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"Vengeance Is Not So Sweet" - A Harry Potter Fanfic (Ginny/Harry)


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I wanted to write a story with Ginny because, in my opinion, she was one of the coolest characters in the books, and is EXTREMELY underrepresented in the movies. I always imagined her a little differently than how she was cast, but hey, to each his own. This story is in two parts, and I may post them back to back.

Also a little side note, it may be a tad shameful for me to post a new Harry Potter Fanfic story while I still have yet to finish one I began a long time ago... BUT rest assured that this one is finished! And if, by chance, you were following the last one that I posted probably a year ago and left hanging, I have plans to return to that one soon. I got extremely caught up in schoolwork, blah blah, the usual excuses of a college student (which, by the way, I no longer am, because I just graduated! Woop woop!).

Anyway, here we go! I had tremendous fun writing it, so I hope you enjoy reading it. smile.png

Part One

The Gryffindor common room was alive with exhilarated voices as everyone awoke to the first sunny Saturday of the year, the younger students eager to thaw their winter toes on the green grounds, while the older ones hustled to get their things together for a trip to Hogsmeade. After what felt like the longest winter in temporal history, Ginny never thought until now that she would actually get sick of the castle. She wasn’t sure which storm was worse, the eight-week-long deluge of rain, hail, snow, and virtually everything else that comes out of the sky, or the torrent of homework the professors tossed on their backs every five minutes. Everyone needed a break, and no one could get out of there fast enough.

“Normally, I’m not at all interested in petty vengeance schemes,” said Hermione as the two descended the stairwell from the girls’ dormitories, “but it would be quite a laugh to find something at Zonko’s to set on Fred and George. Check their smug nerve, just a bit. I’ve really had it with those little bee things, and as a prefect, it’s my duty to make sure everyone has a comfortable and efficient learning environment, because otherwise – ”

“I agree, Hermione,” Ginny interjected. “Though I don’t think those bees are gonna be much of a bother anymore, either way.”

They were referring to the disastrous duo’s latest prank. Fred and George didn’t cope well with being cooped up, so while everyone else was buckling down to study, they were off in empty classrooms cooking up catastrophes. The bees that were lately the bane of everyone’s existence were a pair of buttons that Fred and George had transfigured to resemble a couple of bumble bees; a few times a day they would buzz around Gryffindor tower requesting for the students who were most submerged in their schoolwork to recite show tunes. If they refused, or if the bees didn’t fancy their rendition, they would get an electrifying sting. It was funny the first day. It wasn’t so funny the fourteenth day.

Hermione and Ginny joined Harry and Ron in the common room, who were practically bouncing on their heels in anticipation. “Blimey, it’s about time!” groaned Ron. “Girls take forever to get ready. What do you do up there, brush every single strand of hair individually?”

“Oh please, we’ve only been five minutes.” Hermione rolled her eyes.

“Right then,” Harry chimed in. “Let’s go so we don’t miss the early train.”

The group quickly slipped on their shoes, soon joined by Seamus, Dean, and Neville. They all sprang up one by one, half-running to the portrait hole, ready to sip the sunshine…

CRASH!

Just before Ron, leading the pack, reached the door, the oaken shelf by the window came sliding, rather clumsily, out in front of them, colliding with the wall and blocking off the corridor. Before anyone could begin to question it, George’s voice resounded through the common room.

“STOP WHERE YOU ARE, MY GOOD GRYFFINDORS!” he bellowed, and the red-headed twins marched into appearance from opposite angles, their hands clasped behind their backs like interrogating detectives.

Ron immediately let out another groan, this one prolonged. “Haven’t you two filled your bothering quota yet? If those bloody bees weren’t enough – ”

“I’ll ask the questions around here, Ronald,” Fred asserted, sticking a blindingly illuminated wand tip over Ron’s face. “Everyone take a seat please. A crime has been committed.”

Nearly every pair of eyes hit the ceiling. Even those who weren’t annoyed with Fred and George by now wanted nothing more than to get out that door. But, knowing Fred and George, the fastest way to do that was probably to humor them and get this over with. Ginny sighed and conceded, and the rest of the group following suit. She slumped down onto the couch next to Harry and Hermione, while Ron took a seat on the rug in front of her.

