Disclaimer: Everything here that is recognisable is, unfortunately, not my own work but that of the very talented JK Rowling.
Harry kicked off from the ground, the wind blasting past his face, beating in his eardrums. It achieved the exact effect he hoped it’d have; drove every thought out of his mind. He gripped onto the handle tighter and the effect on the broom resulted in his figure becoming nothing more than a streak of colour.
As he raced round he got into the familiar rhythm and the effect he’d been hoping for began to wane. Before he knew it his mind had slipped into the argument that had driven him out here in the first place.
She’s Ron’s sister.
Ron’s your friend?!?!
He’d understand, if I were his friend.
Dean was his friend.
Harry shook his head and slowed the broom down. It was no use; nothing could drive the problem he had landed himself in from his head. However, he found that the cold air and calming scenery of the Quidditch Pitch made it easier to think. He started showing off to no one, looping and speeding and making impressive dives toward the ground.
What am I going to do?
Once again, Harry found he had no answer. How had this happened in the first place? He had always thought of Ginny as Ron’s sister. When did that change? He supposed it must have been when Dean and Ginny were kissing and the monster in his chest growled but then when he thought about it, he realised he was wrong.
It’d been before that.
After a summer with her constantly at their sides, he’d seen Ginny for who she was. Not Ginny Weasley; his best mate’s sister, but Ginny; the funny, fiery and beautiful teenager. He shook his head again; those kinds of thoughts were not going to help matters. He remembered feeling annoyed when she said she couldn’t sit with him on the train because she had to sit next to Dean.
His broom came to a stop as he was hit with an epiphany. Had the inkling always been there? His desire to have her alive and well after the awful situation with the Chamber of Secrets was certainly an example. Was that just because she was a Weasley or because she was Ginny?
Surely not; he didn’t even know her back then.
For the first time in his life, Harry felt a sudden wave of vertigo. Overcome with this revelation, he decided that it was probably best to call it a day. He started to slow down so he could gently dismount on the ground, when a figure with bright red hair caught his eye on the field.
His heart stopped suddenly before picking up speed as it had never done before. He hung in mid air unable to decide what to do when she suddenly zoomed up to his side.
“Hey, Harry, I didn’t know you’d be out here.” He noticed the way her mouth pulled slightly more on one side when she smiled and he smiled back at her.
“Well, you know, schoolwork’s getting a little overbearing.” He stared off into the Saturday sun with a smile on his face.
“I know what you mean.” She nodded, “OWL revision is… exactly how you remembered it most likely.”
Harry laughed. “You’ll hate NEWTS.”
She laughed before staring at the sky and fields around them. When she turned to him, her face was lit in a bright grin, “Care to fly with me?”
His heart seemed to jump into this throat, but Harry managed to say, “Of course, Miss Weasley.” His heartbeat raced as he heard her tinkling laugh at the end.
“Well then, Potter, show me what you’re made of.” She grinned and bent low, ready to speed off.
“Well, I’ll admit you’re better at turning corners and diving but I think I’m that little bit faster.” she admitted, “I think you’re going a little soft in your old age.”
They were walking back toward the castle before the sun could set, their brooms slung over their shoulders casually. Harry ached to grab hold of her small hand, swinging slightly at her side as she walked but he kept his firmly in his jean pocket and the monster in his chest snarled angrily at him.
“I’ll have you know, there’s nothing soft about me in my old age. I’ve only got a year on you — not even that!” He punched her shoulder — that was good, that was casual.
“Whatever gets you through the night, Harry.” She laughed and started to dance up the path.
Harry watched her as she danced, laughing and twirling. He liked the way that when the sun hit her hair, it brought out the gold and darker shades of red in it. Every day, he was learning something new about her; and it made him fall even deeper.
She was suddenly there; right in his face. She pulled his hand from his pocket and grasped it in her own. He barely had two moments to marvel at how well it seemed to fit inside his own when he had to run after her as she sprinted towards the castle, towing him along behind her.
Her hand was so warm in his, it felt like a completely normal thing. Harry, for once, felt normal. He was merely a boy struggling to understand his feelings for the beautiful redhead dancing near him.
Harry turned around and the monster in his chest growled as he recognised the voice. It was Dean, and everything that had made Harry feel as though he were in a different world, suddenly made him crash back to Earth. He was most likely going to die before his twentieth birthday and Ginny had a boyfriend.
“Hey, Dean,” Harry said, his mood suddenly deflating, “I better be going to the dormitory, I’ll see you both later.”
Dean nodded, his eyes wary and cautious. Ginny looked…. not quite sad but not happy at the prospect either. She let go of his hand and punched him on the shoulder, “Bye, Harry.”
As he started to walk up the stairs he paused when he could hear raised voices.
“I don’t understand your relationship with him.”
“Harry?” she laughed. “Don’t worry, Harry’s merely my friend and that’s all he’ll be. I doubt he sees me as anything other than ‘Ron’s Little Sister’. You have nothing to worry about.”
“Sorry… it’s just that he’s Harry Potter, you know? It’s hard to live in his shadow.”
Harry shut his eyes and struggled for some control before his jaw set and he sprinted up the staircase to the Gryffindor common room.
They came back to the common room after the long walk around the lake. Ginny’s hand had not left Harry’s, something which made him irrationally overjoyed. They came up to the Fat Lady whose face had a smug and expectant look on it that made Harry quite worried.
“Quid Agis,” Ginny said, ignoring the Fat Lady’s expression.
She swung open and they dropped hands, it didn’t escape either of them that Ron would be in the common room. Even though Ron had seemed to approve, Harry was beginning to question if that jerk of the head really meant what he thought it had. It wouldn’t be the first time that when everything seemed to be going well, it was ruined and destroyed.
She climbed through alone since Harry knew her dislike of being helped through the portrait hole and would not jeopardise everything by suggesting she was incapable of walking. He followed after and it swung shut behind him.
The party was still in full swing — as they had expected it to be. They squeezed their way through the swarm of people who were too preoccupied to notice them to make their way to the sofa and chairs where they could see the back of a tall, red headed person and a bushy haired girl next to him.
Ginny, with all the confidence in the world, marched over and threw herself down on a chair. Hermione was smiling at her in a way that made Harry uncomfortable. Ron looked around and spotted him as Harry sat down in a nearby chair.
Hermione gestured to Ginny and they both stood up and with the subtlety of a crash landing meteor and gave the boys some privacy. Ron cocked his head to the side as if to say, ‘I can’t talk to you all the way over there’.
Harry, his heart pounding and his hands clammy, sat next to his best friend. Ron turned to him and said, quickly and uncomfortably, “I know you like her, Harry; I’m not blind — despite what people think. I know you would be good for her; you’re the only one I would ever think was good enough for my sister. I’d rather it was you than anyone else, so please take care of her.”
Harry nodded, a lump in his throat. “Thank you, Ron, I promise I will.”
They both sat there for a while, not knowing what to do before they awkwardly hugged; it was quick and accompanied by a pat on the back before they grinned at one another. Harry knew that for once, it really was okay. For now, it would be fine; life would go the way he wanted.
And she may be Ron’s sister but she was so much more than that.