Usual disclaimer: This world, and the wonderful characters that inhabit it, are all J.K. Rowling's. I just like to play.
Author's note: Many thanks to my new beta-reader, Jedi Boadicea, who's made me think even more about Ginny than I already love to do, and who also reacts just the way I want her to. :-) Also, many, many thanks to Arabella, who, besides allowing me to steal her story format and give cameos to Gwen and Miss Vauclain, paid me the huge compliment of saying that she couldn't beta-read my story, because she didn't want to contaminate her idea of Ginny with mine. Even if it's an exaggeration, it made me glow!
Author's note 2: Ten points to Ravenclaw for anyone who guesses Joanna's identity.
My name is Ginny Weasley, and you have the unenviable task of being my diary.
I'm glad to meet you, Ginny Weasley, but why do you say unenviable? I was the diary for an Emma Weasley, oh, years and years ago - if you're related to her, you must be a wonderful girl.
My great-grandmum. That's one of the reasons Mum chose you. She thought I was ready for a diary again, and I suppose I agree with her. I had a really bad time with another diary when I was younger, but I'd rather try to put that behind me, and not talk about it right now.
All right, Ginny. You tell me whatever you want to tell me, and don't tell me what you don't. In the meantime...do you have the Weasley red hair and freckles?
Oh, yes, unfortunately. And the Weasley temper, but I'm working on that.
I'm glad to hear it. What was the other reason your mother chose me?
Well, you see, she knew your history, and she hoped you would help me deal with...you see, I'm in love with a boy who doesn't love me back.
Oh, you poor dear. We'll have to do something about that. How old are you, Ginny?
I'm fourteen, and I know that's too young to have the love of your life, but I really think I do.
Ginny, I would be the last person to say that's too young - I married at fourteen, after all - but I do think it unusual. Why don't you tell me about him?
Joanna, if I start, I'll never stop! His name is Harry Potter, and I'm sure you've heard of him, but he's more than just the hero who defeated the Dark Lord. He's fun, and smart, and so brave, and vulnerable, and sweet, and always polite to a little girl with a crush on him. And that hair, and those eyes -
Wait a minute, Ginny, calm down. What color are his hair and eyes?
You mean you don't know? I thought everybody knew what Harry Potter looks like! He has black hair that's always messy - I just want to run my fingers through it and smooth it down. And the greenest eyes you could ever imagine...they're like looking into trees on a sunny day. He wears his fringe long to try to cover the scar from You-Know-Who's curse, but it still shows. Sometimes it's so faint you can barely see it, and sometimes it's almost purple, and all puffy, like at the end of last year when You-Know-Who returned to his body. Uh, you did know about that, right?
Oh, yes. Miss Vauclain keeps us informed on current events. It must have been horrible to watch Harry go through that.
Horrible doesn't even begin - and the worst thing was that I couldn't do anything! He barely knows I exist, after all. I'm just Ron's little sister. Ron's my brother, he's Harry's best friend. Ron and Hermione were with him the whole time - well, almost - but I couldn't help him, I could only watch.
Is this Hermione Granger?
Yes, how did you - oh, you must know Gwen! I didn't speak to you that day in Miss Vauclain's, though...
No, I was someone else's diary then. But I heard all about Hermione when I got back - Guinevere can't say enough about her. Oh! Oh, Ginny, I'm so sorry, but I just put it all together - you're the sister of Harry's best friend, and you had a bad experience with a diary before - you must be the girl who opened the Chamber of Secrets.
Yes, that was me.
Breila, how brave of you to have a diary again! I will try very hard not to pressure you to tell me anything you don't want to, though I have to admit it will be difficult - you sound like a very interesting young lady already.
You...you think I'm brave?
I'm glad to hear that, because I'm in Gryffindor, and I haven't felt very brave, just sitting back and never doing anything about my feelings for Harry.
Like I said, we're going to do something about that.
