Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter/Major Events/Ginny Weasley

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Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter - Major Event
Ginny Weasley relationships
Location Hogwarts
Time Period Throughout the series
Important Characters Ginny Weasley, Harry Potter, Michael Corner, Dean Thomas

Overview[edit]

Beginner warning: Details follow which you may not wish to read at your current level.

Ginny Weasley's first romantic entanglement is an enthrallment with Harry Potter which visibly continues throughout the first four books. She remains unattached and taken with Harry until she hooks up with Michael Corner, a Ravenclaw student. That relationship ends in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, after Ginny breaks up with him and Michael shifts his attention to Cho Chang. Then Ginny begins dating Dean Thomas. She breaks up with Dean in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, finally winning the affection of the only boy she has ever loved, Harry. Unfortunately for Ginny, Harry ends their relationship to protect her from Voldemort at the end of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. They continue to love each other, despite being separated, and Harry finds solace in studying the Marauder's Map to feel a connection to her at Hogwarts. They both take part in the final battle, after which we see that Harry plans that they will reunite. In the Epilogue, we learn that Harry and Ginny have reconciled, Harry has married Ginny and they have three children.

Event Details[edit]

Philosophers' Stone[edit]

Ginny Weasley first sees Harry in King's Cross train station as Harry and the Weasley boys (Ron, Percy, and the twins) are preparing to leave for Hogwarts. Excited about being close to the famous Harry Potter, she demands to go over and see him, but her mother refuses to allow it. She is excited again when he returns from Hogwarts, ecstatically jumping up and down at the sight of him.

Chamber of Secrets[edit]

Ginny's enthrallment with Harry has grown, as she is uncharacteristically nervous and silent during Harry's stay at the The Burrow. When Draco Malfoy insults Harry in Flourish and Blotts, Ginny leaps to his defence. At Hogwarts, she seems particularly emotionally fragile when Harry is nearby, although that may partially be from her manipulation by Tom Riddle's diary. On Valentine's Day, Professor Lockhart, in an ill-starred attempt to "cheer up" the school, hires a number of dwarfs to dress as "Cupids" and deliver love poems to students. One of these costumed dwarfs has a poem for Harry; Ginny's apparent embarrassment as she witnesses Harry receiving it strongly suggests she was the sender.

When she tries unburdening herself to Harry about what has been happening with the diary, Percy barges in, interrupting her. Finally, as Ginny lies near death in the Chamber of Secrets, Harry destroys Riddle's diary, restoring her life force, and, with assistance from Fawkes, rescues her, and tries to shield her from any disciplinary consequences of Tom Riddle's actions. In what remains of the book, she seems to be able to converse with Harry more normally, in contrast to the almost fearful way she had acted previously.

Prisoner of Azkaban[edit]

The rescue from the Chamber of Secrets changes the dynamic between Harry and Ginny. On meeting Harry again in The Leaky Cauldron, Ginny blushes thereby still confirming her feelings for him, and she seems to be self conscious about him having saved her life. However, over the coming days and school year, she becomes her normal self, and seems able to converse normally with Harry still. The effect the Dementor has on Harry in the Hogwarts Express, and the similar, though not as marked, effect it has on Ginny, may seem to provide some common ground between them. And by the book's end, she is no longer as overwhelmed by her feelings for Harry and more often acts herself in his presence.

Goblet of Fire[edit]

Ginny blushes on first seeing Harry when he arrives at the Burrow, indicating her feelings for him have not changed, though Ginny is still now less shy around Harry and is able to converse more naturally. She later shows subtle jealousy when she learns Harry had asked Cho to the Yule Ball. When Ron suggests Ginny should attend the ball with Harry she appears disappointed, admitting that she had already accepted Neville's invitation. She seemingly remains unattached for the remainder of the book.

