It was getting dark and the air was turning cold, but there was
still a hint of orange light above the Forbidden Forest. Ginny checked
her watch. She had ten minutes to walk from the front gates to the
castle before curfew. Ten minutes to savor the fact that she was now
engaged to Harry, that she was wearing his ring, and that in five short
months they would be together always.
She hugged herself and
giggled. Life was so very, very good right now, which meant everything
around her was beautiful – the bare trees, the muddy path, the inky
water of the cold lake.
As she headed toward the gates, she
heard the whisper of a ‘pop’ as Luna Lovegood Apparated next to her.
Ginny stopped while Luna got her bearings.
“Hi, Ginny.” Luna
smiled and brushed a lock of fair hair out of her eyes. “I’ve been
Apparating ‘round the countryside instead of going to Hogsmeade.”
“You’re so quiet when you Apparate,” Ginny marveled.
“I have to be, otherwise I’d disturb the Diricawls in the nest I’ve been watching.”
managed to finally remove that wart on my finger,” Luna continued
brightly as they walked through the gates. “I don’t like to take
potions and I had heard that you can rid yourself of hangnails, moles,
or warts if you can pin-point Apparate.”
“Pin-point Appa –”
“Right.” Luna nodded. “You just concentrate on the parts you want to leave behind.”
course, it doesn’t work as a weight loss method,” Luna continued.
“Zelda Grimsley thought her bum was too big and tried to take some of
it off. Of course, she ended up lopsided and the Magical Reversal Squad
had to sort her out.”
Luna stopped in the path and shook her
head. “I would think a bum that was whole and big would look better
than a bum deformed and small.”
Ginny giggled. “Yeah.”
Luna cocked her head and regarded her seriously. “You’re happy.”
warmth she had been feeling ever since Harry had pushed that blue
velvet box across the table spread all through her. “I am. Luna, look.”
She held out her hand so Luna could see the shiny ruby ring on her
Luna’s eyes widened. “Oh, it’s the most
beautiful red.” She took Ginny’s hand so she could examine it closely.
“It glows like a Clabbert’s pustule.”
Ginny laughed in delight. “It does, doesn’t it?”
“And you’re glowing, too,” Luna said softly. “Are you betrothed to Harry now?”
Ginny started to tremble and she didn’t know why. Perhaps because it
seemed so fantastic to hear those words said out loud. It was a
comfort, though, that Luna didn’t look shocked or surprised – but then,
Luna tended to take most fantastic things in stride.
stared at each other for a moment and then Luna squeezed her hand.
“It’s not everyday you change your life,” she said simply.
“Oh.” That was the reason for this emotion – it wasn’t that she was doing the wrong
thing – it was that she was doing a very important thing. A very
important, wonderful thing. Ginny gave Luna’s hand a grateful squeeze
back. “I just can’t quite believe it yet,” she explained.
“Some things are hard to believe,” Luna agreed and then indicated that they should continue walking.
seized her again as they reached the walls of the castle. Soon very
soon, she wouldn’t be a school girl anymore and her new life with Harry
“Just in time, Weasley,” the Head Girl snarled as Ginny and Luna approached the Entrance Hall stairs.
Ginny looked at her watch and then with dislike at Miranda Smith. “Brilliant observation.” She didn’t bother to wait for Miranda’s answer but continued up the stairs.
“What’s her problem anyway?” she fumed to Luna as they reached the first landing.
“You’re prettier than she is,” Luna answered matter-of-factly.
“What!” Ginny stopped.
shrugged. “You’re prettier and more popular and she thought she wanted
to be Head Girl, but it’s a lot of work, so she’s jealous you went to
Hogsmeade and she couldn’t.”
“Did she tell you this?”
“No,” Luna answered.
puffed up two more flights of stairs while Ginny considered what Luna
had just told her. Miranda Smith did look like her cousin, Zacharias
Smith, and while a bloke might be able to carry off that nose, it
simply didn’t look very feminine on a girl. Ginny had no idea if
Miranda was popular or not – she was too busy to notice.
don’t get it,” Ginny finally said. “Why would Miranda be jealous of me?
