<A/N: This is not a sequel to The Prefect, although it
does show Harry and Ginny going a bit further than they did last
time ;) It is, like The Prefect, a one-shot fic. I hope you
enjoy it! Thanks a million to my faithful beta, KC
(DailyProphetReporting). You rock!
"Ginny. Ginny. GINNY!"
Ginny Weasley awoke with a start on the couch in the Gryffindor common room.
"What, Ron?" she snapped, looking up angrily at her older brother. She had been enjoying a perfectly lovely nap and he just had to go interrupt it probably needed something silly, like her to go up and find Hermione, stupid brothers-
"Merlin, what's got your knickers in a knot?" Ron demanded, frowning down at her.
was peering at her from behind Ron's shoulder with a smile playing
around his lips. "Quidditch, Ginny. We have Quidditch practice," he
told her. "Remember it? And why are you asleep at this time anyway?"
jumped up from her position half on the couch, half on the floor
and got unsteadily to her feet. "What are you, the bloody Spanish
Inquisition?" she told him bitingly before pausing to marvel at
herself. "Quidditch practice, how could I have forgotten?" she said
wonderingly in an entirely different sort of tone.
what I'd like to know," Katie Bell, the Gryffindor Quidditch team
Captain, said from the foot of the couch, tossing Ginny's broom to her.
"Ginny, this is the second time this week you've almost slept through
"I know, I know," Ginny muttered. Well, it wasn't her
fault that she had acquired a new boyfriend over the weekend and didn't
want to do her homework! Really, when faced with a decision between
snogging her fellow Gryffindor fifth year Kenneth Brown (who had
undergone a very obvious transformation from spotty swat to ladies' man
over the course of the year) or doing a Potions essay, which one would
any self-respecting, sane witch choose?
That's what she thought.
So, as a result of her, er, busy
weekend, Ginny was working double time to do all the homework her
professors had piled on in preparation for the upcoming O.W.L. exams.
Quidditch practice just happened to be second on her list to schoolwork
(or third on her list if one counted Kenneth as well). Last night she
had stayed up to an ungodly hour doing homework she couldn't even
remember what she'd been working on, come to think of it and studying
for the exams.
She became aware that Katie was now lecturing
her and the whole Gryffindor team, which had assembled, on how
important the upcoming match with Ravenclaw would be.
" and so, if we don't get our act together and start becoming a team-" Katie's eyes were focused on Ginny "- then we don't have even the slightest chance of winning the blasted cup, and I for one want to keep up our winning streak!" she cried forcefully.
could tell that she was expecting her players to erupt into cheers or
add their own inspirational words, but the fact was, they had never
felt less like a team the whole year, and Katie knew it. She scowled as
the only noise that went through the common room after her inspiring
rant was some applause from the huddle of first and second years in the
corner. Then, glaring at her teammates each in turn, she threw up her
hands in exasperation and strode towards the portrait hole, yelling,
"PITCH! NOW!" over her shoulder, and they reluctantly obeyed.
Harry, Ron, and Ginny brought up the rear.
Ginny," Harry began casually after they had climbed through the
portrait hole and were walking quickly down to the Quidditch pitch,
"care to tell Ron and me why you've been sleeping so much lately?"
"Yeah, and don't tell me it's because of homework," Ron said, glaring at her darkly.
was trapped in between them; she cast one longing look at where her
fellow Chaser, third year Dennis Creevey, was walking with Jack Sloper
and Andrew Kirk, the Beaters. She sighed as she recognized her defeat.
right, fine, but don't tell me I didn't warn you," she told them
sternly, before taking a deep breath. "I spent the whole weekend
snogging Kenneth Brown and therefore got absolutely no work done. I've
been staying up to finish my homework and study for the O.W.L.s."
reaction, at least, was what Ginny expected. He made a strangled sort
of cry and stared down at her, mouthing soundlessly. He finally found
his voice and managed to splutter, "Kissing you Brown kill-"
however, didn't respond at all in the way she had expected. He usually
teased her about her many boyfriends and would goad Ron mercilessly,
but this time something was different. He continued staring ahead, his
expression unreadable. When Ginny nudged him, he gave her a very forced
smile. "Ah. What happened to you and Goldstein, then?"
Ginny would have launched into a tirade about how useless her old
boyfriend was and would elicit laughs from Harry, but for some reason,
she didn't feel like doing that this time. She didn't think he would
laugh, and that disturbed her.
