Dancing with Ginny
Harry Potter books, and all characters therein are belong to J. K. Rowling, © 2001/2002 Warner bros. In short, they aren't mine, so please don't sue.
Dancing with Ginny
A/N - I've followed a little bit of fanon I've read in more than one Harry Potter fanfic. The Idea that Mrs. Weasley would've taught all her children to dance. It seems logical and it works out really good with my little story idea. So if you don't like it, I'd like to apologize ahead of time. Sorry ^_^
Harry wasn't sure which was the more dreadful prospect, the fact that there might be another ball at Hogwarts this year, or the fact that Mrs. Weasley had decided to teach both him and Hermione to dance. Not that dancing with Hermione would be such a terrible thing; Harry could associate that with something like practicing charms or Defense Against the Dark Arts with Hermione. No, that wasn't the most dreadful part. The thing that bothered Harry to no end was that he wouldn't be learning to dance with Hermione, his partner would be Ginny Weasley, and she already knew how to dance.
Ordinarily, Harry wasn't nervous at all around Ginny, so it was quite an unexpected feeling to be so nervous about dancing with her; after all, she was only Ginny. But like it or not, he was nervous, and nervous or not, he was going to have to learn to dance with Ginny, or risk insulting Mrs. Weasley, not to mention probably hurting Ginny's feelings.
Harry wasn't exactly sure what bothered him about the idea of dancing with Ginny. She didn't seem to have that crush on him anymore, and if she did, she did a wonderful job of hiding it. The image that kept coming to mind was of her face at the Yule Ball last year, the wincing of pain when Neville trampled her feet. Harry had found that dwelling on problems didn't solve anything, he'd determined at the start of the summer that he wouldn't spend his time reliving or reviewing the events of the previous year. But Harry found it hard not to think about his upcoming dancing lessons, or to worry about it, for that matter.
Ron didn't seem too keen about it either. Mrs. Weasley had insisted Hermione also take some lessons, despite the fact that Hermione actually danced at the Yule Ball last year. Mrs. Weasley paired Hermione with Ron, leaving Harry to wonder why she didn't pair Hermione with himself and leaving Ron and Ginny out of it, as they already knew how to dance.
Harry went to bed quite nervous about getting up and dancing in the morning. Though his brain was starting to hurt from trying to figure out exactly why the idea of dancing with Ginny made him so tense.
Stepping where you aren't supposed to
Harry laboriously counted as Mrs. Weasley had told him, trying to remember the direction he was supposed to step, and wondering why he was quite as nervous as he was, considering he was only dancing with Ginny, and only to learn, at that. But still, he found he couldn't shift his view from the spot he'd picked above her head. He moved unsteadily around the floor, Ginny's hand damp within his own, counting and hoping he wouldn't screw up and trample on her feet like Neville. The very thought brought vivid memories of Neville stepping on poor Ginny's toes at the Yule Ball the previous year.
Instantly, Harry lost count, and couldn't remember whether he was going forward or backward. In a split second, he chose forward, shifting his weight and committing to a forward step. He stepped down on an odd shaped bit of floor, Ginny made a small squeak, and suddenly Harry realized he'd stepped on her foot. He quickly shifted his weight off that foot, and apologized, but the damage was done. He had lost count and concentration, and by the time the song was over he'd stepped on her toes twice more.
"Well now, Harry, that wasn't so bad was it?" asked Mrs. Weasleys, clasping her hands together as Harry and Ginny separated unceremoniously. Harry glanced longingly at the stairs, wishing he could run up to Ron's room. But he liked Mrs. Weasley too much to ever let on that he wasn't at least partly enjoying the lessons she'd insisted on.
"Now, come on, Ron, Hermione, your turn," said Mrs. Weasley enthusiastically. Ron got to his feet, ashen faced, and turned toward Hermione.
"You don't really have to go to all this trouble, Mrs. Weasley, I picked up a lot from my partner at the Yule Ball," remarked Hermione. Ron face quickly went from pale to crimson. Hermione noticing, gave him a half smile.
"Best to be prepared, dear, but I suppose if you don't want to, I shouldn't force you," said Mrs. Weasley. Harry wondered why she hadn't given him that option. Hermione glanced back at Mrs. Weasley, and shook her head.
"No, I think you're right," she said, "never hurts to get more practice." Hermione seemed preoccupied by the look on Ron's face.
"Right, dear, let me set the music. Ron, take your partner's hand." The crimson color in Ron's face faded quickly and he raised a shaky hand to take Hermione's.
At least I'm not the only one who hates this, thought Harry.
