Chapter Two: Plugs and Batteries
Ginny woke up the next morning with a cramp in her neck. Slowly stretching,
trying to work out the cramp, she rose. All things considered, she had
slept fairly well. She must have been more tired than she thought. That
and it helped having Harry with her, just holding her hand, silly though
it may seem. She went and checked on her mother, who was still sleeping
deeply. It wouldn’t do to wake her up, not yet, Ginny thought. Closing
the door softly, she went upstairs to change and freshen up a bit. A nice
warm shower would be just the thing.
Heading back downstairs, her red hair still damp and clinging to her
clothes, she heard low voices in the kitchen. Bill, Charlie, Percy, and
Harry were all gathered around the table, drinking tea and eating a bit
"Hey, squirt," Bill said, standing up to give her a big hug.
She gave him a sad smile and hugged her other two brothers.
"When did you all get in?" she asked, sitting down between
Charlie and Percy.
"Early this morning," Percy replied, absently stirring his
tea. "We were all working together, so we were pretty easy to find."
"How’s Mum?" Charlie asked.
"Not too good. I gave her a sleeping draught, and she’s sleeping
fine, but when she wakes up…." Ginny’s voice trailed off knowing
that her mum would most likely be in the same state before she went to
sleep. Maybe it wasn’t wise to give her the draught. It would only delay
the pain when she woke up. At least all her family would be here, however.
They could get through this, together.
"Dumbledore and Sirius have gone to get Dad," Charlie said,
a catch in his voice. "We were just talking about where to place
"What about the family plot?" Ginny asked, thinking of the
small Weasley graveyard that was inside the small forest behind The Burrow.
"We thought about that, but then Percy mentioned how much Dad loved
that small hill that looked out over the village," Bill said. "Think
we should leave it up to Mum?"
Ginny nodded. "Yeah."
Just then, the rest of the family came downstairs. They all greeted each
other with hugs, red eyes, and a few sniffles here and there. As everyone
ate the meager breakfast of toast and tea—no one had much of an appetite—an
owl flew in, dropping the morning edition of The Daily Prophet in the
center of the table. Nine pairs of eyes stared at it, no one daring to
"Well," Ginny said, brushing crumbs from her fingers and reaching
for the paper, "One of us has to look at it." She flipped open
the paper and read aloud:
Ministry of Magic Official Dies in Assassination Attempt
By Rita Sweeter
Arthur Weasley, Head of the Department of Misuse of Muggle
Artifacts died last night in a botched assassination attempt against the
Muggle Prime Minister, reports Rita Skeeter, special correspondent and
editor of The Daily Prophet. Apparently, Albus Dumbledore’s Order of the
Phoenix had been given word that He Who Must Not Be Named had plans to
assassinate the Muggle Prime Minister and sent Arthur Weasley out to thwart
the attack. Arthur Weasley died during the attempt, accused by the Muggle
policemen of being the assassin. Several Ministry Wizards had to work
‘round the clock to perform mass Muggle memory alternations, as well as
stop the Muggle news from broadcasting the information on their radios
and televisions. Dumbledore has declined comment with The Daily Prophet
and no contact can be made with the Weasley family. Arthur Weasley left
behind a wife and seven children. The three oldest are also members of
the Order of the Phoenix. It is of the opinion of this reporter that perhaps
the Dumbledore’s Order, isn’t all what it the general public makes it
out to be, especially with mistakes like this last one being made.
"God, I hate her!" Ginny exclaimed angrily as she slammed the
paper back down onto the table. "Botched attempt! Making it sound
like those dunderheads at the Ministry had such a hard time erasing those
Percy wrapped his arm around her. "It’s what I expected. That old
cow has just been itching to get something on Dumbledore. Its because
she’s being paid the Ministry to dig up what dirt she can on him."
Rita Skeeter was now editor of The Daily Prophet, having worked her way
back up the ladder after Hermione exposed her for an unregistered animagus.
The Ministry of Magic was in shambles, Cornelius Fudge was dead, and what
was left of the Ministry were in the hands of the Death Eaters, still
claiming that they weren’t supporters of Voldemort. The Order of the Phoenix
was the widely recognized governing body during this time of chaos, and
The Daily Prophet, in the hands of the Ministry, did its best to make
Dumbledore look bad.
"What did she mean by ‘no contact can be made with the Weasley family’?
No one’s even tried to contact us, have they?" George asked.
"Dumbledore placed a spell around the house before he left this
morning. Only certain people can find us here," Harry explained.
The rest of that day passed very slowly. Dumbledore and Sirius returned,
helping along with the arrangements for the funeral. Ginny spent most
of her time taking care of her mother, who was not doing well at all.
She refused to eat, she wouldn’t speak to anyone, and Ginny was at her
wits end as to how to help her. In the end, it was Dumbledore who went
in and spoke to her mother for quite sometime. When he came out, her mother
was in much better spirits and insisted on cooking a delicious dinner
For the next three days, Ginny felt as if she was in a strange dream.
