Disclaimer: Harry Potter, the characters, and settings of this story are the property of JK Rowling. No profit is being made from this story, but I did waste most of a Saturday!
A/N: JKR didn’t give us a Valentine’s Day in The Half Blood Prince; she did leave me wiggle room to provide one for you. The following events are supposed to take place during the events of the HBP. They are not designed to contradict or violate canon in any way.
Ginny reckoned Valentines Day was celebrated in February to lighten up the gloom and doom of the long winter months. She also reckoned the whole thing was a load of…
She spun around to see her boyfriend, Dean Thomas, running up behind her. Oh bollocks, she thought, what does he want? “Hi, Dean, how’s your day going?”
“Hi, Ginny, now that I’ve bumped into you, it’s going great. Guess what? Professor Sprout is out ill today; I’ve got the whole afternoon off!”
“That’s great. What are you going to do with your time off?”
“Well, I was thinking maybe you might want to spend it with me. We could go for a walk, or maybe find a broom cupboard somewhere?”
“Er, well, I’d love to, you know, but,” Ginny paused, thinking hard. “I’ve got a study group this afternoon with Luna. O.W.L. revision, you know how it is. It’s really a pain having to do all this studying,” Ginny lied.
Dean’s face fell. “Oh, okay.” He looked at the ground while he shuffled his feet. “It’s just, well, I hardly ever get to see you anymore; with the Apparition lessons on Saturdays and you studying all day Sunday, it’s like I don’t even have a girlfriend anymore.”
Yes! He’s taking the hint! He’s finally going to break up with me! Ginny did her best to look repentant. “I’m very sorry, Dean, it’s just, you know, O.W.L.s affect your whole life, and you want me to do well, right?”
“Yeah, it’s just…”
“No, you’re right, I spend a lot of time studying. I’m not much of a girlfriend these days; maybe we should take a break?”
“What! Ginny, no, I don’t want to take a break. Honestly, I just miss you. I like spending time with you, and I miss it. I know you have to study. It’s just hard sometimes to have to sit and watch you with other people, when I want you all to myself. You go and have a good afternoon studying. Maybe we can talk a bit at dinner?”
“Well, I’ll see – I might just have to grab something quickly; we do have a lot of revision to cover.”
“Alright then, just stop by if you can. I miss my girl. Oh, and save some time for me next week on Friday.” He gave her a bright smile, which she returned rather weakly. He wrapped her in a big hug, but when he leaned down to kiss the much shorter girl, she turned her head away from him.
“I better get going, Luna will wonder what’s happened to me. See you later.” Ginny broke away from his hug and hurried down the hall towards the library. Great job Ginevra, where are you going to hide all afternoon now? she thought. Luna had double Arithmancy this afternoon. While she wasn’t really concerned that Dean would realise that Luna was in class, she was worried that he would figure out that she hadn’t been with Luna. After racking her brain for a few minutes she headed up to the seventh floor. She walked back and forth in front of the tapestry of Barnabas the Barmy until a door appeared across the way. She pulled open the door and stopped short. There, sitting hunched over a bit a parchment was Harry Potter.
“Oh! Sorry, Harry, I didn’t think there would be anyone in here.”
Harry looked up and smiled brightly. “Hello, Ginny, what were you in need of?”
“I needed a place to avoid someone. I didn’t mean to interrupt.”
“You’re not interrupting,” Harry said brightly. “I’m pretty much doing the same thing.”
“Oh, who are you avoiding?” Please don’t be me, please don’t be me.
“Hermione and Won-Won. I can’t take her constant nagging anymore, and if I see Lav-Lav and Won-Won locked in one more round of lip wrestling I’m going to vomit right in front of them. Do they know what they sound like when they do that?” Harry groaned.
Ginny smiled. “It must be hard for you, your two best friends not speaking to each other.”
“Well, yeah, I hate it when two of us aren’t talking. It seems to happen frequently enough. At least this year I have you.” Harry smiled at her.
Ginny’s heart stopped. She had to turn her head away from his smile before she passed out. “Excuse me?” she gasped.
“You know, being friends with you this year. It’s nice to have another friend I really trust and can count on and this year has been great because I’ve been able to spend more time with you.”
