AN: Neither the first nor the last of my "lost" fics. I'm writing little moments that I think should have been in the OotP. Just like every other author on ff.net. *grins*



Remember, if you have questions about my computer or updating, please refer to my profile or email me. Reviews and author's notes are not the place for those inquiries.



* * * * *



Harry Potter stared into the dissipating flames of the common room fire. One watching from afar would infer that his mind was on anything but the coming holiday. Indeed, Harry's melancholy eyes were remembering his late godfather, Sirius Black, communicating through the fireplace. The echoes of Sirius' words seemed to overtake the silence that rang through the room. Harry was surprised to learn that he could remember every detail of Sirius Black, ever detail of every chat he'd ever had with him.



As Harry dwelled on Sirius and the past, another figure was silently coming down the girls' staircase. Both teenagers seemed unaware of the other's presence. That is, until the girl tripped on the last stair and landed with an audible "ouch!"



Harry started, ending his reverie, and he jumped from the sofa to assist whom he recognized as Ginny Weasley. He sardonically remembered his best friends pointing out his complex about saving people as he helped Ginny up from the floor.



"I'm all right--really--just my ankle--a bit weak, you see," Ginny said in a rush.



Harry ignored her and wrapped her arm around his neck. He supported her as she hopped across the common room floor. When they reached the sofa in front of the fire, Harry gently let Ginny onto the oversized cushions. He sat down next to her, looking at the fire again.



He kept quiet, feeling awkward and disconnected. It wasn't an uncommon feeling for Harry lately, not since he'd talked with Professor Dumbledore.



'Say something!' Harry's subconscious urged. "Erm . . ." Harry blurted. "How is your ankle?"



"It still twinges, but Madam Pomfrey said it would be perfectly normal for it to do so."



"I'm sorry."



"Well, I quite brought it upon myself, did I not? I insisted on going with you to the Department of Mysteries." Ginny smiled. "Of course, it would have been hard for you to convince me not to go with you. I am a Weasley, after all, and we're very stubborn. Especially when it comes to helping our family."



Harry didn't know what to say. He was both pleased and depressed with Ginny calling him family. He normally would have clammed up, but instead he decided to speak his mind. It was only Ginny, after all. "I still feel guilty about it."



"If you're looking to repent, a massage would be nice."



Harry grinned. "Which ankle?"



"Harry! I was only--oh! The left one," Ginny said, looking flustered.



Harry obligingly picked her left leg up and set it on his lap. "I've never done this before."



"I'm sure you'll do fine."



Harry was at a loss of what to do. He put a hand on her ankle and pressured slightly. Ginny didn't object, so Harry began to rub the skin tersely, afraid he might hurt her even more.



"I was thinking about a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher," said Ginny conversationally.



"I think anyone Dumbledore can come up with will be a million times better than Umbridge."



"No doubt about that," Ginny said, rolling her eyes. "I didn't think of the perfect candidate. Only, see, he's not available just yet."



"Who?"



"You."



"Me?"



"You."



Harry dropped her foot and furrowed his brow. "That's ridiculous. My hands are a little bit full at the moment. Something about defeating a Dark Lord."



Ginny smirked. "Harry, I didn't mean today. I didn't mean next year. I mean when your finished with school. I think you'd be wonderful."



"Wonderful? I can barely even--"



"You will continue D.A., won't you?" Ginny asked. She didn't want for an answer. "I think it will be spectacular next year. I'm going to suggest to Dumbledore that he make it an after school club that meets once a week. We'll reach far more people once it's public."



"Do you really think I should be the one to teach it? Especially if we get more students."



"You're simply amazing with us already," Ginny assured him. "Just look at how far Neville has come."



"That's just will power . . ."



"Will power and a strong leader. You're very clever, Harry."



"Yes, quite clever really. My brains were a lot of use when you were off breaking your ankle, eh?"



Ginny narrowed her eyes. "It was only an idea, Harry. Once I strongly advise you to heed."



Harry picked Ginny's ankle up again. He cleared his throat and deftly changed the subject. "Am I helping any?"



"Loads."



