Ginny sat curled up in a window seat in the common room looking out over the hills, trying to keep from feeling sorry for herself as she waited for eight o’clock to roll around for her meeting with Professor Lupin. She was so very lonely this year, and it was only the third week of school. Hermione was usually the one who listened to her and gave her advice; she was more like a sister than a friend. The other girls were, well, too girly, and they didn’t really have that much in common with her.
Hell, she even missed Ron. She smiled to herself, realizing she’d forgotten what it was like not to have him around. He was a git, but this was the first time since she was ten that she was on her own, so to speak. He was annoying, over-protective, thick as overcooked Polyjuice Potion, but she loved him because he was all those things. As much as she hated to admit it, she missed her brother.
Then there was Harry. She knew it would be hard to be away from him after being spoiled for so long, but in her wildest dreams, it was never this difficult. Every nook and cranny of the common room held some sort of memory of the two of them together: the sofa where they used to cuddle, the rug in the middle of the room where they had their first kiss, this window seat where they looked out at the stars and shared their deepest secrets. She held back the tears, knowing she needed to pull it together. The clock struck eight o’clock, and she headed out the portrait hole and towards Professor Lupin’s office. She knocked on the door and was greeted by Tonks, who was sporting a curly hairdo this evening.
“Hey, Ginny. He’s expecting you.” She then turned to her husband. “Night, dear,” she told him, making him blush as she left for their quarters.
“Have a seat, Ginny.” His face looked all too serious.
“What did you want to see me about, Professor?” She kept her head down and rolled the hem of her sweater between her fingers.
“Have a seat, Ginny.” She looked up at her favourite teacher and smiled quickly as he continued, “I’ve received word that your classes haven’t been going so well these first few weeks. What’s the matter?”
Ginny could only look up with glassy eyes.
“Is it a who?” She nodded. He came around the desk and sat across from her in the other chair. “I know you miss him, but you’re such a good student; I don’t want this to get in the way.”
“It’s not just Harry. I miss Hermione and Ron, too. I’m lonely, that’s all.” Remus frowned at her answer. “Fine. I miss Harry more. Why does love have to hurt?”
“It doesn’t. We make it hurt by ignoring it, not taking care of it and not letting it grow. Believe me, I know.” He looked at her sad face and sighed. “Has he written?”
Ginny grinned. Hedwig woke her every morning, and her pile of notes was gathering some interest from her roommates. She even had to place a spell on her drawer to keep them from snooping. “Hedwig’s more reliable than an alarm clock.” She wiped her eyes on her sleeve. “I just don’t know when we’ll be able to see each other. He’s so busy now, and I’m stuck here.”
“This is your NEWT year, and you are a very talented witch.” A smile started to creep up on his face. “That’s why I wanted to speak with you. Madam Pomfrey has spoken with St. Mungo’s, and they’ve accepted you into Healer School. Pending your NEWT results, of course.”
Her face suddenly brightened, and she smiled. “Really? Oh, this is fabulous!” She reached over and hugged Remus. “Oh, sorry, Professor. Thank you!”
“But Ginny, you need to get back on track in your classes. Potions is very important. I’ve heard that you’ve fallen off a bit from before; yet, Professor Slughorn feels you are very adept at it. Did you get your hands on Harry’s book?” He raised an eyebrow as he went around, sitting behind his desk again. Harry was rather adamant about not sharing Snape’s old Potions book with her.
“No. He’s still got it. The prat wouldn’t part with it.” She smiled, remembering Harry’s lecture to her about his Advanced Potions book. “All he did was mark a few potions that I should rethink. He didn’t do anything else, Remus, honest.”
“Good. You need to learn that all by yourself.” Lupin’s mood changed quickly, and a smiled filled his haggard-looking face. “Hey, how’s the team shaping up?” Ginny was the new Seeker on the Gryffindor Quidditch team.
“We’re terrible. Our new Keeper is awful, and the chemistry isn’t much better. You better get ready to hand over that trophy, Remus. Demelza is doing a great job trying to pull us together, but she’s not...” Harry. She took a deep breath. “Everyone seems to think that I’ll magically turn into Harry just because he’s my boyfriend and I’ve got his broom. But the team truly does stink. It’s pathetic.”
“So the Gryffindor reign is going to end on my watch.” He had an odd twinkle in his eye that belied his concern.
“Looks that way. Sorry.” He doesn’t believe a word I’m saying. What’s up with him?
“Minerva will be so disappointed.” Lupin leaned forward across the desk conspiratorially. “Do you really think Demelza and I would let that happen?” Ginny didn’t understand, and it must have shown on her face as he smiled and said, “We owled Harry and Ron last week for help.”
“What?” I didn’t hear him correctly, did I?
He sat back in his chair, a satisfied smile on his face. “Now, this cannot leave the room. Demelza and I don’t want everyone in the castle to know, all right? They’re coming next Saturday, and we’ve got the pitch booked all morning, starting at seven.”
“No way! Oh, that’s fantastic!” She got up and started pacing the room. “How long will they be here?” Her face beamed with joy.
“They’re practising with you on Sunday, too. And I think one of the twins will be coming, too. They both wanted to come, but the shop’s real busy.” He began to smile, too.
“Do the other Heads know?”
“You kidding? Minerva would have kittens if this got out, and the others would have my pelt if they knew. But they just think that we need the practise more than anyone since we lost half the team in June.” He folded his arms over his chest, taking a serious stance. “Remember, Ginny, don’t tell a soul, okay? Not even the rest of the team. Demelza wanted you to know because she knew how hard a time you’ve been having. Now, go get your homework done because I know you haven’t been doing it!” He shuttled her out of his office, looking quite pleased with himself.
Ginny threw herself into her course work over the next week and found herself caught up with everything she had fallen behind on. She and Demelza huddled together in the common room every night, talking about what they wanted to do in practice with Harry and Ron.
“Oh, I really hope Ron can help out poor Dennis. He better put him through the paces, Ginny, or I’ll never speak to your brother again.” Demelza checked her list of things she wanted done at the practice. “Do you think Harry can help with the Chasers?”
“Yeah. Why not? Are you going to try and get Ron to divulge some Puddlemere secrets while you’re at it?” The other girl smiled.
“He bloody well better!” Demelza retorted. “It’s hard enough trying to patch this team together, but I have to uphold tradition, too. Harry sure has made it hard for me, Ginny.”
“Don’t take it so personally. You’re doing a great job. I’m just glad it’s not me.”
“Why not? You have more experience, you know.”
“Come on, let’s get to bed. Hedwig’s been coming earlier and earlier these days. Damn that Potter.” The two of them giggled, and they gathered their rucksacks and headed up the stairs.
Ginny had a hard time getting to sleep that night and was tossing and turning in her bed. Harry would be here in two days, and her heart was just bursting with excitement. She also kept remembering how it felt sharing Harry’s bed, even if in her dreams things progressed much farther than they actually had. He could turn her insides to mush with the slightest touch, and sparks flew every time he had kissed her. She shook her head and tried to fall asleep; her dreams always drifted toward Harry.
“Ginny! That bleeding owl’s here. Wake up!” She felt herself rustled awake by Sarah Mitchell. Her eyes opened and saw her roommate’s face, blackened with soot.
“Did you really think he wouldn’t put a charm on it? Really, Sarah.” Ginny sat up and held out her arm for Hedwig, who landed gracefully. Ginny pulled the curtains around her bed and released the spell from the note in a hushed voice.
Remus told me last night you know about practice tomorrow. I would have hoped he’d keep it a secret, but he said it had a dramatic change in your work. I’m so glad I could help. And no, you’re not going to get my Advanced Potions book this weekend.