|SIYE Time:4:38 on 17th January 2022|
A Very Important Secret
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Category: Alternate Universe
Genres: Fluff, General
Summary: Ginny Weasley loves attending the muggle primary school in Ottery St Catchpole. There she befriends a boy named Harry. AU
Hitcount: Story Total: 7933; Chapter Total: 1562
Awards: View Trophy Room
Ive been a bit obsessed with the Greatest Showman soundtrack lately, and it fit the story perfectly.
August 31st, 1991
I close my eyes and I can see a world that's waiting up for me
That I'll call my own
Harry could barely sleep, continuously looking over at his new trunk, filled with all he will need at his new school — Hogwarts. For Hagrid had come to him on his eleventh birthday and told him a Very Important Secret.
He was a wizard.
Everything now made perfect sense, all the strange things he was able to do. Hagrid had also told him why his aunt and uncle didn't really want to raise him, that they deplored all things magical, including Petunia's own sister, Harry's mother, Lily.
It only made him more determined to do well, learn as much as he could, make friends at this school where he'd finally meet people just like himself, so one day he could leave the Dursleys behind. Except -
He'd miss Ginny. He'd never imagined he'd have a friend like Ginny, someone who cared for him, who always sent him something for his birthday and Christmas, who fussed over him when he wasn't feeling well, and continuously brought extra food for him to eat.
She'd been his friend, his very best friend, since his second week at primary school. He knew Luna was her best friend forever, but Ginny and Harry had both agreed their friendship was special. Even when Harry and his aunt, uncle and cousin had returned to the city for his uncle's work, they still wrote to each other weekly. However, his aunt wouldn't let him visit, despite Ginny's many pleas.
He felt like he was leaving her behind... again.
But no, he would never do that. Somehow, he would find a way to include her in his new life. Ginny was his friend, his very best friend.
And that was more precious to him than just about anything.
His uncle had accompanied him to King's Cross Station, laughing unkindly as Harry rechecked his ticket. “ Platform 9 and ¾? There's no such thing!”
He left Harry there alone.
Harry looked to his right and to his left. What to do? He checked the platforms again. 9, 10...no platform 9 ¾.
“Hurry up, children, oh, I just know we're going to be late. Now, who knows the platform number? Ronald?”
Harry turned as Ron Weasley proudly announced “9 ¾, Mum!”
“Right you are. Fred, George, you go through, Percy, you can -”
He had to let go of his trunk as a blur of red ran straight at him; he caught her in time.
“Ginny? You...you know about Platform 9 ¾?”
She nodded, her eyes brighter, almost blazing, than he had ever seen before. “ You know about the Very Important Secret too?” she asked. “ About magic and Hogwarts?”
He nodded. “You're coming to Hogwarts too? We'll be at school together again!” His heart was fit to burst.
Her smile dimmed as she shook her head. “Ron is going this year, but I have another year till I can go.”
“Come on, dears, hello, Harry, what a lovely surprise, you and Ron can keep each other company. Ginny, help Harry through the barrier. Here we go, one, two, three.” Used to the madness of the first day of September, Molly got them all through.
Through the dark, through the door, where I've never been before.
But it could be home.
Harry and Ron grabbed a carriage together and, despite the thrill he felt as the train began to move, he felt bereft at suddenly seeing Ginny in this new world of his, no, theirs, then having to leave her again.
He looked out the window; she was running alongside the train.
“Have fun,” she called, waving. “Don't forget me, I'll be with you next year.”
“I will...and I'll write. Bye,” he called, waving.
However big, however small, let me be part of it all
Share your dreams with me.
You may be right, you may be wrong but say you'll bring me along,
To the world you'll see.
He sat back, sad but excited.
He was on his way.
Hogwarts was everything he had dreamed it to be. It was a castle, with ghosts and unicorns, with dwarves and elves and a half giant. Here he wasn't a freak; Hogwarts was where he belonged.
He wrote and told Ginny all about Hogwarts, and she shared what she knew from her brothers. How he wished she were here this year, and they could share it all together.
Ron became a good friend, as did Neville and Anthony and Terry. He got along well with Seamus and Dean too, his dorm mates in Gryffindor.
