It all started the same
way all our school years do, on the Hogwarts Express. We were talking
about the war against Voldemort and his forces, and how horrible it
was, not knowing who was who, and who could be trusted. I mean, look at
Professor Lupin, or Sirius, or Barty 'Mad Eye Moody' Crouch. You can't
always trust what you think is right. Ron said something silly about
making people carry Chocolate Frog cards around with them so that we
could read about them and decide whether or not we could trust them.
suppose, in hindsight, I shouldn't have risen to it, but I made a
comment about the cards not exactly being very reliable. Ron pulled a
face, and reminded me of Nicholas Flamel's card. So I pointed out that
Harry's card made him out to be some kind of noble hero, taking it all
on his chin while everyone else got on with their lives thanks to him
beating Voldemort. Ron just looked at me blankly, and said "So?"
I said. "We know that Harry isn't like that. We know that he suffers
because of what happened to him when he was a baby, and it's not like
he actually intended to do it, is it?"
just looked at me like I'd gone mad, and went back to playing Exploding
Snap with Neville and Dean, but Harry looked at me like he was a bit
"Do you really think I make a fuss about... about all that?" he asked.
I said, really embarrassed. "It's just that you're not, oh, James Bond
or something. You care about the things that happen, you don't just
push it off to one side at the end of each year. That card makes it
sound like you, I don't know, like you live for the adventure."
"Yeah, I suppose," he said. "Want the last Frog anyway?" he asked, smiling as he held it out to me.
it?" I said, smiling back at him. I was really grateful not to have
been pulled into a big argument that first day back. He broke the Frog
in two, and took the card from the packet.
know why I bother," he said as he handed me my half of the Frog. "It's
been over a year since I found that last one I didn't have. Been stuck
with only Morgan La Fey to get ever since..." Then he went really pale,
and for a second I thought his scar might be hurting again, then he let
out this great yell.
"Ron, I got her!!!"
of course it was all very confusing for the next few minutes. I didn't
even know that Harry and Ron were still collecting those silly cards, I
thought they gave up back in the second year or something. Of course,
Ron was mad with jealousy.
"You great, steaming..." he trailed off. "I've been collecting since I was eight! How did you complete them before me?"
Ron was still going on about it a few days later, when he really should
have been working. When I pointed this out to him, he tried to make it
sound like the cards could be useful. As if. Even Professor Binns would
notice if we handed in an essay copied off the back of one of the
cards, but Ron was trying to get me to believe they were some kind of
handy reference guide to the famous witches and wizards. Finally, I
I said, holding up one finger. "If you can prove to me that those cards
are useful, I'll never say a word against them again."
thought I'd won, thought I'd checkmated him. It was Friday night, and
with the weekend and Quidditch practise ahead of him I didn't think Ron
would actually bother doing anything. Then again, Ron is simply the
most stubborn person I know, and whatever I said to him, he was going
to prove me wrong. If he'd only apply that kind of commitment to his
work... Whenever I say it, though, he just grins.
"But proving you wrong is fun, Hermione," he says.
"How would you know?" I say back. "You've never managed it."
"Lockhart?" he asks. Every time! Every single time! I was twelve, for goodness sake.
the next day was the first Quidditch practise, and I was sure Ron would
be there for that, but we didn't see him until lunch. And that was when
he brought out that idiotic book.
have to give Ron credit. That daft spell really worked on me. All that
stuff about Victor and Harry, it said it wasn't true, but the rest of
it, well, it's just a very good thing Ron never got to hear it, that's
all I'm saying.
card was as useless as ever, except now it had loads of stuff about him
being an eligible bachelor! Honestly, he's not even old enough to leave
school. And Ginny looked a bit crestfallen about it, so I said that the
spell couldn't do research very well. In fact, I wonder how they came
up with Harry's card if they use the spell to make them? Maybe some
wizards they use the spell on, if they're really old or something? I'll
have to ask Professor Dumbledore. I know he has a card, and maybe he'll
know. I suppose I could look it up in Ron's book, but I just won't
admit that I'm getting interested in them. It's just curiosity, anyway.
