Ginny was named for a great-great-great-aunt or something, that she always figured Mum and Dad secretly hoped would leave her money. Ginny always hoped that some rich relative somewhere would leave her some money, but not very hard because it was never going to happen. All the people they were related at all to that were really rich were assholes, pure-blood fanatics, or those who'd like nothing more than to dance on Harry's grave.
Of course, if they left her money, she'd take it, but it wasn't going to happen. Her real family left her a lot of things, but none of them were worth any money.
She came into the dining hall nearly twenty minutes after everyone else was sitting down, closely followed by Katie, Ron, Angelina and Alicia. "Why," she said, flopping next to her brother, "do I let you talk me into such things?"
Her hair dripped mud into the rice pudding. "If you could be persuaded," Fred said, flicking her bangs and getting dirty water all over George, "you wouldn't be a Weasley in the first place."
Ginny just huffed, because secretly she was quite pleased.
At eight years old, Ginny stole Fred's wand. Or maybe it was George's, but it was in Fred's cupboard. She hid away in the attic - even with the ghoul - and tried to make things shrink for four hours. It was Percy that finally found her because she'd accidentally started the back papers stored up there whirring around, and a stack flew out the window onto his head.
"Right brilliant!" George called it, hailing her a genius - though of course he would, because his wand was tucked safely in his pocket.
Fred told her off, but then later while they got ready to play Quidditch in the back field, he tucked her on the end of his broom for a ride. Ginny reached over when he was embroiled in trying to hit Charlie in the head with the Quaffle - a new version of trying to get the Quaffle through the hoop, as Ron broke their hoop by hitting it with a gnome a few weeks ago - and stole his wand again. Fred didn't pay enough attention to his wand, but he made sure to hold Ginny on the broom.
Finally making the team was just one more thing everyone pointed at when they said, "oh, look at little Ginny! Look how she's growing!"
Fred snuck up behind her while the whole rest of Gryffindor were trying to avoid showing how crushed they were. Ron was nowhere in sight. "You, lass," he said, "are quite the Seeker."
"I missed at least five different opportunities where Harry would have caught the Snitch easy," she replied, shaking her hair out again. Sopping wet shoes, sopping wet robes, cold dinner - Quidditch had much less to offer than everyone seemed to think. "But I'll get better."
Fred sat down beside her, and put his arm over her shoulders even though she was soaking wet and muddy. Of course it was all too likely that Fred was painfully missing being wet and muddy, quite likely he wished he were muddy too. "It's a right pity George and me were booted. It would be a team of Weasleys."
The truth of it was, Ron couldn't believe she was Seeker in Harry's stead. Ginny kind of thought that Ron subconsciously felt it was a betrayal of Harry somehow. But then Ginny knew Ron felt the fact she didn't have a crush on Harry any longer was a betrayal too. Everyone figured she was too young, but Ron was the worst.
Michael sat back. "What are you thinking about, Ginny?" he asked, all soppy-eyed.
Ginny lied, "oh. You."
She had no idea how Ron would react if he saw her with Michael. Ginny surreptitiously wiped her mouth while Michael had his head leaning against the brick, eyes closed. No, Ginny amended, it was quite obvious how Ron would react if he knew she was seeing Michael.
"You're very pretty," Michael said suddenly. "You're the prettiest girl in fourth year. No, prettiest girl in the school."
Ginny was taken aback. "Thank you," she finally said to him. "You're very handsome as well."
Michael leaned in to kiss her again, and Ginny's mind started wandering to their latest DA meeting, then to Quidditch practise. She mentally flew the drills again, ducking when she should have in the practise, dodging the jinxes she should have in the meeting. Michael had his hand up her robes, gently rubbing her ribs.
Ginny opened her eyes and saw George leaning against a pillar over by the stairs to go back into the castle. He was facing their way, though not looking at her and Michael. She broke away, ducking her head, then glancing at George. "What?" Michael asked.
"My brother," she explained, and grabbed his chin when he made to look. "Don't look!"
"What?" Michael asked again, perplexed. Ginny stopped herself from rolling her eyes. "I'd best go," she said, standing up. There were leaves in her hair from where they were laying in the grass.
"But we just got out--"
"I have Quidditch practise," she told him. "I'm sorry, I have to go."
George caught her arm when she went to go inside. "He's a little dim sometimes," George said by way of greeting.
"So?" Ginny turned around, hands on her hips, challenging. "Are you going to say something stupid and condescending, or should I just go in?"