A Ravenclaw named Hermione was probably the smartest person he knew, and she learned new spells and charms faster than all of the first years. He thought Lavender and Parvati giggled too much and often studied with Hannah, Susan and Lisa in the library.
Defense Against the Dark Arts was his favourite lesson, and he found he seemed to have a natural flare for it. To his surprise, he ended the year top in the subject.
He also loved to fly and hoped to try out for the Gryffindor Quidditch team next year. He knew from her letters that Ginny loved to fly too, and couldn't wait till summer's end when he was going to spend a whole month at the Burrow.
His aunt and uncle were only too happy to see him go. They dropped him off in the city the day before his birthday; he would go to Diagon Alley with the Weasleys to get his school books and sundry, and catch the train with them.
They can say, they can say it all sounds crazy,
They can say, they can say we lost our minds.
I don't care, I don't care if they call us crazy.
Runaway to a world that we design.
Hogwarts was brilliant but even more so with Ginny there too. To his delight, she was also Sorted into Gryffindor.
Despite not having any lessons together, they still studied side by side in their common room, claiming the spot in front of the fire as their own. Sometimes Ron joined them, or Luna snuck in — she'd been Sorted into Ravenclaw — sometimes others drifted in and out. But most times it was just Harry and Ginny, and that was fine with them.
The years passed. Both made the Gryffindor Quidditch team; she as Chaser, he as Seeker. He asked her to the Yule Ball in his fourth year and she accepted. She asked him to show her around Hogsmeade. They studied together, ate together, pranked together — and occasionally each other — and sometimes even fell asleep together in front of the fire.
Fred and George had left Hogwarts and passed a special map to Ginny; the Marauders Map. Ginny and Harry put it to good use, exploring the castle and grounds thoroughly, for it showed secret passages and tunnels, and where every person at Hogwarts was at any given time.
It was Ginny that found the Room of Requirement and showed it to Harry. Together they made a room that reminded Harry of the Burrow, with its comfy sofa, cushions and rugs. A blazing fire kept them warm and an overly friendly elf named Dobby brought them cocoa and freshly made biscuits.
There they did their homework, practiced spells and charms — Harry teaching her the spells he had learnt — discussed Quiddtch tactics and all the Hogwarts gossip, never knowing that they were probably the most gossiped about couple in the whole school.
He was now sixteen, she was fifteen. Puberty had hit their peers hard. Boy's voices changed, girls were moodier; hormones were rampant at Hogwarts. Harry was oblivious to the many hopeful looks that followed him, for he was no longer a small, scrawny boy.
He knew what was happening to his body; Bill Weasley had given him the talk one night at the Burrow. He also was aware his feelings for Ginny had intensified, and he didn't know what to do about it.
Ginny had developed too, showing signs of the beautiful woman she was to become. Her fiery hair reached half way down her back; she had added curves to her petite frame, curves that made his fingers itch to touch. Curves that invaded his dreams at night, so much so he was relieved Ron had never studied Occlumency.
One late November night they were in the Room of Requirement, homework finished and a wireless playing softly. He was reading the Daily Prophet, she was reading Quiddtch Monthly, leaning against each other on the sofa when she nudged him to show him something in the magazine. He looked down at the page, then at her, just as she looked up at him.
Time stood still.
It seemed perfectly natural to lean down and kiss her. She kissed him back. They drew apart, eyeing each other cautiously.
Suddenly, they both laughed. They were being silly. This was them, Harry and Ginny. Somewhat shyly this time, Ginny lifted her face to him again.
He cupped her cheek in his hand and their eyes met. His asking acceptance, hers granting it.
They kissed again, lightly; softly. Then deeper; longer. Neither had kissed anyone else before, not like this. Nor would they.
It was well past curfew by the time they left the Room of Requirement hand in hand, only just missing Hermione Granger, the prefect on patrol. But from that night on, they were a couple.
The Room of Requirement changed the following year, adding a kind sized bed. Harry and Ginny explored their new relationship without shame or guilt — Ginny had been brought up to 'wait' for her wedding night to lose her virginity — for they both knew they belonged together.
