A/N – This is just a little bit of fluff not related to any of my other stories.
For Casey – It wasn’t worthy of a dare but it was a challenge nonetheless. Hope you enjoy.
Harry opened one eye to better determine his surroundings. Even without his glasses, the violent orange walls reassured him that he was indeed still at the Burrow. Letting loose a sigh of relief, he opened the other eye and donned his glasses. He’d been there for nearly two weeks and still he couldn’t believe his extremely short stay with the Dursleys. Sometimes, before he opened his eyes, he was positive it was a pleasant but impossible dream.
The first half of July had been rough at best. Certain that he’d been left at the Dursleys to deal with his grief all alone, he’d been prepared to fall immediately into a self-pitying and wallowing slump. He’d been terribly wrong, of course. Moony and Tonks had come everyday, one or the other and sometimes both, without fail.
Talking with them made him realize that he wasn’t the only one who’d lost Sirius. While he’d been lamenting his poor lot in life at losing the only person he ever had to call his own, he was forced to admit that it wasn’t at all true. Tonks had adopted a big sister role claiming Harry as family since he’d been Sirius’. She’d confessed that she’d always wanted a younger brother. The fact that she wanted him and had called him family had warmed him to his core. It paled in comparison however, at the realization that he’d actually had Moony all along. He’d just been patiently standing back so that Sirius could take the spotlight in Harry’s heart.
Harry had felt horrible about it and swore to make it up to him. The first step had been to stop calling him Professor Lupin, which he had been trying to get Harry to do for over a year. They’d finally settled on Moony although, as Harry had grown more comfortable with it, he switched back and forth between Moony and Remus with ease. His change in attitude toward Moony had created an astounding transformation in his former professor as well. The short time it had taken for their bond to form was further proof that it had actually been there, just waiting to be acknowledged.
When Moony and Tonks had come to tell him he was going to the Burrow he’d been ecstatic. The two weeks he’d spent with the Dursleys hadn’t been nearly as bad as they could have been but he was happy to get away from the sour looks his aunt threw his way whenever Remus and Tonks were there. The best part of leaving the Dursleys, though, was being with the Weasleys, his other family. He finally understood that he was actually very lucky to have so many people who wanted him. Mrs. Weasley had always made it clear that she considered him one of her own and Ron had felt like a brother from the moment they’d met. Over time, the rest of the younger Weasley males had filled out any need he may have had for more brothers.
The only troubling aspect was that he very much did not want Ginny to be his sister.
Just after Easter, Madam Pince had discovered them eating a chocolate egg in her library. Clearly appalled, she had thrown them out, along with Harry’s belongings, which had chased them down the hall, hitting them repeatedly in the head and had stopped only when Harry and Ginny had got far enough away. Each possessing excellent Seeker instincts, both had reached out to catch the hovering ink bottle before it could shatter on the stone floor. They’d caught it of course – and each other’s hand as well. For a moment they’d stood frozen, breathless from the run and pink-cheeked from the shrieks of laughter that had escaped them while being chased and bludgeoned by Harry’s books and bag. In that moment Harry saw Ginny for the first time; not the squeaky little girl that ran from his presence, not even the strong and exasperated one that had caused him to snap out of his self-loathing at Christmas time. The Ginny he saw was – quite simply – breathtaking.
He’d released her hand abruptly, as if he’d been shocked – and he had been.
Ginny had looked at him in a confused sort of way. “Right, well, I’ll uh, just go talk to Fred and George about your problem and we’ll see what we can come up with.” She‘d backed away as she spoke before quickly turning to jog around the corner.
Harry had leaned against the wall and closed his eyes. What in Merlin’s name had that been about?
He’d heard footsteps approaching and had worked to control his breathing and the thudding heart. Opening his eyes, he’d found Ginny approaching him again, the Easter eggs in one hand, the ink bottle in the other. “Erm, this is yours,” she’d said in a breathless voice.
She’d smiled and before he could become too enamored of the dimple that appeared on the side of her pretty smiling lips, she’d slapped the bottle into his hand and took off in a run once again.
