|SIYE Time:13:15 on 30th July 2021|
A Sovereign Summer
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Characters:Harry/Ginny, Hermione Granger, Other, Ron Weasley
Genres: General, Romance
Summary: Before Harry could treat Ginny like a queen, he had to change.
Hitcount: Story Total: 10157; Chapter Total: 777
Awards: View Trophy Room
Harry was startled awake that evening by the muted 'pop' of Scruffy, bringing a newly-filled picnic basket. With a shock, he realized that he had slept most of the day away. Upon reflection, he decided that it wasn't very surprising--after all, he and Sirius had spent the whole night talking, and his body had needed the rest.
"Hello, Master Harry Potter, sir. How is you doing this evening?" Scruffy said, as he quickly set out the contents of the new picnic basket and packed up the remnants of the old one.
"I'm just fine, Scruffy, thank you. What did you bring for me this evening?"
"Oh, Master Tom is making a wonderful beef stew this evening for Master Harry Potter, sir. And the pudding tonight is a surprise, but Master Tom is very sure Master Harry Potter, sir, will enjoy it. Is there being anything else Master Harry Potter, sir, needs from Scruffy this evening?" The restaurant elf had not paused in his work while talking to Harry, and, since the food situation had already been taken care of, he had been working on tidying up Harry's room.
"No, Scruffy, I'm fine. Um, thank you for cleaning my room, what do I owe you for that?"
"Oh no, Master Harry Potter, sir, Scruffy is being happy to clean your room for you. Master Tom is very pleased to provide food for Master Harry Potter, sir, and Scruffy is very happy to help out in any way he can too. You is owing nothing for cleaning. Master Tom said it was on the house, although Scruffy is not sure what that means."
"Oh, well, thank you then, Scruffy. You've done a wonderful job, as always."
"Scruffy is happy to have helped, Master Harry Potter, sir. Please be enjoying your meal now." And with that Scruffy popped back to, Harry supposed, the Leaky Cauldron.
Harry made to sit down and eat, but decided that it would be better to visit the loo first. He went to gather up some clean clothes so he could take a shower, but that sparked the memory of the first item on his list, sending off for new clothes from Madame Malkin's.
Looking at the time, he decided that he should probably get his shower over with quickly, before Uncle Vernon finished eating the horse-and-a-half that he managed to consume every evening. Harry chuckled to himself at the mental image brought up by that, and went off to the loo.
Feeling much refreshed from his shower, he sat down and quilled a note to Madame Malkin. Hedwig flew down while he was doing this and watched him finish writing. Note attached, she gave Harry a soft 'Hoot' and flew out the window.
The meal turned out to be every bit as good as Scruffy had promised. Harry surprised himself by eating every bite. And then cleaning up the pudding too. Huh, he thought. Looks like being able to eat regularly is becoming a habit. He quickly cleaned up his dishes and stowed everything back in the basket.
Having done everything he could think of, Harry found himself on tenterhooks. He wasn't sure what the rules were for his nightly visitations, and this one was supposed to be his father. Were they only able to come after nightfall? He couldn't remember when Cedric had appeared, and Sirius had shown up while he was unconscious. He tried pacing for awhile, but that just frustrated him, due to the small space he had in which to do it. He thought about trying to sleep, but he'd slept all day, and didn't feel tired at all. Were there any letters that he could write? Judging from the lack of letters from his friends, he thought maybe Dumbledore had forbidden them to write him again this summer, which would be something to be discussed with the Headmaster when he had the opportunity. Maybe he'd write to Ginny. . . He still wasn’t used to having her pop up in his thoughts so often, but was starting to think it was a sign.
And that finally made Harry give up trying to ignore his feelings for the red-headed girl. Somehow, over the past year, she had become her own person, separate from Ron, separate from "those fourth-year Gryffindors", even separate from the Quidditch team. She had stepped to the forefront of his consciousness, in full, blazing color, and demanded he pay attention to her. Not in so many words, of course, she was not the type to demand things like that. But it was undeniable, she had taken up residence in his mind, and refused to be dislodged by any pretensions of obliviousness on his part.