When Harry left Hogwarts to begin an apprenticeship as a broom maker, he snuck into the castle to see her as often as he could. He joined her family at Hogwarts to see her graduate, for he was as good as another son to Molly and Arthur Weasley.
Soon he would become a son by marriage, although for now, it was their own Very Important Secret. He had proposed on Valentine's Day that year; they wanted to wait till after graduation to tell her family.
The future was theirs.
His apprenticeship complete, Harry now worked for the Firebolt company, the best broom he'd ever ridden. He loved his work, testing new brooms, adjusting various charms for individual brooms, including many of the professional Quiddtch players.
Ginny became a Quidditch reporter for the Daily Prophet so their careers loosly intermingled.
There's a house we can build, every room inside is filled
With things from far away.
The special things I compile, each one there to make you smile
On a rainy day.
“The structure is solid, basically, it just needs some tender loving care,” explained the realtor, watching the young couple look around. “ A bit of paint perhaps. The Floo can be connected within a day and -”
“Harry, look at the back yard,” the woman cried, interrupting the realtor's spiel. She beckoned the handsome man to her, their shiny new bands on their left hands depicting they were newly weds.
“I was saving that for last, I know you both mentioned you wanted a large yard to fly in,” beamed the realtor.
The couple smiled at her, leaving her to step out into the yard. “ So, what do you think?” asked Harry, nervously.
“Well, dad has already had it checked out and the realtor is right, the structure is solid. I liked the kitchen, and that small room could be an office,” said Ginny, hesitantly.
Harry nodded. “The bedrooms are a good size and then there's the yard. It's just what we wanted.”
“So, we agree?” she asked.
Harry took a deep breath and turned to look at the back of the house; the realtor keeping an eye on them from the window. “Yep. It's perfect.”
Ginny squealed and jumped into his arms. He laughed, spinning her around. “Let's go sign the papers.”
Harry walked down the hall to check on his youngest child. His eldest, James Arthur, was twelve and already at Hogwarts. His middle child, another son, was Evan Rubeus, and he would be starting at Hogwarts this September. They were good, kind boys and Harry was proud of the young men they were becoming.
He opened the door, in time to see Lily Luna, near the window, look around in alarm, then scurry back to bed. She pulled the covers up to her nose, so only her bright brown eyes, so like his beloved Ginny, were visible.
“You should be asleep by now, Lily.” He tried to sound stern but he could see she wasn't buying it. He was the softy when it came to their kids. Lily's bedcovers had come down and she sat up expectantly.
“Did you have a nice dinner with mum?” she asked.
“Yes, we did, thank you, Lily. What were you doing near the window?” he asked calmly.
“Nothing.” A flush came over her face, for she hadn't yet learned to mask her lies.
“Lily? You weren't going to go for a fly, were you?” he asked knowingly.
She nodded slowly. Harry took a deep breath.
“But Daddy, I found a fairy and her wing was broken and she couldn't fly properly,” argued Lily, before he could say anything.
The fairy in question was on Lily's bedside table, nodding vigorously.
Harry walked around her bed, spying her broom sticking out under her bed. “Were you planning to fly her out your window?” he asked, aghast. His daughter would turn his hair grey with her antics, he was sure.
“She needs to get back to her family,” protested Lily.
“When did you find this fairy?” asked Harry, suspiciously. He eyed her sternly.
“In my tree,” answered Lily slowly, unable to lie when her dad looked at her like that. A huge tree grew outside her bedroom window and many times he had caught her out on a large branch, usually scrambling to get back into her room before she was caught.
“We'll take her back tomorrow. Right now, you should be asleep,” he said.
Lily looked over at the fairy, as if asking if that would be all right. The fairy shrugged and settled down to sleep. Lily turned back to her dad, settling back in her bed.
Harry tucked the covers around her and sat down on the side of her bed. “So, fairy rescuer this week, hmm?”
Lily giggled. Last week she had wanted to go and help Uncle Charlie work with dragons, and just yesterday her mum had read Auntie Luna's latest letter out loud, and she mentioned she was studying Cornish Pixies. A month ago, after chatting with Dobby, their eldest house-elf, she decided she was going to become a healer for house-elves.
