“This is ridiculous,” Ginny Weasley stated, her frustration evident as she brushed a curl behind her ear and her knee bounced up and down.
Ever since Harry Potter arrived at the Burrow, the prospect of summer fun seemed to be a thing of the past. And Ginny, even though she had said nothing to him, couldn’t understand how sulking was serving Sirius Black’s memory.
“What, that we’re sitting here while he wallows in self-pity and tries to ruin summer vacation?” Ron asked, moving one of his men closer to victory. He and Hermione were sneaking in their nightly chess game while they could; soon the chance would be gone.
“No, that we’re letting him,” Ginny replied, shaking her head, “We’re giving him permission to just…be a prat.”
“He’s grieving,” Hermione stated softly.
Ginny scoffed, “Not tolerating any sort of fun in his presence, not talking to anyone ever, avoiding everyone every day? That’s grieving?”
“We all know how Harry is,” Hermione replied gently, treading lightly on the subject.
“Something has got to be done,” Ginny murmured defiantly.
“Do you have any ideas?” Ron asked, doubtfully, “Every time I walk around, he just shakes his head faintly and when Hermione tries, she gets even worse from him.”
Ginny crossed her legs, her foot bouncing up and down in the air violently, “Maybe we aren’t going about it right.”
Hermione turned and looked at her, a lost look in her eyes, “What else can we try, Ginny? He gets so defensive that telling him dinner is ready is pointless.”
Ginny bit her lower lip, her foot still swishing in the air, “We have to do something.”
“Well, whatever it is, you will be the one to do it,” Ron stated matter-of-factly as he leaned back into his chair, crossing his arms.
Ginny shot him an indignant look, “Wha…why me?”
Hermione moved a pawn, “You’re good friends with him too and he listens to you.”
Ginny scoffed loudly, rolling her eyes as her foot increased its bouncing, “What makes you think that Harry listens to me?”
Hermione sat back and narrowed her eyes, her head falling to one side as she glared. It still amazed Ginny how she could covey a whole paragraph of explanation and ranting in one look. This one said, You know very well what I mean about Harry listening to you. Don’t even try to pretend that you don’t, because we both know that, for what ever reason which I have yet to find, Harry sits down, shuts up, and listens to you.
Ginny sighed loudly, her eyes wandering to the window as the sunlight began to dim. Obviously, she was going to have to do the impossible.
“So, what’s your plan?” Ron asked abruptly, moving his queen, “Check.”
Hermione let out a frustrated, “Uh, How?” as Ginny wracked her brain. Getting Harry Potter not to mope was going to be a hard task. Ginny missed Sirius too, probably more than Harry or anyone else would ever know, and she understood where Harry was coming from. But something told her that Harry wouldn’t quite see it that way.
She had to try something though. A voice in the back of her mind kept saying that Sirius would not want Harry to be this way, wallowing away and losing hope with each passing day.
“He thinks there is nothing left,” she started, trusting that she was analyzing the ever-complicated Harry Potter correctly, “Losing Sirius makes him think that he isn’t worth it; that there is no real reason that he should fight anymore.”
“That’s not true,” Ron stated quickly, looking up at his sister with an expression of disbelief on his face.
Hermione shook her head, “Doesn’t matter, Harry still thinks it.”
Ginny sighed in frustration and began to think that maybe it was pointless. Suddenly, something clicked. Her right foot stopped bouncing in mid air and she stood abruptly, making her way over to the window. Yes, a twist on one of Remus’ old remedies--
“What?” Ron asked, interested in her sudden movement.
Ginny’s gaze settled on Harry’s form perched on the deck of the pond, legs dangling off the edge in the cool water. She didn’t know if what she was about to do was going to work; Harry would either give in or be incredibly mad with her. Pulling her lower lip between her teeth, she made up her mind.
“Ron, do you have any chocolate?”
Ginny stood in the grass, two towels in her hands and her deep, brown eyes staring at Harry’s back thoughtfully. This was it; once she stepped out onto that deck, there was no turning back.
Taking one last, deep breath, she stepped towards him softly and lightly, creaking the boards only twice as she neared him. She bit her lower lip, stopping a few feet away, and wondered if maybe she should say something when Harry shifted in his seat.
“Hermione, I’m not in the mood, all right,” he stated softly, yet sternly as he leaned back on his palms.
“Who said I was Hermione?” she asked quietly.
Harry turned quickly, surprise written all across his features. He didn’t say anything at first, just allowed his eyes to travel over her briefly before turning back, “The boards creaked just barely and your footsteps were soft. I could tell it was someone light and guessed Hermione.”
Ginny nodded, noting how much more aware of his surroundings he had become. She gently dropped the towels and stepped closer until she was standing behind him. He had pulled his legs up and folded his arms over his knees, continuing to stare forward. When he didn’t say anything more, she slowly lowered herself next to him.
Glancing over and still not receiving any recognition, she gracefully lowered her legs over the edge of the dock and slid them into the cool water. She kicked lazily, allowing herself to enjoy the water and not betray her thoughts to Harry.
“I don’t want to talk, you know,” he stated finally, his tone not changing.
