Disclaimer: I do not own any characters and such associated with Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling.

This Chapter's Mood Music: "Wild Child" by Enya

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Soulmates

Ginny hurried along the passageways of Hogwarts' dungeons as she tried to make it to double Potions in time. "No way am I going to be late for Snape's class like I was for Professor Flitwick's class this morning. I can't believe I overslept on the first day of school!" she thought.

So far, Ginny's first day of her fifth year at Hogwarts hadn't been going her way. She overslept, therefore missing breakfast, and despite her efforts, she was still late for Charms. Luckily, Flitwick didn't give her detention because it was the first day back, and also because Ginny was his favorite student. He would never say this out loud, however, because teachers were expected to be impartial with their students.

Ginny being his favorite student wasn't surprising, though. Charms was Ginny's favorite class, and she was excellent at it. Some of the teachers would compare her to Lily Potter because of her outstanding ability in Charms. Despite this ability, Ginny would still never stand out in class. She was no Hermione, never raising her hand in class even though she always knew the answers.

This was because Ginny hated standing out. After being the youngest of seven children at home, and then playing the part of the quiet, small mousy girl at school her first year and on, Ginny wasn't used to ever being the center of attention. Some people would notice this, seeing her lying on the ground alone near the lake, staring off into space or studying in the library by herself. "Isn't that the smallest Weasley girl?" they'd wonder. "Doesn't she have any friends?" "No one ever talks to the poor girl. I heard that even her brother ignores her." Of course, Ginny never knew that sometimes she would attract attention and pity to herself. If she had known, she would've grown uncomfortable and wouldn't have known what to do. Such was the situation of that morning in Flitwick's class.

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That morning...

Ginny drew in breath as she ran in five minutes late for Charms. Everyone in the class turned around and all eyes focused on her. They didn't turn back to what they were doing, however, which was usually the case when someone would look at Ginny. Instead, their eyes lingered and they stared at her, mostly because of how Ginny looked.

Over the summer, Ginny had gone through a growth spurt. No longer the short, stick-like child she had been, now Ginny was a woman, by looks at least. She had grown over two inches, and she'd let her hair grow down to the small of her back. Her hair was fiery red, as it had always been, but it was flowing down around her body, much different from the way it usually looked. Ginny usually kept her hair in a tight braid, but she hadn't had enough time to braid it that morning because she woke up so late.

Ginny's mother had taught her how to braid when Ginny was just four years old, and she'd worn her hair in a braid almost every day since. Braiding wasn't the only thing Ginny had gotten from her mother, though. Ginny had recently inherited her mother's full chest, elegant curves, and large hips. Since Ginny wasn't stocky like her mother, the features gave Ginny a beautiful figure.

This didn't go unnoticed by the Hufflepuffs and Gryffindors in her Charms class. With her great figure, beautiful, long hair, and the slow blush that was creeping across her cheeks as all eyes in the class gazed upon her, Ginny was attracting a lot of foreign attention. Now all of the girls in the class were either glaring at her in jealousy or staring at her in awe. The guys were almost drooling, and one Hufflepuff boy even let out a slow whistle of appreciation.

"S-Sorry I'm late, Professor. I-It won't happen again," Ginny squeaked out as she took her seat at the back of the class.

"That's all right, Miss Weasley," Professor Flitwick said with a gentle smile. "I was just welcoming the students back from their break. Just don't let this become a habit, now!"

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Ginny began to blush again at the memory of that morning as she continued to walk through the dungeons. She'd felt like such an idiot, not knowing how to react with so many eyes on her. "I guess Harry wasn't kidding when he told me I looked beautiful back in August!" she thought. A small smile appeared on her face at the thought. "Gosh, if he'd said that to me a few years ago, I would've died from ecstasy."

She shook all thoughts of Harry out of her head as she rounded the corner and walked into the Potions classroom. As she walked in, she pulled her cloak tighter around herself, not to shield herself from the cold, but to avoid another happening like the one in Charms.

Ginny looked around the room, thinking that the only good thing about Potions was the classroom. Unlike everyone else, Ginny found the dark room calming and peaceful. Sure, it was a bit bleak, but the fact that it was so gentle on the senses always seemed to fill Ginny with some sort of serenity. The only extreme in the room was its temperature, which didn't bother her at all.

