Harry Potter belongs to J.K. Rowling, not me.
It's For The Best
Chapter 1 – The Girlfriend
"Hello Professor Dumbledore," said Arthur Weasley as he stepped out of the fireplace in the Headmaster's office. As he looked around, he noticed that there were quite a few less items on the aged wizard's desk.
It had been one month since Harry had been told about the prophecy and taken it upon himself to 'redecorate' Dumbledore's office. In this short time period, Amelia Bones had been killed, Cornelius Fudge had been sacked, and Rufus Scrimgeour had been appointed Minister of Magic. This morning, Arthur had received a promotion at the Ministry of Magic, and had been summoned by Dumbledore shortly after he told his family the good news.
"Thank you for coming, Arthur," said Albus kindly as he set down his small list of applicants for the position of Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. None of them had the right qualifications. "Would you care for a lemon drop?"
"Thank you," said Arthur, grabbing one out of the tray and sticking it into his mouth. "Now, what did you want to see me about?"
"It has come to my attention that Harry Potter secretly has been developing feelings for your daughter, Ginevra."
Mr. Weasley smiled. "We'd always hoped that would happen, but as I understand it, she's dating some other bloke now." He closed his eyes to concentrate. "His name's Dean Thomas, if I'm not mistaken. I also think that Ron wrote that Harry was dating some Ravenclaw girl."
Dumbledore chuckled. This would be easier than he thought. "You of course know that romances at their ages come and go quickly," Arthur nodded, "and I know for a fact that Harry's involvement with that girl is over. We both know that true love, which I believe Harry and Ginny share, will last forever."
"Truthfully Albus, I do think she's over her crush. Even if Harry is starting to fancy her, I'm sure it's not that serious."
"I've been sure they were meant to be ever since he rescued her from the Chamber of Secrets," said Dumbledore confidently, "but I do believe that it might be a good idea if we helped speed up the process. After all, Harry is grieving the loss of his godfather and could use all the support he can get now, not in six months or a year from now. Would you care for another lemon drop?"
Arthur was getting a bit uneasy with where this conversation was going. He generally tried to stay out of his kids' love lives unless they asked him for help or advice. But as he swallowed his second lemon drop, he became calmer.
With a twinkle in his eyes, and his most grandfatherly expression, Albus continued. "I believe that a bit of love potion would push them in the right direction. You know, give Harry the extra courage to take that first step."
Arthur's eyes widened. "Y-you want to give Harry a love potion?"
"Actually," the aged wizard said kindly, "I'd like to give Harry a love potion while you administer one to your daughter."
"What, no. I'd never…"
Albus sighed as he reached for his wand much more quickly than one would expect an old man to do. "I'm sorry to have to do this, Imperio."
Arthur Weasley now sat calmly with a vacant expression on his face as Albus continued. "You will slip half of this potion into Ginny's drink tomorrow morning when no one is looking." Albus handed Arthur a vial of a clear liquid.
"You will tell no one of this."
"You will not remember it yourself until thirty days from now, when you will slip the rest into her drink, and then you will remember this no more."
"You will hide this vial where no one, not even yourself, will find it until you have completed your task."
Albus relaxed in his chair. "Politically, it's much better if Harry's involved with a pureblood girl. In a few years, when your son-in-law becomes the next Minister of Magic, you'll thank me for this. I'm sure that he'll be happy to put you in charge of muggle relations. I, of course, shall be Harry's top advisor, unofficially of course, just as I was when I first got Fudge elected. It's for the best."
The next day, Harry was woken up in the early morning hours by a Hogwarts owl carrying a package. He'd been stuck at the Dursleys already for weeks, and hadn't heard from any of his friends. Every two days he'd received a brief note from the Order asking if he was alright, but that was it. Neither Ron nor Hermione had responded to his letters he'd sent a week before. He wondered if someone was stealing his mail like Dobby had a few years ago. He really felt that he needed to speak with someone about Sirius, because his grief was really getting out of hand. He didn't think he could take this solitude much longer.
