One frosty, winter evening, a pretty, red-haired, sixth-year girl slipped down from her dorm room in Gryffindor Tower to sit in front of a crackling fire.
It was cold outside, thus the reason she sought the flames, and the snow was continuing to drift to the ground outside the large windows. She sighed at the sight, and scampered to the couch in front of the fire, only to stumble to a stop beside it.
During her fourth year, she had told her brother that she had gotten over her long-time crush, and it was a lie that she had not yet atoned for. She had been only trying to find some happiness in school, to forget about war and death, and had sought solace in the arms of replacement boys like Michael and Ernie. She'd found that these relationships would spark her interest for a few weeks, and then fizzle and flatten like an old Pepper-up potion. She would feel bad about starting it in the first place, and would draw the farce out for at least one more week, finally making them break up with her.
She was glad that Cho was still with Michael, that they could cuddle in their common room together on these cold winter nights. She was ecstatic that Ernie and Hannah had ended up together; she had even asked Harry to pair them up in the D.A. when she didn't want Ernie to feel uncomfortable around her in the club.
He lay sleeping, peacefully for once. She too had heard his muffled yelps and screams at the Burrow and at Grimmauld Place. And she had been told by her brother the extent of his nightmares were far worse than what she could hear down the hall.
He murmured, and repositioned himself on the couch, the book on his chest thumping quietly to the floor, his glasses going askew on his face. She smiled at him adoringly, knowing that she had to be prepared to leave quickly, to save them both the embarrassment of knowing she had watched him sleep. She tiptoed to the chair next to the couch, and curled up, watching him in the firelight, and accidentally fell asleep with a slight grin on her face.
The fire in the common room had died down since he came down with his new Defense book. His face was smushed up against the back of the couch, his glasses positioned on the side of his head. He sat up, rubbed his eyes, and turned around to face the dying fire.
He put his glasses on properly, and as he went to retrieve his book a small sound caught his attention. His head snapped up, and he froze at the sight of the small witch. She was curled up in the chair, like a little girl, though recently he had begun to notice how much of a little girl she was not. Her hair was fanned out over the arm of the big chair, and although she was still, the firelight made her locks seem to dance. The reds and golds came alive in this light, as he'd noticed several weeks ago when he had unsuccessfully tried to finish his Transfiguration essay next to her. He had ended up watching her laugh, her hair swishing her shoulders every time she moved.
He had known her for years as Ron's little sister, as one of Hermione's best friends. She had even become one of his closest friends in the past year, sharing homework and meal times now that Ron and Hermione had "discovered" one another. He had no idea why he had begun to feel this way about her, why when she made those soft little sighing noises it brought fire to the pit of his stomach. Why, he wanted to snog her so badly, sometimes it hurt.
She turned over, murmuring before her face was toward the back of the chair, and made him grin wolfishly.
She had said his name. With an "oh" in front of it.
Not the other gits names that she had seemed to take a liking to over the past two years.
She said his name once more, this time with feeling. And it still had the "oh" in front of it.
He grinned wider. All this time, she had been faking "being over him". She still liked him. Oh thank Merlin, he thought, as he set the book down on the sofa, and stepped toward her. He kneeled down and gently tapped her on the shoulder.
"Ginny." he whispered.
"Hmmm?" she mumbled, turning over once again.
He couldn't speak; he was so lost in her beauty. He tried to say her name again, but only managed a croak. He shook his head, and knew what he had to do, what he was meant to do. What he needed to do so desperately.
He leaned over, and kissed her, feeling her soft breath on his lips before they gently touched hers. He pressed down lightly, his head already spinning at the fireworks the touch sparked in his brain.
She woke up to the kiss, and opening her eyes, she saw what she instinctively knew.
-Harry Potter was kissing her.
She sighed and kissed him back, winding her arms around his neck.
They broke apart, the common room fire now only sparking occasionally. They stared at each other, her hand drifting up to her mouth, wondering if she was still dreaming. He brought her to the floor with him, and she snuggled up under his arm, and sat with him facing the hearth. He kissed the top of her head and she wrapped her arms tighter around him. And before long, they both were asleep in front of the glowing embers.
Author Notes: Thanks to Michele - who was patient and kind and fixed my many grammatical errors!