Harry blinked. He blinked again.
Ginny – calm, collected Ginny – gave him an expectant look.
He was stiff as a board and he had never blushed so hard in his life. He felt rather sure that at any given moment he was going to spontaneously combust. He felt a sudden sympathy for Fawkes.
How this had happened, he wasn't entirely sure. He had been in a bad mood because he was always in a bad mood these days. He hadn't wanted to return to Grimmauld Place ever again. It was the first time he hadn't minded the enforced labor of Privet Drive if it meant escaping other thoughts, but now he was here, trapped inside memories of anger and veils and Sirius.
So he had holed himself up in Sirius's old room and did not come out, even for meals. Of course this upset many, but he didn't care. He just didn't have the heart to care how much it bothered everyone else because they didn't understand, not really, not like he understood it.
Every day since his self-imposed imprisonment a new person had come by in hopes of coaxing him out of hiding, with the obvious exceptions of Ron and Hermione who came by several times a day if they didn't just loiter outside his door doing homework and playing chess.
But then, the most unpredictable thing happened.
He was halfway through finishing his frantic pacing around the room, partially from going stir-crazy and partly because his anger was overwhelming once more. He hadn't been able to ward the room closed like he would have liked, so he had moved a giant heavy dresser in front of the door.
And it had burst forward with a loud explosion. Ginny stood there politely surveying the damage. She looked up at his shocked face, before carefully stepping into the room. Once inside, she raised a wand and repaired everything.
"You're not suppose to do magic!" was the first rational thought he could process.
She turned to him and shrugged. "Bill's wand," she said, holding up the article, a mad twinkle in her eye he had always found quite attractive on her. He looked away.
"Just leave me alone, alright? I don't want to talk about it! I don't want to talk about anything! I just want to be left –"
At this point, he had been rendered defeated and somewhere on the brink of spontaneous combustion.
Ginny Weasley, as calm as you please, had walked straight up to him, dropped Bill's wand, grabbed his hands, and placed them on her breasts.
He had stopped breathing. He tried to pull his hands back feebly, but hers firmly held them in place, and then –and then—she began massaging her breasts with his hands, all the while with the most polite expression – caring and concerned, as though asking if it made everything better.
Harry did not have the mental capacity to think about everything let alone anything other than the stimulation his hands were feeling. After a moment her hands holding his in place had dropped and his continued their glorious rubbing. His fingers had never felt anything more incredible in his life.
"Harry," she whispered softly and his whole body seemed to tremble with just that word. "Breathe," she said in a slightly amused tone.
At this point, he realized that he had not been breathing, and he gasped in air into his lungs. Rational thought seemed to come along with it.
He dropped his hands and stumbled backward. His legs hit his bed and he fell backwards onto it.
She looked at him, a soft smile and sigh escaping her lips as she saw how absolutely terrified he was of her and what she could possibly do next.
"Ginerva Weasley!" Bill called through the door and she grinned. "You give me back my wand this instant!"
She rolled her eyes and strolled to where his wand was. She picked it up, and used it to slide the dresser aside, before walking to the door and opening it politely.
Harry was quite sure he was about to die, and it was not at the hands of Lord Voldemort, but at the hands of six red-haired Weasley men. Looking at the odds, he rather thought he'd prefer Lord Voldemort.
But then, something strange happened. He did not see Bill standing in the doorway, but a ginger-haired…kitten. Ginny picked it up and started cooing and petting it.
"This is not funny!" Bill's voice said from the little kit's mouth. "Crookshanks thinks I'm his new baby and won't stop licking me every time he sees me!"
"Where's my two galleons?" she asked, ignoring his raving.
"Two galleons? Two galleons! I said I'd pay you to shine my wand, not use it against me you little—"
She held up his wand, which was shined to a perfect polish. "Now you don't really want to be throwing insults at me, do you my ickle Bilius?"
The kitty cat glared and hissed at her. She laughed. "Alright, come along, and I'll change you back."
She turned back to Harry, who was still in a stasis of shock that he was rather sure he would never recover from.
"I'll come by later then, shall I Harry? And we can finish talking then."
The door closed. Harry's head felt much too heavy and he fell back on his bed. He closed his eyes. When had he last slept? He tried to clear his mind but his hands tingled too horribly.
Ginny snuck into the room in the night. She said nothing as she crossed the room. Harry sat up. "Ginny?" Harry asked sleepily, pulling on his glasses from his bedside table. "What are you doing in here? What's wro—" Ginny straddled his lap and she put his hands on her breasts. After a moment, she began rocking her hips. "Isn't it obvious?" she asked in her coy voice. "I want you to feel better."
Harry startled awake, shooting up in bed and panting. After a moment of cooling his thoughts –thank Merlin he was finally getting a good handle on Occlumency –he realized that for the first time in what seemed like forever, he was hungry. Starving in fact, and as he looked at the clock on the mantle, he realized that dinner was probably being served.
