I didn't really know what to do, so I just went down to the great hall and ate breakfast, then followed Harry up to Gryffindor Tower and got ready for Care of Magical Creatures. I couldn't wait, Hagrid was teaching us about unicorns, and today we were going to be able to pet them.
"Jenna! Come on! Hurry up! We're going to be late!" I tried to push her out of bed.
"Just five more minutes..." she murmured, rolling over to face the wall.
"Aaron's going to be there..." I knew this would work.
"Ok! Ok! I'm up! I'm awake!" She jumped out of bed and then noticed what I had done. "Ginny! I'm going to kill you!" With that, we took off running, me strategically leading her to Hagrid's hut.
The morning went by in a wink, as it was my two favorite classes: Care of Magical Creatures and Defense Against the Dark Arts. Lunch came and went, and I was off to Divination. Ron had told me not to take it, but it had seemed interesting... and it was.
"Alright everyone, today we will begin planetary divination. Planetary divination is the art of determining your own future by calculating the positions of the planets during certain times during your life. A common date is their positions during your birth. Once you find them, you then match your results with those in the book." Professor Trelawny turned to Jenna, who happened to be sitting next to me. "Blond hair, eight letters in your name, lighter colored eyes. I feel right in assuming that you were born..." she paused, "on 23rd May." I looked up in amazement.
"As I suspected." She turned to me. "Red hair, large family, only girl, you were born in late summer, weren't you?"
"No," I said, upset that she had made a mistake, "I was born in February."
"Ah," she said, trying desperately to make up something that would help her, "That is an easy mistake to make, I was instead reading your compatibility calculations, you are destined to be with someone born in late summer. You were born in mid to late winter."
Oh my god! Oh my god! I couldn't control myself, yes! My body was screaming to get up and do a victory dance, Harry was born late summer, or, you could call it late summer! Yeah, and that was the only thing on my mind for the rest of the day. Well, that and my Divination homework, predictions of my life every day for the next five months, due at the start of those particular months.
Jenna looked over at me with a sidelong glance and shook her head, smiling slightly. My face had been set in excitement since Divination.
"You need to give up on him, Gin," she said, not realizing the extent to which she sounded like a hypocrite in that statement.
"I have given up on him!" I skipped slightly, taking advantage of her wording and twisting it to my advantage.
"Ok, rewording that... You need to get over him, Gin! Listen, you seem to think he's some kind of hero or something-"
"Well he is!" I pointed out to her, interrupting what she was about to say next.
"No," she stopped walking, and turned to me, looking me deep in the eye, "he isn't." She was oddly serious, gravity pulling a thick white blanket over our heads, curtaining us off from the world as her face set in determination. "You of all people should know that. He now considers you a friend, which is much more than you ever could have hoped before last year. And what's more, he doesn't have many friends. Those he has, he holds on to, which obviously comes from his lack of proper family." Jenna was looking further into the situation then she ever would normally. I listened. "The entire world treats him as a hero, and we both know he hates it! He depends on his friends to treat him like any other person. It's ok for you to like him, but it's not ok for you to like him because he's a hero. He's just a normal person, and you of all people should realize that." Jenna took a deep breath, looked deep into my eyes one last time, and turned, walking away slowly.
I sighed, Jenna's words beginning to sink in. But as soon as I realized this, I quickly brushed off everything she had just said to me. Under any other circumstance, with any other subject, her words probably would have taken root and repeated themselves thousands of times. But I was determined that she was wrong now. Harry Potter wasn't a normal person. He was a hero, the Boy Who Lived. He was sixteen years old and had defeated some form of You-Know-Who or the Death Eaters five times. No normal guy had that kind of résumé.
The day passed in silence, Jenna and I both pretending the conversation had never happened, our friendship returning to its normal level forever after. We joked around until bedtime, not touching back to the subject of that day ever again.
"Good morning, Jenna! Isn't it a lovely day?" I sprang out of bed and got dressed in the blink of an eye. She muttered something that I couldn't make out, but reluctantly rolled out of bed anyway. "What was that?"
"Ugh, nothing." She seemed annoyed.
"Nothing." So she said, but her tone contradicted her, it stayed the same as before.
Jenna reluctantly dressed, and followed me down to the Great Hall.
As I sat there staring at the one and only Harry Potter, the post came in, but I wasn't disrupted by it. The post came every morning, and it came this morning, same as always. Soon, however, I was disrupted by it. Just as I put a fork load of pancake into my mouth, a strange owl dropped a letter in front of me. Curious, I opened it up.
