Featuring: Jealous Exes and Madame Puddifoot's, Revisited!
Disclaimer: None of these characters belong to me. I did, however, make up the alley in Hogsmeade. Although I'm sure it exists, it has not yet been mentioned (I don't think...).
This one is dedicated to our ship, to help compensate for certain events in OOTP. Thanks to Aibhinn for setting me straight. Hogsmeade, like, has a "E"? Who knew!
"Er… can I have a word with you?"
Harry looked up from his Charms textbook to see Ron standing before him looking very serious. Which was odd, considering this was Ron.
"Ok," responded Harry, wondering at Ron's awkward wording, and the fact that he looked so nervous.
"It's just that, well, as you know there's a Hogsmeade weekend coming up."
"Ok," responded Harry, wondering if he should be worried about where this was headed.
"And it's just that… er… I've kind of asked Hermione. You know, as a date."
Harry burst into a grin. It was about time! Honestly though, Ron was behaving as if he were asking Harry's permission to marry Hermione.
The grin quickly faded when he realized what Ron was asking. He and Hermione wanted to go to Hogsmeade alone. Without him.
Stop being selfish, he told himself, quickly forcing the grin back in place, hoping Ron hadn't noticed its momentary disappearance.
"That's great!" he said. "You two have fun."
"Are you sure you don't mind?" Ron asked cautiously.
"Positive. Don't worry about me."
"Right." Ron sounded very relieved. "Well, mate, you shouldn't have any trouble getting a girl to go with you—eh?"
Harry smiled weakly and sighed inwardly. He didn't want to go to Hogsmeade with just any girl… He'd probably just stay behind and watch the first and second years play Exploding Snap.
"What was that all about?" asked Ginny, sitting next to Harry on the couch once Ron had gone up the stairwell, taking out her own Charms book. "I haven't see Ron look that grave since he told me Fred and George had killed our pet puffskein. I hope it wasn't anything that serious." She grinned at Harry.
Harry laughed. "No, nothing like that. He just wanted to tell me that he's asked Hermione to the Hogsmeade weekend."
"Oh!" said Ginny, looking delighted. "It's about time!" Then she asked, more subdued, "Are you ok with that?"
"Yeah, of course," said Harry. "I mean, I'm happy for them, it's just going to be weird. It's always been the three of us, and now it's them and… me." Wow, he sounded pathetic. He sounded like he was asking her to feel sorry for him. Which was the last thing he wanted.
"That's understandable," Ginny replied; thankfully, Harry couldn't detect a note of pity in her voice. "If you'd like…" she continued, studying her book, "You and I could go to Hogsmeade." Ginny bit her lower lip and looked up at Harry.
"Oh—" Perfect. Yes, please. "Well, I wouldn't want to tag along."
"Oh, no," said Ginny quickly. "I wasn't—I don't have plans to go with anyone. So, it could be just you and me." Then she added quickly, "If you want. Or we could ask Neville and Luna or someone, or even stay behind and play Exploding Snap with the first and second years—"
"Oh, that sounds good. The, uh, first one." Harry smiled nervously.
Ginny smiled nervously back. "Great."
"Great," agreed Harry, before they both turned back to their textbooks.
Harry was both very excited and very anxious. He was going on a date to Hogsmeade with Ginny. Ok, so he wasn't sure if it was technically a date, but still; he was going to Hogsmeade, alone, with Ginny.
His nerves, however, were nothing compared to Ron's.
"Will you relax?" Harry told Ron, after watching his best mate change robes three times, which was silly, considering they all looked the same. He gave up on trying to make his hair lie flat and turned to face Ron. "It's just Hermione."
"That's easy for you to say," answered Ron, shoving Harry aside to look in the mirror. "Have you found a girl to go with, then?"
"Er, yes," said Harry nervously.
"Er, Ginny." Harry winced and closed his eyes, but opened them after a few moments when the fist he was expecting never hit him. Ron was still examining himself in the mirror, unsuccessfully trying to hide a grin.
"Great. You kids have fun." He half walked, half skipped to the door.
That was odd, thought Harry.
"Ouf! No fair, you cheated," called Ginny as she slammed into him. Harry held onto the drainpipe of the building for dear life.
"I don't think so. I won fair and square. But since you're such as sore loser, I'll give you a head start next time."
"There is no next time," said Ginny. "I'm too tired to race anymore. And I am not a sore loser!" She playfully punched his arm as they walked down the street. "Ooh, I've never been here before! What's this place?"
