Pulling her overloaded backpack onto her shoulder, Ginny Weasley
trudged slowly out of her last class of the day, Herbology, and made
for the castle to shower before dinner. Then, she reminded herself, it
was off to the Quidditch pitch to practice with the other two Chasers
until the sun went down. It was days like these that she reflected
that it was easier to be Seeker and not have to worry about set
plays and endless practicing. As Seeker, she just had to catch the
With a resigned sigh, she followed her fellow- fifth
years into the Entrance Hall and up to Gryffindor Tower. Her best
friend and dorm mate, Julia Thompson, was walking beside her, ogling
Colin Creevey. She almost tripped on a step, but grabbed Ginny's arm to
"Careful, Jules," Ginny said regaining her
balance with a giggle. Then in a conspiratorial whisper, "If you'd quit
staring at Colin's bum, you might not kill yourself before we get back
to the Tower."
"Shove off," she said with a playful slap. "I can stare at Colin's bum all I want."
sixth years were coming down the stairs from their free period so Ginny
and Julia budged over to make room. Unexpectedly, Harry Potter was
among them and Ginny caught his eye just before he passed.
"Hi, Ginny," he said brightly as he followed Ron and Hermione down the stone steps. "Meet you at dinner?"
"Yeah," she said, suddenly light-headed. "I'll see you...there."
turned around, still smiling and clapped Ron on the back. As she
watched his retreating form, she saw him whisper something in her
brother's ear and they both let out loud barks of laughter.
turned the corner and Ginny found herself leaning against the
stairwell, still staring after them. A sharp elbow to her ribs brought
her back to reality.
"Ow!" she said crossly. "What'd you do that for?" Ginny rubbed her side tenderly and started back up the stairs.
An evil grin on her face, Julia said simply, "And you were chastising me for checking out Colin?"
her friend a quizzical look as they topped the stairs and approached
the Fat Lady, Ginny said, "What's that supposed to mean?"
don't be thick, Ginny," she said before giving the password, 'Wronski
Feint'. "You were drooling over Mr. Potter so bad I was looking for a
Ginny screwed her face in disgust. "It's not like that, Jules, and you know it."
crossed through the opening and went up the girl's staircase. "Sure,
Ginny. I'm not stupid, you know." She stopped on the landing outside
their dormitory and propped a hand on her hips. Wagging her finger, she
said, "You're not fooling anyone into believing that you've given up on
With a drawn out sigh, Ginny dropped her bag by
the door and slumped to the floor. "I can't like him that way anymore,
Jules. I just...can't."
"Why not?" she asked, sitting down beside her friend.
Ginny pulled at her ponytail nervously, searching for the right words. "It's - it's just that he...doesn't like me that way."
"Umm hmm," said Julia noncommittally. "And you know this how?"
"I just do," she said exasperatedly. "He's never looked at me that way. He's never hinted that I might be that kind of friend.... Not once."
see." Julia drummed her fingers on her knees, staring off into the
stairwell. Then turning a serious eye on her, said, "I think you're a
big chicken, Ginny Weasley."
"What?" said Ginny, her jaw
snapping open in shock. She had expected sympathy, sure, maybe even
some cagey advice, but this was unexpected.
"I said, you are a
big chicken," she said, enunciating each word slowly, and then Julia
stood up and grabbed both book bags. "If you really like him, and I
know you do, then you need to stop pussyfooting around and go after
him." Ginny continued to goggle at her friend. "He's not going to be
available forever, you know."
It was true, and it wasn't the
first time that thought had crossed Ginny's mind. Just last week, she
had seen how he was looking at Amanda Foxworthy, a Hufflepuff in her
year, and it had made her blood boil. She wasn't even going to begin
thinking about the whole Cho fiasco.
"I'm hitting the showers.
Meet you downstairs, Gin," said her friend as she walked into their
dorm and let the door click behind her.
"But I don't
know that I like him that way, Jules," Ginny said to the door. "How
does anyone know?" she said as she buried her head in her arms and
wished she didn't have to think about boys at all.
next day, Ginny had just left Charms to go to Divination when her aging
bag burst and spilled its contents onto the floor of the Charms
corridor. Muttering a curse under her breath, she bent down to pick up
her things and turned the bag over. The tear was huge, following the
seam on the side of the bag from bottom to top. With a frustrated
groan, she slumped down on her bum and pulled at the rip with the tip
of her finger.
