Ginny Weasley runs a Harry Potter fan club for fun and it attracts quite a few interesting characters.
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters belong J.K. Rowling, bless her, I just borrow them.
‘Quiet down now please,’ called Ginny Weasley over the noise.
The chatter from within the semi-darkened classroom fell at once, Ginny surveyed her audience with excitement from the teacher’s desk at the front of the classroom, overwhelmed that something she had started could have established so well at such an early stage. Of course, she didn’t quite know exactly what to call it yet, there were far too few of them for it to be anything but an idea. In the front row centre she had the ever eager Colin Creevey, he was in Gryffindor like herself, and he wore a wide grin on his face and was waiting ever patiently for proceedings to begin. Beside him sat one of his friends that he had somehow managed to bring along, and judging by the surly look on his face it was quite obvious that he wasn’t perhaps as keen as Colin.
A few seats back from them, also looking uncertain with their decision to attend, were a couple of bright-faced first years from Hufflepuff that Ginny herself had encouraged they attended when she heard them talking during break. Nearer to the back were a couple of older students from Ravenclaw, looking bored already; to their left was another Ravenclaw student, but in Ginny’s year – all Ginny knew of her was that she was nicknamed “Loony” – she was very laid back and was looking around the room opened mouthed as if she’d walked in by mistake and was wondering where she was.
At the very back sat a singular lone figure, their hood was up and their face was lost in the darkness of the room and Ginny had the sickening feeling that it might be an older Slytherin student. But she could see why a Slytherin would want to attend, and therefore dared not ask purely for the concern of the others in the room. She decided, therefore, to look down at her notes and attempt to begin with her opening speech.
Another topic was started without her help, however, when one of the older Ravenclaws stood up and spoke.
‘S’cuse... but what exactly is this about again?’
A few heads nodded in agreement with the question, this girl seemed almost to be asking for the entire room.
‘I mean we get why we’re here,’ she continued, shrugging and rolling her eyes, ‘but what will be actually... doing?’
Ginny cleared her throat.
‘Well,’ she said calmly, folding her arms on the desk in front of her, ‘we’ll obviously the idea is that we will be a selection of people, with relatable interests and ideas, and get together regularly to discuss... certain things.’
‘So it’s a club then?’ said Ravenclaw girl, more stating than asking.
‘A mini-club of sorts, yeah,’ Ginny said, nodding.
‘And the subject of the club is what you said-?’ the girl began.
‘We will discuss,’ Ginny said loudly, talking over the Ravenclaw, ‘certain events of, and/or interesting topic lines of a particular individual and their life-’
‘And is or is not that person..?’
‘Harry Potter...?’ finished one of the other Ravenclaws.
She didn’t answer immediately. She had been very confident about her idea up to this point; everyone she had talked too that was in this room had been given very light details, sparking enough interest for them to come. Now though, with the room completely silent, expecting an answer, she began to dislike the way this conversation was going. After several moments of only the sound of rain tapping the windows, and Ginny coming up with no other way of describing it, she eventually had no choice but to answer.
‘That is correct.’
The immediate reaction to this was not what she had had in mind.
The only two people in the room unmoved were Colin Creevy at the front of the room (his smile widening with glee as he nodded) and the dark-hooded figure at the back of the room. Everybody else seem to react differently; the first-year Hufflepuff’s at the side of the room all began chatting excitedly to one another under their breaths; the Ravenclaw girl who had stood up to ask the question sat, befuddled, as her friends around her shared glances of concern; Colin’s friend said mostly to himself ‘Can’t believe I missed Chess club for this’.
And finally the “Loony” girl stood up and – without the slightest inclination of farewell to anyone – made a beam-line for the door.
‘Wait!’ Ginny bellowed, ‘Loony! Err I mean- crap-’ she smacked her forehead with the palm of her hand and got the attention of not just the “Loony” girl from Ravenclaw, but also the entire room.
‘Sorry?’ the blonde-haired girl asked with a smile, looking unfased, ‘My name isn’t Loony by the way, it’s Luna. But you shouldn’t worry yourself, a lot of people seem incapable of properly pronouncing my name at first, you’d be surprised how many people still call me Loony, besides knowing my proper name full and well.’
‘Err... right, yes, Luna, so sorry,’ Ginny stood up and grasp the desk with white knuckles, ‘but where are you going?’
‘Oh that,’ Luna smiled widely, ‘my mistake really, I’m the one who should be sorry. I thought this was the “Save the Crumple-Horned Snorkack Club” you see? I must be on the wrong floor. I’ll just leave you all to it, then, goodbye.’
And she went to go again, but Ginny again said ‘wait!’
Luna stopped; her hand was on the doorknob and she had an expressionless look on her face as she wheeled around again.
‘Seems you’re already here, why don’t you stay?’ Ginny asked hopefully. ‘I mean- I think you’ll find the “Save the Cumbled-Horny Snorkle Club”-‘
‘Crumple-Horned Snorkack,’ Luna corrected her.
‘What?’ Ginny blinked. ‘Oh, yes, anyway, I think you’ll find it was yesterday.’