Fred paced the floor before them while George stood with his arms crossed, making intense eye contact with everyone and studying them closely. “My friends,” Fred began dramatically, “we have gathered you here because there has been a vandal in our vicinity.”

“For crying out loud…” Ginny mumbled, leaning back deeper into the couch and only half-listening.

“OBSERVE!” Fred shouted, and he whipped out something from his pocket. Held up by one of its crippled legs was what everyone recognized as one of the infamous bees, swatted to a pulp.

A round of muffled giggles erupted from the captive crowd. Ron even let out an exclamatory “yes!”

“Accidentally sit on your little bug then, Fred?” Ginny remarked. “I noticed you wolfing down the pudding all holiday long. Apparently it’s gone straight to your – ”

“Silence in the courtroom, Ginevra Weasley!” George yelled. Harry sniggered next to her. “As you all can see, both of our prototypes for the Weasley Wizard Wheezes Buzzers have been pugnaciously obliterated. Now, before we go any further…”

Fred and George stepped in line with each other, staring at all the suspects. Then they each cracked a smirk and commenced a slow applause.

“Bravo. Because the culprit must have demonstrated sheer expertise in magic to surpass the booby traps that were guarding these beauties. So for an exceptional performance in counter-jinxing, we take our metaphorical top hats off to you.”

“HOWEVER!” Fred continued as a few people started to shift in their seats, eager to go. “If said vandal now believes he or she has gotten of scot-free, well then he or she has deeply underestimated us. For beyond all of our aggressive booby traps lay another spell unseen. A method to catch you red-handed, for starters.”

“And so!” George raised his wand. Ron gave a little start, and a few other people were on the edge of their seats, now interested in the suspense of near discovery. “We would like to extend to the culprit the opportunity to come clean. And if you do that now, we shall withhold all forms of retribution. But, should you choose to remain silent – if you further challenge our craftiness – well, don’t say we didn’t warn you.”

The room was still. Many averted their gaze from Fred and George, afraid of being assumed guilty. Others bit their lips in suppressed laughter. Ginny yawned.

“Very well then.” Each twin’s face twisted into a mischievous smile. “Can’t say we’re disappointed. This way is more fun.”

They whipped their wands into the air, precisely in synch, and muttered an unfamiliar incantation: “Rhinosternus Revealum.

The tips of their wands glowed with a fuzzy pink ball of light.

“Did you just say rhinoceros? You gonna trample them with a rhinoceros?” Ron jabbed.

“SHHH!” both twins commanded.

They waited, watching the soft pink light dance on their wands. Dean Thomas snickered. Nothing happened.

“I think it’s broken.” Ginny teased.

“Give it a moment,” George crooned patiently, nonplussed. The group fell completely silent. No one dared move, afraid they might miss it, whatever it was. A moment passed. Then another. But the devilish grins didn’t fade from the Weasley brothers’ faces. Even the regular creaks of the castle seemed to have muted, waiting for the revelation that held them all at bated breath.

HEH'TSHhhiEW!!!

Ginny jolted forward with a sudden, rather vocal, sneeze that shattered the room’s silence and made Ron yelp from the surprise, kicking his foot against the bottom of the coffee table in a frightened leap. Harry exploded with laughter, barely managing to breathe out a “bless you” as Ron flushed into a shade of scarlet that matched the Gryffindor banner quite nicely. Ginny sniffed and began to giggle along with the rest, rubbing her nose.

“AHA!” George exclaimed. “Our dear sister, we should have known. Only a few have both the wits and the nerve to almost outsmart us.”

“What? I’ve only sneezed. That’s hardly an admission of guilt.”

“Oh, isn’t it though?” George smirked.

Everyone looked at Ginny expectantly, which she met with a raised eyebrow. The expression was fleeting though, her eyebrows turning into a steeple, and she quickly brought a pair of cupped hands to her face.

Hih’tchhoo! Hh’NShhoo! … Heh’TCHieww!

