Chapter 7: Finding Ginny
Hermione had once been at Land’s End with her parents on a summer vacation and could still remember where some of the sights were. She decided to Apparate to Land’s End because that was the place she remembered the best. When she arrived, she trekked a few miles down the coast to a small village near St. Levan. The small village, called Raftra, was a mixed magical and Muggle village. Luckily the weather was warm and the wind from the sea was just a gentle breeze.
Once she arrived to Raftra she searched to find the small inn that Ginny had told her she was staying at. She walked all the way through the village and just as she thought there were no more buildings, she saw an old weather-beaten stone building. An aged sign hung over the door, telling every wizard or witch that they had arrived at ‘The Crooked Broomstick’.
Taking a deep breath she opened the door and walked in. Once inside she looked around trying to find out if Ginny was there. The inn was cozy in an old-fashioned way; old oak tables were lined up and a few old wizards were seated at one of them, drinking a pint of butterbeer. They looked up at the new guest, and they nodded their head in a friendly greeting. Hermione timidly waved hello and then walked over to the bar.
“What can I do for you, fair lady?” asked a friendly looking barkeeper as he placed the mug he had been cleaning under the counter. He was an older wizard with grey hair and steel grey eyes, and a rounded belly.
Hermione gave him a nervous smile - she was not used to being called ‘fair lady’ - but when she saw the genuine smile on his face she just gathered that this was how he spoke to everyone.
“Well, I’m looking for Ginny Weasley, she is a friend of mine and last I heard from her she was staying here.”
“Ah, so you seek the fair Ms. Weasley whom we have had the pleasure to divert the last couple of weeks. Yes, she is staying here, but alas she is not here at the moment, perhaps I can bring you something while we wait for her return,” the barkeeper suggested, and waved his hand to the bar.
“Oh, I’ll have a butterbeer please, and thank you,” Hermione said and paid the barkeeper.
“There you go, one butterbeer for the fair lady.” He smiled at her and placed a butterbeer on the counter. “I’m Allen McCready by the way.” He offered her his hand in a greeting.
“I’m Hermione, Hermione Granger, it’s nice to meet you,” she said and took his hand. “Thank you for letting me stay here and wait for Ginny.”
“Not a problem at all, my dear. You paid for your butterbeer so you are free to stay as long as you like. And besides it is always nice to meet new people, it’s not that often that we get to see a new face around here. It’s just the same old hags and warlocks around these areas.” He grinned and nodded his head toward the group of wizards sitting at one of the tables.
“Hmm, I guess so. But it’s really lovely out here; I forgot how beautiful it is here in Cornwall.” When she saw his puzzled face she continued. “I came to Land’s End on vacation with my parents when I was a child.”
“Ah I see, just as our young Ms. Weasley has been. I still remember her family, all read hair, the whole bunch of them. They have a pair of twins as I recall, nearly burned my place to the ground those two, I tell you, but nice people, nice people indeed.”
Hermione grinned and said, “I can imagine that, that would be Fred and George.”
Allen chuckled and shook his head thinking about the mayhem the twins could make. They were not forgotten around these areas.
“So have you come to bring our young Ginny back to her family?”
“What do you mean?” Hermione looked at him puzzled.
“Well, when she arrived here a few weeks back she was a miserable sight to see, really glum and sad looking. We just let her get a room to sleep in and didn’t ask. People have a right to feel miserable if they need to. But after a few days she began going out in the fresh air, and that did her good, I tell you that. She is a nice gal if you ask me, one who doesn’t deserve to feel wretched forever.” One of the other customers came up to the bar and asked for another round of butterbeers and Allan said, “Please excuse me, you just sit and enjoy your butterbeer.”
Hermione thanked him and turned to look out the window, trying to see if she could spot Ginny. She could only imagine how Ginny had looked when she had come here, but she was glad that it seemed as if she had improved a bit.
At one point when she had turned around to take a sip of her butterbeer she heard the door open and a familiar voice laugh out, “Oh Matt, you’re such a tease, no one would ever believe that…”
Hermione whirled around and found Ginny walking inside while she spoke with a dark-haired man. He was tall and his hair pulled back in a small ponytail, he reminded Hermione a bit of Bill, but this guy didn’t have an earring. When the door closed behind them Ginny spotted Hermione at the bar.
“Hermione! What are you doing here?” Ginny rushed over to greet her friend. “Oh it’s so nice to see you again, I’ve really missed you.” Ginny hugged her friend briefly and then pulled back to look at her.
“Hi Ginny, it’s good to see you to. You look good. How are you?” Hermione had a million questions to ask her friend, but held them back as she eyed the tall man who had accompanied Ginny. Who was he?
Ginny saw Hermione looking at her companion and made the introduction. “Hermione, this is Matt, he is Mr. McCready’s grandson, he lives here.” Then she turned to Matt and said, “Matt, this is Hermione, my best friend.”