She was nice enough last year when I was worried about Harry and Ron
and Hermione. And besides, she’s a Quidditch Captain like me and Head
Girl to boot.”
“Maybe because this year you’re really happy,” Luna said.
course she was happy. Even though she was apart from Harry, the war was
over and her family had survived intact. She had a lot to be grateful
for. “Why would my being happy take anything away from her?”
Luna shrugged. “It doesn’t. But it’s a mark of a friend to be happy when you are happy.”
was so true that Ginny felt even more grateful that Luna was the first
person she had told her exciting news. “You’ve always been like that,”
she said softly. “When Harry and I started going out. When he defeated
Luna swallowed and then smiled. “I’ll miss you.”
Ginny gasped. “How did you know we were planning on going to New Zealand?”
Luna blinked. “I didn’t. I just assumed we wouldn’t see each other very much after you got married.”
of course we’ll see each other!” Ginny said hotly. “I mean, we won’t
for that year we’re away, of course, but when we come back....”
“I hope so,” Luna said.
a chill, Ginny realized that there were all sorts of changes she hadn’t
considered now that she was getting married. Harry liked Luna well
enough, but Ginny really couldn’t picture the three of them hanging
around together. Actually, she was having a hard time picturing what
her life was going to look like at all.
Luna put her hand on Ginny’s arm. “Don’t worry, Ginny. It’s just change.”
If it was just change, why were her emotions see-sawing like this?
see-saw effect continued during her long walk to McGonagall’s office
the next day. Her parents had requested a Floo conversation and
McGonagall had granted it. While Ginny was glad Harry had wasted no
time in telling them the news, she wished she had more to time to
prepare for the inevitable arguments that she was too young to be
getting married, and that she should wait to finish her education and
career training first.
With her head full of arguments and
counter-arguments, she barely acknowledged the portraits who greeted
her, or Peeve’s rude declaration that she was going to be a “Potty,”
because she must have been “naughty.” She was so intent on her parents’
objections that it didn’t really register that they weren’t objecting
until a minute into the conversation.
“I just wanted to see
you,” Mum said tearfully from the flames. “I remembered how happy I was
when I got engaged. And I wanted to see your ring. Harry told us about
Ginny numbly put her hand into the fire so Mum could examine it. “Ah. Yes. It suits you,” she said.
her father’s head had crowded into the fireplace. “Ginny, I know you’re
very young,” he began as Ginny’s heart sank. The lecture was coming.
“And if it was anyone but Harry –”
else would it be, Dad?” she retorted without thinking. She had been
given enough grief when she had gone out with Michael and then Dean,
and she was still sensitive to the notion that she was a heartless
He smiled. “I know,” he soothed. “It’s always been Harry for you.”
“Dear boy,” her mother cut in. “I knew from the minute he asked how to get on to the platform that he was special –”
Ginny had thought so and she wanted to ask Mum more about this, but Dad cut her off. “Yes, Harry is our choice for you. But –”
“But what?” Ginny snatched her hand out of the fire and narrowed her eyes.
I want to be completely sure that you understand the seriousness of
this commitment,” he said. “Marriage is every day, year in and year
out. While your friends are out having new experiences –”
“I’ll still have new experiences, Dad. I’ll just have Harry to share them with.”
“That’s right.” Mum nodded. “He’ll be there for you. That’s why I’m satisfied.”
stung her eyes. So often in the past Mum hadn’t understood what Ginny
wanted in her heart of hearts. She didn’t get the importance of playing
Quidditch or being independent or not being treated like a baby, but
Mum did understood love.
“Don’t you think I know what marriage is?” she addressed her father. “After watching you and Mum all these years?”
cocked his head and regarded her, his face shimmering in the flames.
And then he smiled. “I’d like to think we were a good example to all of
“You were,” Ginny said thickly.
And that, Ginny
realized later on that night, settled that. She had the full support
and blessings of her parents to marry Harry. It was a relief and a
revelation to realize that her happiness made them happy.
Ginny soon found that she had the support of her brothers, although they expressed it in different ways.
letter was full of amazement that his sister (He knew better than to
use the word, ‘baby.’) was old enough to leave Hogwarts and get
married. He then waxed lyrical about his own marriage and his
excitement about Fleur’s pregnancy and expressed the hope that Harry
and Ginny would be as happy as they were. Ginny could almost hear Fleur
protesting that choice of words: But zat is not possible – for them to be as ‘appy as we are!
