The Valentine's Day Gift
Ginny Weasley had a dilemma, and very little time to sort out what to do. The Love of her Life,(though he wasn't aware of that fact as of yet), one Harry James Potter was completely miserable and Ginny was determined to do something about it. The problem was she didn't know what that was at the moment.
She sat watching Harry across the common room, she sitting a one of the work tables and he sitting on one of the couches in front of the fireplace, where he was staring into the flames morosely.
Ginny sat twirling a long strand of her hair idly around one of her fingers, something she was want to do, when she was deep in thought. She had settled on doing something spectacular for Harry on Valentine's Day and she was rapidly running out of time.
Valentine's Day fell on Sunday this year, and what a year it had been so far for Harry, having his name come out of the Goblet of Fire and being forced to compete in the Tri-Wizard Tournament, leading to his falling out with her git brother, Ron.
Though they had made up after Harry's performance against the Hungarian Horntail in the first task, it wasn't the same as it had been. Harry was reluctant to let Ron totally back in because of the hurt he had caused.
Ginny was glad that episode had led her and Harry to become closer friends, well friends at all. She was glad that she had gotten over (well mostly) her embarrassment being in close proximity to the boy of her dreams.
She was still mentally kicking herself for accepting Neville Longbottom's invitation to the Yule Ball instead of waiting for Harry to ask. Neville was nice enough but not really dating material. She had met a fairly nice Ravenclaw, Michael Corner and they had gone out on a few dates but to Ginny something had been lacking in the relationship and it had petered out.
The problem was they weren't Harry Potter. Her whole family knew of her childhood crush on The-Boy-Who-Lived, ever since she was three and demanded that they read her the story of his defeating the Dark Lord when he was only one, she knew in her heart that one day they would meet and be together.
Somehow those dreams hadn't lived up to her expectations, instead of being calm, collected, witty and funny, she had been a mental mess whenever she was near him.
All that had changed when he had rescued her from Tom Riddle and the Chamber of Secrets. Oh sure she was still a stammering, blushing, embarrassed pile of quaking jelly in his presence, but now it was for a different reason. The-Boy-Who-Lived had become Harry, the sweet, kind, brave, noble, shy person that had captured her heart.
Ginny sighed again, staring across the room at Harry, wishing she could come up with the perfect way to let him know just how she felt and not bollocks the whole thing up.
XX HP + GW XX
Harry Potter sat staring into the fire, wondering how his complicated life go so much more complicated. It was bad enough having the most evil, vile Dark Lord in centuries out to get you, now he was being forced to compete in a tournament that was supposed to be only for seventh years.
Sure he had gotten by the Dragon in the first task, but to him it was a near thing, not displaying any great magical ability, it was being able to out think the dragon and, well out fly it.
It was only his huge stores of Gryffindor courage that got him through the task, even then he had been scared out of his wits virtually the whole time. He could still feel the heat from some of the near misses from the dragon's flame and though he wouldn't tell anyone his shoulder still ached from the injury it's tail had inflicted.
Then there was the state of his friendships, though Ron had come around and now believed that he hadn't entered his name, his betrayal still hurt and he just didn't feel the same level of closeness that there had been before.
That meant that he was spending less time with him and consequentially Hermione as well because she was splitting her time between the two of them. Though the one bright spot had been Ginny's befriending him and spending time with him whenever he wasn't hanging out with her brother.
Ron seemed to have real issues with Ginny hanging out with them when he was with Harry.
Harry really found that annoying and it wasn't doing anything to improve his relationship with Ron, it was just one more little nagging thing that bothered Harry, mainly because he couldn't understand why.
Sighing again, Harry decided to go get his Transfiguration Book and see if he couldn't finish the essay that was due next week. Though he thought it was a rather poor way to spend a Friday evening, he had nothing better to do.
Ginny was surprised when she looked up after working on her homework for a bit and Harry was no longer sitting in front of the fire, she sighed sadly because she really liked looking at him. She thought his unruly black hair was just about the cutest thing and she'd die for a chance to run her hands through it. She knew that Harry hated it, well maybe hated was too strong a word, but disliked it most of the time.
Ginny found it funny though that one of the things she found most endearing was his unconscious running of his hands through it, keeping it "perfectly" messed up, well in Ginny's humble opinion anyway.
Staring at where he had been sitting, she wasn't aware of someone coming up to the table she was working on.
"May I sit here," she heard.
Glancing up, her eyes widened and her heart leapt into her throat, there standing before her was the object of her desire, Harry.
