Resting my head against his chest I tried my hardest to remember some kind of inkling. “I saw Sirius…and Cedric…their deaths. Tom had me in the chamber he was talking to me…” Come on! It was only just a few moments before. My brain was reeling, “He said that you wouldn’t be there to save me this time.”

“You see? That proves it. It was just a dream, I was there Gin, I got you out,” he whispered in my ear kissing the side of my head.

“But he said something else… he said that you wouldn’t be the end of him, that he would be the end of you,” Harry stiffened beneath me though he did his best to cover it up. “Do you know what that means?”

“No.”

“Something is going to happen Harry. I feel it; something bad is going to happen today.”

“Don’t get too worked up about it, dreams come and go Gin. I’ve had some nasty ones too, mostly memories from the past, and it doesn’t have to mean anything.”

We stayed there like that not moving until I remembered another part of the dream. “You were dead,” I whispered.

“I was…dead?”

“In the Chamber…but you weren’t twelve at all…you were…maybe a bit older than you are now.”

He didn’t utter a word at first, nor did I; so much could be said just by the way we held each other. “Today’s not going to be a good day, Harry, please believe me.”

“I do, Ginny. I do.”

That was how we were; no matter how far out things could get we understood each other. Was that what Dumbledore had meant the day before? What was he trying to tell me? It had sounded at first like a long winded way of saying goodbye. That made no sense. I saw Professor Dumbledore every day.

“Professor Dumbledore was speaking strangely to me last night.”

“Dumbledore? What did he say?” Harry asked his interest peaked.

“He told me he was proud of us, all of us, and that he wasn’t always right about things…and got me wondering if it had anything to do with the classes you’re taking with him.” When he stayed silent I sat up and looked him in the eyes. “What is he teaching you, Harry?”

“Nothing.”

“Are you really that desperate to use such a terrible lie?”

He looked away, “I’m not sure if I can tell you.”

“But you can tell Ron and Hermione?” It even hurt me to say it.

“Only because they were involved with this since the beginning, Ginny, I don’t want you to worry- Dumbledore is just teaching me everything about Voldemort, his past and all.”

Voldemort? I figured it had something to do with that but why would Harry need to know about him anyway? I let that piece of knowledge digest.

“Why Voldemort, Harry? What is it about him that no one knows? Why does it always come down to you?”

There was something bigger going on here, something that not even the Order knew; if they did they wouldn’t always be questioning whether or not Harry should be involved.

“How exactly are you connected to Voldemort?” I asked persistently, why hadn’t I seen this before? This great big mystery. And it clicked.

“The prophecy right? You know it. Dumbledore knows it, even Ron and Hermione…”

He sighed. “Yeah. Ginny I want to tell you, I do, but I don’t think I can.”

“You don’t trust me?”

“I trust you more than anyone.” His earnest voice didn’t match with the situation.

“Then why won’t you tell me?”

“It’s not my call, it was Dumbledore. But if it makes you feel better I’ll ask him today alright?”

I nodded, and relaxed again. I knew I wasn’t going to be fall back to sleep, not after that dream. There were so many things to consider, the prophecy, Tom’s words, Dumbledore’s words it all meant something, something obvious that I couldn’t see.

“What do we do now? I mean, everyone else will think I’m crazy or something. Please don’t tell anyone about the dream.”

“I won’t. And I guess we’ll just have to keep our eyes open wider today. I’ve haven’t seen you this shaken up in a long time Gin. Is there anything I could do to make you feel better?”

I smiled. “Yea, just hold me.”

“I can do that.”

I knew, my gut told me over and over that that day wasn’t going to end happily, yet I went on with it. And right there sitting in the common room with Harry I could almost pretend it was just another day. But we had no idea that in just a few hours time, our lives would change again, but this time, there was nothing we could do to find our way back to complete happiness, not for a long while anyway.

I enjoyed that hour by the fire alone with Harry before the students aroused themselves enough to get out of bed. And if I had known it would be the last, I would have made it more.

Back to index


Chapter 23: The Stupid Noble Reason

Author's Notes: Here's the turning point!


“Tell me your secrets and ask me your questions
Oh, let's go back to the start
Running in circles, coming up tails
Heads on a science apart.
Nobody said it was easy
It's such a shame for us to part
Nobody said it was easy
No one ever said it would be this hard
Oh, take me back to the start…”
-The Scientist, Coldplay

I remember attending the first funeral of the Second Wizarding War. I remember attending with Harry, and I also remember watching him walk away. I was never bitter; I had always known exactly what I was getting into when we became involved. I understood why he felt as though he had to walk away, and what it mean to love someone enough to let them make their own decisions. That doesn’t mean it didn’t hurt, it hurt more than I let on, more than I ever cared to admit.

To say our world was in turmoil, to say it was becoming dangerous to step outside the door, would be to say the truth. Checking the obituaries in the Prophet became routine every day, and the number of missing persons ads were growing. That was all just a preamble to what would become the biggest mess in our history.

We were taught to know that there was never a place safer than Hogwarts School of Witch Craft and Wizardry- that no one uninvited could penetrate the walls- that no one could get seriously hurt. And even with our past experiences, the Chamber of Secrets being opened, a mass murderer (framed or not) sneaking into the grounds and a wide mess of teachers either being a ministry control psychotic, a werewolf, a servant tied to the Dark lord, a death eater in disguise, or the most historic traitor of our time, we trusted Hogwarts as our home, and we stood to defend it.

Only this time, we didn’t succeed.

*** He was late. Not that I was high maintenance, not that I got miffed at the simplest set back, Merlin how could I be when I was rarely ever on time myself? It was something Dean picked at about me, whenever I was running behind- rushing to make it on time he would nag and complain that. I used to tell him to take the wand out of his arse, and he usually just laughed, not that I ever found anything funny about it.

But with Harry it was another story. Though he wasn’t the most punctual person, he was twenty minutes late and when Harry wasn’t where he was supposed to be it meant trouble.

I was probably just being paranoid, other than the on-goings outside the school at the moment, what was there to be worried about inside? I just couldn’t shake off the feeling of dread since I woke up from the dream early that morning. I was just over reacting.

I noticed my foot tapping at the same time I noticed my arms were tightly crossed on my chest. I looked like my mother. That. Was. Not. Good. Disgusted, I dropped my stance and walked away from the entrance to the library. Being a Friday, Harry and I were going to eat dinner together and head outside for a night fly, or that was what Harry wanted to do, until he didn’t show up.

I began panning out the grounds in my head, eliminating certain areas, and adding places to my list of suspicious places. I made my way to the most reasonable place to check first, the common room. Completely distracted I had the misfortune to run right into Professor Snape.

He however seemed to be coming at the same speed. “Miss. Weasley!” he snarled, “Get your insignificant little head out from the clouds before you cause someone collateral damage.” He brushed past before I could even fathom what had happened.

“Sorry, Professor…” I said delayed as I watched his hasty retreat. I shouldn’t have been sorry, it was as much his fault as it was mine, but that fact that he threw only one monotonous insult over his shoulder threw me off. Obviously he had somewhere to be, and with purpose.

The whole evening was turning into some strange fiasco, the castle was too dark for it to be only seven, a storm was coming that much was obvious. I put the encounter with Snape out of my mind and continued on my way towards the Gryffindor tower. I saw students rushing inside, soaked in rain water, laughing and yelling. Through one of the windows I saw fierce clouds swirling above, seemed like it was going to be a nasty night.
If I only knew.

Being distracted by the threatening sky again I didn’t notice when Hagrid came around the corner nearly running me over.

“Ginny! I didn’ see yer there!” he rushed.

“It’s alright Hagrid.” I chuckled. Being so big the water that was gushing from him drenched me as well, so much for staying inside.

“I haven’t seen much o’ yer lately, been studying have yeh?” I could tell he had somewhere to be, by the way he continued to glance over my shoulder

“Studying my brains out, O.W.L.s start in a few days…Aright there Hagrid?”

“Oh…er…fine just, er…fine. I um,” he coughed, “never got to congratulate the happy couple, yer and Harry eh?”

I smiled but didn’t hide my suspicions; Hagrid was being a bit more anxious than usual. “Yea-”

“I could see it yer know, ever since the day o’ the Chamber, Dumbledore saw it too he did. I knew Harry would come ter his senses.”

“Really? That’s so sweet,” he wasn’t listening bouncing on one foot he had somewhere to be…no. something was wrong. “What is it Hagrid? And don’t try to lie, what’s wrong?”

He seemed to realize I was more than just a little curious. “Nuttin, nuttin ter, er, worry about Ginny. Just the rain is coming down hard.”

I narrowed my eyes and tried a different approach. “I was actually just on my way to find Harry, he was supposed to meet me a while ago, you haven’t seen him, have you?” He was keeping something, and the only thing he would be this nervous about around me would be something that had to do with my missing boyfriend.

Hagrid froze, and I could have sworn he stopped breathing. “Nope, I haven’t. He’s not here, I have no idea.”

“Where is he Hagrid?” He winced realizing he gave too much away in his reaction. My voice wasn’t so welcoming either.

“I…I…comin’ professor!” he boomed down the hall. I jumped startled.

“Hagrid, no one called you!”

“Yeah. Didn’t yer hear?” he laughed nervously inching away. “Stay out of trouble the lot o’ yer you hear?” He walked away then turned around to say one last thing. “Don’t go off wondering about the grounds, stay inside the castle now!” Wincing again at the little slip, Hagrid rushed away out of sight.

What the bloody hell was going on? Did everyone in the school decide to go nutters all at once? It seemed like it. What was with his warning? The only time Hagrid ever got that nervous was when Dumbledore wasn’t at the school, like the previous year when he was driven from the school by Umbridge and the year the Chamber was opened and he wasn’t seen fit to run the school.

