A/N: I know it took me ages to write this but I wanted it to be good. Not sure if it is though….
Harry Potter wished the ground would open up and swallow him whole.
He’d been walking around The Burrow’s gardens for the past twenty minutes, trying to work up the courage to go and knock on the door. Ron, the callous sod has accompanied him and instead of offering words of comfort and advice had merely lain on the grass and laughed at him.
“Oh come on Harry,” he now groaned as Harry completed another lap of the garden. “Can you please just go and knock on the door?”
Harry stopped his pacing and glared at him.
“Your words really help right now Ron,” he muttered sarcastically. “I can really feel your sympathy radiating towards me.”
“What sympathy?” Ron scoffed. “You’re the fool that decided to take my sister on her dream date. You couldn’t have gone for a normal flowers and chocolates kind of girl could you? No, instead you went for the girl that broke Bill’s nose when she was six. It’s your own fault mate if you chose to date feminist warriors that give you too much trouble.”
“How are things going with Hermione?” Harry retaliated, making Ron sit up quickly and scowl.
“She organised my sock drawer the other day,” Ron muttered, annoyed.
“Why?” Harry asked a bit confused. He knew Hermione was a stickler for hygiene and order but even that seemed a bit too far for Hermione.
“I…er…,” Ron scratched his head uncomfortably. “I may have needed a reason to entice her into my room as she refuses to come in since the ghoul tried to kiss her. So George created this foolproof plan that wouldn’t permit any questions from Mum about hanky panky and I lured Hermione in. ‘Course, my plan was to have a bit of fun but all she was interested in was lecturing me about the state of my socks.” Ron finished this with a scowl, obviously annoyed that his attempts at lust had been so thwarted.
“You know I count myself lucky,” Harry commented. “You fell for a girl that will make you go on ‘free-the-elf’ marches whilst my girlfriend will make me go to Quidditch games. Somehow I think I got the better deal.”
“Sod off,” Ron muttered dejectedly, the thought of not getting any action until he pledged allegiance to at least one charity dampening his ardour somewhat. “At least I’m not sweating like a pig and doing laps around the garden out of nerves before my date.”
“You don’t have a date,” Harry pointed out, checking under his armpits to see how bad the sweat situation had gotten.
“That’s not the point,” Ron looked miffed. “If I had a date – which I shall do soon I might add - I wouldn’t be out here talking to me. I’d be in there with her.”
“I’m getting to it,” Harry gulped. “I just need to-“
“Harry?” A voice behind him asked timidly.
Swallowing deeply, and feeling his entire body quiver with nerves Harry debated the benefits of running screaming like a girl from the garden. He felt like he was about to have a panic attack and his shirt was now so sweat induced he would swear it was nearly see through.
“Harry?” the voice asked him again.
Oh damn, he was supposed to have turned round by now.
Gulping for air and avoiding Ron’s gaze, he slowly turned on his heel to face his date.
And felt an overwhelming desire to faint.
There stood Ginny, draped in some black material that he guessed was supposed to be a dress but which caressed her curves in a way he’d never imagined. His eyes bugging out his head, he noted her long sweep of red hair and her perfectly formed lips and her….
Well, he was a gentleman….he couldn’t mention those…
Opening and closing his mouth like a fish, words unable to form and roll from his tongue, Harry realised that he hadn’t made the best first impression on his date. He was meant to compliment her, kiss her cheek and say how much he was looking forward to the evening…
Not stand there speechless wondering whether he was about to have a heart attack.
“Oi don’t look at my sister like that,” Ron elbowed him in the side. “Eyes back in and tongue in mouth thank you!”
“Ron piss off,” Ginny muttered, checking her bag for her lipstick.
“And what do you think you’re doing dressing up like that,” Ron turned his lecturing towards his sister. “If you think you’re going out in that get up you have another thing coming!”
“You stay out of this,” Ginny glared at him. “Stop trying to act all high and mighty! You have no say in what I do, where I go or what I dress like!”
“I’m your brother,” Ron said turning red. “It is my duty to see that you don’t go and get into any trouble with unsavoury youths and I can assure you, you’ll attract all the unsavoury youths in a twenty mile radius dressed like that.”
