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SIYE Time:21:42 on 17th September 2021


The Unforgettable Forgotten Birthday
By cwarbeck and Athea

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Category: Alternate Universe
Characters:All, All, Harry/Ginny, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley
Genres: Fluff, General, Humor
Warnings: None
Story is Complete
Rating: PG-13
Reviews: 168
Summary: It wasn’t everyday that a girl turned sixteen years old, but in the midst of the confusion brought about by eccentric relatives, odious cousins and commando gnomes gone berserk, no one in Ginny’s family seems to have remembered the important occasion! However, there was still hope… will one special boy actually make this forgotten birthday an unforgettable one?
Hitcount: Story Total: 29708; Chapter Total: 7606
Awards: View Trophy Room




Author's Notes:
Well, this is it. The last, extremely fluffy chapter. It's been immensely fun working together, and we hope that sometime in the future, we might manage to finish another story - maybe even before Deathly Hallows comes out!

Our love to Chreechree, for her fantastic beta skills and support and for her ideas on the commando-gnomes-gone-berserk scene. Heck, she practically wrote it! Our gratitude to everyone who voted this story as Best Comedy in the January DSTA. What a birthday present for both of us - and we only recently found out that we share a birthday! LOL.

Yes, we totally made up the stuff about Squibs and gnomes. And yes, the last part is wholly based on the last scene of the movie Sixteen Candles. Happy Valentine's Day!





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Chapter Five


“So,” said Harry disbelievingly, as they were sitting around the living room later that evening, “are you telling me that you never knew that Cleotilde was a Squib?”

“Yeah! We had always been told that she had gone to Beauxbatons, like Sherman the Git,” Ron replied. “Who would have thought? No wonder she’s such a spoiled little brat. Her parents tried to make up for her being a Squib.”

Ginny smiled contentedly. She was lounging in her favourite overstuffed armchair, her feet dangling over the side. Harry had settled himself on the opposite armchair, and Hermione and Ron were sitting together on the settee. The adults were all in the kitchen, talking about the events of the day.

Apparently, the Death Eater threat had been neutralized, and it was deemed safe enough that all the aunts and uncles could return to their homes tomorrow morning, albeit under heavy guard from the Order.

The twins had said good-bye shortly after the Cleotilde fiasco, claiming that they had a lot of work to do at their shop; they had come up with an idea for a new product after talking to their mum. Ginny had overheard them excitedly discussing how they could devise a miniature version of the Mermaid mirror charm that Mrs Weasley’s gang had ingeniously created. “Portable Peepers! Think of the possibilities!” The twins were practically beside themselves with glee.

Cleo had disappeared into her parents’ room after lunch and had refused to come out again, no matter how much her father pled, and no matter how many times the gnomes kept hurling themselves at her window. She had been heartily embarrassed by the fact that her secret had been found out.

Hermione had explained to a confused Harry that garden gnomes could always tell which wizards or witches were actually Squibs — something to do with pheromones, apparently — and tended to follow a Squib around like adoring fans. Uncle Heathcliff had broken down and emotionally confessed that, yes, Cleo was a Squib and they had tried to cover it up all these years, but could you really blame them for doing so? He then got into a bit of a shouting match with Uncle Bertram when the latter had offered to send for a Kwikspell course; Mrs Weasley had to give Uncle Heathcliff a very healthy dollop of a calming draught and sent him off to bed to recuperate.

Hermione gave Ron a light slap on the arm. “That’s not a very nice thing to say about your cousins, Ron,” she admonished.

“Hermione!” Ron turned to the brown-haired witch, clutching his arm and pretending to be mortally wounded. “Ouch! That hurt! My arm’s still sore from the de-gnoming, you know.”

“Don’t be such a baby, Ron,” Hermione sniffed, but she was smiling at him.

Ginny and Harry exchanged glances and stifled their laughter. Since that morning, Hermione and Ron had been inseparable, and were quite affectionate towards each other. Even the twins’ merciless teasing had not stopped Ron from holding Hermione’s hand as often as he could. The only time Ron willingly left Hermione’s side was when Mrs Weasley ordered him, Harry and the twins to chuck out the gnomes that had run amuck in the garden.

In a desperate attempt to reach Cleo, several of the gnomes had tried to smuggle themselves into the house by hiding in a bowl of sprouts that Mrs Weasley had been carrying into the kitchen, and one intrepid little bugger had managed to get inside by climbing the ivy growing along the wall of the house. It had startled Aunt Tessie when it dropped onto her head while she was using the loo, and the resulting uproar had sent poor Dodo, who had been balanced precariously on the bathroom sink, into a prolonged conniption that he had yet to recover from.

