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The chapter that made us fall in love with… Ginny Weasley

As the youngest Weasley sibling, and the only Weasley daughter, it took a lot for Ginny to stand out. But when she grew up, she became fierce.

Dumbledore's funeral
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Ginny had an immensely strong spirit across the Harry Potter books, so strong in fact that Harry Potter himself began to notice after a while. But Ginny, accomplished Quidditch player and determined Gryffindor, was always far more than Harry’s girlfriend. And the very macabre chapter in which Harry breaks up with her is the one where we love her the most.

‘The White Tomb’

Dumbledore was dead. As Harry and the people closest to him gathered for his funeral, Harry’s burning grief was not the only thing that he had on his mind. He knew that he must let go of someone else he’d grown to care for so deeply: Ginny. After spending a hefty portion of Half-Blood Prince realising he actually liked Ron’s little sister (and after Ginny spent the majority of her early years fancying Harry and blushing furiously whenever he was in the room), the pair finally did get together, and Harry finally had an ounce of happiness after so many dark days. After Dumbledore’s death, however, everything abruptly changed once again.

Harry realised he must go after Voldemort alone – and was in more danger than ever before as he planned to hunt down the Dark Lord’s Horcruxes. The least he could do, it seemed, was end his relationship with Ginny, to protect her. Or as Ginny defined it, for ‘stupid noble reasons’.

She met Harry’s gaze with the same hard, blazing look that he had seen when she had hugged him after winning the Quidditch Cup in his absence, and he knew that at that moment they understood each other perfectly, and that when he told her what he was going to do now, she would not say ‘Be careful’, or ‘Don’t do it’, but accept his decision, because she would not have expected anything less of him. And so he steeled himself to say what he had known he must say ever since Dumbledore had died.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Why It Matters

The way Ginny reacted to Harry breaking up with her showed how emotionally mature beyond her years she really was. Ginny had grown up now and accepted she didn’t just like some boy, she liked The Boy Who Lived.

Harry had seen her as ‘Ron’s little sister’ for so long, but Ginny was so much more than a ‘girlfriend’ or a ‘sister’. Sure, when she first met Harry she was a blushing, shy girl, but let’s bear in mind she was only 11. After being possessed by Lord Voldemort’s diary and nearly dying in Chamber of Secrets, Ginny was not left wobbly and traumatised, but sturdier. In a mere handful of years, Ginny became a hardened fighter, capable of performing spells in Dumbledore’s Army that were extremely advanced for her age. She was also incredibly good at Quidditch, very funny (nicknaming Fleur Delacour ‘Phlegm’ a particular highlight) and seemed to be the perfect combination of all the Weasleys combined, including the irreverence of Fred and George, the good spirit of Ron, and the ferocity of Mrs Weasley.

But most importantly, she was also a cynic, and greeted Harry’s emotional break-up (she was also at the funeral of her headmaster, let’s not forget) with an ambivalent wit.

‘Ginny, listen ...’ he said very quietly, as the buzz of conversation grew louder around them and people began to get to their feet. ‘I can’t be involved with you any more. We’ve got to stop seeing each other. We can’t be together.’
She said, with an oddly twisted smile, ‘It’s for some stupid, noble reason, isn’t it?’
‘It’s been like ... like something out of someone else’s life, these last few weeks with you,’ said Harry. ‘But I can’t ... we can’t ... I’ve got things to do alone now.’
She did not cry, she simply looked at him.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Nope, she did not cry; she didn’t protest; she simply looked at Harry and calmly ruminated on how Hermione told her to try and move on from fancying Harry years ago, and how she learned to not get entrapped in the hearts of boys and be her own person.

‘I never really gave up on you,’ she said. ‘Not really. I always hoped ... Hermione told me to get on with life, maybe go out with some other people, relax a bit around you, because I never used to be able to talk if you were in the room, remember? And she thought you might take a bit more notice if I was a bit more – myself.’
‘Smart girl, that Hermione,’ said Harry, trying to smile. ‘I just wish I’d asked you sooner. We could’ve had ages ... months ... years maybe ...’
‘But you’ve been too busy saving the wizarding world,’ said Ginny, half-laughing. ‘Well ... I can’t say I’m surprised. I knew this would happen in the end. I knew you wouldn’t be happy unless you were hunting Voldemort. Maybe that’s why I like you so much.’
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

She was right. Maybe Hermione had a word at some point around Order of the Phoenix, seeing as Ginny was suddenly far more confident during Harry’s fifth year. She gained a reputation for her notorious Bat-Bogey Hexes, she joined Dumbledore’s Army with vigour (even coming up with the name of it), then accompanied Harry all the way to the Department of Mysteries to fight Death Eaters, despite Harry’s several protests. In Half-Blood Prince, her relationship with Dean Thomas sparked an unexpected monstrous jealousy inside Harry, and even something as simple as Ginny not joining him in his Hogwarts Express carriage sparked annoyance – Ginny had got under Harry’s skin like he never realised, just at the moment Ginny had moved on from him.

This is only fair considering Ginny spends a lot of the books being held back. How often do we see her storm out of the room because Mrs Weasley insisted she’s ‘too young’ for this, that, and the other? At the Battle of Hogwarts, Ginny was forced to remain safe, but headed out to fight anyway. Ginny seemed to find youth frustrating, as if she was wrapped in bubble wrap, always ever-so-slightly out of the action. Allow us to salute Ginny for learning to find herself, and find some humour in it, despite the world trying to protect her, be it Mrs Weasley or Harry Potter.

Not that their break-up lasted that long anyway, eh?

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