[Disclaimer: None of the teens in this story are of my creation, even though I wish they were. ^_^]
Last night we snuck to the pitch just as the sun was setting. We raced above the hoops and hovered in silence, watching the Gryffindor hues spread across the sky. Well, he watched the sunset while I watched him. The red of the sky reflected off his glasses, which were slightly askew from the speedy flight. His hair was messier than usual and I could see a spot coming out on his jaw. His shoulders were slumped and he was, surprisingly, gripping the handle of his broom wrong.
Then it hit me—I still love him. Maybe not in that breath catching, eleven-year-old “I fancy you” way, but I love him in more of a deeper and understanding way. We had been through so much: the Chamber, the Ministry, even simple Quidditch games. It scared me. He hadn’t acted any more than a good friend to me really. That’s when I started looking at the reasons why I should even be keen on the bloke.
I’ve never seen him go to bed at a decent time the night before an exam, nor have I seen him do an entire homework assignment by himself. I’ve watched him accio Hermione’s essay from under her fingertips as she and Ron held a row. I’ve even watched him fall asleep in the common room, Potions book in hand, as he desperately tried to understand the text. On several occasions I would just cover him up and sit near him, hoping he would wake up on his own so that I wouldn’t have to disturb him. He’s always forgetting quills, parchment, spilling ink, and tearing book pages. Even though he buys his books new, they look worse than Ron’s after a few weeks. He’s certainly not the best student here; that title belongs to Hermione.
He gave Neville a chocolate frog yesterday—the last of his latest purchases from Honeyduke’s. Neville had been talking about his craving for one and how he had only bought a few which were now long gone. If it had been me, I would have grudgingly tossed it over and scowled for a few minutes. Not Harry. He heard Neville’s predicament but said nothing. Later I saw him slip a Frog into the top of Neville’s school bag and return to his seat. Neville found out who had answered his chocolate wishes and tried to thank Harry. He just waved it off with a genial smile.
On the most recent Hogsmeade visit, I saw Hermione eyeing a small, leather-bound box designed to hold quills. She told me, in what we thought to be a secret whisper, that she didn’t have enough money left to get it, but would love to have it. Shortly after that, I saw Harry slip around a corner and I assumed it was to get away from us and get over to Zonkos. The boys caught up with us later, and out of the blue, Harry asked to carry our bags back up to the school. Ron had just snorted but then grabbed a few bags to carry as well. As Hermione and I unpacked our bags in the common room later, she let out a small squeal. I peered over her shoulder and saw the little quill box. I also noticed the little smile playing around Harry’s lips and the way he sunk a bit deeper into the sofa. He outright denied having anything to do with it.
At breakfast about three weeks ago, Ron came down to breakfast with a bewildered look, but that’s not what made me curious. Ron was most likely born bewildered. That morning, however, he had something in his hand aside from his bag. He sat down and tossed it down on the table and proceeded to fill his plate. I scooted closer and beheld a violent orange book with speeding cannon balls on it. It was the Chudley Cannons annual from last year filled with retired plays, photos, interviews, and tips among other things. Ron had wanted one of these for years, but we could never manage to snag one. Harry sat down between us, and I could hear Ron whispering fiercely about it. I caught Harry saying something about how he figured they could share it, if it was upsetting Ron so much. That shut him up. He had a blissfully befuddled glaze on his face for the rest of the day.
I never have really warm socks like Ron does because I have this horrible knack of losing them when I need them the most. So, I logically nick Ron’s when I feel I need something toasty. A few nights ago I hadn’t had time to slip up to his trunk because I was up late revising for a Transfiguration test. My feet were freezing, so I kept trying to keep them tucked under my robes but to no avail. Harry had been sitting at a table near me, and I could feel his eyes on me occasionally. I heard a chair scrape and he was gone for a few moments. I remember looking to my right and seeing a flash of glasses reflecting firelight. On the sofa cushion beside me were a pair of thick, dark grey wool socks with tiny snitches flying about—his favorite. I held them for a second before greedily shoving my chilled feet into them. They were already warm, most likely from a Warming charm.
Even after showering, he still looks a little disheveled but remembers to brush his teeth after every meal when he can. Hermione would beat him if he didn’t. His glasses get smudged a lot, and he always gets spots on his chin from leaning it into his hand when he’s revising. He stinks after playing Quidditch, and still tracks in mud after practices. He can belch on command most of the time, but refuses to do any other gross things outside of the dorm. He’s purely a boy, but he’s one of the nicest I know.
Now that I’m back in my bed, thinking, I realize that I love him for all the little things he does. It’s not the fame or the power that has attracted me. Maybe the fantasy of it all drew me to him when I was small, but now that I know him and I see him and sit with him everyday, I could care less if he was even popular outside of Gryffindor. I’m just attracted to the normal side of Harry, the side that most do not see. The world sees the Boy Who Lived. I just see a normal bloke on broom, with spots and messy hair and wicked eyes. Maybe tomorrow we can watch the sunset again. Maybe someday I’ll be able to tell him how much he means to me—as a friend and more.