She looked up to see her friends disappearing
around the corner, Julia hypocritically following Colin like a lost
puppy. She pulled out her wand to mend her bag for the third time that
term and stopped when a pair of brilliant green eyes appeared in her
"You all right, Gin?" Harry had taken to calling her that lately and she found that she didn't mind it.
a little, she tried to pull herself up from her rather undignified
position, but froze when he plopped down next to her. "Same thing
happened to me yesterday," he said, hefting his bag to show her the
repair he had made.
Slumping back down, she nervously pulled
at her skirt to ensure her modesty. "You - you broke your bag too," she
said lamely, not able to conjure anything witty to say.
"Yeah," said Harry without the slightest waver in his voice. "I'm pretty hard on my bag."
sucked in a breath as he leaned over to inspect the tear for himself,
brushing against her arm in the process. She couldn't help inhaling his
scent as he did so, her eyes rolling back in their sockets from the
pure thrill of being this close to him.
"That's a bad one alright." His voice brought her back to reality and she had to blink to see him properly.
followed the curve of his arm, which was still resting on the bag in
her lap and noticed his watch. "I'm late!" she squeaked.
waving her wand, she mended the tear and summoned her books, parchment,
quills, and ink bottles into her bag with haste. They stood and faced
each other, the awkwardness lingering around her. "I, uh...guess I'll
see you later, then?" he asked sincerely.
"Yeah," she said
taking a step towards Divination. "See you." Then she ran as quickly as
she could, trying desperately to flush his smiling face from her vision
and his intoxicating scent from her nostrils.
scene repeated itself several times over the next few days. Harry
seemed to appear wherever she was, always helpful or sympathetic, but
always there; as if he had her schedule memorized. It was causing her
no end of grief and one day after a particularly nasty Potions lesson,
she broke down.
"Are you following me, Potter?" she asked with
a scowl on her face. He backed into a wall as she advanced and opened
his mouth to say something, but she didn't give him a chance to answer.
"Can't a girl get a minute's peace without having the bloody
'Boy-Who-Lived' stalking her? I'm just trying to pass my O.W.L.s and
have a little fun on the side. Why do you have to mess it all up for
"Wha - I don't - but you," so shocked by her outburst, that he didn't seem to know what to say.
Hermione stepped up to her and placed a comforting hand on her shoulder. "You okay, Ginny? You seem a little tense."
I okay?" she asked, turning to Hermione, hand shaking, eyes blazing.
"Of course I'm okay! Why wouldn't I be okay when the one boy who drives
me to distraction, who's always there to help me and be my friend, but
is never the right kind of friend...." Ginny stopped suddenly,
resisting the urge to cover her mouth, realizing that she was venturing
into dangerous water. Julia pulled on her arm as Ginny caught Harry's
eye again. The look on his face was no longer only one of concern;
there was an element of surprise etched into it, mixed with...fear.
let herself be dragged out of the dungeons, finally breaking eye
contact with Harry as they went up the stairs. "What's the matter with
you?" asked her friend as they walked behind two Ravenclaw fourth years.
know. I just can't take it anymore, Jules." She pulled sullenly on the
strap of her bag, needlessly adjusting it. "Something's got to give and
I don't think it's going to be him."
"Ginny," she said, stopping in the middle of the hall. "You've got to at least tell him how you feel..."
"I can't!" interrupted Ginny.
you can," she shot right back. "You can and you have to, or you'll
waste your whole life wondering what would have happened if you hadn't."
what if he doesn't like me that way?" Ginny realized that her excuses
were evaporating like dew under a summer sun, but bearing her soul to
Harry was as impossible as putting him out of her mind.
if he does?" Julia held Ginny's shoulders firmly, locking her with a
piercing gaze. "He may be just as scared as you and if you don't tell
him, you might lose him forever."
