The Harry Potter Universe belongs to J. K. Rowling. I'm just borrowing the characters for a while. This is for pleasure only, no profit is being made, and no copyright infringement is intended.
The morning after the four Weasley boys left for Hogwarts, Molly set to work planning the final year of home-schooling for her only daughter. As she was enjoying her first cup of tea, she summoned a quill and some scrap parchment and began to list what she would teach Ginny.
Molly talked to herself as she wrote. 'Cooking would give Ginny many of the skills she'll need in Potions at Hogwarts. Even Percy said that Professor Snape was not fair with Gryffindors.'
Arthur came down the stairs and kissed her before he sat at the kitchen table. 'I'm glad you finally got some sleep, Mollywobbles. What you remembered yesterday was quite a shock, to both of us. I hope you will not dwell on what might have been but look forward to the future.' He opened the Daily Prophet and began reading the front page as Molly brought him the tea things and a rack of toast. 'This is going to be a busy day at the Ministry. I've just time for a cup of tea and a bit of toast. What are you and your only pupil going to do today?'
'Ginny and I are going to make a stew for our dinner. It's very like preparing ingredients for a potion,' Molly explained as she continued to jot notes. 'She'll have to learn how to cut the meat into cubes and season the flour to dredge it in. Then she will have to master how to regulate the flame on the cooker with my wand to sear the meat. This afternoon I'll teach her to cut the vegetables into the proper-sized chunks. I'll tell her when to add which vegetable and light the hob for her but she will cook it herself. Be prepared to eat it and compliment her on how tender and tasty it is tonight at dinner.'
'I hope she has inherited your cooking genes, Molly. I'll see you both this evening.' Arthur rose and kissed her on his way to the fireplace. He threw some Floo powder in, said 'The Ministry', and whirled away in a cloud of green smoke.
Molly sent his cup and plate into some soapy water and ate some toast before she climbed the stairs to Ginny's room. Her only daughter was not a morning person so she clutched her pillow and snuggled further down into her covers when Molly tried to wake her. 'Five more minutes, Mum!'
'You need to eat breakfast so we can get started on your lessons." Molly used her firm voice. 'I want to teach you some laundry charms so we can wash the sheets on your brothers' beds. When we finish the laundry, we can start on your cooking lesson. You are going to make a stew today."
Ginny moaned. 'Do I have to do both the laundry and the cooking?' She began to sit up. 'Just let me go to the loo and get dressed.'
Molly climbed up the stairs to the room that had a sign saying 'Ronald' on the door. She blinked a bit at the orange Chudley Cannons posters but summoned Ron's bedding, folded his quilt and put it on the end of the bed, and sent his sheets and pillowcase down to the laundry cauldron. She came down the stairs but paused outside the door of Fred and George's room. It paid to be cautious about what you touched in there. They had cast some pretty annoying spells on their bureau drawers and closet. She wondered again why the Office of Underage Magic didn't seem to notice. 'Well, better to be safe rather than sorry,' Molly said as she summoned the sheets and pillowcases while still standing in the hall and sent them down with the other bedding. 'Ginny can learn laundry charms on these three beds. I'd better get dressed.'
Ginny was pouring herself some more tea to go with her toast and jam when Molly came back to the kitchen and looked at the pile of sheets and pillowcases piled next to the big cauldron. 'Have I taught you any spells for doing washing?" she asked.
'Not yet,' Ginny said with some confusion. 'I thought you were going to teach me how to make stew.'
'We can start washing bedding before you begin to cut up the meat and onion for the stew. Finish your breakfast and I'll let you use my wand to heat the water in the cauldron for your brothers' sheets.' Molly levitated the bedclothes into the large laundry cauldron.
Ginny drank her tea and ate another piece of toast. 'Won't I get in trouble for doing underage magic?'
'You'll be using my wand under my supervision, so it is as though I am doing something I do routinely several times a week,' replied Molly. 'The cauldron fills with the right amount of water when you put clothes in it but you have to heat the water and add soap and start it agitating. The water heating charm is 'Estus Unda!' Add a half cup of soap when the water is steaming.'
