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Disclaimer: If I owned Harry Potter, I would be rich and famous, and not spending my time writing fanfiction about it. That answer your question?
A/N-Ginny's POV. Kinda stupid, but it wrote itself, basically. Hope you like, and please review!
"Mum! WHERE'S MY GOOD CLOAK?"
"THE GOOD ONE!"
"You have two good cloaks, which one?"
"The reddish-purplish one with a lion sewn in! THE GOOD ONE!"
"Ron, you wear that every Sunday. How could you mispl—"
"FRED AND GEORGE TOOK IT, I KNOW THEY DID!"
"'Course not, bro—"
"—we wouldn't want you to head off to Hogwarts cold, would we, George?"
"No! Obviously, someone smarter than us took it."
"Why on earth would Percy take it, Fred?"
"Dear Mum, I believe your good son has been hiding something."
Mum looked at Fred a tad strangely. Ron straightened and yelled at the top of his voice, "YOU TOOK IT, I DON'T NEED NO PROOF, I KNOW YOU TOOK IT!"
"Ron! What has Mum always told us? Accusing without proof is wrong! George and I are now—"
"Plus, Ronald, you are using incredibly improper grammar."
"No wonder you need Hogwarts."
"He'll be in Hufflepuff."
"Frederic and George Weasley. If you took your brother's cloak, you had better give to him, or else you'll receive a Howler every week in Hogwarts." Mum doesn't normally make punishments like this. She must truly be at her wit's end. I hardly blamed her, getting ready for sending four kids off to Hogwarts
"We didn't, Mother dear—"
"But if you continue to call my brother Frederic—"
I saw Ron heave a great sigh. "It might be in my room..but if I don't find it, I'll know you took it!"
He stormed off, nearly tripping over me as he stomped up the stairs. "Ginny, g'outta my way," he grunted. I was crouched in the stairs, watching the scene develop below, holding my purple cloak that I had embroidered with moons and stars tightly around me.
Hiding under that was an extremely worn maroon cloak with a lion sewn into it.
I had already decided. Ron could not go to Hogwarts. It was only August 31st and already cold. I couldn't imagine the rest of the autumn, then winter, without someone. I mean, I had Mum, but let's face it, your mother isn't always company.
First I'd had all my brothers, before Bill and Charlie went off to work. Summers were long and delightful, then. But when they left, it was still happy times, even during the school year cos of Fred and George and Ron and even Percy. Then Percy left, which wasn't awful bad. When Fred and George left to school, when I was sad. But I'd always had Ron, and now he was gone, too.
I was very proud of myself. If Ron didn't find his cloak, he couldn't be in Gryffindor, because Fred and George told us you have to bring in a cloak with your house animal sewn in, and if you accidentally bring something green, you'll be put in Slytherin immediately. His other good-cloak was bottle-green. And if Ron was in Slytherin, I knew he would come home right away. I was incredibly proud of myself for working this out.
I retired to my bedroom, patting myself on the back. Imagine Fred and George's delight and jealousy when they knew what a perfect plan I'd pulled off.
"Great job, sis," George would say, looking at me with a new kind of respect. "Didja see the look on Ron's face when Dumbledore took out his cloak and called him a Slytherin?" Fred would crow.
"You're much better than either of us," they'd say in unison.
What would I do when bombarded with compliments? Looking modest is how Fred and George have so many friends in the Village. Butthey never look modest in front of family, and that has earned them plenty of respect, especially from me. I fashioned my face into a wonky sort of smirk-notsmirk, trying to keep my eyes modestly low while twisting my mouth into a grin that was half-showoffy, half-not-showoffy. I was impressed when I stared in the mirror and it yelled "Meanie!"
I hid the cloth under my mattress, then went out on a Secret Errand.
I then tiptoed to Ron's bedroom. He had torn apart the contents of his trunk and was bellowing at the top of his voice, "FRED! GEORGE! YOU GIVE ME BACK MY CLOAK RIGHT NOW OR YOU ARE COMPLETELY DEAD!"
Whoa. This might get out of hand. I decided it was time for Awesome Ginerva Weasley Only Don't Call Her That to show all she knew about being a Lady. Mum had always taught me: tell the truth, even if your instincts will kill you for it. It was her favorite quote. Her other favorite quote was, follow your instincts, which kind of contradicted it all, but who cares.
"Ron, Ron, calm down," I exclaimed, flinging the door open and pointing a finger at him. "One, stop accusing—two, take a deep breath and hold it in for a bit—three, count to ten..good. Four—no, Ron, do not turn purple like that. Four—let it out slowly. C'mon. C'mon. Good. Now listen. Or else."
My older brother actually obeyed.
"Ron, listen, about your cloak.." I took a deep breath. "Ron, I'm really sorry."
"Ginny, are you saying—?" Ron looked horrified.
I took another breath. "Y-yes, I am. I'm sorry, Ron. I let the gnome get it."
After all, Mum never warned me to tell the truth if my brother would kill me.
* * *
It was late at night. I was lying on my bed, holding Ron's cloak tight, not bearing to let go. Even though Ron would be coming from Hogwarts almost immediately after he went, he would be gone for a little while. I'd miss him.
Finally, I slipped into that wonderful stage when you're awake in mind, but asleep in spirit, and you can enjoy the sensation of actually being asleep. Legs turned to jelly and all that. But at the same time, you can hear what's going on around you, and enjoy that too. You feel perfect. Everything appears to be going right.
Unless, of course, you feel your eyelids getting heavy and let them slide shut. And then your jaw starts to feel clamped and hard, so you let your mouth ease open. And pretty soon, the jelly feeling is starting to evaporate and the noises around you are muffling. You're still awake, but you're just a blob. No feelings except sleepiness. Your spirit is gone for the night.
Because if that happens, yours hands will start to unwind slowly from whatever they're holding. And soon enough, you'll roll into real sleep, and the cloak from your hands will drop to plain sight on the floor. And maybe your older brother will come to kiss you on the cheek because he thinks he won't be seeing you for a long time. And then he'll see the cloak draped over the floor. And he'll chuckle at the resemblance of it to his own. Then he'll kneel down to hug you, and he'll recognize the fine maroon print.
And boy oh boy, will you be in big-big-big trouble.
"GINNY!" he half-whispered, half-screamed, right in my ear, jolting me out of a fantastically warm sleep. And a strange dream about turning into a jellyfish.
"Whatter you doing woke me up too early I'm a jellyfiiish.." I slurred away for a moment, then drifted half-intentionally back to Dreamland.
"WAKE UP!" he half-shrieked in my ear.
"Fissssh.." I mumbled under my breath, still asleep.
"GET UP!" Ron slapped me cross the face.
I woke up with a jolt. "What?"
"You stole my cloak."
Suddenly I was wide awake.
"No I didn't," I said quickly. "Fred did. Or George. O-or maybe Percy."
Ron leaned back on his heels, scooped up his maroon-gold cloak from the floor, and whispered in a low, furious tone, "I recall you letting the garden gnome get it! And I suppose he deposited into your bedroom?"
Whoa. Ron was using Big Words. When he does, the point he's trying to establish is, I'm your big brother and the boss of you.
I thought for a second, then one of my little-sister ideas sprung into my brain. "Yes, yes, the gnome took it, but Fred and George got it back after you went to bed! And they planted it in Percy's room, and when Percy found it, he got confused and thought it was mine, so he threw it in my room, and he didn't fold it because he was tired and not wearing glasses. But tada, there it is! Bye-now!"
Ron folded his arms and glared at me. "Ha ha." His voice was so tight it was like Percy had folded it up. "Listen, Ginerva Molly Weasley, you took my cloak and I want to know why."
Ginerva Molly Weasley? Boy, he was mad. And suddenly I looked into his crisp, angry face, to the red cloak in his hands, and I did something I hardly do ever. I fell apart like melted ice.
"I'm sorry," I wailed, before bursting into uncontrollable tears. I stuffed my pillow in my mouth to muffle them, but they just kept coming. Like a dam that had been torn in two, water oceaned out of eyes and soaked my nightshirt.
Ron stared at me for a few moment, then sat down gingerly. He carefully wrapped his arms around my shaking shoulders, and I felt myself get smaller. Melting into my older brother's arms.
"I—hic—didn't—hic—want you to go!" I bawled, wishing I could stop. I never cry. Except when I was a baby and got hungry when Mum ran out of baby food. And when I fell in the river down in town when I was five. And when Fred hit me really hard because I broke his toy broom, back when I was six. And when Grandad died when I was nine, last year. Other than that, nothing. Not ONCE other than those four times. I count. Guess this was my fifth.
Then I remembered something Ron told me three years ago, when Fred socked me. Touch your face gently, once for every tear you've ever cried, and the pain will go away. He had stroked my face gently, three times, that time. When Grandad fell down the stairs and died, I tried it again and it kinda worked.
I tried it now, running my finger down from my cheekbone to my mouth, just like he'd showed me. Five times.
My tears slowed and my sobs quieted, and I felt at peace.
"Ron, I'm sorry," I whispered as he hugged me. "But Fred and George said if you take a green cloak you'll be in Slytherin and I thought oh, Ron's other cloak is green and if Ron takes a green cloak to Hogwarts, he'll be in Slytherin and if he's in Slytherin he'll come home. So—" I gulped. "I stole your red cloak and hid it under my cloak and I heard you yell and yell but I hid it, anyways, and I told you the gnome stole it and you believed me!" My senses were returning. I giggled a little. "You were terribly thick and believed me. And I had it wrapped around myself, but when I got so tired and I let go, and I turned around in my sleep and it fell down and you came and found it. And that's the truth." I took a breath.
And Ron laughed!
IDIOT, I wanted to scream. I HATE YOU, I wished I could say. Only I didn't. I looked at him questioningly.
"They," he choked as his laughter slowed into chuckles, "you," he gulped, "oh Ginny!" He dissolved into laughter again. "They were kidding," he threw at me, "they won't really do that!"
I laughed, too, slowly. Then I cried again.
"What?" he demanded, bewildered.
"Y-you're leaving, then!" I half-shrieked.
Ron sighed and hugged me again. "Ginny, izokay. I'll come back eventually."
I looked at him crossly. "That makes me feel a whole lot better," I grumbled sarcastically.
"You can have my bed when I'm gone," he suggested.
I shook my head. "Too orange."
"You can have Scabbers."
I shook my head again. "Too scabby."
Ron rolled his eyes and I felt him stiffening. I leaned back against him and he relaxed. "Noo, I don't want anything," I whispered. "Just want..one more night..with you."
Ron smiled a rare but genuine Ron smile—when he smiles so broadly, sincerely, lovingly, that his freckles turned whiter, but at the same time, spread across his face, when his hair was just right brushed into his eyes—when he looked like my good old, wonderful brother, and more important, my friend.
"That can be done," he muttered, helping me to my feet.
* * *
Every now and then, Ron and I have a night where we sit in the kitchen near the fireplace, throw in as many matches as we're allowed to light at a time, make hot chocolate, and sit savoring the delicious silence, each huddled in our favorite cloaks. I wrap myself in my purple moony one, and dear ole Ron wears the infamous red cloak (that I gladly returned.)
I love nights like that, no matter how scarce they've become.
After we finished off two hot chocolates apiece, Ron said I could sleep with him, if I wanted. I curled up at the end of his bed like a cat, and we talked in the sleepy darkness.
I couldn't stop questioning him. "Will you like Hogwarts?"
"Hope so," he mumbled as he hugged his pillow absently.
"Will you be terribly homesick?" I asked.
"Yes, I will, specially for my sister," he said. I smiled, then felt a worry creep into my mind.
"Will you be sad, then?"
He sighed. "No, I hope not, sis."
"Will you be in Slytherin?"
For a few moments silence reigned, a delicious silence.
"Ron?" I asked after a bit.
"Will you meet The-Boy-Who-Lived?"
"Prolly not, Ginny. I think he'll be going to a much fancier school."
"Hogwarts is awfully fancy. Dumbledore is the greatest wizard of the age."
"That's The-Boy-Who-Lived, actually."
"Then, he's the greatest wizard of the age before us."
Ron's laughter peeled through the dark.
"You never know. You could meet The-Boy-Who-Lived. Hogwarts is a good school. Most, go to it."
"True. But Ginny, he's pretty brave, so he'll probably make good, rich friends like himself, not me."
"You're a good friend."
"Yeah, but I'm not rich."
"Oh." I paused. "Can you at least me his autograph?"
Ron laughed. "Why so desperate? I suppose you want to get married to him, as well?"
I felt myself turn bright red. "No!"
"Course not.." he teased. "I've read your diary.."
"What?" I half-shrieked.
"Kidding, kidding," he laughed.
"That wasn't funny," I giggled.
"Ginny, go to sleep, now."
A long time passed. Finally, I asked,
"Ron, will I ever marry Harry Potter?"
By that time, my brother was too tired to laugh. He slurrily mumbled, "Donthinkso, Ginnyyy.."
"Dad said you never know."
"Mayybee. Can I sleep now?"
"No. Who're you gonna marry?"
Ron sighed. "I'll find a beautiful witch with Muggle parents and brown hair, who's very smart, and we'll pretend to hate each other, but when we grow up, we'll marry each other."
"No. I'd like to find one, but I don't believe on of them exists."
"Oo, I'm telling Fred and George."
"If you do, I'll tell them you like the Boy-Who-Lived and sign all your diary entriesGinny Potter."
"Did you read my diary?"
I laughed despite myself. "Love you, Ron."
"Love you, Ginny."
And we both drifted off to sleep.