|A Small Squeal
Author: Firebolt909 PM
The summer before his fifth year, Harry visits the Burrow and notices some changes. Completely pointless, plotless, and filled with enough fluff to have you spitting up hairballs for a month!Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance/Humor - Ginny W. & Harry P. - Chapters: 2 - Words: 6,459 - Reviews: 64 - Favs: 16 - Follows: 11 - Updated: 03-17-02 - Published: 02-27-02 - id: 628741
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: This is a mix of two stories from plot bunnies that assaulted me, then abandoned me with the pieces. Hopefully, these will merge together ok. This was intended for the GryffindorTower.net Valentine's Contest, but I couldn't get it finished in time, so that will explain a few "oddities" here and there. This had the original title of "Full Frontal Fluff" so let that be your warning…pointless, plotless, and filled with enough fluff to have you spitting hairballs for a week. Enjoy!
"At that moment, there was a diversion in the form of a small, red-headed figure in a long nightdress, who appeared in the kitchen, gave a small squeal, and ran out again."
---J.K Rowling, "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets."
From the moment the summer began, Harry Potter could tell things were changing. And it wasn't just the world around them, Harry was noticing that people were changing as well, especially once he was removed from the tiny room on Number 4 Privet Drive and transferred to the even smaller room Harry shared with his best friend Ron Weasley at his home, the Burrow. Dumbledore—true to his word—had given permission for Harry to stay the last month of summer with the Weasleys, and Harry could not have been more delighted to get back to the wizarding world. Sirius' letters were brief and to the point, telling him nothing about what was going on with Voldemort, but suggesting that Dumbledore had him on some very important task. And although Ron and Hermione had done their best to keep him informed of the activities during his stay with the Dursleys, their letters just seemed to make Harry miss them even more. And from their letters, Harry also got the distinct impression that whatever had been going on between his two best friends had escalated into something else. Perhaps Ron had got the point at last.
It certainly seemed that way, because it didn't take Harry long to notice that Ron and Hermione were more often together than not, meaning that Harry was left feeling like a third leg—an intruder around them. The twins were constantly causing more chaos within the Weasley household, much to the anger of Mrs Weasley, who was often heard raging at them for packing Canary Creams in Percy's lunch, or for planting their latest invention, Snap Dragons—flowers that literally bit people when picked—in the garden. However, these new flowers were quite handy because ever since they'd been planted, the garden gnomes had not been around as much as they used to be and therefore, no one needed to de-gnome the garden as often, which was where Harry had his first encounter with Ginny Weasley.
It was his third day at the Burrow, and Ron and Hermione had gone for a walk. Percy and Mr. Weasley were at work, Fred and George were locked in their room with small puffs of light blue smoke that smelled like petrol wafting through the crevice under the door, and Mrs Weasley was busy writing letters to Bill and Charlie, which left Harry up to his own devices. He had decided to go practice some more Quidditch moves, as there was really nothing he wanted to do. Homework wasn't an option, as he'd done his at the Dursley's. He was heading out to the small glen, Firebolt slung over his shoulder, when a small squeal jerked him abruptly from his thoughts.
"Ouch!" This was followed by a word which Harry had never heard from a female before. Curious, Harry veered off the path leading from the garden to find the source of the squeal.
Ginny Weasley sat kneeling at the edge of a flower bed, her clothes covered with a mix of grass stains, dirt, and leaves. Her long red hair, which had come loose from the tight bun at the nape of her neck, was now hanging in a tangle around her shoulders, pins still haphazardly clinging onto the bright strands. She had all sorts of pots around her, a small wheel barrow, and some garden tools as well.
"Uh, are you ok Ginny?"
Ginny looked up as he approached. "Damn Snap Dragons!" Ginny hissed around the finger stuck in her mouth. "It bit me!"
