Time of My Life by Evie_S

Summary: ** Winner of Best Overall and Best Relationship in the “First Week” Challenge **
Harry Potter never expected that his first week back at Hogwarts would be so exciting, but when a unlikley friendship strikes up between him and Ginny, who knows what will happen?
Rating: PG starstarstarstarstar
Categories: First Week Challenge (2008-2)
Characters: None
Genres: None
Warnings: None
Challenges: None
Series: None
Published: 2008.04.29
Updated: 2008.04.30

Time of My Life by Evie_S
Chapter 1: The Hogwarts Express
Author's Notes:

Life with the Weasley clan was never quiet. Harry had always known this, of course, but the full realization only hit him as he flew into a flustered Mrs Weasley on one of the Burrow’s many landings.

“Harry,” she said breathlessly, grasping his shoulders. “Be a darling and wake Ginny, won’t you? I don’t know what is wrong with her, she knows how much of a rush today always is but no, she has to sleep in and I have no idea where George has gone and obviously Fred has no idea. There’s a good boy.”

Before Harry had received time to fully process what was going on, he had been shoved into Ginny’s room.

He had never been in a girl’s room before, but he was pretty sure Ginny’s was not exactly normal. Her walls were painted a vibrant purple and posters were plastered on every available space.

“Ginny,” he whispered in the general direction of the bed. The lump beneath the covers barely stirred. “Ginny,” Harry said again, louder this time.

A hand flew out from beneath the covers, making Harry jump. The hand groped around on the side table before hitting a button on a tiny, old fashioned alarm clock.

“Ginny,” Harry walked toward the bed cautiously, in case of any more sudden movements. The tiny redhead only burrowed further beneath the covers. “Ginny, you have to wake up.”

“I don’t wanna get up,” Ginny mumbled. “Five more minutes, Mum.”

Harry held back a grin. She really was quite adorable, he thought to himself.

“No, Ginny,” Harry reached forward and took the pillow. “Not five more minutes.”

She sat up, her eyes still squeezed shut. She reached blindly around for her pillow. “Mum!” she whined. “Five more minutes!”

“And I am not your mother,” Harry said, unable to stop himself from laughing. “It’s me, Harry.”

This statement caused Ginny wake up as quickly as if Harry had just poured a bucketful of water over her. Her eyes snapped open instantly.

“Harry?” she repeated in a mortified whisper, her big brown eyes seeking his. Harry shrugged.

“Sorry, Gin,” he said, handing back her pillow. “Your mum wants you to get up or we’re gonna miss the train.”

“The train,” Ginny repeated. She appeared to be in something of a trance.

“Yeah.” Harry coughed, suddenly uncomfortably aware that he was alone with a girl. In her bedroom. Alone. “So you’d, um, better get dressed. Um,” he stopped, trying to think of something light to say, to break the tension. “At least, you will if you want to be alive tomorrow. Um. Bye then.”

He hurried out of the room just as Ginny began to clamber out of bed, thereby saving himself from Ginny noticing his scarlet cheeks and the embarrassment of having to admit that he was blushing so profusely because of Ginny’s long, slim and very bare legs that her tiny pyjama bottoms had shown off to great advantage.

Ron would have killed him for such thoughts about his baby sister.

Harry was just leaning against the door, trying to turn his burning cheeks back to their original colour, when Fred (or possibly George) appeared in front of him.

“Alright there?” he asked, looking from Harry to Ginny’s closed door and back again. “What are you doing lurking around my little sister’s door then?”

“I wasn’t lurking!” Harry shouted quickly. Fred (or George) raised his eyebrows. “Your mum asked me to wake her up.”

“Mum let a boy go into her precious Ginevra’s room without armed security?” Fred (or George) whistled, obviously impressed. “Blimey. She must be more rushed than we thought.”

“She is,” Ginny said. Harry wheeled around to look at her sliding out of her bedroom and hunting around for something on the cluttered landing. She blushed and refused to meet his gaze, but to her credit she did not run away. “And she’s been looking everywhere for you, George.”

“I’m not George,” the twin said as Ginny pushed her foot into one trainer.

