Ginny is honest with herself; she knows she is a scrawny eleven-year-old with carrot-vomit hair and freckles that look like a permanent rash has developed across her face. She knows she always loses her knights within the first ten minutes of playing chess against her brother, and that her mum doesn't let her help out in the kitchen because she'd lose all ten of her fingers even faster than she'd lose to Ron.
Ginny also knows that she is a fantastic liar.
When Ron catches her sneaking out at night, he asks if she is sneaking out to the broom shed to play Quidditch.
Ginny tells him that she's off to the loo, and to sneak a few cookies from the kitchen.
Ron never suspects, and better yet, neither do Fred and George, even when Ginny accidentally crashes into a tree and snaps a few twigs off the tail-end of Fred's broom.
Fred accuses Ron, who rolls his eyes and says Serves you right for ruining my favorite toy.
Ginny feels a bit guilty, but not guilty enough to confess.
Ginny is honest with herself; she knows she is not good enough for Harry Potter.
The trouble is, everyone else knows it, too.
Hermione doesn't look surprised when Ginny confesses the reason why she's curled up on the Gryffindor common room couch at three in the morning.
"I know I shouldn't let it get to me," Ginny says, and takes the handkerchief Hermione has summoned from her bag, "but they're right."
"Pansy Parkinson has never been right about anything," Hermione says firmly. "And don't worry—Harry doesn't know you like him. Honestly, he doesn't notice."
Ginny's lower lip trembles, and she blinks away the tears clinging to her eyelashes as Hermione reconsiders her words.
"I think that's the problem, Gin," Hermione continues, a thoughtful wrinkle forming between her eyebrows. "Harry doesn't notice you because you're not you when he's around. You have to talk to him like he's a friend of yours. You're intimidating yourself by building him up to be something he's not. You can't pull your punches."
"Pull your punches?"
"You know," Hermione says, gesturing with her hands, "you're not being honest about yourself if you turn into someone else every time he enters the room."
Ginny thinks about the last time she was completely honest about her feelings, and how it nearly killed her.
"He can't read your mind, Ginny," Hermione says. "He can't fall in love with you from afar."
She decides that honesty isn't always the best policy, but maybe it's the only one that can give her a fighting chance.
Ginny is honest with herself; she knows one of the best things about being Harry's girlfriend is the way he feels against her, leaning into her when they sit together at dinner and their fingertips touching as they lay sprawled along the lakeshore.
The day Harry kissed her, she'd fallen asleep thinking I'm Harry's girlfriend, and woken up with sweaty palms and her hair sticking to her forehead.
She'd felt silly, being nervous to go downstairs for breakfast the next day, but her ten-year-old self seemed to posses her mind (which, when she thought about it, was a horrible way to phrase her fears). She thought her face looked stark and naked with her flaming hair, and she wondered if Harry would see her—see through her.
But she remembered Hermione's advice, and greeted Harry with a warm smile and a hug that was only slightly shaky, before relaxing into something natural.
Now there is nothing between her and Harry; sometimes, when they're out walking together, she says everything that's on her mind, like she's talking to a diary, because she's curious if Harry is interested in her thoughts.
She loves Harry, and she's pretty sure that he loves her, too.
Ginny is honest with herself; she knows that even if she and Harry hadn't gotten back together, she still would have wanted to play professional Quidditch.
"I can't believe you're not doing something useful," her mum had said one day. "Ron and Harry are going to be Aurors, and Hermione's working for the Ministry, and here you are, haring off to join the Harpies! You owe it to the magical community—you owe it to Harry--to give back!"
"I owe it to myself to be happy," Ginny had replied tartly, then gave her angry mum a hug and floo'd back to her flat.
Later that night she tells Harry what her mum said, and then asks if he thinks she's being selfish.
"If being happy is selfish," Harry says, tangling one hand in her hair and using the other to pull her in for a kiss, "then your mum should be yelling at me."
Harry spends all night trying to prove to Ginny that he is the selfish one, and when they finally fall asleep near dawn, Ginny decides it's a draw.
Ron grins and claps Harry on the back when he sees the ring. "I knew Harry here would make an honest woman out of you."
Ginny catches Hermione's eye, and they smile.
Author's Note: This is my first Harry/Ginny fic (er, that I'm not too embarassed to post, anyway! *g*) so feedback/concrit would be ADORED. 3