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New Years Day dawned bright and clear on the Burrow. The morning light streamed in through Ginny’s thin curtains, a beam shining directly in her face, causing her to stir. She sat up groggily, the remnants of the previous night’s celebration with her friends still clouding her mind. Blinking and yawning she tried to remember the party and how she’d come to be back in her own bed, blue flowery blanket and all, wearing her own thin cotton pajama’s. Running her fingers through her tousled red hair, Ginny began to recall what had happened. 


The party had been small, a gathering of friends. Just Luna, Kate, Grace, Nicola, and herself had been there at Nicola’s large family home Ginny remembered. Nicola’s parents weren’t home, they had a New Year’s Eve party to attend, but since she was almost an adult they trusted her to have a few friends over. It had started out innocently enough, listening to music and munching on the snacks laid out in Nicola’s room. Ginny paled as she recalled how the whole thing had spun rather out of control. Nicola had brought out a bottle of Ogden’s Best Firewhisky and suggested a game. It was a drinking game which no one was able to quite grasp the rules of. Then the worst thing of all happened, Nicola dared Ginny to play. Ginny was not obne to back down from a challenge. So despite their suspicions that Nicola happened to be making up the “rules” of the game as she went along, all of the girls joined in, including Luna who said, “I might as well, I’ve never tasted firewhisky before.” 


The game had started out as sort of a truth or dare type of thing and rapidly deteriorated into the girls taking turns telling stories and taking drinks from the bottle as it was passed around. Kate and Luna had fallen asleep and Grace giggling uncontrollably by the time midnight came around. Ginny and Nicola, as it seemed only took sips when their turn came around, and hadn’t drunk as much as the other three. Feeling slightly sleepy but otherwise fine, Ginny had helped Nicola to put Grace, Luna, and Kate into guest bedrooms and then they had gone back into Nicola’s room. They talked about the wedding as they finished off the snacks and put the bottle back into Nicola’s parent’s liquor cabinet. Ginny’s memory left her when it should have had her coming home, as her mother said, by one in the morning. 


Straining her memory Ginny still couldn’t recall how or when she’d gotten home. Looking around the room she shrugged and began getting dressed. As she picked up her earrings and necklace from the bedside table she came across a folded piece of paper. Her name was scrawled across the front in a familiar hand. Rubbing her eyes she opened the note to read: 


Gin,
Nicola said that you fell asleep and she couldn’t get you to wake up. You know how soundly you sleep. Anyhow, Nic knew you had to be home, so she flooed me and I came to get you. I brought you home and put you to bed without your mother noticing. You did get home before one, just in case you wondered. I guess we’ll chat later.
I Love You,
Harry 


Ginny slid to the edge of the bed and eased onto her fee. Immediately an intense pounding in her head alerted her that perhaps she’d had a bit more to drink than originally thought. Pulling on the pink dressing gown that hung from the bedpost, Ginny trudged downstairs towards the delicious aroma of freshly brewed coffee that was issuing from the kitchen. Slumping down at the battered and bruised kitchen table she groaned as her mother began to chatter animatedly. Soon, though, she had a steaming mug of coffee, some Pepperup Potion, and a hot plate piled high with eggs, toast, and sausage. After gulping down her mother’s remedy Ginny felt much better and thought to herself decisively, “I am NEVER doing that again.” 


She finished her breakfast quickly after that, practically inhaling her food. Then she raced back to her room, carrying a piece of toast and trailing crumbs behind her. Getting dressed she thought about going back to Hogwarts. As she pulled on a shirt of Harry’s with a pair of comfortably worn jeans and her newest Weasley sweater, a thought came to her mind. Today after a quick stop to check on her friends, who would, no doubt, be in worse shape than she’d been in, Ginny had a meeting with the wedding planner. And tomorrow she’d be going back to Hogwarts. 


Remembering the looks of the salespeople the first time she had visited Melanie’s shop, Ginny hesitated. Quickly she applied a bit of makeup and put in the diamond solitaire earrings that she’d gotten for her sixteenth birthday. The golden heart-shaped locket, given to her by Harry, was the finishing touch. Finally she was prepared. After a long talk with her mother about where she was going, who’d she be with, and when she would be home, Ginny finally made it out of the house. She swiftly apparated to Nicola’s house, armed with three vials of Pepperup Potion and a smile. 


A weary looking old house-elf answered the door and recognizing her as one of Nicola's friends was happy to lead her to Nicola's room. It was a quick trip through the mansion that once filled Ginny with envy, seeing all that her friend had and remembering how little she possessed herself. Now the surroundings held only passing interest for her, since she'd seen them so many times over the years. Pausing at the door where her friends lay sleeping, Ginny sent the little elf off with orders for a good breakfast to be brought up. Plastering a smile on her face she turned the knob, prepared to give her friends a wakeup call that they would not enjoy.

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