The other Ravenclaws were all looking away from each other, biting their lips and trying not to laugh. One of them was eventually composed enough to say, ‘you aren’t serious?’
Ginny’s eyes flashed dangerously in their direction.
‘Yesterday?’ Luna looked very disappointed.
‘It was,’ Ginny tried to sound as convincing as possible, ‘but hey, seems you are already here, why not stay? You do know who Harry Potter is, right?’
All eyes were on Luna now. She blinked, ever expressionless, before a smile appeared on her face.
‘Not intimately I’m afraid,’ she said blankly.
‘I mean you know who he is,’ Ginny explained, ‘what he’s achieved.’
‘Oh yes of course,’ Luna nodded happily, ‘daddy has read his story to me many times.’
‘Good,’ Ginny said, ‘then surely you know it might be worth listening to what I have to say?’
Luna stared for a moment, then without a word she returned to her seat, quite convinced that she should be there and suddenly every eye returned to look at Ginny.
‘So,’ Ginny fumbled with her papers, ‘Harry Potter...’
A pin drop could have been heard in the classroom. A few people shuffled in their seats, apparently restless, the hooded figure at the back of the room coughed but no one paid them any attention. Ginny was rambling her brains for a subject, her sheet of paper might well of have been blank for everything she had written down on it seemed stupid to her at that moment.
‘I think,’ she said eventually, pushing the papers away, ‘now that we all have an understanding of why we are here, we should go around the room and maybe get everyone to say how they think Harry Potter has changed their lives.’
Emptiness followed these words.
‘Oh please,’ said one of the elder Ravenclaws, Ginny tried desperately to ignore her.
Ginny cleared her throat and looked down at Colin, who was still grinning broadly.
‘Colin?’ she said, eyebrows rose, ‘would you like to start?’
Colin bounded out of his seat.
‘Yes please,’ he said energetically, facing the rest of the group.
Several of the Ravenclaws had their fists in their mouths again, apparently on the brink of being overcome with fits of giggles.
Ginny ignored them.
‘Very well, go on then.’
Still grinning broadly, Colin had an intake of breath and began.
‘Well I think Harry Potter is great,’ he said very quickly, eyes wide in excitement, ‘he has changed my life in so many ways because-’
Suddenly the door to the classroom opened, making everyone jump and look around. Ginny’s heart sank; Professor Dumbledore, the Headmaster of Hogwarts, was standing on the threshold of the room, his long green robes and silvery beard illuminating the space around him. Everyone suddenly sat up in their chairs, Ginny’s stomach was churning, and she genuinely thought they were all in trouble.
‘Terribly sorry to interrupt,’ he said pointedly to Colin, who began turning a shade of scarlet.
‘Professor,’ Ginny breathed out, looking dishevelled.
‘Hello Miss Weasley,’ he said happily, but before he could get any further, Ginny had shot out of her seat and felt the billowing of excuses flying through her head.
‘This isn’t- we aren’t- I didn’t think anyone- Professor McGonagall said I could-’
This was half true. She had indeed sought out Professor McGonagall’s permission to use this classroom for a club, but she had not entirely disclosed the idea of the club and stated in a moment of panic that it was for fans of “scars”. Ginny had got the impression Professor McGonagall knew exactly what she meant, but perhaps for Ginny’s benefit did not press the subject.
‘Please, Miss Weasley,’ Dumbledore said, putting a hand up and smiling, ‘I assure you, you are not in any trouble. In fact, I am not here as your Headmaster, or to stop any club from its proceedings. It is as a matter of fact that I wish to join your club. If you’ll have me, of course.’
She was doing it again. Hesitating was not something she enjoyed doing, and she was now even more nervous with the Headmaster standing there waiting for her to speak, his long fingers drumming together and eyes twinkling.
‘Professor...’ she began, feeling very awkward, ‘I must confess. This isn’t a fan club of “scars”.’
Dumbledore raised his eyebrows. ‘Oh?’
‘That was what I told Professor McGonagall, sir,’ she admitted.
Ginny was confused at the way he was smiling.
‘You mean this isn’t the Harry Potter fan club?’ he asked in a disappointed voice.
Ginny did a double-take.
‘You-’ she stuttered, attempting to regather herself, ‘you know?’
‘Indeed,’ Dumbledore continued to smile.
Ginny felt relieved.
‘Yes, of course you can join,’ Ginny said, still really quite taken aback by all of this.
And without another word, Dumbledore closed the door behind him and sat down in an empty seat beside Luna who he smiled at happily before returning his focus to Colin, who was suddenly turning a very deep tomato red.
It seemed the prospect of speaking in front of his headmaster rather than just a group of random people he’d never met was deterring Colin’s enthusiasm a bit, and so he turned silently to Ginny, eyes wide, pleading for her to exempt him from doing anything but to sit down. Ginny looked around the room. The conversation that had taken place prior to Dumbledore’s arrival seemed to have escaped everyone else’s mind anyway, they were instead all staring at him, bewildered, yet bemused at the same time the Headmaster of their school had time for such questionable frivolities.
‘OK well,’ Ginny sighed heavily, for all the mucking about they have been doing, not much headway had been made and she was running out of the hour she promised the meetings would take, ‘I suppose you can sit down, Colin, we can cover that subject next time.’
