Author's Note: MHood80 asked: I wonder if you ever considered showing "Harry and the gang" from Molly's POV. That question sparked an idea, and this is the result.
I'm not supposed to be starting another chaptered story until I finish at least one of the others. I have, I'm sorry. Do not expect rapid updates of this.
1. Ron Writes
For two years, from the day the twins left for Hogwarts, I had watched Ron and Ginny grow up, and grow closer. It was astonishing how quickly those two years had flown by. Now, suddenly, it was just the two of us.
Ginny no longer had any brothers at home. It had only been a few weeks, but I'd become used to the fact that Ron was no longer there to interrupt us. That night however, despite the fact he was at Hogwarts, he had managed to silence his sister. Silence did not come naturally to Ginny. Normally she would be chattering about our day.
My baby was growing up. Next year she, too, would be gone, and I would be alone in this house. I sighed to myself. The Burrow had echoed with the sounds of children for more than twenty years and suddenly it was coming to an end. Bill's twenty-first birthday was approaching. Next year I'd have no children to care for. What on earth would I do?
It was evening and Ginny and I were in the kitchen. We were ignoring the rain which lashed against the windows and quietly carrying out our regular bedtime ritual.
Under her dressing gown, Ginny wore her favourite nightdress. It was almost ankle length and had once been bright blue although it was now patched, worn and faded. She sat at the table. I sat directly behind her. While she was drinking her hot chocolate, I brushed my daughter's hair until it shone.
'Ouch!' my daughter's protest was more a cry of annoyance than a howl of pain.
'If you would just stop fidgeting, Ginny, it wouldn't tug so much,' I told her as I continued to pull the brush through her hair.
'I'm not fidgeting, Mum. I'm drinking, and reading,' she told me. 'I told you that he wouldn't forget about me, I told you that he would write, like he promised. I was right, wasn't I?'
Ginny would never admit it, but she missed Ron. He had promised to write to her but until that day, early in October, he hadn't. He hadn't written to me, either. So, three days previously, I had written to Ron, and added a postscript to my letter:
Ron, I'm sure that school is very exciting and interesting, but you must write to Ginny. You promised your sister, and you promised me, that you would write to her. It has been five weeks! If you don't write to her soon, expect to receive a Howler.
'Yes, Ginny, you were right,' I said, grateful that she couldn't see my face.
My threat had worked. His letter to Ginny had arrived this morning and it was apparently a good one; it was six pages, and very private, or so Ginny claimed. She'd read it so many times that I was certain she could recite it from memory. She was reading it again. My daughter, the girl who would never shut up, was silent as she pored over every word.
'Do you think it's all true?' she asked.
'I don't know, Ginny, as you haven't let me read it,' I told her. 'Ron does embellish his stories sometimes. But although he exaggerates, he won't lie to you.'
'All boys exaggerate,' my daughter told me knowledgably. I heard my own voice in those words, and I wondered when I'd first imparted that snippet of wisdom to her.
'Yes, but girls do, too,' I said.
'He says that he's friends with iHarry Potter/i,' said Ginny, her voice a mix of hope and disbelief. I tilted my head sideways and glanced at her profile. I could see the rapt hero-worship. The boy with bright green eyes had made quite an impression on her when we met him at King's Cross Station.
Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived! He was the saviour of the wizarding world, or so they said. It was a story which had fascinated Ginny; it was a story which had fascinated most of us, and with good reason. The most powerful evil wizard tried to kill a baby, but failed and instead destroyed himself.
Ginny was only just ten years old and somehow, when we met Harry Potter on Platform 9¾, she managed to see the "Hero of the Wizarding World" standing in front of her. I didn't see a hero. What I saw on that platform was a nervous and rather malnourished little orphan boy. A boy whose foster parents, whoever they were, had simply abandoned. They had left him alone lost in a busy Muggle railway station.
He had no idea how to catch the train. Thank goodness we were there to help him. Thank goodness I asked Ginny what the platform number was. I knew the platform number, of course, but until that year I'd never taken Ginny. However, she'd insisted on seeing Ron off, so we'd all gone.
Until that meeting Harry Potter was unreal. He wasn't a person; he was no more than an idea, a figment, or even a legend to us. I don't know what I was expecting, but the reality was not awe inspiring. Why should it have been? He was an eleven-year-old boy who was going to a new school, and he was as worried and anxious as Ron.