"What's that?" she stammered.
Harry smiled the crooked little smile that just drove Ginny crazy, it turned her insides all around, and made her heart skip a beat. "I said, may I sit here?" he said indicating the chair opposite from hers. "I don't want to crowd you or intrude," he added softly.
"No, please, sit down. I'm just working on my potions essay." Ginny said hurriedly. She smiled wanly at him, "Guess I'm pretty boring, doing my essay on a Friday night, huh."
Harry chuckled, "I guess I'm pretty boring too then," he said as he sat down and pulled out his Transfiguration essay.
Ginny almost died, then and there. Not only because she had accidentally implied that Harry was boring, but also because as she looked over at him, she was captivated by his brilliant emerald eyes. The were sparkling with delight as he was teasing her about his life being boring.
Ginny managed to get enough control of herself to say without thinking about it "Yeah, right Harry. I don't think anyone who has tackled a Horntail can say their life is boring."
Ginny then realized what she had said and couldn't believe how audacious she had been. She looked at Harry expecting him to have gotten upset with her careless words, but instead she found him smiling widely at her.
"Well that's funny coming from you, after your . . . ." Harry began and then he realized what he was saying. "You Fucking Prat!" he screamed to himself, that's just what she needs is to be reminded of the damn Chamber and her first year!"
By the look of horror on Harry's face she knew what he had been going to say, and if it had been anyone else she would have reacted badly, but coming from Harry, it was okay. It was something that they shared, a common experience and while not the happiest of memories, to Ginny it spoke volumes of Harry's character.
Ginny couldn't help herself and she giggled, making Harry's face turn from one of horror to one of bewildered amusement.
"Yeah, I guess your right, Harry," she said with a smile. "We both have had things happen in our lives that were definitely not boring."
Harry breathed a sigh of relief, he hadn't made Ginny mad or worse depressed at the memory that he knew he had to of invoked. "I'm so sorry, Ginny," he said sincerely, a worried look on his face.
"Don't be, Harry. It happened and we survived, for that I am eternally grateful too you," she said with a touch of sadness in her voice.
"Ginny, I. . . I want you to know if you ever need to talk to someone about, well you know. . . I'm here if you want to," Harry said softly, his eyes looking at her intensely.
Ginny felt her heart leap, she couldn't believe that Harry was offering to talk to her about her experiences in her first year. From anyone else she would have bristled and gotten angry, her few attempts to talk to her parents had been disastrous, they just didn't understand what she had gone through, but Harry, she knew that he'd understand, they both having confronted Riddle and survived, him more than once. Yes, if anyone could understand it would be Harry.
Smiling, she whispered, "I'd like that very much." She was gratified when Harry smiled at her with a smile that made her heart sing.
"Well enough of that for now, let's concentrate on the task at hand, shall we?" Ginny said lightly.
Harry's smile got bigger, glad that he hadn't depressed Ginny, for some reason he didn't want to cause her any additional pain.
They both began to work diligently on the essays, but they did talk occasionally, making comments about what they were doing, or sometimes about someone who had come into the common room.
Harry couldn't remember when he'd ever had as much fun doing homework as he was with Ginny. She wasn't as intense as Hermione or as reluctant to do any work as Ron. They seemed to work well in each others company, encouraging, providing much needed relief from the drudgery of the work, making the whole experience a pleasurable one.
Ginny put her quill down and stretched her arms above her head, groaning softly as she worked out her tense and tired muscles, noticing slyly as Harry watched her do so, a grin on his face as he took her lithe form in.
"Done?" he asked as she relaxed back down.
"Yeah, finally. I really hate these essays for Snape. It's like he purposely makes it almost impossible to fill the required length of parchment without resorting to something stupid to do so, just so he can deduct points for not completing it, ya know?" Ginny said with a smile.
Harry rolled his eyes, "You don't have to tell me. You're just a Gryffindor, so he only hates you for that, me, I look like my father who was his mortal enemy from what I can tell, so he really has it in for me," he said with a grin.
Ginny giggled and she realized she was having a regular conversation with Harry, not feeling the slightest bit of embarrassment.
"What?" Harry asked, looking at her smiling face.
Ginny blushed, but just a little, "Well, I realized we where having a normal conversation, and I wasn't tripping over my words and felt like I was lighting up the room with my blushing."
"Yeah, and I didn't feel as if my heart was going to lodge in my throat or my guts twist so tight I'd starve because food would never get through again," Harry said just as sincerely, smiling back to her.
