Chapter 3 : The Problem
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When I think of you--
but then my world fills with joy--
when you walk by.
Ginny burst through the doors of Luna's dorm, startling Luna from sleep. One look out the window told Luna that it was very late, and that Ginny should not be there. She sat up when Ginny sat down on her bed and cast a silencing charm on her bed curtains after she pulled them closed. “Lumos” Ginny whispered before setting her wand on Luna's cover so that they could see easily. Luna noticed right away that Ginny had been crying.
“What's wrong?” Luna asked concern for her friend showing on her face, and lacing her voice. “What happened.”
Ginny didn't answer right away, but Luna stayed silent to give Ginny time to compose herself. “I told Harry. Tonight after practice, he cornered me outside the locker room to ask me about what I was going to tell him earlier.” She took a shaky breath. “I told him everything Luna. How I've loved him since I first saw him, even though I was a little girl, the infatuation never faded, it only grew stronger. I told him, how I couldn't—” she broke off with a sob. “I told him how I couldn't wait another day to tell him, and that I hoped he felt the same.”
Luna didn't like the answer that Harry had given Ginny, because she knew that Ginny wasn't crying because Harry had confessed his love for her, and that they were finally together. Her heart ached for Ginny, but she didn't know what to say.
“He doesn't love you.” Luna stated, there was no need to form the statement into a question when she knew the answer.
“He said that he did love me, but that he was interested in someone else. I asked him what that meant, how could he love me, but want to be with someone else, but he told me that he didn't think he could love me the way that I needed him to love me, and that it wasn't fair to drag me along.” New tears started streaming down Ginny's cheeks. “I asked him who it was that he was interested in, but he wouldn't tell me. He said that it would only hurt me more if I knew, but that didn't make sense either. I don't see how anything could hurt more right now.” She put her face in her hands and continued crying.
Luna found herself just as confused by Harry's actions as she had been about Malfoy's earlier in the evening. It was almost as if they'd traded personalities. She had been certain that Harry fancied Ginny. They almost seemed destined to be together, here being Ron's little sister and all.
“He probably is interested in someone that I know, and am friends with. That's why he said it would only hurt more for me to know. What does he expect though? That when they get together I'll be completely oblivious to them walking down the corridors together? Boys are so—so daft sometimes.” Something happened just then. Luna could see the hope come back into Ginny's face as suddenly as a Lumos charm. “Maybe he's under the influence of a love potion.” She muttered. “That has to be it.”
“It's possible.” Luna commented. She didn't want Ginny to run away with this idea. She could see that it would only make Ginny fall harder, if she convinced herself that Harry was spelled. If he wasn't under anyone's influence, but his own, then that would be even more devastating for her later. “What if he's not?”
Ginny frowned. “I don't know.” She twisted her fingers together. “I'll hex him. Detention be damned, and her too.” Ginny's mouth turned into a sneer. “I'll hex them both, and then be done with it I suppose. What else will there be to do? Wallow?”
“How will hexing her accomplish anything? How was she to know you were head over heals for Harry?” Luna asked, trying to talk logic to Ginny.
“Everyone except Harry knows that I'm head over heals for him.” Ginny exclaimed.
“I just want you both to be happy. Both of you are my friend.” Luna frowned, she didn't want to have to choose between the two of them.
Ginny sighed. “I wouldn't hate you if you talked to him, he's always been nice to you.”
“Maybe it's just a crush of his, like Cho was.” Luna smiled, “He'll get over whoever it is, and then he'll come to his senses. Maybe she doesn't like him that way, and he'll be rejected then come to his senses.” She tried to cheer Ginny up.
“Maybe.” she relented. “I like the idea of hexing him a little too much though.” she sighed. “I'm sorry I woke you.”
“It's no problem. The Minglements hadn't visited me with dreams yet.” That caused Ginny to laugh.
“Sometimes I don't know where you get these things.” Ginny hugged her and pulled the curtains back open before picking up her wand and dousing the light from the tip. “Thank you for listening Luna, you've always been such a good friend.” She whispered.
“Anytime.” Luna replied into the darkness. “Goodnight Ginny.”
“Goodnight Luna.” and with a soft click Ginny was gone.
