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SIYE Time:4:44 on 16th January 2018


Feelings Detained
By snarky24

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Category: Alternate Universe, Post-HBP
Characters:Harry/Ginny
Genres: Action/Adventure, Angst, General, Humor, Romance
Warnings: Mild Sexual Situations
Rating: PG-13
Reviews: 31
Summary: Harry and Ginny struggle with their complicated feelings for each other as Ginny takes her first steps to pursuing a Quidditch career. A series of detentions, a lucky adventure, and a new invention from Fred and George help them cut through the tension and find their way to each other. Set alongside the events of HBP and sequel to “Secrets and Slugs.”
Hitcount: Story Total: 2782; Chapter Total: 250







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Ginny bounded through the door from the Potions classroom into the dark halls of the dungeon, surrendering to the exhilarating sense of opportunity from the the lucky potion.

She heard footsteps heading toward her in the dark and dingy hall, and a moment later Dean appeared. Ginny beamed at the sight of him.

“Ready for dinner?” he asked, returning her smile and dropping a light kiss on her forehead as he slipped his arm around her waist.

“I’m famished!” she said enthusiastically. Dinner sounded like a great idea at the moment. It was exactly what she needed.

“You’re in a good mood,” said Dean with a note of surprise in his voice. “Did something happen at your detention?”

“It’s just a wonderful evening!” she replied without hesitation as they climbed the stone stairs to the entrance hall.

“Why are you so...happy?” he asked, furrowing his brow.

They had reached the entrance hall, and he stopped to study her face in the twilight shining through the windows. Ginny felt a surge of affection for Dean. He could be so perceptive about her feelings, and she was bursting with happiness as she thought about all of the incredible opportunities ahead of them tonight.

Without thinking, she threw her arms around him and kissed him passionately. He seemed slightly caught off guard at first, but quickly reciprocated.

She broke apart from him as suddenly as she’d embraced him.

“I’m happy because the possibilities are endless tonight!” she gushed, feeling a wave of excitement wash over her.

“Why’s that?” asked Dean, who still seemed concerned. He grabbed her hand and started to lead her toward the Great Hall.

Her stomach growled again. She suddenly had a craving for shepherd’s pie…

“Let’s go to the Three Broomsticks,” she said abruptly. “I love Madam Rosmerta’s shepherd’s pie!”

They stopped in front of the large oak doors that led to to the Great Hall.

“Right now? Are you mad?” asked Dean incredulously.

At that moment, Ginny was inexplicably certain that she was meant to go to the Three Broomsticks tonight. Deep in her gut, she felt it was where she was supposed to be. She tugged on Dean’s arm, urging him to follow her.

“Yes, of course, right now!” she giggled. Why was Dean being so ridiculous?

“But...we have Quidditch practice after dinner,” he spluttered, pulling his arm out of her grasp.

Ginny giggled again. There was such an easy solution to their problem!

“We’ll skip it tonight,” she said simply.

“But...you love Quidditch,” he protested, clearly grasping for more excuses.

“I love shepherd’s pie, too!” she replied, imagining how satisfying it would be to be eating Madam Rosmerta’s shepherd’s pie right now.

But Ginny could see from Dean’s worried face that he could not be convinced to come with her to the Three Broomsticks. She felt Felix urging her to bid him good evening and head to the marble staircase, but a nagging voice in the back of her head resisted.

How could this be a great adventure without Dean by my side?

The thought had barely formulated in her mind when she felt an intense wave of giddiness that felt incompatible with her thoughts. Against her will, she started to laugh uncontrollably as the lucky potion overpowered her.

“Dean,” she wheezed between laughs as she fought the potion. “Just come with me–”

Her stomach clenched in pain and she doubled over. She felt both sick and excited at the same time. How could this be?

This wasn’t meant to happen, she realized. Felix was making her see that this was not her lucky path tonight.

“Ginny… are you feeling alright? Should we go see Madam Pomfrey? You’re flushed, and you look like you’re in pain,” said Dean. She could sense that he was deeply concerned about her.

