A/n This was written in answer to a challenge on Sink into your eyes a Harry and Ginny Fanfic archive.
The early morning sun was bright on Ginny Potter's face. It was a face that had seen many years, and many tears, but also much joy as well. Her eyes were still the color of cinnamon, but the fiery red was gone from her hair. It was still long, and thick, but now it was white as newly fallen snow.
She sat in the old wicker rocking chair her mum had given her on her wedding day. She'd told her she would need it to rock her babies in, and to just relax in when life was too overwhelming. Over the long years, Ginny had done just that, she spent many hours rocking her twins, and the four other children she'd had with Harry.
Many times she'd come here to sit by the window, and try to work out a problem in her marriage, or with her children. Harry had learned early, not to bother her when she was rocking. He was likely to receive a Bat Bogey hex if he did. He knew that when she was done rocking, a solution would be in sight, and all would be well soon.
These days, Ginny sat there looking out the window, because she was so tired. She'd just celebrated her one hundred and twenty ninth birthday, and she had every reason to be exhausted. She looked out over the garden; the flowers were a riot of colors in the late August sunshine. There were daffodils the color of sunshine, blood red roses, purple lilacs, white daises, and more. It always soothed her to look at them. Today was one day she wouldn't think about dying, and joining Harry, who'd, passed on five years before. Today her great, great, great, grand daughter Zelda Longbottom was going to visit and Ginny couldn't wait to see the little girl again.
She slowly got to her feet, and groaned, she still couldn't believe how frail her body had become. She remembered when she could give Harry a run for his money on the Quidditch pitch. Flying was now a distant memory. That was okay, she didn't think she could bear it if she felt the wind in her hair again while flying. It would bring back too many memories that would be wonderful and achingly sad at the same time.
She walked over to the book case, and pulled a heavy scrap book down, and brushed the dust off of it. She had just sat down in the rocker again, when the door opened, and her ten year old grand daughter ran into the house. The house in Godric's Hollow was never locked; there were too many family members that visited on a regular basis.
"Grandma Ginny," the little girl cried as she threw herself at the old woman.
"Zee, watch what you're doing, grandmother isn't as strong as she once was." Ginny looked up to see Zelda's mother watching her daughter with a mixture of exasperation, and amusement.
"Oh, leave her alone, Patty, children are never a burden." She cuddled the little girl, and wished she were a young woman again with her own children small and sitting on her lap.
"I just don't want her to tire you out, Gran."
"She won't… remember, it was my idea to sit with her today, so you run along to the Quibbler, you're going to be late."
Taking the hint, Patricia Longbottom turned on the spot, and disapparated, after blowing a kiss to her daughter.
"So… little one, what shall we do today."
"Tell me a story Gran." Ginny knew this would be her request. Zelda was very inquisitive, she loved stories and reading. She was already reading her fathers old school books from Hogwarts, and begging her mother to let her go. In fact, she reminded Ginny of herself at that age.
"Ok Zee, what would you like to hear about?"
"I want to hear about Hogwarts." Her older sister, and brother had told her all about it, but she didn't believe what they told her, she was the youngest, and was teased a lot by them.
"What shall I tell you little one?"
"Well… Peter said there is a scary snake hiding in a big room under the school, but I don't think it's true."
"Your brother is correct, well in a way. You see your Grandpa Harry killed that nasty snake a very long time ago. In fact he saved my life, by destroying the serpent.
"He did," Zelda asked in amazement, her face lighting up like the night stars.
"Yes he did, he was only twelve, but he was so brave, and strong."
"Is that when you met him Gran?" Zelda climbed down from Ginny's lap, and picked up the large scrapbook. She handed it to Ginny with out being told, she always seemed to know what people wanted before they asked for it. Her mother was sure she was a budding Seer.
"No child, I met him when I was your age." She took the book, and opened it to a picture of herself at that age, it appeared to be a family party, and Ginny was next to Fred, who was tugging on her ponytail, and she was trying to run away, but he kept pulling her back into the frame.
"Is that you Gran?"
"Yes it is I look much different now, don't I?"
She wasn't disturbed by this, she was glad she'd lived the years she had; they had brought her many good things, like her little Zee.
"Tell me about Grandpa Harry," Zelda demanded impatiently.
"Say please little one, didn't your parents teach you any manners."
"Ok Zee, sit down and I'll tell you about the day I met Harry."
That day had been the worst day of her young life, her brother Ron was going to Hogwarts with Fred, and George, and Percy. She was going to be left all alone at the Burrow with her mum, and dad and she thought her life was over. She had decided to hide amongst the sunflowers that morning, where she couldn't be seen.