Conversation stopped abruptly as he entered the kitchen where everyone was seated.
"Hello Harry dear," Molly said after a moment. "Come have a seat and I'll fix you a plate."
After that, conversation resumed and Harry did his best to answer any questions or commentary sent his way, mostly tactful things from Ron and Hermione, while staring incredible hard at his plate. For some reason, whenever his eyes lifted above their designated area, they always managed to find Ginny's breasts – her perfect, gorgeous, round and soft breasts – in his direct line of sight. Immediately he would look back down to his plate.
No one seemed to notice these furtive and incredibly quick glances, or if they had, did not dream of taking it for what it really was. Harry had helped clear up dishes with Mrs. Weasley who was complaining about Fred and George in her typical manner, which only required Harry to nod and mumble agreement at appropriate intervals.
He went to hand Mrs. Weasley a plate and looked into her warm, smiling face. He wondered suddenly if that was what Ginny would look like when she was older. Blushing at the thought, he turned back to the sink. It was a nice thought, getting to see Ginny grow old…with him.
That, of course, was supposing he even survived, let alone making sure she survived. His heart hurt again, and so excused himself as they finished and trudged up the stairs to his room. He closed the door and pushed the dresser in front of it.
He let out a startled cry as he turned around to see Ginny lying on his bed, reading one of his Quidditch books. She looked over at him quite amused. He panicked and began backing towards the door, but their eyes caught and he knew there was no way he could move the dresser in time to escape before she pounced.
"Come here Harry," she said and he was reminded of Sirens and their fatal calls.
"I don't want to," he said, remembering his dream suddenly. She sat up and came to him.
"Harry," she said politely. His hands twitched and begged with her this close, and his spine tingled as she said his name. He was breathing steadily this time at least.
"Do you want to touch me?" she asked. His jaw dropped slightly. How could she be so incredible passé when he –when he!
She frowned. "You don't understand why I'm doing this, do you?" she asked, but it wasn't really a question. "I've never let another boy touch me like this, in case you think I'm just this easy. I'm not. I'm actually somewhat of a prude with most boys."
Her head tilted softly to the side. "But you aren't most boys Harry and you're thoughts aren't the same as most boys." She lifted a hand to his face. "You're gentle and kind and just a little bit afraid I'd imagine.
"And angry, angry with nothing to fight. It sits under your skin and burns but you can't get rid of it. Your heart produces more with every beat and you can't make it stop. It keeps going until it seems to consume your whole body until it doesn't make you angry, it just makes you hurt all over, only nothing will fix it. There's no potion or charm, no lotion or band-aid that will make it go away, no matter how much you wish it would."
"But there is something that helps, something very therapeutic. It's touch, Harry, and I'm rather sure you haven't had enough of it in your life," she said, her hands coming to his chest and sliding up to his shoulders, her eyes digging deep into his. She stepped closer and her hands slid around him, one sliding into his hair to stroke the soft locks as she hugged him with all the strength in her.
"And whenever you need it Harry, I'll never be afraid to touch you, or to have you touch me," she whispered to him. His body trembled like a child underneath her hands.
"Gin," he said, but the word came out choked and ragged with tears.
And that suddenly, he was falling to the floor with her as he sobbed, his head burying itself against her chest, and she held him there tightly, whispering words of comfort in her soft, warm voice as he drenched her robe.
Harry came down the next morning for breakfast, not sure exactly what had happened after he had fallen asleep, or how Ginny had managed to get him into his bed. But he had slept the most peaceful night he had ever had without a single dream.
This morning he had woken up and had felt…lighter somehow. All of his emotions were still there – the anger and the pain—but it was distant, as though he had accepted them now. The walls didn't suffocate him and the smells and sounds of breakfast and laughter coming from below didn't make him bitter.
He sat down next to Ginny and a plate was placed in front of him. Ron and Hermione were obviously excited about his presence that for once wasn't yelling at them to get away. It wasn't long before they got into an argument – Hermione made a passing coming about Quidditch that Ron had taken to be a slur – and Harry took the moment of distraction to look down and slide his hand into Ginny's under the table.
He looked up at her, as if asking for permission, and she smiled and squeezed his hand.
"I mean, am I right Harry?" Ron asked. Hermione huffed.
"Huh? Yeah, yeah, Ron. Of course you are," he said, because they had to present a united front when it came to Quidditch.
"Oh honestly, you two," Hermione exclaimed, and once again Harry tuned out the conversation, eating slowly and letting his fingers play with Ginny's.
Maybe the summer at Grimmauld Place wasn't going to be so bad after all.
AN: a little lime for all of us forced to drink tequila. Cookies for everyone who reviews!