Ginny pulled her hair up, twisting it into a bun then letting it fall back down against her neck. The mirror reflected a frustrated, freckled face, and fire engine red hair that fell to the middle of the slim girl's back. She grabbed a ribbon, and tied it around her head, leaving it for a second before she yanked it out and pulled her brush through her hair again, growling. She finally pulled off a band from the bar near the mirror, and pulled her locks through to form a simple ponytail. It wasn't practical to have your hair flying about your face when playing Quidditch anyway. Ginny then stepped back, looking critically in the mirror.
It was Friday, the day before their first game, but Ron had insisted on two practices, one before breakfast and one after dinner. He might be a mediocre player, but damn if the boy didn't know his strategies and new offensive plays. She was quietly proud of her brother's strength, and that Harry had nominated him for Captain.
Her hand dropped from adjusting her robes, and she sighed.
The unattainable Harry Potter.
Ginny had given up the idea of a romantic relationship with Harry in her third year, and had begun to date other boys. She mentally ticked off the list in her mind. Michael Corner, who couldn't see past the House Cup. Dean Thomas, whose letters had come twice over the summer, the second one breaking up with her. She still didn't understand that one, except for now Dean was dating Pavarti Patil. Ginny had started to date Bryce Howard, a seemingly-shy Hufflepuff, six months ago. She sat down on her bed to pull on her trainers, and reminded herself that he wasn't worth her tears or her anger. For six months she had dated that slime ball. Just because Bryce had decided dating one girl wasn't enough for him, and slept with a girl in his own house, it was no use to be upset. She had kicked him out of her life, giving herself license for ironic laughter: he certainly hadn't lived up to his house trait.
She was gloomy that she wouldn't get any rosettes for the coming game against Slytherin, however. Michael had sent her rosettes before she won the game against Ravenclaw. Bryce had even sent her a couple during the last part of her fifth year. And now, for the first game of the season, against Hufflepuff, she would have no red rosette to pin on her robes.
Ginny trooped down the stairs to the common room, meeting up with most of the rest of the sleepy team. They trudged toward the pitch together, yawning and dragging their feet. When they got in the changing rooms, they found the missing two members, Harry and Ron, huddled together on one of the benches, apparently discussing plays. They looked up at the sound of the rest of the team, and stopped the spell that had tiny pieces of paper flying around a makeshift paper Quidditch pitch. Harry looked up at her and smiled, making her heart flip over.
It was the normal response to him, even though she could now say that Harry was truly her friend. After the last two summers at the Burrow and at Grimwauld Place, they had a relationship of their own, not just the sidebar of mutual friends. Plus, she was the only other person he knew who also had a link with Voldemort, and that was its own sort of connection. They had really become friends over a lack of anyone else to talk to this past summer. Ron and Hermione had become "more than friends", thus leaving Harry with a lot more free time than usual. Ginny had learned more about Harry than ever before, and fallen in love with him, something that made her childhood crush feel like, well, child's play.
Ginny went to the cubby that held her Quidditch gear, opened the door and gasped. Inside, nestled on top of the knee and elbow pads, there was a small bouquet of roses, red and yellow. She looked around, but no one seemed to be awake, much less looking guilty. She noticed there was no card as she gently lifted the blooms from inside. There was an instant gasp from the female population of the team, all asking who had sent them and other questions that she paid no heed too. All that encompassed her mind was the fragrant aroma of the flowers.
"All right, you lot, settle down," Ron grumbled from the front of the room.
Ginny sat down, glancing around at the rest of the team. Harry sat down beside her, and nudged her shoulder. She nudged him back.
"Who gave you the flowers?" he whispered, as Ron began his Quiet-Down-here's-how-we're-going to-win-speech.
"I have no clue," she whispered back, catching a look from her older brother to shut up. She giggled at his ferocity, and Harry smothered a smile.
Ginny had time to run the flowers up to her dorm after practice, and only took a moment to sigh over them again. She ran down to breakfast, squeezing next to Hermione and across from Harry.
"Ron said you got some flowers this morning," Hermione said.
Ginny took some toast and bacon while avoiding the butter dish. "I did. Red and yellow roses."
"There wasn't a card."
Hermione made a strange ‘hmmm' noise, and glanced across the table, where Harry was making a great show of eating his toast.
Classes on Friday seemed to fly by, and soon Ginny was eating dinner, in almost the exact same configuration as breakfast. Again, Hermione turned to her and asked about the roses.
"Did you find out who sent the flowers?"
"No." Ginny looked at her curiously. "Why are you so interested in them?"
"No reason," Hermione sniffed, and put on the important look that she did so well. "Just wondering."
Ginny stared at her for a few moments, and then resumed eating.
As they marched onto the pitch that night, Harry appeared beside her.
"Hi," Ginny replied, hefting her broom over her shoulder. "I thought Friday nights were supposed to be for relaxation. That's what Ron always used to tell Hermione when she wanted him to study." She looked at Harry, who was laughing. "What happened to that Ron? Why does he have a nasty habit of transforming when it's Quidittich that he's talking about?"
Harry threw his arm around her. "Come on, Gin! What's better about a Friday night then flying around, playing a game that you're really good at?"
Ginny could barely contain the leapfrogs that began in her stomach the instant his arm made contact with her shoulder. But she was in shock over his last words.
"You think I play really well?"
His arm dropped and he moved a few steps away. "Yeah. You're bloody brilliant as a chaser."
