A/N: This AU is inspired by a video of Josh Groban singing a duet with a young woman, Maude Daigneault(?), from his audience. Ms. Daigneault had a voice that wowed the audience, Mr. Groban, and me. Many thanks to the wonderful GryffindorMischief for being my Beta!


Chapter 1: The Tenth Duet

Harry James Potter stood behind the curtain at the side of the stage of the Manchester Riverview, awaiting his cue to stride out onto it. His warm up act, a young woman named Kayla Kennedy, was just beginning her last number. Despite having a bit more than two years' experi-ence singing in halls this large or larger, he was a little more nervous than usual. Tonight, for the tenth consecutive concert, he would be singing a duet with someone from the audience. Hopefully a female someone. Not a given since last week for some reason Nev and Hannah chose a bloke to be my singing partner. Granted, the guy had an androgynous name and a rather high-pitched voice, but they still should've known from the audition tape he sent that he was a bloke! Harry shoved his hands into his pockets to keep them from curling into fists at the memory. What a scramble that was to choose a song that he might have known but wasn't a love song! I thought I was going to kill someone afterward. His other duet partners had been women, and only one of those had a voice he could call passable. He hoped tonight's pick had a good voice.

A tall, sandy-haired man with a long chin patted him on the shoulder. "Relax, Harry," Neville Longbottom said as if reading his mind. "I guarantee it's a bird tonight. Her name's Ginny. That's a feminine name if I've ever heard one. And she can sing."

"If it's another guy, you're fired, Nev, and that will be the end of this experiment."

Neville chuckled, obviously not believing him, and slapped him lightly on the shoulder. "Just remember to give me a sign if you want to have dinner with her after the concert," he reminded Harry and walked away.

As if. Harry cast him a dark look before taking a deep breath and trying to relax as advised. Neville was Harry's best friend as well as his manager, starting out when Harry was first singing in pubs and bars on weekends, juggling practice and homework for his uni classes. Nev's abilities had grown along with his responsibilities. When Harry first began singing back in secondary school, he had no stage presence. That was when Neville began working with him. After studying other singers, he coached Harry in how to move around the stage, helping him truly see the vast area as part of his palette rather than the pit he'd first considered it. Now he was comfortable walking around it or perching on the edge of a tall stool.

Last week's duet fiasco had been the only blot on Nev's record.

Loud applause drew his attention back to the stage where Kayla Kennedy had finished her encore and was bowing and blowing kisses to the attendees. After walking backwards for a couple feet, she pivoted and ran the rest of the way offstage. She paused next to Harry to catch her breath. "You're up. I've warmed them up for you."

Harry nodded. "You were great," he told her sincerely, though he was a bit distracted, awaiting his cue. He hardly noticed when she moved on.

Since she used his backup band and singers there was no need for much, if any, stage work. Several minutes passed and then Harry heard Neville's disembodied voice saying, "And now, for your listening pleasure," he paused as if to build up suspense, "Harry James!"

Once more Harry checked the mike that hung from his ear and jutted out toward his mouth to make sure it was on and working before parting the curtains and trotting to center stage to the tumultuous welcome of his fans.

After thanking his fans several times, he nodded to Mike, his lead guitarist, and the first strands of his latest release, 'Tell Me Again (That You Love Me),' wafted through the air to the approval of the concertgoers. He began to sing and the butterflies in his stomach melted away.

Before he knew it, he had finished singing 'Without You,' a cover of an old Air Supply song, and it was time to call Ginny Weasley onstage. As the applause died down Harry toted his stool to the back of the stage. Approaching his audience again, Harry noticed from the corner of his eye Stan, his advance man as well as jack-of-all-trades, in the general area where his newest partner was sitting, stop and stoop to talk to her. He turned his attention back to his waiting fans and began, "As you've probably heard, I've begun a new thing during my concerts of calling up someone from the audience to sing with me." Whistles and shouts erupted here and there. "Tonight, I'd like to invite Ginny Weasley to join me."

