By J.E.M. Hoggan and Sloan de Forest
Ginevra Molly, or Ginny for short, is not just the only girl in the Weasleys’ immediate clan, but the first girl to be born into the family for several generations and a seventh child as well. This position has a special significance: many cultures believe that the seventh daughter in a family is destined to be a witch. Ginny is obviously a witch, but folklore still maintains that “a seventh child has gifts denied to others,”14 so we can assume that Ginny is a particularly gifted or powerful witch. This sense of being born into a destiny greater than oneself links her to Harry Potter, who also seems to have been destined for greatness. Whether by prophecy or by choice, Ginny has proven to be an increasingly talented, brave, and forceful presence in the Harry Potter books.
When we first met her, she was just a shy little girl begging her mother for a glimpse of the legendary Boy Who Lived. Ginny was clearly enamored with Harry from the start, though too timid to speak when he was around and “very prone to knocking things over whenever Harry entered a room.”15 In Chamber of Secrets, Ginny not only got to attend Hogwarts with Harry, but have him for a houseguest at the Burrow too. Rather than cooling off, her devotion grew stronger the more she saw of Harry, leading her to break out of her bashful shell and actually display her affection to him. She confronted the smarmy Draco in Flourish and Blotts and told him to “Leave [Harry] alone,”16 she filled her ill-fated diary with pages about the “famous, good, great Harry Potter,”17 and she was even bold enough to pen a sweet Valentine poem for her crush and have it delivered by a singing dwarf, though she chose to remain anonymous.
His eyes are as green as a fresh pickled toad,
His hair is as dark as a blackboard.
I wish he was mine, he’s really divine,
The hero who conquered the Dark Lord 18
At this point, Harry was not ready to reciprocate Ginny’s feelings just yet. They were both very young, and Ginny’s possession by an animate piece of Lord Voldemort’s soul contained in his Horcrux-diary only complicated matters further. But Ginny’s brush with the Dark Lord served as another connection with Harry, and his brave rescue of her from deep within the Chamber of Secrets seemed to foreshadow a closer relationship between Ginny and her green-eyed hero.
But the littlest Weasley had a lot of growing up to do. She had to step into the background and quietly become a capable and mature character in her own right before she could hope to win Harry’s heart. Over the next couple of years, Ginny attended the Yule Ball with Neville Longbottom, fought Death Eaters as a member of Dumbledore’s Army, dated Michael Corner and Dean Thomas, and developed into quite the little enchantress. She also made an excellent Chaser on the Gryffindor Quidditch team and began to gain Harry’s respect as a headstrong and self-sufficient witch. The two finally came together in the sixth book—even receiving overprotective Ron’s blessing—but their blissful time as a couple was brief. Harry broke up the romantic relationship with Ginny at Dumbledore’s funeral, saying, “Voldemort uses people his enemies are close to. He’s already used you as bait once […] He’ll try and get to me through you […] How do you think I’d feel if this was your funeral … and it was my fault….”19 Harry has a lot of death defying to do in the final book, and he knows he must do it alone.
Harry has stated his intentions for the next year: to leave Hogwarts, ferret out and nullify Voldemort’s Horcruxes, and then go in for the kill. But will Ginny be around to help? She doesn’t seem the type to play the role of the delicate damsel in distress, waiting patiently on the sidelines for her man. Ron and Hermione have already volunteered to aid Harry in his quest so it’s possible that Ginny will be needed too. She’s more than just Harry’s girlfriend; she’s a courageous Weasley with a fiery temperament and a passion to fight evil. We have heard about Ginny’s wicked Bat Bogey Hex, we know that as a seventh child she has extraordinary gifts, and Jo has even hinted that we will see “some pretty impressive stuff”20 from her in the future. Perhaps as a number seven she will prove to be lucky to Harry in his final mission, if given the chance.