Charlie rarely wrote, so his short letter was a welcome surprise. In typical Charlie fashion, he got right to the point:
Ginny, of course we’ll be there for the wedding.
of the long, expensive journey he and his wife, Kathleen, would make
from Romania – just to make that sentence true – made her sniff back
tears over her porridge bowl.
Percy’s letter was formal and stiff, but full of emotion – just like Percy in real life.
congratulating them in the correct terms of etiquette that no one ever
used these days, Percy also wished them as much happiness as he and
I, too, was able to marry the person of
my choice, the one who had been there for me in good times and bad
since we were little more than children, and for that I am grateful
It made her wonder if Percy whispered
these long speeches in Penelope’s ear or if he just cut to the kissing
to tell her how he felt. After seeing them together in that empty
classroom so long ago, Ginny felt that kissing was probably the
preferred method for both of them.
Fred and George sent a
letter together on Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes letterhead. Ginny could
tell George wrote it since he had better handwriting.
many extravagant expressions of awe that Ginny had managed to hide her
true personality from Harry all these years, and promises to give Rita
Skeeter the exclusive interview of how their line of love potions had
done the trick, they took credit for Mum and Dad’s reaction:
told you that returning to Hogwarts for your seventh year, would give
you a leg up with Mum and Dad. Since you went along with them on
schooling, now they can’t deny you permission to stare adoringly Harry
Ginny snorted at that – Harry would
hate it if she fawned over him – although she had the feeling Fred and
George each longed for that type of a girlfriend.
Ron’s letter was barely decipherable, but Ginny read it several times and she finally caught the gist of it:
has been moping around all winter, but he’s happy now. Mum is also
happy – she has Bill and Fleur’s baby to look forward to and a wedding.
That’s all she talks about – prams and cots and Aunt Muriel’s tiara and
which days are predicted to have the best weather this summer. Hermione
isn’t due back until September, but I know she will come home early for
your wedding. Are you happy about going to New Zealand?
last bit worried her. Ron never asked questions in a letter since his
idea of corresponding was to air his complaints about whatever was
irritating him that particular week or to enthuse about the latest bit
of news concerning Quidditch standings. She would have to ask Harry how
Ron had really taken the news.
found Luna’s assertion about true friends and happiness to be a telling
one in the following weeks. Some of her classmates were genuinely happy
for her, some were jealous, and some – like Rita Skeeter’s column in The Daily Prophet hinted at and Peeves proclaimed loudly – thought she must be pregnant.
was nothing she could do to quiet such rumors, since she knew that time
alone would exonerate her, but it was still galling to have that
bandied about. When the news trickled out that they were moving New
Zealand, there was a fresh wave of skepticism.
doesn’t want to be an Auror, why doesn’t he try out for a professional
Quidditch team?” one of her Chasers asked her before their last match
of the season against Ravenclaw.
Ginny was so startled at that
question, she didn’t think to rebuke Andrea for not keeping her mind on
the upcoming match, like any good Captain would. “What?”
was a brilliant flier,” Andrea answered as she pulled her Quidditch
robes over her head. “I can’t believe he would let all that talent go
“You have to be able to fly through all conditions to do search and rescue,” Ginny said sharply.
Andrea shrugged. “You’d think the bloke would want a little fun, that’s all.”
stopped Ginny cold. Would Harry have “fun” doing search and rescue or
would he be better off doing something a little more frivolous with his
time? As her mother had pointed out often enough, Harry had never had a
happy childhood or much peace of mind until now. Ginny was so used to
Harry making the decisions, to her following his lead, that it gave her
quite a start to realize that she had a different responsibility toward
him now. Hermione was no longer going to be around to give Harry
“Are we playing or not?” Dennis Creevey asked.
shouldered her broom and pushed all thoughts of Harry and public
opinion out of her mind. “We’re playing and we’re going to win.”