In a seat to the side and not far back from the stage, Ginny was enjoying the concert as Harry James was one of her favorite entertainers. On a lark she'd taped herself singing one of his early songs a Capella and sent it in. Never in her wildest dreams had she expected to be one of the ten finalists to sing a duet with him at this concert, but here she was, in the first seat of the row, a seat for which she'd been given a complimentary ticket, one of the ten to be so chosen. All ten of them had been told that the ticket was no guarantee that they would be the one who actually joined Harry onstage. Ginny had no illusions that the chosen one would be her.

Therefore, when someone stopped next to her seat and crouched down, she was startled and annoyed that he was blocking her view. Then the man began to speak. "Miss Weasley?"

"Yes? How did –?"

The man went on as if she had remained silent. "I'm part of the Harry James stage crew and have come to tell you that you are Harry's duet partner tonight. If you'll come with me?"

In the dim light she could just make out that he was wearing a uniform with "Harry James Stage Crew" printed on the breast pocket. Beneath that was his name, 'Stan.' In shock she stood up, grasping her purse, and as she took the first step towards the stage and Harry, she heard him say her name, "…Ginny Weasley to join me." Surely this is all a dream!

Heads began turning, trying to pick her out, and murmurs broke out. Stan was on his way back to the side of the stage, his bulk mostly hiding the young woman following him from Harry's view. When his advance man reached the steps and stood aside, she shoved her purse at him and put her foot on the first stair.

As Ginny climbed the half dozen or so stairs to the stage Harry allowed a smile of welcome, not the grin he wanted to give, to appear on his face. She was of middling height, about seven, maybe eight, inches shorter than his own 6'2", with long red hair framing a heart-shaped face. When she neared him, he realized she had a smattering of freckles decorating her cheekbones and pert nose. Eyes the color of cinnamon were open wide as she gazed at him.

Harry extended his hand to her, partly to put her at ease, and she took it. "Good evening, Ginny. May I call you Ginny?" She nodded. "How are you this evening?"

"F-fine," Ginny stuttered. "How are you?"

"Excellent. I'm excellent, thank you for asking." A tittering of laugher swept the venue. "Did they tell you what we would be singing?"

"'Stay'," she replied.

"And you know the lyrics?"

"Yes, I do."

"Brilliant!" He nodded to Mike, and the prelude to the song streamed off Mike's and Tony's guitars and Cheryl's keyboard. Sylvia and Gwen, the backup singers, began humming. Then Harry looked at Ginny, took her hand in his, and nodded at her, and they began to sing together as if they'd practiced the song hundreds of times. Harry realized immediately that her voice was more than passable. The fact that it blended well with his was an unexpected bonus. As they sang, the lights overhead picked out gold, auburn, strawberry blonde, copper, and a myriad of other reds that melded into the glorious red covering her head and cascading down her back. Her cherry-red lips caught his eye, and he watched her tongue peeking out past her teeth whenever she sang the '-th-' sound. He jerked his eyes back to hers and was relieved to find she was staring down at her fingers holding the microphone. Turning his head, he looked out at the crowd before looking back at her. She was nervous, he could tell, but she was singing very well. His emerald gaze drifted to her lips again, and then the tip of her tongue breached her teeth again, and he felt a twitch in his trousers. Horrified, he quickly looked out at the audience again.

The song came to an end on a long, held note, and the audience went wild. Harry found himself wishing he'd chosen a longer piece. He moved his mike away from his mouth before raising her hand to the audience in acknowledgement of her talent. Turning to her, he said, "Thank you for joining me. It was a real pleasure."

Ginny flushed, dropping the hand that held her mike. "Thank you! I really enjoyed it, too."

Nev came up to escort her back to the stairs and gave Harry a pointed stare. Harry winked, and with shock Nev realized Harry wanted him to give Ginny the invitation. In the short time he had with her he murmured, "Harry would like you to join him after the concert is over for dinner. Would you be available?"

Nev's shock was negligible compared to Ginny's that was evident on her face. "Ye-yes, I would."

"Wait until it clears out down here and come back to Stan. He'll know that you're going to join us. I'm Neville – I'll come to take you back to Harry."

