Black Soul, White Heart
Chapter 10 - "Attacks to Admissions"
The rest of the month passed in a flurry of Quidditch practices, DA meetings, homework and breezy weather, and before Harry knew it, it was the end of October. He was becoming increasingly glad he wasn't in his fifth year any longer, and found himself wondering how Ginny managed to accomplish everything she did and still be relatively awake most of the time.
The next day would be their first Hogsmeade weekend, and Harry found himself very much looking forward to it and the escape it promised. Harry and Ron were lounging in front of the fire, resting from an unusually exhausting Quidditch practice that evening. Ron was talking to him about the Chudley Cannons' new coach, but Harry had already heard all about it the day before and was too tired to pay attention, so he let Ron take over most of the conversation, and only made the appropriate noises when it was required. Instead he slouched into his chair, and looked around the room.
Most of the students were huddled around tables doing homework, books open and quills scratching feverishly; there were some, however, that sat engrossed in conversation, or - and he noticed these were mostly fifth years - had fallen asleep. He spotted Ginny chatting to Neville and Colin Creevey on the other side of the room, gesticulating wildly as she demonstrated something or another - Harry couldn't tell. Her eyes were sparkling, and her cheeks still slightly flushed from her exertion out on the pitch and perhaps the action of her arms. Harry sighed as a sense of longing filled his gut. He wished he could go over to her and put his arms around her, hold her close while laughing at her jokes and listening to her sweet voice filling the air around him.
"Oi! Harry! HARRY!" Ron shouted, rousing Harry from his daydreams, his arms flailing in an attempt to catch Harry's attention. Ron followed Harry's gaze to the object of his attention, and a knowing look crossed his face. Harry felt his face grow hot, and turned to his friend.
"Sorry. I'm just tired."
"The hell you are. You're looking at my sister, aren't you?"
"I am not!" Harry replied swiftly, his voice a little more hoarse than he would have liked.
"Sure, and I'm the best Keeper in Britain." Ron grinned and leaned forward in his chair, his eyes taking on a perspicacious gleam. "Look, Hermione told me all about it, and if that kiss you gave Ginny at the League Cup is anything to go by, I'd say you fancy my sister." Harry's face went immediately scarlet, and his heart began pumping violently in his chest.
"That was a mistake." He muttered, looking at the floor.
"Then why are you staring at her?"
"Be - I'm not!" Ron raised his eyebrows at him disbelievingly. He glanced over his shoulder, and then turned back to Harry.
"She's looking at you."
"She is not," Harry scoffed. He turned his head to where Ginny was sitting, and found that Ron was right - she was looking at him. She caught his eye, smiled, and gave a little wave. Harry raised his hand and smiled back, his head spinning. What was the point of this? What was Ron trying to say? He looked back at his friend, whose expression had gone serious.
"Look, Harry, if you really do like Ginny then go for it; I think it's a good idea - I know I can trust you not to hurt her. And besides, Hermione always told me I should have asked her out years ago, so it's probably the same with you and Ginny. Anyway, I'm going to bed." Ron stood from his chair and walked across the room, leaving Harry to ponder the conversation; he had a suspicious feeling that Hermione had played a more significant role in the advice than Ron had let on. But before he could lose himself in thought, he was interrupted by Ginny approaching him.
"Hey Harry, mind if I join you? Everyone else is going to bed." She said, and sat before Harry could answer. Indeed the room had seemed to empty around them along with the departure of Ron.
Ginny pulled the elastic from her ponytail, and ruffled her hair with her hands until it fell messily around her shoulders. Harry wondered what it would feel like entwined in his fingers.
"So," she started, "you enjoy practice today?"
"Yeah, it was all right." Harry answered vaguely, trying desperately not to stare at her.
"Katie's a hard driver, but she seems fair." Harry chuckled at this, remembering his previous dislike of her 'fairness'. "What?" Ginny asked him curiously. Harry stopped, pondering; should he tell her? He supposed it couldn't hurt, now that he was sure she didn't hate him.