Ginny watched Harry like a hawk for the next several weeks. He hadn't approached anyone new, and he wasn't dating anyone, but Ginny was convinced that if she watched him closely enough she would pick up on a clue, or something. She felt like she was going a little crazy, that maybe she was being a bit obsessed, but no amount of logic, or reasoning could prevent her from finding excuses to follow him.
Maybe Luna had been right. Maybe Harry would come to his senses. He had said that he loved her, so maybe this fancy of his wouldn't be a lasting one. Ginny groaned to herself. She had Quidditch practice this afternoon, and now seeing Harry made her dread it. She'd been avoiding direct contact with him at all costs. She was afraid that she'd make a fool of herself again, and she didn't want to deal with any of the awkwardness that she was sure would have developed between them.
“What's your problem?” Ron tactfully said. “And why are you following Harry around? Don't think I haven't seen you.”
“Buggard.” She said under her breath. The one time that Ronald paid attention to her, and it had to be now. Though it involved Harry so she shouldn't be surprised. “Nothings' the matter, and I have not been following Harry around. He just happens to be almost everywhere that I am.”
“Uhuh.” The look of doubt on his face would have been amusing under any other circumstance. “Look, whatever happened between you two, is messing up our team. I can tell that you two are avoiding each other, and I don't know why. I'm not even sure I want to know why, but whatever it is, you seriously need to get over it. We play Slytherin in two days. We defeated Hufflepuff in the first match, but you know how important it is to us to defeat Slytherin. We can't afford a loss this early in the season.” He popped a piece of candy in his mouth, and stared at her. He almost reminded her of Mum.
She knew that she couldn't tell Ron what had happened. She didn't know which of them that he'd be more mad at: Harry for rejecting her, or herself for pining away after Harry like a lovesick fool, and distracting him. “It's nothing Ron. You're reading far too much into things. Be careful your feminine side is showing.”
Her attempt to distract him failed horribly. “Like I said, get over whatever it is and focus on the game.”
“Yes Sir.” she said mocking him with a halfhearted salute.
“I'm serious.” And with that he turned and walked in the direction of the Great Hall.
Ginny chanced a glance in Harry's direction, meeting his questioning gaze for the briefest of moments before tucking her tail between her legs and bolting in the opposite direction. She couldn't even look at Harry, how was she supposed to concentrate on practice, let alone a match with him near by? She knew she couldn't follow Ron's advice and 'get over it.' She doubted she would be able to get over anything if Harry was involved. But she would have to try, defeating Slytherin was way too important to her. Yes she would try, but she knew she would not succeed.
The cheers from the stands were deafening, Luna could scarcely think about anything, but the pounding in her brain. As usual the joyous mood, and excitement of the crowd made her nerve endings stand on end, and she felt the rush of giddiness come over her. She leaned forward in her seat resting her arms on the ledge. She had been lucky enough to find a seat in the front row. It would make seeing the game a lot easier. Slytherin versus Gryffindor games were always the most interesting. The tension between the two teams added to the excitement.
She looked down on the field in anticipation. It wouldn't be long til the teams entered the field and mounted their brooms. She saw a small figure cross the field. The small stature and short blond hair, told her that it was Madam Hooch. A student followed behind her carrying the case of Quidditch balls for the game. Su Li's voice rang clear throughout the stands. “The Slytherin and Gryffindor teams make their way onto the field, as Madam Hooch readies the Quidditch balls! Potter and Malfoy meet in the middle. You could cut the tension with a knife!” Luna could imagine the look on Professor Flitwick's face. Su Li wasn't that much different than Lee Jordan when it came to commentary on the Quidditch games.
After a few short words from Hooch, she blew her whistle and they were off. Luna watched as Harry rose high above the field as was his usual strategy when it came to seeking. Her focus was quickly taken by the match as Li shouted, “Good steal by the amazing Chaser Ginny Weasley, stole it right out from under Astoria Greengrass—she racing towards the goal—but OH NO, she just barely missed the bludger aimed at her head by Slytherin Beater Goyle! Quaffle recovered by Slytherin Chaser Nott, and they're off again!”
