Chapter 7 : Playing with Fire
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Playing with Fire
Ron and I hardly ever had moments like that and I secretly treasure that one. We used to have them all the time, but time had pulled us apart and tried to break our bond. The twins had managed to escape fatal punishment from Mum because Dad and Percy showed up just in the nick of time. She was still pretty riled up about the matter and constantly tried to pester it out of me. But I held fast to my promise to the twins and it wasn’t me who she finally learned the news from. It was Lee Jordan.
About a week and a half after the visit to Abigail, Mum and I were cleaning out the kitchen pantry. It was something we did manually because we had to decide which foods we were going to keep until next month and which we were going to toss. I hadn’t exactly volunteered for this job, so much as Mum had selected me and I wasn’t about to argue with the woman who nearly killed my brothers just recently. So we were cleaning out the pantry and I picked up a jar of a thick brown liquid with no label. “Mum,” I began, “What’s this?” She didn’t respond, but took the jar and looked all over for a label. “There is none.”
“Hmm, I wonder why we,” but she stopped speaking because there was a large grey owl pecking at the window above the sink. “Now, why is an owl like that outside our kitchen window?” She stood up and walked over to take the envelope from the bird. She leaned against the sink and read, “To: Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes. Now who in the world would write a letter to us under that name?”
“I haven’t any idea,” I l said, too distracted by the jar to recognize the name. God was I stupid. She opened the letter and began to read it. This was the level of privacy in the house. I took the jar and pulled the top off of it. There was some sort of mold around the rim of the container and I looked at it in disgust. I leaned down stiffed the contents. It was horrible; a mixture of sewage and hippogriff dung. “Mum, I think this needs to go. It smells horrid.”
“I can’t believe,” She muttered, eyes still scanning the paper.
“Well, there wasn’t any label and there is mold on the rim, plus it smells like…” But she had already stormed out of the room and onto the back porch.
I jumped up, tossing the jar in a waste basket and running out after her. She was striding across the quidditch pitch where Fred and George were planning some quidditch with a bewildered Ron. Ron wasn’t half bad, but he didn’t have enough confidence to beat the twins. They were all laughing at some joke and then Fred saw Mum. His smile disappeared immediately. George looked at Fred then followed his eyes to Mum. His smiled was still plastered on his face, but it began to fade ever so slowly. “Shit,” Fred said, not helping his case with Mum who glared at the remark.
“What’s going on,” Ron said landing and running over to me. I always knew what was happening in the house because everyone confused their deepest secrets to me, expecting their little baby girl not to tell. I take secrets in, but I barely give out my own.
“Damn, I’m stupid,” I muttered finally realizing that I could have stopped Mum.
I will not go into the details of the argument, but I’m prettying sure that all the birds flow away from the trees a mile around and that the Lovegoods came out of their house expecting to see a blibbering rinkney or whatever giving birth. That’s how loud Mum was. The twins looked like their world had just crashed down around them. Ron stood there in confusion trying to connect the dots. Me, I stood there feeling guilty and giving sympathetic looks to Fred and George.
Once Mum finished yelling, she marched them up to their room and took all the order forms she could find. They could make more. But they wouldn’t. The risk was much too high. It was okay to do something against Mum’s wishes, as long as she didn’t know about it. Once she knew, the game was over. The rest of the day was silent. Silent. Not a noise was made. This was all wrong. It wasn’t supposed to be silent. Silence was even more frightening than loud noises.
When Dad and Percy apparated to the end of the walk, Mum ran out to meet them and immediately began to explain the events of that day. Dad nodded at the right moments and scowled whenever she expressed disappointment or angrier with the twins, but I noticed that he would occasionally wink at them whenever Mum wasn’t looking. Percy listened intently to Mum’s rant and seemed more interested in it than Dad did. “You two should be following my footsteps and joining the ministry,” Percy agreed as he pranced up to his room to work a little more before dinner.
“Well, Arthur, what do you have to say,” Mum glowered.
“Um,” Dad began, looking unsure and very uncomfortable, “Boys, never do that again!”
“That’s it,” Mum asked snappily. “I lectured them for 20 minutes or more and you say ‘Never do that again’?”
“Yeah, Dad she was yelling forever. I’m pretty sure the police were called by the neighbors,” I said and received a glare from Mum.
“Molly, it’s not like anyone was hurt or injured by their pranks,” Dad said. “If they were, that would be one thing. They should stop producing the dangerous items and listen to you when you tell them not to.”
“I going to go finish dinner,” Mum huffed, conflicted by Dad’s argument. She scuttled back to house and I smiled at Dad.
“Well hello there,” He said pulling me into a one armed embrace. When I was younger I would run out to greet him, jumping up and down in excitement.
“Hello yourself,” I responded and we started walking slowly back to the burrow. Ron and the twins had already entered the house; Ron reason for food and the twins probably didn’t want to feel anymore judged or disappointed in. “How was your day?”
“Mediocre; and your’s?”
“Same. Full of jars and screams,” I said. “Pretty average.” We laughed and enjoyed the regularity we found in each other.
I was overjoyed that we were going to be able to go the quidditch world cup. It would be fantastic. To make things even better, Harry, Hermione, Charlie and Bill would also be coming. Things were always happier when Bill and Charlie were around; they relaxed Mum and made us feel like a whole family. And of course, it was never bad to have Harry here because Mum was on her best behavior around him, something I found extremely ironic since most of the trouble Ron got into was because of Harry. And I would not be the only female under the age of 40 for once because Hermione would be rooming with me. Nothing could go wrong.