The Dursleys had been leaving him alone this summer. He wasn't required to do anything. In fact, they barely acknowledged his existence at all. He could stay in his room or go outside. He wasn't allowed to linger in the house outside of his room. When the Dursley meals were done, either Vernon or Petunia would call out, "Boy! Get your food!" and he would come downstairs and get whatever leftovers there were, which wasn't much when Dudley was at home. Fortunately, he was usually gone during lunch, so Harry got one decent meal per day. He would have to wash his own dishes, but that was nothing compared to the chores he used to get.
Harry took both the package and letter from the Hogwarts owl and let it drink from Hedwig's water dish. Hedwig was out delivering another letter to Hermione that Harry had written in hopes of getting a reply.
The letter was from Dumbledore, so he opened it and read,
First of all, I want to inquire about your well-being. I realize that this must be a difficult time for you. Although I'm sure Miss Granger and Mr. Weasley are helping you through this time, may I also suggest that you speak with someone else as well? Miss Ginny Weasley grew close to Sirius while her family was living at headquarters, so I am sure that she shares in your grief. She also understands what it's like for Voldemort to possess you, so she would understand you better that anyone else, if I do say so myself.
If you are so inclined, I wish to begin some special training with you when school starts. I'm sure I don't have to explain the purpose to you. I wish for you to survive this war and to live a long and happy life, and am dedicated to helping you do just that.
Your friend and headmaster,
P.S. I'd imagine that the Dursleys aren't giving you any sweets, so I have sent you a box of cauldron cakes. I hope you enjoy them."
He chuckled as he thought about the headmaster's obsession with candy. Admitting to himself that he was hungry, he opened the package. He briefly wondered if Dumbledore was trying to set him up with Ginny. Try as he might, he just couldn't imagine being romantically involved with her. Besides, she goes through guys way too quickly for his taste. She broke up with Michael Corner, and before he even knew about it, she was dating Dean Thomas. After his experience with Cho, he decided that if he ever did get involved with another girl, it wouldn't be one who could switch boyfriends so quickly.
As he ate his second cauldron cake, Harry began to realize how beautiful Ginny was, and how brave she'd been to accompany him to the Department of Mysteries. He began to think of so many good things about her as he ate cake after cake that he now realized that Dumbledore was wise to try to set them up. He realized also how wrong Dean was for Ginny. Without a moment's hesitation, he pulled out an empty scroll, along with parchment and ink.
A few hours later, Ginny was sitting at her desk in the Burrow. While she'd been eating breakfast, soon after she'd finished her glass of pumpkin juice that her dad was kind enough to get her, she realized what a terrible mistake she'd made, and was in the process of correcting it. She was writing a letter.
I hope that you are well.
The reason that I'm writing you is because I can't be your girlfriend. It's nothing you've done. It's just that I've realized that I'm in love with someone else. I don't know how he feels about me, but I have to pursue this. I'm sure you don't want me snogging you while thinking of him anyway. I truly wish you the best and apologize if I've hurt you. You really are a nice guy, but we just weren't meant to be.
She folded up the letter and carried it to Ron's bedroom door, knocking on it. She needed Ron to let her borrow Pigwidgeon, and she knew just the way to get him to do it.
"Who is it?" he called through the closed door.
"I need to borrow Pigwidgeon."
"I realized you're right about Dean and I'm breaking up with him. I just need my letter delivered."
The door opened immediately, revealing Ron, smiling ear to ear. "Well, I'm glad you finally came to your senses. You can borrow Pig for that. I hope you weren't too hard on him."
A few minutes later, Pig was flying out the window with Ginny's letter tied securely to his leg. As Ginny watched him fly away, she noticed a beautiful snowy owl coming toward them. Her heart started beating fast as she recognized Harry's owl. If only she could remember its name. Was it Hedwidgen or something?
"Hedwig," said Ron as the owl flew in the window, "Hasn't Dumbledore told Harry that we can't write back to him?" When Hedwig landed on Ginny's shoulder (causing her to blush more than she did at eleven years old), Ron said, "Apparently not if he's writing you. He must be going spare with those muggles, wondering why me and Hermione haven't written him back. For all he knows, we're dead. That's gotta be why he's writing you!"
