Colin’s Question & The Visit
The next week went by too fast in Ginny’s opinion. She had barely enough time to think between her classes, homework and quidditch. She had held tryouts and had chosen her team and was now sitting in the common room looking over different strategies. She picked a few easier routines and felt that those would be a good place to start.
She had taken over Harry’s position as Seeker. She wasn’t sure if she could do it as well as he could. After all there are five trophies with his name on them for being a Seeker in the main trophy room. She looked at the routines again before putting them away and packing up her stuff.
The portrait opened and in walked Colin. He noticed her, smiled and came over.
She looked up at him and smiled, “Hi.”
“Are you busy?”
She shook her head, “Nope, I was just finishing looking at some quidditch strategies we might use this year.”
Colin nodded as he had been chosen as one of the beaters with his brother, “We should have a good team this year,” he said.
“I hope so,” she replied, “Filling Harry’s shoes with be very tough.”
“Nah, you’ll be just fine,” he said.
“Thanks,” she smiled again at him.
He looked into her eyes for a few moments before clearing his throat and looking away, “Sorry. Well I’m headed to bed. Goodnight Ginny.”
“Goodnight,” she said to his retreating form.
She sat back in her chair. What was that all about? She thought. She stretched her muscles, grabbed her stuff and headed upstairs.
A few hours later a lone figure walked down the dorm stairs and headed out into the dark corridor.
Ron walked into his office that morning to find Harry sitting at his desk.
Harry looked up and got up, “Hi Ron. Sorry but I was waiting for your dad.”
“That’s ok. I thought you’d be with Kingsley.”
“He sent me down here to get something from your dad. I think it’s for the Order.”
Ron nodded and sat down and pulled out his lunch from his bag, “He should be here soon. How was Edinburgh?”
“Great,” Harry replied less than enthusiastically, “Kingsley and I stopped a Death Eater trying to convert a few wizards.”
Ron just nodded, “Oh I heard from ‘Mione.”
“How’s she doing?” Harry asked with a lighter tone in his voice.
“She’s doing well. Everybody loves her supervisor Kathryn and of course all the Gryffindor’s love having Hermione around.”
Harry snorted, “Well, hope they don’t get too attached. They’ll only be there a year if the pattern holds.”
Ron snorted a laugh, “You’re probably right mate,” he said, “Hey, I have that day off and I’m going to see ‘Mione on Thursday, you want to come? I’m sure McGonagall will love having you.”
Harry shook his head, “I’d love too, but Kingsley’s been given instructions from the Order not to let me out of his sight.”
“They’re trying to find out why you’re disappearing when you have a break, I’m sure,” Ron said.
Harry nodded, “Yes, I’m betting McGonagall is the one who ordered him to do it,” he slammed his hand on the table, “It’s very annoying having a watch dog around all the time, but I can’t stop now.”
Ron sighed, “I know, but if you need any help…”
Harry nodded, “Thanks mate,” he looked up at the sounds of Mr. Weasley’s approaching footsteps, “I’ll let you know.”
“Ginny you look exhausted,” Luna said as they settled down for lunch, “Are you not sleeping?”
Ginny’s reply was stifled by a yawn.
“I’ll take that as a yes,” Luna said and began eating.
“Oh I’m sorry Luna, it’s just I haven’t been sleeping well these past few days. Between quidditch practice, studying and keeping up with the N.E.W.T.S. stuff we all are exhausted. You should see the bags under Colin’s eyes. ”
“Well get some rest before your next class. You have a break now don’t you?”
Ginny nodded, “I do, but I have loads of studying to do.”
Luna went to answer but Colin interrupted her when he sat down, “Hi Ginny. Hi Luna.”
“Hi Colin,” Ginny said, “Oh while you’re here. I’ve reserved the pitch and practice will be at five o’clock today.”
Colin nodded and played with his food for a moment.
Ginny noticed and looked at him with concern, “Are you ok?”
Colin looked at her the at Luna, “Luna, can I talk to Ginny alone?”
Luna looked a little indignant and her tone echoed her face, “Fine, I’ll see you later.”
Ginny smiled and nodded at her friend. She turned to Colin and waited patiently.
Colin cleared his throat, “Um Ginny… I was… wondering… that is if you want to…,” he sighed and looked at her, “Would you go out with me?”
Ginny stared back at him in shock.
“I’ll take it as you said yes then,” Hermione said as she picked up another exam to correct from the pile on her left.
