Harry looked down at the common room from the stairway to the boys’ dormitories. He saw Dean with his sketchpad on the couch, and Seamus and Lavender sitting next to him, kissing. He saw Ron playing a heated game of chess with Hermione, who seemed to be winning. Harry smiled, knowing exactly what Ron was up to, and thought, "Finally!" Harry’s eyes searched the room for his remaining dorm mate, before remembering that Neville was in the greenhouses. His eyes paused on a group of giggling fifth year girls, hoping to spot one in particular, but she was not among them.
Harry emptied his mind and let his eyes blur for a moment, before picking up on a flash of red from the corner. He focused on it, and sure enough, there she was. He watched her for awhile, before realizing, to his dismay, she was sitting at her table in the corner with Colin, and they were much too cosy to be studying. His arm was around the back of her chair, and she was leaning over towards him, reading something from a book that was in front of him. Harry felt a familiar lump grow in the back of his throat, and shoved it forcefully down until it landed in the pit of his stomach.
Harry sighed, turned toward his dormitory and entered the room quietly, though no one was there. He looked briefly at Ron’s bed, and on his night stand he saw the familiar Weasley family photo. It had been taken when they were in Egypt visiting Bill before Harry and Ron’s third year. Ginny, Harry noticed, looked so happy.
She still did, if he was to be honest with himself. She was happy with Colin. Harry had a sudden, abstract thought of them, looking like they were still in their first year, wearing identical black berets with "I Love Harry Potter" buttons pinned to them. It looked like they had started a fan club after all, only it had nothing to do with him. "Aw, looks like great and famous Potter lost his chance with the little weasel," sneered a voice in his head sounding suspiciously like Draco Malfoy.
Harry tore his gaze away from the picture and flopped back on his bed. He closed his eyes, and tried to close his mind to all thoughts of Ginny. Unfortunately, just like all other times he’d tried this, it did not work. Instead, his mind wandered to his favourite daydream.
They were at the Burrow, Harry’s real home away from Hogwarts. Ginny was flying around on Ron’s old Cleansweep, weaving in and out of the trees in the orchard. Harry was on his Firebolt, trying hard not to yell with joy as the excitement of flying with Ginny rushed through him. She looked back at him impishly and laughed. Ginny steered back towards the clearing that the Weasleys used for Quidditch and upon arrival promptly threw herself into a steep dive. Harry, thinking she was doing a Wronski Feint, sat back on his broom and watched, curious at how close she would get before she pulled up. What happened next happened so fast, it was a blur even in Harry’s reverie. Ginny didn’t pull up soon enough, and she flipped a couple of times before she landed on the grass with a thunk. Harry, heart in his throat, raced to her side. He checked her pulse like he’d seen doctors do on Muggle television shows, and found it. She was alive. His insides buzzed at the thought, but he could not decide what to do next. Wait for her to wake? Call for help? Carry her back himself? She didn’t look that heavy, he reasoned, and he slid one arm behind her neck and one behind her knees, hoisting her up. ‘I can handle this,’ he reckoned. He picked her up, all heroic like, and began walking back for the house. He got four steps and felt Ginny stir in his arms. She groaned.
"Gin," he said, looking down at her open eyes. "What’s wrong?"
"I must have got a very bad bump…" Ginny’s voice trailed off.
"Why do you say that?"
"’Cause Harry," she replied smiling. "I’ve always dreamt of waking up in your arms." Harry knew that meant she’d never stopped loving him. His heart soared...
Harry’s daydream always ended there. He opened his eyes and sighed, knowing that he was completely contradicting reality. Ginny had had a schoolgirl crush on him, much like the meaningless one he’d had on Cho. Now she was all grown up, and he had missed his chance. He had actually noticed her, and his feelings for her, way back in his second year, as she was lying in the Chamber of Secrets, and he’d thought her to be dead. He’d recognized it, even at twelve, and vaguely wanted to maybe pursue something with her…but then the events of his third year got in the way. It was odd, he remembered, after that initial epiphany, he’d almost forgotten about her until last year, when Hermione had told him she was dating Michael Corner. Harry knew he was going to get all depressed, just like he always did when he thought about what an idiot he was for not telling her when he had the chance. Now she was happy. Happy without him. Harry’s heart sank again, and he looked at his watch. Half past six. Quidditch practice would begin soon. Thinking a bit of flying would take his mind off Ginny Harry grabbed his Firebolt out of his trunk and headed down to the pitch
After changing into his Quidditch uniform, Harry knew he only had five or so minutes to be alone. He mounted his broom, pushing all thoughts of both Ginny, and Sirius, out of his head and flew. He thought he felt something like magic coursing through his veins, and it was exhilarating. Grinning, he pushed the Firebolt into a dive, shot back up at the last moment, and swooped about the pitch. He didn’t even notice the rest of the team make their way out to the pitch. Ron, as captain, told everyone to leave Harry alone and that they would run drills.
"He just needs to…" Ron tried to explain.
"Practice manoeuvring for the snitch," Ginny finished simply. Ron nodded.
"Yeah, that’s it. Right then, this is what I want you to do…"
Harry did eventually notice the Gryffindor team running drills, but when he went down to join them, Ron waved him off. "Go have fun, we’re doing boring stuff anyway," he said. "Nothing to do with Seeking."
Harry shrugged and got back on his broom. He soared up towards the clouds and, remembering the Wronski Feint from his daydream, dove into a vertical drop. Harry lost himself in the sensations of the dive. Before he knew it, the ground was rushing up to meet him. He desperately pulled up on his broom handle, but was too late. The front edge hit the ground and Harry went head over heels, landing on the ground with a hollow thud. The edges of his vision began to cloud and he did not hear the scream of one special chaser before he lost consciousness.
