A/N: I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year! Once again thanks go out to my intrepid betas, Dale and Nancy, for all their hard work. I would also like to thank everyone who has reviewed. It really means a lot to me that someone else appreciates the story.
Harry breathed in deep, enjoying the chill in the morning air. It was early Saturday morning and the weather was perfect. He had gathered his team on the Quidditch pitch with the intent of getting the tryouts over as soon as possible and then getting an hour or two of practice in. If this were a normal Quidditch practice he would be enjoying himself immensely. Unfortunately, he was being distracted by more mundane things.
“Hello, Harry,” said Romilda Vane, batting her eyelashes at him.
Harry groaned. He was sick of all the googly-eyed flirts that were trying out for the Chaser position, especially Romilda, who was brazenly flirting with him. He smirked as he saw the look of fury on Ginny’s face and hoped that she didn’t catch Romilda alone in a deserted corridor. He would hate to lose Ginny to detention or anything else like that.
“Romilda, get back in line,” said Harry in his best Oliver Wood impersonation. “We’re getting ready to start.” He shook his head hoping that they could find at least one decent Chaser amongst the lot.
Romilda pouted and glared at Harry as she realized he wasn’t paying her any more attention. Grudgingly she took her place back in line.
“Kirke, when I signal, I want you to send the next one up. Katie, Ginny, ready to start?”
“Yes,” replied Ginny.
“I am; now what about you, Harry? Finished flirting with all your admirers?” Katie snickered as she observed all the over-dressed girls in the tryouts line.
Harry shook his head, noting with humor that Ginny wasn’t laughing either. He was not pleased with the circus that Chaser tryouts had become. Half the school had turned out and it appeared that it was mostly the female half. Inwardly he was glad that he had not allowed tryouts for all the positions. There had been quite a bit of grumbling about that and although he did regret having Kirke and Sloper on as Beaters, he was not about to change his mind now after his team had been practicing together all week.
“Ron, how about you?”
Harry mounted his broom and kicked off the ground. He flew to a stationary position near the hoops which would allow him to get a good view of the action. Ron flew in front of the hoops and took his position as Keeper. Katie and Ginny flew up to the opposite end of the pitch waiting for the first person to try out.
“Kirke, send the first one up.”
“First person up is Demelza Robins,” shouted Kirke.
Harry watched as Demelza flew up to join Ginny and Katie. There was a short conversation between the two girls and they began flying toward the hoops and Ron. The Quaffle passed back and forth several times between all three girls with Demelza being allowed to attempt to score.
Ron, sensing this, moved forward and blocked the shot easily.
Ginny retrieved the Quaffle and the Chasers all sped to the other end of the field for one more try. After a short conference, the three Chasers moved on the hoops in tandem, the Quaffle passing back and forth between the three of them at a rapid pace. At first it seemed like Ginny would be the one taking the shot, but at the last moment, she lobbed the Quaffle back to Demelza and moved to block Ron allowing Demelza to score. After Ginny and Katie patted her on the back, they sent Demelza back to the ground and flew to Harry.
“How’d she do?” he asked.
“That last maneuver was her idea,” said Katie.
“Not bad,” replied Harry. “What do you think, Ginny?”
“She flew well and she’s a level-headed sort. I wouldn’t mind playing with her.”
“All right, then. Let’s get ready for the next one.” Harry looked down at Kirke as Ginny and Katie flew back to the opposite end of the field. “Next!” he shouted.
“The next person up is Romilda Vane!”
Harry groaned. Fortunately for him, Romilda was as bad a flyer as she was a flirt. She could barely fly in a straight line and couldn’t even catch the Quaffle.
“Next!” shouted Harry after two miserable scoring attempts at the hoops.
After watching a couple dozen hopefuls fly, Harry, Ginny, and Katie finally settled on Demelza Robins to be their new Chaser and Dean Thomas to be the reserve. After the tryouts Harry kept the team on the pitch for an hour-long practice so Ginny and Katie could get used to flying with Demelza.