Ron stood up and stretched his lanky frame. Then he turned to offer his arm to Hermione. “Um, would you care for a walk?” he asked shyly.

Hermione smiled charmingly. “Why, thank you, Ron. I’d love to.” She took his hand and rose from her seat. “What about you two? Harry? Ginny? Would you like to join us?” she asked.

Ginny giggled softly when she saw Ron glaring and shaking his head frantically at her and Harry from behind Hermione’s back. “Oh no, I think I’ll stay here, Hermione. I’m feeling too lazy.”

Harry was grinning at Ron. “Yeah, me too. You two go on ahead. Maybe we’ll catch up with you two lovebirds later,” he said. At Ron’s pleading look, he hastily added, “Or maybe not. I’m knackered from all those spectacular belly flops that I did at the pond.” He waved them off. “See you in the morning.”

Hermione looked at them uncertainly. “All right, if you’re sure…”

“They’re sure. C’mon, let’s go,” Ron tugged at her hand impatiently, and Hermione let herself be dragged out of the house, giving a little wave as she left.

Ginny and Harry burst into laughter. They were still chuckling softly when the peculiar smell of tuna fish mixed with violet water wafted towards them, and Uncle Bertram and Auntie Tessie, who had Dodo perched forlornly on her shoulder, entered the living room.

“No manners, that Heathcliff,” Uncle Bertram was loudly complaining to Aunt Tessie, who was paying more attention to Dodo than to her husband. “I could have got that Kwikspell course for him at half the price, you know. Why, Mr. Wylie from next door already has a Repeated Course Repeater discount, and I’m sure he wouldn’t mind letting us use it.”

Aunt Tessie stopped fussing over Dodo and the alarming amount of feathers he was shedding all over the floor, when she saw Harry and Ginny smiling at each other.

“Oh look, Bertie, don’t they look adorable?” Aunt Tessie sighed dotingly. “Young love is so grand, isn’t it?”

Uncle Bertram beamed good-naturedly. “I say, you two make quite the handsome couple.” He leaned down and pinched Ginny’s cheek, much to her horror. “Such a beautiful lassie, you are.”

Ginny could hear Harry sniggering quietly in his chair, but his laughter was cut off when Aunt Tessie patted his head in turn, much like the way she had been patting Dodo a while earlier. “And you, young man, such a good-looking boy. You two will have such pretty children.”

Ginny’s face was generating so much heat that she wondered why The Burrow was not yet ablaze. She peeked at Harry and was mortified to see that he, too, had turned a bright scarlet and was blinking up at Aunt Tessie in confusion.

“Um, Uncle Bertram, Harry and I are not—”

Just then, Dodo gave a pitiful sort of croak and toppled slowly from Aunt Tessie’s shoulder. “Merciful heavens!” Aunt Tessie screamed, catching Dodo before he could plummet to the ground. “Bertram! Do something!”

Uncle Bertram grabbed the strange bird and started blowing into its beak, whilst he ran up the stairs towards their room. “Tessie!” he yelled, in between breaths, “grab the Attenborough Advanced Emergency Resuscitation Potions Kit from your bag!”

“I’m on it!” Tessie shouted back, hurtling up the stairs behind him then jostling him out of the way.

As the sounds of their frenzied footfalls disappeared, Harry and Ginny stared blankly at each other for two seconds until Harry snorted loudly, and they both dissolved into hysterical laughter. Ginny was laughing so hard that tears were falling from her eyes. Harry was doubled up, clutching at his stomach as he tried to stop laughing.

“Sorry about that, Harry,” Ginny gasped out when her giggles finally died.

“No worries, Ginny. Although I am a bit concerned about Dodo.” Harry picked up a bright purple feather off the floor and began chuckling softly again.

Ginny let out a snort. “I need to get a glass of water. Do you want one, Harry?”

Harry shook his head. “No, I’m fine. I just need to catch my breath. Thanks, Ginny.”

Ginny stood up, wiping the tears from her eyes and headed to the kitchen. She was glad that Dodo’s dramatic collapse had removed any potential awkwardness that might have come up between Harry and her, after Aunt Tessie’s comments about them having beautiful children. Pondering this seriously, Ginny became lost in visions of a pretty, green-eyed, red-haired daughter until her Dad’s voice startled her from her musings.

