|SIYE Time:21:44 on 16th October 2017|
It's Not Too Soon
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Category: Three Little Words Challenge (2011-1)
Story is Complete
Summary: If you've loved him for years, will it ever be too soon to say it?
Hitcount: Story Total: 6200
Awards: View Trophy Room
Disclaimer: Harry Potter Publishing Rights © J.K.R. Note the opinions in this story are my own and in no way represent the owners of this site. This story subject to copyright law under transformative use. No compensation is made for this work.
I know it is very unlikely that Harry and Ginny did the I Love Yous at this point in the timeline. But I just wanted to see what would happen if they did. So this is what came out of the end of the proverbial pen :D Enjoy.
Harry leaned his elbow on the table and dropped his chin into his hand staring wistfully out of the window. Outside the sun was dancing through the clouds, sending soft fingers of filtered light shimmering towards the tree tops and skimming across the top of the water. Several Thestrals circled above the Forbidden Forest and Fang loped across the grass near the edge of the forest, stopping frequently to sniff at the ground. Harry sighed heavily.
“What’s wrong with you?” Ron grumbled, half-heartedly scratching out a potions essay on a stained piece of parchment. Harry grunted at his best friend, stared at his own piece of stained parchment and dipped his quill in the ink. Ron muttered something unclear under his breath as the Fat Lady swung aside and the portrait hole opened. Harry ignored Ron’s mutterings, the newly ink loaded quill hovering over the parchment as his gaze swung to the portrait hole.
The particularly annoying sound of Lavender Brown preceded her into the common room and Harry winced involuntarily. Dean Thomas climbed through the portrait hole after her, rolling his eyes at the back of her head. Harry sniggered audibly and Lavender turned to look at him, her hair swinging over her shoulder as she tossed her head. Her gaze narrowed menacingly as she saw Ron and the shiny curtain of hair flew across the opposite shoulder, slapping Dean in the face, as she flounced up the stairs to the girls’ dormitory. Dean spat a few stray hairs from his mouth as she crossed the common room and threw himself into a chair near the table at which Harry and Ron were sitting. Harry avoided Dean’s gaze, doodling busily on his potions essay.
“That witch is the most annoying, silly bint in the castle,” Dean said. He pointed at Ron. “You have a serious case to answer.”
“Me?” Ron protested. “What did I do?”
“You dumped her!” Dean said. “And now she’s bitter and wary and ... and ... taking it out on me!”
“So, don’t hang out with her,” Ron said with a shrug, cursing as his quill dripped ink onto his parchment, covering up a particularly nasty stain and several words.
“Well, Seamus is chasing that blonde fifth year Hufflepuff,” Dean said, “and Neville’s growing something in the greenhouse — hey, have you noticed how Hannah Abbott’s mooning over him?”
“What has that got to do with anything?” Ron asked grumpily, trying to mop up the ink stain. Dean glanced sideways at Harry.
“Well, Michael Corner won’t hang out with me anymore and Terry just goes along with him and ...” Dean shrugged as he trailed off. Harry studiously wrote his name at the top of his parchment, surreptitiously covering the rather girly looking love heart with Ginny’s initials in it that now adorned the top left hand corner.
“So what you are saying,” Ron said as he frowned at the stain on his parchment, “is that you haven’t got any mates left and are desperate enough to hang out with Lavender?”
“I’ve got mates left!” Dean protested as the portrait hole opened once again and Hermione clambered through, a quill stuck haphazardly in the messy bun on top of her head and her wand sticking out of her pocket.
“Hermione!” Ron called urgently. “Help! I don’t know how to get this ink off!”
“And you assume I will just remove it for you?” Hermione arched her eyebrow as she straightened her robes.
“Course you will, you know all the best spells,” Ron said before turning back to Dean. “Just ditch Lavender, mate, Seamus will come around, he’ll be bored with that Hufflepuff in a week and Neville, well ... he probably can’t be helped. Me and Harry aren’t doing much but study anyway.” Ron scowled at Hermione who fixed him with an icy glare as she pulled out her wand.
“Well you both need to study,” Hermione said flicking her wand at the parchment. “Merlin knows your OWLs weren’t that brilliant and Harry’s particularly distracted at the moment.” Hermione swung her gaze towards Harry who held his hands up in protest.