“Liar,” she said, not even glancing at her brother as she dropped to her hands and knees to search for the other shoe. George looked put out.

“Don’t even think about going in there,” he said as Ginny glanced into the bathroom.

Harry watched with interest as Ginny finally found her other shoe and raced into the bathroom with a gleeful, “Too late!”

Harry and George could hear her racing about, a tap running, cupboards slamming and a painful sounding bang.

“Stay an only child, Harry,” George advised darkly. “It’s the best way.”


Harry was surprised to find that once the family was actually on the road, the journey had gone pretty smoothly. There was little traffic on the roads, although Harry highly suspected that Mr Weasley’s car may have played some part in the quick journey. Harry and Ron went through the barrier together, and they were promptly greeted by a shrieking Hermione.

“You’re late!” she said, throwing her arms around Harry and hugging him tightly. “I’ve been so worried; I was convinced you were going to miss the train!”

“Us?” Ron said, looking amused as Hermione released Harry and pulled him into a rib-breaking hug. “Miss the train? What do you take us for, Hermione? Amateurs?”

“You really will miss the train if you don’t get on sharpish,” Mr Weasley interrupted. Ron and Hermione instantly sprang apart, cheeks burning. “Your trunks are already on board,” Mr Weasley continued, looking as though he was holding back a smile. “Now get on. Look after Ginny and try to behave.”

And with that, the trio had been pushed aboard the Hogwarts Express.

“Come on then,” Hermione said as she hauled Ron, who had stumbled and fallen in his surprise about getting on the train so promptly, to his feet. “Let’s find a compartment.”

Ron turned to Ginny, who looked very small and lost, glancing anxiously around.

“Buzz off, Ginny,” he said rudely. Harry scowled at him. Ginny was only a first year, they should have been showing her kindness, not having a go.

“Ronald!” Hermione scolded. “Ginny is more than welcome to sit with us if she wants to. Isn’t she, Harry?”

Three sets of eyes turned on Harry, who gulped. Hermione’s wide hazel eyes were reprimanding; she wanted him to be polite. Ron’s blue gaze was accusing; it was clear he thought Harry should be on his side.

But it was Ginny’s eyes that got him. Her warm brown eyes were filled with something that looked a lot like…hope.

“Sure,” he shrugged. “If she wants to.”

An hour or so later, Ron’s indignation appeared to have disappeared. The four kids had found an empty compartment and had settled in nicely. Ron was keeping them all amused with boisterous tales of their annual family holiday to visit their Aunt Muriel. Ginny occasionally chipped, her eyes sparkling with laughter.

“I’m starving,” Harry announced, stretching his legs onto two seats.

“Mmm, me too!” Ginny agreed. Hermione looked between the pair, her eyes twinkling with a mischievousness that was beyond out of character for the bushy haired witch.

“Well, why don’t you two go and see where the trolley is?” she suggested slyly.

Too late, Harry realized what she was trying to do.

“Oh I’m sure Ginny doesn’t want to lumbered with me,” he said quickly. “You up for it, Ron?”

“Huh?” Ron barely glanced away from the Quidditch magazine he had become engrossed in. “Nah, you and Ginny go, mate.”

Harry glanced helplessly at Hermione, but his friend only smiled evilly at him. He was going to kill her.

“Well,” Harry stood up awkwardly. “You coming, Ginny?”

The younger witch stood and followed Harry out of the compartment, refusing to meet his gaze.

The pair walked down the corridor in an awkward silence. Harry desperately racked his brains for something to say, but everything sounded stupid or childish.

“Everything okay then?” he asked eventually. Ginny only looked at him. “Right. Stupid question. Um.”

And silence blanketed them again.

A door slid open and Harry very nearly groaned aloud when he realized it was Draco Malfoy stepping out, Crabbe and Goyle close behind.

“Oh, look,” the blonde boy sneered, his upper lip curling in a gesture that was not unlike one of Snape’s. “It’s Potty and his weasel girlfriend. Can’t keep away, eh Potter? Not that I blame you.” Malfoy’s gaze slid over Ginny, a smirk resting on his lips. “She’s not bad for a first year.”

Harry stepped in front of Ginny so his body was shielding hers from Malfoy’s view.

