Winner of KSBKBT Debate Champtionship 2
Joined: 26 June 2006
Passage from HBP - Chapter 24 "Sectumsempra" pg. 530 U.S. Edition:"Give it a rest, Hermione!" said Ginny, and Harry was so amazed, so grateful, he looked up. "By the sound of it, Malfoy was trying to use an Unforgivable Curse, you should be glad Harry had something good up his sleeve!"
"Well, of course I'm glad Harry wasn't cursed!" said Hermione, clearly stung. "But you can't call that Sectumsempra spell good, Ginny, look where it's landed him! And I'd have thought, seeing what this has done to your chances in the match -"
"Oh, don't start acting as though you understand Quidditch," snapped Ginny, "you'll only embarrass yourself."
"Ginny, where're you going?" yelled Harry, who had found hint self trapped in the midst of a mass midair hug with the rest of the team, but Ginny sped right on past them until, with an almighty crash, she collided with the commentators podium. As the crowd shrieked and laughed, the Gryffindor team landed beside the wreckage of wood under which Zacharias was feebly stirring,: Harry heard Ginny saying blithely to an irate Professor McGonagall, "Forgot to brake, Professor, sorry."
Laughing, Harry broke free of the rest of the team and hugged Ginny, but let go very quickly.
"E is always so thoughtful," purred Fleur adoringly, stroking Bill's nose. Ginny mimed vomiting into her cereal behind Fleur. Harry choked over his cornflakes, and Ron thumped him on the back. (Chapter 6 - Draco's Detour; Note: she often calls Fleur "cow", "phlegm" etc)
Her imitations of Ron anxiously bobbing up and down in front of the goal posts as the Quaffle sped toward him, or of Harry bellowing orders at McLaggen before being knocked out cold, kept them all highly amused. Harry, laughing with the others, was glad to have an innocent reason to look at Ginny; he had received several more Bludger injuries during practice because he had not been keeping his eyes on the Snitch. (Chapter 24 - Sectumsempra)
Excuse me, but Harry was a 11 year old. As far as I know, 11 year old boys do not form attachments for girls as that age. Even Ron did not like Hermione in "that way" until the 4th book.
Harry was still only 12, and of course he would be embarrassed. Ginny was professing her "crush" on him in front of Malfoy and the Slytherins, and though sweet, the poem was corny. It's obvious he'd be embarrassed. Though Ginny doesn't "thank" him, she does show concern for his wound, and she was a 11 year old girl who was taken into the Chamber of Secrets by a basilisk. Not many adults could have taken that, and she was overwhelmed. It was a big thing she had gone through, and she did not know Harry well until the 5th book, so why would she confide in him? And girls tend to confide in these things with other girls, not guys they have crushes on. How many times did Hermione confide with Ron about things she had gone through, or the prejudice she received form Slytherins for being Muggleborn?
This doesn't much have to do with the immaturity of age; if that were the case, I'm tempted to deem the major couples in the book (RWHG & HPGW) as not being properly thought of because then, how does a 17 year old know they can spend their entire life with someone? Far too early to tell if they are compatible especially in the case of Harry/Ginny. That Harry felt embarrassed by Ginny's valentine and that he doesn't ponder over it much is a testament of how indifferent he is to her. She really isn't anything more than Ron's sister to him at this point. The Basilisk was one experience that could have been a MAJOR stepping stone for the Harry/Ginny relationship had Rowling used it appropriately. Ginny might have been overwhelmed but again, Harry's concern does not seem to extend beyond the fact that Ginny is his best friend's baby sister. Harry didn't know Luna very well either in OOTP, despite her being a part of DA, yet he spoke to her regarding Sirius' death; they connected over the loss of parents. Ginny-Harry didn't connect over anything. It's not so much about confiding as it is about discussing a major experience they both went through. Hermione is a different case altogether. Her personality is quite introverted and Ginny, if her "true self" shows in OOTP, isn't.
