Something to Talk About
Summary: Five Times Ron catches Harry and Ginny in a rather… erm… compromising situation, (and one time he doesn't). This chapter takes place towards the end of HBP, and probably deserves a PG-13 or T rating.
Disclaimer: Harry Potter, Ginny Weasley, and their friends and family are owned by JK Rowling, Warner Brother's and a bunch of other people who are not me. The title of this story is owned by Bonnie Rait.
Chapter One: Sunlit Days (and Nights… Well Evenings, Anyway)
"Ginny glanced around, grinning, winked at Harry, then quickly faced the front again. Harry's mind wandered a long way from the marquee, back to afternoons spent alone with Ginny in lonely parts of the school grounds….." (Deathly Hallows, p. 145 American Edition).
Though the quidditch season was over, the Gryffindor team still occasionally enjoyed meeting during their regularly scheduled practices to go over new techniques and skills in preparation for the next season, or sometimes for pick up games amongst themselves or with other players from the Hufflepuff team. One such evening the team had just finished a rather satisfying win in which Harry caught the snitch three times before they decided to call it a night, making the score total 890 to 100 in favor of Gryffindor. The sun was just sending its last few rays of light for the day over the horizon as the team trooped its way past the broom shed where quite a few members stowed their brooms away, and then up to the castle where they would be just in time for the last half hour of dinner. (The Hufflepuff team, who never liked to miss any part of dinner if they could help it, had rushed up to the castle the instant the game had ended.)
Of the red and gold team, Demelza Robbins and Katie Bell led the way, giggling together about the way Hufflepuff Chaser Kenneth Summerby had dropped the quaffle every time Katie had winked at him. Ron followed not far behind, arguing energetically with Coote and Peakes about which professional quidditch teams were likely to have a chance at the Cup during the next season, and Harry trailed not far behind, clutching his Firebolt in one hand and Ginny's small hand in the other.
Ron had been glancing behind himself regularly, just to make sure that his friend and his sister weren't having any trouble keeping up with the rest of the team, when he heard Peakes make the offhand comment that a team of Crumple Horned Snorcacks would have a better chance of qualifying for the Cup than the Chudley Cannons would. At this, Ron began to protest rather vehemently that the Cannons were an excellent team, thank you very much, and that Peakes' team (the Tornadoes,) were possibly suffering from either Loser's Lurgy or a bad case of head-stuffed-too-far-up-your-own-arse-itis if they thought they had a chance in hell of beating the Cannon's to the cup. When Ron took a breath after this pronouncement, Coote took the opportunity to mention that anyone who believed that either the Cannons or the Tornadoes could make it to the cup over a team like Puddlemere United was clearly as loony as a person who believed in Crumple Horned Snorcacks or Loser's Lurgy.
The three boys continued in this vein for some time, until at last they reached the front doors of the castle. Peakes and Coote hurried off to dinner, arguing merrily all the way. Ron turned around to remind Harry and Ginny that if they didn't hurry up and get to the Great Hall, all of the good desserts were likely to be taken, and they would be stuck with flan again. Unfortunately, he was unable to do so, as Harry and Ginny were nowhere in sight.
Just at the moment that Ron had become ensconced in the quidditch cup debate, Harry and Ginny, some meters behind, were busily engaged in a debate of their own.
"No, no, I'm telling you, Harry, it's all a cover! He acts so horribly towards you as a cover for his true feelings--he's jealous that you're so close with Ron, and part of him wonders if there isn't more between you two besides just friendship."
Harry looked at her in amazement. "You have got to be kidding me," he said.
"Didn't you see the way he ran into his own goal post when Ron hugged you after you caught the snitch that second time tonight?"
"It wasn't a hug!" Harry protested. "It was a slap on each other's backs. In a manly sort of way."
Ginny rolled her eyes, smiling. "Well, after your very manly hug, I grabbed the quaffle right out of his hands, and he never even noticed. I kind of feel bad for running into the announcer's stand that one time, actually, not that I did it on purpose, or anything like that, of course…."
Harry smiled fondly at the memory of Ginny, hair streaming out like a red and gold banner behind her, charging down the quidditch announcer's stand after one particularly brutal quidditch game. He remembered the way he had hugged Ginny after the game, and the way he had been quickly forced to release her to due to their then somewhat complicated relationship. Glancing ahead quickly to make sure Ron was still busy defending the Cannons, he took the opportunity to sweep Ginny into a much more lingering and satisfying hug than the one that day months ago had been.
