‘Harry Potter’ Fans Watch Ginny Weasley Grow Up

Harry Potter's longtime admirer deals with love, potions and the inevitable war ahead in 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince'

The Battle of the Department of Mysteries changed the game for everyone when it heralded the return of Lord Voldemort in “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.” Now, amid all the love triangles at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” Ginny Weasley’s crush on Harry and burgeoning potion skills get put to the test.

As the youngest Weasley sibling in one of author J.K. Rowling’s largest and most famous families, the girl who started out on the sidelines during “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” and played a crucial role in Voldemort’s attempted second coming during “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” grabs her share of the spotlight once again in theaters this month.

The red-haired girl born Ginevra Molly Weasley had to watch from outside the train when Harry Potter left for his first year at Hogwarts along with her older brothers. When she was sorted into the Gryffindor House and began her magic studies the following year, though, Ginny became a key figure in both Harry’s life and the epic story that was unfolding. After Draco Malfoy’s father Lucius planted Tom Riddle’s diary among her school supplies, the Dark Wizard who became Lord Voldemort attempted to take her life in order to return to physical form.

Like her co-stars Rupert Grint and Emma Watson, Bonnie Wright auditioned for “The Sorcerer’s Stone” as a newcomer to film. She reportedly sped through the book, titled “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” in the U.K., after being invited to audition, not nearly as familiar with Rowling’s stories as her older brother Lewis, who was an avid reader of the series. She adapted seamlessly into the Weasley family, alongside her fellow ruby-haired siblings, played by Grint and twin actors James and Oliver Phelps.

Readers of the “Potter” books know that Harry and Ginny share a special relationship in the books and movies, but the two have remained at a romantically prohibitive arm’s length prior to “The Half-Blood Prince,” with Harry falling unsuccessfully for Cho Chang and Ginny testing the Hogwarts dating market with both Michael Corner and Dean Thomas. The seemingly predestined lovebirds get their first onscreen kiss in the new film, as she piques Harry’s interests, as well as those of new Hogwarts Potion Master Horace Slughorn, who invites her to join his exclusive “Slug Club” of talented students. Both her attachment to Harry and her maturing magic skills will be tested, however, during the dark times and as resurfaced Death Eaters descend upon the school.

In addition to her role as Ginny, Wright has nabbed several roles for television, most notably as a young Agatha Christie in the BBC biopic “Agatha Christie: A Life in Pictures,” but she’s kept her feature-film focus on the “Potter” movies. She has expressed a desire to keep taking on new roles but is also slated to begin studying film and television at London’s University of the Arts, even as she finishes shooting the first and second parts of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” later this year.

Check out everything we’ve got on “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.”

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