Ginny Weasley stood in her dorm room, a puzzled look on her face as she read the note handed to her by her roommate. It was from Harry, and it simply said, "Ginny, please meet me by the main doors of Hogwarts at 11:00am. Harry."
Today was Saturday, and it also happened to be Valentine's Day. But surely that has nothing to do with this, she thought. She had grown closer to Harry this year, and they had been spending a lot of time together, but he seemed as normal as always. Or rather, at least as normal as Harry ever was.
It was only ten o'clock, so she had another hour to go. She began puttering around her room, inexplicably feeling a little nervous. In fact, she hadn't felt this way in a long time, not since she had given up on Harry two years ago, at the end of her third year. But the mysterious note seemed to have triggered something in her.
She got up and stalked over to her dressing table. Her roommates had left, and she was alone in the room. She looked at herself angrily.
"What is wrong with you, Weasley?" she said into the mirror.
Valentine's Day, that's it, she thought. She wasn't really seeing anyone lately and wasn't expecting anything special. After her breakup with Michael, she had studied with a few boys that seemed interested in her, but somehow she couldn't find any reciprocal interest in them.
She sighed. Even though she had given up on Harry, she knew that she still held a small grain of hope in her secret heart of hearts. All it took was a mysterious note on Valentine's Day to stoke that particular almost-dead fire into life again.
You're being stupid, she thought. You're a friend to him, nothing more.
She considered her recent relationship with Harry. True, they had been spending a fair amount of time together since Ron and Hermione had started going out. Harry had inevitably felt left out, and she had made an effort to spend some time with him. They had been having great fun, especially since Ginny had found out about Harry's Invisibility Cloak.
She snickered to herself, thinking about their late night adventures sneaking down to the kitchens, as well as some near misses with Filch.
Ginny sobered as she thought about some of their late night talks. She had been surprised (and pleased, she had to admit) when Harry seemed to open up to her. The prophecy had shocked her, and she had tried to comfort and support him. She was certain that he would meet whatever challenge awaited him and tried to instill confidence in him. It seemed to help him, or at least she thought it did. It was so hard to tell with Harry.
She glanced at the clock: a half-hour to go.
Well, I might as well be presentable, she thought. I'm NOT getting dressed up for HIM. I should just – look nice on Valentine's Day. Who knows who else I might see?
She picked out a dress from her closet, a pretty yellow one that offset her hair nicely. She put it on, and then used a hair curling spell that gave her hair a bit more body. Nothing elaborate, she thought. Just a little subtle curl. Not that Harry, erm, I mean anyone will notice.
With another glance at the clock, she saw that she had fifteen minutes. It was time to head on down. She didn't want to be late for whatever it was. He probably just wants to fill me in on the OWLs or something, she thought, rolling her eyes at her silliness. Ginny grabbed a coat, since he wanted to meet near the front doors. Maybe he wanted to go outside?
She started walking down the stairs toward the common room. She got some curious looks from the other girls, but she ignored them. As she entered the common room, Ron and Hermione saw her coming.
"Oi, Ginny! What are you dressed up for?" said Ron with a snicker.
"Ron! Stop teasing her," said Hermione with a smile. "Although, I have to admit I'm curious as well. Are you going out with someone?"
"No!" said Ginny, a bit more forcefully than she intended.
Both Ron and Hermione raised their eyebrows at her reaction. Ginny said quickly, "Look, I'm – I'm just, erm, meeting Harry. He left me a note to meet him at eleven. I don't know what it's about. It's no big deal."
"I see," Hermione said, trying to keep her face straight. Ron snickered again.
Ginny glared at the two of them. "I don't suppose you two know what this is about, do you?"
"Sorry, Ginny, you know Harry. He's not all that forthcoming with – information," said Hermione, with a grin she couldn't suppress anymore.
"But you know something," Ginny said. It wasn't a question.
"Well, nothing specific," said Hermione. "Let's just say Harry has been acting a bit strangely lately."
Ginny glanced at the wall clock and groaned. "I don't have time for this. I'm supposed to meet him soon. I guess I'll know soon enough what this is all about."
"Good luck," Ron and Hermione said together. They both had stupid grins on their faces, annoying Ginny.
She hurried out the portrait hole, growing more nervous by the second. Get hold of yourself, she thought, irritated with herself. But her conversation with Ron and Hermione had unnerved her. They knew something, and the fact that she couldn't get it out of them made it all the more mysterious.
She was getting short on time, so she hurried along the corridor toward the main entrance of Hogwarts. Ginny slowed as she approached the main entryway. Peeking around the corner, she peered toward the front doors where she saw Harry standing.
He had a coat with him, as well as his Firebolt. He seemed to be waiting patiently by the door, looking at some of the portraits along the wall. What am I doing? Just looking at him? she thought, disgusted with herself. But still she stood, watching him. The truth was that she loved looking at him, although she didn't indulge herself very much anymore. Even though she had given up on him, she still loved the way he looked, from his messy hair to his glasses to his body. And, of course, his eyes.
When she had made her decision, she'd had to intentionally avoid looking at his eyes. They never failed to reduce her to mush. Slowly she had been able to act more normally around him, but those eyes still had the capacity to drive her into fits of madness. Fortunately, she hid it much better these days.
She took a deep breath and walked nonchalantly around the corner like she had just arrived. "Hello, Harry. What's up?" she said brightly. She was proud of herself for greeting him in such a low-key, normal way.
Harry turned. He seemed a bit stunned as he looked her up and down. "Erm, Hi, Ginny. Uh, thanks for coming." He seemed inexplicably nervous.
Ginny waited, but that seemed to be all he could manage to say. "You sent a note...?"
"Yes, I sent a note," he said anxiously. Ginny had never seen him this nervous, not even for the rescue mission at the Ministry last year.