He’d worked hard to overcome the feelings that moment had created and he thought he’d been successful. Then she’d told Ron on the train that she’d picked Dean Thomas. He couldn’t ignore the fact that upon reliving this statement on the drive to the Dursleys, his first and only thought had involved doing painful bodily injury to Dean Thomas.
Yeah, he’d been successful – successful at fooling himself.
Shaking himself out of his memories, Harry threw the covers off and stood up. Ron was still sleeping, snoring quietly on the other side of the room, oblivious to the sunshine pouring in over him. Harry chuckled and set about getting ready for the day. Tonks had insisted that they do something about his less-than-spectacular wardrobe. Remus, who had nothing on Harry when it came to clothes, had wholeheartedly agreed and decided that it would do them both some good, while allowing him to put some of the money he’d inherited from Sirius to good use.
They’d arranged a shopping trip for the day in Muggle London, the preparations of which had taken a little bit of effort. Madam Bones, having recently been appointed Interim Minister by the Wizengamot following the unceremonious sacking of Cornelius Fudge, was working closely with the Order and had assigned Harry a permanent Auror detail for the time spent outside of Hogwarts. A little shuffling of the schedule had enabled Tonks to be his assigned minder that day and Remus, being Harry’s guardian, would serve unofficially as the other.
On his way to the kitchen Harry came upon Mr. and Mrs. Weasley discussing something. He hesitated and didn’t enter the room, not wanting to interrupt. He could see that Mrs. Weasley had a jar in her hand that was tipped over her open palm, in which lay a scarce few coins.
“Arthur, there’s just not enough in here.” She shook the empty jar as if hoping it would cough up another stubborn coin or two.
Harry felt incredibly guilty. He wished there was a way that he could give them some of his inheritance from Sirius. He had more money than he’d ever need and these people had lovingly taken him into their fold on numerous occasions without ever asking for anything in return. He knew without question they’d never accept it.
“Don’t worry about it, Harry. That’s Mum’s Muggle money jar.” The source of the sweet voice was close to his ear.
“What?” he said, sort of stupidly after he’d jumped about a foot in the air from the fright she’d given him. “Sorry, I didn’t know you were there.” Ironically, that last statement perfectly summed up his current status with Ginny. Sorry, I didn’t know you were there – until you’d already gotten over me. Sorry, I didn’t know you were there – until you already had someone else.
Being here these last couple of weeks had only served to escalate his infatuation with the youngest Weasley. He’d taken to avoiding her whenever he could do so without appearing to be rude. Now, having her standing so near him made his heart start hammering in his chest and the bloody butterflies clamoring in his stomach. He closed his eyes, feeling thankful that she was standing behind him at his right elbow, and therefore could not see the steadily blooming blush and perhaps his heart, which was beating so hard he was certain it was pressing his chest outward with each thump. He took a couple of deep calming breaths while she continued to explain her earlier statement.
“That jar is Mum’s Muggle money. She keeps it in case she needs something from the market in town. They’ve got more now that it’s just Ron and me, so don’t worry.” She placed a soft warm hand on his forearm in what he was certain she meant to be a comforting manner – and he had to start his calming exercises all over again.
She brushed past him and entered the kitchen. “Morning!”
“Good morning, Ginny dear,” her mother said with a slightly distracted smile. “Could you mind the bacon for a moment? Your father has to get to work early so I’m going to pop over to Gringotts and exchange some money for your trip today.”
Harry, finally somewhat under control, entered the kitchen. He had to contain a chuckle when he got a look at Mr. Weasley’s face, which brought to mind the word ‘pouting’. Clearly the man was disappointed to be missing a trip into Muggle London.
Mrs. Weasley eyed her husband. “Oh, honestly Arthur, it’s not the end of the world. We can go another day. Just you and I, all right?”
He brightened at this news. “All right Molly, I’ll hold you to that.”
He leaned down and kissed his wife soundly. “I’m sure you will,” she giggled in a girlish way. The youthfulness that surrounded them gave Harry a glimpse of the teenagers they’d been when they’d first started out. Although a little embarrassed by the affectionate display, Harry also found it incredibly appealing. What would it be like to be that comfortable with someone?
After a “Have a good day” from Mrs. Weasley, Mr. Weasley Disapparated with a grin.
