Hi, I know I really should be working on my big fic right now because as you all know, it's just sooo gripping, (not), but this has been rolling around in my head like a marble in a basketball for some time now. I had to write it down to stop it blocking my windpipe.

Beware of excessive fluff and try not to get drowned in quaint ideas.

Toothbrushes are necessary.

~fae

Pursuits, Pollen and Pixies

Ron Weasley stumbled into the kitchen of the Burrow, nearly tripping up the person behind him, Harry Potter. Ron was never very good in the mornings.

Harry smiled to himself and set a cup down on the table in front of his best friend, filling it with pumpkin juice and rummaging in the cupboards for various cereals. This was his fourth time he had spent his summer at the Burrow, (the summer before his seventh year) and he knew his way around quite well by now.

Everyone was staying at the Burrow that summer; Mrs Weasley had found herself buried in guests. As well as Ron and Ginny, who still hadn't left Hogwarts, she had Fred and George, Percy, Bill, Charlie and Harry. In was madness; Mrs Weasley had been on the verge of a synaptic breakdown when the guests had taken matters (and saucepans) into their own hands. That was why the hands on the grandfather clock marked "Arthur Weasley" and "Molly Weasley" were now somewhere around the seven at "On holiday".

Harry watched people trickle into the kitchen and kept jumping up to bring down more cups. Finally seven boys were seated around the table talking about what they were going to do that day. De-gnomeing that garden was high on everyone's list, as Mrs Weasley would probably de-boy the house if it wasn't done by the time she got back.

"I dunno why she doesn't just get Gilderoy Lockhart to do it for her," Charlie said with a smirk. "I hear he's been having trouble getting a job these days."

"I hear he's having trouble remembering what a job is," Ron said.

The door opened again and a small, be-freckled red head tottered in like she was trying to walk on cotton wool.

"Ay!" Fred cheered.

"The only girl in the house!" added George.

"Urgh, don't remind me," Ginny mumbled. Her hair was tasselled, there were light purple circles around her eyes but to Harry, she looked as pretty as always. Two hazy plats tried but failed to contain her long scarlet hair and as she opened her eyes more, Harry met those familiar tree-bark eyes that seemed brown but were flecked with greens and hazels. She was wearing summer pyjamas, just some small shorts and a strap top. Freckles decorated her arms, legs and back as well as her face.

"Why are girls always so grumpy in the morning?" Ron asked, earning him a cuff round the head from his sister with the August edition of Witch Weekly.

"Speak for yourself, SeƱor Sunshine," she spiked, gathering her strength and her wits. She tossed the magazine onto the counter and rummaged in the cupboards for pans. Within thirty seconds the kitchen was slightly smoky and very aromatic with the smell of bacon, eggs, tomatoes and beans. Ginny had apparently picked something up from her mother's constant cooking.

"Bill, catch!" she yelled and Harry cringed as an egg slapped onto Bill's plate. He hadn't even noticed because he was scanning the magical stock market, searching for people who had suspiciously acquired money in questionable ways. By the time the paper had been lowered, he found three sausages, four tomatoes and two rashers of bacon on his plate; Ginny hadn't even turned around. Charlie had to shift to the right a bit because he was in her blind spot, Percy thought he'd better get up for the saucepan of baked beans and Fred and George had to swap plates because it was all too confusing to remember which twin was sitting where this early in the morning.

Ginny turned to Ron and Harry.

"Orders?" she asked brightly.

"Usual, please, Gin, thanks," Ron said and buried himself once again in his heated discussion with Charlie about whether it was clinically possible to be as mad as Martin Miggs.

Ginny turned her attention to Harry who found it hard to decide mostly because he was trying to keeps himself from saying anything stupid.

"Um, whatever you're having I guess, thanks." He breathed again as she turned round.

"Ginny, do us favour?" asked Fred.

"It depends whether I'm still going to have all my body parts at the end of it all," Ginny said through the smoke.

"Nevermind," George said.

Harry thanked the youngest Weasley as she set his plate down. She had just picked up the pumpkin juice when she gasped and suddenly orange liquid was soaking into the shattered ceramic on the floor. The boys turned and Harry stood up.

"Gin, what's the matter?" asked Bill urgently. Wordlessly Ginny pointed to the washboard. In the wire spaces normally used for drying plates was a thick parchment envelope with O.W.L.s stamped in important looking black ink on the front. Thinner ink spelt out the words:



Ginny Weasley

The Burrow

Ottery St Catchpole



"Bloody hell! It's here!" shouted Ron. This broke the silence like a sledgehammer would break a Pocket Sneakscope. Ginny dived for the envelope as her brothers knocked back chairs to cluster around her. Ginny reached for the butter knife and slipped it under the flap, but stopped. She looked around herself at the six boys as if she'd only just realised they were there.

"Do you mind?" she asked.

"Not at all," Fred said. "Proceed!"

"I mean," Ginny said, as if she were talking to a two year old. "I'd like to be alone, if you wouldn't mind."

"Sorry, Ginny," Bill said.

"Yes, you live with us, your business is our business," Percy said.

"No it isn't, go away! They're my exam results; I want to read them alone!" Ginny insisted in a very irked voice.

"Tough, now open the damn envelope!" Charlie ordered.

"No!"

Quick as a cheetah playing Quidditch, Ginny darted for the back door, opened it, transferred herself to the other side, slammed it shut and locked it.

"Ginny Weasley! Get you skinny arse back in here!" Ron roared, trying to wrench open the door.

"Get back, you idiot!" shouted George, waving his wand. "Alohamora!" he shouted at the lock, as if the very thing itself had taken Ginny's O.W.L. results and flushed them down the toilet. Harry ran out the door behind the Weasley boys, he had to see this.

