Title: Mistura d'Amore
Author: Casca Casccara@yahoo.com
Summary: A group of fifth year girls, including Ginny Weasely, make a love potion and the results are disastrous!
Spoilers: None, really.
Disclaimer: All characters and names used in these fics are the
Legal property and creative work of JK Rowling and/or Warner Bros.
Oh, except for Emma, Rebecca, Lana and my personal favorite, Sarah, —Potion Makers Extraordinaire. :D~The Night Before~
"Okay, next is the Bella Donna," Emma Dashbrook said, looking up from the ornate book she was reading and watching Lana Richmond carefully sink a little dropper into the bottle of crushed powder and drop the dust into the simmering cauldron.
"Oh, be careful, you don't want to slip and put too much of that in," the worried voice belonging to Sarah Murphy pleaded.
"How many times are you going to whine?" Rebecca Ethington snapped at Sarah and flipped her long blonde hair over her shoulder.
"Oh, shut it, Rebecca, you're known to whine a bit, if I recall," Ginny Weasley stated from her crossed-legged position on the floor beside the small pewter cauldron that was bubbling with shimmering pink bubbles now.
Rebecca grinned at Ginny. "This from the first class temper over there," she said and threw a pillow at her which Ginny laughingly threw back.
"I should have known all of you were too childish to go through with this," Lana said matter-of-factly then fell back on the floor as a pillow hit her in the face. "That's enough," she said laughing as well. "Come on, I really want to get this thing finished."
"What's next?" Ginny asked, leaning over Emma's shoulder to peer at the page.
Emma pushed her overly large glasses up her nose. "Just the sugar before we have to split it up."
Lana held out a hand to Rebecca who held out a hand for Emma who flipped her own hand in front of Ginny. "Sugar, please."
"Sugar," Ginny said, placing five sugar cubes, one for each girl, into Emma's hand. The cubes were passed to Lana who dropped them into the cauldron one by one.
The contents of the cauldron crackled and bubbled and turned clear as crystal.
"Now we add the little bits of ourselves, but we have to divide it first," Emma said. "Where are the goblets?"
"Goblets are right here," Sarah said. Ginny and Sarah arranged them neatly on the floor and watched Lana ladle each goblet with the clear potion that reminded Ginny rather unromantically of water. After adding a single strand of their own hair to each goblet, the girls placed their own cups on their bedside tables and collapsed with giggles on their beds.
"Who are you going to give yours to, Emma?" Lana asked, grinning.
"Oh… I dunno…" she sighed. "Whoever would I want to give a love potion to?"
The girls laughed; it was common knowledge that Emma had a mad crush on Seamus Finnigan, a sixth year Gryffindor boy who was way out of her league and already had a girlfriend.
"What about you, Gin?" Rebecca asked with a knowing grin. "Going to try it out on The Boy Who Lived?"
Ginny let out a snort. "Harry? Harry is ancient history," she retorted, exchanging meaningful grins with Sarah. Harry was anything but ancient in Ginny's history book but Sarah was the only girl in her year that Ginny still trusted with that information. "Besides, I thought we were going to use caution here," Ginny said, sitting up. "We can't just go around putting love spells on boys who already have girlfriends." She threw a pillow at Emma.
"Harry doesn't have a girlfriend," Lana said with a rather wicked grin.
"Harry is not an issue," Ginny said. "Seamus, however, is and I happen to know that Lavender Brown can be very jealous."
"Neville Longbotton doesn't have a girlfriend, either," Sarah said slyly and Ginny shot her a look.
"So… he already likes you, Ginny, why don't we just give him a little push?"
"He doesn't like me, and besides, I'm not giving my potion to anyone—this was just for fun. At least my fun. You lot can do as you please; I'm emptying mine out tomorrow."
"Bo-ring!" Lana said, throwing a pillow at her.
"I don't care!" Ginny laughed and threw the pillow back.
"The potion only lasts twenty-four hours," Emma reasoned. "And besides, the person won't remember anything after the one full day… remember?" She rolled off her bed with a lazy thud, crawled over to the book, Love by Magic, and started reading aloud:
"Mistura d'Amore, mixture of love, an ages-old Italian love potion originated in Italy and dating back to the late fifteenth century. It is myth that the Ancient Roman god Cupid, the god of love, who was said to fly around with a bundle full of arrows, would laden his arrows with Mistura d'Amore before shooting them into unsuspecting victims and causing them to fall madly in love with the person of Cupid's preference.