“He’s not an unsavoury youth he’s your best friend,” Ginny pointed out, explaining this as one would explain to a five year old why the sky was blue.
“Oh trust me he’s unsavoury,” Ron snorted.
“Hey-“ Harry decided this was perhaps a good time to interject. He wasn’t unsavoury, he’d been called perfect son-in-law material by Mrs Weasley just yesterday.
“Oi don’t you forget I had to share a dorm with him. I know all the ins and outs of this boys mind and his fantasies,” Ron nodded, happy he seemed to be winning the argument over damning his best friend. “I’ve heard the mutters in his sleep, I’ve seen him in the morning without having brushed his hair and let’s not forget I’m a teenage boy too – I know what goes through our minds. I probably know what goes through his head better than he does.”
Harry couldn’t really think of anything to say in retaliation to this….it was probably quite true.
“So you see, you need to go write back up those stairs and change into a button up shirt and trousers that cover all of your legs,” Ron said primly. “That will stop any unsavoury thoughts this unsavoury character-“
“Stop saying ‘unsavoury’,” Ginny hissed, grabbing hold of her brother’s collar. “Anyone would think you’d been reading a dictionary.”
“No,” Ron scoffed at the thought. “Hermione gave me word of the day toilet paper. She said she wanted me to educate me pallet.”
“What, instead of just eating off it like normal?” Ginny snorted.
“Now listen here-“
“Oh shut up Ron,” Ginny sighed.
Taking her wand out of her pocket, she waved it in Ron’s direction and he quickly shut up; she’d just placed a silencing charm upon her older brother.
“Come on Harry,” Ginny rolled her eyes, sighed and grabbing his hand decided to take charge and lead him away from Ron who was now in hysterics.
Considering he’d only been on one first date in his entire life, Harry certainly hoped this one would go better than that one. There would be no frilly pink seats, pink confetti or flowered plates – Ginny just really wasn’t the type of girl to appreciate stuff like that. Plus he hoped there would be less crying this time – he really didn’t think he could cope with another date ending in tears. It was hard on a bloke after all if all girls broke into tears when they went out with him.
A bit damaging to the self esteem if you will….
He’d booked them into an uptown restaurant Hermione had recommended to him; ever since Ginny had by some stroke of luck agreed to go out with him he’d been searching for the perfect date. Hermione had said that this restaurant would be perfect and would show Ginny that he knew how to treat her like a lady. Following this, Hermione had suggested he take her for a moonlight stroll and say some nice compliments to her….the general stuff girl’s liked to hear.
“Two for two for Mr Potter,” he said nervously stepping up to the reception desk. There was something about these places that always made him a bit hot under the collar, as though he wasn’t meant to be here. He couldn’t help but feel he stood out like a sore thumb.
“One second monsieur,” the host beamed at him, glancing down at the heavy reservations book in front of him.
The first sign of impending doom for Harry came when he noticed that the host flicked forwards to a new page, scanned it, flicked back a few pages and scanned that. He kept flicking through the pages, scanning them and shaking his head at brief intervals.
“Is something wrong?” Harry ventured, tugging on his collar.
“Eer….Monsieur it would appear that there are no tables booked under that name,” the host looked at him sternly.
“Can you double check?” Harry gulped.
“Of course Monsieur,” the host looked sceptical but with a raised eyebrow perused the list of names again.
Feeling beads of sweat slowly make their way down from his hairline, Harry chanced a glance over his shoulder at Ginny. She was looking confused over what was taking so long, but noticing Harry’s look she smiled at him and he felt that warmth flood his heart again. He hoped it was something to do with romance and wasn’t an onset on early heart problems.
“Er Monsieur, I’m sorry but there’s no booking under your name here,” the host frowned. “Ah you sure you have zee date right?”
“Yeah I booked it last week,” Harry felt light headed. Oh damn; why did everything have to go wrong tonight of all nights?
“Is something wrong,” Ginny came forward, a look of worry on her face.
“No no,” Harry hastened to reply but was cut off.
“I was just explaining to Monsieur that there is no table booked under his name for tonight,” the host butted in.
So much for male solidarity.
“Oh,” Ginny frowned. “Are you sure?”
“I have checked many times,” the host grumbled. “There is no booking for you tonight.”
Harry shot him a glare.