“My OWLs were not that bad,” Ron said hotly. “I’ve seen much, much worse —” Ron broke off, staring at Harry’s parchment. “That has got to be the most disgusting thing I have ever seen.” Ron’s face screwed up in distaste. Dean leaned over, peering at Harry’s parchment before making a face that resembled the time Colin Creevy bit into a lemon when Millicent Bulstrode’s transfiguration went seriously and catastrophically wrong during breakfast one morning. Harry blushed and shoved the parchment under a stack of books.
“Actually, that’s really rather sweet,” Hermione said. She smiled at first, and then frowned at Harry, “although, I do need to talk to you about Ginny.”
“I’m, er ... going to ... um, study,” Dean muttered, unfolding himself from the chair and hurrying to the boys’ staircase.
“He never hangs out with us anymore,” Ron complained, dipping his quill in the ink and dropping another large splotch of ink on his parchment.
“I expect he doesn’t like seeing Harry with Ginny,” Hermione said simply.
“Well, neither do I,” Ron replied, “but you don’t see me ditching a mate over it.”
“Yes, but you weren’t going out with Ginny,” Hermione explained patiently.
“Why would I go out with my sister?” Ron asked, trying to blot the new and spreading ink stain with his handkerchief. “In fact, why would anyone want to go out with my sister?”
“Hey!” Harry protested. Hermione sighed and flicked her wand at Ron’s parchment before fixing Harry with a stern look reminiscent of Professor McGonagall.
“I need to talk to you, Harry.”
“Well, I really am rather busy —”
“Do you realise Ginny has not done nearly half the revision she is supposed to have done?” Hermione tapped her foot impatiently as Harry raised one eyebrow at her. Hermione glared before continuing. “I have had to redo her entire study schedule.”
“I bet she enjoyed that,” Ron muttered. Harry snickered and Hermione crossed her arms across her chest before huffing rather loudly.
“You’re distracting her!” Hermione pointed an accusatory finger at Harry.
“That’s the silliest thing I’ve ever heard apart from that ridiculous rumour that Snape has a pair of pink bloomers,” Ron said, dismissing Hermione with a wave of his hand. “Have you noticed how focused Ginny is when Harry’s around?”
“That’s my point!” shrieked Hermione, throwing her hands in the air.
“I don’t get your point,” Ron grumbled. “I was sitting in here with them yesterday and they did nothing but sit over there and study.”
“Oh, yes, and do you know what they happened to be studying?” Hermione asked archly.
“Potions?” Ron shrugged. “Harry’s dead good at potions now and he was writing a lot on her parchment, so he must have been a lot of help — weren’t you mate?” Harry swallowed uncomfortably and nodded. Hermione grinned rather grimly and pulled a scroll from the pocket of her robes.
“This was supposed to be her Transfiguration revision,” Hermione said, unfurling the parchment and smoothing it out in front of Harry. Ron leaned over to get a closer look. A border of hearts trailed the edge of the parchment and Harry and Ginny’s writing criss-crossed and intertwined beneath a rather abbreviated note about rats and toads.
There was a noughts and crosses game at the bottom left hand corner, a Quidditch play at the top right and a series of six stick figures marching across the middle of the page. The stick figures all had freckles and looked slightly menacing. Scrawled under them were phrases and love hearts intersected with lightning bolts and arrows.
“If I could change the alphabet, I would put U and I together!” Ron read out before making a gagging noise. “Who wrote this rubbish?”
“Well, that was Ginny,” Hermione said primly. She pointed to another phrase, “but this one was Harry.”
“There are two reasons why I wake up in the morning: my alarm clock and you,” Ron read slowly. “Why would you write that? You don’t have an alarm clock.”
“Actually I do,” Harry said, “I had to fix it after Dudley broke it and I can’t turn it down but it still works.”
“Harry, that’s hardly the point,” Hermione scolded.
“Here, this one’s you too!” Ron exclaimed. He tilted his head and read aloud. “Love is like the wind, you can't see it but you can feel it .”
“Look, er, do you mind?” Harry said, tugging at the parchment. Ron held it firmly to the table. “Besides, I need to explain —”
“It’s a bit soppy,” Ron observed, ignoring Harry completely. “This one’s Ginny and she’s been reading those Wandering Wizard romances again, listen — You are always in my heart, here and everywhere, there is no one in the whole world that makes me feel this way .”
“Okay, you can stop reading now,” Harry said, aware his face must be turning a rather lovely shade of pink. He began tugging at the parchment more forcefully.
