Chapter 2 : Suprises!
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“Thanks…I think. Well you said there was something else, didn’t you?”
Ginny nodded. This was going to be hard. “Um… I don’t really know how to say this Ron, without you getting mad at me.”
Ron looked at her, confused. “Just say it. I promise I won’t overreact,” he said.
“I know you will, but here it goes. I love you Ron. You’re a great brother, but sometimes you’re overprotective. I know you mean well…Ron you promised,” she said as he started to interrupt, a scowl on his face. He nodded solemnly and closed his mouth. “Thank you. Now I know last year you had a reason to be protective. I went out with nearly every guy in Gryffindor, but I’m gonna change. I swear. Last year was a hard year for me.”
“Why was it hard? You could’ve come to me. I would have listened. And shagging people is definitely NOT the answer to problems, Gin.”
Ginny glared at him. “I didn’t shag anyone, Ron. I have told you and everyone else this so many times. When are you going to get it through your thick skull! I am still a virgin!”
Ron blushed at her words, and Ginny almost felt bad, but she knew it had to be said. “I’m sorry. Okay? I’m sorry I went out and snogged all those guys, but I’ve changed, I’m not gonna do anything like that anymore, I promise.”
“That’s all I ask.” Ron said happily. They both hugged.
“Well, I’m off to change; I’ll see you in the Great Hall. Save me a seat,” she said before shutting the door.
Ginny walked into the Great Hall and at once looked at the ceiling. It was dark now. She had missed the beautiful glow of the sunset.
Her moment was interrupted by an unwanted comment behind her. “Looky here. The Weaselette is admiring the view. How sweet,” an all too familiar drawl came from behind her.
“Well if it isn’t the Great White Ferret." Ginny bit back. "I know you loved the ride Mad Eye gave you last term. Did you enjoy being boinked up and down like a beach ball in front of the whole school?” A small group of passersby, who had stopped to see the action, laughed. Who could forget the wonderful scene of Draco Malfoy, in ferret form, being bounced all over the Entrance Hall by Professor Moody.
“I don’t know about that, but I have 'boinked' a few girls lately myself, if you know what I mean.” Draco smirked in triumph at the disgust on her face.
“Well that’s no surprise," she retorted. "You are the biggest man whore in the school. I would say 'country', but your father already holds that honor.” His face went even whiter than its usual ivory pallor, and Ginny saw she had hit a weak spot.
“I’ve…” Draco was cut off.
“What’s going on here? Is Malfoy bothering you, Gin?” Ron asked as he, Harry, and Hermione came into view.
“No Ron. I was perfectly fine, without you barging in,” Ginny spat at him.
“Aw. Big bubby's come to the rescue! How cute!” Draco laughed.
“Sod off, Malfoy,” Ron snarled.
“Is that the best you have? Your sister had at least half-decent comebacks, and all you can say is 'sod off'? What a shame.”
Ginny couldn’t help but smile. It was true; her brother couldn’t make a comeback to save his life. “Ron, leave,--now! Ginny cried as she gave him a push toward the Gryffindor table. The teachers were starting to notice the crowd.
They both sat down and prepared for the first years to be Sorted, but when the little girls and boys entered the hall, they did not congregate at the front of the room but sat down at random tables.
“Welcome!" said the Headmaster, as Professor McGonagall came out with the three-legged stool and the Hat. "I know you may be wondering why the new students aren’t being Sorted first, but we are changing something this year.” Everyone looked around, confused. “As you all should know, people change. We, and I mean myself and the rest of the teachers, have come to realize that. So we have all agreed that we should re-Sort everyone younger than fifth years to give students a chance to try out new friends and scenery, should they wish it. We will be doing it in order of oldest to youngest.”
There were loud murmurs of both agreement and protest. One girl, a seventh year Ginny recognized as Eloise Midgen, raised her hand and was recognized. "Excuse me, Professor. Why are you doing this only for the younger classes?"
The Headmaster frowned. "Education experts and magicosociologists we consulted have indicated that the vast majority of fifth, sixth, and seventh years have already established enduring relationships within their peer groups, for good or ill." He added more cheerfully, "But they also assured us that our younger students, especially those who feel uncomfortable with their current assignment would benefit from the opportunity to change, and thus we hit on this compromise."
"But why are they doing it at all?" whispered Luna, as Ginny crept over to join her and Colin.
Her voice was drowned out by Professor McGonagall bawling, "All fourth years please stand and come to the front.
