Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or any other character created by J.K. Rowling. This is fun, not profit, and any copyright infringement is purely unintentional.
Ginny Weasley was proud of herself. The most brilliant idea had just come to her, and she couldn't wait to set her plan in motion.
It had all started on a Saturday afternoon in early October of Ginny's seventh year. Ron and Harry had taken some time off from Auror training to be guest speakers at the DA meeting. Even though Voldemort had been vanquished at the end of the previous school year, Dumbledore still wanted to prepare the students for what awaited them once they were out of school, especially since there were some Death Eaters still at large. When the meeting was over, Ginny stayed behind to chat with Ron and Harry. She wanted to congratulate them on a job well done.
"That talk was brilliant, you two! I remember Tonks telling us that a lot went into Auror training, but I didn't realise that you were already in the field as part of your training."
"Neither did I," Hermione added sharply, giving her fiancé's arm a squeeze. "I wish you had told me what you've been up to, Ron."
"Ah, come on, love. I didn't want you worrying about me. Besides, would you have stopped in the middle of one of your Arithmancy lessons to make sure that I was alright?" Ron should have known better than to say that, but it was too late.
Hermione scowled. "Ronald Weasley! Just because you're a 'big boy' now doesn't mean that I don't worry about you! To tell you the truth, I'd much rather you were flying on that silly little broomstick of yours playing professional Quidditch than chasing Death Eaters through the streets of Diagon Alley."
Ron's mouth dropped. "'Silly little broomstick!' Hermione, you know how important Quidditch is to me!"
Harry and Ginny decided to take this opportunity to slip out of the Room of Requirement. Now that they were engaged, the rows between Hermione and Ron didn't occur quite as frequently, but when they got started on a good one, no one wanted to be around.
"You know," Ginny began, "I thought they would have grown out of that by now."
"Yeah, especially since Hermione's been made a junior professor. I thought she'd try to keep her cool here."
"Perhaps we should go back and cast a Silencing Charm on the door," Ginny suggested, pausing along the corridor.
"That's probably a good idea. After a good row, they like to make up, and NO ONE wants to hear that!"
Ginny pretended to gag. "That's an image that I don't want burned into my brain!"
Harry couldn't help laughing at her expression and then suggested, "Hey, I'm feeling a little peckish. Want to stop by the kitchens for a quick snack?"
"Brilliant! I know Dobby would love to see you."
They quickly made their way down to the kitchens, and had no sooner tickled the pear when they heard a loud gasp.
"Ah! Bless Dobby's soul! Harry Potter has come back to see Dobby. Dobby is most honoured by Harry Potter's visit, sir. And Harry Potter's Miss Wheazy! Oh Miss, the times that Harry Potter talked about -"
Harry loudly interrupted Dobby, uncomfortably aware that his face was burning. "Er, Dobby, Ginny and I were hungry and were hoping for a snack." Ginny couldn't help raising an eyebrow as a shy smile appeared on her face.
Dobby immediately became ecstatic at the chance to serve. "Of course, sir! It would be Dobby's pleasure! Sit here, and Dobby will return with a marvellous feast for Harry Potter and Miss Wheazy."
"Just a snack, Dobby!" Harry called after him, but he knew that it was pointless. Dobby still thought of Harry as his hero and would do anything for him. Harry motioned for Ginny to sit down next to him at the great table that was beneath the Gryffindor table in the Great Hall.
"All the times you talked about what?" Ginny asked with a twinkle in her eye, only to see Harry blush more.
"Oh, nothing important," Harry stammered, thinking it best to change the subject because he was afraid that Ginny might try to worm the truth out of him. "So, Halloween's coming up. Has Dumbledore announced any big plans for the school?"
"Not yet," Ginny replied, still curious to know what Harry had been talking to Dobby about. She smiled at the exuberant elf as he returned with a tray overflowing with sandwiches and two large glasses of pumpkin juice.
"Halloween was always a wild time here at Hogwarts. It seemed like something strange was always happening on Halloween that night! Maybe it's best if he doesn't plan anything big." Harry shuddered, remembering some of the past Halloweens at Hogwarts. Visions of a mountain troll made him moan.