Ms. Ginny Weasley,
We regret to inform you that Mr. Arthur Weasley and Mrs. Molly Weasley have died unmercifully at the hands of You-Know-Who. We have been informed that you have five brothers who have already become of age here in the wizarding world. If they permit, you may continue staying at the family home under their control. Any questions may be directed to,
Mr. Reineki-Lyth, Department of Family and Domestic Issues
I looked around the table; the information was there, I saw it with my own eyes, but it didn't sink in. Then I saw Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Ron had a letter just like mine. But he realized what was going on. He paled and almost fainted. He sat there for a minute, steadying himself. Then he took off running, running, running, running right out of the great hall and up the marble staircase. Harry and Hermione didn't wait; they took off after him, such a good friend to everyone, I thought, referring to Harry.
"What's wrong with Ron? What's the letter about?" Jenna asked, snapping me out of my little daydream.
"Oh, nothing really, just a small family problem," I answered easily.
"Small family problem? Ginny, Ron isn't exactly the most sentimental guy! In fact, he's the most insensitive guy, or person for that matter. Well, anyway, he's the most insensitive guy in the world! Well, except perhaps You-Know-Who, but well, that's beside the point. Well, anyway, you know what I mean! It would take something really big to make your brother tear up, and if it's a family problem..." she stopped, looked sternly at me, searing into me with hard, cold eyes. "Ginny, newsflash! You're in his family, whatever is wrong with him is the same thing wrong with you! You need to take a reality check, take control over your mind! What's in that letter?" She grabbed it from the table in front of me, ignoring the fact that I was ignoring her. She scanned it, the face of Jennifer Moliby gradually gaining more and more amounts of disgust as she went along. "Ginny Weasley! Get over here!" She grabbed my hand and dragged me out of the hall, and by now everyone was staring. She pulled me roughly out of the hall and into the hallway. Up the stairs and into Moaning Myrtles bathroom. Oh, great! I thought, the entrance of the place where Harry fought for my life, but this turned out to not matter in the end.
"Ginny! Listen to yourself! Your parents just died, the world is living heck right now due to the rising of the darkest wizard of all time, who I might add was controlling you by using a diary of his sixteen year old self to seduce you no more than a few years ago, and no matter how hard the Ministry and Dumbledore try, there's no stopping him. And right now all you care about is Harry Potter! Ginny, snap out of it and check into Reality Hotel!"
"You don't know!" I shrieked, not knowing what I was saying, "You have no clue what it's like!"
"No clue what it's like? No clue what what's like? No clue what it's like to be obsessed with a guy? I think you're forgetting Aaron!"
"Yes! I mean, no! I mean..." I trailed off, unable to think.
"Ginny! I like Aaron as much as you like Harry. The difference is that I know how to control myself every once in awhile. Ginny, you're over the top! You put the thermometer in a place where the temperatures were too high! It was bubbling and bubbling, bubbling for so long, and it finally blew the top. Get control of yourself!" She stopped her yelling for a moment and looked at me, staring straight into my eyes, her cold, dark ones into my warm, 'easily seducible' ones. This was different; her usually bright, cheery self had changed, maybe for better, maybe for worse. But that wasn't the point, the point was, she was right. I had gone over the top. And that had to change.
"Ron? Ron? Where are you!?" I had to find my brother; there was nobody else I could talk to about this. Charlie and Bill were off somewhere, most likely back at work. They were planning on going back a few weeks ago. And Fred and George were busy with their shop in Diagon Alley, which was doing quite well. No, Ron was the only one.
"Ron's up in our dormitory. He keeps telling me to leave, so why don't you try him. I'm sure he wouldn't mind." Someone was talking from behind me. I whirled around; I knew that voice...
"Harry!" No! I told myself firmly, you're not going to do this! Keep cool! "Uh, thanks, I'll do that." I accomplished it; I don't have to be overly obsessed with Harry. Jenna's little talk had worked. "Ron?" I stepped inside the fifth year boys' dormitory. "Ron? Are you ok?"
"What do you think?"
"I think that you need to talk to someone."
"Don't tell me what to do! You don't know what this is like!"
"Yes I do," I said quietly, slowly, patiently.
"No you..." He turned around. "Ginny?"
"Yes, that is my name, it has been for the past fifteen years, and I'm planning on it remaining my name for several years to come." I remained standing where I was.
"Wha- you're not supposed to be here," he replied.
"Is anyone stopping me?" I kept my tone even, steady, trying to keep from tearing up. I felt my throat closing. Ron reminded me of what was happening, what had happened.
"No." He would have grinned, but he couldn't. I walked over, and sat down beside my brother. He wrapped his arms around me in a brotherly hug.
We sat there, silently, for several minutes. Shrieks and laughter, the low rumble of people talking arose from the common room in the background. But that didn't matter; the world inside our heads was big enough for the moment.
"How could they do this?" Ron finally broke the silence.
Do what? I wanted to say, but I knew what he meant. "Ron, either shut up or stop talking about Mum and Dad like it was their fault. They died helping the Order. At least something was accomplished in the meantime."
"What!?" He seemed angry. "Our parents died, and you think it's ok that this happened because they were helping the Order?"
