Harry eagerly watched the clock tick down the minutes until midnight. At long last, the moment he’d been waiting for since he joined the magical world and learned of such a thing. His soulmark would be showing up sometime in the next twenty-four hours, now that his seventeenth birthday had finally arrived. He had no way of knowing what time he was born, so he’d just have to subtly check throughout the day. Understandably, sleep eluded him. He didn’t want to miss the moment when the mark flared to life.
But he couldn’t stay awake forever. In the wee hours of the morning, he was ripped from sleep by a searing pain in his elbow. He sat up, shoving his glasses into place and checking the time. 6:22. He sent a mental apology to his mother for making her labor through the night, then lifted his arm to see his mark. He giggled when it slid along his arm, a small black dot about the size of a sickle.
He wanted to wake Ron, to show off his mark. But Ron had a mark for a while now and wouldn’t be impressed. Standing, Harry lifted his shirt and spun a little circle, just to feel the tingle as the mark moved around his middle and pointed the way to his soulmate.
Tucking himself back into bed, Harry held out his hand so the mark danced across his fingertips. The urge to get dressed and follow the mark to his soulmate nearly overrode every other thought in his head, so it took him a while to realise Ginny wasn’t sleeping in the direction of his mark. Her bedroom was on the floor below them, so the mark shouldn’t be on his fingertips, it should be on the hip pressing into the mattress.
This was going to be awkward.
At his birthday breakfast, he watched as one by one the Weasleys figured out what the mark on his right hand meant to Ginny sitting on his left. More than ever, he wanted to flee the Burrow and seek out the matching mark. But there was a birthday to be had. And a wedding to attend.
He hated himself for thinking it, but he was thankful for the Death Eaters crashing the party so he could escape the sad look in Ginny’s eyes. But he also appreciated the reminder that they were at war, and the time wasn’t right to pursue someone else. There would be time enough to find her later, when things were safer for the both of them.
That night, he snuggled into his sleeping bag with hope the war would end soon and he could find someone to love him.