"Well, I sort of told her off before for making you try out." Harry admitted, blushing slightly.
"Really?" Ginny asked, her voice both amused and disbelieving.
"Yeah... I felt sort of silly afterwards, but it just didn't seem right not to let you on the team straight away." Harry shrugged. "I mean, you won the Cup last year and in the summer... and you're a really good player." He looked at Ginny, who shifted in her seat and smiled, her eyes unfocussed and staring at the floor.
"Anyway... er - are you going to Hogsmeade tomorrow?" He asked, anxious to change the topic of conversation. Ginny frowned slightly.
"I was thinking about it. I don't really have anyone to go with though, and I have a lot of homework." Harry remembered that feeling exactly. But he managed to get through fifth year while still going to Hogsmeade, and he was sure Ginny could use a break.
"You can come with me," Harry said, determined to make her go. "I'll buy you a butterbeer at the Three Broomsticks if you want." Ginny looked up at him abruptly, and a smile spread across her face.
"I'd like that." She answered, and then her smile turned into a yawn. "I'd better go to bed. Shall I meet you at breakfast then?"
"That sounds good to me." And with that they bid each other goodnight, retreating to their respective dormitories. Lying in bed, replaying the conversation in his mind, Harry realized that his proposition sounded almost like a date, but he quickly eliminated that theory in favor of getting sleep that night. He and Ginny were just going as friends. Besides, Ron and Hermione were going to be there as well.
"What do you mean you're not going to Hogsmeade?" Harry asked his friends incredulously the next morning over breakfast.
"Well, we've got a lot of studying to do, and it's easier to do it when the castle isn't full," Hermione answered.
"Studying? I thought you said - ow!" Ron looked at Hermione reproachfully, as she shot him a piercing look. Harry watched understanding slowly wash over Ron's face. "Oh yeah. Lots of studying to do, mate. Sorry we can't come." He grinned, and Hermione rolled her eyes. Harry coughed to stifle a laugh.
Just then Ginny sat down next to him, and greeted them all with a "Good morning." Harry nearly choked on his pumpkin juice as he realized he and Ginny would be going to Hogsmeade alone. Fortunately he managed to swallow in time, and saved himself the embarrassment. Harry sat and waited for Ginny to finish her breakfast, and then the two of them bid Ron and Hermione farewell for the day.
The walk down to Hogsmeade was a pleasant one. The sun shone brightly down upon them, warming them against the chilly autumn air. The ground crunched pleasingly beneath their feet, and they walked in comfortable silence until they passed through the Hogwarts gate. Conversation followed, and Harry was once again reminded at how easy it was to talk to her. Somewhere along the way Harry forgot all about being nervous or the possibility of their trip being a date, and their arrival in Hogsmeade did not dull the conversation.
In Honeydukes Ginny met with a group of her friends from Hufflepuff, and introduced them to Harry - he was sure they already knew who he was, but that didn't really matter. He greeted them politely, wondering if Ginny would want to spend the rest of the day with them. But she waved goodbye to the group and guided Harry to the cashier so they could buy their sweets, and then back out into the street.
After looking through the shops, they headed over to the Three Broomsticks to rest their feet. They sat in a quiet table by a window, away from the noise and hubbub of the rest of the pub.
Madame Rosmerta was quick to serve them, and set two foaming butterbeers down on the table. Ginny began to reach into her purse, but Harry stopped her.
"I said I'd get you one, remember?" He reminded her, smiling. He handed over a handful of coins to Madame Rosmerta, who smiled and then whisked away to serve other customers.
"Thanks," Ginny said, and raised her bottle. "Here's to relaxation." Harry lifted his own, and touched it to hers with a satisfying clink.
Their butterbeers drained, Ginny sighed and gazed around the room.
"I'm getting tired of crowds." She said, looking back at him. Harry thought for a moment.