Ginny took a deep breath and let the potion overtake her. Her stomach pain disappeared instantly.

“I’ve never felt better!” she said, feeling very eager to be on her way to the Three Broomsticks. It was time to seize the moment, even if Dean wouldn’t.

Dean gave her a skeptical look. “Let’s just stop by the Hospital Wing. If you’re fine, then it’ll just take a few minutes for Madam Pomfrey to confirm.”

He grabbed her arm and started to lead her away. His touch felt like a lightning bolt through her arm, and she jumped backward.

“Dean, let go–” she said firmly, jerking her arm from his grasp. She knew that she could not go with him. Madam Pomfrey would know immediately that she’d taken the lucky potion and uncomfortable questions would ensue.

“What’s going on here?” came a voice from behind them.

They both turned. Harry was walking toward them, clearly heading to the Great Hall for dinner.

“Ginny’s not well,” said Dean quickly. “She wants to skip Quidditch practice.”

Normally, Ginny would be annoyed that Dean was speaking for her. But the potion kept her calm, reassuring her that nothing would stand her in way tonight.

“Thank you for your concern, Dean,” she said placidly. “But I’m fine.”

Harry furrowed his brow and looked from Ginny to Dean, but said nothing. She could sense that he did not want to intervene, but was suspicious. The feeling was so overwhelming that it was almost as if Felix was helping her read his mind. She felt like she could perceive every feeling and intention from others tonight.

She could have let Harry pass and continue into the Great Hall, but she was gripped with an uncontrollable urge to keep him there.

“I’m going to the Three Broomsticks for dinner, so I won’t be able to make it to practice,” she blurted, almost as if Felix had said it for her.

This piqued Harry’s interest. He raised his eyebrows. “Alone?”

“You can come if you want,” she said shrugging, feeling as if she should appear nonchalant. “But Dean doesn’t want to.”

“There’s no way I’m going!” interjected Dean, annoyed. “What’s wrong with you? Hogsmeade is out of bounds!”

“I’m going whether you join me or not,” she replied firmly.

The words had barely left her mouth when she saw Dean make an abrupt movement with his arm. Automatically, she pulled out her wand and thought, Protego!

There was a bang and an invisible shield erupted between Ginny and Dean, blocking a hex that might have landed squarely on her chest had she reacted even a second later.

Dean’s wand went flying in the air, and Harry caught it deftly as he stepped between them. Ginny realized that Harry had disarmed Dean just moments after he had cast his hex.

“You don’t need to attack her–” said Harry heatedly as he roughly pushed Dean away from her, putting himself between Ginny and Dean.

“We have to subdue her before she does anything rash!” said Dean angrily, pushing back against Harry. “She’s clearly been bewitched! She doesn’t even know how to cast nonverbal spells! Someone must be controlling her–”

Ginny laughed. It was impossible for anyone to lead her astray with Felix guiding her.

But Harry must have thought that Dean had a point. “How did you learn to cast a Shield Charm nonverbally?” he asked her, turning his wand on her with his hand still on Dean’s chest to hold him back.

Ginny gave him a sly smile. “I guess it was just…luck.”

Harry’s eyes flashed with understanding. She was confident that he had caught her meaning.

He let go of Dean and gave him back his wand. “Tell the team that practice is canceled,” he said curtly.

“But–” Dean protested. Harry cut him off.

“I’ll deal with Ginny. You’ll find the team in the Great Hall,” he said, motioning for him to leave.

She could see the wheels turning in Dean’s head as he considered arguing with Harry. But there was a finality in Harry’s tone that must have indicated it would be futile. Instead, Dean turned to Ginny.

“If you want to risk expulsion by sneaking out, then that’s up to you,” he said, shaking his head. “I’m really disappointed in you, Ginny.”

“I’ll see you tomorrow for our special day?” asked Ginny hopefully. Her heart leapt with excitement as she wondered again what he might have planned for Valentine’s Day.

“If you’re not expelled by then,” he said sourly.