“Stop distracting her, Harry,” Hermione said. “An entire study session where she was supposed to cover six chapters of the current Transfiguration textbook and revise The Standard Book of Spells, chapters one through seven and all Ginny has to show for it is the results of a quiz from TeenWitch!” She gestured to a series of letters scrawled at the bottom of the parchment.
“TeenWitch?” Ron questioned. “What’s TeenWitch?”
“The magazine every girl in Gryffindor subscribes to,” Hermione replied. “It turns up every second Friday and Seamus complains every single time about the number of extra owls at breakfast. You know, the sister publication to Witch Weekly and Wizard’s Health?”
“Never heard of it,’ Ron replied dismissively, peering at the quiz result.
“You’ve never heard of the magazine Lavender has carried around with her since second year?” Hermione shook her head. “Well, they’ve never heard of you either.”
“For the record I did not want to take the quiz,” Harry said, still tugging at the parchment, “those things are so easily rigged!”
“You’re still Ace Boyfriend Material,” Ron sniggered as Harry finally pulled the parchment free and rolled it hastily, shoving it in his pocket.
“You’re distracting her, Harry,” Hermione complained again. “I really think you need to think about Ginny here and not your hormones.”
“Oi, steady on!” Ron groaned. “I don’t need to hear about Ginny and his hormones in the same sentence as each other!”
“I’m surprised you know what hormones are,” Hermione said acidly.
“Death Eaters and Dementors are bad, but hormones really scare me,” Ron said solemnly.
“No, Lav-Lav scares you,” Hermione shot back.
“Same thing,” Ron muttered. Hermione turned her back to Ron and leaned earnestly towards Harry.
“I’ve re-written Ginny’s schedule,” Hermione said, “and she can see you for an hour at lunch on Thursdays — that’s tomorrow — and probably about half an hour on Sunday afternoons.”
“Hermione,” Harry began to protest, but Hermione held up her hand.
“It’s for the best,” she said in a clipped tone and stood up. “It’ll give you a proper chance to study as well. I don’t know where you think you will get in life without your NEWTS. Imagine if someone wrote a book about you and there you are — no proper qualifications or anything! I can’t imagine anything worse!”
“They’d never write a book about Harry!” Ron scoffed loudly. “Who would read it?”
“I’m sure many people would,” Hermione replied haughtily. “When you think about it, Harry really has had a fascinating life. His contribution to society is significant.”
“I don’t think you’d get anyone to read it, even if you put a picture of Harry naked on the cover,” Ron said. Harry shook his head in despair.
“I hardly think that is relevant,” Hermione replied, hands on hips, glaring at Ron.
“Course it’s relevant,” Ron argued as the portrait hole swung open and a group of weary fifth years, including Ginny, stumbled through. Ron ignored them and continued. “Sex sells Hermione. You stick a naked wizard on the cover and witches will read anything.”
“Naked wizards have contributed very little to magical civilisation,” Hermione said with exasperation as Ginny dropped her armful of books on the table in front of Harry and snuggled into his side.
“I would have thought that when they were naked was when wizards contributed most to magical civilisation,” she said, giggling. Hermione glared at her.
“This is a stupid conversation,” Harry grumbled. “I’m going out for a fly. You wanna come?” Harry looked down at Ginny who nodded.
“You two can stay here and argue about being naked if you want,” Harry said, threading his fingers through Ginny’s, “but I’ve had enough of being cooped up inside.”
“Ginny, you have to revise potions,” Hermione protested sternly. She fixed Harry with a look that made him stop short. “Tomorrow at lunchtime, you can have her then, right now, she has to study.”
“She’s right,” Ginny sighed. “I’ll see you at dinner, go fly. Take Ron with you, I don’t need anymore talk of you naked. It’s very distracting.” Harry flushed hotly and Ginny giggled.
“Urgh,” Ron grumbled. Harry scratched the back of his neck quite unsure where to look. Ron sighed. “Are we going, then? Don’t just stand there, kiss her, you idiot, and get moving!”
Harry grinned and dropped a soft kiss to Ginny’s lips before bounding up the stairs after Ron to grab his Firebolt.
“H ermione took the parchment,” Ginny said sadly, her eyes were closed against the noon sun that shone down brightly.
“I know,” Harry replied, dragging his fingers through the red hair that lay across his lap. “She got it out to show Ron and I how you were neglecting your studies.” Ginny sat up abruptly.
“Ron saw that?”
“Yeah,” Harry sighed. “I think he thought I was a bit barmy but it’s like he’s resigned to it now. I swear he believes I’ve completely lost my head.”