Ginny was gobsmacked, never expecting Harry to say anything like that to her. She hadn't thought that Harry had any feelings for her at all, besides just being a friend, or his friend's little sister.
"R-re-really?" she asked, hesitantly.
It was Harry's turn to blush and drop his gaze from Ginny, "Yeah Ginny, I mean you've been a great friend this year and I haven't really treated you as such. I guess it's been partly because of Ron and well, partly because. . . ."
Harry had a tough time finishing his thought, thinking "What if she doesn't think about me that way any more. Hermione had said that Ginny didn't see him the same anymore.
Ginny was wide-eyed listening to Harry speak,could it be he did like her, "that way"?
The silence hung between them for several long minutes, both wondering what the other was thinking.
Harry was the one that broke the silence, "Ginny, how about us meeting and going to breakfast tomorrow morning?" he asked hesitantly.
Ginny smiled shyly, "I'd like that very much."
Harry smiled in what Ginny could only described as a relieved way. "Wonderful," he said. "Well it's getting late and I'm pretty knackered, see you in the morning."
Ginny watched him leave in a daze, "Harry Potter had actually come over, sat with her working on homework all evening and then asked her to go to breakfast with him in the morning!" Sure it wasn't like a date or anything, but it was a heck of a lot more than she had experienced so far or even hoped for at this point.
Ginny slowly gathered her things up, smiling goofily the whole time and she was surprised when Hermione came up to her, "Hey Ginny, what's got you looking like you've been confunded?"
Ginny looked up at her bushy-haired friend, "You'll never believe the night I've had Hermione, never in a million years."
Hermione looked at her sceptically, "Why, what happened?" she asked lowly.
Ginny's eyes darted over Hermione's shoulder and she saw Ron eavesdropping on their conversation, "Not here, come up to my dorm," she said as she glared at her brother.
Ron frowned at having been caught and skulked off shooting glares back at Ginny.
XX HP + GW XX
Ginny waited not so patiently for Hermione to arrive, she had gone off to have a word with Ron and hadn't returned as of yet. Ginny was sitting on the edge of her bed, playing with the frayed edge of the curtains that hung around her bed.
Ginny had somehow adopted the habit of picking at the edge of the curtain instead of her jumper or other piece of clothing. For one thing no one seemed to care and she wasn't tempted to do so in public as she had to wait till she got back to her room. It may not have been the perfect system, but it worked for her.
After what seemed forever the door finally opened and Hermione entered her dorm and came over to Ginny. "So what's go you in such a dither?" she asked, with a concerned look.
"Harry!," Ginny blurted out, and when Hermione began to frown at what she expected to be another pining session, Ginny added, "He spent the evening with me, doing homework, but we talked, Hermione. I mean real conversation, not stammering or stuttering, no butterflies, well after the first few minutes anyway."
Ginny them flopped backwards onto the bed, "And he asked me to go to breakfast with him tomorrow," she added, her smile covering her whole face.
She chanced a glance at Hermione and saw the look of surprise etched on the older witch's face. Smiling deeply she said, "Well say something!"
Hermione's mouth finally snapped shut, "Well, that's a surprise," she said wide-eyed. "I can't believe it, are you sure you're not dreaming this?" she asked.
Ginny giggled, "Nope, it really happened Hermione."
"Well I'm happy for you, but don't go overboard, he's just noticing you, you don't want to scare him off," Hermione said a little sternly.
Ginny rolled her eyes, "Don't worry, I won't. I just hope Ron stays out of it."
Hermione nodded, "Yeah, I know he doesn't approve of your being friends with Harry." Hermione gave Ginny a hug and after saying good night she left.
Ginny changed and got into bed, at first afraid she wouldn't be able to sleep because of how excited she felt, but after laying there for a little while she felt herself grow sleepy and she drifted off to sleep.
XX HP + GW XX
Ginny woke up feeling very excited and a little flushed, she had dreamed of spending a perfect day with Harry for Valentine's Day. She just wished she could remember her dream well enough so that she could do it tomorrow.
Sighing she got up, not going to let that little detail stop her from enjoying going to breakfast with Harry. Dressing quickly she hurried down to the common room and was delighted to see Harry sitting in front of the fire waiting patiently.
She walked over to him, (well at least she didn't run) and smiling said, "Ready to go?"
Harry smiled up at her and said "Yes, lets get going before . . . . someone comes and well you know," he stammered, glancing at the steps to the boys dorms.