But Dumbledore was here. I had just spoken to him the night before…and he sounded like he was… saying…goodbye.

I stood there stunned for another beat, and then broke out into a run.

****

My mind was reeling by the time I made it all the way up to the seventh floor; I just barely remember shoving people out of my way in a rush to put an end to this crazy thought. Dumbledore wasn’t gone, and if he was then so what?

Something told me there was more to it than that. I had finally gotten my heart to beat regularly again as I stepped through the portrait hole, however when I saw Ron and Hermione’s worried faces I knew I was right. Something was very wrong tonight.

“Ron! Hermione!” I called attention to myself earning curious stares from Gryffindors scattered around the room.

They stayed seated in the arm chairs by the fire I took it that they didn’t exactly want to speak in public. I sat in front of my brother, he bit his lip. Hermione was wringing her hands, words on the tip of her tongue. I cut to the bone. “Where is Harry?”

Ron looked up into my eyes opened his mouth and closed it again. Merlin why wouldn’t anyone tell me anything? Didn’t they understand that I just wasn’t that little girl anymore?! I had every right to know what was happening with my boyfriend.

“Harry told us to tell you goodbye for him Ginny,” Hermione stated bluntly.

“Goodbye?”

“Yeah.” I sat there pondering the many different definitions to the word. Ultimately the definition was the same: Not. Good.

I took a breath, “Goodbye…because he…wanted to end things…?”

“No.” I wanted to stop and sigh in relief but my stomach told me things weren’t any better after that bit of information.

“So…Merlin you two spit it out! I know you know what’s going on with the school tonight! Where’s Harry and where’s…oh. Harry’s with Dumbledore?” I meant to make it a statement but it sounded more like a question.

“Ginny, look there’s a lot you don’t know, and we aren’t sure how much we can say.”

“Says who? Harry? Dumbledore? It’s funny really because they both seem to be on the list of people that supposedly trust me!”

“Shh!” Ron glanced over his shoulders at the students that were having trouble minding their own business. “Listen. Dumbledore took Harry to do some kind of mission, we don’t even know what’s really going on, but it has to do with Voldemort. Harry tore out of here so quickly he didn’t leave any explanations.”

I looked over at Hermione who nodded in agreement. “There’s more to it though, you know at least a little more than what you’ve told me,” I accused.

“Yes Ginny. I’m sorry but it’s not our place,” Hermione said.

“Ok,” I relented; defeated. “If that’s all then what’s the big deal? I ran into Snape and Hagrid on my way here they both seemed about ready to attack at a moment’s notice.”

“Well…it’s just that whatever Dumbledore and Harry are doing, it isn’t exactly safe.”

My eyebrows came together on their own accord, “Why would you say that? This isn’t the first time Dumbledore takes Harry somewhere, remember last summer? Harry was fine.”

Ron looked over at Hermione guiltily. “There doing a bit more than just speaking with an old Hogwarts professor.”

“How do you know? If Harry didn’t even explain…?”

Ron sighed and reached into his coat pocket. “He left us with this.” My brother dropped the vile of Felix Felicis into my open palm. Staring at it I felt confusion at first, and then worry.

“I’m lost, why would he leave us with this? If he’s out there doing something dangerous why wouldn’t he take this with him?!” my voice rose earning the same amount of attention once more. People were starting to worry. And I began to feel the graveness of the situation, this is what I had tried to warn Harry about…the dream…him dead in the Chamber. I took a breath to steady myself.

“Ginny?!” Hermione seemed frightened, “Are you alright?”

“Yeah. Sorry it’s just it’s been a strange day.”

“Anyway, that’s what has us worried that‘s exactly what we told him, Harry insisted that he would be alright because he would be with Dumbledore. He told us that…he believes…that well…whatever Malfoy is supposedly planning it would happen tonight, since Dumbledore would be gone.”

Malfoy. I knew Harry was suspicious about him, heck I was too but something on the look Hermione had in her eyes told me it wasn’t the same case with her. “Supposedly?” I asked. “You still don’t believe him?”

“And you do?”

“Of course I do, but either way he’s left us with this and he wants us to be precautious, and since he nor Dumbledore are here that’s what we’re going to do.”

Ron sighed. “I guess it wouldn’t hurt to keep an eye on them.”

“Them?”

“Yeah, Harry thinks Snape’s involved too.”

Snape. That was probably the reason why he seemed so odd tonight; he may have been on his way to meet Draco… “What do you mean keep an eye on them?”

“Harry also left us the Marauder’s Map.”

“Good, then all we have to do now is contact the rest of the D.A. and we’ll set people to discreetly patrol the halls.”

Hermione practically jumped out of her seat. “Have you completely lost your head? We can’t get anyone else involved!”

I shrugged, “It’s not as though we would have to tell them anything, just to watch out for trouble…you know everyone’s been itching to help! Hermione face it, even if we do see something happen on the map by the time we get there it’ll already be too late. We need reinforcements and someone with the map over seeing everything, like a leader. Harry’s our leader, he’s gone, and so is Dumbledore so we need to step it up. We aren’t called Dumbledore’s Army for nothing.” The pair of them sat gob smacked at my little rant. It felt wonderful to get exactly what I wanted to say out in the open, and to finally have someone to listen.

They must have underestimated me.

Hermione smiled, “I knew you two were perfect for each other, you sound just like Harry.”

“Look, Ginny you’re my sister, and honestly I think you’re brilliant -if you ever repeat that or use it against me I will deny it- but we just can’t afford to get everyone involved.”

Ron had a point, almost twenty students sneaking around near and possibly past curfew would be a dead giveaway. “Alright then, just Neville and Luna, makes sense don’t you think?”

Hermione paused, “Fine, lets grab some dinner and meet with them; we’ll assign posts down in the Great Hall.”


****
Neville and Luna were just as eager to help as I was to do something. The five of use sat away from the rest of the school’s population, whispering in hushed voices.

“People have already been asking where Professor Dumbledore is,” Neville told me, “They keep wondering why he’s never around anymore.”

“Dumbledore is always around!” argued Ron.

“Look we just have to keep a low profile, if people start noticing Harry’s gone too then more questions will come up,” Hermione interrupted before Ron could say anything else.

I nodded, “Right. Now, Harry says that Malfoy has been lurking around in the Room of Requirement. So I figure we split up some of us take the seventh floor corridor watching out for Malfoy, and the others-“

“Right outside Snape’s office.”

“Exactly.”

“So who goes where?” Neville asked.

“That’s a simple question don’t you think?” Luna looked up at me, “Some of us are more likely to seem suspicious. I’ve always thought Professor Snape had a touch of seer in him; he can always tell when someone is up to something, haven’t you noticed?”

“Er…Luna what does that have to do anything?”

“I see what she’s saying; there’s a difference between the lot of us, if I were to patrol outside Snape’s office he would suspect me, and give me detention for lurking about, but if Hermione was outside his door, he’d just think that she was trying to become more of an ‘insufferable know it all’ by studying away from you and Harry,” I reasoned.

“I resent that!”

“I was just quoting Snape Hermione! Besides, it’s not like I mind you knowing everything, if you didn’t not all of us would be here right now.”

She blushed.

“She’s right ‘Mione,” Ron bashfully agreed.

“Alright then, Luna and Hermione will take Snape’s office-“

“While the rest of us stay by the Room of Requirement?”

“Right, Neville, that’s exactly right.”

By eight the five of us were positioned and settled; Hermione and Luna unobtrusively perched outside of Snape’s office while Ron, Neville and I had taken consecutive spots in the 7th floor corridor. I was crouched behind a suit of armor sitting just down the hallway from where I knew the Room of Requirement to be. My brother was nearest to the entrance, and I watched as he studied the map in his hands. Looking up and meeting my gazed Ron mouthed, “Nothing.”

Malfoy was still in there. A sneeze disrupted the deep silence of the hall followed by a quick apology from Neville. Oddly enough I was pretty content at the moment.

Strange, considering we were technically waiting for something that might not even happen- and also having no clue what that ‘something’ was- in perpetual silence. It must have been the effect of the small portion of Felix Felicis I had taken earlier. I could never get the rush of optimism that gold liquid gave me anywhere else; I felt fearless, which was just as well, since there was plenty to fear about that night.

We waited.

And waited.

For the most part the place was deserted, only once had there been a giddy couple passing through completely oblivious to the three of us, looking for their ideal broom cupboard. I took it that not hearing from Hermione and Luna was a good thing, after all most times no news was good news.

“Ginny!” Ron whispered yelled in my direction. “I seriously doubt anything is going to happen, can’t we just go back to the common room and wait for Harry to get back?”

“And waste this perfectly supplied Felix Felicis? Ron I don’t-“

“Shh!!” Neville called frantically.

There was a creaking of a door. I craned my neck around the armor to find that the Room of requirement had been opened indeed. Holding my breath, I waited for Draco to emerge holding something…anything. First I only saw his back. It seemed as though he was motioning to something else within the room. Crabbe? Goyle maybe? That didn’t make any sense however, just before we settled in our respective hiding places we checked to see where they were- apparently the kitchens had yet to see enough of them.

Ron seemed curious, and for once not worried, he must have been enjoying the sensation of Felix as well. Draco turned at last and I jerkily pressed against the wall praying he hadn’t noticed. Neville still had a clear view of the ferret, and so I watched for his reaction to whatever Malfoy was doing. Neville furrowed his eyes brows then his jaw went slack.

“This way,” came Draco’s monotone voice.

Who in Merlin’s beard was he talking to?

Ever so slightly I turned again peeking over to find him walking out of the Room of Requirement, followed by several black hooded figures.

I nearly fell over. Harry was right.

