Chapter Twenty-One: All Is Said and Done
“How come you haven’t had any practices since the match with Hufflepuff?”
Colin asked Ginny on an undertone. They were sitting in Professor Trelawney’s classroom, staring uselessly at a crystal ball.
“I told you,” Ginny replied. “Harry hasn’t been himself lately. He seems preoccupied, and he’s been moody. I don’t know what’s wrong with him.”
“Have you asked him?”
“I haven’t talked to him at all.”
“Maybe you should.”
“What do you see my dear?” Professor Trelawney asked suddenly and Ginny jumped on her seat. She had been distracted and didn’t see her teacher approach until she had been standing right next to her. Ginny looked into the crystal ball in front of her and saw nothing but fog.
“Actually, I see nothing, Professor,” she said and Colin snickered, which earned him a sharp look from the Divination teacher.
“Broaden your mind, my dear,” Professor Trelawney said, sitting next to Ginny. “You have to focus your Inner Eye.” She looked at the orb herself. “Can’t you see what is set before you?” she asked.
“No, I can’t,” Ginny said, annoyed.
“A crossroads…” she said dramatically. She then fixed her huge eyes on Ginny. “Soon enough you will have to choose a path.” Without another word, she stood up and walked away, drawing her shawls around her.
“A crossroads,” whispered Colin once Professor Trelawney was out of earshot. “I bet you will need your Inner Eye for this one. You wouldn’t want to end up with the wrong boyfriend again.”
Ginny glared at him, but decided not to dignify his comment with an answer. After the class they went straight to the Transfiguration classroom, where they found Luna waiting outside the classroom with the rest of the Ravenclaw fifth-years.
“Hi Luna!” Ginny said.
“Oh! Hi Ginny and Colin,” she said. “How are you?”
“I’m very fine, thank you,” said Colin cheerfully, “but Ginny here is standing on a crossroads.”
“You have to lay off the whole crossroads thing,” said Ginny through narrowed teeth. “For your own good.”
For all answer, Colin let out a shout of laughter. Luna, however, who seemed genuinely interested on Ginny’s dilemma, started rummaging inside her bag.
“I may have just the thing you need, Ginny,” she said. “Daddy is working on an article for next month’s issue about Muggle magic.” Ginny and Colin shared a look and muttered “Muggle magic?” while Luna appeared to be about to dive inside her book bag. “Here it is!”
She gave Ginny a round device with a needle. It resembled a watch, but Ginny couldn’t make sense of it. The needle was moving round and round and there were numbers and letters that Ginny didn’t understand.
“A compass?” Unlike Ginny, Colin seemed to know exactly what it was and for some reason he found it very funny.
“Have you seen one before?” Luna asked excited. “Daddy says Muggles use it to find their way.”
“Indeed,” said Colin. “But this one is broken.”
“Yes. You see, the needle is supposed to always point North. This one is pointing everywhere.”
“Do you think its magic is wearing off?” Luna asked.
“It’s not magic. The needle is magnetic. Maybe it’s broken,” Colin said, examining the compass.
“Haven’t you ever heard that most Muggle devices don’t work in Hogwarts because all the magic around causes interference?” said Ginny, who up till now had stayed out of the conversation. She had heard her dad say that once, and who could know better about Muggle devices than her dad. She wondered if he had a compass; it looked like a good idea for a present.
Both Colin and Luna looked at Ginny for a moment before Luna took the compass from Colin’s hand.
“I didn’t notice it was not working properly,” she said, staring at the compass. “I have been using it to navigate the castle, and it always takes me to where I want to go,” she said vaguely.
“Why doesn’t that surprise me?” Ginny asked, shaking her head, and Colin chuckled at the time Professor McGonagall called them into the classroom.
At lunch, Ginny sat with Dean, who was a nervous wreck. He barely ate and kept flipping the pages of a Ministry of Magic leaflet — Common Apparition Mistakes and How to Avoid Them. The students that were seventeen or older were taking their tests that very afternoon. Ginny soon realized that the leaflet was only making Dean more and more nervous.