"Despite the myths surrounding Mistura d'Amore, the potion is true magic and very effective. The drinker will not suffer changes to his/her behavior, personality, or character, but will develop feelings of love for the maker of the potion and begin to express them, not in the clumsy, foolish fashion that Cupid's victims were often depicted, but with a natural and very pure manner. After twenty-four hours have passed, the potion will wear off and the drinker will remember nothing that happened while under the influence of it, and any events that had taken place with the potion brewer will have never existed in the mind of the drinker. The potion brewer, however, will remember everything."
"There you have it," Lana declared. "Twenty-four hours, and they won't remember anything afterwards."
"Yes, but other people will know—like Lavender Brown, for instance," Ginny said, grinning at Emma. "I don't care; if you girls want to cause destruction in the lives of your true loves then so be it, but count me out," she laughed as Sarah stuck her tongue out at Emma behind Emma's back.
"Please!" Lana exclaimed. "How much destruction can possibly be caused in one day?"
Ginny fingered the velvet tassel of her pillow, a certain black haired, green-eyed boy on her mind. A certain black-haired, green-eyed boy who had never paid any heed to her mad crush on him. "I don't even want to think about it."
Ginny awoke the next morning to an empty dorm. This was usually the case on weekends, for she often slept longer than everyone else did. She slid out of bed and the bronze goblet on her bedside table came into focus. Smiling at the memory of making the potion last night, she lifted the goblet, which was filled to the brim with the Mistura d'Amore and emptied it out in the sink of the girl's bathroom. Then she dressed herself and went down to breakfast.
Many people were filing out of the Great Hall as she entered it, however, the tables were still quite full of people just sitting down. She saw Sarah and started to make her way over to her.
Ginny turned and smiled. "Oh, hey, Neville, what's up?"
"Oh, nothing much. Have you had your breakfast?" he asked in his usual kind voice.
"No, I've slept in, I'm afraid. You?"
"No, I had to do detention early this morning for Snape," he said and shivered frightfully. Ginny laughed and Neville looked at her nervously. "I just sat down and started eating… would you like to join me? For breakfast, that is."
"Uh… sure," Ginny said, now distracted by Sarah in the background. She was waving both arms frantically, her eyes wide, and pointing to Neville. Ginny sent her a confused look and turned back to Neville who was still speaking to her.
"Shall we sit down?" he asked her.
"Um, okay," Ginny said and started in shock when Neville took her arm. Ginny glanced over at Sarah again. Her mouth was hanging open and she was dragging her fingers down her cheeks, a look of horror on her face.
Completely perplexed, Ginny allowed Neville to lead her to the table and they sat down. Neville asked her if she would like any eggs and she nodded, watching with bewilderment as he spooned some eggs onto her plate. He did the same with orange juice and toast, smiling very nervously at her as he fixed her breakfast.
"Ginny, I need to talk to you," Sarah was beside her and yanking her arm so that Ginny almost fell off the bench. "It's very important," Sarah said meaningfully.
"Uh, sure. Neville, will you excuse me for a second?"
Neville jumped up. "Sure, no problem, Ginny."
Sarah nearly dragged Ginny down the length of the Great Hall and turned to her in the middle of the entrance hall.
"Sarah, what is the matter with-"
"They gave Neville your potion," Sarah said in a rush.
Ginny stared at her. "What? That's impossible, I emptied out my potion this morn-"
"You emptied out my potion this morning. They switched, Emma told me that Lana had planned it and when we both came down to breakfast, Neville had already drank his pumpkin juice."
"Oh no," Ginny clasped her hands to her mouth and stared at Sarah in horror. "How could they do this? I told them I didn't want-" Ginny stopped suddenly and turned her head towards a very sudden, very powerful magnetic force.
Harry Potter was standing at the large wooden doors leading to the grounds. And he was staring directly at her.
Completely unnerved, she sent him a little smile and a wave before turning back to Sarah. She stared at her best friend, a blank look on her face. "What was I saying?"