Order of the Phoenix[edit]

After the organizational meeting of what later becomes Dumbledore's Army, Hermione reveals that probably the only reason Michael Corner and his friends had shown up is because he was dating Ginny. Ron takes an instant dislike to Michael, says that he had thought Ginny was waiting for Harry, and asks how long that had been going on. Hermione says that while Ginny had earlier been waiting for Harry, she had given up on him. She had then met Michael at the Yule Ball, and had started going out with him. Harry, bemused by Cho Chang smiling at him, is not concentrating on the fact that Ginny has stopped waiting for him, but he does ask Hermione if that's why she is now talking to him; she had always been so repressed in his presence before. Hermione says that yes, it is. Hermione also says that Ron's anger at Michael is the reason that Ginny hadn't told him about it, she had known Ron would be over-protective, and didn't want to get into a fight.

Now freed of the burden of waiting for Harry, Ginny is able to form a friendship with Harry, one that becomes closer over the school year, and they develop more understanding of each other. In the battle of the department of mysteries, Ginny has her ankle broken and is rendered unconscious, whilst screaming in fear, causing Harry to be concerned for her.

Late in the year, when Gryffindor beats Ravenclaw in Quidditch, Michael Corner sulks about his house's loss and isn't happy that Ginny was the winning Seeker, after she had replaced Harry earlier in the year on the Gryffindor team. On the Hogwarts Express back to London, Ginny tells Ron and Harry that because of his sulking she had broken it off with with Michael, who was now seeing Cho. Ron is pleased by this news and suggests next time she should pick someone better, while hinting at that being Harry. Ginny then reveals she's started seeing Dean Thomas. This, of course, leaves Ron angry.

Half-Blood Prince[edit]

Ginny remains involved with Dean Thomas. Ron catches them kissing and is quite incensed at Dean's taking this liberty with his sister. Ginny accuses him of merely being jealous because he does not have anyone to snog with (kiss) himself.

Harry gradually realizes he is in love with Ginny and is jealous of Dean, but he keeps his emotions hidden, largely out of fear that his showing feelings for Ginny would damage his friendship with Ron. He spends most of the year fighting his feelings and himself over this matter, while wishing for Ginny to break up with Dean. In an initially unrelated incident, Harry takes some Felix Felicis potion prior to his meeting with Professor Slughorn. Hidden under his Invisibility Cloak, he accidentally knocks into Ginny in such a way that she thinks Dean deliberately shoved her; luckily (as is always the case with Felix Felicis), this finally prompts Ginny to break up with Dean.

During the Quidditch victory party, Harry, caught up in the excitement, seizes the opportunity to kiss Ginny in front of the entire Gryffindor Common room. They soon become lovers, laughing at how everyone is now talking about them. Ginny later admits him how she had never actually given up on him at all, never stopped loving him or hoping he might turn to her, and had always hoped they'd be together. She explains how Hermione helped her overcome her shyness around Harry, helping her to just be herself, because this could cause him to take more notice of her. It was because of Hermione's advice that Ginny had stopped waiting for Harry and started going out with Michael Corner. The couple's happiness is short-lived, however. After Dumbledore's funeral, Harry regretfully ends their relationship, telling Ginny that if Voldemort learns about their romance, he will use her to get to him, just as did with his godfather, Sirius Black. Ginny is devastated, but she accepts Harry's reasoning.

Deathly Hallows[edit]

While preparing for Bill and Fleur's wedding, Harry happens to let slip to Ginny that he has been given a mission that will end up with him killing Voldemort. Ginny is apparently taken aback by this, and does not seem to accept Harry's trying to turn it into a joke. She later shows jealousy over Fleur's little sister batting her eyes at Harry.

Although Harry has ended their relationship, Harrry and Ginny are still deeply in love with each other, presumably forever. Because of this, Harry does not resist when Ginny gives him his "birthday present", a kiss unlike any Harry has received before. This upsets Ron, who knows how distraught Ginny was when Harry had ended their relationship a month before. Harry, aware that it was Ginny's idea, but unable to tell this to Ron and feeling guilty, simply says that it will not happen again. Because of this, their ongoing shared glances must be furtive, and on Harry's part at least, very quickly terminated.