There’s a good possibility that Ginny will be somehow involved in direct combat in the next book, possibly injured but probably not killed. Like her brother Ron, Ginny is just now flourishing as a young adult. She has two more years of school before coming of age and so much to live for. The only thing Ginny’s death would prove is that everyone Harry ever loves will die—perhaps not the best note on which to end the series. There’s been some speculation that Harry and Ginny will marry at the end of the final book, but that seems a far-fetched prediction for these two teenagers. Let’s just concentrate on getting them through the series alive—the rest will take care of itself.
Ginny and the rest of the Weasleys, as separate characters and as a clan, define what family means in the Harry Potter series. They add the qualities of humor, warmth, kinship, and love to the Potterverse and to Harry’s life. Before he met them, he was a lonely orphan with no friends and now he has a rather large surrogate family to keep him company. Perhaps, with a little felicity, Molly might just get her miracle and Harry’s entire Weasley family will make it through the final chapter alive and well.
1. Rowling, Interview with Richard Madely and Judy Finnegan.
2. Ibid., Order of the Phoenix, 177.
3. Ibid., Sorcerer’s Stone, 118.
4. Ibid., Goblet of Fire, 52.
5. Ibid., 616.
6. Ibid., 724.
7. Ibid., Prisoner of Azkaban, 301.
8. Ibid., Order of the Phoenix, 297.
9. Ibid., An Evening with Harry, Carrie, and Garp #1.
10. Time, “Conversation With J.K. Rowling.”
11.Rowling, “Harry Potter and Me.”
12 Ibid., “National Press Club author’s luncheon.”
13. Ibid., “Barnes and Noble and Yahoo! Chat.”
14. Radford & Radford, Encyclopedia of Superstitions, 249.
15. Rowling, Chamber of Secrets, 43.
16. Ibid., 61.
17. Ibid., 309.
18. Ibid., 238.
19. Ibid., Half-Blood Prince, 646–47.
20. Anelli & Spartz, TLC/MN interview Part Three.
Anelli, Melissa and Emerson Spartz. “The Leaky Cauldron and MuggleNet interview Joanne Kathleen Rowling: Part Three,” The Leaky Cauldron, 16 July 2005. http://www.leakynews.com/#static:tlcinterviews/jkrhbp3.
Radford, Edwin and Mona A. The Encyclopedia of Superstitions. Edited by Christina Hole. New York: Barnes and Noble Books, 1996.
Rowling, J.K. An Evening with Harry, Carrie and Garp: Readings and questions #1, 1 August 2006. Transcript, Accio Quote. http://www.accio-quote.org/articles/2006/0801-radiocityreading1.html.
———. “Barnes and Noble & Yahoo! chat with J.K. Rowling.” barnesandnoble.com, 20 October 2000. http://www.quick-quote-quill.org/articles/2000/1000-livechat-barnesnoble.html.
———. “Harry Potter and Me” (BBC Christmas Special, British version). BBC, 28 December 2001. Transcript, Accio Quote. http://www.accio-quote.org/articles/2001/1201-bbc-hpandme.htm.
———, J.K. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. New York: Scholastic Press, Arthur A. Levine Books, 1999.
———. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. New York: Scholastic Press, Arthur A. Levine Books, 2000.
———. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. New York: Scholastic Press, Arthur A. Levine Books, 2005.
———. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. New York: Scholastic Press, Arthur A. Levine Books, 2003.
———. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. New York: Scholastic Press, Arthur A. Levine Books, 1999.
———. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. New York: Scholastic Press, Arthur A. Levine Books, 1998.
———. Interview with Richard Madely and Judy Finnegan. “Richard and Judy Show,” Channel Four (UK), 26 June 2006. http://www.accio-quote.org/articles/2006/0626-ch4-richardandjudy.html.
———. “National Press Club author's luncheon,” NPR Radio, 20 October 20 1999. Transcript, Accio Quote. http://www.accio-quote.org/articles/1999/1099-pressclubtransc.htm.
Time magazine staff. “Essay: A Conversation With J.K. Rowling; A Good Scare.” Time, 30 October 2000. http://www.time.com/time/pacific/magazine/20001030/potter.html.