"Well, Halloween here was nothing like Halloween when I was still at home," Ginny said, munching on her sandwich.
"I'm sure your mum made it special," Harry replied. "What did you do?"
"The usual, trick-or-treating in Ottery St. Catchpole, going to haunted houses, decorating the Burrow, the same things that I s'pose most Muggles do."
Harry grumbled, "Dudley always did those things with my aunt and uncle. I was always stuck in my cupboard."
Ginny looked at Harry in disbelief. "You never got to go trick-or-treating!"
"No, I guess they thought I was too big a freak to tag along."
As they ate their snack, the wheels in Ginny's mind began to turn. She thought about what she could do to make Halloween special this year for Harry. If anyone deserved a special night, it would be him. After all, he had vanquished Voldemort and saved the wizarding world. But what to do?
As they walked to the Entrance Hall, they met up with Ron and Hermione who had obviously made up with each other. As the wizards walked away, Ginny knew what she had to do.
Turning to her friend, Ginny asked, "Hermione, did you know that Harry never got to have any Halloween fun before he came to Hogwarts?"
Hermione huffed. "That's terrible, but it doesn't surprise me. His aunt and uncle are horrible!"
"I totally agree, and I think I know a way to make all of that up to him. However, I'm going to need your help."
Hermione feigned surprise and commented, "Why Ginny, I thought you were over him!"
"Yes, and I thought you had better sense than to be engaged to my brother! Now, will you help me or not?"
Hermione smiled. "Of course I will! What did you have in mind?"
The girls discussed Ginny's plan as they walked back to Gryffindor tower. By the time they reached the portrait of the Fat Lady, the plan was finalised and Hermione disappeared back in the direction of the Headmaster's office. Dumbledore agreed that Harry deserved to have a special Halloween memory, but he asked Hermione to let Ron accompany them for added security.
"Given the current state of things, I believe it best that you two young women have an escort in London."
"Sir, I agree that we should have someone with us, but I don't think it should be Ron. I love him dearly, but he'll let it slip to Harry. How about Fred and George? Their shop is in London anyway."
"An excellent idea, Miss Granger! Those twins always had a certain gift for, um, fun."
That evening, Hermione and Ginny Flooed to Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes and told Fred and George the plan. They were eager to help out. After a visit to Gringotts for a money exchange, they all made their way out of Diagon Alley and into Muggle London.
After a bewildering walk, they finally found the costume shop. Ginny searched methodically for the perfect costumes for herself and Harry. Hermione and the twins kept hearing her mumble as she perused through the selections. After much deliberation, Ginny announced that she had found exactly what she had been searching for. The sales assistant promised to have them delivered to Fred and George's flat in Muggle London as soon as the correct sizes arrived.
Fred and George paid for the costumes before Ginny could protest, insisting that it was the least that they could do for their silent partner and his, hopefully, new girlfriend. Ginny turned scarlet at this remark but didn't bother to correct her brothers. Hermione just grinned at Ginny, trying not to further embarrass her friend.
"Ginny," Hermione suddenly asked, "How are you going to get Harry to come to Hogwarts on Halloween?"
"That's where you come in. Would you invite Ron and Harry to be your guests for the Halloween feast. Please? I know he'd come if you invited him," Ginny said.
"Of course I will! I'll owl Ron when we get back to the castle."
Harry and Ron were working on a report as part of their Auror training in their London flat when a tawny owl began pecking on the window. Harry opened the window, and the owl glided in to land in front of Ron on the table.
After checking the post with his wand, Ron announced, "It's a note from Hermione. She probably wants to apologise again for this afternoon."
"Yeah, right, Ron. As if you two didn't do enough apologising already in the Room of Requirement."
Ignoring Harry, Ron read silently for a moment and then shouted, "Hey! Listen to this!"
Professor Dumbledore has announced that the professors are allowed to invite guests to the Halloween feast this year. I told him that I really wanted to invite both you and Harry. He said that would not be a problem. So, I need for both to be at Hogwarts at about 5:00 on Halloween afternoon. That way, we can spend a little time together before the feast begins at 8:00. I look forward to seeing you then!
