AN: The prompt was to show a change in Harry and Ginny's relationship mirrored by a change in seasons. The request(from the Changing Seasons comm on LJ) was for awkward, first time fumblings, Quidditch, other Weasleys, and a whole bunch of other things. I...tried? I also tried to get the smut that was requested. And they did this.
Extra special thanks to Sara, who put the beginning of this into my mind with her fabulous portrayal of Harry at Post_Bellum.
In a way, Ginny didn't want to return home for the hols. At Hogwarts, she was doing fine and dealing with Fred's death. At home, it'd be Christmas, and he wouldn't be there. Mum was going to be a wreck, she was sure, and George probably wouldn't be any better. If Ginny was being honest with herself, she wasn't fine, either. She missed Fred. Christmas wouldn't be the same without the twins setting off fireworks and rigging people's presents with pranks.
It was easier than she thought to get off the train and meet George at the station. Dad was at work, and Mum was cleaning house for the Delacours, so it was just her and George for the day. They went to Diagon Alley to look at the shoppe, got a Butterbeer at the Leaky, and Ginny spent most of the day joking to try and cheer George. There were even moments where she got a true laugh, and that helped her feel better. George wasn't okay – and she probably wasn't either, but they'd get better. That's how things worked.
When she arrived back at the Burrow, Mum had run down to the village to get a few things for dinner. That meant she'd probably get to talking to Mrs. Hooper, the greengrocer's wife, and not be back for hours. To quiet her growling stomach, Ginny grabbed a few biscuits on her way up the stairs to put her trunk away.
She hopped up the last three steps and stopped, feeling stupid as she ran right into Harry. She'd completely forgotten he and Hermione would be at the Burrow for Christmas –though where they would have gone, she didn't know.
"Hullo, Harry," she said, with what she hoped was a friendly smile. "How long have you been here?"
"Uh, hi Gin." He took a step backwards and nearly tripped up the step. "I just got here this afternoon – we were at Grimmauld, but we came here to wrap our gifts. Kreacher kept trying to instruct us on how to properly tie a bow," he said with a wry grin. He gave her an awkward, one-armed hug, but backed away quickly.
She hadn't talked to Harry much since the end of the war. He'd retreated to Grimmauld Place and been reclusive ever since. Hermione had returned to Hogwarts to get her NEWTS and was in the process of bullying Ron into doing the same. Harry, however, hadn't budged. They'd exchanged a few letters, but Ginny had been busy with NEWTs and Quidditch. Harry had been busy with whatever he had been doing. Ginny had given up trying to figure out if this was more of him being stupid and noble or if he just wasn't interested in her.
She gave him a smile. "Anything good for me?" she teased. It was probably best to just act normal and not try to seduce him in her bedroom. Upon reflection, it was one of the worst ideas she'd ever had. The thought made her redden. That was the last time she'd use a Witch Weekly article for advice.
He grinned back. "Of course. Couldn't forget you, Gin."
"Where's Ron and Hermione?" she asked, searching for something to talk about. He looked…good. He had a bit of a five o'clock shadow that made her want to touch his face, which made playing it cool harder than she thought. "Or do I not want to know?"
"They're just wrapping gifts. I'm supposed to keep you from ruining the surprise. Come with to the kitchen?" he asked.
"Ruin the surprise, eh? I reckon that's not Christmassy. Mum's made some biscuits - they're pretty good," she volunteered, heading down the stairs. She was rambling, but she couldn't help it. "I really hope Fleur didn't talk her into making Bouillabaisse. I may have to start calling her Phlegm again if she ruins my traditional Christmas dinner." She pulled a face. She hated most of Fleur's French cooking. There was only so many times she could be told 'oh, try this, it's lovely,' because it was French, only to have it turn out to be snails or some nasty thing. Fleur was all right, but she was pants at cooking decent food.
"Biscuits sound brilliant," Harry replied, following Ginny down the stars. "I'm not really a fan of Bouillabaisse myself, even if Fleur's great. Is she helping your Mum with Christmas dinner?"
"I think conscripted is more the word," Ginny joked. "Mum pretty much commandeers everyone at Christmas."
She went into the kitchen and hopped onto the counter, letting her legs swing. She grabbed another biscuit from the jar and passed it to Harry, who was standing next to her. "You going to be here a while, or will you go back to Grimmauld Place?"