Come to think of it, Ginny thought, frowning slightly, he acted a bit oddly when I told him Anthony and I were dating, way back in February. She
realized she was staring at him and turned away; she realized seconds
later that he had been staring back with a most unsettling look in his
Probably just had a bad day, Ginny reasoned, and she didn't think of it again. He does carry the fate of the wizarding world on his shoulders, after all. She instead concentrated on pacifying her almost-apoplectic older brother on the way down to the pitch.
was terrible, but it had the effect for which Katie had been hoping.
They were finally realizing how bad they were and discussing how to
"Ginny, put the balls away, will you?" Katie asked
tiredly as she flew down towards the pitch after calling an end to
practice. She smiled at her female teammate. "Look, I didn't mean to
lose my temper with you earlier," she began, but Ginny stopped her.
"It's all right, I understand. I'd've chewed me out if I were you, too," Ginny said, managing a grin.
patted her on the back before heading towards the changing rooms. Ginny
strapped the red Quaffle into its case, and had just wrestled the
Bludgers into their respective places when a hand reached over her
shoulder, Snitch clasped tightly in his fist. She knew instantly who it
was, of course.
"Thanks, Harry," she said, pulling the Snitch
out of his grasp and fastening it neatly into its spot in the crate.
She closed the crate and locked it before standing up and turning to
him. "Want to carry it for me?" she asked with what she thought was a
It worked. He smiled back at her with some
reluctance, picked up the crate, and walked beside her to the broom
shed. It was a bit of a hazard to enter into the broom shed; not only
was it very dark in there, but also there were old school brooms
falling everywhere and even older Quidditch balls rolling around
underfoot. It was, however, an excellent place to get some privacy with
one's boyfriend. Ginny should know; she'd braved the shed more than
once with a bloke on her heels.
Harry and Ginny put the
practice balls into their proper place without incident. On their way
towards the door, however, Ginny tripped over a stray broom, nearly
snapping it in half, and grabbed onto Harry's arm to catch herself.
this certainly hasn't been my day," she muttered, face flushed. "Sorry,
Harry," she told him. She noticed that he had gone oddly still; then
she noticed how close they were standing. His glasses were glinting in
the light from her wand, and she saw him swallow clearly and lick his
"Sorry," she repeated, her face flushing again at her breathy tone.
eyes widened and she took a step backwards, trying to get away from
him. She stepped on a ball and knew she was done for; her ankle twisted
painfully and she fell right onto her behind.
"Oh no, Ginny," Harry gasped, kneeling down beside her and lighting his own wand. "Are you-"
fine, I'm fine," she said heatedly, waving his hand away. "This really,
really hasn't been my day," she said again, gingerly feeling her ankle.
She noticed absently that it was the same one she'd broken in the
Department of Mysteries almost a year previously.
"Is it broken?"
"No, no, just twisted it," she said through gritted teeth. It still hurt like mad, though. And he was still much too close.
you-?" She held out her hand and he stood, hauling her up with him, and
when she nearly fainted from the pain of stepping on her ankle, he
"I think we need to go pay a visit to Madam Pomfrey," he told her grimly.
I'm fine, really," she argued weakly, feeling dazed by the bolts of
agony shooting up her leg, but he ignored her protests and helped her
hobble out of the shed. They both squinted for a moment in the bright
light, Harry's arm wrapped tightly around her waist.
Ron spotted the two from just outside the changing rooms and hurried towards them. "Ginny, what did you-?"
fell, Ron," Ginny said through gritted teeth. "I'm fine, I swear, but
Healer Potter here says I need to go to the Hospital Wing."
who had lately been listening to Hermione's rants on the value of
becoming a Healer, dropped to his knees and grabbed her ankle.
Ron, what the bloody hell d'you think you're doing?" Ginny cried
angrily, wrenching her ankle out of his reach and glaring at him.
"You're not a bloody Mediwizard!"
"Hey!" Ron cried, grabbing
hold of her ankle again. "I know what I'm doing! Look, Gin, you just
twist your wand like this and then-"
heard the unmistakable sound of bones breaking in her ankle; her whole
body was engulfed in white-hot pain, and then she fainted.
When Ginny awoke again, it was to a badly whispered argument between Hermione and Ron.
