The sun was shining brightly on the emerald green lawn, and a fluffy cloud lazily made its way across the sky. Butterflies fluttered from flower to delicate flower, and the giant squid idly made ripples in the lake’s smooth surface. It was, Ginny thought, the perfect day.
Or, almost perfect. While creatures of all shapes and sizes were enjoying the gentle sunlight and refreshing breeze, Ginny was stuck in the dark, stuffy library of Hogwarts, studying for the Ordinary Wizarding Level exams and gazing longingly out the window.
What made it all worse was Harry James Potter. Ginny sighed. She had, after all, spent very little time with him, considering that she was his girlfriend. She longed to be nestled in Harry’s arms out on the lawn, sitting in his lap the way they had so cosily just last night by the Gryffindor fire.
But it was simply not to be. Revising for exams was stealing all Ginny’s time, time that should be spent with Harry. She knew that she really ought to concentrate on the heavy Charms book in her lap, but her mind kept wandering back to the feeling of Harry’s strong arms wrapped around her waist, his lips pressed against hers, his….
Ginny shook her head. Concentrate, Ginevra! she told herself. Charms! The incantation Calloport will seal a door… or was it Calliportus?
She sighed again. It was no good. She couldn’t concentrate, not when she kept imagining the feel of Harry’s beautiful hands running through her hair over and over, feeling its silky smoothness…
About to abandon her books, she heard someone come up behind her. Harry? Ginny thought hopefully. She turned around to see Hermione standing behind her. Thank Merlin she hadn’t stopped studying yet!
Hermione grinned when she saw Ginny’s look. “About to stop cramming?”
Ginny gave an embarrassed smile. “Well, you know, I was just too… distracted.”
The older girl’s smile broadened. “Distracted by a certain someone with messy black hair and emerald green eyes?” She chuckled at Ginny’s blush. “Why am I not surprised?”
Ginny decided that it was time to have some fun. “I know you’re not taking OWLs this year, but why aren’t you revising for your exams? I never thought that Hermione Granger would be found wandering around Hogwarts just two weeks before exam time!”
She was rewarded when Hermione reddened as well. “Erm, well, I guess I just couldn’t concentrate either.”
Ginny raised one eyebrow, a skill she had learned from Fred and George. “Are we thinking of the same Hermione? Because there’s only one thing that I know of that can make someone as dedicated as you stop studying…”
Hermione’s blush deepened.
Ginny gave a wicked grin and continued mercilessly. “And that one thing is a huge crush on a certain red-haired Weasley boy whose name starts with an R and ends with an N and has an O in the middle.”
Hermione gave a small squawk. “What are you talking about?! I so do not have a crush on…” She relented and sighed. “I thought I was hiding it so well!”
Ginny grinned again. “Hermione, your advice was the only thing that kept me from going insane when Harry ignored me, and look where I am now.” She too sighed. “Okay, right now I’m stuck in a stuffy library, revising, but I could be with Harry! And you could be with Ron.”
Hermione gave her a sad look. “Ginny, we’re friends. Nothing less, but nothing more. He’ll never see me… that way, I know it.”
Ginny smiled at her friend. “Don’t be so sure about that. He’ll come around. He may be my thickest brother, but he’s also one of the sweetest.”
Hermione smiled back. “Thanks, Ginny. Now, how about we pack up those books and find that messy-haired, green-eyed boy? Or would you rather that I not come with you?” Hermione grinned wickedly.
“That’s a wonderful idea! In fact, it’s what I’ve been wanting to do all afternoon. And perhaps you’d better not come, Hermione. It might be better for you to go search for that red-haired, blue-eyed boy!”
The two girls giggled and headed out of the library.
The two boys in question were lounging in the shade of a tall elm on the shore of the lake, watching the giant squid poke its tentacle up from the sparkling waters. When Hermione had left the stifling common room, Harry and Ron had declared a study break.
But even laying in the lush grass with a fresh breeze wafting over them, neither Harry nor Ron had perfect satisfaction. Harry was dreaming of Ginny’s gorgeous red hair running silkily through his hands, bringing a whiff of flowers to his nostrils. Ron in turn was thinking of how cute Hermione looked when she was angry at him, as she so often was.
Harry sat up. “Alright. I can’t stand it any longer, I’m going to find Ginny.”
Ron just sighed in response. He seemed to have spaced out. Harry grinned, guessing what, or rather who, his friend was thinking of.