It had been Draco all along, he was attempting to get Death Eaters into Hogwarts, and now, he had succeeded. All the unanswered questions from the past year were solved in my head in mere seconds; Draco had been the one to curse Katie, to poison Ron, he just messed up on the delivery. Harry told me he thought those events were too coincidental, both the poison and the necklace that curse Katie were originally for Dumbledore. He told me someone was trying to get to Dumbledore. He was right. It was Draco. Why didn’t anyone believe him!?

“They’ll be back anytime now,” Draco informed the group. Dear Merlin, they were talking about Harry. Catching Ron’s horrified face and Neville’s shocked expression I motioned to them and at the exact same moment we dove out from our spots and fired.

Thinking back on what we had done I realize now that it wasn’t the most organized, smart or sane thing to do. There we were, three under aged wizards, ambushing older more experienced dark wizards- outnumbered and completely clueless.

I sent a single stunning spell that seemed to miss completely. A flash of red came straight for me and I just stepped away letting the Felix control my instincts.

“We don’t have time for this!” cried Draco, and in an instant so quick it seemed impossible, the entire corridor plunged into darkness.


“Too bad we can’t stay and play loves…” Even coughing from the sudden burst of dust in my lungs I shivered from the voice.

Bellatrix Lestrange was there, and I had no idea where or how.

My coughing fit lasted only a few more moments as the darkness dissolved leaving me and two others who were coughing beside me. “What the bloody hell just happened?” I croaked

“First,” Ron wheezed, “Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder, one of Fred, and George’s most popular items.” He coughed one last time. “And second. Malfoy snuck Death Eaters in the school.”

“That’s what I thought,” Neville nodded, breathing heavily still.

“I hoped it was just my imagination,” I whispered.

“Now what?”

“Now we stop them.”

“How?”

I shrugged, “No idea.”

“Well that hasn’t really stopped us before right?” Neville asked.

Ron opened the map. “Nope, and it won’t tonight, c’mon,” he said taking off. The night would go down in history as the second most devastatingly chaotic disaster Hogwarts has ever seen.
Neither side, the Death Eaters nor the Order of the Phoenix had been prepared; everyone was taken by surprise at the amount of people in the castle, all fighting, all dueling, and all attacking. Not even the Department of Mysteries compared. But I’m sure you know what disaster topped even that one.

“Ron! Neville, Ginny! What are you three doing out of bed?!” I’d never been so glad to hear Remus’ voice.

“Remus! It’s Malfoy! He’s brought Death Eaters! They’re in the castle! The Room of Requirement!” Ron was sputtering trying to catch his breath. Looking between Lupin and Tonks.

“What?”

“Professor,” I clarified morbidly, “Harry told us he thought Malfoy was up to something and with Dumbledore gone tonight he knew-“

“How did you lot know Dumbledore was gone?”

“NEVERMIND THAT!” I wailed desperately, “Malfoy snuck Death Eaters into Hogwarts through the Room of Requirement, they are somewhere in the castle right now- we lost them.”

All color faded from their faces, and just as quickly they sprung into action. “Alert the Aurors, get everyone here, make sure no student leaves the dormitories. And you lot get up to the Gryffindor tower immediately.”

Running behind them with no intent on following his last order, I heard Tonks laugh dryly. “Don’t waste your breath Remus they’ve done more already than all of us put together; I doubt they will start accepting the rules now.”

It didn’t take any time at all for us to find trouble, five minutes later the lot of us were drawn into combat with one or two opponents. Sending a stunner towards a cloaked man I had never seen before I missed, giving him time to shoot back. The blinding light passed right by me- as though it turned on its own accord. The Death Eater gasped and tried again.

“Impedimenta!”

“Crucio!”

Curses were rebounding off walls, it was nearly impossible to tell what came from which wand. Ron was near, I could hear him yelling; spotting him from the corner of my eye, I could see he was up against a Death Eater I recognized from the Ministry fiasco.

“RON, DUCK!” I called when a hex hurtled at his back. Ducking, it went right above him and proceeded to hit the Death Eater straight in the chest, throwing him back and into the wall.

“Expelliarmus!” I succeeded in disarming the man I was dueling, however in a swift movement of the hand he recovered it.

“Accio wand.” He was much more powerful than I feared.

I followed him up to the third floor trying everything I could, “Expulso!” The explosion was only enough to make him stumble, but nonetheless he kept moving.

“GINNY!” someone called from behind me, I didn’t need to look I recognized the voice just fine.

“Immobulus!” The man threw back, I jumped right out of the way.


“YOU GIT! YOU CAN’T EVEN HIT ME WITH AN IMOBILIZING JINX!!! YOU CALL YOURSELF A DEATH EATER???”

“GINNY!” the voice called again this time right behind me. Trying to speed up to keep up with the man, I knew I wouldn’t be able to only because I knew that the person behind me had no intention of letting me go any further.

Bill grabbed my arm jerking me back- the momentum almost causing us to fall backwards. “Incarcerous!” my brother bellowed, only to have the curse hit an armor when the Death Eater made a sharp right. They weren’t going down, at that moment I hoped we were faring better downstairs.

“What do you want Bill?” I tried to make my voice louder; the panting was making it impossible.

“ME? GINNY WHAT ARE YOU DOING? You do realize this is dangerous and ridiculously stupid of you right?!”

Bill’s usually tamed long ponytail was in a state of disarray and he seemed to be panting just as hard as I was. “Dangerous? Yes. Stupid? Not so much! Bill will you get off your high horse for one moment and realize that I’m not such a little girl anymore?! You weren’t there at the Department of Mysteries you didn’t see everything I did! I can help, I’m not defenseless.”

“I don’t give a damn Ginny! You’re only 15! Get back to the Gryffindor tower, wait for me there.”

“NO!”

“GINNY! I don’t have time for this!”

“Whenever Harry gets involved no one sends him away! And I bet you didn’t have one word to say to Ron, and he hasn’t been through what I went through my first year, I CAN HANDLE MYSELF!” I snapped tugging my arm roughly away.

Bill exhaled. “I’m not going to just let you run around with flinging curses in every god damn corner of the castle! Sure I know you’re talented and you’ve been through a lot with Harry, but Ginny. I mean it. Get back to the seventh floor.”

“Bill-” I was going to tell him that he would have to drag me there himself, and point out that he didn’t have time for that, but something behind him made me choke on my words.

At that point in my life the only time I had ever seen Fenrir Greyback was in the Daily Prophet in the Most Wanted section. He was huge, looming over seven feet, he was just as I expected, more wolf than man. And he was coming straight for us.

“Ginny, go,” Bill said softly not taking his eyes off the beast.

Leave my brother? My big brother in a match with one of the deadliest man-thing-creature alive? I didn’t want to.

Please Merlin believe me I didn’t want to.

I knew I shouldn’t have.

“But-”

“Go,” He said a little more forcefully, still not looking away.

So I did.
***

The whole Order of the Phoenix had arrived at the scene of the battle, Professor McGonagall, Tonks and Ron were all facing their own duels- some Death Eaters looked foreign to me others had faces I had hoped to never see again.

“Ginny!” Someone called but I couldn’t tell who I was too distracted by the two bodies laying on the ground.

“What a pretty little one you are.”

I turned around and fired at the Death Eater I only knew by name: Amycus. He dodged it easily. “I remember you from last year.”

“Stupefy!”

“Pretego!” His dark eyes flashed. “How’s the ankle?”

My blood boiled and I sent another stunner hoping it would work. It only hit a bit of his arm throwing him off balance; this angered him and the curses came fast and hard over and over. It was a dance to move out of the way for each flash of light. If it weren’t for the Felix Felicis… I would have died.

I put up a good fight. Keeping my side up just as long as he sent everything he had at me.

One of my cutting curses sliced him neatly in his left cheek and it continued to bleed profoundly.

Things changed quickly then. A flash of billowing black robes caught my attention; Snape was headed toward the exit at an incredible speed, surprisingly dragging a shaking Draco with him. “Ron! RON! SNAPE!” I called jumping away from yet another curse. Ron couldn’t hear me. I didn’t have time to digest what I had seen- it could have meant many things: it could have been that Snape had captured Malfoy, it could have meant they were working together and now running from the scene. I was at a loss.

“Pretego!” my shield keeping me from getting hit didn’t stretch out as far as it had a while before, I was growing tired.

“Crucio-Crucio- you won’t be able to jump out of the way forever pretty-” Amycus taunted. But before he could finish a loud,

“Impedimenta!” was shouted behind me and hit the Death Eater straight in the chest. Amycus flew back into the opposite wall and met the floor with a low thud.

“Harry, where did you come from?!” I cried watching him running across the hall, emerging out of practically thin air, but in a blink he was gone again, leaping over the bodies in the direction of Snape and Malfoy.

Annoyed and frustrated, I glanced at where he came from and I found Fenrir Greyback petrified on the ground. In the midst of a battle I stood in the middle hearing nothing but the beating of my frantic heart. If Greyback was here…then where was…

“BILL!?” I screamed whirling around, I didn’t see him anywhere. “BILL!” I called out once more.

Suddenly the room grew silent. And then only an instant later-

“My Merlin!”

“What just happened?”

“He was just there!”

The Death Eaters had just stopped mid cast and disappeared. The remaining people in the room, all panting and bleeding, glared at the empty spots, completely mystified.

“What did they want?”

“Were they after something?”

“Is everyone alright?!”

“Did you see Snape?”

They were all talking at the same time making it practically impossible for me to think clearly. Bill. I needed to find Bill.

“Ginny where are you going?” Tonks asked, but I didn’t waste time explaining to her. I rushed up the stairs to where I left Bill alone with Greyback, praying that my gut was wrong, that Bill was fine. With each step I grew more worried, more nervous…more terrified of what I would find.