Ginny swallowed a lump in
her throat but her dry mouth made it all the more painful. "I'm scared,
Jules," she said with a shaky voice. "I'm afraid I'll lose him either
With a smile, her friend said cheerfully, "Then you've got nothing to lose by telling him, right?"
watery grin appeared on Ginny's face and she nodded her head. "I guess
you're right," she admitted reluctantly. "Let me think about it,
"Yeah," her friend said. "I'll catch you up later?"
nodded again and her friend walked up the hall to Transfiguration,
leaving the redhead with her head filling with the billion reasons why
it was stupid to tell Harry she loved him.
went by and Harry hadn't run into Ginny at all since she told him off
that day in the dungeons. In fact, she hadn't seen him once since then,
even at meals. When she asked Hermione about it a few days ago, she
simply shrugged and said he wasn't talking to anyone.
with him and miserable without him, Ginny slowly sank into herself,
aimlessly wandering from class to class as her grades started slipping.
next Quidditch practice was scheduled for that afternoon so Ginny
resolved to go early to get warmed up before the rest of the team
arrived. With a shudder of fear, she realized that Harry would be
there, or at least she hoped he would. Perhaps she could muster the
courage to finally confront him and end her misery one way or the other.
the castle doors, she was met with sheets of cold October rain. Ginny
put her broom down and tied her hair back into a ponytail, as tight as
she dared, then picked her broom up again and marched into the torrents
and onto the pitch.
Glad for the imperturbable charm she had
put on the clothes under her Quidditch robes, Ginny soared through the
rain, letting the water splatter into her face and hair. Her heart
swelled and for the first time in weeks, she felt light and free, as if
she was a ten year old again, and Harry Potter was just a fleeting
vision on Platform nine and three-quarters.
Ginny reached into
her robes and extracted a shiny golden ball. It was the snitch she had
captured to win the Quidditch cup last year. McGonagall had given it to
her as a reward for helping out the team after Harry had been banned.
She twisted it in her hand, letting the dim light reflect off its
intricately carved surface, then opened her palm and let it take flight.
She waited ten seconds, almost letting it get lost in the drenching rain before she rocketed off after it.
was difficult to follow the shiny fluttering ball; not entirely because
of the rain, but mostly because she hadn't been a Seeker for over sixth
months. Getting back into a rhythm, she was eventually able to predict
its movements. She caught up to the snitch and was just about to grab
it, when another hand appeared next to hers.
gasped and pulled up on her broomstick, coming to a halt. The other
player obviously wasn't expecting her to stop and flew around in an arc
until he came up beside her, facing the opposite direction.
he sat on his broom, Ginny had to work to keep her breathing normal.
His messy black hair was matted down from the wind and rain, drops of
water coursing down to his face and off his glasses. He wore a sly
smile, belying their recent history and sending shivers up her spine
that had nothing to do with the cold wind.
"Hey, Gin," he
said, once again using her more familiar name. "I came out to practice
early and saw you flying...." He stopped, seemingly distracted by
something and Ginny wondered if there was something wrong with her
hair. Shaking his head slightly, he continued, "I saw you chasing the
Snitch and thought I'd see if you were up for a little competition."
Her eyes went wide. "You want to...to Seek against me?"
He nodded, sending more drops into his face, all but forcing her to stare at every inch of it. "What do you say?"
gripped her broomstick handle tightly, feeling the water slip between
her fingers. "But why?" was all she could think to ask.
he hedged, green eyes flicking to her soaking wet front. "I...sort of
wanted to see who was the best Seeker." He wiped some water from his
eyes, pushing his glasses off his face for a second. He looks good without them, she mused. "If you win, you can play Seeker in the next game and I'll play Chaser."
to stifle it in time, she let out a choked giggle. "You what?" He
smiled sheepishly, but didn't say anything. "That's ridiculous, Harry."
His face fell. "I'm not that bad a Chaser, you know. My dad was one and they won the cup three years in a row."
"No, that's not what I meant," she said quickly. "It's just that you're such a great Seeker that it would be stupid to switch."
did pretty good last year," he said with a look that made her want to
run away and hide. One that said he truly meant it and it shook
something deep within her.
"I...thanks, Harry." She smiled,
feeling warm inside despite the rain. "I'll Seek against you, but we're
not making a bet out of it."
He turned his broom around to face the same direction as her and stuck out his hand. "Deal."
took it and felt his light squeeze. Then he turned to where the snitch
was flying lazily around the far goalposts and said, "On three?"
began counting, "One...two...three!" and they tore down the pitch
towards the unsuspecting Snitch. Soon, however, it must have detected
them and dodged low, speeding up as it came close to the ground, then
veered off to the far stands.