“Harry dear, good morning! Did you sleep well?” She inspected his face and seemed satisfied with what she found.
“Yes, thank you.” Harry responded, watching her bustle around the kitchen.
“I’m going to run to Gringotts for a moment. Do you need anything?”
Despite what Ginny had said earlier, he still wished that he could share his money with them. He couldn’t think of a tactful way to do it though, so he just shook his head. “No, thank you. Remus has everything under control.”
“All right, then. I’ll be back shortly. The night Aurors are still in the garden if you need anything.” She followed in her husband’s wake and Harry was, once again, in a room alone with Ginny.
He couldn’t help thinking he should have stayed in bed a bit longer. He didn’t know what to say to her so he just offered to help.
“It’s okay, I’ve got it. If you want to help though, you can set the table. Set a place for Ron. I know he’s still sleeping, but once the scent of the bacon reaches his nose, he’ll be down here in a flash.” She looked over her shoulder at him and smiled good-naturedly. “His stomach always wins.”
Grateful to have something to do, Harry set the table while surreptitiously stealing glances at Ginny. He couldn’t go on this way much longer. As clueless as Ron appeared, he had started to question Harry’s avoidance tactics whenever Ginny entered a room. He knew full well that Ron’s next step would be to start taking the mickey out of him about it. It was only a matter of time, but he was at a loss as to what to do about it. In the short time he’d been here, he’d seen no evidence that Dean Thomas was a part of her life but – then again – he’d also been avoiding Ginny like the plague, so he may have missed something. And even if there was no Dean Thomas, she’d told Hermione she’d got over Harry ages ago, right? Didn’t that mean that he’d somehow missed his chance even though he’d been clueless, at the time, as to what he’d passed up? The whole thing made his head hurt to think about it.
He watched as she prepared breakfast, obviously comfortable in the kitchen. She covered the now-cooked rashers of bacon and started working on the eggs. She moved gracefully back and forth between the countertop and the cooker, keeping her back to him. Her long coppery hair was pulled back in a ponytail. She was wearing white shorts and a dark blue top that left her midriff bare to his eyes. He’d never noticed how curvy she was and truly wished he’d gone on in blissful ignorance when she turned around without warning.
“Would you like some tea, Harry?”
Harry could not have answered such a complex question if his life had depended on it.
Ginny, it appeared, was not just curvy in the back.
Those bloody school robes hid a lot. The butterflies had morphed into something hot and fluid, like molten lava, and he was never so grateful for Dudley’s enormous trousers as he was at that moment. What did she say? Something about tea? He needed to stop looking at her, but couldn’t make his head turn. He forced his eyes closed but not before seeing the look of concern on her sweet face. “Harry, are you alright?”
Her mother chose that moment to return and Harry, now in pain, said in a somewhat strangled voice, “Yeah, fine.” He made a hasty retreat out of the room, driven by a need to be anywhere else at that moment. Antarctica was neither far enough nor cold enough, but he had to settle for the lounge, where he contemplated coshing his head against the mantelpiece and being done with it.
During breakfast, Ginny had not mentioned his strange behavior and Harry was extremely thankful for it. He managed to convince himself that she’d been unaware of the reason he needed to flee the room. He caught her glancing at him with a slightly puzzled look on her face though, which made him a little nervous.
Remus arrived alone and told them of the plan they were using to get to London. In order to avoid Wizarding areas they would Floo to Mrs. Figg’s where Tonks would be waiting for them in her father’s car, which she’d borrowed for the day, to drive to London from Surrey.
Mrs. Figg had greeted them enthusiastically. She’d placed a papery hand on Harry’s cheek and told him that she missed keeping an eye on him, even though she was happy he was out from under the Dursleys’ rule. That made another person who cared about him that he’d forgotten about. In an effort to make it up to her, he promised to write to her on occasion from school and fill her in on what he got up to there.
“Do you reckon she likes cats?” Ron said dryly to no one in particular once they were clear of the house. He brushed at his jeans and white t-shirt in an effort to be rid of the clumps of cat hair that had settled there in the short time they were in the house.