Ginny swept past Harry and threw her arms around Dean, giving him a quick peck on the cheek. “Have a good night!”

Defeated, Dean nodded and pushed through the doors into the Great Hall, leaving Harry and Ginny alone.

Harry rounded on her the instant the door closed behind Dean.

“How did you get the lucky potion?” he demanded in a low voice.

“From the potion’s storeroom...like you suggested in detention this week,” she said pointedly. He must have known this was his idea.

“So how are we getting to the Three Broomsticks?” he pressed. Ginny sensed that he was still suspicious, but knew it was safe to answer him honestly.

“We’ll take the tunnel to Honeydukes and use your Invisibility Cloak,” she explained confidently. The plan came to her as she said it, as if the potion was guiding her.

Harry nodded slowly, biting his bottom lip. She could still sense that he didn’t fully trust her.

“We’ll have to go to Gryffindor Tower to get my cloak,” he said finally, clutching his school bag that was slung over his shoulder. “Come with me.”

Ginny followed him, knowing that he carried his cloak in his school bag at all times. Hermione had said he kept it with him in case he needed to tail Malfoy, who he believed was working for the Death Eaters and was involved in an evil plot.

But it did not matter that Harry was lying to her. He would get her to and from Hogsmeade safely. She had finally realized that she was meant to take her lucky adventure with Harry.

***

Ginny stood near the portrait hole as Harry emerged from the boys’ dormitory, his hand in his pocket and his school bag still on his shoulder.

He stopped, placing himself conspicuously between the portrait hole and her.

“We’re not going anywhere until you tell me what’s going on,” he said seriously. Ginny sensed his concern and had anticipated this resistance from him.

“It just…feels like the Three Broomsticks is the place to be right now, don’t you think?” she said slowly as she struggled to articulate the path that the lucky potion had laid for her.

“No, it feels like we’re going to get more than just four weeks of detention for being out of bounds this time,” he said sternly. “Besides, there are no protective wards in Hogsmeade. We– no, I can’t be sneaking off like this with Voldemort out there.”

Ginny nodded empathetically. She could feel both his fear and his curiosity. At that moment, she knew intuitively that he wanted her to convince him that it would be safe, assure him that this would not turn out like their adventure over the holidays in which Harry had nearly drowned and Ginny had earned four weeks of detention.

“The lucky potion is leading me to the Three Broomsticks, and there’s no doubt in my mind that we’ll be safe,” she said calmly.

The idea of getting caught seemed absolutely ridiculous. The path ahead was clear–they would stay under the Invisibility Cloak and go relatively unnoticed in the Friday night crowd at the Three Broomsticks.

Harry looked confused. “So the lucky potion is telling you to go to Hogsmeade? With me? What about with Dean? Or, er–anyone else?”

Ginny was certain that it was impossible to convince Dean to come, even if she had told him about the lucky potion. Dean was brave and daring like all Gryffindors, but he preferred taking calculated risks. Trusting the whims of Felix Felicis was not a calculated risk that Dean would take.

Harry, who lived with tighter restrictions both at home and at school, had a greater thirst for recklessness and adventure.

“It’s just going to be us tonight,” she replied, starting toward the portrait hole.

“Just us? On Valentine’s Day?” asked Harry, stepping in front of her to stop her.

“Since when does having a boyfriend mean I can’t go to the Three Broomsticks with my friends?” she laughed, amused at Harry’s concern. “Besides, Dean and I have Valentine’s plans for tomorrow.”

If she was honest with herself, she felt that the potion was pushing her toward Harry because she wanted to explore her feelings for him. Even though she’d had a crush on him for some time, she had almost completely buried all of her feelings toward him for the last two years. Now that he was showing feelings for her, she wasn’t sure if her crush had been based on a shallow attraction or the basis of a true partnership.

She moved to step around him again, but he caught her roughly by the wrist and pulled her hand toward him. He jammed what felt like a cold, glass orb in her hand.

“Has anyone asked you to bring me to Hogsmeade with you?” he demanded. She could feel the heat and suspicion in his voice.