“Burrs, Nicole,” she called. A Slytherin walked up to the seat.
“SLYTHERIN!” the hat called, not a second after it reached her head. Ginny ignored what McGonagall was saying and zoned in on the ‘interesting’ story about Diddlygoats that Luna was telling. They both snapped back when they heard a familiar name.
Ginny and Luna watched as he walked to the stool. The hat took only a few moments to decide.
“GRYFFINDOR!” it called out. Everyone clapped. Ginny now focused on the students who had already been Sorted. Only few people had actually changed, a few Hufflepuffs were put in Ravenclaw and a few Ravenclaws in Gryffindor and Hufflpuff, but no Gryffindors had changed, nor Slytherins.
“Lovegood, Luna” Ginny looked up as her friend was called up. The Hat stayed on longer than last time.
“GRYFFINDOR!” it finally called, and everyone cheered, especially Ginny. As she watched her friend sit next to Colin, she couldn’t help but wonder if she was going to be changed. She was smart, but she doubted she was Ravenclaw material, and she was not a wimp.
What about Slytherin? she asked herself, but before she could think too long on it, she was called up.
Ginny sat on the stool and had the Hat placed on her head.
“Ahh. A Weasley," the Hat spoke in her mind. "Well I guess GRYF... Wait, what’s that? You don’t want to be in Gryffindor. But why not? All your family is in there. But you’re different, aren’t you? I know of your second year, Ginny; you don’t have to hide it. Yes, I know of it. Tom Riddle is very tricky; that’s why he was a Slytherin, but you aren’t, are you? Yes, you can be sneaky, and you've become rather clever at avoiding trouble, but you also have a true heart… and you’re brave… but you can’t be in Gryffindor, can you? No, because then you will be just another Weasley, the youngest… and a girl.”
Ginny squirmed. Even though all the Hat said was true, she didn’t want to be a colorless Hufflepuff or a nerdy Ravenclaw, and those were the only two choices left… unless… Her thoughts drifted to that other House, and, of course, the Hat read it all. “You don’t want to be in Hufflepuff? No, decidedly not. Ravenclaw? Well you do have the brains, but the proper temperament is lacking. That leaves us with… SLYTHERIN!”
Ginny froze. Slytherin? How could she be put in Slytherin?
No one cheered, and Ginny wanted to leave the Hat on, drooping down over her eyes, wishing that as long as she couldn’t see them, then they couldn’t see her. But Professor McGonagall killed it for her. She lifted the Hat off her head, and Ginny was met by the entire hall staring at her with shocked expressions.
Ron broke the silence. “WHAT!? THAT HAT'S MAD! NO WEASLEY HAS EVER BEEN IN SLYTHERIN, THAT’S WHERE COWARDS GO!” The whole Gryffindor table soon backed up his objections. Slytherins also started to yell but not for the same reasons. They were not cowards, and they weren’t going to let the statement stand.
“SILENCE!” Dumbledore’s voice rang through the hall. Everyone was quiet. “The Hat has spoken. What it says, goes.”
The Gryffindors started to object, but a look from Professor McGonagall shut them up. “Ginny, it's time to get off the stool,” she said politely. Ginny looked at her teacher with pleading eyes. Yes, she wanted to go against her family a little, but not this much. Professor McGonagall just shook her head, even though her eyes were filled with pity. Ginny had always felt close to the Professor, ever since her last year, but she could tell that it wouldn’t be the same anymore. She was now under Snape's command, and McGonagall couldn’t save her like last year, Ginny would have to brave it on her own.
Ginny got up slowly, trudging to the Slytherin table. Everyone moved away from her, except one girl.
“Hello. My name's Teresa Kildee. Nice to meet you.” Ginny looked at her skeptically, expecting a snake or something to jump out at her from the girl's bag. Nothing happened, and the Teresa looked innocent enough so that Ginny forced herself to strike up a conversation. Anything to keep from thinking about her situation.
“I’m Ginny Weasley.” She introduced herself even though the girl probably already knew her name.
“You’re a fourth year, right?” Teresa asked
“Yeah, are you?”
Teresa shook her head. “No. I’m a fifth year.”
Professor McGonagall's voice cut into their conversation. “Now that all the fourth years are done, we will sort the third years. But you may start to eat.”
Ginny didn’t know anyone in third year so she dug into the food and talked with Teresa as McGonagall's voice droned on.