“Hello, Ginny.” Arthur Weasley stood up from the kitchen table where he had been nursing a mug of coffee. He went to Ginny and gave her an enormous hug, kissing the top of her head lovingly.

“Hi, Dad,” Ginny said after he released her. “Not that I’m complaining, but what was that for?”

Mr Weasley looked sadly at his only daughter. “Ginny, your mum and I are so sorry! Because of all the excitement, we completely forgot that it was your birthday!”

Ginny felt a smile creep across her face. “That’s all right, Dad. I was sure that you would remember eventually. And it has been a madhouse around here today.”

“But we forgot!” A new voice wailed from the back door. Mrs Weasley hurried in and threw her arms around Ginny. “What kind of parents are we?” she started to cry into Ginny’s shoulder.

“Mum, really, it’s all right.” Ginny patted her mother on the back, holding back a laugh at Mrs Weasley’s show of emotion.

“Oh, and I was beastly to you when I saw you in that swimming costume,” Mrs Weasley sniffled, dabbing her eyes with her pinny. “Hermione gave you that as a present, didn’t she? She told me just now, when I saw her and Ron in the garden. She’s a good girl, that Hermione. And a good friend too, since she was the only one who actually remembered it was your birthday.” She blew her nose noisily on her apron. Ginny looked helplessly at her father.

“Now, Molly,” said Mr Weasley as he put an arm around his wife and guided her to the kitchen table. “How about a nice cup of tea, eh?” He Summoned a chipped blue teacup from the sink and tapped it with his wand, filling it with hot chamomile tea.

“Really, Mum, I’m not angry with you,” Ginny said, sitting down beside her mother. “I have to admit, I was a bit crushed this morning, but the day’s turned out brilliantly though, so no worries.”

While her mother was still sniffling quietly into her tea, Mr Weasley placed a small, brightly wrapped package on the table in front of Ginny. Ginny looked up at her father, her smile evident in her sparkling eyes.

Arthur chuckled softly. “Well, go on and open it,” he said encouragingly.

Ginny quickly tore the paper from the package to reveal a black velvet jewellery box. Her eyes grew wide as she opened the box and saw a delicate gold locket displayed on white satin. “Mum, Dad, it’s beautiful!” Ginny exclaimed breathlessly.

Her Mum’s spirits seemed to lift considerably. “It’s charmed to show you a picture of anyone in the family. All you have to do is hold it and say their name. Why don’t you give it a try?”

Ginny held the locket gently in her hands and quietly said “Charlie,” She opened the locket to reveal a smiling picture of her older brother. He waved and winked cheekily at her. She winked back, showed the picture to her Mum and Dad, and closed the locket.

She pictured her other absent brother and said, “Bill.” This time, much to her growing delight, the locket revealed Bill’s face.

She closed the locket and turned to thank her parents when Harry’s voice called to her from the hall.

“Ginny? Is everything okay in there?” He paused in the doorway as his eyes darted from Mr and Mrs Weasley, to Ginny, to the crumpled wrapping paper on the table. Comprehension seemed to register in his eyes and he smiled at Ginny.

“Harry,” Ginny said softly, still holding the locket and smiling back at him.

As if sensing it was present-time, two owls arrived at the kitchen window, tapping the glass impatiently with their beaks. As Mrs Weasley and Harry hurried over to let them in, Mr Weasley nudged Ginny’s shoulder and whispered, “Open it.”

Ginny looked at him questioningly, but quickly opened the locket. There, surrounded by an oval of small gold, was a charming picture of Harry smiling shyly at her. She beamed at her dad and looked back to the picture of Harry.

“Well, he’s family too, isn’t he?” said Mr Weasley rather knowingly, as he helped fasten the locket around Ginny's neck.

The owls swooped down to deposit their parcels on the table and then soared away again.

Ginny opened the smaller box first to reveal an intricately knotted leather bracelet with a single peridot gem embedded in the clasp. “Ooh, it’s brilliant,” she said, fastening the bracelet around her left wrist as she read the short note from Charlie.

Hey Squirt, hope you receive this on time. I almost forgot to send it to you and then I had a ruddy time finding an owl to deliver it at the last minute. Sorry I couldn’t come home for your birthday, but I hope to see you all next month.

She admired the smooth polished stone and the complex design of the soft leather. “Thanks, Charlie,” she whispered to herself.

She eagerly reached for the next package which was wrapped in brown paper. “Turkish Delight!” Mrs Weasley cried out in pleasure when Ginny had torn the paper off. She offered her mum the open box while she perused the letter from Bill, who was on assignment in Istanbul.