Ginny was down the bottom of the garden by then, struggling with the gate latch. Six redheaded boys were gaining on her, giving no notice to the fact that they were trampling some of Mrs Weasley's precious vegetables. Ginny looked behind her and yelled, clutching the yellow envelope to her chest as if it were serving her with a steel shield in a volley of arrows.

Struck by the desperation of the situation, she started running down the left path towards Harry, who'd taken the route with the least plant life. Harry was a little confused by her actions until she turned around and sprinted back to the gate, slamming her hands down on the wood and vaulting it completely.

"What the-?" gasped Ron.

"Where the bloody hell did she learn to do that?!" demanded Percy.

There was no time for musings however, Ron wrenched up the latch and shoved the door open. Harry ran through and laughed, seeing the Weasley girl sprinting full-tilt up the meadow. The Weasley boys whooshed past him, catching him up in the chase. The field was covered in wild flowers, and yellow pollen was sticking to the boy's pyjama bottoms as they gained on Ginny.

They weren't fast enough though. Ginny had reached an old Ramous tree, solo in the middle of the meadow a long time before they caught her. She scrambled up the trunk and sat herself in its branches as the boys struggled not to crash into the trunk that could get pretty hostile if provoked.

"Oh for Christ's sake, Ginny!" Harry wiped pollen off his glasses.

Bill, being the tallest jumped, trying to grab her ankle. His fingers brushed her toes and Ginny folded in her legs and crawled along the branch to a higher spot, like a kitten that was too scared of you to let you stroke it.

"Nice one, Bill."

"Ginny, be careful," Harry said, not on anyone's side but still worried that she was going to fall. She was safely seat between two branches, her yellow legs hanging down, covered in the thick dust up to her thighs.

"Well, I must say this is very mature, Ginny. . ." Percy started to say but he was cut off when Ginny stuck out her tongue and wangled her ankles so that pollen floated down on her brother's head and made him sneeze. Even though Harry knew this was a very funny situation, (how often did you get seven boys chasing their sister and friend up a tree?) he couldn't help noticing that Ginny looked extremely cute, sitting on a branch in her pyjamas, with her hair falling out of her plats and completely covered in pollen. Add a pair of yellow wings and you'd have a switch of species into a meadow pixie.

"Ginny, come on," George pleaded, but Ginny just snapped a straight twig off the branch she was sitting on, inserted it under the flap and ripped open the envelope. The boys groaned as she slipped the papers out of the envelope and daintily dropped it to the ground. Percy pounced on it and turned it inside out to see if anything had been left in there, but he discarded it disappointedly once he found only space.

The boys were silent as Ginny scanned the page. Ron was hopping anxiously from one foot to the other and Fred was biting his nails. Once she had finished reading all the boys stood to attention as if they were Victorian schoolboys and their schoolmaster had just cracked a cane on the desk. A few seconds of silence passed.

"Well?!" demanded Ron, the most impatient.

"Ginny looked down at them, all in a row, and smiled a smile so innocent and sweet that Harry felt his stomach turn to meringue filling. The boys took this as a good sign and smiled too. Their sister looked up to the distance and Harry turned around, wondering what she was looking at.

The view definitely was spectacular. The boys were hip-deep in a sea of sunshine and Lily was on her green and black island, (the Ramous tree flowered with small black flowers that clustered in the top in small huddles) When the yellow sea ended the burrow stood, crooked and bent, the symbol of home and shelter for all of them, the blue sky was dotted with light yellow butterflies that flurried around in a dizzy state and everything was absorbing the sunlight.

Ginny stood up and Harry was afraid she was going to fall again. She didn't though; she just climbed higher into the branches and plucked a small black bud.

"You know, on a day like this," she said, holding the paper under her arm and peeling the petals off the thick black core. "You really shouldn't care."

She held the parchment out in front of her and stabbed it with the goo-like bud, scribbling all over it.

Charlie let out something between a squeal and a gasp. Harry, on the other hand, was positively dying of laughter.

Ginny let the Ramous dye sink into the paper to the agonised sounds of her brothers and then started ripping up the parchment. With each shred, Ron sank deeper into the flowers. Ginny latched an arm round the trunk of the tree and twirled round it, as if she were skipping around a pole, and flung the black scraps into the summer air, raining them onto her tormented brothers.

Bill shook his head sadly and turned around to make his way back to the house. One by one the Weasley boys followed.

"You'll be in for it when mum finds out you ripped up your results," Ron said bitterly.

"I think she'll be very interested to know that you chased me up a tree as well," Ginny shot back ecstatically. Ron sighed and headed towards the house with his brothers, kicking flowers and making clouds of pollen spurt into the air. Harry was still recovering from his fit of laughter, leaning against the trunk of the Ramous tree and dusting off his glasses on his T- shirt. Once she was sure her brothers had gone, Ginny swung her canary yellow legs over the lowest branch and plopped down beside him.

Harry gazed at her as she collapsed backwards into the flowers, her eyes closed, fingers stained in black and pollen filling the spaces between her freckles. She kept her eyelashes curtaining her bark eyes as she groped around for a flower stalk, plucking one from the multitude and lacing it in her raspberry hair.

It was strange, but just then, Harry had an undeniable sense of longing. He wanted to hug her and breath in her smell, lace his fingers in hers and have her with him.

Then he realised she was watching him as well, more importantly; she was watching him watch her! Harry felt his face fry, and not from sunburn as he raked around for something to say.

"So what did you get?"

~*~

Wow, that was relief. It'd be good if you reviewed and discouraged me from doing it again.