I still don't think they're at all useful.
went next, and the card was, well, interesting. Model Gryffindor
indeed! I think it only said that because the really smart pupils are
supposed to go into Ravenclaw. I do wonder sometimes why I came to
Gryffindor. Not that I'd trade being here for being in Ravenclaw or
anything, but did I really seem that brave? I didn't even stand up to
Ron when he teased me... Oh, I'm getting hopelessly off topic here.
Where was I?
Ron was strutting around like he'd won the Quidditch Cup or something,
and then we started bickering, like we always do. So Harry got between
us, and said that it was Ginny's turn, and Ron was going to cast the
spell there and then, but I stopped him. I had a feeling that the more
time you had to prepare for the spell, the less personal information it
revealed about you, something like that. Ginny was looking pretty
worried, and even Ron seemed to calm down a bit.
don't have to do it," he said, which for him was actually pretty
sensitive. Ginny just shook her head, and then said she wanted me to
cast it, so that she could be sure it went properly. Well, of course I
was fine with that, and so I cast it. At the last second, I could see
Ginny screwing up her face like she was really concentrating on
something, and then she was gone.
wasn't my imagination, I'm sure. The chocolate shell thing did take
longer to break over Ginny then any of us others. Much longer. Harry
was about to smash it open when it cracked by itself, and the look of
relief on his and Ron's faces was pretty sweet, in hindsight. I'm sure
I looked much the same, though. We were starting to get pretty worried.
Ginny was back and standing before us. She was trembling a bit, which
is hardly surprising. She had the card in her hand, but no-one made a
move to read it.
You okay, Gin?" Ron asked. She swallowed, and nodded, before giving a
small smile. It doesn't seem like much, but I know it helped calm Ron
down. He wouldn't admit it, but I think Ginny's the family member he's
closest to. He told me once that nothing could be as bad as when Ginny
got taken into the Chamber. I'm actually really quite glad that I was
Petrified that day.
Anyway, Ginny offered me the card to read, and of course I took it and started reading, as I always do.
"Ginny Weasley is the youngest of Molly and Arthur's Weasleys seven children, and the only girl," the card began. Ginny snorted. I know she hates being described that way but, well, it is part of who she is. "A
vivacious redhead, she is particularly adept at Astronomy and Charms.
The legend of the seventh child is one commonly heard in magical lore,
and Ginny has already proven herself to be a powerful witch, fighting
against the ghost of He-Who-Must-Not-"
"Stop!" Ron said, his face deadly serious for once.
Ron, it's okay," Ginny said. "I don't mind. It actually sounds quite
good the way the card tells it," she added, grinning. Ron smiled a
little, but he still looked worried.
against the ghost of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named for nearly a year until
she was finally too worn out to keep him away. She has vast potential
and may prove to be vital in the fight against Voldemort, especially if
her desired union with-"
This time it was Ginny yelling. In a blur, she'd snatched the card from
my hands and was gone, the door to the classroom banging behind her.
looked at me, goggle-eyed. Harry looked after Ginny, as though he
wanted to go after her. I had a suspicion about what that card was
going to say next, and took a few seconds to get everything straight in
my head before saying anything. Ron, of course, didn't pause.
up with her?" he said. Boys! I suppose it's a good thing that Harry and
Ron are so dense about this sort of thing. If what I suspected was
true, and that card was going to finish with the words 'Harry Potter'
then the last thing Ginny needed was the two of them blundering about
with their complete lack of understanding. I can read Ron like a book,
truly, and I just knew that when he got back to Gryffindor Tower, he'd
be challenging Ginny to a game of chess. Then he'd say something like
‘And Harry can play the winner, go on Gin, I'll even let you
win for once, if you like.' Really, the last thing Ginny needed right
now was her clueless brother trying to make things better.
wonder sometimes exactly how Ron managed to grow up with five older
brothers and never manage to pick up on all the things they must have
gone through. Percy, George and Fred all had girlfriends while Ron was
here with them, and Charlie and Bill would almost certainly have dated.
