|SIYE Time:19:16 on 22nd March 2018|
Memoirs of a Red Headed Witch
By My Wicked Quill
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Category: Pre-OotP, Post-OotP, Post-HBP, Post-Hogwarts, Post-DH/AB
Genres: Action/Adventure, Comedy, Humor, Romance, Songfic
Warnings: Mild Language, Mild Sexual Situations, Violence
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.
Hitcount: Story Total: 100059; Chapter Total: 298
Awards: View Trophy Room
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.”
Da d 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.”
His eyes narrowed. “What position?”
“Mock game. Outside. 20 minutes. You chase, I’ll keep. Let’s see if you’re any good.”
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?”
“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.
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.”
“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.”
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, 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 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.
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?”
“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.
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.”
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.”
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-”
“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?”
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.
“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.”
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