Without looking at the orb, she knew that he was checking her story to protect them both. The lucky potion illuminated everything for her: Harry was afraid she’d been compromised by Death Eaters and was trying to lure him out of the castle.

She looked down and, as she expected, saw that he’d placed a Veritaball in her hand–it was the glass ball that Fred and George had used during their poker game over the holidays. Now that it was in her hand, she had to tell the truth or burp slugs.

“No, Harry,” she giggled, suddenly feeling giddy at the prospect of finally convincing him to join her on what would be an exciting adventure. “The lucky potion is telling me to go to the Three Broomsticks with you right now.”

The ball turned green, indicating that she was telling the truth. She extended her hand to return it to him, but he didn’t take it. His suspicious glare did not move from her face. A quiet strength radiated from him that she’d only a seen twice before–once when he’d rescued her from the Chamber and again when they’d met Lucius Malfoy at the Department of Mysteries–as he searched her, undoubtedly weighing her story.

“And you took the potion from the storeroom and drank it willingly? Nobody gave it to you or forced it on you?” he asked quietly, his voice still serious and his grip still tight around her wrist.

She gave him a small smile and put a hand on his arm reassuringly. “I took the potion from the storeroom on my own and drank it willingly.”

The ball turned green again. She leaned toward Harry and dropped the ball into his open school bag. Without waiting for him to reply, she stepped around him, strolled to the portrait hole, and pushed it open.

As she expected, Harry followed closely behind her. “So Dean won’t mind?”

Ginny climbed through the portrait hole with ease and turned to face him. Normally, she would be nettled by Harry’s insistence, but right now she had an infinite amount of patience.

“Of course not, Harry,” she said serenely. “He’ll be upset that I went because he’ll think it’s dangerous–but not because I went with you.”

Harry opened his mouth to respond, but Ginny interrupted him.

“We need to put the cloak on now,” she said quickly. She was suddenly overcome with the urge to be hidden.

Harry reached into his school bag and pulled out a long shining, silvery cloth. Ginny stared at it with amazement. While she had heard about the cloak from Ron, she had never actually seen it before.

Harry threw the cloak around his shoulders, and Ginny could see only his head suspended in midair, his body completely invisible. He opened the right side of the cloak, extending his arm to her.

“It’ll cover us both, but it’ll be a tight fit,” he said tentatively.

Without hesitation, Ginny slipped under Harry’s outstretched arm and tucked herself beside him. She felt his arm brush her shoulders as he lowered the cloak around her, but it didn’t quite cover them. He stepped closer to her pressing his side against hers to close the gap between them and pulled the hood over their heads.

She felt him stiffen next to her, but he said nothing. Normally, she might have felt self-conscious with Harry pressed so tightly against her and his arm resting lightly on her shoulders, but in this moment she felt like she was right where she wanted to be.

“Are you–” Harry started, but Ginny instinctively shushed him.

A moment later, Ron and Lavender turned the corner, walking straight toward them. Harry’s arm tightened around her shoulders as he pulled her to the side. Stumbling a bit, they moved as one under the cloak as they backpedaled to avoid Ron and Lavender, their backs both hitting the wall.

“Oh, Won-Won! I’m so glad that Harry came to his senses and canceled practice!” cooed Lavender. “Who would want to have practice on Valentine’s Day, of all days? Just because Harry’s single doesn’t mean the rest of us have to live like monks with him.”

Ginny felt Harry tense next to her.

“Harry doesn’t live like a monk,” said Ron hotly as he climbed through the portrait hole, absently extending a hand to Lavender. “Besides, I don’t have any issues with practicing on Valentine’s Day, either.”

The portrait hole closed quickly behind them, and Ginny did not hear her response.

“Ron’s always got your back,” she whispered, stifling a giggle.

“Let’s go,” said Harry gruffly. She didn’t need to see his face to know he was annoyed.

Harry and Ginny made their way through the castle to the statue of the one-eyed witch without incident. With the lucky potion as her guide, Ginny was able to navigate them around the dinner crowds and avoid Peeves and Filch. When they reached the statute, she instinctively knew it would be safe to remove the cloak.

