Sunday, 20 December, 1998
Ginny and I arrived home from Hogwarts for the Christmas Holiday today. Ron and Harry were there to fetch us from King’s Cross. Harry had been a nervous wreck the last couple of days, Ron told me, but seeing how happy he was to have Ginny run into his arms obviously rid him of those ‘blues’. Ron was just as glad to see me, if the kiss he gave me is any indication! And in public, too! And I was the one blushing, not Ron . . . he just grinned from ear to ear! Then we all laughed and kissed again!
Ginny and I and our mothers are planning on going shopping tomorrow, while Ron and Harry are at work. Harry is going to graduate from Auror training this spring and then he’ll have a permanent job at the Ministry. Ron is only working at the Ministry part time as this holiday season is the busiest time at the shop and George really needs his help. Ron says that he likes it a lot and has a flair for book-keeping that George really appreciates, as neither he nor Fred liked doing that part of the business. I think Ron might be considering working at the shop with George as a permanent job rather than continuing at the Ministry with Harry. It has been hard to get into the Christmas spirit without Fred, but everyone is trying, as they know Fred would not want them moping around, especially this time of year.
Ron also told me that Neville has decided, starting in the new year, to stop working at the Auror’s office and go on to take classes at university for Herbology. It looks like our lives and futures are finally starting to get settled into a ‘normal’ pattern. I hope so.
Have to wait until Wednesday to get my grades for term exams, but I’m nervous. Ron says I’ll get top grades “as usual”. I hope so. I was a bit out of my ‘study mode’ after last year.
Monday 21 December, 1998
Mother and I met Ginny and Mrs. Weasley at the Leaky Cauldron early this morning and went to Gringotts to get a bit of money for shopping in Diagon Alley. We also exchanged some Galleons as Mother suggested that Mrs. Weasley might like to try shopping with us at some of the big departments stores, being especially on the lookout for a Muggle gift for Mr. Weasley. Our first stop was Madame Malkin’s, as Mother had been unable to find a gown that she liked at any of the Muggle shops and stores. She and Dad are going to a fancy New Years Eve party. We spent a good hour, with Mother popping in and out of the changing room, but she finally found a beautiful mauve gown that looks stunning on her.Then it was Mrs. Weasley’s turn to shop “out of the box”. HA! HA!
I transfigured her cape into a coat and lengthened Mother’s skirt. Mother thought it was a brilliant idea and that they looked like two “gracefully aging hippies”. Then she had to explain hippies to Mrs. Weasley. HA! HA!
We found a wonderful book for Mr. Weasley “The Idiot’s Guide to Small Engine Repairs”. And there seemed to be a whole range of topics that would appeal to him, so it looks as if birthdays, anniversaries and the next few Christmases are covered, gift wise.
Ron came over after dinner tonight and we watched a classic Christmas movie on the telly. I don’t remember which one as we were too busy snogging to pay much attention.
Mother and Dad tried to pretend they didn’t know what we were doing, but after a while they got up and left us alone. Ron went home about 11, as he has to open the store early tomorrow.
Tuesday, 22 December, 1998
Spent the morning helping Mother wrap presents and do last minute things around the house. Then I took lunch to Ron and George. It is still strange not to have Fred popping up at one’s elbow. George is doing better than when I last saw him. Keeping busy with the store must be a help, but I know how terribly he misses Fred.
Ron and Ginny are slowly getting used to the loss, but Mrs. Weasley still tears up and you know she’s thinking of him. Mr. Weasley seems just the same as always; he’s just a little slower to smile and his shoulders sag when he thinks no-one is looking. I wish there was something I could say or do to help, but, of course, there isn’t. Everyone grieves differently and it will take time.
Exam marks come tomorrow. I hope I did well. I’m glad I went back to Hogwarts to do my seventh year, but it seems strange to be there without Harry and Ron. But I’m halfway through and graduation is in sight, then on to university.
Wednesday 23 December, 1998
Met Harry early this morning and we went to the headquarters of the Chudley Cannons. The general manager, a Mr. Button, was very nice. When he found out that Harry and I wanted to surprise Ron with season tickets to the Cannons matches for the coming year, he’d have nothing of it but to give Ron lifetime VIP passes for four, with seats in the owner’s box. He wanted Harry to accept the same thing, but Harry politely refused, pointing out that Ginny, his girlfriend and Ron’s sister, was a Holyhead Harpies fan and was being actively recruited by that team to join and play professionally when she graduated Hogwarts. Better to play it safe than be hexed by his, he hopes, future wife.
We were given a team jersey, with Ron’s names on the back, and banners and all sorts of Cannon merchandise to include as part of his Christmas present. Ron is going to be SO surprised. ( Mr. Button insisted on giving Harry and me team jerseys with our names on the back, also – and one for Ginny – as he expects us to come to the games with Ron ) Harry suggested putting the passes in the very bottom of the box, so Ron would have to dig through all of the other Cannon things first and save the best for last. Good idea!
