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HP stories following Canon but PRE-OotP >> Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder by greeneyes

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Disclaimer: No, I don’t actually own Harry Potter, the lines of dialogue from the books that are in my story, or anything else. Shame, isn’t it?

“Oh, are you starting Hogwarts this year?” Harry asked me one morning at breakfast. I, of course nodded, not capable of speech at the time. And no, it wasn’t good enough to just make a complete blundering idiot of myself by just having my mouth hang open and me nodding aimlessly. I also blushed. And oh no, that’s not enough for Ginny Weasley. But of course, what would a great show be without a grand finale? I completed the horrible fiasco with the whole ‘stick the elbow in the butter dish’ thing. Yeah, I bet you’ve heard about it too by now.

I’m Ginny Weasley, and this is my story. Not the one that Harry tells with his lovely crush on Cho Chang, or the incident with my incredibly dimwitted brother Ron, Romilda Vane, and the love potion, or even that annoying ghost who always floods the bathrooms, Myrtle. Of course, what is a story without all of the above elements, but mine has a different reality twist to it called ‘My Life’.

To sum everything up, I fell head over heels in love with Harry when I first locked my eyes with his gorgeous green ones. Though, if you want to get technical, I sort of dived in heels over head for him. But of course, what’s a good story, if you don’t have rejection? Actually, not getting rejected would be rather nice, but this is my reality, not just some fairy tale story.

“Morning, all,” said Percy briskly as he walked in on that same morning with the terrible butter dish incident.

And I’ll stop the shot right there. Many other families think that Percy is this perfect, good hearted, ambitious boy. In some aspects, that’s true.

For example, things for Percy must be perfect. If one thing is out of place, he totally freaks out. When he first started his fifth year, I found him hunched over his bathroom sink, plucking out his upper lip hairs in vain because they were uneven. And of course my dear brother is good hearted and I love him dearly, but sometimes Percy lays it on a bit thick and gives you too much brotherly love. Yes, there is something to be said about being ambitious, but Percy is a bit obsessive about work.

All throughout my first year, Percy was rather overprotective of me. Perhaps it was because he was the oldest of my brothers still at Hogwarts, and he felt it was his duty to watch over me, or maybe it was just Mum’s orders. Or possibly it was because I knew about his disgustingly sappy relationship with Penelope Clearwater, and Percy felt as though if he didn’t follow me obsessively I would blab it to Fred and George. I must say, he was 100 percent correct. But I think it was mainly that he knew I was involved in something, and was not sure what.

My visit to Diagon Alley for my school supplies before my first year was when everything got started. Harry and the rest of us were in Flourish and Blotts to get our Gilderoy Lockhart books signed. Due to a few Floo powder mix-ups, Harry was a bit late, and it took a bit longer to get in line. Once everyone was inside, Gilderoy Lockhart slowly walked over to the table, as if he was making sure as many pictures were taken of him as possible.

It was not the first time I had seen him; he was on numerous books about nothing at our house, but I had not seen the man in person. The way his forget-me-not blue eyes sparkled in the artificial light, the way his golden and flowing hair waved throughout the air, the way his perfect teeth shined to the crowd, my god, it was enough to make someone sick.

In front of me, Mum was gazing admirably at Gilderoy Lockhart, and Ron and I started pretending to gag. Distracted, my brother didn’t see a small man running towards him with a large camera that had a blinding flash.

“Out of the way, there,” he hissed at Ron while stepping on his foot. “This is for the Daily Prophet.”

I rolled my eyes.

“Big deal…” he replied a bit too loudly. I started laughing, and the oh so charming Mr. Lockhart heard us and looked up. First his eyes landed on Ron’s irritable face and then on Harry’s blank one. He jumped up to his feet and shouted, “It can’t be Harry Potter?”

The entire crowd whipped around and stared at Harry, whispering excitedly and parting for Lockhart’s arm that was grasping Harry’s. Everybody started to clap, but I didn’t really see why. The annoying bloke started taking pictures like mad, and the purple smoke from his stupid camera smothered us in a thick blanket.

Up front, Lockhart was smiling and talking to Harry. “Nice big smile. Together, you and I are worth the front page.” Harry just stared blankly at the camera, not sure what to do. A few pictures later, Gilderoy finally let Harry’s hand go, but immediately clamped his arm around the younger boy’s shoulders, as if afraid that Harry might escape.

“Ladies and gentlemen, what an extraordinary moment this is!” smiled Lockhart up at the front with his gleaming teeth. “The perfect moment for me to make a little announcement I’ve been sitting on for some time! When young Harry here stepped into Flourish and Blotts today, he only wanted to buy my autobiography—”

I suppressed a snort of laughter. This guy was full of himself.

“—which I shall be happy to present him now, free of charge—” Lockhart paused and waited for a burst of clapping, which shortly followed. “He had no idea that he would be shortly be getting much, much more than my book, Magical Me,” Harry shot the man a nervous glance, who gave Harry a shake that made his glasses slide down to the tip of his nose. “He and his schoolmates will, in fact, be getting the real magical me. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I have great pleasure and pride in announcing that this September, I will be taking up the post of Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry!”

The crowd burst into cheer and applause once more while Ron and I groaned behind Mum’s back. She turned around and motioned hastily up at the front.

