Content Harry Potter
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September 25, 1996

Dear Diary,

It's cold out and we'll probably get another ten inches of the white stuff tonight. I've never seen snow come this early, but we are in Scotland. I used to love snow, but lately I see it as more of a bother than anything else. I suspect this may be an attitude that I'm picking up from Harry. The only time he likes snow is when he's sitting snug and warm inside the castle, knocking back some hot cocoa. I swear that Crookshanks is more enthusiastic about snow than this boy. Speaking of which, he's been rather tightly wrapped of late. Dumbledore was mightily impressed with the spider magic, but now Harry's back to duelling — at least he gets a good shot at Snape some days, so it's not a total loss.

I know that Harry says that he wants to be an Auror when he's finished at Hogwarts, but I seriously doubt that's going to happen. He seems to enjoy teaching and he's really good at it. When he finds out something interesting, odd or "useful" (read that prank-worthy) he usually drops everything and shares it with me. This has interrupted many a revision session, but somehow he almost always shows us a way to connect the tidbit of the day with the topic that we were revising before he interrupted us (how he does that, I'm still not sure) so the girls in my study group no longer groan when they see him coming; although a few of the girls are excessively friendly, if you know what I mean. If we were talking about any male other than Harry, I'd be pulling my hair out, but Harry is constitutionally incapable of being unfaithful, so I'm not worried about competition.

The exception to that statement, of course, is Daphne Greengrass. I don't know why she upsets me so much. Okay, in her stocking feet, she's a half inch shorter than Harry and has gorgeous blonde hair the colour of straw and piercing blue eyes. Then there's the figure — on my best day I look like a skinny boy with bumps. Daphne, however, looks like a walking advert for under-wire bras. She's from an old, well-to-do wizarding family that has been active in the Church of England since the time of St. Augustine (of Canterbury, not Hippo — see, I learned something this summer!) In other words, she's everything I'm not, apart from the bond thing.

There are times that I wonder if Harry regrets marking me.

I know what I'm getting from this relationship, but I'll be hanged if I can figure out what I'm doing for Harry. Maybe I need to fret about this some more when I'm awake.

Changing the subject, in light of my earlier screed against Daphne, I will say this in her favour: she clued me into how church works at Hogwarts. A long time ago, say during the 1400's, Hogwarts had a full time chaplain and a chapel. What we now know as the Room of Requirement was the original Hogwarts chapel, but during the reign of King Henry VIII, something happened and Hogwarts lost its chaplain. Sometime during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, arrangements were made for students to attend services at local Scottish churches. Hogsmeade, surprise, surprise, has no church of any persuasion. The nearby town of Hooper, however, has three: a Church of Scotland parish, a Roman Catholic mission and a Church of England chapel run by the Grey Friars. Daphne tried to explain to me how it was really a parish of the Episcopal Church of Scotland, but the local politics aspect of it flew past me, so I'm not going to try to explain it here.

Students wishing to attend services contact the head of their House. So now on Sunday mornings, Harry visits McGonagall's office at some ungodly hour to use the Floo for travel to the chapel at Hooper. I'm asleep at that time, as that's the only time in my Hermione approved schedule that I can sleep in. This does not mean, however, that Ginny Weasley is among the "unchurched masses destined for perdition." (Daphne's words, not mine!) The Grey Friar chapel in Hooper has a Saturday afternoon service at the much more civilized hour of 6:00 p.m. that I've been attending for several weeks now. I see a smattering of students from other houses in attendance (including Daphne) along with some singletons I recognize from Hogsmeade. I suppose that there might be some Muggles in attendance as well, but it's never come up in conversation. The services at Hooper are quite different from Sunday mornings at St. Simon's. There's no choir and there's no organ either — the music is provided by a couple of Friars with guitars. The words to the songs are projected onto a wall by a Muggle projector (which would thrill Dad). Daphne calls these services the "happy-clappy" time, but I don't mind it in the least. Instead of the old 1662 prayer book, we use the modern language English Prayer Book, which is much easier to understand. The rector is a very nice fellow named Father Harper — if he has a first name other than 'Father' I haven't heard it used. Harry says the Sunday morning service is pretty much like St. Simon's.

Harry has his secrets and I have mine. I've been talking to Fr. Harper about being baptized. I wrote a few letters to Mum in which I asked her about our family's religious affiliation, or lack thereof. Mum and Dad don't mind my going to church, provided that I stick to chapels run by the Grey Friars, whom they trust, it seems. Mum said something sensible like 'a happy home has but one religion' and let me know that if Harry's a churchman, I need to get with the program or call it quits with Harry. Since the latter is not an option (lifelong bonds being what they are), I am learning all that I can on Saturday nights. Mum sees it as a go-along, get-along thing, but I find that I enjoy the singing and my heart is much lighter by the time I get back to Hogwarts, just in time for a hasty dinner and an evening with my revision group.

The revision group is a big help. It's all girls, naturally. Thus far it's two Gryffindors, a Ravenclaw and a Hufflepuff. There are no Slytherins in my year that I trust (Daphne is in Harry's year, naturally, and no longer interested in O.W.L. revision) otherwise we'd have one of them too. Hermione's notes are a great help, of course.

