sure J.K. doesnít mind that Iím playing with her toys.
Authorís Notes: So this is
my penance for having unintentionally tortured people with "The
Harry dashed from his last
period class without even a look back. From behind him, he could hear
Ron shouting, "Oi, Harry! Where are you going?" But he didnít
pause. If he waited even a second longer, he would miss her. He pelted
down toward the Charms corridor at a breakneck pace, hoping fervently
that Filch was occupied with a rule breaker at the other end of the castle.
He had tucked the Marauderís Map into his robes that morning just in case,
but there was no time to check it now. The halls were beginning to fill
with students on their way out of classes, and he dodged just in time
to avoid smacking into a second year Hufflepuff who had paused to rearrange
her school bag. "Excuse me!" he tossed over his shoulder, made
one final turn, and skidded to a halt outside the Charms classroom just
in time to see the door being flung open, and the students beginning to
Panting, Harry scanned the
crowd for bright red hair, but Ginny was nowhere in sight. Recklessly,
he fought his way through the crowd at the door, all of whom were looking
at him curiously, and into the classroom, where he found himself face
to face with Professor Flitwick.
"Mr. Potter?" said
the tiny wizard. "Did you need something?"
Yeah, thought Harry, but
I donít think you can help me. "Sorry, Professor. I was just looking-
bit of an emergency, actually- and I thought--"
"Harry?" It was
Ginnyís voice behind him. He abandoned Flitwick, who was regarding him,
bemused, and turned to face her. "What are you doing here?"
"Looking for you."
He said urgently. "Will you come take a walk with me for a minute?"
The confusion on her face
gave way to surprise, and then to worry. "Is there something wrong?
Has something happened to Ron?"
"Ah- no." He was
acutely aware of their audience. The crowd at the door was hanging on
their every word, and even Flitwick was watching them with open interest.
Still, there was no help for it- he wasnít waiting a single moment longer.
"I just need to talk to you. Ok?"
"Ok." Her brown
eyes were intent on his face, and he felt himself flushing. The crowd
at the door parted to let them through.
"Whatís going on then?"
Ginny asked as they made their way toward the front doors.
Now that Harry finally had
her alone, he had no idea what to say. It was Monday afternoon, and Harry
had not seen Ginny since the disastrous Hogsmeade trip on Saturday. She
had avoided him completely for the rest of the weekend, driving Harry
into this obvious act of desperation.
"I-I just wanted to
talk to you, I guess." Harry fumbled for a logical explanation. "I
havenít seen you since Saturday."
"So you burst into Flitwickís
classroom at a dead run?" Ginny gave him a sidelong glance. There
was definite amusement in her voice.
"Yeah. I guess."
Harryís stomach gave a lurch. This was either the best idea he had ever
had, or the worst one, and he was getting a little bit shaky now that
the adrenaline was wearing off. "Díyou want to walk down by the lake?"
"All right." There
was the suggestion of a smile on her face, although she was holding her
body as tensely as Harry. This was somehow reassuring. They were approaching
the front doors, now, and he stepped aside to let her through first.
The blinding light of the
late afternoon sun was reflecting off the lake as they made their way
toward it. Everyone had already gone into dinner, and the grounds were
deserted. They stopped on the shoreline, and Ginny turned to face him.
The sun was glinting off her hair, turning it into a nimbus of living
copper. Her face was apprehensive and curious, a piquant combination,
and there were two bright spots of pink on her cheeks. Harry had never
seen her look prettier.
prompted. "What did you want to talk to me about?"
"I just- wanted to see
you. I sort of missed seeing you."
"Really? I didnít notice
that you saw me at all." She ended the sentence abruptly, as if she
caught it a second too late to stop herself. She ducked her head, and
started walking again.
Harry found himself blushing
furiously. "I do. I just- I donít know. I thought that you werenít-
and so I didnít-" He drew a deep breath. "Remember what you
said in Hogsmeade?" the words came out in a rush.
"Yes." The word
was barely audible.
Harry forged ahead blindly.
"Well, I just wanted you to know that I am an idiot."
Ginnyís face was a puzzle
for a moment, and then she broke out into laughter. "Iím sorry, Harry,"
she gasped. "Itís just of all the things you couldíve said, I didnít
Harry grinned back, relieved.
They were approaching a large oak tree with great, raised knobby roots
just made to sit on. "Should we?" He said, gesturing to the
tree, but Ginny was already heading toward it.
"I love this tree,"
she confided, making herself comfortable. Harry felt a little awkward.
He wanted to sit right next to her, but the root was rather small, and
he thought it might look strange. As if she could read his mind, she budged
up closer to the trunk and patted the seat beside her. He couldnít help
himself- he smiled. She blushed even pinker and looked away as he settled
himself next to her, their shoulders almost touching.
Silence stretched for a few
moments. Well, it should have been silent, but there seemed to be a strange
ringing in Harryís ears. He turned a bit on the root so that he was facing
her, almost bumping her knee. He was very, very aware of how close they
were now, and oddly, this seemed to give him the burst of courage he needed
to actually speak.
"Ginny, IÖ" Ginny
turned her head back toward him, and he found himself looking straight
into her eyes. He cleared his throat and glanced down at his hands, twisting
in his lap. Perhaps he hadnít planned this very well, as he now realized
he had no idea exactly what to ask her. "Ginny, I was wondering if-
I was wondering if maybe you wanted to- er, go for a walk with me sometime?"
As soon as the words were out of his mouth, he realized how stupid they
sounded. Take a walk? What were they doing right now? He looked over at
her quickly, hoping that maybe she hadnít noticed what an idiot he was,
and his heart sank into his stomach. Her face was a curious and shiny
mixture of emotion, but she looked like she was choking back a giggle.
He turned back in his seat
so that they were both looking straight ahead once again. If she didnít
say something soon, he honestly thought he might burst into flames from
sheer humiliation. Suddenly, he felt something touch his hand, and he
looked down to find Ginny Weasleyís small hand in his. His heart leapt
out of his stomach and started pounding furiously in his chest.
"Iíd really like that,
Harry." Her voice was shy. His eyes flew up to her face, and she
held his gaze although her entire face was rosy with blushes. Now, thought
Harry. Kiss her now. Should he ask her first, though, or just go ahead
and do it? No, he was just going to do it. Asking was the excruciating
bit; heíd learned that the hard way.
Taking a slightly tighter
grip on her hand, he leaned in. Her eyes grew wide as he moved toward
her, and he heard her catch her breath. She moved at the same time, and
their lips met slightly harder than Harry had planned. He felt a brief
flash of embarrassment at his clumsiness, but now his lips were on hers,
and a sharp, sweet feeling seemed to be radiating out from his bones.
When he pulled away at last, he found that his other hand was resting
on her cheek. He thought that was as good a reason as any to kiss her
again. This time, their lips met softly, and Harry was now certain that
this was the best idea heíd ever had.