I'd like to thank my wonderful
pre-betas, Gwyn and DADAGinny, for their input on this story and
special thanks to my wonderful beta KelleyPen for her help. As before,
this is fluff with a sprinkling of comedy and it has a G rating.
hope you enjoy it. I hope to have the next part in a month. I am,
however, planning on doing the Valentine's Day challenge when it gets
here. So in effect I'll be doing two fics at once so please be patient
and I'll have the next part to Epiphany as soon as I can.
watched Gilgamesh, or Gilly as Ginny called him, fly from the owlery,
his mighty wings beating through the air as he carried the musical
cherry wood jewelry box to Ginny. Inside the box Harry had enclosed a
pair of gold, dragon-shaped earrings with a wingspan of a quarter inch
and a half inch long. The sapphire eyes flashed as the dragons dangled
from delicate gold chains that gave the illusion that the dragons were
flying. Although they were a bit larger than he wanted, Harry feared
that they would break easily if they were smaller.
were not the only pieces of jewelry in the box; Harry had wanted to
give her a griffin figurine, but while he'd shopped for the earrings
he'd found the griffin necklace which he thought she'd like better. The
griffin pendant, its majestic wings spanning two inches and its emerald
eyes twinkling, danced from a fine gold cobra chain.
itself was a marvel; it had a tiny key and lock fashioned from white
gold, and on the front of the box was a hand enameled exquisitely
carved hippogriff; its silver-white tooled feathers gave the carving a
striking resemblance to Buck Beak. As the box was unlocked it began
playing a magical dulcimer and flute duet of "My Favorite Things." The
inside of the lid showed a colored, wizarding picture that displayed
all of the items in the song, at the point where they were written into
the song. The bottom of the box staged a tiny faerie figurine that
would dance a ballet to the music as it moved all around the bottom
Harry was very pleased with his choice of gifts. He
had been worried with Isis and Gilgamesh at first. Ginny adored them
both, but Ron was quite jealous of theGreat Horned
Owl. Until now Malfoy's Eagle Owl had been the biggest at Hogwarts.
This species was considered to be the world's largest. The Great Horned
Owls were the second largest. Gilly, however, was enormous for his
species, and his great size made him a giant among the owls at
Poor little Pig trembled then fainted the first
time he saw Gilly. Hedwig took to the large raptor quite well, and it
seemed to Harry that she was rather smitten with him. He grinned,
wondering if a Snowy Owl could mate with a Great Horned Owl, then he
blushed at the thought.
Hermione was very taken with Isis, and
Harry noticed that Crookshanks immediately had become protective of her
when Ron reached out to pet Isis, and Crookshanks batted at his hand.
had instructed Gilly to fly twice around Hogwarts and then fly Ginny's
presents to her, giving Harry ample time to arrive in the Great Hall . As
Harry turned to head for dinner and to catch the delivery of Ginny's
latest surprises, he began to reflect on the morning following Gilly
and Isis' arrival nearly three weeks ago.
Ginny had been excited the morning after her admirer's first gifts
arrived. She bounded down the stairs that morning and drew Hermione off
to a corner. Hermione, true to form, became very nervous about the
situation. Harry overheard her say, "Ginny, what if the animals were
sent by Death Eaters or if the box was hexed. You should have gone
"McGonagall saw them," Ginny responded with exasperation. "She was fine with it."
Harry fought back a grin at the scene.
"What's that all about?" Ron asked.
"Dunno, but she seemed excited about it."
"Hermione or Ginny?" Ron wondered.
"Ginny. Let's see what they are talking about," Harry responded.
Ron and Harry walked over to the girls.
"Hi Gin," Harry began. "What's going on?"
spotted an opportunity to drive Harry a bit crazy in hopes that he was
the one, and she ran with it. "Well, it seems I have an admirer, a
secret admirer," Ginny said, smiling. She paused to let the effect sink
in. "He gave me an owl and a kitten, so he must be wealthy. Hermione
was helping me figure out who might have that kind of money. We
narrowed it down to three possibilities: Justin Finch-Fletchly, Blaise
Zabini, or Draco Malfoy."
