Title: Ginny's Birthday
Word Count: 1500
Summary: Harry realizes he needs to make up for something
Author's Notes: Written for the Ginny's Birthday Challenge at the LiveJournal community chest_monsters. The challenge was to write a short story (1500 words or less) about Ginny's birthday, using a picture that has Harry and Ginny laughing together in the Common Room for inspiration.
I was on tenterhooks. And I didn't like it. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't that I was upset about having to wait-I've had to wait plenty of times in my life. But this situation was completely new for me.
Perhaps I should back up. Otherwise, you may not understand just exactly why I was so anxious.
It had been about a week since Harry had kissed me. Hmm, that makes it seem like I have only a vague idea of the passage of time since The Kiss. Let me start again. It had been exactly five days, 22 hours, and 11 minutes since Harry had held me in his arms and kissed me incoherent. Not coincidentally, the past five days, 22 hours and 11 minutes had been the happiest of my life, obviously. Anyway, I was currently seated in the Great Hall having lunch.
I need to explain something else before we go on, okay? Harry is one of the most thoughtful people in the world, and he and I had had some wonderful far-ranging conversations since The Kiss. In one of these, we touched upon behaviors and expectations now that we were officially dating. This is the kind of talk that can be rather overwhelming (as it was with Michael-since he was my first boyfriend, I hadn't even realized we needed this talk), or tense (as it was with Dean-he seemed to think that "dating" translated as "spending every waking hour, and a few of the non, in each other's company). Or, and this came as another surprise, a fun, enjoyable, and altogether uplifting time. I was a little worried, going in, about how Harry was going to react. But it sprang up easily, and ended rather happily with an extended snogging session.
I'm rambling, aren't I? Harry has a tendency to do that to me. I'll try to be more concise. Okay, here's the thing-Harry understood that I couldn't spend all my time with him, as much as we both seemed to want that. He didn't expect me to abandon my friends, as Dean had. In fact, he seemed pathetically grateful that I was willing to spend any time with him at all! Sometimes I really want to hurt those Dursleys-he's doing better, but his self-image still needs a lot of work. As if I wouldn't want to be with him!
So, I was sitting with my friends for lunch when Harry got up from his seat next to Ron and Hermione, and walked over. All the girls around me blushed and giggled (I can't blame them, Happy Harry (as he's been for the past almost week) is a wonderful thing to see), and I turned and smiled at him. He smiled back, with a devilish glint in his eye. I just about forgot to breathe; he has quite the effect on me. If he ever realized how strongly he affects teenage-girl hormones, and used his power for evil, he'd be completely unstoppable.
"Hey, Gin," he said.
I smiled back and said, "Hi, Harry, what's up?"
"Not much. But I was having a chat with Ron about. . . something. . . and I realized I need to fix it. So, are you free this evening? I'd like to spend some time with you, if you don't have conflicting plans. . ."
Even if I'd been planning something, it wouldn't have stopped me from agreeing. Harry didn't usually ask me to spend time with him, especially in front of others. This must be something special. "Of course, Harry-I get out of Potions at-"
"Five o'clock, right?"
Squee! He knew my schedule!
"Exactly!" I smiled brightly at him and his eyes went a little glassy. Hmmm, maybe I have some sort of power over him, too.
Silence for a bit, until he shook himself in realization that everyone was just staring at him. "Right. So, um, after dinner, then?"
"Sounds good to me."
"Okay, I'll see you then!" He turned and walked off, smiling all the while. I like knowing that I can do that for him. He certainly never acted that way when he and Cho were . . whatever they were.
Time passed excruciatingly slowly until finally dinner was over. It being Friday, the Common Room was a lively place. The younger ones were playing games, and the older ones were talking and laughing and, in a few cases, snogging.
Thankfully, Ron was busy tonight, doing something I didn't want to know about. And Hermione was curled up in one of the armchairs, reading one of the Wizarding Romance Novels I'd lent her. This one was called Even Darker but More Dashing and Daring Dates, by Kristine Floohan.
Harry motioned to the room. "I think this is something that should be done somewhere away from spying eyes. I've got my cloak and the Map-do you mind if we go to the Room of Requirement?"
My mind automatically started inventing scenarios that would need to be done in private, in a room that provides your every wish. Curse my fair skin, the blush must have been evident to everyone. And my mouth seemed suddenly too dry for speech. I nodded, reassuring Harry, who looked like he was beginning to doubt my sanity. But if he knew what I'd been thinking, he would have been rather red in the face too.
Harry led us through the castle, and created the room. It was good that I didn't, as I think the unconscious desires of my heart would have given us a much different room than what Harry seemed to have wanted.
We walked into an almost perfect replica of the Common Room. I took a moment to wonder whether, if I climbed the stairs, I'd find replicas of dormitories there too.
But Harry pulled me to the sofa, and we sat down. I saw a look of determination cross his face and he said, "Gin, I realized today that I haven't ever given you a birthday gift. No, don't interrupt, I know you probably didn't expect one for most of the time I've known you, but that doesn't excuse my behavior. I mean, now that I'm your boyfriend, I have quite the responsibility, but even before now I should have given you something. I mean, you're one of my friends too, right?"
"That's okay, Harry-"
"No, it isn't. Just 'cause the Dursleys never did anything for my birthday doesn't mean I should ignore you."
I tried to protest again, but he stopped me.
"So, after realizing this, I decided that I needed to make up for it."
I started to get excited now-Harry always goes all-out for everything, and if he'd decided to make up for my birthdays there was no telling what he'd do.
"Anyway, I had a really hard time deciding what to do for you. I'm sure you'd love a new broom, or some jewelry-" I nodded my head rather quickly as he spoke, "-but that didn't mean enough. So, I made you this."
He reached into his pocket and pulled out what looked like a bunch of small pieces of parchment bound together. As I took it from him, he went on, more nervously.
"I don't know if you know what coupons are, but they're like promises, or tickets for something. This is kind of a book of them."
I lifted the top cover, and there, written in Harry's inelegant scrawl, was: This coupon is good for one foot rub. I looked quickly up at Harry-he was trying not to fidget, but his eyes were as vulnerable as I'd ever seen them. I looked back down and turned to the next coupon. This coupon is good for one time my cleaning up after Quidditch so you don't have to. I was starting to get excited, and I could feel myself smiling even harder. The third one was This coupon is good for one dinner with me in the kitchens, so we can kiss between bites of food. I couldn't help the delighted laugh that came out when I read that one.
Harry flinched a bit, but I leaned up and kissed him. "These are wonderful, Harry. I don't think I could have ever imagined anything so sweet."
He sighed in relief. "I'm glad-I though you might think it was kind of silly, but it was something I really wanted to do to show you how much I care about you."
I kissed him again, and kept reading.
The coupons just kept getting better and better. There was one for a whole day of Harry being my servant, and another for an hour of practice time on his Firebolt.
The last one, though, was what started me crying. This one read This coupon is good for permanent possession of my heart. How could Harry, who had grown up with no love, have known exactly what I wanted from him? I couldn't help it-I put the book down, and turned and climbed completely into his lap, and snogged him as passionately as I could.