"Cool! Halloween at Hogwarts! I think I can find room in my schedule for a Hogwarts feast. How about you, mate?"
"Ron, you're always ready for a Hogwarts feast."
"I have to eat! I'm a growing boy!"
"You keep growing, and you'll have to add an Expansion Charm to the front of your robes!"
Harry ducked the cushion that Ron threw at him and then headed off to his room to get ready for bed. He was really excited about going back to Hogwarts, but it didn't have anything to do with the feast. He wanted to see Ginny again. For the past few months, longer, if he was honest with himself, he had been seeing her in a whole new light. She wasn't that awkward girl that he met on Platform 9¾ all those years ago. She had grown into a beautiful young woman, and he had completely fallen for her. The only problems were six older brothers, one of them being his best friend, and an overwhelming feeling that he was too late. He knew that she had had a crush on him during their first years at Hogwarts, but she probably had got over that a long time ago. Would he stand a chance? How could he possibly ask her out now? What would Ron think? Too many questions to ponder, he thought, and he rolled over to fall asleep.
The next week, Fred and George were working busily in their shop when Angelina Johnson strolled in. In front of her, she was levitating a bunch of packages from Madam Malkin's Robes For All Occasions.
"My dear Miss Johnson, we are not boys! We are strong, manly men, here at your beck and call," Fred announced, bowing deeply at the waist while his twin puffed out his chest and flexed his muscles.
Angelina tried unsuccessfully to hide her amusement. "Enough drama, fellows. I need to ask a favour of you."
This time it was George's turn to bow deeply. "Anything for a Gryffindor, M'lady. What can we do for you?"
"Well, I hesitate to ask, but I need these packages sent to Hogwarts for some of the professors, and they're too heavy to owl there. I know that you said you were already going to be taking a couple of things to Ginny anyway, so would you mind taking these up there, too?"
"Are there dates in it for both of us?" Fred smirked, hoping for a "yes."
Angelina smiled. "I'll talk to Katie and see what she's doing this weekend."
The twins shouted in unison, "Consider the packages delivered!"
"Thanks! I knew I could count on you. You guys are the best!" Angelina blew the twins a kiss and sauntered out of the shop, swinging her hips as she went.
Later that night, a couple of tall, red-headed twins were scheming together.
"Fred, the time has come for us to leave another mark on the old school."
"Sounds great, George! What are you thinking about?
"Listen closely, brother, and I'll tell you my magnificent plan to pay back a certain greasy Potions professor and give the school a sight that they won't soon forget."
Fred rubbed his hands eagerly. "I'm all ears!"
Ginny had a permanent grin plastered all over her face when Halloween finally arrived. She gobbled down her lunch, so she could run up to her dormitory to get ready for the evening's festivities. Since it was a Sunday, she didn't have any classes all day, and she that knew she could take her time preparing herself. She wanted everything to be perfect. She had to admit she was a bit concerned when the twins delivered the costumes earlier in the week, but they had assured her that they had not done anything to either her costume or to Harry's.
"We want this night to be special for you and Harry, Gin-Gin! Besides, he has too much invested in our business for us to try to pull anything on him." The emphasis on "him" did worry her a bit at the time, but she was too excited now to worry about her brothers' childish antics. She tried every hex and curse detection spell she knew on the costumes and hadn't found anything. She then decided to relax, about the costumes anyway.
Meanwhile, in their flat in London, Ron and Harry were getting dressed for the feast. Harry had been thinking all week about his feelings for Ginny and how Ron would take it. He finally worked up the nerve to say something to his friend as he fiddled with his tie.
"Er, Ron, there's something I need to, um, talk to you about."
"What is it, mate?" Ron was fastening his tie, chin in the air and one eye in the mirror.
"Well, you see, the thing is, er …"
"Harry, after all that you and I have been through together, I think you should be able to ask me anything."
"Well, what do you think about me asking Ginny out?" Harry mumbled.
Ron turned slowly in Harry's direction. "Did I just hear you correctly? You want to ask my sister out??!!"
"Now Ron, before you get too upset, hear me out. Ginny is, well, she is…" Harry looked lost for words.