Of course before we could go, we had to figure out how to get them all here. Bill and Charlie would be easy; they could apparate and already knew about it all from Dad. Hermione could be owled easily and could travel here the muggle way or by the night bus. Harry on the other hand was another ordeal. Mum would not agree to just picking him up like two years ago. She claimed we needed permission. We had tried telephoning last year, but that hadn’t worked out too well. So we all sat in the sitting room trying to figure out how to rescue the victim and tell the dragons all at the same time.
“We could just send him a letter,” I said and Ron looked at me with a superior expression.
“Ginny, we’ve already talked about owling him, but his family doesn’t like owls,” Ron smirked at my stupidity. I rolled my eyes.
“No, Ron, I mean the muggle way,” I explained slowly so he would understand.
“Muggles have owls?”
“No, they have the mail post offices and deliverers.”
“Oh,” Ron said turning redder by the second.
“Ginny that could work and we would be learning more about muggles and their customs!” Dad looks excitedly at all of us.
“Alright, Arthur and I will handle the muggle letter so that nothing goes wrong,” Mum looks at the twins then continues, “and Ron you should write to Harry and tell him in advance.”
“What about Hermione?”
“Ginny, you can write to her, with Errol,” Mum said and I accepted my job willingly.
“Alright, let’s go,” Dad said as if we were on some sort of mission and we all laughed except Mum.
“And don’t bother your brother,” Mum said as she and dad left the room.
“Yeah, writing an article about the state of envelopes from France is really an important job,” Fred laughed. “Come on, George,” he said as they stood up.
“Where are you two going,” Ron asked.
“To mess with our dear brother,” George said.
I tapped on Ron’s door and he opened with a quill in his mouth and a piece of parchment in the other. “What,” he said.
“Nice to see you too,” I joked and walk into the room. “I need to borrow some parchment. All of mine is covered with spilt ink. Oh and I need some ink too.”
“One second,” he said and turned around to his trunk. Pigwidgeon was flying around his cage as fast as he could. Ron had just gotten that bird at the end of last year and he claimed it was from Harry, but I knew he would never take something so expensive from Harry. Too much Weasley pride. Anyway, I started calling the owl Pigwidgeon and it just kind of stuck. Ron of course doesn’t use his real name and calls him Pig. The git. He hands me a piece of parchment and a corked glass of ink.
“Thanks,” I said and walked back down to my room.
I sat down on the floor because it’s more comfortable and solid than anything else and I begin to write.
It’s so exciting! You’ll never believe it! We’ve got tickets to the World Cup because of some favor Ludo Bagman owes dad! We’re all very excited. Well, the boys are all very visibly excited because they’re allowed to like quidditch. As for me, I’m secretly excited. I’ve never told anyone this, but I’ve been sneaking out at night to practice quidditch ever since I was 6! I swear if anyone else finds out, you won’t make through the trip!
Anyways, the whole trip should be loads of fun and I have been assigned the job of writing to you so that we can invite you to join us. It would be great to have another girl there with me, not that I can’t manage, but those tents and get really lonely! And don’t think that the reason why I’m the one writing to you is because Ron doesn’t want to or anything, we just have a lot to do, so you’ll have to make do with me as your writer. Hope you don’t mind.
So, I hope you will be able to come! If so, just write back with this owl and we can either arrange a ride for you on the night bus or you can come the muggle way. Whichever one works for you. Hope to be seeing you soon!
I crossed out the sincerely. It seemed too formal, and there was no need for me to write my last name because what other Ginny did she know? Instead I wrote:
That should do it. I folded up the letter and went off to find Errol. I didn’t exactly know what she’d think of my letter, it was full words like excited and fun which don’t exactly give me the mature edge I had been hoping to gain that summer. With my friends at school, sure I mature, but at home it was harder to the most mature member of a family where you were the youngest. Anyway, I was looking for Errol down stairs when I ran into Percy. When I say ‘ran into’ I mean literally, I ran into him and all of his papers scattered across the floor. “Sorry, Perc, I didn’t see you,” I apologized as I bent down to help pick up the papers.
“Don’t touch these papers,” he snapped and swatted my hands away from the mess.
“Wow, I didn’t know that papers about envelopes were so important,” I said playfully.
“These aren’t about envelopes!” He said this and managed to look even more arrogant than he had portrayed that summer. “They happen to be extremely important letters from Bulgaria about the upcoming events this year.”
“The quidditch world cup? I didn’t know you were dealing with that,” I said, puzzled.
“I’m not,” he said clearly trying to restrain himself from saying anything else. I knew exactly what to do.
“That’s too bad; it would have made you so amazing in my eyes,” I said as I got up to walk away. Three, two …
“It’s something to do with Hogwarts and the special events there this year!” I turned and smiled.
“Really, what kind of events,” I asked in my most innocent, childish voice that I could summon. He was about to speak when Fred and George walked into the room.
“I’ve already said too much,” he claimed and ran from the room.
“Damn,” I muttered.
“What’s with the language?”
“He was about to spill what’s going on at Hogwarts this year,” I grumbled.
“Sorry,” Fred said. “Didn’t mean to ruin our chances.”
“Our chances,” I asked.
“You do know how secrets work between siblings,” George asked.
“We tell you one and we get one in return,” Fred explained.
“We’ll see,” I said as I left the room smiling. They would never get anything out of me that I didn’t want out.
I was elated on the day of my birthday. This year I would be getting the wonderful present of my two older brothers coming. Nothing could be better. The night before I had gone out long after everyone else was asleep, and took a broom for a fly.
The air had that cool feeling that there always is in the end of summer during the night. The sun had gone down and the beautiful moon had taken her place. Everyone who I loved had the exact same moon. They shared that with me. I floated slowly upwards towards the moon, wondering how far I could go. If I just kept flying up, would the stars welcome me to their home, would I just be another bright light in the sky? Or would I feel even more alone up there with the lights of night? Would I want to come back?
