Author's note. The Ginny/Harry ship was the most popular one in fanfictions, eight years ago. No one even thought of Harry/Luna and Harry/Hermione was a novelty that had yet to make its proof. Nowadays, there are even Ginny haters, and I think too many sappy fanfictions are to blame, along with some bad romance from the canon. Here is my version of Ginny/Harry, mostly from Ginny's POV, but no fan girl or obsessive behaviour, this time. It will focus more on the Harry/Voldemort death match near the end.
A/N2: Many Ginny lovers PM'd me with a few valid points about my previous, frustrating summary. Many people will find this story by filtering to this particular shipping after all. I'll admit it was a bit provocative, so I downplayed it a bit. I'm still standing to my opinion that in the last few years, in the overall fanfics I've read, Ginny is bashed for no other reason that people got tired to see her with Harry. BTW I'm french canadian and Betas are hard to find.
Disclaimer: I do not own the HP Universe. At the size it is now, none can pretend to anyhow...
Ginny was stomping on her bed with her two small feet.
"Ginny, dear, I told you already not to do that!" scold her mother.
"But mom! The bed is too hard when I don't! Can't you do the pillow-wing charm on it again?"
"It's 'cushioning charm', and I guess that if you promise to lie down and stay still for tonight's story, I'll cast it."
"Yay! Really?" she said, going to stand on the end of the bed, arm extended.
Molly smiled and got her wand ready. The six year old girl let herself fall backward on her bed, her mother casting the spell at the last second. The ginger girl giggled as she bounced on her bed. Her mother covered her with a thick blanket and tightened it all around her, making Ginny looking like a butterfly's cocoon. The little girl barely managed to free her arms and looked up at her mother expectantly.
"Tonight's story..." Molly started softly, "is a story about a young, courageous boy that, as a little baby, saved the world."
"You're going to tell me, mommy? Really? The story about Harry Potter?"
"Yes," her mother answered, smiling. "It can be scary, but you're a big enough girl to know. For a decades, before you were born, an evil man, whose name isn't pronounced even to this day, made the magical world a very dark place. He possessed the mind of people and killed others, and you couldn't even trust your own neighbors, by fear that they might be one of Who-must-not-be-named's men: the Death Eaters."
Ginny was hugging her blanket tight and raised it to her mouth, biting a bit in it. Her eyes were round and she was clearly scared.
"But courageous men and woman opposed him. Even Who-must-not-be-named feared someone: Professor Albus Dumbledore, the Headmaster of Hogwarts, the safest place in Britain."
"Isn't it where I'm going to school someday, mommy?" asked the little Ginny, unable to stay too quiet for long.
"Yes, dear, and you will meet him too! But as it happened, You-know-who did his terror campaign in a way to always avoid directly fighting Dumbledore. But on a Halloween night, six years ago, he met his doom."
"Only six years ago? But...I'm six!"
"Yes, my little sugar quill, it hasn't been that long since we've been saved. Now stop interrupting!"
Ginny quiet down, proof that the story held all her attention.
"The Potter family was made of James Potter, Lily Potter and their one year old son, Harry. They went into hiding after hearing that the Dark Lord targeted them. The Headmaster put a strong charm on their house, a very old locating charm that hid them from everyone, even if they were right under their noses. They only had to stay in the house. The sole way of finding the house would be for the Potters, or the designated Secret Keeper, to give the location. Alas, their chosen Secret Keeper and best friend, Sirius Black, was a Death Eater."
Ginny was an easy crowd as she gasped right at that moment, but didn't dare to say a word.
"The Dark Lord came to their house, on that horrible Halloween night, Sirius Black having betrayed them. He blew the front door inward and battled James Potter. Halas, he was killed. The house was half-destroyed when the Aurors came to the scene. Then, he must have gone upstairs and killed Lily Potter, who was found sprawled over the crib of her child."
At that moment, even Molly's lips trembled, as she could not imagine a more noble, and sad way for a mother to die than to protect her child.
"But here happened a miracle! As the Dark Lord turned his wand against the small Harry Potter, letting out the terrible killing curse, it rebounded back on Him! It destroyed Him completely, not even leaving a body! Only a wand and a dust pile were left."
"Was the baby hurt?" asked Ginny, still worried.
"Hagrid, the Ground Keeper of Hogwarts, was the first to arrive on the scene. He found Harry crying in a house on fire. He took him and brought him to Professor Dumbledore. It is said he was placed with muggles relatives, who must be, no doubt, all over their miracle boy. You see, He-who-must-not-be-named was pure evil. That night, He found something even He could not destroy. This is how the victim he took control of regained their senses, and the Magical World was saved."
