The Sugar Quill
Author: Ms Morland  Story: Practicing  Chapter: Default
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Summary: Ginny’s brothers don’t allow her to practice Quidditch with them, so when she is left at home one day with only Perc



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 home.


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 still asleep.


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!  Ginny!” 


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 now. 


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 shouting.


“Well, come down for lunch.  Nothing much happened while I was out, did it?”


“No,” replied Ginny, her heart soaring.  “Nothing much.”


Just magic.

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