“Gesundheit,” Fred exaggerated. Ginny pressed the back of her hand against her nose, looking both confused and annoyed. “You see, while you may have managed to disable all our jinxes, what you missed was our ingenious tracker spell. A charm of our own design – which we are so thrilled to have the opportunity to test out now – that is surreptitiously triggered when any sort of intruder commits any sort of treachery or untrustworthiness. Same sort of logic as a Sneakoscope, only far more brilliant.”

“Furthermore,” George picked up, “the charm doesn’t register as a jinx until activated by the caster.” They raised their wands in proud demonstration, drinking in the air of their own cleverness. “In summation, you crossed the charm, we activated the jinx, you have been found guilty. Court is adjourned! Thank you for playing! Exit to your right! And do enjoy that delightful sunshine!”

He waved his wand and sent the oak shelf crashing back into the other side of the room. Everyone except for the twins, Ginny, Harry, Ron, and Hermione leapt up and hustled out of the portrait hole. Hermione peered from Ginny to Fred and George, her look fluctuating between concern and bafflement.

“But, that’s really advanced magic!” she mused. “A jinx hidden within a charm. If that notion alone were applied to dark magic… the results could be catastrophic!”

“Oh, stop being so ominous, Hermione,” Fred sneered. “We will, however, accept all compliments, praise, and laudation.”

Ginny muffled a sneeze into her wrist. “But it’s so… dull,” she patronized. “Sure, it’s skillful magic, I’ll give you that, but I surpassed all of your booby traps and demolished your toys, and your last line of defense is to give me the sniffles? I’d have expected more creativity.”

“Ah, so we finally have a confession.”

“Yeah, I’ll accept laudation too.”

Her smugness was short-lived as she succumbed to another hitching breath.

Heh’pshhew!!” She cupped her hand over her mouth, pinching her nose. Okay, now it was getting slightly irritating.

“Bless you,” Fred and George synchronized.

“Really, you two, you can’t just test your little projects on people! I should write you both up,” chastised Hermione, her voice shrill and her hair frizzing out by every frantic second. She turned to Ron and nudged him in the ribcage. “Ron, I’m not the only prefect here, will you please back me up? They’re your brothers!”

“I dunno,” he laughed, “It is kinda funny…”

Hermione slapped Ron hard on the arm.

“Oh, just let them have their laugh,” Ginny shrugged. She didn’t want to give them any satisfaction, so she stood up and turned her head away from them, fighting to ignore the itch returning to her nose.

“What if there are side effects?” Hermione continued against the twins. “Did you think of that? This is your sister! How do you know your spell won’t go horribly wrong?”

“Please, Granger, don’t insult us.”

Ron watched the battle from the sidelines, keeping well out of Hermione’s range. Harry turned his concern toward Ginny, who was pressing a fist against her nose.

Heh-NGXT! HhNNchht! NGXT!!” She stifled in quick succession.

“Carefull, sis, you’ll make ‘em angry,” Fred goaded.

Ginny shot him a scowl and rubbed her nose, which was becoming progressively more pink.

“Well, it’s been lovely, folks, but alas, we mustn’t miss the early train to the village.” Fred and George waved an adieu. “Ginny, good luck with those torturous tickles.”

The twins gave one last smirk before exiting through the portrait hole, each with a skip in their step.

Hermione let out a loud huff, and Ron, who looked like he was getting bored now, quickly matched her look of disapproval upon her glance. “If prefects could take away house points, I swear I would drain Gryffindor dry for them!”

“We appreciate your house spirit,” Ron muttered.

“Ginny,” Hermione ignored him, “are you alright? Maybe we should take you to Madam Pomfrey.”

“I’m completely fine.” Ginny swished her eyebrow and laughed. “Like I said, no creativ-” her breath caught. She pressed a knuckle up to her septum, “creativity…”

They all waited as she held her breath. Then she exhaled. “See? It’s stopping. Let’s go to Hogsmeade.”

“Thank you!” Ron groaned. “Now lets get a move on before we miss the first train!”

Ron made a beeline for the portrait hole. Hermione bit her lip in uncertainty, but after a moment the urgency of being late won over and she followed Ron. Harry treaded slowly, awaiting Ginny’s movement. “You sure?”