"No, but it provides some consolation," I said, my voice dangerously low and serious. Sitting down, I knew I looked a mess, gravity overtaking the situation. But not a single person knew or cared. As the room was silent, life went on elsewhere.
"I can't believe this. It didn't happen to me. This is all a nightmare. In a few minutes I'm going to wake up in my bed at Hogwarts, Neville will still be asleep, snoring until someone gets him up. Harry will be rolling over across his bed, Dean will be looking at that Muggle poster thing of his, and Seamus will be up and gone, already in the hall eating breakfast. This isn't real. This isn't happening." Ron rocked slowly on the bed, looking as though he was insane, though I knew he wasn't.
"No, it's true." I had to make him stop withdrawing; it was, as I had done, his version of withdrawal. I knew if I had let him continue he would have ignored everyone completely. I stopped it early. "That's what everyone wants to think. 'It happens to everyone else, your friend's aunt, and your cousin's cousin, not related to you in any reasonable terms. Your dad's co-worker, the girl next door's grandma.' That's what everyone wants to think. But it's not true. Now it has happened to you, and nothing can change that. I'm not saying to ignore it completely, that's what Fred and George are surely doing back at home. But don't ignore everyone. Come on, Ron, come play a game of chess with Ha..."
"No!" he practically screamed, still rocking. It was beginning to scare me. "No! You go on, leave me alone!" He was screaming. Something was wrong; this wasn't the Ron I knew.
"Ron! Come on! What's wrong?"
"Nothing! I'm fine! Just go!" He wasn't fine, and I wasn't leaving.
"I'm not leaving."
"I said leave me alone!"
"And I heard you, but I'm not leaving." He continued rocking.
We sat there for several more minutes; I knew Harry and Hermione would be waiting downstairs, wanting desperately to know what was going on, yet having the sense to remain in the common room. I also knew that waiting here, with Ron, was not only where I wanted to be, but it was where I needed to be.
Days passed, and gradually Ron turned around. Sure he wasn't cheerful, ever, but he did control himself. And he did make an improvement. Quidditch seemed to help. During practice he seemed most happy, most like his old self. Speaking of the Quidditch team, our first game was this Saturday, and we had practice in an hour
"C'mon, Jenna, Quidditch practice soon. We'd better go change." I grabbed the new broom Fred and George had bought me for my birthday and raced to change into my Quidditch robes. She lazily followed me, muttering about how Harry shouldn't have scheduled practice that early in the evening. Her argument being that she was still tired from the school day. "Oh don't be such a whiner! We're scrimmaging today, remember? To prepare for Saturday."
"Oh yeah!" After that she seemed to perk up a bit, but was still groaning.
"Ellie!" I called at my fellow Chaser to indicate that I was open for a pass. I caught the ball and raced for the hoops. Raising my arm to hurl it through the left hoop, I let go of my broom in order to create more force, though I soon realized the mistake. Just as the ball left my hand, I felt something hard connect with my side. Crack. It felt like something broke, something like my back. Off-balance, due to the fact that neither of my hands were on the broom, the Bludger made much more of an impact than it normally would have. I was falling, free-falling through the air, more than fifty feet above the ground, and I knew what was waiting under those fifty feet of empty space.
"Ginny!" Ron had stopped the Quaffle before he realized what had happened to me. But there wasn't anything he could do. All of our wands were down in the locker rooms. I braced myself for the crash that was promising to break my neck and kill me. I winced, waiting for the jolt of impact to come. Crack. I hit the slightly muddy ground with back down. My first impression was that I had fallen into a fire pit and I was burning to death slowly. My second impression was of a dark black room, probably because I had slipped into unconsciousness. Well, maybe slipped is an understatement. Okay, I had 'dramatically and dangerously fallen from a broomstick which was flying fifty feet in the air, and hit the ground at approximately forty miles per hour, sent myself into an unconscious state.'
"We are still unsure of her condition..." I heard a voice that I didn't recognize, but I didn't have the strength to open my eyes and see who it was. "Yes, I know she has been in emergency care for over three weeks..." There was a pause and then, "Sir, we have tried that, it's not broken. What? Oh, well, I suppose it's for the best." The voice was coming from somewhere in front of me. I finally managed to open my eyes. The first thing I saw was a flash of bright white, and then a face that I didn't recognize. "Ah, Ms. Weasley, I see you're awake now. That's all for the better I suppose."
"Wh-" I tried to speak. "Where am I?"
"St. Mungo's, intensive care department of the Artifact Accidents wing, ground floor."
"Huh? St. Mungo's? What am I doing here?"
"Well, you fell off your broomstick. It was quite high too, fifty feet from what your friends told me. Most thought you'd died," he said calmly.
"Where are they, where is everybody?"
"Well, they were here, but they left awhile ago. I suppose they'll be back in a bit though, as I'm going to tell everyone you finally woke up."
"Finally woke up? What do you mean? How long have I been asleep?"
"Well, I'd have to say you were unconscious for a good three weeks."