The Sugar Quill
Author: Katekas  Story: Sore Toes: Or Ideas about a Little Sister  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

Disclaimer: All the character and settings belong to the FANTASTIC J.K Rowling – what would we do without her?  I’ve just picked them off the page and made them do what I want!!

A/N: This is my first ever FF, I hope everyone enjoys it! I’d like to thank Honeychurch, my wonderful, wonderful Beta-reader, who helped me with the little details that make the story, and for helping me with my title. Thank you!

 

Part 1

Ginny stood contemplating her reflection in the bathroom mirror.

"Not half-bad," she thought. "Who would have thought hand-me-down dress robes could actually fit well?" Pinning up the last tendril of her copper coloured hair with a flick of her wand, she spun around, butterflies in her stomach.

"Looking pleasant, my dear," came the rasping voice of the mirror. "Shame HE won’t even notice." Ginny coloured, wondering how the mirror knew of her crush on the Boy Who Lived.

She sighed deeply. Harry hadn’t even asked whether she was even going to the Ball, let alone actually ask her. She had therefore grudgingly accepted Colin Creevey’s invitation, as she did not want to be dateless to her first official Hogwarts Ball after the disaster of the Triwizard Tournament’s Yule Ball last Christmas. She grimaced at the memories: she had nursed her sore toes after Neville’s continual trampling on them for two weeks. And Colin was a sweet boy - a little eager, but sweet. Adding a final coat of clear lip-gloss, she turned and left the room.

* * *

Harry stood contemplating his reflection in the bathroom mirror.

"Never again," he thought. "Never again will I subject myself to the kind of madness that goes hand-in-hand with a Ball." In vain, he tried to smooth his unruly head of hair. He yanked at his dark green dress robes, which were an inch too far off the floor for his liking. Cursing his recent growth spurt, he realised that he looked far manlier and more like his father than ever before. This sudden realisation startled, yet pleased him. He squinted closely at the figure before him, questioning silently people’s constant references to him having his mother’s eyes.

At that moment, Ron burst in, pulling his dress robes over his head. "I overslept!" he moaned. "Hermione is going to KILL me!" Harry laughed to himself. Ever since Ron had summoned up the courage to ask Hermione to the Ball, he could talk of nothing else. The only time he stopped talking about it was when he slept, which is why Harry had encouraged him late that afternoon to take a nap to ‘refresh himself’.

"But I can’t dance…and what if I spill Butterbeer down her robes…and what if…WHAT IF SHE WANTS TO KISS ME?!" Because of these constant ramblings, Harry was often glad for late Quidditch practices. To avoid sounding like Ron, he had decided not to invite anyone to be his date at the Ball this year. Leaving the bathroom to let Ron get on with it, he sighed heavily, not looking forward to the night.

 

Jogging down the stairs two at a time, Harry bumped into Colin Creevey on the way out of the fourth years’ bathroom.

"Alright, Harry?" chirped an unusually jumpy Colin. "Looking forward to tonight?"

Harry mumbled a reply: "Yeah, should be all right."

Colin, taking full advantage of the situation of being able to talk to his hero, carried on excitedly: "I’m really looking forward to tonight. It’s my first Ball, ‘cause I was too young to go to last year’s."

Colin jumped down the last couple of stairs into the common room. "I’m really nervous though! Who are you taking?"

"Err…no-one actually," said Harry, unsure on how to get out of the conversation.

"Oh, that’s a real shame, Harry. I’m taking Ginny Weasley…"

Colin’s words faded out as Harry heard the words ‘Ginny Weasley.’ He hadn’t even thought about whether she would be coming to the Ball again, in fact, it had not even occurred to him. Usually, he thought of her as ‘Ron’s little sister’.

"Although," Harry thought, "she has grown up a lot this summer, and she really has come into her own recently." He cast his mind back to a late August day earlier that year that he had tried vainly to forget, or, at least, cast to the back of his mind.

* * *

Harry had gone to The Burrow for his annual visit, and the Weasleys were delighted, as usual, to have him. Mrs. Weasley mothered him far more than usual, probably because of recent events. Ron had gone off with Fred and George to buy some new dress robes (Fred and George claiming that they could not have ‘Ickle Ronnikins’ walking around Hogwarts in what looked like one of Mrs. Weasley’s old night gowns) so Harry was alone for a couple of hours. After finishing off a History of Magic essay, he decided to have a fly on his Firebolt to let off steam. Grabbing his broom, he ran out of the back door and straight into Ginny, coming in from some late afternoon sunbathing. She fell backwards onto the floor, grazing her hands in the process.

"Oh my God, I’m so sorry," apologised Harry, lifting her onto her feet. "I’m sorry, I wasn’t paying attention…"

"It’s O.K," smiled Ginny, blushing furiously at his touch.

Harry looked at her hands. "You’re hurt," he murmured. He stroked her palms. "I’ll take you inside to get them healed."

Ginny looked up at him, and Harry felt a jolt in his stomach, one that he had only felt when confronted with Cho Chang. They stared at each other, he lost in the deepness of her brown eyes, she in his green ones. It was as if time had stopped, as if no one else had ever existed. He could have lost himself in her eyes forever, had not Ginny torn away her gaze and run inside, mumbling about how she would fix them herself. She had avoided him for the rest of the holiday.

* * *

"...So that’s why I decided to take up photography!" finished Colin.