“Just put it away, Dean,” she said putting her hand over the leaflet. “I don’t think it’s going to help you anymore. You should just relax.”
“Easy for you to say,” he grumbled.
“You will do fine,” she said soothingly, ignoring his tartness, but he only grunted and turned around to talk to Seamus. Ginny didn’t make any attempt to continue the conversation and as soon as she was done eating, she stood up and left the Great Hall.
Ginny didn’t see Dean until dinner that evening. She entered the Great Hall with Colin and pretended not to see him when he half-heartedly waved at her. She was still angry with him for the way he had treated her during lunch. She understood he was nervous about the Apparition test (frankly, that had been the only reason she hadn’t snapped at him), but she was only trying to be supportive, and he was beyond rude.
She sat with Colin and Demelza and avoided looking down the Griffindor table, although that meant that she could not look at Hermione either, who was sitting with Ron and Harry father down the table. Ginny wanted to know if Hermione and Ron had passed the test, although she was pretty sure that at least Hermione had.
After dinner she accompanied Colin and Demelza to the library, only because she didn’t want to go to the common room and see Dean. But the truth was that she didn’t want to be in the library either. She couldn’t stay still. There was a part of her that wanted to find Dean and tell him once and for all that their relationship was over. After a while of unsuccessfully trying to follow the conversation, she gave up and said goodnight to her friends. If she could find Dean, she will break up with him, and if she didn’t, she would go to bed.
When she got to the seventh floor, she didn’t notice Dean was walking toward her until they bumped into each other. He appeared to be coming from the common room with Seamus and they were talking so animatedly that they didn’t seem to notice Ginny either. Ginny and Dean regarded one another for a moment. Ginny could tell there was a mixture of annoyance and regret in his eyes. That was exactly the same way she felt. After a moment, she decided that someone had to say something.
“Hey Dean,” she said. “How was the test?”
“I failed,” he shrugged and motioned Seamus to go on without him. “I overshot it a bit. Barely a couple of inches to be honest, but the examiner made a big deal out of it.”
“I’m sorry,” Ginny said truthfully.
“No matter,” he said dismissively. “I’ll pass it the next time around.”
Dean looked around apparently unsure of what to say next, and Ginny did the same. She was still a bit angry with him, and he didn’t seem very happy with her either. Ginny thought they had finally hit rock bottom. This relationship was over and there was nothing they could do to save it. That is, of course, if any of them wanted to, which didn’t seem to be the case.
“We need to talk,” Ginny said.”
“Isn’t that what we are doing?” Dean asked, raising an eyebrow. Ginny could tell he knew what she wanted to say.
“I mean we need to talk about…” she started, but was cut off by the Pink Lady.
“Are you coming in or do you plan to stay out here all night?” she said crossly.
“We’re talking,” Ginny said, rounding up on the portrait.
“Then you should go inside or elsewhere,” said the woman in the painting. “Or do you expect me to stay here, just listening to your little chat until you decide you want to come in?”
That was so enervating! She was a painting, for crying out loud! It was not like she had anything more important to do. Besides that was her job: to be there in order to let the Gryffindors into their common room. What did it matter if she and Dean took a few minutes longer? Ginny was sure this would not take so long anyway.
“Tapeworm,” said Dean tiredly.
“Good,” the Pink Lady told Dean. She then shot Ginny a reproving look before the portrait swung open to reveal the entrance to the Gryffindor common room.
Ginny let out a grunt of exasperation and started to crawl in, but then she felt a slight push on her back.
“Don’t push me, please, Dean,” she said, annoyed. “You’re always doing that, I can get through perfectly well on my own…”
“I didn’t touch you,” he snapped. “Not that I even wanted to.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Ginny rounded up on him.
“It means that you don’t seem to stand me anymore, and I’m tired of begging for your attention.”
“Is that so?”
“Then why don’t we just do ourselves a favor and end this mockery of a relationship once and for all?”
“Let’s be honest. It’s been over for a long time.”