Hermione caught the hint and played
along. "They are the only logical choices, well at least from our year.
There may be others that would have the money for these gifts that we
do not know of, but the three of them are probably a safe guess."
"Malfoy! I'll kill him!" exclaimed Ron.
Harry stifled a grin then continued on, acting the part of the clueless friend."I'll help!" he said, donning a look of outrage
boys," said Ginny. "The note said I would know in time, and I have no
interest in Malfoy or Blaise. Justin's nice enough, though, so I hope
Harry felt an odd twinge in his chest at her
comment, which frightened him a bit. He made a mental note to try to
send his next gifts soon.
Hermione asked, "So, where are your new friends anyway, Ginny?"
Gilgamesh, my owl, is in the owlery. He's easy to spot; he's the
largest owl there. Isis was on my bed canopy last time I saw her."
as if summoned, a high-pitched mewling came from behind them. They
turned to see the tiny form of Isis climbing a tapestry nearby.
laughed. "Professor McGonagall said that Egyptian Maus were natural
climbers. Isis appears to be rather precocious and resourceful, doesn't
she? I wonder if they're all like that?"
Hermione let out a loud squeak followed by a sigh.
"She's adorable! Ginny, can I hold her?" asked Hermione.
"Erm… sure, if I can get her down. Isis, get off of there," Ginny said.
little kitten mewled happily and leapt from the tapestry into Ginny's
arms. Ginny presented the tiny creature to Hermione who hugged her
close and spun around with her. Hermione collapsed onto a couch.
Moments later a very curious Crookshanks joined her there.
"She seems more friendly than Crookshanks," said Ron.
Hermione scowled at his remark.
Ron reached out to pet her, and Crookshanks swatted his hand and growled at him. "See!"
"So Ginny, let's go have a look at your owl," said Harry.
"Okay," Ginny responded.
reached for Isis who gladly climbed up her arm and onto her shoulder.
The four wandered up to the owlery. Once there, it was easy to spot
Gilgamesh. He sat upon a perch by himself, save for Hedwig and
Pigwigeon. Hedwig spotted Harry and flew to his upraised arm. Pig, who
had been next to Hedwig turned and spotted the huge owl for the first
time, now that his view was unobstructed by the Snowy Owl. The great
owl turned toward Pig and let out a deep resonant "Hoot!" to say hello.
Pig let out a pitiful "whoo…" and promptly passed out.
"Blimey he's huge!" exclaimed Ron. "Look what he did to Pig!"
"Honestly Ron, it wasn't on purpose. He was just saying hello!" scolded Hermione.
Looks like he's been hunting" said Harry as he pointed to the carcass
of a ferret beneath the perch. "Maybe we can get Moody to transfigure
Malfoy, and then we can give the amazing bouncing ferret to Gilgamesh
for supper," Harry laughed, pulled an owl treat out of his pocket and
gave it to Hedwig.
Ginny followed Harry's example and offered
one of her own to Gilgamesh. "Here Gilly, do you want one or are you
full on ferret?" Meanwhile, little Isis had taken that moment to jump
onto the perch and surreptitiously climb up the mighty owl's back to
sit on his head. Fortunately the owl didn't seem to be harmed by Isis'
tiny claws, nor was he offended at the feline's boldness.
The great owl declined, but Pig came to at that moment and gladly accepted the morsel.
"See Ron, he's fine. He was just frightened of Gilly," Hermione commented.
had flown back to the perch and began preening herself. Isis jumped
down from Gilly's head to find a perch once again on Ginny's shoulder.
Gilly evidently was not through with his meal so he grasped the dead
ferret in his powerful talons and within two mighty wing beats sat high
in the rafters of the owlery to finish up.
"Gilly's got the
right idea; we still have time to have a little breakfast before class
if we hurry," said Harry to his friends. The three nodded in agreement,
and they all left for the Great Hall.
As the events of that
day faded, Harry left the owlery and ran downstairs. He had timed the
gift so that he could make it down for dinner, and so he could be there
when it arrived in the Great Hall. He made his way to the Hall and
found an empty seat next to Ron. Harry was delighted to see Ron was
across from Ginny
"Hello, Ron," he said.