Harry didn’t know if a minute or an hour had passed, but he didn’t care. He was having a lovely dream. It was of Ginny, kneeling over him, tears pooling in her eyes, saying his name, "Harry…Harry…" over and over again. He thought it was the most beautiful thing he’d ever heard, his name falling from the lips of the girl he so desperately wanted to be with. Gradually, Ginny sharpened, and though his eyes were still closed, he could see her behind his eyelids clear as anything. He opened them tentatively, not wishing to spoil her image.
To Harry’s surprise, Ginny was in front of his eyelids as well as behind them. He blinked at her, and she shrieked with joy, "Harry!” and smiled widely. Harry tried to sit up, but his head began to pound painfully. He settled for grinning up at her. She hugged him, and for the first time since waking, Harry realized her arms had been around him the whole time.
"Gin," he began tentatively.
"Oh, Harry! Are you okay? Here I am hugging you like an idiot and you probably need to go to the hospital wing…" She trailed off, but didn’t move her arms.
"Gin," he said again. She looked at him once more.
"Yeah?" He felt her arms move, as though she were unwrapping them.
"There’s no place I’d rather wake up than in your arms." Ginny’s eyes filled with tears anew. "Just promise me you won’t take me to Madam Pomfrey. If I’m in there one more time, she’ll name a bed after me." Ginny laughed, causing the tears that were so perilously close to falling to run over. "Don’t cry, Ginny. I know I’m not funny, but don’t ever let me make you cry." She slapped his chest playfully.
"Don’t be a prat, Harry Potter. You know very well that I’ve loved you since I can remember. Then you go and fall from a broom and you think I’m crying ‘cause you made a corny joke. If you don’t wise up soon, I might have to find another obsession.".
Harry quickly sobered. “Ginny,” he breathed. “There’s something you need to know.” He mustered all the strength he could to sit upright and as he turned to face Ginny squarely, her arms fell away. He momentarily felt bereft of their circling warmth. He steeled himself for rejection. "Ginny Weasley, don’t look so terrified. I’m not going to tell you I was once a blast-ended skrewt." She giggled. Harry thought it was the most wonderful thing he’d ever seen. He had an urgent desire to make her laugh as much as was humanly possible. "I was just going to confess a few feelings I’ve been having for you lately. Well, only if you call the past four years lately." Ginny’s expression was unreadable, so Harry pressed on before he lost his nerve. "I know you’re dating Colin and all, but I can’t hold it in any longer. Ginny, I think I’ve fallen in love with you." He waited for the fiery tirade that was sure to follow, the one about his playing with emotions and waltzing in expecting to be welcomed and you can just forget about that mister. But that lecture never came.
Cautiously, Harry looked at Ginny. Tears were now streaming freely down her face. He reached up and wiped them away with his thumb. Ginny sniffled, smiling embarrassedly. She looked down at her hands, trying to gather herself.
"I can’t believe I’m being such a baby," she mumbled. "I’m a big girl; I should be able to handle this…" Harry’s stomach did back flips and his heart pounded while he waited for her to say something. She looked up at him again, a hint of a smile playing on her face.
"Well," she began impatiently. "I’ve been waiting for this for 5 years. Would you kiss me already?" Ginny broke out into a grin. Harry did too, his first genuine smile in a long time. Slowly, carefully, he leaned in towards the amazing girl and kissed her gently, tentatively. They broke the kiss only when they remembered the whole Gryffindor Quidditch team was watching. Or rather, the team made themselves known by clapping and cheering. Ginny blushed that special blush Harry liked to think was reserved for him.
Exhausted, Harry began to lay back down. Ginny, however, would have none of that. She scooted herself next to him and told him to lean on her. She wrapped her arms around him and he let his head rest on her collarbone. Feeling slightly odd leaning on Ginny, Harry nonetheless felt more contented than he ever really had before.
A sudden thought, altogether unbidden, pushed to the front of Harry’s consciousness. "Gin," he asked tentatively, afraid of the answer. "What about Colin?" Ginny sobered as well, her blush fading.
"Harry," she began, looking down. Harry’s heart froze. "I was…I just…oh, Harry, don’t look like that. I’m not going to tell you I was once a blast-ended skrewt." Harry smiled faintly. "I was just pretending to date Colin. I guess I’m an excellent actress. I had everyone fooled. But I was just trying to get Ron off my back. I didn’t date anyone after Dean, and he was convinced there was something wrong with me, so I asked Colin to help me out in exchange for tutoring in charms, and he agreed…"
Harry had stopped listening when Ginny said the word "pretending." So Ginny was his, all his. Except, Harry realized, he’d forgotten to clear that with her first.
"Uh, Gin?" Harry hated to interrupt her, but knew he’d recover much quicker if he knew. She looked at him with big brown eyes, waiting for him to ask his question. Harry took a deep breath. Knowing she felt the same made it only slightly easier. "I uh, erm…I don’t exactly know how to ask this, but uh…will you, er, be mine?" Harry wished he could eat his words as soon as they’d left his lips. The great and powerful Harry Potter, he thought, stomach twisting in embarrassment, sitting on the Quidditch pitch, being as sappy as a Valentine’s Day card in front of the whole Gryffindor team. Ginny laughed out loud.
"You’re so cute, Harry. Of course, I’ve always been yours."
"And I’ve always been an idiot." Harry said, smiling.
Ginny grinned back. "Yeah, that’s true, but it’s getting better. Maybe one day you’ll be cured."