Jenna's Notes: If you're wondering why I can't seem to stop writing about unrequited love and stuff, let me just tell you that I get my inspiration from real life. :-) This story is from the Karma Series (read "Put Your Elbow in the Butter Dish, Harry" first!), written in Ginny's PoV. Enjoy!
Am I really over him?
This question has been making rounds in my head for a long time now—and it did, once again, just a while ago in the Common Room. I was lounging in front of the fire, my legs slung on the arm of the armchair I was sitting on, and Crookshanks napping on my stomach. I should have been studying Transfiguration, but my book lay closed on my side, as though it didn't want to be opened because it had been anticipating a small, seemingly insignificant event.
And him? On evenings like tonight he could be seen playing chess with my brother. Ron was, as usual, winning, and he basked on the carpeted floor as though to rub the fact on his opponent's nose; but Harry, the fighter that he is, wasn't giving up just yet. Even now, two hours later, I can vividly remember his forehead knotted in concentration and his eyes fixed on his chess pieces.
He must be already tired of hearing how beautiful his eyes are, but I'd tell you anyway. The firelight was reflected on his glasses, but it didn't hide the greenness of his eyes. If anything, they still stood out—piercingly green and wide, focused, intense, as if the chess match was no trivial matter for him. It made me wonder about his mother, the one who gave him those eyes—was she watching him right then from wherever she was? Was she watching me, too—me, who had been watching her son discreetly for so many years now?
Ron's voice made me look back down on Crookshanks. "You can't do anything for that bishop anymore, Harry!" he said, chuckling. "My pawn will still—"
"I know, I know, just shut up," I heard Harry mutter.
I knew it; he was really intent on winning this chess match. I looked up slightly. Harry had a thumb on his chin. After a few moments of rubbing the thumb back and forth across his chin (I notice things like that—sorry), his lips curled upwards.
"Knight to D-5," said Harry in a triumphant voice. I watched the knight gallop to the said square and Ron to roll on his stomach to watch.
Ron's eyes widened in shock. "Damn," he whispered. "Damn—damn, Harry!"
Harry grinned. "Didn't see that, did you?"
"Damn! I'll get you, Potter!"
I rolled my eyes. That, my people, was my brother. He's good at chess—and unfortunately he knows it.
I looked back at the two of them and caught, to my slight surprise, Harry glancing at me.
When he saw me, he didn't look away; instead, with a slight shake of his head, he smiled lopsidedly. He seemed to say, he'll never let me win.
And what did I do? I grinned. You can always try, I mentally told him.
Harry's smile broadened. Then he gave an embarrassed sort of shrug, as though saying, I'd better get back to this if I want to win, and turned to look at the chess match again.
I watched them—him—for a moment longer, all the while feeling a burning sensation in my chest.
Am I really over him?
In the Yule Ball in my third year, I hoped I already was. I considered that day when he told everyone—including me, whom he knew was terribly head over heels for him (oh, this is embarrassing)—that he had asked Cho out as a closure, something which told me that he'll never see me as anything but Ron's sister. Therefore when I met Michael Corner, I readily went out with him, thinking that he'd help me forget about Harry.
I was selfish, I know, but in a way Michael did help me give up on Harry. Someone saw me as someone who can be asked out, unlike the way Harry saw me, and it made me feel a great deal better about myself. Afterwards, I acted naturally around Harry, no longer blushing and stuttering whenever he was in the same room. It's a big improvement, I tell you.
In my fifth year we were both on the Quidditch team, and because of that we grew even closer. And I enjoyed having him as a friend. He's what I had always expected him to be: careless but intense, prone to tantrums but also to fits of laughter, tactless in words but caring in actions. I'd say we were a good duo—no offense to Ron and Hermione of course, who are his real best friends, and whose places in Harry's heart no one can replace.
Anyway, I came to think that Harry and I were doing well as friends, and if I started liking him as someone more than a friend...it won't be the same. A lot of people had asked me if we were going out, and more because the thought made me uneasy than because it wasn't true, I told them no.
But then, life is odd; it has a tendency to twist events to what it thinks is to your advantage. At first I thought it was just my head hoping too much again. (When I was younger, I interpreted every single smile and look Harry had given me as something that indicated his notice of me; I didn't want the same thing to happen to me again!) But Harry—he became too obvious. He started asking me about Luke Parsons (who had asked me out, but I turned him down—you'll know why later on), put his elbow in the butter dish last summer (now that was something) and...and gazed at me more often. I always feel a thrill when I catch his eyes on me like that, but...
...I had given up. I didn't want to hope anymore. Harry had hurt me before—and he doesn't even know it, the git. I was so tired of waiting, of being hurt, and I didn't want to disappoint myself all over again.
Am I really over him?
You'd think that this is a rhetorical question. You'd say, "Yes you are, Ginny Weasley. If you weren't, you wouldn't be saying all this nonsense. And if you weren't, you'd have gotten yourself a new boyfriend after breaking it off with Michael."
Yeah, I suppose you're right. I didn't go out with anyone else, even if Luke asked me out. I told myself then that I didn't want a boyfriend, and that Luke and I should remain friends. But deep inside...well. I began to wonder why I had hung out with Harry all the time even when I had Michael for a boyfriend. I hated myself for thinking that way; I wanted to be over Harry Potter, but I just couldn't get over him.
And I didn't even want to try to get over him.
A month ago, we had Harry in the Burrow for Christmas. We exhausted ourselves on Christmas Day by playing with snow—snowballs, snow angels, snowmen, you name it.
It was the snowball fight that's worth mentioning. I was busily tackling Bill to the ground when someone whacked a snowball to my back. Whirling around, I saw Harry doubled over, laughing.
You can probably guess what I did, and what happened. I ran after him and threw myself at him (literally)—and he fell backwards.