The two lapsed into silence. To Harry the quiet seemed comforting and friendly. He prefered silence over noise, and he was glad that Ginny didn't object.



* * * * *



Ginny's eyes were closing,a nd the comfort of lazy flames dancing their last life engulfed the witch and wizard. Ginny was lulled into a place where she felt open and content.



"Do you wonder what was in that prophecy?" Ginny asked, her low voice not breaking the silence, but merely setting it aside gently.



Ginny immediately felt sorry for asking the question. She could tell that something about the prophecy bothered Harry immensely, and she didn't want to mess things up by bringing up a subject that Harry was defensive about. Not again, that is. She changed the subject quickly. "What's your favorite color, Harry?"



Harry hesitated, looking surprised at the sudden question. "I never really thought about it before. I suppose . . . red and gold."



"Typical." Ginny snorted. "I don't want Gryffindor's colors - nor do I want your Quidditch team's. I want the color that makes you feel something - the color that speaks to you."



Harry looked at Ginny strangely. "You're unlike anyone I've ever known," he whispered, shaking his head. He thought for a moment. "I like grey."



"Grey." Ginny nodded. "Why?"



"Why?" Harry looked surprised again. "Er . . . I suppose because it's equal. Grey can't exist without light or dark. It's even and peaceful."



Ginny smiled. "That's a good answer."



"What's your favorite color, Ginny? The color you hold above all others. The color that speaks to you," Harry said, mimicking her voice with a boyish smile.



Ginny laughed. "You're very good at that. I might hire you out to give me a break once in a while."



Harry nudged her leg. "Answer the question."



"Er . . . blue. Bright, happy blue. The kind of blue that leaves you feeling content and peaceful."



"As opposed to the blue that makes you feel murderous and angry?"



"That's right," Ginny replied cheekily.



The silence from earlier returned as there was nothing left to say, and Ginny was finding it hard to fight the inevitableness of sleep. She closed her eyes and sighed heavily. Sleep had nearly taken over when she heard the strangest thing.



"You've got jolly pretty ankles, Ginny," Harry whispered.



Ginny know he thought her asleep, and she couldn't resist. "Thank you," she murmered. "I find your kneecaps quite lovely."



* * * * *



The last day of school arrived, and Harry had just said his farewell to Hogwarts. He aws surprised to find he felt much better about going to the Dursleys this year. He wasn't exactly looking forward to it, but knowing he was safe there and why he was safe took some of the edge off.



It wasn't long before Harry, Ron, Hermione, Nevill, Luna, and Ginny had settled into a compartment on the train. The six had become closer, thightly bound, since their escapade int he Department of Mysteries.



"Another year gone by," Hermione said sadly. "I don't feel right about leaving after Voldemort knows his presence isn't a secret. It won't be long before he strikes, and I doubt he'll wait until I'm back at Hogwarts to do it."



Ron put a hand on Hermione's knee, an action that Harry found rather odd. "I'll make sure to let you stay with us again. Just owl me when."



Harry's eyebrows rose slightly. Maybe Ron wasn't as dense as Hermione claimed.



"But you'll have to stay with your family for at least a few weeks. I don't know if I can take a whole bloody year seeing you every day," Ron added.



'That's more like it,' Harry thought as Hermione began to shoot back a haughty reply. He looked around at the others in the compartment. Luna was reading the Quibbler, upside down as usual. Neville looked like he was going over everything he packed, and Ginny . . . was staring right back at Harry.



Harry gulped. "Er . . ." He nervously tried to cover his knees with his hands.



Ginny noticed his actions and laughed softly. "Harry Potter, you're nutters."



"Not as nutters as they are." He nodded his head towards Ron and Hermione, who were still arguing.



Ginny looked about to reply when the inevitable yet unwelcome presence of Draco Malfoy anounced itself to the compartment.



Harry rose immediately. He felt even more venemous towards Malfoy since Sirius had died. He pulled out his wand and spoke with deadly authority. "Get out."



Malfoy glared. "While I would love to spar with your incompetance, Potter, I'm here to get Weasley and the Mudblood. They're wanted in the Prefect compartment."



Ron let loose a powerful spell that sent Malfoy across the hallway. "Don't call her that," he gritted out menacingly.