The car turned out to be a silver mid-sized sedan. Harry hadn’t been sure what to expect and had, in fact, prepared himself for the worst so he was mildly surprised to find such a bland vehicle in Tonks’ possession. He noticed that she had changed her appearance slightly to look just a little bit older and she was dressed more conservatively than he was used to seeing. He wondered if she’d changed to fit the car or if she’d done it for Moony.
“Wotcher, chaps! Remus.” She had a special smile for Moony that made Harry look for another witness.
He was rewarded with a giggle from Ginny, who’d clearly seen it as well. They exchanged the secret smiles that had become their specialty starting with Percy and Penelope Clearwater and continuing on behind the backs of Ron and Hermione. Harry blushed though, which made him feel as if he’d ruined the moment.
He climbed into the back seat behind Tonks. Ron made a show of demanding that Ginny sit in the middle – rightfully claiming he couldn’t sit with that center hump because of his long legs. She just rolled her eyes at him and climbed into the car, though Harry thought he might have heard her muttering something about “abnormally tall people”.
It became apparent to Harry, early on, that Ted Tonks had made a few modifications to the car, when he noticed it moved through traffic just like the Ministry cars had. He looked up at the rearview mirror and caught Tonks’ eye with a questioning look. She just winked at him and continued to weave impossibly in and out of traffic.
The trip was uneventful apart from the fact that Ron sat spread out in such a way that Ginny had been forced to sit quite close to Harry. Although reveling in the exquisite torture of her warmth pressed against his side, Harry was suspicious that their closeness was intentional. He glanced at Ron behind Ginny’s head and found him smirking – though he didn’t turn to look at Harry. So, he’d done it on purpose. What did that mean? Was he just teasing him? That couldn’t be it. Surely Ron wouldn’t use his sister that way. He’d have to find a way to corner him and find out before he went completely mad. He hadn’t discussed it with him before because Ginny was his sister and he didn’t know how Ron would feel about it. He must be okay with it, right?
Tonks squeezed the car into a parking space much more suited for a Mini and they made their way down the street.
Hermione waved happily from the Muggle entrance of the Leaky Cauldron and sent her parents on their way. She wasn’t staying at the Burrow, but he’d seen her every day since his arrival there; her parents’ fireplace had been hooked up to the Floo Network.
They walked in companionable silence toward the shopping district that Tonks and Remus had deemed suitable for their needs. Harry saw Ron take Hermione’s hand and reminded himself that he needed to get used to that. He looked back at Moony and Tonks, seeing their hands linked as well. Something was afoot. They’d somehow managed to pair off and that left Ginny with him. She had been walking right next to him and he hadn’t noticed.
Sorry, I didn’t know you were there rang accusingly and somewhat depressingly through his head again. He needed to get over himself about this, to stop being so nervous and self-conscious around her, or it was going to be a very long day.
“So, er, what is it you’re going to buy today?” Okay not a bad start. Their arms brushed against one another pleasantly as they walked, sending little electric currents coursing through him.
“Oh, well I don’t really need anything but Mum gave me some money, so I thought I’d take a look around and see if anything catches my fancy.” She blushed prettily for some reason unknown to Harry and he was mighty tempted to take her hand in his.
They continued chatting until they reached the store entrance and Harry felt infinitely better. They’d somehow managed to resume the easy chatter they’d had before he’d mucked it all up with his hormones.
He was about to open the door for her when Hermione said, “Ron and I are going to go to the book shop, just there.” She pointed down the street to a shop whose window read, “Ages of Pages, Booksellers, New and Used Books, Specializing in Rare Tomes.”
Harry was suspicious when Ron didn’t object to being dragged to a dusty and literally oldbook shop, but he couldn’t very well accuse him of anything other than caving to the whims of his girlfriend. Remus and Tonks did not object either so Harry opened the door for Ginny. He meant to hold it for Tonks too but she insisted that he precede her into the store, so that she could watch his back. He’d almost forgotten she was on duty, and why.
Once he stepped inside he stopped, astounded by what he saw. The wide center aisle in front of him was populated by glistening glass display cases with lights shining down upon them, making them sparkle like stars. Severe looking women, who seemed as if they’d stepped out of a Muggle fashion magazine, manned the cases with an air of indifference. There were racks of clothes in every direction he looked and loads of people running about. There were beeping noises, a child was crying somewhere within the store and a number of conversations taking place all at once had merged into an incoherent hum that settled over the crowds. A chime sounded over a loud speaker and a disembodied female voice intoned, “Messrs. Snead and Bixby, please report to Mrs. Griffin.”
