Of Kissing and Karma

By She's a Star

Disclaimer: Harry Potter belongs to J.K. Rowling.

Author's Note: Well, I thought I wasn't going to be able to do it. My muses were in comas, you see. Yep. Queen Ophelia, always one for drama, drank herself into oblivion. Steve, who is the slightly crazed creature behind the extremely odd behavior of MtP Sirius, walked off of a roof. Accidentally, of course. Anyway, comas ensued. And therefore, writer's block ensued. And therefore, no new fics, get this, ensued.

And then my dear, dear friend Crys (PepsiAngel)'s birthday came up, and to my utmost horror, I couldn't seem to write anything for her!

Damned muses and their comas.

But then, miraculously, I sat down today – which is, by the way, Crys's birthday. Everybody sing to her! (And read her marvelous fanfiction.) – and began . . . writing!

Yes. Writing.

Sure, it's a bit silly, and Cho-bashy (though, in truth, does anybody really mind that?), but it is something written by me. So I am feeling accomplished. J (That is a smiley face at the moment, but somehow I just know it's going to turn into a J or something equally odd once this here fic is uploaded.)

Who knows? Maybe I'll even start updating my chapter fics. O, the possibilities!

I'll check Queen O into AMA (Alcoholic Muses Anonymous – I've got friends whose muses have the same problem; it's more common than you'd think), and . . . I don't know, keep Steve away from roofs. (How did she get onto a roof anyway? You never know with that girl.) And then maybe – just maybe – you'll see more updates from me.

And this is one long, odd, rambly author's note; you all probably now know more about my muses than you ever wanted to.

But just in case you don't, Queen Ophelia is a classically trained vocalist with a penchant for opera (her favorite one is La Boheme), and Steve is determined to marry Wesley Wyndham Price's glasses someday.

Just don't ask how that's going to work.

And . . . I'm gonna shut up now. Seriously. Blame the insanity on the Vanilla Coke. It is the Vanilla  Coke's fault, I tell ye!

. . . Ahem. Yes.

(This has just gotten to be a page long. Whoa.)

And of course, what this all comes down to is—

Happy 15th birthday, Crys! Keep being kewliez, never lose your faith in Britney, take your Riley Medicine to prevent all possible illnesses (not all cough syrup can make you stoned, after all!), and remember us little people when you're Oliverwendelholmstrom's mistress. Love ya bunches, dear!


            Ah, Christmastime.

            Snow swirling outside; ghosts singing out carols as they roamed the chilly corridors; the entire castle positively alight with decorations.

            And mistletoe.

            One couldn't forget the mistletoe.

            Or at least, Harry couldn't. He rather wished he could, on account of the whole incident with Cho last year that he'd like to forget in general, but it was rather hard to. Whoever had decorated the castle this year had gone mistletoe crazy, and it seemed to hang in nearly every doorway. Of course, it had its benefits; for example, seeing Snape forced into kissing Trelawney had been hands down the most hilarious thing he had ever witnessed in his entire life. (Albeit slightly more than slightly disturbing.)

            But then there were the negative aspects, like being positively attacked by some random fourth year girl that happened to step into the Great Hall at the same time he did, and observing that homicidal glint in Ron's eye when he had pecked Hermione on the cheek.

            Mistletoe was, ultimately, disastrous.

            Not to mention everywhere.

            Students at Hogwarts were now watching every step they took with utmost caution, in fear of being caught under the dreaded plant with Goyle, Snape, or someone equally desirable. It seemed as though now that Voldemort had come back, they shouldn't have to live in fear of yet another source of terror. Unfortunately, they did, and just one misstep could lead to a nightmarish situation that would haunt them until the day they died.

            Cheery, really, considering it was Christmas and all.

            Mistletoe, however, had wandered far from Harry's mind as he entered the castle, returning from an impromptu Quidditch practice with Ron and Ginny. The three of them were shivering and soaking wet, due to the lovely little snowstorm that had decided to attack them right in the middle of the new defense strategy that Harry had devised.