By the time Harry and Ron got back up to Ron's bedroom, they'd both been forced to dance with their partner another two times. Ron had danced quite stiffly all three times, but at least he hadn't stepped on Hermione's feet.
"Damn Mum, why'd she have to make us dance for two hours?" asked Ron as she plopped onto his bed and kicked his shoes across the room.
"Dunno, but at least you didn't make a fool of yourself. Ginny's probably got icepacks on her feet by now," said Harry, slumping back on the floor and rubbing his eyes.
"What does it matter to you, not like you care what Ginny thinks of you, course, not like Ginny thinks anything bad about you," said Ron with a chuckle.
"Knock it off!" shouted Harry, tossing a pillow at Ron, which he caught easily. "I don't want to go stepping all over her feet, do I? Besides, why should you worry about dancing with Hermione? Not like you care what she-"
"Knock it off!" Ron immediately flushed red and, threw the pillow back at Harry, who caught it. They sat in silence for a moment before Ron spoke up. "Wonder why Mum doesn't have just you and Hermione learning together?" Harry shrugged his shoulders, and laid back down in the floor, and gazed out the window at the orange sky. He would much rather learn to dance with Hermione. But telling Ron that he felt he'd be less nervous dancing with Hermione than Ginny would be out of the question. He still couldn't figure out why he was so tense around her anyway. Was it just that he didn't want to step on her feet? He didn't know how, but somehow, he knew that if he only knew how to dance already, then he wouldn't have anything to worry about dancing with Ginny.
"I'm going to the bathroom," said Harry suddenly, bolting up and heading out the door. He suddenly realized that he had no intention of stepping all over Ginny's feet tomorrow. He went down the stairs two at a time, stopping on the third floor landing and knocking on Ginny's door.
"Hermione," he said through the door. A moment later, Hermione opened the door.
"What is it?" she asked. Harry started to speak when he noticed Ginny lying on her bed, her bare feet looked slightly pink.
"Can we talk?" he asked quietly. Hermione nodded and turned back to Ginny.
"I'll be back in a minute," she said. Harry led her down the stairs onto the second floor landing. "What is it, Harry?" asked Hermione. No sooner did she get it out of her mouth than he answered.
"You've got to help me, I need to learn how to dance properly by tomorrow," replied Harry, sounding as if he needed it in order to get past a Triwizard tournament task.
"Wait a minute, Harry, I don't know how to dance much better than you do, and besides, you're learning to dance-"
"And trampling all over Ginny's feet and making a complete fool of myself," whispered Harry tensely.
"But how am I supposed to help you anymore than Ginny?" asked Hermione, lowering her voice.
"I don't know, I think I'd be less tense learning with you than with Ginny, you're not…" He stalled.
"I'm not what, a girl?" asked Hermione, narrowing her eyes.
"No, not that, you're just, I mean," he stuttered, searching for words. "I know you better," he finally came up with. Hermione gave him a perplexed look, pursing her lips. "Just meet me down in the living room at midnight, and don't tell Ginny," he finished, waiting for her to agree.
"All right," she said after a brief pause. "But I'm not doing this all week."
The midnight dance
Harry was sure that midnight would never come. He kept looking at Ron's clock but it apparently had been charmed so that each minute would feel the same as ten. Finally at two minutes till, he quietly got himself up, put his slippers on and sneaked out of Ron's bedroom. The staircase that meandered up through the Burrow creaked a lot more than he remembered, or maybe it was because he had never heard the Burrow quite this quiet. Finally he managed to make it down to the first floor, and tiptoed silently into the living room.
"Harry, is that you?" Hermione's voice whispered in the near darkness. Harry turned toward her and heard the crisp sound of a match being struck. The flare of light illuminated Hermione's face, and cast odd shaped shadows on the ceiling. "Lets get through with this, shall we?" she asked as she lit a single candle. Harry stepped forward to the spot he'd taken each time he danced with Ginny.
"I get the feeling, if I could just watch my feet for a bit, it might help," said Harry. Hermione nodded and stepped over to the old Phonograph to set the music playing. "What are you doing?!" Harry hissed, coming up beside her in two steps and catching her hand before she could turn on the music. "You'll wake Mr. and Mrs. Weasley up! Just what they need, to think there's a bunch of Death Eaters loose in the Burrow!" he hissed.
"Loose and playing one of Mrs. Weasleys favorite Muggle records??" retorted Hermione. Harry held her arm dumbly for a moment before he let it go. She turned the volume down as low as she could get it and set the needle on the record. With a quiet scratch and hiss, the music started playing at a barely audible volume.