I looked back towards the burrow and wondered would they miss me? Would they notice? How long would it take? Would they wait for me to return or would they just call me missing or dead and plan a simple funeral for me? Would they cry? All of them? Who would come to my funeral? Would Harry stand on the spot they had designated as a shrine for my disappeared body and realize that all along he had loved me too? Or would life continue without me? Would I watch them from the sky each night, wanting to call out to them and tell them I wasn’t gone? I’d watch them grow up while I was stuck up with the stars. I’d watch them forget me, one by one.
Then on a whim I began to fly very fast. The world was a blur, unable to keep up with me. It made me feel on top of the world. No one could stop me. Not the moon or the sun. The only displeasure I got out of this is the knowledge that when I stopped myself, the world would come back to me, hard and repulsive. Sometimes I wanted to be a star so I didn’t have to be a human.
The next morning I woke up with an exhilarated feeling. Today Charlie and Bill would be arriving. The next day Hermione would be here and then Ron and the Dad would go get Harry on Sunday. The house was silent for just a moment and it seemed like everyone and everything was holding their breath. Then the floor above me creaked signaling the awakening of Fred and George and across the hall I heard water running as someone brushed their teeth. Here we go, I thought to myself.
I got out of bed and made it sloppily. It was more than Ron did to his bed in the mornings, so it would do. I looked at 13 year old self in the mirror on my closet and found the reflection hard to believe. Wasn’t it just yesterday that I had shoulder length hair and as thin as a stick. Now my hair swept down nearly to my elbow and I had hit puberty. My body curved in and out and although I didn’t know it at the time, I was a hot ticket item. To me the change wasn’t about looking better or older, but feeling more respected and grown up.
Today would be the first time I would see Charlie and Bill in over a year and boy had I changed. I wanted to show them how much I had matured, so I grabbed a flowing blue skirt and a white tank top. It wasn’t exactly dressy, but it was definitely different than the normal clothing I choose. I slipped Hermione’s bracelet from last year over my wrist and even went so far as to clip a gorgeous blue horse brooch that aunt Muriel had given me, onto my shirt. I looked at myself and ended satisfied.
“Good morning Mum,” I said causally as I sat down at the breakfast table.
“Oh, Happy Birthday, Ginny, dear,” she said smiling and came over to give me a copy righted Weasley hug. She pulled away and took in my appearance. “You look lovely. Is that Muriel’s brooch?”
“Yes, I thought I would wear it today,” I answered and smiled again and turned back to the stove, waving her wand around. “What?”
“What do you mean ‘What’?”
“I mean, what’s with the little smiled you just put on your face?”
“Nothing dear,” she said, but I just stared at her and she gave in. “It’s just, you’re so grown up. Look at you. I’m so proud.”
“Thanks, Mum,” I said, not sure what else to say back.
Luckily I was saved by Ron, who came stumbling down the stairs and did a double take when he saw me. I laughed and Mum just shook her head. “What are you wearing,” he asked sitting down in the seat next to me, inching his head as he did so. He was still in his blue pajamas, which were way too short for him in the pants.
“Thanks, so much,” I said sarcastically.
“Whatever, I just don’t think that my 12 year old—“
“I’m 13,” I reminded him and he blinked and then blushed.
“Right, sorry, happy birthday,” he said and I thanked him.
“Ginny, Percy and your father had to leave early today, but they wished you a happy birthday, too,” Mum said and I nodded. They would be here later.
“Ron, could you go get your brothers,” Mum asked. She had been calling them anything, but her sons or their actual names for at least a week. Maybe she was pretending that they were not the troublesome duo that we all knew as Fred and George. Ron grumbled.
“I’ll do it,” I said before they started arguing. It’s not like walking up two flights of stairs is worth an argument on your birthday.
I got up and walked up the stairs. I knew they were up from earlier, so I wouldn’t have to wake them up. I knocked on the door and there was a bang and the twins opened the door quickly and stepped out into the hallway, closing it behind them. They were dressed normally, but the tiniest smell of smoke emanating of their clothes. They looked me up and down, laughed and then pretended to be clearing their throats after I gave them a Mum like glare. “Good morning, dear teenage sister,” George said.
“Yes, you are certainly playing the part of a teenage girl well,” Fred complimented and I laughed.
“Bill and Charlie are coming today, so I decided to dress up. At least your reaction is better than Ron’s. He both forgot that today was my birthday and practically did a double take when he saw me,” I said and we all laughed. “Alright, Mum said its time for breakfast, but you two should probably wash the smell of smoke off you before you come down.”
“We haven’t the slightest idea what you are talking about,” Fred said. “But, we’ll be right back.” They walked into the bathroom and grabbed the soap.
“Ready,” I asked once they had been scrubbing at their hands for a few minutes.
“Like a pie cooked for 45 minutes,” George said and we went back down stairs.
I was lying on the sofa reading some book full of stories about Amazing Witches which Hermione had sent me for my birthday, when there was a soft pop and I looked out a window to see a tall, handsome figure with a long pony tail of red hair waving around behind his shoulder. I jumped up and surprisingly managed to reach Bill before Mum did. He dropped his bag on the ground and pulled me into a tight embrace. He smelled like he always did, like baked bread and evergreen trees. Bill ruffled the top of my head and then let me go. I stumbled down because he had been lifting me off the ground just the tiniest bit, but I stood back up before anyone noticed.
“Bill,” Mum said and pulled him into a motherly hug. “Oh, you’re so thin; you need to be eating more…”
“It’s good to see you too, Mum,” Bill laughed and she swatted his arm gently.