Which shows that her "crush" on Harry was more than just a crush. She was starting to like him for his personality that being "the boy who lived". She was starting to grow up from the blushing giggling girl to someone mature. And I know lots of guys who don't show interest in girls until the age of 15. 13 is still a pretty young age for boys to "like" girls in that way. And we can't forget that Harry went through a lot of things every year at Hogwarts. He was always in the center of things, and girls did not mean much to him until the 5th book. And not everyone marries the first person they like. Many people go through some relationships first before dating the person they'll eventually marry. Ginny and Harry's relationship was slow and steady, which made it so much sweeter when they finally did get together.
That's quite conflicting with your previous views, isn't it? If Harry doesn't feel anything at twelve for Ginny because boys don't like girls that way at such an early age, how is it possible that Ginny feels something more than an obsession or infatuation at the age of twelve? She certainly isn't as emotionally evolved as Harry (what with three close encounters with LV, the loss of parents, living with the ghastly Dursleys). I disagree that thirteen is too early for boys to like girls and Harry is a proof of that. He starts to like Cho in this book, remember? Passage from PoA):
"Their Seeker, Cho Chang, was the only girl on their team. She was shorter than Harry by about a head, and Harry couldn't help noticing, nervous as he was, that she was extremely pretty. She smiled at Harry as the teams faced each other behind their captains, and he felt a slight lurch in the region of his stomach that he didn't think had anything to do with nerves." (Rowling, Chapter 13 - 'Gryffindor vs. Ravenclaw', pg. 191)
I also disagree on the account that Ginny/Harry's relationship was slow and steady. It was anything but. He doesn't much care for Ginny (beyond the concern he would show for any of Ron's siblings or Hermione's parents) until book 6 and even then, it is too rushed. Had their relationship been slow and steady - I wouldn't have minded it so much.
He had a crush on Cho. Like I said, not everyone marries the first person they have a crush on. Harry liked Ginny later than Ginny like him, and he actually did ask Ginny before he asked Parvathi. Ginny told him she was going with Neville, so Harry asked the next available person: Parvati. And Ginny still liked Harry, but she was much more mature and instead of waiting around for Harry to ask her, she accepted the person who asked her. It showed that she was not a weak weeping character, but someone who was strong and much more mature than before.
If thirteen isn't a mature age for boys to be liking girls 'that way', then how can thirteen be an age for girls to be liking guys that way :P? Also, the instance is merely to reinforce that Harry doesn't like Ginny romantically. Yes, Ginny was being strong and I liked this Ginny - I don't have issues with her characterization in this book. Book Five is when I developed an antipathy for her.
We only have Hermione's word that Ginny "gave up" on Harry. Ginny herself says in the 6th book that she never gave up on Harry, but she wanted to try to move on instead of waiting around for Harry forever, because she did not want to tie herself down by waiting for someone who may never like her in that way. That's why she dated Michael Corner and Dean Thomas for awhile, but none of them worked out because she realized that she no longer simply liked Harry, she loved him.
Not everyone's relationship is based on the fact that they fight. There are so many different kinds of relationships, and if all the romances in Harry Potter were based on the fact that "they fought, so they'd make a good couple", I'd be pretty boring reading about them.
Winner of KSBKBT Debate Champtionship 2
Joined: 26 June 2006
IPKKND 3rd Banner Contest Winner
Joined: 11 September 2008
Winner of KSBKBT Debate Champtionship 2
Joined: 26 June 2006
Joined: 27 January 2006
I think that Harry, had a fair idea about Ginny's infatuation with him in the earlier books, he was not oblivious to it, but to a large extent he was indifferent and probably a little embrassed by it.
Joined: 20 August 2008
Joined: 20 August 2008
I think that Harry, had a fair idea about Ginny's infatuation with him in the earlier books, he was not oblivious to it, but to a large extent he was indifferent and probably a little embrassed by it.
Joined: 20 August 2008
by Tim Lambarski
In her essay Ginny Weasley, Why? published on The Harry Potter Lexicon in October 2003, author Water Witch presented a surprisingly astute evaluation of the importance of Ginny Weasley — surprising because, although the article was written after the publication of Order of the Phoenix, it predated Half-Blood Prince. Even though Rowling finally defines Ginny's personality in Order of the Phoenix, there are few indicators, though they do exist, that she will become Harry's sweetheart. Water Witch claims JKR continually misdirects our attention from Ginny in the earlier novels while suggesting Ginny's significance from her very first scene, claiming that Ginny running after the train (PS6) is a "pseudo lover's scene" taking place as it does in a train station, a traditional trysting place and alluding to where JKR's parents met.