"How so we know if Harry Potter is safe today, mom? You never said if he was hurt, or burned by the fire! Where is he now? When will he go to Hogwarts? What does he look like?"
Molly smiled and was about to answer her questions with the promise she'd sleep right after, but it was not to be. One of Ginny's twin brothers walked past the doorstep.
"Sound like a crush to me, brother."
The second twin followed, a hand rubbing his chin.
"A crush? You are mistaken, brother mine. This is true love, for sure."
"It's not!" yelled Ginny hotly, now standing in her bed, her hands in small fists at her side.
"Who's got a crush on who?" asked a young boy from a room further up the stairs.
"Our Ginnykins found her knight in shiny armor in the person of Harry Potter, no less!" explained the first twin helpfully.
"Is not!" said Ginny, louder.
"Ginny, sweetie, get back down..." tried Molly.
"Harry and Ginny in a tree kissinggggggggg..." intoned the voice upstairs.
Ginny yelled in frustration and let herself down on the bed, crying. Molly rubbed her temple. It would be one of those evening...
"What is it, Ginny? Why are you hiding like this?" asked Molly to her ten years old daughter, who was gripping her robe tightly.
"It's him, Mom, it's Harry Potter right there!" she said, her voice lost in the fabric of the Weasley Matriarch's dress.
Molly looked around and spotted the James Potter replica immediately. She knew something was wrong the moment she saw him.
"He's so small. He looks so lost. Why is he all alone?" she mumbled for herself. Only her daughter, so close to her, heard her.
Inspiration struck, and she never was the shy one not to act on it.
"Hurry up, everyone! The gate nine and three quarter is right over here! I swear, it's the same every year! The place is always so crowded with muggles..." she said in a strong voice, passing right under the little Potter's nose. She had her back to him but her ploy took only seconds to work.
"Errrr...Excuse me, madam..."
Molly feigned surprise, turning back, and offered a wide, reassuring smile to the young boy.
"I wonder," started the black haired boy shyly, "...if you could...I mean I'm a bit lost and..."
"You must be a first year at Hogwarts! Don't worry, dear, it's alright. My young Ronald here is new this year too!" she said, the mentioned ball of freckled waving.
Ginny looked at Harry all the time from behind her mother. Somehow, she was persuaded that if Harry had someone to be standing behind of, he would be right now. But that was it: he was alone. How could this be? Where were the muggles that raised him? They wouldn't leave him alone in the Underground, now, would they?
Once her brothers were inside the Express, Ginny strolled around, never leaving her mother's sight. Most of the windows were open and she could hear part of conversations inside.
"...house do you think I'll..."
"...seen my frog? Its name is..."
"...sister got a crush on you since, like, forever!"
Ginny froze in her tracks. It was her brother's voice! He wouldn't dare...
"Really? She just seemed a bit shy to me," answered the voice she knew was owned by the Boy-who-lived. She wanted to die and bury herself! She'd do so right after doing the same to this filthy, big-mouthed, good-for-nothing brother!
Nonetheless, she could not help but to run after the train, waving goodbyes. She would be alone with her mother, this time. It would be a very long year...
Ginny was so glad at first! She was finally going at Hogwarts! It felt as if her life started at her eleventh year, or so she thought. Luna was sorted in Ravenclaw, and Ron already spread the word: she had a crush on Harry Potter. There were not so many girls to talk to in her year and the boys kept to themselves. She wanted to talk to Hermione but she was constantly with Harry!
Ginny was shy around him, but not because of a crush: she knew he thought she had one! Her only comfort was in this odd, black book. She didn't remember buying it, and she wondered if it was not a product from Zonko her twin brothers slipped her. There was no jokes yet, he simply 'listened' to her, and answered her.
-Hi, Tom. I'm all alone again. My brother don't want to hang out, as usual, and I finished all my homework.-
-Tell me about Harry, then! What did he do today?-
-I didn't see him much. We have this teacher, totally useless, and seeing how he teaches us, I'm sure I could learn better from a spell dictionary. Sure, he has gorgeous blond hair but I could bet my wand that it is bleached, like his teeth! Seriously! I heard Harry say in the common room he freed a whole box of pixies on them! He could have hurt people!-
-I wouldn't worry about him staying more than a year- wrote Tom the journal.
