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.
10th August 1999 ó Ginnyís 18th tomorrowÖ
An important reminder! Iím glad Iím organised and have found something for her. It took a while, but I hope she appreciates it. Itís a St Christopherís medallion. Itís a piece of jewellery Muggles give to each other ó a sort of ďbe safe travellingĒ charm for them (though obviously itís a symbolic thing rather than based on any form of magic). I used to see them when being dragged around the shops carrying the bags for the Dursleys, so I had some idea of where I could find one.
Iím not sure what possessed me to start this diary, and today of all days, Ginny has been telling me how keeping one, for her at least, has been a good way for her to write down and gather her thoughts. Surely a Pensieve would do the job? But no, apparently itís not the same (and, having done some research, not as expensive either!). Which reminds me ó thereís something else in Ginnyís present that I bought. Itís some more parchment for next yearís diary entries. I hope she likes it, I bought it in a shop in Hogsmeade when we all went to see what was happening at Hogwarts. Luckily, I managed to sneak off to buy it ó Hermione saw to it that Ron and I had some time to go and buy something.
I wonít bore you with the details of what Iíve been doing since I woke up in November. Thatís very much another story for another day. It feels like Iíve been giving near constant interviews about that. I spent Christmas, as you might imagine, with the Weasleys at The Burrow. I spent a bit of time over that period helping the other Weasley brothers patch up the damage that had been sustained during the war, and giving The Burrow a fresh lick of paint on the outside. The inside, of course, remains untouched, which is the way it should be, really! Iím there now, actually. Iím in Ronís room (heís downstairs with HermioneÖ) so I thought Iíd take the opportunity to start up this diary.
Although, having said that, itís nearly midnight ó think Iíll go say goodnight to Ginny. I, for one, know Iím glad sheís here ó she nearly wasnít. There was a time when she had decided to go off and finish her studies in Brazil. Thereís a College of Witchcraft and Wizardry in Manaus, which I believe she was all but registered for, but thankfully something happened that meant she decided to change her mind at the last minute. Iíve never been sure whether she was trying to get away from things again (sheís told me all about her trip), or whether itís simply the travel bug thatís bitten her.
Sheís not been the same since May last year. None of us have, really, but I think sheís under a lot of strain. I think we get so focused on our own problems that we lose sight of other peopleís feelings and thoughts. Believe me, Iíve been wrestling with my own thoughts for the best part of the last six months. Iíve no idea what Iím going to do with the rest of my life, let alone how Iím going to adjust to ďnormalĒ life. Hermione says I have a fragile soul. Ron says heíd not be surprised if I was admitted to St Mungoís next week and never let out for being ďterminally mentalĒ. Good to have supportive friendsÖ
Anyway, thatís why Iíve bought her the St Christopher. To let her know that even if she feels completely alone, that Iím there for her. Since that kiss we shared on my birthday last year, weíve not had any sort ofÖ ďromanticĒÖ involvement. But I do seem to have spent nearly every waking moment in her company since she came back from her trip round England just before Christmas. Apparently, she didnít even know Iíd come out of hospital ó on reflection, thatís probably why she looked so horrified (perhaps surprised?) to see me sitting at the kitchen table in The Burrow on the day she came home.
Hmmm... need to keep a closer eye on time! Must head downstairs before it gets too much laterÖ
So Good Night [Gin] Jane, Happy Birthday Once Again, Now What Will We Do, What Will We Do Without You, Without YouÖ
11th August 1999 ó My 18th Birthday
Iíve decided I donít like Harry Potter. Well, thatís not entirely true. But the next time somebody comes into my room after midnight, wakes me up by sitting on the end of my bed, then expects an apology after a full-on Bat-Bogey Hex is otherwise sorely mistaken!
Although it has to be said that once I discovered that I wasnít being attacked, I helped him to tidy himself up (I must say that that curse is particularly disgusting to clean upÖ) and we curled up in bed together. We swapped some more stories about his seventh year, my sixth. We started sharing our experiences in early February, when one day, I came upon him in a particularly fragile moment. Itís not like Harry to display any sort of emotion really, and it was a bit of shock, I have to say.
I think knowing that Iíd witnessed his emotions, brought him a cup of tea and a piece of toast, he could trust me. We talked a lot that evening, about everything and nothing. About how weíd both had the most stressful and emotional years of our lives, about how long we thought Ron and Hermioneís relationship would last (they Ďsaw the lightí on Valentines Day of all daysÖ), and how George and Angelina were getting on. We talked about my mum and dad, and how they were coping without Fred, about Percy, and how he was now much more involved with things; heís now Minister for the Treasury at the Ministry, a very important role, Iím told! And for once, not just by him!
And from that day we spent a lot of time together. I feel I should explain at this point that Mum and Dad didnít want Harry out of their sight for the first few months. He stayed at The Burrow in Ronís room, and has helped out around the house doing odd jobs here and there to earn his keep. Dadís been taking him to York to do the fitness tests for the Auror Academy, though thereís a chance that they might make him take his seventh year at Hogwarts before heís allowed to start. As usual with anything involving paperwork, itís taking ages for them to decide. It seems theyíre making no exceptions, even if itís Harry whoís applying!
Speaking of being decisive, when I returned from my travels of Scotland and northern England, I told my parents that Iíd signed up to go to the Manaus Institute of Witchcraft and Wizardry to complete my education. Itís in Brazil, just at the heart of the Amazon Rainforest. In February, I was two days away from signing the final Ministry documents that would allow me to travel on a study visa to Brazil for a year, but I burned the whole lot. Funnily enough, it coincided with when I ran into Harry and shared my first tea and toast with him in over a year. Iíve signed up to go back to Hogwarts when it reopens on the 1st September. I think Harry will be, too. Thatíll be odd: heíll be in the same year as me!
Coming back to last night though, Iíll get to the point. We kissed. In fact, we did more than that (but not that!) last night. He came in, I hexed him, and we tidied up. I squeezed over in bed to let him in next to me, and I rested my head on his chest, just feeling it rising and falling as he breathed. Next moment, heíd adjust me so that he was almost towering over me. With that intense look in his eyes, he kissed me. Then I kissed him back. And I think thatís all the detail you need; suffice to say I donít think Iíve seen either of us smile as much in the last seven months as I did last night.
Later in the day, he gave me his present, one Iíve put around my neck, and wonít remove, ever. I love it, and the thought behind it. To be safe with my lifeís journey, and any travels I go on. To know that Harry is there waiting for me to take my troubles away is more than Iíll ever need to know.
Wake up the sun is shining, Shining for you. To take all your troubles away, Just for a day, To take all your troubles away, Just for a day, For a day.