(Author's Note: My
second Harry Potter story, written shortly before the release of OotP,
re-written to take into account that book and now edited once more,
slightly, to include Harry's beast, among other things, but it's still
a sixth year story set shortly after OotP)
all started last summer, just before my fifth year at Hogwarts began.
Harry had come to stay after his horrible aunt and uncle made his
summer absolute hell. They're just pure evil, they really are.
Eventually Professor Lupin and Mad Eye Moody came and took him away. He
was brave to stick it out there, though. I just can't imagine what it
must be like living with people who hate you.
course, sometimes I live with people I hate. Honestly, sometimes Fred
and George are just... Grrrr! It's even worse when Bill's at home. I
love them dearly, but put the three of them together and it's like
messing about in Potions. You know it's going to end up with trouble.
That morning, of course, it was me who got it.
swear, those brothers of mine will do anything to embarrass me. And now
I'm getting older, they seem to think they have to work extra hard.
Which they do, but I wish they didn't get it exactly right, every
Especially when Harry's there.
were talking about our cousin Stephanie's wedding, and what we'd all be
wearing. And then George said something about who'd be the first to get
married. And Fred started grinning, like he always does when him and
George have the same thought at the same time. It's really spooky.
"So, who'll be the first one of us to get married?" he said. Of course, him, Bill, and George all looked at me.
"Why me?" I asked. "What, because I'm a girl, I have to go off and get married first? Thank you very much. You know that I had my first boyfriend when I was fourteen? That was quicker then any of you boys did. And it was nice. Maybe I'll date other boys. Maybe I'll start dating men. Maybe I'll be thirty before I marry, or forty. Maybe I'll be one of those women who have a string of torrid love affairs and leaves broken hearts all over Europe."
They didn't have to laugh quite so much. I mean, it's not that impossible. I'd just finished with Michael, after all, and even if I wasn't really going out with Dean, my brothers didn't know any different.
Bill managed, after laughing for about five minutes. "The only thing
that will stop you getting married is finding enough green material to
make your dress match your bridegroom's eyes."
was almost really sweet, except Harry and Ron chose just that moment to
come down for breakfast. Of course, they heard everything. If I've
discovered one thing about our crazy old house over the years, it's
that anything embarrassing is bound to be overheard.
just sat there, and it was just like I was eleven all over again. I
could feel myself going red--not pink. Ron says I go pink because I'm a
girl. Honestly! -- and I just couldn't move. Even after everything that
happened last year, even though Harry and I fought side by side in the
Department of Mysteries, there are still times that this happens. It's
just so bloody annoying! I guess I should just be grateful it doesn't happen very much anymore.
course, Ron was grinning like an idiot. He can be like a dog with a
scent when there's a joke to be told, and he was trying to pry the
story out of Bill. Bill actually had the decency to try and keep quiet,
but I could see that Fred was just bursting to tell.
I think Fred is the worst of my brothers when it comes to this sort of
thing Sometimes he's just completely blind to other people's feelings.
George can be quite sensitive at times, but then, he is the older twin.
Maybe that's it?
I'm rambling now, aren't I? Sorry, I do that when I get talking about
my family. There's so many of them, and I am pretty fond of them all.
Fred was on the verge of telling the joke again, which would have had
all four of my brothers in hysterics. And then, of all people, Harry
asked me if I wanted to go for a walk! I think he knew that Fred was
going to embarrass me, and I think Harry's been hanging around Ron long
enough to know a bit about chess. I mean, Fred was absolutely
gobsmacked. It's like when we play Ron at chess, and we build up this
huge attack, and Ron moves his knight--always his knight! You would
think we'd learn! - and checkmates us. Anyway, Harry was just
like that. One sentence, and Fred was completely thrown. He looked like
he did that time he fell off his broom in the paddock. Completely
stunned. It's a moment I'll treasure.
the best thing, the very, very best thing, is that because Fred looked
so funny, I didn't even think about what Harry had said! I just said
yes, as though it were perfectly natural. Me and Harry, going for a
walk, perfectly natural. Yes, I could get used to that.
before I get carried away--and I do get carried away when I'm talking
about Harry. Not as much as I used to, thank heavens--anyway, we
finished breakfast, and Fred got stuck with the washing up. Serves him
right. Mum made him do it without magic, too, which was wonderful.
and I went out to the meadow behind the house, and we climbed a tree.
Can you believe Harry Potter has never climbed a tree for fun? The
simple things a person can miss out on. I used to do my best thinking
in that old tree out there. Harry told me about a Devil's Snare he had
to fight with Ron and Hermione once, but I told him that it doesn't
count because Hermione had to save him. Still, he told it in a very
funny way, and whenever he got to Ron's part, he had this sort of a
funny look on his face. He made Ron sound really silly, and I was
laughing so much I nearly fell out of the tree. In the end, he said
that it had been Hermione and Ron who'd beaten the Snare. Still, it was very funny hearing him tell the story. Not a side many people see of Harry, I expect.
told me all about the first year, about meeting Voldemort. He sounds so
brave, and the way he was talking about Hermione and Ron, like they
were the ones who got him all the way to the final confrontation... But
then he asked me:
"Will you tell me about your first year, Ginny?"
just froze. I've never talked to anyone about it, not really. Not Mum,
not Dad, not even Charlie or Hermione. But I thought that maybe I'd
been waiting, and I'd feel better for telling. Besides, Harry and
Voldemort? He needs to know everything he can. I suppose that's what
made him ask.