Hermione reached out and shook Matt’s hand. She still didn’t see where he fit into the picture, but he seemed nice enough.
“Ah Matthew, there you are lad, would you please help me put these boxes away, you know my back is not as young as it used to be,” Allan said with a smile, and then looked at Ginny. “Hope you had a pleasant walk with my Matt and that he didn’t give you any trouble.”
“None at all Mr. McCready, none at all. We had a nice walk.”
Matt excused himself and walked in the back with his grandfather. When Ginny and Hermione were alone, they hugged again and Hermione asked again, “How are you Ginny?”
“I’m good, really good actually. It’s been wonderful to just relax and find myself again. I don’t regret coming here, even though I’ve missed you all terribly. How’s everyone?” Ginny said cheerfully.
“Well, I think most of us are good and well.”
“What do you mean by ‘most of you’? How’s Harry doing? Oh please tell me that he didn’t go all sulking when I left!” Ginny sighed.
“Well that’s just it; he did take it rather hard you know. Not at first, he took it in stride and made us all believe that he was okay. But Ginny you should see him now, he… well he just misses you greatly you know. I’ve never seen him so down, not since Sirius died.” Hermione tried to explain everything to Ginny.
“Oh I just knew it; I tried to explain it in my letter that he shouldn’t blame anything on himself.” Ginny let out a frustrated groan and continued, “I guess he never was good at not blaming himself for anything. I should have known that, that’s the way he is, always taking the blame for everything. And I love him nevertheless.”
“I know you do, and he loves you. But I understand that you needed to go, and I think Harry does too, even though he might not admit that,” Hermione smiled. “But I can tell that these last weeks have been good to you, you’re glowing again. And I’m happy for you.”
“Thank you for that, I really owe you for this.”
“It’s nothing. So what have you been up to? You didn’t tell much in your letters. What have you seen and done? Is there anything interesting to see around here?” Hermione asked, eager to know more about what Ginny had been doing in her solitude.
“Oh not much, just wandered around seeing the sights around here. Matt showed me all the sights there are to see in this area. Have you heard the legend about the old hag called Madgy Figgy?”
“No can’t say I have, it’s been so many years since I was here with my parents.”
“Well, Matt told me about this old story which says that many years ago there was this old hag living right here in Raftra. The legend says that she would sit at a huge rock formation down by the seashore called ‘Madgy Figgy’s Chair’, where she would call on the spirits of the storm and create huge storms so unfortunate ships would crash to the shore. Then she and her gang of wreckers would plunder the ships. Matt told me so many stories about that. We went down there one day and it’s so easy to picture how she would sit on that rock formation and make the ships crash to the shore. It’s kind of scary to think of, but Matt only laughed at it and said he didn’t really believe in that old folk story.”
“Matt also showed me the Muggle Porthcurno Telegraph Museum in Penzance. Dad would have loved to go there, with all that Muggle stuff they had. I wonder if we ever went there when we were here on holidays. I don’t remember if we did,” Ginny mused and then continued, “Matt was a really good guide, you know. He knows so many things about the places around here, even the Muggle places. He must have gotten good grades in Muggle studies. Did you know that Matt actually went to Hogwarts with Bill and Charlie? He still remembers my family from when we went here on holiday. I honestly can’t remember him; I guess I was just the little kid they didn’t want hanging around with them. Well never mind, it’s just great to have someone show you the sights around here.”
Hermione could hear that Ginny had seen and done a lot of things during her stay here, and apparently spent quite a lot of time with this Matt.
“Wow it sounds really exciting, you sure have seen a lot around here. And yes, it must be really great to have someone who knows the sights.” Hermione smiled at Ginny and took a sip of her butterbeer.
“Hmm, Matt has been great; he is really funny you know, and he knows all these great and funny stories about the places around here.”
Just then Matt came back from helping his grandfather, and asked if he could join them and drink a butterbeer. Ginny quickly said yes and Hermione nodded her head.
“Gin, you must take your friend here down to the seashore and maybe go down to Madgy Figgy’s chair, before you’re going home,” Matt said enthusiastically. “I take it you are going to go home now, aren’t you?”
Hermione couldn’t help but notice that he sounded a bit sad at this. And she couldn’t help but wonder if he might be a bit in love with Ginny, or at least care about her a great deal. Because she had observed that every time he would look at Ginny his mouth would turn into small smile and he would get this faraway look in his bright green eyes.
“Yes Matt I’m going home now, you know that I can’t stay here. As much as I appreciate everything you, and your grandfather, have done for me, I must go home. You know that.”
“Hmm I know.” Matt gave her a small smile, and then rose from his chair.
“I have to get going now, my mum expects me to be home. You know family dinner and all.” He gave her a rueful smile and hugged her.