Ginny knew just who he was referring to and she had no desire to see Ronald "The Prat" Weasley herself.
As they exited the portrait hole Harry said, "You know I had the best time I have ever had doing homework with you last night."
Ginny felt herself break out into a large grin, "So did I Harry," she replied.
She saw Harry blush slightly and he looked rather sheepish, "Maybe we could study together more often?" he said softly.
"I'd like that very much," Ginny replied, blushing too.
They continued exchanging small talk all the way down to the Great Hall where they sat where Harry usually sat. They noticed that the Hall was rather crowded for a Saturday morning, even almost all the Beauxbatons and Durmstrang were there.
"Is something going on?" Ginny whispered to him.
"Not that I know of," Harry replied as he began to pile food onto his plate.
Ginny followed suit and they hadn't been there very long when Hermione joined them, she looked at Harry smugly, but he chose to ignore her. Ginny did notice that as she had come in, Ron had been with her, but he chose to sit with Dean and Seamus, a little down the table. She also noticed he glared at her as he sat down.
Breakfast was pleasant enough after that, she, Harry and Hermione talking like they sat together all the time and she was a little surprised with the amount of subtle teasing that Harry and Hermione exchanged. She was doubly so when Harry teased her almost as much.
Ginny wasn't in the least intimidated by his gentle teasing, she had grow up with six brothers and was more than equipped to hold her own. She loved the way Harry grinned at her as they sat exchanging quips and somehow she felt as if she had passed some kind of test.
Breakfast was winding down when Professor Dumbledore stood and clinking his goblet for quiet, magically amplified his voice, "Students and guests, I am Happy to announce that as a special treat there will be an informal dance tomorrow evening in celebration of Valentine's Day."
As he announced that fact, half of the male population of Hogwarts groaned out loud.
"It will be open to all students third year and above, and to make things a little interesting it will be a female invitation dance, so ladies, it is up to you to invite a gentleman to the dance," the Headmaster said with a twinkle in his eyes.
Ginny couldn't believe what she was hearing, she felt like she couldn't breath, here was her chance, if she could screw up her Gryffindor courage. She chanced a fleeting glance at Harry sitting next to her.
She saw him glancing at her with a wry grin on his face and he was looking at her expectantly. She tried to say something but nothing came out as she opened her mouth. Hermione was staring at her, motioning with her head at Harry.
Ginny began to panic as she saw several older girls eyeing Harry and a couple were even heading his way.
"Harry, willyougotothedancewithme?" she managed to spew out.
Harry almost sprayed his juice he was drinking across the table, but managed to keep it in his mouth. "Excuse me, Ginny, could you please repeat that?" he asked with a gleam in his eyes.
Ginny took a huge breath and tried desperately to calm herself down, "I said, will you go to the dance with me?" she managed to get out much more comprehensibly.
Harry just looked at her for a moment, though to Ginny it seemed to drag on forever, "I'd like that very much," he replied.
Ginny felt herself relax and expel a large breath she hadn't even been aware she was holding.
It was while exchanging glances with Hermione, who was nodding approvingly at her, that she heard someone speak. She looked back in Harry's direction and saw an older Ravenclaw asking Harry to the dance.
"I'm sorry, I already have a date," Harry replied politely.
The girl shot a glance at Hermione across the table, "You can do better than Granger," she said unkindly.
She saw Harry's eyes narrow dangerously, few knew that look and the Ravenclaw didn't know how much danger she was putting herself in.
"I'll have you know that IF Hermione had asked me I would have accepted her invitation well before I ever would have yours," Harry said tensely, another indication that he was trying very hard to contain his anger.
The girl looked at Harry in shock, "Well if isn't Granger who could have asked you that quickly," she asked derisively. Then her eyes swept over to Ginny, the only other female in the vicinity. "Surely you couldn't have agreed to go with this little girl?" she said looking at Ginny.
Ginny thought Harry was going to explode and as much as she was gratified by his defence of her, she was seriously worried because of the excess magic she could feel spilling off of Harry.
"I suggest you leave before you insult my friends any more," Harry said through clenched teeth, his eyes usually a brilliant emerald green were now a dark forest green that burned with a fire that Ginny had only seen once before, as Harry had battled Tom Riddle down in the Chamber.
The girl must have finally felt the magic coming off of Harry in huge waves, and it wasn't a friendly, welcoming magic, in fact it was pouring off him in such quantities that Ginny saw McGonagall and Flitwick heading their way with extremely concerned looks on their faces.
