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Blushes and Pranks
By drawjones

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Category: Pre-OotP, First Week Challenge (2008-2)
Genres: General, Humor
Warnings: Mild Language
Story is Complete
Rating: PG
Reviews: 30
Summary: Have you ever wondered what might happen if Harry made it on to the Hogwarts Express for his second year? Would it force Ginny and he to address her crush on him in a more straightforward manner than Canon? Set back and watch what happens as during the first week back, as no matter how desperately Ginny may want to avoid Harry, she can't. Harry, Ginny, and Gryffindor Tower may never be the same.
Hitcount: Story Total: 18153; Chapter Total: 5042

Author's Notes:
Here's Chapter 2. Hope you enjoy. Again, many thanks to Ginny Guerra. Without her, this would hardly be readable. Read and review. My only payment is your comments - well, my only pay for this is your comments, I do have a job after all. Please note: This chapter has been edited from the form in which it was originally submitted and accepted, after Kezzabear pointed out some post-beta issues that I failed to adequately address and correct. One time line issue was corrected as well. Many thanks to Kezzabear for her sharp eyes and polite review informing me of my mistakes.


Harry, Ron and Hermione sat together, working silently on their homework later that afternoon. As Harry and Ginny had expected, Ron and Hermione had run into one another when trying to get their schedules from Professor McGonagall. Needless to say, the air of hostility between the two had not slipped the stern professor’s attention, but she did not say anything until their Transfiguration class.

The entire ordeal came to a head when Ron and Hermione had been forced to sit by one another in Transfiguration because they were the last two to arrive to class because of having to go see McGonagall. When they had been forced to start working together, Ron got snappy, Hermione fumed, and Professor McGonagall forced the two Gryffindors to resolve their dispute. Of course, to Hermione’s mortification, that had also included a detention for both of them the following evening. At lunch in the Great Hall, Ron had finally apologized, and the trio was restored, albeit on a more precarious edge for the foreseeable future.

Now, all three sat focused on the work before them. Granted, it was only the first day, but still, thanks to Ron and Hermione putting McGonagall in a bad mood, they had wound up with Transfiguration homework to make up for the lost time. For Ron, the homework had been more horrible than the detention. Suddenly, the constant scratching of Hermione’s quill came to an abrupt halt. She looked thoughtful for a moment, before turning to her book and thumbing through it.

A moment later, she looked up and announced, “I’m going to the library.”

Both Harry and Ron looked at each other, before Harry decided to ask the question that was on both of their minds, “Why?”

“Simple,” she responded, “I need to look over the books on Transfiguration so I can make this the best it can be. After what we did today, I don’t want to make things worse but turning in an incomplete assignment.”

With that, Hermione began to pack her things and put them away. As she finished and rose to her feet, she looked at Harry and then Ron.

“Well?” she asked with a hint of annoyance in her voice.

“Hermione,” Ron replied, a soft whine evident in his voice, “It’s the first day. My Transfiguration book has everything I need to write, and I really don’t feel like getting yelled for being loud in the library.”

“Harry?” she questioned as she cast a withering glare over to Ron. “What about you?”

Having the good sense to at least look sheepish, Harry looked up to Hermione. When he did not immediately respond, she knew his answer. “Well, should either of you change your mind, you can find me there,” she said, turning and quickly making her way out the portrait hole.

Just as Hermione disappeared from view, Harry saw Ginny quickly reappear. Harry watched as she began to cross the room and look for a free place to sit. Seeing as how it was after classes but not yet time for dinner, everyone was either doing homework or talking and there were no seats to be found. As she noticed the relative lack of space, Harry saw Ginny look towards him and Ron. Knowing there was plenty of space at Ron and his table; he gave her a slight nod and looked towards the open seats.

Ginny nodded her head. Harry let out a sigh of relief as he noticed only a slight pinkish tinge to Ginny’s cheeks, and not the flaming red that would usually be there. As she neared the table, Harry watched as Ron suddenly developed a very keen sense of who was approaching. Turning his head around and seeing his sister drawing near, he quickly turned back around and began to sink into his chair, trying to hide his face.

“Quick, Harry…” he began in a loud whisper, “… here comes Ginny, get down so she doesn’t see you.”

Harry looked at his friend oddly for a moment, as Ginny stopped at the table.

“Hey, Harry,” Ginny said softly as she looked over to her brother. “Ron,” she added as she nodded.

Harry noticed Ron immediately bristle at Ginny addressing him. Ron cast a wary eye around the room to see if anyone was watching. “Ginny,” he whispered softly but menacingly, “don’t you have someone else you can annoy?”