“I know, I’ll see you around. I don’t think we’ll leave until tomorrow.” Ginny looked at Hermione to see what she thought about waiting to go home.
“I guess we could stay till tomorrow, and you also have to show me that Madgy Figgy’s Chair you talked so much about. I’d love to go down to the seashore with you today and then we’ll head home tomorrow if you’re ready,” Hermione said.
“Great, then we can meet tomorrow and say goodbye, okay Matt?”
“Sure, see you tomorrow then.” He gave Ginny’s arm one last squeeze, then he nodded his farewell to Hermione, and walked out the door.
Then Hermione asked the question she had wanted to ask ever since she had seen Ginny walk through the door together with Matt.
“So what’s with this Matt fellow?”
“What do you mean?” Ginny looked puzzled at her friend.
“Well it’s just, I’m just wondering… Please don’t get me wrong, he seems like a nice enough bloke… but I just can’t help wondering if he feels a bit more than friendship towards you, that’s all.” Hermione held her breath not sure if she had said too much.
At first Ginny looked a bit alarmed by Hermione’s serious tone, but when she heard the last part she smiled and shook her head and explained.
“I guess you could say he feels a bit more than friendship towards me.” At this Hermione looked worried but before she could interfere, Ginny continued, “Please don’t misunderstand me. I have no romantic feelings towards him; you know I love Harry, and Matt knows that too. I told him what happened to me. It was really nice to talk to someone who didn’t know me that well. He knows that I wouldn’t fall in love with him. We still talked, and he has been a great friend to me these last couple of weeks.”
“Okay, I can see that you’re telling the truth, I just wondered where you stood in this. Because it really is so obvious that he likes you a lot, you know. I don’t know if you’ve seen it yourself, but he looks a bit like Harry. Same build, same green eyes and black hair, even though Matt’s longer, like Bill’s.” Hermione gave Ginny a genuine smile and patted her shoulder.
“I know, I guess that’s why he was so easy to talk to, because he looked so much like someone I know, but was still a stranger to me. He didn’t know anything about me except the things I chose to tell him, and the little bit he remembered of my family staying here when I was a child,” Ginny explained.
“I’m glad that you have had someone like him here to talk to, but I also know that we all miss you very much, especially Harry.”
“I know, and I’m ready to go home. I was actually thinking about leaving at the end of this week, but I might as well go home now. I’ve missed you all so very much,” Ginny explained.
“So how about we take that trip down to the seashore we talked about, and then come back here for a late dinner,” Hermione said and rose from her chair.
Then the two girls walked out of The Crooked Broomstick and headed to the seashore. Ginny gladly shared many of the stories she had heard from Matt and Hermione laughed with her at some of the more funny ones she told. They also talked about what would happen when they got home. Ginny confided that she thought she was ready to get closer to Harry and move on with her life. Hermione was pleased to hear that her friend was back on the right track and told her so.
When dusk came the two girls walked back to The Crooked Broomstick and Mr. McCready made them a light dinner. Then they walked up into Ginny’s room and turned in for the night.
The next morning Hermione helped Ginny pack her trunk and they walked down to get some breakfast. When they were finished, Matt showed up and when he saw that they had already packed and were ready to leave he gave them a rueful smile.
“Oh, don’t look so put out Matt, it’s not the end of the world, you know. We’ll still keep in touch. You can always send me an owl, you know that,” Ginny tried to cheer him up, and succeeded a little when he gave her a genuine smile.
“I know that Gin. I also know that you belong to someone else, but you’ll always stay in my heart.”
To Hermione it sounded a bit too melodramatic, but she could also see the smile in his eyes. When Ginny rolled her eyes at him and laughed she figured that it had been somewhat of a joke between them. She was happy that Ginny had come so far, that she was able to joke around and have fun again.
“Goodbye Matt. Don’t be a stranger, keep in touch,” Ginny said and gave him a hug.
“Bye sweet Gin, give my greetings to your beloved Harry, he is one lucky guy. Just tell him that, okay?” Matt gave her one last hug and when Ginny nodded her head he turned to Hermione and shook her hand. “It was nice to meet you, please make sure that Gin gets back home in one piece.”
“I will, and take care of yourself, and thank you for looking out for Ginny these past couple of weeks, we owe you.” Hermione gave him a smile and released his hand.
“It was my pleasure, now get home safely. Goodbye.”
Then they said goodbye to Allen McCready and walked outside to Apparate back home to the Burrow.
When they arrived outside the Burrow they walked straight into the house where they were greeted by Mrs. Weasley. She hugged Ginny several times before letting her go, and then she turned to Hermione and hugged her as well, thanking her for bringing Ginny back to them. When all the hugging was over, Ginny searched the kitchen for one special messy-haired man, but didn’t find him. When Mrs. Weasley saw her daughter’s searching eyes she knew who she was seeking.