"Oh," replied Harry. He stared down at her for a moment, not too sure what to say. "Did it hurt you?" Well, of course it hurt, thought Harry. How could it have not hurt? Snap Dragons had a nasty set of teeth, and the ones in the Weasley's garden also breathed fire sometimes. And why did Harry have this sudden feeling inside, the irrepressible urge to comfort her, even though she clearly was not seriously hurt? He stared down at her for a moment, noting the bit of dirt on her nose and the smudge on her forehead. She was really quite pretty, he thought, just before he inwardly cringed. Why was he thinking of Ginny in this way?
"Not really," Ginny said. "It just makes me mad, that's all. I didn't plant them, Fred and George did. Just because I was the one who cross-bred Dragon weed with a Venus Flytrap, doesn't mean that I meant for them to plant these things everywhere!" Ginny fussed angrily as she grabbed a small trowel and began to dig one of the pink and yellow flowers up, just barely able to dodge the flower as its head lunged towards her, teeth snapping. "They should be down here as well, helping me. See if I ever come up with any more tricks for their shop."
"You mean—you did that?" Harry asked, repressing a laugh. He'd never thought that Ginny could come up with something like that. That was—well it was…funny. He'd never pictured Ginny Weasley as a mastermind behind Fred and George's jokes.
"Yeah," replied Ginny, turning back to her work. "Where're Ron and Hermione?"
"Oh, they're out on a walk or something," Harry replied, trying hard not to let the resentment he felt appear in his voice. "Do you want me to help you?" he asked, taking a seat next to her on the soft grass.
"Erm..sure," she said, handing him a spare trowel. "I've got a pair of gloves if you want to use them," she added, nodding to the worn pair of gardening gloves that had more holes in them than the Albert Hall. "I don't like using them."
"No thanks," Harry replied, digging into the nearest plant with relish. It was almost a game, as the Snap Dragons were very quick to snap, but Harry was pretty quick himself, and withdrew his hands just in time to avoid the tiny sharp teeth. He and Ginny both laughed when one of the plants broke a tooth biting down on the metal trowel. Low voices drifted over the small fence, and looking up, Harry could see two heads, one a bushy brown, the other a bright red, pressed close together. Soft murmurs carried by the wind drifted through the fence to the other two, accented by occasional bursts of raised voices, then returning slowly back to normal.
Ginny rolled her eyes, shaking her own bright locks. "Wonder what would happen if I lobbed one of these on over there, eh?" She giggled, gesturing to the Snap Dragons. "Wouldn't you just love to see the expression on Ron's face…" she trailed off. Harry grinned at the image of Ron's long nose with one of the plants clamped firmly to the end of it. He looked back at Ginny, realising for the first time that this was the longest they'd ever spoken to each other, and were actually having a conversation. Normally he was with Ron and Hermione, and Ginny was with her own year, and the few times they'd spoken to each other was at the Burrow. Ginny was a year younger than Harry, and never very talkative around him, despite her brothers' insistence that she "never shuts up." Harry had thought it had something to do with the fact that he'd saved her from the Chamber of Secrets during her first year at Hogwarts, which both of them came very close to dying at the hands of Voldemort. Although come to think of it, she'd always been quite shy around Harry, and would blush if he so much as looked at her. Ron said it was because she fancied him, and that might be true…she did send him a Valentine's card once during his second year, and a singing Get-well card in his third, just after he'd fallen from his Nimbus Two Thousand during a Quidditch match.
"Can't wait for school to start," Ginny said. "I want to get them as far away from me as they can go," she muttered, throwing another baleful look in the direction of her brother and Hermione whilst scooping up another shovel full of earth and Snap Dragon and placing it in the small wheel barrow. Harry watched fascinated as a small bumblebee landed on one of the delicate petals, just before the jaws snapped down and began chewing. "You wouldn't believe what it's been like with those two here for the past week," Ginny continued. "Ginny, go away. Ginny, we're coming in here. Ginny, leave us alone." Harry chuckled as Ginny lowered her voice and did a quite reasonable impersonation of her brother. The Snap Dragon gave a small burp. Ginny giggled, glancing at the flower and continued on, "And it's my own room for Merlin's sake!" She made a face. "Oh, it's not that I'm not happy for them both, but honestly…it's almost sickening. I hope I don't act like that when I'm in love."