But what? I've been living in the same House as him for three years now, and nothing's - Wait a minute. Sorry, Joanna, but my mum's calling me to help get dinner ready. Why is it that there's four boys in the house, but whenever something needs to be done, it's always the one girl who has to do it?
That's one of life's great mysteries, Ginny. But if you're the only one who's going to help your mother, you'd better go do it.
Right. Bye, Joanna.
Dear Joanna, Later
Well, that was a typical dinner at the Weasley house this summer.
What happened, dear?
Mum and Dad talked to each other so quietly that we couldn't hear them, Percy tried to act like he knew what they were talking about and just didn't feel like joining in, Fred and George talked quietly to each other about their joke shop, and Ron just stared into space, ignoring everybody.
Percy, Fred, George, and Ron are all your brothers?
Oh, yes, they're all my brothers, but they're not all of my brothers. Bill went back to Egypt a week ago, and Charlie is in Romania with his dragons.
You have six brothers?
Yes. I know it's unusual, but that's another thing Weasleys are known for - big families.
Well, it's unusual now, but I had many more siblings than that, at least if you count half-blood. Are you the only girl, Ginny?
Yes. I hate it, no one takes me seriously. Ron and I used to be good friends before he went to Hogwarts, but now that he has Harry and Hermione, I'm just his little sister.
And what did you do at dinner?
Nothing. It didn't used to be this way - we used to have such fun at dinner, but now with You-Know-Who back...but every time I get depressed about how bad I have it here, I think about how much worse it is for Harry, and then...and then I feel worse.
Well, to make yourself feel better, why don't you tell me more about Harry. How did you meet him?
Oh, well, I grew up knowing about him, of course - he was famous since he was only one year old. The first time I saw him in person, though, was on Platform Nine and Three-Quarters on September 1st, Ron's first year at Hogwarts. He didn't know how to get through the barrier - he grew up with these absolutely horrible Muggles, his mum's family, that's who he's with over the summer. So he asked Mum for directions. Now I can't believe it, but I didn't even really notice him, I was so wrapped up in Ron - my best friend and favorite brother - going away from me. Then Fred and George came back off the train and said who he was, and I wanted to get another look at him, but Mum said he wasn't to be gawked at.
You know, I think I'm going to like your mother.
Well...I like her myself. Anyway, so I didn't really meet Harry then, but I thought about him a lot, and then imagine my surprise when Ron's first letter came (in November), and he mentioned that they were best friends. I lived for his letters even more after that, but Ron wrote about Harry so rarely. When Ron came home for the summer, I wanted to talk about him - you know, find out what he was really like, and all - but all Ron wanted to talk about was how he beat Professor McGonagall's giant chess set and helped Harry get the Sorcerer's Stone. And won fifty points for Gryffindor. You heard about all that from Gwen, right?
Good. So during that summer, Harry didn't answer any of Ron's letters, so he got worried and went to get him from his Muggle relatives. Of course, he didn't tell me he was going to do it, so one morning I came down to breakfast in my nightgown and saw Harry was there.
What did you do?
I...well, I...sort of...um...squeaked and ran back to my room.
I know, I know! But I was only eleven, and it was a shock.
I'm sure it was. So, why didn't Harry answer Ron's letters?
A house-elf named Dobby was stopping them. Did you have house-elves, Joanna?
No. My mother was too poor, and my father was a Muggle. Then, when I married, I moved to Wales, which at that time was a mixed community, but the Welsh valued independence highly and didn't believe in having house-elves.
I'm glad. Hermione started a movement for house-elf rights last year, and while I don't agree with her that freedom would be good for all house-elves, I do think that they should all have the option.
I agree. Did Hermione's movement catch on?
No, and especially not with Ron. She named it the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare, which was unfortunate, because Ron keeps calling it spew. It annoys Hermione no end.
