|SIYE Time:18:36 on 23rd May 2017|
Category: Pre-OotP, Alternate Universe
Characters:Albus Dumbledore, All, Draco Malfoy, Harry/Ginny, Hermione Granger, Minerva McGonagall, Neville Longbottom, Nymphadora Tonks, Other, Remus Lupin, Ron Weasley, Severus Snape, Sirius Black
Genres: Action/Adventure, Drama, General, Humor, Romance
Warnings: Dark Fiction, Mild Language, Mild Sexual Situations, Violence/Physical Abuse
Summary: Harry had never friends, so he imagined one: a red haired girl he kept forgetting to name. Ginny imagined a shy boy with untidy hair and bright eyes, who knew nothing of magic, so she told him. He dreamt of a world of magic and of a girl who wanted to be his friend. She dreamt of a boy who loved to hear her voice, no matter what. Then dreams become a reality when Harry met Ginny.
Rating changed for later chapters.
*Nominated for 2014 November/December DSTA for Best New Story and Best Romance* *Nominated for 2016 January/Feburary DSTA for Best Comedy, Drama, and Romance*
Hitcount: Story Total: 71023; Chapter Total: 849
P.S. curse word warning, the words asshole(s) and f*** has been added to the vocabulary, as both Ginny and Harry have potty mouths when disgruntled. I like that word, disgruntled. Also vexed. Vexed is a nice one. And cross is good too. Hmm? Oh, you want me to shut up and get on with it? Hmph. Consider me vexed.
Chapter Thirty Seven
September Is a Boring Month
By Tuesday morning, Harry had realized two things. One: Never tell Ginny that her hair is a mess before she’s had a coffee. Ever. Two: September is utterly, wholly, deeply boring. It may have only been the second week, yet he had come to this conclusion regardless. Charms first period and the theory behind Switching spells was boring, History second period was so utterly dull he fell asleep, and even Potions in third period, which was at the very least meant to be aggravating, was boring. However, by the last period of the day, he realized a third thing. Never, ever, remain after the end of Defense when it's the last class of the day without first making sure that either Remus or Sirius know that he’s still there. Especially if it’s because he’s kneeling behind his desk cleaning up spilled ink.
The lesson had just ended and Harry was closing his textbook; he was tired despite the day of dullness he’d had, and as he reached for his bag to shove the book away, he didn’t realize that he’d grabbed the bottom of the bag rather than the top. The rest of the class was already rising from their seats, so Harry lifted the bag to hastily push his textbook into it before standing, but due to his fingers closing on the bottom of the bag, the entire contents of his school bag spilled onto the floor. An ink bottle burst open, stacks of parchment flew out over the floor, and the days books spilled out in a tiny but mass exodus.
Harry let out a sound that was half mangled curse and half yelp. Someone else legitimately cursed as they stepped in the pool of ink seeping across the floor, and Harry shot guilty looks at the passing students; the person who’d stepped in the ink gave him a rude hand gesture as he wiped the ink from his shoe onto a piece of parchment on the floor. Harry scrambled to gather up his fallen books and papers before anyone else could trample them, shoving them out of the way until the exodus of students had passed.
“You guys go ahead without me,” Harry said over his shoulder to Ron, Ginny and Hermione. “I’ll catch up.”
Ron shrugged and started towards the door, however, Hermione and Ginny stayed standing by his desk. “Are you sure?” Hermione asked, raising an eyebrow in concern, “We could stay.”
“Nah, I’ve got it,” Harry insisted. “Go on.”
“Alright, don’t take too long,” Ginny said to him, “we’ll save you a seat in the common room.”
Harry gave them a wave; they were among the last of the others to leave the room, leaving him kneeling on the floor alone with Sirius and Remus. He gave a soft sigh and stared down at the mess of his stuff.
I wish I knew a cleaning spell, he thought, a bit despairedly, as he started to mop up the ink with his spare parchment.
Scourgify, came Ginny’s helpful mental voice.
Oh yeah, he thought, then jabbed the puddle with his wand, muttering the incantation; as he did, he vaguely heard Remus comment: “I think they’ve all gone now.”
