| .: Why Neville and Ginny Works :.|
I think there's been foreshadowing for the Neville/Ginny ship for quite awhile in the books. I definitely see this ship happening in canon. I see it as having been happening in canon, actually, and that it will culminate into a real relationship in Book 7.
I think Ginny's relationship with Harry in HBP shows how much better a relationship with Neville will be for her. I think HBP shows us that Ginny has been putting on a bit of an act to get Harry to notice her, since we now know that she'd never really given up on him. Her personality in Book 6 in some places is in direct contradiction to her personality in Book 5, and I think that's because in Book 6 we start to see glimpses of her real personality, of who she really is. One example is in Book 5 when she screams at her mother because she wants to stay and hear about the Order, but at the end of Book 6 when she's with Harry, Hermione and Ron in the common room the night before Prof. Dumbledore's funeral, she goes off to bed, yawning, in the middle of their conversation about Snape, Voldemort and the Ministry. Also, she doesn't think Harry's concern about Draco being up to something is worth missing the start of a Quidditch match for, and also not something important enough to mention to Ron when she tells Ron that Harry was nearly late to the match, because Ron has to ask Harry why he was late, which I think is a hint from JKR that she and Harry aren't on the same wavelength.
And I think she insists on going to the Ministry at the end of Book 5 - at least partly, if not completely - as another means to get Harry to notice her. We don't see her in battle then, but we do see that all she managed to do was get a broken ankle. And she's a bit rude when she pushes away Luna's help, which she winds up needing, and I think that's because she's upset with herself for not being the tough girl she thinks Harry would like and that it's also another attempt to look like that girl.
In Book 6 we actually do get to see her fight, and all she's doing is dodging curses, never firing one in retaliation. And she says she lost track of things during the battle. I also think she has long hair all of a sudden at the beginning of Book 5 because she grew it out between Books 4 and 5 because she knows by the middle of Book 4 that Harry likes Cho, who has, you guessed it, long hair. I think she grew out her hair as another means of getting Harry to notice her, and it sure seems to get in her way in Book 6, when she has to toss it out of her face when she's yelling at Ron, like long hair really isn't her.
So the reasons why I think Ginny's relationship with Harry in HBP show us how much better a relationship with Neville will be for her are because Neville's always noticed her and gotten along well with her - certainly enough to ask her to the Yule Ball - and he's always liked her just as she is, without her having to put on an act. I think that's one of the purposes of Ginny as a character, to show that you shouldn't have to pretend to be something you're not to get someone interested in you, and that the person who's noticed you all along and who's liked you all along, when you were always just being yourself, is the right one for you.
I think Book 6 shows us clearly that Ginny's real priorities are Quidditch and having a laugh, not in fighting battles and in working out how to bring down Voldemort, all the things I think she's learned that Harry would like in a girl, after having gotten to know him over the years, and all the things it looks like she's been pretending to be to get Harry to notice her. And I think we see that Harry's interest in Quidditch is waning in favor of fighting Voldemort. I think in Book 7 Harry will even give up his spot on the Quidditch team and Ron will end up as Captain - just like how Ron saw in the Mirror of Erised in book 1. And I think that Neville will try out for Seeker and that we'll learn that between Books 6 and 7 - having been inspired from Prof. McGonagall's reprimand of his grandmother in Book 6 - that he's been sneaking out a broom and practicing Quidditch behind his grandmother's back, just like Ginny used to sneak out a broom and practice Quidditch. And I think Neville's brilliance on the Quidditch pitch will foreshadow Ron's prediction from Book 1 coming true in future that Neville would play Quidditch for England after Hogwarts. Neville's always shown interest in Quidditch - wanting to go to the World Cup in Book 4 but he couldn't because his grandmother wouldn't let him, and he and Harry talk about Quidditch on the train ride to Hogwarts in Book 6. And it would be very fitting for him to become a professional Quidditch player, after what happened to him in that first year flying lesson.
At first I thought Neville could play Chaser in Book 7 - you know, take Katie Bell's spot since she'll have left Hogwarts by then - but then I thought it would make more sense for Dean to play Chaser since he's already played it and was good at it, too.
