You can find the previous chapter here.
Chapter Four: Girlfriends
Ginny was looking surreptitiously at Ron during breakfast the next morning. He was wolfing down a bowl of cereal before starting with a huge plate of eggs and sausages that Mrs. Weasley had put in front of him. Hermione, Harry and Fleur were also sitting at the table, eating their breakfast with gusto.
An owl arrived, bringing Ginny a letter. She recognized the handwriting on the envelope at once. It was Dean’s. She could feel the eyes of Hermione, Ron and Harry fixed on her while she put the unopened letter in her pocket. She would read it later, when no one was watching her. Besides, at this moment she was more interested in something else.
“What the…” exclaimed Ron when a drop of blood fell in his bowl. Everybody looked up and saw that his nose was bleeding profusely.
“Oh!” exclaimed Fleur disgusted. “I can’t stand the sight of blood!” and she rushed out of the kitchen.
Ron’s face was now as red as the blood streaming out of his nose and Ginny smiled with satisfaction at the same time Mrs. Weasley and Hermione started fussing about the bleeding. Mrs. Weasley took out her wand and pointed at Ron’s nose muttering various spells, but to no avail.
“Fred and George!” breathed Mrs. Weasley outraged. “I don’t know what I’m going to do with those two.” And she bolted out of the kitchen too, obviously to go to the twins’ bedroom to see if she could find something that would stop the bleeding.
“Of course,” said Harry. “Nosebleed Nougat. How did it got in your cereal?”
“I put it there,” said Ginny standing up. Hermione, Harry and Ron turned to look at her surprised. Ginny continued talking pointing her fork at Ron, “That’s just a taste of what I’ll do to you if you ever talk about me again.” She threw the other half of the Nosebleed Nougat on the table before walking out of the kitchen.
She hadn’t reached the stairs when she heard the noise of a chair falling on the floor and Ron’s voice.
“Come back here you little…”
“Don’t be an idiot, Ron,” came Harry’s voice. It sounded like he was restraining Ron.
“Yes, Ron,” Ginny heard Hermione’s voice sounding a tad stern. “Now you’re even.”
“Even!” exclaimed Ron, but Ginny didn’t hear the rest of his rant because she was already half way up the stairs.
She found her mother on her way up. Mrs. Weasley was coming back down looking distressed.
“I think I’ll have to go to their shop,” she said.
“Don’t worry about it Mum,” said Ginny. “Ronniekins is not bleeding anymore.”
“It just stopped?” asked the older woman in disbelieve.
“No,” said Ginny evasively. “I had the antidote in my pocket.”
Mrs. Weasley eyed her daughter suspiciously and Ginny was certain that her mother knew exactly what was going on, but when she though she was going to get in trouble, Mrs. Weasley let out a loud sigh and continued her way down the stairs. Ginny bolted to her room, amazed at her luck.
Ginny took Arnold, the Pygmy Puff she had gotten at Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, Fred and George’s joke shop, threw herself on her bed and suddenly remembered the letter that was still in her pocket. She took it out, opened it and started reading.
Hi! I hope you are alright and spending a wonderful summer. I am, although my summer would be even better if only I could see you.
I’m going to Diagon Alley tomorrow to get my books. Is there any chance we can meet there?
If you can’t, I guess I’ll see you next week on the Hogwarts Express.
I’m counting the days.
Ginny sighed and opened the drawer of her night table to get a fresh roll of parchment, ink and a quill to write a response to Dean. There was no chance that her parents would let her go back to Diagon Alley tomorrow. It had been difficult enough to go once. She was sure that all the security measures had nothing to do with her or Ron and Hermione. No one really knew who they were. Harry was the one everyone wanted to protect. Although all they did was bother him.
She wrote a short letter explaining Dean that she had already gone to Diagon Alley the day before and that she was not going to be able to go again. She added that she also wanted to see him. Because she did, she told herself firmly.