Harry was pleased as he watched his three Chasers practice. He could tell that Demelza was going to work well with Ginny and Katie. On the other hand, he was feeling a bit lost, too. He had really begun to enjoy being part of a working team. He was going to miss playing together with Katie and Ginny.
Not wanting to become morose, Harry grabbed a spare bat and joined Kirke and Sloper in a game of Bludger tennis again. Batting the Bludger back and forth was having a great effect on Kirke and Sloper’s play, of course the consequences of playing poorly were greatly increased by having the Bludger hit straight at each other. If anyone missed chances were they would end up in the infirmary.
As Harry hit the Bludger sending it straight at Sloper he noticed that his two Beaters play had become remarkably better. If Demelza hadn’t just been starting he would have tried to integrate their practice in with the rest of the team’s.
“All right, that’s enough,” said an exhausted Harry thirty minutes later. He pointed his wand at the Bludger. “Finite incantatum.” The Bludger dropped like a stone and Harry motioned for Kirke and Sloper to fly over to him.
“Great job, guys. I really mean it.”
Kirke and Sloper both grinned sheepishly.
“Thanks, Harry,” said Kirke.
“Yeah, thanks, mate,” replied Sloper.
“After Demelza gets up to speed we’re going to integrate you two back into practice. Off to the showers with you now.” Harry turned his attention from his Beaters to the rest of his team. “Oi, you lot! Have you had enough yet?”
“Yes!” his four team mates thundered back at him.
“All right. Let’s call it a day then.”
As Harry touched down, he was pleased to see that the crowd which had been present during the tryouts had largely dissipated, leaving but a few diehards left behind. Mostly second, third, and fourth year girls it seemed. He ignored the catcalls and whistles that came his way and headed into the changing rooms with Ron. Once he had cleaned up and changed, he, Ron, Ginny, Hermione, Katie, and Demelza headed back to the castle in a tight group. Harry walked with Ginny, Katie, and Demelza, discussing how the three of them were doing and what their upcoming plans for practice were. The discussion continued on through lunch until they had finally exhausted it.
“Are you up for working on Potions, Harry?” asked Ginny.
“Sure,” replied Harry with a smile as he remembered his promise to Ginny. “When would you like to start?”
“Would now be alright?”
“I don’t see why not,” replied Harry. As he got up he thought he saw a smile flash across Hermione’s face, but it was gone before he could be sure.
Ginny kept up a steady chatter as the two of them walked back to the Gryffindor Tower. She was very pleased with the way Demelza was coming along and was very hopeful of their chances in the next game.
“Do you want to work in the library or the common room?” asked Ginny as they entered through the portrait.
“Library,” replied Harry after seeing Romilda and quite a few other of the googly eyed flirts from the Quidditch tryouts lounging about in the common room.
“All right,” replied Ginny. “Give me five minutes to gather my books and I’ll meet you back here.”
Harry went to the sixth year boy’s dorm and retrieved his Potions book from his trunk. He threw it into his bag and returned to the common room. After a few nervous moments of ignoring the girls in the common room Harry saw Ginny appear. He smiled as he spotted her coming down the stairs. He was anxious to get out of the common room and away from Romilda and her mates.
“So how are Kirke and Sloper coming along?” asked Ginny as they headed out of the common room.
Harry grinned. “They’re doing much better. I’m thinking about integrating them back into practice as soon as Demelza is up to speed. They’ve really come a long way.”
“I thought they had it in them,” said Ginny. “That’s good news, but I’d say give Demelza at least a week to get up to speed before she has to start dodging bludgers.”
“Agreed,” said Harry.
The conversation about Quidditch and tactics continued until Harry and Ginny entered the library. As they entered, they noticed to their dismay that the library was full of students.
“This won’t do,” said Ginny as she surveyed the crowd, looking hopefully for some empty seats. Not seeing any, she looked to Harry. “Any ideas?”
“Why don’t we go down to the Great Hall,” said Harry after a moment’s thought. “It should be pretty quiet at the moment.”
Ginny smiled at Harry. “That sounds like a good idea. Let’s go.”
