A light humming escaped Ginny's lips as she brushed her long
tomato-red hair. The bathroom mirror was never as complimentary as
she'd like it to be, but it hadn't yet told her she was an ugly bat as
it had Percy the last day he'd spent at the Burrow. Her hand stopped
pulling the brush momentarily as she thought about her older brother.
Poor Percy had gotten his ambitions mixed up with his loyalties and now
he was as far away from being a Weasley as he could be and still have
red hair. The only thing that kept her from brooding about it yet again
was the presence of the unofficial Weasley, Harry Potter.
Flooed in the night before from Mrs. Figg's house an hour after her mum
had sent Ginny to bed. That didn't stop her from staying awake until he
had made it safely there and she only fell asleep after his voice
carried clearly up to her room. She smiled herself to sleep knowing
that he was home at last.
The mid-morning sunlight shown
through the light blue curtains in the bathroom and cast a pallid light
on her face. She frowned at her reflection and finished running the
brush through her hair until it fell in soft waves onto her shoulders.
A hurried knock broke her thoughts.
"Hurry up, will you?" She put her brush back into the drawer marked, "Ginevra" and opened the door.
"What's the rush?" she asked her brother, Ron. He was hopping awkwardly from foot to foot, holding his crotch with both hands.
gotta use the loo! Now clear off." He pushed past her and began pulling
his pajama bottoms off before she could close the door.
"Ahh!" she mocked. "I'm blind." The door clicked shut and she heard him sigh in relief as he did his business.
"Very funny, Ginny," came his muffled voice.
if you didn't sleep until ten, you might be able to wait for a girl to
freshen up," she shot back, enjoying giving him a hard time.
"Hah," he said, flushing the toilet. "You're just being girly because Harry's here." Ron's emphasis of Harry's name instantly caused her blood to boil.
not like that any more Ron, and you know it," she said through clenched
teeth. "I gave up on him a long time ago." And she had given up
on him, but Ron didn't need to know that if Harry ever came around to
asking her to be something more, she would jump at the chance. Harry
would always have a special place in her heart.
Who'd you give up on?" With impeccable timing, Harry appeared behind
her as she spoke to the closed door, muting the sound of a now running
For the first time since she was in third year, Ginny
Weasley blushed in front of Harry Potter. She turned slowly around,
intent on facing him as she had for the past year and a half. "You,
Harry. I gave up on the idea of you falling in love with me."
flicker of something flashed on his face. Surprise? Fear? She couldn't
tell and it went away as quickly as it came. "Well, that's awfully
sensible of you, Ginny. I mean, a girl as pretty as you can't wait
around for a bloke as thick as a cauldron bottom, right?"
bathroom door opened as she fought a blush for the second time in as
many minutes. Ginny was about to tell Harry that he wasn't that thick,
when he pushed past her and into the now vacant bathroom. "See you at
breakfast, Gin," he said with a small smile and closed the door behind
Ron was smiling wickedly at her, with his arms folded across his chest. "What?" she asked.
"You still like him, don't you?" Ron said as he waggled his eyebrows annoyingly at her.
quiet!" she whispered fiercely. "He can probably hear us through the
door." She tried to push him down the hall, but he wouldn't budge.
"So," he said, not bothering to lower his voice. "You admit it, then?"
Ginny rolled her eyes and said in a low voice. "I'm not admitting anything Ron, now be quiet!"
hid a snort in his hand and then held his side as he laughed quietly.
"If you didn't care, you wouldn't be worried about Harry hearing you,
Ginny," he said finally containing his mirth.
Ginny made a noise like an angry cat. "Don't make me hex you!" she said, a scowl on her face. "You know I'll do it."
Ron paled and held up his hands. "Come on, Ginny. Don't take it so seriously."
"Shove off, Ron." Ginny punched him in the arm and walked downstairs, just as Harry was finishing in the loo.
breakfast, Molly was levitating the dishes into the sink when she said,
"I need you three to pick berries for a strawberry pie before lunch."
