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"Ginny, what's you favorite color?" He asks me.
I can't help but smile, everything feels perfect. The warm summer wind that always sweeps through The Burrow is whipping at my hair, and the grass I'm lying on is as soft as a feather bed, and Harry, Harry is next to me.
I pause at his question.
"Green." I declare confidently, turning and looking straight into his eyes.
He nods, his eyebrows knitting slightly before he turns those piercing eyes of his back to the sunset.
I can't help but give a contented sigh; this, this is perfect.
"What's yours?" I ask him.
"Red." He states simply, eyes never leaving the sky, "I've always fancied red."
"Christmas colors." I say, giggling at nothing.
He turns and locks those gorgeous eyes of his back with mine, clearly befuzzled.
"Christmas colors." I state again, hoping a repeat of the syllables will bring clarification. The look on his face tells me he still has no idea what I'm talking about, "You know, I like green, you like red – together, they make Christmas colors."
His look becomes clouded, and then an impish smile bursts on his face, "I like Christmas colors." He tells me.
" I do too." I agree, tilting my weight over so I'm leaning on one elbow, facing him. It takes all the effort I possess in my short frame to not reach over and brush away a lock of raven hair that's fallen in front of his eyes.
I can't help but giggle when he tries to blow the pesky hair out of his face, tickling his nose, causing him to sneeze and fall back onto the grass.
He lets out a breathy laugh, shutting his eyes briefly, letting his thick eyelashes brush against his porcelain skin. This time, I do let out a small groan – It's hard not to with Harry sitting right next to me.
He cracks one eye open, swiveling it back and forth, searching for the source of the noise, until he settles on me. Uh-oh. Busted. I give my best dismissive smile and a shrug, seeming to satisfy him, he shuts his eyes again, a peaceful smile resting on his lips.
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
He's in another one of his moods again, I can tell.
Ron and Hermione are on Head Duty, leaving him sitting desolately by the fireplace, looking at, but not fully seeing the words in his potions text.
I want to go over and ask him a question, that's how we start conversations now, we ask each other questions – it's our thing. Something's stopping me though.
He looks sad, and for the first time, I feel like I shouldn't make him happy. It's a personal moment, it's intimate, a moment a person only shares with themselves. I don't know why I know – but I can just tell, by that look on his face.
Thoroughly distracted now I try and finish my transfiguration revision, but I can't seem to concentrate. Finally, I give up my lousy homework attempts. After all, the only thing worth studying right now is a bespectacled boy with messy black hair.
I don't know how long I end up watching him, long enough for us to be the last two in the common room.
I can feel the temptation growing again, the temptation to go back and just sit down next to him, but by the time I start to gather my resolve to interrupt his thoughts, he rises from his usual chair, and walks up the staircase without a second glance, potion's text lying open to the same page it's been set to all night long.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I've always liked Hogsmeade weekends, they're…relaxing. I guess it's just because you're away from the school building so there's nothing there to remind you of all the homework you've left on your bed.
I've always liked to go into Hogsmeade alone, although none of my friends understand it.
The way I see it, I'm at school, surrounded by the same people all the time, I need some time to be left to my thoughts.
Then I see him.
The one person I wouldn't mind going into Hogsmeade with.
I watch inconspicuously as he laughs at something Ron says, while Hermione rolls her eyes.
He looks happy today, and I can't help but love that. When Harry's happy, I feel happy, because when Harry has nothing to worry about, you know there's really nothing you have to worry about.
Hermione's stopped in front of a shop to admire something in a window, and I can hear Ron's loud protests and demands that they stop being so slow and make it over to Honeydukes.
Harry's still laughing, and I let out a laugh at seeing his laugh.
I watch curiously as Harry puts a hand up to Ron and looks pointedly at an object in the window. I see him plunge a hand into his robe pocket, pulling out galleons and comparing them to the price of something.
I remain still as Harry enters and exits the shop in record time, gesturing for Hermione and Ron to follow him down the main road, abandoning the shop window.
I've always been overly curious, it's a flaw of mine.
I walk to the window shop and see nothing but some jewelry and a few useless knick-knacks assorted in the glass display. Oh well, if one of those was enough to make Harry happy, then I'll stay happy.
- - - - - - - - - -- -
He's been depressed all day, it's even obvious to the Slytherins, but I suppose he has the right, after all he always is the unwilling receiver of all types of bad fortune.
I dragged Hermione down to the Quidditch Pitch with me to watch the Gryffindor team practice; she didn't want to go, but seemed content at the fact that I let her chew my ear off about SPEW, she never did give that up.
Little did Hermione know I wasn't listening to the complexities of elf rights, but rather, staring after a scrawny boy riding a broomstick, which is much more exciting than it seems.
