Chapter 6 : Chapter 6 Ninny Has a Breakdown and Ron His Comeuppance
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Revised Author's Note: It has been my intention to rewrite this chapter for quite some time - it is my least favorite chapter. Personally I think the characters are more characatures then living breathing 3 dimensional folk. However, I don't think that will take place anytime in the near future. Therefore without further ado...
Ninny Has a Breakdown and Ron His Comeuppance
“Just what the hell is your bloody problem?!” Ginny yelled at Ron, hands on hips, chest heaving, nostrils flared.
“Your wanker of a boyfriend’s my bloody problem, Gin-Gin,” he sneered in response.
“Yeah, well, what about him? He’s only been your mate for the better part of six years and all of a sudden he’s the devil incarnate!” she huffed in exasperation.
“Yeah, well, he wasn’t dating my baby sister until now, was he? Putting his lips and hands where they shouldn’t be, snogging in broom cupboards and holding hands in the halls!” he shouted.
“That’s normal behavior for couples Ron, or didn’t you know? Oh, wait a second, that’s right, you’ve never had a girlfriend, have you, ickle Ronniekins?” she smirked.
The common room had gone completely silent when the redheaded spitfire had climbed through the portrait hole, a look of rage on her pretty face. She had stormed over to the couch by the common room fireplace where her brother and his best mates had been sitting, talking quietly and furtively amongst themselves. She had marched over to her brother and blasted him.
It was like watching a dueling match – all heads in the room swiveling back and forth between the two Weasley combatants. They were toe to toe now and it did not seem as if the battle would be abating anytime soon.
At Ginny’s last snide comment, the room gave a collective gasp. Ron’s ears had passed red and gone puce in rage and embarrassment.
The ‘wanker’ in question put a placating hand on Ginny’s shoulders.
“Ginny, maybe you should –” Dean was cut mid-sentence and took a step back when Ginny turned her blazing eyes on him.
Both siblings shouted. “Bugger off, Dean!”
Ginny turned back to her brother. “Don’t you shout at him, you prat!” she yelled, completely oblivious to the fact that she had been guilty of shouting at Dean herself.
“I’ll bloody well shout at the wanker if I bloody well want to, Ginevra!”
‘You have no right to shout at anyone, Ronald. Just because you're my brother doesn’t make you the boss of me!”
“’Course it does, you’re my baby sister, that’s my job.”
“I may be your sister, but the last time I looked, I was definitely not a baby!” She had turned to address the males in the room. “Well, boys, do I look like a baby to you?” She had swept her hands in a gesture indicating her figure. She was clad in her school uniform sans robes and quite frankly, looked like any blokes’ school girl fantasy in her pleated plaid skirt, knee socks, Mary-Janes and Oxford shirt with the Peter Pan collar. Not to mention the fact that she had filled out quite nicely in all the right places. All the boys in the room from the firsties to the seventh years shook their heads vigorously. Even Harry shook his head ever so slightly. One of the first years even had the audacity to give a piercing wolf whistle.
She grinned, curtsied prettily and said in a sweet voice, “Thank you, boys.”
She turned to glare at her brother, “See, Ron, I am not a baby, so stop treating me like one!”
“You may not be a baby but you’re still my baby sister and it’s my job to take care of you and look out for you!” he shouted, totally disgruntled at the turn in the argument.
She sneered at him derisively. “Really?” She arched a brow at him coolly, an unholy look upon her face. “Where were these tender feelings of concern during my first year, Ronald?”
Ron looked slightly uncomfortable. “What are you on about, Ginny?”
“I said, where were these oh so tender feelings of concern during my first year within these cold unforgiving walls? Hmm? Where was my big concerned brother then, because you certainly weren’t walking me to class, or showing me around the castle, or welcoming me to bask in the warm glow of your oh so illustrious friends!”
She put her finger to her chin, tapping it as if trying to remember something of import. “ Let me see, I seem to recall the phrases: ‘Go away, Ginny’, ‘Can’t you find your own friends, Ginny?’, ‘You’re embarrassing me, Ginny’, ‘Stop making a fool of yourself, Ginny’… Does that sound at all familiar to you, Ronald, because to my ears, that certainly doesn’t sound like something a concerned brother would say to his ‘baby’ sister!”
