//Just a little thing I wrote when I probably should have been finishing longer fics. Fluffy fluffy fluff, and probably OOC as anything. You have been warned.

For Floria, mi dulce amada… para siempre.//

++Just A Little Question of Research++

It started with a perfectly logical course of research. Harry knew nothing about Cho, after all. And yet…

And yet. Every now and then, amid the noise of the Great Hall that was somehow far more deafening from the Gryffindor table – Harry's face would freeze mid-laughter, and his face would turn towards the Ravenclaw table. Then he would return to his conversation, and no one would really have noticed what had happened. Except Ginny, because she noticed everything he did.

Usually reflected light from his glasses obscured Ginny's view of his eyes, and after all, she wasn't one of the hallowed three, so she usually wasn't sitting close enough to him to see his eyes in any case. Two or three seats down, that was her natural home. But she knew his eyes by heart, the dark grey rims that made the green seem even more preternaturally bright by contrast, the flecks of lighter green and something close to gold, the fine dark lashes. And her imagination was more than enough to make the emerald eyes liquid with adoration, with hero-worship and pity and yearning mingled into a complicated blood-heated potion, with lust quicksilver and almost undetectable under the brew.

Ginny knew, after all, how she felt when she looked at Harry. And she knew what her own eyes looked like – well, not really. She could never look at herself looking at Harry. But Hermione's secret obsession was Muggle romance novels, which she consumed and hid and smuggled like candy, irresistible and shameful, and Ginny, in her role as designated younger sister, had inherited some. She had devoured them herself, so she knew what the eyes of a heroine in love ought to look like.

She had enough imagination to superimpose the clichés on Harry's eyes.

And every time Harry stopped out of the conversation in this way, Ginny knew that all she had to do was follow his gaze to Cho Chang's face.

So she began following his face. Out of sick obsession, first, but then because she wanted… had… to know what it was about Cho that attracted him. She couldn't become an athletic older Ravenclaw Quidditch player of Asian extraction very easily, of course, but Ginny had enough faith in Harry to believe that his attraction was not merely physical.

If Harry's attraction to Cho was based on a quality Ginny could emulate then maybe, just maybe, Ginny would have a chance. Because, once again, Harry didn't really know Cho at all. And Ginny, being Ron's sister and a Gryffindor, was, after all, on the spot.

So Ginny reasoned, and told herself it wasn't just desperation. Obsession is not always very reasonable.

So she began to watch Cho. And keep notes, in a little exercise book – not a magical one, by all that was holy, she wasn't going to go through *that* again, but a little Muggle one with pink hearts all over the cover. It seemed somehow appropriate and, besides, Ginny liked pink.

After a week of staring at the older girl more than Harry did, Ginny's notes looked like this:

//*Grace.* Cho is very graceful, well sort of, sometimes she seems a bit butch because of all the muscles, but, yes. She moves very well.

*Intelligent.* Cho is very smart. Well, of course she is, she's a Ravenclaw, but… yes. She has brains. Maybe I should study more? But Harry doesn't moon all over Hermione…

*Pretty.* Cho is awfully pretty. Those dark deep eyes and smooth hair and… damn damn damn damn damn.

*Sweet* There's something nice about Cho. I think she cares about other people's feelings a lot.

*Sad.* Cho seems sad a lot – but she's happier now. And besides, Harry liked her before she was sad. //

Ginny was pretty sure she was still missing something. It was absurdly difficult to think of anything to say about Cho, let alone why Harry was obsessed with her And yet… and yet…

There was *something* about Cho. Some attraction that clustered over her shoulders like the miasma created by particularly well-turned Enlivening Charm.

Ginny became obsessed with defining it. She stared blatantly at Cho all through every meal. She barely registered even when Harry addressed a remark to her, let alone anyone else. She began to turn up wherever she thought there was a good chance Cho would be – the library (always a good bet for a Ravenclaw), the Quidditch field, the gardens… She began to fill the notebook, no longer trying to define, just getting random words down.

After a while, she gave up on words altogether, and began to draw. She tried to capture the essence of Cho's attraction by drawing tiny physical quirks in which her personality seemed to beam out for a moment. The curve of the girl's neck as she sought a Snitch, the intense way she hunched up over a book when studying, reading as if she could inhale knowledge. The way her eyes widened momentarily just before she laughed. The way she would lift her hair up with her hands to encourage the wind to take it on stormy days. The way she pressed her slender hands together when she was totally in earnest about something. The way she would rest her chin on one shoulder and drop her lashes when she thought no one was watching, and she fell into sadness.

Without even knowing it, Ginny had lost sight of her goal long before. She didn't think of Harry nearly as much as she used to. All she obsessed over was finally making the drawing that would capture the essence of Cho's attraction, her luminous beauty, the mixture of strength and sweetness in her, her…


All this swept through Ginny's brain like water out of a sieve as Cho snatched the book from her hands.

"What is this?" Cho laughed. "Oh…" She turned page after page, finding her own face, her figure, her hands, sometimes just her eyes, reproduced over and over in amateurish inked lines.

"I'm sorry, I-" Ginny had always wished she could control her blushing. Now, most of all, when shame was something that hurt as well as burned.

"I'm not."

Ginny looked up, and wished for a second she had her quill, and some way to capture the elusive combination of shyness, laughter and seriousness in those small, wide-set eyes. Then embarrassed confusion took over. "Why not?"

Cho shrugged, adorably. "I noticed you following me around. And I got… interested." Something like pink tinged her own cheekbones. "Well, obsessed…" Ginny knew the way Cho's fingertips were pressing together, she had drawn it, right before Cho received her marks on an important assignment. "And I thought maybe you were following me because… Well, I was right, wasn't I?"

Ginny looked into that pretty, blushing face, and forgot all her original motives. "Yes," she whispered, shyly.


And then Cho's lips met hers, and Ginny realised she probably would never be able to define why Cho was so attractive.

But she fully intended to spend the rest of her life researching the question.