I watched him like a hawk, every dive, twist, and turn he made I had one eye trained on him. When he pulled into a feint that almost sent him cascading onto the packed earth of the pitch, I let out a loud gasp, loud enough to rip Hermione's attentions away from elves. When he made a catch, I did a silent victory dance in my head, tapping my foot to the non-existent music. I could have stayed there all day watching him, but all good things must come to an end, however unfortunate.
The minute practice was over Hermione sped to the refuge that is Hogwarts, back to her books and her parchment – her world. Me, I lingered behind. I stayed in the shadows of the stands, and watched mutely as Ron and Colin walked back up to the school talking amiably with each other. Following morosely behind them, came Harry, who looked to be in no apparent hurry to reach the confines of the castle.
Sensing the right moment I walk out of the shadows, lightly clearing my throat, stopping Harry in his footsteps.
"What's your favorite season?" I ask him before he can turn around and see it's me who interrupted him.
"Fall," He responds, turning to face me, some of the sorrow leaving his eyes, "You?"
"Summer." I reply instantly, thinking of him and I watching the sunset together.
"Were you watching?" He asks, dropping back a bit so we're standing next to each other.
"Yeah, you looked really good." I reply honestly, I mean, he did look really good. For some reason I feel an infamous Weasley blush creeping up my cheeks, luckily it's mistaken as the fall chill nipping at my skin.
"Thanks." He says shuffling his feet. If I were ever to have any criticism about Harry it would be that he doesn't have enough self-confidence, and he should. Any girl on this planet would be more than happy to tell him that he's the most innocently gorgeous, kind-hearted, and just simply nicest person in the world. I just wish he'd believe it for himself.
I realize that for the first time that somewhere along the way we started walking towards the lake. I'm perfectly content with that, but I'm not content with the way Harry's standing.
He looks as stiff as a board. His shoulders are rigid and his face is pinched. I can't take that look on him anymore.
"Is something bothering you?" I ask.
"It's Halloween." He tells me. If I'm telling the truth, which I am, his answer confuses me, what does Halloween have anything to do with it – but I'm smart enough not to ask.
"Oh," I offer lamely, "It's a nice day." I say, pointing to the sky, trying to steer the conversation onto happier things. Harry isn't biting at the bait.
"They died on Halloween," He says quietly, "My parents."
No wonder he's been acting so moody, poor guy. We're at the lake now, by the edge of the forbidden forest, and my heart is wrenching for him. Before I can stop myself I reach out and grab his cold hand into my gloved one, pulling him back towards me, and enveloping him in the warmest embrace I can manage.
As soon as I wrap my arms around his thin frame I feel him stiffen, sending another jet of pain through me. Partly for him, and partly for the worry that he's stiffening because it's me hugging him.
I can feel my heart beat quicken as I go through all of the worst case scenarios involving Harry hating me in my head, and unconsciously find myself tightening my hold on him. Luckily, that unwitting reassurance seems to bolster his confidence.
I can feel my breath hitch in my throat as he brings his arms around me slowly, loosely at first, and then more securely. Before I can form any coherent thought he's squeezing me tighter than anyone ever has, he's burrowed his head into my neck, and his breathing is ragged.
I hold him back just as tight, happy to be there for him, he needs someone right now, but there's another reason as well. The same terrifying thought keeps spinning through my head… 'What if this is the only time I ever hold him?'
- - -
We stayed out all afternoon talking as I held him tight, and he held me back. For a few years we've always have been unspoken confidants – if something goes wrong with either one of us, the other is willing to listen.
But this, this was the first time I ever held him.
And I mean held. It wasn't a friendly hug, he poured all his insecurities and all his pain into me with that embrace, and I poured all my wishes and hopes that the two of us could be something more right back into him.
I look up from my charms essay to see him sitting by the fire with Ron and Hermione. He has a smile on his face, but I can tell it's not real.
I can't help but feel disgust at my brother and one of my best friends, sitting there, arguing about something as trivial as, whatever it is they're arguing about, when one of their oldest friends is dealing with the anniversary of his parent's deaths.
I wonder if they even know that Halloween is more than just a holiday for Harry; if they've ever stopped to wonder why their friend is practically guaranteed to sink into depression on the same day every year.
I can understand Ron not getting it, but I always thought Hermione was smart.
I can see Harry start to sink into himself again – it's all in his eyes. The smiles still there, but the look in his eyes has changed.
I'm willing him to look my way just once, please –just – ah!
His eyes sparkle in the firelight as they make contact with mine, but that sparkle's haunted by a past that someone like Harry should never of had to endure. Life just isn't fair.
I realize I've become lost in my thoughts, and that Harry and I are still staring straight at each other. I want to look at the watch on my wrist, that none other than Harry, gave me last Christmas to see how much time has passed, but I'm afraid to look away.
I must be having an out of body experience, Hermione told me about those. I mean, I have no idea why my thoughts possessed me to raise a finger to Harry and beckon him over to where I'm sitting, but surprisingly I feel oddly, confident.