She wanted to be forgotten in the hustle, and bustle of the morning, and then she could stay alone at the Burrow. She didn't want to go to the station, and say goodbye to her brothers. She would never admit it out loud, but she was going to miss all of her brothers, well… maybe not Percy. Even though Ron teased her, and the twins used her as a guinea pig for their magical experiments, she loved them. She wanted to go to Hogwarts; she didn't want to wait another whole year.
Of course her mother found her, and threatened to make her de-gnome the garden when they got back. She had stomped off to the house, vowing that she would sneak onto the Hogwarts Express, and go with her brothers.
When they had reached Kings Cross, it was a race to get luggage carts, and make their way to platform 9 and ¾. Then it had happened, her mother was urging the boys to go through the barrier, and he'd appeared, a short, black haired boy, with taped up glasses, and clothes that were much too big for him. His eyes were the greenest she'd ever seen, and she was immediately drawn to him.
He'd asked how to get on the platform, and her mother had helped him. When they'd all reached the platform, she'd forgotten him for a moment; till one of her brothers told her mum that he was Harry Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived. She had wanted to go on the train, and see him, but her mother said they weren't to stare at him like an animal in the zoo.
Then the train was leaving, and she'd been running along side it crying like a baby. The twins promised to write as they went out of sight. Her mother was crying, and she took Ginny's hand to lead her off the platform, and back to their home.
"But Gran, didn't you say hello to him, or anything, how did you get to know him?" Zelda stood with her hands on her hips, and looked completely disappointed by the tale.
Ginny laughed, and thought how much this little one reminded her of herself at that age. "Okay Zee, just sit down, and I'll tell you what happened next." The little girl sat on the footstool in front of Ginny, and watched her expectantly.
"My brother Ron sent me a letter two weeks later, he told me all kinds of fantastic things like the ghosts that live in the castle, and that his transfiguration teacher could turn into a cat. Of course I knew all about wizards that were Animagi, but I didn't believe him when he said his teacher was one. He also said there were dragons in the dark forest, and that Hagrid the game keeper was the tallest man he'd ever seen. There were a lot of other things he told me that weren't true, but most of them were.
He said that Harry Potter had grown up with Muggles who treated him something awful. He said they locked him in a tiny little cupboard under the stairs, and wouldn't let him have his letter for Hogwarts when it arrived."
"Why were they so mean to him, Gran?" Zelda had never experienced this kind of hate before, and Ginny hoped that she never would.
"Honey, sometimes people fear what they don't understand, and that leads to hatred. Harry's family was afraid of magic, and they didn't understand him, so they made him suffer for their ignorance."
"Did you ever write a letter to him?"
"Yes I did. It took a long time for me to do it because I didn't know him. I thought he might laugh at me, or not answer back.
Ginny sat on her bed listening to the rain fall outside her window. The day was gray and lifeless. At least the fog was gone. She hated fog; it scared her because you couldn't see what was in the fog, and who knew what might come after you, if you went outside.
She was bored to the core. All of the books in her room had been read many times, and the house was to quiet without the twins there to run their experiments, and blow things up in their bedroom. She walked to the window, and looked out for the hundredth time. The scene out side hadn't changed, it was still raining. It was still grey and ugly.
She went to the little desk in her room, and picked up her quill. She had been thinking a lot about Ron's new friend, Harry Potter. She'd wanted to write a letter to him ever since Ron had told her that he didn't get mail from home.
She pulled a sheet of parchment out of her desk, and sat looking at it for a long time. After many false starts, and crumpled pieces of paper around the desk, and on the floor, she wrote.
My name is Ginny Weasley, Ron is my brother. I saw you at platform 9 and ¾. You probably don't remember me, but I wanted to write to you, and ask you some questions. You see, Ron had told me some things that I don't know if I believe are true, or not. Is it true you were picked as a seeker for Gryffindor, and do you really have a lightening shaped scar on your forehead? Oh, and is it true there are ghosts in the castle? I hope you don't mind all my questions. I hope you will write back.
"Did he write back to you Gran?"
"Yes, my little one, he did, but not before he asked my brothers about me."
"He asked them about you."
"Yes he did, and he wrote back to me a couple of weeks later with some questions of his own"
I hope you don't mind if I call you that. Your brother Ron said your given name is Ginevra, but Ginny's nicer.