They quickly made their way out of the library and down to the Great Hall. On arriving, they spread their books and parchment out over the end of the Gryffindor table farthest from the Head Table and sat down next to each other. Ginny pulled out her essay on the uses of Moonstone, but before she could discuss it with Harry, Dobby suddenly appeared.
“Master Harry Potter, sir, and Miss. Weezy – can Dobby get anything for either of you?” he asked excitedly. “A late lunch or an early dinner perhaps?”
“No, thank you Dobby,” replied Harry.
“A spot of tea would be nice,” replied Ginny.
“Would Master Harry Potter care for some tea as well?” asked Dobby hopefully.
“Well, erm, why not?” said Harry. “Yes, I’ll have some. Thanks, Dobby.”
Dobby smiled and disappeared with a loud crack. A few moments later a silver tea service, two fancy cups and saucers, as well as a silver plate filled with biscuits appeared on the table before them. Dobby reappeared and quickly poured the tea for Harry and Ginny, carefully placing it in front of them so as not to disturb their books and parchment.
“Is there anything else I can get you, Master Harry Potter, sir?” asked Dobby.
“That will be all, Dobby,” replied Harry. “Thank you — this is wonderful.”
“Yes, thank you, Dobby,” added Ginny.
“You are welcome Master Harry Potter, sir,” replied Dobby. “Miss Weezy,” he said, nodding in her direction. “If you need anything, just call.” With that, Dobby disappeared with another loud crack.
“Biscuits and tea – we should study in the Great Hall more often,” said Ginny. She laughed as she saw Harry shaking his head. She popped a biscuit into her mouth and then turned her attention back to her Potions essay. “This is what I need help with,” she said as she laid the parchment on the table between herself and Harry. “Snape wants two feet on the uses of Moonstone in potions.”
Harry smiled. “That’s easy,” he said and proceeded to rattle off enough information about the use of Moonstone in Potions for Ginny to write a four-foot-long essay.
“Since when did you become such an expert at Potions?” asked Ginny as she scribbled furiously to keep up with what Harry was saying.
Harry laughed and then became serious. “Professor McGonagall made a promise last year that she would help me to become an Auror if it was the last thing she ever did. I spent most of the summer studying so I would be ready.” Harry felt a momentary pang of guilt for wasting so much of the summer wallowing in self-pity.
“How is she going to do that?”
“She’s planning to tutor me one-on-one.”
“Have you already started?” asked Ginny.
“No, she’s going to allow us to get the Quidditch team sorted out and then we’re going to start. Priorities, you know,” said Harry in a vague imitation of McGonagall.
Ginny smiled as she remembered McGonagall’s penchant for Quidditch and then directed her attention back to her essay. She worked diligently, pausing only to take a sip of tea every now and then. On finishing, she handed it to Harry so he could review it. Grateful for the break, Ginny poured the both of them more tea and ate another biscuit.
As she sipped her tea Ginny remembered Harry’s comment about the Sorting Hat. She and Hermione had spent the entire first weekend in the library researching what Harry had said about the hat. As far as they could tell, the hat had never given anyone a choice about which house they were to join. Curiosity was eating her up and given the pleasant moment she was sharing with Harry she decided to take a chance and ask him about it.
“Harry, do you mind if I ask you a personal question?” said Ginny.
Harry looked at her, a bit surprised, and then answered. “No, go ahead,” he replied.
“Why did the Sorting Hat allow you to choose which house you were to go in?” asked Ginny. “You don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to,” she added quickly as she saw the nervous look that suddenly came across Harry’s face.
“No, it’s okay,” replied Harry as he put Ginny’s essay down and began thinking about what the Sorting Hat had said to him. “Erm, I’m not really sure,” he finally said. “I just told it I didn’t want to be in Slytherin when it started suggesting it.”
“Harry, I talked to Hermione about what you said after the Sorting Ceremony and we did some research together. We couldn’t find any record of the Sorting Hat ever doing this before,” said Ginny. “Did it give you a reason why it wanted to sort you into Slytherin?”
“Erm, it said I would go far if I was sorted to Slytherin,” he replied in an embarrassed fashion. He became even more embarrassed as he saw the look of incredulity Ginny was giving him.
