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HP stories following Canon including OotP >> Count on Me by irish_ginny

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"Did he really smile at me? Maybe it was someone behind me? I can't believe I'm getting this worked up over a smile, or even an supposed smile! Maybe I should tell him that I like him? Then it would be out and I'll be ok. But...what if he laughs or something? He can't like me so he'd probably find it hilarious if I just suddenly come out and tell him how much I like him! Ahhhh, I hate this!"

Ginny Weasley was walking the corridors of Hogwarts school. She was paying no attention to where her feet carried her, her head was filled with so many thoughts, all about the same thing. Or rather, the same one. The same one who had occupied them since she had first seem him six years ago. The same one who made her insides feel like they were infested with butterflies when he so much as looked at her. The same one she dreamed of every night for six years. The one she loved with all her heart.

Harry Potter.

The one and only. Her one and only. She couldn't believe that one guy could have such a huge effect on her, but Harry Potter wasn't just any guy. She had tried to forget him, to get over him, but it never worked. No matter how many other guys she dated she always found herself thinking of what it would be like if it were Harry, or comparing them all to Harry, each coming no where near to him.

She was in love with Hary Potter, and powerless to stop it. She knew that. Now, any other girl would be delighted to be in love with someone, finding someone who meant enough to them that they spent nearly all their time thinking about them. But things didn't seem as good when the one person you felt so deeply for didn't even realise it.

Ginny shook her head, trying to snap herself out of it. She had to stop herself from drifting off like that. She told herself over and over that it was just a dream, a wonderful dream but a dream never the less. It wasn't going to come true and she had to face that. She looked around the corridor in which she stood, acknowledging for the first time where she was. But she didn't recognise it. It looked like she was in the dungeons, but even of that she wasn't sure.

"It's ok, I'll just go back the opposite way. I'm bound to meet someone out of bed who can show me the way back. I can't be the only one up!"

She was right, she wasn't alone wandering the castle. But they weren't so keen to help her find her way back to bed.

"Lost Weasley?" asked a voice from behind her. Ginny whipped around to face the voice, reaching into her robes for her wand. But her hand just met the fabric of her robes. It wasn't there!

"Looking for this?" the same voice asked. He finally stepped out of the shadows.

It was Draco Malfoy, holding her wand with a satisfied smirk on his face. But he wasn't alone. Out of the shadows came at least four or five more figures. Ginny stood rigid as they closed in around her. She knew she was in trouble. She had been cornered by a group of Slytherins, had no wand and didn't even have the slightest idea where she was. She was so terrified she wanted to scream but she knew she couldn't. She wasn't going to show any weakness against Malfoy, just as she'd always done. But that was so much easier when she was in a populated area with a source of defence. Here she was alone, lost and defenceless. For the first time in a very long time, fear flickered through Ginny Weasley's eyes.

"Now I wonder what a filthy little blood traitor would be doing wandering around the castle by herself, so lost in thought that she didn't even notice the disappearance of her wand. Thinking of someone special Weasley?" Malfoy mused aloud, taking a step closer to her. Ginny wanted to much to flinch away from him but she stood her ground.

"And I wonder what a pathetic excuse of a Death Eater is doing stalking the halls with a group of bodyguards. Afraid of the dark Malfoy?" Ginny asked, smirking aswell, though her insides were frozen. She knew she was going to pay for that but she wasn't going to let Malfoy see how scared she really was.

"Interesting how you can still be so disrespectful with that big mouth of yours when you're surrounded and wandless. Maybe we should teach you a lesson, what do you think boys?" Malfoy asked the others. They all nodded, grinning maliciously. They all raised their wands and pointed them at Ginny. Ginny stared coldly at Malfoy who was standing in front of her. But inside she had gone cold with terror. She knew this was it. They were going to attack her and there was no one to help her. Even if she screamed, she couldn't guarantee she would attract anyone's attention because she seemed to be very far down in the dungeons.

"Pity we have to get rid of you Weasley. You could have been some use to me," Malfoy said with another wicked grin. Ginny felt sick, beyond what the fear made her feel. She stood disgusted, forgetting almost where she was and what was about to happen to her. But then she was sharply dragged back to reality with a painful force.

Crucio!" Ginny was thrown to the ground by the force of the spell. Pain shot through her like she never felt before. She thought she was going to die right then and there when the curse was taken off her. She breathed deeply but was hit again, this time by a spell she didn't recognise. The voice had been different aswell so Ginny assumed they were all taking turns cursing her. The next half hour was a mass of confusion to Ginny. All she could feel was an awful numbing pain and a sense of being torn. She lost track of the number of spells that hit her, she didn't recognise most of them, didn't know who it was that had caused the new pain she felt, all could knew was the indescribable pain shooting through her whole body. She was certain at one point that the end had come, after which she blacked out.