Harry didn’t care to listen to his professors’ conversation, so he didn’t really pay attention as Sirius replied, rather he turned his wand over his ink-stained Transfiguration book. Unfortunately, it didn’t work, so Harry grabbed another piece of parchment to wipe it up.
“What does my knowledge of the differences between jinxes and hexes have to do with my attractiveness?” Remus laughed.
Harry stopped scrubbing at the book cover. He knit together his eyebrows, a bit confused, and sat up straight to peek over the top of his desk. He saw both Remus and Sirius standing by the teacher’s desk, Sirius leaning on it with his back to Harry, while Remus stood with his arms folded and an amused expression on his face.
“Probably because I don’t have a clue what the difference between a hex and a jinx is,” Sirius said. “It’s the fact that you know it that’s sexy, Remus.” Harry’s knit eyebrows turned into a frown.
Remus laughed again, shaking his head at Sirius in further amusement. “Really, Sirius? Really?” he asked, raising an eyebrow.
“Okay, everything about you is sexy, I admit it,” Sirius answered. At that point, Harry became suddenly aware of the feeling the he should not be there. He glanced around the room, wondering if he would be able to sneak out before they noticed him.
“Sirius, we’ve just finished class, are you really flirting right now?”
“I flirt with you constantly! It’s part of my charm.”
“You are quite charming.”
Harry didn't know if he should hide or jump up and interrupt before something happened; he clearly was not meant to be there right then. There was a vague feeling of discomfort somewhere in his chest, and as he glanced back at the teacher’s desk, it blossomed into full blown panic. He stifled a gasp by clamping his hands over his mouth, then ducked behind the desk and tried to stay hidden. Seeing his guardians making out against the desk had not been on his list of things to do that day. He heard Remus chuckle again, then he slowly peered under his desk and saw two pairs of feet, standing one in front of the other and very close to each other. He glanced towards the door, but it was closed; why did the Defense classroom have to be one of few classroom doors in the castle that didn’t have a window in it?
Then he heard another sound, and hastily moved his hands to cover his ears; hearing his two guardians make out was most definitely not on his list of things to do ever.
Harry, is something wrong?
HOW DO I GET OUT WITHOUT THEM NOTICING ME?
HOW DO I GET OUT OF THE CLASSROOM BEFORE THEY REALIZE THAT I’M STILL HERE?
What’s the matter, why are you panicking?
Harry glanced at his spilled things on the floor, then reluctantly lifted his hands to shove them into his bag; he abandoned all thought of organizing or cleaning up the ink and pushed all of it as quietly and quickly as he could into the bag. Then he froze at the sound of Remus saying something, only catching the second half of it: “... we’re in the classroom, Padfoot…”
“Class is over,” Sirius said, but his voice was muffled somehow, “no one’s coming in here until tomorrow.”
“But… well… mmm…”
Harry’s eyes widened. ABORT, ABORT, ABORT I HAVE TO GET OUT HELP, HELP! HELP ME —
WHAT ARE YOU ON ABOUT, HARRY JAMES POTTER?
HELP ME GET OUT DAMMIT ARE YOU NOT LISTENING???
I CAN’T BECAUSE YOU’RE THINKING TOO LOUDLY.
BECAUSE I DON’T WANT TO BE LISTENING!
To what? Ginny asked exasperatedly.
Harry didn't know how to tell her, so he did the only thing he could think of, and stopped thinking. He cringed and shoved the last bit of paper into his bag.
What am I listening for?
THE REASON I HAVE TO GET OUT OF THIS ROOM QUICKLY.
Stop shouting and think clearly so I can hear, then.
YOU TRY THINKING CLEARLY WHEN YOU’RE TRYING NOT TO HEAR SIRIUS AND REMUS SNOGGING!
Is that what’s happening?
YES NOW HELP ME GET OUT!
Just stand up and walk out, then.
But — Harry peeked over the top of the desk again, then hurriedly ducked back down, they’re snogging...
Harry could hear her rolling her eyes. Then walk quietly. They probably won’t notice you.
