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Chapter 11 : Ginny Age Eight
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But, there was something relieving about the start of term. This year, Percy was going off to school with Bill and Charlie, and Ginny would try something she never was able to do before.
Percy always kept such a close watch over his younger siblings, especially Ginny. Anything that they did that was out of order, he would inform their parents about. And then, they would get it. So, often, at least to Ginny, it wouldn't be worth breaking the rules for fear of Molly Weasley's terrible wrath.
But Percy was gone. And so were Charlie and Bill. And they left one very important and valuable thing -- at least to Ginny. To most everyone else, it was a piece of old rubbish. A very old, very battered Cleansweep Two. You wouldn't be able to tell from the label, for it was basically completely scratched and worn off. It was missing most of its bristles, it had no handle or foot rests, and there was a large crack down the middle of the handle. Most people would have tossed it aside for fear of it falling apart. But to the Weasley's, it was an extra practice Broom from Arthur's days on the Quidditch team. And to Ginny, it was a ticket to freedom.
She had never been allowed on a broom before. She had seen Bill, Charlie, Fred and George, and occasionally Percy flying around their backyard often using makeshift goals and balls. They zoomed in circles around Ginny's head, while she and her brother, Ron, watched from the sidelines.
One time she did attempt to sneak out in the night when Percy and Ron were asleep and Bill and Charlie were off at school. She got as far as the broom closet. She closed her hand around one of the older ones. She could feel its power in her finger tips. But her mother had awoken at the sound of tiny footsteps descending the old wooden stairs of the Burrow. Ginny was grounded for a week for just the thought of sneaking out and riding on a broom,
"Do you know how dangerous that could have been?" Molly shrieked, waking up half the house. "You could have fallen and gotten hurt in the dark and no one could have known about it."
Ginny took her punishment, but rolled her eyes. She was sure that nothing would have happened to her. And today was the day she would confirm that.
Today, something very rare had happened. She had been left alone. Well, her father would be back soon, but she had an hour all to herself. Molly took Ron for a doctor's appointment. Percy, Charlie, Bill and Fred and George were gone away at school. Her father was out running some errands and would be back. But she had enough time to do it. She had just enough time for her first flight.
As soon as her father said good bye, and made sure she knew how to contact him in case of an emergency, Ginny raced for the broom cupboard. There, she found five very old, very dinged up broomsticks. Two were inherited from Molly's brothers, Gideon and Fabian. Two were Molly and Arthur's old brooms. The last was bought at a used Quidditch supply store. The owner owed Arthur a favor.
GInny picked the last one for her flight. It seemed to be the least beat up.
She ran outside into the field of tall grass. She put her legs around the broom and held it tightly. But nothing happened. She started running around in circles with the broom between her legs. She felt like a fool. And she soon began to wonder, did she not have magic after all? Was she a Squib? But she had demonstrated magical ability before. Why couldn't she fly this broom? Her brothers made it seem so easy.
Her grip relaxed as she came to the realization that perhaps she could not fly. But right as that happened, a surge of magic zoomed from the broom through her body. It felt like an electric shock! The broom zipped up into the air, higher than the Burrow, higher than she had ever been.
A little nervous at not knowing how she had made the broom fly, she tried to control it. She leaned forward a bit and the broom leaped forward with her. She turned slightly to one side, and the broom followed her. She whipped through soft, fluffy clouds, getting wet from the dew. Her bright green eyes were wide with amazement. The sights she saw from this height were beautiful. She could see past the house over the rolling green hills of the English countryside for miles.
The wind blew through her long, red hair. She looked like a comet in flight, flying around the house like it was a natural ability. Her face became flush and her teeth chattered in the wind. But she couldn't keep herself from flying. To her, this felt right. This felt like home. It was truly the most magical experience she had ever--
"Ginevra Weasley! What are you doing?" She heard a booming voice yell from the ground. She halted in the sky and looked down. Her father looked up at her, his face red with anger. She had completely lost track of time!
She felt so safe up there, so far away from him. But she knew she had to go. She knew she had to face the music.
She flew gently to the ground and gracefully landed on her feet. Cradling the broom in her arms, she went over to her father. Potatoes had spilled from a brown paper bag onto the ground. He had clearly dropped it in shock of seeing his one and only daughter so far from the ground.
He took the broom from her arms.
"I'm sorry, daddy, I just--"
Arthur looked his daughter in the eye. "You're quite the flyer. You'll give your brothers a good run for their money one day. But for now, no flying. Not until Hogwarts. Are we clear?"
"Yes sir," she said. He took her hand and they went inside.
"And, we'll keep this our little secret," he said, winking at her.
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