Ginny awoke to the sound
of her mother’s voice, somewhere above her in the house, asking Percy to keep
an eye on her for the morning. Perfect,
thought Ginny. Percy usually stayed
home with her when her mother and other brothers were out, and they had a
familiar routine. Percy would read in
his room and check on Ginny every hour, but otherwise Ginny had a lot of time
to herself. Ginny wasn’t old enough to
go to Diagon Alley with the rest of them
-- she was only eight -- but today she had a plan to pass the time at
When Ginny felt sure that her
mother, Bill, Charlie, Fred, George, and Ron had left the Burrow, she crept out
of her room and tiptoed down the stairs.
If she made any noise, it would disturb the ghoul in the attic, and the
ghoul’s noise would alert Percy that Ginny wasn’t in her room.
On the kitchen clock, most
of the hands were whirring around -- Ginny’s mother and brothers were still on
the way to Diagon Alley by Floo. Dad’s hand pointed to “Work,” and only
Percy’s hand and Ginny’s were on “Home.”
But Percy was too busy getting ahead with his studies to watch Ginny
every moment. As far as he knew, she was
Ginny stepped outside, and
moved around to the broom shed. Mum
usually left it unlocked during the day, because one of her brothers almost
always wanted to practice. With only
Percy around, though, Ginny wasn’t in danger of running into anyone else who
wanted to play Quidditch.
Whose broom should she
“borrow” today? Probably Ron’s, Ginny decided. Having been handed down among her brothers,
it was the oldest and most worn-looking, so Ron wouldn’t notice if Ginny had a
go on it. Charlie, on the other hand,
took such good care of his broom that he would figure out what Ginny had done
if it had even a twig out of place.
Ginny grasped Ron’s broom
and ran for the clearing where her brothers played Quidditch, grateful that Percy’s
window faced away from the yard. Ginny
had seen her brothers fly often enough that she’d had no trouble teaching
herself how to mount the broom and kick off from the ground.
And she was
soaring. This was only the fourth time Ginny had flown, but
already she was familiar with some aspects of flying. She gave the broom light taps to change her
direction. She leaned forward every time
she wanted the broom to speed up, and she pulled the front of the broom up
gently to move higher into the sky.
Ginny loved the sensation
of flying freely through the air but still being in control of all of her
moves. She didn’t think the newness and
excitement of flying could ever wear off.
Even though Ron’s old broom didn’t go very fast, Ginny relished every
minute she spent on it.
Ginny’s brothers never let
her play Quidditch with them, and Ginny knew that complaining to her mother
wasn’t going to get her anywhere, because her mother didn’t think Ginny was old
enough to play Quidditch. So Ginny was
determined to perfect her secret trips to the broom shed and practice flying,
all on her own.
Today, Ginny knew she
didn’t have long before Percy came looking for her, even if his book held most
of his attention. And her mother and
brothers would be back soon. So after a
few loops around the clearing, Ginny carried the broom back to the shed and
headed for the house again.
Ginny froze. She knew by the changing volume of her
mother’s voice that she was home and heading for Ginny’s room to check if she
was awake. Thankfully, the clock didn’t
tell her parents when the Weasley children were outside. But there was no way Ginny could get to her
room before her mother did.
Oh no! Her window
looked out on the shed, and if her mother saw her there, she would never be
allowed to stay home again with just Percy watching her -- and maybe she would never be allowed
a broom of her own, either. Then she
couldn’t play Quidditch when she went to Hogwarts, even though she had been
thinking about what it would be like to play Quidditch there ever since Charlie
had first mentioned it.
Could she use Ron’s
broomstick to fly up to her room? If she
hid it upstairs, she might have time to return it before Ron went out to fly
again. She turned around and reached for
the shed door.
She stretched out her hand
for the broom…
…and she was in the air,
speeding upwards toward her room’s open window.
She shot up into her room
and landed hard on her bed, just as her mother’s footsteps stopped outside the
door. Ginny lay on her back and stared
at her hands -- she had managed to get from the shed to her room in seconds,
but she wasn’t holding a broom, Ron’s or otherwise. She had flown, or
levitated, or something.
Was it possible? Percy and Bill
had both done magic for the first time when they were younger than Ginny was
Ginny grabbed a book off
her nightstand and held it in front of her face. She pretended to read, but inside she was
wondering whether she had remembered to kick the shed door shut as she had
somehow floated away.
“Oh, you’re awake, dear?”
asked her mother. “Why didn’t you answer
when I called you?”
“You called me?” Ginny smiled sweetly and lifted the book a
little, as if to say that she had been too absorbed in it to hear her mother
“Well, come down for
lunch. Nothing much happened while I was
out, did it?”
“No,” replied Ginny, her
heart soaring. “Nothing