A/N: Welcome to Ever Love! Now I know some you will recognize most of the content in this book as my one-shots from teh writing comp I'm in. Yes, in large part they are, however, there is added content in each chapter that I couldn't include before because of word count limits and each have to be stand alones. But some of have figured out the common thread and asked if they are related, well here is the answer. Updates for this one will be more regular then the other three. I just have to wait until each piece is judged to add the other content.
Chapter 1: Simple Things
"Seriously, mum?" Ginny complained, looking at the dress her mother had just handed to her with disgust. It was bad enough they were at Number twelve Grimmauld Place, but now her mother wanted her to wear a dress! "Give me one good reason why I should wear a dress!"
Molly sighed, not looking up at her daughter. She knew this would be an uphill battle. "Because you'll look nice for when I bring your father here, and we always dress up for Christmas Eve."
"But I hate dresses!" huffed Ginny.
"Ginny dear," Molly said, finally turning to her. "You'll look great in it. Besides, we are guests in this big 'fancy' house." Molly glanced over Ginny's shoulder. "Why don't you ask a second opinion?"
"Who, Ron?" Ginny scoffed. "Not likely!"
"No, dear," Molly gestured behind Ginny. "Harry." Molly saw Ginny gulp visibly and blush as she slowly turned to face Harry, who had frozen at being brought into their discussion. "What do you think, Harry dear? Wouldn't Ginny look great in this dress?"
"Er…" Harry stammered.
Ginny held the dress up in front of her. Harry's eyes met Ginny's for a moment. He could see in her eyes; his opinion would matter greatly. He let his eyes slowly look over the dress that was knee-length. It was a light shade of pine green with red piping around the cuffs and neckline. It had a simple red tie sash around the middle as a belt. But this was not what caught Harry's attention the most.
He stared wide-eyed at the young woman in front of him. Gone was the little girl that had such a bad crush on him that she couldn't speak. Here stood a beautiful young woman that took his breath away. Harry felt his face warm as his eyes took in her curves and looked back into those warm chocolate colored eyes. Ginny was smiling at him slightly in a very shy manner, waiting for him to speak.
"I…" Harry swallowed, trying to wet his suddenly dry throat. "I think it would look…gorgeous on you." His eyes grew wider as he realized just what he had just said. Harry panicked, not knowing what Molly's, or Ginny's, reaction to this would be. He did the only thing he could think of at that moment. He fled.
Ginny stared after the boy of her dreams with an open mouth and wide eyes. Molly just patted her arm.
"See?" Molly said.
Ginny held the dress out to look at it better. If this dress had that effect on Harry, who was she to argue. She had been trying to garner his attention since they had met. She looked at her mother with a smile. "Alright, mum, I'll wear it."
"Good," Molly smiled knowingly at her. "Now, go put it in your room. I need some help with popping the popcorn."
"Alright, mum," Ginny said, still looking a little dazed. "I'll be right back."
"Oh, and Ginny dear, tell Harry, I have a nice shirt and pair of slacks for him to try on," Molly called as Ginny left the kitchen.
Harry returned, still slightly red, with Ginny. Molly had to hide her smile at the way they were acting. Molly handed Harry the bundle of clothes. "Go try them on for me, Harry dear. That way I can see if I need to alter them any before you kids start on the decorations."
Harry glanced at Ginny. For some reason, his stomach was doing backflips every time he looked or thought of the youngest Weasley all of a sudden. "Okay." Harry left to do as he was asked.
Ginny took a deep breath to focus on her task of starting the popcorn. She was pouring the second round of kernels into the popping sack when Harry came back in. Ginny stared at him and forgot what she was doing. Kernels started to overflow the bag.
"Ginny," her mother said, drawing her attention back to the task at hand.
"Sorry," Ginny squeaked. Molly tried to hide her giggle and smile as she waved her wand to clean up the mess.
"You look very nice, Harry dear," Molly smiled. "What do you think, Ginny dear?"
Ginny gave her mother a pleading look. She knew how Ginny felt about Harry. Ginny just couldn't figure out why her mother was torturing her like this. Ginny turned to look at Harry. He was standing a few feet away, looking rather uncomfortable. The tan slacks fit his waist nicely. The emerald green button-down shirt looked tailor-made for him. Ginny's breath hitched as she noticed how the shirt made his green eyes sparkle. Ginny felt her face flush rapidly.
"You look great," Ginny struggled to squeak out. Harry smiled, their eyes locking together.
"Alright, Harry dear, go change back," Molly said breaking in. Harry nodded and turned to go. "Oh, Harry dear, would you mind helping Ginny with the popcorn strings?"
"Sure, Mrs. Weasley," Harry said. "I'll be right back, Gin."
Ginny smiled at the shortening of her name. Normally, she couldn't stand it, but coming from Harry, it just seemed so sweet. A giggle escaped her lips. Molly looked at her with that knowing smile again.
"What?" Ginny asked, flushing.
"Nothing, dear," Molly smiled. "Why don't you tell Harry about our candle lighting tradition while you two are stringing the popcorn? I'm sure he'd like to light one for his parents."
Ginny smiled and nodded. With all the thoughts she was having of Harry, she had forgotten about that. Now, she had something to talk to him about, and maybe she wouldn't freeze up and be speechless about being alone with Harry for once.
Harry returned after a few minutes. He sat down across the table from Ginny as she started stringing the popcorn together. Molly left to go to St. Mungo's a few minutes after Harry sat down. Ginny took a deep breath, summoning all her Gryffindor courage.