I wonder what Ron’s getting me? I tried to see if Ginny or Mrs. Weasley had any clue, but apparently Ron’s not told anyone what he’s planning to give me. Drat!
My grades were here when I got home. Ron was right, of course, as I received Os in every class. I really have to stop being such a worry wart, but Ron tells me I can’t help it, it’s just what I do . . . worry. I wish I could be more ‘laid back’ like Ron. Maybe that’s why we seem to get along so well, as we balance each other. That’s what Ginny’s says, and I think she knows us well enough to judge.
Thursday 24 December, 1998
I’ve been sitting here trying to gather my thoughts in order to begin writing today’s entry, but I keep flashing back to Christmas Eve of last year, when Harry and I went to Godric’s Hollow and were nearly killed. It’s so strange to look back and see where we made our mistakes and how foolish we were. AND lucky!
The only good thing that came out of it was Harry finally getting to visit his parent’s grave and the cottage. Now, from the distance of time, I can see that Harry’s being able to stand there and see where his parent’s are buried and see the ruined cottage must have brought him some closure.
But that information sign at the cottage really made him feel better and gave him the knowledge that there were members of the Wizarding community who were wishing him well and cheering for him. If only we had been able to talk to the real Bathilda. Ugh! I still shiver when I think how close we came to being captured! Enough of that, it’s history . . . now, about TODAY!
It’s trying to snow, but I don’t think it’s quite cold enough, so there’s a nasty drizzle falling. That, apparently, hasn’t stopped the carolers from making their rounds and Mother has been busy at the door, dispensing hot cider and cookies.Neville stopped by, before he went home for the holidays, to wish me a Happy Christmas and gave me a small present, which I had to swear not to open until tomorrow! I gave him his present and made him promise the same. . . HA! HA! I hope he enjoys reading it, as there are all kinds of newly discovered plants listed and resources from other countries for future reference.
Oh, I hear Mother calling . . . we’re going to the midnight candlelight service and Ron must have arrived. Happy Christmas!
Wednesday, 25 December, 1998
It did snow last night, so we woke to a crystalline, sparkling landscape outside. Took me instantly back to the Forest of Dean, where Harry and I were this time last year. What a difference a year makes. I know that sounds trite, but it is so true. That was a turning point in our quest, though, wasn’t it? Harry finding Gryffindor’s sword and Ron coming back to us. . . and Professor Snape . . if only we’d known . . . ah, well. At least now we all know the truth and Harry has seen to it that truth about his bravery and sacrifice has been told.
Mother, Dad and I had a lovely breakfast and opened our presents and then Ron came to fetch me to go to The Burrow for the Weasley family gathering. My parents went over to Uncle Simon’s for the afternoon.
It was a bit awkward at the Weasleys’, as everyone was trying a bit too hard to be cheerful. Harry was there, of course, and he lifted his glass for a toast and really put everyone at ease with his words of love for the Weasley family (Ginny in particular) and then he suggested they all raise their cups to Fred, who, he was sure, was right there watching them, saying ‘keep it short, Harry, and get to the good stuff’. Everyone laughed at that and toasted Fred and then we descended on the pile of presents under the tree.
I opened Neville’s first as it had been driving me crazy to see what on earth he’d gotten me. It was a tiny hour glass ( but NOT a Timeturner ) with ‘golden’ sand. His note said I should wear it to remind me to not worry about the past, “No more coulda, woulda, shoulda”, enjoy the present and our future because we can look FORWARD in our lives and not over our shoulders, now that the war is over. Neville is a very wise wizard. Clumsy (you should have seen the mess he made wrapping the box) but good hearted.
The Weasley family bought me a desk set, complete with name plaque, so I’d be ready to “take over what ever department I set my sights on at the Ministry, when the time came”.
A bit much, but it is gorgeous; leather edging and the most elegant quills and ink wells.
Mrs. Weasley did something different this year; scarves, hats and matching mittens for everyone. Ginny said her mum couldn’t bring herself to put letters on sweaters without Fred, so she switched and will get back to the sweaters next year. I really needed a new scarf so it was a perfect gift.
Harry and my gift to Ron left him absolutely speechless, in fact, after he dug through all of the C.C. merchandise and found the envelope in the bottom, he thought we’d gotten him tickets to a game, until he focused on the ‘Lifetime Pass’ bit.. He sat down – THUMP- on the floor and his mouth opened and shut, but nothing came out. We all started laughing and tears were streaming down our cheeks and our sides hurt before he found his voice. He wanted to make it a wizard’s debt to Harry and me but we’d have none of that!
Then we showed off our jerseys, put them on and stuffed Ginny into hers. She was a good sport and put up with the ribbing from George, Bill and Percy and wore it for a good while before taking it off and stuffing it behind the sofa. Harry retrieved it, took his off and said she’d only have to wear it if we went to a match with Ron. She agreed.