When Ginny returns to Hogwarts at Neville's bidding, on Harry's return there, we do see she is obviously pleased when she sees him, as she welcomes him with a bright smile. She shows jealousy when she vetoes Cho Chang's offer to show Harry the Ravenclaw common room, instead volunteering Luna Lovegood for that job. On his way to meet Voldemort and his doom, Harry does pass Ginny and believes that she senses him despite his being hidden under his Invisibility Cloak. Ginny's scream of grief is afterwards the loudest of the shocked and distraught voices when she and the others see the seemingly dead body of Harry being carried in Hagrid's arms. When Harry has defeated Voldemort, she is one of the first people to reach him to celebrate his victory. After the celebrations have ended we see that she is leaning, exhausted, on her mother. Harry, evidently equally tired, does not want to bother her just yet, and thinks to himself that they will have "hours and days and maybe years in which to talk".

In the epilogue, we learn that Harry and Ginny have married and have three children, James Sirius, Albus Severus, and Lily Luna.

Notable Consequences[edit]

Ginny's announcement that she is going to the Yule Ball with Neville, when Ron suggests that she could go with Harry, causes a bit of a crisis for Harry; Harry must find someone to go to the Yule Ball with, as he is required to lead off the dancing, and his first choice, Cho Chang, has just turned him down. Ron, having been turned down both by his first choice (Fleur Delacour) and his second (Hermione), is equally in trouble. In desperation, Harry asks Parvati Patil, who accepts, and who suggests her sister Padma as a date for Ron.

At the end of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry realizes that anyone he becomes close to is likely to become Voldemort's target. To protect Ginny, he reluctantly ends their relationship. While Ginny understands and accepts his reasoning, she seems to feel that there may be better ways to approach this problem.

In the epilogue of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, we see that with Ginny, Harry has finally found what he has wanted all his life: a family.

Analysis[edit]

We see that Ginny has set her heart on Harry; Ginny is apparently trying hard to get Harry interested in her as early as the second book in the series. Due to her and Harry's immaturity at that time, however, her initial attempt is doomed. Harry is not ready to welcome romantic entanglement from any quarter at this point. At twelve years old, Harry shares the young male disinterest in relationships, and at eleven years old, Ginny does not yet know how to ease into a relationship in a more mature way. By the time Harry is ready to consider a relationship, Ginny is already involved with someone else.

Ginny's attachment to both Michael Corner and Dean Thomas, however, seems rather less than it might be. Her attachment to Michael is slight enough that his being sulky after Ginny had won the Quidditch match from Ravenclaw was enough to end their relationship. The sulking does imply a certain lack of commitment on his part; one would have expected him to be happy in his girlfriend's victory, rather than sullen in his house's defeat. Perhaps it was because of that lack of attachment that Ginny dumped him. Dean was dumped because of his habit of helping her over and through obstacles that she didn't need help with, triggered by one final, accidental shove by Harry from under the Invisibility Cloak. Granted that the irritation is repeated, still it does seem as though it is a relatively small one, and one that could be dealt with if there was any real attachment there. Given that, in retrospect the reader does come to realize that Ginny hadn't really given up on Harry, and was likely simply marking time with the available others while watching to see if Harry takes notice or becomes available.

As mentioned repeatedly, Harry chooses to break off his relationship with Ginny, out of fear that Voldemort would attack Harry by attacking Ginny. A more mature viewer would say that a better way of securing Ginny's safety is to keep her by Harry's side. It was while they were separated that Voldemort used Sirius to lure Harry into a trap, for instance. If Harry and Ginny are physically close to each other, it is less likely that Voldemort would be able to deceive Harry as to what was happening with Ginny.

Questions[edit]

Study questions are meant to be left for each student to answer; please don't answer them here.

  1. Why does Harry end his relationship with Ginny?

Greater Picture[edit]

Intermediate warning: Details follow which you may not wish to read at your current level.