And then when I made it to the corridor where the armor was collapsed on the ground from my spell… and down at the end there was a body.

It was hard to tell who it was from where I stood. I knew who it was already. But I had to check anyway. My breaths became more rapidly than they did when I was in combat and bile rose up my throat.

When I made it close enough to see the red hair, I screamed.

***

In another flash I was up in the hospital wing. Madam Pomfrey was bustling over Bill, while my other brothers and friends were sitting around trying to control the raging emotions left inside us. Bill wasn’t dead, that’s all that mattered.

Hermione was crying silently into Ron’s shoulder and he seemed barely to keep it together himself. I was pacing, you’d think I would have been tired enough to sleep for days on end, but I wasn’t. I was anxious and moody and scared.

I’m Ginny Weasley, I know, but Merlin I was scared.

I had no idea what happened that night or why. All I knew was that Bill had been attacked by the same werewolf that transformed Lupin, Neville was laying in a hospital bed unconscious, the walls of Hogwarts had indeed been penetrated, and my bloody boyfriend was missing.

Story of my life. Literally.

“Ginny, why won’t you sit down? You’re making everyone nervous.”

“Like that’s my fault Ron? We were all already nervous.” I was about to crack. It took all my strength not to break down in hysterics and become violently sick.

Lupin and Tonks burst into the room then looking frenzied, I rushed over and threw an arm around each of them. “Oh thank Merlin you’re alright!”

“We are fine Ginny; there was no reason to worry about us.”

“How is Bill?”

“We…we aren’t sure as of yet…” Hermione’s voice was heart breaking.

“Where’s Harry?” I asked Remus rather bluntly.

He raised an eyebrow, “Harry? I…that’s odd…I just realized I haven’t seen him all night. I would have thought he were with you. Where was he tonight?”

Looking over at Ron and Hermione, they didn’t seem to be listening, and I figured it didn’t matter anymore who knew, “Harry was out with Dumbledore this evening. They were gone when the Death Eaters arrived and Harry appeared out of nowhere in the middle of the fight; he was gone again before I had a chance to ask him where he was going. He was chasing after Snape and Malfoy.”


“Where would he go with Dumbledore?” Tonks asked.

“I…”

“Nothing you need to know,” Ron piped in, his voice just above a whisper.

Remus looked from my eyes to Ron’s and then back at mine. “What-”

I shook my head. “Just leave it Professor. I need to go find Harry.” I started for the door but Tonks stopped me.

“Why don’t you let Ron and Hermione go? If your mum gets here and you’re gone...”

“I need to find him Tonks. And I need to find him now.”

“You-“

“Let her go,” said Ron.

You may be surprised to learn that I hadn’t told my family, other than Ron, about my relationship with Harry- nor had Harry told anyone outside school. We had only just started seeing each other, and I wanted the first few weeks to pass without having the mickey being taken out of us. If Tonks knew about us I was certain she would have let me go without a fuss, rather she would have pushed me out of the door with a wink, but I didn’t have the heart, nor the energy, to tell her then and no one else for that matter. Ron seemed to understand that too, and so he said nothing else.

There was a look in her eye, however, that made me curious as to just how strong a woman’s intuition was.

“Hurry back.”

“I will.”

Walking out of the wing was like taking a fresh breath of air. I allowed it to travel through my nose and into my head clearing the nausea before I went in search of Harry-bloody-Potter.
Where had he gone? Why hadn’t he gone in search of us? Where was he now? Was he hurt?
Why was he after Snape? What happened? My head throbbed with questions- thankfully since the nausea had left it was bearable.

The corridors were silent, which was odd considering all the students must have awoken throughout the chaos. Checking the Gryffindor common room was pointless; Harry wasn’t that daft to wait up there rather than find me, Ron and Hermione, besides, if I knew him-and I did- the first thing he would have done was run up to the hospital wing to ascertain the ones injured and somehow blame it all on himself. It was a charming trait… though one he really needed to get rid of. However he wasn’t up in the wing leaving two possibilities.

One: The fight wasn’t over and he was still battling…alone. Well maybe not alone Dumbledore had been with him after all, though I hadn’t seen him.

And Two: Something went terribly wrong. I didn’t allow my mind to wander nor did I let it picture a crumpled Harry in a corner of the castle. Not that that was plausible…Voldemort would have probably wanted to see the body…

There were a couple of third year Hufflepuffs huddled together at the foot of the stair case just outside the Great Hall. One was sniffling and the other two grasping her hands.

“Are you all right?” I asked kneeling down.

The girl to the right had tears in her large blue eyes, “Yes. Ariel,” she motioned to the smallest in the middle. “She was on her way to the loo and she stumbled across Professor Snape and that Malfoy boy.”

I swallowed, “And?”

“And they pushed her out of the way; Harry Potter was right behind them, that’s when she…saw.” The girl with the blue eyes lost it then and began sobbing as well. I placed my hands on her shoulder.

“Saw what? What did Ariel see?” I whispered.

“A few… months ago, our mom… was murdered.” she spoke through her tears. That’s when I realized who I was speaking to, the Flipturn sisters. Tragic story that happened over the holiday break everyone came back solemnly around the two girls. I had no idea what that had to do with this.

“I’m sorry.”

“Dumbledore… he was the one who helped us so much; he really was so great with

Ariel…we spoke with him all the time. My sister didn’t need to see him…like this…he was… Dumbledore. It’s just not right.”

My blood ran cold.

“What’s wrong with Professor Dumble-”

My question was interrupted by a curling scream from outside. With one last sorry glance at the sisters and their friend, I rushed to see the commotion.

It seemed the entire student body was standing out in the courtyard. Standing… just standing. Low murmurs, gasps and sobs melted in the background. They all faced the same way, blocking me from whatever had everyone upset.

I knew I should have prepared myself for the worst, taken a moment to survey the situation and collect myself. But as you well know I was a rash person.

I dived into the crowd.

“Excuse me!” I said pushing my way through the group of hundreds of students. “Let me through! Excuse me!” I saw light finally; being as short as I was I only saw a sliver of it. Blood cold in my ears I kept trudging on frantically.

And with one last push I fell forward catching my step at the last possible second.

There in the center of the circle lay Dumbledore in all his glory, eyes closed and white hair blown all over the ground and his face. And Harry, my Harry crouched above him very much like the night of the third task two years ago. I blinked.

And then I blinked again.

The same vision was before me. The Dark Mark high in the sky.

The nausea returned.

Dumbledore was dead.

Albus Dumbledore, the greatest wizard of our time was dead.

And Harry Potter felt more alone than ever.

That wasn’t the time to mourn, there was things to be done, issues to clear up, blame to be put and a school to fix. No matter how much I just wanted to break down fall to my knees and cry, I knew I couldn’t. Harry needed me to be strong. Hagrid was attempting to get Harry to stand up but was failing miserably.

I got closer seeing that they were both shaking. “Harry, come on,” I said taking his hand and pulling him up. He let me. Without looking at anyone I led him back up to the castle.

“We are going to the Hospital Wing,” I told him. I noticed my voice had no emotion in it what so ever.

His voice sounded much like mine. “I’m not hurt.”

“Those are my orders; everybody is up there, Lupin, Tonks, Ron, Hermione, and everyone.”

“Ginny who else is dead?”

Other than Dumbledore? “Don’t worry, none of us.”

“But the Dark Mark- Malfoy… said he stepped over a body-”

“He stepped over Bill,” I said remembering the sight of Snape and Malfoy running away in the direction Greyback left my brother. “But it’s alright, he’s alive.”

I wasn’t too convincing. “Are you sure?”

“Of course I’m sure…he’s a — a bit of a mess, that’s all. Greyback attacked him. Madam Pomfrey says he won’t — won’t look the same anymore…we don’t really know what the after effects will be — I mean Greyback being a werewolf, but not being transformed at the time.”

“And the other bodies?”

“Neville and Professor Flitwick are both hurt but they’ll be just fine. And the other was a Death Eater; he got hit by a stray killing curse that huge blond one was flinging all over the place. Harry if it weren’t for the Felix potion you left us; we would have been done for. Everything seemed to just miss us.”

We walked into the Hospital wing I released Harry’s hand taking a step away as Hermione ran up to him and threw her arms around him, Lupin tailing her. I got a few curious glances from the rest of my family.

“Are you alright Harry?” Lupin asked.”

“I’m fine, How’s Bill?”

Silence took over again and I turned away not up to facing anyone.

“Isn’t there a charm that could help or something?” Harry asked.

“I’ve tried,” replied Madam Pomfrey, “There is no cure for Werewolf attacks.”

No cure for death either, I wanted to say.

“Greyback hadn’t transformed though, so Bill really won’t be a real-?”

“No, I don’t think Bill will be a full werewolf, although he will most likely show some wolfish characteristics now.”

Ron’s voice was heard then, “Dumbledore must know something that’ll work though, he has to, Bill was working on Dumbledore’s orders he owes him! He won’t leave Bill like this-”

“Ron- Dumbledore’s dead,” I said.

“No!” Lupin gasped. I couldn’t meet anyone’s eyes as I let the information settle.

“How did he die?” Tonks whispered. “What happened?”

“Snape killed him,” Harry answered, and I turned to him, his face was stony, cold and tortured. “When we got back to the school Dumbledore was…sick, weak we apparated to the Astronomy tower because that’s where the Mark was. Malfoy came through the door after Dumbledore immobilized me while I was under the cloak and disarmed him. I…couldn’t do anything but watch. More Death Eaters came and then Snape arrived and ending it. The Avada Kedavra.”

The room couldn’t have been any tenser. Hermione’s hands trembled, Ron looked as though he hadn’t taken a breath, and Luna was silently crying as she looked out the window.

