|SIYE Time:8:42 on 16th January 2018|
Category: Pre-OotP, Alternate Universe
Characters:Albus Dumbledore, All, Draco Malfoy, Harry/Ginny, Hermione Granger, Minerva McGonagall, Neville Longbottom, Nymphadora Tonks, Other, Remus Lupin, Ron Weasley, Severus Snape, Sirius Black
Genres: Action/Adventure, Drama, General, Humor, Romance
Warnings: Dark Fiction, Mild Language, Mild Sexual Situations, Violence/Physical Abuse
Summary: Harry had never friends, so he imagined one: a red haired girl he kept forgetting to name. Ginny imagined a shy boy with untidy hair and bright eyes, who knew nothing of magic, so she told him. He dreamt of a world of magic and of a girl who wanted to be his friend. She dreamt of a boy who loved to hear her voice, no matter what. Then dreams become a reality when Harry met Ginny.
Rating changed for later chapters.
*Nominated for 2014 November/December DSTA for Best New Story and Best Romance* *Nominated for 2016 January/Feburary DSTA for Best Comedy, Drama, and Romance*
Hitcount: Story Total: 98121; Chapter Total: 3760
Sorry for the wait guys; been very busy over Thanksgiving! Don't forget to review!
Th ree: Ginny's Day Out
The next morning dawned warm and bright. Ginny rolled over in her bed, blocking the light spilling in from her window. She was tired, and her mind felt worked beyond belief from her night's dream. She'd dreamt that her imaginary friend was coming to visit her. She'd seen snippets of London in her dream, eavesdropped on some of his conversations, and even thought she'd seen Cousin Anna Prewett.
Ginny sat up, rubbing her eyes. She yawned and stretched, and turned to look at her clock. It was a cuckoo clock, and sat on her desk. The hands read 8:22.
Ginny smiled as the voice of her imaginary friend floated into her head.
Hi. Thanks for waiting for me to wake up.
No problem. I happen to be a good person who appreciates sleep. Unlike someone else I could mention.
Apology accepted. I'm on the train.
Oh, yeah! When will you be here?
Aunt Petunia said since we left at seven o'clock-
I thought it left at five thirty?
It was late.
Anyway, we left at seven so we should be there about eleven o'clock.
I think Mum is taking me into the village this afternoon. We're celebrating.
I got my Hogwarts letter yesterday! Dad took Ron out already, but Mum wanted to have a girl's afternoon.
Good for you, He said. For some reason, he sounded a little confused to her. Ah, did Ron happen to look horrified when he came back?
I- I didn't notice. Why?
Just a thought. Be prepared for the Talk.
You're making no sense.
You know, where babies come from and all.
Yeah, that Talk.
Changing the subject. Keep me posted on your progress. I want every little detail.
Okay. Dudley just puked.
You want more details on that?
No, I meant- forget it.
Don't worry, I'll let you know everything that happens.
Keep it G rated, please.
Says the girl who knows more swear words than even my uncle does.
I'm sure he has plenty hidden up his sleeve that I don't know.
Oh, of course.
Ginny jumped out of bed, crossed her room to the door, opened it, and stuck her head out.
"Ginny, love, get ready to leave! We're going to the village in about half an hour!" her mother called.
Ginny's heart leapt. "Yes, Mum!"
She ducked back inside her room, and shut the door. She stepped over to her closet, and started going through it. She pushed aside old Sunday dresses that no longer fit and fancy clothes her grandmother had made that she had never worn, searching for what to wear. Usually, jeans and a tee shirt would have been fine, and preferable, but today, Ginny felt like dressing up. Near the back of her closet, she stopped. She cocked her head, and then pulled out the dress. It was a creamy white, one of the ones her older cousins gave her. She held it up against her, turning to her mirror. She studied it, wondering whether or not she was willing to wear it. It was really a pretty dress and simple too. The fabric was lacy but not fancy. The hem reached her knees easily. The sleeves would stop just above her elbow.