The girl started to turn away, when Harry stopped her, "Apologize," he said lowly, menace dripping from his voice.
"W-what?" the girl asked, now looking quite fearful.
"I said apologize, now!" Harry said as he began to stand.
The Ravenclaw looked beseechingly at the two Professors who had come up to them. "What is going on here?" McGonagall asked, looking somewhat fearfully at the glowering Harry.
"She needs to apologize to Ginny and Hermione," Harry said, never once taking his eyes off of the offending Ravenclaw.
McGonagall took one look at the cowering girl and said, "I suggest you do what he says," she said succinctly.
"Yes, Miss Billingsly, I heartily agree," Professor Flitwick said.
Ginny saw the girl swallow several times, her eyes flitting back and forth from the Professors, to Harry and to her and Hermione. "I'm truly sorry if I insulted anyone," she said tremulously.
"I accept," Ginny said softly, never taking her eyes off Harry.
"So do I," she heard Hermione say.
Ginny saw Harry relax some, though there was still an underlying tension about him, he no longer felt like he was going to explode at any moment. He abruptly turned to Ginny and said, "Will you take a walk with me?"
Ginny nodded and as they walked away they heard the girl saying, "Isn't he going to get points off or detention?"
Ginny didn't hear the answer but from the reaction of the people nearby she was sure the Ravenclaw didn't like the answer she received.
Harry led her out onto the grounds, and she was a bit worried by his demeanour, not that she was worried he would do anything to her but that he would turn his anger on himself and begin to brood and pull away from everyone.
She had to hurry to keep up with him in the beginning but as they got further from the school he slowed down, finally coming to a stop beneath a large beech tree near the lake. It's canopy spreading out far beyond the trunk, and even thought it was now leafless, it's many branches cast a wide circle of shade.
Harry plunked himself down at it's base and he put his head in his hands that he had propped on his elbows that rested on his knees. She could tell he was beginning to become very melancholy.
She slowly came up to him and knelt beside him, "Harry, don't get upset over what happened, I for one am glad that you stood up for Hermione and me."
Harry glanced up at her and gave her a sad smile. "I know Ginny, it's just that I let my anger get away from me sometimes, you saw what almost happened."
"But it didn't happen, Harry. That's the important thing, you kept it under control."
Ginny then saw Harry relax, "Yeah, you're right, I did, didn't I," he said softly. Then in a move that was so uncharacteristic for Harry, he reached out and drew Ginny into a hug. At first it caught her unawares and she almost lost her balance because of it, but then when she felt Harry stiffen because of her reaction, she gave herself over to the hug and let Harry make sure she didn't fall.
She felt Harry relax into the hug at that point and it brought tears to her eyes, she knew how much Harry didn't like people invading his personal space and she had never seen him hug someone voluntarily. She felt him sigh and gently release her, "Thanks Ginny," he said softly, looking into her eyes.
"You're welcome Harry," Ginny replied
Harry suddenly sat up excitedly, "Ginny, I'm sorry but there's something I need to do, can you forgive me for not hanging out with you today?"
Ginny was bewildered by Harry's sudden change of mood, but she nodded anyway, not wanting to keep Harry from something that seemed important to him.
Harry stood up and offered his hand to her and helped her up, he then pulled her towards the castle but once inside he said, "I'll see you later, and dashed off.
XX HP + GW XX
Ginny felt her head was spinning and she slowly made her way back up to the common room where she found Hermione sitting in front of the fire.
"Where's Ron?" she asked.
"Hiding up in the boys dorm with several others who don't want to be asked to the dance." She then looked at Ginny with a grin, "I see you didn't waste any time asking someone to the dance."
Ginny blushed, "Well you saw all the girls lining up to ask him, I didn't want to chance someone else asking him and him saying yes just because he didn't want to hurt someone's feelings."
Hermione then looked quite serious, "That was some major display of magic that he put on."
Ginny nodded in agreement, "I know, I was certain that he was going to explode at any moment."
"Yeah, so was I," Hermione said tersely. She decided not to mention it wasn't till the Ravenclaw had insulted Ginny that Harry's anger had really increased. She couldn't make up her mind what it meant and she didn't want to fuel any speculation on Ginny's part.
They sat there talking till it was time for lunch and since Harry hadn't shown up they went together, hoping to see Harry in the Great Hall.
Ginny was rather disappointed when Harry didn't show for lunch and she spent the afternoon reading in the common room, hoping to see Harry when he returned.
