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A Year of Change by Erudessa94
Chapter 18 : Christmas with the Weaselys
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 3

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Ginny turned to find Teresa running down the corridor towards her. "Yes?" She asked, confused as to what Teresa wanted. They had just finished saying goodbye a minute ago, she needed to meet her brother.

"I almost forgot!" Teresa said excitedly, then paused to take a breath. "You know that huge new years party I was telling you about?" Ginny nodded, "I want you to come! My mom said you can come over New Years Eve and stay until we go back to school, if that’s okay with your parents"

"I'd love to!" Ginny said sincerely, Teresa had been talking about the party her parents throw for the last month and it sounded a whole lot better than what she usually did, which was hang out with her brothers. "I'll ask my mum as soon as I get home, but I have to go or my brothers going to leave without me!" They exchanged goodbyes one last time and then Teresa let Ginny leave.

Nearly two months had passed since Ginny’s encounter with Darcy and he still lurked in the back of her mind; he still lingered in her dreams. Rumors of his identity went around the school, supposedly he was a 7th year Ravenclaw who got kicked out of Durmstrung for sneaking muggle girls into the school so they could “make some magic”… that was one of the better rumors. Ginny didn't believe any of them and if asked she simply told them the truth: she had no clue who Darcy was.

Teresa wanted to know who it was almost as much as Ginny but Hermione wanted Ginny to forget about him completely, she deemed him as "trouble" and "not worth the thought". Ginny didn't agree. When she brought Darcy up to Luna she would just shrug her shoulders and smile, she didn't even try to understand her odd friend.

Ginny made it to her brother and they in turn made it to the train. Ginny walked behind her brother and Hermione, who over the past month had become almost like a couple. They would occasionally hold hands and went to Hogsmeade together. Ginny was waiting for Ron to make it official so they could kiss already.

As Ginny walked next to Harry it wasn't awkward but it wasn't exactly comfortable either. "So, you excited for Christmas?" Ginny asked, trying to break the silence.

"I guess, are you?" Harry replied politely.

"Yeah I am," Ginny wasn't sure what else to say. Luckily she didn't have to say anything else because Colin and Luna met up with them. Colin talked to Harry while Luna and Ginny fell behind to talk to each other.

"Have any plans for over break?" Ginny asked her blonde friend.

"Teresa and I are going to pick some Orkle berries, what about you?" This didn't shock Ginny anymore, Teresa and Luna had become pretty good friends.

"Hanging out with the family mostly, but Teresa invited me to a New Years eve party." Ginny nearly regretted saying it, what if Luna hadn't been invited?

"Oh yeah she invited me too but I promised my father we'd go hunting for diddle fairies, they only come out once a year." Luna continued to chirp on excitedly about diddle fairies while Ginny listened and nodded along. They made it to the train and quickly found a compartment, Colin and Neville joined them soon after.

The ride seemed to go faster than usual or maybe it was just because time flies when you're having fun; yes Ginny was having fun. This was the first time she got to really hang out with her friends since the ball. Ginny may be in a higher grade now and a different house but they didn't care; they laughed and joked as much as ever.

Soon it was time for them to get off the train; the group said their goodbyes and promised they'd owl each other over breaks. Luna and Ginny walked off to find their parents. Ginny spotted the group of red heads almost immediately and turned to say goodbye to Luna.

"Have a good break…Maybe you'll see Darcy" Luna said knowingly as Ginny had turned to leave. Ginny turned back to ask what she meant but Luna was already skipping half way down the platform towards a man in bright yellow robes. Trying to get that thought out of her head Ginny made her way to her family.

They welcomed her enthusiastically, her mother immediately embracing her and whispering how "wonderful it was to see her baby girl again". They went over this every time Ginny came home from school and it only got more annoying. After her mother’s long and excruciating hug Ginny moved on to her father, they shared an understanding look and a brief hug.

"How has school been?" Arthur asked his daughter, the question seemed simple enough but to someone who understood Arthur as well as Ginny did knew he meant much more.