“But it didn’t tell you why it wanted to sort you into Slytherin?” asked Ginny.
“Erm, no,” replied Harry.
“Did it give you a choice about Gryffindor?”
“No,” replied Harry thoughtfully, realizing that he had never given that side of the equation much thought. “It just said if I wasn’t in Slytherin, it better be Gryffindor and the next thing I knew it was announcing it to the rest of the school.”
“That’s strange,” muttered Ginny to herself. As she looked into Harry’s eyes, she was all of a sudden taken with their resemblance to the green color of House Slytherin. “No, it couldn’t be,” she muttered to herself.
“What?” asked Harry.
“Harry, have you ever noticed the resemblance of the color of your eyes to the green color of House Slytherin?” asked Ginny nervously.
“Erm, not really,” answered Harry, beginning to wonder where this was going. He watched as Ginny pulled a small mirror out of her robes.
“Look at the color of your eyes, Harry,” she commanded gently as she offered him the mirror.
Harry gingerly accepted the mirror from Ginny’s hand and looked at his eyes. It was unmistakable. The green was the exact same shade of emerald as the green on the banner of Slytherin. “Maybe it’s just a coincidence,” said Harry hopefully as he handed the mirror back to Ginny.
“I don’t think so,” said Ginny quietly. “Have you ever seen anyone else with eyes that color green?”
“No,” replied Harry after he had given the matter a little thought. “My mother was supposed to have had the same eyes, though,” he offered.
“Harry, do you know anything about who your grandparents are...I mean, were?” said Ginny, nervously correcting her mistake.
“No,” replied Harry. “I’ve been so caught up about my parents that I haven’t given any thought to having grandparents. I mean, it’s not like I’ve had much of anything as far as family goes,” he finally added.
Ginny took Harry’s hand and squeezed it reassuringly. “Harry,” she began gently, “we need to look into your genealogy. Has Dumbledore ever spoken to you about your heritage?”
“No,” replied Harry thoughtfully. “Aside from my parents, I don’t really know anything about either the Potter or the Evans family, aside from what Sirius mentioned last summer.” Harry sighed with worry. “Do you think Dumbledore is keeping something from me?”
“I don’t know,” replied Ginny sympathetically, “but if we research your family history, it might give us some answers.” Ginny gave a tug on Harry’s hand. “Come on, let’s go to the library and have a look.”
“Shouldn’t we bring Hermione along with us?” asked Harry.
“Erm, well not necessarily,” muttered Ginny, trying to keep Hermione out of the picture. “She’s muggleborn and won’t know what to look for.”
“Yeah, that’s true, but shouldn’t we get her and Ron before we get started?” asked Harry, knowing that they should be finished with their Prefect duties by now. “You know how much Hermione loves research; she might never forgive us if we don’t let her help.”
Ginny snickered. “Erm,” answered Ginny nervously, “they are kind of...er...indisposed.”
Harry shot Ginny a curious look, but decided to let it drop, figuring that they were probably finally beginning to get serious about each other. Harry smiled and winked at Ginny. “Well, it’s about time they got ‘indisposed’ together,” he stated. Ginny appeared a little bit shocked at Harry’s comments. He looked at her. “Well, it’s not like it hasn’t been obvious for the last two years, now has it?”
“I suppose not,” replied Ginny, inwardly relieved that Harry was accepting of her brother’s and Hermione’s relationship.
“Come on, let’s go then,” said Harry as he gave a gentle tug on Ginny’s hand to pull her up out of her chair.
They quickly gathered their things, made their way out of the Great Hall and headed to the Library.
“So, what do you think we’ll find?” asked Harry, partly from curiosity and partly out of the desire to have something to talk with Ginny about.
“I’m not really sure,” replied Ginny thoughtfully. “It could just be a wild goose chase, but we’ll never know until we look.”
“So have you ever done any genealogical research before?” asked Harry, beginning to feel a bit nervous as they came closer and closer to the library. Aside from his mum, his dad, and the Dursleys, he knew absolutely nothing about his family. He wondered what they would find and also why Dumbledore had never told him any of this before.
