Disclaimer: Not mine.

You know how it is when you meet someone. That feeling like your blood is pumping faster than it ever has, like suddenly you've got a waterfall inside your chest where your heart used to be? And you're walking around, making your way through crowds of people with a secret smile because none of them know. No wonder Gene Kelly burst into song, swinging from that lamppost, right?

Well, I met a girl.

No, that's wrong. Because technically, I'd known her before, so it was more like one of those cheesy, after-school special kind of moments. The when-did-you-grow-up? followed by the long gaze up and down.

How cliché, right? Right under my nose and I missed her completely. Sorry, Michael Corner is busy with puberty right now. And homework. Prefect duties. Obligatory social functions. But he'd love to return your call just as soon as he gets back.

How else can I describe it, though?

I met her in the traditionally accepted way. Sitting on what was possibly the most uncomfortable plastic chair ever, with my dress robe's overcoat folded beneath me as a makeshift cushion. She was an empty coat-covered chair away. A red plastic cup in my hand and a blue plastic cup in hers. She was staring into her punch more than drinking it.

"Look too hard and you'll find the secrets of the universe," I warned her. I don't know why I initiated the conversation, only that I was bored out of my mind and she was there and something about her resonated with me. Like we were vibrating on the same frequency.

She peered at me over the lip of her cup. Trapped me with those chocolate brown eyes and smirked. "What makes you think that's not what I'm looking for?"

"Seems like a bit of a cliché, don't you think?"

"I like to think of it as sort of existentially romantic."

Existentially romantic? I was in love.

Or at least deeply interested.

"So are you here with anyone?" I asked, sliding smoothly into the seat next to hers so I could hear her over the music.

She started tracing the rim of her cup with her index finger. "Sort of."

"How are you sort of here with someone?"

"Well, it's possible I only went with him so I'd be able to come at all."

"Why's so?"

"I'm in third year." she admitted, her eyes finally leaving her glass to look directly into mine.

"You certainly don't seem it." I said, doing my best to look without looking. Warm, expressive eyes, a strong chin, and masses of bunches of red hair, which was starting to make its way out of its bun.

"Thank you?"

"You're very welcome."

And then that silence set in. For a couple of moments, nothing happened.

Nothing continued to happen.

After a bit more, I guess she decided that something ought to happen.

"So, how about you?"


Way to sweep her off her feet with your scintillating conversational skills, Corner.

"Are you here with anyone?"

"Nope, went stag."

"Couldn't get up the courage to ask anyone?"

"Didn't find anyone that really interested me enough to bother."

"High standards?"

"Low tolerance for giggling."

"In other words, high standards."

I laughed. "Do you joke like this with all the blokes?"

"No… just the ones that interest me enough to bother." She said, grinning cheekily at me.

"Ha, ha. What do you think of the band?"

"They're all right, but I actually prefer muggle music."

I'm sure my eyes widened comically at this point. "You do? So do I!"


"John Lennon is my hero."

"Do you like Quidditch?"

"I think that anyone who doesn't ought to be run off the planet!"

"What's your team?"

"Other than Ravenclaw, you mean?"

"Yeah. I mean, you have to support your house, it's like a rule."

"Well, I'm an Arrows fan."

"Yes, thank you! You're the only other Arrows fan I've met."

"The Arrows tend to draw in older crowd, anyway. Consistently good teams are like that. Most teens go for the unexpected underdog types."

"Exactly!" she agreed, before looking at me shrewdly. "Do you like Pumpkin Pasties?"

I blinked at the sudden change. I'd been doing so well… "Um, no, actually. I think they're disgusting."

"They are disgusting!" she laughed, her grin lighting up her whole face.

"I'm Michael Corner, by the way."

"I know."

I raised an eyebrow, and she grinned. "Ginny Weasley." I boggled. She laughed. "I was wondering if you'd notice before I had to tell you."

Ginny Weasley?

"But, you..."

"You're bad with faces."

"You don't have freckles anymore." You're not ten.

"It's dark." She leaned in close, tilting her chin out so I could inspect her cheeks. There they were. A universe printed there. My heart was pumping fast. Niagara roared in my ears. I touched her cheek cautiously.

Her lip gloss was mint chocolate.

Like I said, I met a girl.