Ginny shook her head, and put it back. She riffled through the closet some more, pausing at some of the more plain dresses. A green wrap around patterned with orange flowers. A peachy pink Sunday dress that probably would be too small. A dark blue dress with a sailor collar. Another lacy dress, this time a light brown. A baby blue skirt with a matching sweater. Ginny stopped, and pulled out the skirt and sweater. The skirt was made of a soft fleecy fabric, one of those skirts that made you want to twirl around and watch it flare. The sweater was too, but was decorated with little plastic jewels. Ginny put the sweater back. But she laid the skirt out on her bed, and turned to her dresser. She pulled a plain white tee shirt from a drawer, and clean underclothes from another. She quickly dressed, and then started searching for some shoes. Finally, she dropped to the ground and dug a pair of white sandals from underneath her bed. Ginny slipped them on, stepped in front of her mirror, and examined herself. She looked girlish, and Ginny liked it.
She grabbed a hair clip from off her dresser, twisted her hair up into a knot and fastened it with the clip. She pulled a pair of jean shorts from a drawer, and pulled them on underneath her skirt, just in case she decided the skirt was getting to be too much.
"Ginny, darling, almost time to go!"
She left her room, and took the stairs two at a time. Mum waited for her at the bottom of the stairs.
"Well, don't you look lovely!" Mum said, grinning. "Spin for me, precious."
Ginny giggled, and did a lopsided pirouette. Mum laughed, and took her hands before she fell over.
"We're going to have a wonderful time, my pet!" Mum told her, smiling warmly.
“Mum, guess what,” Ginny said.
“Guess!” Ginny said, giggling.
Her mother smiled and tapped her chin thoughtfully. “You found a unicorn?”
Ginny laughed, but shook her head.
“Ooh!” Mum snapped her fingers and grinned. “I've got it! Harry Potter's coming to visit!”
Ginny blushed scarlet. “No, Mum, but somebody is coming to visit.”
“My friend, the one I told you about.”
Mum's smile faltered for a second. “Your imaginary friend?”
Ginny crossed her arms over her chest. “Mum, he's real! And he's coming here!”
Mum sighed, and smiled wearily. “If you say so, Ginny,” she said, leaving Ginny very unsatisfied, and then she turned back to the stairs. "BOYS!" she yelled. Bangs and shouts came from the upper floors of the Burrow, and soon, every single one of brothers bounded down the stairs, and lined up for their mother, in varying forms of disarray and wakefulness or lack of. Her twin, Ron, in particular looked like he'd been dragged from bed, and from the way he was glaring at Fred and George, he probably had been
"All right, listen up," Mum said. "Ginny and I are going out for the day. While we're gone, I want you all to clean your rooms."
Collective groans issued from her brothers, except Percy. He was already dressed with his hair combed (though still bright pink), glasses perched perfectly on the bridge of his nose, and his brand new prefect badge pinned to his polo. Obviously, his room was already clean.
"No buts!" Mum said. "Ginny and I will be back around two o'clock this afternoon, I'm guessing. When we get back, I want to see clean rooms, and clean boys. It's all right if you're not done when we get back, but that doesn't mean you can slack off, you hear me?"
The boys nodded, Fred and George saluted playfully, and Percy said in a somber voice "Yes, Mother."
"Good. Bill's in charge. If you finish your room before I get back, help one of your brothers, all right?"
"How come Ginny doesn't have to clean her room?" Ron grumbled.
"Because she cleaned it yesterday," Mum said. "You lot ought to take a leaf out her book and tidy up every night so your rooms don't get messy in the first place."
"Mother, my room is already tidy," Percy drawled, "Must I help the others?"
"Yes, Percy," Mum said. "Please help Ron; his room looks like a particularly angry tornado went through it."
Ron scowled her description of his room, but said nothing.
"What about our room?" George whined.
"How come we don’t get help?" Fred continued.
"Because you two share a room, boys. You help each other."
"So?" the twins chorused.
"So you can do by yourself. Bill, around noon, heat up some leftovers; I think there's half a pot roast in the icebox. And if you find you're still hungry after cleaning out the ice box, then make sandwiches."
