Harry Potter sat there in the Gryffindor common room stunned. Something had just hit him and it had totally caught him unawares. It took a few moments of contemplating the situation for it to really sink in as he went over everything in his mind.
As they say, hindsight is 20/20 and looking back from his current position it was now all so plain to see.
He fancied Ginny Weasley.
He couldn't believe how clueless he'd been and he cursed himself for not realizing it sooner. While in the past he'd been aware of Ginny's crush on him, he hadn't even thought about returning her feelings.
It wasn't because he hadn't liked her, no, the problem was he hadn't been thinking about girls at all. Every year he'd been so involved with some sort of crisis that having a relationship had never entered his mind.
He sighed in disgust, angry at himself, his eyes drifting back across the common room at what had triggered his revelation. Ginny was curled up on the couch with Dean, her new boyfriend.
While they weren't currently snogging, the way they were cuddled up on the couch made Harry's insides twist painfully. He could hardly see where one body ended and the other began.
Harry felt himself beginning to shake with his pent up frustration and anger. Knowing that he'd probably ending up making a fool of himself, he knew he needed to get out of there before he snapped and did something that he'd regret and probably make Ginny hate him forever.
Rising quickly, he took one last glance at Ginny and Dean, before he stormed away, feeling a little relieved because no one had noticed his look.
The problem was that he was wrong. There was one person who had noticed and it set her to thinking. While she hadn't let on, she'd been aware of where Harry had been looking all evening and she had certainly seen his demeanour when he had stormed out of the common room.
She frowned slightly as she considered the implications of what had happened. She knew she'd need to think about things carefully before she brought it up with anyone, to do otherwise could be disastrous.
Harry stomped down a deserted corridor, not really paying any attention to where he was going. All he knew was that he needed to find some place to vent his frustration and anger or he wouldn't be responsible for his actions.
Glancing around, he realized he didn't really know where he was other than it appeared to be a little utilized area of the castle.
He peeked through the dirty window on the nearest door and he saw what appeared to be an unused classroom. From its current state Harry figured it hadn't been used in years or maybe even decades.
Trying his luck, he was surprised when the doorknob turned, opening the door, though it did squeak in protest a bit.
A couple of torches sprang to life when Harry entered and he shut the door behind him before glancing around.
There were a number of old, dust covered desks and chairs that sat close to the front of the room but further back there seemed to be more boxes and odd pieces of furniture that appeared to be being stored in the room. All was just as dirty and dusty as the desks near the front.
To Harry it seemed the perfect place for him to burn off some of his anger and frustration. Forgoing his wand, Harry picked up the nearest chair and threw it as hard as he could against the back wall.
It gave a satisfying cracking sound as part of one arm and a leg broke free before all the pieces tumbled to the floor.
To Harry it felt rather good so he picked up the next chair in the row and he spun around hard, throwing the chair even harder than he had the first.
Once again there was that satisfying sound of wood breaking and splintering as the chair struck the wall. This time it was the back of the chair that suffered from the force of the throw, striking at a different angle than the first.
A third chair quickly followed the second and a fourth, the third. One by one all the chairs in the first row ended up smashed against the wall. When he looked he was dissatisfied with the results. Yes, arms, legs and even some of the backs had been broken but the chairs were relatively intact.
His anger rising to new heights, Harry grabbed the nearest broken chair, picked it up and began to assault the pile of damaged furniture.
It took some doing but he attacked the pile unrelentingly, pieces of wood and splinters flying everywhere as he was able to smash the damaged chairs completely.
So focused on his task he didn't even notice as pieces of the wood and some of the splinters struck and cut him, leaving him bloodied and bruised.
It was well past curfew by the time he made his way back to the Gryffindor common room. With as late as it was, he wasn't expecting anyone to be up and awake so he was taken by surprise when someone rose off the couch and approached him as he entered.
Harry flinched when he saw who it was. Sighing, he closed his eyes and shook his head, cursing his luck. Of all the possible people who could be standing there, it was the one person he really didn't want to see.
Harry and Ginny
Ginny watched Harry leave the common room out of the corner of her eyes and she didn't like what she saw. Something had obviously upset him but she didn't have a clue as to what it was.