Ginny however, was pacing the floor and had been since she came to see her friend, “That’s just it! I didn’t say anything!”
Hermione looked up and smiled at her, “It’s ok if you say yes. Colin’s a nice guy.”
Ginny looked at her friend and nodded, “I know, but something is telling me I shouldn’t.”
Hermione went back to correcting the exam, but asked, “And would that something be a dark-haired, green-eyed boy named Harry?”
Ginny’s head swung around and she looked at Hermione with surprise. She then stubbed her toe on the edge of the sofa.
“Ouch!” she shouted grabbing her foot and sat down heavily.
Hermione looked up at her, “I’ll take that as a yes.”
“No! Yes! Wait, no!” Ginny said rubbing her foot. She sighed heavily, “I don’t know.”
Hermione stopped what she was doing and put down her quill, “Look, if you don’t know or aren’t sure then don’t say yes to Colin then break his heart later.”
Ginny nodded and Hermione went back to the exam, “Besides, If you are serious about Colin then I’m sure Harry would want you to move on with your life.”
“Has he moved on with his?”
Hermione shook her head as she wrote, “He hasn’t moved past Dumbledore’s death.”
“Remember to hit the bludgers at their chasers, not their other beaters Dennis!”
Dennis nodded and went back to the right side of the pitch. Ginny watched from her vantage point high above them as they practiced. They still had a lot of work to do, but overall she was happy with their performance. They were a new team with three new players, but they were quickly becoming a good team.
After another half-hour, Ginny touched down onto the field and shouted up at her team, “Ok that’s it!”
The Gryffindor team landed on the ground next to the changing rooms.
“Great practice guys!” she said, “We’re looking much better. I think we’re ready for the match tomorrow. I know we’ll give Hufflepuff a fight.”
The team cheered loudly and then entered their respective changing rooms. She emerged a short time later to find Colin waiting for her. He had his hands in his pockets kicking the stones at his feet.
He turned and smiled at her, “I wanted to apologize to you the other night. If I knew it was going to be that much of a shock I would have hinted a little more first. If nothing else, to avoid the embarrassment of you suddenly rushing out the door.”
Ginny’s face went red, “No, I’m sorry Colin. I was not prepared and I didn’t know how to respond.”
Colin dropped his head and nodded.
Ginny’s mouth quirked upwards at Colin’s expression, “How about you buying me a butterbeer when we’re Hogsmeade next?”
Colin looked up quick and smiled, “Really?”
Ginny nodded, “Sure.”
“That sounds great!” Colin said, “Can I walk you back to the castle?”
Ginny smiled, nodded and walked with him.
Harry looked up at the sound of the deep voice calling his name. He had been reading the journal and rubbing his scar.
Kingsley Shacklebolt had poked his head into the meeting room, “Are you ok?”
Harry closed and put down the thin journal he’d been reading, “Yeah. Sure.”
Kingsley walked in slowly and sat down across from him, “You’ve been reading that book for weeks now. I’m beginning to think you’ll never finish it.”
Harry smiled slightly at his joke, “I’ve read it a few times actually.”
“What’s it about?”
“Nothing really,” Harry said trying to sound casual, “It’s just a collection of poems.”
Kingsley’s eyebrows went up, “Poems? Trying to impress a young lady?”
“Oh,” Kingsley’s face fell, “what a shame.”
Harry chose to remain silent.
“I understand from your friend Ron that you have been invited to visit Hogwarts today,” Harry nodded and Kingsley continued, “Then why don’t you take the rest of the day and go? Things are pretty slow around here and I have some work I need to get caught up on here. So why don’t you go? They’re also having a quidditch match today. Your old team verses Hufflepuff as I understand it.”
Harry smiled and shook his head, “Thanks, but I’m busy.”
“Come on it’ll be fun,” he said. At Harry’s shaking head he dropped the humor from his voice, “Then I’ll make it an order. As your supervisor I can do that.”
Harry sighed in defeat, nodded and stood.
Kingsley smiled and stood, “Excellent! Ron?” he called out.
Ron cautiously walked in looking sheepish, “Sorry mate. You’ve been looking a little depressed. I thought seeing Hermione and Hogwarts again would cheer you up a little.”
Harry speared his friend with a cold glare, “Thanks.”
“Then be off!” Kingsley said, “And have fun!”