Ginny, who was still saying something about tragedies that were prone to befall Hufflepuffs who were secretly in love with Gryffindors, was taken by surprise, but smiled as she felt Harry's arms wrap themselves around her. She hugged him back for a moment, breathing in the wind-swept, leathery, musky scent of his quidditch gear, then tilted her head back to press a soft kiss to the side of his jaw. "What was that for?" she asked, smiling.
Harry shrugged. He smiled back down at her for a moment, then glanced back up at Ron who was busy waving his arms energetically in what might have been an imitation of a Crumple Horned Snorcack trying to do a Wronski Feint. He pressed a finger to Ginny's lips for an instant to indicate that they should be quiet, then swinging a leg over his broom stick, he patted the space behind him and whispered, "C'mon."
Ginny gave him a devious smile, and wasted in no time in climbing onto the broomstick, scooting right up against Harry's back, and wrapping her arms tightly around his waist. Harry kicked off from the ground the instant he was sure that Ginny was secure on the broom behind him, and sped joyously upward in a nearly vertical climb. When they were a good ways off the ground, he did a loop in the air almost directly over an unsuspecting Ron's head, then doing a sort of upside down twist in the air, flipped around heading past the quidditch pitch in the direction of the lake.
He dove downward toward the shining surface, allowing their shoes to barely skim the surface before pushing the broom back upward again, thrilling at the sound of Ginny's breathless laughter. He knew that had it been any other girl sitting behind him on the broom, she would likely have been screaming bloody murder by this point at his acrobatics, and he marveled at the way that he knew Ginny found the flight to be every bit as exhilarating as he did, and at her absolute trust in him. The wind swept through Harry's hair as he twirled and dived, and he felt Ginny press her cheek to his back, protecting her face from the rush of the increasingly chilly night air. For a moment he felt that nothing in the world could harm him, that no task could overwhelm him, that anything was possible, as long as he could keep flying with this incredible girl and feel her soft body pressing against his. Then the thought and the feel of that soft body began to evoke other emotions within him, and slowing the broom's momentum, he twisted around, right there on his broom, so that he could look at her. Feeling his movement, Ginny raised her face to look at him questioningly, and Harry kissed her.
There was just a moment, when Ron realized that Harry and Ginny were gone, that he nearly gave in to his instinct to panic. Thoughts of blast-ended-skrewts and baby dragons all grown up and gigantic spiders crept into his mind as he imagined all of the monsters that dwelled on the Hogwarts grounds that might be horrible enough to keep Harry and Ginny from their dinner. Just as he was deciding whether it would be more effective to rush back onto the grounds, wand brandished high like a brave Gryffindor knight, or to rush into the great hall screaming that Harry and Ginny had been eaten by a hideous beast, a sudden image of Harry and Ginny standing together in the portrait hole of the common room, doing something he'd really rather not mention, even to himself, forced it's way unbidden into his head. In an instant, he knew what Harry and Ginny were really doing, all alone, somewhere on the perilous Hogwarts' grounds.
Furious, Ron stalked back out onto the grounds, blazing wand held aloft, paused, reconsidered, and spun on his heel to go back into the entrance hall. He stomped his way into the great hall where he grabbed two pieces of fried chicken from the Gryffindor table, pulled a startled Hermione from her chair, began to stomp back out of the great hall, paused, reconsidered, grabbed two more pieces of chicken and an éclair. Then he made his way angrily back out of the great hall, pulling a protesting Hermione along behind him.
"Ron!" Hermione exclaimed. "What on earth are you doing? What is the matter?"
"Haee Jin nota grabbelmere," replied Ron unintelligibly, through a mouthful of chicken.
Hermione rolled her eyes. "I beg your pardon?" she questioned.
Ron swallowed the chicken with a loud gulp. "Harry and Ginny are on the grounds somewhere," he said. "We need to find them--before it's too late," he added in a dark undertone.
"Oh, honestly, Ron!" Hermione wrenched her hand from his grasp. "Why can't you just leave them be? I'm quite certain that they are perfectly fine!"
Ron looked at her pointedly. "Pardon me, Hermione, but two students are out on the grounds after hours. We are school prefects, and as such, it is our obligation to find these students and ensure that they are returned safely to the school and properly chastised. I don't know about you, but I do not plan to bend school rules for anyone, not even friends and relatives. Do you have a problem with that?"
Hermione looked at him skeptically. "Oh, you're right, I suppose. Honestly, Ron! Like you've ever cared about prefect responsibilities before this! Come along, let's find them." Grinning, Ron gulped down his éclair and followed Hermione out the front doors of the school.