Happy birthday, Ginny, and sorry if this arrives a bit late. Had some problems with some of the tombs at the Archaeology Museum in the Topkapi Palace. I’ll tell you all about it when Fleur and I get home. Be sure to give Mum some of the pistachio ones that she loves so much.


Ginny grinned and looked up to see Mrs Weasley popping another large piece of the sweet in her mouth. Ginny was about to reach for her own Turkish Delight when a bedraggled owl flew in and landed with a loud thud on the table, clutching a large package in its talons.

“Errol!” Ginny exclaimed, standing up to examine the bird to see if it was still breathing. Errol opened a bleary eye and hooted feebly at her, sticking out its leg. Ginny hastily untied the package, and Harry picked up the owl to give it some water.

“It’s from the twins!” Ginny said happily, noticing the triple W logo of Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes. She opened the package gingerly — it was from the Fred and George after all — and out floated sixteen pearly pink balloons, with the words “Happy Birthday Ginny!” twinkling merrily on each of them. She retrieved a rolled-up parchment from the bottom of the box. When she touched it, it unfurled itself and the twins’ voices echoed throughout the kitchen.

“Ginger Beer!” said Fred’s disembodied voice.

“We’re the lowest of the low!” said George.

“We’re the vilest of the vile!”

“We’re the idiotest of the idiots!’

“What? ‘Idiotest’? What does that mean? That’s not a word!”

Ginny began giggling when Fred stopped his commentary to berate his brother. She saw that Harry was also chuckling quietly and shaking his head.

“It is too a word!”

“It is not!”

“It is too!”

“It is — Oh forget it.” Fred’s tone became exasperated. “Anyway, Ginny love—”

“We’re sorry that we forgot our favourite sister’s birthday!” the twins chorused.

“Sorry we can’t be there ourselves right now,” Fred apologized.

“Yes, we’re kind of indisposed at the moment,” George said.

“George, where are you?” Ginny’s eyes widened as another voice was heard, this one decidedly of the female persuasion.

“Fred darling, we’re waiting!”

Mrs Weasley’s eyes narrowed as yet another woman’s flirtatious tone floated through the air. She glanced at the family clock, where both the twins’ hands were pointing to “Do you really want to know what they’re doing right now?”

“Oh bugger,” Fred muttered.

“D’you reckon this special Recording Parchment will pick that up?” came the worried voice of George.

“Merlin, I hope not,” Fred answered in an undertone, before his voice became louder in order to cover up the suspicious background noises composed mainly of giggling and squealing. Harry and Ginny were openly laughing now, and Mr Weasley was attempting to hide his smile behind his hand. “So, Ginger pie, to make up for it, we hereby offer you these lovely balloons—”

“—all of which will presently burst to give you something of surpassing beauty, to represent our hopes that, one day, you too may become as beautiful as them!” said George.

Ginny rolled her eyes. Only Fred and George could manage to compliment and insult you at the same time.

“Best cover your ears now,” Fred advised.

“We’ll pop in tomorrow so you can thank us in person,” George added.

“Until then, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!”

And with a loud bang, all the balloons simultaneously exploded, covering the entire kitchen with pink and white roses. Ron and Hermione, who had just appeared at the back porch, hurried in. Hermione gave a loud gasp of awe, and Ron and Harry looked dumbfounded.

Mrs Weasley blinked and picked out a white rose that had got stuck in her hair. “Those boys!” She shook her head and gave the rose to Ginny. “Well, you have to admit, they have style.”

“What are all the roses for?” Ron asked then gave a loud yelp when Hermione stomped on his foot. “Ow! Oh, right. Happy birthday, Ginny,” he said sheepishly, leaning over and giving her a kiss on the cheek. “I’m sorry I forgot.”

“That’s okay, Ron. I know you’re complete rubbish at remembering anybody else’s birthday except yours and Hermione’s and Harry’s,” Ginny said, smiling at her brother and her best friend, whose face was a very charming shade of pink. How could she be mad at Ron when he looked so happy with his arm around Hermione? She looked up and caught Harry gazing intently at her. She waited for him to greet her too, but he kept silent. Ginny turned to her mum to hide her disappointment.

“We’d better gather all these roses, Mum, before we drown in them,” she said nonchalantly, bending over to collect some of the numerous blooms.