At the end of it all, the headmaster again took center stage. “As I said before, Welcome. I know some of you may be shocked to see what houses you have been changed into, but just remember, the Hat picks the one that he feels you will do best in. I hope you all enjoyed the feast, but now I have some very important news. As you all should know, last year Voldermort returned. Yes, the newspapers say different but it’s the truth. This year all sixth and seventh years will have a class that teaches strictly dueling. That class will be taught by Professor Snape. The regular Defense against the Dark Arts class will be taught by a new teacher, Professor Fixders. She wrote the book, When You Meet a Werewolf.” Everyone clapped at that. “One more thing: we have also decided to revive an old custom of promoting students to a higher grade if their hard work has merited it. The students chosen this year are: Luna Lovegood, Nicole Burrs, Ginevra Weasley, and James Fanuc! Congratulations to you all.”
Ginny was shocked. She knew she had worked hard the last few years, mainly to stay out of trouble and prove to people like Ron that she wasn't the stupid little girl who had allowed herself to be duped by Tom Riddle. But why had Hermione Granger, of all people, not been chosen? She looked to the Gryffindor table. Everyone was staring at Hermione, wondering the same thing. How was she not promoted too?
Finally Dumbledore stopped the clapping and staring and finished the announcements and ended with, “That’s all I have to say, so you may continue with dessert and then retire to your rooms.” No one had to be told twice; they immediately finished their desserts.
As the first years were led out, Ginny excused herself and went to catch Dumbledore before he left.
“Professor!” Ginny called.
Dumbledore turned. “Ah, Miss. Weasley, I thought I’d be talking to you soon. What is on your mind?” he asked with the all too familiar twinkle in his eye.
“I was wondering if there is any way I could change my house”
Dumbledore shook his head. “I’m sorry, but the Hat has spoken. Is there anything else?”
Ginny sighed. “Well…if I can’t change houses, can I have my own room?”
Dumbledore smiled. “Don’t be so quick to judge. Not all Slytherins are bad, but I can understand that, given your present feelings, you wouldn't want to fall asleep in a room with them.” He winked at her “I’ll see to it that you get a room without any others.
“Thank you Professor!” Ginny smiled graciously and turned to walk away.
“Miss Weasley, I presume though, that you won’t provoke them in any way. I do hope that you haven’t inherited all of the Weasley mischief-making genes,” Dumbledore said with a hint of a chuckle in his voice
“I’ll try my hardest not to,” Ginny returned.
“If I see any students hit with a Bat Bogey curse, I'll know where to look,” he warned.
Ginny was surprised that her skill at the curse had actually made its way to the headmaster's attention. There was nothing she could do but smile ‘innocently.’ “Good night Professor, “
“Good night Ginevra.”
“You aren’t one bit mad?” Ron asked Hermione as they entered the common room.
“Why should I be, Ronald? Ginny is very smart, and you should be happy that she has skipped a grade,” Hermione said
“Happy? Why!? She’s screwing up the family!”
“Ronald, how dare you say that! She’s your sister. She didn’t ask to be put in Slytherin, or to skip a grade; it just happened,” Hermione said as she sat on the couch next to Ron, with Harry nearby in the overstuffed chair staring at the fire.
“If she didn’t bloody want to be in bloody Slytherin then the Hat bloody well wouldn’t have put her there. She’s nothing like those sneaky—bloody--bastards.”
Harry was brought out of his reverie, and Hermione gasped. “Ronald, I am disappointed in you! She is your only sister. What happened to the protective brother? The brother who loved her? Just because she was put in a different house doesn’t mean she’s changed. Ginny has had a hard past. Maybe that’s what the Hat saw.”
Ron sprang up “That’s it! The Hat only judged her on her first year when she went around doing all that nasty stuff for Tom Riddle! We need to talk to Dumbledore!” Harry, who had hardly been paying attention jumped at the name of the headmaster.
“No, Ron!” Hermione tried to stop him, but he was already out the door with Harry not far behind.
“Why exactly are we going to the headmaster?” Harry asked, while trying to keep up with Ron.
“Because, the Hat judged Ginny wrong; he must've put her in Slytherin because of what happened in her first year,” Ron answered as they came around a corner, nearly bumping in to Ginny herself. “Ginny! Good. We know why you're in Slytherin.”
Ginny, still recuperating from them scaring her to death, didn’t fully hear them. “What?” she asked.