Every morning she would wake up, and for one brief second, she would think
that everything was like it had always been; she could almost hear her
father downstairs talking over the morning paper as her mother clanked
around the kitchen cooking breakfast. Then reality would hit. Her father
wouldn’t be sitting in his place at the head of the table, fussing about
the latest article in The Daily Prophet; no more would he tweak her hair
and call her pumpkin.
People from all over would stop by, with permission from Dumbledore,
offering their condolences and asking if there was anything they could
do. Ginny frowned at some of them, those were the wizarding families who
believed that the Weasleys were lucky since they hadn’t lost anyone in
their family before now. She completely ignored them, which wasn’t very
nice of her, but she couldn’t hide how she felt about them. As for the
rest of their friends, Ginny would paste a smile on her face and offer
them tea and biscuits, smile, and nod respectfully when they would tell
her what a good girl she was.
Arthur was buried on the fourth day following the announcement of his
death. It was a beautiful day, the sun shone brightly, the soft breeze
was just enough to take the heat out of the air. It was the worst day
of Ginny’s life. Her mum had agreed with the rest of the family that Arthur
would be happiest buried on the hill that faced out over the village,
his favorite spot to sit and think. Standing between her mother and Bill,
Ginny waited for her turn to scatter dirt over the dark cherry coffin,
her tears falling down onto the wood. Once again, she was forced to wear
her "good Ginny" face and smile at all the appropriate times
when the well-wishers at the funeral patted her and said how good she
was. When the day was finally over, she felt like screaming.
The next three weeks following came and went in a rush. The Burrow, despite
being filled to overflowing with friends and family, had never been so
quiet before. Even the family ghoul had ceased his normal caterwauling
and clanging about and had not made a peep, as if it too, was morning
the loss of Arthur. Funerals normally provide some sense of closure for
a family, help the family cope with the loss. This was not the case for
the Weasleys. It only made it seem real that Arthur was in fact dead,
and the entire family lapsed into a period of silence after the funeral
was over. Arthur’s seat at the family table remained empty, despite the
fact that they all had to crowd around the rest of the table. Sirius stayed
the first two weeks, then had to leave to get back to his assignment.
Dumbledore had to leave as well, school was not that far away and the
duties as Headmaster and leader of the Order of the Phoenix would wait
no longer. Percy, however, stayed behind, taking over the reins of the
head of the family, trying his best to fill the shoes his father left
behind. He was doing an admiral job of it; tying up loose ends, taking
care of the bills, making sure his mother and siblings were all taken
Ginny was not doing well at all. She had lapsed into a fit of depression,
and rarely ate or spoke to anyone. She mostly stayed out in the garden
sitting on the bench, watching the gnomes play as Crookshanks, Hermione’s
bandy-legged cat, chased them about. No one could cheer her up, although
they did try. Fred and George were constantly pulling gags on anyone and
everyone around. Ginny would laugh, but she felt as if she had to force
it, rather than hurt their feelings. Her brothers did try so hard and
she loved them for it. But she would get through this. She had
Finally, it was time to leave The Burrow and go back to school and Ginny
was glad to be starting back, hoping that the change of scenery would
help her. Ginny woke up earlier than usual that morning of September 1,
shaking. She had another nightmare. Ever since her father’s death, they
were becoming more and more frequent. It was always the same: she was
in darkness, her entire body unable to move and someone kept screaming
her name. Bright green light flashed and Ginny felt a piercing pain in
Walking into the kitchen, she noticed that most of the house was up too.
Her mother was cooking sausages, while Hermione was pouring milk. Percy,
Bill, Charlie and the twins were quietly talking.
"Looks like you had a rough night there, Gin," Bill greeted
"Yeah," Ginny yawned. "I haven’t been sleeping well, not
that any of us have."
Percy was meticulously reviewing the household accounts, his books spread
out everywhere. At Ginny’s words he looked up and said, "Ginny, you
have us all really worried. You barely say a word, you still aren’t eating
well, and now you’re having nightmares. Are you sure you’re ok?"
Percy had even started to sound like their father.
"I’m fine, Perce." Ginny gave him her best smile. "Need
any help, Mum?"
"Sure dear. Get out the forks, knives and spoons, please."
Ginny walked over to the drawer and started counting out the utensils.
Among the mismatched silverware, there were several plugs and batteries.
Ginny bit her lip, fighting back tears at the painful reminder of her
father and his hobby and began to laugh hysterically.
"Ginny?" Charlie asked her, seeing her laugh and cry at the
same time. "What’s wrong?"
Ginny walked over to the table and placed one of the plugs in front of
Charlie. "There," she said, still half-giggling, half-crying.
"I must have stepped on one of these blasted things about eight hundred
times this morning alone, while packing my trunks. They are all over the
Her family stared at her, not know what to say or think. "And he
never figured out what any of them did," Ginny finished, wiping her
eyes with her napkin.
