Dedicated: Still to Sakura (for giving me the idea) and again to Jake/HP
Guy. He said there needed to be more and I said...you know,
I didn't really want to write this because it was so hard to do the
first bit. And now to Chelle-sama, for not telling me to drag
my sorry self back to my anime fics that I talk about and talk
about but haven't yet written for her approval. Sorry, Chelle.
Thank you: To everybody. Because I feel like thanking all of
you. So there! And Zsenya because she knows that it should
be a comma and not a period.
Special note: Thank you to Catherine for letting me use herself and
Bryon. Oh, the liberties I take...
"That's it! I'm finished with the whole business!
Boys, really." I can't help laughing as Catherine
tosses her Potions essay on the table. "Bryon doesn't even
blink when I walk past him. I wouldn't be surprised to if he didn't
have a clue who I was."
Bryon is in Ravenclaw and we have Runes with him.
"Catherine, I'm sure he knows who you are. You sit right
in front of him. He's got the back of your head in front of him
for over an hour."
"Great, than he knows me as the head in front of
him." She leans back in her chair dramatically, one arm draped
over her eyes, "I'm sure he thinks 'that head...it's my soul mate.
How shall I live without that head?'. I'm sure that's how it is,
Ginny. Absolutely certain."
"I can't live without your head. It's my best
friend," I can't help giggling as she glares at me. "Come
on, it's better than being known as 'my best friend's kid sister'."
I point to myself and make a face, "Nothing says 'date' like the
words 'kid' and 'sister'."
Catherine is a great friend; she makes all the right sympathetic
noises. "Ah, Ginny, he'll come around and realize how great
you are. He's got glasses so we know he's not completely
blind," she grins and wraps an arm around my shoulders.
"One day he's going to wake up and see what a moron he's been by
ignoring you all these years."
"Sure," I mutter and lean into her. "I
wish it were sooner rather than later. Some days I feel like I
should just give up and tell him that I'm going to find somebody new
if he doesn't want me."
"Ginny! That's a great idea!" I'm
squeezed briefly and pushed to my feet. "Tell him that!
Tell him, tell him...'Listen, Harry, I've liked you for a long time
now but it's going nowhere fast. I'm ready to start dating other
people if you won't face up to the fact that we're meant to be together.
You've got a week to make a decision that you might or might not regret
for the rest of your life'. Go! Go now...he's by the fireplace
with Hermione and your brother."
"No! Catherine!" She's literally
shoving me across the common room.
"You do it and so will I. I'll tell Bryon the
exact same thing tomorrow after class," she give me a final push
and darts for the stairs. "I'll be in our Dorm! Hurry
up and give me the details!"
I'm left alone by the fireplace, except for Ron and Hermione
and Harry. I take a deep breath. Catherine's right.
She's right...this is ridiculous. I've always stood up for myself
and what I've wanted so why don't I take a stand with in this?
"Harry?" Really, why didn't I do this ages ago?
Just say everything right out and be done with wondering.
"Yes, Ginny?" His eyes are so green.
There's so much in his eyes; so much pain and joy and loss, so many
troubles and so much life. I can't talk for a moment and that
carefully prepared speech takes off faster than the Golden Snitch.
I can't just stand here and not say anything! I've got to say
"Harry Potter, you're an idiot." I nod
smartly and carefully walk up to the dorm. What in the world have
"Did you do it?" Catherine is sitting
on my bed, eyes wide and shinning. I think I'm going to be sick.
"You did! Ginny, that's great. Now he knows and he's
got a week to decide! Don't you feel so much better? I can't
wait to tell Bryon."
He's got an entire week. Well, let's hope he can
figure it out without me having to tell him what he's an idiot about.
I don't think I can stand the humiliation of talking to him ever
"I can't believe his nerve!" Catherine
shakes her head with a sigh. "Really."
Bryon wasn't in Runes today. "Well, I'm sure
he wouldn't have poisoned himself in the Potions Lab today if he'd known
that today was the day you were going to issue him an ultimatum."