He looks at me, an amused smirk on his face, and to my pleasure he removes himself from his chair, going un-noticed by either Ron or Hermione, who are still too consumed in their argument to care, and makes his way over to me.
I smile at him as he takes a seat, and prepare myself for our customary ritual.
"If you could do anything right now, what would you do?" He asks me, that amused smirk still on his face.
"Talk to you," I reply almost as quickly as he says it, immediately feeling my cheeks redden and my brain turn in circles over how incredibly stupid I just sounded.
To my pleasure, he doesn't stop smiling, he looks a bit nervous, but he looks – happy.
"I want to show you something – I well, just, just come with me, please?" He asks me quickly, his cheeks reddening now. He looks so cute when he gets like that.
"Sure," I answer him, taking my half-finished charms essay and stuffing it in my bag, Flitwick can wait.
He's risen from his seat now and is watching me with his head quirked to one side, like a puppy dog – he is so adorable. Once I have my bag hoisted over my shoulder, he grabs it from me, insisting that he carry it for me, need I say more?
Like any girl would in her fully functional mind I hand over my bag, and follow Harry to…the boy's staircase.
"Should we go up there?" I ask him, wondering what on earth he has in mind that involves the dorm rooms – well, I have an idea, but I'd rather not get my hopes up.
"Oh, uh, yeah," He says, shifting his weight onto his other foot, "No, it's fine. I just have something I've been meaning to give you, and it's upstairs, and no one's up there, so I figured we could -.
"Harry." I silenced him, "It's fine. I trust you." I smiled at him reassuringly. He nodded and began his assent up the stairs. I followed right behind him.
When we entered the room Harry made a motion towards one of the beds, which I recognized as his own, while he rummaged through one of the cluttered drawers of his bedside cabinet. Not quite sure what I was supposed to do, I stood there and watched Harry as he rustled through some old Quidditch magazines, before pulling out a satin drawstring bag.
He turns around, bag in hand, and holds it up in the air as if to say, 'this is it.'
"I didn't have time to wrap it or anything – I just saw it in Hogsmeade and it reminded me of you, of, well, us." He murmurs, holding out the shiny satin bag for me to take.
I remove the bag from his hold, and hold the fluid material in my hands, feeling something solid through the cloth. Giving a quick tug of the strings I let the object – a necklace – fall onto my palm. I immediately know why he had bought it.
In my palm lies a delicate silver chain, a red rose pendant attached.
"Christmas colors?" I ask, smiling at the gift.
"Yeah, d'you like it?" He asks, looking slightly apprehensive.
"Harry James Potter, I absolutely love it." I declare, moving forward and hugging him. It doesn't feel awkward – not after earlier in the day.
"I'm glad," Harry sighs in relief as I let go, "When I saw it I thought of you. I was saving it for Christmas, but after you, er, helped me today I wanted you to have it now."
"Well, I'm glad you gave it to me." I tell him honestly, "Help me?" I ask, holding the necklace up in the air, while tying my hair up in a ponytail.
"Alright," Harry says, fumbling with the clasp, as I turn around and hold my hair up away from my neck.
I swear to Merlin himself I forget to breath when I feel his cool skin brush clumsily against the nape of my neck.
It's over all too fast as I feel him bring the two pieces of chain together. I let my hair drop and I touch a hand to the rose pendant before turning back to face him.
"Thank you, again." I tell him, still touching the pendant.
"I'm just glad you like it." He says, diverting his gaze to his feet.
"Are you feeling okay?" I ask him.
"Oddly, yes." He answers with a smirk.
"You sure you're not going to get all depressed on me?" I ask.
"I'll do my best." Harry chuckles softly.
"I'm sure they were wonderful people." I don't know what compels me to say it, but I feel like it needs to be said.
"That's what people keep telling me." He says, "But, I guess, well, I just wish I was able to decide if they were that great for myself."
"It's not fair." I tell him, trying to remain supportive, but not sympathetic. I know Harry hates it when people pity him.
"No, I suppose not." He says in a resigned sort of way.
"Oh, Harry." I sigh, moving forward to hug him once more. It seems we've been doing this a lot today, hugging, but I won't complain.
He relaxes into this hug easier than he did the first two times, and for some reason beyond my control, as most things that seem to be happening to me today, I feel the urge, and the confidence, to kiss him on the cheek. A friendly gesture, I don't want to scare him away just yet.
So I do. I move my lips forward towards his cheek, at the same exact time he moves his head slightly to the side to say something, and it's too late to stop it.
His lips are soft and warm, and for some reason neither of us is pulling away. We're not exactly kissing either, just pressing our lips together.
I'm panicking…what do I do? I mean I kissed Dean and Michael, but I never felt any of the things I feel for Harry with them. What if Harry doesn't like me, and I'm just embarrassing myself, and…
He's moving his lips.
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Just a fluffy piece, written late at night, I really tried to stay in the right tense throughout, sorry if it didn't flow at a few points. PLEASE REVIEW!