Yes, and I can tell what you're thinking, and you're absolutely right. They fancy each other, but they won't admit it yet. At least, Hermione won't admit it to him, and Ron won't admit it to anybody. Maybe he's told Harry, but I doubt it. Oh, I hate thinking of Harry all alone with those horrid Muggles! At least they don't keep him in the cupboard anymore, but Hermione told me they practically starved him last summer. I can't imagine what they're doing to him right now. I don't want to imagine it.
Ginny, can I ask you something?
What do you think about besides Harry? What are your other interests?
Other interests? Oh...well, Mum's teaching me to cook this summer.
Are you enjoying it?
No, not really.
Well, what's your favorite class at school?
That one's easy - Charms. Professor Flitwick is such a dear, and I'm really good at it. I wish he would teach us the theory behind creating new Charms, though. I've tried, but none of them work, and Hermione says that that's really advanced magic - well beyond the O.W.L.s. Do you know it, Joanna?
No, Charms was never my strong point. I loved Herbology and Transfiguration, but I'm afraid I won't be able to help you with your schoolwork. My magical education was spotty at best, because I never went to a formal school, and was just trained by whatever witch or wizard happened to be around at the time.
Wow, how different! I can't imagine life without Hogwarts, I really can't. Oh, Joanna, I'd love to stay up and talk some more, but I'm really sleepy, and my hand hurts. I'm always amazed at how much Hermione can write in Gwen, and I suppose I'm out of practice.
Probably. You need your sleep, Ginny. Good night.
Good night, Joanna.
Joanna, I need your help! Mum just asked me if I want to help make Harry's birthday cake, and I don't have a present for him yet.
You forgot about Harry's birthday?
Of course not! I just haven't been able to think of a present. I want it to be special, something that he really likes, something...
Something to make him notice you.
Well, think about Harry - what are his interests, what does he like?
Quidditch and...well, defeating You-Know-Who.
It's true! He's been busy. And his hateful aunt and uncle didn't exactly give him any chances for developing hobbies.
Okay, well, what doesn't he have a lot of? What's missing in his life?
That one's easy - family. That's why Mum bakes him a cake every year. This year she's knitting him a jumper, too, which she usually does for Christmas (she's famous for her jumpers), because she thinks he'll have outgrown his last one. I know that's important to him, though he's never said it.
Does he look on you as family?
I hope not, but probably, if he thinks of me at all. It's really Ron and Hermione that are his true family.
Does he have any pictures of Ron and Hermione? That might help him get through the summer with his aunt and uncle.
Oh, I'm sure he - you know, I don't know. Let me ask Ron - I'll be right back.
Okay, so that wasn't right back. Ron was in a talkative mood for some reason. He just got a letter from Hermione - he wouldn't tell me what she said, but it must have been good. Anyway, he doesn't think Harry has any pictures of the two of them ("Why would he want a picture of me?"), though he does have some photos of his mum and dad, so maybe this isn't such a good idea.
You don't think so? I think Harry would love it. Will you put them in an album? Where will you get them?
There's a couple of kids in Gryffindor who have cameras. One of them's in Harry's year, and the other hero-worships Harry. I'm sure they'll both have lots of pictures. They're both Muggle-born, maybe that's why they have cameras...what's old and boring to kids who grew up in wizard families, seems neat to them. I've never really talked much with Dean Thomas - he's the one in Harry's year - but I don't suppose he'll be surprised at me asking for pictures. I haven't exactly been subtle about my feelings for Harry.
Instead of a photo album, I've thought of something better. Fred and George have invented a picture frame that can hold lots of pictures - you just tap the frame to switch pictures. Did I mention that they're inventors? Mostly they just make new kinds of jokes, but they worked on this for Mum. It's self-preservation, really - you can hardly move in the living room, it's so covered in pictures. I suppose with seven of us, that's somewhat inevitable. So, what do you think?
I think it's a wonderful idea. Your brothers must be really talented, to be inventing a new picture frame like that. Do they own their own business?