"Actually," and George tapped her on the head, "I was going to recommend you not be late. Angelina's a menace today. I nearly miss Oliver - or I would, if I could play." A dark scowl crossed over George's face. "Nevertheless," he added finally, "it is nice to have my evenings free for other pursuits."
Ginny cocked her head, then finally grinned. "Best go pursue, then," she told him.
"You as well, Little Gnome," and George hopped away.
The thing of it was, when Fred knocked his elbow against hers at dinner when Michael waved, it was in a teasing way, but not in a stupid way. Of course George had informed Fred, because the two of them shared the same brain, mouth, and eyes - but so far no one else seemed the wiser. Ginny was grateful for small miracles.
Ron leaned over to ask her, "what did you and Angelina work on today?"
"Swooping tactics," she told him, passing along a plate of buns. "Harry used this move, once, where you dive--"
"You know," Ron said abruptly, "You don't have to copy all of Harry's moves."
Ginny was trying to decide whether to answer pleasantly or angrily when Fred spoke up. "She doesn't need to and she doesn't," he told Ron calmly. "She's a fine player."
Ron went bright red, and muttered something, and Ginny felt a little badly for him, because she knew that Ron thought that Fred was making a quiet jab at how badly he had played before. He wasn't, but Ginny knew Ron thought he was. Ron just didn't know how to handle Fred and George.
Of course, pretty much everyone was surprised when Ginny showed the ability to handle anything, but growing up with hurricanes for brothers set you up for nearly anything.
"Go on, faster then! Faster!" Ginny cried, and squashed herself closer to Fred.
"I think you're scared!" Fred called out, the wind whooshing past them.
"I am not," Ginny said immediately, and let go of Fred altogether. "Watch me!"
She carefully pulled herself along the broomstick, until she was perched on the tip, legs clamped together so tightly she could feel muscles vibrating. Fred had one hand knotted in the back of her robes, fingers clenched fast in the material - but the other one was on her shoulder, gently balancing her so she didn't tilt forward too much and throw them both onto the ground.
"Don't even ask how practice was," Ginny said, scowling. "Oh, is that stew? Pass that over."
Ginny tore into the bread, dipping huge chunks into her massive bowl of beef stew, chewing blissfully. Nothing in the world had ever tasted as good as food after a Quidditch practise full of Angelina shouting and Ron fucking up. George asked nonchalantly, "How's Michael?"
She was so tired she said without thinking, "I have no idea, why don't you ask him?" before realizing that George was needling her. "Oh, shove off."
"What?" Ron said, sharply.
Ginny winced as she waited for George to make some joke about their little sister being all grown up and having a boyfriend to hold hands with. She could cut him off before he made it, but didn't - if she waited patiently for him to crack the joke, then she could smack him afterwards.
"Nothing," George told Ron.
Fred sat down, dumping a second helping of stew into Ginny's bowl before serving himself. "Quidditch means you have to eat more, have more." He gave her more bread, and lobbed some at Ron as well. "Ron, have seconds, you're going to need the extra energy."
Ron's face was already chalk white and stretched thin. When the hunks of bread landed in his stew bowl, he looked as though he might fall apart altogether. "Don't," Ginny told them firmly. It was bad enough that Ron had let Quidditch and only Quidditch become the center of his world, he didn't need Fred and George trying to knock him out of orbit as well. "I fucked up about seven different times tonight as well."
George turned his attention to Ginny. "Terrible player you are," he told her, face solemn. "You'll never get anywhere."
Fred grinned, shoving her as Michael tried unsuccessfully to get her attention. "Keep playing like that and you're going to have to get a day job, eh?"
Ginny clinked her spoon against the outer edge of her bowl. "Maybe so," she said, then added, "though at least I'm better than my brothers. Six older brothers and I'm the only decent player. It's a real shame, isn't it? You should have let me play with you when we were younger. You could have picked up some pointers."
George crowed while Fred tried to shove her right off the bench. Ron looked glum. Ginny held on tight while Fred was pushing her. He didn't pull any punches because Fred, if no one else, knew that Ginny could handle it.
"Terrible influence, you two are," Hermione said while Ginny smacked George on the cheek with her spoon. Ginny couldn't disagree, but also didn't mind.
Ginny, age six, was sitting outside the broom shed with a determined look on her face. She was good enough to take for a ride but not good enough to play. Fine. The lock wasn't that strong, after all, and they might even be pleased if they caught her. Not mum, nor dad, but surely Ron and Fred and George would appreciate it.