"I told you that would happen if you didn't clean it up," Ginny said kindly as she watched a group of her seventh-year students wipe the snow off their malfunctioning telescopes after a random snowball started a snowball fight. Her brothers would have been proud of it.
William, a handsome Gryffindor, blushed lightly as she came over to his table. "Sorry, Professor. I guess we all just got caught up in the moment," he muttered, not meeting her eyes.
Ginny raised an eyebrow as some of the other boys in her class looked down at their feet. These students seemed especially nervous for some reason. She couldn't understand why; it was just another lab in the Astronomy Tower, one of many she had had this year. "Don't worry, William. I don't mind if you want to have a snowball fight; just try not to break anything," she commented, looking up at the clear night sky with a smile. The cold air brought her back to Christmas, and heat rose unbidden to her face. I wonder what Harry's doing right now.
A giggle sounded from one side, and she looked sharply at a pair of Hufflepuff girls, both red with suppressed laughter. "Care to share what's so amusing, Matilda?" she asked.
The dark haired girl, Matilda, shot a look at William. "Well, Professor, there are only two weeks, three days, four hours, and nineteen and one-half minutes," she said, digging her elbow into her friend's side as the other girl giggled.
Ginny smiled softly. "Until what?"
"Valentine's Day," piped up another girl from the back.
The girls giggled nervously as the boys sunk lower into their seats. Sighing contentedly, Ginny allowed herself a personal moment with her students. "I know. I've been counting, too," she said as she looked off towards the Quidditch pitch. Her heart beat slightly faster as she remembered Harry's promise to her before he left her chambers almost two weeks ago:
"I'll be here for Valentine's Day, I swear. Not even Moody could keep me away."
She believed him; why shouldn't she? Ever since Christmas, Harry had taken to coming to see her at any possible time, creating a bit of a stir among the students of Hogwarts. Why was Harry Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived, visiting the new Astronomy professor? Of course, she hadn't told anyone except her family of the change in her and Harry's relationship, but the rumors going around school made her want to blurt everything out, just to keep the record straight. No, she and Harry hadn't been clandestine lovers since her fifth year because he was afraid of her brothers! She and Harry were friends for years; it was Harry who had pushed through to this stage.
With a start, she realized her students were silent; the girls were looking at her with wide eyes, and the boys were glaring mulishly at the floor. She blushed, prompting Matilda to speak up.
"Professor, may I ask you a personal question?" she asked timidly.
Ginny gave the girl a reassuring smile. What could one question hurt? "Why not? Go ahead, Matilda."
"Are you and Harry Potter an item?"
Everyone seemed to perk up in waiting for her answer, especially the boys. Ginny stood flabbergasted for a moment before closing her slack jaw. What could one question hurt, indeed. Her and her big mouth.
"Well," she stammered, feeling as red as her hair. The girls looked at her in shining anticipation. "I… I suppose so," she finally said, causing the girls to squeal and chatter in their excitement. The boys looked like they had been hit by a hippogriff.
"You are?" William blurted out, averting his narrowed gaze as she looked at him.
Pursing her lips, Ginny nodded. "Yes. Now, pack up your things. Your homework is to finish these star charts for next class," she said briskly, already regretting speaking.
The class did as she asked, the girls clumped together in bubbling ecstasy. The boys sullenly walked out, but not before casting their professor a quick glance. Ginny sighed and gathered her own things, letting everyone leave before she headed for her chambers.
As February 14 approached, Ginny noticed a change in the way her students were treating her. It wasn't a blatant change, but she felt it nevertheless. The girls began to warm up considerably, even more so than before. They were unfailingly cheerful whenever she was around, and Headmaster Dumbledore made a point to inform her that all the students of the female persuasion she taught were singing her praises in every one of their classes. At that moment, the twinkle in his blue eyes had been insufferable.
The boys were the complete antithesis to the girls, not meeting her eyes, volunteering answers in class, or even speaking anything more than a mumble to her. She was completely perplexed. Adding to her trauma, she had heard nothing from Harry in almost a week leading up to Valentine's Day, which made her doubt the possibility of seeing him at all. Damn Mad-Eye Moody and his "Constant Vigilance!"
The night of Valentine's Day, while the party was in full swing in the Great Hall, Ginny was in her office, grading papers and consoling herself with a large bowl of chocolate ice cream Dobby had brought her. He had tried in vain to cheer her up, but how did he expect to succeed when he was mentioning Harry in every other sentence?
Sighing, Ginny sat back in her chair and picked up her ice cream, closing her eyes and taking a big bite. Cheers to constants, she thought as she moved to take another bite.
"Make one move and you will live to regret it," said the dark, throaty voice from the doorway.
Abruptly, her eyes opened and she was met with the sight of Harry standing in the doorway of her office, a hungry look in his gaze. He smiled rakishly. "Hi, Gin. Hope you don't mind I popped in."
With one quick movement she was out of her seat and in his arms, spilling her bowl of ice cream on her robes in her haste. The kiss she gave him was sweet and hot, melting her knees and causing her to grab onto his shoulders for support. He moaned into her mouth, wrapping his arms around her tightly. "Ginny, that's so sticky. My robes are ruined," he growled as his lips made a warm trail to her ear.
She grinned. "Do you mind?" she asked coyly, wrapping her leg around his in an effort to pull him closer to her.
Pulling his face from her neck, he lifted her up in his arms, grinning widely. "You know I don't. But, I have to show you something," he said as he carried her out of her office and down the corridor towards her chambers.
To keep her balance, she wrapped her arms around his neck. "What? Did you get me something?" she teased as he raced down the corridor.
"Nope," he said as he skidded to a halt by her door and pulled out the key she had given him. "But I think someone else did," he added as he opened the door and revealed her room.
Only it was littered with valentines.
Her jaw dropped. Harry let her down, and she went into her room, walking through a sea of cards and stuffed animals. Shock filling her, she turned back to Harry, who had followed her into her room. "What is all this? How did you find out?"
"I stopped by here before I checked your office. I have a feeling these aren't some prank from Fred and George," he said as he picked up a heart-shaped card. "I saw a student slipping a few underneath your door."
She gasped, face hot with embarrassment. No wonder her male students had been acting so odd around her; they were all making her valentines! "But, there must be a valentine from every boy in school!" she exclaimed as Harry came closer to her, an amused smile on his face.
"Should I be worried about any competition?" he asked huskily as he pulled her back into his arms, nuzzling her neck.
She sighed softly. "I don't know, Mr. Potter. Why don't you convince me? Aren't Aurors supposed to be talented in that area?" she asked silkily, finding the buttons on his robes with anxious hands.
His reply was a feral growl before they got lost in the valentines on the floor.
Some time later, she felt Harry shift beside her on the floor and hold something up to her ear. A small sound of singing came from the card, and she swiped at his arm. "That's hardly amusing, Harry," she said drowsily, smiling as his chuckle echoed in the room.
"Oh really? I thought you had a penchant for singing parchments," he teased.
She laughed. "Shut it, you."
Grinning, he pulled her towards him and kissed her soundly.