THE FAMOUS GOOD, GREAT HARRY
"Little Ginny's been writing in it for months and months, telling
me all her pitiful worries and woes: how her brothers tease her,
how she had to come to school with second-hand robes and books,
how-" Riddle's eyes glinted "-how she didn't think
famous, good, great Harry Potter would ever like her..."
-The Chamber of Secrets
Harry, drenched from the steady downpour that had been going on all
evening, slowly made his way back to the Castle from the Quidditch
pitch. Fred and George Weasley, now both co-captains of the
House team, were worth two Oliver Woods, as they were just as serious
about the game as he could be despite their carefree natures.
It was way past bedtime, and the twins had just pronounced the team
ready to face their next match.
As much as Harry loved to play Quidditch, the sport wasnít what he
thought about as he trudged through the mud. No, Harry's mind
was occupied with a bright-eyed, freckle-faced redhead, who just so
happened to be the youngest Weasley. Harry had had crushes before.
In his fourth year, all he could think about was Cho Chang, a Seeker
for Ravenclaw. That faded as quickly as it started, especially
after Cedricís death. Then in his fifth year, he had a slight
crush on a girl in Hufflepuff, Lisa Robertson, a pretty auburn haired
Prefect. She, however, was with Roger Davies, so no luck there
It was much to Harry's surprise while staying with the Weasleys over
the summer, that he found himself staring quite a bit at Ginny.
He always knew that she had a crush on him , ever since he first met
her at age twelve. She was always blushing around him, never
quite meeting his eyes when she talked, always turning into a klutz
the minute he walked into the room, following him, Ron and Hermione
whenever they went. He never thought about it one way or another.
This past summer, however, he noticed that she was no longer doing
any of those things. In fact, she had hardly been around him
at all, keeping to herself.
One morning Harry had woken up to the sound of singing outside the
window to the room that he and Ron shared at the Burrow. Checking
to see if Ron had heard it--he was still snoring--Harry went over
and looked out. It was Ginny. She was out in the garden
next to the fountain, painting with her watercolours, singing softly
to the wizard radio playing in the kitchen. She was wearing
a simple day dress, and the morning sun shone upon her hair, highlighting
each strand in a haze of red and gold. It was quite simply the
most beautiful sight he had ever seen.
From that moment on whenever he saw her, his stomach did a little
lurch, as if he had one of Hagridís Blast-Ended Skewts inside it.
If Ginny spoke to him, Harry felt his face heat up like a bonfire,
and would find himself incapable of speech. She would walk past
him in the halls at school, and he'd drop his books, run into walls,
or stumble. Malfoy had noticed this and had jeeringly compared
him to Neville Longbottom.
He had agonized about the Yule Ball since the moment Dumbledore announced
it. Like the last time, he knew who he wanted to ask, but he
still couldnít work up the courage. After a week of self-torment
(where he realized that if he didnít ask, she might decide to go with
Neville again), he finally decided to corner her on the way
to Potions. First of all, the hallway to the dungeons was dark,
so he could mask his nerves and embarrassment. Secondly, if
she turned him down, he could quickly hide his disappointment and
run like hell. Lastly, if she did she did somehow say yes, then
the dark would hopefully conceal the stupid-ass grin he would have.
She said yes. Not only yes, but "Sure, that would be great!"
Great! It would be great to go with him! He was so happy
and excited that he accidentally turned his hedgehog into a pincushion
with little pink hearts all over it in Transfiguration. Professor
McGonagall gave him high marks, but Ron and the others had teased
him unmercifully for the rest of the evening.
Harry dashed up the steps to the Castle and entered the large hallway,
thankful to get out of the weather. Careful not to make too
much of a mess, lest Filch was nearby, he made his way to the dormitory
showers, hoping to wash off the mud and grime. Coming to the
portrait hole, he woke up the Fat Lady and gave her the password:
He hadn't expect the object of his thoughts to be snuggled asleep
in one of the big chairs in the corner. Shouldn't she
be in bed? 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. What could she be dreaming about? 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 beautiful features. With a light
caress to her cheek, he tiptoed upstairs to his room.
"Hey four-eyes!" the bishop yelled, startling Harry. "Itís
your move already!"
"What-oh, sorry." Harry told his pawn to move and looked
back over at the corner where Ginny was sitting. He hadnít been able
to talk to her since yesterday, and wanted desperately to go say something
to her. The fact of the matter was: he didnít know what to say. He
had naively thought that after asking her to the Yule Ball that he
wouldnít be so nervous around her, but soon discovered that was not
the case. If anything, his nervousness increased. He could barely
look her in the eye without his mind going blank and his stomach doing
Quidditch practice had been called off tonight, the weather was just
too bad. Instead, he and Ron were playing a game of chess, with Hermione
sitting on the floor next to Ron, her arm propped on his thigh. In
between moves, Ron would quickly give her a kiss.
"Will you pay attention!" the queen screamed up at Harry.
"Canít you see Iím about to be taken!" His chess pieces,
ever since he first got them for Christmas in his first year, absolutely
despised him. They never won, (especially since all he did was play
Ron), and they seemed to take it out on Harry. He really couldnít
blame them; Ronís chess pieces were quite a blood thirsty lot, however
it was quite embarrassing to be taunted by them.
Harry quickly lost another piece to Ron. "Ron, your pieces are
such bullies!" Hermione said as she watched Harryís bishop being
kicked screaming off the board by Ronís.
"You tell him there, gorgeous!" said Harryís knight to
Hermione. Harryís chess pieces, at least the male ones, were quite
the ladies men. "If he wasnít making puppy eyes at that stunning
red-head in the corner over there, we might have a chance!"
Harryís face went scarlet. Ron and Hermione gave each other a knowing
look, trying very hard not to smile. They failed.
Ron finally decided to take matters into his own hands. "Oi,
Ginny!" Ginny looked up from reading her book. "Come over
here and give Harry a hand will ya?" Ginny slightly blushed and
walked over to them.
Harry scooted over so Ginny could sit next to him. "Hey there,
baby!" his bishop cat-called. "I was always partial to red-heads,"
said the King, winking at her and earning a slap from the Queen. Ginny
giggled and smiled shyly at Harry. There wasnít much room on the bench
they were sharing, so Harry discreetly placed his arm around her back,
bringing her closer to the game (and him).
Harry was amazed. Ginny was an incredible chess player, almost as
good as Ron. Even more amazing was the fact that his pieces never
once argued with her and moved exactly where she said, all the while
giving her outrageous comments.
"I canít believe your chess pieces are flirting with my little
sister," Ron said disgustedly. Hermione and Ginny both laughed.
Harry grinned. "What can I say, they have good taste."
He winked at Ginny.
It was half past one before Ron forced her into checkmate. "Good
game, Red!" "Weíll get him next time, beautiful!" His
bishop and knight called as they hobbled into the bag. "You donít
really like old four-eyes there, díya luv?" said a pawn. Harry
quickly stuffed them under the chair. "Hey!" came the muffled
Ron and Hermione had both gone to bed, leaving them alone. Harryís
arm was now pulling her closer. He was still racking his mind, trying
to think of something to say, trying to tell her how he felt about
her, without saying something stupid.
"Iím glad you didnít have Quidditch practice, tonight,"
"Yeah, me too."
Ginny laid her head in the crook of his neck. He brushed a feathery
kiss on her temple and wrapped his other arm tight around her. She
sighed and cuddled closer. Maybe she already knew, he thought,
giving her another soft kiss.