"Ron, you did it completely wrong! You're supposed to say the incantation first and then wave your wand-"
"That's not what you told me the other night!"
"-and besides, you shouldn't even have tried to do the Bone Repairing Spell, her ankle wasn't even broken! You should have just tried to wrap her ankle! I told you how badly that spell can go-"
"Well, excuse me for trying to help my sister!"
Ginny," Harry said suddenly from his position beside her bed. Hermione
and Ron, who had been standing at the foot of the bed gesticulating
angrily at each other, turned as one towards Ginny. They both broke
into smiles at seeing her awake.
Ron reached her first. "I'm
so sorry, Gin," he told her earnestly, grabbing her hand. "I was just
trying to help, you know, with a Bone Repairing Spell-"
"Only he managed to do it backwards," Hermione put in, rolling her eyes.
"A mistake anyone could have made!" Ron shot back hotly, turning to glare at her.
Hermione looked at him archly, as if to say, "Anyone but me," and then they were off bickering again.
"I'm really glad you're okay," Harry said quietly, still seated next to her. Ginny managed a smile at him.
should have been more careful," she told him, her voice scratchy. She
cleared her throat and looked up at him mischievously. "I should have
known how dangerous that shed is."
Instead of laughing, as he
usually did after her comments like that, he frowned slightly and sat
back. Ginny frowned as well and was about to ask him what was the
matter, but at that moment Madam Pomfrey came bustling behind the
screen. "Ah, you're awake, then," she said matter-of-factly, and pulled
Ginny's ankle out from beneath the blankets. She felt it carefully.
healed, Miss Weasley," she told her briskly. "But I do want you to be
careful. The number of students I get in here who have injuries from
that broom shed ." She trailed off, shaking her head. Then she rounded
on Ron, who shrank back slightly in fear.
"As for you, Weasley, I advise you leave the Healing to the Healers."
"Yes, Madam Pomfrey," Ron said meekly.
Madam Pomfrey nodded around at them all, looking especially long at Harry. "You may go, Miss Weasley," she said finally.
you, Madam Pomfrey," Ginny said before pushing back the covers and
sliding out of the bed. She hesitatingly put weight on her ankle, and
to her relief, it felt perfectly normal. Hermione brought Ginny her
shoes and Ginny slipped them on.
"How long have I been passed out?" Ginny asked as they exited the ward.
fifteen minutes," Harry answered. "You sure can scream, by the way," he
told her, looking at her out of the corner of his eyes.
"Thought my eardrums were going to burst," Ron said.
thought he'd killed you," Hermione said, trying and failing to
repress a grin. "I ran into them in the hallway. I was just coming from
the library. They were both chalk white-"
"I knew she was fine, Hermione," Ron said stubbornly.
"Didn't seem that way to me," Harry muttered, and he and Ginny shared a grin. You were imagining things, Weasley,
a vindictive voice said in Ginny's head. It sounded remarkably like
Snape's. Ginny decided to dismiss the strange way he'd looked at her in
the shed as a fluke, nothing more. She ignored the part of her that was
feeling disappointed. When he'd said her name she had gotten chills-
Stop it right there, Weasley, she told herself sternly. She would not move down that road of thought. She forced herself to concentrate on what the three sixth years were talking about.
"- please, Hermione, I swear I'll never ask to do it again."
course you won't," Hermione said sarcastically. She looked at Harry and
Ron sternly. "You two are never going to learn anything if you don't
write your own things."
"But Hermione, it's just a Potions essay. Please?"
winced. Homework. She stopped abruptly. "I need to go to the library,"
she said reluctantly to them. "I'll see you three later."
"Do you need help with anything, Ginny?" Hermione asked her eagerly. "I saved all my notes from last year, I can help you-"
"Thanks, Hermione, but I think I'm okay," Ginny said.
Hermione looked crestfallen, but quickly brightened. "But I'm sure you could use my O.W.L. notes. I still go over them sometimes just to refresh myself, you know."
grinned at her friend. Sometimes it was better just to agree with her.
"Thanks, Hermione." She turned to her brother. "And thanks for er trying to help me, Ron. See you lot later."
She turned away and started heading towards the library.
"Actually, I need to go to the library, too."
Ginny turned around and stared at Harry. What was wrong with him today?
