A short piece of nothing very much
from the summer after ĎCarpe Diemí. This begins as a story, but chapters
two and three will be thoughts from Ginnyís and Harryís perspectives.
Characters and most of the setting
belong to JKR. The riverbank, fields and trees, however, are mine, and
are very good friends!
Chapter One: Ottery St Catchpole
"The swallow of summer, cartwheeling through crimson,
Touches the honey-slow river and turning
Returns to the hand stretched from under the eaves
A boomerang of rejoicing shadow."
Ted Hughes: "Work and Play"
It was going to be a glorious summerís day Harry Potter reflected, halfway
through dressing. He leaned out of Ronís bedroom window, staring out across
the Weasleyís rambling and overgrown garden, towards the orchard. The
lightest of breezes ruffled his hair seductively off his forehead, and
he could see the leaves of the aspen tree on the hill quivering gently.
Sunlight was already streaming through the sky, mere wisps of clouds idly
lazing in their blue bed, too sloth-like to spoil the clearness of the
day. A whistling, chirruping of the swallow above his head made him smile.
It had recently made its nest under the eaves, much to the displeasure
of the family ghoul, who was clanking things more noisily than ever in
a fit of pique. The bird took flight again, lithe and graceful, and Harry
watched her, fluttering and swooping as she cut through the sky until
she became a mere speck in the distance.
The smell of summer wafted around him; a soft smell of flowers, freshly
cut grass, and warmth. The perpetual downpour from the last week had vanished,
and now, here with the Weasleys, it felt good to be alive.
Still smiling, he was just about to retreat back into Ronís bedroom,
when a sudden movement caught his eye. It was Ginny. Propping himself
up comfortably at the window he watched her in amusement. She was padding
barefoot around the garden like a sleek ginger cat. Sunlight bounced impatiently
off her hair as she wound her way back down towards the house, the summer
breeze tugging gently at the hem of her dress, making it dance above her
knees. A small squeak of surprise caused his grin to widen when she narrowly
avoided standing on a gnome, and had to dodge swiftly away from his wrath,
her hair rippling in a wave of sunlight down her back. Lazily she collected
flowers together, darting butterfly-like between this flowerbed and that,
clearly enjoying the early morning solitude. Hedwig hooted jealously from
"Shush!" Harry said to her. "Iím enjoying this."
He turned his attention back to the garden to find Ginny grinning up
"Morning, Harry!" she said cheerfully. "I was wondering
if you were ever going to get up."
"Nice flowers," he retorted. "Very girlie."
She pulled a face at him and he laughed.
"I thought Iíd surprise Mum," she said.
"Not much of a surprise now. Sheíd have heard you two counties away."
Fredís voice interrupted sleepily from his window on the floor below.
"What are you two yelling about anyway?"
"Yeah, itís bad enough having you drooling all over each other,
without you waking us up at the crack of dawn as well," George moaned.
"Itís nearly eight oí clock," Ginny retorted. "Youíre
due in Diagon Alley before nine. At this rate youíll never get that shop
of yours off the ground."
"And Ronís in the bathroom," Harry pointed out. "You could
be cutting it a bit fine."
There was a mad scrambling in the room below, and Harry grinned down
"Where are my socks?" Fred could be heard yelling from inside
their room. His head appeared at the window again, and he glared down
at his little sister. "Ginny?"
"Not me this time," she laughed in delight, showing him her
bare feet. "I can pinch some from you if you want me to, though.
I wouldnít want you to feel neglected."
There was a growl of frustration and Fred disappeared again.
"Speaking of you pinching things," Harry said, struggling to
hide his laughter. "You donít happen to have the white t-shirt Iíve
been looking for this morning, do you?" He loved the way she blushed
and squirmed at the question. She rubbed her foot up and down the back
of her leg.
"íFraid so," she confessed, eyes sparkling with a distinct
lack of repentance. Harry laughed. Heíd have forgiven her anything, especially
after what had happened to her a few months before, when heíd believed
Voldemort had killed her. She could steal his entire wardrobe if she wanted
"Itís OK. Iíll find something else," he teased, clambering
down from the windowsill. "See you for breakfast?"
