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 Chapter 4: Two Beavers Are Better Than One

The rest of the Christmas holidays passed in a blur. Everybody had been procrastinating the first week of the holidays, because everyone was too excited about the Yule Ball, but now it was back to harsh reality. The fourth years had been assigned mountains of homework. The teachers were saying they were preparing their students for O.W.L. examinations, although those didn’t come until fifth year. Harry also had the mystery of his golden egg that he couldn’t seem to figure out. All of the free time he had left from his school work he was spending on listening to the screams that came out of the egg. Therefore Harry had barely had time to talk to Ginny. He felt really badly about it. After all, he had told her that he liked her and he knew what would have happened if McGonagall hadn’t interrupted them. He thought Ginny would be mad or at least annoyed at him, but when he spoke to her in the common room, she was just her friendly self.

One Tuesday, when Harry had stayed behind at Potions because Snape wanted him to clean out the wall cabinets (without  magic), Cedric Diggory approached him on his way to the Great Hall.

“Hey Harry, you seem a bit stressed these days?”

“Yeah well, I’ve been a bit busy, between homework and that bloody egg.”

“Hm. Does your egg also shriek when you open it?”, Cedric asked.

“Yeah”.

“Open it underwater.”

“What?”

“Trust me” Cedric insisted.

“Why are you telling me this?”

“Are you kidding me? You saved my neck by telling me about the first task. If I wouldn’t have known in advance I’d have fainted on the spot. And we’re friends, aren’t we?”

“Yes we are”, Harry said. “But we’re also competitors.”

“Harry”, Cedric said. “Does it really matter that much who wins. I’d be just as happy if you win as if I win. We’re playing for Hogwarts. Personally I don’t care that much for money and eternal glory. And I know for a fact that you don’t either. If the four of us all play for ourselves one of us might win. But if we form a team, I don’t think Krum or Fleur has much of a chance, do you?”

Harry looked at the older boy. Cedric had gained an enormous amount of respect from Harry with what he just said. He pondered his words before he answered him: “A team huh. I think I’d like that.”

That evening Harry went to the Prefect’s bathroom. Cedric had proposed to use it, because he would be less likely to be disturbed. Although he went at night, he still chose to follow Cedric’s advice. When he came to the entrance he gave the password (Pine Fresh) and entered the gigantic bathroom. When he had heard the song it only took him a few minutes to figure out they were merpeople. He would have to go into the Black Lake. He never even learned to swim. Trying not to panic, Harry got dressed and went back to the Gryffindor Common Room, which was empty, at least almost.

“Ginny!”, Harry exclaimed when he saw her on the couch before the fire. He quickly went over and gave her a kiss on the cheek. “I’m really sorry we haven’t been able to spend time together, Ginny.”

“It’s alright, Harry.” Ginny gave him a small smile. I know how busy you’ve been. You don’t have to spend too much time on me.”

“Of course, I do. It’s just – well, it’s a bit hectic, is all.”

“I understand”, Ginny smiled. “So, went for a night time stroll?”

“I went to figure that bloody egg out. Cedric told me to hold it underwater before listening to it.”

“Why did he tell you that”, Ginny frowned. “Aren’t you supposed to be competitors?”

That’s what I said.” Harry laughed. “He said he wanted to repay me for tipping him off about the dragons for the first task. He told me he wants to form a team.”

“A team?”

“Yeah, me and him. He says we’ll be stronger if we work together. It doesn’t matter who wins, if only it’s one of us. None of us care for money or eternal glory so. We just want to win for Hogwarts.”

“I think that’s a great idea. If you work together, Krum and Fleur don’t stand a chance! So what did you find out?” Ginny asked.

“It was a song by merpeople”, Harry explained. “They will take something from me that I sorely miss. I have an hour to go look for it in the Black Lake.”

“An hour? How could you possibly breathe under water for an hour?”

“That’s not even my first concern.”, Harry said with a grim look on his face.

“What do you mean?”, Ginny asked.

“I can’t swim”, Harry stated simply.

“You can’t swim?!”

“Never learned it”, Harry admitted. “My aunt and uncle never sent me to swimming lessons. I think they hoped I would drown one lucky day.”

“Oh well, you’ll have to learn then.”

“How? It’s not like we have a swimming pool at Hogwarts. And the lake is freezing right now.”

Ginny thought for a moment. “I once heard of a room…”

“A room?”

“Yes, Fred and George told me about it. They were once running away from Filch when they stumbled upon a broom closet they could hide in and Filch couldn’t find them. It’s really strange, because they had passed there twice already and they swore there was nothing there then, except for a wall. They were still trying to find a place to hide when they passed the third time and then there was a door. They went inside and it was a cupboard. They heard Filch walk by outside, but apparently he couldn’t see the door.”