Harry stuffed the cloak in his school bag and drew his wand. Tapping the witch’s hump, he muttered, “Dissendium.

At once, the statue’s hump opened wide enough to admit a fairly thin person. Without a word, Harry hoisted himself into the hole headfirst and disappeared.

Ginny waited a moment until she heard Harry hit the ground. Then, she climbed onto the statute and pitched herself into the hole. She slid a considerable way down what felt like a stone slide, then landed on cold, damp earth. There was a sound of grinding stone above her as the witch’s hump closed behind her.

Harry was there waiting for her, his wand lit. “How long do you have with the potion?”

“I drank one of the vials, so probably a few hours,” she replied. “I’ve used almost an hour trying to convince you to come with me.”

Harry nodded and they set off down the tunnel wordlessly. In his wandlight, Ginny could see that they were in a very narrow, low, earthy passageway that twisted and turned like the burrow of a giant animal. They hurried along it with Harry stumbling now and then on the uneven ground, holding his wand out in front of him. Ginny deftly darted around the potholes and rocks in the ground, the potion making her more surefooted than Harry.

Fred and George had told her about this passageway in the past, but she’d never dared use it without a means of hiding herself. She grinned to herself as she remembered her hesitation. How silly it seemed now that she had once thought this was impossible!

“What are you grinning about?” asked Harry in a light tone. She realized he had been watching her as they walked.

“I was just thinking about how easy it was to convince you to break the rules with me,” she said cheekily. Felix was making her feel playful.

“Hardly!” he scoffed. “You said yourself you wasted an hour of potion on me!”

Almost an hour,” Ginny corrected him. “You wanted to come all along, and you just don’t want to admit it.”

Harry rolled his eyes and shot her a smile that gave her a swooping feeling in her stomach. Felix told her that Harry had indeed wanted to come with her once he knew she hadn’t been compromised.

“So why did you come if you were so against it?” she asked, suddenly intensely curious.

“I couldn’t let you go alone! It’s not safe!” he said defensively. Ginny instinctively knew this was a lie.

“But with the lucky potion, you knew I would be successful in all of my endeavors tonight,” she protested. “If anything, it’s not safe for you.”

Ginny felt her arm wave her wand, almost of its own accord, and she thought, Accio Veritaball!

The glass orb floated out of Harry’s bag and started to move toward her. Almost as soon as it emerged, she waved her wand again, concentrating on Harry.

Depulso!, she thought, sending the glass ball straight at Harry’s chest. It smacked him hard enough to make a soft thud sound on his rib cage. Automatically, he let out a small gasp and brought his hands to his chest. The Veritaball fell into his open hands easily.

“Why did you come, Harry?” she asked, the instant the ball touched his hands. While Felix made her more perceptive, she couldn’t actually read minds. She could sense he was hiding something.

Harry looked surprised, but shook it off with a laugh. “I’m not afraid to burp slugs!”

“That may be true, but why would you need to answer such an innocuous question with a lie?” replied Ginny coolly. His unwillingness to tell the truth made her heart flutter; unbidden, a wave of hope rushed through her body. What if he came because he really did fancy her?

Harry looked her in the eye defiantly and said, “I’ll take the slugs.” Within seconds, he was vomiting slugs all over the ground.

After the vomiting subsided, Harry wiped his face on his sleeve and looked at Ginny triumphantly.

“So, remind me,” he started, as though nothing had just happened. “Why are we going to the Three Broomsticks?”

“For Madam Rosmerta’s shepherd’s pie, of course!” said Ginny, surprised. Had he not heard her in the the entrance hall? She’d been quite clear about her dinner plans.

“Right…” he said, nodding. “So you’re using your lucky potion just to get some dinner? I could have taken you to the Hogwarts kitchens if you really wanted shepherd’s pie.”

Ginny shrugged, unperturbed. “It just feels like the place to be tonight.”

“But why? You must have directed the potion somehow,” said Harry skeptically. “What were you thinking about just before you took it?”