“No,” replied Ginny. “Mum’s got a complete family history, a lot like that tapestry we saw at Grimmauld Place last year, only a lot less fancy. When I was little, I used to love asking her about it and she told me all about the different witches and wizards in our family. I always found it fascinating to hear about what my ancestors had done.”
Harry smiled at Ginny’s comments, picturing her and her mother in the warmth of the Burrow, discussing their family’s adventures with an album of wizard photographs open in front of them. He wondered for a moment what it would feel like to have a family. “Tell me about your family, Ginny,” asked Harry softly, still wondering what it was like.
Ginny was startled by Harry’s request. At first, it seemed a bit strange to her, but then as she realized he had never had a family, it made sense to her and she began telling him all about her family, keeping up a steady chatter until they reached the library. Once there, Ginny led Harry over to the card catalog. She pulled out the file marked G-Ger and began fingering her way through the index. She scowled as she paused at one of the cards.
“That’s probably it,” she muttered as she took one of the library quills, dipped it in ink and wrote the location on a piece of scratch parchment. “This way, Harry,” she said as she nodded in the direction of the book. She quickly replaced the quill and headed off in the direction of the book. They passed row after row of books, all the while getting closer and closer to the restricted section.
“Is this book in the restricted section?” asked Harry.
“It’s not supposed to be,” said Ginny as she began to wonder herself. “No, wait,” she muttered as she looked at the index on the bookcase next to them and what she had written down on the parchment. “This is it,” she said and walked down the length of the bookshelf, looking for the volume they needed.
“Ah, here it is,” she muttered as she pulled an enormous, ancient tome out of the stacks. “Erm, I think I’ll let you carry it,” muttered Ginny as she quickly passed the book to Harry, who almost dropped it as he took it from her.
Harry was amazed at the weight of the volume, especially since objects in the wizarding world tended to be enchanted to be of lesser weight rather than greater weight, which seemed to be the case with this book. He carefully brought it to the nearest empty table and sat it down, grateful to be relieved of the heavy load. He frowned as he saw the title of the book, Pureblood: a Genealogy of English Wizarding Families from 2500 B.C. to the Present stamped on the front in gilded lettering. The volume was bound in aged-blackened red leather, much the color of blood noted Harry as Ginny sat down in front of it and flipped it open to the front index.
She turned the pages until she came to ‘E’ and began to run her finger down the list of names. She halted as she came to ‘Evans’. “Evans, page 818,” she whispered.
“Wait a minute,” whispered Harry. “I thought my mother was a muggle.”
Ginny raised her eyebrows as she regarded Harry. “Evans is listed as a wizard family name,” answered Ginny. “Let’s look and see what comes up.”
Harry frowned as she turned the pages, finally arriving to the correct one. As Ginny opened the book for Harry to look, all he could see was the name ‘Evans’ at the top of the page, done in a flowing, illuminated manuscript style of writing. From what he could tell, it did look like it had been penned by hand. Next to the Evans name, a coat of arms was displayed. Harry was shocked as he noticed the coat of arms for Slytherin displayed in the upper right-hand quadrant of the shield. From the look on Ginny’s face, he could tell that she was shocked as well. “What’s that?” Harry demanded, pointing at the quarter of the shield with the Slytherin house colors and snake on it while ignoring the rest of the shield.
Ginny swallowed nervously. “That means that somebody in your mother’s family married into the Slytherin family line.” She looked guiltily at Harry and saw the look of revulsion on his face. He was shaking his head in disbelief.
“How?” muttered Harry, finally able to find his voice again.
“Let’s find out,” said Ginny as she took Harry’s hand in hers and placed his index finger on the page and whispered, “Harry Potter, son of Lily Evans. Please provide the family tree from Harry Potter to Salazar Slytherin.”
Ginny frowned as nothing happened. “Let me try this again. Harry Potter, son of Lily Evans. Please provide the family tree from Harry Potter to the time of Salazar Slytherin.”
