"Harry, you’re going too fast!"
The advice came from a diminutive redhead who was sitting in the Quidditch stands, watching as Harry flew around the pitch. He flashed a quick grin as he shot past, and then slammed on the brakes. He floated back over to her. "Why do you say that?"
She smirked at him, "You know you’re rusty; too much time spent doing other things, and not enough time on a broom."
"Oh, really?" Harry raised his eyebrow.
"Yep." The grin on her face was impish.
"Then why don’t you get your broom and show me how it’s done."
"Because it’s all the way in my room, and I’m comfy here."
Harry idly scratched his back, making a surreptitious wand movement at the same time. A few seconds later, her broom appeared in his hand. The enhanced Accio spell was the best ever, as far as he was concerned.
"Here," he offered.
"Harry," Ginny said, perplexed, "where on earth did you get that?"
"Magic, my dear Ms Weasley, magic."
Ginny stuck her tongue out at him, and sighed heroically. "The things I do for friendship," she muttered, as she climbed onto her broom.
A few seconds later, the dark-haired wizard and the red-haired witch were zooming around the Quidditch pitch playing a game of tag.
Harry wrinkled his nose. "What is that smell?" he asked, walking into the boy’s dormitory, and placing his broom by the bed.
Ron blushed and tried to hide the bottle he was holding. "What smell?"
"The smell that is currently causing my eyes to tear up. What is it, the latest prank from Fred and George?"
Ron sighed audibly. "No, it’s aftershave."
"But you don’t shave!"
"It’s supposed to make you smell good to the ladies."
"Yeah," Ron sighed. "Do you know how long it’s been since I realised I was in love with her?"
"Nope," Harry said, as he sat on his bed.
Ron pulled out his own wand and cast a time spell. "Two weeks, three days, four hours, and nineteen and one-half minutes."
"So you’re going to ask her out?"
"Yep. On Valentines Day."
Harry grinned. "You’re going to do it in style then?"
Ron nodded, "I owled Charlie and Bill for some advice. I’ve got reservations at a restaurant for the evening, and a flower order to be delivered at lunch, which leaves me till then to ask her out."
Harry took a deep breath; he desperately wanted to tell Ron something, but was scared of his friend’s reaction. "I think I’m falling in love with Ginny," he blurted.
There was a distinct pause. Ron's face went suspiciously blank. "Ginny? My sister Ginny?"
"Yeah," Harry admitted nervously.
"Why?" Ron asked coldly.
Harry squirmed on his bed. "Well, apart from the obvious fact that she’s gorgeous, fun, intelligent, bewitching, alluring, and attractive. She’s strong, stands up to me, and generally makes me happy just by being close."
"So what are your plans for asking her out?"
"What?" Harry was shocked; that wasn’t the response he had anticipated.
"It might have taken me several years to realise that I love Hermione, but it doesn’t mean I’m stupid. It’s pretty obvious, Harry, mainly because you’re normally such a miserable git that every time you smile we take notes. You smile a lot around Ginny."
"You don’t mind?"
"Well, as long as you are aware that the six of us will kill you if you hurt her?"
"Then nope, just make her happy."
"I’ll try," Harry grinned.
Harry woke up on Valentine’s Day nervous and a little scared. He got out of bed, idly threw a cushion at Ron, and had a quick shower. He decided to try and look as good as possible today.
He pulled on a dark green shirt he’d purchased the last time he was in Hogsmeade, threw another pillow at Ron, successfully waking him this time, and walked downstairs.
"Morning Harry," Colin smiled. "Nice shirt, it matches your eyes."
Harry looked at him suspiciously; it wasn’t the sort of comment that he expected - especially from another guy.
Hermione walked down to the common room next. "Morning Harry," she unconsciously repeated Colin’s words. "Nice shirt, it matches your eyes."
"Thanks." He was happier with the source of the compliment this time. "Is Gin up yet?"
Hermione tilted her head and looked at him thoughtfully. "You’re going to ask her out, aren’t you?"
Harry knew he’d never be able to deny it with a straight face, so nodded.
"Good," Hermione smiled. "You have the day planned?"
"Excellent. Gin’s already down at breakfast, so get moving."
Harry rolled his eyes, and then saluted her smartly. He turned, and walked out of the common room.
Ginny was sitting alone at the Gryffindor table; it was still too early for most of the school to be there. Out of the corner of her eye, she watched as Harry entered the Great Hall. As quietly as he could, he walked around behind her.
Ginny smiled. Harry might be a lot of things, and drop dead gorgeous was definitely one of them, but he was not sneaky. Well, not when compared to Fred and George. It was the experience with her twin brothers that meant she was fully aware of Harry’s attempt to sneak up on her. She was curious to find out why, so she played along, watching him in the reflection of her knife.
"Make one move and you will live to regret it," said the dark, throaty voice from behind her.
"Really?" she asked her own voice dropping.
"Well, it depends on what your response to my question is."
Ginny turned to look at him. "Nice shirt," she smiled.
Harry sighed. "Yes, I know it goes with my eyes," he muttered.
She smirked at him. "So, what do you want to ask me?"
"Do you know what day it is?" he asked. "Wait, that’s not the question, that’s another question."
"Valentine’s Day?" Ginny responded with a smile. She pointed to the large amount of cards she had already received.
Harry seemed to be resisting the urge to set fire to them. "Well," he took a deep breath. "Can we go somewhere a little more private?" He appeared well aware of the fact that more people were entering the Hall at the moment.
Ginny tilted her head and looked at him quizzically. She nodded slowly, her heart suddenly beating double time as she started to realise exactly why he was acting so strangely.
They walked silently up towards the Room of Requirement. Harry was so nervous he wasn’t paying attention, and stepped on the trick stair.
"I’m stuck," he mumbled, after pulling his legs several times. He was blushing furiously.
"Let me see if I can help."
"Don't push so hard... ow..." he groaned, before his leg finally came free.
When they got to their destination, Harry automatically asked for the D.A. room, as they entered the Room of Requirement.
"I told you that would happen if you didn't clean it up," said Ginny, as she pointed to the growth in the corner.
Harry looked at it, and then threw his head back and laughed loudly. "How was I to know that a Bat-bogey Hex and a Snake-spit Hex would combine like that?"
The redhead walked over to the mould, and prodded it thoughtfully.
"Ginny, that's so sticky."
She grinned at him. "You forget, I grew up with Fred and George. There’s no such thing as too sticky. They might be able to use this. Perhaps they could call it Potter’s Perfect Paste."
Harry growled playfully, and stalked towards her. He reached out and grabbed her by the waist.
"Stop that!" Ginny laughed. "It tickles!"
"It’s supposed to," Harry grinned. He suddenly realised just how close they were. "Ginny," he whispered.
"Yes, Harry?" The girl’s eyes were wide, as she stared into his intense gaze.
The rehearsed words he had scripted over the past few days fled from his mind, as he spoke from his heart. "You look amazing," his voice was still soft, and he swallowed, gathering the courage for what he had to say next. "You’ve helped me so much this year, dealing with Sirius’ death and everything. I’m so happy when I’m with you. I know you told Hermione you were over me, but I’ve fallen for you. Ginny, will you go out with me today, on a date?"
"Just today?" she asked, her heart pounding in her ears.
"And every other day."
"You know something?"
"I lied about being over you," she smiled, and leaned in and kissed him tenderly. She felt his arms wrap around her, holding her tightly.
Harry slowly broke the kiss; he was shocked by how right it felt. He hoped she felt the same. "Come on, Gin, I’ve got plans for us."
They walked out, arm in arm, and smiled as they saw Ron and Hermione, arm in arm, walking in front of them.