“Now if we follow this diagram, Ravenclaw doesn’t
stand a chance! Are we ready?”
Enthusiastic replies came from the other six
players. Ginny, however, was the first on her feet. She stood next to Harry
supportively. “He didn’t hear you, mates! ARE YOU READY?”
They all screamed this time, jumping to their feet
and huddling up for a group chant. They jogged out of the locker room, Harry
staring at Ginny admiringly. He couldn’t help but notice that if it was one of
them, it was only given a half effort. But when the two of them got together,
there was no stopping them.
That was what made them such great Quidditch
The team made their way out to the field. Harry and
the Captain of the Ravenclaw team shook hands. Mounting their brooms, they kicked
off into the air. The crowd cheered so loudly that Harry was sure his ears
would start bleeding. Ginny smiled at him from a distance and she did a few
dips on her broom before the teams flew to the circle, waiting for the game to
Before any of them knew it, the Snitch flew out of
the box and away into the distance, the Bludgers
erupted from the case, and the Quaffle was in the
air. Ginny’s sole purpose was to have that red leather ball in her arms.
Ginny wasn’t even thinking when she came up behind
the first Ravenclaw Chaser and bunched the ball out of the crook of his arm.
She watched it fly just into her grasp as she reached out and caught it. A
smile of triumph on her face, she saw one of the other Gryffindor Chasers,
Andrew Shelley, steer up ahead of her. Tossing the Quaffle
forward, she saw Andrew grab it and duck below her. She raced quickly toward
the hoops and caught the Quaffle unexpectedly,
sliding it through the right hoop before the Ravenclaw Keeper had a chance to
realize what was happening.
“Ginny Weasley scores! Ten points to Gryffindor!”
The crowds cheered loudly. Ginny could see the boy
with the black hair and glasses wave at her down the field. He was still in his
mad search for the Snitch but had time to stop and watch her goal. This pleased
her very much.
The Quaffle ended up in
the hands of a Ravenclaw Chaser before Ginny had a chance to look away from
Harry. She shook off the fog in her head and got back to the game. She leaned
forward and shot after the Chaser. He released the Quaffle
to one of his teammates up the field and Ginny halted in the air. The Chaser he
had thrown it to was right next to one of Gryffindor’s
Beaters, a third year named Carly Stevens. She was fortunate enough to be the
owner of a Nimbus 2001, which was an older model compared to Harry’s Firebolt,
but still ranked high in agility and speed. She ducked underneath the Chaser
and then advanced on him so quickly that he had to look around when she took
Ginny saw her opportunity and sped up to get back to
the posts. Carly threw the Quaffle at Andrew, who
happened to be speeding by right at that moment and tossed it off to Ginny. She
“Ginny Weasley scores another ten points for
All Ginny could see was a sea of red and gold flags
and scarves all over the place. She smiled at the crowd and heard behind her,
“Good game, J.”
Her red ponytail whapped her in the face as she
swiveled her head to see Harry speeding by. It looked like he was having
trouble finding the snitch.
Harry tried to get out of Ginny’s way as soon as
possible. Having her on the team was a great advantage. She was wonderful at
strategizing, maneuvering, and keeping her head on smartly instead of letting
the adrenaline sink to it like so many other Chasers did. However, the more
Harry thought about it, she was a complete distraction. It seemed to him that
she got cleverer with each passing day.
The fact that she was suddenly becoming drop dead
gorgeous hadn’t escaped his attention, either. Harry was fascinated with her
hair. It was at a medium length where it just hung over her shoulders. The ends
flipped out in such an adorable way that he melted whenever she put it into a
ponytail. It was bright scarlet and looked silky to the touch. He could
remember a time when he was in the locker room discussing how well they had
done when he saw Ginny taking her hair out of her ponytail and mussing it. He’d
forgotten what he was going to say next. He’d been doing that an awful lot with
It really surprised him a few seconds later when he
saw the exact girl he had been thinking about waving at him from downfield. He
thought no more about it and zoomed over toward her.
