Chapter Two: Diagon Alley
Breakfast was its usual affair at the Burrow. Ginny woke before the
rest of her brothers, kissed her parents good morning, and sat down
to porridge, which Ginny proceeded to scrunch her nose up at. She swirled
the foul stuff around in her bowl, wishing that she would someday learn
enough magic to change it into eggs or bacon or anything but porridge.
As she was busy contemplating how much fun it would be to transform
all the things you didn’t like into things you liked, a brown owl swooped
down through the kitchen window and dropped a handful of letters in
the center of the table. Ginny immediately looked up, knowing exactly
what those letters were, praying that one for her would be in there.
She quickly grabbed the bundle of letters before her dad could, listen
to him chuckle at her, her mother scold that it was rude to snatch things,
and thumbed through the stack until the Miss Ginny Weasley, The Burrow
appeared in green ink. She ripped into it like wildfire. She read the
contents of the letter, and re-read them just to make sure. But yes,
there was a letter from Professor M. McGonagall, Deputy Headmistress
of Hogwarts telling her that she was ready to start school and enclosed
was the list of books she would need. She looked up at her parents,
both of their eyes were watery, and shining with pride.
"Well, pumpkin? Are you ready to be a witch?" Her father
beamed at her while patting her mum on the back in comfort.
"Yes!" Ginny exclaimed and even ate all her porridge in her
It was a good thing she did eat her porridge because a few minutes
later, Harry and Ron came downstairs, closely followed by the twins.
They took their places at the table. Ginny, in her excitement, knocked
over her bowl and it clattered to the floor loudly. She rolled her eyes
as she dived under the table to fetch it. This was rapidly becoming
a habit for her whenever Harry would so much even come near her. She
would knock things over, stumble, trip, anything to embarrass herself
unintentionally. Fred had called her a living disaster.
Her face was now as red as her bright hair, which was the brightest
color in the family and just another thing for her to get teased about.
Harry, of course, pretended he didn’t notice this, which was one of
the many things Ginny had come to admire about him. He never noticed
her, which was sort of bad, but when stuff like this happened, it was
very good indeed.
Her mum handed her brothers and Harry their letters and they all read
them in silence. Ginny wasn’t paying attention anymore as she hoped
that George and Fred hadn’t seen her knock the bowl off the table or
notice her flushed face. They were too immersed in their own letters
to bother with her. She focused back on the conversation taking place
to hear her mum say, **"I expect we’ll be able to pick up a lot
of Ginny’s things second-hand."**
A pair of green eyes turned to Ginny, **"Oh, are you starting
Hogwarts this year?"** Harry asked Ginny. Ginny, torn between embarrassment
that her mum had mentioned all her things were going to be purchased
second-hand to Harry and the fact that Harry had actually spoken to
her, could only nod as she blushed and tried to place her elbow on the
table, to mock how her dad was sitting. Unfortunately, the butter dish
was in the way. Once again, Harry pretended not to notice and everyone
else’s attention was taken up by Percy, who just came in, Prefect badge
pinned to his chest.
Ginny thought it best to quit while she was ahead, so she left the
table and went back up to her room, now her only safe haven. Fred and
George, spurred on by the fact that company was with them, had become
merciless in their teasing, calling her "carrot top" (which
she hated) and joking on how red her face could get. It was safer
for everyone around if Ginny just kept quiet and stayed in her room;
she did not want to have to kill her brothers in front of Harry Potter.
And Harry was another reason she kept to her room when she could. She
could watch him unnoticed outside her bedroom window, without anyone
knowing a thing. He so fascinated her. He was so short and skinny, yet
he had managed to defeat the Dark Lord when he was only a baby. He also
terrified her a bit, as she would constantly wonder how he had managed
to do that, and what sort of powers he had. He had to be very powerful
indeed to have defeated You-know-Who. He also was a very nice person,
why he never laughed when her brothers picked on her, no matter what
they did. Her parents seemed to treat him as one of their own, despite
the fact that he wasn’t, and he in turn seemed to really like them as
well. She was going to have to eventually say something to him, but
for right now, speech was impossible. Ron, being Ron, would tell her
to leave them alone if she so much as looked like she might want to
join them in whatever they were doing, and since Harry was constantly
with Ron, Ginny hadn’t been able to say anything. So, Ginny kept to
herself during the first week Harry was there.