The most likely cause was something to do with his two best friends, her brother Ron and Hermione Granger. Their rows were legendary, not only within the Gryffindor Tower but throughout the whole school. While she hadn't heard of one recently, that didn't necessarily mean that one hadn't taken place. To her they had become such a frequently occurring thing, she had begun to ignore them unless they happened right in front of her.
Her thoughts were interrupted by her boyfriend, Dean, suddenly tensing before he relaxed, letting out a soft "Ahhhh."
Almost immediately her senses were assaulted by an incredibly foul odour. Sitting up, her nose wrinkling in disgust, she glared at him. "Really Dean? That's so disgusting," she fumed as she glared at him.
Dean smiled cheekily. "Aww, come on, you know how it is, when you gotta let loose, you gotta let loose," he smirked as he reached for her, trying to pull her back into his side.
"No, I don't know. You know how much I hate when you do that. It's revolting."
"What can I say, I'm a bloke and there's nothing wrong with passing a little gas," he retorted in his defence, a huge grin on his face.
"I've grown up with six brothers and even the twins learned to control their bodily functions so as not to offend anyone once they were older than five," Ginny remarked with a scowl as she shifted a little further away from him.
Dean leaned over, trying to wrap his arms back around her shoulders but in doing so, he let loose once again. This time much louder and even more odorous than before.
"Argggg, that's it, I had enough for tonight," Ginny snapped in disgust.
Dean tried giving her his best sad puppy dog eyes but Ginny just glared at him as she stood and headed for the stairs to the girls dorms, wanting nothing to do with her boyfriend at the moment.
Besides, she needed some alone time so she could contemplate her deepest, secret obsession, one Harry James Potter.
The more she thought about it the more she came to the conclusion that Ron and Hermione rowing had nothing to do with Harry storming out of the common room.
He had been looking in hers and Dean's direction and since she had never seen him even glancing fleetingly at another bloke, she was sure he had been looking at her.
That led her to thinking back to over the summer and how in hindsight, she could now recognize the fact that the messy, raven-haired, green-eyed, dishy hunk of man flesh had been paying much closer attention to her, especially as the holiday had gone on.
Groaning, she threw her head back as she flopped flat onto her bed. If she wasn't mistaken, and she was 99.99999 percent sure she wasn't, Harry Bloody Potter fancied her.
On one hand this fact thrilled her to no end; however there was that pesky other hand too. The one where she had Dean 'Freaking' Thomas as her boyfriend. Her brand new, like just in the last few days, new boyfriend.
She had just come to the realization that if she had waited just a few short days she would be dating the one she really wanted to be dating, Harry Potter.
"You," smack, "Stupid," smack, "Freaking," smack, "Bloody," smack, "Idiot," smack, she said, punctuating each word by smacking herself hard on the forehead like a house elf punishing itself.
Finding herself to agitated to go to bed, Ginny started pacing around her dorm. She tried not to think about Harry but found that a useless endeavour. It seemed the harder she tried not to think of him, the more she did.
Of course this only made her more agitated and increase the speed of her pacing.
Finally all her dorm mates settled down for the night but Ginny was still way to worked up to go to bed herself so she headed back down to the common room.
When she got there she was pleased to find it empty. Feeling relieved, she sat down on the couch in front of the fireplace.
She had been sitting there for a while contemplating the situation, though she hadn't come up with what she thought a suitable solution when she heard the portrait hole open.
Glancing in its direction, she was surprised to see Harry enter the common room. She smiled slightly because he looked much more relaxed than when he'd stormed off.
Then as he looked up, Ginny was appalled by his state. In the dim light she could see several dark streaks on his cheeks and face, one even dripping down from his forehead in the vicinity of his famous scar.
Rising, she took a couple of steps toward him. "Harry, what in the name of Merlin happened?" she asked in great concern.
Harry winced and ran a hand up through his hair. A move he did whenever he was really nervous or agitated.
When he did so, Ginny couldn't help but notice the back of his hand and what she could see of his forearm were similarly injured. In fact now that she was right on top of him she could see a plethora of small slivers and splinters of wood sticking in his flesh.