As soon as she finished speaking, a spider web of lines appeared and began to flow across the page. Harry lifted his finger in surprise. As soon as he did so, the lines all disappeared. Ginny took hold of his hand again and pressed his index finger to the page.
“You have to keep either your finger or your wand on the page until you’re finished looking at the information,” she whispered.
Harry nodded at Ginny.
“Harry Potter, son of Lily Evans. Please provide the family tree from Harry Potter to the time of Salazar Slytherin,” said Ginny.
The spider web of lines appeared once again, followed moments later by names, which were linked to the lines. Some of the names were in red and some of them were in black. Harry noticed his Aunt Petunia’s name was in red, while his mother’s was in black. As the names continued to appear, he noticed that all of his family on his mother’s side for several generations was in red. Harry continued to follow the list of names up the page until it finally ended at Aedelred Slytherin, which was written in green.
“What does it mean where the names are listed in red?” asked Harry, looking Ginny in the eyes.
“Red is for squibs.”
“But I thought my mother was a muggle,” repeated Harry.
“Harry, squibs typically leave the wizarding world when they come of age. It’s sort of a dirty secret that nobody likes to talk about. Most purebloods like the Malfoys consider squibs useless and worry about them contaminating the purity of wizarding bloodlines. Even when they want to stay most of them get forced out.”
Harry nodded sadly. “And what about green?”
“Green is for twins.”
Harry swallowed nervously. “So where is Salazar Slytherin in all of this?”
Ginny looked back down at the page. “Harry Potter, son of Lily Evans. Please provide the family tree from Aedelred to Salazar Slytherin,” she ordered.
In an instant, a single line shot up from Aedelred to Balthazar Slytherin and then down to Salazar Slytherin and a dashed green line appeared between Aedelred and Salazar Slytherin.
“Salazar Slytherin’s name is in green,” said Harry nervously.
“It means they were twins,” said Ginny.
“Bloody hell,” muttered Harry.
Ginny lifted his hand from the page causing the offending family tree to disappear and pointed her wand at the page.
“Please display all living male heirs of Salazar Slytherin in the order of their birth,” said Ginny.
Names began to appear underneath Ginny’s wand. Harry’s appeared first, done in black. Dudley’s appeared next, albeit in red ink. No names appeared after Dudley.
“Okay,” muttered Ginny as she began to turn her thoughts back to Harry’s name. “You know what this means, don’t you?” she asked.
“No,” whispered Harry.
“You’re the Heir of Slytherin,” she replied.
“But I thought Voldemort was,” countered Harry.
“He was, but when the Avada Kedavra backfired from you to him, technically it killed him, just his spirit lived on. Since his return, he’s not fully human anymore. Somehow, the rights of the Heir have been passed on to you. After all, you did manage to open the Chamber of Secrets, didn’t you?”
Harry nodded numbly and considered that it was no wonder Dumbledore had not told him of this. He wasn’t sure which was worse, being targeted for murder by Voldemort or being told he was the Heir of Slytherin. Ginny saw the hurt look on Harry’s face and squeezed his hand once more. He smiled at her, enjoying her comforting ministrations.
“This would explain why he wants to kill you. He wants the rights of the Heir returned to him. This would also explain why your Aunt Petunia took you in. If you had been killed, Dudley would have been next.”
Harry snorted at the thought of Voldemort hunting his cousin down. After a moment, he sighed and looked at Ginny. “Ginny, please don’t tell anyone about this,” he pleaded.
Ginny squeezed his hand again. “Don’t worry, Harry. It will be our secret.” She sighed and then remembered that they still needed to check up on the Potter family history. She flipped back to the index and began running her finger down it once again.
“Ginny, what are you doing?” asked Harry.
“We still need to look up the Potter side of your family,” whispered Ginny brightly, trying to cheer him up.
Harry groaned in response, not knowing how much more of this he could take. He watched as she flipped through the pages and ended up at a page with the word Potter as its header. He glanced over at the family crest and was astonished as he saw a standing lion with a sword in its paws on a red and gold diamond-checkered background, and was amazed at its similarity to the Gryffindor House crest. He looked at Ginny and saw surprise and delight in her eyes as well.