Harry is not normal, not even for a wizard, and it's irresponsible for him to try and pretend that he is, which he doesn't even want to do any more anyway. Harry has so many abilities that can be used to fight evil that other, even older and more highly trained wizards, do not have, and it would be a horrible thing if he didn't use them for the rest of his life to help those in danger who truly can't help themselves, which he wants to do anyway since he's said that he wants to be an Auror. And as of Book 6 he doesn't want fun and Quidditch - ie. "normal" things - to be the main priorities in his life ever again. From now on, he wants his main priorities to be about fighting evil. For example, at the start of the first Quidditch match in Book 6, Harry would rather be figuring out what Draco's up to than be on the pitch: "Harry smiled vaguely back, but as he pulled on his scarlet robes his mind was far from Quidditch. Malfoy had once before claimed he could not play due to injury, but on that occasion he had made sure the whole match was rescheduled for a time that suited the Slytherins better. Why was he now happy to let a substitute go on? Was he really ill, or was he faking?" (HBP, British ed., pg. 275 or HBP, American ed., pg. 294). Around the time of the second match it's written: "It took Harry a few moments to realize what McLaggen was talking about. 'Oh...right...Quidditch,' he said, putting his wand back into the belt of his jeans and running a hand wearily through his hair. 'Yeah...he might not make it.' ... 'Excellent,' said McLaggen in a satisfied voice. 'So when's practice?' 'What? Oh...there's one tomorrow evening.' 'Good. Listen, Potter, we should have a talk beforehand. I've got some ideas on strategy you might find useful.' 'Right,' said Harry unenthusiastically. 'Well, I'll hear them tomorrow, then. I'm pretty tired now...see you...'" (HBP, British ed., pg. 382-383 or HBP, American ed., pg. 408); or: "Harry, however, had never been less interested in Quidditch; he was rapidly becoming obsessed with Draco Malfoy." (HBP, British ed., pg. 383 or HBP, American ed., pg. 409). And then he doesn't even get to play at all in the third and final match in Book 6, which is foreshadowing of Harry not playing for the Gryffindor Quidditch team ever again. Harry is now more interested in bringing down Malfoy, in bringing down Voldemort, than he is in Quidditch and in having a laugh. And when Voldemort is dead at the end of Book 7, there will still be evil in the world and there always will be, and Harry will always want to fight it. Yes, Harry will always care about Quidditch and having a laugh, but he will never again have any of those things as his main priorities. From now on, his main priorities are fighting evil, and it will stay that way for the rest of his life. Once Harry has defeated Voldemort he will be similar to a soldier coming back home from fighting in a war. A soldier who won't be able to simply jump back into the old fun and happy life of backyard barbeques and swimming pool parties after having killed people, etc. You can't go home. You can't go back to those simple times. You can't honestly see Harry playing Quidditch for the rest of his life or opening a joke shop with Ginny after having defeated the greatest evil wizard of all time, can you? He doesn't even want to do those sorts of things. He never has. He's always said that he wants to be an Auror, and since he has the abilities to become one, that's that. Harry is going to become an Auror. And I can't see Ginny being happy in the long run with someone who's chosen something as serious as an Auror for a career.
Ginny has always known deep down that Harry would never be truly happy unless he's fighting evil, and she's starting to let herself really realize this at the end of Book 6 during the break-up scene, when she says that she always knew that Harry would never be happy unless he was hunting Voldemort. She understands that Harry is always going to want to fight the evil in the world. And evil will always be there, even when Voldemort is dead. Harry will always have other priorities from now on, and they won't be Ginny's main priorities, which are Quidditch and having a laugh, etc. There are other things that Ginny's always known subconsciously that she's letting herself really realize during the break-up scene, too: that Harry really isn't normal, and that she wants to be with someone who is, and that while she does want to be with someone who does care about fighting evil, she doesn't want to be with someone whose life revolves around doing so. For Harry, a relationship with someone who only has fun and laughter to offer is not going to be what he wants in the long run. Harry's missing out on things like having conversations about the war with the girl he's with if he's with Ginny. He's missing out on sharing such a large and important part of who he is with the girl he's with if he's with Ginny. And for Ginny, a relationship with someone whose life revolves around fighting evil is more seriousness than she cares to deal with. Canon examples of this are: "'Where have you been?' demanded Ginny, as Harry sprinted into the changing room ... 'I met Malfoy,' Harry told her quietly, as he pulled his scarlet robes over his head. 'So?' 'So I wanted to know how come he's up at the castle with a couple of girlfriends while everyone else is down here...' 