Although the Ginny we met in Philosopher’s Stone was shy and awkward, particularly with Harry – a far cry from the Ginny of Cursed Child, who had no problem challenging Harry’s behaviour – there was one consistent thread that runs through all Ginny’s rela-tionships: she was fiercely and unendingly loyal.
Whether it was defending Harry to Malfoy after that whole Lockhart bookshop debacle, sticking up for Neville and Luna, fighting to protect her loved ones during the Battle of Hogwarts, or forcing Harry to engage with their son, Albus, on his terms, Ginny always had everyone’s best interests at heart, and she’d do whatever was needed to protect them.
Despite being desperate to follow in her older brother’s footsteps Ginny did not have the most auspicious start at Hogwarts. But while being slowly possessed by an early version of Lord Voldemort might be enough to knock the stuffing out of other first-years, for Ginny, her experience with Tom Riddle’s diary did not defeat her.
That’s not to say she ever forgot it. When Harry was struggling to understand what had happened after the vision he had of Voldemort attacking Arthur Weasley, it was Ginny who made him realise that refusing to talk wasn’t helping.
Perhaps it had something to do with surviving a personal encounter with Voldemort at a young age, but as Ginny got older she only became more resilient. Like Harry, Ginny had a built-in determination to keep fighting. In many ways, her experience with Voldemort gave her an insight and a strength that few others could ever hope to have. With the ex-ception of Harry, of course.
Another trait Ginny shared with Harry was bravery. As she says of him in Cursed Child:
This is something that could equally apply to Ginny. Yes, she showed undeniable brav-ery when she escaped Umbridge’s Inquisitorial Squad; when she, Neville and Luna followed Harry to the Department of Mysteries; when she tried to steal Gryffindor’s sword; and – of course – during the Battle of Hogwarts. But Ginny was also brave in other ways.
After shedding her initial awkwardness, she pursued romantic relationships without fear or embarassment. She was never afraid to call out the bad behaviour of her brothers, her teachers, even Harry. And she, too, supported others in quietly heroic ways. She insisted on sitting with Luna on the Hogwarts Express, when others were avoiding her. She refused to let Neville call himself a nobody. And as a mother, she recognised that what Albus needed from Harry was acceptance, not heroics.
Ginny was a witch of many talents: Quidditch, sports writing, Bat Bogey Hexes.
But even more admirable than her skills was her confidence in, and open enjoyment, of them. She preferred playing Chaser to Seeker, because she liked scoring goals. She was a committed member of the DA. And she was a fierce dueller – singled out by her brother George as evidence of the fact that “size is no guarantee of power.”
So while we might not share Ginny’s magical talents, we can still try and emulate the pleasure she took in practicing the things she excelled at.
Ginny may have originally been overshadowed by other members of her family, she may have taken a few years to find her voice, and she may have once poured her heart out to the preserved memory of Voldemort. But as she grew up, Ginny emerged as one of the Wizarding World’s most fearless characters. Perhaps this is best summed up in Order of the Phoenix:
And it wasn’t just Fred and George’s nerve that Ginny inherited. Growing up with her older brothers also taught her when to find the humour in a situation – she had that light-hearted Weasley touch that made even difficult situations seem a bit more fun. After all, who else would shut down an annoying classmate with a Bat Bogey Hex, nickname their sister-in-law Pleghm, or openly tell Harry he was being stupidly noble?
So thanks, Ginny, for all the times you supplied that silver lining we were looking for. Oh, and happy birthday.