Well, time to call it a night. I'm working with McGonagall tomorrow. My tutorial has been changed to Thursdays, matching Harry's schedule I guess. I'm nowhere near the point where I'll be sprouting whiskers and a tail, but Professor M says very nice things about my progress.




September 26, 1996

Dear Diary,

I thought I'd turn in early tonight. I was wrong. It's as cold as a banker's heart outside and we've got a good thick covering of snow on the grounds. I saw Harry at breakfast, and didn't expect to see him again until the end of the day. I expected maybe a smooch from him before I turned in, but he asked me to go out for a walk instead. Given the cold and his hatred of snow, I questioned his sanity, but I saw the need and longing in his eyes.

We walked through the castle and out onto the grounds, stopping at a spot overlooking the lake. I came prepared this time, my shirt-tail properly tucked in, sticking charm applied, and about twenty layers of clothing to deal with the cold weather. I didn't set anything on fire, which is a marvel in itself.

I didn't know that I could kiss a boy for two and a half hours straight. If you'd told me last spring that I'd be gnawing on Harry's face for the evening, I'd have told you that you were barmy. It was unbelievable, it was marvellous, and it was way too short. About twenty minutes into the snogfest, I realized that neither one of us had our Occlumency shields in place. I took advantage of the connection and began browsing through Harry's brain. He'd spent the morning doing some very difficult magic, and then the afternoon duelling with Snape in the presence of a Dementor. Harry has never told me about what he sees and hears when the Dementors are nearby. Now he doesn't have to. It was terrible, really, hearing his father die, hearing his Mum scream before I saw the green light flash. Then I saw Cedric, and Sirius of course, and then things that haven't happened — me dead on the Quidditch pitch; Hermione lying on the ground, cold and stiff; Ron in a pool of blood. All this took a minute or less. After that, I gave myself to the not terribly difficult business at hand, kissing the stuffings out of one Harry James Potter, the boy I love. I might add that he's come along way in the kissing department.

When he asked me to go for a walk, I could tell that his heart was cold. I guess that's an occupational hazard when you train with Dementors. Two and a half hours later, I could tell that his heart was tired, but now warm and content. A more cynical girl would say that he was using me - a brilliant snog instead of a hot toddy and a shower - but I was most willing to be used in this way.

I'm beginning to see what Harry's getting out of the relationship. He wants desperately to be loved and desired. I think I can deliver in volume on that front. To Harry, my love is like an anchor, something that doesn't move in the chaos surrounding his life. In return, he loves me back. His love is fierce at times — like a raging storm, which is not surprising in the least, considering how powerful he is. I wonder at times why I'm not afraid of him.

Tonight was about love and need, not about lust and gratification. Having fended off Michael Corner for more than a year, I know a bit about those latter topics after all. Mum prattles on at times about how wonderful Harry is and how he's such a gentleman. She doesn't know the half of it.

I think I've answered my own question as to why I'm not afraid.

I trust him.

I trust him not to kiss and tell. I trust him not to take advantage of me when I'm riding high on emotion.

I trust him to take care of me.

If ever he's faced with the choice of saving me versus offing Tom, I've made it quite clear what I expect him to do. I want Tom dead. Once Tom is out of the way, however, I suspect that I will be one very well protected girl. What did I ever do to deserve this?

Well, enough for one night's rambling. It's after curfew, my lips are chapped and my broad little behind is going to be seriously dragging tomorrow if I don't get some sleep.




Dear Diary,

Today was another really disgustingly long day. I'll try to keep this entry short for fear that I may end up with ink on my face — again.

I got hauled out of Charms today by Professor M, returning to the scene of the crime as it were. Evidently, I'm not the only one with accidental magic issues. Although it's as cold outside as the innermost circle of Hell and the grounds are covered by a thick covering of ice and snow, the spot where Harry and I were — uh, smooching — is bright and green and bursting with life. The tree we used to prop ourselves up last night is in bud and the lawn surrounding the tree is rich with snowdrops and crocuses in bloom. If there were any hedgehogs out last night, I'm sure that they're preggers by now — the whole area is bursting with life. Okay, so when things get interesting, I'm burning and he's bursting with life; go figure.

No points deducted from Gryffindor, to my surprise. Perhaps honesty is the best policy. For now, though, I'll work on not getting caught.

Notwithstanding the bitter cold, Ron (the Insane) held Quidditch practice this afternoon after classes in what little light remained. We took a break about every fifteen minutes for warming charms. After the usual exercises, we had a scrimmage between the first-string and reserve teams. The new players are working out well, although a few stand out. Maddy ploughed into the snow several times — she just does not give up. After the first scrimmage we did a mix and match scrimmage, with various reserve and first-string players trading places. Harry flew with the reserve team, using Maddy's Cleansweep. Maddy, naturally, flew with the first-string team on Harry's Firebolt. For a practice match, it was a thumping good game. The reserve team was ahead, thirty to ten when the Seekers saw the Snitch on the far side of the pitch. Maddy was flying about thirty feet above Harry at the time, so the first thing she did was a loop, smacking into Harry as she dropped in altitude.

