"Happy Birthday, Ginny"

Ginny eagerly unwrapped Hermione's gift, giving a small squeal as she saw it was a book. Of course, she wouldn't have made any sound at all if it wasn't; she probably would have stared speechless at it in surprise, wondering if it was suddenly going to transfigure itself into a piece of literature. But it wasn't like she was expecting anything different from Hermione, and this one looked more interesting than some she'd recieved. She glanced at the title.

"Hermione! What is this? '101 Beauty Secrets to Captivate your Crush?' This doesn't seem like your type of thing," she said in a shocked voice.

"It isn't, but it seemed like yours, and besides, I've always been a little curious if there's some charm to fix this." She held up a handful of bushy brown hair. "Not permanently, I mean, but I wanted to see what it looked like when it wasn't turned into plastic by Sleakeazys. I thought we could, you know, have a girl's night after the party."

"Girl's night?" Ginny stared at her. "You mean, without homework invol ved?"

Hermione blushed. "Well, you can't blame me. My only close friends besides you are boys, and sometimes you just need to get away."

"Yeah," Ginny answered. "I guess I know where you're coming from. Six brothers and all. Besides, I'll need some fun after the 'party' anyways, although I'm not really sure if you could call a million relatives pinching your cheeks and saying how much you've grown a party."

Hermione blush receded as she grinned and turned towards the door. "We'd better head down, "she said, stepping into the hall and walking downstairs. Ginny followed her, trying to make herself appear as unnoticeable as possible.

"Ginevra!" A short, chubby, middle-aged woman pulled Ginny into a bone-crushing hug and pinched her cheeks. "My, how you've grown!" Ginny gave Hermione a 'I-told-you-so' look and edged out of her Aunt's (or was it her Great Aunt? She couldn't remember) way, only to run into a tall man with faded red hair streaked with white.

"Ginny! My big girl! How old are you, twenty-five?" Ginny laughed weakly at the joke he'd been making since she was born and escaped her Uncle's grasp. Just then, what looked like two tiny black and orange cannonballs barreled into her, leaving her gasping for breath and on the floor.

"Chudley Cannons RULE!" Her twin cousins yelled, looking warlike as they hit her simultaneously with a pair of inflatable beater's bats while she tried to pull herself to her feet.

"So I've heard," she muttered. She lifted her eyes to see who would be the next to smash her in some way, and instead found herself staring into the eyes of Harry Potter.

"Err... you okay?" He asked lamely, wondering what he was doing.

"Yeah," Ginny replied, dusting off her robes. "I'm used to it."

"Oh. Well, I was... I was supposed to tell you that it's time to blow out the candles," Harry said, desperately hoping that people in the magical world put candles on their birthday cakes. But Ginny nodded, and he sighed in relief. Before he could do anything else stupid, he disappeared into the crowd of redheads, finally knowing how the Weasley's felt when they could be traced by the color of their hair.

After managing to get through another few hours of relatives hugging the breath out of her, and "Happy Birthday" sang over and over by the twins in high-pitched voice, she collapsed on her bed upstairs.

"I see what you mean about the relatives," Hermione said. "I wasn't the one being the human quaffle and I was getting worn out."

"Human Bludger. But I understand what you mean. Especially since I already had to live with a pair of constantly sugar-high twins," she grinned. "And to top it off—"

She was interrupted by Ron, who unceremoniously entered the room and dumped a pile of presents haphazardly onto her bed. "You forgot them downstairs," he said, before making his voice singsong. "Happy Birthday Geneeeeeeeeeeeeevra, Happy Birthday to you."

"Thanks for the song, BILLIUS, dear," Ginny said maliciously, knowing that the age-old tradition of teasing Ron about his middle name would embarrass him the more than usual with Hermione in the room. Sure enough, he only paused to glare at Ginny before dashing out of the room.

"Billius? BILLIUS?" Hermione burst out laughing. "I always wondered why he wouldn't even tell anyone his middle name. He wouldn't even tell Harry, so I knew it had to be bad."

