When Did That Happen? by torndeception
Summary: During his last Hogwarts ball, Harry finds out something about little Ginny Weasley.
Categories: Completed Short Stories Characters: None
Compliant with: None
Era: None
Genres: Romance
Warnings: None
Challenges:
Series: None
Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes Word count: 1136 Read: 3140 Published: Apr 15, 2006 Updated: Apr 16, 2006

1. When Did That Happen? by torndeception

When Did That Happen? by torndeception
Author's Notes:
This oneshot was written a long time ago, so you may have already read it before on ffn or some other archive. Like most of my oneshots, this is not book six compatible, sorry. Please feel free to point out any errors or mistakes or give suggestions to improve my story. As I value all of my readers' opinions, reviews are much appreciated.
Harry watched Ron and Hermione dance, looking at them through his glass of pumpkin juice. Hermione's cream colored dress seemed orange, as did her pale skin, and Ron's hair looked normal for once in the surreal world of off-orange. It was an unusual picture, no matter how Harry looked at it. His two best friends had fallen in love. When had that happened?

"They suit each other, don't they?"

Harry lowered his glass and looked to his right. Ron's little sister, Ginny, had sat down beside him with her legs crossed at the ankles and her hands folded neatly in her lap. She was wearing deep green dress robes, and her red Weasley hair was done up in an elegant French twist; she had even went as far as to wear neutral toned makeup. Little Ginny Weasley looked like a woman. When had that happened?

"Yeah," he answered, mentally shaking the thoughts out of his mind. Ron wouldn't appreciate him staring at his sister like that. Then again, Ron was too busy dancing with Hermione to notice, wasn't he?

"I still haven't gotten used to it though," Ginny continued, not a stammer or stutter in sight. "I never thought Ron would work up the courage to as her out." Ginny wasn't the same gangly girl who used to blush every time she talked to him. She had changed, and Harry had missed it. He gave her a warm smile and set his glass of pumpkin juice down on the table.

"He practiced the lines on me," Harry admitted. Ginny grinned and readjusted her lace shawl.

"That sounds like Ron," she said fondly. Harry literally felt the warmth excuding from her smile; it hit him straight in the gut.

"Yeah," he agreed, his voice cracking. They lapsed into silence as Ginny watched the dancing couples, and Harry unabashedly stared at her.

"Do you... Do you want to dance?" he asked uncertainly. Ginny looked up in surprise before giving him a warm smile and a nod. He stood up and held out his hand; she took it, placing her shawl on the back of her chair with her other hand. Harry looked down at her hand, marveling at the feel of her soft skin. His pleasant thoughts, however, came to a screeching halt when he saw the expensive ring on one of her fingers.

"What's that?" he asked, brushing his thumb against the diamond studded, silver band. Ginny's eyes widened slightly, and she gave him an embarrassed smile.

"Don't tell Ron but..." She placed her other hand on his shoulder and stood on her tip toes so she could reach his ear. "It's from my boyfriend," she whispered. Harry searched her eyes frantically for an indication that she was only joking; he found none.

"Who?" his voice came out strangled, barely a whisper. She acted as if she didn't hear him.

"Well, what are we standing here for? I thought we were going to dance," she said, easily side-stepping his question.

He let her lead him out to the dance floor, too confused to pay any mind to the pleased look Ron was sending their way. Ginny placed her hands lightly on Harry's shoulder and he moved his to her waist. They swayed with the music, their motions nearly seamless. It would have been a perfect moment for him, had a little voice stopped nagging him in the back of his mind. 'She has a boyfriend? When did that happen?'

"So, do you plan on attending the Academy with Ron?" Ginny asked, obviously trying to strike a polite conversation. Ron had told him months ago that he planned on attending the Auror Academy once he finished Remedial Potions. Harry shook his head.

"I've had more than my fair share of dark wizards," he explained with a small smile. Ginny nodded, her eyes straying to look at something over Harry's shoulder. His curiosity got the best of him and he turned around to see exactly what she was looking at. There was someone leaning against the wall in the far corner of the Great Hall, drinking from a silver flask. His face was hidden by shadows but Harry didn't need to see his expression to know that whoever it was didn't like what he was seeing. Harry's neck hairs bristled; he could practically feel the stranger's eyes burning holes into his back.

"Is that him? Your boyfriend, I mean?" Harry asked, turning back to face Ginny. She nodded, clearly distracted. "Well, he doesn't seem to want you to dance with me," he joked. Ginny bit her lip, worry lines creasing her forehead.

"I don't understand why. He told me he didn't care if I danced with other boys. I mean, I did ask him if he wanted to go together, but he insisted that we go separately..." Ginny rambled. Harry watched in morbid fascination as anger began to spark in her hazel eyes. "Well, I don't see why I should worry about it. If he's too stubborn of a coward to take me himself, then he should have to deal with the consequences-" she stopped, a patented Weasley blush staining her cheeks as she realized what she had been saying. Harry arched an eyebrow.

"You mean, he didn't want to come to the ball with a pretty girl like you?" he asked, his cheeks tingling pink at his own daring. Ginny gave him what seemed like an indulgent smile.

"Well, it's a bit more complicated than that, Harry. Oh, don't worry about it! Let's just dance, yeah?" she suggested, looking away from the figure in the shadows.

Harry left the subject alone for the moment, content to share a dance with her; though, he couldn't help but notice that Ginny's lips would turn down into a frown whenever she glanced over his shoulder. The song was coming to an end when Ginny stiffened in his arms, her eyes a bit wider than usual. Harry was just about to ask what was wrong when someone tapped him on the shoulder. Harry turned around to tell them to bugger off and nearly jumped back from surprise.

Standing before him was Draco Malfoy, giving him a rather lethal look, his hand holding Harry's shoulder in a vice grip. Harry squinted at him; he looked a bit sloshed.

"Hope you don't mind, Potter," he snapped, practically shoving Harry out of his way. He took Ginny's hand in his, and a pleasant blush was crawling up from her neck to her cheeks. Draco smiled down at her in what seemed to be joyful intoxication. "Hold this for me, yeah?" he added, tossing something Harry's way before ushering a shocked Ginny Weasley to the dance floor. Harry deftly caught what had been thrown at him. A silver drinking flask.

"Bloody hell, when did that happen?"
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