Ginny nodded. They were at the steps, and she hurried down them, took her shoulder bag back from Stan, and quickly walked back to her seat. By the time she got there Harry was already singing his next number. I'm going to have dinner with Harry James, she thought. After a moment she pinched herself, convinced that this whole thing had been a dream. The pain and continued circumstances persuaded her that she was awake. I really am going to have dinner with Harry James! Even as she watched and listened to Harry sing, the thought was like a refrain at the back of her mind.

An hour later Harry launched into his encore song, 'Dreaming of You'. He was hot and sweaty from being under the lights for so long. Though he thoroughly enjoyed every concert he gave, by the end of the evening he was ready to leave the stage and return to his everyday life. The last note left his lips. He asked for an ovation for his band, The Marauders, bowed, waved to his fans, and, as Kayla had done before him, backed half-way off the stage before giving a final wave and turning to stride to the navy-blue draperies. The Marauders continued to play for several minutes after he reached the anonymity behind the curtains.

Neville was at the bottom of the backstage stairs awaiting him. "Well? What did she say?"

Nev grinned. "She'll be here. She's quite a looker."

Harry looked almost proud of her. "Yes, she is, and very talented. It's a shame she doesn't sing professionally." He turned toward the dressing room assigned him. "I'm off to the shower." After taking several steps away from his best friend, he pivoted. "Find out whether she has a car here. If she came by bus. I can take her home."

Nev thought his friend looked eager to do so, and an idea blossomed in his head. He had a couple things to take care of before he could make his way to Stan and the very attractive Ginny Weasley. He thought about his wife, Hannah. If he wasn't so in love with her, he could wish he was free to pursue Ginny himself.

The crowds thinned off rather quickly. Ginny had stepped into the aisle to allow those further in the row to leave before sitting down again. With so few people here now, she reckoned it was safe to go back down to the stage and began to follow the path Stan had made for her originally.

"Hi, Stan," she said rather shyly when she stood in front of him. "Neville said I was to wait for him here."

Stan smiled down at her. "He should be here anytime now." They stood together in silence. Onstage the sound crew was starting to tear down the equipment set-up, and she was content to stand until Neville came to get her.

It was only a couple minutes before Harry's manager strolled up to her and Stan. "Ready, Miss Weasley?"

"Yes, but you can call me Ginny."

"Ginny, then. Come this way."

She followed him backstage and through a warren of small, cluttered halls before they reached a white door marked "Private" in large, bold letters. Whilst en route she managed to ask, "Does Harry ask all his duet partners to dinner then?"

"Actually, you're the only one." Neville opened the door and went inside, holding it for her.

She was stunned and, she admitted to herself, flattered.

"Your voice is much better than any of the others," he complimented her, as if to tell her that was why she'd been invited to have dinner with the singer. "Have a seat. Harry's taking a shower but will be out shortly. Now. Did you drive here or come by bus or with a friend?"

"I drove myself," she replied, wondering why he was asking

"Excellent. You and Harry will be dining at a local eatery. A reservation has already been made. If you'd like, to save you a trip back here I can drive your car to your home and bring back the key to you. Then Harry will take you home after dinner."

She found herself inexplicably trusting this man, or else she'd lost her mind. "That's fine." She opened her purse and dug around for her keys. Extracting them from the very bottom of the bag she took the car key off the ring and handed it to him.

Neville found a pen and a small pad of paper. When he looked at her expectantly, she told him to look for a '67, turquoise Ford Anglia and where to find it in the car park before handing over her key and then rattled off her address and the directions to get there. "Just hide the key under the front passenger seat and lock the door. I have a spare at my place."

Neville pocketed the key. "Will do. I probably won't see you again, so I'll say good night. It was nice meeting you."

"And you," she responded and shook the hand he offered. Then he left her.