The students filed into the hall for lunch before the match. Ginny walked in and stopped dead in her tracks. She had heard the noise coming from the hall as she approached, but wasn’t paying any attention to it. What she saw surprised her when she entered. Not only did she see Hermione sitting at the Gryffindor table, but her brother Ron as well. But the even bigger surprise was Harry sitting across from Ron. For a brief moment an intense feeling of nostalgia hit her and everything just seemed to feel right.
There were quite a few people from the seventh and sixth years who were calling out and waving to Ron and Harry. The two smiled and waved back, but only Ron seemed to be enjoying himself. Harry would smile and wave, but he was not as enthusiastically as Ron.
Ginny walked over to them and sat down next to her brother, “Hi Ron,” she turned to Harry and with a smirk asked, “You look familiar, have we met before?”
Harry gave her a small smile, “My name’s Peter.”
Ginny laughed, “Well nice to meet you Peter.”
“Harry!” Colin called and came over, “Great to see you mate!”
“Go to see you,” Harry replied, “Dennis around?”
“Yeah, he’s eating lunch with his girlfriend.”
Harry watched as Colin sat down next to Ginny and they both smiled at each other. Harry looked at Hermione with a questioning look. She looked at Colin and Ginny, then back at Harry and nodded slowly. Harry suddenly lost his appetite.
“So Harry, are you and Ron here to watch us play our first match?” Colin asked.
Harry shook his head, “I’ll be busy, but Ron’ll be there.”
Ron gave Hermione a quick look, “I thought you wanted to see the match?” he said to his friend.
“Not any more,” Harry muttered quietly, then stood up and put on his cloak, “No,” he said louder, “but good luck to you guys. I’m sure you’ll do fine.”
He walked quickly out of the hall to the stares of confusion from his friends.
“What’s he worked up about?” Colin asked.
Hermione and Ron stood and put on their cloaks, “We’ll see you at the game. We’ll be sitting with Professor Ryan,” Hermione said and just as quickly they left the hall and went after Harry.
“They cleared out quick,” Colin looked at Ginny, “Was it something we said?”
Ginny had a feeling she knew what is was about, but shrugged and said, “I have no clue.”
Harry strode into the library and stopped. He took a deep breath and looked around. It still had the musty old-book smell that he remembered. He went over to a quiet corner at the far end of the library and sat down. He pulled out the thin journal and began to read.
Voldemort’s school journal was destroyed by Harry, but not after it deeply affected Miss. Weasley. I have been unable to determine if the extent of his influence upon her was minimal, but she will unfortunately have nightmares about her experiences in The Chamber of Secrets for the rest of her life. The journal now resides on my desk and I will destroy it permanently here very soon.
Harry stopped reading and his mind went back to when he’d brought the journal back to Dumbledore after freeing Dobby from Lucius Malfoy. Dumbledore had taken it and with a muttering of an incantation the journal turned a blinding white before bursting into a fire of the same brilliance and was reduced to ashes. Harry remembered letting out a deep breath in relief at it’s destruction.
Harry closed the journal and looked out the window towards the quidditch stadium. He could already see a line of students heading down to it. He looked closer at a redheaded girl walking with a blonde-haired boy and almost growled.
He stood and angrily punched the table. He wanted to scream, but he stopped himself when he heard footsteps coming into the library.
“Harry?” Hermione’s voice called out, “Are you here?”
“Over by the Potions section.”
He stood in front of the window looking out onto the school grounds when Ron and Hermione came around the corner. They slowly approached and stood next to him.
“I’m sorry Harry,” Hermione said.
“For what?” Harry asked, “It’s not like you could have stopped me from knowing or them going out.”
“Who going’s out with who?” Ron asked confused, looking from Harry to Hermione.
“Ginny’s seeing Colin,” Hermione said before realizing Ron didn’t know either, “Oops.”
Ron’s face turned beat red with anger, “I’ll kill him if he…”
“Ron!” Hermione stopped him, “The last thing Ginny needs is for her brothers to comedown on her new boyfriend like a pack of wolves.”
“Why not?” Ron asked, “My brothers and I have a sworn duty to protect her from all things dangerous.”
“Ron,” Harry said quietly, still looking out the window, “Colin’s not dangerous.”
Ron harrumphed, “I still think he’s the wrong guy.”
“That’s not for you to say,” Hermione said more to Harry than Ron.
The three friends stood looking out onto the school grounds in silence for several minutes. Finally Hermione broke the silence when she looked at Harry.
“Harry, let’s go down to stadium. You’ll enjoy watching the match I’m sure.”