I told him. I told him everything. About Tom, about the diary, about
how he took control so slowly I didn't notice. The whole story lasted
nearly two hours, and Harry didn't say anything. I was just finished,
when mum called us in to lunch. As we were walking back, Harry said:
"I'm sorry I didn't talk to you about this before now."
was sweet of him, I think. After lunch--and Fred was still really
quiet, which meant that me and Bill talked a lot. George looked a bit
worried about Fred, to tell the truth. They really would be lost
without each other--after lunch, Harry and I went back out to the
meadow, and Harry told me things about my second year I didn't know.
It's like I know the whole story now, how the whole time the three of
them were working to try and find out what the monster was.
weird, looking back on that time. It made me who I am today. The Ginny
who started Hogwarts, who was chasing off after Harry Potter and
blushing and freezing whenever he looked at me... She wouldn't have
fought in the Department of Mysteries. She wouldn't have dated Michael
A part of me died when Voldemort - let's call him Tom
- possessed me, but the Ginny who came out of that, after she
recovered, she wasn't that different. Same feelings, same strengths,
same weaknesses... It's hard to put a finger on it. By the time I
finished my second year, though, I knew that there was something
different. My work had improved, as though I already knew some of the
spells. I suppose Tom must have learnt them, years ago. With that came
a new confidence, and I think that this was what led to me being able
to compete on equal terms with Harry last year. He's a great guy, but
you can tell that there are times when he's just not at all sure of
what he's doing, or where he's going. He's very short on
self-confidence at times, which is something I seem to have in
once we were finished talking about that year, Harry took my hand.
Looking back, I think it was pretty much the first time he ever touched
me, apart from in the Chamber. At the time, though, I was thinking of
something else and I barely noticed. He said he was sorry that he
hadn't been quicker, that he hadn't been able to stop things before
they got so bad, that he should have realised things were weird long
before he did. It was like he was blaming himself for it all.
then I saw it. Harry was acting like he was to blame for everything! I
realised then that after all my years of Harry-watching, I can read him
a star chart, and right now the shape he was making was the Morose
Seeker. How could he be so stupid! So I pushed him out of the tree.
really, it was the only thing to do. He was so funny! He just looked at
me from down on the ground, and rubbed his bum where he landed on it.
He looked really hurt, like I'd interrupted something. Which, I
suppose, I had. A moment of international class brooding. Well, stuff
that. So I climbed down and pointed out that if he hadn't known I was
going to push him out of the tree, how could he be expected to know
that I was to blame for the attacks, or that Voldemort--I said the
name!--would come back or, well, anything!
"The only thing you're to blame for, Harry Potter, are your dreadful Potions marks," I said.
"That's Snape!" he said. "The git hates me!"
started him off on the story of his third year, and how everything came
down to him, Hermione and Ron all stunning Snape in the Shrieking
Shack. That was a story I'd heard bits about from, well, Sirius the
previous summer, but never all of it. When Harry told me about how all
three of them used the same spell at the same time, I nearly died I was
laughing so much. It was wonderful!
just then, Ron came out with Hermione. She'd just got to the Burrow by
the Floo network from Diagon Alley. It was so nice, the four of us
sitting out there, talking about the adventures they'd had. Ron kept
trying to beef up his part, although he did do some really brave
things. Imagine facing all those spiders when you're arachnophobic! I
was so proud of him - not that I'd ever let him know it. The only thing
worse than Ron acting all proud and pompous is Percy doing it, and
there's not much between them, to be honest.
Of course, once Ron heard what Harry was talking about, he started chipping in with his
versions. Not very like Harry's at all, but very funny. I really think
Ron's starting to grow up. I mean, he was the hero in his version, of
course, but the way he told it was so funny that you could tell he was
joking. And one other thing... Whenever he told us Hermione's part, you
could see how proud he was about whatever she did. Except for turning
herself into a cat. He had to go have a drink from the stream he was
laughing so much.
the whole rest of the holidays were wonderful. The four of us spent all
of our time together, and when we went to Diagon Alley we just walked
right past Draco Malfoy. He was sneering about something, but it was
like it was coming from really far away. It just didn't matter.
Mind you, with his dad in Azkaban, Draco himself doesn't really matter these days.
course, the holidays had to end, but I didn't really mind. We all went
on the Hogwarts Express, and it seemed like all of Gryffindor House was
in our compartment at some point. Seamus Finnegan and Lavender Brown
were about the only people we didn't see, but Colin told me that he saw
them sneaking into one of the empty compartments. I suppose it was just
like Percy and Penelope when I walked in on them in my first year.
then, at last, Hogwarts. I love school so much, but this year just
seemed like it was going to be extra special. Of course, it wouldn't be
a normal year without Hermione and Ron bickering about something. And
then Ron had to go off and get one of his trademarked stupid ideas...
Honestly, he was only trying to impress Hermione. It's so obvious.
Well, let's just say that Ron should never be left alone in the library
again. Who knows what he'll come out of there with next?