By this time the rest of the house had come out to welcome Bill back and I was lost in the bustle of hellos and you look greats. We went back into the Burrow and Mum immediately set to work making us some afternoon tea, but only after sending Bill’s bags upstairs. I noticed that he had gotten a new earring that resembled a tooth of some sort. The twins were already asking him all about the adventures he had been having and Ron was listening intently. I gave in and went to sit beside him. It’s not like I wouldn’t have time to speak with him later. “Now, hold on a moment,” Bill said and we all quieted. “Let’s not forget whose birthday it is today.” I grinned. He never forgot me. He never forgot anyone. “You look,” Bill said, but his face was stuck in a stunned expression. “You look so grown up. I’m not sure I’m okay with my little sister growing up.”
“Relax, I’m only 13,” I said.
“Well, I have a gift for my teenage sister,” he said and pulled a little brown package out of his back pocket. I opened it to reveal a beautiful, elegant golden ring. “It belonged to an Egyptian princess who had six older brothers. She was loved by the people of Egypt and was her elder brother’s wise woman. The first in the history of Egypt. I know you don’t wear jewelry much, but I still thought this would suit you.”
“It’s amazing, Bill, thank you so much,” I said and throw my arms around his neck. I looked at the ring and noticed an engraving of a bird on it. “What type of bird is this?”
“It’s a phoenix,” he explained and I slipped the ring onto my middle finger on my right hand.
“Thank you, Bill,” I said with genuine gratitude.
“Anything for you,” he said and we had a final moment of happiness before Ron began to ask more questions about the Egyptian tombs and I listened content with my moment.
“Charlie’s here!” Mum beat me there this time, I was unprepared what can I say? I was a close second though. Again there was much hugging and greeting and we ended up in the sitting room again listening to tells of dragons and mummies. It was a pleasant afternoon.
The evening was even better. Dad and Percy joined us and Percy let down his hair just the tiniest bit. We laughed and ate and sang. It was one of the best nights of my life, but also became unbearable to think about 4 years later. The celebration continued late into the night, but Mum finally sent us off to bed, but not after Fred and George had managed to sneak some of Charlie’s Fire Whiskey into their glass and were holding their tongues in pain, whenever Mum wasn’t looking, off course. After their 3rd glass, they were looking sickly and Mum suggested that we all go to bed before they vomited.
The next morning started with a bang. Literally, a bang. I jumped up in bed and looked out the window. The sun was hardly in the sky and normally only Mum and Dad would be up, but it was a Saturday so no one should be up. I got out of the twin bed and pulled at the sleeves of the over sized sweat shirt I had wearing with a Holyhead Harpies logo on it. It had been a gift from Ron a few years back, but he had ordered it himself while in Diagon Alley because Mum was busy and he had gotten me the extra large. It was amazing that one of the few store bought, new-ish articles of clothing I had was still huge on me. I didn’t bother with getting dressed; it wasn’t like anyone would be showing up at 5:30 am. Oh was I wrong.
Downstairs was a mess. There were several eggs splattered along the wall and the doorway was burnt and even the walls were singed. Hermione was standing by the door with her hair blacked with ash and a very frustrated look on her face. Percy was standing by the oven with a wand in one hand and a frying pan in the other. Fred and George were snickering in the far corner of the room. Mum and Dad came running down the stairs behind me, wearing their striped pajamas. Ron, Bill and Charlie must not have heard the racket since they were all a few floors up. We were all staring at each other for a few silent moments, trying to figure out what had happened and what to do next. Mum (obviously) was the first to speak.
“What happened,” she said this with more kindness than I had ever seen her display to the twins when they caused a mess. Then I realized she was speaking to Percy. She must not have seen Fred and George yet.
“I was up early so I could fix breakfast and leave for work.” No, he didn’t have to work on the weekends, but yes he chose to, “and I was in the middle of cooking when Hermione knocked on the door and then, well, bang.” That’s when I noticed there was no door on the hinges. Crap, I thought looking at Mum’s face as she connected the dots.
“But, what, how,” she stammered and I saw out of the corner of my eye that the twins were sneaking towards the back door. I wasn’t about to give them away; I didn’t play like that, but Percy did.
“What are you two doing,” Percy asked them and Mum turned faster than a Firebolt.
“Damn,” George muttered.
“What did you do,” she asked, clearly restraining herself.
“We thought it would be humorous if Percy had a little surprise on his way to work.”
“So, we set up a few of our products which explode at the touch, well at least they are suppose to, we haven’t tested them yet,” Fred continued.
“We had no idea Hermione was coming this early.”
“It was all good natured fun,” Fred tried to joke. “No fault, no harm.”
“No harm,” Mum started. “NO HARM? NO BLOODY HARM! Look at my kitchen! Look at our guest!” I smiled at Hermione.
“Molly, it was an accident,” Dad soothed. “It will never happen again, will it boys?”
“Absolutely not,” they chorused.
“Hermione, are you alright,” Dad asked, trying to let Mum calm down.
“I’ll be fine,” she said. “I just need to change.” Percy looked at the twins and then at Mum.
“And Mum,” Percy said, about to do one of the most generous and unlike Percy things that made me always love him. “I can clean this up easily.” He waved his wand in a complicated pattern and the room was relatively cleaned in a matter of seconds.
Hermione looked at me and I grinned I ran over and gave her a hug then laughed at her hair. They crackled as I touched them and rubbed off some black matter. “Come on,” I said, grabbing her trunk, “You can change in my room.”
“Just a second,” she said. “Um, I was wondering if we could maybe keep this quiet. I mean I just don’t really want to hear jokes about from Ron all year.”
“I’m with Hermione,” Fred said.
“Yeah, let’s just forget this ever happened,” George said. I laughed at their meager attempts to escape punishment.
“We will keep it under wraps, Hermione,” Dad said to her and she thanked him then followed me up the stairs.
“Seriously,” I asked laughing. “This is the Weasley house. Nothing stays quiet forever.”
