Anyway, I know I should be updating my other stories, but I had to get this out of my system. So, enjoy!
Harry Potter scrunched down in his large, cushy chair, trying to make himself as small as possible. Maybe if he was quiet and didn't interfere, they wouldn't bring him into it.
"For the last time, Ron: you may not copy my work! Not only is that cheating, but you won't be prepared if the topic comes up in our exams!"
"Oh, come off it, Hermione! Everyone knows that the sixth year exam is a push over. It'll be nothing compared to our O.W.L.'s."
"Nothing? Ron, our futures depend solely on our grades at Hogwarts. I wouldn't call that nothing!"
Ron was beginning to look slightly flustered. Harry, who had witnessed dozens of his best friend's arguments, knew what was coming next. Ron would start making excuses, while Hermione would meticulously shoot them down.
Sure enough, Ron began down his usual list of reasons he hadn't done his homework. "But Hermione, you know how busy I am, with Quidditch, and that detention Snape gave me-"
"Only because you didn't do that essay on Confundus Potions!"
Ron continued, ignoring her, "And helping Harry plan his D.A. lessons! I mean, how one person do all that and not have some work left?"
Hermione merely crossed her arms over her chest and glared at him with a disdainful expression. "You do realize that Harry-who I might point out that along with being Quidditch captain, is also getting extra lessons from Professor Dumbledore three times a week-has still somehow managed to finish all of his work?"
Harry groaned inwardly, scrunching himself further into his chair as both of his best friends turned to look at him. It always seemed to come to this.
"Yeah, but Harry agrees with me, don't you?" Ron was looking at him triumphantly; he was sure that he had won the argument. After all, Harry always did side with his best mate.
But before he had a chance to answer, Hermione fixed Harry with one of her poisonous glares. "Of course Harry agrees with you! He always does, even though I'm the one that's right."
She stopped talking. Both of them watched him, waiting for his reply. He cleared his throat.
"No comment," he said weakly.
Hermione threw up her hands. Ron frowned at him. "Come on, mate. You always side with me!"
Hermione gave snort and rounded on Ron. "There! You just admitted it!" Which, of course, started the whole argument over again.
Harry knew that now was the time to escape, before the shouting started. Otherwise, he was sure to have a problem hearing his professors the next morning.
He had nearly made it to the portrait hole before the quarrel exploded. Slipping out of the common room with Ron and Hermione's voices ringing after him, he paused to catch his breath from his quick getaway.
"Not another fight," the Fat Lady said from her perch on the wall.
Harry shrugged. "I'm used to them."
The Fat Lady shook her head. "I do hope they get their acts together soon. I've made a bet with Violet on when they finally start going out."
Harry smiled. "You and the rest of the world."
Waving goodbye, Harry started off; content to wander the halls until he decided it would be safe to return to Griffindor Tower. As he entered the corridor leading to the library, he saw someone heading towards him.
It was Letta Eves, a fifth year Gryffindor. Harry knew her slightly, mostly through Ginny Weasley, who happened to be one of her best friends.
The girl looked up as she heard his footsteps approaching. She smiled. "Hello Harry."
He smiled back, stuffing his hands inside his pockets. "Hi Letta. What're you doing?"
She shifted the books in her arms. "Just heading back to the common room. I've been looking up some stuff in the library."
Harry glance at his watch. "We still have half an hour till curfew, so you should make it alright."
She nodded, glancing at him curiously. "What about you?"
He grinned. "Don't worry. Filch and I are old friends."
Letta laughed. "Well, I'll be seeing you then."
"Bye," Harry said, starting off down the corridor again. He hadn't gone more than two steps before the younger girl's voice stopped him.
"Ginny's in the library."
Harry turned back to her. "What?"
Letta nodded in the direction of the library. "Ginny's still in there. I tried to convince her to come with me, but she insisted that she had to finish her Astronomy essay."
Harry had no idea why Letta was telling her this. But before he could voice his confusion, she winked at him mischievously, then turned and continued on her way.
Harry shook his head. Where had that come from? But Harry glanced towards the library. Maybe he should pay Ginny a visit. They hadn't talked in a while, what with her O.W.L.'s coming up next month. Maybe he could offer to help with her essay.
Making up his mind, he walked down the hallway and silently slipped into the library. Even though it was before curfew, Harry thought it best not to disturb Madam Pince.