In the shower that was part of the entertainer's suite Harry James was shampooing the restraining starch from his normally-unruly hair and thinking about the beautiful young woman who'd joined him onstage this evening. In his mind's eye he could see her singing next to him, her breasts rising almost unobtrusively as she drew air into her lungs, see that pink tongue of hers form the syllables of the lyrics he'd written and groaned as a part of him stood to attention. You're just going to have to go unfulfilled tonight, he thought regretfully. Whilst he was attracted to Ginny Weasley, they lived in different cities; besides, he didn't want to start anything with a fangirl. The bubbles on top of his head were rinsed down the drain and as he soaped his body quickly and rinsed. Then his fingers closed around the water regulator and suddenly cold water was dousing him. "Shite!" he exclaimed when he could draw breath again, but the flood of cold water had done its job.

Whilst she waited for Harry James, Ginny began to have second thoughts. She'd heard all the rumors of groupies and hangers-on that musicians tended to have and have sex with. What if he just wants to wine and dine me and expects that in payment? Oh, Ginevra Molly Weasley, what have you gotten yourself into? What if he won't take 'no' for an answer? She shuddered before her common sense asserted itself. Girl, get a grip! He's not an ax murderer and unlikely to be a pervert or rapist. He's probably just what he seems, a nice guy who wants feminine company whilst he eats…. Or he could be an ax murderer, pervert, or rapist. She rolled her eyes at herself and took a deep breath.

To distract herself she looked around the room. It wasn't all that spacious, but she remembered that the Riverview was rather old, built right after the Second World War, and decided that explained the size. The furnishings, a sofa, love seat, and two armchairs upholstered in crimson brocade, clustered around a coffee table, and at the back wall was a table with a hot plate holding a teapot, several tea cups, and the remnants of an earlier snack. Remembering reading about some of the outrageous demands more established celebrities reportedly made, she was rather impressed with his lack of pretense.

Just then the door at the back of the room opened and Harry stepped through. Onstage, Harry's hair was sleekly styled, not the messy 'do currently topping his head, and his eyes unencumbered by the round-lensed glasses he now wore. He had worn a short-sleeved, buttoned-down white shirt open at the collar with navy blue slacks whilst singing. Now he was clad in a long-sleeved blue polo shirt and khakis, trainers on his feet in lieu of the cordovan loafers he'd worn before.

Ginny's eyebrows arched. "Is this your disguise when you go about in public?" she asked, referring to his glasses and hair style.

Harry grinned. "Actually, my stage persona is my disguise. I wear contact lenses whilst out there, and a ton of hairspray tames this unruly mop."

Ginny's fingers actually itched to run through his untidy hair but she was smart enough to keep that to herself. "Well, if I hadn't been expecting you to come out of that door I would never have known you were – are – Harry James."

Harry chuckled. "Good! That means we can move about freely. Shall we go?"

She stood in reply.

"Neville found a little Italian restaurant down the road several miles. He knows I'm fond of steak, but there's always steak on any menu at an Italian place."

"It sounds good to me. I love Italian food."

Harry went through the door after her. They walked through the rabbit warren again but the distance to an exit was much shorter. Stan stood there as if waiting for them, and it turned out that he was.

"I just checked outside, boss, and the coast is clear." He opened the door for them.

"Thanks, Stan. Have a good night – I'll see you in a couple days."

Stan nodded.

"It was nice meeting you, Stan," Ginny told him sincerely. "Thanks for all your help."

"It was nothing, Miss Weasley," he replied.

As they walked the short distance to Harry's vehicle, he asked her if she had enjoyed the concert. Ginny grinned. "What's the matter, Harry? Need some positive feedback?" As soon as she said it, she was appalled at herself before realizing that already she felt like she'd known him forever.

Harry gave her a surprised look before laughing. "That transparent, eh?"

Blushing, she ducked her head. "No, just my mouth running away with me."

He seemed to find that funny, too, going by his grin. "Well, did you?"

"How could I not?"

They'd arrived at Harry's car, a little convertible coupe, more expensive than Ginny's sturdy auto but not the flashy model Ginny expected a celebrity to drive. Again, he held the door whilst she got in before crossing to the driver's side.