Harry and Ginny, meanwhile, had floated obliviously lower and lower on the Firebolt as they continued to kiss until they hovered just over the moonlit surface of the lake. Ginny had kept her arms wrapped tightly around his waist, and Harry was twisted into an almost sideways position on his broom as he pushed his hands into her hair, pulling her head closer up to his. As Harry slid his tongue softly against her bottom lip, Ginny hummed a sigh and opened her mouth. Harry twisted further to meet her and overbalanced, sliding off the front end of his broom. They broke apart as Ginny made a frantic attempt to hold onto both Harry and the Firebolt. Unfortunately he was rather too heavy for her on the unbalanced broom, and they fell together off the broomstick and landed with a splash in the lake not far below.
Harry surfaced, kicking and sputtering, and Ginny followed a moment later, treading water. They stared at each other for an instant before they both burst out laughing. Ginny kicked off her shoes so she would be able to swim unhindered, and made her way over to Harry. She pressed her mouth to his once more and he returned the kiss exuberantly for a moment before he realized that he was beginning to sink. Kicking off his own shoes, Harry began to swim again, and after a brief struggle trying to pull his wand out of his pocket while remaining afloat, Harry incanted "Accio Firebolt," summoning his broomstick from the spot it was floating some feet away. Harry and Ginny both managed to clamber back onto it, and they rose back up out of the lake, water streaming off of them as they ascended.
Ginny wrung her hair out with her hands, then pressed herself against Harry, hoping to draw some extra warmth from him. Feeling her shiver, Harry attempted a drying charm, now wishing he had paid a bit more attention when Professor Flitwick had reviewed them at the beginning of the year. They were both blasted with warm air from Harry's wand for a moment, which helped to warm them up a bit, even if they were still a bit soggy afterward. Noticing Ginny's bare feet, Harry pointed his wand toward the lake once more, and said "Accio shoes," which resulted in both his own trainers and Ginny's to come flying at them, as well as a pair of rather smaller ones, on which the words 'D. Creevey' could still be made out written on the soles. Grabbing all three pairs of shoes, Harry quickly flew them in the direction of the nearest building, which happened to be the quidditch changing rooms.
Hermione was going very quickly from somewhat confused to vaguely amused to rather irritated. So far, Ron had dragged her from the castle, down to the paths that led to Hogsmeade, from there down to Hagrid's pumpkin patch, along the edge of the forbidden forest, up halfway around the lake, up and down the quidditch stands, past the quidditch shed where the brooms were kept, and from one edge of the quidditch field and back again, all with no sign of either Harry or Ginny, although they had found, strangely enough, a small pair of very wet trainers that seemed to belong to the younger Creevey brother lying in the middle of the grounds halfway between the lake and the quidditch field. Ron had continued searching at a rather frantic pace, which Hermione, who had much shorter legs and didn't play any sports, was having a difficult time keeping up with. Despite this, Hermione didn't bother pointing out that if either Harry or Ginny had their brooms with them when they disappeared, they could be anywhere, including inside one of the towers of the castle. If they were inside, they weren't any of her concern, as the indoor curfew hadn't yet passed, and they were perfectly within their rights to be wandering the hallways for the time being.
Ron was the worst kind of hypocrite, Hermione thought angrily. She knew that he and Lavender had spent an inordinate amount of time snogging, mostly in very public places, and yet he begrudged his own best friend and sister a little quality time alone in private. Not to mention that he had dragged her out of dinner before she had eaten dessert, and they were having flan tonight! Still, despite this, she knew that Ron was correct in his pronouncement that he and Hermione had a responsibility to uphold as prefects. That didn't mean she had to be happy about it.
Harry and Ginny landed just outside they entrance of the quidditch changing rooms, under the spectator stands, and scrambling off of the broom, Harry quickly said the password (Magpies) which was known only to the quidditch captains and school prefects. The torches along the walls flared to life at Harry's command, and grabbing Ginny's hand, they both entered quickly.
The door clanged shut behind them, and Harry turned to look at Ginny, feeling slightly guilty for having dumped them both into the lake, but the minute he caught her eye, she burst out laughing again, and that was all it took to set Harry off. Gasping for breath a moment later, Ginny ruffled Harry's hair playfully with her hands, and set to removing her sodden quidditch gear. Following her example, Harry slowly pulled off his seeker gloves and set them on the bench nearby, then followed with the heavy quidditch robes, leaving him in a pair of track shorts and a tee-shirt. He turned to look at Ginny, who as a chaser, had quite a bit more protective gear than he did, and was just beginning to peel off her own dripping quidditch robe. She cast it aside, and Harry struggled to swallow as her outfit of shorts and a tank-top was revealed. The white tank-top left little to the imagination, wet as it was, and her purple sports bra was clearly showing underneath. Harry blushed red as he realized he was staring, and he quickly averted his gaze.