Ginny had frozen next to him and he could see that she was overwhelmed, maybe even terrified. If he’d had any doubt of it, he was certain of it when he felt her hand grab his in a vice-like grip. He thrilled at the feel of it for a moment, before realizing that he shouldn’t be enjoying the fact that she was terrified.
Their being rooted to the spot had caused Tonks and Moony to have to stop short in the entryway. Tonks tripped over the security device on the right side of the door and Remus just barely caught her.
“Damn! What’s the hold up?” Neither of the teens spoke – Ginny being mesmerized by the strange sights before her and Harry, though equally astounded by the sights, was mesmerized by the feel of Ginny’s hand in his.
Tonks got their attention by standing in front of them. Being shorter than Harry but taller than Ginny, she split the difference and waved her hand in front of their faces. “Harry, surely you’ve been in a department store before? You were raised by Muggles.”
Harry shook his head. “No, actually. They didn’t like to take me with them places. The few times I was allowed to go anywhere, Mrs. Figg couldn’t mind me and they didn’t want to lock me in my cupboard unattended, just in case I figured out a way to get out of it.”
A sharp look crossed her face and she looked over his shoulder, presumably at Remus. She cleared her face and then focused her attention on Ginny. Harry watched as Tonks took Ginny’s chin gently into her hand and lifted her face to meet hers. “Ginny, look at me.”
Ginny obeyed the gentle command. “How, Tonks? I thought they didn’t have magic, Muggles? This shop looked small from the outside. It’s as big as Diagon Alley in here.”
Tonks smiled reassuringly, “Ginny, Muggles have a magic all their own. And you, my friend, are about to embark on a journey into paradise, two of them actually. One called ‘Shoes’ and the other called ‘Accessories’.” She winked at Harry before turning back to Ginny. “Do you trust me?”
“Good. Follow me then. We’ll get these blokes settled and get on with the real shopping adventure.” She rubbed her hands together in anticipation. Ginny giggled softly and visibly relaxed. She made to pull her hand away from Harry’s, but now that he had it there, he wasn’t giving it up that easily. He tightened his grip gently. She looked up at him with that puzzled look again, then blushed slightly and smiled.
Tonks hadn’t been joking in her assessment of the ensuing activities. She led them to the Young Men’s Department, picked out an enormous amount of clothing and then set Harry up in a changing room near the sportier, younger style clothes to try everything on for size. Although Moony had, at times, lived among Muggles and had no problem with the clothes, she insisted on doing the same for him over in the section for men. Ginny had waved good-bye as Harry had closed the changing room door. Tonks had just left him to his own devices.
After what felt like endless hours (but was likely forty minutes or so), Harry decided that this shopping business was not all it was cracked up to be. He was supremely bored with his own image in the mirror and rapidly getting frustrated with the process. He’d tried on what seemed to be a hundred pairs of trousers. He couldn’t tell if they fit or not. None of them seemed overly restricting, but he was so used to oversized clothes that he wasn’t certain how they were supposed to feel when they fit. Leaving on a likely pair of faded blue jeans, he whipped off the tatty shirt he’d worn into the store, deciding the novelty of trying shirts on rather than trousers might liven things up a bit.
The fitting room was now starting to resemble and rival Ron’s room for mess – no small feat considering that two boys contributed to that mess on an ongoing basis. He picked up the discarded items and put them in one pile and made another pile of the ‘maybes’. He couldn’t make a final decision without consulting Tonks. She hadn’t insisted on such a thing, he just felt incapable of it without another opinion.
A knock on the door had him hopeful that this portion of the adventure might be coming to a close. Tonks could look over what he’d picked out and he could find out what fitted trousers were supposed to feel like, and then maybe they could get some lunch. He pushed open the door. “Listen Tonks, I don’t know if… Ginny?”