“We know why you were put in Slytherin.”
Ginny froze. “You do?” she asked cautiously, hoping she had heard wrong.
“Yes! Because of your first year!”
Ginny’s face of horror turned to one of confusion. “What?” She had been expecting something totally different, she wasn't sure what, but certainly not that.
“The Hat judged you on your first year, Ginny; it only saw that you made a mistake—a bad one,” Ron explained slowly. "So we're going to go and tell Dumbledore why we think you were chosen, and maybe he'll change you back."
Ginny’s temper immediately rose, but she tried to keep her voice even. “Mistake? My first year wasn’t a mistake; I did it because I wanted to—"
"But you were lonely—and scared—and helpless—"
"Helpless? How would you know that? How would you have a clue what I was feeling that year? Or any year, for that matter."
"But you told us—"
Ginny took a deep breath before continuing. "And besides, the Hat didn’t only judge my first year; it judged me—all of me.” Ginny spoke calmly enough, but inside she desperately wanted to scream.
“Gin, I understand that it’s been a hard day for you, but let’s not get crazy. You aren’t like the Slytherins. They’re sneaky and ruthless like--Death Eaters.”
Ginny nodded. “You're right. I’m so sorry I went off like that.” She said it sadly, knowing that she shouldn’t be apologizing but also knowing that a fight would get her nowhere, and the last thing she wanted tonight was a detention.
“Its okay; we understand that you’re tired,” said Harry softly.
The statement brought Ginny’s attention to Harry, whom she hadn't noticed at first. “Well, good luck with Dumbledore, and good night,” Ginny said as she slid past them.
“She gave in easily,” Harry noted as they continued their way.
“I think she finally understands that her outbursts are pointless.”
Harry doubted that, but kept it to himself. Ron wasn’t a person you wanted to get worked up over his sister.
Harry asked the question he’d been contemplating for weeks. “Does she still have a crush on me?”
“Probably. She’s just tuned it down a notch. I think she realized how childish it was, and also the fact that you’re way to good for her. I mean you’re like a legend, and she’s just--Ginny. Take it from someone who knows her. She’s loved you since forever, and she’s finally realizing why you don’t feel the same.”
Harry sighed in relief. Ron might not know a lot about girls, but he did know his sister, so he was probably right.
“Why'd you ask?” Ron said with a trace of exasperation. “You’re too old for her, and you’re way more sophisticated. She's still a little girl”
“Oh, yeah. Thanks. I just don’t want to upset her when I start going out with Cho,” Harry said as they reached the Headmaster's office. He murmured, “Do you know the password?”
Harry shook his head. “I highly doubt that is it”
“I meant you and Cho? How’s that gonna happen, huh? You tried last year, only to end up being rejected.”
“I was not rejected! It was just that Cedric Diggory had already asked her. She’s probably dying with the fact that he’s gone. Maybe I can help to wipe her tears away?”
“Oh, tell me how that goes for you.” Ron smiled.
“It’s going to go great. Now you don’t know that password either, right?”
Ron shook his head. “I guess we wait,” he said as they both sat down. Luckily they didn’t have to wait long.
“Mr., Weasley? Mr. Potter? What are you doing here?” Dumbledore asked as he exited his office.
“We were waiting for you,” Ron answered.
“I presume this has something to do with Miss Weasley's house change.”
Harry and Ron nodded. “We think that the Hat judged her unfairly.” Harry told the headmaster.
“Lemon drop,” Dumbledore muttered. The statue sprang aside at the password. “The corridor is no place to talk about something as important as this. Come, let’s sit in my office,” Dumbledore said and led the way.
What Harry and Ron didn’t know was that, as they walked into his office, a furious Ginny was running to her new dorm. She had been going to tell them the news about her new room but instead got an earful of rubbish. There was no mistaking the fact that Slytherins would taste the sweet scent of hatred as she entered their common room.
As they walked into his office, Harry was surprised to see that it hadn’t changed one bit. Dumbledore went around to his desk as Harry and Ron sat on the overstuffed chairs in front of him.
Harry started, not wanting Ron to mess up their chances. “We understand that the Sorting Hat picks the house based on a person’s thoughts, actions and personality, which is why we felt that Ginny’s Sorting was wrong. We think that he judged her solely on what happened in her first year.”
“Ah, I see. Well, the only way to find the answer is to ask the Hat itself.” Dumbledore said, while getting up and making his way to the Hat, which lay on a shelf of its own, asleep, across the room.