Noticing where he had been gazing, Ginny blushed as well, but she smirked inwardly, and making her way over to Harry, she sat down right in his lap. Harry replied with a surprised "Ooomph," but automatically wrapped his arms around his girlfriend's waist to keep her securely there.
Cupping his jaw in one hand, Ginny turned Harry's face to her so that she was looking directly into his emerald eyes. "I really like you, you know," she said, and then her gaze flickered down to his lips, and in the same instant his mouth was on hers and he was kissing her as he had never done before.
Their kisses in the past, while immensely enjoyable and often passionate, had always been soft, hesitant, playful. This one was hard and needy. Harry's mouth was hard on hers, and she found herself opening her mouth to his probing tongue almost immediately. Angling his head, Harry tilted her backward and ravaged her mouth, sucking her bottom lip into his mouth and running his tongue along it. Ginny shivered. Pushing against his chest, she broke the kiss for an instant, and got off of his lap, but only to rearrange herself so that she was straddling him, her legs hanging off the opposite side of the bench on either side of him. Cupping his face in her hands, she resumed the kiss.
Despite her still wet attire, she no longer felt even the slightest bit cold. Harry's hands were sliding up and down her back, and after a moment, she felt them slip under the hem of her tank top to caress the bare skin of her back directly. She slid her own hands up into the wet strands of his hair, then back down his shoulders and back. Tearing his mouth from hers, Harry began to plant smaller kisses along her jaw and down her neck, dipping her backward on his lap so that he had better access. Ginny's hands reached the bottom of his tee-shirt, and she grasped the hem, pulling it upward. Harry released the hold he had on her with his hands and mouth so that she could pull his shirt up and over his head. It got stuck there for a minute, and she giggled as he impatiently reached up and tore it the rest of the way off, casting it carelessly to the side. He grinned at her giggles, placing his forehead to hers, then captured her lips once again in a kiss. Ginny pressed herself back into him, returning the kiss, and gleefully exploring his bare chest with her hands. Harry's hands returned to her waist, pushing her tank top ever so slightly up so his fingers could skim the skin of her waist again. Instead of running his hands up her back, as he had been doing, he began to slide them ever so slowly up her stomach to the fabric of her sports bra. He broke their kiss once again to look at her. "Is this okay?" he questioned hesitantly. In answer, Ginny reached down and grasped the hem of her own tank-top, pulling it up and over her head, then pulling his head back down to hers. She could feel him smiling slightly against her mouth as he ran his hands from her waist, up her sides, and then around to her front where he cupped her breasts reverently in the palms of his hands. Ginny gasped against his mouth, and his smile grew wider still as he slowly massaged her through the purple sports bra. Turning sideways, Harry laid Ginny down on the bench they were sitting on, and followed her down, hovering over her, and continuing his tender kisses and touches.
Ginny's hands had just moved to toy with the draw string on the waist band of his track shorts when suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, she heard brother's voice roar "What the HELL is GOING ON HERE?!"
Harry fell off the bench.
Ginny had barely a second to take in her brother's infuriated expression and Hermione's shocked one before she heard Harry's voice exclaim "NOX!" and all the torches were extinguished. She felt a set of wet quidditch robes land on top of her, and she managed to shrug them most of the way on before the torches were relit. When they were, Harry's shirt was back on (though inside out,) and he was sitting on a bench three over from her. Ginny wondered briefly how he had managed to move so quickly, before turning her attention back to the matter at hand.
"Harry!" exclaimed Hermione. "Your wand is here by me! How on earth did you manage to put out the torches without it?"
Ron turned to look at Hermione in astonishment for a moment. "WHO CARES?!" he roared. "How can you ask him a question like that a time like this?!"
"Honestly, Ronald," Hermione snapped back. "I only thought that--"
"WHO CARES?!" Ron interrupted her again. "HOW COULD YOU?!" he exclaimed. "HOW COULD--" his voice broke, and his face took on a hurt, almost confused expression. "Harry! How could you do this to me?" he said.
"It's not what it looks like," said Harry quickly. "I mean, okay, it is, but it's not like that. I mean, I really, really, like Ginny. Mate, I think I even lo--" but Ron cut him off.
"DON'T CALL ME THAT!" he exclaimed. "I'm NOT your mate right now." His hand shook as he clutched his wand, and for a moment Ginny was worried that he might curse Harry right there, even unarmed thought he was.
"Ron," she said, half warningly, half pleadingly.