Harry was having a truckload of books shoved into his hands, all with the name ‘Gilderoy Lockhart’ glittering down the spine in gold, curly handwriting. He staggered over to the edge of the room where we were all standing.

“You have these,” Harry muttered to me and laying them down in my cauldron. “I’ll by my own.”

I just kind of stared at him, not knowing what else to do. But I was slightly excited about being able to use Harry’s school books all year.

“Bet you loved that, didn’t you, Potter?” asked a sneering boy with cold grey eyes and white blonde hair as he walked up to us. Harry looked up and immediately frowned. The boy looked familiar to me, but I couldn’t place him. “Famous Harry Potter,” the boy continued. “Can’t even go into a bookshop without making the front page.”

I could tell Harry was aggravated, and I felt bad for him.

“Leave him alone, he didn’t want all that!” I retorted, glaring at the boy. He seemed unfazed and smirked at me.

“Potter, you’ve got yourself a girlfriend!”

I blushed fiercely, and it took a lot of self control not to say anything back. Ron and Hermione waddled over with their books and both had looks of distaste wash over their faces at the sight of the boy.

“Bet you’re surprised to see Harry here, eh?” Ron said.

“Not as surprised as I am to see you in a shop, Weasley,” he shot back. “I suppose your parents will go hungry for a month to pay for all those.”

I furrowed my brow at the boy, realizing he was Lucius Malfoy’s son. No other family enjoyed jeering at us for our lack of money. Ron also went red and dumped his books in my cauldron, heading for Malfoy. Hermione and Harry immediately grabbed the back of his jacket in response to stop him.

“Ron!” said Mr. Weasley. “What are you doing? It’s too crowded in here, let’s go outside.”

“Well, well, well—Arthur Weasley,” called an identical sneering voice. It was Mr. Malfoy.

“Lucius,” acknowledged Dad, inclining his head slightly.

“Busy time at the Ministry, I hear,” continued Mr. Malfoy. “All those raids…I do hope they’re paying you overtime?” He reached into my cauldron and pulled out, not the brand new Lockhart books that we had just bought (well, Ron’s were bought at least), but the oldest and most battered book of the pile labeled A Beginner’s Guide to Transfiguration.

“Obviously not,” Mr. Malfoy said, clicking his tongue in mock sympathy. “Dear me, what’s the use of being a disgrace to the name of wizard if they don’t even pay you well for it?” His voice had gotten rather quiet, but he was speaking slowly enough for us to catch every bloody word that came out of his foul mouth.

Dad flushed darker than Ron or I had. “We have a very different idea of what disgraces the name of wizard, Malfoy.”

“Clearly,” replied Mr. Malfoy, eyeing Hermione’s parents. “The company you keep, Weasley…and I thought your family could sink no lower—”

A loud thud of metal echoed throughout the shop as my cauldron went rocketing in the air. Dad had thrown himself on that disgusting Mr. Malfoy, knocking him down into a bookshelf. Dozens of huge spellbooks bolted heavily to the ground on our heads.

Fred and George were cheering Dad on while Mum was screaming at her husband to stop the fight. The crowd was going wild and running all over the place, knocking over more bookshelves and causing mayhem.

“Gentlemen, please—please!” cried an assistant, watching in horror as more books thundered down on everyone.

A second later, a large giant came into view, striding briskly towards Dad and Mr. Malfoy. I immediately recognized him as Hagrid, the Hogwarts’ game keeper. “Break it up, there, gents, break it up.” He easily pulled both of them apart, which showed Dad’s cut lip, and Mr. Malfoy’s blackened eye. He still was holding my Transfiguration book, which the man hurriedly thrust in my arms.

“Here girl—take your book—it’s the best your father can give you—” Mr. Malfoy panted while taking his son out of the bookshop.

“Yeh should’ve ignored him, Arthur,” sighed Hagrid as he practically lifted Dad off of the floor to help him up. “Rotten ter the core, the whole family, everyone knows that—no Malfoy’s worth listenin’ ter—bad blood, that’s what it is—come one now—let’s get outta here.”

We left the bookshop—and the annoyed assistant quickly and I prepared myself for Mum’s lashing towards Dad.

“A fine example to set for your children…brawling in public…what Gilderoy Lockhart must’ve thought—”

“He was pleased,” Fred butted in. “Didn’t you hear him as we were leaving? He was asking that bloke from the Daily Prophet if he’d be able to work the fight into his report—said it was all publicity.”

* * *

Back at the Leaky Cauldron, we said good-bye to Hermione and her parents, and Flooed back to The Burrow. There were two nights left of summer vacation including tonight. I decided to head off to bed early as to enjoy my last day of break before starting school. Once I got into my room however, I couldn’t keep my eyes off of all of my new books, and school supplies, and what have you.

There was the usual Standard Book of Spells, Grade 1 by Miranda Goshawk, as well as the endless list of Gilderoy Lockhart books. But something was different about my transfiguration book. It was unusually thick, and was lumpy in odd places, as though something was in there that wasn’t supposed to be.


A thin diary fell out of my book, but it was completely blank. It had a plain, black cover that was worn in numerous spots, but it showed no other signs of use. A small name was written in the top corner, along with a minute date. Tom Riddle, 1952. Eager, I opened the diary and wrote “Hello, I’m Ginny Weasley.”


…And then, “Hello, Ginny Weasley. I’m Tom Riddle.”

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