When he just gave her a small shrug, she grabbed him by the arm and began to spin him back toward the portrait hole. "You need to see Madam Pomfrey," she insisted.
Harry had been docilely turning with her until she mentioned the Matron. He stopped and set his feet, refusing to proceed any further.
Ginny ground to a halt in response to Harry's refusal to go any further. While she knew several techniques that Bill had taught her and she was fairly certain she could have compelled him to continue forward, she didn't want to get into a knock down, dragged out confrontation.
"Harry James Potter," she growled lowly, her eyes flashing menacingly.
At first Harry gave her a defiant look but as they stared into one another's eyes, his look slowly softened until it was one of extreme despair.
"Please Ginny," he begged softly.
Ginny was all set to lay into him but the look in his eyes made her pause. Seeing the depth of pain in his gaze she took a deep breath and let it out slowly, bleeding off most of her anger.
"All right but get your arse over here and sit down," she ordered, pushing him toward the couch in front of the fireplace.
After forcing him down onto the couch she glared at him. "Don't move. I'll be right back," she ground out between clenched teeth.
Before Harry could respond, Ginny darted off and up the stairs to the girl's dorms. He had hardly any time at all to contemplate what she was doing before she reappeared, carrying a small zippered pouch.
"What's that?" he asked out of curiosity.
As Ginny sat down next to him and began to open the pouch in her lap, she glanced at him. "It's a first aid kit," she explained tersely.
Harry's head jerked up in surprise. "Why do you even have one?" he asked in confusion.
Unable to help herself, Ginny broke out into a small grin. "Growing up with Fred and George I learned it's always best to be prepared for anything," she replied softly.
Harry gave her a small smile. "Yeah, I can see that," he chuckled though it was still touched with sadness.
Ginny looked back up at him and sighed. She conjured a small bowl and filled it with water before she took a small flannel and began to clean the blood from Harry's face.
"Are you going to tell me how this happened?" she asked with concern.
Harry sighed as he sat there stoically, letting Ginny clean his wounds. "I . . . ah, . . . needed to work some things out," he replied vaguely.
Ginny raised one eyebrow and gave him a small glare.
Harry sighed deeply, realizing that she wasn't going to be put off. "I needed to blow off some steam," he stated quietly, hoping she wouldn't push for anything more.
Ginny gave a soft sigh as she finished up wiping the blood off of Harry's face, wondering just how far she could push things.
"Will you tell me what had you so angry?" she asked gently.
"I'd rather not," Harry replied uncomfortably.
Ginny took out a small bottle of a dark brownish liquid and began to treat the cuts on Harry's face.
"Would it surprise you to know that I'm pretty sure I know why," she said quietly.
Harry jerked in surprise. His face first going deathly pale before he turned bright red. "I . . . I . . . don't know what to say," he stammered.
Ginny sighed heavily as she turned her attention to his first hand. "I'm sorry that I don't know the spell to remove all these splinters," she said apologetically. "I'll have to do it the old fashioned way," she added as she picked up a pair of tweezers.
Harry just nodded his head as Ginny set to work. Though he tried not to, he couldn't help but flinch when she pulled out some of the bigger splinters or those that were exceptionally deep.
Ginny glanced at him the first few times he did so but after that she just concentrated on working as quickly as possible while still trying to to be as gentle as she could be.
She wasn't really surprised with how stoically he sat there as she removed the splinters. She marvelled at it though because some were quite deep and took a fair amount of effort to extract. Yes he flinched slightly on occasion but on the whole, he took it really well, hardly reacting at all.
"Do you wish to talk about it?" she asked quietly.
Harry sighed deeply, torn about whether or not he wanted to discuss the situation with her,
He already felt like a complete idiot because Ginny had told him that she knew what had him in the state he had been in when he left the common room.
On one hand he did want to let her know how he felt but on the other he didn't see what could be gained as she was currently seeing Dean.
Ginny shook her head lightly as she saw the conflicting emotions cross Harry's face. "Harry James Potter," she growled lowly, her eyes flashing dangerously.
Harry winced as he looked into Ginny's eyes, knowing he was very close to being hexed.