One Wednesday morning, Ginny woke up bright and early. Today she was
going to Diagon Alley to pick up her school things and she would finally
be able to see all the neat stores that her brothers had described to
her. This was going to be such a good day. She ran downstairs, had a
quick breakfast of bacon sandwiches, and waited for her turn to use
Floo powder. Harry had never used Floo powder before! She could tell
he was a bit nervous using it, but she knew he’d be ok, he’s Harry Potter!
"Arthur, you take Ginny’s hand," her mum ordered. "And
I’ll follow you."
Ginny felt her dad take her tiny hand in is large one and pull her
towards the flame. "Diagon Alley!" he shouted into the fire.
Ginny felt a slight tickling sensation and poof! They were coming out
of the grate.
"Where’s Harry?" her dad asked.
"Dunno, dad," said Ron, looking around. "He might have
Ginny’s mum came out behind them. "Where’s Harry?"
"He’s not here, Molly." Her dad, seeing the worried, panic
stricken look on his wife’s face, tried his best to assure her, "Now
don’t worry Molly. You know Diagon Alley has several grates. He could
have gotten off at on of the others. Why he could be in one of the shops
or something. Why don’t you and Ginny go look for him in some of the
shops while the boys and I search the streets?"
Ginny felt her mother start to argue, but then she just nodded and
jerked Ginny after her. Ginny was a bit worried herself, although she
knew Harry was safe. They roamed in a few of the stores, her mother
craning her neck to see if she could find Harry among the patrons, all
the while muttering under her breath, "What will his family thing
of me? I’ve lost their nephew! Oh, dear Heavens!"
After about half an hour, her mum was starting to become really frantic.
She pulled Ginny along after her, swinging her handbag around like a
"Molly!" her dad called out. "We’ve found him! Over
here!" Ginny turned to see where her dad’s voice was coming from.
"Thank God, Arthur!" her mum nearly fainted in relief. Ginny
was dragged over to where there was there was another man standing with
Harry. Her eyes nearly popped from their sockets as she looked up at
him. He was huge! Nearly twelve feet tall at least! Her father knew
him as he was conversing with him like an old friend. Harry must have
known the man as well since the man’s dust bin sized hand was resting
on his shoulder. She heard her father call him Hagrid. She gazed at
him awestruck, her neck hurting as she had to lean back so far to see
his face. He had very kind eyes, beetle black set into a very bristly,
wooly face. His voice was gruff, yet it was almost gentle sounding,
at odds with the rest of his countenance. Her instincts told her he
was a very nice man.
**"Oh, Harry—oh, my dear—you could have been anywhere—"**
Ginny tried not to laugh as her mother panted up to him, pulled out
a clothes brush from her handbag and started brushing soot off of Harry,
while her father fixed his glasses. Ginny then turned her attention
towards a tiny man who seemed to be juggling several balls and one mouse
in the center of the square. A small crowd stood around him, clapping,
a few of them dropping coins into a small chest he had before him. She
frowned, not liking how the mouse would squeak periodically while being
juggled. Poor thing, it was so scared, and the mean man wouldn’t stop.
She thought about going over there to make the tiny man stop, but her
mother grabbed her hand again and pulled her towards Gringotts.
The ride inside Gringotts to their vault was so much fun! Ginny screamed
with delight as they went faster and faster through the underground
tunnels. They stopped at their vault and Ginny turned her face to study
the water trickling down the stone walls as her mother goes in to get
what little money is left in there. Ginny didn’t want to see Harry’s
expression, didn’t want to know herself how little money they had left.