When Harry turned on the car, the radio was already on. He was fiddling with some of the car's knobs and had fallen silent. Absentmindedly, Ginny began to sing softly, a habit of hers when in her own auto alone. Harry joined in, another grin on his face. She returned his grin, raising her voice to match his, and they sang together the whole way to Mario's Italian Ristorante, a drive of about fifteen minutes. A carpark to the side of Mario's afforded a place for Harry to park. His hand lightly at her back guided her to the establishment's front door.

"Reservation for Harry Potter," Harry told the host. Ginny caught his eye and arched her brows a second time. Harry said nothing as the mustachioed man checked him off the 'reservations' list and led them to a back booth. Laying a menu on each side of the table, he left them.

Harry gestured for her to take the bench facing the front door whilst he took the bench seat facing the back wall. Ginny repeated the look she gave him at the front door.

"Potter's my real last name," he told her quietly. "The other one is my middle name."

"Oh. Well, that works," she commented.

"And brilliantly, if I say so myself."

She smiled. Harry opened the menu and scanned it and she did the same. Ginny felt unaccountably shy and unsure of what to say so she waited for him to break the silence. Perusing the menu, she decided on chicken fettucine alfredo with mushrooms and a side Caesar salad. Then she closed it and set it to her left. Looking up, she found that Harry must have made his choice already, for he was watching her.

"You have an excellent, lovely voice," he complimented her. "I was quite surprised when you began to sing."

"I could tell," she replied with a light laugh. "Were you not told that I could hold a note?"

"Yes, but I was told that about others and was underwhelmed."

She smiled. "Well, then, I'm glad I surprised you."

"Tell me a little about yourself," he urged her.

"Well, I'm the youngest of seven, and all six of my siblings are brothers."

Harry whistled briefly and lowly. "Wow. Six brothers? You poor girl!"

"Thank you! No one seems to understand just how crazy six older brothers can drive a girl! Don't get me wrong, I love my brothers and most of the time consider myself very lucky to have them. But sometimes I could just happily wring their necks."

"I imagine they're all much bigger than you and can intimidate any guy who comes around."

Her face showed her surprise. "How did you know?"

"Neville has two brothers, one older and one younger, and a much younger sister. She says they drive her to drink. From what I've seen of them, I'm surprised she doesn't have cirrhosis of the liver already."

Ginny joined his laughter. "Sounds like my brothers," she agreed.

"What else?" he prompted her.

"Let's see. My family hails from the outskirts of Ottery St. Mary in Devon. I went to uni in Scotland, graduated last spring, and am the proud owner of a marketing degree. I'm currently gainfully employed by Collins, Hollins, and Rollins north of the city."

Harry laughed. "You're kidding! Collins, Hollins, and … what was it?"

"Rollins. It's actually Collins, Hollis, and Rollins, but I have a hard time refraining from making fun of the name. Fortunately, my bosses have good senses of humor."

"So what do you do?"

"They make small replacement parts for different types of engines. I work in inside sales."

Harry asked her several more questions, drawing her out, until their waiter came to take their order. True to his stated intentions, Harry ordered a steak, medium rare, with a jacket potato and a Caesar salad. Ginny ordered the pasta she chose when she first opened the menu. Whilst they waited for their meals, they moved on from talking about her job to her singing voice. She confessed to him that she almost did not send her audition cd in. It was only the thought of the effort she went to, to make the cd that decided her to send it. "After all, no one else would hear it to tease me about it."

He told her again how impressed he was with her voice and jokingly told her he would pay her to join him at all of his concerts just to have the pleasure of singing with her again. Ginny blushed but said cheekily that she would have her lawyer call his lawyer. Though it was rather a hackneyed joke they laughed together.

They talked throughout the evening, topics ranging from their favorite foods to favorite movies and other favorites of theirs. Harry asked if she was a football fan, and she replied that with six brothers she didn't have a choice. They continued talking on the drive to her apartment interrupted only by her giving him directions where to turn and occasionally singing along together to a tune on the radio.

All too soon for Ginny, Harry parallel parked his auto in front of the building where she lived. In the illumination provided by a street lamp Ginny picked out her auto.

"A duplex," he noticed. "Are you up or down?"