Ginny’s mum came over and sat down, giving her daughter a hug. "I
thought he was crazy collecting those wretched things," she said
tearfully. "But he had thousands of them. And God help me when he
found out that different countries used different plugs. He wrote every
wizard he knew in America asking them to send him the plugs the Muggles
used over there." Soon the entire kitchen was filled with a mixture
of laughter and tears.
"What’s everyone laughing about?" Ron demanded, rubbing his
eyes. Harry was close behind him.
"Plugs and batteries," Bill replied, wiping his eyes.
"Ugh, I know," Ron said, taking the chair next to Hermione.
"They’re all over the house."
The trip to Kings Cross Station was not bad at all. Percy had managed
to pull a few strings and they all traveled in a huge car together. Harry
and Hermione called it a Limousine, whatever that meant. However, it managed
to hold nine people and their trunks, and two owls, and a cat most comfortably.
Ginny had to blink back tears when she thought how excited her father
would have been to see this. Apparently, no magic was needed to make the
car so big, it was built that way.
Inside Platform 9 ¾, Percy pulled Ginny aside while everyone was saying
goodbye and waving hello to friends.
"Ginny, are you sure you’re ok?" Percy asked her once more.
"I’m fine, Percy. Really." Ginny said. "I think going
back to school will be a good change."
Percy gave her a shrew look through his glasses. "You just look
so pale and sick. It reminds me of…" he hesitated, obviously looking
for the right words, "Of when you were in your first year again."
Ginny bit her lip. "When you were in your first year again"
was how her family referred to her writing in Tom Riddle’s diary, that
ended up endangering her own life as well as Harry’s in the process. Ginny
normally didn’t flinch anymore after thinking of that, she had long put
it behind her, but hearing that phrase now….it just brought back a bunch
of unwanted memories. Mentally shaking them off, Ginny tried to lighten
the mood. "I promise you, Perce, I sworn off diaries since the last
time," she grinned up at him.
Percy didn’t return her smile. "You aren’t eating. You’re having
nightmares, Hermione told me. You barely spoke to anyone for three days.
Just promise me you’ll take care of yourself, ok?"
"I will. Don’t worry about me, you’ve got to take care of Mum,"
Ginny said as they walked back to the rest of the group. Ginny was pulled
into bone crushing hugs from each of her brothers—honestly, those prats
don’t know their own strength!
She could hear Percy talking to Ron, "Watch after Ginny, she’s not
well." Ron nodded, casting Ginny a concerned look. If she didn’t
love them so much, she would be seriously irritated at them. But Ron took
his duty as older brother seriously, much more than he had before. Ever
since Voldemort’s return to power, Ron insisted that Ginny spend her time
with him, Hermione and Harry. She didn’t mind, although she did feel a
bit left out being a year younger than the rest. She was also a part of
their "circle" which was very nice, since she was now privy
to some of the secrets that only the three of them knew. And Harry at
least though of her as a good friend, which was much nicer than being
Ron’s pesky sister.
The whistle blew to warn everyone of the Hogwarts Express’ final boarding
and there were last minute hugs and kisses. They all hopped on the train,
waving goodbye out the window of their car.
"Let us know when you get there!" Her mum called tearfully.
"Behave yourselves," Percy warned.
"Send us a toilet seat!" cried Fred and George.
They had a car to themselves. Hermione had discovered a useful little
spell that would keep out unwanted visitors, meaning that no Slytherins
would be able to enter the car during the ride. Ginny chose a seat near
the window with Harry next to her, and Ron and Hermione facing them. Hermione
had been wearing a very pleased expression all morning long, and Ginny
finally had to break down and ask her what was going on.
"Oh, well…it’s nothing really," Hermione blushed.
Ron looked at her. "Yes, it is. Tell us!"
Hermione’s face now matched Ginny’s bright red hair. She reached into
her pocket and pulled out a letter. Ron took it and read:
Dear Miss Granger,
We are most pleased to inform you that you have been selected as the
Head Girl for the new school year. Enclosed is your Head Girl badge. We
are looking forward to seeing you this year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft
The Faculty and Staff of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Everyone gaped at Hermione, who was now taking out her Head Girl badge
and pinning it to her robes.
"Why didn’t you say anything sooner?" Ron asked incredulously.
"Well, I got it a few days after…" Hermione trailed off. "And
then, there just wasn’t a good time to bring it up." She squealed
as Ron started kissing her.
Harry and Ginny both busted out laughing. "Hide your eyes, fair
Ginny!" Harry said as he placed his hands over her eyes. "They’re
at it again!"
Ron tried to kick Harry, which was rather awkward since he was still
kissing Hermione at the same time.
A/N: I have no idea what a note to a Head Girl/Boy would sound like, so
that is totally made up. I’m sure there was more to it than that, however.