"She's the luckiest girl in the world. That's what she is!"
"Look, Harry, Hermione and I were wondering how long it would take you to figure out that you and Ginny belong together. After all, we've seen the way you two look at each other whenever you thought the other wasn't looking for months now. Of course I'm happy for you!"
Harry breathed an audible sigh of relief as Ron clapped him on the shoulder.
Grinning, Ron added, "That only leaves one question, Harry. When are you going to ask her out?"
"I was thinking about asking her tonight. Hermione mentioned talk of a Yule Ball during the last staff meeting. I was hoping that Dumbledore would let me come and be Ginny's date."
"Are you kidding? Dumbledore would love you to come. You know, sometimes, I think the man looks at you as the grandson he never had."
"I just hope Ginny says 'yes.'"
"I have a feeling that you have nothing to worry about."
Hermione greeted Ron and Harry with big hugs when they arrived in the Entrance Hall.
She said, "Harry there's a surprise waiting for you in the Room of Requirement." She then smiled and led Ron off to the Great Hall.
Harry looked after them dumbfounded and then made his way up the stairs. Did this mean what he hoped it did? Quit dreaming, Potter. It's probably a prank dreamed up by the twins.
When he reached the Room of Requirement, he slowly opened the door. Dobby was inside waiting for him with a large, flat box.
"Ah, Harry Potter, sir. Dobby has Harry Potter's clothes. Miss Wheazy will be waiting for him in the Entrance Hall when he is ready."
Trying to hide his disappointment at not finding Ginny, Harry asked, "Dobby, what's going on?"
"Dobby can't tell Harry Potter, sir, but he will be pleased!" With that, the house elf disappeared with a snap.
Ten minutes later, Harry had struggled his way into his costume and was gazing at himself in the mirror. He was wearing a maroon tunic, white shirt, and brown breeches. His shoes were made from brown leather and tied at his ankles. His first thought as he looked in the mirror was that he looked like Godric Gryffindor. He saw a glint out of the corner of his eye and looked to his left. He couldn't believe his eyes. There on the table was a sword similar to the one that he had used to kill the basilisk in his second year. Hmmm…Dumbledore must be in on this, too, he thought.When he picked it up, he felt a surge of confidence flow through him, and he placed the sword in the scabbard on his hip. Feeling pleased with his appearance, he made his way toward the Entrance Hall. However, he stopped short at the foot of the stairs when he saw Ginny.
'Breathtaking' was the only word that entered his mind. She was dressed in a long emerald green gown that formed little puddles of fabric on the floor. Her long red hair was braided and pulled up in the back. Harry felt his mouth dropping, but he couldn't stop himself.
"Happy Halloween, Harry." Ginny smiled as she felt her cheeks flush.
"Ginny, you look, you look… Wow!"
"Thank you. I hope you like the rest of your surprise, too."
"My surprise! You mean that you did this?"
"Yes, with a little help from Hermione, Professor Dumbledore, and the twins. I knew that you had never got to really dress up for Halloween and enjoy the night, so I thought I'd help you with that."
"Ginny, this is brilliant! I mean, I can't believe you did this for me." Harry felt his cheeks go scarlet.
She blushed at his enthusiasm. "Well, I know that your life with the Muggles caused you to miss out on a lot, and I thought you deserved better."
"Thanks! This means a lot to me."
"You're welcome, Sir Harry! Now, shall we venture out into the night?"
"Yes, M'lady, we shall," Harry replied as he offered her his arm.
Ginny hooked her arm through Harry's, and they made their way down to Hogsmeade. As they approached the village, Harry stopped Ginny for a moment.
"Hold on, Ginny. Did you say the twins helped out?" Harry drew his wand, gave his costume a quick once-over and looked back up at her when he came up blank. "My clothes aren't going to burst into flames are they?"
Ginny giggled. "No, they promised that they didn't do anything to our costumes."
Harry breathed a sigh of relief. "What exactly do you have planned for us?"
"I thought that we might visit a haunted house and then do a little trick-or-treating."
"Aren't we a little old for trick-or-treating?"
