Harry Potter could hardly believe his luck, and he hadn’t required a bit of his Felix Felicis potion. In one hand, he carried a hefty picnic basket generously filled with sandwiches and other goodies from the Hogwarts kitchens, and in the other was the soft warm hand of Ginny Weasley, his girlfriend of exactly eight days. Ever since that amazing kiss in the Gryffindor common room, they had spent as much of their free time together as possible, getting to know each other and snogging if they had some privacy.
Ginny seemed to pick up his thoughts, smirking sideways at him. He grinned back. No words were needed, they just enjoyed each other’s presence and the anticipation of reveling in spring’s new sunny warmth by the Black Lake.
They carefully stepped over and around some rock outcroppings on the far side of the lake not far from the forbidden forest to a hidden cove where water lapped lazily at the grassy bank. Harry placed the basket in the shade while Ginny spread out a large blanket. Kicking off her shoes, she did a little pirouette to the center of the blanket, stopping to pull her shirt over her head and toss it aside.
Harry stood gaping, admiring the red-haired beauty before him. Her light blue halter top and cut-off shorts only accentuated the newly revealed expanse of creamy skin that seemed to reflect the sun’s glow as she turned to face him.
“You like?” she asked, twirling her arms about, already knowing the answer.
Harry managed to nod, drawn forward as in a trance. She met him at the edge of the blanket and wrapped her arms around his neck for a long, searing kiss, then pushed him back a step.
“Remember our agreement,” she said, “today is shorts only. These have to come off,” indicating his shirt and trainers.
“Right,” he said, coming to his senses. He fumbled with the laces getting his feet free, then hesitated self-consciously with his shirt before pulling it off.
Ginny gave him an appraising look. “You’re filling in quite nicely there, Mr. Potter. Very nice. Now come over here.”
He complied, and they were back in each other’s arms again for an age or three, neither one keeping track, hands roaming through each other’s hair and across bare cool skin, lips and tongues dancing together in a deliciously lingering snog.
They finally decided to sit, and Ginny directed Harry where to lean back against a perfectly placed boulder before sliding in front to lean back on his chest.
Harry suddenly felt awkward; this was a new position for them and he wasn’t sure what to do with his hands. He rubbed her arms for a few minutes to her appreciative sighs, then started to snake his right arm around her waist.
“Harry! That tickles!”
“Sorry,” he said, “I wasn’t sure…”
“It’s not a problem,” she said, grabbing his arm before he could pull it back. “You can touch me anywhere that’s uncovered,” and she demonstrated by holding it across her abdomen, “you were just grazing a sensitive spot, that’s all.”
“Okay. It’s like I told you Ginny, I’m new to all this; I’m always afraid I’m going to mess something up.”
“Oh, Harry, you’re doing fine. Wonderful, in fact. As long as you follow my directions, you’ll be the best boyfriend ever.”
“Good to know,” he said, and they both laughed.
She relaxed and closed her eyes. Harry, however, could only stare at the freckle-strewn shoulders protruding from the fiery tresses that usually drew his eyes. He took his free hand and moved her soft locks to one side to study her more closely. It was a heady experience, her flowery scent enveloping him, his fingers exploring the sun-danced expanse of glorious skin. The dark speckles in particular were fascinating to him; they didn’t feel any different than the rest of her, maybe they would taste different…
“Harry,” Ginny giggled, “what are you doing?”
“Erm, kissing your freckles?”
“Not that I don’t enjoy that, but why are you kissing my freckles? Is there something wrong with them?”
“Oh, no,” he said, “your freckles are perfect. It’s like, I dunno, when an artist wants to make a blank surface look like it has texture, and they put these dots everywhere…”
“You mean like stippling?”
“Yeah, I guess that’s what it’s called. Your skin is like that, but it doesn’t feel any different. But, anyway, it looks really nice on you.”
“Are you saying my skin is a work of art?”