-I hope so. I wish I could study the first year's spells with Ron, Hermione and Harry. Well, not so much with Ron...-
-You love him, don't you? Harry Potter.- wrote the book.
Ginny sat right up in her bed.
'Not another one! I swear! I should have guessed it came from Fred and George.'
Ginny went to see Hermione, who was with Ron and Harry, as usual. Ron frowned when he saw her walk toward them but quickly lost interest when his sister told Hermione she needed help with a book. Ginny dragged her away, not wanting the details of her problem to become public. The rumours were bad enough!
"You're saying that this diary answers you? It teased you about having a crush on Harry?" asked Hermione, truly curious.
"Yes! It's ridiculous, I know! I don't have a crush! I'm sure it's a trick from the twins."
Hermione opened the blank book. She took a quill and started writing.
-Hello, who is this?-
-I'm Hermione Granger, Ginny's friend.-
-Ha, yes! Ginny often speaks of you! She said you're the smartest witch she ever met!-
Hermione blushed a bit but shook her head.
-Thanks! Talking about smarts, I've got an essay in Transfiguration to do, and I wondered if you could help me.-
After writing a few more sentences, Hermione closed the book.
"This is not from the twins," she said darkly.
"How can you be so sure?"
"Would your brothers actually bother including valid knowledge in a book that has nothing to do with pranks?"
Ginny bit her lips.
"What do we do?"
Professor Minerva McGonagall was not surprised to see Hermione Granger come toward her with a book in hand. What surprised her was to see young Ginny Weasley with her and, more surprising even, out of the periods allocated by the professor for extra tutoring.
"Miss Granger, is there a problem?" she asked seriously, seeing the long face of her students.
"We don't know yet, professor. We're here to find out. Ginny received this book anonymously at the start of the year. It answers to anything you write in it. At first, we thought of a prank but somehow, it seems too...elaborate," Hermione said, uncomfortable.
"All right. I'll investigate this and let you know as soon as I learn something," said Minerva McGonagall, smiling.
She started frowning as soon as the girls left her office. The Granger girl had a surprisingly good common sense for someone her age and if her instincts told her something was off, it probably was. A self-thinking diary? This would be some serious piece of magic, and not one a student could come up with, even less part with it freely, and anonymously. She opened it on her desk and started writing.
-Who are you?-
-Hello miss! You feel different than my previous owner. My name is Tom Riddle, pleased to meet you. What's your name?-
Minerva all but jumped away from the book.
She conjured chains and locks and closed the book before wrapping it tightly. Seeing her face in the hallway, none dared to ask why she levitated a book wrapped in chains all the way to the Headmaster's office.
Ginny never felt so alone than in her first year. She threw herself in her books, trying to forget that she lost her only 'friend', another book that was irremediably charmed to hurt her in the long run, from what professor McGonagall told her.
Soon, she stumbled on something that became an obsession: Lockhart's books. At one place, the dates just didn't fit. Two of his exploits overlapped on two days' length. Seeing as he was supposed to be in France for one and Transylvania for the other, it was quite strange.
She read the book from the first to the last and made a separate chart of every recorded date for each of them. Then, she made them overlap. It made no sense! Several occurrences happened at the same times! Or crossed, or...
She knew Harry and Ron called him a fraud, and that Hermione tried her best to defend the teacher, telling them that no teacher could just outright lie to them. She decided to show her charts to the golden trio, the only one she felt she could go to. Who else could she turn to? Would any teacher accuse another one of being a fraud on the words of a first year?
"What is it now, Ginny?" sighed Ron dramatically. "I'm starting to think you're looking for excuses to..."
"Lockheart's a fraud," she interrupted him firmly.
"Nothing new there," he said, making Harry chuckle.
"Ginny," started Hermione, "You can't just accuse him without any proof!"
"What makes you think I don't?" she answered, a victorious smile on as she spread her charts on the low table, over their books.
"Oy! Don't spread your mess over our table!"
"Wait, Ron! This...you did all of this?" asked Hermione, understanding at once what was before her.
"Yes, I did, and yes, I'm sure about the dates! I read all the books, noted all the dates..."
"Can we understand your crush changed target?" teased Ron at once.
Her angry retort died even before she formulated it in her mind.
"That's some amazing research, Ginny. I know I would never have the patience to read all of this ponce's books," said Harry, looking at the charts.
Ginny smiled proudly. Ron rolled her eyes.
"Don't encourage her!" sighed Ron again, always the drama queen.