"I love it," Ginny answered with a bright smile, her father didn't seem convinced. "I study and do all of my class work, I work hard at quiditch, and I've made a lot of friends" Ginny added confidently as her family made their way out of the platform. Her father seemed pleased with that but warned her to be careful when picking friends. Ginny told him she would and was pleased to find he didn’t push the subject, he was the most understanding out of her family; except for Bill maybe.

Bill had always been Ginny’s favorite brother, he always took her side in fights; he was the only brother Ginny could trust to not over react but she still didn’t tell him everything. When her mother announced he would be up for the holidays Ginny couldn't help but feel a huge relief, hopefully he would help her convince them to let her go to Teresa’s party.

Once the Weasleys, plus Harry, reached the burrow Ginny went straight to her room to unpack; she had shrunk her dress from the ball and was afraid it might damage it if left like that for too long. She also wasn't in the mood to discuss her school life with her family, especially her mum. She decided to just stay in her room until Bill arrived and was able to help defend her.

The wait wasn't as long as she thought it would be, a shriek from her mother about long hair had Ginny running out of her room, down the stairs and right into her brother’s arms. The rather large and hard arms of her favorite sibling enclosed her in an excruciating hug but she welcomed the pain. He easily lifted her off the ground and Ginny laughed with delight: her brother was home!

As Ron and the rest of her family greeted Bill, Ginny stepped back to look her brother over, she took note that his hair was very long, they would have to do something about that. Ginny was never fond of long hair, she preferred guys hair to not go past their shoulders and only some guys could pull of the shaggy type hair; such as Draco.

The thought came up so quickly she wasn't sure where it came from. Draco Malfoy was definitely not good looking, even if he did have a slender but muscular build and captivating grey eyes; he was a Malfoy and Malfoys are not attractive. Plus she had another grey eyed man to think about; Darcy.

Ginny was unable to finish her thoughts on her grey eyed companions her mother announced that dinner was about to be served. Bill left to put his things away and Ginny went to set the table. Not a moment later the Weasley family was sitting down to eat.

“So dears, how has school been?" Molly asked no one in particular but Ginny was sure her mum wanted her response.

"It's been good so far," Harry chirped merrily. Ron grumbled an agreement. Ginny stayed silent.

"How was the ball?" Molly asked knowingly, there was a moment of silence then suddenly there were three voices at once.

"Ron went with Hermione!"

"It was fun,"

"Ginny scandalously danced with a stranger!”

Harry’s timid response was lost on the elder Weasleys but Ginny and Ron’s statements hung in the air waiting to be discussed further.

"You asked Hermione?" Arthur finally spoke up; Molly was at a sudden loss for words. Then as if rehearsed all the Weasleys muttered ‘finally’ at once. Ron became quite red in the face.

Ginny groaned inwardly. That was all they were going to say on Ronald’s new relationship with Hermione; now it was her turn. Ginny silently cursed Ron and his stupid mouth. He hadn't said anything while at Hogwarts why did he have to bring it up now?

"Who did you go to the dance with?" Molly asked with a curious smile.

"I went alone, mum," Ginny answered softly, she saw her mother eye Harry. She would never get over the fact that Harry and Ginny would never date.

"Who is this, um, stranger you danced with?" Arthur was the one who asked this time, he seemed rather uncomfortable voicing it.

"His name is Darcy," Ginny answered curtly. "He isn't a stranger and it wasn’t scandalous." That wasn't exactly true, Ginny was pretty sure Darcy could be categorized as a stranger but they didn’t need to know that.

"You should have seen her," Ron put in, determined to make her suffer, for what? Ginny didn't know. "I don't even know what they were doing." Ron shook his head, as if he was ashamed.

"Oh stuff it Ron," Ginny shot back "It’s called the tango and it's a very classy dance. Just because you have less class in your whole body than I have in my pinky-"

"Alright, the two of you need to stop," Molly cut in, "Ginny did you and this, this Darcy fellow um do anything after this" Ginny’s jaw dropped, Harry froze with his fork halfway between his mouth and plate, Bill began choking on his food, Ron’s face turned red, Fred and George seemed oblivious and Arthur buried his face in his hands, shaking his head.