But not before she heard a new voice. One that hadn't been there before. One that didn't shout another pain ridden curse.

One that had come to help her.


"Hermione is wrong, I can't like her! I mean...she's Ron's sister! And Hermione is wrong that she still likes me! She gave up on me ages ago when she went Dean and Micheal. What happened to Hermione always being right? Why'd she have to give up the know-it-all role on something I needed, instead of being able to tell me a load of stuff that I'll never need to know?"

Harry Potter sat on the sofa of the Gryffindor common room, his head in his hands. Hermione had cornered him during the day and demanded he tell her if he liked Ginny because he'd been watching her all day. He, of course, had denied it completely. He couldn't like Ginny, it wasn't possible. But once Hermione had put the idea in his head he couldn't get it out! He couldn't help but ask himself; Do I? Ginny wasn't the same as Cho. He didn't get all nervous around Ginny or worry about impressing her. But then why did he keep watching her today? And why couldn't he help noticing how her hair would shimmer when the light hit it. If he didn't like her then why did he smile at her when she came into the common room and his stomach flip when she smiled back? Just because of that, that didn't mean he liked her, did it?

Harry shook his head. He was more confused than when he had been left here to think about it. He reached down to his bag and pulled out the Marauder's Map. Ron and Hermione had gone off a little while ago for 'Prefect duties' but Harry didn't believe a word of it. He knew Ron and Hermione liked each other and had for a long time, and now it seemed as though something was finally happening. Harry grinned and looked down at the opened map.

But his grin was wiped away immediately as his eyes found the name of the person he had been thinking about most of the night. And she wasn't alone. She was surrounded.

"Malfoy," Harry growled. Before he could register what he was doing, he was off the sofa and running to the dungeons. If he had thought to even weigh the odds of six on one he would have at least grabbed the invisability cloak. But he hadn't taken any time to think. His head was filled with the image of Ginny surrounded, alone in the dungeon. They had attacked her most likely. But one thing really troubled Harry more than anything.

The Ginny on the map wasn't moving.

Harry sprinted down corridors, through passageways and down staircases. He didn't care if he was caught out of bed. He was only concerned with what was waiting for him in the dungeon.

He turned a corner and stopped dead. His heart stopped as he saw the scene before him. Ginny was lying on the ground motionless, seemingly unconscious. Six Slytherins, including Malfoy, were standing over her wands pointing at her. He couldn't see Ginny properly because they were blocking her so he didn't know how hurt she was. Fury built up inside Harry like never before. Everything around him seemed to disappear except for his targets. They had hurt Ginny. Now it was his turn.

"MALFOY!" Harry roared. All six heads turned to Harry. They raised their wands to him but Harry gave them no time to act.

"STUPEFY!" He roared. Although it was one spell, one incantation with one target, everyone fell to the ground knocked out. The force of the spell and the power behind it was so strong that it spread out to every person within the area. Harry didn't put much pass on the new discovery of his power. He was more concerned about who had been revealed when he had attacked the Slytherins. He ran over and knelt down beside Ginny. Her body was beaten and bruised, covered with blood from the open wounds and her heart beat very faint. The numerous attacks had rendered Ginny unconscious with the amount of injuries on top of that.

He could feel tears coming as he looked at her beaten body. This wasn't Ginny, his Ginny. She was usually so strong and gave off such a powerful presense, but now she was weak, nearly gone altogether. He couldn't see her like this, it wasn't right. But why had she been attacked? Had she done something? But then he thought of how it had been Malfoy, did he really need an excuse to attack someone?

Harry knew he had to get Ginny some medical attention and fast. He could find out more about the reason behind it later. He pushed the thoughts of causing more pain to Ginny's attackers than they had to her away. Ginny was the most important thing right now. He bent down and scooped her up gently, trying to hurt her as little as possible. He slowly and safely carried her through the castle up towards to Hospital Wing. Her body felt so light and delicate, he was afraid one wrong move would break it apart more than it already was. Even though he was concentrating on keeping her in as little pain as possible, and still fuming that she had been so ruthlessly attacked, he still noticed how she seemed to fit perfectly against him, moulding herself into his shape.