It was better not knowing, sometimes. The journey to Harry’s own vault
was deeper underground and no one could miss the bright gleam of gold
and silver shining through the small crack that Harry had left in the
door, just enough for him to squeeze through. It must be sad, Ginny
thought. To have all that money, and yet have no one to spend it
on but yourself. She looked around the cart at her large family
and back to the vault that Harry was now exiting, hurriedly tucking
a bag filled with coins inside his pockets. She hated being poor, hated
having to buy everything used and having to use things previously owned
by her family, but when it came right down to it, she’d take the worn
robes, the fraying books, the already played with toys if being rich
meant you had to give up your family. Ginny suddenly felt very, very
sorry for Harry Potter.
Back up at the surface, Ginny and her mum went off shopping for her
things while the rest of her family split up. Her father, upon meeting
Ron and Harry’s friend Hermione Granger’s Muggle parents, immediately
offered to buy them a drink at the Leaky Cauldron. Ginny and her mum
spent most of the hour trying on various robes of different sizes, at
the used robes shop. It was a bit embarrassing, since most of the robes
there were either too short or too long. She ended up choosing the ones
that were a bit long, with the assurance from her mother that she could
magically hem them to the correct length. At least the ones she needed
were all black, although they did appear to be a bit lighter black than
the new robes in the other half of the store. Once the robes were selected,
the next stop was Ollivanders: Maker of Fine Wands since 382 B.C.
At least she would be able to get a new wand.
The tinkling of the bell announced their entry into the store. The
store was tiny, with boxes upon boxes stacked up to the ceiling. A man
"Ah! Another Weasley!" the man said, noting her flaming hair
"Hello, Mr. Ollivander," said her mum.
"Molly Stevens! Twelve inches, willow, nice and swishy, with the
tail hair of a unicorn." The man bowed before them.
Ginny’s mum smiled. "That’s the one."
The man’s pale eyes stared directly into Ginny’s. "Now, come with
me and let’s see what wand picks you."
A tape measure appeared out of nowhere and started to measure Ginny.
Between her eyes, her nose, her fingers, besides all the usual places.
"Which is your wand arm?" He asked her. Ginny, too overwhelmed
to say anything, held out her left arm. Mr. Ollivander began scuttling
about, giving her the history of his wand shop and what it meant to
own an Ollivander wand. The tape measure fell to the ground with a snap.
"Try this, birch and unicorn tail. Eight inches." Ginny held
the wand in her hand, and the wand was suddenly snatched out.
"No, no. Here, try this one. Willow and dragon heartstring."
That too, was quickly snatched before Ginny’s fingers could close around
This went on for about ten or so more wands, until finally: "Ah,
maple and phoenix feather. Ten inches, very whippy." The wand barely
touched Ginny’s hand before her arm tingled and a warm feeling rushed
to her finger tips. Before she could even think, her arm brought the
wand over her head and came down with a swish, blue and purple sparks
flying from it.
"Hooray!" said Mr. Ollivander, beaming. "A nice wand
for transfiguration! Very good Miss Weasley."
Ginny left the store, wanting to hold her wand in her hands. "No,
Ginny. You have to wait until you learn how to use it!" her mother
said. "Goodness, me! We need to be meeting the others at Flourish
Flourish and Blotts was practically filled to bursting with
hundreds of people. Women, to be more exact. They were all standing
in a line, wrapped around the store.
"Ooooh!" her mum tittered, taking out her mirror and checking
her appearance. "Gilderoy Lockhart is here!"
Ginny looked over at the swarms of pictures posted all around the shop,
a man grinning in them. He had perfectly groomed golden hair, a bright
smile, beautiful blue eyes, and was very handsome. Ginny stared at him
for a second. He was handsome, however, Ginny suddenly realized that
she didn’t like golden hair or blue eyes. She preferred dark hair that
stuck out crazily with deep green eyes and glasses. She frowned at her
thoughts. Where did that come from?
