Summary - Set during Half-Blood Prince, slightly alternated storyline, Jimmy Peakes admires Ginny Weasley from afar - but he finds himself going from a face in the Gryffindor common room to being a friend - but does it stop there, or does she come to admire him too?
Disclaimer - I know it might seem like it, but I can definitely assure you I am NOT J.K Rowling.
Please note: the following story takes place during the Half-Blood Prince, and for it to make sense, certain facts from said book
'Seriously though, how pretty is she?'
Jimmy Peakes and his best friend Ritchie Coote stood huddled in a corner of the middle courtyard on the ground floor at Hogwarts, waiting for their Transfiguration class to begin; a girl with waist-length silky red hair, pale skin and freckles had just crossed the same courtyard they stood in, desperately late for her class - which being one year older than them, was most likely Charms or Defence Against the Dark Arts, where the classrooms were on the upper levels.
Ginny Weasley disappeared from view up the flight of stairs that were at the opposite end of the courtyard, but Jimmy continued to stare after her, the image in his head of her face had not left him since they had arrived at Hogwarts several weeks ago, and he had seen her getting off the train, smiling brightly and her hair cascading around her.
'She is good-looking,' Ritchie agreed, he was also staring at the point where Ginny had just been, 'but she's also very popular. What chance do you think you have of dating someone like that?'
'I have no chance,' Jimmy said matter-of-factly, 'she's just come out of a relationship with a boy older than her, why would she waste her time with someone younger? Anyway, I'm sure she's not interested in worrying about boys at the moment, studying OWLs must be stressful enough.'
'She fancies Harry Potter though,' Ritchie pointed out, though of course just about everyone in the school knew that. 'What can a short prick like you offer that the Boy-Who-Lived cannot?'
'First of all, screw you,' Jimmy said through gritted teeth, 'secondly, I may be short, but I'm much more broad in the shoulders and chest then him, can you believe how skinny he is?'
'I can't believe you're ignorant enough to worry about what he looks like,' Ritchie said seriously, as he began to absent-mindedly fiddle around in his pockets, 'he's Harry Potter!'
'I know,' Jimmy sighed as Ritchie finally found the Chocolate Frog he had put in his robe pocket yesterday.
'Want some?' he offered to Jimmy, who rolled his eyes.
'No thank you,' he said, turning to look back towards where Ginny had gone, 'those things are going to kill you, I swear.'
'Peakes! Coote!' came a whipping voice through the air.
'Oh no,' they both started, and looked around to see Professor McGonagall standing at the door of the Transfiguration classroom, indicating for them to hurry up.
They both grabbed their bags and hurried to the classroom.
A few weeks later, Jimmy and Ritchie were sat by the small circular windows cramped in the corner of the Gryffindor common room, both were attempting to finish their Charms homework due on Monday, both were failing at it miserably.
'I hate this,' Ritchie said furiously, slamming his charms book shut, '"Explain the Summoning Charm in more detail." How much more can you explain it, other than "the item on the other side of the room flies over to you"?'
'I don't know.'
Ritchie looked up.
Jimmy, who had done very little homework already that evening, had yet again turned to stare at Ginny on the other side of the room. She was sat in her own little corner doing her own homework, crossed-legged on the floor with her Pygmy Puff bouncing on her shoulder and a spare sugar quill in her mouth.
A smile appeared across Ritchie's face as he leaned forward and said into Jimmy's ear, 'why don't you try and summon her? You could just say you were practicing, hoping to summon something sweet.'
'You can't summon people, Ritchie,' Jimmy said in anger, turning back to his homework, 'and anyway, I'm so bad I couldn't even summon her quill if I wanted too.'
'It just takes practice,' Ritchie explained, who had done it pretty much straight away and had been summoning random pieces of rubbish - which usually littered the common room - all night. 'Would you like me to summon the sugar quill she's sucking on?'
'No!' Jimmy hissed, as Ritchie raised his wand.
Ritchie chuckled and shook his head, putting his wand away and picking his quill back up.
'What are you worried about anyway?' he asked, as Jimmy turned yet again to get a glimpse of the redhead, 'she's sitting on her own, well away from Potter - and her brother for that matter - ask her out.'
'She barely knows me,' Jimmy said longingly.
'True,' Ritchie agreed, 'maybe after tomorrow then, once we've made the Quidditch team. Though if this weather keeps up, we might be getting more than just bludgers to the face.'
