The Sugar Quill
Author: BabyRuth  Story: Merlin's Beard!  Chapter: Chapter 2: Curiosity Multiplied
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Merlin’s Beard

Merlin’s Beard!

 

A/N:  I am writing this story strictly for pleasure; all characters are blatantly borrowed from the wonderful world created by JK Rowling and no profit is being made.  Sigh… Also thanks to Pippin without whom this story would not be what it is.

 

Since Ron’s first wand was a hand-me-down from Charlie, it stands to reason that Ginny’s first wand was a hand-me-down as well.

 

Chapter 2 – Curiosity Multiplied          

            Ginny Weasley groaned softly, stretched her arms above her head, and rolled over in bed.  She opened her eyes and peered blurrily around the bedroom.  This was not her comforting, familiar room at the Burrow, but the dark, dingy room at Grimmauld Place.  Shabby, Doxy-eaten drapes framed filthy windowpanes through which weak sunlight filtered into the room.  Across the room was the other bed where Hermione had slept last summer.  Other than a beat-up bureau and her school trunk, the room was bare.

Ginny grumbled under her breath as she struggled out of bed, her bladder insisting that she rise and shine.  Shrugging into her robe, she shuffled to the loo.  She and the rest of the Weasleys (minus Percy, who was persona non gratis, and Charlie, who was still in Romania) had been at Grimmauld Place for the past two weeks, ever since the end of term. 

 

The end of term.  The battle at the Ministry of Magic.  Hermione, hit in the chest.  Ron, attacked by the brains from the think tank.  Neville, nose streaming blood.  And Harry.  Harry, lured to the Ministry by false visions planted by You-Know-Who.  Harry, who had lost Sirius. hadn't witnessed Sirius falling through the veil, but knew he was gone.  She had always felt sorry for him, cooped up alone, and was sad he was dead.  She felt even more sorry for Harry, losing his godfather after such a short time of knowing him.  And now Harry was stuck at Privet Drive, and she didn’t know what she could do to help him.

 

            Back in the hall again, the smells of breakfast wafted up the stairwell, and Ginny’s stomach rumbled.  Hoping to beat Ron to the bangers, she hurried down the several flights of stairs to the basement kitchen.  Her mum was at the stove, doing what made her happy: feeding her family.  Platters of bangers and bacon filled the table, along with bowls of scrambled eggs, mountains of muffins, towers of toast, pitchers of pumpkin juice and steaming carafes of coffee.

 

            “Mum, are you feeding an army?” Ginny asked in amazement, snatching a sausage from the table.

 

            “Oh, goodness, you startled me, Ginny!” Molly Weasley exclaimed, turning around sharply, holding a pot of blueberry preserves.  “There was a late meeting last night and some people stayed over.” 

 

            “Yeah?  Who?”

 

            “Well, Fred and George of course, and Tonks, Kingsley and Remus are on duty…”

           

“Doing what?” interrupted Ginny.

 

            “… I think Moody is here, and your father,” Molly went on, ignoring the question.

 

“You should have woken me, Mum.  I would have helped,” Ginny yawned as she selected a place at the table.

 

Molly just smiled and finished bringing the breakfast to the table.  Loud clattering footsteps and outbursts of laughter preceded the entry of Fred, George, and Ron into the kitchen.  Ron was wearing his maroon paisley pajamas, ankles showing and wrists dangling from too-short sleeves, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes.  Thin pink scars criss-crossed the portion of his arms that was visible.  The twins were dressed in, among other things, their ultra-cool (to Ginny) dragonhide waistcoats.

 

“What was the meeting about last night?” Ginny asked, not even bothering to pretend or be subtle.

 

“Sorry, Ginny,” said Fred.

 

“Can’t tell,” said George.

 

“Top secret, you know,” said Fred in a very mock-unctuous tone.

 

“And don’t ask in front of Mum…”

 

“We’ll tell you later,” Fred whispered.

 

“You most certainly will not,” snapped Molly.  She turned back to the stove and missed George’s wink at his little ginger-haired sister.  Ginny grinned and tucked in to her breakfast. 