"You were freaking out over-"
"Hey, Ginny." Neville was at her side again. "Is everything okay?" he asked worriedly.
Ginny turned to look at him and her heart just about broke. He looked so eager and so kind. She couldn't bare to tell him the truth, she just couldn't. "Everything's fine, Neville. Er, Neville, I'm not very hungry anymore. I'm just going to go up to my dormitory, I have some things I need to…" Ginny trailed off as she absentmindedly cast her eyes back to where Harry had been standing. With a jolt, she saw that he was still in the same place and his eyes were still on her.
Ginny watched Harry's eyes flicker to Neville and back to her again, looking put off about something now. Then with a shake of her head, Ginny looked away. She was imagining this, that was all. There were more important issues at hand. Neville, for instance.
"Are you sure, Ginny?" Neville was asking her and he looked very worried. "You look a little… troubled. Are you sure you're okay?"
"Oh, I'm-" Ginny started to say, "I'm fine," when a brilliant idea occurred to her. The potion would wear off after one day. So she simply would have to avoid Neville for that time. She could spend the entire day in her dormitory- there were no classes today anyhow; it would be rather easy if not totally boring. "Actually, yes, I'm not feeling too well."
Neville looked alarmed. "Really? Would you like me to escort you back to your dorm?"
"No!" Sarah said sharply and Ginny and Neville both jumped. "She is obviously too sick to go back to the dorm. Look at your flushed cheeks, you poor dear! I'm taking you to the hospital wing, Ginny."
Neville was frantic. "Are you sure she'll be okay? Perhaps, I should tell a teacher."
"I'll handle it, Neville, don't worry, now," Sarah said bravely. "Off you go."
"Feel better, Ginny," said Neville, wringing his hands.
"I will," Ginny said miserably.
"Oh, hey Ginny, wait! Here, take this." Neville held out a clean white handkerchief.
She held it in front of her wearily. "What's this for?"
He looked sheepish. "Oh, well, my Gran always gives me a hanky when I have to go to the mediwizard. It might… come in handy or something…"
"Uh… thanks," she said before Sarah yanked her away. "Oh, Sarah, poor Neville," she whispered as they climbed the steps to Gryffindor Tower. "I'm going to have to hide from him all day now!"
"He'll snap out of it," said Sarah reassuringly, tucking her long brown hair behind her ear. "Twenty-four hours, remember?"
"Yeah, I remember. But he'll have to be miserable for twenty-four hours in the process. Oh, I'll kill them for this."
Ginny and Sarah spent the entire morning in their dormitory, playing game after game of Gobstones and talking about basically nothing. Sarah agreed to keep Ginny company until she had to go the Divination Tower to aid Professor Trelawney in crystal ball cleaning ("The Fates' had chosen Sarah and Emma for it, according to Trelawney). Quite conveniently, Lana, Emma and Rebecca had not returned to the room all morning and Ginny couldn't wait until they did. They would not get away with this, at least without receiving a very cold shoulder from her.
At around noon, however, Ginny and Sarah looked up from their beds at a loud commotion coming from downstairs. They scrambled up and went down to see what was going on and as they entered the common room, they saw Seamus Finnigan and Lavender Brown standing in the middle of a huge crowd. They were both red in the face and screaming at each other.
"At least she doesn't nag me every three seconds!" Seamus was roaring at Lavender who was in tears.
Parvati Patil huffed at him as Lavender started wailing even harder. "I will never forgive you for this, Seamus Finnigan. Never!" Lavender shrieked and pelted towards the girls' staircase, almost knocking Ginny and Sarah down in her wake.
Standing on the sidelines, looking quite terrified, was Emma. Parvati walked up to her and gave her a scathing look. "You will pay for this. Stay away from him." Then she turned on her heel and went after Lavender.
After the spectacle, the laughing and murmuring Gryffindors started to settle down inside the room and Ginny was relieved to see that Neville was not among the crowd.
"I hope you're happy," Ginny snapped to Emma.
Emma groaned. "This is not how I thought it would turn out."
"It's exactly how I knew it would turn out," Ginny said.
"Okay, fine. Say 'I told you so.' That's fine."