He shook his head sadly. He couldn't think like that, not when she was hurt. He could think more about it later. Though he felt it inside him now. Something that was always there, he just couldn't find it. Until now. When he saw her lying there so hopelessly he finally realised how he cared deeply for this little girl. When he felt the pain go through him as though her pain was his, when he summoned power so strong that it effected six people, when he was ready to cry at the sight of her broken body, he knew that he loved her. He loved her more than anything. He had for a long time. The feeling of her just being Ron's little sister had disappeared long ago, he just hadn't taken any notice.

He was afraid this could happen.


"Mr Potter please, I can't let you in to see her until I've at least checked her out. You must stay out here," Madam Pomfrey told him sternly. Harry had been demanding to see Ginny for the last ten minutes since she had been taken from him.

"Fine, fine I'll stay out here," Harry grumbled. "But....She will be ok won't she?" he asked, his tone softer and filled with worry. Madam Pomfrey nodded.

"I believe so Mr Potter. Now, I shall call you when she is ready to see you." With that she turned around and walked back through the hospital wing doors.

Harry stood staring at those doors for he didn't know how long. He was extremely worried about Ginny, the way her once powerful body had been so fragile. He also couldn't help but remember how wonderful it felt when her body fitted perfectly to him. But above that there was a surge of angry, growing bigger every second, aimed at Ginny's attackers. They had done this to her. They had put her in the hospital with god knows what type of injuries. The anger welled up inside Harry until he thought he was going to burst. He wanted to do something, something to warn them against doing anything like that to his Ginny ever again. The image of her lying nearly unconscious on the ground made up his mind for him. He jumped away from his resting spot on the wall and raced down the hall. He didn't have a destination but he did have a target.

He sprinted down staircases, along hallways and through secret passage ways. He felt like he was racing to save Ginny again, except now there was a burning anger caressing through him instead of insane worry. It took a very short amount of time to reach the hall way he had found Ginny in, little over half an hour ago. Much to his surprise and delight, Malfoy and his friends were still there, talking quietly to one another. They looked up quickly as Harry appeared at the other end of the corridor. They had obviously heard him coming because they all had wands out, but then again he hadn't taken any time or thought to make his appearance any way quiet.

"What Potter? You want to join your little Weasel in the hospital?" Malfoy asked with a sneer. He was trying to act as though Harry reappearing didn't bother him but Harry knew different. He was terrified of Harry. He had seen what Harry did with the stunner, he felt the power behind that and he didn't want to be on the recieving end of it again. Too late now.

"You bastard. Why did you attack Ginny? You'll regret that Malfoy. You made a huge mistake," Harry growled and made a jump for Malfoy, slamming him against the wall. No rational thought passed through Harry's mind. There was only one, and that was to cause Malfoy as much pain as he had caused Ginny. His wand lay forgotten, choosing to take his anger out manually. Malfoy's face was covered in blood now, coming from his broken nose. Harry stepped away, breathing deeply.

"This isn't right. He's not worth getting kicked out of Hogwarts for. Ginny wouldn't want you to do this. Well, not too much of it anyway," Harry though suddenly.

"Don't. Touch. Her. Again," Harry said slowly and menacingly. Then he turned and walked calmy back up the hall, making his way back to the hospital.

The Slytherins didn't even attempt to cast a jinx a his turned back.


"Ms Weasley please! I have to clean out these wounds!" an exasperated Madam Pomfrey was telling Ginny. Ginny had woken only a few moments ago but her first question was where Harry was, forgetting momentarily about her own health. But when Madam Pomfrey had told her he was outside and not allowed come in until she was completely satisfied Ginny was ok, Ginny insisted that he come in straght away.

"No. Not until I can see Harry," Ginny told her.

"I swear to Merlin, you and Mr Potter are made for each other. Both as stubborn as each other!" Madam Pomfrey cried. But never the less she went over to the main doors.

"You can come in now Mr Potter, she's awake and demanding to see you." Ginny heard Madam Pomfrey say and she grinned. Barely a moment later, Harry stood at the end of her bed. He was smiling with relief at her, making her glow inside. This time he was smiling at her!

"Feeling better?" he asked, his voice filled again with concern but that only made Ginny smile wider. She was going to answer, but never got the chance.

"She'd be a lot better if she'd let me take care of those cuts and wounds of hers! But no she had to let you in first. Maybe you can do a better job with her Mr Potter," Madam Pomfrey cried and handed Harry a bottle of lotion and some cloths. She then walked off to her office, a small smile on her face.

"So, you're here to be my nurse aswell as my saviour?" Ginny asked Harry as he moved around her bed to her side.

"Yeah, you know me, I love to play those roles," Harry said, grinning again that she was back to herself. He opened the bottle he had been given, poured some of the liquid onto a piece of the cloth and dabbed it onto a rather nasty looking cut on Ginny's right arm.