“I spotted the Snitch!” she whispered harshly. “I
saw you zoning out, and I was a little worried. Are you all right?”
His green eyes sparkled for her concern. She noticed
this and turned bright red. The girl had lost her crush years ago and was a
completely free spirit when it came to everything else, but she certainly
didn’t know how to take any kind of compliment.
“I’ll be fine, J, where did you see the Snitch?”
She nodded her head toward the end of the pitch, by
the Hufflepuff box. He said no more and zoomed off. Ginny turned her broom
backward to help more with the scoring of the game.
They spoke no more the rest of the game. Ravenclaw
caught up quickly to Gryffindor, and before they knew it, the score was seventy
to sixty, Gryffindor leading. Ginny was on the edge of her broom. She wanted
Harry to find the Snitch right away. He had to. They had to win.
But she had let the thought dwindle too long. Before
she knew it, Ravenclaw’s Seeker and Harry were
hurtling toward her rapidly. She was sure that in a matter of seconds she would
be lying unconscious underneath a Seeker, but Harry shifted his broom in time
to narrowly miss her head and reached his arm right next to her left ear. The
crowd went wild. Harry had caught the Snitch and Gryffindor had won the game.
Ginny sat on her broom, speechless. What had just
Harry smiled down at her and then frowned when he
saw her look of confusion. “We just won, J! Come celebrate with me!”
She shook off her daze and whizzed through the air
to follow behind him.
The crowd was going wild in amazement. She had
missed it, but Harry had pulled back so narrowly to miss hitting Ginny that
when he went to grab the Snitch, he was nearly lying backward on his Firebolt.
There was a party in Gryffindor Tower after the game, but neither Harry nor
Ginny attended for very long.
Ron and Hermione came running up after the game to
congratulate them. Hermione had also excitedly told them that McGonagall was
going to let them go to Hogsmeade if they won. Harry
and Ginny thought it was the perfect way to wind down after a game.
So after changing out of their Quidditch uniforms
and meeting Ron and Hermione back at the portrait hole, the clan headed for Hogsmeade.
All anyone could talk about was the match and how
wonderfully it had gone. Harry couldn’t stop complimenting Ginny on how well
she played. She was so shocked by the compliments she could hardly speak.
“Something that never happens,” Ron pointed out
Ginny shot him an evil look and listened to Harry go
on about new Quidditch tactics raptly.
They settled in the Three Broomsticks a short while
after arriving. They began a discussion about something that Harry didn’t
really mind talking about at that moment: The Order.
“How is everything, Harry? You don’t tell us
anything because of that pact,” Hermione asked. She and Ron were holding hands
on top of the table.
Harry didn’t have his mind on The Order, however. He
was staring at Hermione and Ron’s joined hands. Ginny was also staring out into
the pub. She had told Harry at the beginning of the year that she wanted
nothing to do with Voldemort and The Order. Oh sure,
she would be there if her friends ever needed her, but she didn’t want to be
constantly included. She said that her experience first year was far too close
for comfort. Harry understood all too well.
But she was playing with her hair.
Yanking his eyes away from the bright tresses, he
gulped and answered, “To be honest, they haven’t gotten so far. It’s becoming
very pressing. They don’t know where Vol―”
Harry stopped at the way Ginny flinched next to him. Ron had made it a point to
stop calling him You-Know-Who, for Harry, but it didn’t stop him from getting
squirmy. Ginny was another story. “I mean, they don’t know where You-Know-Who
“What about Death Eaters?” Hermione asked. “Surely
they can’t all be hiding?”
Harry watched Ginny become increasingly fidgety.
This only made him nervous. Casting a worried glance at her, he answered,
“Well, no, they’re not. Thanks to some of the Aurors
who volunteered to go out on what seemed like suicide missions, they caught a
gigantic number of Death Eaters.”
“Well, that’s good at least. But there are still
Death Eaters trying to get into the Muggle world?” Ron asked.
“They have Aurors on that
as well,” Harry looked up and saw that Ginny decided she couldn’t take it
anymore. She got up from the table and walked outside of the pub.
Ron sighed, shifting in his seat. “I’ll go talk to
“No,” Harry said automatically. He got up. “This is
my fault, I promised her I wouldn’t include her in all this. I need to talk to
“But you weren’t including her in anything,”
Ron pointed out as Harry set out to leave.
“She was here while we were talking about it, wasn’t
she?” he asked, not waiting for an answer as he left to go find Ginny.
Fortunately, she hadn’t gone far. She was sitting
out in front of the Three Broomsticks on an old wooden bench that appeared to
be so only magic could possibly have kept it standing. Tears were streaming
down her face.
“Ginny,” he whispered. She looked up at him quickly,
wiping the tears off of her face and scooting down the bench to make room for
“Harry,” she greeted. “What are you doing out here?”
“I came to talk to you,” he said quietly.
She only smiled at him. “Thanks, but I’m fine. I
just… yeah, I’m fine.”
“No, you’re not, and it’s my fault you’re out here
She looked at him, surprised. “What are you talking
about? Nothing is your fault.”
“I promised you I’d never talk about You-Know-Who
while you were there… and I did. I apologize. You don’t need to be wrapped up
in this mess.”
A couple more tears rolled down her cheeks as she
looked into the street and became foggy-eyed, as if reliving a memory. “I just
can’t believe he got a hold of me.”
Harry was shocked to hear her mention the encounter
she had had with Voldemort. She was always so tight
lipped about it. The mere mention of that year made her turn completely white.
“I’m so sorry I let that happen to you, J,” Harry
Ginny again looked at him as if he were insane.
“What are you talking about? How could you have done anything about it?
I was just a silly eleven-year-old girl with a huge, embarrassing crush on you.
You wouldn’t have wanted to protect me if you could, Harry.”
“I wasn’t blind then, Harry,” she told him as more
tears crept out of her eyes. Harry knew that the few she was crying at that
moment was his doing. “It’s not flattering to have your best friend’s little
sister drooling over you all the time. Thank the gods I came to my senses.”
Harry felt himself deflate. So she was happy about
not liking him anymore?
“I was twelve, J,” he told her. “I was just getting
used to being the famous Harry Potter and the fact that I had friends. Having
you there complicated my thoughts a little. I just should have been thinking
clearer. Maybe I wasn’t using my head enough.”
“Don’t blame yourself for that. It was five years
“But the scars are still there.”
Ginny felt more tears seep out of her eyes and
buried her head in her hands. Harry did the only thing he knew to do. He
wrapped his arm around her shoulder and pulled her close. His right hand was
lying limply at his side, but he was just itching… itching to get it up there
to touch her hair.
She sniffled. “You don’t have to comfort me, Harry.”
“I want to.”
Ginny stopped crying (and breathing) long enough for
Harry to move his hand to her hair. His eyes closed in exhilaration. It was
just as soft as he had always imagined it. Soft, silky, and ran through his
fingers as wonderfully as he had only hoped it could. It even smelled heavenly.
“H-H-Harry?” Ginny croaked after a few minutes.
“Yes?” he answered, his voice distant.
“Can we get up? I’m getting kind of stiff.”
“Oh,” he said, a disappointment in his tone that Ginny
was surprised to hear. They got up and stretched. Ginny peered into the pub and
realized that Ron and Hermione were enjoying their time alone.
“Should we leave them? They don’t seem to be missing
us,” she pointed out. Harry glanced in just in time to see Ron and Hermione’s
lips lock. He couldn’t help but feel a stab of jealousy for what they had. He
turned to look at Ginny.
“Let’s go for a walk,” he offered. They walked down
the street in silence. It was a comfortable sort of silence. They walked so close
together that their shoulders bumped every so often, each mumbling a sort of,
“Sorry,” to one another. They entered many different shops where both browsed.
Ginny was tempted to buy a box of multi-colored parchment paper, but didn’t
have enough money.
Harry smiled sweetly at her. “Do you really want
“I’ve been getting sick of the same old stuff, but I
don’t need it.”
“Yes, but do you want it?”