“Get lost, Malfoy,” he snapped, reaching behind himself and grabbing Ginny’s arm. He pulled her through the next door, slamming it shut behind them.

“Merlin!” Harry exclaimed, letting Ginny go. “He is the most insufferable, big headed prat I’ve ever met!”

“Um, Harry?” Ginny said timidly. He wheeled around to look at her.

“What?” he asked. His tone must have been more hostile than usual, because Ginny took a step backward.

“Um,” she said. “You brought us into the baggage cart.”

“What?” Harry asked again. “Oh.” He had only just realized that the cart was pitch black, and that there seemed to be a lot of trunks lying around. “Sorry.”

Ginny sighed and he heard her walk over and attempt to open the door. She pulled twice, pushed twice then sighed again.

“It’s locked,” she said. Harry made his way carefully over to her. He pulled and pushed at the door several times before giving up.

“Well,” he said eventually. “I guess we’re locked in until someone realises we’ve gone.” He glanced around, squinting in the darkness, searching for the redhead. “Ginny?”

“Over here,” her voice floated up at him. She was sitting on someone’s luggage. Harry copied her, making himself comfortable as an awkward silence fell over them once more.

“I know!” Ginny said. It could have been seconds or minutes or even hours later; Harry was quickly losing track of time. “We’ll play a game.”

“A game?” Harry repeated, raising his eyebrows.

“Yes,” Ginny answered defensively. “A game to break the ice.”

“Break the ice?”

“What are you, a parrot?” Ginny snapped. Harry laughed. “Are you playing or not?”

“Depends on the game,” he replied. He could just imagine Ginny rolling her eyes, and the idea just made his grin widen.

“Okay,” Ginny was silent for a moment, considering. “You have to tell me what your first impression of me was.”

“My first impression?” Harry ran a hand through his already messy hair.

“Yeah,” Ginny said. Harry could hear her shifting around, trying to make herself comfortable. “The whole truth and the first thing that comes into your head. Don’t think about it. And then I’ll tell you.”

Harry scratched his head. It was an odd game, but there was nothing better to do.

“Cute,” he shrugged. Then he realised what he and just said and blushed. “I mean, um, you know.”

Ginny didn’t answer.

‘Way to go, Potter,” he scolded, giving himself a mental slap on the forehead. ‘Creep her out, why don’t you?’

“Cute?” Ginny repeated faintly. “Um. Okay. I should’ve seen that one coming, I guess. You have just spent the summer with Fred and George, after all.”

Truthfully, Harry had just told her the first thing that had come into his head, but it was far easier to let her believe he had been joking.

“Yeah,” he agreed, forcing a laugh. “Sorry. My turn.” He was eager to get over the awkwardness that had just risen. “Go on then, what were your first impressions of me.”

“Scrawny,” Ginny replied instantly.

“What?!” Garry exclaimed, his eyes seeking out her figure. Ginny giggled.

“I’m joking,” she said. “Keep your hair on. Two can play at the game, you know.”

“Oh,” Harry settled back down again. “Well, that’s not fair.”

“Neither was yours,” Ginny reminded him. “My turn.”

“I thought we’d just finished?” Harry said.

“It’s my game,” Ginny replied. “We can carry on if I say so.”

“Rule breaker,” Harry muttered under his breath.

Ginny giggled again. “You should see me at dares.”

Harry laughed. “I dread to think,” he teased.

Ginny ignored him. “My turn,” she said again. “Um…tell me a secret.”

“A secret?” Harry’s eyes were beginning to adjust to the dark, but he still couldn’t make out her form.

“Something no one else knows,” Ginny said.

“I know what a secret is,” Harry scowled. “I’m just trying to think of something.”

“I’ll give you a question,” Ginny compromised. “Um, what’s the grossest thing that ever happened to you?”

“Do I have to?” Harry asked, pulling a face.

“Yes,” Ginny snapped. “Don’t be such a baby. You’re as bad as Ron.”

“I resent that.”

Ginny giggled. “Are you passing?”

“What?” Harry sat up. He didn’t exactly know what passing in this game meant, but he was damned if he was going to lose. “No!”