"Yes, ma'am," Bill said.
"Mum, has my letter from the Dragon Reserve come yet?" Charlie asked.
"Yes, dear, it's on the kitchen table," Mum said, gesturing to the kitchen. Charlie pumped his fists, and hurried into the kitchen. "Oh, Percy, after lunch, could you start on dinner? I've got everything laid out for pot pies."
"Thank you dear," Mum smiled at him, then turned to Fred and George with a determined expression on her face. Charlie re-entered the room as Mum advanced on her older set of twins.
"Now, before you start on your room, I want you to fix Percy's hair."
"Mum!" they groaned. "We told you," George said.
"It'll go away on its own," continued Fred.
"Just wait a few days!" the twins finished.
"I don't want to wait. Fix his hair. I want no pink hair in this house when I come back, are we clear?"
"Yes, Mum," they grumbled.
"Good," Mum said, a little more gently, and hugged the two. She then entrapped Ron into her arms, then Percy, who patted her stiffly on the back, then Bill, and finally Charlie, who was focusing on the letter in his hands. Ginny, bouncing up and down on the balls of her feet, waited while her brothers said good bye a little impatiently. In the back of her mind, her imaginary friend's side, she heard a train whistle, and snoring. She guessed He was asleep.
"Good bye," Mum said. Mum stepped over to her, and opened the door. Ginny turned to go, but hesitated. Then she turned back, and ran to Bill. Bill grunted theatrically as she collided with him. She hugged him tightly around the middle.
"Bye, Bill," Ginny said.
"Bye, Firefly," he said with a kind smile. "See you after lunch." Ginny grinned at him, and then, waving to her other brothers, she skipped out the door, grabbing her mother's hand as she went.
In the yard, Mum led her to the family's beat up Ford Anglia, while fiddling with the keys to the car. After they climbed in- Mum let her sit up front!- Mum started the car and they rolled out of the yard and down the dirt road to the highway. They drove for about half an hour, and by the time they reached the village, it was past nine thirty.
"What are we doing first, Mum?" Ginny asked as her mother parked the car in front of the local grocery.
"I thought we'd go window shopping," Mum said, opening her door. Ginny got out too, locking her door as she went.
"Good girl," Mum beamed at her. "Come on, there's a flea market over yonder. I'd thought we'd have a look."
"Why would someone sell fleas?"
"Oh, it's just a name. A flea market is a collection of little shops that sell various things. You never know what you'll find in a flea market."
"Okay," Ginny said. She took her mother's hand, and they left the parking lot. Mum and Ginny talked about this and that while they walked down the road. Mum told her about the day she received her Hogwarts letter, and Ginny laughed loudly at her mother's memory of accidentally getting her Uncle Gideon's letter instead of her own. Since the pair of them both had mild dyslexia, they hadn’t paid close enough attention to the name’s on the front of the envelope or the “Dear Miss/Mr. Prewett.”
"It really said you had already passed your OWL's?" Ginny giggled.
"It did," Mum chuckled. "And your uncle was very confused at his lack of OWL results. Oh, the look on his face when he saw his first year book list; I thought he was going to have a heart attack."
"I'm glad I got my letter, and not Percy's," Ginny said. "I bet I would have been the youngest prefect in history!"
Mum laughed, and then pointed. Ahead, there was the local Muggle high school's soccer field. It was crowded with people, cars, tables, boxes, and all sorts of things.
"Whoa," Ginny gasped.
"Your first flea market."
"Come on!" Ginny squealed, and tugged her mother forward. They spent the next hour wandering through the little stalls and vendors. They didn't buy anything other than a bag of cotton candy. Around ten thirty, Mum suggested they head back into the village and get some brunch. That's when she saw it.
It was a display set up over two long card tables. Covering it was a mix of objects: stuffed animals, porcelain dolls, packs of cards and paper weights. But what caught Ginny's eye was the display of jewelry. Specifically, a necklace with blue and whitish stones strung along it. Most of the items were in boxes, and the saleswoman was loading the boxes into the bed of a rusty pickup truck.
