Ginny Weasley climbed through the portrait hole into the common room, walked wearily over to a chair, and dropped into it with a sigh. She had just come to terms with something that had been bothering her for...well, forever, it seemed. Harry. It always came back to him, didn't it? She had been dreaming of Harry Potter ever since she had first seen him at platform nine and three-quarters as a ten-year-old. Six long years, and nothing had come of it. So, after all those years of waiting for him to notice her, Ginny had finally decided that her dreams were never going to come true. And she came to the realization that she would rather have Harry in her life as a friend than not have him there at all.
"What's wrong, Ginny?"
Startled, she looked up to see the object of her thoughts sitting just a few feet away from her. How could I have missed him sitting there? she thought. A faint blush covered her cheeks before she composed herself enough to speak.
"I.... It's nothing, Harry."
"Ginny," he said, "don't try to tell me it's nothing. I know you better than that."
And that, she reflected, was the truth. He did know her better than that. Really, he knew her better than just about anybody did, even her brothers. But why does he have to ask me this now? I know I just told myselfall that rubbish about being over him and having him as a friendand all, but why couldn't he let me get used to the idea for a while? She sighed again.
"Oh...all right, Harry. It's just...well...." She trailed off, wondering what exactly she should tell him.
"C'mon, it's just me—Harry. You can tell me."
Just Harry, my foot. Oh, bugger it. Tell him the truth and get it over with.
"Um...well, there's this...boy." She stopped and looked at him, to gauge his reaction. Is that disappointment on his face? she wondered. No, it couldn't be. He doesn't think of me like that.
"Go on," he encouraged.
"Well...I think I might love him." You, you git. I love YOU!
"He must be someone special, then." Harry's voice was noncommittal. "Go on, then. Tell me about him."
Ginny groaned. "Harry, this is embarrassing!"
"Look, we're friends, right?" Ginny thought she saw his lips tighten a little at that. "You need someone to talk to. So, talk."
She rolled her eyes. "All right, then. What do you want to know? No, wait.... Don't answer that. I'm not telling you who he is. I'll...I'll just describe him, shall I?"
Harry nodded stiffly.
"Oh, Harry. He's just wonderful!" Harry looked at her and motioned for her to continue.
"He's, well, handsome, or at least I think he is." She unconsciously flexed her fingers and continued, "I just want to run my fingers through his hair. And his eyes...." She sighed. "Sometimes I feel like he can see right through me."
Yeah. Just like that, she thought, blushing under his intense gaze. She took a deep breath and forced herself to continue.
"But," she said quickly, "it's not just that he's handsome. There's so much more. He's funny, and smart, even though he doesn't think so, and strong, and brave, and loyal...." Her voice trailed off in embarrassment.
"He's lucky, Ginny, to have someone care so much about him," Harry said softly, leaning closer to Ginny as he spoke.
"Yes, he is lucky. More people care for him than he realizes." She was picking her words carefully now, treading on dangerous ground. "He's...." Her voice caught before she continued, "He's been hurt deeply in the past, and things have happened in his life. Horrible things. Things he blames himself for but aren't his fault at all." She looked directly at him as she finished, and gasped when she realized how close his face was to hers. Suddenly, she felt his lips awkwardly brush hers before he quickly pulled away.
Harry's face was red with embarrassment, and he started to get up to leave. "Ginny...I'm sorry. I...I shouldn't have.... I mean, I had no right. I'll...um...I'll just go now."
Ginny grabbed his arm before he could get away. "Harry. Harry, look at me. Harry, please." She could see the mortification and uncertainty on his face.
"It's okay, Ginny. I understand. You love someone else. I'll stay away fr—"
"Harry, wait," she interrupted. "Let me finish." Her mind raced frantically, trying to find something—anything—to say to him. She couldn't let him get away now, not after he had kissed her. Then, suddenly, she knew exactly what to say.
"Harry...." She bit her lip. Now she was the one who sounded embarrassed and uncertain. He wouldn't look at her, but she still held his arm, so she gathered up her courage and started speaking again.
"I told you how I loved his hair. Did I tell you that it's as dark as a blackboard?" She smiled now. "Or that his eyes are as green as a fresh pickled toad? Did I tell you that...."
Harry turned to look directly at her, and the hope she saw in his eyes made her breath catch.
"But that's what you said about...."
"You. Harry, it's always been you." She touched his cheek gently. "I had just decided that I would rather be your friend than not be around you at all, and then you started asking me all these questions and.... Well, now you know."
Harry looked deeply in her eyes and gave a sheepish smile. "Now I know. And...I guess now you know, too."
Ginny sighed again before leaning forward to lightly brush her lips against his once more. "Now I know, too."
A/N: Thanks to OHGinnyFan and LucyJekyll for reading this and fixing my mistakes! They helped more than they know.