Don't flatter yourself, Ginny Weasley, she told herself firmly. Harry just needs to go to the library. It doesn't have anything to do with you.
she said to him with forced brightness. They bid goodbye to Hermione
and Ron and started walking to the library, side-by-side.
was actually a lie," Harry remarked casually after they had gone a few
moments in silence. "I don't need to go to the library at all."
Ginny's heart sped up in spite of herself. "You don't?"
"No. I just can't handle their bickering right now."
Ginny let her breath out in a whoosh.
"I know what you mean," she said, and then hoped her relief or
disappointment she couldn't decide which was stronger at the moment
wasn't apparent in her voice.
He looked at her sideways.
Ginny got the feeling that he was trying to tell her something, but it
didn't seem to be coming out. She felt the beginnings of yet another
blush on her cheeks.
"Er, Ginny, could I could I have a word?" he asked finally, putting his hand ever so lightly on her arm to stop her.
that what we're doing?" she said cheerfully, hoping to cover up her
nerves. Her heart was now thudding painfully against her ribcage.
He blushed. "I er, I suppose. I just I wanted to ask you, er ."
Ginny raised her eyebrows slightly. "You wanted to ask me ?"
stared at her for such a long moment that Ginny feared he wasn't going
to say anything at all. Her hands were sweating so profusely that they
were practically dripping.
"How are you and Brown?" he blurted finally.
was so taken aback that she could only gape at him for a moment.
Forcing herself to get a grip, she nodded her head. "Er, we're, um,
good." Way to kill the mood, Potter.
He said, "Are you?" at the same time that she began to elaborate, and they both blushed and stopped.
"Yes," Ginny said finally. "I mean, we've only been together for a few days."
"Right," he said, and a very long, awkward pause fell between them.
"I should-" Ginny motioned vaguely towards the library.
yeah," Harry said quickly. Ginny started walking again, and he walked
quietly beside her for a few steps until he suddenly stopped again.
She spun around to face him. "Yes?"
looked at her for a moment like he was going through an extreme mental
struggle. Ginny watched with trepidation as his eyes suddenly hardened
with an inner resolve.
And then, quite simply, he kissed her.
It was over before Ginny could close her eyes, but was enough to leave her speechless and out of breath. What the blazes - ?
Harry looked stunned at his own daring. He stared at her with wide green eyes. "I Ginny I-"
Ginny was deaf to his stuttering. She had gone into a state of extreme shock. Harry Potter had just kissed her. Harry Potter.
He was only the boy Ginny'd had an enormous crush on since she first laid eyes on him no, since she first heard of him, way back when she was a toddler and old enough to understand his story.
However, after the shock had worn away, the first thing she felt was, unfortunately for Harry, anger.
"What is your problem?" she demanded loudly.
looked so confused that for a moment she thought about pitying the boy,
but that lasted approximately five seconds. "I what do you mean?"
"What. Is. Your. Problem?" she enunciated clearly, seething.
"I'm sorry, Ginny, I know you've got a boyfriend, but-"
"This isn't about my boyfriend!"
If he had been puzzled before it was nothing compared to how he looked now. "It it isn't?"
"No, Harry, it's about you." Ginny had never felt more furious in her life. "Why didn't you do this three years ago? Where were you then?" she demanded. "Where were you when I was still head over heels in love with you?"
"I I don't I didn't-"
"I can't believe
anyone could be so insensitive!" Ginny cried, her voice rising. "What,
do you expect me to kiss you back, then?" she stepped closer to him,
fuming. "Like I still have have feelings for you? Well, let me tell you something, Potter I will not kiss you back!" Ginny used her forefinger to enunciate the message by pushing it to his chest with each word.
"Ginny, it was just a kiss!" Harry yelped, pulling her hand away from his chest.
If possible, Ginny became even angrier. "Oh, just a kiss, was it? So it didn't mean anything to you, did it? I am disgusted. And I have a boyfriend!"
And with that, she turned on her heel and walked away, leaving him gaping in the hall behind her.
saw red all the way through the corridors and down to the entrance
hall. She pushed the great oak doors open with unnecessary force and
stomped down the stone steps and onto the lawn. How dare he?
How dare he kiss her when she was already over him! Did he think that
just because he was Famous Harry Potter she would leap into his arms?
Did he assume that because she she'd had a crush on him so long ago
that she would be able to rekindle it?