"The fact that he did it at all proves he's avoiding
me," she giggles. "Or else it proves Snape hates Ravenclaw
as much as Gryffindor."
"I'd vote for the latter," I tell her as we
reach the marble stairs to the Great Hall. "Aren't you coming?"
I ask as Catherine stares speculatively down the corridor.
She drums her fingers against the newel post and hums.
"No. I'm going to find Bryon. He should still be in
the Hospital wing." She pushes away and smiles. "I'll
meet you downstairs in a bit."
"You're going to demand he date you or else while
She grins and winks, "I might as well get him while
he's weak." Somehow, Catherine can make almost any stupid
plan sound smart and well thought out; I wave her off with a smile and
head for lunch.
I'm actually having a very nice talk with Natalie McDougal,
the new Chaser on the team, about why we have such early practices on
Tuesday, something that starts with the fact that Oliver used to be
Team Captain and ends with the fact that Oliver is certifiable, when
Harry sits down next to me. And apologizes. "Sorry,
Am I that abhorrent that he can't sit next to me? "Why?"
Harry blinks. "Why...? Well, you're angry with me," he shrugs
and studies his food. "And you were here first."
"Angry?" He thinks I'm angry? " No, I'm not.
Who told you that?" He's seen me angry before.
"You called me an idiot."
"And?" Well, I know that I wasn't very...informative...but,
as Catherine would say, really. I've called Fred and George
worse things than idiot and that was in the middle of the Common Room.
Harry is staring at me. He actually looks like he's
been hit over the head. "And you must have been upset with me for
"Just because you're thick doesn't mean that I'm upset."
He's blinking at me like he's not following me at all. But I do
have his undivided attention. Catherine was right; get them when
they're weak. Now, maybe, I can tell him what I was supposed to
tell him the other night. "In fact, I wasn't upset last night.
I just thought I should warn you, was all."
"Warn me?" He's leaning so close to me that I can feel
his breath washing over my face. This is heaven.
"Ginny!" Colin nearly kills himself as he trips over his robes
and leans into the space between me and Harry. "Ginny, there's
a Hogsmeade weekend
scheduled for this week! Flitwick was just hanging the announcement
outside the Hall when I came in. Want to go with me?"
Oh...why now? Colin is a really nice guy and normally I
love to spend time with him but why did he have to choose now to invite
me out to Hogsmeade? "I'd like that!" Which
is true. What is also true is that I would like Colin to leave.
Soon. "Shall we meet up at The Three Broomsticks or would
you rather walk
in together?" Please say 'meet up'.
Colin grins. "We could walk in together, if you want," he
smiles and bobs in place.
"That sounds really nice, Colin." It'd sound nicer if you
"Alright then, Colin?" Harry says, suddenly.
What's with that look?
"Oh, hullo Harry." Colin smiles at Harry briefly
before turning back to me. What is with that look Harry has? "Well,
I'd like to stay and plan going, but I've got to look up some stuff
for History of Magic." He makes a motion towards the doors. "I
just came in to ask you if you wanted to go." What is Colin
on about? We don't have anything pressing in HoM.
"That is so nice of you," I have to smile, because it is so
nice, but I'm also going to have to talk to him. I don't want
to lead Colin on or anything. So much for lunch. "I'm
finished, so why don't I come to the Library with you? We can talk on
the way. Bye, Harry." What is that look he's
"Great!" Colin smiles brilliantly. "Because,
well, there's a reason I'm asking you to go with me..." Colin trails
off and ducks his head and I grab his hand and pull him toward the Library.
I don't want to hurt his feelings in front of everybody.
"Colin, you know how I feel about...about...somebody,
right?" I ask once I've got him alone in the hall.
He blinks. "Harry, you mean," he nods.
"I think everybody knows from our year up." He makes
a wry face, "I'm sorry, that was sort of tactless, wasn't it?"
I've heard far worse from boys I know better. "It's
alright. I just wanted to make sure that you knew we were only
going to Hogsmeade as friends."