She shrugged, looking away. She definitely didn’t
want Harry to think she was trying to ask him for money, because she wasn’t.
That was just silly.
But a few seconds later, Harry shoved the box into
her arms, smiling happily. “If you don’t use it, I will. It’s our
Harry knew too well that none of the Weasleys would ever be keen enough to accept his money. By
using the ‘sharing’ loophole he had devised with Ron, he could buy them gifts
She smiled shyly and thanked him as they walked out
of the store. Ron and Hermione had finished their drinks at the Three
Broomsticks and were heading down the street, holding hands, talking and
“There they are!” Hermione said, as if noticing
Harry and Ginny for the first time in her life.
“Hullo,” Ron greeted. “Are you ready to leave? We’re
having too much fun, I suppose it has to end sometime.”
“Oh, Ron! Honestly,” Hermione said, rolling
her eyes. “What’s so bad about school? Besides, we have homework in
Transfiguration that you haven’t even started…”
He cut in, rolling his eyes. “Which is due next
week, but I decided I wanted to spend more time with you than with a book and a
piece of paper for a night. Calm down.”
This shut her up.
“Yes, we’re ready,” Harry answered the question Ron
had asked what seemed like ages before.
“All right then,” he said, turning around and
leading the way back to Hogwarts.
They arrived not a moment too soon. The four spent
the remainder of the day in the common room and were so beat after dinner in
the Great Hall, they decided to go straight to bed.
Harry had never seen Ron or Hermione act the way
they were acting. It was as if the world was ending because they had to part
ways for bed. Hermione normally would have been itching to hop on her bed and
read some new book she had bought and Ron would have been desperate to sleep.
It was quite a funny sight, however, seeing as they were very tired to begin
Ginny clambered into the portrait hole seconds after
Ron and Hermione had kissed and separated for the night, still staring at each
other as they walked away.
“You’d think he was going off to war,” Harry said
offhandedly to himself.
Ginny had heard him, stopping dead in her tracks.
Harry turned around quickly and saw that she was pale again.
“Oh, J, I didn’t know you were there…”
She shook it off quickly and gave him a weak smile.
“It’s all right. I have to start coming to terms with things and not be so
sensitive. Are you going to bed?”
He nodded, getting out of the chair and walking
toward the stairs. “Yes, yes, I am. I can’t even think I’m so tired. What about
too, and without hesitation she pulled out her wand and pointed it behind
Harry. “Accio!” she yelled suddenly.
Harry turned around quickly to see the box of
parchment papers he had bought her. She opened it and dug out a few, handing
them to Harry.
“No, no, those are yours.”
“You said ours.”
“I said I’d use them if you didn’t.”
“I want you to have some.”
“J, I don’t need any.”
“Do I have to force you?”
“I don’t need them.”
Not taking no for an answer, she grabbed his hand
and shoved the papers into it. He started to protest but before he could, Ginny
answered, “Listen to me. I don’t ever ask you for anything, and I don’t need
anything from you. But you gave me more than just parchment paper tonight,
Harry. You gave me hope.”
Flattered, Harry looked away from her bright brown
eyes and to the trembling parchment in his hand. “What do you mean?”
“I’ve known for some time that you’re amazing,
Harry,” she said, a slight flush rushing to her cheeks. She was, of course,
referring to her huge embarrassing crush five years previous. “But I never really
knew how wonderful you were until a year or so ago. And I didn’t know until
tonight that you were willing to be so wonderful to me. Just me.”
Harry wanted to say something, anything. He
preferred to tell her that when it came to Ginny Weasley, the word ‘just’ was
not included in the same sentence describing her. There was a reason why he was
being so wonderful to ‘just’ Ginny Weasley.
She smiled. “Take those papers. That’s all I ask.”
He nodded and let them drop to his side in
agreement. “Goodnight, J.”
She stared at him for a few seconds, contemplating
whether or not to hug him, kiss him on the cheek, or just walk away. In the
end, she just smiled and went to bed.
Harry sighed. “Oh, ‘just’ Ginny,” and went to bed.