Ginny really needed to get a grasp on the situation before she screamed in frustration. Harry thought spending time with her was great! He trusts and counts on her. This was a moment, the two of them were finally having a moment, and she wasn’t going to be able to do anything about it. Why couldn’t Dean have just taken a hint and broken up with me this afternoon? Bloody boyfriend. “Yes…well, I…er…that is... what are you studying?”
“Oh, this? This is nothing. I was just trying to figure out why Malfoy was coming out of a girls’ bathroom. You don’t suppose he’s actually a girl who’s been cross-dressing all these years do you?”
Ginny snickered. “No, he’s at least partially male. The fact that Malfoy is a giant sissy, doesn’t seem to extend to his bits.”
“Hmm, do I want to know why you know that?”
“He made some rude remarks to me earlier this year. I ignored him, so he tried to grab me. I gave him a solid knee to the crotch and he went down like the pile of waste that he is.”
The look of fury on Harry’s face was frightening. She had seen Harry angry before, of course, but he was positively apoplectic. “Harry, breathe. Why are you so upset?”
“That piece of scum touched you?”
“I’m a big girl, Harry, I took care of it.” Ginny sighed inwardly. She thought that Harry had got past his big brother need to protect her. She had felt some very positive vibes from him over Christmas, and she had caught him watching her several times this year. She had hoped he would get jealous when she placed herself and Dean in the hallway snogging after Quidditch practice, but she wasn’t able to tell if he had, because of her lout of a brother. What a fiasco that ploy had turned into! Not only did Harry not get visibly jealous, she had ruined her best friend’s chances with Ron. Well, she determined, it’s time to figure out if Harry was giving her signals or not.
“Why does that upset you so much?”
“Because you’re mi…” Harry stopped what he was about to say, “because you’re my friend,” he finished finally.
Oh, he better not have been about to say sister. If he thinks I won’t hex him for thinking of me like a sister, he really is as clueless as Hermione says. “Yes, well, my friend. Leave him to me. Please don’t do anything stupid.”
“Me do something stupid? Perish the thought,” Harry smirked. “So, you want to study, or did you have something else in mind for this afternoon?” Harry asked.
“Oh, I suppose I should study. Will you help me with my Transfiguration homework?”
“You want my help?” Harry asked, his brow creasing deeply.
“No, I was referring to the person behind you,” she needled.
“Well, sure, but my Transfiguration grades have never been all that great.”
“You got an E in it, don’t put yourself down. You’re really good at everything, especially if you have the right motivation.” She winked at him. I winked at him? Oh, sod it all, this is going to be so embarrassing when he blows me off. Subtle, Ginny, learn to be subtle.
Harry smiled widely at her. “Oh, well sure – if you need help. I’ll do whatever I can.”
Ginny spent the next three days mooning over her afternoon with Harry. She had made a couple of other attempts to flirt with him, and he kind of actually flirted back. Well, she thought it was flirting. It was tough to tell with Harry, but he had put his hand over hers when he was showing her proper wand movements. He was so firm but gentle it was almost like he was holding her hand. She had repeatedly messed up wand movements to get him to do it over and over again; that was, until he questioned why she was having so much trouble with the wand movements, when she got such good grades. Embarrassed, she had tried unsuccessfully to fight down her blush, but he just gave her his quirky smile, and her heart almost literally melted. Then yesterday when she asked him if he had plans for Valentine’s Day he winked at her and said, “Oh, I’ve got some plans all right.” What did that mean? Why did he wink at her when he said it? Was he finally going to make a move? She knew what she needed to do, she needed to ditch Dean, or preferably get Dean to ditch her, that way she could look vulnerable, and not like a total bitch when she jumped Harry at the earliest opportunity. If she was going to get this accomplished in time for Valentine’s, she would need some serious help.
She found Hermione sitting alone on her bed in the sixth-year girls’ room. “Hermione?”
Her head popped up from the book she was reading. “Oh, hi, Ginny, how are you?”
“Pretty miserable actually; I need your help,” Ginny pleaded.
Hermione gave her a concerned look. “What’s wrong?”