Colin seems surprised. "Of course!"
He blinks. "Did you want it to be a date, or something?"
Now it's apparently his turn to be horrified. "Oh, Ginny,
I just assumed that since you fancied Harry that you still..." he
stops. "I'm sorry."
"No!" I blurt out and then I have to laugh.
"I thought you wanted a date."
Colin laughs too. "So, I don't want a date
with you and you don't want a date with me. Good to know."
He blushes. "I did want to talk to you about dating, though,
if you wouldn't mind." His blush deepens and he looks down,
"You know Oriana Wynne, right?"
"Sure, she's in Hufflepuff. I have Advanced
Charms with her." I nod. And then I realize..."Colin!
Are you asking me to set you up?"
He grins. "I might be."
"This is great!" Colin and Oriana would
be great together. I can't wait to get started. "I'll
talk to her about meeting up in the Three Broomsticks, if you want."
I get a smile in return. This is going to be fun and I decided
to put Harry out of my mind and find Catherine. We have some plotting
"So, we're helping Colin to shape up his love life,"
Catherine is still entranced with the idea. "I think it's
good that he asked you in front of Harry. Give him a little nudge,
if you know what I mean." She nudges me and winks.
I roll my eyes. "I'm sure." Really, I
called you a moron and then before I could tell you why I made a date
with another boy right in front of you. Yeah, that'll work wonders.
"Gin," my best friend laughs, "you are
so transparent. I really do think it'll give Harry a push.
I mean, according to you," and according to me, telling Catherine
the whole story was a mistake, "you didn't really tell Harry much
of anything. This will show him what you meant--you're ready to
move on and he is an idiot if he doesn't realize what a mistake
"He doesn't seem that torn up about it," I mutter,
rubbing the back of my head. "He didn't even notice me out
on the pitch today until after we collided."
"Ah, Ginny, maybe he was just distracted. And
you guys do practice in the ungodly early hours." I get a
comfort hug. "Besides, now you have a date with Colin."
She says with a teasing wink. Unfortunately, Oriana has just come
around the corner. I'm sure she heard because she stops dead and
stares at us before hurrying down the stairs towards the kitchens.
"Uh-oh," Catherine mutters. "Look,
you go after her. I'll head for greenhouses and tell Professor
Sprout that you're running late with 'woman' problems. Nobody'll
Does it always have to be 'female trouble'? "Alright,
but if Professor Sprout makes me drink anymore of that disgusting tea,
you're going to be the one with 'woman problems' next time." Catherine
shrugs and points to the stairs and I follow Oriana. I manage
to catch her next to a painting of a woman eating a lemon tart.
"Oriana, hold up a second!"
She smiles, sort of. "Hi, Ginny. I need
to get to Divination, I can't stay and talk." Well, it's
good news for Colin if she's upset with me.
"It won't take long...I've got class too," I
tell her. "I just wanted to ask you if you'd mind meeting
up with me and Colin and some of the others in Hogsmeade this weekend.
It'll be fun."
Her smile is gone completely as she shakes her head, "I
wouldn't want to intrude on your date, but thank you for the offer."
She nods slightly, "I've got to get to class."
"He's only going around with me because I wanted
to make Harry jealous!" Desperate times call for desperate measures
and I promised Colin that I wouldn't tell Oriana that he liked her.
I rub the knot on the back of my head and hope my smile doesn't look
as wild as it feels. "You see, I like Harry and....I...well,
Colin was good enough to ask me while Harry was nearby."
It's not a lie. I am not lying. I'm not telling the truth
but the only one here who knows that is me.
"Oh!" Oriana is suddenly glowing.
"Oh. I didn't know that! I mean, I knew that you fancied
Harry Potter and all...but the rest...I hadn't a clue," she grips
my hand. "Thanks, Ginny."
"It's no problem." I smile. I guess
Colin was right; everybody does know. Except Harry. "Well,
I have to get going. Herbology test and all that."
I take my hand back and wave.