“I’ll take care of it, Ginny,” Mrs Weasley offered. Taking out her wand, she transfigured several old tea cups into elegant clear cut glass vases. She pointed her wand at the flowers and they arranged themselves gracefully in the vases. She waved her wand another time, and all but one vase — which flew to the windowsill — disappeared. “There, I’ve sent the rest of them to your room. Now, as it’s getting quite late, I think you should get to bed, the lot of you. We’ll have a proper birthday party tomorrow, my dear, I promise.” She patted Ginny’s arm affectionately. “I’ll make you a special breakfast, all right?”

“Thanks, Mum,” Ginny nodded, hugging first her mother, then her father, before bidding them both a good night.

Hermione, Ron and Harry also murmured “Goodnight”, and the four of them turned to trudge up the stairs. When they got to Ginny’s door, Hermione kissed Ron softly on the cheek and made her way into the room. Ron drifted clumsily up to his room below the attic, a goofy grin on his freckled face, leaving Harry and Ginny alone in the darkened hallway.

Ginny’s senses seemed to have become heightened as she stood close to Harry. She could hear the faint clatterings from Percy’s room where Aunt Tessie and Uncle Bertram were still apparently trying to revive Dodo. The heady fragrance of roses wafting out from the open door of her room made her quite lightheaded, and she was very conscious of the intoxicating nearness of the black-haired, bespectacled boy of her dreams.

“Well,” she said, as Harry silently stared at her with those startling green eyes. “Good night, Harry. See you tomorrow.” She turned to go but was surprised when he gently caught her wrist.

“Ginny,” he said softly, turning her hand to hold it in his own. “I’m sorry I didn’t realise that it was your birthday today.”

“That’s okay, Harry. I’m glad I got to spend it with Hermione, Ron and you.” Ginny marvelled at the warmth of his hand on hers. “Especially with you,” she added shyly, peeking at him from under her lashes.

“I’m glad, too. Today was one of the best days of my life, particularly that part when we were at the pond together, and you were in that new bathing costume of yours. Thank Merlin for Hermione and her brilliant gifts, right?” He smiled cheekily at her blush and gave her hand a small caress with his thumb, making her shiver even though the night was warm. “But still…”

He fumbled around for his wand, gave it a little flick and conjured up a rather squashed-looking chocolate cupcake floating in mid-air. It had a single white candle on it. “Good thing I’m allowed to do magic now, yeah?” he said proudly, then whispered another spell, and the candlewick sputtered to life, its tiny flame reflecting off Harry’s glasses. “I wanted to wish you a happy birthday. I don’t have a gift for you, Ginny, but…”

She looked up at him to see his emerald gaze on her mouth before his eyes drifted up to meet hers, and she read the unspoken question in them. She nodded mutely, feeling a thrill of anticipation run through her entire body as Harry slowly lowered his head to place a gentle kiss on her lips. Her eyelids fluttered shut, and all she could think of was that Harry was kissing her, kissing her in front of her room in her mother’s house, kissing her like that, and this was absolutely the greatest birthday ever.

As Harry’s mouth moved over hers, sending the most marvellous sensations racing up and down her back and causing a dizzying explosion of lights in her head, Ginny dimly thought that not only was this the best birthday ever, but Harry was undoubtedly the most fantastic kisser in the world.

When they finally, reluctantly, broke apart, he grinned at her and said, “Wow. I’ve wanted to do that since I saw you this morning when you came out of the bathroom.”

Ginny giggled, feeling weak in the knees. “Are you mental? I looked awful, Harry! My hair was sticking out all over the place like a banshee!”

Harry brushed a strand of her hair off her face, gazing at her intently. “You looked wild and untamed and absolutely stunning. I always think you’re beautiful, Ginny.”

She felt a warm glow at his words. He thought she was beautiful!

“And to be completely honest, I’ve actually wanted to kiss you since the middle of last school year.”

“What?” Ginny’s eyes opened wide in shock. She looked up at the ceiling and shook her head. “Well, you better start making up for all that wasted time, Harry.”

“Yes, Ma’am,” Harry said obediently, laughing as she arched her eyebrows at him. He put his hands on her waist and kissed her again, this time a bit more ardently. Ginny slid her arms around his neck and returned his kiss with equal fervour. Both of them were breathless when the kiss ended.

“That was totally brilliant, Ginny.” He sighed happily, then grabbed the cupcake and held it out to her. “Now go on, make a wish before this candle burns out.”

“Oh, there’s no need for me to do that, Harry.”

He looked puzzled. “Why not, Ginny?”

She placed one hand on his cheek. “Because,” she whispered softly as his mouth slowly curved into a brilliant smile, “it already came true.”

*end*

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