She took a bite of her biscuit then added, "Mum probably won't let you go until she gets the chance to fatten you up. You know how she likes to feed you." She poked him in the arm as he reached across her for another biscuit from the jar.
He grinned and poked her back. "I don't need fattening. I'll have you know Witch Weekly loves my physique."
Ginny laughed. It was true that the magazine had run an article about him last month with a blurry picture of him at the Ministry, with the headline "Boy-Hero Now A Fit Man!" and all sorts of speculation. She was quite amused to note the pygmy puff tattoo rumour was still going strong.
She broke another piece of the biscuit off and popped it into her mouth. She missed this with Harry – the talking part – not that the snogging part was anything to complain about; but it was nice to have a chance to talk to him.
She didn't know if he was even still interested in her - she reckoned not, since he'd been so distant since he'd come back. Even so, it was nice to have him back. There were just some things he understood that no one else did, and he was easy to talk to. With Ron, whenever she tried to talk to him, they always ended up rowing. With the other boys she dated, they were always sulky when she wouldn't' let them go too far or wanting to talk only about themselves. Harry wasn't like that at all.
She caught movement out of the corner of her eye and looked out the window. "Oh, snow! Let's go," she exclaimed. Ginny hopped off the counter, grabbing his hand to drag him out the back door. There was already a few inches on the ground, but in order for it to be a proper Christmas, Ginny thought they should have a few more. A dusting just wasn't enough.
"But – I don't have a coat," Harry protested, although he allowed himself to be dragged outside.
"So? You've got a wand. Do a warming charm," Ginny countered with a grin. She looked up, sticking her tongue out to catch a few snowflakes before she cast the warming charm on herself. Which didn't work as well as she hoped when she got hit in the back of her head with a wet plop. Harry had lobbed a snowball at the back of her head. "You'll pay for that, Potter!"
He laughed and took off running for the trees, probably to try and hide. Ginny quickly lumped together her own snowball and shook the snow out of her hair. Harry wasn't too far ahead of her, and she got within throwing range quick enough. Practice as a Chaser had paid off, because the snowball she threw hit Harry squarely in the back.
"Hey!" he exclaimed, turning towards her as he bent down to grab more snow.
Ginny laughed and ran up to his bent form, tackling him so he went down face first. He rolled over, sputtering, with his glasses skewed. She should have been on the defense instead of laughing at his predicament, because he shoved a handful of snow in her face as soon as he had straightened his glasses. Still laughing, Ginny wiped the snow from her face, tipping backward as she tried to stand. She ended up sitting down in a drift, which was a tad chilly. Perhaps a jacket would have been prudent.
Then things changed. He grabbed her arm to help her up, but tugged too hard, so that she ended with her fingers splayed across his chest to catch herself. Ginny froze, unsure how to react. Instead of awkwardly stepping back, as he had in the house, Harry grabbed the back of her head, pulling her in for a kiss. His nose was as cold as hers, and their foreheads bumped. Her hands came up around his neck, holding him tightly. It was as if everything that had been pent up for the last year had broken free.
His tongue dove into her mouth and Ginny moaned. She'd be a liar if she didn't admit she missed the snogging bit, too. There was something about Harry that no other bloke had, something she hadn't been able to find in any of the others she had dated. It seemed silly, because she was only seventeen, but he was pretty much it for her. She didn't think she could find anyone else who could make her feel this way.
Kissing Harry was like that heady rush of champagne when she had gulped down two glasses at Bill and Fleur's wedding. It made her feel dizzy, her body tingly and warm despite the cold.
His fingers fumbled with the buttons on her jumper, and Ginny didn't move to stop him. They hadn't done this back at Hogwarts, but somehow, she couldn't think of a good reason not to, now. She kissed him deeply, matching the intensity of his lips meeting hers – until his cold hands skimmed her waist.
She yelped and jumped back, surprised by how cold it had felt. Then she realized where they were and started to redden again. It was snowing, they were in full view of the Burrow's kitchen window, and her jumper was half-open. It felt like she had stubble burn on her chin and he had some of her colored chapstick smeared across his lips. Harry was breathing heavily, but he was grinning, too.
"Sorry. Didn't think about the cold," he said as she buttoned her jumper with cold, stiff fingers and he wiped the chapstick off his face. He paused then added, "I've wanted to do that for a while."