Ginny glared at her brother. "What if he simply has something to say to me?" she shouted as she ran out of Ron's bedroom into her own, closing the door behind her. She carefully but quickly unrolled the parchment.
First of all, I want to thank you for accompanying me to the Department of Mysteries. I'm sorry that I endangered you, but you showed more courage than I've ever seen in my life.
I've never mentioned it, but I think that you are incredibly beautiful, wonderful, and many other good things. If I listed them all, there wouldn't be enough room on this parchment to fit them. I know you've got a boyfriend already, and I certainly can't blame any bloke for asking such an incredible girl like you out, but I would like you to consider going out with me instead. I'd do absolutely anything for you!
Even if you don't share my feelings, I still want to help you in any way I can. As I understand it, you were very close to Sirius, so you must be going through a rough time like me (except when I think of you). If you ever need to talk, let me know.
Despite Dumbledore's instructions not to send Harry anything by owl, Ginny hurriedly wrote a reply and tied it to Hedwig before Ron came knocking on the door. "Was I right?" he asked.
"With her face aglow, Ginny hugged Ron excitedly and said, "No, not at all. He didn't mention you at all! He told me he thinks I'm beautiful and wonderful and wants me to be his girlfriend!"
"What?" asked Ron incredulously. "Let me see that letter."
"No, you may not! It's private! Age restriction or not, I'll hex you if you try to take it!"
"Calm down, Ginny! I hope you didn't send him a reply. You know what Dumbledore said about Death Eaters following owls to his house."
Her face turned red. "I was so excited I forgot. Besides, Hedwig was flying back anyway."
Ron looked down. "That's what confuses me. If Dumbledore was so worried, he should have had us keep Hedwig, and more importantly told Harry not to write anyone."
"Maybe he couldn't wait!" Ginny said happily.
At Number Four Privet Drive, Harry was pacing back and forth in his room wondering how Ginny would respond to his letter. Thoughts like, 'Was I too forward? Should I have said less? Maybe I should hex Dean. What'll I do if she says no?' were dancing in his head until finally he saw Hedwig returning.
"Finally, girl!" he shouted, causing his owl to hoot indignantly at him. "I'm sorry Hedwig. I'm just really anxious to read my letter. You did a great job."
This calmed her down enough to let Harry get his letter and opened it.
"Dear wonderful Harry,
I realized that I was in love with you this morning, and sent a letter to Dean, breaking it off. As Pigwidgeon was flying off, Hedwig arrived with your wonderful letter that I shall cherish forever! My answer is YES! I would love to be your girlfriend! I can't wait to see you! I hope Dumbledore will let me write you again soon (I shouldn't have written this, but did NOT want to leave you waiting).
I too am saddened by Sirius' loss, but while I'm thinking of you, things seem so much better.
Snog you soon!
Somewhere in the back of Harry's mind, a part of him didn't really think that a couple should go straight to snogging, and wondered just how many boys Ginny had snogged, but the rest of him was too excited to dwell on that. Ginny was his girlfriend! He shouted out, "YES!" putting a fist in the air before he realized what he was doing.
The next day, Hermione was rereading a letter Harry had sent her the week before, wondering if Dumbledore had finally told Harry that they weren't allowed to send owls.
I hope I don't sound pushy or anything, but could you please write me back. Aside from the quick notes from the Order, I haven't received anything. Nothing from you or Ron. I'm starting to wonder if you guys are all right, or if you just blame me for Sirius' death. I know that if I'd only listened to you, Sirius would still be alive. I can't say how sorry I am for leading you and the others into that danger.
When you were hexed, for a few moments I thought you were dead. I don't know what I'd have done if that had happened. I am so sorry! Maybe your parents have realized that being friends with me puts you in too much danger and aren't letting you write me. If that's the case, I don't blame them. I can promise that I'll never let you follow me when I'm doing something that stupid again. So please forgive me and ask your parents to forgive me for being such an idiot and that I'll try to listen to you more.