As he predicted, dancing with Hermione was more relaxing. Not that she was more easy-going than Ginny. To Harry, it was more like learning a necessary charm or curse. Hermione was a natural teacher, keeping you on task and remaining serious at all times. She'd allowed him to watch his feet during the first couple songs, but by the fourth one, he was required to keep his chin up.
To help him out, Hermione continued counting out loud as she had been since the beginning. Harry was just getting the swing of it when the record finally scratched softly and ended.
"You did great, Harry, you shouldn't have any-"
"Can we go again, just one more song? I want to make sure I've got it," said Harry, moving to reset the record.
"Harry, you've danced ten times! You don't think that's enough for one night? It's one thirty." said Hermione.
"But the first song is only two and a half minutes, I just want to make sure I've got it down." Hermione sighed, furrowed her brow and shook her head.
"Why are you so nervous about dancing with Ginny?" she asked. Harry suddenly felt an odd lurch in his stomach. "She's only Ginny, you've known her for years."
"I just don't want her thinking I can't dance any better than Neville." Hermione looked unconvinced. "All right, all right, I don't need any more practice," said Harry, picking the needle up off the record and setting it back to its resting place. It wasn't until he'd turned back toward her that he noticed she was watching him with a worried look.
"Harry, you aren't going to tell Mrs. Weasley that you don't need to learn to dance from Ginny anymore are you?"
"Of course not, I told you, I just don't want to go stepping on her feet anymore," protested Harry. That was it, of course, it had to be. There couldn't be anything else to it, could there? Hermione grinned and headed back up the stairs quietly. Harry blew out the candle and slowly, quietly, crept up the stairs all the way to the top.
Dancing with Ginny
Harry kept his eyes glued to a spot just over Ginny's head, concentrating on his steps. He could hear Hermione's voice counting in his mind, it helped him keep in time. He kept counting and wondered why this was the longest two and a half minute song he'd ever heard. Again, he found himself wondering why he was so nervous about dancing with Ginny. He'd danced fine with Hermione, and he imagined even dancing with Mrs. Weasley wouldn't make him so tense.
It's just Ginny, for crying out loud! he thought, forcing himself to look down at her face. What he saw almost made him lose count. Ginny had apparently chosen the same moment to look up at him. Or she's been looking at me the whole time, he thought. Whether she was or not didn't matter much, she was looking at him now, and he at her. Harry suddenly found it very hard not to look at her eyes; he'd never looked at them before, not for more than a few seconds anyway. They were a lighter brown than Hermione or Ron, and closer inspection showed why. Harry was sure he could see flecks of green near her pupils.
Suddenly, she blinked and Harry became acutely aware that he'd been staring quite intently at Ginny's eyes. Not wanting to make it obvious he'd been looking at her eyes, he shot his gaze downward to her small, freckle-covered nose. Being this close, her freckles stood out more. They dotted her face like pepper, covering her cheeks, her nose, and all around her mouth. Harry noticed as he looked about the freckles near her mouth that Ginny was mouthing something. His attention drawn to her lips, he watched as they just barely formed words. After a moment a realized that she was actually counting, and not just counting, but mouthing his steps. He shot his gaze back to her eyes, but they now rested on an area near his neckline.
The music slowed and came to a close. Harry, as he'd learned, bowed to the last note of the song, as Ginny curtsied. Mrs. Weasley clasped her hands together and hurried over to Harry.
"You're doing much better today, Harry. You won't have to worry if there's a ball this year," she said. Harry, who could feel his cheeks burning slightly, avoided Ginny's eyes and made a beeline for his seat.
"Right then, Hermione, it's your turn, dear," said Mrs. Weasley enthusiastically. "Hurry up, Ron."
Revelations while packing a trunk
After the day's lessons Mrs. Weasley said she'd never taught two more attentive people than Harry or Hermione, and that she was quite sure they had learned as much as they were going to learn from her. She announced that she'd be leaving the record player and her favorite records to dance to free so if any of them wanted to dance, they'd be welcome. The record player lay untouched for the remaining three days left at the Burrow.
The weather took an ugly turn two days before they were to board the Hogwarts Express back to school. Gray clouds filled the sky and rain drizzled down over everything. There hadn't been any word about anything sinister going on in the world, but then as Harry had determined earlier that summer, there was no point in dwelling on it. Not that his mind had any trouble dwelling on other things.
He found himself spending most of his time gawping out the windows and thinking about, of all things, dancing with Ginny. Even though he was so very nervous about it, he had to admit there was something strange about the experience, something he couldn't shake. His mind kept returning to the image of Ginny in her pale white robes, dancing with Neville Longbottom, and wincing in pain as he stepped on her feet.
