This is a follow-up to my first fic, Restless,
and none of these characters are actually mine, although I have purchased
many things with their pictures on them.
He stared blankly at page 367 of his Transfigurations
textbook, willing himself not to look over into that corner of
the common room. Each day was a little bit worse than the day before,
Harry reflected grimly. Surely this wasn’t going to be a permanent condition.
He was already sick of the over sensitivity, the jumpiness, the blushing.
Someone was going to figure out what was going on, and soon. He just hoped
it wasn’t HER. There were several reasons this would be the most embarrassing
thing ever to happen to him, not the least of which was that he’d already
blown it. It just figures, he thought. It just figures that when I start
to like her, she’s already stopped liking me. This was patently obvious—he
could hardly look at her without blushing, while she seemed to take no
more notice of him than she did of the common room furniture. So. Plainly
the thing to be done here was to completely ignore this… it would go away.
These things did, eventually. After all, he could now think of Cho with
complete equanimity. Certainly she was pretty, and kind, and popular,
but that no longer did curious things to his insides. Cho was just Cho
again. She certainly wasn’t…Ginny. Damn! He slammed his textbook
shut and rose to his feet, scanning the room desperately for a distraction.
His eyes fell on yet another complication playing chess by the fire with
Hermione. He thought he knew Ron well enough to predict he would not be
pleased by his best mate’s crush on his little sister. Still, he thought
he had an outside chance to keep him from figuring it out. Ron wasn’t
very swift when it came to these things-if he still hadn’t cottoned on
to his own crush on Hermione, it was unlikely he’d notice the symptoms
in someone else.
Harry stacked his books into a pile and headed
for the sofa by the fire. Hermione glanced up from the chessboard. "Finished
with Transfiguration, have you? Do you think she’ll have us try it out
tomorrow with real salamanders?" Harry had no idea what Hermione was on
about. Either the salamanders were in the part he hadn’t read yet, or
he’d been reading the wrong chapter entirely. Hermione kept her eyes fixed
on him, expecting a response. "I wouldn’t be surprised." Well, that was
true, at least. Especially now that he knew salamanders were in some way
"Hermione, it’s your move." Ron interrupted. He
watched Ron turn his attention to Hermione as Hermione turned her attention
to the board. For the first time, Harry felt a twinge of annoyance with
Ron. How dim could he be? Lately, if he was looking for Ron, the best
place to find him was within a five-foot radius of Hermione. It was pathetic,
and all he had to do was SAY something- Hermione obviously felt the same
way. Disgruntled, he threw himself back against the arm of the sofa. He
wasn’t really angry with Ron, he thought, it was just…but that train of
thought was destined to go no further. His new position on the couch had
inadvertently given him a perfect view of that corner of the room.
Ginny was curled up in a large leather armchair,
reading, completely oblivious to anyone else in the room. Must be nice,
thought Harry almost resentfully. She was sprawled sideways across the
chair, feet tucked up beneath her, and her head propped on her hand. She
was relaxing, he noted. If she were nervous or upset she would be curled
up into a smaller target. It was amazing how many things about her he
had noticed when he hadn’t thought he was paying any attention at all.
For instance, there was this curve her neck made when her head was propped
like that. It looked as if his face would fit perfectly into that hollow-
he bet her hair would tickle a little, but it would probably smell very
nice. He’d have to sit on the arm of the chair, but if he leaned down
a bit, he could probably… Harry was shocked at himself. Even if…even
if…he’d never, ever do anything like that. It was unthinkable- that’s
what it was, and yet, he had thought it. All of a sudden Harry
felt like kicking something very hard. He turned his face into the arm
of the sofa. Something had to be done about this. It was…unhealthy. Briefly
he considered the hospital wing.
"Checkmate!" crowed Ron from the table
next to him. Harry looked over to see that his pieces had completely surrounded
Hermione’s king, who was making a valiant last stand with a quill it had
commandeered from the table. "Your pieces are such bullies, Ron!
Make them stop before they really hurt him!"
Ron rolled his eyes in exasperation. "They’re
chess pieces, Hermione." He pulled her king out of the midst
of his, who did indeed look ready for a spot of real violence. The king,
startled, twisted in Ron’s hand and gave him a good jab with the nib of
the quill. "Ow!" Ron dropped the king, who lay dazed on the
hearthrug, still clutching his weapon. "So it’s mine that are vicious,
then? I’m bleeding now, thanks very much."
"Ah, come on now, don’t be such a baby,"
said Hermione, grabbing his injured hand. "It barely broke the skin."
She kissed it, and said casually, "There, all better now." Ron
pulled his hand from hers so swiftly he knocked over a knight who was
peering over the edge of the table. Hermione looked startled for a moment,
and then a dull flush swept up her face as she realized that she had kissed
Ron. Ron was now busily putting away the chess game, his ears nearly the
same shade as Hermione’s cheeks. "I didn’t mean-"
"No, no! No reason-" Ron slammed the
lid shut on the still squirming pieces. He looked up at Hermione, who
was looking at the tabletop. Harry barely refrained from sighing. Well,
this was just too much. He wasn’t staying down here in this menagerie
of hormones one moment longer. He sat up straight on the sofa and found
Ginny looking right at him. She was smiling, and she glanced over to Ron
and Hermione and back at Harry, attempting to share the joke. In perhaps
the first act of real cowardice in his life, he couldn’t meet her eyes.
They were inviting him to be amused along with her, and a few weeks ago,
he would have found the situation humorous. He would have met her
eyes without a second thought. Now, instead, he tried to pretend that
corner of the room didn’t exist, and didn’t quite manage to suppress a
- A/N: If you’ve gotten this far, I feel I
owe you an explanation. Oh, I so want Harry to have a terrible, terrible
crush on Ginny. It’s only her due, really. Now, the real question: does
she still have a crush on Harry? Hmm. I don’t think I’m entirely sure.
I’m too busy being Harry in this scenario to know what Ginny really