If we had possessed JKR's knowledge of characters from the beginning, we might have perceived another indicator right from the start. Harry is an example of the "prince in hiding" seen in many legends and fantasies such as Taran in The Prydain Chronicles, Shasta in The Horse and His Boy and, of course, King Arthur.  Harry, like Arthur, is "The Chosen One," the child of destiny. As Arthur was the only one who could pull the sword from the stone, so Harry is the only one who could pull the could pull the Sorcerer's Stone from his pocket. Having been informed by JKR on her website that Ginny is short for Ginevra, not Virginia, we have only to note that Ginevra is Italian for Guinevere to realize that, as Guinevere was meant for King Arthur, so Ginny is the only one fit to be Harry's queen. 
Rowling has developed Ginny's character slowly through the books, giving her a personality that makes her a fit match for Harry. Below I trace how JKR has accomplished this, and conclude with some possibilities for developments related to Ginny in Book Seven.
Ginny in Books One Through Six
Ginevra is both a Weasley and a Gryffindor: courageous, talented and mischievous. In the first three novels Rowling throws us some red herrings which suggest Ginny is a shrinking violet, a lovesick teenager or an easily duped victim. However, if we remember that Rowling admires mystery writer Dorothy L. Sayers, and has undoubtedly learned some lessons in misdirection, a more careful reading of these books uncovers Ginny's inquisitiveness, daring and sense of humor.
When we first meet Ginny in Philosopher's Stone she begs to go to Hogwarts with her brothers even though she is not old enough, and wants to jump on the train to see Harry for herself (PS6). Besides Water Witch's notes on the romantic import of the train station scene, we should mark the significance of the fact that Ginny is the first of the Weasley children to speak when she tells her mom the number of the train platform: "'Nine and three-quarters!' piped a small girl, also red-headed . . ." (PS6). We see that she has a mind of her own in spite of (or perhaps being the cause of) her mother's protective attitude toward her. Rowling is throwing us some red herrings — showing her holding her mother's hand and crying when the train leaves (PS6) — not wanting to bring her forward too soon. We do not see Ginny again until the end of the book when she shouts, "There he is, Mom, there he is, look!" (PS17). Here we see again her high spirits and curiosity. It is not until later that she becomes shy and embarrassed with Harry.
While in PS Ginny only appears in 4 pages, she arrives on the scene early in Chamber of Secrets, and has her largest role in the first four books: Ginny appears in 33 pages out of 341. Although she is bashful with Harry, blushing and clumsy, she is described as having "bright brown eyes" (CS3). We should remember that whenever Rowling describes something when Harry is present, we are meant to see through his eyes. In the next paragraph, Ron quips, "You don't know how weird it is for her to be this shy. She never shuts up, normally. . .." Again, the elbow in the butter, the porridge knocked off the table, the blushes and inability to speak (CS4) — all are red herrings.
Ginny needs the insulting remarks of Draco to bring forth her true colors. When Malfoy claims that Harry is always making the front page, she bursts out, "Leave him alone, he didn't want all that!" (CS4). It is the first time she speaks in front of Harry, and is rewarded by Malfoy calling her Harry's girlfriend. Her outburst shows that she understands Harry in a way that we would not expect. Obviously, she has been observing him and contemplating his situation.
Even though she is to play a major role in the conclusion of this story, Rowling keeps her in the background, allowing her to come on stage for brief scenes in only eight pages until setting up the final confrontation by approaching Harry and Ron at breakfast on that fateful day as she tries to confess her involvement in the opening of the Chamber of Secrets (CS16). In Chamber of Secrets, Rowling has set up a connection between Harry and Ginny by making her the only other student of their time to be confronted by Riddle/Voldemort and experience the Dark Lord inside her head.
