Don't Give Up

She ran into the Gryffindor common room, completely and utterly mortified. It was Valentine's Day, and Ginny Weasley had just seen Harry Potter's reaction to her Valentine. Her beet-red face was glowing with shame. She thought he would at least stop and appreciate the hard work she put into writing the poem for him – after all, she had made a good analogy of his eyes and his hair – but he had run away. Then again, the cupid had stopped him and read the message out to everyone else, so that could hardly be a situation anyone would want to find themselves in. Still, she was upset.

Hermione looked up and instantly knew something was wrong. Ginny never hid her face like that; she normally strode into the room with a haughty air and her head held high. "Gin," she called, softly, compassionately, "Gin, what's wrong?"

"He didn't like my Valentine," sniffed Ginny, throwing herself into Hermione's reaching arms, "I don't want to talk about it, it was embarrassing. It was such a stupid idea, why did you make me do it, Hermione?"

Hermione started; she hadn't expected that reaction from her. "Well, I thought he would appreciate it," she began, but Ginny let out a fresh wail and said, "That's what I thought too, until he ran away!"

Hermione patiently waited for Ginny to calm down and stop hiccupping before she spoke again. She wasn't usually the crying type, but when she did, it was hard to calm her down. Hermione couldn't give much relationship advice, but she did know enough not to be too desperate when it came to boys. Not that Ginny was desperate, but even Hermione thought she overreacted a little too much whenever Harry was in the room. It obviously wasn't intentional, as Ginny wasn't that type of girl either. She pondered this for a while, and slowly, an idea formed in her mind.

After several minutes, Ginny was still sniffing, but her hiccups had subsided and she was quiet enough to listen. Hesitantly, Hermione began her suggestion to what Ginny should do.

"Maybe you should just give up on him for a while," she began. Ginny gave her a questioning look, and Hermione quickly continued before she could interject. "I've seen you around him before, Gin – you turn into a blithering idiot every time you see him, and don't deny it," she said sternly, as Ginny made to protest, "you're just not yourself when you're around him, and I think that's such a waste, Gin, because he doesn't see the real you."

"I didn't mean to act like that on purpose," said Ginny, sounding somewhat abashed. "I just feel like I want to impress him all the time."

"You don't have to try so hard," Hermione admonished. "You can do better than that, I know. Maybe you can stop thinking about him for a bit, and when you're older, go out with other boys and see how that feels. Meanwhile, just try and relax around Harry, all right?" Ginny gave a noncommittal grunt as she wiped another tear from her eye. "Maybe he'll notice you if you're a bit more of… well, yourself. Just try, Ginevra. It won't hurt."

"Don't call me that," said Ginny automatically, but Hermione could see she was smiling.

"Maybe you're right," said Ginny after a few moments with an audible sigh, "I feel so weird every time I see him – it's like my insides get all mixed up and I can't speak or think properly." She looked up at her, eyes wide. "I should move on, shouldn't I?"

"I'm not ordering you to do anything," smiled Hermione, "just giving a suggestion."

"Thanks, Hermione. I owe you."

"You don't, but you're welcome anyway."

When it happened, it was like all the stars had exploded, or perhaps the planets had flown out of orbit. This was happening, really happening to her right now – it was beyond her wildest dreams, her deepest desires. Harry Potter was kissing her. After all the boys she had gone through – Michael Corner, Dean Thomas, or anyone who tried to take a chance, the boy she had always dreamed about had finally noticed her. Ginny had never felt happier, safe in Harry's arms, as she kissed him back, and his hands wrapped around her long red hair.

When the broke apart, they stared at each other for a long moment. Harry turned to look at Ron, but she was looking at Hermione. Both of them gave encouraging smiles, and Hermione's look was one of triumph, of understanding, her eyes were telling Ginny I told you so. Harry smiled at her and gestured towards the portrait hole. She stepped out without a look back, but only one thing was registered in her mind.

Thank you, Hermione.

Author's Note:
Hermione's helping hand has been pretty prominent throughout the series – apart from homework and stuff, she's been helping Ginny out too. I think this did her justice, don't you agree?

Want more Harry/Ginny? Read Home Is In Your Eyes and/or Don't Give Up for something short, and I Wonder Which Wonder Which for something longer with an elaborate plot. If you're looking for more Ginny stories, however, I suggest Distraction and Oblivious.