            "Sweet, really," Ginny said, ringing her hair out. Droplets of water fell to the floor, trailing behind them, and Harry hoped that Filch wasn't around. "The way the weather decided to be so generous and give us hypothermia for Christmas."

            "Right benevolent, that is," Ron agreed, shivering.

            Ginny arched an eyebrow at him. "Benevolent?"

            "Hey," Ron said defensively. "When you've been hanging out with Hermione for six years, you start to pick up on her vocabulary."

            "Are you sure you don't just hang on her every word?" Ginny asked sweetly, fluttering her eyelashes.

            "What's that supposed to mean?" Ron demanded angrily.

            "Actually, it's quite simple. You see-"

            "Hi, Hermione," Harry said pointedly, shutting Ron and Ginny up as Hermione came rushing toward them.

            "I told you," she said, eerily reminiscent of Mrs. Weasley as she removed Harry's dripping Gryffindor scarf from his neck and studied it in dismay. "I told all of you that the weather was far too foul to go practice."

            "So sorry we didn't stay in and do homework with you, Hermione," Ron said, feigning utmost regret. "What's the matter with us?"

            "Oh, hush," she instructed him, fingering his coat. "You're absolutely drenched-"

            Only then did she actually seem to realize what she was doing, and she pulled her hand away, blushing slightly. Ron looked as though he wouldn't be able to remember his own name if someone asked him.

            Harry snuck a glance at Ginny – her brown eyes were sparkling amusedly.

            They were silent for a moment, before Hermione cleared her throat and continued.

            "And you can't get sick," she informed him in her bossiest tone. "Not when you've already been neglecting your homework all of break so far as it is-"

            "I'm fine," Ron cut in irritably. "Or I would be, if you'd quit nagging-"

            "You're going and getting changed right now, and then you're going to do your homework," Hermione instructed him.

            "Says who?"

            "Don't make me drag you to Madam Pomfrey, because I will-"

            "Blimey, woman-"

            "Don't call me 'woman!'"

            "Fine, Mum."

            Hermione grabbed Ron's sleeve and dragged him away, the sound of their bickering fading as they disappeared down the corridor.

            "Are they ever going to figure it out?" Ginny asked exasperatedly.

            "I think they have," Harry replied, watching their retreating figures; Ron swatted at Hermione's arm, and she slapped him in retaliation. "Now they're just too proud to admit it."

            "Hence the five-year-old behavior," Ginny concluded, frowning slightly.

            "Pretty much," Harry agreed.

            "Well, I for one am going insane over it," announced Ginny. "They're ridiculous. This has been going on for the past few years, for Merlin's sake."

            "Yeah," said Harry, "But I can't really see what—"

            "Oh, gag me," Ginny cut in nastily, narrowing her eyes.

            Harry blinked. He had discovered since he'd been spending more time with Ginny that she had a quick temper, but had he really said something offensive? Panicked, he reviewed everything in his head that he'd said in the past few minutes and came up blank.

            "Um. I'm sorry," he attempted weakly.

            "No, not you," she muttered, glaring darkly across the hall. "Them."

            "Them?" Harry followed her gaze, and his eyes landed upon the targets of her wrath. "Oh. Right."

            Michael Corner and Cho Chang were making their way down the hall hand in hand. Michael said something to her, and a delighted laugh from Cho rang through the air.

            "Don't they just make you sick?" Ginny asked, sneering. "Oooh, I could Avada Kedavra something-"

            "Don't," Harry advised quickly, and contemplated stealing her wand. He doubted that Ginny was so stupid as to cast an Unforgivable, but a Bogey Bat Hex was not beneath her.

            "They're obnoxious," Ginny declared. "And nauseating. I don't know which one of them is stupider. Michael's a complete immature prat, but Cho's like a waterfall with limbs."