It is worth noting Harry's attitude toward Ginny in Chamber of Secrets. Throughout the novel he is sensitive to her feelings. He talks to her at the Burrow; ignores her clumsiness, and speaks quietly to her when she comes to them with her fears. If we see Ginny as a shrinking violet at Hogwarts, we must remember that she is a first year student (Harry, Ron and Hermione were unsure of themselves in their first year), and that she has been possessed by Riddle. Dumbledore says, "Older and wiser wizards than she have been hoodwinked by Lord Voldemort" (CS18).
In Prisoner of Azkaban, Rowling puts Ginny in the background again. She is mentioned in only 15 pages. However, there is a subtle change. Mum is still being protective, not letting her go into an Egyptian tomb (PA1), but this is not surprising in view of her near escape from death only two months earlier. And although she seems "heartily embarrassed" when she sees Harry in the Leaky Cauldron (PA4), we also see her giggling with her Mum and Hermione (PA5), and then catching Harry's eye as they laugh together over Percy (PA5).
On the train JKR makes a connection between Harry and Ginny after the Dementors' attack. Harry asks if anyone was affected as badly as him. Ginny, "huddled in her corner looking nearly as bad as Harry felt, gave a small sob," and Ron says, "Ginny was shaking like mad . . ." (PA5). Perhaps she was affected more than the others because the Dementors were able to pull out the memories of her possession by Voldemort.
Later in the book, we find she is still interested in Harry when she summons the courage to give him a singing card in the hospital (PA10). However, Rowling squashes any further thought along this line by leaving Ginny out almost entirely for the final 252 pages of the book. In my reading, I only saw her name once during this stretch when she reproves Fred for his insensitivity about Scabbers (PA13).
In Goblet of Fire, Rowling brings Ginny out early, starting in GF5. Ginny is in many of the scenes at the Burrow and at the World Cup though we see her mostly in the first part of these sections and very little during the last part. We first see Ginny coming down to the kitchen with Hermione, implying they are friends. She turns scarlet when Harry smiles at her, indicating she has not yet gotten control of her feelings for him, but when they all go up to Ron's room, she joins in the conversation. We also learn that she has named Pigwidgeon, indicating she has intelligence and a sense of humor (GF5).
After this, we see less and less of her. Though she goes to the Quidditch World Cup, she is not with the dynamic Trio when they walk around the grounds before the match or afterward during the incident with Winky and the Dark Mark. She is seen very little after they return to the Burrow and not involved in any of the scenes on the train.
Ginny does not turn up again until GF22 when she reports that Ron asked Fleur to the Yule Ball. They discuss the ball and when Ron suggests Harry go with Ginny, they learn that she has already agreed to go with Neville. She leaves looking "extremely miserable." It is to Ginny's credit that she does not jump at the chance and dump Neville. She shows character in being true to her word. After the ball we do not see Ginny again for 200 pages. She joins the family for lunch when Bill and Mrs. Weasley come to visit Harry as substitute-relatives (GF31). It is perhaps a foreshadowing that Mrs. Weasley thinks of Harry like a son. She is even cold toward Hermione until Harry makes it clear that Hermione is not his girlfriend as Rita Skeeter has reported.
We do not see Ginny again in Goblet of Fire, not even during the train ride home. Rowling apparently wants our attention kept away from Ginny until she brings forward the new Ginny in Order of the Phoenix when, in OP4, as Water Witch aptly puts it in her essay, Ginny "literally bursts upon the scene with a mane of red hair." By my count, while Ginny is involved in only 29 pages of Goblet of Fire, she inhabits about 120 pages in Order of the Phoenix.
When Ginny arrives on the scene, she has a new agenda. She says hello to Harry "brightly" and immediately joins in the conversation (OP4). Notice that she has waited until Harry has finished his tirade with Ron and Hermione, but unlike Fred and George, who chided Harry, she simply says, "I thought I heard your voice." It is as if he is just another friend. As we learn much later, she has been counseled by Hermione, who says Ginny gave up on Harry months ago. "'Not that she doesn't like you, of course,' she added kindly to Harry. . .." (OP16).