"Yeah?" Ginny said. She didn't bother to fight her grin that was forming. "I have too." With that, she grabbed his hand, pulling him back to the Burrow. If they were lucky, Mum wouldn't be back from the grocers yet.
"Gin, what-," he asked. She shushed him as she closed the kitchen door as quietly as possible. They were both dripping from the snow, but if they tiptoed, their shoes might not squeak.
"Come up to my room. We'll warm up," she whispered. She had to bite her lip from letting a laugh escape at the look on his face. That had definitely come out more provocative than she intended.
They managed to make it up the stairs without a hitch, and Harry's hands were under her jumper again before she even closed the door to her bedroom. They were standing in the middle of the room, trousers dripping on the carpet. She'd have to remember to grab some towels to sop up the mess before Mum noticed her soggy carpet. Harry was currently kissing his way down the side of her neck. With a final tug, Ginny got his shirt untucked from his trousers, so she could run her hands up his back.
Hary finished unbuttoning her jumper, his hands slightly warmer than before. "Uh, Ginny-"
"It clasps in the front," she supplied helpfully, as she felt his hands make a pass or two over the back of her bra strap.
He moved his hands back down to her waist, and kissed her before muttering something unintelligible against her lips. He had water dripping from his hair onto his glasses, and Ginny could feel a cold trickle down the back of her neck. She couldn't help the twitch of her lips, although she didn't giggle. Reaching a hand up between their bodies, she deftly unhooked the clasp so that her bra sprang open. She moved to shrug out of the two, but then Harry had moved backward to sit on her bed, still gripping her arms, leading her to tumble on top of him.
He was staring at her breasts.
Ginny fervently hoped he wasn't one of those blokes like Charlie, who only liked women with "more than a handful" as her breasts would need fairly small hands for that to happen. This information, as well as a few copies of Playwizard that she had found, were one of the few joys of having older brothers.
Her thoughts came back to the present as Harry ran a hand lightly over her left breast, coming back to tentatively touch her nipple, which had hardened into a stiff peak. She sucked in a breath, changing her position slightly so that his knee was between her legs. Merlin, that felt amazing.
The feeling was short-lived, however, as her bedroom door opened.
"Oi, Ginny, have you seen-" Ron began, then yelped. Ginny jumped off of Harry and quickly buttoned the necessary buttons on her jumper. Her bra was still unclasped underneath, and it was bunched uncomfortably under her arms. Harry had grabbed one of the pillows from her bed and had it over his lap. "You prat! I told you to distract her while I wrapped her present, not snog her! Do that at your own house where I don't have to see it," Ron yelled at him.
Harry's face was red and Ginny was sure hers matched his in color. "This is why you're supposed to knock!" Ginny replied. "Honestly, what if I'd been starkers!"
Ron's face flushed, and took on a queasy look. "Merlin, Gin, you think I want to think about you and Harry starkers? Thanks!"
"Um-" Harry tried to interject, but neither noticed.
"Oh, you're so welcome," Ginny said sarcastically. She crossed her arms over her chest. Her bra was starting to slip down, and she was making a last-ditch effort to keep it up.
Hermione poked her head around the corner of the doorframe just as Ginny's bra fell out of the bottom of her sweater. Ron made a gurgling, choked sound in the back of his throat, and Harry coughed as he readjusted the pillow on his lap. "I don't think I want to know," Hermione said. She had raised an eyebrow at the scene, but her lips hadn't even twitched. Ginny had to admire her self-control. "I just wanted to let you know; your Mum's back and wants your help in the kitchen, Ginny. We've been conscripted."
Hermione turned to go back down to the kitchen and tugged Ron with her, leaving Ginny to awkwardly try and hook her bra back together without unbuttoning her jumper again. Harry got up from the bed, adjusting the fit of his trousers.
"You're missing a button," Harry supplied helpfully, trailing a finger down the placket. She had, indeed, lost a button sometime in the last hour. Ginny shivered, and it wasn't from her wet hair.
"Yeah. Must have happened on the train," she replied, grinning up at him. He leaned in to kiss her again. She had missed this so much, even if she hadn't wanted to admit it before.
Ginny groaned against his lips. "Guess I better help Mum. If she's been talked into Bouillabaisse, you're helping me stage the revolt," she told him.
"Okay," he told her. There was a silly grin on his face. She was sure there was one on hers, too.
As they made their way down the stairs, he took her hand. It seemed his stupid, noble thing had passed.