They’re just kissing, Harry, just leave. It doesn’t really matter.
But they’re adults! Adults don’t snog!
Harry, where do you think babies come from?
This is not the time for sarcasm! Harry scolded his wife.
Ginny was laughing now, and it didn’t help him at all. Harry glanced between the door and where he was, then over the desk and grimaced; this was most definitely not something he was meant to witness.
Just get up and walk away, carefully if you’re so worried.
Harry bit his lip, but he didn’t want to stay there any longer.
Either you sit there in mortification until they leave, or you get up and sneak out before it becomes something worse.
Harry had to stop himself from audibly protesting; Don’t say that, that’s not helpful, and I definitely don’t want that image in my head!
Well, you wouldn’t want to think of your parents doing that!
Ginny was quiet for a second, then: That took it too far, Harry.
It’s the exact same thing!
Fine then, you help yourself get out.
Harry glowered at her unhelpful attitude, then, tucking his school bag under his arm, he rose slowly from where he had been kneeling. He hastily moved around his desk and towards the wall; as Ginny had predicted, his guardians were too occupied to notice him. He crept closer to the door, trying not make a sound or look up, and set his hand on the door knob from behind another desk. He carefully went to twist it.
It was locked.
Harry froze again. He looked over the handle, but the only way to unlock the door was by a key, which, as he turned around, he saw sitting on the desk.
Erm… he thought.
You could ask politely for it.
He heard Ginny sigh to herself mentally. I give up. You’re just screwed. Harry glanced between the key and the door, when Ginny added: Like Remus is going to be in a minute, apparently.
Harry shut his eyes, trying to not respond because that would just make it worse. Having no other idea of what to do, he pulled out his wand and pointed it at the lock, just willing in sheer desperation for it to release.
You know we’ve not been taught nonverbal spells yet.
Just shush! Harry mentally shouted. Stop sounding so amused, you’re not being helpful!
This whole thing amuses me.
Shush! Harry squeezed his eyes shut and concentrated. The lock will turn, the lock will turn, the lock will turn —
Yeah, have fun with that.
— the lock will turn, the lock will turn, the lock will turn.
A soft click prompted him to open his eyes. The door drifted open, just as Remus said: “What was that?”
Ha. Ha. Ha.
Harry glared across his mind at Ginny. If one of them suspected that the room hadn’t been empty, they’d probably worry to the point of panic that they’d get reported and fired. Which was confirmed by Sirius’s tone as he barked out: “Who’s there?”
Harry stuck his left hand in the air reluctantly, figuring that the sparkly gold on it would indicate that it was not the average student lurking by the door while he rallied enough courage to stand up in face of this very awkward situation.
“What? Is that Harry?” Remus spluttered, then louder: “Stand up!”
Harry forced his knees to straighten. Then he dropped his hand, realizing it was still in the air.
“Harry?” Sirius said. “What are you doing?”
“Trying to get out quickly and quietly,” he mumbled.
He heard, rather than saw, Remus sigh in relief; he was unwilling to raise his gaze even if he’d stood up. “You frightened us, Harry.”
“Sorry, I was trying to avoid that.”
“Well, what were you doing, then?” Sirius asked again.
“Erm, I spilled my bag at the end of class, and I hadn't cleaned it all up before… erm, before you guys, erm,” he cleared his throat, then gestured absently.
At the silence, he glanced up at them. Remus’s expression was one of relief and confusion, Sirius’s less so.
“Well, get out then,” Sirius said, rather crossly.
“I’ll do that,” Harry muttered. “Right, erm, see you. I mean, not that — I’m just going to go —” Harry turned and stepped away, right into the door. “Ah! Crap...” Rubbing his forehead, he hastily exited the classroom. As he pulled the door behind him, he heard Sirius say:
“Are we sure James was his father? Because James was never that awkward.”
“Oi!” Harry protested. More at the comment about his dad than the rest of what his godfather had said; there was no denying that he was the most awkward individual in existence.
“Go away, Harry!” both Remus and Sirius called.
“The pair of you are incorrigible!”
There was a second’s silence, then: “At least we know for a fact Lily was his mum.”
