Author's Note: Hey, all! This is my third story. I'm not sure how great it is, considering I wrote it all in one day in the span of a few hours. But it's short and definitely sweet. It's taken me a while to come up with any new ideas, but finally I did, so - ta-da! PLEASE remember to Read and Review! It's very important to me. Thanks a lot!
Disclaimer: I don't own anything!
One thing that Harry Potter learned about Ginny Weasley over the course of his sixth year was that she was a very sound sleeper. Once, during the summer after fifth year, Ginny had fallen asleep on the living room couch of the Burrow. Snickering evilly, Fred and George had lit ten of the loudest, most raucous and ostentatious fireworks they owned near Ginny's head. Ginny barely even stirred, although she was slightly hard of hearing the next day. She herself had admitted to Harry that she slept like a rock on most nights, one time when they were discussing dreams they had had in the past.
So when he went downstairs one night in early October in his seventh year, only to find Ginny curled up on the common room sofa, he knew nothing, not a dragon's roar, nor an elephant stampeding through Gryffindor Tower, nor a hundred alarms going off simultaneously, was going to wake that girl up.
It was near two in the morning, he was sure. For the fifth time that week he couldn't sleep, and the source of his restlessness happened to be laying right there in front of him, slumbering peacefully on the crimson couch. To put it bluntly he fancied her, and had for some time now. The only problem was - how in Merlin's name did he tell her? Scenario after scenario had played itself out in Harry's head at night, attributing to the fact that he often couldn't nod off; he had formulated charming things to say or do, amassed certain things he wanted her to know. Yet he had no courage to express any of it to her in real life. It had been torturing him endlessly for weeks, if not months.
Seeing her there, comatose on the couch, Harry had to smile to himself. A silver mug of hot chocolate sat, half-finished and still rather warm, on the table beside the sofa. It was a tradition of Ginny's, Harry knew, to fetch some hot chocolate and lay down in the common room when she was having trouble sleeping. Perhaps she had had one of her nightmares about Tom Riddle again, Harry thought. Whatever the reason she had come down there, she was certainly finding no fault in sleep now - her face was totally relaxed and tranquil, her breathing deep and even.
Harry half hesitated, then approached her soundlessly. The fire was all but dead in the grate; only a few golden embers cast a feeble light into the room. Moonlight from the windows provided the rest of the illumination, silver and graceful. Carefully he knelt down in front of her face, paled by the moonlight, before he remembered he had no need to be careful - he could've played a tuba straight into Ginny's ear and still she would probably not awaken.
And it was this realization that made him start talking, saying what he had been planning to say to her for a long time. What did it matter? The girl wasn't going to wake up.
Just in case, though . . .
"Ginny. Ginny. Ginny!"
Nothing. Not the vaguest response.
With that, Harry grew confidence. Making himself comfortable on the floor beside the couch, he tucked a few strands of fiery hair behind her ear for her, and began.
"Ginny, you and I have known each other for a long time. Your family has taken me in, given me a lot, done so much for me. And . . . Ginny, you have too. So much. More than you could ever know, probably. And I know I'm a prat for not having realized it before, but you've been here all the time, haven't you? You've been a constant in my life since day one, since that first time I saw you at Platform Nine and Three Quarters. You've always been there for me. In fifth year when I was being a certifiable git almost all the time . . . you were there to put me in my place. Not even Ron and Hermione dared to do that. You comforted me when no one else could, and you helped me without question, always.
"And when Sirius died . . ." He paused and stared at his lap for a few seconds, then went on, "When Sirius died . . . I thought the world was over. I really did. I thought, 'What good is life anymore? What's the point, the purpose? I'm just going to die anyway, and my friends are too, if I don't stay away from them. I'm going to kill them just like I killed Sirius.' And . . . well . . . you know as well as I do how I was then . . . it was terrible. One of the worst times of my life. But you . . . you showed me hope. You always followed me when I hid away, brooding, and you were kind when you needed to be and, well, bellowing when you had to be. You helped me see it wasn't my fault Sirius had died, that Voldemort's to blame. You even started saying his name that summer, remember? And slowly, I got better. You did that, Gin. I think Ron still takes credit for that, but it was you. Completely.