one hour of play, they were winning the match – seventy to twenty,
Gryffindor over Ravenclaw. But Ginny didn’t want to Dennis to catch the
Snitch until Gryffindor had one hundred points. They would then win the
Cup over Hufflepuff if they could just amass enough points.
heart soared. It was a windless, sunny day. Andrea and Demelza were
playing brilliantly. If they won, this would be her third Cup as a
player and her first as Captain. It would be brilliant to leave
Hogwarts in a blaze of Quidditch glory. Charlie would be so proud of
her – the family had two Weasley Head boys – and now they would have
two Weasley Captains with Cups. She just wished Harry could be here to
What Harry didn’t see and what she didn’t see,
either, was Miranda Smith falling off of her broom. She also didn’t see
Miranda Smith’s rogue broom accelerate and speed straight toward her
while she was waiting to receive Andrea’s pass during the Porskoff Ploy
she had just signaled.
When she finally saw the rider-less
broom zoom out of the blue sky, it was too late to move out of the way.
It was too late to even scream before it pierced her abdomen.
A broom pierced her abdomen? That should hurt.
Being impaled by a broom – a Clean Sweep Seven, she noticed – should
do more than narrow her vision to a tunnel of black with just a pin-dot
Madam Pomfrey was right to transfer her here. Massive internal trauma.
Nicked an artery.
All mended now....
Ginny heard disembodied voices and wondered who they were talking about.
opened her eyes and noticed a torch burning in a bracket on a
mint-green wall. What an ugly color. Then she saw the flash of a rich,
vivid green under glass. Now that was a beautiful color – in fact, it
was her favorite color in the whole world.
She closed her
eyes, thinking of spring green and living hopeful things. When she woke
again, her mind was clearer so this time she could tell that she was
really looking into Harry’s eyes.
“Ginny?” he breathed.
“Was that really a Clean Sweep Seven?” she asked before she lapsed back into unconsciousness.
Her mother’s brown eyes greeted her the next time she woke up. “Mummy, where’s Harry?”
“He just stepped out to have something in the tea shop, he’ll be back.”
had come back from defeating Voldemort, so he should easily return from
the tea shop. But they weren’t married yet, so technically he could
leave her forever....
Blue eyes looked into hers next. “Dad, where’s –”
“Harry is right here, love.”
A tremendous sense of peace overcame her when she saw Harry’s face. “You didn’t leave.”
“I’m not ready to wake up yet,” she said, closing her heavy eyelids.
“That’s the potion they’re giving you. They don’t want you to move around too much. It’s better you sleep.”
wanted to ask him to stay and never leave her, but she didn’t. She
hadn’t done that when he went after Voldemort and she wouldn’t ask now.
“I’ll be here,” he said as if reading her mind.
spent the next seven days in and out of consciousness. When she finally
woke from the potion-induced coma, she was greeted by a phalanx of
Healers circled around her bed.
“Miss Weasley?” said the older Healer with white hair and kind blue eyes. “How do you feel?”
She felt as if she had been trampled by a herd of Centaurs followed closely by a herd of Hippogriffs and she said so.
The Healer laughed. “No, just one little broom did all that damage. But you’re on the mend.”
Ginny sighed and wondered if she was hungry or if the pain in her stomach was from the accident. “Am I hungry?”
“Probably,” the Healer said.
“The fiancé?” He smiled and indicated the door. “He’s waiting impatiently to see you.”
“And he can,” said a younger Healer in a no-nonsense manner, “as soon as we finish examining you.”
submitted to the exam and listened to everything her team of Healers
had to say to her. Since she was young and healthy, she had managed to
avoid an infection. As far as they could tell there were no wood
splinters in her abdominal cavity and they had replaced all the blood
she had lost during the “extraction.”
It was all a little
overwhelming and she was a bit suspicious of the continual reassurances
that she going to be back to normal in no time. She must have been hurt
badly if they kept saying that.
At last they were finished and
she could see Harry again. That was the silver lining in the cloud, she
thought ruefully. She hadn’t thought she would see Harry until the term
He looked pale and tired and very worried when he
finally stepped next to her bed. “Do I look as washed out as you?” she
asked, suddenly self-conscious that she hadn’t combed her hair in a
A smile slowly spread across his face. “Is that a trick question?”
smiled back and realized by the stiffness of her lips that besides not
combing her hair for a week, she hadn’t smiled for that long either.