For some reason, her words disturbed Harry and he wondered if the red tint to her cheeks was due to more than just the heat of the sun. Ginny had hit another sore spot with him, after seeing how close Ron and Hermione were becoming, he wondered if he'd act like that around a girl. Cho Chang had been the only girl he'd even come close to having any sort of feelings for. He thought about how he had felt about Cho last year, how nervous he was asking her to the ball, his disappointment at her refusal, his anger at seeing her with Cedric. But what Harry felt for Cho, that couldn't have been love, was it? Harry closed his eyes and tried to bring up the image of Cho, wondering if his stomach would make the same flip-flop, the same rumble it had made before when he pictured her. After a moment's concentration, Cho's pretty face appeared, but Harry found himself wishing he'd not thought of her at all. Harry found himself recalling Cho as he had last seen her, during the Leaving Feast at Hogwarts, silent tears pouring down her face as Dumbledore explained the story behind Cedric's death. Harry felt the same icy feeling he always got when remembering Cedric…how he died…Voldemort.
With his thoughts elsewhere, Harry hadn't paying much attention to the task at hand. Reaching out to grasp the stem of a plant, he found his fingers grasping…
The contact of Harry's hand on Ginny's unnerved him greatly, for some strange reason He withdrew his hand immediately, as though her touch had burned him. Then he felt as something had burned him. Or bit him, rather.
"Oh, did it get you?"
Harry examined the tiny bite mark just below his knuckles. "No, I think it's ok. There's no blood."
"Let me see." Harry suddenly found it hard to breathe as Ginny moved closer to take a look for herself. A lock of hair tumbled over her shoulder as she leaned over to inspect the wound. She bit her lip, her brow furrowing while a fingertip lightly traced over the area, sending slight shivers up and down his arm. Harry hadn't been this close to her since he'd leaned over her prone body in the Chamber of Secrets back in his second year at Hogwarts, and his mind began to compare the differences in that Ginny and the one sitting before him now. This Ginny appeared to be more confident, wiser, but her sparkling brown eyes and infectious laughter kept a girlish charm within. As though feeling his gaze on her, she slightly raised her head.
"I think…I think you'll live," she whispered breathlessly.
"Yeah," Harry whispered.
"Need to put some of mum's salve on it though. Snap Dragon bites can be poisonous," Ginny said, then bit her lip. "Although—" she hesitated, "Would you….uh…mind not telling mum what got you though? I'm in enough trouble as it is already."
"Not at all." Harry wondered why
The steady buzz of a bee zooming around the flowers snapped Harry from his slight stupor. Ginny quickly let go of his hand as though it had unexpectedly turned into a Grindylow.
"So, how's that cousin of yours? Still on that diet?"
Harry blinked at the abrupt change of subject. "Uh, actually, they took him out of Smeltings," he replied, wondering how Ginny knew about Dudley's ill-fated diet from last summer. "He's now at another school, and he absolutely hates it." Harry found himself telling her about how Dudley had tried to run away from his new school, but got as far as the driveway before he passed out from exertion.
"Good game, huh?" Ron yawned as he turned down the duvet. It was later on that evening, and the Burrow was just settling down for the night, complete with all the "going-to-bed" noises such as an occasional explosion from the twins' room, the faded sound of giggles coming from the landing below theirs, and the ghoul in the attic bashing his head against the pipes.
"Yeah it was," Harry replied, stifling his own yawn as he folded his glasses on the nightstand and laid his head back on the pillows. Ron and he, along with Fred and George had played Quidditch in the small orchard behind the Burrow. Harry was tired, but his mind wouldn't let him rest. The conversation he'd had with Ginny that afternoon stayed in the back of his head all through out the rest of the day. It was times like this that he so wished he could confide in someone, some one older who understood these things better than he did. He could always write to Sirius, but it seemed so mundane to bother him while he was working with Dumbledore on whatever task he'd been asked to do. Harry snorted as he imagined how the letter would sound.
Know you're probably busy working for Dumbledore, but I was wondering what you could tell me about being in love? How did my parents act when they first got together?