"Harry," Ron muttered, buttering his bread.
"Hello, Harry," said Hermione.
"Hermione," Harry answered. "Gin," he added flashing her a brief grin.
"Where did you go after class?" Ron asked.
had to send a message to Moony. He asked me to check in with him from
time to time to let him know how things are going. I think that he's
trying to fill in for Sirius." Harry's voice trailed off briefly.
"Anyway, Hedwig was out, so I sent a school owl."
squeak sounded from beneath the table, and Isis climbed up the back of
the chair to sit on Ginny's shoulder. The little Mau leaned forward and
looked at Harry rendering her signature squeak at him in greeting.
Ginny smiled and handed a bite of roast chicken to her. Isis held it in
her mouth, jumped down to the floor once more, then disappeared beneath
"It seems Isis has found her way around Hogwarts well enough," Harry chuckled.
then the immense form of Gilgamesh filled the air above them. The
mighty raptor swooped down with Ginny's package, letting it drop gently
to the table before flying to the back of Ginny's chair. Ginny gave him
a drumstick, which he speared with his sharp talons before flying off
to the owlery.
Ginny turned her attention back to the handsomely carved parcel. A note and a key were spello-taped to the top.
Ginny," said Hermione. Hermione produced her wand, grasping it lightly
at the sides between her fingers and thumb. She waved it
counter-clockwise and said "REVEALE". A faint yellow aura enveloped the box momentarily and then faded. "Okay Ginny, it's safe."
"What was that?" Ron asked.
trap detection charm, I learned it in advanced charms class with
Professor Flitwick. Quite useful don't you think?" Hermione asked.
"Advanced charms?" Ron asked, puzzled.
is at the same time as divination. I had to score high on my charms
O.W.L.S. to get in. Anyway Ginny, what's the note say?" Hermione
Ginny removed the note and unrolled it, revealing the same flourishing script that had been on her first gifts.
you know you are one of my favorite things? I said more gifts would
come and here you are. I hope each time you open this you'll think of
Here is a key
to the box for the girl who holds the key to my heart. Inside treasures
await, but know you are a treasure more valuable than these.
Your secret admirer
"I'll tell you later Hermione," Ginny said as she returned her attention back to the gifts.
placed the key in the lock and turned it. The box sprang open and began
playing, "My Favorite Things". Ginny sighed at the song as she watched
the pictures on the top lid for a minute. As the pictures changed from
"raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens" then to "cream colored
ponies and warm woolen mittens," she let out a sigh. Then she looked
into the bottom of the box, spotted the jewelry, and removed it. Her
jaw dropped and her eyes widened as she held them up. At the same
moment a simultaneous gasp escaped from the mouths of Ron and Hermione.
Ginny was speechless. She placed the dragon
earrings back in the box and fastened the Griffin necklace about her
neck. It was then she noticed the tiny faerie figurine dancing to the
song across the box's red velvet lining. A raised rectangular area was
in the left corner of the box; it was soft, and it had some slits
fashioned in it to hold rings. The raised area also had a tiny pearl
knob on one side. Ginny pulled on it and a little drawer slid out. The
drawer had a small piece of parchment and a quill. Ginny withdrew it
and unfolded it. Written in silver were the words,
"Directions for your personalized safety box."
from him." She bit back the squeal she wanted to let out. "I'll talk to
you later. For now I have something to do." Ginny slid back her chair,
gathered the box and its contents in her arms, and ran to her dorm
room, the tiny form of Isis chasing behind her with remarkable speed.
there, she jumped onto her bed and pulled the curtains. One side
wouldn't budge, and she heard the tiny voice of Isis; as she pulled she
saw her clinging to the curtain. A moment later Isis, too, was on the
bed. Ginny pulled the curtains shut and pulled out her wand, casting a
silencing charm. Then she took the quill and parchment out of the box
and read the directions.
"Directions for your personalized safety box."
"Use the quill and parchment to write three words. One will be your password for the outer lock."
She scribbled: I
"One will be the password for the pearl-knobbed drawer."
She wrote: Pinch
"The third will reveal a hidden compartment in the bottom."