"Definitely," she said, blowing a kiss up to him, and disappearing
into the house in an energetic whirl of hair, legs and laughter.
The Weasley kitchen was increasingly chaotic in the mornings now that
four of the family were Apparating to work at roughly the same time. Harry
wandered down to breakfast with Ron, and rapidly pinned himself against
the wall as Mr Weasley charged past, robes awry, frantically searching
for an important piece of parchment that he knew heíd left somewhere safe,
but couldnít remember where.
"I left it here, Molly," he said in agitation, burrowing through
a mountain of parchment on the dresser. Percy was standing by the table,
robes neatly pressed. He had a slice of hot buttered toast in his hand,
and was using it almost like a weapon as he gesticulated at the twins.
"Honestly, you canít expect to run a business dressed like that.
You have no idea!"
"Shut up, Perce," Fred retorted darkly. "What would you
know about having a laugh anyway?"
"Thatís hardly the point," Percy said, bristling with anger.
"Boys! Boys!" Mr Weasley said vaguely. "Ah! There it is!
Goodbye then, Molly. I shouldnít be late." He kissed her cheek briefly
and then disappeared from sight with a little Ďpopí.
"Iíd better go too," Percy said haughtily. "Iíve a busy
day at the Ministry today, doing an important job, not like some
I could mention."
"Enjoy testing the Belgian owl feather quills," George said,
grinning at Fred. They vanished into thin air before Percy had a chance
to reply, and with a snort, Percy followed immediately afterwards.
The whole house seemed to breathe a sigh of relief. Harry and Ron sank
into chairs at the scrubbed deal table in the centre of the small kitchen
and began to help themselves to tea and toast. Mrs Weasley was cooking,
and a heavenly smell of bacon and sausages pervaded the entire room.
"What are you three up to today?" Mrs Weasley asked, when her
daughter wandered into the room and put the flowers in a vase in the middle
of the table. She waved her wand at the sausages and they obligingly rotated
themselves to cook on the other side.
"Dunno," Ron replied, through a mouthful of hot buttered toast.
"I thought a picnic by the river might be nice," Ginny said,
smiling softly at Harry, her dark brown eyes melting into his own and
filling him with warmth. She reached across her brother to pinch some
of his toast.
"I get the message," Ron grinned, slapping her hand away from
his breakfast. "You want to borrow Harry for a few hours, for a romantic
picnic down by the river. I donít know, Gin. I really donít think we should
let you go unchaperoned."
"Ron!" she exclaimed incredulously. "Youíre not being
serious are you?"
"Deadly serious," Ron replied, watching her horrified expression
for a moment and then bursting out into fits of laughter.
"Just you wait," Ginnyís eyes twinkled mischievously, and she
leapt at her brother and tickled him mercilessly.
"Stop it!" he gasped breathlessly, writhing off his chair onto
the floor. "Mum! Tell her!"
"Ron, get off the floor! Youíre making the place look untidy!"
Mrs Weasley said briskly, filling plates with sausages, bacon and eggs
and putting them on the table. "Ginny dear, I think thatís Pigwidgeon
outside. Could you let him in please?"
With a final baleful look at her red-faced brother Ginny opened the window,
and the tiny owl fluttered in, bouncing around the kitchen madly in his
"Keep still, you stupid feathery git," Ron exclaimed in exasperation,
now on his feet trying to unfasten the parchment from his owlís leg. "Honestly,
youíd have thought heíd have learnt how to behave by now, wouldnít you?"
"You havenít," chuckled Ginny, sliding onto the seat
beside Harry, and helping herself to breakfast. Harry couldnít keep his
eyes off her. He had been away from her for six long weeks, and it felt
so good to be beside her again. He couldnít believe that she was actually
there. He reached for her hand just to check that she wasnít a figment
of his imagination, and was thrilled to see her smile with sheer pleasure
at him, as she squeezed his fingers gently.
