Okay, so it was really just a week ago, and it happened in Diagon Alley. Bill says that I’m too dramatic at times, but honestly, this amazing event deserves to be told properly.
This is my quest, to tell you about the day that I, Ginny Weasley, the youngest child of Arthur and Molly Weasley of Ottery St Catchpole, received my third kiss.
I’m sure you’re thinking, “Third kiss? What’s so amazing about a third kiss? A first kiss, now that’s a momentous occasion.” And you’re right, absolutely right—for the most part. Trust me, you really don’t want to hear about my first kiss: it was from Michael Corner, I was fourteen, and it was definitely not that memorable. Well, I remember it, but that’s a given. Who would forget the first time, even if it was quick and uncoordinated?
I’m getting off track. Back to kiss number three—I haven’t yet told you who was involved. It would likely be best if you sat down right about now, as this news may be shocking to some.
I, Ginny Weasley, the youngest child, et cetera et cetera, was kissed by one Mr Harry Potter outside of Weasleys Wizard Wheezes on the 19th of August at approximately two forty-three in the afternoon.
Amazing, isn’t it?
Now I bet you want the entire story, don’t you?
Well, I’d be happy to accommodate.
The day glared hot and sunny, with not a cloud in the sky, and I happened to be in Diagon Alley getting school supplies. My mum was off picking up some household supplies, so I decided to take myself down to Fortescue’s for a mid-afternoon snack.
I sat eating my bowl of chocolate ice cream, topped with a few cherries, minding my own business at the table, when Harry and Ron sat down across from me.
This came as a bit of a shock, as I didn’t expect them to be in the Alley at that moment in time. Since they’d finished Hogwarts, it seemed as if I never saw them. Harry had moved into his own flat in London and Ron spent all of his time there instead of at The Burrow. I’m sure they spent their days lounging around, even though they were supposedly looking for employment. In the whole time Harry’d lived there—which had been about a month—I hadn’t been invited over for a visit. They were too busy for little Ginny, being so much older than me.
I wasn’t bitter about that. Honest.
I’m getting off track again, so we’ll table that issue for another time.
As I was saying, they sat down at the table with me as I sat shovelling ice cream into my mouth. I must have looked a sight, and I almost died of embarrassment. Ron doesn’t matter—he’s my brother, and I’ve seen him in the bath. Harry, on the other hand—he’s not technically family, and I’ve tried my best in these past years to project an air of maturity when he’s around. Unfortunately, chocolate smeared on my face wasn’t the way to do that, so I quickly swiped it off.
After being informed that they ‘happened to be in the neighbourhood and saw me sitting by myself,’ Ron and Harry both ordered their own bowls of ice cream and made themselves comfortable. The conversation wasn’t exciting at first, so I won’t bore you with all of the details. The important part came about ten minutes later.
A woman walked past, and naturally the eyes of my companions followed her. She was rather good looking, I have to admit, and I felt the stirrings of jealousy deep in my gut. I wished that just once, someone’s eyes would follow me when I walked past. I was thinking about this and other injustices of the world when I realised that Ron and Harry were talking—about females.
“I don’t think that blonde is really my style, you know?” This came from Harry. I didn’t realise that he had a style.
“Mine either,” mumbled Ron as he spooned a dripping mound of ice cream into his mouth.
Now, I didn’t pay much attention to their comments—although I felt slightly happy that Harry wasn’t into blondes—until Harry spoke again.
“I like brunettes.”
“I think that red is more my colour.”
And then he looked right at me.
The cherry that I had speared with a fork froze halfway to my mouth.
He likes redheads?
I’m a redhead.
I’m not sure how long I sat staring at Harry. I can’t even say what he looked like; that break in time is a bit of a blur to me. He could have been smiling, but I really don’t know for sure. What I did know was that I was flustered. Was I supposed to reply to that? I didn’t even know if he was talking about me, or about girls in general. Knowing Harry, it was probably just a general statement. He’s not that blunt.
I was likely overreacting to a general comment. Yes, that had to be it.
Ron broke the silence. He raised his head from its position inches above his bowl and looked at me. Quite matter-of-factly, he said, “I think he’s hitting on you, Ginny.” Just as nonchalantly, he returned his attention to his dessert.
I blinked a few more times and looked back to Harry. He chuckled, still looking me right in the eye, then reached over and took a scoop of my chocolate ice cream.
It was obvious to me at this point that there was something in my eye, as I couldn’t stop blinking.
What was happening here? Had I entered a parallel universe, where Harry was suddenly a flirt, and Ron was calm and free?
I eyed both of them, but they appeared impervious to my gaze, each one focusing on his own bowl. Well, Harry was now eating from mine. Very slowly.
Hello? Did Harry just hit on me and then go back to the ice cream? Who does that? Certainly not Harry. As I said before… he’s not the blunt type when it comes to women. And he’s never this happy. At least, he hasn’t been for quite some time. Where was the broody, grumpy teenager that I used to know?
And Ron! Where was my protective older brother? How could he be so blasé about this? I’m his sister, for Merlin’s sake. Shouldn’t he want to punch Harry’s lights out?
This had to be a joke. They were too easygoing about this. It was as if they’d planned it all out. My eyes narrowed as I caught onto their scheme. I could picture in my head the conversation they must have had that morning.
“Hey Ron, I’m going to hit on your sister; let’s go for dessert with her.”
“Yeah, okay, sure thing. She might not catch on though, so I’ll have to tell her.”
“I could just be really blunt about it.”
“Well, you could, but she might not really get that either. I’d better explain it.”
“Yeah, good idea.”
I wasn’t impressed.
I fumed for a good five minutes in silence before Ron rose from the table and left with a grin for Harry and a wink for me. I was doubly surprised at this point. One, Ron and Harry had separated, and two, I was now alone with Harry.