Making his way between the many bookshelves, Harry kept an eye out for Ginny. He finally found her near the back of the room, almost hidden by an enormous pile of books. He paused, smiling as he watched her pour over an old, dusty tomb, biting her lip in concentration as one hand absentmindedly twirling a lock of her brilliant red hair.
Harry stood and stared at her for almost a minute before he caught himself. What was he doing?
As he mentally shook himself, Ginny sighed and pushed the book away from her, reaching into her book bag for a long piece of parchment that was half-filled with writing. Setting it on the table in front of her, she took her quill and began to write, stopping periodically to consult the book.
Harry approached her. Ginny was so involved in her essay that she only noticed he was there when he spoke.
She jumped, her hair bouncing off her shoulders as she turned to see him. "Oh! It's just you!"
"Just me?" Harry teased, taking the seat next to her.
She flushed prettily. Wait! Prettily? When had he started thinking Ginny Weasley was pretty?
"Sorry, but you scared me! How was I supposed to know you weren't a Dinklestine?"
Harry cleared his thoughts. "A what?"
"A Dinklestine," Ginny said matter-of-factly. "Supposedly they haunt abandoned castles in France."
"Alright then," Harry said, arching his eyebrows.
Ginny looked sheepish. "I guess I've been hanging out with Luna too long."
Harry nodded. "That would be a reasonable explanation."
"An explanation for what?"
"For why you suddenly believe in fictional creatures."
Ginny laughed, tilting her head to the side. Harry smiled. He liked making her laugh.
"So you're doing Astronomy?" he asked, gesturing at her work all around her.
Ginny nodded, giving him a strange look. "How'd you know that?"
Harry shrugged. "I was just wandering around when I ran into your friend Letta. She said you were still in here working, so I thought I'd say hi."
They locked gazes for a few seconds before Ginny shyly glanced away. "That was nice of you."
"Anything for a friend," Harry said with a smile. Then he winced. "Wow, that didn't sound so stupid in my head."
She laughed again. "So what are you doing wandering around at-" she grabbed his arm, twisting it so she could see his watch. "-8:45 at night?"
"The exercise?" Harry offered.
Ginny scoffed. "Yeah, right. And Malfoy is a nice, gently mannered boy."
"He is? Well, that's news to me." Ginny rolled her eyes, so Harry just shrugged. "Hermione and Ron were at each other's throats again. I figured I should clear off for at least an hour. I've still got half an hour to go."
"Oh good," Ginny said, picking up her quill. "You can help me till Pince boots me out."
As Ginny began thumbing through her book again, Harry noticed how blurry eyed she looked.
"You know what?" he asked innocently.
"Hm," Ginny mumbled, running a finger along a line of tiny print. She wasn't listening to a word he was saying. He continued on anyway.
"I know exactly what you need."
She glanced up at him. "Would it be a spell that does my homework for me?"
He grinned. "Nope. Sorry."
He stopped, staring at her eyes. They were brown, a very nice shade of brown, like chocolate.
He jerked. "What?"
Ginny smiled, prodding him along. "You were going to tell me exactly what I need."
"Oh, er... right," he said, trying not to blush. "I was gonna tell you how Ron and I made it through our O.W.L.'s."
"Alright," she said setting down her quill and crossing her arms on the table.
"Well, whenever studying got to be too much, which was pretty much every day, Ron and I would sneak down to the kitchens for hot chocolate. It really did help."
Ginny smiled. "That's a good idea. I'll have to try that sometime."
"Why not now?" Harry asked.
Ginny gave him a strange look. "Harry, we have ten minutes till curfew. There's no way we can make it to the kitchens and back to Gryffindor Tower before nine o'clock."
Harry grinned. "Is that all you're worried about?"
He stood up. Ginny continued to look puzzled.
"Wait here," he said. "I'll be back in a minute."
Ginny finished collecting her things scattered around her table and stuffed then into her book bag. After returning the books she had used to their shelves, she sat back down in her chair to wait for Harry.
Propping her head up on her hands, Ginny's thoughts began to drift. Of course, they immediately went to a certain green-eyed, messy-haired, sixth year Gryffindor.
