Harry approached the tree by the lake at Hogwarts where Ginny was waiting for him. She was wearing a simple white summer dress that gave her the look of an angel. As he approached, he could tell she was watching him. She had an uncertain expression on her face and she was holding a chocolate frog.
"Hi Ginny," Harry said softly. "I was afraid you wouldn't come tonight."
"I was afraid myself," Ginny replied. Her voice, soft and sweet as ever, now sounded just like the real Ginny. "But I had to come. If there was a chance that we could be together, I had to take it."
"Is that the frog I gave you in the Great Hall?" Harry asked.
Ginny looked at the frog she was holding. "At first I didn't understand but, when you answered my friend's question, I knew. You chose your gift carefully, didn't you Harry?"
Ginny looked at Harry somewhat fearfully. "What does this mean, Harry? I mean, I didn't think you were real. I'm still not sure, but now… It's like my dreams are bleeding into reality."
That was the clue Harry was looking for. "Ginny, do you think we could be sharing this dream?"
Ginny's face eased up a bit. "You think so too?"
Harry nodded slowly. "At first I thought you were just a mental image of the Ginny I wanted you to be. I went to sleep and there you were, radiant, beautiful, and still fond of me. It was better than I could have hoped for. But then, that second night, you ran off when I mentioned Dean. That really confused me because you were supposed to be a dream, and I couldn't understand why my dream would run out on me. Then, that day, you broke up with Dean. It struck me as odd but I shrugged it off as a coincidence."
Ginny raised her hand to stop him. "You're saying that you thought I was a dream image, and you were dreaming me?" Harry nodded. Ginny continued, "And here I thought it was the other way around."
They stood there, looking at each other for a moment. Harry broke the silence. "I think it's a very real possibility that we have been dreaming of each other these last few nights, and we have somehow been able to enter each other's dream. That is, we can actually see each other and talk to each other while we are sleeping."
Ginny put her hand to her face in shock. "But if that's true, then… then you know everything!"
Harry sensed Ginny's fear and moved quickly but gently to take hold of her other hand.
"Yes, Ginny. But so do you. You know everything that I feel for you, too. Things that I never had the courage to tell you in person. I've confessed to you my true thoughts, never realizing that I was actually speaking to the real you."
Ginny's fear turned into a blush as she let Harry's words sink in. "Then, if you're right, and we are sharing this dream, and we've been… sharing our fondness for one another… does that mean… we should become a couple in real life?"
Harry slowly took her other hand and brought them together, bringing Ginny close to him.
"You were willing to come here on the chance that this might be something more than just a dream. I'm more than willing to take the same chance."
Ginny leaned in slowly and Harry met her lips with his. He kissed her gently and tenderly, reassuring her that he meant what he said.
As Ginny pulled back, she asked, "Oh Harry, I'm scared. What if this isn't real? What if you are really just a dream? I don't want to get my hopes up now, only to make a fool of myself in front of everybody."
Harry nodded. "I understand. I think I have the perfect way to do this. If you're sure you're ready to make our pairing public, that is."
Ginny thought about this briefly. "Dreams are one thing, Harry, but real life is something else. I want to be with you more than anything, but I also want to enjoy the whole experience. Maybe we should start slow at first. What do you think?"
Harry smiled. "I think that's a great idea, Ginny. After all, I've never had a girlfriend before."
Ginny giggled. "I had forgotten about that. So, how do we do this?"
"Well, it's simple, really. All you have to do is wait for me to walk you to class this morning."
Ginny's eyes lit up. "That's brilliant, Harry! It's not overly suspicious, it lets us get a good start, and it'll confirm that this is not just a dream! Oh, it's wonderful, Harry. I can't wait!"
Harry had to force himself to contain his excitement. "Now, when I see you, I'll come up to you and say, ‘Good morning Ginny. How are you today?' And you'll say something like…"
"'I'm great, Harry. On your way to class?'" Ginny suggested.
"Yeah, that's innocent enough. Ok, then I'll say, ‘As a matter of fact I am. If you're headed my way, may I walk you to class?' Then you can say…" Harry trailed off, giving Ginny the next line.
" ‘I'd like that Harry,'" Ginny answered.
"Excellent, that's how we'll do it then."
They stood there facing each other, not sure what to do.
"Do you think we'll still dream with each other once we're together in real life?" Ginny asked.
"I don't know, Ginny. But truth be told, if we do get together, we won't need to dream, will we?" Harry answered.
Ginny smiled at this. "Too true, Harry, too true." She leaned towards him again and, as luck would have it, Harry awoke halfway through the kiss.
Harry was very excited as he fumbled for his glasses and jumped out of bed. He rushed to take his shower, taking his time to get squeaky-clean. Back in the dorm room, he inspected his clothes carefully before putting them on, making sure everything looked straight and proper. He tried extra hard to make his hair look somewhat presentable, but gave up after several minutes of failed attempts. He grabbed his books, took a long look at himself in the mirror, took a deep breath, smiled, and turned on his heals to leave.