According to Witch Weekly, according to all of the stories, he was supposed to be rich, but the Muggle clothing he wore was even shabbier than Ron's. I felt sorry for the poor little mite. At least Ron's second-hand clothes and hand-me-downs actually fitted him.
'Do you think Ron really is friends with Harry Potter?' Ginny asked. The hope was obvious in her voice.
I tried to lower her expectations. 'Well, I ido/i know that Harry Potter is in Gryffindor, because the twins and Percy have already written to tell us,' I said. 'So Ron will certainly be sharing a dormitory with Harry Potter, but there will be other boys that dormitory too, Ginny. I'm sure that Ron and Harry will know each other and it would be nice for Ron to make some new friends. Just remember that it might be that one of the other boys, and not Harry Potter, who becomes Ron's best friend. Do you know what the other boys are called, or who they are?'
She flicked through to the third page. 'Neville, who's blonde and a bit podgy, Dean who's dark, and Seamus who's Irish,' she told me. It was obvious that those three boys hadn't made much of an impression on Ron, perhaps he really was friends with Harry Potter.
'Did Ron tell you about the train ride?'
'Yes, he shared a compartment with Harry Potter all the way to school. Just the two of them,' said Ginny. Her eye's flickered down the first page and on to the second.
'Read that bit aloud, Ginny,' I suggested. I was curious as to what Ron had told her, and why I wasn't allowed to read the letter.
Ginny started near the bottom of the first page. 'We talked and talked and talked for the whole journey. He bought loads of sweets and we shared them, and I shared my corned beef sandwiches with…'
'Corned beef!' I interrupted. 'Ron doesn't like corned beef. I made him cheese and pickle, the corned beef sandwiches were for Percy.' I said. I thought back to our hectic departure. 'The twins! Always up to mischief! They know that Percy doesn't like cheese and pickle, too!' I said. The rigidity of Ginny's back told me that she was annoyed at being disrupted in mid-flow.
I realised that, several weeks after the event, there was nothing I could do about Ron's sandwiches. No doubt Percy would be blaming me for his, too.
'Sorry, Ginny, I should not have interrupted you. Do go on, please.'
'Okay, Mum, but don't do it again. You tell me off for interrupting, unless it's really important,' she told me firmly. I listened with interest as she unconsciously mimicked Ron's voice while reading his words.
'It's amazing, Ginny, but he didn't know who he was. Well, he knew he was Harry Potter, obviously, but he didn't know who Harry Potter was, if you know what I mean. He didn't know about Hogwarts, or anything. I had to tell him about the houses, and all sorts of stuff. He was raised by Muggles. They didn't tell him anything. They didn't even tell him he was a wizard. I don't think that they like him much.'
iThat's obvious,/i I thought to myself.
'We'd almost got to the school when a nasty little blond kid called Draco came into our compartment. He was really smarmy and rude, but Harry told him to get lost, even though he had a couple of big uglies with him. We've decided that he's our enemy!
There was a girl turned up in our compartment, too. Twice! She was really bossy and very screechy and enormously rude. Unfortunately, she got sorted into Gryffindor so she's in all of my lessons, and she always seems to end up sitting next to me! She's a real pain in the bum and a teacher's pet. She's even worse than Draco, because she's in all of our lessons, and in our Common Room. We can't ever escape from her. Ever!
'Anyway me and Harry and I are always getting lost…' Ginny stopped. 'Grammar, Ron,' she said, shaking her head before continuing. 'There are loads and loads of secret corridors here, and some of the stairs move. It's a great place. You'll love it when you come next year.'
Ginny's reading came to an abrupt halt. I peered over her shoulder and caught a glimpse of a few words: … Granger, that annoying girl I told you about… and … We were lucky, we nearly got caught out of bounds… before Ginny folded the letter and put it into the pocket of her dressing gown.
'The rest is private, Mum,' said Ginny firmly. 'But I think that Ron really is good friends with Harry Potter. Perhaps I'll meet him again.'
'Of course you'll meet him again, Ginny. You're going to Hogwarts next year. And he'll be there, too.'
'Do you think he'll like me?' she asked.
'I'm sure that everyone will like you,' I assured her. She wrinkled her nose. I'd obviously given her the wrong answer. 'Bedtime,' I told her.