“Huh!? Who is that!?” The Hat asked, sounding angry.
“It is only me, Dumbledore. We have a question for you.” Dumbledore carried the now awake Hat to the desk.
“About Ginevra Weasley, I presume?” The Hat asked Harry and Ron. They both nodded, unsure as to how to answer. “Well, go on. I don’t have all night.”
“Um…We were wondering why you put Ginny in Slytherin.”
The Hat sighed. “Ginevra Weasley was a hard pick, very smart, very brave and very sly”
Ron and Harry looked at each other in confusion. “She’s not--sly!” Ron blurted out.
“Don’t interrupt me. I am not at liberty to tell you what I read in her but I will tell you this. Ginevra Weasley is a true Gryffindor, she is brave and-“
“Exactly! She’s a Gryffindor, not a Slytherin!” Ron cut the hat off, which caused him to get angrier.
“I was not finished yet, you fool. She is a true Gryffindor, and a true Slytherin. She possesses the qualities of both, which, I might add, someone else in this room also possesses.” Harry bowed his head in embarrassment. “She is in Slytherin and will stay there. Is that all?”
“We were also wondering if maybe you didn’t ‘read’ her right.” Harry felt weird talking about her as if she was a book, “We thought that maybe you read about her first year and not what she really is.” Harry's voice trailed off. He was afraid the Hat would get even angrier.
“Her first year is not just a memory; it is a part of her. It may be the reason behind her Sorting but it is not the sole reason. She is both a Slytherin and a Gryffindor at heart and will remain so forever.” The Hat finished and closed its eyes, signaling the end to their conversation.
“There you have it. Ginevra will stay a Slytherin no matter what. It’s getting late and curfew is in just a few minutes I suggest you two get out of here quickly.” Dumbledore said.
"Wait," said Ron. "I have a question for you, Professor."
"I believe I have time for one, Mr. Weasley."
"How come Hermione wasn't picked to be skipped a grade?"
Dumbledore said coolly, "Miss Granger? I believe you should be asking her that question. Is there anything else?"
Ron just shrugged, and the two boys thanked the headmaster and left quickly.
“He’s a liar!” were the first words out of Ron’s mouth as they made their way to Gryffindor Tower.
“Dumbledore?” Harry asked, confused.
“Not him, the Hat! He just wants Ginny to suffer. Wait until my mum hears about this. She’ll do something about it.”
They reached the common room without any trouble, but getting in was a little harder. The Fat Lady had already fallen asleep, even though it was barely past curfew.
“Wake up!” Ron said as loud as possible without screaming, but the Lady just kept snoring away.
“What about Hermione? Shouldn’t she have noticed that we’re not back yet?” Harry asked, wanting Hermione to open the door more than anything.
“She probably expected us to be late and just went to sleep,” Ron replied.
They sat down on the carpet glumly. As they both were on the brink of falling asleep right there, the door opened, and out popped Hermione’s head.
“Harry? Ron?” They both jumped up
“Thank you!” Ron nearly screamed as he hugged her. All three walked inside.
“How long have you been out there for?” Hermione asked.
“Far too long. The stupid Lady wouldn’t wake up! It was barely past curfew when we got here.
“Well, it’s been a good forty-five minutes now, so lower your voices and get to bed."
Wait a sec, Hermione," said Ron. "Tonight at dinner, why didn't you get skipped a grade like Ginny and the rest?"
"Right," said Harry. "And I noticed you hardly reacted when the announcement was made… like you knew about it ahead of time."
Hermione cleared her throat. She looked embarrassed. For a moment Ron thought she was going to say she had failed all her classes last year, but, of course, that could not be. The real reason was, if possible, even more fantastic. "Erm… actually, Professor McGonagall sent me an owl about it last week. I was to have been promoted with the others but… well… knowing how things are… you know… with you, Harry… and Ron too, of course… she wanted to give me a choice."
Ron's jaw dropped and he stared at her as he croaked, "And you said 'no'?"
Hermione nodded. "Well, it didn't make sense… you know…." She looked from Ron to Harry and back again. "With things the way they are…"
"Blimey…" said Ron, speechless for once.
She shook her head in irritation. "Oh, we can talk about it in the morning.” Hermione had switched back to her 'adult' voice. She sounded too much like his mum for Ron’s liking, but both boys nodded and headed towards their room, as quietly as possible.
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