Author's Note: This is the sequel to "Men Love With Their Eyes" which I strongly suggest you read first – otherwise aspects of this fic simply won't make sense. It takes place between the final chapter of "Men Love With Their Eyes" and the epilogue. Enjoy!Prologue: Summer Lovin'
There were reasons, Ginny reminded herself sternly, why her Mum had told her not to talk to strangers. Not Harry Potter was a stranger in the strictest sense of course – but there was no doubt that he was considerably odder than anyone else she knew (except for Luna, and well Luna was special.) Thus, she shouldn't talk to him.
She stared at her reflection, fascinated by the cycles of meaningless thoughts that swirled in her mind, and smoothed lip balm over her lips. The house was very quiet and so she had a rare opportunity to indulge in that most feminine of habits – what her mother called primping. For most of Ginny's life sitting in front of a mirror, for any reason at all (except of course for shaving) had been treated as a deviant tendency that must be stamped out with all necessary force. The twins could really be annoying at times.
She considered pinning her hair but after a few minutes gave up in disgust – there was simply too much of it. Her arm ached from the effort of twisting it into a bun. Anyway, she wasn't trying to look good for anyone. She snorted at her own evasions, and flopped down on her bed, staring out of the window.
Fine. She could admit it.
She was nervous. Petrified in fact. Bloody Harry Potter was coming to stay – for a month – and there wasn't a single thing she could do about it. Everyone loved Harry. It didn't strike any of them that he could be an infuriatingly dense excuse for a wizard, who didn't even notice when somebody kissed him. Git.
She shouldn't have done it of course – she had only herself to blame. It was just, he had looked so tired, and so sad at the prospect of going back to the Dursleys, that she hadn't been able to help herself. Not that it had been a proper kiss – just a peck on the cheek – but the point was, Ginny never touched Harry. She had given it all away – in that one stupid, unguarded moment, she had let him know everything.
Of course, it was entirely possible that he hadn't noticed. His letters (actual letters, addressed to her, not just postscripts tacked on to Ron's letters, expressing a devout if meaningless hope that she was well) hadn't seemed strange, or awkward or anything.
It was an unfortunate side effect of primping, that the silence required for its execution also facilitated brooding. Ginny knew very well that it wouldn't do to think about Harry any more – she had far more important things to spend her time on. The thing was though, that he tended to pop up in the moments when she had nothing to do – and thus Ginny brooded. Inevitably there gaps between her fears about Lord Voldemort, her worry about her family, her grief for the friends who had died already and dread for the ones who surely would die before the war was over – and Harry tended to fill those gaps.
In a way she was grateful – at least she could still pretend that she was still a normal girl if she was mooning over some boy – but she resented it at the same time. How come it never affected him? Why didn't Harry spend hours puzzling over the exact meaning of her calling him "a lifesaver"?
Ginny winced at the pun, yet again, and wondered why she was condemned to be so befuddled by him. She could blame it on the Weasley heritage (Ron was a case in point) but the fact was, not everyone in her clan was doomed to languish in love – look at Bill. He certainly didn't have any problems with the opposite sex (though of course the comparison between a dashing curse-breaker and a long-skirted school girl went along way towards explaining that.)
True her situation wasn't as hopeless as she liked to make out. He didn't like anyone else as far as she knew (and since Ron and Hermione had both been at great pains to point this out, her knowledge was fairly accurate.) She wasn't hideous, and they seemed to get on…but until she heard him say it, she couldn't act on her feelings for him. The possibility of rejection, and the unspeakable embarrassment it would involve, and the ensuing damage to their friendship, was just too painful to even contemplate.
So she didn't contemplate it – ever. No matter what Hermione said (and since she had arrived at the Burrow she had said plenty) Ginny was not going to delude herself with false hope. She saved that for her hopes that everyone she loved would simply survive the war – she had none left for her love life.
Ginny was be roused, from a truly unhealthy amount of brooding, by a large crash downstairs. Picking up her wand she made her way down the stairs – not that she expected anything dangerous, but it never hurt to be careful.
The crash however had a rather more mundane source – Harry Potter falling out of the fireplace. His glasses had fallen off, and Ginny picked them off the floor and dusted them off with her top before handing them back to him. Sliding her wand into the back pocket of her jeans she said, "Still having trouble with that Floo powder?"
"Don't put your wand there! Better witches than you have lost a buttock you know!"
"Who do you know who's lost a buttock?"
Harry grinned and threw his arms around her – Ginny found herself buried in a white shirt. "I'm so glad to see you," he said, and she was surprised by the sincerity of his voice. She cocked her head upwards, looking at him curiously – powerfully reminded of the day she finished her OWLs, and also attempting to repress that memory as much as possible. Harry smelt clean, like the sweet scent of grass on a rainy day, and his body was very hard against hers.
At just that moment Ron came tumbling out of the fireplace, and Fred and George clattered through the back door. Ginny sprang away from Harry immediately, concentrating desperately on not blushing. Fred took one look at them and said, "Not interrupting any touching reunions are we?"
Harry flushed up a bit, and scowled as George added, "It's just if we're about to witness a touching display of young love, let us know so we can find the sick bucket."
Ginny's mind, usually full of glib responses, froze completely – it was only Hermione's sudden arrival though the fireplace, followed by Tonks, her Mum, Hestia, Lupin and her Dad, that saved her. She moved away from Harry as quickly as possible, forcing down a shuddering sigh at the thought of feeling him so close – she had forgotten what it was like.
It was an hour or two before she spoke to him again – the Burrow was full of so many chattering presences that he was easy to avoid. It was only when she had caught him staring at her for the fourth time that she opened her mouth. "Have I something on my face?"
Harry flushed again. "No. Nothing."
"Well, then, what is it?"
"No – no it's not." Ginny wasn't sure why she was being so perverse, but blast him, he just couldn't look at her like that and say it was nothing.
Harry swallowed, his eyes moving from his plate to her face several times before saying, "It's just…you look really…pretty today."
It sometimes happens in a room filled with people that a sudden silence will fall, and such was the case now. Harry's comment echoed down the table, and Ginny could tell he was considering burying his head in his hands (or possibly under the table) as everyone turned to stare at him. But instead of giving in to the embarrassment, Harry raised his head defiantly and said, "Well? Doesn't she?"
Everyone nodded, Hermione with a pointed smile, and Lupin introduced a less astounding subject of conversation. Soon everyone was chatting away as usual, and Harry became involved in a Quidditch discussion with Fred and George – though he didn't miss her sending him a small smile of gratitude.
There were times when Ginny didn't know why she loved Harry Potter so much – this wasn't one of them.