Oriana is still smiling. "No, I've got to go
too. Thank you. I wish I could return the favor."
I wave and jog back for the stairs. "It's nothing,
"You know...I'm in charge of our project in Charms..."
I hear her mutter as I hit the stairs running. I've got a bad
feeling about it, but I'm late enough that I can't risk hanging around.
"Done and done," Catherine is wading back across
the Great Hall. "I've asked Bryon to go to the Winter Formal
with me and he said yes."
After the way he nearly tripped over himself to ask her
around Hogsmeade, I'm not surprised. "That's great."
I say just as the Care of Magical Creatures Class spills in to the already
crowded Hall. It's Harry's class. The Slytherins head for
their dungeon with barely a look at the announcement. The Gryffindors,
however, cluster with the rest of us.
"Ask him!" Catherine hisses as 'him',
Ron, and Hermione come into the Hall with Hagrid. Harry drops
his hand over his wand and he scans the room with wary eyes. It's
sad, just heartbreaking, that he does it without thinking. He
has had so much to deal with in the past few years, in all of his life,
it's terrible that he can't find a crowded room and excited chattering
without being on alert.
"No!" I hiss back. But it's covered
by Hagrid asking Ron if he's alright. Harry covers his wand again
and I do too. I've run up against some pretty foul stuff since,
and especially during, my first year.
"Oh my! Is he asking Hermione to the Formal?"
Catherine shoves us both forward. "Ginny! He's doing
it! Ron is asking her!" He is, too. Ron is finally
asking Hermione out on a date. I have to think quickly about what
day this is...Wednesday. Hm. I think Dennis Creevey has
won the 'when will he ask' betting pot.
The entire student body is watching my brother and Hermione.
Ron looks like he's going to faint and Hermione is smiling like Christmas
has just come early. "Hermione, I love you," Ron's voice
rings out suddenly and the Great Hall goes eerily silent. "I've
loved you forever, I think." Oh goodness, he didn't just
say that, did he? I think Catherine is the one who starts the
cheering and I know that Seamus is the one who started the wolf-whistles
and clapping. I'm too overcome with words to say anything at all.
I can't help the tears that come to my eyes as Ron and
Hermione make their way out of the crowd. They're so focused on
each other and it's so sweet. Hermione is saying something about
him saving the revelation until the dance. It's such a Hermione
type thing to say. "That was so romantic anyway, Hermione."
I whisper. When I turn around I'm looking right into Harry's face. He
looks stunned. I can't help beaming at him. "She'll
remember that forever--even better than if he'd said it at the Formal.
Don't you think so, Harry?"
Harry stares at me. He stares for so long that I'm
actually getting worried about him. "I need to see Madam
Pomfrey." He says finally, blinking hard, before he makes his way
slowly towards the Hospital wing. I watch him go and then turn
to look at the door Ron and Hermione disappeared through and then I
feel like an idiot. Of course he's upset, at least a little.
His two best friends in the world now have something completely separate
from him; something that he can't share.
I think it over all through Professor Binns's lecture
on the Goblin Uprising of 1538 and by the time Uleead the Unknown gets
beheaded, I need to talk to Harry. Or rather, I need to
let him talk to me, if he wants too. I have to do something.
"Catherine, I'm...I've got something to do," I say when Catherine
comes up beside me. "I'll meet you in the library in a few
minutes for our study group." I leave before she can nod,
heading straight for the hospital wing.
Harry is asleep when Madam Pomfrey lets me into his bedside.
He is pale against the sheets and his face is tensed with unpleasant
dreams. I wish I could do something to make him feel better.
I study him as I rarely get the chance to do when he's awake; he is
so pale and so still and that horrible, famous scar is peeking out from
under his hair. I used to be so enamored of that stupid, bloody
scar but now, when I see all that it has taken from him, I wish he'd
never gotten it. I smooth his hair over it, covering it from view.
I wish I could do more. I wish I could tell him how I really feel
about him. But I don't want to wake him and so I touch a kiss
to my fingers and smooth his hair one last time.
