“There’s the birthday girl!”
“Bill!” Ginny ran the last few feet into the kitchen and threw herself into her oldest brother’s waiting arms. Bill laughed and lifted her off her feet as he returned the hug. He set her down on her feet and kissed her on the cheek.
“Ginny, ’appy birthday.”
Ginny smiled and accepted a kiss on the cheek from her new sister-in-law.
“Thanks. I didn’t expect to see you two, I thought you were still in France,” Ginny said as the three of them sat down at the kitchen table.
“We wanted to be back in time for your birthday,” Bill said easily as he accepted a mug of coffee from his mother.
“Happy birthday, dear,” Mrs Weasley said as she hugged her youngest child.
“Thanks, Mum,” Ginny said as she kissed her mother on the cheek. “Where’s Dad?”
Mrs Weasley sighed. “He had to go into work early. Things are so unsettled at the Ministry right now. Charlie went to help the twins at their shop, the three of them will be here for dinner tonight and to celebrate your birthday.”
“Is Dad okay?” Bill asked.
Mrs Weasley sat at the table joining the other three. “We think so. Your father managed to convince the Ministry that he hadn’t seen Harry since the end of last school year and we don’t know where he is or the whereabouts of his relatives. Healers from St. Mungo’s came and certified that Ron has Spattergroit, so at least that part of their plan seems to be working. I just wish we knew a little more.”
Looking from his mother to his sister, Bill asked cautiously, “So do we know where they went?”
Ginny shook her head. “No. They disappeared as soon as Kingsley’s Patronus arrived and they haven’t been heard from since. Dad says that is good news, if they caught Harry we would know about it.”
“Do we have to talk about this on Ginny’s birthday? Are you going to open your presents, love?” Mrs Weasley asked.
Ginny felt a twinge of annoyance, but forced a smile on her face. She knew that the past few weeks had been hard on her mother and more than one night she’d heard her mother crying. Part of her was annoyed with Ron, Hermione, and Harry for disappearing, but the larger part of her understood that they had a role to play in this war. She'd gathered that they had some mission from Dumbledore, but what that was, she didn't know.
“Of course, Mum,” Ginny said as she reached for one of the gaily wrapped packages sitting at her place.
After a leisurely breakfast catching up with her brother and his new wife, Ginny carried her birthday presents up to her room. Closing her door she set down the boxes of robes, books, and joke products on the edge of her desk.
A pop behind her made her spin around. She pulled her wand and to her astonishment found she was holding it on a house elf. It took her a minute to recognize Kreacher, he was neat and clean and wearing a snowy white towel.
“What the hell are you doing here?” She asked shakily while still holding her wand on the old elf.
“Pardon me, miss. My master sent me with this.” The old elf replied holding out a package.
“Your master?” asked Ginny, not making a move to take the package.
“Yes, miss. Master Harry.” Kreacher answered. “He said to tell you that Hungarian Horntails are much more macho than Hippogriffs and definitely better than Pygmy Puffs.”
Ginny lowered her wand with a gasp. Kreacher continued, “Master Harry told me to ask you what he smells in Amortentia.”
Tears sprang to her eyes as she realized that Harry really did send the elf. “Treacle tart, broomsticks, and me.”
Kreacher nodded and once again held out the package. Ginny reached out and took the package. Giving her a nod, Kreacher said, “I must go back to my master. He told me that if you are ever in need, call and I will come.”
With a pop, Kreacher disappeared. Ginny sank down on her bed turning the package over in her hand. There was a roll of parchment attached to a box wrapped in plain brown paper. With a shaking hand, Ginny unrolled the parchment.
I wish I could be there to wish you a Happy Birthday in person. I know I gave up the right to tell you this, but I really miss you, Gin. Ron and Hermione are great and they’ve been with me since my first year, but I wish you were here.
I don’t remember ever being happier than those weeks that we were together, it was like it was out of someone else’s life. I can’t really explain to you what I am doing, but I wanted to make sure you know that I miss you and really wish you were here.
I don't know what will happen in this coming year - with Dumbledore's death and Death Eaters taking over the Ministry. Be careful. I know you can take care of yourself. You are smart and strong and a very powerful witch. I broke it off because I couldn’t bear to see you hurt because of me. If Voldemort ever found out how much you mean to me, I don’t even want to think about what would happen. I would do anything to keep you safe. Snape knows about us. If you think you are in danger, please call Kreacher. He will come and get you no matter where you are. For that matter if you need anything, anything at all call for Kreacher.
Have a great birthday! I hope you like your gift.
P.S. I didn’t get a chance to tell you, but you looked beautiful at the wedding.
Ginny reread the letter through several times before she realized that tears were falling down her face. Smiling through her tears, Ginny unwrapped the box. Inside was another shorter note.
This bracelet was my Mum’s. Sirius had a small jewelry box of hers that she had entrusted to him before my parents went into hiding. When I first saw this, I immediately thought of you. It is beautiful and sparkly, just like you.
With a shaking hand, Ginny lifted the lid and gasped when she saw a beautiful ruby and diamond bracelet. She clasped the bracelet around her wrist and held it up, admiring the way the gems gleamed in the light. With a smile, she dried her eyes and folded the two notes up and carefully placed them in her treasure box. She didn’t know what was going to happen, but she suddenly felt much more confident about the future.