“Therefore I’m sorry but you will ‘ave to leave the establishment. We are fully booked,” the host made dismissive noises and waved them towards the door.
“But- ” Harry began.
“Come on Harry,” Ginny took his arm. “I’m sure we can find somewhere else to go.”
“Mademoiselle in future you should choose your dates more wisely,” the host sniffed as they exited the door. “Get one that knows how to book on time in future.”
Thirty minutes after the unfortunate restaurant booking incident, as it would fondly be known in future years, Harry Potter apologised to Ginny for the fiftieth time that night.
“Ginny I’m so sorry,” he gulped.
“Harry it’s fine-“
“But Ginny I’m so sorry,” he stammered, attempting once again to remove the curry sauce stain from her dress. Attempting to blot it up with his chip paper hadn’t done anything but leave a greasy stain and so far his handkerchief – which had seen a better day – was proving just as ineffective.
“Harry stop!” Ginny commanded, lightly brushing his hand away from the skirt of her dress. “It was an accident, it is fine.” She smiled at him to reinforce her forgiveness.
“I know….” Harry sighed, shoulders sagging as he sat on the wall outside the chip shop. “It’s just I was so nervous and the joke you told was funny and…you know,” he gestured helplessly towards her dress.
“Its fine,” she sat down on the wall next to him and patted his arm reassuringly. “I really enjoyed the chips anyway.”
“Really?” he asked sceptically.
“Yeah,” she grinned. “I’m not really the French cuisine type of girl, that’s more Hermione’s forte.”
“She gave me the idea actually,” he shrugged, a little abashed.
“Well I’d have been quite happy with a pub dinner to be honest,” she nudged him with her arm. “Pie and chips would have been just as good as curry sauce and chips.”
“Perhaps next time -” Harry began, attempting to manoeuvre the conversation around to a second date, when he was abruptly cut off.
“HARRY POTTER!” A number of shrieks echoed down the street, followed by the rapid click clack of four inch heels.
“Harry Potter!” the girls squealed and threw themselves in his direction. Arms engulfed him, hands touched him in places he only wanted Ginny to touch him, kisses bruised his cheeks and nails scraped painfully across him in the fray. It felt like he was being attacked by a particularly amorous octopus with claws, not the best experience in the world.
“Harry Potter you are my hero-“ one girl cried, tugging him in her direction.
“I used to go to school with you,” another cried tugging him over the her instead, “and I used to fantasise about you every night.”
“Harry Potter will you marry me!” another cried.
“I love you – have my children!”
“Rock my world Harry Potter,” one particularly forceful girl knocked the rest out of the way and grabbed him by the collar. “I’ve been a bad bad bad girl and I need to be taught a lesson by your powerful wand!”
She finished the display by licking the side of his face the way an overenthusiastic dog would.
Feeling a bit repulsed and quite scared for his life, Harry managed to disentangle the girl from where she’d grabbed onto him and looked for the nearest exit. Glasses dangling from one ear, his shirt crumpled where hands had grabbed at it and his mind in disarray, he came to the conclusion that of all the scariest things in the world he had faced, women were perhaps at the top of the list. Who cared about sodding death eaters when women were trying to attack him?
“Harry,” a girl elbowed her way through the pack to his side. “It’s me, Romilda Vane! I’m sure you remember our special times together at school,” she inched her fingers suggestively up his chest.
“Er-” Harry gulped.
“Perhaps we could go and find somewhere more private,” she licked her lips suggestively. “I can’t wait to see your tattoo….and everything else.”
“I-“ Harry stuttered, trying to back away but suddenly he found Romilda Vane dragged from his body.
“Sorry,” Ginny said shrugging and massaging her knuckles. “She was just really annoying me.”
“No um…” Harry blinked rapidly and couldn’t stop the smile from spreading across his face as he noticed Romilda passed out on the floor. “That was brilliant. Anytime I have an annoying fan launch themselves on me again, I know who to call.”
“I hope you don’t want to stop all people launching themselves on you,” Ginny said flirtatiously and with a coy glance over her shoulder she set off sown the street.
Shaking his head, not quite sure what had just happened, Harry Potter could do no more but follow her.
