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Two Conversations by Permanent AccountYKuang

Rating: G. Created: September 8th, 2005. Updated: September 8th, 2005. Read Reviews (20)
Disclaimer: Characters, the magical world, etc, is property of J. K. Rowling and Warner Bros, not the owner of this fic.

Two Conversations at Four in the Morning

For Anna, and her sugarless coffee ways. Happy Birthday, dear!

Disclaimer: I don’t own anything here. JKR owns the characters, the situations, and my soul. Anna owns Harry’s toe fungus and his penchant for sugarless coffee.

--

May, Sixth Year

She’s crazy, he thinks, not for the first time.

“So, coffee, tea, or milk?”

Harry stares at her, and stifles a yawn. “Coffee, no sugar.”

Ginny rolls her eyes and moves to fetch the coffee.

They’re in the kitchens, at four o’clock in the morning; not even the house-elves are up this early. He doesn’t know why she’s bothering to be so quiet; it’s not like anyone’s going to catch them. No one’s awake yet.

He snorts and wonders why he let her talk him into this.

“Your coffee,” she says, and gives him a quick kiss as she hands it to him.

Ah. That’s why.

He drinks it slowly, and is suddenly aware that she’s staring at him, her eyes on the coffee.

“What?” he asks, annoyed.

“You drink your coffee with no sugar,” she says, as if this is a crime.

He’s a bit peeved. He woke up at four in the morning and left his warm, comfortable bed for her, after all. “So?”

“Well, that’s just… wrong, that’s what it is,” Ginny says, drumming her fingers on the table, still watching him drink with an expression of mild interest.

“You’re weird,” he says, not for the first time. She looks flattered.

They sit in silence for a few minutes, before-

“Harry?”

“Ginny?” he returns evenly.

She stares at his feet, which he suddenly remembers are clad in those ridiculous mismatched socks the house-elf had given him, because they’re the warmest pair he has, and the castle is surprisingly drafty in May.

“Why does Dobby always give you socks for Christmas?” she asks, studying the snitch patterns on his left foot, and the broomstick designs on his right.

“Erm… Because they’re his favorite clothing item,” he says, faintly recalling a conversation in fourth year. Of all the things that happened in his fourth year, it’s a wonder he remembers this, he thinks. Harry shakes his head slightly, and shrugs.

“Really?”

“Yeah.”

She sniffs and stares at him shrewdly. “You have a toe fungus, don’t you?”

What?” It’s moments like this, he thinks, that prove she’s been hanging around Luna Lovegood for far too long.

“You do, and that’s why Dobby always gives you socks for Christmas,” she says, and glances at his feet again. “It’s puce green and six centimeters long and you’ve been recording it’s growth and movement all summer.”

He stares at her and wonders if she really is mad.

Ginny gives him a small smile. “Well, that’s what I came up with, anyway,” she says, with a blush. “Back in the summer before my fourth year. You never wrote to me, so I just…”

“Thought I had a toe fungus, so I couldn’t be bothered?” he asks, amused.

She glares at him. “No,” she says. “It’s just that everyone was so depressed, with Percy leaving and all, and you kept writing to Ron and Hermione, but never to me, so I just… made up an excuse for you.”

“Ah,” he says, suppressing a smile. “Well, my toe fungus apologizes for distracting me from you two years ago.”

“You’re odd, Harry.”

“Thanks, Luna.”

“Says you, Mr. I-Drink-Sugarless-Coffee.”

He shakes his head. “It’s four in the morning, Ginny.”

“You’re still odd.”

He thinks, from her, it must be a compliment.

Christmas Day, Seventh… er, yeah.

It’s Christmas today, but he knows there’s nothing different about today other than the date. It’s not as though they could pull out the bloody holly and sing carol songs. But still, there is one thing…

It’s four in the morning, and he’s awake.

Christmas cheer, indeed. But he had never been much for waking up early on Christmas, not with the Dursleys, and he wonders why he bothers to now.

He remembers a conversation he had last year at four in the morning, and how he had resented being up at this ungodly hour. Now, though it’s not quite the same. He’s not awake because it’s early, he’s awake because he never went to sleep.

“Coffee, Harry?”

He glances up and smiles at her. “Yeah. No sugar,” he adds, unnecessarily.

Hermione nods and conjures him a cup, sitting tensely at the small wooden table with him. Everything’s tense and quiet lately, as if any sudden movement might be preamble to being struck down by lightning.

He remembers when it was another girl sitting with him, handing him his coffee, and he smiles reminiscently at the thought of what she’d say.

It’s not her, though, and he focuses his attention instead on the bushy haired girl sitting across from him. She’s staring into her coffee pensively, as if she can see it prophesizing doom and gloom from its dark and swirling depths. Harry shakes his head and thinks they really are too young for this- coffee shouldn’t be depressing them, not at this age.

“Something wrong?” he asks cautiously.

She shakes her head and stirs her own sugarless coffee.

Hermione was like him, he thinks. She had grown up in a house of dentists, so, naturally, she wouldn’t want sugar. Something about rotting teeth, he remembers. She had uncontrollable hair, like him, as well. And, Harry thought wryly, she had a thing for redheaded Weasleys.

As if she hears this last thought, she glances up at him.

“Ron’s sleeping,” she says. “I think he has a cold.”

Harry nods and stares into his coffee, as if it could somehow manage to transport him back in time to relive that other conversation. It was happy, he remembers. He was happy.

“I have a toe fungus,” he says suddenly.

She’s caught off guard. “What?”

He smiles. “Yeah. It’s the reason Dobby always knits me socks for Christmas, did you know?”

She thinks he’s crazy, he knows, and maybe he is, just a little bit.

Later, he finds a box of twelve knit socks patterned with coffee cups and green blobs when the post arrives. “Merry Christmas,” the unsigned note reads.

He grins like an idiot for the rest of the day.

--

(A/N): And that’s all she wrote. Happy Birthday, Anna, and I hope you enjoyed that! Now go drink some coffee, make a wish, and be happy!

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