As mentioned, at the end of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry shows his concern for Ginny's well-being by ending their relationship. He knows Voldemort often fells his victims by targeting their friends and loved ones, just as he did with Harry's godfather, Sirius Black. Ginny sees Harry's decision to end their relationship to protect her as being noble, but she also believes it is the incorrect way to handle the situation. It seems unlikely to the reader that their relationship has truly ended, despite Harry's saying it has; and as we find out in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Ginny clearly is not prepared to end the relationship, though she seems willing to put it on hold for a while. This is proven by her "birthday present" for Harry, and also by their eventual marriage. For more information, see also the entry for Harry Potter.

Surprisingly, of the five close relationships portrayed in the series (Harry and Cho, Harry and Ginny, Ron and Lavender, Ron and Hermione, and Hermione and Viktor Krum), the relationship between Harry and Ginny at first glance would seem to be one of the least convincing. The reader does not feel the early-relationship urgency that is common to young lovers when they finally do get together, leaving some readers to wonder just how serious Harry and Ginny are. The same lack of urgency characterizes Harry and Cho's doomed relationship, foreshadowing the breakup late in Harry's fifth year; meanwhile, the physicality of the relationship between Ron and Lavender seems more in line with what we would expect from a couple of this age. It is possible that the author intends this lack of heat to indicate Ginny's "serene certainty" that she will get her man in the end, or it may be that the author believed that love scenes of the expected intensity would derail the main plotline of the book, or be seen as inappropriate in context.

Set against that, though, is the fact that Harry and Ginny's romantic entanglement, the longest running of all the relationships within the story arc, actually runs through the entirety of the seven-book series. We see the seeds of it planted from their first scene together at King's Cross Station in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. In some form and varying degree their subplot is featured throughout each following book in turn, though their greatest development doesn't come until later in the series when both characters are around their mid-teenage years. This would suggest the author is evolving the narrative with pace of the evolution for the characters themselves, and that both the story and the personalities involved must reach a certain maturity before they are ready to come to full fruition. It's interesting to note that this plot was given the most direct focus on the romantic aspects of the dynamic involved; this is something we often see lacking or underdeveloped in many of the other couples. This is especially true of the final two books where Ginny is used liberally throughout as both a love interest, and symbolic beacon of hope during Harry's darker times. They also have one of the more sexually based of the teenage relationships. The combination of the romantic aspect represented by Harry's seeing Ginny as a beacon of hope, and the sexual exemplified by Ginny's farewell kiss at the beginning of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows illustrates that this is a more adult oriented relationship than any of the other depictions. The shift from an immature and more sexually innocent romance with Cho, to a more sexually suggestive relationship with Ginny, is one of the key indicators in demonstrating Harry's journey from boy to man for the reader.

This romantic journey is vastly different in structure, execution, focus and narrative than that of Ron and Hermione, the other central and long running love story of the series. The contrasting styles of the two stories adds to the differing dynamics of the main trio of characters as individuals, thereby once again illustrating their differing approaches to emotional matters. Ultimately Harry and Ginny are about giving Harry someone he feels to be an equal on many levels, a person who can help bring his arc to a definitive conclusion. She is not only a friend and girlfriend; she is also a way to truly give Harry what he has yearned for, a real family. Not only will he gain a closer relationship with the Weasley family he will marry into, but he will be able to fulfill his dream of having his own core family unit.

We should note certain parallels between the beginning of Ginny's feelings for Harry, and Severus Snape's feelings for Lily Evans. Both characters developed those feelings as children, at about the same relative ages for each pair. As Harry and Ginny did, Severus and Lily cultivated a friendship that lasted their first five years at Hogwarts, with the additional difficulty that their Houses were competing with each other for school honours. The starkest of those parallels is in Severus Snape's love for Lily remaining unrequited, as he waited before and during his school years for his love to be returned. Yet, Ginny's own diligent wait before and during her school years was rewarded in having her love for Harry eventually reciprocated, and a future built from it. This is an even more poignant layer to add to Severus Snape's tragic love story.

While it is tempting to suggest parallels between Harry and Ginny, and the relationship between Harry's parents, what we see of their relationship would suggest James and Lily's relationship, in at least its initial stages, more closely matched that of Fred Weasley and Angelina Johnson.