Ginny followed instructions carefully and watched the sheets soaking in the hot soapy water. She carried her plate and cup to the sink.
'The agitation incantation is 'Concuto'. Point carefully so nothing else starts churning about,' advised Molly. She watched as Ginny carefully pointed the wand and said the incantation. 'Well done! I made two cupboards dance the first time I tried to agitate washing. Now we can start on the stew while the sheets wash.'
Molly and Ginny washed their hands and put on clean aprons. Molly demonstrated the size cubes that the meat was to be cut into. 'You'll find it easy to prepare ingredients for potions after doing a few stews and some chicken and dumplings.'
Ginny used a knife to cut the meat into cubes until the warning voice from the cauldron yelled, "It's time to spin the water out."
Molly told her to be careful to point the wand right at the washing cauldron and say, 'Unda Sicco!' clearly. She told Ginny that when the cauldron stopped spinning she should add clear water by saying 'Eluo!'
Ginny watched the washing spin, added water, and said the agitation incantation again, 'Concuto!' The sheets began moving all about the rinse water in the cauldron.
Molly said they could go back to work on the stew because the cauldron would call out when the sheets were ready to spin the rinse water out. 'It costs a bit more to get the warning voice but saves time because you can do other household tasks while the cauldron is washing. I wonder how the Muggles know when their laundry is done with just those big square boxes. Your father says they just push buttons but I don't know where they get the buttons.'
'Maybe they cut the buttons off their clothes before they wash them,' ventured Ginny.
'That must be it. Your father says they have machines for sewing. I guess they could sew the buttons back on with their machines after the wash is dry.' Molly looked confused by Muggle ways of doing things.
'Now, we can get back to work on your stew. You need to mix some flour and pepper and salt and dredge the meat cubes in it. When you finish that, I will light the hob and pour some oil in the stew pot.' Molly was summoning bags of flour from the cupboard and the big salt and peppershakers from the stove. 'Just drag the meat around in the flour and set it off to one side.'
Ginny had seen her mother make stew so was able to get the meat ready to brown in hot oil. 'Is this right?' she asked.
Molly nodded, summoned a bottle of oil, and poured a bit in the bottom of a pan on the cooker. She lit the hob with a quick "Incendio" and regulated the flame by pushing her wand down. 'Be very careful adding the meat, one chunk at a time!' she admonished Ginny. 'You want it to brown on all sides but not get too dark.'
Ginny proved to be an apt pupil and soon the meat was browned to Molly's liking. 'This knife is enchanted so that it chops and dices on its own. Your father says it works like a 'vego something', but it is just a regular kitchen knife charmed to dice.' Molly gave the knife to Ginny and told her to tap the onion. The knife cut the onion into small pieces. Ginny added it to the browned meat.
'Now use my wand and think that you want to add enough water to cover the meat in the pan,' she said, nodding approvingly as Ginny followed her directions. 'Push the wand down and think of the flame lowering.'
The laundry cauldron shouted, 'Are you going to rinse these sheets all day?'
Molly told Ginny to do another 'Unda Sicco' to spin the water out so they could take the sheets out to the clothesline. 'After you hang the sheets out in the sunshine, we'll take a break and listen to Days of Destiny. Then I want you to spend some time reading the first-year Charms book that Ron didn't take to Hogwarts. Fred and George needed two of everything so we have some books that haven't fallen apart yet.'
Ginny hung the sheets on the clothesline and came in to listen to the episode with her Mum, just as she had done most of her life. When it ended with a cliffhanger, she went out in the garden with a Charms book and read until Molly called her for lunch. After she ate lunch, Ginny weeded a while, fed the chickens, brought in the dry bedding, folded it and left it at the foot of the beds, and went off to the broomshed to get a broom so she could practice flying. When she went back up to her room to read more of the first-year Charms book, she promptly fell asleep.
At around four o'clock, Molly woke her. 'Now you can prepare the vegetables to add to your stew. I made bread and it has nearly risen enough to bake.' Molly summoned a bag of potatoes and a bunch of carrots from the vegetable cooler. 'You need to wash and then peel the potatoes the Muggle way, with an un-charmed knife.'