'Does it matter right now?' 'Well, I'm not likely to find out, am I?' said Harry, seizing his Firebolt and pushing his glasses straight. 'Come on, then!' And without another word, he marched out on to the pitch" ... (HBP, British ed., pg. 386-387 or HBP, American ed., pg. 412-413); or when Ginny does not even think it's important nor interesting enough to mention to Ron the reason why Harry was late to that particular match, because Ron says: "'Ginny came in to visit while you were unconscious ... She reckons you only just arrived in time for the match. How come? You left here early enough.'" (HBP, British ed., pg. 390-391 or HBP, American ed., pg. 417); or: "'Of course there isn't,' said Harry, who became angry every time this subject cropped up. 'They won't find Snape till they find Voldemort, and seeing as they've never managed to do that in all this time...' 'I'm going to bed,' yawned Ginny. 'I haven't been sleeping that well since...well...I could do with some sleep.'" (HBP, British ed., pg. 592 or HBP, American ed., pg. 635). It is definitely understandable that Ginny is tired after everything that's happened, especially with what's just happened to Bill, but Bill is all right, more or less, because at least he wasn't killed and it is a war that's going on, so it very easily could have been much worse for him. If Ginny really did care about the goings-on of the Ministry and the fight against Voldemort at least as much as she cares about Quidditch, then she would have fallen asleep in the common room trying to stay awake to listen to Harry, Ron and Hermione's conversation, the same way that she tried to stay awake during the conversation about the outcome of the Quidditch World Cup match in Book 4 but still wound up being so overcome by fatigue that she ended up falling asleep at the table inside her family's tent. Here, however, she doesn't even try to stay awake. She just goes off to bed. Obviously, the conversation is not as important nor as interesting to her as it is to Harry, who's not only so mentally but also so emotionally invested in it that he's already worked himself into a bit of rage just as soon as a specific topic comes up. And at the end of Book 6 Ginny doesn't say that she wants to go along with Harry on his Horcrux hunt, to watch his back and help to make sure that he stays alive. She doesn't say that she wants to help him defeat Voldemort, to help him help the world be rid of Voldemort. She doesn't even at least take it to a personal level and say that she wants to come along on the Horcrux hunt to get revenge on Voldemort after what happened to her in Book 2 with the diary. She makes absolutely no hint at all that she wants to go, nor that she will have a change of heart and will want to go in Book 7 and either force Harry to take her along or stow away with him, Ron and Hermione if he refuses. She seems to want to have nothing at all to do with Voldemort now, in helping the fight to make the world a little less evil, which is pretty nearly all that Harry's about these days and always will be, too. This looks bad for H/G in the long run....
Ginny will always have her main priorities as being Quidditch and having a laugh, and from now on Harry's life will always focus on fighting evil. Ginny and Harry are not completely compatible. They are not perfect for each other. They just aren't always on the same page as far as their concerns and interests go - pun intended. Ginny has always known this deep down and is starting to let herself really realize this at the end of Book 6, and both she and Harry will realize this fully in Book 7 and won't want to be together any more. We won't even be seeing any more H/G past Book 6, not as them being a couple. Not ever again. And in Book 7 Ginny will let herself fall in love with someone who's been there for her all along - Neville. Neville and Ginny are perfect for each other. They will have a fun and happy relationship, and one that centers around Quidditch, because they both love the sport and will both want to and will become professional Quidditch players for England. And of course it would be very fitting for Neville to wind up with a gorgeous and popular girl like Ginny, when he's not so gorgeous himself and hasn't always been very popular. It would be fitting, too, for Ginny to wind up with Neville just before he does become really popular in Book 7 when he becomes a star player on the Gryffindor Quidditch team (Neville will replace Harry as Seeker in Book 7). It's fitting because it's an inverse of the Harry and Ginny relationship, where Ginny was struck by Harry's fame first and then went on to get to know him, but with Neville she'll have fallen for who he really is first, before he becomes really famous for Quidditch - Neville and Ginny already have a strong friendship, which will progress into a romance as they spend more and more time together on the Quidditch pitch in Book 7 and as Neville is just starting to become famous for his Quidditch skills.
And since I'm convinced Harry's going to give up Quidditch in Book 7, since JKR also said she's written her last Quidditch match, that Neville would try out for that last spot as Seeker, coming out of nowhere and surprising everyone with his amazing Quidditch skills. Only it wouldn't really be out of nowhere because he'll have been practicing behind his grandmother's back. He'll be sneaking, just like Ginny used to....