"Honestly Harry, you're trying to make yourself old before your time. Besides, we're only really making one stop for that, and that will be at the home of an old friend."
"Ginny, what are you up to?"
She smirked an evil grin. "You'll see!"
Their first stop was the Shrieking Shack. After the war was over, it had been converted to a haunted house for entertainment purposes, complete with magically produced ghosts and goblins. Tonight, there were a few real ghosts there on loan from Hogwarts. Nearly Headless Nick was trying to scare folks by tipping his head at them, and the Bloody Baron was chasing ladies through the house. Ginny and Harry laughed and screamed in surprise as they made their way through the old house. Ginny couldn't help but notice how Harry jumped in front of her several times to protect her from ghouls and ghosts. This amused her, but not as much as Harry's surprised remark as they exited the Shrieking Shack.
"Ginny, I can't believe you punched that guy at the end!"
"If he didn't want to be punched, then he shouldn't have jumped out at me," Ginny remarked, trying to look innocent.
"You are so amazing! Where did you learn to hit like that?"
"Well, when you grow up with six brothers, you learn a few tricks along the way, mostly for survival!"
They made their way towards a tall, overly ornate house that stood on a hill overlooking the village. Harry slowed his pace and turned to Ginny.
"Please tell me that we're not going where I think we're going!"
She flashed him her evil grin again, and pulled him along after her. A few moments later, they knocked on the door of the large home. A small house elf answered the door.
"Trick-or-treat," they chorused together.
"Who's there, Leacher? Those voices sounded oddly familiar." The face of Draco Malfoy appeared in the doorway. At first, his mouth dropped when he realized who was at his front door. His expression quickly changed to one of sheer hatred.
"Well, if it isn't Potty and the female Weasel! Out begging for food for your family, Weasel?"
"Sod off, Ferret Boy," jeered Harry. "If we'd known this was your house, we wouldn't have bothered knocking." Harry thought for a moment about Malfoy's old habits and added, "What are you doing living in Hogsmeade anyway?"
"After that stupid Order of Dumbledore's destroyed my family's manor searching for my father and the Dark Lord, I had no choice but to build a new home. Perhaps I should send the bill for it to Dumbledore."
"Why don't you send it to Voldemort since it was his fault that the war even started. Oh, wait - you can't! He's dead!" Ginny was so proud of herself for standing up to Malfoy yet again.
"You know, Weasel, if you weren't a girl, I'd…"
"You'd do nothing to me, Malfoy! You know what I'm capable of!" With that, she whipped out her wand and muttered a spell in Malfoy's direction. As Malfoy grabbed at his nose and howled in pain and horror, bats seemed to explode out of it. The door slammed, and Harry and Ginny ran off back towards the village, laughing hysterically.
The pair stopped at the edge of the village to catch their breath. "Did you see his face?! Remind me to never anger you, Miss Weasley. You and that Bat-Bogey Hex of yours are a force to be reckoned with."
Ginny again tried to look innocent, failing miserably. "Well, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it a Muggle tradition that you're supposed to do a trick on a person if they don't give you a treat? It was obvious that he wasn't going to give us any sweets, so I just gave him a trick!" Then, she burst out laughing.
Harry doubled over at the waist. "I can't believe you!" He could barely get the words out he was laughing so hard. "Again, you are absolutely amazing. I love you!"
Ginny stopped laughing and looked at Harry. Harry, realising what he had just said, stopped laughing too, fearful of Ginny's reaction.
Ginny stared up into Harry's face and spoke with a slight tremor in her voice. "What did you say?"
This time when Harry spoke, he was much more serious. "I said that you were amazing, and I, well, I love you." He reached up and gently stroked her cheek. After a moment, he leaned in and kissed her softly. "I have for a long time."
"I love you, too," Ginny whispered as she returned his kiss. "Happy Halloween, Harry."
"Happy Halloween, Ginny."
By the time they returned to the castle, Dumbledore was about to start the feast. Harry and Ginny took a seat together at the Gryffindor table. Harry noticed that Ron had joined Hermione at the teachers' table at the front. He also noticed several other new faces at that table as well. Curiously, or perhaps not, Professor Snape did not seem to have a dinner companion. Instead, he feigned listening as Professor Flitwick chatted away on his left. Harry couldn't help but see that trademark sneer on Snape's face.