It was hard to not be interested in Quidditch, and Luna enjoyed the games immensely even though it was so violent and barbaric, it was hard to deny the utter skill and grace it took to play. Even Crabbe and Goyle took on a certain grace when on their brooms. “Great steal again by Gryffindor! Take that Slytherin! Sorry Professor, but it's true. Pass to Weasley and she's off towards the Slytherin goal posts yet again. She made it this time and Keeper Zabini reaches for the Quaffle, but misses 10 POINTS FOR GRYFFINDOR! Well played, well played.”
Luna left her seat with the rest of the stands cheering with all of her might. Ginny was an amazing Chaser, she was a better Seeker, but no one could ever rival Harry for that position. Ginny had realized this and resigned the position once Harry was allowed to play again when Umbridge—resigned.
“Daphne has possession of the Quaffle—Look out Ronald she's got a tricky throw—Weasley dives and misses, 10 POINTS FOR SLYTHERIN. They're neck and neck now with still no sign of the Snitch.” Luna's eyes shot upward toward the two Seekers. The usual antagonism between Malfoy and Harry was absent today. They left each other alone for the most part just concentrating on the game.
Gryffindor scored 6 more times, Ginny scoring four and then Robins, and Dean Thomas scoring the other two. Slytherin was close behind having scored an additional 4 times. There was a close call when Crabbe aimed a bludger at Ronald as he was blocking an attempt to score from Nott. A fowl was called and Ginny scored another goal for Gryffindor. “Was that the Snitch?!” Li exclaimed. Both Harry and Malfoy had caught sight of it and were already blurs as they both raced after the Golden Snitch.
This was the best part of the game in Luna's opinion. It was the part of the game that required true talent and discipline. Her breath hitched in her throat as she pulled her binoculars out to better watch the chase. Harry and Draco were next to each other trying to knock each other out of the way, both hands straining towards the small golden ball that taunted them as it raced ahead of their outstretched fingers. The Snitch made a sudden ninety degree turn and headed straight down toward the ground. It looked like it was just falling, if it's wings weren't flapping wildly, she would have thought the magic had disappeared from it.
Neither Seeker hesitated in their pursuit. A hush settled over the crowd as every one wondered who would be the first to straighten out of their dive. If they kept up their speed the crash landing was sure to be deadly, and very painful. She found herself standing again as they raced down right in front of where she was in the stands. She wanted to yell for them both to be careful. No sport was worth the pain if they couldn't pull out of their dive in time. She wanted to yell, but her voice had completely escaped her, they wouldn't have heard her anyway.
She knew that Su Li was yelling commentary about how unbelievable this was, but all sound had elapsed into nothingness as she stared after the two boys. Both of them pulled up at the last second, their brooms shaking from the effort, and they were off again like rockets. The silence burst into a roar as her senses caught up with her, and the crowd was going crazy. Something happened then, both Seekers were back to pushing each other out of the way, but being so close to the ground Malfoy caught something with his handle and veered dangerously off course before rolling into the grass, just barely able to hold onto his broom to keep it from flying rogue. Just then Harry stopped and landed gracefully on the field. His hand was up in the air, and a pair of golden wings were fluttering from between his fingers.
Gryffindor had won, yet again, against Slytherin.
She should have been cheering, but her eyes were glued to the motionless figure of Malfoy still laying on the grass where he had fallen off his broom. She hoped that he was okay, she didn't want anyone to get hurt. She sighed in relief as he sat up. Even from up in the stands she could see his shoulders were sagging in defeat, and her heart reached out to him. As important as this match had been for the Gryffindors, she knew that it was just important for the Slytherins. Since Harry had started at Hogwarts they had lost at almost everything.
The cheers from her stands grew to such a volume that Luna was forced to take her eyes off of Malfoy to see what the commotion was. Harry was back on his broom and flying toward the Ravenclaw stands. She tilted her head to the side in confusion when he stopped midair in front of her. “For you.” He said simply, before holding his hand out. She automatically held her hand out palm up. He dropped the snitch into it, a huge grin spreading across his face.
The only thing she could think of was Ginny was watching them, and what this simple action meant, “Oh no Harry. Don't.”
As usual I don't own anything from Harry Potter. The only thing I own is the poetry, completely original. ^_^
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