It wasn't till very late that a very tired Harry dragged himself into the common room where he was barely able to say good night to Hermione and Ginny before stumbling off to bed.
Ginny looked questioningly at Hermione but she just shrugged saying she had no idea what Harry was up to.
XX HP + GW XX
Sunday was almost a repeat of Saturday, minus the confrontation with the Ravenclaw. Since there was going to be the dance many people did not exchange Valentines early, planning on doing it at the dance.
Ginny had thought back to her disastrous first year and the horrid Valentine poem she had written for Harry and had delivered by Lockhart's Cherub dwarfs. After that she was surprised that Harry spoke to her at all.
She hadn't been able to come up with any grand idea, and hoped that taking him to the dance would suffice, though she did make a plain Valentine's Day card that simply read, Happy Valentine's Day, Harry and signed it, Love Ginny. She also cut a locket of her long hair and braided it into a heart shape that she tucked inside the card. The whole time thinking that Harry would look at it and laugh.
Once again Harry was missing all day after having breakfast with her and Hermione and even though she and Hermione had pressed him, he refused to say where he had been and what he had been doing, though he did have a mischievous look on his face and couldn't stop smiling.
That seemed to drive Hermione insane and she kept a constant stream of questions going all day until it was time to get ready for the dance.
Though Ginny hadn't seen Harry since that morning where he had told her he would pick her up in the common room at 6:45 so that they could be down in the Great Hall by seven when the dance would start.
Though she only had the dress robes that she had worn to the Yule Ball, Hermione had changed their colour to a deep green that would compliment Harry's eyes and robes wonderfully and with a matching ribbon in her hair she was ready. A couple of the other girls, like Lavender, Romilda and even Katie had tried to let her let them style her hair, she preferred it natural to any outlandish doo that seemed so artificial to her.
She had also put her foot down when they wanted to put a ton of make-up on her, well except for Katie and Angelina, who applied just a smattering to enhance her natural beauty, as they said. Ginny was in awe of what the two older girls had done. Without looking like she was wearing any make-up she looked simply beautiful.
Nervously she paced in her dorm, hoping that Harry would be waiting like he had promised and though she knew she was being foolish because Harry never broke his promises to anyone, she was still worried.
Finally it was time to go and with a wink from Angelina who wasn't going to the dance, telling Ginny she had "other" plans for that evening, Ginny walked out of the dorm and down the stairs.
She was so nervous at first that she didn't see Harry standing almost at the foot of the stairs, she had been looking over towards the fireplace where he was usually ensconced.
When she finally spotted him, her heart almost stopped, the look he was giving her as she descended the stairs made her knees feel weak and she was afraid she was going to fall.
As she reached the bottom of the stairs, Harry took hold of her hand and guided her to himself. She was shocked to see he had a rose corsage, it was a brilliant fire red and matched her hair almost perfectly.
She noticed his hands shaking slightly as he pinned the corsage to her robes and then he stepped back, looked her over and said, "Ginny, you are simply beautiful."
Ginny found herself blushing shyly, "Thank you Harry, you're looking quite handsome yourself." She noticed he had a matching boutonnière and she felt slightly overwhelmed by the effort that Harry had seemed to go to accompany her to the dance.
Offering his arm to her, he said "Shall we go?"
Grinning at him Ginny said, "I'm supposed to be in charge tonight and don't you forget it."
Harry gave her a theatrical look of shock, smiling the whole time, "Please forgive me my Lady, I'll try much harder to remember my place."
Ginny couldn't help but giggle at him and they spent the remainder of the walk down to the Great Hall playfully teasing one another, though Harry still refused to say what he had been doing for the past two days, only telling her it was a surprise.
They arrived at the Hall and went to find a table to sit at. They were surprised to find Neville there with Hannah Abbott, a very nice, kind of shy Hufflepuff. She blushed when introduced to Harry and Ginny and for a moment Harry was concerned about her being one of those annoying fan-girls, but it was obvious she only had eyes for Neville.
They were also surprised that George and Alicia Spinnet joined them but that Fred was missing. Then Ginny put two and two together and looked at George, "Where's Fred?" she asked mischievously.
George looked slightly embarrassed to be put on the spot but Alicia winked at her and said, "He's out celebrating a bit more privately."
"But I thought it was Ladies choice?" Hannah asked shyly.
"Believe me it is, Angelina has him so wrapped around her finger it isn't funny, and just because they're not here, trust me she's still in charge."