They were at Madam Puddifoot's. Ginny examined the window display. "Huh," she said absentmindedly. "It looks like a teddy bear threw up."
"It's not much better inside," said Harry gravely.
"You've been here?" Ginny turned to look at him, her eyebrows raised, wearing an expression of disbelief.
"Just once, with Cho." Harry immediately kicked himself. What had Hermione said about not talking about other girls while on a date? Much to his relief, Ginny did not start crying. Does that mean we're not on a date? he wondered.
Ginny had poked her head inside the door, and her nose was wrinkled in disgust. "Ugh. They must have read Lockhart's guide to décor. Mum has those—"
She was interrupted by Madam Puddifoot arriving and whisking them inside. "How many, two?" she asked.
"Um," said Harry, beginning to panic. But it was too late. They were already being led, rather forcefully, to a table. Ginny sent him an apologetic look; she looked about as happy as he felt to be there.
And this "date" has officially taken a turn for the worse, thought Harry, as they sat down at a table across from Michael Corner and Cho Chang. Following Ginny's lead, he gave them a charming smile, which was frostily returned, and hid his laughter in a fit of coughs behind his lacy menu.
"Ahem. Hem hem. Yes, it's rather dusty outside," said Ginny loudly, her eyes glinting mischievously.
"Yes, yes quite," Harry agreed in his best Percy voice. From the corner of his eye he could see Cho glaring at Ginny.
"And what will you two be having?" asked the Madam Puddifoot.
"Do you have Butterbeer?" asked Ginny.
"No," answered Madam Puddifoot, as if the very idea repulsed her.
"All right then, tea," said Ginny.
"The same," added Harry.
"And—I'm feeling a bit peckish," continued Ginny, opening the menu. Harry watched her eyes glaze over. "How about some toast and marmalade?" she turned to Madam Puddifoot.
"We don't have toast," she said. "There's scones, and today's special is a lovely pumpkin pie."
Ginny pulled a face. "I'll have the scones."
"And for you sir? Would you like to try the pie?"
"No," said Harry quickly. "I'll have scones, too. With marmalade, please."
"No butterbeer?" Ginny whispered once Madam Puddifoot was gone. "Last time I come near this place."
Harry couldn't help it; he laughed out loud. Ginny joined him, giggling, earning the glares of several couples around them, including Cho and Michael.
Ginny rolled her eyes and began to pick at the lace doily on the table. "I wonder if we tried a levitation charm on these, would it actually work, or would they just burst into flames?"
Harry snickered and kicked Ginny under the table. "Stop making me laugh," he hissed.
"Is it my fault you're so easily amused?" she hissed back.
"Are you calling me simple?"
"I didn't say it!" she responded playfully.
They were distracted from their argument by the food arriving, then distracted from their food by smacking sounds coming from the table next to them.
"Unbelievable," whispered Ginny, pointing to Cho and Michael, who were busily making out.
"I know," agreed Harry. "He never took you here?" he asked, meaning Michael.
"Uh, no," said Ginny. "I prefer to snog in private, thank you very much."
"As do I," agreed Harry, looking right at Ginny.
"Let's go somewhere private, Harry." She must have said it loud enough for the other couple to hear—Harry noticed they had stopped their previous activity—but she was looking right back at him. He was suddenly very anxious to leave.
"Let's," he said. They both stood up and Harry tossed a Galleon on the table, then lead Ginny out by the arm. They almost succeeded in holding in their laughter until they got outside.
"Race you to the alley!" Ginny called out, between fits of giggles, as she took off running.
"Cheat!" yelled Harry, trying to catch up with her. He did, only just. They both slammed into the wooden fence at the same time. "I'd say that's a tie, wouldn't you?"
"Mm," said Ginny, but that was all she said. Harry wasn't sure who had initiated it, and frankly, he didn't care, because he was kissing Ginny. And Ginny was kissing him.
The wooden fence was actually very comfortable, Harry discovered, as it was the only thing keeping him from either collapsing entirely or floating away.
"Is this private enough for you?" he asked when they pulled apart for air. Ginny didn't respond; she simply attacked him. He eagerly attacked back. They clung to each other in the alley, kissing passionately, only breaking apart when they heard another couple passing by.
Harry and Ginny looked up to see, not for the first time that day, Michael and Cho glaring at them, as they walked past.
"Apparently not," said Ginny, pulling Harry further into the alley before attacking him again. Harry was quite happy to be attacked.