Charlie was Quidditch Captain, after all, and Bill was Head Boy, and,
well, they were both Weasleys. It just seems like girls can't resist
them. Maybe Ron's the odd one out? He really does seem clueless at
times. Absolutely clueless.
not much better, really, but it's not like he ever had many friends
before coming here. I suppose he's not too bad, all things considering,
but I knew it was up to me to talk to Ginny and try and make things a
I said quickly. "I'll talk to Ginny, you play chess with Harry and I'll
try and help her. It's all probably been a bit much..." I left the
sentence hanging, not wanting to speculate on what exactly had been a bit much.
she's right, Ron," Harry said. "Ginny probably just got a bit shaken up
with all that stuff on the card. I know I didn't much like reading my
Ron huffed a few times. "Should have just left the flaming book in the library," he said. "Stupid spell, anyway."
And he stalked off in the direction of Gryffindor Tower. Harry sighed, and looked at me.
wasn't really Voldemort that upset Ginny, was it?" he said. "There's a
boy she likes, and she didn't want me and Ron to find out who."
I didn't know what to say, so I said nothing.
shouldn't be embarrassed," he said. "Whoever he is," he paused, as
though carefully phrasing the rest of the sentence. "Well, he's got to
be okay, right? He's probably a Gryffindor, and they're all right. Is
it Dean?" he asked. His eyes narrowed, as though he didn't much like
For a split second, I wanted to tell him. We all
know Ginny had just the biggest crush on Harry when she started at
Hogwarts, but that with one thing and another she never really did
anything about it. Then she actually started dating other boys, and
there was the whole thing in the Ministry of Magic last year... Anyway,
nowadays Harry and her are quite good friends. But it wasn't my place
"Even if I knew for certain who it was," I said cautiously, "I couldn't tell you."
wasn't a lie. I didn't know for certain that Ginny still liked Harry.
I'd just drawn the most logical conclusion from all the facts
available. I mean, human emotions aren't exactly the most logical
things in the world, are they? I might have been wrong.
I went back to Gryffindor Tower, and walked up to Ginny, who was
sitting in one of the little private study corners. Dean told me that
Ron had stalked up to the boys dormitory without saying anything.
Typical Ron, again. Typical boy, I suppose. He just needs to learn to
control his temper. Well, I suppose if he did that, he wouldn't really
be Ron. Ron without his hot-headed emotions? Hmmm...
was staring out of the window, over the lake. She barely moved her head
when I came over, but she didn't exactly need to be a Seer to know
who'd be the one to come up to her.
I said. Well, what else do you say? I can understand N.E.W.T. grade
Arithmancy, but sometimes there are things I can't even begin to grasp.
Like how it feels to be in love with someone for as long as Ginny has
loved Harry. It must have been so dreadful for her, and I'm always
amazed at how she manages to stay so cheerful.
okay," she said. "It was silly, but..." she waved the card at me. "To
see it written down, for a stupid bit of card to know before, before..."
"Before Harry does?"
She nodded. I walked over to the window and stood beside her, looking at the lake.
not just tell him? You can't say he hasn't noticed you now," I pointed
out. "Ron and I figured out you were always in the same place back at
the Burrow. It did make things so much easier whenever we needed you to
sort our one of our rows."
"It's a nice idea," she said, a smile on her lips. "But I can just see him now... 'We shouldn't get involved with anyone, not when Voldemort is still around, especially not me-'"
spun around, and there was someone standing behind us. As the light
glinted off of his glasses, I bit my lip, unable to believe he'd heard
everything we'd said. And now... I glanced at Ginny, who was frozen.
Now Harry didn't need to be told, didn't need to read the card, now
he'd heard it for himself.
course, I got away from there. There didn't seem much point in staying
around, but I felt a bit guilty as I passed Harry. Thankfully, a while
later Ron came down to the common room, and I was about to ask him how
Harry was. I'd looked up from the book I was reading a few minutes
earlier to see Harry marching stiffly away from the study corner and up
the boys staircase. Then I noticed that Ron was wearing his pyjamas.
Maroon pyjamas. Now, I don't care what Ron says. Maroon suits him, and
I said so. But it started everyone teasing him, and Ron being the
hothead he is, he reacted badly and... Oh, but that's another story