“I’m not annoying you, Ron,” Ginny said as Harry noticed her tone suddenly losing some of its brightness. “I needed someplace to sit, and Harry was nice enough to point out the open chairs you have here.”

Ron’s eyes popped open in surprise, and his mouth fell open. By now Ginny was standing with her arms crossed in front of her chest, glaring at her brother.

“Harry!” Ron shouted, oblivious to the obvious anger of his sister in front of him. “What’d ya do that for?”

Turning his attention to Ginny, Ron’s discomfort seemed to become magnified. “Ginny, why don’t you go hang out with some of the other first years? Leave me and Harry alone. We’re second years. You shouldn’t be seen with us. Now get out of here and leave me alone.”

Harry immediately noticed the furor in Ginny’s eyes. The anger was tempered, though, as Harry also noticed a soft glisten begin to fill them as well. He watched Ginny let out a sigh of frustration, in part to calm her anger, but also to keep her emotions in check so that she would not start crying. After another deep breath, Harry watched Ginny’s eyes once more flare with anger as her jaw clinched.

With a rather loud thump, she sat herself down into the chair that had been vacated by Hermione. “I can sit whereever I want,” she announced in a rather vicious voice.

Ron’s eyes immediately darted up to his sister as he apparently noticed for the first time her anger. Their eyes locked for a moment before Ron began to shift uncomfortably in his seat. Finally, he looked away first. Glancing about the room, he turned to Harry.

“Mate,” he began while obviously avoiding looking at his still glaring sister. “I’ve got loads of work I need to do, and these books just aren’t enough. I think Hermione was right.” As he continued speaking, he began to pack up his books. “I’ll be in the library if you need me.”

As Harry raised a confused eyebrow as if asking whether Ron had lost his mind, he leaned down and whispered hoarsely into his ear, “What, do you think I’m crazy? I just don’t want to be seen with Ginny. At least Hermione’s in our year.”

Without another word, he finished packing and made a hasty exit out the portrait hole. As it finished closing, Harry distinctly thought he heard Ginny mumble something like, “Git,” under her breath. For a moment, he just stared at Ginny, not knowing what to say.

Finally, she broke the silence as she let out a long sigh, “I suppose you’d rather not be seen with me either.” Immediately, Harry noted the hurt in her voice as she looked away and began to stand.

Without thinking, Harry reached out and grabbed her by the wrist. “No,” he said quickly, as Ginny looked up with surprise in her eyes. Realizing what he had done, Harry quickly let her hand go as a blush crept across both Ginny’s and his faces at the same time. “You can stay if you want,” he mumbled softly.

“If I don’t at least have someone to study with, I’ll never get this done,” he added as he pointed at the nearly empty parchment lying before him.

Ginny smiled and nodded her head as she sat down and began to pull her books from her bag.

In silence, they sat for a while, working on their respective assignments. As they worked, Harry noticed that there were still times when Ginny’s stares would nearly burn a hole through him, but he was thankful that, at least, they seemed to be fewer and farther between. Sometimes, Harry could not help himself getting caught up in staring at the young witch before him.

To say that girls were a mystery to Harry would have been an understatement. His cousin Dudley had made certain that he never spent more than a few brief moments with any girl before she was quickly threatened away from him. Once he got into the wizarding world, even though there was no one like Dudley around, his fame made most girls simply giddy and giggly around him simply because he was The-Boy-Who-Lived. Hermione had been the only girl that he had really ever spent any time with, and he had to admit that she was a nice enough friend.

Now, as he looked at Ginny, Harry had to admit that she seemed nice enough as well. Beyond that though, she was obviously trying hard to work on her crush on him, and he felt that as long as she was willing to try, then he would do his best to remain calm when it still got the better of her.

They continued to work in silence until Harry felt as though his eyes were going to cross. It would soon be time to go to the Great Hall for dinner, and while he had had the peace and quiet he thought he would need to finish his essay, it had somehow only found a way to grow three inches longer than when Ginny had first sat down.

Finally, giving it up as a lost cause, at least until after dinner, Harry began to consider what had happened between Ginny and Ron earlier. He had never had a sister, or a brother for that matter, but it was hard for him to imagine not wanting to be seen with them. Granted, he loathed to be seen with any of the Dursleys as much as they with him, but that was in part because they were his family only in title.

Ron and Ginny came from a loving family, and from what Harry had seen, Ron got along with all of his brothers quite well — even if he did find himself the victim of the twins’ pranks more often than anyone else. As he considered his time at the Burrow though, Harry began to realize Ron had been rather cool with Ginny there as well. Curiosity getting the better of him, Harry cleared his throat softly, causing Ginny to pull her attention away from the book she was currently reading.