“Well now it’s official,” she wheeled around and entered the crowded common room. Obviously their discussion had been very loud because she found herself at the receiving end of quite a few stares. The ones that were not staring at her were staring at Ron and Lavender, who were having a heated argument at the far end of the common room. Well, Lavender was, anyway. Ron was standing with his arms crossed over his chest. He looked utterly mortified and his ears were as red as his hair. Lavender was flapping her hands hysterically and talking in such a high pitch that Ginny was certain every dog within a 150 mile radius could hear her.
Ginny ignored the malicious looks directed at her and went straight up the stairs to the girls’ dormitories. When she walked into her room, she found Hermione sitting on her bed with her hands on her lap.
“Is it over?” Hermione asked when Ginny closed the door behind her.
“You mean Ron and Lavender’s display of affection?” Ginny asked, sitting next to Hermione, and she nodded. “No. I don’t think it will be over anytime soon.”
“I should be sorry,” Hermione said, but she didn’t look sorry at all. “It was probably my fault.”
“She saw us coming down from the boys’ dormitory…” Hermione started.
“You and Ron? Alone?” Ginny interrupted her.
“Why were you alone in his room?” Ginny asked somewhat amused.
“Well, we were not alone in his room.” Hermione rolled her eyes. “Harry was with us. It’s just that Lavender didn’t see him because he was under the invisibility cloak.”
“He was going to sneak out to go see Hagrid,” Hermione said and Ginny could tell she was not happy with Harry’s decision.
“Is Hagrid okay?” Ginny asked, interested.
“Oh! It’s Aragog. He died today.”
“Really!” Ginny exclaimed, getting to her feet with her arm over her chest. “Poor Hagrid. He must be crushed,” she walked over to the window and contemplated Hagrid’s hut for a moment. There was smoke coming out of the chimney and light could be seen behind the shut curtains.
“Are you sorry Aragog died?” Hermione asked, bemused.
“No,” Ginny turned around to face her. “I’m sorry Hagrid is hurting. It was nice of Harry to go see him.”
“Yes, it was nice,” Hermione agreed grudgingly, “but too risky.”
“Well, you know Harry,” Ginny shrugged.
“Yes, I do,” Hermione sighed.
They remained silent for a moment until Ginny spoke again. “I guess Lavender and Ron will probably break up tonight,” she said casually.
“Probably,” Hermione said noncommittal.
“Not a good night for relationships,” Ginny muttered.
“What do you mean?” Hermione asked.
“Dean and I just broke up.”
“I just can’t stand the way he treats me like I can’t do anything for myself,” Ginny snapped, starting to pace. “He’s always helping me through the portrait hole, holding out chairs, opening doors, carrying my books. It’s asphyxiating!”
“My goodness! What a jerk!” Hermione said mockingly and Ginny realized how stupid her argument sounded out loud. She had broken up with Dean because she was in love with Harry; plain and simple. But she was not going to admit it.
“Things haven’t been great between us lately.” Of course, that was an understatement, and Ginny was sure Hermione knew.
“I’ve noticed,” Hermione said. “Are you okay?”
“Yes,” Ginny said convincingly. “It had to be done
“What are you going to do now?” Hermione asked.
“About what?” Ginny had no idea what Hermione meant.
“Well, are you going to start dating someone else?”
Ginny looked at Hermione with a raised eyebrow. Was she going to be like Fred and George and imply Ginny was “moving through boyfriends a bit fast”?
“I only ask because you started going out with Dean a couple of days after you had broken up with Michael Corner,” said Hermione defensively. “I was just wondering if the real reason why you ended your relationship with Dean was because you are interested in someone else.”
Ginny contemplated her friend through narrowed eyes for a moment. Hermione knew very well that she was interested in someone else. She also knew Ginny would date him in a heartbeat. But since Harry was not interested in her, there was no point in discussing the subject.
“I think I need time for me,” she said simply.
“Good for you,” said Hermione getting to her feet. “I’m going to bed.”
“Are you sure you don’t want to sleep here?” Ginny asked, barely being able to keep her face straight. “You wouldn’t want to run into Lavender.”
“I’ll take my chances,” said Hermione. “Good night.”
“See you tomorrow,” Ginny responded.