"Are you telling me who not to talk to? If I remember well, that's the first thing Malfoy did when we met before our sorting," said Harry, looking a bit angry now.
"Of course not! I just thought you would get annoyed..." sputtered Ron.
"Getting there..." mumbled Harry loud enough to be heard.
Ron wisely kept his mouth shut this time and Hermione rolled her eyes.
"Honestly, you two...but...if Ginny is right, that mean our Defense teacher's curriculum is flawed. He might not have done everything he claims to..."
"If any at all..." added Ginny.
"Yes...that is a possibility, seeing the number of times the date crosses. What are those yellow buffering zones between each of them? They overlap over the dates of his next...adventures even more than the rest," inquired Hermione.
"It's a rough estimation of the time he would take to go from feat to feat. He would have to buy expensive international portkeys, already knowing where he was needed next with his visa ready," explained Ginny, more than a little proud to have thought of that.
It sent them looking at the whole picture in silence. The work was impressive, very precise and definitely uncomfortable to look at.
"We...we'll have to confront him or something, won't we?" asked Ron. "Everybody who don't worship him says he's a fraud but... actually proving it might cause problems."
"We have to give him a chance to explain himself," pleaded Hermione pitifully. "He might be using a time-turner, or something..."
Looking at the faces the other made, her head dropped.
"I know, it's very unlikely."
Still, they went, the four of them, talk to their DADA teacher in order to give him a chance. They found him signing pictures of himself.
"Ha! Young admirers! You finally organized yourself in a proper fanclub? I have no problem to make an appearance at one of your assembly and signing autographs, but don't forget that I'm your teacher and, as such, I'm very busy," he said, getting up to welcome them.
He found them lacking the enthusiasm they should be exalting as they looked at each other. The younger witch went to his desk and spread charts on it.
"What is this? Oh! It's a great summary of my adventures! Are you planning on a fan-based biography? I'll check with my publicist to see if it's possible. What are all those numbers?"
"They are dates," answered Ginny with finality, Ron, Hermione and Harry flanking her.
"Dates! How conv...enient...and very thorough."
"Yes," said Ron, stepping in front of Ginny. "Now we know that it is quite impossible for you to have done all of this, if any of it. What do you have to say for yourself?"
That's Ron for you: all aggressive on a delicate situation.
Gilderoy Lockheart raised his head sharply toward the ginger boy.
"You are right, of course! I didn't do all of this, but do you really think you are the first to find out? I may be bogus on those flashy battle spells, but there is one I'm truly efficient at: Obliviate!"
As he wiped his wand from his sleeve, Ron barely had the time to half-draw his own. The spell caught the raised wand and snapped the already weakened stick in uneven halves. Gilderoy turned toward Ginny and pointed his wand straight between her eyes.
He should have known, after watching Harry and Hermione in class, that he should have disabled those two first. He was caught straight by both a jelly-lex jinx and a tripping hex. The floor rushed toward him and the small bookcase he tried to gain support on ended falling down on him. Ginny ran toward the teacher and took his wand from his unresisting hand that stuck out of a book pile. Probably he regretted having written so much of them now, and so thick to boot.
Ginny walked in the Express, a bit depressive. The year seemed to drag on forever after the 'Lockheart accident'. Ron warned her again about bothering Harry and told her to make friend of her own, in her own year. What if she didn't want to?
She liked to spend time with Luna, but in limited quantity. Her sanity required a break now and then. She suddenly huffed and stomped toward the compartment she knew Harry shared with Ron and Hermione. She opened the door and started talking at once.
"Draco Malfoy is tormenting Collins Crivey again near the loo! Nobody want to do anything about it, even after Collin yelled he would share a box of Chocolate frog with anyone who would help!"
Ron pushed passed her and Hermione followed him shortly to be sure he didn't get himself in too much troubles.
As Harry got up, sighing, she pushed him back down on his bench, closed the door and locked it. Harry simply looked at her, confused.
"I lied," she simply said, nodding toward the door Ron and Hermione just took. "I didn't want Ron to interrupt after I said two words, and Hermione following him is an unexpected bonus."
"Oh. Well... if you wanted to talk to me, why didn't you just do it before?" asked Harry, wary and still confused.
"Because Ron forbade me to talk to you so as not to 'annoy you," she said, quoting the words with her fingers.
"He did what?" said Harry, getting angry.
"He did, and even before the year started. Now, I would like to make a few things clear. One: I don't have a crush on you."
Harry's anger was replaces with embarrassment.