The night before they were to head back to Hogwarts, Harry sat in the dim light of Ron's room as they packed their trunks for the trip tomorrow. Harry tossed his school textbooks into the trunk, then picked up his neatly folded dress robes. Bottle green, silk, with an intricate design woven into the fabric.
"I'm sure they won't have another ruddy ball, Harry," said Ron, more for his own benefit than for Harry's. "Besides, even if they do, you probably won't have to go."
But I want to go Harry thought before he realized it. He dropped his green robes on the bed, the look of shock apparently showing on his face.
"What?" asked Ron. Harry looked over toward Ron. It had only just now hit him.
"Nothing, I was just thinking about, last year," he said, hoping Ron wouldn't ask anymore if he thought Harry was having bad memories. He lifted his robes again, and folded them carefully, placing them back into his trunk with new care. They continued packing in silence; all the while, Harry's mind raced over the possibility of a dance at Hogwarts, a dance that he would be prepared for. A dance that this year, he wouldn't wait around to ask who he intended to take. There was only one person he could think of, and in all of Hogwarts, there was no one else he'd rather dance with.
The Hogwarts Express
Harry waited just inside the doorway of the train, watching as Ginny gave a last goodbye wave to Mr. and Mrs. Weasley and Bill. Harry stepped forward, as Ginny turned and stepped away from the window. She caught sight of him at the last minute and threw her hands forward to keep from slamming into him. Instinctively, he raised his own arms, to keep her from falling back. As he caught her shoulders, her arms collapsed onto his chest, and her face tilted sharply up toward his, allowing him to meet her eyes. Bright brown eyes, with just the barest hint of green in them, right near her pupils.
Harry could suddenly feel his cheeks getting warmer as he remembered why he'd waited on Ginny in the first place. He let go of her shoulders, letting his arms come down by his sides, and took a small step backward. At the same time, Ginny pushed gently against his chest, taking a small step backward, herself. Harry found a convenient dark spot on the cream colored paint on the nearby wall. He cleared his throat and willed himself to look back at her, all the time thinking it was quite silly to be so nervous around her.
It's only Ginny, he thought again; he'd been thinking this a lot lately.
"Ginny, er…" He wondered where to begin. "Our Hogwarts letters said we needed dress robes again this year," he said, pausing to allow his mind to catch up to his mouth. "So, if there's a ball this year, er, d'you want to go with me?" he finally managed. Ginny's mouth immediately parted slightly in shock and she stood silently for a few seconds. Long enough for a thick weight to drop into Harry stomach; she was going to say no.
"Oh, er, I, yes, I'd love to," she finally said, blush flooding into her cheeks. Relief filled Harry, lifting the dead weight of doubt out of his gut. Relief not only that Ginny had said yes, but that he wouldn't have to ask anyone when the time came.
"Okay," said Harry. Ginny, who was fidgeting with the sides of her skirt, smiled. "Right. Well, I'd better get back to Ron and Hermione," added Harry. Ginny nodded, the blush in her cheeks starting to fade.
"I should probably go find my friends, too," said Ginny. Harry stepped backward toward Ron and Hermione's compartment. Ginny sidled by as Harry fumbled behind himself for the door latch. Finally finding it, he slid the door open and turned to go in. "See you at Hogwarts," called Ginny from a few steps away. She waved back to him, then turned and headed briskly up the isle and through the door to the next car.
"What was that all about?" asked Ron, as Harry slipped in and sunk into his seat.
"Nothing," he replied. He wasn't about to tell Ron he'd just asked his younger sister to the possible ball at Hogwarts this year. Besides, he inwardly grinned, Ron's still in denial about a ball this year, he'll still have to worry about asking Hermione. I only hope he takes her advice about it. His grin forced its way out and across his face.
"What? What's so funny?" asked Ron again. Harry shook his head and waved a hand in front of him.
"It's nothing, really," said Harry again. He glanced over to the corner of the compartment, where a large maroon dome sat. Ron had thrown his dress robes over Pig's cage again. He caught Harry's gaze on the old faded maroon robes.
"Not as bad as they were last year, Mum's cleaned up the neck and sleeves, and she's gotten rid of those stupid bell flares in the wrists," said Ron. Harry forced himself not to grin. He knew that as a stipulation he'd made when he forced the Triwizard winnings on Fred and George, they were to get Ron a new set of dress robes. He'd seen them, a deep evergreen, something even Ron couldn't find fault in.
Ron held up his maroon robes to show Harry. Harry only nodded, his mind filling with images other than Ron's robes. Images of a set of beautiful white robes, a pale, freckled girl dancing in them. A girl with red hair that curved inward at about her neckline. A girl he'd be dancing with again, hopefully very soon.