"He has another thing coming!"
she yelled harshly to no one in particular. The students milling about
on the lawns stared at her as she marched past. Her friends didn't even
attempt to wave her over to their spot near the lake.
And then he had the nerve to say it was "just" a kiss! Nothing from Harry was ever "just" something!
"Ginny! Ginny, wait up!"
Ginny kept on walking. Whoever it was would just have to-
Kenneth Brown grabbed her arm to stop her. "What's wrong, Ginny?" he asked her, pulling her around to face him.
The stupidity of men in general was astounding to Ginny at that moment.
"I want to be alone just now, Ken," Ginny said through clenched teeth, freeing her arm from his grasp.
"If I needed comforting I would tell you, Kenneth!"
He frowned at her and stepped back. "Okay, then."
nodded curtly to him and continued on her furious route towards the
greenhouses. Her favorite place to think was in or around the
greenhouses, and Greenhouse One was, mercifully, kept unlocked, because
nothing of great value was in it. She let herself in the door and sat
down on a stool. She rested her elbows on the table before her and
pressed the heels of her hands into her eyes until she saw red stars.
was the matter with him? Had she ever led him to believe over the past
year that she liked him more than a friend? They had grown a bit
closer, yes, but not terribly so; it was just because of their
Quidditch practices together and him spending more time with her family
the previous summer than he ever had. They had even talked a bit, just
one-on-one, but it was never of anything very important. She had always
believed that they were just friends.
And damn, she had
worked so hard to get to this point! The point where she could talk to
him without stuttering or blushing or putting her elbow into the butter
dish or other such nonsense! And then he had to go and ruin it with a
Ginny wasn't stupid enough to think that she was
completely over him. There would always be a special spot for him in
her heart as her first love, and yes, sometimes but very rarely
when he smiled or looked at her a certain way her heart would do a
silly little jump in her chest, but Ginny had decided that was
inescapable, that she would probably do that for as long as she lived,
and she wouldn't think twice about it.
But now now she wasn't as sure.
Merlin, why, why, why did she have a small bubble of hope in her chest?
Did he kiss her on purpose, just to see if she would jump at him? The thought made her slightly nauseous.
But what really tore at her heart was, "Ginny, it was just a kiss!" Well, maybe to him it was just a kiss.
arrogant toe rag," Ginny mumbled out loud, her voice mysteriously
thick. She realized a few seconds later, with extreme and utter
surprise, that her cheeks were wet.
Hermione, I've got to talk to you," Harry gasped as he hurtled through
the portrait hole and into the Gryffindor common room.
Hermione looked up at him, eyebrows raised. "Well, all right then, what about? What's wrong?"
mate, you look like you've just walked in on Snape in the loo," Ron
said, and he chuckled at his own joke as Hermione tutted in disgust.
Ron Weasley, was unnecessary," Hermione said disdainfully, before
turning her attention back to Harry. She frowned. "What is it, Harry?"
look Harry sent Ron, who was carefully constructing a card castle with
his Exploding Snap deck, was one full of pure terror. Hermione got the
"Harry, come with me," she said imperiously, taking charge. She strode towards the portrait hole, Harry close on her heels.
"Hey, wait! Where're you going?" Ron cried from his spot on the floor.
be back in a tick," Hermione said, though she really had no idea how
long this would take. She hadn't seen Harry this worked up in months.
knew where they should go; the Room of Requirement would do quite
nicely, as Harry seemed to prefer not to be overheard. He didn't tell
her anything until they were safely inside the room. Hermione had
summoned it, and it therefore looked like a very nice bookshop with
volumes on all her favorite subjects inside. She resisted the urge to
go and pick up The Art of Arithmancy, which was lying
innocently on a nearby table, and instead settled down into a very
comfortable chair. Harry seated himself on the couch across from it and
looked at her with wild eyes.
"Hermione, something horrible just happened."
Oh, dear Merlin.
"Okay, Harry, just calm down it can't be that bad-"
"Oh, yes it can."
was nearly popping. What was it? Had he had another dream? One that
just concerned her and her family? The number of Muggle killings was
escalating sharply every month; she lived in constant fear for the
welfare of her very Muggle parents.
"Is it Mum and Dad?" she blurted finally.
Harry stared at her uncomprehendingly for a moment. "What? No, no, it's it's about Ginny."
Hermione relaxed visibly. "Oh, thank heavens," she said.