Her lovely pink lips were curved into a pretty smile and that tantalizing dimple appeared next to it. He didn’t know if she’d been wearing a necklace when they’d come to the store, but the open collar of her sleeveless blue shirt revealed a pretty one with crimson stones on single strands, dangling and pointing delicately downward; drawing his full attention to the cleavage he’d not let himself notice until that morning. The molten lava had returned and he quickly discovered a way to tell if trousers fit properly.
“Tonks sent me to check on you and – Wow, those jeans look really good on you.” She blushed as if she hadn’t meant to say that aloud.
Harry was torn between being pleased by the comment and embarrassed by the situation the jeans were barely containing. He suddenly became very aware that he was bare from the waist up and he felt a need to close the door between them. He made to do so but Ginny was too quick for him.
With temper building in her eyes, she put one hand on his chest and pushed him roughly back into the fitting room. She stepped inside and pulled the door closed behind her. “Harry, I have had enough. You are driving me completely insane.”
Harry wasn’t sure what she meant by that. “Ginny, I—”
“—No,” she said, poking him once in the chest with the tip of her finger, “you listen to me, Harry Potter, and you listen carefully. Ever since Easter things have been very strange between us but nowhere near as strange as the last two weeks have been. You are driving me mad, looking at me the way you do and then running away. What am I supposed to make of that? Am I that repulsive? One moment I think you might fancy me and in the next, you bolt from the room. Walking over here, we were able to finally have a conversation again, and then you held my hand and wouldn’t let go. And now, I give you a compliment and you’re going to close a door in my face? I can’t take the mixed signals anymore. I need you to make a decision and tell me, so I can bloody well get on with my life!”
The fog of desire that had steadily enveloped Harry had him marveling not only at her beauty but also at the fact that she’d managed to pace in such a small space. The fog wasn’t so complete though, that he didn’t understand the urgency of the situation. His mind flashed back to that day in the library, remembering what Ginny had said about Fred and George. She’s right, Harry thought, anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve. The decision was made.
He kissed her.
However inexpertly it was delivered, it certainly was effective – the kiss silenced Ginny’s ranting and, he hoped, conveyed his intentions. She didn’t respond immediately, seemingly stunned by the action, but Harry persisted until he felt the bliss of her lips moving against his.
She broke off the kiss and they stood looking at each other – breathless and uncertain. Ginny looked at him questioningly at first. Then, with a look of determination, she threw her arms up around his neck and pulled him down to meet her lips again. The force of the action caused Harry to lose his balance. Clinging to her, he fell backwards into the corner where the carpeted benches, which ran along the back and the side of the fitting room, met. He landed on the bench with a muffled ‘umphf’ but managed to stay in contact with her soft, sweet lips.
Once settled, with Ginny comfortably nestled on his lap, he let his hands explore the curves he’d noticed earlier at her waist. He nearly gasped aloud when his hands made contact with the warm velvet that was the exposed skin of her back. Ginny increased the intensity of the kiss, using her tongue to gently pry his lips apart. He’d always thought that flying was the ultimate sensation he’d ever experience in his life. Until now. Kissing Ginny beat flying hands down.
With Ginny perched in such a dangerous position on his lap, the jeans that she’d thought so highly of had become almost painfully uncomfortable, but Harry didn’t care. He couldn’t quite believe that it was really happening and was prepared to lose himself completely in her taste, in her touch and the lovely, sweet, flowery scent of her – until a knock sounded at the fitting room door, effectively bringing reality with it.
“Harry? Have you seen Ginny? I sent her over here to check on you while I was looking in on Remus.” Tonks sounded anxious, but not enough to stop both of them from giggling.
Ginny buried her face in Harry’s chest as he answered. “Er – yeah, I have.”
“Oh, right. So, how’s it going in there? How are the trousers?”
“They’re, uh, tight,” Harry answered in complete honesty. “The trousers are tight.” He did not need to see Ginny’s face to know that she’d lost it; her shaking shoulders meant she was laughing into his bare chest.
“Rubbish, they’re not too tight. You’re just not used to clothes that fit. Let’s see them.”