"And YOU!" he exclaimed rounding on her. "First Michael, then Dean, now Harry! You really are a slu--"
"Stop," said Harry warningly. "You can stop right there. I don't care who you are, you will not speak to her like that." He stood up, and moved to stand protectively in front of Ginny. Even without his wand, he seemed to radiate power in his righteous anger, and even Ron shrank back a little bit.
Ginny would have been irritated if it had been anyone else standing in front of her like that, trying to protect her from her own brother, but with Harry she felt nothing but gratitude, and adoration. Her reaction toward Ron, which normally would have been furious, was calmed by Harry's protectiveness of her. Still, if she had brought her wand to quidditch practice with her, Ron would likely have bats coming out of her nose right about now. As it was she put a hand on Harry's shoulder. "It's okay," she said to him. "Ron was just caught off guard, isn't that right, Ron?"
This seemed to wake Hermione up from where she was standing staring at the situation beside Ron. "That's right," she said "Ron, you know Harry would never do anything to hurt Ginny. You wanted them to get together." She placed her hand on his arm. "You know they care about each other. You have to accept that things are going to happen between them now that they are going out."
Ron took a deep breath. Hermione's speech seemed to do its job in soothing him. "Right. I still don't think it's appropriate to catch them in a situation like this, though."
"Ron, I--" Harry looked at his friend. "I'm sorry. I'll try to be more aware of your feelings, Ron. I do care about your sister, though."
"Me too, Ron," said Ginny. She looked over at Harry and smiled at him. "And me too, Harry," she added.
Ron sighed, and gave them a small grin. "I know," he said.
Hermione beamed. "Right! And I love all of you too," she said. Noticing Ginny's shivers, she began casting drying and warming charms at everything in sight. "Now it's after curfew to be on the grounds, so all of us need to get going. C'mon, Ginny, I'll help you get all of this stuff back up to the castle," she said, beginning to gather up Ginny's protective quidditch padding. Ginny pulled on her shoes, and picked up her tank-top from the floor where it had fallen as discretely as possible and stuffed it into the pocket of the quidditch robe she was wearing, which she was pretty sure belonged to Harry, but she wasn't about to switch it now with her brother and Hermione in the room. Hermione handed her half of the gear she had gathered, hooked her arm through Ginny's free one, and the girls began to walk up to the castle together, talking in quiet voices. They had only gone a few steps, when Hermione burst out laughing, and Ginny began giggling quietly too.
Ron watched them go, shaking his head. "Mental," he muttered under his breath.
Harry picked his wand up from the floor where it had fallen near Ron's feet. He straightened up, and gave Ron a light punch on the arm. "So we're okay, then?" he asked.
Ron raised an eyebrow, and punched him back, hard enough to hurt, but smiled at him. "Yeah," he said. "Just don't let me catch you at it like that again." He shuddered. "That was disgusting."
"Yeah, so were you and Lav-Lav," said Harry, "but that didn't stop you two from going at it in every chair in the common room."
Ron grimaced. "Don't remind me," he said. He helped Harry to gather up the last of the strewn about quidditch gear, and the two walked up to the castle together. They burst through the doors of the entrance hall a moment later, and Harry who was still busy teasing Ron about his escapades with Lavender, accidentally walked directly into Zacharias Smith, who was standing right in front of the doors for an unknown reason.
"Oops, sorry about that," Harry said to him.
Zacharias took in Ron's flushed expression, Harry's inside-out tee-shirt, and the clothing they were carrying in one glance, and reddened with anger. "Just what EXACTLY is going on here?" he shouted.
A/N: So what does everyone think? Review please! I happily accept all constructive criticism, as I would like to edit this story before posting it to any other sites. Unfortunately, I have a tendency to start stories without finishing them, but for the first time, I have my story completely planned and outlined in this case. As you can likely tell from the summary, there will be five more parts after this one. (I was going to wait until the whole thing was written before posting, but I'm too eager for feedback to do that. Plus sometimes reader reactions change what I plan to do with a story. I do plan to finish all of my other stories, btw. Except for Voicemail, probably--but that was supposed to be a one-shot and I got talked into extending it, so that's not really my fault… J. ) Anyway! I'm mostly writing this as an exercise for myself In writing fluff. I don't think I'm that good at writing it, (though I enjoy reading it) and I want to get more comfortable with it. What did you like? What did you hate? Please review and let me know! You can (hopefully) expect the next chapter by next weekend. It would be sooner, but I have crazy amounts of homework to get done before Thanksgiving. Speaking of Thanksgiving, you British folks, if you wouldn't mind letting me know about all of my Americanisms that need to be changed in this story, I would appreciate it. Also I like the title, but I don't think it really fits the story. Who has a suggestion? J