“Yes! Really, this is all childish.” She strode past him, spinning midway with her arms out to prove her healthiness. Her smirk dropped on the first step out of her twirl, and she halted, wavering where she stood. Harry was at her side faster than he could have appartated, a support beam she graciously accepted. Ginny pinched the bridge between her eyes. It was like someone had just hit a bludger to her head. A shiver crawled down her spine, and suddenly she felt bare in such a lightweight tee shirt. One second she was fit as a fiddle, the next was like coming out of a hurricane.

“Hang on, just take it easy.” Harry guided her to the couch.

“Okay, I may be rethinking things…”

“What’s wrong?”

“My head.” She made a face, more out of spite for Fred and George than in discomfort. Another shudder quaked her body, and she pulled her legs in to her chest. “Uggh! It’s like I’ve just been smacked in the face with instant flu… HUH’TCHhhoo!... Great, and there’s that again! Heh-… HhNSHOO!!!”

“Bless you,” said Harry, seeming somewhere between sincere sympathy and wrestling a smile. “We should probably go to the hospital wing before this gets any worse. Madam Pomfrey can heal anything.”

“No. No no no. It’s not that serious. You go to Hogsmeade. Ron and Hermione will be waiting right outside the common room wondering what’s taking so long.” She slouched down into the couch. “I’m just gonna close my eyes for a bit, then if it doesn't stop I’ll go to the hospital wing. Promise.”

She shut her eyes stubbornly. Harry remained on the couch, not moving, but when he received no further response from Ginny, he sighed and got up. “Alright. I’ll let you rest then.”

She listened as he exited through the portrait hole, followed by the cut-off echo of a familiar “bloody hell, mate!”

All her glory in breaking Fred and George’s jinxes had completely evaporated. How she could have ever imagined they wouldn’t have some sort of vengeful backup plan was beyond her now, lost in her ego. She really should have known. She was always the first to warn people not to cross Fred and George. No one, not even little sisters, went unpunished. But that didn’t mean she couldn’t hate them for the chill that was wracking her bones, and the growing itch that tormented her nose yet again.

“H’MPfchh-ew!!” she clamped her hands over her mouth in attempt to stifle the sneeze that launched her upper body forward.

“Bless you.”

Ginny flung her head up, a mane of ginger hair flying over her face. Harry was walking back through the portrait hole.

Ginny sniffed. “I thought you guys left?”

Harry shrugged his shoulders. Was the cold affecting her vision, or did his cheeks flush the slightest shade of pink? “I told Ron and Hermione to go on without us. I’d feel bad if you had to be cooped up in here by yourself all day. Plus, you’ll need accompaniment to the hospital wing.”

Now it was Ginny’s turn to blush. She hid her face in her elbow and feigned scratching her nose. Her voice was muffled when she spoke, masking the suppressed girlish giggle that she thought she had put to rest three years ago. “Company is always nice.”

TBC...

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Part Two

The walk to the hospital wing was almost completely silent, save for the frequent sneezes Ginny struggled to stifle. With everyone either outside or at Hogsmeade, Ginny and Harry seemed to be the only living beings within the castle walls. Even the usual mutter between the portraits was absent, leaving a hollow air between the two who couldn’t find one word of conversation to breech.

Why couldn’t she say anything? It was like she was eleven-years-old all over again, back to the days when the mere presence of The Boy Who Lived filled her mouth with cotton and sent her scurrying out of the room, birds batting in her nervous gut. But that had just been a kiddy crush. She had gotten over it. She had made herself get over it. Or she had tried…

For Merlin’s sake, Ginny, it’s Harry! She thought to herself. You talk to Harry everyday. Why is now any different than five minutes ago?

She opened her mouth to say something, but still couldn’t find any words to form. Quidditch? Transfiguration homework? The Daily Prophet? Just pick a topic!

Her breath hitched, and a small part of her was grateful to have her thoughts interrupted. “Hh’Nngt!!” She pinched her nose, fighting Fred and George’s little hex with obstinacy. The stifle would have been unheard if not for the quiet of the entire castle. “Heh-NNxt! Hh’NNshh!”