I think the thing that convinced me that he would play Seeker is that he'd probably be exceptional at finding the snitch, because of how he's always having to find his toad, Trevor. I think it doesn't matter if he's not light and speedy on a broom. I think he could just hover in the air, looking around for the snitch, and while the other Seeker's flying like mad all around the pitch looking for the snitch and seeing nothing, Neville will, in the middle of all of the other players flying around, just like how he's always finding Trevor, and Neville will just shoot off after it and catch the snitch in record time. He might even be better at Seeker than Harry, and I'm certain he'll be good enough to consider Quidditch as a professional career after Hogwarts....
I think, too, that Quidditch is in his genes. I have to wonder what happened to his grandfather, to make his grandmother not want Neville to fly/be interested in Quidditch so much so to the point that it's not normal....I think that his grandfather died in a Quidditch match and that's why his grandmother is afraid of letting Neville play Quidditch. I also think it was his grandfather's death that enables Neville to see Thestrals.
And I think he was just very nervous in that first year flying lesson, because of his grandmother's damaging behavior. I don't think that lesson was a true look at Neville's ability to fly on a broom.
I really do believe that this is one of the ways that N/G will work itself out in canon, for Neville and Ginny to use Quidditch as one of the ways in which they grow closer together.
I think Ginny and Neville will grow closer on the Quidditch pitch in Book 7, but I think they'll also grow closer because they both have things to remember about Tom Riddle/Voldemort that can help Harry in understanding who Voldemort is and in defeating him. I think Neville has something to remember from that night he was a baby and Death Eaters came to his house and tortured his parents into insanity and, most likely, put a memory charm on him so that he wouldn't remember anything about that night. I think Ginny has things to remember about Tom Riddle from when she was possessed by the diary. And I think Ginny and Neville will start remembering these things together, and dealing with the trauma of remembering these things together, and I'll bet their remembering has something to do with Neville pulling off a very good anti-memory charm or something like that in his NEWT Charms class.
I think now that Harry and Ginny are split, when Harry comes back to Hogwarts he'll wind up falling very in love with another girl, because I see major signs for another Harry ship and which I think is the final Harry pairing, and that Ginny will fall for Neville at the same time as Harry's falling for this other girl, and also just as hard. And I think something will make Harry decide to act on his feelings, even though Voldemort's still out there, but that he'll talk to Ginny beforehand and the two of them will talk about how they weren't really right for each other, because she's not serious enough for him and he's too serious for her but that it was fun and that they're still friends, which I think she's starting to admit to herself at the end of Book 6, when Harry's ending it with her. I think a relationship between Harry and Ginny was good in getting strong romantic feelings started in the both of them, so that they can realistically fall in love with their final pairings in the last book. I mean, can you really see going from Cho to true love? Or from Ginny's relationship with Michael Corner and Dean to true love? I think an interim relationship is needed there, and that was H/G.
And I loved how Neville and Ginny both have the same reaction to the Dementors in Book 3 on the train to school, and also when Neville defends Ginny in Book 5 with the Inquisitorial Squad and in Book 6 Ginny stands up for Neville on the train to school with Professor Slughorn. And how it was Ron, Ginny and Neville together in the end of HBP, and not Ginny off with Hermione and Luna - it's just another example of Neville and Ginny's friendship and budding romance that's been going on behind the scenes!
I think Neville's good for Ginny because he isn't this really famous person and so she really does learn to love someone for who they are and not for anything superficial, and because he's always liked her just as she is and because I think his main priorities will be Quidditch/having a laugh, which I think are Ginny's priorities, too, and why I think Ginny's great for Neville. I also think she's great for Neville because she's fun, funny, and sweet, and I think he could use someone like that in his life after the hard childhood he's had, and also because it's quite fitting for him to wind up with a popular babe.
And I do think that Harry both wants and needs laughter and fun in his romantic relationships, but I do not think that is all he wants and needs, which, I think, is pretty much all he is getting in a romantic relationship with Ginny.
I think Neville loves her sense of humor and how she's so much fun to be around with all of her jokes, etc., how she's a brilliant Quidditch player, how she's brave enough to stand up for him whenever someone puts him down - or puts down anyone else for that matter. And, of course, the most important reason of all, she's gorgeous.