She stopped laughing at the look on Ginny's face. "What's wrong? Harry didn't get you a birthday present?"

Ginny shook her head. "He could have at least said 'Happy Birthday.' I mean, I spent all of my allowance on that Quidditch set for his birthday, so shouldn't at least get a card? We aren't as close as you guys, but he's been talking to me quite a bit more, lately, and I thought..." She trailed off with a small sigh. "I'm being silly. It's my birthday. It's supposed to be a happy time, right?" She pulled out two Butterbeer Extras from underneath her bed. "Want one?"

"I can't believe you have this stuff and your Mum hasn't found out, " Hermione said, glancing at the label as she chewed nervously on her lower lip. Without thinking about it, Ginny knew she was comparing the alcohol content to regular Butterbeer. "Oh, Ginny, we really shouldn't..."

"Please?" Ginny asked, popping the lid off her own and taking a swig. "I hardly ever do it either, but this is a special occasion."

"Oh, all right, but just a sip," Hermione carefully twisted off her own lid. Ginny beamed at her as she lifted up her book. She frowned slightly as she read the back.

"Hermione, we can't use this tonight—I forgot all about the no-magic- outside-of-school rule. I doubt we're going to get far without our wands."

Hermione waved away the comment. "I did the calculations—right now, with the war and all, the ministry doesn't have a whole lot of time to bother with a little underage magic, and even if they did, these spells are so minor they wouldn't even be picked up. Besides, there's so much magic going on in this house they couldn't possibly distinguish if it was them or us. Don't worry about it." She daintily took a small sip of the Butterbeer.

Ginny was impressed against her will. "You sure do your research. Will you try this on me?" She pointed to a page of the book, showing "Three easy steps to an instant French manicure." Hermione waved her wand neatly, and Ginny's nails transformed. She sighed happily.

"Every time my nails come close to looking this nice, mom calls me out to the garden for de-gnoming," she said. "Shame it's only temporary."

"Yeah," Hermione agreed, running her wand tip along sections of hair, which immediately straightened itself to near perfection. Rummaging through her suitcase, she pulled out her too-small dress robes from her fourth year and slipped them on. They still fit, although they were a little tight around her waist and chest. She gave a small sigh herself.

"Ah, well, they don't look quite as glamorous as they did at the ball," She frowned at herself in Ginny's full-length mirror.

Ginny muttered a spell under her breath, and the robes shortened to above her knees and morphed into a bright red. Hermione jumped.

"Giiiiiiney," she moaned, turning into a circle, "I look like some sort of... some sort of... scarlet woman." She said, using the term Ron had used in their fourth year. With a quick flick of her wrist, she modified Ginny's robes until they were the same length, and in the same motion brought her heels up another inch and a half. "There, perfect." With that, they both burst into insane giggles, Hermione falling to the floor as she tripped on her own heightened heels and took another gulp of her butterbeer, feeling a little dizzy. Just then they heard a knock at the door.

"Damn!" Ginny whispered, grabbing both of their bottles and shoving them under her bed. "Mum can smell alcohol a mile away..." Unsteady on her high heels, Ginny threw her hair over her shoulder and attempted to look calm.

"Who is it?" she called cracking the door. She glanced through the crack, and for the second time that day found herself looking into the brilliant green eyes of Harry.

"Oh, hi," she gave him a surprised look, pulling herself outside of the door before she remembered what she was wearing. "One second, I'll be right out." She stepped back in the room, leaving Harry fidgeting alone. What was he thinking? This was possibly one of the most stupid things he'd ever done, which was saying a lot. And he obviously couldn't have picked a worst time to do it—Ginny and Hermione were obviously doing some sort of girly thing, he would have remembered if she had been wearing those short robes earlier, and she definitely hadn't had her hair like that, all shiny and curly like she was going to some sort of ball... Harry shook his head and slapped himself mentally. Thinking thoughts like that would only make the rejection worse...

"'Mione, throw me something to wear from the closet, will you?"