“Bless you,” said Harry.

“Thanks…” Words! Well… word.

“You probably shouldn’t fight them like that. Didn’t Fred say something about making them angry?”

H’NGgt! – uh… No, he was just running his gob.” Ginny rubbed her nose furiously.

“Okay…” said Harry, but he seemed uncertain.

The hospital wing, much like the rest of the castle, was completely vacant. Madam Pomfrey nearly flew out of her desk chair at the entrance of a patient, no doubt having been dozing off with so little to tend to. She didn’t even have to inquire about why they arrived before Ginny burst into another chorus of strangled sneezes.

“H’Nngxt! Heh-NSHhh! H’NNnshhew!Heh'nchoo!!!”

“Ah. Gesundheit, dear. You’ll be needing a Pepperup Potion then? Just brewed up a fresh batch this morning. Common cold has been taking people out by the heaps, what with that long winter. Have a seat, I’ll fill you a cupful. Just remember it’ll cause steam to come out your ears, but that should go away within several hours.”

Ginny sat down on the edge of one of the beds, pinching her nose closed to stave off another fit. Madam Pomfrey bustled over with goblet full of a crimson liquid that steamed lightly and perfumed the air with the scent of cherries. Ginny accepted the cup graciously and quickly chugged its contents.

“Well then,” she exhaled. “That’s that. Thank you, ma’am.”

Ginny hopped off the bed, handing the goblet back to Madam Pomfrey. Harry hesitated before following her out of the hospital wing, looking at her expectantly for something, as if that had been all too easy. Madam Pomfrey began her usual discourse about bed rest but Ginny just nodded and sprang for the door. Harry trotted after, studying her as they exited.

“Your ears aren’t smoking.”

“What?”

“That always happens after someone takes Pepperup. Remember last month when Ron caught cold? The steam coming out of his ears even made a whistling sound. But look,” Harry brushed her hair behind her ear. “Not even a trickle.”

“I dunno, maybe it’s just a possible side effect.”

“Maybe.” He still didn’t sound convinced.

“You’re much too suspicious,” Ginny griped as they made their way back through the portrait hole. “It’s… heh… It’sover…”

Harry almost smirked. “What was that then?”

“Nothing!” She turned away from him, pulling her robes up to muffle her face. She drew a sharp intake of breath, her eyes wrinkling shut, but then nothing came of it. She sighed, massaging the sides of her nose. It wasn’t long before the itch crept up on her again, and she took another quavering breath, but again let it out, irritated by the false starts.

“Having trouble?” Harry snickered.

“Is this amusing to you!?!” Ginny roared, whipping around in a torrent of fiery hair.

“It’s a little bit – ahem… No, not funny at all.” Harry bit his lip.

“Well this is exactly what Fred and George wanted, so laugh it up.” She paced over to the window. “I hope you’re happy!” she shouted to no one, the intended recipients too far off to hear. Her breath hitched again, but like before it just tormented her to no result. She sniffed deeply, but it didn’t stop the parade of hitching, false starts, then nothing.

“Heh – uhhh…. Heh… Hheh - … UGH!!!” She groaned dramatically and flung herself down onto the couch, pulling a blanket over her face, under which her breath continued the torturous hitching.

Harry just looked at her, frustrated and defeated, lying on her back and pressing the blanket into her face. Then he walked over and picked up her legs, sat on the couch, and let her calves fall back onto his lap.

“I suppose the potion didn’t work because this is a jinx, not a sickness,” he said, playing with her shoelace. “And I reckon this is what Fred meant when he said ‘make ‘em angry.’”

“Ya think?” she mumbled sarcastically.

“Oy, look on the bright side though,” he nudged her, “Hermione’ll really give Fred and George hell when she gets back and sees you’re still sneezing. If you think Fred and George have a wrath…”

“That is – heh… uh… if I ever sneeze again, and am not stu-huck in this cycle of almost sneezing and looking like an idiot for the rest of my life.”

“Well, there’s that. Guess you’ll have to get used to holding this blanket over your face.”