“I’m so glad you’re here,” she said, reaching for him.
He sat on the bed and gathered her in his arms. “Where else would I be?”
She rested her head on his shoulder and breathed deeply. “I don’t know. Doing something important.”
His hand was gently stroking her hair. “This is important. You are the most important thing to me.”
She sniffed. This was going to take some getting used to – being the
most important thing in Harry’s life. Always he had other friends,
other worries, other interests and now suddenly, she was it. She
He lowered her gently back on to the pillows. “You should rest.”
“I’m all right,” she murmured, enjoying the support of the pillows.
“I should go and let you sleep.”
“Talk to me for a little while,” she coaxed. “I’ll be good and just lie here.”
eyes narrowed when she promised to be good but he didn’t move from his
perch on the bed. “What do you want me to talk about?”
thought of his sketchy letters and all of the topics they hadn’t
discussed since getting engaged. “What exactly did Ron say when you
Harry raised his eyebrows, but answered. “He said,
‘Married? Cool.’ Then he was quiet for a minute and he said, ‘It’s
Ginny – right?’”
“Idiot.” She giggled and then winced because her stomach was still sore.
Harry grinned. “He was happy for us – but I think it kind of rattled him since I don’t think he’s ready for that step.”
“Have you heard from Hermione?” Ginny asked. “I’ve written her two letters and she hasn’t answered either one.”
Harry pushed up his glasses. “Ron’s been worried about her, too. She’s
in Shangri-La now and you know what an isolated place that is.”
“Yeah, but two months for a letter?”
“It’s not just distance, the government there is very repressive. They read everything going in and out.”
Ginny snorted. “Is Umbridge Prime Minister or something?”
“Sounds like it.” Harry shook his head. “Hermione is the first British witch to visit in years.”
“How did she manage that?”
was that paper she wrote about civil service systems and how to
streamline them for effective magical governing – or whatever the hell
the title was.”
Now Ginny remembered. That was why Hermione was taking her gap year to study various magical governments around the world.
“I just hope she doesn’t try to reform them.”
does Ron.” He idly took her hand. “But Hermione has learned her lesson
with the house-elves – you have to take changes slowly.”
She sighed. “All my changes have been coming pretty quickly.”
“I know.” He squeezed her hand. “Sorry....”
“It’s not your fault I was in a freak Quidditch accident,” she said wearily.
“I know. But I still feel bad for you.”
she said, tears pricking her eyes. “You’ll make me cry.” He
looked so worried at that threat that she had to smile. “And you would
“I would,” he said, his expression lightening.
“So,” she said, sniffing. “What are the papers saying?”
His eyes were wary. “You really want to know?”
“Let me guess. I lost ‘the baby’ and now you don’t want to marry me.”
“It was the cliffhanger for last year’s Days of Destiny – although it wasn’t a Quidditch accident –” She tried not to giggle. “It was a fall off of an actual cliff.”
Harry wasn’t smiling over this soap opera absurdity, in fact he looked...worried.
“What?” She felt that there suddenly wasn’t enough air in the room. “Did the Healers tell you I couldn’t have children?”
“No,” he said hastily. “You’re okay. They didn’t see any damage. They just said you shouldn’t get pregnant for a year at least.”
She could feel her face warming. That was something they had never
talked about, since they had never done anything that would make her
pregnant. But now…. “Is that okay with you? I mean....”
Yeah.” He sounded relieved, but he looked at the floor instead of her
face. “I mean I want children – but, um...” He glanced over at her. “I
kind of wanted you to myself for awhile.”
She let out her breath. That was just the way she felt. “I know; me, too.”
shoulders slumped and then he leaned over to kiss her. She wrapped her
arms around him and pulled him on top of her. “I’m too heavy,” he said
against her neck.
“No, you feel good.” She had just had a
glimpse in her mind’s eye of a sweet little boy with green eyes and she
had been filled with such longing....
But she had Harry now,
she reminded herself. For a whole year it would be just the two of
them. And then…She hugged him tightly. Whatever happened they would
face together – hadn’t her parents taught her that about marriage?