Harry felt that the second part of the date was going much better than the first part had. Instead of a moonlit walk, he’d opted for a more unconventional end to the date that he’d hoped would be more up Ginny’s street. Riding along on a broomstick at midnight, looking down at houses and streetlamps he hoped it would be romantic enough to earn himself a second date.
Plus, she was holding onto his waist and he would admit it was a quite pleasurable added bonus.
“And that’s where I grew up,” he pointed down towards an area of houses below them, all with perfectly grown laws, newly washed cars and more gossip in the air than a British soap could contend with.
“It looks….muggelish.” Ginny decided, peering towards the houses. “All pristine and orderly; I’ve never seen anything like it before.”
“It wasn’t the most fun I’ve ever had,” Harry admitted wryly. “Pure hell if we’re being completely honest.”
“And what else do you feel like being honest about to night,” she leant forward and whispered in his ear, her breath tickling.
“Well you know,” he shrugged as he swallowed deeply. “You look….you know….quite pretty tonight…you know.”
“Haha,” she laughed, her body’s vibrations running through his. “Luckily for you Mr Potter after years of living with so many boys I know when to understand a compliment through garbled male vocabulary.”
“Good,” he breathed a sigh of relief.
“It’s nice to know we understand one another,” she placed her chin on his shoulder. “And saying that, can I ask what on earth we’re doing flying towards those objects in the sky?”
Objects in the sky?
Harry jerked his gaze from where it had been wandering into the distance; feeling Ginny pressed up against him hadn’t really left any sense in his mind and he’d left them drifting in no direction whatsoever.
So her comment had brought him back to reality and made him realise that for some reason he seemed to be heading towards a large triangular shaped block a few feet away.
“Er…” he muttered, feeling a sinking feeling. “Oh crap.”
Flying towards him were about twenty geese.
Twenty quite large white geese with big beaks.
Twenty quite large geese with big beaks and big wings that were flying straight on course for his broomstick to be precise.
“Oh bugger,” he shouted. “Ginny duck!”
He leant down on the broom and closed his eyes tightly, hoping against hope that the geese and the broom carrying them would somehow manage to miss each other. Pressing his face hard against the wood till he felt the grain imprinting on his cheek, he screwed his eyes shut and felt the soaring of wings over his head, the power of their flight driving a huge burst of wind current against his face, rustling his hair. He got clipped around the ear with a stray wing, the jolt making him hug the broom tighter and pray harder that the ordeal was over.
“Harry,” Ginny’s voice asked tentatively, “is it over yet?”
Releasing a deep breath, Harry opened one eye and glanced in front of him.
And ended up looking the goose heading straight for him in the eye.
He would swear that if a goose could smirk and wink it had done so just then as it flew straight towards him…
And bit him right on the nose.
“Ouch!” he shouted as the stupid bird took flight again, with what he would have sworn was a laugh. “Bloody hell!”
He was going to kill all the bloody geese in the country.
“Harry are you alright,” Ginny’s voice drifted to him in the rush of wind.
“Fine,” he wheezed through the pain. “Just dandy.”
Thinking of ways to make sure that goose ended up as someone’s meal….
“Harry what happened, you just had a goose fly into you,” her voice conveyed her worry.
Sighing, Harry tried to ignore the throbbing pain in his nose and stop the war his thoughts were having over whether or not to tell her the truth.
“It’s nothing really,” he attempted.
“I know something happened,” she said crossly, prodding him in the back which really didn’t help with the pain factor. “Now tell me the truth.”
“Eer….I just got bit by a goose…..nothing much else really,” he coughed, hoping if he said it all in a rush she wouldn’t notice.
“Ginny?” he asked, hoping she hadn’t fallen off the broom.
Behind him he felt the broomstick wobbling, Ginny’s body shaking uncontrollably. Feeling his heart sink to the pit of his stomach and a decidedly nauseas feeling overwhelm him Harry knew, without a shadow of a doubt that this was the final nail in the coffin.
When he finally turned round, he gulped as he saw tears running down her eyes.
They were happy tears, he felt a jump in his body, and they were tears of laughter. In fact, she was nearly paralysed with giggling and was that giddy that she was finding it hard to breathe, her breath coming out in little gasps or air.
“Ginny?” he ventured, trying to see if she was alright. Really she could suffocate she was laughing that much.
