Disclaimer: This story is based on and inspired by a song by English Indie band, The Enemy called Happy Birthday, Jane. Iíve substituted Jane with Gin (clever, I know!). Copyright The Enemy, Stiff Records (in the UK) and Warner Music Group. I neither own the lyrics or the story line/characters of Harry Potter!
Good Mornin [Gin] Jane, Happy Birthday, Once Again, What Would We Do, What Would We Do Without You, Without YouÖ
11th August 1998 Ė My 17th Birthday
Why is it that whenever the alarm goes off youíre never ready for it? I mean, itís ridiculous. At this moment, I can hear the bells ringing right in my bloody ears. Itís been the same every morning since that day in May. I get up on the alarm, get myself ready for the day, and then go out. Where is never quite clear. But this year, Iíve more than made up my mind.
Iíve decided that I need a break from it all, as the last year for me has been far too much. What with Harry, to all intents and purposes dying and coming back, with my brother gone, and with two of our closest friends lost, I decided that I want some time.
My family, on the other hand, are not exactly enthralled with the idea.
ďStay, Ginny, stay! We need you,Ē Mum would say.
ďWhere are you going to go?Ē Ron would ask.
ďYou know what I would say, love, so Iím not going to. Just be sure that youíre doing it for the right reasons,Ē my level-headed father would say.
It would be petulant and immature of me to think that they did not know what I was going through. My parents lost a son. My brother, well, he lost a brother, and damn near lost his closest friend, much the same as me, really. But at the end of the day, the way I felt for Harry never changed, even after Dumbledoreís funeral. That kiss that we shared on his birthday only last year. The memory of that kept me fuelled through some of the darkest times I have faced.
In 1998 Iíve seen some of the most horrific punishments levelled on my classmates I have ever seen. Iíve witnessed the school which so many cherish and enjoy fall about me. Iíve witnessed the school become a near police state, guarded by maniac Death Eaters and their supporters. Guarded by people who want to keep people in a near state of paranoia and fear.
Iíve listened to the radio every night, just to hear news of my family. Every time they read out that list of names, every time, my stomach dropped and my heart slowed down. Iíve read Daily Prophet articles falsely condemning my ex-boyfriend of being a traitor, turning him into an outcast. Iíve seen Muggle newspaper articles speaking of horrific happenings in their world, of which they were powerless to stop.
To top all of that off, Iíve seen that safe haven, that castle that seemed so strong, so secure, being slowly burned and torn apart by battle. That, for me, was one of the greatest losses; seeing Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry almost reduced to rubble. But then, even that pales into insignificance when I think back to the way my mother and brothers wept at the sight of Fred in the Great Hall. I remember the way I wept when I saw him.
And what have I done since? Iíve done the grand total of nothing. Iíve stayed at home at The Burrow. I lost all my belongings in Hogwarts. Unfortunately, a fire took hold of the Gryffindor Tower before many people had a chance to clear their things. So Iíve sat in my room. Iíve played chess with my brothers. Iíve helped Mum and the rest of my family sort through Fredís belongings that were still in The Burrow. Weíve sent them to George. He lives with Angelina above his shop in Hogsmeade, says London brings back too many memories for him. And Iíve waited for news from St Mungoís too. News from Harryís Healers. Thatís where Iím going now. Itís where Iíve been going every Tuesday at 8 AM since the middle of May. Harry remained conscious long enough for him to tell the particulars of what he witnessed to the people who mattered (Hermione and Ron), and two days later, slipped into a coma. A coma that heís been in since the 4th May.
Just so happens that this particular Tuesday coincides with two things. The first thing, as you can tell from the top page of my diary, is that today is my 17th Birthday. As you might have gathered though by now, I donít much feel like celebrating my stepping into the Wizarding world (although the breaking of the trace will be helpfulÖ). The second thing is that, purely by accident, this is the day that (after seeing Harry first), I plan to go on my journey.
So there we are. My reasons for going. I just need to get away, get time to think, restore my brain and then come back. I actually, genuinely hope it wonít take me long, but we can never tell with these things.
Itís been a long day! I write now from my first stop on my travels, the Scottish fishing village of Oban. Itís peaceful here. Iíve been looking across the bay all afternoon from the Coliseum (a slightly odd feature of the town I must admit). Iíve been watching fishing boats coming and going, and a Muggle ferry smoking into the harbour from the islands and highlands that surround this area. The setting sun was beautiful, too with the yellows, reds and oranges glinting on the calm sea as it fell slowly towards the horizon.
I think this has been a successful start to my trip. Perhaps Iíll keep to the sea-sides. I like places like this.
Wake up the sun is shining, Shining for you. To take all you troubles away, Just for a day, To take all your troubles away, Just for a dayÖ For a dayÖ
11th October 1998 Ė 3 months in
A new place, a new morning. Iíve taken to watching sun rises, and this one here is spectacular. Iím sitting on the clifftops near Robin Hood's Bay, in Muggle North Yorkshire. Quite close to where I believe there used to be a Wizard settlement, but Iíd have to check with Hermione on that one.
Anyway, watching the sun rising has become my new favourite pastime. As autumn has closed in, watching them can be just as stunning as the sunsets I saw all over Scotland in the summer. Iíve decided to come south because I feel like I should be heading a bit closer to home, though I donít think Iím ready for that just yet. I just wanted to share with you this stunning scene I have before me.
Iím sat on a bench. Thereís a road behind me, and one or two people starting to make their way down the steep slope into the village. Presumably theyíre off to start up their fishing boats: the tide looks to be in, and the bay seems very calm.
So what have I done on my journey so far? Itís been more than watching sunsets in the west, then coming slowly round to watch the sunrises in the east. I could be really poncy and call it a ďjourney of self-discoveryĒ. But for lack of a better description, I suppose thatís what it has been. I left The Burrow in August with three basic problems:
My brother had just died and I needed space to think about myself, and what I was doing. I needed the time alone, which being in a family of seven is never easy to find. So I removed myself.
I have just had one of the most emotionally draining years of my life, and I wanted some distance.
Iím in love with someone in a coma. Ever had that problem? Itís rubbish. Trust me.
As for the first two, I think Iíve got some way to give myself some closure. Iíve climbed mountains, been kayaking, gone on bike rides and hikes. Iíve ridden brooms over some of the most unforgiving landscapes. But above all else, itís given me the time I needed to think. These activities, whilst pleasurable, have really given me that time I needed to think, and to Ďevaluateí (though I hate to use the word) my life so far. Itís led me to a further three decisions:
And so itíll be home for me soon. Certainly in time for Christmas.
Harry Potter Is Back On His Feet (Daily Prophet report from the Sunday edition, 8th November 1998) By Billius Oyster Ė Editor of the Daily Prophet
We are pleased to be able to inform you that Harry Potter, he who vanquished Lord Voldemort in May, has awoken from the coma in which he has been since that day. Naturally, we hail this day as a celebration for Wizard-kind that he was able to safely recover from the injuries he sustained during that final Battle of Hogwarts.
Sources from St Mungoís report that he first showed signs of recovery on Thursday 5th November, when for the first time Healers noted that his fingers and hands had moved and indeed tensed. Tests were done which confirmed that movement had indeed returned. By Saturday, Mr Potter had sat up in bed and spoken his first words since falling into the coma.
News of his recovery was announced by the Minister of Magic, Kingsley Shacklebolt in an interview this morning on the WWN morning current affairs programme. On behalf of the staff of the Daily Prophet, I wish Mr Potter a swift and successful recovery.
Authorís Note: A new story after a long break in writing, please read, enjoy and review! A big thank you to Arnel for her fantastic betaing.