"We could go to the Shrieking Shack. It's usually abandoned," he suggested.
"That sounds great."
They arrived at the gates of the old, rundown house to find it lacking inhabitants, as expected. Ginny sat down on a patch of grass, and Harry sat next to her. They chatted for a while, before Harry noticed his ears and fingers were getting numb. The wind had picked up, and was cutting through his robes, frosting his skin.
"It's getting cold." Ginny sounded Harry's thoughts, and Harry noticed she was shivering slightly.
"Do you want to head back?"
"No." Ginny looked at the ground thoughtfully. Harry looked up at the sky, where the sun was still shining over them. Then, to his shock and surprise, he felt something press into his side. A body. Ginny's body.
His heart leapt into his throat, and he looked at her. She wasn't looking at him, still at the ground, but her head was now resting on his shoulder as she sat next to him. Gathering all his courage, Harry gingerly draped his arm around her shoulder. She cuddled into him, and it was all he could do not to jump for joy.
Harry's ears were now completely numb, and his legs were falling asleep, but he didn't care. Slowly he grew more comfortable, and relaxed beside her. He stroked her arm gently, and heard her sigh happily. It made him smile as well.
He supposed there was no question of the 'date' now. He tilted his head so it rested on hers and closed his eyes, content to enjoy their moment together.
"Well if it isn't the famous Harry Potter," a low, cold voice broke the silence, and he felt Ginny tense beside him. Harry instinctively went for his wand, and stood up. He swept around, attempting to locate the source of the voice while Ginny stood up beside him.
Then he saw them. Two Death Eaters, draped in black cloaks, their faces masked, were coming around the edge of the house at them, their wands raised.
"And what's this? He has a girlfriend too," the second Death Eater, his voice higher and more gravelly, chimed in.
"She's not my girlfriend!" Harry shouted at them. The first Death Eater raised his wand, and Harry swore he saw his eyes glinting mercilessly beneath the mask.
"Then you won't mind if I curse her. Crucio!"
"Crucio!" the second one screamed, hitting Ginny with the second spell just as the first connected with her chest.
Ginny's screams filled the air as she fell to the ground, writhing and twitching, her eyes rolling back into her head. Harry stared at her, horrified. Images of Sirius falling suddenly filled his mind, choking him.
"NO!" He screamed, dropping to his knees beside her, his body visibly shaking. He turned to face the Death Eaters. "You'll pay for that!" he growled, his voice hoarse and tense. Harry raised his wand to curse them, grief and rage coursing through him.
"No, I think it will be you who will pay," the first Death Eater sneered. "Avada Ke-"
"STUPEFY! STUPEFY!" To Harry's shock, the Death Eaters fell to the ground, stunned. He turned to see who had cast the spells, and saw Mad-Eye Moody walking up the hill, wand raised. Relief flooded through him, and he turned to Ginny, who was still lying on the ground.
"Ginny? Ginny, are you okay?" Harry leaned over her. Her eyes were closed and her lips parted slightly, her skin extremely pale. Very gently he touched her cheek; she was warm, but did not respond. Harry turned to the Auror, who was winding the Death Eaters in thick rope shooting from the end of his wand. "Moody, what's wrong with her? Why won't she wake up?"
Mad-Eye made his way over to where Harry and Ginny were resting on the ground. He peered at her carefully, his blue eye swiveling over her unconscious body.
"She'll be okay, but she needs to see a mediwitch straight away," he growled. "Can you manage getting her to Hogwarts by yourself? I'll be along shortly but I need to take care of these two first." He motioned to the two motionless Death Eaters. Harry nodded. Moody picked up a rock off the ground and touched it with his wand, causing it to glow blue for a few moments.
"This is a portkey, it will take you back to Hogwarts." Harry reached for Ginny's hand, grasping it tightly in his own. With the other he touched the rock. Instantly he felt a tug behind his navel, and then he was landing in a soft patch of earth below the steps to the Entrance Doors.