"No," It took a moment but Ginny was finally able to speak up, "all we did was dance, one dance. I can't believe you have to ask me that."

"Well dear," Molly started; obviously flustered by the reaction her question had received. "I was just checking, you never know what men will do, especially those in Slytherin. That house is filled with miscreants and-"

"Stop it!" Ginny nearly screamed as she stood up forcibly, causing her chair to fall back. "That's my house now. Those 'miscreants' are my housemates and my friends. You don't know them so stop judging!"

"Ginny I don't think your mother meant anything by that," Arthur said calmly.

"Honestly?" Ginny asked incredulously "Of course she meant something by it." Ginny took a deep breath, she didn't want to say anything she'd regret "May I please be excused?" She spoke calmly and masked her anger with a feigned smile.

“No, you will sit back down and we will finish dinner.” Arthur’s voice was hard and had Ginny quickly sitting. “This fighting has to stop. We all know there are Slytherins out there who are far from good but if we assume all Slytherins are bad we are no better than them. We all” Here Arthur looked at his wife sternly, something Ginny had never seen before, “need to learn to be more tolerant of them. Ginny is in Slytherin now and I think it is safe to assume she is not in any way evil. Do you all understand?”

Molly gaped at her husband in shock while her sons simply looked at their plates in embarrassment. Ginny smiled proudly. She loved her father; he always knew what to say.

The family finished eating in silence. It wasn’t awkward but it wasn’t quite comfortable either. Ginny was glad to have it finished but she wasn’t too excited about the look Bill was giving her. She frowned slightly and excused herself to her room.

As she reached it she collapsed onto her bed and sighed heavily. “I can’t wait for break to be over” As she voiced the thought Ginny frowned. This was the first time she had ever thought that. She usually loved being home with her family. But lately they had become unbearable.

A rough knock on the door had Ginny sitting up. She knew who it was before they opened the door; Bill. Of course he wanted to talk to her and she would have wanted to talk to him if Ron hadn’t mentioned Darcy at dinner. Now Bill would be sure to ask about him.

“Yes, brother?” Ginny asked politely. Bill sat down at the edge of the bed, he didn’t look happy.

“What’s up?” Bill asked lightly. Ginny had two options right now. One she could answer as anyone would answer with a “nothing”, or a “not much”, but that wasn’t what he was looking for and she knew it. Her second option was to tell him exactly what was “up” with her. She could divulge all the ugly details of her first few months in Slytherin such as her first duel/kiss, her in class nightmare and even her strange magical powers that only Malfoy and her possessed (that she knew of at least).

Neither were very good options so she decided to make a third. It wouldn’t be what he wanted or what she wanted but it was a compromise and she thought that would be fair.

“Nothing really,” Ginny started, Bill immediately looked annoyed “it all depends on what you want to know. I mean, I’m in a new house with new friends but nothing else has changed.”

“Well, how do you like your new house?” Bill seemed taken aback as Ginny willingly answered his question honestly.

“It’s just like Gryffindor,” Ginny couldn’t help but laugh at the look Bill shot her. Yeah she knew Slytherins were far from similar to Gryffindors but in all honesty hanging out with Teresa and Blaise wasn’t different from what she used to do. However when you added Malfoy in there that changed. “Okay, it isn’t but the only difference is the common room is in the dungeons, green and silver cover the walls and Snape is actually nice to me”

“Do you have any friends?” Bill’s eyes widened as Ginny feigned a hurt expression. “I didn’t mean it like that! I just meant do Slytherins like you?”

“Just stop. You’re not making anything better” Ginny cut her brother off, his cheeks turned the ever noticeable, weasley red. “Yes I have friends. Not all Slytherins are bad. Of course there are some that probably resent my placement in Slytherin but I don’t care. There were people in Gryffindor that didn’t like me and I’m sure there are people in the other houses who don’t like me either. I’m never going to be loved by all.”

“Okay, I get it. What about this Darcy fellow? Have you guys...” Bill was now avoiding her gaze, he idly fiddled with the edge of her blanket as he trailed off.

“No I have not had sex with Darcy,” Ginny answered bluntly “or any other guys at Hogwarts for that matter.”