Harry marked Ginny for a moment,
and then pulled away, showing off the capabilities of his faster broom.
She stuck her tongue out at him as he passed and was rewarded with a
smile. She rolled over him to his right just before the snitch dodged
that direction, continuing its turn around the pitch.
"Hey!" he called indignantly and was once again behind her.
sped around after the Snitch for the next ten minutes, each showing off
their unique skills and Ginny felt something familiar soar through her.
She wasn't uncomfortable with Harry when they were flying. She didn't
worry about her feelings or his, simply enjoying his company and the
thrill of Quidditch. It was like she used to feel around him after she
had left her crush behind; complete and at peace.
With a grin,
she bumped his broom, sending him off course for a second before he
could correct it and dove the same time as the Snitch. With the ground
approaching at a startling rate, she reached out her hand and pulled
the Snitch out of the air just as Harry's hand grabbed hers. Together,
they pulled their brooms up from their dive and shot off around a goal
post, still joined together, both grinning like idiots.
they slowed their flight and began to hover, Harry said excitedly,
"That was wicked! I've never had anyone that good to fly against, Gin."
nodded, still panting from the dive and because Harry still hadn't let
her hand go. "You're a great flier, Harry, but I guess we know who the
best Seeker is, don't we?"
Harry guffawed, pulling her hand up
between them. Then with his other hand, he slowly pried her fingers
open to reveal the snitch. Butterflies returned to her stomach and she
looked from the snitch to his face through her wet lashes. He wasn't
saying anything, just staring at her and Ginny knew that this was a
perfect moment to tell him.
"Oi!" came a loud voice from the
ground below and Ginny had to repress a curse her mother would surely
ground her for. "You two done playing around, yet?" Ron, who was the
new Quidditch Captain, surrounded by the rest of the team, stood
with his hands cupped in front of his mouth. "We'd like to get this
ruddy practice over with and get back to the castle, if you don't mind."
could hear Harry swallow and he slowly dropped her hand. Ginny
reluctantly put the Snitch back into her pocket and gave him a sheepish
smile. Harry shrugged and said, "I...guess we better go down and see
what he wants us to do."
The lack of enthusiasm in his voice
made her feel happy for some reason and she blurted, "Maybe we can get
some hot chocolate together?" His smile returned and she found the will
to continue. "A - after practice? You know...to warm up?"
sounds great, Gin." They pointed their brooms at the ground and flew to
a now clearly agitated Ron. Her heart lighter, she found that even
though her hair and robes were impossibly wet, she could stay outside
Practice was blessedly short and Ginny was
only caught staring at Harry three times before Ron told her off for
missing passes. For his part, Harry only set after the Snitch twice,
claiming that he had already practiced enough for the entire week with
Ginny. It didn't help her concentration in the least when he sent a
cheeky smile in her direction.
The rain let up significantly
as their team finished their last run through a new play. Ginny
volunteered to put the Quaffle and Bludgers away and made sure to take
an extra long time doing it. Ron and Harry were talking by the locker
room entrance and Ron didn't seem happy. As she carried her broom and
the team trunk towards them, she could hear Harry say, "...got to know,
Ron and I'm going to tell her."
She stopped and in a deadly
serious voice, Ron said, "You'd better not, or I won't be the only
angry brother you'll have to worry about." Then he turned and stalked
into the men's lockers.
Walking cautiously forward, not
wanting to seem like she had been eavesdropping. "Oh, hi, Gin," said
Harry, clearly surprised to see her there. "Need a hand with that?"
nodded and he grabbed one end of the trunk while she transferred her
broom to the other. "Thanks," said Ginny. "Is Ron okay?" She intended
the question to sound innocent, but as they walked into the shed, she
could see his face lose its color.
"Wha - how much did you, um, hear?" he said with a squeak.
They put the trunk on its shelf and walked back out into the soft rain. "Just the very end... I didn't mean to, I was just..."
"It's alright, Ginny," he said hastily. "I'll meet you for that hot chocolate in the entrance hall?"
not satisfied with what was going on, but willing to ask later, she
nodded and they walked into their respective changing rooms.
arrived inside ten minutes later, her hair still damp and her nerves on
edge. As much as she didn't want to, she couldn't help but think this
was actually like a date with Harry. Even though she was the one to ask
him, he didn't seem to mind and that was something positive.
turned around when he heard the door closing and smiled upon seeing
her. She walked up to him, trying to figure out what to do with her
hands and said, "Hi."