Snape. I should have known; bloody hell I did know! I knew there was something about him tonight! I should have reported it to McGonagall. I could have tried to stop him when I saw him…I…

Suddenly I heard a soft cry from the night sky.

Madam Pomfrey had burst into tears. But something had caught my attention, “Shh! Listen.”

We all listened to the Phoenix’s song together, letting each of our individual pain ease even though we knew there was much to mourn in the coming days. But as I looked around the room I was still glad to see that the most important people in my life were all still there still with me. I reached to grab Harry’s hand- consequences be damned- when McGonagall finally entered the ward.

“Molly and Arthur are on their way,” She said assessing the scene Lupin’s face in his hands everyone crying. “Harry? What happened? According to Hagrid you were with Professor Dumbledore when-” She couldn’t even finish her words.

“Snape Killed Dumbledore.”

The elderly woman collapsed into the nearest chair. “Snape! We all wondered…but he trusted…always…Snape… I can’t believe it.”

Everyone else was having that same problem. After all, what as Hogwarts without Dumbledore? It was just….wrong and empty.

The discussion turned abruptly to theories and stories of that greasy madman. I could care less about how he tricked Dumbledore. That fact was he did.

As far as we knew, then.

“I don’t know how it happened…this whole night had been so confusing.” McGonagall sighed, “When Dumbledore told us he was leaving the school… he said we were to patrol the corridors just in case.”

I caught eyes with Ron, Hermione Luna and the Harry. It seemed Harry and Dumbledore were more alike than anyone could imagine. “I have no idea how they could have entered the castle!” she cried.

“I do.” Harry told us all about what Malfoy had been up to in the Room of Requirement, a vanishing cabinet that transported objects from inside the school to the Death Eater story in Knockturn Alley, Borgin and Burkes, and vice versa. Brilliantly evil.

“I messed up Harry!” Ron started, “We did what you told us. We checked the Marauder’s Map and we couldn’t see Malfoy on it, so we thought he must be in the Room of Requirement, so me, Ginny and Neville went to keep watch on it…but Malfoy got past us.”

“He came out of the room about an hour after we started keeping watch,” I informed him. “He must have been checking whether the coast was clear to let the Death Eaters out because the moment he saw us he threw something into the air and it all went pitch-black-”

“Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder, one of Fred and George’s products. I’m going to have a word with them about who they are selling to.”

We continued to tell the tale of our experience, running into Remus and Tonks and when the fight broke out.

“So if Ron was watching the Room of Requirement with Ginny and Neville,” Harry asked Hermione, “Were you-?”

“Outisde Snape’s office, yes. With Luna.” Hermione sobbed. “We didn’t know what was happening! Ron had the map so when Professor Flitwick came to awake Snape, we heard him telling him that Snape had to go back with him and help. Only we heard a thump from the office and Snape came out, seeing us, he told us that Flitwick had collapsed and we needed to tend to him. It was only after we saw his body we understood that Snape had stupefied him! We just let him go Harry, I’m so sorry!”


“It’s not your fault,” Lupin told her. “If you hadn’t let him go he would have hurt you or Luna.

“So when he came upstairs…” Harry moved forward, “And he found the place you all were fighting…”

“We were in trouble, we were losing, Bill had been savaged-” The knot in my stomach turned. “Neville had been hurt it was dark and there were curses flying everywhere, Snape was there and then he wasn’t.”

“I saw him running toward us,” I added, “But that huge death eater I was fighting had just fired, I ducked and then lost track of things.”

“I assumed he was in a hurry to chase after the Death Eaters who’d escaped the tower,” McGonagall admitted.

“He was,” said Harry, “Only to help them not stop them.”

“When Snape passed by with the Malfoy boy, obviously none of us attacked him,” said Tonks. “We just let them pass. I thought I heard Snape shout something but I couldn’t hear what, and then all of a sudden they were all gone.”

“He shouted, ‘It’s over,’ he’d done what he meant to do,” finished Harry.

Silence fell once again as we all realized we played a part in letting Snape just go.
Mum and Dad burst into the room next, Fleur, to my displeasure, right behind them.

“Molly-Arthur- I’m so sorry-” Professor McGonagall tried, only to be ignored by my mum. I didn’t want to watch this; I really didn’t want to see this.

“Bill,” she whispered. “Oh BILL!” Lupin and Tonks cleared away as my mother practically threw herself across the room to her first born son. She pressed her lips to his bloody forehead, and at the moment I wanted nothing more than to have Harry grab me and hold me so no one else would see me cry into his chest.

He had other things on his mind. They spoke for a bit, the same information Bill’s condition, Dumbledore’s death…I was already sick enough, did I really need to hear it all once again? I was trying to think of any excuse to leave the room, but each one would give the impression that I was not calm, cool and collected.

“What do you mean, ‘’e was going to be married?” Fleur’s irritating voice broke through my reverie.

“Well,” replied my mother caught a bit off guard. “-only that-”

“You theenk, Bill will not wish to marry me anymore? You theenk because of these bites, he will not love me?”

“No that’s not what I-”

“Because ‘e will!’ she spat growing taller, I rolled my eyes, what kind of obvious vanity was that? “It would take more zan a werewolf to stop Bill loving me!”

“Well yes, I’m sure, I meant-”

“You thought I would not weesh to marry him? Or per’aps, you hoped?” she looked positively dangerous, her nostrils flared and her fists clenched. I stepped a bit closer to Harry just in case she exploded. “What do I care how he looks? These scars show how brave my husband is!” she pushed my mom out of the way and proceeded to rub ointment on his face, just as my mother had been doing just moments before.

I thought maybe it might have been worth it to stick around, just to watch Fleur get an earful from my mum. Everyone else seemed to have the same thought, they tensed for the explosion.

And then it came.

“Our Great-Auntie Muriel had a very beautiful tiara — goblin-made — which I am sure I could persuade her to lend you for the wedding. She is very fond of Bill, and it would look lovely with your hair.”

It was all I could not to fall upon my knees screaming, “NOOOO!!!” There went my leverage; if my mother didn’t like Fleur then it was completely fine for me to dislike her…but if my mum fell on the other side…I must have stepped into a parallel universe that evening. Everything seemed completely impossible!

“Thank you,” Fleur replied just as gob smacked as the rest of us. And suddenly, both women were crying into each other’s arms! Merlin!

“You see! She still wants to marry him, even though he’s been bitten! She doesn’t care!” The unexpected outburst came in the form of a washed-out-blue-haired Tonks as she clung onto the front of Remus’ robes.

“It’s different,” he replied, “His case isn’t like mine-“

“But I don’t care either! I don’t care! How many times do I have to tell you?”

I caught on quickly, but was shocked that I hadn’t seen it before; Tonks was in love with Remus Lupin. I smiled sadly, not realizing there was obviously a problem and obviously it wasn’t unrequited feelings. If it had been I would have had a few tips for her.

“And how many times do I have to tell you that I’m too old for you, too poor…to dangerous…”
Oh. I understood then; he didn’t think it was safe for her to be with him. He didn’t want to ruin her life. Noble git. And they said I was naïve?

“I’ve told you you’re being ridiculous throughout all of this Remus,” my mum scolded cleaning her tears.


“I am not! She deserves someone young and whole not someone like me.”

I looked over at Harry out of pure instinct and was met with a curious and pondering gaze directed at the couple before us. A sinking feeling told me Harry was also only seeing Remus’ side. I bit my lip worriedly.

“But she wants you,” my father said.

“This is…this is not the time to talk about this, Dumbledore has just died.”
Harry looked over at me, and he seemed surprised to see me staring at him. I smiled as best I could but showed him with my eyes how much I cared, how much I felt. I only hoped he understood the underlining meaning.

“Dumbledore would have been happier than anybody to think that there was a little more love in the world,” McGonagall added.

She was absolutely right. I wondered if Harry knew that too.

Hagrid came in then, looking just as terrible as he had down in the courtyard. Things shifted from the comfortable familiar feel of having everyone together when Professor McGonagall followed Hagrid out, taking Harry with her.

“See you in a bit.” He said to Ron, Hermione and me.

When they left, Remus looked over at Tonks, “I’m sorry… I…I can’t.” Pulling her hands off him, he brushed past me and out of the room.

Tonks looked down at her feet unsure of what to do.

Mum walked over and put a hand on her arm. “He loves you. Don’t doubt it. He will come around; just don’t give up on him. Help him see.”

Suddenly I couldn’t hold it in anymore, excusing myself I ran out into the nearest rest room…and became violently sick.



The next few days were much better, though much better from rock bottom wasn’t too good either. There were no classes, my examinations were done, we visited the hospital twice a day and I spent all my time with Harry.

Harry seemed overall alright, though distant. Late at night before I fell asleep I wished I would know the right way to help him, the right way to stop him from doing what I knew he was going to do. Ever since we saw the episode between Remus and Tonks, Harry hadn’t been the same. And it wasn’t hard to imagine why.

Bill was faring well, though his scars did much damage to his physical appearance, he was still the same Bill I knew and loved.

Fleur was over the moon with happiness when Bill woke up, glad that she had my mother on her side and she could watch over Bill twenty four seven. Her mood was just too bright for recent events. Still, I knew I couldn’t hold up my dislike for her much longer.

“I guess I just have to accept her. Her and her as a sister in law,” I sighed one evening in the common room with Ron Hermione and Harry.

“Ginny c’mon, she’s not too bad,” Harry shrugged. I raised my eyebrow at him. “Ugly though,” He amended quickly- and seriously.

I laughed, “If mum can do it…I guess I can too.”

When Hermione opened up the obituaries, and the name Snape came up, my stomach twisted. “I’m going to bed. I could definitely use the sleep.”