"No, it's not fine. I've been up in the dormitory for three hours now trying to avoid Neville- because he's in love with me today. Isn't that interesting?"
Emma gave her a look. "It was all Lana's idea, I swear it."
"You couldn't have stood up for me?" Ginny demanded.
"I'm sorry! Look, you don't have to worry about Neville. I just saw him and he says he'll be spending most of the afternoon in the library working on some Potions essay. So you're free- just don't go to the library."
Ginny sighed. "Well, that's good news, I suppose."
"Emma?" All three girls head's snapped up at the sound of the male voice. Seamus was standing there looking very angry. "I thought we were going down to the lake," he said impatiently.
"Er… sorry, Seamus, I can't… I have to go up to Divination Tower. Sarah and I promised to help Trelawney with something."
He narrowed his eyes. "Why didn't you tell me that before?"
"Er, I forgot, sorry."
Seamus shrugged. "Okay, whatever. I'll stop by the tower later, then." He walked off.
Emma closed her eyes.
"Not very fun, is it?" Ginny snapped.
Emma sighed. "Not when I know he's only doing this because of some stupid potion."
After Emma and Sarah had left for the Divination Tower, Ginny headed out to the grounds. The walk by the lake Seamus had spoke of sounded very appealing to her and since Neville was cooped up in the library, Ginny decided to make the best of her lesson-free day. The April air was warm and the lake sparkled with the light from the sun as she walked the slow path around the water, letting her mind wander where it may.
It always wandered to Harry.
Lately, however, she'd been training herself not to focus so much of her time pondering about Harry. Last year, the center of her life had been trying to deal with the fact that Harry did not see her in any sort of romantic sense. And this year, she had vowed, would follow up with her coming to terms with it and moving on with her life. She was going to be in her sixth year next term and she would not waste her school years pining after a boy who would never want her.
Ginny was smarter than that.
She jumped and turned to see none other than Harry standing a short distance away. Speak of the devil, she thought.
"Hi, Harry," she sighed.
He walked over to her. "What are you doing out here?" he asked her in a casual voice.
"Oh… just walking," she smiled at him, squinting in the sun. "How about you?"
He shrugged and gazed out at the lake. "I dunno… I was going down to Hagrid's, but he's not home. Kind of bored."
"Yeah, me too," Ginny sighed and reached up to tug on a long vine from the massive weeping willow tree they were approaching.
"Where are your friends?" he asked her, perching down on a large bolder, watching her play with the hanging vines.
Causing destruction in the lives of Gryffindor men. "They had stuff to do," she answered vaguely. "What about my brother and Hermione? Where are they?"
Harry bit his lip. "I'm kind of avoiding them to tell the truth."
"Why?" she asked in surprise.
"Well," he said thoughtfully. "When you know two people as well as I know them… you know when to leave them alone. For instance, as the best friend, you can smell a huge fight brewing before they can and you know when it's time to get lost."
Ginny laughed. It was a side of Harry she rarely saw… and certainly never when he'd been speaking to her. It was nice, she realized.
"Did you ever swing on the branches?" he asked her, standing up.
"Swing on the branches of a willow, did you ever try it?"
She choked a laugh. "No… have you?"
Harry grinned. "Of course. Fred and George showed Ron and I how to properly swing last year."
"Oh, there's a proper way, is there?" she grinned back, feeling a tiny blush creep into her cheeks.
"Yup," He grabbed his own vine and wrapped his hand around it right above his head. "Here grip the branch like this… make sure it's a thick one or else it'll snap."
Ginny copied his grip, wrapping her own vine around her hand. "Okay…?"
"Now, take the bottom and wrap it around your foot like this."
She bent down and struggled to wrap the vine one-handed around her foot. "We should have done this before we tied up our hands!" Ginny laughed.
"Got it, then? Okay, now kick off with your free foot-" Harry gave a hard kick off and swung away.
Ginny burst out laughing and gave her free foot a hard kick. She was off swinging, but not reaching the distance he was. "Why aren't I going as far as you?" she laughed.
"Because, you're lighter than I am," Harry said and zoomed passed her at top speed. "Kick harder."
Ginny laughed and tried to kick off harder, hurting her foot in the process. "Put a spell on mine; make it go faster!"