"Hi," he answered. "You, uh...want to go to the kitchens to get the hot chocolate?"
"The kitchens?" she asked, her eyebrows coming together. "The common room hot chocolate not good enough for you?"
scratched his head and his hand automatically moved to muss his hair,
something Ginny had always thought was adorable. "Well, I was sort of
hoping that we could avoid, uh...certain people for a while," he said.
"It's no problem, Harry," she said soothingly. "I didn't realize you knew where they were."
twins showed me where it was first year, Harry," she said knowingly. "I
went down there loads of times when I needed some time alone. With
the...Chamber and all." Visions of another handsome, dark-haired
sixteen-year-old flashed in her mind and she had to force herself to
"Right," he said, seeming to not know quite what to say.
"Well, let's go," said Ginny forcefully, pulling on his hand.
arrived outside the portrait of the bowl of fruit, still holding hands
when she reached out to tickle the pear. It gave out a series of
mounting giggles before the painting swung open.
It was dark
and there were no signs of the elves that were usually working. "Hmm,"
muttered Harry. "I guess they're off cleaning or something."
flicked his wand and lit the sconces on the walls, bringing a cheery
feeling back to the large room. They walked over to where the dishes
were kept and Harry reached for two large mugs. Ginny searched through
the drawers until she found the one with the chocolate.
they melted it in a pan and mixed in the milk. Ginny dropped a dollop
of butter and a couple shakes from the cinnamon jar into the pan just
as they took the heat off. When Harry raised his eyebrow at this, she
replied, "Mum's recipe. Don't tell her I showed you this or she'll have
kittens for sure."
"Why is that?" he asked sincerely. "Some kind of family secret?"
she said as she carefully poured the contents of the pan into each mug,
stirring slowly to keep the mixture from separating. "It's tradition to
keep it strictly in the family. But seeing as you're practically my
brother, I don't think she'd mind."
"Yeah," he said, his face falling. "I guess I am sort of like a brother, eh?"
rinsed the pot and set it in the sink. Grabbing the mugs she ushered
them to a table and sat opposite Harry. "Does that bother you?"
He curled his hands around the mug and stared through the steam rising from the still swirling liquid. "Yes and no."
When it was clear he wasn't going to say anything, she said, "Why is that?"
eyes shot up to hers with a flicker of surprise. "Wha - oh.... I love
the idea of being a part of your family, but not so much being your
"What's that supposed to mean?" she said with a hint of anger edging into her voice.
he said taking a sip of hot chocolate. "It's like this.... I would love
to be a Weasley, but there's no way I could ever treat you like a
A sudden flash of something surged within her, but before she could understand it, it was gone. "What could you treat me like?"
caught her eyes and a powerful emotion carried to her through them. It
was as if he was testing her for something; peering into her soul, and
after a moment, he looked back to his drink and took another sip. "Why
did you ask me to leave you alone?"
Ginny's heart fell through
the floor as the feelings of a week ago suddenly shot through her. The
reason was that she couldn't stand to be around him, to be looked at
and paid attention to with all these feelings swirling around her was
that those feelings weren't reciprocated. But she just couldn't say that to his face. She churned the hot chocolate around in her mug and contemplated her answer.
said you couldn't treat me like a sister," she said using his words to
make her point. "I was glad when you said that because I've got six
brothers and I don't need another one." Ginny voice didn't waver but
her eyes remained fixed on her cup.
"Hopefully I'm at least a friend," he offered.
She looked up to him again and said, "That was never in doubt."
what else is there?" he asked, arms suddenly tense. "It seems like
we're both looking for something besides friendship and we're not fit
to be siblings...."
"No," she said with a slight chuckle. "We're definitely not cut out for that."
then?" As Ginny looked at Harry, she noticed that something akin to
fear had taken hold of him. Things started to click into place in her
mind. The sudden attention he'd been showing her, the looks, the casual
touching and the exchange he'd had with Ron just a little while ago.