Ginny was still grinning, enjoying Harry tending to her immensely, despite the stinging pain the lotion was causing to her injuries. Then something occured to Ginny that she hadn't thought of before.

"Harry, can I ask you something?" she asked him quietly. Harry looked up at her, worry and confusion mirrored in his face.

"Anything Gin. Is something wrong?"

"No, I was just wondering...well, how did you know where I was? You couldn't have just been wandering that way," Ginny asked, but then again she had just been wandering there herself.

"I saw you on the map when I was looking for Ron and Hermione. I saw that you weren't moving and surrounded by Malfoy and his gang. So I ran down to the dungeons where you were and then...well I'm not too sure what happened then," Harry admitted. For the first time that night the memory of the power he had used came back. Ginny looked up at him confused aswell.

"Well, I just remember feeling incredibly angry and scared that something had happened to you. I casted a stunning spell at Malfoy who was going to curse you again but it kinda...well it hit all six and knocked them all out," Harry told her. Ginny stared at him in amazement. He had used all that power to protect her?

"But Harry, how...where did the power all come from?" she asked after a few moments, still shocked.

"I'm not sure. I think it had to do with what I was feeling about you at the time, Dumbledore said that powerful emotions could advance my powers when projected into them," he told her, remembering when Dumbledore had told him about the power of emotions....and love.

"Wh-What were you feeling about me?" Ginny asked him softly, staring up into his gorgeous emerald orbs of eyes, the eyes that had brought her in from the beginning and kept hold of her still.

Harry looked down at her again, really looking this time, searching her beautiful hazel eyes for an answer. He knew what he had felt, even if it had taken the walk to the Hospital Wing to figure it out. But could he tell her? Could he admit he had fallen in love with her? But she had gotten over him, hadn't she? Wouldn't he just look like some stupid love-sick puppy if he told her? But he needed to tell someone. He couldn't keep it locked away forever, he wouldn't be able to. He didn't think there would be anyone more perfect for him than Ginny Weasley. But because she was so perfect, could he really tell her and risk her getting hurt again? Part of him wanting so bad to tell her, but the other wanted to keep it a secret so she wouldn't be in any danger. If Voldemort were to find out surely he would come after her. But couldn't he do that anyway? He knew that if he were to ask Ginny she would tell him not always be thinking about the worst and be happy for once. Could he listen? Could he really just forget about the threat of Voldemort for even a little while and be happy with the girl he loved? If just feeling love for her had given him power enough to stun six at once, what sort of power could he have against Voldemort if he actually had a chance to be in love with her?

He looked again into her beautiful face and his mind was made up. Slowly, he reached down to her. Ginny rose to meet him at the same moment. Their lips came together half way, touching only softly but Ginny had never felt as much in one kiss before. They pulled away slowly and Ginny looked up at Harry again, her eyes still slightly glazed.

"That I loved you," Harry answered to her question.

"Really?" Ginny asked quietly, not able to believe she was really awake. She had dreamed of this for years and now it was happening...she didn't know what to do.

Harry nodded. "Really. The love gave me power Ginny, just as Dumbledore said it would. Nothing else could be so strong. I love you Ginny Weasley, and always will," Harry told her.

"I love you too Harry. I always have," Ginny told him, her eyes filling with tears. She had never been happier in her life, and neither had Harry. Both forgot all about Ginny being attacked and her injuries. All they cared about at that moment was the two of them being together finally. Harry leaned down and kissed her again, with more certainty behind it this time. He wasn't as nervous now and wasn't as scared as before.

He pulled away and sat down beside her on her bed, wrapping his arms around her. She winced slightly as she moved to make room for him.

"Guess I got a bit caught up there," Ginny said with a grin. Harry grinned too, happy that he had her now. And he didn't intend on letting her go any time soon. They sat there for a while, content to hold on to each other. Ginny remembered something else she wanted to ask.

"Oh Harry, what happened to Malfoy and those? I'm going to get them when I get out of here," Ginny said, saying Malfoy's name as if it was a curse but stating it with conviction. Harry couldn't help but laugh as the image of Malfoy terrified passed through his mind.

"Don't worry Gin, I don't think they'll be going anywhere near you again anytime soon."

Ginny grinned again., catching on to his meaning. "Thanks Harry," she said and kissed him softly, getting used to the idea that it was real and she could do that anytime she wanted. Well...almost anytime. They still had to tell Ron.

"You can count on me Gin!"

"Always count on me."

A/N: Hey! Hope you liked that! PLEASE REVIEW and let me know! Thanks for reading! = )

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