“That’s a nice story”, Harry said surprised. “But what does it have to do with this?”

“Well, Fred and George still know exactly where that door was, but it has never appeared again”, Ginny informed him. “There was also no indication that something was there on the Marauder’s Map. They did some research and there have been stories that the founders built a secret room in the castle. Not like the Chamber of Secrets”, she added when she saw Harry’s look. “It’s a room who answers to the needs of the users. For example, Fred and George desperately needed a place to hide…”

“So it would turn into a broom cabinet”, Harry finished her sentence. “So… If you would be in desperate need of a bathroom…”

“That’s clever, Harry.” Ginny laughed.

“Is there any proof that this room actually exists?”, Harry asked.

“Not that I know of. But there have been a lot of stories, plus Fred and George’s experience… The Chamber of Secrets was also based on stories”, she remembered him.

“You’re right. So if this room exists, Fred and George know exactly where it is?”

“Yes.”

“Then why didn’t they use it again?”, Harry asked.

“They don’t know how”, Ginny replied simply.

Harry’s eyes lightened up. He had an idea. “Dobby!”

BANG

“Good night Harry Potter, sir and miss Wheezy. What can Dobby do for you?”

“I have a question for you Dobby”, Harry said. “Have you ever heard of a room in Hogwarts that fulfils the user’s needs. That can take the form of whatever the user needs at that moment?”

Dobby answered immediately: “Yes sir, we house elves call it the Come and Go Room sir, more commonly known as the Room of Requirement.”

“More commonly known, you say?”, Harry inquired. “How many people do exactly know of this room?”

“Oh, not many people, sir. I think on this day only Professor Dumbledore sir, and maybe Professor McGonagall.”

“That’s great!” Ginny exclaimed. “Can you show us how to use it Dobby?”

“It is very easy to use, miss.”, Dobby squeaked. “You just walk passed the blank piece of wall three times while thinking about what you really need and then the room will appear, miss.”

Harry and Ginny looked at each other. It seemed like they had discovered one of Hogwarts deepest secrets that only Dumbledore knew about. “We should keep this for ourselves for now”, Harry said.

“I agree.” Ginny affirmed. “But we should tell Fred and George. They would be furious if we let them out of this.”

Harry laughed. “Very true. And Ron and Hermione, I think.”

“Well that’s it then. You can learn how to swim Harry!”

Harry paled. “How?”

“Oh it’s easy”, Ginny reassured him. “I’ll teach you.”

 

Starting from the next day, Ginny gave him swimming lessons every evening. Harry found himself thinking about her more and more, even daydreaming during the lessons. Hermione noticed something was going on of course. Harry knew that she had her ideas and as always, her ideas were far too accurate. Harry realized he was falling for the youngest Weasley. He couldn’t do anything about it and to be quite honest, he didn’t want to do anything about it. He loved spending time with her and became more and more attracted to her. Seeing her in a two piece bathing suit during his swimming lessons wasn’t doing much good for his teenage hormones too. He knew if Ron could watch in his head, he would strangle Harry in his sleep, best mate or not.

Although Harry and Ginny were spending much more time together now, and in the eyes of most of the Gryffindor students were actually dating, they still weren’t a couple yet. Harry knew he wanted to be with her, and that she wanted to be with him (unless he was very much mistaken), but he was totally new at this. He had never kissed a girl before, let alone had a relationship. His only regular female contacts were Hermione, who was his best friend, and Parvati and Lavender, who were just friends. Harry knew that he had to do something soon or she was going to get tired of waiting and move on.

“That’s it, Harry!”, Ginny yelled from the side of the pool. “You’re getting really good, you’re certainly able to swim to the bottom of the lake now.”

“Yeah”, Harry grinned. “Now we only have that tiny problem of breathing underwater for an hour.”

“Don’t worry, we’ll find something”, Ginny reassured him while they were walking back to the common room. They walked in silence for a few minutes. Suddenly Harry said: “There’s a Hogsmeade visit the weekend after the second task.”

“There is?”, Ginny asked. She couldn’t help but smile to herself for her acting skills. She had known about the Hogsmeade trip for days, from the moment the message had been hung at the board in the common room. Justin Finch-Fletchley and Michael Corner had both asked her out but she rejected them, still waiting for Harry.

“Yeah”, Harry continued. “Would you… I mean do you want to.. Do you want to go with me?”