“Well, I think Harry might be finally coming around.”
“And that makes you miserable?” Hermione asked in disbelief.
“No, no, I’m happy he may have finally noticed me. He was hinting at something this summer, but I figured it would be gone when we got back to Hogwarts. He’s been different this year. I mean, I know we’re friends now, but I keep catching him watching me. Instead of pretending like he wasn’t watching me, when I catch him, he just smiles at me.”
“Well, you are friends now.”
“It’s not just that; we spent the afternoon together on Wednesday. He was so wonderful, and I think he was flirting with me.”
“Yes, Harry. It was the most wonderful day.” She swooned.
“Harry doesn’t know how to flirt.” Hermione replied dismissively.
“Well, that’s what I always thought, but he’s been kind of flirty since then, too,” Ginny blushed.
“So why are you miserable?” Hermione arched an eyebrow at her.
“Dean,” she sighed. “I’ve been trying to get him to break up with me for ages. I haven’t kissed him since before Christmas. I didn’t get him a Christmas present. I keep avoiding spending time alone with him, but he keeps trying to be all supportive and understanding.”
“Well, what a berk,” Hermione teased.
“Dean’s great, but we’ve been going out since school started, and there’s nothing there. I don’t feel anything when I’m with him.”
“Have you tried telling him that?”
“Yes, but he doesn’t listen, and then he acts all sweet and shrugs it off. He says relationships take time.” Ginny sighed. “He has been a terrific boyfriend, way better than Michael, but…”
“You’d rather snog Crabbe.”
“No! God, no, that’s sick!”
Hermione giggled. “Just checking.”
“How can I get Dean to break up with me?”
“I’m not sure the incredible dateless Gryffindor is really the best person to ask,” Hermione sighed.
“Oh, Hermione, I’m sorry. My brother is such a git. I can’t believe he just doesn’t get it.”
“Get what? Hepatitis? He will if he keeps putting his mouth on everything that wanders by,” Hermione spat bitterly.
Ginny wrapped Hermione in a tight hug. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean for this to upset you, I was just hoping you had an idea. I’m running out of ways to reject Dean without being mean.”
“Well, Ginny, I could kiss you,” said Hermione. “Right out in the common room in front of Dean, then you could just tell him you’ve switched teams.”
Ginny snickered. “I want to break up with him, not become the object of all the fantasies of every boy in Gryffindor.”
Hermione giggled and shrugged. “Well, how far are you willing to go to make this break up happen?”
“Pretty far, but I don’t want Harry thinking I’m a lesbian. I’m trying to get a date with him for Valentine’s Day.”
“Ginny, that’s six days from now! We’re never going to be able to do this gently in six days.”
“We have to think of something. I don’t want to spend Valentine’s with Dean.” Ginny groaned miserably. “I just really don’t want to hurt him too badly either.”
The next day on the way to breakfast Ginny implemented her new strategy. She was walking down the hallway next to Dean. She bumped into him gently and then stopped.
“Dean, watch where you’re going! You’re always manhandling me; you need to respect my personal space,” Ginny spat.
“Ginny, I didn’t … I mean, I never…” His shoulders slumped. “I’m sorry; I will try to be more careful.”
Unbeknownst to Ginny, Seamus was having the exact same thought she was, while standing two feet to her right. Geeze, Dean, grow a pair. This was the new plan, no physical contact, any time he touched her, she would pull away or complain. She just hoped he would get a clue soon. Ginny turned and headed to the Great Hall without saying another word.
She heard the sound of Seamus mimicking the cracking of a whip and smirked to herself. That should help move things along.
Two days later a rather large box arrived for Harry at breakfast, along with the regular post.
“Ah, excellent!” Harry exclaimed and slid the box underneath the bench.
“What is it?” Ron asked
“Oh, it’s just a little surprise for someone special,” Harry gave Ron a cheeky grin.
“Harry! Do you have date for Valentine’s Day?” Lavender asked excitedly. “Oh, that would be fantastic, we could double!”
“Well, you got a package for someone special right before Valentine’s Day, have you picked someone to spend the day with?”
