Counting Stars

I love November evenings.

The sky is a velvety black, on which thousands upon thousands of stars scintillate like hard, bright diamonds. They're beautiful, to say the least.

You know, a few years back, I'd given up counting them—ever since I began Hogwarts and took up Astronomy. I realized then that there are just so many of those stars in the universe that really, it's impossible to count them all.

A cool breeze picks up wisps of my copper red hair. I smile to myself, stretch my arms, and take a deep breath. Sighing happily, I go back to the Gryffindor locker rooms, and find Harry folding up his scarlet Quidditch robes.

"You should see the sky," I tell him. "Not a cloud is in sight."

Harry looks up at me, and grins. I find myself returning the smile. Harry does that to me—all he has to do is smile, and his remarkable green eyes would light up, and I couldn't help but smile back. It's a placid, contented kind of smile. It makes you forget that the boy wearing it still has something dark haunting him.

Oh dear, I've stared for too long. I feel my cheeks grow hot. I go to my own locker, in the pretense of picking up my second-hand Comet Two Sixty.

Darn. I really wouldn't get over this—all these blushing, all the elbow-in-the-butterdish incidents.

"It's always nice to practice until late," Harry says now. "The view of the sky here in the pitch is incredible."

"I know." My voice comes out even and smooth, but I don't trust myself to look up.

I hear Harry clear his throat and let out a chuckle. "Your brothers wouldn't forgive me for this, but you know, while I'm up there"—he tossed his head to the direction of the pitch—"when I can't find the Snitch, I…I stargaze."

The way Harry faltered over the last word makes me look up. "Stargaze?" I repeat.

Aha. He's blushing. I somehow find the way his cheeks turn pinkish…well, nice. And cute. Ha! For once, I'm not the one blushing when we're together. The very thought makes me smile wickedly. "Come on, Harry. You don't just stargaze."

Harry laughs aloud. "Ginny Weasley, you're after my blood, aren't you?"

"Huh?" I pretend to look confused. I must have looked funny, for Harry snickers again.

"It's true," he says, still holding onto that smile. "I stargaze. But don't laugh at what I'm about to tell you, all right? No one else knows."

I shrug, but I feel a flutter inside my chest. Harry actually trusts me with a secret, no matter how petty it may be.

"I count stars when I'm up there," he finally says.

My jaw drops. "Really?" And to think I had been trying to get rid of my childish tendencies—sending Harry those singing get-well cards, for one.

"Don't laugh," says Harry.

"I'm not laughing!" I declare. "I mean…that's…that's funny. I used to count stars, too."

"Yeah?"

"Mm-hmm." I smile at him. "I guess we have a lot more in common than I had thought."

He smiles again. Oh, he smiles again. "I guess so, too."

This time, I do not look away. I try to take in how Harry looks at that moment—black hair tousled, as always; beautiful, sparkling green eyes behind round, black-rimmed glasses; a bit slumped stature; red windbreaker and brown pants; and that smile.

He's handsome.

Harry clears his throat again, and I snap back to reality. I realize that I wasn't the only one staring—he had been gazing at me, too.

"So, er…shall we go back?" I say, and it's apparent in my voice that I really don't want to go.

Harry picks up his Firebolt. "No," he tells me, straightening his glasses. "I want to count stars again." His gaze falls down on my broomstick. "Coming?"

He didn't have to ask. "Of course," I say.

We go back to the Quidditch pitch. Both of us look up. The sky is just how I left it a while ago.

I climb on my Comet. "Race you to the goal posts!" I call out as I get a head start. I hear Harry calling out in protest.

The wind whips my hair all behind my head. It's a wonderful feeling, flying. Being one with the sky, although not really coming any closer to the stars.

It's impossible to reach them—they're light-years away. It's impossible to count them—there are thousands upon thousands of them in the universe.

But then again, I had thought he wouldn't tell me any of his secrets. I had thought he would never open up a part of him to me. I had thought it was impossible to grow close to Harry Potter.

I stop as I reach the goal posts. Harry is right behind me, smiling. He looks up. His glasses and eyes reflect the impossible.

And I think, maybe it isn't impossible at all.

A/N: Oooooh, fluff. Oh well. Please review!