She finished with a flourish: Socks
"The same word will also hide, close, and lock the hidden compartment just as it reveals itself to you.
also need the key as it activates the first lock. Once you have
selected your passwords, read them again, and they will fix themselves
in your mind.
"Place the parchment back
into the drawer, close it, and say the drawer password to yourself. The
words will tune themselves to this box, and then the parchment will
destroy itself. Inside the hidden compartment is a chain. Run it
through your key and place the chain around your neck. Once there, no
one will be able to see it or remove it from your neck but you and one
other person whom you know you can trust. This person must also know
your passwords as an additional safety precaution should something
happen to you. Choose wisely who that person will be.
"If anyone other than you or your trusted friend tampers with the box, your chain and key necklace will let you know."
read the words once more and felt a tingling sensation in her head. She
placed the parchment in the drawer and said to herself Pinch. The box hummed softly and emitted a faint blue glow.
Ginny said to herself Socks,
and the tiny faerie did a pirouette then pulled an even tinier wand out
of her waistband and waved it counter-clockwise. A slit formed in the
bottom of the box and it separated, revealing a compartment that was
impossibly large and deep for a box this size. Ginny reached in and her
arm disappeared up to her elbow, she felt around and found a platinum
chain. Ginny attentively threaded it through her key and placed it
around her neck. Once fastened, she felt a ring of warmth around her
neck as the chain and key pendant disappeared. Ginny placed the dragon
earrings in the compartment and said Socks to
herself. The faerie did another pirouette, drew out her tiny wand, and
waved it clockwise. The compartment sealed up once more and vanished.
Ginny heard a mewling coming from the box, and she realized Isis wasn't
on her bed anymore.
She was so preoccupied with her
treasures she didn't notice that the little Mau did a little exploring
of her own in the box. She said Socks once
more, and the faerie opened the compartment. Ginny reached in and,
feeling a warm, furry body in its depths, rescued Isis from the strange
compartment. She once again muttered Socks and the compartment closed.
She said Pinch, and she heard a little click from the pearl-handled drawer. She closed the box, said I
to herself and heard another faint click. The lock was glowing a faint
blue now, so she inserted her key and turned it to the right, and the
Ginny sat on her bed in a daze fingering the
griffin with one hand and absently stroking Isis with the other. She
smiled to herself thinking about who might have given her such
wonderful gifts. "So, little Isis, who is my secret admirer … I wonder
if you would tell me if you could?" The little kitten squeaked and
winked at her, fanned out her claws, and stretched out a forepaw to
touch Ginny on her knee, seemingly in reassurance. In her mind's eye a
pair of green eyes beneath a pair of glasses winked at her. "Is it you
Harry? Is it you?" Ginny chuckled and opened her curtains to place the
precious box on her nightstand.
Ginny banished the image from her mind and thought, Who can I trust enough to share the secrets of the jewelry box with? Hermione? Harry? Harry! How did that thought get there? She shook her head. Who are you trying to fool Ginevra; you know how it got there.
The thought stayed in her mind as she grabbed the note, tucked it in her robe, and went to show it to Hermione.
in the Great Hall, Harry struggled to keep from grinning ear to ear as
Ginny left, but the twitch didn't escape Ron's notice.
"Are you okay, Harry?" Ron asked.
"I'm fine Ron, why?" Harry responded.
"I don't know. You look… odd. That's all," Ron said.
"Thanks Ron, I can always count on you to make me feel good about myself, can't I?" Harry quipped.
"I didn't mean it that way! I just meant –" Ron tried to say.
it, Ron." Harry quickly walked away from him to hide his smile. This
had an effect he hadn't intended, but it served him well.
going, Ron. Don't you see what's wrong? He was fine until these gifts
arrived, can you really be that thick?" Hermione hissed.
Harry kept walking as he listened to Hermione's comment. This could be useful, Harry thought, wandering towards his next class. He felt elated. It seemed his gifts might be working just as he had hoped.
can't wait to send her my next gifts. Hopefully she'll like them as
much as she liked the others. I'll get her socks and robes next. Now I
need to figure out how to get her measurements.