Standing up I bent down to kiss Harry, he kissed me back enthusiastically, and I sensed a misplaces sadness and urgency. Pulling away I gave him a curious glance, but he just smiled. I bid goodnight to my brother and best friend and began up the stairs to my dormitory.

“Harry I found something this morning in the Library,” said Hermione the moment I disappeared from their sight. It hurt that they were still playing this game. I stopped to listen, even though I knew it may not end well.

“About R.A.B.?” Harry asked.

R.A.B.?

“Well, no, I’ve tried to look them up, I honestly have there are a few wizards and witches that fit the initials but they don’t fit at all. Anyone who stole that Horcrux would know Voldemort but the people I’ve found wouldn’t have anything to do with him. What I’m talking about is Snape.”

My head hurt from all the incoherent talk she was giving, but neither Ron nor Harry seemed confused by it. I had never heard of anything called a Horcrux? I concluded it had something to do with Voldemort and an R.A.B. that is what she said after all wasn’t it?

“And?”

Hermione spoke of the Half Blood Prince and it wasn’t until a few moments later that I realized Snape was the Half Blood Prince. I didn’t want to hear anymore. I wandered up to my bed completely dazed all this information was too much too confusing too soon.

Just as I drifted off I made a vow to myself that I would figure this all out whether that meant with the golden trio or without.

He looked so lost. I was sure it was the potent sense of pain and confusion the drove him here. I felt the pull myself, willing me to just forget everything in the water and the peace the shady bank provided. I stepped closer with no intention of giving him the chance to send me away. I crept up to him and cursed myself when I heard a twig snap beneath me.

“I don’t want to talk alright? I don’t bloody care if you think it’ll help.”

When Sirius died Harry had closed himself up, protecting his feelings with a killing curse proof shield. After getting him to open up, an adventure on its own, I learned more about him than I ever had before. His raging ability to blame himself, the depth of his guilt, how venerable he really was. You’d think that a boy without a family would have a hard time learning to love, but even if he didn’t know it he had the biggest heart. He’d learn to cope so well with loss; it must have been second nature to him by that time. Opening up his wounds and having him voice the horrors he’d witnessed wasn’t the right way about it. I just needed to remind him that he wasn’t alone.

“I know, I just thought I’d sit with you.”

Harry was genuinely started to hear my voice. “I…I’m sorry…Ginny I didn’t know you where there…I thought…” he sighed, “I’m not sure what I was thinking exactly.”

“It’s really alright. I’m used to the snappy dismissive comments from my brothers.” I meant it to come out light and teasing but I realized I failed miserably.

“For a while I tried to convince myself that I was like one of your brothers, that the feelings were all protective and concern. But after a while I admitted to myself that there was much more than that. I guess…I’m saying I’m not your brother…nor are you just my best mate’s sister.”

“That’s pretty heavy, considering you didn’t want to talk. I honestly just knew you’d like some company,” I shrugged sitting down next to him.

He remained silent for a few moments before muttering. “I’m not great company to keep.”

My fleeting smile was just that, I didn’t think there would be a lasting smile on my face for a long while. I grabbed his hand and stroked his thumb, “I’d like to think otherwise, you are my favorite company.”

“You really shouldn’t think that way,” he said, his voice menacing.

I flinched. “Why not? Why the bloody hell not Harry?”

“You of all people know that nothing and no one is safe around me.”

The silence that followed was enough to tell me that this was it. I knew what Harry was going to do, what he was planning, I just hoped he would give me-us- a little more time.

“I don’t want to argue I just…I want to be here for you and I…I don’t want you to walk away. I want you to know that I’m not going anywhere, I lo-” My breath caught. Had I just been about to let him know that I loved him? What shocked me was how easy it would have been to tell him. A dilemma arose as quickly as possible in my mind. Should I let myself finish those words? I wanted to, I wanted to so badly. I wanted him to know how I felt, how my heart swelled at his smile, how his humor made my day. Things I thought he needed to hear, that he was loved and important to someone. My Merlin, I was the one who had turned into the sap.

However, the consequences outweighed my longing to tell him. Knowing Harry, he would run. He would push away in sacrifice and fear that I’d be hurt. The feelings he wasn’t familiar with would scare him, and he’d run, doubtful and worried. We hadn’t even been together all that long and he wouldn’t even feel the same way. I could hear my mum’s voice to those statements saying that it shouldn’t matter whether he told me he loved me back, all that should matter is that he knows, and also telling me that it didn’t matter how long we’d been with each other but how deeply we cared for each other. And I knew just how much Harry cared about me.

It may have been the perfect moment to let the words spill out but in the end I couldn’t do it, I lost my chance. “I’m worried about you,” I amended, not knowing I was going to horribly regret my choice one day.

“Don’t be, I’ll be fine.”

“That’s what I’m afraid of.”

“What?”

“Your fine isn’t exactly the normal definition of fine.”

Harry looked away giving me the chance to regret what I said; thankfully he had yet to pull his hand away. “Maybe you’re right.”

We didn’t speak again, just let one of those silences settle between us, silences that passed so much emotion between us without one simple word. I loved Harry and in that moment I decided to enjoy the idea that he may love me in return even if he didn’t know it, yet.

“Gin?” he said a little over an hour later his head currently resting on my lap, my hands brushing through his hair lazily.

“Yeah?” I replied imaging him telling me those three simple words. And yet he didn’t really need to say them, the way he held me, the way he smiled or looked at me, when he touched my face, my hair; Harry told me he loved me everyday even if he wasn’t aware of it.

“I think I realize that the silence won’t really help. To tell the truth I think I’m going mad with my thoughts…maybe talking is…the right thing for right now.”

“Who are you and what have you done with Harry Potter?”

The corner of his mouth turned up a bit- it wasn’t a laugh, but it was the best I could hope for, “What do you want to talk about?”

“I was wondering if…maybe…you could tell me some of the stories you promised me.”

I won’t lie and say I understood what he was talking about. Could his statement have been any more generic? I kept my mouth shut, noticing just how important this sounded to him. Biting my lip I willed myself to remember. The last thing I wanted to do was to break a promise I supposedly made. Thankfully I did remember.



I think about all the stories he told me about him and your father and the trouble that followed them everywhere, whenever I start to miss him.

I’m sorry that you didn’t get to spend as much time with him last summer as I did but he absolutely loved to talk about you. He loved you so much Harry. As does everyone.
And don’t worry, I’ll tell you all the stories one day, just tell me when.


And then came his reply,



I won’t forget, I have a feeling I’ll be needing them someday.


Apparently I had been the one to forget, but I didn’t waste time considering that. Recalling Sirius’ voice in my head I chuckled slightly.

“You know that old trick step in the grand staircase? Well it wasn’t always there. One day your dad was depressed because of another rejection from your mum, Remus told him he should just apologize to her and ask nicely, but Sirius thought James just needed a night out. The night started off innocent enough, the Map the Cloak and a perfectly planned hex for the Slytherin table in the Great Hall. Remus was actually the one to come up with the hex but Sirius; he wanted to use it to make sure….”

I was happy when he smiled… when he laughed… when he made a joke… I would have just sat there telling him stories for a week if it meant he would smile like that forever. But when the sun began coming down from its highest peak other matters needed to be tended to.


Dumbledore’s funeral was a quiet affair. I sat beside Harry in the last row by the lake, watching the beautiful day wear on as hundreds of people came to pay their respects. So many I didn’t recognize, and many others I did, gathered around. My entire family, the Order of the Phoenix, and several people I recognized who worked at the ministry with my father. Shop owners from Diagon Alley, as well as Hogsmeade, the entire school staff, the ghosts of Hogwarts even.

I knew Harry had never been to a Wizarding Funeral- I had attended my great uncle’s when I was little, Aunt Muriel’s husband- and so I proceeded to help him though it. Nudging him here and there explaining what was going on showing him where to look.

Harry was subdued but again distant, and it wasn’t about half way through until he finally realized it. It took a while but it had finally hit him, the main father figure he had come to love and trust was gone. Harry tried to hide away from us, by looking away into the lake Ron and Hermione were both focused on the ceremony and didn’t notice.

But I did. There wasn’t much I could do but make him see that he wasn’t alone. I took his hand, and squeezed it tight, leaning my head against his shoulder. It was innocent enough- I knew how risky it was to show affection of the romantic kind in front of such a vast amount of people. It seemed like anyone who mattered in our lives, who had some sort of involvement were there. If anyone had looked over at us, some would have thought it a friendly gesture; maybe some would have thought it romantic but sweetly guiltless.

Most people weren’t going to notice anyway. However I got an understanding smile from Tonks and curious eye raise from my mum (both glances through tears).

And when it ended, I knew it would take other things with it.

“Ginny, listen…” Harry was very quiet and I almost told him not to continue because I already knew where he was going with this. “We’ve got to stop seeing each other. We can’t be together.”

I smiled, “It’s for some stupid, noble reason isn’t it?”

“It’s been like…like something out of someone else’s life, these last few weeks with you. But I can’t…we can’t…I’ve to do things alone now.”

I stared at him, wondering when he was going to finally understand that he didn’t HAVE to do this alone, whatever it was, whatever it was about this prophecy, this Horcrux thing, these secret meeting with Dumbledore, he didn’t have to do it alone. Why did he insist?

“Voldemort already used you once, and that was just because you were my best mate’s sister. Imagine how much more danger you’ll be if he found out we were more. He’ll try and get to me through you.”

“And if I don’t care?” He must have known I’d take the risk any day.

“I care. If this was…if this was your funeral do you have any idea how I would feel? Ginny I…”

I stopped breathing, was he going to say that he…he…

Harry shook his head, “I would feel so guilty.”

I looked away. Shame on me for thinking he felt the same way, but if he was doing this it really meant that he cared didn’t it? It must have been more than just feeling guilty.