“Well ... I can understand where he’s coming from,” Ginny said as she sank back down onto the grass and laid he head back in Harry’s lap. “I do think Fleur is quite an idiot after all.”
“Yes, well Fleur is also the idiot who wrote all those soppy things that Ron now thinks you and I wrote,” Harry grumbled. “Do you know last night he told the entire dorm you discovered true happiness the day I walked into your life?” Ginny snorted indelicately. Harry laughed.
“Clearly for you, happiness is putting your elbow in the butter dish,” he teased. Ginny groaned.
“Seriously,” Harry said, “I’m still not convinced that just because Fleur writes that rubbish to Bill he will not be the first to beat me up. He’s kind of big ... and scary.”
“But he’s obviously gone completely soft in the head,” Ginny said soberly. “He’s far too invested in his romance to bother with us.”
“You say romance like it’s a bad thing,” Harry said, grinning. He tilted his head back, letting the sun warm his face. He felt Ginny shift and smiled. Opening his eyes he turned his face to find her solemn one just inches away as she kneeled in the grass beside him.
“Do you think it’s too soon?” she asked quietly.
“Too soon for what?” Harry queried, tilting his head to one side. Ginny bit her lip nervously.
“I know it’s kind of ... pathetic and I know you probably used to laugh at me —”
“I never did,” Harry said, sitting up. “I promise.”
“I just ... I felt this way for so long ...” Ginny trailed off, her left hand idly plucking at the blades of grass near her knee. Harry waited. Ginny sighed heavily. “I meant it. I meant what I wrote and maybe I’m an idiot for telling you that and maybe it’s too soon because we’ve only been going out for a few weeks ... but there is no one else in the whole world, Harry, no one. Not for me, not who makes me feel the way you do.
“And I wrote it down and I wanted you to have it and then Hermione took it,” Ginny took a deep breath, “but really it’s a pretty pathetic way to tell someone you love them anyway. I just didn’t know if I’d have the courage to say it to your face and so I wrote it down, Fleur might be an idiot but she’s got a way with words really, must be the French in her. Anyway it’s just that Ron was watching and then I hid it from Hermione and she found it anyway and I still never told you and —” Harry held his index finger over her lips.
“I got it back,” he whispered, pulling the parchment from the pocket of his robes. “I want to show you something.” Harry rolled the parchment scroll out flat, smoothing it across Ginny’s knees. He searched the parchment for a moment, finally locating the scrawl he wanted. It was a quote, carelessly scratched in Harry’s handwriting along one edge of the parchment.
“When did you write that?” Ginny asked.
“While you were reading out that silly quiz we found in that ancient TeenWitch from the cupboard,’ Harry said. “I was flipping through one of the other editions and ... it means something to me. So I copied it down ...” Harry trailed off as Ginny read the quote aloud.
“What makes life worth living is knowing that one day you'll wake up and find the person that makes you happier than anything in the whole world. So don't ever lose hope and give up, everything turns out okay and the good guy always wins.”
“It’s you,” Harry said simply. “You’re the person that makes me happier than anything in the whole world.” Ginny traced the words with her fingers.
“Do you think the good guy is going to win?” she whispered.
“He has a reason to.” Harry spoke softly, his voice low and raspy.
“It’s not too soon,” Ginny said quietly as she leaned forward to kiss Harry softly on the lips. He brought his hands up, cradling her face gently as he held her there, deepening the kiss gently. Ginny’s fingers ran up into Harry’s hair, scratching his scalp lightly.
Everything else faded away in that moment. It was just Harry with Ginny. No hateful family, no school work, no six older brothers, no Voldemort. In that moment it was like being someone else, someone with no worries, no cares and just sunshine filled days stretching endlessly. Harry clutched at Ginny tighter, sliding his hands down her neck, across her shoulders and pulling her into his lap. His fingers tangled in the ends of Ginny’s fiery hair as her tiny hands slid around the back of his neck and she pulled away. Her lips hovered above his, their breath mingling to fog up Harry’s glasses.
“I love you,” Ginny breathed. Harry tugged her down urgently, wanting and needing to feel her lips on his. Nothing he had ever felt before felt like this. It was something else ... something that belonged to someone else but it was his for now and he was going to take it. They broke apart, panting slightly. Ginny’s face was flushed and her lips were swollen. Her fingers clutched at him as if she thought he might slip away at any moment.
“Me too,” Harry whispered, barely audible even to his own ears, “I love you, too.” And Harry knew he would cling to this comfort for as long as he could.
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