"Up. It's owned by a family friend of a friend. Several of the houses on the street are."

He got out into the cold December air and went around to hold the door for her; she led him around to the side of the house where the covered stoop denoted her entrance.

She already had her key out and unlocked the door. She came close to saying, Thank you very much for the best evening of my life but at the last moment decided to tone it down. Instead she said, "I've really enjoyed this evening. Thank you."

"Truly, it's been my pleasure," Harry replied. "Would you consider going to the Man City football game with me tomorrow afternoon?" he surprised himself by asking.

She wasn't sure she heard him right. "Pardon?" He repeated himself, and she said, "Yes, I'd love to."

"Fantastic! I'll pick you up around two – I know it's a bit early for the game, but that will give us time to get to my box before the rest of the fans start arriving. We'll have dinner there."

"I'll be ready," she assured him.

They exchanged 'good nights' and then he gave her a short, light hug and stepped down from the porch but watched her go inside. As soon as he heard her lock the door he walked thoughtfully back to his car. She's a pretty thing, he acknowledged, but was still surprised that he had asked her out again. He really hadn't intended to do that.

Though she was a little disappointed not to get a kiss, even just a peck on the cheek, Ginny quickly climbed the stairs to her parlor and crossed to the front window, arriving just in time to watch him pull away from the kerb and drive away. She was much too keyed up to sleep any time soon, instead heating a cup of milk to help her relax and feel drowsy.

Ginny thought their first 'official' date was a lot of fun. The car park was practically deserted when Harry pulled his convertible into his own space at City of Manchester stadium. His box was impressive – at least it was to Ginny, who hadn't even seen the inside of one previously much less attended a game whilst sitting in one. Upon entering they encountered a benchtop with cabinets and a small refrigerator below separated by a walkway from more cabinets that reached from the floor to the ceiling. A veggie platter with dip and a bowl of crisps, both covered with cling film, already sat on the benchtop. A sofa crouched against a wall opposite three leather armchairs, above which hung a large-screen telly and two smaller televisions. Two rectangular, pub-height tables with three chairs each were placed in front of the glass dividing the room from the open-air seats.

Ginny dropped her jumper and purse in one of the armchairs and went to the window. Up here it was very easy to see the whole field, and whilst you might not be able to clearly see the numbers on the players' jerseys, you would be able to see every play as it unfolded.

Having ascertained the evening before that Ginny played cards, and more expressly Cribbage, Harry brought a pack and a Cribbage board to entertain themselves before the match. Ginny was rather rusty from not playing for several years, and she told Harry that was why he won. He countered that it was his brilliant playing that won the games for him, and they agreed, laughing, to disagree. By the time the football game began he was ahead, five games to three.

The match itself was very exciting. Man City's opponent was Barnsley. At half-time Man City was up, two to one.

With five minutes before the half-time intermission began, servers arrived to bring up dinner for the couple. Harry had chosen to have a steak and kidney pie with a field greens salad and a hot loaf of French bread. The pie and bread were set on the benchtop beneath warming lamps, waiting for them to serve themselves.

At game's end Man City won convincingly, having scored three second-half goals with a final score of five to one.

When they were standing on her porch once more, Harry asked if she wanted to go out with him again. She answered in the affirmative, of course.

Taking out his cell phone, he waited for her to recite her number. "Let me give you mine, too, so you don't decline the call because you think it's a phishing call."

So, she keyed his number into her cell phone. It was that more than anything that convinced her that he would call.

"I have another concert next weekend, but perhaps we can get together the following weekend?" When she nodded her agreement, he said he would call at the end of the week.

Ginny carried her phone with her the whole day Sunday when Harry indicated he would call. It was in her pocket and buzzed just as she was returning from a trip to the laundromat. With fumbling fingers, she pulled it out and almost squealed when she saw his name confirming who her caller was. She was almost breathless when she answered it. "Hello!"

"Am I calling at a bad time?"

"No, why?"

"You sound like you've been running."

"Oh, no," she laughed. "I was lugging the laundry basket up the stairs."

"Sunday is chore day?"