"I can't, Mum," said Ron looking distressed. "I told Hermione I'd meet her at the Leaky Cauldron at eleven."
she answered, a faint look of pride on her face. "Well, that's all
right, then. Harry, Ginny," she said, walking back to the table with a
pot of flour and some utensils floating in front of her. "You two will
have to get the berries for me."
"No problem, Mum," said
Ginny, who was glad to be doing something outside for a change. She
glanced at Harry, who seemed to be extra happy about something and
said, "The sooner the better."
Harry walked to the door and held it open for her. "After you, Gin," he said with a sweeping gesture of his hand.
normally didn't like to be treated differently by boys, but somehow
thought it was sweet of him and didn't say anything about it. On the
way out the door, she picked up a large hat to keep the sun off her
fair skin. It wouldn't do anyone any good to have her nose burned and
peeling by the end of the day.
They walked to the berry patch,
grabbing two wicker baskets from the shed on the way. The patch was
partially shaded by two large Weeping Willows, whose branches hung
limply over the ground around it. Several birds were pecking at some
berries on the fringe of the patch and Ginny immediately shooed them
away before sitting down to get started.
Harry followed her
over to the same area and sat down by a particularly large strawberry
plant laden with large berries. "Wow, look at the size of these
things!" he said, clearly impressed.
"Yeah, mum works dragon
dung into the soil every year and we always have a hard time eating
them all." Ginny plucked a particularly succulent one and bit into it.
She had to lick the extra juice off her lips as she chewed the sweet
and tangy berry. "Umm," she said unconsciously. "They're really good."
Harry was staring open-mouthed at her and his eyes seemed unfocused behind his round glasses.
What in the world, thought Harry, desperately trying to wrench his eyes of Ginny's strawberry red lips. I can't believe she just did that. He shook his head slightly and finally looked up to her face.
"What?" she asked innocently. "Is there something on my nose?"
Sweet Merlin. She doesn't know. Harry cleared his throat nervously. "Nothing...it's nothing."
"Did you want some?" Her lips curved into a demure smile that sent worms squirming around his stomach.
Of your lips? Yes, I'd love to have some!
He clamped his hands on his head and muttered to himself, "Stop it,
Potter. She's just a friend. You heard what she said to Ron outside the
loo. She's given up on you."
He glanced back up at her to see her staring at him as if he'd gone mad. "Um...yes, I'd love to...uh, have a berry." Smooth, Potter. Real smooth.
smile returned and as she reached to pick another berry, his
nervousness seemed to ebb. She held out a particularly ripe one, deep
red, and bulging with promised sweetness. Just like her lips, he mused.
out to take the fruit, he couldn't look away from her face and grabbed
her hand instead, berry and all. She gasped slightly and they both drew
their hands back.
"Sorry," he murmured softly, looking down to
her hand. She offered it again and this time, he picked it up lightly
with his fingers and bit into it. An explosion of flavor burst inside
his mouth and he failed to contain the look of pleasure that plastered
itself on his face.
Her giggles broke him out of his reverie and his eyes popped open. "What?"
covered her mouth with a thin freckled hand. Her eyes sparkled in the
sunlight. "The look on your face," she said, still smiling. "It's like
you've never had a strawberry before."
"Oh, well...that was no
regular berry, Miss Weasley." He felt inexplicably comfortable around
her just now. "I've had them before, but that...that was something."
She cocked her head to the side a little as she regarded him. "Yeah," she said slowly. "I guess they are something."
stared at each other and something passed between them. "Well, I guess
we better get picking or Mum will curse us for holding her up."
"Yeah," he said noncommittally and they began to pull the berries off their stems and place them in the baskets.
That was odd,
thought Ginny as she grabbed another large strawberry. She couldn't
help but notice the strange looks he had been sending her the past few
days, but shrugged them off as just being part of their increasing
friendship. But she had felt something just now; an unidentified
emotion that she'd never felt before, that quickened her pulse and
filled her with a desire that she found difficult to control. It had
never been like this with Harry before and she wondered what it all
Looking at him now, she saw him frowning at the bush he
was supposed to be picking berries from. He seemed to be muttering
something to himself and when he noticed she was staring locked his
eyes on hers.