"What do you mean, 'thank heavens'?" Harry demanded crossly. "I did something horrible."
"What did you do?"
"I I kissed her. Ginny."
Hermione's brown eyes widened to the size of saucers. She certainly hadn't expected that. "Really?"
"Yeah. And then she yelled at me."
"Ohh," Hermione said, finally understanding. "Oh. And do you know why she yelled at you?"
Harry spread his hands out wide. "I've no idea, Hermione, but I thought, perhaps, you would." He looked at her hopefully.
I do. Tell me what happened." With a lot of coaxing, Hermione managed
to get Harry to tell her the story from the beginning. She winced
visibly when Harry told her the part about him saying it was "just a
"Oh, Harry. You've really done it," she told him after he was finished.
"What d'you mean, I've really done it? I don't even know what I've done! I just kissed her, for Merlin's sake!"
you ever stop to wonder what Ginny would think if you kissed her?"
Hermione said, this time very gently. "What she would do?"
squirmed in his seat. "Well, I sort of hoped she would, you know, kiss
me back, I suppose. Isn't that what everyone hopes?"
Harry, think about it. Ginny had a ridiculously large crush on you for
the majority of her life, and now, once she's gotten over it and
established a firm friendship with you, you finally decide you might
like her back. So basically what you've done is unraveled her whole
"I did all that just by kissing her?" Harry muttered incredulously.
Harry, you did," Hermione said firmly. "She's angry because you've
turned everything upside down. She will always still have a place for
you in her heart, but she's locked it up and thought it would never
become active again. And now you've burst the lock, so to speak, and
made her all confused. Plus, she already has a boyfriend, you know,"
she added as an afterthought.
"Well, I was going to go slow,"
Harry said with a frown, "but then she was just standing there, and I
just I kissed her. I didn't really think about it. I just did it.
Hermione, surely she doesn't think I did it just to hurt her?" Harry
Hermione looked at him pityingly. She
could sugar-coat this, but Harry deserved to know the truth. "Yes, I'd
say that's exactly what she thinks. You've never shown an interest in
her before now, have you? And then you just all of a sudden kiss her?"
Hermione, I would never want to hurt her. She's I she's wonderful.
I I respect her, and I think she's beautiful and one of the best
people I've ever met," Harry said in a rush, blushing terribly. "The
only way I could think of telling her was by showing her."
Hermione had slowly started to smile. "You shouldn't be telling me this, Harry. Go find Ginny."
paled. "And risk getting my eyeballs clawed out? Thank you, but no.
Plus, she's probably being comforted by her idiot boyfriend," he said
"I bet not. She's probably fed up with the lot of you right now."
searched quickly for another excuse not to go after her. "I don't know
where I could find her," he said triumphantly after a few moments of
"Luckily, I happen know exactly where she is," Hermione said, her smile growing. "Try Greenhouse One."
"Ah. How lucky."
Hermione softened at the hopeless look on his face and leaned forward. "You really like her, don't you?"
"Yeah," he said. "Hermione, do you think she's really given up on me completely?" he asked urgently.
Hermione smiled gently. "No, Harry, I don't think she will ever really give up on you. You just need to tread very carefully, that's all."
stood up, looking suddenly energized. "Thanks, Hermione," he called
over his shoulder, and made for the door. He paused before leaving, and
the next thing Hermione knew she was being hugged very tightly by her
best friend. "I thanks," he said when he released her. "It really
means a lot-"
"I know, Harry," Hermione said, smiling up at him. "Now stop dawdling and go find Ginny!"
He grinned at her one last time before disappearing at top speed. Hermione sighed, shaking her head, and picked up The Art of Arithmancy.
If only Ron would cotton on as quickly as Harry, she thought wistfully, before cracking open the book.
was embarrassed that she was crying even though she was completely
alone in the greenhouse. She wiped her eyes quickly, but it seemed that
now that she was aware of her tears she was unable to stop. They poured
unheedingly from her eyes, and no matter how hard she tried to stem the
flow with her sleeves, they just kept coming. She put her head down
onto her arms after a few moments of fruitless fighting and gave in to
She eventually wore herself out and sat motionless for
a few moments. She let her breathing slow and marveled at her emotional
outburst. She very rarely let her emotions get the best of her; growing
up with six older brothers had taught her that if you acted like a
girl, you would be treated like one. As a result, she hardly ever
cried, and if she did, it wasn't in front of her brothers.