Ginny leaned back onto her palms and nodded her head, “Well, that’s good because I don’t want to talk.”
Harry cocked an eyebrow and turned to look at her, “You don’t?”
“No, I was really hoping to go for a swim. Hermione and Ron are too busy playing chess, and I thought that maybe I would try to get you to come swimming with me.”
Harry opened his mouth to reply but then abruptly stopped, his eyes narrowing, “I know what this is,” he started, “You’re trying to trick me or something.”
“Nope. Just trying to enjoy my summer,” she replied smoothly.
He growled in frustration and stood abruptly, “I don’t need this. Not from you, Ginny.”
“Don’t need what?” she demanded, quickly following, “Someone to kick you in the arse and tell you that you’re being a prat?”
“I’m sorry that I am grieving for a godfather who died because I have some damn nobility complex!”
“So you’re the only one that’s grieving for Sirius?” Ginny yelled, coming right up to him with her hands perched on her hips. “Did you ever stop to think that maybe there are other people grieving too?”
Harry’s features softened and he looked away, walking back to the edge of the deck. Ginny glared at him, steadying her resolve; he needed to hear it.
“You claim that you’re always thinking of everyone else, Harry, but you’re only thinking about yourself. What about everyone else? What about Remus?! He’d lost faith in Sirius years ago and just as he’s gotten him back, he’s lost him again. But do you see him wallowing about? NO! He’s fighting the evil that destroyed Sirius and trying to ensure that you can fulfill your destiny!”
She paused, sniffling as she brushed her hands under her eyes violently. “Damnit, do you think Sirius would want you to be this way?” she asked, her voice softer and somewhat shaky, despite her efforts to control it.
Harry turned sideways, as if he wasn’t ready to meet her gaze. He crossed his arms and lowered his head, pursing his lips. His expression had changed drastically from the nettled look he had sported just a moment ago to deeply apologetic. “No,” he said after a minute, “he wouldn’t.”
Ginny took a deep breath, relieved that they were getting somewhere, “I’m not here to patronize you, and I don’t want to make you talk about Sirius or figure out what we’re all going to do about Voldemort. I just want to have some fun. Sirius would want us to move on and love life enough to protect it.”
He sighed and looked down, not answering her for the longest time. She shifted on her feet, wondering what to do, when he looked up at her. “Swimming, huh?” he asked.
She smiled gently, walking towards him, “Yes.”
Harry nodded, the corner of his lips briefly turning upwards in a faint smile. He then shook his head, “I don’t know, Gin. I mean, it’s getting close to dark and I don’t have any shorts on or--”
Ginny pursed her lips, “I’ve learned that the best kind of fun, Harry, is the spontaneous kind.”
He had just enough time to cock an eyebrow before she roughly pushed him off the edge of the deck into the calm water below. The surface was rippling violently as he stood up, water dripping from his sagging clothes and hair, his glasses askew on his face. Ginny couldn’t help but burst out laughing, holding her sides as she looked down from her perch on the edge of the deck.
“Great,” Harry stated, fixing his glasses, “Just great, Ginny.”
“Well, you’re in the water now,” she replied between giggles.
Harry shook his head, gently placed his glasses on the deck before peeling his wet t-shirt over his head. She felt her eyes sweep over his torso almost uncontrollably; it was hard to not be distracted by that.
“So you’ve won. Do you think that you could at least lay my shirt out to dry before you get in?” he asked sincerely, handing the ball of wet cloth out to her and squinting up through his dripping hair.
She sighed but smiled and reached forward. She was not expecting him to latch onto her arm and haul her into the water with him. The water was cool on her heated skin and it swirled around her ears as she pushed herself towards the surface. Harry was laughing loudly when she resurfaced and seized her arms, easily pulling her up and placing her on her feet.
Ginny sniggered, ignoring her stomach flipping at his touch, and pushed her wet hair from her face, “You’re smiling, Harry.”
Harry laughed and shook his head, water flying everywhere, “Yeah, I know.”
They had dragged themselves from the water when the sun finally dipped below horizon, making their way into the house for what Ginny called “chocolate confession”, also known as her secret way of exploiting Harry’s weakness for chocolate. They had moved into her room, Ginny sprawled out on her bed and Harry on her floor, asking and answering questions while eating their way through the chocolate that Hermione had donated to the cause.
“Hmmn,” Ginny thought carefully as she fiddled with an empty chocolate wrapper in her hand, “What’s your favorite memory of Hogwarts thus far?”
“That’s tough,” Harry’s eyes glazed over as he thought of an answer, “Probably, walking through those doors first year. I think it was the first time in my entire life that I felt at home. Your turn,” he finished as he reached forward, snatching one of the muggle chocolate “kisses” from the shrinking pile that sat between them.
“No offense, but it would have to be making the Quidditch team. I don’t want to say I’m glad that you were suspended or anything, but…” she replied, smirking as she snatched a chocolate.
Harry rolled his eyes, “Yeah, I bet you were just jumping up and down when your brothers and I were banned.”
“Never,” Ginny smiled, popping the candy in her mouth.