Ginny noticed Harry’s quick glance at her even if nobody else did. “Erm, no, I don’t think I will have a date this year.”
“Well, I can help you find someone if you want. There are lots of girls at Hogwarts who’d love to be your Valentine’s date.”
Ginny knew she was staring daggers at Lavender, and she knew if she didn’t stop people would notice, but she really wanted to turn Lavender into a pile of purple and brown goo. At least then her stupid name would make sense. Then something impossible happened.
Harry turned and looked at Ginny. “That’s okay, Lavender, I’m pretty sure all the good ones are taken.”
Ginny’s heart fluttered, and she choked on her forkful of eggs. Dean pounded her on the back helpfully and asked her, “You okay there, Ginny?” She ignored him, completely fixated on the conversation a few people over.
“Nonsense, Harry, neither Hermione nor Parvati have dates. I know you and Parvati didn’t get on so well at the Yule Ball, but I think if you gave it another try, you would find you really have a lot to offer each other.”
“It’s okay; really, I should take this upstairs before class. I’ll see you guys there.” Harry popped up and pulled the box out from under the bench.
Ginny sighed. She was trapped here trying to study in her room, but her roommates and their friends just wouldn’t shut up. She was avoiding the common room because she knew Dean was down there, and yesterday when she tried to blow him off to go to the library, he had followed her. It was difficult trying to study when he was making little gestures to try and get her attention. She had ripped into him testily and he had apologized and promised that in the future he would be quieter when they were studying together. She had suggested that he go find some of his classmates to study with, and he had told her he just wanted to be near her. What on Earth could she have done to cause this level of commitment from him?
“Will you look at the size of that?”
“Hey, Ginny, come here and look at the huge bouquet of roses Harry is carrying.”
She flung herself off her bed with such force that her feet skidded just a bit when she landed. Sure enough, Harry was walking in from the front gates carrying the largest bouquet of red roses Ginny had ever seen. Who the devil could those be for, and why would Harry be bringing them into the castle a half hour before Quidditch practice?
Harry disappeared around the edge of the castle. Ginny decided she better start getting ready for practice. She tied her hair back with a ribbon and grabbed her practice robes. Maybe if she was early she could ask Harry who the flowers were for.
She was striding through the common room with her broom when Dean called after her.
“Ginny, are you going down to practice already?” Dean asked.
“Yes, I need to do some extra stretching,” Ginny lied.
“Well, give me a minute to get changed and I will come down with you.”
“That’s all right, I’ll just see you down there.” She raced for the portrait hole before Dean could catch up with her. Harry unfortunately wasn’t in the team meeting room before practice. That in and of itself was very odd; as team captain, he was always there before the rest of the team.
He showed up, running from the castle just a few minutes before the start of practice looking rather flushed and disheveled. Ginny wondered if someone had appreciated the flowers rather heartily, as Harry appeared to have just engaged in a rather enthusiastic make-out session. She hoped it wasn’t true, but could it be that Harry had a secret girlfriend? It would be like Harry to hide his personal life, even from his friends.
After he stepped into the team room, he started barking at them, just as he always did.
Ginny had pretended to go bed early and then sneaked back down to the common room. She was relatively sure that Harry wasn’t in the tower, but since she couldn’t very well walk into her boyfriend’s room and check, she wasn’t sure. She knew if she had waited around the common room for Harry to return, Dean would have wanted to sit with her, and she really needed to talk to Harry alone. Tomorrow was Valentine’s Day. Her plan to be rid of Dean by Valentine’s Day had turned out to be a miserable failure. She didn’t even have a boyfriend in the traditional sense. He had been much less warm towards her since she had refused to let him escort her back to the castle after Quidditch practice the previous evening. Now she wasn’t sure who it was her Harry was after. He had been sneaking about all week, and had been missing most of the evening. It seemed likely he was perhaps meeting his Valentine somewhere in the castle. She had determined that whoever it was that Harry was meeting, it wasn’t a Gryffindor; they were all accounted for as far as she could tell. The only ones not in the tower were Lavender and Hermione. Lavender was no doubt with Ron in a broom cupboard somewhere. Hermione had prefect rounds tonight.
