August, 1981 ...

Bill Weasley stood silent as he stared down at the tiny little girl in the crib. Her hair was just as red as everyone else's in the family but it seemed different, more vibrant somehow. She had already been around for two whole weeks and it still seemed unreal to him. His parents had prayed for a girl for longer than he could remember. He was happy that their dreams had finally come true.

Her eyes stayed on his, as if she knew his thoughts. They never faltered and it surprised him at how strongly he felt love towards her. He had an urge to want to protect her; stronger than he had ever felt for any of his brothers. He slid his hands down carefully into the crib and pulled her up into his arms. He swore she smiled at him.

Her little hands moved to grab his hair when he placed her on his shoulder, but he didn't mind. He placed his hand under her bottom and ran his other hand gently over her back. "Were you bored in there?"

She made a gurgling sound and he grinned. He was crazy in love with her.

"You know, Bill, I think Ginevra needs to sleep for a bit." Arthur Weasley replied from the doorway. He was leaning against the jamb watching his eldest son with a smile on his face.

Bill grinned at his father. "I was just checking on her, Dad. I feel like it's my job to protect her. She's so much smaller."

Arthur smiled at that and stepped into the room, leaning over to kiss the top of his daughter's head. "Well, if you stop growing like a weed, we might be able to do something about that. What are you now? Six feet?"

Bill shrugged and gently placed his baby sister back into her crib. "Almost."

Arthur slipped his arm around his son's shoulders. "You know, thirteen years old is when a boy begins to become a man in many ways."

"What do you mean, Dad?"

"Well, you're getting taller for one; I know you're beginning to notice girls; and it's that age where you start to wonder what it would be like to get older."

Bill grinned at those words. "I suppose. Professor McGonagall said we have to start thinking about what we want to do when we're done school. She said we're going to start getting career advice in the next year."

Arthur nodded, moving to take a seat on the window ledge in his daughter's room. "That is something you will have to start thinking about. You have time."

"I think I want to do something adventurous. You know, something cool. I want Ginny to think I'm awesome when she grows up."

Arthur smiled at those words. "She will, Bill. You're her big brother. She's going to look up to you. It will always be you who she is going to learn to love and respect and look at when it comes to choosing her own path, following her own dream, and looking around the bend to make a decision. You're the oldest."

Bill took a seat next to his father and leaned back a little, sighing. "Following my dream? Dad, I don't even know what my dream is yet."

Arthur slipped his arm over his son's shoulders and grinned. "That will come in time, son. That dream will grow and change and it will lead you into the direction it believes is the right one."

"What do you mean?"

"It's like a river, Bill. The course of the landscape makes the decision. I always knew I wanted to do something with muggles. I was terribly fascinated by them, even when I was your age. I didn't know what that meant or how it would work out in my life. Then I fell in love with your mother. I thought we would travel. I would take her to Paris and we would learn more about muggles and work together. Having a family was not something I wanted right away. But ... As you know, things have a way of changing that. Suddenly, I was graduating, engaged, and expecting to be a father. That became my dream. I was terrified, but I was ready to follow a new dream, to follow that path as I saw fit."

Bill nodded. "You're saying I'll know what that is when the time comes."

"Exactly. I know that's hard to understand right now. But trust me."

"A river?"

Arthur smiled now. "That's what my grandmother said to me when I was your age. She told me:

You know a dream is like a river

Ever changin' as it flows

And a dreamer's just a vessel

That must follow where it goes

Trying to learn from what's behind you

And never knowing what's in store

Makes each day a constant battle

Just to stay between the shores

"That is kind of insightful, isn't it?"

Arthur chuckled at those words as Ginny fussed in her crib. "Yes, it is. Come on, let's let your sister sleep and see what kind of trouble your brothers have found themselves in."

Bill nodded and followed his father out of the room, his eyes moving back towards his sister for a moment. He would follow his own river and he was going to make sure that Ginny followed hers as well.

August, 1990 ...

"It's not fair!" Ginny Weasley screamed, slamming her bedroom door behind her. Her mother was so strict. Just because she was a girl didn't mean that she couldn't keep up with her brothers. She was perfectly capable of flying on a broom. After all, she had only been doing it without her parents' knowledge for two years! She kicked her desk in frustration, but that only caused her foot to hurt.

She turned at the sound of her door opening and glared openly at whoever was standing there. Her glare vanished when she realized it was Bill and she ran into his arms, laughing when he picked her up and spun her around the room.

"Bill!"

Bill smiled at her and kissed the top of her head. "Hey Firefly! I walked into the house in time to hear your pipes, what are you yelling about?"

Ginny threw her arms around his neck so that he wouldn't put her down and hugged him tightly. "Mum won't let me play Quidditch. She said it's not something a lady should be doing! But it's my dream, Bill! I'm going to be a Quidditch player and marry Harry Potter!"