"What? …Oh, that’s great, Colin…fascinating, but…I forgot my wand! Got to go…bye!" mumbled Harry. He ran back up the boys’ staircase and out of the Common Room just as Ginny descended the girls’ staircase and into it.

* * *

Half an hour later, Harry stumbled down the steps behind a very nervous Ron and Hermione. Harry laughed quietly watching the two acting so nervously around each other. Conversation was stilted; hands brushed awkwardly and both were red as beetroots as they walked into the Great Hall.

Harry had to admit that the Great Hall looked fantastic again, and this time he was able to appreciate it, as he did not have to worry about hundreds of eyes staring at him and his partner, scrutinising. The theme was obviously a Muggle Ball, as there was a band on stage setting up instruments attached to amps, and wires that showed that they were using electricity (Harry wondered how Dumbledore had deflected the anti-electricity charms surrounding Hogwarts). Lampposts lit the Hall, and there were television sets floating in mid-air broadcasting all sorts of Muggle programmes. There were even microwaves where one could heat up all sorts of food, instead of the usual feast supplied by the house elves in the kitchens. Behind the microwave was a long queue of interested witches and wizards anxious to have a turn at pressing all the buttons, amazed at how such a contraption could heat up food.

"Look Hermione, even the food is all Muggle! No Butterbeer or anything! This is so wicked, my Dad’ll be so excited to hear about all this!" said Ron, excitedly. Hermione rolled her eyes.

"Honestly, Ron, it’s not that exciting. If you’d done Muggle Studies like I’d suggested at the end of second year…" Seeing the look on Ron’s face, she hastily changed the subject, not wanting to ruin their evening. "Lets go get a drink – it looks as if they have Coca-Cola™. Oh, look, there’s Ginny over there!" She waved frantically.

Harry turned to look, and stopped. He had never seen a more beautiful girl in his life. Ginny was wearing light blue robes that clung to her figure. They were enchanted to look like the summer sky. The gown complemented her milky-white skin and her auburn hair. He felt the same jolt in his stomach that he had felt that summer. Ginny turned to wave at them, and Harry cursed himself for not acting before. He shook his head sharply to get out of his stupor, and noticed Ron and Hermione watching him amusedly.

"She looks good tonight, doesn’t she, Harry?" said Hermione, a wicked smile playing on her lips.

"I hope you aren’t getting ideas about my sister, Harry… said Ron, with a slight disapproving tone but a smile on his face.

Ginny walked over to them, closely followed by Colin.

"Try not to blush, and say something interesting," thought Harry. All that came out was, "Umm…hi."

"Nice going! Now she’s going to think you’re a boring idiot!" He cursed himself inwardly.

Ginny smiled at him politely. "Hi Harry, Ron, Hermione. Having fun?"

"Yeah, we’re having a LOT of fun", said Ron mischievously, with a surreptitious glance at an ever-reddening Harry.

Ginny turned to Harry. "I’m really excited about the Muggle music – I heard from a girl in my year that it’s witches and wizards singing popular Muggle songs. Do you know loads of good Muggle bands?"

Before Harry could even try to stumble an answer, a loud chord of guitars echoed through the hall, before the band struck up with a rendition of ‘Don’t Speak’ by No Doubt. Colin grabbed Ginny by the arm. "I love this song!" he squeaked, before grabbing her wrist and pulling her onto the dance floor. Harry got one last glance at Ginny looking wistfully at him before he lost her in the throng.

Sighing, Harry turned his attention to Ron and Hermione, both standing awkwardly beside him. He looked at them quizzically. "What?"

Ron doubled over. "Oh my God, Harry, your face! You went as red as she used to!"

Hermione stood still, as if waiting for something. Harry guessed what it was.

"So, aren’t you two going to dance? I mean, that’s what you’re here for, right? Or is it just to stand and make fun of me?" Harry raised his eyebrows at Ron, who suddenly stopped laughing. His ears slowly turned pink as he held out his hand to Hermione.

"Doyouwannadancewithme?" he mumbled.

Hermione smiled.

"I’d love to, Ron."

As they walked away into the mass of people, Ron slowly slipped his hand into Hermione’s, and Hermione flashed a small ‘Thank you’ smile at Harry.

As Harry sat down at a table, ready for a very long evening, he heard a long, smooth drawling voice behind him.

"So, the famous Potter without a date for the evening? Harry turned wearily around.

"Malfoy."

Draco Malfoy stood behind Harry, flanked by his cronies, Crabbe and Goyle, and a simpering Pansy Parkinson on his arm. He wore a huge smirk on his face.

"Well, I didn’t expect any girl in her right mind would want to dance with a boy with a huge slash in his forehead…."

"Actually, I would,"

Harry turned around to be confronted by a smiling Ginny Weasley.

"Harry is here with me, that’s right, isn’t it, Harry?" she said defiantly.

Harry mumbled something along the lines of ‘Yes’.

Draco snarled. "Potter and another Weasel? How charming. And how much did she pay you, Potter, for the honour of coming with you? Three sickles? Of course, that’s all she could afford." Crabbe and Goyle guffawed into their sleeves.

Harry stepped forward, as if to retort, when Ginny suddenly said, "Oh, I love this song. Let’s go dance, Harry." She turned and walked away, holding a speechless Harry’s wrist in her hand.

To be continued…..

 

A/N: I hope everyone liked the first half of my story! It hopefully won’t be long before I get the next half down, but in the meantime, I’d love a couple of reviews to see what people think of it. Thank you so much for reading, Love, Kate xx

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