"Nope," Harry said, grinning. "Some things are better left without magic. Hey, there you go."
Ginny started getting the hang of it and soon they were swinging back and forth, in the midst of all the cascading vines swaying in the breeze. Something very sweet in the air was making her forget the fact that she was with Harry and they were swinging on willow vines together. When she didn't hear his voice anymore, she glanced up and saw that Harry had stopped swinging and was now leaning against the trunk, watching her. She put her foot down abruptly. "Why did you stop?" she asked breathlessly.
He said nothing. His eyes were on her looking pensive, almost confused. He seemed torn, as if he wanted to say something, but was deciding against it.
Something very wiggly slipped inside her stomach at the way he was looking at her… reminding her of this morning in the entrance hall.
Just then, a tiny leaf fluttered in her eye and she realized it was coming from her hair. Self-conscious now with Harry staring at her, Ginny reached up and combed her fingers through her long hair, extracting the leaves. "I guess I should be heading back," she said finally.
"I'll walk with you," he said, pushing from the tree trunk.
Ginny stopped and turned to him, baffled. Never in all her years of knowing Harry, had he offered to walk her anywhere. She wrung her hands and chewed on her lip nervously as they walked.
"What do you plan on doing tonight?" Harry asked her as they turned up the stone path to the castle.
Something inside her broke open at his words. Why was Harry asking her about her plans? "Oh, I dunno. How about you?" she asked very carefully.
"Well, there's a Quidditch practice. Hey, you should come."
Ginny stopped walking altogether. "What?" she demanded.
"I said there's a Quidditch practice; you should come."
Ginny gawked openly at him. First he's swinging on vines with her, next he's walking her back to the castle, and now he's inviting her to Quidditch practice? Ginny felt as though she were in a different world. Was she simply cursed with unforeseen attention from all boys today? First Neville and now-
She stood perfectly still all of a sudden. "Oh, no," she said weakly. "Oh, please no." Not Harry… it couldn't be.
"What is it?" Harry demanded. "What's going on, what's wrong?"
"Nothings wrong! I-" She swallowed. "Harry, why do you want me to come to the practice tonight?" she demanded suddenly, turning to him.
His eyebrows snapped together. "Huh?"
Ginny found it was suddenly hard to breath. "I need for you to give me one reason why you want me to come tonight." She knew she must sound like a madwoman, but she didn't care.
He looked confused to say the least. "I dunno. I thought… you might want to."
"I need another reason," she said quickly.
Harry was starting to look slightly annoyed. "Ginny, what's the problem? You don't have to come, I was just asking because-"
"Yes?" she prompted.
"…Because… because I wanted to!"
"Why? Look," he snapped. "I can take a hint, you don't want to come, that's perfectly fine."
"I want to come!" she cried before she could stop herself.
"So, what's the problem?"
"There is no problem. No problem, at all," she said in a rush. "Harry, I need to go. I'll see you at practice, then, okay?" With that she raced off at top speed towards the castle. When she slammed inside the entrance hall, several passing students glanced her way, but Ginny didn't even see them. She darted up the stairs, passing suits of armor and several painting subjects yelling at her to slow down. At last she came to a screeching halt in front of the Fat Lady. "Nimblefluff," she panted and scrambled inside. Just as she had hoped, Sarah, Emma, Lana and Rebecca were sitting around a small table talking.
"Are you okay?" Sarah asked her, standing up and the four of them walked over to her. "You really do look flushed, now."
But Ginny was looking at Lana. "Perhaps you can clear something up for me. I just spent an hour walking around the lake and swinging on willow vines with Harry Potter and now, tonight, I am attending his Quidditch practice at his invitation."
Sarah's eyes lit up. "Ginny! That's wonder-" She stopped seeing the look on Ginny's face. "Isn't that wonderful news?" she asked in a small voice.
Then Lana started giggling very hard; she pressed her hands to her cheeks and giggled herself silly. "Guess what I did!" she sing songed.
"I knew it. You gave him the potion?" Ginny whispered in horror and beside her, Sarah gasped.
"Did you?" Emma asked her in surprise.
Lana let out a breath. "Well, of course we did."