Very carefully, Harry picked up Ginny's limp form, cradling her gently between his arms. He ran as fast as he could to the infirmary without injuring Ginny any further. Once there he crashed through the doors, to the shrieks of Madame Pomfrey. She turned to him, scowling.
"What is the meaning of this? What are you do-"
"Please, help me! She's been attacked!" He yelled hoarsely. Madame Pomfrey's demeanor changed immediately.
"Set her over here," she ordered. Harry settled her on one of the beds, making sure to rest her head on the pillow. He removed his arms from beneath her and grasped her hand, refusing to let go. "What happened?" Madame Pomfrey asked him sternly.
"Cruciatus - it was Death Eaters." Harry stared up at the mediwitch, his eyes large and frightened. She gasped audibly. "Oh dear. I best summon Dumbledore."
"There's no need, Madame Pomfrey, I am already here." The headmaster's voice floated over to them from the doorway. Harry looked over to see Dumbledore and Moody striding into the room, looking concerned.
Dumbledore walked over to Harry, stopping in front of him. "Harry, I need for you to let Madame Pomfrey look after Ginny. She'll be fine soon enough. Right now I need you to tell me what happened." Harry nodded, and allowed himself to be ushered across the room and into another chair. Dumbledore sat across from him, but Harry was looking at Ginny laying motionless still on the bed.
"Harry, tell me what happened," Dumbledore pressed.
"We were sitting by the Shrieking Shack, and then they - two Death Eaters - just showed up. They both hit Ginny with Crucio and - and they almost killed me but Moody stunned them," Harry said darkly, his hands clenched in his lap.
"I see." Dumbledore frowned. "Thank you Harry, that is all." Harry nodded and stood. He looked over at Ginny, who was being given a potion by Madame Pomfrey.
"Do you know - did Voldemort send them?" Harry asked fervently, turning back towards the Headmaster.
"Not to attack you specifically," he explained, his voice calm but tense, "but yes, I believe they were sent."
"Can I stay here with Ginny?" said Harry quietly.
"Certainly. Her family should be along shortly," Dumbledore said, and then swiftly left the room, Moody not far behind him.
Harry stepped over to Ginny's cot, where Madame Pomfrey was checking over her with her wand. He sat in the chair next to her bed, waiting for the mediwitch to finish.
"She'll be awake soon, dear." The mediwitch said soothingly. "When she does, make her take this." She drew a potion bottle from her apron, and handed it across the bed to Harry. "It's Dreamless Sleep Potion." Harry nodded.
"I will." He set the bottle on the bedside table, and then pulled his chair closer to Ginny. Madame Pomfrey drew a curtain around them, and departed.
Harry looked over the girl solemnly. She was pale, but he could see her chest rising and falling steadily with each breath. He reached out and touched her cheek. Ginny stirred beneath his touch, her eyes fluttering open. Harry quickly removed his hand. She blinked and then turned her head, her eyes focusing on Harry.
"Hi," he whispered, his voice rough. Tears began to burn behind his eyes, as relief and an overpowering sense of guilt flooded through him.
"Harry - what happened? The Death Eaters?"
"Don't worry, they're gone. Moody got them." The words were choked, and tears began to fall down his cheeks.
"Harry?" Ginny gazed at him, concern mixed with confusion.
"I'm sorry," he whispered. Ginny moved her hand and set it on his own.
"Harry-" She was cut off by a stampede of feet rushing into the room.
"Ginny! Ginny, are you all right?" Hermione rushed to her bedside, Ron close behind. His eyes were dark and fearful. Ginny nodded meekly.
"It's not bad, I'll be okay," she said, and smiled bravely.
"Oh thank goodness," Hermione breathed. Suddenly Harry remembered his promise to Madame Pomfrey. Reluctantly he drew his hand away from Ginny's, and reached for the bottle he'd set on the table.
