Disclaimer: I don't anything you recognize; it all belongs to JK Rowling.
A bit of a warning: my DH timeline is a little fuzzy from lack of rereads, so just pretend that the dress rehearsal for the wedding happened the day before Harry's birthday, since I honestly can't remember if there even was a dress rehearsal and, if so, when it happened.
Gold was a very pretty color on Ginny Weasley.
Harry'd never really noticed before, but it was hard to ignore her beauty in that bridesmaid dress when she was right in front of him, sitting with her legs half in the pond in the Burrow's backyard and starlight highlighting her thick red curls, still done up in an elaborate, twisty half-do from the dress rehearsal earlier.
He swallowed, wondering for the hundredth time that day what, exactly, he was doing out in the backyard at nighttime, besides spying on his ex-girlfriend.
"Beautiful night, isn't it?" Ginny said suddenly, breaking him out of his thoughts. He jumped, startled, and returned his attention to her, realizing belated that she had twisted around and was smiling at him in a way that made his heartbeat triple.
"Uh," he stammered, suddenly reverting to a shy little boy with a crush on an unattainable girl. Well, he had plenty of experience with that, in any case. "Yeah," he said finally. "It really is."
Ginny patted the ground next to her. "Come sit."
Harry gulped and hurried forward. He'd promised himself to stay away from her this summer, but it was hard for him to resist her, especially when she was looking at him with those pretty brown eyes, dressed in that pretty gold dress, smiling that pretty smile of hers…
He shook himself out of it and sank down next to her, dipping his legs in the water without any regard for the denim of his jeans. "Why're you out here?"
Ginny rolled her eyes. "I had to get away from Mum and Fleur and Mrs. Delacour for a bit," she muttered. "They're driving me crazy. You?"
"Just…stargazing," he said, tearing his gaze away from her bright face and back towards the sky. "The stars are, um, particularly bright this summer, aren't they?"
She sent him an amused look. "I suppose," she murmured, and he kicked himself for saying something that stupid. For Merlin's sake, the stars were bright every summer! He really had to learn how to properly flirt with a girl.
They sat in silence for a moment, not quite comfortable, but not entirely awkward, before she broke it. "Tomorrow's your seventeenth birthday, isn't it?"
He nodded, opened his mouth to verbally confirm, and nearly jumped out of his skin when she slid her hand across the grass and gently touched his. On instinct, he flipped his hand around so their palms were touching and their fingers could intertwine. His throat was probably too dry to be healthy, but he didn't really care.
"Well, happy early birthday, then," Ginny smiled up at him. Somehow, their bodies were closer than they had originally started out, but Harry couldn't be sure which one of them had moved.
"Thanks," he said, returning her smile and feeling his heart warm when her own brightened.
"I wanted to get you something useful," Ginny mused out loud, kicking one foot lightly in the water. "Something you could use when fighting him, but…there's really no use, is there? It's all prophecy and destiny with you, isn't it?"
Her tone was affectionate, and he felt himself blush. "Yeah, I guess so. And you didn't have to get me anything."
"I wanted to, though," Ginny sighed, and then giggled as her eyes landed on his forehead. "D'you remember that get-well card I made for you back when I was eleven?"
The memory of that insufferable, singing card popped into his head and Harry chuckled. "It was kinda hard to forget."
"Sorry about that," she said, still laughing. "It all seems so silly now, doesn't it?"
"A bit," he admitted. "Everything's changed. You, me, the world."
"Us," she added softly.
He tensed; this was not subject he was prepared to talk about just yet. Ginny, Merlin bless her, seemed to understand, though, and she didn't say anything further. They lapsed into silence, Ginny swinging her legs and Harry enjoying the warmth of her hand in his for one more time.
Perhaps it was a side-effect of the moon's hazy silver light, or the fresh-watermelon scent of her perfume, but when he opened his mouth next, what came out was, "You look gorgeous tonight."
Startled brown eyes found his, and he felt himself blushing bright red, but the words were out there and there was really no way to take them back. Soon, though, a smile that sent butterflies storming his stomach crossed her face.
"Thanks," Ginny giggled, glancing down at the golden silk of her dress before looking over at him. Almost absently, she reached over with her free hand and adjusted his tie. "You don't look half-bad yourself."
"Well, thanks," he grinned, trying to hide the fact that his heart was doing somersaults at her touch. "Glad you approve."
Ginny bit her lip, mulling something over, before blurting out, "Gabrielle does, too."
Harry raised his eyebrows, surprised at this random news. "Really? That's…nice."
She nodded and let her hand drop from his chest, switching her gaze back to the water. "She—she's still infatuated with you," she said in a rush, as if she'd been waiting to say this for ages. "She thinks you're her hero, her knight in shining armor. You should have seen the way she was looking at you during the dress rehearsal. She's absolutely smitten."
The reason for her babbling suddenly clicked. "Ah," he said, grinning at the realization. "Jealous, are you?"
Ginny blushed a shade of pink that was also very pretty on her, in Harry's opinion. "No! I just…thought you ought to know."
He shifted closer with sudden confidence. The comprehension of her jealousy, of the fact that she might still have feelings for him, feelings as deep as his, had given him a new rush of courage. "And what am I supposed to do with this enlightening information?" he asked her, a teasing smile on his face.
She scoffed and looked away. "You've been spending too much time with Hermione," she accused him. "'Enlightening', Harry? Really?"
"I think you're avoiding the subject," he pointed out, feeling a sudden rush of affection—he hesitated to call it 'love', just yet—when she blushed again. She was really too pretty for her own good.
"Well, I—" she began, looking up at him. The thousand emotions swirling in her bright brown eyes, conflicted and certain at the same time, sparked yet another storm of butterflies, and before he knew what he was doing, he was leaning down towards her, his head angled, anticipation sending tingles down his spine.
She tilted her head, closing those pretty eyes, and then he forgot everything in the daze of peppermint and warmth and Ginny that followed.
"I think you should know," he whispered, his breath on her cheeks, when they pulled apart for air. "I prefer redheads."
Ginny smiled brilliantly and reached up, snaking her arms around his neck and pulling him down and then—
Then her gaze drifted over his shoulders and her eyes widened. Hastily, she pulled away, forcing him to look away at what exactly she had seen that had interrupted the most amazing sensation he had ever felt.
"Having fun?" George asked, smirking in a manner that had Harry blushing a shade of red even brighter than a Weasley's hair. "Mum's looking for you, Ginny."
Ginny quickly stood up, brushing off her skirt, and sent him a look that only increased his blush, though he couldn't quite decipher it. Then, she turned and all but ran back inside the house, leaving only Harry for George to tease.
"Um," he said eloquently, scrambling up to his feet, still flushed from the encounter and the memories of his sixth year that it had brought up. "I'll just—"
"Go inside and get ready for bed—preferably without my sister nearby?" George suggested, grinning wickedly.
Harry struggled to cool his blush, but it was a futile fight. "Erm, yeah, I…sure."
Not wanting to give George a chance to embarrass him further, Harry headed back inside. He could hear George's chuckles, but his mind was busy wandering through dangerous daydreams, of what might have been had they not been interrupted.
What might have been, if he didn't have to fight a war…
Author's Notes: This was, in case you hadn't noticed, slightly based off that lone H/G scene in the movie. I thought George was all kinds of awesome there, so I had to include him. And I also had to rewrite that cringeworthy 'firewhiskey kiss' that actually happened in DH, if only for my own amusement. Thanks for reading, and please leave a review to tell me what you thought! I really appreciate it! Thanks in advance :)