Bill laughed at that and hugged her tight before he sat her down on her bed. At twenty-two years of age he still felt very protective over the little princess that Ginny had become. "Mum is just worried you'll get hurt. You know our brothers aren't exactly going to play nicely just because your outside."

Ginny huffed and crossed her arms. "I can take them any day! Besides, I'm an excellent flyer!'

Bill's eyebrow rose. "Just what exactly have you been up to while I've been away?" He had spent six months studying curse breaking in Greece and three months in Romania. Being gone nine months from his family had been hard and he could already see how much his siblings had grown, Ginny especially.

She grinned mischievously now, tucking her legs beneath her. "I stole your broom when Mum and Dad were sleeping and went flying. It was easy."

Bill rolled his eyes. He should have known that she would do that behind everyone's back. "Oh really?"

She blushed. "I didn't think you would mind. I was just doing what you told me before you left."

"And what exactly was that, Trouble Maker?"

Ginny grinned and tucked her hair behind her ear. "What Daddy told you Grandma said to him, about the river and your dream.

I will sail my vessel

'Til the river runs dry

Like a bird upon the wind

These waters are my sky

I'll never reach my destination

If I never try

So I will sail my vessel

'Til the river runs dry

"So you were following your dream?"

Ginny nodded. "How can I be a Quidditch star if I never learn how to fly? I had to try, dummy!"

Bill laughed and ruffled her hair. "I think you're right. Come on, let's head outside and you can show me how well you fly. I'll teach you how to beat the guys out there."

Her face lit up and it made him smile. "Really?"

"Yeah."

"Well ... Can Charlie teach me instead, Bill? You suck."

Bill laughed and pushed her back onto the bed. "Brat! I don't suck!"

Ginny grinned and jumped up. "Compared to Charlie you do."

He sighed. "Fine. We'll go find Charlie then and he can teach you!"

"Charlie's here too!" She exclaimed.

Bill nodded. "Yeah, he got here the same time as me. We couldn't miss our little sister's ninth birthday!"

Ginny smiled at that and hugged him tight. "Did you get me a present?"

He grinned. "Later, let's go see how well you fly."

He followed her out of the room with a smile on his face. She had really started to grow up and it kind of worried him. But on the other hand, she had taken his advice and that made him smile. It was going to all work out for her, he just knew it.

July, 1992 ...

Tears rolled down her cheeks as she was pulled from another horrifying nightmare. She buried her face in the pillow, taking deep gasping breaths as she sobbed. Why did Tom continue to torture her in her dreams? She wiped furiously at her eyes as there was a soft knock on her door.

"Come in," she whispered. She began to cry again when she realized it was Bill and she hurried into his arms and started to cry harder.

Bill cradled her in his arms like she was made of precious glass. He had been going over some paperwork in the common room and had heard her scream. Arthur had been half way to the door but Bill had stopped him. He knew his dad was worried about her and he wanted to come in and see what he could do. They had only been in Egypt for three days and she had been having nightmares every night.

"It's okay, Firefly. It was just a dream," he murmured.

Ginny shook her head. "No, it was real. What he did to me was real."

"I know, honey, I know." He rubbed her back gently as his mind turned to angry thoughts. He wished he had been there to stop it, even if he knew he couldn't have known what was happening to her. He was curse breaker for Merlin's sake, he would have been able to figure it out; to stop it before it hurt her. He had promised himself that he would always protect her and he had failed.

"I can't do anything, Bill! I'm evil now! Harry thinks so. He saved me because he felt like he had to. He probably hates me now!"

Bill smiled at that. Despite her insistent pleas that she was 'so over' Harry Potter, Bill had a feeling that she still wanted him desperately in that childhood dream world. "He doesn't hate you, Firefly. He's happy that you're alright. You had us all so worried."

She shrugged and leaned away from him, wiping at the tears. "I'm afraid to have good dreams now. What if I don't deserve them after what I did?"

"Hey. I don't want to hear you talking like that. You deserve nothing but good things. You're not going to put off your dreams because your worried about something bad that happened to you not something bad you did. You can't sit back and hide behind your fears; you have to learn to face them. You have to fight back and get what you want. Remember?

Too many times we stand aside

And let the waters slip away

'Til what we put off 'til tomorrow

Has now become today

So don't you sit upon the shoreline

And say you're satisfied

Choose to chance the rapids

And dare to dance the tide

Ginny smiled at him then. "I remember."

He hugged her tight and kissed her forehead. "Good. Now I'm pretty tired. Do you think you'll be okay if I go to bed?"

She nodded and let him tuck her in. "Yes. Thank you, Bill."

Bill smiled warmly at her. "You're welcome, Firefly." He closed her bedroom door softly behind him and jumped at the sight of his father standing there. "You scared me."