“Sh- huh… shut it.” She pressed the blanket more tightly into her face, nearly suffocating herself. Her breath hitched to a point where she couldn’t even take in any more air, and then relaxed. “UGHHH!!!” She groaned loudly again, the muffle of the blanket doing nothing to quiet it. “This is absolute torture! Why did I even try to trump Fred and George?”

She meant the question rhetorically, not intending to ponder it, but after a moment of quiet, Harry spoke.

“Actually, why did you?”

“I dunno…” she grumbled, furious with herself. “I guess I – heh… uhhh, bloody hell… I guess I just wanted to sort of… prove myself. It’s always been Ginny the young one, Ginny the little one, Ginny the meek one. I grew up with six brothers, and it's easy to get lost in there. And then you have Fred and George, who never had to worry about disappearing in a crowd. They were just born that way, brilliant, outrageous, nervy, maniacal. I’ve always looked up to them. And they’ve always taken me under their wing. Always made sure I had a voice, and was never deserted. So this, I suppose, was all just selfish on my part. It wasn’t about getting rid of their annoying toys. I wanted to outwit them. Because then maybe… it would mean that I’m still worth something on my own – I dunno, it was dumb…” she trailed off, her voice muting.

The sat wordlessly, Ginny rubbing her forehead through the blanket, still hiding her face, and Harry tracing the rim of her jeans around her ankle.

“It’s not dumb,” said Harry finally. “I get it. You wanted to be an individual. Not to everyone else, but just to yourself. You wanted to know you are who you are, and not being held up by puppet strings. It’s not stupid, it’s brave.” Ginny let out a soft breath. Her fingers relaxed over the blanket. Harry went on. “And I don’t know if this makes a difference or not, but I think you’re fantastic.”

Ginny pulled the blanket down below her eyes, a smile sparkling through them. “Thanks, Harry.”

Harry smiled back at her. “Hey! I think they’ve finally stop – ”

H’IHSHHEWW!!!”

Ginny’s whole body shot upward uncontrollably by the surprise force of it, and a swift instant before either of them could react, Ginny’s feet kicked up and collided with Harry’s jaw with a hard thwack!

OOMPF!!”

“Oh my god Harry I’m so sorry!” Ginny flung herself into a seated position and scooted attentively to Harry, who was cradling his jaw with his hand. “I’m so so so so so so sorry. I swear that was an accident.”

“Ha,” Harry managed a short laugh. He moved his jaw back and forth, then tested it up and down. “Owww!” he said emphatically.

Ginny meant to give another stream of apologies, but instead burst into a fit of laughter. “Oh Harry, I’m so sorry,” she managed to choke out between giggles.

“I take a foot to the face, and you’re laughing at me?”

“Hey, you have been laughing at me all day. Consider this payback.”

They grinned at each other. “We’ll blame that one on Fred and George.”

“Add it to the list.”

Harry prodded at his jaw and winced. Ginny gave him another apologetic look. “Perhaps we should pay Madam Pomfrey another visit.”

“You’ve got a mean kick, but I don’t reckon you’ve broken it,” said Harry, but Ginny could already see a small bruise darkening along his jawline.

“Here, let me take a look.” She scooted toward him and gently put her hand under his chin, tilting his face toward the light. Her thumb stroked the side of his cheek. She wasn’t sure how many seconds had passed, and before long she realized that she wasn’t even looking at his jaw anymore, but instead at his soft emerald eyes. She blinked quickly to refocus herself.

“Well, you’ve always been a bit crooked in the face, so I think you’re fine,” she teased.

She was about to draw her hand away when Harry met it with his own. He closed his palms around her hand. “You’re warm,” he said, and moved up to feel her forehead, where her hair trickled through his fingers, then he combed an orange lock out of her face.

She realized suddenly how close they were. So close that Harry took up her whole range of vision, and instinct made her eyelids flutter shut. Her head was foggy. This was a dream. It had to be a dream. But before she could properly decide whether she were awake or not, something else was happening, and she didn’t know how it had started or if he did it or if she did it, or maybe perhaps they both just fell together. What she did know was that her lips fit perfectly into his.

The kiss only lasted a second, but as seconds go, it was a nice one, and in her mind it stretched out longer than other seconds. It was like being struck by lightning, and that dreamy state from before took hold of her again. Then, in a much quicker second, her sense came back to base.