            "Is she still crying all the time, then?" Harry asked, curious. He had more or less stopped paying attention to Cho at the end of the previous year. After the things he had seen, whiny girlfriends had suddenly seemed much less important.

            "No," Ginny scowled. "Apparently, Michael's made her so much happier. Luna overhears her talking about him all the time in the Ravenclaw Common Room – she says that Cho could go on about him for hours. Which is pathetic. It's not like he's any sort of interesting topic, like Crumple-Horned Snorkacks."

            Harry stared at her.

            "Luna's words. Not mine."

            "Yeah," Harry said, grinning. "I guessed as much."

            "It's sick. She's sick," Ginny said bitterly. "I mean, her boyfriend died two years ago. She forgot about that rather conveniently soon, didn't she?"

            Harry felt a wave of sickness wash over him before he could stop it. He knew, logically, that he should have learned to deal with Cedric's death by now. Especially after he'd lost people so much more important to him . . . and there was a good chance that he'd lose even more in this war. But he hadn't dealt with it. Not exactly.

            "Oh, Harry," Ginny said immediately, placing her hand gently on his arm. "God, I'm sorry. I say the stupidest things sometimes; I always talk without thinking-"

            "It's okay," he cut in. "Really."

            She gave him a small smile and took her hand away. "Okay. But I'm still sorry."

            Harry smiled weakly back at her.

            "And they're still disgusting," Ginny continued after a moment's silence. "I mean, really. I don't know how Michael can stand her. When we were going out, he would always talk about how he was so glad I wasn't one of those silly, simpering girls that hung all over you. He couldn't stand that, apparently." She narrowed her eyes again and watched as Cho leaned in closer and whispered something to Michael. "Hah. Right."

            "She is kind of . . . clingy, I guess," Harry said uneasily. He wasn't used to saying mean things about Cho, even though he had definitely thought one or two. But the opportunity, quite simply, had never arisen when it would be appropriate to go on about some of the stupid things that Cho had done. But with Ginny, he supposed it could be okay. After all, it was pretty rich anyway, that his old girlfriend had ditched him for her old boyfriend.

            "It's not as though Michael's so brilliant, anyway. I wonder what she goes on about all the time. Surely she's run out of things to gush about by now." Ginny paused thoughtfully for a moment, and a devious sparkle filled her eyes. "I wonder if she used to go on about you for hours."

            This had never occurred to Harry, and it was an unwelcome possibility. "I'm really not all that interesting-"

            "Lord knows I used to babble on about you until I went blue in the face," Ginny said, laughing a little. Harry wasn't quite sure how to respond to that information, so he remained silent and willed himself not to blush. Ginny glanced at him. "Oh – that was, um, years ago, of course."

            "'Course," Harry agreed at once.

            "Anyway, we – oh, God, no," Ginny groaned.

            Harry glanced over just in time to see Cho and Michael glancing upward, both laughing.

            "And the mistletoe strikes again," Harry muttered.

            A few of the other students in the corridor stopped and watched interestedly. Cho glanced around at the people watching and giggled, turning back to Michael. She whispered something to him before placing her arms about his neck and leaning a bit closer to him.

            "Oh, how lovely," Ginny deadpanned. "An audience."

            Michael leaned down and kissed her, and a couple of third year girls actually burst into a fit of coos and began to clap.

            Ginny let out an indignant sort of sputter, but didn't actually manage any words. Harry was feeling a bit disgusted himself, and very relieved; who knew? If things had turned out differently, maybe he'd have been over there instead of Michael. That sounded about as desirable as moving down to the dungeons and becoming Snape's apprentice.

            "Come here," Ginny ordered firmly, grabbing Harry's arm and shaking him out of his little reverie.

            "Huh?" he asked intelligently, and found that he was being dragged over toward Cho and Michael.

            Uh oh. No good could come of this.

            "Um . . . Ginny . . . ?"

            "Work with me," she instructed under her breath.