As always, Ginny is sensitive to Harry's feelings waiting until he has finished his tirade and not bringing it up. Later, she is able to defuse another potential tirade when she interrupts him: "'We know, Harry,' said Ginny earnestly" (OP4). The observant reader will notice that her attention is always on Harry. Just one of many examples occurs after Ginny catches the Snitch against Hufflepuff. She plays down her achievement and tells Harry she would rather be a Chaser once Harry gets back. When Harry moans about his lifelong ban, she says it will only last while Umbridge is there (OP26). An earlier example is when Ron and Hermione have to leave Harry on the train to go to the prefect's compartment. Ginny, perhaps sensing Harry's disappointment, immediately suggests they look for a compartment themselves (OP10) even though she is seeing Michael Corner (OP17).
In this book Rowling makes clear the strong connection between Harry and Ginny as the only two who have had Voldemort inside their heads. After the attack on Mr. Weasley when Harry is loathe to see his friends or express his worries about being possessed, Ginny confronts him. "'Well, that was a bit stupid of you,' said Ginny angrily, 'seeing as you don't know anyone but me who's been possessed by You-Know-Who, and I can tell you how it feels'" (OP23).
For indicators in Order of the Phoenix that Rowling is bringing Ginny forward as a major player, we have only to note her scenes with Harry in which she is no longer shy contributing to the conversations (OP4), sits with Harry and Neville on the train (OP10), is observed by Harry doing well in the Dumbledore's Army lessons (OP18), reminds Harry that she knows what it's like to be possessed (OP23), and impresses Harry with her Quidditch performance against Hufflepuff (OP26). However, the most telling scene in OP occurs when Harry is not present, but is recounted by Ron. In describing the Quidditch match against Ravenclaw, he tells Harry that Ginny caught the Snitch right out from under Cho's nose (OP31). If you exchange the word "Snitch" for "Harry," you can see this action as symbolizing that Ginny will supplant Cho in Harry's affections.
One of the major themes in Order of the Phoenix is the unfolding of Ginny's character. Rowling takes great pains to reveal the true Ginny over the course of the book. In OP4, Ginny tells them she tossed Dungbombs at the kitchen door (mischievous, resourceful). In OP6, George says size doesn't matter; look at Ginny's Bat-Bogey Hex (talented, spunky). Again in OP6, she shuts the enchanted music box (sensible, coolheaded). In OP10, she cleans the Stinksap with a Scourgify spell (skillful). In OP16, she says, "Hem, hem" in imitation of Umbridge (sense of humor, good mimic). In OP18, she suggests the name "Dumbledore's Army" (intelligence, insight), and is seen to be "doing very well" at D.A. (talented, quick learner). In OP26, Hermione says Ginny had been breaking into the shed since the age of six to use the twins' brooms to practice Quidditch (resourceful, plucky). In OP29, she says she learned from Fred and George that anything's possible if you've got the nerve (courage, optimism). In OP32, she agrees to help Harry in the plan to contact Sirius (eagerness, enthusiasm), and is later seen trying to kick the shins of her captor after being caught (fearless, defiant). In OP33, she will not be left behind (bravery, determination).
It is amusing to speculate why she waited until Cho had left the train compartment to clean the Stinksap off Harry. She is dating Michael Corner and does not seem to be jealous of Cho. She informs Cho of the first D.A. meeting (OP18) and later consoles Harry saying, "I'm sure if you just talked to Cho . . ." (OP29). But she has not totally "given up" on Harry, so, she does not mind if Cho sees him in a less than perfect light.
Rowling has introduced us gradually to Ginny's true character to prepare us for her inclusion in the episode at the Ministry. Although Harry contemplates that, if he could have chosen anyone to help, he would not have chosen Neville, Luna and Ginny (OP33), they have actually shown themselves quite competent in their D.A. lessons and the most dedicated of the D.A. members. That Ginny's character has been the most fully developed of the three indicates her importance in Rowling's designs. She, like the others, deports herself well at the Ministry refusing to be left in the corridor as a guard (OP34), keeping a cool head (OP34), and displaying grit and determination after her leg is broken (OP35).
This whole episode is reminiscent of both the Gospels with their message that the weak are used to confound the mighty, and The Lord of the Rings where the seemingly weak — the Hobbits and the woman Eowyn — are the ones that save Middle Earth.