"We?" Ginny demanded and then saw Rebecca grinning. "Oh, thanks. Thank you two so much!" she choked, her eyes filling with tears.
Rebecca's smile disappeared. "It was only a joke."
"A joke!" Ginny exclaimed. "I told you I didn't want to give my potion to anyone and you went behind my back and gave it to two separate people!"
"Oh, come on, Ginny," Rebecca said. "Neville's just-"
"I don't care about Neville," Ginny spat.
"You also don't care about Harry," Lana retorted. "Or so you said."
Ginny looked stunned. "Do you even understand what Harry is to me?" she whispered.
"Ancient history," Lana said folding her arms. "That's what you said last night."
"That's not true and you know it," Sarah exclaimed, her own eyes brimming with tears on Ginny's behalf.
"I will never forgive you for this," Ginny whispered to Lana and Rebecca and turned to flee up the stairs to the dormitory.
Once inside the room, Ginny flung herself on her bed and sobbed into her pillow. She felt as though the one thing she had always wanted had been dangling in front of her and just as she was about to reach out and grab it, it had been yanked away. There were no feelings behind the way Harry had been looking at her, the way he'd been so open with her… it was all just a spell.
"Ginny?" Sarah asked softly, sitting down on her bed and stroking her hair.
"What?" Her voice was muffled against the pillow.
"It's going to be okay."
"I know that," Ginny said, pushing herself up. She saw that Emma had sat down beside Sarah, her blue eyes sad behind her thick glasses. "I know it's going to be okay and that tomorrow, he'll forget all about it. I know that." She wiped away more tears.
"And that's the last thing you want," Emma sighed. "I know."
Ginny nodded and let the tears fall down her cheeks. "For a minute I thought… I really thought he…" she broke off and wiped angrily at the tears. "Stupid of me, to even think that he would ever notice me."
"Stupid of him not to," said Sarah.
Ginny had to smile at her fierce tone of voice. Then she sighed. "I'm going to have to avoid him too, for the rest of the night, now."
"What about the practice?" Emma said.
"Well, perhaps you can tell him you don't feel well," Sarah suggested with a weak smile. "That seems to be working."
"No. I can't talk to him again. Not today." She sat up suddenly. "Wait a minute! If he doesn't remember anything that happened today, he won't remember ever asking me to come when the potion wears off. So if I don't show up tonight-"
"It won't make a difference because tomorrow, he won't even remember it," Emma finished, sighing with relief.
just have to avoid him all night after the practice. That's all-"
"Oh, please!" They all turned to see that Lana had just walked in. "Ginny, don't be so stupid, go to the practice. He's in love with you for today only! Go and take advantage of it, you could probably even get him to kiss you!"
Ginny looked appalled. "You are a sick, sick person."
Lana rolled her eyes. "You're just too childish to go after what you want, that's all. I mean, really, you can't even catch his attention on your own; you need a love potion to do it for you. Pathetic." And with that she sauntered out leaving Ginny, Sarah and Emma staring after her.
Ginny woke up much earlier than the rest of the girls in her dorm. She laid in bed contemplating the events that had taken place yesterday and hoped that there would truly be no harm done. She reread the passage in the potion book about Mistura d'Amore and nodded to herself with relief. The Potion would wear off in about an hour - exactly twenty-four hours from the time Harry and Neville drank it.
Ginny swung the curtain back and rolled out of bed. In her bare feet, she padded towards the window and sank down on the floor, her gaze fixed on the vast Hogwarts grounds below. Her eyes fell on the distant willow tree, and it's vines blowing in the gentle morning wind. Ginny closed her eyes and allowed herself to think about the hour she'd spent with Harry yesterday. It hurt, really hurt, that she would probably never see that side of him again.
A movement from the opposite side of the room made Ginny glance over to see Sarah emerging from her bed. "Hey," she said sleepily. "Why are you up so early?"
Sarah walked over - clad in her nightdress and bare feet as well - and sat down next to Ginny, drawing her legs beneath her. "About Harry?"
Ginny stared at the willow tree very hard before turning to look at Sarah. "Today, I am officially over Harry Potter, Sarah."
Sarah sighed. "Ginny-"
"No, I'm serious. It ends today. It has to."
Sarah looked somber. "Okay," she said simply.
An hour later, dressed and ready to go down to breakfast, Ginny and Sarah sat cross-legged on Ginny's bed while the other girls dressed. Ginny reached over to her bedside table and picked up the handkerchief that Neville had given her yesterday; she fingered the thin material.
"How much longer?" she asked.
Sarah was staring at her watch. "Probably only a few minutes more for Neville. Harry's should already be gone— he was at breakfast long before Neville was."
Ginny did not allow herself a moment of remorse- as far as she was concerned it had never been there in the first place. She gasped suddenly. The handkerchief she'd been holding in her hand was vanishing before her very eyes. Ginny knew instantly that Neville would find it in his pocket should he reach for it now. She looked up at Sarah.
"I guess it's over," Sarah said.
"Yeah. Everything's back to the way it should be."
They sat on the bed for a few seconds before Ginny swung her legs off and headed for the door.
Sarah and Ginny entered the Gryffindor common room together without a word to each other. Ginny caught her breath when she saw Harry sitting on the sofa, head bent, and his elbows on his knees. Sarah reached for Ginny's hand and squeezed as Harry looked up.
She did not allow her heart to have the feelings that it was threatening to. So she smiled at him and said, "Hey, Harry."
"Hey," he said, noting the both of them.
"What are you doing down here by yourself?" Ginny forced herself to make light conversation.
I'm waiting for Ron to come down. He
takes forever lately," he said, rolling his eyes at the boys' staircase.
Ginny smiled. "See you at breakfast, then."
Harry nodded as the two of them walked off. Then, "Hey, Ginny, what happened to you last night?"
Ginny and Sarah froze. They stood perfectly still with their backs to him, not being able to believe they had heard correctly. After a few seconds Ginny managed a very tiny, "Last night?"
Harry turned around to look at her, leaning his arm over the back of the sofa, his face unreadable. "Yeah, the practice. You never showed."
Ginny made a small noise in the back of her throat and Sarah was gripping her hand so hard, she couldn't feel her fingers. "What?" Ginny managed to whisper. "What practice?"
He looked exasperated. "The Quidditch practice I told you about yesterday. When we were at the willow by the lake…? Don't you even remember?" There was a hint of frustration in his voice.
Ginny couldn't breath let alone find her voice as Harry waited for an answer. "Of course," she blurted after Sarah nudged her hard in the back. She swallowed hard. "Of course, I remember. Um, I just, well, I wasn't feeling very good. I fell asleep really early."
"Oh," Harry nodded and Ginny could tell he was weighing her answer in his head, trying to decide if she were telling the truth or not. Ginny saw him glance at Sarah and narrow his eyes in confusion. With a jolt, Ginny realized that Sarah's mouth was hanging open in an unflattering gape at Harry.
"We've got to go down to breakfast now," Ginny said quickly. "Sarah's really hungry, aren't you, Sarah? Aren't you Sarah?" she nudged her hard in the ribs.
"Uh-huh," Sarah said weakly as Ginny dragged her out of the common room.
Once outside the common room, Ginny gripped Sarah's arms. "Sarah- did he, I mean- he remembered everything?"
"Uh-huh," Sarah said weakly. The Fat Lady looked on with interest.
"How is this possible? How is this possible, Sarah?" Ginny shrieked, giving Sarah a hard shake.
"I-I-I-I don't know! Ginny! What if there was something wrong with the potion? What if we put too much Bella Donna, or something? Perhaps it's going to go on for longer than one day!"
"That can't be," Ginny said shaking her head quickly. "Neville's handkerchief! I don't have it anymore, the conversation I had with him never happened!"
Sarah looked positively frightened. "Oh, Ginny," she said, her eyes filling with tears and her voice trembling. "What are we going to do?"
"I don't know," she said miserably. "I just don't know! Wait, even though Harry remembers what happened, maybe he doesn't still have, you know, feelings for me-"
"But he does! Ginny, I was watching him in there; you were too stunned to really look at him. He was so hurt that you didn't come to the practice. He was trying to cover it up, but I saw! And he started getting really, really angry when he thought you didn't remember that he invited you!"
Ginny clasped her hands to her face. "What have I done?" she whispered.
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The Hidden Tower