Harry very nearly joined Ginny in her fit, but held it together enough to respond. “I reckon I’ll get used to it. I’ll be out in a bit, I’m almost done.” Ginny was thoroughly overcome with the giggles at this point and was in danger of being discovered. Harry searched the area around him in vain for his wand. Not that he could use it anyway without getting a letter. He put his hand up, wishing that he could make Ginny quiet and suddenly she was.
“Alright, you finish up and I’ll go look for Ginny,” Tonks said.
Harry returned his full attention to Ginny, although for a different reason now. She was still laughing, though silently and she was indicating that he should release her voice. He wasn’t at all certain how he’d done it in the first place; his wand was buried somewhere in the piles of clothes, still in the back pocket of Dudley’s cast-offs. When he’d raised his hand earlier, he had thought “Silencio,” not expecting it to work. He reckoned it wouldn’t hurt to try it again; he raised his hand and said, “Finite”.
Ginny’s fading giggles could be heard again. Once she’d collected herself she hugged Harry. “That was brilliant! Do you know what you just did?”
“You mean besides the kissing?” He could tell by the look on her face that she did not find his joke at all funny.
She hit him lightly on the shoulder. “Don’t be a prat. Have you ever done that before, wandless magic?”
Harry thought about it for a moment. “I guess I have here and there, but I’ve never tried to do it on purpose. I know I did it last summer, with the Dementors, because I dropped my wand at one point.” He shrugged; he didn’t want to think about any of that while she was sitting on his lap, or ever really – though he knew that wasn’t possible.
Ginny seemed to sense his reluctance to discuss the matter. “It’s just really rare, is all.”
She reached up and righted his glasses – they’d gone slightly askew. Harry looked at the now in focus Ginny and smiled brightly at her. “So…” He shifted his legs slightly to remind her that she was sitting on his lap.
“Yeah, so...” She smiled back at him just as brightly.
“D’you reckon you can live with my decision?” Harry sounded a lot more confident than he felt; the butterflies were back and they were fluttering nervously.
“Oh, have you made a decision, then?” Ginny had such a casual air about her, that he almost missed the mischief in her eyes.
He wanted to tease her back, to make it a flirty banter, but he didn’t have it in him. He suddenly felt very serious. Despite that, he smiled at her. “There really wasn’t a decision to be made. I knew what I wanted before you ever said anything.” He blushed lightly, but did not turn away.
“Harry, why didn’t you say anything? I felt it too, when we caught that ink bottle together, but then you seemed sort of distant afterward. I didn’t know what to think.” She still had a smile on her lips but her eyes were serious, holding none of the mischief that had been there only moments ago.
Harry shrugged. “You were with Michael and then, on the train, you told Ron that you’d chosen Dean and Hermione said that you gave up on me. I didn’t reckon I had a chance with you.” He maintained his steady gaze; though he could feel the blush had crept down to include his exposed chest.
“Oh Harry, we’re both idiots,” She paused for a moment and then added, “and Hermione has a big mouth.” She was smiling at him and he couldn’t help but think that freckles could be so beautiful when they were displayed on the right nose.
Ginny continued, “I only said that on the train, about Dean, because Ron so clearly meant you when he said that. I didn’t want him to get the mistaken impression that he’d have any influence over me. I couldn’t very well say it was you anyway, since things had been so strange between us, yeah?”
Harry grinned at her. The butterflies were gone and he felt so incredibly happy he thought he might have trouble containing it. Ginny grinned back at him and moved her head forward. Harry met her halfway and they once again shared a kiss. Unlike the others, this one didn’t contain the same intense heat but was, instead, full of sweetness, full of joy and promises of wonderful things to come.
After they broke apart, Harry looked at her, serious once again. “So, do you reckon you can put up with me as a boyfriend?”
Ginny smiled, mischief in her eyes. “That all depends on whether or not you’re planning on buying these jeans.”
Harry smiled and moved in for another taste of her lips – beyond thrilled that it was even an option. Just before he closed the distance he replied, “Oh, absolutely. I’m not going anywhere without them. I’m sort of fond of these tight trousers.”
A/N ~ Musings, you are the best! I wish I had more stories submitted so that I could just keep on working with you endlessly. It’s been an incredible experience and I thank you for everything.
Beta Note: The pleasure has been mine, J – I look forward to working with you again after HBP!