"Harry, we have a tradition on Christmas Eve that mum thinks you might want to join us for," Ginny began, glancing up from her line of popcorn.
"Oh? What's that?" Harry asked. She could hear the nervous tone in his voice.
"We light candles in the memory of those loved ones that have…passed," Ginny said gently. She looked up, meeting his eyes. She could see the tears just under the surface. Ginny set her popcorn down and took his hand in hers. "We think of it as a way for them to be with us on Christmas."
"I'd like that," Harry said thickly.
That evening the Weasleys, Harry, Sirius, and Remus were all gathered in the sitting room, decorating. Molly had brought Arthur "home" a few hours ago and everyone was having fun trimming the tree and decking the walls with the popcorn strings and other decorations. Soon Molly brought out a flat golden platter that had many scorch marks on it. She placed it beside the tree and called for everyone's attention.
Molly began by placing and lighting two candles for her twin brothers, Gideon and Fabian. Arthur lit a candle for his mother. Most of the Weasley boys took their turn before Molly turned to Sirius. "How many candles, Sirius?"
"Just one," he answered looking at Harry. He took the candle and lit it. "For Marlene," he said simply.
"Remus?" Molly asked.
"Two, please," Remus answered. He lit the two candles for his own parents.
"Ginny?" Molly smiled at her daughter.
"One, mum," Ginny answered. She placed the candle on the platter, taking a deep breath. "For Cedric," she said as she lit the candle.
"Two, Harry dear?" Molly asked.
Harry just nodded, afraid to speak at the moment. His hand shook as he placed the candles. Ginny, seeing him struggle, placed her arm around his waist, giving him a soft smile when he turned to her. She smiled back, softly, knowing this was very difficult for him. His eyes asked the question his mouth could not. Ginny nodded in understanding.
"For James and Lily Potter," Ginny said. She could tell Harry was too emotional to speak. They lit the candles together and stepped back. Harry surprised everyone when he pulled Ginny into a tight hug.
"Thanks, Gin," Harry said as he placed a kiss on her cheek.
Molly and Arthur shared a knowing smile as they looked on. Ron looked like he was imitating a fish, he was so confused. Fred and George looked at Harry and Ginny with an evil smirk that was wiped away by the glare from Ginny. The twins paled and raised their hands slightly in surrender.
"Potters and redheads," Sirius whispered to Remus, who had a knowing smirk. Sirius walked over, draping an arm on Harry and Ginny as Molly started to sing carols. Sirius winked at a blushing Harry. Ginny giggled shyly as her face flushed.
"I tell ya, Hermione, it was bloody weird!" Ron half shouted. "And they're off somewhere right now talking or who knows what!"
"Oh, Ron," Hermione smiled. "Harry would never hurt Ginny. Besides, Harry likes Cho, and Ginny is over Harry. They are probably just talking to become better friends." She paused, then swatted his arm. "And watch your language!"
"You didn't see them, Hermione," whined Ron. "Harry was trying to lite his candles and was all emotional. I get that, because it was for his parents, but for Ginny to walk up, put her arm around him, and take his hand help him?"
Hermione rolled her eyes. "Seriously, Ron, you need to open your eyes," Hermione stated. "Ginny was helping a friend in need."
"But then Harry hugged her and kissed her on the cheek," Ron continued. "It was shocking! And no one said a word about it!" Hermione rolled her eyes again but didn't have the chance to reply as Harry and Ginny entered the room.
Hermione could tell they had been laughing. They both had a rosy look to their cheeks. Hermione met Ginny's eyes, there was a hopeful look there and a joyous smile graced her face. Hermione gave her a knowing smile in return. She looked at Harry but he had turned very serious. Harry sat down next to Ginny, leaning on his knees as he ran his hand through his hair. He looked at Ginny strangely, as she squeaked a little. She smiled, blushing a little.
"I thought you ought to know why you guys came here, and how I knew your dad was in trouble," Harry said slowly.
"What's up, mate?" Ron asked, obliviously.
"I saw the attack," Harry said quietly. "I…I didn't just see it."
"What do you mean, Harry?" Hermione inquired with a quizzical look.
"I…I was…the snake," Harry almost whispered. "I think Voldemort possessed me for a while."
"I doubt it," Ginny frowned. Harry turned to her looking confused. "What? Am I not allowed to be in this discussion?"
"It's not that," Harry frowned. "I asked you here because I want you here. I'm just wondering how…"
"How what?" Ginny's eyes flashed dangerously. "How I'd know if someone was possessed or not?"
"Um…well, yeah," Harry admitted.
"Harry James Potter," Ginny yelled, slapping the back of his head as she stood. Ginny leaned in only a short distance from Harry's face. "Don't you tell me you forgot my first year," she growled. "Don't you sit there and say you may have been possessed without checking with someone who has been! And don't you dare sit there and give me any excuses as to why you think you were, because you did not wake up anywhere else not knowing how you got there! You do not have memory gaps of not knowing what you did!"
"Ginny, that's not fair," Hermione tried to say calmly.
"Shut it, Hermione!" Ginny spat. "Did you, any one of you, think of me during my second year? No, you didn't!" Ginny growled in frustration and started for the door.
"Ginny, wait! I…" Harry started.
"No! You wait, Potter! Time and time and again you three have forgotten about me!" Ginny snarled. "So, you know what? Keep on forgetting!" Ginny yanked open the door, slamming it behind her as she left.