Ginny stealthily took a deep breath and let the icy cool air fill her nostrils, almost dizzying her. She didn't know why she enjoyed the cold so much, especially considering the fact that it was so contrasting with her fiery red hair. She loved to lie out next to the lake during her free time, letting the cool lake mist seep into her pores as she daydreamed.

Every day, she'd sit and think about the same thing: love. It was on her mind constantly, her mind filled with wonder about true love. She'd always been a firm believer in soulmates, ever since she'd first heard the word used. She'd always sit and daydream about who her soulmate could be. Had she met him yet? Was he handsome? Was he silent and mysterious, or outgoing and open? Did he believe in soulmates too?

She used to write about her thoughts on love in a journal, but that was before she came to Hogwarts. After her traumatic experience in first year, Ginny stopped writing in a journal. She just kept her thoughts inside of her, never writing them down, never telling anyone about them.

Who would she tell, anyway? She had no real friends, not that she was bothered by this. She was completely satisfied with her reclusive lifestyle, only showing her true self to her family, around which she considered herself Virginia. Outgoing, outspoken, fun Virginia was whom she was when she let herself grow comfortable around a person. Quiet, shy, stayed Ginny was the person that everyone else saw her as. Sure, that was who she was too. Introverted Ginny was a part of her, not a split personality. She was just the kind of person to keep herself under wraps unless she truly trusted the person. Of course, trust had been a hard issue for Ginny to deal with ever since the bad judgment she'd made with Tom in her first year. It was true that she hadn't made any real friends since then, but she was fine with it.

Ginny took a seat near the back of the room next to the rest of the fifth year Gryffindors, while the Ravenclaws were all closer to the front in order to hear everything better. Ginny knew that being near the front wouldn't change her performance in class. Potions was forever and always her worst class, and not just because of Snape. It just didn't make much sense to her.

After a few minutes the entire room was full and Professor Snape began the lesson. "Today, you're going to be expected to brew a love potion." Ginny's ears perked up at the words "love potion." "Now, this assignment will be slightly difficult for those of you who aren't very...advanced in this class." Snape's eyes flicked across the back of the room, and Ginny felt that his eyes remained on her longer than on the others. "Love potions are so difficult because of the thing they are meant to recreate. Because love is such a tricky subject, love potions are very challenging. To create love when there is no such thing is--"

"But..." a small voice interrupted Snape.

Snape slowly turned his head to look at Ginny. "You have something you wish to say, Miss Weasley?"

"N-No, Professor."

"Good. Now, as I was saying... Because love is so ambiguous, a lot of pressure is put on love potions to produce the indefinable thought. When a potion must form something that doesn't exist--"

Once more, Ginny felt compelled to say something. Love, not real? How could he say that? "Love does exist!" she found herself saying loudly enough for all to hear. She felt the familiar blush spread across her face as everyone's eyes turned to her.

"What did you say, Miss Weasley?"

Ginny's strong opinion on the subject was the only thing keeping her from staying silent. "I said love DOES exist..." she said a bit louder.

"I don't think you have any room to argue with me on the subject, Miss Weasley, when I am an adult and you are but a mere child," Snape answered with annoyance written all over his face. "Five points from Gryffindor." Ginny could feel her fellow Gryffindors glare at her. "Now, if I may continue with my lesson..."

Now Ginny was getting angry. How could he tell her she's wrong when love is such an obscure subject? "Age has nothing to do with it! How can you teach us love isn't real when love is subjective?"

Snape's eyes narrowed as he said, "I speak from experience. Now, five more points from Gryffindor for questioning authority."

"Just because you've never been in love doesn't mean it doesn't exist..." Ginny mumbled in what she thought was a voice quiet enough for no one to hear. She was wrong.

Snape's expression turned from one of mild annoyance to one of pure malice. The Ravenclaws at the front leaned back in their chairs to get farther away from the seething professor, and one girl even covered her face with her hands.

Ginny stared back at Professor Snape with steady eyes. Just because she was quiet didn't mean she was a coward, especially when it came to something she was so passionate about, even if it had to do with Snape.

"Get out," Snape said in a voice that made it clear that he could blow any second. "I'm sending you to your head of house. Get out."

Ginny didn't need to be told twice. Defiantly, she narrowed her eyes at him and grabbed her things, heading out of the room.

No one noticed when Snape's eyes softened as they gazed upon a photo of a blonde-haired woman on his desk.

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