Ginny lay awake in bed, sitting with her arms wrapped around her legs as she stared at the wall opposite. She was unable to fall into slumber while her mind was fixed on the person lying just across the hall from her. Beside her, Hermione restlessly turned over in her sleep, murmuring something that sounded suspiciously like "Ron". Ginny didn't even want to know what she was dreaming about.
Harry had been increasingly distant since they returned to Hogwarts for his "eighth" year and her supposed seventh year, although due to the appalling teaching from the year before it was only the sixth year syllabus. She had expected, now the war was over, that they would live blissfully. Harry would do brilliantly in his NEWTs, and would be hastily snapped up by the auror program. Ginny would follow in his footsteps the year after.
They would be the perfect couple, rarely arguing. Halfway through the year they might have a stupid argument because Ginny got jealous of the girls that fawned over the Saviour, and Harry would respond angrily by accusing her of seeing Zacharias Smith behind his back. Later they would kiss and make up, and before long they would be laughing over the absurd argument.
But it didn't happen like that. They had never really talked after the war - Ginny hadn't thought they'd need to. A brief fumble in the broom shed over the summer break before school started told Ginny that they were still together, and when they both had a spare moment at school they would sit together underneath a shady tree, supposedly enjoying each other's company, but Ginny got the feeling that he wasn't with her because he liked her - more because he felt it was his duty to be her boyfriend.
As the Christmas holidays had drawn nearer, Harry had drawn further away. Ginny couldn't remember the last time they just sat down and talked.
And now that the Christmas holidays had arrived, he was sleeping just across the hall from her, and she couldn't help feeling that although he was physically close, he had never been further away.
A creaking noise startled her from her thoughts. She frowned, wondering who was creeping around the house this late at night. Should she ignore it and try to fall asleep, or should she check it out?
Her curiosity got the better of her, and soon she found herself slipping out of bed and padding out into the hallway. To her surprise, it was the door to the room that Harry and Ron were sleeping in that was open.
Was it Harry or Ron who was up? She stealthily crept down the stairs. There was probably an innocent explanation for it, like one of them was getting a drink of water, but, all the same, Ginny wanted to check it out.
Besides, if it was Harry getting a drink of water, now was as good a time as any to confront him over his recent distance from her.
She made sure to avoid the creaky stair, although she didn't know whether there was much point in being so sneaky. As she got to the bottom of the stairs, she turned to face the kitchen.
It was hard to see in the dark, as the only light came from the one that illuminated the stairwell. She squinted.
The first thing she saw was two people caught up in a passionate embrace (which was a polite way of saying it looked like they were sucking each other's faces of) underneath the mistletoe. Then she realised that the two people were Charlie - who was back from Romania so he could spend Christmas with his family - and…Harry?
"Harry?" she asked, although her voice came out as more of a squeak than she would have liked. "Charlie?"
The two pulled away from each other quickly, and even in the dim light she could make out the guilty expression on Harry's face. She didn't even look at Charlie.
"Ginny, I'm sorry," he said, not able to meet her eyes. "I…"
But he didn't seem to be able to finish of what he was going to say. "So…what, you're gay now, are you?" Ginny asked, unable to keep the anger from her tone. She felt embarrassed and betrayed, that Harry would go behind her back like this - with her own brother, no less.
"I- I wasn't sure about how I felt, but I realise now…I love Charlie."
"And you don't think you could have told me?" Ginny willed her voice not to break.
"I was going to, really. I just…I wasn't sure until tonight…"
Unable to take any more, Ginny turned and thundered back up the stairs, not caring if she woke anyone. She didn't care if Harry or her brother were following.
Harry took a step forwards to go after her, but strong hand grabbed his wrist gently.
"Leave her, Harry," Charlie whispered in his ear. "You'll just have a fight if you go after her now."
"But I hurt her," Harry whispered.
"I know. But she'll forgive you in time." Harry looked up into Charlie's kind eyes and knew he was telling the truth.
"Now," Charlie said, a mischievous glint in his eye, "let's make the most of this mistletoe…"