All six "musketeers" are together in the hospital wing as Hermione reads the Daily Prophet (OP38). Ginny, whose "ankle had been mended in a trice," relates intervening events to the patients, and gives astute observations on the conditions of Filch and Umbridge (OP38). But the Trio has not become a sextuplet; Harry thinks only of telling Ron and Hermione about the prophecy he heard from Dumbledore (OP38). He is not ready to include Ginny or the others in the core group.
On the train home, Ginny informs her companions that she has dumped Corner and is now going with Dean Thomas (OP38). It may be significant that Luna is not present with Harry, Ron and Hermione on the train back to London though Ginny and Neville are. Of course, Luna's father may have picked her up at Hogwarts for their Crumple-Horned Snorkack vacation, but Rowling may be using this scene to point to the importance of these two in the final episode of the series: Neville as the boy who could have been chosen and Ginny as Harry's soulmate.
In Half-Blood Prince, Ginny's true position is finally revealed though it takes 533 pages to finally happen. In Order of the Phoenix Rowling developed Ginny's character; in this book, she develops Harry's feelings for Ginny and his realization that she is the one for him. Ginny is seen in Half-Blood Prince more than in any other book. Though she is involved in only 103 pages compared with 120 in Order of the Phoenix, she takes a larger percentage of each page. In addition, since Half-Blood Prince is 218 pages shorter than Order of the Phoenix, the 103 pages is actually a larger percentage of the book.
Because the first four chapters are concerned with other issues, Harry does not see Ginny until HBP5 when she comes into Harry's room at the Burrow. Rowling further reveals Ginny's down-to-earth personality. She is very critical of Fleur's pretentiousness, calls her Phlegm, and does a humorous imitation of her mannerisms (HBP5). But Rowling's main intention is to get Harry and Ginny together, so she has them being chummy at the Burrow, sharing a joke about Fleur and playing Quidditch every day with Ron and Hermione (HBP7). Mr. and Mrs. Weasley take the four to Diagon Alley where they spend more time together, especially at Fred & George's joke shop (HBP6). However, it is significant that later in HBP6 when the Trio confronts Draco and his mom and when they follow Draco, Ginny is not with them.
On the train to Hogwarts Harry asks Ginny to sit with him, but she declines saying she has promised to sit with Dean (HBP7). I think she knows instinctively that she will get further by not being too anxious, by not standing someone up for Harry and by letting him taste a little loneliness. Harry, on his part, felt a "twinge of annoyance as she walked away" and notices "her long red hair dancing behind her." He has grown used to her presence and has forgotten that she did not hang around with the Trio at school. It rather reminds one of Professor Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady admitting "I've grown accustomed to her face."
Another example of Harry's growing affection for Ginny, though he is still unaware of it, occurs when he smells the love potion in class. Among other things he likes, it reminds him of a flowery smell he remembers from the Burrow (HBP9). As Hermione points out, Amortentia smells differently to each of us "according to what most attracts us" (HBP9). Later, Harry catches a waft of the same flowery smell when Ginny comes up behind him (HBP9).
Thanks to her "most marvelous" Bat-Bogey Hex she becomes a member of the Slug Club (HBP7). Apparently, she is very popular even without Professor Slughorn. Fred and George question her about boyfriends (HBP6) and Pansy Parkinson says boys like her, even Blaise thinks she is good looking (HBP7). We find her surrounded by friends on the train, in the Great Hall and in the Common Room.
Rowling keeps Ginny in the picture as the story progresses. She is usually shown in a favorable light before Harry as when she is the best at Quidditch tryouts scoring 17 goals (HBP11). But JKR has her doing other things to keep her in the picture: playing with Arnold, her Pygmy Puff (HBP11), delivering Dumbledore's letter to Harry (HBP12), practicing with the team (HBP14), and playing against Slytherin (HBP14). Later, Rowling has Luna complimenting Ginny to Harry, saying she has been nice to her stopping two boys from calling her Loony (HBP15).