Hope you're ok!
No, he couldn't send something like that to Sirius. It was too stupid sounding, even in his head. Ron made a slight shuffling noise as he rolled over, and Harry finally decided to go straight to the source.
"Ron? You 'wake?"
"I am now," Ron mumbled, his voice muffled by his pillow.
"What's it like?" Harry asked.
"What's what like Harry? What's got into you?" Ron let out a tremendous yawn and rolled back over to face Harry, face screwed up in a grimace.
Harry swallowed nervously. "What's it like when you're with Hermione? Now that you two are…uh.."—Harry found himself stumbling over the word—"together?"
"Who said we were together? We're not together! Why do you think we're together?" Even in the dark Harry could see Ron's ears flush a violent pink.
"Well, aren't you?" Harry persisted. "You two are always talking together, and while you two argue just as much as you did before…it's somehow…different."
"Yes, well…" Ron drew a deep breath and blew it out slowly, ruffling the red fringe on his forehead. "We're not together or any thing like that. We're just talking, that's all. You know, I've not seen her since school was out. Yeah, we're just catching up on things."
Ron definitely sounded like he was protesting too much, Harry thought. Maybe he was still missing the point. And although Harry was loath to point it out, Ron had not seen him since school was out either. But instead, Harry found himself sighing in frustration. "Do you want to be together, though?"
"No way!" Ron said hurriedly. "She's too bossy, she's always pestering me to do my homework…" Ron's voice trailed off as he suddenly stared off into space with a strange expression on his face, as though he'd just solved a complicated Arithmancy problem. He recovered quickly, cleared his throat and choked out, "Go to bed Harry."
Harry chuckled just before Ron tossed a pillow over his head.
Harry nearly jumped out from his skin as the thundering bellow from downstairs woke him from a sound sleep. Not even stopping to put on his dressing-gown, Harry rushed out into the hallway.
"Oh, sorry Harry!" Ginny Weasley, had smacked into him, knocking him to the floor. She blushed apologetically and tried to stifle a yawn at the same time. "I was just going to see what's got Percy's tiara on full blast this early in the morning."
Harry had been at the Burrow for nearly two weeks now, and was just getting used to being able to sleep in when he wanted—until Percy's shouting had woken him up. Harry grinned sleepily as his mind formed the image of perfect Percy wearing a tiara that matched his horn-rimmed glasses. Somehow, it seemed to fit him.
"HARRY! IF YOU DON'T GET YOUR OWL…."
Ginny cringed as the second roar came from the kitchen. "I thought that's what he might be going on about," she said offering a hand to help him from the floor. "Let's go see what the lovebirds are up to now." Another peal of laughter followed. Harry grimaced at her words, knowing what had indeed set Percy's tiara on full blast.
With a small sigh, Harry shook his head and followed the red-head. His first steps into the sunny kitchen at the Burrow confirmed everything. It was unthinkable, really, but it seemed that Hermes, Percy's grey screech owl, and Hedwig, Harry's own snowy owl had recently begun to…Harry felt his cheeks heat up. Percy was standing with hands on his hips, ears tinged crimson with rage, his glasses glinting in the morning sunlight that poured in through the large windows. Hedwig and Hermes were now separated, puffed up and beaks clicking in their own show of temper, obviously angered that their activity had been interrupted.
"If you don't keep that owl away from my Hermes, I swear I'll—"
"Oh hush up, Percy," said Ginny, making no attempt to stifle her laughter. "Honestly, he's a boy, she's a girl. They are just doing what comes naturally. Would think that after all the years you and Penny have been together, you'd know about that."
The look on Percy's face was priceless and Harry choked back a bubble of laughter which was mixed with a bit of astonishment at the youngest Weasley. Ginny was only fourteen after all, what did she know about…about…he shook his head.
"Er, sorry Percy," he stammered quickly, desperately wishing Ginny would leave the room. Perhaps it was because Ginny was referring to something he found very embarrassing at any rate or because he was suddenly very aware of her in her thin faded blue t-shirt that looked like it had once belonged to Bill or Charlie, but Harry suddenly found himself feeling very, very uncomfortable. Harry held out his arm for Hedwig to land on. "Come on Hedwig, I think it'd be better if you stayed upstairs for a while." Hedwig refused to move from her perch, and Hermes was looking at him as though he might want to attack him.