Ginny groaned and buried her face in her hands. Why, out of all the hundreds of boys in Hogwarts, did she have to have a crush on him? Even though he was incredibly adorable and brave, he was also stubborn, shy, and completely oblivious to the fact that she had liked him for SIX BLOODY YEARS!
She shook her head, not will to dive, again, into the unsolved mystery that was Harry Potter.
Lifting her head from the table, she sighed and fiddled with a lock of her hair. What on earth did Harry have in mind?
She found out exactly two seconds later, as Harry materialized out of thin air right in front of her table. With a small yelp, Ginny jerked back, falling off her chair with a thump.
Harry laughed and went to help her up. Ginny mouthed at him as he grabbed her hand and pulled her to her feet. "How...how did..."
Then she noticed the silvery material clutched in Harry's other hand. Her eyes widened. "You...you have an Invisibility Cloak?"
He nodded, and grinned sheepishly. "Sorry for making you fall."
Ginny brushed this off. She was in shock. Invisibility Cloaks were incredibly rare, usually belonging to old wizarding families. She touched the silky material lightly. "Wow..."
She grinned and glanced up at him. He was watching her with an unreadable expression. She ignored it. "So this is how you're never caught by Filch! How long have you had it?"
"Since my first year," Harry admitted.
Ginny glared at him in mock anger. "And you're only showing me now? Think of all the pranks we could have pulled on the Slytherins!"
He grinned. "And still will, if I'm guessing right."
She rolled her eyes. "Do you even have to ask?"
Unfortunately, Madam Pince hurried over to them, finally realizing that there were students still in her library. Harry quickly hid the cloak behind his back.
"Shoo!" she said, as if they were flies. "Get to your common room! You're lucky I'm letting you off with a warning!"
Exchanging an amused glance with Harry, Ginny grabbed her bag and together they ducked out of the library. After round the corner at the end of the hallway, Harry stopped and turned to her. "Do you still want to go?"
Ginny smiled brilliantly at him. "Of course!"
Smiling back at her, Harry swung the Invisibility Cloak over the two of them. They just barely fit, and had to crouch over slightly to make sure the bottom of the cloak touched the floor. On their way down to the kitchens, Harry recounted all the times he, Ron, and Hermione had gone on their nightly escapades, which had Ginny clapping her hand tight over her mouth to keep from laughing too loudly.
They arrived at the portrait of the fruit bowl. After tickling the pear, Harry opened the door and they climbed into the kitchen, which, even now, was brimming with house elves.
"Harry Potter, sir! Dobby is most happy to see you, sir!"
Harry grinned at the house-elf beaming up at him. "Hello Dobby. I see you've gotten yourself more clothes."
Dobby plucked at the tiny kilt now encircling his waist. "Dobby is pleased Harry Potter noticed!"
Ginny caught Harry's eye, then glanced away, afraid she would burst out laughing.
Harry cleared his throat, hiding a smile. "Anyway, Dobby, we were wondering..."
A tray was already speeding their way, balanced on the hands of two house-elves. There were two huge mugs of steaming hot chocolate, with delicious looking pastries piled up all around them.
Ginny let out a surprised "Oh!"
Harry grinned. "They know me here."
She shook her head. "Exactly how many times did you and Ron come down here last year?"
"To many times to count," he said. Taking her hand, he led her to one of the long tables arranged in the kitchen. When he let go of her hand to sit across the table from her, Ginny immediately found herself missing the warmth of his hand. But she hid her disappointment as the elves placed the tray in front of them.
They spent the next hour and a half eating, drinking, and laughing. Ginny was kept in stitches practically the whole time, as Harry recounted memories from his childhood with the Dursleys, from the time he had been chased up a tree by his aunt's dog to when Dudley had tried to smuggle donuts into the house by sticking them down his pants.
Ginny had then taken her turn, telling him tales of Fred and George in their youth, and their many successful pranks they had played even before starting at Hogwarts.
When Harry glanced at his watch he was shocked to see it was nearly eleven o'clock. "Merlin, we'd better get going!"
Ginny was busy licking her fingers. "Why? What time is it?"
"Almost eleven," he said, grabbing his invisibility cloak.
Ginny jumped to her feet. "Are you serious?"
Not bothering to answer, he started towards the exit. As he passed Dobby, Harry gave the elf a smile. "Thanks Dobby!"