"Mum, look!" she pointed, and her mother looked.
"My, my, that is pretty," Mum said. Ginny ran over to the stand, her eyes fixed on the necklace.
"Hello, hello!" said the woman attending the stand. She looked old, older than Ginny's mother, but her eyes, bright green, glinted with mirth and youth. She brushed off her hands, and stepped forward. "See anything you like?"
"That necklace," Ginny said, pointing to it. "It looks very interesting." And it did. The chain was silver, and other little chains branch off from it, with little white stones that shone blue in the light at the ends of each little chain.
The woman smiled and nodded. "You have a good eye, little girl. That necklace has quite a story behind it."
"Oh, yes. It's been in my family for years. The story goes that my great-great-great-aunt received it as a gift from the man she hoped to marry."
"Yes. Now, this man was a sailor, but a very kind one. He loved my aunt very much, so much, he asked her to marry him. Somewhere, there's an engagement ring that matches the necklace, but it was lost decades ago. But before they were married, the man was sent out to sea."
"What happened then?" Ginny asked. Behind her, Mum placed a hand on her shoulder.
The woman held up her hands. "Nobody knows for sure. Some say he died of scurvy. Some say his ship was wrecked and he drowned. But the most common tale is that he met a very pretty French maiden, and that was that. My aunt, of course, was heart broken. When she got the news about her fiance, she got sick."
"Sick? Did she catch a cold?"
"Nope. She got melancholia."
"Melancholia; means she got really, really sad. She got so sad; she stopped eating; stopped sleeping, just sat there, and cried."
"Then what happened?"
"Well," the woman put her hands on her hips, looking down at the necklace, "the story gets garbled again after that. Some say she starved to death. Some say she got the influenza, and died of that. Others say she jumped off a cliff."
Ginny gasped, clapping her hands over her mouth. The lady nodded.
"Yep, she was that sad. There's another theory bout what happened to her, though, one I'm more inclined to believe."
"What is it?" Ginny asked, lowering her hands, and looking up at the woman eagerly.
The woman glanced around, then leaned forward and said in a hushed voice. "Some say my aunt was a witch. They say she made a magic potion and turned herself into a…."
"A marigold flower."
"Yep. They say she turned herself into a flower. And now the marigold is a symbol of sorrow and hard times."
"Wow," Ginny said, now looking at the necklace with new interest.
"How much is the necklace?" Mum asked.
"Well," the lady crossed her arms, "it depends on whether or not you're willing to take on the curse."
"What curse?" Ginny asked.
"Those who believe my aunt to be a witch think that before she became a flower, she cursed the necklace so that anyone who was unfaithful, but wore it was doomed to an unhappy life alone."
"I'm not unfaithful," Ginny said.
"Well of course you're not," said the lady.
"But how much is it?"
"Oh, twenty quid, if you're willing."
Mum nodded, then started going through her purse.
"Are you going to buy it Mum?" Ginny asked excitedly.
"Do you like it?"
"Are you going to wear it?"
"Right then," Mum pulled out her coin purse, and riffled through it until she had an assortment of Muggle money. Mum fiddled with it, then handed the lady two ten pound notes. Ginny felt glad that Dad had drilled how to use Muggle money into them. "Here you are," Mum said.
"Thank you kindly, ma'am," the lady said, smiling. "You go right ahead and try on that necklace, love," she said to Ginny.
Ginny lifted it up, and undid the clasp.
"Let me, sweetheart," Mum said, taking it from her. Mum put it on her, and Ginny grinned down at it.
"Thank you!" Ginny said. Then, her stomach rumbled. Mum and the lady laughed while Ginny blushed.
"Best get that one fed," the lady chortled.
"I will, come along, Ginny," Mum took her hand, and they turned to go.
"Miss?" Ginny asked.
"Are you closing?"
"Yeah, I am, I've got to go meet my daughter at the train station. Why?"
"Just curious," Ginny shrugged. "Bye!"
"Bye," she said, waving.
Mum led her away, through the many stands, back to Main Street, to find a nice place for brunch.
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