So Harry sat down on the bed, leaned up against the wall, and forced himself to consider the enigma that Ginny had unknowingly presented to him. The first thing, he decided, was to really figure out how he felt about her. He closed his eyes and imagined her. This was much easier than he'd expected--she immediately sprang into his mind, full of life, vibrantly there in the forefront of his consciousness. Seeing her, in his mind's eye, he felt warm inside. That has to mean at least friendship, right? he thought. Then, unbidden, came the picture of her holding hands with Michael Corner in the Hog's Head when they were organizing Dumbledore's Army, and the contented feeling lessened, and was replaced by something that felt a lot like jealousy.
She should be holding my hand! Harry started at the voice that had once again popped into his head unexpectedly. Okay, part of me wants to hold Ginny's hand. How would that be? He remembered the library, where she had come and shared a chocolate egg with him. Taking control of the imagined scene, he visualized reaching over and taking her hand, imagined feeling it slip into his, perhaps interlocking fingers. He imagined looking at her when he did this, and seeing that infectious grin spread across her face. Warmth infused Harry's soul as he sighed deeply. Yes, he thought, I really do want to hold her hand. But, sometimes Hermione takes my hand, if she's trying to comfort me. Would this be different? Harry visualized Hermione holding his hand. It seemed kind of weird, but not bad. Not great either. He didn't mind her touching him like that, but it didn’t seem as warm as his thoughts of Ginny’s hand. He had even gotten used to accepting a hug from her every so often. Having grown up in the Dursley family meant that he was rather familiar with touches that were cold and uncaring. Hugging Sirius was something that he had done instinctively--and it had been okay. But it had taken him a long time to accept Hermione’s affection--he hadn’t been sure what she meant by it.
Mrs. Weasley sure hugged a lot, too. Harry had come to accept that Molly hugs were a part of being a friend of the Weasleys, and put up with them too. He knew Molly wouldn't purposefully hurt him, but it was still a little uncomfortable. Taking this knowledge, he applied it to the situation with Ginny. How would he feel if Ginny hugged him? Color instantly rose in his cheeks as he visualized her small figure pressed against his, with her arms tightly around his neck, with her brown eyes--when had he noticed the color of her eyes?--looking up at him, sparkling with the good humor that always seemed to characterize her interactions with anybody. Again a feeling of warmth invaded him, and he almost groaned when he realized that she wasn't really there, holding him.
He really did groan when he realized what this all meant--he fancied Ginny. For more than a friend, more than a Quidditch team-mate, and especially more than Ron's little sister. In fact, it seemed to him that he was more interested in her than he had been in Cho. Sure, Cho was very beautiful, but he had liked her solely because of that beauty. Once he had really gotten to know her, the attraction had faded precipitously, and they had ended up in a disaster of a date, and a cordial, but distant, acquaintanceship. In contrast, the more time that he had spent with Ginny, the more interesting she had become.
Okay, so he fancied Ginny. The next step was trying to figure out what to do about it. He remembered that she had said she was no longer together with Michael Corner, but then, she had mentioned on the Express on the way home that she had chosen Dean Thomas. What had she meant by that? It was patently obvious that they weren't incredibly close--if so, why had she been riding in their compartment instead of with him? Was she just pulling Ron's chain? Trying to get a rise out of him? That idea seemed likely to Harry, and his heart rejoiced at the possibility. But it was equally likely that she and Dean had tentatively decided to write each other. After all, didn't some relationships start out slowly like that? Especially if there was a long summer holiday approaching. Considering the options, Harry decided that he'd hope for the first one, but plan for the second one, just in case.
It was at this point that he realized that his left leg had fallen asleep. Sighing again, he levered himself up, and started staggering about the floor, dreading the agony that was going to come. Sure enough, once he started to get feeling back into the offending limb, the muscles started protesting, screaming that they had been very happy, thank you, to be asleep and didn't appreciate being awoken in such a manner. The pain got to be so bad that he froze in place, trying to keep from moving the leg at all, but then overbalanced, fell to the floor, and let out a pained shriek.
The sound of laughter filled the room. "Harry, my boy, that has got to be the funniest thing I've seen in a long time. I'm so glad I got to see it, thank you!"
There, sitting on his bed, was what looked like an older version of himself, complete down to the cowlick in the back of his hair.
Harry, stunned, lay on the floor staring. Finally gathering his courage, he propped himself up on his elbows and whispered, "Dad?"
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