"And keep that…that…scarlet woman away from Hermes," Percy spluttered, obviously trying to recover from his reaction to Ginny's words.
"Scarlet woman?" Fred asked as he came in through the back door. "Where's a scarlet woman?"
"And what is she doing with Hermes?" followed George in behind Fred. "What's all this then?"
"Hermes and Hedwig were at it again," said Ginny as though she were calmly discussing the best way to degnome a garden.
"Oh yeah, the two love-birds," said George, stifling a yawn. "Early risers aren't they?" He and his twin exchanged grins. "They always say the morning is one of the best times for—" George glanced at Ginny, who was listening attentively, her brown eyes focused on her brother. He flushed and coughed. "Erm…speaking of love-birds, where's Ron and Hermione?"
"Hermione woke me up, I suppose they've gone out walking again." Ginny sighed. "Will be glad when school starts so I can get some sleep." Ginny grinned over at Percy. "Isn't "scarlet woman" a bit harsh for an owl, Perce? I mean Hedwig and Hermes were just…"
Percy looked apoplectic. "You…you…go to your room!" he finished lamely. Ginny laughed, which caused Percy to puff up so much that Harry was alarmed that he might actually explode. "Go get dressed! You should be ashamed coming down here dressed like that!"
Ginny frowned, glancing down at the item in question. "What's wrong with this shirt? It used to be your favorite shirt. And before that it was Bill's."
"It's…it's…" Percy spluttered again, obviously trying to find the right phrase.
"It's….too…" Fred chimed in.
"Too…" Now George was gesturing at the garment.
There really wasn't anything wrong with the shirt, although like most of the other clothes that the Weasley children wore, it had once belonged to someone else. The shirt went down past Ginny's knees, a few loose string hung from the edge of the hemline, the color was a deep blue that was darker in some areas and lighter in others, as though bleach had accidentally been splashed on it at one time or another. The only problem Harry could find was around the chest area, where the shirt did seem to fit a bit…
"Snug," Harry found himself thinking out loud, drawing four pairs of eyes to where he was standing, still trying to coax Hedwig from her perch. Fred and George both gave him a look, and Harry swiftly found himself wishing he he'd never even come into the kitchen. He swallowed nervously.
"Exactly!" Percy pointed a finger at Harry. "See, even Harry thinks so! Now go change!"
Harry wondered whose face was more red, his or Ginny's. Somehow, he thought his own won.
Ginny narrowed her eyes and in a very low, deceptively calm voice said, "Don't you dare tell me what to do Percival Octavius Weasley! I'll wear this until it rots off, if I want to!" And she stormed back upstairs, her footsteps echoing loudly in the kitchen. A door slammed a few minutes later.
"She's rip-roaring mad now, Percy," said George. "It'll be a month before she speaks to you again."
"And I wouldn't be surprised if she doesn't make good on her threat," added Fred. "Now Harry, want to explain why you were noticing how snug our sister's shirt fit her?"
Harry opened his mouth, not even sure about how to reply to this loaded question, but knew he'd better think fast. Percy, however, came to the rescue.
"Oh, lay off Fred. Harry thinks just as much of Ginny as we all do," Percy scoffed as though the notion was utterly ridiculous. "He's practically a brother to her."
"Just making sure," George said, giving Harry the same appraising look. As if sensing the tension in the room was rapidly coming to the unbearable point, Hedwig flew onto Harry's shoulder and gently nibbled on his ear, signaling that she was ready to go upstairs.
Coming past the platform that let to the small room that Ginny shared with Hermione, Harry could have sworn he heard the faint sound of someone crying.
A/N: Huge hugs to Ashwinder for helping me out with the eight hundred drafts I sent her of this story, and for listening me bitch about this. She RULES!! Thanks to James for the male perspective and for helping me give this some sort of...plot?