There is something I need to tell you and Ron the next time I see you. It can't be written in a letter. I hope that I'll see you soon. I don't know what I'd do without you, Hermione. You mean a lot to me.
Every time she read that letter, it made her cry to think that Harry believes his friends have abandoned him, and it's his fault. He's also blaming himself for Sirius' death. The brunette sighed, considering for the millionth time whether she should disobey Dumbledore and send an owl to Harry. She'd send something by muggle post, but didn't know if the Dursleys would give him the letter. She had it all planned out to write the letter, leave her house, take the Knight Bus to The Leaky Cauldron, walk into Diagon Alley, buy an owl, and send Harry the letter. She was surprised to see Hedwig fly up to her window. She could only assume he hadn't been told and was probably going completely spare. As she took the new letter, she asked Hedwig to wait. She decided that she would respond to this letter, no matter what Dumbledore said.
Great news! I'm now going out with Ginny! She's so incredible!
Anyway, she mentioned something about Dumbledore not wanting her to write me but wrote back anyway. Is that why nobody but her responded to my letters? Nobody told me about it! In fact, yesterday Dumbledore wrote me saying that he thought you and Ron were helping me through this time, but suggested that Ginny might also be able to help. Did someone tell you that Dumbledore didn't want you to write me, or did you just decide to ignore me because of what I did?
Anyway, I'm happy now that I've got Ginny to write to and she actually responds. I really do hope that this has been a miscommunication of some sort, but if it isn't, at least I have Ginny. She's so wonderful!
See you later,
Hermione stared at that piece of parchment in shock. Several things were wrong. First, Dumbledore himself had told her, Ron, and Ginny not to write Harry, but didn't tell him. Secondly, Dumbledore acted like he didn't do it or even know about it. That meant either Dumbledore was lying to someone or else someone was impersonating him. That could mean that Harry was in danger.
The second thing wrong was that all of the sudden Harry was apparently crazy about Ginny. It took him over six months before he could ask Cho Chang out, but now he could easily ask out Ginny. Hermione supposed it could have been desperation for human contact that pushed him into this infatuation. She sighed to herself, hating the role she'd played in this. A fleeting thought that maybe this was Dumbledore's way of playing matchmaker went through her mind, but she shrugged it off.
The third thing that was wrong is that Harry didn't seem to even care if he'd just lost her and Ron's friendship. He said, 'At least I've got Ginny,' as though she could make up for all his friendships. He had certainly wanted to keep his friendships when he was with Cho!
Hedwig hooted impatiently at Hermione, pulling her out of these thoughts. She said, "Alright, I'll write my letter to Harry." She took out her quill, ink, and parchment.
This has been some sort of miscommunication. We were all told by Dumbledore himself that he didn't want us to write you for fear of Death Eaters following owls to your house. You can ask Ginny. If he's told you to write her, then apparently he's no longer concerned with that.
First of all, NO ONE BLAMES YOU FOR SIRIUS' DEATH! It wasn't your fault, and no one – not me, my parents, Ron, or his parents – is mad at you! You are my best friend and you mean a lot to me!
The reason I was hurt at the Ministry is because I panicked and used a silencing spell instead of something more aggressive. If I'd have used 'expelliarmus' like you taught at the first D.A. meeting (which you taught brilliantly by the way – not just the one meeting but all of it) then I wouldn't have been hit, so that certainly wasn't your fault! I insisted on following you, and I intend to keep on following you.
If you'll write me back, I promise I'll write you no matter what anyone tells me. I'm sorry that I didn't reply to your last letter. I really wanted to. I even had a plan to buy an owl for that purpose. Please forgive me for not going through with the plan.
I must say that's surprising news about you and Ginny. I really hope you two are happy.
When Harry got the letter from Hermione, he wondered briefly what was going on until he ate the last cauldron cake he'd been sent. Then he was just happy about the way things worked out.
Please review to let me know what you think of this story. I had another one I'm working on, but this plot bunny jumped into my head and kept bouncing around until I wrote it.