"Not usually – I usually keep Sunday for a rest day and do my chores on Saturdays. How are you, Harry?"

"I'm well. I hope you are, too."

"I am." Don't we sound stilted?

"Nev scheduled me with a Friday evening concert this coming weekend. Would you like to get together Saturday evening?" Harry asked her.

"That sounds lovely."

"Any preferences as to what we do?"

"Not really. I'm open to suggestions."

He chuckled. "How about a cinema? Is there one in particular you'd like to see?"

"To tell the truth, I'm not sure what's out right now, but I'd like that. It seems like a very long time since I've been to the cinema."

"All right. I'll look into it and let you know Thursday evening what time to expect me, if that's okay?"

"That's fine."

Their date pretty much set, they talked a few minutes longer before saying good bye.

During Harry's Thursday evening phone call, he told Ginny he found a cinema that showed films released the previous year and asked her if she would prefer seeing a fantasy film or something literary. She opted for the fantasy film.

When Harry collected Ginny for the early showing, he let her know they would be seeing Lord of the Rings: Two Towers. She was delighted, having read Tolkien's series, but hadn't been able to make it to the cinema to see the film. They sat in the last row of the theatre, sharing buttered popcorn and chocolates, and sipped on Coca-Colas whilst engrossed in the cinema. Harry slung his arm around her shoulders, and Ginny held the bucket of popcorn in her lap. They didn't talk at all during the show but discussed it at length afterward, when they stopped at a grill for burgers and chips.

During the ride back to her flat, Harry turned on the radio and they began to sing with 'I Don't Want to Miss a Thing,' the Aerosmith tune playing, and several others that followed. Then his song, 'Stay,' began to play, and they couldn't stop then. Harry glanced over at her after their duet. "I've gotta get you back up on that stage with me."

Ginny grinned but shook her head. "I was a nervous wreck," she protested.

"You'll get used to it."

She just laughed and shook her head again.

At her home, Harry stepped inside her door but declined her invitation to come up to her flat for tea. Instead, he (finally, Ginny thought) took her in his arms and kissed her gently on her mouth. When he lifted his head their eyes met, and then he dipped his head and his lips met hers again, deepening the kiss. Her head was swimming, her heart pounding, and electricity flowed through her veins. Their mouths parted to allow them to catch their breath, and Harry simply held her, running his fingers through her silky hair, the scent of wildflowers filling his nostrils. Their lips clung together after he said good-bye, but this time he kept the kiss light.

For the next six months they saw each other regularly, usually twice a month. Ginny was impressed with how down-to-earth Harry was. Harry was impressed with how she seemed satisfied with whatever information he wanted to share with her, never asking probing questions. She didn't seem fazed when he didn't get her a Christmas gift, either, since they had not been dating long; nor did she get one for him.

Each time they snogged she felt that rush, that tingling; it was addicting. She was falling for him in a big way, jumping off a precipice and enjoying the fall.

In June Harry had no concerts scheduled so he could go back into the studio to record some new songs. He and Ginny saw each other each weekend, both Saturday and Sunday, and talked several times during the week. To Ginny, it seemed he didn't want to talk about how the recording was going. She didn't know that much about the music industry anyway, so she let it go, though she did wonder how things were progressing.

Their dates were usually to the cinema, the beach, or for meals. Though he always went in her door at the end of their dates he never went upstairs. They had some wonderful snogging sessions at the bottom of the stairwell, and occasionally Harry's hands strayed a little, but it never went farther than that. If she hadn't felt the evidence of his desire for her, she might have questioned his sexuality, but it never crossed her mind.

He called the last week of June saying he needed to postpone their date; something, he didn't specify what, had come up. Sounding a bit preoccupied, he told her he would call her the next week.

It wasn't unusual for either of them to be busy. The first months of their relationship was slow enough. But Harry was rarely caught by surprise with regard to his schedule. In the end Ginny decided they'd talk about whatever it was when Harry was ready. She'd already learned that there were things he was reticent to talk about, at least at first. Having two brothers of the six who worked that way, she settled herself to be patient.