To celebrate Ginny Weasley’s 40th birthday, we’ve thought about all the times she gave Fred and George a run for their money when it came to mischievous deeds and hilarious comments…

When we found out how Ginny got quite so good at Quidditch

Fred and George always embraced the theatrical side of their shenanigans and so the mischievous deeds of other family members often slipped under the radar – and this is a perfect example. Ginny may not have made a song and dance about it, but her broomstick-stealing skills were to be applauded…

‘Come on, Ginny’s not bad,’ said George fairly, sitting down next to Fred. ‘Actually, I dunno how she got so good, seeing how we never let her play with us.’

‘She’s been breaking into your broom shed in the garden since the age of six and taking each of your brooms out in turn when you weren’t looking,’ said Hermione from behind her tottering pile of Ancient Rune books.

‘Oh,’ said George, looking mildly impressed. ‘Well – that’d explain it.’
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

When she tried to steal the sword of Gryffindor

Only the most daring troublemakers would attempt to break into the office of the headteacher – it’s certainly not for the faint-hearted. And when the headmaster in question is Severus Snape, the supposed Death Eater, it would be totally normal to get cold feet. We can even imagine Fred and George feeling momentarily daunted at the prospect of stealing the sword. But Ginny Weasley was fierce, rebellious and unafraid of a challenge. Though her, Neville and Luna’s plan was thwarted, it didn’t make it any less impressive.

‘Didn’t you hear about that, Ted?’ asked Dirk. ‘About the kids who tried to steal Gryffindor’s sword out of Snape’s office at Hogwarts?’

An electric current seemed to course through Harry, jangling his every nerve as he stood rooted to the spot.

‘Never heard a word,’ said Ted. ‘Not in the Prophet, was it?’ ‘Hardly,’ chortled Dirk.

‘Griphook here told me, he heard about it from Bill Weasley who works for the bank. One of the kids who tried to take the sword was Bill’s younger sister.’

Harry glanced towards Hermione and Ron, both of whom were clutching the Extendable Ears as tightly as lifelines.

‘She and a couple of friends got into Snape’s office and smashed open the glass case where he was apparently keeping the sword. Snape caught them as they were trying to smuggle it down the staircase.’
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

When she joked about tattoos

Ginny’s playful nature wasn’t just contained to her troublemaking – she was fantastically quick witted too. When quizzed about Harry’s alleged chest tattoo by Romilda Vane, not only did she improve upon the original rumour, but she also introduced the idea of Ron’s Pygmy Puff ink. We also appreciated the deadpan way in which she informed the trio of this development…

‘You’d think people had better things to gossip about,’ said Ginny, as she sat on the common-room floor, leaning against Harry’s legs and reading the Daily Prophet. ‘Three Dementor attacks in a week, and all Romilda Vane does is ask me if it’s true you’ve got a Hippogriff tattooed across your chest.’

Ron and Hermione both roared with laughter. Harry ignored them.

‘What did you tell her?’

‘I told her it’s a Hungarian Horntail,’ said Ginny, turning a page of the newspaper idly.

‘Much more macho.’

‘Thanks,’ said Harry, grinning. ‘And what did you tell her Ron’s got?’

‘A Pygmy Puff, but I didn’t say where.’

Ron scowled as Hermione rolled around laughing.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Her determination to find out what was going on with the Order

Out of all the Weasleys, it was Ginny that seemed to share the impish streak which Fred and George were famous for – and the way she went about her eavesdropping was very reminiscent of the twins. Not only did she completely ignore the fact that she was far too young to hear about Order business, but she also chose to throw stinky Dungbombs at the door to see if it was Imperturbed, and that felt very Fred and George.

The door opened and a long mane of red hair appeared.

‘Oh, hello, Harry!’ said Ron’s younger sister, Ginny, brightly. ‘I thought I heard your voice.’

Turning to Fred and George, she said, ‘It’s no-go with the Extendable Ears, she’s gone and put an Imperturbable Charm on the kitchen door.’

‘How d’you know?’ said George, looking crestfallen.

‘Tonks told me how to find out,’ said Ginny. ‘You just chuck stuff at the door and if it can’t make contact the door’s been Imperturbed. I’ve been flicking Dungbombs at it from the top of the stairs and they just soar away from it, so there’s no way the Extendable Ears will be able to get under the gap.’
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Followed by her ability to come up with excuses on the spot

Ginny’s ability to come up with a cover story after throwing the Dungbombs was also very Fred and George. When Ginny was put on the spot by her mother (a formidable prospect) she didn’t break or even give a hint that she’d been up to no good. She kept her cool and moved things along smoothly – even if poor Crookshanks did get all the blame.

‘The meeting’s over, you can come down and have dinner now. Everyone’s dying to see you, Harry. And who’s left all those Dungbombs outside the kitchen door?’

‘Crookshanks,’ said Ginny unblushingly. ‘He loves playing with them.’

‘Oh,’ said Mrs Weasley, ‘I thought it might have been Kreacher, he keeps doing odd things like that. Now don’t forget to keep your voices down in the hall. Ginny, your hands are filthy, what have you been doing? Go and wash them before dinner, please.’
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Any time she unleashed her Bat Bogey Hex

Ginny’s Bat Bogey Hex was the stuff of legend. She managed to escape the Inquisitorial Squad by using it. She was invited to be a member of The Slug Club because of it. Even her troublemaking twin brothers recognised the power of it. And while many magical people have a signature spell, Harry and Expelliarmus for example, the fact that Ginny’s is something which is completely gross and ridiculous really reveals her roguish sense of humour.

‘Couple of Stunners, a Disarming Charm, Neville brought off a really nice little Impediment Jinx,’ said Ron airily, now handing back Hermione’s wand, too. ‘But Ginny was best, she got Malfoy – Bat Bogey Hex – it was superb, his whole face was covered in the great flapping things.’
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

When Fred and George couldn’t help but be impressed by her abilities…

If there’s one thing that shows Ginny was the Weasley who could give Fred and George a run for their money, it’s the fact that the twins recognised her abilities themselves. They knew that while Ginny was small, she was also mighty, and it would be foolish to underestimate her. If the kings of mischief recognised her skills, then she must have been an excellent troublemaker.

‘A weapon’s going to be a lot bigger than the Stone, though!’ said Ron.

‘Not necessarily,’ said Fred.

‘Yeah, size is no guarantee of power,’ said George. ‘Look at Ginny.’

‘What d’you mean?’ said Harry.

‘You’ve never been on the receiving end of one of her Bat-Bogey Hexes, have you?’
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix