SIYE Time:18:51 on 29th November 2021

Can't Be
By fresh_pickled_toad

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Category: Post-HBP
Genres: Angst, Fluff, General, Romance
Warnings: None
Story is Complete
Rating: G
Reviews: 3
Summary: Harry and Ginny ponder over their feelings for each other after Harry and Ron walk in on Harry and Ginny kissing. A HBP missing moment.
Hitcount: Story Total: 455

Disclaimer: Harry Potter Publishing Rights ? J.K.R. Note the opinions in this story are my own and in no way represent the owners of this site. This story subject to copyright law under transformative use. No compensation is made for this work.

Author's Notes:
This story is part of the Between the Lines series and is set in Chapter 14 of Half-Blood Prince.
I'd always disliked the fact that all Harry worries about after discovering his feelings for Ginny is what Ron will think. I mean, Harry is thick, but so thick that he doesn't realize the meaning of Ron's not-so-subtle glance at Harry as he tells Ginny to choose a better boyfriend? Harry just takes it for granted throughout the book that Ginny will return his feelings, and not for one moment considers that she has given up on him and has very likely gotten over him.
There's a little flashback towards the end. It's not in italics, but I've put a line break there.


Ginny restlessly turned over in her four-poster bed, replaying the events of the afternoon in her head.

Quidditch practice. The tapestry. Dean. Ron. Harry.

The expression on Harry's face haunted her. She couldn't quite name it. It was a mixture of shock, anger, betrayal and something else she couldn't quite place.


When she'd first seen the look on his face over Ron's shoulder, she'd felt inexplicable guilty. But there was no reason whatsoever for her to feel guilty. It was her life. Her choice. She could bloody well snog Dean (it was a deserted corridor for Merlin's sake!) if she wanted to. It wasn't as though she still fancied Harry.

She no longer blushed uncontrollably or knocked things over in his presence. She had given up on him. Was over him, actually. What right did Harry have to have that stupid expression on his face? He'd glowered at Dean. Like an overprotective older brother, Ginny supposed. She had enough of them.

But the look on his face was different than Ron's, said a little voice at the back of her head that she she had tried to ignore for years. He almost looked... jealous.

Jealous? Why the hell would Harry be jealous? He didn't like her that way. Why would he be jealous when had never noticed her all these years?

She was being stupid, thought Ginny. Reading too much into everything. Harry was just showing solidarity to his best mate.

She'd said some really terrible things to Ron without really thinking about it. She'd lost it after Ron almost called her a scarlet woman. Normally, she wouldn't have thought much of it. It didn't even matter that Dean was standing there; but for some stupid, irrational reason, she didn't want him to say that in front of Harry. Especially after that look on his face. Was it disgust? He'd not met her eyes the entire time she'd had that horrible fight with Ron. He had, however, physically stopped Ron from hexing her, though she had drawn out her wand first.

Harry snogged Cho Chang, she'd said that, hadn't she? Had she sounded bitter ?

Ginny sighed. There was no use overthinking. She wouldn't be able to take anything back. She'd broken Hermione's trust and used Ron's insecurities as a weapon against him.

She punched her pillow in annoyance and huffed angrily. Stupid Ron, stupid Dean, who had just run away like a coward, stupid Harry, and most of all, stupid feelings.

'Are you done hitting the pillow?' came a sleepy voice from the bed on her left. 'Some of us are trying to sleep here.'


Ginny saw Meghan's face poking out of her curtains. 'What's wrong?'


Meghan rolled her eyes, stood up with a steely glint in her eye and sat at the edge of Ginny's bed, shoving her to make space for herself. 'Boy trouble?'

Now it was Ginny's turn to roll her eyes. Meghan loved giving the "lovelorn masses" her "expert" advice. She used to hound people and corner them to give unwanted romantic advice. She did have her heart in the right place, though. And most importantly, she didn't spread gossip.

'I don't want to talk about it.'

'You do,' she said simply.

Ginny sighed. Meghan wouldn't leave her alone until she spilled. Steeling herself, Ginny told her everything. Starting from the awful Quidditch practice to the look on Harry's face.

Meghan sat quietly for a moment, looking like she was pondering over something, and for a fraction of a moment, she reminded Ginny of Luna.

'You'll find out soon enough,' she said suddenly, startling Ginny. 'Just don't get your hopes high.'

'I wasn't planning on doing that,' she said honestly.

Meghan nodded, smiled in what she probably thought was an encouraging way, and went back to her four-poster.



As Ginny quietly settled into her bed, she silently cursed the fact that Harry was most probably sleeping peacefully in his four-poster bed, not a thought about Ginny or what she was thinking.

How wrong she was.

Harry lay awake in his four-poster for a long time, staring at the ceiling and trying to convince himself that his feelings for Ginny were entirely older brotherly. They had lived, had they not, like brother and sister all summer, teasing Ron and having a laugh about Bill and Phlegm? It was natural that he should feel protective, natural that she should want to look out for her, natural that he should want to tear Dean limb from limb for kissing her... (Half-Blood Prince)

But then, said a snide voice in his head that sounded remarkably like Snape. Had you really been behaving like brother and sister? Had you never felt... strange with her during the summer?

It had been raining in Ottery St. Catchpole, which meant that Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny were not allowed to go out.

They had tried to while their time away by playing Exploding Snap, but a little explosion (and some singed eyebrows) later, a fuming Mrs Weasley had ordered everyone to help her in the household work.

That was how Ron and Hermione found themselves folding the laundry while Harry and Ginny were banished into the attic, where they were supposed to be cleaning out some of the Weasley's Wizard Wheezes prototypes left behind by Fred and George in the attic.

'This is really unfair!' said Ginny indignantly, coughing as an orange-coloured puff of smoke enveloped them. They leave all their stuff here and Mum expects us to clean up! Why can't Ron and Hermione help?'

Harry smirked. 'Maybe your mum doesn't think it wise to leave Ron and Hermione in a room full of potentially harmful things.'

'Or maybe she doesn't want to keep them alone in a closed and secluded room where the years of pent-up sexual tension can finally be released,' said Ginny, grinning mischievously.

'With only the ghoul for company,' added Harry.

Half an hour later and several jokes later, Harry hauled the last of the boxes on the topmost shelf and high-fived Ginny.

'Finally,' said Ginny, blowing a strand of hair from her forehead.

As they reached the attic door, however, they found that it was stuck.

'Damn,' muttered Harry.

'Aargh, this door always gets stuck when it rains.'

'How does it open, then?'

'Alohamora ,' said Ginny morosely. 'But since we don't want to be tried by the Wizengamont for underage magic, we'll have to wait for Mum to come and rescue us.'

'When d'you reckon she'll come looking for us?'

'Dunno,' said Ginny, sitting against the door and putting her hands over her knees. 'Maybe around dinner. We're stuck in here 'til then.'

Harry sat on the space beside Ginny, mimicking her position.

They'd been sitting in silence for one ore two minutes when she asked suddenly, 'What's your favourite colour?'

'Huh?' said Harry, taken aback at the abrupt question. 'Dunno... red and gold, maybe?'

'Gryffindor colours, eh?' said Ginny, grinning.

'Yep. Yours?'


'Oh,' said Harry. 'I thought it was green since Mrs Weasley always makes you green jumpers.'

Harry thought he saw Ginny's cheeks turn slightly pink before she said, 'I used to like that colour as an eleven-year-old. I don't anymore, but if I tell Mum I don't like green much anymore, she'll go back to the pink jumpers she used to make for me till I turned ten. I hate pink. It clashes with my hair, and now it reminds me of Umbridge and her horrible cardigan.'

Harry nodded. He'd never liked the colour pink either. 'It reminds me of Madam Puddifoot's teashop too.'

Ginny nodded rapidly. 'Those frilly curtains and the cherubs,' she said with an affected shudder. 'Not to mention the face-sucking couples. It sort of makes you feel that the person you're going with also expects you to do the same.'

That was exactly how Harry had felt there, but something in the way Ginny had said that made his stomach tighten slightly. Had some bloke pressured her into kissing him? But then Ginny wasn't the kind of girl who let herself be pressured into things. If something like that had happened, that boy would probably have been bat-bogey hexed.

'You went there with the Corner boy?'

'Huh? Oh, yeah. On the first Hogsmeade weekend. After the meeting in the Hog's Head. You went there with Cho before your interview, right? Hermione told me.'

'Yeah. It was a disaster.'

'That makes the two of us,' said Ginny laughing, and Harry felt a whooshing sensation in his stomach for some reason.

Yes, the swooping sensation had been there.

But you're not supposed to fancy her! Hermione said she has given up on you, remember?

Ron gave a grunting snore and Harry remembered the furious look on his face when they had seen Dean and Ginny kissing. There was supposed to be some Muggle code on these things, thought Harry. Something along the lines of kissing your best friend's siblings being forbidden.

Harry couldn't risk his friendship with Ron and Ginny for anything. Besides, Ginny was dating Dean, who was supposed to be his friend as well.

Damn, why couldn't anything be simple?
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