"Itís from Hermione," Ron said, unravelling the parchment and
beginning to read the note. "Sheís arriving on Saturday afternoon."
His eyes scanned further down the page, and Harry could see a small smile
playing across his mouth, before he folded the parchment away into his
pocket. "Itís going to be a terrible wrench, but I suppose I can
just about deal with not coming on this picnic with you! I really should
write back to Hermione." Ron chuckled. "How about some Quidditch
in the orchard when you get back, Harry?"
"Sounds perfect," Harry grinned.
The sun was high in the sky, casting short black shadows on the ground
as they left The Burrow. Harry was carrying the willow basket of food,
not so much out of any sense of chivalry, but rather to leave Ginny free
to wrestle with her wide-brimmed hat, which her mother had insisted that
she wore due to the heat of the day and the Weasley tendency to freckle
and burn. They strolled lazily through the garden and over the fence into
"Oh this is ridiculous," Ginny grumbled as her hat flew off
in the breeze again. "Donít tell Mum Iím doing this," she added
removing the offending article altogether, grinning at Harry, and swinging
it loosely from her hand. Her hair glinted in a myriad of shades of red
in the sunshine, and the sheer beauty of it entranced him once more, tempting
him to touch it. Hand in hand they wove their way through the rustling,
whispering grasses towards the old gnarled oak standing proudly on the
knoll claiming dominion over the fields, which sloped gently down to the
water. They paused on the ridge beside it, staring at the scene before
them. The windows of Ottery St Catchpole glinted in the distance, nestled
cosily at the foot of the steep hill Harry remembered climbing for the
Quidditch World Cup a couple of years before. The river wound its way
lazily across the verdant landscape, hiding from sight behind trees along
the banks and reappearing a little way further on as if playing a game
with the observer. It glittered and shone in the sunlight, flashes of
gold rebounding enticingly off the ripples.
"Race you down?" she said impishly grinning at him, and set
off quickly before heíd had a chance to respond, hair and dress fluttering
in the breeze behind her. Harry followed, hindered by the picnic basket,
but fast enough to level with her toward the bottom of the hill. She slowed
and stopped beside a couple of ancient trees leaning out across the river,
gasping for breath, and he abandoned the basket on the ground, to pull
her into his arms.
"Iíve missed you," he said breathlessly, his blood beating
erratically through his veins. His hand slid at last into the thickness
of her hair, and she looked up, suddenly and directly, at him with her
dark eyes, making his breath even unsteadier. A moment later and they
were entwined in an embrace, his lips on hers, burning with a new desire,
which had caught him entirely unaware until he was enveloped in the velvety
depths of it. Ginnyís body moulded against his, as she responded with
equal passion to his every touch.
At length, they pulled apart, Ginnyís eyes wider and darker than ever,
searching his soul.
"Wow!" she gasped sounding slightly dazed. "I wasnít expecting
"Me neither," Harry admitted, feeling rather intoxicated by
the experience. "That wasÖ" He had no words to describe what
it was exactly, so he simply smiled at her, and she giggled.
"It was, wasnít it?" she said, hugging him tightly. "Iíve
missed you too. Itís been awful this summer without you."
"Ah, but thereís no getting rid of me now," he teased, spreading
the picnic blanket beneath the tree right next to the river. "Youíre
stuck with me until next July."
"I donít know how Iím going to cope," she sighed tragically,
her eyes twinkling with mischief. She settled herself down on the rug
beside him, tossed her hat aside and grinned. "Iíll just have to
learn some repelling charms or maybe even a good magical barrier one to
keep you away."
"You dare," he spluttered, leaning over to tickle her. She
squirmed beneath his fingers, making Harryís pulse race. He stopped abruptly,
uncertain of himself and his feelings, and stared out quickly over the
"Whatís up?" she asked curiously.
"Nothing," he said, vaguely, and reached over to the basket.
"Here you go," he grinned, throwing her book of Muggle poems
across. His own Quidditch book was there too, so he settled down on the
blanket with her, for what promised to be a wonderful afternoon.