"Mum, can we get a present for Harry Potter too ?" fluttered a small voice,which
was then carried away by the cold December wind.
"I've told you already Ginny, we're here to buy wool to make jumpers for your
brothers, and I'll make him one too," Mrs Weasley answered. "Ron owled me last
week to tell me the poor boy wasn't expecting any presents from his Muggle
relatives." She shook her head, sighing.
"Can I choose the colour, then, Mum ? I'd like blue and yellow and -"
"Enough Ginny!" Mrs Weasley said quietly. "It's a jumper I'll knit, not a
rainbow. Wait until we're in the shop and you'll pick one - just one !"
Mrs Weasley seized Ginny's hand and started walking down Diagon Alley. The place
was crowded mostly with witches and wizards buying food and present supplies for
Christmas. Under her breath, Ginny was muttering, "Ron's maroon, blue for Fred and
George, Percy's ...". A continuous flow of customers was literally pouring
in and out of every shop. Mrs Weasley held tight to Ginny's hand, afraid the
little girl would not be able to find her back in the crowd if they got separated.
She wouldn't have taken her along, but her husband was in his office and there was
nobody left home to watch over her. Mrs Weasley looked down at her daughter, who
seemed now deeply absorbed in the busy and cheerful atmosphere of the Alley.
In Madam Malkin's Robes For All Occasions, Molly Weasley started picking
wool for her son's jumpers. She usually had a huge stock but one of the last twin's
pranks before they left for Hogwarts in September had `accidentally' destroyed it.
Meanwhile, Ginny was running up along the shelves trying to find a nice colour for
Harry Potter. After a few minutes, she walked back to her mother and handed her a
roll of emerald green wool with a resolute face: "That one!" Mrs Weasley
considered the situation an instant... By some twist of destiny, Ginny had
picked wool the exact colour of the flash of green light that eleven years ago had
killed the Potters - Avada Kevadra - she shivered. But the girl was
insistently shoving the wool in her hands:
"Mum, it's the same colour as his eyes, I'm sure he'll like it!".
"The same as his -" she muttered, snapping out of her thought of the previous
war. "How do you know?" she asked, puzzled.
"I saw it! At the station when Ron left!"
"But, how -"
"I'm telling you it's the same!" Ginny pouted.
"All right, all right. We'll take it then. I'm just surprised you noticed that,
you didn't even know who he was when we met him." Mrs Weasley reached for her
daughter's hand and started walking away. "There, let's go pay for this and
get back home so that I can start knitting Harry's jumper." A huge smile
blossomed on Ginny's face as she hurried along with her mother.
They had walked out of Madam Malkin's and passed Eeylops Owl Emporium when
several things happened at once. A voice called "Molly! Molly!", which moved
Mrs Weasley's attention away from her daughter.
Ginny slipped her hand out
of her mother's grasp to run at the owl shop window. She had spotted a snowy owl
"Just like Harry Potter's, Mum, look!". She turned back to notice that her mother
had not followed her, and that she could not see her through the compact pack of witches
that just walked past her. Mrs Weasley herself was absorbed in a discussion with
Mrs Diggory, a friend who lived in the same area as the Weasleys, and had kept walking,
unaware that the girl was not at her side anymore.
Ginny tried to make her way through the crowed to the spot she had left her mother
but got shoved back by a group of wizards in blue robes that strolled Diagon Alley
singing merrely. Suddenly, she caught a glimpse of what looked like her mother's
robes in a gap between people ahead of her. She hurried in that direction when she
ran into a tall man who had just stepped out of a side alley. She tripped over his
Green and silver robes and fell on the pavement.
The had blond hair and looked down
at her with cold grey eyes. "Careful girl!" he spat before walking away.
Ginny crept to the corner stone and used it as an aid to get back up. Her robes
were spoiled and her hands bruised, and tears started to pearl in her eyes ...
Nobody seemed to have noticed her since she had been pushed back in the shadow of
the opening passage that read Knockturn Alley. She started sobbing when a
soft voice came from deeper in the shadows:
"There now, that was a bit rude of him really!" said a man that seemed to emerge
from the very darkness. He kneeled in front of Ginny and took her hands gently. She
tried to pull them back but he hold tight and turned them so that he
could see her palms. "Look, these are just scratches, it's not bleeding, nothing
worth crying for."
"But, but..." Ginny said between two sobs, "Mum's gone, I can't find her!"
She started crying and shoved herself in the man's arms.
"Hey! Hey! Stop crying!" he said gently "I'll help you find her."
"Really?" asked Ginny, her eyes still full of tears, pulling herself back on her
feet. A strange smile flickered on the man's face.
"Really!" And he rose, still holding one of her hands. He took a step back and
turned toward Knockturn Alley, but Ginny tugged on the sleeve of his coat.
"Mum's this way," she said, pointing toward the busy street.
"Oh, right, of course..." He muttered. He turned toward the crowd but
seemed to hesitate for an instant, glaring at the girl. Something in his face
softened and he smiled again. Ginny thought this smile was much warmer than the
previous one. "I'll put you on my shoulders -" he said, lifting her easily from
the ground, "see if you can spot your mummy in this crowd. She's probably looking
for you anyway."
"There she is! There she is!" Ginny shrieked happily after a minute of
inspecting the witches walking around. "Mum! Mum!" she called.
"Which way ? We'll walk to meet her," said the man putting her back
on the ground and holding her hand.
"This way!" Ginny pointed. "She saw me, I think she's coming," she added
"We'll wait then all right!" answered the man, now leaning on the Owlery window
and loosening his grip on Ginny's hand, without letting her go though. "And what's
your name, Little Bit?"
"I'm Ginny Weasley," she beamed, "and who are you?"
"I'm... Call me William." he said softly, looking at her.
"Are you a Muggle, William?"
"A what - 'been called a lot of things in my life, but no, I'm not a
"Why do you have Muggle clothes then? Your coat is weird." She giggled.
"It's not weird! It's... It's a leather coat and I like it," he answered
angrily. "Look, ain't that your Mum?" He pointed behind her.
"Ginny!" Mrs Weasley had finally made her way through the crowed and hugged her
daughter. "I was so worried, where did you disappear to?"
"I was looking at a white owl and you were gone, I couldn't find you and I ran
into someone." She pulled herself from her mother's embrace "And I fell and
William came out of the dark street and he helped me," she said turning to face
Mrs Weasley was now glaring at him intensely. There was definitely something
unusual about his black muggle outfit and long coat, and his hairs were an
unnatural shade of blond. "Thank you for helping my daughter Mr... William?"
"My pleasure. 'Better go now, someone's waiting for me. Good bye, Miss Ginny!" He
added with a smile and turned away, disappearing quickly in the darkness of Knockturn
"What's wrong Mum, can we go now?" said Ginny, staring at her mother whose face
was very pale and who looked extremely worried.
"Nothing dear, let's go," she answered, turning toward the busy street again,
holding her daughter's hand tightly again. Quickly, they made their way to the Leaky
From the shadows, a slender woman with long black hair emerged and took hold of
"Why did you help her, William?" she asked, disappointment ringing in her
question. "She looked so sweet... I would have loved a red-haired doll, I don't
have a red-haired doll." She pouted.
"She's a little witch, Love, would have got us into trouble," he answered,
putting his hand over her shoulder. "And you already have lots of dolls."
"But I don't have a red-haired witch doll. I would have called her Celeste."
"All right Love! We'll find you another red-haired doll then. But a normal one, no
witch doll, all right?"
And silently they strode back into the darkness.