"Madame Pomfrey told me to make you take this." Harry said quietly, causing Hermione and Ron to look at him. "It's Dreamless Sleep Potion." Ginny nodded and took it from him, and set it to her lips. She smiled at the friends again and then swallowed it in one swift motion. Seconds later, she was asleep.
"Harry, are you okay?" Hermione asked him gently.
"I'm fine," he answered. Hermione frowned, but said nothing. She and Ron pulled two chairs up beside the bed, to stand watch over Ginny as she slept.
Harry and the others spent the rest of the evening by Ginny's bedside. Mrs. Weasley arrived shortly after Ginny had gone to sleep, and Mr. Weasley later in the evening; the group sat in silence, save for Mrs. Weasley fussing over them occasionally, until late into the night. At ten o'clock Madame Pomfrey ordered Harry, Ron and Hermione back to their dormitory, and so they bid the others goodnight, and headed back to Gryffindor Tower.
Harry gazed solemnly out the window as he padded along the silent corridor, the stars flickering brightly in the deep black sky, the silver moon hanging somberly next to them. He took little notice of his friends stepping quietly behind him, holding hands, their footsteps making soft tapping noises against the cold stone floor. Just as the moon disappeared between a thin curtain of clouds, a sharp pain erupted in Harry's forehead as though someone had stabbed a needle through it, causing him to fall to the ground.
"Harry! Are you okay, do you need to go see Madame Pomfrey?" Hermione screeched fearfully, rushing up to Harry and crouching beside him. Harry cringed and stifled a moan, clutching his forehead as hot bolts of pain skittered through his skull. He could hear cursing in his ears, mingled with angry white noise...
"Ah," he groaned, "it's Voldemort - he's angry."
"Ginny. Those Death Eaters," Hermione said breathlessly.
"He's not very pleased with what they did," Harry said hoarsely, attempting to right himself. Ron quickly ducked beneath Harry's arm to help him stand, and began leading him along the hall. "Thanks," Harry mumbled, and Ron turned to him, looking dubious, and gave him a weak smile.
In bed Harry let the emotions that he had been fighting all day wash over him. He kept picturing the cloaked Death Eaters and Voldemort's anger; but mostly he pictured Ginny, her body writhing on the ground, and he cursed himself for not reacting sooner. They'd almost been killed. What if she had died? What would he tell the others? It would have been like Sirius all over again.
What disturbed Harry the most was the realization that he had never told Sirius exactly how much he cared before he died, and he had almost made the same mistake with Ginny.
That night Harry cried himself to sleep.
It was tortured and restless. Nightmares of the Department of Mysteries filled his mind, only instead of Sirius falling, it was Ginny.
Harry woke with his scar burning painfully. Skipping breakfast, he made his way quickly back to the infirmary. He was eternally grateful that it was the weekend, that he didn't have to go to classes and pretend everything was okay.
He didn't leave her side once that day, only eating because Mrs. Weasley had forced him too. Ginny was getting better, but Harry still couldn't forgive himself. He'd had her, for a few minutes, and she had almost been ripped away from him because of him and his own stupidity, his own stupid fate. He didn't want to imagine what would have happened had the Order not still been keeping tabs on him, had Moody not shown up. Harry shuddered and shifted in his chair.
What he did know was that he was never going to let it happen again. He would protect her even if it meant never letting her leave his sight. He would protect his other friends too. If he couldn't run away - and he refused to now - then he'd guard them with his life.
Ginny talked cheerfully with her family, and Harry tried to be positive for her sake, but mostly he preferred to remain silent, deep in thought as he watched the others. He smiled briefly when Madame Pomfrey announced she would be fine to return to classes the next day. Harry hoped any mental pains would vanish with the physical ones.
Harry, Hermione and Ron were shunted out of the infirmary at nine that night, and her parents, satisfied that their daughter was all right, went home as well.