Ginny prepared the vegetables, cut them in the size pieces Molly told her to, and added them to the stewing meat and onions. 'It smells wonderful," she said. "I can't believe I made this myself.'
Molly looked at the Weasley family clock and said, 'Your father is still at the office, so you have plenty of time to set the table for the three of us before you tidy yourself up for dinner. Prepare for compliments on your first stew,' Molly said with a smile. 'I am so proud of how well you followed directions.'
Arthur praised Ginny's stew that night and listened as she told him about learning to do the washing and what had happened on Days of Destiny that morning. As they finished dinner, the owl that Molly and Arthur gave Percy when he was appointed as a prefect flew in the open window and landed by Arthur. Ginny ran to get Hermes an owl treat as Arthur began to read,
Dear Mum and Dad and Ginny,
It is with great pleasure that I write to inform you that your four younger sons arrived safely at Hogwarts. During the trip on the Hogwarts Express, I spent a great deal of time in a Prefects' Meeting where I learned more about my duties and met the other new Prefects. I spent the rest of the trip patrolling the train to keep order. Unfortunately, I was forced to admonish the twins for encouraging their friend Lee Jordan to bring a non-approved pet to school with him. Fred and George just don't seem to realize that their actions and those of their friends reflect poorly on them when they have a brother who is a prefect.
However, you will be very surprised but pleased to learn that your youngest son, Ron, seems to have made friends with none other than Harry Potter. They rode in the same compartment on the Hogwarts Express. The Sorting Hat took a long time about it, but finally sorted Harry Potter into Gryffindor, an honour for our house. When it was Ron's turn, the Sorting Hat shouted, 'Gryffindor!' very quickly. So Ron will be sharing a room with 'The Boy Who Lived".
The Welcoming Feast was magnificent as usual and I was proud to lead the first years to Gryffindor Tower and tell them the password. I am enjoying the duties and privileges of being a Prefect.
Percy I. Weasley
'So Ron and Harry Potter will live in the same room for seven years,' Molly mused. 'I wonder if Neville Longbottom is a Gryffindor as well.' Molly had a sudden memory of three tiny boys sitting in a circle with their parents talking about how they would probably be Gryffindors. She shook her head and thought she'd better ask Arthur when that was. She'd wait until she thought the time was right.
The rest of the first week of September, Ginny cooked and Arthur complemented her on every dinner. Ginny continued to learn more household charms and began to learn to bake cakes and make bread. She and Molly began to harvest the garden and store vegetables and dry flowers for the coming cold weather.
They all wondered how Ron was doing at Hogwarts but had no news until the night of September 12th when Percy's owl Hermes tapped at their window during dinner. Ginny ran to let him in and he flew straight to Molly. She took the letter and asked Ginny to give him an owl treat.
'It is from Percy, but Fred and George have written something, as well.' Molly began to read aloud.
Dear Mum and Dad,
The new academic year has started very well. It is a big responsibility to be a Prefect but I am bearing up well. I am associating with the Prefects from the other houses. Naturally, I am also spending a great deal of time working on my studies as well as performing my Prefect duties. Your youngest son Ron is always with his new friend Harry Potter. They have all their classes together.
Speaking of Ron's friend, I was very surprised when Professor McGonagall insisted that he try out for Seeker for the Gryffindor Quidditch team. He was chosen even though he is a first-year. He will be the youngest Seeker in one hundred years. Fred and George continue as Beaters for Gryffindor. We have a chance to win the cup this year even though we have not won since Charlie was our Seeker.
Give my regards to my little sister.
Your son Percy
'I wonder how Harry Potter learned to fly with those Muggles taking care of him. I'd like to play Chaser for Gryffindor sometime. You said that Fred and George wrote, too. Do they say anything about my toilet seat?' asked Ginny
'Percy has a fine hand but their writing is much harder to read. Arthur, can you make this out?' Molly handed the parchment to Arthur.