He was still smiling a little, at the little private joke he shared with Ron, no doubt.
“Well, I’d better go and meet Mum, she’ll be finished shopping by now,” I said. My tone must have belied my feelings, as Harry stopped smiling almost immediately. I was glad that he could take a hint.
He got to his feet as I did, offering to walk with me wherever I had to go. I shrugged, still a bit put out by their teasing, but not angry enough to give him a complete snubbing. So we walked for a bit—I really had no idea where my mother would be, since I wasn’t supposed to meet her for another thirty minutes. I hoped that Harry wouldn’t catch onto that.
We made a bit of small talk—nothing too serious or interesting. He asked me about the family and school and my plans for the future. I asked about his flat and his career aspirations. I wanted—badly—to ask about his friends, and by friends I really meant girlfriends, but I refrained. I liked Harry, that much I knew. Of course, I didn’t want him to know it, and I’m not sure I could have hidden my reaction if he’d told me he was seeing someone and she was the love of his life.
So I didn’t ask.
He did, though.
“So, any guys, Ginny?”
“Guys?” I was confused.
“Yeah, you know... boyfriends?”
Boyfriends? Plural? Me?
“I—I don’t have any,” I replied lamely.
“Oh.” He looked happy, and I felt annoyed all over again.
“Do you—do you maybe want to go out with me sometime?”
“We’re out right now, Harry.”
“No. Like... together… somewhere.”
I stopped walking at that point and looked at him. I noticed that his cheeks were a bit dark and that Mr Potter didn’t look as cool and suave as he did at the table when he was shamelessly flirting with me. He actually looked... nervous. I grasped the reality of the situation about five seconds later, and I blinked many more times.
He was asking me out. Together. Somewhere.
“Yes!” I think I may have shouted the words in my astonished state. I sincerely hope not.
“Great.” He smiled again, looking very much relieved.
So it was official. Harry had asked me out… sort of. His wording was a bit vague, but hey, I’d take it. We were going to go out at some point in the future—date and location yet to be identified.
At this point, I was unsure of myself, as this was new territory for me. Not flirting—that I’m okay at. I’ve been around enough boys in my lifetime to know how to act—like myself.
But this, this was different. This was Harry, the boy I’d dreamed of as a child and a young woman, the secret I’d kept locked away for years. Sure, I’d had a crush on him, but what no one understood is that I knew Harry was special all along. I didn’t need a prophecy to clue me into the fact that he would be somebody one day—that he already was. So this wasn’t just anyone that had asked me out, this was someone special. The stakes are so much higher when that happens.
I was pondering all of this in great detail when I realised that I’d been staring at Harry. It must have been two solid minutes of intense gazing, and I was utterly mortified when I snapped out of it and the blush came flying onto my cheeks. Actually, Harry snapped me out of it by clearing his throat rather loudly. I have a feeling that he was covering up a laugh.
“Everything okay, Ginny?” He was grinning when he asked, and I had this incredible urge to wipe the smirk off of his face. How dare he be calm and rational—he’d just asked me out!
“Yeah, dandy,” I sulked.
He laughed out loud this time.
Remember when I was thinking about how special he was?
Consider that taken back. That’ll teach him for laughing.
“I’d better get back, Remus is coming over for dinner, and I think Ron and I are supposed to cook something. Could be tricky.”
“Yeah, I reckon it will be. Good luck with that.” It would be a disaster, and I felt a tingle of satisfaction at the thought. I was thinking about burning kitchens very intently, and didn’t notice Harry take my hand—at least not right away. I’m not sure what I expected, but I was surprised by the feel of his fingers and palm. They were calloused, which wasn’t a surprise, since mine were, too. Too much Quidditch. There was a warmth in them as well, which sent a little shiver up my spine. This was something I could get used to. I looked down, smiling at the sight of our joined hands. Pale skin against pale skin. I predict we’ll have pale babies.
Whoa. That came out of nowhere. After reeling my thought back into place, two things happened at once.
With dismay, I realised that we were standing in full view of the twins’ shop and I turned to scowl at them, pointing at us through the window.
Harry leaned in.
The consequence of this was something that I’m sure will keep my brothers laughing for years. Harry’s lips connected… with the side of my mouth. I was so startled that I let out a tiny yelp of surprise and jumped backward. Harry was still leaning forward at the time, so he stumbled a bit as I did. It was by sheer luck that he stopped our momentum and we didn’t go crashing into the street.
I let out a moan of despair as I realised what had just happened. How could fate be so cruel as to rob me of a kiss from him?
Harry, for his part, looked flustered and embarrassed, and I couldn’t blame him one bit. It was mortifying. I’d never be able to look him in the eye again. Ever. I’d never be able to escape this embarrassment. I’d have to move away and change my identity.
Yeah, okay, it was that bad.
Smoothing my hair and looking in the mirror, I couldn’t help but smile a little. Harry’s quick disappearance after the incident could be considered comical, had it not been so horrid at the time. It turned out, though, that one badly timed kiss hadn’t ruined his thoughts of dating me. Luckily for him.
And well, luckily for me, too.
“Ginny! Are you ready? Harry’s here!”
Biting my lip, I continued staring intently into the mirror, looking for anything that needed fixing.
“You look lovely, dear. That hair style suits you to a T,” the mirror said. I smiled at that, blissfully happy that I wasn’t a blonde or a brunette. I’ll keep the red any day.
“Big night?” the voice asked.
If she only knew, I said silently as I picked up my cloak from the bed. I was about to go out somewhere for the very first time with my very first crush, and hopefully, receive my fourth kiss.
I just hope that it’s a bit more coordinated than the third.