Chapter 1 : Biscuits
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“Mum, may I have a biscuit?” asked a short little girl with red hair, reaching up to the counter. Her mother, a bit taller and wider, with hair just as red, smiled and nodded.
“Yes, you may, Ginny. Have two. But I want you to sit down with them. No gallivanting about the house, now, spreading crumbs.”
“Yes, Mum.” The little red-haired girl pulled out a chair and climbed into it. She pulled the plate of biscuits toward her. She picked a plate off the pile while carefully examining the chocolate-chip biscuits, choosing the two biggest and carefully placing them on her plate, side-by-side. Her mother looked back down at her newspaper. The little girl looked at the date along the top. August 10th, 1987.
“Mum, guess what?”asked the girl. Her mother looked up from the newspaper.
“Ginny, don’t talk with your mouth full. What, then?”
“It’s August tenth.”
“Yes, I know it’s August tenth. Is there something special about August tenth that I should know about?” asked her mum, smiling.
“Mum, you know,” said the little girl, exasperated. “Tomorrow is August eleventh.”
“I knew that. Eleven usually follows ten.”
“Mum! Tomorrow is my birthday!” exclaimed the little girl.
“Is that it? Are you sure?”
“Yes, I’m sure. And I know you didn’t forget. How could you forget?”
“Well, dear, you were born almost six years ago. It’s been quite a long time since then.”
“Mum, stop teasing me. What are you reading?” asked the little girl, craning her head to look at her mother’s newspaper.
“Oh, I’m just reading an article about a boy who’s about the same age as Ron.”
“But why is he in the newspaper?” asked the little girl, wrinkling her nose.
“His name is Harry Potter. Does that sound familiar?” The little girl nodded.
“Yeah, but so are other names. Like Bill Weasley. That’s a pretty familiar name for me.”
“Of, course, dear. He’s your brother. But you aren’t related to Harry Potter. He’s an only child, you know. And he hasn’t got any parents.”
“They were killed quite a while ago. You were only a couple of months old.”
“But who killed them?”
“Oh,” said the little girl soberly. “But why did he want to kill them?”
“Probably because they were against him, like all of us. But they did a lot more. They had already escaped from him three times. That’s probably why he wanted to kill them.”
“What happened?” asked the little girl, entranced.
“After You-Know-Who killed Harry Potter’s parents, he tried to kill Harry Potter, too. But it didn’t work. The curse bounced off of Harry and hit You-Know-Who.”
“So You-Know-Who is dead?”
“No one is really sure, Ginny. But he’s gone for now, yes.”
“What happened to Harry Potter, then?”
“He went to live with his aunt and uncle. They’re Muggles.”
“Oh. How old is he?”
“His birthday was on July thirty-first, nineteen-eighty. So he’s seven years old. There’s a picture of him in here, if you would like to see it.”
“You certainly may.” The girl’s mother turned the paper around and pushed it toward her. The little girl looked at the picture, examining it carefully. The picture was slightly blurred. It was of a small, skinny boy with dark, messy hair sitting on a curb. He had his arms folded around his knees. Every so often, he tapped a foot. He was wearing glasses that had round, wire frames. They were somewhat lopsided, as they were held together by Scotch tape. He was looking of into the distance. The little girl could see, ever so slightly, the faint outline of a lightning bolt on the side of his forehead.
“Mum, how did he get that scar?”
“That was from the curse.”
“Oh.” She looked at the boy some more. He looked like he needed a friend. He looked sad. The little girl saw a bruise on his arm. She wanted to hit whoever had hurt him. It would feel so good. Even after only just learning about this boy, she liked him. She didn’t want him to get hurt. And he looked nice. Most boys she knew were either mean, like the Muggle boys in the village, or teasing, like her brothers. Well, not Bill so much. She rather liked Bill. But Fred and George. Charlie, a little. Even Ron, occasionally. Percy was always reading, and was never much fun. But this boy looked nice. She knew it. And she knew something else, too.
“I like him. I’m going to marry him someday,” she said, with all the assurance of a young child. Her mother laughed.
“Ginny, dear, you’re only five- almost six. You can’t ever be sure of who you’re going to marry. You might meet someone you like. And besides, he’s Harry Potter. I don’t think you’re very likely to ever meet him properly, darling.”
“That’s okay,” the little girl said. She hopped off her chair, the biscuits gone. She knew her mother didn’t believe her, but then, her mother hadn’t believed her when she told her that Fred and George had put a delayed-wet-start firework in the loo, causing Percy some injury when he had lifted the lid to use it.
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