“I’m proud of you Ginny,” Bill started “I know you get annoyed with us all for being so protective of you but can you really blame us? I mean you’re a beautiful and intelligent young lady. There are going to be guys out there who would love to take advantage of that and we just want to protect you from them. But I will let everyone know that there is nothing to worry about and I’ll try to get Ron to back down a bit, okay?”

“Thank you, I knew there was a reason I loved you” The siblings shared a short laugh, “Um I have a favor to ask of you.” Ginny was hesitant to bring it up, but Bill nodded for her to continue. “Could you help me convince mum and dad to let me go to my friends New Year party?”

Ginny began to get nervous as Bill hesitated in answering “She’s a Slytherin?” Ginny nodded “Her parents aren’t known death eaters?” Ginny shook her head “You trust her?” another nod. “Yes, but let’s wait until after Christmas to bring it up”

“Yes! Thank you so much, I love you!” Ginny nearly squealed as she threw her arms around her brother.

They left Ginnys room to rejoin their family downstairs. The Weasely siblings, as well as Harry, began their Christmas break rituals, to Mrs. Weasley disapproval, with a game of snow quiditch.

Ginny spent the rest of the days before Christmas just hanging out with her brothers. No one mentioned the Ball or anything about Hogwarts. Either Arthurs demanding speech changed them or Bill said something. Whatever it was, Ginny was thankful for it.

Christmas morning arrived and the Weasely children ran to the living room to open presents. It was as if they were all children again; innocent and excited about the presents Father Christmas brought them. They were forced to go in a circle, opening one at a time so everyone could see what they got.

Ginny’s parents gave her a home knit sweater, Slytherin robes that almost looked as if they weren’t previously owned and a small box of her favorite candies. Harry gave her another box of candies and treats and Hermione and Ron gave her a book on the Slytherin House as well as a pair of silver heart earrings. The twins gave her a box of what looked like chocolate treats that could cause no harm but the card that accompanied them told Ginny otherwise.

The last gift Ginny opened was from Bill and Charlie. It was a small rectangular box. Ginny excitedly ripped the wrapping off it and revealed a black box. She knew what kind of box this was, it was holding some sort of jewelry. Her family watched her curiously; they obviously had no knowledge of what the gift was other than Bill of course Ginny opened the box and gaped at what she found.

In the box was a necklace and matching ring. On the necklace was a heart pendant. The front was engraved with elegant patterns, that almost looked like flames, while the back was smooth silver.

“It’s not just a necklace,” Bill stated while Ginny fawned at the gift. She looked up excitedly. “It’s almost like a locket but it’ll only unlock if you say a certain spell,” Bill leaned towards Ginny and pointed his wand at the heart. He spoke softly so only Ginny could hear “Atvērt liesma” The heart didn’t open like a locket. The silver caught fire and melted, revealing 9 heart shaped stones.

“This is amazing!” Ginny shrieked, while giving Bill a hug. “I absolutely love it.”

“Each heart represents one of your family members and their made of agate which is a protection stone. The necklace is meant to keep you safe and t remind you of your family. So no matter where you are, we’re there with you.”

“That’s just the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard!” Fred cried out in a high pitch voice.

“I about near cried” George added.

Before anyone could react Bill threw himself at the twins. They squealed as they wrestled around the floor. Ron had joined in and Harry and Ginny followed after him. Molly and Arthur laughed at their children acting like 5 year olds again.

After what felt like hours of struggling to outdo one another they finally collapsed where they were and just laughed. Ginny felt exhausted from it but it was the most amazing feeling ever. It had been years since they’d acted like little kids. She missed it. She just hoped it wouldn’t go away once she returned to Hogwarts.


“Let’s go over it one more time!” Molly Weasely said.

Ginny wanted to strangle her mother right now. Molly had agreed to letting Ginny go to the dance but she wasn’t making it very easy. Molly had flooed Teresa’s parents five times already asking questions about insignificant details. And now she was making Ginny go over exactly what she was going to do. From leaving their house New Years eve and returning to school three days later.

