The Sugar Quill
Author: Hildigunnur (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: All is Full of Love  Chapter: Chapter Two: Eavesdropping
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Chapter 2: Eavesdropping

 

Author's note: First of all, thanks to Zsenya for being a ROXing beta-reader and Miss Pince for giggling in all the right places. Honourable mention to the two pre-readers of this chapter and all the reviewers get massive thanks. As for the dusty manuscripts; in all proper manuscript archives, manuscripts certainly don't get dusty or in Zsenya's own words: "they are well cared for and valuable treasures!" Harry's just pissed off about his assignment and is experiencing negative feelings towards the manuscripts.

           

    Harry gritted his teeth. It was typical that when Snape assigned individual Potions essays, he would make sure that Harry got the most difficult subject. The Development of Slow Acting Venoms before 1500 AD. It meant that the bibliography of the essay would consist mostly of some old, dusty manuscripts that were buried in the farthest realms of the Restricted Section. Harry felt his brain was clogged up with the dust from the manuscripts after he had been pouring over them for three hours. He decided to stand up and find a nice book on Quidditch.

            He walked down the aisle where the books on sports were kept and was about to reach after Sheer Dumb Luck or Most Brilliant Move: the Finer Points of the Plumpton Pass when he noticed a girl. She seemed to be watching something around the corner where she was standing. The winter sun was shining through the window so he only saw her silhouette, but her curves were certainly showing, even though she was wearing her school robes. His eyes travelled down her body, he couldn’t but notice that she had a very nice figure. He swallowed and looked away, feeling uneasy. Then the girl turned so the sun shone through her hair, revealing its brilliant red, golden and scarlet shades. Harry suppressed a gasp, it was Ginny Weasley. He had been look at his best friend’s little sister’s ... No, he couldn’t think this thought any further but his mind betrayed him, Ginny’s curvy silhouette was stuck in his mind. He sighed very loudly, which caused her to turn towards him and, to Harry’s surprise, she brought her finger to her lips as to tell him to keep quiet. Now his attention was diverted to her lips, which were red and full. He closed his eyes in frustration, he had to get his mind off Ginny. She wasn’t taking much notice of him, she was busy surveying something else. Harry became a bit curious and walked passed Ginny to see what she was watching. It was something that made him take few steps backwards.

            “Hey, watch it,” she whispered as Harry bumped into her, “I would appreciate it if the Ravenclaw girls wouldn’t see me watching them.” It was indeed few Ravenclaw girls that Ginny was watching and among them was Cho Chang, a girl who Harry had had a huge crush on.

            Harry felt like he wouldn’t be able to control his vocal chords if he would replied. He just nodded and then he heard the Ravenclaws’ conversation.

            “You can’t deny it, athletic boys are generally better looking than others. Roger Davies is the best looking Ravenclaw and he’s the Quidditch Captain. Just look at the Gryffindor Quidditch team, the Weasleys are really fit,” said a blonde girl whom Harry had seen before in Cho’s group of friends.

            “I miss Oliver Wood, he is so handsome,” said a brunette who was sitting next to Cho. There were few sighs that Harry took as agreements to the statement about Wood.

            “But then there's the Slytherin team, I don’t find any of them very attractive,” said a girl with short, mousy hair.

            “What about Draco Malfoy?” asked the blonde, “he’s all right.

            “You only like him because he has money, give me a Weasley any day,” said the mousy one.

            “Then there's Harry Potter, he’s really cute. He seemed to be into you, Cho,” the brunette said and turned to Cho, who had been silent throughout the conversation.

            “Cecily! Watch what you're saying," said the blonde girl, turning towards her friend, "leave her alone!"

            “Andrea, it was you who started talking about handsome, athletic boys and you know who was just like that,” the brunette answered back. Cho cleared her throat and the girls stopped quibbling.

            “I don’t mind you talking about boys, athletic and not.” Cho said quietly. "Harry is a sweet boy, but seeing him always reminds me of ... that day." Cho’s voice was low but clear. Harry felt cold in the heart for he understood what she meant. She blamed him for Cedric's death. He pressed himself up against the bookshelf, he felt queasy. Ginny was regarding him with a concerned look. Then she took his hand and pulled him with her.

            “Harry, come. We need to talk,” she said.

            She dragged him along the aisles of the library and into the History of Magic section where she obviously thought they could be uninterrupted.

            “Harry,” she said in very grave voice, “you understand that Cho doesn’t blame you for Cedric’s death.” Harry couldn’t say anything, he just swallowed. How did she know that he was just thinking about that?

            “I mean, you were there when he died so it isn’t strange she associates you with it but I do believe she doesn’t blame you. I wouldn’t, I know just how evil Voldemort is,” Ginny was pacing in front of him with her arms crossed. Harry watched her and he couldn’t help but marvel at her attitude. Where was the little girl who used to blush and run away when she saw him? Ginny seemed have transformed into a very determined young woman and something in Harry’s mind added, a very attractive one too. He panicked at this thought and saw that Ginny was regarding him with a pensive look on his face.

            “It won’t do being afraid of one’s shadow when we are facing an enemy whose wickedness is known to us both.” It was like there was some internal fire in her eyes and Harry just nodded.

            “Good,” she said and turned around to leave but he reached out to stop her.

            “Ginny, why were you listening to the Ravenclaw girls?” He was curious.

            “Oh, it's a secret but ... you might be able to help me if you promise not to tell anyone, not even Ron or Hermione.” Her lips formed a playful smile.

            “Ok,” he said without hesitation, “I won’t tell them.” He was a bit surprised at his own audacity, it was seldom he kept something from his two best friends.