Ginny’s heart started beating faster. She couldn’t help it. He was Harry Potter, probably the most famous wizard in Britain and still he was here, asking her out as shy as can be. “I’d love to Harry.” She had the widest smile on her face. They had reached the Fat Lady.

“So we er, we’ll go out then”, Harry stuttered.

Ginny took his hand. “What are you so nervous about, Harry? I had to overcome my shyness to talk to you and now that I’m over it, you’re here stammering like an idiot”, she said with a loving smile.

“It’s just. I really like you, Ginny. And I don’t want things to be weird with you being Ron’s sister and all, but I really want to be with you.” Harry’s heart flushed. Had he really just said that?

Ginny gazed into those green eyes she had come to know so well over the past weeks. “I’d really like that”, she whispered. She closed the space between her and Harry and Harry leaned in, closing the gap between their heads. When their lips met, Harry’s heart jolted around in his chest. This was the most amazing feeling he ever experienced. He wanted to stay here forever, one hand on her back and one caressing her beautiful, long, red hair…

“Ahum.”

Harry and Ginny let go of each other and looked at the Fat Lady. Expect the Fat Lady wasn’t looking back at them. Apparently Hermione was on her way to the library when she opened the portrait hole and found two of her best friends in a very tight embrace. Over her shoulder they saw half of Gryffindor house stare at them with open mouths.

 

The fact that Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley were an official couple was apparently big news at Hogwarts. Of course every student in the school knew Harry, but Ginny was also rather known. Her red hair and freckles gave away immediately that she was a Weasley and the Weasleys were a rather well known pureblood family, although they were considered blood traitors by certain other families.

Harry had to endure some bantering over the next few days. He didn’t mind much, because most of the time, it was in good nature. But of course, there were the usual exceptions.

“So, got hold of the blood traitor girl, eh, Potter.”

“Shut up, Malfoy.”

“I don’t understand you can touch her, Potter. Especially after she was already used and thrown away by the Dark Lord.” Being the son of Lucius, Draco knew of course that it had been Ginny who had opened the Chamber of Secrets two years ago.

Harry lost his temper. “Furnunculus”, he yelled. Malfoy’s face became immediately covered in boils, much to the amusement of the many Gryffindors in the corridor. Unfortunately for Harry there also happened to be walking a teacher by at the moment.

“50 points from Gryffindor, Potter. And a week’s worth detention.”, Snape sneered.

Harry shrugged and walked on. He had agreed to meet Cedric in the library. He wanted to talk to him about the second task. When he got there, Cedric was already waiting for him, as he expected. He went and joined him.

“Sorry I’m late, had to stop and hex Malfoy on the way here.”

“I can understand that”, Cedric smirked. “Look about the second task, I think I found something. It’s actually a charm we learned in Charms class last year, so you wouldn’t know about it yet. It’s called the Bubblehead Charm. Basically it just forms a sort of air bubble around your head, so you always have a supply of fresh air. It should work.”

“Sounds good”, Harry said. “Is it difficult to master?”

“It’s a fairly advanced charm. I had some problems with it last year”, Cedric admitted. “But I’ll help you. And I think you’re a far more accomplished wizard than I am.” He grinned.

“Oh shut it.” They laughed.                      

“Hey guys. Mind if I join you?”

“Not at all, Neville”, Cedric said. “What you’re working on?”

“I’m doing some Herbology research for Professor Sprout on water plants. What about you? Triwizard Tournament?”

“Yeah, I’ll have to learn the Bubblehead Charm”, Harry said. He quickly explained the charm and the second task. “We have to be able to breathe underwater for an hour.”

“Breathe underwater?”, Neville asked. “Why don’t you use Gillyweed?”

“Gillyweed?”, Harry and Cedric replied in unison.

“Yeah”, Neville said. “Well that Bubblehead Charm looks okay to me, but if I understand it, it just gives you a supply of fresh air and the rest of your body stays unchanged right?”

“Yeah”, Cedric said slowly.

“Well, Gillyweed gives you gills, so you’ll be able to breathe underwater like it’s your own habitat. Plus, you will have flippers, so you’ll be able to move through the water much faster.”

“That’s brilliant, Neville!”, Harry yelled and immediately received an angry glare from Madam Pince.

“It is”, Cedric agreed, although a bit softer than Harry. “I think we should use that if we can, Harry.”

Harry nodded. “So Neville, where do we get Gillyweed?”

Neville’s grin slowly slid of his face. “Oh”, he said. “That could be potentially problematic.”

A/N: Thank you very much for reading!

I was planning on writing out the rest of the series out of the point where Harry and Ginny go to the Yule Ball together, but I think if I’ll do that I’m going to need several more stories. So we’ll see how far it goes.

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