“Yes, but hopefully by then it won’t matter,” she said.
I opened my door and let her in before shutting it again. My bed was not made and the sheets were rumpled in a mess. The blinds on the window were bent and letting in a few slivers of daylight. I walked over to the window and opened pulled them up and immediately shaded my eyes from the blinding light. Hermione looked right into it, unfazed. Then I pulled the sheets on the bed up and sat down. Hermione’s trunk was already open and she was digging through it furiously. She finally came up and placed her outfit on the end of the bed with a brush on top.
“Now, let me ask you, who shows up at someone’s house on a Saturday morning at 5:30?”
“The muggle bus left at 4 and made better time than it was supposed to,” she defended. “I was going to be here ate six.” I laughed and at first she restrained herself, but then joined me. “Besides, I think you were going to be up at this time anyway. What’s with Fred and George, are they inventing havoc now?”
“Yes, and it is very hard work from the sound of it,” I said and then explained the concept of Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes.
“That’s actually extremely impressive, despite being extremely dangerous at the same time, not to mention practically asking Professor McGonagall to punish them,” she said only assuring my idea that it was brilliant. “And being underage and not using actual magic.”
“No, I’m positive that they are using real magic. There have been some pretty loud explosions.”
“But they can’t, it’s illegal.”
“Rules like that don’t really apply to the Weasley kids. Too many of them coming in and out at different times,” I laughed and she rolled her eyes.
“Alright, I’m going to go try and wash this out of my hair,” she said and I pointed her down the hall to the bathroom.
I changed into some cut off jeans and a dark red cardigan not feeling the need to dress up. I just needed to focus on being myself and not looking like what I want to be. Substance before style. I did however slip on the ring from Bill and watched the phoenix shimmer in the light from the window. I ran a brush through my hair and watched the waves of red shimmer even brighter than the ring. I used to be jealous of people like Gwendolyn with dark, beautiful locks of hair, but as I grew older my opinion slowly changed. Maybe it also had something to do with the fact that Gwendolyn and Bellatrix Lestrange shared similar hair styles.
Hermione tapped on the door once, and then slipped in before hearing my answer. Her hair was relatively back to normal and she was dressed in her typical sweater and neat black skirt. She looked rather frantic and ran over and grabbed my arm. “I don’t mean to alarm you, but I think someone is trying to imitate a member of your family. There was a man with red hair and a long pony tail,” she said worriedly. “We should go check on Ron!”
“Its fine, Hermione, that’s Bill. You know my older brother and Charlie is here too,” I said laughing.
“Oh,” she turned very pink and let go of my arms. “You always have to be aware and prepared.”
“You also have to be aware that there are too many Weasleys to count,” I mused and we both laughed.
“So, you look amazing,” she said taking in my appearance. “So grown up! Of course, you have always been mature, but now you look the part.”
“Oh please,” I said rolling my eyes, “Flattery will not let you off the hook.”
“What hook,” she said innocently.
“The hook that the first thing you thought we should do when there was the possibility that a criminal or at least an unknown person was in the house was to go running to Ron.”
“I-I, he was the only one not awake and I… stop it!” I laughed and she hit me with my pillow. “It’s not like that.”
“Mmhmm,” I said just a bit too enthusiastically. “Whatever you say!”
Hermione and I were linked at the hip for the next day. Ron joined us sometimes, but he could only go so long without either feeling too strong a feminine force or getting into an argument with Hermione. He would huff out of the room and Hermione and I would immediately giggle at his exit. We completely understood each other in a way that Gwendolyn would never been able to understand and a way that Harry and Ron just wouldn’t get. It wasn’t like we hadn’t been friends before, but our relationship became something stronger and harder to break. I could speak to her and she would actually listen, something that hardly anyone ever did for me.
When Harry arrived the next day, I had promised myself that I would keep my cool and definitely not blush. Well I blushed the moment he looked at me. His eyes were just so green and his smile was so genuine. It was extremely difficult not to run off, but Hermione locked arms with me and I remained put. So much for that promise, I just put it in the pile of broken ones with ‘never crying for myself’ and ‘not eavesdropping’. That last one wasn’t so bad to break.
It was probably because of Hermione that I was allowed to join the trio in Ron’s room later and although I knew they restrained themselves from speaking about one of their many secrets, I was included in the group and they didn’t just kick me out. By ‘they’ I mean Ron; Harry is too kind and Hermione learned from her mistake last year. I was happy enough for my actions that day that I had the tiniest sliver of hope that I would one day be a permanent member of their group. Well, that would take years and I would never be an actual member of the trio, just an added member that was normally left out of the joke, not that it would ever damper my spirits.
Dinner was great; full or laughs and perfectly cooked foods. Mum obviously wouldn’t be giving up on trying to get Bill to cut off all his hair anytime soon, but at least I had tried to defend him and I could be proud of that. It was those little things that kept me going; I had laughed at a joke with Harry, I had spent over 5 minutes with the trio, I had helped Bill pack his things. They put me through those next few days. Not that it was hard to enjoy, but it was hard to feel like I had accomplished anything during them.
The next before we left for the Cup, Hermione and I were in my room just about to turn off the lights and go to sleep; we would be getting up very early the next day. I was in my Holyhead Harpies shirt and Hermione was wearing a white shirt and some silk pants. The night air coming in through the window was surprisingly chilly and I shiver as I pulled the blankets up to my chin and waited for Hermione to turn off the light, but she didn’t. “You know, I think he likes you,” she said causally.
“Who,” I said, sitting up, but not taking the covers off.
“Harry,” she answered.
“I mean, he thinks you’re more than a little girl. That’s something.”
“So,” I said, trying to hide the fact that my heart was skipping in a colorful meadow.
“So, we all know you fancy him,” she said looking at me knowingly.
