Chapter One: Ginny Weasley and That Kiss
The Gryffindor common room was alight with energy as the whole house was celebrating the Quidditch victory that Harry's team had provided. The buzz from the crowd out on the pitch as they cheered the Gryffindors on to victory had been transferred straight into the common room and, if anything, the atmosphere had sparked to life even more, once they had reached the common room. Scarlet and Gold banners were draped from the ceiling to the floor.
The wall had been decorated with pictures that Colin Creevey had taken that year during both the season's matches and the odd practices that he had managed to sit in the stands for, to show the images of their triumphant retaining of the cup. As shown by the huge picture of Harry catching the snitch in the Slytherin match that had been magically enlarged, the quality of Colin's photographs had vastly improved in the last five years and now made a stunning backdrop to the celebrations. It had even been suggested by more than a couple of Gryffindors that he should try and get a job at the Daily Prophet when he left school.
There was an overflowing barrel of Butterbeer that had been liberated from the kitchens along with an array of treats. The house-elves had been very generous in their offering to the Gryffindor party when a number of Katie Bell's friends had taken it upon themselves to visit the kitchens. There was also a selection of sweets that looked rather like they had come from Hogsmeade that had arrived with Dobby twenty minutes after the treats Katie's friends had acquired.
While the cheers and the chants from the stands had been deafening, adding to the intensity felt on the pitch, that was nothing compared to now. To describe the noise coming from the Gryffindor common room as loud would put it the class of the understatement of the year. And the way Gryffindor house had screamed themselves hoarse pitch side, it was an even more incredible noise that filled the common room and people dug deep from their reserves to sing, chant or even just discuss a play-by-play account of the match. The radio was going at full blast making an ear-splitting noise and it looked like the party could keep going not only all afternoon but well into the early hours of the morning.
The whole team was being treated like heroes.
As always the fever that arose to defeat Slytherin had grown over the weeks. The fierce rivalry that was present between the two houses had placed such a weight of importance on the match. The victory that had been hard fought against Ravenclaw had elevated the status of the players so that even the mildest of egos would have been fed.
Ron was prancing around like an idiot with the Cup even though Katie had been made captain, and for once Hermione, just smiling as she gazed at him in a fashion that suggested it might not be too long before they became more than just friends, was tolerating Ron's boastful nature as he told everyone about the great saves that he had made and smiling back at him. Ginny's brother played the part of the Quidditch hero very well, it was just a pity that he couldn't handle defeat but Ron had never been known for having a gracious nature.
Dean and Seamus were drinking something that looked suspiciously like Firewhisky, and had Lavender Brown and Parvati Patil giggling at each feeble joke they made. Although both of the sixth year girls could be considered flaky, this was really taking it to the extreme with the particularly weak nature of the jokes, making Ginny positive that a more intoxicating drink was in the cups. She knew from personal experience that both Dean and Seamus had already smuggled Firewhisky in earlier that year but after the break up, she had not been that close to Dean to tell and there was no chance she would be permitted a taste now.
The two beaters, Jimmy Peakes and Ritchie Coote, were banging the bats they'd brought with them straight from the pitch instead of returning them to their cases, on anything they could. The bats banged on the tables, chairs and even against the fireplace in a drum like cadence, leading chants of 'Gryf-fin-dor, Gyrf-fin-dor, Gyrf-fin-dor'.
Katie Bell was talking to Demelza Robins over full mugs of Butterbeer with broad grins plastered across their faces. Their smiles were lighting up their faces and were indeed mirrored across the room. In fact, it was only Ginny's face that did not share that expression. Ginny herself was only partly listening to the conversation that the two Chasers were having as they spoke about the year's matches, her eyes instead were on the common room door.
Ginny was not a patient person; she preferred action, which was exactly the reason she preferred playing as a Chaser to Seeker. A Seeker may get all the glory at the end of the match but there was far too much waiting for it to reach that point. Being a Chaser allowed her to be in the heat of the action, instead of having to use the few patient qualities that she owned. Right now sitting around waiting was killing her. She was amazed that she hadn't snapped Katie's or Demelza's head off about the nonsense they were now talking. She had taught herself to wait for him for so long but today, the last thing she wanted was to wait and the little patience she had was quickly disappearing.
She just could not be fully involved in the party until Harry came back.