Harry shook his head, “Thanks, but I have other things I can do here.”
Hermione looked at Ron for help. Ron gave her a ‘what do you want me to do’ face and shrugged. She gave him a dirty look and turned back to Harry. Seeing his expression she knew she should give up.
“Well you know where we are if you want to come down.”
Harry nodded and the other two left. He kept watching the students file into the stadium for a few minutes before sitting down and reading the journal. He wasn’t able to concentrate on it for too long.
Seeing Ginny with Colin was like having his heart ripped out. He knew that he should be happy for her. He knew that Ginny would need to move on with her life and this was maybe the first step.
He stood and looked out the window again and saw that the quidditch match had begun. He was torn. He wanted to watch, but his duty to his late mentor was ever pressing. He decided that he could spare a few minutes and have a little fun. He turned and strode out of the library.
The castle was deserted and every footstep echoed in the stone hallways. As he walked past rooms or statues he remembered events or good times he’d had here. As he past by Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom he heard a loud snob. He smiled at them memories of his experiences with her.
He walked out into the sunlight and down towards the stadium. The cheering from the stands got louder as he approached and the voice of the commentator grew more coherent. He entered the stadium and walked to the archway leading into the pitch and stopped just inside.
He was impressed at how his old team was playing. They were up by twenty points and looked very confident with themselves. He looked up and saw the Ginny flying around shouting instructions at her teammates and looking for the snitch. He too began looking for the snitch. It took him a few minutes, but his skills weren’t completely rusty. He found it lurking at the base of one of the Gryffindor goal posts.
He looked up and saw that neither Ginny nor her counter-part had yet seen it.
“Come on Ginny,” he muttered to himself, “Look down at the posts. Look down at the posts.”
To his surprise he saw her head turn towards where he had said and with a flash she was off.
“Ginny Weasley has seen the snitch!” the announcer shouted.
Harry watched as Ginny sped towards the snitch with her opponent on her heels. The snitch took off and was evading the two seekers. Harry wasn’t sure but he thought the snitch was a little faster than the ones he’d played with. Harry was very impressed with Ginny’s flying. She had definitely improved over the summer and was a first class flyer.
“Ginny Weasley has got the snitch! Gryffindor wins!”
The crowd erupted in loud cheers. Harry joined right along with them. The Gryffindor team met in the middle of the field and was congratulating each other. Harry stopped clapping and went to leave when he saw Ginny look over to where he was.
He stood fixed to the spot and they stared at each other for several long moments. Harry finally smiled, nodded to her and turned to leave. He walked away and out of the stadium heading towards the castle.
Ginny raced along the hallway trying to get to her brother
before he left.
The celebration of their first win was in full force in the common room and Ginny had nearly missed seeing Ron leave with Hermione. She turned the corner and sprinted down the corridor towards the outside doors. She slid to a stop and opened one of the doors and saw Ron with Hermione standing in front of a carriage saying goodbye.
The two turned at her shout and waited until she came up to them. She gave her brother a hug, “Thanks for coming to see me.”
“No problem,” he said and released her, “Congrats on your win.”
“Will you come for our next match?”
“Wouldn’t miss it,” he said.
Ginny looked around curiously, “Where’s Harry?”
Hermione cleared her throat, “I think he’s already left.”
Ginny’s face fell in disappointment, “Oh well, when you see him thank him for coming out for me.”
Ron nodded, “I gotta get going,” he gave Hermione a quick kiss and jumped into the carriage, “Talk to you later!”
The carriage took off down the drive towards Hogsmeade.
Hermione and Ginny watched the carriage disappear and then silently walked back into the castle.
“So,” Hermione said flatly.
“So,” Ginny said.
“Gin, I’m sorry about Harry,” Hermione said finally, “He should have come and watched…”
Ginny stopped and placed her hand on her friend’s arm, “It’s ok. He did come and watch the match.”
Hermione blinked in surprise, “He did?”
Ginny nodded, “Yep, he watched from one of the stadium entrances.”
“Well that’s something I suppose,” Hermione said smiling, knowing that Harry had at least tried to have a little fun, “So how does it feel to be the winning captain?”
“Great!” Ginny exclaimed, “Now I know what Harry always felt like.”
The two friends started walking arm in arm laughing and joking with each other all the way back to the party.
That night, a lone figure walked down the dark and deserted hallway. Only Mrs. Norris saw the person. She hissed and spat as the individual passed.