And I think Ginny loves Neville for how he's brave enough to stand up to people, his ridiculously good heart, how brave and awesome he is in battle - did anyone else love how in Book 6 it says that he went running after the Death Eaters when they'd gone up the tower staircase, and that he couldn't get through the barrier because he didn't have a Dark Mark on him and was thrown backwards because of that? I loved that!
I think Ginny will also love how he's excellent at Quidditch and fun to be with and isn't too serious for her, like how Harry's too serious for her. And I think she'll like how he's always liked her just as she is, without her having had to make any alterations to her personality to get him to notice her/to like her/to be the perfect girl for him. I think she loves how she can just be herself around him and how he's fallen in love with her, with the real her. I think she'll fall in love with him for that. Easily.
I also think JKR said that Books 6 and 7 are like two halves of the same whole, like they're really one book split in two, so even though Neville didn't have too much to do in Book 6 I can see him coming more to the fore in Book 7, sort of like how the whole of Book 6 is really the beginning of the last book, and Book 7 is the middle and end of the last book. Also, she's such a brilliant writer, not just with plot twists and developments, but with how she's developed her characters, shown them to be growing up, that I really wouldn't be surprised if she's using Ginny and Neville as a way to show that you shouldn't have to change who you are to get someone to notice you, and that if you're doing that then most likely you're with the wrong person. Harry and Ron had to learn not to go for looks alone, which I think Dean needs to learn too, and I think Hermione needs to learn not to play games of jealousy to get someone interested, that they should be interested in you just for who you are. Harry, Ron and other characters had to learn that lesson, so why not Neville and Ginny? Why don't they have their own lessons to learn too? I think they do.
Ginny should definitely be with Neville. I think once Ginny drops her act completely in Book 7 and really admits that she and Harry aren't right for each other - that she's not serious enough for him and that he's too serious for her - she can focus on the things that seem to really matter to her, which are Quidditch and having fun/having a laugh. And she can also focus on being with someone who shares those same priorities. And I think those things will wind up being Neville's priorities, and I love Neville and would love to see him with a Ginny who isn't pretending to be something she's not, and with a girl who's fun, funny, sweet, popular and pretty.
Plus, I think Neville's always been noticing her - not in a romantic way yet, but he did at least know she was alive to ask her to the Yule Ball and he obviously gets along with her well enough as friends at that point to have asked her. I think he's always liked her just as she is, who she's always been, who she really is. I think those feelings will turn into love in the last book, in both Neville and Ginny, for each other.
And Neville will be wonderful for Ginny - ie. even going as just friends, he obviously asked Ginny to the Yule Ball simply because he really likes who she is as a person; his asking her didn't have anything at all to do with her physical beauty, because she becomes physically beautiful in Book 6, well after the Yule Ball in Book 4, so it's obvious that even if Ginny wasn't gorgeous he'd still like her for who she is inside and would see her as a "girl"/"dateable" and as someone with whom he wouldn't at all mind spending an evening. And he'll be wonderful to her, too - ie. Neville's the very rare type of man who would never even so much as look at another girl once he's with Ginny. Ginny will be incredibly happy with Neville. And lucky. Neville's sort of like a diamond in the ruff, you know? And one that Ginny's lucky enough to get to discover and keep all for herself.
And about JKR saying that Ginny is pretty much the ideal girl for Harry, I have to agree. I think in Book 5 Ginny is the perfect girl for Harry, except for the fact that she's pretending to be something she's not in that book. And I think in Book 6 she's a little less so and is pretty much the perfect girl for Harry, because her real personality is starting to show, and I think she's lacking in things like wanting to fight in battles and fight Voldemort, which I think are important things for the girl that Harry will ultimately wind up with to have. And that's just not Ginny. I think that's what JKR meant in her quote.
And when JKR was asked about H/G and R/HR, and in her answer she said that after Book 6 we can now know it's Ron and Hermione. But she didn't say anything about H/G. If we can now know it's Ron and Hermione, surely we can now know it's Harry and Ginny, since the two of them actually had a relationship in Book 6? But she didn't say anything.
I think I might be a little more confident in Ginny/Neville being the final pairing in Book 7 because I've always seen major signs for another Harry ship, which I think will be the final Harry pairing in Book 7. And for me, in HBP everything happened for my ships that I was hoping would, so I'm still happily sailing Neville/Ginny!
Oh and one more thing: I'll bet anyone 5,000 Galleons that Ginny will have shorter hair when she's with Neville!
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