But Ron had the last laugh as he made sure to save “the best for last”. He got down on his knee and proposed to me in front of the whole gathered crowd! Of course I said yes, but what I didn’t know was that Bill had slipped out and gone and brought my parents who were hiding up the stairs and saw the whole thing! Ron had spoken to them when he showed up last night so they knew what was coming. Seems I was the last one to know!
I’m still in shock, but looking down at my ring; I find myself just sitting here smiling like a fool! We’re not going to rush with the wedding as I have to graduate and then go to university, but Ron said he wants everyone ( I think he was worried about wizards at school next year ) to know I’m promised to him! That is really so sweet of him.
It’s late and we’re going to go on a ‘surprise’ trip tomorrow, planned by Harry. I wonder what that’s all about? Well, the sooner I go to bed, the sooner morning will come!
Tuesday, 31 December, 1998
I know I’ve missed a few days, but Harry surprised everyone with a six day trip to a private, wizard populated island in the Bahamas. He took the Weasleys ( all of them, mind you ), Dean, Seamus, Luna, Neville, Padma, Parvati, Hannah & Ernie from the DA ( some of the others couldn’t come for various reasons ), Professor McGonagall, Professor Sprout and Professor Flitwick.
He’d made all of the arrangements with help from the Ministry and the biggest surprise was that we flew there and back on a PRIVATE jet!!!!! ( magiced to do the trip at supersonic speed so it only took us an hour or two instead of eight! ) Mr. Weasley was glued to his window watching the takeoff and landing and it was a good thing the door to the pilots cockpit was locked or he’d have been in there the whole time!
It must have cost Harry a fortune, but he said we all deserved a fabulous vacation in the warmth and sunshine after all the gloom and grey we’d faced in the last couple of years! We’re all tanned ( some sunburn in the Weasley family – HA HA ) and refreshed, so it was a good thing all around. The food was fantastic, and the scenery . . . indescribably beautiful!
The house was large and had lots of little bedroom cabanas surrounding it. There was a huge pool and a lovely stretch of beach. We went snorkeling almost every day and spent most afternoons exploring the island. Neville was thrilled at all of the tropical plants, magical and non-magical! Bet he comes back sooner than later! HA! HA!
And you won’t believe who we ran into in the town’s open air market . . . Draco Malfoy!Seems his family owns a villa on the island and here’s the strange part; Harry and Draco greeted each other like old friends and then Madame Malfoy walked up and she and Harry hugged! Seems they had talked long ago and everything is firmly in the past for them.
We were invited to their villa for a picnic lunch and it really was quite nice. I was totally taken aback by Cissa ( she insisted we call her that ) and Lucius’ attitude and demeanor. They were gracious hosts and went out of their way to make everyone feel at ease.
Lucius took me aside and personally apologized for not being able to prevent my torture at Malfoy Manor last spring. I told him I understood he and his family were just as much prisoners as we were. We talked a while and I do think he has completely changed his outlook about “Mudbloods” and everything that the Death Eaters took as ‘the truth’.
In fact he was quite funny and regaled us with an account of his latest fishing expedition; “Fish 1 – Lucius 0”. Mr. Weasley, Bill and Professor Flitwick went out with him on his boat the last afternoon and had a great time: we had fish for dinner that night, too.
Ron is hinting that we might return there for our honeymoon, but not in an airplane as it gave him the willies. Ha! Ha!
It’s New Year’s Eve and I’m heading over to The Burrow to spend the night, so I’ll stop now and continue tomorrow, in a new year – thank goodness THIS one is finally over!
Wednesday, 1 January, 1999
Harry and Ginny are engaged!!!!!!! He popped the question at midnight, while the chimes were tolling out the old year and bringing in the new. Mrs. Weasley is beside herself, making plans already! I really see why she’d be excited as after all of the boys; she only has this one chance to be in charge of planning the whole wedding for her only daughter. Ginny just rolled her eyes and told her mother that they’d talk later. Lots of luck, Ginny!
It was a lovely evening with lots of memories and stories, both happy and sad, but with an upbeat, purposeful looking toward the future. We even had a snowball fight, then hot cider and popcorn. Mr. Weasley had, somehow, rigged up a telly so we could watch the midnight countdown from London. Then George and Ron set off fireworks and we toasted to everything and everyone we could think of.
It got silly and sentimental, but then we started toasting to things to come, starting with Harry and Ginny’s wedding and the whole party ended on a happy note. As it should. We are going forward, holding memories of our lost ones dear and knowing they didn’t die in vain.
Harry and Ginny went to Andromeda Tonks house today to visit with her and Teddy. Harry says his godson looks like both of his parents, with Remus’ smile and Tonks’ ability to change his appearance ( just his hair color, so far ). Yes, our future looks bright and we are thankful for our blessing. This IS going to be the first of MANY good years!