I remember the trips Mum and Dad took Ginny and me on when we were little. Though they happened as often as Christmas landing on a Wednesday, we were sometimes able to go to Hogwarts to visit my brothers. Usually, the trips happened if Percy did something special in school, and Dumbledore would invite us for some sort of celebration.
One visit in particular sticks out in my mind simply because of the aftermath.
It was Fred and George's second year at Hogwarts, and on this visit, they were anxious to show off a spell or two. We were inside the classroom where the boys took Charms, as they were showing Ginny and me, who would soon be attending school there, so Mum and Dad thought it would be all right "just this once."
They demonstrated how to perform a spell that would stack dishes. Now that I look back, I realized that Mum and Dad definitely knew the spell, but they were able to act so impressed as if they had never seen such a thing in their entire lives.
The rest of the trip went the same as the visits did: Mum and Dad talked to some of the professors they knew well and I awaited the glorious dinner we would have. (No offense to Mom, or even Hermione, but nothing in my mind beats a dinner prepared by the house elves of Hogwarts.)
But after being shown the spell from Fred and George, I knew that I truly couldn't wait to get home.
It was the next morning a Sunday when I decided to try out my new knowledge. I had been practicing the incantation in my mind and out loud until breakfast, when it was my turn to put the dishes away. Mum didn't mind the spell that washed the dishes, but she was very particular about where the dishes went and always wanted one of us to do it.
But my ten-year-old mind figured the spell would be able to do it just as she wanted it done.
I pulled out Dad's wand from my pocket and pointed the end at the stack of washed and dried dishes. Then, as loud as I could, I said the incantation.
What was supposed to be a glorious moment of plates whirling to their spots was actually a terrible moment.
All the plates crashed to the floor and shattered, and Mum let out a scream as if someone was murdering her!
I couldn't believe that the spell had backfired. What had I done wrong?
When she and Dad came into the kitchen, I tried to explain myself. But Dad informed me that I was saying the spell all wrong, scolded me for trying, and ordered me to clean up the plates. Then he left it up to Mum to punish me.
The next month was the most boring of my life. School and home, no exceptions, and extra chores to pay my dish debt.
It had to have been three or four months later when the same thing happened. Everyone was home for summer holidays, and we heard the same crash that I had caused when I tried the spell.
Again, Mum let out a shriek, but instead of going into the kitchen right away, she turned to look at me.
"I didn't do it!" I yelled as I threw my hands up in the air.
When they went to inspect the kitchen and the damage, they saw that Ginny was the one who did it. It was the same routine as far as Dad was concerned: the informing of the wrong spell, the scolding, the order, then leaving Mum up to the punishment.
Instead of heading Dad's order's, Mum decided to help Ginny clean up the broken dishes and didn't give her any punishment at all.
I tried to protest about the unfairness, but Fred sat me down at the dining room table and said, "Ginny's the favorite, the daughter Mum always wanted and was waiting for. You're going to have to get used to this, so why don't you just enjoy your pancakes and forget it."
The truth of the matter was that I've never accepted this. I long to be the one Mum considers a favorite and not the one who can't seem to do anything correctly.