With a sigh he shrugged. "What do you want me to say?" he whispered despondently.
Ginny gave an inarticulate growl. Frustrated but understanding where he was coming from. Shaking her head, "The truth," she grumbled.
She turned her attention back to removing the splinters from Harry's hands and arms. Such was her level of frustration, she began to yank them from his flesh with no thought as to how rough she was actually doing so.
It wasn't until Harry groaned through his clenched teeth that she realized what she was doing.
"Sorry," she breathed contritely, feeling bad for hurting him more than she needed to.
"It's okay," Harry replied softly, making her feel even worse for her thoughtless action.
"No it's not," she huffed in irritation.
They glanced at one another and before either knew it they were grinning at the other.
It took quite a while, but eventually Ginny had removed all the splinters from his face, neck, arms and hands.
"Are there any more?" she asked, her eyes scanning all his exposed skin.
Harry's eyes darted to his legs before he quickly glanced away, trying hard not to meet Ginny's eyes.
"Harry," Ginny growled once more.
Harry's mouth flapped open and closed several times while he turned a bright red.
"Take them off," Ginny ordered, gesturing to his trousers.
"Ginny!" Harry squealed in shock, his eyes bugging out.
"Dammit, Harry. You won't go see Pomfrey, so take them off," she commanded irritably.
When Harry hesitated, Ginny pulled her wand and giving it a wave, banished them, leaving him wearing just his boxers.
When Harry opened his mouth to protest, Ginny pointed her wand at him, daring him to speak.
Harry's mouth snapped shut as he looked at her with great concern. He could feel his face heating as he blushed deeply.
Fortunately to his thinking, Ginny didn't comment. She just gave him a curt nod before she grabbed the tweezers once again and began to work on his legs.
It was well past midnight before she finished and with a deep sigh she set the tweezers aside.
"Well, that's all of them, or at least I think so," she sighed wearily, running her hands over his legs to feel if she could find any more.
Harry had to stifle a moan as Ginny ran her hands over his bare legs. Though removing the splinters had hurt, the sensations he was now experiencing had his heart racing for a totally different reason. He also tried desperately to conceal the way his boxers were beginning to tent.
"Thank you," Harry muttered, keeping his eyes downcast, wanting to keep what he was feeling a secret.
"You're welcome," Ginny sighed unhappily, wishing that Harry would at least look at her, meet her eyes and acknowledge her, though she couldn't help but notice the state of his boxers.
Harry did give her a fleeting glance, giving a sigh of his own. While he was exceedingly grateful for her help, he still wasn't sure where he stood with her.
Ginny then used some Dittany on the worst of the cuts, healing them completely.
When she was done and was putting her things away, Harry grabbed the blanket from the back of the couch and covered himself, wrapping it around his waist before sitting back down.
After she had finished packing up her supplies she sat down on the couch next to Harry. She felt him shift uneasily and she huffed in irritation.
She heard him sigh deeply and she hoped and prayed that for once in his life he'd actually open up and say what he was feeling.
Internally, Harry was waging a war with himself. On one hand he desperately wanted to tell Ginny how he felt but on the other, he just as desperately, didn't. He just didn't see the point as she was dating Dean "Bloody" Thomas.
As the seconds ticked by, Ginny's hope that Harry would open up to her slipped away. Fighting her disappointment and stifling a sniffle, Ginny rose, grabbed her first aid kit and spun, ready to bolt up the stairs to her dorm.
"I have to go," she blurted out huskily.
At the same time, Harry called out "Ginny," as he reached out an took a hold of her arm.
Ginny halted, closing her eyes and took a deep breath. "What, Harry?" she asked tightly.
"Please sit back down," he said softly, almost pleadingly.
Ginny took several deep breaths before she turned around and sat back down, looking at Harry expectantly.
She looked into his eyes and saw his uncertainty. She gave a soft growl in frustration once again.
Harry couldn't help but notice her irritation and he knew he needed to start speaking or risk being subject to her wrath.
"All right, I admit it. I fancy you," he blurted out, somewhat panicky.
Ginny was so taken by surprise that her eyes widened perceptively. So much so that Harry had to stifle his laughter. He knew that it wouldn't go over well and he was on shaky ground already.