“I never gave up on you, not really, I always kept up hope. Wishing that maybe one day you would notice me as something more than your best mate’s sister…Hermione told me to relax and get on with my life that way I could be myself around you…and let things happen, even if we never got together she didn’t want me to miss out on our potential friendship. I could barely talk in the same room with you remember? She thought you would notice if I were more myself,” It took much weight off my heart telling him that.

There were my feelings for him, my decisions my thoughts wrapped up in one explanation and laid out before him. I had no idea how he would take it.

“Smart girl that Hermione. I just wish I would have asked you sooner, we could have had so much more time. Weeks, months even…”

I imagined it, the beautiful weeks we spent together stretched out over months maybe years. I wanted it so much it hurt.

“But you’ve always been too busy saving the world Harry,” I told him almost laughing. “I’m not surprised, I won’t lie, I guess I always knew you wouldn’t be happy unless you were the one hunting Voldemort. Maybe that’s why I like you so much.”

Why I love you so much.

Why I always have. For his heroic trait that for some reason made him want to out chasing after this monster. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, was it because of his parents? Cedric, Sirius now Dumbledore? Was this all out of revenge?

No Harry wasn’t like that; he acted as though this was something he had to do.

Maybe Harry Potter, The Boy Who Lived, really was the Chosen One.

With one last look at me, an understanding passed between us, that we…we emotionally weren’t over.

He walked away in the setting sun on his way to meet Ron and Hermione, I envied them. I wish he would be able to tell me all the things he told them. The only comfort I had was the he told me other sorts of things that didn’t have anything to do with Voldemort. With us it was just that, us. Harry and Ginny. And no one would take that away from us, not even Tom Riddle.

My mom was standing with Tonks my father Bill and Fleur. She didn’t act as though she didn’t see Harry walk away. Molly Weasley smiled softly at me through her flustered face.


“He loves you. Don’t doubt it. He will come around; just don’t give up on him. Help him see.”

Back to index


Chapter 24: The Secrets of Potato Peeling

Author's Notes: And here we begin the next part of this Novel, the largest and most in depth eara: THE DEATHLY HALLOWS.
This chapter is the first chapter that does not have Harry in it since the prologue, take this as a taste of what is to come!


"If anyone asks,
I'll tell them we both just moved on
When people all stare
I'll pretend that I don't hear them talk
Whenever I see you,
I'll swallow my pride
and bite my tongue
Pretend I'm okay with it all
Act like there's nothing wrong

Is it over yet?
Can I open my eyes?
Is this as hard as it gets?
Is this what it feels like to really cry?"
-Cry, Kelly Clarkson


“Ahhh…I’ve missed you…” the throaty voice purred, “You keep thinking you can get away, but let me tell you something, you will never be able to escape me, no matter how far you are.” Icy gaunt fingers ran down my neck leaving a trial of burning fear down to my collar bone.

“I…I don’t understand.”

The voice laughed once and I heard its slow breath before I felt it. It was cold and musky-sticky-against my ear. I trembled, “You still are such a silly little girl, don’t you know? My blood runs through your veins from where I harmed you, my memories invade yours from when I made you relive them, my soul rests in you from when I poured myself into you. You can’t run.”

My heart was beating in my stomach, and I tried to ignore the nauseating sensation. “No…no…that was the diary, it was just the diary…Dumbledore said-”

“You still trust that old fool? Even after he made a mistake in judgment that cost him his life?”

So dry that I couldn’t swallow, my throat burned at the stench of the murky water beneath my palms, soaking my robes and my hair. “Yes…no…I don’t know,” I replied frightfully.

His hand slowly moved up to cup my face. “You can’t leave me, you’ll always be trapped right here with me, no matter how many times you get out you will always find your way back. Each time you tell me he will come, as though the end of the story will always be a happy one. You’re very wrong to think so. He won’t come, he won’t come this time. He’s left you, he’s abandoned you.”

Each word stung my eyes, causing the tears to pool at the edges. Things were becoming blurry as my energy fell. I knew I didn’t have much time left. “No, no NO! He hasn’t abandoned me! He’s doing this to protect me!”

Tom laughed again and it echoed off the chamber walls. “Then where is he now? If he is indeed protecting you, then how could you be here with me? Why hasn’t he come? It is because he won’t love, you’re mine.” Pressing his forehead to mine I was left no where to look but his handsome brown eyes. “You’ve grown up so beautifully…”

“Please. Please just…leave me alone. Let me go…please.”

“I’m not so sorry to say that I can’t. I have big plans for you Ginevra and once I’m through with you I’ll go after him. And you know just how noble he is, the guilt of what happened to you will make him an easy target. He may not care much about you, but he is full of pride. Just like all those years ago when his best friend begged him to save his little sister.”

I couldn’t hear anymore of this, he was wrong. Tom was wrong; he saved me because he cared, not out of pride not out of guilt. He cared. The words repeated themselves in my head until they became foreign and wrong…he still hadn’t come.

Perhaps Tom was right.

“Potter moved heaven and earth to save his Godfather. And now you see he wouldn’t do the same for you. But don’t fret love,” Tom soothed, looking right into my eyes, “When and after I’ve had my fun and you’re gone I’ll soon put him out of his guilty misery.” In a flash of excitement the beautiful brown eyes became a deep red.

No…no…


“NOOOOOO!” My scream startled me upright in bed. I panted trying to regain control of my dizzy head realizing that, that was the sixth night mare in two weeks.

Tom owned me again.

Sleep hadn’t been coming easy since Dumbledore was put to rest, nights dragged on, days blurred together. Each morning, I woke with the same uneasy dread that I fell asleep with. Voldemort was in my head, and sometimes when I was most venerable, I believed he was real and not just a figment of my imagination and my memories. Even though Lupin and Dumbledore had explained to me that I was just vulnerable to his magic and sensing his power brought back his voice, it didn’t make hearing him any easier.

Sure I had learned to manage it and was able to keep his voice out, but it seemed that in my sleep, I lost control.

Like that night. I knew that it was more than just a diary. Dumbledore had told me as much after the Triwizard Tournament, but considering he kept that truth from me for so long I couldn’t help but wonder what else they were all keeping from me. I didn’t want to be naïve and unaware, worries which my dream had surfaced; that I would be face to face with danger and not know what I am truly dealing with. My subconscious was been extremely rough on me and Tom’s influence only made it worse.

Dumbledore had once offered me a chance to pour all the memories into his pensive and be done with it, but I had declined. They were too important to give up, if I had I would have been a coward, running away from my mistakes. I learned from them and I just couldn’t forget.

At that moment, however, sitting up in my bed sweating bullets, I hated myself for being so pretentious. Maybe Hermione was right- I was more like Harry than anyone realized with my self-sacrificing righteousness that clouded
judgment on my well-being. Suddenly I started crying, how could I try to help Harry see when I couldn’t even see myself? What kind of hypocrite was I? Someone who tried to help others but yet couldn’t even take the first step to help herself?


My family was sleeping peacefully in the rooms above and there I was being completely miserable. We were all safe; none of us had been unfortunate, so why was I just feeling sorry for myself?

Disgusted, I shoved the covers off of me and stood up. Not even bothering to slip on a robe or shoes I headed down to the kitchen. June of 1996 was a hot muggy one, mum was going bonkers hoping that the wedding, which was taking place in the garden of the Burrow, wouldn’t be too uncomfortable. Fred and George thankfully calmed her down, simply reminding her that she was a witch. The kitchen at 4 am in the morning was a much different place than the kitchen in the middle of the day, without the hustle and bustle of what seemed like hundreds of growing teenage boys and an incredible cook of a mother it just seemed…lonely…quiet…and empty. Sort of what I had become the past few weeks.

I watched out the window wondering what was out there. Outside of the high security wards the Order had placed were there Death Eaters stalking around, waiting for their opening? Was it too risky to step outside for a breath of fresh air?

“Ginny?” I jumped, startled. The sound of my name coming from the dead of night somewhere behind me nearly stopped my heart. Hand on my thumping chest I turned around to find my mother just turning on the lights. “I’m sorry. Did I frighten you, dear?”

“Only a bit mum,” I mumbled turning away from her once again. “What are you doing up?”

“I thought I heard someone, obviously I did.”

Nodding, I continued to gaze out of the window silently.

“Is something bothering you, sweetheart?”

I had yet to tell my mum anything about the rather new change in relationship between me and Harry. If it was his wish to keep it a secret, then who was I to divulge it? Although it was kind of pointless now, considering that Malfoy and Snape were both well aware of it. “Nothing, just too hot to sleep.”

I heard her take a few steps closer, “Did you open your window?”

"Yes."

“Ahh well, it shouldn’t take long to cool down.” Her voice was sentimental, and I had a sinking suspicion she wasn’t talking about the summer temperature.

“I think I’ll just get a glass of water and head back up then.”

Mum was closer than I imagined her to be, she set a hand on my shoulder, “Nonsense, there is nothing better than tea to shove away the shakes.”
I watched in complete awe as she found a pot and set it on the stove. “I’m not sure what you mean.”

Sighing she said, “I’m your mother. It would be impossible for me not to know when you are troubled. Blame it on our mother’s intuition.”

I guess I was right, she knew. “I’m fine, honestly.”

“How long have you been having these nightmares again Ginny? And don’t you dare lie to me I can see right through you.” I knew she couldn’t, if I had a sickle for every time I had lied to my mother and gotten away with it I would be richer than the Queen of England, and the only other person I know richer than the queen of England was this Scottish author who wrote a seven part adventure series about an orphan boy and a far off boarding school. And there was no way I could compete with that, honestly who could come up with such an epic story?

How had she known? Had she told my brothers? My father? How would they look at my now? Poor little Ginny Weasley haunted by a memory again.