The house elf looked pleased. "You is welcome, Harry Potter! Come visit whenever you is wanting something. Goodbye!"
Harry and Ginny waved then clambered out of the kitchen, tossing the cloak over them as they hurried down the corridor.
"Ron is going to wonder where I went," Harry said.
He glanced sideways at her as she bit her lip. "So is Letta."
"What can we tell them to stop their overactive imaginations?" he ventured.
Ginny grinned. "Well, we can tell them the truth-" she glanced at him mischievously "-or we can tell them we escaped on a romantic getaway."
Harry laughed along with her, but for some reason, the idea didn't seem quite as absurd as he would have thought.
They made it back to Gryffindor Tower safely; neither of them saying much after Ginny's last comment. After climbing through the portrait hole, they stood facing each other, a comfortable silence taking hold of them.
Finally Ginny looked up at him. "Why did you do this?"
Harry was confused. "Do what?"
She shrugged, her reddish copper locks shimmering in the firelight. Harry could have watched forever, but he forced his attention away from her hair when her realized she was talking again.
"Why did you take all that time just to help me take a break? I'm not that important."
"Yes, you are," he said without thinking.
She was looking at him strangely. He blushed and hurried to explain. "I mean, you're important to me. You're always there for me, and I just...you know...wanted to do the same for you."
Harry looked everywhere but Ginny's face as he said this. But as he finished his last word, his eyes seemed to be drawn to hers. She was staring at him; in her eyes was a glint of...what?
Her lips curved into a half smile and before Harry could react, she had reached out, grabbed the front of his robes and yanked him towards her until their lips met.
Harry was so shocked, that for a few seconds he couldn't seem to move. Then, all at once, he realized what was happening. He was being kissed by Ginny Weasley. GINNY WEASLEY!
Then, as suddenly as the kiss had started, it ended. Ginny stepped back from Harry (who couldn't help but gape at her) and smiled impishly. "Goodnight, Harry."
Then she turned and skipped lightly up the stairs, leaving an incredibly confused Harry Potter standing in the middle of the common room.
THE NEXT MORNING
"Harry! Get moving!"
Harry jerked upright, squinting in the sudden sunlight. Shielding his eyes from the glare, he saw Ron hurriedly yanking on his robes.
"Whatsa matter?" he asked sleepily.
"What's the matter? We have Charms in ten minutes!"
That certainly woke Harry up. Jumping out of bed, he grabbed his glasses from his bedside table and thrust them onto his face. Hurrying to his trunk, he asked "Why didn't Dean or Seamus wake us up? Or Neville?"
Ron shrugged, swinging his bag over his shoulder. "I dunno, probably eating breakfast. Hey, I'll meet you in the common room. I gotta get my essay for Flitwick."
Harry was rifling through his trunk, trying to find his socks. "Right, I'll be down in a sec."
Harry dressed quickly and headed out of the room. Halfway down the stairs, the memory of the night before hit him like a load of bricks. He tripped on his robe and tumbled down the rest of the stairs, landing in a pile on the common room floor.
"Harry! Are you all right?"
Harry felt Ron and Hermione grab either of his arms to help him up. Blushing, he stood, and brushed off his robes. "I'm fine."
Discretely, he glanced around the room, searching for a certain redheaded Gryffindor. To his relief, Ginny Weasley was not in the room, although the few people who were certainly were looking at him strangely.
"Are you sure you're alright?" Hermione asked, brushing off his shoulder. Harry nodded, but she still looked doubtful. "Because I've read that sometimes you can't tell if you're seriously injured until much later, but then-"
"He's fine, Hermione," Ron said, rolling his eyes, starting towards the portrait hole.
She scowled as she followed after him. "I was just making sure he was OK. Is it alright if I show a little concern for my friends?"
They continued to bicker as they hurried down to the Charms corridor, Harry trailing behind, completely involved in his own thoughts. Why in the world had Ginny kissed him last night? And why, to his surprise, did he find he wanted her to kiss him again? This was Ginny Weasley, his best friend's little sister, practically his own sister!
Except she wasn't acting too much like a sister last night, an annoying voice inside his head pointed out.
Well, maybe she was just trying to be friendly.
That's not true and you know it, the voice said.
It could be.
Nope, you just don't want to admit the truth.