As if on que, the object of her thoughts joined her and her mum, closely
followed by the rest of her family and the Grangers. They were all now
waiting for Lockhart to make an appearance. He grinned to much, was
Ginny’s first impression. He also seemed to be too perfect, if
there was such a thing. His voice was too jovial, too perky, like he
constantly practiced talking to himself in the mirror.
Ginny had had enough of being pushed towards the front of the store
by all of these witches who were the age of her mum, giggling and applying
lipstick. She moved her things over to an unoccupied corner of the store.
She was so lost in her thoughts that she nearly jumped out of her skin
when Lockhart shouted, **"It can’t be Harry Potter!"**
Poor Harry looked like he wanted to die right there. Her heart went
out to him as Lockhart grabbed him and pulled him to the front of the
store, asking the photographer to make sure he took lots of pictures
of them and they would surely make front page of the Daily Prophet
after this. Harry dashed away as quick as he could, running back to
her family, his arms weighted down with stacks of Lockhart’s books.
But, no! He passed her family and was coming straight towards her! Ginny
didn’t know what to do, Harry had never approached her before! Before
she could think of what to say to him, speak her first words, the Lockhart
novels were dumped into her cauldron.
**"You can have these," he mumbled. "I’ll buy my own—"**
Ginny was flabbergasted and just as she was about to speak, a pale skinned,
sharp faced boy was standing right behind Harry. He looked very mean.
**"Bet you loved that didn’t you, Potter?" he said. "Famous
Harry Potter. Can’t even go into a book shop without making the
front page."** The boy sneered at Harry, an evil grin on his face.
**"Leave him alone, he didn’t want all that!"** Ginny heard
herself say, her eyes spitting fire at the boy. She was shocked at her
**"Potter, you’ve got yourself a girlfriend,"** the
boy drawled. Ginny felt her cheeks heat up like wildfire, either from
embarrassment at being called Harry’s girlfriend or from the extreme
anger—she couldn’t tell which. She was so furious, she couldn’t even
think, so mad that a red haze fogged her vision. She never noticed that
Ron and Hermione had joined them, or that her father came over to get
**"Well, well, well—Arthur Weasley,"** said a man looking
very much like the mean boy. They both had the same features, the same
evil sneer. This had to be the boy’s father.
**"Lucius,"** said her father, very coldly.
Ginny watched, almost terrified, as the man said some rather mean things
to her father and reached in her cauldron, taking out one of her battered
books. Her father was absolutely livid; she had never, ever, seen him
that angry, even with the twins at their worst. The man made a nasty
comment about her father’s job and then one about the Grangers, who
were waiting with her mother. A loud crash sent her cauldron flying
as Ginny’s father attacked the man, knocking him back into bookshelves.
She was so scared! She plastered herself against the wall, trying to
get out of the way as the two men exchanged punches, her father hitting
him across the face with a book. Her father was so nice, so even tempered,
so soft-hearted that he never even so much as raised a hand at any of
his seven children, and yet here he was, pummeling the mean man. If
she hadn’t been so frozen with fear, she probably would have joined
in Fred and George’s shouts of encouragement to her father. "Get
Hagrid tore them apart. The mean man thrust her book back at her, snarling,
**"Here, girl—take your book—it’s the best your father can give
you—"** She never moved, was too scared and angry to do so, and
the man threw it at her feet.
"Ginny?" Hermione asked her. "Are you alright?"
Ginny looked into the worried face of Ron and Harry’s friend. She was
very nice and very smart, according to Ron. Ginny nodded.
"Here, let me help you with those books." Ginny looked down,
seeing all the contents of her cauldron spilled out on the floor. Together,
they replaced everything and Fred and George carried her cauldron out
of the shop. The trip back to the Burrow was uncomfortable. Her mother
scolded her father all the way back and the rest of them didn’t say