Arthur read slowly,
Harry is just the right built… no that's 'build'… for a Seeker. Oliver Wood wants to keep Harry being our new Seeker as a surprise.'
Arthur looked up and said, 'I think Fred wrote that and this part is in George's writing.' Arthur turned the parchment a bit,
Harry is going to be our secret weapon.
F. & G.'
'Harry Potter is going to be the Gryffindor seeker, He will be brilliant!' Ginny exclaimed. 'I wonder why Ron never writes. He promised he would.'
'Perhaps you should write him a letter asking how he likes Hogwarts,' suggested Arthur.
'Now, let's see if your chocolate cake tastes as good as it looks. As I recall, the oven had to call you three times before you took it out,' said Molly with just a hint of exasperation. No one commented on the rather dry cake. 'Now you can wash up the Muggle way,' said Molly as she and Arthur went into the lounge to read and listen to music from the Wizarding Wireless.
Ginny finished cleaning up after dinner and sat at the kitchen table writing to her next oldest brother.
How do you like Hogwarts? Is Harry Potter nice? Does he have his own broom? How did he learn to fly if he lived with Muggles? Please write back and answer. I will send you some biscuits if you do.
She brought her letter to Molly who read it and tied it on Hermes to take to Hogwarts.
Molly fell asleep that night thinking of the three stuffed Snitches that Harry got for his first Christmas. She remembered Ron and Ginny playing with them long after Fred and George were too old for Snitches that hovered that low. Arthur also dozed off thinking about Quidditch and how he could help Ginny become a better flyer.
The next morning, Arthur suggested that he and Ginny take a walk before breakfast and he told her that they would try to go to one Quidditch game, but that he could not promise anything. He also told her he wanted to spend some time with her on Saturdays while the weather was still fine. 'I know you have been practicing flying for a while, but when you play Chaser you'll have to be able to fly and throw and catch at the same time. I can run alongside and throw apples for you to catch while you fly around. I'd be in big trouble with your mum if I whizzed around on a broom.' Arthur smiled as he said, 'And I don't want to be in big trouble with your mum!'
Arthur and Molly were just finishing breakfast on the following Saturday when a Hogwarts owl tapped on the window. Arthur let it in and put some owl treats on the counter. 'Molly, this is the very first letter we've ever gotten from our little Ronnie,' said Arthur, clearly moved. 'I think I can read his writing more easily than Fred and George's hen scratches.' He started to read,
Dear Mum and Dad,
Harry got a Nimbus 2000 even though first years can't have brooms. It was brilliant the way it came and Malfoy is hopping mad.
'Well, he doesn't waste words,' said Molly with a smile. 'Do you suppose Malfoy is the son of Lucius Malfoy? I really wonder who bought Harry the Nimbus 2000. That's a fairly expensive broom.'
Arthur nodded. 'I expect so. He'd be just a little younger than Ron. But speaking of brooms, I've been thinking that our Ginny needs to spend some time outside doing some healthful exercise. I could use more exercise, too,' Arthur added, patting his stomach. 'I'd like to spend some father-daughter time with her every Saturday while it's warm enough. Maybe we could play catch and she could do a bit of flying and I could do a bit of running.'
'Splendid idea," said Molly, clearly touched and near to tears. "This is the last year our baby will still be a little girl. She'll be gone to Hogwarts this time next year. I can use the time to do a bit of shopping and visit the other Witches and Stitches members."
Arthur looked relieved. Helping Ginny master Chaser skills was going to be easier than he thought. No sense doing anything that Molly would question. 'Mollywobbles, have I told you how much I love you yet this morning?'
Now Molly blushed.
A/N- Ginny's Last Year of Home Schooling is a continuation of The Early Years but that story does not need to be read to understand this one. Molly can remember some things about her friendship with Lily Potter but does not remember what happened on November 1, 1981.
Amamama, St. Margarets, Crumplehornki, and girlyswot read an early version of this chapter, which was posted on LiveJournal. They all made good suggestions about what to keep. My Beta at Phoenix Song is Trelawney 2213 and she is invaluable.