3:Letters from Hogwarts and Egypt - November, 1991
The Harry Potter Universe belongs to J.K. Rowling. I’m just borrowing the characters for a while. This is for pleasure only, no profit is being made, and no copyright infringement is intended.
The day after Halloween, Molly was sitting at the kitchen table with a cup of tea and two letters in front of her when Ginny came home from Luna Lovegood’s. ‘We had such a good time. The Diggorys invited us and Luna’s dad to their party and we listened to Celestina Warbeck’s special Halloween show.’ As she bent to kiss her mum, she noticed tears in her eyes and asked, ‘What’s wrong, Mum? Why are you crying? Who are the letters from?’
‘I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. This one is from Percy and the other is from Minerva McGonagall.’ Molly handed Ginny the letter from Percy. ‘Read this out loud. Maybe I missed something.’
Dear Mother and Father,
My responsibilities as a Prefect are keeping me extremely busy but I write to inform you of a very strange occurrence. Last night at the Halloween Feast, one of the professors ran into the Great Hall, screaming that a troll was in the dungeons and then, he fainted dead away. Professor Dumbledore quite rightly asked us Prefects to lead our houses back to our dormitories immediately. I, of course, took charge of the Gryffindors.
Somehow, although it was not my fault, Ron and Harry Potter sneaked away to look for a girl in their year whom they noticed had not been in the Great Hall. Her name, I think, is Hermione Granger. I immediately led a search to attempt to find all three of them when they did not answer my roll call. I never expected Ron and Harry to actually go into a girls' bathroom. But that is what they did and the troll was there, wreaking havoc on the place.
What happened next is unbelievable. Ron and Harry fought the full-grown mountain troll. Harry somehow got on the troll’s back and stuck his wand up its nose. Then Ron used “Wingardium Leviosa” on the troll’s club and dropped it on his head and knocked him out. The girl told Professor McGonagall that she thought she could deal with the troll on her own because she had read all about them. She said that Ron and Harry saved her life.
I, naturally, gave the boys a good tongue-lashing. I hope they don’t lose too many points for Gryffindor for disobeying a Prefect and going into a girls’ bathroom.
Give my regards to little Ginny. Did she have a pleasant Halloween?
Sincerely, your son, Prefect Percy Weasley
Ginny said, ‘Goodness! Ron and Harry Potter had quite an adventure. But it sounds like they’re in trouble. What does the other letter say?’
Molly began to read aloud.
Dear Arthur and Molly,
Last night, your son Ronald earned five points for his House, as did his friend Harry Potter. They rescued a fellow Gryffindor from a full-grown mountain troll. Ronald managed to knock out the troll by dropping his own club on his head. He used a charm he had learned only yesterday. It is my opinion that there was a large measure of luck in the outcome, as well.
Neither Ronald nor Harry suffered any ill effects from their adventure but I cautioned them to seek help from a teacher or Prefect should they encounter another troll.
It is refreshing to write to you without any news of Fredrick and George’s exploits to report. I wonder what they are doing to keep busy besides Quidditch practice. Perhaps I should investigate their current activities.
Minerva McGonagall Head, Gryffindor House Deputy Headmistress Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
‘So Ron and Harry Potter earned points for being extremely brave!’ Ginny was looking very pleased. ‘Percy thought they’d get points taken away from Gryffindor.’ Suddenly, Ginny got a pensive look on her face as she said; ‘I hope Ron and Harry Potter don’t have to rescue me from anything dangerous next year. I’d be so scared.’
‘I’ve never heard of a full-grown mountain troll at Hogwarts before so I don’t think you have to be concerned. Remember, next year, you’ll have four big brothers there to help you so don’t worry about being safe.’ Molly hugged Ginny and said, ‘I’m glad you and Luna had a good time last night. What did her father say about Luna coming to learn household charms?’
‘He wants Luna to learn the newspaper business so he is going to take her with him to the Quibbler office and out on interviews. He says their housekeeper can teach her anything she needs to know before Hogwarts.’
Ginny yawned and said, ‘I think I’ll take a little nap if you don’t need me. Luna and I talked almost all night. She’s never met Harry Potter so I had to tell her all about him having green eyes and smiling at me twice at King’s Cross and being Ron’s best friend.’ She went up the stairs to her room.
Molly started writing a letter to Ron and the other boys, muttering, ‘I’m glad no harm was done. Ron would be so embarrassed if I had to send him a Howler. I’m glad Hermes is still waiting. Errol would never make it to Hogwarts and back’
The weather turned cold the weekend after Halloween so Molly and Ginny stayed inside and baked. Ginny wrote notes to her brothers to include with the biscuits and tarts she had made them. Ginny wrote the same thing on all the packages-
Mum is teaching me to bake. I made these for you so you would not be too lonesome for home cooking. Please write back!
Arthur took the packages into the Ministry to send in their daily post to Hogwarts. Errol could never have managed all that weight.
The second weekend in November, Molly and Arthur and Ginny were just finishing breakfast when a beautiful snowy owl tapped at the window. Ginny ran to get the note and took it to her father. She gave a treat to the owl and sat back down at the table.
‘It’s from Ron. But it is a little confusing,’ Arthur began to read aloud.
Dear Mum and Dad and Ginny,
I am sorry I haven’t written but I have been busy with school and other things. Thanks for the box of biscuits and tarts. Did Ginny really make them all by herself?