In answer to your questions, yes I am a seeker for Gryffindor. Yes, I do have a lightening shaped scar on my fore head, but if you don't mind I don't want to talk about it. Yes there are ghosts in the castle. They really aren't that bad once you get used to seeing them.
I have one question for you. I asked Ron what it was like to have a big family and a little sister. He tells me that it's a right pain in the arse to have a little sister. Somehow I don't believe him though, because I do remember you, and you seemed very nice.
Now I want to ask you what it's like to have so many brothers. I hope you will right back, and give me your honest opinion.
Zelda looked up at Ginny with eyes the precise color of Neville's, her great, great, great, grandfather. Ginny was struck again with grief at the loss of so many of her friends, and her brothers as well. It was cruel that the youngest girl in a family of boys should be the one to out live them all.
Her home was alive with children that resembled in one way, or another her family, and friends, but that wasn't what she wanted. She wanted to be with them again, especially her beloved Harry.
"Gran, are you okay?" Her sweet voice pulled Ginny back to the present. She reached down, and stroked the girl's dark hair.
"I was just remembering the day I wrote back to Harry. A month had passed because I didn't know what to say. Thinking back on those days, I must have known somehow that Harry was lonely for his own parents, and family. I didn't know till later what a terrible life he'd had with his so called relatives.
Ginny entered her bedroom, and sat down at her little desk. She had been putting it off long enough. If she never wrote back to Harry, he might think her insufferably rude, or just stuck up. She picked up her quill, and bit the end. It was a habit her mother tried to break her of, but she couldn't help it. When she was nervous, she couldn't stop herself from chewing on things whether it be her quills, or her fingernails.
Sighing, she reached for a piece of parchment, and began to write.
I do hope you aren't mad at me for taking so long to write back. You see it was hard for me to know what to tell you about my family.
First off, I hate being the only girl. I have six brothers that constantly tease me, well except for Percy; he just lectures me on good behavior. Git! Anyway Bill is great; sometimes I think I'd like to be a curse breaker like him. Even though he is a lot older than me, I like him the best. He hardly ever teases me, and he shows me how to do things.
Charlie is cool, and he has the best job. He's a dragon tamer. Mum hates it; she thinks he should get a safer job closer to home. I think it's a great job, maybe that's what I'll be when I get older.
The twins tease me the most, and they are always making me a test subject for their experiments. I hate it, or at least I let them think I do. I actually like the attention, because otherwise they don't spend time with me. Mum hates it, she's had to take me to St Mungo's more time then I can count to fix some spell damage, or other. I know they would never hurt me on purpose, so I mostly ignore her when she tells me not to eat anything they give me.
Ron is okay, he's nearly the same age as me, and the others bully him as well, so we understand each other. That doesn't mean he doesn't tease me, because he does, but he also plays with me, and spends the most time with me.
Mum and Dad are okay. Mum likes to boss me around, but Dad has a neat job. He works for the ministry, and Muggles. Don't tell Ron but I like my Dad's stories about them. They seem to be interesting and funny.
Okay that's all I really have to say except I love my family, and my brother, but don't tell them that. I have to keep some secrets.
Since I told you how I like a big family, will you write back and tell me what it was like with the Muggles. I hope you won't get mad at Ron, but he told me that your family was really mean to you. If you don't want to tell me you don't have to, but I hope you will.
Not only did Harry answer her letter, it came back on the next day with Ron's letter. She put Ron's missive aside, and opened Harry's letter first.
Of course I'm not mad at Ron, or you. It is true that my family isn't nice. My Uncle Vernon, and Aunt Petunia think I'm some kind of freak, because I can do magic. They would punish me every time I did accidental magic. They think it's some kind of disease, or something. They think that if I try, I can just stop working magic, and it will go away, and I'll be normal My cousin Dudley teased me too, but I don't think it was good natured like your brothers.
I wish I could have brothers, and a mum, and dad, but I try not to be sad about it. Hogwarts is my true home now, and I have friends like your brother and Hermione Granger, so I really don't care anymore that my family treats me badly. Ron has already said that he wants me to come for a visit during summer holidays. I want to but I don't think the Dursleys will let me.
I have to go now, its time for class, and if I'm late to potions Professor Snape will give me some kind of horrible detention like scrubbing out cauldrons for a week.
"Is that all Gran, did you write another letter to Grandpa Harry?" Zelda looked a little cheated at the shortness of the letter her grandmother had recited from memory. Ginny was old, and the letters were long gone, but she could recall what they said as if it were yesterday.
"Come on sweet girl, we've had enough talking for now. It's time for some lunch."