“I was thinking that I was hungry,” she giggled. This was true, but as she said it, she remembered that she had also been thinking about Valentine’s Day with Dean, Michael, and Harry. Yet, Felix told her that this wasn’t the real reason for their trip. She instinctively knew this was about much more than an evening with Harry in Hogsmeade.

“There must have been more, but the potion isn’t letting you see it,” pressed Harry. “What do you want most?”

“Right now? Or in life?” she asked. Right now, she really wanted dinner. How was Harry not understanding this?

“I dunno… both?”

“Right now, I want shepherd’s pie!” she laughed, feeling the urge to deflect. His question felt too personal, and she didn’t like sharing anything about herself with others–at least not since she’d poured her heart out in Tom Riddle’s diary.

“And in life?” he prodded.

“What do you want in life?” she retorted without thinking. As soon as she said it, her heart sank because she realized she already knew. Harry wanted a family that loved him. Ron said he’d seen it in the Mirror of Erised.

“I asked you first,” he said testily.

Ginny took a deep breath, looking to Felix to guide her on how to be honest without being vulnerable.

“I want to be a professional Quidditch player,” she blurted, immediately feeling embarrassed. Why had the potion let her confess that? Dean was one of the only people who knew about her dream.

“Then maybe you’ll get your big break tonight!” he replied, smiling. Ginny relaxed a bit, realizing that his happiness was genuine, not mocking.

“Thanks for the confidence, Harry,” she said. “But you know that the lucky potion won’t allow me to do anything I couldn’t already do. It just tweaks the circumstances, so that I will succeed in anything that I’m already capable of.”

“Then what can we do tonight to help tweak the circumstances, so to speak?” asked Harry with interest.

“Nothing,” shrugged Ginny. “I’m submitting my development school applications for the summer session tomorrow, and then I just have to wait to hear back about whether they’ll be sending a scout to watch me play.”

She had just finished implementing the feedback on her essays from McGonagall during her free period earlier that day. She’d review her essays one last time in the morning and send them off by owl.

“Is there anything I can do to help?” asked Harry.

Ginny laughed. “Not unless you can sponsor me and get me a tryout!”

Harry furrowed his brow, but seemed to decide not to ask any more questions on the subject.

“If it’s really just about dinner, then why am I here?” he asked, sounding slightly annoyed.

“Only Felix knows,” she replied with a smile.

***

After walking a bit more, the passage to Honeydukes began to rise and they came to the foot of some worn stone steps.

Harry put a finger to his lips, indicating that they must be quiet. Ginny let her eyes linger on his lips and felt an inexplicable rush of excitement.

Carefully, they climbed the stone steps until they reached what appeared to be a trapdoor overhead. By the wandlight, Ginny could see Harry standing very still, his eyes fixed intensely on the trapdoor as if straining to hear beyond it.

But Felix told Ginny there was nobody above and it would be safe for them to enter.

“It’s clear,” she whispered. “Let’s put on the cloak and go.”

“Are you sure? We should probably take a peek first,” he whispered back, looking skeptical.

“Luck is on our side,” she responded with a smile.

Without further protest, Harry extinguished his wand and pulled the cloak out of his school bag, draping it around the two of them. Ginny felt another rush of excitement as he clumsily brushed up against her. She leaned into him, feeling his arm tentatively come to rest on her shoulders and his warm body press against her side.

“Ready?” he said hoarsely.

“Let’s go!” she said.

Harry pushed the trapdoor open, and they awkwardly clambered out. Ginny quickly became tangled in the cloak and Harry’s arms, which were still above her. She pushed off of Harry’s chest, separating herself from both him and the cloak. Finally, she found herself lying on the ground of a dim cellar, completely exposed.

She heard Harry scrambling behind her. “Get under the cloak!”

“We have time,” she replied calmly. It would be a couple of minutes before anyone came in.

She slowly got to her feet. They were surrounded by wooden crates and boxes. There was a faint smell of chocolate in the air.