"Is something wrong, Harry?" asked Ginny, worriedly. Maybe something bad had happened. That possibility hadn't occurred to her...
"No! No, nothing's wrong!" Harry said quickly. He ran his hands through his hair, giving himself a slightly wild appearance.
Ginny raised her eyebrows at him. Harry sighed and seemed to gather his courage.
"Er, I have my broomstick, as you can probably see," he said, gesturing at the Firebolt.
"Yes, I saw that. Doing some flying?" she said, trying to keep him talking.
"Not yet. Actually, I was sort of hoping you would fly somewhere with me," he said.
"Now? Where?" Ginny said.
"Well, it's kind of a surprise," he said, blushing furiously. He looked on the verge of collapse.
Ginny thought they'd better get going or Harry might need the hospital wing soon. "All right. Shall we go?"
"Yes, yes, let's go," Harry said quickly, seemingly glad of a subject that involved doing something.
They put on their coats and walked out the great doors. There was still quite a bit of snow on the ground, with the sun shining brilliantly in the deep blue sky. Harry mounted the broom, and Ginny got on behind him side-saddle in her dress, wrapping her arms around him for support. They took off, the power of the Firebolt sending a thrill through her body. Harry executed a few turns and dives just for fun. Flying seemed to free him up from his previous nervousness.
Higher and higher they flew, until they were far above the castle. Ginny was burning with curiosity about where Harry was taking her. He steered the broom toward one of the highest turrets. As they got closer, Ginny could see a small door in the side of the stonework. Harry brought the broom alongside and opened up the door. It was just large enough for them to fly through if they kept their legs tucked and their head down.
They entered into a small, round room in the turret. To her astonishment, the walls were transparent from the inside, although seemingly solid from the outside.
"Amazing, isn't it? I found this place a few weeks ago," Harry said.
"Amazing is an understatement," she said, looking around and touching the walls to make certain they were still there. The view was incredible. "Thank you for inviting me up here."
"Let me warm it up a bit," Harry said. He waved his wand and invoked a heating spell for the room. He took off his coat, and Ginny took hers off as well.
Harry's nervousness seemed to be returning. "Erm, Ginny, I have something for you," he said shyly. He walked over to the end of the room where Ginny saw a small package. He picked it up and brought it over to her. "Happy Valentine's Day," he said, glancing away.
Ginny was stunned. The whole idea of Harry giving her a Valentine's gift was almost surreal. "This is – for me?" she said.
"Yes," Harry said with embarrassment. "I – I don't know how to say this, but... Ginny... this year, last summer, you've done so much for me. I don't know how I would have made it without being able to talk to you. And – and – I wanted to give you – something."
Ginny looked down at the gift and began to unwrap it. She was growing increasingly nervous; her thoughts were a jumbled mess. She didn't know where Harry was going with all this.
Harry was unconsciously wringing his hands as she opened the box. She pulled out a gold heart-shaped pendant on a chain. It had red, green, blue and yellow stones embedded in the gold, and was hollow in the center. Looking more closely at the center, she could see a slight shimmer.
"Oh, Harry – it's wonderful." If she was stunned at Harry giving her any sort of gift, she was absolutely floored that he would give her something like this.
"It's – a Sentiment Pendant," he said nervously.
Her eyes widened. "I – I've heard of those. They tell you how someone feels about you, right? Harry, these are very rare and valuable."
Harry nodded, seemingly unable to look at her directly. "It was worth it," he mumbled.
Ginny looked at the gift, feeling unworthy. "Harry, are you certain you want to give – me – this? Why?"
Harry seemed to ignore her question, or perhaps it was an answer. "A-Are you going to – try it?"
Ginny suddenly realized what he wanted her to do. He wanted her to try it on him. Part of her wanted to hide. She wasn't certain she could stand knowing exactly what he felt. She gathered her courage and slowly raised the pendant up to her eye. Her knees felt rubbery, and a feeling of hope filled her.
She looked through the center and was astonished by what she saw. Streams of very strong red light streamed from Harry's heart toward her, entering her chest and into her own heart. A feeling of joy filled her as she realized the meaning of the light. Harry loved her.
It was almost too incredible for her brain to process. Her own long-repressed love for him surged forth, and her heart started thudding in her chest.
She must have had an incredulous look on her face, because Harry started speaking fearfully. "Ginny, it's all right if you don't feel the same way. I know that you – gave up on me a long time ago. But I just wanted you to know how I feel."
She realized why he had given her the gift. Ginny almost laughed; it was so like Harry. The pendant saved him from having to admit his feelings in words. The pendant was better, she decided. She wasn't certain she would have believed it if he had just told her.
"Harry, I did give up on you." Harry looked stricken. "But I never stopped loving you." She handed him the pendant.
He looked down at it for several long seconds. He swallowed, and brought it up to his eye, his hand shaking. He looked through it. Ginny closed her eyes, concentrating all her love at him so that he would have no doubts.
He slowly brought it down, looking at her with a combination of shock and emotion. Ginny walked over and embraced him, Harry pulling her in and holding her tightly. They stood for several minutes, just holding each other, rocking slightly back and forth. Ginny felt tears welling up in her eyes. It was all too much to believe.
They pulled away slightly, and Ginny looked into Harry's face. They leaned in together and began kissing lightly. Ginny felt excitement building in her as the kiss deepened and grew more passionate. One of Harry's hands pressed into her back, pulling her closer, while the other traveled to her neck and head, burying itself in her hair.
Some time later, they broke apart breathlessly. Ginny gently ran her fingers along the side of face and his hair, gazing into his brilliant green eyes. That seemed to make it real somehow. She had never been able to really look into his eyes before, and now she was allowed to look as much as she wanted. And if the pendant was any indication, she would be able to look into them for a long time to come.