“Is it that obvious,” I asked, deflated.
“Honestly: yes. But most everyone thinks it’s a school girl crush, nothing that really matters. But I know it does.”
“Thanks,” I said, thinking that the conversation was over, but I was wrong.
“I’m not especially talented with pleasing boys, but I do know what they think like, or at least what Harry thinks like. He’s overwhelmed. He’s 14, it’s hard for him to sort out his feelings,” she said and I listened to her, knowing she meant well. “Just try and relax around him. He won’t ever fancy you if he doesn’t know the real you.”
“God, you’re smart,” I said and she blushed.
“Not really, I am just extremely perceptive.” Most of the time, I thought. “Maybe you could also date other people. Colin’s friend, dark haired boy, who you spent time with, last year, clearly fancies you, almost as much as you fancy Harry!” I laughed. “What?”
“I know he fancies me; he kissed me last year,” I admitted for the first time.
“He kissed you?” I nodded and then went into explaining the whole thing. “Right in the middle of the Owlery; gosh, that’s so sweet. Do you fancy him?”
“I hate to say it, but no, he’s sweet and quiet and I wouldn’t want to lead him on while I was still head over heels for Harry. He’s too good a friend.”
“Yes, I understand,” she said and I knew she meant something to do with Ron. “Still, let yourself explore. There’s a muggle saying: There’s more than one fish in the sea. There may only be one for you, but you don’t know till you try.”
“Thanks Hermione,” I said and she finally turned out the lights. “And, you know, Ron will come to his senses eventually.” She made a scuffing sound, but I knew she appreciated having someone say that.
It turned out that Hermione and I had been speaking for about an hour, so when we got up before the moon even went down, we were extremely tired. Mum had to come up to get us three times before I finally stumbled down into the kitchen with my pack on my back. I felt half asleep and asked for the fourth time why we had to get up so early. Oh right, we had to walk to the portkey. Portkeys always made me feel nauseous so I wasn’t exactly looking forward to the upcoming event. All the same, we set out and Hermione and I were both steadily behind Dad and Harry. Harry apparently was full of energy because he continually asked questions about traveling by portkey and countless other things. He was so uninformed, it was kind of sweet.
We finally reached the area and then began to spread out to find the darn thing. We had been searching for a few minutes when Dad called us back over to where the Diggorys were standing. Cedric was handsome and when he smiled at us, even Hermione blushed a bit. Fred and George disliked for beating Gryffindor last year. I didn’t mind; Harry had fallen off so it hadn’t been fair plus Cedric was very modest about it. His father, on the other hand, was another story. Or maybe he had heard another story. He was all ‘Cedric beat Harry Potter fair and square’. I swear, I would have smacked him if Dad hadn’t been there.
We all latched onto the portkey and off we went. We landed hard on the ground and the twins jumped up as to not look less than Cedric, who had glided down along with my father and Mr. Diggory. Hermione’s pack and opened a little and some of her clothes were spilling out. I quickly grabbed them before Ron could notice and stuffed them back into the bag. We stood up and I nearly burst out laughing at the sight of two wizards dressed as muggles. They looked about as similar to muggles as wolves did to sheep. Not that Dad was completely perfect in resemblance to muggles, but at least we could blend in. They told us where we would be staying and we set off.
After a little while, we said goodbye to the Diggorys and reached a muggle by the name of Mr. Roberts. Dad tried to pay, but things got ugly pretty quickly. Dad recruited Harry for help, but the poor muggle still seemed to get the idea that something was off. Muggles were not stupid, despite some pureblood beliefs. Finally, another wizard came by and oblivated him claiming that they had to do so all day with Ludo Bagman blabbing about bludgers and quaffles. That didn’t make sense, so I looked at Dad and asked “I thought Mr. Bagman was the head of Magical Games and Sports; he should know better than to talk about Bludgers with Muggles, shouldn’t he?”
“He should be, but he has always been a bit, well, lax,” Dad said, smiling then went on to explain in more detail.
Once we reached the camp site, Dad tried to assist Hermione and Harry in putting on the tent well we watched hiding smiled under our hands. Hermione would put up a side of a tent and then Dad would simply poke it and it would fall over. She did her best to hide her frustration, but I could see right through her fake smiled. Harry was a bit lost, but at least knew the hang of how the tents worked. Finally they managed to put both up and I watched as Harry and Hermione exchanged looks; we would have ten people sleeping in the two tents and normal muggle tents were very small. I chuckled to myself and we entered the boys’ tent.
Harry’s face lit up and he looked around at the kitchen and living area in awe. Hermione wrinkled her brow and glanced back out forth between the outside and the inside. She bit her lip, but eventually accepted the extraordinary circumstances of magic. We looked around the girls’ tent and then dad sent the trio out to gather water and told the rest of us to find some fire wood. I was a bit upset for not being with the trio, but who doesn’t love Fred and George?
We were walking down towards the woods when Fred and George saw Lee Jordan and began a rapid conversation of the disaster Mum had made of Weasley’s Wizards’ Wheezes. I told the twins I would meet them back at the camp site not wanting to intrude on anymore official business. I recognized many familiar faces from both Hogwarts and the Ministry. “Ginny,” a voice called out and I turned around to see Lavender Brown and Parvati Patil smiling at me. Behind Parvati was a girl who could only be her twin from Ravenclaw.
“Hello girls,” I said walking over to them.
“Ginny, this is my sister Padma,” Parvati said pointing to her twin. I said hello and she waved softly back.
“I didn’t know you too were into quidditch,” I said.
“We’re not really, but this is the event of the year, we couldn’t miss it,” Parvati said.
“Parvati’s parents had tickets and so I tagged along, it’s been loads of fun!”