The trapdoor snapped shut, blending in perfectly with the floor. She heard Harry move toward her, still invisible, and suddenly she was enveloped by the cloak again.

Her stomach fluttered as Harry’s arm brushed her shoulders again. But Felix reminded her this was not the time to get caught up in her conflicted feelings for Harry. Their chance to sneak out of the cellar unnoticed was coming quickly.

“We need to move just to the right of the door,” she whispered to Harry. “We’ll slip through when the shopkeeper comes downstairs.”

As they moved together up the wooden staircase, she could hear voices and the tinkle of a bell and the opening and shutting of a door.

Moments after they reached the door, it swung open and a balding little man burst through it and hurried down the stairs, not bothering to close the door behind him.

Without hesitation, Ginny and Harry moved as one through the door and into the shop. They emerged behind the counter of Honeydukes. Wordlessly, they ducked under the counter, crept sideways, and straightened up.

Honeydukes was uncharacteristically quiet. On Hogsmeade days, it was so crowded with Hogwarts students that one couldn’t move without being jostled on all sides. But tonight, there were only a few old witches perusing the shelves.

Harry gave her a tug on the arm, and she followed automatically. As they headed for the door under the cloak, she felt Harry make a sudden movement and a moment later, she heard the crinkle of paper and the clink of gold on the counter.

Once they were outside, Ginny saw that the streets of Hogsmeade were relatively quiet as well. She instinctively knew that they should stay under the cloak until they were off the main street. She leaned toward Harry and whispered, “Let’s head up the road toward the Shrieking Shack.”

They made slow progress. Even though they were on the main road, the snow was still quite deep.

Ginny slipped out from under the cloak as soon as they reached Shrieking Shack. The cold air stung her face as she emerged, but she was grateful for the chill. It was getting hot and stuffy under the cloak.

“We made it!” she said triumphantly as Harry appeared in front of her.

He tossed her a Chocolate Frog with a lopsided grin on his face.

“You didn’t knick this?” she asked disapprovingly.

“Of course not!” said Harry. “I dropped some gold on the counter on our way out.”

Ginny was immediately reminded of her Valentine’s Day fantasy with Harry in which she imagined sneaking into Honeydukes and sharing some sweets. She felt a rush of warmth toward him as she carefully peeled the paper off of her Chocolate Frog.

Harry quickly tore into his and stuffed the frog in his mouth. “I’ve got Gryffindor again,” he said thickly, showing her his card. “Who’d you get?”

Ginny nodded as she removed her frog and peered at her card. Her jaw dropped when she saw a very little boy with a black fringe and brilliant green eyes looking back at her.

“It’s you!” she gasped.

“Huh?” grunted Harry, nonplussed.

“Harry, I didn’t know you had a card!” she said, turning it over with amazement. She’d collected these cards her whole life and had never seen this one. It must be a very rare card.

“Neither did I,” mumbled Harry. “What’s it say?”

Ginny turned over the card and read, “Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived, is the only known survivor of the Killing Curse. He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, one of the most evil wizards of our time, cast the curse on Potter when he was one year old. It is believed that the curse rebounded back onto He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, killing him and leaving only a lightning-shaped scar on Potter’s forehead. It is unknown how he survived. He is now celebrated as the boy who defeated the Dark Lord.

She handed it to him, sensing that he would want to see it. His ears turned pink as he re-read the card and flipped it over to look at the picture.

“You were a cute baby,” she said warmly. Even without his glasses or scar, she could recognize his jet black hair and brilliant green eyes.

“Can I keep this?” he asked seriously, still staring at the picture.

“Of course,” she replied gently, suddenly feeling very sad. Harry probably didn’t have any pictures of himself as a child. They were likely all destroyed when Voldemort tried to kill him.

“You can have the Gryffindor one…” mumbled Harry, fishing in his pocket for the card.

“No, I’ve got four of those already. You keep it,” she said hastily.

Harry looked at his card one last time, then with a sigh, slipped it into his pocket.

“Shall we head to the Three Broomsticks?” he said abruptly, clearing his throat.

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