Blocking the door to the dorm room was Ron.
"Making an awful fuss of yourself this morning, aren't we Harry?" he said, a suspicious look on his face. In his excitement, Harry realized he had been a bit too obvious as to his mood this morning. He couldn't deny it now, but he couldn't tell Ron everything, so he just shrugged instead.
"What's the occasion?" Harry knew he'd have to say something if Ron was going to let him get to class.
"Well, you'll have to come down and see. But I need to tell you, I'll have to meet you at class this morning."
Harry watched as Ron thought about this. He expected Ron's next words to be something like, ‘What do you mean?' but was pleasantly surprised when he said, "You're walking someone to class… and it's a girl! Isn't it, Harry?"
Harry could only smile and nod.
Ron's face suddenly turned serious. "It's Ginny!"
Harry again could only smile and nod.
Harry watched as Ron worked out some things in his mind. "I don't know about this, mate. It feels kinda weird having my best friend walking my sister to class, you know? I've always watched out for Ginny, but if there was anyone around here that I'd want her to hook up with it's you for sure, mate."
Harry exhaled. "That means a lot to me Ron. But don't get ahead of yourself. I'm not even sure she'll let me."
Ron smiled at that. "I don't think you have much to worry about, mate. Well, I'll leave you to it then. I'll grab Hermione and get her out of the way. She'll be all over you two in a wink if she suspects anything."
Ron gave Harry a wave as he left the dorm room. Harry gave him a few seconds head start, then headed for the common room.
Harry stopped at the archway to the common room and peaked around the corner. He spotted Ginny instantly. She was talking to two of her friends, obviously trying to get them to leave. The minute he realized that his blood went cold, and he was suddenly very nervous. It was true. This was really going to happen. He was really going to do this. Oh Merlin help him…
Finally, Ginny was by herself on the other side of the common room. Her friends had just left through the portrait hole. Harry stepped into the common room just as Ginny looked over towards him. As their eyes met, he noticed Ginny's eyes get big and her cheeks go red. As Harry walked over to her, she smiled and kept eye contact. After what seemed like ages, he was next to her. They looked at each other for a second before Harry remembered his lines.
"Good morning Ginny. How are you today?"
Ginny stiffened a little. "I'm great, Harry. On your way to class?" Her voice was a little shaky.
"As a matter of fact, I am," Harry recited, trying to contain his excitement. "If you're headed my way, may I walk you to class?"
He could tell Ginny was getting excited, too. "I'd like that Harry," Ginny finished.
They stood there, smiling and blushing at each other for several seconds. Harry broke the silence, "Uh, well, we'd better go. We don't want to be late." With that, he held out his arm towards the door, motioning Ginny politely. She nodded quickly and started off, Harry right behind her.
As they walked together, Harry noticed the other students giving them curious glances. Harry knew there would be rumors floating around after it got out he had walked Ginny to class. That was fine. Let them talk. He knew now that he and Ginny were together, though they were going to take things a step at a time. He didn't care what anyone else thought. All the way to class, they kept glancing at each other, blushing all the way, smiles fixed on their faces.
All too soon they were at Ginny's classroom. Harry didn't know what he was going to say. He glanced into the classroom and saw Ginny's friends sitting near the door. One of them recognized him and saw Ginny with him. She turned to the other friends, who started chatting excitedly. Well, there it is, Harry thought. The secret would be all over the school by lunch. Lunch!
"Would you like to sit with me at lunch, Gin?" Harry asked
"Sure, Harry, if you don't mind my silly giggling friends," She said, playfully.
"Not at all, Ginny. I'll see you then."
Harry gave her a little wave, but before he could step away, Ginny gave him a quick peck on the cheek before walking into the classroom. As she did, Harry heard a loud set of gasps from inside the room, followed by giggling. Harry said nothing, but turned and proceeded towards his own class.
Inside his own classroom Harry sat down next to Ron, who was sitting next to Hermione. He didn't have to look at them to know Ron had told Hermione everything.
"So, how did it go, Harry?" Hermione asked.
"Just fine. She gave me a kiss on the cheek outside her class, so I figure it'll be all over the school by lunch. I hope you two don't mind if Ginny and her flock of giggles join us for lunch."
Ron winced. "I hate giggling."
Harry chucked. "Well, then, you can sit on the other side of Hermione or me away from them, alright?"
"Ok then." Ron answered. "I've been meaning to have a chat with Ginny anyway."
"Oh, Ron, give it a rest. It's Harry, after all." Hermione said.
"I know, Hermione, I just want her to know that it's ok by me, that's all."
Hermione looked honestly surprised. "Why, Ronald Weasley, that's very sweet of you." To Harry's surprise, Hermione leaned over and gave Ron a quick peck on his cheek, right there in front of everyone. No sooner as it had happened, Hermione was back to looking at her book as if the kiss was just a normal thing to do. Ron sat there stunned for a few moments before returning his attention to his own book. Harry resisted the urge to say something, and the three of them said nothing more until class had begun.