Then, Professor Dumbledore stood to address the students. "I would like to welcome all of you, whether student, teacher, or guest, to our annual Halloween feast."
Before he could get out another word, a fit of laughter spread across the Great Hall. Harry turned his attention away from his former headmaster and began to scan the room. He didn't have to look far. Snape had a most bewildered look upon his face as he jumped up and looked down at his clothing, which had suddenly changed. He was dressed in a tight blue suit, red briefs, blue tights, and a red cape. The suit had a large red "S" on the front over a yellow patch. Snape's hands seemed to be stuck on his hips. The entire Great Hall was in hysterics. The Muggle-borns seemed to be laughing the hardest, and some of them were pounding their fists on the tables.
A small smile tugged at Dumbledore's lips. "Well now, Severus, I don't remember asking the staff to wear costumes, but I'm glad to see that you've joined in the Halloween spirit."
Dumbledore had no sooner spoken these words than Snape's clothing changed again. This time, he was wearing a thick red suit with white fur trimmings. He had a large black belt around his waist with a big buckle in the front. His head was adorned in a matching red hat, and he seemed to be wearing a white wig and a white beard as well. The crowd erupted into fresh bits of laughter again. Snape looked as if he were about to explode.
This time, Professor McGonagall could not help herself and added, "Why, Severus, wherever did you find a such a fine example of a Self-Transfiguring Halloween costume?"
Again, Snape's clothing changed. This time, he was wearing Gryffindor Quidditch robes, and there were small, round glasses on his face. A little Golden Snitch circled his head. This was too much for Snape.
"Potter," he spat, pointing down at Harry. "YOU had something to do with this!" As he spoke, the Snitch darted in front of his face. Snape swatted at the Snitch, missed horribly, and almost lost his balance.
Harry looked at his former professor and only laughed at him. "Honestly, Snape, I've only just arrived at the castle. How could I have been anywhere near your quarters? I didn't have anything to do with this!"
Snape just snarled. At that moment, Snape felt a small tug at his leg and looked down. There was Dobby holding a package out to him.
"Begging Professor Snape's pardon, sir. There seems to have been some confusion. Professor Snape was sent someone else's robes by mistake. This package just arrived, sir," Dobby said with a small grin.
Snape snatched the package from Dobby's hands and looked at it. There was a small note on top.
Dear Professor Snape,
We apologise for the mix-up. It seems that you have one of our robes instead of your own. We hope that you enjoyed it. Please accept our sincerest apologies as we return your robes to you. Happy Halloween!
Fred and George Weasley
Owners, Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes
Snape let out a scream of frustration and stormed from the Great Hall, the Snitch buzzing around his head as he went. Dumbledore watched as Snape stomped away and then turned to face the laughing students once more.
"Well, that was quite enjoyable. It would seem that Professor Snape has had enough holiday spirit for now. Tuck in and, um, Happy Halloween everyone!" Dumbledore practically shouted the last few words so that his voice carried down to the disappearing Potions master.
From the corridors, another echoing scream of frustration could be heard from Snape. This caused yet another wave of laughter to consume the Great Hall. Even the staff were joining in. Harry could barely sit up from laughing so hard.
"Ginny," he began. "I know that you wanted to make this a special day for me. How did you manage to get those trick robes to Snape?"
Ginny held on to her aching ribs and said, "That wasn't my doing, but I have a sneaky suspicion that my brothers had something to do with it."
"Remind me to thank them later. I haven't laughed so much since they let off the Deflagration Deluxe in my 5th year"
"Happy Halloween, Harry! I love you."
"I love you, too, Ginny. Thanks for making this evening perfect for me."
Ginny looked at him with shining eyes. "Anytime, Harry. Anytime."
A/N: Thanks so much to my wonderful Beta, Bring and Fly. You have been a tremendous help, especially with the British terminology. Thanks also to my dear husband for encouraging me to break out of my comfort zone and write my first fanfic. I love you, Honey!
To my readers, please review! I look forward to hearing what you think.