Harry didn’t actually say that, but it sounded lots better than what he did say. “Yeah, that’s what I meant!”
“Why, thank you, Harry, that’s very sweet of you.”
Ginny decided to return the favor, and she lifted his hand from her waist and kissed the back of it. She frowned when she realized it was where that sorry cow of an excuse for a defense professor tortured him with a blood quill. I must not tell lies testifying to the repeated cruel abuse at the hands of people who should be doing the exact opposite of what they had done to this wonderful boy, who was at that moment doing wonderful things at the back of her neck.
She kissed his hand again, then moved to the crook of his arm where another long scar hinted at the abduction and terror at the end of the Triwizard Tournament. She kissed again at the spot just above where a basilisk fang had fatally pierced his arm, at least it would have been fatal without the miraculous tears of Fawkes the phoenix. Ginny and Harry had spent one cathartic evening discussing the Chamber of Secrets and its profound impact on both their lives; she did not want to spend her time by the lake rehashing that trauma again.
Ginny massaged his arm a bit more, relishing the touch, then moved to his bare legs spread out on either side of her. She soon spotted a ragged line near his ankle that she had never noticed before and began massaging it as well.
“Harry, where did you get this scar?”
“That’s where an acromantula tried to snag me in the maze, third task.”
“Have you ever thought about all the magical creatures that you’ve had to deal with?”
“Yeah, I have. I reckon Scamander’s next edition could have a new classification: beasts that have attacked the Boy-Who-Lived, versus those that haven’t yet.”
They both chuckled at the absurd irony of it all.
“You could celebrate your encounters, you know,” Ginny said thoughtfully. “If you wanted to dress up the scar, get a tattoo of an acromantula with it. If you had a tattoo for every beast, you would have quite a stunning collection. For instance,” she paused to turn sideways in his lap and began tracing on his chest, “you could have a troll’s head right here with your wand stuck up his nose.”
“Ha! You would pick that one. It would have worked had I known any decent spells.”
Ginny continued, “A dementor on this side, ready to do the kiss…”
“I suppose I could have the basilisk winding around my arm, and a blast-ended skrewt would be appropriate for my arse.”
“That’s the spirit! Although, the basilisk might look better in the center of your chest, maybe wrapping around the others…”
“I was kinda thinking about putting the dragon there.”
“But Harry, the basilisk is so big, it could be rising from below your waist.”
“Oh, that would be something, everyone would be talking about the big snake in Harry Potter’s pants; nobody would see my stupid scar after that!”
And they laughed and created even more silly schemes until their sides ached.
Harry finally held her close, searching her bright brown eyes, and said lowly, “And what would you want for a tattoo, my love?”
Ginny almost shivered — Harry could be so intense at times — but she responded primly, “A snitch of course, a magical one.”
“And what’s special about a magical tattoo?”
“For one thing, it can be animated. I would make it move around, you know… and you could go looking for it.”
“What’s the matter? If we stay together, don’t you think we’d get to a point where you’d want to spend some time chasing my snitch?”
Harry blinked several times. “Minx.”
And they began laughing again, which eventually turned into a lot more snogging.
o o o
It was just a few days later when they were studying together in the common room, Ron and Hermione seated with Harry on the sofa, Ginny in the floor leaning on Harry’s legs. They were discussing the rumor and gossip currents among Hogwarts students, particularly their interest in Harry and Ginny’s new relationship.
“You’d think people had better things to gossip about,” said Ginny, reading the Daily Prophet. “Three dementor attacks in a week, and all Romilda Vane does is ask me if it’s true you’ve got a hippogriff tattooed across your chest.”
Ron and Hermione found her comment hilarious, but Harry wanted to know more.
“What did you tell her?”
“I told her it’s a Hungarian Horntail,” said Ginny, giving him a saucy wink. “Much more macho.”
“Thanks,” said Harry, grinning.
And he reminded himself how lucky he was to have such a brilliant girlfriend.