“I am apparating with Bill to Teresas house at noon New Years eve.” Ginny grudgingly repeated the routine. “I will floo you as soon as I get in and settled. Then I’ll stay at her house and help set up for the party. After the party I will let you know how it was and say goodnight. The next day Teresa and I will finish cleaning up the party and just hang out around the house. The day after that we are going to Diagon Alley for two hours, where we will meet Bill and the twins for lunch, then we’ll return to Teresa’s house. The next day we are going to Kings Cross station to catch the train to school.”

“Perfect!” Molly tried to sound chipper but her concern was obvious. “Just, please, make sure to be careful. I know you trust Teresa and her parents seem wonderful but you never know who will show up.”

“Mum, I’m always careful” Ginny had been saying the same thing since Bill and her brought the idea up after Christmas. “and I will make sure to be even more careful now. Now they’re expecting me to be there at noon, I only have 30 minutes to finish packing.”

Mrs. Weasley relaxed slightly after Ginnys speech but she was still reluctant to leave. She has no problem sending her children off to school for months but she can’t stand letting Ginny go to a friends for a few days.

Not even five minutes after her mother leaving a knock sounded at her door. If this is mum again I swear I might blow something up. Ginny thought to herself then cheerfully replied to the knocker “come in!”

Instead of her mother, as she had expected, the door opened to reveal her father. “Hello darling, how’s the packing going?” He asked.

“I’m almost done!” Ginny replied “But you don’t really care about that. Are you here to give me another lecture on who to trust?” Arthur laughed at how well his daughter knew him.

“Yes and no,” Arthur moved Ginnys clothing from her bed and sat down. “I talked to Teresa’s father and I know that he is far from being a deatheater but I also know that some of his business partners and acquaintances have been known for dealing in the dark arts.”

“Yes dad, I know” Ginny replied before he could continue. “I will be extra careful”

“I wasn’t finished,” Arthur wasn’t very happy with Ginny’s impatience in hearing him out. “I know you will be careful and that’s the only reason I’m letting you go. However I discovered something that I’m not sure you know. Draco Malfoy and his father will be attending the party as well.”

Ginny wasn’t sure how to react. She knew Draco would be there but she hadn’t really thought about his father. Would Draco be forbidden from associating with her? Not that she wanted to hang out with him but she was sure Blaise would want to and Teresa was sure to want to do what Blaise wanted to do. So where would that leave her?

“I will make sure to avoid them as much as possible,” Ginny tried to push her own thoughts aside so she could assure her father it would be all right. He may not seem as concerned as her mother but she knew he probably had the hardest time deciding to let her go. “Now dad, it is twelve o’clock so if I’m going to keep mums schedule perfectly I have to leave.”

Her father took her trunk for her and they made their way downstairs. Molly fussed over her; making sure she had everything and telling her to be careful over and over again. Ginny tried to ignore her mother and said goodbye to all of her brothers. Finally Arthur made Molly stop fussing so Ginny was able to leave.

Ginny and Bill apparated to the edge of Teresa’s yard then walked a short distant to the front gate. Ginny knew the house would be big but it wasn’t a house at all. It was a castle. Ginny turned towards her brother and was relieved to see that he was as amazed as she was.

The siblings didn’t have much time to take the view in. Teresa was bounding towards them and a minute later she had the gate open and threw her arms around Ginny.

“I am so glad you got to come!” She squealed as she squeezed Ginny to death. “We are going to have so much fun!”

Ginny laughed at her friends enthusiasm and once she let go of her she introduced her brother. “Teresa this is my brother Bill. Bill this is my friend Teresa” Teresa took Bills extended hand and shook it.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Teresa” Bill said politely. “Are your parents home? I promised my mother I would talk to them before I left” Ginny nearly groaned and shot Teresa an apologetic look. Teresa didn’t seem to mind. She led Ginny and her brother up the driveway into the house.

As soon as they entered the front door Ginny was blown away. The outside of the house had seemed magnificent in its grandeur but it has also been overpowering and intimidating. The inside was the exact opposite.