Harry set off at a brisk walk, nearly a run, through the corridors of Hogwarts. He was guessing that he’d find Ginny cramming in the library. He hated to interrupt her, but having finally gotten Ginny, Harry hated to be separated from her.
Turning a corner, Harry bumped into someone, knocking them over.
He hurriedly stood up and offered his hand to help the person up. “I’m so sorry, I didn’t see… Ginny!”
The redhead grinned up at him from the ground. “Mr. Potter! Why were you running in the corridors?” she teased.
He grinned down at Ginny and pulled her up. “Actually, I was looking for you, revision or no.”
She grinned back. “There really was no need… I was looking for you too!” She drew in close for a kiss, but was interrupted by an embarrassed cough on her left.
Harry looked up. He hadn’t even noticed that Hermione was standing there. He felt his face flush. “Erm… hi, Hermione. I didn’t notice you.”
She gave him a wicked grin. “Don’t worry, I’ll just let you two go find a broom cupboard. See you in a few… hours!” She turned and walked down the hall. Harry stared openly. He had never seen Hermione act like that, not ever.
He turned to find Ginny giggling. “What’s so funny?” he asked.
“Nothing, nothing. She’d murder me if I told you,” she replied.
He sighed. “It’s about Ron, isn’t it? Anyone with eyes can see that there’s something going on between Ron and Hermione - except them, apparently.”
She nodded ruefully. “If only they would just realise how much they want each other! Then maybe they’d stop bickering.”
Harry nodded in agreement. “But let’s not worry about that now. Why don’t we take Hermione’s advice and find a broom cupboard?” He offered his arm to Ginny.
She took it, giggling. “Smashing idea, Mr. Potter, simply smashing.”
Luna Lovegood was wandering through the halls, searching for the elusive Four-Toed Graplehonk. It was said to reside in stone building, and Hogwarts certainly qualified. She wasn’t too fussed about exams – she planned to help her father as editor for the Quibbler when she grew up, and, as long as she passed, exam scores hardly mattered for that. And though few suspected it, Luna had quite a clever mind behind those spacey grey eyes.
But there was something else she was looking for today, or rather someone, by the name of Neville Longbottom.
Luna wasn’t quite sure when she’d realised that the Graplehonk no longer mattered quite as much as a slightly silly, adorable boy, but it was true. And she had chosen this perfect day to approach him.
Like any other teenage girl, Luna had her doubts about going to the boy of her dreams. But these mattered less to her. If she messed it up, oh well – Neville would come round eventually. Ginny had convinced her of that. And, knowing Neville, Luna was sure that the shy boy would never come around to ask her out on his own.
So there was more purpose than usual in Luna’s stride as she headed out to the Hogwarts grounds, searching for Neville.
Neville had joined Ron in the shade beneath the elm tree outside. He had not disturbed his friend’s fantasies – in fact, he had fantasies of his own to dream of, all involving misty grey eyes, wavy blonde hair, and radishes.
Ever since the end of last year, Neville had harbored a crush on Luna Lovegood. Her creative ideas intrigued him, and he admired her determination to stand up for what she believed. She also wore radish earrings – how could he not like a girl so attached to vegetation?
But at the same time, Neville realised that he would probably never do anything about his crush. For the millionth time, he cursed his shyness. He closed his eyes, imagining Luna hurrying across the lawn to declare her undying love fore him.
Neville opened his eyes, and there she was. He blinked several times to make sure that the vision was real. Yes, it was! Luna was striding across the grounds straight towards him!
Neville stood up, and tried to pluck the grass out of his hair. He felt very self-conscious.
Luna walked up to him and grabbed his hand, ignoring Ron, who was still sprawled across the grass.
“Neville, come with me.”
He gulped nervously. Their touching fingers were sending crazy sensations all over his body. He grinned at her, and followed.
Ron opened his eyes lazily just in time to see Neville being happily dragged off by Luna. He grinned to himself. For all that he wasn’t too perceptive when it came to relationships, he had seen that coming for a long time.
Relationships. That brought his thoughts back to Hermione.
Ron sighed. He knew it was a long-lost cause, but he couldn’t help imagining himself with Hermione. If only…
Ron gazed dreamily over the lawn, then stood up idly. He decided that he wanted to see Hermione – now. He strolled back inside, looking for his… friend.