However I knew that telling the truth was the only right thing to do. “Ever since Dumbledore’s funeral.”

“Don’t worry, I haven’t said anything to anyone, not even your father, the Weasley men would be able to sleep through war.”

I chuckled dryly at the half hearted joke. “I wish I could too.”

Pursing her lips Molly Weasley contemplated my comment before turning back to the tea, I settled on the settee buy the kitchen table window.

“Have you considered dreamless sleep potions?”

“Well, I took one a few weeks ago, and it didn’t seem to work.” The dreams were too strong, too evil; too real.

“You haven’t had such vivid dreams since the summer after your second year.”

The feel of his breath on me the flash in his eyes…vivid didn’t even begin to cover it. The reason the dreams were back were easy enough to figure out-

“Hang on, how did you know the dreams I’ve had the past few weeks were so vivid?”

She smiled, “As I said the Weasley men could sleep through anything, you’ve been talking in your sleep. I won’t lie and say I haven’t stopped to hear what it is you’ve been mumbling.”

I looked away out the window feeling as though my most inner thoughts and feeling had just been scattered across the table. I felt open.

My mother noticed my discomfort instantly. “Ginny, I didn’t mean to upset you…I just don’t understand why you didn’t come to me when this started. Why won’t you talk to me?”

“There is nothing to talk about that we haven’t already before. Dumbledore’s death just brought back a lot of memories is all.” I lied.

“How so?” she asked bringing a cup of tea and setting it before me.

“I…just began to remember everything he did for me after the incident with Tom Riddle’s Diary.”

“Hmp.” She sat across from me and I avoided her eyes.

“I didn’t want to worry anyone. There’s enough to deal with right now, Bill getting married and all.”

“Ginevra. Don’t you ever hide the truth of your well being for someone else in this family. We are all still together thankfully; we will all help you and always put you first.”

I nodded taking a sip of the tea. Swallowing the scorching liquid it ran down the length of my body relaxing it down to the core.

“Now, the truth this time young lady.”

“The truth?”

“’Yes, you know very well you are keeping it from me. These nightmares haven’t returned as memories. When you were eleven the dreams were the same all having to do with Tom taking control of you. But what I’ve been hearing is nothing of the sort.” My mother was a smart woman I should have never underestimated her. “You’ve never once cried out Harry’s name that I know of during your sleep before this summer.” I flushed a hot red. “Under any normal circumstances I would take it as though you still had feelings for him, a few nights ago I thought-”

“MUM!” I put my cup down. “Why are you doing this to me? Isn’t it hard enough? It’s embarrassing and mortifying when it’s in private but to have another person try to dissect it into some kind of riddle is just too much. Please, believe me, the dreams are only what happened in the chamber and Harry was there alright?”

“Then why do you casually walk out of the room when someone mentions him? Why is Ron always looking at you as though you are about to crack? And what was going on at the funeral? I saw you speaking with Harry and it didn’t seem like it was anything good.”

“WE WERE AT A FUNERAL! How could you expect anything less?” My voice was shrill enough to startle her but thankfully not loud enough to wake anyone.

“Why won’t you tell me?” she asked in a small voice. “Why won’t Ron?”

“I’m sorry mum, I am but there are going to be many things that you won’t know, there’s going to be many things that we won’t be able to tell you and more so that Ron, Harry and Hermione won’t be willing to explain.” My guilt scratched at my heart. There was my wonderful mother who would do anything for her children and her surrogate ones as well, and we kept so much from her. Maybe telling her about Harry and I would be a small, but risky, compensation? Since I had been keeping quiet about Tom’s voice in my head and the nightmares? It seemed only fair.


Looking into her eyes I saw the beginnings of tears. She sniffed once and blinked them away before they could fall. She understood. For now. I knew my mother well enough to know that there was no way in Merlin she was going to let this go. “Fine then. We’ll discuss that later. But, at least answer me this, what did you mean by ‘Harry hasn’t abandoned me’?”

Her words reversed the effect of the calming tea. “What is he doing to protect you?” I closed my eyes.

“He…well…I…Harry and I were seeing each other last spring.”

I didn’t hear a gasp or a dropped tea cup. Nothing changed, as though I hadn’t spoken. Slowly I opened one eye, and then the other. She was staring and smiling at me fondly, the tears finally escaping. “I see.” She breathed.

“It’s not…not what you think-”

“You’ve broken up.”

“How did you know?”

“I suspected…well, watching the two of you after Dumbledore died, the way you looked at him the way he watched you when he thought no one was watching, the way you supported him through the ceremony. I don’t think anyone else realized, but a mother knows. Just before Harry walked away from you I saw your face, understanding and collected, but heartbroken. You saw it coming hadn’t you?”

“I would have been surprised if it hadn’t.” I confessed. I missed Harry so much; it hurt to think he was all alone at the Dursley’s.

“Can I ask why? From what I saw it seemed you two were good for each other.”

I smiled. “We were. We are.”

“Then?”

“Harry is a very noble guy. He’s got it in his head that because of his feelings he’d put me in danger.”

“Lovely boy that one. He’s right, and wrong. And you? You let him make that decision on his own?”

“For his own sake of sanity. He doesn’t need to worry himself about me right now.”

My mum sighed, “And if it were up to you?”

I blushed. “If it had been up to me alone…I’d be up all night writing him letters, and reading ones he sent me, then going to bed in the morning with a goofy grin on my face. But of course I never told you that.” I added with a laugh. Thinking about how wonderful it would be to fall asleep after hearing from him, about his day, his thoughts, and his words. I wished for it more than I had all summer.

“If you can’t tell your mother who can you tell?”

“No one. And you can’t tell anyone either. Ron and Hermione know to act as though nothing happened.”

Mum took a sip from her cup and then said knowingly, “And when Harry comes for the end of the summer? How will you two be acting?”

“I’m not sure how it’ll be for him but I know I’m going to be hurting.” I admitted.

“From the glances he had been giving you sweetheart, he’ll be hurting just as much.”

“Really?”

“I’m sure of it.”

We sat in an uneasy silence, thinking about why it had to be this way, and how unfair it was to everyone. It was a relief to tell her now, a small portion of the weight lifted from my shoulders.

“You’re in love with him aren’t you?”

“What?”

“When you were younger I knew of course that you fancied him, I thought it was one of the sweetest things I have ever witnessed, but now, it’s deeper isn’t it? You really do love him?”

My eyes drifted off out the window once more. “Yes, I do.”

“Good. Merlin knows that boy needs all the love he can get.” Why was it that mother’s always seemed to know what to say? It was as though they read into your mind and came up with exactly what you needed to hear. “He loves you too, even if he hasn’t realized it yet, from what you told me, I’m positive.”

“How?”

She didn’t even have to think about it,

“It’s what love is, sacrificing your own happiness for the well being of the other, understanding and unconditional love are all a part of it Ginny. Harry is nowhere near perfect, and you have had your fair share of troubling times and issues. But yet you care for the other without a second thought. That’s what unconditional love is, and you know how to help him, when he doesn’t know how to help himself. It’s what makes you perfect for each other. And it’s what makes me sure you love him and he you. I know you’re young, but with this war and everything you both have been through its only normal to have grown up quickly.”

She said this with the occasional tear, of joy and regret, but overall, lovingly.

It created a new point of view of my relationship with Harry, one that I could live with the fact that we weren’t together. I hurt, it still broke my heart, but with my mother’s
reassurance at least I could fall asleep knowing that what he had-have was real, and worthy of lasting.

“Off to bed with you know, the wedding is coming up and this will be one of the last lie ins you’ll have for until after the party.”

I nodded and stood, still unable of saying anything and headed for the stairs. Before I made it however I turned around to find my mother staring out the window just as I had, crying. I flitted back to her and pressed a kiss on her moist cheek.

Then proceeded upstairs to my room.

***
The days passed quickly but not without incident. Mum hadn’t breathed a word of my nightmare or our late night chat, she had by that time completely immersed herself in thoughts of the wedding, and the wedding only. But I didn’t quite miss the glances she threw me each morning as I came down for breakfast, inspecting for dark rings and sleep deprived eyes no doubt.

The muggle world, as I heard from my father, was beginning to notice something was wrong. It was an invisible force they were dealing with, not sure what to think or how to act upon it. I had never really been involved with the muggle world and so I wasn’t sure as to what they were planning on doing. Obviously not much, death and murder was playing a large role in both civilizations, we were the only ones who knew why and how.

And to add on to the sorrow, Ollivander still hadn’t been found.

We kept up with the Order as headquarters would soon be moved to the burrow once Harry arrived. July was flying by when the long time plan to collect Harry from the Dursley’s for the last time was set into motion. As he was turning 17 the protection and safety of number four Privet Drive would break due to his coming of age.

I was beginning to feel nervous as the time grew closer. What would I say to him when he arrived? How would we act? Friendly? Awkwardly? Would we go back to not being friends at all and rarely ever speak? Would anyone notice? Would he want anyone to notice?

“We’ve leaked a fake trail throughout the Ministry,” Mad-Eye-Moody informed us one night as he stopped by for the usually Order update. “The story is that the Order of the Phoenix won’t be moving Potter until the thirteenth.” He continued.

I never really had a relationship per say with Alastor Moody. He was always such a driven force with a hard exterior that I was intimidated by. Yes I know, Ginny Weasley —intimidated? Don’t laugh, one look at him and you’d understand. Not that I didn’t respect him, Merlin knew I thought that man was one hell of an Auror. I would trust him with anything. From Afar.

“Have they taken the bait?” My father asked.

“We are almost certain they have, but it’s still not worth it to risk it. Constant Vigilance.”
I stayed silent as it wasn’t my place to comment. See even I had my standards, I knew when to interfere my lungs out, and when to keep my trap shut and be respectful. But I just really didnR