“Oh, shut up, Sirius.”
Harry rolled his eyes and shut the door, cutting off the sound from inside — They probably put a silencing charm on the room, Ginny thought —; he jabbed his wand at the door to lock it.
Never let me stay behind alone again, he thought.
I thought that was amusing.
Oh, shut up, Ginny.
Her laughter did not ease his mood.
But five minutes later, as he was approaching the portrait hole, he realized that he had non-verbally unlocked the door.
However, Ginny was still laughing so the thought escaped him a second later.
He reached the common room a few minutes later and went straight for the table by the window where Ginny was sitting with Hermione. He stopped by her chair and glared daggers down at her. She looked up at him with bright eyes sparkling with pure hilarity and smiled sweetly.
“Can I help you, dear husband?” she asked politely, the absolute picture of innocence.
“Fuck you, Ginny,” he said in exasperation. Then he turned away and stomped to the stairs while she burst into renewed laughter behind him and Hermione asked bewilderedly: “What was that about?”
Harry started cleaning his textbooks of ink, trying very hard not to think about what had happened and to not listen to Ginny’s still amused thoughts.
You were so awkward! She laughed.
“Yeah, yeah, very funny,” Harry said to the empty air around him.
They were just kissing, Harry, you could have gotten up and walked out at any point.
“People resembling parents are not allowed to snog,” he declared.
What are you going to do when I inevitably get pregnant and we become parents, then? As I recall, snogging is one of your favorite past-times.
Harry stopped scrubbing at the cover of his Transfiguration textbook and stared blankly at the wall across from him. He hadn't ever thought of that.
“I’m going to be a dad one day,” he mused.
Uh, well, yeah, you will. Your point?
“We’re going to have kids.”
Erm, yes, eventually.
“We’ll be parents.”
Okay, slow down there, mister, this parents thing isn’t happening for a minimum of five years.
“But still… we’re going to have kids one day.”
The door to the lounge opened and Ginny stepped inside. Harry looked up at her with that same expression of mixed awe and realization. She raised an eyebrow at him.
“Has this thought only just now occurred to you?” she asked.
“Well, yeah,” he said. “I’m a fifteen-year-old boy, what do you expect?”
She considered this, then shrugged her shoulders and dumped her bag on the floor of their lounge. “That, I suppose.”
Harry shook his head at her and went back to trying to get the ink out of his textbook. Ginny walked up to him and peered down at it.
“You know, I think it looks better like that,” she said. “See, you can’t see the author’s face on the back.”
Harry looked up at her with a raised eyebrow. Ginny shrugged and walked away. Harry sighed and refocused.
“We’ve got that appointment with Dumbledore tonight, remember.”
“Eight thirty, I think.”
“You think? That’s even more helpful than you were earlier.”
“You seem a bit peeved, darling, has something upset you?”
Harry lifted his eyes and looked over his shoulder, raising both eyebrows at her. She grinned with both malice and mirth and stepped into their bedroom, out of his view. Harry shook his head once again and dropped his gaze back to the textbook in his lap. He sighed, and gave up on it, tossing it onto the coffee table with the rest of the contents of his school bag. He would clean it later. Harry rose from the sofa and brushed off the knees of his robes, then glanced up at the clock on the mantle. It was eight past five; they had a few hours before they had to meet with Professor Dumbledore.
“Do you want to go down to the Great Hall for dinner or just stop in the kitchen?” he called to Ginny. “Because I don’t think I’ll be able to look Remus and Sirius in the eye for a month.”
“Shame, we’ve got Defense three more times this week and training with them in the mornings.”
Harry groaned, not looking forward whatsoever to having to exercise with them the next day.
“I don’t see what’s got your knickers in such a twist, it’s not like they started going at it on the desk or anything.”
“Ginny!” Harry exclaimed.
She appeared in the doorway. “What?”
“I don’t want to think about them doing anything!” Harry said with a shiver. “No more than you want to think about your parents doing anything!”
Ginny shrugged. “Doesn’t mean I’m not going to tease you mercilessly on the subject.”
“You’re hopeless,” Harry sighed.