Instead of answering him she descended into yet another round of giggles.
“It’s not that funny,” he mumbled a little put out. In his imagination when he took her on this great romantic gesture of flying her around a moonlight sky where passion was meant to ignite he hadn’t imagined a situation quite like this one…
She really wasn’t meant to laugh so much that she nearly wet herself.
The night hadn’t panned out exactly how he’d wanted and looking back years later, Harry realised that he should have expected as much. The previous eighteen or so years had worked out as he’d predicted so why should they decide to do so at the moment he really needed them to. So, it was with a heavy heart and a feeling or ironic despair Harry dismounted from the broom and looked his date in the eye.
Gosh she just looked so pretty, blinking at him from beneath her eyelashes. He felt this overwhelming urge to stroke her cheek and reached up a hand to do so…
Before he realised that given everything that had happened that night it was probably not a good idea to hope for a goodnight kiss. He hadn’t proven to be an ideal date so far so expecting the kinky benefits probably wasn’t something he should hope for.
“So….” He began, hands thrust deeply into pockets so he wouldn’t be tempted to touch her and break his good intentions.
“So….” She bit her lip and looked at him nervously.
“Yeah um…well….er…” Harry coughed out the words, not quite sure how to string them together to make a proper sentence.
“Yeah…” she seemed to understand.
“I suppose we should say goodnight,” he nodded at her, taking a step back to enhance the distance between them.
“Oh um…” her face fell. “Yeah…er…goodnight then.”
“Night,” he said, staring down at his shoes as she gave him one last glance and made for the Burrow steps.
Turning on his heel, heart heavy with despair, he kicked a stone to vent his emotions. Bloody hell he’d ruined everything royally tonight. Couldn’t he just have had one night without any incidents or anything going wrong? Someone somewhere truly hated him….
The one girl in the world he actually liked……okay loved…..and he couldn’t even spend an evening with her without some mishap or another. This said a lot for his romantic plans didn’t it? He’d end up alone with eight cats like Mrs Norris and eat meals for one for the rest of his life. He’d be known as the ‘Boy that couldn’t get a date because he scared them all off with his bad luck’….he could see the headlines now. Then he’d see Ginny dating another man because he’d messed everything up. Damn, he’d have to see her marry other men and all because he’d given her a terrible first date and not even apologised….
“Ginny!” he shouted, turning round.
About to push the door open, the object of his affections turned slowly round to face him and regarded him with a despairing expression.
“Yes Harry?” she sighed wearily.
“I’m sorry that our date was ruined by some girls jumping on me, I’m sorry geese attacked us, I’m sorry you got caught in a downpour and ruined your dress, I’m sorry that the reservations I made got cancelled by accident and that you had to have fish, chips and curry instead, only for me to knock curry sauce all over you….I’m sorry,” Harry mumbled dejectedly, shoulders slumping. “I completing understand if you don’t want to go out with me again-“
“What makes you think that?” Ginny raised an eyebrow and moved down the steps towards him.
“Well…” Harry scratched his neck uncomfortably. “What with everything that happened I assumed…”
“You shouldn’t assume,” she moved closer, so her chest brushed his, causing him to gulp. “I can honestly say that even though everything that could have gone wrong did tonight was perhaps the best night of my life.”
“Really?” Harry looked confused, but a spark of hope began to worm its way back into him.
“Really really,” she nodded and brushed his shirt slightly. “I’ve been waiting to punch Romilda Vane in the face for years.”
“Oh,” the spark died.
“And let me tell you something Harry Potter,” she leaned in closer and began to whisper. “I’ve been waiting for you for over seven years now and I have only one thing to tell you….”
Harry gulped, heart racing as her breath tickled his cheek.
“You, Harry Potter,” she whispered leaning up so only a millimetre separated them. “You are someone worth waiting for.”
And without waiting for him to make a move, she stood on her tiptoes and pressed her lips against his.
A/N: So what do you think? Good/rubbish etc? I got ideas from people off the forum….considering it was ages ago I can’t remember who to credit, so I’ll thank everyone at HPFF to make things easier.
It’s a Hermione/Ron interchange next and I adore writing it. Love notes have never been so obscure.
Please review! Pretty pretty pretty please.
Write a Review The First Date Syndrome: 1997: Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley