Title: "A Mighty Paradox"
Classification: H/G, Ginny POV
Summary: Ginny's thoughts while observing a Gryffindor Quidditch match.
Spoilers: Through Goblet of Fire
Notes: Everything belongs to Rowling.
Part One - Ginny
Ginny Weasley spotted the bright orange hair of her brother Ron not three rows away from where she was sitting, and next to him the head of bushy brown that meant Hermione. She let her eyes wander about the stands as she pulled the hat she wore more snugly onto her head, and again caught sight of someone she knew - her best friend Sarah and a group of the other girls were sitting further toward the front. She briefly contemplated standing up and climbing through the great crowd to join one of the groups, but in the end decided against it. She always did.
The doors to the pitch opened, and the Gryffindor and Slytherin Quidditch teams shot out in a blur of red and green. They were going so fast and Ginny couldn't see very well from where she was, but she picked out the player she was interested in almost immediately despite these impairments. Harry Potter was doing just as he always did at the beginning of the game - rising high above everyone else to take his starting position as the Gryffindor Seeker. She could clearly see his jet-black hair glinting in the sunlight, contrasting with the bright red of his robes, and his glasses reflecting as he looked about at the field.
Ginny always preferred to watch the Quidditch games alone. It was the only time she could watch Harry without being completely conspicuous, because everyone was supposed to be watching Harry - or at least, the game. As such, she didn't want to have these opportunities spoiled by people talking to her or teasing her. She didn't want to have to worry about how she might seem to others, for once, and would rather be free to simply gaze without interruption.
She didn't know if anyone still thought she had a crush on Harry - whether they did or not, she got teased by her brothers anyway. What was more, she didn't truly care if anyone still remembered the way she used to act towards him - it didn't matter anymore. She didn't have a crush on him...she no longer blushed every time he looked at her, no longer stammered on the rare occasions when he spoke to her, and no longer knocked things over when he entered a room.
No, she didn't have a crush on him anymore...she suffered from something that was much more than that. She wasn't keen on giving it a name as she couldn't say for sure what it was, but she knew that it was so much more...important than any silly schoolgirl infatuation. It was real, whatever it was - not just a flight of fancy. She sighed as the game began and Harry began circling the field, high above everyone else, Draco Malfoy on his tail. He was looking for the Snitch...and Ginny did not have any doubt that he would find it. He would catch it...Malfoy didn't stand a chance, just as the Slytherin team stood no chance of beating the Gryffindors out of the Quidditch Cup.
She couldn't explain how she felt so confident - she just did. She was not nervous, and it almost felt like she had seen the game ahead of time and knew how it would end. A strange feeling.
She continued watching Harry, sitting behind everyone else. They were cheering and yelling, but Ginny did not make a sound. She didn't even really hear the rest of the stands...she was lost in her own thoughts. Somehow, she felt an odd sort of possessiveness toward Harry. She knew he wasn't hers, and she knew that he probably never would be...but as she watched him up there, cloak flowing in his wake, she thought about the time he spent with her family over the summer. She had noticed things about him, partly in the intensity of her regard for him and partly out of sheer coincidence - she wasn't as pathetic as she sometimes made herself seem. Nevertheless, she knew what he looked like two minutes after waking up, she knew what he liked to put on his oatmeal, and she knew what he looked like without his glasses on. She had memorized his strategy in Exploding Snap games with her brothers, she knew what affectionate things he said to his beloved snowy owl when he didn't think anyone could hear him. She had stored in her mind, in great detail, every facial expression she had ever seen him make.
She was closer to Harry than most of the people sitting in these stands would ever be - and yet, she was further away than anyone in his own year. It was a mighty paradox. He spoke to them voluntarily, and he considered them each as individuals, whether he liked them or not...she couldn't even imagine what that must be like. Ginny herself wasn't "Ginny" to Harry - she was a Weasley. Ron's little sister. A mighty paradox, indeed.
Suddenly, Harry dove, and Ginny's heart leapt to her throat...it had surprised her. She watched as he reached out a long arm and closed his fist around something...then rose into the air, holding it above his head.
It was the Snitch, of course. Once again, Harry had won the Quidditch Cup for Gryffindor.
The cheering was deafening, and she thought for a moment that she was going to be knocked down by all the people around her standing up so quickly and jumping up and down. Ginny could no longer see the field through the dozens of pairs of legs blocking her view, but she did not rise. She simply sat, holding her hat to her head so it wouldn't blow off and contemplating her inexplicable disappointment that it was all over. It would be another year before she'd be able to watch Harry play Quidditch again...and the game had gone entirely too fast.
She sat like that until people began clearing out - in fact, she was soon the last person in the stands as the sun began to set and everyone else headed back to Gryffindor for what would undoubtedly be a regulation-breaking party in the common room. Ginny simply wanted to be by herself for a moment - she had been having a bad day, and she knew that nobody would miss her. She watched the sun finish setting through the trees of the Forbidden Forest, and then gazed up at the newly darkened sky. The stars blinked back at her, and she felt comforted somehow.
After what seemed like an eternity of sitting and thinking, she stood up, her knees protesting as she did so. She must have been there for over two hours. Walking back to the castle, she wondered if her brothers were going to be angry...and then thought that they probably were already a little tipsy on butterbeer. She smiled - she had never known anyone to get drunk on butterbeer except for Fred and George. It was only intoxicating if you drank it by the barrelfull. Prats.
She slowly made her way up to the common room, almost dreading having to give up her solitude - she had quite enjoyed her little bit of time spent with herself. She quietly gave the Fat Lady the password, and then had to repeat it about three times because the woman was so drunk. Shaking her head, Ginny climbed through the portrait hole and was blasted with a racket she was sure could be heard in China. Everyone was talking, yelling, there was music, food everywhere...Ginny looked around and spotted her friend Sarah in the back of the room. She started over there, but was stopped by a voice calling her name.
Turning, she saw to her shock that it was Harry. He was holding a full bottle of butterbeer in his hand, which he held out absently as he walked toward her. She took it, not sure what to do.
"Where have you been? I...well, some of us were starting to worry."
She smiled as she glanced at her brother Ron, but it faded into a puzzled frown as she noticed that he didn't seem worried or preoccupied in the least, talking to Hermione and Seamus Finnegan.
"Oh...yes, I'm sorry," she managed to say in response as she realized Harry was still waiting for an answer, "I was just sitting in the stands, thinking."
Harry nodded, and then asked, "About what?"
She cast him a confused look, but quickly hid it in the face of his uncharacteristic interest in her doings. Maybe he, too, was a little tipsy.
"Oh, nothing specific. Just...things."
He nodded again, but she saw his eyes leave her and travel about the room. She sighed...it hadn't taken long for him to grow bored with her, had it? She supposed she couldn't blame him, as she wasn't making very interesting conversation - she was being distracted by her surprise at his initiation of a conversation. Suddenly, he asked,
"Why do you sit all the way in the back?"
She started, and didn't know if she had heard right.
His eyes returned to her face, and the look in them was almost...embarrassed. As if he'd just realized he'd spoken out loud, he clarified,
"I mean, you always sit by yourself, in the back row of the stands at Quidditch matches. I was just...I dunno, wondering why."
She couldn't control the look of astonishment that must have been plastered on her face at that moment. She couldn't believe her ears...Harry had noticed where she was sitting? In the midst of hundreds of screaming Gryffindors, by herself, all the way in the back - with a hat hiding her bright red hair - he had seen her? Had seen her more than once? It couldn't be...unless he had deliberately searched for her. That was just too much for Ginny to believe...but she couldn't help thinking it.
Just then, she was saved from responding as someone behind her shoved past - knocking her straight into Harry. She suddenly found herself with her nose buried in his sweater, and felt his hands reach up to steady her as they closed around her upper arms. Face burning, she stepped back and found Harry glaring at whoever it was that pushed her...she didn't look around to find out. He returned his gaze to her face, and she was momentarily lost in his bright green eyes.
She realized all at once that they were standing exceedingly close to each other, so close that her chest was almost touching his. He still had his hands on her arms, and they were staring at each other. She blushed even more furiously and, cursing her complexion, she stepped back and straightened her robes without breaking eye contact.
"Umm...good game," she commented stupidly in conclusion. Harry, looking somewhat dazed, nodded and replied,
She gave him one last nervous smile before turning and going to sit with her friends. She did her best not to look at Harry again all night, unable to believe she had nearly knocked him over - and that she could still remember the way he had smelled. She was bound and determined not to let her overplayed emotions get the better of her...it was nothing. It meant nothing, and who cares if he knew where she liked to sit at his games. She had actually managed to almost forget about his presence in the room until later, when she announced to her group that she was tired and moved toward the stairs. Just as she was heading up to the girls' dorms, she heard a voice say quietly,
She turned...and saw that it was Harry. He wasn't smiling at her, but merely stood with his hands in his pockets, looking up at her intently. For all the experience she had in interpreting Harry's facial expressions, she found she couldn't read the one he wore now.
She didn't think she had ever seen it before.
"Goodnight, Harry," she replied with a soft smile, which he returned after a moment. Turning, she walked the rest of the way up to the dorm...and when she got to the door, she absently looked over her shoulder and back down the stairs. He was still watching her, and he was no longer smiling, but wore that same look she hadn't been able to identify before. Quickly, she opened the door and hurried through. She got to her room, changed into her pajamas, and got swiftly into bed.
As she lay awake, she somehow didn't think she was going to be sleeping anytime soon. She suddenly had much more to think about than she had just a couple of hours ago. Staring out the window at the winking stars, she finally allowed herself a private smile.
Suddenly, it seemed as though they were winking at her.
Watch for Part Two
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