Getting herself back under control, Ginny sighed softly, "Finally."
She gave him a wry smile. "Was that so hard?" she asked.
"You have no idea," Harry breathed softly.
Ginny gave him a questioning look.
Harry rolled his eyes and huffed "In case you've forgotten, you're going out with Thomas."
Ginny took a deep breath and blew it out forcefully. "Yeah, there is that," she admitted ruefully.
She cocked her head and gave a small grin. "What if I wasn't?" she asked somewhat humorously.
Harry scowled at her. "The fact remains that you are and speculating about if you weren't doesn't help in the slightest."
Ginny frowned in frustration, knowing that what he said was true.
Shaking her head she looked him in the eyes. "Can't you try for at least a moment?"
"I wish I could but I just can't seem to," Harry replied ruefully as he sagged back into the couch.
"You sure can try a girl's patience," Ginny scowled.
"I don't mean to be difficult," Harry responded defensively.
"I'm not so sure about that," Ginny replied somewhat humorously, fighting to keep her lips from curling up at the corners.
Harry couldn't help but hear the inflection in her voice and notice the way her lips were curling at the corners.
They stared at one another for a moment before they both smiled widely, each finding the situation quite humorous.
After a moment, Ginny gave a soft sigh. "Are you willing to give me a couple of days to work things out?" she asked hesitantly.
Harry stared at her in surprise, never expecting her to hint that she wanted to be with him.
"I – I, well yes, of course," he stammered.
Ginny perceptively relaxed and gave him a smile. "I appreciate it," she stated warmly.
Harry took a deep breath and let it out slowly. He was definitely surprised at how the conversation with Ginny had gone. He had never expected her to be willing to break off her relationship with Dean for him.
He was just contemplating everything when Ginny once more took him by surprise.
Ginny gave him a very coy grin as she quickly looked around the common room.
"Since we seem to be alone, there is one thing I've been dying to do," she whispered huskily, her eyes dancing mischievously.
"What's that?" Harry asked, his brow furrowing in confusion.
"This," Ginny whispered as she leaned over and grabbed his face with her two hands. She then proceeded to kiss him soundly.
Harry's hands wind-milled for several moments as he tried to make heads or tails what was happening.
It took a little time for his mind to catch up and he began to return her kiss, which he did whole heartedly.
Unseen by either, a figure was standing on the stairs to the boys dorms, staring at the scene playing out before him. At first he was quite angry but then his anger gave way to a resigned acceptance.
Dean always knew that his time with Ginny would be rather limited. He was just surprised at how limited it actually was. He knew that Ginny had always wanted to be with Harry and it appeared she'd finally gotten her wish.
Well, he knew that Parvati had been hinting that she wouldn't be adverse to dating him.
He silently turned and headed back up to his dorm, figuring he could talk to Ginny in the morning. He had always known that they would eventually break up, he just hadn't thought it would be so soon after they got together.
Slowly Harry and Ginny broke off their kiss. Both had somewhat dreamy, contented smiles on their faces.
"Now that's what a kiss should be like," Ginny whispered.
"Yeah," Harry agreed softly. His one kiss with Cho Chang had been a pale imitation of what he had just shared with Ginny.
Ginny stared into Harry's eyes for a moment before she reached up and tenderly caressed his cheek. As she did so she gave a soft sigh.
Giving him a small smile, she leaned in and gave him a quick peck on his lips.
She desperately wished that she'd be able to go to breakfast with him in the morning but she knew that was impossible until she had dealt with Dean.
"Goodnight," she whispered as she slowly withdrew her hand from his cheek.
Harry wished that he could kiss Ginny at least once more before they headed off to bed but he was foiled as Ginny stood, grabbed the first aid kit and headed for the stairs.
"Goodnight, Ginny. Sweet dreams," he called after her, wistfully.
Ginny paused at the base of the stairs, turned and gave him a brilliant smile before she ran up the stairs.
Harry stood and gave a soft sigh that was accompanied by a smile. While it would probably take a day or two, he knew that if he was patient, Ginny would be his and that thought made him extremely happy.