The Sugar Quill
Author: zzzFF Jesabelle  Story: A Forest Encounter  Chapter: Default
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Ginny kicked the ground miserably, and watched the dirt swirl up from the ground

A Forest Encounter

 

Ginny kicked the ground miserably, and watched the dirt swirl up from the ground. It almost looked pretty in the shaft of light that shone through a gap in the trees, like small flecks of fairy dust. She, however, scowled, screwing up her forehead and wrinkling her nose – she wasn’t in the mood for admiring anything, let alone a bunch of dirt.

She took a deep breath, inhaling the earthy, musty smell of the forest. Birds in the trees above twittered softly, and every so often a bush would shudder or a twig on the ground would crack. Ginny wasn’t scared, though. She knew this forest well, she knew the creatures that lived there, she could sense the Thestrals and was wary of the Kneazles. She knew the Forbidden Forest was out of bounds, but she’d been coming here ever since her very first year at Hogwarts. She’d been to Hagrid’s hut one day early on in that year, scouting around for any sign of Harry, and the tall, dense mass of trees had aroused her curiosity once she’d left. It started off with just walking around the perimeter of the forest, and she gradually explored further and further. She’d only once or twice had a close call – the Centaurs had become more violent since last year, her fourth year, and an encounter with Bane the other day hadn’t exactly been amicable, she’d only just escaped by throwing a couple of haphazard Stupefying charms. Then there’d been the Bugbear incident...she daren’t even think about that one.

The Forest had always been her place of refuge when things got too much. There was a quaint little lake to the far left of the Forest which Ginny liked to consider it ‘her place’. She’d told the trees her most intimate secrets. Sitting and pouring her heart out into the silence when everything was going wrong was almost like a therapy – and it was the closest thing she could get to the companionship Tom had given her.

When she reached the lake she sat down with a groan.

 

“I thought it was over.”

 

There was a very pregnant paused, she almost expected someone to answer. She drew her legs up towards her, wrapping her arms around them and resting her chin on her knees.

 

“I thought it had changed. I thought I had changed. I didn’t think I was that person anymore...timid, shy, afraid-of-her-own-shadow Ginny. Oh I don’t know...I suppose I’m not that bad...but spending the summer away from him...and seeing him with...with that girl last year...I tried to fight it, I really did, I tried to be firm with myself, telling myself that it was over...but it’s no good.”

 

She heard another crack from the Forest floor behind her, but a furtive glance told her there was no danger. She sighed loudly again.

 

“Oh, Harry Potter. Stupid, stupid Harry Potter.” Ginny growled angrily, frustrated at herself, frustrated at her situation.

 

“Yes?”

 

A voice coming from behind her caused Ginny to whip her wand out and scramble to her feet as fast as lightening. She felt positively sick when she realised it was – him.

 

“Harry...” she whispered, swallowing hard and blushing to the roots of her hair. “What are you doing here?”

 

“I could ask you the same thing.” Ginny thought she saw a smile dancing on the corner of his lips. “The Forest is out of bounds you know...I saw a red-headed someone go into the Forest from the castle, and I thought I’d come down and investigate...”

 

“I-I-I like to come here sometimes when I need to, you know, think about...stuff.” Ginny took a large interest in staring at the scuffed toes of her shoes to avoid Harry’s gaze. There was a long, uncomfortable silence.

 

“I heard you talking, just then. I’m sorry I didn’t say anything sooner, but I had to know that you were talking about me.”

 

Ginny looked up and eyed Harry with a mixture of apprehension and curiousness.

 

“Why?”

 

“Because...” Harry began, taking two steps closer to Ginny so no more than a few inches separated them. He grinned bashfully. “I dunno. I just wanted to know, that’s all.”

 

The smile was infectious. Ginny grinned back broadly, and teased “oh come on...surely the famous Harry Potter isn’t lost for words?”

 

Harry arched an eyebrow and smirked. “No...I just...”

 

His face fell slightly. His smile was softer now, almost more tender. Ginny wouldn’t let herself see it, though. She wouldn’t let herself get her hopes up, set herself up for another heartbreak. The silence was awkward again, and Ginny watched a couple of Calabberts hop around by the water’s edge.

 

“Ginny, look at me.”

 

She immediately did as instructed, letting herself become mesmerised in his piercing green eyes.

 

“I-I think I really like you,” Harry blurted quickly, turning a vibrant shade of red but nevertheless holding Ginny’s gaze.

 

Ginny’s jaw dropped and her eyes widened, she opened her mouth a few times strongly resembling a goldfish, and when she was composed enough to speak it was only to shakily utter “really?”

 

“Of course really, Ginny. Yeah, really. I just...I dunno, you’ve changed so much this last year, and with what happened at the Ministry...and Sirius...” Harry shivered and shut his eyes briefly. “You’re like a different person now. A person that I admire and trust...a person that I really, really like. You’re not Ron’s little sister to me anymore. You’re Ginny. And you’re amazing.”

 

Ginny noticed she had goosebumps all over her body when Harry had finished speaking. She didn’t know what to say back, so she didn’t. She took another step closer to Harry, closing the gap between them. Gently cupping his chin with her hand, she looked longingly into his eyes for a few seconds. He slipped his arms around her waist, pulling her closer to him, and she rested her head gently on his shoulder and let out a very shaky breath.

 

Her mind was racing questions, what now? What does this mean? What’ll Ron say? Ginny only knew one thing for sure. This was the best trip she’d had to the Forest since – forever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

//
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