Oh come on, are you telling me you don't know the reason you love to be around her, seek her out when she's not around you, show her your invisibility cloak, risk detention by taking her down to the kitchens, and then want her to kiss you again?
Then I'm not telling you.
Harry then realized how stupid he was being. He had resorted to arguing with himself. Perhaps last night, when Ginny was kissing the daylights out of him, a nerve in his brain had short-circuited. That could be the only reason that he was suddenly hearing voices in his head.
Harry spent the rest of the morning in a fog. He was able to sit through most of Charms without incident, but after Neville accidentaly hit him with a Scourging Charm, Harry decided he'd better try and pay attention.
The only problem was, he kept getting distracted, and not just by Neville. Thoughts about Ginny kept wafting through his mind, thoughts that a brother most certainly would not be thinking. Thoughts like how soft and pretty her hair looked, how her lips curved into that teasing, playful smile, or of the light sprinkling of freckles over her nose.
But the thing he thought about the most were her eyes. They were...incredible. They were lively, twinkling when she was happy, but could darken in seconds when something made her mad. Then there was that glimmer, that glimmer of something he had seen in her eyes, right before she had kissed him. What was it?
After Herbology and a shower (they had been repotting enormous Gorganuos bushes, and they were covered in dirt), Harry, Ron, and Hermione headed down to the Great Hall for a quick lunch. Plopping himself down across from them at the Gryffindor table, Harry watched as his two best friends began loading up their plates.
"Harry? Aren't you going to eat something?"
He shook his head. He couldn't eat. Not now, when he was so confused about Ginny.
Hermione looked concerned. "Are you sure Harry? You didn't have any breakfast, and you really should keep up your strength."
"I'm just not hungry, ok?" Harry snapped.
Hermione sat back, looking very put out.
Ron frowned at Harry from across the table. "What's wrong, mate? You've been out of it ever since last night." He squinted his eyes. "Where were you anyway?"
"Nowhere," Harry said hastily.
Ron didn't seem to believe him, but before he could respond a voice spoke from behind Harry.
"Hey you guys."
Harry stiffened. He knew that voice.
"Hey, Ginny," Ron said, gulping down some pumpkin juice.
Hermione smiled. "Do you want to sit with us?"
"Sure," Ginny said, slipping into the seat beside Harry. "Harry, aren't you going to eat anything?"
He glanced at her, then quickly looked away. He had never seen her look so pretty. Her brilliant red hair fell in waves around her shoulders, and her lips curved in that teasing half smile. He muttered something like "not hungry."
"Well, you have to eat something," Ginny said matter-of-factly. She grabbed his plate and began filling it with food.
"No really, it's ok," Harry protested weakly. She ignored him. After setting the plate in front of him, she handed him his fork. "Eat."
So he ate, trying to focus on his food instead of the girl sitting next to him. She didn't mention what had happened the night before, making Harry even more confused than he was before. Did she regret kissing him?
"Don't you think so, Harry?"
He looked up to see her brown eyes twinkling at him, her lips twitching as she fought to hide a smile.
"Er, think what?"
"Don't you think that my brother and Hermione would look good together?"
Harry panicked, looking over to where his two best friends were blushing furiously. Both were refusing to meet his or each other's eyes.
He looked back to Ginny, where he was relieved to see her laughing.
"Oh, you should have seen the look on your faces!" she giggled. "You guys are so easy to mess with."
The three of them laughed, but Ron and Hermione continued to avoid each other's eyes.
"Well, I have to go," Ginny said, hopping to her feet as she made a face. "Potions next."
"Bye," Ron and Hermione said together, turning their attention back to their lunches, obviously trying to smooth over what had happened.
Harry felt Ginny's eyes on him. He glanced up at her. She was smiling at him, a strange secretive smile that made him feel as if he were the only other person in the Great Hall.
"See you later, Harry," she said, almost teasingly.
Harry gulped. "Bye."
He watched as she left the Hall, her wavy hair bouncing off her shoulders as hurried down the aisle between the tables.
"Well, well, well. Looks like Potter's got a thing for the littlest Weasley."
Harry turned to see Malfoy standing behind him. His blood level immediately began to rise.
"Actually," Malfoy continued, "if she wasn't such a Mudblood lover, I'd go after her myself."
Harry was on his feet, his wand pointing directly at Malfoy's chest, before the other boy had even begun to reach for his wand. Behind him he heard Hermione trying to stop Ron from leaping over the table.