It almost didn't feel right that they had begun celebrating already, especially when something in her very core was telling her the party should wait until Harry's detention had finished. In fact, the whole Quidditch match had been a bittersweet experience as she was greeted as the hero who had won them the Cup by catching the snitch before Cho Chang. It had felt strange as she had flown up above the pitch with Harry's ex-girlfriend instead of being involved in the action, she should have been with the other Chasers and not hovering above them, it was almost as strange as it had felt not to have Harry around. The one highlight of the day had been that she never enjoyed missing the opportunity of beating Cho Chang to that precious golden prize, and that capture had earned her one genuine smile so far that day.
Her heart had lurched when Blaise Zabini, who had been providing the highly biased commentary, had announced with glee that Harry would be missing. Harry should have been there and it didn't feel right without him. It was Harry's team and he should have led them out there to the victory he had worked so hard for and trained them so well for; it was hard not to feel hurt that he was missing.
Yet in a strange way that had made her feel more resolute to catch the snitch, just like last year, she was going to get the golden snitch for him.
The emotions she had been feeling had been on a rollercoaster ride all day as she had realized how much she had missed him and she knew that those emotions would not even start to settle until she had seen Harry.
A roar of celebration almost burst her eardrums as the Fat Lady swung open. The noise level increased immeasurably as Harry appeared in the portrait hole. Screams were plentiful as arms pulled Harry through, his apprehensive look had disappeared instantly as he appeared to have clearly worked out the outcome of the match-- not that hard given the state of the common room. Harry's apprehensive look had clearly been replaced with a smile that had lit up his face right to the sparkle in those absorbing green eyes.
Her heart had jumped up into her mouth at his smile and she could feel her body shaking.
"We Won!" yelled Ron, bouncing forwards and brandishing the silver Cup at Harry. "We won! Four hundred and fifty to a hundred and forty! We won!"
Before she had had a chance to say or do anything, Ron's voice echoed around the common room. It seemed like everyone was now shouting the score as if they all needed to personally tell it to Harry and the drum like beats of the Beater bats grew louder.
Ginny could not help feeling a little crestfallen. She had wanted to be the one to break the news to Harry but that all quickly disappeared as she looked towards Harry and smiled. She guessed the noise would have told him the result anyway but at least she could tell him the finer points of the match.
She pushed those thoughts to the back of her mind as quickly as they had come. Right now, even though Quidditch was at the forefront of everyone else's mind, it didn't matter to her one dot. Seeing him standing there highlighted the fact that there were so many more important things.
Time slowed as she stared at him. He may have just come from detention and in many people's eyes been looking far from his best but, by Merlin, he was gorgeous. Strong and powerful. His jet black hair was ruffled making it look messier than normal. And those green eyes, she could get lost staring into those green eyes.
All those feelings that she had ignored for so long and pushed to the very back of her heart were bubbling inside her, growing and refusing to be dismissed again. She had always wanted to be so much more than a friend to Harry and now seemed the right time to act. After all, she was built for action not sitting around patiently waiting for things to happen.
Instinct took over as she ran towards Harry, pushing through people that were in the way. Her arms flung around his neck to pull him into a hug as adrenaline pumped through every inch of her body. They were both smiling and her brown eyes met his green ones. They stared into each others eyes, brown and green interlocking for the briefest of seconds.
It seemed like an eternity before he kissed her.
Right now, it did not matter that there were fifty people watching as she was caught up in his arms and deepened the kiss.
She was kissing Harry and that was all that mattered.
Their tongues brushed against each other in a tango like dance that was so tentative yet so passionate, as her whole body jumped with excitement. His arms kept a tight hold around her. He was so powerful yet at the same time tender. She relaxed into the hold as her arms flung their way round his neck and the kiss continued, deepened and raised goosebumps on her skin. Right now, something told her the very thing that she had known in the back of her mind for so long: this was the place where she had always belonged.
It was only when they broke apart that she became aware of the whooping and catcalls. The noise in the common room had increased tenfold and was thunderous, even louder than when she had caught the snitch. As that snitch had fluttered against her fingers, she had thought the noise and explosiveness of the celebrations would have shattered the stands as they drowned out the booing of the Slytherins giving her the most incredible adrenaline rush, a rush that had just been surpassed.
All that was nothing compared to this.
She smiled, a smile that shone across her whole face, and Harry returned it, at the noise and the people staring at them. She should have known that Harry, their hero, her hero, had always got louder cheers than her by catching that treasured prize.
Her heart was still pounding as they slowly broke apart; almost as if she had just sprinted up the seven flights of stairs in less than ten minutes and she doubted it would ever slow down again. It was as if her body, or at the very least her heart, still wanted the kiss to continue. Delicious shivers radiated through her as she felt Harry take her hand in his.