“Ginny,” he began, “about what happened earlier… I was wondering…” Harry’s voice trailed off as he stopped his question, waiting for to gauge the fiery redhead’s receptiveness to his potential query. Upon realizing that she was waiting for him to continue, and had not already refused to talk about it, he continued. “I was wondering if Ron’s always been like that with you.”

Ginny looked at Harry for a moment before letting out a sigh and shifting her gaze down to the table. “No,” she said softly, although a hint of irritation was evident in her voice. “He’s only been like that since he came to Hogwarts.”

Looking once more to Harry, she pressed on, “Before he came here, we were the only ones at home and played together all the time. My other brothers were at school or gone from home, Dad was at work and Mum was busy with the house, so we spent a lot of time playing games and such. When he came back after starting school though, he said he was too old to spend time playing with his little sister.” With each word, Harry could hear the disgust and hurt in her voice.

Harry furrowed his brow in confusion. Shaking his head he said, “Well, if I had a sister, I wouldn’t say something like that. I’m sure I would be a lot different to her than Ron is to you. We might grow up, but I think she’d always be fun to spend time with and hang out with.”

Ginny smiled at him, and soon Harry found himself smiling in return. After the moment had passed, Ginny shook her head and added, “Well, Ron’s a git.”

Harry chuckled softly. The way Ginny had said it left no room for argument. “Maybe so,” Harry responded, “But what can ya do?”

As soon as he had said that, a very strange look filled Ginny’s eyes. Her mouth broke out into a smirk and her eyes began to dance a little with what Harry quickly realized was mischief.

“Oh, there’s a lot I could do,” Ginny said in almost a whisper. “And he’d deserve every bit of it.”

Harry could not help but look at the small red headed witch before him in surprise. He had heard from Ron and the twins about Ginny’s mischievous nature, but he had never seen it firsthand. Quickly realizing that she was a person he did not want to cross, Harry only tilted his head to the side and arched an eyebrow. He did not want to either agree or disagree with her on that point for the moment.

Ginny just laughed softly when she realized Harry was not going to comment further. She quietly marked her page and put away her books.

“It’s almost time for dinner,” she began as Harry’s stomach let out a loud growl. “Maybe we should head down to the Great Hall.”

Harry quickly agreed, as he packed his things away. He would finish his homework when they got back. After all, hopefully by then, Hermione would be back and he could ask her for help.

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The following evening, Harry mumbled under his breath as he slowly made his way down into the dungeons towards the potions classroom. He had just finished dinner in the Great Hall with his friends, but now he was making his way, alone, towards his first of what was certain to be numerous detentions with Professor Snape.

The detention itself was not what annoyed Harry. It was the fact that it was only him serving the detention what truly bothered him. For once, Snape had justification for assigning a detention, but unfortunately for Harry, it was Ron’s mistake that he was paying for. Needless to say, before potions had started that morning, Ron and Hermione had once again found something to argue about. Ron’s thick headed pride had caused him to yet again deny the fact that Hermione was right, and in trying to be smug and prove her wrong, he had put twice as many Puffer Fish Eyes in the potion as the directions called for.

Of course, Ron had been too busy looking smugly at Hermione to notice the cauldron bubbling over and the potion causing the flames to roar out of control. For once, Harry had been grateful for Professor Snape, because his quick action had been all that kept the whole table from going up in flames. Once the fire was dealt with though, Snape had given Harry a detention for nearly destroying the classroom, although Harry was certain Snape had seen Ron cause the whole mess.

As Harry approached and rounded the final turn that lead to the potions classroom, he pushed his frustration with Ron to the back of his mind. He expected Snape to spend every moment of his time with Harry to goad him and try to make him say something that would warrant another detention. Harry could not afford to start the detention already upset about something that would almost guarantee him to lose his temper.

Walking up to the potions classroom, Harry found the door already open. Stepping into the room, Harry heard Snape’s voice already giving orders to another student. Quickly turning to see who the other victim of Snape’s unfairness was Harry found himself staring in shock at the back of none other than Ginny.

For a moment, Harry stood silently; listening to Snape’s cold, drawling voice as he explained in extreme detail what he would be expecting of her. Finally, Snape looked up to Harry.

“Well, well, well…” the greasy haired professor began, “If it isn’t fortunate of us that Potter has decided to grace us with his presence.”

Immediately, Harry felt his anger begin to rise, but he quickly pushed it down, knowing that was exactly what Snape was trying to do.