“Plus, Seamus is here and it’s so obvious he fancies Lav,” Parvati giggled and I made eye contact with Padma who look utterly bored by the conversation. How these two girls were related, I would never know.
“That’s nice,” I said and they shrugged and Padma winked at me.
“If I were you, I watch out for Dean, he practically falls over his own feet when he’s with you,” Lavender sniggered and Parvati joined in laughing. I could feel my face go pink and turned around as fast as I could.
“I’ll see you later then,” I said and made a quick escape to avoid more laughter.
I was so busy trying to escape that I didn’t even notice when I ran straight into a tall, dark haired girl. I looked up and immediately recognized the freckled, pretty face of Cho Chang. She smiled a sweet, innocent smile and said, “I’m so sorry, I didn’t see you there.” For a moment or two I lost, not sure if I should speak and if so with kind words or not. It wasn’t like it was her fault that Harry fancied her and I wasn’t about to be rude to a completely innocent stranger.
“It was my fault; I wasn’t looking where I was going,” I said and she was about to speak when a girl with curly strawberry blonde hair and a prissy expression came up behind her.
“Cho, who’s this,” her eyes flashed up and down and she seemed to be deciding whether I was worth her time or not.
“I don’t know,” Cho began, but yet again another curly haired girl came up, this one however I knew.
“Ginny,” said the familiar and annoying voice of Catalina Edgecomb. “I didn’t know your family was able to do these types of events. They’re very expensive and with such a big family …”
“No, we can manage just fine thank you,” I said stiffly, extremely tempted to slap her right there.
“Ginny Weasley,” Cho asked and I nodded. “I’m Cho Chang, I’ve heard about you from some of my friends.”
“Including me; Marietta Edgecomb,” said the taller girl behind Cho, “Catalina has mentioned you a few times.” I wasn’t sure if this was a good thing, but knowing Catalina, it wasn’t. Marietta and Catalina shared the look of superiority that Cho lacked.
“Um, it was pleasant to meet you all, but I should really be going, bye Catalina,” I said and quickly walked away.
Wow, I’ve only been here for about 5 minutes and I’ve already had two awkward conversations, I thought. Then to complicate things even more I was about to pick up some fire wood when yet another person called out my name. I turned around to see Dean grinning at me. Seamus was a few steps behind him, huffing and panting as if he had just run a marathon. “We just saw you and thought we say hi since we were nearby,” he explained happily.
“Nearby? We were supposed to be getting some water and you pulled me all the way over here!” I smiled and Dean just ignored the comment.
“So, you’re here with Seamus,” I asked Dean and he nodded. “IAs you probably guessed, I’m with the rest of my family and Hermione and Harry.” The moment I said Harry, Dean’s grin vanished and he immediately frowned. Luckily, Seamus reached over and nudged him.
“Yeah, we saw them,” he said and I nodded.
“How long have you been here,” I asked.
“A few days,” Seamus answered. “And you?”
“Just got here about an hour ago; are you supporting Ireland?”
“Of course,” Seamus said.
“I still don’t quite understand the rules, but I had to tell his family that I supported Ireland or else I wouldn’t have been allowed to come,” Dean whispered to me and I laughed.
“Ginny,” Fred called and I turned to him.
“Alright, boys I should probably go, I’ll see you two later,” I said and they left.
“Dean Thomas has a thing for you,” George said and I rolled my eyes.
“Please,” I began.
“You know it’s true,” Fred said and I playfully pushed him.
“Ron would have an aneurism if he knew,” I joked and we all laughed. “Things worked out with Lee?”
“We caught him up; we’ll figure something out,” Fred said and I left it at that.
We returned to the tents and piled the fire wood up. Then Dad began to play with matches. Oh dear, Dad and matches were not a good mix. Fred and George sat laughing as Dad would light one of the little sticks, but then sit staring at it until it nearly burned him and he would jump up and stamp it out. I watched for a few minutes, but then I heard a familiar voice. “Daddy, I don’t think they’ll be out now that all these people are here,” said the dreamy voice of Luna Lovegood. I turned around and got up. “Oh, hello Ginny,” she said and I smiled.
“Hello Luna,” I responded.
“Daddy, this is Ginny you know her,” Luna said.
“Yes, Arthur’s girl,” Mr. Lovegood said and I nodded. “We’ll it is very nice to see you again.”
“And you,” I said, but I honestly had very little recollection of him.
“We were just looking for Umgubular Slashkilters, we’ve been here for a week observing them,” Mr. Lovegood explained.
“They are probably asleep though because of all the people,” Luna said sadly.
“Well, I hope you find them,” I said and then went back to watch Dad play with matches.
Harry, Ron and Hermione finally returned with some water and we began to cook lunch. Dad pointed out Ministry workers, that I already knew by heart, to Harry and Hermione. Percy, Charlie and Bill arrived soon after and we spent the rest of the afternoon laughing and eating. As the sky began to turn dark, venders began to show up with trays of rosettes and flags. I had saved some of the money from my birthday so that I could purchase some type of item. The trio headed off one way and the twins went another. My older, older brothers and Dad began to move through the crowd chatting with their co workers and friends. Sometimes it was a lonely world.
I looked through some of the merchandise just so I would look busy. Then I saw a thick pack of Slytherins walking in my direction all smirks and sneers. From the group I recognized Daphne Greengrass, Pansy Parkinson, Crabbe, Goyle, Amy Frome, Vaisey and of course Malfoy. I wished so badly that I was not standing alone. Not that I couldn’t handle it, but I probably looked like such a loser, all alone at the event of the summer. I would have even welcomed Catalina. Vaisey did a double take not much different from the one Ron had done on my birthday.
“Weasley,” Frome said, “You’ve grown, and maybe now you’ll be taller than that mud blood, Creevy.”