“It’s not pretty,” Harry warned her. Ginny threw something at him, which narrowly missed his head. “Alright, calm down. Okay, so I was eight years old and it was Dudley’s birthday. He had his friends over for a sleepover and my aunt Petunia had made enough food to feed a third world country. Uncle Vernon was away on business, so my aunt kept me downstairs so she could keep an eye on me.”

“This is the gross part?” Ginny asked impatiently.

“I’m getting there,” Harry answered. Ginny let out an annoyed huff of breath. “Anyway, Dudley ate about three quarters of the food on his own. I was just dozing off. Dudley must have eaten too much, even for him, because the next thing I know I’m being woken up by vomit all over my face.”

“That’s disgusting!” Ginny exclaimed.

Harry shrugged. “You asked,” he pointed out. “And it’s my turn.”

“Go on then.”

Harry racked his brains for a good question. “What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done that you’ve never told anyone about?”

Ginny was silent for a few minutes. “Okay,” she said eventually. “Once, when I was really little, I had an argument with Ron. He was in a mood with me because Fred wasn’t talking to him because he thought Ron had broke his toy broomstick, when it had actually kind of my fault.”

“This is the bad part?” Harry interrupted teasingly. Ginny threw another mystery object, and this time it only missed because Harry ducked just in time.

“Anyway,” Ginny carried on as if nothing had happened. “Ron told me that I was a silly little girl that didn’t know anything and I got so angry that I — well, I turned his teddy bear into a spider.”

Harry burst out laughing.

“It’s not funny!” Ginny protested. “Ron’s been terrified of spiders ever since. And the worst part is that Ron thought Fred had done it in revenge and ran off to tell Mum. Fred got grounded for a week — stop laughing so loud! It’s not funny!”

“Sorry,” Harry gasped, wiping away his tears. “But a spider.”

“You,” Ginny said, sounding put out, “are completely useless. And you’ve got to swear that you won’t tell anyone. Ron would kill me, and then Fred would, then my mum. So you can’t say anything. Promise you won’t.”

“I promise,” Harry said, straightening up.

“Not even to Hermione,” Ginny added.

“I just said, didn’t I?” Harry pulled a face. “What do you want me to do, dress in drag, do the hula and take the boy scout’s promise?”

“Now that I would enjoy,” Ginny snorted. “But okay. I trust you.”

“Same goes for you,” Harry said. “No blabbing my story to your new first year friends. I don’t want to be nicknamed vomit boy.”

“Vomit boy?” Ginny repeated incredulously.

“Or Pukey-Potter,” Harry carried on. Ginny laughed.

“Where did you get Pukey-Potter?” she asked between giggles.

“You don’t even want to know,” Harry sighed gravely, only causing Ginny to laugh harder. The pair were just coming up with more nasty nicknames (‘The sickster’ and ‘Super Spew’ being in among the mix) when the door swung open and two silhouettes appeared in the door.

“There you are,” Hermione said, her tone reprimanding. “We’ve been worried sick.”

Harry sprang to his feet and, in the sudden light, saw Ginny do the same.

“Malfoy locked us in,” Harry shrugged.

“And you didn’t think to try Alohomora?” Hermione asked. Harry blushed.

“Alohomora,” he said, shaking his head. “Of course.”

“I despair of you, Harry,” Hermione said. “Ginny has an excuse, she’s only a first year but you should know better.”

“Sorry,” Harry shrugged, walking past his bushy haired friend. “Coming, Ron?”

Ron had been staring at Ginny and Harry, mouth wide open but now he started.

“Yeah,” he said as if just coming out of a daze. “Right.”

He fell into step with Harry, leaving Hermione to help Ginny out of the cart.

“Blimey,” Ron said as they reached their compartment. There was a pile of sweets on one seat; evidently, the trolley had come while Harry and Ginny had been trapped. Harry took a chocolate frog, unwrapped it and stuffed it into his mouth whole. “I feel sorry for you mate. Half an hour trapped with only Ginny for company.

“Yeah,” Harry laughed.

But truthfully, he wasn’t thinking that. He was only think of Ginny and what a great time he’d had with her.

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