Hermione was mildly shocked at herself. She was a prefect! She was not to tell students to get a broom cupboard. Although there was one person she wouldn’t mind taking to a…
Stop it! she told herself firmly. Ron is your friend! He’ll never see you as more than, well, a textbook!
Hermione bit her lip to stop tears from rushing down her face.
Ron heard a stifled sniffling coming from around the corner. He sighed. He had just wanted to find Hermione, but he was a prefect…
Deciding that he should probably take his duties seriously, he turned into the hall to find none other than Hermione, leaning against the wall and trying desperately to muffle her sobs. Her eyes grew wide with shock when she saw him.
“Ron! I – erm, what are you doing here?”
“I was, well, looking for you, if you must know.”
He didn’t notice how her eyes perked up at his works, then fell again.
“I suppose you had a question about the Charms exam?” she asked, her voice bitter.
Ron nearly gasped in shock. “Hermione! Do you think that that’s all we value you for? Your cleverness? You’re a wonderful… friend, Hermione, I hope you realise that.”
She smiled that beautiful smile and wiped away her tears. “Thank you, Ron, you have no idea how much that means to me.”
Ron cheered inside. He had managed to do something considerate for once! “But why were you crying in the first place?”
She gave a sad smile. “Oh, nothing. It was silly.”
He frowned. “There’s something you aren’t telling me.”
She almost laughed. “No, of course not! You’re much more perceptive than you used to be.” And I’m so glad that you’ve grown up, she added silently to herself.
“Erm, thanks, I guess.” She had complimented him! She was still giving him that gorgeous smile. Ron wanted nothing more to sweep her off of her feet and spirit her away to the nearest broom cupboard. The thought of her reaction kept him standing a good metre away.
Hermione was looking at him rather oddly. He had come looking for her. Could that mean something? She decided to give it a shot. Perhaps this beautiful day was the right time to get together with Ron. Although she tried not to rush into things, Hermione was overcome by the impulse to snog Ron senseless. Covering the distance between them in a few short strides, she grabbed his hand.
“Hermione, what are we doing?”
She gave him a nervous grin. “You’ll see.”
He gulped audibly, and grinned. Hermione smiled in response. Yes! I think he likes this! she thought to herself.
Hermione headed back the way she had come. She and Ginny had passed a cupboard of cleaning supplies on their way from the library – surely there was enough room in there for her and Ron and the brooms?
When she stopped in front of the cupboard, she could feel Ron’s pulse quicken. Does that mean he’s excited? Merlin, I hope so! Hermione found herself wishing she had paid more attention to Lavender and Parvati’s late night talks.
She took a deep breath and put her hand the door handle.
Ginny pressed in closer to Harry, not minding that there was enough room in the crowded broom cupboard for them to stand further apart. His emerald green eyes connected with hers, and Ginny gazed longingly into their depths. Suddenly Harry could stand it no longer – he crushed his lips against hers, and they kissed.
Ginny let out a soft moan of pleasure when the broke apart. “Harry…”
She couldn’t find words, and Harry knew it. He expressed his feelings in other ways.
Suddenly, the door handle twitched. Neither one noticed until the door was opened wide and sunlight filtered into the exposed space. Harry heard a small gasp, and they broke apart.
Beside him, Ginny too gasped in shock. “Hermione! What are you… Ron!”
Harry felt a blush creep up his cheeks, but before he could say anything, the door slammed shut again.
Ginny took a deep breath. “That was certainly…”
“Odd. Mortifying. Annoying…”
“Now, where were we again?”
Ginny grinned at him. “I think I have a pretty good idea.”
Hermione flushed scarlet. She didn’t have to look at Ron to know that the same had happened to him. “Ron, I…”
“You wanted to show me, didn’t you? You wanted to tattle on your friends, to make sure that they had my permission! Wasn’t it you who was lobbying me to go easy on them?” Ron was nearly shouting.
Hermione gasped. “No! That’s not it at all! I…” But she couldn’t tell him, show him, not now. She couldn’t help resenting Harry and Ginny, even though none of this mess was their fault. “I made a mistake. I would never do that to them – see how happy they are together?”
Ron gave her a cold glare. “Actually, I would have rather not have seen. See you later, Hermione.” He stalked away.
And for the second time that day, Hermione burst into tears over a red-headed boy.
The door’s handle began to twitch again. Harry heard the sound, and something registered in his brain.