The three friends sat in the common room in silence for hours. The last Gryffindor had just gone to bed, and the fire was dying low, its glowing embers casting dark shadows across the room.
Despite the warm atmosphere and his two friends nearby, Harry felt like a part of him was missing. The trio that had been together for the last six years was now, undeniably a quartet. Harry sunk into the deep armchair and put his head in his hands. It was his fault Ginny wasn't here with them. What if she had been killed? What if that was the last time he would had ever seen her, ever talked to her? She'd have never known how he felt about her, how much she meant to him.
"Harry, are you all right?" Hermione asked quietly. Harry looked up at his friends sitting together on the loveseat across from him, holding hands. He wished very badly that he had Ginny here to share a seat with. Harry's eyes began to glisten as his emotions rushed through him. Hermione must have guessed at what he was feeling because she spoke, "Harry, it's not your fault Ginny was attacked, do you understand?" Hermione's face was stern, and Ron had a deep look of concern in his eyes.
Harry nodded meekly. "I know. It's just... I don't know what I'd do without her. First Sirius... if she died... if any of you died... I don't think I could handle it."
"But she's not dead, Harry." Ron said, his voice rough. "We'll just keep a closer eye out from now on." Harry nodded again; that was obvious.
"I hate this, that goddamn prophecy. I hate how I keep causing all this hurt..." Harry's voice was thick with tears, his anger pouring out of him now.
"Harry, it's not your fault. It -" Hermione stopped, looking confused. "Wait, what prophecy?"
"The one Voldemort was after last year."
"But that got destroyed, in the Department of Mysteries," said Ron.
"The message didn't," said Harry bitterly.
"Wh-what did it say?" Hermione asked tentatively.
"That I've got to kill Voldemort. That I'm the only one who can kill Voldemort, and if I don't he's going to kill me." The words of the prophecy floated into his mind, like the mouths of ghosts praying to him. "...and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives."
"Oh Harry, we had no idea."
"I know." Harry turned his head into the back of the armchair, feeling the velvet brush against his cheek, wishing it was Ginny's hand, wishing that things were different, wishing that somehow he had the power to make them so.
Hermione and Ron weren't even looking at him now, instead focusing just behind him. But Harry wasn't really paying attention; it didn't matter to him where they looked. He had to ask what he wanted to know, really wanted to know, and he hoped that they would help him.
"How do I tell Ginny I like her? How do I say that I want to be with her more than anyone else? How do I tell her how much I care?" Harry looked at his friends, whose faces were a mix of shock and understanding. "And what if I do tell her, and she doesn't feel the same way about me?" Hermione got up from her seat, looking back at Harry again. She hugged him tightly, and then pulled away, regarding him seriously, yet her eyes were warm.
"I don't think that's going to be a problem, Harry. Come on, Ron, let's go." She said, pulling Ron out of the loveseat. Ron clapped him on the shoulder, and then he and Hermione swept quickly out of the common room. Harry turned around to watch them go, slightly confused. What he saw behind him was nothing short of a great shock, and a great relief - Ginny.
How long had she been there? Had she heard what he'd said about her, about his feelings for her? He had been so consumed with his emotions that he hadn't heard her enter to room. He stood up quickly, facing her, unsure of what to say. His heart began to pound in his chest and a million butterflies suddenly decided to take residence in his stomach. It was Ginny who spoke first.
"Madame Pomfrey said I could sleep here tonight."
"I'm glad you're better." Harry caught her eye and then quickly looked at the floor. They stood in silence again, feet away from each other.
Harry thought, should he tell her? If she had heard him speaking with Hermione and Ron then she already knew... but then why was she just standing there? Did she not like him back and didn't know how to tell him? He was sure he looked horrible - he hadn't showered in days and he'd hardly slept - but Harry decided to tell her anyway. He couldn't deny his feelings any longer.
He looked up from the floor and into her rich brown eyes. They were glistening in the dim light, staring back at him with a look Harry had not seen before. Harry swallowed and stepped forward until he was only a foot apart from her.