It was hard for him to listen to the truth of her words, but when backed into a corner and embarrassed, he invariably resorted to hitting below the belt.
“Well, you were embarrassing me by making a complete fool of yourself over Harry! Is it any wonder I didn’t want you around?” he shouted.
There was a collective gasp in the room and then Hermione’s shout of, “Ronald! How could you?”
The silence was thick and uncomfortable, it hung over the room like a malevolent entity eagerly waiting to gorge itself on the pain and suffering of others for sustenance. Ginny stared at her brother, her countenance a mixture of hurt, disappointment and disgust.
“Ah, of course, how silly of me to have forgotten my place. What am I to you anyway in comparison to your best mates? By your own admission, I am simply an embarrassment which you need to remove from your presence. You know, I seem to remember before you attended this illustrious and renowned school of Witchcraft and Wizardry and met your oh so famous mates, that I used to be your best friend too.” Her tone was low, precise, succinct and meant to be cutting. She allowed the words to sink in before continuing.
“You’ve forfeited whatever right you had to lecture and berate me for my imagined lack of propriety a long time ago Ronald. I recommend you keep your distance henceforth, dear brother, lest you become more intimately acquainted with bat-bogeys.”
“Ginny, he didn’t…” Hermione began, but stopped when Ginny turned her piercing eyes in her direction.
“Shut your gob, Hermione. This does not concern you.”
“Don’t talk to her that way. Don’t take your hysterics out on her!”
“Ron, please shut your mouth for once.” Hermione turned to Ginny, trying to placate her. “Ginny, he didn’t mean what he said…”
“Oh please, Hermione, Ron may regret his outbursts from time to time and his lack of impulse control is quite staggering, but he never, ever says what he doesn’t mean. I thought you of all people would know that, what with being his best mate and all.”
“Ginny, it’s not like you to be mean spirited. I know you’re hurt. Let’s go for a walk around the lake and we’ll help you smooth things over with Ron,” Hermione said through her hurt feelings.
“Why would I want to do that? And please do not talk to me in that patronizing tone Hermione, it really pisses me off!”
“I want to help you, Ginny. Ron’s your brother and Harry and I are your friends we just want to help you…”
“We’re not friends, Hermione. At best, we’re acquaintances. To me, you’re just two people who come to the Burrow over the summer and sit at our table eating my Mum’s food, while you’re treated as honorary Weasley children who then proceed to ignore me and treat me like the annoying little sister that I am.”
Harry and Hermione sat in shocked silence, their faces a mixture of hurt and guilt.
“Ginny! Apologize!” Ron roared.
“What! Did I say anything that wasn’t true? Not so pleasant when you’re at the receiving end, is it?”
She paused and gave a great sigh, all the fight suddenly going out of her as she addressed her brother. “I really suggest you keep your distance, Ron, and keep your opinions about my personal life to yourself. You’re my brother, we’ve been sorted into the same house and play on the same Quidditch team, all of which are things I have no control over, but I do have control over who I allow in my life and you and your friends are not among them.”
With that, she turned on her heel and walked out of the portrait hole, never once looking back.
Dean turned to Ron, a murderous look on his face. “You’re a right foul git, you know that, Weasley!”
“Bugger off, Thomas!” Ron stormed over to Dean, itching for a fight to relieve the feelings of frustration and guilt that were warring inside him.
“You’re a piece of work, Weasley. Half the boys in this room would give anything to have a sister like her, that is, if they weren’t already infatuated with her, and you manage to treat her like she’s something to discard like so much dirt beneath your feet. She’s the sweetest, kindest, most generous girl I know and you completely take her for granted. What the hell is wrong with you?!” He stormed out of the portrait hole in search of his girlfriend.
Ron looked around the common room to see all those who had witnessed his argument with Ginny. The accusation in their eyes was like a great weight upon his shoulders, weighing them down heavily with remorse and shame. He was a right foul git, but how he was to go about fixing things with Ginny, he did not know.