Ginny grinned and crossed the room to slip her arms around his waist. “But you love me for it,” she said smugly. Harry glowered.
“I hate it when you’re right,” he muttered. She simply laughed and pressed a kiss to his lips.
“Shame, seeing as that’s a constant.”
“Ha, ha,” Harry laughed dryly. “You’re hilarious.”
Ginny grinned wider. “Of course I am, I learned from Fred and George.”
Harry rolled his eyes and just kissed her. You’re hopeless, he thought as he pressed his lips to hers.
I love you too.
Harry looked at her with a touch of scorn. She giggled again and stepped away, around and to the coffee table. “Y’know, you could have just tried a cleaning spell on this mess.”
“I did, but all that happened was it vanished the ink on the floor.”
Ginny looked up at him, then picked up the wand lying on the table and flicked it, saying “Scourgify,” as she did. The ink stains on the books and papers all vanished, leaving behind his already dried notes from the day. She looked back up at him, her eyebrows raised.
“Okay, you only got it to work because you’re a girl,” Harry said.
She snorted, and tossed the wand to him. “Not only did I fix all of your things with one try, but I did it with your wand,” she pointed out, then poked him in the chest. “And it is not because I am a girl.”
Harry looked down at his wand, frowned, then at her, then pouted slightly. “You got my wand to work because we share our souls,” he insisted.
Ginny smirked at him, then nodded and patted him on the shoulder. “Sure, dear. That’s what happened.”
“Oh, shut up already.”
Ginny laughed and stepped past him. “Make me, Potter.”
Harry raised an eyebrow, turning to follow her path with his eyes, and caught her looking back at him and smirking. “Did you seriously just say that?” he asked.
Ginny grinned fully then. “Yep, I did. What are you going to do about it, hmm?”
Harry covered his eyes with a hand and shook his head. “Why must you be this way?” he murmured under his breath. Ginny just laughed.
Around half past six, they left their rooms for the common room, where they found Ron sitting at a table playing chess against Seamus and Dean and nearby knitting a nobly hat. Ginny walked up to the three boys playing chess and looked over Seamus’s shoulder.
“His knight is exposed,” she said, pointing helpfully to it.
“Ginny!” Ron protested as Seamus quickly moved to capture Ron’s knight.
“What?” Ginny answered. “It might be good for your ego if you lost a game or two every now and then.”
“Thanks, Ginny,” Dean said brightly to her. “We were just about to lose!”
“You won’t be thanking her in a few minutes, you’re still going to lose,” Harry pointed out.
“Probably,” Seamus admitted.
“Hey, Mr. optimistic, aren’t we supposed to be trying to win?” Dean asked.
“Shut up, you know we’re bound to lose.”
Ginny caught Harry’s eye and raised her eyebrows. Yikes.
Harry just rolled his eyes at her. “Let’s go get dinner.”
“See you, Potters!” Seamus called after them.
“Oi, that was my bishop!” Dean exclaimed.
Harry looked back at Ginny. “Yikes indeed,” he muttered. Ginny giggled.
They followed the crowd through the halls down to the ground floor, walking hand in hand and half listening to the conversations around them. The students of Hogwarts were a diverse lot, Harry mused to himself as they moved with the ebb and flow of the crowd migrating slowly down to the Great Hall and their dinners. Harry caught bits and pieces of the multiple discussions around them, catching parts of sagas and chronicles of the students’ lives. “Annie told me that Tom’s cheating on Brittney…” “What, but he’s so sweet to her, that can’t be true!” “It is!” “How do you know?” “Because he’s cheating on her with Annie.” — “… so I said, if you’re so interested in doxy eggs, why don’t you go shove one up your —” “If you keep telling your boyfriend to shove things up his butt, he’s going to realize how gay he truly is.” “Erm, that’s kind of the point.” — “Hey, isn’t that essay on the properties of moonstones due this week?” “Yeah, have you done it?” “No. Have you?” “Hell no.” — “Do you think you could ask your sister if she’d want to go to Hogsmeade with me, y’know as friends?” “Mate, if you like her that much just ask her yourself stop bloody ranting to me about her, Merlin.” "But —" "Dammit, I am serious, if I hear from you one more time how dreamy her eyes are or how silky her hair looks I will fucking hex you." — “I mean, seriously, how hard is it to just write a damn letter to your own bloody mother for her birthday!?”