There it was again; the strange feeling that
both excited and scared her. It was thrilling to have his eyes on her
in what she could only describe as desire. Yet at the same time, she
was afraid that she was mistaken and he really didn't like her that
way. With a small sigh, she broke her eyes away and resumed her task,
but couldn't keep the smile off her face as he continued to stare at
As Ginny resumed picking berries, Harry had a
flash of brilliance. They didn't come all that often, but he silently
thanked whatever deity existed in the universe for the timing of this
"Ginny?" he asked, trying to keep the fear out of his voice.
dropped another couple of berries in the basket which seemed to contain
many fewer than the time they had spent outside would seem to indicate
and looked up at him without answering.
He swallowed down a
lump in his throat and picked up the largest strawberry in the patch.
"Will you taste this? I think it's the second sweetest thing in the
She furrowed her brow, but nodded her head just the same and leaned forward, opening her mouth slightly. So far so good. Just don't mess this up, Potter.
just a little, he moved toward her and presented the pointy end of the
fruit, placing it tenderly between her lips. She bit down and closed
her eyes, a small drop of juice clinging to the corner of her mouth.
she said through her closed lips, red and moist. Then swallowing, said,
"That was sweet, Harry, but why did you say it was the second sweetest
thing in the garden?"
Harry mustered his courage and leaned in
even closer, his head brushing the large brim of her hat. "Because,
Ginny Weasley, you are by far the sweetest, most beautiful girl I've
ever met and nothing in creation could compare to you." Then without
waiting for her to reply, he closed his eyes and aimed his lips at hers.
heard a small squeak of surprise, then a muffled sigh as she deepened
the kiss, bringing her hands up to his neck. Harry promptly dropped the
half-eaten berry and pulled her closer. A light breeze pulled her hat
off and she grabbed for it, breaking the kiss.
they stared at each other, faces reflecting the wonder and happiness
they both felt. Ginny touched her lips gingerly with her fingers. "Oh!"
she said in surprise as if what they'd done just sank in. "This
can't...this isn't right."
Harry's face fell with his hands as they hung limp from their sockets. "I'm sorry, Gin...I..."
"No, Harry," she said forcefully, bringing his gaze back to her face. "I mean, I'm over you. I..."
"Gave up on me," Harry finished sardonically. "I heard."
"But, Harry...," she said with deep emotion. "Let me finish?"
nodded, trying to cling to the wonderful feeling of their kiss before
she told him that she couldn't ever feel that way about him; that he
was like a brother to her, and all the other things he had told himself
over and over again for the past three weeks.
"You...you," she said seemingly trying to catch her breath. "I think you might have changed my mind."
His head snapped up to see her eyes twinkling again with mischief and a hint of mystery. "Changed your...mind?"
"There's only one way to find out, isn't there?"
nodded dumbly, still trying to figure out what it all meant. But before
he could get very far, she had brought her lips up to his, hovered for
a moment as if deciding exactly how to kiss him, then he was lost in
softness and strawberries.
In the kitchen of the
Burrow, an hour later, Molly Weasley was growing concerned. It wasn't
like Ginny or Harry to keep her waiting. They both knew that she needed
to get the pie cooked before lunch if she was going to have enough time
to finish her other chores. Folding her towel on the counter, she
slipped on her garden shoes and walked outside to see what the hold up
Turning around the shed, she stopped cold. In the middle
of her strawberry patch sat Ginny and Harry, shaded by the long swaying
branches of the two willows, kissing. Their baskets lay to the side of
them, with hardly a berry in them, but she could tell from here that
they had eaten their fair share.
Tiptoeing back to the house,
she congratulated herself once again for keeping her berry patch alive
and thriving, though this time, it was for an entirely different
reason. Yes, she mused, those were definitely my best berries.
Once again, I was bitten with a plot bunny when my daughter and I were
picking strawberries from our own berry patch. Two hours later,
one piece of shameless fluff! Note the quote I lifted from OotP
regarding Ginny making an angry cat noise. Everything else is
from my own brain, AFAIK. :D