Colin was absolutely delighted, and sat so low that he was practically invisible.
‘Alright well I guess the onus is on me,’ Ginny said, grabbing for her notes, which after one glance over deemed useless to her again. ‘What can you say about Harry Potter...?’
‘Nothing apparently,’ one of the Ravenclaw girls said instinctively, before clapping a hand over her mouth, her eyes bulging.
Dumbledore seemed neither amused nor deterred – he just sat that as if pretending he was deaf.
‘Thank you for your input, Ashleigh,’ Ginny said, rolling her eyes, ‘what I was going to say is, Harry Potter is a brilliant role model. All you have to do is ask your parents about the war twelve years ago and how Harry has been a shining light for them all.’
‘Here here,’ rang Dumbledore’s voice, several people looked around at him in alarm, unsure whether to laugh.
Ginny blinked, feeling rather good about herself. That was, of course, until there was yet another interruption.
The door opened again, this time nearly off its hinges, as Hagrid’s large physique appeared, clearly struggling to fit through the small door.
‘Hello,’ he said happily, grinning down at them all, ‘I was sent somethin’ by owl this mornin’, somethin’ about a secret meeting bout ‘arry?’
‘A fan club, Hagrid,’ Ginny corrected him, ‘and it isn’t secret, anyone can join.’
‘And anyone can leave too, right?’ asked by yet again one of the Ravenclaws.
‘Yes, that too,’ Ginny rolled her eyes.
‘ello Professor, didn’ know you’d be here,’ Hagrid said happily to Dumbledore, who smiled up at him nodding.
‘Yes yes, it’s all a surprise,’ Ginny waved at Hagrid to take a seat, ‘can we move on-? OH FOR FUCK SAKE!’
A faint POP suddenly echoed around the room, making several people jump in surprise, and Ginny clamped her hand over him mouth, suddenly realising what she’d just said.
‘Sorry Professor,’ Ginny said as calmly as she could, ‘sorry I-’
‘Quite alright, Miss Weasley,’ Dumbledore said, nodding.
Ginny moved her attention onto the small creature that had just appeared at the front of the room. Dobby the house-elf wore distinctive clothes making him spottable from miles away; he was looking up her with those two large tennis ball eyes, grinning broadly.
‘Dobby would like to join, please Miss!’ said Dobby the house-elf.
‘Alright Dobby you can join,’ Ginny said with a sigh, ‘honestly, I don’t think I could do with another-’
‘What’s going on in here?’
The door to the classroom opened. Ginny suddenly threw herself behind the desk in horror, Harry, Ron and Hermione had just walked in, scanning the room.
‘Harry Potter sir!’ Dobby said, stepping forward and bowing.
‘Err... hi Dobby,’ Harry said nervously, ‘and Colin... and... Professor? What’s going on?’
Professor Dumbledore stood up and, smiling broadly turned his gaze to the front of the room where Ginny still hid behind the desk.
‘I think that Miss Weasley ought to answer that,’ he said, as he began to shuffle from the room. ‘Excellent meeting, Ginervra, must do this again. If you’ll excuse me, I think I must be getting back to being a Headmaster.’
And he left, and Harry was making his way to the front of the room, where Ginny still sat huddled behind the desk, hoping beyond hope that everyone would just go away. Instead of addressing Ginny, Harry read the headline on the piece of paper Ginny had clumsily left on the desk.
‘The Official Harry Potter Fan Club?’ Harry read.
Ron immediately broke down into laughter, Hermione looked quite stunned; not as much as Harry, who stood there, re-reading the words until Ginny surfaced and snatched the papers up, red as a tomato.
‘Ginny, what’s going on?’ Harry asked her.
But always the shy girl, Ginny took a step back and stared at the floor, close to passing out with the amount of blood that was rushing to her head.
‘Nobody told us you were making an appearance,’ Colin said excitedly, clearly oblivious to the fact that something had gone wrong, ‘this is brilliant, you can sign us all some autographs.’
Ron was on fours, pounding the cemented floor.
‘Did someone say autographs?’ came a voice.
‘Oh no,’ Harry groaned, moving behind the desk himself.
But it was too late: Professor Lockhart had appeared at Hermione’s side, looking very windswept. Lockhart’s teeth were showing, and when he spotted Harry, it was almost as if realisation ran over him.
‘Harry, Harry, Harry...’ he said, stepping forward over Ron and pulling Harry into his grip, ‘signing autographs for the fans, hmm? Tsk tsk, you just can’t help yourself can you?’
‘Go on then,’ Lockhart said, and he turned to Colin, ‘you boy, take a picture won’t you? That way everyone here can get autographs from Harry and I collectively, worth more you see?’
Colin fumbled with his camera and took the snapshot. It was enough of a distraction for Ginny to exit the room unnoticed, whilst Lockhart took out his large blue peacock feather ready to sign, Harry firmly in his grasp. The last thing she heard as she made off at a run along the corridor, thinking up a way she might get Harry to forget everything he just saw, was one of the Ravenclaws saying ‘there’s no way I’m coming to this stupid meeting next week.’