Actually, they're still in school - this is their seventh year. But they're very serious about starting a joke shop after they graduate, which Mum isn't too happy about. Weasley's Wizard Wheezes, they're going to call it. I think they must have found an investor, or something, because they have had more money to work with this summer. Or maybe they just sold a lot of Canary Creams last year.
Yeah - when you eat one, you turn into a large, very bright yellow, canary.
Only for half a minute or so. Then you molt, and turn back into yourself. They're lots of fun.
I'm sure. When is Harry's birthday, anyway?
Then you'd better get working, don't you think?
Good point. I need to save my hand for letters. Bye, Joanna.
Oh, Joanna, this is so much fun! George is teaching me to enchant the picture frame so it'll hold all the pictures - he's so nice. Fred just laughed when I told them why I wanted it, but George didn't. Well, his eyes did, a little, but at least he said he'd help. And now I can do it myself if I need to, though I asked George to make Harry's - I didn't want to mess it up.
I'm sure you wouldn't have.
Well, I didn't want to risk it.
So, how many pictures do you have?
Ever so many, and some really wonderful ones. Dean and Colin really came through - I think Harry's going to love these. They're all of him, Ron, and Hermione before You-Know-Who came back, looking happy, or at least innocent. There's one of the three of them collapsed by a big tree at Hogwarts. Dean said (he included captions with all of them - really funny ones, too) that they had just come from a really hard Transfiguration class, and he took the picture to prove that even Hermione could be overwhelmed at times. I think Harry will like to be reminded of a time when the hardest thing he had to face was classes.
Yes, that sounds perfect. Do you have any pictures of people besides Harry, Ron and Hermione?
Well, we took a picture of my whole family last night. George is going to develop it tonight. I hope it turned out well.
How about a picture of just you?
Oh, I'm sure Harry wouldn't want that.
Yes. Besides, I wouldn't want it to seem like I'm forcing myself on him - this present is for him, not me.
True. Though most boys would like to have a picture of a pretty girl to look at - but he can see you in the family portrait.
If he wants to. Oh, I forgot to tell you about Colin's letter. After gushing for awhile about what a good idea this was, and how he was so happy to help make Harry's birthday special by being part of my gift (I'm not kidding, Joanna), he asked if he could keep one photo to give to Harry himself. He said he had been thinking about Harry's birthday and wanting to give him a present, but couldn't think of anything, and this was the perfect thing. But he didn't tell me what the picture was of, and how he thought I could possibly say, "No, you can't keep one picture for your own present out of all the ones you gave me," I have no idea. I do wonder what it was - he gave me some good ones, like the one he took of the three of them after the second task last year, soaking wet. Harry had stayed too long under the lake, because he wanted to rescue all of the hostages, but the judges ruled that that showed moral fiber - which it did! - so they gave him high points. Ron was torn between being really proud of Harry, and thinking he was a completely brainless git for thinking the hostages could be hurt. It's all there on his face, and in the way he's pounding Harry on the back, but shaking his head at the same time. So is Hermione's utter pride and pleasure in Harry doing well. Viktor Krum is off to one side of the picture, looking dejected, just staring at his feet. When Ron saw that one, he came close to demanding that he could keep it, but I stood firm. Harry's going to love it. I don't know how Colin does it - he should be professional once we graduate.
Is it going to be done in time?
Oh, yes. Once George is done, we'll put the last picture in, and then I can send it off. There's just one thing.
I don't know what to write in the letter.
I would think Happy Birthday would make sense.
Joanna! I meant besides that.
What were you thinking?
Well, I was thinking of declaring my undying love to Harry...
Kidding - just kidding! But that's just it, Joanna - I mean, he knows I like him, he'll know why I'm giving him a birthday present, what can I really say? Ooo - I've an idea - maybe Mum would let me write the letter for her present, too. That would be more to say.
That's a good idea.
Hmm...I think I'll go ask her now. Bye, Joanna.
Joanna, did I tell you that Hermione likes my gift for Harry?
