"Some women blush when kissed; some call for the police; some swear; some bite. But the worst are those who laugh." Anonymous
Quidditch is really a very deceptive sport.
Ginny Weasley mused on this—or rather, ranted about this statement as she winced and groaned her way through putting the Quidditch equipment away after practice.
You'd think that it'd be easy, just sitting on some dumbstick…Ginny grimaced as her aching arms protested movement. All you have to do is throw a couple of balls around, honestly.
Even though she knew that was not quite the truth, she slammed the lid on the box a fit of anger, causing her muscles to moan.
She sighed, then caught a whiff of something smelling almost like Ron, but not quite…
"All right there, Ginny?" A voice tentatively said from behind.
"Hullo Harry." She turned to face him. Nothing ruins a good rant like seeing his adorab—troubled face. She sighed again.
He frowned. "Rough day?"
Ginny stared at him in disbelief. "Are you telling me that you're not completely beat after that practice?"
Harry smiled and shrugged.
She rolled her eyes. That shouldn't be legal. Or at least against school policy. "No, my day was fine. I just happened to participate in an exhausting four hour Quidditch scrimmage. That's all."
He nodded. "Yeah. So… uh, there's a Hogsmeade trip tomorrow."
Ginny watched Harry shift from foot to foot. Changing the subject, Harry? I shouldn't whine so much. Look at all he's been through.
"I've really let my plans go ‘til the last minute…"
He was avoiding her eyes. Ginny knew Ron was going with Hermione…was he hinting that he needed some friends to go with?
"Well, you're welcome to come with Neville and Luna and me, if you'd like."
"Actually, I would rather not do that," he stated flatly, staring at the ground.
Ginny blinked, stunned. Of course he doesn't—I shouldn't have assumed—He's probably going with some nice seventh year girl, and he's trying to tell me—
She felt warmth in her cheeks, but she willed the blush to go away. "Oh… right." Her voice sounded wounded, even to her own ears.
He glanced up sharply. "No—I didn't mean it like that—" Harry said with a real note of panic in his voice. "I wouldn't mind going with them—if you want to, that's fine, we can, we will—"
"I don't understand," Ginny said. She didn't know whether this was an insult, or an apology, or something else…
"I'm…I'm trying to ask you to Hogsmeade with me, but I'm doing a pretty shoddy job of it."
Her jaw dropped. "What?"
"You…me…Hogsmeade…oh sod it." He swiftly grabbed her shoulders, leaned in, and kissed her squarely on the mouth.
Her mind froze.
After he pulled away, she could think only one thought.
I was just kissed by Harry Potter.
And with that, everything within her awoke at once—all the walls she had made over the last few years, all the longing she had siphoned off since the first time she had laid eyes on him—
A kind of balloon rose up in her abdomen—her heart grew until it strained at her ribcage, the butterflies she had confined so long were set free.
And she reached another conclusion.
That was a very nice kiss.
So maybe it was the onslaught of all the old "Harry Feelings" coming back, perhaps it was the realization that her dream for so long had come true, or it could have possibly been the little tingly feeling in her lips that she'd never experienced before—
But, in a time when she knew she should not, she giggled…which led to a muffled chuckle…succeeded by some quiet laughter…that increased in volume until she was clutching her side, struggling for breath, and completely confusing a poor, alarmed Harry.
"Oh, Merlin, I'm sorry...I—I've only been kissed once, you know—and it was more like an attack, really—it's not my fault if I'm awful—"
Ginny shook her head. "Not—it—" she wheezed.
He remained unconvinced, regarding her with an upset bewilderment.
"Is that a yes or a no to Hogsmeade, then?"
She flung her arms around him and buried her laughter into his neck.
She smelled his soap, felt his arms on her back, and her laughter slowly subsided. Eventually she pulled back and looked at Harry.
"I'd love to go with you, Harry." She held his hand firmly and turned towards the castle. "Let's go back in." Ginny started up the hill, only to be abruptly tugged back by Harry's hand.
"Wait," he said. She looked back at him. "What was so funny?"
She cocked her head to the side. "I could have just smiled, played it cool…I could have sobbed my eyes out, I suppose…" She smiled and shrugged. "I guess happiness comes in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and sounds. I was just that…happy."
A/N: This is for all you who reviewed—Rock on. Big thanks to prebetas BasilM, DADAGinny, Sarah/Kelly, and LhriAngel for making sense of all this, and to Allie, for telling me it was good at a time I was convinced it was awful.