The entrance hall was bright and filled with the fresh aroma of flowers. There was a large family portrait hanging above a family crest on the wall to the left. Ginny wondered what it would be like to have a family crest. She wasn’t really sure she would ever have a need for one but it would be pretty cool.

Teresa called for her parents and they appeared from a hallway to the left. Teresa introduced them to Ginny and Bill. After a polite round of handshakes and “pleasure-to-meet-you”’s Bill started up a conversation with Teresa’s father about his work. Teresa then pulled Ginny away to show here where she would be staying.

They made their way down the hallway Teresa’s parents had come from. Ginny tried not to appear as amazed as she truly was. The house wasn’t large and cold as Ginny had always imagined mansions to be like, instead the rooms and halls were smaller-but much bigger than the burrows- and quite homey.

After working their way through several halls and up a large stairwell they finally reached their rooms. Ginny hadn’t expected to have her own room and she was even more astonished by what she found

In the middle of the room was a white four poster bed that looked as if it could fit twenty people. The bed was made in all white sheets. It didn’t take long for Ginny to realize the entire room was white; the curtains, the doors, the walls, even the floors.

Ginny didn’t care but it did seem rather odd. Teresa seemed to sense her curiosity “Do you have your wand?” The question seemed rather random but Ginny pulled out her wand anyway. “Now say Donec decoro and think about what your perfect bedroom would be like.”

Ginny closed her eyes for a moment and thought “Donec decoro” Ginny could feel the room changing around her. She hoped Teresa was okay with what she was imagining. Once Ginny felt the room stop changing she opened her eyes.

The white room had vanished. It was now replaced by what looked like a room from a cottage- a gigantic cottage. A large couch took up the wall to the right while a smaller was next to it. A small mahogany table was in-between them and a gorgeous fireplace was in front of that. Ginny quickly realized that she wasn’t in a bedroom; she was now in her own personal sitting room.

Ginny moved past the couches and fireplace and entered her new bedroom through a large wooden door. She gasped at what she found. In the center of the room was huge cast iron bed made in all white sheets with hundreds of champagne colored pillows at the head. At the foot of the bed was a bench covered by a quilt.

To the left of the bed was a large bay window with a built in seat, also covered with pillows. To the right of it was a large mahogany dresser and a vanity. Ginny moved through the room, touching everything and reveling in how it felt. This was more than she had imagined.

Ginny kicked off her shoes and jumped into the bed. It felt even better than it looked. Never had Ginny thought she could have a room like this, even if it was only for a few days. Finally remembering that she wasn’t alone Ginny sat up and looked towards Teresa.

“This is amazing!” She nearly shrieked. Before Teresa could react a loud crack sounded from the sitting room.

“That must be Penny. She’ll be your house elf for the time that you’re here.” Teresa spoke as if everyone had their own house elf but Ginny couldn’t believe it. “She won’t come into your bedroom unless you invite her.” Ginny got off the bed and followed Teresa into the sitting room.

“Penny what is it?” Teresa asked, she wasn’t rude like Ginny had imagined.

“Mistress Ginnys brother would like to say goodbye, he is waiting in the sitting room.” Penny quickly relayed her message.

“We will be right there, thank you” As soon as Teresa dismissed her, the elf vanished. Ginny wasn’t sure how she would handle having her own house elf. I mean there were house elves at Hogwarts but there were too many students to have their own personal one.

Teresa and Ginny immediately left the room and made their way to the sitting room. Ginny tried to remember how to get there but she didn’t have much luck. She was still in shock at how amazing her room was and how gorgeous the house was in general.

Finally they reached Bill; he was still talking to Teresa’s father so they waited for a break in conversation to enter. Ginny gave her brother a hug and thanked him for bringing her. Teresa’s father told Bill he would show him to the door and they left. Ginny was finally free of her family… at least for the time being.



I am sure you all hate me right now. I feel sooo bad for not updating in this long. i honestly didn't realize how long it had been. I was going to put this up in the beginning of june but I lost my usb drive that had it and then by the time I got it back I forgot to post it. But i promise I am not going to wait that long anymore to post. Please review. It wasn't my best chapter but trust me the next one is going to be 10000 x better:D Thanks for reading and please, let me know what you think!

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