The Sugar Quill
Author: Firebolt909 (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Second Chances  Chapter: Part One: Ginny's Second Chance
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The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

A/N: This was the first HP fanfic I ever wrote way back in January 2001. Thanks to Honeychurch for the beta help : )



Ginny Weasley sat curled up in her favourite chair in the Gryffindor common room.  It was located in the corner, between the window and the fireplace, and gave her the entire view of the room as well as some of the grounds outside.  A storm was brewing, rain had begun to fall harshly against the windowpanes, and every once in a while, a flash of lightening would cast eerie shadows inside.  No one was around, since it was rather late, and the only light came from the slowly dying fire.  Ginny was too excited to sleep, and just let her mind drift over the evenings events, hoping to relive them again.

She had recieved her second chance tonight.  Harry had finally asked her to the Yule ball, and it was all she could do not to run through the halls of Hogwarts, screaming out her joy at the top of her lungs.  Ginny had a crush on Harry since before she started Hogwarts, and although he was always nice to her, she had long given up hope that he saw more in her than just his best friend's sister.  She was always tongue-tied around him, always blushed furiously every time she had even stood near him, afflictions which she now had some small measure of control over.  Harry had taken her crush in stride for the past few years, until this past term when she started to notice that he began to react to her presence in the same way; his cheeks would turn pink and he would start stammering, as if his mind and lips were not working properly.

She smiled at the thought of some of the things she had done to him in her younger days, like sending him a singing Valentine from a troll.  It was on a dare from her older brothers Fred and George, who lived for causing mischief.  Harry was teased about it for months from her brothers, and more annoyingly, from Draco Malfoy.  She had not intended to give Malfoy any more ammunition against Harry, and had not even thought about the consequences of sending it out, until it was too late.  That was the year that Harry had saved her life from Voldemort, and had earned her undying love.

Her thoughts then drifted to the first Yule Ball, held two years ago, and how she was so close to going to the ball with Harry.  She was in her third year, and was praying that someone would ask her, since only fourth years and above were allowed to go.  She had known that Harry waited until the very last minute to go, but she had seen him earlier in the hall with Cho Chang, and just knew that Cho had said yes (How could she have said no?).  It wasn't until later that evening that she found out he had been turned down, when she had already accepted Neville Longbottom's invitation to go.  Her brother Ron, who had also waited until the last minute, demanded that Harry go with Ginny.  She cried herself to sleep that night, wondering had she refused Neville, would Harry have asked her.  After that first Ball, Ginny felt better that Harry didnít have any fun at all, shameful though it was.  Her feet still hurt from Neville's dancing.

The fire began to crackle, jerking her from her daydreaming.  Settling back down further in the chair, Ginny mused idly over the events of the day.  She had just left the dining hall, heading straight for the dungeon where she had double potions with Snape.  She was attempting to get there early, so as to not end up sharing a table with some of the meaner Slytherins in the classroom.  Snape had never liked her, although she never did anything wrong in his class. She always tried to not do anything that would attract his attention.  As she was heading down the stairs, a voice had stopped her.

"Ginny! Wait up!" It was Harry.  Ginny turned and saw him running to catch up to her.  He was now more handsome than ever (in Ginnyís unbiased opinion), his eyes were still the same startling green, he was now much taller, and his body became a bit more muscled, from all those Quidditch practices.  His voice had changed to a deep tenor in his fifth year, and Ginny loved nothing more than to listen to him speak.

"Hello Harry," she said when he had reached her.  "What's up?" she asked in what she hoped was a casual voice.

Harry leaned against the wall, and began to draw lazy circles around the bricks.  "I was...erm...just wondering," his eyes followed his fingers and his cheeks had turned a deep shade of pink, "if you....were going to the Ball with anyone?"

Ginny's heart began to quicken its pace. "Uh, no.  No one's asked me."  She felt her own cheeks grow warm.

Harry's eyes met hers.  He paused for a second, as if not really hearing her.  "Do you, uh...wanna go with me?"  He took a deep breath.  "If you want?"

Ginny went numb.  It was as if she had left her body, and was watching the strange scenario take place from above.  "Sure, that would be great."  She heard herself reply.

He gave her a bright smile, like she had somehow pronounced him king of the world.  "Great!  So, I'll see you later, then?"

"Yeah."  Ginny was certain he could hear her heart pounding over her words.  "I've gotta go...I'll be late for class."  Harry squeezed her hand and slowly let go.

 How Ginny had made it through the rest of the day, she never knew.  She existed in a fog where nothing seemed real.  She remembered Snape yelling at her for not paying attention in class, which resulted in twenty points deducted from Gryffindor. She accidentally poured one too many beetle intestines in her cauldron, turning her potion a bright green, which reminded her of Harry's eyes.  She didn't see him at dinner, he was out at late Quidditch practice.

 She snuggled deeply into the chair, and her eyes drifted shut.  She never heard the person come through the portrait hole, dripping and exhausted from practice.  Feeling another presence in the room, green eyes scanned around, stopping on the small form sleeping in a comfortable chair.  He silently padded over to her, pausing as he noted her soft smile.  Harry had never seen anyone sleep and smile at the same time.  His heart flip-flopped at her peaceful expression.  Not wanting to waken her, he quietly took a quilt from the nearby chest, and draped it over her, tucking it in at the corners.  He stood over her a moment longer, memorizing her features.  With a light caress to her cheek, he tiptoed upstairs to his room.

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