"Oh... o-kay, hum..."
"My brothers started it, all of them. The twins are the ones who sent you this monstrosity on Valentine's day."
"Really? Now that you mention it, that's pretty much their style..."
"I was wary of talking to you too since I knew you thought I had a crush on you. Ron always hinting at it didn't help either."
"I'm sorry about that. It must have been a frustrating year."
"You have no idea! I can't seem to make any friends with people my own year. Hermione alone seems to have smart opinions and as thick as he is, Ronald is still my brother!"
"I don't mind you hanging with us," shrugged Harry. "We see each other plenty when I visit the burrow anyway."
Ginny sighed, closed her eyes and let her back hit her seat.
"Good. I'm glad that's settled! I'm tired of getting beet-red each time I see you, trying to figure what was the last dung Ron fed you about me."
Harry smirked and could barely contain his chuckles. The door gave a jerk and a surprised exclamation was heard on the other side.
"That must be 'brother mine' as Fred and George would say. I'd better go," said Ginny, getting up.
It was Harry's turn to push her down on her seat, surprising her.
"I'll get the door," he simply said, smiling. He unlocked and opened it to find a surprised Ron and Hermione looking at him.
"Why was it locked?" asked Ron. "And what are you still doing here?" he asked Ginny accusingly. "Crivey never said he would give any chocolate after we rescued him from Malfoy, by the way! Why did you made that up?"
Ginny and Harry looked at each other before chuckling.
"I guess that betting Draco is bullying someone in his free time isn't so far-fetched," Harry managed, regaining control on himself.
"What?" asked Ron, now totally lost. "No matter. Nothing to stop you leaving, Ginny."
"Nothing is forcing her to go, Ronald," replied Harry coldly.
Now that stopped him dead in his tracks.
"What? But she's...she'd...she'll..."
"She isn't, she didn't and no, she won't," countered Harry to his eloquent friend. "It has been a year of misunderstanding. Now, you should realize that we're going to spend another five years together, and she's your sister. Would you care to give me one good reason we should keep on avoiding her? Especially after she was the first girl at Hogwarts to overcome Lockhart's self-inflated ego and charms?"
Ron slowly closed the door and sighed. He sat down heavily on the couch next to Hermione since Ginny was beside Harry.
"Just...just this once I wanted a friend that isn't an acquaintance of one of my brother's and..."
Ron stopped his explanation there, looking down. His feelings were raw, and opened to everyone there. It was extremely awkward and uncomfortable.
"Now, really! Harry is exactly the friend you just described and this time your brothers are friends with him because he is your acquaintance, as you put it! Now, Ginny here wants, like you, to be friends with Harry on her own! Nothing's wrong with that! Now if you want to feed this selfish need of exclusivity, just think you were his first friend ever at Hogwarts, and still his best male friend, okay? Seriously!"
That's pure Hermione. Dissect raw feeling like a dead frog and explain how the food ends up shit by pulling on the intestine. One thing was sure: after that kind of outburst, no one wants to talk about it, ever. Not within her earshot anyway.
"Any clue on the next Defense teacher?" asked Ginny, looking a bit annoyed. "I heard that he was useless last year too, on top of being evil. Now this year was a fraud. Where do they take them anyway? The looney bin?"
"I've got no idea," Harry answered simply, glad for the diversion.
As usual, Hermione took the question seriously and wouldn't rest without an answer.
"Very good point, Ginny," agreed Hermione. Don't they have, like, substitutes? A teacher list? They can't expect replacement to come up with a class schedule for seven years worth of students, between the time they asked them, almost at school break, and the start of the term!"
"They don't have much of a choice, I guess," shrugged Ron. "Anyway, that post is cursed. I asked my brothers and no, I'm not talking of Fred and George. Bill and Charlie said it was the same back in their years: one different teacher every year."
"Really?" asked Harry, puzzled. "How come?"
"There was always a different reason, and a dark one, most of the time. That's why they say it's cursed."
"Now, Ronald, that is ridiculous," stated Hermione matter-of-factually.
"Why so, Hermione? Don't you believe in magic?" asked Ginny, raising an eyebrow.
"I know of someone who would just love to do something like that. Someone dark, evil and twisted. An excuse of a living being, if he's even that, who lost his humanity decades ago," said Harry darkly.
"You really think that Snape would go that far to get the job?" asked Ron seriously.
Silence, then the three other occupants of the compartment burst in laughter.
Chapter one done. I accidentally erased the second half of the whole fic. I feel depressed.