“He’s out in the back yard. You’ll probably find him under the oak tree, that’s were he usually sits and ponders over things.” Mrs. Weasley gave Ginny one final hug and gently pushed her towards the door. Ginny thanked her mum, took a deep calming breath and walked out the door.
Ginny walked slowly across the lawn, and headed to the oak tree. She remembered the countless times she and Harry had sat under that very tree and just enjoyed being together or talking about things. When she was almost there she paused for a moment and looked closer at him. He hadn’t heard her yet, his eyes turned away from the house looking over the meadow behind the Burrow. Ginny could see that he was miserable by the way his shoulders were sagging and his sad-looking eyes.
Harry was absent-mindedly picking at the grass and tried to think cheery thoughts. But it had been over three weeks since Ginny had left and he had started to think that she would never come back. What if he had scared her away for good? Suddenly, he heard a twig break and he looked up. When his eyes fell on the person standing only a few feet away his heart jumped with joy.
“Gin, you’re back,” Harry exclaimed and leapt up from the ground and quickly walked to her. When he was near enough to touch her he paused and looked her in the eyes, trying to read her expression. He wanted to be sure that she was still with him. What if she had come to say goodbye?
Ginny could see his hesitation and smiled a little over his insecurity, he was so sweet when he tried to be ever so considerate about everyone around him.
“Yes I’m back, and I’m not going anywhere,” Ginny proclaimed with a smile and reached for his hands.
It took awhile before Harry realized what she had said but then he broke into a huge smile and pulled her in for a hug.
“By Merlin, am I glad to see you, Angel. Don’t ever go running off again like that.” Harry pulled back a little and looked her in the eyes.
Ginny shook her head. “I’ll never go anywhere again. I’m right where I want to be. I just needed some time off for myself to figure out a few things.”
“And did you figure it out then?” Harry asked, and gently caressed her cheek.
“Mm, I did and I’m ready to move forward now, I’m ready to move forward with you, if you still want me to?” Ginny gave him a teary smile hoping that she hadn’t blown everything they had by going away.
But she didn’t have to fear because Harry declared, “Oh Ginny, I do, by Merlin’s beard, I do. Don’t ever doubt that. I love you, and I’m delighted that you’re back now.”
“Thank you Harry, I love you too, so very much. I’m sorry I caused you so much heartache by going away, but please know that I never meant to hurt you. I hope you know that,” Ginny pleaded and placed one hand on his chest.
“Don’t think about that. I know that this was something you had to do and I survived, so no harm done there.”
“I know that you were miserable, Hermione told me you went all brooding and sulking away when I left. I told you not to do that, why do you always do that?” Ginny asked and smiled at him. She knew that it was just something that Harry did when he didn’t want to bother other people with his problems.
“I know I shouldn’t do that, but I just missed you so much. I love you, Angel.” Harry moved his head toward hers and just before his lips met hers she whispered, “I know, and I love you all the same.”
When their lips finally met Ginny felt her heart go triple rate and the world faded away. This was just them together, and she knew that she didn’t want anyone else in her life but Harry. He completed her, and now that she had worked through everything that had happened she was ready to move forward.
Harry pulled her closer and let his tongue gently caress her lips, and when they finally parted and he could deepen the kiss, he felt as if he had finally found home. This was where he belonged, with no one else but Ginny.
They stood like that for a very long time, and they were both very much content just being together again. Neither one of them heard the back door open; only when they heard Hermione call out for them did they part. Harry still had his arm around Ginny when they turned towards their friend.
“I’m very sorry to disturb you but your mother is asking if we might have an early lunch before I leave. Even though it’s Saturday, I need to go get some papers from work, I’m sorry,” Hermione explained, looking rather embarrassed to interfere in their reunion.
“Don’t think about it, I can always snog my boyfriend after we’ve eaten lunch,” Ginny laughed and put an arm around Harry’s waist poking him with the other hand. She knew he was a bit ticklish and she loved to tease him with it.
Harry squirmed a bit and laughed. “Hey cut it out, that’s not fair. And by the way don’t I get a saying in when I want to be snogged?” Harry tried to put a stern face but when he saw Ginny’s pouting face he laughed again and kissed her again.
Hermione smiled at them and told them that she would just go and tell Mrs. Weasley that they could start lunch.
After a few moments of kissing they pulled away and Harry suggested that they should go and have lunch with her mother and Hermione. Ginny reluctantly agreed, and took his hand and they walked into kitchen.
Harry had never been happier before, and he knew that everything would work out now. He also knew that he couldn’t wait to spend the rest of his life together with Ginny, because he knew that that was what they would do. The only question was, when would he be able to ask that certain question he had wanted to ask her for some time? He knew that they were both young but in his heart he knew that this was right, so when the right time would come he would ask.