"Ron, really," Hermione scolded even as she looked pleased. "Let's just go." The two of them left the compartment as if they hadn't been fighting a few seconds before.



"He'll get what he deserves," Neville said, trembling, after the door to their compartment shut. "Enough undeserving people get hurt in this world that Malfoy is going to get it really hard some day."



"Too right," Ginny mumbled.



"I just hope I'm the one who gives it to him," Harry said.



These words seemed to bring an uncomfortable silence to the small room, and Harry regretted saying them out loud. He coughed. "Er . . . how's your ankle, Ginny?"



Ginny looked up. "Better, thanks. It doesn't hurt anymore."



"Good. A-Are you going to the Burrow or . . .?"



"I don't know." Ginny bit her lip, considering. "I would expect the latter. I don't think the Burrow is safe anymore, and Mum and Dad need to be somewhere . . . where they can . . . well, *you know*."



"Yes, yes. Er . . . you-you will write me," Harry said shyly.



Ginny smiled, pleased. "If you'd like."



"I think I would," Harry admitted. It was true - this past year he'd me ta Ginny he wouldn't mind becoming better friends with.



"Neville!" Luna suddenly announced overly dramatically.



"Wh-What?" Neville looked startled at being addressed by her.



"I have completely forgotten. I must introduce you to a friend of mine. She'd just adore you, I know." Luna stood. "Come on, Neville."

Neville looked puzzled, but he followed anyway. The compartment door opened and shut again as Neville questioned Luna about her friend.



"Funny," Harry said. "I didn't know Luna had any friends."



"She doesn't," Ginny replied. "No idea what that was about."



They were interrupted by the sweets card. Harry bought a little of everything. He put most in his bag for the summer ahead. The remaining he divided in half and split with Ginny.



"You don't--"



"Take them," Harry commanded. He loved sharing -- especially with the Weasleys. "I bought plenty."



"Thanks." Ginny ate a chocolate frog.



"Were you serious?" Harry asked suddenly.



"About what?"



"About . . . my . . ." Harry looked down, feeling embarrassed.



"Kneecaps?"



Harry nodded.



"Well, were you serious about my ankles?"



Harry blushed crimsom.



"You're very handsome, Harry," Ginny answered simply.



"I'm not."



"That's part of your charm: you don't even notice."



"There are more important things than looks. That's what I realized with-with Cho."



"Mm-hmm . . ."



"I mean, would she have go with me now? I feel like a completely different person. Would she have offered support to me? Would she understand or listen?" Harry snorted. "She'd probably cry."



Ginny giggled. "I thought you two were oddly matched. It's good you've moved on, though. She's sort of . . . well, she and Micheal are an item. My boyfriend . . . er, ex, that is."



"We both were dumped then."



"Yes, but neither of them deserved us."



"No . . . but I find I don't much care anymore." Harry paused. Could he talk to Ginny? Could he tell her what he was thinking? She was looking at him so intently that he couldn't resist. "Things seem different now. Who cares about trivial things like dating when there's death? Why add one more person for me to care about when they'll only be targeted like the rest of you?" He sighed. "That's what I get for being so bloody famous: death."



Ginny reached across the compartment and took his hand, eyes boring into him. "But you have love, too, Harry. And love is much, much more powerful than death and hate. Love can overcome death. Look at you and your mother. Love is still in you. You still love your mum and dad. You still love Sirius. They still love you."



Harry smiled slightly even though he felt like doing anything else. She had a point, he had to admit. "I sometimes think I want to do this on my own . . . but maybe I do need everyone who cares about me. I needed you lot in the Department of Mysteries. I wouldn't be here today if I didn't have any of you."



Ginny squeezed his hand and gently let it go, sitting back across from him.



Harry was glad she refrained from the expected cliché. He looked at her steadily. "Maybe after - after he's gone . . . then I'll think about dating."



"I'll be waiting, Harry."



For some reason, Harry didn't find these words strange. They seemed to bring peace to his worried mind, and he was grateful.



"Just don't wait forever, Gin. I'm not worth that."



"No. You're worth far more."