Ginny didn't notice Harry watching her, and taking pleasure in the color that began to rise in her cheeks.
Saturday morning came a little early for Ginny, moaning as she rolled out of bed. Her day got better instantly when she saw her still-perky flowers, and remembered that today was a game day. She quickly dressed in the Gryffindor uniform, the maroon and gold colors oddly enough complimenting her complexion. She grabbed her broom and rushed down to breakfast, where most of the team was already eating. She took a seat across from Harry, smiled and greeted him, and then tucked in to the eggs and bacon.
As they were finishing up, the familiar sound of beating wings had them looking upward, and the menagerie of owls flew overhead. The normal paper owls soared toward Hermione, and one plain brown owl came to Ginny. He had a small envelope that had a rosette pinned to it. She took the envelope, and with questioning eyes, read the note.
"For Ginny. I hope you liked the roses I sent and that you'll wear this one for me. I'll be seeing you."
Her head popped up, and her cheeks bloomed with color. Who had sent her a rosette? Hermione grabbed the note and read it aloud to Ron and Harry as Ginny pinned the rosette on to her uniform.
Hermione leaned close. "Looks like you have an admirer."
Ginny only smiled back, her eyes dreamy.
Ginny was in a daze most of the way to the changing rooms, glancing at her rosette every couple of seconds. Ron grumbled past as she tripped, not seeing the rock on the ground.
"Gin, you can moon later over the rosette. Keep your mind on the Quaffle, and your eyes in front of you."
She made faces at his back as he steamed ahead, barely talking to the other teammates as he past them by, storming into the changing rooms.
"Was Wood this bad?" Ginny murmured to Harry as they sat down on the benches for their pep talk.
"Oh no. He was much worse."
Ginny and Harry struggled to smother their giggles again, though to no avail. They earned a searing look from Ron, which only made them laugh harder. They finally settled down, wiping the tears away from their cheeks, looking sober and not looking at one another, knowing that they would burst out laughing again.
"And the Quaffle passes to Creevy, back to Weasley, back to Creevey. Wow, they are just a blur of red and gold, aren't they? And back to Weasley and through the hoop! The score jumps to 140 to 140, a dead even tie. And Potter is soaring toward the Hufflepuff goals, with Blarney hot on his heels. They are both closing in, and what's this?...Weasley scores another goal on the unsuspecting Keeper and POTTER GRABS THE SNITCH! A 1-2 punch for the Gryffindor seeker Potter and Chaser Weasley. What a game! Gryffindor wins 200 to 140."
Ginny was flushed with exertion and pleasure. Getting that last goal was so easy, and they never saw it coming, another one of Ron's talented plays. She ran to the changing rooms with the rest of the team, screaming and jumping as if the earth was made of springs. Harry was being dogged by his normal fan base, and was the last to enter the room, tired and happy. Ginny turned to smile at him, and found him already smiling at her. She blushed, and turned back to her cubby, taking off the knee guards and elbow pads. Harry sidled up next to her, and began putting his things away as well.
"Great game, Harry!" Ron shouted, just as Harry had opened his mouth to speak to Ginny. Harry shrugged and clapped Ron on the shoulders.
"You too, mate!" Harry threw his arm around Ginny, again exciting the leapfrogs. "What about your little sister and your new move?"
Ron turned to her, and picked her up off the ground, spinning her in a circle. "That's was bloody great!" Ron kissed her on the cheek, and then set her down to congratulate the rest of the team before they headed by to the common room, where a party surely awaited.
By the time Ginny had taken a shower, once again changed into her uniform, and swung open the portrait, the party was in full swing. Bottles of butterbeer and treats galore littered every available horizontal space. A cry went up, and many students charged when they saw her enter, congratulating her on the last minute goal. She thanked everyone, and found a space on the sofa in front of the fire. As she spoke with Hermione on her left, Ginny felt the seat depress on her right. Hermione smiled, made an excuse and went to find Ron. Ginny turned around, and found Harry sitting very close to her, almost breathing on her neck.
"Didn't we say hello earlier?" she asked, her eyes sparkling with mischief.
"Yeah. That was earlier. You really played well today, Ginny."
"Oooh, praise from Harry Potter. I think I shall faint."
He smiled, and almost nonchalantly placed his arm around her…again. This time, though, he pulled her close, and she heard him inhale deeply.
"Did you like the flowers?"
Ginny's eyes popped open, her heart blossomed with hope. "Yes," she said, looking into his eyes.
"Did you like the rosette?" he asked, his voice becoming deeper as he fingered the wilting flower on her robes.
"Yes," she said, almost reverently.
He glanced down, and she almost didn't catch the last question.
"Do you like me?"
One tear slipped down her cheek, and the smile that blossomed felt like it stretched across her entire face. She reached for his hand, and interlocked their fingers. Harry's gaze rose up to meet her own. "Yes, Harry. I never stopped."
He broke into an identical grin, and wrapped his arms around the smallest Weasley. In her ear, he whispered. "I've been wanting to ask you that since this summer, but I never could get up the nerve."
Ginny leaned back; looking into his eyes, and began to laugh while shaking her head. Harry began to laugh as well, and they came forward, the laughter falling off their lips as they kissed.
They didn't hear the cheers that went up around them.
Author's Notes: Wow. Two Whole stories. Thanks to Michele, my wonderful beta, and to JK Rowling for her wonderful characters.