"Take that back," Harry said, so quietly that Malfoy had to lean towards him to hear his voice over the sound of Ron's shouts of outrage.
Malfoy's eyes glittered. "Or what?"
Harry tightened his grip on his wand. "You don't want to find out."
"What is going on here?" Professor McGonagall said, hurrying over to their table. "Mr. Potter, put that wand away before you hurt someone."
Harry gave Malfoy one last threatening glare before lowering his wand. Malfoy smirked at him.
"Move along, Mr Malfoy," McGonagall said, straightening her hat. "You too, Mr Potter, Miss Granger, Mr. Weasley."
Harry stuck his wand back inside his robes, grabbed his bag, and swept past Malfoy, not even stopping to wait for Ron or Hermione.
They caught up with him on the staircase in the Entrance Hall. They seemed to know better than to talk, and the three walked to their History of Magic classroom in silence.
Slumping into a seat near the back of the room, Harry proceeded to ignore his lesson for the third time that day. Thoughts about Ginny continued to control his attention. How her smile, the adorable half grin, made Harry feel as if she were secretly laughing at him,
Maybe she is laughing at you, the annoying voice inside his head said, butting into his thoughts.
Why would she be laughing at me?
Because she knows something you don't.
Not this argument again.
Don't you want to know the answer?
If you're planning on telling me.
Are you sure you want to know?
You like her.
Well, of course I like her? Who wouldn't? She's funny, smart, pretty...
You fancy her!
Harry was stunned. He fancied her? He fancied Ginny Weasley? That couldn't be it!
But then Harry thought about it. He remembered all the times Ginny had helped him; in fifth year by getting him the chance to talk with Sirius, in the Ministry of Magic, standing loyal at his side, and just this past year, by helping him come to grips with reality after learning about the prophecy.
He remembered all the time he had spent with Ginny, especially during the past year, when they had become good friends. Ginny was the one he had hung out with whenever Ron and Hermione got out of hand. She was the only one who wasn't afraid to stick up to him, or to give him a hug when he most needed it.
The bell rang. Harry was surprised to realize he had spent a whole class wondering why he fancied Ginny. But now that he knew, there was only one thing to do.
He grabbed his bag. Ron and Hermione were still gathering their books and parchment. "I'll see you guys later."
"Where are you going?" Hermione called as he hurried out of the room before anyone else. Harry didn't bother to respond, just took off down the hallway towards the Charms corridor, which happened to be on the other side of the castle.
He arrived just in time to see a group of students, fifth year Gryffindors, filing into the classroom. He spotted his target, just about to go through the door.
"Ginny!" he called, hurrying towards her. She turned to see him. Her eyes widened and her mouth dropped open a bit. "Can I talk to you for a sec?"
Ginny recovered quickly, and nodded. She glanced at her friend, Letta. "Would you tell Flitwick I'm coming?"
Letta nodded, a wide grin on her face, and continued on through the door.
They were left alone, standing awkwardly in the corridor. Harry gulped. He hadn't really thought this far in his plan. All he knew was that he had wanted to see her.
"You wanted to talk to me about something?" Ginny asked quietly.
"Er, yeah," Harry mumbled. "I, uh, just wanted to say, that I..."
His voice trailed off as he glanced at her. She was looking up at him through those long lashes of hers, her big, brown eyes seeming to look straight through him.
If she can see straight through you, the voice said, then she knows that you want to kiss her.
So kiss her, you prat!
And he did, leaning forward to press his lips against hers. She gave a surprised squeak, before dropping her books and throwing her arms around his neck, pulling him in closer.
A few seconds later, the school bell rang, breaking them apart. Harry stared at Ginny who was smiling shyly at him.
He grinned. "I'm late for Defense."
"I'm late for Charms," she whispered.
Harry decided to be straight with her. "I think I'm falling for you, Ginny."
"I think I've already fallen for you," she replied with a grin.
"Can I see you after class?" Harry asked.
She nodded, blushing ever so slightly. "Of course."
"I'll see you then," Harry said.
She nodded and hurried to her classroom, disappearing inside with one last smile.
"Bye," Harry said softly, a goofy grin spreading over his face.
Well, there you go! I hope you all liked it!
Please, please, please review!