Ginny was instantly aware when someone else came into the greenhouse, and she knew who it was.
"I told you, Kenneth, if I wanted to be comforted, I would have-"
voice died in her throat as she turned around and saw Harry standing in
the doorway. "You're not Kenneth," she said stupidly, staring at him.
She had thought he wouldn't ever dare approach her again after all that
yelling. She admired the man for his bravery.
"I'm not," he
agreed. He looked quite nervous; his hand shook as he pushed it through
his already untidy black hair, making it practically stand on end.
was an endearing move, and Ginny softened a bit towards him. She eyed
him warily. "Have you come to kiss me again?" she asked, only
"Not unless you want me to," he replied
quietly. "Look, Ginny I had no idea I was doing anything bad when I
you know, kissed you. I was just I just took advantage of the moment.
But Ginny, it's something I've wanted to do for months. Really. I just
I didn't get enough nerve until today. I don't know if you noticed,
but I was going to do it when we were in the broom shed-"
Ginny permitted herself a dry chuckle. She would have had to be blind and deaf to have not picked up on that one.
and then, well, that didn't quite go as planned . What I'm trying to
say, Ginny, is that I'm sorry, and I'll stop bothering you if you want
me to. I know I've been a complete git, and I really had no idea that I
was er, what was it oh yes, turning everything upside down and and
unlocking things ."
"What in the name of Merlin are you talking about?" Ginny asked, staring at him in bewilderment. Unlocking things?
waved airily. "Never mind. I'm sorry. Ginny, the truth is, I think I
think you're wonderful. And I don't know why it's taken me so long to
realize it. And I'm sorry that I was so insensitive today. I shouldn't
have presumed that you would run after me. I mean, I certainly hoped
you would, but I didn't think . And I also didn't mean what I said
about it being 'just a kiss'. That was really stupid. It meant more to
me than I can say, Ginny. So just, please don't say you've given up
completely on me. I deserve it, but I can't help but hope ." He trailed
off. "I understand if I'm too late."
Ginny listened to his
apology openmouthed. For several moments she couldn't think of anything
to say, but the first thing that popped into her head was "You've been
talking to Hermione, haven't you?"
He shot her a guilty smile. "Er, yeah. After you er, left, I knew Hermione was my only hope."
I've decided you're not a lost cause," Ginny said slightly grudgingly a
few moments later. "But I do have a question for you, Mr. Potter. What
finally made you like me?"
Harry blushed and looked down at his feet. He mumbled something incoherent, and Ginny cupped her hand behind her ear. "Sorry?"
met her eyes with a grimace. "I, er, walked in on you and Goldstein a
little while ago. Back round Valentine's Day, I think it was. Anyway,
you were, er, kissing, and I was sort of transfixed, I guess. I just
stood there, gaping at you like an idiot, and then something sort of
exploded inside me. I was suddenly overwhelmed with jealously. I mean,
I knew you did it, of course, but it had never really hit me, I
suppose. Anyway, I was really confused, but the longer I studied you,
the clearer it got: I liked you," he said simply. "I still like you.
I've just never been brave enough to act on it until now."
she listened to him talk, something was slowly exploding inside Ginny's
stomach hope. Hope that he really did like her, that he hadn't just
kissed her because he wanted to hurt her. That this was it.
she said slowly, standing up from her stool, "if you're serious if
you really want to give us a shot you've got to understand what
you're getting into." Her voice was trembling slightly, and she felt
those blasted tears surfacing again. "Because, Harry, I never stopped
liking you, I just pushed it away for a bit. Locked it up, if you
will," she said with a watery grin. He took a step closer to her,
giving her a grin of his own. "Are you can you handle that? Me?"
"If you'll give me the chance, Ginny, I can handle anything you throw at me," he told her solemnly.
laughed in pure relief and the tears broke free; Harry grinned at her
as he hesitantly wiped them away. "What is it with me and sobbing
Ginny punched him half-heartedly in the ribs as she
hugged him. She could scarcely believe this believe that Harry Potter
liked her, that he was holding her in his arms, that he had kissed
her . She giggled suddenly into his chest.
"What?" he asked, and she could hear the smile in his voice.
shook her head and looked up at him again, her heart swelling to
gigantic proportions in her chest. This time, she made sure to close
her eyes when he bent down.