Hermione sifted through her belongings before pulling out a humongous sweatshirt with a large B on the front. One of Bill's hand-me-down jumpers, naturally.

"That's fine," she whispered urgently, slipping it over her head. It came down past her knees. It would do.

"Wait," Hermione whispered back, pulling out her wand again. "Tasetus Refreshus." Ginny gave her a strange look. Hermione really couldn't hold her liquor if a half a bottle of Butterbeer Extra was making her perform random spells.

"Sorry about that," she said, stepping back out and hurriedly pulling off her heels.

Harry nodded, although he was looking at her curiously. He looked nervous about something; he kept pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose, which was a sure sign. She'd spent enough time watching him to know by now.

"Well, I um... I forgot to give you your present," he said, handing her a small box with Chudley Cannons wrapping paper. "Sorry about the wrapping, I didn't have anything else."

Ginny gave him a shy smile and quickly pulled off the paper, wondering she was imagining things. Harry, coming up to her room to give HER a present? It was too perfect to be real. With a trembling hand, she pulled out a silver bracelet. Looking closer, she saw tiny moving charms on it; a minute chaser who kept throwing a quaffle into another silver goalpost, a little book which kept opening and closing as if blown by the wind, and...

"A heart?" she whispered glancing up at him and softly fingering the charm, which seemed to be the only one that stayed stationary.

Harry, however, seemed to be deeply interested in examining the cracks on the floor, the portion of his face that was visible a deep scarlet.

"Well... I know that you're going with Dean Thomas and all, but I thought--"

"What do you mean? When did I start dating Dean Thomas?"

"You said... on the train..."

"You believe everything I say to my brother?"

"Well, no, but—anyway, you said you were over me—"

Ginny grinned again. "You really need to get your facts right. I said I'd given up on you, not gotten over you."

"Oh," Harry continued looking embarrassed, but at the same time incredibly happy. Ginny tried to be rational and not come to conclusions, but the fact that she was having a conversation that was heading in This direction with Harry made her so happy she felt as if she were going to burst. 'Calm and in control,' she repeated to herself in her head. 'I am calm and in control.' Yeah, right. Trying to stop herself from shaking, stepped closer and summoned all of her courage.

"Should I have? Given up on you, I mean?"

Harry desperately wondered what the right answer to the question was, and finally went for the truth.

"No," he said softly, knowing that he had said the right thing as soon as the words left his mouth, "I came around eventually."

Carefully brushing back a curly hair that had fallen into her eyes, he leaned over and softly touched his lips to hers. It was magic (no, not literally for once); her lips were soft, and her breath was sweet and minty, which came as something of a relief; when she had first come out of the room with the overlarge sweater, he had thought she might have been drinking, and he didn't want to kiss her only to find out it was the result of alcohol. And there was something else, something he hadn't felt when he had kissed Cho. He couldn't quite put his finger on it, but it was there. Ginny pulled back in a daze, trying to contemplate what had just happened.

"Happy Birthday, Ginny."

Ginny only grinned back at him, silently agreeing. It had definitely been the happiest birthday of her life.


A/N: TA DA! I'm kind of proud of this since I'm pretty sure it's my longest one-shot so far. I know I should be working on my chapter-length fic, but I've written the next chapter of it over and over and it still comes out so darn BORING that I don't want to post it. Oh, and just a note about this fic, Ginny was NOT all that drunk when she kissed Harry, she'd barely made a dent in her butterbeer. Anyway, imagine that Harry and Ginny became friends that summer, and also imagine that Ginny's birthday is sometime at the beginning of summer, and Harry just never was there for it until now, since he got to come to the Weasley's house early this year. Oh, and you've probably already figured out that the spell Hermione cast was for Ginny's breath. Get it? Got it? Good. All right, I've been trying to restrain myself from going back to the annoying habit of begging for reviews, but...

Pleeeeeeeeeeeease review! Please? Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease!!!!!

Okay, I'm done. Couldn't resist. (o: