Harry looked up from his parchment and watched in amusement as a redhead stormed in furiously from the portrait hole. He couldn't suppress his grin as her small figure marched toward him, her arms shaking with anger. He enjoyed the way the firelight reflected against her, especially her scarlet hair, which blazed several shades of red. Ginny had grown up so quickly. It seemed like yesterday that she was still a blushing little girl, but now, she had matured and had lost her silly crush on him.
They had become such good friends over the summer, especially since Hermione and Ron had officially become a couple. They had spent endless nights together, teasing the couple mercilessly, battling each other in wizard chess, and playing Quidditch. Now that they were back at Hogwarts, they had fallen into a comfortable and familiar pattern of spending time with each other whenever they had spare time—something Harry seemed to have a lot of lately. He might even go so far as to say he and Ginny were best friends now.
"What's he done now?" Harry asked casually, though he already had a hunch what his other redheaded best friend had done. Ginny dropped herself in the seat in front of him, a scowl painted on her face. He ran a hand inattentively through his chaotic black hair—an attempt he knew would fail to tame it.
"Who does he think he is?" she demanded, slamming a pale hand on the table. Her eyes flashed dangerously. "He's such a filthy hypocrite!"
"Scared off yet another boy?" He smiled sympathetically, setting down his Sugar Quill. He knew it was useless trying to concentrate on work when Ginny was with him.
Countless times this year—though it had not begun very long ago—Ron had threatened all the boys who had come within three feet of his precious little sister. And it was hard to keep the swarm of blokes that wanted Ginny at bay. Like he had said, little Ginny had grown up to be very beautiful. The freckles scattered on her face only accentuated her wide, brown eyes, which were framed by long, curly lashes. Her scarlet tresses, as smooth as silk, fell softly around her face and shimmered down her slender back. It was a wonder that Ron managed to keep any of them from her at all. Harry vaguely recalled something along the lines of bringing the other Weasley brothers to Hogwarts as a threat.
"Yes!" Ginny hissed. She shoved a lock of hair away from her face irritably, but it simply fell back to where it had been. "I can take care of myself! Ha! Saying that I'm not old enough while he snogs Hermione senseless. He's only one bloody year older than I am! And I've already gone out with Michael Corner, so it's not as if I'm clueless in the area!"
Harry nodded in agreement.
"He has no right," she continued, idly taking his quill.
"But you know," he relented, taking his quill back, "maybe it was because Michael Corner was such a prat and he doesn't want you to get hurt again."
"I wasn't hurt." She folded her arms over her chest. "I admit I probably made a mistake, but he wasn't so bad when we first went out. It was just that he had too much House pride. I did rather feel sorry for him sometimes, being the only Ravenclaw sitting in the Gryffindors' bleachers. But I never asked that of him in the first place."
"So you weren't bothered at all by dumping him?" he asked, feeling somewhat relieved. He was glad that his friend hadn't been hurt by the whole ordeal.
"Well." She frowned, absently brushing away the distracting tendril of red hair from her face again. "Maybe just a little. I mean, just the fact that he instantly jumped into Cho Chang's arms afterwards...." Then she winced, looking nervously at Harry. "Sorry."
"Don't worry about it," Harry sighed, pushing his black glasses closer to his face. The raven-haired Ravenclaw flashed in his mind. She was still beautiful and wonderful, but the emotion that he felt for her was gone. "Cho and I... we kind of just fell apart."
"Still... the two of them shouldn't be snogging each other's faces off in public." She snorted. "They should at least have the decency to do it locked up in a broom closet somewhere like Ron and Hermione."
Harry laughed as she pretended to gag. "I agree. Kissing's so... private and intimate. It's something that should be shared between two people that care about each other."
Ginny arched an amused eyebrow. "You seem to know a lot about it."
"Oh no, I—" He blushed.
"So you kissed Cho." She nodded knowingly. Then she smirked. "Was it your first kiss? How was it? The way you described it, it must have been great."
"No, actually," Harry replied bashfully. "It was... after a DA meeting.... It... it wasn't as nice as I thought it would be. Rather disappointing, actually. I mean I had hoped at the very least that the girl I kissed wouldn't instantly burst into tears. Kind of hurts your ego."
Ginny nodded understandingly.
"What about you?" he asked curiously.
"What about me?" She pursed her lips coyly.
"C'mon, I just told you one of the most embarrassing moments of my life," he said with a smile. He rolled his eyes and raised an eyebrow. "It's your turn. What was your first kiss like?"
"My first kiss..." she whispered, licking her lips nervously. "It was... perfect."
"Oh," he said lamely. He couldn't help but feel a little peeved at this. Harry's first kiss had been quite mortifying. At least if Ginny's had been disappointing as well, the two of them could laugh about it.
"That is," she frowned, propping her head against her hand, "it was supposed to be perfect. It was at the Astronomy Tower, and he had lit candles and everything. Even scattered rose petals everywhere. The whole dinner was so romantic under the stars. There was even a meteor shower! And then, at the right moment, when everything fit, he slowly leaned and...."
"Then what was wrong?" he asked after she trailed off.
"I can't really explain it," she confessed, glaring at the table.
"Well, maybe next time it'll be just right for both of us," Harry said optimistically.
"Merlin! At this rate, Ron will make sure that I'll never be able to kiss anyone again," she groaned miserably, covering her face with her hands.
Harry frowned at this. Perhaps Ron had gone too far. Ginny didn't deserve to be restrained from the same happiness Ron and Hermione felt. She deserved it and so much more! He understood Ron's protectiveness, but Ginny was his best friend too.
"You know what..." Harry said seriously, taking Ginny's hand in his own. "I think you should be able to date."
"You do?" she asked, a little breathlessly. Her eyes flickered over his face uncertainly.
"Absolutely," he assured her, watching her intently with his smoldering emerald eyes. "You've been there for me so much these past few months, and we've grown really close. I've never done anything for you, and yet you're still here. You've kicked me in the arse whenever I needed a good kicking and everyone else was babying me." Ginny giggled, and Harry even smiled slightly. "I... I just want you to know how much I care about you...."
"That's why," he said, breaking into a lopsided grin, "I'm going to help you find that someone. I'll make sure that you'll find someone to kiss and it'll be perfect."
"What?" she faltered, blinking wildly. She closed her eyes before she exhaled unsteadily, blowing away the persistent strand of hair. "You can't be serious."
"What do you mean?" he pouted playfully. "I can play matchmaker! You just wait and see!"
"But what about Ron? Don't you mind?" she asked hesitantly, smiling sadly.
"Ron's my best mate," he confessed slowly. Her entire face dropped. "But no matter what Ron says you should be able to be with whoever you want. And you're my best friend too. Your happiness means a lot to me. Ron's obviously the wrong one in this situation. I can't just sit here and watch him make you an old maid! What kind of friend would I be?"
He smiled when she exhaled deeply before she shook her head, lightly laughing. "All right, Harry. I'll let you be my matchmaker."
"Trust me," he said, absently tucking the rebellious scarlet tendril behind her ear, enjoying the smooth texture. "I'll find you someone perfect."