With an inward smile, she cleared her throat and said, "Can I tell you a story?"
surprised by the turn in the conversation, he just nodded. "A few years
ago, a girl met a boy and fell instantly in love with him, but the boy
had no idea that she felt that way. Over time, the girl gave up on the
idea of him loving her and vowed to live her life without him. Then one
day, the boy decided that the girl was something special...something
worth paying attention to. So he started to be her friend and the girl
didn't know what to think. She told herself that the boy just didn't
want her to feel left out, that he was just being a good friend and
that he would never love her as anything more than that." Ginny paused,
trying to drown the butterflies in her stomach with the last of her now
lukewarm chocolate and placed the empty mug lightly on the table. Then
looking back into Harry's face, she said, "What do you think this girl
wants from this boy, Harry?"
Harry hadn't moved the entire
time she had been speaking and when she asked the question, he barely
blinked in recognition. "Girl..." he said, still in a blank daze.
Ginny could tell that the wheels were turning in
his mind and despite her rapidly beating heart, didn't blurt out what
she so desperately wanted to say. Harry's eyes began darting around the
table and his mouth moved almost imperceptibly, uttering small
syllables every now and then.
Then, just when she couldn't
take it any more, his eyes locked onto hers and they widened in
surprise. "You mean..." he said in a barely audible whisper. "You don't
mean that you...."
Her heart had stopped, her breathing
hitched and at long last the words that she'd kept buried in her heart
for five years came bursting out. "I love you, Harry." A single tear
escaped her eye and trailed down her cheek.
He blew out a
breath and sat back in his chair, staring at a point on the wall above
her head. Then after what seemed an eternity, he looked her in the eye
and said, "You can't love me, Ginny."
"Why?" she asked with
trembling voice. "I've loved you since I was ten, Harry." It took
everything she had to not sound pleading.
"Because loving me
is the most dangerous thing you could do." Even through her muddled
emotions, Ginny could tell that he was trying to convince himself more
She grabbed his hands and their gazes came together
again. "Tell me you don't love me, Harry. Tell me you've never loved me
and you won't ever love me and I promise to leave you alone." Her heart
thudded painfully in her chest and her lungs couldn't seem to get
He began to speak, but was staring at the table between them and hadn't let go of her hands. "I don't...."
"No, Harry," she said pulling on his hand. "Tell me to my face. Whatever it is you have to say, look me in the eye and tell me."
green eyes blinked and turned upward to meet hers. She could sense his
hesitance and debated whether or not to run now and risk not hearing
the one thing that would surely break her heart.
remained impassive for just a moment, and then a frown tugged at the
corners of his mouth and leaned forward across the table. "I...." He
screwed his eyes shut, then opened them and squeezed hard on her hands.
"I don't...know what to say, Ginny." His face lingered close to hers
and her vision went dizzy as she slowly realized what he was hadn't
said. His lips brushed hers, hesitantly, tantalizingly until her arm
came up of its own accord and pulled his head until they made contact.
Five years of pent up love and devotion; five years of repressed
feeling, buried so deep that when it finally surfaced and went through
her lips into his, it burned. Seconds ago, she couldn't find her
breath, now she seemed to not need air at all.
"I'm sorry," she said, breaking their kiss. "I'm sorry for crying like this, but I just can't help it."
had moved over to her side of the table and was sitting next to her.
"Why are you sorry for crying?" he said. She looked at his cheeks and
noticed that he had his own tear stains.
that...with Cho...." He kissed her again and she was surprised to find
the same depth of emotion pass through their connection to her. It was
just as deep, just as full as her love for him and she understood.
was nothing compared to you, Ginny." He tenderly wiped the tears from
her eyes with the tips of his fingers. "Like the difference between
scoring with the Quaffle and catching the Snitch."
laughed and cried and laughed some more, until her emotions found some
kind of balance. Harry simply held her, letting her and she loved him
more for it. She felt lighter than she'd ever remembered and would have
floated away if it hadn't been for Harry's grounding presence.
They shared more kisses and talked about their newfound feelings, with more hot chocolate and permanent smiles on their faces. Yes, thought Ginny, it was definitely easier being the Seeker.
Once again, this piece of fluff is brought to you by my muse, who I can
claim no control over and who is definitely a woman; moody, secretive,
and utterly incomprehensible. But I have to love her, or I'd be
unable to string three words together! Props to Chi who only
fan-girled once while beta-ing, but made my day in the process.