"But when I had accepted Sirius's death I was faced with the prospect of my own - that is to say, the prophecy. I hadn't told anyone; I'd been harboring it deep inside myself for months. It was killing me. I couldn't deal with all that by myself . . . and you cornered me one day, and you forced me to tell you. And then the confidence you showed in me! I've never had half as much confidence in myself as you did in me at that moment. You just said, 'You'll defeat him, Harry, I know you will.' And that was all I needed to hear."
"Then in sixth year . . . wow . . . you gave up your position as Seeker just so I could be Seeker again. Who else would do that? That was so generous of you, Ginny, so kind . . . I can't tell you how much that meant to me. And then you became Gryffindor's star Chaser, of course, and you helped Ron deal with all the trials and tribulations of his captaincy. And you and I also teamed up to get Ron and Hermione together . . . now that was a feat. I really don't think anything would've been done between them had you not given them a push.
"I know I didn't really know you that well before fifth year, but - during sixth year especially - I really got to know you. And like you, and not just because you're related to my best friend, either, because I know you might think that sometimes. But I like you for you. You became my good friend. We played chess together . . . you walloped me every time but once, when I cheated, which you found out a week later and hexed me to tap dance the rest of the day. We played Quidditch together, did homework together. And then we both started having nightmares . . . Voldemort related ones, usually, except for that one I had where Ron decided he wanted to be a woman and started wearing lipstick and a red dress - oy, still one of the scariest of my dreams to date, but anyway . . .
"So we started getting up in the middle of the night and coming down here, and soon you started suggesting hot chocolate, so I showed you the Invisibility Cloak and we began sneaking down to the kitchens and fetching great mugs of it. It was an accident the first few times, our meeting up in the common room; then we started coming down here planning on seeing each other - well, I don't know about you, at least that's how it was for me. You might've simply come down for the hot chocolate, I don't know. At first we just talked about our nightmares and things weighing on our mind . . . then it started getting into other stuff. I told you things I'd barely told Ron and Hermione, and you told me details about your first year, with the Chamber and all. Maybe you couldn't tell, but I really loved those midnight talks. They were all that kept me going for a while. . . .
"Don't you see, Ginny? Don't you see how important you are to us, to everyone? To - to me," he added quietly. He knew he would've been beet-red if he'd been been announcing this to an awake Ginny, but the knowledge that she was asleep and insensible to everything he was saying was quite confidence-boosting.
"Ginny, I don't know if you like me anymore like that . . . I know you once did . . . but then in fifth year you - what did Hermione say? - gave up on me? And you started going with 'that Corner git,' as Ron would call him. Then in sixth year it was Dean for a few months . . . but you haven't dated anybody in a while now. And you and I have been doing quite a bit together for some time . . . we even went to Hogsmeade together a few weeks ago, when Hermione and Ron wanted to spend the day alone with each other. That was one of the best Hogsmeade visits I've ever been on. Much better than with Cho Chang, or, as I now like to think of her, the Human Hosepipe. What was the name you came up with for her again? Oh yeah, Waterworks Woman. I like that. It certainly fits.
"Ha, that reminds me of that time Ron told me I needed someone 'a bit more cheerful.' Which leads me to the point of this useless rambling. Because you are a bit more cheerful - I mean a lot more cheerful - I mean . . . well, you're the person that I need. I, er . . . I'd meant to word it more eloquently, but I guess that doesn't matter, as you're dead asleep and I'm basically talking to myself.
"But I love you, Ginny Weasley. I really, really do. I have for a long time now. And that . . . well, that's . . . that's just what I wanted to say." He wrenched his gaze from the fireplace, onto Ginny's face. It was still and serene and very pretty, in that silvery half-light.
For the first time in hours Harry felt truly tired; unless he missed his guess he would be able to sleep well now. "Goodnight, Gin," he whispered, leaning in close. Tentatively he kissed her on the nose, then, slowly, heavily, retreated up the stairs and to his dormitory.
And, once he had left the common room, once the door to his dormitory had slammed shut for the night, a very awake Ginny Weasley turned over and grinned into her pillow.
Hehe . . . so she was pretending to be asleep that entire time. Poor Harry. Do you think I should leave it how it is, as a sweet, rather ambiguous little one-shot? Or should I add another chapter or two, explaining from Ginny's point-of-view, or perhaps just saying what happened the next day? I'll leave it up to you now, my faithful readers, because - I can't decide! Just include your preference in your review, if you can. Thanks so much! You're the best!