Arthur smiled. "Sorry. Is she okay?"

Bill nodded. "Yeah, it's all taken care of. She's scared."

He nodded. "I know. It means a lot to her that you went in there, Bill. She loves and looks up to you more than you can possibly know. You're her favourite person in the whole world."

Bill blushed a bit at that. "Not quite, Dad. You still hold first place."

Arthur laughed at that. "I better, she's my princess. But you know what I mean."

He nodded. "I know. I promised I would always take care of her, Dad, and I meant it."

"Good. But don't let your worries and fears about Ginny interrupt your own dreams. You need to live your own life too. Find a wife, maybe get married and have children."

Bill rolled his eyes. "Now you sound like Mum. Jeesh, Dad, I'm only twenty-five."

Arthur nodded. "I know. I'm just saying, it's something to think about."

"I will think about it, I promise. Goodnight, Dad."

Arthur smiled as he watched his son move into his bedroom and close the door. He would try and that was all that mattered in the end, that he tried.

I will sail my vessel

'Til the river runs dry

Like a bird upon the wind

These waters are my sky

I'll never reach my destination

If I never try

So I will sail my vessel

'Til the river runs dry

October 2000 ...

Ginny couldn't believe how angry she was. The nerve of that man! How dare he even think he knew what she was feeling! She was so angry she could barely breathe and throwing things at her husband did nothing to rectify her anger.

Harry Potter was the world's biggest arse.

"Wanker!" She screamed, slamming the bedroom door in his face.

"Come on, Gin! That's not what I meant and you know it!" He begged from behind the door.

"Go away! I do NOT want to talk to you right now!" She yelled through the door.

It was quiet for a few moments and she breathed a sigh of relief then gritted her teeth when he spoke again. "I just meant that I understand why you would be mad."

"Harry Potter, so help me God I will bat bogey you!"

"Fine, fine! I'll go to Ron's for a bit. But this isn't over, Ginny!"

"Fuck you!"

Harry pushed open the bedroom door now and grabbed her arms, tugging her up against him. "That wasn't necessary."

Ginny struggled in his arms. "Let go of me! I'm mad at you!"

He laughed now and tugged her closer, grabbing a fistful of her hair. "Bet I can change your mind?"

"Harry! Seriously, how can you presume to know what I was feeling? Cho told you that she wanted to have sex with you! How can you expect me not to be angry?" She insisted.

He smiled and nibbled on her earlobe. "Because you know that I have no intention of making that dream a reality. I love you, Ginny."

She sighed and wrapped her arms around his neck. "You're lucky you're so damn cute."

Harry grinned and kissed her softly. "I'm sorry I tried to tell you how you were feeling. Remember how jealous I was a few months back when that guy was hitting on you from work?"

Ginny smiled. "Doesn't mean you understand how I feel. I'm sorry for calling you a wanker and for everything else I thought or said."

His eyebrow rose slightly. "Thinking bad things as well as saying them? My, my, I did piss you off."

"I'm a multi-tasker."

He laughed and kissed her again. "I really do have to go to Ron's. I promised I would help him set up the television he bought."

She smiled and hugged him tight. "Okay. I'll see you later then?"

He nodded and and kissed her again. "Yes you will. See you, babe."

Ginny watched him leave and then quickly apparated to her brother's house. It still surprised her to think of Bill as married. But he was not only married but had two boys, Henry and Philipe. She knocked at the door and smiled at him when he pulled it open, Philipe in his arms.

"Hey Firefly, come on in."

She kissed her nephew and got through the basic small talk with her brother and her sister-in-law Fleur before her brother turned to her.

"Alright, what's going on?"

She laughed at that. "You know me too well." She quickly relayed the fight she had just had with Harry.

Bill laughed. "Gin, you can't expect to have a marriage and never fight. It's ... Well unnatural. It was always your dream to marry Harry Potter and you did it."

Ginny smiled at that. "You always did give me the dream speech when I had a problem."

Bill nodded. "I did and for a reason. Come on;

There's bound to be rough waters

And I know I'll take some falls

But with the good Lord as my captain

I can make it through them all...yes

I will sail my vessel

'Til the river runs dry

Like a bird upon the wind

These waters are my sky

I'll never reach my destination

If I never try

So I will sail my vessel

'Til the river runs dry

Ginny smiled at those words. "I remember. What would I do without you?"

Bill wrapped his arms around his sister's shoulders. "Go crazy. Now go home and have wild crazy sex with your husband. You made it, Gin, you followed your dream. Now follow it to the next course, to the next bend."

Ginny took a deep breath then and grinned. He was right and she knew it. The fight had been stupid and she was being stupid. "I will.

Yes, I will sail my vessel

'Til the river runs dry

'Til the river runs dry