Chapter 1 : Ginny's First Days
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Trees stood, dry and still, branches extended futilly in the hope of a small breeze. The sky was large and blindingly blue, nothing to mar it except for the stray bird or smoky Muggle contraption. Grass was brown in the heat, except for that in front of one tall, leaning house in Ottery St. Catchpole.
Muggles nearby swore that the grass was always green because it was spray-painted, that the house grew another floor every week, that the little red-haired children running amok in the garden were goblins.
They were sadly misinformed.
Bill Weasley stood in the kitchen. His hair was long and shaggy, and would only get more so in the coming years. His ear had recently been pierced; a small gold hoop hung in it, and seemed to catch more than its fair share of light. His mother didn’t know yet however, as his hair hid it effectively enough.
Bill was surprised he hadn’t heard any screams from the living room. He’d left Charlie in there to watch over Fred, George and Ron while Bill waited for a letter from their father. Charlie was only eleven, and even Bill, who had recently turned fourteen, could at most handle only one twin at a time. Fred and George had the potential to be real trouble one day.
A big, ragged lump appeared on the horizon. It grew quickly, revealing the form of Errol, the family owl. Errol was only six years old, but already he was a bad flier and not quite up to delivering long distance letters.
Errol landed unceremoniously in the sink. Bill gently lifted him up and removed the letter attached to his leg. He eagerly opened it to see the contents, which included a stamp from St. Mungo’s.
Bill scanned the letter then shouted to his brothers. “It’s a girl!”
“Lemme see!” yelled Charlie, running in from the living room and grabbing it from his older brother.
“Hey!” said Bill, snatching it back.
“Listen, I’ll read it out loud,” said Bill. Their younger brother Percy had wandered in now. He stroked the back of Errol. Percy was only five, but he listened intently to his older brothers’ conversation. Errol nipped at Percy’s hair.
From the living room came a wail. “Ronnie, shh!” said a tiny voice.
“Listen,” said Bill again. He read, “’Bill, you have a new little sister! We’ve decided to call her Ginevra. She already has some red hair. I’ll be home tomorrow and Mum will be home the day after with the baby. Please don’t forget to feed Percy again, and make sure the twins don’t torture Ron.’”
Another cry came from the living room, louder this time, and another “Shh!” Bill glanced towards the noise, but there was a distinctive cry for when the twins were about to permanently injure someone, and the noise wasn’t at that level yet.
Bill continued. “’If you need any help, Elli Lovegood is just over the hill, and she just had a baby a few months ago herself, so she can probably be some help with the little ones. Give my love to the boys, Dad.’”
“That’s great!” said Charlie, hugging Percy until he beat him with his little fists. “We’ve got a little sister Perce!” he said.
“I know.” said Percy simply. “I heard.” He began to make his way upstairs to the room he and Charlie shared.
The loudest cry yet came from the living room. Bill started and ran into the room. There he found Fred and George attempting to make a campfire, with their toy broomsticks as kindle. They’d placed a frantic Ron on the brooms while they shouted nonsense spells at him.
“Fred, George, what you doing?” said Bill, leaning over and deftly picking up Ron from between the twins. “You’re scaring Ron.”
“Sorry Bill,” the boys said together, leaning in and hugging their big brother.
“That’s okay; but you can’t do it again.” said Bill, ruffling their red hair. He saw a familiar glint in their eyes. “Hey, guess what?”
“What!” screeched the twins joyfully.
“You’ve got a little sister,” Bill told them.
“Where is she?” asked Fred.
“She was in Mummy’s stomach, remember?” responded Bill, “Now she’s born and she’s at the hospital.”
“Why is she at the hospital? Is she hurt?” George’s eyes were big and round. He and Fred had been at St. Mungo’s twice already because a few “incidents” they’d caused.
“No, people just go to the hospital to have babies to be safe.”
“What’s her name?”
“Ginevra, Ginevra!” sang the Fred, dancing in a circle around Bill. George joined him.
“Ginny!” sang out Ron, the early talker.
“Ginny Ginny Ginny Ginny Ginny Ginny!” cried the twins back. All Weasleys were naturally loud.
“QUIET!” shouted Charlie, entering the room and quieting his brothers. “Bill, what’s for dinner? I’m starved.”
“I think Dad left some chicken casserole behind,” said Bill, handing Ron to Charlie and walking into the kitchen to find something suitable to eat.
After dinner, Bill put Ron and the twins to bed. Percy was doing something in his and Charlie’s room, and Bill let him be. When Percy got tired, he’d go to bed on his own.
Bill sat in the small, rather cluttered kitchen, drinking a glass of Butterbeer, when a large, handsome screech owl appeared at the window. Bill opened it for him and the owl flew in, dropped an envelope on the table, and soared out again, ten times as graceful as Errol was at his best.
Bill snatched the envelope from the counter. On it said ‘Bill, St. Mungo’s has let me borrow an owl to send you this, because Errol didn’t come back like I told him. I’ve sent you a couple pictures of Ginevra. Please put Ron to bed before midnight tonight. See you tomorrow, Dad.’
“Hey Charlie!” whispered Bill as loudly as he dared. “C’mere!” Charlie entered the kitchen.