Ginny giggled as several others chuckled but poor Hannah was blushing furiously at Alicia's implication.
It was then that the band began to play and Ginny was a little sad when she saw Neville and Hannah along with George and Alicia rise to go out on the dance floor. She was silently applauding Hannah's bravery, because she remembered how much her poor feet had hurt after the Yule Ball.
She had remembered how Harry had seemed to hate dancing and had only danced the opening dance because it was required of the Tournament Champions. She sighed as she watched the others start to dance but then she was startled out of her thoughts by Harry whispering in her ear, "Would you join me on the dance floor?"
Ginny stared at him like he had spoken a foreign language. It wasn't till Harry rose and offered her his hand that she took it and allowed herself to be guided out onto the dance floor.
She vaguely remember how awkward Harry had looked with Parvati and she prepared herself for another painful time. She was totally surprised when Harry deftly and confidently led her around the dance floor. She found herself amazed at how well he was dancing and before long she stopped worrying about her feet and just enjoyed herself as they spun and twirled across the floor.
To Ginny it seemed they were dancing on clouds, so light and carefree she felt. She actually frowned when the first dance ended and she found herself looking into Harry's eyes. They were alight with merriment, twinkling and sparkling as they bore into her.
Before she knew it the next song had started and Harry once more took her into his arms and led her around the dance floor. Ginny felt like she was in one of her dreams, so wonderful of a time she was having on top of the impossibly fantastic way Harry was dancing. He seemed like a totally different person than the one she had watched at the Yule Ball just a couple of short months ago.
After the first half dozen songs, Harry asked if she wanted something to drink and when she said yes he led them over to one of the refreshment tables where they got some cool punch.
It was then that the Band called out it was a Ladies Choice dance and they could ask anyone else to dance. Ginny was surprised when Harry declined the numerous girls who came up and asked to dance with him, everything from third-years to seventh-years.
She wanted to ask him why but she couldn't bring herself to do so, and she couldn't figure out why.
They danced some more and Ginny found the experience just as amazing if not more so than before. She and Harry just seemed to float across the dance floor as if they were floating above the surface and dancing in the air.
They had sat back down and Harry had gone to get them something more to drink when Neville leaned over and whispered to her, "I guess your feet won't be sore tonight."
She was surprised but Neville just smiled at her and shrugged shyly and looked sympathetically at Hannah, she was sitting next to Neville and had her one shoe off and was rubbing her foot.
It was as the dance was coming to an end and they had just finished the last dance, which had been a slow very romantic song where Harry had held her very close and she felt her heart beating hard in her chest and she couldn't believe that Harry couldn't hear it.
They were walking towards the doors when they passed close by to Professor McGonagall who smiled at them. "I see that the extra lessons really paid off Mr. Potter. Miss Weasley must really appreciate the hard work you put in the last two days."
Harry blushed deeply, first glancing at Ginny and then looking back at the Professor, "I assume so, at least she didn't complain about my dancing."
Ginny was gobsmacked, it hit her like a rampaging hippogriff, Harry had spent the last two days taking dance lessons so that she'd have a wonderful time.
Professor McGonagall noticed the surprised look on Ginny's face, "He didn't tell you?" she asked.
All Ginny could do was shake her head. "Well then he really must have wanted to impress you Miss Weasley, it's not just any fourteen year old that would do such a thing. You're a very lucky young lady Miss Weasley."
Ginny could see Harry blushing furiously, trying very hard to hide his face.
"Well good night you two," the Professor said as she walked away.
"Harry, why didn't you tell me?" Ginny asked.
"I wanted to surprise you Ginny. I mean we aren't even dating really, and I wasn't sure what I could get you that you wouldn't think strange to be getting from just some boy you know, so I decided that I'd make sure you had the best time possible at the dance," Harry explained softly.
"Harry, that is without a doubt the best gift you could have given me," Ginny replied tenderly. Then blushing she took out the card she had made. "Here, I made you a card, I hope you like it better than that horrid poem I wrote in my first year. She blushed when he looked at her expectantly before he opened it. He took out the braided heart, and Ginny heard him take in a sudden sharp breath and she noticed his eyes glistening.
"This is the most wonderful gift I've ever received, Ginny," he said softly, his voice choked with emotion.
Harry's eyes slowly came up and met Ginny's and she was drawn into their shimmering emerald green that burned with a fire that was totally different than the fire she had seen earlier. This was a deeper fire, one that spoke of different emotions than the anger he had been expressing then.