“Do tell me, Potter,” he continued, “Are you so important that you can stand at the back of the classroom and wait until is suits you to present yourself for your detention? I think someone needs to put you in your place and put your ego in check. Now, that I would enjoy.”

At Snape’s words, Harry’s jaw tightened as he fought to hold his tongue. Realizing that to answer would be merely inviting another remark from Snape, Harry remained silent and stepped forward, stopping as he came to stand beside Ginny. Harry’s eyes remained locked on Snape, and he paid no attention to the girl standing beside him.

Harry never looked away from Snape as the man began to inform Harry of just what his punishment was going to be for the evening. Once Snape had finished, Harry merely nodded his head in understanding before the man swept from the room, his cloak billowing behind him, leaving the two young Gryffindors with their assigned task of cleaning the potions classroom.

Harry cast a quick glance over to Ginny as she walked to a far corner of the room. She had not looked at him since he entered the room and Snape began talking. Curiosity began to replace his frustration as he wondered just what she had done to earn a detention. Shaking his head, Harry quickly walked over to the table and took the bucket of water in one hand and growled in frustration as he looked down at the brushes Snape had left for them to use.

Quickly snatching up the least frazzled looking toothbrush of the set, Harry turned and began to walk towards where Ginny was working. Making certain to move a few feet to her left, he plopped the bucket down, letting the water slosh over the edge. Ginny, who must have been daydreaming as she cleaned, startled, and looked up at Harry.

Seeing that he had scared her, Harry cast a lopsided grin and mouthed, “Sorry.” He then held up his weapon of choice in the battle against grime and rolled his eyes as he dropped down to his knees beside her. Ginny giggled softly as she held up the toothbrush she had chosen. Both laughed softly, before silence feel between them and they set about the scrubbing the floors.

For nearly an hour, the Potions classroom was silent except for the monotonous drone of the brushes against the stone floor. As the strain on his back finally became too much to continue, Harry rose and wiped the sweat from his brow with the back of his hand. Looking down at the area he had been cleaning, Harry quickly realized that at the rate he and Ginny were going, they would have the floor finished around Christmas.

Tossing the brush aside, Harry sat down and looked over to Ginny. He chuckled softly as he saw her tongue sticking out the side of her mouth as she continued scrubbing away. Finally, he saw her huff in frustration, blowing at a stray lock of hair that kept falling into her face. As she realized that Harry was busy watching her and not working anymore, a slight blush crept up her face as she too sat back and tossed the brush aside.

“So what are ya in for?” Harry asked Ginny stretched her arms above her head.

Again Ginny blushed furiously red before mumbling something under her breath that Harry did not quite catch.

“I didn’t quite get that, Ginny,” Harry said as Ginny continued to be noncommittal in her answer.

“Snape’s a git,” she finally said loud enough for him to understand.

Realizing he was not going to get anything more from her, Harry only nodded his head in agreement.

“Yeah, he is,” he began, “He’s been after me since I got here. He’s not much better to Ron or any other Gryffindor either.”

Ginny just nodded in agreement, before asking, “So how’d you wind up in here?”

Harry thought for a moment before answering, “Snape’s a git, and Ron’s a git.”

Ginny laughed softly, she did not press any further, but she was almost certain Ron and his bickering with Hermione was the likely reason Harry was there, “I see I’m slowly winning you to my side. So, wanna help me give Ron some payback?”

Immediately after that, Ginny gasped in surprise, holding her hand over her mouth and yet again blushing — shocked that she had just asked Harry Potter to help her prank her brother, who happened to be his best mate. Harry, for his part, could not help noticing just how cute Ginny was when she was surprised. As he stared at her, Harry began to realize that Ron had been rather annoying since school started, and in that moment, he decided that maybe it was time to humble his best mate a bit.

“Sure thing,” Harry answered with a lopsided grin, which only caused Ginny to look at him as though he had sprouted a second head.

“What?” he asked in mock surprise. “Ron, Hermione and I do things we’re technically not supposed to do all the time. So, what’s wrong with having a little fun for once? At least this time, I hopefully won’t wind up in the hospital wing.”

Ginny opened her mouth to respond, but was cut short as Snape swept back into the room.

“Enough,” the man bellowed. “You were assigned detention to clean the floors, not converse about who knows what. Now be quiet and get back to work or it will be another detention.”

Both students quickly nodded their understanding and grabbed their toothbrushes. Saying nothing else, they resumed their scrubbing as Snape once more left the room. With his brush still scrubbing furiously, Harry looked over to Ginny and for a moment, their eyes met. Both laughed softly as Harry mouthed, “Later,” to her and turned back to the floor before him.
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