“What is it?”
“Look at these!” said Bill, handing him the pictures from inside the envelope. Each showed a tiny, pristine face, with its eyes closed, and a minute tuft of red hair on its head.
“Whoa,” said Charlie, “She’s so… beautiful. This is going to be really cool. You’re inheriting another kid to babysit, Bill.”
“Yeah, I know,” sighed Bill, looking at the pictures in his hand. Ginevra yawned in one. “It’s sort of weird. I’ve never had a sister. Just brothers. And I was sort of ready to grow up, you know? I was already hoping for the day when Ron stopped using diapers/”
“Yeah,” said Charlie. “But I’m kind of excited.”
“I am too.” said Bill. “Just caught me by surprise.”
“Well, you have had nine months to think about it.” Charlie grinned. “I’m gonna go to bed. Should I tell Perce it’s bedtime?”
“Yeah,” said Bill. “Yeah, I think I’ll go to bed too.”
The two boys headed upstairs and fell asleep. They awoke at dawn when the twins threw a pound of Jelly Slugs on Ron’s head. Once they convinced Ron to stop chucking bits of yellow jelly goop at Fred, and gave him some apple pie for an early morning breakfast, he calmed down enough to shout, “Ginny swmall!” at the pictures of Ginevra.
Around lunchtime, Charlie was attempting to teach a reluctant Percy Exploding Snap and Ron was hiding in the broom closet from the twins, who were locked in their room planning an attack of Chocolate Frogs. Bill was searching the house, finding, collecting, and hiding all the Chocolate Frogs he could find in an attempt to stop the twins, whom he couldn’t convince to lay off Ron.
It was just as Percy ran from the game crying, Charlie chased after him, Ron burst out of the closet afraid of the dark, the twins crept downstairs looking for Frogs and Bill finished stashing them in the attic that their father came home.
Arthur Weasley swept up Ron in his arms and swung him around his head. Fred and George, having found some Sugar Quills to substitute Chocolate Frogs, burst into the kitchen, ready to attack. When they saw their dad, they dropped the candy and leapt into his arms too. Percy and Charlie came in from the living room, and Bill came downstairs to greet his father.
After everyone had calmed down a bit, Arthur settled himself on the couch with a cup of tea.
“What’s the news?” asked Bill, sitting down next to him. The others settled themselves on laps, chairs, and the floor.
“Ginevra,” began Arthur,
“GINNY!” screeched Ron.
Arthur frowned at him and continued. “And your mother are doing great. Ginevra really—”
“GINNY!” shrieked Ron.
“Shh, Ron.” said Arthur. “Now, Ginevra is quite—”
“GINNY!” squealed Ron gleefully.
“Ron SHH!” said Arthur, frowning at his son, “Ginevra—”
“GINNY!” screamed Ron.
“What, you want to call her Ginny?” said Arthur, smiling at his stubborn child. Ron stayed silent. “Ok, Ginny…” he paused, but Ron said nothing. “…is doing great. Perfectly healthy. The Healers say that as long as she stays in her current condition all day today, she’ll come home tomorrow morning.”
“Yay!” shouted Fred.
“Okay you guys,” said Arthur, standing up. “Have you had lunch yet?”
“Nope!” sang George, dancing around Arthur.
“Nopety nope!” sang Fred, skipping into the kitchen.
The rest of the Weasleys followed, all thinking of the first Weasley girl in generations.
But her name wasn’t Ginevra. Not anymore.
“GINNY!” screeched Ron, upon seeing her pictures on the kitchen table.
The first Weasley girl in generations would forever be Ginny.
“And that’s the story of the day you were born, dear.” Molly Weasley smiled tearfully at her only daughter and youngest child.
“Oh, Mum,” sighed Ginny, “That was so boring, I wasn’t even in it.”
“You were mentioned.” Arthur Weasley walked into the room.
“That doesn’t matter. It was about you, that’s the point. Are you ready?”
Ginny looked at her mother, trying to smooth out the wrinkles in her dad’s dress robes. He smiled at her at her nervously.
No, I’m not. It’s impossible. I’m about to marry the man I’ve had a crush on since I was eleven. It can’t be real.
But it was. Ginny nodded weakly at her father, and hooked arms with him as her mother gave her a last, slightly wet kiss on the cheek and departed for her seat.
They paused a second, Ginny thinking nervously about what she was about to do. I can’t believe this is happening...
Arthur walked forward, and Ginny fell into step with him. The small crowd waiting for them stood up as they began to go down the aisle. Ginny saw everyone she knew, most prominently being Luna Lovegood in an egg-yolk yellow dress with a crown of sunflowers on her head. All the faces Ginny didn’t recognize had red hair, so they had to be some of her many distant relatives. You can’t have seven children and expect to have a small family.
Harry and Ron, his best man, came into view. Harry beamed at her, Ron winked. Ginny could barely manage a tiny nod in return through her nervousness.
As Ginny said her vows, her mind flashed back to the story she’d just been told, for the first time in so long that she’d nearly forgotten it. And one thought dominated the rest: I’m glad Ron couldn’t talk yet when I was born. Ginevra may be the ugliest name in the history of the universe.
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