Meanwhile, Harry begins to be aware of his feelings for Ginny. Harry asks her to go to Hogsmeade with them, but she begs out saying she is going with Dean. When he does not see her there, he wonders if she is getting cozy with Dean at Madam Puddifoot's Tea Shop, and scowls (HBP12). Later, he has a sinking feeling about putting Dean on the team. When Harry and Ron come across Ginny and Dean kissing behind a tapestry, "something large and scaly erupted into life in Harry's stomach," and Harry wants to "jinx Dean into jelly." During the heated argument that ensues between Ron and Ginny, Harry sides with Ron in his mind wanting the relationship stopped. He tries to tell himself he is indignant because he thinks of her as a sister, but he is not convinced. He pictures himself kissing her and Ron getting angry at him. Harry can not get her out of his head when trying to sleep (HBP14).
Harry's affection for Ginny continues to grow but he continues to be unsure of his feelings. After the Quidditch match when Ginny collides with the podium collapsing it around Zacharias Smith, Harry and Ginny hug, but he lets go very quickly. Later, when he bumps into Ginny, and she says "Good game," and pats him on the arm, he feels a "swooping sensation in his stomach" (HBP14). Then, with Slughorn's Christmas party looming, Harry says there isn't anyone he wants to invite while still trying not to think about Ginny, but she keeps cropping up in his dreams (HBP15). And back at the Burrow for Christmas, when Ginny picks a maggot out of Harry's hair, he feels "goosebumps erupt up his neck that had nothing to do with the maggot" (HBP16).
By the time they return to school, Harry apparently no longer has any doubts that his feelings for Ginny are not brotherly. From here, Rowling starts moving events more quickly in the development of their relationship. When she goes off to see Dean, Harry thinks she does not sound enthusiastic (HBP17), and when in the hospital Ron tells him Ginny visited while he was unconscious, his "imagination zoomed into overdrive" envisioning a scene with Ginny weeping over his body and confessing her deep attraction for him (HBP19). Then, when Hermione tells him that Ginny has argued with Dean, "the drowsing creature in Harry's chest suddenly raised its head, sniffing the air hopefully" (HBP20). Harry has thoughts about using Felix Felicis to win Ginny (HBP22). Finally, when Hermione tells Harry that Ginny and Dean have broken up, Harry's insides are suddenly dancing the conga (HBP24). But he is still waging a debate in his mind about how Ron would take it if he and Ginny started seeing each other (HBP24).
Now Rowling really has the ball rolling — or the Quaffle flying — and it is zooming toward the goal. After Ginny's breakup with Dean, she becomes the life of the practice (HBP24), imitating Ron and Harry on the pitch, and Harry is glad to have an innocent reason to look at her and laugh. But the battle still rages in his mind — Ron or Ginny? Talking to her, laughing with her, walking with her from practice, he worries that someone else will ask her out. In his mind he agrees with Ron that she is too popular for her own good (HBP24). He hopes that winning the next Quidditch match will mean winning Ginny, too (HBP24). In fact, that is exactly what does happen, but not in the way expected. Harry misses the game because of his detention, but Gryffindor wins anyway with Ginny at Seeker. After the game, in what is probably the most anticipated scene to date, Ginny runs toward Harry with "a hard, blazing look in her face as she threw her arms around him. And without thinking, without planning it, without worrying about the fact that fifty people were watching, Harry kissed her." Ron gives a head-jerk that means, "Well — if you must" and the creature in Harry's chest roars with triumph (HBP24, emphasis in original).
The next few weeks are pure bliss for Harry and Ginny, but we know the bliss cannot last. There are the Horcruxes and Malfoy's plotting that will soon bring disaster. Before Harry leaves with Dumbledore, he gives the Felix Felicis to Ron and Hermione telling them to call up the D.A. and share the potion with Ginny (HBP25). He knows that Ginny will respond to the call and he wants her safe. When Harry runs into the tower after Snape, Ginny is fighting the lumpy Death Eater and dodging his hexes (HBP28). Harry stops just long enough to jinx him. The potion seems to be working for Ginny. When the fighting is all over and Harry is numb beside Dumbledore's body, it is Ginny who lifts him up and leads him away. He is aware of her only because of a trace of flowery smell (HBP29). Rowling has said in an interview that Ginny is a very strong character, and we see that here once again. She is strong enough to tell him what happened to Bill (HBP29). Bill is perhaps her favorite brother. We have previously seen her defending Bill's ponytail on two occasions and once hugging him before getting on the train. She is also the one who tells Ron that Dumbledore is dead and then whispers to Madam Pomfrey to "Shh" when she hears the Phoenix song (HBP30). In this time of shock, she seems to be the one most in control.