Is that important to you?
Well, she knows him so well. She told me that she got him a book on becoming an Animagus. I'm not sure why - I've never heard Harry say he wanted to become one, and Transfiguration isn't exactly his best subject. That's very advanced magic, and if it weren't for Hermione, I'd be worried about him. But she wouldn't let him do anything dangerous.
Well...not for something that wasn't already life and death. I can't imagine how this would be that.
So, what is Harry's best subject, if it's not Transfiguration? Charms?
No, Defense Against the Dark Arts. And don't think I don't know where you were going with that suggestion, Joanna! Everything I think and feel is not about Harry.
I'm glad to hear it.
Anyway, Harry's really, really good at DADA, which shouldn't surprise anyone. He can even conjure a Patronus.
That's pretty advanced magic for a fourth year.
And he did it as a third year!
Ginny, why did he have to face a Dementor? I'm assuming that's why he conjured a Patronus.
Well, my second year, Sirius Black escaped from Azkaban. Everyone thought that he was headed for Hogwarts and Harry. So Cornelius Fudge (he's Minister of Magic, but you probably know that) insisted on posting Dementors around Hogwarts - surely you must know all this, Joanna, if you were… um, someone's diary at the time.
No, there were other things to worry about at the time for her. Besides, I like to hear about things from you.
Oh, okay. Um, right...Fudge posted Dementors around Hogwarts, even though Professor Dumbledore didn't want him to, and one came onto the Hogwarts Express. It was absolutely horrible, Johanna! I felt like I was back in the Chamber of Secrets, with Tom Riddle coming out of the diary.
Um, Johanna, you called me that before - what does it mean?
A breila is a dusky wild rose. It suits you, I think.
Do you think so? Hmm...I like it. Anyway, Harry had it worse - he actually fainted, and Hermione later told me that it's because he hears You-Know-Who murdering his parents. I'm pretty sure there was something else she wasn't telling me, but then she probably shouldn't have told me that much. Professor Lupin - our DADA teacher that year - was in the compartment, and he drove off the dementor. Then, a lot of them showed up at Harry's first Quidditch match of the season, and Harry fainted again, falling off his broom. From fifty feet up.
Luckily, Dumbledore was there, and he somehow stopped Harry's fall - I've got to learn how to do that, I have a feeling I'm going to need it - and drove off the Dementors. I've never seen Dumbledore so angry! After that, Harry decided that he needed to learn how to deal with the Dementors, so he went to Professor Lupin, who taught him Expecto Patronum. I didn't know it at the time, of course, but before the next Quidditch match I was so nervous that Hermione told me about it. I know there's something she wasn't telling me, but that's as it should be - I wouldn't want her telling him my secrets. Anyway, at the next match, Harry was ready, and when some Dementors showed up, he conjured his Patronus - it was a stag, by the way, I wonder why that is? - caught the Snitch, and won the match. Only they weren't Dementors.
What were they, for heaven's sake?
Draco Malfoy and three of his friends. I suppose they thought it would be funny. Malfoy is a Slytherin boy in Harry's year, and I have a really hard time being objective about him. Besides the fact that he's really horrible to Harry, Ron and Hermione - I've seen some of it, and Hermione's told me more - his father is the one who planted Tom Riddle's diary for me to find.
I can understand your not liking him.
Yes, and then there was the time in my first year...you probably don't want to hear about that, Joanna.
Well, of course I do, but if you don't want to tell me, you certainly don't have to.
Um...oh, it's just embarrassing, and if I can't embarrass myself in front of you, who can I embarrass myself in front of? In this case, it was actually in front of my whole class, and most of Harry's. And Harry. See, we had this teacher, Professor Lockhart, that year for DADA - we do seem to go through them, don't we? He was pretty useless as a teacher, actually, but he threw a huge Valentine's Day celebration, including singing dwarves delivering people's Valentines. I don't know why I did it - remember, I was only eleven - but I wrote a Valentine for Harry, and the stupid dwarf delivered it just when my class was going into History of Magic, and Harry's was going into Charms. Harry was so embarrassed - well, it was terribly sappy, and horrible poetry, too - and Draco Malfoy yelled to me, "I don't think Potter liked your Valentine, Weasley!"