            “You see, I’m spying for the twins. It seems like George has got himself a secret admirer and they really want to find out who it is. They thought it would be a good idea to get me to help them. That’s why I was eavesdropping on the Ravenclaws. George thinks it’s a Gryffindor though." Harry couldn’t help but chuckle - who would secretly admire George?! Ginny was looking at him again and said, “you promise not to tell.” With that she was gone and Harry watched her storm out of view. He let out a loud breath, which, he realised, he had been holding during his whole conversation with Ginny. Watching her was like watching something new and exciting but yet somehow eerie familiar.

 

~~~~

 

Ginny ran all the way up to her dormitory. Her heart was beating very fast and it wasn’t because of the running. Harry had been talking to her, she had held his hand ... his hand. The hand of the boy whom she had loved for all these years. She could still sense the hand, the skin was surprisingly smooth, considering that he played Quidditch. None of her brothers had such smooth hands, not even Percy.

            Ginny buried her face in her pillow and felt like she would never be calm again. Why had she asked him to help her? She wouldn’t be able to think straight around him, she never did. She had often fantasised about talking to Harry about Cedric's death and be the one to comfort him. It wasn't something she expected to happen. But today, she had not thought about herself, or her nervousness, or her crush – only of him. He had looked like he was going to be sick and she just had to say something. And the twins weren't going to be happy if they found out that she'd let Harry in on the secrect.

            There could be a problem if he was going to help her, she might not be able to concentrate. She wasn't sure for how long she had liked him, first she had liked the idea of him. A small child that defeated an evil wizard. Then he had become real and he was her brother's best friend. She remembered the talks she used have with her mum about Harry. 'He's just a normal boy like your brothers. He was of course raised by Muggles so there are things about him that might be odd but I reckon that all in all he's just a normal boy.' When her mother had said that, Ginny thought that her mother was being silly. Harry Potter was the Boy Who Lived and he couldn't be a normal boy.

            Harry's time at the Burrow before Ginny's first year at Hogwarts had taught her a lot about him. Her mother was right, he was just like her brothers in his love for Quidditch, pranks and stuff like that, but he was also quieter, more pensive. She had been quick to realise that he didn't like attention very much. Then again, it had taken her time to see that he was an introverted person and still so unsure of himself that even stupid Valentines mortified him. Now she hoped he had forgotten all about her crush and believed her to have grown out of it. The problem was of course that she hadn’t, it never had been a simple crush, she had been in love with Harry all along.

            Ginny had been lying on her bed for hours and it was way past dinnertime, but she hadn’t noticed. Her mind was still racing about her meeting with Harry. She wanted to confide in someone, not her dorm mates even though she was on excellent terms with them. Maybe Hermione, they had had a few intimate talks.

            A gentle knock on the door interrupted Ginny’s train of thought.

            “Hi, why weren’t you at dinner?” Hermione asked as she entered the dormitory.

            “Oh, I just lost track of time,” said Ginny as she sat up.

            “What were you doing?” Hermione sat beside Ginny.

            “Just thinking,” Ginny replied and realised that this could her chance to confide in someone. “You see, I met Harry at the library today.” Hermione nodded. “We heard Cho Chang say that Harry would always remind her of Cedric’s death and I just went and said something really stupid.”

            “What, that you liked him?” Hermione whispered.

            “No, then I’d have thrown myself off the Astronomy Tower. I told him that he shouldn’t blame himself for Cedric’s death, no one blamed him. Then I pretty much told him that it didn’t do to dwell on one’s pain when the Dark Lord had risen. How could I be so stupid?” Ginny buried her face in her palms.

            “Ginny, listen to me. I think that you said the exactly right things to Harry. Maybe he’ll open his eyes now and see you for yourself.” Hermione’s tone of voice was firm.

            “I’m afraid he thinks I’m interfering in his personal life. He’s a very private person.”

            “I know he’s a very private person but he has to know there are people who care about him and understands. I want to him realise you aren’t just a little girl who idolizes him for his fame. Just be his friend, talk to him.” 

            “Easier said then done. Do you know how it feels to have your stomach do gymnastics whenever a certain boy looks in your direction?” Ginny couldn’t help but notice that Hermione blushed.

            “I know what you're talking about, Ginny,” she said with a strain in her voice. Ginny couldn’t help but feel a bit mischievous.

            “Oh, who has stolen the heart of Hermione? Is it the world famous Seeker or is it someone else? Someone you tell off everyday?”

            “Shut up. You know that Viktor and I are just very good friends and ... and ... oh, Ginny... why do I have these stupid feelings for that stupid brother of yours? I mean, he's only just recently noticed that I’m a girl.” Hermione threw herself back on the bed in frustration.

            “Oh, you haven’t sent him a ridiculous Get-Well card yet so you don’t have to worry. I know he likes you, he likes you a lot. He went mad once when he thought I had stolen a letter from you and it was in his shirt pocket. You two are so dense, when will you admit your feelings to each other?”

            “Ginny, it isn’t that simple. All he ever does is bug me about Viktor. I can’t just say, ‘Well, there isn’t anything going on between me and Viktor because I like you.’ Do you know how awkward that would be? He’s my best friend. What if you’re wrong and he doesn’t like me. Then I’ll lose him as a friend.” Hermione seemed very aggravated.

            “At least he is your friend. Harry’s just my brother’s friend and someone who saved my life. Loving him hurts.” Ginny turned around and looked Hermione in the eye.

            “It hurts too, to be in love with your best friend,” Hermione said in a low voice. 

//
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