It's late by the time he's finally released from the Hospital
wing; he doesn't look like the stay did him any good at all.
"Ginny!" Oriana bounces up to me outside
the Charms classroom. "The extra today is going to be great!"
It's the thing I love most about Advanced Charms.
We have an extra session once a month that deals with sixth form spell
work. It's very interesting. "Do you know what we're
doing? I thought I heard you say you were in charge of it this
"I do and I am." She beams. "We're
going to be the test subjects for the vera charms. For
Harry Potter's class," she winks as my heart falls into my stomach.
"You're partnering Harry," she reaches out and squeezes my
hands. "It was the least I could do."
"Thanks." I mutter as Flitwick opens the
door. I don't pay much attention to what he says. I know
the truth charms fairly well. They're boring. Dad works
with them all the time at his office.
"Ginny." Harry's voice is polite.
"Hi, Harry." I'm going to be happy and cheerful
and not act like I'm on my way to the gallows. "I'm glad I got
you as a partner. Ron would be sure to ask me something nice and embarrassing
never mind what Professor Flitwick said to the otherwise."
Keep it nice and light. It works; Harry smiles.
"Of course he would; he'd say something about sisters being exempt,"
Harry says solemnly. I can't help laughing, even as I make a face.
It's exactly what Ron would say. Flitwick claps his hands and
gives out the instructions. He tells us to watch and learn from
our partners. I can try, but somehow, when faced with Harry, I'm
not so sure of my retention rate. Harry blushes a little bit and
I think he's embarrassed about having to put somebody he knows under
a charm. "Sorry about this, Ginny," he apologizes.
"I trust you, Harry." I nod encouragingly and
spread my arms with a flourish. "Cast your spell." George
and Fred might be a little demented, but sometimes laughter does make
Harry takes a breath and points his wand at me. I have to take
a deep breath too, thanks to the look in his eyes. I've never
been focused on by Harry Potter before and it's potent. "Ginny
Weasley," he says quitely, "Ginny Weasley re vera."
Nothing spectacular happens but since nobody else has produced a flash
of light or rush of sound, I'm not worried about it. Harry must
be because the first thing he asks me is if I'm okay.
I shake my head. "I feel fine."
"Okay." Harry looks at me for a moment before biting his lip.
"Okay. Uh, what's your name?"
I laugh, I can't help it. He just said my name. "It's
Ginny. You just used it for the spell."
"I meant your full name," he rolls his eyes slightly. "Flitwick
said to ask."
"Oh. Well Ginny is my full name." I finger the end my ponytail,
thinking of a way to get out of this without sounding stupid. "If
it helps, Percy's name is Percy and Bill's name is Bilius, but don't
call him that unless you want to meet Charlie's dragons up close and
personal." I smile and it's a relief to see Harry smile too.
"I'll keep that in mind," he says and there's a smile in his
eyes. "When is your birthday?"
"It's August the third." I can't believe he asked me that.
It's nice, actually. It's nice to know that he knows when my birthday
is, or at least, he knows now. "Come on, ask me something I can
lie about. I'd really like to see how this charm works. We've only studied
it in regards to charming items like Sneakoscopes." Which is entirely
"Oh. They're supposed to be like back up to Veritaserum. It gets
used at trials and the like." Harry's rather animated as he talks,
it's fun to watch him. "Dark Wizards can sometimes break one or
the other, but so far nobody has managed to beat both of them together."
He smiles when he's finished and I fish around for something to say.
"That sounds a lot more interesting than spelling items."
I go blue and glittery as I say it and Harry blinks, raising his eyebrows
until they disappear under his hair.
"Does that mean it's working?"
"I wouldn't know." I lie just to see myself sparkle again.
It's sort of neat and it's certainly more interesting than what we've
been reading about the spell.
Harry laughs. "Okay, so it works." He eyes me for long
seconds before he asks me, "Why did you call me an idiot? Really?"
I don't want to answer this in front of a room full of people.