They both paused to look out the small window they sat by - several hours ago, they had been able to see the lake quite clearly, and the skies had been a mixture of colours as the sun had set. Now there was only jet blankness, thick rain had been hammering against if for quite a while now and if you listened closely, you could hear wind whipping through the rain.
'It isn't helping my nerves,' said Jimmy sternly, once again turning to face his homework, 'and this is not going to get done tonight, maybe I'll leave it for Sunday if I feel any better.'
Jimmy put everything away into his bag and stood up. 'Night then.'
'Night,' Ritchie nodded, determined to stay put and finish his homework tonight.
Jimmy crossed the room to the boys staircase, and as he did, he glanced one last time in Ginny's direction - but at that exact moment, she happened to look up from her homework too, and caught his gaze. She half-smiled at him, the sugar quill was still between her teeth - Jimmy attempted to be casual, gave her a half-smile back before quickly (but not too quickly) looking away and disappearing up the staircase.
When he got to his dormitory, he closed the door behind him and leaned against it and closed his eyes - his heart was pounding, his mind racing and the image of Ginny's smiling face pierced through the blackness.
'I don't think I can wait until Thursday.'
It was currently Sunday - yesterday's Quidditch try outs had been a success, both Ritchie and Jimmy had obviously made the team as Beaters, and they were half-celebrating, half-relaxing down by the edge of the lake with the warm sun out. Jimmy was pacing the edge of the water, whilst Ritchie sat on a low rock to the side, his feet dangling into the cool water, and he was reading the Standard book of Spells: Grade Four.
After tryouts, Harry had told them all that first practice session would be that very Thursday, and Jimmy was in high spirits about it.
'I still can barely believe we managed to do so well,' Jimmy was saying, still pacing, 'with her watching me and everything.'
'Yeah, yeah, you did fine,' Ritchie said encouragingly, not looking up from his book.
'We both did,' Jimmy pointed out, finally coming to a halt next to his friend, 'but why are you not more excited about this?'
Ritchie shrugged and finally looked up from his book.
'I am,' he said casually, 'I just hide it better than you do.'
'Well clearly,' Jimmy threw his arms in the air and continued pacing.
'You should be doing your homework,' Ritchie said sternly.
'You're starting to sound like my mother,' Jimmy retorted and Ritchie laughed.
'Fair enough, I'll stop,' and he returned to his book.
They fell into silence once more, Jimmy only stopped pacing momentarily to watch the Giant Squid do some sort of pirouette in the shallow waters nearby. He had given up on ever getting his homework done, his mind was far too full of Quidditch and Ginny for him to think clearly, and his solution had been to pace the edge of the lake all day while Ritchie had joined him.
'Hey Ritchie,' Jimmy said suddenly through the silence.
'Hey what?' Ritchie replied.
'Put your book down one moment,' Jimmy demanded, making his friend look up at him reproachfully. 'I need your full attention for this.'
Ritchie bookmarked his place then closed the book and put it aside.
'Now I need to ask for your opinion,' Jimmy had stopped pacing by now, and was looking pretty serious. 'I need you to tell me if this sounds creepy-'
'Yes it does,' Ritchie said firmly, picking his book back up again.
'Be serious,' Jimmy demanded.
'I am being serious,' he said, hiding behind his book again, 'because I have no doubt that whatever it is... as long as you say it, it'll sound creepy.'
'We're on the Gryffindor Quidditch team now,' Jimmy said, as if telling him for the first time, 'and as a member of said team, we share a locker room with our team mates-'
'Here we go,' Ritchie rolled his eyes.
'If another team member is getting undressed,' Jimmy said, biting his lip, 'is it wrong to stare? Or is there a policy somewhere that states we have to look away-?'
'I'm pretty certain there are walls in the locker rooms,' Ritchie informed him, 'though I've not been down there. I would certainly hope they put some sort of barrier between you and the poor girl while she's getting undressed.'
Jimmy's smile widened as he stared at his friend.
'You're picturing it too,' he said happily, bouncing on the balls of his feet.
'You're sick,' Ritchie returned to his book whilst Jimmy roared with laughter.
'Oh my dear friend,' Jimmy managed to say through the laughter, 'there's nothing ill about it, it's perfectly normal for us boys to picture such a pretty lady with very little or no clothes on. It's what we do!'
Ritchie made no motion to retort these words, instead continued to read his book.
'For her sake, let's hope there are walls,' Jimmy agreed several minutes later, 'but if there aren't any, you can bet your entire Chocolate Frog card collection that I'm going to be watching her out of the corner of my eye!'