            Er. All right, then.

            "Cho," Ginny said warmly. "Michael."

            "Um . . . hi, Ginny," Michael said awkwardly.

            "Hello." Cho looked faintly bewildered.

            "So sweet of you," Ginny continued sweetly, "that you're so kind as to show the entire school just how highly you think of one another."

            Cho and Michael exchanged a look.

            "Harry!" Cho said brightly, catching him completely off-guard. "How are you?"


            "Seeing anyone?" Cho continued.

            Harry stared. Was it appropriate to ask people that? And what, exactly, was he supposed to say? 'Well, Cho, important as dating is to me, lately I've mainly been focusing on staying alive and making sure that a crazed dark lord doesn't murder any of my friends.'


            "Um. Well-"

            "You two aren't . . . together, are you?" Cho continued.

            "Oh, look," Ginny cut in, syrupy sweet. "Mistletoe."

            And before Harry could quite realize what was happening, he had been nearly slammed against the wall and Ginny . . . was kissing him.

            Ginny Weasley was kissing him.

            He was being kissed by Ginny Weasley.

            The first thing that occurred to him was that this wasn't actually bad at all.

            The second was that Fred and George were going to shove his head into a toilet.

            Those thoughts, amongst a million or so other bewildered ones that were still trying to register the fact that he was, in fact, kissing Ginny Weasley, all swirled through his head, making him a bit dizzy. It felt something like traveling by Floo Powder, only decidedly more pleasant.

            And then she pulled away, and his thoughts arranged themselves in order. The head-in-a-toilet one came out on top, but it was a close thing.

            Michael and Cho were staring blankly at them.

            "Sorry," Ginny said, smiling pleasantly. "Holiday tradition, you know."

            "Um. Right. Happy Christmas," Michael said, grabbing Cho's arm. The pair of them took off rather quickly down the corridor.

            Only then did Ginny turn to Harry.

            "Er," she said, and Harry noticed that she looked slightly flustered. Of course, that was really nothing compared to how he felt. "I'm sorry about that, Harry. I was just .. . . sometimes I do stupid things when I'm annoyed. Yes. So. Sorry about that." She took a breath, then said crisply, "But we did show them, huh?"

            Harry didn't know if he was up to using as many words as it would take to point out that he really hadn't had anything to do with it.

            "Yeah," he replied instead.

            "Let's go to dinner, shall we?" Ginny asked, seeming very much as though she hadn't just slammed him into a wall and kissed him like there was no tomorrow approximately a minute and a half ago.

            "Yeah," Harry said again.

            They turned around and set off toward the Great Hall, Ginny babbling all the while about the upcoming Quidditch Match. Harry attempted to listen, but found that his mind was still reeling just a bit too much to be able to focus on sports.

            Fancy that.

            Ron and Hermione were already sitting at the Gryffindor table when they arrived; their bickering fest still hadn't let up.

            "And it's not as though the holidays get over tomorrow, Hermione. Christmas hasn't even happened yet! You're just going to have to face it sooner or later that not all of us do our homework the second it's assigned—"

            "I'm just trying to teach you the slightest bit of responsibility, Ron-"

            "Yeah, well, I—" Ron looked up to see Harry and Ginny approaching. "Where have you two been?"

            Harry opened his mouth to reply and discovered that he had yet to regain the power of coherent speech.

            "Talking in the hall," Ginny replied, perfectly composed as she sat down next to Hermione. "We ran into some people."

            "Oh," Ron said, taking a sip of pumpkin juice. "So . . ." He glanced over at Harry and studied him for a moment. "What's up with you?"

            "What?" Harry croaked.

            "You look funny," Ron informed him. "What happened?"

            "Nothing," Harry replied, as convincingly as he could (which wasn't very), and sunk down in the empty seat next to Ron.

            While doing so he managed, quite skillfully, to stick his elbow in the butter dish.

            Karma really was a bit of a git.