Immediately, she took his hand and touched his index finger to the page. “Harry Potter, son of James Potter. Please provide the family tree from Harry Potter to the time of Salazar Slytherin.” Once again, a spider’s web of lines began to appear, linking the names of one generation to the next. As Harry and Ginny both watched the lines and the names flowed upward until they finally ended on the name ‘Godric Gryffindor’. A sharp gasp escaped from each of their lips simultaneously. Ginny smiled and looked up from the page to see a nervous grin on Harry’s face.
“So that explains the Sorting Hat’s actions,” muttered Harry, feeling slightly better as a result of finding out he was a direct descendant of Godric Gryffindor. Ginny smiled as she noticed Harry relaxing a bit. As Harry looked up and down the list, he noticed one of the men in his family had married a lady from the Weasley family. “Look, Ginny,” he said as he pointed it out to her. “There is a Weasley in my family tree.” As he looked at her, he noticed her smiling and blushing and then remembered it had been quite a while since he had seen her blush in his presence. As he continued to watch her, he was glad. Perhaps this meant she liked him again.
Trying to provide a distraction from her blushing, Ginny once again pointed her wand on the page. “Display all living male descendants of Godric Gryffindor in the order of their birth. She watched as the name Harry Potter appeared underneath her wand.
Harry stared at the page, willing there to be more names, but no more were displayed. He looked up at Ginny, at once both sad and happy. Happy that he was descended from Godric Gryffindor and heir apparent, yet sad because there were no other men left of the line of Godric Gryffindor. “Well, Professor Dumbledore did say that it took a true Gryffindor to pull Godric Gryffindor’s sword out of the Sorting Hat,” mumbled Harry, relieved that his father’s side of his family tree painted a much more encouraging picture than his mother’s side.
“Why do you think Professor Dumbledore didn’t tell you about all of this?” asked Ginny in a whisper.
“I’m not sure,” began Harry as he started thinking about it all. “Maybe he wanted me to have a fresh start,” he finally replied. “Maybe he wanted me to be my own man and find my own way, not subject to the decisions others made hundreds of years before me.” Harry looked at Ginny, trying to gage what she thought of the situation.
Ginny gave Harry a satisfied look. “It would make sense,” she muttered. Their thoughts were interrupted as Madame Pince announced that the library would be closing in fifteen minutes.
“Come on,” said Harry, “let’s go before we’re out of bounds.” He closed the large volume and watched as Ginny grabbed her bag and quickly rose to follow him out of the library. As they made their way back to Gryffindor Tower, Harry turned to look at Ginny. “Ginny, promise me you won’t tell anyone about what we found today.”
Ginny looked at Harry with an expression of concern. “Are you sure you don’t want to tell Ron and Hermione?”
Harry sighed. “I’m not ready yet,” he replied. “Maybe later after I’ve had some time to deal with all of this.”
“Okay, Harry,” answered Ginny. “I’ll let you tell them when you’re ready.”
“Thanks, Ginny,” said Harry as he smiled at her. He was heartened as he saw the slightest hint of a blush begin at the tips of her ears.
“Say, Harry, could I borrow that book on becoming an Animagus?” asked Ginny, effortlessly changing the subject.
“Sure,” replied Harry. “It’s not like I’ve got time to read it now, anyway.”
Ginny grinned in anticipation.
“Maybe you could give me the abridged version on how to become an Animagus after you’ve read it?”
“That would be fun,” replied Ginny, obvious mischief sparkling in her eyes.
“Of course,” continued Harry, “there’s no guarantee that either one of us will be an Animagus. It’s not supposed to run in families; so even though my dad was one, that’s no guarantee I will be.”
“Still,” answered Ginny, “it will be fun to try. And just imagine the possibilities if both of us could change. We could drive Filch nutters!”
Harry snickered. “I take it you’re not going to register then, eh?”
“Are you kidding? Where’s the fun in everybody knowing you’re an Animagus?”
Getting to know Ginny Weasley is fun, thought Harry, who all of a sudden wished he had done it sooner.