He pulled away from Ginny, indicating the door handle when he caught her reproachful look. They stayed quite, listening.
Hermione’s voice sounded from a little ways away. It sounded as though she had been crying. “I wouldn’t go in there if I was you.”
Luna’s voice came next, not quite as dreamy as usual. “Why not?”
“Oh. Come on, Neville, let’s find another one!” Ginny could almost hear the wicked grin in her friend’s voice.”
Harry smiled at her. “Luna and Neville?” he mouthed.
She grinned in reply, and whispered back, “Yep! I’m so happy for them – I’d been hoping that they’d get together for a long time now.”
“Speaking of together…”
Ginny sighed in pleasure.
Neville nearly fainted when he realized what Luna wanted. A broom cupboard! It was a dream come true.
She led him along several hallways. After Hermione warned them away from one, he wondered who was inside. It could have been Harry and Ginny. Neville grinned to himself. Those two were rarely seen apart after the Quidditch game. If not, then it was probably Ron and someone – Hermione sounded like she had been crying, and Ron's girlfriend would certainly send Hermione into tears.
Neville sighed. Would those two ever realise that they were destined for each other? He hoped so. But right now there were more interesting things to worry about.
Luna expertly led him to the next closet. She leaned against the door, listening to make sure that it was empty. Satisfied, she pulled him inside.
"Neville, I… I've been trying to tell this for a while. I think I have an enormous crush on you, and I'm pretty sure you feel the same about me."
She felt him sag with relief. Although she couldn't make out his grin in the dim light of the cupboard, she heard it in his voice. "That's one of the things I love about you – you're never afraid to speak up. I would have never gotten the courage to ask you out, but since you're here, with me, in a broom cupboard…"
He leaned in and kissed her, chastely. When the broke apart, Luna gave a very un-Luna-ish giggle, then a pleasurable sigh. "You don't know how long I've wanted this for."
"Oh, I think I have a pretty good idea."
Hermione walked sadly down the hall. How had things gotten so badly messed up? She had been ready to snog Ron, she was sure he wouldn’t have minded. She smiled gloomily. At least everyone else was happy. Ginny, Harry, Luna, Neville…
She trudged back up to the common room. There was nothing to do but revise for the exams. For the first time, Hermione didn’t find the idea appealing.
She stopped by several broom cupboards on the way, hearing the unmistakable sounds of delight inside. If only…
When she came to an empty one, she imagined how things should have gone. Leading Ron by the hand, she would pull him in, and take a deep breath. She had decided that words, for once, wouldn’t do any good – she had intend to start by snogging.
She heard footsteps in the hall behind her, and Filch’s low murmur. She hurried on. While she had nothing to fear from the caretaker, she had no wish to meet up with him either.
She paused when she heard Flich’s drone punctuated by a high giggle. She turned around, and there was Madame Pince, snuggled up at the caretaker’s arm!
Hermione had to stifle a giggle of her own. She couldn’t help but duck behind a statue to watch how this one played out.
She could just make out Filch’s muttered words. “Ah, here we go, my sweet. We’ve found an empty one!”
Hermione had to stop herself from laughing out loud Filch intended to snog the fierce librarian in the broom cupboard!
Maybe there were worse things than being single. No, Madame Pince and Filch were clearly in love – nothing wrong with that.
Hermione sighed wistfully. Maybe someday she and Ron would get together. She could do nothing but hope.
Up in his office, Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore smiled. Today was quite the day for romance. He always liked to keep up-to-date with the goings-on of the school. With such an efficient gossip network, it wasn’t that hard.
There was nothing wrong with a little harmless snogging. Why, Albus himself had wanted to snog in a broom cupboard when he was younger. The thought made him chuckle.
He smiled to himself when he thought of Miss Granger and Mr. Weasley. There was no girl more deserving of a good snog, but unfortunately, that was not to be.
He generally discouraged romances amongst the members of his staff, but, on this occasion, he was rather hoping that some love between his stern librarian and sterner caretaker would soften both up.
And it was good to see young Lovegood living up to her name – Luna had been friendless for too long. He owed a great deal of that change to Ginny Weasley.
Ginny Weasley. It appeared that Fate had chosen her to receive the powerful love that resided within Harry. He could think of no one better suited to the task. Young Ginevra would have quite a part to play in the upcoming war.
Dumbledore was just sorry that he wouldn’t be around to see it.