Oh crap.

What had she done? She had just kissed Harry. Harry Potter! She could feel the flaming blush erupting in her cheeks. Maybe she could blame it on the fever. Say that she was delirious, didn’t know what she was doing. Or maybe that she got dizzy and just fell forward… onto his face.

“I’m — um…” Her tongue felt three times as heavy. Harry was staring back at her, equally speechless, but she couldn’t tell what his face meant. He wasn’t frowning, so that was certainly a good thing, but he wasn’t exactly smiling either. Or was he? She couldn’t force herself to look at him long enough to determine.

“I’magotobed!” she blurted out so fast that her sentence ran into one word. Her childhood instinct took her, and she climbed over the couch to make an escape for the girls' dormitory staircase, stumbling as her feet landed on the floor. Way to go, Ginny, she thought to herself. You’re actually going to run away.

“Ginny, wait a second!” Harry called out behind her, but she was already halfway up the steps.

Huh’nSHhu!!!”

Ginny froze. She was half-expecting to hear a “bless you” from Harry, since that had been paired with every one of her sneezes for the past hour. Except that particular sneeze did not come from her.

She whipped around. She found Harry just as he was straightening back up, rubbing his nose. He seemed to mirror her own confused expression.

“Bless you?” she said, almost unsure of what just happened. Her brain was especially addled from the preceding events, that this one left her static for a moment.

“Thanks,” said Harry. “That was kind of a funny coincidence.”

“Yeah,” she said, but she couldn’t help but noticed he was still rubbing is nose. She bounced her toe off the step anxiously, gazing at him from under a raised eyebrow. He grinned back at her, but then his eyes unfocused and his lips parted into a familiar expression before he turned away and put his face into his elbow.

Huh’ISHOO!! H’ehkshoo!

Ginny almost tripped down the stairs as she ran back toward him in astonishment. “Now you’ve started!”

Harry scrunched his face up, as if trying to ward off another sneeze, keeping his wrist pressed hard against his nose. “And you’ve stopped.”

Ginny took in a slow breath through her nose, then sniffed. He was right. She hadn’t even noticed that the itch she had been worried would irritate her into eternity had faded away. Even the congestion, the chills, and the fever all seemed to have evaporated from her body…

And found a new home.

Hh’NSshoo!” Harry turned away from her again as he sneezed.

“Bless you.” She tried her best not to laugh while she said it. “I think I’ve passed it to you!”

“Y—yeah, I… H’ISHhu!! Hh’nshu! …H’NSHhoo!! … I’d surmised that much.” He gave a great sniff and plopped down on the couch, still wrestling with his nose.

“How did this happen?” said Ginny, half-concerned, and half-genuinely interested.

“Well, colds are contagious.”

“But this isn’t a cold,” she mused. “And even magical illnesses don’t spread that instantaneously. I think it was more like a ‘tag, you’re it,’ kind of thing.”

“Right,” Harry agreed. He opened his mouth to continue, but then held up a finger in pause. His glasses shifted on the bridge of his nose as his eyebrows moved into a steeple and his eyes squinted up into the firelight. Ginny wished she could take a picture of the expression. Not because it was funny, but because it was unabashedly cute. She felt her own confidence inflating as he was the one reduced to sneezes.

Harry buried his face into his arm and erupted into a muffled double. “H’NSHhu!! Heh’NNSHh!! Ugh… Okay,” he sniffed, “so you ‘tagged’ me, probably right about the time we…”

Ginny bit her lip. “We…” she tried to finish for him, but couldn’t make herself say the word, “…got particularly close.” It took all her might not to burst into a childish fit of giggles.

Harry’s breath hitched, and he immediately muffled his entire face with his scarf. He looked like he was trying to smother himself. “Not fair!” he mumbled before exposing his face again. “This was your jinx. Come take it back!”

“What? No way! You’ve got it now, it’s your problem.” Ginny smiled and booped Harry’s reddening nose with the tip of her finger. Any comeback he may have been brewing in his cheek was quickly sucked away in another hitching breath. He barely had time to cover as he turned away.