He scoffed, “Okay, so, how many questions do we have to do?”
“Well,” she started, leaning off of her bed to really see the pile, “it looks like only three.”
“I’m pretty much out though, Gin,” he whined.
“Fine, you prat, I’ll take my turn,” she rolled her eyes, fighting a smirk, “Now, what are all the girls in Hogwarts dying to know?”
Harry’s eyes widened, “Hey, nothing leaves the chocolate pile except the chocolate.”
Ginny giggled, “Okay, okay. So, is it true that you and Cho snogged one night after D.A.?”
“Where did you hear that from?” he asked incredulously as she sat up on her bed.
“I have my sources,” she smiled, “Now spill.”
He sighed, “We…did kiss, but you can’t classify it as snogging.” He picked up a chocolate, “She had been crying, which was something that Cho always seemed to do around me, and then kinda …leaned in towards me and…we kissed.”
Ginny tried not to smile, “Not quite what you expected?”
Harry ran a hand through his hair, “Yeah, nothing was ever what I expected with Cho.”
There was a small silence that wrapped around the room; Harry popped the chocolate in his mouth before faintly smiling at Ginny, “Your turn.”
She shrugged nonchalantly, “Well, I can’t say that I have ever snogged Cho-- ”
He threw his chocolate wrapper at her, “You know what I mean.”
She giggled, grabbing her chocolate, “Fine. Well if you really want to know, Michael and I had our fair share of snogging. But you can’t tell Ron,” she ended quickly, “Your turn.”
“I thought that we established that I’m out of questions,” he replied, avoiding her eyes in an attempt to pass off the question again.
She shook her head, smirking slightly, “We’ll compromise. Instead of answering a question, we’ll each tell a secret.”
Harry suddenly looked like a kid caught stealing a cookie, “A secret?”
“Yes, something that nobody but you knows.”
He drew in a deep breath, looking away as he attempted to choose his secret carefully. “Since we’re all ready on the subject of relationships… “
Pause. Another deep breath and then, “I’m done with Cho.”
Ginny’s eyes widened slightly, “Really?”
“Yeah. I mean, you said yourself, Michael and she seemed to be friendly and that doesn’t bother me, so, I’m over her.”
He ran a hand through his hair shakily, obviously trying to draw attention away from his words. She didn’t know exactly how to respond; it was surprising that he was really being this open with her. Truthfully, she was surprised that she had gotten him this far.
“So, is there another girl that you’re fancying now?” she pushed, hoping not to irritate him.
Harry gave a breathless laugh, seizing another chocolate, “I think there is. And I’ve been a total prat to her,” he finished softly, not meeting her gaze.
Ginny bit her lower lip and looked down, “So, my secret,” she started, breaking the tension. There were only two secrets that she had, and one she would never tell.
“Well,” she began, picking up her chocolate and slowly moving off of the bed. She stopped at the window and turned to him, “It’s morbid,” she warned.
He looked unsure for a moment, but then nodded, “That’s all right; I, want you to tell me.”
She smiled softly, crossing her arms before turning away, “After we came home, I stayed in my room and cried.” She drew in a deep breath and calmed her nerves, “I was upset about Sirius and worried about you. But nobody knows that.”
Harry stood from his spot and walked towards her. Ginny sighed and let her arms fall to her sides, “I’m sorry; I shouldn’t have said anything.”
“Don’t be sorry. I’m just sorry that you worried,” he replied, stopping by her side.
She took in another deep breath, soothing her emotions before looking up at him, “So, last question?” she asked, raising her eyebrows.
He nodded and she caught his gaze, extending a chocolate towards him, “Are you, Harry Potter, glad that I pushed you into the pond?”
“Surprisingly, yes,” he replied, his eyes falling to the floor and a nervous air coming over him, “And I’m glad that it was you who did it.”
It was then that he replaced the chocolate in her palm with his slender, calloused fingers and his green eyes fluttered back up to hers nervously before dropping again. She couldn’t stop her heart from beating violently when she felt his fingertips begin to shakily trace the patterns of lines inside her palm.
Ginny sensed a chill race through her as Harry took in a shaky breath and a step closer, “And would you, Ginny Weasley, let me kiss you if I tried?”
She felt as if she was shaking uncontrollably as he looked at her. Well, that was unexpected. She frantically wondered if she wanted to say something other than yes, but found that she couldn’t.
“Yes,” she breathed as he bravely stepped closer to her.
“Do you still want me to kiss you, even though you’ve given up on me?” he asked, his voice soft and quivering a little and his breath warm on her skin.
“Giving up and getting over are two different things, Harry.”
“You didn’t answer the question.”
Ginny swallowed hard, “Yes.”
Harry leaned down, “I might be bad at this,” he whispered against her lips.
She couldn’t help but smile as her arms snaked around his neck, “Only one way to find out.”
His lips turned up into a brief smile before he pressed them against hers. He tasted like the chocolates they had been consuming and his kisses were gentle, yet forceful in a way that was only Harry.
When he pulled her body closer to his, Ginny smiled again, knowing from the beginning that chocolate had always been Harry’s weakness.