But I can't lie or else Harry will just keep asking until he gets to
the truth. What was it I was thinking the night I said... "I
already told you, I wanted to warn you." I tell him, watching my
arms for signs of blue. Nothing, but I can feel my cheeks getting
Harry is not satisfied with that answer. "What were you warning
"Being an idiot." I keep watching my skin. Still normal.
I'll have to remember to thank Catherine.
"Why did you think I'd need to be warned? It's not something dangerous,
or else you'd have said something. Why did you choose to call me an
idiot for a warning
and what do you think I should be warned against?" Harry is looking
me straight in the eye and I can't look away, no matter how much I want
"I wanted to warn you without telling you; you're doing something
that you might regret." I turn yellow, rather than blue and Flitwick
nearly faints from excitement as he rushes to our sides. I've
given an 'ambiguous' answer. It's a lie, but with enough elements
of truth that it doesn't show up as a lie. Not exactly.
He asks us what lead us to this junction. I hope Harry pushes
this. He might not because he's so nice, but I want him to ask.
The entire school knows how I feel.
His voice, when he speaks, is soft. "I asked 'What do you think
I should be warned against?'" Harry and I both ignore the whispers
that break out.
"Ah." Flitwick looks like he's beginning to regret asking
us to demonstrate. "Ms. Weasley, your reply?" He says
after a moment; he sounds like he wishes he didn't have to ask.
"I said 'you're doing something you might regret.'"
The yellow glitter flares up again, but I ignore it and try to stay
calm. It's not easy with everybody staring.
Professor Flitwick winces. "Ah."
Harry and I are watching each other and Professor Flitwick is not saying
anything. Something shifts in Harry's eyes and I realize that
I can't do this. I can't put him on the spot and embarrass him
in front of everybody. "I should have said 'I hope.'"
I say the only other true answer to the question when it seems like
Flitwick isn't going to ask. I do hope that he regrets never noticing
me, if that's the way it works out but more importantly, I hope he knows
that he's going to regret asking me these questions because they'll
only embarrass him. I don't want to put pressure on him.
I don't want to be one more thing that Harry has to 'deal with'.
I hope he understands.
Maybe he does. He takes a step forward, reaching
out to me. I can't look away from him. Professor Flitwick
sends me and the others back to our common rooms. I'm glad.
I can't face Harry, I don't want him to ask anymore questions that he
doesn't really want the answer too. I don't go back to Gryffindor
Tower until after the Astronomy lesson.
Harry is acting strange today. I think yesterday
upset him and I'm not surprised at all when he corners me as I'm working
on my prediction chart for Divination.
"Ginny?" He says, softly. "Can I ask you something?" I'm
ready for him to ask about yesterday, about Sunday night and I'm getting
ready to lie to him. There is no way I can confess the truth to
Harry's question takes me by surprise. "Colin
is gay, right?"
"What?" I sit up so suddenly that Harry has to jump
"As the wind, right?" He asks. He looks...hopeful?.
"No! As a matter of fact, Colin and I have a bit of a date tomorrow;
we're going around Hogsmeade together." I'm staring at him. Gaping,
really. Could Catherine have been right? Is he...he can't
"I knew that...I was at the table when he asked you. Right next
to you, remember?"
I've got to ask. If there's the slightest chance that Harry might
be asking for personal reasons, I have to know. "That's right,
you were. So why are you asking if Colin is gay?"
Harry shrugs. "Because I thought he might be?" He says lamely.
He won't meet my eyes.
Harry. Is. Jealous. I pack up my homework and try to think of
something to say to him. Anything. How could he be jealous?
The entire school knows how I feel for him. "Harry, this
is one of those 'idiot' moments," I say finally, because the word
'idiot' is the only thing in my head right now. "The ones I think
you might end up regretting." Or at least I hope he's going to
regret being an idiot. I hope he doesn't regret what he's feeling
right now. I've waited too long for some sort of sign from him.
I head for my dorm, passing Catherine on the stairs. She's staring
wide eyed and points at me and then the door to the Common Room.