Finally, the portrait hole opened. When nobody came through it before it closed again, Ginny knew she was in the presence of the green-eyed black-haired object of her affection. “Harry,” she called, “can I talk to you for a sec?”
Harry’s face suddenly appeared from thin air with a rather ridiculous grin pasted on it. “Sure, Ginny, what are you doing up? It’s a big day tomorrow.”
“I just want to talk to you,” Ginny replied. She really wished she wasn’t nervous. Why couldn’t she be calm a collected like Parvati, or have the self assurance of Cho?
“What’s up?” Harry asked, walking over and plunking himself down in one of the common room chairs.
Ginny balled up her courage and just spat out the question that had been eating her for two days. “Do you have a secret girlfriend, Harry?”
The goofy grin on his face disappeared in an instant. "What? Why?” Harry sputtered.
“Well, you’ve been very secretive all week; you didn’t want Lavender to set you up on a date. You got a package for someone special, I saw you bringing in a huge bouquet of flowers yesterday, but somehow they didn’t make it up to the common room. I can only assume you’re secretly dating someone.”
“I see. Is that a big deal?” Harry asked.
“Does she make you happy?” Ginny asked, her heart breaking.
“There is no girl, Ginny. But, I have been having some fun this week.” Harry wiggled his eyebrows at her. “And I’m planning to have a very nice day tomorrow.”
“Oh really? Any particular reason you’re going to be having such a fantastic day tomorrow?” she asked coyly.
Harry took her hand and looked deeply into her eyes. “Oh, yeah.”
“So who were those flowers for, Mr. Potter?”
“Well, Ginevra, that’s a secret.”
“Come on, Harry, I thought we shared all our secrets now.”
“As far as I know, I’m not required to disclose all my secrets to you until after we’re married.”
“We’re already married, you prat! Now tell me!”
Harry raised his eyebrows at her.
“Oh well,” she sighed. “It was worth a shot.” She gave him a cheeky grin.
“Don’t worry, all your questions shall be answered tomorrow. I have a bit of a surprise for you.”
Harry nodded. “Who else would I give a present to on Valentine’s? Goodnight, Ginny.” With that he squeezed her shoulder and moved past her towards the boys’ tower.
Ginny’s mind had frozen when she heard Harry ask who else he would give a present to on Valentine’s, but it was rudely kicked back into gear and she heard Harry singing quietly as he walked across the common room. “Your eyes are as green as fresh-pickled toad.”
“Yes, dear?” Harry turned to face her at the bottom of the stairs.
“Don’t ever repeat that poem.”
Harry shrugged. “It’s your poetry.” He gave her a grin and disappeared in the boys’ tower.
Ginny collapsed on the sofa in front of the fire, putting her legs on the armrest and her arm over her forehead. How was it that she still hadn’t managed to break up with Dean? She laid there cursing her own rotten luck with men, until Hermione returned from prefect rounds and chased her up to bed.
The next night at dinner Ginny was regrettably sitting next to Dean eating the Valentine’s Day feast. He had bought her a bracelet and box of Chocolate Cauldrons. Ginny hated Chocolate Cauldrons, but she felt that since it was Valentine’s Day, she probably should not push Dean too far. She had even held his hand briefly on the way to dinner. Now she was left sending longing glances at Harry. He wasn’t helping matters any. He appeared to be in a great mood.
Hermione stormed in a plunked herself down next to Harry. “Happy Valentine’s Day, Hermione,” Harry greeted her cheerfully.
“Happy Singles’ Awareness Day,” she said bitterly.
“Don’t worry, Hermione, I have a feeling your day is about to pick up a little,” Harry responded lightly.
Harry’s grin got absolutely predatory as he watched Draco Malfoy strut through the doors of the Great Hall. “Pay attention now,” Harry muttered to the table at large.
Draco was carrying a huge bouquet of red roses in his left hand. He stormed over to Crabbe and whispered something into his ear. In typically clueless Crabbe fashion, he sputtered noisily, “You want to take him where?” Draco whispered something else to him. Crabbe shook his head and asked “And do what?” When Draco answered that question, Crabbe again shook his head. “I’m not going back there again, its dinner.” Draco shot him a murderous look.