I don't think he was expecting that.

That element of surprise won her a half-length lead that Harry just couldn't erase. For once the Snitch cooperated and didn't do anything bizarre — Maddy caught it cleanly. An instant later, Maddy and Harry were on the ground with Maddy letting out a screeching whoop that I swear could be heard at Hadrian's Wall. Ron bowled them both over and then picked Maddy up on his shoulders for a run the length of the pitch. The reserves are all feeling about seven feet tall tonight, although I doubt that Maddy is much above four feet tall when she's wearing boots.

Harry and I began to put the equipment away when the Norbecks shooed us off to the showers. After a well deserved, very hot shower, I charmed my hair dry and walked back to the castle with Harry. He stopped once we got inside the castle. I suspected that he had a detour in mind, say to some place private, but I was surprised when he suggested that we stop by Chez Dobby for pudding. I didn't have to be asked twice.

Over the strenuous objections of certain members of the faculty, a small room off of the main kitchen has been set aside for us as a private dining room. Officially, it's just a place to eat our meals in peace when we can't take the mental din of the Great Hall, but thanks to Dobby, we get a little bit of special treatment. The first few times we visited, Dobby was on a French cuisine kick, so I dubbed it Chez Dobby, which stuck, much to Dobby's delight.

I had some wonderful consommé, a wedge of chocolate cake and glass of milk. Harry had two slices of apple pie and a large decaf latte.

He was fidgeting a bit, which is normal. Dobby is so bloody obsequious as to get on anyone's nerves. Harry continued to fidget even after Dobby left. I'll try to recap our conversation.

"Uh, Ginny?"

"Harry," I said, flashing my twenty-Galleon smile, making flirty eye contact.

"Uh, a lot of people have been talking to me lately," he began.

"Like who, Harry?"

"Parvati, Dean, Neville, Hannah, Anthony, Daphne," he said, not noticing me wince at the last name.


"They all say I'm a lot more pleasant to be around this year," he said.

I smiled again. "You are a lot more pleasant to be around this year."

"I was a real berk last year," Harry said.

I didn't say anything, smiling sweetly, wondering where this was going.

He swallowed a couple of times and then pierced me with the Potter glare. I could tell that he wasn't using Legilimency, but with eyes like that, he didn't need to.

"Ginny Weasley, you are the best thing that's ever happened in my life," he said softly.

Of all the things that I had been trying to anticipate, that certainly was not on my list.

"Better than finding out I was magical, better than flying," he said.

"Better than Quidditch?" I asked lightly, trying to not start blubbering. This was bloody significant for Harry.

"Let's not get hasty," he replied, grinning that grin I love to see on his face.

He took our empty plates and opened the serving door. Once the door was open, he found a small plate with two chunks of Honeydukes' special dark chocolate. It's very nice to be friends of Dobby. He tossed a chunk to me; I snatched it out of the air.

Snack time was over.

We walked back to the tower following our now normal route. I had my hand in the crook of his arm, basking in the time we had together.

"You revising tomorrow night?" he asked.

"Yeah, why?

"I think it might be time to replenish the Slytherin supply of Tarantella Toilet Paper," he said, giving me that grin again.

"How long could that take?" I asked rhetorically. "I'm in — let's do it after dinner."

"Sounds like a date," he said, flashing that grin again.

"No one can show a girl a good time like you, Mr. Potter," I said.

Harry gave me a wink.

The usual crowd was haunting the Gryffindor common room when we returned. Seamus started hooting when I kissed Harry goodnight.

He's next Harry said by touchtalk.

Agreed, I replied.

If anyone had asked me this morning how this evening would have ended, I would have predicted a repeat of the snogfest. Anyone who thinks that I would have objected doesn't know me very well.

How things ended up was even better, though.

Life with Harry is on edge at times, but it has its rewards.



Copyright © 2005, J. Cornell — all rights reserved.

Author's Notes: The UK has national churches — in Northern Ireland, it's the Church of Ireland, which is a member of the Anglican Communion — in Scotland, it's the Church of Scotland, which is a Presbyterian church strongly influenced by John Knox — in England it's the Church of England. There are Anglican churches in Scotland, but they are part of the very small Episcopal Church of Scotland. In the TLOS universe, the Grey Friars are a religious order in the Church of England, under the oversight of the Bishop of London. They normally serve in chapels, which belong to the order, rather than parishes that belong to the local Church of England diocese. Most (but not all) of the members of the Grey Friar order are wizards. All are celibate males, although older, married people are accepted as Oblates of the order.

The default prayer book in any Church of England parish or chapel is the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, which is lovely in its language, but about as hard to understand as the King James Bible (Authorized Version). The official modern language prayer book at the time of this story was the cumbersome Alternative Service Book, and its somewhat underground rival, An English Prayer Book, favoured by the Evangelicals.

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