 

Ginny’s father came in talking in hushed tones with Kingsley Shacklebolt.  Tonks followed, tripping over the hem of her robes down the stairs and practically falling into a chair.  Her hair was lime green and she muttered rude words under her breath.

 

Ginny imagined this breakfast was a moment outside of time.  For now, they were an ordinary family getting ready to start an ordinary workday.  She and Ron would spend all day having fun, Dad would go to work at the Ministry, Mum would clean and shop or go visiting, Hermione and Harry would send letters, and nobody would worry about fighting, getting hurt or killed, or worry about what You-Know-Who was up to. 

 

Unfortunately, her pleasant daydreaming came to an abrupt end as her dad and Kingsley pushed back from the table and Disapparated to work, followed by Tonks and the twins.

 

“Ron, go upstairs and get dressed,” began Molly.  Just then, a large barn owl flew through the high opened window and perched on the top of the old-fashioned icebox.  Everyone remaining in the kitchen looked surprised; one just didn’t see post owls around Grimmauld Place every day.   Molly removed the parchment envelope and absently gave the owl a bit of bacon.  With great trepidation she opened the letter.

 

Dear Molly,

 

I have taken it upon myself to send you this letter.  Because of the events that happened at the end of June this year, students did not receive their exam marks before leaving Hogwarts as is normally the practice.  I came across Ginevra’s scores and felt the need to send this owl.

Molly, Ginny should be doing much better work.  Although her scores are above average, I believe they should be “excellent” or better.  She has the intelligence and the ability, but  lacks a proper wand.

From teaching Ginny in Transfiguration, and what Professor Flitwick tells me about her Charms work, it is apparent that Ginny is using a borrowed wand.  How she managed as well as she has with someone else’s wand, even during that horrendous battle at the Ministry, is remarkable.  But she is not fulfilling her potential.

I have transferred a sum of fifty Galleons into your family vault at Gringott’s for the sole purpose of purchasing a new wand for Ginny.   I know you will think I have imposed dreadfully upon our friendship, but please don’t forget that I gave Harry his first broomstick during his first year.  Don’t think of this as a blow to your pride; think of it as a boon to Gryffindor.  Think of the House points she will earn!

 

Yours,

 

Minerva McGonagall

 

 

Molly sat down heavily on a chair, letting the parchment fall limply into her lap.  Tears filled her eyes.

 

“Mum, what is it?” asked Ginny anxiously.  She exchanged glances with Ron.

 

“Ginny, do you have any trouble with your wand?” her Mum asked.

 

            “What?”


            “Have you had any, er, difficulties using your wand?” Molly asked again.

 

            “A bit.  Why?” asked Ginny, exchanging puzzled looks with Ron.

 

            “I want to know,” began Molly with measured tones that bespoke of forced calmness, “what kind of trouble you’ve been having with your wand, and why you didn’t tell me about it.”

 

            “Well,” said Ginny hesitantly,  sometimes it takes several tries to make a spell work.  Once I meant to transfigure a spoon into a salt cellar but instead turned it into a pair of dancing Quidditch socks.”

 

            “What?” Ron yelled.  “You owe me a pair!  You should have given them to me!”

 

            “What are you on about, Ron?” Molly asked.

 

            “She pinches socks all the time, Mum.  I hardly ever have enough,” he replied indignantly.

 

            “Oh, nonsense,” dismissed Molly. Turning back to Ginny, she asked, “Why didn’t you tell me?”

 

            “It didn’t seem that important,” she replied, not meeting her mother’s eyes. 

 

Molly sighed. “Ginny, go get dressed.  We’re going to Diagon Alley.”

 

            “Why?”

 

            “To get you your own wand.  To think you’ve been using Bill’s all this time, especially now with all this… this…” Molly couldn’t say it, couldn’t even think of how involved Ginny might become in the fight against You-Know-Who.  “Just get ready to go now,” ordered Molly.

 

            “What was in that letter, Mum?” asked Ginny curiously.

 

            “Never you mind.  Just get dressed.  We’re going to Diagon Alley.”

 

To be continued….

//
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