How horrible! I wish I had hands, so I could - I shouldn't say that.
It was pretty bad. But the worst was that when the dwarf knocked Harry over - he hadn't wanted to hear the Valentine, and you can understand why - his bookbag fell apart, and Tom Riddle's diary came out, and you know what, Joanna? I don't think I want to talk about this right now.
Then you don't have to. But you know, Ginny, if you ever do want to talk about it, I'm right here.
I know. Thanks, Joanna. You know, I wonder what happened to Sirius Black.
What do you mean?
Well, we were all convinced that he was after Harry - and he was, because he broke into Gryffindor Tower and almost killed Ron. But at the end of the school year, everything went back to normal - the Dementors went away, and Harry was able to come to the Quidditch World Cup that summer, and I never heard another thing about it. So I wonder what happened to him. He couldn't have been captured, or the Ministry would have made a big deal about it, but something must have happened, or the Dementors would still be around Hogwarts. I bet Harry, Ron and Hermione know all about it - somehow, they always do. When we were on the Hogwarts express once, I was with the three of them in a compartment, and Ron told me to leave so Harry could tell them something. It's always the same thing - hang on, he wants something now. Oh, bother, he wants me to play Quidditch. He's trying out for Keeper on the house team this year. I have to go. Talk to you later, Johanna.
Have fun, Ginny.
I never told you what I wrote in my letter to Harry, Joanna. Do you want me to copy it?
Happy Birthday! Mum sends along the cake and jumper, of course, and we all send our best wishes. The pictures are from Fred, George and me. I got them from people around school, and Fred and George invented the frame to hold more than one. They should be real inventors, not just of Weasley's Wizard Wheezes. (No, we shouldn't.) (Yeah, what does she mean, real inventors?) You just tap lightly on the upper right-hand corner of the frame to switch pictures. You can add more, too, but that's more complicated, and Fred and George will have to show you how.
Hope you had a tolerable birthday, Harry, even with the Dursleys. If I don't see you before, see you on the Hogwarts Express.
The stuff in parentheses was by Fred and George, if you couldn't tell. What do you think?
It was good. Nice and friendly...but don't you think "best wishes" is a little cool?
Well, first I put "love," which I thought was fine, since we all do love him - I mean, how could we not? But Fred and George were there, waiting to make their contributions, and they made such faces and snickered so much that I changed it. Besides, I don't want Harry to think I'm still pining for him.
Even though you are.
Yes. I've been thinking about what you said - I don't really have any interests outside of Harry. Or rather, I did, but they all got pushed away once I met him. And it's ridiculous. No boy is worth that, even Harry Potter. I do still love him, and I do still hope he'll notice me one day, but I want to be a complete person aside from him.
It's about time, wouldn't you say? Anyway, I wrote to Hermione, asking if I could borrow her fourth-year Charms book, so I could get a head start. She sent me Charms and DADA - she said that if I was working ahead, I should also work on DADA, since there's obviously no guarantee that our teacher this year will be any good. And I've been playing a lot of Quidditch with Ron. Not that what we're doing is really Quidditch - I'm just flying at him from weird angles and doing weird things and throwing a ball at him weirdly. It's actually fun - I love to fly, but I don't really enjoy playing Quidditch, I prefer to watch. Especially Harry, and I'm not just saying that because I love him, he's really good. The dives he goes into and pulls out of! His looping, and the way he shakes off the other Seekers! We went to the Quidditch World Cup and saw Viktor Krum do a Wronski Feint, but I think Harry could be better than him.
Okay, so I'm not cured yet, but I'm working on it. I'm going to go study Charms, Joanna.