The happiness for Harry and Ginny fully ends when, after the funeral, in a scene reminiscent of Peter Parker trying to protect Mary Jane from the consequences of being Spiderman's girl, Harry likewise tells Ginny they must stop seeing each other. Harry knows that Voldemort would use her to get to him, and though she is not afraid, he makes her realize he could not bear to see her hurt. Ginny tells Harry she knew he would not be happy if he was not hunting Voldemort, and maybe that's why she likes him so much (HBP30).
Going back to HBP29 to one of the most touching scenes in the whole series we find that Fleur's love for Bill and the depth of her character have been misjudged by all. Ginny had been especially critical of Fleur, and is stunned to see her mom and Fleur crying and hugging each other (HBP29). We discover perhaps for the first time that Ginny is not perfect. Rowling, perhaps taking a page from one of her favorite authors Jane Austen, is showing that Ginny Weasley, like Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice, has been guilty of prejudice and self-deception. Far from diminishing Ginny's worth, the episode builds her character bringing her more maturity as she accepts Fleur as her beloved brother's future wife (HBP29).
A few other observations are in order. First, Harry has not told Ginny about the Horcruxes. This is consistent with his wanting to protect her and prevent her from being used by Voldemort. Second, the fact that Ginny uses the name Voldemort when saying Harry will hunt him (HBP30) again attests to her courage, common sense and connection to Harry. She is not afraid to say his name; she has encountered Voldemort herself and lived through it. Finally, Ginny confirms what Harry had learned earlier through Hermione: that Ginny had backed off from Harry-worship, tried to date others and become more herself with Harry. But she had never stopped liking him (HBP30).
Ginny in Book Seven
If anyone is still thinking that Hermione is in love with Harry and is the one for him, her actions in counseling Ginny and her knowing smiles when Harry is showing interest in Ginny should dispel all such hopes. What will happen in the final installment of the series, we can only guess. Rowling will not hide Ginny again; she has become too important. And what Harry and Ginny feel is not the puppy love Harry and Cho had. Harry and Ginny are well matched and their young age makes little difference. There is precedence for young love in the wizarding world — after all, children come of age at seventeen. Harry will be 17 and Ginny 16 in just two months. Both James and Lily Potter and Arthur and Molly Weasley fell in love while still in school.
In the final confrontation, I do not think Jo will take the easy way out, imitating hundreds of other story lines, by putting Ginny in peril for Harry to save. I could be wrong, of course, but Jo does not often do things in the usual ways. And she has already used that card when Harry tried to save Sirius. I think, though, that Ginny will have an important role to play in Voldemort's demise. Rowling herself has said that, as the first female Weasley in several generations, she can be expected to be a talented witch.
Although some have postulated Harry may have to die in defeating Voldemort, I think everyone prefers that Harry live happily ever after; for some it's with Ginny, for others with Hermione. And some prefer a Harry, wiser and mature, with no one at his side but looking expectantly toward the future. We will not all be satisfied, but until the last book is released, we can all indulge our favorite fantasies.
 Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings is also a "prince-in-hiding," except that he is an adult and knows who he is.
 Let us not take this analogy too far. Rowling does not parallel the plots of older stories, but only uses them for symbols and allusions. Therefore, there is no reason to believe that Ginny will be unfaithful to Harry as Guinevere was to Arthur. After all, Ginny chose Harry from the beginning, unlike Guinevere who was betrothed to Arthur before they met. Note also that Eilonwy, Aravis, and Arwen were never unfaithful.
 I will list the number of pages she appears in each book. My count may vary from others because I have counted pages only when her name is mentioned or she has some lines or actions. Therefore, although she may be present in a lengthy Common Room scene, if she is mentioned only once, I have counted that as only one page. There are a few exceptions. For example, in the scene when they discover Gilderoy and Neville at St. Mungo's, Rowling has included Ginny as a fourth with Harry, Ron and Hermione; therefore, she is integral to the whole scene even though she is not mentioned on two of these pages.
2006 by Tim Lambarski
edited by Paula Hall
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