Gryffindor beat the Slytherin Snakes even though Professor Snape tried to kill Harry Potter during the match. Neville Longbottom was so scared when Harry got bucked off his broom that he blubbered all over Hagrid. Hermione set his robes on fire. Not Neville’s, Snape’s. And Harry almost swallowed the Snitch but that counts as a catch. Hagrid doesn’t believe us that Snape is trying to kill Harry but Hermione and I think he is.
The food here is pretty good but I miss Mum’s cooking.
Your son, Ron
PS. Harry thinks Ginny is a good cook. I shared some of my food with him because he never gets anything from those Muggles. He wanted to write to Ginny to thank her but I told him not to bother. He loaned me his owl. Her name is Hedwig. He said that he never gets any letters so I can use her any time I want. We think Ginny might send some treacle tart back with her. Hint! Hint!
‘I can’t believe what Ron said happened during the Quidditch match!’ Molly looked bewildered. ‘Fred and George say that Professor Snape is unfair to Gryffindors but I can’t imagine a teacher trying to kill a student. I wonder how their friend Hermione set him on fire. This is very confusing.’ Molly sighed. ‘Maybe Percy will tell us more next time he writes.’
Their weekly letter from Percy didn’t explain what happened at the Slytherin match in any more detail than Ron’s had. Fred and George didn’t even write.
The letter that they got from Charlie made Molly wonder if there was something he wasn’t telling her. It seemed too cheerful.
Dear Mum and Dad and Princess Ginny,
Boy, oh boy, does it ever get cold in Romania! It’s a good thing we have lots of fire-breathing dragons. The first thing we learn is not to get too close to a dragon’s mouth.
I am making friends with the other dragon handlers and the researchers and healers (both for the dragons and for us humans). I wish I could introduce my family to them. They can’t believe that I have five brothers (and a sister who is a Princess).
Bill writes almost every week but does not send me anything home-baked. Is Mum teaching Ginny to bake? We would eat even unsuccessful experiments.
Hoping to hear from you soon,
‘Ginny, I think we’d better bake a big box of different kinds of treats for Charlie and have your father send it through the Ministry post,’ said Molly. ‘We’ll have to tell him you are well past burned biscuits.’
They spent the rest of the day baking and packing a big box for Charlie.
Ginny enclosed a note.
Mum says I am learning to cook and bake very fast. I remembered that you like anything chocolate so we made more chocolate biscuits and tarts than I usually send to my other brothers. You and I are the ‘Chocoholics’ in this family.
Sometimes I do burn things if I forget about them. Speaking of burning, do the dragons burn you when they breathe fire? I hope you have good healers if they do. And be careful.
I miss you a whole lot! You are almost as far away as Bill is.
Ginny continued with the lessons that Molly had planned for her all through November. She sent biscuits and tarts to her brothers at Hogwarts every other week, always making the most for Ron so he could share with Harry Potter. She always asked her brothers to write back and tell her how they liked what she sent but no one except Percy did.
Just past the middle of November, a letter arrived from Bill. Molly was alone in the kitchen when it came. She read it and then took it upstairs and put it on Arthur’s bedside table. That night as they were going to bed, Arthur read Bill’s letter aloud.
Dear Mum and Dad and Ginny,
I wish I could come home for Christmas but Gringotts has just obtained possession of a tomb quite a ways from the Cairo headquarters and we will be camped near the digs from mid-December until we break the curses on all the chambers. I don’t think we will be in any more danger than usual but we are being compensated at a very handsome rate.
Since I can’t make it home this year, I have arranged for an International Portkey so that the three of you can go to Romania and visit Charlie. You will have to make the arrangement after the first of December. He wouldn’t want me to tell you but I can tell from his letters that he is very homesick. He also can’t get away. He says his dragons have gotten used to being fed every day.
Seeing you and Ginny will cheer him up. I know I am Ginny’s favorite brother as she is my favorite sister, but Charlie still thinks she likes him best.
I do not want any arguments about my gift. I wish I could afford for the younger boys to go but I am sure they can manage to have a wonderful Christmas staying at Hogwarts. I know a number of my fellow students enjoyed hobnobbing with the Professors over Christmas Break.
Have a Happy Christmas!
“I am so disappointed that Bill will not be here for Christmas,’ said Molly. “But I think that he is right about Charlie being homesick.’ She looked at Arthur and said, ‘It is your decision, dear. But I’d really like to go.’
Arthur cuddled her and said, ‘We never stop being parents even when they are off on their own. Of course, we will take Bill up on his generous offer. I’ll find out what we need to do to arrange for the boys to stay at Hogwarts. Ginny will perk up seeing her Charlie. Those two are so alike.’
The next morning they told Ginny that Bill would not be able to come home for Christmas but wanted to remind her that she was his favorite sister. Molly suggested that she draw Bill a nice picture for his birthday and write him a letter, as well. Ginny wrote all about what had been happening at home and what they had heard from Hogwarts. She drew him a picture of all the needles knitting the Weasley Family jumpers.
Molly and Arthur wrote Bill a separate letter thanking him for his generous gift and promising that they would cheer up Charlie and would visit him in Egypt as soon as they could. Arthur sent both letters off in the International Post from the Ministry.
Molly kept Ginny in the routine she had established. They spent more time inside as the weather turned nasty. The plot of Days of Destiny grew more convoluted as one of the minor characters developed Multiple Personality Disorder, a very serious condition for a Metamorphmagus.