I had been laughing so hard that I didn't notice what I had been lying on until I felt it shift a little. Raising my head, I saw Harry's eyes—green, wide, shocked—staring back at me.
There was a rush of warm air on my cheek—his breath—and all thoughts of the snowball fight flew out of my consciousness. I could feel the rise and fall of his chest on mine. He was close, so close—heck, he was right under me, and his hands were on my arms...and if he only pulled me a little closer...I could have kissed him.
But he didn't. We just lay there, frozen in the unending moment, I drowning in the burning gaze of his.
Fred then decided to break the moment—"Hey, no shagging in the snow, if you please!" he yelled.
I saw Harry's cheeks quickly turn pink. I must have blushed then, too, as I stood up and yelled back, "You idiot!" and ran after Fred.
Needless to say, Harry and I didn't speak to each other during the rest of the day. That night was a restless one; I couldn't sleep, as I kept on feeling Harry's body, his breath, his gaze...
Insanity, get away from me, I thought, sitting up and putting on my slippers. I thought I'd spend a while in the living room to get bored till I fall asleep.
I expected the living room to be dark, but I saw the fireplace glowing even as I descended. And yet, even before I saw the mess of black hair on the couch, I already knew who was also awake.
He turned to me with sleepy-looking eyes—then, seeing me, he gave a start. "Ginny!" he half-exclaimed.
"Sorry," I said. "Did I wake you?"
"Er, no," he said sheepishly. "I was...watching the fire die." He motioned to the fireplace. "You?"
"Me? I wanted some hot chocolate," I readily replied. Chocolate is always a good excuse. I hate lying, and being able to do it so easily makes it even more unforgivable.
"Oh," Harry said, but he was still looking at me closely.
I hesitated slightly, then sat down beside him, and like him watched the fire. I expected it to go out in about a quarter of an hour. But that didn't matter, did it? I wanted to know why he had been staying up so late—and what he had been thinking as he watched the fire. Was he also thinking of the snowball fight?
Well, of course I wasn't going to ask. But that didn't stop me from wanting to know...
...Or rather, from wanting to hear from him.
I waited. Harry didn't say anything. His eyes never left the dying fire. It illuminated his profile, and right then I found myself looking at the boy no one had ever laid eyes on—the pensive, perhaps longing side of Harry Potter. I badly wanted to wrap my arms around his shoulders and to let him bury his face in my neck. I wanted to know him, to be one with his thoughts and feelings—and I didn't have to hear him tell me how he felt. In a way, I already knew....
And I know I shouldn't have asked, but the words were out of my mouth before I could stop them. "Are you okay, Harry?"
Harry seemed to snap out of his reverie. "What? Yeah," he said, blinking. "Why?"
"You...you just seem so..."
Harry's eyebrows drew together in a questioning manner. "Sad?" he asked.
Sad? That wasn't exactly the word I was looking for...but was he feeling sad? I didn't think so. I frowned slightly and shrugged.
Harry chuckled. Behind his glasses, his eyes twinkled—no matter how many times I see those beautiful eyes, they still hold a magic that kept me mesmerized that evening.
"I'm all right," he said, looking at me steadily. "Really."
I started to smile. I must have looked totally stupid.
"I'll get that hot chocolate," I said, standing up. "Want some?"
Harry shook his head, smiling. "Thanks anyway."
I stumbled towards the kitchen and located the pitcher that held the chocolate and poured myself a mug. I warmed it with a simple heating charm, all the while thinking about Harry, who was probably still sitting on the couch. There was a heavy weight in my chest. It was not altogether unpleasant, but it bore me down, wanting release.
Then it hit me. I could tell him. I could tell him how I felt—come what may, let him look shocked and outright reject me, just as long as I have told him all that I felt.
I love him, I still do—I haven't gotten over him.
I felt tears spring into my eyes as I heard a voice in my heart say it. I've fallen in love all over again, and it's different this time, because I've fallen in love with Harry, the real Harry—I've fallen in love with his faults, his friendship, the littlest smiles, his whole being.
And I also wanted him to love me back.
But it didn't matter.
My mind made up, I brushed my tears away and returned to the living room, mug of hot chocolate in both hands, warming my shaking, frozen fingers. I took a deep breath and stood beside the couch.
Harry was sleeping.
Welcome to reality, my dear, something in my head told me. While I was lamenting in the kitchen, here Harry was, snoozing his heart away.
My first impulse was to "accidentally" spill the chocolate on him, but I gazed at his face a while longer. He was turned sideways. One arm lay sprawled on his stomach, the other lay behind his head. I listened to his even, soothing breathing and the accompanying movement of his chest. His lips were slightly parted.
I quietly made my way back to my room, pulled out a comforter from my closet, and went back downstairs to find that Harry hadn't moved a bit. The embers in the fireplace were already dying.
I carefully laid the quilt on Harry and tucked the edges around him. He didn't even stir.
In my imagination, he smiled in his sleep.
I carefully removed his glasses and placed it on the small table beside the couch—Harry'd find it in the morning.
Then I found my hands floating back to his head. I gently slid his fringes off his eyes—so this is how his hair feels, I thought, soft and yet so messy. I let myself caress his hair. His scar stood out of his forehead, a mark of the real him, of his destiny. Some people found it repulsive, others interesting—I found it endearing, for some reason.
Harry let out a sigh; I quickly withdrew my hand. But Harry didn't move.
It was time for me to go. "Sweet dreams, Harry," I whispered. I love you.
And I went back to my room with my mug of hot chocolate.
Am I really over him?
I go back to that secret smile Harry and I exchanged tonight. No, I haven't told him yet, but by just recalling that smile I find that I've already told him, in a way. And maybe, just maybe, I'm not only imagining it: he has already told me, too.