Heh’iTCHhew!”

Ginny swooped forward and put her lips only inches away from his thick mat of black hair. “Bless you,” she chimed into his ear, and then leapt back before he could catch her. She pranced around the outside of the couch, keeping the furniture between them. Harry jumped up from his seat, and when she saw that he was smiling, she was almost willing to take the jinx back ten times over. They both bounced on bent knees in a face-off, daring the other one to move. Ginny was ready to dash.

Harry faked left and then leapt at her from the right. Ginny somersaulted over the couch and and sprang up with a foot propelling her off the coffee table. They ran in circles around the whole common room, paying no attention to whatever they might be knocking over. When he finally caught her in the corner, she could barely breathe from laughter, and was only pretending to struggle. Harry only had to stop to stifle into his shoulder.

“Harry Potter if you sneeze on my face I really will break your jaw!”

Harry’s mouth twisted into a soft smirk. “I won’t.” Then before she could even blink, he kissed her again.

And he kept kissing her.

And she was pretty sure she’d remember this one as more than just a hazy dream.

It didn’t end until Harry suddenly jerked away. Ginny’s eyes fluttered open, and before she could ask what was wrong, she got her answer.

H’NSHuu! Heh’TCHhuu!! Heh… H’ihtshuu!!” Harry doubled over with his hands cupped over his face in a desperate fit. He groaned and rubbed his nose furiously, but she knew from experience that the tickle would not be alleviated.

“HA!” she exclaimed in triumph. “No tag-backs! You have to find someone else to kiss!” The moment the words left her mouth, the smile slid off her face, and she realized what that actually meant.

Harry sniffed, knuckles still pressed up against his nose. He looked to the portrait hole and seemed to ponder it for a moment before looking back at Ginny. Then he dropped down onto the couch and leaned his head back, pinching the bridge of his nose. He spoke in a congested voice; “Or I cand just wait id out.”

Ginny took a shy step toward him. “Are you sure?” she almost whispered. Her eyes pointed at the floor. “There are dozens of girls out there who would love to kiss Harry Potter.”

Harry snorted. “I seriously, seriously doubt that.” He turned his head to look at her, and her stomach fluttered. “But either way I’d rather wait it out here, with you.”

Ginny couldn’t stop the grin that returned to her face. She tip-toed the rest of the distance between them and sat down on the floor in front of the coffee table. “Fancy a game of Gobstones?”

“Very much.”

Ginny summoned the game pieces from under her bed and began to set them up. “And then once I've beaten you, we can start planning our revenge on Fred and George.”

Harry gaped at her, but couldn’t hold it for long before it turned into a sneeze. “ISSHhoo!! Uh… Have you learned nothing from the events of the day!?”

“Oh come on, Harry, we can’t let this go unpunished!”

Harry looked at her with astonishment, and when he realized she was serious he slouched back into his seat and let out another groan.

“Though, all things considered,” Ginny continued, “I can’t say I walked away from today with nothing.”

She spun the Gobstone around on the table, catching it as it rolled off the edge, then continued to juggle it between her fingers.

She couldn’t tell for certain, but when Harry spoke, it sounded like he was smiling. “Me neither.”

THE END

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Why do I always find stories like these when I'm in the middle of writing an essay?! Okay, I read the beginning and it's genious! I haven't even gotten to any sneezes yet, but I still love it, and that is definitely a compliment! I don't know if it's what you were going for, but I felt like the style was really close to the original and considering that Rowling is a genius, that's also a compliment for sure! I'll come back to this! (:

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beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. I LOVED THIS THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR WRITING IT YOU ARE WONDERFULLLLL!!!

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OH. MY. GOODNESS.

I love love love love love this. There's been such a lack of HP fics around here lately and to get one that's so long AND well-written AND fun AND original?! I bow down to you :notworthy: Thanks for sharing such a great fic! I feel like I've gotten a little treat :D

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To be completely honest, I have never watched nor read anything Harry Potter, buuuuut, after reading this, I think I might have to.

(that's my subtle way of saying I'm waiting for more amazing stories and I wish this wasn't finished)

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