My smile trembles just a bit as I shrug. Notice me, Harry, come
"Ron, where's Harry?" I wave my brother
and Hermione over to our table in the pub when I see them come in without
Harry. I know that he was planning on coming but, with the way
that McGonagall cornered him, I'm worried that something has happened.
I haven't seen him in town yet, either.
"Dunno," Ron shrugs. "Professor McGonagall
needed to talk with him."
I can't help rolling my eyes. "I knew that.
I was there when she came in. I meant 'why isn't he in town yet?'."
I glance at Catherine, Bryon, Colin and Oriana and make a face.
"What does it matter?" Ron asks with a wink.
"Wouldn't it ruin your date?"
Hermione glares at him. "Ron, honestly."
She smiles at me and Ron huffs. "I don't know what's keeping
Harry, but since Professor McGonagall didn't seem upset or anything,
I wouldn't worry."
"Thanks, Hermione." I smile brightly at
Ron. "I think I'm going to get another butterbeer."
True to form, Hermione shakes her head. "I'll
get you one; I'm going up to the bar myself." She takes my
mug and heads for Madam Rosmerta. I lean back in my chair and
smile at my brother.
"You know, Ron," I try to keep my voice
innocent, but he knows me too well. "Not all of us experience
the burning desire to date our friends." Colin chokes and
Catherine laughs out loud as Ron's ears go scarlet. "But
if that's what works for you..."
Hermione frowns as she rejoins us. "Ron?"
Her concern just makes Ron even more red. "What happened?"
Oh, do tell, Ron. Do tell.
I tend to underestimate my brother. His smile is
so sticky sweet you could sell it at Honeydukes. "I was just
telling Ginny," and I hear that implied 'ickle', don't think I
don't, "that not everybody experiences the burning desire to date
my friends, but if that's what works for her..."
"Ron!" Hermione, at least, is properly
aghast. My traitorous friends are going to kill themselves
laughing. I honestly think Bryon has herniated something.
"I'm sorry, Ginny," my only true friend sighs.
"I'll get him out of your way." She tugs my idiot brother
to the other side of the Three Broomsticks and I bury my head in my
Catherine pats my shoulder. "We're not laughing
at you," she says, giggling. "It's more like we're
laughing at Ron's wit."
I look up with my own giggle. "He's quick."
I laugh again, "He's such a pain."
Oriana grins. "I think he's great."
She shrugs at my look. "I'm an only child, so I don't know
good big brothers from bad."
Colin smiles shyly at her. "Well, I'm a good
big brother." Oriana has the same smile on her face.
I share a grin with Catherine who winks and then tilts her head
at Bryon and raises her eyebrows. Right.
"Well, as much fun as it's been...I need to get back
to Hogwarts," I swing my cloak up as I stand. "I've
got Divination to work on."
Colin, sweetheart that he is, stands up too. "I'll
walk you back. I need to make a quick stop at Honeydukes for Dennis,
would you mind?" I shake my head and watch as he reaches
out to take Oriana's hand in his. "I had a really good time," he
tells her and Catherine and I trade looks again. Sweet, suave...why
couldn't I have a thing for Colin?
Because he and Oriana are perfect. "I...Actually,
I have stuff to do back at the castle," she gets to her feet as
well and I notice that she doesn't drop Colin's hand. "Would
you mind if I walked back with you?"
"No!" Colin, Catherine, Bryon and I chorus.
Oriana looks confused for a moment before she laughs.
"Okay, let's go," Colin is beaming like
a lumos charm. "It's just a quick stop...Dennis wanted
an acid pop for something or other."
Ron stops me at the door. "Ginny?"
I wave Colin and Oriana on. "I'll catch you
up outside Honeydukes." I turn to Ron and fold my arms.
Bestow your wit, oh graceless one.
Hermione purses her lips. "Don't tease her about
"When have I ever used the same joke twice?"
He grins. "You wound me, Hermione."
She cocks her head. "How about 'can I have
a look at Uranus'?"