“You know her,” Pansy asked, clearly disgusted.
“Sadly,” Frome said and knocked her hair over her shoulder.
“Come on, I have to use the ladies before the show,” Pansy said, and I rolled my eyes, it wasn’t right that people who didn’t even know that a game of quidditch was called a match not show were able to attend while others weren’t. “Besides, if we stick around much longer we might catch poverty.”
Half the group left to the bathroom, giggling as they went, and I was left facing Vaisey and Malfoy with their thick headed goons. I put my hands on my hip and straightened up, raising my chin. “It’s been a while, Weasley,” Malfoy said and I remembered back before my first year when we had gotten into a sort of scuffle. “Tell me, are you being more careful about what books you write into now?” I felt a pang of fear. Malfoy’s father had been the one to put the diary in my caldron, would Malfoy would of course know about it. Would he tell anyone else about it?
“I just hope your father is being more careful about whom he gives books to; we wouldn’t want to set another house elf free,” I retorted half heartedly.
“What’s she talking about, Malfoy; did you lose your house elf?” Vaisey asked and received a glare of detestation from Malfoy. Early he was not used to having people talk back to him or his ideas.
“It doesn’t matter; there’s no truth when it comes to a blood traitor,” Malfoy sneered, but it didn’t matter to me. We were off the topic of the diary and clearly he hadn’t told Vaisey and so Amy probably didn’t know either.
“If that’s true, I don’t even want to know what sort of lies your type tell,” I said and Crabbe made a lunge, but I jumped out of the way. “The larger they come, the slower they are.”
“Draco,” a tall, blonde woman with a horrid expression called from beside a vender selling mini figurines. “Let’s go,” she said and Malfoy looked torn.
“Let’s go,” he said to his gang and they slowly started walking off.
“Can’t keep Mummy waiting; she does actually have to make her own bed in the mornings now and we wouldn’t want to over exhaust her,” I called and I could tell it was painstakingly hard for him not to turn back to me. Mrs. Malfoy looked me up and down in a swift glance and looked (If Possible) even more disgusted. I gave her and stony look and half a shrug then walked back towards the camp site.
I had bought a green Rosette and returned to the tents when Harry, Ron and Hermione arrived back. We were all together and boy were we a lively bunch. We were clothed in colorful hats and sparkling bits and pieces we had picked up. Dad called us out to the pitch and we made our way across the large field. I watched as hundreds of witches and wizards dressed in all sorts of clothes; so had completely forgotten to wear muggle outfits and others were really getting into the character. There was so much laughter that even today I can still hear it echoing around in my head. The lights flashes on and off everywhere, but no one cared. We made it up to the highest box and took our amazing seats.
Some people think that because of our tight financial situation that we never get to do anything special or luxurious. We may be unsuccessful in always having money, but we are pretty damn lucky in life. The only down side to our seats was the fact that we had to sit with the Malfoys looming around behind us. Never the less, the match started with Veela and thousands of drooling men watching them dance. Then out came the Leprechauns sprinkling handfuls of gold everywhere. I caught a few pieces, but recognized it as fake. We had gone over leprechaun gold some time in History of Magic and I vaguely remembered some of the characteristics. Specifically that it would disappear in a few hours.
Anyways, the match began and it was one for the history books. The Irish were much better at scoring and goal keeping, but no one could deny that Victor Krum was one to be rivaled with. He was brilliant. Frightening, but brilliant. I was looking through Hermione’s Omnioculars when Krum bolted towards the ground with Leech right on his tail. And I was watching close up when Krum spurred upward and Leech smacked into the ground. I looked away, but could not seem to get the image of the bones breaking out of my head. I leaned over the edge and stared down at the field. “It’s alright; he’ll be fine,” Charlie assured, but I continued to watch the healers rushing around on the ground.
“That’s horrid,” I muttered. And it was horrid once again when he crashed for a second time.
And then the Irish seeker spotted the snitch and the final few seconds of the match began. Krum was chasing it and then the little ball of gold was caught and the match was over and in a blur of cheers and screams I was back in the tent feeling higher than the stars. Maybe even higher than the moon. Dad fixed us a cup of hot cocoa and we sat down and discussed the match, although I was only half listening. I was so happy and excited. I could practically feel the adrenaline slowing down in my blood stream and I just sat there and smiled while taking long sips cocoa.
Then I was standing with a warm, brown liquid settling in my clothes and warming my skin. I had spilled my hot cocoa all over and dad decided it would be best if he sent us to bed. Hermione and I changed into our night dresses which Mum had insisted I take. We lay down in our bunks and I could hear Hermione breathing softly above me. “He was very brave,” she said out of the blue.
“Who,” I asked since I had nearly been asleep and wasn’t exactly as alert as normal.
“Krum, I mean, I don’t know much about quidditch, but I’m sure that what he did was very dangerous, but he did it because of his dedication to his team,” she explained even though I had no problem with her thinking Krum was brave because he was.
“Wow, that’s pretty analyzed; I was just going to say he was a good quidditch player,” I joked, but she didn’t laugh. “Come on, it’s cute, I mean in a sort of ‘Harry Potter is my Hero’ way. Maybe you and Ron can start a fan club.”
“It’s not like that, I just think he was brave; I don’t even know him and he might be a horrid person for all I know!”
“‘For all you know’, Hermione, you know everything” I laughed.
“I don’t, really, it just looks that way,” she stated and I laughed.
“Good night Hermione,” I said.
“Good night, Ginny,” she answered.
A/N: Sorry this took so long; I know it's not finished and doesn't go through the whole thing with the dark mark, but that will be part of the next chapter along with the Hogwarts express and stuff. Thanks for reading and please, please, please review. Even a short message is welcomed. I hope you're enjoying the story!
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