"Harry, I-" Ginny started but Harry shook his head to silence her. He needed to say this without interruption. She seemed to understand and quieted.
"Ginny..." Harry's pulse pounded in his ears. This was going to be more difficult than he thought. But Ginny was looking up at him expectantly, questioningly. "Ginny I like you. I mean, as more than a friend," he blurted out. "I-I think you're beautiful, and smart, and a really good friend, and a talented witch, and damn good at Quidditch. I want to be with you, Ginny. I care about you a lot. Will you be my girlfriend?" There, he'd said it, asked the question he'd been pondering since that day in the orchard.
Ginny was silent. Harry wondered if he'd said something wrong, or maybe she just wanted to run away from him but was frozen. Harry closed his eyes and concentrated on his breathing, which was now very laboured. He could hear Ginny breathing as well, and noticed that she too was breathing faster than normal. Harry opened his eyes. She was still there, still looking up at him like... like that. She closed the space between them and grasped his hands in her own.
"Harry, I like you too. You're one of the best wizards I've ever known, one of the best friends I've ever had. I could think of nothing better than being your girlfriend." Relief rushed through Harry and he couldn't help but smile. She wanted to be his girlfriend. She was his girlfriend.
He looked deep into her eyes and saw her, saw how beautiful she was.
Ginny released his right hand and placed her left on his chest. Harry suddenly noticed how warm she was; her heat enveloped him like a cloak and tickled his senses.
Harry gently stroked her cheek with his fingers. Her skin was like velvet, delicate and soft beneath his hand. He tangled his hand into her hair and Ginny pressed herself closer to him. He watched her tongue dart out of her mouth to lick her lips. Harry understood, wanted it too; with his fingers entwined in her hair, clasping her hand, he leaned down and kissed her.
This time there was no shock, no concussion to dull his senses. Her lips, soft and moist, met his with a gentle firmness. Her quickening breath hit his cheek, sending tendrils of warmth through his skin. Harry cupped the back of her head and pressed into her. Waves of pleasure extended through him from where their bodies met, and he was acutely aware of all of it.
And so the world disintegrated around him, became only him and her in a sea of space.
When the kiss ended they remained close, breathing heavily. Ginny rested her head on Harry's chest and he stroked her hair, kissed her head gently, and smiled.
Moments later Hermione and Ron crawled through the portrait hole. Ginny turned around and blushed slightly when she saw them, but stayed close to Harry, not releasing his hand from her grasp. Harry too felt his cheeks reddening as his friends stared at the new couple.
"So, are you two together finally?" Hermione asked, and Harry noticed Ron was smiling. Harry and Ginny exchanged a look and then nodded. "Brilliant. Well, we should be going to bed. Coming Ginny?" Ginny gave Harry a quick hug, and then turned to join Hermione. But before the girls left, Hermione glided forward and gave Harry a tight hug.
"We're with you Harry," she said, and then crossed the room. Ginny followed after her, though Hermione was already disappearing up the stairs to the girls' dormitories, but paused at the bottom of the steps before ascending. She turned and smiled at Harry, her eyes bright against the darkness, and he smiled back. Then she was gone.
The boys walked up to their own dormitory then, Harry lost in a daze of happiness, Ron padding softly upward in front of him. Just before they entered their room, Ron turned to Harry, a sidelong grin on his face, and asked, "so, you and my sister are an item now?"
"Yeah." Harry said, a huge smile on his face. "Yeah, we are."
A/N: And there you are! Harry and Ginny are finally together! I want to thank everyone for waiting patiently while I made them both (though particularly Harry) act like fools and wait so long to admit their feelings to each other. I hope you understand my reasons for wanting to wait until now. If not then hopefully you will see in time ^_^
Also sorry to have had to hurt Ginny, but she's fine now so no one needs to worry - she's a tough girl!