Ron, lunatic that he is, laughs. "That was
a classic. It positively begged repeating. But that's neither
here nor there." He smiles. "I was just going
to say 'Not everybody wants to date my friends but you're the only one
I want to be doing it," his ears are red again but his eyes
are earnest. "I think you'd be good for him."
"Oh, Ron! You giant prat!" Hermione
hugs him before I can. I settle for the Weasley Secret 'I love
you' sign, flashing seven fingers for me, six for Ron and then
folding my hands into loose fists as I do up the fastener on my cloak.
And even though he's got his arms around Hermione, he flashes back six-seven-fists.
Colin and Oriana are waiting outside Honeydukes when I
get there Colin is floating. "What did Ron want?"
he asks, trying to get his feet back on the ground. Oriana giggles
and pushes him along as we head back to Hogwarts.
I smile. "Just to be a giant prat."
I can't help thinking about what he said, though. And I think
about it even more when the sherbet ball finally wears off and Colin
is walking with Oriana and holding her hand. I search out the
windows of Gryffindor when we come in the gates, thinking...I'll tell
"That's it! I'm finished with the whole business."
Catherine stops on the stairs and gives me a look I know well.
"Honestly. I'm just going to tell him everything. What
I feel, why I called him an idiot, and then I'm going to hope that I
don't embarrass him too badly."
She sighs. "You've got some sort of courage,
Ginny." She tells me as we push through the doors to the
Great Hall and grab seats at the table. Now if only I knew that
I'd live through the embarrassment of what I'm about to do. Why
in the world did I have to choose to do this over breakfast? And
why, oh why did I tell Catherine?
"I wonder where Harry is?" I mutter after
a while. I haven't seen him since yesterday. I'd be worried
except for the fact that Ron and Hermione seem perfectly normal.
Who am I kidding? I am worried...so worried that I don't notice
the sudden hush and then the tidal swell of whispers.
"Ginny Weasley!" I do, however, notice my name
being called. It's Harry as I've never seen him before.
He's wearing his regular school robes, but he's also got golden wings
strapped to his back and he's carrying a golden harp. Oh. My.
That outfit looks...it can't be..."Ginny, I've got a singing Valentine
for you!" And then he starts to sing. His voice
isn't bad, but the words...the words are terrible.
"Her eyes are as brown as sparrow's down
Her hair is as red as a fire.
She's really fine, and I've been blind
To this girl I've found I desire."
He's smiling while I'm fighting the temptation to die. He gives
a final, loud, strum on the harp and smiles at me. I chance a
look around the room. Everybody is staring. Absolutely everybody.
I've got to get him out of here. I've got to get me out
of here. "Harry! What do you...how could you...you...I can't
believe..." I shove him out of the doors and reach
to close them. Everybody is watching our every single move.
I manage a sick, painful smile at Catherine. Harry waves cheerfully
and then, mercifully, the doors are closed. "Harry!"
I wail, turning to face him and that ridiculous outfit. Behind
the closed doors it sounds like somebody set off one of Fred and George's
ChatterBoxes. I concentrate on the stupid tag line 'when the awkward
silences need to be filled' rather than on the fact that I'm probably
as red as my hair..
Harry is beaming. "I wrote you a Valentine." Lovely.
Nobody has told him it's not even close to Valentines Day.
I want to hide. "What were you thinking?" I moan.
"That I should be an entirely different sort of idiot," apparently
I've covered my face with my hands because Harry is pulling them away
and trying to catch my eyes. When he does, he smiles. "I
thought I should stop being idiotically blind and see if I couldn't
just be plain idiotically in love with you."
"What?" I move my mouth, but no sound come out. I simply
"Well, I don't know if I'm in love with you yet. But I think I
could be if you'd give me a chance to really get to know you."
Harry squeezes my hand and smiles, his eyes hopeful. Hopeful.
He looks...and he said...I throw myself at him, wrapping my arms around
his neck despite those stupid, ugly wings.
"Harry Potter, you're an idiot."