He gave it a slight pull and she let him lead her out of the common room. The only thing that she knew for sure was that she would follow him wherever he wanted to go. His hand tightened the grip as he led her along the seventh floor corridor. She just smiled sweetly at him and squeezed his hand. She wasn't sure she trusted her voice at the moment and besides, she was completely content and words were unnecessary. Time felt precious and she wanted to enjoy each moment of it. They silently made their way through the castle and to the main entrance.
The sun burst through the opening as the entrance door was flung open, lighting up the whole entrance way. It was almost as if the weather had chosen to celebrate with them. The sun was shooting beams down onto the grounds.
May and its springtime weather was quickly becoming her favourite month.
Once they were outside, and treading down the familiar pathway to the lake, Harry finally spoke, "So, we won."
"Yeah, we won," she repeated rather feebly.
She could kick herself right now for such an inadequate response. She knew that her brothers would fall down laughing if they saw her just repeating a boy's words and not coming up with a witty reply. Fred would always say that he could tolerate Percy when he had a sister that could outwit even a Gringotts goblin in a spilt second and swear like a dealer in Knockturn Alley. The last thing they would expect from her was such an insipid response; she could almost hear the twins' laughter ringing in her ears.
All that, of course, would have come after they had beaten Harry to a pulp for kissing her as they had threatened to do to so many other boys.
She smiled softly as she looked at him and let her thoughts fade to the back of her mind; he really was incredible.
Actually, Harry might be the one person who would escape a beating for dating her since all of her brothers already treated him like one of them.
"And I kissed you." His voice was so soft, almost lost into the air, it appeared he was struggling with the conversation as much as she.
Ginny smiled, unable to keep a hint of mischief out of her voice, "I noticed that."
Harry was smiling to back at her. His whole face had lightened and his green eyes were glistening with the same happiness. That smile that made the world of difference to his face. So often, she had seen Harry walking around the school, looking like he had the weight of the world on his shoulders but right now all that was gone.
He was just Harry.
"So… Well… So….," Harry was stumbling around with his words as if he was nervous. He stopped talking to pause and look into her eyes and give his new words a level of confidence, "What happens now?"
He gave her hand a small tug and they fell down to the ground, positioning themselves on the very edge of the lake and under the shade of a large oak tree, a tree that could protect them from the eyes of others if they wanted to take matters further than nervous conversation.
"Right now?" Ginny winked at him, "I wouldn't mind picking things up where we left off, just minus the audience."
Harry's smile had turned into a grin, a grin that extended from his mouth to the sparkling affect in his eyes, "That's an excellent idea."
"I do have them every once in a while," mischief taking over the tones of her voice.
This time she initiated the kiss as their mouths met. The first kiss was immensely enjoyable, verging on passionate. It had been the fulfilment of a six year wait and all the nerves and feelings that lay deep-rooted beneath all that. But this one was different, their second kiss, was hard. She could feel Harry's hands in her hair as her own hands slid down his back. Her heart was pounding again. The firm and chaste kiss made her feel like she was soaring in the skies, higher than she had ever flown on a broom.
After what seemed like days, or the very least hours, they broke apart again.
"You know everyone will be watching us." Harry finally said.
"Who cares?" Ginny smiled.
She had never cared what people said about her so why would she worry now? It wasn't her fault if people didn't have better things to do. As long as they didn't stop her enjoying herself, or write about her activities to her mother, she couldn't care less.
"People are always underestimating me and they really shouldn't; you just need to think for a second who my brothers are," she winked, "I've picked up more than a few tricks."
Ginny's own smile grew, "Don't underestimate my skills at avoiding detection, especially with an Invisibility Cloak and the Marauder's Map now at my disposal." Her voice was alive with a sense of fun as her mind wandered to what she could get up to in hidden parts of the school, "I'm sure we can find more creative places than hidden passages to Hogsmeade and the Room of Requirement."
"The Quidditch changing rooms should be empty now the season's over. And then there's the broom sheds." Harry offered as his own playful nature took over. "I think we should check on our broomsticks tomorrow."
"That is an excellent idea," she replied quickly, "I'd hate to think that I was neglecting my Cleansweep, just because the season is over."
Harry squeezed her hand, as he pulled her closer to him, so that she could feel his breath on her face. It was a quick, excited breath, that matched her own and sent goosebumps rising on her arms again. They sank back further into the shade of the oak tree, their bodies fitting so closely together as this time, Harry instigated the kiss that sent shivers down her spine.