“I just want to help everyone, Daddy,” insisted the little girl with the big brown eyes that melted his heart, just as her mother's did.
“You're going to do great things in the world, my Lily love,” he told her, leaning over to press a kiss on her forehead.
Lily smiled. Harry went to stand but she grabbed his hand. “Daddy, wait!”
He sat back down, and watched as she pulled a card out from under her pillow. Giggling again, she handed it to him.
“Mummy helped me with the poem,” she told him, somewhat shyly. “ It's you and me on the front.”
“Is this one me, or am I the one wearing a pink dress?” he asked her, a twinkle in his eye.
“Daddy, you don't wear dresses,” she burst out laughing. “See, look, you're wearing glasses and I'm not.”
“ Right, I see now. Okay, To Daddy,” he read, opening it. He started to read but had to stop, and start again, his voice thick with emotion.
“Although right now I'm kind of small, when I'm with you, I'm ten feet tall.
Like you, I want to be brave and smart, 'cause I love you, Daddy, with all my heart.
Love from Lily.”
He read the words to himself again, then looked at her. He remembered holding his daughter in his arms just after her birth, feeling that wonderful surge of love that he and Ginny had created this miracle.
“ Do you like it, Daddy?” she asked hesitantly.
He simply held his arms open wide, and with a grin, she thrust the bed covers back and practically leapt into his arms. “I love you, Daddy,” she said.
Four simple words to warm his heart. He hugged her harder till she squirmed to be set free. He set her on his knee. “I have something for you too, Lily.”
He pulled a card out from his shirt, under his travel cloak. He handed it to Lily, who took it with a sense of awe.
“But Valentine's Day is for you and Mummy,” she said.
Harry shook his head. “ For both my special girls,” he told her.
She beamed, pleased to be elevated to the same level as her mum. She looked at the card. It had a big heart on the front with the words, “ To Lily.”
She opened it and began to read. “Your eyes always twinkle and shine like star light.
Your smile makes me giggle and laugh with delight. I can't help but smile just hearing your name, and seeing you sleeping does just the same. And whether you're here or we're far apart, you'll always be part of me...,” There was another heart drawn, with words inside, “here in my heart. Love, Dad,” she finished.
She looked up at Harry, who nodded and patted his heart. She hugged him again, as hard as she could. “ Thank you, Daddy.”
A flutter of wings and a tinkling sound made them both look over at the fairy, who was looking cross at being kept awake. Lily slid off Harry's lap and returned to her bed.
Harry tucked her back in again. “No more adventures tonight, no more climbing out windows, sneaking your brother's broom to go for a fly. No looking for fairies or snorkaks or kittens or chasing rainbows or anything. Sleep, my Lily-pad.”
“I can't help it, Daddy. Lots and lots of ideas pop into my head at night, it's not fair. Sleeping is so silly.”
“You do lots of growing while you sleep, Lily,” reminded Harry. “Come on, now, settle down.”
She yawned. “I'm not even tired,” she said stubbornly. “Tell me a story?”
He was surprised, she had outgrown that habit two years ago. “ All right, but only if you lay there and close your eyes.”
She nodded obediently and closed her eyes, quickly re-opening to make sure he was still there. Harry took her hand in his and began to half speak, half sing.
“Every night I lie in bed, the brightest colours fill my head,
A million dreams are keeping me awake.”
Lily's eyes flew open. “Yes, Daddy, that's just what it's like.”
He stared pointedly at her and she sighed, shutting her eyes again. Still, she he knew her dad would understand!
Harry began again. “Every night I lie in bed, the brightest colours fill my head,
A million dreams are keeping me awake.
I think of what the world could be, a vision of the one I see.
A million dreams is all it's gonna take.”
Lily's breath evened out. She was asleep.
“A million dreams for the world we're gonna make.”
He stood and went to leave her room, stopping at the door to look back at her.
“A million dreams for the world you're gonna make.”
He left her door half ajar, in case she needed him during the night, and after checking on Evan, he moved down the hall to the master bedroom.
He and Ginny still had some Valentine celebrating to do.
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