"But Gran I want to hear more about the letters, please." She tacked on the word pleas, like it was an after thought. His impatience was an inheritance from Ginny and Harry.
"I've been talking for a couple of hours, and I'm thirsty, and hungry. Besides, we have all day to tell the story."
The wonderful thing about magic was that when a person was as old as Ginny, and they couldn't get around as easily, it made chores like cooking a breeze. While they were eating Ginny talked about everything but the letters. She peppered the little girl with questions about her brother, and sister who were at Hogwarts
Ginny missed the school, and she couldn't get over the fact that Fred Weasley's grandson, Richard was the new headmaster, just appointed that year. If Fred had been alive, he would have hung his head in shame over it. This development had been met with grumbles from the Potter-Weasley clan. After all, how were they to get away with anything, if a relative was their headmaster?
After lunch, Ginny returned to story telling to please an impatient Zelda. She, and Harry had corresponded off, and on for several more months. As they became more comfortable with each other, their questions became more personal. Well, more personal for preteens. Harry promised her in one of this letters that he would reveal a secret he'd never told anyone, if she would share hers. Over the next several days, owls flew back, and forth between the Burrow, and Hogwarts as they argued over who would go first. Finally Ginny wrote a new letter.
In ten years, her experiences were limited, especially with a large protective family to watch out for her. When her brothers would talk about what they wanted to be when the left school, she would always think in the back of her mind, that she wanted to do what her father did, and work with Muggles. She loved all of his stories, and she wanted to know more of them. Of course she wouldn't tell anyone of her brothers this on pain of death. They loved her Dad, but they thought he was just a little mad to be fascinated by Muggles. Ginny knew that this wasn't an earth shattering secret, but it was all she had to reveal. Writing the letter to tell Harry was putting a lot of trust in his hands. After all she had to depend on the fact that he wouldn't tell Ron, or the twins, or God forbid Percy.
She begged her mother to let her have a picture of herself from the myriad of family pictures that hung on the walls. Her mother wanted to know why she wanted the photograph, and admitting it was a request of Harry's was the most embarrassing thing she'd ever done, especially when her mother smiled, and said that it would do the poor boy good to have a sister. She couldn't believe her mother, didn't she have enough boys around that she had to adopt Harry too.
How was he ever going to notice her if he thought of her as a sister? She had cried the rest of the day, and then she'd posted the letter with Errol, crossing her fingers as she did every time she sent something with him, that he would not get lost. What if he went to the wrong wizarding house, and someone else read her letter, and saw the picture, and what if they knew her mother, how embarrassing would that be.
Fortunately, Errol didn't get lost; in fact he was back the next morning with a letter from Harry. The picture he sent to her was a Muggle one, and it fascinated her, it didn't move at all, and she thought it was brilliant. His letter said that he supposed that the Muggles outside of his own family were ok. He really didn't know, as no one had wanted to be his friend in primary school, thanks to Dudley.
His greatest secret was that he could talk to snakes. He didn't know why, but something told him not to tell other people that he could do this. He told her about the snake in the zoo, and how he'd set it on his cousin. After hearing about the great git the boy was, she thought he'd gotten off too easy.
"Gran… did Grandpa Harry really do that, or was he lying?"
"Yes child he really did, he didn't mean to, but that's the strange thing about accidental magic, it often does things you can't control."
Zelda understood that, she once set the kitchen curtains on fire when Peter had pulled her hair, and called her baby girl. Just because he was four years older than her, didn't mean he could say things like that to her.
"So did you keep writing to each other?"
Ginny was going to have to disappoint her grand daughter. His letters had stopped after summer vacation, and no one ever bothered to tell her it was because Dobby was intercepting them. She thought she'd done something to make him mad at her, and from that moment on she didn't trust him, till later when Ron explained to her what happened. By then she was talking to Tom Riddle in his diary, and she was so deeply under his influence, she couldn't even look at Harry much less talk to him.
"Gran, who is Tom Riddle?"
"Oh child… that is a story for another day. Your mother will be here soon to get you, and I'm very tired."
Zelda moved over to her, and hugged her where she sat, and planted a kiss on her cheek. "I love you Granny Ginny."
"I love you to child."
That night when Ginny slept, it was Harry who filled her dreams. They were young and strong again. He was telling her that he would love her forever, just as he had the day he married her. When the morning came she never stirred, when her grandson Harry came to check on her, he found her passed on to the land where she walked hand in hand with the man she loved, through endless fields of heather, and under the most azure of blue skies.