Draco stomped up to the professors’ table and whispered something to Professor Snape, then waved the flowers at him. Professor Snape hopped up immediately and they swept from the Great Hall like two incredibly large, and particularly condescending, bats.
Ginny leaned over and whispered to Harry. “What was that about?”
“Wait for it,” Harry said, mysteriously fighting down a vicious case of the giggles.
Ginny was intrigued as to what it could possibly be that Harry was up to. Not more than two minutes later the whole wall behind the Slytherin table lit up with what appeared to be a Muggle movie screen. Draco and Snape were on the screen larger than life, and seemed to be having a rather serious discussion.
“Sir, I need you.”
“Yes, well, you shouldn’t have turned down my earlier offers then, should you?”
“Sir, this is hard enough. Could you, please, just this once?” Draco begged, holding his handful of roses up to Snape.
“Well, I hope you realize this is very inappropriate; what would your father say, Draco?”
“I can’t live like this anymore; I just need to get it over with.”
“Very well,” Snape sneered. “Take off your robe and lean over my desk, and I will see what I can do.”
Draco started to remove his robe. Harry made a very discreet wave of his wand, and the image behind the Slytherin table disappeared.
The entire Gryffindor table was rolling with laughter. Professors Dumbledore and McGonagall quickly got to their feet, and headed out of the Great Hall.
Less than twenty minutes later they returned, with an absolutely murderous Professor Snape in tow. A furious and fuming Draco Malfoy walked in behind them all and made his way over to the Slytherin table. Then as he sat down, a five seat gap opened on either side of him.
Professor Dumbledore stood up at his chair and announced to the assembled students. “Well, it seems that Mr. Malfoy had an unfortunate run-in with a charmed bouquet of flowers, and Professor Snape was just helping him to take care of it. Should the party responsible for the flowers be found, they will be punished accordingly.” He looked directly at Harry, his eyes twinkling with mischief.
Professor Snape was also glowering with rage at Harry, as several people tried to ask Harry about the prank. “Later,” he whispered.
Much to her frustration, Ginny was not able to get Harry alone that evening. He was surrounded by people in the common room who wanted to know how he had pulled off the prank. Harry just shrugged and steadfastly refused to admit that he had had a hand in it.
Harry finally went up to bed, and Ginny went not long after to avoid Dean’s advances towards a snogging session. She was disappointed at not getting to ask Harry about the prank; after all, he’d said he would answer all her questions. Questions she had in droves.
She changed into her night clothes, but when she returned to her room from the loo she found Hedwig outside her window, tapping on the glass.
“Good evening, girl. Are you looking for me?” Ginny asked.
Hedwig bobbed her head and stuck out her leg while standing on the window sill. Ginny carefully untied the note attached to Hedwig and petted her leisurely. “You’re such a pretty owl. Thank you for taking such good care of my Harry.” She murmured. Hedwig nipped her affectionately on the hand and then dove out the window and into the night.
Ginny opened the letter, and read it carefully several times.
I guess we determined that Malfoy is male, just with slightly different tastes than most men. I hope that answers your questions about the flowers. The box I got this week was from Fred and George. It was transitive window paste; it lets you put a window from any room onto any other wall of your choosing. I needed rather a lot for this project.
Well, my reasons for sneaking around I hope are now obvious. I know you don’t like it when people get angry on your behalf, but I couldn’t help myself. Malfoy needed to learn not to touch my Valentine. Maybe you weren’t this year, but you were my Valentine first. My very first Valentine.
Happy Valentine’s Day Ginny,
Ginny closed the hangings to her bed and put the letter under her pillow. She vowed to end it with Dean and damn the consequences. It was time for her to take a chance on her Harry.
A/N: For those of you keeping score. I used the following phrases from the challenge list.
“You want to take him where?” “And do what?”
“Ginny I could kiss you!” said Hermione.
“Will you look at the size of that?”
“We’re already married, you prat!”
“Happy Singles’ Awareness Day,” she said bitterly.
Ginny reckoned Valentine’s Day was celebrated in February to lighten up the gloom and doom of the long winter months. She also reckoned the whole thing was a load of.