I had come to the Burrow three days before Harry had arrived. I was happy – if a little guilty – to be able to spend some time alone with Ron. We had fun; he would hardly let me do any homework. Those days were spent at the river that was about a mile away in the woods. Ginny came with us too, and I felt even worse that this was a trio that was distinctly happier.
Even with those feelings, I was overjoyed when Harry arrived. I couldn't help myself – I practically flung myself onto him, making him fall back a couple of paces, but smile a bit too. After, when he was hugging Ron and saying hello to everyone else, I saw what I knew would be there, but still broke my heart. His eyes would dart around the house looking for something – something I knew neither Ron nor I could fulfill.
That was a week ago, and we have had just as good of a time with him as when he wasn't here. We went to the river, and I would occasionally bring a book, pretending to read as I watched Ron, Harry, and Ginny splashing and laughing. Or, they would drag me off to their makeshift Quidditch pitch. They even got me to ride Harry's Firebolt once. That was something I'd rather forget.
Today was rainy though, so I talked Ron into doing some of our summer work. He obliged, and we were found sitting in the living room trying to concentrate with the wind whistling and the rain splattering on the window.
"So where's Harry, anyway?" Ron asked.
"I thought he was in your room," I answered as I made small notes in my textbook.
"No, not when I went to get my books."
I shrugged my shoulders and made an indistinct noise and turned back to the essay, but everything seemed foggy. I tried to remember what I was writing about. Ah... Herbology. I scribbled something, and then hastily crossed it out. It was hard concentrating when my thoughts always drifted back to Harry.
We worked in silence for a while. Ron was muttering something under his breath. I decided to reread what I had written.
"You know," I said abruptly, "we really should find him. I haven't seen him since breakfast."
"He's probably with Ginny or something. Is it bothering you that much?"
I said nothing but looked out the window. I jumped when, sure enough, there was Harry walking out in the rain with Ginny. She was gesticulating wildly about something and chattering away to Harry. His hands were shoved deep in his pockets and his shoulders were hunched in front of him in a desperate attempt to stay out of the rain. He was watching the progress of a stone as he kicked it.
Ginny suddenly made a move as if she was being knocked off a broom and she flung her hands out wide and started laughing. I smiled to myself, even though I couldn't hear her, and was thoroughly surprised when Harry looked at her, laughing softly and shaking his head. What surprised me more was the distinct happiness around him. He seemed at ease, something I hadn't seen in so long that I couldn't place it for a second.
I turned to point out to Ron that Harry was right there, but couldn't bring myself to stop watching them. Knowing Ron, he would interfere or do something stupid, so I contented myself to just watching them with a slightly sad face. Even though I didn't realize it then, I knew that Ginny brought something to Harry that neither Ron nor I could.
They moved on, Harry went back to looking at the ground and kicking at the rock, and Ginny was now quietly talking and looking directly in his turned face. It seemed a strange seriousness had taken over them, but they kept walking. I had to readjust myself because they had walked out of my sight. Luckily, they turned towards a tree that I could see. As they climbed the slight hill, Ginny suddenly stopped. Harry did too, but he remained hunched and looking down. She surprised me then when she faced him fully and put a hand on his face, turning him to look at her. His face looked strangely soft as she looked deep into his eyes. She seemed to be convincing him of something. He tried to look away, but she kept her hand on his face and said something that seemed somewhat more forceful. He nodded.
Pleased, Ginny walked over to the trunk of the tree and plopped down on the wet ground. 'They're going to get sick out there,' I thought. Harry seemed to be thinking along the same lines. He gestured to the rain and then to the house. Ginny smiled and said something and patted the ground next to her. I watched in fascination. How did she do that, that cool easiness and familiarity with him after only a week? Still I watched them, only turning away when he looked at her and said something, then took his hand and found hers, clutching it. Sensing that this wasn't a moment I should witness, I turned around and found Ron watching me.
"It's weird isn't it?" he said quietly, strangely solemn, nodding in Harry and Ginny's direction, but all the while keeping his eyes on me.
"Yeah, kind of – weird," I said glancing back at them. Ginny seemed very pleased and was blushing slightly, but still looking at Harry.
"I kind of always hoped it would be them together. You know, they're perfect for each other."
"I always thought so too." His eyes never left mine, and I felt the need to say something about homework or school; this moment was turning into something entirely unfamiliar.
"But when I would think of that, I would think 'then where does this leave me, where does it leave us?' Because, you know," he suddenly wrenched his eyes from mine and looked out the window, "no one wants to be given up for their little sister."
"Oh Ron, don't worry about that." I made a move as if to comfort him but he pulled back.
"No, no, it's fine; I'm not worried," he said hurriedly. I was trying to think of something to say when I heard a door being slammed open and a series of loud and high-pitched shrieks.
"WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING? IN THE HOUSE – NOW, GINEVRA WEASLEY!" Mrs. Weasley added when Ginny looked reluctant. "YOU TWO ARE GOING TO HAVE AWFUL COLDS! In the kitchen, come on! Luckily I have some Pepper-Up Potion."
"Mum, please, It's just a bit of rain," Ginny tried, when they got inside the house.
"Ha! Just a bit of rain, eh? Its been pouring all day. How long have you been out there?"
"Just a couple of minutes, honest Mrs. Weasley," Harry's voice came, and he seemed to be laughing.
"All right, all right," Mrs. Weasley said as she ushered them into the kitchen.
I didn't have any time to think about this as Ron leaned over my paper, checking something. I didn't even try to stop him. Harry and Ginny, who appeared flustered and happy, occasionally shooting each other glances and smiling, shortly joined us. As they sat, apart from us, towel-dried and happy, I thought to myself – maybe this wouldn't be that weird after all.