“Sod off and mind your own business!” he shouted to the room in general, then stalked back over to his friends and threw himself on the couch in front of the fire.
He felt Hermione place a gentle hand his forearm. “She didn’t mean it, Ron,” she offered quietly, so that only he and Harry could hear her.
“Yes, she did. Well most of it, anyway. Not the last part. Thomas was right about that at least. She’s got a kind generous heart, she’ll forgive me eventually and pretend this never happened, that’s just the way she is. Bloody hell, did you know she writes Percy these long novel length letters at least once a month?”
“Ron! Language!” Hermione admonished. “I didn’t know she wrote Percy.”
“Yeah, I didn’t either. I caught her at it once. She tried to get me to talk about him, but I probably said something hurtful to her and stormed off. Percy’s a sore subject at home too. Anyway, Ginny’s famous for her letters. She writes everyone these long ten-page letters, front and back,” Ron laughed.
“I don’t remember you receiving letters from her when we were in first year?” Hermione queried.
Ron blushed. “Yeah, I did. I was just too embarrassed to read them in front of you, so I’d read them in private. I loved reading them. Ginny’s letters are just like her, vibrant and full of life, they’re funny and chatty. They used to make me homesick for the Burrow. She could make the most ordinary things seem funny in one of her letters. Everyone in the family looks forward to letters from Ginny,” he smiled.
“Ron… I… I… never meant to make her feel left out. Maybe if we had befriended her, Voldemort would never have possessed her. We… I should have been nicer to her. All the years I’ve known her, I never once asked her about the Chamber… and then we take her brother away from her on top of everything else,” Harry groaned. “She must really hate me.”
“She doesn’t hate you, Harry. It’s not in Ginny to hate anyone… well, with the exception of You-Know-Who. She’s incapable of hatred, it’s just not in her. As a matter of fact, she once told me that hatred and anger gave others too much power and that she would be damned if she ever gave anyone power over her.”
They each turned to stare into the hypnotic flames of fire blazing in the hearth, lost in their own thoughts over the things they had heard and the things that were revealed about Ginny. She wasn’t just Ron’s little sister – she was a forthright, forceful individual who was not to be taken for granted. They each resolved in their own way to change that fact.
“Did you know when we were little, I used to call her Ninny. I couldn’t make the ‘G’ sound and it kind of stuck.” Ron gave a brief, sad smile.
“I’ve never heard you call her that,” Hermione said.
“No, you wouldn’t. I stopped calling her that the summer I came back from Hogwarts. I guess it was my attempt at being grown up and leaving behind childish things. What I never realized is that in the process, I also left Ginny behind.” He let out a self-deprecating snort of derision.
“I… I never meant to hurt her, not intentionally anyway. I was trying to be grown up like my brothers. I didn’t mean to cut her out of my life. It’s true – we were best mates. We played together, got in trouble together, played pranks against the twins together, we even bathed together.” He laughed. “That is until the day Ninny asked Mum where her dangly bits were. Mum almost had Kneazles.”
They all laughed at the image Ron’s words had painted. “I don’t know how she can ever forgive me, I’ve been a complete wanker.”
“She’ll forgive you, Ron. Give her time to settle this in her head and her heart. She’ll come round and when she does, tell her what you just told us. Don’t let your Weasley pride get in the way either. She deserves to hear how much you regret the past and how much you love her, okay?” Hermione advised, her hand a warm comforting weight on his forearm.
“I will, Hermione. I promise.” He placed his hand over hers and gave it a squeeze in gratitude.
Soon after, Hermione and Harry got up to sit at one of the corner tables to finish an essay for Professor McGonagall, but he suspected it was mostly to let him sit and ponder in solitude.
Well, he thought, Ninny had herself quite a breakdown. It was a long time coming. He laughed to himself when he thought of all the previous fights they had over the years; he never won any of those either. Well, he may not have won this fight but he certainly gained wisdom from the wounds inflicted in battle. He vowed to make things better with Ginny. He would strive to be the brother she deserved. Heck, she had five brothers in reserve if he failed miserably. Well, four actually. Percy did not really count as a brother anymore.
Yes, Ninny had a breakdown and Ron his comeuppance.
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