It took Ginny a minute to realize just what the emotion was, because it was something she had never seen before, in Harry's or any boy's eyes, it spoke of a deep abiding love and desire for her.
Ginny felt like she couldn't breath for a moment, here she was, seeing what she had for so long wanted to see in Harry's eyes, but now that she was it was totally more overwhelming than she had ever expected.
It made her stomach feel like it was falling into an endlessly deep pit and it would never touch bottom, she was also sure her heart was about to burst inside of her chest, it was filled with that much joy.
If anything Harry's next action made those feelings seem pale and dull compared to what she felt when he gently reached out and ran his fingers slowly down along her cheek and jaw-line. She felt herself shiver in response as she leaned into his touch.
Her eyes drifted shut and she heard herself moan softly as the exquisite feelings ran through her. Then she was taken to new heights as she felt Harry's lips come into contact with hers.
It was such a soft kiss but rich in it's intensity of emotions that it invoked. She felt Harry's hand come up and run through her hair, starting above her left ear and slowly and sensually stroke down through it's entire length down her back to just above her waist.
Ginny had to wrap her arms around Harry to keep from falling, such was the intensity of the feelings she was experiencing.
It was a very different pair that returned to the common room than had left several hours before. Ginny was tucked tightly into Harry's side and he had his arm wrapped around her shoulders, with Ginny's head resting on Harry. Both were smiling shyly at one another, like neither could believe how the day had turned out.
It was a shocked Hermione that first saw them enter, so close together that you could hardly tell where one stopped and the other began in the low light of the late evening.
She watched in wonder as Harry escorted Ginny over to the stairs to the girls dorms and took her in his arms and kissed her deeply. It was a kiss that spoke of something more than the normal girlfriend / boyfriend relationship that was normally seen around Hogwarts.
She watched in wonder as they slowly came apart, but remained in a tight embrace. From where she was Hermione could see their eyes as they looked into one another's and she was shocked to see the intensity of the look that passed between them.
Ginny keenly felt the loss as the kiss with Harry ended, but the look she saw in his eyes made her feel so wonderful, so safe and secure, so cherished and loved. It was as if all those feelings had been made anew just for her to experience with Harry.
Her dreams of being with Harry like this were just pale shadows of the reality. She wasn't sure if Harry felt it but she knew without a doubt that she had met the love of her life and that she'd never be able to give him up.
Harry looked deeply into Ginny's luscious dark chocolate brown eyes and knew without a doubt that she was now the owner and keeper of his heart. No other woman would ever be able to capture it because it was now Ginny's.
"Happy Valentine's Day, Ginny" he whispered to her.
"Happy Valentine's Day to you Harry, you've certainly made this the best one ever for me," she whispered back softly.
"I'm not sure if this is my best one," Harry said softly with a grin.
"Oh Really?" asked a shocked Ginny, wondering what could have surpassed this for Harry.
Harry couldn't help himself, grinning madly at Ginny he said playfully, "Yeah, my second year here, I got this Valentine's poem delivered by a mad dwarf that I thought was kind of cute."
Ginny's eyes widened in shock, and blushing furiously swatted Harry on the arm.
Hermione thought something had gone wrong but when she heard the two of them laughing she relaxed.
"You are a giant Pr. . . ." Ginny began.
Harry effectively shut Ginny up by kissing her fiercely and he was rewarded by her melting against his body as she gave herself totally over to the kiss.
Slowly they parted, Ginny with a dreamy expression on her face, "Prat," she whispered but with a huge smile.
She gave him a tight hug, "Good night, Harry," she said softly and tenderly.
"Good night my love," Harry whispered, with a grin.
Ginny's eyes bugged out as she processed what he had whispered to her. "Harry?" she started again, but just like before, Harry kissed her, not as deeply or as emotionally but it once again short circuited Ginny's brain and he gently turned her around and gave her a gentle push up the stairs.
In a daze, Ginny walked up the stairs and when she got to the landing she turned and looked back at Harry standing at the bottom of the stairs, looking up at her with a grin on his face, and Ginny realized right then that her life was never going to be the same.
XX HP + GW XX
A/N: Happy Valentine's Day to my faithful readers, just a little something that came to me and I thought I'd share with you all.
I fervently hope that you have or will find the love of your life and you'll recognize them for who they are. My advise to you if you have someone you think is that person is to listen more, talk less, love deeper and cherish the time you spend together, you never know when it may disappear in a heart beat.