She had just finished signing her name when the door opened to reveal Hermione. The two girls looked at each other for a moment before Ginny sprang to her feet, put Arnold back in its cage, and planted herself in front of her friend with her hands on her hips.
“Don’t even say I shouldn’t have done it,” Ginny said shooting Hermione a look of defiance.
“I’m not saying anything at all,” said Hermione, walking passed Ginny and sitting on the bed.
“You’re not?” asked Ginny suspiciously.
“No,” said Hermione. “But I hope you had enough. He now knows that he shouldn’t mess with you.”
“Does he?” asked Ginny raising an eyebrow. “Are you sure?”
Hermione seemed to ponder for a second before she shook her head.
“Probably not,” she shrugged. “Your brother is that thick, after all.”
Ginny was definitely not expecting that remark and sat next to Hermione on the bed, roaring with laughter. Hermione joined in.
“Was the letter from Dean?” asked Hermione a while later when they were able to talk again.
“Yes,” Ginny said. “He wanted me to meet him at Diagon Alley tomorrow.”
“Pity we went yesterday,” said Hermione.
“Yeah. I’m writing him to let him know.” Ginny stood up again and walked to the door, but before she could open it, Hermione called her out.
“Ginny, do you really like Dean?”
Ginny whirled around. Hermione was looking at her with her brow furrowed. There was definitely concern in her brown eyes.
“Did you really like Krum?” Ginny asked, instead of answering the question.
Hermione’s expression softened.
“That was different,” she said.
“How so?” insisted Ginny.
“Well, I was only fourteen and he was much older than me,” started Hermione awkwardly. She was obviously not used to talk about this sort of things. But then again, thought Ginny, who was she supposed to talk about it with? Harry? Ron? This was one of the few times that Hermione truly needed a girlfriend. “I have to say that I was very surprised when he started paying attention to me,” Hermione continued. “All the girls were chasing him and he was spending all his time in the library looking for ways to talk to me,” Hermione smiled at the thought.
“But did you really like him,” Ginny pressed on. “I mean, when he kissed you, did you know it was something special?”
Hermione remained silent for so long that Ginny though she hadn’t heard her.
Hermione blinked, and looked at Ginny as though she had forgotten she was there.
“It was very nice,” she muttered, blushing slightly. “But he was not…”
“Who?” asked Ginny, excited. Was she going to say his name?
“He was not the type guy I would have chosen,” Hermione said stubbornly. “But I have very sweet memories of him, and we remain friends.”
Ginny looked at Hermione smugly.
“Well, there’s your answer,” she said in a smarty-pants sort of way. “Dean is not…” she paused for dramatic effect before adding, “the type of guy I would have chosen, but I’m pretty sure I will also have very sweet memories when it’s over.”
Without waiting for Hermione’s response, Ginny walked out of the room to mail Dean’s letter.
The day before their departure to Hogwarts, Ginny was in the kitchen folding her freshly laundered clothes. Soon enough, she decided she would rather finish her task in her bedroom because she was already sick of listening to Fleur talk about the wedding.
She took her clothes and went up the stairs. On the landing she bumped into Harry, who was on his way down carrying a pile of filthy Quidditch robes.
Ginny jumped startled and her clean clothes almost fell to the floor. Thankfully, Harry didn’t seem to notice. She suddenly understood how Ron felt every time Fleur turned up. She had gotten used to having Harry around, but when he jumped out at her unexpectedly…
She shook her head to dismiss that thought.
“I wouldn’t go in the kitchen just now,” she warned him, doing her best to make her voice sound carefree. “There’s a lot of Phlegm around.”
“I’ll be careful not to slip in it.” Harry smiled.
Ginny smiled back at him and entered her room. She put her clothes inside her almost full trunk.
“It’s a good thing we’re leaving tomorrow,” she told herself. “Life it’s a lot easier when I’m not bumping into Harry every two steps.”
You can read the next chapter here.