As they neared the doors to the Great Hall, the crowd merged with a flow of students from the dungeons, coming up for warmer air from beneath the cold stone walls. Harry linked his arm through Ginny’s puling her a little closer, and she dropped her head onto his shoulder, giving him a soft smile. They were just outside the doors then, when he heard it.
“… probably not even his kid. She’s probably lied about the whole thing. It’s a shame it’s magically binding.”
“I know, my dad spent nearly an hour ranting about how he’d given hundreds of galleons to the Potter’s charities and such so the old head of the family would set up a marriage between him and my older sister.”
Harry looked over his shoulder, a frown furrowing his brow.
“My father did the same things! He told me that he was going to do his best to set up a marriage between me and the Potter family; their businesses were enormous back in the day, he told me, it would have made us filthy rich.”
Harry’s frown deepened into a scowl. What did this person think marriage was, a business transaction? He spotted them; two girls in Ravenclaw uniforms just behind him, both at least a year younger than him. One of them saw him looking and blushed scarlet; she elbowed her friend who looked up and turned a similar shade of red. Harry gave them a sarcastic smile to let them know that yes, he had heard them, then ever so politely raised his middle finger towards them. Their blushes turned indignant, but he didn’t care. They didn’t have the right to be indignant after what he’d overheard them saying.
“Are you kidding me?” he mumbled under his breath. “Malfoy, would you just piss off already?”
“Language, Potter,” Malfoy said with a thin-lipped smirk, “the Weaselette’s poor baby might hear you.”
Harry gritted his teeth; Ginny slipped her hand into his and squeezed it gently, though he turned anyway and glared at Malfoy. “Ginny isn’t pregnant, she never was pregnant, we didn’t get married because of a pregnancy.”
“For some reason, Potter, I don’t believe you,” Malfoy drawled. “Then again, Weasley might just be fat.”
“My name is Potter,” Ginny spat. “And you are a giant asshole.”
There was a collective intake of breath in the crowd around them; Malfoy narrowed his glinting silver eyes. “Are the pregnancy hormones already making you irritable, Weasley?”
“Piss off, Malfoy,” Harry snapped.
“I’m hurt, Potter, I thought you were supposed to be good and noble.”
“I’m also s’posed to not rip people’s heads off when they insult my wife,” he growled. “So either you back off, or I hex you.”
Malfoy raised an eyebrow, looking around the packed Entrance Hall. “With so many people here, why, you’d get detention! Who knows, you might have so much luck that your progeny kicks Weasley in the bladder for the first time while you’re absent.”
“Wouldn’t that be a shock, seeing as I’m not pregnant,” Ginny quipped. “Why don’t you run off and worry about the dozen girls you’ve might have gotten pregnant since term started, alright? Leave us alone.”
Malfoy’s expression soured. “What do you know, Weasley?”
“I know that you’re clearly not speaking to me, as my name’s Potter,” Ginny snapped. “Now, for real this time, fuck off before I hex you!”
The gathering all gasped again; they probably hadn’t seen a spectacle such as this in quite some time. When Malfoy didn’t immediately reply, Harry pushed between a gap in the crowd, Ginny’s hand in his, into the Great Hall. He was done with the slimy git, and had no interest in continuing the conversation. He found the first empty spot at the Gryffindor table and dropped into it; Ginny taking the seat beside him. As he still rather aggressively served himself mashed potatoes and shepherd’s pie, Ginny touched his arm gently.
What? he thought, a little abruptly. She gave him a look. Sorry.
Pro tip, she verbalized mentally, when dealing with assholes, make them aware of the fact that you know they’re assholes.
A/N: I need to learn to stop smiling when I’m writing in public places the people in the library are going to think I’m insane…
But a miffed Harry is an amusing thing.
Miffed is a good one too. I have a plethora of synonyms for angry.
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